This one, for instance: ESP8266 Returns 'invalid' - Cause 4

Right now, Aug 7, 2016, 8:31am EST, the Top Questions page says this question was modified 7 hours ago. But the newest time stamp on the question's own page is 8 months old.

I often read old, bumped questions with "modified x hours ago" stamps in the Top Questions list, only to find nothing new.

I'm aware that an unanswered-question bot occasionally feeds the current-question queue, but it doesn't add anything to the question or its answers. Does up/down-voting bump the question? Voting doesn't add any to the content, either, or at least what it adds is minimal and qualitatively different from an edit, comment, or answer.

Or is it something recent that has been deleted? If there is no new content, listing it as having a recent update just adds noise to the Top Questions list.

Listing an old question isn't unreasonable in and of itself, but perhaps the "modified x hours ago" is being applied too liberally.


Where do you see this timestamp? That question seems to have fallen off the bottom of the page now, so let's take a more recent example:

enter image description here

On the Top Questions page at 160809,1322 UTC, this question's listing says "Modified 1 hour ago, Community". But on reading the question page, the most recent change I see is stamped May 11-th.

  • Where does it say "modified 7 hours ago"? I can only see "active yesterday" (a few hours have probably elapsed by now).
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Aug 8, 2016 at 21:19
  • It was bumped by Community at 2016-08-07 04:44:45Z.
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Aug 8, 2016 at 21:21
  • What I'm suggesting is that while I understand the reason for bumping, it doesn't modify the content. Perhaps a different wording on the timestamp would be appropriate, such as "Bumped <x> hours ago"? That would alert folks who might go looking for "What got added?", not to.
    – JRobert
    Aug 9, 2016 at 2:03
  • Where do you see this timestamp? I can't find that question with a "modified yesterday (or x hours ago)" message next to it. I can only see active yesterday. "Active" doesn't imply modified. Feel free to add a screenshot to your question.
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Aug 9, 2016 at 4:33
  • (Question updated)
    – JRobert
    Aug 9, 2016 at 13:39
  • After talking to the other moderators and Community Managers (a step up from a moderator) it appears that this is a limitation of the Stack Exchange software. In order to "bump" a thread it has to be marked as modified. So, working as intended, even if that is not perfectly ideal. :)
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Aug 10, 2016 at 8:26
  • Ok, thanks for that, NIck. Do you you know, can a question so stamped be assumed to have no changes or might one sometimes have new content?
    – JRobert
    Aug 10, 2016 at 15:44
  • I suppose it is possible it was bumped because someone actually did amend an answer, so it could be ambiguous. Judging by the response I got (in my answer) this won't necessarily be fixed in the near future.
    – Nick Gammon Mod
    Aug 10, 2016 at 21:53

2 Answers 2


I got a response from one of the Stack Exchange staff:

For a very long time, we only had "modified" as a general "something touched this" indicator; no extra information on what. For even longer, we didn't actually keep a record that Community was bumping, so... All there was was "modified by no user".

This might change at some point, but only if/when we change how bumping works.


Does up/down-voting bump the question?

No, voting does not bump questions. Only answers and edits do.

Or is it something recent that has been deleted? If there is no new content, listing it as having a recent update just adds noise to the Top Questions list.

No, it is a tool to move question with too few visits and answers randomly to the top of the queue. A small detail: You are not ordering questions by newest or hottest, but by 'activity' (in your screenshot). Here is an excerpt from the FAQ:

That should answer your question, as far as I understand it.

  • Thanks for your observation about question ordering. I'll play with that.
    – JRobert
    Aug 29, 2016 at 12:14

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