How long does a thread last on this board?

Several threads I opened on the SDMB in just the past week, and many more I was getting interested in, appear to be no longer available. How long does a thread last on this message board before you close it? And is there any way I can access closed threads?

Huh? I only see that one one of your threads was closed, a particularly stupid one in GQ about people guys being “dicks.”

Do you mean perhaps no longer on the first page? Hit the “search” icon on the bottom of any of your posts and it will return a list of threads you’ve posted to.

Or change your default settings for a forum in your UserCP, or click on the little things at the lower right of the thread list labelled "1, 2, 3…Last that are intended to show what page of that forum’s list of threads you’re on.

Bottom line: unless a moderator deliberately removes a particular thread, they’re here forever. Well, OK, probably not for hundreds of years, but certainly for the foreseeable future.

They do tend to move off the front page fairly quickly, though.

I don’t remember posting any thread about “people guys being ‘dicks’” or anything close to that.

When I’m looking for a thread, I do know that the forum directory might have several pages to go through. Nevertheless, sometimes I can’t find a thread no matter how hard I look. However, I’ve noticed some threads I can’t find at one session will be there again in a later session. Is this perhaps some quirk of the system – it does not always compile a complete directory for the forum you’re looking in? I do notice that, whenever I get to the end of the page and start the forum over again, the sequence of the threads has already changed.

I asked about “closed threads” because I seem to remmber seeing a button or option for access to closed threads, sometime last week, but now I can’t find it. There are some threads I’ve looked for, carefully, several times and can’t find them. I figured they must have been closed and archived, somehow. If this message board really has more than 32,000 members, I would not be surprised if you had a policy of closing every thread after a certain period of time or a certain number of posts, just to keep the board from getting hopelessly clogged; I just wanted to find out what the rules are.

You’ll get better at looking for threads BrainGlutton. They fall away from the first few pages pretty quickly (although they reappear if someone posts to them of course), but they are not closed or archived. The forums go for hundreds of pages. If you know what you’re looking for, a search can usually find what you’re after. If you remember a keyword and the username of someone who posted, it’s pretty easy. Make sure you adjust the search page for date and forum. It is, however, very important to go easy on searches: board resources are usually stretched, and searches are very taxing on the “hamsters”.

I gather the threat to which manhattan referred was where you said

I found it by searching for your posts. Try this link (which is the search button under your username).

When a thread is closed, by the way, anyone can still read it, just the same way that you read any other thread, but you can’t post to it any more. The mods do have the option to delete or hide a thread, such that nobody (except mods) can read it, but this isn’t used very often.

If you’re just overlooking a thread, you might try using your browser’s “find” feature (control-f in Netscape) to look for one of the words in the title, or (if you remember it) the username of the person who started the thread.

For the record, I did NOT post the thread about “Is sex really that crusial [sic] to guys that they have to be dicks about it?” Why would I? It hardly merits discussion – the answer is too obviously “yes.” I think a friend of mine might have sat down at the terminal after I got up from it without logging off.

Well, if you don’t trust people who have access to the terminal after you, you should be sure to log out when you’re done. Just a tip; I’m not trying to be obnoxious.

Oh, you bet. The General Questions forum has 1153 pages right now. But, there are only six that have threads posted to them in the last two days.

Here’s one theory as for what’s happening to you. Let’s say you’re looking for a thread in General Questions called “Cecil’s Brother”. You posted to it yesterday, but it doesn’t seem to be anywhere on the front page. You even tried pressing ctrl+f and searching for ‘Brother’, but it’s not there. So, you went to the bottom of the first forum page, and clicked the link to bring you to page number two.

In the ten minutes you spent looking around on the GQ front page, someone posted a response to the thread. This brought it to the top of the forum list, right up top of the front page (after the sticky threads). When you click the link for GQ page 2, the server gives you the latest version of that page- with the fifty-first through one hundredth threads on the forum list. And “Cecil’s Brother” isn’t there. Nope, it’s back on page one, thanks to its new reply. Nonetheless, you search and search and search all over page two, and page three, and pages four, five and six. But no luck! What is up with those hamsters, anyway? So, you give up, and go back to the front page of GQ to read something else.

At this point, you’ve spent half an hour searching the forum, and since it’s peak board traffic time, “Cecil’s Brother” has fallen back to page two. So you don’t see it.

You look around the boards for a while, log off, and go to bed.

Tomorrow, you’ll come back, and POOF! There’s Cecil’s Brother, third from the top, with yet another new answer in it.
Maybe this is what’s up.

Please take Achernar’s advice seriously. We’d hate to ban someone for things they didn’t actually do.