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Necro posts


#1

Hello folks,

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. :worried:

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:

In fact, I couldn’t find a 3 month necro rule declared anywhere.

I could find a couple of threads (like this and this) that talked about the subject — but nothing official.

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.

Suggestions:

  • 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.

Cheerio! :slightly_smiling_face:


A Generic Forum Meta Discussion
#2

It isnt a formal rule because there are a few exceptions. Generally OP can revive the thread so long as its related, or if there are extenuating circumstances that making a new thread would just fragment the information its generally OK.

You’re right though, its not made clear and we should probably do something about that.


#3

I’m all for formalizing it


#4

Adubs is right.

Also it is good Idea to see if OP is still active on the forum because there are some thread necros where the op hasn’t been on the forum for quite some time.


#5

Never seen the problem with necro for most posts. I agree with ya, if they are so against it, formalize it.


#6

And does that always matter?


+1 for “rules that aren’t written down aren’t rules.”


#7

I would say in 90% of cases of necro yes. Its almost always someone responding to a build thread or to a problem thread where OP is long gone having either fixed the problem without ever posting the solution or having given up entirely.


#8

@level1 before I answer your pm here is the only mention of it

its not ideal I admit but it is at least written albeit not publicly


#9

Then that should be written down, too. 90% is by far not always.


#10

That is indeed a problem.

Why is the only mention of it in a post 99% of the forum users can´t see?


#11

Granted I agree we cant say always, but its definitely something that should be taken into account. It would depend on the nature of the necro.


#12

7b891f4dafeb570744e790dc41f731ddf9c1f140

mods decide that not me


#13

Actually, it was my fault it is hidden (in a way).
While @Eden was working on it, I stumbled upon it and notified him about the “Edit” button in the corner… Well then…


#14

There was one post of yours that was a reply to a thread that was dead for two months. I didn’t see the 1 month one but maybe it wasn’t locked?

In either case, why are 70% of your posts replies to topics which are long dead? If you’re replying to them on a computer it should be telling you ‘are you sure’ because 99% of the time there is zero reason to reply.

I had thought there was something in the ‘Keep it tidy’ section of the FAQ but its not there so maybe we should add something there. However there’s a good reason its not a strict rule.

Generally in almost all cases, there is no reason to reply to an old thread, if its relevant you can link back a new topic. Replying to an old thread is usually has a few things happening in it, the reply its self is usually spam or a reply for the sake of a post, it doesn’t add anything because the discussion is long done. Second is the OP gets pinged on his dead thread that they don’t need to hear about anymore.

There are a few cases where it is actually relevant. The very very very few cases of someone replying with actual useful information that the OP or others actually need to hear or want, and the OP reviving it themselves for a reason or another.

Hense in almost all cases, old dead threads get locked when necrod.


So I would suggest there are two things to take from this.

  1. Honestly (for everyone), you need to take some responsibility for your posts. It tells you how old the thread it and when the last reply was, it (usually) even warns you if its to old. Do you really need to reply? Does it really add anything. It probably doesn’t, and if its something related that you think would be useful, would a new fresh topic be more productive and allow fresh voices without bringing back a thread from the dead?

  2. There should be something in the FAQ, and we’ll make sure its updated. (and we may need a more descriptive ‘necro, locked’ reply, we’ll look at that)


A Generic Forum Meta Discussion
#15

In which case op can mute the thread reply
If op is done with it

Reopening a old thread for a old topic for breathing in New Life and new opinions keeps everything clean and succinct and in a single thread instead of in multiple threads for the same topic


#16

I dunno. The forum gets an average of what, 10-15 “help me switch to linux” threads per week? They could all be packed into one megathread and it would tidy up quite a bit.

Really depends on whether you view the forum as more of a Q&A thing like Stackoverflow or a community where people have discussions. If the latter, there are definitely reasons to necro old threads, where you have something to add that won’t necessarily help the original poster, but could spark up a new conversation.


#17

This is not ideal, you are telling someone to go hunt for their old thread just to mute the thing?


#18

They just have to click on the notification…


#19

If you open a help thread
and receive an effective answer,
yes at that point,
Mute your thread replies

,a year down the line some new person might have the same problem and simply want to thank you or the thread


#20

or

might have same problem, and new reply might be more relevant now.