I usually see a lot of suggested edits pending, suggesting to remove a user sign or cheers from a question.


//question ...



What's the right policy, approve or reject?


3 Answers 3


If that's the only wart of the post, approve. If there's much more wrong with it, reject as too minor¹. If there's a tiny speck² besides, improve.

That's my policy for these suggested edits.

¹ I try to go and fix it myself afterward, but I don't always succeed with that.
² Don't take the "tiny speck" too literally, it's for dramatic effect.

  • "If there's much more wrong, reject as too minor." - really? I would approve if I don't have the patience to improve, but not reject.
    – Oded
    Jan 23, 2012 at 21:58
  • 9
    @Oded Yes, really. If they just remove a speck of dust in a sea of dirt, I don't see the point. If you (generic you, not personal) edit a post, put some effort into it, please. Jan 23, 2012 at 22:00
  • Your answer seems to read the exact opposite of your comment to @Oded.
    – casperOne
    Jan 23, 2012 at 22:12
  • @casperOne exact opposite? I may have tripped over a subtlety of a language not my mother tongue. Jan 23, 2012 at 22:15
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    @DanielFischer - Looks fine to me. "If there's much more wrong" is a tiny bit awkward; you might say "If there are many more problems" or "If there are a large amount of errors remaining" to better convey that the problem is in the ratio of remaining errors. Jan 24, 2012 at 0:09
  • What I do with these has changed over time; I used the existence of the "too minor" rejection reason as an excuse to reject edits that I would approve now. I approve such edits now, unless the edit was painfully ignoring other glaring, easily fixed issues, too. However, in such a case, I have to ask myself; why not just click "Improve"? (which implicitly approves the edit). Jan 24, 2012 at 0:30
  • In the cases where 'thanks' is removed and nothing else improved, I usually improve, then uncheck the 'this edit was helpful' flag.
    – AShelly
    Mar 23, 2012 at 20:09
  • @AShelly Yes, now that is an easy option. That feature was implemented about a week after this question. Mar 23, 2012 at 20:24


Salutations should be removed - they are noise that adds nothing to the question.

See Should 'Hi', 'thanks,' taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?

  • thanks..I tried to search before asking but I didn/t used the right keywords :).
    – Heisenbug
    Jan 23, 2012 at 22:03
  • 10
    We should be training people to fix all of the problems in posts they edit, not just the ones that are the easiest to identify and the least useful in terms of improving quality. Approving sig-removal-only edits is rewarding the wrong behavior, even though such edits technically improve quality.
    – Pops
    Jan 23, 2012 at 22:06
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    @PopularDemand - I have always seen these as attempts to improve. If I possibly can improve, I will.
    – Oded
    Jan 23, 2012 at 22:25
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    I've come more to this opinion, whereas I believe I used to over-use the "Too Minor" reject reason. It is helpful to remove salutations. If there's more, that's why we have the 'Improve' option. (See my comment to sarnold's answer for more nuance) Jan 24, 2012 at 0:35

I agree with Daniel's answer, but I now apply a stricter policy when I see users making significant edit suggestions in a manner that I think is primarily to gain reputation.

If I don't recognize the editor's name, then I'm more likely to hit the Improve button and fix things myself. If I recognize the editor's name as likely doing the edits specifically to gain reputation, I'm far more likely to hit the Reject button and describe why I rejected the edit: it's the easiest mechanism for me to provide feedback on how future edits will have the most value. After all, there's probably another 400+ edits coming until the user hits the +1000 reputation cap from edits.

For example, a new editor has suggested 75 edits in two or three days. Hooray! Except his editing is sometimes at random, sometimes right-on but insufficient, and sometimes he gets it exactly right.

I'm glad this user is choosing to make so many edits, but some of them appear like he searched for an awkward phrase ("see the code behind") to replace it with something more idiomatic ("see the above code") and ignores the other glaring issues in the posts.

He started with simple edits. They've improved over time; I think the improvement is largely because 11 of his 75 suggestions were rejected with useful reasons.

  • 1
    I don't begrudge anyone doing anything to legitimately earn reputation, but I have to admit that I apply a slightly higher standard to someone whose name I've seen on lots of proposed edits. If all they did was remove, "thanks", and they also ignored numerous, obvious, easily-fixed additional problems... I might start clicking reject. Jan 24, 2012 at 0:32
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    @Andrew: It certainly wasn't my intention to diminish the editing work of this user or anyone else -- it's just that I've seen some editors make many edit suggestions because it was clear they love quality writing, and those editors rarely need any guidance. :)
    – sarnold
    Jan 24, 2012 at 0:40

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