See the related blog post for an overview with screenshots: Suggested Edits and Edit Review.
Who can suggest an edit?
- Registered users without the edit privilege (2000 rep) can suggest edits to any post or tag wiki.
- Registered users who are not trusted users (>20000 rep) can suggest edits to tag wikis.
- Anonymous users can suggest edits to any post more than 10 minutes old. These edits are attributed to the Community ♦ user upon approval. They cannot suggest edits to tag wikis.
Where do suggested edits go?
Suggested edits are held in a peer review queue of a fixed size. If the queue fills up, no more edit suggestions will be allowed until the queue has some empty space.
Who can vote on a suggested edit?
- The owner of a post or a moderator may cast a binding vote to accept or reject any modification of their post.
- All users with the edit privilege may vote on suggested edits to posts.
- Users with the approve tag wiki edits privilege may vote on suggested edits to tag wikis.
- Note that this is different from the privilege required to directly edit tag wikis without needing approval; that requires the trusted user privilege.
How do suggested edits get approved?
Two accept or reject votes are required to remove the suggested edit from the queue and either apply the edit to the post or discard it. It used to be a single vote (two on Stack Overflow), later three on SO, and then later still SO was dropped back to two to match the rest of the network.
If a user votes to Improve Edit or Reject and Edit, their review will dequeue the edit, as the Community user will make a review (see below).
Our goal is to ensure that many reviewers are participating in the process.
- There is a limited number of accept and reject votes per day.
- Additionally, there is a limit to the number of times you may vote on a single user's suggestions.
- Note that post authors can still review edits to their own posts even after they reach the daily review cap. Source
Can I earn reputation?
- When a suggested edit is approved, the user who suggested it gets +2 reputation. The regular daily reputation cap applies, and the total cap for reputation gained via suggested edits is 1,000. The +2 is reversed if the edited post is ever deleted or if the final user to review one of your suggestions gets their account deleted.
- When a suggested edit is rejected, no reputation penalty is given, though it can count towards an editing ban.
- Once you have earned the edit privilege, your edits are no longer peer reviewed and no reputation is given for edits to posts. Similarly, once you earn the trusted user privilege, your edits to tag wikis are no longer reviewed and no reputation is given for them.
What about abuse or bad edits?
There are strict limits enforced. If a user (anonymous or registered) submits many rejected edits they will be automatically banned from suggesting edits. Anonymous users can also be instantly banned if they suggest an edit that trips a filter (explained below). Finally, moderators can manually ban users from suggesting edits.
In addition, in order to reduce the incentive for spammers to make spam edits that get rejected, suggested edit spam is hidden from logged-out users, so they can't show their clients public-facing pages with spam (so they won't get paid).
Sometimes the Community user approves or rejects my edit. What does that mean?
The Community user will approve or reject your edit when one of the following cases apply:
A reviewer chose to "Improve Edit" or "Reject and Edit". See the below sections for relevant info.
You submit a suggested edit, and another user with full editing privileges submits an edit over yours. In that case, your suggested edit will be rejected by Community in favor of the fully privileged edit, with the reason "This edit conflicted with a subsequent edit". Don't worry! This is a relatively uncommon edge case where both you and the other editor start editing at the same time. Just try submitting your edit again and it could be reviewed. Suggested edits rejected for this reason are not counted towards the automatic ban.
For more details, see Why does the Community user approve and reject edits?
When can I not suggest an edit?
We stop accepting edits for many reasons, including but not limited to:
- You are banned from suggesting edits, either automatically because a large number of recent suggested edits by you were rejected, a moderator manually banned you, or you triggered the anonymous insta-ban filter (see below).
- We are out of empty slots in the review queue.
- You have 5 suggested edits pending (20 on beta sites). Wait for one of them to be reviewed.
- There is a pending suggested edit to that particular post that has not been reviewed yet.
- You are not logged on and the post is less than 10 minutes old.
- You are on a child meta.
- Your account is suspended.
- The post is locked.
If you cannot edit a post, the "edit" link will display an error message when clicked providing details of the specific situation for why you cannot suggest an edit.
Special note for anonymous edits
Because a large proportion of anonymous edits are spam or abusive, anonymous edits are heavily rate-limited and there is an extra filter that checks all anonymous edits. If your edit trips the filter, it will be silently disregarded and you will be instantly banned from suggesting edits temporarily. If your edit was not spam or abusive (i.e. a false positive), or if someone else on your network triggered it, you can sign into an existing account and suggest your edit through it. (Note: the "edit history" link on the ban error message will just go to the homepage; this is a known bug.)
Is there a minimum change threshold for a suggested edit?
Yes, all suggested edits that modify the body in any way must change at least six characters in the post body. Each character added or removed counts as one towards this check. Characters that will be stripped upon edit submission will not count towards the check. Edits that modify the title, or that only modify the tags without modifying the post body, are exempt from this check.
Why does this threshold exist?
Suggested edits are intended to be substantive and improve the post overall, rather than just focusing on one issue. Keep in mind that all edits, no matter how major or minor, require the same amount of reviewer effort and award the same amount of reputation; allowing extremely minor edits wouldn't be fair to other users who take the time to suggest more substantive improvements.
In some cases, you may believe that there is only one thing that needs to be changed. But in 99.9% of cases, there is something else that could use some revision as well. The six-character threshold is very small; just a couple of small edits will satisfy it. Yes, it is true that in 0.1% of cases, there may be nothing whatsoever that needs modification aside from one issue that takes less than six characters to fix. But the SE team has deemed that to be an extreme edge case not worth working around.
Users with binding edit privileges are not subject to this limit.
I'm not modifying the post body, but I'm still receiving an error about needing to change six characters. What gives?
Again, edits that only modify the tags are not subject to this requirement, and for most posts, this works. However, there is a known issue where on some specific posts (usually those that haven't been edited in a while or made a long time ago), the error will mistakenly show up even if no changes are made to the body.
This happens because the actual check checks the Markdown after processing (which performs things like stripping or replacing characters) to see if six or more characters were changed there. The Markdown that forms the actual post is made upon each edit, and cached indefinitely until another edit is made. This means that if the post contains characters that weren't processed under the version of the processor at the time of the last edit, but would be processed today (e.g. the post contained empty line breaks at the bottom, which would be stripped on submission today), the system may see a too-small body edit and thus show the error.
If you run into this issue, flag for a moderator to make a null edit. Clearly explain in your flag that you're attempting to only edit the tags and are running into this issue, and include a link to this FAQ or to the above linked issue. The null edit will force today's version of the processor to run, so that the system won't see you as modifying things you aren't modifying and let you submit your edit. (Alternatively, you can request they make your edit for you, but you won't earn rep from it.)
How can I check on my own suggested edits?
You can view a history of all the edits you've ever suggested in your profile under the activity tab. Select “All actions” tab, and then change the filter option there to Suggestions. Each item in the list will have a "pending edit", "approved edit", or "rejected edit" link which takes you directly to the edit review itself, as well as a link to the post that was being edited.
On the suggested edit page, you will be able to see all the votes cast on the edit. Any Reject votes will also have a reason appended below them (users can choose from a canned reason or enter a custom one). Please pay special attention to these rejection reasons as they are meant to educate you on how to suggest better edits. If you have been banned from suggesting edits, this is your best advice to avoid being banned again in the future.
I disagree with the reasons why my edit was rejected. What can I do?
When rejecting an edit, reviewers commonly specify a canned reason from a list, so it may not be immediately clear why a certain reason pertains to your edit. The best way to obtain further clarification about why your edit was rejected is to ask the users who rejected it in the site's chat. Do not simply suggest the edit again, or it will likely be rejected again.
If your edit was to address a legitimate policy concern (e.g. removing a signature, removing irrelevant tags, etc.), flag the post for moderator attention, explaining the specific policy and a link to the edit review. Moderators can override the decision in most cases (see below).
How do I know whether there are edits waiting for review?
- Whenever you visit a question or answer with pending edits and have full edit rights, the edit link will link straight to the suggested edit review.
- The UI will display "edit (1)" instead of the standard edit link.
- Users with 2k reputation are notified in the top bar if there are any pending edits awaiting their approval.
- Users with 10k reputation have access to the suggested edits history. (lower rep users will see only their own reviews there)
- Moderators have access to an additional UI that helps them audit the current state of affairs.
Someone suggested an edit to my own post, and the reviewers took the wrong action. What can I do?
Occasionally, it may occur that someone suggests an edit to your own post, but before you can review the edit, it gets reviewed by others the wrong way. For instance, an edit you didn't like got approved, or an edit you wanted incorporated in your post got rejected.
If you believe the community decision on a suggested edit to one of your posts was wrong, you can override the outcome in certain cases. To do so, navigate to the edit review item from your notification, and click the button on the right side of the page (Approve if the edit was rejected, or Reject if it was approved). Upon doing this, the review decision is immediately reversed, as if the opposite review had happened.
Additionally, moderators can override the outcome to any suggested edit, in addition to the post author. They are the only ones who can override outcomes on suggested edits to tag wikis, as those have no specific owner.
When you reject an edit that was previously approved:
- The editor loses the +2 reputation from an approved edit, if they earned it.
- A new rollback revision is recorded in the post history.
- The edit is rewritten as a rejected edit in the editor's statistics.
- If the new outcome causes the editor to meet the criteria for being banned from editing, they will be banned immediately.
As an alternative, you can simply rollback the edit in the revision history, which simply reverses the edit and takes no other action. For example, a good-faith edit was approved, but it's not what you wanted, but you don't want it to count against the editor.
When you approve an edit that was previously rejected:
- The editor earns the +2 reputation for an approved edit, provided they did not hit the 1,000 reputation cap from approved suggested edits or the daily reputation cap.
- The editor's revision is recorded in the post history.
- The edit is rewritten as an approved edit in the editor's statistics.
Note: If you are banned from editing for too many rejected edits, having some of the rejections overridden will not automatically lift the ban, even if you no longer meet the ban criteria.
You cannot override the outcome if:
- Another edit was made to the post after review completed.
- The reviewer chose to Improve Edit or Reject and Edit.
- The review you're trying to override has already been overridden.
Are tag wikis included in this scheme?
Yes, tag wikis accept suggested edits with the following limitations:
- The user suggesting the edit must be registered.
- Wiki edit suggestions are reviewed in the regular suggested edits peer review queue, but are only visible to users with at least 5000 rep.
- Users with 20k rep have full editing rights on tag wikis.
- Users between the above two reputation levels may only review other users' tag wiki edits, and can only review as Approve or Reject. They cannot Improve Edit or Reject and Edit.
What does the "Improve Edit" button do?
The Improve button allows reviewers to apply changes to the edited version of the text, so they can make further changes. The revised text is published when the improver saves their changes, and the edit will be considered "approved".
- The change history records the suggested edit and the improved edit as separate events.
- The original editor still gets +2 reputation for their suggestion.
- The community user is given responsibility for the decision. Thus, no "approve" item appears in the "reviews" section of the improving user's activity tab.
For tag wikis, the "Improve Edit" button is only presented to someone with the ability to make direct edits that don't need reviewing (20K on graduated sites and 4K on public beta sites).
Note that the "Improve Edit" button will prevent the author and moderators from being able to override the edit.
What does the "Reject and Edit" button do?
This rejects the suggested edit and allows the reviewer to edit the version of the post without those edits. Once edited and saved, the suggested edit
will be considered "rejected".
- The change history records the reviewer's edit only and the suggested edit is discarded.
- The original editor does not get any reputation for their suggestion.
- The community user is given responsibility for the decision. Thus, no "reject" item appears in the "reviews" section of the improving user's activity tab.
Reject and Edit-s do count towards editing bans. You may find some outdated posts saying otherwise, but back then the reviewing UI was different and it wasn't possible to distinguish between this case and an automatic rejection due to edit conflict (see above).
For tag wikis, the "Reject and Edit" button is only presented to someone with the ability to make direct edits that don't need reviewing (20K on graduated sites and 4K on public beta sites).
Note that the "Reject and Edit" button will prevent the author and moderators from being able to override the edit.
Why are apparently valid links to rejected edits resulting in 404 errors?
A recent change was made that checks to see if the rejected edit was spam, and if so, the link will trigger a fake 404 page for logged-out users. To view those attempted edits, you will need to log in. This was done so spammers can't show whoever's paying them a public-facing page with spam, as this created an incentive for spammers to still edit despite their edits getting rejected.