When a user answers a question, it gets marked with the number of answers it has. It is reasonable to believe that users tend to look at unanswered questions more often, so if someone is trying to answer your question, but the user's answer is not good, it harms the chances that someone will look at it again (sometimes people do, but again I believe that the chances are diminishing).

It would be great if the asker or other users with high reputation could mark the answer as "answered but not for what has been asked". So users will again have the motivation to look at it again.

  • There are already lots of ways to deal with a question that attracts multiple incorrect answers. Edit, down-vote, close, no need for more I'd say. – Uphill Luge Jan 30 '11 at 18:35

I don't think this is a good option to add. If an answer doesn't answer the question, it shouldn't be accepted or even upvoted - it shouldn't be in the question in the first place.

It would probably help in some remote edge cases, but in general would create too much confusion.

  • yes, but even if it didn't upvoted, the question is still get "1" for the answers in the questions list. it will only give an opportunity to "zero" the answers count. – shani Jan 30 '11 at 18:34
  • @shani I see what you mean, but that's exactly why the Stack Overflow definition of "answered" is "at least one answer with two upvotes". As long as the incorrect answer doesn't get upvoted, it is fine – Pekka Jan 30 '11 at 18:49

A question that doesn't have an accepted answer is already marked as "not answered to my satisfaction".

On SO it means that the answer count is displayed in white rather than yellow. Other sites have different indicators.

Accepted answer style

Perhaps the "accepted answer" style on SO needs to be more distinctive.

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