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While searching through recently active Harry Potter questions I noticed a lot are bumped up because of brand new users who have 'modified' them somehow. However, when I click on modified to see what has changed, it just links me to the question itself, with nothing highlighted. What modifications are being made, and how does this differ from editing?

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When looking at the page of questions, there are only three types of descriptions:

  • Asked
  • Answered
  • Modified

The first two are pretty straightforward. They refer, respectively, to newly asked questions, or newly answered questions. "Modified" covers any other type of activity on a post.

Most of the time "modified" will be an edit, as that is simply the most common form of modification to a post. However, there are various other things that it could mean as well. Some examples:

  • Bounty added
  • Question bumped by Community due to a zero-score answer
  • Answer that has since been deleted
  • Question reopened

In this particular instance, it looks like there have been a whole bunch of recent deletions of answers to questions. Because you do not have 10,000 reputation you cannot see deleted answers. Therefore, even though the "modified" link technically takes you to the deleted answer, it redirects you to the question because it can't actually show you the deleted answer. Since you can't see the deleted answers it may appear as if nothing has changed, even though something has.

For reference, here are some screenshots:

Screenshot showing recently deleted answer

Screenshot showing recently deleted answer

Screenshot showing recently deleted answer

Screenshot showing recently deleted answer

As you can see, these were all deleted pretty recently.

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