The Community user bumps old, not-well-answered questions regularly. While that maybe a good fit on most SE sites, I'm not sure of its applicability to AU. We follow a strong and strict release policy. So when it bumps questions like https://askubuntu.com/questions/266671/cannot-connect-to-ethernet-with-wired-connection-ubuntu-12-10, I wonder if we can modify its algorithm to avoid old releases (especially for hardware issues) - by looking at the tags. Or should we close/delete such questions when they do get bumped up, following advice posted in http://meta.askubuntu.com/questions/9025/clearing-out-old-questions?

2 Answers 2


Old questions about old releases are often still applicable. Many questions or problems from years ago remain relevant today, even for the newest releases. This is mainly the case for questions with answers, but not necessarily just those considered by the system as "answered"--sometimes a good answer is overlooked by both the OP and the community.

Thus it is somewhat helpful for the community bot to bump them for the same reason it would be very harmful for us to delete or even close them. They are valuable on our site.

Note that the advice you refer to does not suggest we should close or delete old questions with answers, even when they are specific to old releases. On the other hand, old questions that have other problems that would lead to closure and deletion even for new questions of course should still be closed and deleted as appropriate (though as some folks have expressed lately, perhaps not in huge numbers all at once)--which, as you're perhaps suggesting, the community bot's bumping might even facilitate.

Finally, I don't think this is really a way our site is particularly different from other SE sites. I think many sites have old questions that are or might be about dated topics, and even tags that strongly predict datedness.

So I don't think the community bot's behavior needs to be changed.

  • I'm emphatically not suggesting that we delete answered questions. I remember reading the guidelines proposed for Roomba (give me a little while, I'll look those up), and I'm proposing an extension of them to be applied by us users when Community bumps old unanswered Q's. (Remember, Community does bump up unanswered Q's, so my Q doesn't have anything to do with answered ones.) In particular, in this example, I feel like closing it as too localised, as I'm not convinced the problem still exists.
    – muru
    Aug 19, 2014 at 1:59
  • 3
    @muru if you see a crappy question bumped by Community, downvote it. That way it gets deleted without further action of our part.
    – Braiam
    Aug 19, 2014 at 2:10

Community bumping it gets it in front of human eyeballs, which is probably the right thing to do. Think:

Q Title:
Cannot connect to ethernet with wired connection on Ubuntu.

Q Description:
I upgraded from 12.10 to the next LTS - 14.04 - so that if it gets solved, I don't have to navigate this quagmire again. Any ideas?

How would the bot parse that? Probably just better to get it in front of human eyeballs.

  • The bot wouldn't parse the questions, but the tags. Most h/w questions do get tagged correctly for their release. And without any details on it, we can't really say if a new answer is applicable to the original question or whether normal upgrades fixed it.
    – muru
    Aug 19, 2014 at 1:42
  • Yes, but then you get in to people editing in a tag that shouldn't be there and a user getting upset about their question getting closed. Aug 19, 2014 at 1:44
  • People getting upset for the closure of a question that went over a year with no activity?
    – muru
    Aug 19, 2014 at 1:45
  • Stranger things have happened. Aug 19, 2014 at 1:46

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