I love StackOverflow and the whole system these guys made, but there's one issue that I'm confused about (and please correct me if I'm wrong)...

This is the scenario:

I ask a question and I get a few answers, but none of them are the solution I'm looking for. I up-vote a few, to say thanks for the effort that these people have made, but I don't accept any as a solution. But because I've up-voted an answer, my accept rate goes down, because I didn't accept one of the answers I up-voted.

As far as I'm aware, if I hadn't up-voted any of the answers (which weren't a good enough solution), my "accept rate" wouldn't go down. Is that right? Or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

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    I see, thanks for clarifying. A bit of a pointless statistic then :( If you ask tricky questions, you may not get good answers... it's got nothing to do with how "strict"/"active" you are at accepting answers. – Django Reinhardt Jun 10 '10 at 18:56
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    yeah, it's well-accepted (ha, ha) that accept rate < 100% doesn't necessarily mean you're a horrible person. Some people will look at you funny if you get below 70%, though. And people with 0% tend to get snarky comments, for better or for worse. – Pops Jun 10 '10 at 18:58
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    I think there was a suggestion at some point to not count questions with all 0-vote answers, to try and fix the "no accepted answer because all the answers suck" problem, but I'm not sure what came of it – Michael Mrozek Jun 10 '10 at 19:56
  • Yup, seems like a bizarrely pointless statistic to display on every question, then. If it's supposed to give a potential answerer an idea of how likely they are to get a reward for a good quality answer, then I think it fails quite badly. Seems like a partially finished feature :( – Django Reinhardt Jun 11 '10 at 9:38
  • Another thing to be aware of is that if you vote up any answers, your question no longer appears in the Unanswered list, so you won't get any extra answers from people who look there... – Benjol Jun 11 '10 at 11:33

Your accept rate should be going down, but it's because you asked a new question, not because you upvoted any answers. The caching issue mentioned in the FAQ entry is why the drop in accept rate is delayed, making it hard to figure out exactly which action (or inaction) caused the rate to drop.


You have got the wrong end of the stick. Accepting and up-voting have nothing to do with each other. Your accept rate will stay unchanged as long as you don't accept an answer.

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