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Matt Whitfield avatar image
Matt Whitfield asked

[meta] Should mods be accepting answers?

Ok, it seems that some people have the power to mark questions with accepted answers... Should mods do this? What are your thoughts? I am not sure exactly who can do this, but I think it would certainly make sense to mark the highest voted answer as correct on questions that are, say, more than 45 days old. I've just totally pulled that figure out of the air, but what do you guys feel about that?
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Just curious Matt - would there be a minimun number of votes needed to mark the question answered?
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@Mark - that would be up to you (as in the community) - I'm just asking because I noticed the facility there...
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@Matt, I think that you have a good idea. Too many people leave questions unanswered and I'm impressed with all of the moderators that I've seen here. Ideally, there would be a mod answer & a user answer. But we can't have everything (where would we put it?).
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@Mark I rather like that idea of a moderator answer as well as a user answer - we already have a sort of community accepted answer with all the thumbs up voting.
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You didn't wast anytime at all. It looks like you accepted 7 answers I posted already.
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Blackhawk-17 avatar image
Blackhawk-17 answered
The bottom line is this is supposed to be a Q & A site. That means people come here looking for answers. If a question has been unaccepted for a while, and a MOD knows the answer is correct - generically speaking - then it should be marked as correct for the benefit of the community at large. We are here to share our experiences and knowledge. Maybe if there is a comment added that it was a MOD accepted answer it would give the OP a chance to refute it, otherwise I feel those coming here want some guidance and a MOD accepted answer is better than limbo for them.
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Ok, I feel, given the answers here, that we have a strong enough remit to start doing this. I would say that questions that are 90 days old, open, with a clear answer should have those answers marked as correct. Questions which are 5 days old and have a 'thanks mate' comment should be marked as correct. In the event of a tie on the number of upvotes between two questions we should ... erm... flip a coin??
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@Matt Whitfield I really like the 'thanks mate' idea, because it is true that it happens often enough when people ask the question, get the answer, and acknowledge that it helped by leaving a comment without actually ticking the answer as accepted. As far as the coin flip is concerned, I guess the moderator can pick one of the 2 questions in the event of a tie as accepted if the result of the flip is **head** or **tail**, pick the second by upvotes answer if the coin ends up **standing on the edge**, and the third by upvote if the coin remains **hanging in the air**.
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Agreed. Earlier it just felt wrong, but then I went and looked at the volume of questions that have lots of answers, but none of them marked and it suddenly made sense. Someone should mark a pretty healthy percentage of them.
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@Matt yup, coin flip, or keep a tally so you can balance it out ... or .... nah, Coin flip
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Ask "What would Kev do?" -- :)
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TimothyAWiseman avatar image
TimothyAWiseman answered
This is nothing but my personal opinion, but I would say no. Marking something as accepted is generally interpreted to mean that the questioner has accepted it. If mods start doing it, then it becomes ambiguous what it means.
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Yeah I'm kinda split on it. I think there are some really clear cut cases, when the OP posts up a comment saying 'thanks this sorted me out' and then doesn't tick the tick, but other times it would be less clear...
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Kev Riley avatar image
Kev Riley answered
Agree with Matt and Timothy! The way I see it is if there is an obvious answer, as Matt says when the OP comments 'thanks that did it', but they haven't ticked it, then yes I would agree we probably should. If the OP disagrees, they have the ability to untick, so at worst we'd only be accepting answers for OPs who are no longer here....
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Fatherjack avatar image
Fatherjack answered
I think that a mod (or someone with the rep to do it) marking an answer as 'best of the bunch' is worthwhile so that people finding the answer from a search engine will know what is the best way to solve their problem. Most often you would expect that to be the most popular. I wonder if the mod awarded acceptance should be a different rep value? It would certainly reward the people that have made the effort of supplying an accurate answer but having missed out on the satisfaction of getting the tick
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Grant Fritchey avatar image
Grant Fritchey answered
I don't think they should be doing it either. Although, confession time, I went back to some really old posts from a year ago and marked a few answers just because it looked like I could. I left them there rather than take away points (plus, the answers I marked, were good answers). However, I'm not crazy about the idea because, frankly, I could be wrong about the answers I mark. I'd rather avoid that kind of thing.
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Congratulations on being "Enlightened" Grant. So what is the meaning of SQL Server anyway? And if there are no tables in a database, is it still a database?
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@Mark Thanks. But I'm now doubly enlightened. Which means I'm floating above my chair as I type this using only my mind. And the answer to your questions is, of course, "Brent Ozar's Elbow"
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Grant Fritchey avatar image
Grant Fritchey answered
Looking at the fact that there are 1300+ open questions, most of which have multiple answers, with probably many of them being correct, and adding to the fact that it seems like most people asking questions don't bother to vote or mark the answers, I'd say it's probably time for the mods to start marking some answers. Maybe only on stuff that's more than 90 days old w/o activity.
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What do you think about the people that post up with a 'thanks mate' comment without doing the tick?
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I'm not knocking people. It just seems like, for whatever reason, it's too much for them to click a check box. But when there is a 'thanks mate' comment, there's a likely enough answer. I'm reversing myself on this. I think we ought to go in & clean up a bit.
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Ok, I've done 99 of them. I've skipped any of them where mine was the one that would have been ticked, and some I wasn't really convinced by any of the answers. When there's been a tie I've typically ticked the answer from the person with less karma. It's actually pretty slow work...
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@Matt I just did about 60 or so. It's painful. Maybe it was a bad idea. Plus, I'd say about half, I couldn't determine what a good answer was.
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I went with the 'if it was voted then it was good' kind of method for a lot of them - because otherwise I figured it would take way too much time... Maybe we should just aim to do a few each day?
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