This can be regarded as related to other questions that have been posted regarding this topic; to include:

What can I do when a question has an old, accepted, and +25 voted **100% incorrect answer** contradicted by canon?

Is it desirable to have the community award "acceptance" to answers on abandoned questions?

which seem to also have been mostly asked by the same user and interestingly none that I saw had an accepted answer... however these seem to have been forgotten and the issue presented still remains.

I have been using (mainly) this site more and more lately. At least daily, if not more. And while I admit that I do not fully understand the way everything around here works I have a growing interest in some aspects of how it is managed. I continue to see the same issues over and over: Questions that have answers that have not been accepted, questions with accepted answers that are wrong, and questions with an accepted answer that is not the best answer to the question, etc.

While I understand the premise to these sites is that "he who asks the question holds the power" (as it should be) it does not seem entirely fair to the one that took the time to research and answer the question to not get the credit. I enjoy both researching and sharing my knowledge about my favorite universes, but I would be lying if I said I did not get a little endorphin boost when someone accepts or even upvotes my contributions.

For example this question I came across: Does the mental link between the Jaeger pilots simply just connect and synchronize their movements, or does it also control the Jaeger?

Within there is an answer that has been accepted by the OP that does actually answer the question, it does lack sources and could have been better.

In this situation another of the answers does have sources and a better, more thorough explanation of the answer. IMO it should have been the accepted answer. Although it does have more upvotes it is still the very last answer on the topic and would not necessarily be seen unless someone cared to continue looking after seeing the accepted answer. Imagining someone who was linked to the site for the first time, might think it a complete waste of time to come here for that accepted answer.

I would like to think that first time visitors would not judge the site based on one answer to one question, but I would also like to think that people are smart enough to know the world is not flat... people are not perfect... and they may be in a hurry or whatever...

Keeping the core of the site intact would it not be acceptable to have the ability for the community to take action to remedy these situations. My initial thought would be for the following:

  1. Everything stays exactly the way it is currently regarding asking, answering, voting, etc for questions and answers.

  2. There is an additional action that can be taken to simply mark an additional answer as "community accepted" with the premise that such answers "may have been marked as 'community accepted' for many reasons such as other, including accepted, answers as having been determined to be incomplete or incorrect by the community."

This new action could be even be a marker near the original question similar to the duplicate tag and etc. so that it is easier to see when first encountering the question, prior to even reading the answers. It could say "There is an answer below that has been accepted by the community for (either specific or general reasons)."

While the originally accepted answer will still be the first answer that a reader will see, the emphasis toward the community accepted answer will also inform the reader (possibly someone linked to the site and never having been here before) there may be a better/more thorough answer available and also give a better indication to the user that answered the question that we appreciate their work.

Regarding who would have the power to make such a determination I would suggest that the answer simply needs to have a certain number of upvotes (or possiblly just more upvotes than the accepted answer) and then follow the same process as marking questions as closed or duplicates as is currently in place.

And in anticipation of someone possibly mentioning that such an action may be too much power for a few users to have; I would argue that is a completely different issue altogether and solely based upon the motives behind those we recognize with the authority to hold and close questions in the first place. While we need individuals with that authority, there does seem to be a knee jerk reaction to some questions that are posted.

One more quick example regarding the power we give (actually one of my own answers): What accounts for the Nox's apparent double ethical standard?

This question was put on hold (no ill will towards those that did, i fully understand the motives to keep the site clean and organized), but I ended up having to report the situation to get the question reopened so that I could answer it (which I think I did a pretty good job at...). Despite leaving a comment that I felt I could answer it and how i would the question was not reopened until after I reported the situation.

Sure this will of course not solve all of the foreseeable problems, but I feel that it is a big step in the right direction and we should always be looking to make our site better. In addition, I am sure that I will get some users that would like to leave the status-quo as is simply because it is the way it has always been done, but as a 'newer' user to the stack exchange I would like it to be understood that "the way it has always been done is not the best way." If my idea, or any idea, is for some reason not possible I understand, but I would hope that we can reopen this discussion respectfully and potentially find a solution to the issue.

  • 1
    You seem to be asking two quite different questions here. The first is essentially a duplicate of one of the older posts you linked to, and for the second it's unclear (at least to me) what you're actually asking. I've done my best to address the issues you raise, but this meta question may not be well-received as it's potentially "too broad", a partial duplicate, and "unclear what you're asking". Don't worry too much about that though - the mores of meta can be hard to learn, and we've all had some bad experiences with meta :-)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 28, 2017 at 19:09
  • The first is the only question as I commented in your answer... And thank you for taking the time... and I was worried about how well it would be received as well. I tried to phrase as respectfully as I could, offer a solution, and tried to answer the foreseeable counters, hence my "second question" you mentioned
    – Odin1806
    Nov 28, 2017 at 19:19

1 Answer 1


On "community acceptance"

Sorry, but this isn't going to happen. You're far from the first to propose it, but such a change would have to be made at a coding level by Stack Exchange staff, and as such (unless you really think it'd be a useful feature for this site specifically and not other SEs) should be proposed on main meta.1

If someone accepts a wrong, or less good, answer, there's nothing we can do except downvote it. I've actually seen this done to great effect at times, with accepted answers scoring -10 or -20, sending a clear signal to readers that they're not as good as other, non-accepted, answers.

As you note, this has already been discussed at Is it desirable to have the community award "acceptance" to answers on abandoned questions?, and not much has changed since then. I think one of the commenters on that older meta post summed it up rather well:

Is it desirable? Yep. Will it ever happen? Nope.

On the question you answered after its reopening

I don't know what this has to do with the rest of your question - your answer is the only one there, and has been accepted. To be honest, I don't really know what your concern is about this at all. It seems to me that the system worked exactly as it should after a question gets mistakenly closed:

  • comments were left on the question (by you) to indicate that it shouldn't have been closed;
  • the question was edited, both by the OP and others, in an attempt to make it less closeworthy and more answerable;
  • due to these edits, the question entered the review queue for community review on reopening it;
  • eventually it gathered enough votes to be reopened, after which it could be answered.

What's the issue here? I'm not understanding what you think should have happened differently.

1 Note: I don't recommend doing this. Your feature-request would not only be closed as a duplicate in short order - probably a duplicate of this 8-year-old question - but would probably also be heavily downvoted: see for comparison the scores of some of its 40-odd existing duplicates. Unfortunately, main meta can be a very unfriendly place at times :-/

  • Sorry for the confusion about the question i answered after it was reopened. That was merely for the preceding point that I anticipated might come from someone thinking that it might be too much power for the community to have. I only added that question as a point of "of course there are times that the power might go too far, but that already exists" - my only request is regarding the community voting toward "better" answers
    – Odin1806
    Nov 28, 2017 at 19:14
  • I also did see that comment which did seem to sum it up very well, but as you mention it seems to be a fundamental change that would need to be made to incorporate such a change, yes? Is that not possible at this point? Could the sites not be temporarily closed to incorporate such a change for the benefit of all? As the comment mentions it would be a great feature to have... why not add it in? Would we all be that distraught over taking the websites down individually for a few hours (or however the addition is made) to see a great benefit? Who would really be the one to convince of the benefit
    – Odin1806
    Nov 28, 2017 at 19:18
  • @Odin1806 The ones you'd need to convince would be SE employees (not per-site mods like me, who have no power to change the coding of the websites). And the best way for ordinary users to make feature-requests to them is Meta Stack Exchange, but if you tried posting it there you'd be closed and downvoted. It's a bit of a non-starter really, sorry :-/
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 28, 2017 at 19:29
  • NP, I might try to send an email or something, but I would just like to see the site improve wherever possible. I love it and will use it regardless, but I am of the mindset that improvements can always be made; and should whenever possible. Thanks for taking the time to set me straight!
    – Odin1806
    Nov 28, 2017 at 19:34

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