This question is closed almost six years ago, however it now has 3 answers edited within one day.

Edits are 1 2 and 3.
All of them are done by the same user with currently around 200 reps.

My questions:

  • Why edits of answers to closed questions are allowed?
  • Trivial question would be why such edits are approved, less trivial one is why there is no warning during approval that it's a closed question?


I thought I find more agreement, but reading the comments I see people are more diverse.

My argument against editing answers to closed questions:

We close question because they don't add value to the site. Either being low quality, either being off-topic (or both).

If community has already agreed that a question doesn't add value to the site, why do we think editing its answers may add value? Who do we expect fill find this answer?

And if still editing is allowed, why submitting new answers aren't allowed, there could be changes which justify a new answer, and not just editing in old ones. Or why questions closed before receiving any answer has no chance to receive a solution, while other could be improved forever.

As compromise: could we restrict those edits for users with high rep only?

  • Meh, the second edit wasn't technically proper formatting anyway, just fixed it
    – undo
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:07
  • The question being closed has nothing to do with us attempting to continue to improve the quality of an answer. Of course the edits in question are trivial, and should have never been approved. I can't seem to determine, which reviewers, did approve the suggest edit though.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:08
  • 2
    Why edits of answers to closed questions are allowed? Because if we're going to be keeping old closed questions around anyway, it makes sense to at least keep them up to date if they become outdated
    – undo
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:08
  • 1
    Surely, when reviewing a suggested edit on an answer, you look at the question to see how relevant the edit is. That would tell you if it was closed.
    – Chenmunka
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:11
  • 2
    That user has been doing some awful edits for a while now.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:20
  • @Mokubai Worse, it actually breaks answer #1.
    – Bob
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:22
  • @Ramhound It's community wiki, so >100 rep doesn't need approval.
    – Bob
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:25
  • @Bob looks like in this case community wiki is not our friend. It needs to be manually reverted as I cannot see an edit suggestion here.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:25
  • @Mokubai Yup, I've manually fixed that one.
    – Bob
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:26
  • "If community has already agreed that a question doesn't add value to the site" - Because questions are sometimes closed after a good answer is submitted.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 14:39
  • 3
    To add to what seems to be a widespread sentiment here: Questions that are deemed totally valueless are generally deleted.  Moderators can also lock a question; that prevents edits.  We sometimes keep questions around when they’re not a great fit for the site; that doesn’t mean that we want errors in the answers to go uncorrected.  Also, clarifying an answer can help to illuminate a question that was closed as “unclear” (although, ideally, an editor who understands what the question means should edit the question). … … … … … … … … … … … … … … … (But, yeah, this user’s edits are lousy.) Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 21:54
  • Thanks @Scott! That helped to understand. I tend to forget that closed questions are not necessarily rubbish. Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 5:51

1 Answer 1


While the question itself may be closed, that is not necessarily a reason why it should never be edited. Sometimes it can be a Good Thing (tm) to edit an answer to make it more applicable to new products and so on, but it should be done with care, attention, and knowledge of why you are doing the edit. The edit should result in a qualitatively better question or answer.

The user doing these edits appears to have a history of marginal edits, most of them are utterly minor formatting edits, and only a few edits that are truly an improvement to the post readbility. Some are even actively harmful as in the case of your first edit that completely breaks a keyword in the answer. These are not the kind of edits that should be done to closed questions in my opinion as they offer no real benefit.

As these edits seem to be simply to gain reputation with little or no understanding of our formatting rules, the content of the answer (damaging key parts), or even any real intent to provide a benefit to the community they should be rejected.

  • I’ve rejected several of this user’s suggested edits, most of which were just a waste of my time and some of which were actively harmful. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed. Commented Sep 11, 2017 at 21:38
  • @Scott I'd noticed him amonth or so ago and tried to let one of the reviewers know that this guy's edits should be considered suspect chat.stackexchange.com/transcript/message/39767965#39767965 but the edits are still too low quality in general. Some good-ish, mostly bad.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Sep 12, 2017 at 8:40
  • They’re at it again. (You-know-who) suggested an edit to this question on U&L that borders on vandalism. I’m willing to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that it’s based on misunderstanding rather than malice (not that that’s an excuse). It is, of course, especially troubling that two moderately-high rep users approved the edit, and a third (very-)high rep user subsequently edited the question’s tags without repairing the ‘vandalism’. … (Cont’d) Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 12:59
  • (Cont’d) …  It’s fortuitous that this thread already existed (thanks to Máté).  In general, what should I do if I see behavior like this? Flag it? Report it via meta? Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 12:59
  • Either would be fine, I'd be tempted to raise it on meta first to raise community awareness that some editors are abusing or misusing the system (and that they are being incorrectly accepted) as it will make people more likely to reject them. After some number of rejections the user will get a temporary ban. It's also worth raising with moderators so that they can contact the user if necessary.
    – Mokubai Mod
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 13:16

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .