There have been many suggested edits with the sole purpose of removing expressions like:

  • Thank you.
  • Thanks in advance
  • Thank you, Sean

and so on, while many other aspects of the question are left without any intervention.

I noticed in the past days that this type of suggested edit was justified as:

removed clutter

and started to pay a little more attention to the user suggesting it. After a while I've realized that it was the same user over and over just removing "Thanks" from questions.

It is my understanding that removing one or two words with no meaningful implication on the question itself is considered "too minor" an edit:

This edit is too minor; suggested edits should be substantive improvements addressing multiple issues in the post.

But on the other hand, after viewing the user's profile, I've noticed that many of these removed clutter edits have been approved.

So, my question is:

Is this appropriate? Should I be approving them? Because I've been rejecting them.

  • 7
    I think it's better if you hit "improve", find some extra edits to make, and untick the helpful checkbox. Don't know, though. – Manishearth Jul 15 '12 at 3:14
  • 1
    Worth reading: blog.stackoverflow.com/2009/04/in-defense-of-editing – Shog9 Jul 15 '12 at 5:41
  • You are likely talking about my edits right? I thought I read here that "Thank you" and "Hi" etc are not really wanted in questions, so removing them would improve the question... ?? confused. – Chimera Jul 16 '12 at 20:23

Anyone can do a search for "thanks" and find thousands of posts to edit on Stack Overflow. This sounds like a rep grab, so if that's all they're going to improve on a post that needs other edits, I'd deny them the two points by either rejecting the edit outright or (preferably) hitting "improve" and unchecking the "helpful" box.

Note that "thanks" and other signatures are considered clutter, so it is a valid reason to edit a post. If that's the only thing that needs to be changed to make the post better, go ahead and approve the edit. But reviewing edits is supposed to teach people the right way to edit. If someone is being lazy and not making other obvious improvements to a post, let them know that they're doing it wrong.

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  • Thanks for the clarification! Just needed to make sure that my assessment was correct, and wasn't impairing anyone. – Zuul Jul 15 '12 at 3:40
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    An approved edit gives 2 rep with a 200 rep cap. I don't think that 200 rep would be worth the hassle. Make 3 mediocre answers to C# questions and you got your 200 rep … – kay - SE is evil Jul 15 '12 at 3:47
  • @kay I don't see your point. Just because you don't think it's worth the hassle doesn't mean that no one else will. – Bill the Lizard Jul 15 '12 at 18:46
  • @BilltheLizard: Indeed. – sbi Jul 16 '12 at 20:17
  • So TL;DR: If removing the clutter genuinely is the only improvement the post needs, approve; if not, reject? – T.J. Crowder Nov 27 '17 at 11:30
  • @T.J.Crowder Yes in the "approve" case, but if not "improve or reject." – Bill the Lizard Nov 27 '17 at 13:06

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