It's not consistent to leave an edit pending for approval (thus not making available for everyone else and locking its state) after a user who has those privileges have given his endorsement.

You could say why don't I improve the edit, but that makes no sense for something that is correct and it would not follow the "keep it simple" policy.


This is the current time line:

  1. Someone who doesn't know about formatting makes a question. It's not legible
  2. A user without edit privileges amends the formatting. The correction is not visible, still not legible.
  3. I see the question and the pending revision and then cast my approval. It doesn't take effect yet, still not legible. Even for me if I didn't take care of copying the question source because it disappears from my own revision page!

I might agree that one's approval is indicative of both revision's quality and editor's competence. But we should retain that the main objective is to ask and answer questions. So, I propose this model:

  1. Someone who doesn't know about formatting makes a question. It's not legible
  2. A user without edit privileges amends the formatting. The correction is not visible, still not legible.
  3. A user with edit privileges cast his approval. Revision takes effect. Although it keeps the pending approval (the Edit (1) button).
  4. If a second user with edit privileges cast a rejection, it also takes effect as a rollback.
  • "locking its state" is kinda meaningless in this case, since if it did need further edits you'd just hit "Improve".
    – Shog9
    Apr 2, 2011 at 20:11
  • @Shog9: I'm concerned about the case in wich there is no need to improve anything, but disregarding my approval, it remains locked.
    – user150068
    Apr 2, 2011 at 20:23
  • @Alejandro: right, but in your scenario the edit-lock is meaningless because it doesn't need further improvement. IOW, it's locked, but you have a key, should you have need of it.
    – Shog9
    Apr 2, 2011 at 20:26
  • @Shog9: Why do I need to "improve" something I don't want to? Why my endorsement as a user with edit privilege is not enough to make this revision effective? Why there should be the need of someone else' approval?
    – user150068
    Apr 2, 2011 at 20:31
  • @Shog9: I answer a lot of questions with markup. The correct formatting is a requirement to answer.
    – user150068
    Apr 2, 2011 at 20:36
  • @alejandro: the answer to that question can be found here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/81509/…
    – Shog9
    Apr 3, 2011 at 0:09
  • @Shog9: Useful link! But mine is a feature request, I think.
    – user150068
    Apr 3, 2011 at 4:01
  • @Alejandro: that's why this isn't closed as a duplicate. However, I wanted you to understand the rationale behind the existing behavior.
    – Shog9
    Apr 3, 2011 at 4:07
  • 6
    I am in complete agreement here. I saw a problem, I wanted to edit the question, someone who did not have edit permissions had already submitted the same exact edit. I approved his edit, but now it's sitting around waiting for another approval. If the question wasn't locked pending this second approval, I would simply make this exact same edit myself with my own permissions. It shouldn't need to wait for the second approval. This is pretty backwards. May 11, 2011 at 13:29
  • Posting a new question. May 11, 2011 at 13:30
  • 1
    Why does this have the [status-completed] tag? This still seems to be a problem.
    – jamesdlin
    Mar 8, 2022 at 20:56

6 Answers 6


The asker did not know or understand the {} to format code. Now the question is meaningless. A low flair user formatted the code. It is not visible and someone else also need to approve it. In the mean time the question is voted down since it does not make sense. I do not see why I cannot just approve the edit which is IDENTICAL to what I would have done: highlight the code and click the {} button.

  • @mplunggjan: Yes, this is exactly the case I'd made.
    – user150068
    May 1, 2011 at 23:09
  • 2
    +1 I'm here because I've just experienced the exact same scenario. I understand that SO needs more editors and needs fewer shonky questions, so perhaps this is status-by-design. But it also has the effect of discouraging established editors, who are likely to make more changes than newbies and so will have wasted more time when their edits get blocked. Sure I can apply my changes as improvements to the pending change. But having to do my work all over again isn't much of an incentive.
    – APC
    May 29, 2011 at 9:21
  • +1. Note that it's possible, if I click Improve, and the OK, the change will take effect immediately (only I take credit for it, rather then the original editor). It should be done this way. Dec 1, 2011 at 16:56
  • @Truth The problem is that this happens infrequently. When it does, I just "oh, look - approve the edit" damn. I forgot that now I'm STUCK. I can't cancel my approve and submit the edit myself. I can't push through the edit. Now it's stuck. Dec 5, 2011 at 12:45

It keeps coming up where I see a good edit, hit approve and the edit isn't immediately approved but takes one more vote. If I instead hit the improve button, then I can edit it to my heart's content and it will automatically be approved, since I have full edit privileges.

It really doesn't make much sense to have to go through an extra step (and have my name show, when I really didn't do any work) to approve an edit, but it also doesn't make sense to have to wait for a second approver since any edits I would have done on my own would be automatically implemented anyway.

Let's just let the approve go through when a user with edit privileges does the approving.

  • If you improve another person's edit, does the original editor still receive a small reputation bonus for getting an approved edit?
    – jamesdlin
    Mar 8, 2022 at 20:21

How about instant rejections? If I see an edit that replaces one typo with another, I want to fix it. If I hit "Improve", I can fix it but the original editor gets 2 points for it. If I hit "Reject", the editor doesn't get rep, but I can't fix the original typo, either.

Maybe a "Reject and Improve" button would work.

  • That's been suggested recently but I can't find the post at the moment.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Apr 3, 2011 at 16:33
  • 1
    @ChrisF the thread with these suggestions can be found here: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/83721/…
    – Mia Clarke
    Apr 3, 2011 at 17:48
  • I knew my suggestion sounded familiar!
    – Gabe
    Apr 3, 2011 at 17:59

This has been implemented for years, although it got a lot more straightforward in the summer of 2014. The twist is that privileged editors can single-handedly approve or reject suggested edits as long as they also edit:

Improve Edit / Reject and Edit

Those two middle buttons are binding, once you submit your own edit.

If you're not also editing (whether that's to improve upon the suggested edit, or replace it entirely), then arguably your privilege means nothing in this context.

  • "If you're not also editing (whether that's to improve upon the suggested edit, or replace it entirely), then arguably your privilege means nothing in this context." This is not acceptable. Suppose I wanted to make an edit, but a lower-rep user has already submitted the exact edit I wanted to make. I can "improve" it with a semantically meaningless change; or I can "reject" and then duplicate it (effectively plagiarism); or I can wait until another high-rep user agrees with me that the edit is good. Jul 11, 2022 at 3:02
  • 1
    I can't emphasize this strongly enough: no matter which option I choose, the fact that someone else wanted to do the exact same thing I want to do, is actively hindering me from doing what I could otherwise do without issue. Jul 11, 2022 at 3:03
  • Further: the interface does not make clear whether "improve" will log the original edit as a separate change in the edit log. If it does not, then I risk plagiarism again (it will not be clear what part of my edit is actually my work); if it does, this should be communicated clearly so that I can take such a step fearlessly. Calling it "Accept and Re-edit" would suffice. But now there is another problem: I do have the ability to accept the edit unilaterally, but why is this tied to the requirement of making another edit on top? Jul 11, 2022 at 3:07

When you edit something you are overtly supporting the new content. When you approve someone else's edit you are making a less strong statement of agreement. You're reinforcing someone else's idea, not putting forth your own. As such, it makes sense to me that it take more than one person to approve an edit.

  • declined: You wrote "When you approve someone else's edit you are making a less strong statement of agreement". In logic that's a petition of principle.
    – user150068
    Apr 3, 2011 at 4:00
  • 3
    @Alejandro: status-declined made a very important point. To repeat it in different words: For a dedicated user, approving a bad edit is a lot easier than performing it (citing a comment of myself on this related question). Apr 3, 2011 at 13:11

Why you ask?

Because "correct" is open to interpretation https://stackoverflow.com/tools/suggested-edits?filter=week&tab=controversial (Note: You need 10K rep to see this page.)

In particular we are seeing 268 (out of 1950 edits) a week where there is a disagreement on the term "correct"

  • @waffles: If some posts get wrong editions (by any means) we should expect that further revisions from the community will correct that.
    – user150068
    Apr 3, 2011 at 3:54
  • Sure but it is way cheaper not to approve stuff in the first place.
    – waffles
    Apr 3, 2011 at 8:47
  • 2
    @waffles: Now days, if I see a question with wrong formatting (hiding markup i.e.) wich has a pending revision from an user with no such privilege, I will enter into revision page an approve the edit if it's correct... but that is not enough to make it effective (not even for me because I've already vote) loosing the chance to answer. I see the point about making the editors population bigger but up to day mechanism makes the experience for old user more... dificult.
    – user150068
    Apr 3, 2011 at 22:37

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