We've had more than one discussion on whether the flood of edits is acceptable.

Mods have been flagged about it and it's even come up with discussion with mods from other sites, and the general consensus has been to come up with a community view on this.

So in an attempt to obtain this, let's get some views...

  • Another alternative: encourage the person to channel their OCD into something more productive, like improving the tag wikis, or any other thing – Gayot Fow Feb 28 '17 at 8:02
  • I hope you will also publish a second post listing the official position of the mods after the poll, so that we have a definite answer. – JonathanReez Feb 28 '17 at 8:53
  • @JonathanReez there's no official position; sites do it on a site by site basis as judged by the respective communities. – Mark Mayo Mar 1 '17 at 2:02
  • @MarkMayo yes, but shouldn't the mods (well, us, I guess) actually state what the community decision is in the end? :) – JonathanReez Mar 1 '17 at 7:25
  • @JonathanReez ah I see what you mean. Yep that makes sense. – Mark Mayo Mar 1 '17 at 12:43
  • I'd rather people not start a poll and add several different answers of their own. Let those who have a given position post that as their answer. – Andrew Grimm Mar 4 '17 at 6:48
  • Seeding a poll with a couple of initial answers is pretty common on SE sites in my experience. If you don't like all the initial answers, you can downvote them as you wish. – Zach Lipton Mar 4 '17 at 7:41
  • @AndrewGrimm you'll note the top answer so far wasn't added initially - people have been fine adding their own options. – Mark Mayo Mar 5 '17 at 7:31
  • Is there not some way that a proposal can be made to have a non-necro mod editing/edit accepting option? That way it doesn't matter how many edits are made on old questions, they won't magically revive years after they were asked with a few spelling / grammar fixes. The editing fixes get done, people get their badges, the front page isn't cluttered with posts from 5 years ago. Wins all round. – The Wandering Coder Mar 17 '17 at 8:36
  • @TheWanderingCoder I like it, but that'd have to be a feature that SE implements site-wide :/ – Mark Mayo Mar 18 '17 at 3:25
  • @MarkMayo That was my intention. Being somewhat active on other sites I have noticed there are times when a flood of posts come in with something in common and the only thing about the post that isn't 5+ years old is the small grammar changes to the question. Sure the question might get more exposure, but for most intents and purposes, it is just fluff that obscures more recent and relevant posts. – The Wandering Coder Mar 21 '17 at 4:34
  • @TheWanderingCoder agree fully, it might be worth posting on meta.SE and linking to your feature request so we can upvote it – Mark Mayo Mar 21 '17 at 7:40
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    @MarkMayo If you don't mind waiting until tomorrow (it is the end of the day here) I will request it tomorrow (~15-16 hours from now). – The Wandering Coder Mar 21 '17 at 8:57
  • @TheWanderingCoder sounds good, maybe post it in the Travel Chat when you do too! – Mark Mayo Mar 21 '17 at 10:27

Some mass edits are useful, but others are annoying if not actively harmful. Mass edits involving more than N edits (for some value of N to be determined) should be proposed on meta and discussed before proceeding.

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    Also, that meta discussion makes it easier to share the workload and batch the edits. I've seen them do this on other sites - they propose the edit in a meta question, make and collaboratively edit a wiki answer that is big list of all the questions/answers needing editting, then people put their names above chunks of it like "Someuser123 will do these 10 at around 16:00 GMT" (unless it's outvoted by a "Let's not do this" answer). Shares workload, reduces flooding, prevents "busses"-style yoyoing, and means the style decision is recorded and can be linked to. – user56reinstatemonica8 Mar 2 '17 at 12:23
  • That >N case would still annoy the users not knowing about the meta discussion. Whether we like or dislike mass edits should not be influenced by who sees them. – user40521 Mar 6 '17 at 19:58

Edits should be batched and just a few done at a time, so that we don't clog up the front page. Yay for editing old stuff and it's useful, but it needs to be done sparingly.

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    I'd +1 this with the cavaet "yay for editing old stuff when it's useful." Some mass edits are useful. Others decidedly not (see also the buses) – Zach Lipton Feb 28 '17 at 10:11

tl;dr: do a few quality edits, avoid shitty mass edits

I would like to bring up the argument of edit quality here. Many mass edits that I have seen and found annoying has been minor stuff on old, inactive or even closed questions.
So if you remove the tag on a question that is already tagged , edit "7" to "seven" in an answer that has been closed two years ago or you decide on your own that all three-letter tags should be reserved for airports and start going through every question about airports then I am getting an urge to punch someone in the face and leave the site.

If however one does high-quality edits, that significantly improve or contribute to a post, then I applaud you. By high-quality I mean e.g. improving and correctly tagging new questions, especially helping in re-phrasing them to avoid closure, updating old reference posts upon rule changes or adding a significant piece of information to old answers.
Personally I find myself unable to do more than 5 such high-quality edits in a row without losing concentration and a significant drop in quality of my contribution.

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    I've recently went over all the UK visa refusal questions and rewrote the titles on a few dozen generic "UK visa refused" questions. Should it have been done in batches? – JonathanReez Feb 28 '17 at 17:01
  • @JonathanReez that sounds useful, especially if those were reference posts. I imagine you would have taken plenty of time for this undertaking to come up with titles that are precise and well-distinguishable, even though it might well be faster than my 5 edits example above. So I'd say you might have stopped at 15-20 such edits just to not bury all other content but that is not what I want this answer to be about. – mts Feb 28 '17 at 17:05

Too many edits flood the front page and are a) annoying / frustrating and b) distracting. Viewing the newest questions doesn't show new answers, among other updates we like to see. Useful new edits are good, but don't update old posts!


Stack Exchange should softly hide cases where more than 3 posts have been edited. Show the first one, then the second one, then the third one, and then have a "show more" link with AJAXy expansion if they really want to see the others.

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    I think there are a number of ways in which the software could be changed to improve the situation (including actual batch-editing tools), but they pretty much all boil down to the category of "things we can ask for but won't get anytime soon if we ever see them," so we need to come up with what we want to do regardless. – Zach Lipton Mar 4 '17 at 7:38

Edit away, the more the merrier! Tags, old posts, spelling typos - we must fix them all, all the time!



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