I just had the case, that the OP removed the "accepted answer" after one month because he needed my help again. https://stackoverflow.com/questions/4499476/how-can-i-clear-a-sqlite-database-each-time-i-start-my-app

I lost 15 reputation and got it again after I helped but this might be used for blackmailing. Ok 15 rep isn't worth blackmailing but my answer is the only one to the topic, there are 18 comments to help the OP and the accepted answer was there for one month.

I suggest that the accepted answer can be only changed to another answer and not "removed" which wouldn't result in such a behavior.

(hope its clear what I mean)

Update: To clarify: I don't want that a "accepted answer" can't be changed or removed at all. I just suggest to do a time frame within the accepted answer can be changed/removed completely. After this time frame it should be only possible to change the accepted answer to another answer but not removing it all. Another possibility is a "punishment" (like -1 rep for a down vote) when the accepted answer is only removed and not changed after the time frame. Hope that clears it up...

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    +1, yes, this happens and it is quite annoying. Your request is quite reasonable, one week is plenty long enough IMO. A bit odd that this was never considered before. Maybe it needs to be unblocked again after, say, 6 months to deal with outdated answers. – Uphill Luge Jan 19 '11 at 19:16
  • Always thought the tick was locked in like the up/downvote. But seriously, after that many comments (recently had around ~90) I would now consider waiving the points and just delete my answer. Else you end up personal help slave. – mario Jan 19 '11 at 19:21
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    This happened at least once before for that user: stackoverflow.com/posts/4430563/timeline but then the unaccepting was much sooner. – Arjan Jan 19 '11 at 19:50
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    Just had an answer unaccepted on Meta, sure wish I could figure out which one. – Lance Roberts Jan 28 '11 at 0:09

I've had to go back and unaccept answers sometimes because I found out I was wrong to accept it. You should always be able to update your questions (including your acceptance) so as to keep it accurate.

Note, I've also had my accepted answers changed, and just learned to live with it.

  • I changed it once or twice, too. The question is after what time? If I switch within days its ok, but after a month or more? – WarrenFaith Jan 19 '11 at 19:35
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    @Warren Not every question withstands the test of time. Maybe in Stack Overflow, things last longer, but in Gaming for example some questions can have answers invalidated very easily from the passage of time, and before someone provides a new and correct answer. – Grace Note Jan 19 '11 at 19:44
  • @Grace Note: good point – WarrenFaith Jan 19 '11 at 19:46

Looking at the question you linked to, I would find it annoying to be on the receiving end of such an exchange.

On the other hand, I can think of valid reasons for someone to revoke an accepted answer -- maybe the solution looked good initially, but had problems that only became evident after they had a chance to code it up and exercise it a bit.

This also brings to mind the issue of people getting badgered to improve their acceptance rate -- I think it sometimes provides an unhealthy incentive to prematurely accept answers, though I don't know if that's relevant in this specific case.

So with these considerations in mind, I don't think the site mechanics should be changed to disallow revoking an accepted answer -- the final say should rest with the questioner. The case you described seems to come down to a social issue of how that person is interacting with the community, and I think it should be dealt with socially, not technologically. I think leaving a comment along the lines of "hey, that wasn't cool", as you've done, was a good response to this specific case.


I don't agree with this idea, I think that if someone realizes his answer was wrongly accepted he shouldn't be forced to accept another one.

This of course this doesn't cover the extorsion part, but unfortunately solving it your way bring IMO a even bigger problem, so the way to fight back the blackmail (if it was uncalled for and very apparent) would be flagging this as inappropriate and ask for a mod to warn him about this.

Unfortunately I think there is no way around it, the only thing I would say is don't let de 15 rep points affect you so much :) (if he doesn't deserve a better answer).

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