I think there should be, similar to the "accept this answer" button, an option "none of the current answers are correct/acceptable/satisfying".

Currently you might ruin/lower your accept ratio by asking questions where you don't get a satisfying answer. Deleting those questions after some time is certainly a way to deal with that but I don't think users should be encouraged to delete questions because of this.

Without checking if the user is telling the truth or not, in Disable Chrome Developer Tools' $ function that was exactly the response to a "your accept rate sucks" comment.

To prevent people from abusing this feature to not accept any correct questions, this option should become active no earlier than one or two weeks after the last answer to thw question.

  • A similar request was made two hours ago: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/77691/not-an-answer-choice Not a dupe, just similar.
    – Pops
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:08
  • 1
    Its called a bounty.
    – user1228
    Feb 3, 2011 at 19:09
  • Since accept rate is no longer shown, this feature request is irrelevant (since it's rooted in accept rate, which is no longer shown). If you want to modify that to remove the basis on accept rate, then we can reopen it.
    – casperOne
    Jan 23, 2013 at 16:05

4 Answers 4


The question asker needs to work harder if they are not getting a good answer. I know I have one question which has no accepted answers, but I haven't put the effort in to make the question better. I'm being lazy as I have a workaround. If this feature existed, I'm afraid I would probably use it...

  • 1
    I disagree with the "just needs to work harder" notion. It's surely often the case, but not always, not by a long shot. There are plenty of good, tough questions that simply haven't been answered well.
    – Pekka
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:03
  • @Pekka I hear you, but I think that for the majority of the cases, questions are poor and need improving. When I start to answer a difficult question, and have put a lot of effort into it, my heart sinks when I see the OP not replying to people's requests for more info.
    – chibacity
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:06
  • @chibacity I totally know what you mean, and I agree the majority of unanswered questions is bad ones. But those should be downvoted. I can still see the merit of having a "I have not received a good answer yet" marker.
    – Pekka
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:09
  • Gosh, you're both right. I wonder if this could be implemented provisionally to see how it's really used and/or abused.
    – user145242
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:15

The biggest problem I've noticed is that most responders don't recognise the difference between a solution to a problem, and an answer to a question. 'There's no way of doing that', is a perfectly acceptable answer to me, provided it's backed up with 'and here's why:' that I can accept.

Almost all the questions I've asked where I haven't accepted an answer, I honestly believe there simply is no solution, therefore I'd accept an answer that confirms that. I've answered a few of my questions myself to this effect.


Implicitly, the whole essence of not accepting any answer is that you're indicating the lack of a satisfying answer. This is especially inherent if you do in fact accept answers and if you also are responding - this tells people that it's not ignorance that leaves you to not accept answers.

Less than 100% accept rate is not a bad thing. In fact, more people seem skeptical of 100% accept rates and prefer to see things roughly in the 60-99% range. In a way, sticking around in that range indicates "I accept answers when they solve my problems, but there's a couple questions I have where the current answers simply aren't satisfactory."

Not only does it give a clear clue that the unaccepted question itself is out of lack of satisfaction, but it can also indicate to browsing users that "Hey, that guy's got some unsolved problems! I bet it's hard, so it could be worth hundreds if I was able to solve it. I'll check it out!"

Admittedly, that latter one's probably a rare scenario, but it's entirely feasible.

Once you dip below the 50% mark, it is a sign that maybe you need to look back on your questions and do some improvement to try and get some satisfactory answers. Try to figure out what can be done to attract them. I share chibacity's fear that this kind of system would stagnate the flow of improvement to unsolved problems by encouraging people to simply mark them.

  • I disagre with your last sentence. I think the feature would actually improve the situation. Marking a question "I haven't received a good answer yet" is equivalent to stating "I have asked a good question, all comments saying otherwise are incorrect, and I am not planning to improve it". That would finally be a permission to downvote with good conscience, something people often won't do because they want to give the OP a chance to improve the question first. (Editing this into my answer)
    – Pekka
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:13
  • 1
    @Pekka All questions are already marked as "I haven't received a good answer yet" by not having an accepted answer. That's entirely what a lack of acceptance is meant to indicate. Comments better explain why answers haven't been accepted - it's much clearer in that combination than to rely on introducing an arcane mark which doesn't even explain the reasons for a lack of acceptance. It's completely redundant except for enabling users to have a system-encouraged method to let questions stagnate.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:14

I'm actually in favour of this. There are cases where a question is simply too hard to get a good answer, or too much in a niche area.

A "no satisfying answers" marker would not yield any reputation points, but improve the accept rate.

The marker would signify a possibly still active interest to get an answer (as opposed to an abandoned question). I think that would be a great thing, and a criterion to search for when looking for questions to answer.

Also, it would finally enable everyone to downvote bad questions. Marking a question "I haven't received a good answer yet" is equivalent to stating "I have asked a good question, all comments saying otherwise are incorrect, and I am not planning to improve it". A bad question that has this mark can be downvoted with good conscience, something people often won't do because they want to give the OP a chance to improve the question first.

  • @Pekka - In that case, perhaps the question should just be closed? There are tons of unanswered questions on SO that are just taking up space as it is.
    – jmort253
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:03
  • @jmort maybe, but then there would have to be a new close reason. All the currently available reasons suggest that something is wrong with the question. That doesn't apply here.
    – Pekka
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:04
  • Why should a question be closed just because nobody posted a good answer in time? For example I'm still interested in an answer for this question (mainly out of curiosity). Feb 3, 2011 at 15:06
  • @Pekka Some people are lazy, and would use this option if they could not be bothered to improve their question.
    – chibacity
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:07
  • @chibacity of course. But so what? I expect bad questions marked that way would get downvoted even more, which is a good thing.
    – Pekka
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:10
  • @Pekka I think that there is a fundamental issue here though that cannot be resolved by down-voting - users are reluctant to down-vote in the first place. I see really crappy questions all the time with no down-votes.
    – chibacity
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:19
  • I don't see at all how this would be any more enabling than the current system. You downvote bad questions, not lazy users. This sounds actually like an even worse reason to implement this, honestly speaking. "Oh, I can downvote this because the asker is lazy", do we really want to encourage people feeling good about this? Additionally, the real bad questions that don't get fixed tend to come from driveby users who wouldn't even use this system in the first place, so I don't see a whole lot of good mileage for it.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:20
  • @Grace this would actually address the drive-by asker problem - somebody who marks the question "not accepted" is likely to still be around, and interested in a solution. But on the other hand, the possibility of starting a bounty is admittedly a much more positive way of pointing that out.
    – Pekka
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:24
  • 1
    Actually, commenting is a much better way of showing that you're still around and interested in a solution. Editing the question is a great way to do it. Both of these are better than a blank mark because they actually can be used to add more information if possible.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Feb 3, 2011 at 15:25
  • @Pekka - +1 - I see your point. There is a difference between a bad unanswered question and a difficult unanswered question.
    – jmort253
    Feb 5, 2011 at 2:49

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