I use Stack Exchange API to get information of questions, I noticed that some comments' last_activity_date is later than the question's last_activity_date, so my question is: when will the question's last_activity_date be updated?

If a comment is submitted, will the question's last_activity_date be updated? If a question is solved, will the question's last_activity_date be updated with the timestamp when it is solved?

  • This is specifically about the API, not other visible features of the website. This API field may correspond to one of those site categories, or it might not. The question deserves a clear answer on its own terms. Mar 27, 2018 at 2:08
  • @AwesomePoodles Neither of the linked questions or any of their answers mention the API at all. It may correspond exactly, but you can't learn that from reading those questions. That's why they're not valid duplicates. I assume this question can be answered easily from quoting the API docs. That's what it needs, not to be closed as a dupe of something which doesn't mention the API. Mar 27, 2018 at 2:23

1 Answer 1


Per the API "Date Formats" documentation:

  1. All dates returned by the API are in properties ending _date.

    Thus last_activity_date ==> "Last Activity"

  2. All dates in the API are in unix epoch time, which is the number of seconds since midnight UTC January 1st, 1970.

Per the What can cause a question to be bumped?, a question is "bumped" (it's activity date changes) when:

  • An answer is added.
  • The question or an answer is edited.
  • A bounty is started.
  • The Community user bumps it.
  • A couple of other less common reasons, see the linked question.

Comments and accepting an answer do not change the last activity date.

For example, this linked question currently has an activity date of: 2016-06-09 23:00:59Z.

And the API currently gives us: 1465513259 -- which is the unix time corresponding to 2016-06-09 23:00:59 UTC.

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