What happens when two users are editing the same piece of content?

Wrote the wrong date in a reply to accept an interview, should I point it out?

GrayCygnus initiated an edit at t<0 and confirmed to italicize at t=0.

I started an edit to italicize and bold at t<2 and confirmed at t=2.

It would appear that the most recent confirmed edit takes effect for users with sufficient privileges, >2000, rather than first initiated edit?

Is this correct?

1 Answer 1


What I think happened here is that, given we both have 2k+ rep privileges and our edits apply automatically, your edit "fell over" mine, as some sort of cumulative edit.

Maybe you where in the middle of an edit when mine got processed, as we can see they have aprox. 2 minutes difference between our edits:

enter image description here

We could even blame Caching here, and probably saw a "previous" version of that answer when you clicked on edit. Anyways, both edits served good to the question for readability and remark on the main course of action.

Edit: Another way of thinking of it could be like a Git Version Control, which could explain the "merge" between our edits, something like:

  1. I submit my edit, adding some line breaks (say line 3) and italics (say, on line 6). This is equivalent to making git commit and push
  2. While you were editing, my change takes place. Something like git pull from your side.
  3. You submit your edit, adding bolds to that same "line 6" I added italics. As that edit is more thorough in that part (**'s is more than *'s) and also because you have 2k+ edit privilege, it takes place immediately (with no conflicts). This is equivalent to your git commit and push
  4. This resulted in a second edit where the line breaks (line 3) were edited and also the bolds (line 6) with its more recent version (yours).

Browsing a bit, I found something to back that "git" hypothesis on an answer given by Jeff on the post Preventing conflicting simultaneous edits, extracting from it:

It is specific to the area in question, so one user can edit body and you can edit tags without conflicting. (Or title, etc). It's only when you both edit the same field at the same time this error is returned on save.

  • 1
    Hopefully there isn't a situation where there are 10+ edits at the same time.
    – Bluebird
    Oct 13, 2017 at 22:07
  • Well, now that we don't gain rep from them we can no longer "abuse edits" to farm rep. However, 2k+ users must be more careful when editing and when you do do it thorough to avoid spamming edits. Anyways, I think one could roll back those edits if they were conflictive.
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Oct 13, 2017 at 22:09
  • IMHO, FWIW, WADR, both of those edits look unnecessary to me. The answer has a grand total of 4 sentences. Even on my mobile browser, that fits on about 1/3rd of the screen. Not sure if splitting it into 2 paragraphs and emphasizing 3 words out of 60-odd made it much more readable.
    – Masked Man
    Oct 14, 2017 at 8:37
  • What is WADR? @ICanHazUpvotzPleez the answer whas a wall of text, I separated it and emphasized on the suggestion. I am on a crusade against walls of text
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Oct 14, 2017 at 13:48
  • 1
    @GrayCygnus WADR = With All Due Respect :) I also hate wall of text, but in this case, I didn't think it qualified as a wall of text. It was just 4 sentences and about 60 words. Even on a mobile browser, I could read it without straining my brain too much. Anyway, YMMV, let us leave it at that. :)
    – Masked Man
    Oct 14, 2017 at 14:05
  • @GrayCygnus when and what is this “edit abuse”?
    – Bluebird
    Oct 14, 2017 at 21:15
  • @Frank FYC Edit abuse is making trivial edits just to collect the 2 points. It is a form of repwhoring, but that can only be done until you have 2000 reputation.
    – Masked Man
    Oct 15, 2017 at 8:18
  • I see... slow way to claim those reps.
    – Bluebird
    Oct 15, 2017 at 8:24
  • @FrankFYC well, on other sites where rep is harder to get (SO) those edit rep serves good (still one should not abuse). 2k+ can no longer "abuse" because they no longer gain rep from it.
    – DarkCygnus Mod
    Oct 15, 2017 at 16:44

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