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I mistakenly clicked Approve on an edit, where I intended to click Improve. Now, even clicking edit on the answer won't let me fix the mistake I had noticed. What should I do?

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  • What do you mean "won't let you fix"? I was able to click "edit" to modify the answer again just fine. serverfault.com/questions/27568/… – Nathan C Aug 7 '14 at 13:23
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    Is that because you were the first of two people to approve it? In that state, I know of nothing you can do immediately; you can't edit it, because there's an edit waiting for signoff; you can't sign it off, since it requires two different people's approval (an idiot setting - one person with arbitrary edit privs should should have the ability to unilaterally signoff someone else's edits, but that's a separate grumble). Once a second person has approved that edit, open-edit-season will be back on, and you can revert the change. – MadHatter Aug 7 '14 at 13:31
  • @MadHatter I want to agree, but see A LOT of edit suggestions where people blindly approve them. Even requiring 2 people's approval I still have to reverse edits from time to time. – Chris S Aug 7 '14 at 13:48
  • Fair enough - I can't argue with data! – MadHatter Aug 7 '14 at 14:21
  • @NathanC That's because you are not me. As far as the system was concerned, I no longer had a say in that review, because I had already clicked Approve. I could not start a new edit either because the previous had still not been reviewed by more people. – kasperd Aug 7 '14 at 14:22
  • @MadHatter Yes, I was the first to approve it. I agree it seems silly that it requires two persons to approve it. Either person would have been permitted to make the edit on their own and not require approval by anybody. And either person could have approved it by themselves, if only they had clicked Improve rather than Approve. – kasperd Aug 7 '14 at 14:24
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If the edit was truly bad and needs to be reverted entirely, you can view the post's revision history by clicking the text "edited ** min ago" to view the edit history, and then "rollback" on the revision you want to roll back to.

If it just needs minor changes, then edit the post again and make the changes. You can also do this from the review queue by using the Improve button.


If you weren't the last to approve the edit, such that it finally went into effect, remember that others also have to review the suggestion, so it may be ultimately rejected by others. If it's truly horrible, you can flag the post for moderator attention as a last resort.

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  • It was not a truly bad edit. It was a good edit correcting some outdated or incorrect information, and added a citation from an official source. There just happened to be a small mistake in the citation. I know about the Improve button, which is why I said I intended to click Improve. Had I used Improve, then saving my edit would have approved the previous edit and applied mine. But since I clicked Approve it entered a state, where that option was no longer available. – kasperd Aug 7 '14 at 14:13
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    The edit did have to be reviewed by one other person before anything else could happen to it. That other person did not notice the minor mistake in that otherwise good edit, so it got approved with the mistake. I went and fixed the mistake just now. It just feel like there should have been a simpler way for me to correct the mistake than wait for somebody else to approve the mistake, such that I could go and edit it. – kasperd Aug 7 '14 at 14:17
  • Not much you can do in that scenario. And it's been that way since forever. You can always drop into chat; there's usually a moderator or two hanging around. – Michael Hampton Aug 7 '14 at 23:19
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It appears the answer in my particular case was:

  • Wait for somebody else to approve the edit.
  • Then click on edit to correct the mistake I had previously approved.

It might be the particular corner case I ran into is rare enough that it is ok to let mistakes slip through in that case, even though it could have been corrected before it got applied.

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