Is it okay to edit another user's closed question in the hopes of getting it opened, or should that issue rest solely on the OP himself?

  • Is there a particular question that you're concerned with here? The answer is usually yes, but there are definitely instances where the edit would be a radical reinterpretation of the original question where it's not appropriate. Feb 12 '15 at 0:31
  • Quite often, I run into editors making drastic changes to closed questions, in an attempt to salvage them and reopen them. Our policy is rather inconsistent on that; if I see something like that happening, I usually roll it back, barring evidence from the OP of the support of those changes. On the one hand, we're changing the intent of the asker. On the other, it's an attempt to salvage a question. It's a bit of a sticky situation, and I'm not sure there's a right answer to it.
    – Frank
    Feb 12 '15 at 0:42
  • Speaking from my own experience: of late I've been extricating info from provided Minecraft crash dumps to make it clearer what the error is, what the user's specs are, mods installed etc. A lot of users don't understand a crash dump, and don't understand what's involved with debugging an application, so they only know to paste the wall of text that's preventing them from launching the game. We've started building FAQs like the 'how to write a Minecraft Support question' etc, but most of the time this is linked after the fact, and the question is already accruing 'unclear' close votes.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Feb 12 '15 at 4:31

A lot of this comes down to why the question was closed in the first place.

If the question was closed for being unclear, but you can decipher it, rewrite it in clearer language, and make it useful, go for it.

If the question was closed for being off-topic, subjective, or too broad, odds are that any changes that would make the question a useful on topic question also represent a radical change from the question as asked. Thus, I'd generally discourage such edits; if you think that there's a good question at the kernel of what the OP has asked and they don't or won't edit their question to fit what you are suddenly curious about, ask the good question yourself.

As always, situations like this are fundamentally judgment calls. My judgment tends to fall on the side of encouraging edits that sharpen, refine, and clarify the meaning as presented in the question asked, and against those edits which seek to turn the question into a different, if related inquiry that more readily conforms to the rules.

  • Is your second point something everyone has agreed on, or your viewpoint on this issue? I have a few questions that are currently closed as unclear that I'd like to re-edit to be reopened, but wanted to get confirmation as to whether or not we allow this sort of behavior before I did so.
    – childe
    Feb 12 '15 at 0:49

If the edit to the question would be valid (i.e. doesn't hit any of the rejection reasons), then it's still valid even if the question is closed.

If the edit is invalid, then it is still invalid even if the question is closed.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .