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I have been an active member of UX Stack Exchange for a little over 2 years and in that time, I have noticed the Community bot push years old posts to the top of the questions homepage.

Now, I understand the algorithm is designed to help less active and low attention posts get some attention but the whole process seems counter intuitive to me. Many a times, the Community bot will push multiple older posts to the top leading to newer posts being dropped from the visible section of the screen. Although there could be an argument for the "Week" tab being used, we all know how the users interact with such forums. Majority of questions that aren't about mainstream topics or trending topics tend to get pushed down due to the Community bot. Unfortunately, most of these questions that are pushed to the top also tend to be out-of-date, which means the whole idea doesn't work as well as it is supposed to.

I'd love to hear some arguments in favor of the Community bot and maybe even suggestions to improve the way it promotes such posts.

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    The "new" questions tab already exists unless I'm missing something... Questions tab > Newest – Jenayah Apr 22 at 5:06
  • I guess it isn't present on all the StackExchange sites. The UX SE doesn't have the "Newest" tab. It only has "Active", "Hot", "Week" and "Month" – Shreyas Tripathy Apr 22 at 5:12
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    @ShreyasTripathy Click the hamburger menu at the top left of the window (assuming you are logged into the site) and select Questions. This should default to Newest, and you will also see that as an available tab. The actual URL for this is ux.stackexchange.com/questions. – Jason Bassford Apr 22 at 5:16
  • I suggest editing your question so it's clear if you're asking about how to get to the Newest questions—or if you're actually complaining about the community bot. You seem to be conflating one with the other. – Jason Bassford Apr 22 at 5:20
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    @JasonBassford - Thanks. I was looking at the Home section the whole time, my bad. I have removed the "New" question bit from the post. But I still fail to understand why everyone seems to be obsessing over that side note and ignoring the actual question – Shreyas Tripathy Apr 22 at 5:35
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    @ShreyasTripathy Because it wasn't clear what your question was. It started off being seemingly about one thing—then seemed to change into something else. This makes it clearer. However. Are you really saying that you think the default view should be Newest questions rather than Top questions? Or are you saying you don't think that the community bot should influence Top questions at all? – Jason Bassford Apr 22 at 5:38
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Here is a list of criteria based on which the Community user bumps questions.

The Community user will bump non-negatively scored, open questions every hour that have at least one answer scoring 0 and none scoring more than that.

That means that a single vote on questions and/or answers can cause the Community user not to bump it anymore.

Unfortunately, most of these questions that are pushed to the top also tend to be out-of-date.

Then the question isn't useful anymore, so you can consider downvoting it; remember that the tooltip says "This question ... is ... not useful.". If you think that isn't fair, consider improving the answer (that's where your edit privileges are for) and upvote it.


maybe even suggestions to improve the way it promotes such posts.

Here is a for 'bump votes' which the community turned into a possible enhancement for the Community user bump function.

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    Yep. Users have the power to get this stuff off of Community's queue by voting on it! That's actually why this stuff is bumped at all. If an answer has zero score, that's not telling visitors anything about whether the answer is good or not. When we get some indication that the question is bad (negative score) or that at least one of the answers is good or none of them are, the bumping will cease. Voting is the easy solution, though ... voting just to clear them if you don't know if the answer is good or not isn't a great solution. :) – Catija Apr 22 at 13:19
  • (late response) Downvoting a question just because it's old seems like a poor solution, though. It might have been a perfectly good question when it was asked -- downvoting it 5+ years later because it's no longer relevant seems like a weird misuse of the scoring system. – duskwuff May 14 at 6:33
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It's worth remembering that we aren't just helping people with immediate problems but also building a knowledge base for future users. We don't expect our old posts to get out of date.

Bumping questions helps get questions answered - and sometimes you can get a great answer weeks,or months or years later. While the front page is how most of us use the site, lots of folks find their way to SE searching for answers, sometimes even on sites we're familiar with.

"Ruining" the community is a bit of a harsh viewpoint - if you see something bumped, vote on it, or better yet, post a better answer than what's there if you can. Then someone could come across it and and have an idea of what existing answers are good or bad, or find your new answer. We want folks to see and act on these questions so they don't go quietly into the night

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