I've recently started to review posts actively, and I'm quite taken aback to see a rather large number of edits that are obvious attempts at vandalizing posts, such as in this edit where this:

I have a listview adapter with a relativelayout

has this as a suggested edit:

I have a listview getting content from stdin started A normal dict reviewer A with a relativelayout

Anybody knows the reason why users are trying to do such blatant vandalism?

  • 14
    Congrats! You passed the review audit. Keep up the good work.
    – iDev
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 4:06
  • Gawd ! the treachery !
    – Chani
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 7:05

3 Answers 3


That was a review audit.

It was intentional vandalism (inserted by the system) to make sure that you were paying attention while you were reviewing.

So no, nobody actually suggested that edit. It was just a test for the reviewer.

  • 5
    Sorry, my answer-bot didn't understand your comment so it alerted me back the keyboard.
    – Mysticial
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 3:59
  • Ha! I got a few review audits for other types of reviews, but contrarily to those where you need to raise a flag (for example), these "vandalism" ones never told me it was an audit!
    – joce
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 4:02
  • I thought there could have been people using SO to try and train machine learning algorithms or something.
    – joce
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 4:03
  • 11
    @Joce That would be Jon Skeet. It's obvious that he has already mastered this and deployed it on SO years ago.
    – Mysticial
    Commented Mar 5, 2013 at 4:06

While this was a review audit, there are sometimes actual edit suggestions like this. This particular style of bad edit can occur when someone accidentally pastes text in the wrong place (or in the wrong textbox altogether), then also fails to look over the post before submitting their edit.

These should be rejected whether or not they're real, of course.


Just to answer your question whether people vandalise posts: People do vandalise posts, for the same purpose as they do vandalise shops, cars or public parks: because "it is fun" (don't ask me what is funny about having a negative contribution, because I don't know). So it is good that you passed the audit since it means you'd spot such a vandalism and reject it ;)

  • 4
    Most edit vandalism, at least on Ask Ubuntu where I regularly review suggested edits, seems to be spam, and not for "fun." The second most common motivation I've seen is when someone disagrees with an answer and defaces it, or tries to reply to it by editing (which would at best be an invalid edit) but removes all the original material during their edit. I've only seen one or two instances of vandalism that looked to be "for fun." Similarly, there's a wide variety of reasons people vandalize places of business, vehicles, and parks, and "fun" is one, but also to steal, "send a message," etc. Commented Mar 6, 2013 at 5:03

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