I just edited my first answer on SO and got rejected. The user afterwards edited his answer himself - in roughly the same way. After asking why he didn't use my edit in the first place I got the following answer:

Because it wasn't appropriate for you to make that edit - adding more material rather than just honing the existing material - whereas it's fine for the original author to do that.

After reading https://stackoverflow.com/help/privileges/edit again, I still don't know why my edit hasn't been "appropriate". Can somebody help me out?

  • 2
    This is the one I assume? stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/2620418
    – Bart
    Jul 30, 2013 at 21:36
  • 6
    OMG Edting a Jon Skeet post to say something doesn't work. Blasphamy! Jul 30, 2013 at 21:38
  • @Bart Thanks, I didn't know I can see such information.
    – D.R.
    Jul 30, 2013 at 21:39
  • This is now a completely different reason than the one the original "answerer" gave me, now I understand. Thanks.
    – D.R.
    Jul 30, 2013 at 21:41

2 Answers 2


Your suggested edit is more appropriate as a comment, not an edit.

  • That's not, what the author wanted to say.
    – D.R.
    Jul 30, 2013 at 22:18
  • 3
    Comment on the author's post, and give them the courtesy of making that sort of change themselves. Editing is for fixing grammatical and spelling errors, not changing the meaning of a post. The meaning of the post belongs to the original author.
    – user102937
    Jul 30, 2013 at 22:21
  • I didn't change the meaning. I added something because the original author of the question added a code example. However, doesn't matter aynmore, it has been rejected as I should've created a comment instead.
    – D.R.
    Jul 30, 2013 at 22:22
  • 2
    Judicious suggested edits are made by folks who understand the difference between an edit and a comment. :)
    – user102937
    Jul 30, 2013 at 22:23
  • I don't think the problem here is that it changes the meaning of the post so much as it doesn't actually answer the question. If the answer is truly wrong, it should be fixed or deleted. If you're unsure, leaving a comment is more appropriate, as Robert suggests. If you have an alternative solution that fixes the problems with the answer, you should post it as a new answer @D.R. Jul 31, 2013 at 5:38
  • 2
    I disagree, however, reading that suggested edit might indeed have made the reviewers think the editor actually was trying to say that the code in the answer was wrong, while @D.R. were referring to the code in the question. (An edit claiming that the answer was wrong should indeed have been a comment. Also, even when referring to the question, it was not a good edit, like Gilles already explained.)
    – Arjan
    Jul 31, 2013 at 12:38

It is not necessarily bad to add additional information to an answer. However, you're doing it wrong. You've added a remark at the bottom of the answer, after the footnote. That breaks the flow of the answer. Assuming the remark is correct, it would have belonged near the beginning of the answer.

If you aren't going to edit the answer properly, respecting the author's style, then stick to comments.

Adding out-of-flow additional material is indeed a privilege of the original author. It's frowned upon, though, because answers are supposed to have lasting value, they aren't supposed to be aimed only at the three people who read both revisions. Rather than adding additional material at the end after an “EDIT:” marker, the post should be rewritten to read naturally.


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