The outcome of the discussion on this post, Should 'Hi', 'thanks,' taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?, was that the salutations/greetings should be editing out from a post by the editor of that post. But I guess that was applicable only if the editor was editing the question to make it better and happened to run by the salutations, thereby removing them.

Contrary to my thinking, a fine user on SO has taken this too seriously and has started editing out only salutations/greetings from any question he/she comes across, very nicely stating the above mentioned meta post as a reason for the edits.

Removed "XXX" text. Avoid salutations (Should 'Hi', 'thanks', taglines, and salutations be removed from posts?)

And I'm not sure if it is the robo-reviewers or normal reviewers, but most of those edits have been approved. Below are a few suggested edits by that user giving the meta post discussion link as the reason.

Suggested Edit 1, Suggested Edit 2, Suggested Edit 3, Suggested Edit 4, Suggested Edit 5, Suggested Edit 6, Suggested Edit 7, Suggested Edit 8

Is such a behavior acceptable where the OP can just cite a Meta post and abuse the editing feature? Can we do something to stop this behavior, not just with this user?

  • 2
    Given there's 200,000 questions with "thanks!" in, I'm strongly against these sort of edits (from sub-2kers anyway).I see plenty of sub-2k users suggesting 40 utterly useless edits a day to farm some rep... sadly no edit is "too minor" in the suggested edit queue.
    – OGHaza
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 10:03
  • 1
    @OGHaza - I've seen many such edits in the queue and I do mark then "too minor". It was actually because of this that I was able to spot this user. I saw 2 such edits in the queue with that weird edit reason so I quickly looked up the activity of the user and thus, here we are with this post.
    – Rahul
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 10:10
  • I think this particular user looks to be being genuine. Although they have missed on a couple, they are generally addressing other issues in the posts where they exist. They have no massive amount of Suggestions, although this could roll on. I'd have "too minor"'d a couple of them, and let someone else Approve the others. There does seem to be some conflict between "see something, edit it" and "edits should be substantial". Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 10:33
  • @BillWoodger - Most of the edits just edit out the salutations. Only a few address a couple of other things as well. And the OP has been doing this since the start. I'm not sure if its intentional or not, but this doesn't seem to be a good practice IMO. Just because a Meta post says it, you needn't actually go around editing out ONLY THE SALUTATIONS. If those were normal new user edits, its understandable, but this user seems to be a very old user and that's why I felt that it has gone a bit overboard with the salutations editing.
    – Rahul
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 10:38
  • Where the salutation (it's actually something else, but we're talking about the same thing) is the only problem, what else could/would change? The Help Centre is unclear/contradictory/non-deterministic on this. The profile of that user does not, yet, indicate anything approaching abuse (compared to others I've seen). Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 10:43
  • @BillWoodger - Well not all posts, but a few of them could have other edits as well, besides the salutations and I'm completely onboard with you regarding the help page not explaining things very clearly, but I'm unable to see that this is just an honest mistake from the OP. Just have a look at this edit for instance. The user has actually done the opposite of a good edit. Intention of my discussion is to put a check on such editing behaviors, in general, and not just this user(this user is just an example I happened to come across).
    – Rahul
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 10:48
  • Depends on the situation, but I usually either reject as "too minor" or I go and edit it to improve, while unticking "suggested edit was helpful". Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 11:13
  • 1
    I'd suspect the last link you provided in the comment is an edit that has got garbled whilst someone else was editing already. Correctly rejected, but a bit tough on the Suggestor. Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 11:27
  • @Qantas94Heavy - Even I do that at times, to improve on a suggested edit, but when a suggested edit is poor like this, I usually reject it as "too minor".
    – Rahul
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 11:42
  • The main thing that attracts me to "improve" is the insta-reject effect, which bypasses the robo-approvers if you're quick enough, but I still use "too minor" most of the time. Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 11:51
  • 1
    @Qantas94Heavy - The problem is, many a times, my improve action to the suggested edit is too late, because I get the message saying "This edit was already approved...". That is another reason why I reject it as "too-minor" before any robo-reviewers pitch in.
    – Rahul
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 11:56

2 Answers 2


There is no abuse here. Abuse is a strong term; not all suboptimal behavior or even misuse is abuse.

#1, #2, #3, #4 should have been rejected as too minor. While the edit that was done was good, there were other obvious things that should have been fixed (spelling, formatting).

#5 was fine, there was no other thing that was obviously wrong with that post.

#6 would have been fine if it had actually removed the saluation. (Given that there was another concurrent edit, it's possible that the suggested edit diff does not in fact show the correct original text or the text proposed by the editor.)

#7, #8 fixed other obvious problems, in addition to removing the tagline. That's fine, even encouraged.

Using the revision changelog to provide helpful feedback pointing to guidance in a meta thread is good.

There is no abuse here. Nonetheless, this editor should try to fix everything that needs fixing, not just remove the tagline while leaving obvious problems such as code not formatted as code or glaring spelling errors.

  • Well I might have used a strong term "abuse", which is probably wrong on my part, but even then, it doesn't actually justify the usage of a meta post to make edits as poor as those. I disagree that 1,2,3,4 were good edits very honestly. Also probably seeing such poor edits daily actually made me use that term but I didn't mean harm or anything to the OP. I apologize to the user in case I sounded rude.
    – Rahul
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 16:43
  • Using meta thread as a reference is indeed very good but the way the OP used it definitely arguable. It's not the neatest/bestest way and this is what needs to be checked. Nevertheless I agree with most of what you said, except for what you said regarding the comments 1,2,3,4. :-)
    – Rahul
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 16:48

I'd certainly prefer salutations to be removed as part of a wider edit, but on occasion I have done the same.

My feeling is that as long as they aren't effectively spamming the front page with edits, then it probably doesn't cause too many problems. If all 40 edits they propose a day are this sort of thing, then they should be asked not to, and then followed up with something a bit more robust if they don't desist.

You could suggest to them that while they are in there they tend to any other mistakes in grammer, speelin or punc'tuation.

  • 1
    My feeling is that as long as they aren't effectively spamming the front page with edits - These aren't really necessary edits and thus, approval of such edits would definitely bump up these questions on the front page, which again, shouldn't be happening, right?
    – Rahul
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 10:07
  • 1
    correct. On small sites, one a day may be fine, if the spelling is that annoying, but on a big site an edit should be worthwhile
    – Rory Alsop
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 10:09
  • Almost all of the edits done with this user are like what I've highlighted. I always felt that we need to have a more robust system which could detect something like this(not sure how, but it should).
    – Rahul
    Commented Feb 6, 2014 at 10:13

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