Flag duplicate threads for merger

 

Ideas: Flag duplicate threads for merger

Recently there have been a spate of threads being created around the same time around the same discussion topic - for example these:
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11380786.htm
https://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11380799.htm

In this case, one thread was created from a news article posted on the front page and the other by a user directly posting a link to the article on the original article in question. This clogs up the forums and disjoints actual discussion.

This duplication of threads can also occur when there is a long-running, existing thread on a topic (such as Inland Rail) and people creating new threads as further news articles on the topic occur do not bother to search for existing topics. In this case, the merger of the 'news article discussion' thread with the existing topic would provide extra context to those unfamiliar with the topic at hand.

There are several possible ways to remedy this issue:

  • An 'existing thread merger' flag for reports so that moderators can merge the threads if necessary. The description of the flag would ask the reporter to add a link to the existing thread.
  • An 'existing thread' button similar to the herring button that would open a dialogue box to ask the user to post a link to an existing topic
  • Enable other users to point a news article to an existing discussion thread. Currently only the original article poster can do this, but it is often ignored.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
I like this idea. This would allow discussion of a certain topic to be consolidated into one thread. Perhaps do it as part of the 'Report post' function?

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  freightgate Minister for Railways

Location: Albury, New South Wales
Are you proposing to merge two threads on the basis of date and time for each post. In chronological order ?
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
To merge a thread by post date is trivial, but will result in a very disjointed discussion - we will not compose merged threads so that they make sense. For this reason alone we've never built such a feature, despite how many times it's come up.
  railblogger Chief Commissioner

Location: At the back of the train, quitely doing exactly what you'd expect.
To merge a thread by post date is trivial, but will result in a very disjointed discussion - we will not compose merged threads so that they make sense. For this reason alone we've never built such a feature, despite how many times it's come up.
michaelgreenhill
Should not need to do that - as stated in the idea there are other ways this could be achieved.
  LancedDendrite Chief Commissioner

Location: Gheringhap Loop Autonomous Zone
Most of the time, we're talking about threads with very low post counts. Sometimes they are being made instead of posting in an existing larger thread. Simply moving the OP of the offending thread to an existing one might suffice in most circumstances - or concatenating it to the existing thread.
Another alternative is to lock the offending thread and post a notice redirecting the reader to an existing thread.
  michaelgreenhill Administrator That's Numberwang!

Location: Melbourne
Another alternative is to lock the offending thread and post a notice redirecting the reader to an existing thread.
LancedDendrite
Such a system is also fairly trivial to implement, and would be my preferred option.
  8077 Chief Train Controller

Location: Crossing the Rubicon
Such a system is also fairly trivial to implement, and would be my preferred option.
michaelgreenhill

Sounds like an easy idea to implement.  Can we fix other issues first please?  The site is very slow at the moment.

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