OLD POSTS - Updated Policy

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JohnInTX

Joined Jun 26, 2012
4,709
The moderators, administrators and owners of AAC have been working to resolve issues with old posts that have been brought to our attention and discussed on the boards. After reading members' ideas on the boards and in PMs we have updated the policy addressing posting to old threads to better reflect how our members use the boards and to clarify some related issues.

Old Post:
One that appears to have been abandoned by the thread starter - determined by the time since the last post or explicitly stated by the TS. Reasons may include TS's problem has been solved or has elected not to pursue the matter in that thread.

Restarting An Old Post:
An old post may be restarted if the subject matter is the same and if, in the judgement of the staff, further posts contribute to the original topic.

Locking Posts:
Posts will no longer be locked as a matter of course. Many older posts can be reanimated without problem if the new content is directly related to and/or draws on the original content even if the discussion is restarted by another user.

Who gets to restart an old thread:
The original TS or an established member may restart a thread at any time.
To mitigate newbie errors, if a new member attempts to restart an old thread, his post will automatically be placed into the moderation queue before appearing on the forum. The new post may be appended to the old thread or a new thread will be started at the moderator's discretion.

Thread Starter's ownership of the thread: This rule will continue. The TS should have the ability to solicit help and guide the responses in a way that fits his needs and abilities and exert some control over the process. If a member, however well meaning, suggests an alternate course that does not fit the TS's desires, the TS has the right to politely decline that line of help and continue with what's working for him. The TS may request that the thread be locked. The staff will consider such requests on a case by case basis. Note that 'ownership', in this context, refers to the right of the thread starter to have a say in how the thread is conducted. Who owns the content, copyrights etc. is unchanged and still governed by the TOS/UA.

The 'Old Thread' Warning:
Members will be warned that a thread is old by the same warning box/check with updated text.
Dates on old posts/threads will show in RED to further highlight that the post is old and that new thread may be in order.

Remedies:
To avoid a rash of hard-coded rules, the moderators have discretion in gray areas. If a member disagrees with how a particular situation is handled, the first remedy is to click REPORT, stating your thoughts. All mods get all reports. Individual mods can be reached via PM. All inquiries will be handled as promptly as possible.

Software Changes:
The policy changes are effective immediately. Some of the warnings, auto moderation changes etc require a change to the forum software and will be introduced as they become available.

Thanks to everyone who contributed their thoughts, concerns and suggestions.
 
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WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
27,893
Clarification of Necroposting/Hijacking Policies

As stated above, when someone necroposts (revives a long-dormant thread that has died a natural death), it will be allowed to stand IF it revives the ORIGINAL thread topic in a meaningful way.

Thread hijacking (taking over someone else's thread for your own purposes) is not allowed, although the point at which the normal meandering of a thread crosses the line into hijacking is a wide, grey area.

Since moderation only happens after posts are made, necroposts and hijacks (as well as most other ToS/UA violations) often go uncaught unless they are reported by the membership.

A fairly common occurrence is a member (often a new member) searching for help on a problem they are having, running across an old thread that is related, and then replying to that thread asking for help with their similar problem.

This is both a clear case of necroposting and hijacking, but in these situations it is almost always due to innocent naivety. The usual solution when this happens (assuming it is either noticed by a moderator or, more likely, reported by a member to the moderation team) is that a moderator will split the new content off into a new thread with the new poster's content as the first post (so that it is "their" thread), and then include a note with a link to the original thread. In cases of necroposting, the original thread will also generally be closed to new replies.

The rational for this policy is driven by the "One-topic-per-thread, one-thread-per-topic" goal, which is intended to preserve thread coherency.

If the new post were kept in the original thread, there would now two discussions contained in that thread -- that of the original thread starter and that of the new person. When this happens, it is almost inevitable that subsequent responses will become a mix of people that are responding to one or the other and needless confusion and misunderstandings is often the result, sometimes resulting in heated exchanges. By splitting the new post off into it's own thread, the new poster has a thread devoted to THEIR specific problem/conversation, with the original thread available for any needed context. When the original thread is long dead, it is closed in order to prevent people from hopping over to the old thread and inadvertently responding to it instead of the new thread.
 
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