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I asked a question and an edit was made, then a notification was made to suggest I approve the edit. Someone else came along and approved that edit so quickly that I didn't even know the approval was there before it had been approved.

It's a bit frustrating to be asked to approve something and have someone else 'senior' trample over your question. The edit was fine, but given that I wrote the question, wouldn't it be better to give me an opportunity to check the edit (say a 5 minute time-out before anyone else can approve it)? Surely I'm in the best position to determine whether the edit is valid? I suppose there may be certain situations that require an emergency-edit, but I hope there aren't many of those.

It seems a bit incongruous with things such as not being able to accept answers within 15 minutes. I'd feel more engaged with the site if I could contribute in this situation. Having someone else do it disengages me and personally gets my hackles up.

Furthermore, I'm less likely to learn how to improve what I ask in questions, if I'm not able to review edits- the process of reviewing and approving is a learning experience. Having someone else come along and approve is rather like someone else showing you how to do something, rather than doing it yourself when you're being 'taught' something.

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"Surely I'm in the best position to determine whether the edit is valid?" Just check out the review queues and you'll see how wrong that statement usually is. –  user7116 Dec 20 '12 at 15:11

4 Answers 4

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Surely I'm in the best position to determine whether the edit is valid?

No, actually, you're not. The person who's post is being edited is likely the one that is not familiar with how the site works and what the guidelines are, how to properly format posts, or doesn't have as strong of a mastery of the English Language, which is why the post needed to be edited in the first place (there are of course exceptions, but this is true of a large majority). The OP is also lees likely to know, based on SO guidelines, what types of edits are appropriate and what aren't.

say a 5 minute time-out before anyone else can approve it

That would have major negative ramifications. When an edit is suggested to a post that post cannot be edited by anyone else until the suggested edit is approved/denied. If it can't even be reviewed for 5 minutes then all edits to that post are locked out for 5 minutes. Given that the lots of views come onto a post in the few minutes after it's posted, along with often a number of edits to improve posts that have problems, this would mean that any poor quality or too minor edit (or even a high quality edit by a user without full edit privileges for that matter) would prevent the post from being fixed up for that initial burst of attention.

Furthermore, I'm less likely to learn how to improve what I ask in questions, if I'm not able to review edits- the process of reviewing and approving is a learning experience.

It's great that you care that much, many people don't. However, as has been said by others, you don't need to be the one reviewing the edit to do this. The edit will still be in the revision history for you to see what was done, and you're notified of edits on your post, not just suggested edits. Furthermore, if you're saying that you're not really sure what is and isn't acceptable, then it's only further showing that you're not qualified to be the one reviewing the edit (yet). You don't know what types of edits are acceptable, and you can't just assume all edits are appropriate.

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The last point pedagogical, people don't learn very well from being shown, one learns much better by doing. –  nicodemus13 Dec 21 '12 at 16:04
    
@nicodemus13 How would you learn by doing in this case? There's no effective way of knowing if you've made the right decision as the OP's vote is binding. Occasionally if you make a bad call someone might notice it and comment on it, but most of the time it would just be a mistake that never gets fixed. That's how people learn the wrong lessons, not the right ones. –  Servy Dec 21 '12 at 16:23

I don't think this is required. You can always go in and roll back an edit or improve your post further. It shouldn't matter at all that you weren't the one to approve the edit. I don't see any good reason to delay other people from doing it for you.

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+1 because your hat fits perfectly. –  Asad Dec 20 '12 at 13:48

The notification you get when a post of yours is edited has a link to review it, not to necessarily be the one who approves it. Even if you are not you the one who approves it, you can always learn how to write a post, or (in the case the edit was wrong) revert it.

Considering that the queue for suggested edits has a limit, after which it is not possible to suggest edits anymore, a feature like the one you described for a site like Stack Overflow is not something I would see implemented.

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The second you post something on SO/SE, you have to be aware that it is under the Creative Commons license, so anyone can edit. A "senior" user who edits your posts does so not to insult you, but to improve the general quality of SO. Instead of being insulted by the action, you should try to understand why it was modified, and what you can learn from it as a user of this website.

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@Asad Why you edit my posts?! :oP * goes to rollback edit * –  Laf Dec 20 '12 at 14:39

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