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Answer editing is a much more delicate proposition than question editing. We don't want to change the semantics of an answer. If someone disagrees with an answer, or even just thinks that it could be improved, we'd generally (I think) prefer that they make a new answer. If they want to base the new answer on an old answer, 'quote and attribute.'

There are cases where an answer has a clear flaw or oversight, but even in those, we might prefer to leave a comment and let the author take it on board in his or her own way.

Given the narrow conditions for editing answers, and the amount of opportunity for mishap, perhaps allowing answer edits in the review queue is more trouble than it is worth?

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So you still think 2k+ users should be able to edit answers, just not have suggested edits for lower rep users? And I'm assuming you're leaving the exception for CW answers so that it's easier for low rep users to edit them? –  Servy Dec 28 '12 at 16:35
    
I think the threshold for answer editing should go up above 2k, but I'd settle for just turning off the queue. Do we still even have CW answers? –  Rosinante Dec 28 '12 at 16:37
    
Yes, we do, they're just discouraged. It's CW questions that don't exist anymore. –  Servy Dec 28 '12 at 16:38
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It was my impression that robo-approvals were a bigger problem than bad edit suggestions. Which is not to say that bad edits are not a problem, just that we might get better bang by focusing on the correctness of reviews, rather than the incorrectness of edits. –  Robert Harvey Dec 28 '12 at 16:39
    
If anything, you're making a case for subjecting edits to answers to peer review for users above 2k rep. For exactly the reason you gave, I'm a lot more comfortable with allowing suggested edits that need to be approved by three reviewers than allowing higher rep users to change answers without review, so I think the solution you're proposing is backwards. –  Adi Inbar Sep 5 '13 at 0:37
    
@RobertHarvey I couldn't agree more emphatically. It's beyond my comprehension sometimes what some reviewers are thinking when they click the "Approve" button. Probably that they hope their team's receiver catches the pass, or that some contestant on American Idol really stinks, or whatever else it is they're paying attention to instead of the suggested edit they're supposed to be reviewing. –  Adi Inbar Sep 5 '13 at 0:40

4 Answers 4

While I do tend to see more edits on answers, lots of the same copywriting problems in poor answers happen in poor answers:

  • No line breaks (AKA wall of text)
  • Wrapped in unnecessary niceties (hope this answer helps by the way! Have a nice day)
  • Horibl speeling
  • Nonsensical phrasing that you can juuuust barely figure out but really should be fixed
    1. Misuse of Markdown
  • Include relevant links, like documentation or sources the post lacks
  • Include minor caveats (this answer only applies to humans) and warnings the asker really should have included (also reading this answer has erased your hard drive)

So no, I don't think editing should be disabled for answers in any way shape or form. Editing them is slightly different, but honestly the main difference I see between questions and answers is sometimes people go overboard when editing totally, really really bad questions to make them into a good question which hardly resembles the original question. I don't really like that for the same reason I don't like that being done to answers; it really should have just been posted as a different question.

It's extremely important that information on Stack Exchange be kept up to date and that it is presented as well as possible. I've even had anonymous or low rep users correct or update my answers months later. Feels good, man.

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1. Misuse of Markdown... I see what you did there! –  Andrew Barber Dec 28 '12 at 18:28

Personally, I disagree.

A few reasons why:

  • Accepting/declining suggested edits isn't much of a hassle. There are enough good users, especially on Stack Overflow and some of the other bigger sites, that the suggested edits queue is usually close to empty.

  • Not many bad edits are getting through. It's not like there is a huge issue of bad edits getting through. If there was, my opinion might change.

  • It might actually hurt answer quality. If a lot of low rep users are no longer allowed to make edits, and they were suggesting good edits, than it might actually hurt the quality of answers.

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Well you just do not see the "bad edits", once a user passes the 2K mark they can make as many edits as they want without fear of review. And many of then could be "bad". –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Dec 28 '12 at 16:38
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"There are enough good users" ...ahem...no. There are a lot of poor reviewers that really do approve crap. "It's not like there is a huge issue of bad edits getting through." Actually, there is a huge issue of bad edits getting through. –  Servy Dec 28 '12 at 16:38
    
@amanaPlanaCAnalPAnaMA That's not really something that could be easily fixed. –  Dynamic Dec 28 '12 at 16:40
    
You know the required number of (agreeing) reviewers on Stack Overflow was increased from 2 to 3, to avoid bad suggestions from being approved? –  Arjan Dec 28 '12 at 16:44
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Here is my "favorite" of the day, where a misspelled word in the title is replaced with another bad spelling. The same word in the body is not fixed. Of course I lost the voting, approve-reject 3-1. stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/1248636 –  Bo Persson Dec 28 '12 at 19:17

I just wrote about 77 lines of text to tell why there should be an option for disable Edit. Then I saw remembered what was in the FAQ - http://stackoverflow.com/faq#editing and I just erased my wall of text.

The only thing that remains is to nicely ask you to use edits only if it's really necessary. You are not in my head. You don't know what I want to know so don't modify the way I'm asking.

If u don't think I provided enough of information about the question - ask in comments for more.

If I use in my question header C#: ..my question.. it means that I really want everyone to know that I want to ask a question about something written in C# not python not php not Java not anything else. So please don't remove it. I know how to use tags and I do use them. But putting the used language in the header makes it more visible for everyone - shows the area of question without looking for tags.

Last thing I wanted to write is that if we - people that aren't genius - ask a question we are waiting for any reply after posting it. And it's really not making us happy if the notification we get is about how someone edit our question instead of getting answers/comments.

So please before you start editing question try to think of finding out the answer = really helping the one who's asking.

Hope this answer might make some of you think about it before clicking on "Edit"...


P.S.: English isn't my mother tongue so I'm sure there will be a lot of people editting this post for not awesome grammar. Ok, just do it. If it makes you happy. I would just like to have an option "Confirm the edit" or "Edit the edit before making it visible on site"... u understand what I mean right? I'm not using this Q/A site for a long time so If I'm wrong at some point, please use the comments to let me know.

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Note that downvotes are different on meta. People may downvote your post because they disagree with your point (meta.stackoverflow.com/faq#vote-differences). –  Matt Apr 30 '13 at 12:01
    
Eh, you've made a good effort with your answer and it's readable. There's been awful questions and answers here, don't worry about it too much. –  tombull89 Apr 30 '13 at 12:10
    
(Very tempted to remove the dots and the bold.) –  Arjan Apr 30 '13 at 13:02
    
@Arjan Do you think I'm misusing/overusing them? :| –  Ms. Nobody Apr 30 '13 at 13:04

I would suggest raising the threshold to editing answers to about 5K rep or so.

That way there might be fewer edit wars between users if they have to go through the suggested edit process in order to make a significant change to an answer.

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I disagree. It's often answers I edit, when I use such answer to solve my own problem and then am perfectly able to fill minor missing points, or fix a dead link. –  Arjan Dec 28 '12 at 16:43
    
@Arjan yes, but dead link suggestions would easily be approved by others, whereas major edits that Add code and text are not even being screened, but yet are accepted because the user has greater than 2K rep. –  amanaP lanaC A nalP A naM A Dec 28 '12 at 16:44
    
I'm afraid I would not have submitted that many edits if I would have needed to use suggested edits, and then just hope people would accept it. For me, the one reason to like Stack Exchange is the ability to edit. Note that authors are notified of edits to their posts. –  Arjan Dec 28 '12 at 16:49

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