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I realized that currently, it's possible to accept/upvote in a completely separate way.

I don't think the following situations make any sense:

  • user downvotes the answer but accepts it as best
  • the user accepts answer as best but doesn't upvote it
  • the user accepts answer A, doesn't upvote it, but upvote answer B

My suggestion would be that if a user accepts an answer as best, it automatically counts as an upvote as well.

Curious to see your thoughts

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The first situation doesn't really make sense; I've seen users (on other sites in the Stack Exchange network) doing the second because while the accepted answer helped them best, it isn't really likely to be useful for future readers.

My suggestion would be that if a user accepts an answer as best, it automatically counts as an upvote as well.

It sort of does; you get 15 reputation from an accepted answer, which is 1.5 times the 10 reputation you get from an upvote.

The reason that the system works this way is that everyone is able to accept an answer to their question, but upvoting requires 15 reputation. The system could make an exception for this, but exceptions are harder to program and maintain, so it's not done unless there is a real benefit (which is e.g. the case for comments; new users can post comments on their own posts and on answers to their own question, even if they don't have 50 reputation).

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  • $\begingroup$ Might be possible to program that you can only accept if you haven't downvoted? For the accept/no upvote situation, I added a third scenario, which is where things get weird to me. To me, acceptance is above upvoting, which is why you get more points for it. So I find it weird that you can "skip" a step $\endgroup$ May 7 '20 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ The third situation happens (in even rarer cases) where the user wants to reward answers A and B about equally. My main point is that we shouldn't force those kind of 'decisions' on users. If I vote to close a question, that doesn't necessarily mean I want to downvote it; it could be a decent question but just not a good fit for the site. (NOTE: this is all just opinion, I can see definitely see your point.) $\endgroup$
    – Glorfindel
    May 7 '20 at 7:56
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Upvoting, at least for me, is related to the quality of the answer/question and it's general relevance.

If a answer is poorly written or lazy, but solves the problem, accepting it would make sense (since it solves the problem) while upvoting it would not.

Also downvoting an answer you accepted must be really rare. Downvoting an answer is not something taken lightly since you loose reputation for it.

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