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I notice that there have been a bunch of edits in the queue recently to the effect of removing one curse word. I understand that profanity in general should be avoided, but is there a lower boundary on how much is worthy of an edit? I mean, if the bad word in question (damn) occurs once and is irrelevant to the meaning of the question, like in some of the proposed edits, should we be approving those edits?

So far, I've been approving them, but they feel a bit frivolous, especially when the edit has a more forceful description to the tune of "no offensive language is welcome here"... I read this (To summarily edit out offensive language?), but I'm asking more about the super-trivial edits for isolated, comparatively tame words. Especially when it really seems like no one could take offense to it.

I meant edits like this:

Proposed Edit

Although this wasn't a great example of the "no offensive language is welcome here" type comment.

For that, see this (a related question about a slightly more extreme case): Edits: Foul Language in a song warranting removal of link?

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    We have messaged the user involved to try and help them understand the thresholds between helpful, nuisance and damaging, but thank you for asking here for clarification – Doktor Mayhem Apr 4 at 7:52
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I sense that there's some badge-hunting taking place. I get it; I think most of us, to varying degrees, have been guilty of that at some point in our careers here. But I disagree with the tactic in question: making grandiose claims of something being "very offensive" (or viio and Eb being "extremely confusing," with edits of vii° and E♭). (Worse still is a particular answer of mine that seems to attract a different suggested edit about every other week or so, but that's a discussion for another time.)

If memory serves, I reject all of these types of edits unless the edit removes superfluous text.

As an example, see Me and the grand staff: how to achieve pacific coexistence; as I see it, the original opening didn't add anything to the question and could be regarded as the "fluff" discussed in meta questions like What is the etiquette for modifying posts?

But even then, I admit that such "fluff" doesn't really bother me. Frankly, I think it adds character to the post and helps us get into the shoes of the questioner. Sometimes it can be valuable to sense their frustration, but I may be in the minority on that front.

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I am not against editing out even soft profanities (unless such an edit causes harm to the post), but I myself am unlikely to initiate such an edit for something like a single occurrence of "damn."

That said, I usually will accept such edit suggestions. I think that we strive for a certain tone of professionalism in the content here, and removing profanities always feels like a nudge in the right direction to me, and hence an improvement in the post.

But, if such an edit actually changes the poster's meaning or otherwise harms the post, the edit should be rejected. This is the case for the edit referenced in your other question. Trying to edit profanities from a title or a quotation, or removing a link to material germane to the question altogether would actively cause harm.

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    If I were this guitar I would have been hurt in my religious feelings ;) – Albrecht Hügli Apr 6 at 10:57
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Hi. This is Maika Sakuranomiya. I am answering your question since I am the one who made the suggested edit.


It appears as if Stack Exchange is very strict over content when I read https://music.stackexchange.com/conduct and https://music.stackexchange.com/help/behavior. Because of this, I came up with the idea of editing other users' posts by removing foul content in order to keep the site clean and prevent the posts from being marked as offensive.

I was also inspired by the moderators on Music Stack Exchange (Doktor Mayhem, Dom, and Matthew Read) as they seem to help users remember what is okay and not okay for the site. One example is that they remove posts that may be spam, offensive, or does not attempt to answer the question.

On the other hand, I am top 3% this year with over 1K reputation. I came up with some special ideas such as removing unacceptable content, upvoting on posts with a negative score, and giving upvotes to posts that were in the "first posts" list on my review queues. I had in mind that other users would believe me as a hero when I did such things.


It seems like if I had gone too far. The basic answer to your question is "not to curse", though. I am very sorry if I have offended you. I will go over the guide again and improve my behavior from now on, and I will try my best not to run too far in the future. I have been suspended on Music Stack Exchange twice so far, and I really hope I won't get suspended again. Thank you for your post as I appreciate it, and I will try to show my best behavior in the future.

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    The guidance pages that you link to don't seem to say much about "colorful" language. The emphasis there is on treating others with respect and fairness. One of the pages does say that "if you find unacceptable behavior directed at yourself or others, you can: flag the content." Swear words aren't always directed at someone, but any language that is offensive may be subject to removal. You can always flag content that you find offensive, and the moderators will decide what to do about it. The real problem here was that the offensive word was part of a music title; yet no offense was intended – David Bowling Apr 19 at 22:09

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