Just recently we had a whole bunch of minor edits of old posts. Mostly tag only edits some typo corrections. These were not bad edits as the added tag was correct but I noticed these posts were months or years old, I initially skipped them in the review queue not being sure what the policy was, then I saw there a bunch by the same user and rejected some. I now see a whole bunch of them were approved.

So what is the policy on making minor edits and specifically tag only edits on old posts?

  • Good editing enhances the appeal and usability of this site. We should not disparage certain posts just because they might be several years old, right? Many of them are certainly just as relevant now as ever. – Patriot Jun 26 at 13:08
up vote 4 down vote accepted

TL;DR: Edits on old posts are encouraged, truly minor edits should be dismissed with "no improvement whatsoever".

This is the official policy and the reason why said rejection reason exists. As for why editing old posts is technically encouraged, well, there are badges for doing it (bronze, silver).

However, if the edit actually (somewhat) improved readability and you maybe see a meta reason (eg it is unanswered) to bump it, then I'd usually be inclined to stretch the above policy a bit. An example for rejection-worthy edits would be changing things from "English (Simplified)" to "English (Traditional)" or adding a tag that won't help google-discoverability (e.g. where the tag name is literally in the post body or title).

If you find such truly rejection-worthy edits to be happening a lot from a specific user, then I suppose you can ping a mod in chat (sadly, you can't flag user profiles :( ) and we'll communicate it to the user to tone down the pointless editing a bit. Also I think if enough edits are rejected, then an automatic edit-suggestion-ban should kick in.


For further reading, also check our help center on the subject:
Why can people edit my posts? How does editing work?

  • IMO. Minor edits to bump for visibility is fine and probably currently practiced. Edits to reputation mine are weak, unless of course said reputation mining is for bounties. Side note: Do the all powerful mods have access to that reputation adjustment deamon for vote fraud? Or is that stack people? – Q-Club Apr 3 at 3:34
  • @Q-Club That’s a magic unicorn handled by SE employees. We do have (read only) access to a kind of “User Vote History” though, in case something feels fishy and we want to check on it before deciding to forward an according message to the SE team. But personally, I had little reason to look at it during the past few years. If something indeed seems fishy related to votes, it’ll end up with SE employees who’ll be digging in deeper. – e-sushi Apr 5 at 15:09

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