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On the following question there was a 150 rep bounty which was allocated to an answer after the bounty proposer had largely edited it.

This is an unusual course of action that I have never seen before so I'd like to ask if the procedure is in line with the site regulations or if a better and more transparent solution could have been adopted to avoid confusion between an existing answer and the reward of a bounty.

What do current rules and the spirit of the site suggest as an appropriate course of action in a case like this?

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I don't think those edits are appropriate, regardless of any bounty, though the fact that the editor and bounty awarder are the same is rather unseemly. The purpose of editing is to clarify the existing content, meaning improve the grammar or formatting, not add substantial new material. The original content should have been posted in a separate answer, with a bit explaining that it was an expansion of (and linking to) the original answer.

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I researched the topic myself and my findings went along with what the bounty-answer said. So I improved the answer, mainly by adding links to real-world uses, and awarded the bounty to it.

That seemed the best way to proceed. I had another bounty question to tend to, one worth 100 more than the one you're talking about.


When should I edit posts?

Any time you see a post that needs improvement and are inclined to suggest an edit, you are welcome to do so.

Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it.

To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)

To add related resources or hyperlinks

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    I have no dog in this fight, but that's not what the revisions show. They indicate a large edit (+400% length), bounty award, further tweak (all within about 5-6 minutes), rollback a few hours later, then making much the same large edit again later that day. – Nathan Tuggy Nov 9 '16 at 1:44
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    1. The sizeable edit came within hours after I had posted an answer. Possibly as soon as you came online and saw the post had been upvoted. 2. The bounty was awarded several days before it was due to expire. 3. The edit was performed minutes BEFORE awarding the bounty. 4. You originally deleted the parenthesis / brackets in the answer. But that has now been restored. 5. The edited answer was and is unrecognizeable from the original. 6. You practically rewrote the answer. 7. The answer subsequently received three downvotes, so your edit actually harmed the original content, and the author. – Mari-Lou A Nov 9 '16 at 5:43
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    P.S. You know full well what "substantial" means in SE lingo, it means that users should refrain from making TRIVIAL edits, e.g., removing or adding a single comma, adding an extra dot in an ellipsis, or any edit that is merely aesthetic; unless you are the author of that post. Then you can make as many edits, and as many minor or major changes as you please. The substantial refers to edits that improve the post in a significant manner, not physically change it beyond recognition. – Mari-Lou A Nov 9 '16 at 6:41
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    You're missing the forest for the trees with that quote. One of the most important phrases is without changing the meaning. You added completely new information - claims of stylistic choice, an additional grammar rule - not merely additional resources. The line between an edit that appropriately adds an example and one that changes the meaning is neither bright nor hard and fast, but you aren't even close to it. – Esoteric Screen Name Nov 9 '16 at 13:42

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