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The (Very Lenient) Chowhound Edit Function - What It Is & Isn't For...

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I think it's great that CH has a fairly liberal and forgiving edit function. I often go back and read my posts to find that I've omitted a word, misspelled another, screwed up my syntax, what have you...

So I love that I can go back 45 minutes later and make changes of that nature, or, if someone asked for information on cooking or restaurants, come back later with more complete information and add that as well.

But I don't think it's cool when people go back and make material changes to their original comments that might have elicited controversial or unflattering responses. You can always add comments to clarify your position, or even admit that you might not have expressed your ideas as well as you would have liked in the first place, but to go back and make clearly material changes to your own controversial statements, and leave the resultant responses appear somewhat or totally nonsensical in order to save face is bad form.

What do you think the edit function should and shouldn't be used for?

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  1. Agree.

    1. I agree with your take on it.

      Perhaps a simple solution would be that an automatic footnote gets left when you press edit saying who edited and when. I've seen this on other forums. People can still edit but it's clear when they have so less confusion and "i didn't say that!"

      1. It's a 2 hour privilege that should not be abused. I sometimes send e-mails that I review a short time later and reflexively want to edit them, but, darn, only CH lets me.

        1. Agree and it's something I had not considered before because the site allows for edit, many people use the edit function during an active thread, because moderation is another form of edit and when enforced can alter the entire conversation and leave some unedited comments "hangin" ...but going forward I'll be more mindful of edit. Except when it comes to spelling...I do try not to rush but sometimes the brain and the typing work in opposite directions...or the Freudian slips rears its hand. But, def. something to ponder, inapl.

          1. If I've replied to someone and they then edit out without an ADD or UPDATE I simply either edit my reply if still within the 2 hour window or reply again and take note of the newly edited post and how and why my reply now looks to be "out of context." Since this happens so rarely and the way I fix it is available to any of us I don't really see this as a problem that needs a "Site" solution. YMMV

            1 Reply
            1. re: Servorg

              I agree. I will edit to correct grammar, spelling, etc. if I notice it later, or to add info I've come across that or left out that I think may be of use. I've also edited out where I think I may've been snarky or added a gratuitous comment I'm not proud of. I don't do it to get away with anything by "sanitizing" my post, I do it because it's how I wish I'd posted in the first place.

              I don't see what's wrong with that. I can't even imagine why I should be concerned about how others use the edit function.

            2. People should use edit however they damned well please.
              If we want to "catch" them for being jerky, or simply want to preserve the essence of the post for future readers, one can always cut & paste the offensive or disagreeable part of the post into the reply so that no matter what the person you're responding to does, the original statement appears in your post.

              As for me, when I see follow-up posts that refer to something that isn't there, or that simply don't make sense, I figure someone edited a post, for whatever reason.

              1. I'm active on another forum that allows you to edit your post for 5 minutes, which is too short, IMO...

                It also locks your post once someone replies to you, specifically to curtail this sort of bad behaviour.

                I used to be active on another forum that would give you a pop-up to say Hey, someone has replied to the thread while you were typing -- please read the posts to make sure you still want to post your reply.

                Somewhere in the middle of the three of them would be ideal, but I don't see that happening...

                3 Replies
                1. re: sunshine842

                  I'm active somewhere that the edit function gets longer the better known you are there as a poster.

                  1. re: mcf

                    Ooh, I do like that. then the mods have the ability to take it away from you if you can't handle the responsibility.

                    1. re: sunshine842

                      Yep. That's how it works.