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Right now, there is process by which questions are automatically brought to the top of the list to get more attention, and marked as last touched by Community.

I haven't worked out exactly what the standard is for this promotion, but it seems to often involve no upvotes; certainly no accepted answer is part of it.

The thing is, with our small site, whenever a question is unearthed by this process:

  • It is from a user who is never going to come back and accept an answer
  • it is such an obscure or difficult question it is unlikely to ever get an answer, and doesn't add much to the quality of the site

I tried to make a list of examples, but other than the two most recent, it is really hard to locate these. Anyone know how to get a list to review?

Bringing them back to the top often just piles on more low quality answers, if it does anything at all.

I suggest this feature be turned off for SA, where it is counter productive in my opinion.

  • It may seem annoying, but point #2 is actually exactly the reason why they're bumped. If they don't belong on the site at all, they should be closed, and if they're poorly-written then they should be fixed or downvoted. Otherwise, the periodic bumping is the only chance an old/unloved question has of getting attention. – Aaronut Oct 29 '13 at 0:10
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I don't think that's a good idea.

The user may not be coming back to accept an answer, but an upvote from one of confirms that the question is answered. Not only that, it means that a post that deserved a vote now has one, and anything that makes us more likely to see and vote on posts is a good thing.

As for unanswerable questions getting extra visibility... I really just don't think it's enough of a problem to worry about. Sometimes the bumped questions actually get a new answer out of the bumping - working as intended! And even if that's not the majority, one new answer is definitely worth us having to see a few questions we still can't answer.

The real debate here is what we should be doing with a two year old question that's likely completely impossible to answer. If it's really impossible, truly unanswerable, maybe it should get closed. But if it's just that none of us know, and someone out there does, then they should absolutely keep getting bumped.

But trying to hide away the questions we don't know how to answer? That's contrary to our goal here, a disservice to everyone. We're continually trying to build a better community of experts and repository of knowledge. Papering over the gaps doesn't do anything useful in that regard - we should let the questions be bumped so we can try to actually fill the gaps.

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