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Over the past few days, one user has been editing dozens of old questions and primarily adding new tags. What does the community think of this?

One the one hand, accurate tagging is useful and I think they've done a good job of including relevant tags.

On the other hand, the new questions feed is being swamped with many years old questions that have received only minor edits.

What do people think? Is this a valuable service, an annoyance that should be discouraged, or something that's really not an issue either way?

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  • I (very) vaguely recall from discussion elsewhere (almost certainly non P.SE meta) that a recommendation was to simply throttle one's edits of that kind, i.e. not do too many at once in order to avoid "spamming" the active questions page with a lot old questions all of a sudden, but that [re]tagging is otherwise ok regardless of question age (assuming the tags are valid). If I can find those prior discussions, I'll put this as an answer. – SX welcomes ageist gossip Apr 9 at 16:23
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As someone who both approved quite a few of the edits which the question refers to, as well as someone who frequents the active questions feed, I am in two minds. All the tag edits which I've seen have been helpful and accurate, and therefore I have approved them from the review queue, however this does have the annoying effect of filling up the active feed. This is exacerbated by the fact that it will often get filled up by many questions all at the same time due to someone going through the review queue.

I feel that a gentle reminder that edits should try to fix all issues with the post, and not just be used for adding tags, should suffice for now. I don't think we should reject these edits as too minor because accurate tags are very helpful for finding questions relevant to an area of interest. We will have to get used to the fact that as the site grows, the active feed will become less manageable - I defy anyone to read every update on the unfiltered SO active feed, for instance. We can still use the new questions feed to ensure that new contributions aren't missed.

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  • When there are a lot of edits like this needing approval, is it possible/reasonable for you to approve approve them over a long period of time, say one every day or two? – Ray Butterworth Apr 8 at 21:10
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    @RayButterworth the problem with that is that even if I personally only review one edit and leave the rest, it's usually only a matter of minutes before someone else will go through the review queue - you can check out the edit review queue history to see this in action. – CDJB Apr 8 at 21:13
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I believe that maintaining tags on old questions is an important service. Yes, it is a bit annoying that this results in these old questions getting pushed to the front-page. But that's a problem which affects all of Stack Exchange.

By the way, if you only want to see new questions, then you could give the "Newest" questions page a try. It sorts questions by creation date, not by last activity.

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    I know other stacks handle this by setting some sort of advisory limit on how many re-tagged questions can be in the "recent activity" list at any given time, to stop the entire frontpage being filled with re-tagged questions from five years ago. I don't know if we have one here, but Rodrigo (or whoever's accepting his edits) does seem to be acting as if there is one, and doing the edits in batches rather than flooding the frontpage all in one go. – F1Krazy Apr 9 at 15:04

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