It is hard to see what value they add, or what the motivation is for these edits other than to draw more attention to the accepted answer. I don't think revoking edit privileges is even possible, let alone the correct course of action. But what steps can we take to discourage this sort of behavior? I have noticed a growing pattern of it that I find troublesome.
I seriously don't know the community etiquette, which is why I ask.
This link from the Stack Exchange Meta tells you exactly when users should edit a post:
When should I edit posts?
Any time you see a post that needs improvement and are inclined to suggest an edit, you are welcome to do so. The original author of a question or answer may always edit their own post, regardless of reputation level.
Edits are expected to be substantial and to leave the post better than you found it. Common reasons for edits include:
- To fix grammar and spelling mistakes
- To clarify the meaning of the post (without changing that meaning)
- To include additional information only found in comments, so all of the information relevant to the post is contained in one place
- To correct minor mistakes or add updates as the post ages
- To add related resources or hyperlinks
If this resource is hosted on the Exchange itself, I'd expect the same rules to apply to each board.
I don't think revoking edit privileges is even possible, let alone the correct course of action.
what steps can we take to discourage this sort of behavior?
As you've mentioned, part of having a high reputation is the ability to police users with lower reputation to ensure edits are worthwhile even if their intentions are reasonable, hence why we should reject them!
As for users who're above that threshold, I suppose the only thing I can think to do is have a polite word with them and ask them to review the Exchange's rules. By the time you hit the threshold to automatically edit posts, that person should be well-enough informed to know editing posts for the sake of attention is frowned upon.
Frankly I find the notion of drawing attention to a question/answer really shallow. It defeats the point of SFSE to help people (and be helped!) rather than hoard reputation, get shiny new privileges and flex about it.
This doesn't represent the entire mod-team's view, but my own.
My opinion is pretty much covered by Poets answer. This type of behavior is by all reasonable standards probably not desired, but there are little tools to deal with it for the community or(!) moderators when it comes to high-reputation users and edits.
If there are extreme escalations and addressing the fact in comments or meta won't do you can reach out to us by flagging questions or answers with your custom comment. We can reach out to people directly or set them in time-out, but these are things we will only do as last-resorts for really bad cases. The focus of our community should be on member-education rather than repression.
I couldn't agree more. I literally just accepted an edit from somebody that all it did was bold some titles and add some bullets.
What is the correct course of action, then? Reject the edits?
PS: When the edit is to format included code to be readable (instead of a paragraph of black-on-white text, I do support it. I am only referring the ones that make a post pretty but don't add any real value.