While reviewing suggested edits, I come across bad posts(really bad posts that are worth deletion, like the dependency issue posts) that undergo desperate, sure-to-fail attempts of improvement by users.

The edits are fine, fine in sense that they cannot be rejected for default reasons, like too minor, vandalism, radical change etc. But the posts themselves are not worth editing(not by others at least, the OP may always edit to make it more substantial)

currently, whenever I come across such edits, I skip them because I am not sure what I am expected to do. So what should I do with such edits?

EDIT: Got one example. Look at this https://askubuntu.com/review/suggested-edits/285481. enter image description here

The question is about Ubuntu 9.10, which can be closed as EOL, but the editor rather chose to edit it rather than flaging.

  • do you have an examples you can link to - like this ?
    – Wilf
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 9:42
  • Have you flagged those posts?
    – Braiam
    Commented Jun 25, 2014 at 15:32
  • @Braiam Yes I flag those posts. Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 4:13
  • @Wilf I will take some screenshots and add links next time I find such a edit. Commented Jun 26, 2014 at 4:15
  • @Wilf I have added an example. Commented Jun 29, 2014 at 7:53

3 Answers 3


My thinking on the topic is that a good edit is a good edit and should be approved.

Bad posts are bad posts and should be flagged.

  • You mean you would approve the edit and flag the post? If you do that, there is actually only a waste of effort, the +2 for edit gets lost when the post gets removed.
    – jobin
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 9:23
  • 2
    I haven't gotten +2 for an edit since I crossed 2000 so that's irrelevant. I don't know if that's by design, but I'm actually just here to try to improve the site. I think you mean if the post gets removed not when no? A small percentage of posts I've flagged have been declined for whatever reason. (Mostly unanswered installation questions). My way of thinking is that since I can't control whether a post is removed and can't predict if someone else will see my perspective I may as well do what I can to help improve even what's obviously useless IMHO.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Jun 27, 2014 at 13:47
  • Why would you prefer editing rather than flagging the question? Both are available at one click distance. Can you provide the reason? Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 6:11
  • @RegisteredUser Did I give the impression that I prefer editing to flagging? How did I do that? When someone takes the time to actually complete a good or helpful edit they deserve to have that recognized. Polishing a bad post may appear to be a waste of time, but it's actually good practice for the editor. All it takes is reading a few publications (books, magazines, newspapers) to realize there is a shortage of good editors in the world. Some people don't see the big picture or the long view and need that motivation even if it is fleeting.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 11:45
  • editing takes more efforts than flagging. As humans generally prefer simpler tasks, the majority would generally prefer flagging than editing. So, if a user goes out of his way to improve not-improvable posts(like the Ubuntu 9.10 question I mentioned) then he/she would have very strong reason to do it. In other words, by editing a poor post, one is wasting his and also the reviewers time for no gain, but by flagging one helps to improve the quality of site's contents. What I ask is even after aforementioned reasons, why would/should someone prefer editing over flagging. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 14:19
  • Surely I appreciate editors work, but why put it into something that's anyway going into darkness sooner or later. Rather one should edit important and quality posts to make them clearer to the audience. To promote "useful editing", I think such edits should be rejected. So what you have to say on your views? I would like to know some elaboration on the answer. Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 14:23
  • @RegisteredUser I elaborated in the comment above. Do you have a specific question that I can answer? I think my views are clear and concise. Some humans may "prefer simpler tasks", some prefer challenges and others prefer to do nothing. I'm not sure why any of that is relevant to the discussion at hand. Feel free to write your own answer.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 14:33
  • In simpler words, why should one waste time(own and others) in editing something that's anyway going to be deleted, rather than flagging it to make the site cleaner? Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 14:39
  • The assumption you are making is that just because you flag something it will be deleted.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 14:43
  • I never meant that, all I say is why edit garbage? do you have any explanation? Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 14:46
  • Speaking of wasting time.. If you don't like my answer downvote it to indicate disagreement. Thank you.
    – Elder Geek
    Commented Jul 10, 2014 at 14:48

Almost agree with you. However not always definitely clear what is a bad post and it looks like xenophobic hysteria alike: "Do not edit my CSS". I think that if users like edits it can be approved despite the fact their low quality.

To be said separately the Flags not always adequately reflect condition even with last custom described option. Though yes, it should be flagged, it's true.


There was a discussion over Stack Overflow about this topic. The consensus and general standing of the SO moderators is "do not polish the turds" and I agree. If the post worth deletion, why wasting everyones times? The one suggesting the edit and the two (or three) others approving/rejecting the edit. This was the most general response I found and kind of capture the essence of the problem:

As I understand it, it doesn't matter if the item being approved for an edit is an answer or not.

Yes, it does matter. People shouldn't be wasting their time and yours by suggesting minor edits to posts that should just be deleted.

emphasis mine. If the post isn't worth of improving, just flag it and move on. You don't need to waste anyones' else time.

  • 1
    But how can anyone control the people who are making the edits? there is only so much that we can do. And if you are saying that we just flag the post and move on (which I guess implies we skip the suggested edit?) than the edit will show up on someone else's queue, which would be wasting the time of yet another user.
    – Dan
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 18:50
  • @Dan you can't, but they can learn. Once you reject enough of these edits people will get a clear signal that suggesting an edit is not The Right Thing To Do™. The problem is the cohesion of the users with review privilege. The "just flag the post and move on" is a message for the users suggesting the edit, not the reviewers, through if you find a terrible post in the queue, just click the link and flag it.
    – Braiam
    Commented Jun 30, 2014 at 19:08
  • 1
    How if we could have a reject reason "rejected because post is not worth improving" or something like this. Commented Jul 1, 2014 at 3:14
  • @RegisteredUser reviewers can write custom messages in the reject reason.
    – Braiam
    Commented Jul 4, 2014 at 22:58

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