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Opening remarks:

I have recently joined this community and decided to contribute by reviewing all and tagged pages. I have been looking for ways to earn some points by posting answers to questions that fall into my comfort zone. So far, the only pages that I have had valuable insights to share actually turned out to be Blatantly Off-topic / Not related to Ubuntu -- and have done the right thing by flagging to close rather than posting an answer. I have enough experience in the Stack Exchange Network to know that this is a correct, valuable, and thankless task. While looking over the questions and answers, I am also leaving insightful comments, whistleblowing incorrect answers, and upvoting clear/complete/educational posts (my downvotes have no effect because of my paltry volume of "trust points"). These hours of volunteer times have consequently resulted in a total rep increase of 2 -- clearly I am not motivated by rep, but by the quality of my contributions.

Opening argument:

I have recently had a suggested edit rejected on the grounds that it was not a meaningful edit, it was incomplete, it was incorrectly formatted, or any combination of those points.

Exhibit A:

enter image description here

Link to question

What is in my suggested edit and why:

  1. I corrected a misspelling in the title. Having correct spelling and grammar is important within any SE community because:
    • it maintains the expectation that content quality matters 100% of the time.
    • the title is a component of what search engines are crawling for.
    • researchers who are using assistive devices or using translating services to convert English to their native language will have an easier time when text is correct.
  2. I have reformatted the error messages and separated the OP's words from the two blocks of error messages. Across ALL SE communities, it is most common to use quote-block formatting while citing content from an external source. Namely, text from documentation, error messages, tutorials, etc should be using quote block formatting. I don't always like how quote block text wrapping impacts the finished display of the text -- when this behavior negatively impacts the content, I nest code block formatting inside of the quote block for best readability.

Whether or not you agree with my choice of formatting style, the fact is: the OP's text is lost in the error messages and it should be receiving no special formatting.

Exhibit B:

enter image description here

So @KevinBowen unilaterally decided that my edit wasn't quite right, then rejected&edited the post (discarded my efforts) to apply the same title change then make the surprisely useless change of wrapping double quotes around the word phpmyadmin.

Can you see how the rejection of the efforts of a new volunteer, could negatively impact the likelihood of future efforts to improve the community?

Possible counter-remarks:

Useless edits in the review queue

But this is, of course, a grey area on any Stack Exchange site. You will not find me making any singular-change suggested edits -- I have a minimum threshold for what I believe deems a post to be edit-worthy. I do feel that my edit was merited and worthy of a 2-point thank you.

Closing remarks:

The volume of suggested edits in the review queue is actually one reliable metric for the health of a community, so don't think of the queue as "work that needs doing" nor aspire to maintain a "zero inbox". When you have lots of contributions to review, then you have an active community -- be thankful for that. Not every volunteer can answer the questions of the day, and they may not have questions, so if they can find items in the review queue, then they can feel valuable in this third way. When volunteers are not being active in "helpful" ways, then the community should be grooming them without telling them to become inactive. Rejecting a contribution is effectively telling the volunteer that their attempt to help is not welcome. Yes, it takes more effort to positively groom, but this is how you grow and maintain a prosperous community without the risk of alienating contributors.

I have thicker skin than most on SE sites, so this encounter will not deter me from helping further in this community, but I am posting this in the hope that this will be food-for-thought for volunteers in the review queue who are not thinking deeper about the consequences of their actions on others. The next time, the rejected user may simply feel unwelcome and never help again.


Update, I just discovered that another of my suggested edits has been incorrectly rejected. I am NOT attempting to respond to the OP; rather, I am packing the question with the "full story" by transferring commented details to the body. This is a good idea in any SE community because future researchers shouldn't need to derive any additional details from comments. By transferring comment text, this sets up the removal of two comments (What have you tried? I have tried this.).

Exhibit C:

enter image description here

Link to question

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  • 1
    No link to the topic? :) – Rinzwind Apr 11 at 3:55
  • The title is in the screenshot. Should I post another suggested edit to correct the formatting or am I likely to get rejected again? – mickmackusa Apr 11 at 3:56
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    I'm not going to read this wall of text, but looking at the screenshot, I would have rejected it as well - error messages do not belong in quote formatting. Put them in code formatting, yes, but there's not reason to add quote formatting on top. – muru Apr 11 at 5:03
  • Okay, style preference may differ as I stated in the question, but the OP's text should not be formatted. And the overruling edit is just as bad if not worse than my suggestion. – mickmackusa Apr 11 at 5:26
  • That brand of comment ([TD;DR, but I think you are wrong] ... part impatient, part apathetic, part obstinate) only reinforces the stereotype that the most active and outspoken voices on Meta are those of the non-progressive old guard. How disappointing, but at least now I know that I shouldn't bother suggesting edits in this community until there is some indication that this type of contribution is encouraged. Cheers for that clarification. – mickmackusa Apr 11 at 5:59
  • For that matter, probably not worth posting on a Meta where people have enough energy to open a page, but not enough energy to read the entire question before putting in their two cents. Rather disrespectful. – mickmackusa Apr 11 at 6:09
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    Oh, I agree that OP's text shouldn't have been formatted, but if I have to undo most of what a suggested edit does, then I reject and edit. If I can keep most of the suggestion, I accept and edit. Whether I read a wall of text is mostly a matter of snap judgement - I don't think a single possibly mistaken edit review is worth meta post, and even if it were, wouldn't be worth all these words. Surely, you as a mod on another site, should understand that single events aren't worth getting all hot and bothered over? – muru Apr 11 at 6:34
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    And for that matter, I routinely suggest edits on all sorts of sites (you can look at my network activity), and it happens that some of them get mistakenly rejected. I have usually submitted those again and got them accepted (when I remember to check - the network activity doesn't show rejected suggestions, so I only remember if I happen to visit the post again) – muru Apr 11 at 6:36
  • I have added another case of what I believe demonstrates poor review queue actions. So this isn't a one-off whinge. I'd put my suggestions back in the queue, but with the downvotes on this question, it seems that the community doesn't think much of my volunteerism. – mickmackusa Apr 11 at 8:14
  • @mickmackusa For the second one, I assume that the reviewers who rejected didn't read the summary of edit and thought that you were adding something from your side, since you might be aware the latter thing happens here on SE. I'd encourage you to suggest the second edit again. I'll be happy to review that :) – Kulfy Apr 11 at 10:19
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    A downvote to this question is a downvote to posting an “edit review cases” meta post, the style of your post (e.g.: no links) and maybe your individual edits. This has nothing to do with your other actions on the site, let alone your personality. – dessert Apr 11 at 10:23
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    Regarding downvotes, since you're a mod on Joomla and have many reputation points on SO, you might be aware that downvotes on meta means that people don't like the suggestion or the way it was brought on meta. I'd recommend you to please edit the title of question to like "Why were my edits rejected?" so that it doesn't look more like a legal court case. Also, like muru said, no one likes to read a wall of text. Thanks :) – Kulfy Apr 11 at 10:24
  • It has been my experience on all Meta sites (other than Joomla's Meta which basically nobody uses) that people will look for any reason to downvote and not bother to justify the vote -- this is one reason why I seldom engage with Metas. I am not bothered by the downvotes that go unsupported. Yes, I was having some fun with the court room vernacular, but I will concede that the title wasn't indicating the concern of my post. Edited. As for the wall of text, I want most of it to stay, so I understand if this denies a certain audience. I don't think that "wall of text" is a DV justification. – mickmackusa Apr 11 at 11:46
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    It maybe your idea of fun, but others can see it as targeting individuals who, probably, acted without malice to you. – DK Bose Apr 11 at 12:17
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    I'm sorry for that. I've actually overlooked your comment. I usually look at them, but not in this case. – Gryu Apr 11 at 12:20
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If you feel that your suggested edit was wrongly rejected, it is usually a good idea to submit it again.

Unfortunately, as you know, the suggested edit review queue gives reviewers very little scope for providing feedback to edit suggesters (and even the paltry feedback that can be given in cases where edits are rejected is unlikely to be seen since no notifications are provided when edits are rejected). If you are baffled as to why your edit suggestion was rejected, you may like to ask about it in the main chat or in the Downboat which is a room dedicated to moderation issues.

Reviewers make mistakes, but also sites have their style preferences:

In the case of the first suggested edit you mention, the blockquote formatting is objectionable, although the other changes definitely improved the post and the reviewer could have clicked Improve instead of Reject and Edit. But, it's a little awkward to remove all those > characters after they've been added, and I tend to reject such edits as well, because I don't want people to keep on applying quote formatting to things we don't like to apply quote formatting to.

In the case of the second suggested edit you mentioned, I agree with you that this was wrongly rejected and should have been approved, as although the edit does look like an "attempt to reply", a helpful edit summary has been provided by you to assist reviewers. I can only apologise for that, and note that, since edit suggesters rarely provide good edit summaries*, reviewers probably get used to not looking for them.

Thank you so much for your janitorial efforts to improve Ask Ubuntu. I am hugely grateful for such work.

* I can't really complain about this, since I am the worst offender when it comes to not writing edit summaries...

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    I have re-suggested both edits and they have been approved. Thank you for taking the time to post a complete and thoughtful answer. – mickmackusa Apr 11 at 15:08

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