How should we handle questions where the user answers their question by editing the question and posting an answer there usually flagged with "Edit" or "Update" (à la Reddit) instead of posting a proper Answer?

SSH timeout every time

I posted a comment advising the user to answer the question and why it's important, but I am conflicted as to whether I should roll back the edit to discourage the practice further. We obviously want the question answered, but if I leave it, I fear it will encourage others to continue this practice. However, if I roll it back, it may not get answered and I obviously can't answer on behalf of the user.

What to do?

1 Answer 1


Adding a comment to encourage the user to post the answer into the answer section is a good way to start. I usually also rollback the edit immediately so others don‘t take it as an example of how they should self-answer questions.

In addition, if the OP doesn’t come back within a few days and the answer seems to be worth having (so it wasn‘t a narrow solution to a user-specific problem) I tend to go back and post it as an answer myself (together with a remark about the origin).

  • 2
    Great! I left the comment, and rolled back. I scheduled a To Do for a few days to check back.
    – Allan
    Aug 26, 2020 at 17:13
  • 1
    This is a very kind way to do it. Another is public criticism. -1 the question, comment why it’s not useful (answer not in answer section, question could be more clear) then remind yourself to come back and thank the person, reverse the vote. Or do the edit and then vote as if the OP was on board. This is a hard thing to force someone to do. People that love blog posts and putting UPDATE, really love that wording. This is a hard topic to moderate. People can get defensive with a downvote, and lash out at you. Be prepared if you try this.
    – bmike Mod
    Aug 26, 2020 at 23:53

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