I made 6 edits earlier, and 3 were rejected. I can handle 1 or 2 but not 3 out of 6 rejected.

When I arrive here, I see a few questions that can be improved. Sometimes that improvement is a slight rephrasing of the title, other times its a few spelling mistakes and a tag and sometimes it's clarifying the question substantially because it needs to be done for SEO etc. Either way, I won't make an edit I would consider incorrect.

SE recently abolished the convert-to-CW-automatically-after-a-few-edits because they realised that content gets edited substantially all over the network, all of the time.

I believe it's perfectly fine to edit anything as long as the post is noticeably better once you've finished. (Even if its as little as adding line breaks to make it more readable. From one large text block.)

This rejection is clearly incorrect to me, I improved the title and the body, and added two relevant tags.

This edit is arguable but I think it was necessary, I introduced a more focused element to the title (which was implied anyway) and added more substantive questions to the body (what I believe a user may be looking for when they arrive at a question with this title).

If someone asks a question, it needs to ask (or be developed into asking) that question as thoroughly as possible; otherwise how can anyone justify marking another question with an identical title as a duplicate, if it's asking questions that the other one didn't? Then you end up with a bunch of almost duplicates and the site gets messier and messier.

The last rejected edit was controversial, merely because the question itself was controversial. I made a title change because 'Appropriate bathroom manners' to me, means many things - washing your hands; not bugging whoever is in the toilet while you're waiting to use it etc. and because 10 year old is unnecessary in this question, 'young child' might be better for SEO. I also added the most obvious tag that should have been there, and reformatted and slightly rephrased the body a little.

Could a moderator please review them again and provide me feedback on their validity please?


3 Answers 3


I've taken a look at all 6 edits.

Here are my thoughts:

The grammar changes to the title and body are borderline trivial, and many of them are subjective, and would be grammatically acceptable before the edit (I'm generally opposed to subjective edits). However, the additional tags you added, and the tag you removed, justify the edit. The fact that the OP approved it also eliminates any concerns over the subjective edits (but be aware that not everyone will respond as well).

This is fine. The only criticism I have is changing "behavior" to "behaviour". This is a regional thing; the original is the American spelling, and adding the "u" makes it more of a European spelling. They are both correct, so again, this is a subjective change, which I would discourage.

Again, some of these edits are subjective. Again, however, you're adding important tags that was missing, and some of the grammar changes were objective improvements. I would approve this edit.

I don't think the changes to the title were necessary, but I see your point about SEO, so I would be okay with it. I also agree with the tag edit. However... the reviewers who rejected you are correct: the edits at the end extend the scope of the question, and, even worse, invite recommendations for specific activities. We try to avoid requests for specific recommendations like that, as they are likely to become "list questions", where we may see a bunch of answers each providing one or two suggestions. In cases like that, the quality content winds up being distributed between many answers, invites discussion, and is generally not a good fit for our format.

I wouldn't have rejected this edit, but I would have used the "Improve" button and removed the last two sentences.

I would have approved this one. A while back, we made an effort to improve all question titles. Changing titles to more natural sounding question formats is valid. Additionally, you added tags that were also valid.

Under other circumstances, this edit would have been fine (except for adding ; that tag is specific to transitioning to using the toilet, and this question is about toilet etiquette). However, as one reviewer noted, the title was changed to its current form after specific meta discussion. Also, for future reference, you are right in the idea that specific ages are not best practice in the title; instead, we should use the appropriate age-specific tag description (in this case, "middle-schooler"). That was my mistake when I made the original edit.

  • Where did "annoyed" come from, also? Nobody is annoyed. Rejecting an edit doesn't say anyone is annoyed at you; it says that two people disagree with your choice of editing, that's all.
    – Joe
    May 5, 2014 at 22:16
  • Ah, I see. I didn't interpret that the same way.
    – Joe
    May 5, 2014 at 22:40
  • 1
    @user4877 Some people do get offended when people improve their posts via edits. To be blunt, they just need to get over it; you are right: it is bad culture, and we tell those people, when it happens, that they'll just have to live with it. But I wasn't referring to that. I was referring to "style" edits, which aren't really improving content, but rather changing it to match the editor's preferred style, rather than fixing actual grammar problems. E.g. "in the playground" vs. "on the playground" or "3.5" vs. "3 and a half".
    – user420
    May 6, 2014 at 0:02
  • @user4877 I am sorry that you felt you were wasting time with the rejected edits. In fact, I'd encourage you to redo the edits, with the caveats I mentioned above. In particular, most of the tag suggestions you made are not only helpful, but necessary.
    – user420
    May 6, 2014 at 0:03

I will address only the one's I rejected:

What should I be teaching my 18 month old

As Beofett said, the extra two lines changed the meaning of the entire question. It would be falsely inferring the intention of the question, information that can only be provided by the OP. After taking those two sentences out, I felt as if the other changes were too minor to push forward. As far at the title, I didn't really consider the change as more SEO friendly. The original title has the exact same affect.

Infant has a sore throat

Perhaps I was in err on this rejection based on what is being. I originally believed the edit was not substantive enough to make a difference. If I have wronged the system, I do apologize.

Toilet seat question: And why I rejected it

Edit rejections happen. I've been rejected a number of times on StackOverflow and I believe here too. Non-substantive edits tax the servers unnecessarily and it's also one more piece of historical data to keep track of. Edited questions also bring the question back to the top of the queue (if only briefly) which should be avoided. This is especially the case when we want to push some of those controversial questions down the page a bit to get them off of the radar.

Keep doing what you do. Everyone appreciates it! I appreciate it. Just because you were rejected doesn't mean you'll always be rejected and as far as I know, as long as you aren't making off the wall changes because you feel like getting +2 rep, then there should be no problems. Don't let it discourage you and please don't let it give you a bad taste about our community.

  • Like I've said, I (somewhat) agree with the sore throat edit being rejected, particularly seeing what it was later edited to. That's the reason for 'too minor' - if you edit something from 'bad' to 'not as bad', that is too minor. The final title is the right answer, and that is the only needed edit - it shouldn't have to go through iterations. That, of course, is subjective - and I might have approved the initial edit - but given the final result it sort of validates the rejection, for me.
    – Joe
    May 6, 2014 at 19:05

These three rejections are for different reasons, and while unless Jeremy and Chris come forward to explain their reasoning we won't know exactly why on the first two, I can make some guesses.

For the first one, the changes were fairly minor, and while I would probably consider them okay to accept, it's very possible the reviewers felt the question needed substantially more improvement. That is the primary reason for "too minor": that you should not make small changes to a post needing large changes, even if those small changes are somewhat helpful. I could understand that point of view on that question; I'm on the fence of whether it's a good enough question to even try saving or not.

For the second one, your changes didn't really add that much value to the question. I do like the format fixes, but don't love the added two lines. I might also have 'improved' the changes. Some reviewers though would tend to just 'reject' if the changes are minor enough that they don't think the other changes are sufficiently useful.

Some of the point of the review process is for you to learn the preferences of the community, so don't get too frustrated by this. See what's accepted and what's not, and try to make your changes in a way that is consistent with what is accepted. This isn't perfect, of course, as we're only human and the reviewers are a small subset of the community. But treat it like a learning process, rather than simply a waste of time.

One thing I'd add: you could've avoided the problem on the sixth edit (the Toilet one) by reviewing the edit history on the question prior to making the edit. Any time a moderator is the editor of record for a question, I would be very hesitant to reverse his or her changes. That was in my mind a pretty obvious error, and/or an indication you're not looking in the right places yet - which is fine, you'll learn in time - but that's, again, why we have edit reviews (to catch these things while you're learning).

  • @user4877 That's simply not true. The reason StackExchange works the way it does - a bunch of smaller sites rather than one huge site with tags for parenting, cooking, programming whatever - is because SE wants to foster different communities, and each community has its own slightly different ways of doing things. The bigger picture is the same, sure - but it's okay for different sites to treat things differently, such as "what is okay for a minor edit", or more importantly how we want questions to be structured.
    – Joe
    May 5, 2014 at 22:05
  • If you're not going to try to learn, that's up to you. But you can definitely learn from this. Look at Karl's edit of the title of the question in your first rejected edit. It is much better, in particular because it makes the question on-topic. Your edit did not really improve the topicality - it was still too close to asking for medical advice. Karl's title is much more clearly asking for appropriate parenting advice.
    – Joe
    May 5, 2014 at 22:14
  • Sorry, if a moderator makes a dramatic change to the title, it should be an indication to you to look at the meta site at minimum to see if there's something going on - and if not, leave it alone. They're not infallible, but they should command some respect.
    – Joe
    May 5, 2014 at 22:29

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