To what extent is it acceptable for a user to only gain reputation through minor edits? This is a question somewhat in reply to: http://meta.askubuntu.com/questions/3946/is-it-acceptable-to-make-small-edits

I noticed this user has gained almost all of his rep through small edits (capitalization of words, mostly). On the one hand that's fine; as long as he's making AskUbuntu better, who cares? But then I saw the top answer of the aforementioned question, which stated:

if you don't yet have enough reputation so your edits need to be reviewed by others, then you should avoid edits that are small and unimportant

All of his edits still have to be reviewed by others. However, he's almost on a 1000 rep after only one month. Fairly soon he'll be able to make edits without them being reviewed by others even though he hasn't really proven himself to be either knowledgeable or very trustworthy; he's only made lots of tiny edits that could arguably be done by a bot.

To be fair, his edits are apparently getting accepted so should we think "don't hate the player, hate the game", or is this a bit of an unfair way of getting lots of reputation and should we be worried about future abuse?

  • 3
    There is no need to further edit this question. Please leave as is. Further edits may be rolled back and the question locked.
    – fossfreedom Mod
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 8:52
  • 3
    @Radu: It's not proper to edit the post to remove references of ourself. That's not why we get the Edit Privilege for. If you edit out the references to yourself, then you are misusing the privilege you have unlocked. More so if the reference to you is in a negative sense. The proper way to deal with it is to comment and ask the OP of the post if doesn't mind removing the reference and link to your profile. If he edits the post to remove them - well and good; if he doesn't - just forget about the incident and carry on.
    – Aditya
    Commented May 21, 2013 at 14:11
  • @Aditya , fossfreedom: I edited because I don't think it is normal that my profile to be associated with a user that "has gained almost all of his rep through small edits". This happened not once ever, as I explained when this question was posted. Especially now. Also, I don't want that this question to be locked/closed as too localized ("a specific moment in time") because is a good question. But if you think that's fair and normal so, ok, hats off, I will "forget about the incident and carry on". Commented May 21, 2013 at 15:51

3 Answers 3


According to https://stackoverflow.com/faq#reputation, the edit reputation cap is 1000:

The other way to gain reputation is by suggesting edits to existing posts as a new registered user. Each edit will be peer reviewed, and if it is accepted, you will earn +2 reputation. You can only earn a maximum of +1000 total reputation through suggested edits, however.

And he won't be able to do unreviewed edits - that's 2K rep:

1000 Show total up and down vote counts
2000 Edit other people’s posts

So, I don't really think we should be worried. He won't be able to make unreviewed edits without asking / answering some more questions, as editing will put him ~940 below the unreviewed edit rep number.

EDIT, 7 Mar 2014: Just shy of a year later, the user in question has 31K reputation with almost 1000 answers. Sounds like a productive member of the community to me!

  • 1
    Ah, yes. I didn't know about the 1000 reputation cap. I guess this "issue" has already been thought about.
    – duxk.gh
    Commented May 4, 2013 at 20:01
  • And currently that user has 60K+ reputation, and is top 0.11% in gaining it. Scary, no?
    – Daniel
    Commented Sep 28, 2015 at 2:26

I think this question is phrased wrong. I don't think the user is trying to game the system to collect rep through making small edits. It seems like a good faith effort to improve the site. As Seth mentions in the comments above, it's up to reviewers to reject the edits and explain why such small edits can be counterproductive. That's the only way anyone will ever learn.

  • There remains only the problem of "explaining rejects": it is a two fold one: 1) as Seth wrote, how many suggesters follow up the destiny of their suggests? 2) the reject reason "too minor" is not helpful at all, we really should use the custom comment in these cases.
    – guntbert
    Commented May 4, 2013 at 20:07

I have accepted all of the edit he has made to improve Ask Ubuntu. This can change when an edit appears that is wrong, but for now, he has contributed a lot to enhancing the way we read many Q/A. For the small edits like an uppercase letter I simply reject them. For example, when the case involved just changing 1 letter. Of course if he changes 1 letter and adds some tags that correspond to the question then I tend to accept.

At the end, he is simply improving the site, although minor edits should not be done, specially little ones (1 letter).

  • 6
    Things like correct spelling, capitalisation and punctuation may seem "too minor" to some. However it does improve readability. I have made edits in the past where the only changes have been capitalisation and punctuation. I wouldn't do it for one letter but if a question or answer is littered with such errors I believe the posts are improved by the edit. Commented May 5, 2013 at 12:07
  • 3
    @WarrenHill same thinking. If I see several corrections, even if minor, I'll accept. Commented May 5, 2013 at 13:37
  • 2
    @Luis Alvarado Thank you for your considerations and for sustaining me :) In the future I will try to take into account what has been said here, to fit better and do not seem to be like an intruder Commented May 5, 2013 at 15:39
  • 1
    @radu No problem Jacques Fresco, am rooting for your cause (Yeah, your avatar STILL looks like him ^^). Commented May 5, 2013 at 15:51

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .