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Why are old threads not deleted?

Discussion in 'Empty Closets Help and Feedback' started by anonym, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. anonym

    anonym Guest

    Just wondered, why are old threads not deleted?

    I know they may be of use to people because you can go back and read them, but generally I have seen people create new ones regardless. Also, when anyone does post in an old thread, I've noticed the staff call them up on it and block any new replies.
     
  2. Martin

    Board Member Admin Team Full Member

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    It's true that engaging members are always going to just repost a topic that has been done many times before, but the primary purpose of archiving old threads is for the majority of our viewership whom don't register and instead are directed here via search engines and simply just browse. By having all threads indexed, it significantly increases the number of relevant links that we have on search engines and thus helps increase the catchment of people who will find one of our resources. To remove them would only affect those who potentially need it most, as they'd either not find us or would come across a series of dead links from us when trying to access relevant support topics.

    The closing of threads tends to make sense in the support area, as the context of advice is specific to an individuals situation, even when the advice itself is somewhat generic. It's useful to remain there for those who are more interested in reading about other experiences rather than posting their own, but it certainly wouldn't be useful for people to start replying to such a thread after x years of it being inactive. Usually threads get bumped months or years after the OP has long gone, so members are essentially talking to an empty room when giving advice, when that advice could be better utilised within recent (and similar) support topics whose OP is there to read it and interact. In the discussion forums, however, the policy has been a bit unpredictable, as I can recall occasions when thread bumps have been both closed and left open.
     
  3. NingyoBroken

    NingyoBroken Guest

    Sorry to barge in

    I see why this is a beneficial thing to do in the support areas, but in the chat and fun and games areas I find it unnecessary.
     
  4. Martin

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    Fun and Games, to my knowledge, doesn't get threads locked for being bumped. There's not really any arbitrary time limits that can be applied to forum games, so I can't see any reason why a thread would necessarily need locking after a bump.

    For Chit Chat, I guess it depends exactly what the thread topic is. There are some cases when it isn't really problematic to have a thread bumped up, and in those cases I've not really seen any staff action taken against them. You also get thread topics which are geared around the OP, and when that OP hasn't been online for numerous years then it's a bit of a fruitless exercise trying to engage in conversation with them. For example, we had a thread talking about a series of threats being made to Seattle gay bars from somebody threatening attacks. A discussion ensued, and then it ended up getting bumped a year later by somebody who found it one way or the other. The discussion had become irrelevant at that point, the resident talking about it had long moved on, and the threat had proved to be a hoax. Nothing more could really be contributed to it.

    The frequency in which threads are locked, based on the moderation logs, are rather few and far between. There are no concrete guidelines that the staff team works towards when making a time determination on a thread being locked, hence why we don't have threads to automatically lock after x amount of inactivity. Instead, we just have to use common sense to make a judgement on whether a bumped discussion still has some scope for contribution, or whether the topic has become outdated one way or another. There's certainly a grey area that some threads may fall into, and we may make a decision that members disagree with, either by locking it or keeping it open. However, in either instance, a member is always welcome to voice their disagreement on that, and it will be taken into consideration when deciding whether our action, upon reflection, was inaccurate. Thread locks due to a bump happen infrequently enough that we're able to assess them on a case-by-case basis when they come to our attention, rather than having blanket bans across the site.
     
  5. anonym

    anonym Guest

    Ok. Makes sense now. Thanks for explaining that.

    You're more than welcome
     
  6. Jinkies

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    I'm not against keeping old threads here, but I am curious on one thing:

    From what I remember, forums are backed by servers, which have a finite amount of data space. So, I guess my question is, do you know how much the server can handle from this forum, and is there a point where we might have to delete old threads anyway because of low memory?
     
  7. Martin

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    I actually have no idea!

    Our server space is donated to us for free at present, so if we did start taking up too much room then I suspect we'd be informed about it. Our donation is one of the main reasons we're conscious of how much space we do take up on a server, which is why we try and keep potentially intensive features under control. For example, the Gallery probably takes up a couple of gigabytes of data, but its size would be significantly inflated if we hadn't prevented/removed a whole range of copyrighted material that people try and upload. Some members tend to use an album in the same way as they'd use Photobucket, uploading really generic material that they happen to like and want others to see. Unfortunately, it just isn't feasible, and isn't a good use of our space (whatever that limit may be).

    It's an interesting question, and I'm curious to know now myself. Thankfully, it has never popped up as an issue before, and I'm hoping you haven't just jinxed it now by mentioning it. :stuck_out_tongue_closed_eyes:
     
  8. SomeNights

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    That's the funny thing. Disk space is finite, but how much of it you have isn't. Nor is how much your using. Between distributed databases, RAID arrays, compression methods and everything else we have, running a forum isn't too terrible. As Martin said, the thing that really kills us is photos.

    If you're really interested, checkout Hadoop, it's the new and uprising thing powering a lot of storage engines. also I think O'Reilly has some good books on large data storage.