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A while back, I asked this question: How long is the Long Bridge of Volantis?

Since the question is very short and clear, and in what I perceive to be a somewhat fun/jovial spirit of scifi.SE, I added an illustrating image of a not-really long bridge.

Now, obviously there's no need for the image of that bridge. But I like the question better that way, and it got two upvotes and many interesting answers (not just mine...)

Earlier today, someone (with much more reputation than me) edited the question and removed the image of the bridge and the comment below. I rolled back the edit, but - was it legitimate/reasonable for me to do so?

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For this specific case I removed the image because it wasn't relevant at all and to be honest I don't even understand how it was meant to be humorous: it was just a bridge with some buildings on. It didn't add anything to the question and only really, in my opinion, detracted from it. I also think your title here is a bit misleading, humorous is subjective, but it wasn't really a part of the question, never mind a non-essential part: it was just a picture of a semi-relevant modern bridge.

I just want to add a brief side note here, you say (emphasis mine):

Now, obviously there's no need for the image of that bridge. But I like the question better that way, and it got two upvotes and many interesting answers (not just mine...)

Now those upvotes and answers may have come because of the image of the bridge but I highly doubt it. Adding that section in the question here makes it read like they are in support of the image when there's no indication of either way and I do doubt that to be the case to be honest.


Now in the general case of if it's fine to keep humorous but non-essential parts of a question. Sure, of course it is. We don't hate fun here, what would be the point otherwise? But there's a difference between adding a picture of a random bridge/meme and adding some funny commentary that is actually somewhat relevant. I, myself, have done the latter a few times around the site and it's done quite a lot round here. But I think you have to make it apply at least a little bit to make it work.

And lastly, it's always worth noting that it is still your post to do with as you please. If you want to keep something as it was, it is always your right to have it that way (excluding Code of Conduct breaking content, spam, etc. of course).

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    "it wasn't relevant at all" <- In your opinion. Clearly I had thought differently, and for 6 months nobody suggested the image was irrelevant. You could have bothered to ask. "Humorous is subjective" <- indeed. The image was of a short bridge with medieval-looking buildings on it, which are a sort of an architectural joke because people won't use this short bridge as a promenade. So it's like the long bridge in some ways, but the opposite of it in other ways. Of course when you explain the humor it doesn't sound so funny. – einpoklum Jul 16 '20 at 10:45
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    That last paragraph is a good point. I don't think you were wrong to edit it, but I also don't think you should edit again now that the OP's made clear they really want it that way. It's not an objective improvement like fixing grammar/tagging/etc. (I know you know this, just commenting for the sake of others reading.) – Rand al'Thor Jul 16 '20 at 10:46
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    "Now those upvotes and answers may have come because of the image of the bridge but I highly doubt it. " <- The point is that the image did not drive people away, nor did it draw readers to focus on it rather than on answering the question itself, nor did it "sour" people to the question. – einpoklum Jul 16 '20 at 10:47
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    @Randal'Thor Oh sure, now it's been rolled back and brought up I'm not going to be removing it again. – TheLethalCarrot Jul 16 '20 at 10:47
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    @Randal'Thor So removing noise is not an objective improvement? – user14111 Jul 17 '20 at 9:19
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    @user14111: The question of whether the image was “noise” is pretty clearly subjective, in this case. – PLL Jul 17 '20 at 10:44
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    @einpoklum As somebody who provided an answer, I guarantee you that the image had no bearing on whether or not I provided an answer. I also don't see anything "fun" about that particular bridge; I'm not even sure how the word "fun" can be applied to a bridge. – T.J.L. Jul 17 '20 at 14:30
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    Unless SF&F works differently from the rest of SE, OP does not have a right to unilaterally override edits, if they're appropriate and make the post fit our standards. Certainly up for debate if it applies in this case or not, but I'd argue it does personally - that image is confusing and pointless. – Joe Jul 23 '20 at 18:25
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    @PLL You can attempt to make a subjective argument, but the image is not objectively relevant. It does not help form the shape of the question or help form the shape of an answer. That makes it noise, not signal. – T.J.L. Jul 24 '20 at 12:49
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    It's not even clear how it is "humorous" to begin with. That supposedly "not-really long bridge" is actually...kinda effin' long in itself. I'm just one grumpy dude, but it did "sour" me to the question. – TARS Jul 28 '20 at 10:56

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