A few days ago I posted a question here without a login. I quickly received an answer, and set about working on my code.

I hit a problem using this suggestion, so came back to leave a comment. I found myself unable to do this, and instead left an answer with a further question – something I appreciate is frowned upon, but there seemed to be no other way to enquire further. This was promptly deleted.

I eventually worked out what the problem was, so came back a second time to leave a comment to say thank you, and to explain what I had done to get my function to work. Again, I could not leave a comment, so left an answer that included the code, should others wish to see my solution.

Again, this was deleted. I noticed earlier that part of it has been moved to a comment, but has mangled my answer to the extent that it is useless, merely repeating much of my original question.

According to the FAQ answers are removed if they are off-topic, of low quality, or do not answer the question.

Could someone explain why my second answer – which provided a solution to my original question – was deleted? Was it not of sufficient quality? Is it frowned upon to answer my own question? And why can't I leave comments on my own question? I find this all very confusing and extremely frustrating as a new user, and as a beginner.

  • 4
    Seems to me that the real issue here was you weren't made aware that the system didn't consider this to be your question, because you had two accounts. Do you have any suggestions about UI that could have helped you to notice this? You knew you were supposed to be able to leave comments on your own question, but when you couldn't, the "not actually your question" explanation didn't occur to you. Is there a ui change that might avoid that for someone else? Jul 8, 2011 at 16:21
  • 1
    I'm not sure; when I found that I couldn't comment on my original question I thought that perhaps I needed to register. I used the same username and email address that I used to leave the question – on the same laptop, from the same location – not realising that I was in fact creating a second account.
    – mrcollioni
    Jul 8, 2011 at 17:43
  • To provide a new user experience - this area still needs work. I found this question because I was confused why I could not comment on the question I just posted. As it turns out I was allowed to post the question without being logged in. Because identity management is more integrated these days using external providers, it can happen pretty easily that a user is logged in or NOT and not be aware of it. This site needs MORE FEEDBACK - "WARNING: You are not logged in, if you would like to have a better experience..." BEFORE TYPING a question,posting and while surfing.
    – jockor
    Apr 23, 2013 at 9:13

2 Answers 2


When you posted the question, the system considered you User X. This mythical user account would have been allowed to comment on the question and the answers, as it was that account's own question.

However, when you came back a second time, you were considered User Y. This user account is not associated with the previous account, and thus you need 50 reputation to comment on User X's question.

If you post a link to the question and accounts, a moderator can merge your new account with your old one allowing you to comment freely.

  • Shog9 already took care of it.
    – mmyers
    Jul 8, 2011 at 15:06
  • 10-4 good buddy.
    – user7116
    Jul 8, 2011 at 15:07
  • 1
    Much appreciated – thank you. It is very confusing when things happen without an explanation, especially if it is not clear what you have done wrong!
    – mrcollioni
    Jul 8, 2011 at 15:43
  • @mmyers: with your mind?
    – user1228
    Jul 8, 2011 at 15:46
  • 4
    @Won't: Shog9 rarely uses my mind, thankfully. It's much too big a weapon for him to be waving around casually.
    – mmyers
    Jul 8, 2011 at 15:51

To follow up sixlettervariables' answer, your second answer was deleted because
a) many people automatically assume that a self-answer beginning with "Thank you" is not an answer, and thus flag it to be deleted.
b) moderators don't always look at the whole text of an answer; the fact that someone else read it and believed it to be not an answer, combined with the "Thank you" snippet at the start, was apparently enough evidence for the moderator to delete it.

In other words, mistakes do happen. Fortunately, they are easily remedied.

Someone else flagged the answer to be undeleted, which has now been done. Carry on.

  • 5
    When I find a "not an answer" that reads like it's from the OP, but uses a different account, I flag it Other and explain it looks like "abc" and "Abc" need to merge. We can all do this, and it should help the newcomers who don't realize they have two accounts. Jul 8, 2011 at 18:09

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