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 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 Clearing out Old Questions?

  • See this MSE post for the criteria the Community bot uses to determine which questions are bumped: What can cause a question to be bumped? In particular, it bumps open questions (with a non-negative score) that have at least one answer with a score of 0 (and none scoring more than that). So if you don't want a question to be bumped, vote on the answers (or vote to close the question when appropriate to do so).
    – V2Blast
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 17:28
  • There are some site settings that staff can modify that affect Community-user bumps (one controls how many questions it bumps per hour, and another setting optionally prevents it from bumping a post if one of the top X posts (sorted by recent activity) has been bumped. However, there is currently no way to prevent bumps based on tags (and I doubt such a mechanism would be added).
    – V2Blast
    Commented Nov 4, 2022 at 17:35
  • Thanks for the info, but the problem here is that these questions often don't have answers, and the likelihood that they will get any meaningful answers at all becomes vanishingly small as the releases involved reach end-of-life (meaningful as in something other than "upgrade to current release and see if it works"). They're essentially worse than posts by denvercoder69.
    – muru
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 11:13
  • IMHO the real takeaway from your response is an affirmation of Braiam's suggestion: just downvote these old unanswered and likely-to-remain-unanswered-forever posts so that the Roomba cleans them.
    – muru
    Commented Nov 5, 2022 at 11:15

3 Answers 3


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
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 1:59
  • 5
    @muru if you see a crappy question bumped by Community, downvote it. That way it gets deleted without further action of our part.
    – Braiam
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 2:10

This is still a problem now. About 10% of my feed is irrelevant bumps by Community Bot.

Yes, I'm aware of the irony of bumping this! But I just spent time writing up a nice Meta question, only to find this.

  • Right, questions like how to deal with the FGLRX driver on Ubuntu 14.10 or something, bumped for visibility in 2022. The ATI Radeon FGLRX driver is an ancient fossil that was discontinued and abandoned ages ago. This topic may come useful for that 1 or 2 persons out in the wide world who still work with it for some reason, but they will be able to find it through a web search. No need to pollute our attention with it on the frontpage.
    – Levente
    Commented Oct 10, 2022 at 15:34
  • 1
    Problem is, related features or discussions get inflated with various additional measures, like freezing interactions or suggestions about removing / migrating posts. This muddies the conversation. What we need is a flag or vote that normal users can operate, (like e.g. a closing vote, requiring n persons' agreement), that marks a post as "Not for Community bot bumping" or "Exclude from auto bumping".
    – Levente
    Commented Oct 10, 2022 at 15:47
  • 1
    When it's obvious what ancient version of Ubuntu got bumped into the feed, I've been adding a tag for that version if it didn't already have one. Then one can use the "ignored tags" feature to hide the post. Annoying, but a slight improvement. Commented Oct 30, 2022 at 1:40

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
    Commented 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. Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 1:44
  • People getting upset for the closure of a question that went over a year with no activity?
    – muru
    Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 1:45
  • Stranger things have happened. Commented Aug 19, 2014 at 1:46

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