Now that "Too Minor" is gone, what is the new workflow for suggested edits?

The original "Too Minor" reason suggested that, if you're going to make an edit, that you need to fix all of the things that are broken in the post, not just one.

Someone on Meta.SO pointed out that "Too Minor" is also used for rep-grabbers who want to add meaningless edits to a post that don't really add any value at all. The new workflow suggests "reject and improve," but there's really nothing to improve on, and some commenters there stated that they had no appetite for "reject and improve" when all they really want to do is summarily reject such edits.

What do we do about those? Use "invalid edit" or "vandalism?" Do we need a new rejection reason for content-free edits?

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    <sarcasm> Custom -> "There are better ways to get rep than to spam pointless edits." </sarcasm> – Mysticial Sep 9 '14 at 0:37
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    The problem with such edits is that they do not make any significant contribution. They are useless in nature. They are superficial. So it's not that they do not fix all the problem. Nobody is expected to be perfect (even the best among us). It's quite possible that a post did not need any improvement in the first place. In any case, we are talking of edits that are too minor to be considered useful. – PM 77-1 Sep 9 '14 at 0:38
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    @Mysticial - You'd be surprised... – PM 77-1 Sep 9 '14 at 0:38
  • I've also noticed there's no more "improve and reject" for minor fixes in posts that need way more fixing. Is the logic that if it's too minor, preserving it doesn't actually save us time? Case in point: stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/5726909 – John Dvorak Sep 9 '14 at 4:43
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    My replacement is "Skip". – ivarni Sep 9 '14 at 7:38
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    Just use Custom -> 'Too minor edit to be useful' until they will put that option back. There is no point of 'Improve' or 'Approve' such edits. – Gas Sep 9 '14 at 8:53
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    @Gas: Good luck with that. I find it equally probable that they will just remove the Custom option, if you abuse it in that fashion. – user102937 Sep 9 '14 at 17:39
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    @RobertHarvey Who is 'they'? There is lots of post that 'community' wants this, 'community' wants that, 'community' doesn't want 'hi and thanks' in the posts etc... Now its quite obvious that community wants 'Too minor' option. I thought this site is for community, not 'them', whoever they is... – Gas Sep 9 '14 at 20:48
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    @Robert Is that really abuse? Doesn't the community determine its own guidelines for review, based on guidance from the staff? I know the canned reasons are being revised, and hope that'll placate "too minor" fans, but if removing "too minor" stops many reviewers from reflexively - dare I say, robotically - rejecting every small change regardless of whether it improves the post, I'd call that a significant incremental success. Where's the harm in some holdouts using the Custom reason for this purpose? Once sentiment shifts and they start failing audits, the problem will solve itself. – Air Sep 9 '14 at 20:49
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    No plans to remove the custom reason. Wish it was used more often, particularly now that we're warning editors. – Shog9 Sep 9 '14 at 22:49
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    @Gas Nonsense. "Too minor" is a myth get over it. – Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 9 '14 at 23:14
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit On second thought, you're right, I'll just Approve all edits that I'd consider as Too minor, if they improve the post. – Gas Sep 10 '14 at 8:18
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    @Gas: If they improve the post, why not? – user102937 Sep 10 '14 at 15:09
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    Yikes. Removing rejection reasons is not a good way to get people to reject more, which is oh so necessary. – Ry- Sep 11 '14 at 16:43
  • What I take away from this whole thing: the amount of contention over whether a suggested edit should be rejected, and why, is inversely proportional to the magnitude of the edit itself. I can only imagine how many such edits have been robo-reviewed in the meantime. – BoltClock's a Unicorn Sep 21 '14 at 4:55

Ok, there's a new reject reason for this specific case:

no improvement whatsoever

This is not a replacement for "too minor", but it does replace one of the things folks were using it for (even though it wasn't strictly appropriate there either): edits that don't make any positive changes to the post.

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  • Thank you for this; this should resolve the contention over the removal of too minor (it balances out the new reasons nicely). – AstroCB Oct 7 '14 at 22:10
  • So, Shog9, you suggest to use this for >2k users that "spam" edits that just fix casing in product names, fix minor spelling errors or linkify an external link? – BlueSoul Apr 27 '15 at 7:43

The same thing as you should always have been doing:

Is the edit valid? Does it improve the post to any degree? Accept it. Optionally improve if there's more that can be done.

Is the edit flat-out wrong? Reject it with one of the reasons given ("invalid edit" if you're not sure, or a custom reason). Reject and edit if you think the original post can be salvaged.

Quite simple. Not sure why everyone's making such a big fuss about it.

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    The fuss is that there is no clear way to simply reject an edit that's gratuitous. – user102937 Sep 9 '14 at 22:41
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    @Robert "Invalid edit". A valid edit is one that improves the post. Thus, an invalid edit is one that does not. Vandalism for extreme and obvious misbehaviour (adding spam or NSFW links, perhaps). No fuss needed! – Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 9 '14 at 22:44
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    See Shog's answer below. – user102937 Sep 9 '14 at 22:46
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    @Robert Yes I read it and I strongly disagree with it. Evidently I am not the only one, judging by its score. He seems to be requiring reviewers to also give their time editing, which is ludicrous. Nothing wrong with iterative improvements to a post. I feel that my answer embodies basic common sense. – Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 9 '14 at 22:47
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    FWIW, I don't object at all to putting a specific explanation into a Custom rejection. I would, however, object to someone simply putting "Edit is too minor" in the custom rejection reason, since this still causes the problem that the overhaul sought to avoid in the first place (namely, that nobody seems to know what "too minor" actually means). – user102937 Sep 9 '14 at 23:02
  • @Robert I still maintain that the real problem is "too minor" is fundamentally broken (i.e. there is no such thing!), so if people start writing that in custom reject reasons then I'll get cross. :-) – Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 9 '14 at 23:05
  • Yes, that's what I said. – user102937 Sep 9 '14 at 23:06
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    I reject pretty much anything that isn't relevant to improving the quality of the post of the site's topic, e.g. stackoverflow, I would reject most spelling/grammar edits unless it was unclear before what it meant, e.g. "jquery" -> "JQuery". Approving those edits, and having accounts with only those edits belittles my reputation made from actually answering questions. Now, I am very hesitant on approving these edits since we lost the "too minor" rejection, so most of the time I skip it.. But someone is bound to approve it to get more rep... sigh.. – Populus Sep 10 '14 at 20:51
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    @Populus. Ugh. People who reject obvious grammar and spelling improvements. You are the bane of my life! Simply being able to understand a post is not sufficient to make it professional and easy to read! This is a Q&A, not a kindergarten notebook. ... and for what? Jealousy over rep? Imaginary internet points? Do me a favour. – Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 10 '14 at 21:23
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    So if someone just went around ticking code-related things, I should, what, just approve it now? It's technically correct, in that it isn't an attempt to reply, it's not a radical change, and it isn't vandalism... it's just not exactly useful, either. I'd be ok just having a specific rejection reason that was like "don't make edits that just tick things and that's it". Cause I've seen a lot of those. Heck, I see those in audits all the time - what am I supposed to do with those now? – neminem Sep 12 '14 at 21:35
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit How is it wrong? If the original author had ticked them, I wouldn't edit them out. If an editor had ticked them while also fixing grammar and/or spelling mistakes, I wouldn't undo them. They do make the question look infinitessimally nicer, they're not wrong, they're just totally unnecessary. – neminem Sep 13 '14 at 16:15
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit neminem is talking about using backticks on code, but when an editor changes. "If my field is null…" to ""If my field is null…" — should this now be accepted? It doesn't really add value or make the post easier to read, though it's not incorrect either. The main feature of these edits is that they clog the review queue. – anotherdave Sep 17 '14 at 16:07
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    @anotherdave: Yes it does and yes it does. By definition if the original author should have done it then an edit adding it is correct and warranted. I don't care whether that edit needs reviewing. Reviewable edits must be held to the same standard as non-reviewable edits otherwise a totally unfair and classist ... even elitist ... double standard is implicitly introduced. The review queue is not prohibitively clogged. This is a non-problem cited by people who seem to not care about improving quality of posts on Stack Overflow. IDGI. – Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 17 '14 at 17:39
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    @RichardLeMesurier I can't even really tell what the majority view is on this. I find it deeply disappointing that there's even a question about it, but there we go. There's evidently a highly vocal group against accepting such edits, but they have entirely failed to present any convincing argument in defence of their actions, whilst everyone else remains silent. I don't see a way to gauge a true community opinion on this. In the interim I thought I'd try to balance it out a bit, but I'm starting to regret that now. I forgot what meta is like. :) – Lightness Races in Orbit Sep 17 '14 at 21:28
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    @LightnessRaces here's the post I was talking about where I (naively) suggested we should be improving our site (agreeing with your current POV). Strange how things change over a few months. – Richard Le Mesurier Sep 17 '14 at 21:38

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