In addition to this question with no answer:

What to do when the original question changes so drastically that all answers seem absurd?

Should exist a closing vote option when the OP change drastically the question when the answers comes up? The closing vote could have a text similar to: changing the content of the question is not very beneficial for future users, we invite you to generate a new question .

The final result of this type of question is very confusing for the respondent and for future users, while the OP is just getting information.

Knowing how this works, if I need a tutorial about how to create a special text effect in Photoshop I could start with: How to change a border to a text? After having two or three answers, I add, I was talking about a text border with some 3D effect. After two or three answers, yes, but the effect must be editable for future use!...

Such situation happened with this question: Erasing stroke on two separate segments of shape

  • 3
    I can tell you what I did - I deleted my answer to that question as it was no longer relevant. I have no intention of redoing my answer.
    – Billy Kerr
    Jul 1, 2018 at 10:43

1 Answer 1


Closing a question is usually meant to drive the OP to edit their question to make it better.

Questions that need additional work or that are not a good fit for this site may be put on hold by experienced community members. While questions are on hold, they cannot be answered, but can be edited to make them eligible for reopening.

If the question gets put on hold (after getting enough close votes), it doesn't accept new answers but whatever answers were there (even if they may seem absurd at this point) are still there. If the question gets edited, it enters the reopen queue. Closing the question because the OP edited it to clarify their intent would go against the nature of the mechanism.

Even if the original question was misleading, if it was potentially useful for others, clear, and not a duplicate, I think the best that can be done is what is currently going on with the question you linked: let the OP clarify what they really need and let answerers update their answers if they have the time.

Ideally, I think it's important that the question retains the previous information that was provided so that previous answers don't look like they are completely off-track. So I think it would be fair game if the OP edits their question in a way that obfuscates all previous information, to step in and edit back in the missing info so future readers can make sense of what happened.

If you look through the edits of this question (which sparked the meta question you linked), you will see that the OP had changed the example completely but that eventually both examples were made available (after some back and forth).

Proper editing can ensure that the question is still useful for future readers.

  • 1
    Ok, I understand. Although it is true that it lends itself to speculation, as I clarified in the question. And there are often cases like that, such as the question I have quoted. I am exaggeratedly organized, to see such a chaotic number of responses caused by changes in the conception of the question get me rejected ;-)
    – user120647
    Jun 29, 2018 at 15:41

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