Community Feedback: Necroposting

One of the things that plagues a few online communities is what is called “necroposting”. If you’re not familiar with this term, it’s basically when a topic is “brought back to life” after being dead for a long period of time.

On the surface, this doesn’t seem like a huge problem. But it can quickly make a community like ours hard to follow and find things that are current and related. Imagine seeing the “latest” feed filled with topics that are over two years old, and the only reason they are there is because someone replied with “Yeah, I’m also dealing with this”.

So my question to the community is pretty straight forward. What do you all consider a “dead post” to be? Is it a length of time? Time after it is has been resolved etc?

I can think of many moderation policies but ultimately I want to make sure that our existing users and community members are able to provide feedback before we make a change like this.

So please, send me your input so we can start to find a solid solution.


easiest quick start might be to lock a topic some time after the OP has marked it as ‘solved, accepted solution’. With that your “Yeah, I’m also dealing with this” example would no longer be possible.
Same for topics which have a correct answer but no response from OP.

In general a topic without any/much answers (let alone a solution) is not necessarily outdated just because it is old; it might just not yet have been seen by anyone able/willing to answer.
How to correctly deal with such topics is always a challenge for mods (i’ve multiple years mod experience myself); needs a good mix of gut-feeling and technical knowledge about the topic itself.
For things like ‘yaddayadda happened with ZCC v1.5.x’ and this is clearly solved with a newer version of ZCC (explicitly stated in release notes) → such a topic should get mod-locked with a comment like ‘solved with v2.3.4.5’

Just some quick first ideas.

Couldn’t agree with you more. Coincidentally, these were some of the first things I explored.

Maybe an option to create a new post with the same title … so people could still raise questions about the same topic but without all the perhaps out-of-date historical chat.

That would be ideal. I can do that as a moderator, will have to look at permissions to see how we can go about doing that. I would imagine the post is closed, with a last “reply” that says the topic is closed, you can “create new post from thread”.

Might be too fancy haha

most users are smart enough to create a new topic in case a thread is locked, even without being told so :wink:

Another issue for mods is to keep a thread ‘in line and on topic’. Can easily happen that the topic switches in the middle of a thread - in such case a mod should split this ‘side discussion’ off into a dedicated new thread.
(and btw - as this thread is about necroposting this very post is a good example for ‘thread split might be needed’) :innocent: