Sometimes I see really old questions get brought back up to the top. Sometimes it is beneficial since there are lots of answers and quite a few useful bits of info in them, but in other cases, they don't have many views or replies and look like fresh answers. It often leads to confusion. I for instance just now spent some time writing a comment on one such post requesting the author's clarification for some things, before I noticed that the question was asked in 2016, which means that the author's unlikely to even remember the question exists, much less to still check in on new comments or answers.

While I understand that "no question is too old to answer" is Stack Exchange's policy and just archiving them isn't a very good idea, still, I think it would be nice to at least add some obvious tag to the bumped questions, like "[asked 2 years ago]", to help discern ancient bumped questions from the fresh ones, because as of now they only show the date of the last answer or edit.

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    $\begingroup$ Maybe I am misunderstanding your problem, but I see an "asked 6 hours ago" right at the bottom of your question. $\endgroup$ – L.Dutch Mod Mar 28 at 4:51
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    $\begingroup$ "Yes" to the title but "no" to the suggestion we should archive questions. What really is the problem of having old questions open? You just said that you've been "mislead" that it's new but...so what? It happens. Laugh it off then next time check the ask date. I don't see why automatic locking would be desirable. $\endgroup$ – VLAZ Mar 29 at 11:17
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    $\begingroup$ The fact that there is a 'necromancer' badge suggests the site wants people looking at old answers with fresh eyes. Recently I saw a question on pandemics pop up, and that seemed very relevant. I found this old question worldbuilding.stackexchange.com/questions/184234/… and had a hoot coming up with an answer, even though I knew I wouldn't get a lot of votes for an old question. Making it harder is just poisoning the questions and making it harder to get things from them. $\endgroup$ – DWKraus Mar 29 at 19:31
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    $\begingroup$ In addition to what @DWKraus says, sometimes new information can be applied to old questions. The point of this whole forum, for us respondents, is to provide the best possible answer. If that answer comes four years after the querent has left the building, well, so what? That doesn't mean a new user four years from now won't come along and find some value in the late answer! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Apr 1 at 3:24
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    $\begingroup$ To address your statement about querents being "unlikely to even remember the question exists", don't forget that they will receive notices even years later! I still receive comment notices on queries I answered years ago. Sometimes there's new information that I can add to an answer, or out of date information that should be removed. That's all part of the WB.SE game! $\endgroup$ – elemtilas Apr 1 at 3:26

Necroing is Perfectly Fine

Stack Exchange, in general, and Worldbuilding in particular are not time limited Q&A forums. Any query asked now is considered valid and fair game forever, for the purposes of our present consideration. (People within this artform have considered the the concepts of a geopoet's individual mortality and the intellectual property we leave behind, but I don't think that's what we're getting at here!)

There are several reasons why it's not only okay, but also encouraged:

  • There is a Badge. YAY! BADGES! In this case, the Necromancer Badge.
  • Information Changes. A question might be asked, answered and green check accepted and well upvoted but that doesn't mean the context of the question remains static for all time. Circumstances change, new knowledge is gained. For example, Chasly asked a wonderful Lego related question back in 2015 about how Lego people reproduce. A number of wonderful answers were generated at the time. However, as years passed, the old answers expired or became less reasonable given new information. As of a year ago, this new information allowed me to necro the question and give a new answer to the question that would have been inconceivable before.
  • New possibilities come to light. Touching on your statement that querents (and possibly respondents, by extension) are likely to forget they even wrote a question or answer, I think such a generalisation could be seen as just a bit of an insult to the human long term memory! Just this morning, I got a notification of an upvote for an answer I'd made several years ago on another stack forum. While happy enough for the upvote, it gave me cause to reread my response and improve it. I added links and a third possibility to the basic answer.

Long answer short: Necroing is Good.

Information Box Needs Work

In light of L. Dutch's comment to you:

Maybe I am misunderstanding your problem, but I see an "asked 6 hours ago" right at the bottom of your question.

I think he is misunderstanding! Or at least forgetting something!

I actually concur with you: it would be nice if that info box could be arranged so that all pertinent query data could be kept there. A quick perusal of queries in Main shows that the info box does sometimes tell us when the question was asked (so far so good!). But other times, the info box only tells us when the question was modified, or answered. And those instances, while recent, could in fact be months or years after the query was first asked. Queries in Meta behave differently: the info box always reports when the question was asked, never when it was edited or answered.

I can see how one could misinterpret that information.

I am positive that at the forum level Moderators have no control over the information displayed in the info box; but I do agree it would be a nice and useful feature were it added! Info boxes should probably also be made to behave consistently between Main and Meta as well. That would avoid a lot of confusion as well.


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