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Mods have two supersecret ways that they can notify a user that they're doing it wrong. First way is to contact the user privately (used for "serious bidnez") and the second way is by leaving a comment before deleting a post. I'd like to suggest a third way.

When, in the course of moderation events, a moderator must edit a post, I suggest the moderator have the option for the user to be notified in their inbox that such an edit was made, the message presented being the edit summary. The message should link to the revision history of the post, so that the user can see what was changed.

Eamples of usage would be:

  • Every time you preface your title with tags I kill a kitten. Please, think of the kittens.
  • I removed all the subjective content of your question. I also think you're ugly.
  • TAG LINE! Slowly I turned... Step, by step... Inch, by inch...
  • Please don't link to spammy websites. It makes you look like a spammy spammer.
  • Your post lacked narwhal. I fixed it.

enter image description here

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You want to spam a user's inbox every time a mod edits their post for any reason? That seems bad – Michael Mrozek Sep 26 '11 at 12:11
@MichaelMrozek: How many times do you edit a single user's posts? And spam? Moderators don't spam. – Won't Sep 26 '11 at 12:12
@Wont 733 times so far on UL. Maybe it's not insane if "in the course of moderation events" means something, but I don't know what that is -- it only signals them if you edit a flagged post? – Michael Mrozek Sep 26 '11 at 12:14
Isn't that what the Reponse-Tab in the userprofile is for? – Time Traveling Bobby Sep 26 '11 at 12:17
I'm in two minds on this. I can see cases where it would be useful - but I think it should be optional so if I'm just fixing spellings/formatting/grammar I can do so like any other user. – ChrisF Sep 26 '11 at 12:28
If it's optional then that's fine, but I don't know why mod edits are somehow special, as though regular users don't clean up posts constantly. We could add a "you've been bad!" message every time a user's post gets edited, but that would get ridiculous – Michael Mrozek Sep 26 '11 at 12:31
@MichaelMrozek: K, I see what you mean. You may edit a post but not think it worthwhile to notify the user something was changed that doesn't indicate the user is unfamiliar about how StackOverflow works. I've edited to include the optional part. Also, I want to stress that this would be an option for mods only, as a means of communicating to a user that their post contained something that we don't allow. – Won't Sep 26 '11 at 12:35
@PaddedCell: you don't get notified that something has been added. I know that I don't check that tab ever; I only respond to the notification at the top or items in my inbox. – Won't Sep 26 '11 at 12:37
@Won'tಠ_ಠ If a moderator thinks the user needs to be notified, why not leave a comment on the post and be done with it? – Adam Lear Sep 26 '11 at 12:49
@AnnaLear: Well, sometimes you don't want to leave a comment as it adds noise and unneeded discussion out in the open. Currently, if you want to accomplish this, you have to edit, give a reason, then comment. This would combine the tasks, and the link to the revision history emphasizes the changes made. Also, I'm lazy. – Won't Sep 26 '11 at 12:54
Is the idea that contacting a user privately is used only for "serious bidnez" codified anywhere, or is just convention? Is there any reason that mechanism can't be used for all 'in the course of moderation' mod-to-user communication? – AakashM Sep 26 '11 at 13:16
@AakashM It says so in the mod tool, and they're pretty strict about it – Michael Mrozek Sep 26 '11 at 13:29
@AakashM: It is stressed in the UI that contacting a user directly should only be done "to address serious behavior problems". Mod messages are pretty intrusive, so the more there are the more you get bugged (we get notified by annoying popdown bar every time one is sent). Also, there are quite a few, and the UI doesn't handle it well at the moment, so if everyone was contacting users over trivial stuff we might loose track of the important messages. – Won't Sep 26 '11 at 13:37
@JoelCoehoorn It shows up in the responses tab, but it doesn't generate a notification. – a cat Sep 26 '11 at 14:46
Well my suggestion would be to extend the mod-message functionality to include a less intrusive (ie inbox-landing) channel, rather than requiring such a message to be tied to an edit. – AakashM Sep 26 '11 at 15:49

I would just

ctrl+c, ctrl+v

the edit summary you entered for the edit (you did enter a valid edit summary explaining the edit, right? right?) into a comment on the post.

While I think it's sufficient for such things to live in the edit comments on /revisions it can also be sensible to hoist them out of the revisions page and place them in a comment where every reader can benefit from your edumifcation of the masses.

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