I don't need further approvers for my edits on Stack Overflow, but if I approve another person's edit (which is often the edit I wanted to make), the edit needs to wait for more approvers.

Can it be changed so that if someone who can make edits without further approvers, approves an edit, it doesn't need further approvers ether?

It appears that in the interest of better quality reviews, you have to at least notionally improve the edit as an extra step. Is there a way this could be more obvious as I might not be the only one who didn't know this?

  • 2
    I'm certain this has been asked before, let me find it ...
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 7:35
  • 1
    How do you plan to deal with the robo-reviewer problem? Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 7:36
  • 1
    A reviewer can singlehandedly approve/reject a suggested edit if they do an "improve edit" or a "reject and edit" respectively. I see plenty of people doing one of these when they should have picked another option, although I guess you can't call it robo-reviewing since you still have to make a change yourself.
    – Laurel
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 7:42
  • Related discussion on MSO: meta.stackoverflow.com/q/252980/4751173
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 7:51
  • It appears the argument is that too many reviewers don't really review the edits they didn't make, so an extra step of at least notionally improving the edit is required. This could be made more obvious. I have 430k rep and I might not be the only one who doesn't know this. Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 8:16
  • FWIW that's mentioned in the help center: "Two votes in either direction will finalize the action."
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 8:26
  • @Glorfindel This one, I feel you can work out from using the system and seeing it's behaviour. It's the if you notionally improve the edit it can be accepted immediately which isn't obvious. Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 8:30
  • This may be non-obvious but the only people who can review edits can make them without review, so changing it for those people changes it for everyone.
    – Catija
    Commented Oct 5, 2018 at 19:05

1 Answer 1


I don't think this is a good idea.

There is a huge problem with robo-reviewers, especially on a site like Stack Overflow, that has large amounts of higher-reputation users.

Robo-reviewers just barrel through the queues, approving - or rejecting - everything, so that they can get the reviewing badges. Even when Stack Overflow required three reviewers to approve or reject a suggested edit, things such as spam edits were sometimes approved.

The current system, requiring at least two eyes on every suggested edit, provides at least a small protection against good edits getting rejected and bad edits getting approved, by making sure that at least two people have a chance to review it. It's not perfect, but it's better than nothing.

Just because you're allowed to edit something yourself doesn't mean that you can always be trusted to approve something unilaterally, since you're much more likely to robo-review a bad edit than to intentionally make a bad edit from your account.

Your review also goes through immediately when you click "Improve edit" (which approves the suggested edit) or "reject and edit" - again, you're much less likely to make a bad edit from your own account.

If you'd like to be able to unilaterally approve edits, become a moderator ;)
Mods and the OP of a post can decide by themselves on any suggested edit (even after it's been reviewed by the queue).

As for the second half of your question, it's mentioned in the help center article that you get linked to when you reach 2,000 reputation.

Reviewing suggested edits

In addition, users with this privilege level can also begin reviewing suggested edits (which previously you would have had to suggest). These edits remain in a pending state until they get enough votes to either approve them and make the edits take effect or reject them and discard the edit. Two votes in either direction will finalize the action.
(emphasis added)

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