I've seen quite a few edits in the review queue recently on old posts (over a year old, some even back in 2014).

I get unsure on what is best to do. Sometimes there are paragraphs added and it makes it a little easier to read but some of the edits are a switch from "tech" to "technology" or similar.

If I approve minor edits on old questions this then adds these old questions to the main page and might push off a question by an active user.

So do we approve minor edits on old questions or not?

As examples we have:

Edit of an answer from 2015

Edit of an answer from Feb 2016

Edit of an answer from 2014

The posts read slightly better but is this enough to justify bringing them back up at the cost of more recent questions getting less attention?

(Also I'll link @Secespitus into this discussion since these are their edits. Just looked at their badges and perhaps badge hunting is driving this spree of edits.)

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    $\begingroup$ Hey there! It would have been faster if you pinged me in chat (pinging in posts doesn't work, so it was pure chance that I saw this). It's not badge hunting, as I already have the Archeologist badge for quite some time. I just like reading old questions on the site and today I was interested in artificial intelligence. So I read some of the questions and when I found things that looked like they could profit from some editing, as they were just blocks of text often with a single line-break that is not shown, I edited them. Sorry if that was bit oo eager. $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Apr 27 '17 at 11:01
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    $\begingroup$ And another small thing: the first example you posted was active ~2 hours before, as someone posted a new answer, so I only bumped a question to the front that already was on the front. (See here) $\endgroup$ – Secespitus Apr 27 '17 at 12:46
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    $\begingroup$ any useful edits are good, and seeing old question isn't bad. And there is not enough people doing the job, so if they are useful - approve, if they aren't do not approve. $\endgroup$ – MolbOrg May 7 '17 at 14:28
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    $\begingroup$ It's not just badges. If you do not have enough rep so that your edits are automatically applied, you get 2 points for suggesting edits that are accepted. $\endgroup$ – Cyn Dec 15 '18 at 20:11

There are a few factors to consider for old posts:

  • Has this question been bumped recently anyway (so it's already on the front page)? It sometimes happens to me that Community (or a new answer or edit) bumps something, causing me to see it for the first time (or the first time in a while), and I spot some things that could be improved. It's already active, so go ahead.

  • Does the post have a serious, accidental flaw, like a link that has gone stale since it was posted, or a MathJax error that produces a misleading result (but you can clearly tell what was meant)? Go ahead and fix those; maybe you're only changing a few characters but they're important characters.

  • Do the comments contain clarifications from the author (that the author didn't just edit into the post for whatever reason)? Are those comments buried under lots of other comments? Please edit those (and flag obsolete comments); lots of important information gets lost on SE under "show 17 more comments".

When editing, and especially if your edit is going to bump a post, please take a couple extra minutes to see if there's anything else you can fix while you're in there anyway. That typo or ambiguous phrasing in the first paragraph is what caught your attention, but are there other typos you can fix too? Breaking up that wall of text is good; does any punctuation or capitalization need to be corrected too? Is the title clear and informative? Are the tags right? Avoid anything that might be controversial1 and don't impose your own style on someone else2, but do make improvements. Thanks for helping to maintain the site.

1 For example, there is not yet consensus in the English-speaking world about gendered language, singular "they", gender-neutral pronouns like "zie", etc. The author gets to choose; don't override.

2 For example, don't "correct" British spellings to American ones or change consistently-used imperial units to SI.

  • $\begingroup$ Your edit of this question ironically bumped it up to the top of the Meta page, making it a perfect example of editing old questions! Not sure if that was on purpose or not, but well done either way. $\endgroup$ – Dubukay Dec 12 '18 at 18:35
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    $\begingroup$ @Dubukay it was intentional. I anticipate that some of the hats will encourage editing, so I wanted to bump this post as a gentle reminder, so I looked for a meaningful edit. $\endgroup$ – Monica Cellio Dec 12 '18 at 18:42

They give out a badge for that, so maintenance of old questions is something that’s encouraged by the platform.

There's an ongoing effort to fix images across all questions.

It's good to improve tags.

It's good to cross reference posts.

There are many ways that older posts get bumped. And if that's not enough, the Community daemon does it at random just to keep things interesting.

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    $\begingroup$ Sure so we get posts by active users knocked off the main page for many reasons. My question is whether a new post should be displaced because an old question has had a minor edit and how minor an edit should be approved? $\endgroup$ – Lio Elbammalf Apr 27 '17 at 11:44
  • $\begingroup$ "so we get posts by active users knocked off the main page for many reasons" those posts would be knocked by new posts anyway, why bother? $\endgroup$ – Renan Dec 12 '18 at 11:20

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