When clicking on the "Edit" link on any post, the resulting URL returns 404.

I've noticed it on SuperUser (trying to edit my question) but it also happens on this very site as well, so it looks like it's a network-wide issue.

My user-agent was set to Linux (that is, the plain string "Linux") and it looks like that was causing the problem (ironically, I had to do this to test a site that would behave differently based on user-agent, and it looks like I found a bug here as well!)

I'd like to know why the user-agent has any incidence on whether editing is allowed (especially given that it allowed me to login and post a new question just fine) and would like to see this fixed, even though I do agree it's a low priority issue.


1 Answer 1


One heuristic our system uses to identify bots is single word user agents - and we do not allow bots to edit pages.

This is a simple and effective heuristic, and unless one changes their user agent in the manner you described, wouldn't cause problem to people.

  • 1
    Would it be possible to add an explanation for humans on those "fake" 404 errors, or redirect to the captcha page? It shouldn't matter to bots as any bot specifically designed for SE would've already figured this out, and generic bots won't be able to read/understand the explanation telling them to change the user-agent. Dec 14, 2016 at 15:59
  • 1
    Bot developers usually copy their browsers' UA string... May 20, 2019 at 3:03

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