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A recently posted question, with 11 down-votes, rightly closed but still viewable, had been edited---doubtless with the best of intentions. But I would rather have seen it unedited, because it then would have been quicker to make an assessment of the post. If an editor adds a skin of quality, the reader may pause to wonder whether there is really something in it. I don't think that the editor believed the post to have much underlying merit anyway, or he would have argued for retaining it. Thus, I would ask potential editors to think first whether editing at all is going to serve a useful purpose.

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Can you elaborate a bit on what the edit improved / failed to improve, and what quality hints were removed that you would have found useful in evaluating the question? – Shog9 Jul 3 '11 at 17:57
BTW: found two questions that roughly match your description: this one was edited for formatting prior to being closed - the edit may well have contributed to users recognizing it as a pasted-in homework assignment and closing. This one was edited primarily by the original author. – Shog9 Jul 3 '11 at 18:01
Whats your problem right now? – VMAtm Jul 3 '11 at 18:27
@Shog: To answer the questions in your first comment, I would need to have seen the unedited post. The remarks in your second comment do not apply to the post I had in mind. – John Bentin Jul 3 '11 at 18:41
@John: so view it then. Just look at the revision history. And... I'm not going to waste any more time trying to guess at the post you're talking about - either link to it, or add a lot more detail to this request. – Shog9 Jul 3 '11 at 18:42
@VMAtm: I don't have a problem about this matter. I just put forward a suggestion for editors to consider. – John Bentin Jul 3 '11 at 18:49
@John - Please link to the question you have in mind, or this is just a philosophical discussion. – Neil Fein Jul 3 '11 at 19:00
@Neil: My point was a general one. I don't want to discuss the particular question. – John Bentin Jul 3 '11 at 19:09
@Shog9: Now you have shown me that the editing history can be traced, I can see that my point has little force. In fact, the editing of the question concerned was insignificant, and the editor had done exactly what I would have done. Sorry for wasting everyone's time! – John Bentin Jul 3 '11 at 19:19
up vote 10 down vote accepted

There are two kinds of low quality posts:

  1. Those that are salvageable by editing, and
  2. Those that are not.

If a question can be cleaned up to become a good question, users are encouraged to edit the question and upvote it. Edits made to a question can be seen in the edit history for that question.

If the post is beyond redemption, vote to close, or flag it as "Low Quality."

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Your link is most helpful. I had wrongly assumed that an "edited by" tag meant that the editor had made an attempt to put the question into some relatively good order. Your classification is impeccable, and every editor should well be aware of it. – John Bentin Jul 3 '11 at 19:41

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