From time to time I see old (3+ years), non-interesting / low quality (no answers at all or having comments asking for clarification without further effort from the OP) questions jumping to the top of page due to recent edits.

Those edits are often retaggings based on discussions here on meta. One example is this: https://superuser.com/questions/450786/about-win-xp-themes

I feel these edits to be just waste of time as those questions are useless, sometimes authors are already not users of the site, maybe either the question isn't interesting today to anybody.

Is it really the best practice to modify the tags without even reading the question? Are we happy with it?

Being more extreme: could we have a process to offer whether we want to close the question instead of editing in case of certain criteria met (age, votes, answers)?


As suggested in the comments, some of these edits come up in the review queue, where appropriate actions can be done, however I've also seen edits from users with 5k+ rep, they can't be educated through reviews.

  • 1
    That should be closed/deleted. Its a really hard to answer question. I often close/delete when I'm doing a retagging spree since a retagging/deletion dosen't turn up on the front page
    – Journeyman Geek Mod
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 14:54
  • 3
    And down voted. That way the cleanup scripts will get rid of them.
    – DavidPostill Mod
    Commented Jul 14, 2016 at 15:00
  • A lot of these come up in the edit review queue. It's helpful to provide feedback to the editor on the implications of bumping a useless post.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 3:17
  • 1
    For questions where the edits are tag cleanups, they are often necessary in order to allow the system to clear out deprecated tags. The alternative would be a big workload for moderators to manually delete a lot of questions.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Jul 15, 2016 at 9:09

1 Answer 1


If we don't edit the questions, the destruction of a bad tag would be delayed, and then people would keep using useless tags. That's not to say that editors should just rip through all questions with a given tag, mindlessly removing it from them. Rather, every user who retags a question (or makes any minor change to any post, really) should also make sure that there are no other obvious problems.

If the question's grammar is a shambles, please rewrite the text so that the actual question is understandable. If there are small capitalization or English syntax errors, please fix them; it really doesn't take too long once you get a little practice. If you can't repair a question or don't want to, please pass over it so the next retagger can handle it. When you find an edit in the Suggested Edits queue that only adjusts the tags while leaving obvious problems, reject it, either with a custom message or with the "no improvement whatsoever" one.

Of course, a question can be a shining example of quality prose while also being a poor question. If it can't be fixed to obey the help center's guidance, it should be downvoted and/or closed with the appropriate reason. Questions that are downvoted, closed, or both are likely to be automatically deleted.

Finally, if old bumped questions bother you, you can always browse a different questions list, like the one of newest questions (by original post date).

  • This is absolutely best practice, and it's what should be followed when you decide to edit an individual question or review a proposed edit. As a practical matter, it's tough, and maybe unwarranted in many cases, to do that on massive tag cleanups. I think we originally had on the order of 20,000 questions in the manufacturer meta tag cleanup. We would never get through that if we polished every single question. On questions that add value to the site, I usually try to hit obvious edits during tag cleanup, But on many, the effort would be like putting lipstick on a pig. Just sayin'.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Aug 20, 2016 at 19:55

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