I’m new to the forums. When I joined a few days ago, I scanned through some categories and tried to constructively add to a few threads. Within a few hours I had committed the most evil sin imaginable, it seems — I had necroed a few threads from earlier this year.
Apparently, there is a rule on these forums that you can’t post to a thread more than 3 months old. Um, ok. Three months seems to be arbitrarily short, but hey, “When in Rome…”
After responding to the moderators that had pulled me up for breaking the forum rules, I decided to go back and re-read the email I had received from discobot on signing up, and any linked documents, to see how I could have missed such an important rule.
You know what? There is no 3 month necro rule.
Well, if there is, it’s:
- not in the FAQ
- not in the Terms of Service
- not in the Rules and Guidelines
- not in the General Guidelines for Making Threads
- not in the General Forum Guidelines for how to ask and answer questions
- not even in the “Revive this topic?” warning that appears to the right when replying to such threads
In fact, I couldn’t find a 3 month necro rule declared anywhere.
There are also many threads that have been locked by moderators, with comments like “X month old necro. Locked.” appended to the end. But X seems to be pretty arbitrary. Some moderators seem to stick religiously to 3 months, but others lock threads after 2. Indeed, one of threads I responded to was only 66 days old — and it got locked. The same moderator who locked that scolded me for necroing a 1-month old post!
Seriously? If necroing old posts is really such a terrible thing, then it really should be in the rules, in the FAQ, in the posting guidelines, in the welcome email, or at least somewhere obvious — and it should be official. If it’s so terrible then the rationale behind the “3 (or 2 or 1) month” period that is being enforced should also be explained.
It’s not a very good “new user experience” to join a community, put in a genuine effort to be constructive and helpful, and then get blasted for not complying with non-existent rules that are arbitrarily and inconsistently enforced by different moderators.
- If ‘management’ wants an X month necro rule, formalise it.
- If ‘management’ doesn’t have a strong opinion one way or the other, then ask the community — have a poll on whether necroing is an issue that should be enforced at all.
- If the community actually wants necroing to be enforced by moderators, then poll them again to determine the time limit that should be applied under ‘normal’ circumstances.
I’m nothing more than a new user reflecting on a recent new user experience. Please accept the above comments, criticism, and suggestions in the constructive spirit that they were intended.