Why are threads closed? September 3, 2011 6:42 AM   Subscribe

Why are threads closed to new comments after 30 days in AskMetafilter?

I'm not saying it's a bad policy, just wondering the reason why? I came across something today, via google actually - I should have known AskMe would know about estranged parents dying of cancer and reconciliation etc that I wanted to post to, but couldn't. I knew nobody would probably ever see my post but that was okay, I just wanted to say, you know, me too, this is what I'm dealing with, it's surprisingly difficult after you've spent years... Okay whoops.. So please the policy on why threads get closed? It's probably really simple and obvious. Thanks.
posted by b33j to MetaFilter-Related at 6:42 AM (57 comments total)

Go check the date again. AskMe's are open for 1 year.
posted by carsonb at 6:49 AM on September 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


I think AskMe threads close after more like a year? I can't even remember how soon but there's definitely a different time limit for AskMe and MeFi. Basically there are a few different ways different parts of the site work

1. MeFi - threads can get deleted or they stay open for 30 days
2. AskMe - threads can get deleted or they stay open fo ra year
3. MeTa - threads can get deleted, *or* closed, or they stay open for ... a year (can't quite remember)
4. Rest of the site - no idea on closures, maybe never? I've definitely commented on some ancient Music threads

Old AskMe threads tend to accumulate cruft and spammers much more than useful answers after a while. And I get that people would like to add something or maybe commiserate, but it's not really what AskMe is designed for and we don't moderate the site with that in mind. We have a "straggling comments" feature that checks for comments in AskMe that show up waaay after the main discussion is over and it's mostly weird spammers which is already a little bit of work and something we probably don't need to do more of.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:52 AM on September 3, 2011


Yeah, case in point: check the posting date and date of last comment on this one. Maybe in rare cases the mods will close a question at the poster's request (?), but I don't know if I've ever seen it happen.
posted by phunniemee at 6:53 AM on September 3, 2011


Furthermore, the only threads that are ever 'closed to new comments' before their natural expiry are MeTa threads. MetaFilter and AskMe posts simply get deleted.

Speaking of,

MetaFilter and MetaTalk posts are open for one month from the day they're posted. (eg. Feb. 28 through Mar. 28)
AskMeFi posts are open for one year from the day they're posted. (eg. Sept. 3 2010 through Sept. 3 2011)
IRL threads are open for 6 months (I think).
Not sure about Music, MusicTalk, Projects (probably 1 month), or Jobs posts.
posted by carsonb at 6:53 AM on September 3, 2011


MetaFilter and AskMe posts simply get deleted.

Um... what?
posted by hippybear at 6:58 AM on September 3, 2011


Oh, wait. I see what you mean. Nevermind. :)
posted by hippybear at 7:00 AM on September 3, 2011


MetaFilter and AskMe posts simply get deleted.

Yeah this is sort of a nomenclature thing. There's "deleted" which is us including a reason for deletion, which happens on all parts of the site, and what we call "closed" which is just us saying "You can't comment here anymore" which we only do in MeTa and means the thread is closed but still visible.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:01 AM on September 3, 2011


Yeah, it's a year for Askme, and it's exactly what Jess says: the longer a question is open, the more likely a new comment in it will be spam. A year strikes a nice balance where late followups have a lot of breathing room but the spam likelihood hasn't gotten outright silly. Even as it is a decent proportion of what shows up five or ten months out is someone googling for keywords and mentioning This Great Product Wink Wink or such.

Not sure about Music, MusicTalk, Projects (probably 1 month), or Jobs posts.

First three are open forever, Jobs doesn't have comments so it's moot.

Metatalk threads are a month except for stuff posted under the Metafilter Gatherings topic, which was for meetups before IRL came along and sometimes involved month+ planning windows.

Maybe in rare cases the mods will close a question at the poster's request (?), but I don't know if I've ever seen it happen.

Exceptionally rare. We don't do it on poster's request, generally it's delete or don't. I can think of literally one time that Matt or pb went in and hacked a thread closed and it was because it was about World of Warcraft goldfarming and was attracting a totally ridiculous amount of spammer attention. That's the first time we talked about Askme as a honeypot.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:01 AM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Huh, I always thought the "mark as resolved" option closed up an AskMe.
posted by J. Wilson at 7:10 AM on September 3, 2011


>>Not sure about Music, MusicTalk, Projects (probably 1 month), or Jobs posts.

>First three are open forever, Jobs doesn't have comments so it's moot.


I swear for a second I interpreted "Jobs posts" as a separate category for threads about Steve Jobs. (Maybe not so crazy based on past experience on discussions about Apple).
posted by jeremias at 7:11 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Responding to the same pullquotes jeremias just listed...

So... does that mean there are longboat threads tucked away in Music and/or Projects somewhere? I don't necessarily have to participate, but I like to wander in occasionally and have a look around...
posted by carsonb at 7:14 AM on September 3, 2011


whoops - doh! Okay, why do they close at all? Perhaps I have the year wrong, it's something I'm likely to do.
And I see that's been answered: AskMe threads tend to accumulate cruft and spammers much more than useful answers after a while

Okay, we can close this up now - thanks, I appreciate this.
posted [insert name of favourite MeFite joker]
posted by b33j at 7:14 AM on September 3, 2011


I came across an update to an old metafilter thread this week, and found the thread had been closed. The update didn't really merit a new thread, so I just shut down the window, chagrined.
posted by crunchland at 7:21 AM on September 3, 2011


Huh, I always thought the "mark as resolved" option closed up an AskMe.

Nope, it just puts it in the sidebar on the Answered page and yoinks it out of the Unanswered page on the rare chance that it somehow became resolved without anyone other than the asker providing an answer. It's a more explicit and concrete way to note "this question is as answered as I expect it will ever be" than just marking one more best answers.

I came across an update to an old metafilter thread this week, and found the thread had been closed. The update didn't really merit a new thread, so I just shut down the window, chagrined.

Yeah, the occasional late-response-related chagrin is the main downside to having threads close.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:26 AM on September 3, 2011


yo mamma so fat they had to close her up after 30 days.
posted by babbyʼ); Drop table users; -- at 8:10 AM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


Music never dies!
posted by The Whelk at 8:41 AM on September 3, 2011


Music never dies!

Oh really? You may want to take that up with my buddy, Don MacLean.
posted by phunniemee at 8:46 AM on September 3, 2011


I didn't like the Madonna version of 'American Pie' either, but 'music dies' might be overstating it a little.
posted by box at 8:49 AM on September 3, 2011


It may have whimpered a little.
posted by h00py at 9:16 AM on September 3, 2011


Who on earth is Don MacLean? Certainly not the man who wrote American Pie.

I was SOO excited when I discovered that there were extended versions of Madonna's cover of American Pie. I was all "Oh, yeah! She actually DID do the whole lyric, so it's not just some chopped-up shambolic mess but will actually make sense". And then I discovered that the extended versions were just remixes and there is no actual recording of her doing the full lyric to a song which contains deep meaning in its lyrical poetry, and that she doesn't actually give a fuck about whether what she's singing makes sense or not.

That was actually the beginning of the end of my romance with Madge. It's been on continual wane since then, and especially since she fucked up her looks with that horrid plastic surgery.
posted by hippybear at 9:32 AM on September 3, 2011


Cash 4 Gold!
posted by cjorgensen at 9:50 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


One Weird Old Tip
posted by The Whelk at 9:52 AM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm always chagrinning from ear to ear, people say it's creepy.
posted by Elmore at 10:07 AM on September 3, 2011






this was worth it if only to explore the word "cruft" whicn is cool.


Prince's Perfume Deal Costs Him Nearly $4 Mil .

posted by clavdivs at 10:29 AM on September 3, 2011


Don MacLean.
Also notable was that when responding to Glaze's exasperation, Maclean would regularly give an alliterative reply, such as "Don't get your knickers in a knot" or "Don't get your tights in a twist", the combination of which ("Don't get your knickers in a twist") has passed into popular vernacular.
posted by stebulus at 10:33 AM on September 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


So what happens if a blue post is still active after 30 days? Has that happened?
posted by cmoj at 11:29 AM on September 3, 2011


That was actually the beginning of the end of my romance with Madge. It's been on continual wane since then, and especially since she fucked up her looks with that horrid plastic surgery.

DEATH IN VENICE ... Madge's latest conspicuous failure

Fact is that the international press and its U.S. counterparts are having a field day killing Madonna’s movie in what can only be seen as the latest “Death In Venice”. Or maybe the more accurate way of saying this is “Death By Venice”. The Times of London claimed Madonna had made an inadvertent comedy “screamingly, inadvertently funny in parts [that] had ‘em rolling in the aisles at Venice” The Guardian review was truly vicious under the headline, “Madonna’s jaw-dropping take on the story of Wallis Simpson is a primped and simpering folly, preening and fatally mishandled”.
posted by philip-random at 11:48 AM on September 3, 2011


So what happens if a blue post is still active after 30 days? Has that happened?

The Langoliers make sure that never happens.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:50 AM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


So bye, bye, Bene Gesserit wife
Brought my Household to Arrakis
But Arrakis was dry
Them big old worms were making water of life
I'll bet this'll be the day that I die
This'll be the day that I die
-- Dune McLean
posted by stebulus at 11:53 AM on September 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


So what happens if a blue post is still active after 30 days? Has that happened?

It passes on, and a new Doctor Who thread is created. This is the great Circle of Life.
posted by Gordafarin at 11:59 AM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


So what happens if a blue post is still active after 30 days?

A couple of wiseacres show up and make fun of it.
posted by TedW at 3:28 PM on September 3, 2011


Feature request: If a user is on a thread at the exact moment it closes, he should hear a MIDI file of Semisonic's "Closing Time." I can provide this file.
posted by drjimmy11 at 3:32 PM on September 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


cjorgensen: Cash 4 Gold!

Did anyone else reflexively move to delete that comment? Mods?
posted by Pronoiac at 4:07 PM on September 3, 2011


Moused over suspiciously despite knowing it was silly to do so, yes. I believe we may have hacked closed a Cash 4 Gold question one time, as well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:40 PM on September 3, 2011


"Caramelized" would be a great euphemism for 'drunk," I think.

Let's get caramelized and propogate the motherfucker.
posted by jonmc at 6:25 PM on September 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


So does anyone know what the weird old tip is?
posted by cjorgensen at 8:53 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Leeches.

So.

Many

leeches
posted by The Whelk at 9:08 PM on September 3, 2011


With the wonder of recent comments it's increasingly hard to drop a non-sequitur at the end of a thread. I admire all who still do it though (as long as it's not nasty).
posted by h00py at 6:20 AM on September 4, 2011


Recent activity, I mean. You know what I mean!
posted by h00py at 6:24 AM on September 4, 2011


A fish
posted by The Whelk at 8:01 AM on September 4, 2011


Threads close, I think, because leaving them open indefinitely is an invitation to spammers spamming with spammy spam on long-forgotten threads.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:43 AM on September 4, 2011


Threads close because you didn't love them enough
posted by The Whelk at 9:09 AM on September 4, 2011 [2 favorites]


Threads close because coffee is for closers, and a doughnut just doesn't taste right without.
posted by Abiezer at 10:16 AM on September 4, 2011


Yeah, case in point: check the posting date and date of last comment on this one. Maybe in rare cases the mods will close a question at the poster's request (?), but I don't know if I've ever seen it happen.
posted by phunniemee at 6:53 AM on September 3 [+] [!]


Wow. I can't believe I just understood why the chicken crossed the road.

At least I'm only in my 30s--not like that poor schmuck who was 43.

It only took me 15 years to understand the meaning of the line 'He picks up all the post bags in his van' in the Postman Pat theme tune. "Why does he need to pick them up if they're in his van?"
posted by lapsangsouchong at 1:33 PM on September 4, 2011


Can someone post the link to that one thread, I don't remember the exact details but I think there was a MeTa about it, some user found an old open post on the blue and started having an extended conversation with himself in it, I think it went on for a couple of weeks before anyone noticed . . does this ring a bell?
posted by chaff at 7:30 PM on September 4, 2011


You almost certainly mean the Jim Jones thread!

I couldn't remember his username beyond "something involving Jim", but a search against Metatalk for "talking himself" turned it up after a few pages when gnfti mentioned it in a comment.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:48 PM on September 4, 2011


Haha yep, that's the one.
posted by chaff at 9:32 PM on September 4, 2011


Not sure about Music, MusicTalk, Projects (probably 1 month), or Jobs posts.
First three are open forever


Projects used to be one year.
posted by unliteral at 10:28 PM on September 4, 2011


I suspect that was an artifact in part of the switch from the original slightly quirky visible-to-poster-only comments on Project to the more consistent visible-to-everybody comment thread presentation, but hard to say for sure.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:44 PM on September 4, 2011


...so, True Blood anyone?
posted by The Whelk at 10:48 PM on September 4, 2011


Wow. I can't believe I just understood why the chicken crossed the road.

As I've heard it put:

Why did Jim Morrison cross the road?
To break on through to the other side.
posted by philip-random at 11:04 PM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


HEY DO YOU WANT TO BUY VIAGHARA?
posted by GuyZero at 9:16 PM on September 5, 2011


Huh. I don't actually remember reading the Jim Jones thread before, but apparently I had already faved this comment.
posted by Gordafarin at 5:59 AM on September 7, 2011


*hums*

♫ ♪ ♬

posted by Pronoiac at 6:28 AM on October 3, 2011



posted by cortex (staff) at 6:31 AM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


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