I'm not sure if this is a legitimate question for Meta, since it may involve information that is purposefully hidden from the public eye to prevent abuse. But the reason I ask is due to an issue on this question.
I flagged this answer for moderator attention because it was a direct copy-and-paste of someone else's answer which had already been there for several minutes. Unfortunately, the original answerer was still actively editing their post, and because these edits were occurring during the grace period, none of them show up in the edit history. Because of this, I can't show that the two versions actually were identical.
Is there any way for moderators or administrators to see the previous versions in order to prove that the person had just copy-and-pasted the other answer? Or is that information genuinely lost forever during the grace period and a moderator would just have to "take my word for it"?
(I'd assume that there are still enough similarities between the posts to make it obvious, but you see how it could be an issue or something useful in future cases of such abuse.)
If this isn't an ability that moderators have, should it be one? Should this data be preserved in some way for just this kind of record keeping?