We do answer questions for free, however we do spend our time to make high quality answers and build them aesthetically attractive.

The only things we get back for our efforts are virtual bounties - i.e. scores and badges. If they are unimportant let's eliminate them. However, they ARE important, by them we and others know who answer the question and how the answer is valid and reliable (I hope).

Sometimes, the OPs with reputation of 1 point just don't realise these facts and allow to themselves just to comment: "Thanks! I spent hours to find the answer" and not upvote or accept any answer at all.

So, the question is - is it ethical for us to ask the OP to upvote or accept the answer if the OP is satisfied and commented about that?

Let's see an example -

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I spent 30 minutes for searching data and building the answer, so probably, IF, the OP found the answer useful (by commenting), can I ask to upvote or... as Scott said don't be a moron worrying about ratings, points, badges etc. (Scott, I changed your sentence a little bit for the amplification purposes :))

3 Answers 3


If I answer a question and someone says thanks or something to make me believe it worked for them I'll comment along the lines.

"Hey glad it helped. If you could mark it the correct answer it helps the site stay organized."

Actually what I did was say "...it will help us get out of beta" but that wouldn't work any longer

  • I like this. It shows you're commenting to help new users understand how the site works (rather than being greedy) Apr 17, 2014 at 12:03
  • 2
    I sometimes do this as well, though it kind of feels weird to do it on one of my own answers as if it gives of the appearance that I'm begging for imaginary points. I will, however, jump at the opportunity to add a comment to someone else's answer if I come across the situation
    – JohnB
    Apr 17, 2014 at 19:38
  • @JohnB upvoting ranges the answers from useful to useless ones, this is the only way for new comers and other users to see what is the best answer. Accepting the answer - best to OP.
    – Ilan
    Apr 19, 2014 at 9:16

I think it is fair enough, done nicely. Admittedly, I do not do it on my own answers, but rather on others. Say - you have given an answer the OP expresses is dead on (but only then), I usually write something like:

Hi there - if @nnn answered your question please upvote and tick the box next to it to indicate that this solved the problem. This is good for everyone as it shows at a glance that the problem has a solution.

It IS good for the community that questions are marked as accepted.

I have had some questions where the OP simply disappeared after my answer, and admittedly that pisses me off. If you are a novice, and cannot contribute to the site in other ways, then the "accept" is is a pretty simple thing. But point it out nicely. It is a gentle way to teach newbies how this works.

I am the only owner of the badge Tenacious and I do not see that as a good thing.

  • Probably it is useful to reference new comers to this discussion...
    – Ilan
    Apr 17, 2014 at 11:15
  • Possibly; and of course you could link to the general this-is-how-se-works. But chances are that few newbies will actually bother reading it. So a gentle hint; I see nothing wrong with that.
    – benteh
    Apr 17, 2014 at 11:16
  • 1
    Personally i say "Feel free to accept and up vote if you feel the answer is worth it". The thing is we have some new users who do not know how the site operates. On the other hand if somebody ha a rep of300 and or rep on other SE sites and does not up vote I'm fine with that. Then at least they know what they are doing (or forgot, but they will probably come back to it)
    – joojaa
    May 25, 2015 at 19:36

One should never provide answers expecting a return. (same for loaning money to family :) ) I answer questions for selfish reason... answering improves my work and my abilities to explain sometimes complex matters in easily understood terms. It's exercise for my logic and communication skills. I've never answered anything with the votes being the motivation.

Now, I realize it's pretty easy to look at my rep and badges and call "BS!" on that, but truth be told I've never worried about any votes or badges too much. (Just don't ask about Winter Hats. :) ) If anything regarding votes concerns me, it may be that I prefer explanations for down votes merely so I can know where I'm incorrect or lacking. But explanation are pretty rare.

I have pages of answers with no accepted marks and I suspect any votes were from others, not the original user. In beta, we got a lot of drive-by users who seemingly never returned to the site.

I think ti's okay to ask for an up vote or accept vote. Many new users aren't aware of how things work. I sure wasn't when I first found an SE site. And it wasn't until someone commented to "accept the answer" that I realize I needed to do that.

  • I take you as a perfect verbalisation example!
    – Ilan
    Apr 17, 2014 at 18:11
  • I don't do it for myself. I've never asked for upvote and only asked for "accept answer if it solved it" when we were in beta, after learning that the percentage of unanswered questions directly affected our status
    – Ryan
    Apr 17, 2014 at 19:44

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