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I've noticed that some questions seem to get multiple minor edits seemingly with no purpose other than keeping the post at the top of the list. What's the site policy on this?

As an example, this question on the "London Enemies List" has been edited 19 times. In the last 5 edits, the owner has removed, re-added and then again removed the word "notable", which barely changes the meaning of the question. Given that the question has seen plenty of 'views' it seems unnecessary to keep bumping it in this manner.

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The edit "thrashing" (back and forth with the same one word change) seems to be continuing. I don't really see what that's accomplishing for anyone, but in the long run I don't really want to torture test our software's edit-handling features either.

I've temporarily locked the post. Unfortunately that also means no new answers may be posted or voted on for the duration. However, it already has a highly-rated accepted answer, so I think the site will survive.

If it resumes after the lock, I'll have to lock it for longer. Hopefully it won't come to that.

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I don't think there is a policy, is there? I know that the guidance says that edits to other people's posts should be "substantial", but it also says that the OP "may always edit their own post".

Besides, isn't there an SE "Community" process that also bumps posts?

I assume that 'bump' edits are intended to gain reputation &/or badges. If so, I suppose that down-voting posts may be an effective deterrent?


Of course, I may be entirely wrong about the motivation. To be fair, I'm not sure that I really get the whole reputation/badges system as motivation, so perhaps I should take a moment to explain how I see it.

Yes, it makes perfect sense to me that there is a system of "reputation" that gradually opens features of the site as users gain more experience (and hence "reputation" points). But once a user has unlocked all the site privileges the system has the potential to become counter-productive.

Besides, a "poor" answer is a poor answer, whether it's posted by a user with a reputation of 100 or a user with a reputation of 100K.

As for badges, when I first heard that SE awarded badges for participation it reminded me a little of the days when we were given gold stars at primary school. It also brought to mind a scene from Mel Brook's 1974 classic movie spoof "Blazing Saddles"! (Google is your friend if you're not familiar with it)

[Having said all that, given how much I've had to fight against people telling me to specialise over the years, the idea of a "Generalist" badge does have a sneaking appeal, even to an old cynic like me! ;-)]


Having said all that, I'm not sure we need a more specific policy to deal with 'bump' edits. When the OP edits their post, there is an opportunity for people to retract or change their votes. If people really feel that 'bump' edits are a problem that would seem to be an effective way of dealing with it.

  • Its repeated edits to the user's own question. Given that the question at the moment has only one upvote, if the purpose was to troll for reputation, it seems to have failed miserably so far. – T.E.D. Aug 28 '17 at 4:03
  • The SE "Community" bumps are intended to give questions with no accepted answer, and few views, a second chance in the limelight of the "front" page. It's quite different from a user continually bumping their own questions. – KillingTime Aug 28 '17 at 16:06
  • @KillingTime I know what the "Community 'bumps' are for, and I'm not saying that they are equivalent I'm merely observing that the system is designed with a feature for 'bump' edits built in, and that - at present - there doesn't appear to be anything in the rules against what the OP is doing. Rather than yet another site policy, I think the users should police this kind of thing with their vote buttons. – sempaiscuba Aug 28 '17 at 18:18
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I suppose it's a stack-wide thang, but I don't like that the question goes to the top just when it is edited. Editors with a perfectionist streak edit their questions in minor ways long after the question has become inactive. I don't need my question to go back to the top in those circumstances, and I don't like the fact it looks like I'm attention seeking for my question.

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