Recently I made an edit on a one-year-old answer. The content of the answer is excellent, but it had many typos and grammatical errors, so I fixed them. In my mind I thought I was doing a nice thing: (1) The post reads better, particularly for people like me who get distracted by such errors; (2) It would benefit the original author of the answer as it will register as new activity and in general will increase the chances of more upvotes for him/her.

The edit was first approved (by reviewers), then got rejected by the owner. I got curious why it was rejected, and asked, but received no answer.

It is weird that you spend effort that would benefit someone, but it gets rejected. Now my question is what to do about it. While it is probably possible as long as I cite the original author under CC, making a copy of the original post would be very weird; just for such small changes. But it is also possible to argue that such behaviour is not beneficial to the community; why not read something edited nicely when already the effort for it has been spent?

Is there an arbitration mechanism to improve answers even when the owner does not approve? If not, is there an official way to indicate an alternative version of an answer; something very similar, with essentially the same content, but better edited?

PS: I tried to find an answer on the meta, but the only relevant Q&A that I could identify does not appear to really cover this issue: Editing someone else's answer vs. commenting

PS2: If you want to see the kind of edit I am talking about, here is a link. Please note that I am posting in good faith with no intention at all to argue about a particular edit. I am posting it ONLY to clearly demonstrate what I am talking about.


1 Answer 1


Usually you leave it be and accept the author doesn't want your changes, and/or take what you've written and write a better answer.

In cases like this where you're confident your changes were an objective improvement, you can flag it for moderator attention or bring it up here like you've done. In this case you did correct a bunch of errors — it's fine that they were made but we should definitely accept those improvements. It improves our site's quality as a resource to put those corrections in place, and it degrades our service to undo corrections.

I've rolled the answer back to include your revisions and asked the author to revise further if there's something they don't find satisfying in how it's currently written, rather than roll back entirely.


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