Dear readers of SharePointmeta,

The post on AVP Meta here: https://video.meta.stackexchange.com/questions/238/should-we-allow-things-like-thanks-and-hope-that-helps-inside-questions-and

Has already covered this topic, however we are seeing it at the moment.

While I understand that salutations and thanks are not SE conduct I also recognise there is at times that you are required to be polite.

The recommendations in the above thread are to not moderate/edit a post to just remove this components, but the recommendation is also that these go into a comment for clarity of Q&A.

However I stand to make the point that while I know certain people want to be shown to be active, that this is not a valid reason for a edit in SE. Also at the end of the day if we cannot be polite to another human being in our field then who can we be polite to?

Kind regards, Hugh Wood


3 Answers 3


I would recommend these editing guidelines.

  1. Make sure your edit is a substantial improvement. 1
  2. Fix capitalization and formatting.
  3. Make sure the title is clear and represents the content of the post.
  4. Validate the tags make sense. Add missing tags.
  5. In addition to at least one above guidelines: Edit out taglines, signatures, salutations, and "thanks". 2

Use your best judgement. In situations where a user has repeatedly posted content requiring edits, post a comment explaining the edits you made and encourage the user to follow these guidelines.


SE in general is quite clear on this subject:

Please EDIT any posts with signature blocks. StackOverflow is collaboratively edited! You can help keep the quality of posts high by keeping the noise level low. If the user reverts these edits, then flag for moderator attention.

Are taglines & signatures disallowed?

This goes for signatures, taglines but also personal greetings etc. The reasoning behind this that it clutters up the posts and create unnessecary noise and takes focus from the interesting stuff. This site is about obtaining and sharing information, not anything else ;)

So don't take it personal, this info will and should be edited out, if not on sole basis of the greeting, then at least if other edits are done.

And let me be clear about editing: we don't edit for "fun", for stats or anything like that, we edit to keep our Q&A mean and clean and useful for guys like you and me ;)

So please don't take offense, we do our best on the limited precious time we put into this Q&A, keep them good answers rolling in Huges, they are very much appreciated with or without politeness ;)

  • 1
    That also makes posters lose face and those who edit look good. A better way would be to reply as a comment, inform and get the users to stop doing it themselves. It makes it appear that the edit was done to correct something with the post other than aesthetics. Aesthetic only editing should be left to the writer because of this but the writer informed of how to perform this via comments themselves. If it goes undone then action taken, but making someone look what is in essence stupid is off putting to users. Offence is taken there are better ways.
    – Hugh Wood
    Nov 18, 2013 at 20:51
  • 2
    @HughWood With all due respect, no one is losing face because a post is edited. In fact, an edited post gets right at the top of the front page and is actually a technique used to keep drawing attention to your post. You may get a better answer and/or higher reps. Collaborative editing has been around since the early 1990's and I hope that users in the field of Collaboration and Content partnership of Microsoft live like they learn.
    – Benny Skogberg Mod
    Nov 18, 2013 at 21:55
  • 1
    Is our attention span so incredibly short that "Thanks in advance" or similar is going to distract from the question being asked? I can't say I've ever been distracted by it on the MSDN/TechNet forums, where this kind of language is common.
    – Trevor Seward Mod
    Nov 19, 2013 at 7:40
  • 1
    @BennySkogberg actually go externally to SP SE and this is the largest complaint of moderators and edits. My point is that guidance on the rules should be given not blind edits, but also there are times to welcome people into the community not push them out. Be polite even if you leave a comment as to why you edited the post.
    – Hugh Wood
    Nov 19, 2013 at 10:41
  • 2
    @HughWood I completely agree! This is true especially on new users, which can easely feel pushed away. One can also use self judgment if this actually really need to be performed. I did this kind of editing before, but have stopped unless I see some grammar or formatting issues as well.
    – Benny Skogberg Mod
    Nov 19, 2013 at 11:06
  • 2
    The salutations and politeness get added to the teaser on the questions rollup and could result in a potential question being skimmed by a user. Nov 19, 2013 at 16:07
  • 1
    I was like...what is he talking about "credit". I guess you mean that the last person to edit will be on the post? Actually that annoys me as well. I see no reason by name should be on the post, but that's how it's put together on this forum, take it ot leave it :) or don't be polite so I won't edit ;) /jk Nov 20, 2013 at 19:00

I feel that it might be me you are talking about :)

I agree that there is no reason not to be polite, and that you should be able to give thanks. But giving for example "Thanks in advance" seems to me like something that just takes up space and focus away from the actual question.

When it comes to adding a signature, or your name, I find this post as good support for editing them out.

But I do agree that I sometimes do minor edits just to remove these kind of information, most of the times because it is hard to draw a clear line on what to allow and what to not allow.

But I guess this should be discussed more :)

  • 1
    Would it be hard of me to edit it out from your post? ;) Nov 18, 2013 at 15:06
  • 2
    Beat you to it. :D
    – Stu Pegg
    Nov 18, 2013 at 16:23
  • 1
    Oh @StuartPegg such a comedian :P I'm sorry but I had to reject your suggested edit :)
    – Hugh Wood
    Nov 18, 2013 at 17:07
  • 4
    My opinion is.. don't edit it out if it is the only thing that needs editing. We want to be smart and focus on the content that needs editing really badly.
    – Kit Menke
    Nov 18, 2013 at 17:36
  • Sounds like a good approach @Kit Menke! Nov 18, 2013 at 17:38

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