Post under discussion is this one.

I edited this post by removing the greetings and thanks. I had put a comment as well to point out the norm at this site.

The OP insisted on putting the thanks (see the subsequent discussions (comments) after the post) and edited it back but putting the thanks again at the end.

And we do not want to start a roll back competition, do we?

  • 6
    Related: meta.tex.stackexchange.com/questions/2809/… Personally, I don't think a 'thanks' hurts anyone, so I wouldn't worry. Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 6:57
  • Related meta.tex.stackexchange.com/questions/3602/… Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 12:01
  • We had a very similar issue come up on Physics recently. In our case it escalated into the suspension of the user in question, although there are enough differences that I wouldn't necessarily say that should generalize to your situation as well.
    – David Z
    Commented Jun 23, 2014 at 23:15
  • @DavidZ Presumably there was more to it than just wanting to have 'thanks' in posts? (If you can comment without giving away detail that should not be public.)
    – Joseph Wright Mod
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 9:26
  • @JosephWright let me refer you to this question on our meta which concerns that series of incidents. I think that should give you the gist, but ping me in chat if you have questions.
    – David Z
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 17:22

2 Answers 2


The StackExchange model is based round the idea that the sites are not forums, but that questions and answers should have some element of generality. As such, 'good' questions should be focussed on the matter in hand, ideally without many things that might make good forum posts. That's one reason that 'thanks' is discouraged and why community edits are allowed.

At the same time, each question does have an original poster (OP) who has some element of 'ownership' (their name is on the question, after all). The usual guideline is that edits shouldn't fundamentally alter what the OP said. Some people are particularly keen on a very specific form of words, style, or similar, and thus may feel that edits to 'standardise' their text are not what they want.

What we have to do is balance these two situations. My take is that editing to remove 'thanks' is reasonable (it's in both the site and cross-network 'spirit'), but that having an editing war to do that is not. So if the OP decides that they really do want the 'thanks' in, it's not a big issue to accept this and move on.

Note that the moderators do have tools that can be used for 'edit wars' and which can prevent any edits at all. In general, we will not use these unless really needed, and I think it's fair to say a case about editing 'thanks' isn't one I'd like to see them used for!


You're dealing with people here, and some people are just different. They may not like other's removing their signatures, their "Thank You's", correcting their CaPiTaLiZaTioNS, ...

Having been here for a while, I have grown accustomed to the communal attitude and nature - something that most likely guided you in your edit. That's honourable, and that's that. If the original poster feels like their sincerity has been undermined by such removal, by all means allow them to roll back the post to its original form.

Despite the community's efforts to shape visitors/users of the site in a specific way, you'll invariably find some visitors who don't like their stuff touched. We accept it since arguing of such personal preferences doesn't answer the question at hand...

  • 2
    You hit an important point in noting that, in addition to a repository of information, this site fosters a "communal attitude" not unlike the rapport developed between colleagues meeting at a conference. I myself am often enough guilty of extraneous commentary, when I go out of my way to congratulate a particularly enlightening answer (rather than just upvote), and even when I occasionally throw in gratuitous humor. We are not automatons on this site and I strongly believe the sense of community should not be purged in an effort to distill information. Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 11:11

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