Related to post: Etiquette for answering your own question

As far as I can tell, Stack Overflow is semantically both of a) a place to share information and b) a nerd battleground.

Users do not care about the system when they do battle. They care about their own life which is the respect they get by being awesome and careers based on their skills. They can affect this enormously by asking new questions that nobody has asked and producing answers they already know. This is legal according to the FAQ.

However, we could show some status information on HOW MUCH a user has asked and answered his own questions, as this would expose question manufacturers. For example, 0.1% would tell us that every one answer in a thousand is a self-answer.

The FAQ says:

It's also perfectly fine to ask and answer your own programming question

However FAQ does not say that information about the ratio of answers should be hidden.

  • 7
    Is this a real problem? Do you have any particular user in mind who is a "question manufacturer"? Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 8:27
  • 9
    You've phrased this as if a large number of self-answers were a bad thing. Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 8:27
  • 1
    0.1% means every thousand, not hundred
    – Adinia
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 8:48
  • 8
    "This would expose question manufacturers." ... if that was quality content, I couldn't care less.
    – Bart
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 8:48
  • 2
    Self answers are not people "trying to prove how smart they are", for me at least its to help other people with a problem I really struggled with Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 8:57
  • Thank you for enlightening me! Especially after mr Tingles answer i can understand this better. Adinia, you are correct, its thousands, sorry about that. Mathhias, question manufacturer is a person who creates question which nobody wants to know and answers it perfecly good. This may be hypotethical situation.
    – Nerdman
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 9:15
  • Mr. Petrotta, im stating that large number of self-answers to self-questions nobody needs could be "bad".
    – Nerdman
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 9:25
  • 1
    @Nerdman: Who are we to decide what (on-topic) questions nobody needs? If someone had a problem, and solved it themselves then shares that solution, there almost always is someone else in the world with that same problem to solve. Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 9:51

1 Answer 1


Let's say this actually happens a lot. Why would I care? If the question is good, and the answer is wonderful, please have my upvotes. If the question is bad and the answer as well, hey, I get to downvote you twice. Crappy question but great answer? I might just close your question, no matter how much effort you put into your answer.

So what would such a ratio tell me? What is it that such a ratio should make me aware of? How should that influence me as another user?

I'll just judge the content. And if that is all good, I couldn't care less. If it's all crap, bans will happen.

  • Yes i think you are right. Manufacturing questions based on knowledge could be accepted due to fact that it helps other people. But what happens if it is pollution. Is there a possibility to create questions nobody wants? nobody ever asks them, nobody wants answers to them.
    – Nerdman
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 9:17
  • @Nerdman A "I got this null pointer exception in this specific program" + "Its because on line x you didn't initialise your variable" is not a helpful self answer (but makes sense when you only worked that out later). But I've never seen an insta-self-answer like that Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 9:24
  • @Nerdman That's not something I'd worry about. If that happens, it's very likely to not be an on-topic or good question. And if so, the community will evaluate it accordingly.
    – Bart
    Commented Feb 11, 2014 at 10:06

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