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Should ROE restrict "necromancing"?

Jelena
Active Contributor
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For those uninitiated - in the forums "necromancing" means "resurrecting" old (sometimes over a year) threads either with additional question or comment of questionable value (like "Me too!"). Some forums prohibit it, some not, but in general the practice is frowned upon in online communities.

With exception of adding a solution to a rare unresolved problem this seems to add no value and is usually source of confusion (the repliers might not look at the date) or just "digital garbage" (exhibit A - it's been said multiple times on SCN this is not feasible). Also only OP can close the discussion and assign points, so this seems unfair to the unsuspecting Samaritans in case the question does get any answers.

We've had some on and off discussions on this. Sometimes I report "necromancing" (with mixed success) but looking at ROE - there is no official community position on this. Is it time we add it?

Accepted Solutions (1)

Accepted Solutions (1)

Former Member
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Jelena,

My vote is yes, it is time. I would love to see an official community position on this practice. A few minutes ago I reported a question just today posted on a thread that is over 3 years old, and the OP has not logged on to SCN at all in these 3+  years.

Gretchen

Answers (2)

Answers (2)

moshenaveh
Community Manager
Community Manager
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Sorry for the time it took to make the changes. I had to look all over my office for the SAP User password:)

joseantonio_martinez
Active Contributor
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Hi Jelena:

It is a good idea, to block the threads after some time.

I guess besides that do not add value, is possible that some user (I asume did not read the thread) post "I experience the same problem, please your help " without realizing that in the repplies the solution is shared.

Regards

Jose Antonio

joseantonio_martinez
Active Contributor
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Also I rember this blog from with a funny perspective from

Regards

Jose Antonio

Jelena
Active Contributor
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Awesome, Jose, thanks for the link! I somehow missed it.

Quote from the blog:


Just learned something new and wants to spread it. Has really great search skills as he finds numerous duplicate questions and adds always what he  just learned, stereotype by copy and paste to let all answers look equal.

This is super-annoying.

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Hi Jelena,

I always referred to it as Necrophilia (from Wikipedia: Necrophilia, also called thanatophilia, is a sexual attraction or sexual act involving corpses.) which just says something about how my mind works.

Gali put this into the action about a year, maybe more.

This topic is addressed in the to wit:

  • Discussion replies- Should be evaluated by relevancy and original post date. When reviewing please consider: latest product updates, maintenance period for earlier versions, the number of posts per day and how quickly the technology is changing. Different communities should be treated differently based on these reasons.

        Answered Threads:

Unrelated reply: Reply to the post or DM the poster asking them to post a new discussion and include the body of their posting so it is easy for them to create the new thread with a link to the Answered thread. Delete their post and then lock the Answered Thread. You can also Branch the discussion, thus creating a new post.

Follow up reply: Reply to a discussion with a follow up question to original poster should be permitted.

Unanswered threads:

Unrelated reply to an outdated post: If the thread is outdated and the posting is poorly related to the OP topic, follow the same procedure as with Unrelated Reply to Answered Threads.

Not set with Answered, but answered to an outdated post: Same as Unrelated Reply to Answered Thread with the added task of marking it as Answered and awarding points to the Correct Answer.

Follow up reply: If it is outdated and the new post is asking if they ever solved it, then let it go (if the original discussion is under a year old).

Regards, Mike

SAP Technology RIG

Matt_Fraser
Active Contributor
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Michael,

Nice, succinct, and clear. I like it.

Not commenting on how your mind works, though.

Cheers,

Matt

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Hi Matt,

Going along with the process is the DM template I use:

Necrophilia:

"This thread, , was already answered some time ago.  Please open a new Discussion marked as a question.  If the thread you originally posted to has material related to your question, include a link.  Your content is attached below to make it easy for you to simply paste it into the new Discussion.  It is recommended to read the Rules of Engagement and other documents in the Getting Started link at the top right. 

Your post will be deleted.  If you have any questions after visiting the Getting Started link, feel free to respond to this DM (Direct Message) and I will be happy to try to assist.  NOTE: Getting the link is easy enough for both the author and document.  Simply MouseOver the item, Right Click, and select Copy Shortcut.  Paste it into your Discussion.  You can also click on the url after pasting.  Click on the A to expand the options and select T (on the right) to Auto-Title the url. 

Regards, Mike (Moderator)"

It generally gets the desired reaction (a new Discussion) and sometimes a politely worded thank-you from the violator.

Which is the behavioral change we desire.

Cheers, Mike

Jelena
Active Contributor
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Mike, thanks for a response. I guess the question is then - why is it not in the regular ROE? Ordinary SCN members have no clue such "bylaws" for moderators exist (and even those bylaws leave room for interpretation). Why not put it in writing that if it's over 1 year old (or any other term) then just don't reply to it unless you are posting the solution.

By the way, on the "did you solve it?" I've yet to see the OP to come back with a meaningful answer. Few times I've seen "we went with another solution" (no details - wow, that's super helpful) or honest "it was years ago, I don't remember" or simple "we ended up not doing it".

When people don't see it in ROE and get moderated it makes them upset (naturally). Even though the response template above is quite nice and reasonable, note how it directs to "read ROE". But - dig this - it's not mentioned in ROE! It's like SAP Support sending us to "submit a request through ASUG". Rrrriiiight...

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I think that you are correct about it needing to be in the regular RoE and not just the Moderator version.  For sure I get tired of dealing with resurrected/hijacked threads multiple times daily.

Calling  .  Are you the right person for updating the SCN Rules of Engagement?  Here is a first draft of what I would recommend to put in the section "Grounds for Rejection of Posts or Account Removal"

"4. Thread Resurrecting: Do not reopen a question that has already been marked with a Correct Answer.  If your problem looks the same and the posted solution does not work in your situation, then you have a different problem and you need to create a new Discussion.

"5. Thread hijacking: Do not post a different question in an existing Discussion as a response, especially if the thread has not recently been active.  If it is related then put a link to it after you create your own new Discussion."

Thanks, Mike


tamira
Advisor
Advisor
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Thanks Mike for sharing this with me! Yes, I'll take part in updating the RoE, we'll take this into consideration. Adding

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Just an FYI, Necromancy and Hijacking are now in the RoE.  Thanks Gabi/Moshe or whoever did it.

Now in the Category of "Do as I say, not as I do" hypocrisy, we need to get rid of the "SAP (Official)" user name which implemented the two new rules.  [yes, I am back on my soapbox]

Cheers, Mike

SAP Technology RIG

stephenjohannes
Active Contributor
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Just for grins... does thread hijacking apply to Coffee Corner and other less formal private spaces?  I hope not as the best discussions in Coffee Corner have come from thread hijacking.

Take care,

Stephen

Jelena
Active Contributor
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Yay! Thanks, Michael! Good to know this has been clarified and taken care of now.

@Stephen - I hope CC will still be somewhat loosely moderated, it's also unlikely someone complaints.

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Hi Stephen,

I have never spent any time in CC, so I do not know the "general practices" there.  If it is normal to hijack threads, I would not know.  But you are definitely not encouraging me to visit the Coffee Corner in the future.

Cheers, Mike

stephenjohannes
Active Contributor
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Coffee corner is a way more relaxed, but definitely a civil place for polite conversations.  I would hope you would visit sometime
 

Take care,

Stephen

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I guess I will give it a try sometime.  Thanks for the insight.

Time to get out of the rut, eh?

Cheers, Mike

SAP Technology RIG