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This is my very first "question" on any SE site. YAY!

I was over at Area 51 looking through the Example Questions for Code Review when I came across this example by Larry Smithmier. Comments by DarkLight and Felix (as well as Larry himself) seem to suggest that Larry had changed the question at some point — resulting in 2 votes for "great on-topic example" (probably unintentionally) — then changed it back.

Now, this discussion isn't about Larry, Code Review, or Area 51 for that matter. It's about the underlying system. I'm of the opinion that any proposal that's up for vote should not be editable OR that any changes made should be clearly visible as amendments to the original proposal.

Please understand that I'm not suggesting Larry did anything wrong — intentionally or otherwise, nor that this is a “stack-wide problem of epic proportion”. However, one can clearly see how the ability to edit a proposal which is up for vote could potentially lead to abuse.

I’m admittedly quite new to SE and perhaps this "glitch" is unique to Area 51, but it bothered me (from a democratic standpoint) so I thought I’d elicit your thoughts on the matter.

Happy Stacking and may the Skeet be with you. :)

share|improve this question
How is this different from editing real questions or answers on the actual Q&A sites after they have been voted on? – balpha Sep 1 '11 at 9:03
Because (in the case of example questions) it determines whether or not a new SE site makes it to beta. I haven't had the opportunity to vote for mods yet, but I hope the voting system is more sound than this example. – Herbert Sep 1 '11 at 9:11
Is it just me, or has the shadow under avatars grown since 8am? – Grant Thomas Sep 1 '11 at 9:28
How is this related to democracy in any way? It's cheating at worst, and at best a misunderstanding. (Yes, I always start to get itchy if people are throwing such buzzwords around.) – Time Traveling Bobby Sep 1 '11 at 9:29
@Straitjacket Voting is a democratic act. Buzzword or not, that's what it is. – Herbert Sep 1 '11 at 9:32
Off topic, but how come my avatar doesn't do that cool pop out thing when I hover over it? – Herbert Sep 1 '11 at 9:57
Because you don't have 1000 rep. See… – balpha Sep 1 '11 at 10:23
up vote 9 down vote accepted

As far as I see it, this is a totally made-up problem.

  • You give one example that resulted in two on-topic votes (as supposed to twenty off-topic votes).
  • You say in your comment that this has an implication on "whether or not a new SE site makes it to beta." It certainly didn't in this case. The proposol is in beta (with your example being in the Top Example Questions list), and the existence or non-existence of those two votes would have made no difference in this.
  • If someone actually (not just theoretically) used this to game the system: Believe it or not, there are still people looking at these example questions: users like you, the community moderation team, etc. If someone asks "My gold fish is getting fat, should I feed it diet food?" on the Animal Food proposal, gets twenty on topic votes, and then the question is edited to be "How is babby formed", do you really think this would go by unnoticed?
  • Once a proposal enters the commitment phase, the questions are locked and can't be edited any more.

As I said in my comment, this is no different then allowing editing of real questions and answers on the actual Q&A sites after they have been voted on.

share|improve this answer
I implied it "could" be a "potential" problem. I didn't make it up at all. The example I gave was to introduce my topic. It's also what got me thinking about it. I was under the impression that meta is where we discuss things about SE (improvements, problems, etc.) Are you saying that we can't discuss the theoretical? – Herbert Sep 1 '11 at 9:47
"Once a proposal enters the commitment phase, the questions are locked and can't be edited any more." That was actually helpful. Thank you. – Herbert Sep 1 '11 at 9:54
The last two bullet points are valid and acceptable answers. The first two miss the point of my post by focusing on an example, which I clearly stated was not the subject of my post. Besides, I never said it is a problem. I was concerned it might become a problem. Is it necessary to berate me for caring? – Herbert Sep 1 '11 at 11:30

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