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Since we are technically rejecting their edit, we should still be able to add a comment to the reject reason when improving a suggested edit.

For example, take this suggested edit which attempted to add a <!-- language --> comment to the post. He put the comment at the beginning of the post, which means the comment doesn't do anything at all (I tested, it didn't get used). The comment has to be placed directly above the code block it affects.

This means I had to go in and improve the edit just to move it to a different spot. I marked it as not helpful because, well, it wasn't helpful. The edit he made was incorrect since it was in the wrong spot. But that suggested edit permalink page only marks it as "Rejected by Community ♦" with no reason. It would be nice to be able to explain to the user that they put it in the wrong spot, and how to properly insert language comments.

Note: I know some people might argue that I should have marked it helpful since it made me make the correct edit or whatever, but that is a bad argument. You have to remember that marking it helpful adds that incorrect revision to the revision history. It's far better off only having the correct revision.

Edit: Also, expanding off a previous suggestion I made, the reject reason should be listed under my username rather than Community, listing Community as a second reject-user only when another user hasn't rejected the post as well.

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+1 for pre-empting possible objections; wish more questions were written that way to save me the work of posting snarky comments in the first place. –  Cody Gray Feb 28 '12 at 3:05
    
Just a quick question for clarification: any user can see a suggested edit page, correct? –  Purag Feb 28 '12 at 3:23
    
Er... it was helpful, for exactly the reason you stated. "It's far better off only having the correct revision" means there's no need for the checkbox at all -- all improved edits should just be rejected –  Michael Mrozek Feb 28 '12 at 3:24
    
@Purmou: I believe so, as the suggestion gets linked in the post's history (if it's approved). The point is the user who suggested it can always see it. –  animuson Feb 28 '12 at 3:25
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@Michael: Not at all. If he would have made other changes that improved the post, it would have been helpful, as I was only changing one part of what he changed. But that was the only change he made, and it was incorrect. –  animuson Feb 28 '12 at 3:26
    
@animuson Edits are unhelpful if they...well...don't help. His edit was clearly helpful, he just messed up the syntax –  Michael Mrozek Feb 28 '12 at 3:31
    
@Michael: I think you're trying to cast the same ideas for moderators "dismissing flags as helpful" onto the suggested edit system. –  animuson Feb 28 '12 at 3:36
    
@animuson Why would they be any different? They have the same rationale –  Michael Mrozek Feb 28 '12 at 4:00
    
@Michael: You don't get reputation for flagging things. As the staff have emphasized over and over, we're not supposed to care about our flag weight. Our helpful flags are a "meaningless number." Reputation is not. We'd be giving a user 2 reputation for an incorrect, useless edit. –  animuson Feb 28 '12 at 4:02
    
@animuson Helpful flags certainly aren't meaningless, that's just a convenient thing to tell users so they worry less. And I disagree that the edit was useless, that's the whole point. It directly lead to the post being fixed; how is that useless? –  Michael Mrozek Feb 28 '12 at 4:03
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@Michael: Using that logic would be the absolute opposite of your first comment. The checkbox shouldn't exist, all improved edits should be approved. –  animuson Feb 28 '12 at 4:05
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I can understand the argument. I think of it as "was the user trying to help or not" because of the whole mod flag thing; you think of it as "was the edit right or not". I lean towards rewarding them if they were being useful, even if they failed at it –  Michael Mrozek Feb 28 '12 at 4:12
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I agree with @MichaelMrozek on that one. He has tried to do the right thing and invested some effort into it. If you make a little mistake in your job you still get your money at the end of the month. –  Octavian Damiean Feb 28 '12 at 12:45
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The real win of this feature request has nothing to do with the +2 the editor gets, but rather the invaluable ability to provide feedback. If they're making edits like this, that's great: we want to encourage them to do so. But if their edits are wrong or less than stellar for whatever reason, we want to be able to gently correct that so that their future edits won't have to be improved by one of the reviewers. Point being, I'm willing to hit "reject" just so that I can add a comment. Who cares that they don't get the +2. 1 rejected edit won't ban them, and their next edits will be better. –  Cody Gray Feb 28 '12 at 18:50
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That specific edit is completely useless anyway since the question already has the [python] tag which automatically causes the code block to be highlighted as Python. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Jul 5 '12 at 17:50
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2 Answers 2

I can definitely see this feature working out.

I mark edits as helpful when most of the edit did validly correct certain things and I needed to improve on few parts.

In your case, this wasn't the appropriate thing to do—the entire edit was incorrect (even if it just required changing the location of the language indicator). The user doesn't deserve the two rep for providing an incorrect edit and not being attentive towards the correct markdown formatting.

I would also appreciate for a user to get a notification when an edit is rejected or accepted. This, along with the rejection reason feature, would be a very useful set of additions to the "suggested edits" system.

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I completely disagree. I see the two reputation a user gets as a reward for his effort to fix a question. If he clearly did the right thing but failed because of the syntax then it was not a useless edit. –  Octavian Damiean Feb 28 '12 at 12:47
    
I think if they were at least partially helpful, then I agree with @TheUnicornWhisperer but if they weren't helpful at all then I disagree. –  jcolebrand Feb 28 '12 at 15:02
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While I understand the problem and agree with the intent, I disagree with the current proposed solution.

In this scenario, the original author is the single voice of reason. While there is nothing wrong with this, per se, giving a single voice a 1-way free-form verbal comminucation with no peer feedback nor flagging mechanism is dangerous. It allows the original author to easily snap back at the editor with zero consequences.


Allowing arbitrary text fields — as opposed to, say, multiple choices similarly used for flagging questions — is a double edge sword. Free-form text is a potential source for abuse. Being a peer-moderated community, you'll notice that almost every single point of free-form text entry has a Peer Review System or Flagging System or both. These mechanisms are there to curb and deter bad behaviour (ie: lack of respect, verbal abuse, etc.)

  • Questions & Answers: Peer Review (first-post review mechanism & votes), Flagging System.
  • Comments: Flagging System.
  • Edits: Peer Review (2-person panel).

You'll also notice there's no direct way of communicating with a single individual. Profiles don't display email addresses and there's no private messaging system.

In the particular scenario described, the original author of the post is the only reviewing entity (able to accept and dismiss edits). As such, I believe it would be prudent not to allow free-form text here. Nothing would prevent someone from replying something like "Stop doing so-and-so you f#$%tard!" (I'm sure you can imagine much worse replies.) and there would be no consequences; no way for peers to protect the victim (through a flagging system) since rejected edits are hidden from plain sight.

Again, I agree with the intent of giving better feedback to editors, but allowing free-form text might open the door to other problems (unless other mechanisms are added).

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Let me get this straight: for me to add anything of value or to "make much sense" on Meta, a site whose purpose is to be a place to discuss about Stack Overflow, I need to dissect and know all the nuances of sister site other than SO?!? -- It's okay to disagree with me; but I draw the line at claiming I "don't make much sense" simply because I ignore nuances on how every single SE site operates! Validity != Value // An argument you don't value doesn't make it a non-sensical argument! –  Qwerty Bob May 10 '12 at 19:13
    
But if "every other site does it" is all the argument we need... Then why the hell are we wasting time discussing about it : "Every other site already does it!!!!" Make it so. I approve of this! –  Qwerty Bob May 10 '12 at 19:18
    
Also, I don't think we've fully separated Meta.SE from Meta.SO so questions, feature requests, etc. posted here could apply equally to all sites, not just SO. –  Yawus Jul 9 '12 at 15:57
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After re-evaluating your response, I honestly don't understand why you're so hung up on free-form text. This is basically combining the existing reject method with the improve method. The user may not necessarily even enter free-form text, as the existing options would still be available to select from. As well, if users are adding inappropriate comments in the rejection reasons, they are probably also not willing to actually improve the post. It's just as likely to happen in a normal reject, and the user should be flagged and moderators can take appropriate action in warning them. –  animuson Nov 11 '12 at 5:01
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