I just read a new user question in which the user asked a good question (good description of issue) but included no code. When asked in a comment, they added code. An answer was added as a comment, the user indicated success and thanks, and then edited their question to remove the example code.

I have looked at the edits, and I don't see anything in the posted code that I would consider client/employer sensitive information. I do think someone searching for the issue could understand the question and the posted answer, but I also think that leaving the code in place might help another user understand the issue.

Is it acceptable to reverse the user's edit? The commented answer was later added as an actual answer, which OP has not accepted or upvoted yet. I am planning to add my own comment to encourage them to upvote and accept, and to revert their edit for the good of the community. But assuming the user never follows up, is it considered bad form to restore content removed by the original poster if the essence of the question remains intact after their edit?

1 Answer 1


Is it acceptable to reverse the user's edit?


Removing substantive content from a question, especially in a way that renders the answer invalid, is vandalism. It's not okay for users to draw value from the community and then deprive the rest of the community of that value by destroying a question.

You are welcome to directly reverse such edits or flag the question and a moderator can roll the edit back (as I just did in this case).

  • 2
    We can also lock if they try to persist.
    – Adrian Larson Mod
    Jul 28, 2022 at 15:23
  • @AdrianLarson Is a lock different than question closure? I've seen a few people delete their questions in response to it being closed (after protracted anti-self-vandalism rollbacks).
    – Derek F
    Jul 29, 2022 at 11:42
  • Yes locking prevents any further edits. It does also prevent voting and some other things, but in the case of repeated self-vandalism, that's usually deemed an acceptable tradeoff.
    – Adrian Larson Mod
    Jul 29, 2022 at 12:17

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