I'm pretty sure that back in 2008 when Stack Overflow was created it made perfect sense to have an answer be "accepted" as that was the way forums were (and some still are) run: you ask the OP to change the title of the post to [Solved] when your solution worked for them, but:

Especially if you have to do stuff like this: alt text (It's finally been deleted after 6 months of being a bad answer)

So why don't we change the default algorithm for listing answers and sort on most upvotes totally ignoring which is or was the "accepted answer"...
(Yes, there is already an option to sort by votes, but the accepted answer still comes on top.)

Don't get me wrong: I'm not asking to totally get rid of the "accepted answer" contradiction paradigm! Just a default sort algorithm change!

I'll ask to get rid of the accepted answer contradiction in another 10 years' time when the community has had enough experience that an "accepted answer" really doesn't make any sense whatsoever if we allow the OP to upvote any question instead of "accepting" only one... >:-)

  • It's a feature-request: first having a feel for the temperature here before going to meta. @Zanna
    – Fabby
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 11:01
  • 3
    I've been meaning to write a long feature request on the main meta on this topic. My suggestion would be along the lines of "treat an accepted answer as an X% + Y boost" to the answer - probably 10% + 2. This would mean they would normally still be on top, but it would not be a huge challenge to overtake it. The 10% is for high scoring answers, the +2 is for low scoring answers (otherwise a +1 accepted answer can be overtaken by a +2 answer). I don't know how -ve scoring accepted answers would be treated.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 21, 2018 at 17:19
  • @tim On AU downvotes are rare. A downvoted accepted answer would be a pretty good indication that it's not the best. In addition many newcomers accept the first answers, even though it is not the best, or even a full answer.
    – vidarlo
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 11:34
  • 1
    @vidarlo that’s quite possibly true, but my proposal needs to account for all the sites. On Stack Overflow they’re much more common.
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 11:38
  • @Tim Ping me in chat: we have to have a brain-storming session. How are you BTW???
    – Fabby
    Commented Apr 22, 2018 at 14:55
  • @Tim I totally agree with you and I’ve also thought about it before. Please consider converting your comment to an answer, so it can be voted and discussed more conveniently.
    – Melebius
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 12:54
  • @Fabby this week is bad - but I will get back to you late next week I promise!
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 13:32
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    @Melebius I’ll hash it out in chat then post here for review and then transfer to a proposal on meta se!
    – Tim
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 13:35
  • 2
    Yeah, and then we'll need all of the AU community to start voting as Meta.se is an angry crowd. That's why I posted the above here first before going to Meta.se... @Tim
    – Fabby
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 14:11
  • @Tim labor day: you time to brainstorm for a meta.se question?
    – Fabby
    Commented May 1, 2018 at 13:17
  • 2
    Before posting to main Meta, I recommend checking the following meta question meta.stackexchange.com/q/261817/172297. It's not the exact thing, but it is a discussion about obsolete answers.
    – Dan
    Commented May 21, 2018 at 10:22

1 Answer 1


Information gets old and outdated. This is not only about Ask Ubuntu, it's the case for virtually every SE site.

There are tools within the Stack Exchange engine you can employ now:

  • Downvote and comment explaining what's exactly wrong with the post; if the answerer is still around, they will react and update it;
  • Submit an edit explaining that the info is outdated. Here was precisely the case, and even when the revision #29 was committed by me, a user with almost-zero reputation on this site, it got accepted;
  • A comment straight under question also works to inform the asker OP to revisit their choice of Accepted answer.

The other question is how efficient these tools are, and how many users would get mislead between the moments of facts changed and a collaborative effort brings a result.

In any case, it seems to be mandatory to try the existing tools first and only when everything else fails to work, bring this issue to SE developers team. Or else they would simply tell you what I said here.

  • I do all that already, that's not the point. The point is the current default sort algorithm for most users doesn't give them what they need as they go looking for "the best" answer and especially downvote and comment would work much better when that gets changed and especially deleting an upvoted answer would become more efficient as well.
    – Fabby
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 3:07
  • @Fabby, but this would be vulnerable to fraud. Imagine an evil user who downvotes your post not because it became factually obsolete, but in partisan preference to a specific tool, revenge voting, or so. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 11:08
  • 1
    One user cannot, a bunch of users could... (or am I missing something?)
    – Fabby
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 11:11
  • 2
    @Fabby Oh, wait a minute. There is a tab bar in the top-right corner above the answers, and it is sticky across the entire site. There are three options "active/oldest/votes". Are you just suggesting adding yet another option "votes ignoring accepted" or so? This would make sense IMO. Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 11:20
  • 1
    I'm proposing to change "Votes" to not give the accepted answer any more precedence than just the votes it has... Please let me know if that was not clear from the question.
    – Fabby
    Commented Apr 20, 2018 at 14:01

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