I asked a question this morning.

I got a lot of help very quickly, although either I was unclear in my question, or people weren't reading. One guy, whose intent was good, to be sure, decided to edit my question (twice) but did so in a way that changed the meaning of the question. He also added a bunch of comments. He wrote an answer that isn't really right. Another person trying to be helpful also missed the point.

At this point, I have to think the question is a train-wreck -- neither helpful for me, nor for anyone else.

My inclination is to delete the question, but I don't want to make the guy angry.

Any thoughts?

  • 1
    You can't delete it yourself; there are upvotes on the answers.
    – user102937
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 18:13
  • 1
    Good question though - most people asking this ask from the otherside: "I answered this question, how do I get out from here"
    – Flexo
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 18:14
  • Well, they are my upvotes (which I guess is my attempt to be nice), so I could undo them, then delete. Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 18:15
  • If they were more than five minutes ago you can't change your vote unless the answers are edited.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 18:17
  • 10
    What am I missing, tharrison? Phrogz edited your question once, and it was a good one (SO discourages signatures, and we don't like tags to be repeated in titles). What problem do you have with his edit? Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 18:30
  • 5
    If the answers aren't actually helpful why upvote them? An upvote is you way of saying the answer was good/helpful, not something you're obligated to do anytime someone answers your question.
    – Servy
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 18:36

1 Answer 1


If an editor has changed the meaning of your question then you should feel free to either roll back the edit, or if only a few portions of the edit were a problem, to change those portions back to what you meant.

It may also be a good idea to post a comment explaining why you feel the edit was invalid.

If you notice anyone reverting your subsequent edits then you should flag the post for moderator attention rather than getting into an edit war with someone over your question. (If they respect your rollback though there's no need for this.)

If there are answers that don't really answer your question, as you meant it, then you should add a comment to those answers stating that they haven't answered your question as you meant to ask it. It might be because of a bad edit, or just a mis-understanding of the question (or some combination). If the poster of an answer knows that they aren't answering the right question they will hopefully be able to update the answer accordingly, or at the very least you will be providing more information to prospective answerers so that they don't repeat the problem.

  • 5
    Generally this would be correct, though I have to note that the meaning wasn't changed at all in these edits.
    – Zelda
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 18:50
  • @BenBrocka I'd have to agree with you, but even if I don't think the meaning was changed, if the OP does then this is the procedure he should follow.
    – Servy
    Commented Jul 3, 2012 at 18:54
  • 1
    @Servy: Whatever-place-of-eternal-pain-you-believe-in no! We can clearly see in the revision history that the meaning is not altered in any way. The question was only cleaned up, but nothing is lost when it comes to the meaning. In this case the OP should first point out what is wrong with the edits before we judge about it. Commented Jul 4, 2012 at 11:01
  • Thanks to all -- I just looked and realized I was mistaken; the edit made by the poster did not change the meaning of the question. In fact, what I was confused about were my words which probably also explains why others were confused. Doh! My bad. But not all for nothing -- I learned several things from the good answers, and appreciate the help and wisdom. Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 14:06

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