This minor issue came up when one my posts was edited in a trivial way, and then approved.

Essentially, the edit was to change the spelling of one word. I see Batman rejected it as too trivial.

Curious, I looked at the user involved. There are a bunch of similar, recent edits, all of which are similarly lightweight.

My own personal discomfort is easily overcome - I can just roll back the edit.

So I see two issues here. The most important is that such trivial edits are being routinely approved. I have always understood that edits should make a substantial improvement to a post - in my view none of the edits in question meet that test. How can this be addressed?

The second is "rep harvesting" by the user. They have more than 2k rep on SO, and so should be reasonably responsible. I think these edits should be rolled back wholesale.

Thoughts? Am I over-reacting?

  • 1
    I have no problem with people correcting my atrocious spelling and gamma. Some of us never done good a skool still have a lot to contribute. I do however 100% agree on the trivial nature of all the edits (ones I have reviewed anyway) and the edit adds no value to the answer. Not sure about roll back though. Once made it seems wrong to undo a valid (but trivial) correction.
    – mattnz
    May 25, 2014 at 6:54
  • @mattnz Yes, it is easy to insert typos, especially using a mobile. Agree also with the "seems wrong" part. But it also seems to be abusing the edit privilege, and I am concerned about the weak approvals.
    – andy256
    May 25, 2014 at 7:11
  • 1
    I can just roll back the edit. Why would you do that? What on earth would be the point?
    – TRiG
    May 28, 2014 at 2:18
  • @TRiG Precisely.
    – andy256
    May 28, 2014 at 13:28
  • So someone fixed a spelling error, and you now want to unfix it because ...? Spite?
    – TRiG
    May 28, 2014 at 14:44
  • 1
    Oh good grief @TRiG! If that was my issue, surely I would just rolled it back already. It's a trivial edit, and to roll it back would be equally trivial. Of me. But I haven't. If it was just the one post, I wouldn't even raise it. It's about how the community operates, as I explain in the OP.
    – andy256
    May 28, 2014 at 22:24
  • related question: should I be resizing people's images? This guy gave us 3x 1.5MB 12MP photos in the queston. Not fun for people on mobile or other data-constrained links.
    – Móż
    Jun 26, 2014 at 5:48
  • I think it's worth posting as a question here on meta. Given the way my comments ramble, I cant say everything here, and others will have input.
    – andy256
    Jun 26, 2014 at 13:44

1 Answer 1



The user is clearly interested in proof-reading and is being helpful. One thing that makes the site easier to use and easier to search is when words are spelled correctly and grammar is reasonable. If someone wants to spend time working on that good on them.

Reputation harvesting this way is very tedious but for a complete newbie it's one of the few ways to get through the low-rep irritations (other than by asking questions that are just barely useful enough not to get deleted). I've seen quite a few users doing this and I'm mostly annoyed because it takes time to make sure they're not half-fixes - I have to proof-read the whole thing (to make sure that there are not other spelling/grammar problems). Where those exist, BTW, I will reject their edit and make my own. But that's rare, and usually only seen with users who search for common misspellings and fix only their search hits.

(edit) I regularly approve edits that are just spelling or wording, and I find I form a positive opinion of the users who do the edits. It's not fun work but it is useful and at times essential. Unfortunately that opinion-forming carries over to users whose material regularly needs work - I find myself biased against them because they're lazy and/or stupid. More importantly, if I can't understand an answer because it's so badly formatted or worded, what's the point it having it on the site?

And if they use their newly-minted reputation to do stupid stuff they'll get downvoted or banned and the problem will have self-corrected.

  • Thanks Mσᶎ. It's good to get a direct answer :-) Not that I didn't enjoy mattnz's comment!
    – andy256
    Jun 2, 2014 at 9:35
  • @andy256 I posted my update because I noticed something unrelated that you posted and did a weird reflex upvote and I was "like, WTF?" It took a moment to link that to your ongoing war against poor posts in my head.
    – Móż
    Jun 25, 2014 at 1:05
  • Err ... war? I don't see myself as conducting a campaign, although a couple of months ago I realized I wasn't pulling my weight review-wise, and started being more systematic about doing regular reviews here and on other sites. It's an interesting balance to achieve, especially having been on the receiving end of the edits this question was about. But re "poor posts" - I think the best way of improving the quality of our site is for our leading users to produce high quality posts, as an example of how to do it. I have a way to go in my own posts ...
    – andy256
    Jun 25, 2014 at 4:23
  • @andy256 You're right, this page says you're barely in the top 5 editors :)
    – Móż
    Jun 25, 2014 at 23:01
  • 1
    Whoa! I'm in the bottom half! Interesting, I'd not poked into that list before.
    – andy256
    Jun 25, 2014 at 23:08
  • 1
    @Mσᶎ It's nice to read this; I caught myself copyediting a few posts this evening and worried that it might give the wrong impression. I'm not trying to demean people's bad grammar, nor am I on a rep grab... it just irks me to see typos and bad phrasing. If SE is going to serve as a long-term useful repository for knowledge, it can't hurt to try and maintain a good standard of English. Jul 26, 2014 at 23:31

You must log in to answer this question.

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