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Anti-bump (possible anti-facepalm) measures?

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Thread starter #1
So while I don't spend hardly any time on reddit, during the time that I have spent, I noticed that essentially all of their old threads are locked. I presume it's to prevent thread-necro/bump trolls from being trolls.

I don't necessarily think that we should lock all of our old threads, but I think that maybe attempting to post on a thread with a year or two of inactivity could activate a pop up message (or something) that said something like:

  • Hey! This thread hasn't been posted on since (x date), are you sure that you want to post here? There may be a more recent thread which is discussing something similar, and the person to which you're asking a question may no longer frequent this site.


I just saw someone posting in a 2009 thread about center caps popping off being DNFs ask if skewb applied as well. The message that would pop up could've directed them to realize that the most recent post probably was made before they were born. They might also find the WCA Regulations thread and then ask the question there, where it will be met with actual answers instead of facepalms and passive -aggressive, half-hearted responses.



Also, maybe for sub forums with a specific set of rules (like no questions or help requests), a pop up message could appear when it's the user's first post in the sub forum, just saying something like "as this is your first post, we can't be sure that you're familiar with the rules. These are the important ones:
  • list
here's a link to the other rules/stickied FAQ threads that no one reads: link(s)


Sorry for any weird spelling things, I'm doing this on mobile.
 

pjk

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#4
So while I don't spend hardly any time on reddit, during the time that I have spent, I noticed that essentially all of their old threads are locked. I presume it's to prevent thread-necro/bump trolls from being trolls.

I don't necessarily think that we should lock all of our old threads, but I think that maybe attempting to post on a thread with a year or two of inactivity could activate a pop up message (or something) that said something like:

  • Hey! This thread hasn't been posted on since (x date), are you sure that you want to post here? There may be a more recent thread which is discussing something similar, and the person to which you're asking a question may no longer frequent this site.


I just saw someone posting in a 2009 thread about center caps popping off being DNFs ask if skewb applied as well. The message that would pop up could've directed them to realize that the most recent post probably was made before they were born. They might also find the WCA Regulations thread and then ask the question there, where it will be met with actual answers instead of facepalms and passive -aggressive, half-hearted responses.



Also, maybe for sub forums with a specific set of rules (like no questions or help requests), a pop up message could appear when it's the user's first post in the sub forum, just saying something like "as this is your first post, we can't be sure that you're familiar with the rules. These are the important ones:
  • list
here's a link to the other rules/stickied FAQ threads that no one reads: link(s)


Sorry for any weird spelling things, I'm doing this on mobile.
Good suggestion, and one we've chatted about over the years. It is a difficult problem as sometimes old bumps are better than making a new discussion thread and having the same discussions over and over. But adding a warning like you suggested is a good idea, I will work on adding that. Do you notice this issue happening a lot? It's good that people are reading/using old threads, but unnecessary bumps even on newer threads is not a good idea. We want to have constructive, useful, informative discussion.
 
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#5
Good suggestion, and one we've chatted about over the years. It is a difficult problem as sometimes old bumps are better than making a new discussion thread and having the same discussions over and over. But adding a warning like you suggested is a good idea, I will work on adding that. Do you notice this issue happening a lot? It's good that people are reading/using old threads, but unnecessary bumps even on newer threads is not a good idea. We want to have constructive, useful, informative discussion.
There would have to be an Option for OPs to lock a Thread once they feel that a topic is over.
Maybe after Registration, new Members recieve a message with a link to your 'Useful Threads' Thread, so they know where to ask questions
 

Mike Hughey

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#6
There would have to be an Option for OPs to lock a Thread once they feel that a topic is over.
I don't know if I like the idea of an OP being able to lock a thread once they think it's done. That can be misused by people who are trying to shut down discussion that might be constructive (simply because the discussion is not going the direction the OP wanted it to go), and I believe that very often "necro" posting is a good thing. If the new post is directly connected to the old one, and significantly furthers a discussion, even if the old discussion was 10 years old, it's often the very best place for that new post to go. This is one of the big advantages of a forum over something like Reddit or Facebook - useful discussions can continue over decades, and those who weren't around 10 years ago can read the earlier part of the thread to see all the historical context. We have a number of very old threads on here where discussions have shut down for a few years and then picked back up, and the history within those threads makes them quite valuable. The main thing we want to prevent is non-useful necro posts (which unfortunately are typically somewhat more common than useful necro posts).

I see nothing wrong with having a warning when people are about to post to an inactive thread. The only concern would be that people might ignore the warning when they really shouldn't. But if we're providing a warning, it at least makes it somewhat more comfortable for a moderator to delete a non-useful necro post - since the user was already warned before posting, it's easier to justify deleting the new post.
 
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#8
There are people out there who don't know what "bump" signifies, so telling them 'please only bump this thread .....' is not going to work. Simply stating 'please do not post on this thread ....' would be more accurate and understandable.

I get the impression that some 'necro posting' occurs because the posters' computer/device simply doesn't indicate the date of the thread or last post on it. Possibly as a result of a Search Engine directing them to the thread, rather than them choosing it themself. So this 'polite reminder' is a worthwhile idea, I think.
 

pjk

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#9
There are people out there who don't know what "bump" signifies, so telling them 'please only bump this thread .....' is not going to work. Simply stating 'please do not post on this thread ....' would be more accurate and understandable.

I get the impression that some 'necro posting' occurs because the posters' computer/device simply doesn't indicate the date of the thread or last post on it. Possibly as a result of a Search Engine directing them to the thread, rather than them choosing it themself. So this 'polite reminder' is a worthwhile idea, I think.
Good feedback, thanks. How does this text look:
Hello [username], There has not been a reply to this thread in more than 180 days.
Please only reply to this thread if you're continuing the current discussion, otherwise please create a new thread. Thanks.
That seems to make it clear the thread is 6 months old, and to only reply if it seems fit. What do you think? If you have a better suggestion, please modify and post. Thanks.
 
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#10
That looks suitable, try it and see if it has the desired result ( and hopefully no unwanted side-effects ). Might it be appropriate to 'highlight' the reminder in some way, such as using a standout colour / bold font / pale red background etc ? Enought to draw attention to it, without making it look like a threat ....
 

pjk

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#11
That looks suitable, try it and see if it has the desired result ( and hopefully no unwanted side-effects ). Might it be appropriate to 'highlight' the reminder in some way, such as using a standout colour / bold font / pale red background etc ? Enought to draw attention to it, without making it look like a threat ....
Thread bumping seems to be a minor issue, but the notice is live and will see over time if it helps. Thanks for the suggestion.
 

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