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Recently I stumbled upon an answer which had a small bug (incorrect variable name) pointed out in the comments. To achieve better reader experience, I edited this comment into the answer.

The OP of the answer rejected my edit claiming it was incorrect and subsequently made the exact same edit under their name. I understand they may have made a mistake when reviewing my proposal, but I believe they should have accepted my proposal instead of creating their own.

I'm not too worried about the situation, but misattributions such as this one result in no reputation gains for the editors, which is problematic especially for users with lower reputation trying to get privileges by meaningful activities.

I believe there should be a policy in place encouraging re-acceptance of rejected edits instead of submitting them again from a different account.

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  • I think this question should be migrated to MSO.
    – bad_coder
    Jun 27, 2022 at 23:10
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    I believe this should be a site-wide policy and as such does not apply solely to stack overflow.
    – Ninrich
    Jun 27, 2022 at 23:13
  • In seven or so years of membership, this is the first time I've come across this. Not so much a policy matter then as one which needs exception handling - post it on MSO, and see what the people say. "Exception handling" - probably not a phrase, but you know what I mean.
    – W.O.
    Jun 27, 2022 at 23:13
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    @JiminyCricket I expect they will say something along the lines of one swallow not making a summer and that a molehill does not need to be turned into a mountain. Jun 27, 2022 at 23:14
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    I've had this happen to me once before - the OP rejected, then thought about it, asked on the per-site meta, and came to the conclusion it was a good edit. In the end I was satisfied with the outcome because a) the edit was made and b) now I had a meta discussion to point to when justifying similar edits.
    – bobble
    Jun 27, 2022 at 23:19
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    This used to be officially possible: the "Reject and Edit" option used to not exist, and instead the "Improve Edit" option used to have a checkbox as to whether the suggested edit was helpful or not - checking it has the same behavior as today, while unchecking it would apply the suggestion (and improvement) without giving the suggester credit. Jun 28, 2022 at 0:08
  • You could ask the poster about it via comment.
    – philipxy
    Jun 28, 2022 at 2:24
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    @philipxy I could not, since I don't have enough reputation to write comments on stack overflow.
    – Ninrich
    Jun 28, 2022 at 8:10
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    I just left a comment on the post that it is being discussed here. (Often done anyway for posts discussed on a meta.)
    – philipxy
    Jun 28, 2022 at 9:40

3 Answers 3

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Sometimes people make mistakes, realise they did so and change their minds. It happens. Best move on unless there's some kind of pattern of a user doing this repeatedly.

Note that editing code by anyone other than the OP (original poster) is generally discouraged though. The comment suggesting the change was not made by the OP so you should really just leave things alone. What if the comment was wrong?

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    As I said, I have no bad feelings, just a tiny bit of bewilderment. In effect this caused a small period of time in which a meaningful edit was not shown and no gain of points on behalf of the editor. Although it is a trivial case, when abused it can prevent a lot of users from gaining points and attribution. I do not know how often this happens and with my reputation I am unable to check. Can you, as a user with many points detect when this happens (by checking propsed edit history or so)?
    – Ninrich
    Jun 27, 2022 at 23:25
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    I understand the general discouragement from editing others' code, but this was rather obvious bug and I have tested and verified my proposed solution before submitting my edit.
    – Ninrich
    Jun 27, 2022 at 23:27
  • You can see anyone's review history regardless of their or your points e.g. stackoverflow.com/users/171456/… Jun 27, 2022 at 23:29
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    "editing code by anyone other than the OP (original poster) is generally discouraged" My understanding is that editing code in answers is actively encouraged as long as it doesn't deviate from the author's intent.
    – 41686d6564
    Jun 28, 2022 at 13:32
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There's not really anything to do given the situation. It looks like it's a one-off mistake given I don't see anything similar in this user's history.

It looks like OP could not have overriden their own rejection. It would just say "You voted on this suggested edit to your post as noted below. No further action is required." (I'm not even able to override any reviews I did as a moderator.)

And not even a moderator can reverse the edit decision at this point, because of the subsequent edit. You can't suggest the edit again because the improvement was already made to the post. OP caused themselves slightly more work by not accepting the edit and didn't really get anything as a result (e.g. no rep was gained, no progress towards badges was made).

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  • The problem with "override" of a reviewed edit suggestion is that it's such a rare use case only mods are likely to be aware of it.
    – bad_coder
    Jun 27, 2022 at 23:55
  • @bad_coder Actually, initially, too many people were aware of it. Jun 28, 2022 at 0:09
  • @SonictheSaveUkraine-hog interesting, I wonder if you get a notification on a rejected suggested edit to one of your posts? If you don't see the notification before it's reviewed/rejected, will the notification still be in your inbox?
    – bad_coder
    Jun 28, 2022 at 0:13
  • @bad_coder Nope, no notification. Just a fairly minor notice when you open the form to make another suggested edit. Jun 28, 2022 at 0:22
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Code edits that change anything but non-functional whitespace are generally not appropriate. Changing what code does is contrary to the poster's intent. (What exact rejection reason did you actually get? Because one automated one is, contrary to the poster's intent.) Rejecting it is appropriate & sends proper feedback. Approving it does not accomplish that & suggests that the edit is OK. But it is OK for the poster to make that edit, changing the post question/answer, per the author's (new) intent.

From the Stack Overflow FAQ:
When should I make edits to code?

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    The reject reason was a custom one: "wroing... custom-theme-colors is a custom variable that could be anything.. it's then merged with theme colors".
    – Laurel
    Jun 28, 2022 at 3:01

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