The forum doesn’t allow me to fix typos anymore

I’ve noticed this recently.

When I try to correct a typo in my comment, the forum says that the edit is too similar, and I can’t update my comment. This seems like a stupid rule.

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Yeah, pretty annoying. :joy: I get that its to prevent spam but its also impractical to think that no one will ever need to edit their messages.

Indeed, such rule would solely make sense when adding new comments (to prevent duplicates), not when editing existing ones (to prevent nothing).

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I just attempted a simple edit on a post I made here and didn’t run into this issue.

This may have been a bug that has since been fixed (we check edits for duplicate content, but you should always be able to fix simple typos)… but if anyone’s still running into this I can take it up with the Discourse team (which I’m part of) for further investigation.

Unfortunately the most pervasive type of spam we’ve seen on Discourse is a bit of a tricky case where a human spammer will make a seemingly on-topic post (you need to have some level of activity on the site to gain the privilege of posting links)… then once they’ve satisfied the requirements and can post links, they’ll return and edit all of their posts to include spam.

:+1: The issue is indeed no longer present.

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Hmm I may be reading that wrong. But whats actually wrong with users going back to edit posts to add links once they have rights to do so.

1 Like

Nothing’s wrong with going back and making minor edits to your posts, unless you’re copying & pasting the same thing into all of those edits. I was just explaining why checking edits for similar content does more than “prevent nothing” as suggested above (though in this case it was impacting normal use, so that was a bug).

Human spammers will exploit anything left unchecked.

It’s unclear what you are talking about. Fixing a typo is typically exactly a small change. If adding specifically a link is disallowed when editing, then:

  • that should not affect ability to edit (including small typo-related edits) posts itself;
  • using links should be disallowed when initial posting too, not only when editing;
  • if links are allowed when posting, then they should also be allowed when editing.

Sorry if I was unclear, let me try again.

In this case there seemed to be a bug that was triggering some content checks in cases where they shouldn’t have been triggered. The bug now seems to be fixed. The additional explanation was intended to explain why we check edits to begin with.

It’s not. Adding a link is disallowed for brand new users in all posts (if the default settings are unchanged). New accounts have certain restrictions (how quickly they can post, how many posts they can make, what their posts can contain, etc). Posts and edits from new users also go through some additional spam checks beyond these restrictions.

A common spam approach we’ve seen is:

  1. New user makes some normal-appearing posts.
  2. The new user sticks around until meeting the criteria that allows them to post links and be subject to less stringent spam checks
  3. User returns to their previous posts, and edits them to add links to spam or other spammy content.

So when left unchecked, edits can become an avenue for spam.