My experience on GSE has been a very pleasant one so far. This is the first time that I have encountered a user who consistently makes spelling and typing errors, then rolls back any editing attempts. When I suggested he "take some of those suggested edits to heart" he said that he would "when i (sic) see a constructive one" and "Nitpicking tping (sic) is not productive to the original question. Please contribute or leave the thread."

Which is exactly what I will be doing in this case, i.e. taking a deep breath and stepping away from this. Just curious, how do you handle cases or people like this? Any advice, tips, standard procedures?

  • Imho your question is bad titled. You ask a general question, but your real concern is a concrete one, and it is to special to generalize. But imho the question is reasonable and justified. Commented May 19, 2014 at 0:22
  • I don't think it's a bad title, no; it was meant as a general question, even though it uses a concrete example. The last sentence, in particular, makes it clear that I am not just talking about this single incidence.
    – Ingmar
    Commented May 19, 2014 at 3:46
  • Yes, it is meant as a general rule, but since I'm in here (2 or 3 years?) this is the first incident of that kind and I can imagine that it will be the last one for the next 5 years. Nobody will remember the rules we create today in 2020. Commented May 20, 2014 at 2:40
  • I don't understand. What's the point you're trying to make? What rules do we create? I was asking about general advice; and got it, I might add, I'm good.
    – Ingmar
    Commented May 20, 2014 at 4:18

4 Answers 4


Flag for moderator attention and let them deal with this. Walking away is the correct choice as you would only get into an edit war if you continue to edit the post.

It might make sense to explain that SE sites are collaboratively edited and link to some information on that, if the behaviour is out of ignorance and not disagreement with that principle.


On a sidenote about this. There was something similar with much larger scale on CodeReview recently. There was a lot of commotion about this and we had a meta-question on the topic.

Here comes the direct quote of the answer our Mod made on that topic:

The obligatory answer, which is the somewhat documented process:

  • stay away from the flames. Do not engage with people who are upset, trolling, or abusive
  • flag the comments/posts that are a problem.
  • let the moderators moderate things.



From what was quoted we are talking about an answer to this post:

It appears that a new user who may not yet be familiar with how German Language and all Stack Exchange sites work was unhappy with edits we made.

We should help new users to learn about our philosophy but if they don't like the idea of a community edited question & answer site they may not have come to the right place.

In any case we should politely direct them to our FAQ, or corresponding Meta posts to help them see what our model is all about.

In case a comment was rude or in other ways inappropriate please do not hesitate to flag it for moderator attention.

Downvotes for bad user behaviour if not related to a bad post content or edit-wars will not help the site in the long run. There will be other people sharing our thoughts about a poorly written post, so it will indeed be a good idea to not waste too much time and energy on a post or a user who at the moment is not quite on our line.

  • We are talking about that post, yes. I have also since removed my down-vote, as subsequent editing has considerably improved his answer :)
    – Ingmar
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 8:03
  • 2
    yeah - good idea :) Think of it as being an answer in German Language SE rather than an answer of a single user.
    – Takkat
    Commented Apr 25, 2014 at 8:12

I'll go ahead and chip in here, as i'm the person that OP is talking about. i don't feel that correcting the capitalization of "I" is any way constructive or relevant to any question. What kind of community is it when people feel entitled to complain about such utterly minor things?

  • 5
    Just for clarification: there were other, minor formatting issues in your post that were corrected from the first edit. Our community appreciates any edits to address as many issues as possible while at it to avoid multiple consequent edits. These also included a missing apostrophe on I'd, or apparently a missing capitalization of i in another post. Just look at missing punctuation to be as important for a language site as are missing brackets when publishing code on a coding site.
    – Takkat
    Commented Apr 26, 2014 at 15:44
  • I think downvoting because of typos (that are irrelevant to the question) is not very encouraging for the person who wants an answer.
    – RRZ Europe
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 11:33
  • The more i observe this site, the more its blatantly obvious that people prefer to earn points by nitpicking and being condescending than by being kind and genuinely helpful.
    – emaltman
    Commented Apr 30, 2014 at 11:46

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