6

I originally answered this question. He asked what was wrong with a very large command. I fixed the command in question. A little while later he asked another question with the answer to the previous question in it. He was told it wouldn't work in the comments. He then changed the question to something that could be accomplished. I answered the edited question. He then posed another question in the comments to my answer while at the same time editing his question to an entirely different question which more resembles the original question before the first edit. It seems he is updating his question each time he gets new information.

I commented on my answer to explain to him that it is not acceptable to edit a question like that and that my answer no longer appears to belong there.

I feel that almost wasn't good enough so I have a few questions on the general consensus of procedure in cases like this.

  1. Should I delete my answer that no longer answers the question and delete my original comments to the question that no longer make sense?
  2. Should I then leave another comment to the question that explains the problems with editing a question like that?
  3. When he edited his question the first time, which changed it drastically, should I not have answered it? Should it be flagged for some reason?
  • Side note: you're dealing with a bit of a Help Vampire there. He'll keep asking and asking without doing much thinking of his own. If he responds to comments, try and lead them down the right path without simply giving them the fixed command. Ask them things to check, point them in the right direction, but if they keep being more and more demanding feel free to (peacefully) disengage with them. – Robotnik Aug 17 '17 at 5:59
  • Related: chameleon questions. – TRiG Aug 17 '17 at 9:55
  • @Robotnik That was a good read. Only problem with his solution is under #2 of "Reforming a Help Vampire." He states "Let the URL to your help resources be your only answer" which is discouraged here. The trend I have noticed, the answer which requires the least amount of thinking from the OP is generally the answer which gets upvoted. – IronAnvil Aug 17 '17 at 18:28
  • @TRiG A good read. It describes what I experienced. I certainly see how you viewed it as related. – IronAnvil Aug 17 '17 at 18:32
  • @IronAnvil - It's not 100% accurate to Stack Exchange Q&A sites as the article was written primarily about forums. Still though, you can link them to our help center pages, especially around asking questions and etiquette – Robotnik Aug 18 '17 at 3:25
  • Also, don't forget to downvote if the user has not displayed effort. Enough downvotes ensures an unreformed help vampire will no longer have the capability of asking more questions. – Frank Aug 18 '17 at 23:32
6

My answer would be to make a rollback, stating why do you do it, and advising the user to ask a new question if they want to learn something else. And flag it for moderator attention if something goes wrong.

-1

Should I delete my answer that no longer answers the question and delete my original comments to the question that no longer make sense?

If the asker changed his question drastically because he realized that he phrased it wrong, then yes update or delete. But in this case, I think you could just paraphrase the relevant question within your answer so that readers aren't confused if the question text changes to unrelated queries.

When he edited his question the first time, which changed it drastically, should I not have answered it? Should it be flagged for some reason?

Users could always do drastic edits because they understood the question as-is was unclear or broke Arqade rules. If you believe they changed it because of not understanding the correct approach, then by all means comment instead and clarify what is going on.

  • In this case, the edit was not because it was phrased incorrectly. The edit was not asking the same question in a better way. It was asking a similar question with different requirements. Essentially a different question. – IronAnvil Aug 12 '17 at 18:01

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