7

Stack Overflow will no longer pin the accepted answer to the top. Other sites can do this either on demand or can opt out if the change is pushed site-wide. The answers would be listed by highest to lowest votes instead.

Edit - 2021-10-07

Based on the vote pattern we have reported back to main meta to confirm The Workplace would like to preserve the current behavior that pins the accepted answer to the top.

Votes at time of confirmation:

Action Upvotes Downvotes Net Score
Keep Pin +21 -5 16
Unpin +12 -4 8
4
  • 3
    Well, technically they are listed from highest to lowest votes only if you've chosen that particular sort order. Unpinning the accepted answer just means that answer gets sorted as if it didn't have a green checkmark.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 20 at 15:03
  • 2
    We now have +15 for Pin (current situation) and +7 for Unpin. I believe that's consensus on keeping the pin. Shall we report back to the main meta as such. (ping @ColleenV for good measure)
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Oct 3 at 14:27
  • @Lilienthal and if we only count the upvotes it's still a consensus at 21 (22 if my vote is counted) to 11, and it's more obvious how many people weighed in :)
    – ColleenV
    Oct 6 at 14:31
  • 3
    Update - I've confirmed site consensus is to keep the Pin.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Oct 7 at 15:28
18

Pin the accepted answer

Keep things the way they are; it works fine.

11
  • 3
    Vastly preferable for our site in my view. Just look at the way HNQ affect us. With the Accepted Answer pin, at least the original poster can still indicate which (detailed, exhaustive) answer helped them the most. That is always a good thing but doubly so on a site like ours where complex answers are often more useful for the situations people find themselves in.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Sep 22 at 19:23
  • I realized after I posted all the CWs that I couldn't vote on any of them, so count my upvote on @Lilienthal's comment as my vote on this :) In general, I think pinning is a bad implementation of a good idea, but since there's only the option to pin/not pin at the moment, I'll support keeping the pinning on TWP.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 22 at 19:28
  • As that makes this a net +7 with all other options at 0 or below, I'd say that's consensus, though perhaps not a quorum. I'll ping Kilisi if he wants to proceed with updating the parent post with our site's verdict. I don't expect answers that'll trickle in in the coming days to change this much.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Sep 22 at 19:34
  • @Lilienthal I wonder if it would make sense to only count upvotes? Not everyone is downvoting the options they don't want. We really need a better way to gather community feedback than abusing the Q&A system.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 22 at 20:54
  • 1
    @Lilienthal Why does it matter to have the original poster indicate which answer helped them most? The original poster got their answer, so this indicator is not helpful to them. For any given random future visitor, it seems that community consensus would be a much more reliable indicator of which answer they'd find most useful (even with how flawed voting is). Unless we want some sort of historic record or to vote on answers based on how helpful the asker found them (instead of based on their own merits), but I don't believe either of those things are in line with Stack Exchange's goal.
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 22 at 21:30
  • @ColleenV Not sure I understand the issue? We consider net post score so the ratio of up to downvotes ultimately shouldn't matter provided there's a clear winner in upvotes? This is basically the way meta has worked since for ever so I'm not sure there's anything else that can or should be done?
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Sep 23 at 18:19
  • @NotThatGuy Don't really fancy jumping into that discussion, there's probably plenty of arguments in both ways on main meta and on the linked thread in particular. I consider it valuable before we even consider HNQ impact. Add HNQ and pinning has a clear preference for me.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Sep 23 at 18:21
  • If I only upvote my desired answer @Lilienthal, but you both upvote your desired answer and downvote all the options you don't want, you've increased the power of your vote because I didn't think to downvote the other options. If we all behaved consistently, it wouldn't be an issue but I don't think we are consistent. I'm saying only the upvotes on pin/unpin should be counted when reporting the results back to SE, not the score.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 23 at 18:24
  • (Also, we can upvote at 15 rep, but it takes 125 to downvote. Not a big effect, but it's just one more reason I think the way we get feedback on meta is uh "less than ideal")
    – ColleenV
    Sep 23 at 18:31
  • @ColleenV Well, technically you have no way of knowing who has downvoted what. But the point of meta is to express agreement or disagreement through votes. Anyone can do the same. (with the rep, sure, but that goes for most participating on meta.) People who strongly (dis)agree are more likely to vote in both ways, but how is this a bad thing exactly? Even assuming there's bias that people likely to do this vote in a certain way, we have no way of determining whether that bias would even be problematic. That said, we're rapidly going off-track here. I guess we'll hold off on a verdict.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Sep 23 at 19:34
  • 1
    @Lilienthal I haven't expressed it right. We're asking for a binary decision: Pin/Don't Pin except some unknown number of people are voting "yes Pin/no Don't pin" and others "no Pin/yes Don't pin", and some others just "yes Pin", and some others just "yes Don't Pin". I'm proposing we only count the yes votes (upvotes) and disregard the no votes (downvotes). But in reality it doesn't matter, because the answer is the same regardless of whether we consider score or upvotes. Sorry, I think this compulsion of mine is genetic; be grateful my dad isn't here too ;)
    – ColleenV
    Sep 23 at 20:11
8

Unpin the accepted answer

The accepted answer shouldn't get special treatment; it should be sorted as it would have been if it hadn't been accepted.

1
  • 2
    +1, but I'm not really surprised no-one is voting for this. The community doesn't care at all about future value.
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 22 at 20:34
4

There is a suggestion to pin the accepted answer below the top voted answer. That system might give an advantage to the accepted answer over other highly scored answers, but the top voted answer would always "float to the top".

I'd like to know if anyone thinks that would be worth testing. We may not be able to choose that option for this effort, but if there's interest we might be able to get it on SE's radar.

2

I, personally and for vindictive reasons, love winning the populist badge. Nothing is more satisfying than having an answer show up with double the votes as the accepted answer. It also puts up a clear comparison between the two.

All kidding aside, it does make for a considerable contrast, and it often demonstrates a user seeking validation vs a user seeking answers

1
  • 1
    So, ideally the accepted answer and the top voted answer would be shown side-by-side?
    – ColleenV
    Sep 20 at 17:43
-3

Don't Care

I have no preference. It either makes no difference to me whether the accepted answer is pinned, or I think we should do something other than choosing between pinned or unpinned.

-5

Can we just get rid of the accepted answer altogether?

In other Stacks it makes perfect sense.

You have a question. You try the different answers. One of them works. That's your accepted answer.

But with The Workplace content, there are often a whole bunch of "correct" answers, a whole bunch of answers that may give you sub-optimal outcomes, and a whole bunch of answers that may be bad for the OP, but potentially good for other people with similar issues.

Sometimes the best answer even leads to a bad outcome. And sometimes bad answers can lead to good outcomes. So I would say that the outcome is independent of the quality of the answer, though hopefully it converges.

An "accept" has about as much merit as a single up-vote.

13
  • I suppose my point is, who cares if it helps the asker? Why does that matter? Sep 20 at 12:55
  • 4
    Because people are interested in knowing which answer(s) the OP follows?
    – Andrew T.
    Sep 20 at 13:01
  • I agree that the accepted answer isn't necessarily the right one for all situations. But neither is the highest voted. In fact I have seen answers with negative votes that in my opinion are the best. So by that logic we could just have the answers randomly listed. I'd prefer at least the OP's choice at the top, and then the highest voted etc,..... better than nothing to go on.
    – Kilisi Mod
    Sep 20 at 13:10
  • 3
    I think throwing away the idea of acceptance instead of just the method of making that answer more visible would throw the baby out with the bath water. It would be better just to replace "pinning/not pinning" with something better.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 20 at 15:06
  • 1
    @ColleenV yeah, I don't see anything being gained
    – Kilisi Mod
    Sep 20 at 15:14
  • @Kilisi I don't really care about which one they tick. I care about the outcome, sure. But accepting an answer doesn't hint at the outcome, or even what the OP will do. Sep 21 at 2:15
  • @ColleenV I think you misunderstand me. I want neither the tick, nor the answer to be more visibile. Sep 21 at 2:16
  • I think allowing the person who asked the question to indicate which answer (if any) they felt answered their question has value and we shouldn’t get rid of the concept altogether.
    – ColleenV
    Sep 21 at 9:55
  • 1
    Strongly disagree. Very often having the OP indicate which answer they personally found the most useful to their situation has tremendous value. Of course, there are always situations where multiple answers are good but there we still often see question posters marking one particular as a standout, sometimes with a comment explaining why. That's useful information, why get rid of it? There are cases where an Accept check does more harm than good but they are few and far between in my view.
    – Lilienthal Mod
    Sep 22 at 19:27
  • "An "accept" has about as much merit as a single up-vote" - strictly speaking, you're probably right. For any future visitor, how people interpret the details given in the question and what experts believe is best should be much more important than what the actual situation was for OP or which decision (however good or bad) they ultimately ended up making (this seems primarily useful for historical reference, which is not what this site is about). But it is something a lot of people seem to care about, and it is nice to formally tell an answerer they helped you, or have OP tell you this. ...
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 23 at 11:16
  • 1
    ... So I don't think the accepted answer should be on top, but I do think the site has enough of a personal element to it to justify keeping the idea of acceptance. I do feel that the personal element is probably the biggest hurdle in the way of maximising future value, and we should probably tone that done in some ways, but it also helps to motivate people.
    – NotThatGuy
    Sep 23 at 11:17
  • @NotThatGuy Well articulated. Sep 23 at 13:51
-7

By tag badges

Order answers by the most applicable tag badges of the answerers.

4
  • +1. Originally this answer: meta.stackexchange.com/a/369835/391772 only talked about rep, but now I've added your suggestion about "tag badges" too :) Sep 21 at 23:57
  • 1
    Stack exchange is already considered hostile to newbies, this would only compound the problem. In addition, it effectively means votes are useless. Sep 29 at 11:49
  • @EkadhSingh-ReinstateMonica yep, I was just putting up all options I could think of
    – Kilisi Mod
    Sep 29 at 11:51
  • @Kilisi ah, fair enough. Sep 29 at 11:53
-8

By rep.

Order answers by the answerers reputation.

1
  • +1. Very interesting proposition! It could lead to several issues, but I didn't like seeing this answer have a score of -1. You might find this (related) suggestion of mine interesting too: meta.stackexchange.com/a/369835/391772 Sep 21 at 23:56

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