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As a new Stack Exchange user, one restriction put in place on my account is a requirement that a peer-review must take place on any edit I make on another post. I understand that there are many good reasons to have this set in place, and I don't have anything against the restriction.

However, as someone who enjoys fixing code formatting and helping newer users with their stackexchange markup, I've found myself making multiple edits that do so. Unfortunately, after suggesting the edit (with the correct code formatting/tags added, etc.) I've found that many times, 5-10 minutes later, another user will have posted the exact same edit, with zero credit towards myself, who made the original edit.

I also understand that "the points don't matter," and that stackexchange isn't an RPG. The most important goal is that the edit is made so that other users can easily interpret the information that was displayed on the edited post. However, that doesn't change the fact that a user with full editing privileges can take the exact edit of a user who needs to go through the peer-review system and use it for their own.

How can a new user point out the clearly stolen changes? I know the ultimate goal of a correctly formatted post is achieved, but I and other new users still deserve recognition for our contributions.

EDIT: An example for which I suggested this edit.

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Could you show us a specific example of such a thing happening? When reviewing edits myself, if you make a minor edit and I have to go in to fix a substantial amount of other issues, I will disable the "helpful" flag. I don't know if this is what might have happened. So please show us an example if possible. –  Bart Aug 13 '12 at 9:59
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How do you know that the edit was stolen? If your edits were obvious (formatting improvements), others could easily have come to the same edit. –  Martijn Pieters Aug 13 '12 at 10:00
    
@bart I will try and find a specific post to show. (added to main post) –  ಠ_ಠ Aug 13 '12 at 10:01
    
@MartijnPieters This is definitely true; however, while there are cases where some formatting improvement edit could happen seconds later and obviously you couldn't contest it, there are specific and noticeable 5-10 minute waits between certain edits I've made and the duplicate edit appearing. Those are the edits that bother me. –  ಠ_ಠ Aug 13 '12 at 10:03
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2 Answers

up vote 13 down vote accepted

All but one of your edit suggestions was accepted.

The one exception was rejected, probably as a conflict; someone else came up with a similar edit at practically the same time. I note that the other edit missed out on the obvious spelling mistakes you corrected.

In other words, noone is stealing your edits. I highly doubt anyone would need to steal formatting improvements and spelling corrections in any case. If your edit was so substantial that there was any content to steal, you'd be making too radical a change to a post in any case, which should be rejected.

If you ever do have proof of a suggested edit being rejected, and an edit being made that is exactly the same by a higher-rep user after the rejection, flag the post for moderator attention (using the 'other' option). The mod can then investigate if there was any foul play at hand. I must say that I fail to see the need for such foul play to ever occur, high-rep users do not get reputation for editing posts, for example.

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Yeah, this looks like a simple overlap of similar trivial (though useful) edits. No foul play here. –  Bart Aug 13 '12 at 10:08
    
In that case, what would your recommendation be in a situation where a) there was a legitimate edit suggested, and b) the edit was clearly copied by another, superior user? By legitimate, I mean an edit that shouldn't be rejected. –  ಠ_ಠ Aug 13 '12 at 10:08
    
@zdhickman see my answer, it might shed some light over this for you. –  Shadow Wizard Aug 13 '12 at 10:17
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Your suggestions are good, but not enough. That's the general case with your edits so far.

Here is one example which pretty much reflects the rest:

As you see, it was approved by "Community" which means someone approved but also chose to edit himself thus "improve" your suggestion. In the above case, it was user named Michael Petrotta and you can see what happened in the revisions list of the question, accessibly via the timestamp:

As you can see there, he edited more things that you should have edited yourself:

Bottom line: you did half work which is good, you got points for that and you have credit in the revisions list of the question. The one who made the final edit is the one who appears in the question itself though.

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