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Stack Exchange recently changed the way answers are sorted on Stack Overflow, meaning that accepting an answer no longer pins it to the top (regardless of sorting method). It still has the green checkmark next to it, and accepting an answer is still exactly the same for the purposes of reputation, badges, green marker next to a question etc.

Stack Exchange are also asking the other sites in the network whether they'd like this behaviour or not, as this is now a site-configurable setting.

Does anyone on this site have a preference? Personally think that a lot of the questions on this forum fall into a similar tech-y vibe as SO and that many of the 'accepted' answers can become incorrect over time, but curious as to if others agree.

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If the accepted answer was, at the time, the best answer, then pinning it to the top is good.

However, if, over time, or even because the first answer was accepted too early, then another answer far outweighing it for votes deserves to be at the top instead.

This is rare, but not unknown.

Have a look at the most popular QAs sorted by either 'frequent' or 'votes' to see how this pans out long-term, for the big hitters.

Sometimes, a question will get two or three very similar answers in a short space of time. If one is chosen quickly, or if the question hits HNQ, then the general balance tends to get skewed anyway. I don't personally think this exception is sufficient to justify keeping the accepted answer pinned, if another answer outstrips it.
It may, in fact, benefit the 'best' answer as voted by the community, rather than one chosen for personal reasons.

I think even in outlying cases where an answer becomes simply 'wrong' over time, to be replaced by a 'more correct' one - this will not influence the results unless the OP ever returns to change the accepted answer.
'Newly correct' answers take quite some time to outstrip the 'previously correct' even with the best of intentions.

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  • Agreed. If there were an option to parameterize this such that answers with at least 5, but no fewer than twice the number of votes on the accepted answer float above the accepted, that would be ideal. The accepted answer was, as you said, right at some point so should remain the canonical answer but tech does shift. Sep 23 at 3:57
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This is a great question and I missed the discussion on the SE Meta site. Although I think a 1-week test of this change is bit short and can be misleading and the results be misinterpreted I believe this site would benefit from having the accepted answer pinned to the top.

With development sites, languages and their associated activities can move much quicker from "accepted answer" to "doesn't work anymore". In those cases, I would agree that pinning could be good way to stop the copy/paste of bad code.

On this site, things don't change as quickly or as often. Good, applicable, accepted answers should be the first thing a person sees when trying to solve a problem or get more info.

When an aswer is accepted, it indicates that the writer of the original question found that answer to be the most helpful or correct for their specific case. Having a close visual association of the solution to the problem is very helpful for everyone else reading the question.

Yes, there are times when the answer with the most votes is not the accepted answer and that answer is lower in the list. While I don't have any specific data to back this up, based on my years on this site, that doesn't happen too often.

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  • "Yes, there are times when the answer with the most votes is not the accepted answer and that answer is lower in the list. While I don't have any specific data to back this up, based on my years on this site, that doesn't happen too often." This seems to be supporting unpinning accepted answers. If your experience is that the answer with the most votes is usually the accepted answer, sorting by most votes won't change that. Also I'd argue that Apple related advice is similar to code sites in the sense of "this changed with the new macOS" or "do this on M1". Don't see the downside.
    – Alex Beals
    Sep 20 at 2:10

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