First of all: I do not want to blame someone, so the example here is only an example no statement against a person!

Have a look at this revision 3 to a question:

revision image

As you can see, someone asked a question, got answers and then he/she has rewritten the question to something completely different using the answer(s) they have already got. Now the old answers, which were useful for answering the original question, are more or less no longer useful for the new question.

Should we revert this question to the original one (and also delete new answers to the new question) or should we accept the question as it is now and delete the old answers?

I'm not asking about what to do, if someone has a follow-up question. We all know, that he/she should ask a new question. But what to do, if someone has not asked a follow-up question but replaced his/her original question by a new one.

  • 7
    in that case where the new text refers to answers of old no longer seen question I'd be tempted to revert and leave a comment to the OP saying to ask a new question. Normally if the new question still makes sense, I'd let it go Commented Oct 28, 2017 at 20:37
  • @Narusan Is there any need to show the username in this question? Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 14:38
  • @Schweinebacke No, you have a point there. I was just wondering why you censored the username, but it takes almost no effort to find them (just clicking on the link).
    – Narusan
    Commented Nov 6, 2017 at 14:41

2 Answers 2


The StackExchange model works as answers (and thus questions) have value beyond the original asker. To make that work, we have conventions such as answers always being separate from questions, and allow editing of questions to make them clearer. In the same vein, a question which has good answers should not be edited to a completely different one. Instead, a new linked question should be asked. Thus in the scenario described, I would expect a roll-back plus a comment pointing out why this happened.


XY questions are rather common on this site and, I guess, also on other sites of the StackExchange network.

In the specific case, I left a comment to my answer, replying to the OP, and rolled back.

There are cases where the edit is not really minor, but better explains the problem and updating the answers is easy or almost straightforward, or even unnecessary, just requiring a comment or a small edit. This one wasn't of the kind: instead it was an almost complete rewrite of the question asking for several unrelated things. It's the “unrelated” that makes the difference. I acknowledge that judgment comes in at this point, but the case seemed clear.


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