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This is obviously heavily related to this question.

From Jeff's answer, I see that it was decided not to touch "thanks" at that time, but as I have started getting into the review process and I noticed a significant number of "First Posts" that include "TIA" or "Thanks in Advance" that need to be edited out and I'm wondering if it is possible to revisit that original decision, or if it is still thought of as to difficult to detect, only look at removing "TIA" or "Thanks in Advance" automatically?

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Where do we stop? TIA, Thanks in advance (with all the casing. misspellings and spacing variations), thanks and what else? – Oded Sep 28 '12 at 12:07
@Oded fair point, but my thinking is if we catch the most common variations and spellings, it will help reduce the number of edits that people need to make. – psubsee2003 Sep 28 '12 at 12:10
I don't know about other sites, but for SO, given the sheer volume of users, I have not found this to be a significant problem. Many such salutations are quickly edited out. And often the question ends up with some extra TLC. Not sure if there is a need to automate this. A manual edit might also be more instructive to the new users. – Bart Sep 28 '12 at 12:11
@Bart another good point. My argument is still the same, the first post queue is 15K+ questions so if a reviewer does not have to stop long enough to edit out the "TIA", it might make the reviewing process faster. I don't know enough about the Community user to know if this is even feasible, but would it be possible to have the Community user actually make the "manual edit", which might have the same instructional effect? – psubsee2003 Sep 28 '12 at 12:19
I like this idea, although for an entirely different reason. Unlike editing out salutations or taglines, some users actually feel attacked when their "thanks" gets edited out. – Dennis Sep 28 '12 at 12:56
up vote 7 down vote accepted

I don't think this is necessary.

In addition to Jeff's explanation that this is trickier than opening salutations, what % of first posts (or any queue really) do you suspect have only the problem of TIA? In other words, if the post is going to be edited for other reasons anyway, what does automating buy us? And if it really is the only problem with the post, is it worth editing (manually or automatically)?

The opening hi and all that stuff gets in the way of getting to the point. An ending thanks after making the point is really just not as much of a problem IMHO. In fact it's nice to see that not every bit of cordiality and courtesy has been automated away. When I'm editing a question I remove it but I won't edit a question just to remove it.

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Probably can't give an accurate percentage, but I have been trying to review 10 questions or so when I have a few minutes, and just this morning I noticed at least 2. And when I tried to remove 1, it was rejected - which is another reason I asked as I have noticed when I only remove that comment from a question, it seems to be rejected as "not substantial enough" more often than not. – psubsee2003 Sep 28 '12 at 12:33
@psubsee2003 and that's what I'm saying - maybe that edit should be rejected. If that's the only problem with the post... – Aaron Bertrand Sep 28 '12 at 12:35
This is some of the confusion I mentioned in my answer to another question earlier this week. I am very confused as to what constitutes "substantial". On one hand you have MSO questions like the one I linked in my question that seem to suggest that these types of edits are considered substantial, but comments and rejected edits that suggested they aren't. I'm happy to follow what the community agrees is correct, although seems like the community doesn't necessarily agree. – psubsee2003 Sep 28 '12 at 12:39

I just want to say that I'm totally down with this idea, "Thanks in Advance" is ridiculously common and of course totally unnecessary. And yes, sometimes it is the only thing that needs editing out of an otherwise good post, so often people won't bother touching it.

From Jeff's answer:

The thanks parts at the end of posts are much more difficult / risky to detect, so we are not touching those for now.

That's cool and I totally understand, but if someone does find a way to do this without being risky, it would be awesome. Just make sure to get "Thanks in advanced" too.

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Automatically editing out "Thanks in advance" should be part of a teachable moment. The most important form of thanks that the original poster can give is to mark an answer as accepted. A TIA in a question is an indication that the user likely doesn't know this.

When a TIA is recognized, it would be great to automatically remove it and show something like this to the user:

The text "Thanks in advance" was automatically removed from your post. On Stack Overflow, rather than thanking in advance, when someone resolves your question, show your appreciation by marking that answer as accepted.

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