Accept Your Own Answers

by Jeff Atwood

on January 6, 2009

Have you ever wondered why you can't accept your own answer on Stack Overflow? If so, you're not alone.

As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words; here's what I just did to one of my own questions:

Before:


accept-own-answer-before

After:


accept-own-answer-after

Hey, look at that, I just accepted my own answer!

Now, there are some special rules around owner-accepted answers, to prevent gaming:

  1. Wait 48 hours. You must wait 2 days from the time you originally asked your question before you can accept your own answer. This gives other users a chance to answer the question in good faith, and earn the accepted answer.

  2. No change in sort order. Normally, accepted answers are "docked" under the question. This is not true for owner accepted answers; they stay in standard sort order like any other answer.

  3. No reputation is earned. Normally, accepted answers confer +15 rep to the answerer and +2 to the owner. Owner accepted answers do not earn rep (or badges) for anyone.

I was initially very much against this, but several commenters in the Why Can't I Accept My Own Answer? post convinced me that, with a few rule tweaks, it could work. As you can see on a question I myself asked, sometimes you really have no other option than to close the loop yourself, and it's nice to be able to do so by accepting your own answer.

Enjoy! Oh, and you can thank Jarrod for implementing this one so quickly on his first day on the job. Kudos.