This question was closed as off topic two hours after being posted

An hour later it under went significant changes to bring it in scope.

Specfics are now missing that render answers of less value to the OP.

Can we exercise a voluntary hold period to let OP bring question into scope before taking it over?

I would have liked the OP to define "ranger" and take out the legal part.

What is a reasonable period to hold off and let the OP fix the question before fundamentally changing it?

Me I think 24 hours to let OP fix a question before fundamentally changing it.

  • 4
    I disagree with the "less value to the OP." There is nothing to suggest that. On the contrary, it is now much more valuable to the community, and has answers that can give the OP some ideas.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Nov 30, 2016 at 18:55
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    @RoryAlsop Nothing to suggest that? The OP did not get a chance to participate in making the question in scope. Many specifics were deleted. It is speculation on if the question is better from the perspective of the OP. It can still be made a community question after giving the OP a chance to participate. I don't share your opinion that community trumps OP.
    – paparazzo
    Nov 30, 2016 at 19:07
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    What I am saying is that your premise here has nothing to support it - you have come up with that. You could be 100% wrong - we don't know. In any case, it is now open again, and the OP still has the option to edit it if they want.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Nov 30, 2016 at 19:13
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    Establishing a rule or procedure to deal with a rare case is usually counterproductive. And this is a rare case. Since summer 2015, this is the first time I've seen a question so extensively edited by someone other than its OP. Moreover, this particular edit was good! It brought the question on topic and the answers addressed the core of the OP's question. The OP has now had 22 hours to object, roll-back, add information, comment, whatever, and all he has said is that the site is not in the US and not on private land. Let's not fix something that is not broken.
    – ab2
    Nov 30, 2016 at 20:46
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    Paparazzi, I totally understand your point and appreciate your concern. (Upvote from me.) I edit a lot, and it's important to respect the OP and the original intent of the post. As far as I know, the OP has an option to rollback or re-edit at any part of the process, up to 5 days after it's closed, and request re-opening. See here. That's why I don't think a rule is needed. Also, @anatolyg has been around for a while, understands the system, didn't feel the need to intervene, and probably appreciated the edits. Dec 1, 2016 at 1:36

2 Answers 2



I am not sure this was the best approach given so more things that have gone on recently.

  • First of my edits was necessary, since we aren't going to tell someone how to break the law.

  • Second may have been unnecessary since questions about legality are not necessarily off topic.

  • Totally closing the question would have hurt the site because then we would be short a number of visitors and really good answers.

  • Big edits are a good thing, but it's worth asking the OP ahead of time anyways as I did here and here.

Original Answer

As the editor here is my thought process on it.

It clearly wasn't going anywhere as it was originally written because it was asking about how to get around existing rules.

However, there was a good question inside because there the problem of access is real. So instead of complaining I went ahead and fixed the problems that I saw and left a note for Rory saying I had tried to fix them and that I apologized to the OP in advance if I had been too heavy-handed.

The OP has the option to edit it if they so choose.

Since then the question has received

  • 2 Favorites
  • 17 upvotes on the question
  • 3 answers with a total of 35 upvotes
  • 4
    +1 Additionally everything on SE is licensed creative commons once it is posted it belongs to world, and the content as it exists on TGO is managed by the community. Dec 1, 2016 at 14:02
  • 5
    I like your attitude of fixing rather than complaining! The scope here is confusing, so if you found a way to make it fit quickly and without a lot of drama, I thank you for doing that. Dec 2, 2016 at 21:02
  • James Jenkins while you are right, I'm not sure I would insist too much on that - e.g. people want to feel a sense of ownership to what they bring to the community. Rightly so I think... So agree technically only...
    – Francky_V
    Dec 9, 2016 at 16:31
  • 1
    Ownership is held by SE once a post is made Francky. That's part of the licence. We encourage anyone to improve posts.
    – Rory Alsop Mod
    Dec 9, 2016 at 20:22

I am quite a bit late to the party, but in my opinion the conclusion here is flawed because the question after the edit is so good. I think we agree that the question after Charlie Brumbaugh's edit is much better, the stats he posted concur with that.

Nevertheless the question after the edit is a different question. Answers are relevant to the original question, as they are about the same topic, but they are not directed at this specific problem. One aspect was the disparity between the rules applied by authorities and the missing information of the climbing community (no signs, ...). This is obviously much more boring and less useful for a greater public than what the edit asks, but it is a legitimate question.

In my opinion this question should have been closed as unclear or too broad. Charlie Brumbaugh's question should have been posted as a new question.

After all if you don't have edit privileges and start an edit the following guidelines are displayed:

enter image description here

And I completely forgot the licensing stuff brought up in comments: That's a joke right? Sure the license allows for extended edits, but the license is not what defines how the community works. It is vice versa: The license (should allow) allows to do what the community wants. So arguments should be about what SE wants to achieve as a community with edits, not what the license/ownership allows.

  • 2
    The reason that I didn't let it close and then ask and self answer is that would have felt like ripping off the OP because I would have received the upvotes on the question instead of the the OP. If the OP wanted to change something, they are always able to edit it. Dec 10, 2016 at 18:47
  • 3
    I agree with your answer in the sense that if I would have seen Charlie's edit in the review queue I probably would have rejected it as being too big. I disagree with your answer because I feel like Charlie's edit was true to the core of the OP's problem, and was a great question too. Since it was accepted by the OP, got to the core of the OP's problem, and was a great question i congratulate Charlie for his initiative. If any one of those elements wouldn't have worked out then I would fully support your position.
    – Erik
    Dec 17, 2016 at 0:52
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    The rep system gave Charlie the ability to use his judgment and his intervention was a net gain for the site and the OP in my opinion. I don't feel like interventions like what Charlie did should be the norm, but it worked out great in this specific case so I congratulate him for his actions in this specific case. Ultimately that is one of the benefits of the rep system. As the system trusts you more it allows you to make bigger changes based on your judgment. At the end of the day Charlie used his judgment, made a big change and it worked.
    – Erik
    Dec 17, 2016 at 0:54

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