I recently encountered the following edit of a question: https://math.stackexchange.com/revisions/4126525/2

I hope everyone here agrees that the edit is not appropriate. A minor thing is that editing "fi" to $fi$ is not really helping the question, and the correct way of way would be to change it to $\phi$ or $\varphi$, but what is worse is that the exponentiation is not edited correctly, nor are the curly braces. Overall, I strongly believe that the edit is harmful, as before it, the question was more readable than before. For example, the line

x ≡ 27 * 12 ^(fi(7)-1) ≡ 6*(-2)^5 ≡ -(-2)^5 = 25 = 32 ≡ 4 (mod 7)

was edited to $$x ≡ 27 * 12 ^(fi(7)-1) ≡ 6*(-2)^5 ≡ -(-2)^5 = 25 = 32 ≡ 4 (mod 7)$$

(note the $fi$ and how the only character in the exponent is "$($", both mistakes much worse than the original formatting) while

x ∈ {4, 11, 18}

became $$x ∈ {4, 11, 18}$$

which is just nonsensical.

The edit is basically a "just add dollar signs" edit, which should be rejected as per site policy discussed here.

My question is, what is the proper course of action when one finds edits like this? Naturally, the first thing is to fix them, sure, but what then? The thing is that this edit was made by a junior user, but also approved by two more senior users. I am not looking for a way to punish them, but it would be nice if they got some sort of heads up to know that they messed up. The thing is that the edit is already accepted, so I cannot flag or reject it, is there any other way?

  • 6
    $\begingroup$ (1) the edit was approved by the OP themselves (2) you can always rollback the edit, if you think the old version is better (3) in this instance, you can communicate qith one of the reviewer in the chat room CURED, where he is pingable. $\endgroup$ May 4, 2021 at 8:18
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    $\begingroup$ @ArcticChar As far as rolling back the edit, I think fixing it is a more productive reaction. Other than that, thanks. $\endgroup$
    – 5xum
    May 4, 2021 at 8:22
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    $\begingroup$ I've long claimed that edits that only/mostly add dollar signs without actually making the $\rm\LaTeX$ code correct (e.g. (mod 17) to \pmod{17} or adding \{ where { was in just text) should be declined categorically. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 4, 2021 at 8:43
  • $\begingroup$ Just to clarify, are you talking about the suggested edit 1591821? $\endgroup$ May 4, 2021 at 9:02
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak That one, yes. $\endgroup$
    – 5xum
    May 4, 2021 at 9:16
  • $\begingroup$ When I look at the suggested edit there, it isn't clear that the added dollars make it less readable. Maybe showing the rendered code rather than the raw code would be helpful? (As in, although changing either is impossibly hard, it is maybe easier to change the site than change user behaviour.) $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    May 4, 2021 at 11:14
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    $\begingroup$ @user1729 After the edit, the line that was "x ≡ 27 * 12 ^(fi(7)-1) ≡ 6*(-2)^5 ≡ -(-2)^5 = 25 = 32 ≡ 4 (mod 7)" became $$x ≡ 27 * 12 ^(fi(7)-1) ≡ 6*(-2)^5 ≡ -(-2)^5 = 25 = 32 ≡ 4 (mod 7).$$ The former may be poorly readable, but the latter is outright unreadable. Exponents especially. Not to mention that "x ∈ {4, 11, 18}" became $$x ∈ {4, 11, 18}$$ $\endgroup$
    – 5xum
    May 4, 2021 at 11:18
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I absolutely agree, my question is what to do once such an edit is accepted? $\endgroup$
    – 5xum
    May 4, 2021 at 11:20
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    $\begingroup$ @5xum: Just edit. If you notice that the user has a pattern of making these edits, raise a flag, we'll take it from there. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    May 4, 2021 at 11:22
  • $\begingroup$ @5xum Yes, I realised what the issue was. My point is that this is hard to spot by looking at the raw code, so maybe it is helpful to show the rendered code too/instead. $\endgroup$
    – user1729
    May 4, 2021 at 11:23
  • $\begingroup$ You could tell OP about this, after all, they themselves accepted the suggested edit. $\endgroup$ May 4, 2021 at 16:49
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    $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila I agree with your first comment except that this should be more flexible for -junior users-, they often don't know all the rules for Latex/MathJax. For example mod to \pmod or | to \vert, sin to \sin, etc. $\endgroup$ May 4, 2021 at 17:23


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