I see a lot of these around this SE and others, especially Super User, in which there will be answers to questions, sometimes upwards of 5 of more (see here), but the author has not selected an answer as they see fit.

I suppose my question is multi-tiered:

Could an answer be selected by the community at large? For example, the highest number of votes is chosen as the main answer after a set amount of time.

Could the user be notified of outstanding questions to which they have not selected an answer?

Can the bounty system be used to incentivize the user to choose an answer?

I assume that many new users don't understand the concept of choosing an answer as their solution, but this is an integral part of SE and how it's ranking system works. On Superuser, for example, I have answered plenty of questions, but the user simply comments "thanks" or something along those lines, and doesn't do anything more. This breaks the progression of a user, and stops them from being recognized as a more productive or trustworthy member. Again, the issue is not as prominent on Arqade, but I do notice it from time to time.

  • I'm not sure I understand the downvotes. There isn't a question like this at all, and I'm curious if this is something that other people have thought about. Jul 1, 2016 at 22:42
  • This has been asked multiple times on this site, and a hundred more times on meta.stackexchange. The question GodEmperorDune links has an answer that links to four more questions about the same thing, and it's unlikely that that list is exhaustive. Jul 1, 2016 at 22:51
  • 1
    As I was typing out the question, the suggested questions never showed something similar. My bad. Jul 1, 2016 at 22:55
  • I've got the idea, thank you. Jul 2, 2016 at 2:46

1 Answer 1


Upvote the answers which - according to you - are the best answers. SE's ranking system is based purely on votes. Accepting an answer doesn't mean the answer is the best, or even correct, it only means that the answer worked for the OP. It is, and only ever will be, the askers privilege to mark an answer as 'accepted'.

An answer with > 0 score makes the question "answered", such that the Community bot won't auto-bump the question, and the question is removed from the 'Unanswered' tab.

If an answer is absolutely amazing, you can also raise a bounty with the reason "An answer is exemplary and worthy of an additional bounty", and either award it straight away or wait a few days to give the question/answer more visibility before awarding it.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .