Recently I happened to encounter a question on Stack Overflow that cited a part of a Wikipedia article. When I read the answers I found a contradiction between it and the Wikipedia quote. When I checked the Wikipedia page, I realized that this part of the article has been changed and now accommodates with the answers. ( dynamic in the first line of the article is removed.)

Now, should I edit the question and update the quote, or what? Because I think this is misleading information and can cause some serious headaches. On the other hand, it might invalidate the question. So ...?

  • Editing the question to say something different to what was previously asked is going to make everything not make sense. Are the answers correct? If so all is well Mar 14 '14 at 10:01
  • 2
    What you might do is edit the question to add a footnote or other low-emphasis text stating that the article has been updated, and link to the version at the time of the question. Mind you, the WP article is still not coherent, some parts still say that duck typing has to be dynamic. Mar 14 '14 at 10:14
  • 1
    As meanwhile the problem was solved as the example question has been edited: good luck with changing the above question to match those changes. ;-)
    – Arjan
    Mar 15 '14 at 8:45

The basis of the question appears to have been information on Wikipedia that wasn't quite correct, and the answers speak to this. This isn't the first time that's happened.

Since the question links to the articles, someone curious enough is going to figure it out pretty quickly. Still, the answers remain the same - so the question is no less valid than it was when it was written, it's just the impetus has vanished.

If a change like this results in an exceptionally confusing scenario, you can leave a small notice at the bottom of the question to the tune of:

Note: External quotes referenced in this question have drastically changed, you might wish to visit the original linked sources for additional context.

I don't think that's needed in this case, as Wikipedia certainly isn't the only place that incorrectly defined it.

Always try to avoid anything that makes answers look like they landed from another planet, and you're generally fine.


You shouldn't edit the question, because like you say it would invalidate the question.

Note that the question starts with this (emphasis mine):

Wikipedia currently says

  • How about making `Currently' word bold, just like what you did ?
    – Rsh
    Mar 14 '14 at 10:10
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    @Rsh Not sure, I'm leaning towards Tim's suggestion of adding a footnote, and perhaps changing it to Wikipedia currently<sup>1</sup> says
    – Stijn
    Mar 14 '14 at 10:14
  • When editing, instead of bolding I'd rather replace the "currently" with something like "currently (December 2009)", especially as the example is a community wiki post that doesn't easily reveal that date to people who don't know Stack Exchange, @Rsh. (Meanwhile, it has been solved.)
    – Arjan
    Mar 15 '14 at 8:42


If you find a link in a post pointing to a page that has changed, and no longer says what the post says it does, just edit the post to:

  • note that the content of the linked page has changed since the question / answer was posted,

and / or:

  • where the older version of the page is still available at another URL, and is a more appropriate target for the link than the current one, make the link point to the older version instead.

For Wikipedia links, the latter part is pretty easy, since all the old versions are archived. Just:

  1. Note the date at which the question / answer was posted.
  2. Go to the Wikipedia page and click the "history" tab at the top.
  3. Using the year / month search form, find the revision that was current when the question / answer was posted.
  4. Copy the link and paste it into the answer (or just note the oldid=... query parameter and append it to the original URL).

Anyway, for this particular question, I just did that for you.

  • 1
    I like the edit you made. For a moment I was afraid that following the oldid=... link might confuse people even more, but there's a nice red warning on top of that page. Perfect.
    – Arjan
    Mar 15 '14 at 8:51

You should rollback the Wikipedia article. In the edit comments, include a link to the Stack Overflow question and explain that you are trying to keep Wikipedia consistent with the information on Stack Overflow.

  • downvoters have no funny bones
    – jball
    Mar 14 '14 at 23:52
  • 3
    @jball It doesn't sound funny... Maybe I should go get an X-ray.
    – bjb568
    Mar 15 '14 at 0:43

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