I'm confused about several aspects of editing, specifically editing questions.

I often see editors such as the speedy Jamal and others making relatively minor edits (such as changing "i" to "I"). However the help center seems to advise against such edits and even the system will block them.

Several of my minor edits were rejected which made me wonder: is making edits of this kind something that's only allowed to be done by high-rep users?

The other issue is people seemingly ignoring edits and then making the same edit themselves. As I can not yet review edits I was wondering if there is no indication that an edit is pending when someone tries to edit a question? I don't see a reason for why people would discard an edit only to make the same edit themselves.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Long story short: as long as you don't have instant-edit privileges you got to play by the rules as stated in the help. Afterwards it gets a little different, feel free to bug us in chat once you get there. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mast Mod
    Commented Mar 24, 2018 at 17:39

2 Answers 2


The edit with approval system requires three people to participate. There was a decision made in the beginning that three people should not get bogged down in small edits that could be easily performed by one person. I.e. it is easier for one person to change "i" to "I" than for two people to review the same change.

Here is an example of one of your edits that was rejected. As best I can tell, what happened is that before the edit suggestion was submitted, someone else started an edit. Since that person had sufficient reputation to make an edit without review, that edit took place immediately and bounced your edit out of the queue.

If your edit suggestion had already been submitted, then when the second person clicked the edit link, it would have gone to the review of your edit. So that person would have either had to improve or reject the edit to make an edit. I suppose it is possible that the second person used some kind of edit method that bypassed that (e.g. starting with the tag edit). That could explain an edit rejection like this one where the time is very different. Or even this where the time is closer. But this one just seems to have been unlucky timing.

Figuring out exactly what happened is complicated by the practice of edit merging. If someone uses "Edit Tags" to make an edit and then uses the regular facility to edit the post, the system merges the two edits into one.

Another example: you added indent to the first line of the code block, which didn't need it. That's a common error. If someone starts a code block and then pastes the code block, it only adds indent to the first line (the recommended workflow is to paste the code, select it, and then put the whole thing in a code block at once). So it is common to have to add indent to every line but the first.

The last part of this edit was just wrong. You should not prettify people's code for them by editing one line into multiple lines. If it's an issue, post an answer explaining why. Personally, I disagree with the indent change as well, but that's more controversial.

This edit was incorrect, as discussed in the comments.


Just to throw this out there for everyone: I'm actually not the most persistent SE editor ever, though I am on CR. ;)

Anyway, you're right that the system does place priority on those with editing privileges and will allow most of those edits through. It means that the system "trusts" them to know what they're doing most of the time, even though that may not be necessarily true for everyone.

Over time, you will get used to knowing which suggestions are okay and which are not, which is also based on the individual site. While we may have no problems with most minor edits, some sites may not like them at all. Even minor ones that are okay here may not be welcome on very old questions, and even I don't do this very often even if I can.

I think your last point was addressed already, but I'll still mention that I haven't seen anyone on this site do this with minor edits they come across. That may really be more common on SO and probably others. If you do see a rejection, make sure to check if it's a single one done by Community. That would indicate that someone just beat you to it, and it's one type of rejection that doesn't count against you in regards to suggested edit blocking. You certainly can't be blamed for that since no reviewers made a judgement on it.

  • \$\begingroup\$ are you sure that isn't your Pen-Name? JK \$\endgroup\$
    – Malachi Mod
    Commented Mar 26, 2018 at 16:40

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