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Right now, staff members are performing a cleanup of various and tags for functionality which is no longer supported (think legacy Jobs, Winter Bash). While some housekeeping is necessary, and they're just doing their jobs, the consequence of this is that the Meta Stack Exchange homepage and the first few pages of the Active questions tab are being flooded. There's a very long screenshot of what the Meta Stack Exchange homepage looks like right now at the end of the question.

I'm just wondering what can be done about this. Some thoughts:

  • Doing the housekeeping at a slower pace, so that the homepage isn't flooded (common for community-driven retag projects)
  • Have Community silently remove the tags, like with the HTTP → HTTPS upgrade
    • I can understand this is not desirable in general, but maybe it can be applied to questions closed as 'not reproducible anymore'; closing questions doesn't bump them, and some of them are already closed
  • This may be such a rare occurrence that it's not worth discussing, since it won't happen again in the next 6-8 years :)

I'm sure you can come up with more ideas.

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    Just do what I do, switch to Newest instead of Active (at least until the maintenance subsides). Commented Jun 24 at 18:11
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    #sorrynotsorry ;)
    – Bella_Blue StaffMod
    Commented Jun 24 at 18:13
  • @testing-ma-lady then you'll miss new answers to (slightly) older questions. They may contain spam or be otherwise harmful, it's a little harder to keep track of those right now.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jun 24 at 20:06
  • While I don't recommend it in this instance, redaction can be used by 2 moderators or a CM to add/remove a tag. That does not, however, maintain an accurate history for the post (i.e., once redacted, there's no way to determine what the change was, who made it, or when). For these tags, it's important to have an accurate history of adding/removing them.
    – Makyen
    Commented Jun 24 at 22:07
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    Personally I'm going with "Hell, it's about time" as a reaction :P
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jun 25 at 0:31
  • "This may be such a rare occurrence that it's not worth discussing, since it won't happen again in the next 6-8 years :)" would be the ideal. Its a perfect storm of changing policies, and getting around to dealing with meta-debt :D. Ideally not letting these things build up would be best, and I'm hopeful that's the case Commented Jun 25 at 9:09

3 Answers 3

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From a staff side, I get that it's annoying. Honestly, at some point, we realized we need to rip the bandage off here. I'd apologize for the noise, but, well, the noise is a part of doing business. You gotta do what you gotta do.

As for your suggestions - they're good, and I thought about them. I really did. But at the end of the day, going through it by hand turned out to be our best option. There are only so many posts in pending statuses network-wide, and we do have to read all of them one-by-one to make sure our reclassification is actually correct. If we're actively reading them, performing the modification right then and there is generally the most expedient way to get it done.

With a bit of luck, we'll be able to stay more on top of this in the future, and you won't have to deal with this. Perhaps for another 6-8 years...

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    A̶p̶o̶l̶o̶g̶i̶e̶s̶ explanation аccepted :)
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jun 24 at 20:10
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    Continue to rip more bandaids off, IMO. Never be afraid of updating old posts - This is exactly what the community has been wanting - CM activity, updates to old requests, and transparency from SE side. Win win win.
    – Robotnik
    Commented Jun 25 at 1:15
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    @Robotnik Maybe when we're done I'll be able to share some graphs from the last few weeks
    – Slate StaffMod
    Commented Jun 25 at 1:17
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    It'd also be nice if you posted comments on each question you retagged (using a script to make it less time-consuming). Users aren't notified of tag-only edits on their questions and questions they follow, even if the edit changes moderator-only status tags, and a change to status tags is, IMO, as good as providing an answer to the post. Leaving a comment (even if it's canned) will alleviate this problem. Commented Jun 25 at 4:33
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    @Sonic Will see what we can do. I've been leaving comments where I think the status change is particularly meaningful or might be misinterpreted. No promises.
    – Slate StaffMod
    Commented Jun 25 at 14:24
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You can temporarily search adding (for Slate & Bella_Blue)

-user:1037447 -user:1058732

(From the banner search box when you click on their user name.)

Unfortunately you might have to adjust tabs on the top questions or all questions pages, which have specialized behaviour.

You may also want

is:question

Unfortunately then clicking on your desired tab seems to negate the name filter.

Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be a way to specify a tab in the search window.

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    Aw, shame you had to go and give away this tip for free... It's no fun retagging these posts if I can't at least annoy someone doing it
    – Slate StaffMod
    Commented Jun 25 at 1:04
  • That would be nice, but it doesn't seem to work for me to return all recently active questions except for the housekeeping.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jun 25 at 6:56
  • @Glorfindel "which have specialized behaviour" I don't know the details of the irregularities but depending on what page you are starting with & its state you may lose aspects of your search/filter. When I start from all questions & active tab with active in the URL & add anything in the search box & search it gives a non-active Search Results page & drops active from the url & no longer limits to only questions. You can add is:question to the search & it only returns questions & adds that to the URL. I don't know what to add to a search box to require active. Hope we can improve this post.
    – philipxy
    Commented Jun 25 at 7:10
  • Thank you for trying - I am (or at least used to be) quite familiar with the search options, I don't know of a way to specify 'active' either.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jun 25 at 7:33
  • @Glorfindel One could reasonably expect that if one gets search results from the top or all questions page & a certain tab the results page & URL ought to be limited to such questions & have that tab. But the search facility does not do that. Maybe clicking to search only ever applies what's in the search window regardless of what page you're on. But then for top & all questions why is the search box empty instead of reflecting the posts shown? I haven't been able to find a way to specify a tab in the window. No info in the help page.
    – philipxy
    Commented Jun 25 at 7:34
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    Once I click on the desired tab, Slate and Bella_Blue are back.
    – Glorfindel Mod
    Commented Jun 25 at 7:44
  • @Glorfindel Ugh yeah me too. Even though active is in the URL! I now give up with SO Inc search again. Bad design & implementation both. Hopefully someone will advise.
    – philipxy
    Commented Jun 25 at 7:51
  • @Slate Please take a look at the comments since yours.
    – philipxy
    Commented Jun 25 at 7:54
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As a moderator I've done very similar things. While in theory trickling in edits is a nice idea - it doesn't scale. I'm entirely aware of how many sites Slate has to do, and as a even volunteer, doing things in my own time, on one site, I can confirm this sort of thing is a utter pain to do.

Sometimes there's no good way to do things - the bumps give folks a chance to audit changes and even the most patient person's going to get tired trying to trickling edits, and this is the 'least terrible' way to make the tags usable for the current use of the tags.

Practically this should give folks an opportunity, hopefully, to keep on top of things in future. Temporary pain's fine for long term gains.

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