Disclaimer: I searched and I found a lot of questions about the character limit, but none include the comprehensive feature request I make here, so I kindly request to consider this post not a duplicate.

As we all know, there is a 6 character limit imposed on edits. This has been questioned before, for instance:

Yes, often there is more that can be fixed, but as these questions and others show, that is not always the case. People complain about perfectly good edits, that would enhance the value of the Stack, being rejected.

So what can be done about this constraint?

  • 2
    You propose nothing in the question, so it can't be a feature request. You open this for discussion, which is fine. Sep 30, 2014 at 18:42
  • 2
    @ShadowWizard I decided to do it like this, so down votes on my question won't hurt my ability to further hask questions here. My last feature request wasn't well received and I got a warning when posting this question. Counting downvoted feature requests as bad questions doesn't seem fair to me, but that's how it is.
    – SQB
    Sep 30, 2014 at 19:34
  • @SQB: you can ignore the warning, the thresholds here are way, way higher than on other sites. You are not about to hit it. Sep 30, 2014 at 19:38
  • 1
    @MartijnPieters he might have some deleted downvoted questions, and I've seen cases of Q-banned users here Sep 30, 2014 at 19:44
  • @MartijnPieters okay, thanks, but I think I'll leave it as it is. To me, the voting pattern means that people think something should be done with that limit, but that my solution is not the right one. I'll put the feature-request tag back, though.
    – SQB
    Sep 30, 2014 at 19:45
  • Nope, I just have the two questions: one closed a dupe, the other a feature request with 8 down votes. When I wanted to post this question, I got a warning that I could get question-banned for posting to many bad questions.
    – SQB
    Sep 30, 2014 at 19:51
  • @ShadowWizard: I never said it wasn't possible. I said the threshold is much higher. The people that got question blocked here really pushed it. Sep 30, 2014 at 20:36
  • @SQB See meta.stackexchange.com/a/236838/202205. Having only 2 questions with both of them downvoted/marked duplicate meant that your next question would trigger a warning. Sep 30, 2014 at 21:54
  • @AlE. Not really, since that one doesn't propose a solution.
    – SQB
    Oct 1, 2014 at 5:45
  • Neither does this one.
    – ale
    Oct 1, 2014 at 10:06
  • Well yes, it does, as an answer. I feared downvotes on the question (see comments above), so I added my proposal as an answer.
    – SQB
    Oct 1, 2014 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


I propose to abandon the current limit and to replace it with the following.

  1. Mark edits under a given number of characters (currently 6) automatically as minor.
  2. Have a separate review queue for minor edits.
  3. Award only 1 point of reputation for approved minor edits (instead of 2 for a regular edit).
  4. Do not bump a post for a minor edit (this even goes for edits by 2k+ users).

This has the following benefits:

  1. Any edit can be proposed by anyone. New users, who should be encouraged to participate, are no longer discouraged from editing.
  2. Reviewers who don't want to review such minor edits, can ignore that queue. Reviewers who do want to, can focus on those (I find simple edits easier to verify; I often skip reviews of edits that are outside my area of expertise).
  3. Users don't get unduly high rewards for minor edits.
  4. Current questions lists aren't drowned in old posts with minor edits.

This can be further enhanced by having a better algorithm to decide what constitutes a minor edit. For instance, capitalising a letter should be a minor edit, as should be replacing "it's" with "its" and other common corrections.

  • 1
    "New users, who should be encouraged to participate, are no longer discouraged from editing." - eugh. Most questions are not worth fixing, and there's plenty of work force for the good ones. Sep 30, 2014 at 18:33
  • If this is the feature request, make it part of the question. Sep 30, 2014 at 18:37
  • 3
    "Award... 1 point of reputation for approved minor edits" -- that sounds like a wrong way. "Deduct 1 point of reputation for approved minor edits" could possibly work - if one considers 1-char edit important enough to "pay" 1 rep, let 'em do it
    – gnat
    Sep 30, 2014 at 19:10
  • @MartijnPieters please see my comment on the question.
    – SQB
    Sep 30, 2014 at 19:36
  • 1
    @gnat So you'd rather discourage people from improving questions at all? The new users who are most likely to hit it wouldn't know what the limit is...
    – Izkata
    Sep 30, 2014 at 23:07
  • @Izkata is there a need to straw man here. Apparently, users need to be appropriately warned about possibility of rep loss prior to submitting such edits, this is UX 101
    – gnat
    Oct 1, 2014 at 6:56

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