Many answers get invalidated by an edited question.
One of the reasons might be that I look for loopholes and exploit them.


Currently I just leave my answer alone, because they were once valid.

But I don't think this is the best solution. So what to do then?

  • Delete your own answer if it was invalidated?
    • Vote to delete other answers that were invalidated too?
  • Edit your answer so it matches the new requirements?

    This is often not possible, e.g. for the Delete those pesky ".DS_Store" files question it would create a completly different answer.

  • Roll the invalidating edit back?
    • Close the original question and ask the OP to post a new one?
  • Downvote the question?
  • Leave your answer alone?

2 Answers 2


You've been around here long enough that you should be able to recognise these questions before you start working on your answer. There is a place for the protest answer, but if you're expecting to spend more than 5 minutes working on an answer and it exploits a standard loophole which an experienced question-asker would have explicitly closed, post a comment to check that it's intentionally open before you write your answer.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Indeed, if you are looking for loopholes, it's likely that the question will be modified to close them - that's why we're allowed to edit questions/answers on here - to improve them. \$\endgroup\$
    – gnibbler
    Sep 20, 2013 at 11:07
  • \$\begingroup\$ Well, on the first question, I did not search for a loophole, but it is a chameleon question anyway. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2013 at 11:38

I'm not sure we can do anything much with the stackexchange format. Stackoverflow has the same problem. Sometimes you get a downvote, so you go look and see that your 2 year old answer doesn't match the question anymore. If it's a good answer you may wish to add a note that the question has completely changed. Otherwise you might delete the answer.

It probably occurs more often here because we have lots of questions askers who frankly aren't as smart as most of the frequent users here.

If you're have fun finding loopholes thats fine. Remember it's only imaginary internet points being awarded anyway.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Sure. It's not about the reputation. It's about the fact that my hard work is useless now. I hope that my additons don't make this question a chamelion question. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 20, 2013 at 7:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ahh. like all my hard work on this ciphersaber question? (you need 10k rep on SO to be able to see it) \$\endgroup\$
    – gnibbler
    Sep 20, 2013 at 10:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gnibbler I wonder if there's a way to make the CipherSaber question work for this site. If so, it'd be nice to be able to migrate (or copy) your answers here. But then again, I'm biased. :-P \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2013 at 0:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ (For @JohannesKuhn's info, the reason I'm biased is that I wrote that question. :-P It's a fun question, written before this site existed, but clearly a poor fit for SO.) \$\endgroup\$ Sep 21, 2013 at 1:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisJester-Young, I notice lasers and probably others are closed as offtopic. But I believe they can't be migrated here until we get out of beta \$\endgroup\$
    – gnibbler
    Sep 23, 2013 at 0:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ Some are only protected, though. E.g. Sierpinski's triangle was protected very shortly after I posted my answer. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 23, 2013 at 8:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gnibbler I think the high-profile ones, like most of the ones from LiraNuna, probably shouldn't be migrated unless they're in danger of being deleted. But the other ones, like CipherSaber, can certainly be migrated. They discourage migrating questions to a beta site in case it shuts down, but it's not forbidden per se, and when it comes to questions that are already deleted on SO, I can't imagine any harm in doing such a migration. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2013 at 2:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @gnibbler In particular, if you're interested in reviving CipherSaber, you should ask SO mods to migrate it here. :-D \$\endgroup\$ Sep 25, 2013 at 2:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChrisJester-Young, I tried. It was declined - "Questions older than 60 days cannot be migrated." \$\endgroup\$
    – gnibbler
    Oct 9, 2013 at 4:37

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