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I have noticed that since recently questions that are tagged with favorite tags are popping on the top of the main page (http://stackoverflow.com) even if those questions haven't been modified for a long time. Is this some new feature I didn't understand about? If so how it can be disabled as it is extremely annoying and it completely destroys the usability of the site?

UPDATE:

The issue is even more serious than what I initially thought. Removing my favorite tags doesn't solve it and I continue to see old questions on the home page from my older favorite tags. I really hope someone on the SO team would provide an explanation and fix this horrible bug.

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You were chosen as test case, the team is working on changing the "Interesting" tab list order. Will find what Nick said and post link. –  Shadow Wizard Apr 7 '13 at 9:24
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I don't remember being asked for such an experiment. I would like this to cease immediately! I already provided my feedback about this new feature: it sucks badly and I don't want it. –  Darin Dimitrov Apr 7 '13 at 9:25
    
Here it is. I fear your only option is emailing the team asking to remove you from this experiment. EDIT: no email required, just feel this form and explain. –  Shadow Wizard Apr 7 '13 at 9:26
    
Thanks for providing me with the link. –  Darin Dimitrov Apr 7 '13 at 9:28
    
fill this form* @ShaWizDowArd –  hjpotter92 Apr 8 '13 at 0:18
    
@hjpotter92 lol, usually I notice those things. Thanks! –  Shadow Wizard Apr 8 '13 at 6:18
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@Skliwz can you at least explain which users see this behavior (if not totally random) and if it's possible to somehow opt out? That one here is one of the top users ever and he appears to be very annoyed by being part of "experiment". –  Shadow Wizard Apr 8 '13 at 13:02
    
@ShaWizDowArd I recently asked a similar question here And there I was told that unfortunately there is no opt out at the moment. –  Daanvn Apr 8 '13 at 13:15
    
Thanks @Daanvn! Darin, as hinted in this answer you can try use a different browser to dodge this thing. :) –  Shadow Wizard Apr 8 '13 at 13:19
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@ShaWizDowArd, I have strictly no intention to use any other browser than the one I prefer and use. By the way the bug seems to be fixed since this morning. –  Darin Dimitrov Apr 8 '13 at 13:21
    
It's not a bug, it's new feature they are still testing. Good chance that soon enough this will be permanent to all users. –  Shadow Wizard Apr 8 '13 at 13:22
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If this so called feature becomes permanent and impossible to be turned off I will request my account being removed and stop contributing on StackOverflow. I really don't like to be part of a a so called community driven website in which the community feedback is not taken into account. There could at least have been a discussion. If on the other hand I can turn it off that would be fine for me. –  Darin Dimitrov Apr 8 '13 at 13:26
    
I already have this new feature for atleast 4 days now and I hope it will not get permanent for everyone and it will go back to the normal sort order for me. I also prefer the normal sort order because I think there is no logical reason to use this order which gives me 3hour old questions. –  Daanvn Apr 8 '13 at 13:29
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@Daanvn, if it was 3 hours that would have been fine. I am seeing questions older than 1 day. It's incredible that nobody from the SO team provides an official response. –  Darin Dimitrov Apr 8 '13 at 13:34

1 Answer 1

up vote 4 down vote accepted

We're measuring a proposed change to the interesting* tab sort order. This particular experiment will probably be over in a few days, depends how quickly data is gathered.

Note that the new algorithm actually doesn't look at favorite tags, at all. It's strictly based on your history, though if it works we will probably look at rolling favorite tags in.

The latest version deployed (which I could see being a tad more noticeable than ones running in prior weeks) has been running for a bit, if you think you see it turning on and off you're just seeing the normal random jitters in the homepage.

While the new algorithm doesn't impose a strict activity ordering (at least during testing), the typical window of eligible posts on the homepage hasn't changed (which is 3~4 hours on a weekday). Caching and activity spikes can play with that a bit in individual cases, but it holds on average.

*There are other possible results, where we don't think it's good enough for the interesting tab but may be useful on some other page/feed. Ideally it'll be shown to be good enough for the interesting tab though.

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