I recently saw where another person mistakenly edited a question so that instead of asking about modulo values of $-1$, it was now for $1$. This mismatched the title & the rest of the text, so it was fairly obvious. I wasn't sure if I should do a rollback, which would remove other useful parts of the change (as well as I'm not sure what other consequences a rollback would cause), so I instead just edited it myself to fix this.

My question is if I did the right thing and what is the best procedure for handling an issue like this? Although I suspect something like this would have been asked & answered before, I couldn't find anything. However, if it has been done before, please mark this as duplicate and point me to any such other questions. Thanks.

  • $\begingroup$ Sounds like the right thing to do in that situation, although it might be beneficial to contact the asker to confirm that you are right in your theory. $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2019 at 19:40
  • $\begingroup$ @Anadactothe Thank you for your feedback. In this case, everything was consistent with the original text so it's very clear it was just a simple edit mistake. However, I believe that even if there was a potential typo by the OP, we still should try to avoid assuming this & just ask the OP instead of changing the text unless it is very obvious. Nonetheless, in other cases where it's not clear, I agree it makes sense for me to confirm my theory with the OP. $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2019 at 20:10

1 Answer 1


The way you proceeded was good. The main goal is that the current version is best possible.

You could leave a remark in the edit summary, something like "fixed typo introduced in preceding revision." This might help to avoid confusions down the road. As you point out yourself in a comment, if the original version has two different questions it's more tricky. In that case to ask for clarification is often better.

It is also possible to comment-notify the editor, even though there is no auto-complete proposal for them. In general, I'd just fix the issue though and move on.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Thanks for your answer. Although the edit is fairly simple & relatively obvious, I did try to make sure this was clear with my edit summary stating "Fix mistake made by previous editor in making changes of having congruence to 1 instead of intended -1." As for using "comment-notify the editor", I don't think it's necessary in this case as it was just a fairly simple mistake, that any of us can make occasionally if we're not careful. However, I will keep this in mind if I believe a future instance justifies using it. $\endgroup$ Mar 1, 2019 at 20:17

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