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This is the post in question.

The answer first describes a "bad" process, and that description is at least half of the answer. The way the answer is presented (in steps) makes it seem like a step-by-step process for solving the problem described in the question. However, most of these steps are irrelevant.

In this case, should the answer be edited, or is that too significant an edit to be made?

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6 bullet points is too much noise for you? I wonder what your thoughts are on this answer... –  Yannis Nov 8 '12 at 15:40
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It actually reads like an excellent answer to me. Not only relevant to the OP, but the wider audience of the internet as well. I see no problem. –  Bart Nov 8 '12 at 15:48
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@Bart My concern is that 2/3 of the answer actually describes what NOT to do, presented in a way that looks like it's what one SHOULD do. Only 1/3 of the answer is actually a solution. –  Ryan Kohn Nov 8 '12 at 15:51
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I think it's perfect as is. Excellent explanation of how to do it right. –  TRiG is Timothy Richard Green Nov 8 '12 at 16:22

2 Answers 2

If I found an answer with too much noise before the actual answer, I would edit it to have the solution up top as a tldr; and maintain the original content of the answer below it.

It may read like "noise" to you, but I often find that longer answers contain some valuable information and are usually worth reading if you are really trying to understand the problem. In addition, the person posting the answer probably put a lot of time and thought into what they were going to say, and simply removing all that seems like an unconstructive or even hostile action, and will likely be rolled back

So don't remove this information, but do edit the answer to provide a tldr summary at the top for people who don't have time to read through the rest of the answer.

As for the specific question you linked, I don't think it contains too much "noise", as it's only 6 bullet points. And about your concern that it looked like the bullet points were listing what you should do, the very first line is

The steps people usually go through when facing these problems are:

which I think clearly state that these are not the steps you should take, but are the steps usually taken by people in this situation. And honestly if someone follows a set of bullet points found online without actually taking the time to read any of the other text, I think they deserve whatever they get ;)

But anyways, I suppose you could also edit that answer to add the solution to the very top of the answer so there are no mistakes, but I wouldn't remove any of the existing answer.

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I would edit the post. You're not really changing the nature of the post at all, you simply want to put it in a format that will increase clarity.

Edits of this nature are always allowed, as long as they maintain the original intent of the author.

And by intent, I mean the actual meat of the answer, not the authors intent of bulleting certain items or of formatting something in bold).

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