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I was browsing the question feed just now when I came across this question about Iron Man and Captain America's fight in Civil War. I had it marked as a favourite, which confused me, as I'd never seen it before. I checked the edit history, and it turns out it was originally an anime ID question (I routinely favourite these in case I ever find out the answer). Four hours ago, the OP rewrote it into a completely different question, for seemingly no reason whatsoever other than having not received any answers yet.

I'm aware that you're not allowed to change a question in such a way that it invalidates existing answers. This isn't the case here, but should we really be allowing people to change their question into something completely different just because they weren't getting an answer?

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It's entirely inappropriate for OP to completely rewrite their question into an entirely different question, especially when the existing question had upvotes.

  • It invalidates the comment-chain

  • It makes the effort already put in (to identify the property in this case) worthless

    and

  • It destroys valuable content.

If they have a new question on another topic, they should post it as a new question. To that end, I've rolled it back. to the last 'good' revision.


Unfortunately my action makes Paul D. Waite's answer invalid but to be brutally honest his answer was probably already on its way to being downvoted/deleted for not really answering the (new) question anyway. Hopefully he'll forgive me.

  • Thanks for the swift action. I can only assume that nobody else had noticed that this had been done. – F1Krazy Feb 2 at 10:19
  • @F1Krazy - The problem here is that this is a car-crash. OP's in the wrong for editing the question so drastically. Paul is (slightly) in the wrong for answering the edited question without checking for revisions (which he should have noticed, given how the comments make zero sense), Paul's answer is pretty poor and 'stubby' since it questions the question's main premise instead of actually answering it, and, obeying the strict laws of the site, this probably shouldn't have been rolled back given that there is an existing answer, no matter how poor. – Valorum Feb 2 at 10:29
  • @F1Krazy - If OP or Paul kick up a stink, it would probably be better to dump the whole thing into a moderator's lap and walk away. – Valorum Feb 2 at 10:30
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    Sometimes there's debate over whether or not what seems like a drastic edit is actually changing or merely clarifying the question. This ... is not one of those cases. – Rand al'Thor Feb 2 at 11:01
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    You may also want to note that the user admitted in the comments they were trying to circumvent the question rate-limiter. The rate-limiter, of course, is there for a reason, and should not be circumvented. – Kevin Feb 4 at 19:15
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    @Valorum I'd understand if you disregard the following as over-nitpicky, but you may want to change the first word of your answer to the word "No", as the question was if it is allowed, not if it is forbidden. (Of course, your meaning is clear once one actually reads the rest of the sentence, but my thinking was that perhaps it's better to remove any chance of either a lazy or a not-very-fluent-in-English reader reading just the beginning and mistaking that for the answer.) – Jacob C. Feb 4 at 22:21
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    @JacobC. - You're not wrong. The original title of the question was "Isn't this not allowed?" – Valorum Feb 4 at 22:31
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    @Valorum Ah. It seems fitting that an edit of a question about radically changing a question provided an example of how even a subtler change can introduce a bit of inconsistency with an answer. ;) – Jacob C. Feb 4 at 22:44
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    I will be avenged. – Paul D. Waite Feb 5 at 11:20
  • You say that the OP shouldn’t be allow to make wholesale changes to their question because “It destroys valuable content.” But [1] How valuable is a question that has no answers?  [2] Anybody can look at the revision history and see the earlier versions.  [3] If a question has no answers, then the OP can delete it, and then only ≥ 10K users can see it. – Peregrine Rook Feb 6 at 7:20
  • @PeregrineRook - A good question is valuable content... in potentia. It's the reason we allow users to undelete something that's been deleted by OP. – Valorum Feb 6 at 7:22
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    Speaking on behalf of @Paul: "very well, thank you". – Möoz Feb 7 at 23:14

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