What is meta? ×
Meta Stack Exchange is where users like you discuss bugs, features, and support issues that affect the software powering all 134 Stack Exchange communities.

We need a hard rate limit on suggested edits, to limit the damage someone can do with blasting the review queue with minor edit suggestions.

Case in point: this user peppered the site with a whopping 133 tag-only edit suggestions in 2 hours and 15 minutes. That's one edit every minute on average, but towards the end he was entering a new suggestion every 20 seconds. He only stopped because a call to action here on meta drew enough rejections to have him banned from entering more.

If there was a limit to the number of suggested edits you can enter in a time period we could have stopped this guy earlier. No <2k user needs to edit hundreds of tags across that many questions in 2 hours time.

Considerations

  • There are cases where a retag drive or tag burninate justifies editing a larger number of posts, but I'd be fine if such tasks were limited to people with 2k+ reputation. A retag or burninate job requires a minimal engagement with the community to know when they are justified anyway.

  • The suggested edit review process, by itself, was clearly not enough to stop this barrage. It cannot be seen as a rate limiting measure, at least not as a sufficiently efficient one.

    The vast majority of the edits made in the above example were too minor, leaving spelling, grammar and formatting mistakes in the post untouched. The user was going too fast to pay attention to such details anyway. Yet this user has 98 approved edit suggestions, but all but 6 or 7 I'd have rejected as too minor, so the review process itself is broken.

What should be limited

  • The number of review votes reviewers have is already limited; I burned to 20 reviews short order just reviewing the suggestions from just this one user. Certainly the number of unreviewed suggestions should be limited to let reviewers catch up with a user like this. I'd say having 20 outstanding suggested edits pending review is plenty.

  • Suggested edits should be made with some consideration; we don't want minor edits, so if you are suggesting more than 20 in an hour (that's 1 every 3 minutes) you are not improving posts anymore, you are gaming the system to gain reputation.

share|improve this question
4  
Why not have a daily rep limit of 10 for edits? Cf. 200 upvote daily rep limit. –  Bathsheba Dec 6 '13 at 14:43
9  
Why not give the editor -1 rep for a rejected edit? –  Bathsheba Dec 6 '13 at 14:44
1  
That would not necessarily stop such a barrage. It would take away an important incentive, sure. –  Martijn Pieters Dec 6 '13 at 14:44
1  
There are other, related, feature requests that suggest a penalty for rejected suggested edits. –  Martijn Pieters Dec 6 '13 at 14:45
1  
Hmmm, almost two years ago a similar question popped up. meta.stackexchange.com/questions/116636/… No definitive answers though or a status-declined –  rene Dec 6 '13 at 14:45
6  
@Bathsheba I don't think we should punish users for attempting to help in good faith. –  Stijn Dec 6 '13 at 14:46
2  
Indeed I'm sure this is not a new phenomenon but being able to acquire 1000 reputation just by adding tags etc. doesn't sit well. –  Bathsheba Dec 6 '13 at 14:46
1  
Were the proposed edits appropriate except for their size? Or do you think the additional tags didn't belong there? –  Peter Alfvin Dec 6 '13 at 14:46
    
@Stijn: you mean the -1 for a rejected edit? The rate limit is not a punishment, just a natural break in how fast they do this. –  Martijn Pieters Dec 6 '13 at 14:47
    
@PeterAlfvin: See the other post for the specific details on that user. I am only addressing the frequency here. –  Martijn Pieters Dec 6 '13 at 14:47
    
@MartijnPieters Yeah I meant the -1 for a rejected edit. (I've actually upvoted this question) –  Stijn Dec 6 '13 at 14:49
    
@Stijn neither to I. We are relying on the integrity of the reviewers. –  Bathsheba Dec 6 '13 at 14:54
    
Actually, it might be beneficial to ratelimit >2ks too. Tag wikis should not be edited lightly. –  Manishearth Dec 17 '13 at 9:49
    
@Stijn, why would -1 rep for bad edit be such unthinkable, most users who suggest edits would still get an overall positive rep thanks to other good edits even if they slip here and there, it should just deter consistently bad editors –  Leeor Dec 22 '13 at 13:53
    

4 Answers 4

There are 2 problems that I see that would be resolved by rate-limiting of some fashion:

  1. As mentioned, this would prevent someone flooding the review queue
  2. The second is someone repeatedly making the same minor edit a large number of posts.

As Martijn mentions in the question, limiting the number of pending suggested edits would go a long way to resolve #1, but it would only partially address #2 as it would allow someone to resume editing as soon as an edit is reviewed (whether it be accepted or rejected), and in sites with fast moving review queues (i.e. Stack Overflow), this could be almost immediately.

We know that an edit ban kicks in when enough of the users edits in the last 7 days have been rejected, but this is sometimes not enough when someone is editing en masse. They can usually garner enough accepted edits to raise the threshold for an edit ban. If you are able to maintain a 3-to-1 accept to reject ratio, you'll never trigger the threshold. Enough so-so looking edits mixed in with a handful of robo reviewers and you'll be able to maintain that threshold.

To avoid this, I think further rating limiting based on edit rejections would be a fair solution. The exact numbers can be fleshed out with further discussion, but the idea would work like this:

  • User is rate limited to 20 pending suggested edits
  • This limit is reduced by 5 for every rejected edit in the last hour (the reason for the time limit is to prevent this from being a complete ban and just a way to slow them down until the community can handle the situation).
  • So if a user has 20 pending suggested edits and gets a rejected edit, they are now limited to 15 pending suggested edits. This means they can't propose any new edits until they have fewer than 15 pending edits. And this number would be further reduced if they pick up any additional rejects in the preceding 60 minutes.

A bonus of this is 4 reject edits in any 60 minute period effectively bans the user for the remainder of the hour. It would be a very temporary ban, but should be a sufficient period of time to allow the community to catch up and/or leave him a message explaining why their edits are not acceptable.

share|improve this answer
    
+1 for gradually reducing the available edit slots. This way, we can educate the editors in an early stage. –  S.L. Barth Dec 24 '13 at 9:56

To counter the answer given by Lance Roberts:

At the onset I dislike the idea of rate limiting the number of edits we can suggest in a day. I have been a prolific editor myself and it was the privilege of suggesting edits which encouraged me to increase my participation on sites in the Stack Exchange Network. Any rate-limitation of the likes that I can only suggest x edits in a day (where x is too small) would have irked me for sure. I have easily crossed 20 edit-suggestions-a-day on numerous occasions - at times the similar number of my edits were pending review.

Moreover, an anonymous user is also able to suggest edits - how would you deal with it? I don't consider this as spamming if done in good faith, so using the IP level ban/restriction doesn't seem appropriate to me if it's not spam.

However, what Martijn Pieters proposes:

Suggested edits should be made with some consideration; we don't want minor edits, so if you are suggesting more than 20 in an hour (that's 1 every 3 minutes) you are not improving posts anymore, you are gaming the system to gain reputation.

should be fine in my opinion and provides a good balance for rate-limitation and quality of suggested edits.

I am sort of neutral on his other suggestion:

The number of review votes reviewers have is already limited; I burned to 20 reviews short order just reviewing the suggestions from just this one user. Certainly the number of unreviewed suggestions should be limited to let reviewers catch up with a user like this. I'd say having 20 outstanding suggested edits pending review is plenty.

As I mentioned in my answer earlier, there have been times when there have been more than 20 of my edit suggestions pending in review queue. However, once I reach there I am sure I won't feel bad that I can't review more for the time being - as I know that I can edit more once the community catches up and starts trusting me more. So, I am neutral on that suggestion.

share|improve this answer
1  
Note that my other suggestion limits your unreviewed suggestions. On site with an actively managed suggested edits review queue, having 20 reviews still outstanding is going to be almost impossible. But on a quieter site, pushing 20 reviews into the queue would slow you down in proportion to the reviewing capacity of the site. –  Martijn Pieters Dec 19 '13 at 19:26

Another option is to limit the rep mining in these cases -

  • Option 1: Allow users to edit as fast as they want but +2 rep eligibility is replenished only once a minute or more
  • Option 2: Allow users to edit as much and as fast as they want, but limit the rep from edits to overall 20 a day (or any other value). To sweeten that a bit you can add a badge saying the user have reached X daily edits on Y days.
share|improve this answer
    
No, a badge for a number of edits is only going to lead to more gaming. I think that not handing out rep for edits is going to lead to a lot of confusion, complicating the rules too much. –  Martijn Pieters Dec 22 '13 at 14:10
    
@MartijnPieters, handing out almost unlimited rep is just as bad. Ok scratch the badge, why not limit the rep rate? if someone invested 5 seconds in an edit (like the guy above who probably didn't even read the questions), does he deserve the rep for it? –  Leeor Dec 22 '13 at 14:26
1  
There is already a cap on suggested edit reputation. You cannot earn more than 1000 points that way. –  Martijn Pieters Dec 22 '13 at 14:53
    
I vote for option #2. –  Neolisk Jun 12 at 14:00

The limit for approving suggested edits is 20 a day, so I would think that would be a good limit for suggesting those edits.

share|improve this answer
3  
I don't agree, actually. There is more than one reviewer on any given site. This is why I proposed a limit to the number of unreviewed suggestions you can push into the queue. 20 in a day is very low, really. That is about 1 every half hour, in a 10 hour period. –  Martijn Pieters Dec 19 '13 at 19:27

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .