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During the past few weeks I've noticed some really strange edit suggestions popping up in the edit review queue. They happen in the following conditions:

  • The original post has plenty of grammar and spelling errors. Some helpful soul edits it and fixes them with a perfectly fine and valid edit.
  • And then a suggestion from pops up in the edit queue from someone else: to undo all of the edit changes and re-introduce all the grammar/spelling errors. But this second edit fixes something minor like changing a tag or a bit of indention.

I'm pretty sure this is a race condition: two people are editing the same post at once, where the good, careful editor (paradoxically) finishes before the sloppy editor.

As an edit reviewer there is nothing you can do but to reject the second edit, even though the second edit may be valid. (An edit can be valid even if it doesn't fix every single problem.)

It may just be me imagining things, but I think this problem has appeared recently. It might suggest some kind of bug in the site. Were there some silent changes in the edit system recently? Or possibly in the edit review queue system?

And whether this is a bug or not, the edit system desperately needs a mutex! Two people shouldn't be able to edit the same post at once. It is incredibly annoying to finishing your major edit, only to find out that someone's been doing some minor fiddling with the post in-between.

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  • So someone should be able to go and open up the edit page for a bunch of posts, then walk away, preventing edits on those posts? Even if you add a timer, preventing edits on a post for the 15 minutes after it is first introduced will be very problematic for the question.
    – Servy
    Feb 24, 2014 at 15:47
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    It was always like that. I am reviewing suggested edits for years, and don't see any drastic increase in this. With more users becoming aware of this "free rep" treasure, it's not surprising to see more and more suggested edits but all in all, I still don't think it's a serious problem. Feb 24, 2014 at 15:48
  • @Servy It would need a timer, obviously. And perhaps allow the OP to take precedence over other editors. That's all implementation details.
    – Lundin
    Feb 24, 2014 at 15:50
  • @Lundin As I said, even with a timer it can still be very damaging.
    – Servy
    Feb 24, 2014 at 15:51
  • recently there was a change recently, which prefers improved suggested edits to approved suggested edits
    – m0sa StaffMod
    Feb 24, 2014 at 17:51
  • @m0sa So apparently we already have the edit timer, very nice feature! I'm guessing the oddities I have experienced are indeed related to that: the second edit ends up in the review queue as an edit to the original post. The problem then is, if the first edit was valid and more substantial than the second, but the second was also valid, then the second editor gets a rejected edit which counts towards them getting a ban from editing. Correct? That's not very nice.
    – Lundin
    Feb 25, 2014 at 7:19

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