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I have noticed a regular stream of meaningless edit proposals arriving in the suggested edits page. For example, in the one for this post: XML attributes and their corresponding related methods. The proposed edit added a comma, removed a question mark, and also removed the word please from the bottom of the post. Another that I saw much earlier today simply changed a letter c to a letter s (changed advice to advise).

These edits are inane, worthless, and score the proposer 2 reputation points if they are approved. How long will it be before we get the spelling police going over the posts of every non-native English speaker that posts a question? How long will it be before someone decides that colour needs to be corrected to color, or behaviour needs to be corrected to behavior? Personally I reject these edits if I see them, as they add nothing to the post.

I don't know if there is an easy way to prevent these types of edits. Maybe:

  • the system could refuse the edit if it is too small (i.e. x number of letters changed for every y number of words in the post) and doesn't take place in a code block
  • if a user accumulates a certain number of rejections for their proposed edits then they are blocked from doing any more for a period of time
  • if a user has an edit rejected, they lose one reputation point. This means low reputation points users just looking to game some reputation points may think twice about the quality of their edit. If they continue to be a nuisance then they slowly lose reputation points for it.

Other suggestions are welcome!

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The first one is implemented in the form of the requirement that a suggested edit have at least 6 characters - if you see any with less, the user probably added some kind of bypass like an HTML comment, which is really just more grounds to reject the edit. The second item is actually entirely implemented, someone who gets a lot of rejections will be blocked for about a week, I believe. The last bullet, though, does not currently happen. –  Grace Note Mar 22 '11 at 10:29
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Want easy reputation? Fix the lowercase "i"s in this post! –  Andrew Grimm Mar 22 '11 at 10:48
    
Given how often that button is red lately, looks to me like everybody is worn out. Having to say NO constantly isn't productive nor fun. –  Uphill Luge Mar 22 '11 at 18:46

1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you don't think the edits are worthwhile and substantive, don't hestitate to reject them. This is perfectly fine, since we discourage trivial edits anyway.

Beyond that, see:

Should tiny edits be accepted or rejected in review?

the system could refuse the edit if it is too small

Already happens, and recently got stricter.

if a user accumulates a certain number of rejections for their proposed edits then they are blocked from doing any more for a period of time

Already happens.

if a user has an edit rejected, they lose one rep point. This means low rep users just looking to game some rep may think twice about the quality of their edit. If they continue to be a nuisance then they slowly lose rep for it.

I don't know if I support this; simply reject those edits you find unworthy of approving. Our official policy is that trivial edits are discouraged, particularly in suggested edits.

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