I've read in a related meta-question here that editing sub-par questions is perhaps the way to go. There are varying philosophies to editing questions (and answers) on SE. On Math.SE it's seriously frowned upon (and mods will revert) changes that alter the original post in a substantial way other than fixing glaring and obvious typographical issues (and by this I mean where intent is different or poorly presented in what was written, which in math can be inferred from context well enough). On the other hand, on Skeptics the mods often cause a "WTF?" reaction in me when they alter questions to a very substantial extent, sometimes completely changing their meaning.

My approach here tends to be a bit more Math.SE-ish, namely that if a question asks something that can receive a science-based answer, I'll try to give such an answer, even if the question itself may be phrased in terminology that is not terribly scientific. Case in point, someone asked What type of friends do narcissists have? Surely on Cosmopolitan someone may answer "oh, they're like Paris Hilton's BFFs" There's a fairly valid concern that questions phrased in vague or non-scientific terms can elicit similar (low quality) answers, and that meaningfully policing such answers may be difficult given the question phrasing.

On the other hand, I think the nature of this site is essentially popsci, even though I'm sure some would like it to be more professional. In math for instance, there's a separate Math Overflow site for professional-level questions. But I doubt there's enough user base in cognitive sciences to support two SE sites at the moment. So meanwhile some tension seems inevitable in this resepct. Catering to the "average Joe" who may still ask a fairly valid question (and who intends or who would at least be satisfied to receive a science-based answer) seems to me a reasonable way to go. And perhaps that has been said before.

A brief look in the site's past shows that alas the participation seemed higher when the question (and answer) quality was (alas) lower. It's rather tiresome (and probably pointless) to go and downvote (let alone edit) every such question and answer. On other sites there's a close reason that says something like "preserved for historical reasons, but not a good example of question to ask."

Alternative views and/or comments are welcome/requested.

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    I don't think the 2 points of view are really in conflict. The vast majority of question edits are welcomed by OPs, answers make more sense in the context of good questions, and good Q&A pairs are more recyclable in case of future duplications. I often see editors apologizing in comments as in "if you don't agree with my edit, then feel free to revert", this is nearly always taken well by posters, and is an effective way to be inclusive of lay persons. As I see it, nothing bad can come from improving the content of the site.
    – Arnon Weinberg Mod
    Jan 5, 2018 at 7:05


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