The accept rate appears to have gone, and has been missing for a little while. I assume this was done on purpose but do we know why?

I liked it, it was only a little thing but it did help people to understand even small aspects of the workings on the site better (IMO).

I also liked it to see who made the effort to mark as answered! :)

1 Answer 1


It was removed from public display because to some extent it only encouraged comments nagging the OP to improve their accept rate while providing no other useful guidance. While in theory I agree that the info is nice to have, the way the system displayed the accept rate (in percent, colorized) made it appear like an accept rate of 100% was the only desirable outcome, which simply isn't true.

Before continuing, here's the relevant Meta Stack Overflow question: Let's stop displaying a user's accept rate.

I would also like to add that there's really no effort required to mark an answer as accepted. It literally takes a fraction of a second. Even more so, users should never be forced to accept answers just because the community thinks accepting answers is necessary. This is not the case.

Granted, new users should learn that answers which solved their problem should be accepted, but once a user knows how to accept answers, they should never be forced to do it.

A user with 0% accept rate indicates a problem, but the way the community dealt with this was often more than rude or not constructive. Politely asking them whether a solution worked for them and if so, telling them that answers can be accepted is the way to go. But this is something you should only tell them once.

And quite frankly, I don't see an issue with answers not being accepted as long as they are voted on and thus deemed helpful by the community. It's not the 15 points or the green checkmark that matter in the long run.

  • 2
    As always, thank you for this nice clear answer. I have literally no more questions about this, thank you :).
    – Dave
    Commented Mar 11, 2013 at 12:13
  • Since I have no way to know, what's been done since the change noted above to better inform those whose accept rate is abysmally low about what they might be doing wrong? Any new clearly visible prompts or something?
    – Karan
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 0:40
  • @Karan IIRC, the system already shows a few hints or reminders about how accepting answers works. Other than that, you really shouldn't worry about it.
    – slhck
    Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 13:03
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    For what it's worth, any time I noticed my accept rate dipped down below 90% I'd always put in the effort to go through old questions and address them as best I could. Commented Mar 12, 2013 at 22:24
  • The problem with the vote sorting is that the guys voting aren't necessarily the ones having the specific problem. In many cases the asker is the best judge whether an answer is a good solution or not, because he will actually run the code in all the answers. Sometimes you solve it and completely forget about the question. I think the accept rate was a good motivator for sifting through your own questions until you find the one and let others who found it what really solved it. Just email a reminder when accept rate drops below 50% for anyone, newcomer or not. Commented Mar 20, 2013 at 9:50
  • Sometimes people simply ask difficult to answer questions that do add value to the community. I don't think they should be punished for not accepting the first shoddy answer that comes around.
    – oKtosiTe
    Commented Mar 24, 2013 at 9:23

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