1

I am aware that this type of question has been asked before. However, my question is probably slightly different from what other people have asked.

I have a question that I posted that has an answer to it from someone else. If I try to delete the question, I'm informed that I cannot perform that action, because the question has answers from other people.

So my question is this, if I can't delete my own question, what is stopping me from editing my question and the responses by just deleting all the information in the question and answers. I.E. Making everything blank, or just adding bogus stuff?

I'm curious to know the answer to this, because, as far as I know, I do have editing rights when it comes to editing my own question and other people's responses. What would happen if I did this? Would I be breaking any rules?

  • 15
    The community can and will rollback such edits. And if a so called rollback-war starts a moderator can lock the post. – rene Apr 16 '14 at 13:57
  • You cannot delete your question if any of the answers have upvotes. – devnull Apr 16 '14 at 13:57
  • You might be given a break from editing, and a break for good too if you try to do that. – devnull Apr 16 '14 at 13:58
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    @rene So basically by rollback such edits, you mean that if I modify my question, the community can remove what I modified, and put it back to how it was before I modified the question? – Curiosity Apr 16 '14 at 13:59
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    You only have 10 reputation on SO; you can't unilaterally edit anyone else's posts to blank them, and suggestions to do so will only probably be approved by roboreviewers. – Wooble Apr 16 '14 at 14:00
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    @Curiosity that is correct, here is a link about that meta.stackexchange.com/questions/75906/… – rene Apr 16 '14 at 14:01
  • @rene Okay. Great. Thank you for clarifying. – Curiosity Apr 16 '14 at 14:01
  • You can edit your own post but not the answers. At least not directly, you can suggest edits to them but they would (hopefully) be rejected. – Kevin Apr 16 '14 at 14:02
6

While you still own the content, and have editing privileges on your own questions, once you post a question, you are licensing it Stack Exchange to use.

This effectively means you can't vandalize you own question for any reason. The community can (and will) revert edits that change questions or remove the content. This is also why you can't delete your own question after it has received answers.


But this leads to the question of why do you want to vandalize your question? You posted a question and got some answers that seemed to have helped you. The users that took the time to answer your question were rewarded (via rep) for the time and effort it took you help you. And other users may have the same issue, see your question, and get help from the same answers.

If you have posted content that needs to be significantly modified or deleted then you do have options that don't include depriving the community of answers or hurting the users who took their time to help you.

  1. Very rarely will questions be deleted just because you need or want to delete them because of the aforementioned reasons. But you are welcome to try by flagging the post for moderator attention and explaining exactly why you need to have the post deleted.
  2. If you have posted sensitive information or code that you do not have permission to distribute, then you can contact the SE team using the "contact us" link in the footer. Explain the situation and they will try to help you out as best as they can. Generally speaking, the easiest solution here is to edit the sensitive information out of the question and replace it with similar but less sensitive info, they will then remove the data from the edit history so no one will see it.
  3. If you copied the answer and submitted as your own work for a school assignment, then that's your own fault for cheating. You should have taken the responses and learned how to implement your own solution from the answer(s), rather than taking the code from the responses directly.
  4. The last option is somewhat of the nuclear option. One of the rights of the CC-BY-SA license is you can request disassociation. The question won't get deleted, but will instead be attributed to an anonymous user. You'll lose any and all ownership of the question, you won't get any rep from it (and you'll lose what rep you did earn), but the question will no longer be associated with your account. To do this, follow the instructions in How do I remove my name from a post, in accordance with CC:WIKI?
6

Yes, you would be breaking many rules. If you have a reason to delete your question, flag it for a moderator's attention.

When you edit your question, your question will go to top, and someone will see that and rollback your edit. The edit history will still be there.

  • 5
    Its worth adding that while you can flag to ask a mod to delete it they almost certainly will say no (although they can escalate to hide sensitive data in the revision history) – Richard Tingle Apr 16 '14 at 15:12

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