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Author Topic: Report Sufficiently Answered Topic(s) to Lock  (Read 487 times)
bill gator
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March 16, 2018, 01:52:57 PM
Last edit: March 16, 2018, 03:47:33 PM by bill gator
Merited by speem28 (1)
 #1

I can't find anything that explicitly answers this question for me, so I figured I might as well make a little Meta post and see what's going on. I've seen a lot of topics, as we all have, that are full of repetitive answers, redundancies and plain ole' spam. Not only mega-threads, but regular questions like in the beginner's and help section; a newbie will pop a question, get it answered, acknowledge they have received their answer and then dozens of people continue to post the same answer. I'm wondering if it is appropriate or accurate to report these posts to a moderator to be locked?

An example of a thread that I was watching can be found here : https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3123906.msg32423969;topicseen#msg32423969 , and I even suggested to OP they lock their thread after they received their answer. Is there any solution to this kind of problem or am I to just ignore it?

I sent the OP a PM to please lock their topic, I've posted in their thread instructions on how to do so and so now my only thought is hoping that moderators would be receptive to this kind of reporting and work.
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March 16, 2018, 02:18:30 PM
 #2

Yes, I totally agree. There's so much redundancy in some areas that it's simply alarming.

I don't think mods really have the time for it since they're already dealing with a lot of stuff.

I just replied on another related thread that maybe a solution to this would be to automatically lock threads after X pages (but still leave an un-lock button for the OP to use in case he needs to) because clearly the OP doesn't really care about it after he gets his replies.
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March 16, 2018, 02:31:26 PM
 #3

A slightly off topic but a suggestion: In many of the tech forums where you discuss related to issues and whatnot, the users who ask questions have an option wherein they can vote whether the post helped them solve their issue or not. I'm thinking if those sort of ideas would help or not.
There are a couple of things that came in mind:-
If a query is answered, the user who asked the question can deem it to be helpful/not helpful.
If the issue is solved, the thread will be automatically locked. And no one can necrobump it later on. If not autolocked, the mods can verify the issue to be solved and thread will be locked by them? This would be a hassle for the mods, autolocking feature does help here?  This is just a sort of a basic idea. And who knows, this may help stop shitposting same thing over and over again. Maybe even combine this idea along side the merit system. Who knows.
I don't know how bad of an idea this is but I'm just throwing it out in the wild.

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March 16, 2018, 02:48:50 PM
 #4

The same thing happened here https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2678858.0

Newbie question that was answered to the OPs satisfaction back at the beginning of January and then people just come along and answer it again. I reported the first one that did it this morning but now it is in sight again others just join in. In this case, the OP isn't even active, so unless a moderator locks it this will go on forever.

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March 16, 2018, 02:49:35 PM
 #5

I don't think mods really have the time for it since they're already dealing with a lot of stuff.

I just replied on another related thread that maybe a solution to this would be to automatically lock threads after X pages (but still leave an un-lock button for the OP to use in case he needs to) because clearly the OP doesn't really care about it after he gets his replies.

I agree, mods are never short on work. There is always something for them to do, and always more for them to do than they can do within a day. Automatically locking a thread might be a good idea, but it would need some very careful parameters or it is going to cause a lot of confusion and frustrated users. There will be giants threads that are useful to some degree that will get caught up in this, such as the Wall Observer thread. Then the question becomes, if the OP unlocks the thread will it automatically re-lock after X replies/pages? I think it would either be "abuse-able" in that it could be avoidable, it will be unfortunate for a portion of users or some combination of the two.

I've seen some mods share their personal criteria for this kind of thing, I know there is at least one mod that will lock topics that have been sufficiently answered/discussed. I'm wondering if this is universal amongst the mods, what their individual criteria are for locking threads and if there is a more formal way of alerting the mods about these threads they may have overlooked while doing their other laundry list of duties.
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March 16, 2018, 02:57:38 PM
 #6


If a query is answered, the user who asked the question can deem it to be helpful/not helpful.
If the issue is solved, the thread will be automatically locked. And no one can necrobump it later on. If not autolocked, the mods can verify the issue to be solved and thread will be locked by them? This would be a hassle for the mods, autolocking feature does help here?  This is just a sort of a basic idea. And who knows, this may help stop shitposting same thing over and over again. Maybe even combine this idea along side the merit system. Who knows.
I don't know how bad of an idea this is but I'm just throwing it out in the wild.
This is a pretty good idea but how can the user deem a certain reply helpful? Will there will be an available button or function for members who created a thread so that they can use it to deem a reply helpful then after that the thread will be automatically locked? Another is that, I guess the member who created the thread must be responsible and really used the said function so that we can really avoid more users answering the same thing.

Thinking more about this, it seems like this should only apply to threads that ask for help, like "how to create a wallet?", "how to start trading?" etc. Questions that can be easily answered by a simple solution but if the member who created a thread asking for an opinion on something, then I guess that thread will still come a long way before being locked down.

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March 16, 2018, 03:35:13 PM
 #7

The thread starter can always lock a thread if he thinks it has served it's purpose. I locked my thread about today's merit give away, as I thought it hd the potential to become a spam fest.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3136930.0

A couple of things that thread starters may not realise are - You can unlock the thread, and add to it, or edit your posts, you can then lock it again. The other thing is that it looks as if merits can still be awarded to posts in locked threads.

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March 16, 2018, 03:44:55 PM
 #8

A slightly off topic but a suggestion: In many of the tech forums where you discuss related to issues and whatnot, the users who ask questions have an option wherein they can vote whether the post helped them solve their issue or not. I'm thinking if those sort of ideas would help or not.
There are a couple of things that came in mind:-
If a query is answered, the user who asked the question can deem it to be helpful/not helpful.
If the issue is solved, the thread will be automatically locked. And no one can necrobump it later on. If not autolocked, the mods can verify the issue to be solved and thread will be locked by them? This would be a hassle for the mods, autolocking feature does help here?  This is just a sort of a basic idea. And who knows, this may help stop shitposting same thing over and over again. Maybe even combine this idea along side the merit system.

That's not off topic at all, but if we were to apply such a system it would probably serve best within specific boards. It would be wonderful in the Development & Technical Discussion, Bitcoin Technical Support, Beginners & Help sections and maybe a few others that I am forgetting, but unfortunately I think most of the spam finds itself in other boards. I really like the idea of automatically locking "Solved" threads though, and enabling a User-Friendly way to label posts as the "Solution" in some way. Connecting it with the merit system would enable abuse I think, but without it we might be able to just simply disincentivize spam complimentary to the merit system while remaining separate.

The same thing happened here https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=2678858.0

Newbie question that was answered to the OPs satisfaction back at the beginning of January and then people just come along and answer it again. I reported the first one that did it this morning but now it is in sight again others just join in. In this case, the OP isn't even active, so unless a moderator locks it this will go on forever.

That should be a more clear cut situation IMO; mods should be perfectly willing to lock a thread that the OP is inactive and has been sufficiently responded to. It would seem common sense to narrow the opportunity of threads to spam in, and ultimately give mods less work in the long run.

The thread starter can always lock a thread if he thinks it has served it's purpose. I locked my thread about today's merit give away, as I thought it hd the potential to become a spam fest.
https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3136930.0

A couple of things that thread starters may not realise are - You can unlock the thread, and add to it, or edit your posts, you can then lock it again. The other thing is that it looks as if merits can still be awarded to posts in locked threads.

You're a good person for having etiquette when you start a thread. I fear that too many users are unaware and uninformed in the worst ways; some might not even know they can lock their threads, some might not know they can unlock it (as you've said) or maybe even fear they won't be able to receive merit. The worst users are those that do not care and simply remove the spamfest they've created from their watchlist.
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March 16, 2018, 03:51:21 PM
 #9

I'm wondering if it is appropriate or accurate to report these posts to a moderator to be locked?

I've seen some mods share their personal criteria for this kind of thing, I know there is at least one mod that will lock topics that have been sufficiently answered/discussed. I'm wondering if this is universal amongst the mods, what their individual criteria are for locking threads and if there is a more formal way of alerting the mods about these threads they may have overlooked while doing their other laundry list of duties.

I don't think mods really have the time for it since they're already dealing with a lot of stuff.

In Indonesian local section, the community has agreed that the opening posters are required to lock their thread after they got a satisfying responses/answers and if they don't, mods will lock the thread. So it is appropriate in my local section to report over-replied topics. Please note that this is possible because our board's activity is relatively small compared to other huge section like Bitcoin/Altcoin Discussion and there are two active mods to handle the stuff. This approach might not be practical at all for bigger boards as it'll only add more workload for some moderators who already too busy to handle it.
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March 16, 2018, 11:10:47 PM
 #10

Since we already have More serious discussion. No advertising of any kind. No junk posts. board for season members who don't want any distraction in their discussion by repetitive thread with same question, where spamming is not tolerated, I think we should give Newbie their board to ask away, whatever they want, as many times as they like.

If you think fighting spam is good probably you need to police another board, policing Beginners & Help which specifically created for Newbie to ask away is not wise thing to do, its like trying to police kindergarten kid to follow adult rules.

Reporting Newbie behavior in their own board will just open another opportunity to others to open spamming topic that pollute this Meta board without any logical reason and add nothing to our knowledge, its just some wild gossiping, and if it become trend and people who do this getting merit point I believe soon after Meta will be filled with this unnecessary spamming report topics

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March 16, 2018, 11:44:15 PM
 #11

There is no reason to allow opening thread by newbie. Maybe only in help and beginner section, where they can ask for any help or answer to his question.
They need first to read and learn. It will be easy to boost his rank if they understand this forum.

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March 17, 2018, 12:21:13 AM
 #12

There is no reason to allow opening thread by newbie. Maybe only in help and beginner section, where they can ask for any help or answer to his question.
They need first to read and learn. It will be easy to boost his rank if they understand this forum.

I don't entirely agree with this. In fact, there is a newbie (his rank was updated to Jr. Member now, here's his profile Husna QA) in my local section who started a contributive thread to our local section (Indonesia). But I do understand that there are many newbies who created too many unnecessary threads. Which is kinda interesting, how come there are so many newbies that do that?

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March 17, 2018, 12:35:00 AM
 #13

I don't entirely agree with this. In fact, there is a newbie (his rank was updated to Jr. Member now, here's his profile Husna QA) in my local section who started a contributive thread to our local section (Indonesia). But I do understand that there are many newbies who created too many unnecessary threads. Which is kinda interesting, how come there are so many newbies that do that?
Simple answer is they are Newbie

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March 17, 2018, 12:55:08 AM
 #14

There is no reason to allow opening thread by newbie. Maybe only in help and beginner section, where they can ask for any help or answer to his question.
They need first to read and learn. It will be easy to boost his rank if they understand this forum.

Pretty much this. Tho, it might be good to allow them like 1-2 posts in other sections weekly, just because there can be someone who has the preknowledge and can actually start some valuable topic. But the main, mega thread, problem can be solved with urging the ones who start a topic to lock them after they've received the answer.
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March 17, 2018, 01:04:35 AM
 #15

OP, you have a more-than-valid point here.  There are countless topics that have been allowed to live for far too long.

One of the first things that drove me nuts about bitcointalk was that 1) Duplicate answers would be given in a thread, because 2) No one reads replies past the first one or two in a thread.

This thread is one of the worst I'd ever seen: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=1097068.0

OP was asking whether there was any interest in cupcakes for bitcoin.  After a while it was clear that OP had disappeared and that further posts giving the same replies was idiotic.  If you read this thread, you'll see how many times I begged the mods to lock it.  But it's still not fucking locked.  And I don't think the mods care much about locking threads.  More traffic, more profit for bitcointalk.

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March 17, 2018, 05:58:06 AM
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 #16

Since we already have serious discussion. ... I think we should give Newbie their board to ask away, whatever they want, as many times as they like.

It's funny that you say "Since we already have" as if these boards were not created as a reaction to the endless sea of spam in the boards we already enjoy visiting that make it impossible to use it as intended.

We should not allow Newbies to do anything and everything they wish to any board, as many times as they'd like. This is called abuse and you become what you practice. If the newbie section is not for informing users, among other things, but especially how they are expected to act around the forum and how to find information already available then I have no clue what it is for. It certainly is not an off-topic for low ranking members, like you seem to think.

If you think fighting spam is good

Do you think fighting spam is bad?
I'm confused why that would even be a caveat to whatever you plan to say next.

probably you need to police another board, policing Beginners & Help which specifically created for Newbie to ask away is not wise thing to do, its like trying to police kindergarten kid to follow adult rules.

Again, you're wrong. Newbies become veterans by becoming informed. They become informed through us showing them the door and them choosing whether or not to go through it. I wasn't only speaking of that board anyways, so I don't know why you're so hung up on that. I am speaking more broadly than that section, but that section should not be an exception. If you do not try to get the kindergarten kids to follow any rules, then they become adult kindergartners that cannot follow rules. You grow into what you practice, not out of or away from it. Continue to act a certain way, and you will soon not know how else to act.

Reporting Newbie behavior in their own board will just open another opportunity to others to open spamming topic that pollute this Meta board
I believe soon after Meta will be filled with this unnecessary spamming report topics

I disagree, again. Removing spam and locking topics that are being abused will not cause more spamming. That is nonsense and you know it. Wherever they do this, it should be enforced and if it is enforced well there will be a net reduction in the amount of spam around the forum in general and within each board individually as well.

There is no reason to allow opening thread by newbie. Maybe only in help and beginner section, where they can ask for any help or answer to his question.
They need first to read and learn. It will be easy to boost his rank if they understand this forum.

I don't know if I'm able to agree that there is "no" reason to allow them to open threads. I can definitely agree that it does more harm than good allowing them to open threads though, and it is very very rare that a newbie starts a thread that is beneficial to the community in any way. There should be some kind of restrictions in place to reduce the amount of spam that they're able to dish out.

One of the first things that drove me nuts about bitcointalk was that 1) Duplicate answers would be given in a thread, because 2) No one reads replies past the first one or two in a thread.

I don't think the mods care much about locking threads.  More traffic, more profit for bitcointalk.

That's what drives us all nuts, it gets the best of us. It makes it look like we're mindless zombies just beating dead horses. Maybe the mods collectively don't "care" about locking the thread, I won't attempt to claim to know why they are unable or unwilling to do so. It might be as you prescribe, or it could simply be the lack of resources to handle such a thing. I'd imagine that your egregious example should have been locked at this point if they were interested in handling this in any capacity.

Do posts = Traffic? Are lurkers not as valuable to the forum in terms of "profit"? Does the forum actually benefit financially from spam, or mega-threads developing/remaining open? I would like to hear some more on that.
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March 17, 2018, 07:02:00 AM
 #17

Do posts = Traffic?

To an extent yes. Just by the fact that more people are posting actively, they must be making page impressions and looking around. More importantly, the sheer volume of content (however mindnumbing) does boost the sites ranking on search engines.

Are lurkers not as valuable to the forum in terms of "profit"?

I would say more so judging from the site advertising stats page https://bitcointalk.org/adrotate.php?adstats
Total page impressions are usually ~5x page impressions from logged in users. But the unanswerable question is how much of that traffic is driven by searches would reduce.

Does the forum actually benefit financially from spam, or mega-threads developing/remaining open? I would like to hear some more on that.

The last round of advertising pulled in 2.4BTC https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3006864.20
It is an auction and it is really a matter of opinion/speculation as to how that would be affected by reducing spam. Would the bidders pay less if there was less traffic?


Back to the closing threads issue. I don't think it would reduce spam as new threads will simply replace them. Many of these threads are actually opened by account farmers for the purpose of answering from their alts. What it would do is stop annoying anyone that replied early in the thread from constantly seeing them pop up in their unread replies page.



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March 17, 2018, 09:04:45 AM
 #18

I can't find anything that explicitly answers this question for me, so I figured I might as well make a little Meta post and see what's going on. I've seen a lot of topics, as we all have, that are full of repetitive answers, redundancies and plain ole' spam. Not only mega-threads, but regular questions like in the beginner's and help section; a newbie will pop a question, get it answered, acknowledge they have received their answer and then dozens of people continue to post the same answer. I'm wondering if it is appropriate or accurate to report these posts to a moderator to be locked?

Your thought was good but in some point, have you consider the satisfaction of an OP? You can also look diffirent angle like he/she finding a reliable answer or unique answer that can meet his/her satisfaction.  As an example, if I am going to create a thread then I will wait reliable answer until I satisfy. Different people has a different perspective right? correct me if I'm wrong
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March 17, 2018, 09:16:36 AM
 #19

Just to make sure you don't waste your time and readers here please do us favor report this topics because I see you already have a lot supporter to your cause

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March 23, 2018, 09:14:57 PM
Merited by TheQuin (1)
 #20

More importantly, the sheer volume of content (however mindnumbing) does boost the sites ranking on search engines.

Total page impressions are usually ~5x page impressions from logged in users. But the unanswerable question is how much of that traffic is driven by searches would reduce.

With this being the case, then I can't imagine it would be that hurtful to get rid of the mind numbing amount of meaningless content. Our lurkers are more valuable than our spammers, so if we can even transform any amount of the latter to the former then we'll be in better shape. I'm skeptical that our traffic driven by searches would be harmed, because I'd be willing to bet that the only searches these spammers are driving is airdrops and ICOs. The quality searches, that will drive creative, intelligent and long-term users that are coming for the right reasons are going to be searches that will remain at the top of search engines regardless. I don't think this site has any significant competition, but I might just be naive.

The last round of advertising pulled in 2.4BTC https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3006864.20
It is an auction and it is really a matter of opinion/speculation as to how that would be affected by reducing spam. Would the bidders pay less if there was less traffic?

I would argue that they shouldn't pay less, because the quality of traffic would go up at least proportionately to the amount of spam that's reduced. Speculation and opinion as you say though, until something is done with tangible results.

Back to the closing threads issue. I don't think it would reduce spam as new threads will simply replace them. Many of these threads are actually opened by account farmers for the purpose of answering from their alts. What it would do is stop annoying anyone that replied early in the thread from constantly seeing them pop up in their unread replies page.

Would this not also fall under the opinion and speculation category? I haven't seen much evidence for this, at least in the thread I reply it seems that OP is genuinely interested in getting an answer most of the time, but then get lazy about locking the topic or simply unwatch the thread and never come back. I've been proven ignorant on many things though, so I'm not saying you're wrong; it just seems ironic to place the one as speculation and not this.

Your thought was good but in some point, have you consider the satisfaction of an OP?

The OP of a random thread is capable of unlocking the thread, so if they're not satisfied they can continue their search. Mistakes are not costly in this scenario.
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