Why bump old topics automatically here on Meta?

The title says it all. At least I am more and more annoyed by that. If I want to read old topics, I can go read old topics. In the latest feed I want latest topics. I’d like to hear some arguments why the feature is on.


I’m mostly annoyed by it too.

Several times, though, I’ve used those bumps to provide an answer to the question that is possible now. This keeps people from finding those old topics and using outdated information.

Most of the time they’re just closed by a staff member.


I think it’s a great feature for admins and moderators to handle topics like support tickets. But I understand, that some people are annoyed of it.

It might be a more general question: But who benefits from this? Why isn’t the Discourse team implementing a real ticket system by default? ;oP We already have a unofficial plugin that adresses this issue :wink:

Maybe there should be a profile setting, therefore individual users are able to opt-out …

1 Like

It has and still does feel a lot like a “staff clean up” feature to me. I have been in the habit of periodically reverse sorting by activity on the topic list to find old topics that have been resolved / become moot / gone stale.

I can see where in theory it could be a desireable feature for some members. But from what I’ve seen here, most of the necro bumps do not get further replies and are closed.

The necro bumps do make the topics lists noisy and as soon as I see the “bumped” small action post if the topic hasn’t already been closed I typically give a quick glance at the topic title to see if I might be interested. But so far I have always gone “oh” and click away.

IMHO, an improvement would be to undo the bump when the topic is closed. True, there is the possibility someone will create a fresh “continued from” topic, but I think for the majority having the topics quietly fade away without notice would be better.


Most of the old bumped topics I delete, so for me, it’s a reminder to delete really out of date topics. About 1 in 10 are worth editing and keeping around, though, so it’s not always the same outcome.

It is fair to note that this is kind of an anti-feature for actual users of Meta who don’t already work for CDCK, Inc @sam :wink:


So what is bumping these old topics? I don’t see a setting that does this.

Also - so you’re deleting the topics? What’s the thought process there? We have a bunch of old stuff and wondering a good process with Discourse.


Some of us are getting something positive from this daily annoyance.

I’m interested in how you run the Discourse operation so even the annoying stuff teaches me something. The biggest positive is seeing how many old problems have been resolved in the meantime.


Edit a category, it’s there in the settings.

1 Like

Because a lot of the people who interact and answer those requests are fellow community members.

I think it’s a bit of a narrow view to suggest that there isn’t value in having old topics bumped, it serves as a reminder of how certain things came to be, allows old interesting threads to be updated with the current solution or approach, and means some of the old cruft that would otherwise linger gets removed.


I like to read old topics that I would not have seen without this feature. Reading them you begin to better understand what is now. This is on this site.

As a community administrator on my site, I likewise like this feature. Sometimes there are topics with which you need to do something. This is a kind of reminder.


Ahh so it’s in Category settings. The setting only mentions how many to auto bump daily… What is the trigger for one to be included in that?


Oldest gets bumped first…


While I fully understand the value for auto-bumping these topics for the Discourse moderation team, I keep finding that they’re not productive and even annoying for me as a normal user. Typically I’ll be triggered by an interesting topic title and I’ll dive in ready to either offer some support or learn something new/relevant, only to find that the topic is already outdated. I am aware that the Discourse team cleans these up as fast as they can, but I still typically run into this 2-3 times a day and, frankly, it’s demotivating.

How about adding am indicator to these auto-bumped topics? This would help users understand there’s no real new user contribution here, and they can decide for themselves if they want to read these topics or not.

By the way, I’m not sure that the ‘finger’ icon is the best one for the job (to me, it suggests a user-initiated ‘nudge’). Something like this ‘feels’ more relevant and neutral to me:



One thing you already have is:

Super light grey means topic is ancient.

To me this sounds more like:

Sam I get that you want to clean up the old mess, but why is this MY problem.

I have had this sentiment many times before, @david brought up the same thing in the past. I see it as very relevant and legitimate. Also there are other ways of cleaning up this old mess.

  • We could simply auto close, old, ancient support stuff (as stale)

  • We could mark last post unread to specific users (even in a fair queue of sorts) to ensure it gets bumped in a way but does not clutter unread

I guess before we go and build a new system here lets make a very easy change.

Previously we had this set to 12 bumps a day, I just decreased it down to 3 bumps a day. Let’s see if we are more comfortable with this decreased volume.

Also, I wonder @codinghorror maybe we should start simply “auto closing” ancient support stuff… if something is in #support and got zero traction in a year just auto close it?


Oh. That’s sound good great! Three won’t be so annoying. A few times I have added something to one of those old topics, but much not often, my sentiment is the same as @bartv’s.


That’s good to know, I never noticed that until you pointed it out just now. Switching to bumping max. 3 topics/day sounds great, thanks!


I always look at the list participant icons. If the system avatar is the last one I know it’s a bump.


I have been mass deleting very old topics from noisy categories like bug and support. I don’t think there are any left from 2013 - 2016 at this point.

Close is not enough. It has to be deleted otherwise we end up with many useless and obsolete search land mines.


Thanks for the hint. :+1:

Now I look at the user icon in Latest list and ignore it if is the System user.

1 Like