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The tooltip that appears over the accept button (only visible to the asker) states—

... or was the most helpful in finding your solution

So if I ask something, and an answer is incomplete or even inaccurate, but still helped me understand the issue or solve my problem, it should be accepted.

If it absolutely didn't, then the asker must leave a constructive comment that it absolutely didn't.

I could very well be mistaken, what do you say?


Clarification: discussion is because of the unanswered queue, where there are good answers and/or comments, it's not about the points.

And I agree I'm mistaken.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure I understand what you're asking/suggesting, perhaps because your question title doesn't seem to match the body. Are you asking people who have useful information to comment less and answer more? $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Nov 28 '16 at 15:22
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    $\begingroup$ I disagree with accepting an answer that is inaccurate, even if it did help find the solution. Instead, I strongly recommend editing out the incorrect information, or adding your own answer if you are able to determine the correct answer on your own. Accepting something which is false gives bad information to future visitors though. $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Nov 28 '16 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ I second @Lnafziger on inaccurate information. Inaccurate information elsewhere might send you in the wrong direction, but in aviation it can kill you. $\endgroup$
    – J Walters
    Nov 29 '16 at 3:26
  • $\begingroup$ What's the etiquette here, post is now voted not-useful, do I leave it or delete it? I would suggest trying to clarify it, see if that leads to better reception. Hard to understand what you are asking right now. $\endgroup$
    – J Walters
    Nov 29 '16 at 3:27
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I'll preface this by saying you can't force people to accept answers.

It sucks, but that's the way the system works: Some users will simply never accept an answer on a question, or they'll accept one that's blatantly wrong because it matches their personal bias, or any number of other things I've seen happen on other sites.

Bearing that in mind, I don't agree at all with "So if I ask something, and an answer is incomplete or even inaccurate, but still helped me understand the issue or solve my problem, it should be accepted."

An accepted answer will always be the first answer to the question that a user sees (because the system floats accepted answers to the top of the list), so the accepted answer should be the best and most complete answer to the question asked.

Accepting an incomplete answer that vaguely sent you in the direction of the right resource rewards the person who wrote the answer (Good: They did help you), but it doesn't help the next person who stumbles across your question, reads the accepted answer and doesn't have the same luck with Google in finding the answer.

Accepting an inaccurate answer is even worse, as it may misinform people who don't do follow-up research and thus runs the risk of someone citing the inaccurate information ("I got it from the Aviation stack exchange site") and making the whole site look bad for handing out wrong information.

Rather than accepting an incomplete or inaccurate answer it's preferable to upvote the helpful answer (if it's also an accurate answer) and then either:

  1. Edit the answer to be complete & accurate and accept it.
    This ensures the person posting the original answer gets the Fake Internet Points for an accepted answer.

  2. Post a new, complete, accurate answer based on your follow-up research.
    This deprives the person who posted the original answer of their Fake Internet Points, but ensures that the first answer people encounter will be complete and accurate, to the best of your knowledge and research abilities.

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  • $\begingroup$ What's the etiquette here, post is now voted not-useful, do I leave it or delete it? $\endgroup$
    – ymb1
    Nov 29 '16 at 0:34
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    $\begingroup$ @ymb1 On Meta, a down vote doesn't necessarily mean that it isn't useful. It could also mean that someone doesn't agree with you. I would leave it because someone in the future may have a similar question and would benefit from the Q&A! $\endgroup$
    – Lnafziger
    Nov 29 '16 at 16:23

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