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Closes / Edits Should Not Bump Questions on "Recent" List

I just checked SU to see if there are any questions I can answer before retiring for the night and the screencap below is what I saw. (Not surprisingly, I didn’t bother answering anything else tonight.) Notice that almost all of the questions already have tons of views and more importantly, are already answered (ie, have accepted an answer).

A quick look through the questions shows that they are primarily simple edits, fixing a bit of capitalization and removing greetings and gratitudes (eg “hi” and “thanks”). Some of them fix broken images (though many of them seem to have been fine before the edit).

In any case, the edits seem pretty trivial, especially since the questions are already completed. Instead, the unnecessary bumping offers little use and simply clutters the front page and pushes down unanswered questions. (I’ve been around for a while and rarely use the Unanswered tab—or others—let alone less experienced users.)

I think bulk, simple edits like this are pointless and not only not constructive, but actually counterproductive. Any ideas on this?

(There were dozens more edits like these by the time I finished typing this.)

enter image description here


2 Answers 2


The points I would consider are:

  • Were there any other edits that could have been done?
  • Does the edit help making the question clearer, such as correcting the spelling, fixing the punctuation, or removing a non correct tag?

If the edit changes a comma, but there would be more edits to do, then it would be better to make all the changes. If the edit has only the purpose to change a word from British English spelling to American English spelling (or vice versa), then it should be avoided.

For the rest, there are two new badges that are assigned to who edits posts that were inactive for 6 months. If those badges are given, I think they are promoting an action that has been considered useful; I don't think they are given without a specific purpose.


Miniscule edits have been discussed here before. My favorite -- sorry to pick on you again Peter -- was when Peter added a single comma to an answer which wasn't the already accepted answer.

Seeing things like this makes me wish there was the possibility to edit (for users with say 10K or 20K rep) without bumping.

However, that said, at least these edits were made late on a Friday night / Saturday morning when we all should've been at the pub anyway.

  • 2
    Well, Peter is famous for this kind of thing. That guy must have worse obsessive-compulsive tendencies than I do, especially since he has full edit privileges now and isn't going for any badges. :-) Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 6:00
  • 2
    What gets me are the beautiful comments he leaves when editing. Either he's got one wicked set of user-scripts or hours of time to dedicate to improving the site. Either way, damn fine job.
    – M. Tibbits
    Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 6:04
  • For Peter's drive, see the interview on the SU blog: Peter Mortensen, Editor-in-Chief, @Cody & M.
    – Arjan
    Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 9:12
  • 1
    @Arjan: Wow, thanks! That's fascinating. I had no idea there was a write-up about/interview with him. The Edit Overflow application looks interesting, too. Goes to answer M. Tibbits's speculation on what kind of tool he uses to help automate the process. (I don't see the source code, though!) Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 9:21
  • As for editing without bumping: consider a vote for (the declined) Could we have the ability to mark a change as minor in questions or answers? I myself am reluctant to support that, as it might introduce ways for abuse? On the other hand: those who want abusive changes probably won't have the 2k rep to edit without peer review.
    – Arjan
    Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 9:28
  • (Ah, Jeff repeated his opinion about not supporting a trivial edit checkbox.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 9:34
  • @Arjan, WOW! I had no idea either. It's be awesome to use that utility. Looks like the source is here
    – M. Tibbits
    Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 11:48
  • (I pinged Peter to read these comments, @Cody & M. Maybe he will explain some more!)
    – Arjan
    Commented Aug 20, 2011 at 11:58
  • > However, that said, at least these edits were made late on a Friday night / Saturday morning when we all should've been at the pub anyway. You do realize that the Internet is global and open 24x7, and that the world has time-zones right?
    – Synetech
    Commented Sep 13, 2011 at 6:24

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