Here is an example where a user has accepted an answer and then edited their question to include a copy of that answer. I asked why and the reason given was that "I've seen many people do that"

This is certainly true (I have seen it too, though I am too lazy to find other examples), so I wonder if there is some good reason for it that I am not aware of.

In my opinion it adds clutter to the question and potentially deprives answerers of reputation if future visitors find a self-contained Q&A without scrolling to the Answers section.

Is this something we should discourage, encourage, or just ignore?

  • 4
    Even though this is generally a bad style, I'd like to point out that the OP here didn't just copy the answer wholesale... they did repurpose it into a self-contained function that fit the narrative of their story. The big data dump is a bigger annoyance IMO.
    – rm -rf Mod
    Jul 9, 2016 at 5:25
  • 2
    @R.M. yes that's true, perhaps I should not have singled out this particular case as there are certainly worse examples. I wonder if it comes from forums with a linear conversation layout - where it can be very useful to put the answer into the first post specifically to avoid future visitors having to scroll through pages of wrong answers and chatter. Jul 9, 2016 at 11:20

4 Answers 4


I don't like to see that kind of edit. I agree that it has bad side effects. Perhaps we could just edit the question once more and remove the OP's edit. Or would that just start an editing war like two five-year olds screaming "It's mine!" -- "No, it's mine!" at each other?

  • 1
    The "editing war" part is quite amusing :P
    – Wjx
    Jul 9, 2016 at 1:31
  • It's usually best to explain the issue and ask the OP to make the edit themselves. I was about to do just that, when I realised I didn't really know how the community felt about it. Jul 9, 2016 at 11:20
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    @SimonWoods, just direct the OP to this page, here. I'm sure the OP would understand.
    – QuantumDot
    Jul 9, 2016 at 19:36

I feel that including an answer within the Question itself:

  1. Runs against the intended mechanics of a Stack Exchange site, preventing independent voting on the Question and Answer

  2. Draws attention away from actual Answers and thereby may be a discouragement

My recommendation is to post a derivative solution or summary as a separate Answer that the community can vote upon, rather than to append it to the Question.


In general, I'm not a fan of "here's the answer" edits to questions, but I think specifically removing things like this that actually add value is discouraging for the OP, and a waste of time. As R.M. points out in his comment above, OP posted the main idea from the answer in a nice self-contained function. When someone puts a fair amount of effort in, and it's their question I think it's better to let it be.

The verbosity and huge pictures make this question kind of hard to quickly understand; in this case the little edit with the solution was a nice addition.


I don't like it aesthetically. If it adds something valuable, we should encourage the OP to move it to a self-answer. Failing that, the community (maybe) should cut-n-paste to a community-wiki answer.

If the "answer" is merely a reproduction of already existing answers and does not even include particularly specific things to OP's problem, those should be removed.

Upvote if you agree.

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