I know that it is possible for we as moderators to redact revisions (as announced in the February 2016 Newsletter).

However, I was just searching for guidance on when such redactions should be approved or rejected by another moderator.

In this case I have received a notification to approve the redaction of a server name and a user's full name from a path that has been flagged by someone other than the poster.

I see such paths in questions frequently and would be happy to redact them, when they are flagged by the original poster.

However, my concern is that redacting them when other than the poster flags them is overuse of the tool and may set a precedent for more such flagging.

Is there any guidance on when another moderator should approve/reject Moderator Revision Redaction Approval requests?

I think such guidance should be part of any implementation to address Please add documentation about the redaction tool to the moderator help

  • There is a bit of guidance at the bottom of this answer.
    – user315433
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 1:23
  • Thanks @NormalHuman - I had not seen that - and I like its emphasis on using only for really sensitive information.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 1:28

1 Answer 1


General guidance is to do it when someone has flagged for excessive PII (Personally Identifying Information) so this can include real name, email address, physical address, employer etc. where it will have negative consequences.

Typically we see this where someone hasn't thought through a complaint about an employer, or disclosure of a security flaw, etc. and then realised they should not have done that, or someone else has pointed out the risk.

The tool itself has some minor issues - it glitches on occasion, successfully deleting the revision but indicating it still needs approval.

  • 4
    Plenty of SO users have no problem with others knowing their full name, their email address, their employer, etc. Them flagging their own post and asking for it to be redacted is one thing, but flagging someone else's posts is quite different. If I flag Jon Skeet's profile because he lists his name should a mod redact that information, given that it contains PII?
    – Servy
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 22:58
  • So what's "excessive"? The question is asking when it is and isn't appropriate to redact the information, and your answer is...whenever you think it's appropriate, but not when you think it isn't? That's not really much of a guideline.
    – Servy
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 23:00
  • Clarified to save confusion for you.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 23:01
  • Would you say then that if one user flags to say "person's name and their server's name should be removed from the path they have provided" the response should be to reject the flag and suggest they just make a comment to that effect so that the user sees it? That way it does not get into the "redaction queue" unless/until the poster flags it themselves.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Mar 7, 2017 at 23:09
  • 1
    sometimes the OP is unaware of ramifications, so there is a judgement call as well.
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Mar 8, 2017 at 6:30

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