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So I'm seeing a bunch of suggested edits come through the review queue where the only thing being changed is the removal of "thanks" or "TY" or "Regards".

Isn't that the definition of "too minor"?

I've been rejecting them when I've seen them, but several other users are accepting these edits.

Yes, I know we're not supposed to put such signoffs on our posts, just like we're not supposed at "Hi!" or "Greetings" or "Please help" at the beginning of our posts.

It seems to me that editing a post just to remove those things and not fix anything else at all is not productive. Especially when the person making these edits is getting reputation points for edits that don't improve very much.

  • I accepted 2 or 3 where I didn't see anything else needing to be fixed. In general though, users without edit privileges should not be making such minor edits. – Matthew Read Jan 25 '13 at 18:12
  • I was asking myself this question as well from time to time -- also with some "minor spelling fixes". Most times I accepted them, though, as they made the entire post looking much cleaner. The rep received is minor as well, and sometimes it is hard to tell... Of course I'll adjust my behaviour to the consense ;) Currently I'm going with Flow's method/answer. – Izzy Jan 25 '13 at 18:40
  • Perfect example this morning, 3 edits in the approval queue, all three just remove the person's and leave "Thanks" (where it previously said "Thanks, name") - apart from being totally minor it actually makes them worse! android.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/12941 android.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/12939 android.stackexchange.com/review/suggested-edits/12940 – GAThrawn Jan 31 '13 at 11:23
  • Even worse, those posts were from 2010. – ale Jan 31 '13 at 13:30
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The thing with "too minor" edits is a good point.

AFAIK the background of this restriction is to prevent <2000 rep users from gaming the system by making a lot of small and easy edits that don't completely fix a post.

Edits should fix all issues of a post. Not just the minor ones. But if there were only minor ones that needed to be fixed and got fixed with the suggested edit then I tend to approve the edit.

  • I wouldn't say it's gaming the system, as the gain of 2pts / edit is too small to be of real value. To get points, answering questions is much easier and rewarding in fact. When I see a minor edit of a user that just started to contribute, I accept it in a manner of I value your work, thanks. Maybe come back and do more next time, i.e. improving minor edits. Especially for new editors it's not a good experience to get the very 1st edit rejected. It's not that this site is overwhelmed with editors, so let them do it even if it's just small improvements. – ce4 Jan 25 '13 at 20:25
  • If there's a regular user like what's the case recently, I think it's appropriate to reject one or another with a "please fix the other things as well". I also tend to reject edits for questions that will be closed or for answers that very probably will be deleted. – ce4 Jan 25 '13 at 20:28
  • IMHO the best reason why one would reject an edit is to tell the users that he/she should fix every aspect (as good as possible) of the post. – Flow Jan 26 '13 at 0:02
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It seems minor, but not too minor, in my opinion. If a post has a spelling error, that is too minor. But if there are a lot of spelling errors, editing to fix them makes the question much more readable.

People are bound to make spelling errors, but they are accidental. However, using greetings or saying "thank you" is deliberate (though generally second nature due to habit). Both are undesired, but since the second is a habit, the edits subtly encourage the user to break the habit for their subsequent questions.

Also, it seems rather redundant to specifically ask for help on a question. I'm all for making questions concise and removing unnecessary chatter.

Edit: The blog post here by Stack Exchange seems to address this indirectly and appears to agree with my reasoning. :-)

If you tell someone you don’t allow chit-chat, but you fail to give them the reason, the first time they have their “thank you!” deleted as noise, they’re less likely to think about our “answer findability optimization” than our “tendency toward pedantic, manners-hating fascism”.

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Minor edits should come with added value, like rephrasing the sentences or titles so that they are clearer or easier to understand, adding formatting, or editing the tags where applicable.

Minor wrong spellings are where we need to think twice on editing. Sometimes, they are forgivable, sometimes not. But removing "thanks" and "regards" alone is TOO minor.

As for gaming the system, I agree with the others. These points are too small to be an issue. If this was the motivation alone, then it's not worth the effort. Better things can be done with people's time. So, we should appreciate these types of users who are active in keeping the community clean. [You would want this kind off community in Foursquare]

Although we have enough moderators and high-rep members who can do these tasks better, these types of users are better off working on more important moderating tasks.

At the end, though, we should strive to make things easier to read / understand.

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