As far as I can tell, across the SE network, according to each site's help center on the topic, the accepted answer is chosen by the OP as most helpful / informative to the asker.

I asked a question: Why doesn't the Enter key send EOL?

and got two great answers:

Nominal Animal wants me to change the accepted answer on the basis theirs is Not An Answer, and doesn't attempt to answer the question. I don't believe this to be the case, but I'm afraid Nominal will delete their answer.

I believe the correct thing to do is not waver in my choice of acceptance, but my question for meta is twofold:

  1. is what I believe the correct thing to do, actually correct?

  2. Can a Moderator prevent Nominal from deleting their answer? I think it's quite valuable.

1 Answer 1


What answer you accept is completely up to you. You should accept the one which you, personally, found most helpful. If that isn't the one you would consider objectively "best", so be it.

Accepted answers can only be deleted by mods so there's no danger of Nominal Animal deleting the answer you've accepted. Answers on the SE sites are publicly licensed and no longer belong to their authors once posted. In some cases, mods will even undelete answers whose posters have deleted them if they feel that they are useful to the site. Now, if the poster feels it is a horrible answer and asks you to please unaccept so they can delete, you can choose to do so, or not, but it's completely up to you.

So, yes, what you believe is indeed correct and no moderator intervention is needed; accepted answers cannot be deleted.

  • 4
    "no longer belong to their authors once posted" ... They still belong to us. It's just that the licence is irrevocable.
    – muru
    Feb 23, 2016 at 0:12
  • @muru sorry, what? can you rephrase that?
    – cat
    Feb 24, 2016 at 19:36
  • @muru well, IANAL and all that, but as far as I can tell, they're in the public domain. Mods, for example, are within their rights if they chose to undelete an answer deleted by the OP. And the OP doesn't have the right to deface their own answers etc. That's the sort of thing I was referring to.
    – terdon Mod
    Feb 24, 2016 at 19:40
  • 6
    @cat I still own my posts. SE, however, has a permanent licence to those posts which I cannot revoke. They can keep it on their sites and servers, but they have to do so while following the CC-BY-SA licence. I, on the other hand, can post it wherever else I wish without following any licence, since I still own it. Terdon, I got that, but it is dangerous misinform to say we don't own the content we post. We do, but we have granted some, but not all rights, to SE. SE and anybody else who'll publish our posts will always have to grant us attribution as the owners.
    – muru
    Feb 25, 2016 at 1:33
  • @muru ah, okay, thank you.
    – cat
    Feb 25, 2016 at 1:34

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .