So I'm currently running close to 50:50 with unaccepted answers, which is a little demotivating; Furthermore, discouraging. If I search for something on SO and don't see an accepted answer it rarely pays off clicking the question - but often it might.

How about a stack that can be viewed of month old questions that have answers but haven't been accepted? People could confirm/deny these as appropriate and a message could be sent to the question asker as to why they haven't accepted. If they contest, we know the answer is invalid and the questioners accept rate can be adjusted appropriately. If they don't reply within a week and someone else confirms the answer, points are awarded and the question closed.

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    Do you mean your answers are accepted about half the time? If so, that's amazingly good. – mmyers Jul 10 '10 at 0:29
  • My problem being that I've answered say, 50 questions and beeen accepted for 35. The others simply have no accepted answer, but often a 'thanks' comment – davbryn Jul 10 '10 at 0:38
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    @davbryn: I feel for ya! – uɐɯsO uɐɥʇɐN Jul 10 '10 at 0:39
  • I kind of wish that all answers could be appealed to a jury. There are times I see duct tape style answers get accepted and it's frustrating. – Christopher Painter Jul 10 '10 at 3:22
  • I can live with unaccepted answers, but I kinda hate it when people accept without upvoting. According to the latest data dump I have 55 of them... It delays my tag badge :( – Amarghosh Jul 10 '10 at 9:41
  • @Amarghosh, perhaps you're close to [Tireless]? – Pops Jul 16 '10 at 21:35
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    It's annoying when the accepted answer is flat-out wrong, also, and I've seen that before. – David Thornley Jul 16 '10 at 22:01

What if my answer is better and the community agrees

I know the title of the question doesn't indicate that the issues are the same, but my answer will be similar.

Votes mean 'useful in general'

Accepted means 'useful to me'

Basically, only the user themselves has the ability to determine whether or not a proffered answer actually solves their problem.

Essentially, your "should go to jury" option already exists, because if you sort by votes, you'll find that the jury-decided best bubbles up to the top.

Sometimes it is due to OP not knowing the system, and sometimes it is because the answers provided honestly don't help. The OP is the only one who has their exact problem, and therefore the checkmark is theirs alone to give.

Some other links


Welcome to Meta, davbryn! As mmyers said, having even half of the total number of answers you've written be accepted is incredibly good. Your idea is interesting, but doesn't really fit with what "accepting" means. The purpose of the accept feature is to indicate which answer the OP considers most helpful, regardless of whether it's the "best" in the eyes of the community at large — that's what voting is for.

I haven't read the specific examples you're asking about, but I have — rarely — accepted answers without upvoting them. I would do so in situations like this: I had a weird error and/or my error wasn't easily reproducible; there weren't any good answers available; one answer provided a really hacky workaround that made my situation less bad but wasn't reliable and/or had negative side effects.

And of course, sometimes you'll just end up with new/drive-by users who don't know/don't care about accepting answers. You can lead a unicorn to water....

You might want to check out the FAQ entry on accepting answers; it doesn't answer your question directly but might still be helpful for your general fund of knowledge.

  • The whole accepted answer concept of SO does go against the very philosophy of SO, though: that the person who asks the question is not that important, what's important is that the people who have the same question can find it and get the answer. So why should only the OP have a say in the matter? – Thomas Bonini Jul 19 '10 at 14:33
  • @Kop: I don't necessarily disagree with the first statement, but... If you really believe strongly that "accepted" status is anti-SO, you should argue for its abolition. Making it a vote-based thing just makes it redundant / meaningless. – Shog9 Jul 19 '10 at 15:29

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