Rules update'

Those of you who frequent the discord may have already seen this, but at our current size I’m beginning to think that some sort of necroposting policy is becoming necessary.

Effective immediately, the following provisional policies are being put in place:

  • Threads in the “Community” category will be auto-locked after 7 days of no activity.

  • Threads in “Projects”, “Creative” and “Drafts” are exempt from any automatic locking.

  • All other threads will be locked after 30 days of no activity.

  • Threads can be unlocked at moderator discretion if necessary. Examples include bumping a documentation thread with new discoveries, a new answer to a question thread, OP of a concepts thread having new ideas after a break, etc. By all means, DM me or another mod if you would like to re-open a thread for this purpose.

Note that, with these policies comes a fairly strict “don’t make useless bumps” policy – posts one day before the auto-lock for the purpose of resetting the timer and the like will be deleted and the threads manually locked (with the offenders being warned/suspended if warranted).

These changes are tentative, and will be rethought if they end up providing a substantially worse user experience. Feel free to leave any feedback here or on the #meta_suggestions channel on the discord.

10 Likes

Yes, finally no more MOD bumping myself included (except Original Poster of course)

3 Likes

That just feels way, way overkill. Sure there was a really dumb bump recently but i haven’t seen nearly enough of it that it’d necessitate going this far. Just the “don’t make useless bumps” policy should be enough. And what’s the reasoning behind locking community threads after a week? There’s literally just six threads in there right now with latest posts less than 7 days ago, it’s not like it’s a huge, fast-moving category or anything.

18 Likes

I’m with Vilk on this one. It sounds a bit excessive.

5 Likes

This is because of a hard-working and quickly-responsive team, not because it isn’t a problem.

Conversely, how much value is lost in disallowing people from posting in such important topics as

  • Edgy Narration Competition
  • SW anyone?
  • The Future of Hacking (which almost immediately devolved into meming)

Community threads other than let’s play tend to have huge bursts of activity, which levels off after a day or two, especially if they end up being meme targets. Auto-locks basically put a cap on how much the dead horse can be retroactively beaten after the fact.

What’s SW?

I’ll take your word for it, but it looked like you didn’t even have a policy on the subject before now. So i still don’t see the need to immediately Shut Down Fucking Everything without giving it some time to see if the new rules would help.

Conversely conversely, what harm do they cause? And if a specific thread is actually a problem, you’re not going to leave it up for a week anyway, you’re going to lock it manually when it becomes obvious it’s not doing anything constructive.

A clear and present policy against pointless necroposting should put a cap on how much a dead horse can be retroactively beaten.

e: More constructively, how about putting up a notice on old threads just highlighting that they’re old and shouldn’t be bumped without good reason? If you can have a “will self destruct in 7 days” notice, that’s probably also possible, right?

5 Likes

I like the suggestion, but it isn’t quite this simple. The “will self-destruct in 7 days” message is built-in to the forum software, and I don’t have time to make a custom thing to do this.

I hate to say this, but I’m getting a lot of “change bad” vibes from this argument. Is there really so much to be gained from leaving the threads open?

I agree with both sides of the argument, but for me it’s much simpler.

Bumping threads to say “wow this game is great” or “hey when will you make new animations?” six months after the last post is just annoying. I just wanted a policy update that limits ‘pointless’ necroposting. No auto-locking threads, just maybe a notice that makes it clear how old a thread is.

I’ve actually necro’d a two year old thread once by accident. How? At the bottom of every thread, the related threads can take you anywhere, to any time, even to ancient, long dead posts. I didn’t even realize how old the post was until I posted, and I felt pretty stupid afterward.

I wonder how many necroposters on this forum have that same thing happen?

8 Likes

I feel like this is all that is needed.

It would be great to have a dialogue box pop up saying something like: “This thread was last replied to 8 months ago - consider making a new thread instead.”

5 Likes

I like the idea, but we don’t have that out-of-the-box, and I don’t have time to homebrew something.

And i’m getting the feeling that despite the op clearly stating you’re open to feedback, you didn’t actually want to hear any!

A forum with most of the topics locked looks dead. It’s not an inviting sight.

It doesn’t give the impression that you actually want people to come here and post.

And i think it’s fair to say it discourages reading old threads because who cares, you can’t post even if you did have something thoughtful to say.

14 Likes

Yeah, this is basically my biggest complaint with auto locking threads. If you must, I’d make it like a year of inactivity so all the threads you’d generally see are open anyway.

I’d like the forums to feel inviting & active, and I feel that these changes are contrary to that initiative.

2 Likes

One problem I have with locking threads and then needing to PM mods to unlock them; it’s another layer of pain in the ass to deal with. Now moderators have to deal with those extra PM’s, and people have to take the time to write and send out those PM’s. It’s unlikely the PM’s will just be “hey I have a thing to contribute; please unlock the thread” too. It’ll be more like “I need to have the thread unlocked, here are my laundry list of reasons…” and then there’s still the question in every person’s mind of “if the mod says no for some reason I just wasted my time; this is annoying”

This heavy handed locking approach will destroy FEU over time. Take it from someone who has been using forums for damn-near two decades.

The correct solution is:

  • New rule: Don’t necro threads older than X weeks/months if you don’t have something to add.
  • If you do, you get warned and the post gets deleted.
  • Also, a message pops up saying how old the thread is and hey, do you really have anything worth saying in this dead thread?

Just because you don’t have the time/energy to do the third option now, that doesn’t matter. The first two are easily implementable and won’t add a bunch of friction to the posting process for no reason. You can always do the third one later. The amount of necroposting right now is not at an over the top, “the forum will explode by week’s end if we don’t put a stop to this!” level, so let’s not treat it like that’s the case. You can add the third option later, when you have the time and energy.

So, instead of completely upending the forum with the most restrictive necroposting rules I’ve ever seen, after having some of the most lax necroposting rules I’ve ever seen… why not just increase the ‘friction’ by one level instead of ten?

Eh? Eh? Am I taking crazy pills or does this not seem much more nuanced and better overall for FEU’s future?

20 Likes

Well we all know you’re taking crazy pills but I agree with the points made. It definitely feels like a pretty balls-to-the-walls solution for what is currently, at worst, a minor inconvenience

7 Likes

I would go so far as to say that this is literally the point of the policy; if someone wants to post in a dead thread they damn well better have a good reason.

I would give, as a counterargument, the many technical forums that implement this policy (usually even stricter and with even tighter timers than this!), that don’t seem to have any problems with activity

Not only was this literally already the policy, it wasn’t working. Contrary to what people seem to believe, I don’t enjoy making rule changes and getting told that I can’t handle criticism for no reason.

How often do you find yourself needing to post in month-old threads that you expect this to become a major upset to your browsing? I’m completely open to the idea of having longer timers (someone floated a universal year-long timer, which I’d also be okay with).

1 Like

I think the community as it is is small and mature enough to be able to handle taking far more neutral curative measures than preventative measures. That is, I don’t understand why not just warn users for posting irrelevant content that adds nothing?

Even still, I don’t see why we can’t just assume the most neutral course of action, that being nothing, handle this one-off incident, and move on?

In general, I agree with the people above. Drastic situations call for drastic measures, but this is hardly a drastic situation. A drastic situation is when a bunch of topics no one cares about float constantly at the top because people keep breaking the rules. That day will probably not come anytime soon because it’d require the kind of traffic that results in the server struggling to keep up.

Also, I read a ton of month or year-old threads, so, this does pose an inconvenience to me. Not joking; look at my likes. Plus, if Underest gets locked I’ll be really sad.

5 Likes

this will not affect your experience browsing old threads unless you intend to post in said old threads

locked threads are not hidden or deleted by default; i usually choose to hide threads that i lock manually

We have an option to notify users that the topic they are creating could already exists, but not an option to notify about how old a thread is?

Sometimes I do, if I have something to add. Sometimes I don’t, but I think having the choice is generally great. Of course, there are a lot of fascinating threads that devolved into drama that are good to read and clearly can’t have much constructive added to them, but if it’s like a really old art showcase and I want to offer some public critique, or respond to some sort of general question for the community, yeah, I might respond.

Maybe someone might want to add to “SW anyone?” and share their friend code, potentially restarting interest in a switch friend code dumping grounds. I don’t know, something cute and benign that really doesn’t need a new thread to take its place, or have the mods bothered about. Creating threads to start up new community topics when the old ones still exist makes searching difficult, and hiding old ones just removes history. It’s a lose-lose, and only necessary when the problems exist.

Again, there’s almost nothing to gain and certainly something to lose. It’s unreasonable to say “what are you going miss” when I really want to know “what’s the point”? Someone without a profile picture skirts through and takes a jab at funny egg man, and normally we’d just laugh it off, delete his post probably, and move on. It’s easier for everyone and the status of the forums, as far as I can tell, remain pretty much the same as it was before.

7 Likes