This question kept pushing for more or less the same idea till 21st November. At the time, the question then contained an explicit calculation where the author had tried to explain his work.

Two days later in 22-Nov, an edit was done removing the calculation which the author had shown causing most of the answers to become extremely out of context under the explanation that his edit was inorder to validate back the original answers (??). This inturn actually invalidated three answers out four which referred these calculations which I have mentioned.

Now the original point of the edit may have been to revert the question back to original to avoid invalidating answers posted, but the edits have done exactly that.

This bothered me because now I saw this question in the close queue under the category that it needs details or clarity.. Hope for a discussion on what other members think of this.


2 Answers 2


As someone who flagged this issue, I'll give my perspective here.

For one thing, it seems really strange to me that you mention that Cort Ammon, Bill Watts, and Dale's answers being invalidated, yet you don't mention my answer. My answer was posted a day before the other answers, and was afterwards invalidated by an edit from OP. Dale's answer also had this happen, and Dale even made a comment; but he chose to edit his answer instead to address the (substantially changed) question.

I don't think that's fair. OP originally asked a question, and I spent time answering it. Then, they decided to just change the question and add an example that seemed to feature completely wrong math (I was talking about this in the conversation moved to chat).

Why should the later answers be made relevant when I had been the first one to come to the problem and spend time answering it in its original form?

There's no completely fair approach here; but to me it makes perfect sense to keep the original version of the question which was answered. Why should the person who was first to help have their answer made nearly irrelevant? If anything, this shows that changing a question after it was asked is unfair, because if people answered before and after the edits, someone is getting the short end of the stick either way, and it's not really the fault of the one answering, since checking the history of a question to make sure it didn't change too much shouldn't be necessary before writing an answer.

As far as the close votes go, there's only 2 now. I had actually cast a close vote after the edits from OP, because most of what they added was math that basically didn't show anything relevant, and made the question very confusing. Since the question was changed back to its original form (which I didn't think was unclear enough to close, which is why I answered it), I just retracted my close vote.

  • $\begingroup$ @petermortensen I appreciate the edits for my incorrect spellings, but honestly I would prefer if you don't change so much of my wording and style choices next time. I feel like a lot of the changes were completely unnecessary. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 6:37
  • $\begingroup$ I mean ultimately speaking, what do you suggest should happen to the question? Should people look and see edit history and look that for context to see the other answers? $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 7:22
  • $\begingroup$ @JMac I didn't know that my mathematical edit will make it even worse. I apologise for my act.. $\endgroup$
    – Ankit
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 12:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Buraian Users should flag the question and let the moderators decide on what to do. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 13:18
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @Buraian I'm pretty sure this answer explains what I think should happen to the question... It should go back to some variation of the original version that was answered. It can still be edited obviously, but edits shouldn't actually change the question being asked, just make it clearer. Like I mentioned, basically any way mods deal with this, some people who answered are going to get their answers made somewhat irrelevant. It's a pretty obvious consequence of changing the question asked after it has an answer. I guess it wouldn't hurt to let the later users know the question changed back. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Commented Nov 29, 2020 at 16:26

The Meta site really isn't the place to hash out grievances against specific users and their actions; this is what custom flags are for. Therefore I'll just address the general question.

Question posts should not be edited in such a way that existing answers are invalidated. If you see this happening, raise a custom flag for a moderator to review.


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