Maybe this has been proposed before, but I couldn't find anything.

Many times it happens that a question is asked, some answers are added, and then the original poster changes the question in such a way that the answers are no longer relevant. This makes the answerers look like fools in some cases (and they often get downvoted)

Can anything be done to prevent this on SO?

A possible solution would be to only allow adding to an existing question when one or more answer has been added. Just a thought...


By "adding" to a question, I don't mean only allow comments, but prevent the original content from being edited by the OP. They can only add extra text below the original text. Others (with high enough reputation) can of course edit all the content if required.

This piece of text under the header "Clarification" is an example of what I mean (I added this after the first answer was posted here).


This would make more sense on a site like ebay where money is changing hands.

There's no reason to have that restriction here. You could propose better notifications of edits for questions you've participated in, perhaps, but that's relatively low priority.

Generally most questions have a flurry of editing during the "interest period" and then stabilize. So if you check back to questions you've answered after a day, I expect 99% of the time you'd have the desired effect.


I think it will always be important (in the general case) to be able to edit the original question, to add detail etc. In particular, if the OP adds more detail as an "answer" it tends to get hammered and requested moved into the question! Comments can't often be used for this, due to both space issues and rep requirements.

If you think it has been edited inappropriately, roll it back or edit it (perhaps highlighting the "original question"). You can also flag it for a moderator, who can lock the post (prevents edits, but doesn't prevent new answers). This would be an exception, not the norm - and to be honest if the OP is misbehaving to that extent it is probably easier to close and/or delete it.

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