Ever since the editing restrictions were loosened a few months ago, I've started to edit posts in passing. It's always something simple, like code formatting or a grammar fix.

But does anyone (aside from the approving moderator) care who edited the post?

Overly large attribution for a minor edit

As you can see in the image, my name is displayed as large as (and arguably, as prominently as) the original author's. It's almost misleading for minor edits.

I am by no means suggesting that this information be made unavailable. Rather, a simple, unobtrusive link to the revisions page should suffice. The text could continue to attribute the most recent author, date, or it could simply say "Revision History". This change would shift visual attention back to the original author. Yet, it would still be visually apparent that the post had been altered by the community. For example:

Simple revision history link

What do others think? Is there a reason edits are displayed so prominently?

*Puts on flame retardant suit*

  • 1
    Semi-related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/73996 Mar 14, 2011 at 23:16
  • Thanks @Jason Plank. c.f. meta.stackoverflow.com/questions/65179/…. Despite @Grace Note's responses, I see I'm not the first to find this to be a slightly odd UX
    – zourtney
    Mar 14, 2011 at 23:29
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    No freehand circles, eh? No wonder you're wearing the flame retardant suit.
    – Pollyanna
    Mar 15, 2011 at 0:50
  • 2
    @Adam - fixed that for you Mar 15, 2011 at 0:59
  • I agree completely; I'd thought the same thing. Mar 15, 2011 at 1:02
  • I have, on multiple occasions, mistaken the editor for the OP. I also would like the editor less prominent. Mar 15, 2011 at 5:12
  • +1 I put my email in my profile and on more than one occasion, I've received mail from people who thought I posted a question when I merely edited it. I've made similar mistakes myself.
    – wcoenen
    Apr 7, 2011 at 10:17
  • @Farseeker Why do I never get the chance to use my M2-2? Nov 11, 2011 at 19:11
  • @muntoo - I'd have to know what an M2-2 was in order to answer that ;) Nov 11, 2011 at 21:57

3 Answers 3


We editors don't get much for our troubles.

If we haven't yet earned 1000 reputation from editing (and they're below 2000, I believe) we get reputation for editing. Otherwise, no reputation.

Editors also get badges, three to be exact.

But other than that? The tireless work of making posts better and garnering the OP upvotes gets us very little, so I like that our names are displayed front and center.

  • 2
    Ok, I respect that. But do you then disagree that the "Edited" block distracts from credit due to the original poster? I ask this not because I don't want your name shown :-) But because I often scan the page for this information -- specifically the original poster's rep (because low rep may be indicative of someone who posts questions before exhausting other resources). Big things catch users' eyes.
    – zourtney
    Mar 14, 2011 at 23:39
  • 15
    Every time I edit, my OCD is calmed and my dark passenger silences until I see the next one. That's my incentive for editing. Mar 15, 2011 at 0:31
  • @Farseeker: You have a dark passenger, like me?
    – Kredns
    Mar 15, 2011 at 2:14
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    @Dexter - Your family and friends always seem to die in some horrible fashion, and sometimes at your own hand. Please, feel free not be my friend. Mar 15, 2011 at 3:59
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    @Farseeker Do all frequent editors have OCD? :P Nov 11, 2011 at 19:12
  • 2
    @muntoo Yes. Yes we do.
    – John
    Nov 11, 2011 at 21:21

After you've edited a post, it's partially yours. Not primarily, and certainly not entirely, but... If you did a good job, you deserve some credit, and if you messed up, you certainly deserve some of the blame.

Keep that in mind next time you make a "minor" edit: if the post is still an eye-sore after you're done, your name is displayed below it until someone else steps in to finish cleaning up the mess.

FWIW: I have, in the past, suggested that a more subtle display (such as the one you suggested) might go a long way toward easing the tension some users feel toward others editing their work. I've come to accept that's not such a great idea. Users on these sites must become comfortable with others editing their posts, and editors must be willing to take some responsibility for what they edit.


Editors are hugely important -- they are peer reviewing your posts, just like other programmers peer review your code.

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Together, we make better posts!

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