This is part 2 of a two-part suggestion. Part 1 is here.

Many borderline or bad suggested edits are still getting approved. At the moment, there is no good way to educate users who make bad reviews. Reviewers and editors are never notified if their decisions are disputed, or when an approved edit gets rolled back.

To improve this, we should notify all reviewers who voted to approve, and the editor themselves, of a rejection as if it were a comment. No further action or punishment would follow; just the information.

A mock-up of the proposed inbox notice. First line is "An edit you approved was disputed". Second line is "How to load a pointer in Java", a link to the edit review. Third line is "Please use backticks only to highlight actual code, not random keywords.", the rejection reason for the edit. A site icon (for Stack Overflow) is in the upper left and the time since the notification was sent ("6 mins ago") is in the upper right.

Also, if a rejector takes the time to write a custom rejection message, the editor and any "approve" voters could be notified of that message even if the edit ended up being approved.

That would give the custom reject message actual meaning. Knowing that it will reach other users even if the edit gets approved, it encourages users to take the time to write a good custom message, maybe even provide some links. At the moment,

  • it is unclear whether the message will ever reach the addressee

  • taking the time to write a custom reject message often enough ends you up with the edit getting approved under your feet.

  • 6
    @Andre it'd really have to be the inbox - otherwise it'd miss the point of being guaranteed to reach people, I think. Also, the danger is extremely limited: this can only overload your inbox if you make a lot of bad edits that people reject, or comment on.
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 17:26
  • I don't like the idea of having anything in my inbox that isn't a real person talking to me @Pëkka. The new top bar introduced a mod inbox, perhaps a regular user version of it would make more sense than overloading the inbox?
    – yannis
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 8:25
  • @Yanns cool idea, that might work
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 13, 2014 at 13:00

2 Answers 2


Right problem, but bad solution.

I've done my share of ranting against serial approvers, but the opposite problem exists as well (mostly on SO, other SE sites are don't have as much of an anti-edit crowd).

I've had about 10% overruled suggested edit reviews on SO. About one in four were approvals that didn't go through. At the 20/day rate, that's one every other day. And to be coherent you'd have to do it in the other direction as well — so it would be twice a day for my overrule rate. I don't want to spend that much time following up.

Rejections should definitely be notified to the editor. But to the reviewer, that's too much. I don't want to be notified if a question that I voted to close, or not to close, or to reopen or not to be reopened ends up closed, not closed, reopened or not reopened either.

  • Hmm. These are serious arguments, of course. Two things come to mind: 1. show reject notifications to "young" reviewers only; 2. notify only if someone enters a custom message. The latter wouldn't help your situation, however, unless there were a way for you (as an experienced reviewer) to then get back to the person who wrote the message, and straighten them out.
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 12, 2014 at 15:17
  • What do you think about the idea of batching the messages, as @Leeor suggested in his answer? That might rate limit it to something like 1 message a week max.
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 1:48
  • Also, you could limit it to showing the messages to people with a history of having overruled reviews, like maybe only people who have an overruled > 50% in the past N days, or whatever -- only message the people that need it the most.
    – Ben Lee
    Commented Jan 19, 2014 at 2:02

I like this suggestion, but it doesn't address the bad edits that did get approved eventually (thanks to too many clueless reviewers). The outcome of the edit can't be used as a hint on its quality.

Instead, i'd suggest to somehow notify these users on approved edits that got rejected by some high rep user / user with enough reviews. This can also apply in cases where the experienced user tries to reject the edit too late, after it already got approved.

Both these cases however risk a huge amount of spam, so maybe the inbox isn't the right place (or these messages can somehow be grouped to avoid clutter)

  • 2
    yes, what you say in your second paragraph was exactly my intention: if someone leaves a custom rejection message, that would be shown to you even if the overall edit ended up approved. I edited to make it clearer (now underneath the screen shot). I wouldn't be averse to limiting notifications only to higher-rep users' messages but I don't think this would be a huge problem. After all, there are much easier ways to spam users through normal comments.
    – Pekka
    Commented Jan 11, 2014 at 17:02

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