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I have noticed that many inexperienced SO users tend to reply to answers by creating an answer rather than via a comment or an update to their original question. The problems this causes are:

  1. The new "answer" will not make sense if it is re-ordered away from the answer it is responding to.
  2. Even if order is maintained readers then have to piece together a disjointed set of answer/response posts which can get confusing.
  3. Genuine answers get less screen estate.

This happens a lot and currently relies on flagging and editing by the community to resolve which generates a lot of overhead.

I suggest that if a user answers their own question they should be re-directed to a page which asks "are you sure this is the solution to your question?", and if not then prompts them to either comment on another answer or to append to/clarify their original question.

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    I'm not sure if that would help, after all, the answer button is already labeled that way. If they've failed to read the button, they'll fail to read the page. – Time Traveling Bobby Sep 23 '11 at 9:40
  • They are already asked if they want to answer their own question. Try posting an answer to this question yourself. – ChrisF Sep 23 '11 at 9:41
  • Chris, I just posted an answer to this question and it didn't warn me at all. – tom redfern Sep 23 '11 at 9:43
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    That's odd - it used to. It seems like you've uncovered a bug. – ChrisF Sep 23 '11 at 9:44
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    @ChrisF, that's indeed odd. The answer box is pre-expanded for my own questions too now. It used to be just a button, which would then show a warning. Must be a bug? – Arjan Sep 23 '11 at 9:46
  • @Arjan For non-Meta questions, too? – Tim Stone Sep 23 '11 at 9:47
  • I just tried to add another answer and I got the box saying "are you sure etc etc" so currently you get one answer before it starts to warn you – tom redfern Sep 23 '11 at 9:48
  • Yes, @Tim, no more button, and I guess no more "Are you sure you want to answer your own question?" either. – Arjan Sep 23 '11 at 9:49
  • @Hugh, that's a different warning, saying something like "Are you sure you want to add ANOTHER answer?", and explaining about editing, right? – Arjan Sep 23 '11 at 9:49
  • @Arjan yes that is the case – tom redfern Sep 23 '11 at 9:50
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    Related: the original behavior in Limiting Self-Answers. – Arjan Sep 23 '11 at 9:52
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    Side note: Users with < 100 reputation are also supposed to be prevented from self-answering for 8 hours after posting. – Tim Stone Sep 23 '11 at 9:58
  • @Tim: I wonder if that also applies to the nag message as well. We all have over 100 so perhaps that's why we don't see it? – Jeff Mercado Sep 23 '11 at 10:06
  • @JeffMercado - it used to nag regardless of your reputation. I've seen it when answering my own questions in the past. – ChrisF Sep 23 '11 at 10:21
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    @ChrisF et al, indeed Jeff has confirmed this is a bug. Now, Hugh, when that warning is back, does your question still stand? – Arjan Sep 23 '11 at 10:33
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Indeed we broke

Limiting Self-Answers

so a fix is rolling out ASAP. Sorry about that.

1

This is an answer to my own question

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    This did not warn me that I was answering my own question – tom redfern Sep 23 '11 at 9:44
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    can you prove it? :-) – Nick Dandoulakis Sep 23 '11 at 10:58
  • Actually you'll just have to trust me on this – tom redfern Sep 23 '11 at 11:04

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