I asked this question yesterday, approximately 18 hours ago ("2011-12-13 20:24:03Z" according to the hover text), and it's still being displayed as "today".

I assume the "Z" in the timestamp refers to Zulu time, so I converted my current time to Zulu, and the date (2011-12-14) differs from the timestamp on the question.

I don't pretend to understand all of the complexities when converting time zones, but I thought it was strange enough to report. If it matters at all, I'm in US-Eastern.

1 Answer 1


"today" on posts means "within 24 hours". Since when yesterday/today/tomorrow cuts off varies by timezone, it'd be even weirder to show "yesterday" for a question posted at 7:59PM EST when I browsed to it 2 minutes later (pretend this says 6:59PM for EDT!).

Given we can't render based on your timezone, we opt for units of time, 24 hours here, it's the least-weird approach to the issue. Since no solution is perfect, we chose what makes the most sense given the constraints.

  • I thought that might be the case. Thanks for confirming. Commented Dec 14, 2011 at 18:00
  • 6 years later...is there a reason this can't be rendered based on the browser's timezone? You can easily get the offset or even an ISO date/time with offset from javascript, which the site is clearly using.
    – ND Geek
    Commented Jun 1, 2017 at 12:46
  • I also noticed this today, but I figured the language inaccuracies become less and less important as time passes. While all strings have a maximum of 24 hours of being linguistically wrong, once it switches to weeks or months, the proportion of the inaccurate time span shrinks compared to the full time span any particular text is displayed. In other words, "today" may be wrong for 24 hours out of 24 hours it is displayed, but "11 years and 9 months ago" may be technically wrong for 1 out of 31 days.
    – LWChris
    Commented Sep 29, 2023 at 10:02

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