over the past few days, several times i've clicked on "questions", and instead of increasing by (approximately) the number of "new questions" mentioned in the gray bar at the top of the page, the question count has decreased.

for example, just a couple of minutes ago, the previous count of 44,092 changed to 44,062.

since i often leave the window open while i go away (sometimes even overnight), i have been using the difference in the count to let me know how many questions i have to catch up on. having it decrease is rather counterproductive.

any explanation?

a couple of years ago, i posed a similar question, but in the opposite direction: How can the question count increase without a new question appearing at the top of the list?. this was diagnosed as a caching issue. does the present anomaly have the same cause, or is the site just trying to anticipate the second anniversary of the former question?

  • @dustin -- please read the note at the bottom of my profile re capitalization. Commented Aug 12, 2013 at 18:16

2 Answers 2


As Werner says, this is done by 'Community'. There is a cross-network script that deletes questions of 'low interest'. Full details on meta.SO somewhere, but broadly it comes down to no answers, low votes and low views. There are various timeframes for this, and one takes a year to kick in, so it's more relevant now than it was in the earlier days of the site.


Yes, strange... but there's an explanation.

By expanding the Recently deleted questions under 10K-tools just for today, you'll notice a list containing more than 40 posts that were deleted in the last 24 hours, the bulk of which happened recently! All of the deleted posts seem to have been done by user Community at the exact same time. I don't know what the motivation of this may be, but it explains the difference in count.

If you're interested in catching up on new posts created since you last trolled the site, you can do that through a date-specific search query. For example, posts created in for a specific day can be obtained using a


query (or date range using <start>..<end>, inclusive). If you're interest in seeing last active posts, use a lastactive: query.

  • whew!!! i was beginning to think i was in a time warp! thanks! Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 21:54
  • @barbarabeeton: Sure! You may be interested in the search queries I've added at the end.
    – Werner Mod
    Commented Aug 10, 2013 at 21:57

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