Why does the accept rate no longer appear? [duplicate]

Just curious: why does the accept rate of the OP no longer appear in the question?

• meta.SO answer – J. M. isn't a mathematician Apr 7 '13 at 2:31
• @J.M. Thank you very much. – Julien Apr 7 '13 at 3:01
• You can answer your own question if you want. – J. M. isn't a mathematician Apr 7 '13 at 3:14
• See also Acceptance rate no longer shown? (Perhaps a duplicate?) – Martin Sleziak Apr 7 '13 at 8:10
• @Martin Obviously I had not noticed that... Then this is definitely a total duplicate. And I'll go upvote your answer there right away. I don't know why I did not see this link... – Julien Apr 7 '13 at 19:35
• Thanks :-) ${}{}$ – Martin Apr 7 '13 at 19:39

As suggested by J.M., I will answer this to close the case.

This has been extensively discussed here on meta.SO.

In addition to the official reason, I'll add (one view of) some unofficial experience specific to this site. I think the problem goes beyond accept rate data.

There are several prolific users in MSE who are extremely active, and frequently hostile, in comment-attacking others about not accepting answers --- usually when the attacker has posted one of the answers. Part of this problem, the use of the accept rate statistic in making the attacks, is solved by hiding the statistic. The rest of the problem is still very much alive, and is visible in threads with multiple relentless comments against the OP if he/she makes the mistake of answering the first complaint and interacting with the attacker.

The users who post these kinds of persistent aggressive meta-comments tend to have unusually high rates of downvoting. That makes it slightly entertaining or anthropologically interesting to see their lectures on accept rate filling up the comments, but if there are ways to reduce the hostile policing of answer acceptance that would probably be better than seeing the same display re-iterate itself again and again.

• Interesting point, thanks. I'll keep an eye on the correlation you mention. – Julien Apr 7 '13 at 19:25
• 17 months ago there was a proposal for standardized meta comments. One of the goals of standardization was to help to eliminate such tension on the main site. If (e.g. by voting on meta) the community agrees on a polite standard meta comment on each contentious issue, this might help to avoid some of the friction on the main site. – Math Gems Apr 7 '13 at 20:31
• ... and, of course, one shouldn't forget that hiding the statistic doesn't do anything to solve the problem that prompts the complaints. – user14972 Apr 8 '13 at 3:59
• Has one forgotten that? It could be that non-acceptance of answers is not really a problem, and Stackexchange is recognizing some of that by backing off ever so slightly from a flawed philosophy that was causing the trouble. @Hurkyl . – zyx Apr 8 '13 at 4:29
• @zyx: It's a very reasonable fear, especially when the announcement that a change preventing people from easily identifying the underlying problem is not accompanied with any assurances that the underlying problem is being addressed, and people celebrating the change are poisoning the well against those who complain about the underlying problem. – user14972 Apr 8 '13 at 4:37
• @Hurkyl, I don't think speaking in veiled terms helps anyone here. By "underlying problem" do you mean a significant fraction (or so I assume) of correctly answered questions not having accepted answers? Or that particular users have low accept rates? Or (something else)? There are people who point out the nonacceptance of an answer politely, once, or maybe twice per question; and then there are those who engage in relentless, repetive and aggressive comment wars to make (ostensibly) the same point. It could be their excesses that "poisoned the MSE well" enough to have the rate hidden. – zyx Apr 8 '13 at 4:55
• @zyx: By "poisoning the well", I mean things like your second paragraph which implies complaints are just sour grapes, or the third paragraph which makes the complainers out to be abnormal in a bad way worthy of mocking. – user14972 Apr 8 '13 at 5:52
• By "underlying problem" I mean whatever problem the people who complain are complaining about. While I've made the abstract recognition that acceptance votes are important to how SE works, I haven't had any actual feelings on the issue in any fashion and have never given it much thought, so I can do no more than point out the obvious "their complaints are in regard to low accept rates". – user14972 Apr 8 '13 at 5:55
• @Hurkyl, the jab was plain enough, which is why I didn't ask about it. Your reading is a bit off, though; the second paragraph does not imply anything about sour grapes, and (if it matters) that is not the motivation I would assign to the comment aggressors. It is an empirical observation that I claim is accurate in diagnosing the situation. The relentless-repetitive-aggressive type of comment combatants are abnormal in a bad way, and (not coincidentally) tend to be at the forefront of dispensing sarcastic mockery on this site. I think they can handle having the mirror held up to them. – zyx Apr 8 '13 at 6:08
• Defining a valid problem to exist because people complain is precisely the fallacy that I was getting at. What SE has done, apparently, is to recognize that it's either not really a problem, or much less of a problem than the negative activity in the comment threads. I don't have strong feelings either about the acceptance votes, but if in a year SE drops the concept of acceptance altogether, I can't at the moment see why that would be a bad thing, and if the sky does not then fall (as it didn't when suppressing accept rate) the complaints would seem outsized, in hindsight. (@Hurkyl) – zyx Apr 8 '13 at 6:15
• Intentional or not, the phrasing of the second paragraph definitely plants the idea that the complaints are sour grapes. I suppose I left out an important connotation in my criticism of the third paragraph: that their abnormality means they are to be mocked and derided, rather than having their complaints taken seriously. (that is the rhetorical effect that "poisoning the well" induces, which is why I didn't think to make the connection explicit in my explanation) – user14972 Apr 8 '13 at 6:24
• You presume a lot. As far as I can tell, SE has merely announced "accept rate will no longer be shown" with explanation " the negative behavior its display encourages outweighs its benefits." There is no indication given that SE has considered people's complaints and believes them to be unfounded. Or that SE acknowledges there is a problem and is continuing to address it behind the scenes. Or anything else along those lines. There is just "we're taking away your ability to complain." – user14972 Apr 8 '13 at 6:28
• The second paragraph is consistent with sour grapes being a factor, but is also consistent with other possibilities. Nothing in the answer takes any position on how the ostensible complaint (accept rates) should be viewed, whoever it comes from and however they communicated it. Nor, for that matter, do I have any definite opinion (and never expressed one) about non-hostile complaints. The answer talks only about the phenomenon of recurring hostile complaints and their authors. SE's "the negatives outweigh" is much the same as the second of the two alternatives that I "presumed". @Hurkyl – zyx Apr 8 '13 at 6:46
• Incidentally, the ability to complain seems to be the same. The accept rate or some idea of it, can be derived from a user's Questions list. – zyx Apr 8 '13 at 7:36