On January 15th I posted this question: Why no recent information about or photos of Ultima Thule? Last night (20th of March) an animated gif was added to it that had been published later in the day, after I asked the question. There is a brief discussion of this in Rob's answer. I've got a problem with the addition of the image but I'm content to let it go if there's a consensus on it staying

  • IMHO it doesn't add anything to the question. It's shows the thing we're discussing but doesn't really give the reader any more information
  • I find animations quite distracting, an animation should only be added to something if the movement illustrates one of the principles being discussed
  • This image was put up on the JHU site shortly after I asked the question. Its presence sort of undermines the question itself. The question is asking about the absence of something that is no longer absent
  • If that image had been available earlier in the day, I wouldn't have asked the question. It probably wouldn't have made sense

It isn't a big deal, the question was always going to have a limited lifespan because images were going to be published eventually. Time has passed and the question isn't really relevant now. However, I would perfer to roll back the edit, even though I think it was made in good faith by someone trying to make an improvement


1 Answer 1


Why do people edit other people's posts here?

Ever SE site is different, has different norms and behaviors that deviate somewhat from the global average of all nearly 200 SE sites. This one is quite friendly and collegial and many longer-time as well as new-ish users will edit other people's posts. 95% or maybe more of the time it's welcomed, and when it isn't, most of the time someone writes and @reply or just rolls it back.

Was it a good edit?

No. In this case, I think the addition of the image was a mistake. I agree that the image adds nothing to the question if anything could have been part of an answer.

It seems to be that someone wanted to be "helpful" and "spruce your post up" with some "decorations" without thinking anything through about the question itself or what the image implies.

This user has probably added too many irrelevant images to their own posts and has had to remove them several times after complaints and/or close votes.

Long comment

Asking in meta about this is perfectly fine and allows several people to address your question and concerns, and that will help you see how different people view this.

Another strategy you can use is to ask the person who made the edit directly.

Many/most people don't understand all the inner-workings of @replies, here's how to find out:

  1. Read the FAQs in the "main meta": FAQ for Stack Exchange sites
  2. Choose the one for @replies How do comment @replies work?
  3. find out that if you write a comment with @username where username is the username of the person who made the edit, they will receive a flag that you've left them a message, and they can respond directly.

This is news because most people know that if you try to @reply to someone who hasn't already commented, the autocomplete will not work, letting you know that something is wrong. However @reply does work for people who have successfully edited a post even though autocomplete doesn't work.

Who added the GIF?

Click "edited"

enter image description here

and review the edit history. It seem the GIF was added in revision 4.

enter image description here

In the same edit history, you can see the roll-back command on revision 3.

enter image description here

Since it's your own post, I would be surprised if you don't have the ability to roll it back yourself.

Assuming you have the ability, then rolling back yourself is one option. However, asking here in meta first or instead is fine as well, and it's a good way to introduce yourself and to learn more about other users' views.

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ +1 Thanks for that. I looked around for ways to message the editor but didn't think of @reply. I'll contact them and discuss things $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2019 at 17:55

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