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This post ends with the sentence "Constantinopole is present-day Istanbul".

I pointed out in the comments that "If someone doesn't even know "Constantinopole is present-day Istanbul." I somehow doubt he has a valid answer to this question, or to any other historycal question for that matter.", and I suggested an edit removing it.

I've been answered "You have no right to vandalize someone else's post. Lay off!"

This IMAO is patently insane:

  • I'm not vandalizing, I'm improving. If someone suggests that such an edit is a vandalization, he has absolutely no clue what a vandalization is.
  • That aggressive tone is absolutely UNACCEPTABLE. Try to figure out how you would react to a stranger telling you that IRL.

Two details that are worth adding, reading the comments:

  1. technically, the OP had more rep than me, so with this (flawed) rep system, he could be considered my "senior" (now we might argue that rep doesn't mean anything, and I would agree, but it was appropriate to point it out)

  2. I did not edit the post, I do not have enough rep for that: I suggested and edit, which was approved by someone else (I guess at least two other users? (anonymous, which is insane too)).

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    Side note: "lol srsly?" is not an acceptable edit message. I will never bark at an editor for an edit I dislike (I'll simply roll back and be done with it), but if you don't have the time to write a proper message explaining your edit - especially to a brand new user's post - then please just don't edit it. I completely agree with you that the "vandalism" comment was over the top, but your edit message wasn't really appropriate either. Not rude per se, but needlessly condescending. – yannis Dec 3 '13 at 15:05
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I've deleted all the comments but the first, which actually address the question (and not just the questioner or another comment). The comments on that question devolved rapidly. My guess is that your first comment was read as, um, less than complimentary to the asker. One might even say that you were rude in your comment. Please be careful about insulting people's intelligence.

As for the edit... If I may suggest that editing out a factual error certainly improves a post, but editing out a triviality does not always make a question better. In this case, I think the sentence is of little value, but removing it makes no difference. If I were to make the edit, I'd probably turn the sentence into a parenthetical or footnote. (And I'd certainly reference this song.)

In any case, the comments you quote are exactly the sort I'd hope to discourage.

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    Still, removing such a sentence is FAR from being considered a "vandalization", and it was the other user's comment which attacked me personally, after I edited that out. I was surprised to see the "controversy" post here two days ago, but after this attack I was no longer surprised... – o0'. Dec 2 '13 at 9:59
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    @Lohoris Editing information out of a user's post without consulting the user first is generally frowned upon. – called2voyage Dec 2 '13 at 15:58
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    @called2voyage No, it's not. Editing is at the heart of the SE model, and we encourage people to fix posts all the time (and authors get notified of edits on their own posts, so - in a way - they are consulted). The problem here, however, was that there wasn't really anything to fix, Lohoris' edit was unnecessary. But, that was just it, calling it "vandalism" was way over the top. – yannis Dec 3 '13 at 14:37
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    @YannisRizos Yes, editing is important but editing form and editing content are two different things. If the content is blatantly wrong or spam, that is one thing, but in other cases I have seen a definitive culture of giving the OP the courtesy of asking before changing content. Would it be "vandalism" to not give this courtesy? No, certainly not. But cultural courtesies are important to communication. – called2voyage Dec 3 '13 at 14:46
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    @called2voyage I don't necessarily disagree with that and we probably wouldn't be having this discussion if all people involved were a bit more courteous to each other. That said, I've edited over 4K posts all around SE, I don't have neither the time, nor the energy to discuss with authors before I edit their posts. If they don't like my edits, they (and everyone else) always have the option of rolling back. – yannis Dec 3 '13 at 15:07
  • @YannisRizos No, that's true, and I've certainly done that before, such as here, but there are still rules of courtesy to use then. And I really wouldn't recommend this method to someone who isn't a tenured user on a stack because it is difficult to do appropriately without being more familiar with how the stack operates. – called2voyage Dec 3 '13 at 15:16
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    Just like to point out that (1) technically, the OP had more rep than me, so with this (flawed) rep system, he could be considered my "senior" (now we might argue that rep doesn't mean anything, and I would agree, but it was appropriate to point it out), and (2) I did not edit the post, I do not have enough rep for that: I suggested and edit, which was approved by someone else (I guess at least two other users?) (anonymous, which is insane). – o0'. Dec 3 '13 at 15:28
  • @Lohoris It is not about being more senior. I really don't think there is a fixed rep limit to determine how familiar a user is with a site's culture, but I don't think you do either. It is noteworthy that it was a suggested edit, and others approved it. But sometimes things can slip through the cracks. – called2voyage Dec 3 '13 at 15:48
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    @called2voyage: There's no particular rule about consulting an author about an edit. That's because "Every edit is a judgment call." In this case, I'd say that a productive edit would have done a whole lot more than removing a potentially irrelevant sentence. If that was to be the only change, the diplomatic thing might have been to politely ask the author to remove or expand on the sentence. – Jon Ericson Dec 3 '13 at 20:03
  • @Lohoris: I'm curious what you see as the flaw in the reputation system. (I have my own ideas, but you might have different ones.) – Jon Ericson Dec 3 '13 at 20:05
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    @JonEricson See: meta.history.stackexchange.com/a/817/739 – yannis Dec 4 '13 at 7:56
  • @JonEricson being non-trasparent and anonymous is the paramount problem, and I gave up explaining that once after trying I was bashed really hard on meta. Hence, I've deleted my meta account. I think they are hopeless fools, even now that the greatest fool of them all (Mr. "you are free to decide, as long as you decide what I want") walked away. I'm sorry I can't go into details now, since it would take way too much time, but I can't rule out I'll do it in future. – o0'. Dec 4 '13 at 9:34
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    Removing such a comment is not vandalism, I agree. But if that change had popped up for me in a review queue of edits, I would have rejected it as too minor. The statement is factually correct and does not distract or confuse. – Lennart Regebro Dec 6 '13 at 14:38

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