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It has happened a few times that I asked a question and some individual who admits to not understand my question begins editing it in random ways, which change the intent of my question. Is there a way to dissuade him from continuing to do this? If not, would it be possible to implement some form of up/down voting for edits to a question owned by someone else?

For example,

  • If someone edits my question and I say nothing, nothing happens.
  • If someone edits my question and I roll it back, they lose 1 rep for each time I roll it back (so they lose a total of 3 rep if they edit twice and I roll it back twice).
  • Gain 1 rep for every edit that I endorse.

It's a serious problem if someone takes it upon themselves to understand my question by continuously editing it, because I do not get correct answers (because the people answering don't see the correct question or the wrong parts being emphasized). Also, it's a form of trolling that is unpunished by SO so far.

I cannot be in front of my computer to roll back 4 different edits, especially when it seems that only one person does not understand the original question.


Specific example of what I'm talking about:

I asked a question on Superuser about whether or not a certain program existed, and on the off-chance that it didn't, would someone be willing to refer me to some code. The editor took it upon himself to invert my priorities multiple times, getting hung up on the fact that I was not entirely averse to working with code. #127348

share|improve this question
The feature request for voting on edits is a duplicate (and declined), but I think the rest of your question has merit to leave it open. Could you please provide us example(s) of the edits you are describing? – Jon Seigel Apr 4 '10 at 17:12
Apologies. I made a cursory search and couldn't find a match. Seems that now the question is up it shows a few similar questions. – mechko Apr 4 '10 at 17:14
@mechko, walking through your recent history on SO, I don't find any questionable edits made to your questions. Can you reference an edit that you have issues with? – Michael Petrotta Apr 4 '10 at 17:17
If it seems an edit war is starting, flag your question for mod attention. – nb69307 Apr 4 '10 at 17:18
@Neil: That can be a problem in SO (not so much in SU since it is much slower). If a question isn't answered within half an hour, it often isn't answered for a week or more due to the high volume of questions that come in. If your question is crippled when an expert looks at it, then you may never get an answer. – mechko Apr 4 '10 at 17:30
@jeff grr edit... :D – mechko Apr 6 '10 at 1:31
up vote 2 down vote accepted

In cases like this I would flag for moderator attention and have the moderators intervene, perhaps by directly emailing one or both users.

share|improve this answer
Or, before that, try a @reply comment (if the editor did leave some comment to reply on). – Arjan Apr 5 '10 at 12:27, revision 3:

Somehow rewrote for Stack Overflow, though the reference to GeekTool confuses me a bit. Maybe I'm wrong?

If you wondering if you're wrong while editing someone's else post, don't do it!

It's much better to leave the question ambiguous/badly written/whatever than to change the OP's meaning. If the question is so bad that you can't understand it (even though you are an expert in the field) then close it as "not a real question".

share|improve this answer
Thank you. I admit I'm not the best when it comes to phrasing my questions. Also, what's not visible in the edit history were the 3 comments he left encouraging ppl to vote to migrate to SO. What strikes me is that you get the occasional troll or the occasional person who insists on editing a question, but rarely more than one if the question is valid (in any sense). – mechko Apr 4 '10 at 17:27
That was my edit, and I'm sorry it caused grief. In that first edit I tried to ensure the question would not be closed right away if 't were to be migrated to Stack Overflow (for which I voted, which was what the "maybe I'm wrong" referred to). @mechko forgot to mention I also left a comment in bold at that very question, explaining to others that maybe it should NOT be migrated. I deleted all those comments after the author rolled back my revision (before that, still one or two voted for migration). I feel the other edits were only about merging the author's comments into the question. – Arjan Apr 4 '10 at 23:21
@Arjan I understand, and I apologize. Looking back at your edits, they made some sense. I think I got a little over-agitated about the situation due to the fact that the first answer (which was shortly after removed) and the last comment which claimed that I was stupid for even thinking that an application might exist, despite the obvious partial solutions available. Apologies for being overly sharp about the situation. However, I have seen situations on other questions (though can't remember specifics) where the editor(s) have been malicious. – mechko Apr 5 '10 at 5:33
@mechko, no worries. I hope the accepted answer at the Super USer question works for you. (And I'll be more careful.) – Arjan Apr 5 '10 at 12:28

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