We should edit down posts with too many details.
but we should be careful what we call too many:
- We should decide which post has too many details on a case by case basis, and as we grow we'll hopefully get better at it.
- We should look for a balance between leaving in enough so that people can understand why certain feelings come into play.
- We shouldn't allow ranting or details that aren't necessary since these details will likely lead to comment threads discussing those details.
I played an interesting mind-game in chat about this:
Pretend you're a passing reader
With Many Opinions
But no special training/experience on the subject matter of the question.
You see a question... Can you answer it?
Will that answer touch on some area of your personal experience?
How do you determine these things?
Basically, this is the train of thought you have to keep in mind.
I'm a passing reader, no special experience, just many opinions.
I can answer every question here, that isn't impossible.
Those answers sadly won't touch an area of personal expertise, instead I will be using the site to soapbox my opinion about statements made in the question body.
I determine which question to answer based on experience as a user here on this site. A passing user with Many Opinions won't. They'll see statements that they have opinions about, and they will use the site to soapbox them.
To avoid questions attracting a lot of discussions, it's best to keep the facts and feelings to a bare minimum.
Feelings on a certain matter or details about what people were fighting about are important if we want to provide an OP with a good solution. I totally agree with the edit EmC did, that adds readability, tones down the ranting a little but essentially leaves enough information to determine that yep, this is a pretty serious situation.
This question was migrated from Parenting. It originally arrived in a very messy state, being not much more than a rant with 1 sentence that was fit for IPS: "How can I make clear that I'm not up to babysitting right now?'. The editing here is a good example of editing out unnecessary fluff and leaving a good question. It, just as the edit of EmC, hits the right balance.
Now, take a look at this one:
This is actually a good example of 'how many details are needed in this case'. Just mentioning things are perceived as xenophobic is enough. Of course there will be some comments trying to fish as to what was said. But the remarks themselves aren't needed to answer the question. So, OP left them out, and the question did pretty well.
To prove that some questions can do with a lot less detail, instead of adding more justifications for keeping them around:
Take a look. Then think. What would have happened when all those fears, accusations to the police etc. were trimmed down?
We should have left something in about the OP being afraid/creeped out by the guy, for sure. But 'Just the facts ma'am' leaves
- I am a second-generation American of Middle Eastern/ South Asian origin working in a big city in the USA where there is a subway.
- Usually someone is selling newspapers in the morning.
- I find the vendor creepy, he goes up to people asking for high-fives.
- I wasn't comfortable to say no, so I high-fived him reluctantly for about a year.
- Then a few months ago I saw a video on computer security and the person presenting it said something interesting, "You are an adult, say no".
- So the next day when I was in the subway and this person wanted a high-five I gave a thumbs up and said this is easy for me. Then he thought I am celebrating Ramadan, hence I am not giving high-five (I look Muslim, plus I wear long skirts). He asked if I am fasting for Ramadan and I said yes, just to end the conversation right then and there. (Although even this reads a little problematic, since it assumes a lot from the vendor about his reasons for asking the question)
- Recently, he asked for a high five again. I politely said 'have a nice day'.
- But really, I would prefer another method to communicate my lack of interest verbally OR avoid interacting with him at all and have a non-verbal solution to this.
This should have been done immediately to avoid a lot of discussions on meta.
This should have been edited, a comment should have been left and when the OP started editing stuff back in that wasn't relevant to the question, it should have been flagged as an edit war.
Right now, the OP is gone, and there is no answer to the question:
"He could be any other person I meet on the subway every day, and not necessarily a street vendor." and "I am really scared of random interactions with unknown people.". What are you really asking here? All the edits are making it confusing for me. Do you want our help in dismissing this street vendor (duplicate), or avoiding interactions with all random people you might encounter each day (too broad)? – Tinkeringbell Sep 27 at 8:17