Following from Is it Permissible to Cherrypick Someone Else's Answer for the Same Question, I'd like to bring up something I've thought for a while:
HDE 226868's answer, There's nothing wrong with expanding on a point someone else has made. Collaborating is basically what we do. is what I'd like to expand upon.
I actually think there comes a point when the community can, and should, sort of "take over" ownership of queries as well as responses. By this I mean a sense of community custodianship. Obviously, the OP keeps actual ownership, because it's their name on the post! But, if we want our Qs & As to be good, we may at times need to help each other improve them, either factually or grammatically or sensically.
To that end, it's long been my opinion that we shouldn't be afraid of diving back in time to look for older questions that could have been written more clearly (especially old closed questions), "adopt" them and if possible work them into openable condition. Same goes for answers. We shouldn't be afraid to edit poorly written answers if we think they have merit and could be improved. This does nòt in any way mean that I am advocating hijacking a query or response in order to alter or change its fundamental sense.
Specifically: I know there are answers out there which as of today are "expired" or out of date simply because new information has come along since WB.SE was founded. I think this will be especially true of queries that touch on astronomy and technology. And this is only going to get worse as time goes on.
Due to our collaborative edit framework, we do not specifically need the OP's permission to do this kind of work, and in any event, they'll get notification that an edit has been made, so they can monitor if they wish. It (ought to, anyway) go without saying that we must respect the original intent of the OP when "expanding upon" or "improving upon" their original work. This exercise isn't about stealing others' work so much as making that work better.
We do this as a matter of course as questions and answers come along. I'm simply advocating that we extend our perspective horizon back into the past. As JBH says, we're here to write good answers and also good questions.
Question: Is this a step too far, or would this be a valid practice?
Clarification Log: "Adopt" means exactly what it says: we improve upon existing Qs & As. // I'm not advocating "altering" questions. // I don't see much sense in re-asking the same question -- as you say, that would only be flagged as a duplicate. // I'm advocating "getting poor questions off life support"!