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Somebody edited a recent question of mine. The change is substantial enough to change the intent of the question. I wanted to ask a different question than what somebody edited my question to say.

Here are some related facts of this matter.

  • It was done without my consent.
  • It was not done by a moderator. (And I would not want a moderator to make this change anyway.)
  • I don't agree with the change.
  • As best I can tell, my original question complies with the guidelines for what is appropriate to ask in this forum. (i.e. - It is about US legal theory and doctrines regarding free speech and harassment, and the guidelines specifically allow for discussions on "Legal terms and language, doctrines and theory".)
  • The answers posted after the change clearly don't address what I wanted to ask. Nor do they provide the information I wish.

Even if my post does not comply with guidelines for this forum, I think it sets a bad precedent for somebody else to change it. When somebody changes my post, they are basically saying what question I wanted to ask. They are putting words in my mouth, and trying to say what my own intentions are.

If a question does not comply with the guidelines, isn't it better to say how it does not comply, and allow the author to change it on their own? That allows the author to speak with their own words. Nobody can speak for me with the same authenticity that I can speak for myself.

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If a question does not comply with the guidelines, isn't it better to say how it does not comply, and allow the author to change it on their own? That allows the author to speak with their own words. Nobody can speak for me with the same authenticity that I can speak for myself.

Until users have earned the privilege, their edits are peer-reviewed before they are visible to other users. However, in this case, the user had earned that privilege and therefore no peer review occurred.

  • It was done without my consent.
  • It was not done by a moderator. (And I would not want a moderator to make this change anyway.)
  • I don't agree with the change.

From the help center article on editing (emphasis added):

Editing is important for keeping questions and answers clear, relevant, and up-to-date. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

I also want to correct your terminology in your next point:

  • As best I can tell, my original question complies with the guidelines for what is appropriate to ask in this forum. (i.e. - It is about US legal theory and doctrines regarding free speech and harassment, and the guidelines specifically allow for discussions on "Legal terms and language, doctrines and theory".)
  • The answers posted after the change clearly don't address what I wanted to ask. Nor do they provide the information I wish.

Stack Exchange is not a forum. It's a pet peeve for many but for me it goes to the heart of it - we ask and answer questions. Rants are discouraged. The question that you asked doesn't really lend itself to an answer without a significant measure of opinion.

However, nothing that has happened so far prevents you from asking your original question and noting that it was previously asked and edited. This might be the best option for you.

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There are two options when a question is off-topic (as in the original post): close it, or find the on-topic part and edit the question to make it on-topic. The OP only superficially resembled a request for information (IMO because of the factual errors pertaining to the crime of harassment). It's also problematic when a question contains too many false presuppositions (e.g. the lack of constitutional free speech protections in many countries is by definition irrelevant to a question about the US, but you presupposed that that fact that there are such gaps in recognition of rights would be relevant in a country that does have such protections). The edits made the question on-topic and answerable.

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