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Yesterday I suggested an edit to this answer to correct an error in an otherwise correct, well structured, and accepted answer.

While the change is easily verifiable the edit was rejected with the notations:

This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner.

and

This edit was intended to address the author of the post and makes no sense as an edit. It should have been written as a comment or an answer.

I strongly disagree with both of these points. The first that it was only a minor edit, and to suggest that it deviates from the original intent would be suggesting that the original intent of the post was to intentionally mislead its readers. I think that's an extremely unfair assumption of the author's intent. It was a minor edit to fix a minor error, which is stated as appropriate in the help center.

  • To fix grammar and spelling mistakes
    • To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
    • To include additional information only found in comments, so all of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place
    • To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
    • To add related resources or hyperlinks

For the second case seems totally out of left field, my edit was not directed at the author. I provided enough context and sourcing for edit reviewer could (without the game files themselves) verify that this small portion of the answer was incorrect. A comment to correct a minor error is pointless. Edits like these are why we have peer editing! It's what make the SE network curated!

Creating a new answer would force me to create an answer that was 95% redundant to the existing accepted answer.

Commenting would force users to read incorrect information and then get it corrected through a comment.

Both of these things are bad for users!

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I agree with pretty much everything Frank stated in his answer, but I want to add slightly to his point about a minor mistake. A minor mistake would be something like they had a number that was slightly off or hand been changed in a recent patch. Something along the lines of an item gives 80 damage and the author put that it gave 70 damage.

These types of edits should also provide a link to the patch notes highlighting the discrepancy or change in either the post, the edit description, or both.

If there is a significant change that the author has not updated their answer to include or if you feel that some part of the answer is incorrect, you should either leave a comment and/or answer highlighting what is wrong and providing the correct info. Edits are not to be used for this, even if you are right, as they would be major deviations from the authors intent.

If you think something is wrong, you curate that post with a downvote and a comment, not an edit. If it does not get fixed, you can provide your own answer that provides the right answer or upvote a correct answer. Editing isn't the only was of curating the site. Flags, comments, votes (up/down/close/delete) when used properly are all ways of curating the site. So when you go to curate a post, make sure you use the right tool.

  • Thanks for the response. I suppose it is true that downvoting, commenting, and providing alternative answers are also parts of the process of curating. I think that has thoroughly convinced me of my error. – msg45f May 8 '17 at 4:25
  • @msg45f no problem. And don't worry about a mistake or an error here or there. I do it too. I appreciate your willingness to help and learn the intricacies of the site. :) – Dragonrage May 8 '17 at 4:32
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I fully agree with the first reject reason. Because edits are not meant to change what an answer says. Removing part of an answer because you think it's a mistake is very much changing intent. The second...not so much, but it has a really good point; comments are the go-to choice when you notice something wrong.

Mistakes are one thing, if they actually are mistakes. Whether they're minor or not is going to be pretty subjective. I wouldn't call removing a full stage a minor edit. For an addition that's been around for two years, I think it's safe to say it's acceptable as is, with no attempt to deceive readers at all.

For the most part, edits changing intent are going to get rejected; right or not, we try very, very hard not to change intent. If a question needs that large an update, comment on the question with your concerns. They're not pointless; they're the whole reason for comments!

We strive for accuracy, for sure. Thing is, though, if the answer is wrong, then write your own! It will naturally gain upvotes, and eventually surpass the existing answer you tried to edit.

  • I can only think of two possible reasons that line exists: A research error, in which case the user did some online research to more fully answer the asked question and got bad info. The other would be they intentionally put in information knowing it was wrong. I think the first assumption is a fair assumption in good faith. In context of the question, a level is not significantly large, it's just another list item in a larger list of items that as a whole make up their answer. Though understandably, that's simply my interpretation. – msg45f May 8 '17 at 3:00
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    The reasoning is irrelevant. It looks like a good faith attempt, and has been there for two years. Do you know for a fact that it's wrong? Downvote the answer and comment why. Beyond that, edits are not for changing intent. Ever. – Frank May 8 '17 at 4:17

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