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I'm a fairly experienced Stack Exchange user, and I just noticed that someone made a very poor edit to my question, cutting out details and changing the meaning entirely, in order to shorten a question that was already only 3 sentences. It seems to me like you guys should perhaps either raise the rep threshold where people need more rep to edit without peer review, or better educate your users here how and why edits should be made.

Maybe this was a 1 time thing, but I find on these sites single users, depending on the amount of time they spend on the site, can make alot of these incorrect actions perhaps even without being noticed, so I decided to mention it.

I dont do much editing on the SE network, so I dont know, maybe edit without review is standard at 2K, but I do know the way and reason edits on Stack Exchange should be made after following meta across the various sites.

Edit: After I commented pointing out to the editor that it was a bad edit, he did respond favorably, so perhaps it isnt so much of a problem in this case.

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  • Glad @Seanny answered in person here. I would just like to edit usually editing priviliges are associated with higher reputation, but this site is still 'in beta', so the reputation thresholds are lower throughout in order to cater to the smaller user base. – Steven Jeuris Apr 7 '16 at 13:41
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First to address the edit in question:

Yeah, sorry, my edit wasn't the greatest, but it came from a genuine desire to help you. We're very strict on this site about minimizing any sort of personal references in a question, because very often when trying to answer this sort of question, answers can get derailed in comments about people bringing up their individual differences, which isn't really productive and doesn't satisfy the goal of the website as being a general reference. Anyways, I'm totally fine with being wrong and this question being okay as it is! I was just using my experience in the site to guide my judgement and it's possible that I've strayed off the righteous path. Usually I just leave a comment and don't even edit, so maybe I should stick to that with these types of questions!

Can we do a better job at educating reviewers:

I've been wondering for a while about the quality of my reviews. I'm kind of in the middle of some projects until the end of April, but if afterwards I could chat with a moderator briefly about my tendencies that would be awesome!

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    Well your response was what one would call a best case scenario man. The reason I posted is because in most of my experience with SE, people do not respond so well to criticism, so a community consensus via meta discussion usually helps to increase awareness and fix the problem. – J.Todd Apr 6 '16 at 17:20
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    @Seanny123 my advice would be to not remove the personal parts if they are clearly generalizable, but just add the general parts to them: "I experience blah blah. From popular culture, it seems that blah blah is a common experience." Just taking out the "I"'s and replacing them by more general statements usually doesn't fix actual self-help questions, and does not enhance more genuine questions like OP's. An example of a great general question motivated by the first person is our top voted Q. – Artem Kaznatcheev Apr 14 '16 at 21:21
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The question was presumably edited, because at the moment, its wording is close to a "self-help" question ("I find things funnier when tired - is this a scientific phenomenon?".

Thus, when worded in the first person like this, such questions tend to be closed. To avoid this, people experienced on the site attempt to recognise the general scientific question and edit it in order for it to conform to the expectations of the site.

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  • Thats ridiculous I posed a real, interesting scientific question based on a personal experience. It was simply a scientific question posed in a relatable way. I watched a science debate recently by some of the biggest names in science where they talked about how big science discoveries dont get enough attention because we package and explain them in such boring ways. I'm simply packaging a science question in a form that will draw more attention to this site. When people search this on Google or the question is featured on the network, my wording gets far more attention due to being relatable. – J.Todd Apr 12 '16 at 2:41
  • Note, I'm responding to this personally because this was originally posted as a comment stating my question was a "self help" question. – J.Todd Apr 12 '16 at 2:45
  • @Viziionary although I agree that the edits did not significantly enhance your question, I don't think your original question was the strongest. I think it is fine to motivate a question with personal experience, but to make it a great question, one should also try to situate it in the scientific literature as much as possible. – Artem Kaznatcheev Apr 14 '16 at 21:25
  • @ArtemKaznatcheev I think it's my place to ask a legitimate question about cognitive science (Is there a scientific explanation in cognitive science for why humor has a stronger effect when someone is tired?) and your place, the job of the answer, is to do as you said and situate it in the scientific literature. If I knew the scientific literature I dont believe I would have a reason to ask the question in the first place. I asked a simple practical question about cognitive science. It wasn't "How do I cure my Dad's dementia" it was not in any way a self help question. The guy is wrong. – J.Todd Apr 14 '16 at 22:11
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    @Viziionary First, I didn't say you have to, just that is what makes a good question. Second, it is not "our job" to do anything. This is a community, and has community norms on amount of initial research for a question. As a new community member, you should be mindful of these norms and try to respect them. Once you have contributed to the community with good questions/answers, etc., you are welcome to challenge these norms and start discussions questioning them. – Artem Kaznatcheev Apr 14 '16 at 22:15
  • @ArtemKaznatcheev When you decide to write an answer or moderate this site, yes, it does become your job to do it correctly. It's a volunteer job, yes, but that doesnt give you an excuse to do it wrong. – J.Todd Apr 14 '16 at 22:16
  • "Hey I experienced this phenomena in life, is there a scientific explanation for it?" Is, yes, as he says "a first person question" but that does not in itself make it a self help question and in this case it obviously is not. With that being said, I'll bow out of this debate. – J.Todd Apr 14 '16 at 22:16
  • @Viziionary moderating is a different matter, and that is why neither I nor Jeromy have closed your question, regardless of our personal opinions of them. I find that your particular question is on the border of what the community tends to consider a questions fit for this site. Thus we do not intervene in our official capacity, letting the community decide. In fact, I would say your question is better than many of our recent questions. – Artem Kaznatcheev Apr 14 '16 at 22:23
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    Answering/asking questions is not a job, however. Specifically, there is no reason why you should expect answering to be "more of a job" than asking. It is hard to ask a good question and it is hard to provide a good answer, and both should try to be in line with community norms if possible. – Artem Kaznatcheev Apr 14 '16 at 22:23

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