I recently made a review that you can find here (Note that the "Emacs" spelling changes were made after I had done the review). Also note that the author subsequently approved of the edit.
The edit made the sole change: open source to free software. If you're wondering why, I rejected the edit, here's my stance:
I rejected the edit on the grounds that as the reviewer of posts, I should strive to make sure that edits fix the issues with the post: concerning formatting, quoting, attributions, grammar, punctuation... making the post look pretty. I'm not there to verify information - I believe that is the responsibility of the author. If information is incorrect, that's fine. If you're wondering how we deal with that, we have a largely sophisticated system: voting. If something is wrong, down vote. In essence, if you have something that is right, leave a comment with a source to back up your claim, and let the author make that edit. Otherwise, you could be deviating from the author's intent in that you may be changing the meaning of something the author has to say.
I have two questions about this:
- What's our policy on these sorts of edits?
- Was my review correct and reasonable?
I want to go out and give a different, theoretical example as I feel that people have paid attention to the suggested edit I mentioned earlier. Consider this then:
The Open Source Initiative considered the Creative Commons CC0 license for open source certification
The Open Source Initiative rejected the Creative Commons CC0 license for open source certification.
In essence, one was wrong, and the other is right. However, to the average reviewer, how do they know which one is right? While generally I would have faith in the suggester, remember that they are below 1000 rep (some as low as 1), which in many betas are on the lower line of the reputation spectrum. In essence, the site doesn't always consider them to be trusted and knowledgable.
I'm not going to look on the internet (sometimes hopelessly) just to verify that this one teensy weensy fact is actually right. What if it's not? It's a waste of my time. If something is wrong, the author should be made aware of this and they should make the edit. If something is wrong, you can leave a comment, and place a down vote.
I don't want it to sound like I'm going on a rant about this, but I feel like this could potentially be an issue. I personally don't care whether Stalman said that he wished he could fly on unicorns, but if someone is attempting to make a point, like with the creation of free unicorns provided courtesy of the OSI, I don't necessarily want someone to be changing the above to "Oh, well that guy didn't do that...". Just let the author know to change it, and down vote if you don't like it. That system is sophisticated and in place to everything.