I sometimes run into a situation where I realize my own question is a dupe, or the problem goes away, and I need to vote to close as too localized, or with another close reason. It it proper to closevote my question, or should I flag, wait, or do something else?

  • 3
    You should flag and close vote it
    – Tachyons
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 13:37
  • There used to be an Ask Ubuntu chat room where questions could be reported to for possibly being closed. That's what I did when I found out my question was actually a bug. I could have deleted it, but a lot of effort went into trying to troubleshoot it, and I still feel it's useful to have around just to guide other people to the bug report. At the time I didn't have the close vote privilege yet. Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 19:57
  • @WarriorIng64 It used to exist, and it still does. :)
    – nanofarad
    Commented Sep 17, 2012 at 20:31

3 Answers 3


There's certainly no question about propriety. If your question should be closed, it probably should be closed. But there are a few options:

  • Delete. If you completely messed up and your question was a problem caused by you, and it's never going to be useful to anybody else, you could nuke it.

  • Answer it yourself. I've actually had pebcak issues that I've solved, posted the answer and have since turned out to be very common issues. Posting the question and answer helped other people.

  • Accept what would have been the most useful answer. Sometimes I'll do something very wrong, float a question out. I'll get a few valuable (but incorrect) answers back before I notice that I accidentally moved /etc/ to /bananahammock/.

    An answer of sudo mv /bananahammock /etc is not going to help anybody else because few people are as stupid as me. So then I look at the answers that were there. People suggesting good diagnostic issues that could help the next person in a similar situation.

    It's not just a case of clicking accept. If you pick a useless answer you might lead future visitors up the wrong path completely.

  • Or vote to close it, as you suggest. This is preferable to deletion in cases where it's still valuable to have the content around. One such way is where it's a duplicate. By close-duping your question, you make the master question easier to find for people in the future.

You just have to think what's most useful to other people. What option delivers most value?

  • 2
    Moving /etc to /bananahammock sounds like fun! ;-) Commented Sep 18, 2012 at 16:16

It's up to you, but I would recommend only close-voting it if you would do the same had the question been asked by anyone else.

  • I realize my own question is a dupe

    Mark is as a dupe like you would anyone else's question who you realise is a dupe.

  • the problem goes away

    These questions should NOT be closed. It's unfair to others who may experience the problem.

  • Interesting idea with the second part...
    – nanofarad
    Commented Sep 26, 2012 at 0:31

If it's a dupe, it's a dupe!

I've closed my own questions a few times, there is nothing wrong with it.

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