Suppose, if a user posts a question or answer, with apparently ill intention. However, the content generated by the user is of somewhat commendable quality. For obvious reasons, the post is either closed or deleted.

Now, should another user attempt to modify the original content in different way? It may change the intent of the user in check, but it also brings the post out of gallows.

Note that, both the sides look valid:

  1. If certain users are posting something with [inferior] agenda, then why to give encouragement to them by legalizing their posts with efforts?
  2. Ignore the ulterior motives of those users; Since they are generating good contents, let's focus on it.

What is our community consensus on this matter?

  • 2
    There is no separate consensus for a specific site. It is same allover the SE. The user intent should be taken into consideration. If a user is posting bad posts, we should let them know first. If they are unmoved, then vote based on the content. If the bad intent of the user is changed to good, he gets unworthy reputation which he is not worthy of. If we want good content, we should do it. We should not put our words into other posts and change their questions. Commented Mar 5, 2018 at 17:06
  • "Suppose, if a user posts a question or answer, with apparently ill intention"-- Why is this supposition required? Your Q is valid even without it..More so because we are not mind readers so we can't know why is one posting a Q..We should only see what is written in the post and judge solely based on that..
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 5:10
  • @Rickross, because users don't explicitly write their intent. Rather It's derived by other user. For this post, I have taken the worst case scenario, where a user is asking a good Qn with supposedly bad intent.
    – iammilind
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 5:27
  • User intent has nothing to do with ur Q here IMO.. i have salvaged some posts or at least tried doing so in the past, where there was no bad intent whatsoever.. OP may be naive on the topic..some of us might be more aware of where the topic is discussed in scriptures.. so we are just helping him making his Q better..so that it has more chances of being answered..without making drastic changes of course.. so i don't really understand how user's bad intent is relevant here. @iammilind
    – Rickross
    Commented Mar 9, 2018 at 5:33

1 Answer 1


Tricky question.

Well, I think if the content of question is worthy and salvageable then we should take the side of "beneficial to the community" that is - edit the question and let it go for re-open queue. Now, the issue is "it may change the intent of OP". If the edit is not too large and OP is silent/inactive then I think the decision of editing the question is fine. If OP replies to comment or revision that s/he want to stand on his intention or original version then we should let the question be closed and shouldn't (try to) edit/reframe the question.

In brief:

  • If the question is salvageable, edit is not too large note and OP is silent/inactive - edit the question even it may change OP's intent, for the benefit to the community for a worthy question.

  • If the edit is too large note or OP want to stay with his intent, the original question - don't edit the question that conflict the intent and let it be closed.

Note: "How much editing is too much editing" is usually subjective

  • Nice perspective. Side Concern: sometimes we dont have time/bandwidth to know OP's intent. Then?
    – iammilind
    Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 14:00
  • 1
    But what about editing as we wish changing the question completely and reopening the question? It is not allowed. Commented Mar 8, 2018 at 18:29
  • 1
    Now, how much editing is too much editing? There should be some respect to what OP wanted to ask. Shouldn't be? Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 5:33

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