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Should edits that only remove a "Hi" or "thanks" be rejected as too minor?

The Edit Q&A says, "Try to make the post substantively better when you edit, not just change a single character. Tiny, trivial edits are discouraged." That doesn't directly answer my question, but IMO just removing a greeting or closing doesn't make the post substantively better. So if that's all an edit does, I usually reject it.

In Edit powers activate! Removing Hi/Thanks the consensus seems to be, yes, go ahead and edit to remove greetings and closings. But that's not the same as asking me, as a reviewer, to approve those edits. So how much discretion should I have to reject them anyway?

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Unlike forums, on Stack Exchange, all edits bring the Q&A back to the top of the front page.

Therefore it's encouraged to make your edits count. If the post has multiple issues that can be addressed, then it's a good idea to address them all at once.

If you are reviewing a suggested edit where the only thing that has been done is to remove "hi" or "thanks", consider clicking Improve and making further edits to improve the post in other ways, if possible.

If there really is nothing else that can be done to improve the post, then you can reject it as too minor if you wish.

My general rule of thumb for these is that I'll approve it if the post is relatively recent, and probably reject it if the post is very old, since bringing it back to the front page for only a minor edit is wasteful.

  • That's good to know; I've always used the age as the major disriminator for all kinds of small edit. If it's a new posting, any fixup is welcome; but if it's been around for four years, why grant it a trip back to the top of the front page just for something minor? – MadHatter supports Monica Sep 11 '14 at 7:34
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You have review powers and you're free to use them as you see fit. With edits, that's basically half a decision, since those require two approvals or rejections for the action to occur.

In this case, the major effect is that an edit will "bump" the thread to the top of list of recently active posts. If you think that the improvement warrants that occurring, approve it. If not, don't. For whatever it's worth, generally I'll err on the side of approving the occasional minor edit, because it doesn't do any harm, but it does improve the site.

For that matter, I'll often approve (or make) minor edits to old crap precisely because it does cause them to move to the top of the active list... allowing more people to see and take appropriate action on old junk (like voting to close it).

But again, it's up to you. Your discretion as a reviewer is extremely broad, and that's the way the system was intended.

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    I'm curious about the way most people reach the site. Before participating more actively, I would reach it through Google. I wonder if bumping questions to the top of the front page is really something to worry about (i.e. if people really check the frontpage for new stuff). – Giovanni Tirloni Sep 11 '14 at 12:53
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    @gtirloni Well, it is is an inconvenience for the regualr members we do have, who tend to participate primarily by looking through the front page for posts of interest. Don't want to hit them with a flood of old posts that just had the salutation removed. – HopelessN00b Sep 11 '14 at 17:11
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There have been some changes to the official policy on minor edits.

I haven't been following meta.SE as much since it was split from meta.SO, but I know there's been discussion recently about what to do with minor edits and they actually removed "Too minor" as a review option on SO:

What should be used in place of "Too Minor?"

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