In an answer to a post, I read "If you like my answer you can upvote and accept it..". I am just wondering if we can do things like that.

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    $\begingroup$ I wouldn't do this a lot, but sometimes users (particularly new ones) need to be reminded about upvoting and accepting. $\endgroup$ – mdp Nov 14 '13 at 11:34
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    $\begingroup$ Can we? I guess. The evidence seems to suggest that we are able to. Should we? Now that's another question.... $\endgroup$ – user642796 Nov 14 '13 at 11:35
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    $\begingroup$ I think if I ever saw that in an answer, I'd be tempted to edit in, "and if you don't like my answer, you can downvote it, and flag it as spam...." $\endgroup$ – Gerry Myerson Nov 14 '13 at 12:18
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    $\begingroup$ I should clarify that I thought this had been said in a comment - I don't think it should appear in an answer. It also probably shouldn't be said until the OP has given some indication that they like the answer. $\endgroup$ – mdp Nov 14 '13 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson, We should add something to that effect to the Tour! $\endgroup$ – Antonio Vargas Nov 14 '13 at 19:37
  • $\begingroup$ It's not polite at all but maybe along the @mdp idea. $\endgroup$ – Felix Marin Oct 6 '16 at 2:13

My take:

The only situation in which this is appropriate is if users express gratitude in comments, but do not appear to have voted (e.g. all answers of zero score, no accept). It should then be placed in a comment reply to the expression of gratitude.

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    $\begingroup$ I would add that one shouldn't delete the comment afterwards. $\endgroup$ – Michael Greinecker Nov 14 '13 at 12:22
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    $\begingroup$ I will add that I have done this when the OP has thanked me for my help or in some other way acknowledged the usefulness of my answer, has not voted, and does not appear to have a pattern of upvoting/accepting answers. $\endgroup$ – Ron Gordon Nov 14 '13 at 14:00

I'm going to throw in my $2$ cents here.

I think it's acceptable to ask a user to accept or vote up and answer if

  1. They have shown some gratitude but not voted (like what Lord_Farin said)
  2. If they are a new user and you don't think they are aware of accepting or upvoting an answer
  3. If the question has had no upvotes or accepted answers and the OP has indicated somehow that an answer has worked. (linked to $1$)

New users, I believe, sometimes don't know they can accept an answer or upvote it (if they have enough rep). As a matter of fact, they might even know what "accept" is. So, informing them of how to upvote or pick an answer they liked is not wrong, in my opinion. This also helps us decrease the amount of "unanswered questions" that have actually been answered satisfactorily and therefore, increases the amount of questions that have been answered. To make sure you are informing them and not just nudging them to choose your answer, you can leave a neutral comment like

If you liked this answer or any of the other answers provided by the other users then you can click the check mark beside the answer to "accept" it. If you have 15 rep or above, then you can even upvote an answer to show gratitude; you can upvote multiple answers. This will help the user and yourself.

  • $\begingroup$ Thanks @Lord_Farin! A little embarrassed that I misspelled "gratitude". :) $\endgroup$ – Jeel Shah Nov 14 '13 at 16:12
  • $\begingroup$ You didn't; I changed the comma to a semicolon, to disambiguate "you can upvote multiple times" in a sensible manner. :) $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin Nov 14 '13 at 17:24
  • $\begingroup$ oh haha! I just saw the word crossed out and I thought I misspelled it but I guess not $\endgroup$ – Jeel Shah Nov 14 '13 at 17:43
  • $\begingroup$ In my comments in this spirit, I tend to point out that they can still change the accepted answer later on, in case better answers turn up. So they don't have to wait for the perfect answer before accepting. $\endgroup$ – MvG Nov 20 '13 at 21:44
  • $\begingroup$ @MvG That may be slightly misleading. With the high volume of questions, I think many users are skipping a lot of questions based on the presence of an accepted answer ("Nothing to gain here"). I consider it generally best to not change the "accept". $\endgroup$ – Lord_Farin Nov 21 '13 at 8:18

In general, it is nice to increase the percentage of questions with accepted answers. So, if a question has one or more answers that seem to fully answer the question, particularly if the asker is new to the site (low rep), it is fine to leave a polite comment to the effect of "Is there another aspect of the question that needs to be addressed? If not, you are able to 'accept' your preferred answer by clicking the check mark beside it."

However, that comment should be made politely. Wait for several days, or longer, to make sure the asker has a chance to look at the answers, and don't badger or harass them. Just a short, polite comment will do - the asker can act on it, or ignore it, as they see fit.

It should not be necessary to put this into the answer itself. It goes without saying that any good answer can be accepted. The comments/notification system is a better way to contact the asker later if they don't accept any answer.


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