I noticed quite some edits to questions as well as answers. Not to miss anything I like to check all edits done t the question before proceeding to reading an answer.

Not checking edits wehre nothing was changed take up unnecessary time. Is there a posibility for people to stop doing these? If I miss out on something which makes these edits necessary, I would like to understand it.

Attached are some edits I came across.

Edit 1

Edit 2

Edit 3

2 Answers 2


There's no good reason to do such edits

I quickly checked with a developer and there doesn't seem to be any SE function that would result in such edit histories during regular edits due to any system function. Since the user in question has full edit rights there's no further barrier to trivial edits—even one character white space ones. Stack Exchange is community moderated and users with full edit privileges are expected to wield them properly.

The edit history you linked can possibly be triggered by having several edit tabs open or changing your mind during edit and hitting save instead of cancel anyways and some other benign actions. Intentional reasons could include bumping posts back to the front page via editing or increasing badge related counters. Certainly that's not behavior that's encouraged.

On a more mature site it takes longer to get to full edit privileges which is one barrier. In a private beta with lowered privilege barriers there's a certain advance trust given to private beta users. In any site status the mods (where existing) and especially the community managers have tools to handle users who repeatedly misuse their earned privileges or misbehave on the site.

As I mentioned above there's nothing barring a user with the necessary privileges from doing such edits in the first place. That's what privileges are all about. Reputation is earned and the privileges are the trust the system offers in return. If any other user is of the opinion that someone is abusing his privileges they can always ask about it on meta or contact the site moderators via flagging the post in question for moderator attention. Since this site is in private beta and no mods are chosen yet the SE community managers will tend to those flags.

  • I understand that any site on SE is community moderated and think it's a good idea. I understand that in such a young site it's easy to earn rights. I just hope noone abuses their given power. Those edits are nothing harmful, they just really bug me and take time to check. And I bet I'm not the only one.
    – derfium
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 20:58
  • 1
    I agree. If it's a select few it's just annoying. If it's a repeating pattern that would different.
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 21:07

These are actually all valid edits, it's just you can't see what has been edited when the viewer is in inline mode.

The reason for this is that the edits are changes to whitespace, and inline mode compresses any whitespace it considers unnecessary. (Actually it's probably just start/end padding.)

If you view the edits in side-by-side markdown, then the actual changes become apparent.

Annoying, but not empty per se.

  • So there were edits to the general layout of the text with whitespaces and LFCRs? But stackexchange will only show the change at the first position? If this rather belongs to stackexchange I'll move the question.
    – derfium
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 16:54
  • 1
    In this case at least, the only edit was the whitespace in the first position, but I'm suspecting it might be the same if the whitespace changes were in other positions. I doubt this is something specific to the IOTA site. Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 17:03
  • I see. What does adding the whitespace at the beginning of the very first lane do?
    – derfium
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 18:19
  • 1
    The edits are to remove an extra space that was added in error when the answer was originally written. The author is presumably removing the extra space for cosmetic reasons. Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 18:28
  • This is only paritally true. Some of those edits indeed remove an extra space but not after a previous edit first added said spaces. Some of those added spaces are not removed at all. The latter prt about cosmetic reasons is also not quite correct as SE ignores any whitespaces ans LFCRs in the beginning of a new line. This is why I don't understand those edits.
    – derfium
    Commented Dec 1, 2017 at 20:40
  • Which makes the edits especially weird since the "fault" is only visible in edit mode but not in the actual question view. So there's not really a reason to click edit in the first place
    – Helmar
    Commented Dec 2, 2017 at 9:01

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