There's been a lot of old questions that gets edited and bumped up to the front page. This usually happens in spurts as one person decides to do a particular game they're interested in and makes some minor mods to it, (such as removing mmorpg tag from a WoW question).

I think sometimes this gets in the way of seeing all the other interesting questions on the default (https://gaming.stackexchange.com/) website. I know you can see just new questions by click on questions and newest, but that requires extra work.

I know Brett's also doing some editing but the ones he touches usually don't get auto bumped like these.

  • 3
    The new Excavator and Archaeologist badges may be having an effect too - it's easy to get the first by just editing one "old" question.
    – DMA57361
    Aug 16, 2011 at 7:12
  • I'm afraid I set off one of the edit chains by commenting on The Bridge about the number of inconsistently used genre tags that still existed in questions I was running into on Not A Real Question - Gaming. I couldn't fix them myself because I was at work, and Gaming is blocked there.
    – user2974
    Aug 17, 2011 at 2:18

4 Answers 4


So I can't say for certain, but I have noticed an uptick in editing (and commenting) amongst a certain group of people.

My guess would be it has something to do with this page: http://se.awio.com/election.html

As [Copy Editor] and [Strunk & White] are two of the badges highlighted, it's not surprising that many hopeful candidates have been upping their number of edits. Additionally, this level of editing/commenting makes the candidates more visible to the community.

There were times over the weekend where every single question on the front page was there due to a trivial edit because people were removing silly tags like "mmorpg"

Now is this a problem? Well the spamming of the front page is an issue, but I imagine that'll calm down after election season is over. In the end, we're likely to get higher quality posts and higher quality tags than we had before. So, over all we do win.

However, if you guys could focus more on recent questions I think that would be best for everyone involved.

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    I think the timing coinciding with elections was somewhat of a coincidence. There have been a number of dicussions lately about eliminating tags that aren't worthwhile, and some people have decided to help out with that. Note that some of them are not moderator candidates at all. They're just doing it to try to make the site better by eliminating bad tags.
    – bwarner
    Aug 16, 2011 at 13:39
  • 1
    @Bwarner before my examples of specific candidates were edited, I think the argument was a little more compelling. We've always had discussions about eliminating tags. I'd say that's an ongoing process. The difference is more people participating (I think that' correlates nicely with the moderator elections).
    – tzenes
    Aug 16, 2011 at 15:17
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    However, I want to be clear this is not a bad thing. I'd be nice if this level of editing was always persistent and we didn't have to wait for election time to get it.
    – tzenes
    Aug 16, 2011 at 15:39
  • 3
    Per discussion with others, I've rolled back the post. While I don't necessarily disagree with focusing on the issues rather than people, editing oneself out comes across the wrong way. The question is also not about the mod elections, not even unofficially; it makes no mention of them. I believe tzenes has the right to post an example, and it does not seem ill-spirited to me. Aug 16, 2011 at 17:31
  • @MatthewRead: Pointing out single users is really a bad thing to do and shouldn't only be done in the context of flagging or mails to the moderator or Stack Exchange team. Let me quote Grand Theft Auto: Respect is everything... Aug 16, 2011 at 17:52
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    @Tom Just to be clear, you realize you're editing a post by somebody else who criticized something you did, to remove the reference to yourself, during an election. Try to imagine a politican getting caught editing their own Wikipedia page to remove something negative about themselves during an election cycle Aug 16, 2011 at 18:00
  • @Michael: The thing I did is irrelevant to politicy; this question is about chain editing, not 5 questions. If this question was about 5 questions, I would just leave it there and have a good laugh. Yes, I would remove something negative about something I didn't do; how respectful is it for people like you to add it back in if it simply does not belong there. If you really want it in then you should be fair and list everyone; but really, what's the point anyone? All you wourd do is waste your time on something that is really not necessary... Aug 16, 2011 at 18:11
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    I can explain the rollbacks - they came after I discussed the suitability of a balance tag with Tom, and convinced him that there was little reason to create the tag. Aug 16, 2011 at 18:34
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    @TomWijsman While I agree that that accusations aren't a good idea, I still think it's very bad form to edit critique of yourself out of a post. There's a conflict of interest there.
    – user56
    Aug 16, 2011 at 18:41
  • 4
    Ok, this is my post, so I'm going to decide what I feel is appropriate. I chose Tom as my example because he was the easiest person to click on, not because I have a problem with his editing. As I've expressed before I don't think the edits are a bad thing. IF people are going to view that as citicism I"d prefer it was not in my post.
    – tzenes
    Aug 16, 2011 at 20:37

I agree with the other answers here; but it's also important to publicize the difference between:

  • the home page

  • the /questions page, which you get by clicking the giant QUESTIONS button on the homepage.

The latter defaults to newest and is unaffected by edits and bumps.

Basically, the homepage -- while obviously important -- should not be the only way you interact with the site!

  • Do you have statistics on the amount of visits on both the front page and questions page? It might be interesting to randomly bump recent unanswered questions to the top or perhaps think out another way; there are always going to be users that cause minor edit floods, and that haven't been informed yet about the result of such an edit flood. Just saying, it might be interesting to look into this if such edit floods continue to happen across the communities; if not, I agree we're just talking about 100-year floods. :) Aug 16, 2011 at 18:02
  • There's another page, besides the homepage? j/k :)
    – Cyclops
    Aug 16, 2011 at 19:09
  • @Cyclops hah, pretty much. I bet that the majority of visitors will never even see the /questions page, which is why the main page should be kept as useful/attractive as possible imo
    – l I
    Aug 16, 2011 at 21:28

Please note that this is not Stack Overflow, so the front page merely represents activity, it does not represent interesting questions. There is no need to care about edit floods. Let me quote Jeff Atwood:

There are really two issues here

  1. Edits should be reasonably substantive -- trivial edits have all the negatives but almost none of the positives. For example, the 6 character guideline we use for suggested edits is a good starting point.

  2. You don't need to be too protective of the front page; remember that the questions link will show you just the newest questions and it is very prominently linked, e.g.

    http://superuser.com versus https://superuser.com/questions Notice the difference?

I definitely do not support a "trivial edit" or "hidden edit" flag. All edits need to be vetted by the community, and hiding them is not the right way to accomplish this goal.

There should be a nice blend of bumped questions on the homepage naturally anyway:

  • new questions
  • questions with new answers
  • answers with new edits
  • questions with new edits

And so forth. If you want to see just the incoming new questions, https://superuser.com/questions is one link away.

Do we care about edit flooding? Should we be doing anything? - Jeff Atwood's answer.

Consider the edit flood a lot of extra work compared to just clicking on the questions tab once.

You could as well set https://gaming.stackexchange.com/questions to be your home page...

  • 11
    Except the recent edit flooding is not what you quoted from Jeff as being "ok". There were times over the weekend where every single question on the front page was there due to a trivial edit because people were removing silly tags like "mmorpg". Some editing is good: destroying the page every visitor hits first for the sake of minor tag corrections is not.
    – user3389
    Aug 15, 2011 at 22:00
  • @MarkTrapp: My answer was meant to be general, so that future questions can refer back to this. If the flood has been displayed a full weekend, then that's merely because the person in question should have added a re-tag request instead to burninate the tag in question... Aug 16, 2011 at 12:00

In general, you should not care about small edit floods as there is a nice blend of questions shown...

However, the large edit floods we see over the weekend shouldn't have been there.

When removal of a tag is necessary, a retag request should be made on meta so that a moderator can remove the tag so that it does not cause the whole front page to be filled with activity.

As tzenes mentions: Some nominees are deceived by the election and just want to fill their profiles up with activity to increase their chance in getting elected. But really, bumping the whole front page with activity doesn't make you a good moderator, at all.

They shouldn't even hope to get extra votes by that, because our daily visitors see their name all over the front page and that will be a reason to not vote for them. I don't want to refer to a specific person, as this is a completely natural result of nominating yourself as a moderator; but may this post serve as a reminder for future nominees that quality exceeds quantity...

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