There’s multiple ways for giving feedback and reporting mistakes. Often I see people reporting entries when there’s a better way, so I figured maybe it’s a good idea to explain my suggestions.

DON’T ask questions using reports

If you’re asking a question, such as why did the previous editor change something, and you’re expecting an answer, you should post a comment instead of report. It’s very inconvenient to respond to a report, and there’s no one else who can take care of the issue other than the person it’s directed at. Reports are for making a note that there’s something wrong that should be fixed.

If you know that something should be changed, but you also need to ask for details, it’s ok to post your question in the comments and also post a report for fixing the mistake.

DO prefer reporting a specific version

Unless there’s only one editor for that entry, the editor won’t get a notification, and if they’re not a trusted user, they can’t even see your report. For entries with multiple editors, it’s better to report a specific edit. That makes it more obvious what the problem is, and also the previous editor will get a direct notification.

DON’T report edits that are very old if you can take care of the issue yourself

If the mistake was made months, even years ago, there’s not much point in reporting it, assuming you can take care of it yourself. In many cases the previous editor isn’t even around anymore.

DO prefer taking care of your own reports if no one else responds

Two main reasons for reports are: 1) giving the previous editor a chance to correct their mistake and hopefully learn from it, and 2) making a note that there’s an issue that should be fixed. The expectation is that the previous editor who made the mistake would be the one to correct it, but assuming they don’t, the best thing you as the reporter can do is to correct the mistake yourself when you get the chance (usually I do that after 1-2 days after reporting, if no one else has fixed it by then). Some people don’t check the site very often, or maybe they didn’t even get the notification.

As a trusted user / moderator, DON’T let reports lie there for weeks

Usually when the report is over a week old, it should be taken care of somehow. If you can, fix the problem. Or if it’s a small issue, post a comment instead and delete the report. In the worst case, if the entry isn’t useful as it is, it will need to be deleted.

 

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