In the wake of my own recent editing spree, user JDługosz brought up a good point:

How about a checkmark for edits that are editorial only, not affecting the semantics of the post? That will not mark it as fresh active. Wikipedia has "minor edit".

The main concern was that when a large number of minor edits are performed, the active questions list gets flooded with questions that have no real semantic changes at all. Indicating an element is minor or editorial only should simply stop that edit from from bumping up the question in the activity list to prevent it from being flooded unnecessarily.

Personal, I think "editorial only" is more clear than "minor edit", since there could be relatively minor edits that do actually improve the question in a way that warrants bumping. Additional, these types of no-bump edits may need to be constrained to small amounts of changes (because if you're doing 300 characters (not a suggestion, just a random number) worth of editorial edits, the quality of the overall post is probably being improved enough to warrant bringing attention back to the question).

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Also, should this maybe be on SE Meta instead of WB meta? $\endgroup$ Jul 17 '15 at 14:32
  • $\begingroup$ Personally, I would hope only the author of a post would be making large edits. I'm sure I've done a few dozen characters at a time, but only on posts where the author didn't appear to have English as their primary language. $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Jul 17 '15 at 15:07
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre That'd be ideal, but I suspect there are plenty of times when a second party has edited something to add clarity the author did not provide (hopefully) without altering their meaning. Probably comes up most in question titles, but sometimes in actual posts as well. $\endgroup$ Jul 17 '15 at 15:25
  • $\begingroup$ I don't know enough about the underpinnings of the whole thing, but I suspect this would have to be implemented at the Stackexchange level and not by individual sites... $\endgroup$
    – Frostfyre
    Jul 17 '15 at 15:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Frostfyre Sometimes, fixing problematic aspects of a post, even without changing the meaning of it at all, requires making fairly substantial changes. The resulting diff view can get rather interesting... $\endgroup$
    – user
    Jul 17 '15 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ Some small edits brought me there. Was anything decided meantime? $\endgroup$
    – Legisey
    Feb 26 '19 at 19:24

The purpose of bumping a question that gets edited is so that other community members can have a look at it and make sure the edit is reasonable. This is an important community cross-check; even high-rep users sometimes make mistakes and end up making edits that outright need to be rolled back.

There might be a better way to implement this -- perhaps a separate view of the most recently edited posts, instead of bumping them all to the front page? -- but in the implementation that we have at present, I don't see such a "minor edit" option adding much value. In fact, I can easily see it being abused to mask edits that really should see some form of community review. While many -- most, actually -- edits are useful, some (often, these are caught in review and rejected) are outright detrimental or destructive.

There are two ways to approach this that both, IMO, are better than a "minor edit" option, at least in the short term:

  • Space edits apart. Don't edit dozens of posts at a time; instead, edit a few, then wait until the next day and edit another few. This prevents flooding of the front page and, assuming the number of posts to be edited is reasonable, still ensures that the edits get done in a reasonable amount of time. Pick the number of posts and the time to wait between edit sprees based on the activity level of the site; Stack Overflow can obviously sustain a higher rate of edits than Worldbuilding without flooding the front page with only edited posts.
  • Have an editing day or weekend, to fix issues agreed on by the community needs fixing. This needs a bit of coordination (which can happen through Meta and chat) but can easily make it all go quicker in the end. At least Super User has done this with tag edits where old tags needed to be replaced with new ones; proposals are made on Meta, community agreement is sought, then a time period is picked when the changes are implemented and real-time coordination is done in chat. This largely floods the front page with the edits, but it's for a limited period of time and everyone can clearly tell what's going on. The relevant Meta post can easily be featured for the time period, making it readily visible to those visiting the main site.
  • $\begingroup$ Most of these edits still wouldn't be masked at all. At <1000 rep, every edit still needs to be reviewed before it can be applied. So, at the very least, lower rep users gain little ability to mask anything. $\endgroup$ Jul 17 '15 at 17:26
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @SnoringFrog Edits to own posts don't require community review. You'd be surprised at the tactics some spammers use. $\endgroup$
    – user
    Jul 17 '15 at 17:29
  • $\begingroup$ Spacing edits apart probably works well enough most of the time. In the specific case that led to this, getting it all done at once seems to have been seen as the preferable option (activity page was flooded all at once over a short time period so that normal activity quickly began taking precedent again), but I can see that's not necessarily an hard and fast rule. Your second option makes a lot of sense though, and wasn't something I'd considered. $\endgroup$ Jul 17 '15 at 17:30
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, forgot self-edits don't need review. Aside from forcing self-described 'minor edits' to also be subject to review or just not allowing any users to perform 'minor edits' to their own post, I can see why how that'd be an issue. Maybe 'minor edit' would just have to be a higher rep privilege to mitigate that. $\endgroup$ Jul 17 '15 at 17:33
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Changing a url to normalize it or fix a dead link, changing spaces, formatting, or punctuation marks can certainly go into the review queue for approval. Maybe they should even for higher-rep users or from cleanup parties, What I suggest being "silent" is only for the "active" tab used by normal visits to see what to read. $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Jul 18 '15 at 2:20

You must log in to answer this question.

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