So my answer to this question got edited in a way that I didn't intend, and as normal I rolled it back. The edit got repeated, so I rolled it back again and was about to point out to the offender that this wasn't permitted by the rules of the site to repeat an edit that has been rejected by the author, when the perpetrator added a comment saying that they were a mod. They then locked the answer with their version of the edit conflict in place.

I respect the mod's right to a personal opinion on what I wrote, but I don't think it's appropriate to force those opinions on others, or to use mod powers to resolve an edit conflict in their favour. Nobody else had complained about the answer, and it's heavily upvoted. There was something the mod's comment about this "descending into a bunch of arguing", which I hadn't noticed, but I'm fine with the mods removing argumentative comments.

  • I was writing about this when this question got posted. I let my own question remain since I come from a the presumably more neutral position (since I didn't have an answer that was getting gutted). money.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/3015/…
    – TOOGAM
    Jul 19, 2021 at 15:04
  • 10
    It hasn't been answered yet. So no. Jul 19, 2021 at 15:41
  • While we can write that saying "Your mom screwed you over" is not nice, it's also not nice to disregard that the OP's mom has caused harm, and is probably a person that will do so in the future. That is, by deleting the statement instead of rewording it. Maybe "Your mom has harmed you financially and you'll want to be careful in the future." That doesn't carry the same punch (and the original is what I'd really want to say), but it at least warns the OP they'll need to be wary from now on. Jul 19, 2021 at 20:32
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    And if the comments descended in to arguing then it would appear, yet again, that the problem is misuse of comments, not the answer.
    – quid
    Jul 20, 2021 at 4:50
  • 4
    If saying true things about the bad behaviour of third parties is now verboten, I hate to think what's going to happen to History...
    – AakashM
    Jul 20, 2021 at 9:02
  • The main focus of discussion is now the duplicate link above. I'm fine with that. Jul 20, 2021 at 19:51

1 Answer 1


The goal of PM&F is not only to answer the question and help the OP, but to leave a response that will help others in the future with a similar question or situation.

Before editing a post, we should ask ourselves, "How would I feel if a similar edit were done to something I posted?"

In that vein, I think the original response was appropriate, albeit blunt, and the edit unnecessary. If you don't like the answer, down vote it.

I'd rather see an answer down voted if it's a bad answer or removed/deleted by a mod if it's completely inappropriate or violates the rules. Editing the content of an answer should be reserved for formatting issues and readability, not a change of the author's intent.

"Be nice" is the rule that I see listed here in meta as the one being broken. If the rule was broken egregiously, then remove the answer. If not, then why not down vote instead?

  • 1
    I understand that your intent is to say that the edit was "unnecessary," and I tend to agree. However, think about the consequences of what you are suggesting in the second half of your answer. You are saying that if a mod deems something in an answer as inappropriate, that it would be better for him to delete the entire answer than to simply edit/delete the offending portion. I can't agree with that, and I think that if the mod had done that in this situation it would have been much, much worse.
    – Ben Miller
    Jul 20, 2021 at 21:13
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    If he had done that, we would all be here on meta suggesting that the mod had simply deleted the offending portion rather than the whole answer.
    – Ben Miller
    Jul 20, 2021 at 21:15
  • Not exactly -- I'm saying since the perceived offense was likely not severe enough to warrant deleting the entire answer, then the default should have been to leave it alone. Editing the answer in the way that was done should be an absolute last resort.
    – Rocky
    Jul 20, 2021 at 23:39
  • I get that, but let’s say that the first sentence was indeed bad enough that it needed to change (maybe it had legitimate profanity). Wouldn’t you rather the small offensive part be removed/adjusted than to throw out the entire otherwise good answer? I would.
    – Ben Miller
    Jul 21, 2021 at 0:13
  • We can contrive a situation that warrants an edit, sure. What if it were a racial slur in an otherwise good answer? Remove the offending part, or delete the post and ban the user? Me, I’d slam the ban hammer. Here, OP acted in good faith, so I vote that the edit was unnecessary. Looks like I’m in the minority, though. That’s ok.
    – Rocky
    Jul 21, 2021 at 4:34

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