There are questions on SO which I contributed answers to and they have been upvoted. Now nothing changed for some time in that question and also there is no answer marked with the green hook for being the correct answer.

Is there an automatism in SO which flags the top voted answer as being the right one after some time? Would it make sense to implement that?


No there isn't any such mechanism. And I don't think it'd be a good idea to implement, since that's not the kind of decision I think the system can reasonably make on behalf of a user. Sometimes there is a legitimate reason to leave a question with no accepted answer... for instance, if none of the answers posted really provide the solution the questioner is looking for.

If you think one of your answers (or someone else's answer) deserves to be accepted, for example if the questioner has left a comment saying the answer worked, you can leave a comment that politely reminds them to accept the answer.

As a curiosity, the bounty system used to work in the way you're asking about; after a bounty had been outstanding for a week, if the questioner hadn't yet accepted an answer, the highest voted answer would automatically become accepted (and would receive the bounty).

  • Leaving a comment reminding the questioner to mark the answer as accepted is fine with regards of netiquette? Thanks for your insight into the bounty system. I know it is all in the docs, but it can get confusing sometimes. – GorillaPatch Jul 8 '10 at 8:22
  • @GorillaPatch: yes, on SO and related sites, it is good netiquette to remind the questioner to mark an accepted answer, especially if it seems like they aren't familiar with the process of accepting an answer. See e.g. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/14994/… – David Z Jul 9 '10 at 0:30
  • Thanks for the answer. I am new to this site and would like to be a good citizen on SO. – GorillaPatch Jul 12 '10 at 14:07
  • In a perfect world this would work fine, but the problem I've encountered is that even with the polite reminder you'll often experience that the question was asked by a rep 1 user who only created the account to ask the question with no desire to mark the answer as correct or even to revisit stackoverflow. I wish I could say I have a great idea to solve this problem, but unfortunately that is not the case. – Mick MacCallum Mar 4 '12 at 11:04

Accepting an answer is a pure personal choice and I've seen a lot of questions where the questioner didn't choose the answer with the most upvotes.

As long as this is not automatic I'm happy and strongly motivated when my answer is accepted knowing that a real person placed the tick, knowing, that my answer helped somebody.

  • You are right, this gives the system a more personal touch. – GorillaPatch Jul 8 '10 at 8:20

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