SE is making the way accepted answers behave configurable per-site and is looking for input from our side as to what our preference is.

Currently, accepted answers - answers that the asker of the question has explicitly marked as answering their question - always are shown at the top of the list of answers when sorting by votes, regardless of whether there is an answer with a higher score. In the future, it seems we will be able to decide that instead it should just be sorted by its votes, ignoring its status as the accepted answer.

So, what are your opinions on this topic? Would you like the answer to be unpinned, and if so, why? Would you like the behaviour to stay as it is? Again - if so, why?

Note that in the linked meta question there is a deadline by Sept 19th for SE to decide what the default on all sites will be going forward, but this post is about your preference for the behaviour of accepted answers on mattermodeling.SE, not about your preference for the default for all sites.

Copied from the equivalent question on physics.SE


Just for some additional info, here is a SEDE query that shows questions which would have answer order affected by this change. At the time of this post, there were 59 such questions.

I had initially thought that there would be less questions this would affect. In any event, I'm in favor of sorting by votes, as I think this view will make the "top answer" more reflective of the community consensus "best answer". The "best answer" will always be subjective, but I think the most fair way to promote/sort answers is by the overall vote total. The OP will still be able to give a checkmark (and the corresponding 15 rep for acceptance) to the answer they felt helped them the most, but I think this answer is less likely than the top voted one to be the "best answer" (or at least no more likely).

I don't necessarily have a strong preference, but I also don't see much of a benefit from deviating from the new default of sorting by votes. I think either sorting method will have its problems and the choice between the two may be a moot point if in "6-8 weeks" SE implements the "trending sort" suggested in their Q3 Update

  • $\begingroup$ I agree with your view. $\endgroup$
    – Camps Mod
    Sep 14 at 19:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I agree it is difficult to know which option is better. One possible downside to sorting by votes is that it is susceptible to the "fastest gun in the West" trend, but sometimes so is sorting by accepted answer... $\endgroup$
    – Anyon
    Sep 15 at 3:34
  • $\begingroup$ Users can also sort by votes already, by clicking the button on the top-right of the post. $\endgroup$ Sep 15 at 12:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Anyon I guess to me that's the issue: any problem with one sort can equally be a problem in the other. One question might have an outdated/worse answer accepted, another might have an outdated/worse answer with more upvotes and putting either of these at the top tends to lead users to add more votes to them. Hopefully, SE will introduce their trending sort soon, which will do more to address this issue. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Sep 15 at 15:57
  • $\begingroup$ @NikeDattani Regardless of which sort is selected, the accepted answer is currently placed at the top. I like the proposal to give some indication that there is an accepted answer and jump directly to it if desired. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Sep 15 at 16:03
  • $\begingroup$ I think our community is too small and inactive on Meta to decide something like this. I didn't want to write an answer (to my own question here), because it already seems like I'm "dominating" Meta, and I also wanted to hear what the community thinks. Hypothetically, if you or I were to have answered with the opposite stance (i.e. to keep the status quo), I wouldn't be surprised if it instead got 5 upvotes and a couple people commenting saying that they agree. $\endgroup$ Sep 21 at 23:50
  • $\begingroup$ @NikeDattani I agree I would definitely like to have seen more discussion. In hindsight, I probably should have just made answers to vote on for each option. I had initially interpreted the Meta post to mean that the new default would be removing the pin for accepted answers, but that technically won't be decided until most sites weight in (they want to change the default for as few sites as possible, so they want the most popular default). We may just need to wait and see how things wind up and if we don't like the result, we can restart this meta discussion. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Sep 22 at 17:55
  • $\begingroup$ @Tyberius in this case, the OP has been very diligent in writing comments to explain why each of her answers is unsatisfactory. I think she should be able to decide whose answer gets pinned to the top (if an answer that she likes does turn up one day). Unfortunately the community has not idea how to vote on this matter, and it appears that the voting is much more correlated with time than with "consensus" or satisfaction for the OP: $\endgroup$ Sep 30 at 20:54
  • $\begingroup$ @NikeDattani I think in that case, having it marked as accepted would be sufficient, it wouldn't necessarily need to be moved to the top. However, it looks as though the policy has shifted and the default will continue to be leaving the accepted at the top. Like I said in the answer, I don't feel too strongly about either side so I'm fine sticking with the default as long as the community doesn't want to switch. $\endgroup$
    – Tyberius Mod
    Oct 2 at 1:11

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