The issue of editing en masse has been discussed a few times on meta, most recently on @MarkTrapp's answer on the question on Amazon Links and I think it's clear that no one likes a messy homepage. I've tried to limit myself to 3-4 substantial edits per day on older posts.

But how about new questions, let's say questions that are on the first page of the newest tab at any given time (and answers to those questions)? Are micro edits like:

  • removing "thanks",
  • capitalizing Is,
  • removing spaces before punctuation marks,
  • putting quotes in blockquotes, etc

a bad practice? I've been doing a lot of those recently, strictly on new questions, thinking that they are on the homepage already, and getting bumped at the top of it doesn't really matter. Is there any side effect I should be aware of?

Update: An example of my micro-edits, where I edited 2 minutes after the question was posted.

1 Answer 1


I don't have a problem per se in cleaning up those types of things as posts come in: you're not really changing the front page and it can give a little bit of a boost to a question that might be judged on its presentation rather than its content.

However, I've found it's almost always the case that one can find more to fix in a post than just capitalizing "I" or removing a valediction. In truth, those types of edits don't really make a post all that much better.

While it's untenable to save every single post that comes in, there are a lot of posts that—while not constructive or a real question as originally written—can be saved by someone doing a heroic edit to significantly improve its quality.

So I say always shoot for the heroic edit:

  • What about sentence flow?
  • Does the asker use broken English?
  • Does the question contain superfluous information, like the asker's life story?
  • Is the actual question presented in a clear and concise manner following the problem?
  • How about the tone of the post: is it unnecessarily ranty?
  • Although heroic edits would definitely be time better spent, by encouraging micro edits on new posts I feel we would be including all users that don't feel confident enough with their English to do larger and more substantial edits, but could easily do the smaller ones and help clean up the site. There's high potential for abuse though, do you monitor edits from users with edit privileges?
    – yannis
    Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 0:41
  • @YannisRizos Mods don't have any special ability to monitor edits: we see the same things you see. That said, we're constantly visiting the site to handle flags and new questions; between that and community flagging, there's generally 24/7 coverage for catching edit flooding/abuse.
    – user8
    Commented Nov 25, 2011 at 2:06

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