Recently I came across some questions that were actually answered by one or more users, but the OP did not accept them (like here or here). This is because the user is new and may not know the feature of accepting it, the user is new and just needed that one answer and does not visit the forum anymore or the user just did not care.
I looked here in Meta and found a similar discussion here. Whereas I understand the concern of taking the OP´s privilege of accepting an answer away, I think writing an answer sometimes takes time and I think the effort should be appreciated and also these questions get marked as not answered (but of course they are not). Especially for question that are apparently answered and abandoned I would propose that they can be marked with the flag feature after some time (weeks) to draw the attention either to moderators or OP himself. Here some thoughts how it can look like:
- User can flag a question (as question with unaccepted answer) after one week the last answer was given.
- After one month, if there is still no answer accepted the flags trigger.
- OP gets attention to an unaccepted question and may consider accept one or question remain unaccepted (maybe he has to actively decline acceptation for whatever reason).
- If the answer remains unaccepted for another month the attention is drawn to a moderator and he decides if the declining (same if OP ignores request) of accepting an answer is legit or not.
- The answer with the highest score should be accepted or moderator decides.
- Like with other flags these questions get marked with (“These question´s answer was accepted by a moderator)”
- Trusted user may vote (like with close votes) against the decision of accepting the answer.
How do other´s think about such a feature?