Recently, I gained the ability to perform reviews of other user questions and answers. During my first steps I did not pay attention on the check-box "User edit was helpful" when reviewing and improving other user's edit.

This might be due to my subjective interpretation or lack of experience with the moderation tools in StackOverflow, but I think that it is not easy to see that checkbox, especially when editing a long post. Therefore, I came to the idea of removing it and using 2 submit buttons, like these:

[Submit and Accept user edit] [Submit and Discard user edit] [Cancel]

Of course, better-suited and shorter text can be used, I came up with these on the fly. The idea is that the (junior) editor will understand that by improving other people's edit attempts, one should also decide whether to give them a credit or not.

  • 1
    My guess would be that it is small by-design. Otherwise suggested edits would be marked unhelpful to often, and the editors would get demotivated.
    – user000001
    Jun 6, 2013 at 14:53
  • @user000001, I get your point. My idea is that the second editor is not easily made aware of the other impacts of the edit - not just the post, but previous editor reputation and effort Jun 6, 2013 at 14:55
  • "...especially when editing a long post." How is the length of the post relevant, the editing box always has the same size? Jun 6, 2013 at 14:55
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    I would say "submit and reject user edit" rather than discard, because you're probably not discarding all (or possibly any) of it if you improved the post.
    – Servy
    Jun 6, 2013 at 14:55
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    @user000001 If the editor did their job there shouldn't be anything to improve most of the time. Usually when I need to go and improve a post it's because of a problem with the suggestion bad enough that it needs to be rejected.
    – Servy
    Jun 6, 2013 at 14:56
  • @M.NightDemonbobby - long posts make me scroll more, and when submitting, I am skipping all the other stuff on the page and get focused on where the submit button is. This is true especially if your intervention is in the beginning of the long post, or the post ends with a huge amount of code Jun 6, 2013 at 14:56

3 Answers 3


I like this suggestion. It ensures that the reviewer is making a conscious decision as to whether they want to approve or reject the edit, rather than accidentally taking the wrong action simply because they forgot to (or didn't know they should) decide whether to mark the post as helpful or not, or didn't understand the implications of the checkbox. This change would ensure that the reviewer is doing what they meant to do, which is clearly beneficial in my eyes.


I think that the current checkbox is just right. You access that interface by clicking the "Improve" button. The normal behavior will be to tweak the suggested edit, in which case the edit was helpful.

If your intention is to discard the suggested edit, you should reject it via the available button and then add your own edit.

However, it is slightly inconvenient to reject a suggested edit and add your own, because you must save a link to the post in some way before rejecting. To improve that situation, I would be in favor of an additional button on the initial page like the one you recommended: [Reject edit and add your own].

  • To your last paragraph, there have been previous proposals for allowing a user to choose, when improving a post, which revision they want to improve from; that would be the easiest solution in my eyes.
    – Servy
    Jun 6, 2013 at 15:01
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    +1 - I like it. The initial page is also a good place for this, and probably will solve some other dilemmas present in comments or other answers. Jun 6, 2013 at 15:02
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    Very similar to my own answer, except I don't like the checkbox. Because you don't check or uncheck the box until after you've completed your edit, it is common that your vote to accept or reject the edit won't count as the edit was accepted or rejected prior to completing your edit. Jun 6, 2013 at 18:59

In my opinion, once you click "Improve", you should already know what you will be doing with the "Suggested Edit was helpful" box, so we should require the Reviewer/Editor make that decision immediately upon clicking improve, and the vote should be recorded as soon as "Improve" was clicked, not after Submit was clicked. This would ensure the reviewer's vote gets counted (which is not always the case).*

I'm not a UI guy, so I'm not sure how the interface should work, but I think there are always 3 choices when Improving an edit, and I think the reviewer should be allowed to select any of the following:

  1. Accept and Improve - this would behave exactly that was improving and checking "Suggested edit was helpful", except the vote would be cast immediately
  2. Reject and Improve - this would behave exactly that was improving and unchecking "Suggested edit was helpful", except the vote would be cast immediately
  3. Reject and start over - this would be a new option to revert to the latest accepted edit and let the editor start over from scratch. Sometimes when reviewing edits, I occasionally see awful edits to bad posts and sometimes the best way to fix the post is just to blow up the existing suggested edit and start over.

* - I realize the actual vote belongs to Community, but it is still effectively the reviewer's vote that is cast

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