When your karma is high enough, you're trusted to edit questions and answers.
I rarely do it, because I wouldn't like to accidentally change the meaning or style of what other people say. Even when they're wrong, or posting stuff that's useless or pointless (there's one user here who posts adverts for stuff that doesn't work on old questions which is annoying), I prefer to leave the answer and explain what is wrong. And it feels rude to stomp on someone else's writing.
As for "why", I think Atlassian hopes that high-karma people will do some "curation" of the Q&A. I've tidied up a few good answers by changing spelling or words so that a search is more likely to find stuff. But mostly I use the edit function to remove the more offensive stuff or spam (removing the body of a spam means it can't be searched, which is what the spammers want, but the ability to just ban them means I don't need to do this any more)
Ah, you know, I haven't got a clue if it's documented. I've had a couple of brief conversations with the Atlassians who run and support it, but I'm afraid I've never had to think about it, as I've carried high karma over from the last two systems!
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