There are a lot of complaints around suggested edits that only change tags. Some reviewers automatically dismiss them as too minor. Indeed, too minor is the main complaint — not incorrect. The end result is that despite the issue coming up again and again, questions aren't getting the right tags as fast as they should.

Tags are important — they direct the question to its target audience. An edit that does nothing but put an appropriate main tag on a question (for example, the programming language or framework on Stack Overflow, the operating system on Super User, etc.) is an important one and needs to go through as soon as possible. It doesn't matter whether other things need to be fixed in the question: the first priority is to make sure that it reaches the right people.

While we can't hope to fix all the chronic problems with suggested edit reviews, there is a simple way to alleviate this problem.

Lower the reputation requirement for tag-only edits.

The reputation threshold for tag-only edits was at 500 on graduated sites for years. This was taken away for no good reason — in particular, not because incorrect tag edits were getting through. Bring it back.

  • Although I'm a staunch opponent of minor edits, I have to agree with this (I recall being surprised by the decision to remove the privilege). Ironically, it's actually easier to deal with an incorrect tag-only edit which goes right through than with an incorrect suggestion; just immediately roll it back (and tag-only edits don't count for auto-CW).
    – jscs
    Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 2:16
  • So basically, bring retag back.
    – Doorknob
    Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 3:57

1 Answer 1


While we can't hope to fix all the chronic problems with suggested edit reviews

Maybe not, but we probably could fix this one. It's not as though it's hard for the system to detect a tag-only (or title-only, or title+tag) edit - we could easily display these in a format that emphasized these changes, perhaps even one that offered specific guidance for evaluating tag edits. Heck, we could even reduce the number of reviews necessary for approval if need-be.

We could probably do something to encourage retagging as well. Remember, the removal of the privilege was prompted by the removal of an explicit retag link on every question, thus making the privilege itself fairly obscure.

In fact, we could probably do a lot here without regressing into the complicated system that existed between May and July, the one that did little or nothing to encourage retagging while implicitly penalizing folks with the privilege who edited something other than tags.

But first, I'm a bit curious as to whether there's a real problem here. Suggested edits are fairly well-documented in the public data dump; if someone wanted to find evidence of a problem, I would think they'd be able to...

  • “It's not as though it's hard for the system to detect a tag-only edit” — yes, so let it through without review (above a certain rep — the old values are tried and tested so just bring them back). This doesn't have to be complicated. Commented Dec 9, 2013 at 10:20
  • What about lowering the number of required reviewers if only the title/tags (or both) has changed? Commented Dec 11, 2013 at 7:32

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