I think this is platform wide (all SE sites).

  1. Logout
  2. Choose a tag, eg. java on SO
  3. Try to sort questions by something other than newest

No matter what sorting is chosen, questions are sorted by newest

  • Weird. No need to log out though, it can be reproduced by browsing in Private/Incognito mode of the browser. Commented Oct 27, 2014 at 11:04
  • This happens to me even when I don't choose a specific tag. I see it when clicking the "Questions" link from the home page. Commented Oct 31, 2014 at 21:22

2 Answers 2


This was done deliberately to deal with a anonymous DOS. Quoting Shog9 on Meta Stack Overflow:

Requests from anonymous users to some of these routes were causing an unacceptably large performance hit a few days ago, potentially hurting the experience for many other users.

As a result, they were disabled for anonymous users. They may be re-enabled at some point when we have had time to implement a less drastic solution.

So until that solution is in place, this is I'm afraid.

Note that for anonymous users, the other sort options are no longer displayed; all you get are the newest and info tabs; frequent, votes, active and unanswered are all gone from the UI:

tag info with no sorting

Another effect is that multi tag searches are also disabled. Any tag search that combines two or more tags redirects to the first tag picked. The search for python and python-3.x redirects to the page for just the python tag because it is listed first; swap the tags and again you are redirected to just the first tag.


I don't know if this is intentional, but they removed only the GUI, the functionality is still there if you paste the correct parameters into the URL. So you can still sort them, just add the parameters like you see it in a site where you are registered. Some examples for question sorting:

Sort by newest: /questions?sort=newest
Sort by featured: /questions?sort=featured
Sort by frequent: /questions?sort=frequent
Sort by votes: /questions?sort=votes
Sort by active: /questions?sort=active
Sort by unanswered: /questions?sort=unanswered

With this info, somebody could easily create a userscript that adds back the buttons with these links.

document.getElementById('tabs').insertAdjacentHTML('afterbegin', '\
<a href="/questions?sort=featured">featured</a>\
<a href="/questions?sort=frequent">frequent</a>\
<a href="/questions?sort=votes">votes</a>\
<a href="/questions?sort=active">active</a>\
<a href="/questions?sort=unanswered">unanswered</a>\

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