Locking old threads

  simonjary 12:02 03 Oct 2011

In a further bid to make these forums less prone to spam bot attack we're going to look at locking older threads.

Currently a spam bot can reactivate an old thread, which pushes it to the top of that forum list, where it becomes live again despite its age and resolved status.

Also, old threads in forums such as Consumerwatch sometimes get hijacked, rather than new threads being opened for new problems.

Locking older threads should stop that.


Simon Publisher, PC Advisor

  bjh 14:14 03 Oct 2011

I'd go with the four week option myself, possibly with a hint somewhere on the site that it's quite permissible to open a new thread, with a link to the old one. That way, anyone with an unresolved problem/point/view can start a new thread as an update, with a "link to original thread".

I doubt that would be needed much; in most of the forums, four weeks takes you back several pages - and it is rare for a thread this old, or older, to be usefully woken up.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 13:45 03 Oct 2011

I agree go for the 3 months thats long enough for people to fit in holidays / buy and fit new hardware etc. while dealing with a problem.

  Bingalau 14:06 03 Oct 2011

Wasn't one of the postcard puzzles by Brumas recently revived and solved after being in the doldrums for a long time. As fourm member has said though the thread could be renewed with a link to it perhaps. I can't see any reason to keep things for ever that are not really any good to anyone.

  Quickbeam 16:54 03 Oct 2011

LanceAlot, It could be argued that some posts should be locked out after four posts:)

  Aitchbee 17:25 03 Oct 2011

This thread is starting to sound like the 'Council of Elrond' while the 'ring-bearer' is away on holiday...asleep.

Where, the Council of Elrond are 'the respected forum members'

and the ring-bearer is the forum editor.

Refering to 'The Lord Of The Threads' ...of course...Threadseses.

  Covergirl 12:29 04 Oct 2011

Hmmmm . . . Carver - that thread lasted just over three and a half weeks and diverges from the original subject of cheap cinema tickets through charity shop VHS tapes and audio books ending up at Sky TV.

Anyway, the thread would only be locked after a certain time (whatever is decided) after no posts have been added, so if it were set at 4 weeks, that one would be locked around 22nd October (28 days) if nobody else posts to it.

If it is posted to again, the locking date would be extended to four weeks after the last posting.

Any posts referencing the original thread would be OK as the original is locked and couldn't be posted against.

  spuds 10:34 06 Oct 2011

I notice again today that a thread from 2005 as been activated. What I cannot understand is that some of the older forum members, who should perps know better, are answering some the posts, possibly before they bother to check the date of the original posting.

Regarding locking, then 4/6 months sounds a realistic time, unless it becomes very apparent that the original poster as shown no interest in their 'urgent' request?.

I recall the days when the original Forum Editor Guy Dixon and the then new FE (China) sent out reminder emails, regarding thread closures etc!.

  spuds 10:38 06 Oct 2011

Apologies for the wording on the questionable incomplete sentences above. Didn't notice it until it was posted!.

  morddwyd 14:03 06 Oct 2011

Damn silly time to raise this matter, when the person who could contribute most in the way of informed opinion is incommunicado for a week.

  Forum Editor 08:50 07 Oct 2011

"I recall the days when the original Forum Editor Guy Dixon and the then new FE (China) sent out reminder emails, regarding thread closures etc!."

We did that when we first introduced the green tick method of resolving threads. Automated emails were generated at the end of every month, reminding people to tick their threads. The tick didn't lock the thread then, and it still doesn't - we don't want a situation where people can lock their own threads.

I think that 3 months is a reasonable period for a thread to remain open before we auto-lock it to deter spam-bots and people who want to advertise their services and products. That kind of thing is a real nuisance, and has increased considerably over the past year.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

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