There's a badge for deleting your own question with a score of 4 (IIRC) or higher, called "disciplined".

Why would you ever want to delete your own question? There are two scenarios I can think of: your question is good (so deleting it would be a loss of knowledge) or it's bad/closed (in which case it's a useful example for the future).

  • 5
    I think we probably have enough examples of bad questions; we don't really need to keep more Dec 19 '13 at 15:51
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    Actually, it's for deleting posts, either answers or questions
    – Braiam
    Dec 20 '13 at 18:06

The one situation where it would seem to make sense to reward that behaviour would be where you recognize, either through the passage of time or the careful probing in comments from other community members, that your question is not really answerable because you have either:

  • framed it incorrectly as you did not really understand the issue, or
  • it turns out to be an issue that is not reproducable and therefore will offer no real assistance to anyone else down the line, other than a frustrating dead end when it turns up in their search.
  • ah. the searching makes sense, since otherwise I would just flag to close.
    – strugee
    Dec 19 '13 at 17:26
  • I disagree that non-reproducible issues are necessarily bad to keep. There might still be some useful hints on how to try to isolate the problem in the question or the comments. Someone else might have the issue and manage to crack it. Dec 23 '13 at 19:52
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    @RobinGreen Yes; there are invariably going to be situations where it makes sense not to delete the post, but the premise of this question is that it does make sense and the answer covers valid reasons to justify that decision.
    – jasonwryan
    Dec 23 '13 at 19:56

It is a good thing to do in respects to SEO. The situation I am thinking about is if it violates best practices in respect to framing. Questions are upvoted when they are asked well and represent an good piece of knowledge to be gained. I myself (and likely others) visit stack exchange often through search engine links and would feel responsible for the keywords that would be picked up.

Please excuse the contrived example. If I asked the question:

What is the quickest way to destroy a friends linux system?

Keywords: quick, destroy, system

Assuming it would be upvoted since it asks a specific question and technically there is knowledge that would be gained.

I would likely want to delete and rewrite:

What methods do I have to protect against to prevent a quick destruction of my system?

Keywords: methods, protect, destruction, system

While the answer would be the same, I think the traffic coming to the site would be of higher value. I should note this isn't about keeping people out. It would be better questioning to funnel traffic into the site with higher accuracy. I would prefer a stack exchange answer to most things and I have already found that certain positive words lead me to this site quicker.

  • but I would argue for editing the original question instead of deleting and re-asking.
    – strugee
    Dec 19 '13 at 18:54
  • Speed/Timing would be the biggest things. Hot questions can have several people helping edit (last person in according to this: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/21788/how-does-editing-work) Edits can also be locked (if part of comments as least). If a person has posted an answer if the time it takes you to convert then his answer will be incorrectly framed (or just incorrect) as well.
    – DarkSheep
    Dec 19 '13 at 19:03

I have a real world example. I recently asked a mod to delete my question (couldn't do it myself cause it had answers) because it turned out that I was being silly. I was trying to fix issues I had with sound on my laptop and it turned out that at least some of my problem came from faulty hardware. Therefore, the whole question thread was irrelevant since the issue boiled down to borked speakers.

This meant that the question was not useful 'cause the problem was not reproducible and it made sense to delete it since it would not help any future visitors.

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