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I tend to work by writing the gist of an answer, posting it, then looking up quotes and citations, adding each one, one at a time, saving in between additions, and frequently returning to improve the quality of the answer. This tendency is exacerbated by the fact that my laptop is broken and I have to use my iPad. This makes copying and pasting very difficult, and as I switch between tabs, sometimes the SE tab reloads before I have a chance to save the answer, so I have to start all over again, which sucks.

Unfortunately, all these successive edits keep bumping the question up the list and it makes me look like I am trying to steal rep. As far as I know, I only have one option to avoid this- manually make the answer cw (which I am okay with- I care more about good answers than gaining rep. I don't mind not getting rep from upvotes).

But is there any way to edit an answer without it bumping the question up the list?

  • Well, if the question you answered has a very low score it won't show on the homepage when bumped, only in search results or tag lists. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Jun 10 '15 at 9:24
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Compose your answer in a text editor (Notepad equivalent) then paste it all in when you're done. The style of answer-edit-edit-edit is associated with a number of bad behaviours including FGITW and bump-for-rep. Adopting it to deal with the technical limitations you face is not a good strategy. Asking to have the software changed so that you can answer in this style is unlikely to be successful.

If a user could indicate that an edit shouldn't bump, they could post something decent (perhaps copied from elsewhere) and then later edit spam into it. They could rage quit (and if you think high rep users don't self-vandalize, believe me they do when they get mad enough.) And they could FGITW even more than they do now.

(Why FGITW is bad, btw, is a person slams in a one sentence answer, and gets one upvote for it when it's the only answer, thus ensuring it will sort first, then slowly edits in more details. Others who took the time to post the details in their first draft always appear further down the page and typically do not get as many upvotes as the first-appearing answer. This can be used as a strategy to get the most rep possible for answering an easy question many people will answer. It can also be used to get an answer onto a question that is sure to be closed - you can then edit afterwards and often get rep for answering the poor-quality question.)

Since allowing stealth edits would support or even encourage bad user behaviour, I don't support allowing stealth edits. You should work around your tech limitations another way. Please don't decide not to answer until you get to a better computer though: that drive to answer as soon as you can even if your experience is suboptimal is terrific.

  • I'm not inclined to jump in and get the first answer in before anyone else. A lot of the questions I answer are actually pretty old. I also don't rage, let alone rage-quit, and it is almost impossible to get me angry. I'm like the opposite of the Hulk, really. – Wad Cheber Jun 10 '15 at 22:31
  • I don't doubt it. But software can't know that. So because some people misbehave with edits, all edits bump and draw attention. – Kate Gregory Jun 10 '15 at 23:07
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No. You can't. And it serves a purpose too besides 'gaining rep' (if that is a purpose at all).

Every edit must have the chance to get reviewed. Bumping the question to the web site causes the post to get eyes on it. This is the same for community wikis.

What if you'd edit in spam on an old question? Nobody would notice without the question getting bumped.

  • I'm talking about my own answers- I have no intention of gaining rep dishonestly, nor do I want to vandalize my own questions/answers or anyone else's questions/answers. I'm not a jerk. I think I have a reasonably good reputation here (and I don't mean rep points). I have enough rep points to edit stuff without reviews, especially my own stuff. I have never done anything maliciously or intentionally done anything harmful on any questions or answers. I just want to edit my own answers without unfairly attracting upvotes. – Wad Cheber Jun 10 '15 at 5:26
  • My point isn't that I want to do terrible things without being caught, my point is that I don't want my habit of multiple edits to unfairly gain me more rep from upvotes. – Wad Cheber Jun 10 '15 at 5:27
  • I can change my answers to community wiki, which will eliminate the unfair advantage I'd get from bumping the question, right? – Wad Cheber Jun 10 '15 at 5:28
  • Here is where I heard about the issue of multiple edits possibly being used to gain rep, and cw being a potential solution: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/179901/… – Wad Cheber Jun 10 '15 at 5:32
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    I don't doubt your good intentions, but the system doesn't know that. ;) And CW only makes clear you can't gain reputation on the post. It isn't a solution for the actual problem / question. – Patrick Hofman Jun 10 '15 at 5:51
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    The solution might be to consider composing the answer off-site, then just posting a complete answer.... or leave your initial answer then do your editing to an off-line copy of your post and paste it back when you have finished all your edits. This way, you only bump it once. – psubsee2003 Jun 10 '15 at 8:10
  • @psubsee2003: Indeed. And you have the 5 minute window to correct things. After that it will count as another edit. – Patrick Hofman Jun 10 '15 at 8:12
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    @WadCheber Uh, you don't really have to convince us of your prue character, but the stupid computer. He does not know you're not a 20k rep rage quitter who invalidates all his answers (and we certainly don't either, unless we can take a look at all your edits). And CW just to not get rep from edits is an awful idea. If you want them or not, your answer deserves those upvotes as well as you deserve the reputation. If you feel bad about it, rather than abusing CW, spend some of it on bounties for interesting questions. – Chris says Reinstate Monica Jun 10 '15 at 8:31
  • @ChristianRau - I know that the computer controls it, not you, but I wanted to make it clear that I wasn't trying to get around the rules for nefarious purposes. :) – Wad Cheber Jun 10 '15 at 22:29

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