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After marveling at this thread, it occurred to me that there should be a limit on self-answers on non-wiki questions. This is mainly to protect the user from themselves so they can only use comments to respond, not inadvertantly spam the answer list.

Obviously, the user is not a native English speaker, so s/he may not get the subtle difference between a comment and an answer. If coming from the forum world, that shiny text box at the bottom of the post is the only way to respond.

Edit: Following Kyle's comment: How about a way for a mod to turn an answer into a comment?

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Maybe a mod function to turn an answer into a comment? –  Kyle Cronin Jul 17 '09 at 15:37
    
@Kyle Cronin : I didn't see your comment and answered the question. Agreed ! –  Canavar Jul 17 '09 at 15:42
    
The promote/demote question has been asked meta.stackexchange.com/questions/6074/answer-new-question –  Brad Gilbert Jul 17 '09 at 19:03
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Also see meta.stackexchange.com/questions/36247/… –  Ether Jan 20 '10 at 1:28
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@Kyle: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/35175/… –  Jon Seigel Jan 21 '10 at 13:33

3 Answers 3

The "Your Answer" box isn't shown on your own questions. It's replaced by an "Answer Your Question" button and you get the following dialog if you click it:

Are you sure you want to answer your own question?

If you're responding to answers left on your question, enter comments under each answer.

If you need to add details to your own question, use the edit link under your question.

If you persist after that, well....

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Fair enough, but I think a hard limit (on non-wikis) would be a good idea. Also, the guy is obviously panicked and has no idea how to have an English conversation, and so is clicking through whatever boxes you throw at him. –  Eric Jul 17 '09 at 15:44
    
Warning dialogs are so overused, particularly in Windows software, that few people read them anymore. Almost everybody gets trained to click what they need to do to get the [obscenity] box away and get back to what they were doing. I suspect people with limited English skills are going to be more prone to it. –  David Thornley Jan 21 '10 at 15:52

We already do this, for ALL users on questions they own.

Note:

  1. The standard answer editor does NOT appear by default for post owners. Instead there is a single "Answer Your Question" button.

  2. Clicking the "Answer Your Question" button nags you:

    Are you sure you want to answer your own question?

    If you're responding to answers left on your question, enter comments under each answer.

    If you need to add details to your own question, use the edit link under your question.

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I understand where you're coming from, except as we all know - [users don't read][1]. What this and other related questions are getting at is that its still too easy to do the wrong thing. [1]: codinghorror.com/blog/archives/001306.html –  AnonJr Jan 21 '10 at 16:23
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cure worse than disease, though. –  Jeff Atwood Jan 21 '10 at 16:45
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This particular solution to the problem may or may not be, but I wonder if there isn't a better solution as what we are doing clearly isn't as effective as could be desired. And/or at least having the ability to move the "comment" to the appropriate place may help be as instructive. –  AnonJr Jan 24 '10 at 17:41
    
@Arjan ugh, indeed.. fixing. –  Jeff Atwood Sep 23 '11 at 10:32

That specific example is obvious spamming of the board. Just flag it. A moderator will handle it and the user will either learn how to behave or move on.

For other less obvious posts, there's already a warning that comes up when you answer your own question.

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Agreed. One example does not make a pandemic. –  Tom Ritter Jul 17 '09 at 15:50

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