Stack Exchange staff have announced an upcoming change to the way answer acceptance works.

Currently, the original poster of a question can accept one non-deleted answer. This does several things,

  • the question poster receives 2 rep, and the answer poster receives 15 rep

  • the answer has an added green tick mark below its score and vote buttons

  • the answer itself is pinned to the top of the list of answers, regardless of sort variable

This change will affect the last of these behaviors, removing the "pin to top".

The staff has indicated this may be configurable per site - each individual site can have this behavior turned off or left on (with the default setting yet to be determined by consensus and research).


Announcement - Unpinning the accepted answer from the top of the list of answers

post with links to user script which may "fix" behavior - post

half of the text is stolen from a different place with a permission

SEDE query, taken/forked from Astronomy.SE, credits - created by Nihar Karve & Emilio Pisanty from Physics.SE

  • in our case, it affects 3'325 questions out of 31'089 questions total.


Anarchy mother of the order, so just be informed. (I guess)

I hope we will have it on by default.

Update, after 10 days, 179 views

At the moment we have 50/50 results like 8 vs 8 votes

Here is Full List of Community Discussions so someone may be interested.

SFF.se aka sister site for us is also on that list, I think their situation is quite similar to ours, seems they are for the change even if not expecting that much from it. What is funny, we have 11% of old answers affected, but they have only 6% - quite an interesting difference.

In general, the number of decisive sites is not overwhelming.

P.S. Skeptics thread, lol, as you would expect it, no strong feelings

  • $\begingroup$ What do upvotes and downvotes mean for this question? Upvote = implement the change, or upvote = maintain the status quo? Or does each respondent have to actually write an answer saying Aye, aye, do it, or No, no, don't do it? $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ @AlexP upvoting this post means nothing besides thanks to me bringing a piece of info. anyone can write aye- or nay- answers or 3rd option which we can vote, but it has no power just some feedback for a mod, maybe. They(se) still thinking about how to enroll the thing - and if it becomes default some may notice it and have questions, for them the post. or if there are some like me, it just let them know that if we do not get it by default, sometime after we have to do bang onto mods door for them to make proper voting if they are not sure, or make a request to enable the thing. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 19:09
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ OK, I will write a short answer says no, thanks, don't want the change. (But I could live with it just fine.) $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 19:14
  • $\begingroup$ I answered a meta question on a related topic, and it sums up my feeling on accepted answers. I think it's okay to leave it as it is, because it gets to the heart of the OP's desires. People can still see who got the most votes - there's even a badge for that! worldbuilding.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/8068/… $\endgroup$
    – DWKraus
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 20:47

7 Answers 7


Leave pinned -- on Worldbuilding.

Unpinning is absolutely the right behavior when people are asking questions about biology or physics or most other Stack Exchange sites. The person asking the question is often simply not qualified to say which answer is right, or else they wouldn't be asking.

But on worldbuilding, the utility of an answer really is in the eye of the beholder, and in particular, of the person who posed the scenario. No one else can be sure they interpreted the question in the right way in the first place. We're not talking about taxonomy and general relativity here - more often magically enhanced mermaids and siege weapons usable by pigeons.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ "eye of the beholder" - correct, the exact reason to keep it unpinned on wb, op got his answer and long gone to make his work and happy earning of whatever he plans to earn with it, and other people who come they most likely to be happy about most voted up answer(not always, no perfection in the world). For op the rigth answer, for whatever reason besides him checking it to be rigth and correct, is an accepted one, but for anybody else it is not the case in 10% cases. So the change can go from 90% reperesenting good stuff to 100% (as usual not good at formulating, I hope you guess it) $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 20:51
  • $\begingroup$ "But on worldbuilding, the utility of an answer really is in the eye of the beholder, and in particular, of the person who posed the scenario." - op does not transfer this utility to anybody else by any other means than the q itself - so those who answer and those who read and vote are in the same shoe, even if it is not op's one in 10% cases. U basically defy your own case in your answer, lol $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 21:00
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg Exactly, it's on the eye of the beholder }i{. What makes you think that a new reader will find the top-voted answer will be of use to them? Uh, just before you answer : Votes are actually not necessarily the most useful ones. The underlying point is that votes are not spread solely based on their quality, but also by the order they're displayed and dates they're written. Less likely to read/vote already low vote answers at the bottom ("laziness"), as well as going against the society by downvoting highly-voted answers (group effect), among other things. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 6:54
  • $\begingroup$ I have got a video explaining how vote/like reasons are not that easy to decipher, but unfortunately it's only in French... Still few parts in English, though. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 6:55
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena I didn't say reader will like it, so as by same logic there is no reason to believe reader will like op choosen one. But what is more probable, to be liked by a reader. As for being read or not there are 3 sorting options - by votes, oldest first, newest first(including edits that by activity) - so if ppl like fresh they get latest answer edit on top. I usually sort in chronological order, and scroll until interested. Votes are the same as top 100hits, for some people it just pain, cuz most likely there will be nothing interesting in that top100, but for many it works okay. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 10:41
  • $\begingroup$ @Molborg It's just an hint that both positions cannot really stand this way ^^. At least until we have some proof going one way. Or the other. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena hint? it is your wishful thinking, lol. Change fixes display of 11% of answers, not huge but it already done so why not use that improvement, until we wait for a more perfect way to display stuff $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 12:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Molborg Don't confuse the proposed change's level of impact and the reasons behind them. The percentage doesn't change at all whether it's a good thing or not, just how big the consequences will be :). $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 13:47
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena The implementation of the change includes a not-insubstantial element of analysing whether the change is actually good (through polls and checking how often people engage with answers in each case by, e.g., copying from them). I'll agree that votes are flawed and we have a problem with older answers overshadowing any newer ones (IIRC, SE has acknowledged the latter as a problem, and might be working on a solution), but I'd still say it's better than accepted answers. $\endgroup$
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 17:24

Best to Unpin

The green check mark really only does two things: first, it dissuades users from posting their own answer because, well, the "best answer" has been chosen, indicating that there is no point in anyone writing an answer in the future; and second, its sole purpose is for the querent to advertise that their specific needs in asking a question have been met to their satisfaction.

The green check mark kind of defeats the dual purpose of queries and responses here: one being to help the specific querent with their specific worldbuilding problem; the other being a repository of geopoetical wisdom that will last through the ages (or until SE shuts down and scrubs its archive).

It is often the case that the accepted answer, which helps the querent most of all, is not necessarily the best possible answer, which helps the broader community most and would be of potential service to future seekers.

My vote, if I understand the terminology correctly, would be to unpin the accepted answer and let it rise or sink according to its community voted merits.

Doing this satisfies both our purposes. The querent gets the answer she's looking for; the respondent gets his rewards; the broader community gets to place its own best answer at the top.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Remember that the question will still be shown as green/completed, and the points still awarded only once. The effect on questions getting new answers might not be as big as you think. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 20:03
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I agree with unpinning, but only because "it is often the case that the accepted answer, which helps the querent most of all, is not necessarily the best possible answer, which helps the broader community most and would be of potential service to future seekers". It may be possible for unpinning to increase how likely it is for someone to post an answer, but I wouldn't know about that. I can't imagine it would affect how likely I am to post an answer. $\endgroup$
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 22:34
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena -- You're right about the green box! Unpinning may then not help get new answers, but it seems like it will still put the community determined best answer on top. (If I read the experimental process correctly.) $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 0:28
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas I think, yes? Ordering answers only by votes and not by accepted/non-accepted, then by votes. The whole point this debating topic turns around, actually :p. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 0:31
  • $\begingroup$ @NotThatGuy -- I often leave green check mark queries unresponded-to. I'm not saying I'll be any more likely to answer such questions either if the answers are unpinned. I'm just pointing out what the green check marks do in my own estimation. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 0:33
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena -- Well then! I'm glad I'm not arguing on the wrong side of the debate! :) $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 0:35
  • $\begingroup$ i kinda agree with you just let ppl choose, and it also give chance for ppl to read other answers other than the green check one (because its the best answer after all no point in scroll down more), but... its not like upvote are good determination for best answer anyway, i has see many high upvote that is more in bias view or because it align with popular believe even if its not correct (although in here, most of the time best are subjective anyway). $\endgroup$
    – Li Jun
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 10:01
  • $\begingroup$ @LiJun - You do bring up a good point with popular bias. I don't think we can really counter that (because as you say, for the most part the best answers are subjective anyway). The nature of the forum invites subjectivity, opinion and bias into all questions except those rare few that are hard science or fill in the equation for me types of questions. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ Sorting by votes alone doesn't ensure that the most correct answer is put at the top; Many people can be wrong at once. For a concrete example, take worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/213881/…, a question about plants where the highest voted questions were about seaweed, which, while it could be called a plant, is not the only photosynthesizer to consider $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 10:44
  • $\begingroup$ @IchthysKing -- This is true! Unlike the fact based forums on SE, Worldbuilding isn't (necessarily) bound by what is factually correct and factually incorrect. The best answers often play a bit loose with fact for the sake of art & aesthetics. As for the question itself, it reads to me something like a high concept query: I've got this idea, but I don't really know how to implement it and I'm not really sure quite what I want to ask. All material life evolved in the sea before moving to the land, so saying that the plants they's come up with look like "transplants" is quite strange... $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 13:01
  • $\begingroup$ (cont) ... Because, well, duh! Land plants evolved from sea plants and some land plants, like some land animals, returned to the sea. So perhaps not a well conceived query. As for the answers, I don't think any of them really address the question (because the question is ill written). I think, given that the question is based in fantasy, the best answer will follow from that point. Some answers provide biological or semantic hints, but none of them seem terribly helpful to me. But there again, that's only because the query seems to be unsure of its own direction. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 13:07
  • $\begingroup$ @elemtilas Facts and relevance are still important; it wouldn't be acceptable, for example, to answer a question about an animal's locomotion by saying that fungi are sessile. On the specific question, there are still differences between land plants andd macrophytes, which is what the question is about; just as a dog wouldn't make sense as a solely marine animal, a vegetable designed after landd plants will seem out of place in the sea $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 13:13
  • $\begingroup$ @IchthysKing -- A bad comparison that. A better one might replace the sessile fungus with the nearly sessile sloth. And dogs make as much sense, when compared to seals, as marine animals as hippopotamuses do as compared to whales. As for the question at hand, most of the answers address the nature of aquatic plants. I still hold that none of the answers really get to the heart of the question which leans more towards fantasy aquatic plants in the context of Merfolk society. $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 13:23
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    $\begingroup$ @IchthysKing -- Well, none of the answers are terribly useful, really. Mentioning a couple things about aquatic plants is really as far as any of the answers go in that direction. shrug Obviously seals are not bears. They are related to bears. Big difference. The reason why dogs make sense as aquatic animals is because we have other terrestrial animals that have given rise to aquatic animals. Back to the plant question, none of the answers delve into much of anything, so perhaps let the dead horse lie unbeaten? $\endgroup$
    – elemtilas
    Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 15:03
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @IchthysKing you spoke with op on one wave length, so something clicked for him, as for take for answers and the q itself, I would agree(more or less) with elemtilas. Most upvoted A - it didn't took a long time for me to decide to upvote it because of the wiki link(which I see for the first time), if op who did research and have seen it, if he did put it in his q, it could be a reason for me to upvote that q instead that answer. Upvoted all those 4 answers at the end, they all add something and lack something, all 3 ppl tried to help in honest way so for the efforts at least. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 21:19

TL;DR - We need a test run, a month, it is hard to say without actual experience.

Thinking about it, especially after Qami's post, it should be different for various sorting methods :

  • Oldest first - it should be unpinned
  • Highest votes - may be pinned
  • Recent - probably unpinned

The reason is the desired outcome, which is important when we choose this or another sorting method.

When I sort in chronological order, oldest first, I intend to scroll and see if I have something to add, or if I am willing to post an answer to the question, while reading I vote answers. If I feel I have something to say then I do so, after scrolling through all answers, and sure I will notice the accepted answer as well if it is present.

Most voted first - the current behavior works in 90% cases, so a change here is not a huge deal, but maybe we can argue here that accepted on top may be important here.

Recent change sorting - one probably does expect to see that recently changed answer on top, maybe for the reason one prefers fresher ones

  • other more dynamic reasons are not necessarily a factor because changes of sorting methods are not such a convenient procedure - so it from the start some long-lasting reason and sorting changes are rare for a person, I guess (at least for me).

And in this case, unpinning is the desired outcome, but there may be a value of comparison between fresh answers and the accepted one, having them next to each other, but it sure is for special people, but I can see how it can be useful for some adaptations and strategies for some people.

This way unpinning:

Fixes behavior for 100% questions with accepted answers for 2 out of 3 sorting methods.

Breaks (or maybe not - a matter of personal preferences) expected behavior for 11% of questions with accepted answers in 1 sorting method out of 3.

It looks like clear cut to me, in terms of consistency of results and meeting expectations. ("And" because we use and adapt our practices to known inconsistency, and if a change breaks something again, I guess we will do that again, adapt, and I do not think new adaptations in that case for those people are that much more annoying than existing ones)

Premise for 90 degree turn

In general, the reusability of old questions and answers is low on WB. I have an old answer 7yo on a different SE site, where I have one or few answers and it brings me some points once a half year or so(it is/was a recipe for a problem), on WB upvotes for my old answers as rare as that one q, I have 100+ answers, and even when I'm not most likable answer provider (far from it), it kinda leads me to certain conclusions, which I think I'm not wrong about. I think a similar situation is for other se sites which are not recipe providing ones.

Most of the activity happens in some period of TTL (time to live) for the question and then it is done, and that TTL correlates with the position on main. It also can be seen by the frequency of providing new answers to old questions.

90 degree turn

So until a question is on the main it has life, once gone it is toast and history. And for active users who are looking at active question's with an existing answer, they are probably curious about - what kind of answer op accepted. Or if they are looking to provide an answer then anyway the accepted one needs some reading (chronological sorting or not), and only with recent sorting unpinning may be an improvement. So for a fraction of questions, those which TTL isn't expired, and those which are important as they are currently in active use, it is less of clear cut than for older questions, mainly because of that curiosity aspect what kind of question op accepted, and after a few minutes of reading be a reminder that you reading a question with accepted answer, which could be forgotten already but here it is - a reminder.

So yeah, it needs a test run, as there are less obvious conveniences and inconveniences in the current situation. Be the change an individual preference, like button pin accepted (4th sorting button, which can be toggled on and off for each sorting method, creating 6 options in total), then that would be perfect as user experience, and we probably should insist on that option. Not caring about google traffic at all in this case and in this post.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Do you have a success metric to determine which outcome is preferable? Otherwise inertia will result in whatever is the current status quo being preserved when the test concludes? $\endgroup$
    – sphennings
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 1:46
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings If only we could read user inputs and see how many times the accepted answer is scrolled down without reading it. Actually wait, I don't wanna a spy on my screen. Even if they're cool looking x)! $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 8:45
  • $\begingroup$ @sphennings sure, voting result, after that period, is the metric. A month is long enough for active users to overcome inertia (even if not, does not matter). What are the other options? Meaning old way - we know it, we use it. And to expirience new way we have to use it as well. If voting decides to keep old way - it does not matter is new way preferale or not, in any sense -it was not convincing enough, not good enough. I expect agents to be capable to figure out if it is convinient for them or not. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 8:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Tortliena Thanks for edit ) // men, u like capitalist party for greater good(I understand it was comment sphennings comment, so maybe it is for him)- your own expirience is enough in a sense to answer the q - is it good for you or not. Leave the same judgement for others to make. And then just listen to people was it good or bad. Why should there be some click factory and such, we aren't optimising production of movements made per answers provided or something. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 8:54
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg That was more of a joke than anything, actually. Though... I'm not sure many people will change their mind before and after the test, like mussels sticking to their reef. But I guess this hypothesis needs to be proved by/through/with (I don't recall the exact expression) fire? I'm hungry now, thinking of fire to cook mussels x). $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 9:02
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    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena yeah I realised it being exagregatted example to that comment to attack the premise of that comment, but it was too late to edit, lol. Yeah, inertia is known phenomenon. But for those who are head strong in this way, there is nothing what can be done besides forcing the solution, but we have no need to force it, so if old way will be prefered which includes a sum of head strong and those who compared and prefered old one on merrits then keep old one, it does not kill ppl as far as I know, but we may have better arguments after that. It possible to unpin it by user script, soo... $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 9:14
  • $\begingroup$ ... those with strong desire, test or use, can do that, so not that there are no ways etc. I would like to test, and then vote and if outcome of voting not preferable for me then fix it in some way, for myself, by use of strategies, by scripts etc. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 25, 2021 at 9:18

I don't have any strong feeling about this topic, but just for the sake of balancing opinions with advanced arguments, I'll play the fey's advocate. Don't tell me I'm the devil's one. Who would like to be on Devil's side? Now I'm sad for the Devil, all alone :p.

No, we should keep accepted answers on top

Unpinning won't improve that much the amount of new answers coming in

That's a direct counter-argument to what people might naturally think as they evaluate there's "more space for unaccepted answers" after an answer has been accepted. People are by good nature lazy, and as such limit unnecessary efforts when they can. This includes looking for questions to answer.

My understanding as a game designer is that people who look to answer questions to get accepted will look first and foremost the question list, which already contains all the information they need, including the answer indicator. This one :

Accepted answers in list comparison

Which one's has been accepted1?

As such, having the accepted answer on top doesn't impact a lot people looking to get their answer... Well, accepted. Most if not all would stop at the list and be fine with it.

This alone is insufficient to prove the whole pointy point. Indeed, I showed that if you are looking to get "accepted", then this has no impact, but does unpinning change how likely you are looking to get accepted? A new challenger comes in!

Unpinning reduces the likelihood of less popular questions getting attention

It's important to recall why accepted answers exist. It serves as additional, single-use, big rewards to questions. This is in contrast to votes, which are multi-use, weaker-alone rewards.

While those two rewards set the same user goals (answering questions) and work towards a functionnal website (people getting answers to their question), they don't really aim the same kind of questions :

  • Votes, by their multi-usage nature, are most numerous and effective on popular questions, since they're directly proportional to the number of people reading them. After all, even if you double the percentage of votes/readers on a question as they're exceptionnally well-thought, if there are 10x more readers on another one, you'll have more votes there.
  • Accepted answers instead impact any question, as they are single-use. They level -even a little- out the rewards among all questions, regardless of their fame.

We still get a good chunk of questions with low views and answers. Took a look at 50 non-closed questions from one month ago (well beyond their tsunami of incoming readers). Out of these, 19 has 1 or less answer (2 without any), so almost 40%. It's a lot, considering that among them 9 (~20% of total) are questions which doesn't absolutely imply only yes, no or a single value (e.g : how much/long for X...) as answers. They therefore would probably need more of than one them to have a good understanding off the topic's possibilities.

Removing pins will remove one of the few rewards that accepted answers give, meaning fewer incentive to look for questions which have mathematically higher probabilities to get your answer accepted. Indeed, if you have less to choose from }i{... It therefore reduces the rewards you can get from low-popularity topics reducing their value to potential answerers.

So it's one reward less, one of "glory", which is also a very strong kind of reward2; It's also unique among others. The act of being brought on top like if you were 1st on a leaderboard makes it more clear that at least one person read your answer throughly. And on top by the one which is the more likely (read 100% chance) of having that issue, facing it the way it is stated and that will be helped, as opposed to 90% of the rest who'll just read the main question out of curiosity and switch to something else. But that's not only about heart-to-heart -or should I say asker-to-answerer- discussions...

The act of accepting an answer helps in contextualizing questions for others

And because of that, accepted answers should be on top. There is both historical and "futurical" reasons to why I say this.

  • Historical : Knowing quickly which answers have been accepted helps in turn to understand quickly what was the asker's thoughts relatively to their question. It also helps understanding in a glance how far the accepted answer at that time relates to the community's standards3. It helps clarifying what people understood of the question versus what the asker understood from themselves. And the reasons behind a decision is oftentimes more important than the decision itself, especially in more creative settings.
  • For future answerers : It sets a better understanding of the question. Some questions lack clarity to some even if it has been well-written, and knowing that "this" answer got accepted sets some more frontiers you can more confidently walk in.

Of course, pinning or unpinning does not remove access to these information, but it removes their accessibility. Thus, removing common use of these. Remember my first few sentences : People are by good nature lazy :).

Devifey's Advocate mode : OFF

That's everything that came into my mind. That's quite a lot, considering I think it's not that important. Would have been smarter (but functionally more complex) to let people choose in their settings what they want if I'd dare to say so. or make some A/B group testing to help in the final call. but that's overjudging something I don't have access to the gears, so I'll just quiet my voice }i{...

1 : Funny thing that questions with accepted answers are displayed more prominently than questions without any answer. This targets -with intents or not- more an audience of readers than answerers, but at the same time makes it feel like less of a constraint to answerers so it balances up that. Paradoxically funny.

2 : Depending on the individual but still for many.

3 : To be accurate, standards up to today.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ People choosing their preferences I have seen such comment in that se post and some mod there said that he will suggest it for implementing, but no guarantees. But it works for users but not works for random google traffic. But agree, it would be nice option, and not necessarly so complex(there are cons for it as well, like it is a hack one needs to tow indefinetely in the future or get back to current situation) $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 1:38
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    $\begingroup$ One is really quick to downvote :D ! 900 words in under 1 minute, that's 15 words per second, that's impressive. Whoever voted, I just hope you read more deeply the answer afterwards, as it's not a really good habit to stand on a position before reviewing the opposing ones (even if you're not likely to change your mind :) ). $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 1:41
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg Yes, but anyway a default would need to be chosen for non-registered users, even when not considering google and such, and in that I don't have a real opinion. Even with what I said above x). $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 17, 2021 at 1:42
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    $\begingroup$ 1) "Unpinning won't improve that much the amount of new answers coming in" - was this one of the motivating factors for the change? I wasn't aware of this being a reason. 2) So maybe it's a bit harder for someone to get the top answer spot, but I much prefer to have people earn their way to the top by having everyone decide their answer is best, rather than just having to convince one person of that. 3) You argue pinning may be good for not-popular questions, but those don't have many votes on answers, so it shouldn't be too hard to reach the top through votes, while it's much easier to ... $\endgroup$
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 7:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ ... reach the top of popular posts through acceptance (but this is also something we don't want). 4) Re pinning it for historical reasons, we really don't need to be able to quickly tell what some random person on the internet thought a few years ago. 5) Questions that are poorly worded should be edited. Answer acceptance is a poor solution to providing clarity to the question, and if the author's intent doesn't match how it's commonly interpreted, we should prioritise the common interpretation. The author's intent mostly stops mattering the moment they stop caring about the question. $\endgroup$
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 7:08
  • $\begingroup$ @NotThatGuy I don't like putting lists, but I don't have much choice for clarity x). (1) It's part of Elemtilas answer, and if one can think this... (2) Thanks for sharing your preference :), maybe upvote elemtilas or write your own positive answer then }i{?. (3) True enough. (4) That's my own preference, but I believe history has importance. (5) Few people actually edit confusing questions, and questions often get the problem of not invalidating answers. And by few, I mean the original and the subsequent readers, but at the same time, who's willing to induce the meaning of others? $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 9:04
  • $\begingroup$ Overall, I don't think there's one true, objective answer most of the time. We're not dealing with pure "hard-science" problems. Well, most of the time. I don't remember where, but I saw one saying there could be "dangerous" answers, but in what an answer is dangerous when it's about creative or artistic worldbuilding? And if said answer could be dangerous, why don't we delete them instead of turning around the pot? And I think this reasoning could apply a little also to "poor" answers, in the sense of even "not so highly voted answers" $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 9:08
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Tortliena It's not necessarily about an answer being "dangerous", as such, it's more just about the answer being "less good" to some degree or in some way than other answers (which may include being dangerous on some sites). In any case, sorting by votes reduces the risk of such answers being on top. The community can naturally take care of it if there's no pinning (which doesn't work perfectly, but it's better). But with pinning the accepted answer, we may need to actively take action, or have a separate mechanism, to deal with bad answers (which adds complexity and/or work). $\endgroup$
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 15:56
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also, where would we draw that line? Does a +0 accepted answer warrant deletion if there's a +1000 answer? I would say the +1000 answer should be on top, but the +0 answer shouldn't be deleted (we don't delete valid non-negative-scoring answers; only mods can even do that, and, without an extremely good reason, that would generally be considered an abuse of their power). We could perhaps unpin it, but then why pin in the first place? If our focus is what helps the broader community and future visitors most, we should sort answers according to how the broader community has already ranked them $\endgroup$
    – NotThatGuy
    Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 15:56
  • $\begingroup$ @NotThatGuy Your second part of the answer is exactly what I'm wondering ^^. And to my eyes it looks like it can be used to answer the original topic in both directions : Either we should unpin as an "alternative" of hiding/"deleting" less useful answers, or we should keep pin because we shouldn't move back less useful answers, as long as it has proved to have been useful to at least one person. Since it could be used for either side, it means first some scale needs to be set, then that it might mean it is an entangled problem, one which requires more than unpinning to be solved :). $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 5:32
  • $\begingroup$ That guy comments are good, support it. Tortie, click that sede link and look how dangerous answers are, no need to wonder. As fresh one from results, worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/213484/… nothing wrong with top vote one (i guess didn't upvoted it so idk) and accepted one (one upvote is mine) is good answer and difference is 3 vs 5. No need to tow a discussion in some hypotetical extreames, when practice is far from being that bad, just one answer was better accepted by public, that's it for most $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 21:13
  • $\begingroup$ And we can imagine more positive situation, like some one provides a great answer and it gets hot but op long gone. Here another good example worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/202276/20315 it good because of op's comments, when each answer brings something useful, but accepted can be only one. Have seen such comments as well, and it is wrong position that accpeted answer is the only one, most perfect or anything of that kind, it just an extra cookie from op. I my self needed a set of answers to get my answer, it a set which was useful, with comments, not some particular answer. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 21:27
  • $\begingroup$ Or here worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/q/189253/20315 I definetly like accepted answer over the popular one, it is well written, good research solution, in line with tech porn - no wonder op prefers it, but also no wonder why populus vox prefers another one. I guess you also will preffer the most voted out of those two, cuz it is easy to read and does not require taste for tech porn to like it, and nothing wrong with both of those. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 21:39
  • $\begingroup$ @MolbOrg I do need to wonder, as your examples aren't clear at all to me. An answer is dangerous to me as it harms real-world people or environment. Built-in worlds generally don't harm such things beyond the scope of their relative success and the ideas they emit (something very rarely discussed on WB:SE). It's an over-valued and fallacious term, which is not applicable here. And without going into personal life I wish we stopped giving this trait. There are far more dangerous information than what is put here. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 6:34
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Okay, then sede query is a way to satisfy that cuiriosity, did you use it? I also think wb has a mission to increase chances for ppl bring some good stuff in the world, nice to see someone else thinks that way as well. It funny that 2 of 3 randomly picked q, I preffer op's choice than populus vox choice (and it understandable for me why), but I'm still for the change, cuz accepted breaks all of 3 sorting methods we have atm. Sorting by votes is least affected, and least used by me, the other two accepted is almost always in the way and needs to be scrolled, which is annoying. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 22, 2021 at 8:01

Keep pinned, for quick & deterministic comparison between accepted answer and top-voted answer.

"How far down will I have to scroll to find the accepted answer?"

Writing it out really makes it sound like a first-world problem and or/a silly thing to be concerned about. But for a user who is navigating tons of questions each day, constantly assessing whether they want to upvote an answer, leave a comment, or write one of their own, having guaranteed fast access to the accepted answer seems like a desirable element of design.

Consider our current layout scheme. For a question with many answers, there are only three possible arrangements:

[Most votes]       |   [Accepted answer & Most votes]   |   [Accepted answer]
[2nd most votes]   |   [2nd most votes]                 |   [Most votes]
[3rd most votes]   |   [3rd most votes]                 |   [fewer votes]
...                |   ...                              |   ...

In all of these cases, the first two answers always contain the accepted answer (if present) and the top-voted answer. Now, if we unpin it, we don't know where the accepted answer will end up. It could be the first, or second...or anywhere. Accepted answers are often highly voted, but on occasion we may see a situation like this:

[Most votes]
[2nd most votes]
[3rd most votes]
[Nth most votes]
[Accepted answer]
[(N+2)th most votes]

Thinking of my engagement with the site, it's pretty rare that I'd cast votes on answers without first checking the accepted answer and comparing it against other high-scoring answers. And in the rare but possible case that I would post a new answer to a question with an already-accepted answer, I would certainly want to read it before beginning to post. It's very nice to have the accepted answer always in the same place, and it would be bothersome to have to go hunting for it on those rare occasions when it's not near the top.

[Edit: If we do unpin the accepted answer, could we have a "jump to accepted answer" button at the top...?]

  • $\begingroup$ Move to the evil camp, we have cookies(no), sort in chronological order to see which information already provided, and to upvote one who provided it first. Interesting take, have seen such proposal in that post reply's but do not remember response, it basically equivalent to a better option to be able to choose in the preferences to have accepted on top or not. $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 24, 2021 at 20:46
  • $\begingroup$ I like how on WB this cuts to the point. If you find a question interesting the two most interesting answers are likely to be the one the OP picked and the most popular one. Getting them both co-located is a big plus. $\endgroup$
    – Jontia
    Commented Sep 27, 2021 at 21:08

Please keep the current behavior if possible

This is the kind of change which is valuable only because it is a change and some software developers get to book an achievement.

If easily possible I would be happy to keep the current behavior.

On the other hand, I could live with the new behavior just fine.

After all, it's a free web-based application. Nobody expects the behavior of free web-based applications to make sense.

  • $\begingroup$ by a power of habit, almost upvoted, but stopped in time))) $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 14, 2021 at 19:26
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ This change has a lot of value. Right now there are decade old questions where the accepted answer is out of date or just plain wrong/dangerous. I've actually gotten used to scrolling past the accepted answer to check if there's a more valuable recent answer. Often its higher voted than the accepted answer, but there's no way to change the order until now. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 3:52
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @SurpriseDog: This is the meta site. Answers here represent the opinions of those users of the main site who care enough to express their opinion. You should convert yout comment into an answer, so that users can vote on it. $\endgroup$
    – AlexP
    Commented Sep 16, 2021 at 6:52
  • $\begingroup$ @SurpriseDog how many world building answers are dangerous? The change is relevant and desirable in many other stack exchange sites (who are of course free to accept the new change, and probably will) but it is more of an aesthetic decision for this specific place. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 19:33
  • $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime I thought this was a site wide change. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 19:46
  • $\begingroup$ @SurpriseDog if it were a whole stackexchange change, then the big sites (eg. stack overflow) which want and need this and drove the change would simply impose it on the smaller sites, because the opinions of little and unprofitable offshoots like worldbuilding would be of no interest. As the linked stackexchange meta post says, this change can be made on a per-site basis. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 20, 2021 at 10:14
  • $\begingroup$ @StarfishPrime it is whole se change and stack already uses it(as I understood, but didn't specifically checked it), it just that small guys seems can choose(by modrequest) have the thing on or off $\endgroup$
    – MolbOrg
    Commented Sep 21, 2021 at 20:58

Leave it alone, change of any sort irritates me. That's my personal reaction, when I think about how our stack functions I'd also prefer it was left alone for two reasons:

  • Accepted answers are one of the tools that I quite often use to understand how the person asking the question sees the question when I'm deciding whether I can contribute anything further that may be useful.

  • When I have asked the question and then refer back to it later I want to know what I was thinking when I made a decision about the answer and being able to instantly access the accepted answer helps with that. In fact having that answer pinned is pretty vital in preventing concept drift (and the inconsistencies that it causes) created by reading other answers without having been reminded of what I felt was the best fit at the time.


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