I've noticed this in passing before, that posts in the "New" posts feed occasionally reorder themselves. But I'd always just kind of ignored it and went about my day. But today I looked further, and noticed a very big problem.
Right now as I start to type this, here is the minutes since posting from the new posts page going from the top post (which you would assume is the most recent) down the list:
5, 30, 36, 43 (going ok so far, but then...), 14, 39, 41, 30, 34, 15, 13, 6...
Then we get to the 1h+ section, but even looking at the timestamps of the older posts we have 3:49 appearing more recently than 4:11 for example. There are many more such out of order timestamps.
So what is going on here?There is no rational explanation to it that I can see.
All of the posts seem to be tagged reasonably and I can't see a correlation between tags and order - the post from 6 minutes ago shown way down the list has very popular tags that are appropriate to the post.
I can't see a correlation of length or quality either, the 6 minute post again is neither the shortest, nor the least quality post in that first lot.
Also I don't know the work of any of the authors to know if there is some correlation between their "performance" or some other metric.
So, some of our posts are not being given the exposure they deserve to anyone who may read based on the new posts page like I do, and are instead being artificially thrown further down the list.
Is this a bug, or is there an algorithm to the new posts list that we are not aware?