In the past, we had a nice canned answer for MSO posts regarding junk questions and answers:

All new posts, retags and edits come with a free bump to the front page, so it's easy for people to see spam, flames and noise.

Now that the main page displays user-specific posts, does this need to be revisited? My thinking is that each individual bump now gets onto fewer front pages, so it's easier for bad stuff to slip by.

Then again, that doesn't necessarily translate into fewer eyeballs. After all, people probably weren't checking on bumps for tags they didn't care about even before the change. Although I feel like SO has been slightly spammier lately, I have no hard numbers. It could be natural random variation, or coincidence affecting posts I've happened to see recently.

  • "I feel like SO has been slightly spammier lately" I agree this is definitely a risk; any specific examples? Dec 2, 2010 at 23:11
  • @Jeff, as soon as I started writing that sentence down, I knew someone would ask me for examples (and justifiably so), but I don't have them. Will keep an eye out from here on, but without a baseline value, it'll be kinda meaningless.
    – Pops
    Dec 3, 2010 at 0:34

1 Answer 1


I am not convinced.

There is still a fair bit of Random™, in particular. Every anonymous user sees 20% random recently active questions. Every logged on user sees 10% random recently active questions.

So there is full coverage.

Additionally, Marc is working on improving the flagging/moderation piece to make it easier to catch and deal with noise.

Overall, the best thing to do to measure this theory would be to look at the count of closed spam questions and compare this month with the previous month. If we are noticing a huge proportional decrease in closed spam posts then something must be wrong.

I did run some stats and we are seeing about 0.2% less questions being closed following the front page change, it does not seem too significant to me.

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