Request to Implement a "Pin Answer" Feature


  • Scripting Helpers is home to lots of great answers and clever solutions to interesting problems that our community encounters. However, there are equally lots of not-so-great answers and substandard solutions, respectively.

    Disclaimer:
    I'm not saying this is a bad thing. People should feel free to answer someone's question with the intent of helping them even if they may be wrong or provide a substandard solution. If there's an issue with someone's answer, the community will eventually intervene and (usually) clear everything up. Everyone learns and everyone is happy. I have no problem with this.

    Issue:
    The problem is that sometimes there will be multiple answers to a question and the asker will accept the least constructive out of the bunch. More often than not, this occurs when someone posts an answer to a question that is only code with little or no explanation. Then the asker accepts the code-only answer, while other people may have given an overall more elaborate and well-thought-out response (including better code). This is just one example of many.

    This is Harmful for Several Reasons:

    • The asker misses out on a better learning opportunity (assuming they haven't considered the other answers once they've accepted one, which is most often the case).

    • It misleads people with similar questions who stumble upon the post and now think the accepted answer is the best (or only) solution.

    • The person(s) who wrote the more elaborate answer misses out on the credit they deserve.

    Proposal:
    Implement a pin answer feature that allows community moderators to use them with 100% claim weight. Other community members may also be allowed to vote on pinning an answer. Though, caution should be used to ensure it won't make the feature abusable.

    What Does Pinning an Answer Do?

    • Pinning an answer will move it to the top of the answer wall so it's the first thing everyone sees.

    • Pinning will take priority over accepted answers (meaning they will be displayed first while the accepted answer will be displayed second)

    • The author of the answer will be notified when their answer gets pinned.

    • The author of the question will be notified ONLY when... they have already accepted an answer and a new one has been pinned.

    • The author of the answer will gain reputation when their answer gets pinned? I couldn't come to a conclusion on this one. Perhaps this is for someone else to decide.

    Rules to Pinning Answers

    • Only one answer can be pinned at a time. This should be for obvious reasons.

    • Pinned answers may be unpinned at any time if the community, community mods, or staff consider it necessary.

    • Accepted answers cannot be pinned. This would be redundant. If the accepted answer is the best answer, there is no need to pin anything.

    This Will Help Solve the Problem in the Following Ways:

    • It may encourage the asker to consider the pinned answer over the one they previously accepted. It will also make it more accessible to them (it's the first thing they will see upon revisiting the post).

    • Future readers won't be mislead by the answer the asker accepted. Rather, they will notice the pinned answer first and realize that it is probably the better solution.

    • It will reward the author of the best answer with the credit they deserve for the time, effort, and accuracy they put into answering someone's question.

    That is my take on this idea. This is my first forum post so I apologize if I made this more complicated than it should be. I would appreciate everyone's thoughts on this idea. If you think it's abusable, redundant, or just not important enough to implement, I would also like to hear why.

    Thanks!


  • Oddly enough, I don't think I have an issue with a single part of what you've proposed. I'd love to know what others think about the idea.


  • I've been wondering about a solution to this problem for quite a while, and this one seems to check all the boxes for me. I hope some form of this solution will be implemented. My only thoughts about giving reputation upon being pinned:

    • It would incentivize answering when there is already a bad, accepted or upvoted, answer.
    • It would incentivize answering even if it might take a while, because you can still get rep, even if your answer is not accepted.
    • The rep earned from a pinning should be removed upon the answer being accepted.

  • @Phlegethon5778 So I understand correctly, you mean that if a pinned question also ends up being the accepted answer the answerer only receives rep once, correct? If so then I totally agree. If rep WAS awarded to people who had answers pinned it would either need to be the same amount as a regular answered question, or in the case of an answer ending up being both the higher of the 2 would apply but not the lesser amount.


  • I like it. Well explained answers are often under looked as many people can't be bothered with reading the whole thing out. Often, this is why people choose the answer with little to no description because all they want is easy fix.

    Original Poster must have every authority over whose answer they feel must be marked as accepted. There can also be a scenario when they just want a simple fix, and not need to know again, in detail, of what the problem is and all of that stuff.

    I think pinning an answer is a great feature. But here is how I think it should be done so.

    • I really don't like the fact that a user should hold 100% authority over it, especially since they are not a proper administrator on this site. I think for safety reasons, pinning the answer should not have the same claim as moderation vote, but lesser.
    • Pinning should take more priority over the accepted answers.
    • Author should gain reputation when their answers get pinned. More than regular acceptance. I propose around 20. I think they should gain more reputation points because this feature should be rarely used to begin with.
    • Pinning an answer can only happen when there is an accepted answer already.

    But frankly, something more important than this that should be implemented and should be more prioritized is the "Comment replies"

    Great post nevertheless.


  • @Zafirua Well, community mods already have near-complete control over questions and answers. The reason I proposed that community mods should get 100% claim weight is for the following reasons:

    • It would be consistent with the claim weight they already have for everything else.

    • We should keep in mind that we're talking about users with >= 2000 reputation, which the website considers credible people who have good judgement.

    • If a user wrongly pins an answer, it can always be unpinned and another answer can take it's place.

    When it comes down to it, this wouldn't really give the user more power. It's just using the power they already have. I appreciate your feedback; I'm willing to remain open-minded about any more thoughts you have about this, including the ones you've already shared.


  • @ScriptGuider Right, I completely forgot about the Community Moderator feature. My bad.

    Everything else looks good!


  • @ScriptGuider agreed. The questions these days are "fix this" questions and not learning questions. Hopefully if this is implemented askers are encouraged to learn

    I also find it funny that people who don't explain their answers are breaking basic guidelines

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  • I agree with this feature. It will allow askers to not only fix a problem in their game but learn WHY it wasn't working and WHAT the problem was. It will also motivate people to write better answers, and explain them better.


  • @ScriptGuider Now that I think about it, wouldn't the same result be granted if accepted answers weren't immediately pushed to the top of the list? That is, upvotes speak for themselves, so if a person spends a considerable amount of time writing a well-constructed answer, and it gets many upvotes, it shouldn't be pushed below the accepted, code-only answer.


  • @gioni01 I see what you mean, however, I don't believe it's necessarily the same thing. The accepted answer should still linger towards the top of the page, and not get thrown in with the other answers.

    If I'm understanding you correctly, it sounds like you're saying that if another answer has more up votes than the accepted answer, it will automatically get pinned. I'm not too sure how to feel about this, actually. I agree with you, but I also feel as if that could be abused.

    For example, if the accepted answer has zero up votes, but any other answer gets just one up vote, that answer will then take priority over the accepted answer. Again, I don't know if that's favorable or not. In theory, that should be a good thing. In practice, I'm not so sure.

    Good thinking!


  • This post is deleted!

  • @ScriptGuider Honestly, I think this would be a beautiful attribute to answers as this will definitely raise the confidence of both the poster for their said hard work and dedication for a constructive solution, and anybody who stumbles across this post in the time they’re in need. I believe the majority of Users think that after their answer isn’t accepted, it’s never going to be addressed again. This is incorrect. I wouldn’t be able to recite the amount of numerous times I’ve been directed to a Scripting Helpers post containg the solution to my problem.

    There are countless tutorials and or other forms of solutions out there that aren’t too easy to grasp on, this forum has posts that deeply discusses and lays out the mechanics of your problem that is easy to understand for all knowledge groups of the topic. Concludes with confidence and a well constructed, and efficient solution, to those who need it.

    Yet these are barely seen as they’ve been lost in a pile of poorly written and misleading answers. That even slightly became functional, overtook. Free code provided to the asker is a common way of getting accepted as they didn’t have to try, and a solution was provided quickly. Though this is preferred by most, you’ll find yourself endlessly falling back into the same issue as it was truly never solved. Pinning answers is a great way to bring back those answers that will really make a difference to those in need

    Though there is always bias, and I believe this system could be abused. The solution I’d like to provide today, mainly a recommendation in your eyes, would be preferably applying the same mechanics as it would be for community voting. Simply giving a Community Moderator such power would be too risky as it could lean in the wrong direction. I believe that instead, have a community moderator pool listing all pitched answers either by at least a number of members, or a moderator. Have it to be pinned only after a certain number of moderators approve of this pin too, or a great number of community votes.

    I also think that reputation should be rewarded as having an answer pinned has great meaning behind it, following it mostly being in good intentions for the betterment of peoples knowledge.

    Though instead of a permanent amount, an agreed upon, determined amount of which should be rewarded, somewhere around 15 upwards.


  • @simplealgorithm Awesome feedback!

    My reasoning behind the endorsement of giving community moderators full claim weight was based on the consensus that anyone who is a community moderator is in that position because they use good judgment and help their fellow community members.

    However, upon reading back on the other user replies again, I'm starting to see this from another point of view. I agreed with Zafirua in that this feature should be rarely used to begin with, and that putting trust into all of the community moderators individually to rarely use this feature may be a bad idea. We don't want people to treat pinning an answer as an "up vote," or "accepted answer" -- it should be much more valuable than that.

    In fact, it should be similar to how locking a question should be used. Though, they will have still have very distinct purposes. Locking a question should only be done if a Q/A is very helpful to the community and thus shouldn't receive any more feedback. Pinning an answer, however, says the user went above and beyond expectations while answering the question yet still remained on topic and relevant to what the asker posted -- an overall great-quality answer.

    Therefore, my conclusion is this: I don't think pinning an answer should be something that all community mods have to vote on -- that would just be kind of annoying to rally everyone together for pinning an answer (in my opinion, I'm open to what other people think). Instead, it should be something that is initiated by community mods, then voted on by the community (with some claim weight) and by other community mods (with more claim weight). I feel like this is a more balanced system, but again, please let me know what you think.

    Thanks.

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