It seems suspect that a question was asked by user 20553 at exactly "asked Dec 12 '08 at 10:38" and answered by same user on exactly the same date and time "answered Dec 12 '08 at 10:38". If you look at the question and answer it doesn't seem the same user wrote them, maybe the web interface is buggy when displaing that question. Can you check it out please. (I'm not sayng the user did something wrong, but for me it seems more like a display bug then a valid user action)

Here is a link to the question. Screen shoot atached.

Thank tou

alt text

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    If the question/answer adds value to SO, then its welcome. The user might have had a brainwave. However, it looks like an extremely fast brainwave or some DB error. Answering your own question or accepting your own answer as answer does not give you any points. Did he do it for the upvotes? He might have, but since he got a few upvotes it means that the community likes it. Moderators will tell you more. – abel Jan 7 '11 at 14:00
  • @abel, to be fair, the OP did say " I'm not sayng the user did something wrong, but for me it seems more like a display bug" (emphasis mine). – Pops Jan 7 '11 at 14:05
  • @Popular read the paragraph... went woosh. The title and the images talked though. – abel Jan 7 '11 at 14:09
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    If you hover your mouse over the time stamp you get a more precise time with seconds displayed. The question and answer were posted 9 seconds apart, which seems to indicate that the user just prepared his answer before posting the question. Nine seconds is plenty of time to select, copy, and paste. – Bill the Lizard Jan 7 '11 at 15:11
  • possible duplicate of Should I ask a question I know the answer to? – Time Traveling Bobby Oct 27 '11 at 11:27

Stack Exchange policy allows users to share tips and tricks they have learned as long as they are phrased in the form of a question and answer. In these cases, the user is encouraged to have prepared the answer beforehand so as to not waste other users' time (so that they won't type up an answer while the original user is typing one up).

Based on the fact that the question, revision history, and timeline all agree on the chain of events, it does not seem like a bug, and unless further evidence contradicts, I'm going to guess that the user simply wished to share this solution.

  • Hrm... you could see the timeline view? It was a "Page Not Found" for me: stackoverflow.com/posts/362435/timeline – Pops Jan 7 '11 at 14:06
  • @waiwai933 Is there something in the api which would allow me to post a series of questions and answers to SO which I have lying around for the good of the community? /sarcasm People putting up questions and answers themselves takes something away from a QnA site. Retaining such content because it adds "value" to SO (in the name of the community) is not done. Genuine Questions and Answers will help SO infinitely more than QnA's uploaded from a textbook. /rant Not a rant against @Martin Brown – abel Jan 7 '11 at 14:16
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    Not a rant against @waiwai933 either. Sharing a solution to a question you were about to ask on SO, but found an answer to later, is a valid usecase imho. – abel Jan 7 '11 at 14:22
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    @Pop stackoverflow.com/posts/362434/timeline - You used the ID of the answer, but the fact that they're consecutive also indicates that it's not a display bug. – waiwai933 Jan 7 '11 at 14:43
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    @abel FAQ post here. Seems a bit more divided than I remember, but I feel the arguments lean towards that it's acceptable, as the SO Private Beta Blog Post said it was ok, as well as the fact that by posting, you help "make the internet a better place", the goal of SE. So your second comment is what everyone tends to agree on is ok; if you're just making up useless questions, then it probably isn't. – waiwai933 Jan 7 '11 at 14:47
  • Thank you all, I remembered it happend to me to a few times, when trying to figure out how to explain my problem so people will understand the question I whant to ask, I had some ideas that solve my problem, didn't thought to post the question and the answer, beacause I thought that it was a bad practice, so people will blame me and say that i'm trying to get upvotes, but it seems that this practice could be a "solution sharing" :). – Radu Maris Jan 7 '11 at 15:09
  • @Radu I guess so. @waiwai933 I hope people don't start posting question answers from yahoo answers, that's what I am against. As far as questions that make the internet a better place are concerned, who can say no to them! :) – abel Jan 7 '11 at 16:26

Just thought I would make a comment here as I was the person the asked and answered the question.

What happened is that I asked the question not knowing the answer. Then I found the answer via a different source (not on the internet) fairly quickly and decided to post the answer for anyone else to find if they needed it.

I'm suspicious that SO has recorded this as all happening within one minute, espessially as I don't believe that I could have typed the answer in that fast. I think there should be a gap more like 10 minutes between question and answer.

Incidentally SO actively encourages the behaviour of answering your own questions with the Self-Learner badge.

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    There is a 5 minute window period during edits and posting where SO does not keep a timeline. It is highly likely that you were within that window. – BinaryMisfit Oct 27 '11 at 11:37
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    Fairly quickly? There's a time difference of 9 seconds on that post (hover for times accurate to the second). That makes it look like you had the answer pre-made, and just copy-pasted it into the answer. Again, not a problem. Thanks for the good question and answer. – Kevin Vermeer Oct 27 '11 at 14:04
  • We are talking about something that happened many months ago, so I may not have remembered the precise timings. – Martin Brown Nov 15 '11 at 12:10

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