Should we make "trivial" edits to posts? And what counts as a "trivial" edit? And when should edits or retags "bump" a post to the front page?

This long-running debate could use some resolution, or at least some reconsideration. It goes something like this:

  1. Stack Exchange encourages users to make even "small" improvements in posts and tags.
  2. But we don't want Established or even Trusted users to be able to make silent changes without other users being aware of the changes, so (for reasons that are unclear) instead of putting edits made or reviewed by Established users in a review queue, we "bump" the question whenever any edit is made. (Not even Moderators can edit without bumping, although they can silently edit comments.)
  3. But a lot of users look at the Top or Active Questions sort as an indication of things worthy of new scrutiny. And there's a big difference between an edit that fixes typos, and an edit that changes the substance of a post. Many users would like to distinguish the former from the latter.
  4. Many users have requested a feature to mark an edit as "trivial" to prevent it from bumping the question, but those feature requests (spanning the last 7 years) have been rejected because of the potential for undetected damage envisioned in #2.

I have found strong arguments and site-specific customs on both sides of the first question.

For example, the Cross-Validated guidance on "tiny edits" cites Jeff Atwood's admonition: "Reject them, with extreme prejudice." It further references the side-effects of any edit, which include opening it to revoting.

On the other hand, Photography, citing more recent and popular Meta guidance, maintains the custom that any improvement is welcome.

  • 2
    It would certainly help if there was an agreeable network-wide position on this, rather than differing positions on individual sites (unless there was a specifc reason for a site's focus area).
    – Tim Malone
    Commented Jun 28, 2016 at 23:37

1 Answer 1


I think some of the dissonance would evaporate by having the landing page for a site configurable to the newest rather than active questions.

Many users are not aware that they can use https://meta.stackexchange.com/questions?sort=newest to avoid seeing any "bumped" questions that give them angst.

I also think that if Finding Questions with the Newest Answers anywhere on Site? were easier to do that would be another way to bypass "bumped" questions.

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