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It happens quite regularly that some enthusiastic user goes ahead and fixes some problem with a tag and edits a lot of posts in a short time. This can have a very negative effect on the front page of a site, especially on slow-moving sites. These mass-edits displace new questions and answers from the front page that need the attention with a lot of old posts, where nothing except one tag changed.

Many experienced SE users know about this problem and space out their edits to avoid breaking the front page, but not everyone does it. I propose to at least warn a user if a significant number of posts on the front page was already edited by him (e.g. 10 out of the default 30) and he's trying to edit another old post. Another option would be to outright block edits on old posts from users that have too many posts edited by them already on the front page.

This won't solve the difficult problem of large-scale edit and tagging operations, it is meant as a way to educate those users about the problem of a large number of small edits in quick succession. Those users are usually enthusiastic, they try to make the site better, they just need to be told how to minimize the negative effects of their actions.

share|improve this question
I wonder... Should edits by anybody other than the OP bump to the front page? The OP can be adding clarity to the question, but what is the likelihood that other editors are doing that? Or perhaps there can be an opt-in flag when editing to indicate that one is (at least attempting to) make an improvement or clarification that should merit the question being re-visited by potential answerers? – David Jun 27 '12 at 10:07
@David Bumping is needed to ensure that all edits are reviewed, and nobody is vandalizing the backlog of questions. Alternative ways to ensure review are needed in my opinion, but that's a separate issue. – Mad Scientist Jun 27 '12 at 10:11
@MadScientist Good point. – Alenanno Jun 27 '12 at 10:15
I don't think warning users about it will really do anything in the end, and completely blocking them will only discourage users from conducting these retags that may need to be done. I know this problem can be irritating, but I don't believe this is the solution we're looking for. – animuson Jun 28 '12 at 17:45

Instead of giving medicine to reduce the pain isn't it better to cure the illness itself?

What I mean is that those mass edits occur for a reason - for example renaming a tag. Currently the way to do that is to edit all post having the old tag and change that old tag to the new tag. It just happened now here on Meta:

While it's important to keep the tags proper, correct and clean we need a tool to mass rename a tag without having to edit all posts having it (likely moderator only) or another alternative is to let the editor choose "this edit should not bump the post" then filter out those posts from the homepage.

I know the second was suggested before and declined, but maybe it deserves to be reconsidered - for example with such restrictions:

  • Only 10K+ member can choose to make edit that won't bump the question.
  • The edit will still change the "last active" timestamp of the post and be logged as any other edit, just add another flag somewhere - so those edits will appear in the Questions page itself, just not in the default page.
  • Allow such edits to be only minor by enforcing either:
    • Changing one tag
    • Changing up to X characters
share|improve this answer
Tag renaming is easy, moderators can already do that. Any change that means edits can be performed without review has been categorically opposed by SE, the "minor edit" checkbox specifically has already been declined multiple times, I think. – Mad Scientist Jun 27 '12 at 10:26
So in such case it's possible to block mass tag changing and instead show a message "please ask a moderator to mass rename this tag". As for minor edit checkbox I'm well aware of that, just trying one more time with suggestions that reduce the risks. – Shadow Wizard Jun 27 '12 at 10:33
@ShaWizDowArd Renaming a tag doesn't bump the posts, and it's something that moderators can do easily. Removing a tag, though, is an edit and it bumps the post, and it's not something that moderators can do any differently than regular users. – Yannis Jun 27 '12 at 11:12
@Yannis closing was renamed to vote-to-close so why wasn't it done by a moderator? I'm still bit confused here. :/ – Shadow Wizard Jun 27 '12 at 11:29
It wasn't renamed (~ merged), it was manually replaced by [vote-to-close]. @animuson did it the hard (and wrong) way ;) – Yannis Jun 27 '12 at 11:40
@Yannis so what should be the proper way? Or how can we block high rep member from repeating such mistake? – Shadow Wizard Jun 27 '12 at 11:44
@ShaWizDowArd If the only thing a tag needs is to be synonymized / merged to another, better one, then that's a job for a moderator, and a Meta post about it would make sense. Unless the lesser tag is on a few questions, for example 10, when re-tagging manually would be much faster than posting on Meta. And you can always propose a synonym for the tag... Although [closing] is certainly a bad tag, I'm not so sure it's a synonym of [vote-to-close] though, perhaps this needed to only happen on a few questions. – Yannis Jun 27 '12 at 11:50
@YannisRizos: See my answer here. Not everything was renamed to [vote-to-close]. There were a lot of them that went to other tags as well. – animuson Jun 27 '12 at 18:26
@animuson Yes, then, unfortunately, the only option is manual re-tagging. Having done a ton of them on Programmers, I feel your pain. – Yannis Jun 27 '12 at 20:55

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