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How am I supposed to earn the badge for approving edits if the only people making edits are those whose edits don’t need approval?! :-)

Ok... more seriously: I think more users in our community should feel comfortable helping clean up questions. The earlier a question gets cleaned up, the better its answers. Tidy the grammar. Make the title meaningful. Boldface the summary in long questions. Remove the fluffy text that obscures what’s being asked. Sure, you have to be careful doing all that so you don’t destroy the original question intent, but that’s why we have the approval process.

Recent negative events with SE have left our site bereft of several great minds. I’ve made my decision to continue using the site while the legal process moves forward... I want Monica to have a community to come back to.

So, c’mon, give editing a try! You learn. And I get my badge! :-)

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    $\begingroup$ Look at the bright side: since I got mine, there are more edit tasks left for you (and the others) ;-) $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch Mod
    Nov 30 '19 at 18:47
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    $\begingroup$ "Remove the fluffy text that obscures what’s being asked" I've generally avoided doing that; I've suggested sweeping changes in comments, but not made them myself. Possibly other people feel the same way, especially the lower-level ones who'd be contributing to your merit badges. Are there any guidelines for such things? $\endgroup$ Dec 1 '19 at 19:45
  • $\begingroup$ @starfish No. I was an editor for a newspaper long ago... I learned a lot about both the editing and trying to make writers feel ok with my edits. I still do a lot of editing in my job and community publications. Here, where I don’t have a personal link to the author, I move more carefully, but still... $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Dec 1 '19 at 21:10
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    $\begingroup$ ... feel ok making deep edits when I really feel the person will get better answers. I make sure to tell new users that they can revert my edits. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Dec 1 '19 at 21:11
  • $\begingroup$ If you’re unsure about removal, one easy technique is to just move the fluff to an “Addendum” or “Background” section at the end of the question. That keeps the focus on the question at the top. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Dec 1 '19 at 21:13
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    $\begingroup$ Remove the fluffy text -- Instructions unclear; removed the smileys from this post $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Dec 2 '19 at 14:11
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    $\begingroup$ There are a number of situations where I spot a typo or other mistake on an answer, but fixing them all still falls under the 6-character limit. The response to that is "fix all problems with the post", but sometimes there aren't any (especially on higher rep user posts) and further changes would just mess with the author's voice or post content. Editing questions in any substantial way is a minefield of "violates author's intent" or such. Even if I think the 3600 word backstory is irrelevant to the question, is someone really going to approve that kind of edit? $\endgroup$
    – Troyen
    Dec 4 '19 at 22:30
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    $\begingroup$ @Troyen "is someone really going to approve that kind of edit?" In a heartbeat, I would, in the vast majority of cases. I've seen the barest handful of questions need even a page of content. As for author intent, that's a lot harder to destroy than you think, and a huge number of folks will thank you for clarifying their words. A few people are Motzarts... most of us need editors for our first drafts, and when we see good edits, we're grateful. As for "author voice"... questions aren't answers. Questions need to be clear, and voice can be useful or harmful, and that's a per-question call. $\endgroup$
    – SRM
    Dec 5 '19 at 0:29
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    $\begingroup$ Reviews own account: 13,596 rep. 83 badges and... 0 edits... I think I found the problem. $\endgroup$
    – Nosajimiki
    Dec 10 '19 at 20:38

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