16

When a user edits her/his own question frequently, it's ensured that it stays high up on the front-page. This is an easy way of continously bumping one's own question up. Is this desired? (How) Can this be prevented?

Edit: I am not asking whether it can be prevented that my question is bumped up when I edited it, but whether it can (or should) be prevented/discouraged that users bump their questions by making minor edits

  • Thanks, this is related. But I'm not so much talking about the feature of being able to edit without doing it, but about the (mal)practice of exploiting this to gain more attention for one's own question. This is in principle independent from whether or not such a feature is present – sheß Apr 29 '16 at 11:27
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    I have noticed one or two people who seem to be doing this. (Although it is, of course, impossible to judge what their motives actually are. I certainly cannot rule out their simply being convinced that changing a particular word greatly improves their post despite my thinking the alteration entirely neutral.) But doesn't really create a problem, does it? It isn't as if the front page is full of questions bumped in this way. When the page is full of bumped posts, the editor never seems to be the author of either the questions or answers. Just a temporarily overly-enthusiastic editor. – cfr Apr 30 '16 at 3:02
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    I also edit my answers from time to time after reviewing them, finding typos etc or improving the code, but it's not intended to bump them up -- however, I can't prevent this automatic bumping. – user31729 Apr 30 '16 at 12:37
  • I'm a bit embarrassed to admit this, but I've actually done this just a few weeks ago. Nobody got mad at me, but it didn't do me much good either. Eventually I offered a small bounty. – Mark Apr 30 '16 at 20:02
  • Clarification: I made 1 edit, total, not several. – Mark May 1 '16 at 2:06
  • One thing that is interesting, is that the editing of questions overall reflects the interests of the people doing the editing. For instance if there is a lot of interest in a package or macro, or subject; those questions about that package, macro, or subject, even if very old, would get edited; and by that get more attention, therefore shifting the focus of things in line with the gross attention the edited topics attracted. – A Feldman May 6 '16 at 6:07
15

There is no formal way of preventing this behaviour as editing a post is assumed to improve it, and the subsequent bump is a by-product.

Since the site is community driven, improper use of this technique can be discussed in the chat room - to seek confirmation (just to make sure you're not seeing things that aren't there) and perhaps brought to moderator attention. They would be able to super-ping the user (if they're not in the chat room already) requesting a change in behaviour if deemed necessary (with an accompanying explanation of why meaningless edits are not helpful) or perform more rigorous actions.

My (a general) suggestion would be to stagger edits when editing multiple questions rather than lumping them together at one time. Also, avoid deliberately staggering edits to a single question. While this still dilutes the front page, at least it doesn't bombard it and/or bury other active posts.

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    Perhaps you should clarify that you are suggesting staggering edits when editing multiple questions and not deliberately staggering edits to a single question :-). – cfr Apr 30 '16 at 2:57
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According to the help topic What should I do if no one answers my question? users are encouraged to "edit your question to provide status and progress updates. Document your own continued efforts to answer your question. This will naturally bump your question to the homepage and get more people interested in it."

Even if someone edits their question only in order to bump it to the front page, I didn't think that was a problem. It demonstrates that they are still interested in getting their question answered, or might not have gotten the answer they needed. I just started using StackExchange a few months ago and after reading through the help topics this is exactly how I thought I should be doing it. If someone abuses the feature then actions can be taken either by downvoting or by bringing it to moderator attention as suggested.

7

Since this is the way StackExchange works, I assume it is absolutely OK. If not, I am sure the this feature will be removed.

I am often rereading my own questions and answers, and if I see some errors, or that a sentence can be rephrased to improve the language, I will do that.

4

It's annoying and people shouldn't do it because it is annoying. That should be an enough preventive indication.

  • 3
    In other words. we don't have such a problem here (yet!). – percusse Apr 29 '16 at 14:45
4

Sorry. I didn´t know this happened. And I believe I may speak for others too.

Only after reading this post I find out that questions/answers get bumped by making minor edits. And that it´s annoying. Now I realise both of them.

Also, we could take into account:

  • many many newcomers just post a few times, hence, maybe ignoring this rule of the site is somewhat spread…
  • in the whole site everyone is supposed to do all in best faith, why assume that bumping was on purpose, just to get attention?
2

If a question is bad then people would downvote/close it. If that does not happen, and we assume the question is intrinsically worth asking / answering, then the bump should have no significant effect in the long run I feel.

0

Maybe it's slightly out of scope, but if you notice abuse of that feature, maybe you can document properties of the behaviour (e.g. "100 updates per day" or sth like that) and than propose to StackExchange (as it's feature generally available on many sites) some kind of throttling (for example "move question up, on first 50 edits of given question per day. Move question up also if user did not exceeded 1000 edits per day on given site.", etc.). Such kind of throttling such allow people to continue edits, but prevent them from making it in robotic abusive manner to be constantly on top. Aparat from this, I bare that "downvoting bit" mentined by @kabZX , place role in making this system healthy by-itself.

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