Ok so everyone is aware of the well defined and good behavior of being able to delete your own questions(within reason). Now then, my question is why can't you immediately close your own question?

Often times I will find a duplicate question and (or someone will post it) but the question has low views. So it may end up not being closed for months(or even ever in one case) unless I flag for moderator attention. The thing is, I don't see what the point of this kind of behavior is. Why can't the owner of the question have the ultimate say in closing it? (though not the same for reopening!)

  • You aware that once the question is closed, you cannot delete it for 2 days? – YOU May 26 '10 at 7:27
  • @S.Ma yes. Why does that matter? – Earlz May 26 '10 at 14:46
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    LOL WAT meta.stackexchange.com/questions/48572/… – Jon Seigel Jul 16 '10 at 22:45
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    Avoid duplicating your own question, though. Closed the other one as duplicate of this one to preserve the bounty. – Gnoupi Jul 18 '10 at 11:59
  • Good news @Earlz it has been closed for 3 hours now! :) – Benny Jan 22 '11 at 2:51
  • Do not that in the meanwhile users can close their own question as duplicate with the help of the community user. – Luuklag Oct 22 at 18:58

The [closing] mechanism was meant to be one step towards closing the purpose being that the community could not arbitrarily delete a question without the community and the OP checking if they thought it was valid. However, if the owner felt it was necessary to delete, they can do so immediately.

A closed question has been identified by the community as a question which for some reason is not appropriate for the site. Even duplicate questions are not appropriate because the question is already there, it is not that the question is intrinsically inappropriate, it is that the duplication is.

If an individual feels that their own question is inappropriate, they should be deleting it. If a user closes their own question, they don't gain anything.

Although it is theoretical that they could end up still gaining rep on the question, which is sort of like rep-mongering, because they are gaining reputation for something that they don't feel should be on the site at all.

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I have never felt the need to close my own question. If I thought it was a bad question (i.e. needing to be closed for one of the close reasons), I wouldn't have asked it.

I do, however, occasionally delete a question I have asked. Sometimes a well-meaning question just doesn't get received well by the community, or I didn't know it was a duplicate. There's no sense to leave it there if this happens.

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    Yes but duplicates are especially close worthy but not delete worthy. It is the general opinion that deleting duplicate questions is bad and then there are other issues of course such as if your question has enough answers to not be capable of being deleted. – Earlz May 26 '10 at 6:41
  • @Earlz duplicates are not delete worthy, but they are merge worthy. The ultimate goal being that the question no longer exist as it's own entity. – devinb May 26 '10 at 10:18
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    @devin are you sure? What about the SEO? – Earlz May 26 '10 at 14:45
  • @devinb: You are wrong about that one. If the dupe question is significantly differently worded than the original question, then it serves as a second search path to get to the question. Then it should not vanish (neither be deletion, nor by merging). – Ladybug Killer Jul 16 '10 at 20:02
  • @Ladybug Killer, but they shouldn't necessarily need to exist as two posts. You HAVE highlighted that merges should be found when searching for either title, or either set of tags. But, have two separate posts splits the answers and is detrimental to SO because there will be people who find the post with the answers that don't help them. – devinb Jul 16 '10 at 20:31
  • @devinb: I do not understand your point. When closed as dupe, the link to the original question (and the corresponding answers) is added to the top of the dupe. After it's closed, you cannot add more answers to the dupe. – Ladybug Killer Jul 16 '10 at 21:14
  • @Ladybug, then in that case, I do not understand your original point. You say "it would serve as a second search path" but if the title still appears in the merged question, then how have we lost that? – devinb Jul 16 '10 at 21:18
  • @devinb: I'm not talking about a merged question. I'm talking about a dupe and the original question. And where have I used "would"? – Ladybug Killer Jul 16 '10 at 21:29

Well, why should someone want to close his question?

As Robert has pointed out, he would delete a question, but does not feel the need for closing it. Deleting questions you do not like anymore is the standard way, I assume.

But you cannot delete your own question under all circumstances. If there are too many answers, for example. The idea is, if the community thinks, the question has value, then you are not allowed to delete it. Now, if the community thinks so, why should you be able to close this question against the will of the community?

That's why you need the votes of four additional people. And because it is easier to implement. :)

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  • Well in my thoughts, I would think the same restrictions would apply to self-closing as self-deleting, can't have too many votes or too many answers.. – Earlz Jul 16 '10 at 20:58
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    @Earlz: Why shouldn't you be able to vote to close your question, when everyone else is? That would not be fair. – Ladybug Killer Jul 16 '10 at 21:01

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