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I was looking through the Community user's activity list so as to get a list of the anonymous edits I (and many other users, but before December 2017, almost all mine) made over the course of editing anonymously. However, the Community user's edit list during a few days during early 2017 is cluttered with thousands of edits changing old links from HTTP to HTTPS. Also, there was a prior migration script which changed older MSO links to MSE links (but that script contained a bug which changed Markdown into HTML, so a second script was deployed to change them back to Markdown).

Anyway, these automated script edits make it extremely difficult to audit anonymous edits, especially if they were approved in the middle of running scripts. I suggest allowing users to filter those edits into major categories:

  • Anonymous edits
  • HTTP -> HTTPS link edits
  • MSO -> MSE link edits
    • possibly with two categories for the first buggy script and the second fixer script
  • Edits to add the duplicate link on duplicate closures prior to February 2013

This will make it much easier for me to see my edits, and for others to audit my edits.

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  • Why is this being downvoted? Why shouldn't this be implemented? Mar 10, 2018 at 2:44
  • can I ask why you need to search through your previous list? I make thousands of edits, and have never felt the urge to make a list of them so I'm trying to understand your rationale for this.
    – Rory Alsop
    Mar 10, 2018 at 14:11
  • @RoryAlsop It's not only for my benefit; it's for other users' benefits as well. I want my edits to be audited by the community, so they can catch errors in them that may have slipped through the cracks. I didn't edit anonymously to show off; I did it to benefit posts and most importantly to ensure that FAQs had correct info. Mar 10, 2018 at 14:25
  • The community tried to audit them by finding links to suggested edits from null users in SEDE, but this also picked up edits from registered users whose accounts were later deleted. Mar 10, 2018 at 14:26
  • That seems like a very bad idea. Edits get audited anyway, especially anonymous edits - why are you calling out "here is a huge list of ones I did" - just let the existing processes do their thing.
    – Rory Alsop
    Mar 10, 2018 at 14:41

2 Answers 2

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Special Casing Sucks.

Any special case is literally more maintenance, involves specific situations, and generally makes things less maintainable.

So more or less we're trying to change what's essentially standard behavior, consistent across any user, regular or otherwise, so that we can audit edits possibly made by one or more users who for whatever reason chose not to log in when editing.

The prospect of this being useful in any other situation is somewhere between slim and none, and involve things that needed to be done, and are best forgotten unless something went wrong.

This will make it much easier for me to see my edits, and for others to audit my edits.

Which is a great reason to do your edits as a logged-in user. I do this all the time. It works really well.

In addition, at this point, this depends on there being actual differences between approved anonymous edits and these housekeeping scripts internally in the database. I leave it as an exercise to someone more familiar with SEDE or the data dumps to work out whether that's even possible.

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  • "Which is a great reason to do your edits as a logged in user." That's one reason for coming out and recreating my account in December 2017; I said this here. You can't change the past. Mar 10, 2018 at 6:48
  • One can live with the past. Its a lovely place, full of things you wish you didn't do ;) Mar 10, 2018 at 6:49
  • I don't wish I didn't edit anonymously. I'm glad I did, because I would have made direct edits that would have required rollback, which may not have been noticed until much later, vs. an incorrect edit would have just been rejected. Mar 10, 2018 at 6:50
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    So, make the edits you think are right. See, you're trading off one set of concequences (possibly being wrong) with another (not being able to find your posts) Mar 10, 2018 at 6:51
  • And then how else would I tidy up the FAQs? Many of them were long-outdated. I think you should reread my answer, in which I went in depth as to why I edited anonymously and why I chose to come out. Also, is there a way to see this in SEDE? Mar 10, 2018 at 6:53
  • Finally, would you support or oppose this in principle? Mar 10, 2018 at 6:53
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    I think my answer makes it very very clear what I think. Maybe having the thesis statement in the middle of my answer makes it a little tricky but The prospect of this being useful in any other situation is somewhere between slim and none , and involve things that needed to be done, and are best forgotten unless something went wrong. sums it up well. Mar 10, 2018 at 6:57
  • Meaning, you'd be opposed to this in principle if I hadn't made those anonymous edits? Mar 10, 2018 at 6:59
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    I leave it as an exercise to the reader to actually read my answer. Which covers many of these points Mar 10, 2018 at 6:59
  • Oh, I read your answer. You're saying that in any other situation from my anonymous edits, you don't need this unless something went wrong with a script, and it may be difficult to implement internally due to the DB not distinguishing them. But my anonymous editing exists, you can't assume it doesn't exist. Also, when I said in principle, I meant "if technical reasons weren't an issue". Mar 10, 2018 at 7:02
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    'Any special case is literally more maintenance, involves specific situations and generally makes things less maintainable.' One cannot get more general than that. Its in my answer. Mar 10, 2018 at 7:05
  • Let me rephrase it: if the team is willing to maintain a special case, and the fact it's one is not a concern, would you support or oppose this? Mar 10, 2018 at 7:06
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    Its the concern. "If there wasn't a atomic mushroom cloud on the horizon, would you be willing to buy this lovely beachfront apartment?" Mar 10, 2018 at 7:08
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I don't see a reason to add extra complexity to the system.

If you really need that list of edits, you can use SEDE:

select postid as [Post Link], comment, approvaldate 
from suggestededits 
where owneruserid is null and rejectiondate is null

This code will return all the approved suggested edits made by anonymous users.

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  • No, this also covers approved suggested edits from registered users whose accounts were later deleted. Mar 10, 2018 at 19:42
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    @Ano I don't see a way to exclude those users. In fact, when a user is deleted, the suggested edit page is changed to say the edit is from "an anonymous user".
    – Laurel
    Mar 10, 2018 at 19:53

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