I was reading this question:


and I noted that every answer had to be completely rewritten following an edit to the question that entirely changed the thrust of the question.

Should we not rather immediately rollback such and edit and request that the asker pose a new question instead?

2 Answers 2


See my comments on that question, but I think it should be rolled back.

First of all the original answers were alright to start with but the edits to make them to accommodate the new questions didn't really add anything of value.

Secondly the original was borderline on the not-constructive side of things, and the new version made it worse.

This kind of moving target question is a bad precedent to sent. New focused questions should be encouraged instead.



Questions on SE sites are living documents which should be edited and can change over time. Sometimes this will invalidate the answers that have already been made.

However, its good practice for these changes to be made by the author only in response to a potential or actual close of the question.

Its also good practice to notify the answerers if the question changes dramatically.

  • 4
    I agree, but invalidating 4 answers by completely changing the question does not seem to be in the right spirit either.
    – user32
    Aug 29, 2011 at 1:34
  • 3
    If the question is in danger of being closed then it's ok. However, the question specifically addressed in this question was just changed for change's sake it seems.
    – wax eagle
    Aug 29, 2011 at 1:43
  • 2
    I'm not sure which way to vote on your answer. I agree that editing is good but we can't have moving targets like this either. Editing should revise, extend and improve not wipe the slate clean and ask a different question. I agree that sort of thing would only be appropriate for a question that was getting closed, but since that is not the case here I think it should be rolled back.
    – Caleb
    Aug 29, 2011 at 8:48
  • 1
    -1 Why not ask a new question? Aug 29, 2011 at 15:00

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