36

I am just wondering if there is anything that can stop a user from making a more than significant amount of pointless edits?

I quite realize that with such a silly method one can easily cap the daily rep. But what about other users who have to face the stream of bumped questions?

Is there any rule suggesting pointless edits only as a supplement for a meaningful one?

  • Did you leave a nice comment to the editor explaining your concern? – juergen d Oct 31 '13 at 11:12
  • 1
    Not that nice but yeah, I did. I am interesting in more generalized ways of preventing this, though – Your Common Sense Oct 31 '13 at 11:13
  • 2
    Maybe there should be a separate cap on daily rep that can be gained by suggesting edits? – devnull Oct 31 '13 at 11:15
  • 20
    I'd rather make edits free. this +2 does more harm than good – Your Common Sense Oct 31 '13 at 11:17
  • In the absence of evidence that shows the suggestion actually improves the post these edits should be rejected - while semantically correct they add nothing. – slugster Oct 31 '13 at 11:17
  • 1
    5 different answers to a question edited. Sweet! – devnull Oct 31 '13 at 11:18
  • 3
    The problem is that robo-reviewers continue to exist. All the five answers to a single question that were edited simply changed syntax highlighting: <!-- language: lang-css -->! – devnull Oct 31 '13 at 11:20
  • 1
    @slugster And maybe vote to have the robo-reviewers have a break for a while? – devnull Oct 31 '13 at 11:22
  • 1
    Those edits should have been rejected, they are way too minor. – Amicable Oct 31 '13 at 11:23
  • 1
    There are at least a few high rep users accepting these edits en-masse, while rejecting much more constructive edits: stackoverflow.com/users/942391/… – Qantas 94 Heavy Oct 31 '13 at 11:27
  • 1
    Note sure why @slugster didn't just roll back that one... – Duncan Jones Oct 31 '13 at 11:32
  • 4
    Excellent job, you just gave the moderators access to a list of robo-reviewers whose reviewing privileges to revoke. – Dukeling Oct 31 '13 at 11:35
  • 5
    (Probably) one big problem is that adding manual syntax highlighting (which seems to be what this user is mostly doing) looks like a good edit, as there isn't syntax highlighting for tags in suggested edits. Related request. – Dukeling Oct 31 '13 at 11:47
  • 1
    @JohnnyBones If they have a history of accepting bad edits, you can flag one of their posts and ask a moderator to step in. However be sure that the reviewer is really a robo-reviewer. One bad review is not enough proof IMO; a good reviewer may have accidentally clicked the "Accept" button when (s)he meant to reject. – S.L. Barth Oct 31 '13 at 13:37
  • 1
    @S.L.Barth If it's a simple mistake, a slap on the wrist isn't all that bad (it is, after all, only a slap on the wrist). But if the user doesn't know any better, and we don't do anything, they'll just continue reviewing incorrectly. It doesn't necessarily have to involve moderator intervention, it can just be done through "too minor" audits. – Dukeling Oct 31 '13 at 16:34
12

Ultimately, short of him picking up enough rejected edits to get edit banned, there is no built in mechanism to slow someone like this down, and since the edit ban algorithm uses the number of approved edits to offset the rejected edits and because he's approaching 100 approved edits today (he would need to get to somewhere in the neighborhood of 35 rejected edits), it is unlikely he'll get enough rejected edits to stop him. This is where the reviewers should be rejecting more posts as too minor.

Normally situations like this as just someone who doesn't know or doesn't understand how our editing process works and how we like things done, and based his response to your (now deleted) comment that you left for him, it seems like his mission is a completely misguided effort to fix something that was fixed in code over 2 years ago.

However, we won't know for sure if that his really his goal or if he is just using it as an excuse to farm rep. Given that his editing mission just started today and he seemed to be doing just fine on reputation on the strength of his own answers until today, I'm willing to given him the benefit of the doubt.

The only thing that gives me pause is the fact that he stopped as soon as he was rep capped, suggesting that he isn't doing it just because he thinks he is helping but also because of the rep reward.

The best suggestion is that we should wait and see if he resume tomorrow and if he does then flag one of the edited posts with a custom flag and explain the situation. A mod will have to deal with him.

  • 2
    The things you say are right. Actually, I'm not editing for +2 rep. Who cares about rep points? I Was bored, needed something to do and as you can see in my profile, I edited A LOT of posts and not only syntax highlights. Actually syntax highlighting looks to be a good edit to me, if not, ofcourse let me know :) But looking at my profile will tell you I did many edits for a good reason, at least 100 edits are done to fix issues in layout and stuff. – Joran Den Houting Oct 31 '13 at 12:07
  • 1
    @JoranDenHouting that's why I wanted to give you the benefit of the doubt. But ultimately such wholesale (and rapid) editing is frown upon for numerous reasons. And specifically edits that target one specific aspect without fixing the entire post are not usually well received. There are plenty of posts that need good edits, so please keep the editing up, but try to focus more on fixing a specific post and not making the same change to 100 different posts, – psubsee2003 Oct 31 '13 at 12:12
  • 1
    Thanks, I will :) – Joran Den Houting Oct 31 '13 at 12:13
  • 2
    The problem is that his suggested edits get approved while they should have been rejected. His rejection ratio would totally change if there were less robo-reviewers reviewing useless edits – user221081 Oct 31 '13 at 13:11
  • @Joran Den Houting: I did a quick check of some of your edits, and many of the language hints you added don't seem to have been necessary - a PHP code block is already automatically highlighted as PHP if the question has a [php] tag, so in the vast majority of cases there's no need for a lang-php hint unless the code really wasn't being highlighted correctly. Those of your edits where you used language hints to split code blocks containing different languages seem OK, especially for CSS code blocks which almost never correctly highlight as CSS (see meta.stackexchange.com/q/121816). – BoltClock's a Unicorn Oct 31 '13 at 13:15
  • 3
    That being said, the advice psubsee2003 gives here is invaluable and I strongly recommend keeping what he has said in mind. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Oct 31 '13 at 13:20
  • 2
    @BoltClock'saUnicorn I was talking about some like this: stackoverflow.com/posts/18998313/revisions This is just one example of many. As a side-note, I think this already has been resolved, I quit editing after I got a comment of Your Common Sense, so don't know where all the fuss is about.. People even started downvoting me -.- After the first comment I got I quit and still this has to be shared with the community, c'mon let's move on... – Joran Den Houting Oct 31 '13 at 13:37
  • 5
    @JoranDenHouting It's not just you. There are a lot of people who are doing very minor edits, and reviewers have gotten frustrated about it. That being said, it is wrong when people find your edit suggestions a reason to downvote - votes should be about the contents of a post only. – S.L. Barth Oct 31 '13 at 13:43
  • 3
    @JoranDenHouting: That is not a minor edit. Re the last edit The prior revision is invalid and wrong, whereas after the correction it is valid and correct. Getting upset over the quantity/weight of edits at the expense of Stack Overflow providing answers that work is ridiculous. Re the edit before it Nothing wrong with adding formatting. I wholly encourage it. The formatting should have been there originally, but it wasn't, so it was added. This is how the system should work. Don't obsess over the length of the revision history: SO's DB can take it. – Lightness Races in Orbit Nov 6 '13 at 22:05

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .