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When you review a suggested edit and select "Reject and Edit" the following reason gets displayed:

Screenshot of rejection reason

This edit did not correct critical issues with the post - view the revision history to see what should have been changed.

Apparently this reason is automatically applied to every "Reject and Edit"; there is no place to select a different rejection reason. Yet this particular reason is only accurate in cases where the problem actually was that the suggested edit did not fix other critical issues. But it is equally possible that an edit would be rejected because it fixed things that shouldn't have been fixed. In such a case this rejection reason is quite misleading. It makes it seem as if the problem with the suggested edit was that it didn't do enough when in fact the problem was just the opposite – it did too much.

A suggested edit might make 10 changes, 5 of which are appropriate and 5 of which are inappropriate. In such a case I don't think reviewers should use the "Improve Edit" selection, because that lends credence to the suggested edit when in fact it contained inappropriate changes. Indeed, the very reason of "did not correct critical issues..." implies that the edit should be rejected even though it may have contained some appropriate changes.

So in essence, there does not seem to be a good way to review edits that contain some appropriate changes and some inappropriate changes. You can't approve the edit because it contains inappropriate changes, but rejecting the edit sends a message that there was more that should have been changed which is oftentimes very misleading.

As I was writing this I saw this related feature-request from seven years ago which doesn't seem to have gone anywhere which asks for the ability to use a custom rejection reason. That would certainly solve my issue, but I don't even need to go that far. I think that simply removing the words "This edit did not correct critical issues with the post" would suffice. The automatic reason would then simply say:

View the revision history to see what should have been changed.

(maybe add "shouldn't" as well)

The suggester could then simply view the revision history to see what the problem with the suggestion was, and this would be made even easier if the reviewer explains the problem in the edit summary.

Basically, I don't think it matters that much what the new way to "Reject and Edit" would be, as long as it does not contain a default clause which can often be inaccurate and misleading.

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If it is fixing "things that do not need to be fixed" then it is self-evidently not correcting critical issues.

If it made appropriate changes that need further correction, then you should be using "Improve Edit" and noting that some of the changes were unnecessary anyway, not using "Reject and Edit" at all.

  • I'm talking about cases where it made bad changes, such as changing the author's intent. It may have also included some appropriate changes like spelling. The reason of "did not correct critical issues" seems to imply that there are critical issues that were not corrected, which may not be true. – Alex Mar 24 at 22:45
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    If an edit introduces critical issues, then it is definitely not fixing them, is it? – Nij Mar 25 at 1:02
  • I guess it's possible for an edit to fix all the existing issues with a post, but introduce a number of new critical issues at the same time. That might be too rare a situation to be worth worrying about, though. – ais523 Mar 25 at 1:22
  • @Nij Only in the sense that the critical issues don't exist in the first place. – Alex Mar 25 at 2:15
  • @ais523 Not necessarily all the existing issues, but there are edits that, for instance, fix grammar but miss a typo. I wouldn't call that a failure to correct critical issues – Alex Mar 25 at 2:16

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