In Brian M. Scott's answer to this question: Determine whether the relation $\ge$ is reflexive, symmetric, antisymmetric, transitive, and/or a partial order.

it seems as if the user "Community" edited the answer about 4 years after it was typed, just to add the word "Bullshit" in it, after the paragraph on Reflexivity. I reported it so it might be taken care of before you can see it, but I'm just curious as to how this could possibly happen.

EDIT: Daniel Fischer edited it under 2 minutes after I reported it (wow!). Still my question remains: What happened?

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    $\begingroup$ An anonymous edit suggestion, and two reviewers not paying attention. $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2018 at 14:06
  • $\begingroup$ @DanielFischer Ah ok, that makes more sense and is what I thought initially, but seeing the Community Moderator I thought it was a bot bug or hack. As a side note, is this a legitimate use of a flag or is there another way to report those things? $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2018 at 14:07
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    $\begingroup$ A bit of clarification. A) The edit was proposed by some user whose account has since been deleted. The two reviewers who approved of the edit may take some heat for their negligence, but these things happen. B) Community Moderators were not involved. They are highly respected and respectable staff paid by SE. The Community user is not a user at all. It is a background process (with userid =-1). It shoulders the blame for many an action of deleted users. I guess it is easier to have such a process around for the purposes of site hygiene. $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2018 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ Anonymous edit suggestions are inherited by the community bot. So user -1 has a huge number of really weird actions in their history. And yes, a flag is appropriate. If one has the required privilege to roll back (not sure if that comes at 2k with the edit privilege or it's separate from that), depending on the situation it might be best to roll back without flag, or to roll back and flag. One should use one's judgement. $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2018 at 14:12
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    $\begingroup$ I had never noticed that the Community user also has a diamond. LOL! You (or we) are in good company! Of course, it makes sense for user #-1 to bear a diamond. Many actions it is expected to do for us requires diamond privileges :-) $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2018 at 14:16
  • $\begingroup$ Here is link to the suggested edit review in question. $\endgroup$ Jan 14, 2018 at 19:07
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    $\begingroup$ Another weird unnecessary edit by the "Community": math.stackexchange.com/a/111245/9464 $\endgroup$
    – user9464
    Jan 14, 2018 at 20:13
  • $\begingroup$ @Jack FYI, two reviewers rejected the edit, but the answer-er (after being inactive for four years) approved the edit. $\endgroup$
    – user99914
    Jan 14, 2018 at 21:52
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    $\begingroup$ @Daniel: Do users who obviously don't pay attention like that get reprimanded or something? I mean, this case is quite extreme failure of paying attention. $\endgroup$
    – Asaf Karagila Mod
    Jan 15, 2018 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ @AsafKaragila For this specific case, I have at least tried to ping the two reviewers who reviewed this post. We will see whether they react here in some way. $\endgroup$ Jan 18, 2018 at 6:54
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    $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak I was one of the reviewers of this. I have no idea how this got past me, but needless to say it was not even remotely intentional. To put you at ease, I am rarely on the site anymore, so no need to worry about me mucking things up in the future. $\endgroup$
    – The Count
    Jan 19, 2018 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


I just stumbled across this and thought it'd be worth formalizing the answer that has already been given in comments by Daniel Fischer and Jyrki Lahtonen. What happened is that the edit was proposed by an anonymous user, i.e. someone who was not logged in. Anonymous edits like that go into a queue to be reviewed by established users with 2000 reputation or higher, and if two out of three people vote to approve it, the edit gets applied to the post. Since there is no user account to associate the edit with, it shows up as having been made by the Community user account. (This particular edit should not have been approved, but that's the reviewers' fault.)

The "Community ♦" account doesn't actually represent a person. It's the public face of an automatic process that does various things on the site. From its profile:

Hi, I'm not really a person.

I'm a background process that helps keep this site clean!

I do things like

  • Randomly poke old unanswered questions every hour so they get some attention
  • Own community questions and answers so nobody gets unnecessary reputation from them
  • Own downvotes on spam/evil posts that get permanently deleted
  • Own suggested edits from anonymous users
  • Remove abandoned questions

It's marked as a moderator because the process does several things that normal users don't have permission to do.

So any time you see something happen on the site associated with "Community ♦", remember that you have to do a bit more investigating to figure out who (if anyone) actually took that action.

Side note: the naming can be a bit confusing because "community moderator" actually refers to a team of roughly a dozen Stack Exchange employees who are responsible for the Q&A sites at the highest level. In some sense they are the site moderators' supervisors, among other roles. At least some (maybe all) of them have accounts on this site, although they may not participate very much.


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