I originally had a question: How many people who participate here on writing se have become successful authors?

This question actually had two questions inside it, causing it to become classed as too broad. However, @Sescepitus put a bounty upon it, meaning that it couldn't be closed. Two days before the end of the bounty, one of the users (@ChrisSunami) suggested that I split my original question into two parts. As I was pressed for time (I had parents' evening in ten minutes), I replied that I would do it the next day.

However, @Cloudchaser (the user whose answer I had accepted and whose answer had been granted the bounty), ignored my comment about me doing it the next day, and did as @ChrisSunami suggested and split my question for me into two parts.

The second part of the question: What is the most fundamental advice when it comes to writing?

Now, I'm annoyed by this for several reasons:

  1. The question which I had wanted to ask has been altered to reflect what @Clouchaser interpreted my question as.
  2. The question received 19 upvotes, around 6k views and has around 12 answers. Clearly, this question has been well-received and undoubtedly, @Cloudchaser has received a lot of reputation from this as well as a badge or two. I'm not trying to sound petty here, and neither is this an attack on @Cloudchaser, but I'm feeling slightly angry that, even though I said I would post the question the next day, @Cloudchaser went ahead and did so and as a result, gained reputation and badges.
  3. The question posted by @Cloudchaser doesn't contain a link to the post containing my first question, neither is there any acknowledgement at all that it was my question, and that I asked it.

My question:

What can be done about this? Would it be possible for the moderators (I may be overestimating their power here) to transfer ownership of the question to me? (As I was the one who was supposed to ask the question)


  1. I was surprised that the question hadn't already been asked, and was intending to make it community wiki after a week or so as I knew it would contain valuable information for aspiring writers (which, based on the comments on that question, some seem to agree with).
  2. I'm not overly angered by @Cloudchaser's actions, yet I am frustrated by it (which I assume is understandable).
  3. I admit that, apart from fixing the question so that it's what I intended to be asked, the only other purpose I want ownership of the question to be transferred to me is because I feel that I deserve to be credited with it (and inherit any reputation gained / any badges awarded because of it).
  • 2
    I can tell you as much as that moderators cannot transfer ownership of a question (or any other post) from one account to another. It's certainly possible that someone with direct database access could make such a change, but I very much doubt that they'd do it, as doing so would run counter to the CC-BY-SA license under which user ("subscriber") content is licensed to Stack Exchange. The closest that I'm aware of would be post disassociation from the account that was used to post it, but that wouldn't get you anything and such a request would at least have to come from the owner of the post.
    – user
    Apr 28, 2018 at 18:53
  • @MichaelKjörling Thanks! So am I correct in understanding that nothing can be done about this? 🙁
    – Adi219
    Apr 29, 2018 at 7:32
  • I don't know well enough to tell you that "nothing can be done" (hopefully someone else will be able to chime in here), but I can tell you that the idea you have in mind about post ownership transfer realistically will never happen.
    – user
    Apr 29, 2018 at 9:13
  • @MichaelKjörling Fair enough ... but couldn't it be possible for me to gain the reputation which I'm 'owed' ?
    – Adi219
    Apr 29, 2018 at 9:14
  • 3
    @Adi219 Had you asked that question, you would have gained 110 reputation. While I do agree that this is bad form of the user who posted your question, there are no rules against such things (in fact, the content license explicitly affirms that users have the right to do this), and you haven't actually lost out on that much. I'm not sure there's anything that can or should be done.
    – ArtOfCode
    Apr 29, 2018 at 9:26
  • 1
    I doubt Cloudchaser got that much rep from the question - there's a 200/day rep cap, and hir posts tend to be well received. Which leads me to the next point: reputation isn't like XP in a game. It's not the goal. It's a measure of how well the community knows you. The goal is providing information. The question you wanted answers for got asked, and received answers. Mission accomplished. If you feel you didn't get an answer, go ahead and ask the question you want an answer to. Finally, I don't think Cloudchaser deliberately "stole" your question, but rather happened to think of a similar one. Apr 29, 2018 at 14:34
  • @Galastel I understand that my question has been answered and I (mostly) got the information I needed, but surely it's understandable that I'm irritated by the fact that I didn't receive any accreditation at all? Also, he did 'steal' my question. (refer to my original question and look at its comments and look at its first version)
    – Adi219
    Apr 29, 2018 at 14:36
  • 2
    You probably don't want this kind of advice, so I apologize for giving it anyway: The more you let go of any concern or desire for reputation, badges, etc., the more you will enjoy Stack Exchange. The more you concern yourself with such things, the more you will become frustrated by events like the one in question. You will get downvotes. You will get ignored. You will have your questions and answers "stolen". But if you don't worry about any of those things, you will learn a lot and enjoy participating in a generally great community. May 29, 2018 at 19:55

1 Answer 1


Adi219, if I remember correctly, you posted a comment on my question when you came online the next day and thanked me for posting it. You also commented and thanked me on your old question for editing it. I seems to me that you are only unhappy now that you see how much attention the question got and you have realized that all that reputation – both in points and in recognition – could have been yours.

What I can say to that is that writers are inspired by other writers. They take ideas they find elsewhere – in other novels, in the news, in life – and turn them into stories. I did the same here. Your post gave me an idea for a question. And as you righfully noted in your point 1, I didn't ask your question but changed it to reflect my own interests. You would still have been free to ask your own version of your question. Maybe my question would even have helped you to become more clear about what you wanted to ask differently. In fact, you can still ask that question, if you feel that what you wanted to know hasn't been addressed.

It happens very often, to me and to everyone else on this site, that someone takes an idea in one of their posts and creates another, often better post. I have often been one of the first to post an answer to a question, and when I returned to it later, someone else has lifted some idea I wrote from my answer – sometimes acknowledging me, sometimes not – and added something to it and been upvoted more than my own answer. That's how it goes.

Now, you can be angry at this turn of events, or you can involve yourself in the community more. I spend much time and effort on the site. You are free to do the same. And I won't post on meta if you take something from my posts and make it better.

Note. I did not downvote this meta question. Other users have expressed their opinion there.


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