I'm already well accustomed to the fact that, in order to have your edit accepted and to gain that valuable 2 rep, that the edit is not trivial. Trivial edits should usually be left to the people who can edit posts instantly, without needing to have their edit reviewed first.

However recently I've been thinking how this rule, matters less while a site is in it's private beta (or even it's public beta) as during this time we need to make sure our questions are spot on, trivial edits for questions that might become viewed by thousands and become the center of the site's questions may well be very important, if they seem trivial at the time.

So when reviewing edits during private and public beta (I'd prefer separate answers for these 2), should we be more accepting of trivial edits?

Here are a couple examples of edits on main sites I suggested but were rejected for this reason, this is the general idea of "trivial" I am describing: enter image description here (sadly this appears to be the only one I can find, but by "trivial" I am describing minor grammatical/spelling errors)

  • Do you have an example of what you call a "trivial" edit?
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 16:33
  • @Catija the only basis of "trivial" I have is from another SE, and can only find one (due to the limit to how far back I can see how my edits were reviewed), however I have tried to add a description to help clarify what I mean by "trivial". Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


Edit rejections are something that comes up in meta on every site I've used, including MSE... Every site has their own idea about what makes something fall under "no improvement whatsoever". I tend to focus on readability while letting the OP maintain their voice... and that's even when I have the ability to edit without approval.

Do we want questions to be clear and readable? Most definitely. Every site has a six-character minimum for edits when you don't have sufficient reputation but even single-character edits can be vital to a post's readability. The six-character limit is designed to encourage newer editors to find more than one error to fix, as it's not uncommon for a post with one error to have several. We should be reviewing the entire post when we edit, not just one small part of it.

I personally see the edits you made in your example to fall more into voicing than readability but it really depends on the site. "Gonna" is normal vernacular, particularly on the informal world that is Arqade (I assume a Skyrim question comes from Arqade). Starting a sentence with "but" may be a bit messy but it's not really that big of a deal.

The "no improvement whatsoever" text reads:

This edit does not make the post even a little bit easier to read, easier to find, more accurate or more accessible. Changes are either completely superfluous or actively harm readability.

We should take this explanation quite seriously and welcome any and all edits that actually improve the question, regardless of whether we consider them "trivial" but that doesn't mean that we need to edit posts to remove any personality from them.

So, yes, please change unnecessary abbreviations, grammatical errors, spelling issues, punctuation and formatting but be considerate of the OP's voice when doing so. As long as you can make your edits pass the 6-character minimum, please help improve the posts here and, if you're reviewing, please take the time to look at the edit and see if it fixes valuable things. I've seen several edits rejected (on other sites) that I think should have approved but because all they did was fix a letter or two, they declined them as trivial... that's not the definition of "trivial" when it comes to edits, though. In fact, the word "trivial" doesn't appear anywhere on the rejection reason list.

Edit reject reasons

Remember, there's now a feature that allows the OP to unilaterally reject (or accept) an edit even after it's gone through the review queue. So, if the OP actually liked your edit after it's been rejected, they can accept it and you still get the points... but if it's accept it and they later reject it, you lose them.

I don't really see that there's a difference between how we should react to this between public and private beta.

  • Thanks for the clarification there, I definitely feel that arcade has more of a slant on the rejection of "trivial" but "helpful" edits. I personally always try to accept the minor edits, even if they only just fix 6 characters. Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 17:59
  • 1
    Sure! And if you see other things to fix that the editor missed, there's always "accept and edit". :D
    – Catija
    Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 18:00
  • Exactly! Great to here that my opinion isn't a minority here, hopefully we can keep this SE thinking like this :D Commented Jul 12, 2017 at 18:01

Trivial edits are discouraged for two reasons. 1, people may get annoyed at you for doing them, either op for editing their post, or someone whining that trivial edits are being made, and 2, to train users to look for more things to improve. The 2nd is enforced for low rep users through minimum character requirements and peer review.

But trivial edits are not disallowed by the system, as trivial as it would be to just ban small character edits. Any improvement is an improvement. Fixing a single character typo is an improvement. A simple formatting fix is an improvement. These are actively encouraged. And that's why trivial edits are allowed.

Trivial edits should not be rejected, unless it is a bad edit. Then it doesn't really matter if they were trivial, they were bad. Changing Charming to Suave is trivial and a bad edit. Changing Chamin to Charming is trivial but a good edit, and should not be rejected in any case (unless the poster was talking about the toilet paper brand).

See Why are trivial edits discouraged?

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