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I participated in this review. The suggested edit was an attempt to comment on a post. It is a valid and helpful comment. I clicked reject and then went to add a comment. Should I just accept if it is a good comment? That seems wrong and unfair to the answerer. I guess I should have clicked Edit and removed the text and then clicked accept and then added the comment below. My bad; although in this case, the same thing ended up happening.

Is there some best practice to add a comment on behalf of a user without sufficient reputation? Or is what I am doing mis-guided?

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2 Answers 2

up vote 5 down vote accepted

That's not a comment, that's an update to the answer. You have 3 options, which in descending order of priority should be:

  1. If you know, through your own knowledge, that the addition is correct, approve it.
  2. If you don't know whether the addition is correct, skip it.
  3. If you fear that the addition may be incorrect, or believe that this is more of a comment than an update, reject it to stop it being wantonly approved.

Simply put, if you don't understand the subject matter and the edit appears to be a, potentially correct, update to the answer you should skip the edit. You do not have enough domain knowledge in order to do anything else.

Realistically, this doesn't always happen and I understand that some people might reject. If this is the case you should reject with a custom reason explaining to the editor that they should comment under the answer and ask the poster to update. If the editor can not comment then you can do it for them, link to the suggested edit, which should have notified the original poster anyway.

Don't forget that Stack Exchange's goal is to help people get good answers to their questions and every post is editable by everyone in order to attempt to achieve this.

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In this case, he can not comment. –  artless noise Apr 7 '13 at 19:49
    
You can then @artless :-). –  ben is uǝq backwards Apr 7 '13 at 19:50
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@artlessnoise had already posted the edit as a comment prior to posting this Meta q. Which was a very nice thing to do, even if I don't necessarily agree with the rejection. –  Yannis Apr 7 '13 at 19:54
    
That is indeed @Yannis. It's nice to know that people do still care about making things better! –  ben is uǝq backwards Apr 7 '13 at 19:56
    
I understand your point about anyone can edit posts. However, in practice, I never do this. I always leave a comment so the original author can update it; they may see additional changes after the fact and see better ways to add the info. Thanks for the note about the author getting notification. It hasn't happened to me yet (or I forgot). I probably should have skipped, but if I absolutely know, I can add it as a comment in the way I describe (giving the commenter 2 points)? –  artless noise Apr 7 '13 at 20:05
    
You can't get rep for commenting @artless; there's nothing wrong with what you've done though. I wish more people were as conscientious. –  ben is uǝq backwards Apr 7 '13 at 20:13
    
If I click edit on a suggested edit review and remove the comment and then accept, the the commenter will get the 2 points (automatic community approval) for the edit; which is a good thing to me, because they are constructive and should be rewarded to get permission to do things. Or I don't understand? –  artless noise Apr 7 '13 at 20:17
    
Sorry @artless, I misunderstood. That's correct; it's not something I would necessarily do but in the above example it's more than fair enough. –  ben is uǝq backwards Apr 7 '13 at 20:20

No, you should have rejected the edit. I'm not sure how to get in contact with the user, but edits should not change the meaning of a post (unless that post is community wiki, and the edit is constructive).

Declining is the correct action.

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The edit was just adding version information to the answer, it wasn't really changing it's meaning. I think it was a well intentioned edit. Although I don't necessarily disagree that it would work better as a comment. –  Yannis Apr 7 '13 at 19:49
    
Yes, I ninja edited my comment ;) But the editor doesn't yet have enough reputation to comment, which is a problem. Regardless of the validity of the edit though, I think in the end it all worked great. The edit was accepted, then rolled back and posted as a comment. The end result is the best it could be. –  Yannis Apr 7 '13 at 19:58
    
@Yannis Hmm, I suppose that's true. Alright, I can live with that. I rescind my answer. –  Emrakul Apr 7 '13 at 19:59

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