What would be an appropriate course of action for answers that are affected by edits done to questions per Broken Windows Review? In particular, how should we (should we?) take answer score into account?

Most common case so far seems to be answers quoting parts of the questions that are removed in editing (examples: 1, 2, 3) but there could probably be other cases of "de-synchronisation".

I would like to better understand what is expected of authors, reviewers, editors, flaggers and moderators involved in broken windows review.

2 Answers 2


Thank you for raising this important issue.

The broken-windows reviews are still a new effort, so at least for now, I'd appreciate it if the meta posts discussing these questions could also address specific answers. Sometimes existing answers are fine, sometimes a minor edit will fix them, and sometimes something bigger is needed. Instead of trying to come up with a one-size-fits-all answer before we have much experience with this, how 'bout highlighting the cases where something bigger is needed? Then the community can weigh in or, ideally, help bring them into sync.

When changing a question in a way that affects an answer (which is rare outside of this effort), I leave comments on affected answers to point out the change and ask for an update. If the author has visited the site recently, I prefer to give him a chance to make the changes himself first. I recommend this here too.

  • currently affected answers seem to be discussed in comments, could we agree on some more convenient place, in cases when discussion spans more than 2-3 comments?
    – gnat
    Sep 11, 2014 at 16:09
  • 1
    ...I also wonder if it makes sense to notify authors of these answers and if yes then how? my own experience so far was frankly somewhat disappointing, I posted couple comments but these seemed to be ignored, at least until moderators chimed in with their own comments
    – gnat
    Sep 11, 2014 at 16:12
  • 1
    @gnat of course they ignored them. Why bother cleaning them up when there is no real reason to so what the question got changed, I already go my rep for it. Sep 11, 2014 at 17:28

Blow all of the answers away. If the answers get edited they can flag to have them undeleted. If not then no harm no foul and the answers are not there to confuse new people.

  • do you suggest to blow all answers or only those invalidated by the edit? (not that I disagree, in fact I am heavily tempted to vote up, :) just want to better understand)
    – gnat
    Sep 11, 2014 at 15:16
  • @gnat - I would say all. Any edit here is going to change it to where the answers need to be edited, this should help ensure that they either are edited or are not a broken window of their own. Sep 11, 2014 at 15:20
  • To be clear I am only proposing this for the quesitons listed in the broken window meta question not all questions that ever get edited Sep 11, 2014 at 15:21
  • deletion leaves editing options to be available only to authors, 10K users and moderators, are you okay with that? (and of course I understand that your approach is limited only to posts listed in the broken window meta question)
    – gnat
    Sep 11, 2014 at 15:24
  • @gnat - I am lets face it they are the only ones likely to clean it up anyway and really its going to be the user that wants their rep back that is going to fix their own answer. Sep 11, 2014 at 15:25
  • But then again I am not a big fan of people who answer these types of question in the first place. There are too many answers that are just there to farm rep that are not good SE answers and they are by people who have been around long enough to know better. Sep 11, 2014 at 15:28
  • I see, that makes sense. To be totally precise, "rep back" motivation won't work for answers older than 60 days with score 3 or more but this likely doesn't matter
    – gnat
    Sep 11, 2014 at 15:28
  • @gnat - That is a bit disappointing... but I am still infavor of this method. No point in having bad answers hanging around even if they were once highly voted. Sep 11, 2014 at 15:31
  • "disappointing"? actually no. Probably the main point of keeping legacy rep for cases like this is to lower resistance to approaches like you suggest. Just think of it, would you want meta to be filled with complaints like "Y U took my 40 repz from 3 months ago". This happened once at MSE ("Black Weekend") and keeping legacy rep is what saved it from total destruction back then. The point is, you let people keep their friggin' repz "in exchange" of less complaints about cleanup :)
    – gnat
    Sep 11, 2014 at 15:34
  • 1
    @gnat yes because then we can tell them yea now stop posting answers to crap questions or you are going to keep losing it :) Sep 11, 2014 at 15:43
  • as much as I like your attitude, it's too optimistic I'm afraid. MSE had much more regulars to tell like you suggest but even they gave up the whining tsunami (iirc on Black Weekend Saturday, they were rather keeping up but when Sunday came, it was all over:). Let's bite what we can chew, answers under +3 or younger than 60 days will give us enough of it I think
    – gnat
    Sep 11, 2014 at 15:51

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