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Hi all! :smile:I just wanted to ask why there are no rules on

  1. Jun 15, 2011 #1

    micromass

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    Hi all! :smile:

    I just wanted to ask why there are no rules on necroposting? Recently, I saw that somebody replied to a thread in academic guidance about choosing a major in college. Fine, except that the thread was 5 years old: the person already graduated by now!!

    I see a lot of (rather pointless) replies to very old threads lately. I don't quite see the value of such a posts, and I find it a little bit annoying too.

    Thank you!
     
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  3. Jun 15, 2011 #2

    Evo

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    Re: Necroposting

    The mentors have discussed the problem before, I believe that the concensus was that we prefered that the old threads be closed and the member open a new thread. Old threads may no longer conform to current guidelines, or in the case you cite above, the issue might have been solved 7 years ago, or the reply is to a person that hasn't been on the forum for years.

    I have no idea what Greg's feelings are on this. I guess we should ask him.
     
  4. Jun 15, 2011 #3
    Re: Necroposting

    So many rules... :)

    Threads are to the benefit of all readers, not just the original poster. Sometimes a necropost is useless, but usually a new user is to blame. Infracting will not solve the problem because they likely weren't aware it was an old thread and wouldn't do it if they had known. Most also come from in from a google search.

    Auto locking threads would be ok, but I don't consider it a serious enough problem to warrant looking into a solution.
     
  5. Jun 15, 2011 #4

    Borek

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    Re: Necroposting

    Each month mentors issue several "no necropost" warnings.
     
  6. Jun 15, 2011 #5

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Necroposting

    How about setting up some guidelines for posting on old threads? For example;
    • If a user wishes to continue the discussion of a thread that has not seen activity in several months then they are encouraged to set up a new thread,

    • Threads that ask a specific question can be reposted on if that question was not addressed (for the benefit of other readers, not the OP) but if the post is expanding on the answer given a new thread should be started.

    • If the topic concerned discussion about an upcoming or future event that has now come to pass the thread can be posted on if what has already been discussed adds relevant background information. If not a new thread should be started.
    Something like that, no firm rules or infractions just helpful tips.
     
  7. Jun 15, 2011 #6
    Re: Necroposting

    Wait a minute, I thought there was also consideration discussed for reviving an old thread if both there were new devellopments about that issue and the poster clearly stated that he revived the thread for that reason.
     
  8. Jun 15, 2011 #7
    Re: Necroposting

    Looks nice, but a new user brought in via a google search to that necropost, isn't going to read or care. The only way to stop it is to auto lock.
     
  9. Jun 15, 2011 #8
    Re: Necroposting

    Comments welcome in what I did here.

    https://www.physicsforums.com/showthread.php?t=17932

    Cannot the members themselves (a least the more responsible ones) apply common sense and relieve the mods of uneccessary work to the benefit of all?
     
  10. Jun 15, 2011 #9

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Necroposting

    That's true but to post they have to create an account don't they? Perhaps it should be written in bold letters If you are joining to comment on a particular thread please be aware of how old it is with a link to some guidelines. Though of course that won't stop everyone, some people will just click accept without reading anything.

    Or another idea could be (if it's possible) to have all threads that have no activity in X time have an automatic post that says "This thread has not been active for X time. Before posting here please read the guidelines regarding posting on old threads" with the last part of the sentence hyperlinked.
     
  11. Jun 15, 2011 #10
    Re: Necroposting

    No doubt you make sense Ryan, but for years I've had

    "Do NOT post homework! Homework questions go here

    Title (be descriptive! one/two word titles may be deleted!) "

    In red bold above the message text box and yet still on a daily basis move HW threads and see one word titles.
     
  12. Jun 15, 2011 #11

    Evo

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    Re: Necroposting

    Great ideas, but you wouldn't believe how many people ignore warning signs on what not to post.

    In GD, I lock all threads that haven't been active for at least 2 years. Prevents necroposting and encourages new threads. The new poster can always link to the old thread if they wish to reference it.

    I find most necroposting is done by spammers googling for threads related to what they're selling. I find that it's less trouble to auto-lock old threads then to have to clean up after spammers one at a time.
     
  13. Jun 15, 2011 #12

    micromass

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    Re: Necroposting

    Thanks for the answers! :smile:

    It was a minor annoyance and I just wanted to know the point of view of the mentors on this. I see now that there's very little we can do about this, and autolocking threads would probably go a bit too far. Oh well... :biggrin:

    I usually do the same thing as you when I see resurrected threads. So I hope it's OK.
     
  14. Jun 15, 2011 #13

    Ryan_m_b

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    Re: Necroposting

    That itself is a very good idea, the user can always just post a link saying "Two years ago people thought this, how about now?".
     
  15. Jun 15, 2011 #14

    Borek

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    Re: Necroposting

    No doubt there are situations when posting in an old thread is perfectly OK, I don't think anyone want to throw a kid with a bathwater. Studiot example nicely shows where the problem lies.
     
  16. Jun 15, 2011 #15

    DaveC426913

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    Re: Necroposting

    Say, rather than some moderator having to step in and mess about, what if there were a utility function that, once a post was more than X months or years old, the system would automatically post to it, saying 'this thread is now x months/years stale'. That way, any visitor to the thread would read that as the last message.

    No. Nevermind. That would be messy.

    1] These posts would be littered with messages, possibly one after another, saying 'this thread is now x months/years stale'.
    2] Posting to a thread causes it to be 'bumped'. So, at some point, dozens or hundreds of threads would suddenly be pushed top the top of the 'new' pile, causing thousands of readers to reread them.

    Never mind.
     
  17. Jun 15, 2011 #16
    Re: Necroposting

    I also think necroposting isn't that much of a deal... Many replies to old threads contain useful stuff for future readers. Blocking old threads would only block the flow of information. I am aware that much of that information is really useless. But its almost the same useful/useless ratio you find in recent posts (for "outside" readers, not the OP, obviously)*.

    Ryan's second idea its pretty good IMO. Except for the arguments Dave explains. To solve that maybe a better idea to show this message* would be to make a dialog appear when the users clicks on 'new Reply' (in old posts) or maybe just a warning (in bold font) near the 'submit reply button. Actually I don't know if this would be too 'bothersome to do in this forum to do. But its a good solution, since users don't purposedly necropost without having something good to say.

    *The hate against necroposters is more of a forum trend than a rational critique.
     
  18. Jun 15, 2011 #17
    Re: Necroposting

    Not hate but I think it good manners and considerate towards others to let them know if you are bringing up an old subject and why.

    It is particularly disheartening to waste time answering a question (the OP) that suddenly appears and then find out that the original questioner will probably never read your answer because the original action was finished with years ago.

    It is really all a question of common sense and consideration.

    go well
     
  19. Jun 15, 2011 #18

    Evo

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    Re: Necroposting

    You have no idea of how useless the majority of necroposts are. I just deleted one a few minutes ago. Most likely a spammer testing the waters.
     
  20. Jun 15, 2011 #19

    arildno

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    Re: Necroposting

    this is not useless, it is damn good:
    necropotence.jpg

    This, however, is utterly useless:
    Image.ashx?type=card&name=Lich.jpg
     
  21. Jun 15, 2011 #20

    Borek

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    Re: Necroposting

    I wrote it already several times. In some forum engines it is possible to add a message "thread you are trying to post in is already xxxx days old" displayed when someone tries to necropost. But I understand Greg's approach (if it ain't broke, don't fix it).
     
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