I've created a messy question on StackOverflow (could have been on any site) and just made it worse after people started commenting. The question got downvoted and my problem was left without a solution.

Should I edit the question completely or just create a new one? What aspects of the mess up I should take into consideration when deciding this?

Deleting the original question and creating a new one seems like... cheating somehow?

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    "Should I edit the question completely or just create a new one? " - You should absolutely NOT ask the same question again. Asking the same question will just result in a question ban. – Ramhound Mar 3 at 17:23
  • Does this answer your question? Question Garners New Facet, Close ? Edit ? New Question? – Rob Mar 3 at 18:35
  • @Ramhound the thing is: I messed the question up in the title and people gave me incorrect answers because they couldn't understand it. Should I edit the title instead? Since it got downvoted, I'm afraid people would start to ignore it. – 大朱雀 Mar 3 at 18:55
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    @Rob nooot exactly, since I already had all the info in the first place. I just messed it up because 1. English is not my first language 2. it was hard to explain my issue due to its complexity – 大朱雀 Mar 3 at 18:56
  • I don't think it's a duplicate, the other question is much more complicated and about a changing technical specification. – bad_coder Mar 3 at 19:00
  • 0923052323, we explain to new users that the comment you replied to is automatically generated by the system during a Review; usually we don't reply, especially to senior users. --- That is but one of many possible duplicates of your question, additional duplicates can come from review or be found in the right side column. --- You should always ensure that your question (and answers) are well written; you can edit the question above to ensure that no other duplicates it but now that it has an answer you must be careful not to make an edit that invalidates existing answers. – Rob Mar 3 at 21:06


Deleting the original question and creating a new one seems like... cheating somehow?

It isn't cheating. But that's not the recommended course of action.

  1. Check any thread by anyone who ever hit a post ban. They all say: "Try salvaging your posts by editing them into shape".

  2. If you like badges notice there's a positive/negative question record that impacts your Curious/Inquisitive/Socratic badge awards.

In the above 2 scenarios deleting clearly counts against you. Depending on your rep and track-record this may range from having nearly no impact to significantly changing your participation.

  1. Take care if posting a new overhauled version of the question without deleting the old one, there's still a chance someone might consider both questions similar enough and vote for closure as a self-duplicate. (Which would count towards aggravating the 2 former points.)

The question got downvoted and my problem was left without a solution.

Edit it. That's enough for the downvoters to be able to reverse their vote. Some users might be following your question and tag watchers are also likely to not have read it yet, or revisit it if there's recent activity.

NOTE: In these cases it might be better to temporarily delete the question in order to calmly edit it - you can undelete it when you're done. (That way the post is kept out-of-view and temporarily protected from further downvotes and comments.)

Vote counts can auto-correct after edits. All things considered editing is still, probably, your best course of action.

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    You can't edit your own question while it's self-deleted, because spammers have abused it in the past. You'll have to edit your question in an external editor and then save the edit after undeleting. – Sonic the Anonymous Hedgehog Mar 3 at 18:09
  • @SonictheCuriouserHedgehog yeah exactly, edit/revise the question (outside the editor or in the sandbox). – bad_coder Mar 3 at 18:11
  • Everything makes sense, but I still feel like editing the question to make it clearer would be pointless since it was already downvoted. It might be a misconception of mine that people "ignore" downvoted questions – 大朱雀 Mar 3 at 19:36
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    @0923052323 for example search by tag has a tab called "Active". After you edit the question gets bumped to the top. Downvoted questions (with recent activity) actually get a lot of attention, people check them to see what's wrong and if something needs to be done (like closing, editing, etc...) – bad_coder Mar 3 at 19:38
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    @bad_coder I never looked at it this way. I guess this settles this up. – 大朱雀 Mar 3 at 19:41

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