I would like to understand the appeal process for a moderators decision. How does one start that procedure when a moderator has edited your post and thereby losing its thrust.
The problem with your statement that a moderator should only edit if absolutely necessary is that it was necessary. If I had come across this post, I too would have edited it, but in the end a moderator would have had to get involved. I would have had to flag it since I couldn't lock the post like the moderator did. Instead of trying to build on the edit and make the post better, you simply rolled it back to its original state.
Keep in mind that everyone is new at one point in time, and that includes both you and me. The people we learned the most things from were those who were patient and guiding, not those who were mean, shallow, and who feel superior by pointing out others' flaws.
Sometimes it's not obvious what keywords to use or that a search should have even been done, especially if you're new and don't know all the terminology. In fact, knowing how to use a search engine is a skill that takes time to master. Instead of making the user feel stupid, you could have explained what keywords you used to locate the content on Google, but without the snark.
With that said, your post here on meta is sort of an appeal to that moderator action, but I don't see anyone reversing your edit. If you look around at most of the other Stack Overflow answers, you can see that type of material just isn't what we want this site to represent as a community. This just encourages more of this same behavior and would turn Stack Overflow into just another place where random snapshots of the Internet are allowed to thrive, and that interferes with the goal of making the Internet a better place.
Not going into the details of the actual post that drove you to ask this question, as the question itself is good and fair.
If you have issue with an edit, you can always comment with an
@ comment to the last editor (who will be notified), moderator or otherwise.
If you feel that a moderator overstepped the mark, you can use the contact us link in the footer to contact the community team with your grievance.