A certain user just got 42 reputation from removing the from a bunch of questions and doing nothing else. This seems very wrong, because the questions had other things wrong with them, but people were accepting the edits. I rejected them, but since I am only one person, they were accepted anyway.

I feel that for purely tag-based edits, you should not get as much rep for editing as you do for actually editing a question. I think it should either be taken away entirely, or reduced to a much lower rate, say 1 rep point per every 2 questions.

  • 41
    I think you shouldn't get any reputation for retag-only edits...
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 18:53
  • Yeah, I'd go with no rep gain at all. Besides, the "free" retagging privilege was already discontinued.
    – Jamal
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 20:04
  • @animuson But that would be gamed by changing i to I or something silly like that
    – Doorknob
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 20:06
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    @Doorknob So it made them fix something else in the post? :o Why is that bad?
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 20:12
  • 1
    Tag edits are evil, evil for screwing up the front page. I favor rate-limiting them for just that reason. Commented Sep 15, 2013 at 21:30
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    @animuson ostensibly the reputation incentivizes retagging, and in theory the retagging helps the site, so there should be some reputation gain. I'm inclined to think that a cap would make more sense
    – SheetJS
    Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 0:45

2 Answers 2


I'm with @animuson on this. I'd much prefer:

No rep for tag only suggested edits.

Most of the time they are too minor, and when they arn't, they didn't take enough effort for a reward to be justified.

Case and point:


Besides the assoc bonus, that guy got 168 reputation -- wait for it -- for adding the C# tag to almost 60-80 questions tagged XNA. Valid edit, not worth 168 rep.

  • 1
    The 268 rep isn't all edits - only 168 of it is. That might be pretty important, since that means edits aren't breaking the daily 200 reputation cap. Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 23:06

I don't think reputation should be eliminated for this.

I recently made a large number of (mostly) tag-only edits, so I'm part of the crowd you're talking about. You can see them here.

Pre-emptively: I didn't do these for the reputation. It was a nice kicker, but I'll get back to that later. I have edit privileges on other SE sites where I don't earn rep for edits any longer, and I'd do this work all the same.

I say they were mostly tag-only edits because in a number of cases, I made some improvements where it was relatively simple, but for the most part I did not attempt to make substantial improvements.

For 79 edits I made 158 reputation.

Responding to what you said...

A certain user just got 42 reputation from removing the from a bunch of questions and doing nothing else. This seems very wrong, because the questions had other things wrong with them, but people were accepting the edits.

This is very emotionally charged language, and I'm not going to be able to respond to your emotions on the matter.

I'm not sure why you find this very wrong, though. 42 reputation is not very much, and it comes from doing a decent chunk of work.

I get the fact that they didn't also edit other stuff in the post. I'm not sure how to interpret that other than you feel like they didn't exert the effort to really earn that reputation. To which I say: they did expend enough effort to earn it if they were working on a tag cleanup. (If they weren't working on a tag cleanup, they're probably not the users doing dozens of retag-only edits)

As part of my tag cleanup effort, I spent a decent chunk of time trawling through questions to retag, and received ~70 reputation on each of two days and 22 reputation on one. This is not a large reward for the amount of retagging. It's not small either, it's decent. If you think it's huge, I'll get to that.

I could have made substantial edits along the way, but I wasn't interested in doing that: I was on a cleanup mission, and that was a decent amount of work on its own.

There were 226 questions under the tag to work through, and that was for one particular search angle only - there's more work to do there. There are other tag cleanups that have come up that would require hundreds more than that, and a recently brought up tag needing cleanup has over 7,000 questions that would need to be worked through.

I didn't expend effort in terms of making other substantial edits, but I did exert time and effort along the way.

Not very much reputation!? (Or: Some perspective on what 70 reputation is worth)

If 70 reputation is a small amount to you, then you might not find this a problem.

To me, in the context of Stack Overeflow, 70 reputation seems like a large amount. That's Stack Overflow's problem, though, and not necessarily something other sites on the SE network share: good answers often get astoundingly little reward on SO. I've written about as much in another SE's meta: in that SE site, the average answer score is 6. On Stack Overflow, only an exceptional 6.8% of answers ever reach that mark, whilst 77.7% of them have a score of 0, 1 or 2.

In other words: whilst 70 reputation might be a lot here, it's what you might earn on average for a decent average answer on another Stack Exchange site, and those answers normally take me less time and effort than the retagging I did to earn the same amount,.

Also, as is naturally the case: these are digital interwebnet points which don't really exist that we are debating about here.

This is an OK reward. It's OK to keep it around. There's nothing wrong here.

It's nice to have a reward for this effort. I don't agree that it is wrong to earn a small amount of reputation for each retag. I think, as a low-rep user, it would suck to go to this effort and earn nothing for it, though, other than the little changes I made incidentally along the way.

  • 2
    Besides, anyone who is just spamming retags for the repz will have a rude shock when the 501st is accepted. Commented Sep 16, 2013 at 6:09
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    I think that large retag sprees are very good for the site... when there is nothing else wrong with the question. But when there is bad grammar, spelling, etc., then it becomes wrong in my mind Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 2:10
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    @Cody Wrong is an emotionally charged word I cannot address very easily in rational discussion. This question is not about morals. Am I breaking site procedure? Am I not conforming to expectations? I can respond to these things and discuss them with you, I can't respond easily to your feelings of it being wrong. It would be constructive to frame your position focusing on the rational grounds rather than your emotional response. Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 2:23
  • Ok not wrong then. It seems very rep hoardingish to do said action Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 2:35
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    @CodyGuldner A charged accusation - and incorrect. You seem to be offended that they're making contributions and earning rep for it - or you think they're motivated completely by getting a ton of rep. First: everywhere on SE, we can make positive contributions in exchange for small rewards; it's how things work. Second: It is not about the rep. The SE team stated in their Five Years Ago blog post: "In the history of the world, gamification has never gotten a single person do anything they didn’t already basically like to do." Calling this rep hoardingish is hugely off the mark. Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 2:56
  • 1
    If they're problematic edit sprees, like Linuxio's example of someone adding c# to the xna questions, that's another matter. That's someone trying to be helpful and in fact being helpful. Bad contribution sprees are not limited to tag-only edits and occur in many forms: bad answers on multiple questions, edits which make the content worse, etc. Commented Sep 17, 2013 at 3:00
  • I just noticed my typo - I meant someone trying to be helpful and in fact being un-helpful. :) Commented Sep 23, 2013 at 0:13
  • 1
    Wow. I just read this post, and this is the first thing that's almost convinced me that maybe edit rep is good. And I don't really have a history of agreeing with it.
    – Linuxios
    Commented Oct 14, 2013 at 19:17

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