Sometimes I find old questions with perfectly reasonable answers with none of them checked as solved.

An example I found today:

How can I get neovim to load my init.vim file when in sudo mode?

It is 4 years old, the OP is 31xp, it has 3k views, it has 4 good answers (two of them better), but still, it is sitting there with none of the answers marked with a green check.

I wonder if such cases could not be open for mods to intervene and mark an answer on behalf of the newbie that got lost.

Thanks for your input on the matter.

  • 1
    For the system itsel, having an answer with a positive score is enough to mark the question as "answered". Accepting an answer is just a bonus.
    – muru
    Feb 6, 2023 at 5:13
  • fair enough....
    – DrBeco
    Feb 6, 2023 at 13:43
  • 4
    Does this answer your question? Gone user, answer accepted by the community
    – AdminBee
    Feb 6, 2023 at 15:14
  • 1
    Thanks @AdminBee. It was good to read a diverse opinion and different scenario with similar consequences. I clicked "no" just because there it asks for the community accepting the answer. In my comments in the accepted answer here, I tried to develop the idea of a "mods answer". Also, there the discussion went on to "readers choice" by most voted, which is a bit different. But ok, no need to go forward in this, as it was just a small suggestion. Thanks a lot.
    – DrBeco
    Feb 7, 2023 at 1:22

1 Answer 1


Moderators cannot accept or unaccept answers on behalf of other users, no matter if that other user is registered or unregistered, a "newbie" or a "veteran".

There are many reasons for a question to end up with perfectly good non-accepted answers. The opposite is also true, with questions sometimes having accepted answers that are not the most up-voted answer, or accepted or highly up-voted answers that have proven to be less than ideal or perpetuate bad habits (in some cases, editors may insert disclaimers into accepted or highly-upvoted "bad" answers, and in extreme cases, a moderator may delete an accepted answer, but this has only happened one or two times in the last few years).

The votes attached to a question or an answer, including the accept vote on an answer, measure to what degree other people have found the text interesting, useful, or "good". In some cases, it may also measure other things, like how witty the text is, how well-written it is, or just the fact that some particular person wrote it.

In the end, readers of the site will have to apply their own judgement and make use of the information that is most relevant to their own situation. An accept vote on an answer only means that the user that provided the question found that particular answer the "best" at that moment in time, according to whatever private metric they decided to apply.

To summarise: Voting is private, and a moderator can not vote, including accepting an answer, on behalf of anybody else. The reason for voting up or down, or for accepting or not accepting an answer, is left to the discretion of the individual user.

  • Dear Kusalananda, thank you for the time/effort in writing such well written and good response. Although I disagree, it let me thinking and gave me an insight on how I disagree. I do not disagree on the exposed logic, and I realize there is something missing that could improve the website. I would write another question, as such idea is completely different, but here is as good as anywhere to start a conversation. The missing part is what is called in some places "editors choice", or here "mods choice". We could have a dark-orange accepted answer to indicate that it's not the green "OP-choice"
    – DrBeco
    Feb 6, 2023 at 13:46
  • 1
    @DrBeco But isn't the fact that one answer is up-voted more than the others and by default shown at the top already a sort of "reader's choice"?
    – Kusalananda Mod
    Feb 6, 2023 at 16:39

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