Unlike questions and answers which may be upvoted or downvoted, there's no consequences for edit contributions - only rewards. There's no sense of responsibility for one's own actions.
All actions within the suggested edit model only reward with reputation or badges. There's no negative reaction other than temporary suspensions.
Given this model, it's not surprising many users proliferate trivial or useless edits that others approve.
Editors receive benefits such as:
- +2 reputation gains on suggested edit approval
- Badges: Editor Badge, Strunk & White, Copy Editor, Archaeologist, Tag Editor, Research Assistant
- Badges: Proofreader, Stewart, Reviewer, Custodian
With increased garbage-in from editors, more overhead is placed upon reviewers who also potentially gain via approvals, compromising the checks and balances of the system. With no accountability on either side, it's a vicious circle.
Reputation and badges encourage activities that are positive to the community, but with no consequences one can only positively grow their measure of trust within the community therefore gaining additional privileges.
If invalid or trivial edits were penalized by lowering reputation by 1, there would be an immediate impact on quality of edits. While less useful posts are downvoted, there's no downvote of less than useful edits.
Suggested edits should account for contributions that are not useful, subtracting reputation on rejected edits akin to a downvote.