I'm having some trouble understanding why my suggested edit to this question was rejected:

Do we have a copy of Captain Jonathan Archer's final speech in the final episode of the series Enterprise "These are the voyages?"

The question is a few paragraphs long, but the vast majority of it is just the asker talking about how he much he hated the final episode but liked the show Enterprise overall. None of this is relevant to the question, and really has no place in a SE post (we're a Q&A site, not a blog or discussion forum). So because it was just a lot of irrelevant fluff, I stripped it all out of the question and modified it to:

The final episode of Enterprise had a lot of build-up to a dramatic speech by Archer at the formation of the foundation of the Federation, but we never get to heat it.

Do we have Captain Archer's speech from "These are the Voyages" in written form that I can read? Was there an audio recording or even better a video of it that might be a deleted scene?

However, my edit was rejected because:

This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner.

But that isn't the case at all. The original intent of the post was that the asker wanted to hear the speech Archer gave in the final episode, since it's exclusion hurt the users enjoyment of the finale. The opening paragraph about how much he loves the series, along with the other paragraph about how much he hated the finale and the link to fan reception isn't relevant to that at all. It's the kind of thing that belongs on a blog or chat room, not in a SE question, and all it does is clog up the question.

So, given that, I really don't understand why my edit was rejected, because it doesn't make any sense to me. Could someone clarify?

  • You are @Wipqozn, no more reason is needed!
    – Blem
    Nov 30, 2015 at 16:18
  • 3
    Probably not why your edit was rejected, but it introduces a typo: "heat it".
    – alexwlchan
    Nov 30, 2015 at 16:20
  • @alexwlchan I see that, but that's why there's an "approve and edit" button. A single typo definitely isn't a valid reason to reject an edit, and not the reason given by the rejecter.
    – Wipqozn
    Nov 30, 2015 at 16:22
  • 9
    Personally, I'd have approved it. Yes it's a bit drastic volume wise but it does remove absolutely irrelevant personal opinion which is indeed, ranty and absolutely not germane to the question being answered Nov 30, 2015 at 16:25
  • 3
    You didn't clear up the question, you rewrote it. While the system technically allows it, most users frown up on such drastic edits.
    – phantom42
    Nov 30, 2015 at 16:36
  • 6
    @phantom42 I dunno; the actual question part of the question was left intact. It was a huge, drastic edit but I don't think it actually changed the question any...
    – KutuluMike
    Nov 30, 2015 at 16:39
  • 5
    @phantom42 I didn't rewrite the question, I removed a huge irrelevant rant. Even the rejection reason used states "even edits that make drastic changes...", which shows the size of the edit doesn't really matter. The important thing is if the question is still asking the same thing, and if any relevant information was removed.
    – Wipqozn
    Nov 30, 2015 at 16:40
  • i didnt reject it. i'm just explaining why i would consider it.
    – phantom42
    Nov 30, 2015 at 16:45
  • The only reason you can say, "since it's exclusion hurt the users enjoyment of the finale" is because of that text you wanted to strip out of the question. Which points to its value.
    – user1027
    Nov 30, 2015 at 16:58
  • 3
    @Keen I disagree. The parts from the first three paragraphs discussing why he likes the show and that the writers apologized for the final episode being terrible aren't relevant at all. The parts where he says he hates the holodeck part is a little more relevant I suppose, but it's still not relevant imo. His question is about Archers speech, and the only relevant background is "The lack of Archers speech hurts the episode". Everything else, about how he likes the show and the braga apologized for writing shit episode don't add anything to the question at all.
    – Wipqozn
    Nov 30, 2015 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


I speak only for myself; two other people reviewed this post (one accepted and one other rejected), but this is my thought process.

I rejected because I was on the fence, and erred on the side of the OP's sovereignty.

I can appreciate why you'd suggest the edit; the question is phrased a bit abrasively, and the OP spends (what I feel to be) an excessive amount of time setting up context. So yeah, I can appreciate why you'd propose it, and I understand why another reviewer approved it.

On the other hand, providing context isn't an altogether bad thing. It's certainly not uncommon to include some background information on what prompted the question, and it's not wholly bad to do so; understanding the motivation for asking can help answerers frame their answer in a way that's more helpful to the OP's specific problem.

You can argue over whether that applies in this specific case; I did, and wasn't really able to convince myself one way or the other. The OP provided context, which isn't bad; the context was ranty, which is bad; the rant isn't rude or abusive, which isn't bad. Is the context actually useful to answerers? I don't know; my familiarity with the extended Star Trek "canon" is limited at best. The answer on the question did include information related to the general dissatisfaction with the episode (the subject of the OP's context/rant), so maybe?

In absence of a firmer deciding reason, I fell back on sovereignty. Although we don't legally have a say in how the content we post on SE is modified1, as a courtesy we typically give the OP primacy with respect to content, except where it violates Rule #1. I found it hard to justify to myself that the OP's context/rant really violated that policy (although the sentiment could have been expressed more tactfully), so I rejected.

1 Per the terms of service, it's permanently and irrevocably licensed to StackExchange, Inc., and they (or anyone else on the network) can modify it as they see fit

  • 4
    +1 I appreciate the explanation, and agree in the general case, but I don't agree at all that it applies in this specific case. The context I removed just isn't relevant to the question. The fact he likes the series and that braga apologized for the finale being terrible just don't provide any relevant background information. The only relevant background information is the reason he wants archer speech, which I left in. I agree that in edge cases we should er on the side of the OP, but I just don't see this as an edge case.
    – Wipqozn
    Nov 30, 2015 at 17:31
  • 4
    @Wipqozn FWIW I would have been in exactly the same boat as Jason here; the stuff you cut was irrelevant, but it was a whole lot of it, and at least some of it was tangentially related to the question; I had an almost immediate knee-jerk reaction of "woah too much!" before I re-read it a few times. I probably would have rejected your edit but felt dirty about it.
    – KutuluMike
    Nov 30, 2015 at 19:10
  • @Wipqozn I understand that viewpoint, and I think there's logic in it. I certainly wouldn't have protested if the edit had been approved before I got to it; I just chose to err more cautiously Dec 1, 2015 at 1:58
  • @JasonBaker IANAL but I think your last paragraph needs a correction: we do own the copyright on the content we contribute to SE sites, but we have contributed it to SE under a license which is irrevocable and allows derivative works, so that (with a few limits) we no longer have the right to dictate what SE does with that content.
    – David Z
    Dec 5, 2015 at 5:31
  • @DavidZ Edited; you're right, but (philosophically speaking) I'm not really sure there's a difference. We "own" the content, but we can't stop anyone on the network from doing anything they want to it, even if we remove it. That's an interesting definition of ownership Dec 5, 2015 at 21:30
  • @Wipqozn One thing that jumped out at me is his statement that he's not that familiar with the extended canon. It may be obvious that the information was not relevant to you, while someone less familiar with the source might not be sure enough that nothing relevant was lost. If you're asking why, I think that's answered. If you're disagreeing, well, a few people said they would have accepted - perhaps you might try again, perhaps with a more conservative edit?
    – Megha
    Dec 21, 2015 at 11:38
  • @Megha If you're uncertain if relevant information was lost you should neither reject nor approve an edit. If someone with 2k would like to remove the rant they're free, but I'm not going to resuggest it.
    – Wipqozn
    Dec 21, 2015 at 16:01

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