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I was puzzled when I checked my SO rep the other day to see an unaccepted answer. So, I duly had a look to see where I'd gone wrong.

It seems the OP had unaccepted my answer in favour of one he/she later wrote, covering the same ground. Whilst I'm a big fan of people finding their own answers and sharing with the community, it just feels a little off.

Has anyone else seen this happening, and if so, is it a big enough issue to address?

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Did their own answer bring together several answers? – ChrisF Nov 10 '11 at 23:17
Nope. But as I say, I'm not really interested in my specific case (I can afford 15 points), just wondered if it was a trend. – Phil Lello Nov 10 '11 at 23:24
You can unaccept answers? – animuson Nov 10 '11 at 23:25
That I find more worrying. Perhaps it indicates someone who doesn't fully understand how Stack Exchange works. – ChrisF Nov 10 '11 at 23:25
@animuson - yes, either accept a different answer or clear the tick on the current one. – ChrisF Nov 10 '11 at 23:26
I've seen this general thing happen -- a low-rep user switched their accept to a self-answer when as far as you knew, your answer solved their problem perfectly. Sometimes it's for their own, identical answer, as you describe, sometimes it's because they actually wanted something different than what they asked for, and eventually they come up with it, when you had no way of knowing that was what they wanted. – agf Nov 11 '11 at 0:03
For reference, I believe this is the answer in question: stackoverflow.com/questions/7855758/… – NullUserException อ_อ Nov 11 '11 at 2:05
@NullUserException Yes, but I didn't want to make this about me :) – Phil Lello Nov 11 '11 at 8:40

1 Answer 1

Without seeing a link to the question and answer there's no way to say if the self-answer was an improvement or not. I know I've unaccepted another answer in favor of my own before, but only because I was able to get my own code to compile and work correctly after a few modifications to the original code.

To partially answer your question, I've only heard of this happening a few times. According to the data explorer, only around 119,000 questions on Stack Overflow (about 5.2% of all questions posted) have self-accepted answers, so there's a relatively low upper limit on the number of times this could be happening.

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