When a user with low reputation has edited a question or answer, the edit must be approved by at least 2 (?) users with high reputation.

Why is more than one approval required in that case? I mean, since (because of my reputation) I am allowed to edit questions/answers anyhow I like, why am I not trusted to approve an edit by another user?

Also there is a small problem (bug?) with the way it is currently implemented:

  • Suppose I want to edit a question
  • I can see that there is another edit which is pending approval
  • I click the Edit link and approve the edit
  • → Now I still cannot make my own edit, since I have to wait until another person also approves the previous edit
  • I thought it only needed one vote
    – juan
    Mar 3, 2011 at 13:40
  • @Juan Manuel: When I approved other edits, I always got a message saying that another (1) approval was required before the approval is "approved".
    – M4N
    Mar 3, 2011 at 13:50
  • The exact message I get after approving an edit is: "This suggestion still needs 1 approval vote from other reviewers."
    – M4N
    Mar 3, 2011 at 13:51

1 Answer 1


Multiple approvers are required on Stack Overflow because when only a single person did it, we had a lot of junk edits go by really quickly. Things which contributed little, things which skipped a whole lot of errors, or things that didn't even really revise the post properly. This was bad.

Multiple approvers thus allows some level of check-and-balance, a second pair of eyes can notice errors that were overlooked. It's certainly not a guaranteed success, but since its instantiation there have been fewer reports on Meta Stack Overflow of such problem edits getting approved.

If you want to make an edit on top of another user's edit, and you would've approved it, you can improve the edit instead. This has the Community user approve that edit, then throws your edit on top of it.

  • I guess I overlooked the Improve button.
    – M4N
    Mar 3, 2011 at 13:47
  • 2
    Regarding the multiple approvers, I still don't completely understand. Due to my reputation I am allowed to edit a post in any way I want, but I'm not trusted to proof-read and approve another edit.
    – M4N
    Mar 3, 2011 at 13:48
  • 3
    @M4N Well, harsh as it sounds, yes. Multiple approvers was the original idea, people revolted and got it down to allow very high rep users to one-click approve. Then lots of very bad edits got approved single-handedly, before anyone could stop them. Practice proved problems that were already expected in theory. Apparently, many people do not approach the approval process in the same way they would approach normal editing. That's really the heart of why multiple approvers are required.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 3, 2011 at 13:51
  • 2
    I guess its the thing of being lazy. You approve an edit faster with one click than taking the time to edit it by yourself. That might result in much lower quality. I understand that. Maybe it should be combined with the flag weight?! If your edit are often accepted the weight increase and at some point it can be proved/accepted by one high level... or the edit weight is based on the "approver"... Mar 18, 2011 at 13:44
  • @Warren Flag weight has nothing to do with suggested edits, and probably shouldn't. The former is about what you give moderators. The latter doesn't need to go to moderators.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Mar 18, 2011 at 13:46
  • 1
    @Grace Note: I know, I just thought loud about something similar. "combined" was the wrong word, sorry. Mar 18, 2011 at 13:49
  • I think @warrenfaith has a real good point there. It explains the need for this system. A+, would vote for answer.
    – Nanne
    Mar 30, 2011 at 7:24
  • Ok, so... say I, as a high-rep user, have read over the supposed edit and found that it's identical to the edit I wanted to make. If I "improve" it, I have no changes to make, and steal the credit. If I "approve" it, I have to wait for someone else to come along for the second approval. This leaves a bad taste in my mouth, frankly. Jan 3, 2012 at 4:30
  • This is an excellent explanation of the edit approval process. Jun 23, 2012 at 22:27
  • 1
    Trusting a user to do edits without any need for approval based on that user's badges and the question's tags, but distrusting the very same user to singlehandedly accept edits makes zero sense to me.
    – connexo
    Apr 27, 2021 at 13:52

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