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Closing "resolved" threads?

Travel Forums System Talk Closing "resolved" threads?

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1. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 4y

I've noticed that spammers like to dig up old threads and post their links and promos, then followed by forummers (new and old) replying to the threads, even if it has been long since the OP intended travelling dates. When they do so, IIRC, the OP will also receive notifications of all the postings.

I know the forum will sound a warning if someone is posting in an old thread, but since the spammers don't care about that and post away anyway, then the rest of the members will not get such notification and may incorrectly assume the thread is new and live.

Can there be like a blanket condition that all threads inactive for, say, 3 months are automatically locked? Anyone who has similar question, rightly, should start their queries in a new thread anyway and not "poach" on someone else's thread.

2. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5579 posts) 4y

We have talked about this from time to time (there's probably been a discussion about it here too?). I'm in two minds about it, as some threads don't really seem time-limited to me and are just fine being resurrected imo, but then again, considering the ones that are opened, perhaps it's just not worth it... they do seem to be favourites for spammers :(

3. Posted by beerman (Moderator 1631 posts) 4y

The only issue I can think of at the moment (not that my powers of observation are particularly strong right now ...I'm at work, and I get to drive through another 45cm of snow in a few hours ) is that locking threads would limit the search function to only recent threads......basically shutting off 6 or 7 years worth of potentially helpful threads.

Alright, I confess.....I only want people to drag up my old threads. There. I've said it. Hahahahah.....kidding

In my humble opinion, let them go. We mods may be a rag-tag bunch of keyboard commandos slaving for hours every day over countless threads and forums (I told you it was a hard day here), but dammit, let them come I say. Spammers beware, for we are mighty and you smell of old cheeses.

I would rather be more vigilant than potentially restrictive to honest searches. And besides, we can always reply that "oh, by the way, this is a 5 year-old thread....the OP may not exist anymore.....but thanks for asking".

Beerman now returns to pondering why he lives in the Upper Midwest.........

4. Posted by Isadora (Moderator 13924 posts) 4y

Quoting beerman

Beerman now returns to pondering why he lives in the Upper Midwest.........

While Beerman ponders, I will play tag-team comments with him... (Hey, we're family.)

While I do agree that a certain number of (very old) resurrected threads are due to spammers earning their wages by doing searches, I'm hard-pressed to have posting time limitations placed on any thread. At least in my forums, such resurrections tend to run in streaks. They pop up when major events are about to happen - ie: Mardi Gras, Carnival, Olympics, etc. (I can't speak for other forums.) I have also found that, as Sam so aptly put it, "some threads don't really seem time-limited to me". I come across threads regularly where, instead of starting a new one, a member resurrects an older one. The OP may have come and gone but the information within that thread is still sound.

It falls under the "do a search first before posting" category. I'd really rather have a new (or even older) member resurrect a thread about a particular topic than have 10 new threads all covering the same question. It is a fine line to be sure, but one that shouldn't be crossed too quickly. There is also a very simple solution to the notification issue. If you are no longer interested in that particular thread - unsubscribe. Whether you are the OP or were just interested at the time, the unsubscribe option takes you completely off that thread's posting radar. I'm afraid that one falls under "personal responsibility". The website should not have to worry about the influx of notifications to a member's inbox if the member has dropped off the map or their trip is over.

In a very long nutshell - we all signed up willingly, all subscribed willingly (or were oblivious of the "subscribe to this thread" checkbox) and we can all unsubscribe willingly. Putting a time limit on postings seems counter-productive in the long term.

Isa now steps down from the soapbox and sets it in the corner... She's also off to ponder this Upper Midwest issue... ;)

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4418 posts) 4y

Quoting lil_lil

Can there be like a blanket condition that all threads inactive for, say, 3 months are automatically locked? Anyone who has similar question, rightly, should start their queries in a new thread anyway and not "poach" on someone else's thread.

Echoing previous comments, this would basically be setting policy based on bad behaviour (that of spammers, and sometimes new users who don't consider that it would be better to start a new thread), rather than based on good behaviour (that of members who have a legitimate reason for reviving an old thread). Doing so would imo be a rather bad idea: much better to assume and enable good intentions.

6. Posted by Peter (Admin 5517 posts) 4y

Here's another very valid reason for resurrecting old threads: members returning from trips reporting back with their findings.

Unfortunately it's not really common, but it does occasionally happen and in my opinion it would be a real shame to make that hard to do.

7. Posted by lil_lil (Travel Guru 462 posts) 4y

Oh, does locking threads meant they won't come up in searches? That's certainly not a good idea so, since all threads, new or old, may contain relevant information that can answer questions even without direct asking.

I certainly did not suggest this with a view to set precedence on good/bad behaviour, rather hoping it'll make things easier for the admins/moderators. But hey, I'm not the one doing all the work, so if everyone's happy with it, I'm cool too!

8. Posted by Peter (Admin 5517 posts) 4y

Quoting lil_lil

Oh, does locking threads meant they won't come up in searches? That's certainly not a good idea so, since all threads, new or old, may contain relevant information that can answer questions even without direct asking.

No, they would come up. I think the point is more that after searching and finding a thread, you then can't respond to it if you want to.

9. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1044 posts) 4y

What are peoples thoughts on a half-way approach on this?

Something along the lines of, if the last post on that thread was 3+ months ago then the email which goes out is held by the system for say 12 hours to give time for it to potentially be flagged as spam. If marked as spam or deleted in that time, no email goes out unless at moderation the post is "released" back onto the thread (edited or not). Maybe there could be an exception to this if its the OP who is posting after some time.

The message after the person posts on such a thread could inform the user of this delay in notification.

I wouldn't think this would be too heavy-handed as I don't think a subscription "guarantees" the email be sent out immediately.

10. Posted by Peter (Admin 5517 posts) 4y

Well, that's not a bad idea. Will need a bit of tweaking of the code to make that work, but it's a pretty happy medium. Probably moderators would want to be notified before then - perhaps along with the flagged forum posts.