A huge number of edits are formatting only. This is natural and good, since new users are often unaware of MarkDown.

It seems to me that a lower reputation threshold could be used for "WhiteSpace-Only" edits -- edits that do not create or destroy any visible characters post-markdown.

If such edits by users with rep 500-2000 were automatically improved, it would allow for many questions to be cleaned up faster, and would keep the review queue from being cluttered with content-free edits.


A bit surprised everyone hates this idea. I find these such a clutter to the review queue that I am going to stop reviewing.

  • 2
    I've never had a good sense for MSO. I can't figure why this question would get 3 downvotes and no comments in the first 7 views ... Mar 3, 2014 at 16:49
  • 1
    Rarely do I see a post that is missing markdown that does not also have at least 1 other issue to address. IMO a whitespace-only edit is in the majority of cases too minor. On the bright side, if users wouldn't get rep for those whitespace only edits they might be more inclined to improve a post further, but that's not the angle you were taking hence my -1.
    – OGHaza
    Mar 3, 2014 at 16:50
  • The difficulty with "at least one other thing" is there is the "whitespace only edit to show that the question is lacking the necessary other things because its a single sentence with a code dump" - trying to 'fix' the other issues would be putting words down that the OP didn't say (or necessarily mean). That said, an edit that only adds whitespace ('easily' testable) not getting rep would likely be a good change.
    – user213963
    Mar 3, 2014 at 17:03
  • 1
    @EricWilson Voting is different on meta
    – Joe
    Mar 3, 2014 at 17:12
  • 7
    @EricWilson - In general, people use downvotes here to disagree with proposals. We've had a number of users repeatedly abuse formatting for randomly highlighting words, actually making posts harder to read, so this tends to be a touchy subject here. If anything, I think many people would get behind making formatting-only edits harder to approve. Making these automatic would be a disaster. Mar 3, 2014 at 17:12
  • @Joe I'm aware that voting is diff Mar 3, 2014 at 17:15
  • 1
    @EricWilson then I'm sure you can figure out why this question got the downvotes
    – Joe
    Mar 3, 2014 at 17:16
  • @Joe, didn't mean to enter a partial comment. I meant to say that while I'm aware the voting is different, the down-voting without expressing the reason for disagreement is not particularly useful. It doesn't provide any insight into why a suggestion is not useful, and makes you guys seem unpleasant, and unfriendly. Mar 3, 2014 at 17:20
  • @EricWilson Just for the record, I didn't downvote, I think this is a reasonable suggestion, but unnecessary. People aren't always going to agree with suggestions etc. It isn't personal.
    – Joe
    Mar 3, 2014 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


I don't think this is necessary what so ever. Your feature-request may be a great idea if the suggested edits review queue had hundreds or thousands of reviews back-logged in it. However, the queue gets cleared out all the time. I almost never see the queue with more than 10 reviews in it. I usually see it as 0, 2, 5, 6 or 8. So most edits likely get approved/denied within 15 minutes max.

Plus, there are many users with over 2k on SO, so a lot of these do get fixed right away anyways. Back when I had less than 2k, I remember countless times when I'd be improving a new posts formatting, and then getting the dreadful this post has already been edited message. So it happens real quick already.

You must log in to answer this question.

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