Today, it requires 2000 reputation to edit questions/answers; most users don't have that much reputation.

Quora allows anyone to click on a "Suggest Edits" button; it launches the editor and privately emails the author with the suggested changes. With one click, the author can accept the edit right from the email. It's quite nice.

For example: http://www.quora.com/How-does-Twitter-make-money

SE should have a "Suggest Edits" button, too.

  • FWIW, I think "Suggest Edits" should also have a reputation bar, but a much lower one. 150? 200? – Dan Fabulich Jan 9 '11 at 17:04
  • There are already mechanisms available for suggesting edits. You just have to learn how to use them. – IAbstract Jan 9 '11 at 18:18
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    No emails please. – rightfold Jan 9 '11 at 19:42
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    Note that meta.stackoverflow.com/privileges/edit states: If you don't have enough reputation to edit, there are alternatives: 1) If the post is in urgent need of editing, flag it for moderator attention. 2) If the post has a minor mistake, leave a comment for the author explaining the issue. – Arjan Jan 9 '11 at 20:52
  • Related: Diff is Hard, Let's Go Shopping!, which discusses the actual implementation options. – Arjan Jan 19 '11 at 10:11
  • [status-about-to-be-completed] as per minor bugs like Pending edit does not reveal any changes, maybe due to edits in grace period? (and its comments). – Arjan Jan 19 '11 at 12:31
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    So, it only took 10 upvotes to get this one 'status-planned'? Even where other mechanisms are in place to do this? And we can't get a copy the codez button...bummer. Oh well, the community has spoken. – IAbstract Jan 19 '11 at 18:27
  • @Dan - I disagree with your "most" statement. True, most new users don't have edit privaleges, but I don't think they should be as worried about fixing other people's posts as they should about building up their rep by creating their own posts. Just one guy's opinion... – Wonko the Sane Jan 26 '11 at 22:35

If a reader does not have the rep to edit, there are several options:

  • Add a comment to the question or answer
  • Flag the question or answer for attention
  • Request an edit on the corresponding meta site

Two examples of requesting assistance:

As ChrisF points out, flagging for moderator attention should be used sparingly. Don't request mod attention for spelling mistakes, or minor grammatical errors. If you don't have the rep to leave a comment, I recommend asking for assistance on the corresponding meta site.

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    Adding a comment requires 50 rep. Flagging can be done by everyone, but you should use this sparingly - moderators are not copy editors. – ChrisF Jan 9 '11 at 18:24
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    Comments are a poor way of suggesting edits, because they clutter the conversation. And flagging for a spelling mistake is clearly the wrong thing. – Dan Fabulich Jan 10 '11 at 4:49
  • Well, I guess you have your third option - ask for help on corresponding meta site. – IAbstract Jan 10 '11 at 14:45
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    @Dan: Also, you are free to delete your own comment once the edit has been completed. – IAbstract Jan 10 '11 at 19:23
  • In my experience, users are not deleting their comments once the edit has been completed; the comments remain, creating clutter. Asking for help on a meta site is not really reasonable for grammar errors, formatting issues, etc. Imagine if everyone did that! – Dan Fabulich Jan 10 '11 at 21:52
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    @ChrisF: Well, actually... – mmyers Jan 13 '11 at 22:25

I think this will be very useful on “new” sites where not many people have enough reputation to do edits.

  • The author of the question/answer should be shown the suggested edit when they next access the site, as a banner as well as in the Stack Exchange inbox
  • The only way to get rid of the banner should be to:
    • Approve
    • Reject
    • Modify
    • Or mark the edit as spam
  • An email should be send if an email about a new answer/comment would have been sent to the author
  • Users with a reputation over ??? should see a marker that shows there is an unproved edit when reading the item and be able to approve/reject it, etc.
  • 10K users and moderators should be able to see a list of suggested edits filtered by tag, etc.
  • There are already mechanisms in place. I don't see a requirement for this added feature. A comment is just as good as leaving a suggested edit. If the user does not have the rep to comment, and formatting/spelling/grammar is just that bad, ask for an edit from the appropriate meta site. – IAbstract Jan 17 '11 at 16:41
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    @IAbstract, you are assumming that low rep users read meta, anything less clear then a "suggest edit" button is unlickly to get used. Most real life users are very low rep and don't use the sites much, unlike the people that use meta. – Ian Ringrose Jan 18 '11 at 9:06
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    Will the lo-rep users you describe even care about edits? If they do, then they will find one of the methods already available and use it. – IAbstract Jan 18 '11 at 12:58
  • While I may not be as passionate about this as @IAbstract :) I do agree. Somebody with low rep shouldn't worry so much about editing other peoples' posts as with building enough rep to do it themselves (or, at least, to leave a comment). – Wonko the Sane Jan 26 '11 at 22:32

With most severe mistakes in questions and/or answers, like formatting issues, I experience that there are enough high rep users on this site to correct those obvious mistakes within a few minutes.

I don't think we need this feature. I know it's frustrating to look at malformed content when you're not able to correct it, but just waiting for a few minutes is sufficient in most cases.

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    "Need" is such a strong term. But it would improve the quality of the site. Why settle? – Dan Fabulich Jan 15 '11 at 8:20
  • @Dan: As one of the comments on your question already said, you can always write a comment to draw the OP's attention. – Marcel Korpel Jan 15 '11 at 11:42
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    @Dan - I am not sure I agree with "improve the quality." My worry is that it will actually muddy the site. One major draw of SE is the relative simplicity of the design. – Wonko the Sane Jan 26 '11 at 22:33

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