I saw a question Cursor appearance to Hand where this answer was edited by user NullPointer with some more information but the OP deleted the information provided by NullPointer. Then NullPointer posted this as another answer.

My questions are:

  1. Should users with more than 2k rep do what NullPointer did?
  2. Or should edits be only to correct spelling, tags and format code?
  • if I came across that edit(his earliest one) in the review queue, I would reject it as invalid edit Dec 12, 2012 at 17:27
  • but as i saw nullpointer provide useful information ... and usr with 2K+ rep wont get +2 rep on edit approved so what this behaviour means/calls ?
    – 911
    Dec 12, 2012 at 17:33
  • @SamIam earliest one wasn't invalid at all.. its 4thi point to add related resources or hyperlinks... Dec 12, 2012 at 18:03

4 Answers 4


I hate it when this sort of thing happens. His edits were well-intentioned, trying to add explanations and references to an otherwise pretty crappy answer that's a code block and literally nothing more. But... putting words in other people's mouths upfront is not exactly the best way to go about addressing that.

I won't blame the author for rolling back the edit, but I left a comment:

Not going to say anything about the rollback - that was probably OK for you to do, but you could at least explain your answer in your own words...

Because as mentioned, it is more appropriate to comment to that effect. Just don't force new content into other people's posts. If you have something to add, comment on their answers, or better yet, write your own answer.

Although one of the answers he edited was rolled back, I'm not going to touch the other answer that he edited. I'll leave it up to the author of that answer, or even the community, to see if that edit should be kept or not.

  • That user also added a random link to another answer that was not warranted. I rolled it back.... It should have been a comment.
    – Naftali
    Dec 12, 2012 at 17:44
  • @amanaPlanaCAnalPAnaMA: That's the answer I was referring to. I'll leave it at that then, thanks :) Dec 12, 2012 at 17:46

In general (not referring to the specific case), it's perfectly fine to edit more information into another user's answer. You need to use discretion and have it just be succinct information related to his answer, that doesn't put words in his mouth. Of course, this is mostly for the technical sites like Stack Overflow.

The goal is to have good answers, not many fragments of a good answer.


It's really tough for me to say anything about the edit itself. So, let me get this out of the way.

My opinion is that the answer is worthless. It's only a block of code. It doesn't explain anything, or justify anything, or even state which browsers that CSS is compatible with. There's more work in trying to verify the helpfulness of the answer than there is in the answer itself.

I don't feel that we should be polishing turds; if the answer is poor, perhaps it should be downvoted instead. Edits like this just don't leave me with a warm and fuzzy feeling.

  • 2
    Poor quality answers shouldn't be removed/deleted, they should just be downvoted.
    – Servy
    Dec 12, 2012 at 18:31
  • Given enough downvotes, that's what happens anyway. Valid point, though.
    – Makoto
    Dec 12, 2012 at 18:33
  • No, it doesn't. A post can have 1000 downvotes and never be deleted; the owner of the post would need to choose to delete it.
    – Servy
    Dec 12, 2012 at 18:33
  • @Servy, normal users with enough rep can vote to delete answers with a negative score. I'm not sure when this privilege is granted, but I see it as an option at 20k.
    – Charles
    Dec 12, 2012 at 20:19
  • @Charles Yep, but they shouldn't delete an answer such as this because it doesn't meet the guidelines for an answer that should be deleted. You are correct that it's a 20k privilege.
    – Servy
    Dec 12, 2012 at 20:20
  • 1
    @Servy, it depends. This user has enough rep to know better, and I'd leave the downvotes as they're more likely to sting. This isn't always the case.
    – Charles
    Dec 12, 2012 at 20:23
  • @Charles This answer meets the minimum quality standards for an answer. It's not asking a clarifying question, replying to another answer, it's not a link only answer, it actually contains enough information to answer the question (or make a good faith attempt to), etc.
    – Servy
    Dec 12, 2012 at 20:31
  • @Servy: Take it from the perspective of someone that's new to CSS or doesn't yet know the perils of browser compatibility. How would this answer benefit them? What knowledge do they gain outside of some hunk of code, which could easily be found on any website that uses a custom cursor?
    – Makoto
    Dec 12, 2012 at 20:33
  • I didn't disagree with that @Servy. I did revise my answer to remove the "deletion" part, though. I didn't realize we were still going on about that...
    – Makoto
    Dec 12, 2012 at 20:39
  • @Makoto Nevermind then. So we agree. Not sure what else there is to say.
    – Servy
    Dec 12, 2012 at 20:43

Adding that much information is invalid (and would probably have rejected if it had gone through the review queue).
What the user should have done is leave a comment for the OP to add information, OR just add a comment with the new information.

There is no need to post a duplicate answer with the same information!

  • that answer doesnot explain anything ... is just a piece of code and ... instead adding another answer. I thought i should add some useful content ...and ifs its count odd behavior ... i wont ..add information.... Dec 12, 2012 at 17:50
  • @NullPointer that is what the comment system is for
    – Naftali
    Dec 12, 2012 at 17:50
  • 3
    @NullPointer: Nothing wrong with adding another answer that substantially builds on other answers. It is only bad if you don't add anything worthwhile to your own answer that the other answers don't have. Dec 12, 2012 at 17:52
  • 2
    @BoltClock'saUnicorn Also remember to attribute properly if you base your answer off of another's.
    – Servy
    Dec 12, 2012 at 18:19
  • @Servy ha! Good one ^_^
    – Naftali
    Dec 12, 2012 at 19:30
  • 1
    @amanaPlanaCAnalPAnaMA I don't think speculating about what would or wouldn't happen in the review queue helps your case. Its irrelevant since it doesn't apply and the current review system was broken by the review badges so its a bad authority. Dec 12, 2012 at 20:20

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