Zombie threads how do I know

I’ll apologize up front because it’s probably been asked and answered several times, but I’ll ask again, how do I know it’s a zombie? I’ve often read far into a thread, thinking, this is really interesting only to have a poster kindly report it as a zombie. I’m not sure if it makes a difference, I often just click on “today’s posts” and read from there.

At the top of the first post, under the Post Reply button, is the original post date. You can check there to see if a post is a zombie.

Back in the old days, threads were locked if they were raised after more than three months of silence. I preferred that method, but now I just try to check the date before I start reading.

We’ve never had a blanket policy of locking all zombie threads. For instance, a good answer to a GQ is always welcome, no matter how late it comes. But we do lock zombies if it looks like they’re just attracting nonsense.

Like others have said, notice the date. If a new thread pops up with a lot of replies already, chances are it’s a zombie thread.

Since we’ve already mentioned the post date, allow me to add -------------- braaaaiiiinnnnnsss.

You just have to use your b…

No, can’t do it.

The date is right there in every post but many people miss it. For whatever reason, TPTB elected to use gray text on a gray background which certainly doesn’t help. It’s perfectly visible when you look for it but it definitely doesn’t jump out at you if you’re not thinking about it.

Here’s a userscript that sets the date to black text instead of gray. That simple change causes the date to jump right out at you on every post. http://userscripts-mirror.org/scripts/show/139495

There are also userscripts around that will mark zombie threads specifically. This one just makes the date more visible.

I’ve never understood most objections to so called zombie threads, or felt any sense of wasted time to have read one and replied to it without realizing its original date. Discussions can pick up 10 years later right where they left off. But I do like to have the timestamp of posts clearly visible in general.

Almost 20 years here and I’ve never noticed that button up there. From a coding point of view, it makes sense, but that’s it. It seems that would encourage people to post without reading.
But, really, I’ve never, ever seen that. In fact, I assumed you were on a different browser/OS/Tapatalk and did a headsmack when I started looking for this ‘non-existent’ post reply button above the first post, cuz that would be a strange place for a button like that.

Totally agree. I really wish the rule was that threads stay open, period, WRT zombies. They could be locked for other reasons, even be reanimated zombies and get locked, but not locked because someone bumped them. This wishy-washy stuff irritates me. I’ve said it before, if we’re not going to leave all the threads open, then lock them all.
Who cares if a new user bumps a 10 year old thread to make a joke?

Great minds, and ours, think alike. And at the same moment in time! :smiley:

That’s actually the current policy. As has been said, threads are not locked merely for being old. They are locked on a case-by-case basis (especially in GQ).

I will keep that in mind :sunglasses:, really I promise, I’ll start paying attention.

Thanks, all!

5 year old thread locked for exactly no reason other than being bumped by a spammer and Asimovian deciding that the OP didn’t want any more advice on the subject and that the unwashed masses couldn’t make anymore valuable contributions.

Why not, and I’ve suggested this in the past, delete the spam post and leave it open, I mean, the current policy is to leave old threads open, right? Not to lock them just because they’re old?

I’m so confused, it seems everytime one mod locks a thread for being old, another says we don’t lock threads for being old.

Maybe because the OP left us over a year ago?

No, what you mean is, the OP hasn’t logged in since then. You don’t know that he isn’t lurking. I lurk on a handful of boards that I don’t post to or don’t actively post to and therefore don’t see any reason to log in each time I visit.

Seems to me the actual rule is: If you want to bump a thread that’s older than X years AND you have something valuable to add AND the original poster has last activity within Y months, then the thread won’t be locked.
X, Y and ‘Valuable’ defined on a case by case basis, naturally.

That, of course, is asking too much, to which I say, again, leave them all open, or lock them all. But this is how it is right now.

Yes, I decided that the OP was probably no longer looking for advice, five years later, on whether or not to take his friend to a massage parlor. I don’t think that’s an unreasonable assumption. Lots of people wander into threads unaware that the threads are zombies and try to respond directly to a question that doesn’t need answering any longer. I tend to lock those threads because they can be frustrating for the participants, and there’s nothing preventing current posters from starting a similarly themed thread without having folks accidentally address posters who aren’t with us any more. I don’t see what the board or its participants are losing by doing that, particularly when anyone starting a new thread can link to the old one for context — the zombies aren’t being corn-fielded, after all.

Threads of a more general nature (meaning, not trying to resolve one person’s specific issue) are ones I tend to leave open, unless all of the post-reanimation contributions are off-topic. There are lots of examples of these. You don’t generally notice the ones where I delete the spam and leave them open because once the spam is removed, the thread is no longer on the front page. I (and others) delete spam from reanimated threads on a daily basis, so it’s kind of silly to suggest that we lock threads purely for age.

The claim that we lock threads purely because of age is false.

Almost certainly it does. How many times have you seen a post by someone who obviously never bothered to read the whole thread? My guess is that they read the OP, see Post Reply, and do so.

If after you reply to a thread, there’s a lot of references to “brains,” don’t look for genius. Look for zombies.

Pro tip: When reading a zombie thread you will generally notice a higher than usual number of BANNED posters responding.

Great advice :slight_smile: