I initially posted this on MathematicsMeta where it was relatively well received (+20/-0), then I thought to post it here since it relates to multiple sites - possibly all sites, at least all sites with MathJax.

I also searched for this and couldn't find it mentioned before.

I noticed something when reviewing this edit; the strikethrough through the removed text obstructed my view of the post before the edit, particularly the negative signs (-) (other things may be obstructed too, but in this case I noticed the negative signs).

This is also an issue for sites with code as they use alot of symbols, and this same feature request was made on Meta Stack Overflow (score +20) for this reason.

The following screenshots are from Microsoft Edge at 100% (default) zoom: Image

Zooming in (to the screenshot, not to the webpage): Image I've also tested on Firefox with similar results.

The text on top actually says "(-2a+4)", but the dash is literally indistinguishable from the skrikethrough. Given the already improper formatting in the post, it wouldn't be unusual if the original text actually just had a space (which is very common), i.e. "( 2a+4)", and this would look identical to "(-2a+4)" with the strikethrough.

All the other dashes disappear too, and the reviewers also wouldn't be able to see if there actually were dashes in the initial post where there are spaces. This means that the reviewers have no way of telling if the dashes were added by the editor or part of the initial post. Dashes are very common on sites with mathematics (as negative signs) and also on sites with code (as indicated by the aforementioned SO post).

Besides this, the strikethrough obstructs all text (I mentioned dashes because they literally disappear, so it isn't something subjective), and makes it harder (for me at least) to read what is underneath it.

Besides, I don't really see any purpose for the strikethough; the red highlighting is clear enough. So, even if this obstruction is minor, it is still, in my opinion, obstructing the post with no benefit.

Feature request: Remove the strikethrough accross the deleted text in suggested edits. The red block on the original side and the green block on the edited side are sufficient for the reviewer to see what has changed in the edit. The strikethrough unnecessarily obstructs view of the post.

Addressing accessibility concerns (for the colour blind): Even if a person can't differentiate between red and green, the red is always on the left side and the green is always on the right side, so the colour itself isn't necessary. This comment on the MathMeta post from a colourblind user supports this.

Also, red highlighting alone is already used when MathJax is involved, so if there were accessibility issues they would have been raised already. For example, this edit diff: enter image description here

the entire table and all the bits of MathJax have no strikethrough.

Another screenshot showing the MathJax:

enter image description here

So, we already know that only the highlighting itself is necessary to show which parts of the post have changed in the suggested edit. Besides, the obstruction caused by the strikethrough might also cause issues for vision-impaired people, so this might even be another reason to remove the strikethrough. Of course I am not claiming that removing the strikethrough wouldn't cause any problems, just that I cannot think of any myself.

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    You can avoid the problem by using a font which positions the dash a bit higher i.sstatic.net/lHhUK.png Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 10:23
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    Yes, the red is always on the left side and the green is always on the right side, but what if you can't see which parts are highlighted? For example there are many tools which will shift the colour space towards the red spectrum at the end of the day to make it easier to go to sleep, with such tools on the pale red background is not visible anymore and the strikethrough is really helpful to see what parts where removed. Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 10:27
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    .... also the pale backgrounds alone are much harder to see in the dark theme of SO Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 10:31
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    Will this be accessible for people who interact with the site through screen readers? Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 10:34
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    Related (on MSO): Remove the strikethrough on the edit review page. I remember at least one other post about something related to this… Commented Oct 22, 2021 at 11:24
  • @samcarter_is_at_topanswers.xyz See my edit, no stikethrough diffs are already used and as far as I know, no accessibility issues have been raised about it. Commented Oct 30, 2021 at 23:09
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    @samcarter The line-through style is only a CSS effect that would never be recognized by a screen reader anyways. We already use <del> and <ins> elements for diffs, though not all screen readers announce them by default: developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/HTML/Element/…
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Oct 31, 2021 at 15:43
  • This is a problem even in simple code blocks. Since the suggested edits are nearly always junior users to the site, I try to be careful that they are not introducing something that is altogether different or even harmful, and the strikthrough makes it difficult to see what the original code was.
    – gone
    Commented Dec 9, 2021 at 14:23


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