I'm very much new to Stack Overflow, and I do a LOT of searching regarding issues I run into. Most the time I find a really helpful question with answers like this or this, but after working on it, run into some problems.

After working around the problem, I feel that I need to contribute back. Through an edit, comment (comments don't bump), or new answer. However I realize this bumps old questions, and I don't want to do something that would anger someone.

So my question simply is, can I bump old threads to clarify answers? Or is this considered "necro'ing" or some other negative action?

  • 6
    Actually, comments don't bump the question. Only edits and answers do.
    – animuson StaffMod
    Commented Mar 17, 2012 at 6:31
  • 14
    I want to choke people that complain about necro'ing threads.
    – Nick T
    Commented Mar 17, 2012 at 23:20
  • 1
    You can always bounty a question and then award the bounty to the answer that helped you the most...
    – user1228
    Commented Mar 19, 2012 at 16:29
  • 2
    I'm a bit new to SO, and tried to "bump" this question: stackoverflow.com/questions/12956334/… by adding an answer (bad, I know). Problem is, I can't upvote this question, because I don't have enough rep, and I can't comment on any of the answers, because there's no "comment" link (I guess the question is too old? Not sure). How do I get in touch with the people who have already solved this problem of mine?
    – roach374
    Commented Mar 1, 2013 at 17:33
  • 1
    @roach374, up-voting and commenting both require reputation. As for the problem you are having, it might be a better idea to start a new question and provide the details of your problem and a reference to that post. Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 6:50
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    @Nathan: Thanks! That's just what I did, but of course it sank like a stone, with no views. So I guess I'll just keep posting the same question over and over again, in the hopes that someone eventually sees it?
    – roach374
    Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 22:02
  • @roach374, No! stackoverflow is designed for answers. If your question is a duplicate they'd probably remove it. In my experience, "Sank like a stone" doesn't matter. Linking it here might help as well. Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 23:48
  • @roach374 as I can't comment on your question so I'll put this here. I would suggest simplifying your generation code and posting it. Also, try posting screenshots. Whenever you edit your post it will bump it (I would suggest not to abuse that). However I'm sure admins will appreciate edits that give clarification and detail. If I wasn't on a deadline right now, and you posted the basic algorithm you're using, I'd be happy to try it out. Commented Mar 2, 2013 at 23:56

1 Answer 1



"Bumping" old questions is perfectly acceptable, and even encouraged, when you have something new to contribute.

Unlike traditional forums, the Stack Exchange sites don't have any strange rules about interacting with old questions and no one is going to think odd of you when you do so.

Since the primary goal is to get good answers to questions, no matter how long it might take, there is nothing at all negative about sharing your knowledge. In fact, that's what you're supposed to do. If you post a helpful new answer, it's very likely that you'll earn a couple of upvotes for your trouble.

You might also earn some badges for this behavior (which is another clue that it's encouraged, as badges are generally only awarded for positive behavior). For example, the bronze Revival badge is awarded to people who answer a question more than 30 days later when that answer earns a score of 2 or more. And the silver Necromancer badge is awarded to people who answer a question more than 60 days later when that answer earns a score of 5 or more. Each of these badges can be awarded more than once.

Following the same rationale, editing old questions and answers (whether your own or someone else's) to improve them or bring them up to date is also highly encouraged. It will bump them up, mainly so that your edits can be audited by the community.

Do note, however, that only edits to the question (including retags), edits to any of its answers, and posting of a new answer will bump the question. Comments don't bump anything.

In fact, just by way of example, I did something very similar to what I think you're proposing here. It earned me a couple of upvotes—I don't think the question's topic is a very popular one. But it felt good to share what I learned, and at least two other people did find it helpful, so that's got to be worth something.

  • 1
    Thank you! This makes me happy! I'll just have to work at making it concise and worth=while. Commented Mar 17, 2012 at 6:45
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    You should post fewer answers. The system will soon think I serial-upvote you. Commented Mar 17, 2012 at 14:21
  • @DanielFischer lol
    – undo
    Commented Jan 2, 2016 at 9:07
  • For the second time I met a user on the main site who referred to this answer as an excuse to "bump old questions" by posting NAA stuff. It looks like the big "Yes!" at the beginning of your answer has some effect on such people. Not sure if you'd want to edit and reformulate - but I thought you might be interested to know. It looks like the "when you have something new to contribute" part escapes them completely...
    – Eric Aya
    Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 15:12
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    @Moritz Feel free to send 'em my way. I will set them straight. Commented Sep 8, 2017 at 15:27
  • 1
    FYI 'Necroing' refers to Necromancy, not Necrophilia. Commented Apr 3, 2018 at 17:43

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