Questions tagged [answers]

For questions about answers: how to answer, whether specific answers are appropriate, and so forth.

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288 votes
1 answer

What can I do when getting "We are no longer accepting questions/answers from this account"?

If you are reading this, you may have been affected by one of our post quality bans. If so, it is important that you read the following information to understand what has happened and how to regain ...
1114 votes
1 answer

How does accepting an answer work?

What does it mean to accept an answer? How do I accept an answer, and what are the rules? Can I accept my own self-answer? What are the reputation benefits? Which answer should I accept? Should I ...
1531 votes
51 answers

Fastest Gun in the West Problem

I feel like there's a problem with Stack Overflow, as the number of people prowling it increases. Each question's answers are sorted by descending score and then by descending time of posting. This ...
156 votes
12 answers

Is "Don't do it" a valid answer?

If someone asks how to do XYZ, and you think doing XYZ at all is a Bad Idea™, is it valid to post an answer saying so? You aren't answering the question, but instead, arguing the question's validity. ...
butterchicken's user avatar
148 votes
14 answers

Limits for self-promotion in answers

It's been covered before that posting links to your own website is ok, but should there be a line drawn? There were several spam flags today for Ira Baxter's recent posts, presumably because they all ...
75 votes
8 answers

How to deal with obsolete answers?

I was thinking about this issue from time to time but I didn't know whether it really exists or just an speculation on my side until today when I woke up [!], I saw a very old answer of mine which was ...
mmx's user avatar
  • 17.1k
108 votes
2 answers

How do I properly use the "Not an Answer" flag?

What is the "Not an Answer" flag and what is its purpose? When should I use this flag? When should I not use this flag? But I'm still not sure if I'm using the flag correctly... An answer is ...
123 votes
2 answers

How was this answer posted after this question was closed?

Question: lot of .exe folders are created on my windows7 Answer: try that... The question was closed at 11:57:57 (according to the hover-over-"x-mins-ago" bar) and the answer was posted at 12:16:35. ...
tombull89's user avatar
  • 5,463
83 votes
1 answer

What is an acceptable answer?

I answered a question and my answer was: (pick one) Deleted Converted to a comment Added to my question as an edit Why was this? Why was my answer not acceptable? What is the definition of an ...
169 votes
10 answers

Why do some people answer in comments?

Why do some people post comments that are actually answers to the question? Wouldn't posting an answer be better?
ripper234's user avatar
  • 4,858
109 votes
2 answers

What should be done with questions that have been resolved as a comment instead of an answer?

I'm trying to go through and provide answers to every unanswered question (search "closed:0 answers:0"), somewhat following the spirit that was blogged about at The Horror of No Answer: ...
ziesemer's user avatar
  • 1,417
108 votes
9 answers

Is there any way to favorite/bookmark an answer?

Lots of questions are very generic, "share an experience" kinds of questions. In these cases, I am quite often interested in specific answers that may not have gotten that many upvotes. ...
Gareth Simpson's user avatar
131 votes
6 answers

What is the official etiquette on answering a question twice?

When is it okay to post two answers to one question?
Edward Tanguay's user avatar
-6 votes
10 answers

Moderators accepting answers on user's behalf after a certain time period

I think it would be cool if a question would eventually open up to moderators to accept answers on the user's behalf, once a time period has passed. The asking user would get the rep score for the ...
Chris McCall's user avatar
  • 1,022
66 votes
4 answers

Should I flag answers which contain only a link as "not an answer"? [duplicate]

More than often I get a lot of itch when I see an answer which contains only a link. For example this one. Check this link, it will solve your query..
user avatar
84 votes
5 answers

How do I write a good answer to a question?

Are there guidelines for what constitutes a good answer? Let's discuss. Perhaps, we can come up with some ideas for the FAQ. Building off Should the official FAQ include information on how to ...
250 votes
9 answers

Mark answer as favorite/star [duplicate]

Often times I am not interested in the question so much as I am the answer. Unfortunately, the only site option for bookmarking an optimal answer is to bookmark the question. This leaves you having to ...
ahsteele's user avatar
  • 8,811
187 votes
5 answers

Subscribing to questions and comments that don't belong to you

There has been some discussion about getting notified on comments to questions or answers that don't belong to you, and the long-standing wish to be able to keep track of new answers or developments ...
Pekka's user avatar
  • 114k
253 votes
15 answers

Ban ChatGPT network-wide

Use of ChatGPT generated text for posts on Stack Overflow is temporarily banned. However, the reasons for the ban really apply to much or all of the network, and certainly for sites that are similar ...
Adám's user avatar
  • 11.4k
127 votes
17 answers

Closing Etiquette: Why Do Some Answer *and* Close?

I've noticed quite a few cases where people not only vote to close a question, but then also answer said question. At best this is just silly, and at worst it is totally hypocritical and seems almost ...
gnostradamus's user avatar
69 votes
7 answers

Accept Multiple Answers or Split Bounty among Several Users

Often more than one person contributes to the community coming up with the final accepted answer to a question. However, it is only possible to accept a single answer. Restricting to one final answer ...
defines's user avatar
  • 841
248 votes
39 answers

Unpinning the accepted answer from the top of the list of answers

Today we changed the way we sort answers on Stack Overflow. We no longer pin the accepted answer (with the green checkmark) to the top of the list of answers. By default, we now sort strictly by votes ...
Nicolas Chabanovsky's user avatar
101 votes
8 answers

Notify us when the question has been edited after posting an answer

Consider this situation. I post a legitimate and correct answer to a question and receive a few upvotes. Then the OP realizes that's not what they wanted to ask, and significantly rewrites the ...
lc.'s user avatar
  • 4,894
67 votes
4 answers

Should moderators be able to convert answers into comments?

Example of where it would be useful Another example Clearly, that was the result of an inexperienced user. If a question gets a bunch of replies, then the "comment" could easily get lost in the ...
Jon Seigel's user avatar
  • 40.7k
55 votes
11 answers

How do I mention my own products in answers? [duplicate]

Twice now I've seen questions on Stack Overflow where one of my company's products might provide an answer to the question. One was a slightly vague connection about object-relational mapping, but ...
175 votes
21 answers

Accepting an answer should automatically upvote it as well

Is there ever a case where you would want to accept an answer, but not upvote it? I can't think of a single situation where this would be the case.. So would it not make sense to have the "Accept" ...
dbr's user avatar
  • 23.1k
84 votes
8 answers

Life isn't fair [duplicate]

Recently I answered two questions on SO: The first is a completely trivial answer to a really basic question (kind of "read the manual and follow the one liner example there"). On the other hand, my ...
Shai's user avatar
  • 5,704
15 votes
8 answers

How should helpful answers that are just links be handled? [duplicate]

There has been a "movement" of sorts on Stack Overflow. Users are flagging questions that are just a link or little more than a link, like: https://...
NullUserException  อ_อ's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers

Accepted answer appearing below top voted [duplicate]

On Add year to question and answer dates, sorted by votes, the accepted answer is #3 in order of votes. It appears as number 3 in the list as well. Is this new behavior intended?
Tom Ritter's user avatar
  • 8,591
103 votes
14 answers

Is it okay to copy-paste answers from other questions?

This one leaves me with a bad taste in my mouth, but I defer to others as to whether it is appropriate or not. In this question, I wrote an answer to a question based on my experiences; it was upvoted ...
Joe Mastey's user avatar
  • 1,131
84 votes
7 answers

Should one downvote answers to off-topic questions?

It annoys me when people post answers to obviously off-topic questions like this one, especially after those questions have already received several close votes. Migrations seem to happen rather ...
Ernest Friedman-Hill's user avatar
492 votes
7 answers

How can I link to a specific answer?

Is there a permalink I can use for answers/comments?
93 votes
1 answer

Is there a list of ChatGPT or other AI-related discussions and policies for our sites?

Lately, the use of ChatGPT on the network has become controversial, with Stack Overflow completely banning using generated text for content and several other sites considering bans. Could we get a ...
Robert Columbia's user avatar
302 votes
38 answers

How do we encourage edits to obsolete/out of date answers?

As the network ages and we have answers that are 7+ years old, we run into situations where changes in technology, etc. result in a once great answer becoming out-of-date, obsolete, or somewhat ...
Taryn's user avatar
  • 51.5k
35 votes
6 answers

Outdated Answers project kicking off on Stack Overflow

As we announced on Meta Stack Overflow, we are kicking off a project to begin tackling the issue of outdated answers. That post goes into detail on the initiative and our approach. We are focusing our ...
Anita Taylor's user avatar
  • 7,899
11 votes
8 answers

Wouldn't it make sense to have more than one answer acceptable?

Or at least have maybe the ability to set some other answers as assisted answer. I find myself finding an acceptable answer unusable while other answers underneath it might be more suitable. Would it ...
6 votes
8 answers

When answering, could we be informed that "the following people are already answering this question"?

When a question is open, it would be nice to see that there are X people (or preferrably a list of the X people) who are in the process of writing an answer. For simple questions, usually once I'm ...
Kimvais's user avatar
  • 471
104 votes
6 answers

Allow author of accepted answer to delete it in certain circumstances

I made a mistake today. I answered a question incorrectly. (A C# question, no less. My head is truly hanging in shame.) Unfortunately, by the time this was pointed out, the answer had already been ...
Jon Skeet's user avatar
  • 93.7k
54 votes
4 answers

Notification when my answer is unaccepted?

I just lost some reputation, presumably because someone changed their selected answer from mine to someone else's. Can these losses of reputation be noted on my reputation page similar to the other ...
fbrereto's user avatar
  • 1,981
33 votes
5 answers

Should there be policy about 'One-Link-Only-Answers'? [duplicate]

See also: Are answers that just contain links elsewhere really "good answers"? | Is it okay to answer a Stack Overflow question with a link? | Why is linking bad? Related: How do I properly ...
Time Traveling Bobby's user avatar
90 votes
6 answers

Display the original question beneath the answer edit form

Often when I edit one of my answers, it's because I want to better address the original question. The only problem is that I can't see the original question while I'm editing my answer! I'd love to ...
31 votes
5 answers

Shouldn't the answer with more votes be above the accepted answer? [duplicate]

After reviewing this question... I'd like to make an argument for answers that have attained more votes than an accepted answer always be ranked above when answers are being sorted by votes (the ...
jondavidjohn's user avatar
41 votes
8 answers

Promoting comments to answers

This has been mentioned before, but a long time ago, and got closed for a rather confusing reason (converting comments to answers is not an "exact duplicate" of converting answers to comments), so I'm ...
Michael Mrozek's user avatar
18 votes
6 answers

Preventing users from downvoting good answers to bad questions

I posted an answer to a question that was voted closed as too localized, which it very much could have been. However, I did get 2 upvotes for that answer. As I browsed SO, I noticed that my rep went ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 46.7k
36 votes
4 answers

Cannot retract downvote if post has been edited within first 5 minutes of posting

Please do not close this as a duplicate unless you can remove the “status-completed” tag from the original report (because it’s obviously not been completed). Steps to reproduce: Have someone post ...
Timwi's user avatar
  • 3,190
51 votes
16 answers

How can we give some boost to some really good answers that arrive late?

It happens sometimes to receive or see a very good answer that arrives very late and that would deserve more upvotes. What can be done to give a boost to them? I would happily spend some of my ...
Drake's user avatar
  • 963
50 votes
6 answers

Please take care when flagging answers as "low quality."

When flagging an answer as "low quality" you see some explanatory text that reads: This answer has serious formatting or content issues and might not be salvageable. An effort should be made to ...
Bill the Lizard's user avatar
22 votes
3 answers

Add a message when posting to old questions with more than N answers

On Software Engineering I've been adding a message along these lines to old(ish) questions that have enough answers to be CW if they start getting new answers. Please read all of the existing ...
ChrisF's user avatar
  • 100k
20 votes
23 answers

What is the proper way refer to your blog when answering? [duplicate]

I know that putting a link to your blog in a signature is frowned upon and rightly so. Is it okay to link to your blog in an answer if that blog post answers the question? Are there other situations ...
Bill the Lizard's user avatar
71 votes
11 answers

Revisiting changes to answer sorting menu: better use of space, moving menu into a dropdown, ascending/descending sort options, clearer descriptions

Update (Mar 21, 2022): The dropdown menu for the answer-sorting options is now live. Update (Feb 9, 2022): I've added an additional question in the Feedback section below. Last week, I posted ...
Anita Taylor's user avatar
  • 7,899

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