I already have the "Edit Questions And Answers" privilege. Yet, if I approve someone else's edit, I'm told that more votes will be required before the edit is accepted.

This seems a bit peculiar to me, since I could just copy the edited version and paste it myself.

  • 21
    I agree with the sentiment of this question. Requiring multiple approvers makes people with 2K+ rep have significantly less power than before. Sometimes I want to approve a person's edit and further fix the post with new edits. As it stands now I'm forced to approve the existing edit, and the sit around on my hands until someone else approves it before I can finally fix the damn post like I used to be able to do without waiting.
    – Kirk Woll
    Commented Feb 15, 2011 at 21:09
  • I filed a related request. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/138774/…
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 14:57
  • I'd say that with the number of requests for improvements to the audit system, it's good that it does take more than just 1 person.
    – jprofitt
    Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 21:28
  • 2
    I find it odd that I can edit questions without approval. Yet I can't approve someone else's edit without a second sign off? Commented Apr 25, 2018 at 16:56

5 Answers 5


It was (re-)introduced to ensure quality edits, for which Jeff says:

Beyond that, we may have to move back to my original plan cough of multiple reviewers which everyone hated and nobody understood.

Do you understand it now? :)


2. we have multiple votes on suggested edits exclusively for Stack Overflow due to volume. We were seeing a lot of very bad edits get approved by single users.

With the multiple reviewers: if two reviewers disagree, then a third reviewer is needed. According to a comment from waffles, this goes both ways:

I am seeing a fair bit of edits that have 1 approve vote and 2 reject votes - and the opposite. It is totally clear that if we leave this up to one person the wrong kind of stuff can get approved and the right stuff rejected.

  • 5
    So the effect is that everyone who can will eventaully know to ignore the voting system, reject edits and do the edits themselves.
    – Guffa
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 14:30
  • Why would reviewers edit themselves when all they need to do is click "Accept" otherwise? (For one, they're not getting any reputation from such edits.) And rejections need two votes on SO too?
    – Arjan
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 14:59
  • Because otherwise some other will come and edit it themselves instead of accepting the edit, and take all the credit.
    – Guffa
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 15:33
  • I've got the feeling you have a real life example of that? Without that, I cannot imagine why people would go through that trouble just for an edit.
    – Arjan
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 15:41
  • Yes, I just experienced it, and I can't believe that I am the only one. The system practically encourages this behaviour, which is the opposite of what it was intended for.
    – Guffa
    Commented Jun 29, 2012 at 15:51
  • 1
    This is very annoying, particularly when trying to fix code that is illegibly formatted. If someone else has already made an edit and I approve it, I still can't see the fixed, legible code. My choice is to then ignore this question as it is not worth the trouble because StackOverflow is preventing me from seeing a legible version. IMO, this is StackOverflow's loss, not gain. FYI, I fix the code formatting of hundreds of posts, but will no longer even spend my time on something if an edit is already pending because it's pretty much a waste of my time.
    – jfriend00
    Commented Mar 4, 2015 at 2:20
  • 3
    I don't care about taking credit. I care about credit going where credit is due, and I care about getting good edits onto the site. If someone else has submitted an edit that I would have made myself, I should be able to put that edit in place as easily as if I had written it myself, and I should be assured that credit goes to the person who did the actual editing work. Anything else is madness. Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 3:14

I can understand the need for it, even if it does appear a little odd on the surface.

If you go and edit a post, the action is deliberate and requires some amount of effort on your part; you must actually look at the content of the post and (hopefully) determine that your edit is both sensible and relevant.

While the same thing should take place when approving an edit, it's much easier to miss something that's amiss with the edit. In this case, multiple eyes is probably a good idea.

Secondarily, if you edit a post yourself, your name is displayed prominently on the question or answer.

  • 2
    Perhaps there should be a different requirement if I'm reviewing the edit because I was on the question vs. plowing through the edit queue. It seems silly that I can edit a question unchecked, but I can't approve someone else's edit.
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 14:39
  • I filed a related request. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/138774/…
    – Aaron Bertrand Staff
    Commented Jul 5, 2012 at 14:57
  • "While the same thing should take place when approving an edit, it's much easier to miss something that's amiss with the edit. In this case, multiple eyes is probably a good idea." Then fix it afterward. If the edit is completely bad and you misclicked to approve it, it can be rolled back. If it's a step in the right direction but the post needs more work, then just re-edit. The original changes should be a separate edit, as everyone who has ever used a VCS ought to understand. Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 3:17
  • In my view, none of this justifies the need for a separate pair of eyes. The system has already decided that a high-reputation user's eyes are enough to act unilaterally. The fact that a lower-rep user also wants to contribute to the site, should never slow me down from doing anything that I could have done normally, as compared to the case where that other user didn't intervene. Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 3:19
  • It's easier I think for bad edits to slip through a reviewer than for someone familiar with the problem and editing his own answer to let a bad edit through. So I think as a safe-guard they have made it so that multiple reviewers must approve (this is my guess). Bad edits that slip through has been a bugaboo for this site in the past, and less so with the need for multiple user's approval.
  • This may be even more important for rejected edits.
  • Note that you can always improve the edit, and thereby bypass the need for other reviewers.

For example, when editing SO questions, this appears for me:

enter image description here

I see 4 buttons -- Approve, Reject, Improve, and Skip. By pressing the Improve button, I am allowed to make changes (or not) to the edit and short-circuit its approval.

  • How can I improve the edit? It won't allow me to edit until its approved/rejected.
    – Petah
    Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 21:28
  • @Petah: see edit to anwer. Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 21:31
  • I'm not in the review section, it was on the actual question page.
    – Petah
    Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 21:35
  • @Petah: hm, I see the same 4 buttons when checking the page, I believe. Commented Dec 15, 2013 at 21:35
  • Why is it such a problem if a bad edit slips through? It only takes one user to roll it back. And - what actually happens when I click "Improve"? Will credit be given in that log to the original author? Do I really not actually have to change the code? If both of those are satisfied, then we do have the requested functionality - we just have to use a bizarre and undocumented workaround to get it, while the justification for the surface-level restriction is paper thin. Bizarre. Commented Jul 11, 2022 at 3:10

If I agree with the suggested edit I'll simply click agree. At first that seemed contrary to the normal "Instantly accept the changes I made" scenario, but it wasn't a big deal to me.

If I mostly agree with a suggested edit I'll improve it, which will immediately accept their suggestions plus accept my changes. And, that I think is a great solution to the problem.

If the suggested edit smells for almost any reason I'll reject it. Usually that's because some newbie has edited a submitted answer that doesn't belong to them instead of using the comments to recommend a change. Other times it's because a newbie has altered the original question, especially if that question, or answer, is from someone with a significantly higher reputation.


It's so that not just one person games with someone to earn the badges.

  • 2
    Why would gaming only be happening on Stack Overflow, and not on other SE sites?
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 10, 2011 at 13:40
  • @Arjan - sheer numbers?
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented May 26, 2011 at 15:27
  • Great idea!! :) Commented Sep 2, 2011 at 1:47

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