For example, the following edit was suggested:

Answer says 'yes', edit says 'no'

The proper way to do this edit would be:

  • to correct and refactor the answer with the correct information or
  • create a competing answer instead, and downvoting the incorrect answer.

The behaviour I am targeting is edits like:

edit: Well actually, you should do it this way


edit: This is wrong, the correct way is to ...

or the infamous

edit added by userXYZ

Can we improve the wording either above or beside the suggested edit window, emphasizing how an edit should work? (Detecting the word "edit" at the start of a line would be a bonus).

  • [status-review] - As per this meta, SE are starting discovery around 'New User Onboarding': "...if you have posts surrounding issues of educating new users about the platform and guiding them through their first critical experiences and set them up for success, please escalate them"
    – Robotnik Mod
    Apr 13 at 5:23
  • There's a "how to edit" box on the right sidebar when a user suggests an edit to a post, but no "how not to edit" — having that there should address this issue, so I sent this to the Curator Support Team's backlog to have a look at what that should say, and [status-deferred] this.
    – JNat StaffMod
    Oct 6 at 17:22

In this case, the edit isn't actually an edit; it's a complete change of the intent of the answer. Just like we try not to change the intent of a question, edits should not change the intent of the answer, even if the answer is wrong.

The purpose of edits is to clarify the wording, and correct spelling mistakes (especially leet speak). They're not there to take somebody's question or answer, and change it from their intent.

If you think the answer is wrong, leave a comment. If you're feeling uncharitable, downvote. Suggested edits that change the intent of the answer should be rejected, for the drastic change reason, or type out something to let the suggester know that's not how it works.

Sidenote: I rejected this edit for that reason.

And I need to learn how to read. Yes, there should be extra text explaining that edits are not meant to be used to change someone's answer.

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