Would it be reasonable to have a system in place that auto-accepts an answer that has upvotes, has the most upvotes, and has remained unaccepted for over a long period of time?
To quote from @RobertCartaino,
The "accepted answer" feature was never intended to mark which answer is best or even if the answer is correct. It is, simply stated, the answer that the original author found most useful in solving their problem.
The community cannot know which answer the original author found most useful, or if any of the answers were helpful at all for the original author, thus they have no business accepting an answer for the original author. The community can communicate which answers they felt were helpful by upvotes.
Sorry, but it's really not gonna happen.
Situations and 'solutions' like these have been discussed to death both on this Meta site:
- Some answers aren't accepted because the askers are long gone
- Is it possible for this answer to be marked as accepted?
- New community "accept" privilege
and the entire SE Network's meta site:
- Moderators accepting answers on user's behalf after a certain time period
- Feature request: moderator ability to accept an answer
- Vote to Accept Answers
- Would it be possible to have a "community accepted" feature?
- Community vote for "Accepted Answer" (Rep. >= 5000 only)
- Vote to force-accept an answer for someone else's question
As well as probably other individual sites' metas as well.
It has been shot down time and again by the developers of Stack Exchange. The thing is: 'acceptance' has been, and will only ever be: the question OP's privilege.
Note that it doesn't take question acceptance for a question to be considered 'answered'. An answer with a single upvote is considered 'answered', which stops the community user from bumping the question, as well as taking the question out of the 'unanswered' tab
No, this is a bad idea.
Accepting an answer ('checking' it) is something subjective that the asker does for the answer that helped them the most. It's a good thing to do, and it gives them more rep - but it's not required