The main page https://math.stackexchange.com/ default sorts by "active", so editing questions or answers will "bump" your question or answer to the top of the list.

Is making trivial edits with this intention considered bad etiquette?

I've seen related questions which suggest that genuine updates that inadvertently bump are okay, but nothing about when this action is deliberate.

Reason I ask is I answered a question from 13 months ago and while it would be nice for answers to bump, I was surprised that edits had the same effect. Since my answer it has got another 5-10 views, and one upvote, which could be significant enough to find a responder.

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    $\begingroup$ Yes, it is bad etiquette. If one does it too much, one may find one's account suspended. If one does it only a little bit - meh. Regarding your last paragraph, answering a question does bump it. $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2016 at 14:32
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    $\begingroup$ To complement Daniel Fischer's comment, see here for an overview what can bump a question (and links to further information). $\endgroup$ Apr 20, 2016 at 15:09
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    $\begingroup$ And see here for another consequence of abusing this. $\endgroup$
    – user296602
    Apr 20, 2016 at 16:06
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    $\begingroup$ One notable exception to question editing causing a bump is a tag-only edit. This is particularly useful during tag cleanup rampages. $\endgroup$
    – hardmath
    Apr 21, 2016 at 15:56
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    $\begingroup$ If no legitimate edit can be made (stylistic impositions don't count as legitimate edits, in my opinion), and you can't answer, the best thing to do might be to offer a small bounty. That has its own set of problems, of course. $\endgroup$ Apr 23, 2016 at 2:12
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    $\begingroup$ I've occasionally fixed typos in things I posted weeks earlier, and noticed that another up-vote or two sometimes quickly follows. Doing it for that purpose is perhaps another matter. $\qquad$ $\endgroup$ Apr 28, 2016 at 16:49

1 Answer 1


Yes, making trivial edits to bump a question is considered bad etiquette. It creates noise on the front page, and it is unfair to the other users whose questions (or the questions which they answered) are pushed from the front page by the bumps.

Nobody cares much if a user does it once, but doing it repeatedly is disruptive, and we will send a warning message if it comes to our attention. Persisting in that behaviour after being messaged is grounds for a timed suspension of the account.

I've seen related questions which suggest that genuine updates that inadvertently bump are okay

Bumping by making substantial edits - typo and formatting corrections count as substantial here, as long as one does it in a reasonable way - is fine.

However, a string of minor but individually justified edits in a short time is disruptive too, so fixing twenty typos one by one ten or fifteen minutes apart will not be looked upon favourably. One should soon notice that a thorough proofreading and a comprehensive edit is called for.

  • $\begingroup$ Is it possible for StackExchange to get a 'minor edits' flag when you edit a question or answer? Wikipedia has one. Even fairly low-rep accounts could be allowed to review whether an edit is minor or not, if there were clear 'minor edit' guidelines, and they wouldn't bump. $\endgroup$
    – Miles Rout
    May 2, 2016 at 8:16
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    $\begingroup$ Okay, I really did not know this. I generally answer or ask a question without reviewing it, so I edit it a lot, and was not aware of what 'bumping' was. Perhaps I should refrain from such behavior from now on. +1. Also, would it be considered bad etiquette if I edited another user's answer or question because of grammatical and formatting issues? Thanks. $\endgroup$
    – S.C.B.
    May 2, 2016 at 9:21
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    $\begingroup$ @MXYMXY If you fix grammatical or formatting issues, that's fine, whether you are the author or somebody else. As long as you don't make a lot of small edits shortly after each other. If there are many things to fix, make one comprehensive edit. But irrespective of bumping, one should review and proofread one's posts before posting. $\endgroup$ May 2, 2016 at 10:34
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    $\begingroup$ @MilesRout Technically, it's possible. But it's unlikely to happen. The point of the bump is to have people look at the edit to make sure it's okay (and flag/roll back inappropriate edits). And to have a lot of different people do that. If you remove the bump, you'd need a specialised review queue to check edits, and that tends to create a small group of people all looking at many edits instead of many people all looking at few. $\endgroup$ May 2, 2016 at 10:40
  • $\begingroup$ @MXYMXY: Note that Daniel said "fixing twenty typos one by one ten or fifteen minutes apart". If you make multiple edits within the grace period (which is 5 minutes, IIRC), they are treated as a single edit event, which means they are coalesced into a single edit point in the edit history and they only cause a single bump event. Of course, this doesn't really apply to people who need to have their edits approved. :) $\endgroup$
    – PM 2Ring
    May 3, 2016 at 14:44

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