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I sometimes see some questions that are active today but however find no sign of they ever being active for a long time. What could be the cause of this?

Besides the Community ♦ user could some answer from a passerby that was deleted push the question to the top and still make it look as though it hasn't been active for some time?

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Example, please? –  Shadow Wizard Nov 3 '13 at 22:31
    
I noticed this some time ago, so I can't give a current example, even so that what brought this to my attention was a post bumped by the Community user. –  Doktoro Reichard Nov 3 '13 at 22:34
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This one foxed me: stackoverflow.com/questions/5829983/… Reported as "modified Sep 19 at 12:34 johnfstanley"? So he made a comment or an answer which was then deleted? Also this: stackoverflow.com/questions/15743784/… Report as " modified Oct 9 at 9:20 joshua.duffy" –  Bill Woodger Nov 3 '13 at 23:58

4 Answers 4

up vote 8 down vote accepted

Essentially, yes.

If I answer this question it will get bumped. If I then delete the answer you can't see it any more because you have less than 10k reputation but the question itself does not get "unbumped". It looks like there's been activity, but there's no obvious reason for it.

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Another reason which often puzzles "even" me is reopening a closed question. It will cause the last activity to be updated, but visible only in the revisions.

Here is a fresh example:

Click the "today" will take you to the question, which is NOT active today. Confusing, right? When in doubt, check the revisions:

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Besides the Community ♦ user could some answer from a passerby that was deleted push the question to the top and still make it look as though it hasn't been active for some time?

Yes. This is not an uncommon occurrence.

If a new user answers with "thanks everyone, that helped!" or something like that, the answer could be deleted or turned into a commment. The question will still be bumped and have recent activity.

If we've been graced by the presence of a spambot, the entire account might be deleted. In this case, the Community user will take ownership of the post, and the activity will appear to come from the Community user.

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The Community also periodically pokes old questions to bring them to the front page, see The Community User and Why does a question appear as modified by the Community user.

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Ahm... I DID point that out in the question... –  Doktoro Reichard Nov 3 '13 at 23:08

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