Why is there a length limit on edits? One con to the limit is that it's not possible to correct some simple typos e.g. 'ture' for 'true'. Are there pros that outweigh this?

  • 7
    It is supposed to be a discouragement to attempt to make mass trivial edits (users who are after badges or trying to pass a rep limit occasionally do that). A few typos in a post is acceptable but an edit should address sufficient problems. At least that's conceptually the idea.
    – percusse
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 10:22
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    there are some situations where correcting a single word is worthwhile, for example, a key word in the title is misspelled to the point where it would hamper a search. it's worth making such a correction, and worth the extra effort to replace enough extra text to get around the limit. use judgment. Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 14:13
  • 1
    What the two people above say :) However, I rarely happened to do what @barbara suggests here, but I often need it on math.SE since many people tend to misspell something very important in their math texts.
    – yo'
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 15:42
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    if you spot a single typo that needs addressing you could write a comment asking the OP to fix it. Can't speak about others but I'd very much appreciate such comments on my posts.
    – d-cmst
    Commented Sep 29, 2014 at 16:36
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1 Answer 1


This is the limit on edits:

  • Users with 2K+ reputation: These users have the edit privilege, implying they can make edits without it requiring approval by peers;

  • Users with < 2K reputation: These users are subject to peer-reviewed edits (by those above) that should be substantive. Substantive here means at "at least 6 characters".

First of all, the motivation behind this is put into perspective by the SE founder Jeff Atwood:

As a < 2k rep user, you should make reasonably substantive edits. The approval cost for your edit is not free, as it costs the attention of one or more users who have to look at your edit and think about it. This cost is high for extremely trivial edits.

This will not be changing.

If you want to make single-character trivial edits, earn 2k rep.

We are a small community relative to SO and friends, and therefore mentioning "it costs the attention of one or more users who have to looad at your edit and think about it. This cost is high" seems like a non-issue.

On the downside, some users who experience the gain in reputation from suggesting an approved edit (+2) sometimes do go crazy and suggest like it's nobody's business. Yes, incentives drive people to do this. :)

I agree with your mention of the con to edit-limits, because the downside of a lot of small problems (like typos) leaves you with exactly that - a bunch of posts with small problems in them. There doesn't seem to be much upside to this edit-limit from your perspective (having < 2K reputation), but perhaps that's just it: earn the privilege through reputation...

Other options and/or opinions have been put forth and are worth the read:

  • 7
    Darnit... I have a typo in this post.
    – Werner Mod
    Commented Sep 30, 2014 at 18:55
  • Seems fitting, doesn't it? :) Excellent answer, by the way. Commented Oct 1, 2014 at 15:01
  • Shall I edit your post to fix the typo? ;-)
    – user31729
    Commented Oct 3, 2014 at 6:34

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