While reviewing "Suggested Edits" on Stack Overflow, I've noticed a lot of edits lately from the same user, and all of the edits consist of nothing but removing profanity. While I'm inclined to approve the edits, I'm wondering... should the editor instead be flagging these posts, as opposed to cleaning them up?
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I would like to state that all the edits I made were in the interest of removing offensive language and not to stir up any arguments (which unfortunately seems to be the case).
Due to Stack Overflow being a site that is open to anyone to view, I was just protecting against those users who may find the content very offensive. I realise, now, that I should have flagged the content rather than edited it. This is fair enough.
Personally, I don't really care about swearing, but I am considerate of other people who may not share my views.
Do the edits fix all the errors in the post?
If a lot of edits are rejected (for wasting reviewers' time) edit privileges will be lost (and a good thing too).
Should the user be flagging? No, if all that's needed is to edit away the offending word. They should be editing. But if they only have enough reputation points to suggest edits, then they must either edit properly or not bother.
I'M A MICRO-CELEBRITY GET ME OUTTA HERE
Since I've got your attention and header jokes aside I believe that I am the one or one of the ones in the past 24 hours aggressively removing profanity from stack. I'd like to thank Pekka for taking the time to point me to various threads on meta that I was unaware off and of course without this knowledge I wouldn't be replying to all you folks. At no point did I think that my behaviour was bad never-mind did I think my actions would contribute to sparking of a debate on Meta.
It's worth mentioning that while I have been removing swear words I have also been removing 'noticeable' grammar mistakes and any spelling mistakes that is picked up by Firefox. Not all posts require improving in terms of the answer or spelling for that matter but contain unnecessary frustration ranting with swear words. Now I enjoy a good rant but I believe you can get your point out without swearing which a lot of my edits include.
Additional when reviewing edits it's important to check the page and not just the post, a lot of edits that I've done are on answers and then the questions on the same page which consists of re-tagging and spelling if required. - While this could be unfavourable too and let me know if it is. Maybe I should be looking at Edit as improving the actual questions or answers themselves rather than peoples grammar / spelling, again let me know.
Now I'm not defending myself just pointing out that I was trying to help that's all while gaining rep and I know that's unfavourable now. So it's no problem.
I just wish a someone like Pekka notified me soon, or maybe if I had my thinking hat on I wouldn't of wasted a few hours editing them as now I feel its wasted my evening lol, never mind your time rejecting or approving them. While I wasn't trying to beat the system as I'm fully aware once you hit 1K rep points on edits you can't get any more either and the 200 rep per a day so the reasoning of me doing this as I honestly thought I was doing something good. I love the rep system and I just wanted to jump straight in and get involved any way possible. I now know this isn't the way forward if I want to join the community of which I apologise and you can consider this behaviour stopped from myself from now.
Again thanks to Pekka and letting me know that I should improve my edits as from now I'll be doing much more when I click the EDIT button. Game on!
Anyone can suggest an edit, so there's really no need to flag for a moderator if that's all that's needed. If the editor is leaving behind a lot of other problems that should be fixed, feel free to reject their edit as too minor or improve upon it.
Reject or improve suggested edits which do not correct a substantial portion of the problems with the post. You can read my views on this at Too Minor rejection reason needs either to be reworded or removed
The minor nature of the edits aside, I believe that editing is the correct response here, over flagging. As long as the cursing in question is incidental -- i.e., not an insult or attack directed at another user -- the only thing that a mod would do would be to edit anyways.* Flags should be used when you yourself are incapable of taking the appropriate action.
If the usage seems to violate the "Be nice" rule, being directly addressed to another user, then a flag to alert a mod to review the poster's behavior might be warranted, on top of editing to remove the immediate eyesore.
*Also note that there is no firm community consensus on the editing/usage of curse words, (cf. Why was my comment edited?) (Meta-10k link only), depite management's stance.
They should also fix any other problems in the post, but it's good to have pro-active people keeping the site clean for corporate filters.
Editing is the correct response, unless they find a someone who is make a lot of posts with profanity in which case the moderators should be flagged, we've had problems with those types of posters before.