Usually filters like “New” or “Unread” don’t show in the navigation bar if they have no content. That’s good.
But if you have a potentially empty filter as the first item in the navigation bar, it will render even when empty when you visit the context initially.
Here’s my Unread on meta:
Unread is hidden unless I visit the route explcitly:
But if on my site Unread is first in the navigation bar, it is not hidden when empty:
The underlying cause is likely that the naked “/” route is always rendering the default filter view, not falling back to the next specified filter if the default filter is empty.
This makes it tricky to use Unread or New as the default filter type, which can be an attractive idea.