Why shouldn't we get angry or annoyed when someone edits our answer?

1 Answer
Jul 10, 2017

Remember the goal of Socratic is to provide high-quality answers that help everyone learn.


I've heard from a few people that they don't like editing answers because people get very defensive and upset when this happens. This is a little disappointing because it means we're letting our egos get in our way and forgetting what Socratic is all about.

Anyone can write and edit someone else's answer on this site, and we should all feel free to do so. The goal of Socratic is not to be like Yahoo Answers and provide a quick, one sentence solution. The goal is to help students learn and to actually teach one another. Answers on Socratic are more in-depth, they explain processes and show how we arrived at our answer, and they serve to help someone truly understand the concept.

If someone edits or adds to your answer and the answer is more complete and improved, why get angry? Why wouldn't we want someone to learn? Many of the times I edit, to add an image or to provide more information, I'm simply filling in gaps I see. I take great content and improve it, allowing readers to more quickly or more thoroughly understand. We should all feel free to do this.

Occasionally, I edit to correct for accuracy and I've had other users edit my answers for accuracy sometimes. This is an especially important type of edit because we don't want to give wrong information! If you see something that is wrong, please edit the answer! You can write a comment if you'd like, but I recommend changing the actual answer as soon as possible because not all readers go through the comments.

What to do if someone gets annoyed that you edited their answer:

  • Remind them not to take it personally and that the goal of Socratic is to create great content that helps people learn. You were simply trying to do that.

  • Direct them towards this question and answer.

  • Message a Hero or Moderator and ask them to send a quick note to the user.

When you should get annoyed at someone editing your answer:

  • If someone completely removed something in your answer and it was correct.

  • If someone adds incorrect information (edit it and remove it!).

  • If someone adds content to your answer and you think it's confusing and makes the answer harder to understand. **Note, this doesn't mean you should just delete what the person did, but instead perhaps try and edit what they wrote to make it accessible. Try having a dialogue with the person about the answer and work together to make it complete and clear.

If any of the above happens, you can always message a moderator and let them know. The moderator can then look into the matter.