I recently crossed 2k rep on SO, which got me access to the review queue for suggested edits. I am not clear on what basis edits are to be accepted/rejected. I did a search for FAQ and suggested edits which turned up nothing.

  • Is there a canonical post that covers/explains review actions on the Suggested Edits review queue?

  • Should a FAQ be created that covers the working of the Suggested Edits review queue as well as how to handle it?

I did see the FAQ What are the review queues, and how do they work? and How do suggested edits work? but both appear rather vague when it comes to actual reviews. Also, I have reviewed a fair bit of First Posts and Late Answers but those review actions seemed comparatively simpler.

  • 17
    \o/ Thanks for restoring my faith in the SO community, even if just a little. Most people don't bother to look for a manual. Feb 19, 2013 at 17:40
  • 1
    Slightly related: Is there an error in the FAQ text for Suggested edit queue? It says 5k is needed to approve suggested edits.
    – user204841
    Feb 19, 2013 at 17:44
  • 4
    I normally don't pile on comments on top of others, but I feel so strongly in agreement with @MartijnPieters above: Kudos for looking for information on doing these reviews properly! Feb 19, 2013 at 19:39

2 Answers 2


First of all, suggested edits are - on the whole - made to improve the post, so it should be treated as such primarily.

When to approve

From my own experience, the kind of useful edits breaks down like this:

  1. The bulk of edits are purely code formatting; new users tend to paste their code without realizing that it looks horrendous without a fixed font.

  2. Next up is correcting grammar and rephrasing the question for those whose first language is not English.

  3. The third place goes to adding (mostly) or removing tags.

  4. The title is changed to better describe the question.

In above cases, the edit usually gets approved.

When to improve

If you agree with most of the edit, but you feel that it could do with some more TLC, you can click "Improve" and suggest an additional edit.

When to reject

To reject an edit you need experience to spot the tell-tale signs of a bad edit, this takes time to fine tune. When I started out, I used this trick to get a feel of what other editors are doing:

  1. Click the "Reject" option; a list of reasons appears;

  2. See if any reasons has a blue number next to them;

  3. Close the dialog and read the edit again to see if you feel the same way.

Rejection breakdown

In my own experience, I typically close questions for the following reasons (in order):

  1. Invalid edit - Something that looks like a comment or something completely unrelated would get proposed.

  2. Radical change - An "improvement" of an answer is proposed, but unless it's fixing an obvious typo, it usually changes the overall meaning.

  3. Too minor - Some like to go wild with backticks to highlight certain parts of the sentence that speaks of code or capitalize a few i's, etc. Exceptions are the cases in which it really improves the readability of the contents.

When to skip

Although your vote is not the only one that determines the fate of the edit, if you're simply unsure about what to do, it would be better to just "Skip" the edit altogether and let someone more qualified (one can hope) take care of it.

  • Thanks for the answer. I would suggest, instead of answering it here, a new faq-proposed thread should be started and this should be posted there. Making this post into a faq thread would significantly change the original intent/content of the post.
    – asheeshr
    Feb 22, 2013 at 3:39
  • @AshRj Sure, create and I will answer :)
    – Jack
    Feb 22, 2013 at 3:42

The workflow is roughly like this:

  • Does the edit make the answer better? If not, reject as vandalism (if the edit makes the answer markedly worse) or invalid edit (if the edit is incorrect).
  • Does the edit fix something trivial (e.g. one grammatical error) while leaving other significant problems? If so, reject as too minor.
  • Is the edit something the author would probably have written if he'd realized his mistake, or known to format his post properly, or thought to add an extra detail, or noticed that the question had been edited? If so, accept.
  • Otherwise, reject as radical change if the edit significantly changes the meaning of the post (in particular, if the edit changes the opinions expressed by an answer). Reject as invalid edit if the edit introduces factually incorrect material or mangles the formatting or the language.

One thing you should have learned already (if you haven't, people haven't been rejecting enough of your edits) is that code markup is not for emphasis or for proper nouns. Furthermore, emphasis should be used sparingly, not in every other sentence. Any edit that adds random formatting should be summarily rejected as vandalism.

Tag wikis (whose suggested edits you'll get to review at 5k rep) are a bit different. The most common problem with them is content that has been copied from other sites, usually promotional material or Wikipedia. Reject as copied content or not helpful as appropriate.

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