I've been making contributions to the site for a while now, and there's one thing that keeps happening that...well, it grinds my gears.

I consistently have my answers edited by (obviously well-intentioned) high-reputation members of the site. And these edits aren't about correcting factual or spelling mistakes. They are stylistic changes of the answers I wrote based on...well, I'm not really sure what they're based on. But they definitely change the tone or phrasing of what I originally wrote, sometimes quite unnecessarily.

I guess I'd understand if I wrote like a 4-year-old. Or if I had spelling mistakes throughout, or if my numbers sucked, or I clearly missed something punctuation wise. But if my writing is generally readable, my logic generally sound, and my style generally professional, I would appreciate my answers being left as I wrote them. I wrote it, not anyone else, and to change it to fit how you would write it is...well...rude.

What is the site policy for editing of answers? Is the above a concern for anyone else, or should I just pipe down? Interested in your feedback on this issue.

My cranky 2c. Thanks for reading.


(And of course, the ultimate troll would be editing this post for style, which I would appreciate everyone refraining from. =D )

  • Hi Keller, I looked through some of your recent posts... would this answer and this answer be good examples of what you're asking about? Apr 13, 2015 at 7:45
  • To be totally fair, you're right -- only happened twice. The most latest edit (How to understand “normal burst” and “maximum burst” in Cisco CAR?) was the trigger for the post.
    – Keller G
    Apr 13, 2015 at 8:13
  • 1
    I know this is a little late, but if you ever feel someone has modified your post in a way you didn't want, you can always roll-back the edit to an earlier revision.
    – Ryan Foley
    Jun 9, 2015 at 2:30

2 Answers 2


What is the site policy for editing of answers?

This is part of Stack Exchange's design... anyone can edit your posts if they think the edits will improve it.

The policy is outlined in the Help Center, under help/editing... quoting from the Help Center link...

Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it. Common reasons for edits include:

  • To fix grammar and spelling mistakes
  • To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
  • To include additional information only found in comments, so all of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place
  • To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
  • To add related resources or hyperlinks

To be specific...

  • My edit was to add a hyperlink to Cisco's docs on that command.
  • generalnetworkerror's edit seems to fit "clarify the meaning of a post"... it was mostly adding italics (which I think helps readability a bit).

I wrote it, not anyone else, and to change it to fit how you would write it is...well...rude.

Please try not to take it that way... this isn't a slight against your writing style. Honestly, English is complicated and nearly everyone (except perhaps a newspaper copy editor) benefits from an outside eye on their writing. Very often we see our own words through our mind's filter, and they make sense to us; however, other people might not think that same writing is clear enough. That's just one possible reason why anyone in the community can edit your posts.

It's nothing personal... just the community trying to incrementally improve our little site within Stack Exchange.

Is the above a concern for anyone else, or should I just pipe down? Interested in your feedback on this issue.

If you ever have a concern about an edit, you can always roll it back if you don't like it. Also, if you feel that someone is defacing your posts intentionally, you can raise a flag on your answer for a moderator to look at it.

FYI, there are other reasons for edits as well... sometimes people might change their mind about an upvote or a downvote. You can't retract your vote after five minutes unless that post is edited; occasionally others will edit your posts if they want to change their vote.

  • 3
    You know what, I over-reacted. I got rankled that someone was messing with MY post, that I didn't really absorb what got changed. I agree that 95% of the edits you pointed out were fine. Some minor phrasing changes, but nothing to justify the above rant. I didn't realize that your change included the hyperlink, but that totally makes sense now. Also, the italics work fine. I formally rescind my cantankerousness on this issue. =)
    – Keller G
    Apr 13, 2015 at 18:07

If the stylistic modification don't really improve your answer, or sometimes corrupt the way you exactly wanted to phrase it, I suggest to simply roll back to your previous version. Try to be as objective and positive as possible in this analysis.

If this attempt to improve your writing is learning you something, try to keep it. Someone else might also learn something.

This is the hidden engine of the Stack Exchange, this pressure toward improvment, which make them much more efficient and useful than many discussion groups.

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