1

TL;DR: To reduce the volume of edits requiring review, what if we allowed users to opt-out of the reputation gain for minor edits, similar to how the "community wiki" feature works? Alternatively, what if we flipped things on their head and said users had to mark a change as "substantial" in order to be eligible for the +2 reputation? This would weed out all the non-boosters right away so it should be easier to quickly reject obviously bad edits and clear up some of the confusion over when an edit should be accepted or rejected.

In terms of reputation, "community wiki" answers are effectively "donated" to the community. I often recognize minor mistakes to spelling, grammar, or formatting that do no deserve a +2 reputation award. I frequently fix mistakes in Wikipedia articles without expecting any kind of gain, and I would fix them on StackOverflow without the incentive.

I very easily recognize mistakes and can correct them in minutes, and I don't think that I'm anything special. I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of active users, like me, can fix spelling, grammar, and formatting issues quickly and easily after just a cursory review. Now, granted that every individual's motivations are different, the privilege that I most frequently miss is the ability to make trivial edits without review. It's not that I'm concerned my edits would be rejected-- quite the opposite, I'm certain it will always be accepted. But knowing I will be awarded the reputation for a matter of minutes (or less) per week, I usually either refrain from making edits or make substantial and arguably completely unnecessary edits just to say it wasn't a "minor edit."

All to say: I would rather fix the error and move on without gaining reputation than leave it unfixed, or make unnecessary changes just to get it through the review process. If there are lots of people like me, it seems to me that there's a large workforce untapped that simple rule changes could fix.

What if people in my category, who have a reasonable enough amount of reputation to show they aren't a robot, could make the minor edits when we find the mistakes missed because the question or site isn't popular, while giving up any reputation gain to be had? It seems to me that this would be one way to make the review process more about keeping malicious content out, when today a reviewer must determine both whether the edit is valuable (worth awarding +2 rep to someone) AND whether it is malicious (defacement, advertising).

Obviously other adjustments would have to be made to keep things balanced. If it is opt-in, something must be done to make users mark small changes as trivial, like a penalty for a non-trivial edit being rejected, and/or suspending the privilege if it is abused. You could automatically mark the edit as trivial if less than 25 or 50 characters were changed as well, for example, to prevent abuse.

NOTE: I recognize right off the bat two things that would make this unworkable: 1) If people would not make important edits without the reputation award and 2) if lowering the rep required for these kinds of edits would significantly increase the danger of malicious edits.

  • 6
    Just my 2 cents; I've edited a lot more frequently after getting over the 2000 reputation threshold; mostly because now I do have the ability to make those minor edits. Also, please don't make unnecessary edits to get it into the review process; just bear with it until you get to make edits without review. Then fix away. – Dennis Meng Feb 18 '14 at 6:31
  • 5
    Why do we need to reduce the volume of suggested edits? We don't seem to have an issue with reviewing them. – Bart Feb 18 '14 at 6:46
  • 3
    What about just giving -8 rep to any user that has an edit rejected as too miner.... – Ian Ringrose Feb 18 '14 at 8:43
  • @Bart If that's the case then so be it. But there are several other questions where people complain about a large volume of suggested edits in short periods. Even Dennis above says "please don't," which implies that it's a lot of work to handle reviews. Obviously I don't have the rep to know either way (and it's probably different for the different stacks). – David Schwartz Feb 18 '14 at 19:52
  • 2
    "what if we allowed users to opt-out of the reputation gain for minor edits" Nobody would use such a feature. "what if we flipped things on their head and said users had to mark a change as "substantial" in order to be eligible for the +2 reputation" Everybody would mark the change as substantial regardless of whether it was really substantial. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Mar 20 '14 at 16:16
  • "If people would not make important edits without the reputation award" -- then others would make that edit? I've said it before: I'd stop giving rep for all suggestions. – Arjan Apr 19 '14 at 17:20
3

What if people in my category, who have a reasonable enough amount of reputation to show they aren't a robot, could make the minor edits when we find the mistakes missed because the question or site isn't popular, while giving up any reputation gain to be had?

That's a great idea! And we actually have something that does exactly this, IF there are more things that need to be edited in the post. Here's some art to explain it better.

enter image description here


enter image description here

Since I've already answered more in depth on suggested edits, I will refrain from doing so here. Here is a link to the recent meta discussion on the suggested edit topic Suggested edit system is causing grief, needs to be rethought

  • I read that (and six other similar questions) before posting, and the problem I have with it is it puts the burden on reviewers, who are more likely to simply accept the edit. To quote another, "it's a symmetrical problem," you have people submitting trivial edits as well as bad (uninformed) reviewers who never use the "improve" button. People abusing the edit system for rep count on the fact that some or most people will not follow the edit guidelines. I'm suggesting we allow (lower rep) editors to make minor edits without review (or as much review) if they give up the reputation award. – David Schwartz Feb 18 '14 at 19:46
  • 3
    @DavidSchwartz While I get where you're coming from, I think you're looking at this the wrong way. We have peer review for edits not because suggested edits yield reputation, but because suggested edits are not necessarily correct. Crappy reviewers will be crappy, but the review process itself has little to do with the associated reputation. – user98085 Apr 19 '14 at 17:14

You must log in to answer this question.

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