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As a moderator I've found that a nontrivial amount of moderator flags are for posts that are in need of editing and cleaning up. Joel has also recently posted that it would be beneficial for question titles to be complete and grammatically correct.

I suggest that there be a way for any user or anonymous visitor to flag a question or answer as needing editing, perhaps with a short description of what needs to be changed, that other members can then see and edit. Wikipedia uses similar functionality to both indicate to visitors that an article has been flagged as in need of fixing as well as to provide a collection of pre-identified posts that editors can fix without having to scour the entire site for things that need changing. It also allows people that don't have the time, skill, or inclination to actually make the necessary edits to bring it to the attention of people that do.

The way I envision this as being implemented is to add an option under the flag menu for "needs editing" or something to that effect, with maybe a few canned reasons and text box for other reasons. The "very low quality" option from the moderator flag is also moved here. Once flagged, the post then appears either in the edit approval queue or a similar queue visible to any user that can edit. The main purpose of this being to allow the community to be aware of things that need to be fixed instead of just the moderators.

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Does the "Was this helpful to you?" anonymoussecake feedback not subtly translate for this? – random Jul 25 '11 at 21:07
@random Well, that's only visible for non-members, and I'm not aware of where the results for that feedback are collected. It also doesn't perfectly match - it's very possible that a post can be perfectly fine and also unhelpful to some people. – Kyle Cronin Jul 25 '11 at 21:10
So like suggested edits for the lazier people? – random Jul 25 '11 at 21:14
Lazier maybe, but it's also an eyeballs thing. The more eyeballs you have that are able to identify potential problems the more effectively you can manage the site. There's certainly a nontrivial number of people that flag posts as in need of editing that don't edit. At a certain point, members of the community are given the ability to edit posts, why not also give them a list of posts that have been identified as being in need of editing? – Kyle Cronin Jul 25 '11 at 21:20
Make these 'flags' fill a list in the /review page so interested users can help clean up. – Ivo Flipse Jul 25 '11 at 22:41
If you see something that needs editing suggest an edit. The only issue I would have would be this would be if an edit would change the post a lot, in which case it probably needs to be flagged as very low quality. – Belinda Jul 26 '11 at 8:32

Er.. what?

Click "edit" and edit the post if there's an issue. This works for completely anonymous users.

Why in the world would we allow an "I see a problem but I'm too lazy to do anything about it" button? And they'd certainly have to TYPE IN some kind of detail about what needs fixing, otherwise we're just left to guess? And if they are going to type that in, why not just edit the post to improve it?

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"I see a problem but I'm too lazy to do anything about it" already exists - there are people flagging posts for moderator attention that need editing, and I'm sure there are many people that come across posts that need to be fixed but they're unable or unwilling at that time to do so. Adding a flag allows for the wide audience of people looking at SE to indicate there's a problem and provides a larger group of people (those that can edit, not just moderators) that can deal with the problem. It works for Wikipedia – Kyle Cronin Jul 26 '11 at 5:18
@kyle we get 600+ flags per day on Stack Overflow and I can say with some authority we don't get a lot of "please edit this" flags. – Jeff Atwood Jul 26 '11 at 5:59
how many "low quality" flags? – Kyle Cronin Jul 26 '11 at 6:04
Jeff assumes that the flagger is capable of improving the quality. In some cases, sure, but in other cases (e.g. english is not their first language) that's not necessarily the case. – VxJasonxV Jul 26 '11 at 16:30
@vxj we are not in the business of letting lazy or unskilled people freely add to the work queue of others, and will never be. – Jeff Atwood Jul 27 '11 at 2:38
Jeff, note my specific example. Not unskilled, not lazy, but non-english users. Users who are aware that they cannot clean it up sufficiently but know that it's not good enough as-is. This goes for all sites in their own specific regard. Math users who know when an expression looks wrong but does not know the markup to fix it. Ditto for TeX/LaTeX and formatting, or people who are just straight up not proficient with Markdown yet. I know it took me some doing, and still occasionally catches me. Unskilled is very different from unwilling. – VxJasonxV Jul 27 '11 at 15:22

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