A few weeks back, this yes-or-no question got asked and answered by the OP, with the answer YES. I eventually replied NO and my reasoning, and the community votes pended towards my answer. The OP has not accepted an answer.

This question came from another question, on which a very similar thing happened (OP did not agree with most upvoted answer, argued quite extensively with me, and accepted another answer). On the second question, an answer was at least selected.

Is there something we can do in these situations? It seems strange to me that any user can ask a question, answer his own question and (if he wants to) accept his own answer, without any sort of validation. As far as I know, the question can't even be deleted (as it has answers), and it should not be closed (as it might in fact be a good question, such as these both are).

Mind you, I don't want to sound petty, it's not about 15 rep from having the answer accepted or not. It's an actual potential issue I can see with having the community votes to validate answers, but having the OP choose whatever answer he/she wants to.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that we have several questions where the highest upvoted answer is clearly and uncontroversially wrong, with the correct answer lower on the page or not present at all. Popularity contest and knee-jerk-reaction voting sometimes outweigh the slower process of expert review. So 'fixing' this could be extremely problematic, even if we had some reason to do so. \$\endgroup\$ May 16, 2018 at 21:10
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    \$\begingroup\$ Also, note that we have a gold badge (Populist) awarded specifically for the case where one's answer outscores the accepted answer by more than two times. \$\endgroup\$
    – Kirt
    Nov 25, 2020 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


Nothing really needs to be done. How people vote and accept answers is entirely personal and beyond the control of anybody including diamond moderators. And as the old adage goes, you cannot make anyone agree with you.

Please handle this situation with business as usual: vote and let the querent accept the answer that works for them, and if arguments break out in comments, please flag them for moderator attention so we can step in. If they don't want to accept anything, that is also OK—whatever the community hive-mind decides is the best answer will get sorted to the top.

There are many legitimate good-faith scenarios for a user to accept an answer that doesn't coincide with majority opinion. They are, after all, the one having the problem. We can only suggest what probably works well, and they're the only one that can say what worked for them to solve it. Usually however if an accepted answer is altogether terrible or wrong, it gets downvoted pretty heavily.

There are rare problematic scenarios where someone has a vested interest in getting a particular viewpoint approved by the community, and when we disagree trouble and conflict starts. Usually they genuinely think it's the best/correct answer, and are trying to act in good faith making this a good and accurate Q&A resource, but their methods are causing trouble. Please assume good faith and carry on as normal including flagging inappropriate comments; it handles these situations remarkably well.

If something has been done that significantly compromises our Q&A resource quality, that's also worth bringing up. Mention the specific Q&A, what the state is, and what's wrong and suggest what might need to happen.

Beyond that, the situation is already on the diamond moderation team's radar. We'll appreciate your assistance via those flags if more stuff like this happens.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Also worth noting that self-answered accepted answers aren’t pinned to the top, since the accept is ignored for sorting and only score is used. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2018 at 14:12
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    \$\begingroup\$ What about a situation where there is an objectively right answer and an objectively wrong answer and the latter is accepted? This situation happened recently on the following question, and it seemed to cause some kind of moderation dilemma: rpg.stackexchange.com/questions/122197/… \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2018 at 17:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bloodcinder I believe, if the top answer has a score of 28 and the accepted answer has a score of -15, people reading this should get the hint. The user giving this -15-score answer is also probably likely to delete it themselves, or, if I recall right, can be deleted by the community delete votes. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2018 at 22:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ But it looks like it can't be deleted by the community delete votes when it is the accepted answer. That's what happened in the scenario I linked to. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2018 at 23:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ An author of an accepted answer cannot delete that answer. Anyone else can through the normal deletion processes. In that situation you're citing there @Bloodcinder, the answer was accepted, heavily downvoted, then deleted by a moderator. It was then undeleted by the request of the querent and accepted again. Then it was deleted again by the community. It was accepted both times as it was deleted; deletion made it become unaccepted both times. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2018 at 23:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ Otherwise, yes: a poorly downvoted accepted answer followed by a highly upvoted unaccepted answer sends some pretty clear signals. The checkmark doesn't say "this is the one true correct answer". It says "this is the answer that worked for the querent" and nothing else. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2018 at 23:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Gotcha... Then I must have misinterpreted the following comment from SSD: "Heavily downvoted answers that are also misleading are normally deleted by voters to avoid spreading misinformation, but the checkmark prevented that." \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2018 at 23:28
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bloodcinder You interpreted it correctly, just that SSD was mistaken. I thought it worked that way too! Turns out accepted answers can be community-deleted after all. \$\endgroup\$ May 10, 2018 at 23:49

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