I've added a suggestion on User Voice to consider the possibility of categorizing up to one answer per question as Canonical — i.e. worthy of being considered the consensus complete and accurate answer. A Canonical answer would have to include a link to an authoritative source, and at least 50% of voters would need to approve of it (as opposed to another answer to the same question or a "no possible canonical answer" option).

It's probable that many, if not most, questions would never have a Canonical answer. However, when one is possible and is provided, it should be a little more golden, and making it easier to find would be valuable for searching the site.


3 Answers 3


I've long felt there's a problem with the "accepted" answer - sometimes it's much inferior to other answers, and it's only accepted because the original-poster accepted it. The fact that all the other readers find it less informative won't hurt its chances to be on #1.

So your suggestion kind-of makes sense in this direction.

Or at least allow high-ranked members to change the "accepted" tag to some other answer.


Stackoverflow is "designed" to have two top answers: the question owner can decide which answer helps him (or her) the most by accepting the answer. The community can decide which answer is most useful by voting.

If you let other users to change the accepted flag, it wil violate this concept and will possibly annoy the question owner so I think this is a bad idea.

I'm not sure is adding a third mechanism is sensible. But if there is a majority in favor of the idea, maybe it should be build...


Is it actually possible for the mass to vote on truly canonical answer that's not popular? By definition the canonical answer must come from the authoritative "church."

People wouldn't vote the Copernican (heliocentric) theory to be canonical because they do not know enough. By the time they realized it is, it's irrelevant.