8

An edit was in the review queue for this answer and it’s clear that the author of the edit is doing everyone a favour with the additional details being added:

In the Queue

Given how drastic the “hijack” of the answer is, should this be an additional answer that can be voted upon based on its merit, or is the edit an ideal situation as it reduces the number of answers that a reader needs to filter?

2
  • I've been wondering the same but for a question. When I edit anything, I try to be very careful not to deviate from what the author intended to communicate (as I understand it.) However, The SE wikis (from what I've noticed,this is more or less the same from site to site,) editors of closed questions are encouraged to take it to the cutting room and fill the floor with tape. I came across it again yesterday in the Vim & Vi help section, and was wondering exactly how broad the scope is for this, among other things. E.G. does it only apply to closed Qs, or any Q that doesn't work without it?
    – Nate T
    Sep 20 at 11:02
  • Also, since we cannot close a answer, are severely down-voted answers ok to change? There is more but Ive already done more than intended. Maybe I'll ask a question later, if I get time.
    – Nate T
    Sep 20 at 11:02
7

I do agree that that is a comprehensive edit, but it isn't actually adding anything new, only explanations and details. The main answer, "use kiosk mode" is unchanged. This couldn't have been posted as a separate answer since it wouldn't have been adding a new approach but would only have been a more detailed version of an existing answer.

So I think it was right to be submitted as an edit since it keeps the original solution (use kiosk mode) and just makes the answer much better by including more details. Had this been posted as a new answer, it would most likely have been flagged (correctly) as duplicating the information in another.

9
  • 1
    I don't think that it would be flagged if it was an answer, as it adds significantly more context and content than the original (in my opinion at least). If the edit hadn't included the "Exiting fullscreen" part, I would probably hesitate to reject it and think more of what action to take. However, with this part included, it's clear for me that it should be rejected. Sep 20 at 9:56
  • @BeastOfCaerbannog why? That is a useful addition and 100% relevant to the original since without it you'd be stuck in kiosk mode. If you do reject, at least don't use one of those two misleading reasons, especially not the "attempt to reply" since that is completely inappropriate and will just confuse the editor. If you really feel it should be rejected, at least use a custom reject reason and explain why. As for flagging, I would have flagged it as a user and I would have accepted the flag as a mod. I have certainly seen flags like that in the past often enough.
    – terdon
    Sep 20 at 10:01
  • I don't disagree that the edit is good. I think that the edit is good, but, as I see it, it deviates enough from the original answer that it should be a new answer instead. That's why I also rejected it with the "attempt to reply" reason, as in my opinion fits with what I think of the edit. I also feel that being a separate answer could give the editor some rep, which they deserve for the effort they put in it. I don't really mind if the edit gets finally accepted, as the end result would be an improvement either way. Sep 20 at 10:10
  • I can understand your point of view and, based on your experience, which is unarguably more than mine, you might be right. But that's just my opinion, based on my experience. :) Sep 20 at 10:14
  • Ah. Please don't use that reason at least. That is for cases where the editor is using an edit to answer the author of the answer. That is stated quite clearly in the rejection reason ("This edit was intended to address the author of the post and makes no sense as an edit"), and the message that the editor will see if you reject with that reason is "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." which is completely misleading here.
    – terdon
    Sep 20 at 10:14
  • As for points of view, my "experience" isn't relevant! I am just expressing my own personal point of view, just like you are! Whether or not I have more experience on SE is not relevant in any way. I can very easily be wrong! @BeastOfCaerbannog
    – terdon
    Sep 20 at 10:15
  • Well, everyone's point of view is based on their experience. My point of view is largely based on my accepted and rejected flags, edits, etc., and on things I have seen in other posts and conversations. You (and most mods), on the other hand, being a mod have handled many flags and have seen more reasons why someone would flag a post, etc. You obviously have more internal experience and non-mods learn from mods. Sep 20 at 10:21
  • As for the rejection reason, I think that it should have been an answer! It fully covers my opinion. If I would have written a custom one, it would be almost the same! Sep 20 at 10:23
  • @BeastOfCaerbannog the problem is the first part. This is what the editor sees: "This edit was intended to address the author of the post and makes no sense as an edit". Yes, after that it does say "it should have been a comment or an answer instead" but the first part is completely wrong here so the editor won't understand why their edit was rejected when it clearly was not in any way attempting to answer the answer.
    – terdon
    Sep 20 at 11:38
4

This should definitely be a new answer.

An editor should improve an post grammatically, visually, and based on their comprehension of the problem (and many times the comments of the OP), but should also strive to preserve the original intention of the OP.

In this case, the edit clearly deviates from the original answer, adding much more content and even changing the commands that were present in the original answer. The rejection reasons in the Suggested Edits review queue include the following:

enter image description here

Either one of these reasons is fine for the edit to be rejected against.

Another reason for rejecting it is that the answer was judged based on its original content and obtained 4 upvotes. Completely changing it, as in this case, would require for the answer to be judged again by the people who voted. Obviously, this is not feasible, as the voters may never see this post again.

All in all, this is a bad edit but probably a good answer and the editor should get the merit of it.

4
  • Neither of those rejection reasons is applicable. The second is wildly inappropriate since this was in no way an attempt to reply to the answer, the edit makes perfect sense as an edit (the rejection message claims "this is an attempt to answer and makes no sense as an edit") and it wasn't made by the OP. The first reason is also not applicable since the edit did not deviate from the original intent of the answer, it only added more details for the exact same approach.
    – terdon
    Sep 20 at 9:39
  • I thought long and hard about the options for rejection and decided to ask here instead of choosing "the wrong reason". The Attempt to Reply option seemed logical from the description, but the wording of the reason gave me pause, as it didn't really seem like an attempt to reply beyond the comment outlining why the edit was made in the first place. Thanks for the confirmation.
    – matigo
    Sep 20 at 14:08
  • How is the intent of the OP changed here? It's certainly a lot longer, but the edit adds background reading, a couple more options, but it's still very, very much about kiosk mode. Seems like a very generous edit that makes a brief answer a lot more useful.
    – Oli Mod
    Sep 22 at 10:23
  • 1
    @Oli for me the change is so big that it should be a different answer. Sep 22 at 11:45
2

I remember reading somewhere in the SE help wikis (I'll try to dig it up when I get a chance. If anyone else knows where it is already, please post it.) about "support answers". I can't remember the actual term, but the concept has stuck with me.

I am referring to an answer that (in my own wording) isn't quite enough if it were to stand alone, but when provided alongside another answer, fills in important gaps where needed, and adds context which makes the original more helpful in some way.

The consensus was that these were/ are valid answers, with users being encouraged to provide them where needed.

This is how I usually react in situations like the one above. I give a secondary answer, but I make sure that the very first sentence / paragraph informs the reader about the answer's purpose. I also make sure, in the same breath, to point the reader toward the answer to which I am adding.

In this situation, this seems like the best solution to me, as answers like the original above are little more than words to many (most?) if the poster doesn't try to explain, or link an explanation to, terms like kiosk mode. To anyone who has never heard of that term, the answer would have been worthless.

However, I wouldn't feel comfortable editing info like that into another users post, because there is always the possibility that I do not understand the concepts being discussed as well as I think I do. There have been times when I was certain of an answer, only to find out later that I had completely misinterpreted the question. The result is embarrassing enough when it is my own name at the bottom of the post. This is the main reason that I do not try to alter content in another user's answer, unless it cannot be avoided. I am good enough at embarrassing myself. I don't need any help.

1
  • This was orioginally a comment! Just cut / pasted into the answer box. LMAO Ironically, this answer is sort of what I was talking about. It works better in the context of the previous answers.
    – Nate T
    Sep 20 at 12:02

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