20 votes

Openly editable posts. Crazy idea?

I've been somewhat of a lurker here, actively reading posts, but today I came across a topic which had a small typo in it. No big deal, but if this was wikipedia, I could easily go in and fix it... Then it hit me, what would a site like tilde be like if anyone could propose an edit to a post, and have that edit go into effect if the original poster approved it? Of course revision history would need to be available too, for accountability. Good idea? Bad? I'm just curious how that might play out.

20 comments

  1. [5]
    Deimos Link
    It's an interesting idea. It's not something I'd ever do on Tildes though, the content people write is their own. It makes sense on a site like StackExchange (where they do support this) because...

    It's an interesting idea. It's not something I'd ever do on Tildes though, the content people write is their own. It makes sense on a site like StackExchange (where they do support this) because the purpose is to generate answers/resources, not discussions.

    32 votes
    1. [2]
      RickTM Link Parent
      Thank you, I haven't used the site but I will check it out.

      StackExchange

      Thank you, I haven't used the site but I will check it out.

      2 votes
      1. Archimedes Link Parent
        Yes. Users with sufficient reputation (2,000 rep) on StackOverflow and related exchanges can edit other people's questions and answers. I mostly use it to improve the formatting and English in the...

        Yes. Users with sufficient reputation (2,000 rep) on StackOverflow and related exchanges can edit other people's questions and answers. I mostly use it to improve the formatting and English in the questions. If you don't have sufficient reputation you can still suggest edits, but they need to go through the review queue to get approved and applied.

        8 votes
    2. NaraVara Link Parent
      This could be particularly useful in situations like an AMA where the speaker isn't totally fluent or comfortable with English. It would basically be a dialog thread parallel to the post where a...

      This could be particularly useful in situations like an AMA where the speaker isn't totally fluent or comfortable with English. It would basically be a dialog thread parallel to the post where a trusted facilitator or two can workshop what the poster is trying to convey.

      It's got lots of potential for harassment and other types of abuse though. As a basic point you'd need to make it so the post's owner has to approve proposed changes. But you'd also probably need to make it opt-in rather than default.

      2 votes
    3. ThatFanficGuy Link Parent
      What about Git-esque "suggest changes/accept changes" system? Suppose someone makes a grammatical mistake, or misapplies the Markdown/HTML syntax, or links to the wrong thing (or links with the...

      What about Git-esque "suggest changes/accept changes" system? Suppose someone makes a grammatical mistake, or misapplies the Markdown/HTML syntax, or links to the wrong thing (or links with the unnecessary tracking appendices: ?utm_source:google.com). One user could propose the changes: fix the misspelling, add the missing right angle bracket, and change the link to a "clean" one. The author may accept the change or refuse it.

      It's still the author's post, but community-edited in a way.

      2 votes
  2. [2]
    JuniperMonkeys Link
    I agree with everyone else's points about why this isn't necessarily beneficial to discussions. With that said, it would be interesting to at least mess with as a means to avoid "well, actually"...

    I agree with everyone else's points about why this isn't necessarily beneficial to discussions.

    With that said, it would be interesting to at least mess with as a means to avoid "well, actually" responses to long and interesting OPs. If someone writes 750 interesting words about the Dardanelles, a response that's just like "Actually, you wrote HMS Impregnable when the ship in question was actually the HMS Implacable" (even if it's phrased politey) is annoying at best and has decent odds of turning into riposte, counter-riposte, and notation that someone, somewhere, has created a vacuum. Being able to suggest an edit to an OP in a way that's less interactiony-potentially-accusatory than a PM and less discussion-frustratey-space-wastey than an open reply might be nice.

    8 votes
    1. RickTM Link Parent
      exactly, thank you!

      exactly, thank you!

      1 vote
  3. cfabbro (edited ) Link
    Are you referring to titles or self-text? If titles, that already basically exists since many users (myself included) have title editing ability. If self-text, couldn't this essentially just be...

    Are you referring to titles or self-text? If titles, that already basically exists since many users (myself included) have title editing ability. If self-text, couldn't this essentially just be accomplished with a comment or PM to the OP? Does it really need its own unique mechanic, especially considering the relative rarity of the need?

    I also don't think full revision history for self-text is a good idea (though it makes sense for title edits, which is why it's are already included in the topic log). For wikipedia revision history helps detect abuse and manipulation, and makes sense to include because wikipedia ideally deals only in facts with citations... but self-text here is often personal, which sometimes needs to be revised/deleted, especially if people accidentally reveal too much or something inappropriate... and having all the changes logged and permanently visible would make that impossible.

    7 votes
  4. [2]
    Yugioh_Mishima Link
    Interesting, but I’m not sure what the utility would be. If you’re going to suggest pedantic edits (their/they’re/there) people will just get annoyed. And if you suggest substantive changes (“You...

    Interesting, but I’m not sure what the utility would be. If you’re going to suggest pedantic edits (their/they’re/there) people will just get annoyed. And if you suggest substantive changes (“You gave all the credit to Watson and Crick but should’ve included these paragraphs I wrote about Rosalind Franklin!”) I feel like it’d be better doing so in a reply, since I believe the goal of Tildes is to produce good discussions, not necessarily publish-worthy posts.

    If something like this were to be implemented it could be tied in with the trust system. Perhaps suggesting edits could be limited to “trusted” users, and “extremey trusted” users could immediately make public-facing edits that the OPs would be given opportunities to revert. Still seems like a can of worms though.

    6 votes
    1. RickTM Link Parent
      I envisioned a version of the original post with marks similar to what a newspaper editor would make. red underlines, strike-thrus, etc, and that version is only viewable for the original poster...

      I envisioned a version of the original post with marks similar to what a newspaper editor would make. red underlines, strike-thrus, etc, and that version is only viewable for the original poster to see. When a proposed change (like a typo) is made by multiple individuals, it may have a higher-weight. It wouldn't need to be aggressive, nor would its implementation need to be in such a way that doesn't make a user feel like they're going to be criticized for their own writing styles. Just a way to help people to grow as a writer if they want to use it.
      As far as creating publish-worthy posts, my thought is, why not? I enjoy reading well written posts, that's why I continue to return here. Why not level that playing field, as well as give users a new way to interact with each other.

      1 vote
  5. [3]
    Open_Thinker Link
    The permissions would need to be carefully considered. Even on Wikipedia there are edit battles, in an ideological discussion between passionate individuals with differing ideas, I'm sure open...

    The permissions would need to be carefully considered. Even on Wikipedia there are edit battles, in an ideological discussion between passionate individuals with differing ideas, I'm sure open editing would be abused. Also, I'm sure nefarious agents (e.g. from state governments) would also abuse it.

    5 votes
    1. [2]
      RickTM Link Parent
      I guess that could be combatted by allowing a poster to turn off editing?

      I guess that could be combatted by allowing a poster to turn off editing?

      1 vote
      1. Open_Thinker Link Parent
        That would help, but I think it would have to be more sophisticated than that. StackExchange does have something like this though as Deimos wrote, and Yugioh_Mishima's idea of it being trust based...

        That would help, but I think it would have to be more sophisticated than that. StackExchange does have something like this though as Deimos wrote, and Yugioh_Mishima's idea of it being trust based is good too.

        3 votes
  6. [3]
    Algernon_Asimov (edited ) Link
    People should be able to own their own posts. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if people who disagreed with opinions in a post had the ability to edit those opinions out. Why would I even bother...

    People should be able to own their own posts. Imagine the chaos that would ensue if people who disagreed with opinions in a post had the ability to edit those opinions out. Why would I even bother making a text post if I knew that everything I write could be changed by someone else? If you want to write your own post about a subject, don't hijack mine.

    EDIT: I missed the detail that the original poster would have to approve the proposed edits. Oops.

    2 votes
    1. [2]
      RickTM Link Parent
      well, its not gonna happen, but that's not what I was suggesting either. the idea was for simple edits, and they would still need to be approved by the original poster as discussed.

      well, its not gonna happen, but that's not what I was suggesting either. the idea was for simple edits, and they would still need to be approved by the original poster as discussed.

      2 votes
      1. Algernon_Asimov Link Parent
        I missed that bit. Sorry.

        they would still need to be approved by the original poster

        I missed that bit. Sorry.

        1 vote
  7. [4]
    RickTM (edited ) Link
    I like that titles can be edited, thats great. My idea was for all text on a post. I'm aware a simple comment on a post is possible, but who wants to read a bunch of comments asking for a change...

    I like that titles can be edited, thats great. My idea was for all text on a post. I'm aware a simple comment on a post is possible, but who wants to read a bunch of comments asking for a change to be made? Why not just let readers make it themselves? Revision history would (I think) be ideal because transparency never hurts, and I feel we're seeing less and less of that from news sources these days. The redactions are a good point tho, thank you. I hadn't considered personal privacy needing to be protected too. Maybe a note in the history that a post was redacted due to privacy concerns, etc?

    edit: apparently transparency can hurt?

    1 vote
    1. cfabbro (edited ) Link Parent
      I'm assuming you meant to reply to me not make a new top level comment? ;) They won't have to. If someone makes a comment suggesting an edit, users can (and will) label it "offtopic" (or "meta",...

      I'm assuming you meant to reply to me not make a new top level comment? ;)

      but who wants to read a bunch of comments asking for a change to made?

      They won't have to. If someone makes a comment suggesting an edit, users can (and will) label it "offtopic" (or "meta", if/when that label is created) and as a result it will automatically be sorted lower.

      transparency never hurts

      That's not true at all. I am generally an advocate for transparency, but full transparency in every facet often does hurt, privacy in particular, but it often also derails conversations as well. And in the case of text topics, IMO, it will most likely hurt far more than it will ever help.

      What do you really gain by being able to see a full revision history of every text topic? ~95% of the cases will simply be people fixing mistakes, ~4% will probably be people deleting stuff they regret revealing and <1% will probably be malicious edits worth sniffing out. However even in the case of malicious edits, those are usually easy enough to spot without needing a complete revision history and admins can always check the history if there is a serious accusation of abuse.

      Maybe a note in the history that a post was redacted due to privacy concerns, etc?

      Requiring another feature with possible admin/trusted user oversight to counteract a common reason for editing in a revision history system that really doesn't provide much benefit IMO.

      3 votes
    2. [2]
      Bauke Link Parent
      Just a heads up, I think you meant to reply to cfabbro's comment but instead posted it as a new top-level comment.

      Just a heads up, I think you meant to reply to cfabbro's comment but instead posted it as a new top-level comment.

      2 votes
      1. RickTM Link Parent
        you're right, like I said, I've been a lurker for a while :)

        you're right, like I said, I've been a lurker for a while :)