This is a serious question, not necessarily an argument. The infamous name change tracking answer on Many Memes has been locked by Kyle Cronin. The reason supplied, via its now final comment, was:

We don't need to track every single name change, and I'm a little tired of seeing this bumped again and again, so I'm locking this answer.

I don't normally second-guess the mods, even when I disagree with them, but in this case I'm asking if this was really the appropriate response. I'll be honest and say I disagree with it, at least with that particular reasoning. However, if this is something the other mods (and/or Jeff) agree on, then I'll back off -- I'll still disagree, but as always will respect the decision.

Just want to hear other navelgazers' and mods' takes on it.

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    What's good is that it was always current and corrected. Like how we like to keep answers. – random Nov 28 '09 at 8:24
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    @random: Generally, I agree with you. (OTOH, I will admit that odds are good no other answer in the Trilogy is kept quite as up-to-date as that one ... ) :) (And of course, maybe this is all just a subtle hint for us to stop doing it ... ) – John Rudy Nov 28 '09 at 8:39
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    Would updating that answer itself teeter on the verge of becoming a meme? – random Nov 28 '09 at 9:03
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    Everybody go keep updated meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19478/… – perbert Nov 28 '09 at 17:29

There are a few things to consider:

  • If you don't like that question appearing, why don you just ignore the meme tag? Anyone that felt that way, would have done it by now.
  • How many visit the front page as opposed to the questions page (on Meta I visit the front page precisely to know where the discussion is)
  • That exact answer did provide us a useful service :)
  • I was kind of happy to see that there was something on the internet that was keeping part of what I consider The History of Meta.
  • Could this warrant a feature request? Can the option to make an edit without bumping a question or of making a question non-bumpable with edits be added?
  • Does one question really accounts for clutter?
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    "Can the option to make an edit without bumping a question be added?" I'd support that. Also, name changes are logged and visible to moderators, so the information is still being tracked in a way. – Kyle Cronin Nov 28 '09 at 17:55
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    Unfortunately, mods are outnumbered by normal users by a vast margin. However, if an option to edit without bumping (or disqualify a post from bumping, say after 10 or 15 edits), would that make unlocking said post more palatable? – John Rudy Nov 28 '09 at 18:32
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    [ x ] This is a minor change (will not bump post to the top of the active list) – Ether Nov 28 '09 at 21:34
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    It was a very tough call on whether to accept this or Kyle's. Ultimately, I chose to accept this answer because of the feature request, which I'd totally get behind. – John Rudy Nov 28 '09 at 22:10
  • Editing answers without bumping them to the front page would allow people to insert spam in old question even easier than now. – Georg Schölly Nov 29 '09 at 13:54
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    Did spam get redefined on me somewhere along the line? – John Rudy Nov 29 '09 at 14:39
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    No. I think that @gs means that you could add spam to a question and it wouldn't get noticed since the question wouldn't be bumped. The spam would still show up when people found the question/answer via search but it would potentially delay the finding of it and, since most searches are from people who get here via google and don't have enough rep to remove it, delay having it get removed by an editor. – tvanfosson Nov 29 '09 at 16:15
  • I disagree with (1) -- not everyone who is interested in memes is also interested in finding out what Susan is up to now. – tvanfosson Nov 29 '09 at 16:17
  • @tvansoffon, @gs: that wold require a high rep user, and his behavior moderated. – perbert Nov 29 '09 at 20:53
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    @waveyλger: Based on @tvanfosson's explanation, in the general case you are correct -- but not for CW posts. IIRC, CWs can be edited by people with just 500. Although I still don't see any spammer going to that length to spam these sites when it's easier to just use a dummy OpenID and deface at will. – John Rudy Nov 29 '09 at 21:53

One of the annoying things about locking a post is that, in addition to preventing people from editing it, the ability to comment is shut off as well, so I guess this is as good a place as any to have this conversation.

The main reason why I locked the post was because it kept getting bumped to the front page with every edit. Normally this is a good thing, but in this case the post has gone through 27 revisions over the course of a little over a month. Add to this the fact that it's been off topic from its inception, I felt that its persistent presence on the front page was annoying and unnecessary, so I locked it to prevent it from being edited further.

Besides, the purpose of the post was originally to document the existence of the meme, not to provide a complete running history of every name change in the system. No other "memes of meta" post is updated in such a fashion.

I regard my solution as pragmatic - it may not be ideal but I think that it serves a net positive. I am, however, willing to consider the possibility I may have made the wrong call or misjudged the public perception of the edits, so if there is significant opposition to the lock I will remove it.

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    I agree. I am forever checking to see what's new and interesting only to find it is a name change that caused the bump. – BinaryMisfit Nov 28 '09 at 7:20
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    Seeing as how you can't get a more definitive answer as to why than that of the man who did it, +1. I understand a touch better now. Still not 100% sure I agree (I tend to agree with random's logic in the comment to the question itself), but I understand. (BTW, people use the home page? Am I the only person who instinctively just hits "Questions?") – John Rudy Nov 28 '09 at 8:38
  • How would you feel about a thread devoted to just that? (I've often felt, recently, that this particular post should probably be extracted ... ) OTOH, I suppose it'd run into the same problem over time ... – John Rudy Nov 28 '09 at 8:42
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    -1 "I think that it serves a net positive" is not enough justification for a lock. imho – Andomar Nov 28 '09 at 10:50
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    Of course, if somebody adds a new reply/edit then the post gets bumped too... – Marc Gravell Nov 28 '09 at 11:01
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    I agree 100%. I getting tired of seeing the meme post bumped thinking (ohh a new meme) and it being the same stupid edit again and again. @Marc then it's a new meme and worth checking out. The name change this was just stupid humor. – Ólafur Waage Nov 28 '09 at 11:41

To the extent that it's an actual problem, then I support locking it.

Maybe if the people responsible could use some MODERATION in updating it, perhaps limiting their updates to say once a month or something.

notepad.exe is your friend, that's all I'm saying.

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    Wasn't exactly a problem of "people" updating it way too often. – random Nov 28 '09 at 11:26
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    sounds like someone wants arbitrary restrictions on how often names can be changed.. just warning everyone. – Jeff Atwood Nov 28 '09 at 11:41
  • @random: Don't quite get what you're saying. @Jeff: Fair point. – John Rudy Nov 28 '09 at 16:03
  • @[Jeff Atwood]: please make names unique and disable changing them; it's too confusing. @[Welblog]: if you don't know who you are, seek professional help. – Steven A. Lowe Nov 28 '09 at 18:43
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    Um ... Welbog isn't really represented on this post. – John Rudy Nov 28 '09 at 19:27
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    @Steven A. Lowe: My name is Steven too. If you had come first and chosen that name, would I be unable to use my name? There are now little less than 110145 users, you don't think that name clashes would be common? – perbert Nov 28 '09 at 19:39
  • @[waveyλger]: first come, first served - like every other resource on the planet ;-) – Steven A. Lowe Nov 29 '09 at 8:05

If he'd simply said "Locking to stop edit abuse", would you have been fine with it?

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    Probably, if one could consider it edit abuse. – John Rudy Nov 28 '09 at 7:01

Being the person that posted that, I like that it was locked. I was getting tired of getting notifications about that post.

That is why I had planned on deleting it in the very near future.

Since it is now locked, I won't see any notifications on it. So I may reconsider my position on deleting it.

  • @Brad Gilbert: wouldn't the disowning questions feature-request solve your problem? – perbert Nov 29 '09 at 20:57
  • Yes it would. As far as I can tell, that feature request has not been "asked". There is a similar one, and an answer that suggests that, but not a single "question" to vote upon. – Brad Gilbert Dec 3 '09 at 18:22

Locking a post to prevent it from cluttering up your front page? That is hopefully not what locking is intended for.

Instead of using moderator power to make your front page look clean, why not write a Greasemonkey script to hide the post?


I believe that this question should have been closed anyway.

It really is a meta-meta post about a topic that has nothing to do with any of the three sites.

I recommend closing and, if there is still too much activity, deleting it.

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    Meta is the forth site in the trilogy. Is definitely relevant, because what was done here could happen (and IIRC happened with the Best Joke question) on any of the other sites. So, the discussion Is this a good reason to lock a question? is relevant. – perbert Nov 28 '09 at 17:03
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    -1 If you're going to argue semantics, at least get it right. Technically it's a meta-meta-meta question - The question in question is about Meta, and therefore is meta-meta, so therefore this question is meta-meta-meta. – Super Long Names are Hilarious Nov 29 '09 at 2:18

At the time I wrote this, I disagreed with the position. From a mod standpoint, it sounds like they're in agreement. From the community standpoint, there seems to be a split -- at least in those who cared enough about this to respond here. On one side, there are people who think the post should be updated for accuracy (I tend to fall into this camp, but that's obvious based on the edit history), and on the other are the people who are also sick of seeing it bumped to the home page. The problem for me is that there are people I like and respect on both sides of that! (But ain't that always the way on Meta?)

Based on the frequency of the issue, I guess I can see why it'd be locked. 27 edits in a month is a touch ... excessive. (However, it was also the epitome of community wiki, if you think about it.) I'd still prefer somewhere that got kept up to date for those who were interested, but you can't get around the bump problem (unless Jeff does as he warns and limits name changes).

So I guess I've gone from against the lock to a more neutral position about it.

  • Look at the percentage of edits to that answer. If that person (not the people) had instead held back and updated maybe once a month (far less than every other day) then this would be a non-issue. – random Nov 28 '09 at 23:24
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    @random: if people were smarter, and if Kyle Cronin would think that they were, and if all the people that was bothered by this question knew how to ignore tags, and if they did so, or if they watched the questions page, and if people wouldn't be bothered because of one repeated question appearing in the front page then this wouldn't be an issue. – perbert Nov 29 '09 at 2:29

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