This user: https://stackoverflow.com/users/750613/nik has been adding "Thanks" or "Thanks in Advance" to the bottom of a question as a suggested edit and titling the change as "improved formatting".

I rejected a suggested edit and found another rejection:

However, looking more at the user it appears like it gets accepted more than it gets rejected, here are some accepts:

My understanding is that "Thanks" should be removed not added to questions. Is there a policy change? Or are people reviewing suggested edits not paying attention?

Additionally: since most of these edits get accepted the system will not prevent the user from suggesting more. Can the user be contacted? Or should the ones that accepted the edits have this pointed out to them?

  • 8
    It's spreading: stackoverflow.com/suggested-edits/69891
    – random
    Jul 1, 2011 at 12:46
  • @Random, yes, but at least that one was rejected.
    – jzd
    Jul 1, 2011 at 13:04
  • 5
    @random - bizarre edit comment too. "Improvement in code performance"?!
    – razlebe
    Jul 1, 2011 at 13:20
  • 6
    He also used "improve grammer" when adding "Thank you in advance." I didn't know that not adding a "thank you" was not proper "grammer." It is also funny he adds "Thank you in advance," but he doesn't remove the double question mark, or the space before the question mark.
    – apaderno
    Jul 1, 2011 at 13:58
  • 2
    The worst thing about the one @kiamlaluno is referencing is that it doesn't even actually improve the code formatting! It's still a large backtick-delimited chunk that should be a proper code block! This needs to be addressed by a mod.
    – Pops
    Jul 1, 2011 at 17:27
  • 2
    Here's one by a different user: stackoverflow.com/suggested-edits/69842 (I can't take credit for finding this. It was posted in chat by Octavian Damiean.)
    – Pops
    Jul 1, 2011 at 17:29
  • Here is a third user: stackoverflow.com/suggested-edits/71583
    – jzd
    Jul 5, 2011 at 11:01

2 Answers 2


There is no policy change. "Thanks" is still clutter and does not need to be in the post.

What you have here are people being dazzled by the formatting of the code block but would rather just hit accept than improve or reject it outright and edit it properly themselves. It's like getting a kiss while being shivved in the groin with a rusty door hinge.

Given that pure code format shunting is hard/impossible for users under 2000 reputation, it's likely being used as a workaround to circumvent the six (6) character change minimum:

Thanks in advance!
123456 chicken dinner

Perhaps a single reject vote bedded with double-teamed approval would work better on Stack Overflow given the amount of lepers that go through.

  • 1
    I do think that spacing isn't counted towards the character limit so a pure code formatting change may not go through. I do agree that most of those should have been rejected though.
    – Belinda
    Jul 1, 2011 at 12:30
  • Actually, my understanding is spacing is not counted towards the limit.
    – jzd
    Jul 1, 2011 at 13:05
  • 8
    <!-- It would be better if he put the THANKS in an XML comment -->
    – user1228
    Jul 1, 2011 at 13:45
  • 2
    It took me a couple of reads to understand what you meant by "a single reject vote bedded with double-teamed approval," but I like it. It also brings up two questions in my mind. 1) Are we correct in assuming that inappropriate rejections are less of a problem than inappropriate accepts? 2) Should there be an even harsher penalty for suggesting bad edits?
    – Pops
    Jul 1, 2011 at 17:42
  • 3
    I mostly like the idea of single-reject-vote with double-teamed approval, but I've seen some really good edits get a Reject vote for no discernible reason. It'd easily work 90, 95% of the time though.
    – sarnold
    Jul 1, 2011 at 23:04
  • 1
    Maybe we should allow pure code format suggested edits to workaround the 6 char limit automagically. Sep 3, 2011 at 6:40
  • 1
    We are too robotics these century... Please, let the "thanks" prevail. It is kind, and not to be rejected because of optmizations. Now, thanks.
    – DrBeco
    Sep 7, 2011 at 14:03

random already gave a very good explanation why the user added "Thanks" to the posts – it conveniently has 6 letters. But it's still worth looking at all those suggested edits seperately because quite different things happened there. My overall conclusions in advance: We really need a "Reject and Improve" button. And: people can unknowingly approve edits; I think some measures should be taken against that.

The first suggestion was rejected, and rightly so since it appears that the formatting isn't improved. Here's my take: The question was asked at 9:25, the edit was suggested at 9:31. I guess that the OP saw some wrong formatting himself and corrected it within the grace period, and that the edit suggestion was based on the original version of the post.

The second suggestion was approved by Community. It turns out that this was Nick Craver hitting "Improve" and removing the "Thanks".

The third suggestion started out similar to the first: the edit suggestion occurred within the grace period, so it might be that the OP had already made some corrections himself. Then the suggestion was rejected by Gilles (good, since the formatting still was lousy) and approved by Community. It turns out that this was the OP, who apparently hit "edit" again before the suggested edit was submitted, and submitted his edit about a minute later. This approved the edit, without the OP knowing that it did, and overwrote the suggested edit.

The fourth suggestion was approved by two users, without the "Thanks" being removed, but at least the formatting was substantially improved there.

  • user721413 didn't hit Improve, he edited his own question. Hitting Improve is in fact the same as editing an existing revision of the question: it causes Community to approve the pending suggestion. The edit link is hidden when there's a pending suggestion, but if you reach the editor (because you hadn't refreshed the page, or by clicking on edit in the revision history, or by typing the URL), you might make Community approve a pending suggestion without even noticing. Sep 2, 2011 at 8:45
  • @Gilles: Thanks a lot for pointing that out. I should have realized it myself; now I've corrected the answer. Shall we delete our comments here? Feel free to go ahead. Sep 2, 2011 at 10:13
  • @Gilles: Congratulations on the da Vinci badge (in its strong form)! Sep 2, 2011 at 10:46

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