If I find an edit which caused more harm than help by a new user, and which was subsequently approved, is there any action I should take, in addition to fixing the edit? (And in this case, should I just fix the edit, or first rollback and then fix?)

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    $\begingroup$ May I take the opportunity to mention that lots of bad edits are being approved lately? People, please, take reviewing seriously or don't do it. $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2018 at 0:02
  • $\begingroup$ Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/148167/… But that isn't about harmful edits. It discusses trivial edits. $\endgroup$
    – user191954
    Jul 1, 2018 at 5:41

1 Answer 1


If it is a one-time thing, just fix it however you like – roll-it-back first or don't, whatever float your boat:

  • If the edit was too drastic, it is usually easier to roll-it-back first. This changes the status of the edit from "approved" to "rejected", and the editor loses their +2 rep. points – hardly relevant but it sends a message.

  • If the edit was minor, and rolling-it-back and editing it again feels like a waste of time, go ahead and fix it directly, skipping the rolling-it-back step. The editor gets to keep the +2 rep. points, but no big deal if the edit was in good faith.

On the other hand, if you feel the editor is systematically suggesting poor edits, or that a particular reviewer is systematically approving poor edits, then it's best to talk to the perpetrator directly. Just ping them in the comment section – they'll get notified. Let them know that their behaviour is unacceptable, etc. If possible, let a moderator know, either by raising a flag or in the chatroom. They will not do anything in particular, unless the case is specially serious, but it won't hurt to keep them in the loop anyway.

  • $\begingroup$ The point of my question is exactly whether there is a different way than your concluding remark, which would require (1) that I very frequently check edits and (2) that I remember names (which is not really in line with the SE-policy). I am wondering if there is a way to "flag" this to the system, such that SE can automatically (or whatever else happens in the background) acts if necessary. I understand that a rollback might (?) leave such a flag. $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2018 at 0:19
  • $\begingroup$ @NorbertSchuch The only thing you can do is to raise a custom flag for mod attention, but I don't think they'll be happy if you do that regularly. Only do that in particularly egregious cases. On the other hand, every time you roll an edit back, it leaves a stamp in the edit history (e.g., here or here, etc.) $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2018 at 0:38
  • $\begingroup$ Exactly, flagging seems overkill. Basically a subset of my question is "does a rollback lead to consequences" (though, if it does, this might not be communicated). $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2018 at 0:49
  • $\begingroup$ @NorbertSchuch Only three consequences: 1) if the editor had less than 2k, they got +2 rep. points when their edit got approved; rolling-it back takes those two points back. 2) it leaves a notice in the revision history (rather inconsequential but it's there). 3) A moral one: it feels bad when people think your actions were harmful. $\endgroup$ Jun 26, 2018 at 0:52
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    $\begingroup$ @NorbertSchuch Flagging every time you see a questionable edit probably would be overkill, but it's worth flagging if the edit is particularly bad (and got approved anyway), or if you happen to notice frequent bad edits associated with a particular user. $\endgroup$
    – David Z
    Jun 26, 2018 at 1:54
  • $\begingroup$ @Accidental It only feels bad that other people think your actions were harmful if you actually find out about the fact. If the editor doesn't get notified, the chances of that are pretty slim. $\endgroup$ Jun 27, 2018 at 18:14

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