tldr; Don't bump minor edits for old posts.

While we can all agree that if you notice questoin in a post, it should be corrected to question, I think we can all also agree that correction shouldn't bump the post back to the active list.

If the edit is less than 30 characters, is over 1 year old, and was not from the owner of the post, then we shouldn't be bumping those posts. Most editors will not change a post by more than 30 characters when going through doing "maintenance".

Not only is their work hampered by the fact that they accidentally bump every post they fix, browsing user time is wasted reviewing an "active" post which went from questoins to questions and was asked 3 years ago.

Limiting the active bump to old posts which were edited by non OP users containing changes with less than 30 characters of difference will

  • allow editors to mass edit small changes with ease
  • increase the overall grammar and spelling of the exchange
  • save user time from reviewing non active posts
  • incentivize users to review posts that are turning a year old to fix spelling and grammar
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    I deliberately wait until this is old before I edit it. – Daniel Fischer Nov 8 at 19:31
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    @Bart - It's okay, I get it, really... I feal your pain. Every time I have to review a post from 2015 because it was bumped due to "minor spelling" on a 1 vote answer I am in that same boat. – Travis J Nov 8 at 19:32
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    Could even think about a checkbox asking if the post should be bumped while the change is still fewer than 30 chars. So the editor could still bump it when they change more than just typos, but have fewer than 30 chars. – Tom Nov 8 at 19:49
  • "If you notice questoin in a post, it should be corrected to question." That needs to be edited, but it's not obvious how. (Mainly because I'm not certain what was trying to be said.) – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Nov 8 at 19:55
  • Latley I've noticed very old posts getting bumped to the top because links were edited from "Http" to "https".. – dustytrash Nov 8 at 19:56
  • You can do a lot of damage to a post without exceeding 30 character changes. How would we prevent this from being abused? – Alex Nov 8 at 20:03
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    @JasonBassfordSupportsMonica Italics for the use–mention distinction would be helpful: "If you notice questoin in a post, it should be corrected to question." – user215040 Nov 8 at 20:03
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    Very related MSE requests here and here, both status declined. – Rubiksmoose Nov 8 at 20:05
  • @Alex - Not really relevant. Abuse has many ways of being prevented and observed. – Travis J Nov 8 at 20:05
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    @TravisJ One of the ways is by having the edit bump the post. – Alex Nov 8 at 20:07
  • @Alex - Too much noise. Should we also push every close vote cast to the front page of the active list? – Travis J Nov 8 at 20:09
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    @TravisJ Casting a close vote can’t cause damage. One could argue that questions should be bumped when closed, but if it got closed then (generally speaking) at least four other users already saw it. – Alex Nov 8 at 20:12
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    @TravisJ I still think it's a dupe, since the same thing is essentially proposed there. (The part after the auto-generated part is irrelevant, though; unfortunately, it's too late for me to edit.) – Sonic the Reinstate Monica-hog Nov 8 at 20:16
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    Revision #5 should not have been approved. The OP clearly wrote it that way on purpose. The edit was previously made in revision #2, and although that edit was fine, the OP rolled it back, which tells us what their intent is. I'm sure that's why Mari-Lou rejected the edit with this reason: "This edit deviates from the original intent of the post." The OP is the ultimate arbiter of what goes in their posts, so if they don't want it that way, it's not okay to keep editing it back in. – user215040 Nov 8 at 20:23
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    How about just allowing more customization over which posts a user sees? (I think this already exists as filters but perhaps it needs a control like "view minor edits"). That will bring relief to the subset of users are triggered by seeing posts after minor edits as well as those of us who are triggered by the seeing posts by them complaining about it. ;) – faintsignal Nov 9 at 23:22

I disagree with this feature request. In 30 characters a whole link can be added as a citation, this could improve the post dramatically.

The How do I write a good answer? page states:

Provide context for links

Links to external resources are encouraged, but please add context around the link so your fellow users will have some idea what it is and why it’s there. Always quote the most relevant part of an important link, in case the target site is unreachable or goes permanently offline.

If the answer is improved we want to have it gain attention so it can be truly accredited to its worth. There are quite a few times when these edits aren't made by post owners. These edits can be made in less than 30 characters especially with a URL shortener. If the edit is link-only we want it to be bumped so context can be added. Reviewers may not always add context. I know these would probably be caught out by review, but spam edits need to be bumped as well.

  • Those instances are generally fixing a url to point to an updated place when they are done a year later. – Travis J Nov 8 at 20:07
  • @TravisJ still, the answer is valid and should be bumped and that is not always the case – user416943 Nov 8 at 20:09
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    @Danill - The answer was never invalid, so bumping it makes no difference. It is just now barely corrected to its original state. As noted, for maintenance. – Travis J Nov 8 at 20:10
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    @TravisJ but that is not always the case – user416943 Nov 8 at 20:11
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    @TravisJ Normally, yes, but those URLs can also be changed to something else, spam for example. It's not that good when someone can add spam links to many posts without anyone noticing it. So how can the system actually check it is only a typo fix and not replacing the URL to a spam site or adding "this post suckz" without anyone (than the original author) noticing it? I still agree with your FR, but this can be a problem. – Tom Nov 8 at 20:12
  • @Tom - The price of time for a large group of active users is not worth the alleged immediacy of that issue. – Travis J Nov 8 at 20:17

As Tom suggested in the comments, what if you gave editors the option to not have their edits (or just their minor edits) bump the post?

There could be a checkbox in the edit window that would let you say that the edits don't make substantive changes to the post and shouldn't bump the post or put it into the reopen queue.

This would let perfectionists make minor edits without annoying people by bumping old posts, but in cases like Daniil mentioned, where a change is small but substantial, it could still be acknowledged.

As Rubiksmoose points out, though, this has apparently been suggested before and denied due to the potential for people to make abusive changes that then go unnoticed:

"Trivial edit" checkbox

Could we have the ability to mark a change as minor in questions or answers?

In a comment disagreeing with that decision Ocaasi highlights a few ways to prevent abuse of non-bumping edits:

It's not like just because something doesn't bump to the active threads list that there's no other way to track it. First, users could be prevented from making minor edits until a certain sufficiently high rep, perhaps initially very high (like 5k). Secondly, there could simply be a tab for minor edits. Any abuse there, marking obviously non-minor edits as such, or hiding vandalism as a minor edit, could result in a quick ban. – Ocaasi Aug 6 '10 at 5:27

These could also serve to address fears of abuse for an automatic system like Travis J suggests.

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    Also suggested on MSE here and here, both status declined. – Rubiksmoose Nov 8 at 19:59
  • When you write "Oh yeah, I see that", then it looks like you haven't noticed my comment and just had the same idea. There is no point given credits to me then. You still can, if you like, but there is no need to do so (imho). – Tom Nov 8 at 20:04
  • This is not really desirable. The system can detect minor edits, we should let it. – Travis J Nov 8 at 20:08
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    @TravisJ (1) Let's eat Grandma! (2) Let's eat, Grandma! The presence or absence of the comma makes a huge different to the meaning of the sentence. How is the system to know if that particular change is minor or not? – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Nov 8 at 20:17
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    @JasonBassfordSupportsMonica - After a full year? Everyone probably realized we aren't eating Grandma (hey, leave oma out of this!), and at that point fixing the grammar definitely didn't have the need to show every active user the entire post, with a small "edited by" on the page, hidden for you to find. By the time you realize a small comma was fixed, you probably looked through several other meaninglessly old posts in the process. – Travis J Nov 8 at 20:19
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    @TravisJ Yes, it's quite possible that after a full year the question was not understood because of punctuation. I completely misinterpreted your own question here (or part of it) because of a lack of italics. There is no reason to assume it could never happen. – Jason Bassford Supports Monica Nov 8 at 20:20

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