I just answered a question, and a few minutes later another user went on an edit spree, editing the question and three of the seven answers. They have enough reputation that they don't need their edits reviewed. Some edits were good, but some were completely unnecessary, or in the case of my answer, all incorrect.

I can't address this user because they haven't left a comment on this page, and also I don't want to call them out and distract from the question.

How do I get a message to them to be more careful with their edits and to not edit for style, only mistakes?

  • 1
    I think that it's worth mentioning that (if I have the correct question) the changes made were valid. Some of them perhaps unnecessary but several were, in fact, valid corrections. – bendl Jul 12 at 12:55
  • @bendl some were style changes of the "these are both right" variety. Correcting typos is good; changing, say, British English to American English or vice-versa isn't. We try not to change the author's voice like that. These are the sorts of things some spellcheckers flag so I'm not surprised that people get tripped up by it in a quest to fix all the squiggly red lines. – Monica Cellio Jul 12 at 18:25
  • @bendl some were good=some were valid – CJ Dennis Jul 12 at 21:29

You've got a couple of options here:

  1. Anyone who has edited a post (or participated on it in some way, including the author, editors, commenters, and, for questions, anyone who voted to close/reopen or set a bounty) can be pinged in a comment. Therefore, if they've edited a post, you should be able to write something like

    @username, I feel like you've made some unnecessary edits like [X Y Z]; for instance, your edit to my post is unnecessary and even incorrect.

    and they'd be notified. Beware, though - the autocomplete for the username only works for commenters.

  2. Chat is another option; if they frequent the Factory Floor, you can message them there, using the same @username syntax. If they have enough reputation points to edit without review, they have the privilege to use chat, although most site user's aren't regular chat users.
  3. If you think this is a large-scale problem, you could flag the post using a custom mod flag, and briefly explain the issue to us. We might take some action, such as contacting the user, if the problem is severe enough. Emphasis intended.

If it's one or two cases, go with #1 first; it's guaranteed to reach the user. If you want a longer discussion on it, #2 is a backup option. Finally, use #3 for large-scale trends that the mod team needs to be aware of - even if you still go for one of the other options.

  • 3
    It might be a good idea to add that while anyone who interacted with the post can be pinged the autocomplete feature only works for people who have written a comment. If you are used to the autocomplete for pinging others you may assume that you can't ping an editor. – Secespitus Jul 12 at 7:54
  • I had no idea about number 1! Learned something new today. – FoxElemental Jul 12 at 13:05
  • @Secespitus Good idea; done. – HDE 226868 Jul 12 at 13:29

Piggybacking onto HDE 226868's answer:

4. You can also "edit the edit" by accepting what you consider to be good edits and changing what you consider to be bad edits. You can also completely revert the edit, restoring your original text. I did that once, having been moderately miffed by what amounted to a rewriting of an answer of mine. I didn't think that kind of edit was cool. Recently, another answer of mine was edited for typos and minor stylistic stuff. I'm fine with that and let it be without further ado.

The only thing you can really do to "stop" someone from needless editing is to ask them not to needlessly edit your answers. You can do that in a comment. I think any further action would fall to the curious and arcane powers of the Mods.

  • I did immediately revert the edit since I didn't want any of their changes, but that doesn't answer how to stop them from doing it in the first place, only how to fix the damage after them. – CJ Dennis Jul 13 at 4:06
  • Like I said, you can't actually stop someone from doing this. Unless an individual becomes problematic, you can't ban them or sanction them either. After all, the SE model is predicated on the community being able to edit answers! – elemtilas Jul 14 at 3:57

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