I made an edit on this answer summarizing a large amount of "stuff" that was extra, unnecessary, hardly readable, and sometimes inappropriate. I left the answer with the very same important meaning, removing wrong, non-useful things like:

I know people that went to jail because they download child pornography but never abused a children

(Wrong because downloading child porn is a form of abuse.)


Not calling your son a sexual offender, he isn't one just like me. Why find a therapist that works with sexual offender? Because they will not judge your son like some other therapists does because they don't have experience with this type of subject.

(Wrong because OP is not a therapist and can't make that suggestion. This is a matter of medical/professional advice)

and even

Suicide all the time, I never tried to kill myself but I always though about that the world would be better if I killed myself. Or why god choose me to be like this and not someone else. Some suicide thoughts that I had like buying a gun and shooting my head, freeze to death, take some medicine like a lot till get a overdose, I never used drugs and I don't drink but I thought of using drugs till I die or don't feel in my normal state of mind anymore, drown myself.

(Inappropriate since saying things like "shooting my head" are unnecessarily gruesome when "Thoughts of suicide" expresses the situation perfectly)

But the OP changed it all back, with a comment that I changed all the "stuff he said". Well, I did change a lot of it, and in a necessary way..

So, when an OP denies necessary edits to his answer, does the community roll back the edits/lock the answer somehow, or does the OP own the answer, and in this case the answer should just be removed?

Is my edit valid, or is it questionable?

How is this handled here?

  • 1
    Can you explain why you thought that editing it was the only alternative to it's deletion? That point I don't quite understand. Feb 23, 2015 at 19:24
  • 2
    I'm unclear on what part of a thread about a teenager being a pedophile you expected to be especially "appropriate" or easy to read. Or for that matter, why you find shooting my head too gruesome, but ostensibly, not the topic of being sexually attracted to prepubescent boys. "Disturbing" strikes me as an inherent part of the discussion here. Feb 23, 2015 at 19:30
  • 1
    @anongoodnurse or perhaps it's perfectly ok as it is, I didn't know those kinds of things could be put into answers.
    – J.Todd
    Feb 23, 2015 at 23:29
  • If anything, some of the content of the answers should be in prefaced by trigger warning "tags". It's one thing to read a question about sexuality or sexuality disorders when that's clear based on the title, it's another to be presented with detailed self harm or suicidal ideation without warning in an answer.
    – user11394
    Feb 24, 2015 at 8:44
  • @CreationEdge - I wondered about that a bit myself. How could (or should) that have been done? I'm open to suggestion. Feb 24, 2015 at 14:51

3 Answers 3


I've locked the post until a consensus can be come to. In general, such substantive edits should not be made without the author's consent. Personally, I felt in this case that an unfiltered experience is important to share, and may be helpful to someone in the future, even if it's uncomfortable to read. If you disagree with the conclusions, you should post your own answer rather than trying to change his.

  • 3
    Certainly in this case - that's far too big of an edit. I don't think grammar changes would be objectionable, but the wholesale removal of most of the text isn't appropriate.
    – Joe
    Feb 23, 2015 at 15:08

This particular post aside, assuming the edits to the answer are appropriate - ie, are not changing the tenor of the post nor the substance, but are changes to improve readability or similar - the OP does not have a particular right to not have edits made. The correct thing to do in this case if the OP reverts what you consider an entirely valid edit (and you want to pursue the matter) is to flag the post for a moderator, or post here (as you did) to get meta feedback as to whether you're right or not about the edit.

  • 1
    Note that in this specific case the edits were editing the content of the post, and as such were inappropriate and rolling them back was correct.
    – Servy
    Feb 23, 2015 at 20:31
  • 1
    Absolutely - hence my initial caveat.
    – Joe
    Feb 23, 2015 at 20:32
  • In general, SE discourages edit wars (Can't find a cite at the moment)
    – user3143
    Mar 16, 2015 at 21:03

I just want to add that I agree with Karl Bielefeldt and Joe. @Random Guy, I saw that you did answer, but you also wanted to make his answer more like yours - to suit your sense of decorum. That's not what edits are for.

Far better to interact with the poster in comments, or, also an option, to answer it yourself with a better answer. Down vote the answer if you think it is not useful.

If you see truly offensive stuff, please edit it out and flag it. If the OP rolls back, there will still be a mod alerted to the offensive stuff.

Oh, and @Random Guy, I quite agree with some of your assessments. I challenged the OP in comments.

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