Why can't I edit my post?

I can understand the reasons why the mods would not want us editing our posts or deleting our posts. Boy that would get confusing!!

But under Forum Rules in at least three of the Boards it says:

Forum Rules:
Who Can Read The Forum? Any registered user or guest.
Who Can Post New Topics? Any registered user.
Who Can Post Replies? Any registered user.
Changes: Messages can be edited by their author. Messages can be deleted by their author.
Posts: HTML code is Off. Smilies are On. vB code is On. [IMG] code is Off.
So, can I edit my own post or not? If so, HOW?

Nope, you can’t. It’s never been allowed. The rules display has just never been updated to reflect the features that this board uses.


This CAN’T be the full story on this. I tried to edit one of my posts because a simple vB coding error made it look stupid. When I hit the “edit/delete” button I was taken to a page asking for my username/password as if this was going to be allowed, however, when the proper info was submitted, it would take me right back to the entry page in an endless loop. While I agree the posts cannot be allowed to be changed or edited arbitrarily or substantivally, it seems to me that simple coding or formatting changes of the type I am speaking should be allowed. Would this be possible? And if not, how difficult can it be to make the line read:

“Messages can NOT be edited by their author. Messages can NOT be deleted by their author.”

And while we’re at it, how about having a spell check feature!

Obviously I’m not a moderator RedDawgEsq, but I think I can answer you:

Presumably the password dialogue box you got when you tried to edit your post is part of the process used by mods and admins.

A spellchecker would take up resources, since most people would be effectively posting at least twice per post. Not going to happen: the Reader is not raking in big wads of cash from this site and is harly likely to splash out on a heap more bandwidth.

What I do if I want to spellcheck is open Word and copy the text in. No hassle.

How difficult can it be to change the line to “users can’t edit their posts”? Dunno, but clearly it is not just a matter of toggling a button. Now you know, it’s no big deal.


Yes, that’s what that dialogue box is. And, by the way, the Reader is not only NOT raking in big wads of cash, this site is losing money.

As for spellchecking, I heartily recommend previewing posts. I do it myself when I’m using a lot of coding, or not sure of my coding.

Our techs are busy, and they DO know about line that says you can edit your post. However, that’s one of the last items in the priority list. We want the site to run quickly and not crash as our first priorities.


Also, there’s no practical way to allow folks to fix coding or misspellings, but not to change the substance of the post. I mean, if I typed “F*** you”, and got a bunch of angry responses, then wen back and changed it to “Thank you”, so the angry responses look like uncalled-for attacks, how would the software know that I wasn’t fixing a misspelling? What you can do, however, if a problem is particularly bad, is e-mail the moderator and ask him or her to edit it for you… The mods are a lot smarter than the software, and can tell when someone’s trying to edit for the wrong reasons.

I don’t see that’s a problem at all, since frequently such messages will be quoted somewhere. I understand why messages can’t be deleted, but there is no reason why messages can’t be edited.

In point of fact there are many reasons why messages can’t be edited, and foremost among them is that board rules don’t allow it.

I find it hard to believe that in the process of digging up this thread from a year and a half ago you didn’t come across one of the many (many) times the administration of the board has outlined exactly why post-editing is not allowed.

On another hopping forum community that I’m aware of (albeit with about 1/10 the membership of SDMB) members are permitted to edit their posts, and the accepted protocol is to make a note along the lines of (Edited because I can’t spell for crap.) or (Edited because I goofed the code like a dimwit.) if it’s a “correction” edit.

If it’s a “I’m taking back what I said because I’m feeling the heat” kind of edit, users allow the software-generated edited message to stand without further commentary, which says a lot in and of itself: “This user has decided to try to eat his/her words.”

Here is an example of why allowing users to edit their post would be disruptive.
UserX (in Great Debates): UserY, you are an idiot and a moron. (etc.)
UserY: UserX, you are the idiot and the moron. (etc.)

UserX edits the post to say: UserY, I disagree with your argument.
Along comes ModeratorZ. ModeratozZ warns UserY to not insult people in Great Debates. UserY says “UserX insulted me first, and then took it out!” UserX says “no way, I just edited to take out a spelling error. UserY is lying.”
We don’t want the time (or inclination) to deal with these kinds of situations.

During the “bad times” (aka when the board was down), I joined another group that did allow for editing posts. and while it was cool to be able to fix that embarassing typo /coding thing, I also, in only a few weeks, saw an example of what the mods talk about here. Some one edited their post, removing a huge chunk of nasty stuff, which allowed them to look as if they’d only posted something innocent vs. inflamatory.

The thread got long and ugly, some folks had been able to pull the quotes out (I guess they’d saved a copy of it or something). but even on that site, where there was a new post to the entire site every few minutes (and there were about 20 forums), it got ugly.

With this site, where there’s several posts per minute (during the quick times), I could easily see how that feature would become a real problem.

Arnold Winkelried, that’s a great example. You think we could get this up in one of the sticky-FAQs? It’s already (somewhat) covered in the Technical Issues FAQ with all the other things you can’t do, but this particular question does tend to come up a lot, and it might be cool to have a specific answer to it in the FAQs. Just a thought.

This seems to be silly for several reasons:

  1. If the rules of GD are against flaming and insults, UserY should not break these rules. “Me too” is a very poor defense regardless.

  2. There is this nice feature in vBB called “report this post to moderator.” If UserY feels he is slighted, he can report it. IIRC, the feature quotes the entire post.

  1. Editing your post to remove offensive material would be against the rules too. Crossing your fingers and hoping that people don’t abuse their privileges is not effective.

  2. The job of our moderators is hard enough. If everyone was reporting posts to them left and right as a preventative measure, their inboxes would be insanely cluttered. Why would we want that to happen just so we could fix a stupid typo? If you’re so concerned about, preview your post.

  3. Two is not ‘several’.

Why do you want to edit your post? Just to fix a typo? What kind of lame-ass reason is that to risk disruption of our little community?

Typos happen. Live with 'em.

And moderators can fix your coding errors if you e-mail them, though I’d try to refrain from using them as a personal editing service.

It is incumbent upon you to show a reasonable need for a change before we implement that change.


Because Cecil hates you.

At this point, Urban Ranger, I will point you to this post in the guidelines for posting FAQ (a sticky thread in this forum), which says:

[ul][li]To ask “What is the accepted way of doing something at the SDMB?” put your post in ATMB.[/li][li]To ask “Why is this the accepted way to do something at the SDMB?” Should probably be in the BBQ Pit, but there are borderline cases.[/li][li]To ask “Why is this the accepted way to do something at the SDMB? I think it would be better if you did it another way.” The BBQ Pit.[/ul][/li][/quote]
Any further posts you care to make on this subject should be in The BBQ Pit forum.