I have noticed that most of the questions in Cross Validated come from new users who, for a number of reasons, do not read the FAQ section and do not know about the upvoting and accepting-an-answer system. Sometimes the OP is satistified with an answer but does not accept it because does not know about this. I believe that commenting "you can upvote/accept my answer if you like it" is a bit embarrasing for the answerer/responder as it can be seen as a pressure for doing so.

Given that these rewards motivate people to write good answers (or even writing an answer in this context), I was thinking that an automatic message/comment (such as "consider upvoting/accepting useful answers" with a link to FAQ) on new user's questions might be useful and would not put more charge on moderator's bag of responsibilities.

What do you think about this? Please, feel free to suggest a better option.

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    $\begingroup$ I like your suggestion. I personally will shamelessly suggest that a user consider upvoting/accepting under certain circumstances. One being when they leave a comment like "This is great! Thank you so much!" but don't upvote or accept. The other being when I notice that they've asked several questions (say $>5$) that have, in my opinion, gotten decent answers but you can see on their profile that they've never once voted or accepted. I take both of these as a potential indication that they don't understand the system. If I suggest this as see no change in their behavior I let it go, though. $\endgroup$
    – Macro
    Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 13:43
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    $\begingroup$ Good suggestion. Can it be done though, or are we limited by the mechanics of the whole SE network? This sounds like an issue that is unlikely to be unique to this site, so perhaps this suggestion could be put more broadly. Is there a SE meta? (I looked and couldn't find one.) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 19, 2012 at 22:10
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    $\begingroup$ @Macro Regrettably I've now taken up your shameless strategy. And fwiw I object to the idea that there is not any (even minimal social) obligation to at least respond to an answer. If deliberate, it's just rude. Oddly I don't ever remember having this problem before, and now I have it a lot. I don't think there's any sudden quality drop in my answers... $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2012 at 14:44
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    $\begingroup$ @ConjugatePrior, there's a sudden influx of newbies who only care to have their questions answered, like on any mailing list or a standard forum. I agree with Macro that they most likely don't understand the system, and did not read the FAQ and explanations how the system works. $\endgroup$
    – StasK
    Commented Oct 21, 2012 at 15:11

2 Answers 2


Like some other users, Moderators do this occasionally (and manually!), when we notice that some users have a very low acceptance rate and almost no voting activity. Most of the times, our message are written on the fly (as far as I am concerned, at least), although we could resort on our Library of helpful responses. This is done in accordance with the FAQ:

This lets other people know that you have received a good answer to your question. Doing this is helpful because it shows other people that you’re getting value from the community. (And if you don’t do this, people will often politely ask you to go back and accept answers for more of your questions!)

We do have 'post notice' to signal lack of reference or insufficient explanation, but nothing regarding vote or green mark. The idea of flagging automatically question with such incentive remark is nice, but I think it is already implemented unless I am wrong (I haven't asked a question for a while): "Consider accepting an answer" should appear in the list of questions on the user profile, although it disappear after one month. Moreover, accepting an answer is not an obligation.

Other Meta SO threads of interest:


Here's another idea: When people sign up at the site, how about automatically sending them the FAQ in an e-mail?


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