I recently read an answer that answered the question asked, but also included a couple paragraphs of the author's opinions on environmental policies. These, while related to the topic of the question, did not directly serve to answer it.

I submitted a suggested edit to remove these paragraphs.

Was this acceptable? I think moderators are supposed to do things like this, but I also know that edits are not supposed to subvert the authorial intent of the original post.

  • My comments were not about actual environmental policies. They were about taxes and/or subsidies sold to the public on the basis of some purely imaginary environmental benefit, but are there just to take resources away from a large group of people and give it to a small group of people. I am not responsible for you not being able to understand standard economic analysis of why policies that reduce social welfare persist. I didn't even revert your edits so I don't understand why this all of a sudden had to become "meta"? politics.stackexchange.com/posts/477/edit Commented Dec 23, 2012 at 8:22
  • 2
    @Sinan For future reference.
    – ymar
    Commented Dec 27, 2012 at 16:50

1 Answer 1


As a rule, the answer is "yes". "nonessential opinionated material" should not be in the posts.

However, what one considers "nonessential opinionated material" is frequently subjective and in the eye of the be(er)holder.

Orthogonally, a very good suggested policy is to comment on an answer, pointing out what you consider offensive bits, and explain why you feel it should be edited for improvement. It's more neighborly than unilaterally making a major edit yourself, AND more importantly, lets the poster have a chance to explain why they may disagree. Beats getting into Wikipedia style edit/rollback wars :)

One caveat: if there's a clear evidence (via many comments/downvotes) that a specific piece of an answer is subjective opinion from many eyes, you may be better off editing it out yourself pre-emptively, lest an otherwise good post gets downvoted into oblivion. Then, post-edit, explain what and why you did in a comment (and for a new user, inform them of a rollback option)

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