As per title, is there any way to prevent or discourage serial useless edits? I've noticed a string of them coming from the same user and because there's no way to contact them directly I can't tell them why what they're doing is not good, eg most edits are things like removing descriptive terms from the question title which is not just pointless, it's actively counterproductive.

I'm guessing it's chasing reputation points, I can't see why else it would be done. Most of their suggested edits are getting rejected but enough are getting through to put them in the top 3% reputation points for the week so far. I've rolled back some of the more blatant edits but the reputation points remain.

Should there perhaps be a cap on how much reputation you can earn per day from edits? Or restrict the number of edits allowed per day based on the number of edits which are rejected? My concern isn't that a user is getting arbitrary 'points' or not, rather that the system as it stands encourages and rewards edit spamming.

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    There is a way: proper reviewing. – Bart Jul 20 '13 at 14:16
  • And what you should absolutely not do is roll such edits back leaving other problems in place. The edit might have been minor, but not essentially wrong. – Bart Jul 20 '13 at 14:17
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    @Bart Unfortunately that's a non-existant concept :( I've seen plenty of times where three robo-reviewers all approve vandalism or the like, and I've almost stopped reviewing entirely – Doorknob Jul 20 '13 at 14:18
  • I have only rolled back edits which are blatantly wrong (eg making titles less descriptive), not 'minor edits' etc. A minor fix is still a fix. – FerretallicA Jul 20 '13 at 14:19
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    @Doorknob Sure. But we have tons of posts where users go "look at the edits of this user". Fact is, if reviews would be better, there would be a signal as well. All the user now gets to "hear" is, "well done, here are two points for your efforts". How is he to know that he should do something else? – Bart Jul 20 '13 at 14:19
  • Since you've made this about a particular user... Can you point out some of the edits he's made that you consider problematic? Start here, with the list of his recently suggested edits. I looked through the first page and don't see anything objectionable. Remember, the consensus is that questions should not contain tags in their titles. – Cody Gray Jul 20 '13 at 14:21
  • I've amended the question to remove the example user to avoid any perceived victimisation. The question is supposed to be about improving site quality, not punishing any particular user. – FerretallicA Jul 20 '13 at 14:30
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    "edits [...] from the same user [...] there's no way to contact them directly" -- actually, you can use comment @replies, once an edit was approved and part of the revision history. – Arjan Jul 20 '13 at 14:32
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    I've actually wondered about putting a daily rep-cap on edits, say 30. Users would get no benefit from making more than 15 edits per day. – p.s.w.g Jul 20 '13 at 15:02

Should there perhaps be a cap on how much reputation you can earn per day from edits?

There is a cap on the total rep you can earn from suggested edits and its at 1000 rep or 500 approved suggestions. Also, your total rep is capped at 200 per day which includes suggested edits. So, that is a maximum of 100 rep earning edits a day.

Or restrict the number of edits allowed per day based on the number of edits which are rejected?

Users who have a sufficient number of edits rejected do get blocked from suggesting further edits for a certain time limit.

And, to answer your main question :

Is there a way to prevent or discourage spamming edits?

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    There certainly are daily caps. Reputation from approved suggested edits goes toward your 200 point cap, just like votes do. – Cody Gray Jul 20 '13 at 14:23
  • @Cody Beat me to it. – Undo - Reinstate Monica Jul 20 '13 at 14:23
  • @CodyGray I wasnt sure of that because of the recent changes in what counts for the rep cap. Thanks! – asheeshr Jul 20 '13 at 14:24
  • Erm, what recent changes in the cap? Is that something perhaps that I missed? – Cody Gray Jul 20 '13 at 14:26
  • @CodyGray Well not so recent, a week or two ago. I think points from answers being accepted dont count now. – asheeshr Jul 20 '13 at 14:28
  • @Asheesh, reputation for getting your answer accepted never was limited by the daily cap. (Maybe they did count towards getting the 200?) – Arjan Jul 20 '13 at 15:51
  • @Arjan I am probably mixing up things here. I will take a look at the official post. – asheeshr Jul 21 '13 at 2:17

The point of the edit privilege given only to 2k users, is to prevent exactly that.

If the user got too many of his suggestions rejected, he will be automatically edit banned by the system.

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