I've just reviewed this suggested edit. The original answer was short and not of the best quality; the edit drastically improved it, so both I and Mourdos approved the edit.

However, it was proposed by Anonymous and not the post author. That had me considering how to review for some time: drastic edits to posts not by the author are generally frowned upon and rejected for fear of changing the author's meaning.

So, what should be done with edits like this? Did I do the right thing or should I have rejected?


This is just personal opinion, but . . . I would have rejected that edit.

The edit absolutely changed the author's meaning. Heck, the anonymous user who suggested the edit began the third paragraph with

I guess my theory

Emphasis on the "my". The user who suggested the edit was modifying it with their own ideas.

Now, Mourdos added a note about the decision, saying

I approved this edit (/pending edit) on the assumption that the annon user was SRG. SRG, if you log in to edit your answer, we don't have to manually approve it.

I wouldn't assume one way or the other in this case (although leaving a comment was the best thing to do). I've seen loads of edits where a user tried to add on "helpful" information, but was someone completely different. I would think this could be the case.

Did the edit help? Yes. But I would either have rejected the edit or skipped the review (though I probably would have rejected it). If the author wants to add that information in, s/he can do it him/herself at a future time. A modified version of Mourdos' comment could have worked:

I rejected this edit (/pending edit) in case the anonymous user was not SRG. SRG, if you log in to edit your answer, we don't have to manually approve it. You can then edit your post as you wish.

Better to be safe than sorry.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It is probably worth noting that in this case I considered for a few minutes if Annon was the OP just not logged in and came to the decision that they probably were. Had I not been sure, I would have gone with a rejection, though I agree with what you've said. $\endgroup$ – Mourdos Apr 10 '15 at 12:15

Generally speaking, keep in mind this phrasing from the proposed edit rejection dialog:

This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner.

If, as a reviewer, you are unable to confirm that the edit does preserve the goals of the post's owner, you generally should reject the edit. Alternatively, skip that review and let the post's owner handle it, particularly if the post's owner is a registered user (this is visible on the user's profile page) and thus can be expected to be coming back to their own account.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .