In my experience, some users (not necessarily new ones) tend to post a question, get an answer they are satisfied with (as evidenced, typically, by their leaving a comment that include a "thank you"), but never accept any answer to their question.

This behaviour results, not only in lost reputation for answerers, but also in a non-negligible clutter of artificially unanswered question in the "unanswered" section of the site.

How could this behaviour be discouraged?

Could and should the system identify such users temporarily ban from asking a new question until they mark more of their questions as answered?

  • 1
    @ Can't ban for them for a single reason, but accept rate is a red light alert on their account and community always notices everything so it takes care of it with polite warning comments at biglist tag meta TeX.SX`. One need to be impartial rather than prejudgemental. After TeX knowledge sharing/improving matters most, not rep not brand as they follows with TeX experience. Mar 24, 2013 at 17:53

4 Answers 4


Remember that many people only visit when they have an issue: once it's solved, they have other things to do. I'm not sure I'd want to penalise the use of TeX (or anything else) as a tool, rather than as a hobby :-)

Questions are only 'unanswered' if they have no answers with upvotes. The check-mark is there for the questionner to indicate 'this helped me', while voting is there for the community as a whole. So there is not so much to worry about provided a good (upvoted) answer exists.

  • Very good points.
    – jub0bs
    Mar 23, 2013 at 19:23

Well, there is already a good mechanism in place to discourage this behavior --

After posting a few questions time the percentage of accepted answers shows up and so they stand out when they ask a new question. This has exactly the desired effect in that after a few questions they learn how the site works.

  • 3
    Hey, what happened to this mechanism? Used to work great, but I can't seem to find an example of the accept rate showing up?? Mar 24, 2013 at 0:13
  • 5
    Yeah, accept rate is no longer shown: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/136951/…
    – Adina G
    Mar 24, 2013 at 3:16
  • 3
    @AdinaG I understand the pros & cons more clearly, now. Still, I wish they'd bring it back ;(
    – jub0bs
    Mar 24, 2013 at 7:32
  • So sad to hear that accept rate is missing atleast UpVote Rate can be mentioned :). Mar 25, 2013 at 4:51
  • At 9'30'' in SE podcast #4 (dated 11th May 2011), Jeff Atwood, Joel Spolsky and John Skeet discuss the disadvantages of the accept-rate feature. That discussion may have prompted them to discontinue that feature.
    – jub0bs
    Apr 21, 2013 at 23:29

This could also be cut down by reducing (or getting rid of) the time limit on how long after a question is posted before you can accept an answer. I understand the principle of it but sometimes the very first answer works and is optimal.


I think we can make a new workflow for posting a question. (1) The questioner have to make a consultation first at the chat room, (2) let the old active members as well as the experts make a suggestion whether the question should be posted as a new one, (3) based on the suggestion, do it!

  • 11
    I think this way too much work to post a question, so totally disagree with the suggestion. Mar 24, 2013 at 0:13
  • 1
    @Karlsstudents Are you serious or joking? That would be placing an unnecessary burden on the "old active members" and would prove totally impractical!
    – jub0bs
    Mar 24, 2013 at 7:16
  • 2
    Here is an occasion to earn the "Peer Pressure" badge :)
    – jub0bs
    Mar 24, 2013 at 10:55
  • +1 idea is good but not for all questions when the new user gets the sufficient rep by tagging new tags,posting good questions etc. Some doubtful questions(after thorough search at TeX.SX) can be discussed, this is done at chat. For sure not the mainstream procedure. Answer can be modified to gain traction. Mar 24, 2013 at 17:58
  • @texenthusiast: Thank you for upvoting. But the counter seems not to be incremented. :D Mar 24, 2013 at 18:03
  • 1
    @Karl'sstudents counter will increase when this section "we can make a new workflow for posting " changes--> "for some(not all) confusing/doubtful questions ". Mar 24, 2013 at 22:08

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