Ideally (in my opinion of, Incnis Mrsi), it means:

  • Community agreed upon which edits are good and which are bad (that doesn’t preclude some grey zone, of course).
  • A user making too many non-conforming edits is admonished and has to correct his/her activity, or desist.
  • Reviews are performed, en masse, on the grounds of these agreed guidelines, not personal (dis)taste.
  • The list of canned rejection reasons is modified accordingly. Better, a reviewer is obliged to enter a custom rejection reason in any borderline case.
  • A user making some wrong reviews is admonished and has to correct his/her activity, or desist.
  • Review queues do actually run. We can imagine a site where moderators scared reviewers to the point nobody is willing to review; that wouldn’t be a good example.

(At the request from comments: why namely these points? The first is obvious, since guidelines exist in each collaborative project. If guidelines exist, then reviews must follow it, hence the third point. The list of canned rejections seems to be invented by coders, not community consensus, but should serve the community. Points about non-conforming users are also evident, since different humans have different mistake rates, and, additionally, the power corrupts in the case of review. The last point about running is also obvious: a system that denies its job is worse than absence of a system.)

Of course, unlikely all these points are currently attained anywhere at Stack Exchange, but, possibly, some sites are trying to reach some good condition.

I found not very much on the problem, only Clear rules on reviewing edits, and Should edits trying to improve the content of an answer be approved? (especially a brilliant answer by hims056). Anyway, it all is more a theory than practice.

Please, don’t tell how the current “review” system is poor in general, and upon edits in particular. We, thinking humans, can easily find hundreds of stories of thoughtlessness, disruption, and frustration on meta sites, caused by it, but the question is about positive examples.

closed as unclear what you're asking by Infinite Recursion, James, Shadow The Princess Wizard, Werner, Aza Sep 6 '15 at 17:24

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • What would be the benefit of such an list? I can imagine the answer is either none, or Stack Overflow and Meta.se but that is only because I'm a regular on those sites. I don't think many users will be able to provide you with an answer because no one is seasoned enough in all 130+ sites – rene Sep 5 '15 at 10:35
  • @rene: if you won’t provide anything short of an answer (e.g. why Stack Overflow has more advanced rules that most other sites), then your opinion… isn’t interested much in. The question is for users who like the edit feature, dissatisfied with the currently prevalent chaos around it, and want to see positive examples. – Incnis Mrsi Sep 5 '15 at 10:42
  • So the problem to be discussed in answers is the perceived chaos when editing posts and the review process/lack of guidance, unclear rules around it, network-wide? – rene Sep 5 '15 at 10:47
  • @rene: Again, it is roughly clear what would good editing/reviewing attitudes be. The question is: which sites made some progress in attaining it? – Incnis Mrsi Sep 5 '15 at 10:50
  • Ok, one final question: Can you give an example of a community that is a bad example? One that scared reviewers away like you claim or with bad editing/reviewing attitudes? Because that would help me to understand how high the bar is. – rene Sep 5 '15 at 10:57
  • @rene: Ī̲ deliberately abstained from pushing a narrow agenda and attacking specific communities in my post, but if you insist… the main bad example for me is math.SE. – Incnis Mrsi Sep 5 '15 at 11:05
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    I don't know of any SE site that does reviews this way to the letter, and I'm not sure why you regard it as the ideal. Perhaps you could edit your post to include details on why you've picked this standard to measure SE sites against? – Aza Sep 5 '15 at 11:06
  • @Emrakul accepted. – Incnis Mrsi Sep 5 '15 at 11:19
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    I have no idea of the intention of your question. – James Sep 5 '15 at 18:42
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    @James something about bad review, but agree it's unclear what exactly OP here is trying to discuss. Voted to close. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Sep 5 '15 at 22:06
  • Wow, -24, it appears to be a strong opposition to your opinion @IncnisMrsi – user289879 Sep 7 '15 at 10:39
  • @santiago: The people ever became irritated and threw stones to those who spoke against their vices. Guys who don’t care for rep points, just enjoy editing (as TRiG from Ask Ubuntu said) will find this discussion someday, even if it will be kicked off site. – Incnis Mrsi Sep 7 '15 at 11:08

Your question is hard to answer because what is considered good or poor with regard to the community editing posts largely depends on the culture/nature/topic and probably age of the site. Those subjective conditions are addressed in this answer from Emrakul.

In my answer I try to get some objective data based on this query. The query returns for each non-meta site the accept/reject rate and the absolute number of rolled-back edits (both for non-deleted posts).

The problem with those numbers is that you can explain them anyway you like but I'll give my take on it:

  • some sites approve waaaaaay more than others
  • SO, math, SU, gaming and Ubuntu have the most rollbacks of suggested edits.

This might be an indication which of the 130 sites might be interesting to study to understand if their established guidelines are more clearly stated, better moderated or the reviewers are better aware of their community standards. If those lessons can be transported to other communities is to be seen.

Based on the comments your question seems to be started based on interactions and moderation decisions on your posts/edits. For that I have created this query that lists for each site if your suggested-edit was rejected. I would say there is not enough evidence to see a suspicious pattern but other number magicians might conclude something different.

Conlusion: there isn't a canned network wide set of rules/guidelines for editors and reviewers that would prevent that intent and outcome always match. Don't expect an SE directive on that. Editing and reviewing behavior is something that is established per site and best discussed on the meta of each site with an open mind and an eye for sites that might have a different editing and review culture.


I don't know of any Stack Exchange site that does this to the letter, and there's a good reason why. This also seems to be a potential misconception about the way Stack Exchange operates.

I like to think SE is based on intent, not process. I mean to highlight the difference between:

  • "This is the goal; do it how you see best, and here are some tools that might help."
  • "Here is a step-by-step process for achieving a specific function."

In other words, I think the frame of your question is flawed. Communities don't decide which edits are good and which are bad - they decide what the purpose of edits is, then work out the kinks in which edits serve that purpose.

A user making too many reviews that can't be argued in any way to follow the purpose of edits are informed through review bans, and in extreme cases mod messages. That's universally true across Stack Exchange.

The canned rejection reasons aren't a prescribed list of possible reasons for rejection - they're tools that are put in place to acknowledge common rejection reasons so you don't have to type one out every time. All rejections should come with a good reason; the canned reasons are just shortcuts.

In essence, the policies and guidelines in place exist to serve the ultimate purpose of review, and it's up to the individual site to determine how that works for them.

As a minor point, I know of no site for which suggested edit queues are not empty almost 24/7.

I think many sites derive what you're saying from principles, but the principles come first, not the ideas that follow. (Policies about review are more guidelines than strict limits, anyway.)

  • Are rejection reasons configurable per site by the mod-team? – rene Sep 5 '15 at 11:59
  • @rene I don't think so. – Aza Sep 5 '15 at 17:23
  • This is not a real answer. At Stack Overflow, AFAIK, negligent “reviewers” of first posts were quelled only with the honeypot traps (now called “audit”). Ī̲’m not sure the respective chaos with edits and their review was defused at all. Do you have information that at SO, or elsewhere in SE, moderators or community-approved guidelines successfully established some order? – Incnis Mrsi Sep 6 '15 at 7:53
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    @Incnis I apologize, but I really have no clue what you're asking. What chaos? – Aza Sep 6 '15 at 9:07
  • I must say that if I would have tried to answer the question my response would have been similar. There is no site that has brought order to perceived chaos but if one manages to do better that others it probably only works for that site and its community. I doubt it can be applied network wide or that you can extract guidance to reach order in chaos. – rene Sep 6 '15 at 9:21
  • stalking a low-rep user (Incnis Mrsi) and subsequent edit warring in tags without verbal substantiation, and mass crap edits. @rene: Of course, such matter is very subjective, but which site managed to apply some measures that made it “do better” with edits? – Incnis Mrsi Sep 6 '15 at 9:56
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    @IncnisMrsi your last comment makes your question look like a rant now; none of those are good examples: 1. Needs to be addressed on meta.math, but it seems you did more harm than good. 2. The OP has a binding vote; they rejected though the edit was valid. That's not SE policy or whatever. 3. They wanted to edit your weird unicode "I" into normal "I". Nothing wrong with that, though your engaging in a rollback war is rule violations. 4. The title was crap in your idea; not the editor. Your edit got approved because you thought of a better one. [...] – M.A.R. Sep 6 '15 at 9:57
  • [...] 5,6. How is that "stalking" you? Your comments are non-constructive. You should point out the issue in meta if you're really annoyed by that action. (Of course, in a polite and constructive manner, and don't look for someone to blame) – M.A.R. Sep 6 '15 at 9:59
  • @inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M: meta.math sucks – they shut me up. And do you really expect that dudes to know typography better than me? Also note your own double standard: “2. The OP has a binding vote” (FYI the “reason”, not rejection, is a chaos), but when Ī̲ rolled back an insignificant edit in my post, Ī̲ engaged “in a rollback war is rule violations”. – Incnis Mrsi Sep 6 '15 at 10:04
  • @IncnisMrsi the answer to "which site managed to apply some measures that made it “do better” with edits?" is really simple: none. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Sep 6 '15 at 10:04
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    @IncnisMrsi and after reading your "And do you really expect that dudes to know typography better than me" I no longer want to have anything with you, you're way too arrogant. Good luck, I'm out. – Shadow The Princess Wizard Sep 6 '15 at 10:05
  • @inɒzɘmɒЯ.A.M: “Stalking” was coming to my already approved edit in “Symmetry on a sphere” and rolling in back, after the same user overrode my tag changes in “The limit of edge-midpoint convex polyhedra” few minutes earlier. – Incnis Mrsi Sep 6 '15 at 10:09
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    @IncnisMrsi Listen to yourself: "Negligent or dic*ish reviews" "They shut me up" etc etc. Maybe because you're writing a rant every time? And yes, both you and that OP shouldn't be doing what they're doing. No double standards. – M.A.R. Sep 6 '15 at 10:09
  • Ok, the intent of the OP is clear now, can we stop posting comments and de-escalate this? Thanks. – rene Sep 6 '15 at 10:10

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