Usually edits to questions or answer correct misspelled words or enhance the formatting of the post. Today, when reviewing suggested edits I came across an edit that added a paragraph to an answer. It didn't deface the content, just added some information, so I decided to approve it.

The third suggested edit in the queue was from the same user, and added similar information to an answer of a similar question. In fact, I could see later that one question had been marked as a duplicate of the other, but I didn't have that kind of information when shown the suggested edits screen.

So, obviously I couldn't go back to the first edit I had approved and that got me thinking about where is the limit to modify with content an answer. Should I have approved those edits or not? (I thought that in case I was wrong I could always come back and modify the post again). Although they added some interesting information, those questions are 1 and 2 years old, so odds are that users are not going to revisit them and vote again on them to validate the content. Am I defacing the value of those post by approving edits that modify its content? After all, those questions were not community wiki and maybe the user could (should?) had used other means to add value, like posting the content as his own answer or the like.


The edit in question (new content in bold):

The official name is Estados Unidos Mexicanos or Mexican United States and it is only used in government official documents.

The United States was added in part inspired by our northern neighbors, United States of America.

In normal conversation we use only México. There are some efforts by some politicians to change the official name to just México.

The Royal Academy of the Spanish Languaje changed the spelling of words in 1754 when published the new edition of "Ortografia de la lengua castellana", which pretty much defined modern spelling. One of the changes was that the /x/ sound would be spelled with j instead of x, while x would only represent /ks/ sound.

Many words that had an x had to change to J, like Xavier changed to Javier (both names are still in use today) However, some proper names and the names of places stayed the same, like Mexico, Oaxaca and Texas, sometimes the name Mexico is spelled Mejico in Spain, following the new rules.

They also changed names that start with big I (Iota) now Jota (J) like Iesus changed to Jesus.

This update to the languajes happens in every languaje, even South Korea updated their languajes's spelling in 2008, and now South Korea and North Korea have different spellings of some words

*I recognize the irony of adding new information to this question!

1 Answer 1


Generally, edits should only make grammatical, syntactical, or typographical corrections, or provide clarifications. It can be appropriate to add new information which may have been discussed in comments, or can otherwise be naturally deduced (such as adding external links or additional resources).

In this case, the edit really should be a new answer. I don't know why the editor didn't do that in the first place. The new information really is a complete, informative, and self-contained answer. Adding it to an existing answer doesn't even make sense to me :/

I have rejected that particular edit.

  • Thanks for rejecting those edits. I was really concerned that I screwed up accepting them and I was really missing an "undo" feature there. I hope that you can contact that user and invite him to post that as a new answer to those questions.
    – Diego
    Dec 14, 2014 at 1:40
  • @Diego: Even with my mod privileges, I don't see any way to even see who made the original edit now that it's been rejected. :/ Hopefully they'll stick around and read meta. But they were a brand new user (1 rep), so I'm not holding my breath.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 15, 2014 at 16:25
  • If he doesn't in a week or two, should we add that content as a community-wiki answer, so is not lost?
    – Diego
    Dec 15, 2014 at 16:43
  • @Diego: If you wanted to do that now, I wouldn't object. He clearly wasn't after reputation, since he edited an existing question rather than creating a new one. So creating a CW answer now wouldn't even violate the spirit of attributing reputation where it's due.
    – Flimzy
    Dec 15, 2014 at 16:45

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