Yesterday I ran across an answer where the author uploaded an image to Stack Exchange's Imgur, but provided a link to it in their answer instead of embedding it. That's a pretty simple markdown change, so I did that.

Since I'm under 2k rep, I'm limited to making edits that meet the character limit. Accordingly, I worked around the system :) with a little markdown hack.

On other sites where I have more rep, when I see edits like this come through the suggested edit queue, I "improve edit" and remove the hack - the user is doing a useful thing and is just crippled by the system. However, in this case my edit was "reject and edit"ed, and the hack removed.

On Server Fault, then, should I avoid making this sort of edit suggestion until I have 2k rep?

Related: Any way around this: “Edits must be at least 6 characters; is there something else to improve in this post?”, which encourages the use of hacks to get around the edit character limitation.


My totally subjective opinion on this matter:

If you make a significant improvement like in your example, it's welcome. For small typo-fixes or cosmetic stuff, I personally would think the work you implicitly create for others due to the necessary review isn't worth it.

And yes, using silly hacks to overcome the systems limitation is perfectly acceptable. I've no idea how many useless words I've written to meet minimal post lengths on answers that could just as well be a single word.


I agree that this edit was fine. Further I disagree with the reviewer using "Reject and edit", as if to say you hadn't done anything useful, whereas his edit had pretty much exactly the same end result. He should have used "Improve edit" instead.


In this situation - the edit was sufficient. I do admit to sometimes asking a higher rep user to fix things like this when they bother me.

In practice, you can always find more to edit. In this case, for example "You'd need the application development options under server roles" would add to searchability (and in theory accessibility), probably meet the intent of the OP and get you past that minimum character limit.

  • Agreed. I've found the vast majority of content on SE has at least six characters worth of missing or unnecessary punctuation and/or white space, or a list could be turned into a bullets, spelling, emphasis, title cleanup, etc., etc. – Todd Wilcox Dec 15 '17 at 22:00

I only jump in since no-one else has included a subtlety I find important (if slightly orthogonal): how old is the post you're editing?

For a case like this, where it's a day old, I thought the edit was helpful, and I would've approved it; in-lining an image is a helpful thing to do. For posts that are only a few minutes old, I'm OK with even less-substantial edits: spelling fixups, removal of txtspk, it all seems good to me.

Once a post is more than a few days old, I become very much more resistant to allowing edits, and the practice of edit-farming in five-year-old posts - particularly five-year-old posts that haven't attracted any improvements in the last four years eleven months - I find deeply annoying and unhelpful. Down at this depth, I like the requirement that edits be reasonably substantive; I think it keeps the worst of the farmed fixups at bay.

  • What is "edit farming"? And what is different about the old posts that means they couldn't benefit from more clarity? I suppose if a question has a highly voted accepted answer then maybe it makes a lot less sense to edit anything, but we keep getting five+ year old questions about obsolete technology bumped to the home page with the implication that someone should try to actually answer the question after all this time and IMHO if the question could be helped by edits then those edits are valuable. – Todd Wilcox Dec 15 '17 at 22:08
  • Edit farming is the practice of low-rep users systematically making minor fixups in a large number of posts in order to reap the edit bonuses. My feeling (and it's just my feeling - this is meta, after all) is that old questions with no answers are probably bad questions (or they'd have answers by now) whose askers have long since gone (any sysadmin problem you haven't solved after five years is irrelevant). I have no desire whatsoever to see them re-appear on the front page, least of all because they've just had errors corrected that should never have been there in the first place. – MadHatter Dec 16 '17 at 7:10
  • There’s an automatic system that bumps questions to the home page if they haven’t been answered. Edits are not the primary resurrector of obselete questions. Edit farming sounds like a huge amount of work for hardly any reward. After you’ve made your eyes bleed by doing 1000 approved edits, you’ve managed to make it so edits no longer get you rep. And you have a few other privileges. Hooray. So it seems like something no one in their right mind would do. – Todd Wilcox Dec 16 '17 at 7:54
  • 2
    Oddly, I know about the community bump - and it only affects two posts an hour, which I can live with. If you think edit farming doesn't happen, I recommend doing the edit review queue assiduously for a few months. – MadHatter Dec 16 '17 at 7:56

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