I'm on a bit of an "edit rampage" on AskUbuntu.

According to https://askubuntu.com/review/suggested-edits/1183929 ...

Two users rejected my edit and cited:

The edit does not improve the quality of the post. Changes to the content are unnecessary or make the post more confusing.

My comment with my suggested edit was:

Improved English, removed irrelevant text, added some formatting

My opinion (of course) is that my ~15 changes to the question text absolutely did improve the readability and clarity of the post. I take the editing of other users' content very seriously and I aim to only do non-trivial and comprehensive edits.

May I receive more specific feedback about why my suggested edit was rejected? How bad could my suggested edit have been to not merit the "Improve Edit" option? Were these bad reviews?

  • 1
    I agreed with Paul because: (1) the item was almost 8 years old (2) it's talking about a long out of support version of Ubuntu (3) the question lacked the detail needed to help others, which is why (4) the post has been seen by 327 people in its lifetime (5) the solution was a "nuke and pave", which doesn't really help others. Simply tweaking the words and display format of some Terminal commands was not going to improve that post, and anyone who has a similar problem would be able to read through the verb-tense, capitalisation, and contextual gaps in the question 😕
    – matigo
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 6:46
  • 10
    Please cite the Stack Exchange page stating that the age of a post is a factor in the assessment of a suggested edit. Do you know about the archaeologist badge? If the content itself is "long out of support" and the content should not exist on AskUbuntu, did you vote to close as a pathway to removal? If the question lacked detail, did you vote to close? As a researcher, I find solace in advice telling me to "nuke and pave" so that I don't try in vain to fix the unfixable. Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 6:59
  • 7
    @matigo regarding your last point, my feeling is that people whose English is excellent will generally be able to understand poorly written posts, but that learners are more likely to find them confusing and machine translations are more likely to mangle them.
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 7:01
  • 8
    @matigo 1) post age is irrelevant, we are building a collection of knowledge for the ages here; 2) again, irrelevant: the post is here so fixing such glaring errors is a good thing; 3) again, not relevant to whether it is worth fixing: it's here, so it should be as clear as we can make it. 4) and 5) again, not in any way relevant: the value of the post has no bearing on the value of editing it. We want to have clear, well written posts and this edit fixed various issues. Please only reject edits because the edit is bad and not because you feel the post is bad.
    – terdon
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 12:55
  • 4
    I've never rejected any of your suggested edits. I've reviewed a lot of them and they're all good. If I have to research something to confirm a suggested edit I research it. If a suggested edit has a problem I click the "Improve edit" option to approve the edit and improve it.
    – karel
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 5:02
  • 1
    @karel Thank you. Please feel free to target my suggest edits and review them. I want to do more but I cannot be cause I have hit my pending limit. Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 5:24
  • 3
    @matigo I hope there are no hard feelings. This was just another opportunity for us all to grow and share knowledge (there will be readers of this meta page that certainly learned something valuable). I hope that you will not stop reviewing. With this new feedback coupled with your subject matter expertise and experience in this community, you will be an even more valuable contributor now. Let's keep kicking goals. Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 5:26
  • 5
    @mickmackusa I don’t harbour hard feelings when people disagree, as there’s little value in it. Debate and disagreement are invaluable to forward progression 😬
    – matigo
    Commented Nov 18, 2021 at 6:19
  • There is a full edit queue problem which is completely unaddressed by the guidelines. My way of dealing with it is to also prioritize, and when I see edits on questions that should just be left out of the edit queue, I disapprove. At the same time your suggestions come through, there are suggestions for horribly formatted terribly worded brand new questions that should be prioritized higher in the queue. If your goal is to clean up the old stuff, work hard to earn 2000 points and then you can edit to your heart's content and be freed of the chains of the queue.
    – Paul
    Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 3:39
  • 5
    I don't see myself reaching the 2000 rep threshold for a number of years. I don't have any Ubuntu questions and if I did, they'd probably be duplicates in this mature community. I am not an SME, so any answers that I might possibly provide will either be suboptimal or potentially incorrect. Ergo, my only path to 2000 rep is to suggest more edits. I should not be punished as a contributor, nor should my suggestions be deprioritized because of my rep level or the age of a post. @Paul I'll welcome you to post your earlier comment as an answer since you were one of the rejectors. Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 4:05
  • 6
    @Paul I got a few people in the Tavern to confirm that there are only 14 suggested edits in the queue. I don't think this community is overwhelmed by a full queue; it looks like there is a deficit in edit reviewers in this community. Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


The edit suggestion obviously improved the post and should have been approved. I approved it and made some further changes. I also edited the answer slightly.

My take: it is always worthwhile to improve an old post that is not going to be deleted. The age of a post has no bearing on whether it should be edited or not.

The tour says:

we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about Ubuntu.

So let's try to make each post as clear as possible.

As a reviewer, if you come across a post that you feel should be deleted in the Suggested Edits queue, you can certainly take steps towards deleting the post (such as downvoting, flagging or voting to close or delete). In such cases you may wish to reject the edit suggestion, but I think it is often better to approve a good edit suggestion so that other reviewers can take a decision on whether to delete the better version of the post (we shouldn't delete a useful post because of its spelling errors or lack of paragraphs).

  • 3
    Hmm, I didn't know that the mod tools allowed us to overrule and reward the +2 on rejected edits. This sort of occurrence isn't very common in my little beta site. Cheers. Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 7:28
  • 7
    @mickmackusa yes, very handy! We can also reject an approved edit
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Nov 16, 2021 at 7:34
  • 1
    I don't mean to be a grub, but I am about to post a question on MSE regarding increasing the limit on pending suggested edits and I reviewed my edit history to see my approval rating. What do you think of these edit rejections? askubuntu.com/review/suggested-edits/1032143 (pulling a disposable comment permanently into the question should be favored) and I feel like Approve or Improve Edit would have been fair here: askubuntu.com/review/suggested-edits/1032266 Anyhow, I am going to ask for 5 pending edits to be increased because I am left waiting to contribute. Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 11:56
  • 2
    @mickmackusa Yeah obviously I don't think those should have been rejected as I ended up "improving" them (presumably when they were resubmitted? I was not a mod then...) We asked about increasing the limit a while ago but the verdict (which I didn't really agree with) was that it wasn't needed, so thanks for bringing it up again
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Nov 20, 2021 at 13:34
  • 2
    Well, I got a few people in the Tavern to confirm that the Suggested Edit queue is only at 14 -- 5 which are mine. I don't think I am flooding the queue with my edits. It seems there is a low amount of reviewer participation in this queue. Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 8:35
  • 1
    This is something akin to driving on an urban freeway at 02:45 and proclaiming the roads can easily handle all the traffic at all times on all days.
    – Paul
    Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 17:16
  • 3
    yeah sorry @mickmackusa we are really not having enough reviewers of late. I have been trying to review suggested edits when I have time but recently I haven't had energy either (I'm pregnant), and we get quite a few flags on this site that I feel I should handle first. I remember when users with edit review privilege used to get a little indicator in the top bar of how many were pending. That really moved the queue! The number rarely went above 10. I guess I can't blame everything on the top bar though.
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 17:19
  • 1
    Though I personally clear all of the review queues on my beta (because we typically have zero reported flags and minimal activity), I certainly don't expect you to do the same in this mature community. Commented Nov 25, 2021 at 17:24
  • @Zanna: Bit late, but congratulations?
    – Vikki
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 2:19
  • @Vikki thanks! what for? haha :)
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 3:49
  • @Zanna: "but recently I haven't had energy either (I'm pregnant)" [apologies if wrong reaction]
    – Vikki
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 3:50
  • 1
    @Vikki oh haha sorry I should have re-read the discussion more carefully! Thanks, yes it's the right reaction, got pregnant deliberately and very happy about it etc haha <3 thank you
    – Zanna Mod
    Commented Mar 22, 2022 at 4:45

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