Here on PSE, there are many answers for the same question, can all be possibly true in their own ways. So, it makes me to think

  • Which answer is correct? Its not necessary that the answer that satisfy me should be correct or vice versa? Is there any criteria upon which I can decide the correctness of the answer?

2 Answers 2


Answer selection is a very free thing, so don't feel pressured to do it in any particular way. It's not even necessary to select an answer. You can delay in selecting one, never select one, change your selection, or remove your selection later.

The purpose of selecting an answer is just to give a little extra bonus to the answer's author. You could select an answer for any of these reasons and it would be valid:

  • the first answer given
  • the most detailed answer
  • the most well reasoned answer
  • the clearest answer
  • the answer which helped you learn the most
  • the most interesting answer, giving insights beyond the question itself

If you really like an answer, go ahead and select it. If later on, through comments from other people, or just from your own thinking, you realise that it's incorrect or problematic for some other reason, you are free to unselect it at that time.



i'd hope that everyone across all sites on the web would greenlight a response based on a combination of:

  • how helpful it was to you (sufficiently helpful)
  • and how helpful the question asker thinks it would be to most ppl in a longer-term way

this is how i would do it across all sites, but everyone is different

im not active on this site, but based on experiences on other sites, i personally have never upvoted or downvoted anything. some users vote base on if they agree or dont like something, and given how incredibly biased many ppl are, i think that this is a very dangerous and harmful thing for users to be doing on the web

in my experience with googling, i dont often come across stack exchange sites, but for the questions i've needed answers for, i've noticed these key problems with how other ppl greenlight responses:

  • they sometimes would greenlight responses that werent the best answers, but simply because that was the first response (so those users arent doing a comparative review of the responses), and some users dont seem to ever return to that prior question they asked

  • i cant think of anything else, that's the biggest problem, but i believe, stack exchange doesnt sort/show the greenlight answer first anymore, it's effect thereby has become much less helpful to (almost insignificant) to anyone that was looking for the best answer

overall when i looked at stackexchange questions in a more systemic manner, i've found them to be too specific to be helpful to me across many topics & contexts. and i personally have found the pre-existing past answers on quora much much more helpful across many topics & contexts, but because of various factors especially that there's been more growth in 'general' users, the quality of the content/answers on that site has definitely degraded over time

this also generally shows that votes & greenlight-type features generally do not mean much, especially on a site like reddit.... where the mob would rule

again, i'd hope that everyone across all sites on the web would greenlight an answer essentially based on an aggregated form of helpfulness (sufficiently helpful)

and it's what i'd do for example on the question that i asked ELI5: what is 'Pragmatic Encroachment'? in which i asked cos i dont think there were any more appropriate sites on the web for me to ask it save for emailing the right professor (that would sufficiently know the answer) somewhere on this globe

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .