See the related blog post for an overview with screenshots: Suggested Edits and Edit Review.
Who can suggest an edit?
- Registered users without the edit privilege (2000 rep) can suggest edits to any post or tag wiki.
- Registered users who have the edit privilege but are not trusted users (between 2000 and 20000 rep) can suggest edits to tag wikis.
- Anonymous users can suggest edits to any post more than 10 minutes old. These edits are attributed to the Community user upon approval.
Where do suggested edits go?
Suggested edits are held in a peer review queue of a fixed size. If the queue fills up, no more edit suggestions will be allowed until the queue has some empty space.
Who can vote on a suggested edit?
- The owner of a post may cast a binding vote to accept or reject any modification of their post.
- All users with the edit privilege may vote on suggested edits to posts.
- Users with 5000 rep may vote on suggested edits to tag wikis.
- Two (or three on SO) accept or reject votes are required to remove the suggested edit from the queue and either apply the edit to the post or discard it. It used to be a single vote (two on SO)
How do suggested edits get approved?
Our goal is to ensure that many reviewers are participating in the process.
- There is a limited number of accept and reject votes per day.
- Additionally, there is a limit to the number of times you may vote on a single user's suggestions.
Can I earn reputation?
- When a suggested edit is approved, the user who suggested it gets +2 reputation. The regular daily reputation cap applies, and the total cap for reputation gained via suggested edits is 1,000. Like any other reputation, the +2 is reversed if the edited post is ever deleted.
- When a suggested edit is rejected, no penalty is given.
- Once you have earned the edit privilege, your edits are no longer peer reviewed and no reputation is given for edits.
What about abuse or bad edits?
There are strict limits enforced. If a user (anonymous or registered) submits many rejected edits they will be automatically banned from suggesting edits for 7 days.
The fixed size queue also helps protect us from abuse.
Sometimes the Community user approves or rejects my edit. What does that mean?
The Community user will appear to approve or reject your edit when one of the following two cases apply:
One of the reviewers has chosen the option to "Improve" your suggested edit. In that case, depending on whether the reviewer has chosen to deem your suggested edit helpful, the Community user will approve or reject your edit. After Community's review on your post, the reviewer who chose to edit your post will appear to review your edit as "Edit", and he/she will appear to edit your edit in the revisions list of the post. For more information on the "Improve" option, see What does the Improve button do? below.
You submit a suggested edit at the same time as the original poster or a 2000+ rep user (20000+ in the case of tag wikis) or any moderator (in other words, anyone who has full edit privileges over the specific post). In that case, your suggested edit will be rejected by Community in favor of the fully privileged edit. Since the Community user does not provide a message when such an edit is rejected, it may appear as though the system has rejected your edit immediately, without warning. Don't worry! This has nothing to do with bans, or your profile being banned from suggesting edits. Just try submitting your edit again and it could make it to the review queue.
In any case, suggested edits rejected by Community are not counted towards the suggested edit ban.
Why is the "edit" link disabled?
We stop accepting edits in some occasions:
- A large number of suggested edits by you were rejected in the last day. You are banned for a week.
- We are out of empty slots in the queue.
- There is an edit to a particular post that was not approved yet.
- You are not logged on and the post is less than 10 minutes old.
During that time, the "edit" link is disabled, while a mouse hover tooltip will show the reason such as "Account is not allowed to suggest edits".
How can I check on my own suggested edits?
You can view a list of all the edits you've ever suggested in your profile under the activity tab. Change the sort option there to suggestions. Each item in the list with have a "suggested edit" link which takes you directly to the edit itself, as well as a link to the post that was being edited.
On the suggested edit page, you will be able to see all the votes cast on the edit. Any Reject votes will also have a reason appended below them (users can choose from a canned reason or enter a custom one). Please pay special attention to these rejection reasons as they are meant to educate you on how to suggest better edits. If you have been banned from suggesting edits, this is your best advice to avoid being banned again in the future.
How do I know whether there are edits waiting for review?
- Whenever you visit a question or answer with pending edits and have full edit rights you will have access to UI that allows you to approve or reject an edit.
- The UI will display "edit (1)" instead of the standard edit link.
- Users with 2k reputation are notified in the top bar if there are any pending edits awaiting their approval.
- Users with 10k reputation have access to the suggested edits history. (lower rep users will see only their own reviews there)
- Moderators have access to an additional UI that helps them audit the current state of affairs.
Are tag wikis included in this scheme?
Yes, tag wikis accept suggested edits with the following limitations:
- The user suggesting the edit must be registered.
- Wiki edit suggestions are reviewed in the regular suggested edits peer review queue, but are only visible to users with at least 5000 rep.
- Users with 20k rep have full editing rights on tag wikis.
What does the "Improve" button do?
The Improve button allows approvers to apply changes to the edited version of the text, so they can correct typos introduced by the original editor or to make further changes. The revised text is published when the improver saves their changes.
When improving an edit, the reviewer also has the option of marking the suggested edit as helpful or not helpful, which alters the outcome of the edit they make.
When the reviewer marks the edit as helpful:
- The change history records the suggested edit and the improved edit as separate events.
- The original editor still gets +2 reputation for their suggestion.
When the reviewer marks the edit as not helpful:
- The change history records the improved edit only and the suggested edit is not shown.
- The original editor does not get any reputation for their suggestion.
In either case (helpful or not), the Community user is given responsibility for the decision. Thus, no "approved" or "rejected" item appears in the "reviews" section of the improving user's activity tab.
On Stack Overflow the improved text is published without the need for two accept votes (see below).
Special rules that affect only Stack Overflow:
Stack Overflow sees a significant amount of editing, to help keep a high quality of edits additional restrictions and features have been added for Stack Overflow:
- Three accept or reject votes are required to approve/reject an edit. Jeff explains why in this answer, and Shog explains why it was increased to three
- The queue indicator only shows up once there are five or more items in the queue, to minimize distractions.