Today I saw the profile of a user who is obviously a non-native English speaker, but is contributing useful questions and answers and I thought it would be nice to quietly fix the grammar in their About Me section.

As I can't contact the user directly for this, I thought a mod could use their super powers for good (not that they ever do otherwise).


As per comments below, I can see this is not something that should be done for the reasons of:

  • setting a precedent that profile content can be changed by others
  • community is totally not behind it as implied by the flood of downvotes

I was aiming for a minor feel good moment through act of group kindness, but I was off-target just a bit. The strongest part about this site is the community aspect and I actually enjoy having my opinion changed here.


Due to the large number of downvotes this post has received, I think it should stay up for future reference, but I've removed any references to the particular user's profile and made it more gender-neutral (though it was chance I pulled up that profile at the time, in reflection, I probably would be more biased to want to help a lady, just as I still open a doors, but totally not the topic of debate for this question).

  • 16
    Nope. Unless the section blatantly violates the terms and conditions of the site, the About Me section should not be touched by anyone but the user. – Martijn Pieters Sep 24 '13 at 6:36
  • 1
    aww, you guys are cold. I was thinking it's a nice improvement to a professional profile for someone and a minor effort to do. – ljs.dev Sep 24 '13 at 6:36
  • Where will such behaviour end? What if the user deliberately made a mistake, as a specific joke that the well-intended corrector did not get? The section is personal. End of. – Martijn Pieters Sep 24 '13 at 6:40
  • 9
    You StackOverFlow profile says you are in Tokyo, Japan, but your profile at StackOverFlow's career site says you are from Melbourne, Australia. May I fix that for you? – user202362 Sep 24 '13 at 6:42
  • 1
    What you want sounds very condescending... – wilx Sep 24 '13 at 6:43
  • Not meant to sound condescending, I've lived in China and from that have confidence to say this is not a deliberate mistake made and unlikely to ever get changed if not notified. @Telkitty猫咪咪, thanks! I'll change that. If I could comment a similar thing to the user in question I would, but it's not appropriate in any of her posts. – ljs.dev Sep 24 '13 at 6:46
  • 3
    @LeonStafford: This is about general policy, not just this specific profile. The point I am trying to make is that it is wrong to decide what is correct and incorrect in a profile. That is entirely up to the user. – Martijn Pieters Sep 24 '13 at 6:50
  • @MartijnPieters, thanks. I'd written my comment as yours came in, I was referring to the downvotes, not you guys directly :) This was just an isolated instance of wanting to make a minor difference, not an intention to blanket open editing of other people's profiles, but I can see the vox populi is against, so I concede – ljs.dev Sep 24 '13 at 6:51
  • 2
    @LeonStafford: Voting on Meta is different; we vote on the merits of your question. Do we agree the about me should be changed by someone other than the user, yes or no? You got 10 no votes. – Martijn Pieters Sep 24 '13 at 6:54
  • 3
    That's a lot of emphasis on this being a female member. Just curious: would you have suggested the same for other members? – Arjan Sep 24 '13 at 7:32
  • Most other Chinese or apparently Chinese members I edited today did not have anything in their About Me section, that's why I thought that after she'd made the effort to put something there, we could do the favor of touching it up. – ljs.dev Sep 24 '13 at 7:34
  • And pre-empting another apparent emphasis on Chinese - I was searching for questions containing Chinese punctuation marks, as these tended to lead to posts with lots of spelling and grammatical mistakes – ljs.dev Sep 24 '13 at 7:36
  • Looking at the first version of this Q, I wish there was a reverse-bounty. – brasofilo Sep 24 '13 at 12:13

No one has right to edit/improve other user's About Me section. Even moderators and SE employee can edit the section only if there is something rude or offensive. So editing someone's About Me section just to fix grammar is not appropriate IMHO.

| improve this answer | |

You must log in to answer this question.

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