I simply have a question regarding an episode of GOT and my post keeps being edited but not answered.

When I tried to comment on that, the user who edited last simply deleted the entire comment.

I thought this was an informal forum (like many others similar) where one could ask a simple question and receive a few answers?

Am I misunderstanding the purpose of this forum?

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    I edited your question without answering it, true, but I also edit loads of other questions without answering them, because I can't - there is a very small subset of works here with which I am familiar here. Mostly I fix spelling and grammar to make the post look nice, so that the person who can answer, so that they understand the question and answer it right away. This doesn't mean this isn't an informal forum - we don't have many formal standards of posting, we just help each other with the edits when we feel we can make it slightly better. Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 20:52
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    I removed your comment from the body of your question for the same reason - it's not the right place to post it. For that we have comments, and meta - I've see you have discovered both, and I thank you for using them (I mean it, some users don't even bother to try to understand the Stack Exchange model, which you can read about in our tour). Don't hesitate to bring your concerns up here (once you have 20 reputation points (5 upvotes on your question) you will also be able to use our chat). Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 20:55
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    I've edited your question to fix the formatting, grammar and to include links to your question (on the main site) and a link to the edit history.
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 23, 2017 at 23:02
  • 3
    Not every question gets answered, but edits actually increase the likelihood that someone who can answer it sees it (as it bumps the question on the front page) or is attracted enough to the question to take the time and do some research. Getting some extra polish on your question should be considered a helpful, free copy editing service! If you take the tour you'll get better acquainted with StackExchange's process.
    – user31178
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 0:15
  • 1
    See also: Why can people edit my posts?
    – Mithical
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 4:07
  • 3
    There, I gave you an upvote. Er, I mean, your question looked good enough to deserve one — oh, nevermind. Now you will have enough precious rep to join the Chat. Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 6:28

4 Answers 4


Welcome :)

The purpose of this forum is to ask and answer questions related to science fiction and fantasy, yes, but it is not a casual forum.

It's totally normal here for users to edit other users' questions and answers. Please do not feel insulted or barraged by this. I repeat, it's totally normal for this forum.

Stack Exchange as a whole exists to provide high quality questions and answers about a variety of topics, so users are always trying to improve questions and answers, whether it's their own or another's. Users are welcome and encouraged to make appropriate edits when necessary.

If you feel your post is being overly edited, make another post here saying so, but, yeah, we take our forum very seriously and want all posts to reflect excellence. This approach isn't for everyone, but you are welcome to stay on with us pedants :)

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    As a pedant, I object to your use of "forum" to describe SE. I understand that you mean it as "place to be heard" rather than an internet forum but there is a general attempt to avoid referring to SE as a "forum". :D Otherwise great!
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 4:16
  • Darn it! I need to get 2k to edit that forum out!
    – Braiam
    Commented Jul 27, 2017 at 12:47
  • @Catija -- Call it whatever you like. I'm not sure when using the word "forum" became persona non grata -- was there an announcement? What alternative word would you have us use? Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 22:32
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    As Mike said in his answer "Q&A site"... or just "site". Forums tend to imply a lot more "discussion" than we allow here. They also usually encourage "me too" posts, additional questions on related post etc... stuff we actively prohibit here. :) As far as I know, the use of "forum" has generally been avoided for a while: from MSE
    – Catija
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 22:35
  • @Catija -- So noted. Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 22:39

You are partly right about this site, and partly not quite right.

You say:

I thought this was an informal forum (like many others similar) where one could ask a simple question and receive a few answers.

That's mostly true. This is a Q&A site, where you can ask questions and you can get answers. But it's not like most other similar sites in that the experienced users on this site are expected to help maintain the quality of the content, not only by posting good answers, but also by editing questions to make them better.

That means that many people who don't know your answer will still read your question, and want to contribute. We want our questions to be high quality -- proper spelling, proper English, proper punctuation, etc. On the other hand, we certainly don't think people should be penalized for not being professional writers. If users see things that they think they can do to make the question better, they will do that. You really should welcome this kind of attention to your question: by improving it, those users are making your question "more attractive" to readers, making them more likely to read it and answer it.

Experienced users also know about the conventions of this site -- in particular, we're much less informal than other sites, so we tend to prefer you don't include things that aren't part of the question ("hi", "I'm confused", "please help", etc.) Everyone who posts a question is confused and wants help, which is why this site is here. We prefer to focus on the "heart" of your question, and those users were just helping you trim some of the fluff.

Also, it's generally not a good idea to try to have a conversation in your post, especially if you're wanting to complain. If you want to request clarification, or respond to, an edit, you can leave a comment on your question. If you want to complain about something you think is being done wrong, that's what this meta site is about.

Note that your question got answered, and in only a few hours. (Game of Thrones is pretty popular, so that's probably not surprising.) Don't let the community editing freak you out. That's just how Stack Exchange works.


Users are inspired to edit questions, sometimes it's helpful and sometimes not so much. Thing is, if you edit x number of questions/answers you can get badges for it, so some users can be a bit too enthusiastic about it and make mistakes.

But in general, it's a good thing, usually it improves spelling, corrects stylistic errors and stuff like that.

I for one am very grateful for its existence as English isn't my first language and i make a lot of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.

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    While I agree with your answer, I believe changing BE to AE and vice versa is not motivated by badge enthusiasm. Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 8:06
  • oh noes, i wasn't speaking about your edit @Gallifreyan, but in general
    – user68762
    Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 8:18
  • That's what I meant too :D I had an occasion on another SE site when a non-native speaker fixed my BE simply because their spelling checker underlined it. Point is, people may fix it simply because they're not aware it's a valid spelling. Commented Jul 24, 2017 at 8:22

Welcome to the site! =)

One thing you may not be aware of as a new user is the "Review Queue".

As you earn reputation on this site, you will gain more and more privileges and more and more opportunities to take on responsibilities to help make the site better. This site is community moderated. We the users have a lot of ability to help and look after the site, with the amount we can do increasing as we earn the trust of the system by posting good quality questions and answers.

After you earn 500 points you gain access to the First Posts queue, where you are able to review first posts from new users. Every time a new user makes a post, that post will go into this queue and someone will eventually see it and do the review. When you do this, there is a button for 'No Action Needed', but you are expected to take the time to read the post and try and improve it and/or offer useful feedback and/or upvote or downvote it as appropriate and/or answer it. 'No Action Needed' is for exceptional circumstances and frankly, if the first post is that good, it might be an idea to upvote it :P Many more experienced users will spend time in the First Posts queue and will want to fulfil this responsibility. You can skip over the post if you don't know what to do and someone else can do it, but otherwise you should work to improve the post, or you can hit 'No Action Needed' if you want. If you hit 'No Action Needed' or you complete an action, such as editing the post, when you are finished, that review is added to your total number of reviews completed. Complete 250 and you get a shiny silver badge. Complete 1,000 and you get a very lucrative gold badge :P So this is a possible source of one of your edits. I myself am quite likely to edit for spelling, punctuation and grammar if I'm doing a First Posts review. However, I really only know about Harry Potter, so it's extremely unlikely I will know the answer to the question :P So obviously I would not answer. And even if I did, it's easier to complete the review task and then maybe you do any other reviews that are pending and then maybe you go and get your books or whatever and tackle any questions you fancy. If you have time.

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    Lucrative? I've been trying to sell these badges for rep and I've had no takers...
    – Valorum
    Commented Jul 26, 2017 at 13:32
  • @Valorum - i'd buy them but I suspect i have most of your badges. Except the one I don't really want to have. Commented Aug 3, 2017 at 13:23

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