18

While going through suggested edits I saw one in which it appeared that someone had added random bits of code to someone's question. So I rejected it as a radical change.

Then I took a second look, and discovered that the original question contained the code, but it simply wasn't being displayed at all because it was within angle brackets <>, and the suggested edit fixed the problem.

First I looked around to see if there was an obvious way to go back and approve the edit. Finding nothing obvious, I edited the question and put the fixes back in myself.

Is there a better way to handle this situation?

  • 4
    For what it's worth, two people rejected it, not just yourself; as would have I had I seen it. Unfortunately I can't see a way for mods to override the decision. – Mark Henderson Mar 13 '13 at 1:17
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    I rejected it as well. It looked like there was a lot of changes within the code block that weren't in the original. This really wasn't obvious at all from the review screen. Whoops! – MDMarra Mar 13 '13 at 5:34
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    Am I the only one whose default Review view is "markdown diffs"? – voretaq7 Mar 14 '13 at 18:29
  • Related MSO question – Josh Mar 15 '13 at 11:52
20

I recommend crediting the author of the edit in your own edit summary, and maybe even including a link to the rejected edit. In future similar situations, the edit summary could be:

applied author's edit I accidentally rejected: URL

(Replace author with the actual username of the author, or with an anonymous user, or similar, if it was an anonymously submitted edit.)

But some people really dislike long-ish edit summaries, so if you happen to be one of those people, this is sufficient:

applied author's edit I accidentally rejected

This is what I've always done, when I've made this mistake while reviewing suggested edits on Ask Ubuntu. It seems to have worked well. It gives credit where credit is due and documents what happened, and then I can basically forget about the whole thing (just reminding myself to try avoiding the mistake, of course) and go about my day.

The key point is that you're making clear that the edit is not your own work. This is a best practice generally (avoiding plagiarism and maximizing integrity), and may also help to mitigate any bad feelings or--perhaps even more important--any confusion that may have occurred from the review itself.

As for the question of whether or not there's a better way that editing the post yourself at all: No. Usually you don't have the ability to efficiently ask the editor to resubmit the edit. If they did then other reviewers might make the same mistake. And in any case most people aren't in it primarily for the +2, so asking them to resubmit the edit so it could be accepted a second time would just be heaping more work on them to fix a problem they were uninvolved in causing, rather than fixing it yourself.

In conclusion, I think you did the right thing, except that next time I recommend making clear in the edit summary that the edit did not come from you. (Remember, edit summaries are seen by anyone viewing the post's revision history.)

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    It kinda gives credit where credit is due. The editor doesn't get closer to a badge nor does he get his +2. This really should be asked on MSO as the system should be able to have these rejects overridden if people realize a mistake was made IMO. – Josh Mar 15 '13 at 11:50
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    @Josh Should accepts also be overridden, so that someone who submitted a bad edit that was wrongly accepted will lose their +2? – Eliah Kagan Mar 16 '13 at 1:24
  • I don't think that's as important, especially because we have a way to roll back bad edits already. I would have to consider this but a possible solution would be if a suggested edit is rolled back then the +2 rep is removed. Not sure if I like that however. – Josh Mar 16 '13 at 12:37
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    @Josh: I'd say the edit approval roll-backs should not undo the +2, but edit rejection corrections to approvals should add them. This would let 2 reputation 'slip', but on the other hand, would reduce friction/disgruntlement (sp?) – einpoklum Mar 24 '13 at 20:26
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    Meh. It's only +2. It's not that important. – TRiG May 1 '13 at 16:57

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