# What is the point of the warning if this happens?

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
I still cannot figure out the mixed messages of this site's goal or reasoning behind the policy of not locking old threads until someone makes a post on the old thread. I've heard various reasons but none have made sense. Here is the latest post to an old thread (see below), subsequent locking of said thread and no instruction to the new member.

Now, I've had various theories of why this policy is in place but, all have been proven unsatisfactory (or I've been told they are not valid by the site administration/owner).

Example warning for your pleasure - most of the more active members never see this...

My question:
Under what circumstances would a post to an old thread not get locked?
(Besides the extremely rare occasion that an OP comes back to update, since that is about 1 in 1000 and serves no significant justification compared to the user dissatisfaction of the current situation)

My suggestion:
Make a decision, either allow old threads to linger and be posted to, OR lock them.

Or at least change the wording in the pink box to, "if you post to this thread, it will be locked" - also, make sure that message is visible before the reader bothers to sign up so you don't waste his time.

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#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
8,460
What I found odd was that the TS is still active on AAC. I wondered whether the lock reflected more the too simple response, rather than the post's age per se. Maybe constructive posts to older posts by active members can be left open a little longer?

John

#### jpanhalt

Joined Jan 18, 2008
8,460
In any event it is a judgement call. Some forums allow and promote using a [SOLVED] edit to the title but don't automatically lock the thread immediately. Maybe a [SOLVED] plus 1 year = automatic lock?

I must say that in the vast majority of threads that are locked because of age, I would agree with the decision. A viable workaround is for the TS, if still active, to PM a moderator to unlock the thread.

#### tracecom

Joined Apr 16, 2010
3,944
Here is what I posted in a previous thread on this subject. My opinion hasn't changed: the whole idea of a thread losing its value because of age is completely illogical. No amount of "that's the way it was and that's the way it is and and that's the way it will be" will change my opinion. That being said, I fully realize that my opinion has no value to anyone but me, and I don't expect any change in the policy.

I think someone just cooked up the term "necroposting," it sounded clever, so some like to say/type it.

If it's the length of threads that is the issue, then maybe there should be a limit on the number of posts instead of, or in addition to, the age of a thread. And while I'm on my soapbox, how old does a thread have to be to be considered "dead," and is the passing date based on the first post in the thread or the last? And maybe the site software experts could just program in an actuarially correct length of thread life, at the end of which would be its "expiry" date, after which no further posts would be allowed.

At least, that would make the issue of thread demise objective.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,837
Not to mention that the response was absolutely valueless. It provided zero useful information. That is unless it was an attempt at spam and the mods edited the link.

Newbies should not be permitted to post to old threads. 99.9% of those posts are the "I have this same problem how do I fix it" posts. So there are two problems there.

Newbies should not be permitted to post links in their post. Lots of forums do this to prevent spam.

#### panic mode

Joined Oct 10, 2011
1,804
yes, people should be banned for stupidity of their posts...

on the other hand, why display warning? if reviving old topics is such no-no, why bother with displaying warnings?
either lock the old topics so user must reference it manually, or .... site should be smart enough to automatically create new topic with link to the old topic.

#### wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,159
Newbies should not be permitted to post to old threads. 99.9% of those posts are the "I have this same problem how do I fix it" posts.
I'm torn on this issue, but in general I don't see the value in locking threads. It's not the thread that needs to be "punished", it's the behavior of the poster.

From my personal experience, the biggest annoyance of a resurrected thread is that when it re-appears, I sometimes miss the fact that it was previously dead and is now recently resurrected. I am fooled into responding, not realizing soon enough that doing so is a waste of time. This is something that software could fix. A simple highlighting of any large time gaps would do it, so that a fresh response after 3 months (or whatever interval) gets outlined in red. Something obvious. That one change would eliminate any annoyance I have had with resurrected threads.

Here are two scenarios:
1) A newbie with good intentions offers help to someone that is long gone, or is very unlikely to be still watching for a solution. The newbie was rightly encouraged to search for existing threads on his topic, and probably didn't even realize he was responding to a "dead" thread. The post does no damage (except for the annoyance factor I noted above) and locking the thread is overkill. The newbie just needs to be advised.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,187
Newbies should not be permitted to post to old threads.
Why?
99.9% of those posts are the "I have this same problem how do I fix it" posts. So there are two problems there.
So, did you describe the two problems? I must have missed it.

The concept of "necroposting" is stupid, and I wish everybody would just let it go. Threads are non organic. They don't expire.

#### Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,929
<Sigh>

I've stated this so many times it is getting boring.

A thread belongs to the TS, period. If the TS wishes to use an old thread it is their prerogative, it belongs to them, but no one is allowed to hijack the thread.

If the subject is that interesting you open up your own thread. It is extremely simple. You may refer to the previous thread as a starting point, but you are not allowed to take it over as your own.

We spend an enormous amount of time just dealing with other issues. Locking an old thread is a quick solution. If a TS comes back and wants to continue his/her thread then we reopen it. As a user I do this regularly, I will start a project, and come back to it periodically. I've done this with 5 year old threads I've started.

This is not going to change. I have said this several time to the same person over and over. You may disagree with it, it is your prerogative, but it is not going to change.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,837
Why?

So, did you describe the two problems? I must have missed it.

The concept of "necroposting" is stupid, and I wish everybody would just let it go. Threads are non organic. They don't expire.
I explained why. Did you read it? And things DO expire. The thread belongs to the OP. It is his/her issue. If the OP that started the thread no longer exists then the necro post is worthless. If the OP has solved the problem then the necro post is worthless. If the OP has simply moved on to another project then the necro post is worthless. And many necro posts aren't offering help anyway rather the "I have a problem too" post (which I already explained) and is considered hijacking so worthless too.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,187
A thread belongs to the TS, period.
The thread belongs to the OP.
Why? This assumption (and that's all i can call it, since it isn't a written rule that I'm aware of) is what is at the root of the issue. I think it's a bad assumption. IMO it makes much more sense to keep info compartmentalized within one thread than forcing people to generate an untidy network of disjointed threads spanning all of time and the internet. I have absolutely zero problem with "I'm having the same issue...." threads and I prefer that to starting a new thread. The threads on this forum remain for all if time, for the benefit of future readers (AND CONTRIBUTORS) or else we would simply delete them after they have been solved. "Thread belongs to the OP is a fallacy"

#### tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,868
Personally I think that if anyone wants to push the locking old threads issue they and whomever feel the same can go on a old thread dredging spree and see just how many old thread sthey can pull up before admin steps in and changes the overall ability to access any old threads that anyone is not the originator of.

I think that if I set up both of my laptops plus my three functional PC's and ran them all with multiple windows open to AAC at the same time I could probably single handedly dredge up at least a hundred an hour!

Get a number of other disgruntled members who don't care for the present old thread handling process to chip in with their computer resources and I think we could unleash zombie thread hell here pretty easy!

#### GopherT

Joined Nov 23, 2012
8,012
Personally I think that if anyone wants to push the locking old threads issue they and whomever feel the same can go on a old thread dredging spree and see just how many old thread sthey can pull up before admin steps in and changes the overall ability to access any old threads that anyone is not the originator of.

I think that if I set up both of my laptops plus my three functional PC's and ran them all with multiple windows open to AAC at the same time I could probably single handedly dredge up at least a hundred an hour!

Get a number of other disgruntled members who don't care for the present old thread handling process to chip in with their computer resources and I think we could unleash zombie thread hell here pretty easy!

That would get a decision made - either allow or forbid. The non-decision of, lock after a noob posts is stupid.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,837
Why? This assumption (and that's all i can call it, since it isn't a written rule that I'm aware of) is what is at the root of the issue. I think it's a bad assumption. IMO it makes much more sense to keep info compartmentalized within one thread than forcing people to generate an untidy network of disjointed threads spanning all of time and the internet. I have absolutely zero problem with "I'm having the same issue...." threads and I prefer that to starting a new thread. The threads on this forum remain for all if time, for the benefit of future readers (AND CONTRIBUTORS) or else we would simply delete them after they have been solved. "Thread belongs to the OP is a fallacy"

I must say the mods are very good at cracking down on thread hijacking..

#### tracecom

Joined Apr 16, 2010
3,944
If I own all the threads I have ever started, I hereby decree that they may all be replied to by whomever desires to do so for as long as this forum exists.
I must say the mods are very good at cracking down on thread hijacking..
Absolutely correct.

Hijacking is not the issue with me. The issue with me is that I don't see anything wrong with adding an on-topic post (question, suggestion, observation or whatever) to a thread regardless of the age of the thread.

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#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,837
If I own all the threads I have ever started, I hereby decree that they may all be replied to by whomever desires to do so for as long as this forum exi

Absolutely correct.

Hijacking is not the issue with me. The issue with me is that I don't see anything wrong with adding an on-topic post (question, suggestion, observation or whatever) to a thread regardless of the age of the thread.
Well the way I see it , there are lots of folks on this forum that I trust their advice implicitly. I usually take the advice of a newbie with a grain of salt. And I still can't be convinced of the value of posting to an old thread. Changes are folks have moved on to others things. And it certainly has little value when it is obvious from the thread the issue has been solved.

#### strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,187

I must say the mods are very good at cracking down on thread hijacking..
This thread is about "necroposting" and you're describing "hijacking." The difference between the two is the same difference as that exists between grand larceny and treasure hunting.

When you go into someone's home and unplug their TV and walk out the door with it, that's theft. It was obviously theirs and they were obviously still using it.

When you go diving in the Bermuda triangle and come up with spanish coins hundreds of years old, that's not.

This forum is international waters and if there's to be a line drawn in time representing the "official" abandonment of a thread, our current warning message should be just fine.

If you come onto a forum and reply to a thread that's so old that a warning pops up to tell you that you're necroposting, then the thread is up for grabs. No owner. Sorry. You don't just get to keep every parking spot you ever parked in.

#### spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,837
But a large number of necro posts by newbies are hyjacking. Most people come to a forum on a search looking for anwers. They don't uaslly do a search looking to answer questions.

The post that started this whole thread "Fuji elevator" , I have no idea what that was.

#### djsfantasi

Joined Apr 11, 2010
5,923
<Sigh>

I've stated this so many times it is getting boring.

A thread belongs to the TS, period. If the TS wishes to use an old thread it is their prerogative, it belongs to them, but no one is allowed to hijack the thread.

If the subject is that interesting you open up your own thread. It is extremely simple. You may refer to the previous thread as a starting point, but you are not allowed to take it over as your own.
I think that if I set up both of my laptops plus my three functional PC's and ran them all with multiple windows open to AAC at the same time I could probably single handedly dredge up at least a hundred an hour!

Get a number of other disgruntled members who don't care for the present old thread handling process to chip in with their computer resources and I think we could unleash zombie thread hell here pretty easy!
An AAC DOS? I don't think so. Most members here are reasonable and respective of their peers.

And remember, while many suggestions sound good, we are limited by the forum software.

One perspective to consider is what is a thread? I disagree with Wendy and the forums interpretation. I see a thread more along the lines of the subject, not necessarily the OP. @wayneh has suggested this. But I don't make the rules on this field, I just try to follow them.

As far as a thread belonging to the OP, there are many examples where s/he has lost control of their thread and it starts to have a life of its own ("DIY Electric Heater" anyone?). There's no reason to lock the thread. Or is there? The standard of "it's the OP's post" seems weak to me.

I really have no skin in this game, but thought I'd add $0.02 #### tcmtech Joined Nov 4, 2013 2,868 I really have no skin in this game, but thought I'd add$0.02
Same here but you know I have this 'poking stick' and I so do hate to see it go to waste.

Personally I would not call it a DOS attack. I think of it more as a encouragement towards action and away from comity debates over bureaucratic rule sets.

You can debate about flood protection until everyone turn to dust but nothing gets the power that be out and moving like an actual flood!