If the Community user bumps a question, It says It has modified it:

enter image description here

However, It did not really modify the question, It rather just visited it. The word "modified" is a bit unfortunate IMHO because it suggests that something changed in the question or its answers, which is not true. I therefore suggest that we look for another word which would be more descriptive and less confusing. Some come to my (and others') mind:

  • visited, poked, bumped, promoted, dredged up, brought up, ...

(Actually, "Bumped" is even officially used now: Is there any way to see which posts Community has bumped? and an example.)

I'm not a native speaker and maybe someone find a better word. To me, visited sounds the best, but that may be only me. It makes sense, too, since Community really just visits the questions, with the site-effect of them getting bumped. It shouldn't confuse anybody.

Actually, it can be harmful in some sense, since the edits by anonymous visitors are credited to the Community user, and it is interesting to know that this has happened, so that more people can check that the edit makes sense. You therefore can't simply ignore all "edited by Community" messages. (Thanks to Monica Cellio for pointing it out.)

(Remark: I know this has been questioned before (1 2 3 4 5) but I think it has never been requested to change the action title to something more descriptive. If I'm wrong, I apologize.) (The "lying" it the question title is meant as a sarcasm)

  • 14
    Worth noting: sometimes Community really does modify a post, like when an anonymous edit is approved. So it's not just that you have to learn "ignore Community here" if you want to see changes. – Monica Cellio Jan 21 '15 at 16:43
  • @MonicaCellio Thanks for clarifying, I wasn't 100% sure. I've found a meta link, I'll edit it in the request ;) – yo' Jan 21 '15 at 17:28
  • 4
    FWIW, making these easier to ignore is sorta counter-productive; the whole point of bumping them is to get folks looking at them because clearly no one who knows anything about the topic has bothered. – Shog9 Sep 12 '15 at 3:18
  • @Shog9 If you feel it this way, then the current set-up is even worse. You are behaving like selling crap in a nice packaging. I don't think that other people than those caring about moderation really read the note anyway. And if they do read it, but do not want to deal with old questions, they probably ignore anything "modified by Community" completely. – yo' Sep 12 '15 at 9:54
  • 1
    I get the impression you would prefer this entire feature was turned off, @yo' – Shog9 Sep 12 '15 at 13:39
  • @Shog9 That's another thing and it can be a personal opinion. The true problem is, though, that it confuses me. Recently, I've spent a lot of time doing moderation and less time answering questions. It's difficult if you look for the reason why a question appears at the top, and the answer is basically: "You can't know." I mean, if SE feels it's a useful feature, I don't question it. – yo' Sep 12 '15 at 13:55
  • Just curious, why a bounty? It's already declined, isn't it just waste of 100 points? – Shadow Wizard Jul 7 '16 at 9:11
  • @ShadowWizard I still receive rep points for this one, from people being probably equally confused as I am. I'm only giving back what's not mine, believing the Powers will finally open their eyes and start doing something with it. – yo' Jul 7 '16 at 9:13
  • Very noble of you... But since it was declined, and Shog9 who is the highest authority was the one to decline, doubt it will change. – Shadow Wizard Jul 7 '16 at 9:25
  • @ShadowWizard Well, 2 months ago, SE started using the word "Bump" officially so there are changes. Maybe this will be reviewed, too. – yo' Jul 7 '16 at 9:26
  • 1
    I don't get the problem with the word "modified". It hasn't modified the content of the question, no, but it has modified the activity log. Something is being modified or you wouldn't see the question. It's not ideal I agree but I don't think its a problem. – Cai Jul 7 '16 at 10:26
  • @Cai: Answers also modify the activity log, but they're recorded as "answered"; closures, reopens, deletions, and undeletions do as well, but they don't show up at all. So there is no concept of "modifying the activity log" that is at all valid for the question list. The only two things that show up that way are edits and Community bumps. – Nathan Tuggy Jul 7 '16 at 17:08
  • @NathanO'TᴇstingTuggy I know it's not perfect, but I still don't see how it's a problem. And there obviously is a concept of modifying that is valid for the question list... Community bumps. – Cai Jul 7 '16 at 17:26
  • @Cai: So the exception justifies itself by virtue of its own existence? How remarkably consistent. – Nathan Tuggy Jul 7 '16 at 17:45
  • 1
    It really isn't though, @schmuel - and may not ever be. We kinda went in a different direction here. – Shog9 Feb 28 '17 at 19:28

This was asked on Meta.Judaism, and is currently . However, that was May 2014 already.

So, the team is already aware of this. It just doesn't seem to be high priority.

However, It did not really modify the question, It rather just visited it.

It didn't do that either. Community is not a real person; it can't "visit" anything. It chose it semi-randomly from a list, and set the LastActivityDate on it to the current time in order to make it appear on the active lists.

This is the same thing that happens when someone edits the post, edits an answer to the post, reopens the post, etc.

Until relatively recently, we didn't track which kind of activity caused that date to be updated; editing a question and answering both just showed up as "modified", as did every other type of activity that could alter a post in any way. Now, we track three separate types of activity: asking, answering, and... everything else. Anything in that last category still shows up as "modified".

In theory, we could expand that list to cover the myriad reasons for why a post will appear active. In practice, this is a task with quickly diminishing returns; there are a lot of places where someone (or something) can make a post active, to say nothing of the millions of existing posts with activity dates that may or may not correlate to any specific reason we can identify. And the more work we do on it, the more incongruous the remaining reasons lumped under "modified" will become... If you're this concerned about this particular "lie", then what will you have to say about a post I deleted, undeleted, closed, merged, and edited all in the span of 5 minutes? Is there any reasonable term that describes that accurately beyond "modified"? For that matter...

What do you call what Community does?

As I said above, it certainly hasn't been visited - for that matter, visiting a post doesn't normally cause it to rise to the front page, so that's actually worse at explaining what's happening than the current state of affairs. Most of us call it "bumping", because that's the purpose (and observable effect): it gets "bumped" to the home page. This is... pretty jargony though. There are a lot of folks on these sites now who probably wouldn't understand that, so we'd have to document it somewhere - which is already done in Community's profile. Same for "poked", which seems like something of a slang term for "minor modification" anyway - at least, that's how it's used in Community's profile, which is presumably where you got this idea. "Promoted" is... ok... But maybe sets up the wrong expectations here; these aren't bumped because they've been identified as good or worthy, they're bumped because someone took the time to answer them and hasn't gotten any feedback positive or negative yet. They could be awful and useless... In some cases, the best use for bumping is to identify stuff that fell through the cracks and needs to be removed!

Which brings me to my last concern: why is this even intruding on your consciousness so often that you're bothered by it? Every site with qualifying questions gets regular community bumps, but in my experience the only time these hang around for an appreciable amount of time is on sites that are... Not well. Not just quiet and slow, but suffering mightily from both moderation and positive feedback; again, the only questions that qualify are those that have answer(s) but no votes on those answers - if you're seeing a lot of those around, there is something desperately ill about the site you're seeing them on.

...and unfortunately, "this is a cry for help from" is too long to put in the activity-type string.

  • 2
    You convince me that the words I suggest are wrong, without even saying why modified is good. Even the link on the right, last active X minutes ago, which usually goes to the concerned part of the page (which can be an answer) behaves strangly and does ... nothing, making it look like my browser is wrong, showing no activity after clicking the word active. – yo' Sep 12 '15 at 10:05
  • 2
    "modified" isn't... great. But we need a catch-all for the myriad things that can trigger a post activity update; it suffices. – Shog9 Sep 12 '15 at 16:15
  • 3
    Most of the Community bumps i see are on questions that are either "meh" (but not strictly close-worthy) or long-tail (good question but relatively small number of people qualified to evaluate/answer). This probably doesn't happen as much on sites where evaluating an answer is a simple matter of "run it and see", but a lot of sites aren't like that now that the network has grown. – Monica Cellio Sep 13 '15 at 3:38
  • 2
    How about "dredged up"? It seems to accurately describe what Community is doing to the questions, and also the variable quality of the material thus brought to surface. – Ilmari Karonen May 5 '16 at 15:58
  • @Shog9 No, it does not suffice. If you want efficient user moderation, you need to deliver effective information. You do not. If the Community user does various things to the post, they should be differentiated. Maybe one by one, maybe all at once, but they should. – yo' Jul 7 '16 at 9:12
  • Why not "reminded the site of"? – dorukayhan Jul 7 '16 at 23:07
  • 1
    @dorukayhan Why not "remembered"? remembered 9m ago Community ♦? The community are the ones being reminded, and... no? – wizzwizz4 Feb 2 '17 at 16:50

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .