Solved Deletion of Double Posts

Gigabyte / Ga-z77p-d3
August 18, 2014 at 08:10:49
Specs: Windows 8, i7-3770 3.9 GHz / 8153 MB
I appreciate that double posts need to be removed, but it is a little annoying when this also removes a correct answer to the problem asked. I refer to this post: http://www.computing.net/answers/wi...

I replied to the duplicate telling the poster what account was required, and where to create it, but this reply was deleted along with the post. To my mind my answer was more useful than the one in the post left (well, I would think that wouldn't I?).

Is there no way to merge answers in a case like this? Or perhaps lock one of the threads rather than removing it completely.


See More: Deletion of Double Posts

Report •

✔ Best Answer
August 20, 2014 at 04:29:56
To add to this, I have on one or two occasions, copied and pasted a comment I felt was useful after giving credit to the original responder, and before deleting the second thread.

I didn't remove the post in question here though.



#1
August 18, 2014 at 12:40:27
Find myself sympathetic to ijack's comments... Having observed this problem a few time...

Besides locking one of the posts, also include a link within that locked post to the other one (that will still be active); and also include in the active post a link to the locked post (for access/reference to any info/responses posted there). This way all responses will be preserved for all to see and apply as needs-be.


Report •

#2
August 18, 2014 at 12:50:55
I'm not the one who did it, but I can tell you mods don't have the ability to lock, only delete.

How To Ask Questions The Smart Way


Report •

#3
August 18, 2014 at 13:00:04
Having been a Mod in the past (not at present) I realise "Mods" can only edit (usually delete emistle addresses and other such critical info.) and delete entire messages.

Perhaps Justin can/will get across this thread and maybe have a view on how to deal with the suggestions?


Report •

Related Solutions

#4
August 18, 2014 at 13:34:59
ijack,

What most people do is just reply to both threads, but the reply on the later thread is something like, "please see your other thread, you have double posted." Then it is easy to choose which one to remove.

In the example you give, it was the rare case when both threads had a valid answer, then I just have to choose one to remove.

I understand your concern, and its annoying. The mods are correct, there is no way to "combine" postings. I really can't think of an elegant way to do that. When there is only one reply, it sounds easy enough, but if one thread has 3 replies and another has 2, then merging them would probably make the thread almost unreadable.

I'm not sure locking would really solve anything as the double posting would still exist.

I just don't think there is any solution other than removing one thread that will work well in practice. That's why, despite the issue having been around as long as the forum, I've never been able to implement anything.

Justin


Report •

#5
August 18, 2014 at 13:39:49
I usually resort to duplicating my response on both threads if I think it might nail the problem.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


Report •

#6
August 18, 2014 at 13:50:36
I would have thought a link in each post to the other; and one post locked would resolve it; and effectively leave all subsequent responses going to one (the active) post only. But I'm not the one who would have to do the link insertions; and can appreciate that Justin has limited time to do here all he has to, and earn a crust or three, as is.

Report •

#7
August 18, 2014 at 14:05:53
Well, I'm usually working on an iPad, and it's frustrating enough getting one post right without having to duplicate it in another thread. And, of course, a contributor might not notice that they are answering a double post. I'm surprised that threads can only be deleted not locked. That sounds like a fairly basic requirement of any forum software.

I'm afraid that it doesn't really encourage me to make useful replies to queries if they are just going to be deleted. I don't know what to suggest as I have no control over your software. I'm just saying that, IMO, this is not the way to encourage people to participate.

message edited by ijack


Report •

#8
August 18, 2014 at 17:45:27
ijack,

Like I said, I know its annoying, but I still don't really see a technical solution. I'm still unsure how locking of the threads would make any difference. To me, that's effectively the same thing as taking no action. The "double posting" is still sitting on the forum using the real estate in the thread listing. That is my main gripe with double postings. Even if the forum had the locking ability, I wouldn't want it used on double postings.

The only viable solution I could see would be merging, but for the reasons I have outlined, that is ripe with problems. I'd rather not introduce such a feature to solve one problem and yet create many more.

I remove double postings all the time, only once in a blue moon do both of them have valid answers. I could see if it was something that was epidemic on the site, it would make sense. But, as of now, it would be adding layers of complexity (merging) to address something that happens once or twice a month at the maximum.

I agree that its a shame any time good content must be removed, and I'm sorry that you got caught up in the bad actions of a poster. Its just, in all my past thinking of this problem, I have always come to the conclusion that a "solution" would, in fact, make the site worse in terms of usability and understandability than any problems it would solve.

Justin


Report •

#9
August 18, 2014 at 18:12:30
Re #7
I can see that on an iPad pushing out a duplicate could be fraught but I usually use copy/paste. I'm not an iPad user but I wouldn't have thought this would be too fiddly.

Merging posts would produce a good old mess because neither would have continuity. To have to search for duplicate or near duplicate answers, then put them in a sensible order sounds like a tedious manual operation to me.

I know it can be a pain when inputs go down the pan, especially if they are long and detailed ones. Fortunately I don't really think it is something that happens too often.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks


Report •

#10
August 18, 2014 at 23:06:24
I've always thought that the real problem with double posts in forums was that they lead to fragmented discussions rather than the minimal real estate occupied in. I can think of far better ways to cut down on wasted real estate than worrying about double posts for that reason.

So, from my point of view, locking rather than deletion is a perfectly good solution as it stops the fragmentation but retains useful posts. I accept that your priorities for the forums are different. But it's just another straw that may affect the decision to spend time responding to queries.


Report •

#11
August 19, 2014 at 00:32:04
Ipads are useful devices, but do have limitations... Copying text isn't always as simple an operation as it first appears; it can often be quite a fiddly process to "highlight/outline" the text you want to copy. Pasting is generally ok. Whilst ipads are finger touch for a mouse function, using a pooh stick (touch screen prod/pen with a soft touch - Pooh wouldn't wish to scratch his toy...) makes it a little easier, but it's still fiddly to select the text to be cut or copied even then. And "typing" can be a pain at times too, if not using a bluetoof keyboard (and I don't with the ipad I'm "typing"this on...)

So I can see ijack's point; but also appreciate the server landscape being over populated with duplicated content, which of course means less space for other content... Which having said... If it came to a vote I'd likely vote for "locking" etc. one of the two posts as in my #1 & #6... But in the end it's up to to Justin to decide as he does his best to keep this forum alive and well...


Report •

#12
August 19, 2014 at 01:23:41
Your comments on the difficulty of using iPads are spot on.

When it comes to database space or forum real estate.I would say that there are far greater potential savings to be made by deleting, for example, any post asking how to bypass password protection. These posts take up far more space, in both senses, than double posts and always attract exactly the same series of answers.

But as you say, it's up to Justin to decide how to keep the forum alive and well and up to the users to vote with their feet as to whether he is succeeding in this aim.


Report •

#13
August 19, 2014 at 02:43:20
hopefully ijack "you" will stick around. You offer very useful info at times...

Report •

#14
August 19, 2014 at 04:20:43
Hi ijack,

I agree with trvlr, I really hope you stay. Your responses on the site are great! However, my opinion on this is still as I said. Even if a locking post feature exists, I'd still want double postings removed, not locked.

I've given this policy a lot of thought, and I hope you understand it. I always take user suggestions into consideration, and, many times I do make policy changes on account of them. In this case, I will try to be more careful when removing double postings in that if they both have a valid answer, I'll leave both of them up. But, to start locking them is something I don't agree with.

I will take your thoughts into consideration though, and monitor this policy more closely over time. Perhaps I will come up with a better solution that helps everyone involved.

Thanks again!
Justin


Report •

#15
August 20, 2014 at 00:56:48
On that one I looked at both of the threads and responded to the one that seemed the clearest, although I felt neither had enough details. Then on the other I reported it as a double post. No one had yet posted there when I reported it. I don't know how the process works but maybe that one was deleted because it was the first to be reported and the deletion wasn't a comment on which response was best.

Don't forget to preorder your Hatch green chili for this fall. Many vendors ship world-wide.


Report •

#16
August 20, 2014 at 03:24:38
Hi DAVEINCAPS,

Generally, I will look at both and, like I said, most of the time, one has a good answer and one doesn't. Then its a no brainer which to remove. In this case, both had good answers, so I probably did just remove the first reported, but, as it happens so rarely, I can't say that's a "policy."

Justin

message edited by Justin Weber


Report •

#17
August 20, 2014 at 04:29:56
✔ Best Answer
To add to this, I have on one or two occasions, copied and pasted a comment I felt was useful after giving credit to the original responder, and before deleting the second thread.

I didn't remove the post in question here though.


Report •

#18
August 20, 2014 at 04:33:05
"In this case, both had good answers"

Well, my answer did explain what account was being asked for and how to create it ....

message edited by ijack


Report •

#19
August 20, 2014 at 08:49:06
OtheHil,

Perhaps that is a good way to proceed. It works perfectly with one response, like in this case. I think I'll do that from now on. That is a great suggestion!

Justin


Report •

#20
August 20, 2014 at 09:46:47
Seems a workable compromise... Hopefully one that will not need to be used too often, as it will take more time/effort etc. from Justin (if he is the one doing it much of the time).

Report •

#21
August 21, 2014 at 05:36:15
trvlr,

I don't think it will be too difficult. Like I said, this is a very rare occurrence. Basically, its a "merge" feature that is manual (and has a lot more control).

Justin


Report •

Ask Question