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This answer was recently edited, by another user. I am concerned with the edit for a number of reasons, but primarily it is the fact that they have changed a substantial portion of the substance of the answer after that answer has been accepted.

Is this a reasonable concern? If so, what is the most appropriate way of handling this? My initial reaction was that the edit should be rolled back, with a comment left to the person who attempted the edit asking them to provide their own answer if they disagree with this one. Thoughts?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Ouch, I have to admit that I was not as careful reading the changes as I should have been. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Mar 22 '14 at 13:22
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This is a tricky situation.

By all accounts, the first version of the answer - which was accepted - had some pretty incorrect statements in it. (This is why you don't accept answers within a day, people!) It should have, accordingly, been downvoted.

Andras's edit was definitely an improvement. But it was also an edit that was too major, outright replacing a significant portion of the original answer. In this case, Andras should probably not have edited it this way and it probably shouldn't have been approved: Andras should have downvoted, and posted their own answer.

In this circumstance though? Probably just leave it as is and avoid making this situation messier. I'll leave a comment on the answer letting Andras know about this.


On this note, though: sometimes people perform a too-major edit on a bad (but accepted) answer, and explain they wouldn't normally have done it, but it was the accepted answer, and that one should be correct, right?

Don't do this. Accepted answers don't get special treatment. If it's wrong or a bad answer, downvote it, then post your own, better answer. If the answer with a tick beside it has a low or negative score, and it's followed by one with a much better score, they'll get which one's the better answer.

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I would say that asking the editor to post his own answer and rolling the already accepted answer back to its accepted state would be best. The asker accepted the answer for a reason.

If the answer had not been accepted I would say that in this specific case the answer was edited to such a high degree that a roll back would also be appropriate, that amount of editing, in my opinion, warrants a new answer as they basically rewrote the entire thing.

If the edit was correcting grammar, punctuation, spelling or even just 1 or 2 small errors I would say let the edit stand, if the answer was not the accepted answer.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ What about leaving a comment on the "wrong" (I'd really can't tell if it is) answer to notify there's a better answer below? RPG.SE isn't stackoverflow, but often unaccepted answers are overlooked when one answer has been accepted. It could sound a little like bragging. \$\endgroup\$ – Trajan Mar 21 '14 at 13:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ But its not up to an individual to decide what is 'better'. That's the whole point of the voting system \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Mar 21 '14 at 13:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Phil: The examples I replaced were objectively wrong. There are subjective questions on the board, this was not one of them. \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 22 '14 at 12:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Phil: I really hope the voting system is there to use the crowd to find the right answer, not the most popular one. \$\endgroup\$ – András Mar 22 '14 at 12:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Andras In an ideal world yes, but you cannot legislate for why people vote for particular answers. What you cannot and should not do is fundamentally change the content of someone else's answer because you think it is incorrect. What you should do, and the whole basis for the way the site works, is to post your own answer that you believe is correct. \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Mar 22 '14 at 13:27
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I was the editor of the answer.

First I downvoted it, and started to give my answer, when I realized there is nothing wrong with the answer itself. It said what needed to be said, just the examples were totally bad.

I debated just deleting the examples, they were not an essential part of the answer.

Then I realized the question was fairly basic, so if he had to ask that, the asker probably needed examples.

So after this process modifying the answer was the logical step, but I understand how the end result was wrong.

I will give an independent answer next time.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ For what it's worth I dont think he is picking on you specifically.... it just happened that you edit was the impetus for his question. \$\endgroup\$ – MC_Hambone Mar 22 '14 at 14:13
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    \$\begingroup\$ Absolutely. A large part of my question comes about because of a realisation that I did not know the limits/protocols when it comes to editing answers, particularly after they've been accepted. Your action prompted this, but I would hope that this meta-question offers clarification in general for similar situations \$\endgroup\$ – Wibbs Mar 22 '14 at 15:00

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