There are different "schools" on AU, and below is just my perception.
Personally, I would have mixed feelings to accept my own answer, if it is based on the good work and research of someone else. If what I end up using is mostly an edited version of the existing answer, I would probably either:
ask/suggest an edit or addition to ...
The help page What should I do when someone answers my question? provides a single guideline for the selection of the accepted answer (emphasis by me):
Choose one answer that you believe is the best solution to your problem.
I think there are valid arguments for either answer but ultimately it’s up to your judgement which one you find more helpful.
Thank you for raising this case, which turns out to be a thought-provoking one, and given the views on the two questions, one deserving of attention.
Thinking about it, the valid answers to the question "Is there a command to factory reset Ubuntu?" are a subset of the valid answers to "Is there a way to factory reset Ubuntu?", which the target question of ...
I agree that this needed unmerged, so I poked this up to The Great and Powerful Shog for unmerging.
The questions have been unmerged because they are substantially different from each other. Edit the questions accordingly to make them noticeably different please :)
status-completed by CMs (Shog9)
This merge really does seem to have been done in error and the resulting situation seems very confusing for visitors. The questions are not only not exact duplicates, but also the target is far less general than the origin and different enough from it that even reversing the direction of closure would be unsatisfactory. I cannot see any alternative to un-...
When a commonly used canonical question does not serve its intended purpose it is appropriate to create a new dupe target, including by unmerging an existing merged question that would be a better dupe target than the existing canonical question. The benefit of unmerging in this case is that it preserves the upvotes that the existing merged question received ...
As the author of the original answer you based yours on, I personally have no problem with you accepting your own if it better served your needs.
I will admit to a bit of confusion on my part when I saw the accept come and go and come and go, but that's not really relevant.
The most important thing to me is that questions get quality answers and the site ...
It is manual but it isn't hard.
There are non-obvious reasons we don't merge everything:
It's practically permanent. If a mistake is made, we need somebody from SE to unwind the mess we've made. We don't like annoying SE.
Merging everything into one isn't always a good strategy:
Close-duplicates offer the site better search target.
Merging often results ...
I can't answer how much work it requires, as I don't know (Oli already answered that), but I want to explain why I think merging is rarely the solution.
Consider you have Question A which is already answered. Then another user asks Question B which appears similar to Question A.
If the answers in Question A are valid answers for B, it is most likely a ...
A merge moves all the answers and comments from one question to another. The questions have to be duplicates and one has to be closed as such.
It looks like in this case it got a little messed up and the master question got closed as a duplicate of the.. duplicate. Oops. Accidents happen. I have reopened the remaining question. These days there are system ...
It seems like currently only mods are able to perform merges.
and this for guidelines on requesting a merge:
To request a merge:
Flag the question and select In need of moderator intervention and provide links to the questions you want merged with a good and succinct reason.
Additionally mark the question as a duplicate.
PS: Sorry for asking ...