Replies to very old threads

belvdr

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2005
5,657
1,023
No longer logging into MR
I noticed in a couple of other forums around the Internet that automatically close/lock threads that haven't been replied to in a period of time (say 3 months).

Anyone else think this would be a good idea? Today, I have seen several replies to threads that ended in 2008.

There's no right or wrong answer to this, just preference. While watching the spy, it is annoying to visit a thread only to find out that someone doesn't have a lot of common sense to see the discussion ended 1.5 years ago.
 

r.j.s

Moderator emeritus
Mar 7, 2007
15,020
50
Texas
But why should the thread be closed?

What happens if there is new information that suddenly answers the question, or something else suddenly makes the thread relevant again?

Threads don't get dug up often enough for it to really be an issue. When they are, it is usually by either a spammer or a post whore trying to reach some magical number.
 

belvdr

macrumors 603
Original poster
Aug 15, 2005
5,657
1,023
No longer logging into MR
But why should the thread be closed?

What happens if there is new information that suddenly answers the question, or something else suddenly makes the thread relevant again?

Threads don't get dug up often enough for it to really be an issue. When they are, it is usually by either a spammer or a post whore trying to reach some magical number.
If the thread is active (last post made with 3, 6, or 12 months), then it shouldn't be closed. If the problem is relevant than the thread will still be active. Sticky threads could be excluded as they are meant to remain active unless manually closed.

How often do you see threads that are abandoned where something has made it relevant again? I don't believe I have ever seen that on any forum, but I'm not watching the entire board that closely.

I have noticed more and more new members posting in 1 and 2 year old threads making statements and corrections that are silly and/or unrelated. Maybe that's because it seems we have had a large increase in registrations, but I do not have the data to correlate it.
 

mscriv

macrumors 601
Aug 14, 2008
4,916
596
Dallas, Texas
And don't forget the people who constantly post "Search first please!" or "Use Mroogle next time blah, blah, blah". If old posts closed then people would be forced to start new threads and that would likely upset people.

I try to remember that even though a lot of us are long time mac users Apple is aggressively marketing toward converts and we are getting people new to macs every day. They have questions and their internet searches lead them to MacRumors. So, often what seems like an old issue to us is often a new issue to a switcher.
 
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jbernie

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2005
927
11
Denver, CO
So there is a thread in the photography forum from a user who just got their new lens.... on August 3rd 2006... and that lens has since been replaced by an upgraded lens... yet someone somehow decided to post a reply to it about 10 days ago... no value added to anyone other than having a really really old thread show up again.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/221549/

Even if the really old question is answered, and answered correctly, when you are answering a 3 year old question there is a good chance that:
1) the user is no longer active
2) no longer using (product)
3) no longer needs the answer
4) doesn't really care anymore

Expiring/closing threads after a year of inactivity at the least would be good. 6-9 months might be better. 3 months is too soon.

You can always reference the old thread in the new one or send a pm to the person who posted the question if need be.
 

iOrlando

macrumors 68000
Jul 20, 2008
1,811
1
OP, this is an issue that will lead to just despair and a waste of your time. The macrumors aristocrats have historically never given any sign of a pro-close old thread movement over the years. Over time, this has just been an issue that we - daily users of macrumors - negate to the unspoken corner of macrumors unsaid rules and we go on with our days.
 

-aggie-

macrumors P6
Jun 19, 2009
16,795
51
Where bunnies are welcome.
Well crap, you could have at least opened this thread to gripe about this. :)

The main problem is newbies get hassled for not searching, but if they open an old thread they get hassled for that too. Lose-lose for them. It's better that they at least searched and provided some information to a thread than the former. Of course, opening an old thread to type "+1," is just ridiculous.


There should also be a rule about too many Texans in one thread. :D
 

jaw04005

macrumors 601
Aug 19, 2003
4,369
15
AR
I mostly find them annoying because I get 10 minutes into reading them before I realize it’s an old thread. :D

If you stopped “newbies” from replying to threads that are more than six months old, it would take care of 99 percent of the problem.
 

yetanotherdave

macrumors 68000
Apr 27, 2007
1,766
3
Bristol, England
Old threads can be very useful, sometimes very confusing when you don't notice the date...
maybe a "this is an old thread" notice at the top of the page - or by the reply button/on the reply page!
 

Angelo95210

macrumors 6502a
Jan 7, 2009
972
15
Paris, France
I like old threads. I look for them all the time with Mroogle !!

And sometimes there is no point to create a new one, if you have something relevant to say about the same subject.
 

rowsdower

macrumors 6502
Jun 2, 2009
269
1
I could go for a warning before you post in an old thread. I think they should remain open though because even if the original poster doesn't care anymore, someone else might encounter the same problem and find the thread through Google.
 
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jpyc7

macrumors 6502
Mar 8, 2009
276
0
Denver, CO
Old threads can be very useful, sometimes very confusing when you don't notice the date...
maybe a "this is an old thread" notice at the top of the page - or by the reply button/on the reply page!
I could go for a warning before you post in an old thread. I think they should remain open though because even if the original poster doesn't care anymore, someone else might encounter the same problem and find the thread through Google.
I agree with the above sentiment. I'm within 6 months of the last post in this thread, which I found via searching :)
 
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