I greatly suspect that this will not get through, but nothing is worse than self-elected censors. My post about the French passoir conique, a real-life unobjectionable object, was subjected to heavy-handed censorship. Appalling. Unacceptable. I will certainly not bother to make any contribution to this site again. Whose is the greatest loss? I have to offer my comment in this open way as there appears to be no channel of communication in a more discrete way.

  • 7
    The edits, which for some reason you undid, were to make your post more clear and meet the guides of this site. Things like S/S for stainless steel may make complete sense to you, but do not to the average person which is the point of answers on this site. Telling people that Google will define a term for them is considered, well, rude and talking down. Links without a description will almost always be edited because they become useless when the link dies. This is a user edited site, and all of us get our answered edited to make things clear to all. That is far from censorship.
    – dlb
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 19:27

2 Answers 2


Firstly, I did not edit your post, I only looked at the edit to know what the nature of the edits were, and from that I come to the conclusion, there was zero censorship but seems to be a misunderstanding of the nature of Stack Exchange communities like Seasoned Advice. These are communities, which are user edited with the intent of giving searchable answers to questions, in this case about cooking subjects. To that end, people with answers they think will help, post. Others read it, and see things that they think they can add, fix or clarify, so they edit the answer. The user, or others can see the edit, and say, yes, that helps and accept the edit and it becomes part of the answer.

Looking at your post, I see a number of things that got immediately targeted, and those types of things always will. To highlight, you used abbreviations. They make perfect sense to you, and will to many others as well, but not to everyone, so the editor changed it to the full meaning. Not censorship, clarity to all.

Next, you put a link in. Links are great in that they may give more information than in your answer, they often give some authority rather than it just being an opinion, and they give credit to sources of information. Links have downsides as well, they require the person to click through. They may die. They may be blocked for users or get moved behind a paywall. So, the rule on Seasoned Advice is that links, without a summary, are not OK, they need to have a summary in case the reader cannot get there. There are few things worse than to look at an issue, have someone say "here is a link to your answer", click it and get 404 - not found. The editor did this change for clarity and to save you downvotes.

My last point, stating in part of your answer that a term you use can be easily Googled is less than helpful and borders on condescending to many readers. Many users get to the question/answer in the first play via Google or another search engine. That is the entire point of the questions and answers, to be searchable as canonical answers to issues people have. Getting there, and being given an answer that says "search for it" will be widely considered out of line. Comments like this, greetings, and well any comment unrelated to the actual answer are almost always going to be edited out as not helping the searcher get to where they want to be. This is the only thing even remotely close to censorship, and was not censoring you per se, it was keeping your answer from getting downvotes and votes to delete without changing the actual content of your answer.

  • See, Sobachatina caught my typo and corrected it! And I too have been hit for link answers rather than posting the content and adding a link. Frankly, I think will all do that one and first.
    – dlb
    Commented Oct 18, 2017 at 21:13

Posting on meta is the right way to raise issues like this, but you may also flag for moderator attention (using custom flag text) if you desire privacy.

The edit in question was not "censorship". It was made by one user who has earned some reputation on the site, and approved by two others who have earned even more: they have proved themselves here to some degree. To quote our help center:

Editing is important for keeping questions and answers clear, relevant, and up-to-date. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

Our users are not infallible, of course. If they make a mistake, it is fine to attempt to correct it, but posting personal attacks on our users is unwarranted.

In this case, I see:

  • one removed phrase ("which Google should identify") - seems slightly positive, given that Googling this just returns results in French. If you want to refer to more information, maybe add a link? Or at least an English term to search for on Google?
  • a clarification ("s/s" to "stainless steel) - this is very helpful
  • one phrase relocated ("You simply push down...") - eh
  • one word changed ("mouth" to "width") - debatable, possibly a second language misunderstanding
  • a link replaced with an image - this is very helpful

Again, none of this amounts to censorship. At best, there was a tiny mistake or two. If you really feel that some of those small changes detract from your answer, the right course of action is to edit to address them, while preserving the helpful changes.

I've tried to do this for you: I clarified what "mouth" is, adding the actual English name ("conical strainer"), linking to Google since you wanted to refer to Google, and moved the instructional phrase back closer to where you had it.

For what it's worth, your core suggestion of a conical strainer is a good one, and I believe the edits have made it even more useful to future readers. I've upvoted the answer, and if you have other contributions to make, they're quite welcome - just remember to treat others with respect.

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