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I see an "edit" link after each question and answer. So I was wondering: how come any user can change any other user's question or answer? I think the reason behind it is that each one can share his or her view, right?

Now if so, then who is going to review it? Suppose I edit an answer which was accepted, then who is going to review that my edited answer is correct? Or it was correct which was already "accepted"?

For more information about editing, see "Why can people edit my posts? How does editing work?" in the Help Center.

Return to FAQ index

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Yes, the Stack Exchange network encourages community-based edits.

In the spirit of Wikipedia and other community-edited sites, we trust users – even anonymous visitors – to edit content here. However, there are some rules though that everyone should follow.

Why should I edit a post?

The most important reasons for editing a post are:

  • Fixing obvious grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • Making posts easier to understand, which helps both readers and the original poster (e.g. could prevent a question from being closed or downvoted)
  • Adding additional information only found in comments, so that new visitors don't have to read everything
  • Embedding or re-uploading images, fixing formatting, etc.

You can find more about these guidelines here, as well as on every edit page:

"How to Edit" sidebar on right side of post editor page

What should I not do?

When you edit other's posts, you're still editing the author's content. Therefore you should never …

  • Change the meaning of the original post.
  • Change subtleties that normally wouldn't matter (e.g. change spelling from British to American English, introduce your own writing style).
  • Add something that doesn't relate to the actual post ("I have the same problem!" or "Here's something if you're interested … ").

If you understood the rules above, it's clear that you can't just go ahead and edit an accepted answer to state something completely different. If you disagree with an existing answer, vote it down, or provide clarifying comments. Or, add your own answer.

Who is going to review it?

While anyone can edit on the Stack Exchange network, your edits will need to be peer reviewed by others if you don't have the edit privilege yet (2,000+ reputation on designed sites, 1,000+ on beta and non-designed sites), or are not logged in. Once you earn it, you can edit posts without needing approval. Users with the privilege can also access the queue of suggested edits in order to review them.

Edits that do not comply with the rules, when suggested by users without the privilege, should be rejected, or, if they've already taken place, overridden or rolled back. Rolling back will reverse the edit and take no other action, and is useful if the edit was made in good faith, if some other edit was made to the post after the suggested edit, or if the reviewer opted to improve the edit. Overriding can only be done by the post author or a moderator, and only if no other edits were made to the post after the suggested edit; it will reverse the +2 reputation gained from the edit, and may cause the editor to be banned from suggesting edits.

Users with the edit privilege are trusted to make their own edits without needing review, but they can of course still make mistakes. Therefore, it is necessary that the community watches out for all edits and rolls back if necessary. You don't even have to search for these edits: since editing a post bumps the question to the front page, it is likely that it will be seen by others.

It is good etiquette not to reject, roll back, or override an edit that actually improved a post – this would be considered rude. If you don't like the idea of having your posts edited for clarity, spelling, etc., then this site might not be the place for you. If you roll back or reject such an edit to your post, the edit may be reinstated by a user with the edit privilege or overridden by a moderator, respectively. Repeatedly doing so may cause your post to be locked to prevent edits, and if the post is a question, it will also prevent answers, so don't do it.

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The FAQ provide some background:

Other people can edit my posts?!

All contributions are licensed under Creative Commons and this site is collaboratively edited, like Wikipedia. If you see something that needs improvement, click edit and help us make it so!

All edits are tracked in a public revision history. To view revisions, click the edit date on the post.

If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

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    I would like to emphasize the last paragraph. Some users probably think they have their soul stolen from them if you edit their posts. – slhck Jan 28 '12 at 14:54
  • @slhck Some edits are just plain ridiculous and it's the right thing to call the editors on them. – Daniel Beck Feb 6 '12 at 15:06
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Editors are your buddies! Like Batman and Robin, Robin helps you fight the crime of bad Q&A and terrible forums with proper grammar, capitalization, and readable paragraphs!

batman and robin editing

Together you are better as a "dynamic duo" than you would be separately, no?

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I am neither an American nor an English native speaker.

Remember there are a lot like me out there.

So editing our posts to make them more understandable and readable is almost a must!

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Now if so, then who is going to review it?

If you have less than 2000 reputation your edit is placed in a review system where users with a reputation of more than 2000 will review your edit and either accept or reject it.

Once you reach a reputation of 2000 you can edit completely on your own. The idea is that people with a reputation of that level are trusted and have been active on the site long enough so they don't make invalid edits.

If you see an invalid edit you can always roll it back to an earlier version.

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    See @slhck's answer for what we consider an invalid edit. – Robert Harvey Jan 28 '12 at 15:41

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