I'm all for having fun with competitions, but adding prizes increases the stakes further in a game which already causes much unnecessary noise. See for example the flood of trivial edits from users of all reputation levels (some of whom are inactive on this site outside of Winter Bash) bumping old questions to the "active" page only to get the "Werewolf hunter" hat:

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Or this example, where a clearly unanswerable question that was closed as a duplicate got edited and voted to reopen without any significant changes. All for another hat (180°).

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I'd like to ask the opinion of the community, is such behaviour helpful enough to warrant awarding prizes for?

NOTE: I have explicitly avoided mentioning any users and it is just a coincidence that both the above examples are from the same user - I could have included other trivial edits from other users as well. The question is NOT about one user or two but the generic behaviour.

EDIT The answer to the Meta.SE post pointed out by Eran in the comments promises a rework for next year and changes the triggers for this year's event:

For this year, to reduce the disruptiveness that the original hat definition has introduced, we have

  • Reduced the requirement from 5 to 3 edits
  • Changed the hat to trigger on editing of 3 questions on either meta or main sites

Which has propagated the phenomenon to Bricks.meta as well (this time the examples are from another user):

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And here:

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1 Answer 1


While I would prefer that this didn't create noise for us, I believe that it is a beneficial trade-off.

Our site isn't very noisy, so a few more edits to review probably isn't a big deal. The noise also primarily impacts our most active users who are managing review queues while not harming the experiences for new users who are interacting with our community for the first time. I want to be clear that I value all the hard work that our most active users put in, but I'm working under the assumption that we're all willing to put in a bit of extra work to facilitate growth of this community into the future.

My hope is that Winter Bash can help increase engagement between current users and new users over the next several weeks by encouraging current users to be active on the site.

I'm certainly open to suggestions on how we can run this better. This is our community, so if there is consensus that it would be better not to offer prizes for Winter Bash you will get no argument from me. Offering prizes for this creates work for me during a busy season and provides no benefit for me personally, as I obviously exclude myself from winning anything.

  • 2
    I agree that these edits are helpful and needed. But they shouldn't be done in such odd fashion. It just looks a little strange, at least, to see multiple questions from many years ago bumped in short period of time. I believe this kind of reviews should happen gradually during all the year, not just during Winter Bash.
    – Alex
    Commented Dec 31, 2019 at 15:33

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