In the faq of meta sites you can read something like the following:

Voting here works a bit differently from other Stack Exchange sites. On Meta Stack Overflow, voting is used to express agreement or disagreement, not to point out a lack of quality or helpfulness. Please don't be concerned if you receive downvotes – members of the community may simply disagree with your bug, feature request, support issue, or the nature of the discussion.

My question is: If votes works differently on meta sites how does that of accepting answers work?

Take for instance a question on a meta site that is meant for the community to discuss some issue. What does it mean if the question is accepted? Accepting an answer is up to the author of the question so it cannot be a sign of what answer the community concludes from the discussion. It could mean that the discussion is over but that should be up to the community and not the author of the question. Is it so that accepting an answer for a discussion question on a meta site does not have a particular function?

2 Answers 2


Is it so that accepting an answer for a discussion question on a meta site does not have a particular function?

I think it's safe to say that that is the case.

Reasons to accept an answer can include

  • The answer agrees most with the OP's point of view

  • The answer manages to convince the OP that their request / point of view is wrong

  • The answer concludes a discussion in some form (like the final decision from a team member that something will be implemented, or has been declined)

  • The OP gets in a brawl with Meta users (rightly or wrongly), feelings get hurt, and the answer is the only one that is nice to the OP

And sometimes even:

  • The answer answers the OP's question (gasp!)
  • +1 Extending the third point: the answer confirms an implementation changes the functionality in the appropriate way (confirms bugfix, enhancement implementation, etc). Maybe most applicable to MSO.
    – squillman
    Jun 22, 2011 at 16:06
  • 4
    to add to your excellent answer: in my case, if the question is about a design/css bug, accepted answers on SE metas sites mean the user verified that the fix has been implemented.
    – Jin
    Jun 22, 2011 at 16:54
  • Sounds reasonable. So what should be my policy in accepting an answer to this question?
    – N.N.
    Jun 22, 2011 at 19:37
  • So the reason for accepting your answer does not reflect any of the four points in the list of your answer?
    – N.N.
    Jun 22, 2011 at 19:40
  • @N.N. good point! I have added the one that I think you should be choosing. (No, not that it's from me. :)
    – Pekka
    Jun 22, 2011 at 19:42

In the case of a question that is reporting an issue with an SE site, accepting the answer given from a developer could mean the issue has been resolved. This is helpful for who has a similar issue and finds the question; if the answer has been accepted, then the user can assume it has been already fixed.

In the case the question is a discussion or a support, accepting an answer would mean that the accepted answer made the OP understand why something works in a particular way, why things should be as they are, or why things should not be changed. Accepting an answer is subjective; between two answers that are equivalent, the OP will accept the one who helped him better.

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