It's a question to muru who edited this answer yesterday. At first, I made a suggestion in a comment, and next the OP replied it was a solution. I copy/pasted the working suggestion to make it ans answer and added this little header in it: "Turned into an answer to improve the stats". This to tell the OP there was nothing new in it, and it was only an attempt to decrease the number of unanswered questions.

The header have been erased one minute later exactly without any explanation. What was wrong with it?

If there was some kind of private mail here, I would have asked muru only. I'm not used to complain about moderation on Internet, but to me, it's not moderation or improvement here, it's plain censorship.

4 Answers 4


You can always ping me in chat. I have been to the general chatroom, so I'll get notified if you leave a chat message with @muru in it.

That said, the line I erased didn't contribute anything to the answer. Someone who has the same problem in the future and comes upon your answer will be thankful for it, and it won't matter to them that it was a comment at first. Quite a few of my own answers started out as comments (testing the ground at first). In fact, if you'd waited long enough, someone or the other (possibly even me) would have commented on the question asking you to post an answer.

I was wrong not to leave a summary.

  • 2
    I just wanted to clarify, you will only get pings from chat if you have visited the room in the past 3 days.
    – Seth
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 17:00
  • @Seth Didn't know about the 3 days rule. Thanks.
    – muru
    Commented Oct 14, 2014 at 17:10
  • I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone on SO admit to an error before..
    – Thufir
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 8:58

Well, I am not muru, but I can imagine why the line was removed. I could have done it as well. Since this is a question / answer site, questions should be questions and answers should be answers, and not include an explanation why you answer.
Instead, I would explain in a (temporary) comment to the question that you converted your comment into an answer. You could even mildly suggest OP to accept the answer if it was the solution to his question (which serves correctness of stats as well).

You should not look at it as censorship; improving each other's questions and answers is what we do here all the time, .

Many of my posts were improved afterwards, and in practically all cases I agreed. Even posts of the most experienced users are being edited. In your case I think it is an appropriate edit as well.


Irrelevance, short and simple.


Thanks for your replies...

They make clear to me I didn't break a rule or wrote something wrong. It's only because someone (and maybe some other) think it's better to change it.

Of course, I have a different opinion. I wouldn't had written this if not.

To me, the point is not to know which pov is the best. The point is to know if, in this place, people think they've got the right to rule others with their opinions. Rules are great because they allow various people and ideas to coexist peacefully. And adversely, when people start to enforce their opinions as if they were rules, diversity vanishes and conflicts arise.

Maybe people here don't really price diversity and peace. I will not advocate or ask anything to change. Just leave quietly if this is the case.

EDIT: @Jacob Vlijm: I'm not taking this personally. I posted here to know if I made a mistake (maybe these kind of comments are forbidden and I know not). Now, I too regularly say to myself: "hey, the post is even more readable without this line", but I don't rush on it. I first ask myself if this modification can be prove to be better, using rules and facts. Spelling mistakes can be checked against a dictionary, performances and solutions can be tested, and so on. If not, it's an opinion matter, and then I politely suggest or more often shut up. Who cares about my opinions ?

I don't do this because I'm a shining virtuous man, but because it's effective. I avoid offending people without good reasons, and often, thinking twice on things which look obvious to me at first glance show me I missed something of their complexity or their merit. Last but not least, this often leads me to focus on the main goal, not on trifles.

And here what is the goal ? To answer questions ? Correct ? Now take a look at the post: my first reply was given some hours after the OP. That's because a fair amount of people take care of freshly posted questions. No need to join them, so I roam some pages in the past to find if I can help there. I found this fairly simple question, 99% chances my reply will work. Turning into a full answer, and less than a minute after, muru's edit came. Muru is not a newbie and I bet he could have replied himself before me. So what ? There's a lot of edit work here, and my question is: is this not detrimental to the real goal which is to give answers ?

@muru: don't feel confused, and no, I would not rollback your changes because it would be mirroring exactly what you did editing my reply. So what ? You could then restore your edit, and... I guess we're both intelligent enough to give up at some point, but there's no real reason for this conflict to stop.


  • You are really taking this (too) personally. Editing is not done with a "let me prove I can do better" -intention. You gave a good answer, someone passes by and thinks (with the general idea of AU in mind): "hey, the post is even more readable without this line". and edits. Edits are not always good, I have seen horrible edits, turning a fairly readable post into a mess, but the general idea is that posts improve or get updated over time, more like the "open source" idea. Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 20:02
  • Now I am confused. If you still think my edit was incorrect, and did not improve the post, you can rollback to your original version (look for a rollback link in the revision history of the post).
    – muru
    Commented Oct 15, 2014 at 21:41
  • Well, I usually roam the active questions area, and your answer pushed that question to the top - that is (partially) why the edit happened so quickly. Since you had answered it, and I wasn't interested in the question, I "improved" yours and moved on. And no, I have only once re-edited a rollbacked edit, and that was because code-formatting was absolutely essential to make sense of that post. If someone decides to rollback my edit, I leave it alone otherwise.
    – muru
    Commented Oct 16, 2014 at 10:52

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