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A new user asked this question. The question is a valid question but it contains large amount of ranting. Even worse, it had a "if it were me" part, which is almost always unhelpful in this SE.

A user removed ~90% of the content. Even though I agree that the edit was helpful, it is very disrespectful, especially considering that the author is a very new user. Because I find it disrespectful, not because I found the edit unhelpful, I rolled back the edit and explained why I rolled back. (I did the second rollback because it was done without discussion.)

A good new user, would lurk some time before contributing, yet, the lack of many privileges, especially lack of commenting privilege, makes them more eager to post content before necessary amount of lurking.

So, what is the best way to deal with such posts?

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    FWIW, the OP themselves hasn't said anything to object to the removal of the rant. Maybe they do or would object, but so far it's been just you defending the post against the editors. When I intervened as a mod, before locking the post, I tried to find a compromise state, removing the most off-topic parts (describing how they would make LotR films) and the most offensive parts ("stupid"), but leaving intact the description of how bad the OP found the films (since that's the motivation for asking the question). Perhaps, as often happens with compromises, my solution made no-one happy :-)
    – Rand al'Thor Mod
    Nov 21, 2020 at 8:01
  • Frankly it made me happy. I used your approach when I designed my badly received answer :) besides, I wasn't going to keep rolling back. I rolled back, as explained, because of the lack of discussion.
    – user65648
    Nov 21, 2020 at 8:47
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    The problem is that you didn't allow any discussion. You rolled back a valid edit almost instantly, forcing Carrot to deal with not only the question but also your persistent efforts to revert to an earlier (worse) version of the question. You can't have it both ways.
    – Valorum
    Nov 21, 2020 at 10:45
  • Carrot approved an edit I rejected. That is why I rolled back. Carrot's rollback happened in spite of my comment. That is why I rolled back the second time. I even said I won't roll back again, since we had some sort of discussion, before the question was protected.
    – user65648
    Nov 21, 2020 at 13:11

2 Answers 2

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Edit away rants, especially disrespectful ones.

You may say it’s disrespectful to remove large portions of a post but what’s more disrespectful is the amount of bad mouthing and negative content towards in the question. Remember the Code of Conduct, Be Nice policy, whatever, applies to all, not just SE users. So much of that content was just ranting that was disrespectful and should be edited out.

Now, on to removing content without leaving a comment... well, in this case there wasn’t time. Each time it was removed you rolled it back instantly before anyone could leave a comment. This led me to leave a comment to you and try and get my point across for why the content should be removed but I could not to the OP because you left no time.

On your point on not removing X% of content, well any arbitrary percentage isn’t going to be helpful. It’s not something that can or should be enforced. Posts should be treated on a case-by-case basis. Is the post 90% rambling rant, 10% question? Then remove the 90% and you’re left with a good question. Is it 3 questions in one? Well then, removing two so it won’t be closed is removing 66% but that’s a good edit.

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  • You should have put the comment before the edit. Also, you still do not take into account that that was a new user. I agree with everything you say, but not for the new users.
    – user65648
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:50
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    @C.Koca it was a suggested edit, I approved it, came to the post to explain the edit but by the time it had loaded you’d already rolled it back. Also you can’t just give people a blanket pass on disrespectful hostile content just because they are new. I’m an advocate for giving new users some benefit of the doubt but it has its limits.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:52
  • I know. But I didn't approve it and left comment. I don't know if you can see others commenting on the suggested edits, but still, you could have commented before you removed such a huge portion.
    – user65648
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:54
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    @C.Koca it depends on the circumstance. To me this case was better to remove first, comment second. The rant was only going to draw downvotes and close votes (which it had) but there was a somewhat decent and answerable question in there which was best to try and salvage as soon as possible considering the rate of votes. Also you can see SE edit comments but you have to go look at the review item so they usually get missed.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 20, 2020 at 23:56
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    @C.Koca well downvotes are a tool to say you think content is not useful and to put it bluntly a rant isn’t useful. Though the downvote thing I’m more inclined to agree with you on because people do take them personally, especially new users, and too many buries the post. Though I would say I would imagine less people would downvote the “10% version”. And I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree on the order of things.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 21, 2020 at 0:02
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    In fact editing problematic posts as fast as possible into a shape where they aren't going to draw downvotes with 99% certainty, downvotes that maybe wouldn't be necessary for the actual question at its core, is a way to protect not only the possibly reasonable question but also the new user from these downvotes.
    – TARS
    Nov 21, 2020 at 0:04
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    @C.Koca FWIW I think your hasty roll back exacerbated the issue because it meant my attention at least went to you instead of the new user which I was about to comment to. He would have been notified under normal circumstances.
    – TheLethalCarrot Mod
    Nov 21, 2020 at 0:33
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    @C.Koca Yet I still haven't quite figured out what would have been your alternative, other than just simply not improving the post because we can't edit new users' content.
    – TARS
    Nov 21, 2020 at 0:36
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    @C.Koca - I think you're mistaking 'concern for quality' with hostility.
    – Valorum
    Nov 21, 2020 at 1:37
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    @C.Koca - Every stack has equally "harsh" policies towards poorly worded rants.
    – Valorum
    Nov 21, 2020 at 1:40
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    @C.Koca - I think the problem here is that you're taking it all very personally. TLC wasn't editing the question out of spite, but out of concern that their (actually not dreadful) question was going to end up being thrown out with the bathwater. Better to edit and keep the question, allowing the user to get a sensible answer and see how the site works, than to leave it alone and watch it get downvoted into the toilet and then closed.
    – Valorum
    Nov 21, 2020 at 1:42
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    @C.Koca - Why would you assume that a new user doesn't understand how voting works? Perhaps (shock, horror) they actually read the FAQ and bothered to pay the slightest bit of attention to how the site operates...
    – Valorum
    Nov 21, 2020 at 1:47
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    @C.Koca - By reading the FAQ like he's supposed to; scifi.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask - "To prevent your question from being flagged and possibly removed, avoid asking subjective questions where your question is just a rant in disguise: “______ sucks, am I right?”"
    – Valorum
    Nov 21, 2020 at 2:02
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    @C.Koca - Indeed. And that was what TLC was trying to salvage. The valid question hiding in amongst the ranty nonsense.
    – Valorum
    Nov 21, 2020 at 2:04
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    @C.Koca Or even better, just remove the rant himself, as concerned users do (and one could even say are supposed to do) on SE.
    – TARS
    Nov 21, 2020 at 10:23
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Blanket removal of the huge chunks without explaining the new user is not only disrespectful, but also unhelpful.

SE has the policy of being more tolerant to the newcomers, that is why it prompts the "xxx is a newcomer. Be nice." message.

Yet, Scifi.SE is one of the most hostile environments I have ever seen online. There is no compassion, there is no consideration of the future effects of the actions taken. It is as if everyone here is robots, using the same algorithm to every single user every single time.

  • It is always unhelpful to downvote without leaving a comment. If you don't feel like commenting, not downvoting new-user posts is better.

  • Authors spend time and effort to create their content. So, whatever edit is to be made, their effort should be taken into consideration. Rather than nuking the content, it is better to try to salvage as much as possible. So, if you don't have the time to salvage, making no edits is a valid option.

  • The worst thing that can happen by leaving a low quality newcomer post unedited is having a low quality post in the front page for two days. But, the worst thing that can happen by deleting 90% of the content is that we might lose a good future contributor.

In my opinion, under no circumstances, more than 50% of the content should be removed. Even 50% is a little too much to delete, yet at least it is politer than throwing everything to garbage.

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