If you go to homepage where the list of questions are shown, the name shown against a question is that of the person who last edited modified the post(if it has been edited)? Why is this? Shouldn't the question be attributed to the person who asked it?

  • Down vote.. very nice.
    – bobbyalex
    May 15, 2013 at 11:37
  • 1
    Be sure not to take down-votes personally, especially on meta. Downvotes on meta work differently and are not neccessarily about quality. You made a request for a feature, which I don't agree with, therefore my downvote. See the FAQ.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    May 15, 2013 at 11:40
  • 1
    @ChristianRau You made a request for a feature - No I did not. I just wanted to know why it worked a certain way.
    – bobbyalex
    May 15, 2013 at 11:41
  • I interpreted your last sentence this way, though, but nevermind.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    May 15, 2013 at 11:43
  • 3
    Essentially, Downvotes on Meta mean disagreement instead of poor quality like the main site.
    – Tablemaker
    May 15, 2013 at 12:24
  • When you say "homepage", do you mean / or /questions? If you mean / - that's the last person who modified the post
    – user1887
    May 20, 2013 at 11:18

2 Answers 2


The thing of it is: It already is attributed to the person who penned the question. You just don't see it until you click on the question.

I ask this in return: What does it matter who pops up in that "last modified by:" section?

As a moderator (speaking for myself only, mind you) I use that section as a bit of a check-up on the changes of the site.

If I see say a problem user editing things, I go and check to make sure their edit was valid.

If I see someone with 1 rep in that section, I go and make sure it isn't a spam answer or contribution.

If I see a question that I know has been on the site for a while all of a sudden creep up, I have an idea of who did it. If I trust that user, then I don't need to investigate further. If I don't, again, I check and make sure the change was a valid one, whatever the change may be.

As a normal user, unless you are active enough to help police the site, it may not be all that useful at all. And I feel, as @Christain Rau said, is the point.

You shouldn't be worried about who made what, just that the contribution is valid and interesting to you, no matter the author.

If the contribution isn't interesting to the reader, move on.

If the contribution is valid and/or interesting to the reader, consider an upvote.

If the contribution is legitimately poor, consider a downvote and a suggestion on how to make it better.

I will stress this again. You should never have to worry about who made what.


First of all, it doesn't show who last edited the question, but who did the last change to the whole thread, including creating and editing answers. So you are on the wrong assumption, that the name under the question in this list is the one who this question is attributed to, which is just not the case. It isn't that StackOverflow thinks the editor should get the credit for this answer, it's just that it doesn't care.

It doesn't show the one who this question is to be attributed to and who should get the credit for it, because I guess with the everybody-edits-everything policy of StackOverflow, this is usually not relevant and cannot be reduced to a single person, either (though often it's indeed the original asker). You just shouldn't care who created it (well, you could, but not before actually reading it).

Instead each question is treated as a complete thread of information (including its answers, in the same way you could ask why the name of the best answerer is not shown instead). And in this way it is much more informative when the last change to this whole thread was made and who did it, like posting a new answer or changing the question or an answer. When you finally decide to delve into this question, you get every additional information of who is responsible for the question and its answers, anyway.

EDIT: Indeed the information who last modified the post isn't that much important either, I agree. But the name of the one who started the post is much less important, except for possibly paying tribute to that person, which is neither neccessary nor useful in this compressed question list. One could just leave away the name to solve the problem. But if to pick a name, then rather the one that corresponds to the timing information (and this timing information is important).

  • Ok so I got it wrong. Fixed the question. I understand YOUR rationale for why its done but just think about it - if you saw a name against a post on any site, are you going to think that its the name of the person who created the post or someone who edited it? Also, what purpose does it serve to have the name of the person who last edited it to be displayed against the post? Its not as if people look around and see..her X edited this post, let me see why. Also I am not talking about giving credit to anyone... I said attribute.
    – bobbyalex
    May 15, 2013 at 11:36
  • @BobbyAlexander Added some additional views. I should also point out that this is my interpretation and in no way needs to match the actual reasosns of StackExchange.
    – Napoleon Wilson Mod
    May 15, 2013 at 11:48

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