Questions tagged [answers]

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

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1531 votes
51 answers
64k views

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 ...
1114 votes
1 answer
533k views

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 ...
492 votes
7 answers
98k views

How can I link to a specific answer?

Is there a permalink I can use for answers/comments?
302 votes
38 answers
9k views

How do we encourage edits to obsolete/out of date answers?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 result in a once great answer becoming out-of-date, obsolete, or somewhat ...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
288 votes
1 answer
135k views

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 ...
253 votes
15 answers
11k views

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
250 votes
9 answers
6k views

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
248 votes
39 answers
16k views

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
187 votes
5 answers
2k views

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
185 votes
26 answers
9k views

Version labels for answers

We’d like to introduce version labels (official name and verbiage pending) for answers, a new product feature idea as part of the larger Outdated Answers project. We hope that this feature will help ...
Lisa Park's user avatar
  • 10k
175 votes
21 answers
7k views

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
169 votes
10 answers
9k views

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
156 votes
12 answers
8k views

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
150 votes
5 answers
19k views

Sites can now request to enable a banner to warn about their policy on AI-generated content

February 22, 2024 Update The help center articles have been rolled out network-wide. See revision 15 of the February 7th post for more details. If you're interested in enabling one of these banners on ...
JNat's user avatar
  • 23.8k
148 votes
14 answers
15k views

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 ...
131 votes
6 answers
5k views

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
127 votes
17 answers
4k views

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
123 votes
2 answers
4k views

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
109 votes
2 answers
5k views

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
2 answers
6k views

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 ...
108 votes
9 answers
3k views

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
104 votes
6 answers
2k views

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
103 votes
14 answers
4k views

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
101 votes
8 answers
845 views

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
97 votes
3 answers
2k views

Competing with ChatGPT Answers: An Expert's Perspective

Although I'm a moderator on two network sites who has had to deal with GenAI answers, I'm writing this from the perspective of a lower (<2k reputation, with limited access to moderation tools) user ...
Thomas Owens's user avatar
  • 46.8k
93 votes
1 answer
6k views

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
90 votes
16 answers
1k views

Do you ever not upvote a question that you answer? [duplicate]

Whenever I submit an answer (a real answer, not some @someone comment) I upvote the question. I generally do this because if the question is good enough to take time to answer it, it's good enough to ...
Mark Harrison's user avatar
90 votes
6 answers
618 views

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 ...
84 votes
7 answers
3k views

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
84 votes
8 answers
4k views

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
84 votes
5 answers
37k views

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 ...
83 votes
1 answer
7k views

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 ...
79 votes
11 answers
3k views

Is It Time for a Duel System on Stack Overflow?

I was thinking over the weekend if there was a way to "correct" answers that were hastily marked as correct, or otherwise just plain wrong. It then occurred to me that time can also invalidate "...
Rob Conery's user avatar
79 votes
12 answers
5k views

Do you delete your own answer when it's a duplicate?

When I post an answer to a brand new question I usually find that someone else has submitted that same answer just moments before. (Matt Hamilton, usually ;-) ) What I've started to do lately is (I ...
Leon Bambrick's user avatar
77 votes
7 answers
2k views

I feel that lately the answers to my questions on Stack Exchange are low quality

I started using Stack Overflow1 a few years ago when I was learning c-sharp. I remember that when I was asking something, I was either getting a link to an existing question (duplicate or similar ...
Ionică Bizău's user avatar
75 votes
3 answers
14k views

Is there a way to follow a user on Stack Overflow? [duplicate]

Is there a way to follow the questions and answers posted by a developer on Stack Overflow?
user avatar
75 votes
8 answers
3k views

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
73 votes
14 answers
4k views

Changes to answer sorting menu: moving menu, "Newest" sort option, renaming sort options [duplicate]

Update (Feb. 8, 2022): I appreciate all the thoughtful feedback on this post. Your input caused us to rethink some of what we originally proposed. Rather than update this post with all the changes, I ...
Anita Taylor's user avatar
  • 7,899
71 votes
11 answers
4k views

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
69 votes
7 answers
3k views

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
67 votes
3 answers
5k views

Is there any benefit to allowing code-only answers while blocking code-only questions? [closed]

There have been several discussions regarding code-only answers (answers that contain only code blocks with no textual explanation whatsoever): Down Vote "code only" answers? Explaining ...
BoltClock's a Unicorn's user avatar
67 votes
4 answers
1k views

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
66 votes
4 answers
5k views

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.. http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/wasinfo/...
user avatar
63 votes
15 answers
943 views

Is accepting an answer discouraging more answers?

Sometimes I read a question that has an accepted answer, and I feel I won't add any value if I answer. Should one wait to accept an answer in order not to discourage a potentially better answer?
juan's user avatar
  • 33.3k
62 votes
8 answers
1k views

Bring back the 'oldest' sort order for answers

Please bring back the oldest sort order for answers, I think we can deal with four different types of sort order. It's helpful if you don't want to have to tool-tip every post to see which got posted ...
Lance Roberts's user avatar
62 votes
4 answers
825 views

Allow high rep users to migrate answers from one question to another

I'm adding this feature request to have high-rep users (15k?) to be able to migrate answers from one question to another, so that questions for duplicate answers can be consolidated. Of course, there ...
Lance Roberts's user avatar
61 votes
13 answers
3k views

Why do some people only post answers, and not questions?

Why do some people not ask questions on SO? If it is only for reputation (which basically boosts their CV), they could instead do some investigations in spheres that interest them. So what's the point ...
Denys S.'s user avatar
  • 777
59 votes
11 answers
2k views

Questions with lots of "Thank you" answers

"Thank you" answers are generally not very useful, especially if they appear in masses. Some questions are attracting especially many of them and should probably be cleaned up by a moderator....
sth's user avatar
  • 16.4k
57 votes
5 answers
15k views

Answer or comment: what's the etiquette?

I very often see comments about a question posted as answers, e.g., "format it this way" or "why don't you post it over here". I think this practice clogs up the answers and the comment feature is ...
56 votes
4 answers
5k views

Does Stack Exchange allow for answers which question the validity or stance of the original question?

One thing I keep running into on this site is that some questions are merely asked so that a persons opinion can be validated. I don't ever say I'm right and you're wrong when I reply to a question, ...
Adam Heeg's user avatar
  • 663

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