Open question. I'm curious why some people make the word "edit" in their comments a hyperlink to the edit action. Particularly why they do when responding to users who are not exactly new to the site and who presumably know where the edit button is located.

I'm also curious if I am the only one who perceives that practise as somewhat rude.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't find it rude at all. I know this site in and out and I still appreciate it when people point something in my posts that I need to edit. Adding a magic link to do so is an act of courtesy. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 30, 2023 at 22:54

1 Answer 1


Multiple possible reasons that are not even mutually exclusive:

Magic links

1There is a magic link in comments: the text [edit] is converted to a link to the edit page of the current post the comment is under.

Thus there is an extremely low barrier to add such links, the difference is typing two characters:

Please edit for reason this and that


Please [edit] for reason this and that

Automatic comments

There are plenty of automatically generated comments. Some come from actions on the site (like reviews), others are canned comments that a user might have a list of and posts often with little or no alteration.

In either case, it is probably more work to not post the magic link than to post it.

General education

Even if the poster knows how to edit, others might not. A comment might server to educate others. Yet, even somewhat seasoned users might have issue finding the edit button - the post links do have low discoverability for many. Adding another easy path for it essentially harms literally nobody.

Assume good intent

This is not really a reason to post links to edit but even more general - the claim that it is "rude" seems to fly directly in the face to the overall guidance to not do that.

I must be honest here - I find your perception of being "rude" is a lot more problematic than the practice of adding a link.

Ultimately, the link adds a minuscule amount of more information. At worst it is slightly redundant information but might also be helpful in guiding users. There is little reason to assume commenters who use the link do it for a purpose other than trying to help.

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    $\begingroup$ Okay, I did not know about magic link, and the effortlessness with which [edit] can be written makes it more believable that some users have started doing it reflexively, even in inappropriate contexts. Whether I'm problematic for experiencing over-explanation as condescending/insulting is something I'll leave you free to judge, but I certainly didn't coin the concept. Ask yourself if, in a situation where someone is suggesting that you leave the room, you'd appreciate if they did a subtle little hand-twisting gesture to remind you of how to operate a doorknob. $\endgroup$
    – KeizerHarm
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 12:39
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    $\begingroup$ @KeizerHarm that's not at all equal to a comment on the internet given the latter is viewable by anybody. Moreover, it's a lot less personal that you seem to think such comments are. It's nothing like a face to face conversation in real life $\endgroup$
    – VLAZ
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 12:52
  • $\begingroup$ Yet, when I receive a linked edit outside of an obviously canned comment, I do still feel like someone is explaining to me how to operate a doorknob. Maybe for a more apt metaphor they're using a megaphone and the explanation can be heard by the rest of the room, but they are ultimately talking to me, I get the ping. Human interaction is a curious thing. $\endgroup$
    – KeizerHarm
    Commented Sep 28, 2023 at 13:05
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    $\begingroup$ @KeizerHarm There are (a) a lot of magic links and (b) not enough magic links. The list hasn't grown with the service over the years, but there is a lot of value to using them. My favorite is stack.se (e.g., [worldbuilding.se] => Worldbuilding), which works for all the stacks. I also regularly use [help/dont-ask] and [help/on-topic]. Regrettably, most of the help center (that's [help]) pages don't have magic links. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Commented Sep 30, 2023 at 0:47
  • $\begingroup$ @KeizerHarm well, the edit link, in addition to making it convenient for the OP, is usually used to emphasize that the OP should edit the post instead of posting additional details/clarifications in the comment thread. $\endgroup$
    – Andrew T.
    Commented Oct 6, 2023 at 18:14

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