14

If any user adds additional information to an answer that was clearly not in the original answer itself, should that answer be approved or rejected (assuming this information is correct)?

For example, say we have the following simplified Q&A:
Q: Where do I find the [X] on level 5? A: The [X] can be found under the [Y].

And someone other than the original answerer edits the answer to say:
A: The [X] can be found under the [Y] and inside the [Z].

Would I be correct in rejecting this edit even if it were true? I feel like it changes the answer beyond what the original answerer contributed and they should be the ones adding this sort of content to the answer.

  • 1
  • Thanks @Robotnik, I'll give those a look over. – Broots Waymb Dec 31 '15 at 5:52
  • 5
    Theres a meta somewhere that asks if it is appropriate to add these changes. Ill have to find it when Im home, but IIRC a mod answered 'no. You should add the information as your own answer'. If its a correction, its a different story, but how can you be sure the edit is accurate? The OP could be penalised soely on the addition of a different user – user106385 Dec 31 '15 at 7:42
  • I agree completely, @Timelord64. I was looking for a similar post before this one but could not find one, so that would definitely help (and potentially just make this a dupe). – Broots Waymb Dec 31 '15 at 14:30
  • 1
    And what would the reject reason best be if these edits should not be approved? I wouldn't really consider them harmful or vandalism... Maybe conflicting with the author's intent? – Broots Waymb Dec 31 '15 at 14:32
  • 1
    So if you just have additional information you should essentially duplicate an already mostly correct answer and add the additional info as well as the already established "correct" part? What if the existing answer is already accepted? That just seems to add unnecessary duplication, a problem already solved by just editing in your additional info. And if it IS incorrect, it can just be edited back out. – Reafexus Dec 31 '15 at 19:08
  • @Reafexus Although I think approving the edit is fine, an acceptable alternative is writing another answer that references (links) the original answer, quickly says they agree and lists one or two main points, and then adds the additional information. I sometimes do this when I feel like I'm adding so much to the other answer that I've written more of it than the original author. – DCShannon Jan 14 '16 at 4:08
22

No. If you feel that the post is improved by the edit, then the edit should stay.

If I edit a fact into your answer, it means that I agree with everything you've said, I probably don't think I could've worded it better, and that the post can be that much better with this point you might've missed.

Especially since we tend to delete "duplicate answers" (a practice I find wholly unnecessary, but oh well), it's entirely understandable if a user prefers to improve existing answers than submitting their own slightly different post with the extra factoid added to it.

Quoting the guidance for editing others' posts:

How to Edit

  • fix grammatical or spelling errors
  • clarify meaning without changing it
  • correct minor mistakes
  • add related resources or links
  • always respect the original author

"Clarify meaning without changing it" doesn't mean you cannot add to an answer. What it does mean is that if you disagree with an answer, then you should bring your own answer with your own facts.

  • How are we to judge if the edit is a 'related source'? If you click on the aueue, it does not take into account what you know. It does not even take iyour ignore tags into account. The esits OP is talking about are sentence addititions to add extra markers to exosting answers, but unless we know we are confirming solid, correct answer; it could be anything. – user106385 Dec 31 '15 at 20:49
  • 11
    @timelord if you don't know don't act on it. – badp Dec 31 '15 at 23:05
  • that is a lovelly thought, but in a community driven environment its naive to think the general voters are going to act on that – user106385 Dec 31 '15 at 23:39
  • 12
    @timelord you should not expect to be able to vote on all posts, judge all edits or handle all situations. Even we moderators often leave situations we're unsure about for others. Exercise restraint. You now know better. – badp Jan 1 '16 at 1:59
  • I think you missed the point completely, there, so Im just going to stop trying – user106385 Jan 1 '16 at 2:20
  • @Timelord64 - This Meta discussion at least got enough views/upvotes to be placed in the 'Hot Meta Posts' sidebar, meaning the ones that care will at least see it. Also, that's why we require multiple people to review a post - it shouldn't fall on one person's shoulders as to whether an edit is approved or not :) – Robotnik Jan 1 '16 at 7:09
  • 1
    @badp if I see someone added something to an answer I'll generally quickly google it to see if it's correct, if I don't find it quickly I generally just skip. However I can see that most people will reject additions to answers even if it is correct. – Aequitas Jan 5 '16 at 0:09
  • 1
    @Timelord64 - I think you missed one of the original qualifiers: assuming this information is correct. That assumes you know that it's a related source. Otherwise, that's what the skip button is for. – Mazura Jan 6 '16 at 18:36

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .