According to Grace Note♦ here, the "front page" of a site filters out some questions:
The "home page" of a Stack Exchange site will filter out all questions that fall below a certain threshold. This is -4 score for main Q&A sites, and -8 for Meta sites. This is because the home page is meant to highlight quality content, so that a brand new visitor will see good stuff.
This happens on all tabs on the front page, including active. Isn't this a problem though? How are we supposed to see new activity on downvoted questions?
- If a question is downvoted quick enough, it falls off the home page before people see it. I know that some people only use the home page. While I don't know the exact number of people like that I noticed that here on Meta SE sometimes questions get downvoted and drop off the home page before they get enough close votes and when this happens it takes much longer for the question to be closed. I've seen this happen on other sites, where the threshold is much lower since they are main sites. It's just disheartening, especially because I also sometimes see this happen with spam and I don't like seeing such questions stick around.
- Heavily downvoted questions that are edited don't get any attention, even if the question is perfect now.
- On the flip side, a heavily downvoted question that is vandalized will not get any attention.
- New answers don't get any attention. If people don't vote, good content can't "float to the top" like it should.
And probably most importantly:
- New activity (both edits and answers) on downvoted meta posts will be missed. While downvotes indicate an idea is bad, many of these posts are official messages from Stack Exchange about changes that they're making. As a result, this isn't something that people would not want to see activity on. In fact, this situation happened on dozens of meta sites simultaneously when the new designs were launched (and on most of those sites people expressed how confused the disappearance of the downvoted meta post made them).
I understand the desire to not show "garbage" to new users visiting the front page, at least on main sites. But I don't think it makes sense to not show these posts to users with some rep (or even an account) on the site. On meta sites, users tend to at least have some stake in the site, so I'm not sure it makes sense to optimize for showing brand new visitors good stuff.