I have seen some questions where OP had accepted an answer due to activeness of certain users rather than other answers which address the question more accurately or have been answered correctly later. In such cases - is it possible for the community to reconsider the correctness of the accepted answer?

Edit: Accepted the answer for the reasoning. But I still feel - like the linked question in the comment - moderators should be given the ability to remove completely incorrect answers - even though they may have somehow helped the OP.

  • 4
    Relevant: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/7572/…
    – alexwlchan
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 11:11
  • You can also add comments to the OP, recommending them to change the accept. I've done it a bunch of times (including when my own asnwer was an accepted one). Sometimes OP reconsiders, though not always Commented May 21, 2014 at 16:29
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    @dvk - Exactly this. It's frustrating when OP picks the "wrong" answer so it's down to you to post a correct answer and ensure that you've posted a comment for the OP to please reconsider.
    – Valorum
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 21:01
  • As DVK says, as a good member of the community it's also beholden on users to graciously inform the OP if their own answer has been superceded by a better answer
    – Valorum
    Commented May 21, 2014 at 21:03
  • I don't think we can presume the motivation behind the selection process of a user who asks a question. It may not be due to activeness (by this do you mean someone who posts a lot or someone who has solid rep?) -- it may be because the answer in question actually best meets the OP's needs. I know sometimes it seems inexplicable, but it's not unusual for an OP to prefer a wrong or mediocre answer. I think this dynamic is probably frustrating to all of us at one point or another. But I don't think having the mods override users' decisions is the answer to this problem. Commented Jun 3, 2014 at 21:43

3 Answers 3


Stack Exchange's answer system ranks and rewards answers on two orthogonal axes. The first is marking an answer as Accepted, and the second is Question Score. These aren't necessarily aligned. The Accepted mark means the answer helped the original poster, and that's all it means. The second metric, total upvotes, is the one that you're aiming for, the way for the community to mark the correctness of an answer. Seeing an Accepted answer with a score of +3 and a second answer with a score of +15, it'll be quite easy for me to decide which to trust.

Of course, it's never objective and clear-cut. A partially correct but brilliantly written answer will probably get more upvotes than a more precise but awkwardly phrased one. But the whole point of Stack Exchange's model is that there isn't any one person or small group that can say "this answer is the right one, this one just looks right" - it's a crowd-sourced effort, and it's up to the community to participate en masse and mark it.


It is unfortunately not possible which is why we have upvotes so the community can make the correct answer more obvious. OPs will sometimes make mistakes and accept answers with a variety of different reasons, just upvote the one you think is most correct.

To quote someone great "Everybody makes mistakes, Everybody has those days"


A similar question has been asked before here on Meta, but I can't find it.

The sum of it was that the answers on SE sites are (up to a point) personal. I might ask a question that has 2 answers. One of them has 20 upvotes and the second one has only one upvote. If I (think that is best or for whatever reason) like the answer with the 1 upvote, I'm free to choose that as the correct answer.

The other answers will still be there for the rest of the users to see, but I am free to choose whichever answer answers the question best in my opinion.

That is the reason why moderators/community doesn't accept answers on questions that don't have one.

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