What kind of ninja skills allows for a user to post a question and have the timestamp appear later than when their profile says they were sighted?

timestamp on question later than last seen

How did this user post a question without being "seen"? Shouldn't any of the main actions (posting, commenting) update the last seen field in their account?

  • No-repro. The user's last-seen is 10:46:05Z and the question was asked on 10:51:41Z. Both shows "1 hour ago" now.
    – kennytm
    Nov 15, 2010 at 12:06
  • 3
    Caching? I know the profile data is cached (check your own now, I bet it doesn't say "seen 0s ago").
    – ChrisF Mod
    Nov 15, 2010 at 12:15
  • 1
    @ChrisF: I assumed it would be a caching thing, but it's not client-side caching (forced reload doesn't fix it) so it could be altered at the server to update the "seen" field whenever a user performs an action that is publicly visible. Also, when I checked my profile it said "2m ago", even though I hadn't performed any public actions since posting the q. This suggests "seen" is updated on certain page views.
    – Andy E
    Nov 15, 2010 at 12:19
  • 1
    @Kenny: doesn't that count as a repro? He was last seen 5mins 36 seconds before asking his question.
    – Andy E
    Nov 15, 2010 at 12:19
  • I see your point.
    – ChrisF Mod
    Nov 15, 2010 at 12:20
  • 2
    @Andy: I must be living in Australia :p
    – kennytm
    Nov 15, 2010 at 12:21
  • 3
    You tried again to use the [ninjas] tag, I see.
    – Grace Note StaffMod
    Nov 15, 2010 at 13:28
  • 1
    @Grace: yeah, tried :-)
    – Andy E
    Nov 15, 2010 at 13:36
  • If you don't see them, how do you know they are ninjas?
    – user27414
    Nov 15, 2010 at 16:05
  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Posted questions after last seen Dec 18, 2015 at 9:20
  • Closing as dupe of much newer post, but with a much better answer. Dec 18, 2015 at 9:20

1 Answer 1


Last seen does not mean what you think it means.

It means the last interval check that was made; someone could have activity beyond that, up to the next interval check.

  • 33
    What the heck is an interval check? And if "last seen" doesn't mean last seen, then why does it say "last seen" instead of "last interval check"? Nov 15, 2010 at 23:11
  • @rob in other words, last seen does not mean I have not seen you since I last saw you. It just means THAT was the last time I saw you. I might see you again in 2 minutes, too. Nov 16, 2010 at 2:26
  • 31
    @JeffAtwood - You seem to have some confusion about the meaning of the word "last". Oct 6, 2013 at 8:16
  • 8
    if we can have realtime question feed why can't user profile detail can be updated in realtime, it is clearly a bug and should have been accepted as bug OR change text to what Rob suggested Jul 12, 2014 at 18:53
  • 3
    @JigarJoshi this is known as status-meh. Dec 18, 2015 at 9:19
  • @ShadowWizard how is it called nowadays?
    – Wolf
    Feb 15, 2017 at 10:07
  • @Wolf still the same Feb 15, 2017 at 10:08
  • 5
    @ShadowWizard interesting that this is tagged as [status-by-design], also the misleading wording in the user profile, quite sad to read this.
    – Wolf
    Feb 15, 2017 at 10:12

You must log in to answer this question.

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