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Why would this suggested edit be rejected? The original answer seems pretty unfriendly to me.

"Being nice is important to us" - Joel Spolsky http://blog.stackoverflow.com/2012/07/kicking-off-the-summer-of-love/

  • 4
    It would be rejected because two people have chose to reject it. This is their decision, not part of some great corporate standard or for that matter, a lack of one. I don't see what's "unfriendly" about the answer as it is. Blunt perhaps, but what's wrong with that?
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 16:24
  • "You don't." isn't helpful and seems pretty unfriendly to me. However the rest of the answer is useful and I appreciate the help. So I took what I thought was appropriate action and edited the answer to remove unfriendly bit. I'm just disappointed the edit was rejected.
    – Tom Hunter
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 16:40
  • You should also know that the person who posted the answer gets notified of the suggested edit, and they can take action on it as well if they wish. Though since he hasn't logged on since before you made your edit, it would be nice to give him time to update his answer :) Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 16:42
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    @TomHunter: Bear in mind that not everyone here is a native English speaker so sometimes things can seem a little direct. Having said that "You Don't" isn't at all unfriendly.
    – user9517
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 16:44
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    I've certainly heard - and used "you don't" as a friendly response to "how do I do x" before. Maybe you haven't but it's a common enough response here in the UK. A reply that stopped at that point would be unhelpful, but a reply that starts that way seems fine to me.
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 16:46

4 Answers 4


Stack Exchange sites are unique in that all content is entirely editable by the community. Because of this, there is the temptation to make everyone sound chipper and cheery. You need to avoid this for a few reasons.

First of all, there was nothing wrong with Massimo's answer. It might not have been the wording that you would have chosen, but it wasn't offensive or condescending. It wasn't rude or incomplete.

Editing any content in a question or answer bumps that question to the front page. This is by design so that all users can have a "fresh look" at it in case the post was defaced or spammed. If every user edited every post that they came across so that it reads as if it were written in their own voice, there would be no original content on the front page - it would be a slew of edits.

Finally, it wasn't of considerable substance. Edits should address a significant error, typo, or omission in a post. Editing in links for citation where the source URL may have moved is good. Editing a command in a script where a user made an obvious typo in their answer is good. Editing an answer to capitalize a missed proper noun is bad. Editing to change the tone of a post that isn't rude or offensive is bad.

It's not that your edit doesn't make it sound nicer, so to speak, it's that it didn't add any value and an edit that doesn't add value just spams the front page. Don't take it personally, there are tons of rejected edits.


The answer wasn't unfriendly in any way, just a factual hint that you neglected to give the relevant information in your question. Since it wasn't unfriendly or wrong, I rejected it because it was Massimo's decision to answer the way he did and it's not your place or mine to enforce your view on his post.

  • Even ignoring whether the answer was friendly / unfriendly, it doesn't really make sense for his answer to be requesting clarification as I've now made the clarification in my question. This is another reason why I don't understand the rejection.
    – Tom Hunter
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 17:00
  • @TomHunter In that case, it would be friendly of you to allow Massimo the chance to amend his own post, wouldn't it?
    – Rob Moir
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 17:05
  • If there is an etiquette surrounding that, I wasn't aware of it. As far as I can see I was saving him the job. After all, why can I see the edit link..?
    – Tom Hunter
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 17:15
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    Anyone can see why this part is there in the edit history of your question, so it wouldn't lead to confusion. If Massimo wants to edit this, he can. I wouldn't if it where my answer as it's not worth the time, and I would have rolled back the edit if others had approved it. Again, it's Massimo's answer, not mine or yours. Finally, although not relevant in this case: In the windows where I can approve or reject an edit, I don't see the context so it would be another action for me to look up the actual question and see if you might have edited the question to add the info.
    – Sven
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 17:16
  • As to the edit button: I somewhat disagree with the whole "anyone can edit" notion, this case being a prime example of why.
    – Sven
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 17:17
  • In your review window, you must be able to see my comment: "have clarified my question so removing request for clarification"
    – Tom Hunter
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 17:18
  • Seems to me you're therefore disagreeing with a fundamental aspect of the StackExchange engine..
    – Tom Hunter
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 17:19
  • As is said: Not relevant in this case, and most edit comments (including my own) are useless, so I don't really see them. And yes, I disagree with this fundamental aspect. I can live with that.
    – Sven
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 17:24
  • Please endeavor to put in useful edit comments and take into account edit comments whilst reviewing in future.
    – Tom Hunter
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 17:40
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    No, it's not worth the time (IMHO).
    – Sven
    Commented Jan 26, 2013 at 17:42
  • @TomHunter If there is an etiquette surrounding that, I wasn't aware of it - there is this on edit wars. Among other things, it states *Always* respect the original author. At least to me it seems like a good rule to follow. A corollary would be to edit foreign posts sensibly. And rarely.
    – the-wabbit
    Commented Jan 27, 2013 at 12:09

It's an invalid edit that changes too much of the original without improving it in any way. It'd that simple. The qualifier that you wanted to edit out is also important, as it sets context. Without context the answer loses much.

If that answer seems unfriendly to you I'll ask you to stay well away from what I post. You're young, inexperienced and not a sysadmin. That means you cannot know or understand why we post what we post. Give it a decade or two and see if you don't harden up a bit yourself.


I agree with RobM's comment, the original version doesn't seem unfriendly. I don't think your edit is terrible - if I'd seen it I think I'd probably have approved it - but I think the answer is fine as it is and that's apparently what the two reviewers thought. (And since the reject reason is boilerplate, you can't read too much into it.)

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