Not having seen this before, it struck me as horrific that a user would actually suggest an edit to a spam post to correct link markdown, and it was unanimously approved!

This user posted some spam, but didn't get their link markdown correct:

answer post

So, it was kindly suggested to correct the spam link:


Which was then unanimously approved:


Am I missing something, or is this magnitude of oversight concerning?

  • 39
    – Charles
    Feb 26, 2014 at 6:51
  • 8
    I...what...how?! And I thought accepting too many minor edits was annoying. Feb 26, 2014 at 6:53
  • 7
    Actually, looking at the edit, the kicker is that I don't think the edited version got the markdown completely right either. Feb 26, 2014 at 6:55
  • 1
    @Charles: I think warning or short-time suspension would do it, too, unless they were already warned. Also, giving suspensions would not solve the issue on its own. We would need more restrict reviews for cases, like this, too. Feb 26, 2014 at 6:57
  • @LaszloPapp I think I read that accepting a spam edit triggers an auto-suspension. I assume Charles is advocating that the criteria be expanded a bit. Feb 26, 2014 at 6:59
  • @DennisMeng how come not? Feb 26, 2014 at 6:59
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    @LaszloPapp, I disagree, but perhaps that's why I'm not a mod. We have roboreviewers that aren't even bothering to understand the context of the edits they're approving. That's nonsense, and I'm sick and tired of reviewbots like them approving crap edits. Kill them all.
    – Charles
    Feb 26, 2014 at 6:59
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    @JanDvorak They didn't delete the </a> Feb 26, 2014 at 6:59
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    @LaszloPapp Nah, I would suspend their review privileges for a while. This is beyond stupid. Sounds harsh, but I hope these guys are not writing code. This approval was so bad it makes me wonder if they are sock puppet accounts - sounds far fetched but how could 3 consecutive reviewers get this so wrong?
    – slugster
    Feb 26, 2014 at 7:00
  • @DennisMeng oh. Good eye Feb 26, 2014 at 7:00
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    @slugster: have you considered the option that one of them pressed the wrong button due to UX shortcomings, the two buttons being too close to each other? I did such mistakes in the past when I had not wanted. They probably were not in such cases, but that is immaterial. Anyway, punishing people one by one is not a long term solution. I am still surprised there are no better audits. It feels a bit tedious to read these threads all the time, and there are probably more not revealed by people that could be by proper audits. Feb 26, 2014 at 7:01
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    You people seriously underestimate just how bad the suggested edit problem is on Stack Overflow. Feb 26, 2014 at 7:09
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    This looks like a superb new type of audit! Feb 26, 2014 at 7:48
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    @Amaterasu: Past it. Feb 26, 2014 at 8:47
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    @BoltClock'saUnicorn you can start fighting the problem by banning those three from reviewing for a week, sending them official warning/message explaining why you did that. When the ban period will be over, I believe they will pay much more attention when reviewing. Feb 26, 2014 at 9:48

1 Answer 1


The reviewers responsible have been dealt with. Thanks for bringing this to our attention.

In the future, flag anything you find like this with an "other" flag and ask us to look into the review history for a post. I regularly do that now for spam or vandalism that gets through the system and will take a hard look into the review histories of those approving it.

I know that it's easy to get angry about suggested edits and to believe that the whole system is broken, but remember that the spectacular failures you often see posted on Meta tend to be the worst of the worst. I regularly go back through suggested edit reviews and a significant majority of them clearly did improve the posts. The audits dramatically reduced the number of bad reviewers you see out there, and our tools for hunting down those who evade the audits help to eliminate the worst offenders remaining. However, things could still be improved, and we really do appreciate people pointing out obvious review failures like this.


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