Is it possible to show alert (on top, like the alerts for new badges for example) for users with 0% accept rate when they log in, with text like "Please improve your accept rate" and link to page explaining how and why?

From what I see, the points are the economy of SO sites so people who ask, get answer, and don't accept (on regular basis) are like people buying something without paying - and they should somehow be notified this is the situation.

  • 1
    @Bill (hope you will get notified for this comment?) - I don't think that even with such feature implemented users will stop posting such comments. It's the human nature. :/ Jun 27, 2012 at 13:35
  • You're probably right. I doubt it will stop, but I would like to slow it down if we can. Having this feature implemented will at least give me something to link back to when I ask people to stop leaving those comments. Jun 27, 2012 at 13:37
  • I also placed a bounty on Let's stop displaying a user's accept rate. Jun 27, 2012 at 13:40
  • @Bill yep noticed that - personally I am against hiding it altogether but can see your point. :) Jun 27, 2012 at 13:49
  • @BilltheLizard Wow, a bounty ending in 16 minutes. That's cutting it rather close.
    – Mr Lister
    Jul 4, 2012 at 13:14
  • It would be ironic if the user that asked this question had a low acceptance rate!
    – Dave
    Nov 9, 2012 at 21:47
  • 1
    @HDave here in Meta it's different, it's rare to see high accept rate. Open discussion or feature requests often can't really have accepted answer. :) Nov 10, 2012 at 10:37

4 Answers 4


I second that, but I would make that multiple warnings:

  • You get your first warning (the next time you log in) after asking 5 questions without accepting one

  • You get your second warning after asking 10 questions with an accept rate of less then 50%

  • And at some point (e.g. 20 questions with 0% rate or 50 questions with less than 30% rate, just to make up some numbers) you are no longer allowed to post questions unless you reach the specified threshold.

  • 44
    Good suggestion except for the last part.. I won't block anyone from posting here, maybe just show "permanent alert" that can't be turned off. Dec 2, 2010 at 12:34
  • 6
    permanent alert is fine with me too Dec 2, 2010 at 14:00
  • 2
    And related: it's not stupid-obvious to some HOW to accept an answer. Consider including a graphic/icon/arrow ('click the checkmark') in the proposed warnings.
    – payne
    Feb 28, 2011 at 14:29
  • @payne: If it is in the permanent alert, yes. That'll keep it out of the way of most folks. May 11, 2011 at 8:11
  • 1
    Along the lines of how it's not stupid-obvious on how to accept an answer, perhaps we could leave a pop-up message when you're viewing your own question with unaccepted answers? Something along the lines of the pop-up that appears when you downvote something wouldn't mess with the design layout too much, I think.
    – Yawus
    Jun 27, 2012 at 16:17
  • IIRC it does so already.
    – Marijn
    Jun 28, 2012 at 11:59

Great idea, but I don't think that putting this as a banner at the top is the most effective way of doing this.

How about instead havig this as they post a new question? (something like a big orange box right next to the "Post your question" button).

This is the time that users are most likely to do something about it, because it affects how likely they are to get their question answered (and how much they are going to get hassled by the "low accept rate" police)

I'm not so convinced by the "stop them asking questions if they accept rate is low" argument - its good that users credit people when an answer is helpful but its not the end of the world if they don't. Besides, presumably the accept rate is taken into account by the anti-vampire question block thingy.

  • Fine with me as well. As long as the person see it and it links to explanation it's all good. :) May 11, 2011 at 6:32

Agreed, but there are several "severity levels" which should be taken into account:

  1. If the OP has up-voted answers without accepting any of them, those are obvious candidates for accepting. The alert could contain a link to one such question. This is probably a simple case of ignorance of the "Accept" feature.
  2. If other people have up-voted one or more answers, those are good candidates, but for whatever reason it might be that such answers are not applicable to the OP's situation. Users might be put off if the alert reads like a critique of their judgment.
  3. If nobody has up-voted any answer, then maybe the question should be closed or the problem is really tricky. These shouldn't count towards the alert threshold, because it's not the OP's fault if nobody is able to give an answer which the community can get behind.
  4. Obviously, questions without answers should not count. I suspect they are already implemented that way, but I'm not sure.
  • Good points, thanks. And yes, questions without answers are not part of the accept rate calculation. Mar 19, 2012 at 11:15

For my piece, I think the most important part is alerting the potential "helpers" to the fact that the poster has a "below acceptable" accept percentage is the real way to go.

From my own experience on less than 1 month usage, I have seen several posters (who stared off with a reputation rating above my own) repeatedly ignore answers that were given. In the worst cases, either:

  • Post another question with a clear follow on that they have gained knowledge from an given answer

  • Self answer a question with only the knowledge that they have gained from others responses.

So while I agree that other factors such as up-voting responses, and even general commentary around why a response if not the accepted answer, may and should be taken into consideration, I do believe that in the good nature of a knowledge base and the rewards system that is the core of the principles here, that the behaviour of non-acceptance should be very strongly discouraged.

As such, it should be a "name and shame" flag that is present on every post submitted by such a poster until the acceptance level tolerance is resolved.

It does not help the spirit of these sites if people are continually allowed to selfishly leach from those good people who are willing to spend their unpaid time and effort to help.

We ask for only one small reward. Acceptance. Please make this a Feature.

  • 4
    We had that; it was called the "accept rate." It was removed because it was silly. Here is a description of how the feature worked, and here is discussion on why it was removed. Acceptance isn't that important; when writing answers, bear in mind that you are writing for the community at large, not one individual asker. It takes only 1.5 upvotes to reimburse you for a missing accept mark.
    – Pekka
    Feb 22, 2014 at 15:09
  • @Pëkka I agree with the spirit of your comments, and from general interest I will read through the history. So Thanks. I suppose, because this is meta, I'm taking the opportunity to rant somewhat. But as said, yes, the primary concern in an answer should be that the content is there for the "community" as a whole, otherwise there is no point in the general concept of a knowledge base. But I do propose this "razor". Is there or is there not a general acceptance by the community to place more weight on answers that have been accepted.
    – Neil Lunn
    Feb 22, 2014 at 15:20
  • 1
    @Pëkka I can further add that despite the "Badge Scoring" rewards for having achieved "an answer that was up-voted more than the the accepted answer", the general feel is that is a process that will happen over time, and is also nulled by the fact that no answer is accepted. It still seems valid to me that the "individual" should be discouraged. And banners on their own login won't suffice. Good users can ask "the same question" without punishment. And reap the rewards for being a good citizen an accepting the response. But I'll go away and read my history now. And gladly accept that.
    – Neil Lunn
    Feb 22, 2014 at 15:25
  • 1
    yeah, your points aren't invalid; you'll find many of them discussed in the history... the thing about an accept rate (and I think the main problem with it) was that it pressured users into accepting an answer even though none of the answers deserved accepting. A related suggestion by the site's founder is here: Replace accept rate with citizenship level but it went nowhere
    – Pekka
    Feb 22, 2014 at 15:27
  • @Pëkka I do fully get it, without going into the reading. Which I will. Does anyone feel up to writing some heuristics code ?? ;)
    – Neil Lunn
    Feb 22, 2014 at 15:35

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .