There seems to be a rash of questions recently getting resurrected by the addition of either a vsftpd or a proftpd tag.

Let me be clear: I don't refer to previously-untagged questions; those are being discussed separately. This question refers specifically to questions over a few months old which already have tags on, one of which is usually ftp, and which often already have an accepted answer, getting an additional tag, thus raising them to the front page.

In one sense, this is good, because it makes the tag usage more accurate. In another, it's bad because it's cluttering up the front page. In yet another, it's fairly pointless, because the questions all mention the relevant daemon in their body text so the internal search engine will still dig them up in response to a daemon-specific query.

I was sort of hoping the community could take a viewpoint on whether this is a good idea or not, so that if there's a clear view against it, a friendly mod could have a quiet word with any user who seems particularly keen to edit in this way - or that if there's a clear view for it, I can stop worrying and shut up!

5 Answers 5


As I've been the one doing much of the proftpd, vsftpd, and pureftpd retagging, I feel I should explain why I've been doing it. I'm the author of proftpd, and have lately been spending much time on SO, trying to discover some of the oft-asked questions/pain points with my project, so that I can address them if I can. And of course, as I see some of the FTP-related questions, I try to answer them along the way. I'm also paying attention to similar questions for other FTP servers, to see what other features/issues come up for them.

When I do these searches, I have found that the SO tagging feature has been most useful.

I have certainly not meant to cause any consternation, with regard to having old posts "boosted" by the recent edit to appearing on the front page. If there had been a way to add the (in my eyes) useful tag without having these old posts appear on the front page, I would have gladly chosen that option.

My intent was not for SEO from e.g. search engines like Google et al, but mainly for discoverability, within SO itself, for anyone else like myself, who might discover FTP-related issues via the tags. Especially since FTP is not one of the most popular/common questions on SO, it can sometimes be difficult to find them.

  • Maybe edits on items older than some SE site specified time frame should NOT be moved to the front page. I'd suggest that questions older than 3 months should not be pushed to the front page after an edit.
    – mdpc
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 18:33
  • 4
    +1 To make the cleaning, and by the author I respect that. For the question of bringing old stuff's up, well, it's more a SO/SF's issue, as the cleaning is never bad to do.If people does not like that, well, they can select 'newest', not 'active', as I already do (as the 'community' robot keep pooping old unanswered question anyway)
    – yagmoth555 Mod
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 20:56
  • 5
    @mdpc The purpose of the push to the front page is community oversight. Imagine the spam that would get edited n if noone saw the changes.
    – user9517
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 21:09
  • SO is absolutely massive, and no one person is going to materially affect the front page. SF is significantly smaller, and it may be best to edit in small short bursts to avoid flooding.
    – TRiG
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 23:41
  • See also: meta.superuser.com/a/10816/31641. Don't go looking for problems you cannot fix. (I've been guilty of this myself in the past.)
    – TRiG
    Commented Jan 25, 2016 at 23:49

Yes, I think this particular kind of retagging is a good thing.


Personally I'm ambivalent. I don't think it's especially useful and nor is it especially harmful to he particular questions.

Where I do have an irritation is them being pushed en masse to the front page by the way that the review system works.

When a single player goes on an editing spree it is relatively easy to point them at this or something similar and slow them down.

Unfortunately the current issue is that the second reviewer is effectively pushing them all to the front page. Orchestrating a number of reviewers to only push a few will be near impossible.

I think he solution is to try and get SE/SO to change the way that edits approved in a short space of time are pushed to the front page e.g. batch them over several hours. That though seems like an exercise in waiting for hell to freeze over.

  • I agree that orchestrating the reviewers will be near-to-impossible, and that changing the whole system is likely to be very slow, which is why I'm focussing on the original action.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 8:49
  • 5
    Yeah the system wasn't designed for his kind of activity on relatively low traffic sites. I think the OP needs to slow down on the edits. I'll leave them a link here.
    – user9517
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 9:02

Mass edits should be asked for and co-ordinated on Meta. The mods can deal with mass editing much better than non-mod users. We can e.g. provide the mods (or high-rep users) with a list of questions to retag. Otherwise an editing spree is just a case of repw*oring.

Related: Review question: Retagging of old closed untagged questions

  • 1
    Editing is encouraged by the system and does not require orchestration by a moderator.
    – user9517
    Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 9:43
  • 3
    @Iain - generally I agree, but mass editing should be done with some restraint (IMHO). Commented Jan 21, 2016 at 9:48
  • I've posted a separate question to address the mass re-tagging. Thanks!
    – Castaglia
    Commented Jan 22, 2016 at 17:44
  • 1
    I'd like to know how the mods can deal with mass retagging much better than anyone else. Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 10:59

No, I don't think this particular kind of retagging is a good thing.

  • I have nothing against your answer, but arguments here would help people get the big picture.
    – Ninj
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 9:09
  • @Ninj When I wrote the question, I also wrote two stock answers, one YES and one NO, for people who wished simply to vote without expressing further opinions. The comparitive votes on those two stock answers are the main reason I conclude that the community is in favour of such retagging. Anyone who wants to speak at more length in an answer is welcome to do so, and several have; but my main interest was not to persuade others but to take the community's viewpoint.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 9:26
  • Oops, i missed the fact that you were the OP. However I don't like the idea to write ready YES/NO naswers to for lazy people. SF force is for non lazy people who have things to say :) But i may miss the point of the meta section, i'm not used to it yet.
    – Ninj
    Commented Feb 1, 2016 at 10:47
  • 1
    @Ninj I can't fault your understanding: meta is indeed different from the main site, and has a somewhat different set of practices (particularly as regards downvoting). I certainly wouldn't pre-populate answers on the main site.
    – MadHatter
    Commented Feb 3, 2016 at 8:22

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