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What should our policy be for editing other people's answers (especially when they are not CW)? When CW I usually edit when I feel I can significantly improve the answer by adding more details or to correct grammar/typos.

But when it's not CW, I wouldn't edit to correct anything, except perhaps a latex rendering mistake or a typo. (Something I'm 100% sure the user would want to be corrected.) Is that alright?

If I edit someone's answer, and that answer gets upvoted/accepted, do they still get all the reputation points? I mean, am I hurting anyone's reputation earning capability by editing their answers?

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  • $\begingroup$ I agree with the light touch policy, especially since too many edits by too many different people lead to automatic Community Wiki status. At least according to the StackOverflow meta FAQ: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/11740/… at least five different people editing the body, or ten edits by the original owner. $\endgroup$ – András Salamon Sep 19 '10 at 23:59
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Editing someone else's answer doesn't hurt their scores. However, I've tried to avoid editing answers directly, and rather post a comment, even if the edit is something I could have fixed. In general, I've edited questions far more frequently than answers - in my mind, proper tagging and rendering of questions helps the site, but editing an answer really only helps the individual, so I let them do it.

I'm not saying I recommend this strategy: it's just how I do it.

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