Often I come across a question in which I have a lot of knowledge but there is already a best answer.

But often the OP has accepted the best answer within minutes of asking the question without waiting for another one. Sometimes the answer is anything from completely wrong to really vague but as its already voted best I (and I'm sure many others) are put off from providing a detailed and referenced answer.

Surely this makes a mockery of voting a best answer, how can it be the best answer if its the only one?

Would it not be good idea to either block the user from voting a best answer until there is either more than one answer or after a considerable amount of time has passed?

  • FWIW, the tooltip for the check mark says: "Click to accept this answer because it solved your problem or was the most helpful in finding your solution". Nothing in there states "the best answer". In fact, there were occurrences on other sites where the accepted answer has minus score. Also, only the OP itself can accept an answer; others can only up/down vote. And it shouldn't prevent anyone to provide a better answer since acceptance can be changed anytime by the OP. So, since the premise stated in this post is wrong (accepted = best), I don't think the system should be changed.
    – Andrew T.
    Aug 29, 2017 at 16:30

1 Answer 1


These kinds of questions are better answered from Meta Stackexchange. I did a search to find what you're asking about and this link will take you to the results.

I did find a few off the top of the list which I believe sort of respond to your overall question. Those questions are:

The top one is more a generic question about answering, while the second one is more pointed towards what you are asking (but might not quite cover it). There is a 15 wait after a question is asked before an answer can be selected by someone other than the original poster of the question. There is also a (IIRC) 48 hour waiting period for an answer posted by the original poster of the question.

What it really boils down to is this: If you wrote the question, it's your call what you feel works best for you and then select that as you desire.

As someone looking to answer a question, if you feel like you have a better, more complete, or more accurate answer, nothing is stopping you from adding the answer to the question whether or not something has already been selected as "the answer". It is then up to the community to upvote it and up to the OP as to whether they want to select your answer as better than the original.

To me it's disheartening to see the first answer getting selected as "the answer", especially when the answer is really not a very good answer, doesn't really answer the question, and doesn't have any votes. IMHO, people are just too quick on the draw to click the checkmark. There is only one way we can hope to convey to either the OP or the answerer the information provided is bad and that's through a downvote. I personally don't like downvotes, but I'll pull them out if I need to. I highly recommend anyone else do the same if they feel information is bad, wrong, or could cause someone bodily harm.

That's about all I have for you. Unfortunately there isn't much we can do about it, but if you feel so inclined, please ask your question over on Meta where it can garner a lot more attention than it ever would here on our little Stack of the world.

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