On a recent review audit on SU, I clicked "Edit" and was greeted with the plain text "This post was deleted and cannot be edited". It wasn't in a popup box or anything; the actual page consisted of just that text, with no formatting (as though it were the only content of the HTML page). This makes it really obvious I'm dealing with an audit.

  • 1
    Indeed, some of these review audits are way too easy to see through. The entire page changing to just "This post was deleted and cannot be edited" isn't very user-friendly either. Mar 4, 2013 at 6:16
  • When you clicked "edit" the first time, did you right-click then "open link in new tab"? Or just left-click it?
    – Emmett
    Mar 5, 2013 at 22:20
  • @Emmett Left click.
    – cpast
    Mar 5, 2013 at 22:28
  • @cpast It looks like you managed to pass the audit a few seconds later. Do you recall going back and having it work the second time?
    – Emmett
    Mar 5, 2013 at 22:32
  • I went back and hit "add comment" (at that point, I knew it was an audit, and I know adding a comment passes the audit)
    – cpast
    Mar 5, 2013 at 22:34
  • @cpast Based on our logs, I can confirm that the behavior you're reporting did, in fact, happen. But unfortunately I've been unable to reproduce. I'll continue to keep an eye out.
    – Emmett
    Mar 7, 2013 at 19:20
  • @Emmett I just saw it again, I think a day or so ago? I hit "back", "edit" again, and got the same thing then too. (I then hit "add comment" to pass the audit)
    – cpast
    Mar 7, 2013 at 19:25
  • 1
    @Emmett I just got the same behavior on ServerFault (for this review). I accidentally hit edit instead of flag and I was redirected here.
    – j0k
    Mar 9, 2013 at 10:03
  • This just happened me also in the late answer queue for an audit.
    – Ren
    Apr 5, 2013 at 11:08
  • Possibly related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/193830/…
    – Shog9
    Mar 13, 2014 at 23:09
  • Also possibly related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/217781/…
    – Shog9
    Mar 13, 2014 at 23:09

2 Answers 2


As mentioned over on this other question, this has been fixed. If you click "edit" you should now get a notice saying you passed the audit.


This should probably not be considered a bug.

  1. If someone clicks Edit on a post, it's difficult to know their full intentions, but probably they think something is wrong with it that is worth fixing. Most of the time, this could be a reasonable action to take. Once someone clicks edit, they'd usually pass the audit.

  2. Suppose someone clicks the link link to view the post (outside review). They'll see it's deleted then, too. Clicking that is a more efficient way to check if a post exists than trying to edit it (see point 4 below for details about that). Nothing should be done about that (non-)issue, and for the same reasons, nothing should be done about the user discovering a post doesn't exist when they click to Edit it.

  3. Even if people's edits are bad (perhaps especially then), we don't want people spending lots of time writing edits that can't be submitted. This is why editors are notified when a post is deleted while they're editing. Having people spend time editing a nonexistent post is cruel and pointless.

  4. The current behavior is actually quite reasonable. Clicking Edit usually lets you edit the post. When the post is deleted and present as an audit, clicking Edit gives you a non-user-friendly page and requires you to use your browser's back button, or similar facility, to return to reviewing. So this is a very inefficient way to determine if a post is an audit. Imagine someone clicking Edit on everything! That would likely be slower than actually paying attention.

Arguably, this is a low-impact interface bug. It is not a hole in the review system. If this is considered a bug and fixed, the fix should still inform the user that the post cannot be edited.

Potentially, instead of saying it's deleted, it could say that someone else is editing it (since under some circumstances that prevents a new edit from being started). People would get wise to that almost immediately, though, and even if they didn't, they're not very likely to fail the audit if they thought the post needed editing and were unable to edit it.

Therefore, there are two good responses to this.

  1. The best response would be to fix the minor interface bug by making Edit tell the user that the post does not exist, but in a way consistent with the Stack Exchange interface.

    This should probably be a little bit slow. That way, no incentive (compared to the current situation) is created for people to click Edit to determine if the post is an audit.

    • One option would be to actually bring up an edit screen, but with a bar at the top informing the user that the post has been deleted.

    • But I think a better way would just be to introduce 2 or 3 second delay after clicking Edit (which sometimes happens anyway) and then tell give the user one of those little message windows (which are blue, currently) to tell the user it cannot be edited because it has been deleted.

  2. Another completely acceptable response, as argued above, is to leave the system's current behavior as it is.

  • 1
    It definitesly seems like a bug to me - if you pass the audit, the message informing you that you've passed states that downvoting, editing or flagging would all be considered successful audits. Therefore, clicking edit should presumably just make your audit succeed, as stated by that message.
    – neminem
    Mar 31, 2014 at 21:31

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .