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This isn't to call anyone out or criticise the actions of anyone. This is to get a clear understanding of general guidelines of mass edits.

Every now and again, links to online interpreters will change, answer headers will become outdated, tags will need removal from questions, and other circumstances will occur that impact the contents of a non-trivial amount of posts. There's nothing wrong with this - things change and are modified over time.

Given that a whole bunch of edits at once floods the home page, how should events that require mass edits be handled?

More specifically:

  • When should it be appropriate to have a mass edit event? (Assuming it doesn't result in edits that go against what has been decided isn't allowed as edits)
  • Should mass edit events be allowed without prior notice?
  • If no to the above, how should notice be given?
  • Should mass edit events be split into batches?
  • If yes to the above, how long between batches?
  • Should mass edit events be coordinated or should they happen whenever appropriate?

Answer as many or as few of those questions as you like, or even bring up something else related to how mass edits should be handled.

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    \$\begingroup\$ I just discovered this morning, while updating links to my online interpreter, that you can only edit ten posts a day. So, you don't have much of a choice in re batching. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bbrk24
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 14:15
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Bbrk24 That limit applies only to editing your own posts, see "The Complete Rate-Limiting Guide". Thus, it's still important to consider what to do for larger numbers of edits of posts by users other than yourself. I'd note that even 10 edits per day of your own posts can be substantially too many. Even on Stack Overflow in some low use tags, I limited going back and performing clean-up edits to questions on which I'd posted answers to something close to 5 per month, or so. The gating issue was not to dominate the list of questions in a tag. \$\endgroup\$
    – Makyen
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 19:37

1 Answer 1

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Mass Edits should almost always be spread out over time

First of all, I'll cover solo mass edits - i.e., those done by a single user. Community organised mass edits fall under different guidelines.

When are they appropriate?

Mass edits, generally speaking, are not any different from normal edits when it comes to appropriateness. So long as the edits improve the posts in a substantial and necessary way, they're appropriate. The most common example of mass edits are fixing broken links, typically to interpreters, which is perfectly fine.

Notice

Yes, mass edits are allowable without prior notice. That said, posting a note in chat with a rough number of edits you're expecting to do, and how long you expect it to take, is highly recommended and appreciated, so that people know that main is going to be cluttered for a short time

Batches

Yes. Mass edits should absolutely be split up into batches if you are expecting to do more than 10 edits. Roughly speaking, 10 edits should be the most you do at a time.

As for the amount of time to wait, this depends on how busy the site is at the time. Generally speaking, how long to wait isn't a question of time, it's a question of main settling down. A good rule of thumb is for 10 unrelated challenges be moved above your edit batch before beginning the next batch. That way, the front page can settle a bit before new and active posts get drowned out by mass edits.

Community mass edits

For larger scale community edits, such as the status tag edits, these events should always be organised through meta, to provide notice and coordination to the entire community. Such large scale mass edits should only be reserved for edits that apply to a massive number of posts, not stuff such as broken links or a few mistags.

In this case, and only this case, with plenty of notice, edits can be done all at once, and not in batches, as the main site can be "frozen" for the time necessary, and posts active before the edits can be re-bumped after the edits have been completed.

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