This user has been making a lot of suggested edits that are essentially just adding backticks around words - while some are being rejected, some are also being approved when they shouldn't be.

For example:

  1. https://stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/3463240
  2. https://stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/3461660
  3. https://stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/3461481

There is plenty more to see by looking at his profile.

When I noticed this yesterday, I reverted two of the changes - this one and this one, and flagged a few as well.


  1. Is there anything else that should be done when this type of behavior is noticed?
  2. Should there be some review audits based on this sort of inappropriate backticking to nudge reviewers in the right direction so less of these get approved?
  • 16
    What is it with some people and this insanity? (I nicely contacted him in this comment.)
    – Pekka
    Nov 28, 2013 at 23:55
  • 10
    I used to cringe when I saw other students using a yellow highlighter in their text books. Like they just learned a couple of words instead of the book content. It is them. Nov 29, 2013 at 0:02
  • 17
    I think this is a good time to bring up again the idea of review audits that predominantly involve various words being backticked (if it is not already a thing) Nov 29, 2013 at 0:13
  • 3
    sigh I've already talked to this user about this, clearly I was talking to myself Nov 29, 2013 at 0:21
  • 11
    On the rejected one I see "This edit is too minor; suggested edits should be ...". I think we need an option that reads "This edit is (&#%^@ inane and is a sign of a diseased mind" or something similar. Nov 29, 2013 at 0:32
  • Why did Community diamond approve that latest edit (from their profile). Nov 29, 2013 at 0:33
  • @Bill that just means someone edited their suggested edit and (foolishly) said the suggester edit was helpful Nov 29, 2013 at 0:35
  • @RichardTingle I don't think that you can ping a user unless it is either their post or they have participated in the conversation on the post, so it's quite likely he didn't see your comment.
    – Jack
    Nov 29, 2013 at 0:38
  • 1
    @RichardTingle, thanks, I have been starting to think that whoever drives Community diamond is nuts. Thinking back, it has always been preceded by an edit by someone. Makes sense now. Is the "helpful" set by default, or has to be selected... default would explain a number of stupid things I've seen. Nov 29, 2013 at 0:39
  • 1
    @BillWoodger Helpful is selected by default. *sigh* Nov 29, 2013 at 0:40
  • @RichardTingle Never mind, I just saw this post and it seems that you can ping editors of a post too. Sorry, I thought that it was only the people I mentioned in my previous comment.
    – Jack
    Nov 29, 2013 at 0:41
  • 6
    @BillWoodger That's exactly how it works if one forgets to uncheck the checkbox. Nov 29, 2013 at 0:45
  • 2
    @michaelb958 Yoiks. And I've not been going back and editing the posts thinking they must be sacrosanct because Community diamond OK'd them. This should change, surely... Nov 29, 2013 at 0:50
  • 1
    @BillWoodger The Community user isn't driven by any person - it's a machine. The SE system uses it to perform various system actions. It being there isn't a mark of quality, just a mark of the system having done something. In fact, since it owns anonymous users' edits, it could well own a number of good and bad edits. Absolutely do not consider its actions sacrosanct. Nov 29, 2013 at 4:48
  • 1
    @BillWoodger as a result of this (very understandable) confusion I've made this feature request, requesting that these approvals no longer come from the community♦ Nov 29, 2013 at 10:03

1 Answer 1


The current solution would be to review suggested edits and make sure those ones get denied, and then hope to God that the user doesn't get enough reputation to make them without approval.

We should probably have a nudge for users using backticks for the first time, especially in an edit, reminding them that they are for code formatting and not highlighting important terms.

While this might seem like enforcing our style guide pointlessly with a heavy hand, I'd like to remind everyone just why we don't like it when people code highlight almost every noun in a post.

A big part of the draw of this network is that our content is very legible. It follows a rigid Q&A format so you can immediately read whether the question applies to your case and then right below it the best answer - and all this without sifting through inline discussion, signature blocks, and taglines. This is why comments go in the comment box, and taglines are prohibited in favour of user boxes.

Similarly, the text flows nicely without awkward formatting. Code is code and is in fixed font and highlighted for contiguity; text is text and is formatted in a nice legible variable-spaced font and is not highlighted since it is expected to be concise. If highlighting is really necessary, there are bold asterisks **bold-text**.

Messy formatting makes for text that is difficult to read and bad-looking, which makes readers subconsciously trust the text less. Far from clarifying things, needless backticks do the opposite of what they are intended for.

Simply denying the edits without reason doesn't provide enough feedback to make a user stop. Therefore, we need a nudge. Someone should write up a for one if they can think of a useful way.


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