Editorial Policy of this Site

March 3, 2013 at 13:25:17
Specs: any
I find totally ludicrous the editorial policy of this site which bars comments on, and, more importantly, corrections to stupid and unresearched answers from self-styled "gurus" to legitimate questions purely on the basis of time elapsed since the original question was posed when said correspondence still features on the 1st page of Google's results for the topic.
This policy stifles innovation and disregards recent developments as well as continues to mislead poor innocent enquirers.

See More: Editorial Policy of this Site

Report •

March 3, 2013 at 13:46:25
Since this is your first and only post on this site it is difficult to understand exactly what you are on about. Perhaps you could explain, with an example, which question you are refering to?

Report •

March 3, 2013 at 14:50:21
It is common policy on the internet to lock forum threads after a certain period of time. It is nothing peculiar to this particular forum, which keeps them going for months.

You will never stop misinformation being found when using Google. Often it is repeated from website to website. For example, search for "clear prefetch files" and you will find no end of folk saying (wrongly) that this speeds up your computer, rather than slowing it down.

Put any valid computer file name or process in Google and it will be reported everywhere as a virus or registry error - usually with websites offering to fix it for money.

Do you honestly believe that all threads should be scoured because the advice has changed due to "recent developments"? It would require an army of editors.

The world is full of misinformation on all topics of life. In searching for the truth the trick is to check a multitude of sources (including their current relevance) before you form an opinion. That is why people are fitted with a brain.

I am just a forum member, see the webmasters response below at #3.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

Report •

March 3, 2013 at 17:51:47

I agree with you in theory. However, the main issue is that when most people arrive onto older forum postings, they tend to respond with more useless information or spam. This happens on almost all forums, which is why the vast majority of them lock threads after a certain age.

A long time ago, Computing.Net didn't use to lock threads after a certain time period. This was the cause of many problems and a vast reduction in quality of the site. For every useful reply that appeared on older threads, at least 10 more were of dubious or outright terrible quality. Worse still, these older threads were never properly moderated because our moderators spend time looking at newer, not older threads.

I realize it can be inconvenient, but, unfortunately, this has worked to be the best policy.

Thanks for your feedback,

Report •

Related Solutions

March 3, 2013 at 20:32:59
Maybe there should be some worldwide entity charged with supervising this internet thing. Every posting on every site would have to be approved by them before being let out to the public. This entity would also have the power to review, rewrite or remove any pre existing postings

That certainly would solve your problem. Until then it's probably best to act like a normal person and not believe everything you read on the internet.

Report •

March 4, 2013 at 07:27:43
That certainly would solve your problem. Until then it's probably best to act like a normal person and not believe everything you read on the internet.


You have to love trolls.........oh I wish I didn't have a life so I could troll around and post arrant stupidity while trying to make myself look smart.

For anybody who's spent any time whatsoever on forums like this, you know that not locking old threads leads to people like the aformentioned troll, reopening dead threads. There's nothing I like more than seeing a thread from 1999 or 2003 reopened while some dufus corrects a comment I (or another helper) already corrected in the same thread years back when it was active.

It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate;
I am the captain of my soul.

***William Henley***

Report •

March 10, 2013 at 14:44:56
Thank you for all your comments. It is most interesting that some of the quickest responses were of the ‘knee jerk’ species sadly so typical of these boards. In particular –
- What the heck has this being my first post got to do with failure to understand the question ?
- Had I not been barred from posting replies to valid questions on several occasions purely on the basis of time elapsed since the original was posed, this would not have been my first post, would it ?
- I am not interested what other sites do or don’t do. The topic is this site.
- Yes, I am aware that fraudulent and misleading links are rife in Google results but again that is not the subject here.

I must respect the experience of your webmaster regarding the issue of locking threads after a given period of time but what I am saying is that, having been so locked, it is unreasonable to still have these locked pages trawled by spiders so that they still appear in Google (or any other) search engine results.

If ‘locked’ pages are kept on the site thereafter, a ‘No Spider’ type of feature should be used. This is not rocket science !

You want an example ? OK. Here goes –

Many people had dedicated word processors in the 80s and early 90s eg Canon, Brother, Olivetti & Amstrad. Although the original machines may no longer be working (or indeed their owners still be extant), the floppy discs still survive so folks naturally want to recover the potentially very valuable text from them. To put one such floppy into Windows and be greeted by the utterly reprehensible “this disc is not formatted – do you want to format it now” is by no means uncommon so hopefully they turn to the Internet for advice and enlightenment rather than agreeing to Windows’ suggestion (!)

Type in “Canon Starwriter” to (say) Google. Result ….

Canon Starwriter floppies - Computing.Net
www.computing.net › Forums › Office Software › General
3 posts - 2 authors - 2 Apr 2009
Hi, In the early 90s I spent a lot of time working on a CANON Starwriter word processor. From this time I have around 6 floppy discs, the ...
Conversion program needed for Canon Starwrite‎ - 3 posts - 17 Feb 2011
Canon starwriter display query‎ - 2 posts - 7 Apr 2005
old files and XP‎ - 1 post - 6 Jan 2004
File transfer from old Smith Corona?‎ - 3 posts - 26 May 2002
More results from computing.net »

As I do hope that you will now see, some of the responses to these posts are wrong, unreasonable or plain stupid, particularly when one of the main problems with discs from older Starwriter models can be solved with a sticky label and a pair of scissors. Real hi-tech !

To reiterate then, these posts, some over 10 years old, are still coming up today on Google and people who are desperate to recover valuable data from their old discs are still being confronted with misleading advice which cannot be corrected. It is thus my simple but serious contention that once a thread is locked, the page should no longer be spidered.

Report •

March 10, 2013 at 18:52:42
You complain of locked threads and then put forward an even worse idea--you want a practical ban on the viewing of all locked threads, which of course will include the ones with worthwhile information too. Boy, that'll teach 'em to lock threads!

If you have a better solution than what is posted in a locked thread then just post your input in a new one, add a few key words that google will pick up and link to the old thread so people will know your answer is better.

Now isn't that simple? And it doesn't even require the internet equivalent of book burning that you advocate.

Report •

March 30, 2013 at 10:20:59
It is an unfortunate fact of life that old forum threads often contain false or misleading information. Leaving these threads unlocked would leave open the possibility that these errors could be corrected. It is always a good thing for errors to be corrected. But as the administrator of this forum has said that doesn't solve the problem but in fact makes it worse. From my experience on this and other forums I must agree. Many a seemingly good idea falls flat when it confronts the real world.

It has been proposed that these old threads be barred from being accessed by search engine spiders. That would appear to mitigate the problem - but at what cost. Are we to bar access to all older threads, many of which contain valuable information, simply because of the possibility they may contain errors? That would seem rather extreme.

But the problem of threads containing false information isn't confined to older threads. As an example assume a thread last updated a week ago contains incorrect or harmful advice. The errors may well be corrected tomorrow, but that does no good for someone finding the thread today. Or a thread posted today contains illegal content and hasn't yet been found by a moderator, but has already been found by a search engine. I have seen Google hits on forum posts as little as 15 minutes old. How are we to solve that problem?

One could easily make the case that older threads are more accurate because more time has been available to correct errors they may contain.

Report •

Ask Question