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Recently, we've had some suggested edit spam from anonymous users. The specific question being targeted is protected:

protected by studiohack ♦ Apr 27 '11 at 1:10

This question is protected to prevent "thanks!", "me too!", or spam answers by new users. To answer it, you must have earned at least 10 reputation on this site.

Great, so 10 reputation is required to answer the question. This doesn't stop anonymous and new users from spamming edit suggestions. Could the same restriction be applied to suggested edits to the protected question and its answers?

As this would only apply to protected questions, which evidently attract not-so-good attention, it would not hinder new and anonymous users' ability to edit for the most part.

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4  
thanks! mee too! –  FlavorScape Jun 21 '12 at 22:12

3 Answers 3

I agree with this, but I also know what the answer is going to be: this is why suggested edits must be peer reviewed.

Suggested edits were created to crowd-source editing, and one of the goals from the start was to invite the entire world to suggested editing. This only works, of course, if:

  1. The community takes some interest in the suggested edit queue, and
  2. Suggested edits aren't merely rubber-stamped by the community.

When suggested edits were first introduced, they were approved or rejected almost instantaneously, literally in the blink of an eye. Nowadays, it's not uncommon for flags to sit in the queue for hours. As I type this, there are 140 unapproved edits in Stack Overflow's Suggested Edits queue, a fairly typical number these days.

As to your suggestion, proportionally there aren't that many questions that are protected, so I'm not sure this would make much of a dent unless you required 10 reputation for all suggested edits.

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2  
But: people make mistakes... (Kudos Sha Dow Wiz Ard.) –  Arjan Jun 8 '12 at 17:11
2  
Most of what you write does not apply to other sites, does it? It's an SO-only problem. The suggested edits queue on SU works well, but reviewers might lose interest if these protected topics keep getting spammed. –  Daniel Beck Jun 8 '12 at 17:11
    
@DanielBeck: Yes, my answer is SO-specific. –  Robert Harvey Jun 8 '12 at 17:12
1  
Removing the SO specific content from your answer, and assuming reviews work, as they do on SU, what's left of your answer is basically the first paragraph. Now those reviewing peers have an issue with just anybody being able to suggest edits for any topic: spammers can't get to the protected ones, so they need to clog the review tubes with their spam. Of course there's a downside to restrictions, but that's why we have topic protection in the first place: Why should non-partipants be able to edit, but not answer? Value of freedom for 0 rep non-participants need to carefully be weighed here. –  Daniel Beck Jun 9 '12 at 14:23

I just had to lock an answer temporary on wordpress.se, because it was hammered with spam edits. The question was locked already without any effect.

I think our users should do something more productive than fighting spam which could be prevented so easily.

The current setup puts the burden onto the reviewers. This is bad, especially on smaller sites.

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No. This would not solve your problem and it would have negative consequences.

Protection is a blunt instrument. It doesn't merely prevent unwanted bad contributions, it also prevents wanted good contributions. Everybody has to start somewhere, and protected questions typically are the ones that got the most exposure, so new answerers are slightly more likely to want to make their first contribution on one. We only put up with protection because it saves a lot of clean-up work.

Protection already prevents new users from contributing answers. Allowing them to suggest edits at least gives them an outlet to provide improvements. Since these contributions are reviewed, there is no reason to block them automatically.

Protection has nothing to do with edits. Suggested edit spam isn't specific to protected questions. I've never understood why spammers fixate on certain question; they don't go by popularity. Preventing suggested edits specifically on protected questions would be no more effective than preventing suggested edits on questions whose number is prime. It's a meaningless criterion.

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