What is the point of the warning if this happens?

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
21,938
I have stated my position on necroposts. It is not popular, and no one wanted to hear it, but it is how we handle it.

I am not the final authority, but I did step and and explain my reasoning, which may not be what everyone in the staff believes, but is the consensus for the moment.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,223
I have stated my position on necroposts. It is not popular, and no one wanted to hear it, but it is how we handle it.

I am not the final authority, but I did step and and explain my reasoning, which may not be what everyone in the staff believes, but is the consensus for the moment.
Yes you've made your stance abundantly clear. Your opinion does not constitute a consensus; it represents about 1/8 of a consensus if my math is right. For whatever reason you seem to feel that is represents more than that. I only tagged you so that it couldn't be said I excluded you. I want to hear from the rest of the mod team.
 

spinnaker

Joined Oct 29, 2009
7,837
Let it go already. We are talking about a bunch of old posts that most people have zero interest. It is no reason to get all upset over the issue.
 

Biff383

Joined Jun 6, 2012
50
Answer.......stop posting necrphie 'new word' under the posts.

I have also been a moderator at a site. It ain't all gummy bears. But you live with it or you dont.
 
Answer.......stop posting necrphie 'new word' under the posts.

I have also been a moderator at a site. It ain't all gummy bears. But you live with it or you dont.
Me too. some things don't make sense here. Either lock 'em up when they get old or let 'em ride. I don't understand if this site is trying to bait-and-switch noobs for some reason or if there are some other benefits of the current lack of direction. Why make more work for unpaid mods if work can be eliminated by policy (allow) or software (auto-lock)?
 

tcmtech

Joined Nov 4, 2013
2,868
Rational logic reasoning and reasonable decisive action is not what the owners, operators and moderators of most forums are known for nore should be expected to abide by.

I think it's covered somewhere in the first 100 or so rules of the internet. If not it's in one of the first 1000 amendments. :p
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
25,229
So has this discussion accomplished anything? Moderation team went silent. Are we any closer to a consensus on how to handle "necroposts?"

Even if the official decision is to allow newbies to post on old threads and then lock them, which is obviously silly, there needs to be an official decision and some consistent enforcement.

What say you moderation team?
@bertus @JohnInTX @nerdegutta @Wendy @ScottWang @DickCappels

BTW where is @MrChips and @Georacer these days?

Notice I didn't call out jrap or dave or any of the orange team. I have faith that our mod team can sort this minor issue out among themselves, and also that any damaging trends in moderation will draw attention to themselves without my help.
Although I notice that you didn't call me out, I'll point out that mods don't have the ability to prevent members from replying to ancient threads -- we can only act after it happens. Those are admin/owner level decisions.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,223
Although I notice that you didn't call me out,
my sincerest apologies. I'm not sure how I didn't catch that.
I'll point out that mods don't have the ability to prevent members from replying to ancient threads -- we can only act after it happens. Those are admin/owner level decisions.
I figured as much, but I also perceive there to be a chain of command in place wherein, if the forum majority (or, let's say "moderation team consensus", since I'm sure to be reminded that this forum isn't a democracy) desires a simple setting change, it would be within a moderator's role to approach the site owner with the change request. I also perceive the site owners to be a whole lot more accessible than they used to be, since it's now a for-profit venture, with multiple owners. It seems we could finally talk about forum setting changes with some remote possibility of it actually happening.

All of that of course assumes that the official decision involves a setting change; an "auto lock" feature. There is an easier option available; instead of implementing an auto-action, the policy could be a non-action - simply stop locking threads for the simple reason that there was a long awkward silence between replies.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,223
Oh, okay. Kind of a dumb question... but why couldn't the mods. just delete the post(s) that are hijacking the thread(s)?
Because they might not be 100% worthless. They might have some merit of their own even if not posted in exactly the right place. That, and they could be completely 100% pertinent to the (old) discussion at hand, but simply because they are new, they should be deleted?

Do you really think post deletion is the answer? if you spent 30min typing up a thoughtful and helpful reply and then someone else just disappeared it from the internet forever because they felt it was too new to go with the old discussion, how would you feel about that? probably only slightly more pissed than if the thread got locked.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
25,229
Oh, okay. Kind of a dumb question... but why couldn't the mods. just delete the post(s) that are hijacking the thread(s)?
We could -- but we generally try to avoid deleting posts unless the post itself contains something that should be removed from view.

One of the general philosophies here is that a thread belongs to the thread starter. Not all forums take this view point, which is fine. This forum does. No, to the best of my knowledge that is not spelled out in explicit terms in the User Agreement, but the more relevant point for those with the, "Show me where it says..." attitude is that there is nothing in the User Agreement that prohibits the forum staff from operating from that viewpoint and the UA very clearly does give the forum staff the authority to act according to any non-prohibited viewpoint they adopt.

No, this does NOT mean that the thread starter has carte blanche control over everything that happens in one of "their" threads. It merely provides a guiding viewpoint for considering situations. For instance, threads frequently meander off-topic, particularly if they get long. If the TS reports hijack posts we usually act without much question and either delete them or split them off into another thread, while otherwise we might take more of a, "let's see if this stub dies a timely death" approach.

Normally when I lock a thread for necroposting (yes, it's a made up term but everyone in this discussion knows what it means) I suggest that if the new poster wants to revive the topic that they start a new thread and, if appropriate, include a link to the current thread for context. Most of the necroposting (not all) that I see is a hijack of the thread. We could treat it as we do other blatant hijacks and split it off into its own thread and leave the ancient thread alone. When the new post lends itself to that I usually do split it off, but more often then not it doesn't. Locking the old thread, in my opinion, is more an act of taking care of a piece of housekeeping when it pops up so that that thread doesn't get necroposted again, which if left unlocked happens very frequently since the thread is now at the top of the forum lists and lots of people (myself included) tend to respond not realizing that we are whistling in the wind at a long dead discussion.

As evidenced by the various views in this thread, there is no solution that everyone is going to be happy with. You can come up with a dozen or more reasons why old threads should be automatically locked or why they shouldn't. Why necroposted threads should, in most cases, be locked or why they should be allowed to be revived by anyone at any time. There are likely participants in old, dormant threads that don't want to start getting notifications from long dead threads that have fallen off their radar. In fact, with one exception, this is the only reason I have ever unsubscribed from a thread. There are occasionally threads that do get revived by the original participants in light of things that have happened since -- this happens somewhat regularly in Off Topic and Projects, but it also happens in other forums as well. There are people that get annoyed when they see threads popping up at the top of the forums because they have been revived, usually (not always) with posts that make little sense in the context of a discussion that is years old. Does anyone recall how several members started acting when one member was starting a bunch of threads that they saw as pointless? One of the claims was that the mere presence of the threads mixed in among the currently active threads was annoying and needed to be dealt with. Well, the same is true when a bunch of necroposted threads start popping up, as had been demonstrated when the warning dialog was disabled. Keep in mind that most necroposted threads that get mod attention do so only because at least one (and frequently several) members find it annoying enough to report it.
 

JoeJester

Joined Apr 26, 2005
4,184
One of the "rules" in the homework area is for people to search to see if the question was previously asked. There they could read that thread and see if it helps them with their inquiry.

Do they use it? Some do, some don't. Those that don't and who don't start a new inquiry, seem to resurrect the old post via the common art of necroposting.

This thread does bring up a point or two. Someone mentioned about a FAQ or grouping the threads by question or topic. That has merit and is labor intensive. It would also elevate Homework Help from just a sub-thread to a superior category. Right now homework is a sub-forum under Electronics. If one was to elevate Homework Help, the sub-forum titles would be many. I don't think it would solve the topic of necroposting, but it certainly could organize the material. If anyone wanted to play "owner" and create the Homework Help topic into specific titles, maybe jrap would consider your work. Look at your favorite book and see the chapter titles and topic titles. That could give you an idea for some organization. The labor intensive part would be for someone with the proper credentials, moving the existing threads to the appropriate place. As of this, there would be 13974 threads to review and reassign. You would need a true believer in your idea to take on that review.
 

WBahn

Joined Mar 31, 2012
25,229
One of the "rules" in the homework area is for people to search to see if the question was previously asked. There they could read that thread and see if it helps them with their inquiry.

Do they use it? Some do, some don't. Those that don't and who don't start a new inquiry, seem to resurrect the old post via the common art of necroposting.

This thread does bring up a point or two. Someone mentioned about a FAQ or grouping the threads by question or topic. That has merit and is labor intensive. It would also elevate Homework Help from just a sub-thread to a superior category. Right now homework is a sub-forum under Electronics. If one was to elevate Homework Help, the sub-forum titles would be many. I don't think it would solve the topic of necroposting, but it certainly could organize the material. If anyone wanted to play "owner" and create the Homework Help topic into specific titles, maybe jrap would consider your work. Look at your favorite book and see the chapter titles and topic titles. That could give you an idea for some organization. The labor intensive part would be for someone with the proper credentials, moving the existing threads to the appropriate place. As of this, there would be 13974 threads to review and reassign. You would need a true believer in your idea to take on that review.
If we did decide to go that route -- and there are pros and cons, as always -- then we probably would not make any effort to reorganize existing threads (I'm expressing my personal hypothesis, now, not some consensus view). We would probably create a "Legacy" subforum that all the existing stuff would start out in and then create new subforums for the new topic areas. I think you can configure a forum so that posts can be responded to but new threads can't be started there. Then as legacy threads were responded to we would move them to the appropriate place. This might involve a couple dozen a day at first but would likely taper off after just a few weeks. Beyond some point it would be an occasional occurrence that would blend into the normal maintenance duties.
 
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