Currently there are multiple posts on main page bumped up by edit saying

My pronouns are He / Him

I just answered on one of them before looking at the date it was asked - no changes since 2015 except automatic http -> https replacement.

It's actually uncomfortable to answer a question and then find out, it's obsolete for almost 5 years, then go to another one, look at dates and understand that it's in the same state too.

Is such behavior considered correct? If yes, it would be nice to have some feature to exclude such edits from the main page.


  • Probably more useful to cast a flag than raise a post, considering we normal users can't do anything about it.
    – Kevin B
    Oct 15, 2019 at 21:31
  • 9
    And ironically, they haven't included their pronouns in their profile.
    – scohe001
    Oct 15, 2019 at 21:32
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    No need to flag or post, a CM is aware.
    – rene
    Oct 15, 2019 at 21:33
  • @KevinB, but I want 1. To find out where it's allowed. 2. Make other users to knew that. 3. If such behavior is correct, I want some feature not to see such posts on main page.
    – Qwertiy
    Oct 15, 2019 at 21:36
  • @Mari-LouA, absolutely different questions. I understand how they are related, but that's definitely not a duplicate.
    – Qwertiy
    Oct 15, 2019 at 21:37
  • Note that the user in question also did that on some other sites. Oct 15, 2019 at 21:39
  • @rene, that question covers only technical side, but not the correctness of such behavior. I don't think it's a duplicate as it just proposes one of possible solutions.
    – Qwertiy
    Oct 15, 2019 at 21:41
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    well, i mean, whether or not such edits are "useless" is of course up for debate, but SE seems to be in favor of that information being included if the user so wishes.
    – Kevin B
    Oct 15, 2019 at 21:49
  • 16
    There's a huge difference between including pronouns naturally in a post when it's created and retroactively editing in the pronouns to all (or a large number) of your posts. We're all fumbling around a bit trying to find the "right" solution and until we come up with a technical one, we're going to allow them in posts... but, again... adding them to posts that may need to be cleaned up in the future will only make more work for everyone.
    – Catija
    Oct 15, 2019 at 21:57
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    @Catija, it would be better if you post it as an answer, not a comment.
    – Qwertiy
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:01
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    @Qwertiy well, yeah... but someone closed the question so...
    – Catija
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:01
  • 3
    Oh. wait a sec...
    – Catija
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:02
  • @Catija Do you think it's a good idea for a CM to reopen the question that could possibly give others an idea on how to abuse the system? Sonic's question was fairly obscure in that it didn't show how the edits could be done nor did they name the user either. Oct 15, 2019 at 22:08
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    @rjzii but that wasn't priority clearly, it now is because it aligns with their interests with this new CoC.
    – Script47
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:14
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    @rjzii Not ... really that related? Minor edits are a whole can of worms but these edits really shouldn't be happening at all.
    – Catija
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:15

3 Answers 3


A refinement of the FAQ comments (this is why they're comments not actual FAQ questions/answers)...

It's one thing for someone to add their pronouns to a new post. If they volunteer them, we're asking that you leave them - for now. This is considered a temporary situation while we review our tools and see if there's a way we can easily support pronouns being accessible. And, yes, I 100% accept that it's a less-than-optimal solution... but I think that it's very unlikely that it will happen frequently.

I used to moderate the IPS site which is one of the few sites where pronouns might be germane to the discussion and, even there, it rarely came up, sometimes to the point where, if the asker's gender was considered possibly of importance to an answer, we had to ask for that information to be disclosed.

That said, it's completely different for someone to retroactively edit their pronouns into their posts. Because the inclusion in posts is intended to be temporary, the expectation is that making these edits creates unnecessary work for our future selves and causes disruption and confusion for the people using the site currently.

So, please don't bulk add pronouns to anyone's posts.

  • 3
    I feel like there are several sorts of minor edits (American vs. British spelling, punctuation changes, addition of special formatting for code or for mathematics, to name a few) where the improvements to the posts are legitimate but where making a "project" out of finding and fixing all such issues in old, idle posts would be a distraction from the way that the site is supposed to function. In other meta discussions [citation needed] the advice has been to make such improvements if you're already editing a post, but not to edit or to bulk-edit solely to make minor improvements.
    – rob
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:41
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    @rob Changing the type of English used in a post is not generally considered a valid edit. It's one thing to improve readability or general grammar but adding or removing a bunch of "U"s isn't generally something we condone.
    – Catija
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:44
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    @Catija A bad example made worse by the length limit on comments; I was thinking more about fixing inconsistencies than about changing style wholesale. My point is that there are lots of types of edits that are legitimate improvements but not worth doing in bulk to reactivate old posts, and that your good guidance here is not specific to this month's contentious discussions about pronouns.
    – rob
    Oct 15, 2019 at 22:52
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    @rob Apologies... I did the ... stupidly typical thing of correcting your comment without actually substantively responding to it. You are correct. There are some edits that are minor enough that they should be reserved for times when you're already editing the post. I think this more often applies to suggested edits than 2k+ edits but when it comes to bulk things, it can often read as vandalism, even if that's not the intention.
    – Catija
    Oct 16, 2019 at 5:27

Is such behavior considered correct?

No, it isn't; it's utterly unacceptable. If you see behaviour like this, flag the user for moderation attention (they're not likely to stop if you leave a comment). The Help Center clearly states when it's appropriate to make an edit:

Tiny, trivial edits are discouraged - try to make the post significantly better when you edit, correcting all problems that you observe.

Editing a post also bumps the question to the top of the homepage. Please be mindful of this and make your edits count, so that the new attention is brought to something substantial.

As Catija outlined, cases where the pronouns of the author are important enough to be included in the question are few and far between, and they mostly happen on social sites in the network. Certainly not in random feature requests on Meta Stack Exchange. They're noise and have no place in posts like that. Moreover, 99.9% of the users[citation not needed] associate the name 'Tim' with a male person so the information is completely superfluous. The correct place for that information is the user profile, as stated in the FAQ:

Q8: How should I identify my pronouns if I choose to do so?

Whether and how you identify your pronouns is up to you. If you choose to do so, add it to the “About Me” section of your user profile.

As the user admitted here and here, they're ahem ... he is just looking for a soapbox and is completely aware that his behaviour is disruptive. There are enough posts on Meta Stack Exchange to vent his opinion, and he could also use his profile page for this. If this would happen on one of the sites I moderate, I'd suspend him to cool down. I can't do this here, and my custom flag raised yesterday evening asking to do something about the situation is still pending, so all I can do now is rollback the edits.

My pr ... no, this subject is too delicate to even make that kind of jokes.

  • 7
    Your rollbacks are not helping either. All you did was bump up the questions on the main page again
    – Piro
    Oct 16, 2019 at 6:51
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    I would have done it yesterday evening but I decided sleep was more important. Also, the questions were still on the front page.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Oct 16, 2019 at 6:52
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    You association of ´Tim´ with male is questionable. It may depend a lot on culture. Personally I associate 'Tim' with female name Timea since I know one.
    – Piro
    Oct 16, 2019 at 7:04
  • Has this been discussed with other moderators ? Is this the correct action to take and if so, can the FAQ on this subject please be updated.
    – Alex
    Oct 16, 2019 at 7:30
  • 4
    No, I'm doing this as a user with 2k reputation because I've been trusted by the community with edit privileges.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Oct 16, 2019 at 7:31
  • It might be good to get a (community) moderator's opinion on this later today. This is a delicate subject. I flagged several of his edits as well and the fact that these flags are still pending suggests the right course of action in this kind of cases is still under debate.
    – Alex
    Oct 16, 2019 at 7:45
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    There are no community-elected moderators on Meta.SE, just appointed ones, and they have been fired / resigned / gone on vacation / decided not to moderate Code-of-Conduct related issues, and leave those to the Community Managers. Catija is one of them, she already responded to this question. I take it that's the official stance of the company.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Oct 16, 2019 at 7:48
  • 1
    @Glorfindel Thanks for your intervention in this matter.
    – Alex
    Oct 16, 2019 at 8:18

I think it is a good idea for users to have the ability to edit their own posts in this way. However, there are two problems with this:

  1. It would make editing your post more difficult than necessary.

  2. If you want to do something like this, and someone else does it, then they will likely find ways of doing it.

So if we were to allow people to edit their own posts, that might help prevent some of these problems.

  • 11
    Users can edit their own posts already. The issue is mass-editing numerous old posts to include pronoun information, as any edit bumps a post to the front page. In general, this behavior is frowned upon. Moreover, as Catija's answer states, Stack Exchange, Inc. is investigating ways to include pronoun information in, for example, a user's profile. So editing pronoun information into posts will, whenever that functionality is included, necessitate edits out of those same posts, causing a second round of bumps.
    – Giuseppe
    Oct 16, 2019 at 1:17

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