This isn't the first time I've seen this, in fact it always seems to result in the same outcome: multiple users appear, one posts a bad post, the other edits it until they've got enough reputation to get in chat, and then "fun" ensues:

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Since people can accept edits against their own posts and these result in instant reputation, you can easily submit multiple edits in quick succession to get from 1 reputation to the 20 required to chat.

We need a change to the way self accepting edits against your own posts work to combat this, or a rate limit on new users submitting edits, or a rate limit on new users accepting edits... just... something.


  • Shouldn't those edits fall into the grace period? And thus be bundled to one edit? For this scenario to work you would have to do this trick in the timeframe of an hour. Maybe the chat privilege should be delayed by 24 hours after reaching the required rep.
    – rene
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:28
  • @rene: Nope, the grace period doesn't apply if the post is edited by someone other than the answerer/asker. It will be treated as separate edits. Feb 13, 2014 at 15:33
  • 2
    @Amal it very much applies to people other than OP. I've had three or four of my edits combine on others' posts before. It just won't combine suggested edits, ever. Feb 13, 2014 at 15:35
  • 4
    @rene That doesn't apply to a suggested edit after it is accepted. If the edit happens before it's accepted it'll be rolled in, but otherwise it won't. If that weren't the case then users who get their edits accepted within 5 minutes could edit in vandalism/spam.
    – Servy
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:36
  • Yeah each individual edit gets accepted before the next one is submitted
    – Flyk
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:42

2 Answers 2


This is one of the reasons we have an active tab. It lets people monitor for activities such as this. You can flag the post, inform a moderator, and that moderator can deal with the abusive behavior.

If this is something that we see being more widespread, then it can potentially be worth looking into countermeasures, but as it is, the behavior is easily discovered, especially if a mod is looking for it. (My guess is someone could write a simple enough query to look for all instances of this and just run that every few days.)

  • 3
    That won't stop this from being abused by people who want to troll chat, though
    – Flyk
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:44
  • 1
    @Flyk Depends on how long it takes for them to be flagged. And if it's just one user doing this then there are ways of dealing with it. As I said, it's only really if this becomes a pretty widespread issue with lots of people trying to do this that it really becomes worth the time/effort to make code changes to address it. If mod intervention can handle the very rare cases, that should be enough. Only if that has shown to not successfully work do you look to more significant changes.
    – Servy
    Feb 13, 2014 at 15:46

It would generally make sense to change the code so that you don't get any rep for suggested edits if you've already edited the same post before.

After all, we already tell editors to make suggested edits as thorough as possible; if you need to edit the same post several times, that means your initial edit was not as complete as it should've been. Even excluding such cases of obvious abuse as described in the question, removing the rep reward for subsequent edits would at least remove that slight incentive, and more clearly communicate the fact that suggesting multiple edits to the same post is not something we really want to encourage.

However, I also agree with Servy that, unless this kind of abuse becomes widespread, there's no urgent need for the fix. Isolated cases can and should be flagged for moderator attention, so that the user(s) involved can be banned.

  • Note that such a change would just encourage these types of users to make 5 bad posts and spread the edits out. That can actually make the abuse harder to detect. It's a big point to keep an eye on when trying to deal with abusive behavior; some actions make being abusive only slightly harder but make finding abuses much harder.
    – Servy
    Feb 13, 2014 at 18:42
  • @Servy: Indeed. I was actually going to point that aspect out in my answer, but I forgot. Feb 13, 2014 at 18:43

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