I had my edits rejected, which to me at least, clearly showed the questioner's intent at: https://superuser.com/review/suggested-edits/389619

The edits were rejected with the boilerplate, "This edit deviates from the original intent of the post ...", and "... actively harm readability." Seemingly this implies to me that the questioner should continue look stupid for asking a stupid question with an obvious answer, (which is why this nonsensical question has and deserves a -1 rating).

The literal meaning of this question is, [paraphrased]: "If I 'Completely Restore System to Factory Defaults', (which I already know will delete everything on my hard drive), [quoted from link provided], will it also delete my winsxs folder?" Isn't this answer, "yes", obvious to every reader, and also implied in the question iteslf?

His rant from his previous sentence reveals that his real intent is to solve, [paraphrased]: "My SSD is out of space because of my winsxs folder is much larger than it should be."

My guess was that he wanted to relieve the pain that his rant revealed--'recover that wasted space from his winsxs folder'. The answer to his literal question, (which did contain his proposed solution), could not possibly help anyone, since the answer is obvious to anyone.

He simply wanted to know if reformatting via a factory reset, would fix his wasted winsxs space problem. So I restated his question, "If I run the Acer factory reset ( http://acer.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/12869/~/how-do-i-restore-my-computer-using-the-erecovery-management-program%3F), this will this delete my winsxs folder and all applications are also deleted. Will this substantially reduce the size of my winsxs folder so I can regain this space?"

Since most often, I can't be an expert or will have done extensive research required to really understand many questions in depth, I don't intend to fix questions, provide or edit answers, or add comments if I don't know the subject matter. So I'll never show very many edits.

What I'm really asking is this: Is the purpose of this site to both help the questioner, and especially inform any other readers? I think it is, or certainly should be. If so, it seems that peer review or at least appeal, should be done by peers that are extremely knowledgeable in their very narrow field addressed by the real questions, rather than a generalists that copy and paste the rejection reasons.

In this instance, I'd rather know specifically what the question should have been, rather than the obvious nonsensical question such as, 'are my files deleted when I reformat my drive', which to me is drivel that is a complete waste of everyone's time, and should be deleted, if not improved.

I suggest that the reasons for rejection must contain relevant critique that shows that the rejector thoroughly understands the subject. As an alternative or in an additional feature request, there should be an "appeal button" on that editor's rejections page, which would then escalate the edits to someone knowledgeable on that subject.

Is there an appeal process I not aware of? In any case, I'd really like better guidance before spending more time clarifying and educating readers.

  • 1
    This looks like a good example of an What is the XY problem?. The better question might have been "How do I reduce the size of my winsxs folder" or "Why is my winsxs folder so large" or "How do I reclaim space on my Windows drive". Unfortunately only the OP can tell us what his real problem is.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Jun 14, 2015 at 17:17
  • @DaaBoss - You added a question to the question the author didn't even asked. The edit was rejected appropriately for that reason. How can you tell us what the author's real problem is unless the author literally doesn't say it. The purpose of this site is to provide answers to questions that everyone has, and the this particular question, has both been answered AND asked before.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Jun 15, 2015 at 11:21

2 Answers 2


Unless you are including comments that the user has stated or clarified for you then you should not be putting words in their mouth.

The fact is that from all the comments I see, he is specifically asking whether it will reduce the size of the folder at all as he is uncertain as by the comments:

Factory reset means exactly as the name suggests. You'll end up with the OS in the same state as it was when you first got the laptop. What's the confusion? – Karan

@Karan there is no confusion, I don´t see anything wrong just to be sure before erasing all my software – arkiaamu

If he had stated that he knew it would happen in the first place then I would have accepted the edit, but your edit was not what he was asking about. Quite specifically your edit was the exact opposite of what he was asking.

To answer your question:

The literal meaning of this question is, [paraphrased]: "If I 'Completely Restore System to Factory Defaults', (which I already know will delete everything on my hard drive), [quoted from link provided], will it also delete my winsxs folder?" Isn't this answer, "yes", obvious to every reader, and also implied in the question iteslf?

From his comments in that question the answer is that while it might be obvious to you it was, in this case, not completely obvious to the user.

We educate people by giving answers to their questions. Not by telling them they are asking wrong and saying "this is what your question should say". Hence the reject reason of "This edit deviates from the original intent of the post ..."

If we went around changing questions to what we thought they would say then we would loose a lot of those seemingly simple questions that so called expert users think are obvious. To a new user the question isn't obvious at all, hence why they asked the question the way they did.

Put yourself in the position of a newbie who has just been given a computer. It has two mystical "reset mostly everything" (factory reset) and "reset maybe most things" (refresh). Neither of these require any DVD or CD media anymore, so how do I know that it doesn't just run a "delete these parts of Windows" type script? Wouldn't you like to be sure which things are going to disappear? Could the factory reset not still leave him with a pretty large WinSxS folder if the factory image was full of bloat? Perhaps the large WinSxS folder is a "feature" of the factory image.

Yes, the site is about educating the users, but it's about educating all users, even the ones who also had this very particular question. Changing the question away from the intent of the original author might result in some nice discussion, but if it becomes unhelpful to the original asker then you have made their experience of the site worse as a result.

Think about what the asker wants to ask, not what you want them to ask.


Do not worry about it. The original was kind of drivel, and SU does answer questions for regular users, and people who english is a second language.

Your edit was within the ideas that the user was suggesting, AND it also could have been concidered unnecessary , AND it could be perceived as changing slightly what the user was asking. It ALL does not make so much difference as to have a problem over it in this one case here.

Tips I could provide for this one example: If the edit had also "improved more things". If the question was then more readable (visually). If there was also formatting improved, if spelling was fixed, If the title was clearer. If the link was cleaned up (which I disagree with).
More substatial changes , without damages , and full complete finishes of the editing needed are more likely to pass review.
If the whole question had suddenly cleared up from your edit, not just the single idea the user had, it might have passed.

Side Notes: This also ended up looking some like a Review Audit, the evil machine trying to trick us all by adding garbage to a post. If you start to review more stuff later you will see what I am talking about.

Ahh Just keep up the good work, and do not sweat the small stuff. This is certannly small stuff.

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