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Some background

This is, more or less, related to this question where an accidental keypress made me push an edit that actually made the question worse. I quickly fixed it, pushed, then continued on with further updating before a final push. While it was a slip-up on my end - and one I'll definitely be more careful with in the future - I couldn't help but wonder: after a certain level of reputation, one's edits are no longer peer-reviewed or up to OP to accept or not.

I believe we could benefit from having a "Propose Edits" button, where instead of immediately changing the question/answer, it acts like if you didn't have the reputation: leaving the edit up to OP or voters to decide. Now, in most cases, I don't see the harm of editing and seeing how it goes. In fact, I believe that if you're not sure about an edit, then chances are you're better off without it. But on the odd cases where you would prefer a second opinion on an edit, would it be beneficial?

My proposal

Having a button besides the regular "Save Edits" button, like "Propose Edits", where instead of the changes taking place immediately, they require OP's approval or peer-review voting in order to take place.

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  • I would appreciate it if downvoters could leave a comment explaining how my proposal could be improved or what issues it currently has. Thanks! – HugoBDesigner Mar 1 '18 at 16:11
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    Downvotes on proposals are a little different. My guess is that the downvotes are indicating disagreement with the proposal. – sphennings Mar 1 '18 at 16:46
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    The downvotes mean people don't agree with the suggestion generally. – JMac Mar 1 '18 at 16:47
  • Ah, I see. I've never seen anything about it in the help center, so I assumed downvotes operated the same as with any other question – HugoBDesigner Mar 1 '18 at 16:50
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    +1 but for a different reason, perhaps your proposal could benefit from including it? I often find that there are edits I want to make to posts that may or may not go along with OP's wishes, times when I slightly redirect the type of question to something more on topic since that is how I interpreted the question. Such edits might be a bit long winded and annoying to go through chat, so proposing the edit would be great alternative in these cases. OP can read the new direction you suggest and decide for themselves if it is what they were wanting to ask. – Jesse Mar 2 '18 at 0:46
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After a certain level of reputation, one's edits are no longer peer-reviewed or up to OP to accept or not (...) My proposal: Having a button besides the regular "Save Edits" button, like "Propose Edits", where instead of the changes taking place immediately, they require OP's approval or peer-review voting in order to take place.

Edits by users beyond a certain reputation are actually peer-reviewed after they come into effect. Editing of posts on Stack Exchange is 'organic' in the sense that every user can contribute towards the improvement of a post as if they were a single user, although OP is the prime reviewer who can roll back or modify any edit except the justified removal of controversial material. Any other user can spot an unintentional error made by the editor and either suggest a solution (if they lack reputation) or correct it themself.

Your proposal is very interesting because you suggest that 1000+ reputation members, who are empowered to make automatic instant edits, might be given the additional option of proposing edits as if they were not 1000+ rep members. However the help topic page on editing privileges earned at 1000 reputation specifically says that

we believe in the power of community editing. That means once you've generated enough reputation, we trust you to edit anything in the system without it going through peer review.

So you just go ahead and make that edit! If there is some unintended error, somebody will correct it soon enough.

Moreover, it is not considered good etiquette or good practice for OP to reject a member's useful edit: the most important thing I learnt regarding editing is that OP does not have absolute editorial control over his own content and has to follow the lead of the community.

Finally, the reason that 1000+ reputation members are allowed automatic edit privileges is precisely to avoid delay in bringing the edit into effect and to prevent the editing review queue becoming overlong, which affects the overall efficiency of clearing review queues. Your point about making an unintended error is well taken but mandatory review of all edits is not necessary because all edits are in effect entirely reversible at any time by any user including OP.

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  • Very fair points, I rest my case :) – HugoBDesigner Mar 1 '18 at 20:43
  • I am glad that you have discussed an important "essential feature" of community participation in Stack Exchange websites because we all begin to understand these things by learning the basics first @HugoBDesigner. The most important thing I learnt regarding editing is that OP does not have absolute editorial control over his own content and has to follow the lead of the community. – English Student Mar 1 '18 at 20:47
  • Now edited this answer to add a relevant extract regarding peer review from the help topic page on editing privileges: please see @HugoBDesigner. You can also automatically edit this post to improve my answer! – English Student Mar 1 '18 at 21:07
  • @HugoBDesigner - Watch out. "I rest my case" means I have no further arguments to make to support my proposal or position. It doesn't mean "I withdraw the proposal." (I'm not completely sure what you meant, actually.) – aparente001 Mar 5 '18 at 15:43
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    Thanks! Though I could use the excuse that "English isn't my first language", it wouldn't excuse me using an expression without researching it. I'll be more observant in the future :P – HugoBDesigner Mar 5 '18 at 16:02
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If you aren't sure about the edit; I'd suggest just not making it.

That's different from the situation you describe though, where the edit introduced a new mistake. In those cases I wouldn't sweat it. Everyone is human and makes mistakes. As long as your mistake doesn't completely change the question, or violate site policy, I would just correct it if you notice and move on and think no more of it.

If you're on the fence about an edit; but don't want to leave the post as-is, I'd suggest bringing it up in chat to get the opinions of other users. You'll probably get some good advice, and would essentially be proposing the edit (without the need of the SE team to add a new feature).

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    Plus if you aren't sure, you can always leave a comment asking for clarification and requesting the OP edit that into the answer. I also sometimes leave a comment after editing, when I'm pretty sure I got it right but want the OP to review just in case (e.g. condensing a long post or fixing a non-native English speaker's wording). – Em C Mar 1 '18 at 14:56

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