I recently edited a post which got down-voted for being hard to understand. How did this edit change too much in the original post? I feel my edit made the post significantly clearer while removing unnecessary text.

I get the feeling that the people who rejected the edit didn't really take the time to go to the question, understand it, then review my suggested edit.

I also understand that there are so many people on Stack Overflow who know quite a lot about the subject but cannot speak English fluently. Hence, their answers become hard to understand. Is it not appropriate to edit the answer to reflect better grammar and to more succinctly answer the question?

  • 4
    I read the actual diff, and I realise your edit was actually legitimate, since it was only re-expressing what the answer was saying more clearly. Nevertheless, when a casual reviewer sees such a large volume of text being altered and code being added, they dismiss the edit as too drastic. This works in general as a heuristic, but occasionally valid edits such as yours might end up being rejected.
    – user200500
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 7:49
  • 1
    @Asad, I guess. Gah can't wait for enough rep to shed this peer-review. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 8:07
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    "Made answer clearer" -- hmm not the most informative edit summary, this could certainly make reviewers unhappy. I'd rather take the time to explain reasons for an edit in more details
    – gnat
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 8:44
  • 1
    @gnat, Hmm. Yes that is true. What would you suggest alternatively? I will definitely do that from now on. Thanks for pointing that out! Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 9:49
  • 2
    @AnishRam One alternative might have been "Rephrased for clarity, included snippets from question referred to by the answer"
    – user200500
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 10:00
  • @Asad, Yes. That definitely makes sense. Thanks! Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 10:11

2 Answers 2


I think your edit was perfectly fine. Fixing spelling, grammar and possibly even adding examples all improve the answer without doing any harm.

I think your rejection was because some reviewers are lazy or just not understanding of what they are expected to do. I see lots of reviews that could just as easily be done by a robot, which kind of defeats the purpose of human reviews. Some may rather reject an edit than read it a second time.

Personally, I think they should just press "Skip" if they are in robot mode and stumble upon something not trivially invalid.

  • 5
    Interesting point of view. I see a lot more false approves than false rejects. Both are annoying. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 8:53
  • Yes, I see lots of both kinds. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 8:56
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    How is this an answer to the question and not a comment/rant?
    – Bart
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 9:04
  • This was not meant as only a rant, but I obviously forgot to tie it all together. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 11:59
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    I had a feeling this was it too. if(too much green and red) { reject; } ;) Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 12:47
  • +1 for skipping. If it's not a language I'm comfortable with (or not plainly obvious as to the intention), I skip code edits because it's not something I'm qualified to review.
    – jprofitt
    Commented May 15, 2013 at 16:58
  • @jprofitt Nothing about this edit required knowledge of the subject material. The only code change was taking information from a comment the author made and moving it to the post.
    – Servy
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 15:27
  • @Servy Hrm, I looked for that when I posted this comment and must have missed it.
    – jprofitt
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 16:10

Your edit was rejected because you have done lots of changes in the post. So the original meaning or intent of the post would have been lost.

As per all reviewer's comment: This edit changes too much in the original post; the original meaning or intent of the post would be lost

You have done a nice edit, but I found the problem is that you haven't added a proper summary of the edit. As per your summary: Made answer clearer. Don't you think something is missing to add?

Reviewers often check lots of reviews, and they also check the summary of suggested edit and then they make the decision. So provide a proper summary for the edit and point reviewers to what you have edited and why. That would be a great deal.

  • I edited my question. I actually want to know how my edit "changes too much in the original post" Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 7:34
  • ok.. as per your edit how can you identify that the meaning of user? like you have add this line in answer : (new_fd = accept(sockfd, (struct sockaddr *)&their_addr, &sin_size)) > 0 HOW? Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 7:39
  • From the question. Which would be plain if the reviewer actually took the time to read the question. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 7:41
  • check my updated answer, it will help you. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 7:47
  • and instead of update this type of answers, you can post new answers. this would be great Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 7:48
  • Yes I have added code from the question. I did not add my own code. Also, citation required for "You can only do edit like..." Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 7:57
  • @AnishRam Citation: stackoverflow.com/privileges/edit
    – user200500
    Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 8:02
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    @Asad, I happened to fix a lot of grammatical mistakes. Also, nowhere does it say I can only edit for those reasons. Commented Apr 15, 2013 at 8:05

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