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Here is the revision history of a post, and this is the revision which looks like a minor edit.

The only thing was removing a "Thanks a lot!" text. When I check the revision history, previous revision (#2) looks like a proper one while revision #3 only removes a simple text, and when you check the question, last edit was seen as revision #3 edited by the owner of that revision.

That looks like an ugly act (may be a vandalism for the revision #2)! I tried to remove the revision but since removing is not allowed, I made 2 rollbacks for the edit history.

So, I guess there must be a way to report unnecessary edits made by high reputed users (whose edits do not need approval)

Or am I far too frustrated about that kind of unnecessary edits?

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Removing Thanks a lot! is fine; it's just noise, not part of the question itself. –  Martijn Pieters Sep 10 '12 at 13:10
Greetings and thanks are (strongly) discouraged. That edit is in line with accepted policies. –  Daniel Fischer Sep 10 '12 at 13:10
@MartijnPieters I know that we should remove Thanks.. from the post. But should we approve such suggested edit?(only removed thanks) –  hims056 Sep 10 '12 at 13:12
@hims056: I'd say not; decline as too minor. No need to roll those back though. –  Martijn Pieters Sep 10 '12 at 13:15
"That looks like an ugly act (may be a vandalism for the revision #2)!" Wow...just wow... –  Time Traveling Bobby Sep 10 '12 at 13:22
Ok, IMO, a rule that which do not take part in FAQ (it is a simple rule and logically it can not take part in FAQ) and argued in a meta question must not cause that much trouble (up to a down vote to one of my earlier questions in SO). That question was quite old and contains a thank you message. Not every single user in a community can know all of those simple rules and act like the community wants in that way (up to the simplest rules). –  FallenAngel Sep 10 '12 at 13:46
A similar thing is happening here except that it's a signature instead of a thanks. –  Pops Sep 12 '12 at 14:51
To be very specific, I would discourage editing a post solely to remove salutations like “hi” and “thanks”. from In Defense of Editing –  FallenAngel Sep 12 '12 at 15:32

3 Answers 3

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Two things:

  • When people edit, they should be making substantive edits.
  • Don't rollback edits that improve the post.

If a user is breaking either of those guidelines, let us know through a moderator flag. In most cases, is it really worth getting upset over?

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Is it worth flagging a mod over either? This silliness with 'substantive edits' really needs to end. –  GEOCHET Sep 10 '12 at 13:37
@GEOCHET I'd say it's as least as valid as flagging a moderator to rebuke a user that rolled back an edit. –  George Stocker Sep 10 '12 at 13:38
A rollback to a valid edit is abuse of the system. An edit removing a salutation or tagline from a post that was just edited is not abuse. You should know better than that. –  GEOCHET Sep 10 '12 at 13:41
I've missed you, Rich B. Don't ever change. –  George Stocker Sep 10 '12 at 13:43
Well there is a valid argument to the criticism of your poor moderation judgment. –  GEOCHET Sep 10 '12 at 13:57
@GEOCHET How could the UI encourage people to make more substantive edits without getting in their way? –  Tim Post Sep 10 '12 at 14:19
@Tim: Perhaps you should read what I wrote. I don't want to discourage any edits and I wish mods would stop trying to as well. –  GEOCHET Sep 10 '12 at 16:06
He said "encourage substantive", @GEOCHET. I think there's sort of an ingrained fear of changing "too much" that prevents or delays helpful edits from occurring more often, particularly on posts that are being closed. I don't think that's entirely relevant here - the post linked to by the OP had fairly substantive edits both before and after the rollback business - but it might be worth bringing up as a separate discussion. cc Tim –  Shogging through the snow Sep 10 '12 at 19:58
Shog: There is no issue to 'bring up'. Trivial minds need to stop worrying about trivial things. Either an edit is a positive one or it is abusive. The amount of the edit means nothing. It is a false argument since edits are not a limited resource and the resistance to edits unless they meet some imaginary level of 'substantiality' just means less edits and lower quality site wide. Not surprisingly, I notice the mods thumping this drum the most and none of them ever have any kind of logic to back it up as George demonstrates here. –  GEOCHET Sep 10 '12 at 22:31
@GEOCHET There may be a discussion. In an ideal world, when someone edits a post they fix more than just the title, signatures or other low hanging fruit. Some edits (while trivial) actually help and should be accepted, but we could maybe ask people why they did not edit further and look at that data? Was it a Language barrier? A high power-distance culture influenced by rep? Is it even worth investigating UI changes? That's, well .. a discussion. –  Tim Post Sep 11 '12 at 17:22
It is a waste of time, not a discussion. As long as the edits are helpful, who cares if it takes 500 little edits or 1 perfect edit? –  GEOCHET Sep 11 '12 at 20:32
@GEOCHET, What about the fact that after a number of edits the post is converted to community wiki? That prevents the author from ever receiving further reputation from it, which could be avoided by 2 substantive edits, rather than 10 little ones... –  staticbeast Sep 12 '12 at 16:54
Fix the system, not the helpful edits. –  GEOCHET Sep 16 '12 at 14:41

The edit improved the post, so what is the issue? Why do you get to judge what is a 'necessary edit' and why would you roll an edit back to a worse version of a post?

Did you not notice in the example you gave someone already made a much more sufficient edit to the terrible post and the edit you feel is 'minor' is just fixing that last remaining issue?

Leave edits alone. If the edit is making the post worse, either roll it back and edit it or just edit it. If you feel the edit was abusive, flag it for the moderators to look at.

There is no edit as minor and useless as a rollback to an already-inconsequential edit.

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Ok, thank you, i do not know greetings and thanks are (strongly) discouraged. –  FallenAngel Sep 10 '12 at 13:21
Why would you be rolling back the edits of other editors without knowing basic things like this? meta.stackexchange.com/questions/2950/… –  GEOCHET Sep 10 '12 at 13:22
'There is no edit as minor and useless as a rollback'. Bit sweeping perhaps, there're are times (possibly not that many) when I'd say a rollback is absolutely the right edit to make: stackoverflow.com/revisions/5461565/3 –  forsvarir Sep 10 '12 at 13:24
@forsvarir: You didn't read that very well... –  GEOCHET Sep 10 '12 at 13:26
When the post contains F**K YOU ALL, I WILL NEVER COME HERE AGAIN!!! a rollback is quite substantial, IMHO. And yes, such a minor thing does warrant a flag. There are always exceptions. –  Tim Post Sep 10 '12 at 14:15
Tim: And that is completely ignoring the context of my words, but whatever. –  GEOCHET Sep 10 '12 at 16:06
There is no edit as minor and useless as a rollback [of a minor edit]. This is how I read your last sentence, and I'm guessing it's a lot closer to what you actually mean? –  Yannis Sep 10 '12 at 19:41
"There is no edit as minor and useless as a rollback to an already-inconsequential edit." And in this case, removing the thanks may have been an improvement, so not inconsequential after all, but out-and-out positive. So the rollback of that removal is not merely "minor and useless" -- it is downright harmful as it serves to push the site's content ever so slightly out of line with the standards the community aspires to. –  mike4ty4 Sep 11 '12 at 21:07

Only removing the "Thanks" at the end is an edit that shouldn't be made, but by rolling it back you're only adding even more pointless edits to the revision history. Minor edits like that should be ignored, or if a user is making a habit out of them you should comment on that behaviour (@notifications work for editors).

To clarify, removing unnecessary salutations like thanks is common practice here, but not if it is the only thing you do to the post. The only reason minor edits are discouraged is that they add to the review burden of the community and displace other posts from the front page that might need the attention more. In general, removing unnecessary stuff from a post is a good idea.

Don't roll back minor edits just because they are minor and shouldn't have been done, only roll back if the edit actually made the post worse.

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