There are some users who never accept any answers no matter how good the replies are. I am sure you all know that and it's not difficult to compile a list based on previous behaviors. What's even worse is that in many cases more than alternatives are offered as FULLY fledged answers to an OP and still the authors of an OP consistently continue not to care about accepting an answer.

And we are ACTUALLY discussing the press of a button. Nothing more difficult and/or tiring.

To me, this seems like a hit and run approach, i.e we ask, we get a reply and we care not for other users who could benefit.

Since it takes 5 votes to close a question, why doesn't it take 5 votes for an answer to be considered as accepted? Is there a good reason behind it? I think that if 5 people upvote an answer it should be enough to be considered an indication that a particular approach fully addresses all the issues of an OP.

Am I missing something?

Final comment: I know that one or more might raise the issue of an OP having multiple answers each with more than 5 votes. Again, all I am suggesting is an option that after 5 upvotes we can make an answer appear as accepted. So in situations like this one, the best answer would be chosen.

Edit 1: addressing the points by @rhermans

About the "5 votes" Nowhere in the OP is stated that things have to be done very quickly. I just pointed out that as closing questions is an act for good site maintenance so is having accepted answers to questions. That's all. To me there is a clear correlation.

Again, all I am suggesting is the possibility that after a week -for example- that answer(s) is(are) posted to a question, if the person who asked the question has not accepted any of those, we can judge that for ourselves. Pretty much the same situation with the closing of threads.

What is the problem we are trying to solve here? I never said that we should choose the most highly voted answer. All I said, is that it is bad that some users CONSISTENTLY ignore to press a button, even in cases in which the answers fully solve the question of the OP. If you think that it would be useful, I can give a non-exhaustive list of users behaving like that and we can discuss more concretely. And yes, my point was that since 5 of us can decide decide to close a question, it should also be possible that 5 of us can decide that a reply is a full answer. That's all. I think we can use our judgement.

Furthermore, it is questionable that only a single answer deserves to be considered an "Accepted" answer.

This is the system we already have. Only ONE answer can be the accepted answer. And there's no prohibition from going back and providing more answers to one question.

In my head, it's better to have a question with 5 replies and 1 to be chosen as accepted answer, than having a bulk of question with excellent answers none of which is marked as accepted. It's good site maintenance and helps new users navigate more easily.

  • 2
    About the "5 votes". I see "closing a question" as a time-sensitive emergency action, to avid the site to diverge into a collection of off-topic or low-quality questions or to stop some kind of abuse. If this idea were to be implemented, the threshold should be larger as there is no need to act promptly.
    – rhermans
    Mar 14, 2022 at 13:24
  • 6
    What is the problem we are trying to solve here? Upvotes are given to valuable contributions, not necessarily to answers that fulfil all the requirements defined in the question. An answer could be the most voted just because is the funniest. Deciding that a question has been thoroughly answered seems like a task different from the up-votes. Furthermore, it is questionable that only a single answer deserves to be considered an "Accepted" answer. The OP can declare their questions answered, but as a community, aren't we always looking for new and better ways to achieve the same thing?
    – rhermans
    Mar 14, 2022 at 13:36
  • @rhermans you might want to have a look at the updated version.
    – user49048
    Mar 14, 2022 at 16:54
  • 1
    I agree you are describing undesirable behaviour and support scolding them. I would support being able to mark answers as "Accepted by the community", provided that the marker is independent of the OP acceptance. However, despite agreement on all this, I don't see that this targets the significant problem. You are asking for a new feature on StackExchange, not a local policy easily implemented by the community or moderators. For what? So the answers have a green tick? That doesn't solve the bad behaviour of the users nor organizes the efforts of the active users. What are we solving and how?
    – rhermans
    Mar 14, 2022 at 17:17
  • @rhermans I would support being able to mark answers as "Accepted by the community", provided that the marker is independent of the OP acceptance. that's precisely what I meant. I am not sure if it was clear from the way I expressed myself. I am not trying to say that this is a solution to the specific problem. All I wanted to point out, is that it would be good practice for site maintenance. Maybe I should have been more specific and said something like "not sure how to solve address poor behavior, but we can at least do that for maintenance" or something to that effect.
    – user49048
    Mar 14, 2022 at 19:24
  • @rhermans and finally, when I suggested this I was under the impression that we could implement it locally on Mathematica S.E. I did not know that it would be a big hassle. I guess I am judging by my first days on the site. It was easier for me to take an accepted answer related to the problems I was facing at the time and try to work my way around it.
    – user49048
    Mar 14, 2022 at 19:26

1 Answer 1


I agree that it is annoying that sometimes good answers do not get accepted, and that it would not take much effort for the question author to do so. Indeed, I sometimes leave a comment on a new question from a "serial non-accepter" to invite them to accept good answers to their previous questions, with the veiled threat that their behavior might lead to lessened attention to their current questions.

I also agree that questions with accepted answers are more inviting to future readers, and that having good answers accepted would be good practice in principle.

However, I do not agree that we should implement / request to implement a force-accept with some number of votes. I just don't see how that could be made to work well and equitably in practice.

I could perhaps go so far as seeing potential for a new review channel: after a certain time has passed since posting of an answer, highly upvoted questions with highly upvoted answers could be brought up for review and vote, and an answer receiving enough votes could be selected as community-accepted. As you can see, though, a lot of tricky thresholds would have to be set (how long to wait? How many votes to consider. How many votes would it take to select the community-accept? ...), and I for one don't have an unambiguous way to set them.

Ultimately, I am not sure that the outcome would be worth the effort. After all, if the answer is any good, then it's valuable to the site and its users whether it is accepted or not. In my opinion that's a far smaller problem than the noise on the site caused by poor questions that need closing. I'd rather people focused their limited reviewing time on those issues instead.

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