I would like to find out how common it is to use redaction software, vs. the old-fashioned magic marker. How can I formulate an acceptable question about this?

Update: I FOIAed a school district in the U.S. and they have asked me to pay for printing so they could use a magic marker. I was surprised they were apparently unwilling to use redaction software, and am wondering if they are unusual or if this attachment to the old-fashioned magic marker is rather common.

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    not sure how meta.OD is the right site for this question – philshem Apr 27 '17 at 11:25
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    I closed this question because (1) it's not clear why it's on Meta and (2) OP didn't answer my comment after 1+ weeks. Happy to open it again if people want. – philshem May 9 '17 at 9:38
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    @philshem - I'm seeking guidance about how to pose a question properly for a particular site. – aparente001 May 9 '17 at 15:33
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    I don't really know how to formulate this is an appropriate OD question, besides what you already asked in the first question, but you probably want to search or contact FOIA platforms like muckrock.com that collect and share completed requests. – philshem May 9 '17 at 18:27
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    muckrock has a slack specifically for this @philshem – albert Jul 18 '17 at 16:55

First, specify what kind of work is being redacted? Novels, newspaper articles, code, etc.? The answer to this question also helps figuring out what SE website to ask the question on. Maybe https://writers.stackexchange.com/, otherwise find one here: https://stackexchange.com/sites.

Second, to provide an answer to this question, some kind of polling is required. So you should ask if someone can link you to a poll or article on the use of redaction software.

  • @philshem and Swier: I'll try to explain. When you FOIA a public agency, they send you data. But they send it to you with redactions. They are allowed, and supposed, to redact certain personally identifying information. (They sometimes redact embarrassing things as well.) In my case, I was FOIAing for legal fees spent by a school district. But my question is broader than that. There are infinitely many types of data someone could FOIA a public agency for. – aparente001 May 9 '17 at 15:32
  • @aparente001 your question is ok for open data se. this is meta open data se. – albert Jul 18 '17 at 16:54

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