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I recently was editing a post for grammatical and formatting errors, but also noticed that the post seemed to contain lots of useless information that was completely impertinent to the user's question. Omitting this stuff would have been useful, but I wasn't sure about editing it, so I left it.

I am wondering if there is a guide somewhere that will outline the protocols for editing user's posts?

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When editing posts I try to do as little as possible to clarify the question.

Grammar spelling - go ahead and fix.

Fix quotes or more often code blocks - go for it.

I will delete inappropriate language, email addresses, or personal information (phone numbers).

I flag spam.

If it goes beyond that, I usually add a comment asking the OP for clarification.

Users generally hate it when you edit their posts too much and if the question if not fixed after requests to do so it will either be closed or down voted or both.

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    You should see some of my edits! (translating from German, French, Portuguese, ...) ;-) +1 anyway as you have a point with Some users have an issue with edits. Most don't however! They're glad you're helping them... – Fabby Mar 8 '16 at 1:07
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    @Fabby I like it when you add translation =) – Panther Mar 8 '16 at 1:08
  • thank you! great answer. – Kalamalka Kid Mar 8 '16 at 1:44
  • you are most welcome. @Fabby makes good points as well. – Panther Mar 8 '16 at 1:46
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Here's a good example of a question that needed a lot of deleting to make it legible and on-topic.

Soifthereisalotofblabberinggoingonandremovingitservesapurpose: Remove the superfluous info!

:-)

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    wow, i did not even make it through the revision. I would have asked the OP to clarify the question on that one. – Panther Mar 8 '16 at 1:06
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    LOL ! unbelievable. – Kalamalka Kid Mar 8 '16 at 1:43
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    Wow. That is kinda bitbucket material unfortunately. Hard to salvage that question. – Kevin Bowen Mar 11 '16 at 4:53
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    I Remember that post. You did a fine editing job. – Elder Geek Mar 12 '16 at 22:12
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    Haha, that original post is somewhat awesome though. – Promille Mar 16 '16 at 16:38
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seemed to contain lots of useless information that was completely impertinent to the user's question.

Useless information like "my moms name is Clara", "I like rocks", "in case someone wonders my system is Dell", etc. should be deleted from the post. It distracts users and makes questions harder to find. Make sure that the question is razor sharp with all information needed to answer the question without anything "extra".

  • "My favorite color is green, but the "We can guess your favorite color in ten seconds!" internet banner ad said it is blue, after I installed the app and it asked some non-color related personal questions. What should I do?" ;) Sometimes the nonsense in the question helps you get an accurate feel for where the heck the user is coming from and their level of technical skill. But that's for "first responders", not for posterity. :D – Wildcard Mar 15 '16 at 21:22

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