While browsing the featured question list I noticed that this question was edited by the asker to a completely different question, from something related to quantum field theory (I think?) to a contest math question. Moreover, this edit occured after another user placed a 250 bounty on the original question.

As far as I can tell it looks like the asker is trying to take advantage of the bounty the other user started. Should this edit be made undone?

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe you should flag for moderator attention. $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 17:44
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    $\begingroup$ The question has apparently completely changed twice... It seems like the user in question doesn't really understand how the platform works (or maybe is bypassing a question ban). $\endgroup$ Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 17:59
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    $\begingroup$ Strange thing. Meanwhile a moderator rolled it back. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 18:11
  • $\begingroup$ @quid Good to see that this got solved so quickly, and I now know to flag the question if I ever see something like this again (I thought that flagging was more as spam/inappropriate content type of thing). Now that this question has become superfluous, do you think I should delete it? Or should I edit it into a more general question about what to do in these situations? Or just leave it as it is? $\endgroup$
    – Marc
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 20:41
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    $\begingroup$ I think it makes sense this is recorded. I gave a quick answer. I tried to write it so that you can leave the question as is or generalize it, as you like. $\endgroup$
    – quid Mod
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 22:11
  • $\begingroup$ May I suggest refunding the users reputation for the bounty too, since this mess means he probably isn't getting his 'money's worth? $\endgroup$
    – user14972
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 13:09

1 Answer 1


There can hardly be any good reason to change a question-post into something completely different, rather than to post a new question. If there is a bounty on the post it makes the situation even worse.

In such a situation one can and should do at least one of the two:

  • Flag for moderator attention (flag "other") and explain the situation. A moderator can not only restore the original version, but could even lock the post in that state if needed.

  • Rollback to the earlier revision and explain via a comment and/or in the edit summary that this is something that should not be done.

One might not be able or confident to do the latter, in which case one should do the former. Even doing both can be justified in a case where one suspects this is a bad-faith activity or back-and-forth in edits might follow.

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    $\begingroup$ Related: What can moderators do when a user defaces his/her own post?. The received wisdom is that if rolling the change back once is contested, let a moderator take control (but watch for Edit Wars VII, coming soon to the big screen). $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 22:31
  • $\begingroup$ Oops, I just rolled it back a second time before reading this. But I also flagged for attention. I agree this seems super problematic. $\endgroup$
    – xxxxxxxxx
    Commented Nov 22, 2015 at 8:29

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