How do ZOMBIE threads happen?

Just saw another one in general questions today. Some 30 reply thread from 2004 about hoodies and BAM! someone replies without missing a beat only it’s freaking 7 years later?!?
So how does this happen? People doing searches, forgetting they aren’t in current threads anymore, and randomly replying to what they find?

Some people are really slow typists.

I think many of these are a result of people finding the threads via Google searches and not noticing the dates on the posts. Usually the zombie threads are revived by people who haven’t posted here before. So I think it’s a good idea to be gentle with them, so you don’t scare them off.

If you look, the majority of the posters that bump up the years old zombie thread are “new members”.

When a girl zombie and a boy zombie love each other’s brains very much…

(Sorry: somebody had to say it.) :smiley:

I do it on purpose sometimes when I’m feeling impish. I’ll look for old rocks (no replies) and give them some love. In observance of good form, I’ll only do this to a GQ if I can provide a proper answer.

Hey, the OP was posted 8 years ago! :dubious:

Usually it’s because people do a Google search on some topic that interests them, find an SDMB thread, and post to it without noticing how old the thread is.

Moved MPSIMS --> ATMB.

I have been on other message boards that castigate and pillory folks for starting a thread that was already covered X number of years before. Ragging at people for not using the ‘Search’ function is another driver behind this.

BTW, if 7 year old threads are inviolate, why not delete them? Problem solved.

I’ve been on many boards, and curiously, you would be surprised that the very same kind of posting on one board will get you voted funniest poster of the year, another board you just get the stony silence when joking around, and another board will permaban you.

As time goes by and more posters have more experiences on more boards, these ‘quirks’ are going to become a bigger deal. I would suggest ‘getting used to it’ or closing off membership to folks with ‘histories’ on other boards.

Also, I have experienced tremendous variations in moderator abilities and sensitivities f9orm board to board and with in a board. I recall a member being annoyed at no mod action after being called ‘an ignorant slut’, something that is usually cause for a week off. Another board I was on had a poster who absolutely was not a moderator, but yet had moderator powers. Calling the ‘real’ mods on it just got you the ‘blue wall’ treatment, or a denial the poster had mod power, despite his freely wielding that power.

The couple of times I’ve done it’s because I’ve done a search (on here) that gives me several pages of results. Going through all the results, opening, reading, backing out of several threads over the course of 10 minutes or so and all of a sudden I forget that I’m reading a zombie thread because I feel like I’m just going though one of the normal forums/new posts/subscribed threads etc and start typing. It usually after I hit submit that I realize it.

Because they’re not inviolate: we sometimes close old threads when they get bumped, and other times we don’t. It depends on the individual thread and how old it is. In any case, why would we want to delete our own content? That’s the equivalent of using decaptation to cure dandruff. It would definitely annoy people who contributed to those threads.

Just suggesting the ‘hoof and mouth disease’ cure.

(I don’t pretend to understand why it seems desirable to some people, it just is)

Why anyone cares that a 7 year old thread resurrects is another mysteroidal thingy for me to ponder, too.

In the past it didn’t happen very often around here. Now that the board has been indexed by Google, it happens a lot more. Usually the threads are resurrected by spammers, but sometimes it’s just an oversight.

Case in point: This year is the tenth anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. There were many threads posted about it in real time. There were genuine expressions of emotion, from shock to anguish to concern for the welfare of other Dopers. Many of us go back to read those threads to get a perspective from the members who witnessed it and lived through that day. I’m sure none of the posters who contributed to those threads would want them deleted in any way for any reason. Even if to go over and refresh one’s memories and to link to for newer members’ benefit. That’s one good reason to not have an arbitrary cutoff date for trimming out old threads.

But why does anyone care that an old thread gets posted too? Crikey, I have been modded (at other boards) for NOT posting on an old thread and instead starting a new one. Jeez, do we need ‘moderator’ to be a profession to be standardized and taught in schools?

I think in future as folks post on more and more boards, these site to site differences are going to produce increasing friction over protocol and ‘tradition’ and ‘but that’s how we do it here’ concerns.

I think I may have to change my name. I hadnt realized Zombie meant something specific here when I registered.

Because it can be confusing (or frustrating, or just goofy) if you make a post today in response to something that was said in 2004 by a user who hasn’t been active since 2007. We try to leave older threads open if possible but we’ll often close them down when that happens.

If that means I get paid for doing this, I’m all ears. Anyway different boards handle this stuff different ways. There’s no objectively right way to do it.

I think the main annoyance is that the vast majority of revivals(not counting spammers) are “one and done” postings. They never stick around and seldom add anything worthwhile to the thread they revived.

You are absolutely right, and the sooner all those other boards comply with our standards, the better off everyone will be.