This seems to be a rare phenomenon, actually I only know one example of it.

The question Alternate definition of ordinals ? is very interesting. It has three answers, one accepted by OP with zero votes, and two practically identical ones with five upvotes each, and many informative comments.

I have strong feeling that there is something wrong here and it must be corrected somehow. Or should it be actually left as is?

  • 7
    $\begingroup$ Indeed this is not a good example of what should happen. However, the person who chooses to accept is the original question poster, and that person's choice should be respected. The best you could do short of moderation is edit the question (and perhaps the accepted answer) to emphasize the quality of the non accepted answers. However, choose the wording of the edits carefully to avoid the appearance of soliciting votes. Gerhard "This Posting Needs No Eidting" Paseman, 2017.07.22. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 23:13
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ Gerhard's right. I'll say more strongly that the way the OP acted was in very bad taste (and in fact his answer is "not an answer", as a recent flag puts it). However, the OP has not visited the site in almost 4 years, so the water has long passed under that bridge. Belated thanks to Joel and Emil for their nice answers, though. $\endgroup$
    – Todd Trimble Mod
    Commented Jul 22, 2017 at 23:30
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I just voted to delete the ersatz "answer" and encourage others to do so as well. We can't accept one of the other answers, but we can at least get rid of the bad one. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 18:35
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Campaign successful – ersatz answer deleted. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 5:00
  • $\begingroup$ @GerryMyerson There should be a (pink) tag "case closed", similarly to bugs :D $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 5:03
  • $\begingroup$ @მამუკაჯიბლაძე AFAIK tags such as (status-completed) can be added only by moderators (and other diamond-bearing users). Still, I am not sure to which extent such tag would be a good fit here. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 13:16
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak Yes I agree. My comment was not entirely serious in fact. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 13:17

1 Answer 1


Apparently there is nothing wrong with this: we even have a special badge, called "Populist" awarded for the answer which outscores the accepted answer by a factor of 2. The reasons of this phenomenon are simple: a better answer can be entered after some answer is accepted, and also the opinion of the person who asked the question may differ from the "popular opinion" expressed in voting. I think this is normal.

  • $\begingroup$ In general, of course. -- But do you think this holds also for the particular case the question asks about? $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 19:08
  • $\begingroup$ @Stefan Kohl: In that question I see two answers with score 11, and none accepted. There is also a deleted answer. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 21:26
  • $\begingroup$ The deleted answer was the accepted one -- that's what I mean. $\endgroup$
    – Stefan Kohl Mod
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 21:38
  • $\begingroup$ @Stefan Kohl: I am not in position to evaluate those answers because I am not an expert in the subject. But the case indeed seem strange. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 21:39

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