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Suggestion We need to make it more difficult to accidentally necropost

  1. Oct 3, 2011 #1
    In the last week or two, I have accidentally necroposted at least twice. Normally, they aren't really visible in the thread list. But they are still in the suggestion thingie at the bottom of the page, with related threads.

    This is my problem, and now I will attempt a solution. Why do we even have them mentioned there? Are the old threads never deleted? One way to prevent this would be to delete the threads after a certain point. But that would lost a discussion on a topic that could still be helpful to others, even if it is finished. Another way to do it is to automatically lock a topic after a certain amount of time, such as 3-4 months or so, or maybe even add a popup asking if you want to post on a topic that has been not been posted on for quite a while.

    What do you guys think? I keep forgetting to look at the date, so I'm not doing it on purpose. I would like to avoid doing this, and possibly help in the future prevention of the pointless posting on old threads.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 3, 2011 #2

    phinds

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    I agree that auto-locking old threads is a good idea, given that necroposting is considered unacceptable (and really IS a bad idea), but I think 3 or 4 months is too short a time. I'd make it more like a couple of years. MAYBE just one year. I think if the idea goes forward it would be a good idea to get some consensus on the time limit. Maybe most everyone would agree w/ you that 3 to 4 months is the right amount.

    EDIT: now that I think about it, I think that even better than locking the threads in question, and to distinguish them from threads that were locked for a valid reason (not just "old"), what would be really nice, although probably more work for the webmaster, would be to have a popup message that says something like "this thread is considered too old to add to. If you wish to discuss the topic of the thread, please start a new one" ... and then of course, not ALLOW posts to the threads.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  4. Oct 3, 2011 #3

    FlexGunship

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    I'm going to wait for this thread to go without a post for a couple of years and then post my support for this idea.
     
  5. Oct 3, 2011 #4

    phinds

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    :rofl:
     
  6. Oct 3, 2011 #5
    Oh, the irony...
     
  7. Oct 3, 2011 #6

    dlgoff

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    Well, you are kind of new here. :biggrin:
     
  8. Oct 3, 2011 #7

    Evo

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    In the lounge, I lock any thread that hasn't been active for 2 years. I agree it would be a good idea in the other forums. If it's gone for 2 years or more without a post. A new thread should be started.
     
  9. Oct 3, 2011 #8

    phinds

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    So is there any chance of implementing my suggestion of popping up a window telling a user WHY he can't post, instead of just locking threads?
     
  10. Oct 3, 2011 #9
    We won't do popups, sorry
     
  11. Oct 3, 2011 #10

    phinds

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    Didn't really figure you would, but thought I'd ask. Are you going to start locking old threads? Seems like a bad idea to me since it makes legitimately locked threads indistinguishable from old threads once the legitimately locked ones are also old.
     
  12. Oct 3, 2011 #11

    Evo

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    Can you explain what you're trying to say, and what difference it makes? Threads that are locked because they are bad threads usually have a mentor's reason for the lock. Old threads would just be locked. So there is your differentiation, although I don't see what the problem would be. I'm curious why you feel it matters.
     
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2011
  13. Oct 3, 2011 #12

    phinds

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    I think it is informative for newcomers (even relative newcomers such as myself) to see locked threads and get a sense of WHY they get locked. If ALL old threads are locked, there is no way to distinguish those that are locked for a reason.

    Since, if the lock only applies after 2 years, there are 2 years worth of recent locked threads to get that feel from, so I guess it doesn't matter after all.
     
  14. Oct 4, 2011 #13
    I think a reasonable way to accomplish this is to place a notification at the top of the thread stating the thread was locked due to stagnancy or lack of activity or something. Maybe there could even be a subtopic for old(and thus locked) but informative threads.
     
  15. Oct 4, 2011 #14

    jtbell

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    I use another vBulletin-based forum that does something very similar. If you try to post to an old thread, you get a warning message, and you have to tick a checkbox in order to go ahead and post anyway.

    When I mentioned this some time ago, I think Greg responded that it's done by a plugin that he can't install because it requires a newer version of vBulletin than the one we're using. Upgrading vBulletin would be messy because we use some "home-made" customizations that would have to be re-coded, so he's put it off until there's an urgent need to do so. (Hopefully Greg will correct me if my memory has misled me.)
     
  16. Oct 4, 2011 #15

    AlephZero

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    But there would be no visual differentiation, unless you open the thread to find out why it was locked (and that's not value-added activity, given the excellent quality of the admin here).

    Currently the "lock" icon implies "crackpot", "offensive", etc. Changing that to mean "crackpot, offensive, or maybe just old" makes a difference IMO.

    Maybe the answer is a different icon (spider web? tombstone?) for acceptable but timed-out threads.
     
  17. Oct 4, 2011 #16
    It's nice to know it was an idea that would be implemented if it was possible without unreasonable amounts of work. Too bad about the messy coding parts, though.
     
  18. Oct 4, 2011 #17

    phinds

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    good idea.

    Probably a bad idea since to keep old threads in topic areas would require that EVERY topic are have a subtopic area for old threads.
     
  19. Oct 4, 2011 #18
    Oh dear, what happened to compatability?

    Anyway, the warning message would be great - if possible. I did some deliberate necropostings, because there was new information about the subject. Necroposting has an advantage over linking to an old locked thread because lots of people never seem to click links.
     
  20. Oct 4, 2011 #19

    Evo

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    If you are reading the thread, it's already opened. Most necroposts are by new people that found the thread via a search engine, so the thread is already opened. If you are browsing threads from 4-5 years ago and the entire page of threads is locked, you can assume they were locked due to being old. If you decide to read one, if you go to the last page, you can see if there is a mentor's note about the thread.

    It shouldn't be much of an issue. In all of the years that I have been locking old threads, only one person asked me why his old threads were locked, he was doing a search on himself and didn't see that all threads that old were locked.
     
  21. Oct 4, 2011 #20

    dlgoff

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    My thoughts exactly.
     
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