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I haven't been here for very long, so take my perspective for whatever it's worth.

I agree that it's not super-obvious how to mark an answer as correct or why this would be important.

That being said, I'm not sure how much people would bother, even if it were more obvious. In the short time I've spent here, I've noticed many questions that people could answer for themselves if they just took a little time reading the documentation and help files to do so. Or even doing an online search. I suspect many users of free software only think of it as "free beer".

The only two questions I have asked have turned out to be bugs (which I then reported). Maybe I'm wrong, but it didn't seem to me that marking responses confirming that these were indeed bugs as having answered the questions was the correct thing to do. Because, as unfixed bugs, the questions/problems remain.