What's the policy guideline here? Flag the question/answer for intervention by moderators?

Examples of extremely trivial edits:

... end will add towards your total, from testing it myself...

replaced with

..., will add towards your total. I tested this,

I've noticed a lot of my answers and questions are getting extremely trivial edits (adding one word before another, or getting a synonym) by a few users and I'm starting to wonder what I can do in this situation. It's incredibly irritating to find that someone has "defaced" my answer or question by changing only a few characters, and is allowed to do so by virtue of having 2000 reputation or more.

What's our policy on this?

  • 6
    You need to provide examples.
    – Frank
    Jun 8 '16 at 22:08
  • 1
    Was that the only change or did they change something else as well?
    – Robotnik Mod
    Jun 8 '16 at 22:38
  • @Frank, for example, this user has told me off for removing the tag bastion from an overwatch question. Hes only started having a go about it after an alternate answer dispute
    – user106385
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:01
  • 5
    @Timelord64 If this is essentially a fight between you two, there's a very simple answer: stop editing each other's content. Do we honestly need to set a specific policy because two people can't get along?
    – Frank
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:03
  • @Frank, Im trying to be civil, here. Im leaving retro alone, but if I see an obvious case of wrong tag, I edit. I dont even look at the user. Look at the tags actual wiki, and tell me it should be used for a bastion overwatch question.
    – user106385
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:09
  • I haven't mentioned any names or any specific questions but I can provide examples that haven't been brought up yet.
    – childe
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:11
  • @Retrosaur Then please do so. For things like this, we need a bit more than just generalities. I don't think there's any specific policy we can make or bring to the table based on something so vague.
    – Frank
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:17
  • @Frank understood, thanks for being clear. I'll post it when I get the specific instance
    – childe
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:18
  • @Frank I've added in the specific instance where this happened.
    – childe
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:23
  • 4
    I agree, that single instance is rather trivial. But, that's only a single instance. For things like that, roll it back if you don't like it, and move on. Unless there's a solid pattern by a single user, there's really nothing here.
    – Frank
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:25
  • For what its worth, I voted you down on that answer, because I misinterpreted what you had meant to say. I added a comma in, to make your question more clear (in my opinion), and upvoted. Easy fix
    – user106385
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:27
  • 4
    While that example does seem to be a minor edit, IMO, it does make it slightly more readable, so I wouldn't say he defaced it. If you feel he is defacing it, I would suggest talking to a moderator.
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:28
  • @Dragonrage It's an edit made for the sake of making an edit. If this was a contribution from a sub2k user it would be rejected for being too minor; yet because he has the privileges afforded by having 2k rep he can do so with 0 reprocussion
    – childe
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:29
  • 1
    I'm still not entirely sure what this has to do with reputation. Even if you are not trying to target me, your specifically talking about users that do not gain reputation, and I believe you may intend to use it due to the fact that auto edit is a privileged of having 2k rep. As per the reputation wiki, "Questions about how reputation works, including reputation gains and losses. For privileges awarded/revoked through reputation gain/loss, use the privileges tag. "
    – user106385
    Jun 9 '16 at 1:25
  • 2
    Related meta post. Specifically, @StrixVaria's answer on it seems to be related in this case.
    – Niro
    Jun 9 '16 at 1:33

If you don't feel that the edit was done correctly, rollback it and put a note that you believe that the edit was done incorrectly, if that user edits again/rollbacks, just flag a mod and let them decide.

Also, trivial edits from 2k+ users probably wasn't done just to edit as they don't get +2 rep, so if they edited something, they probably have a good reason to do so. If they are mistaken about what they should edit, we should try and get them to learn what is worth editing.

  • Am a bit sleepy so my english is not at its best state atm. Please comment if you want clarification on any part.
    – ave
    Jun 8 '16 at 22:16
  • Makes sense to me :)
    – childe
    Jun 8 '16 at 23:18
  • 1
    Even if the edit is trivial, it's not worth rolling back unless it actually is negative in some way. Continually bumping a post by making trivial edits is worse than doing it once, even if it wasn't warranted in the first place. Jun 9 '16 at 13:08
  • @StrixVaria I meant that they should rollback it if the edit wasn't done correctly. I wrote that as a reply to the "defaced" part.
    – ave
    Jun 9 '16 at 13:11

Some background

When you have less than 2k rep, there is a minimum edit requirement of 6 characters. This requirement is there for a reason - either your edit would take up valuable time in the review queue, or you're farming rep.

2k+ users don't have this requirement. This is because:

  1. 2k+ edits aren't reviewed, and as such do not take up the time of the reviewers
  2. 2k+ users don't get rep from edits

And as such, they have nothing to gain from trivial edits, unlike sub-2k users.

Back to the question

What's our policy on this?

We do have a policy on this, and it's built straight into the system. There is nothing wrong with 2k+ users doing tiny edits, otherwise they wouldn't be allowed to. Of course, the standard rules still apply - no defacing posts or straying from the author's original intent.

The size of edit doesn't matter, it's the quality that does. As long as the edit improves the post in some way (even if it just improves readability), everything is fine.

As for the specific edit you mentioned, I think it was an improvement. The edit separated the answer itself from your source (i.e. you tested it yourself). When I first read it, I was a little confused, but the edit cleaned that up.

You might argue that there wasn't much of a change at all, but the edit certainly did not deface the post.

  • 2k+ editors still make progress on badges in the copy editor chain. I'm not saying that it was the motivator in this particular case, but 2k+ editors do have something to gain from making edits. Jun 9 '16 at 16:06
  • In my case, I earned the badges for that loooong ago.
    – user106385
    Jun 9 '16 at 23:08

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