It would be FANTASTIC if editors can self-flag edits as trivial so as to avoid impacting the activity list. Kudos to those who want to correct grammar/spelling/caps/etc for archival purposes when they have a few moments, but they should have a way to do this without floating minor corrections back to the top.
The reason why all edits bring something to the top of the active queue is so that other people can verify that the edits are not harmful.
The two issues that come up are that it can be difficult to (automatically) identify a trivial edit, and that you are basically giving someone write access to the entire site without oversight. I don't think these are necessarily insurmountable, but the current system is trading the effort you use scrolling further down the page with transparency.
I agree with this concept. I have not edited posts in the past because I didn't want to bump the question to the top of the list.
I understand the risk is that maliciously tagged trivial edits can go unnoticed, but that can be addressed with the following mechanisms:
- Edits can only be flagged as trivial below some maximum number of changed characters. The system already tracks this, since it says something like "24 characters were changed" in certain places.
- Require some minimum rep to allow a unreviewed trivial edit. Others can still mark a edit as trivial, but the edit goes onto the review queue and the reviewers have to agree it is trivial. The bar for this should be higher than allowing unreviewed non-trivial edits. That is currently set at 2000 rep, so maybe 5000 rep to allow unreviewed trivial edits.
- Add a flag for inappropriate trivial edit. In the very rare case where one person makes a unreviewed trivial edit and another person notices and disagrees, a mod can step in and decide.
- The penalty for inappropriate trivial edit could be substantial, like -500 rep, loose ability to claim trivial edit for some time or until the penalty rep is gained back, etc.
The system has to be able to protect itself, but I really think that inappropriate trivial edits will be very very rare, especially since it would be done by someone around the site long enough to have accumulated enough rep to be allowed to make un-reviewed trivial edits. I just don't see this causing a problem.
Here are some new changes to the editing system and badges. These changes don't directly address the ideas above, but might change the milieu under which they are understood.
To compromise between this feature-request and W5VO's point that bumping the front page can be good to verify edits (although I agree with one of the commenters that this is done in the review queue already, I see why the front page can be useful still), maybe it would be possible to add this as an option for reviewers: accept, but don't bump the front page. The edit would not bump the front page if all the reviewers that accepted the suggested edit chose the option. If there's one who thinks it should bump the front page, it would do so.
Then eventually there could be a checkbox for this on the edit page for 2k+ users, whose edits don't come up in the queue.