A useful edit was rejected. I had previously edited the code in an answer of mine, but failed to replace a reference to a temp variable I had removed. An astute reader noticed the problem and proposed an edit -- only to have it rejected.

Basically, I would like to give the guy credit for his work, and save him from any adverse consequences of the rejected edit. What can I do? Not much, I suppose, other than review his recent activity and +1 where it makes sense, to compensate. But I'm thinking there should be a way to contest rejected edits somehow. Or can I flag the edit reason for moderator attention somehow?

Also related, tangentially related.

  • 5
    It's +2 rep. That's hardly a loss, really. One upvote on a good answer of the other user pays for that 5 times over! Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 11:27
  • 5
    Just edit it in yourself. Suggested code edits are often not accepted. Correct it and no harm done.
    – Bart
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 11:30
  • Heeded both suggestions. Thanks for the quick replies. Anybody care to explain why they downvoted my question?
    – tripleee
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 11:31
  • Pff, who knows. Perhaps because you could have easily figured out the answer to the question in your title? I don't know.
    – Bart
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 11:34
  • 1
    See the faq; votes on MSO are different from the regular Stack Exchange websites. I guess people felt that contesting the rejected edit was not needed and they expressed that with a downvote. Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 11:35
  • If you post a suggested edit, please try to fix multiple issues. Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 11:37
  • 7
    You should never make edits to code blocks. Rather leave a comment to the OP and let him make the changes. This is the case with questions and answers a-like. Editing code blocks can change the operation/meaning of the post quite drastically.
    – Lix
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 11:38
  • 1
    @Lix: Thanks, that could at least explain the reasoning for rejecting.
    – tripleee
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 11:44
  • @ToonKrijthe : what if there's only ONE issue that needs to be addressed?
    – C.B.
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 12:53
  • @Lix : "Editing code blocks can change the operation/meaning of the post quite drastically" - but the change can sometimes be an improvement, such as it was in this case: the original code was WRONG and the edit CORRECTED it. Why would you say "never"?
    – C.B.
    Commented May 30, 2013 at 12:57

3 Answers 3


You can't contest an edit, although you can start a discussion on meta.

But you can re-suggest it if you really think it is useful.

But keep in mind that an edit must be substantial without changing the meaning of the post.


Since I'm responsible for one of the reject votes, I probably should chip in.

In general, I reject suggested code edits especially when the original post was by a high-rep user. Too often do we see invalid/irrelevant edits to code, and it should not be incumbent upon reviewers to grok the entire post just to validate a code edit.

My rationale on why code edits should be discouraged:

  • minor errors and typos in code are better addressed with comments. The OP is the best person to judge if the edit is correct; he/she will get notified of the comment and has the option to make the edit, ignore, or respond to it.
  • major errors in the code should be downvoted instead
  • for code improvements, if the editor believes there's a better way to do it he/she should post a separate answer instead

Naturally, every now and then valid edits such as this will get caught in the net. For that I am sorry, but I'm willing to take some casualties for the sake of keeping those bandit edits out.

  • 6
    I always click "not sure" if code is edited in an answer and I don't understand what's happening... Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 12:59
  • I used to do that too, but realised I was just passing the decision on to someone else. The fact that it is a vote means that it is our priviledge/responsibility to indicate what kind of edits we would like to see made on the site -- I believe such edits are wrong, others have the rights to disagree. Overall, the majority will have its way.
    – Shawn Chin
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 13:05
  • While we're on the topic, I'm keen to know how my vote stands up against others just so I may be swayed by majority decision hence this feature request. Too bad it never took off.
    – Shawn Chin
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 13:07

Suggested edits should not change the code shown in an answer; they can change the formatting of the code, if that makes the code more readable, though.
If the code is using the wrong function, a suggested edit should not change the function call with the correct one; if the code is completely wrong, a suggested edit should not change it to a more correct one. In both the cases, who suggested the edit could write her/his own answer.

As the answers is one of yours, you can simply edit it to fix the code.

  • 5
    If the code is using the wrong function -> Really? I always accept suggested edits if they fix a blatant problem with the code. The times where my answers have been updated to fix blatant problems e.g., I've been grateful.
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 14:17
  • Would you accept an edit to an answer written from another user, and that changes ereg() with str_replace()? Wrong also mean "undesirable or unsuitable."
    – apaderno
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 14:31
  • Of course not. Would you accept an edit which changed stringreplace() to str_replace() (typical problem with PHP's lack of naming scheme).
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 14:37
  • In that case, I would rather prefer a comment for the author to make her/him notice that. If the user replies with "You are wrong; PHP has string replace()." then you know the answer is wrong; if s/he replies with "Oh, you are right. It was a typo." you know s/he just typo-ed the function name.
    – apaderno
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 14:44
  • 2
    Then that's where we disagree I guess :). I'd prefer to accept the edit. The owner gets a notification saying their code has been edited. If they strongly disagree with the blatant correction, then they can roll back; but in 99% of the cases, I don't expect that to happen.
    – Matt
    Commented Sep 12, 2012 at 14:50

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