I reviewed an edit on this question about calculating the temperature of a room.

The original question was lacking any sort of detail. The original poster had created a new account. The proposed edit was from a completely different new account, and added more detail.

I rejected, on the basis that new detail being provided by anyone other than the OP wasn't clearly what the OP had in mind. The edit was approved by two others.

Did I do wrong? Is it obvious that the account proposing the new detail belonged to the OP? I thought it was possible, but far from clear or obvious.

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I've had this same question as well. In this particular case I think it's very likely the same user, but the doubt is valid. I think I'd've approved the edit and add a comment saying "get in touch with a moderator to join your accounts." I'd approve merely because the asker almost certainly doesn't have a backup. $\endgroup$
    – Wasabi Mod
    Commented Jan 9, 2017 at 16:39

1 Answer 1


While I'll admit this is a little bit of a grey area, in general I agree with your reject vote. The author of a suggested edit is never the same user as the author of the post (or it wouldn't be a "suggested" edit) so this sort of content in a suggested edit is never strictly appropriate.

What makes it a grey area is that sometimes it's blatantly obvious that the two user accounts belong to the same individual—ideally because they have self-identified as the same person but everyone has a different threshold for what seems "obvious" to them. This is why the system is designed in most cases to have multiple people involved in the review.

If we assume the edit is made by the original author on a new account, the only reason to reject would be to give them a slap on the wrist for creating two accounts. That's not really useful or appropriate, in my opinion—in the vast majority of cases, the extra accounts are a goof and/or one of them is unregistered (representing a first interaction with the site). In the rare case that this sort of behavior represents an abuse of multiple accounts, you'd want to flag for moderator attention anyway, making the suggested edit review a relatively minor issue.

In this specific case, I think the common identity of the users is fairly clear, and I might have approved the edit. That said, I have relevant tools you don't have, like the ability to check IP addresses. I don't think it's unreasonable for you to have voted to reject.

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    $\begingroup$ I'm a little bit stronger on the side of "if in doubt, reject the edit." Without access to the deleted answer on that question and / or mod tools, I don't think it was as clear where that edit was coming from. $\endgroup$
    – user16
    Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 1:14
  • $\begingroup$ A slap on the wrist for doing something stupid outside the guidelines for the site can certainly be appropriate, even if no fraud was intended. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 10, 2017 at 14:01

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