2

There are several questions about the issue, but related to low-rep users, e.g. Are we discouraged from fixing typos and misspellings on Stack Exchange sites?

I would like to discuss how should we deal with massive fixing typos (e.g. when only single word across the site is attempted to be fixed) by user with an ability to make edits bypassing the suggested edits queue, i.e. users with 2k more reputation.

Fixing typos is important since the post becomes searchable. Meanwhile some users don't want to see such updates in the list of "recently updated questions", since from their point of view these edits add nothing to promote question being answered, or even improve the quality of existing answers.

One possible solution would be to separate such small (in terms of meaning of the post) edits from other edits. This can be implemented as an additional tab to "Active" or just a checkbox to include/exclude such updates from the list of active questions. And obviously the ability to mark the edits "small" before submitting.

On the other hand is there a problem with that? Are users who don't want to see such small (typos only) updates on Active tab eligible to ask editor don't do it again? Maybe they should track post's updates in some other way than by Active tab?

Inspired by post on ruSO.meta Правка типичных ошибок

I think that the current question isn't a duplicate of Allow non-bumping minor edits, but review them on /review since I'm not asking about additional review queue, but want to find a solution (that's why tagged as well) that will satisfy both sides: who wants to submit small edits without any restrictions (e.g. 5 edits per day noted in comments) and others who don't want to observe such edits on homepage.

Maybe the easiest way would be don't show small edits on homepage at all, but add them to the list on "Active" tab. So the further discussion may be based on assumption that homepage's logic is broken, or the people who don't want to see small edits should use another page instead of homepage.

7
  • 1
    If a user is abusing their privileges, they should be reported and handled with, no matter how much rep they have. Flood of e.g. 100 minor edits per day can be considered abuse, and mods should stop such users. Jul 30, 2023 at 8:09
  • 4
    @ShadowWizard I'm the mod and I don't want treat such edits as abuse. Jul 30, 2023 at 8:19
  • 1
    That's your call, of course. Just sharing my own opinions. I don't want to see the homepage flooded. Jul 30, 2023 at 8:22
  • 6
    @ShadowWizard so maybe the problem on homepage, but not on small edits? Jul 30, 2023 at 8:29
  • 2
    It doesn't matter, even good edits should be made in measure, not flood. e.g. here on MSE we have a user who make lots of good edits, but limit himself to about five such edits per day, which is fine. Jul 30, 2023 at 8:48
  • 1
    I once spent about a year and half slowly retagging a commonly used unwanted tag 2-3 at a time on Super User. There's rarely a good reason to flood the front page Jul 30, 2023 at 15:33
  • There is one or two related posts mentioned here: The system for adding a new tag to old questions is broken Jul 31, 2023 at 14:32

1 Answer 1

6

This sort of thing has been discussed repeatedly on various sites. Many sites have their own specific policies about it, like Sci-Fi. Other sites have no rules or explicitly allow (or even encourage) bulk edits - for example, on Stack Overflow in English they will often have tag burns where they are working as a group to remove/retag questions to get rid of a specific tag.

But there's no consistent "right" answer and I tend to see feelings on this front vary depending on how active the front page is.

  • SO's front page refills every 10 minutes or less with active posts, so "flooding" it is practically impossible and, even if it were flooded, many of the active community members use filtered views or look at tag activity pages rather than the front page.
  • Smaller sites (like SFF) have far fewer active posts per day so many of the community members just use the home page as their way to review activity on the site. In this case, flooding the front page with significant numbers of tiny edits requires the users to go in search of new posts.

One other thing is to think about how we restrict the number of posts the Community Bot bumps. While we have restrictions for how many posts it bumps per hour (1 or 4 depending on the site), we can also enable restrictions for whether any of the n most recently active posts were edited by Community and prevent the bot from bumping at all.

So, some sites will create policy that takes activity into account - for example, they'll say that as long as fewer than five of the posts on the front page are not part of the bulk editing, more edits can be made.

Personally, I'm a big proponent of making good edits to improve readability, even if that merely means needing to edit one letter. One thing that often happens in these cases is that the editor will make a single minor edit because they've used search or SEDE to get a list of all of the posts with that same error and then they just blindly make that single edit.

This sort of editing is detrimental in my opinion. While it may be fixing a typo, which is good, failing to review the entire post and make any other edits while fixing that single character issue just draws attention to an editor who's not being very thoughtful about the edits they're making. While this may be fine if there truly are no other edits to make, when it comes to bulk edits like this, it can quickly become very frustrating for other users.

As to your specific request, there's been a lot of discussion over the years about how to address this and a lot of ideas have been thrown around such as changing what the home page shows, allowing users to customize what they see on the home page, creating a "minor edit" indicator and letting users opt out of seeing those minor edits, or the one you linked about putting them in a review queue but they all create a lot of possibly-unnecessary complexity in something that's relatively simple.

I'm not going to mark this as specifically but, in the grand scheme of what we can prioritize and build, while this is something people often discuss, I haven't seen a huge push to actually address it on a network-wide level. And, since sites have successfully created policy for this, I think that's the preferred option here.

7
  • 5
    I don't think it's a successful policy. It causes a lot of pain across the network and ensures that either people can't find new answers or can't ensure posts are high quality or both. You don't see the editors of Wikipedia or any respectable paper publication refusing to fix typos that they know about because of "the system".
    – Laurel
    Jul 31, 2023 at 14:37
  • 2
    I agree with Laurel... If the system requires a bunch of hoop jumping because someone is bulk fixing typos, the system needs tweaking. Maybe allowing users to filter certain types of activity from their active view would help. Or, if the only new stuff being worked on is AI related, some genAI tool could construct a custom "home" view given a description of what a user would like to see...
    – ColleenV
    Jul 31, 2023 at 14:52
  • 2
    Not quite sure what in this post reads like policy. Maybe I should make it in bold or something but I expressly state that there is no network-wide policy here and that individual sites generally work this out on their own. Nothing in the post specifically discourages edits in general, even for small improvements. In fact, I state that even small edits are valuable. In general, in my experience I don't find these bulk edits to be particularly common, or there being a huge outcry to address this, which is where the latter part of ny answer comes in. If I've missed that, let me know.
    – Catija
    Jul 31, 2023 at 15:52
  • 2
    I don't know how wikipedia is managed but if someone was going through dozens or hundreds of Wiki pages to fix one error and ignoring everything else on the page, I'd be quite surprised if the community didn't intercede somehow. But I also don't know how they review recently active posts since that's not how their website is designed - no general user goes to a front page of Wikipedia that's just a list of the most-recently edited posts. For SE, it's the default page for everyone who visits one of the sites.
    – Catija
    Jul 31, 2023 at 15:55
  • 3
    Why shouldn't people be able to bulk correct typos? Correcting typos is unequivocally a good thing unless the question was about the typo. That the system is designed to even make it a question whether someone should be able to make improvements to as many posts as they're willing to (regardless of official policy) is a flaw in the design. I understand throttling to protect the suggested edit queue, but the active page not showing users what they want to see isn't a problem that should be solved by per-site policy.
    – ColleenV
    Jul 31, 2023 at 17:21
  • Re "how they review recently active posts": As far as I know, the main place for patrolling is the "Recent changes" page/view. There are also more specialised users. Jul 31, 2023 at 17:26
  • These are dysfunctional policies (tsk, tsk, you can only fix 5 typo posts per day!) that compromise quality on behalf of a system that can't even handle the second letter in its name: Q&**A** (and barely handles the first—even many 6 digit rep users don't know where to find newest Qs). These policies are necessary now but they really shouldn't be. Why is it so hard to find new answers that we must resort to this? Why must we compromise on quality? It's a system that gives teams of moderators with the support of their entire community as much trust as a single rogue 2k rep user.
    – Laurel
    Jul 31, 2023 at 20:11

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .