What is the use/help to others in editing questions already answered years ago? It is happening on a Stack Exchange site, where a user is editing questions with accepted answers from 2015 or even earlier.

What's the point in this behavior?

I feel that this behavior is harming recent questions (generally posed by new users).

  • 6
    "I feel that this behavior is harming recent" In what way is it harming new questions? Why are new questions getting a better treatment than old questions? – Dharman May 9 '20 at 13:33
  • 7
    How is it harming recent questions? I don't understand why that is the case. – rene May 9 '20 at 13:46
  • 2
    Do know that if those edits make you frown, have a look at the activity of our Editor-in-Chief, Peter Mortensen – rene May 9 '20 at 13:49
  • Sometimes, @rene bumping a very old post because it has a trivial grammatical or orthographical error, can be harmful to the author as their post can attract downvotes. Well... it was truer on Meta in the "past", either the number of users downvoting obsolete posts has declined or they are being nicer. Take your pick. – Mari-Lou A May 9 '20 at 16:51
  • 1
    @rene the active question page is full of old edited questions. I feel that it is pretty annoying. My opinion, though. – EarlGrey May 9 '20 at 21:15
  • 1
    @Dharman new questions which are active suddenly disappear under a blanket of old questions that are edited and active only because of that. – EarlGrey May 9 '20 at 21:17
  • 2
    That is not true, if you sort by newest you always get the fresh questions. – Dharman May 9 '20 at 21:18
  • @Dharman True. I don't know how many casual users click on the Questions tab on the left, I generally have a glance at Home and that's all. – EarlGrey May 9 '20 at 21:20
  • @JasonBassford thanks, interesting. I think that the answer reason "With the front page being customized to each user's favorite tags" seems to be the fundamental, bad issue with "internet as an echo chamber". However, I understand the rationale behind it. – EarlGrey May 10 '20 at 9:34

Editing old questions & answers is encouraged, if the edits actually improve the posts, and fix everything that's fixable by a 3rd party. Stack Exchange sites are supposed to be long-term repositories of useful questions and answers, they aren't help desks, so the age of posts isn't all that relevant.

However, it's definitely a problem if a sloppy editor goes on a mass editing spree that floods the Active tab with a bunch of boring old questions with half-hearted edits. Especially if the editor has <2k rep, so their edits need to be approved, although those edit reviewers ought to know better than to approve sloppy edits.


What's the point in this behavior?

To improve the posts.

For example, in a recent edit, that user edited the title to fix a grammar mistake, and added relevant tags to the question.

While sometimes edits are too minor, edits of title and adding/removing tags are usually good even for old questions/answers. And surely there's no harm in it.

  • 3
    Given that those edits bump the question it is worth noting that the editor should spread out the edits so the the active question page is not full of old edited questions. On Super User we occasionally have mass tag editing (retagging) weekends where we explicitly notify the community when this is going to happen so there are no complaints. This happens less than once per year. – DavidPostill May 9 '20 at 17:03
  • @DavidPostill true, but mass minor edits are rare, and handled by the site mods and in extreme cases, SE staff. (think that a mod was once removed by SE after unjustified edit spree) – Shadow Wizard is Vaccinating May 9 '20 at 23:18

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