I am prompted by the case of: https://crypto.stackexchange.com/questions/11646/the-earlier-question-hasn-been-taken-back, more relevantly presented by the its edit history.

As originally stated, the question had some small SPaG (Spelling, Punctuation and Grammar) issues, which e-sushi corrected. However, possibly in anger at the fact their question had not been answered, the original author replaced the entire question with a complaint.

It is clear policy that edits must always respect the original author, but what does that entail in this or similar cases? If the edit into a complaint is allowed to stand, the question will almost certainly be closed as not constructive. However, to revert to the previous question (which, whilst outside my understanding, seemed reasonable) must be against the most recently stated wishes of the original poster?

I have submitted a revert in this case, since I cannot see how the original poster is more likely to have their question answered by deleting it (which I assume must be their goal).

  • $\begingroup$ I believe users can also delete their own question. Not particularly productive, but it would have avoided this scenario. $\endgroup$
    – Thomas
    Commented Nov 14, 2013 at 4:31
  • $\begingroup$ I guess you could accept the answer and thereby close the question… $\endgroup$
    – e-sushi
    Commented Dec 1, 2013 at 20:51

1 Answer 1


I was a bit offline and just I noticed what I seem to have missed during the past few hours. From what I saw in the edit history, OP obviously didn't understand how or why his/her question was edited and OP misinterpreted the edit as if someone had "stolen" his/her question; resulting in a panic-edit where he/she tried to remove/destroy the question. (I'm refraining from trying to catch the logic behind that.)

I'm pretty sure that if OP had checked the about page, OP would have understood that people can edit and moderate things around here, depending on their achieved “score”. Therefore, I added the following comment to OP's question, hoping that the short but on-point hint towards the about page helps OP understand how and why his/her question could be edited in the first place:

Dear @user12345… before destroying your own question again, please read the About page to learn how things work around here. There really is no need for “panic-edits”.

Looking at that edit history and OP's statement again, I think this is simply an example of what happens when people don't follow the “RTFM” rule.

I think the most constructive thing we can do in cases like these is to be patient, try to explain things while pointing to the relevant documentation, and offer a helping hand where ever and whenever possible… while keeping in mind that some might have to cope with a steeper learning curve than others.


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