I saw that I had several edit suggestions rejected so I decided to take a look at them, out of curiosity. While most of them were fair, or at least understandable, there was one that I found very weird, especially due to the reasoning of the rejection and what came after it.

In particular, in the question: Definition of orbits of a Killing vector field, the OP was initially using the MathJax function $\textbf{ }$ for bold letters, which I edited to markdown syntax. The edit suggestion was rejected by the OP (I didn't know that an OP can review edits of their own post regardless of reputation), with justification:

This edit deviates from the original intent of the post. Even edits that must make drastic changes should strive to preserve the goals of the post's owner.

That is strange; the change was quite the opposite of drastic.

Furthermore, viewing the revision history of the question in question, I find that the OP implemented my edit, as theirs.

So I am now confused for the reason they chose to reject my edit, as well as about why users of non-sufficient reputation for reviewing edits are allowed to review edits of their posts.


3 Answers 3


First of all, let me just assure you that your edit was perfectly fine. It was a fault on the reviewer's side to reject such an edit. Please don't let this deter you from making useful edits.

Why could this have happened?

It is possible that the OP might have pressed the wrong button, however, this wasn't the first suggested edit that they reviewed, so it's highly unlikely that the rejection was just a mistake. It could also be that the OP might not like the idea of using in-site Markdown, and would rather choose using LaTeX (which is not at all recommended). But, as you say, the OP did edit it out themselves in the end. So, you see, we are not going to go anywhere speculating what might have triggered the rejection of your edit.

As of the rejection reason, I can't really think of any other rejection reason to use than this (assuming that your edit is supposed to be rejected, which is definitely the wrong move). That particular rejection reason can be used in cases where

  • the edit changes something which you'd not want it to change (the most probable case in this scenario)

  • the edit changes many things, totally changing the goal of the post (not applicable here)

So, in this light, it seems that the OP didn't really have any other options that to select this particular rejection reason (of course, you can write out any custom rejection reason if you want to, but the OP might be too lazy to do so).

You could also leave a comment explaining and requesting the OP to do a certain edit, if they've rejected your suggestion. This way, any user having edit privileges might come across your comment and edit the question right away.

Should the post owners be allowed to review suggested edits on their posts?

Yes. I believe that they should have the power to decide what they want on their post and what they don't. However, in most of the cases, when there are content disputes (misuse of edits, edit wars), you can always raise a custom moderator flag, asking the moderator to lock the post, thus preventing anyone from editing the posts. However, if you want this to change, this isn't the right place. The mother Meta is the right place to raise issues and request changes which affect the whole SE network.


It's the best to just ignore this edit rejection and move on. This edit rejection was the reviewer's mistake, not yours. As for your concern on recent rejected edits of yours, I encourage (and appreciate) you to go back to those and see why did they get rejected. Thus form a mental list of do's and don'ts when it comes to edits and use that criteria to suggest better edits. I can't wait to see you earn you editing privilege :-) You are halfway there! Good luck, and keep editing!

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    $\begingroup$ I completely disagree with the idea of encouraging people to suggest trivial edits for the sake of gaining editing privilege. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:08
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    $\begingroup$ Re "It's the best to just ignore this edit rejection and move on": that's frequently a good strategy when dealing with other people's confusing behavior about mostly-cosmetic issues. A big part of my philosophy of moderation is IJAFW, an acronym for "it's just a website." People are complicated and, from a distance, often inscrutable, even when they mean well. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:09
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    $\begingroup$ @rob what’s the “F” for in your acronym? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ I'm not sure the conclusion that the rejection is highly unlikely to be a mistake is justified. That person has done a total of two reviews, so it seems very plausible to me that they might not entirely understand how reviews work, or even if they do they could conceivably have misclicked or misread the edit. Also, I'd note that there are some limits to the idea that the OP has final say over what appears in their posts. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:19
  • $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero Presumably a word which would run afoul of the SE policy against expletives :) $\endgroup$
    – J. Murray
    Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:36
  • $\begingroup$ @J.Murray Shhhhhugar.. that's what I thought. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:48
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    $\begingroup$ Can you explain more why you think the edit was ok? I agree with @ZeroTheHero: it's a trivial edit $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 0:54
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    $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero I also disagree with that. The idea of gaining edit priviledges (or for that matter any other priviledges) is exclusive from suggesting worthwhile edits. And trivial edits are always discoureged, but in this case, the edit was quite appropriate. As MathJax often takes time to load, and looks ugly when used to write inline text. $\endgroup$
    – user258881
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 5:25
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    $\begingroup$ @BioPhysicist The edit might be trivial, but IMO, it was necessary. It would be often expected that the OP might change it themselves (if you leave a vomment), but suggesting an edit doing so isn't a bad idea. Removing unecessary LaTeX blocks of text does seem like a worthwhile improvement to me, though I may be in the minority. $\endgroup$
    – user258881
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 5:29
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    $\begingroup$ @FakeMod we'll have to agree to disagree. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 20:27
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    $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero The F is for an intensifier which changes depending on my mood. I have variously used "fabulous," "fancy," "functioning," "frustrating," "fecund," and "fetid," among others. I'm sure you can fabricate some further possibilities, fair and foul. $\endgroup$
    – rob Mod
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 22:57
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    $\begingroup$ @rob, and here I was thinking "fizziks". $\endgroup$
    – The Photon
    Commented Jul 25, 2020 at 15:42
  • $\begingroup$ In your sentence "It is possible that the OP might have pressed the wrong button (however, this wasn't the first suggested edit that they reviewed), so it's highly unlikely that the rejection was just a mistake.", I think the parenthetical was meant to extend to the end of the sentence—or else I'm confused by how to make sense of the sentence when the parenthetical is removed. $\endgroup$
    – LSpice
    Commented Aug 3, 2020 at 23:24
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    $\begingroup$ @LSpice Yeah, I think I should remove the parentheses. $\endgroup$
    – user258881
    Commented Aug 5, 2020 at 5:53

Specific to the case that you brought up, I'd note that the OP on your post made a different, unrelated edit to the question about 1 minute after yours. I can imagine a scenario where the OP was concurrently editing, you beat them in, and they didn't want to give up what they were doing so rejected yours just as a means to get past whatever screen they got from the system. Later they realized that yours was also good.

Of course that's just speculation in this case, but I have personally experienced confusion at my options in the system when faced with concurrent changes. I can see where someone might choose a less-than-optimal option just to clear a screen or without understanding what they are doing.

As for the ability of an OP to review changes to their own post: I don't see how it could be any other way. The question is there with their name under it. They certainly have a particularized interest in what it says and how it's presented, regardless of their reputation on the site. As noted in other answers, if an OP refuses help that the community feels was necessary to bring a question into compliance or usefulness, the community has other tools of moderation to bring to that problem.

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    $\begingroup$ I think it's also interesting that OP only implemented the changes awhile after the fact. Perhaps they had looked up about mathjax in titles and realized they should change it. That might be a bit optimistic, but I did find it interesting they didn't just reject it and then make those changes right after their edit. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 18:48

Sorry but frankly this is a trivial edit. I didn’t vote on it but I would have rejected it. It is not worth kicking a question back at that top of the page for such an inconsequential notational issue. If an edit corrects an error rather than propose a cosmetic change, I would probably feel differently.

It was perfectly within the rights of the OP to reject this edit as not improving anything.

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    $\begingroup$ the $\textbf{ }$ was in the title as well, thus conflicting with the general view on MathJax in titles (see physics.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/12706/…). This was the main point of my edit. The fact that I also changed the body was a corollary. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:10
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    $\begingroup$ With due respect, was anything gained in clarity by your edit? $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:12
  • $\begingroup$ Yes. The title wouldn't be completely searchable in external search engines, as per the linked answer in the above comment. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:14
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    $\begingroup$ “MathJax in titles should be kept to the minimum required.” as per accepted answer to your linked post. There really isn’t much more to say beyond what I already stated in my answer. It was a judgement call by the OP and quite frankly I would also have voted to reject. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:17
  • $\begingroup$ I believe using MathJax for boldface in titles is not the minimum required. Also, what I'm referring to in the accepted answer is: "The true cost is that it does not render correctly in external search engines." $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ You are entitled to your opinion, and I am entitled to disagree with it. Best! ZtH $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 19:20
  • $\begingroup$ Oh by the way, I just noticed something in your answer. I would be perfectly fine if the OP rejected my edit "as not improving anything". In fact, I do agree that up to the title-MathJax ambiguity it does not do much. The scope of the question in here was about the reasoning the OP gave upon rejecting, as well as the subsequent implementation of the edit as their own. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 23, 2020 at 22:07
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    $\begingroup$ @ZeroTheHero "worth kicking a question back at that top of the page": The edit was suggested just 14 minutes after the question was posted. So the "bump" wouldn't really be relevant here, since the post would anyways be on the first page (might even be in the top 5, we aren't a really busy site). If this edit would have been made on a year old inactive post, then I would definitely agree with you, however, it is not a good idea to correct a mistake (trivial, but worthwhile) in a new post. $\endgroup$
    – user258881
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 5:34
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    $\begingroup$ But OP didn't really reject the edit... They rejected and then implemented the edit, so clearly they saw some use for it. I'm pretty militant against trivial proposed edits; but it does seem pretty weird that it was rejected and implemented. I also think that removing mathjax in a title where it isn't required is more than a cosmetic change; it has functional effects on search engines and such, so you could make the case that it's actually doing something practical. $\endgroup$
    – JMac
    Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 15:33
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    $\begingroup$ @JMac This is really a tempest in a tea pot. Honestly I don't know why someone would get confused over the rejection such a trivial edit. Yeah it's weird the edit was rejected (it was indeed rejected) and then implemented by the OP - I cannot fathom why one would want to do this - but it's even stranger that such a small change should lead to such a long discussion. $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2020 at 20:20

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