Two days ago, I asked a question. Specifically, my question was: "Do Starfleet officers get to go on leave during times of war?" I soon received two responses, both of which were clear and direct. However, upon reading both of them, I realized that one of the respondents had partially misinterpreted my post (justifiably, considering the wording of the title). I had intended to ask about voluntary shore leave for rest, recuperation, vacation or other reasons--all that mattered was that it was whether or not the decision was made of free will, and not by requirement (such as being required to rest due to an injury). In fact, the first part of the respondent's answer quoted a case in which a character took voluntary time off for self-reflection, which did answer my question--but the second part had also included a case involving medical leave. I already knew that medical leave would be necessary, and that it was not the same as shore leave. In essence, although this question was partially acceptable, it was also answering a question that I did not intend to ask.
In order to clarify my question, I changed the title to "Do Starfleet officers get to go on shore leave during times of war?" I also edited the body slightly:
Are there any known scenarios of Starfleet officers going on shore leave during war?
In addition, I inserted a piece explaining my corrections.
Edit: I just wanted to clarify that I'm talking about taking a vacation, not resting due to health-related events.
This was to make it abundantly clear that I was talking about voluntary shore leave for R&R, vacation, recreation, or self-discovery.
A day later, I discovered that the respondent had rolled back every single one of my edits because they believed I shouldn't have changed my question to invalidate their answer. This started a debate: was it appropriate for the respondent to roll back all of my edits so my question fit their answer, or was it wrong for me to change my question to invalidate their answer?
I was disappointed for multiple reasons.
- First, the respondent already did provide a strong, clear answer, so I had considered accepting it. I knew that editing my question would require the answer to change some because the second part did not respond to the question I truly intended to ask. Despite this, I would have been willing to accept it even after the edits because the first part was not invalid and answered my question perfectly.
- Second, the respondent seemed to believe that when I made the edits, I did so with the intention of invalidating their answer. My true goal was to ask clarify my question to eliminate confusion and wrong answers. I had not received any wrong answers (or at least none that were entirely incorrect), so I did not believe the edits would have a significant impact on the responses.
- The respondent neglected to consult with me for potential options so we could both be satisfied. Instead, they blatantly told me to write a new question with the edits I made. Of course, the new question would have been at high risk for being a duplicate. It would have been nearly identical to the previous question, and I had already gotten questions. What would be the point of asking a new one if it's just going to get closed?
Today, TheLethalCarrot cleaned up the chat and wrote, like the respondent, "I would [like] everyone to note that edits to the question that invalidate existing answers should not be made" while leaving a link to a question on Meta Stack Exchange addressing this particular problem.
This post starts, "Here's the situation- someone asks a question, accepts an answer, and then un-accepts the answer, and edits the question, making that answer and other existing answers incorrect..." This situation is already different from mine because I never accepted any of their answers.
At any rate, one user answers, "If you have a brand new question, don't edit your existing question to ask it. Ask a new question instead, or ask for clarification using comments." They go on to say, "Users are encouraged to clarify and improve existing questions, if they are under-specified or otherwise incomplete. That's not the same thing as asking a new question that renders the existing answers invalid." I was not asking a brand new question. My edited question would have covered the exact same subject, while only eliminating a single irrelevant scenario and thus clarifying an under-specified question. Plus, an edit of one word in the title and body of the question, respectively, can hardly be called a "brand new question." If I really did write a new question with those edits, I have no doubt that it would have been closed, given that a number of users have trended towards strict or even harsh close votes these days.
This is a somewhat nuanced and complicated issue, but in this case, was it right for the respondent to roll back all my edits?