Why Are Older Threads Locked?

Yazata Offline
When I logged on this morning, I didn't see any active threads that I wanted to participate in. So I went looking for older threads that I might have overlooked, that appeal to me now. (CC has started hundreds of threads, many of them deserving of more response than they got at the time.)

Unfortunately, all the old threads seem to be locked. Is there some reason for that?
stryder Offline
I decided some time back to lock threads older than 1 year in age. This was to counter a number of issues that I perceived could occur.

For instance if a forums member subscribes to a thread, they can end up being messaged about it 1+ year on. If that member has changed email addresses in the meantime it can cause those subscription emails to bounce which in turn can have a negative effect on how the server delivers such messages to other members (From being blocked/blacklisted etc)

Old threads are also spidered a lot and they tend to be targeted by spambots. (If you give them enough time to process the data and find something that matches their criteria, they will attempt to spam that thread. It's something that use to occur a lot on Sciforums.)

There is also the point of Continuity, sometimes people post responses to a question or thought without considering the date. Years between posts can cause the usual netiquette taboo of "thread necromancy" which can lead to all manner of comments made.

They were the initial reasons for why the threads are locked, however it doesn't mean that it as a rule has to be written in stone. I might be able to do a few changes to help deal with some of those points, for instance If the date of the thread/lastpost is over a year old that it presents a warning about the threads age (That deals with the necromancy point), I could look to see if there is a way to lock the thread for only certain "groups" (such as the one for guests/spiders etc) this will mean people within particular groups will still be able to post to the thread (which technically should open it again).

It will just require some time to work out the best approach to the problem to generate an alternative solution.
stryder Offline
I've reopened all old threads in the main Science forums. I'll slowly but surely do the same with the rest of the subforums since I've now added the CSS/Javascript caution to identify old threads.

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