As an original poster (OP) of a question, I slightly edited a useful answer by another user in order to make it perfect before up-voting it. I also left a comment about what I did. The edit was a generic one, useful to other people having the same problem.

Why is such a constructive and selfless edit refused by the moderator?

Here is my example: How can I get a list of all packages in a repository section from command line?

  • 3
    Those edits seem useful to me, no idea why they would be refused. Commented May 20, 2014 at 16:46
  • 5
    This occasionally happens. Next time it would help if you added a bit more context (telling us that you had discussed adding this with the owner of the answer would have helped) We get a lot of edits by random users adding random information to random answers so I'm not surprised this got rejected, looking like that as it did.
    – Seth
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 16:50
  • @Seth Thanks for the tips. Next time around, I will add that I am the OP. Perhaps the StackExchange engine should cater for this by adding this info automatically for the reviewers. Commented May 20, 2014 at 16:53
  • 6
    because the reviewers can't see the comments, usually a addition like this is rejected for the reason the reviewers gave - If there are comments collaborating this info please add something to note that in the edit description - something like "from comments" in the description so reviewers can check these.
    – Mateo
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 16:53
  • 1
    @GinGordon Showing the comments would certainly help in the review process, true.
    – Seth
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 16:55
  • @Seth I have many SE accounts, but at none I have reached the 3k+ mark. So for me it is really guessing how reviewers see my actions. Commented May 20, 2014 at 16:58
  • 1
    @GinGordon This is exactly how we see it. Except, on the top right there are reject, approve & improve buttons
    – Dan
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 17:03
  • 1
    Here's an example: i.imgur.com/anzObTu.png
    – Seth
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 17:09
  • 5
    Also, having read your other question, I think you believe mods play a far greater role than they actually do. Most of the day-to-day moderation (closing, reviewing, editing, edit approving, even deleting) is done by regular users, not mods.
    – terdon
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 18:32
  • 4
    My go-to line for this sort of edit is "Incorporated information from comments".
    – TRiG
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 21:29

1 Answer 1


Everybody seems to be lurking in comments. I'll just run through what happened.

I'm not sure if you can see that but your edit is put up for review and people vote on it. If two normal users (or one mod) think your edit is poor, they specify a reason and it's rejected. Both reviewers thought this was an attempt to comment so rejected it.

Should it have been rejected? No, probably not.
Even without the comments, I personally would have accepted it because I can see it:

  • Improves the answer (makes it more portable)
  • Explains why it improves the answer (as good answers should)
  • Doesn't change the core answer
  • Doesn't make it too specific or less portable (it still works on i386)

If there were a single defining example of a "good edit", this could be it.

But this is the game you play with community review. By design we aren't all the same person and we can all interpret things differently. Perhaps these reviewers just came off the back of a load of invalid edits (it happens) and accidentally robo-reviewed through yours.

One aspect that could be improved on your part is the edit message. That's an opportunity for you to explain the gravity of the edit and why it's important. You simply repeated the edit in here. Something that might have convinced a reviewer might be:

Improving answer to make it work on multiarch systems

There's nothing to be done about the edit. You could submit it again (if it hasn't already been sucked in by somebody else) and hope for a better outcome but we can't overturn a review outcome at the time of writing.

I'll have a word with both reviewers and point them in the direction of this thread. They may have a different point of view that they want to share. They might learn from a mistake.

  • 1
    Oli, how is it possible to "have a word" with specific people on this site?
    – Sparhawk
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 3:41
  • It's a moderator superpower.
    – Oli Mod
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 12:30
  • 1
    Ah ok, thanks. I remember wanting to do this once, and being unable to. We mortals can but dream…
    – Sparhawk
    Commented May 26, 2014 at 12:31

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