This is probably poor form on my part, but I just came across this post:

Why is there an asteroid scene at the beginning and at the end of Birdman?

There was an edit to the answer, and all the edit did was remove a "Thanks for your help" line. If you look at the edit history, you see loads of obvious misspellings and missing words in there which I fixed.

I'd like to get a handle on sloppy/pointless edits, because many times when I see something has already been edited I skip right over it assuming it's been edited properly.

So, in keeping with the spirit of SE, the question I pose is; what is the benefit of an edit that minor when there are other obvious errors in a post, and how do we fix this process?

  • 2
    If you want to be thorough, you forgot to capitalize the first word of this question.
    – JoshDM
    Mar 20, 2015 at 19:12
  • Yeah, I added that first word after I wrote it all. My bad. One error. ;o) Mar 20, 2015 at 19:19
  • I've found this frustrating in the past, too... I'm not sure if there's a solution, though... I've actually complained about it in Chat in the past...
    – Catija StaffMod
    Mar 20, 2015 at 19:24
  • 2
    In short, "Yeah, its too much to ask that everyone with edit privileges be thorough". Seriously though, like a wiki, this site is collaboratively edited by movie enthusiasts - there is 'no process' here. Its frustrating, but I don't think there is any way we could improve the situation. Unlike many other sites, at least SE encourages editing of other's posts to improve their quality.
    – iandotkelly Mod
    Mar 20, 2015 at 19:26
  • OK, for 99% of the users you're probably right. But for a Mod to do it... Mar 21, 2015 at 21:22
  • @JohnnyBones Mods are in many respects normal users like anyone else. Specifically regarding editing, there is no obligation for a moderator to read and understand every question and answer, let alone to fix every kind of error therein. That would simply be outrageous to demand. Moderators should ask, answer, edit and vote like every other avid and constructive user, too.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    Mar 21, 2015 at 21:45

1 Answer 1


First of all, sure, of course it is encouraged to fix errors in other's posts, so yeah, if someone edits a post, it's great if he fixes any errors he notices. However, this is not required at all. Every edit that improves a post is, well, an improvement.

More often than not people just don't notice every possible error in a post or don't have the time to fix everything throroughly, or just have other priorities to fix first. I for example1 am usually not going to read and throughly analyse every possible question or answer I see, either because it just doesn't interest me or I don't know the movie the answer is about at all. However, things like incorrect tagging, a "thanks in advance" or incorrect spacing around brackets or punctuation stick out like a sore thumb and are pretty easy and urgent to fix. Those are things that definitely need to be fixed, they are in absolutely no sense "sloppy/pointless" edits. To answer your question, the benefit of such an edit is that it improves the post and that is a good thing. And you know what, I'm very thankful for people who do at least that, even if they don't fix the whole post into utter perfection. Afterall editing and improving posts on this site is an iterative and collaborative process, it's not only about the original poster creating it and the first guy coming round the corner perfectly fitting it into shape.

So other than this meta question, I don't think there is any way, let alone proper reason, to demand editors to either be perfectly throrough or else refrain from it, just because there might be people who think an edited post is automagically perfect and refrain from any further consideration of it.

(Disclaimer just in case: Of course this discussion is entirely independent from the problem of people editing thousands of year old posts at once for nothing but missing linebreaks, which I would rather not encourage.)

1) Note however, that this answer is not about me or that edit alone, but a general answer. In fact I didn't even notice that the question's example seems to be about one of my own edits before considering and answering this question.

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