Disappearing poll from the pre-Discourse era

The poll in this thread has disappeared, or at least I can’t figure out how to reveal it. If the former, can it be recovered and put back in place there?

Did any polls come across? I’m not sure that was part of the migration.

Don’t know. Perhaps they could be restored by request, if not all at once?

Can we wayback machine the old post, and provide a screenshot? Let me try.

Ah wait I need the OLD vBulletin style url for that topic, which I don’t know how to get. If you have the old vBulletin style URL (maybe in a bookmark?), it’s in the wayback machine most likely.

I don’t, sorry. I only have the link posted in the OP. Can’t find it via Google, either.

We’re working on this, at the very least we should be able to find some of the old URLs. We should have a strategy for future migrations re: polls, anyhow.

Thank you - hope so!

OK! so here’s the old URL format:


The best we can do at the moment is to generate a list of all topics with the word “Poll” in the topic title. That doesn’t necessarily mean there was a poll in the topic though. Here’s one that seems to have been a vBulletin poll: topic id 442232?


… which redirects to …


Looking at that URL in the wayback machine


Yay, there is one 2018 crawl! Woohoo! This is why I (and you, if you can afford it) should have a monthly donation set up to the Internet Archive. :raised_hands:

But unfortunately I don’t see a poll anywhere in that archived page? :cry:


If others would like to assist, here’s a Google Sheet with a list of all Straight Dope vBulletin thread ids that have the word “Poll” in the title. I ordered them by id so you can get a rough idea of time by the id; earlier topics have smaller id numbers.

edit: we’re revising the sheet to better match just the word “poll”, so it’ll be less than ~3,500.

OK! The final count of vBulletin threads with the word “poll” in the topic is 2,100. Here’s a link to the Google sheet again just in case.

I’ve picked 5 spreadsheet rows at random using a random number generator, from 1 - 2100:

1106, 1805, 1356, 563, 1854

which are following topic ids

454486, 717435, 538087, 263682, 740498

So GOOD NEWS! :raised_hands: This does appear to work, if the poll is actually a poll and was created in whatever way was … er… normal for vBulletin?

So @Elendil_s_Heir if you can identify the topic id, we can probably extract the poll from the wayback machine!

Thank you, codinghorror! Are any of the key words in the OP useful, such as Unabomber, Kaczynski, crucial or committing?

Unfortunately, we don’t have the ability to run any more queries; the easiest thing to do is suss it out by date… look up topic IDs until you find other polls near that date, and try the nearby IDs.

It should definitely be in the list because it contains the word Poll in the title.