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Feature Request/discussion topic: Allow user to edit and/or control content and posts of his or hers own question. IE, when a user asks a question, and people comment and answer that question, should the user who asked the question be allowed to control everything on that page (within reason). Control items such as:

  • ability to delete answers (and comments!) that are not relevant to the question asked...
  • (perhaps) edit posts

What do you think? A good idea? Or not-so-good? Feedback/discussion please...

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up vote 12 down vote accepted

Edit answers is not really a good idea. Grammar responsibility on answers shouldn't fall on the question author's shoulders by virtue of being the author alone. Ideally, the people providing the answers should be making them easier to understand for the author, not the other way around. The other kinds of edits that could be done would be content edits, in which case, why would you ask the question in the first place if you knew the content of other people's answers better?

For deletion, if it's egregious I recommend flagging the post - spam and offensive if applicable but moderator when it's summat else like just plain noise or off-topic. Otherwise, the natural order bestowed by downvotes would be sufficient in my eyes. It definitely helps to clean junk, but remember that giving the author authority on this subject out of line means that it can be used for points where it is not as appropriate. So I really recommend the flagging route.

Asking a question shouldn't convey any superior content privilege beyond your option to delete the question if you so desire, and close it if you have enough reputation. Past that, the community is already catering to the author's needs by providing vital answers and feedback. There is already a level of control in that as the author makes more demands, we as the community reshape our content to best solve the dilemma. Giving mechanical control seems unnecessary and open for abuse.

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wow thanks! very good explanation and line of reasoning... – studiohack Jun 29 '10 at 0:32
tl;dr - but 9999 is such a nice number :) – Ladybug Killer Aug 5 '10 at 22:20
@Ladybug Yes! This is so much cooler than breaking 10k! – Grace Note Aug 5 '10 at 22:35

What you're asking for falls under the category of site moderation, because it deals with modifying/removing content of other users.

Aside from being able to edit other user's content at the 2,000 reputation level, everything else you've asked for is diamond-mod-only functionality (and for good reason). Even at 10k, we have to vote to delete questions from the system, so we can't remove things unilaterally.

Content can be deleted automatically through flagging, but that's more for removing offensive/spammy material. If answers aren't useful for the question, then the voting system pushes the unhelpful answers to the bottom, and if the answers are paying enough attention, they will either fix their own content, or remove the answers themselves.

That being said, there are some situations where it's nice to keep the comments to a minimum. But at the same time, it's pretty rare that a conversation gets out of hand, or goes on a ridiculous tangent. If there's a problem or an exceptional circumstance, flag the nearest object for moderator attention, and they will decide how to deal with the situation. That's their function on the sites!

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This is a bad idea that has no place on StackOverflow.

Your feature request is actualy quite a significant overhaul of the purpose of the site. The situation you have described would be more acurrately called "Microblogging".

Once your feature has been implemented, we would essentially be created a HackerNews style "feed" of "interesting items" because each user can simply post whatever contact they feed they want, and then other users would add "answers"(comments) on it. Then people would vote up or down the original post and the answers.

Where microblogging comes in, is that because each user would have complete moderation control over their own page, it becomes more about them than about the community. StackOverflow is meant to be a crowd-sourced repository of information, that means we encourage and require the participation and input of the community in order for the site to be valuable.

Once we change the site to a series of soap-box sermons, where each individual user gets to write whatever they want and completely control the content, then we've lost the entire purpose of the site.

This site is not about users it is about questions and answers. Your feature would dramatically change that.

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