I think it would make sense to allow reviewing of suggested edits only to users who are familiar (i.e. posted a few answer) with the tag(s) in question.

This would prevent some edit to be rejected by people who don't know what they mean / why they're here, event though it's explained in the edit message.

See this one for exemple: https://stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/2447608.

What do you think?

  • This would drastically reduce the number of people that can review edits for the more obscure tags. Jul 5, 2013 at 9:25
  • 2
    And code edits should be rejected. Jul 5, 2013 at 9:25
  • @MartijnPieters While I agree with your first comment, what about code edits? Why should they be rejected?
    – Xaqq
    Jul 5, 2013 at 9:26
  • @Xaqq They change the answer to something it wasn't. That should only ever be done by the OP. And for questions the situation is even worse of course. If you want to see code changed, leave a comment.
    – Bart
    Jul 5, 2013 at 9:41
  • 2
    @Bart Not always, no. Checkout the example edit, in this case it basically fix code to prevent memory error, but doesn't change the meaning at all.
    – Xaqq
    Jul 5, 2013 at 9:43
  • 1
    @Xaqq Still, consensus is "don't change code". Leave a comment for the OP to fix it.
    – Bart
    Jul 5, 2013 at 9:44
  • 3
    @Bart The consensus is on “don't change code in a question”. There's nothing wrong with correcting a mistake in an answer, whether it's in code or not. Aug 9, 2013 at 7:58
  • @MartijnPieters Code edits in a question should usually be rejected if they go beyond indentation, but we're talking about an answer here. There's nothing wrong with correcting a mistake in an answer, whether it's in code or not. Aug 9, 2013 at 8:00
  • @Gilles I'm not so sure at all that such consensus has been reached.
    – Bart
    Aug 9, 2013 at 8:01
  • @Bart What, on editing code in a question? Can you point to a dissenting opinion? Or on editing code in an answer? I've cited the official guidelines. Aug 9, 2013 at 8:09
  • Editing code in an answer. And does the answer in your link not say "It seems to me more productive to leave a comment explaining why the author's code is invalid, and allow the author to make the necessary changes. By suggesting an edit, you're involving at least two other people who may or may not understand the author's intent. It's better to have a conversation with the author and allow them to either fix their own code, or explain why the code is correct as written."? Following with more or less a "but well, if you really want to try..."
    – Bart
    Aug 9, 2013 at 8:11

2 Answers 2


I would not restrict reviews to only those users who are active within a tag. In a lot of cases this is simply not a necessary criterion to be able to judge the edit. And you'd run the risk of slow reviews in some of the less active tags.

Perhaps filter it in such a way that you are mostly (but not exclusively) presented with content that has a tag you're actually active in. But that's as far as I would go. (This might already happen, but I'm not sure...)

Your example is a poor one however. The consensus is to not change code. Not even to fix it. So in this case the rejection was fine and expertise within the tag is not necessary. Leave a comment for the author to point out the issue. He can then fix it.

  • Never heard about this consensus, and it's not even mentioned on the editing FAQ. I can read "When should I edit posts?" -> "Any time you feel you can make the post better, and are inclined to do so. Editing is encouraged!". Leaving a comment for author to fix will work most of the time, it's true. My example is not that great, but it shows a code patch being refused as "incorrect", which is stupid.
    – Xaqq
    Jul 5, 2013 at 9:50
  • 1
    The general practice is however as I state it. If it's not a blatantly obvious typo in an answer, don't touch it. The community in general feels anything beyond that is too much and will generally reject the edit. That does not mean your proposed correction was wrong as such, but that it should be left up to the OP to make that change. If you search around a bit on Meta you will find many discussions on this topic. But well, this all moves away a bit from your actual request. Should you wish to further discuss this, make it a different question, if it's not a dupe to begin with.
    – Bart
    Jul 5, 2013 at 9:57
  • I'll trust you on this one, even though I doesn't really make sense to me to not fix code when it doesn't change the meaning :). I reckon I didn't search on meta about that. I'm not sure it moves away from the request I made, but its more likely to "closes" it: there is no need to require "expertise" if the general way is to not fix code. Thank you :)
    – Xaqq
    Jul 5, 2013 at 10:02
  • Hey, at least you sparked a new request. ;)
    – Bart
    Jul 5, 2013 at 10:18
  • @Xaqq I see you've unaccepted my answer an accepted it again. Don't hesitate to change your acceptance, should you find another answer is better, or if you wish to leave your question open. That's no problem.
    – Bart
    Aug 9, 2013 at 8:25
  • tbh I agree more with Gilles' answer, but I find that you are both right about my initial point: requiring subject knowledge would be counter productive, and you also stated that.
    – Xaqq
    Aug 9, 2013 at 8:36
  • Fair enough. Don't hesitate because it would be somehow "wrong" though. It's your decision entirely.
    – Bart
    Aug 9, 2013 at 8:38

In my experience as a suggested edit reviewer on Stack Overflow, a vast majority of suggested edits are about formatting and grammar. Only a small fraction require subject knowledge in the first place.

When you see a suggested edit that requires subject knowledge that you don't have, click skip. It's a very simple rule: if you don't know, click skip.

Sadly, there is a part of the Stack Overflow community that systematically rejects corrections to code in answers, in direct contradiction with the editing guidelines (“When should I edit posts? (…) To correct minor mistakes”). They suggest commenting instead, in direct contradiction with the commenting guidelines (“When shouldn't I comment? (…) Suggesting corrections that don't fundamentally change the meaning of the post; instead, make or suggest an edit”). I'm trying to educate them.

Requiring subject knowledge from the reviewers would not improve things. The problem is the attitude that rejects corrections, not the lack of subject knowledge by the reviewers. Requiring score in a question's tags would make reviewing take longer, some suggested edits in smaller tags could easily sit around for months. It would not improve anything regarding correct edits getting rejected, and it would only slightly reduce the time wasted by reviewers who have to skip a review because they lack the knowledge to vote on it.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .