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We seem to have a lot of questions here that get answers, but go years without an answer ever being given a check-mark. Every so often, these questions get bumped to the top of the stack by Community, but they need nothing other than to have an answer accepted.

I've tried putting a comment on the OP:

Did you ever get this resolved? If so, please give a check-mark to the answer that helped you the most, or write up your own answer explaining what you did to get it fixed and give yourself a check mark. That will help others with this kind of problem know that this has a resolution and is a good place to look for their answer.

In the hopes that someone would come back to select an answer. I think it's worked once. :/ For others, I'm voting to close, especially if there are unanswered questions in the comments on the OP. Often, the questions not answered by the OP leave it vague enough that we really can't generate an answer of any sort.

Generally, though, efforts to get a "non-invested" user to come back is pretty futile when the question is a year or more old and the OP has 1 rep. They're just not gonna come back. Either they hired out the project to get it fixed, they gave up on it, or they just bodged it in the hopes of not burning their house down.

Sometimes, though, there is a really good answer or two to the question, but it's just not been accepted. This is an example - it's got an upvote, it's got an answer that seems quite reasonable, and the OP even gave feedback on the answer. The OP has a bit of rep, but hasn't been back to [DIY] in a year. Is there a way for a mod to mark an answer as accepted?

I imagine the answer is "no", but I think this would be a good feature within some constraints like:

  • If the question is more than 1 year old without an accepted answer, then
    • A mod could accept the most highly upvoted answer.
    • A quorum of highly rated users (over 10k rep, or 20k rep, or... pick a number) could vote to accept an answer.
    • A quorum of users with at least a bronze badge in one of the tags could vote to accept an answer.
    • Some other criteria I haven't thought of.

Maybe I'm just more OCD than most about these types of things, but it strikes me as rather rude to ask for free help and not come back to say "thank you" within the rules of the community (i.e. up votes & a check mark). When I see these old questions pop up for no good reason other than the laziness of the OP, it's annoying and I want to make them go away...

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  • FWIW I have left questions without a check mark either because none of the answers actually answers the question yet some of them are pretty informative, or because it actually takes me months to determine if an answer is correct, or because I have answered the question myself using collated content from other answers and comments and do not feel I have "earned" the check mark. (Contrast to when I Ask and Answer by design, then I check mark my own answer).
    – jay613
    Mar 21 at 11:36
  • I just answered one such question that was left hanging with no answers for 6 years. Solutions in comments (___ stop doing that!___) that the OP likely used to DIY. I don't care if I get the check mark or points for upvotes. I wanted an answer and had to find out for myself anyway! Jun 13 at 23:11
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For Community to bump the question, it must be:

non-negatively scored, open questions every hour that have at least one answer scoring 0 and none scoring more than that

(Source)

Therefore my suggestion when community bumps something that you think doesn't need to be bumped, vote! Either down vote the question if it is unlikely to help anyone else, needs improvement to be properly answered, and it's unlikely to be followed up by the OP. Or upvote the answer that caused community to bump the question, that's as good as a blue check mark for the Community bot to leave it alone. Or post an answer if there aren't any upvote worthy answers. None of these will cost you any reputation (only downvoting answers, not questions, costs reputation), and will help improve the site for others.

As for allowing mods or high rep users to force accept an answer, that would require a change at SE, not DIY.SE, so asking on meta.stackexchange.com would be better if you really want that to happen.

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  • Cool. Thanks! I suppose I should read the docs instead of asking someone else to do my research for me... :(
    – FreeMan
    Dec 8 '20 at 13:11
  • There may well be a bug in the community bump system (or in my understanding of your description). This question was bumped. It had 0 total votes (I down voted based on your answer here, but retracted it to leave it for review). It has 1 answer with 1 up vote (I'd up voted, but again retracted to leave it as it was for review). However, it was bumped. Do I not understand correctly or is there a bug...
    – FreeMan
    Jan 25 at 14:03
  • OK, this should probably be a new "question"...
    – FreeMan
    Jan 25 at 14:03
  • @FreeMan for asking the question, check on meta.SE, rather than diy.meta.SE, since the community bump is setup/configured for all sites, not just ours.
    – BMitch Mod
    Jan 25 at 14:07
  • I'll get it posted some time today...
    – FreeMan
    Jan 25 at 14:13
  • I will say that this seems to have worked quite well! A campaign of down voting old questions that were bumped seems to have lead to very few "last updated by Community" tags each day.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 14 at 11:27
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Keep in mind that "disappearing OPs" are also an artifact of StackExchange's mellow approach to user accounts. Casual site visitors are given persistent cookies meant to survive 20 years or so. StackExchange makes that cookie an account; it can ask, answer, earn rep and gain privileges.

And so, users forget to actually register their account. (Registering means setting up an email/password, or tying it to SSO with Google or Facebook).

Each browser (Chrome, Firefox) has a different cookie, as does every username-on-the-PC (Harper vs HarperAdmin) as does every device (old PC, new PC, tablet, phone). Heck, we lose em just when they switch to their phone to take the photos we asked for! Further, "delete your cookies regularly" is stock advice from privacy experts.

A huge number of "Reputation 1 (+10 per upvote this post)" users are cookie users. StackExchange doesn't know their email, so it can't send them notices.

They don't reply... because they can't.

That cookie is long gone, gotten rid of 3 phones ago.

Heck, we have one regular poster here who relies on cookie accounts, and also expires cookies regularly. I got yelled at for giving them the stock "Welcome to SE, take the tour" rigmarole.

Admins have a mechanism to merge accounts, but surely there's some security on that; admins may not be able to see enough commonality (IP geolocation etc.) to justify merging a 4-years-gone cookie account.

Perhaps the SE Bump-er-ator ought to take cookie accounts into account when deciding to bump.

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  • Another excellent suggestion for the SE "take advice from their users and follow up on it" department... I've been doing my best to use BMitch's advice to get these ancient questions to quit being bumped - either a down vote on the question, and up voted answer or a VtC if I can generate a good reason, or just "abandoned" if I can't...
    – FreeMan
    Dec 20 '20 at 22:02
  • This would be a great feature request on meta.se.
    – BMitch Mod
    Apr 14 at 11:43

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