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Deleted threads - Potentialy lost info

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posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 08:23 PM
I was just thinking about this a few minutes ago...

So, some members threads get deleted because they are a repeat of a topic that has already presented in an existing thread. Which is understandable because we don't want a million threads on the same topic because that would create unorganized, unnecessary clutter.

But then I thought, if these threads are just getting deleted, then we might lose new potential insight on a topic, as the OP authoring the repeat thread may present some content that is not found in a pre-existing thread of the same topic.

In conclusion, would there be a way to just "move" the contents of these new threads, and present them as a "reply" (instead of a thread) onto an already-existing thread of the same topic, instead of just deleting them off the face of the earth?

Some of the people creating these threads might sometimes be unaware the topic already exists, and may not know how to manually move their content to an existing thread because they may not know where to find the thread or what the exact title of it is.

Then we could have (1) MASS thread containing all the input from members wanting to add to a specific topic and nothing will be lost.

It would also condense mass quantities of information into one location, so it's all right in front of you.

Mods, what do you think?

It's no huge deal, it was just an idea I was pondering upon that I wanted to throw out there.



edit on 6-1-2013 by unb3k44n7 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 6 2013 @ 10:46 PM
It is usually for other reasons that a thread disappears. It is not uncommon to have someone start a thread and get one of those double-posts resulting in two identical threads being opened. The unfortunate twin seldom ever gets removed. Normally a thread gets closed if there is another current thread addressing that same topic. It may have gotten several replies with good content by that time and it remains available to be read, for a time, but being closed it cannot be added to or bumped so falls off into obscurity and is eventually lost from view but can be found.

Other factors can cause a thread to disappear, and some for very good reasons, but the most frustrating are the ones that are removed because they deal with a controversial societal issue and begin to reveal an uncomfortable truth. I wish there were a way to censor the offending data and preserve the rest of the discussion but that is not what normally happens. A thread gets pulled for a reason and that reason might not be readily apparent. The circumstance you speak of typically gets the thread closed but the discussion remains visible for a time and perhaps searchable.

edit on 6-1-2013 by Erongaricuaro because: (no reason given)

posted on Jan, 7 2013 @ 12:26 AM
Most out-of-the-box forum software comes with the ability to 'merge' threads, I understand this whole site is custom coded; how difficult would it be to add this feature?

posted on Jan, 7 2013 @ 03:26 AM
The problem is that if you merge a thread, you get total random chaos. You have replies to it that are all over the place, and it doesn't make sense to read. I'd rather just have one closed than merge them and have it just be total randomness (sorry Random Rabbit!).

posted on Jan, 7 2013 @ 05:54 PM

Originally posted by SilentKoala
Most out-of-the-box forum software comes with the ability to 'merge' threads, I understand this whole site is custom coded; how difficult would it be to add this feature?

I understand that to be true...and I cannot speak for Skeptic Overlord, but I am pretty sure merging isn't possible.

Don't forget how vast ATS would probably make the site unstable.

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 07:34 AM
reply to post by unb3k44n7

Mods rarely delete long threads for this exact reason (to prevent "lost information"). It's extremely rare to find a thread longer than 3 pages in the trash bin. Most threads in the trash bin are less than a page long, and doesn't really contain anything worth reading (thus the term trash bin)...

Duplicate threads are typically closed and redirected to the first thread on the topic (but there are exceptions to this rule). If someone discovers that they posted in a thread that was closed as a duplicate, are welcome to repost their post in the main thread.

So, not to worry. You'll have to dig deep (and become very dirty) to find "lost info" in the trash bin.

(On a side-note: I've attempted to read long "merged" threads on other forums, and IMO merging two or more threads does more harm than anything else, as it is a nightmare to logically follow the discussion.)

posted on Jan, 8 2013 @ 09:51 AM
I've seen forums where they merged threads before and they did it a way where the posts of the merged thread were coloured slightly differently to the original one they merged it into. It worked just fine and in the end they blended seamlessly with very little confusion.

Just a suggestion though...

One more suggestion - if a thread is closed and redirected to another, would it be too much to ask for the mod who closed it to post in the first thread stating that there was a duplicate thread with possibly some relevant info 'here' and then a link back to the closed thread. This would make sure all participants do get all relevant info which can easily be missed by members especially if the two threads are in separate forums or separated by a significant period of time.

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