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I'm looking at a user whose edit suggestions simply consist of unnecessary bold formatting. Some of these edits are getting rejected, correctly, but the vast majority of their edits that are getting approved are all decisions by the owners of the posts being edited, either overruling any and all third-party reviewer decisions regardless of how many reject votes an edit receives, or immediately committing the edit before anyone else has a chance to reject it.

It's nice that these post owners are accepting formatting edits graciously, but when the editor is making poor formatting edits claiming them to be improvements, their naïve decisions actually encourage the editor to continue making these poor edits in spite of other reviewers repeatedly thumbing them down.

Similarly, users making appropriate edits that get approved by other reviewers but rejected by post owners can get banned from making further edits when they shouldn't be. This usually happens when the post owner doesn't understand the principles behind the site, and thinks it's not OK for other users to be editing their posts.

I'm not proposing removing this feature entirely, because it's not the fault of the post owner — in most cases, they don't know better. But if their decisions are protecting bad editors from rejections and bans, or causing good editors to be banned from making further edits, I'm proposing that the system simply not consider owner decisions for the purposes of determining edit bans. Edits with no other decision except by the owner should be ignored.

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    P.S. This will never, ever get old. Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 5:11
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    Downvoted for lack of backticks.
    – Jamal
    Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 5:14
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    OMG, my eyes !! I want to ignore the post owner's decision and fix the poor formatting of this post. Commented Mar 26, 2015 at 15:45
  • This proposal seems like it could have significant unintended effects, and it addresses a pretty narrow problem. (If you see a user who is repeatedly making bad edits that are getting accepted by post owners, would flagging to notify the moderators be an acceptable workaround?)
    – D.W.
    Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 1:39
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    @D.W.: Moderators can't do much directly to address the issue. We can't issue edit bans manually, for one thing. Commented Mar 27, 2015 at 1:41
  • Moderators can now issue edit bans, which makes this less of a problem. Still it's a problem nevertheless. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 13:01
  • @BoltClock'saUnicorn do you mean suggested edit bans or did I miss a memo? Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 13:55
  • @Jon Clements: Considering this entire feature request is about post owner decisions on suggested edits, yeah probably. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 13:56

2 Answers 2

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A crucial question here is which reason we use for giving post authors their edit veto:

  • because we believe them to be correct in all respects about how their post should look, or
  • because it's their post and they're responsible for how it looks, and should therefore have some right to choose even stupid things

I submit that the former idea is the reason this has been declined, but that that interpretation is illogical. It should be fairly clear from the amount of first-post edits that need to be made on all sites that very many authors don't know how their posts should look. Some never learn, and keep on posting their signatures, their undifferentiated quotes and code, their messed-up accidentally-inlined HTML, their meaningless tag selections, or their backticks for emphasis all through their hundreds or thousands of posts. Since the beginning, SE has encouraged editing, and corrected callow posters who were taken aback by others editing their posts. Pretending that the reason we give authors edit veto is because they are guaranteed to edit their own posts better than others can is doublethink.

We should continue to allow authors to, if necessary, override most editing norms and produce (or approve the production of) terrible posts if they are absolutely set on that. But that doesn't mean we should give any deference to their judgement in terms of the fitness of edit suggesters to make edits. A suggestion that's approved by the post author isn't approved because they are as generally competent and reliable as a ♦ mod, but because they have more of a say as the author than a normal 2k editor/reviewer.

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  • Exactly my point. You can have an entire posse of trusted reviewers follow the same user around rejecting all their edits, or you can have a completely different set of individuals rejecting each edit, but as long as the same clueless post owner approves them then all of the reviewer rejections will be overridden and their effects completely nullified. A post owner should be (and is) held responsible for their own edits and their own reviews, but not for someone else's suggested edits. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 2:45
  • not enough backticks
    – Cœur
    Commented Feb 9, 2017 at 15:38
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I disagree because the author is actually -- in general -- the definitive authority on whether an edit is pertinent. I believe this was the original reason why we gave authors more decision making power on suggested edits.

However,

don't take this as to mean that we support unnecessary typography edits. As you noted they are a bad practice -- but we can't prevent people from making . It would be better to fix such posts and approach the OP so they can learn from their mistakes.

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  • I believe you're confusing the author's right to expression in their post with the author's fitness to judge suitable edits here. See my answer for a more detailed argument. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 1:24
  • @NathanTuggy not really, I said "pertinent": whether the edit is an improvement of their post or not. Even simple typography can change the perception of what's being conveyed.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 1:31
  • It certainly can, but, in the end, are we giving authors the right to use typography more or less how they wish in their own posts because they know best or because they own those posts? If you believe it's the former, a more thorough argument seems warranted. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 1:35
  • Neither. users with enough rep can edit and correct mistakes anyways, but the OPs should be allowed to fail in order to learn/be taught.
    – Sklivvz
    Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 1:37
  • So wait, why are we letting them fail in other areas than just their own posts, in ways that will never give them any feedback? Now I'm even more confused. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 1:42
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    "we can't prevent people from making [bad-decisions]" You can help prevent editors from making bad decisions by not allowing post owner approvals to completely negate any other reject votes on their edits. Commented Dec 25, 2016 at 3:31

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