Apparently moderators don't have the ability to see ninja edits (see here).

Please give it to them so they have the information they need when dealing with flags and just generally in their role as our second line of defense against unconstructive/abusive behavior. (Obviously this can only be going forward, apparently the information isn't even saved in the DB.)

Here's one such scenario where a mod would need to see a ninja edit:

  • Someone flags a post for good reason based on the content of the post
  • No one posts a comment on the post
  • Within the grace period, the OP changes the post so it no longer has the problematic content

But that's just one scenario.

Related: Allow flags to interrupt edit grace periods - Only handles the flag scenario, but it seems simple to implement and would address that scenario.

  • I can understand why you are raising this issue, but I wonder how much an OP can edit their posts unconstructively and abusively for a very limited time. How about a feature request that prevent flagging a post in the middle of a grace period? I am not sure... If the OP had done the edit in good faith after finding he'd made a mistake in the first posting, would it still need flagging?
    – Rathony
    Dec 6, 2016 at 13:32
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    In your example above, at the end of the day, the contents of the post is fine, so from my point of view, all is fine. The only potential consequence is that the user that has raised the flag may see his flag denied. Given the probabilities involved here and the minor consequences of a single denied flag, I don't think there is an urge to fix that.
    – dim
    Dec 6, 2016 at 13:43
  • @Rathony: See Patrick Hoffman's comment here. And no, we really don't want to make people wait five minutes to flag things. Dec 6, 2016 at 13:44
  • @T.J.Crowder I see. I've never experienced this on the sites where I am active, but I think it could happen on a site like Stack Overflow. Good luck.
    – Rathony
    Dec 6, 2016 at 16:13
  • 6
    Why not just make flagging end the grace period? Dec 6, 2016 at 16:21
  • 4
    @Gothdo: Bhargav Rao made that suggestion over here. I think it's an excellent idea and would like to see it implemented, and it addresses this specific use case. I think there's value in mods being able to see ninja edits even when a flag wasn't raised (e.g., when investigating behavior for other reasons), though. But in terms of a quick win, flagging ending the grace period would be great. Dec 6, 2016 at 16:37
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    If we have to store the revision anyways in order to show it to moderators, what would be the point of only showing it to moderators? Why wouldn't we just show it to everyone? If this is really such a problem, we'd likely just implement the initial revision solution mentioned in Patrick's answer. But the only motivation you've presented for this is to prevent flags being declined, which isn't a great reason to do it. They're just flags. Is there some other serious issue that this would solve?
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 6, 2016 at 17:44
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    @animuson: This isn't about flags being declined. This is about moderators being able to properly investigate things, whether in response to a flag or not. If someone posts verbal abuse, it's still verbal abuse, even if the offender quickly edits the post to hide that. If someone saw it and flagged it, the mod should be aware of that. It's about making sure mods have the necessary information, not the destiny of a flag. Dec 6, 2016 at 17:59
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    @animuson I think I understand where T.J. is going with this now. If there were a pattern of a particular user making abusive remarks and always editing them away within the grace period, it would not be like a lone incident--it would be something that needed action. However, because none of the remarks were preserved, it would be difficult to make a case for action to be taken. Dec 6, 2016 at 20:12
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    This sounds like we're making an excuse for something that rarely ever happens. Storing an additional revision to solve a one in a million problem isn't necessary. "So moderators know about the behavior" may seem noble, but the fact that the user had the mind to edit it out quickly is just as noble. Whether it happens frequently or not, I don't see any reason for a moderator to dig down and take further action for a self-correcting user. They realized their wording was bad and changed it. Great. No further action required.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Dec 6, 2016 at 20:23
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    As animuson has noted, in my entire time as a moderator on Stack Overflow, I've seen a grace period edit remove problematic content only once (pointed out here: chat.stackoverflow.com/transcript/message/29404027#29404027 ). It's vanishingly rare. If it's flagged content that you're worried about, maybe it would be better to implement this suggestion to kill the grace period the instant something is flagged. Dec 6, 2016 at 22:28
  • @BradLarson: Respectfully, how would you know that a grace time edit was a problem? :-) Dec 7, 2016 at 6:59
  • @BradLarson: But yes, wholeheartedly support SE implementing that. It's been sitting there 14 months. Dec 7, 2016 at 7:03
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    @animuson I wouldn't be surprised if this is a regular / frequent issue at Stack Overflow. It is completely normal for a regular reader to flag VLQ typical garbage draft of a fastest-gun post ("I'm writing the answer, wait a minute..."). And it is unlikely that enough of them will ever learn that they need a trick with commenting to fix the evidence of abuse
    – gnat
    Dec 7, 2016 at 9:32


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