Hi I was wondering If you should really accept answers on discuss threads. This came up on my other question to do with acceptance. I mean theres no right answer. Saying which answer is best for me is also a bit meaningless as what I'm trying to do is figure out what the balance is.

REF: Should you accept an answer that doesn't help you?

EDIT from below comment. I'm not asking which answer I should accept more a generic question on acceptance.

Maybe discussion questions should be community wiki, I feel that puts pople off answering though.

  • 5
    Infinite loop detection. How will you know which answer to accept on this question ?
    – HoLyVieR
    Aug 21, 2010 at 0:06
  • No Its a generic question. This is also a discussion thread. If I feel that the consensus is that discussion threads shouldn't have an accepted answer I'll award to neither. If the consensus is that they should I'll choose two answers I find most illuminating and closest to consensus. +1 for infinite loop.
    – Wes
    Aug 21, 2010 at 0:12

3 Answers 3


No one is forcing you to accept answers on your questions.

You can accept answers on your questions if you feel that a given answer is the best solution to the situation under discussion (note: this can apply to feature requests as well). But as I said, you don't have to. Some discussions may end with no good/"best" solution, and it may in fact be inappropriate to accept an answer in that case.

Honestly, the best thing to do is to not worry about it.

Footnote about accept rate:

Generally speaking, a person's accept rate on Meta is going to be lower than on a more objective site like Stack Overflow simply because there are discussion questions here with no right or wrong answer, and discussion is promoted here.

What you're asking is sort of a byproduct of the system -- we run a discussion site here, somewhat shoehorned into an objective format.

  • That was exactly my feelings but I'm trying to be productive and not put people off. In these questions they are discussion, the discourse and the consensus are the important points to me. Upvote fine accept no.
    – Wes
    Aug 21, 2010 at 7:58
  • As yours was the only answer Jon, I'm going against what I said earlier and accept. I don't think theres going to be any further discussion after 5 months.
    – Wes
    Nov 25, 2010 at 21:17
  • For some value of promoted, where (promoted <= 0).
    – CodeGnome
    Jun 13, 2012 at 22:42

It depends on what an accepted answer represents. Here's the definition of an accepted answer from the accepted-answer tag:

The accepted answer is the answer the question owner thought best met their needs.

Based on that definition, there's no reason a discussion shouldn't have an accepted answer.

Of course, we could "discuss" what criteria people use to accept an answer to a question they've tagged with "discussion".

If you ask a subjective question, how are your needs best met?
A) By the answer most in line with your opinion?
B) By an answer that causes you to reevaluate your opinion?
C) By the answer that is the most opposed to your opinion?
D) Other?

Looks like it comes down to your favorite answer, additional criteria could be:

Most interesting
Most witty

Seems like it depends on your mood.

  • That illustrates the problem exactly I mean I just feel that it is a little off as I'm not sure theres much value. However an intresting point was raised in @aniuson answer which is to give an answer visiblity.
    – Wes
    Jun 16, 2012 at 19:08
  • @Wes yes, with a discussion being its own animal, I suppose you can accept whichever answer you want other people to look at. I've added more criteria.
    – codewaggle
    Jun 17, 2012 at 2:57

In the case of discussions, upvotes and downvotes already work differently. They signify agreement or disagreement among the community. Why should the check mark work any differently. The dynamics of a discussion have already changed. In normal context, the check mark simply indicates "this answer was most helpful to me." Note the use of the word me. It's your opinion. So, in the case of discussions here on meta, it would make sense to change that to "this answer was most agreeable to me." Choosing the answer you agree with most would be perfectly appropriate, and is often done in order to push that answer to the top (above the other answers you may not agree with) and get it more attention.

It's ultimately up to you. It's your check mark. If you don't want to accept an answer at all, that's your decision.

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