Why when I make an edit to a question just to "remove thanks" it is always rejected and when it is done by some other users it is accepted?

Are there "favourite users" here or, most probably, between users who can accept or not, there is not a clear way to approach this kind of things?


4 Answers 4


A clear approach doesn't mean that everybody does it the same way, such things can happen.

It also depends on who reviewed your edit: possibly the questioner rejects it, because he posted the "thanks" and wants to keep it. An experienced reviewer may accept it, because a "thanks" below the question doesn't add know-how value to the site in the long sight.

I suggest, improve your edits even more, so it's not just a minor edit but a valuable edit, such as changing question titles to a real question, which is often missed, and more.

  • Obviously I was not talking about edits rejected by the OP. It seems that experienced reviewers don't follow a unique line when it comes to reviewing edits made by non-experienced users like me. Thanks (in this case can be accepted) for answering such a rhetorical question. Jun 15, 2013 at 14:23
  • @karlkoeller just to "remove thanks" only might be considered as minor edit and possibly be rejected(high chances) but sometimes accepted also depending on users viewpoint/SO policy adherence. Hence as Stefan suggested one can add value to editing process and help the OP get a fast/good attention to Q may be some Good reviewing practice:Content checklist can give guidelines. Jun 15, 2013 at 16:42
  • Have a look here Jun 18, 2013 at 18:59

I am one of those users who consistently reject removing thanks edits. The Stackoverflow people started an utopia to make the questions anonymized and general as much as possible. Thanking is considered to be somehow useless in terms of know-how. But time showed that every SE site has a different flavor and similarly we have developed a different path in terms of handling each other and the new users. Typical example is the almost unanimously dropping the use of downvotes here. And again as time showed that TeX.SE way of working is copied to many new sites and often praised for the laidback environment. Try to ask a few questions in SO or Meta.SO then we can talk again.

I don't agree with SO design. Simply put then what the hell are rep points and badges? Do they contribute to the utopia in which we are pretending that everything here is strictly limited to knowledge and no other social niceties? What does it bring in? Nothing. What about thanks in the comments should we delete them too?

Similarly, thanking people is harmless and cannot be considered as noise. It's in fact a necessity since this is essentially a social interaction. I don't think we need to apply every rule they have over SO to each individual SE site.

This has been already discussed a few times in other posts too and I still don't see the need to remove


  • 2
    Probably you rejected my "remove thanks" edits... and anyway, after have read your words, I have to say that one of the strangest things I noticed first in this site, was just the one mentioned in this discussion. Effectively it should be better not to "remove thanks" in a question and post a message like "Accepting and upvoting answers is the preferred way here to say “thank you” to users who helped you". Jun 15, 2013 at 14:52
  • 12
    A “thank you” never hurts anyone. In fact it's nice to hear and read :)
    – cgnieder
    Jun 15, 2013 at 14:58
  • 6
    +1 I also consistently reject edits that simply remove thanks. Jun 17, 2013 at 8:30
  • @DavidCarlisle Have a look here Jun 18, 2013 at 19:00
  • 1
    @karlkoeller and? I know some people even some mods accept such but I can not see how anyone can say such an edit does not fit the "too minor" description and they are unhelpful to the site as a whole just making it seem unfriendly. That particular one was just minor but some people remove thanks but leave gross markup and/or grammatical errors that make the question hard to read, giving the impression that removing thanks is more important than helping the user ask a clear question. Jun 18, 2013 at 22:13
  • @DavidCarlisle and? nothing in particular... Just to confirm that people may think in very different ways! In Italian we say "il mondo è bello perché è vario" that is (I don't know how it can be translated correctly, ask egreg) something like "the world is beautiful because it is different". Jun 19, 2013 at 6:03
  • @DavidCarlisle, I do think that "Thanks in advance" is not the same as "Thanks".
    – Wildcard
    Mar 15, 2016 at 3:06

I prefer that the edit isn't just "removed thanks"; however, the first thing I look at when I review an edit is the time when the message was posted. If it's less than a couple of hours I usually don't bother and accept (or improve) the edit, because the edit follows the guidelines (right or wrong, they exist). If the message is older, I accept the edit only if it does more than removing thanks.

I find that a final "thanks" adds nothing to the question; politeness is another thing than this (and we know how much some questions can be impolite, even when there's a final "thanks").

Perhaps I'm biased by what I hear almost every day at the train stations I'm forced to frequent:

  • The 8:30 train to Someplace today has been cancelled; travellers can use the 10:00 train to Anotherplace, stopping at every station. We apologize for the inconvenience. (Note: this means arriving two hours later, usually.)

  • The train to Otherplace will be delayed by 30 minutes. We apologize for the inconvenience. (Note: this means that the delay will be at least 40 minutes.)

Of course such apologies are plainly formal and false. Like many "thanks" at the end of questions. If somebody asks for help here and their message is polite, there's no need for such a closing.

  • 1
    This is surely an interesting thought! :) Jun 17, 2013 at 20:15
  • 1
    You're probably right, but perhaps sometimes people just want to be kind. Jun 17, 2013 at 20:17

I'd like to share my two cents.

One day, while answering Why were my edits rejected?, I said:

Since every site is community-driven, we try to adapt things to our reality and not the other way around. Our methods would probably not work in other sites, say Math.SX or Spanish.SX. Sometimes, when I hear the words "SE policy" said in the wild, the walking hammers from The Wall come to my mind. Don't get this wrong, but I feel it sounds like an imposition: share it fairly but don't take a slice of my pie. I prefer to look at the SE policy as an inspiration for communites to work with a predefined set of suggestions and, as time goes by, work on their own methods, adapted to their own reality.

IMHO the key here is to learn how the TeX.sx gears work as a single component. We are known to be a very friendly community, from TeXperts to newbies. Even what happens to be our policy is treated as guidelines.

Personally, I don't see anything wrong with being nice, polite or grateful to any help received. I love writing something along these lines in my own questions because I really appreciate the time and effort put in each question. And I usually "sign" my answers in this site with "hope it helps! :)" or similar simply because I really want the OP to feel welcome, in the sense of "hi, maybe my attempt can help with your question!".

The problem here, as I see, is that we are dealing with minor edits. I'm not used to play with the review system, but sometimes we see some edits that are considered minor, like some punctuation issues or a "proper capitalization" of a sentence. Edits are surely welcome, but we can't forget that:

  1. edits usually update the activity of a thread, that is, if you edit a 2-year-old question or answer, it will be featured in the front page and more recent threads (considering creation timestamp) will be placed in a lower rank in the list;

  2. edits have the "moral duty" of going towards better comprehension of the thread as a whole; and

  3. edits cannot drastically change the original text, for better or for worse.

I already removed thank you's in the past, but not as the only reason for an edit. Nowadays, I'm more in the live and let live edit philosophy. Of course, everybody has different opinions about this, but:

  • edits that only remove thank you notes might be considered a minor edit, hence rejected;

  • edits that remove thank you notes or other minor edits in old threads are strongly discouraged, and will certainly be rejected; and

  • edits that don't improve the text do not add value, hence rejected.

In any case, it's imperative to always leave a comment on why you edited a question or answer. We have some predefined text building blocks in Text building blocks which might help.

I'd keep thank you's. It doesn't hurt. If it's a major edit (usually code formatting), it's up to every editor to decide if a thank you note should be removed, but we cannot be picky on editing a text for the sole purpose of beating the OP with a stick just because of an act of kindness.

Internet is already a hateful place. All we need is love. :)

T. Hanks.


  • Paulo, thanks ... Jun 17, 2013 at 19:31
  • @karlkoeller: by the way, thanks for all your great answers in the main site! That's what makes this community awesome: the users! :) Jun 17, 2013 at 19:34
  • Did you really find an answer of mine worth an upvote? :-) BTW, when will you find a minute to add something about my arara package for WinEdt in arara manual? ;-) Jun 17, 2013 at 19:39
  • Sorry if the last question is out of place in this discussion, but this is the first time I have the chance to talk to you and it's from the moment in which Harish told me to do something for arara in WinEdt that I'm waiting to ask you that... Jun 17, 2013 at 20:12
  • @Karl: Ah I forgot about it! :) I'll surely add about your WinEdt package in our manual. I'm currently working on the new version of the tool and the manual will have some new additions, your package included. Thanks a million! :) Jun 17, 2013 at 20:13
  • @karl: don't worry! We are always on topic here. :) Jun 17, 2013 at 20:14
  • Have a look here Jun 18, 2013 at 19:01

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