It happens that a user asks a question that is not a good fit for Parenting.SE. Reasons can be that it contains multiple distinct questions or none at all, for example. I will only concentrate on theoretically salvageable questions.
In these cases, the question is put on hold. The OP is expected to edit it until it's a good fit. After the edit, the question enters the reopen queue. Now, the OP has realistic chances to get their question reopened.
But this process is not that easy. The mechanism is explained in this post. The decisive part is:
- Only the first edit to a question put on hold pushes it into the reopen queue.
And now we come to the core of this post. I noticed several times that users other than the OP edited questions put on hold to correct minor mistakes (spelling, grammar). They were not enough to reopen the question. Yet, the question entered the reopen queue in this state. No further (substantial) edit will push it into the queue again.
Such edits are therefore not helpful to the OP, at all. Quite on the contrary, they are detrimental to their case. From then on, they will have a harder time getting their question reopened. But this cannot be our goal, if our goal is to help people.
When notifying a user who had done just that of the effects their actions had on the OP, their answer was somewhat discouraging (from a now deleted comment):
In the meantime, the rest of us will continue editing poor grammar where we see it. If [OP's name] comes back in a week or a year, it can still be reopened via flag, request, &c.
I don't have anything against edits to improve posts, even if it's just grammar or diction fixes. But to me it seems that giving an OP the chance to edit their question into shape takes precendence over edits that are not substantial, at least while their question is less than a few days old.
That's why I want to start a discussion on how to handle them. Two cases seem important:
- User has enough reputation to directly edit a question.
- User can only suggest edits.
In the first case, users need to be aware of the consequences of their deeds. If they decide to go on with it, there's probably not much we can do.
In the second case, the edits need to be approved. This leads to the question of how to deal with suggested first edits to a question that are not substantial?
It's rare but possible that an edit not done by the OP is substantial enough to make the question fit for reopening. A realistic scenario is when the OP clarifies the issues in comments only, and a user edits the question according to the information gathered therein. But such edits are easily distinguishable from those where only i is changed to I and some commata are added.