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Does it mean the answer is "completely satisfactory", and the question can be considered finished ? Or just that a given answer was "the most helpful" ?

for example, in why do youtube videos stop loading after suspend? , the user ventures a guess. It is not a definite answer, but it is a helpful guess.

Should I accept ? Should I not ? Can I choose for myself a policy, or is there one in place ?

I am a bit bothered by the site complaining about a low accept rate. But I also don't want to fake accepts =(

  • better yet: what are the consequences of accepting (or not) an answer ? – josinalvo Sep 14 '12 at 2:31
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This is a case where you can use commenting to your advantage. In this case you can ask the answerer for references to add. There's nothing wrong with people guessing, it should just be clear when something is a guess vs. something that is a known fact, which is why we love references around here.

In cases where you feel the answers aren't detailed enough, do a quick review of your own question and edit it to make it clear exactly what you're looking for so that the people who answer have a better understanding of what they need to provide to answer your question.

You can also edit your question in certain cases to mention answers provided and why they don't work for you. This not only gives the answerer feedback so they can improve their answer, it saves people from having to read every answer, they can get the information right from the question. The way I do it is I add it to the bottom of a question like this:

  • I tried John's answer (link to the answer), but it didn't work for me for the following reasons, blah blah.

This will allow the next person to possibly take all the information provided and provide a better answer.

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It rather depends on the question:

  • If it's a finite problem (as yours seems to be) I would personally only accept answers that solve the problem. A suspicion can fit into that category if it proves correct and helps you solve the issue.

  • If there is more than one possible answer (and you have some to choose from), pick what you find the best. You don't have to do it immediately and you can change your pick later on.


The meaning essentially comes down to which post the opening poster thinks is best. It's the answer you pick. It rewards the poster with 15 reputation points (assuming it's not a community wiki) and pushes the answer to the top of the stack (usually), making it more likely to attract further votes.

It's also a strong indication to people that visit the site (with the same problem as you) that this is the post they should be reading. It's your responsibility as OP not to mislead them. But ultimately it's your call. Other users can only vote on the answers. We can't overturn an acceptance.


If you're worried about a low accept rate, go through your old open questions. If you can accept something in good faith, accept it. If you can still work with an answerer (eg it's a problem you have still) give them a poke.

If you can't resolve the question positively I would personally rather you left it open (and perhaps stuck a bounty on it) or deleted it, than accept an answer which does not help, or worse, is not helpful at all.

It's almost 4am and I'm running on five hours sleep from last night so I doubt this post makes any more than 75% sense. I'll give it a read through tomorrow and follow up.

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