Replying to Old Threads

Discussion in 'Site and Forum Feedback' started by PinkLuxe, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. PinkLuxe macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2010
    I see so many people complain about folks replying to old/dead threads or bringing threads "back from the dead". While I will never understand why this bothers anyone, I'm just curious what's the unwritten rule or general understanding of how old is too old to respond to a thread?
  2. PinkLuxe thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2010
    Thanks! I did a search but I guess the combination of words I used didn't turn up any of these.
  3. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    They probably missed the date on most of them.
  4. Doctor Q Administrator

    Doctor Q

    Staff Member

    Sep 19, 2002
    Los Angeles
    As we've probably said before, how we (users, site visitors, and moderators) feel about a reply to an old thread depends on the apparent reason for the post.

    If a user is answering an unresolved question from long ago, why not? If the thread was quiet but is once again relevant, posting is perfectly appropriate and may in fact be preferable to a new thread on the same topic, so that the prior history and context are available. Sometimes a thread is relevant by season. I know a few threads that are woken up once a year for new conversations.

    But... if a user was carelessly commenting in a no-longer-relevant thread that happened to show up in a search result, waking up the old thread is probably doing no good for anybody. If there was a more recent thread about the same topic, their post should have been there instead.

    Sometimes shills and spammers who we haven't yet caught will bump old threads because they are searching for keywords and posting in any thread that shows up in the results, without regard to thread age. We'd like to know about these so we can remove the posts AND the users.

    There's no forum rule against bumping old threads, since all these factors come into play and it takes common sense and judgment calls. If you think a post in an old thread is a sign of a problem, let the moderators know.
  5. UTclassof89 macrumors 6502


    Jun 10, 2008
    it would be useful if the bar above each post containing the date and post # was shaded to show the age of a post (the darker the shade, the older the post). That would help people who don't notice the date.
  6. SilentPanda Moderator emeritus


    Oct 8, 2002
    The Bamboo Forest
    A fair amount of users come here via google. They have a single question about their purchase, make the question, hopefully get an answer, and don't come back. These are generally the type of people that bring up old posts on accident and I'm not sure they'd know the color scheme well enough to know that the thread was old.
  7. notjustjay macrumors 603


    Sep 19, 2003
    Canada, eh?
    How about a warning on the Reply page when you reply to a post? Something in red that says "Warning: the thread you are replying to is more than a year old!"

    That way you still get the ability to post if you really want to, but it reduces the "oops, I didn't notice that" factor.
  8. sportster macrumors 6502

    Jul 7, 2010
    Katy, TX
    I too have wondered the same thing, on this site and others that I visit. It seems no matter what you do you tend to take heat for it. Either by posting in an older thread or asking a question that may have been posted in the past... :confused:

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