The new editing seems to have led to savage cuts being accepted, for example:

UTF-8 Encoding size

The links have been restored since, but as can be seen from the history, at one stage the post was reduced to a single, pointless, line by people with insufficient rep editing and those edits being accepted.

A previous post, which, sadly, I have not been able to track down, was edited from casual "friendly" English, to very stiff "business" English. In this case, I think the edit was an attempt to improve a rather poor question, but to me, it went too far and suggested a completely different, and less pleasant, personality in the asker.

While I do not think that this facility has been used to game the system, I can see that the possibility exists, if people with sufficient reputation do not pay more attention when accepting edits. I further wonder if an in-stack (as opposed to in-house) style sheet of acceptable and unacceptable edits could be built-up from examples found throughout the SE sites?

  • 1
    For the UTF example: it might seem that the OP removed them by accident in revision 4. But I guess the timestamps tell us there was too much editing going on at a single moment? Also: the first and second edit (by others) was within the OP's grace period. Why not disallow that? (For normal, >2k edits, too.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 10:25
  • 2
    (As an aside: the second edit, in which www.unicode.org/charts was changed into a clickable "this", should have been rejected, if you'd ask me.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 10:33
  • 6
    It looks like the owner destroyed this ... the suggested edits were actually good
    – waffles
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 10:38
  • 1
    I do not think the owner deliberately destroyed it, I think the owner may not have recognised the clickable "this", it is very easy to miss, and not something I would use. As an aside, clickable words etc can be quite annoying when you want to cut-and-paste.
    – Remou
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 10:44
  • 2
    Still, @waffles, the OP posted the 4th revision at 10:04:13 while the 3rd was only approved at 10:03:56. That kind of tells me that the OP was looking at the 2nd revision while posting? That is unrelated to the above problem, but 2 edits by non-OPs within the grace period are kind of annoying, I'd say. (And do you really think "this" is better than a visible link?)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 10:46
  • I do not think the speed of edits is irrelevant at all, it may even be central.
    – Remou
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 10:50
  • @Arjan ... I agree it was not the best edit in the world, however this is an edge case we, the first edit was a good one ... the second one with the "this" link should not have been approved ... it came from a pretty high rep user ... and a 10k user most likely approved it ... really need some better auditing linked directly from the history
    – waffles
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 10:51
  • Some more timestamps: OP posted the answer at 10:01:21. The first edit was proposed 10:02:23, approved 10:02:34. The second edit proposed at 10:03:26, accepted 10:03:56. The next revision by the OP was saved on 10:04:13. Without other edits, the first grace period would have ended 10:06:21.
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 11:13
  • 1
    My edits are for clarity and for minor pet-peeve grammar things. I don't edit posts on style. Some of the posts aren't the way I would have written them, but that's okay. Someone changed the diction on one of my SuperUser posts, and my first response was, "Uh, thanks, but I do know how to write, and I do think that the post as I wrote it was easier to read than your edits of my post." Takes all kinds, I guess.
    – John
    Commented Feb 14, 2011 at 18:42
  • @John, if you feel an edit made things worse, there is always an option to use @comment replies to leave a note that notifies the editor (and optionally even rollback the edit). Both the editor and you could in the end change their mind, but not when people don't know their edits are questioned?
    – Arjan
    Commented Mar 25, 2011 at 8:26

1 Answer 1


In this case, I think the edit was an attempt to improve a rather poor question, but to me, it went too far and suggested a completely different, and less pleasant, personality in the asker.

We are seeing a lot of "turd polishing" with suggested edits. By that I mean some of the posts should be deleted because they are so very bad. Editing them is not doing anyone any favors because they are not salvageable.

Beyond that, we may have to move back to my original plan cough of multiple reviewers which everyone hated and nobody understood.

Do you understand it now? :)

  • 3
    +1 I have seen numerous examples of faecal shining. I have seen many edits which are half-hearted attempts, and seem like the editor is playing with the new feature. Perhaps this will settle and the novelty will wear off?
    – chibacity
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 12:00
  • 6
    Gah. I didn't even realize that the multiple reviewer plan had been scrapped.
    – Pops
    Commented Feb 3, 2011 at 13:23
  • I like the idea of multiple reviewers, if it was not so convoluted, I would like the idea of reviewers having at least one up vote within the tag that is being edited. I have just seen a post edited to include a list of items, which was more precise, but less accurate. Furthermore, not everyone is sympathetic to the various shades and spellings of English found here.
    – Remou
    Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 11:19
  • @popular we brought it back, but it's only enabled for SO now Commented Feb 4, 2011 at 13:40
  • 1
    Just for your information, linked elsewhere too: two peer review edits that took too long due to the required multiple reviewers. 14 minutes to allow a 14.7k user to make other edits, and 27 minutes to allow a 80.1k owner to edit his own post. (But the latter is probably just a bug, and reported as such.) In both cases the reviewers disagreed, so it took 3 users.
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 8, 2011 at 14:28
  • 1
    @Arjan It sounds like your comment was arguing against multiple reviewers, but the fact that both cases had disagreement is support for them if anything Commented Feb 12, 2011 at 1:26
  • @Michael, no, I am not against multiple reviews; I've seen really bad approvals too, like the OP editing a question into an answer. But I don't know how easy it is for the team to find examples that really blocked editing. Of course, a database query can reveal the total time, but might not easily indicate if folks were really waiting. Hence: the above examples, just in case it helps deciding if things need changes. (As an aside: the 27 minutes example was a bug indeed.)
    – Arjan
    Commented Feb 12, 2011 at 12:50

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