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This site has fairly high traffic as SE sites go - there's a steady flow of new posts. Yet this appears to be the only site(?) where the "Community bot" is frequently "bumping" old posts on the main page, supposedly to give them more attention since they have no accepted answer. This is very annoying and harmful.

Very frequently I find myself reading some post, start to type out comments asking the OP for details etc. Or in some cases even an answer. Then I happen to glance at the date and find that the post is some 4-5 years old. Naturally it doesn't make any sense to assume that the OP is still having this issue and is hoping to get answers. For all we know they might not even be using the site any longer.

This is repeatedly wasting a lot of my time that I could have spend on actually active posts from today instead.

Can we please disable the Community bot from bumping old crap on the front page? It is a misguided feature that fills absolutely no purpose.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also I'm not sure if I should tag this bug or feature request. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Oct 27 at 7:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ It'd definitely be a feature-request, not a bug - it's presumably working as intended. Related MSE posts: Allow sites to disable or otherwise tweak Community auto-bumping, Which sites impose limits on Community bumps, and what are those limits? \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast StaffMod
    Oct 28 at 21:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @V2Blast The bug would be the specification and the purpose of this bot. It does not give more attention to posts that need more attention, such as new posts with an interested audience and an active, attentive poster. It draws attention away from those posts towards old, archived crap that nobody cares about. How is that "working as intended"? What is the intention then? \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Oct 29 at 6:17
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    \$\begingroup\$ Don't use the "home" button; use the "questions" button. It literally is that easy. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Oct 30 at 13:43
  • \$\begingroup\$ I found this question because, I too, wanted to ask for a way to hide these questions from me.. Bumping them is 99% completely useless because the askers are neither around to read them nor to flag them as answered. It is possible to hide questions with certain tags. So could there be some kind of "meta-tag" that auto-bumped questions obtain, so users could hide them ? \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Nov 3 at 8:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka I use the questions button always and I do see all the bumped questions.. \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Nov 3 at 8:22
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    \$\begingroup\$ @tobalt select the "Newest" tab. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Nov 3 at 10:51
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka The point here though, isn't that there are potential work-arounds, but that the community bot bumping makes absolutely no sense to begin with. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Nov 3 at 10:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ It makes no sense to me that we have different colour schemes between various SE sites but I just live with it. It doesn't bother me and neither does the bot. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Nov 3 at 10:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Andyaka the newest tab will ignore all questions that were modified by the OP to add important information due to comment requests. Basically, as it is now, the bot achieves the opposite of its intent: Namely that people stop using the active questions tab which contains slightly older posts which have been updated by their OPs. \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Nov 3 at 11:19
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I am pretty sure this can't be disabled (see Allow sites to disable or otherwise tweak Community auto-bumping). And it happens on all sites, but maybe the chance to stumble upon such a post depends on the frequency at which questions are asked on a specific site. Maybe the activity on EE.SE makes it more likely.

In any case, there are two easy things you can do to work around this

  • Either look at which user triggered the post to the home page before clicking on it. And if you see this:

    "Community Bot" mention

    then just move on to the next question (hopefully, it is now easy to check this at a glance: it used to be much harder a few years ago).

  • Or, instead of working from the "Home" page of the site, where all recently active posts are shown (including community bumbed posts, and old posts that have been edited/answered recently), work from the "Question" list ordered by "newest":

    enter image description here

It seems to me that the question list oredered by newest is what you really want. You seem interested in answering new questions. This list will be free of all community bumps, and questions bumped because other users wanted to answer a 4-year old question. What you actually want is not the home page.

The home page is made to check the general activity on all questions: this is useful to check newly posted answers on old questions, for example, or, thanks to the community bump, give feedback on questions/answers that seem to have been "forgotten" (see How can we make the purpose of Community "bumping" more obvious?). But it is true that its purpose is not to answer new questions only. If you only want new questions, go to the question list ordered by newest. It's typically one click away from the home page.

Or you can even set the https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions?tab=Newest URL as your favorite link instead of the site home, and all your frustration will be gone without having to make any additional click.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Setting the questions page as favourite was a nice trick thanks. (However, that page is less compact, which is a minor annoyance.) But still, this bumping feature is nothing but harmful. I guess I could go poke the network-wide meta, but I've been using lots of the SE sites for a very long time and EE is the only one where I encounter this problem. \$\endgroup\$
    – Lundin
    Oct 27 at 10:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ I checked some other random sites, and I've seen community bumped posts as well on each of them. Except on SO, but I guess there are way too many questions constantly posted there to get a chance to see one often. But it is true that I saw a bit more of them on EE.SE than the other sites I checked randomly (but these other sites also seemed to show fewer questions on their home page). I believe there is one bumped each hour, so if it's the case, the probability to see one clearly depends on the site activity. \$\endgroup\$
    – dim
    Oct 27 at 10:42
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Can we please disable the Community bot from bumping old crap on the front page? It is a misguided feature that fills absolutely no purpose.

Probably not, what you would be asking is to have SE change their basic functionality and to do that there would need to be a good reason to do so (rather than I don't like this functionality, you would have to get hundreds of users to complain across multiple sites). You could ask on meta.SE and the request would probably get shot down fast (especially if you come from a sub site).

In addition there are filters to get custom question results if that would help you save time, it might be worth experimenting with.

The bumping of the posts serves a useful function as it brings changes to posts back to attention.

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    \$\begingroup\$ "The bumping of the posts serves a useful function as it brings changes to posts back to attention." No. If changes are made to posts by the asker, then these questions will anyway move to the top of the active questions. The bumps only bring up completely dead topics, which the askers have long forgotten. \$\endgroup\$
    – tobalt
    Nov 3 at 8:21

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