I have reviewed only a handful suggested edits during my time at SO. I thought that I would give it a try today. I reviewed only two suggested edits but it turns out that I still don't understand how the review system works.

I thought that I would get some of your opinions to learn how you would have handled these suggested edits so I can better understand how to approach them in future.

Attempt 1:

I rejected this one but the OP approved it and later turned around to remove the same content that OP approved, leaving behind only the newly added tag. OP also modified the answer, which in my opinion is a very minor edit, to match with his/her question.


Attempt 2:

I rejected this one because I thought that the changes were very minor but three other users approved the same suggested edit.


Could someone please shed some light on better way to approach suggested edits?

  • 6
    soon enough you'll be complaining about robo-approvers with the rest of us. Welcome to the club! Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 21:34
  • 1
    @KateGregory: First, I need to learn from my mistakes before I can start complaining about others.
    – user213400
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 23:48
  • Before you can learn from a mistake, you must first make one. I don't see any evidence of you making a mistake in reviewing edits. The only mistake you've made is thinking that the majority of approvers on an edit are necessarily right. As you can see by the answers and comments here, you can often be right and yet three others will approve an edit that should have been rejected. It happens. Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 23:58

2 Answers 2

  1. You were correct to deny this one. It's clearly not a valid edit. The OP can approve whatever they want, don't really read too much into it. If they choose to accept an edit that would normally be inappropriate, then that's their choice. Since he later reverted it though, odds are he never intended to approve it and it was a mis-click, or he just didn't understand the whole suggested edit system.

  2. I wouldn't say it's wrong to consider that edit too minor. You'll note that, as a rule, when an edit just re-indents code it tends to be approved. When there is no indentation to begin with this actually adds a lot to the readability of the post, so I usually approve them because it really isn't a minor issue. This case is different though. The content was indented, and the editor just used a slightly different indentation scheme, and I agree that it adds little, if anything to the post. There are also a number of other clear issues with the post left unaddressed. Rejecting as "too minor" in this case is appropriate. As a rule you'll find that many people dislike rejecting posts as "too minor" in general, and will never or only rarely reject an edit just for being minor. Try not to be discouraged by such reviewers.

  • 1
    Well, I am not discouraged. I am always in a dilemma about whether to review the suggested edits or to stay out of it because I am unfamiliar with lots of tags to make a proper judgement about the suggested edits. I usually try to stay in the tag that I am more familiar with. Contradicting approvals left me wondering what I am doing in the review. Thanks for the explanation.
    – user213400
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 21:32
  • 3
    Well, if you continue using the system you're likely to get discouraged at some point due to the fact that there are a lot of poor reviewers in the system (less now than there used to be, but still enough to frustrate most people trying to use the system in good faith) which is why I included that comment. So in short, if you're not discouraged yet, chances are you will be at some point. Having said that, you pretty much need to use the system to learn to use it, and since you seem to be making a good faith attempt to really learn the system, I hope you stick with it.
    – Servy
    Commented Feb 26, 2013 at 21:36
  1. The OP of a post has a binding vote when it comes to suggested edits. If they don't really understand how the suggested edit system works or what they're being prompted to do, they are likely to take action on it incorrectly. Unfortunately there's not much we can do about it other than try to educate them and hope they care.

  2. You gave your opinion and thought it should be rejected, and others disagreed with you. I don't see any particular problem with your decision to reject the edit as too minor. That's why we require more than one person to review suggested edits.

As far as rejecting things as too minor, we generally only do that if the edit doesn't improve the post's quality more than it already was, or the edit only addresses minor issues and leaves other blatant issues present in the post.

Not all of your decisions on suggested edits will be supported by the rest of the community, but that doesn't necessarily mean you made the wrong decision. Both of your decisions here appear just, and it doesn't appear you need to make any drastic changes to your behavior in reviewing suggested edits.

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