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About two weeks ago every site I visited (and I frequent a few) had a bunch of questions highlighted in blue.

I remember noticing this on Judaism, skeptics and onstartups.

Is the algorithm now broken, was there a push to do this by mods and it fell off a cliff or was it just something I clicked on?

There are two similar questions on the meta of Judaism and onstartups like this: Why are some questions highlighted in blue?

pre-post-UPDATE: I just went on Judaism to find this question and notice that there are plenty of blue questions on their homepage, but definitely none on Skeptics or Onstartups.

I can also confirm there are no tags in my prefs.

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No tags in your prefs on Judaism, Skeptics, OnStartups, or no tags in any of them? –  John Jun 3 '11 at 1:01
    
@John - I have no favourite or ignored tags on any site –  xiaohouzi79 Jun 3 '11 at 1:02

1 Answer 1

up vote 5 down vote accepted

@xiaohouzi79 linked to a question asking the same thing on the judaism.se meta which contains an answer that explains it, so I'll just quote it here (see the emphasis):

This is highlighting questions with tags that are in your favorite tags. If you haven't manually added any favorite tags, the system will detect when you have a certain level of activity in a tag and infer one for you. If you manually add a favorite tag, the system will not infer a tag for you.

You can customize your favorite (and ignored tags) in your profile on the prefs tab. You can also customize these settings in the right sidebar of the homepage and the /questions listing.

So, if you would prefer not to have any questions highlighted, you can simply add a nonsense "tag" to your favorites. Perhaps ? (:

http://meta.judaism.stackexchange.com/questions/49/why-are-some-questions-highlighted-in-blue/51#51

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But if the 'system' is detecting, how come 2 weeks ago there were lots on multiple sites, but now I can't see a single one on skeptics or fitness? –  xiaohouzi79 Jun 3 '11 at 2:27
    
@xiaohouzi79 There's a decay factor involved. Perhaps you haven't viewed the tag it inferred for you as much lately? –  Rebecca Chernoff Jun 3 '11 at 2:34
    
Why a decay factor, sounds weird. Is there anywhere we can view these suggested tags. It just seems strange that both those meta posts popped up at the same time I noticed, it must be something that was only implemented recently. Is it possible it's broken? If there is a decay factor, what's the point in it happening only once, shouldn't it recalculate once a week if that's the case. Doesn't seem right that it should happen once and then never again if I don't visit those tags. –  xiaohouzi79 Jun 3 '11 at 2:40
    
@xiaohouzi79, see this. It doesn't happen once, that's the point of the decay - so that you don't get locked into a tag if your viewing habits change. –  Rebecca Chernoff Jun 3 '11 at 2:50

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