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Community♦ user edit: How does it know what to edit?

Those of us who hang around StackOverflow a bit have probably seen unanswered questions getting bumped by Community, the moderator bot who describes itself thusly:

Hi, I'm not really a person.

I'm a background process that helps keep Stack Overflow clean!

I do things like

Randomly poke old unanswered questions every hour so they get some attention
Own community questions and answers so nobody gets unnecessary reputation from them
Own downvotes on spam/evil posts that get permanently deleted

So how/why is a moderator bot editing questions for technical content? - like this one, and leaving a comment in my inbox:

the formula given here which matches the CUDA programming guide describes a ROW major order, not a column major order

which, incidentally is incorrect.

I don't much care about reverting a bogus edit, but I do care when the bogus edit is coming from a "moderator bot" or someone who owns or has taken control of the bot.


2 Answers 2


While Renesis is correct about improvements and how they work, that isn't what's happening here.

What's happening here is an anonymous user is suggesting an edit - someone who doesn't have an account at all. Because there is no user account to associate with the edit, Community submits the edit in their name. It still has to be approved or improved as a normal edit suggestion (this one got approved by 2 users), and Community does get reputation as a result of these claimed edits.

  • Thanks for the explanation. Kind of surprising that two users approved the edit, though.
    – talonmies
    Commented Jul 14, 2011 at 12:08

As discussed at

...this is because the Community User was marked as the editor for an "improved" suggested edit, when the improve window was open but nothing was actually changed.

Or, while that may not have been exactly what happened here, since some of those bugs have been squashed, it at least is somehow associating the Community user with the suggested edit instead of the user who actually made the edit.

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