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tl;dr: the "last activity" user on the main page/question pages is sometimes wrong. I haven't figured out exactly which conditions set this off, yet.


I just saw this on the front page:

last activity 9m ago by Popular Demand

Oh, great, another "there should only be one SE site" post. Except, wait... last activity 9m ago by Popular Demand? I'm Popular Demand. And I haven't touched that post recently. Have I been hacked? Let's have a look at this supposed activity:

last edited by me Apr 2010

There's nothing there. Looks like I have been to that question before, but it's been over two years. Is the system making another tired joke about how my username is a pun?

reopened at that time, but buy mmyers, not me

Oh, there was activity on that question: it was reopened. But you can't blame me for that... mmyers did it with his mod powers. (Well, actually... I guess you could argue that it's my fault... you'd be in good company, according to this out-of-context quotation.)

I actually rubber-ducked this problem out while I was writing this question, but the point is, under some conditions, the "last activity" user on the main page/question pages is wrong. I don't yet know if this is related to only reopens, or only mod reopens, or if it only affects previous editors, or what.

Expected behavior: if a mod reopens a post, the last activity is "reopen" (rather than "edit") and the attached user is the mod; if five regular users reopen a post, the last activity is "reopen" and the attached user is Community.

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Maybe it triggered a bump by Community once it was reopened? –  casperOne May 10 '12 at 19:52
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Perhaps it was Community failing to remove the "Possible duplicate" block; that makes you still the last editor. –  mmyers May 10 '12 at 19:54
    
@casperOne see the "it's my fault" link at the bottom of the question (or just click meta.stackexchange.com/questions/129185/…) –  Pops May 10 '12 at 19:55
    
Good theory, @mmyers. I did notice that the dupe block was still there... I would expect the last activity to be "reopen," though, not "edit," and the attached user to be either the mod or Community, as appropriate. –  Pops May 10 '12 at 19:56
    
@PopularDemand Of course, Nick didn't bother to indicate when or what the next build was... And yeah, I missed that link. Pretty pictures! –  casperOne May 10 '12 at 19:58
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Is it sad that I left the tab on this question, when I came back I tried to click the [Questions] link on the image, and for a moment I was slightly confused why it wasn't working? –  animuson May 10 '12 at 20:12
    
Ah, right, I had forgotten Yi Jiang was supposed to post a report about this...I imagine it's easiest if Community is just always listed as the attached user. –  Tim Stone May 11 '12 at 0:11
    
Another example: meta.stackoverflow.com/posts/131966/revisions The main page shows it as being bumped by Rocket i.stack.imgur.com/1mGAQ.png –  Manishearth May 11 '12 at 8:05
    
I just saw this happen again with this question: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/87028/… The LA was attached to the closing mod but with the timestamp of the re-opening, and it was bumped. After a few minutes it reverted to the timestamp of the closing and fell back down the page. –  Toomai Aug 14 '12 at 19:58
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FWIW, it happens any time a question is reopened, and the displayed user is whoever was responsible for the last activity on anything in the question (whoever would have been shown the last time the question was on the front page). –  Tim Stone Jan 4 '13 at 19:44
    
Is there any plan to change this? It just happened to me on this Workplace question. –  Jim Jan 29 '13 at 15:34
    
I just discovered this myself. I think your suggestion to make the last action "reopen" instead of "edit" and attributing it to the proper user is a good one. –  WendiKidd Aug 13 '13 at 22:48
    
(Just for the archives: this is still happening. Today a moderator reopened a question, still showing the previous last active user on the frontpage and on the question.) –  Arjan Oct 28 '13 at 15:27
    
(Again just for the archives, it fooled me again: a question was closed and re-opened by a moderator, making the user who posted the last answer in July 2009 appear as having been active.) –  Arjan Dec 24 '13 at 16:53

1 Answer 1

up vote 2 down vote accepted

As already diagnosed, the problem was that when a question got reopened only the last activity timestamp got a bump, whereas the last active user remained the same. This should be fixed for (newly) reopened questions in build 2014.4.14.2159 on meta and 2014.4.14.1546 on sites.

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