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Here's an edit that replaced the useful link with some youtube video: http://stackoverflow.com/suggested-edits/346238

I'm not sure how else to go about flagging it, but clearly the editor needs a timeout and the approvers could perhaps use a lecture.

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This is becoming a common problem; users with edit approval privileges rubber-stamping bad edits. –  Robert Harvey Aug 9 '12 at 18:23
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This is particularly a problem with links, where you would have to follow it and the original link (if any) in order to determine whether the edit was good or not. –  Oded Aug 9 '12 at 18:25
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Also rather discouraging for those reviewing suggested edits - a large number of the edits I reject (like this one) go on to be accepted. This edit had other, obvious-to-my-eyes-at-least problems. –  Michael Petrotta Aug 9 '12 at 18:27
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@Oded the fact that there was no visible change, yet it was highlighted as changed drew my suspicion, and the tooltip shows the actual destinations (in Firefox anyway). It does still require more vigilance than most problems. –  Brad Mace Aug 9 '12 at 18:28
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@bemace Though it is still easily dismissed as a "ha, the diff coloring is acting up again" issue. Even though it's no excuse of course. Perhaps there is some value in a feature request for better link change visualization? –  Bart Aug 9 '12 at 18:30
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@Bart that sounds reasonable. If they had changed the link text as well I might not even have noticed. Probably need to make a much bigger deal of any change to the link destination in the review window. –  Brad Mace Aug 9 '12 at 18:32
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See also Is there an actual "accept ALL the edits" problem? (still under bounty for the next 23 hours!) –  Pops Aug 9 '12 at 18:32
    
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This is why I ALWAYS REJECT EVERY EDIT. DIE! DIE! –  Dustin Aug 9 '12 at 19:39
    
Two issues here for me are the reject reason for the rejector doesn't make sense (it should have been vandalism, or a custom message explaining the malicious link edit) and that when reviewing it should be much easier to see if others have rejected, and for what reason. The information is there to be found, it it should be much easier to get to, that way if the first person caught it the next would be less likely to be duped. –  Servy Aug 9 '12 at 21:15
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I am really sorry for such a mistake. Actually there was some spell mistakes in that post and I want to correct that. And there is one link as well I want to format as proper hyper link form toolbar. As I pressed That button one Popup comes and It required URL. I copied the same url of phonegap community. I don't know how youtube URL is pasted over there. There must be some malicious activity I guess in my PC. And important point is that youtube video is not for ads and advertisement in case if you are thinking that I am doing some spamming. I am responsible developer and SOF is important tome –  Arslan Pervaiz Aug 10 '12 at 5:15
    
And I am Really sorry for any botheration and any problem you faced in this activity. I will take care of all things and make sure It will not happen again –  Arslan Pervaiz Aug 10 '12 at 5:16
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@Michael Petrotta: Also, suggested edits that get rejected, but then get resubmitted and then reapproved. That happened to an edit I rejected. Ugh. –  BoltClock's a Unicorn Aug 10 '12 at 9:58

3 Answers 3

up vote 36 down vote accepted

Urgh. That's just sneaky. It even took me a minute to realize why that edit should've been rejected.

I warned the editor to refrain from this behaviour in the future, but I'm not sure what to propose to "fix" this problem in general. Maybe some way to make it more obvious what the URL changes are in the default diff? I don't have anything fleshed out in mind at the moment.

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Perhaps a way to flag approved edits for moderation attention, and an easy way for mods to notify the approvers that they pulled a silly - not a mod message per se, something lighter? Also, an easy way to suspend the privilege to approve for a short while would be nice (perhaps automated, when lots of their approvals get flagged). –  Yannis Aug 9 '12 at 19:01
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You "warned" the spammer, or the cavalier approver? I can't see how the spammer wouldn't be suspended for this. –  Adam Rackis Aug 9 '12 at 19:03
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@YannisRizos Flagging approved edits and suspending approval privileges after X approved edits have been reverted are ideas that I like. Not sure about notifying approvers outside of a mod message. Not because I think mod messages are a good way to go about it, but more because I don't think we want to add Yet Another Way to talk to someone. –  Anna Lear Aug 9 '12 at 19:03
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@AdamRackis It's a one-off message and the video doesn't appear to be promotional. For all we know, this was a weird typo. A warning is good enough for first offense, in my opinion. –  Anna Lear Aug 9 '12 at 19:04
    
@AnnaLear Then perhaps we need a second class of mod messages, one that doesn't leave a permanent black mark. It could annotate, same as the regular mod message, but go away after a while... –  Yannis Aug 9 '12 at 19:04
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@YannisRizos A black mark on a user's profile isn't what I'm concerned about here. I like the idea of being able to revert/reject an approval (perhaps similar to how migrations can be rejected). And if that happened, the approvers could get a note in their inboxes or something. This needs major fleshing out, but in principle... I think it could work. –  Anna Lear Aug 9 '12 at 19:08
    
@AnnaLear I'm not concerned with black marks on users' profiles either ;) –  Yannis Aug 9 '12 at 19:14
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What are these "black marks"? If I have one, can I see it, or can only mods see it? –  Aaron Bertrand Aug 9 '12 at 19:15
    
@AaronBertrand Moderators can see a record of every mod message ever sent to a person and every annotation ever made on their profile. It's not a black mark per se, but usually mod messages and annotations are reserved for things that are capital-B Bad. –  Anna Lear Aug 9 '12 at 19:16
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Ah ok, so my sock puppet experiment is permanently attached to me? Got it. :-) –  Aaron Bertrand Aug 9 '12 at 19:18
    
This would be nice; I try to go through a lot of things in review every day, and I'm always worried about approving "bad" edits. For that reason I usually reject anything that doesn't look major. But some feedback would be wonderful. –  Dustin Aug 9 '12 at 19:42
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I created a feature request for reviewing links. For dealing with sloppy reviews, maybe my answer here can be fleshed out into a feature request. –  Brad Mace Aug 10 '12 at 0:06
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@AnnaLear: I am really sorry for all this happening. I really dont know how this happened. Please see my comments on above question. I will make sure this will not happen again. and will take care of all edits. I guess some malicious activity performed on my pc and it changes my copied url. I really dont know how youtube url comes to my copied text. –  Arslan Pervaiz Aug 10 '12 at 5:19
    
@ArslanPervaiz No worries. Just be careful in the future. :) –  Anna Lear Aug 10 '12 at 15:02
    
More obvious url change highlight would be great, I'm scared that I would also be very likely to overlook that if approving (well, not now after reading this). Maybe also have special handling to actually show youtube videos side-by-side; I'm thinking of edits which change the video link from one YT vid to another. –  Alok Aug 16 '12 at 21:25

I think the problem here is that the people approving edits need better training on how to use the Markdown diffs. Depending on which Markdown view you're in, it's fairly easy to tell what happened with that link:

  • In the Markdown diff view, you can easily see that they changed the link in the text to [1] and that the [1] defined at the bottom clearly points to YouTube.

  • In the rendered output view, the entire link is crossed out and replaced with a new link which is exactly the same. This only ever occurs when the actual URL behind that text has been changed. You could easily hover over the link to see where it actually points.

It may be sad that we have to look at for phishing attempts here, but I don't believe all the blame can be placed on the users attempting to make these edits. This attempt would be much more obvious using the Markdown diff view. Users already have the tools there to see exactly what's happening.

Some options to make the change more obvious:

  1. List all of the actual hyperlinks (not the text) in a separate box - not very plausible.

  2. Default back to Markdown diff view every time a new suggested edit is loaded - unfavorable.

  3. Show an alert that one of the hyperlinks in the post has changed and should be checked.

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Your suggestions could help with this specific case, but there are plenty of other bad approvals where the problem is a lack of understanding and/or thinking and/or caring, not confusing formatting. –  Pops Aug 9 '12 at 20:52

I may be missing something of critical importance here, but is there some rule against modifying rep requirements for privileges?

I know it'll surprise hundreds of users when they find out they can't approve edits anymore, but consider the implication if we raise the minrep for accessing review tools to say 100 (same as community wiki edit privileges). If the user can't be trusted to update ANY post (100 rep for CW, 2k rep for non-) then I don't see why they're allowed to update a post by proxy.

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