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There's an annoying case that comes up with suggested edits for those who have full edit privileges:

  • new question is posted without code formatting
  • someone suggests edit to fix formatting
  • 2k+ users comes along and instead of fixing the formatting in a few seconds and then being able to address the properly formatted question, they approve the suggested edit and are stuck trying to read the still-unformatted question

Previously proposed solutions along the lines of Instant approval of revisions for users with edit privileges have been rejected because people weren't holding other people's edits to the same standard they'd use for their own.

My suggestion is not to allow edit suggestions until a post is one hour old. I think the regular editors do a good job of fixing new posts anyway, and it would avoid the irritation for them.

Steering lower-rep users to look through the older stuff would have a second benefit for the site as a whole: they'd be earning rep fixing things that fell through the cracks instead of stuff that was probably going to be done by someone else momentarily anyway.

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Or at the very least be able to view the question as edited –  Some Helpful Commenter Jul 2 '11 at 3:57
2  
You mean not everyone uses the "Improve" button to get around this? Wow. –  Cody Gray Jul 2 '11 at 14:40

1 Answer 1

up vote 8 down vote accepted

My suggestion is not to allow edit suggestions until a post is one hour old. I think the regular editors do a good job of fixing new posts anyway, and it would avoid the irritation for them.

We used to do this -- in fact, the time limit for anonymous user suggested edits went from 12 hours, to 6 hours, to 1 hour, to 10 minutes (what it is now).

The reason? We get a TEENY TINY number of anonymous edit suggestions. Way, way smaller than we anticipated. This is a major bummer since part of the promise of suggested edits was to unlock the massive "long tail" of users who happen by an old post, see an error, and are willing to hop in and correct it.

In order to address this, we are continually relaxing the requirements and making it easier for anonymous users to submit edits.

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Fair enough, guess I just had bad luck to hit it a couple times. I feel like suggested edits haven't been very well advertised; I only discovered them the first time I went to edit and got the approval dialog. –  Brad Mace Jul 2 '11 at 6:33
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I think part of this is that most of that long tail is interested in their own questions only... Most anyone who answers can get edit privies relatively quickly... –  Billy ONeal Jul 2 '11 at 7:09
    
Do you have statistics on the number of anonymous edits, the proportion that was accepted, and (that one's hard) the number that was worthwhile? The dominant attitude on Meta is that suggested edits, especially anonymous ones, should not change the meaning of a post, in particular not correcting mistakes. So I'm afraid more anonymous edits will only mean more rejections, not more improvements. –  Gilles Jul 2 '11 at 15:24
    
@gilles I don't think that's a correct characterization of that answer.. –  Jeff Atwood Jul 2 '11 at 21:03

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