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So this happened. A fairly new user posted a question with the title

Question about Code;Geass R2 Episode 18

He tried to keep it as spoiler free as possible. This title was then shortly after changed by a different user to

Why did Lelouch lie to Suzaku that he ordered Euphemia to massacre all the Japanese people?

While the first title was not a great title, it could be argued that the second title completely ended up on the other end of the spectrum spoiling too much, but that's not what I wanted to talk about. The first title, should indeed have been made better and while I understand that searchability is more important than spoiling and we should indeed edit posts for the greater good, where do we draw the line between butting in and editing it ourselves or telling the poster about our guidelines, making him learn and do it him/herself? At the meta post it is said (among other good points) that we should

Make posts easier to understand, which helps both readers and the original poster

Yet, on the other hand we should keep in mind that

When you edit other's posts, you're still editing their content.

So how far should we take our editing? What is more important? Letting people do they own thing or impose our guidelines onto them, whether they want it or not, because in this case OP was clearly not happy about the change?


Another example mentioned by mirroroftruth: https://anime.stackexchange.com/posts/13326/revisions

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  • If it's things like spelling, formatting or re-tagging, I think the fact that it needs editing in the first place is reason enough for somebody else to pick it up.
    – Matt
    Jun 4 '15 at 21:20
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    I had argument about similar in chat for this question Jun 5 '15 at 4:37
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    I like the current edition of the question's title Jun 5 '15 at 6:46
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I don't think the original poster should mind very much if their question, written in a way that barely (if even) passes quality threshold, would be rewritten into a detailed one, along with a proper title. If OP wants to have a question in the form that does not pass our standards, they can, but at the cost of closure and further deletion. It just doesn't make sense, but it's totally possible :p

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If it's a bad quality question, it should be edited. But there's nothing to stop it being edited again if someone doesn't think it's up to scratch.

For example you could edit the title to "Why did Lelouch lie to Suzaku in episode 18?" which avoids the spoilers (thanks btw :'( )

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    I usually prefer more specific, detailed title for a question, but that's on STEM-oriented sites. But for this case, I think a balance between just-enough-detail is more preferable for title like this (indexable by search engine, but doesn't spoil the reader in the first place)
    – Aki Tanaka Mod
    Jun 5 '15 at 5:51
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About this specific question, the original title of

Question about Code;Geass R2 Episode 18

doesn't say anything about what the question is about. If we allow such title, we have no idea what the question is about when we browse the list of questions, and the question is less searchable.

Given that the original post has only the question in the body, without any context, I decided to just use the question as the title instead.

The OP ends up editing the title themself, which reduces the spoiler to a level that we can compromise.


[...] where do we draw the line between butting in and editing it ourselves or telling the poster about our guidelines, making him learn and do it him/herself?

If there exists a guideline, impose it and point people to the guideline, like the case with close votes. The guideline exists for these cases, so that we can get the job done and not involve in an extended meta discussion.

So how far should we take our editing? What is more important?

I believe our editing should take it as far as possible, while refraining from causing conflict with the original intentions and ideas of the author. However, do strike a balance between editing an existing answer and writing a new answer of your own.

Letting people do they own thing or impose our guidelines onto them, whether they want it or not, because in this case OP was clearly not happy about the change?

Within the spirit of respecting the original idea and intention of the author, we impose our guideline onto them. If the author put up a poor title, we give a new title to the question. If the author writes a messy post, we rewrite it while keeping to the original intention as close as possible.

The Q&A model give people ownership of their content, but it also comes with the responsibility to maintain their content. If the owner is not capable of maintaining their own content, then the community will come in and do their job.

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As I mentioned in comment I had discussion about it and that time the manga chapter was just published. I edited to hide the spoiler but it really does not matter. After that I thought leave it as it is progressing. If you think you should hide spoiler edit it. If the title pass the standard of the site it will remain same if doesn't either OP will rollback or edit or other user will edit so that it fits. This process is better.

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