I continue unambiguously Dating my electronic posts like my paper letters

Sorry for this OT (Out of Topic), but I noticed that the Date-and-Time I had added as usual at the end of my post To raise public awareness of the business of Thu 27 Feb 13:43:00 GMT, has been removed, right inside my post, on Fri 28 Feb 12:09:55 GMT by waiwai933.

Since 1995, following the very efficient (and kind to everyone) rules and habits on CompuServe forums (the best ones then), I have ended all my forum posts and email messages with the Sent-Date (the instant when I click the "Send" button), just like Mme de Sévigné (and all other writers of all conditions, eras and countries world wide) wrote or write the written date inside their letters, no matter the Post Office later adding the Post-received date.

The Date thus inserted had or has to be complete, unambiguous and precise to the level consistent with the context: one day and no Time Zone when letters took one week of horse and water coaches from Paris to Grignan and rarely crossed a TZ line, one second or less, complete from DOW to TOG (follow my link below), when an email goes from Paris to Valparaiso in 0.040s.

Free to english.stackexchange.com to remove it, but I personally will continue that habit, that has always been useful (especially in our time when most forums and news sites insist NOT displaying honest precise unambiguous Date-and-Time) and harmless. Details in "Mandatory in Written-Date-and-Time: 3EN Month; TOG; DOW" of Fri 11/11/11 11:11:11 GMT, and sublink "PST and PDT; TZ and TOG; UTC and GMT; Internet Date & Time; PHP date" on the same page.

Sorry again for using space for an apparently OT question, but editing the public writing of someone else without his permission or even knowledge is extremely grave in my eyes and would cause big damage if it started to be accepted without causing the due outcry.

Versailles, Fri 28 Feb 2014 19:03:00 +0100

  • 3
    This should go on Meta (it'll be migrated or you); but if you hover over the "asked" time in your user card you'll see the time the question was asked. Stack Exchange works exclusively in UTC to keep everything consistent, although your browser might calculate the local date/time for you. Also, please see the help text about editing. By posting on SE, you are granting all sorts of licences to others, including editing rights.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Feb 28, 2014 at 18:09
  • 3
    I was truly fascinated by this post, but it's a blog post, Michael. You write that it's "an apparently OT question", but there's no question in play. There isn't even a question mark in there anywhere. Feb 28, 2014 at 18:11
  • Forgive me for asking, but why do you feel the necessity for typing out the full date and time linked to every user? Isn't it a little excessive? Please, take the time to read the Help Centre, and please note that the author of each and every post is displayed clearly, there is no ambiguity or malice involved, it just needs a little time getting used to it.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 1, 2014 at 0:37
  • Mari-Lou A 00:37, see that "necessity" in my post above and my 2 comments under KitFox Fri 28 18:29. As you know most forums display an imprecise and ambiguous Posted Date (yesterday, 3 months ago, etc), sans TOG or DOW (see my link), or even with wrong TOGs or times, or more or less hidden. Here if I can publicly state that the Posted Date hidden in the code is accurate to the second, it is because of the true Submitted Date I included in my posts. And my display of the Submitted remains useful when the Posted is hidden. Versailles, Sat 01 Mar 2014 13:06:40 +0100 Mar 1, 2014 at 12:06
  • Mari-Lou A Sat 01 Mar 00:37:02 GMT, alas your "the author of each and every post is displayed clearly" is false, since "each and every" post can be (mine effectively was) edited by someone else. As KitFox said Fri 18:29 ("Communal editing... is part of how this community works"), the posts here are virtually written by the entire "community", so any display of ONE so-called "author" is deceptive. I personally decline any responsibility on the posts here carrying my name, and I regret to have contributed to this openly communist site. Versailles, Sat 01 Mar 2014 13:07:40 +0100 Mar 1, 2014 at 12:07
  • Mari-Lou A 00:37, I suggest to compare with Wikipedia, where the "Communal editing" is openly stated as such, and NOT disguised as a personal editing. You are NOT deceived (at least on this point) when contributing to Wikipedia, you are (currently, and pending a change that I still hope) in the stackexchange.com system. Versailles, Sat 01 Mar 2014 13:15:00 +0100 Mar 1, 2014 at 12:15
  • 1
    Michel, have you noticed anybody else here (ELU, SO, any of the many online Q/A sites) doing anything close to what you are doing? YOurs is the -first- time I've ever seen such. Don't think of culture as an externally composed straightjacket, but what other people have commonly come to do out of practicality. Most modern systems allow one to find out exactly what you need (name and date of all edits).
    – Mitch
    Mar 1, 2014 at 14:48
  • @MichelMerlin in order to communicate, or let them know that you have replied, you need to precede their name with @ symbol. I am sorry to disagree with you when you state that authorship is not clearly displayed. Edits, when they are suggested or made, are for meliorative purposes, not to claim false ownership or to deface the original content in any way or shape. In the ten months I have been active on this site, I have never seen anyone's post been vandalised. cont'd.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 1, 2014 at 15:44
  • Wikipedia on the other hand is open to abuse, and I know that many pages have been abused by individuals in the past. As for calling ELU a communist site, I had to smile. It's pretty much right-wing here and some users have been accused of being pedantic and overly conservative in their approach to the language.
    – Mari-Lou A
    Mar 1, 2014 at 15:44
  • Also, it is important to note that edited posts are so noted: next to the name of the author is a time stamp and the name of the editor for the most recent edit and the edit history can be viewed by anyone.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Mar 2, 2014 at 22:08
  • 2
    @MichelMerlin, you may not have noticed this, but it is very plainly shown on every single question and answer who posted it, when it was posted, whether it has been edited, and if so, when and by whom it was last edited. If you click on the “Last edited” link, you can even see every single little character that was changed in every single edit to the question or answer, including by whom and at what time that edit was made. In other words, precisely the same as on Wikipedia, except more plainly shown than there. Calling that ‘communist’ is, frankly, ludicrous. Mar 4, 2014 at 13:44
  • 2
    And why would anyone need, or even want, to know where you were located when you posted the answer? It is utterly irrelevant and useless knowledge for the vast majority of postings, and in the very few cases where it does matter, it should be included in the main text of the posting. You might as well expect all posts to include GPS location, computer/OS/browser details, description of the poster’s attire, mood, or state of health. Mar 4, 2014 at 13:47

3 Answers 3


You should take special care to read the information about editing in our Help Center. Communal editing is not only expected but encouraged on our site. It is part of how this community works.

That said, no one is intent on upsetting you or making you feel uncomfortable. You are allowed to rollback edits to your post if you think they have been made in error. However, please keep in mind that extraneous information, such as greetings and closings, are often removed from posts as part of StackExchange policy.

Also, your response contains a datestamp already in Z-time, which you can view if you hover over the relative time in the grey box that contains your identifying information. We don't include location for privacy reasons, and we use UTC to obviate the need for location in any case.

I hope that addresses your concerns. Please use Meta for these types of questions in the future.

  • Sorry I hadn't seen that everyone could edit any post Thx KitFox 18:29 for your clear helpful post, with due link to document invoked, it did teach me what I had missed - a hard contrast with the other reactions. I suggest to make more apparent that a post is NOT written by or named after an individual person. None wants a post looking as SIGNED by him when it can be altered by another. And I am NOT alone to recommend, as in sitepoint.com/trying-to-decipher-that-eula-better-have-a-phd Fri 5 Sep 2008 14:18 GMT, to "NEVER READ AN EULA". Versailles, Fri 28 Feb 2014 20:41:20 +0100 Feb 28, 2014 at 19:41
  • KitFox 18:29, yes dates here are UT, and second-accurate; but NOT displayed, only in "title" of "relativetime", and don't even show when hovering author's box. Now Date (day-accurate in horse era, second-accurate + TOG in email era) is fundamental to information and should be displayed clearly and unambiguously. Also, the sender can include the Sent-date (as the writer of a paper letter), and the forum add the date they received it (as the Post Office does on a paper letter); on forums these 2 dates are very often largely different. Versailles, Fri 28 Feb 2014 20:48:40 +0100 Feb 28, 2014 at 19:48
  • @MichelMerlin I respect your view on dating your correspondence. I am absolutely certain that no slight was intended by Wai when he removed the timestamp, and you are most welcome to replace it.
    – Kit Z. Fox Mod
    Feb 28, 2014 at 20:21

MetaEd, by treaty, by labor, and by reputation, Fifteen-Thousand-Level English Stack Exchange User. To Michel Merlin, One-Hundred-Level English Stack Exchange User, Greeting. Regarding yours of the XXVIIIth instant, for to make this site useful to many visitors, posts are collaborative and kept succinct. Personal notations are discouraged. Given at my workplace in Fort Worth, Texas, two hundred forty-eight days by horse from Paris, this XXVIII day of the month February in the two thousand fourteenth year of the Common Era.

I hope the above adequately explains and illustrates why we limit personal information in posts.

  • At the risk of extraneous commenting, I feel compelled to say: this answer immediately became one of my favorite things on the whole internets.
    – cpit
    Mar 30, 2021 at 23:51

Accusing people of editing their public writing without their permission, when you have given such permission, is also grave. You have given all persons with sufficient access here permission to edit your post, by making said post on a site where the fact of, and purpose of, such edits is clearly stated:

Our goal is to have the best answers to every question, so if you see questions or answers that can be improved, you can edit them.

Now, if you don't like that people remove pointless cruft from your answers, then fine, you are free to dislike that. You can even argue that the policy be changed. Do not though accuse people falsely, that goes beyond a disagreement with policy.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .