With respect to this meta post on SO, Are answers which drip feed information in subsequent comments acceptable?, wouldn't it be a useful feature to be able to also contact the reviewers of both accepted and rejected suggested edits, via the comments, using the @, in a similar way that successful editors are able to be reached (see this answer to How do comment @replies work?).

This way reviewers who have misguidedly either accepted or rejected edits could be informed. As it stands, if I understand correctly, such reviewers are not notified in any way and will be unaware of their mistakes, and will continue to do the same in future, without having any guidance, or correction - unless they happen to come across a meta post raising the issue relating to a specific suggested edit (assuming that such a meta post has been posted).

Admittedly, it could open such reviewers up to complaints from (unjustly) aggrieved editors, who have had a bad suggested edit (rightfully) rejected.

In response to Nicol's answer below, given the ephemeral nature of comments, the comment[s] would not necessarily need to hang around for long.

As a case in point, I recently suggested an edit (which was to add code formatting to a question which was in the First Post review queue). This edit took two hours to be approved, yet in the meanwhile the question was closed (as off-topic) one hour after my suggestion - so it appeared as if I had edited a question that had been put on hold.

I then received a comment cordially telling me not to edit closed/on-hold question, and pointed to the meta post relating to not to do so. I replied and pointed out that the suggestion had taken a long time to be approved, and that the post had not be on hold when I had made the edit suggestion.

I received an apology and then the comments were tidied up and removed by both myself and the other chap.

  • 1
    To be clear to onlookers: by default, the system only lets users know of the fact that they can @-reply to users who also commented; it doesn't let them know of the fact that they can @-reply to users who can be for other reasons, e.g. edited the post, were the sole one to close a post, etc. – Sonic the Reinstate Monica-hog May 13 at 5:10
  • That exchange shouldn't have happened to begin with, because editing closed questions is fine (all other things being equal). The person who told you that is just wrong. – Nicol Bolas May 13 at 13:20
  • @NicolBolas - there is a meta post about on hold questions - it was on hold, not closed, sorry my mistake. I had read it a while back, but I can't locate it anymore. There is a valid reason for not doing so, as the question can only put in the reopen queue once, and any [partial] edits should be made after the on-hold period is up, or they should be complete and final edits (something like that - I wish I could locate the post again). – Greenonline May 13 at 13:31
  • @Greenonline: "it was on hold, not closed" There is no difference between the two; "on hold" is simply "closed recently". "the question can only be reopened once" That is untrue. Also, there is no "on-hold period". – Nicol Bolas May 13 at 13:33
  • This is the meta post, and it appears to suggest that there is a five day period and that the bumping only happens once (unless I am reading it incorrectly): Editing of recently closed questions. FWIW, this was the question were it happened: LWJGL3 Tutorial issue – Greenonline May 13 at 13:38
  • @Greenonline: Oh, I see. You're talking that an edit will only put the question in the reopen queue once. So your intent with comments to reviewers is to tell them not to approve the edit, since it doesn't fix the closing problem? Wouldn't it be easier to just go and cancel the edit yourself? – Nicol Bolas May 13 at 13:49
  • We seem to have our wires crossed. I merely mentioned that as an anecdote to comments being cleared up by the responsible users, themselves. Let's just drop the topic... :-) – Greenonline May 13 at 14:12

When you address an editor of a post, you are doing so to discuss some aspect of the post that they have changed. A change that is visible to others on the site. Maybe you're asking for clarification on an issue, or to have some other change made.

The point is this: if a third party comes along and reads your comment, that comment has at least some relationship with what they see. If you suggest that the post needs clarification, they can read the post and decide if you're right. And if they feel you are, they could provide such clarification if they're knowledgable. If you suggest that a change needs to be made, they can read the post and determine for themselves if they agree.

By contrast, if you address the reviewer of an edit... what does that tell anyone about the post that your comment gets posted on? Nothing. The content of your comment is not about anything a third party can easily see; even if the edit was accepted, you're still talking about a reviewing decision, not a posting decision.

Basically, you're forgetting that comments are tagged to a post, which isn't where reviewing information goes.

Review audits are how we keep reviewers honest, not comments.

given the ephemeral nature of comments, the comment[s] would not necessarily need to hang around for long.

Unless someone flags the comments for deletion (or you're talking about a very small site where every moderator patrols every question asked multiple times), you cannot assume comments will just go away on their own. Someone must choose to act to make them disappear, and the fact of the matter is, it doesn't happen as often as we might want.

Comments are supposed to be ephemeral in theory, but practice is another thing entirely.

  • I can fully understand your reasoning, however... see my edit to my question. – Greenonline May 13 at 9:33
  • As my last line states, they were deleted by myself and the other poster, as we were aware that it was a temporary exchange. That may not be true of other users, granted. – Greenonline May 13 at 13:30

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