The vandalism rejection reason sounds very drastic.

Currently edits contain spelling or grammar errors/ formatting issues are rejected via invalid edit; which is one of the most used rejection reasons, but is also one of the more generic ("why is the edit invalid?") and least-helpful for the editor.

Vandalism on the other hand is only used on the rare* occasions that the edit is, well, vandalism.

Expanding this reason to cover general-defacement (accidental or not) makes the rejection reason more useful to the editor to see why their edit got rejected. I'd like to see it renamed to something like (suggestions welcome) defacement, and updating the blurb to be along the lines of;

This edit introduces new formatting issues to the post, contains spelling or grammatical errors, or is otherwise inappropriate

* From the last page of rejected suggested edits:

  • 20 votes were for invalid edits
  • 12 votes were for too minor
  • 04 votes were custom reasons
  • 02 votes were for radical change
  • 02 votes were for plagiarism
  • 02 votes were for not following tag guidelines
  • 01 votes were for spam
  • rare? [citation needed] – user149432 Jun 22 '12 at 7:38
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    @Mark: citation added – Matt Jun 22 '12 at 7:46

Your suggested change basically eliminates all traces of the previous "vandalism" reason and then people would just be confused what reason to use when there is general vandalism. You're basically requesting an entirely new reason. Defacing in the context of vandalism is not referring at all to new formatting issues or spelling/grammatical errors. It's more like adding graffiti to the post; vandalism is malicious.

I'm defacing your post!!!

Note: You do not actually suck, this was an example.

The fact of the matter is, if their edit contains formatting issues or spelling/grammar errors, it's wrong (aka incorrect). I don't see how the rejection reason doesn't fit perfectly with that. There will always be a catch-all reason that people will use for the general cases.

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  • I was hoping the "or otherwise inappropiate" segment would cover the vandalism, but I was open to suggestions on the exact phrasing. I agree it's wrong... and that's why it was rejected, but seeing a rejection reason of "invalid edit" as an editor does not give you any useful guidance as to why it was rejected. Because of this, it should be the custom reason used as the catch all, which allows you to be specific about why the edit was rejected, not just "it was rejected because its invalid". – Matt Jun 22 '12 at 8:39
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    I personally use the custom reason as my catch-all, but not everyone cares as much as you and I do. However, in the case of formatting issues and spelling/grammar errors, I tend to just improve the edit to fix them rather than rejecting them. – animuson Jun 22 '12 at 8:42
  • Any particular reason why your dots are brighter than the rest of the text? – ajax333221 Jun 23 '12 at 3:10
  • @ajax333221: I have no idea, didn't even notice. :P – animuson Jun 23 '12 at 6:25

It does bother me that edits that should have been some other thing and edits that are mistaken are lumped together. I thought I had a feature request to separate them, but I can't find it.

However, I disagree with lumping mistaken edits with vandalism. They are different things. Vandalism is uncommon, but it is in a class of its own.

Often, I use a custom reject reason for mistaken suggested edits, to explain the mistake. But when my reason is that it's just wrong, or would take a whole SE answer to explain, I reluctantly use “invalid edit”, or sometimes “radical change”.

Proposal 1

“Copied content” is extremely rare outside tag wikis. It could be removed; a custom reason can be used in the rare cases it's needed. On tag wikis, “radical change” doesn't make any sense; if the edit removes some useful information, it's also an invalid edit (using the current definition). This leaves room to split the two rejection reasons:

  • invalid edit: this edit should have been a comment, a separate answer or a new question.
  • incorrect edit: this edit introduces wrong information, removes useful information or makes the presentation worse.

Proposal 2

Since I remember meeting some opposition to removing “copied content” from question and answer canned rejection messages, here's a simpler proposal: lump incorrect edits with “radical change”.

  • invalid edit: this edit should have been a comment, a separate answer or a new question.
  • radical change: this edit changes too much in the original post or worsens it; the original meaning or intent of the post would be lost.

Backward compatibility

If the rejection reasons change, logs of past edit should retain their rejection message, not the ordinal of the message which would now have a different meaning.

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  • As far as backward compatibility goes, I'm not sure that would be a problem. There has to be a text field for custom-reason support, so it probably just dumps the text from the rejection reason into that field for display. Thus changing the rejection reasons now would not change the text that was dumped into previous rejected edits. Wild guesses, though. +1 also. – animuson Jun 23 '12 at 6:45

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