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Given that the Stack Overflow trilogy is to be a resource for googlers, I usually try to go back over my questions/answers and improve them in whatever way that I can. However, I feel this may be inappropriate if there is already an accepted answer because edits bump the (already answered) question to the front page I am wondering if I should refrain from this habit.

Is there any way that I can edit my posts without bumping them? If there isn't, I really think there should be a way to do this (hence the 'feature-request' tag).

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this and that so meta when just popping on the front page... – Félix Gagnon-Grenier Jul 9 '15 at 3:31

Well, first off, no, there's no way to prevent your edit from bumping the question. Which isn't to say that any edit will necessarily cause the question to appear on the front page - but you're better off not trying to put it into a scenario where it absolutely won't appear there.

I feel this may be inappropriate if there is already an accepted answer.

What? Why?

Someone might have a better answer. They might read your question and post that better answer. Then you could accept it.

Or someone might take the time to edit the existing answer, and improve it.

Or the Q&A might just catch someone's eye, draw them in, and teach them something they didn't know but now appreciate.

Don't knock the bumps. The bumps are good!

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Agreed, going to need a much clearer justification for implementing this. – ベレアー アダム Sep 24 '09 at 1:29
uh huh huh, he said "knock the bumps" – Ether Nov 8 '09 at 5:01
Perhaps a "this is a minor edit" checkbox which will cause it not to bump? – hexium Nov 8 '09 at 5:58
@hexium How would that checkbox not be open to abuse? – random Nov 8 '09 at 6:02
@random What abuse? If I understood correctly, you wanted a way to edit posts without bumping them to the front page. By default, it'll be unchecked, and the behavior will be the same as now. However, you'll be able to do what you want. – hexium Nov 8 '09 at 6:06
@random oh did you mean people sneakily changing answers without anyone noticing? That's still a possibility I guess. But that would happen no matter what mechanism is used for not bumping a thread to top. – hexium Nov 8 '09 at 6:07
Yup. That's why bumping is good - it forces you to assume that whenever you edit something, your changes will be seen. – Shog9 Nov 8 '09 at 17:13
@hexium. I agree even if it were a "major edit" w/o bumping. As far as other people editing your posts, the original authors get notices of edits, don't they? – Christopher Bottoms Feb 2 '10 at 20:44
@molecules: there's an indication of it on the "recent activity" page, but no guarantee the author is still around much less actively watching SO. – Shog9 Feb 2 '10 at 23:08
Which isn't to say that any edit will necessarily cause the question to appear on the front page - it means that there are cases when it's not bumpeD? Which? – genesis Aug 22 '11 at 14:59
@genesis: they're always bumped - but there are a finite number of questions that can appear on the front page at any given time. – Shog9 Aug 22 '11 at 15:18
@Shog9 If we are fixing simple errors (like typos that may cause confusion to readers), why does it deserve a bump to the front page? – Pacerier Sep 14 '11 at 9:57
and who decides what is a "simple error", @pacerier? Please see my comment on razlebe's answer. – Shog9 Sep 15 '11 at 3:58
@Shog9 I thought that was obvious, the editor decides it. The original author would still be notified, commentors of the post would be notified, admins can be notified if they want, but it wouldn't hit the first page. – Pacerier Sep 15 '11 at 5:16
@Pacerier: So I can now re-write an entire post, fill an answer with profanity, or sneak in links to my website, confident that so long as I check the "simple error" box I've got a pretty good shot at not being noticed... Sounds like a pretty bad idea. BTW: you should be aware that commentators don't get notified of edits, authors often don't return to old posts, and mods/admins have better things to do than review every single edit. – Shog9 Sep 15 '11 at 16:00

I think there could be a case for not bumping some edits.

I agree with @shog9's answer that bumps are generally good things, but I'd rather see questions that are being hotly debated and edited/have substantially changed/have no answers bumped and getting the limelight ahead of those that are being tweaked for comparatively minor housekeeping reasons.

For example, how about not bumping where the body text edit is < 10 characters? This edit of this question is a good example of an edit that I think should not trigger a bump: a minor grammar and capitalization edit, which bumped an almost year-old question to the front page (and triggered this discussion on Meta).

To firm up my suggestion:

Let's keep bumping for

  • A title edit - re-titling a poorly-titled question can quickly bring clarity and attract new answerers who may before have passed on a question previously

  • Re-tagging - question tags are key to attracting knowledgeable answerers, so any tag change deserves the publicity. Especially given that we have our lists interesting and non-interesting tags

  • Substantial edits - Say, of 10 characters or more (I'm open-minded on what the right threshold should be)

Let's NOT bump for

  • Minor edits - Again, say of less than 10 characters

I'm in two minds about

  • Not bumping for formatting edits - controversial, perhaps: a good formatting change can work wonders for clarity. But does e.g. highlighting a variable name and clicking the format-as-code button really deserve giving that question headline status again?

  • Building some notion of "edit rep" into the bump rules - Could we/should we consider relaxing some of the rules above for Copy Editors?

Any thoughts?

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Am I now supposed to edit swear-words into your answer or mess it completely up by changing less then 10 characters or something? I agree with @Shog9, bumping is a good thing, even for small edits. – Time Traveling Bobby Aug 22 '11 at 13:26
@Shog9 Would particularly welcome your feedback, good or bad. – razlebe Aug 22 '11 at 13:27
@Straitjacket No, that wouldn't be great. But it'd get spotted sooner or later (if the question is of any value at all, someone will read it) at which point the reader can avail themselves of their ability to edit, propose an edit, or flag your action to a mod. Either way, I'd challenge whether you should get front-page billing for such an edit. – razlebe Aug 22 '11 at 13:28
@razlebe: Two points: 1. editing <10 characters can have a heavy impact, 2. 10 successive edits of <10 characters can completely change the post. – Hendrik Vogt Aug 22 '11 at 13:29
@Hendrik Thanks for the feedback. RE: 1., I agree, it's not impossible - but my suspicion is that for most small edits that's not the case. Do you have a good example? 2. That's a great point, and would need to be addressed. – razlebe Aug 22 '11 at 13:32
@razlebe: I completely agree, #1 should be rare. I don't have a real-life example, but I can well imagine that a few people with malicious intent will do it when they learn that minor edits don't cause bumps anymore. – Hendrik Vogt Aug 22 '11 at 13:35
there is zero way to do this that doesn't involve hidden abuse and sweeping changes under the rug. The answer is right in front of you: click "Questions" instead of browsing the home page, if you know you want to avoid recent changes. In other words, YOU need to opt out of viewing changes for YOU, rather than dictating it for all other users. – Jeff Atwood Aug 22 '11 at 13:54
@Jeff I for one had no idea that there was that difference between those two pages. I have no issue working around this and am not trying to dictate anything for anyone - merely posting an alternative point of view. – razlebe Aug 22 '11 at 14:07
The problem with all of these suggestions is that they can't be reliably implemented without some sort of human review. And human review is the whole point of bumping. So we'd be implementing one system to replace an existing one, with the primary motivation being that some folks are doing annoying things with the existing one... The better solution is simply to coordinate mass-editing - talk about it on a meta site, get folks together, agreeing with each other over what needs to be done, and then go out and do it. In other words... There's no technical solution to a social problem. – Shog9 Aug 22 '11 at 17:20
Maybe we could say something like "no bump for formatting edits for questions with already accepted answers"? – Paŭlo Ebermann Aug 22 '11 at 21:51
I've been editing tags, in particular [white] and [space] where it should have been [whitespace] instead of referring to "white" the UI automation framework and "space" the character. But doing that "bumps" the questions and I've been told it's annoying. I'm not interested in cleaning anymore. – Theraot Jan 25 '13 at 2:55
I say that it is ok to bump when adding a tag, because it means that it is now relevant to a different public. On the other removing an tag shouldn't... but, since if I only remove a tag it may degrade the quality of the post, then it should become a review task (similar to suggested edits). – Theraot Jan 25 '13 at 3:06
I really like this suggestion. – Django Reinhardt May 10 '13 at 17:30
@Shog9 - The "no human review" argument is completely illogical. Just whom, exactly, is malicious content going to bother if nobody ever reads the post again? It is a self-defeating argument that simultaneously undermines its own premise. When you weigh it against the lunacy of punishing post owners with CW status, as a clumsy counterbalance to bump-gaming, for editing and improving their own posts it should be even more clear. SE sites want to encourage editing and improving but arguments like this make it all backfire - it's worrying about bogeymen that don't exist. – J... Jun 9 '13 at 11:06
@JeffAtwood -- How are WE supposed to know about and understand YOUR different menu functions? – Martin F Dec 31 '13 at 19:25

No criterion exists that will work in all circumstances here. Even one-character edit may be disastrous.

This is ultimately a question of trust. At the most we can make such option available for "trusted users" - if we (the community here) indeed trust them not to abuse this option.

I too have edited once or twice just to add emphasis to a key phrase, in one instance - to just two words in a long post IIRC. I too felt uneasy about making that edit, knowing it will get bumped and people might think (legitimately) that I did it for some ulterior motives.

Nothing to do about it really.

Except, this suggestion (have just thought of it) - allow everyone (or maybe just "trusted" users above certain rep level) to mark their edit as "minor, don't bump", - and give everyone who reads the main page an option to ignore minor edits which would be turned off, by default. A backwards compatible solution.

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That's a very intriguing idea! – Django Reinhardt May 11 '13 at 14:41

There should be a checkbox when you edit, that will keep the post from being bumped, but only from that edit. In other words, everytime you edit you'd have to choose not to bump. This would help substantially with doing a lot of retagging. I'm always having to restrict myself to half a dozen at a time so I don't flood the front page.

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I agree that we need that, but probably only for high-reps and mods. We don't want spammers or cranks to be able to hide their doings. – Raphael Feb 7 '14 at 9:26
I agree with Lance suggestion. Please read my comment posted on this answer:… – HackerKarma Jul 9 '15 at 18:42

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