Yesterday I posted this answer, about 5 minutes after I clicked on the "Post Your Answer" button I got some comments from a mod.

In one of them he said I had edited my answer in the first 5 minutes after posted and so that edit won't show up on the edit history. The thing is that I didn't make any edits to the answer (before or after the first 5 minutes).

He was pretty convinced that I had done those edits, so now the only theory that I have is that he was able to see the draft of the answer while I was writing it, that would explain why he saw different versions of the answer (the parts he said I added were at the end of the answer, so that would make sense).

So the question is, can moderators see answer drafts from other users?

Note: some of the comments are now deleted, so only mods/staff would be able to see the full thread, but this question still can be answered without seeing the complete thread.

  • @KevinB the network activity could be there because of the draft beign saved, if after saved is visible or not to mods is my question Feb 15, 2019 at 17:23
  • It gets sent for validation whenever the input is blurred looks like. The saving of the draft is more likely to be client-side
    – Kevin B
    Feb 15, 2019 at 17:23

3 Answers 3


There is no interface to see a saved draft of a post. The disagreement about the response/timing of your answer likely boils down to a basic mix-up on one side or the other. Since the only artifact remaining is a set of deleted he-said-she-said comments, I wouldn't dwell on it any further and just move on. There's no backroom access.

  • Are Stack Exchange staff able to see drafts? Feb 15, 2019 at 17:40
  • @SonictheIntrovertedHedgehog Not to my knowledge, unless you have core dev access and dig into the deepest bowels of raw database storage. There's no interface to see that stuff; it is temporary scrap storage. There is no reasonable use case to explore it. Feb 15, 2019 at 17:43


I'm a moderator on one SE site, and we definitely can't see drafts before they're posted. (Stack Exchange staff probably can, but I don't know, and that's not what you're asking about anyway.)

It is often possible to detect so-called "shadow edits" (edits to a post made within the first 5 minutes of posting, which don't show up in the revision history) simply by watching the page carefully and seeing the post change. For example, I shadow-edited the current paragraph into this meta answer. If you're quick, you may see it change as you're reading it. Perhaps in your case the moderator somehow thought they saw this happen when in fact it didn't?



Moderators can only see answers once they've been posted. The only people other than the owner who can see answer drafts are staff.

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