Search Unity

  1. Welcome to the Unity Forums! Please take the time to read our Code of Conduct to familiarize yourself with the forum rules and how to post constructively.
  2. Join us on Dec 8, 2022, between 7 am & 7 pm EST, in the DOTS Dev Blitz Day 2022 - Q&A forum, Discord, and Unity3D Subreddit to learn more about DOTS directly from the Unity Developers.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Have a look at our Games Focus blog post series which will show what Unity is doing for all game developers – now, next year, and in the future.
    Dismiss Notice

What's the problem with Necro-Posting?

Discussion in 'Meta-forum Discussion' started by atomicjoe, Jun 17, 2022.

  1. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Posts:
    1,691
    So, it is against the forum rules to "pointless Necro-Post".
    Meaning you can't post a pointless comment or question on an old thread.
    I see some problems with this:

    1- how old is too old?
    2- how do you define "pointless"?
    3- It's alright to post "pointless" comments and questions as long as the thread is fresh?
    4- What's the point of forbidding posting to a post that very specifically matches your problem and is the only search result on Google about it?
    5- WHY is necro posting even considered BAD?

    Personally, I would rather have all peoples experiences on a specific issue concentrated on the same spot, even if that thread is 10 years old.
    And judging by the tendency of the general population to "necro", I don't seem to be alone on this.

    Is it really better to open a new thread that will probably never be read by the people who experienced said issues in the past (and maybe found a solution) than just ask where the conversation was established? (even years ago)

    The internet is a giant update-able archive, what's the problem with posting on old threads anyway?

    Then there is also the issue of asking for something and getting the generic answer of "this topic has already been covered in the past", yeah, but the threads are old, and you can't talk on old threads. It's Catch 22!

    I have never been apprehended for necro-posting, but as it's something I do a lot, should I live in fear because I stumble on an issue, search for info, find a 12 year old thread that never got a definitive answer, find the solution myself after hours of banging my head against the wall and then post it there simply because it's the sensible place to post the solution, since it's the number one search result on the issue?

    I suppose this makes my necros "not pointless", but then again, is "pointless" posting ok on new threads anyway?
    As long as a thread is fresh, you are welcomed to post pointless comments?


    Is it really better to start a new thread every time someone stumbles on the same issue just because the other threads are old?

    Where that necro-phobia came from in the first place?
    Does it hurt anyone to post on an old thread anyway?
    Nobody forces anyone to read it! What's the issue on it being an OLD THREAD.

    Notice I was VERY tempted to necro-post to speak about this, since I did find an old thread about it, but I refrained myself for the sanity of the admins LOL



    I would really like to know why necro-posting is so hated by admins in general yet is the most natural way of people in general to post.

    And don't point me to old discussions about it: Necro posting is forbidden!
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
    tnyczr and Colin_MacLeod like this.
  2. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Posts:
    873
    Fear your assumption here is incorrect. When the thread is old, the probability that the initial posters are still around, is low and other people will rather be more reluctant to respond to an old post than a new one simply for the reason that the old one requires you to read it fully before you can answer meaningfully.

    It's definitely not frowned upon to come up with a solution in an old thread. But just "I have this issue too" is likely not gonna lead to much and hence why it's deemed pointless.
     
    Vryken and Ryiah like this.
  3. spiney199

    spiney199

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2021
    Posts:
    2,875
    One reason it's against rules is because, necro-posting, often with pointless comments like "wow thanks" or "+1", takes away space from the front-page of a sub-forum from those posting genuine posts or having proper discussions. Lets be real, 99% of the time we're refreshing the 1st page of any given sub forum.

    Honestly mods should lock the thread, then delete offending posts so the thread moves out of the front page.

    I believe the mods here have mentioned necro-posting with actual input is generally fine. Pointless necro-posting is not.
     
    Vryken, Ryiah and MadeFromPolygons like this.
  4. ippdev

    ippdev

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Posts:
    3,607
    The problem is that one idiot comment can lock a valuable thread.
     
  5. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    29,723
    My stance (and it kind of matters since I've spent over a decade working with it) is that necroposting is an invention that began on non-programming forums.

    Think on that for a moment. So "necroposting" is just made up nonsense by non programmers.

    On a programming or development forum, some topics need to live years. Some topics need to live months. Some topics need to live weeks. And some probably need to die in a fire.

    So...

    People should think about the quality of the data. When the data is done, the thread can potentially be locked.
     
    nasos_333, Kirsche, dogzerx2 and 2 others like this.
  6. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    29,723
    Probably 9.5 out of 10 posts on old topics are from newcomers to the forum and it is usually their first post. This is actually healthy for Unity's business. I'll tell you why: they felt the need to post and they could. It is so rare. Sometimes I just delete that post, and the topic falls back into the depths just fine.

    Oh and forum "rules" are actually closer to guidelines because the day nuance dies is the day these forums become random game forums with a brooding crowd of code hooligans. We have to sound strict but the occasional nuance is very much why we have moderators that aren't robots and posts that aren't automatically locked after a time.

    Staff also do their own moderation to their own taste, actually. Some of them are more strict than others and it really is quite a laid back thing here. Each to their own, let the water flow down the stream into the ocean of possibility.
     
    zombiegorilla, Ryiah and atomicjoe like this.
  7. Antypodish

    Antypodish

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Posts:
    9,956
    For the first, same thread was created 1 or 2 month ago a d was already answered by modders, or even officials.
    Meaning not everyone reads and tracks, nor search for the answers. Basically creating duplicate threads like this one.

    Here for example
    https://forum.unity.com/posts/8092994/

    And if you would search for neceo keyword, you will discover the issue
    https://forum.unity.com/search/13553835/?q=Necro&t=post&o=date

    These alone are posts, which are not deleted, cleaned. There are more often necro posts, which are cleaned by modders, after being reported.

    As bad example of necroing, if someone's post a solution to a problem 5 years after original poster, where Unity 4-5 was still around and thread was silent since, that is kind of pointless necro posting. Tools and solutions has changed since and problem most likely is inadequate to latest Unity.

    There are some exception to universal threads, with almost infinity life span. But that's really few of them.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  8. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    12,163
    People start helping and arguing with posters that are long gone about problems that no longer need solving. It wastes time. Time of people that didn't notice age of the threat and join it later.

    I'm of opinion that old threads should be visually marked as such. And "too old" is six months.
     
  9. chingwa

    chingwa

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Posts:
    3,761
    I have no problem with so-called necro-posting, particular in a forum where long standing tech issues or workarounds need to be discussed.
     
  10. MadeFromPolygons

    MadeFromPolygons

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2013
    Posts:
    3,627
    Most necroposts are *hitposts, and the ones that are valuable technical or otherwise valuaable posts stick around i.e. someone realises its not BS and lets it fly which is good. Most of the time people just know when its someone not reading the date last posted vs actually providing good additions to an otherwise seeming "dead" thread thread, as do moderators who review reports. The problem is not necroposts on a whole, its the context behind them and the ones that get reported or disappear are the problems, ones that stick around but add to the thread are not.

    However as has been said by others in this thread, people messing around in a thread can close of an otherwise good point of discussion via having thread locked, and I think banning people from specific threads or boards either temporarily or full time would be better than closing threads at that point, but I dont think unity forums supports that. Not suggesting btw instead of locking threads, just as an additional power for moderators in addition to locking threads.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  11. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    12,163
    The issue is that a necroposter adds post at the END of the thread, that unburies it, and people read it from the START. That results in wasting time. Because the problem often no longer exists.

    Like I said, I'm of opinion that old or ancient posts should be visually marked as such.
     
  12. DragonCoder

    DragonCoder

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2015
    Posts:
    873
    It would not harm in every case and I've seen forums do just that.
     
  13. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Posts:
    1,691
    That doesn't justify forbidding it. It's their time and they can waste it if they feel like it.
    In a case like that you can politely point it out, but that's it.

    It doesn't need to be necroposting for this to happen.

    There are still people using Unity 5. I still have license and it works.

    Ok, it's your opinion and it's alright but, WHY do you even care?
    I mean, it's not like anyone is forcing you to read it.
    Let people talk into the void if they want to.
    Just ignore it and that's it. I still don't get why people react this way to something completely harmless.

    Also, for you "too old" is 6 months, but for Antypodish it's 1 or 2 months. I'd say that this is completely arbitrary and has no logical reason to be whatsoever.

    You assume so, but it doesn't have to be that way. Time and time again threads are being abandoned simply because no one found a good solution, not that the problem magically went away.
    This is still not a logical reason to forbid necro-posting: just read the date of the first post and you'll know if it's old or not.
     
    Colin_MacLeod and chingwa like this.
  14. BIGTIMEMASTER

    BIGTIMEMASTER

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2017
    Posts:
    4,838
    arguing about a rule that doesn't exist.

    sometimes moderators close a thread and they leave a shorthand comment to explain why. They aren't going to take three hours to list in detail all the implications about why they close the thread.
     
  15. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    12,163
    "IF"

    It sounds a lot like you already made your mind on the subject and won't change it.

    I do not like wasting my time on a problem that no longer needs solving. And when an ancient thread is unburied, it is very easy to overlook starting date. So in a situation when somebody wrote a response and wouldn't do if they spotted posting date, they wasted their time, because of the necroposter.

    "Nobody is forcing" is not quite true, because when the thread is marked bold and I visit the site, I already waste time checking it.

    "no good solution" is not the most common scenario. The most common scenario is a thread that has a few pages, has a discussion going on, and then discussion ends. Then, eleven years later somebody posts unrelated problem at the end, and people start responding to the problem at the start, and only half a day later notice what's going on.

    People err and forget all the time. Humans are not "logical' and "rational" and humans can also overlook things. That's why we have consumer laws, anti-fraud laws, and so on. I believe it is a good idea to respect time of people who post answers here, and not waste their time needlessly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  16. hippocoder

    hippocoder

    Digital Ape Moderator

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Posts:
    29,723
    As said... as an actual mod who does deal with this... its REALLY RARE. Action does not need to be taken. In half the cases when it rarely ever happens (maybe weekly?) I actually reject the reported post. It's just because it annoys the control freak in programmers. They can't help it, even if the bump is valid.

    It's seriously not a problem to solve and is nearly always because the person is new, and wanted to say something. Marking it as an old post won't really cross the radar of new posters.

    Again for effect: most people upset about any form of 'necro' are just upset because they're programmers not because the 'necro' was bad.
     
    atomicjoe and chingwa like this.
  17. Ryiah

    Ryiah

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2012
    Posts:
    18,264
    Like @hippocoder mentioned the rules are not black and white. Negativity against reviving old threads is largely due to people who have used Google to try to find an answer to their question, discover an old thread covering their question, and then post before doing anything else.

    Anything else in this case often means some combination of reading the thread to see if the question is already answered, trying out the solutions that have been presented, asking questions that aren't just a repeat of the original question (in some cases someone else had necro-posted the same question before them), and so on.

    I can't even begin to tell you how many times I have seen a person post a question that is answered in the thread or worse yet do so when the answer to their question is within just a few posts of their question on the same page of the thread that they posted to.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  18. Antypodish

    Antypodish

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Posts:
    9,956
    Even it is in an example of this thread. As exact same thread do exists just few months ago.
    Spending moment to find if exists, would save on whole discussion, as answer been given.
    And even could reply there.

    Actually 1 to 2 months are not old at all. We may not even get any significant update in that time, to thread become obsolete. Specially if there is few years life cycle for each major Unity release.

    In terms of game dev, probably 2 years getting old (and that is rather vague). But that depends on the subject and type of the necro responses. One liners without merit are not good. Or argumentative responses to posters, which are often no more active.
     
  19. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Posts:
    1,691
    I misread your answer sorry.
     
  20. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    8,752
    99% of necroposts are:
    - same problem
    - thanks, that helped
    - I have a problem... *completely unrelated question*

    or something along the line. Necroposts are bad, when they don't add anything meaningful to the conversation. When it is valuable addition, almost no one will shout necro.

    I'm upset when it comes to necroposting because I had to write too many times that the answer to the necro-question is two posts above their post. They are just lazy to read the thread.
    Exactly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2022
  21. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Posts:
    1,691
    Yeah but, then again, not everyone can fix a hard problem by himself and most of the time it's just people asking for help in the same place that this issue was stated, even if a lot of time ago.
    They may not be adding anything meaningful to the thread, they may be just in the same boat.
    What they specifically want is to speak with the people that had the same issue as them.
    And since participants automatically subscribe to threads they wrote in by default, asking in an old thread about your exact same issue IS the correct way to go if you want them to be notified!
    I don't know, it seems so damn logical to me that I can't even understand why other people can't see this.
     
  22. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    12,163
    That does not match my experience.

    Most of the time it is people asking unrelated things, trying to ask their own question in an old thread or posting something that is not related to the original post at all.

    Like Lurking-Ninja said, when it is "related problem", usually nobody complains about necroposting.
     
    zombiegorilla likes this.
  23. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Posts:
    1,691
    well, this thread here doesn't seem to agree.
    That's why I made this thread in the first place: to clear things up.
     
  24. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    8,752
    That's the first mistake. Why would you want to talk to those who are similarly stuck at something as you're?
    If I have a problem I don't want to talk to people who has the same problem, I want to talk to people who had similar problem, but the somehow overcome it. Stating that I have the same problem helps no one, including the poster.
    No. "Same here" isn't asking for help. It's just a lazy post without meaning. I wouldn't complain if said people would post properly: "Hey, I have the same problem, I read the thread, saw the solution A, B and C, tried them, the outcome were D, E and F without proper resolution, here are the details I'm trying to do".
    If it is somehow connected to the original problem, I have zero problem with necroposting.
    "Same here" is not a proper post, it only shows that the poster haven't seen the forum etiquette or deliberately ignores it.

    Why would you want to be subscribed to a thread which wasn't updated in 5 years? (or something)

    And usually this is not the case, they just throw some unrelated nonsense to the thread.

    Anyway, I learned to ignore them over the years, I'm not willing to help lazy people. Only mention all of these because it became subject of this thread for some reason. Happy necroing.
     
    neginfinity likes this.
  25. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Posts:
    1,691
    Well, ok then, we agree: I'm not defending lazy posting, hijacking a thread or being off-topic. None of this needs to be related to necroposting per-se, it's just common forum etiquette.

    My issue is with the vagueness of the term necroposting, which always makes me feel a little out of place when I'm replying to an old thread because it's the number one result on Google about an issue.
    And as this thread shows, people in the same situation have been accused of necroposting and shut down the thread, as if it was a sin or something.
     
  26. Lurking-Ninja

    Lurking-Ninja

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2015
    Posts:
    8,752
    Well, we yet to see what were the real circumstances. It may or may not be a legitimate complain or just a lazy person complaining about mods shutting down their laziness.
    I'm here for a couple of years now, I do not see mods shutting down proper, valuable conversations. Not even remotely, if anything, I think they handle it too liberally sometimes (I would exterminate "bump" posts too for example). But that's just me.
     
  27. neginfinity

    neginfinity

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2013
    Posts:
    12,163
    That's one person's opinion versus something like a hundred or hundreds of necroposts.

    //Opinion

    You're a human and not a robot, hence you should do what humans are supposed to do - infer information from context in case it is vague. Things don't need to be strictly defined down to the last letter and every possibility.
     
  28. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Posts:
    8,662
    I delete tons of pointless necros. because they are pointless. As pointed out above, they are almost always off topic, (did a minimal search on google, and posted "Me too... halp!!" in an old thread that more than half the time literally has the answer already in it) or "Thanks this helped!" by someone who it is their first post and the thread is ancient. (they are likely a bot anyway, and there is a "like" button) or either off-topic or answering an old thread in a discussion that ended years ago, in a unsupported version of unity replying to people who haven't even been on the forums in years. Hence... pointless.

    Not every necro report results in deletion, though. Necros are fine if the information is relevant, it is new valid contribution to the topic. Otherwise start a new topic in the appropriate forum.
     
    Neto_Kokku, NotaNaN, Ryiah and 3 others like this.
  29. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Posts:
    8,662
    You made this thread in the wrong place for starters. Second you should have just asked or contributed to that thread. Third, there are hundreds of new new threads a day and thousands of posts. Most importantly, one person complaining about something isn't a problem (people complain about crazy random things every day). Many reports by users pointing out pointless necros happen daily, It's not really an issue. (well, unwarranted removal of post isn't, pointless necros are a daily issue)

    The unity support forums are the official community support forums for people using the Unity engine. It is not reddit, it is not discord or another chat for just chit chat about random things, it is a resource. (there is a discord channel). While it is far from perfect, the goal it have it function as a useful resource for every level of developer on their journey. This goal is not aided if you have search through 1000s of pointless irrelevancies and lazy posts first. While we don't spend time searching through and pruning, we do rely on users reporting this stuff and if warranted, it is pruned.
     
    Ryiah likes this.
  30. Vryken

    Vryken

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2018
    Posts:
    2,106
    What would the general consensus be on something like this?
    • Threads have a concept of a "stale" state.
    • When a post is created on a "stale" thread, the thread does not get bumped back to the top of the forum.
    • Users can opt to enable/disable an account preference to stop receiving notifications from "stale" threads they're subscribed to.
    • Administrators & Moderators can:
      • Configure a global forum setting to automatically mark threads as "stale" after a specific amount of time (days, weeks, months, years) has passed since the last post was created.
      • Manually mark threads as "stale" or remove the "stale" state if they feel necessary.
      • Set certain threads to never go "stale" if they feel necessary.
    I don't know if there's any forum software out there that has a similar feature (there's gotta be at least one, right?)
     
  31. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Posts:
    8,662
    That is what moderators are for. We discussed auto closing old threads after a certain time a few years back, but it was decided it was not good, or necessary. There is no problem to be solved here. If you notice a pointless necro report it and mods/staff will take a look.
     
  32. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Posts:
    1,691
    Sorry! I didn't see the meta-forum section.
    I didn't want to hijack or necro the thread and just pointed any readers to this thread instead were the discussion was going on and was newer. See what I mean about necro not being clearly established? If the rules are clear, I will follow them, but if they are not, well, it's anyone's guess and then I get reprimanded. :rolleyes:
     
  33. MitchStan

    MitchStan

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Posts:
    566
    I’ve been using Unity since version 1.5 and have been on these forums since about 2006. I happen to enjoy seeing old posts necro’d. It’s like watching an old movie or rerun of a tv show. I find it funny all the angst that goes on about necro’d posts.
     
    ippdev and Antypodish like this.
  34. Antypodish

    Antypodish

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Posts:
    9,956
    You need start using common sense and stop being pedantic. It is like you never crossed red light where is no car in sight, or drove above speed limit. In EU for example you need to drive 100% of times wih lights on. Which is stupid and proved nothing for safety. While in UK drivers need use common sense, when visibility drops, to turn lights on.

    All rules are just guidelines, as long are not abused.
     
  35. atomicjoe

    atomicjoe

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2013
    Posts:
    1,691
    Yeah, and now I get insulted. Alright, bye.
     
  36. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Posts:
    8,662
    The rules are clear to 99% of everyone else. (the forum titles have descriptions) Some people get confused or fail to follow the rules happen only a handful time times a day at most. They are almost always new posters, and once informed and pointed to the rules they rarely repeat. There really is no problem here, the rules are posted and clear. Folks just need to take the time to read them.
     
  37. zombiegorilla

    zombiegorilla

    Moderator

    Joined:
    May 8, 2012
    Posts:
    8,662
    It wasn't insulting, it was using an analogy to help explain. They were being helpful.

    You basically wrote a wall of text about some random post someone wrote a while ago about an issue that doesn't exist and process that pretty much everyone understands.

    Not so sound all old and stuff, but back in the day, people used to just ask questions about something they didn't understand. Instead, today, they go on some long winded diatribe about how their confusion/ignorance is someone else's fault. If something confuses you, ask.
     
    Antypodish likes this.
  38. Murgilod

    Murgilod

    Joined:
    Nov 12, 2013
    Posts:
    8,944
    The problem is that most necro posting is either utterly pointless, requesting help on an only tangentially related topic, or somebody going "thanks!" to posts more than 3 years old. A while ago I even reported a necropost that was a full decade old.

    This is the most common flavour of necro post:
    upload_2022-6-22_13-35-11.png

    There are seven years between these posts, to the point where the url in question is now a generic SEO farm domain. This is what you usually get when people necro posts. Actually useful posts that add to the topic are so rare that I could probably count the amount of times I've seen them here on one hand.
     
    Colin_MacLeod likes this.