Over the past few weeks, there have been a number of complaints about users making suggested edits en masse whose quality was at least questionable.
Let an example of a low-quality edit be the addition of the
web-frameworks tag to dozens of questions about the PHP web framework Laravel. No one is ever going to use it in a search, but Laravel is a framework, right?
(If you disagree about this being a low-quality edit, please bear with me anyway - my point here is that the system through which such conflicts could be settled is broken.)
This is a toxic situation guaranteed to create strife because -
The new user is happy to have found a way to participate and earn some rep; they may be genuinely feeling that they are improving the site. The reviewers greenlighting most of their suggestions confirms them in their belief.
The reviewers usually see only one edit - and it's easy to see how they might go, "meh, this isn't a terribly useful edit, but hey, maybe it helps someone, and it's a new user. No point discouraging them."
The veteran users who check out the editor see dozens of what they perceive as low-quality edits, usually ignoring anything else that should be fixed in the post. To the veterans, the new user is systematically looking for excuses to make their pointless edits, creating a giant mess in order to gain some rep - a mess they have to clean up, while there are no consequences for the editor, who gets to keep their ill-gotten points. While a bad question or answer can be downvoted - usually leading to a change of behaviour eventually - the edit system looks like it's wide open for gaming.
So tensions are high, and when there's dialog it can be angry. I'm not saying either side is completely right. I'm completely prepared to believe that many of these edits are in good faith, etc. But it's a mess because it's frustrating people. As said, there are no consequences for bad-faith mass editing; apart from commenting on some random post, there is no way to communicate with an editor. The outcome of a moderator flag is very much uncertain. The absence of a clear set of rules means there's plenty of room for heated arguments.
Something needs to change here.
We need super clear rules on what makes a good tag edit
Tag-only edits should be allowed only for 2k+ users, or they should not gain 2 reputation points for <2k users
The possible 1000 rep gain for suggested edits needs to be rate-limited (say, 200 per month) (this is my favourite!)
The possible 1000 rep gain for suggested edits needs to be lowered, say to 500 or 250
Rollbacks of suggested edits should result in annulment of the 2 points gained (this is terrible)
There should be a system to vote on edits (yes, that's been suggested before)
There should be a defined and officially sanctioned pathway, and ruleset, for moderator flags cast about these users
... or something else. But something needs to give.