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I think in a normal flow of things, if I re-submit my suggested edit with further changes, all approve and reject votes would be forfeited or the edit would be put up for a fresh review from square 1. Am I right?

I just stumbled upon a scenario where:

  1. I submitted a suggested edit for review.
  2. I clicked the edit link again and made more changes.
    • Meanwhile, some reviewers were approving my original suggested edit.
  3. I submitted my new suggested edit.
    • I believe this coincided with the third approve vote my original suggested edit got.

Immediately, my new suggested edit was fully approved and visible as approved in the site. It was not re-submitted for a fresh review.

The revision where I saw this happen is here. My original edit didn't have the title change and the code blocks in the first paragraph. When I added them and submitted my change, it was found to be approved immediately. But in reality, the three reviewers who approved my original suggested edit did not see the new changes at all.

While my change is benign, this bug could make it possible to edit a post by suggesting a benign edit that would gather approvals, then carefully timing a malicious edit to be injected in just when the third approval vote is in.

  • 3
    Carefully timing what, exactly? All you can do is guess because you never know when that third reviewer will actually look at your suggestion. – animuson Jan 6 '14 at 18:17
  • Well, it was luck in my case, but I noticed that you can definitely work out a pattern when you're on the site making edits. Quite often I find that edits get approved within a couple of minutes, and the timings are around an average. Someone with a lot of time could get it done with a few tries... or just macro it in some way. Anyway I'm just trying to help. – ADTC Jan 6 '14 at 18:21
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When you post a question, an answer, or make an edit, you have 5 minutes to make changes to it before it becomes logged in the history. What has happened here is that you posted your suggested edit, then made changes to that edit within that 5 minute window, so it counts as if it were the original edit.

This 5 minute window is by design, to minimize the amount of history entries, since a post becomes a Community Wiki post after a set number of edits (depending on whether it was the original poster or other posters).

An interesting test would be to see if you can get an edit approved within 5 minutes, then change that edit after it was approved and see if it gets resubmitted to the review queue or not. I think this may be an edge case, though, and not something to worry about.

  • What I found is that the third reviewer did not see my changes because I had only submitted them at the last moment, and coincidentally the original edit was approved by the third reviewer. It was evident this is the case because the changes were immediately in effect. I don't think a reviewer could see my submitted changes and accept it immediately within milliseconds like that. Sorry, I don't get why this glitch report is not being acknowledged, but is being explained away as being a 5-minute edit window. – ADTC Jan 6 '14 at 18:56
  • I'm only guessing it's related to the grace period. It may be possible that, because suggested edits are approved so quickly, you can make a suggestion, then go back in and edit the suggestion, wait for the 4:45 mark from your original post (probably a good minute or two after it was approved) and the grace period would make it as if it were the original edit approved. I'm proposing tests to see if this is the case. And if it is, then that's a pretty serious flaw with the grace period. – saluce Jan 6 '14 at 19:02
  • Tested your test case. Review was approved in 2 minutes, and I made a change again. The new change was placed in review queue again. (Unless you meant I had to have the edit open while the review was still pending. You said "change that edit after it was approved" but it's not clear if the change edit page has to be loaded before or after.) – ADTC Jan 6 '14 at 19:16
  • Try again with an edit in progress, see if that gets approved immediately or goes to the review queue. – saluce Jan 6 '14 at 19:23
  • Will do it tomorrow.. too late, need to sleep. – ADTC Jan 6 '14 at 19:23

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