In the last few months I encountered many edits in the review queue where low quality/insignificant/too localized posts (e.g. this) were edited by low-rep users. Quite frequently these posts are likely to be closed, but reviewers don't take that into account and approve of minor edits, bumping up thus the low quality post in the main page.

Since this is a community-driven site where editing is ecouraged, thus I ask wehether we have any policy on when to accept/reject minor edits of low quality posts appearing in the review queue. Should we stay permissive or should we be more strict on this? Relevant points:

  • edited and approved questions bump up in the list (this is mostly unwanted, see here);
  • low quality posts should either be closed (and not edited) or edited to increase their quality (simple formatting is not enough);
  • I understand that some low-rep users think of editing as a source of reputation (one user come to my mind, but I don't want to point around);
  • many times my "elaborate" answer why I'm rejecting a minor/useless edit is wasted as in the meantime others being more quick have already approved of it (this is of course subjective, but I feel like I am trying to do a bit of explaining while others simply hit on Approve). This pushes me to the direction to skip these reviews, which goes against my intention;

I'm not asking about minor edits (we have some rules on that) but about approving such minor edits.

  • 4
    An observation: Many times I format the code just to try to understand a "low quality" question (perhaps I only indent it and obliterate those dreaded [CurlyCapitalUpsilon] things) Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 14:18
  • I think the review queue is not too flooded, as I was able to guess what question this was about. I saw one suggested edit to that question and I didn't accept or reject. I felt accepting would be pretty harmless, but I felt that maybe that would encourage more such edits and I did not know if I should. Actually I feel I don't have a clear picture of pros and cons on minor edits in general. If a question is already "active", what harm is there? If I don't accept/reject, somebody else will have to, so that is not ideal. So I am glad you asked this question. Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 14:32
  • I also feel a minor edit may help an OP in learning how to format nicely, but I guess it can also make him more lazy. Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 14:33
  • Before anybody suggests this I have just read linked Q&A on minor edits. That one helped me quite a bit. Commented Jan 21, 2014 at 14:50
  • Also related: Review queue vs. direct edit. Commented Feb 12, 2014 at 14:41
  • @Jacob Note that while usually I have the same dilemma due to lack of a "clear picture", many times the case was much simpler as there were already close votes cast on the Q that was editid by someone (either missing or ignoring the votes). Commented Mar 3, 2014 at 8:15

1 Answer 1


Try to avoid approving - or making - edits that don't make a bad post significantly better. Maybe not perfect mind you, there's always something that can be improved if you look hard enough... But enough of an improvement that someone who dismissed the post the first time they saw it might be convinced to take another look.

If you (the editor) can't do that, then you're wasting the time of everyone who must now subject themselves to the same lousy post twice.

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