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What can we do to stop bad edits getting accepted?

There seems to be a trend recently to "italicise" words like in this suggested edit for example.

Using italic to highlight something specific makes sense, but using it for all the libraries, tools, services etc. seems unnecessary, if not counterproductive.

Is it only me? Should we reject those edits as too minor? Invalid?

Are there any formatting guidelines?

  • 3
    Ick. That's all I can say. Jul 25, 2012 at 10:06
  • 13
    Which is worse, that or the non-strategic bolding?
    – jonsca
    Jul 25, 2012 at 10:08
  • 4
    If it's italic, it must be sexy. Oh là là!
    – Pekka
    Jul 25, 2012 at 10:14
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  • 3
    I have edited the post to remove the italics
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jul 25, 2012 at 10:25
  • 3
    It's stackoverflow.com/users/1369235/hims056 - he's provided endless edits changing keywords to italics. Jul 25, 2012 at 10:36
  • Yeah, we were talking about that just the other day. Jul 25, 2012 at 10:41
  • 5
    Is there anything we can do to educate those who received the privilege to evaluate suggested edits? Because I don't see a way to poke them at the moment with something like "Hey, you accepted this, but you really want to reject this the next time because of..."
    – Bart
    Jul 25, 2012 at 11:20
  • The "italian" user has 4 out his 6 recent suggestions rejected, hopefully he will get 7 days ban soon from suggesting new edits and finally try to figure out why. Jul 25, 2012 at 11:23
  • @Bart - make that a separate feature-request
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jul 25, 2012 at 11:23
  • @ChrisF Yeah, I might a bit later on when I have some time. But I have no clue yet how not to let that end up in a mess.
    – Bart
    Jul 25, 2012 at 11:26
  • @Bart - agreed. Some sort of flag on the suggested edit page? If N people subsequently flag as "invalid" then it's treated as a reject wrt to the auto ban?
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jul 25, 2012 at 11:27
  • @ChrisF Yeah, but then the suggested edits should hang around for a while even after acceptance/rejection for them to be evaluated somehow. To evaluate the evaluated so to say...
    – Bart
    Jul 25, 2012 at 11:29
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    @Bart - I felt like it - meta.stackexchange.com/questions/141100/…
    – ChrisF Mod
    Jul 25, 2012 at 11:43
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    Argh, why the title edit? I trained myself to search Meta for "pretty" when I needed to find this post, and now it doesn't work anymore. @razlebe
    – Pops
    Aug 15, 2012 at 18:18

2 Answers 2


Invalid. Adding italics to random words seems to be a new trend (or is it just that one guy?). I've just rejected a bunch of them, though I seem to have been too late for many. This is a variation from the many suggestions that add code markup to random words. Or abuse bold markup.

Use that Reject button!

  • Very true, I also reject tons of those hoping the one who suggested will take a look in the rejection reason and learn from his mistake. Jul 25, 2012 at 11:20

I agree with @Gilles of course: random italic and bold text is bad. Reject edits diligently, please :-). On a more general note:

For some reason even the markdown help speaks of italic and bold. However, the Stack Exchange engine knows better, and translates this nicely to <em>phasized and <strong>ly emphasized.

Emphasis is meant to make something stand out in a post, thus improving readability of the post. Removing- and especially adding emphasis to someone else's post seems hard, but is in many cases very reasonable... and in many it's not. I trust those with enough rep and powers to (dis)approve edits, using their (in this case probably often subjective) judgement wisely to reject or approve on a case by case basis.

Suggestion: Having said that, it would be nice if the markdown help mentions that italics and bold translate to certain levels of emphasis, and are meant for just that: emphasis.

  • 2
    Unfortunately there are far too many high-rep users who accept edits where the emphasis is completely unnecessary or wrong and does nothing to help the post. Just now I had to once again edit such a case after it got accepted right in front of me. :s
    – Bart
    Jul 25, 2012 at 11:15
  • @Bart Aye, and like I said in the first bit of my post: rejecting bad edits is a good thing. But given that it apparently is the SE "Summer of Love" I figured I'd also add some thoughts and a suggestion on how we can spread the word a bit more, and get those editors "in" on our rules and how we'd like to see bold and italics used.
    – Jeroen
    Jul 25, 2012 at 13:34

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