I am going to use this question as an example, but I have seen several similar situations. Here are some relevant facts:

  • The question has been bumped by Community six times, once per month for the last six months. The first bump was over two years after the original posting.
  • The question poster was "last seen" October 22, 2013, a few weeks after posting this and a couple other questions.
  • The question has an answer with an up-vote, although never accepted.

I know that Community claims to:

  • Randomly poke old unanswered questions every hour so they get some attention

Is this no longer a useful thing to do in this case? I doubt if this question will get any additional answers. The existing answer may get more votes, but since the user has obviously given up on SE, there is almost no chance of the answer getting accepted.

Again, this is just one example of something I have observed repeatedly. I'm curious as to what algorithm community uses to decide what to bump, and should said algorithm be revisited?

(If it is felt this would be better on meta.se instead of this site-specific meta, I have no objection to migration.)

  • 3
    I would certainly prefer unanswered to mean, well, unanswered. Currently it appears to mean "without an accepted answer", which in many cases is pointless: the user will not return to accept the answer.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 20:05
  • 1
    @AndrewLeach- Exactly!
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 20:21
  • 2
    That particular question has a recent comment saying the only posted answer is wrong. So actually that question does need to be bumped up.
    – MetaEd
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 20:32
  • 1
    If that question counts as unanswered, then it would be nice for moderators to have a checkbox to tell Community not to bump a post, but that could play havoc with the database design. I suppose another table of "inert" post-numbers might be possible, and wouldn't cause too much overhead when Community rides into action.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 20:49
  • 6
    Did the answer have an upvote two hours ago? "Unanswered" means "no upvoted answers," per Jeff's answer here: meta.stackexchange.com/a/99690/306255
    – herisson
    Commented Oct 13, 2016 at 21:09
  • @suməlic The question was bumped at 1900GMT on 13 Sept. There is a "daily summary" of voting activity timestamped 0000GMT on 13 Sept showing two upvotes. It's not clear whether that actually means a summary generated then, or a summary of activity on 13 Sept (generated at 0000 on 14th). It's possible the bump precipitated the votes.
    – Andrew Leach Mod
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 9:01
  • @suməlic I am not sure regarding the current example, but I know I have seen community bumped questions in the past with multiple answer each with multiple votes.
    – cobaltduck
    Commented Oct 14, 2016 at 12:17
  • I was under the impression that "bumping" occurred to questions without upvoted answers, but recently I've seen several that appeared to be bumped in spite of having upvoted answers. (However, it's not always easy to tell whether a change is a "bump" or the resetting of a bogus edit.)
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Oct 24, 2016 at 3:51

1 Answer 1


The goal of Stack Exchange is to build repositories of on-topic questions and expert answers. It's not particularly fussed about whether answers are accepted.

From the ELU tour:

  • "With your help, we're working together to build a library of detailed answers to every question about English language and usage."
  • "Accepting doesn't mean it's the best answer, it just means that it worked for the person who asked."

The following post answers the more general question:

It links to the following:

Note that the posts eligible for bumping are those scoring >= 0 that have gone at least 30 days with no activity, have at least one non-deleted answer scoring 0 and none scoring more than that, and no accepted answer (also, they can't be locked or closed). - Shog9

What's relevant here is whether the question is on-topic and of a sufficiently high quality. If it meets those criteria but doesn't have an answer with even a seconder, bumping it occasionally for exposure is consistent with the site's goals. Otherwise, they can be dealt with by voting to close them, or requesting to have them locked. Alternatively, according to algorithm articulated by Shog9, up-voting or down-voting the zero-scored, sole answer would stop it from getting bumped. Naturally, up-voting and down-voting the answer should be based on an appropriate assessment of the answer.

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