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Context:

I'm new to reviewing and have been reading up an awful lot here on meta to find as much policy as I can, but I'm struggling to find a good response to this scenario:

User with not very high rep misunderstands the difference between editing and answering themselves, and posts what seems to be a different, but apparently helpful answer as an addition to an existing answer. I think this should be a separate answer to gain its own up (or down) votes as appropriate, but the only two options open to me are reject (because of substantial change, correct response) or accept (against policy, and reinforcing user's misconception).

Answers to Interesting edit make it clear that rejection is the best policy, but I'm always looking for good ways to both teach users and preserve potentially valuable content, and worry that neither happens when I do this.

editors target for @comment replies? makes it clear that my first idea for a workaround, (leaving info about how to find the rejected edit and suggesting they re-post it as an answer) wouldn't work.

The scenario I'm coming up against (works-as-answer) and related ones (works-as-comment) are discussed to some extent in suggested question edits that add answer, but the advice there also seems to lean towards reject & forget.

Issues:

I can't recall having one of my own edits rejected (and couldn't find any in my history), so I don't know what all this will be like from their end.

Sometimes edits add valuable, informative content to the site but aren't really edits. Is there a way to allow a reviewer to convert it rather than rely on a less experienced SO user to make the change?

Questions:

  • Please inform: Does the suggester get a notification with a link to the text I write in the custom reason, together with their proposed edit? (This solves the immediate problem if so.)

  • Please discuss: Would it be worth allowing a reviewer to move reviewed text from question edits/answer edits into new answers/new comments as appropriate, attributed to the suggester but marked as edited by the reviewer?

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1 Answer

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Does the suggester get a notification with a link to the text I write in the custom reason, together with their proposed edit?

At the moment, no. The only way the user would know why an edit was rejected (or even that it was rejected) is to look it up in their activity history. Notifying the user has been discussed before, but the SE team has indicated they do not wish to add this notification because notifications should not be used for negative-tone things.

Would it be worth allowing a reviewer to move reviewed text from question edits/answer edits into new answers/new comments as appropriate, attributed to the suggester but marked as edited by the reviewer?

No, following the same arguments as not allowing moderators to convert comments to answers. They didn't post an answer. Period. That's all that needs to be said.


Unfortunately the only viable solution to this is notifying the user in some way. Since SE doesn't want to implement flat-out notifications upon rejection of an edit, perhaps they'd consider an alternative: allow users to @-notify a user who has suggested an edit on the post, similar to allowing users to @-notify users whom have already edited it.

I suppose a workaround for that would be to approve the edit (except on Stack Overflow where that requires two votes), @-notify the user (since they've now edited the post and qualify), then rollback the edit you approved. That seems sloppy, though, and would fill posts with useless revision history entries.

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Thanks; informative and helpful. I particularly like the @-notify suggestion - it seems lightweight and effective, and has come up more than a couple of times as a potential solution to a reviewer's quandry from what I've been reading. I hadn't thought of your workaround (although I've nowhere near enough rep or presence on any of the other SEs to be editing anywhere except SO), but like you say, I can't imagine myself going through all that mess. I've claimed to care about good content, but evidently there's a limit to how far I'm prepared to bend the system for it! –  AndrewC Sep 20 '12 at 3:16
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