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Is it possible for other users to edit StackExchange posts without the approval of the post's original author? I'm concerned that some of my posts (and those of other users) may be altered in ways that might not reflect the users' original intentions in making those posts.

For example, if I wrote a question called "How can I defragment the hard disk on Ubuntu", someone could edit it so that it would read "How can I defragment the hard disk on Windows?" In some cases, I think edits to posts could change the meaning of the text in such a way that it would misrepresent the author's intentions.

If other users edit posts without the original author's approval, can the original author at least revert unwanted changes that have been made?

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Yes they can. That's the way that this system was intended.

However, if you feel that an edit was made to your post that was invalid, you can either roll it back, or flag it for moderator attention.

  • Is it possible for a user to "lock" a post (to prevent further unwanted edits)? – Anderson Green Sep 14 '12 at 2:30
  • @AndersonGreen No. However if there has been multiple in fractions upon a question, then a moderator can lock the question. You're best bet is to flag for moderator attention. They respond fairly quickly here, and have the OP's best interest at hand. – James Mertz Sep 14 '12 at 2:32
  • What do you mean by "multiple in fractions"? – Anderson Green Sep 14 '12 at 2:32
  • Do you mean "infractions"? – Anderson Green Sep 14 '12 at 2:33
  • @AndersonGreen yes. I'm sorry for the misspelling. – James Mertz Sep 14 '12 at 2:40
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    So basically: yes, this can happen, but it's easy to undo (and in practice this has never been a problem to my knowledge) – Shinrai Sep 14 '12 at 19:04
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People can edit your posts, but they aren't automatically trusted to do so.

You need 2000 reputation to be allowed to edit questions and answers without review.

During review, one of the reasons to reject a pending edit is:

This edit changes too much in the original post; the original meaning or intent of the post would be lost.

So, people who would make such drastic changes to your post would most likely be corrected quickly. Users who don't have to have their edits reviewed are trusted to know how to edit contributions properly.

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