I just went into an answer to a question (for the second time on Music.SE, if I remember correctly) and deleted blatant vulgarities. (The question in question)

My thinking was that we want people to be able to do a web search, come across this site in the search results, come here, and find an answer or at least more information without being hit with such language. As such, I felt that the borderline abuse of my edit powers and slightly changing the intent of the paragraph in question was justified. I also thought that it should be done right away rather than wait for a higher-level moderation process to take place.

Was my thinking correct? Should we jump in and edit out blatantly offensive language as soon as possible? I think I preserved the intent of the passage even though I deleted entire words. I thought about replacing offensive words with other symbols or something, would that be preferred to deletion?

Or should we flag and wait?

  • 2
    To be honest you could even have gone a little farther and edited out the side commentary about moderation (pointing the user to Meta).
    – user28
    Jan 13, 2016 at 22:12

1 Answer 1


You and others who have the rep to edit anything have the power for a reason as this is our community and we need to take care of it. Edits should seek to improve the content and in this case removing the vulgarity and insults are part of that especially since the last paragraph was just an attack on a user of the site and should be removed to hopefully salvage the content.

So yes you took the right action and also always flag in a case like this. It leaves a paper trail for the moderators to see patterns and issues that require more direct moderator intervention.

  • 2
    Right. Flag also was an answer to another one of my meta questions and I didn't think to extend the idea. I just have to make that my mantra. Thanks! Jan 13, 2016 at 20:48

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