I've so far been very impressed with Stack Overflow's unique review system, which has been a marked improvement on most any other.

Yet, I got banned for reviewing... What I think happened was that non-native English speakers, who don't care about grammar, were online at the time and were fed my suggested edit, and didn't care - or thought my edits were insignificant or meaningless. Yet I am certain that any native English speaker would accept them.

I guess this is a suggestion for improving the review system - by introducing more grammar-type tests, or checking peoples' first languages, all things that could result in better readability and comprehension, which would add value to the community as a whole. Is there a discussion or effort to improve the review system that I should be aware of, or could consult?

Furthermore, should I just give up and leave, or if I was to keep trying to improve things, what would be my next step - considering that I am banned, purely for adding punctuation and fixing pronouns?

I find myself wondering - is it just me, or has the community here changed? I used to feel welcomed and taken seriously and got friendly interactions. Now I just get downvotes and hate. Almost everyone is responding to my own personal record here. While that's what enticed me to ask the question, that is not my question. My question quite clearly asks an open ended question - and that is: Is the review system broken? Are people being asked to review before they are ready?

To add to that: Has the community here changed, markedly?

To speak to those responding to my personal record, why has nobody cared to formulate a proper response Stack Exchange style, pointing me to, perhaps, the Stack Overflow Style Guide - which I've never noticed a pointer to. Or perhaps explained to me how Stack Exchange is not the appropriate place to discuss this and pointed me to the place that is?

Or perhaps helped me find a potential duplicate - but it's not because I'm asking a different question - although it does sketch some background: Is it appropriate to edit a question for grammar / style / formatting?

Also, I can tag on a third question, to which a pointer would be appreciated: Is it part of the Stack Exchange community goals to grow its community? If so, what kind of people do they want to grow it with? Because right now I'm sure I'm not on the list, and this does not feel like a welcoming environment to refer anyone who is at all sensitive, to, anymore.

Also, relevant: Do I need to ask my question better, or clearer? It seems so. Can anyone recommend a style guide, or something I can refer to to review my questions? Or maybe it has been there, but I've been blind to it - like Terry Pratchett in his later years, who could not see objects when they were right in front of him. Perhaps people with mental disabilities are not welcome here, either.

Or I have another hypothesis: Herd think. Someone sees a downvote, and just pushes the downvote button - maybe there's a reason Reddit hides the score for the first day or more?

  • 11
    You've provided 15 suggested edits of which 5 were rejected. The last one was stackoverflow.com/review/suggested-edits/27080227 and I have to ask: Was that change really / absolutely needed to make the question clear, answerable, understandable, findable? And was there nothing else to improve in that post?
    – rene
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 9:55
  • Let us continue this discussion in chat.
    – Dagelf
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 16:27
  • 4
    Dagelf, you are making edits that are subject to review. A few higher level users review your edit and agree upon a decision. IF you want to appeal a specific decision you must do it on the meta of that site (not here). IF you wish to ask about the policy in general you can ask here. --- Generally if an edit can be rejected for any of the template reasons it will be - you must make certain that your edit can not be rejected for those reasons. --- If you wish to wait until you have a higher reputation before editing again that's another option, best to learn b4 then.
    – Rob
    Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 17:19
  • 3
    You are currently not banned from suggesting edits. Suggested edit bans are always time-limited and most of them are applied automatically. Take them as a signal to slow down and review your actions. As many have pointed out we expect suggested edits to be more comprehensive than just a single trivial edit, as reviewing takes time, so make your edits count. Respect the time others have to spend reviewing your edits! Commented Sep 24, 2020 at 23:38
  • 5
    1. This post is a hard-to-follow rambling jumble. 2. You jump to (pessimistic) (wrong) conclusions. 3. "How to ..." is a common convention. (A special case of an abbreviation along the lines of "This section/article/question is about ...".)
    – philipxy
    Commented Sep 26, 2020 at 0:12
  • 1
    As for the downvotes: 1. people apparently disagree, that how voting on Meta works,. 2. This question is not 1 question, but a whole heap of them (something that is frowned upon and an actual close reason).
    – Luuklag
    Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 7:24
  • 1
    As for why people respond to your personal experience: Perhaps they feel you ask this question under false presumptions, hence rendering your question mute.
    – Luuklag
    Commented Oct 5, 2020 at 7:24

1 Answer 1


Every single rejected edit only changes "How to...?" to "How do/can I...?" in titles.

Yes, you should stop suggesting these particular edits. They are making the posts worse.

If you absolutely must make it more grammatical, remove the question mark instead and fix other issues while you're there. "How to _____" is a far better title than "How can I _____?" if for no other reason than it's less ambiguous to search due to many different phrasings, such as "How can I" and "How do I"—you even switch between them in your suggestions.

If an extra question mark at the end of a title that is not technically a complete sentence is the only thing wrong with a post, the post is fine. Focus your efforts elsewhere.

  • 1
    Related: Is "How to..." a good title? and 'How to' vs. 'How do I'. Personally, I have no problems with "How to [blah blah blah]?" titles; it's just using English flexibly for the purpose of succinctness; perhaps poetic license. Commented Sep 28, 2020 at 2:33
  • The problem with this is that a lot of non-English native engineers are learning English and grammar from SE sites, seeing as that it's Google's top Q&A destination for engineering questions. There are perhaps already more non-English native engineers in the world, and soon this could become the new default as that is how language drifts. Do you think that there is no psychological risk of this language mangling affecting individual agency when thinking in English?
    – Dagelf
    Commented Jan 26, 2021 at 7:46

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