There's a recently locked question Transform all pixels from one projection to another projection under the Matplotlib Basemap. Apparently it's in dispute. The system says: "For more info visit meta" but I don't know how to find said info.

I may have inadvertently caused, or at least joined, the dispute, but have know idea what the dispute is. I'm still learning about the Suggested Edits review process, but fear that I'm being accused of vandalism.

Here's what happened from my point of view, yesterday:

  1. Noticed a Q in my Review section and decided to contribute.
  2. Saw it was about Matplotlib Basemap and did some research.
  3. Approved the Q (clicked No Action).
  4. Decided that answer to Q was Yes.
  5. Visited actual Q (outside of Review) and saw for 1st time that it was an old one and even had an A. (No sign of any dispute, though )
  6. Noticed that the A seemed to lack a conclusion.
  7. Suggested (what I thought was) a useful conclusion, based on what I'd learnt by research on topic at hand.

This morning I noticed that my suggested edit was approved then declined, and there's a big dispute.

My questions:

  1. How can I discover (or What are) the details of The Dispute?
  2. Is it OK to add material to a Q or A, via suggested edits, or must they only be done via comments.

I didn't mean to cause any upset.

3 Answers 3


You're not being accused of anything. In this case there are some details you cannot see, for good reason: the O.P.'s account has been permanently deleted from our site due to the blatantly bad behavior they have exhibited. Most of their posts were (thereby automatically) deleted, with the exception of this one, which a reputable community member asked to be preserved.

There's no ongoing dispute and I, for one, see no need for any discussion. I have removed the lock as well as the comment suggesting a meta discussion, but have left the thread protected to discourage said user from re-appearing with a new account and further defacing our site.

As far as editing goes, please be judicious. Suggested edits are sometimes accepted by this community with little or no careful consideration, so it's easy to get away with a lot, but in general an edit has to be substantial and accurate, yet not otherwise change a post in any material way. That's a high standard to meet. Before suggesting an edit make sure it's a good one. If in doubt, post comments asking for clarification.

  • Not wishing to diminish any of your answer ... Re. part 2, I'd like add that, in general: Suggested edits are also sometimes rejected by (high-rep) users with little or no careful consideration, so it's easy to discourage useful contributions from (low-rep) users.
    – Martin F
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 20:56
  • 1
    You have a good point. I prefer to encourage participation in maintaining our site, so I hate to reject suggested edits. However, I believe for most of us there's always a tension between this desire and wanting to moderate as lightly as possible, which inclines one more to a hands-off, keep-things-as-they are approach. Your suggestions for improving the process are always welcome.
    – whuber
    Commented Jan 7, 2014 at 21:02
  • 2
    @martinf: There Might be some cases where a well-meaning edit might be rejected. If you feel that it was unjust, I'll suggest that you post a question on the meta site about it. The Edit history is visible to all 3k+ rep users, and it will definitely help improve the site, if all users (low rep and high rep) can contribute constructively to the site. Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 2:48

I locked the question as there seemed to have been an edit war going on. I hadn't noticed that the user in question had been deleted or I would have just rolled the edit back and left it at that.

I had no intention of besmirching your good name Martin.

  • 1
    I think the user was deleted by whuber much after you locked the question. Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 11:59
  • @Devdatta That is correct: Flags raised (on comments posted) after the question was locked got my attention and a little research led to the easy decision to delete the user involved. (Because this was a no-brainer, I did not feel any need to consult with the other mods, which ordinarily would have happened in less egregious circumstances but can take some time.) With that account deleted, and with the thread now the focus of this current meta discussion, I proceeded to remove the lock, feeling it was no longer necessary, but left the protection against posts by low-rep users.
    – whuber
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 13:42

Just an Update on the Question under discussion. I can see an anonymous user has tried to re-vandalise the question.

See these edits: https://gis.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/24456 & https://gis.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/24401

The question was under an Edit war since yesterday morning (My time) and that's when Ian Locked it. The Message on the Locked question wasn't targeted to you Martin, but for all Users.

Now coming to your two questions:

How can I discover (or What are) the details of The Dispute?

I'm sure that the Mods have specialized tools for this, but as a general user, you have two options. Firstly, you can go and actually see the all the edits & revisions done on the questions; For the given question, you can see them here: https://gis.stackexchange.com/posts/80827/revisions

If have enough reputation, you can also check all the suggested edits history, which might also throw some light on the issue.

Is it OK to add material to a Q or A, via suggested edits, or must they only be done via comments

Of course it is OK to make constructive edits on questions, answers and other things like Tag Wikis. That's what the edits are for.

There might be some dispute or debate on what exactly consists a constructive edit, but I believe that anything that improves a post is an constructive edit. This can include things like:

  • Adding and editing Tags on Questions.
  • Adding More details to answers
  • Adding Information which is in the comments to the post.
  • Clarifying Grammar, Language and Spellings.
  • Updating and adding Links.

There are a few types of edits, which I personally don't think are good edits. These include things like:

  • Substantially changing the post. in this case you might as well post a new answer.
  • Making trivial edits, like changing just one typo or one small error. This will unnecessarily push back the question on the front page. Try to make an edit where multiple issues are addressed.

I also feel that the following kinds of edits are harmful:

  • Vandalism
  • Editing just to bump the question to the front page

I feel that your edits to the Answer were quite valid, but I'll make a minor change. I'll remove the sentence: "martin's suggested addendum" There's no point to it, since the edit history shows who edited and added what.

I think that your edit was lost when the answer was rolled back to the first stage, due to the edit wars that went on, due to vandalism on both the question and the answer.

  • 1
    Very good summary: thank you. Because the community has so much power to flag and react to vandalism and bad posts, and because we can recover all material ever posted, there is nothing this (now) anonymous user will be able to do to our site. Our best course of action is to keep on as we have been doing, fix any damage they attempt to cause, and proceed without further comment so that this person receives absolutely no feedback or reward for their efforts.
    – whuber
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 13:47

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