Over the past few days a user has been mass-editing this tag () onto the Nolan trilogy films. 33+ edits have been made in the past 48 hours with no sign of abating. Thus far the volume of changes made has provoked at least two users (that I've seen) into refusing their edits.

When I flagged the latest round of changes, the third set of >5 over the past day for Moderator attention, I was told that ...

The user checked with a moderator in chat first, has been made aware of the '5 per top 15' guideline, and has been sticking to it.


Given the dubious value of these changes (and the lack of community interest in recent tag-cleanup efforts) how many tag edits should we tolerate each day without the user seeking meta consensus?

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Massive Retagging/Editing? – Rand al'Thor Mod Jun 21 '16 at 19:33
  • @Randal'Thor - I thought so, but then I had my flag refused despite the linked question clearly stating that a user making that many edits should seek meta concensus first. – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 19:35
  • 1
    I also think that we should actually set a hard limit, rather than the fluffy result of the last time we asked a similar question. Note that this q is about a single user on a mission rather than a group effort. – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 19:37
  • 2
    5 post at a time in frontpage from single user seems more reasonable then 5 post per whole day. – Victor Salazar Jun 21 '16 at 20:21
  • @AnkitSharma - So no upper limit as long as the front-page keep rotating? – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 20:31
  • 1
    @Valorum yes. I don't think front-page rotate more then 3-4 times – Victor Salazar Jun 21 '16 at 20:32
  • How many retags should you do before asking a moderator? Key words: "that doesn't require discussion..." – Mazura Jun 21 '16 at 20:35
  • @Mazura - Adding 33+ tags in two days is not routine. It's rather unusual. – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 20:38
  • Flippant answer: NONE. Do nothing that doesn't adhere to meta consensus. (is that the sound byte you're after?) – Mazura Jun 21 '16 at 20:38
  • 2
    As far as retagging correctly is concerned, I certainly thought that the correctness (disregarding the timing, as we're currently discussing) was without question here. It seemed like the nolan-batman-trilogy tag was intended for all the questions on Nolan's Batman films. If that impressions was wrong, though, then you might want to propose removing the tag instead (or help clarifying in which way it should be used then). (I certainly didn't do it to "please" anyone either, other than the structural consistency of the site.) – TARS Jun 21 '16 at 20:46
  • 1
    @Mazura The fact of this user being a moderator on some totally unrelated site shouldn't have any bearing on the matter. On this site he is only a low-rep user to be treated like any other low-rep user, too. Neither have site-external moderators any kind of job or obligation on this site. – TARS Jun 21 '16 at 23:44
  • 1
    @Mazura - The question was prompted by his actions, but not motivated by his identity. – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 23:44
  • 1
    @Valorum That wasn't exactly the plan, but whatever. And yes, there's a few additional ones, the ones that have the trilogy tag but no individual movies tags, not all of which need individual movie tags, but some do. – TARS Jun 22 '16 at 0:20
  • 2
    "Another FR: tag edits don't bump. " don't hold your breath. – phantom42 Jun 22 '16 at 2:18

The guideline agreed to in the past within Mos Eisley, with approval from mods (at the time) was 5 of the top 15 posts on the most recent filter of the front page.

Most weekdays, this rule worked just fine, pushing the edits out of the top 15 reasonably quickly with regular site activity and allowed larger retagging efforts to finish within a reasonable amount of time. Weekends or late nights tended to slow this down.

I see no particular reason to change the past guideline now.

Note: there was a previous meta precedent established with 11 upvotes, 0 downvotes. The numbers were a bit different than what we usually went with, having been a little higher in tolerance at 4/10 instead of the more commonly used 5/15 guideline.

  • 1
    My concern is that this gives free reign for a truly committed "retagger" to own 33% of the site's real-estate without breaching any of the actual rules. – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 22:20
  • 1
    @Valorum At the end of the day, there has to be a certain amount of 'reasonability' expected. 5 of the top 15 is a reasonable upper bound; 5 on the entire front page, or 5 per day, might be too restrictive in some cases; but anyone who takes the "5 of the top 15" rule too literally or goes as far as to 'own' 33% of the front page would be likely to get a gentle reminder (e.g. in chat) to take it easy for a while. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jun 21 '16 at 22:29
  • @Randal'Thor - Well this was prompted by someone dumping 33 edits in less than 2 days with no sign of stopping. Evidently there was no attempt by a mod to give them anything other than explicit encouragement. – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 22:31
  • 1
    @Valorum Were there ever significantly more than 5 of those edits on the front page (since avoiding messing up the front page seems to be your main concern here)? The user in question seemed to accept yesterday that he was doing too many edits, and since his edits today were quite a while after his last batch, I didn't see a big issue with it at the time. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jun 21 '16 at 22:35
  • @Randal'Thor - Dunno. There were sufficient of them for several users to block their edits. The following day, there were enough of them to prompt me raising a flag. When I asked the question, approximately 10-15 of them were on the front page. – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 22:37
  • 33% is high. 33% of the top 15, but unless the tagger is sitting there tagging new ones as old ones fall off, it's very unlikely to eat up 33% of the entire front page which has something like 40 posts site activity should naturally keep this down. – phantom42 Jun 21 '16 at 23:06
  • 2
    Where does the 5-per-15 rule come from? "Some mods mentioned it in chat" doesn't make it a policy. There is this answer from Rand, but he doesn't say where that idea came from. @Randal'Thor ? – Molag Bal Jun 21 '16 at 23:26
  • @amaranth The earliest reference I can find is some chat posts from Kevin and Richard/Valorum (when he was a mod) to Null (before he was a mod), which I linked in a comment on the question here. Unless Kevin tells me otherwise, I'm assuming the '5 per 15' rule was laid down by mods in chat and not explicitly brought to meta until relatively recently. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jun 21 '16 at 23:50
  • @Randal'Thor - I was told (back when I was a mod) that it was the agreed policy. At the time, batch-editing of tags wasn't really much of an issue so I never looked into it further. – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 23:51
  • 1
    @Randal'Thor So it has no meta precedent, and Richard's/Gilles' 5-per-24-hours rule should be the default if no answers get upvoted, since it was in an old meta post. – Molag Bal Jun 21 '16 at 23:51
  • 1
    @amaranth I don't recall if it was kevin or keen, but years ago when we started seeing some tag floods, at least one of them mentioned it in chat. i don't know if the magic number was something they came up with in the super secret mod room or what, but it's what we've used for years, and we've never really had any flood problems besides the times someone went a little nuts before someone stepped in to tell them to dial it back. – phantom42 Jun 22 '16 at 2:09
  • 1
    there has been no meta precedent, so this question is a good one, if only to codify the rule. i just think the guideline that's been in use is good enough to keep with. – phantom42 Jun 22 '16 at 2:10
  • 1
    aaaannd actually, there is meta precedent., but the numbers were different: "It's fine to bump questions with properly substantive edits, just try to rate-limit yourself so no more than ~4 posts of the top 10 on the front page are the result your edits. -kevin" – phantom42 Jun 22 '16 at 2:21
  • "just try to rate-limit yourself" is precisely what the OP is not looking for in a meta consensus, if I'm not mistaken. @Valorum ? – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 4:47
  • how else do you expect to enforce the rate limit beyond telling users not to exceed it? mods can take action afterwards, but there's nothing that can be done (besides warnings/suspensions) if they've already flooded the front page. – phantom42 Jun 22 '16 at 4:59

There is no arbitrary number of edits we as a community can set. Any such arbitration would violate the spirit of the site's design. Editing is the heartbeat of Stack Exchange.

Why can people edit my posts? How does editing work?

All contributions are licensed under Creative Commons, and this site is collaboratively edited, like Wikipedia. If you see something that needs improvement, click edit!

Editing is important for keeping questions and answers clear, relevant, and up-to-date. If you are not comfortable with the idea of your contributions being collaboratively edited by other trusted users, this may not be the site for you.

When should I edit posts?

Any time you see a post that needs improvement and are inclined to suggest an edit, you are welcome to do so. The original author of a question or answer may always edit their own post, regardless of reputation level.

Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it. Common reasons for edits include:

  • To fix grammar and spelling mistakes
  • To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
  • To include additional information only found in comments, so all of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place
  • To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
  • To add related resources or hyperlinks

What happens when I edit a post?

The post will be updated to show the latest editor, as well as the original author. All edits are saved and tracked in a public revision history with attribution to each editor.

The revision history can be viewed by clicking the date and time next to the edited post (e.g., "edited 3 days ago").

Editing a post also bumps the question to the top of the homepage.

Who makes sure that proposed edits are good?

Any user can propose edits, but not all edits are publicly visible immediately. If a user has less than 2,000 reputation, the suggested edit is placed in a review queue. Two (three on Stack Overflow) accept or reject votes are required to remove the suggested edit from the queue and either apply the edit to the post or discard it. Users with more than 2,000 reputation are considered trusted community members and can edit posts without going through the review process.

What happens if someone suggests a bad edit?

If a user without edit privileges proposes an edit that does not comply with the guidelines above, it is ordinarily rejected in the review process. Even if a bad edit is applied to a post, other users will generally fix it. Users with sufficient reputation may elect to roll back the post to a previous version (by viewing the revision history of the post and selecting the version they would like to display).

Additionally, any user who submits many rejected edits will be banned from suggesting further edits for 7 days.

  • 1
    "If you see something that needs improvement, click edit!" sounds fine, but in this instance, the OP is hunting for things to improve. – Valorum Jun 22 '16 at 20:38
  • @Valorum - Motivated by a want to do good, not to troll for +2s. What's so bad about actively searching for things you can improve? Is it that, if someone made re-tagging their mission in life, the front page would be edits for the foreseeable future, and is thus a lost cause? – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 20:48
  • 2
    The problem is that minor edits (which are of dubious benefit) cause new questions to disappear from the front page (something which is of clear benefit, especially to new users). – Valorum Jun 22 '16 at 20:49
  • 1
    The question is whether persistent retagging (e.g. low value edits) are worth mucking up the front page. - If you think they're dubious and harm site health, you should be doing review queues. (that is the mechanism in place with which we have to deal with this, ourselves) – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 20:55
  • My concern is that this gives free reign for a truly committed "retagger" to own 33% of the site's real-estate without breaching any of the actual rules. –@Valorum - Then your problem is with the actual rules. Shouldn't this have been tagged FAQ, and written as such? Or is this post to seek a consensus from which we will make policy, in an FAQ ? – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 21:50
  • 3
    To the best of my knowledge, the "policy" that has been described has never actually been subject to community consensus. It's just been formed through a loose collection of chat posts and interpretations of a couple of related (but conflicting) metas. We've certainly got a majority opinion in the linked posts that these edits should be limited, the question is how limited. – Valorum Jun 22 '16 at 21:55
  • What about our own local policy which typically been the default to follow? – Skooba Nov 16 '17 at 15:40

These edits are of very low value to the community and while a well-tagged site is something to aim for in theory, we shouldn't put that over the (IMHO vastly more important) front page & active questions board.

The policy described basically allows a single user to leverage a full third of the front page for their own ends and is clearly well in excess of what's appropriate.

Without meta concensus, I think we should tolerate no more than 5 tag-edits per day from a single user on a mission. Any more than that and a moderator should have a quiet word with the user about coming to meta.

  • 1
    Funnily enough, the previous post from Gilles says exactly the same: "If it comes to tweaking the tags or correcting the grammar in old, answered posts, don't do more than [five] in one [day]." – Rand al'Thor Mod Jun 21 '16 at 19:35
  • Could you expand on this? What if this user on a mission intends to retag 1000 posts over 200 days? My impression was that you were mostly opposed to retagging, no matter the number of edits at one time. – Molag Bal Jun 21 '16 at 19:43
  • @amaranth - Yes, I would like them to come to Meta so I can post that they shouldn't do it, period. If the community consensus goes against me, I'd at least like it so their (semi-)worthless edits don't clog up the front page. Also, if they planned to do that kind of volume, they should ask a programmer to make the change, not do it through editing tools. – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 19:45
  • IIRC we were told by staff that if there was an honest actual need to retag 1000 posts, there were backend tools to do so. – phantom42 Jun 21 '16 at 22:10
  • @phantom42 - Then why isn't this status complete? – Mazura Jun 21 '16 at 23:58
  • @Mazura Because that's about giving mods/communities better tools for mass retagging. SE staff have a lot of tools that mods and communities never see. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jun 22 '16 at 0:23

Should there be a limit on the number of edits a single post generates? –ELU

If it's an answer, as has already been stated, if it improves the answer, it is (imo) not unwelcome. If it makes the answer worse, and the behavior is across multiple answers, then I think a flag to attract the mods should be sufficient, but that's just my opinion.

Does it hurt the site in any way?

Yes, it puts it at the top again. I think if the user does this, say, to draw more attention to the question (gaming the system, so to speak), it can be something to look into.


(I implore you to read the fine print on that answer, of which I'd be aghast to say myself)

The real question: are these 'good' edits? IMO, yes. They do not make the question worse. Assuming this tag isn't a farce.

If your beef is with the system, as it was designed, 'discussions' will not avail you (you need feature requests, which FYI, the likes of which have been denied in the past).

  • @amaranth - Bumping a question when it is edited is a safety check by-design. Editing to improve an answer is always good. Tag-wars are stupid. Just get this done and over with ;) – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 3:05
  • 1
    You're engaging with the SFF tagging system? That's a rock upon which many have foundered and sunk ;-) – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 3:15
  • @amaranth - This goes back to a comment I made about high reps knowing the sites they're perusing. They should consider that although their edit is good, it will bump it to the front page. And as to my other answer's mention of time frame: there are better times of the day that you could pick, for when you do your re-tagging efforts. – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 3:19
  • @amaranth - I've come to think, that's not mine to say. Take it up with the people doing the review queue. I'd like to think that a 'new' user would be easily engaged in chat, and their efforts coordinated by any and all of the mods who frequent there. – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 3:36
  • The question is whether persistent retagging (e.g. low value edits) are worth mucking up the front page. – Valorum Jun 22 '16 at 6:48
  • ELU =/= SFF though. – Rand al'Thor Mod Jun 22 '16 at 12:25
  • @Randal'Thor - No, but this excerpt fits our discussion to the letter. Currently (jinx ;) at +4/-2, it is enjoying a 2/3rds majority, and therefore IMO, now a consensus, here. This answer does not however, tell you the secret of how many licks it takes to get to the center of a Tootsie pop. For that, see phantom's answer. But I'm still not clear as to how you enforce a "guideline". Isn't the system supposed to take care of it self? : The Complete Rate-Limiting Guide – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 19:43
  • @Mazura - I'm not sure a +2 counts as a concensus. We're certainly broadly agreed that there should be some limit, but that's it so far. – Valorum Jun 23 '16 at 10:51

You can do whatever you want between 7~9 AM UTC. Everyone's asleep (Chicago's 2AM~4AM, if I got that right). I've seen mods do what you're talking about; this is when they do it: when the English speaking world is largely asleep.

This 2 hour 'late night down time' window is when it's OK to flood the front page with edits, not 48 hours a day...

That being said, anyone who still needs their edits approved, shouldn't be editing tags.

How many tag edits should we tolerate each day without the user seeking meta consensus?

As many appropriate ones as they make, so long as that when made in excess, they're following the two lines I have in bold: do it quietly, do it alone.

Apparently, I've ruffled some feathers claiming people are asleep at work ;) These 'dips' in activity are what I'm talking about:

enter image description here

  • 3
    Do you happen to mean the "American speaking world" by any chance? – TARS Jun 21 '16 at 20:08
  • 4
    9am UTC is 10am in England. I'm not asleep at that time :-P – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 20:09
  • IME, internet activity drops like a rock during these hours. – Mazura Jun 21 '16 at 20:10
  • 1
    Activity on the site is slowest between 6 and 11 UTC. query – Molag Bal Jun 21 '16 at 20:17
  • I'm opposed to giving people carte-blanche to mucking up the site before activity goes back up. – Valorum Jun 21 '16 at 20:18
  • 3
    Uh, isn't this picture just showing the activity of the chatroom, where like 0.001% of the active users hang out? – TARS Jun 21 '16 at 20:19
  • 1
    "mucking up" is why I italicized appropriate. I didn't think that needed explaining. If we're talking about edit trolls, you're barking up the wrong tree. Do you get +2 for a tag edit? – Mazura Jun 21 '16 at 20:20
  • @CahirMawrDyffrynæpCeallach - Amaranth's query is largely inline with my personal findings. It's 6~11, not 7~9. – Mazura Jun 21 '16 at 20:22
  • No one should have "carte-blanche" to do anything, but if you are going to, then is a good time to do it. – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 0:00
  • 1
    Whoah... people really hate this answer for some reason. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jun 22 '16 at 0:27
  • @DVK - Don't accuse people of sleeping on the job. – Mazura Jun 22 '16 at 0:56
  • @DVK-in-exile - Hmm. Can't think why. – Valorum Jun 22 '16 at 12:00

You must log in to answer this question.

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