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I have found a number of reasons to close a question of my own:

  1. I've found out it's a dupe
  2. it belongs on an SE site that didn't exist when the question was asked
  3. it is wrong; that is, based on incorrect assumptions, or so bad that I don't even want it answered

I think that the original poster should have special privileges regarding closing his or her own question (from here on I'll write his without loss of generality). If I understand belatedly that my question is a dupe, why wait for four others to agree? Even worse, if my question will get better answers on another site, why wait for five others to notice?

This isn't true for questions I didn't ask, because I don't necessarily know the intent of the asker. However, considering that I can delete my own questions, I'd like the option to close my questions by myself as well.

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3 Answers 3

You have to look at it like this: Once you post a question it is not exactly YOURS in every sense of the word anymore, it belongs to EVERYONE. You may be asking a question for a specific reason, but you must also remember that once you are done with the question, it is going to hang around and continue to exist for future users to see and learn from and to add new information.

If the question author had the ability to close questions, I would imagine that you'd start seeing a lot of people mistakenly closing questions that get answered because they will believe it is the proper thing to do (like closing a help desk ticket) and that is not correct at all. I could also imagine that users may be pretty click to hit the close button on items that don't get answered in a timely fashion, or hitting close button any time there is some sort of conflict over their question.

I still believe it is better to leave this up to the community or at the most calling for moderator attention if you believe it needs to be closed.

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8  
Then why can questions be deleted by the owner, a much more destructive action? Anyways, you can instruct the user when not to close it (for example, because it had no answers) with an alert(), as it is done when you try to answer your own question. –  Andreas Bonini Jan 24 '10 at 19:18
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@Kop: You can't delete a question with upvoted answers. –  Gelatin Sep 18 '10 at 19:58
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How about limiting it to close as dupe? –  badp May 22 '11 at 7:54

I believe that it would make sense for the asker voting to close being more heavily weighted, although whether this is worth implementing is another matter

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I totally agree with TheTXI when he says,

"Once you post a question it is not exactly YOURS in every sense of the word anymore, it belongs to EVERYONE."

However, there is an exception to this. If after a certain amount of time your question doesn't have any answers, you should be able to close it.

For example, I asked this question over a month ago. It got 125 views as of today, but not a single answer. I'm pretty sure no one is going to meaningfully answer it, and I also no longer have the need for the question to be answered - nor the facility to check if a submitted answer is correct, even if one showed up. There are three reasons why I should be able to revoke it.

  1. Revoking the question weeds out pages that are unlikely to add insight to users coming from google to seek answers.
  2. Long-unanswered questions actually deter people from using the site. Every time I google a question and come up with some unanswered question on a forum somewhere, I think to myself, "well, I'll never post there - this community must not be very active on this topic."
  3. Inexperienced users like me have two incentives to offer to people to answer their questions: starting a bounty and maintaining a high accept rate percentage. Inexperienced users will naturally have less points to start a bounty with, therefore it's very important they maintain a high accept rate percentage in order to encourage people to answer their questions. If you ask a question that you're pretty sure is going to lay fallow, you shouldn't have to live with the decreased accept percentage; you should be able to close or revoke the question.

It makes total sense to have to wait until five people notice to close another person's question - the community use case there is assuring that questions don't get prematurely closed by other people unless the community really decides that it's flamebait or a rediculous question. This proposal, however, services an entirely different community use case - cleaning out questions that are just pollution.

If this change is not instituted, it will give users a (negative) incentive to simply "edit" their posts to turn them into entirely new questions. If that incentive is your idea of a feature, then we should make it clear that users are expected to rewrite their former useless questions to keep their accept rate up.

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Unanswered questions aren't included in accept rate calculations. –  Aarobot Dec 26 '10 at 0:52
    
...but questions you asked a long time ago, that were answered only much later after you had stopped monitoring them---exactly the case here---do count in accept rate calculations! –  A.M. Jun 18 '13 at 13:26

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