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Today I found a rather weird case where a question had been vandalized by another user to a completely different question.

I did a search here and saw a lot of posts on vandalizing questions posted by oneself but this appears to be a different problem.

The original question was posted long back 6 years ago and the post was vandalized 2 years ago. In this case the original asker does get some notification about the revision but somehow this was not acted upon by the asker.

I have reverted it back to the original so that the answers are in sync with the question.

Is this a frequent problem here? What is the right approach to discourage these users who vandalize posts by others?

One can check that the edit was approved by two users (one of them is a highly active reviewer) and rejected by another user. This is also rather strange. Maybe the suggested edits need to be reviewed with more focus.

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  • $\begingroup$ The edit was rewieved two members have approved the edit and a member rejected it with same explanation as yours. You can check the edit history review Singh $\endgroup$ – Aryadeva Sep 4 at 7:50
  • $\begingroup$ @Aryadeva: yes I saw that. Based on that comment others should also have rejected it. $\endgroup$ – Paramanand Singh Sep 4 at 7:51
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    $\begingroup$ In general, I highly doubt it's a frequent issue -- it would quite a bit of luck to find such pseudo-edits and for them to be approved by careless users. In most cases users who vandalise posts do so in obvious ways like removing huge chunks of text and won't bother disguising. However this specific case you link is rather curious, as two minutes after proposing the edit, the user posted exactly the same question. At first I thought they used the edit to evade a question ban, but the short timing between editing and asking suggested otherwise. $\endgroup$ – TheSimpliFire Sep 4 at 10:19
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    $\begingroup$ Nonetheless I don't think they acted in good faith; they didn't fix any grammar in the original post and going through their history shows they have had experience in both editing and asking questions. Perhaps someone can speculate on the reason for this strange behaviour as it's not a typical case of vandalism. $\endgroup$ – TheSimpliFire Sep 4 at 10:25
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    $\begingroup$ One approach could be to track these users and let them know that what they are doing is against site guidelines (repeated vandalism attempts would warrant temporary edit bans). Of course, the best preventive measure is always to review the post properly before submitting a decision; that is, not to click on Approve 20 times a day in a robotic fashion. $\endgroup$ – TheSimpliFire Sep 4 at 10:37
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    $\begingroup$ @TheSimpliFire I wouldn't rule out good faith too quickly: while we may never know the truth, it's possible that they accidentally cut'n'pasted their question over the edited post without realising. The edit comment then gives their intention, despite it not being reality. $\endgroup$ – postmortes Sep 4 at 10:45
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    $\begingroup$ @postmortes: I would like to agree with you here. I think the more serious issue here is then to have a little bit more patience during reviews. $\endgroup$ – Paramanand Singh Sep 4 at 10:48
  • $\begingroup$ @postmortes I would like to think so too, though my phrasing above might have been a bit overcritical. $\endgroup$ – TheSimpliFire Sep 4 at 10:48
  • $\begingroup$ Also as a habit one must have a look at the notification regarding revision of your own post. I also wonder how this was also missed in the current case. The original asker is active and last seen sometime in August this year. $\endgroup$ – Paramanand Singh Sep 4 at 10:50
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    $\begingroup$ I checked and that user has done just one review suggestion, thus it is plausible that they made a mistake here. $\endgroup$ – Arctic Char Sep 4 at 10:52
  • $\begingroup$ It's the first time I saw such a question-replacing edit that isn't spam or trolling. But it's not the first time I have seen these reviewer approving things they should not, as if they never read what they review. $\endgroup$ – user21820 Sep 13 at 16:32
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I think the most irritating part of this vandalism is due to a copy-paste error. Indeed, on the same day, the user Learningmaths also edited this question, in which the formula $$ \int_{-a}^af(x^2)dx=2\int_0^a f(x^2)dx $$ also occurs.

Hopefully, this type of error should not happen too often.

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  • $\begingroup$ So, no vandalism at all, just a mistake. $\endgroup$ – Paul Sep 16 at 20:33

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