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I feel so embarrassed.

Jess's questions are usually useful for English learners but I've always noticed their tags were spartan and sometimes irrelevant. So I went on a wild tagging mission, tired and exhausted, I looked on the ELL questions page and under "active" I can see my avatar dominating the page. What's worse it may look that I have targeted Jess. Not so! I thought I was helping the community. What do I do?

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  • So long as your edits are improving another user's posts (and adding or correcting tags is one way of improving the post), then it is entirely valid for you to make the edit. Indeed, I, for one, would be delighted to see my posts being thought important enough to warrant someone else spending time improving it; I certainly would never take it as an insult. – Matt Jun 23 '13 at 7:01
  • I had no idea that by merely tagging questions I would make them resurface. I thought only editing and providing a new answer did that. – Mari-Lou A Jun 23 '13 at 7:05
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    I don't think it's possible to un-bump the questions you edited. (Re-tagging is a type of editing.) If you reverted your changes, it would just bump them to the top of the list again. So, I wouldn't worry about it. – snailplane Jun 23 '13 at 13:27
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Editing the tags constitutes an "edit" so far as Stack-Exchange is concerned, and that means that editing tags causes the question to appear "active".

In general though I wouldn't worry too much about it. The list of active questions will change over the next few hours, and besides, there are other (perhaps more useful) filters that can be applied on the questions anyway, such as listing by "newest" or by "unanswered".

If an edit is warranted (and retagging edits are useful edits too), edit the question. Don't worry too much about whether it gives an artificial impression that the question is active. If the question was active before, it just shuffles the list a little bit. If the question wasn't active before, it's bringing a question back to public attention.

In either case, the value of contributors making real and useful edits to posts, whether the posts are old or new; answered or unanswered; content or tags far outweighs the downside of you "dominating" the active questions page for a few hours.

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  • So I can't really do anything but wait. OK... not great, people might nevertheless get the wrong impression. The: "Who does she think she is?" type of comments. Do I care? I suppose not. But more importantly I don't want anyone thinking I have targeted this particular user. – Mari-Lou A Jun 23 '13 at 7:38
  • @Mari-LouA It's fine. Edits like yours are totally in line with SE etiquette, so I don't think you need to worry about people thinking things like that. – snailplane Jun 23 '13 at 13:29
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    It was the shock of seeing my tiny grinning faces all lined up. It looked quite sinister, I thought. :) I've gotten over it, now. Thanks. – Mari-Lou A Jun 23 '13 at 13:30
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    @Mari-LouA I'd call it a knowing smile rather than a grin, and I find it quite ornamental. – StoneyB on hiatus Jun 23 '13 at 19:20
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As long as you removed bad tags and used more appropriate tags, or you added relevant tags, your edit is fine. Tags and titles are important to make the question easy to find; editing them to put them in shape is important, and that is one of the reason editing tags requires less reputation that editing the question body.

As for tags edits bumping the question on front page, that is normal. Since tags are an important part of questions, editing them cause the question to be bumped. The reason is avoiding, for example, that a user starts adding an inappropriate tags for every question. With the question being bumped, everybody is able to see what is being done on questions.

There is nothing that can be done to de-bump the question, not even putting back the original tags during the grace period (within 5 minutes from the last edit). The only thing that can be done is avoiding editing too much tags in a short period, but I don't think editing tags is a problem, considering that new questions are still visible on https://ell.stackexchange.com/questions; the users who want to answer are probably already using that page to check any new questions.

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