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Yesterday I answered a question: Here is my answer

Then me and another SO user argued about the correctness and possible problems that might occur if the question owner uses it. All these argument went on the comments of my answer.

But then, the question owner declares that his question is totally misunderstood, and other user is right (as a comment) and edited my answer for changing it; fixing the misunderstanding and changing my approach with the approach of the other user. Then accept it.

When I check the edit, I see that nearly all code sample block that I wrote had been changed. Only lines of explanation left unchanged. From that perspective, it was not my answer anymore. Also I got reputation from an answer that do not belong to me.

What is the best thing to do at this point?

UPDATE: A point that I do not see right is, when he realizes that we misunderstood the question; instead of updating his question and add more detail and code samples, he chooses to fit my answer to his question.

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He probably felt that you had helped him find the right answer and deserved some credit. Had he wanted the reputation for himself, he would have posted his own answer. In the end, what matters is that the answer is as good as possible. –  assylias May 16 '12 at 9:13
    
Yes, i know that the quality is the most important thing, but on the other hand, upvoting is for answers that have great quality or halped you some to achieve the answer. The point is using edit to change the answer itself and ethical side of the event... –  FallenAngel May 16 '12 at 9:16
    
question owner declaring misunderstood - that sounds like a chameleon question to me, further compounded with what looks like an edit vandalism. Asking at Meta or pinging mod in chat, or flagging for mod attention looks like the right thing to do –  gnat May 16 '12 at 10:20
    
I commend you for calling attention to this. Reputation is something the rest of the community uses to judge each other. Replacing answers leads to up/down voting that the original answerer has not earned. So even if the Question and Answer ultimately match... the reputation is skewed which harms the community in other ways. If it were my answer, I would have rolled it back and/or deleted it. –  Sparky Jan 19 '13 at 0:15

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Is the answer correct now, does it answer the question?

If yes, then doing nothing is your best option. Enjoy the reputation and thank the OP for the edit. There is nothing wrong with that, you should not "feel guilty" for it.
You could mark your answer as Community Wiki though – you won't gain further reputation from it, and it marks your post as a community effort.

If no, but your original answer did, you can roll-back the edits to your original answer, and notify OP of what you did (so the OP can re-assess).
If OP re-edits back "his" answer, which you deem incorrect, you can flag for moderator attention and explain what's going on.

If no, and your original answer didn't either, and you can't/don't want to fix it, you may want the answer removed altogether. If the OP doesn't un-accept, you can flag your answer for deletion – be sure to post a detailed explanation of why you want it removed, since moderators will be very wary of deleting useful contents, and they are not here to judge on the technical merits of posts. Make sure it is clear that it is your answer and that it is incorrect or doesn't address the question.

Last option, if the answer is correct as is and you really want to get rid of that reputation (I'm would not do this, but...): post a new answer with the correct answer, and check the Community Wiki checkmark before posting. The proceed as above to get the original answer unaccepted (and subsequently deleted or rolled back). This is really way too much work/noise IMO, I wouldn't be surprised if mods didn't look kindly on this kind of game.

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Both approaches to the question are correct, so both my un-edited answer and the final answer is correct. The thing is , since my answer do not solve his problem but the other do and we misunderstood it and he chooses to correct this by not updating his question but updating my answer, all thse thing seems me wrong. –  FallenAngel May 16 '12 at 9:38
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If the question, and the answer as it is right now, match, then what is wrong? If someone has the same problem as the OP, and finds the answer via a web search, will he not be happy to have the solution listed there? –  Mat May 16 '12 at 9:39
    
Since editing an answer like that is not nice (or even edit vandalism as @gnat aka special agent Mulder mentioned) since it is useful, letting it be like that is the best thing to do iguess. –  FallenAngel May 18 '12 at 9:16

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