I have a couple of questions regarding what guidelines the users are following when editing my questions (or answers). Examples:

  1. They are removing my signature, for example "Regards, Gustavo".
  2. Every time I use abbreviations like SO, they update it using the text itself.
  3. I cannot complain with the edits, my answers (or question) are updated without my concern.

In this case what I am supposed to do? Re-edit the question (or answer)?

  • 3
    Please see meta.stackoverflow.com/faq#signatures. – ryadavilli Jan 29 '13 at 16:18
  • 14
    The faq has a section saying signatures and taglines aren't welcome. So that's the answer to point 1. – Daniel Fischer Jan 29 '13 at 16:18
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    1) You don't need signature in the question. In fact, it clutters the question. 2) It is a feature, if I understand it correctly. 3) It depends. If it changes meaning of your post, then you should edit over it or rollback. – nhahtdh Jan 29 '13 at 16:18
  • And if you do not agree with an edit, you always have the choice to roll back to a previous version or edit the way you want. – ryadavilli Jan 29 '13 at 16:18
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    What are your complaints? The community and the SE engine itself are improving your posts for you without you having to do anything! That sounds ideal to me. – JonW Jan 29 '13 at 16:19
  • @ryadavilli: I wouldn't encourage people to roll back over some change in formatting (unless it is makes the post worse). Changes in meaning should be rolled back, though. – nhahtdh Jan 29 '13 at 16:19
  • The down votes explain me everything. Thank you for your attention... – gustavodidomenico Jan 29 '13 at 16:20
  • 1
    If users are editing that stuff out of your questions, then maybe that should be a signal that you shouldn't have been putting it in there in the first place. – Adam Rackis Jan 29 '13 at 16:20
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    Of course there is this: stackoverflow.com/faq#editing And with regards to the votes there is this: meta.stackoverflow.com/faq#vote-differences – Bart Jan 29 '13 at 16:20
  • @nhahtdh I agree. I was just suggesting the options the user has if they dont like an edit. Didnt mean to encourage rolling back valid edits. – ryadavilli Jan 29 '13 at 16:21
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    SO is intented to attract professionals, not kiddies. It's more attractive if the posts are worded in a professional manner, whereby grammar, style and spelling are all been addressed. If your command of English and/or "netiquette" is relatively poor, you should see it as a valuable opportunity to learn how to write posts the professional (smart) way. Look how your posts have been edited and use the lessons learnt for your future posts. Without being visited by professionals, your chances on a professional answer are little. – BalusC Jan 29 '13 at 16:25
  • 1
    On Meta, downvotes indicate disagreement; specifically, with your final statement "In this case what I am supposed to do? Re-edit the question (or answer)?" No, you should let the edits stand, because they sound look good and proper edits. – meagar Jan 29 '13 at 17:10

The particular edits you object to are, in fact, correct. Throughout StackExchange the accepted culture is that questions do not start with a greeting (Hello, Hi, etc) nor do they end with Thanks or any kind of signature. Other "meta information" such as how long you have been working on this, or that you tried searching already are also generally considered superfluous and removed.

Expanding abbreviations is generally not a good enough reason to edit a post on its own; however if I am already editing a post to tackle spelling, grammar and capitalization errors I will also expand some abbreviations while I'm there.

You shouldn't do anything about appropriate edits, but if someone makes an inappropriate edit that changes your meaning, you can roll back to an earlier version. To do this, click on the link that appears after the word edited under the question, to see a list of edits. There is a rollback link next to each one that you can use to undo the changes. Don't make a fresh hand-edit to go back to how it was.

Also, if you find yourself in an "edit war" where you make a change and someone makes the opposite change, and that goes on for a while, flag for a moderator to help you.

  • Better than my own response. Thank you! – gustavodidomenico Jan 29 '13 at 16:30
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    or that you tried searching already - this can be a grey area. A list of 40 search terms you plugged into Google is clutter, but saying "I've read this article and this blog post" (with links, of course!) can provide important context (especially if the article contains unclear, misleading, or plain incorrect information). – yoozer8 Jan 29 '13 at 17:28
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    @Jim no argument. What I usually remove is literally "I tried searching this but found nothing." They don't even distinguish between Googling, searching this site, or searching the documentation. It's just a "don't yell at me" mantra that carries no information – Kate Gregory Jan 29 '13 at 17:30
  1. They are removing my signature, for example "Regards, Gustavo".
  2. Every time I use abbreviations like SO, they update it using the text itself.

In these cases, you should do nothing, because your posts are being improved for you. Take it as an indication that you should not include your signature and avoid abbreviations in future posts.

In general, if you disagree with an edit, the best thing to do is leave a comment directed at the editor saying why you disagree. You can use an @-notification for this. You also have the ability to roll back an edit, i.e. revert to the previous version, but it's usually better not to do that until you've understood why the editor made their edit and they understand why you want the original version to stay.

  • The editor may well have provided an explanatory note in the box provided by the edit interface. Look in the edit history to see what they said. – dmckee Jan 29 '13 at 17:40


1: They are removing my signature, for example "Regards, Gustavo".

Ans: SO and the community recommend you not to use signatures, as you can see in the FAQ.

2: Every time I use abbreviations like SO, they update it using the text itself.

Ans: Sometimes they are just trying to help and improve the community.

3: I cannot complain with the edits, my answers (or question) are updated without my concern.

Ans: Again, if you check the FAQ you will see that you can rollback the edits.

  • Thank you for you kindness. Better than downvotes, because I just have a doubt. – gustavodidomenico Jan 29 '13 at 16:27
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    downvotes on meta mean "I disagree". People downvoted your question to say they thought you were wrong to object to those edits. Your question was well written and seems to have served a good purpose also. – Kate Gregory Jan 29 '13 at 16:34
  • Sorry, but I never said that I disagree with the edits :). I just was trying to understand. But I dont want to complain anymore, sorry for my question, and thank you for your time. – gustavodidomenico Jan 29 '13 at 16:36
  • 1
    @gustavodidomenico Don't worry about your question. It in itself was just fine. Don't be sorry for it. Downvotes come quite more freely on Meta. Especially to express disagreement. And Meta rep doesn't mean a thing to begin with. So don't sweat the downvotes. ;) – Bart Jan 29 '13 at 16:42
  • Actually I think the idea that this is collaboratively edited site is probably more important than the ability to roll back edits. From the faq If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you. – Some Helpful Commenter Jan 29 '13 at 17:10

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