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The revision history of this question seems to be saying that edit #6 is the addition of a thank-you note where the question-asker apparently thanks the people who answered the question:

Thank you to everyone for these thoughtful and detailed responses. My fears have been broadly dispelled, although some anxienty remains. I probably have more to fear in my current setting directly than through a chain reacting involving my degree.

I have posted some thoughts under the first response and will remain engaged in the discussions above.

But this revision seems to be attributed to a different user than the one who originally posted the question. Am I understanding correctly that this is what happened? If so, is that an acceptable thing to do?

One possibility that's on my mind is that the OP account might be a throw-away, owned by the same person as the account that added the thank-you note, since the question (especially as it was originally phrased) is a bit sensitive. Note that there are no comments from either account on any of the answers, though there are comments from the OP account on the question itself.

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    See the revision comment: appended answer 153529 as supplemental. Now, I would bet that academia.stackexchange.com/posts/153529 would link you to a now deleted answer (can't see it though, don't have the reputation ;) ). I'll send you over. Aug 4 '20 at 13:41
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    The edit you mention was made by a moderator (most likely on behalf of the OP). Aug 4 '20 at 13:42
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    @Tinkeringbell Ohhhh, I see. I can't see the (presumably-deleted) answer now either, but I bet that's exactly what happened. If you want to make that comment into an answer, I'll mark it accepted in a few hours (assuming no better explanation (or public confession?? lol) comes along).
    – MegaWidget
    Aug 4 '20 at 13:48
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    I'll leave it to the people here that have reputation to confirm the hunch ;-) Aug 4 '20 at 13:58
  • Leaving out (user)names from this question does not actually make the involved people anonymous and is just an inconvenience for the readers. Aug 7 '20 at 9:23
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    @Tinkeringbell I have the reputation, but that address format is invalid. You can see the deleted answer either directly on the question page academia.stackexchange.com/questions/153498/… or more shortly academia.stackexchange.com/questions/153498#153529, or view its timeline on academia.stackexchange.com/posts/153529/timeline. Aug 7 '20 at 10:07
  • @FedericoPoloni Whoops! I don't make my own urls that often ;) Aug 7 '20 at 10:21
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The edit matches, word for word, what the OP of the question posted as an answer. A moderator (Massimo Ortolano) deleted that "answer" (presumably since it does nothing to answer the question) and incorporated it into the question itself. That seems appropriate, and better than leaving the non-answer as-is or deleting it outright.

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The OP mistakenly posted that additional text as an answer. Moderators can directly convert such non-answers to a comment or an edit to the question. The edit is automatically attributed to the moderator who performed the action (me in this case).

This action can be seen from the question's timeline, accessible by clicking on the clock icon below the question's score:

enter image description here

The action is represented by two rows in the timeline: first the deletion and then the edit (users with less than 10k reputation will only see the edit event).

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    I can see these events in the timeline when logged in, but not when using a private window. So access to this information may require the same 10k reputation privilege as to see individual deleted answers.
    – Anyon
    Aug 4 '20 at 15:02
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    @Anyon The whole timeline should be accessible to all logged-in users, regardless of reputation, see this meta post.
    – Massimo Ortolano Mod
    Aug 4 '20 at 15:12
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    @Masimo Thanks for the link, but I still don't think all information is available to all logged-in users. On other stacks I've reported answers that were since deleted, but that I can't see on the timeline. To verify, I went ahead and made a fresh account (1 reputation point). Accessing the timeline of the discussed question from that account, I only see your edit event - the answer event that should be below it is not visible.
    – Anyon
    Aug 4 '20 at 15:37
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    You need 10k rep on this site to see deleted answers here, even their entry in the timeline. Fortunately, while I’ve seen this type of edit before across the network (even making some myself), I’ve never seen any be malicious. After all, it’s either going to be someone trusted making the edit, or a reviewed edit where hopefully the reviewers check to make sure that it’s a legitimate edit.
    – Laurel
    Aug 4 '20 at 16:39
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    @Laurel and Anyon Thanks, I've edited the answer.
    – Massimo Ortolano Mod
    Aug 4 '20 at 17:42

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