I answered a question 2 hours ago. When I took a look at it now, some guy edited my answer, which totally changed the answer and made it wrong. To my surprise, the edit was approved in review. To add to that, that same guy who edited my answer posted his own answer, which ended up being accepted.

Seems like peer review of the edit was taken lightly, and others just want others' answers wrong. From my end, it seems very unfair. What can be done to prevent such events?

  • 7
    autobot-reviewers! Autobot-reviewers everywhere! May 4, 2013 at 1:23
  • I think the correct tag would be "discussion".
    – hjpotter92
    May 4, 2013 at 1:41
  • 5
    this shouldn't happen
    – Doorknob
    May 4, 2013 at 1:43
  • Adding it to my list. :)
    – Ry-
    May 4, 2013 at 3:18

2 Answers 2


It's quite possible that it was simply an honest mistake, one that results from the complexity in the question and in both answers.

It looks like you both answered the question, but you answered using slightly different techniques, so it's possible he just got confused and thought he was doing you a favor.

Judging by his answer, using the jsbin, he doesn't seem like someone who would be cheap enough to do something underhanded. In my experience, the people who cheat generally don't put any effort into trying to be legitimate, and they are very transparent.

Is it possible that you were wrong? I can't say for sure, as I didn't run the code, and it's more complex than what my brain can handle at 7pm on a Friday night. :)

Aside from politely asking him to explain his edit, and one of you learning something in the process, there isn't really much that can be done. If someone can ask him to explain the edit, and it was indeed his mistake, then he might be more careful about his edits in the future, but I'd only suggest doing this if you can keep your cool. Remember, it could just be an honest mistake, so try not to throw accusations. Remember, it's just 15 rep points. :)

  • +1 on the just 15 rep At 3am, I'm way beyond understanding code :)
    – nickhar
    May 4, 2013 at 2:09
  • 1
    I'm leaning towards this explanation, because none of those who approved the edits act like robo-reviewers. All of them have rejected other bad suggested edits. Since the audits were put in place, I've had a harder and harder time finding people really abusing the review system. May 4, 2013 at 23:36
  • Hi @BradLarson, I spent a good ten minutes looking at both posts, the edits, and the jsbin, and I couldn't really see any sign of malicious behavior. It appears to be just an honest mistake where some folks tried to be helpful and did more harm than good. I'd hate to vilify any of these people because they likely have many other good contributions where things didn't go wrong. In short, this is an outlier.
    – jmort253
    May 4, 2013 at 23:39

Peer/community-review isn't broken, but there are those who (as commenters have pointed out), robot-review suggested edits to gain rep. I've reviewed edits in the past where upon accepting or rejecting edits, I've found that an edit has already been reviewed and with little consideration for it's actual content.

Yes, it sucks when someone changes your answer and/or code, but you've used the rollback functionality.

Interestingly and in your case, It was accepted by 3 users with higher rep (totalling ~36,000 rep) and rejected by 2 users with lower rep (totalling ~6,000 rep). But, they shouldn't be editing your code in any way as context can be lost.

If you have issues with contentious edits (from competing answer-writers or otherwise), the best thing you can do is:

  • Ask the editor/poster to explain
  • Flag it with a moderator and they will look at the issue and act appropriately.

With such a high rep on SO, I'm surprised you're even asking this question - although I can understand the frustration, which I think most of us have had at one point or another.

  • 3
    Some high rep SO users don't participate on MSO, and some do. That's okay. Many people simply prefer to answer the technical questions and only come here when they have a problem.
    – jmort253
    May 4, 2013 at 2:06
  • Utterly valid point!
    – nickhar
    May 4, 2013 at 2:13
  • @nickhar Usually, if other users have doubt about the answer or it's just plain wrong, they comment their doubts or downvote and leave the poster to edit the mistake. If that user had an intention of posting a better answer, why didn't he just leave my answer alone? Oh well, there's a first for everything.
    – Joseph
    May 4, 2013 at 2:56
  • 1
    robot-review suggested edits to gain rep No, it won't give you rep, but it gives you badges, and shiny gold badge at 1000 reviews.
    – nhahtdh
    May 4, 2013 at 5:14

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