I've been searching to see if this was already asked; sorry if it's a duplicate, couldn't find an answer.

I've been wondering what I should do if someone bad edits my post?

For example, I explain the steps to do something from a link, adding the link for further info, and my answer gets edited, deleting the steps I've witten from the link, and only showing the link.

I think only posting the link is a bad idea. If it goes down, the answer is not useful anymore.

So, What should I do? I've made effort to write those steps, so is there any way to recover them after they've been removed by an edit?

  • 8
    You can rollback the edit. Click on the line which says "edited by X", which will send you to the revision history, from where you can rollback to a suitable revision
    – muru
    Commented Jul 29, 2016 at 8:57
  • Roll back. Simple.
    – EKons
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 17:46

3 Answers 3


You should "rollback" the edit if someone damages your post. Click on the 'edited * ago' link under the post

then find the revision you want to go back to and click 'rollback'

(By the way, this example is a judicious edit - I didn't actually rollback here)


Functionally speaking Zanna's answer is good... Although I would beg you avoid rollback wars.

That is to say if they rollback your rollback, don't rollback again. Raise a flag for a moderators on your post. Explain the problem and we'll find the rustiest spoon available to "deal with" the problem. We're good at wet work. Use us.

On a slightly different tack before you blindly roll things back, make sure they haven't left you a reason for the edit. The situation you describe sounds like you've copied a load of content that isn't yours and somebody is scrubbing that from the post.

Let us be clear here. Posts you submit here grant everybody else a license to that content. If you don't have the rights to that content (or a license that gives you permission), you are committing copyright infringement. By extension, because SE is providing this content under a license that allows people to use redistribute, they become [slightly] liable for the content too.

So anything you post that isn't yours either needs to be:

  • Small and discrete and important enough that it fits under fair use.
  • Used under a license compatible with CC-BY-SA v3. And in the way that license specifies.

If you are using another SE user's posts, as you are in this post, you have to follow the SE license to the letter. There are 4 attribution requirements:

  1. Visually indicate it's from whatever SE site it's from (eg "This is a post from Ask Ubuntu")
  2. Link to the original question (or better yet, the answer).
  3. Explain who wrote the post you're copying. All its authors.
  4. Link to each author's profile page.

In this example of yours, you're only completing step 2. That's not good enough.

And that's with quite a permissive license. If you're copying from something that has no open license (all work is assumed copyright unless otherwise stated) in a way that is well outside the scope of fair use, that's even worse.

Either way, tidying up copyright compliance issues is a perfectly valid edit but they should explain this in the edit reason or comments.

Copyright infringement isn't the same as plagiarism.

Everything above is about copying actual content. It's a legal hurdle. In that regard it is very different to our policy on plagiarism which deals with the much softer side of being honest about whose ideas it is you're using and giving credit where due.

So yes, this has similarities to the attribution requirement, but this applies for much smaller things and is completely independent of the copyright license. Even if something were explicitly public domain, CC0, etc and didn't require attribution, we would still expect you to list them as the reference.

  • I've alerady got it, but isn't it too much to specify its authors? What if they deleted the post for a reason afterwards and don't want to be listed (or, better, they would comment instead)? And, I think it's useless to specify the SE site (don't know if I'm wrong on that, though).
    – EKons
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 17:53
  • Get their explicit permission or follow the attribution guidelines. Until you do you're trying to use (and get SE to use) their content outside of the license it was provided under. Seems inconvenient but those the rules.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Aug 1, 2016 at 21:03
  • I mean, if I've alerady posted that content, and, then, the original linked post gets deleted, should I wait for a comment before I remove the reference?
    – EKons
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 9:38
  • Leave the attribution in place indefinitely unless its owner explicitly releases you from that requirement. There are ways of verifying the reference: 10k users can see deleted posts, the Wayback machine spiders almost everything. Them soft-"deleting" the original doesn't remove their copyright ownership or your requirement to follow the original license.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented Aug 2, 2016 at 9:41

An alternative which may also avoid a rollback war is to re-edit adding missing detail and removing erroneous information. (This assumes that the edit made was at least partially correct.) Of course if the edit is completely erroneous rolling back (as stated by many others) is the best option.

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