First thing, lets clear up what I mean by "garbage" edit:

A garbage edit is when completely random text/code has been inserted into a post. This leaves the post making no sense at all. The most common occurrence of these types of edits are the "tests" that we have to endure every now and then in the review queue (which lets be honest, stand out like a sore thumb anyway).

Although, from the test point of view the rejection reason doesn't matter (all that matters is that you reject), what reason should be taken when this kind of edit occurs genuinely?

The two options I am always torn between is "Invalid Edit" and "Radical Change" - and I have started to lean more towards "Radical Change" as, in my opinion, the edit changes the meaning of the post.

  • 3
    If someone is obviously purposefully editing in random noise, I'd flag vandalism.
    – nikolas
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:29
  • @nijansen: Good point. Perhaps I shouldn't have used "garbage" as my definition. What I meant was understandable words, but doesn't make sense in the context. But if it doesn't make sense, even understandable words are still vandalism I guess...
    – musefan
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:31

2 Answers 2


For posts similar to audit questions where random words or characters are inserted into the post, I think "Vandalism" is the appropriate reason

Suggested Edit Reject Dialog with Vandalism circled

The reason is the phrase in the 2nd circle "defaces the post in some way". If the post make no sense at all, then the edit vandalized the post, so it is appropriate.

  • +1, forgot about "vandalism".
    – Stijn
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:34
  • 1
    @Stijn your answer was valid, I would undelete it. Invalid edit, specifically, it a good option. I intentionally didn't include it because it was already in yours. Sep 4, 2013 at 11:35
  • I am happy now, I think it is clear that "vandalism" is the option to go for in these situations. Previously I viewed it on it's "spam" merits, and try to limit its use to extreme circumstances (like the spam close vote), but it seems it is more applicable here
    – musefan
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:41

"Invalid Edit" when it's random text/garbage.

"Radical Change" when the edit makes sense, but changes the question/answer too much.

  • What has always thrown me about invalid edit, is where it says something like "should have been a comment..." (I can't find the definitions at the minute)
    – musefan
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:28
  • 1
    @musefan - "This edit is incorrect or an attempt to reply to or *comment *on the existing post."
    – Himanshu
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:31
  • @hims056: Ok cool, like I said I can't remember exact wording right now, but that clears things up
    – musefan
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:32
  • @hims056: Actually, I think random text entry wouldn't match any of those conditions
    – musefan
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:33
  • @musefan - You can use incorrect or Vandalism (as suggested by psubsee2003)
    – Himanshu
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:36
  • Invalid edit is a good option when the edit is somewhat coherent, but still not wrong - typically if someone introduces poor grammar. Vandalism is better when it isn't even coherent. Sep 4, 2013 at 11:37
  • @hims056: Yes, its the "incorrect" bit I am having a problem with. If you say it is OK to use "invalid edit" for this reason, then I think you are viewing "incorrect" as a sort of catch-all term - which would incorrectly make "Invalid Edit" acceptable for all type of rejections. I am think that in this case, "incorrect" means it is a change that makes a correct statement/answer in to an incorrect (wrong) statement/answer
    – musefan
    Sep 4, 2013 at 11:39
  • 1
    @musefan like I mentioned in my comment above, semi-coherent attempts to edit - basically looks like the person is making a reasonable attempt to make a solid edit but does a poor attempt due to a language barrier fit better with "Invalid Edit" mostly because it is less offensive. Sep 4, 2013 at 11:42

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