In short, I would like for the author of a topic to be able to lock it.
I am seeing more and more lately where threads get off topic when the initial topic is concluded (and/or a solution is found). I mainly only want this for “help and support” and potentially “community resource” related topics. The 14-day auto-close is pushed back each time there’s new activity. I’m not aware of any issues that would come of this.
If there is some sort of issue, the very least I’d like is the ability to flag your own topic to be locked, to which can be reviewed and locked if approved.
You can already do this using the something else flag, but it would be nice to lock topics since I have many of my own topics that have gotten bumped with stuff like “9 MONTHS LATER - srsly bro? I ain’t giving scripts do it yourself lol” even when the topic has been solved for like a year.
Yes, but that’s a misuse of the current flag system as it’s meant for moderation of topics/replies that violate the rules. I’m wanting either a specific flag unrelated to moderation, or an outright option to lock the thread. I think it makes sense when we can delete our own posts already.
That’s true, but I’m referring to new and active threads that no longer need or should be active. But even in the case of old threads, it doesn’t matter if the “bumper” is moderated, because now the thread is active again (if a new conversation starts anyway).
To be fair, when a necrobump flag is followed through with they pretty much always lock the thread even if they don’t delete all of the new replies.
That’s not to detract from your original point though, which is still valid.
I personally disagree though. There is always a lot of learning to be had on a help request. It’s not merely about helping the OP, it’s about crowdsourcing a variety of solutions for the OP and and future knowledge-seekers to pick from. A lot of users impulsively mark bad ideas as solutions either out of misunderstanding or misplaced gratuity. It would be detrimental to the forum to allow these people to lock the post when the only solution is terrible. I don’t think we should overwhelm the flagging system with personal lock requests either. I do think that the auto-close timer could be shortened though, and/or made to not reset with each new post.
You bring up a good point about wrongful solutions and learning moments. But I also don’t think the lock thread option should be immediately visible. I think it would be better as a more hidden option, that way your newer or perhaps average person won’t make a habit out of using it.
Though the main reason I’m suggesting this, and why I’d prefer a lock rather than flag system, is for self moderation of your own topics. There are times where arguments break out that are unrelated to the topic and the integrity of the thread has been lost. Yes you can flag those posts, but moderation isn’t instant. I’d rather be able to close the topic if things get out of hand. This is not necessarily a feature that I’d want people using often, I think it’s better as a last-resort option with an immediate effect. But that’s just one reason.
Plus, not that I condone this, it’s quite common to see repeat topics about similar questions. So I’m not too worried about locked topics in that case. Though in the majority of those cases, I also don’t see why anyone would feel the need to lock their topic manually. Perhaps there could be some sort of limitation on how many topics can be locked within a given time frame and perhaps some restrictions can be given based on your membership status if needed. Or there could just be a warning message whenever you attempt to lock a topic of yours, where it explains the purpose of locking a topic and essentially asks if you’re sure that you want to continue.
On a forum, the discussion is shared between participants. It doesn’t seem right for the first poster of the thread to decide when a discussion is “done”. There can be better answers that you weren’t aware of when you marked the solution as well.
Eventually, the thread should stop getting activity and lock, so the lock timer seems to be the best solution here.
We may stop offering this option for certain categories in the future because of what I mentioned above; this does not fall in line with how a forum should be used. So far we have been doing this as a courtesy rather than as a hard rule.
I think that using the ׳other׳ reporting to lock it is the best option because someone who isn’t part of the conversation can decide wether or not it’s over maybe not to overwhelm the moderators you can just send a lock emoji and that’s good enough because let’s say that there is an argument in a thread the owner can just write his last reply and then lock it which is obviously unfair
This in of itself isn’t an issue. As I’ve mentioned in some of my replies here, there are many times where a thread keeps being bumped with irrelevant or argumentative (or otherwise unproductive) replies when the solution or thread is already concluded. I’ve been seen this happen a lot more often lately with these forum trolls. Flagging does not mean immediate moderation, therefore the topic continues to have the issue until a moderator can get to it. If this is at night (for the US) then moderation likely won’t even occur until the morning.
Also as I’ve said in a previous reply, I don’t think the option to lock a thread should be immediately visible, and should instead be hidden within a menu in the edit tab somewhere (such as the gear icon, for example). Locking a thread should be a last resort and should only be used for when a topic has lost its integrity.
This is why the option to lock a thread shouldn’t be immediately visible, so that it doesn’t become a habit for people to use. However, my counter-argument is that as the owner of a topic, you can delete your topic and lock it that way anyway. There are plenty of “help and support” related topics where that happens, after the original poster gets a solution. By that logic, we shouldn’t be able to delete our topics either. But I think it’s good that we can delete our own topics. I also think we should be able to lock our own topics as well, if only to preserve the topic’s integrity.
We also have a new problem of users and perhaps even bots that are using ChatGPT to respond to answers. This, more often than not, generates code that is either wrong or horribly inefficient. These AI responses are teaching bad habits. Some of these posters appear to be fully botted as replying to them gives what appears to be an AI “response” to your own reply. I respect the moderation team and I do think they do a wonderful job. But there are limitations to that. I believe that being able to moderate your own thread, at least enough to lock it when you’ve determined that the topic is lost, is essential for keeping the forum clean.
I’ve already had a topic just last 20 hours ago where somebody was first using AI to give a false solution, and then they proceeded to use offensive terms against another forum user who gave the correct solution. I already flagged their offensive posts, but it seems that only one was actually removed. In this exact situation, with me knowing that I have found a working solution and that the topic had been derailed, I could have locked the thread to prevent that behavior from continuing (I would’ve still flagged their replies so that they wouldn’t get away with it).
I think this is less of a problem of locking one’s own thread and more of that the community needs better ways to sort through responses to support threads by relevance or usefulness. Locking the topic doesn’t help here if the non-useful responses came before the useful responses.
Sorry, I might’ve worded that incorrectly. I meant that the poster of the topic would purposefully delete their own topic once they’ve gotten a solution.
I suppose that’s true. Perhaps something related to having higher liked posts be easier to find in some way.
That’s a fair point, but I don’t think that detracts from stopping it from happening afterwards at least. It’s not as though we can delete other user’s replies on a topic we made, and that’s probably for the best.
But I think these are two different issues. Being able to find the relevant responses is one issue, and I agree with what you said about that. But the other issue is more of community, where a thread continues to go off the rails when it can simply be locked. This isn’t just a matter of me constantly getting notifications from it as I can mute it, but it’s also the issue that it bumps the topic on the topic listings. If people see a topic that has activity, they will want to see what the issue is. Even if the topic has a marked solution, if the topic continues, (as you’ve said) this typically means that the solution is either not correct or not the best solution. Or it can mean that the topic has derailed, which has been happening more and more lately. Also to add to this, if the thread has become argumentative or provocative, it causes other users to want to join in as well.
Maybe locking topics isn’t the answer. I personally think it is, and it’s probably the easiest to implement, but there’s undoubtedly two issues here that are becoming more and more persistent.
Maybe…after a solution is marked then anyone who tries to post there after, it’ll automatically create a new i guess u can call sidetrack thread or sidepost idk that’ll continue the discussion but more freely because of the fact that it was already solved.
But i still dont see this working in categories that dont have the solution option (for obvious reasons that its a discussion not a problem etc etc) but this can definitely help with categories that do have the solution option
Right, the other issue we have is that we have no good discovery for threads currently. It’s all by latest, and that causes the issues you mentioned, as well as incentivizes all users to pile into whatever threads are currently at the top.
Thanks for these insights, will see how we can respond to these issues in the future.