I'm having trouble making sense of this option.

No-no-no - Not whining about an edit rejection. More than anything this reason for rejection seemingly makes no sense of the context of the edit proposed most often, and so I go away not knowing what I had done wrong.

To give an example, in a recent proposal to a top/accepted answer, I corrected an oversight which rendered that portion of the answer incorrect. In addition, I broke a paragraph that was too long and added links to documentation and another relevant answer.

In another proposal made awhile back, I corrected an error on a top-answer that rendered it incorrect and nonsensical.

Unfortunately, in the case of both proposals, the aforementioned rejection option was to blame.

Again, I'm not bothered with the rejection - Clearly these were rejected for a reason so I'll have to accept that. However, in the context of my proposal (Which aimed to improve post quality and make sure the top voted answer was not erroneous), I don't see how I was addressing the author or posting comment worthy material.

In the first case, the user who submitted the answer had been inactive for three years, so what use is there in trying to get them to fix anything? Take a look at the full rejection option:

This edit was intended to address the author of the post and makes no sense as an edit. It should have been written as a comment or an answer.

This is a question and answer site - There's no emphasis on the optional comments that are less likely to be read. Why do crucial/valid corrections belong in the answer's comment section? Why should I address the user and who may never do anything about it?

It's worth noting that I have had an edit approved of the same nature - "This tiny thing makes the answer invalid, I fixed it."

I'd really like to know what I've been doing wrong so I can avoid doing it in the future.

Could this option be made clearer? I was under the impression that answers/questions should be edited to improve readability, purpose, and correct any errors. Should I stop trying to edit answers?

1 Answer 1


You should not correct errors of fact with a suggested edit, and if you try to correct them when you have enough rep to just make edits, don't be surprised if they are rolled back.

Say someone asks "what is the capital of Ontario, Canada?" and I answer "Torotno". I have made a typo and you can correct it to "Toronto" - except for the 6 character rule, but this is only an oversimplified example. I meant Toronto and made a small error of expression while writing the answer. In contrast, if I answer "Ottawa", which is actually the capital of Canada as a whole, or "Paris" or "London" which are in Ontario but are not capitals of it, you can't use suggested edits to "fix" my answer to "Toronto."

Things are trickier when the error is only a part of the answer. Say somebody wrote ten sentences and one of them is wrong. Not misformatted, not misspelled, not in the wrong order, but flat out wrong. You might think in this case you can fix the answer, but no. Edits (and especially suggested edits) are for fixing layout, wording, formatting, spelling, grammar and the like. Not for fixing facts. And that's what the rejection is trying to tell you.

Leaving a comment may or may not lead the author to fix it, but it tells others that at least one person disagrees with the answer. If you have the rep you can also downvote the answer if it's truly importantly wrong. And of course, you can add an answer of your own that is (in your opinion) correct.

  • 4
    Wow, I never knew until now that edits were not supposed to improve the correctness of answer, but only the presentation. I would agree with @Super Cat that the rejection message is very misleading. It would be a lot more clear if it just said, "Edits are only for improving presentation and not facts" or had a link to an FAQ.
    – wisbucky
    Commented Sep 2, 2015 at 3:53
  • 1
    Totally agree, the wording of the rejection message, given what is here explained excellently by Kate, is entirely misleading and misworded. Leads me to wish I could edit the rejection message, but seems amusing, that such an edit would be rejected for the same reason. And down the rabbit hole we go. :)
    – Tom Pace
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 6:11
  • I have been recently rejected for the same reason, but I feel it's a mistake by the reviewers to have denied my update, for in the same analogy of Kate's "Capital of Ontario is Ottawa" being wrong, and "not allowed to be edited to correct Toronto", my context is analogous to what if the capital had been split to have dual legislative capital roles and both become capital, thus editing to "Capital of Ontario is a partnership between Ottawa and Toronto". Then, a new answer would be relevant, but the context makes a new answer a poor action, and editing a more applicable action.
    – Tom Pace
    Commented Mar 5, 2017 at 6:17

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