When Worldbuilding was freshly minted, an occasional newcomer asked a question, received an answer, and immediately Accepted that first answer, minutes after asking. This drew several patient comments explaining some reasons why we don’t do that around here. After a few occurrences, it would draw one lengthy comment but others would not add to it. As time marched on we left ever shorter comments, and now it’s down to a terse “please don’t” as we are tired of explaining it. That's unfair to each newcomer who has not heard it before, and all the good explanation are in comments which will never be found again.

So, I’d like to make this meta-post a place to post these good well-written reasons, one last time. Then, we all can include this URL next time along with “please don’t”. In fact, here is boilerplate to paste for such a comment:

Welcome to Worldbuilding, if nobody did that already! While every Stack Exchange site has its own distinct differences, Worldbuilding is “more different” in some ways. In particular, you ought not Accept an answer before waiting at least 24 hours. A full explanation can be found on [this meta post](https://worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/q/5023\).

Having it tagged here under should also make it more discoverable where newcomers will read it.


  • $\begingroup$ There should be an explanatory paragraph on the reasons. Currently linking here would not really help new users. I'll post one of my recent comments regarding this next. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Jun 6, 2017 at 7:28
  • $\begingroup$ A tip for the future: it's a good idea to wait at least 24 hours before accepting an answer to allow users of the site to have a look at your question and the answers. As of writing this your question was posted 40 minutes ago and only has 15 views. That's just a very small percentage of the people who use WorldBuilding.SE and live all around the world in different timezones. Some people might be discouraged from answering if there already is an existing answer. You might be surprised how creative WorldBuilders can be. Of course it's your decision when to accept. Just a hint for the future. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Jun 6, 2017 at 7:29
  • $\begingroup$ @Secespitus the idea is for you to post that as an Answer here. I wrote «a place to post these good well-written reasons, one last time» so you are right linking here doesn’t explain anything yet because those reasons have not been contributed yet. I thought that was self-evident. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Jun 6, 2017 at 7:41
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Why not make the answer a community wiki and explain the most important general points in the beginning and then present multiple possible templates? If it's a collection of possible templates do we really need to vote on the different ones? $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Jun 6, 2017 at 7:44
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'd be curious if we have statistics on this, i.e. if we know that X% of questions have accepted answers within Y hours. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868 Mod
    Jun 6, 2017 at 13:31
  • $\begingroup$ Why not a feature request that when you click the arrow less than 24h in, it says this to you. $\endgroup$
    – Mazura
    Jun 11, 2017 at 0:32
  • $\begingroup$ Wow, 96 views in 13 days is considered “hot”! That’s a pretty low bar. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Jun 20, 2017 at 7:17
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Would it be possible to simply supress the "answered" button for at least 24 hours? Possibly with a popup messagefor the following 24 hours high lighting the points people are making here? $\endgroup$
    – Slarty
    Sep 25, 2017 at 12:59

1 Answer 1


While every Stack Exchange site has its own distinct differences, Worldbuilding is “more different” in some ways. Rather than being an answer to a need for some task you are trying to accomplish, here we often have a showcase of different creative answers.

If you have a real-life need like a programming or software usage issue, once you have an answer that works you move past it. Accepting shows that you don’t have the need anymore.

Here, it's more like soliciting stories for a magazine. The variety of different Answer posts will be entertaining to read by all present. The presentations are art-forms in themselves, not just utilitarian answers about something blocking you at work!

So first of all, wait for everyone to see it and offer their ideas. This will not only need some hours for people to get around to it, and significant time to think about and write answers, but people are in different time zones all around the globe. This is why 24 hours is a minimum rule of thumb: let everyone in different parts of the world see it.

Second, people read the Answers, and criticise them. Answers that are good still go through rounds of discussion and revision. An initial quick answer will be expanded, clarified and have links added. Different answers will circularly feed back to each one’s author. Just look at the body of work here and you’ll see that posts are edited, often many times.

And that's for Answers that are good! I’ve seen a case where the new user instantly accepted the first Answer, only to have that Answer be sharply criticised and repudiated. So you might not know if an Answer is good before it’s been reviewed by others!

There is no reason to suppose that the first posted Answer will be the “best”, by any measure.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ You should add that you can accept and unaccept any time and as often as you want. In the end it's the decision of the author, but there is no harm in waiting and maybe changing the accepted answer if something better comes up at a later time. $\endgroup$
    – Secespitus
    Jun 6, 2017 at 7:42

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