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Officially the Community is saying that this is being done to reevaluate for questions they recently activated (reactivated) the answers as to which are good or bad. But how are new comments, upvotes and downvotes going to be used to decide good from bad. If answers get classified as good, neutral or bad how is that to be used? I have noticed that I have been a beneficiary of this because some of my answers from 2012 are being reviewed that otherwise would not be and I have been getting additional upvotes. Is this something that has been done periodically to try to clean-up answers? I am trying to decide whether I think this is good or bad for the users.

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  • $\begingroup$ I can't tell what you're referring to from your description. Who are "they"? $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Dec 31, 2016 at 4:09
  • $\begingroup$ I am referring to the community which you can see has moved several old posts to the CV home page. This has been going on today and all day yesterday. Scan the home page and you will see. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 4:54
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    $\begingroup$ You mean like this? That's been happening at least a few times every day that I've been on the site. A bot bumps posts that haven't got an upvoted or accepted answer to bring them to the front page. It has been happening for at least 5 years, and probably a good deal longer. When traffic is very slow it bumps more, when traffic is heavy it sometimes won't bump a post. However, what shows up on the post when it gets bumped has recently changed to make it more explicit. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Dec 31, 2016 at 6:17
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    $\begingroup$ Also, take a look at: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/19738/… $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 13:04
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    $\begingroup$ You might have a misunderstanding of what the "Community" user is: it's not any of us, either individually or collectively. It's a "bot"--software that acts somewhat as if it were a very privileged user, in order to automate some useful moderation tasks. $\endgroup$
    – whuber Mod
    Dec 31, 2016 at 15:08
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks Bill Huber. I am not very clear on some SE terminology. So does that mean I should add "bot" after Community in my question. I have already gotten the answer i was looking for. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 22:44
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b I have not seen this before. But it has happened a lot this week. It doesn't seem to be a particularly slow week but maybe it is a little slower because of the holidays. I think zaq has given me the answer I was looking for. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 22:55
  • $\begingroup$ If this is an automated process it must be a complicated algorithm. Doesn't a real person need to activate it. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 23:00
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    $\begingroup$ Posting volume is definitely down from what it was say a month ago (which is why we see more bumps from the Community bot at this time of year). I think that typically it drops by about a third from end of November to end of December but I could probably find a SEDE query to get exact figures (though I think you have enough privilege to see the site analytics page -- and then click the "weekly" checkbox). The script for this particular Community task would not need to be especially complex - it just needs a few conditions on when it acts. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Jan 1, 2017 at 2:38
  • $\begingroup$ Today is New Years Day (January 1, 2017). I guess a slow day by some standard. I am seeing suggestions for things to do. This may be common but I have not noticed it before. For example a list of hot questions is given for Network questions, Meta posts and even old questions from sites that include sites other than CV (e.g. Mathematics). Is this Community bot at work and if so is it a regular thing that is done especially on slow days? $\endgroup$ Jan 1, 2017 at 19:57
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b I went to the analytics page changed it from daily to weekly and changed the range to Jan 01 2016 - Jan 01 2017. All posts have a definite drop in December that that seems to carry through January. All questions are not surprising lower but correlated over time with all posts. Last of all, all answers is fairly flat throughout the year. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2017 at 7:52
  • $\begingroup$ @Michael (in reply to the comment posted 2017-01-01 19L57:43Z) If you're referring to the "hot network questions" list in the right-hand sidebar -- that sidebar has been there continually for ages (three years, at least), and the HNQ list itself has been around for several years (at least) before it appeared in the sidebar. That element of the sidebar has been there every day you've been on site in the last couple of months. It's not actually something for you to do (other than being a list of potentially interesting questions to look at), since hot questions usually have several good ...ctd $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Jan 2, 2017 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ ctd... answers already. There's certainly a script that puts them there but I don't think that's regarded as associated with the Community bot. $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Jan 2, 2017 at 9:17
  • $\begingroup$ Note that if you set the list to go from Jan 1 2016 to Jan 1 2017 you will have the last week having only 2 days in it (2016 having 366 days = 52 weeks and 2 days), so it will naturally be low. It would be better to do either 364 days (52 weeks exactly) or 371 days (53 weeks exactly) or to ignore the final one. That said, the low part at the end of December normally does continue into the first couple of days of January, with Dec31/Jan1 being a particularly low dip $\endgroup$
    – Glen_b
    Jan 2, 2017 at 9:21
  • $\begingroup$ @Glen_b All I did was to try what you suggested and I reported what I saw. It was the first time I tried it. I don't understand why you get all up in arms with your comments. You sound defensive for no reason. $\endgroup$ Jan 2, 2017 at 13:48

1 Answer 1

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Many find it discouraging to post answers and get absolutely no response, positive or negative. The campaign of Community-bot is to remedy it; the notice it places under a post is to invite readers to evaluate the answers that have been neglected so far.

But how are new comments, upvotes and downvotes going to be used to decide good from bad. If answers get classified as good, neutral or bad how is that to be used?

There is no classification other than normal votes, up or down. The hope is that useful answers will have a positive score while useless or wrong answers will have negative score. We know it doesn't always work that way, but that's the ideal, and the bot is trying to get the site closer to it.

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    $\begingroup$ Thank you for your answer. It is very helpful. I definitely like the intent. I found that several of these post were several years old and some including my answers had lots of upvotes. So it is not just bringing up post that have not been given a fair shake. Also old questions could have answer that were excellent at the time but as statistics evolves they may seem to be obsolete. I don't think that they should get a downvote in that case. Is this the first use of this? Is it continuing or has it just been given a short trial period? $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 18:15
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    $\begingroup$ This idea could also be used to bring back questions that received no answers and didn't get bounties or the bounties were never awarded. Some of these questions might deserve another look. Others may not and so the readers get another crack at evaluating the question. $\endgroup$ Dec 31, 2016 at 18:19

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