Why can people edit my posts? How does editing work?
All contributions are licensed under Creative Commons, and this site is collaboratively edited, like Wikipedia. If you see something that needs improvement, click edit!
Editing is important for keeping questions and answers clear, relevant, and up-to-date. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.
When should I edit posts?
Any time you see a post that needs improvement and are inclined to suggest an edit, you are welcome to do so. The original author of a question or answer may always edit their own post, regardless of reputation level.
Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it. Common reasons for edits include:
- To fix grammar and spelling mistakes
- To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
- To include additional information only found in comments, so all of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place
- To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
- To add related resources or hyperlinks
What happens when I edit a post?
The post will be updated to show the latest editor, as well as the original author. All edits are saved and tracked in a public revision history with attribution to each editor.
The revision history can be viewed by clicking the date and time next to the edited post (e.g., "edited 3 days ago").
Editing a post also bumps the question to the top of the homepage.
Who makes sure that proposed edits are good?
Any user can propose edits, but not all edits are publicly visible immediately. If a user has less than 1,000 reputation, the suggested edit is placed in a review queue. Two (three on Stack Overflow) accept or reject votes are required to remove the suggested edit from the queue and either apply the edit to the post or discard it. Users with more than 1,000 reputation are considered trusted community members and can edit posts without going through the review process.
What happens if someone suggests a bad edit?
If a user without edit privileges proposes an edit that does not comply with the guidelines above, it is ordinarily rejected in the review process. Even if a bad edit is applied to a post, other users will generally fix it. Users with sufficient reputation may elect to roll back the post to a previous version (by viewing the revision history of the post and selecting the version they would like to display).
Additionally, any user who submits many rejected edits will be banned from suggesting further edits for 7 days.
What is a rollback?
A rollback reverts a question or answer to a previous version in the edit history. The rollback action itself then appears as the most recent item in the edit history.