Does MSE discourage users to edit new users' or "low quality" posts?

This seems to be a bit counter-intuitive but I'm unable to think otherwise.

So, we know that when a user below 2000 rep makes an edit, they get +2 rep (if it's successful). The edit is successful means it (generally) in some way improved the post. It could the language or the tag or the mathjax, etc. But later when the post gets deleted for whatever reason, the user who made the edit also gets (reverse-compensated? punished?) for making that edit which was found useful.
Despite being above the 2000 rep, for some users like me, it does not feel right that the edits that were made for good/betterment aren't even counted for/recognised when the post gets deleted.
This results in discouraging such users from making edits to newbie questions as their posts are very prone to be deleted. Same goes for those posts which look even somewhat "low-quality".
If there were no reward in the first place or no counter whatsoever perhaps things might have been different and such a thing might not have bothered but they are there and it's hard to unsee it and when you do and when that happens it at least pinches and after getting a lot of them it has the above mentioned affect.

So I'm asking if that's what the MSE intends?

Also, just in case this pops up, I think that this is different from getting our rep reversed which was gained from answering "low quality" questions as there I do know that we intend to discourage users from answering such questions and instead flag them or thell them to improve their post. But it's different from the mentioned case as there we need users to improve the post and imo it shouldn't matter whether it is a too big or small.

The only post that I was able to find somewhat related to this is: Edit on Low Quality Posts
(I guess in that only the title seems apt and nothing else really. And irrespective of that, it still kinda proves my point).

  • $\begingroup$ Depending on how important you think they are for your question, you might consider the tags (suggested-edits), (reputation), (deletion). (Among other things, you touch on reputation gained from editing a posts being usually removed if the post is deleted.) $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2022 at 16:06
  • $\begingroup$ @MartinSleziak thank you for the valuable suggestions. I edited the tags based on them. $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2022 at 16:35
  • $\begingroup$ @InanimateBeing ^^^ The above duplicate covers, as an FAQ, guidelines for suggested edits. And the answer to your question is NO. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Dec 18, 2022 at 18:11
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    $\begingroup$ @amWhy you might be making a valid point but the question isn't a duplicate of that. And "answer to you question is NO" doesn't really work like that. We're trying to have a discussion to which presenting one's point as THE commandment is not in the essence of discussion. FAQ, guidelines nowhere address the concern(s) that I've raised. $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2022 at 17:01
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    $\begingroup$ If you're going to edit a low-quality post, I suggest taking care to make sure that your edit makes a large improvement to the overall quality of the post. If the post has multiple serious problems, and your edit makes only a minor improvement (e.g., doesn't fix any of the serious problems), then its value is likely low. Every edit has a cost, because it bumps the post, and if the benefit is too low, then the cost may exceed the benefit. $\endgroup$
    – D.W.
    Dec 20, 2022 at 20:44
  • $\begingroup$ Indeed, @D.W. Thanks for summarizing the FAQ very well, and succinctly!! $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Dec 25, 2022 at 21:52

2 Answers 2


Keeping the situation with reputation aside for the moment, just recall that edits are meant to be substantial. From the Help center:

Tiny, trivial edits are discouraged; try to make the post significantly better when you edit, correcting all problems that you observe.

If the edits made to a new user's post (or a low quality post) still result in the post being deleted, then the edits were wasted. But for suggested edits, in particular, the bar for their approval should be high because the time of reviewers is also spent in evaluating them, which is also wasted. If the loss of 2 reputation points upon deletion of the post teaches what kind of edits are to be avoided, then that is good in my opinion.

See also Journeyman Geek's answer to "Should/do we discourage edits, by privileged users or not, to off-topic questions that will end up deleted?" at Meta SE:

Frankly - my opinion is, if people want to waste their time polishing turds and making silk purses from sow ears and other metaphors, they're welcome to.

I would suggest that getting trivial edits/edits to questions that don't belong not being approved, or losing the rep for a suggested edit as posts are deleted might even be part of the learning curve for a new user using suggested edits to learn the ropes of editing. It might feel a bit harsh but that's kinda how the feedback loop is.

As an experienced user "it bothers the heck out of me" is a perfectly valid edit reason.

  • $\begingroup$ I wrote an answer post as it was too long for comment. $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2022 at 15:54
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    $\begingroup$ @InanimateBeing I have read your detailed response, thanks for the ping. Unfortunately, I don't think I will be able to respond to it in this Meta thread, since it seems to be stretching the scope of the SE system already. If you wish, you can create a chatroom for this conversation, and port your response as chat messages, and maybe we can continue from there. Else, we could agree to disagree that the current system of disincentivizing edits to LQPs does/doesn't need improvement. $\endgroup$ Dec 18, 2022 at 20:47

Thank you for your answer @Amplitwist. But the problem persists.

  1. Some edits may seem trivial but they are not. Is tag edit trivial? Imo, not at all. It's important and not everyone can do that.

  2. It's not really about trivial posts such as this which is mentioned by RiyanM in your link. The edit may not be trivial from an independent perspective or in general but one can say it's trivial simply because the question got deleted. Edit still maybe very useful but the question may still end up being sent to dump. Examples: Converting pic to Latex or tag(s) edit or improving the formatting, grammar and readability of the post or making the heading more meaningful, etc.

  3. "Edits are meant to be substantial" - Is prima facie false. I remember making a "substantial edit" only to be later lectured that I'm not allowed to "save" a post! (Of course, then my edit was rollbacked, question was closed and also later deleted. emoji1 and emoji2) What I did was that I knew after all my edits, for whatever they are worth, I can't save the question unless the OP provided some working of their own. So, since I was interested and had already tried solving it, I was either stuck myself or saw the point where one could be stuck, I added that working after which the above mentioned happened.

  4. There should also be some worth in the edit passing the screening test which is the edit review and it loses out on it's value when we still want the users to learn in an even harsher way by reversing their rep gain. Feedback or the learning part should essentially happen when the edit undergoes the review. Not later again. That's a lot harsher and a lot discouraging.

  5. I'm nowhere making a point that trivial edits should be allowed. My point is that the edits which are legit or deemed so, shouldn't ... fade away. If at the end of the day a question still gets deleted then it's not necessary that the editor should also be blamed for it as well, especially the case in point, point 3. The editor who did something that added adequate value to something and who did receive a reward for the same or at least an acknowledgment (for >2k rep) that edit was made (and thus counted) this shouldn't be reversed. It does not really makes sense. Such a thing essentially becomes very discouraging. Here's the analogy: The mechanic helps repair the car. The mechanic is paid for their service(s). Some days later, the drives meets with an accident like driving the car into a tree for purely their own mistake. So... we go back to the mechanic and take their service fee back and tell them did not do a good job. This is certainly unfair.

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    $\begingroup$ This does not answer the question. It is merely an extended comment. If it won't fit in a comment, then edit your question: "Added". This is what you should have posted in the first place. $\endgroup$
    – amWhy
    Dec 18, 2022 at 17:56
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    $\begingroup$ Please edit this inside your original post. $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2022 at 9:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Goku the answer post is quite relevant as is. I don't see any need to include it in the question post. $\endgroup$ Dec 20, 2022 at 9:34

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