[edit: I posted this while possibly not in the best frame of mind for calm and thoughtful writing, and that probably comes through. But I seriously would appreciate feedback about how to treat this sort of situation: whether to edit a post that has downvotes, what kinds of edits to titles are appropriate, what to do when a ghastly post nevertheless contains something worth answering, etc.—ideally from people with a range of viewpoints, if such a range exists.]
I joined the site a few days ago. I think my contributions have mostly been positive. (For some reason my first question got a ridiculous number of upvotes, but that's irrelevant really.) A few minutes ago this happened.
A question appeared asking for a formula or notation for the process of repeatedly adding the digits of a number—which is the traditional method known as casting out the nines for checking arithmetic. It calculates the remainder on dividing by 9. I mentioned this in a comment, as the questioner seemed unaware of it.
Unfortunately the questioner labelled this process as being a numerological one. The title was something like formula for numerology.
Now, I understand that here, people ask mathematical questions and get mathematical answers. The questioner's title didn't make it clear that there was any mathematical content at all, so I edited the title to include "|casting out the nines]" so people would know the actual content.
Within seconds of saving the suggested edit, the question had been put on hold (maybe reasonable as it was a pretty garbled question) but also, a comment appeared under mine telling me in no uncertain terms that my "attempt to edit the post" was "inappropriate" and that "casting out the nines" had "little to do with numerology".
That was the point of the suggested edit: to point out that the substance of the question wasn't really about nunerology and that there was a legitimate mathematical query in there.
I appreciate that the site is bombarded with ill-written questions, but is it really necessary to pounce on someone in this way? I barely had time even to save the edit. What's wrong with simply rejecting the edit and specifying a reason? That would have enabled me to know what I'd done wrong and avoid doing it again.
Mostly I've found the site a good place to learn and every so often to contribute since I joined, but now I'm thinking I really might be better off keeping away from here.
My reasoning in submitting the edit was that even if the question got deleted, it would at least be more accurately labelled in the meantime. I struggle to see how that is inappropriate.
Also I've seen things such as a question posted "41 seconds ago" which already had two downvotes, suggesting people are downvoting questions without even opening them. I can't say that seems particularly appropriate behaviour to me—not everyone is skilled in writing a suitable title, and we're encouraged to be kind to new users, so it's surely necessary to at least glance at the content. And maybe give the questioner time to realise they need to do a bit of editing.
Is this really a good way to treat newcomers (or anyone)? I've been trying hard to be considerate to those who don't know much maths and where I can, help them to know a bit more. Even if they express themselves with bizarre phrases like "numerology formula". If someone wants to know some maths, give them the maths!