Mopidy Discourse

Auto-closing of topics

Hi,

I see that in many topics we get new posts months or even years after the topic was originally created starting with “I have this problem too”. Quite often, these “me too” posts end up having a separate issue, and are thus just creating noise in otherwise done topics. Optimally, people should create new topics and instead link to any old topics that might be relevant.

In cases like this, moderators are able to split a topic into two topics, but I think that is the last resort, as it requires active work on our part.

Another solution, that should help make this problem smaller, is to auto-close topics, e.g. disabling any further posts. We have a couple of levers to control this.

  • A: When a post is marked as a Solution by the topic creator or a moderator it can be auto-closed a number of hours later.
  • B: Topics can be auto-closed a number of hours after the original post.
  • C: Topics can be auto-closed a number of hours after the last activity.

Currently, the following policy is in action:

  • A: Auto-close 72h after post is marked as a Solution.

Questions:

  • Do we want to adjust the delay from a Solution is marked (A) to auto-close from 72h to something else?
  • Do we want to enact an auto-close policy in general (B or C)?
  • If so, I assume we prefer it to be a number of hours after the last activity (C ), not the original post (B)?
  • If so, how long should we let a topic be open for further discussion before closing it? 3 months? 6 months? 12 months?

For policy B and C, we can control this per category, e.g. auto-close in Q&A, but leave open forever in Ideas and Show and tell.

CC @kingosticks @jjok @adamcik

Can you have more than one policy in place? eg. Close it 72 hours after the solution is marked, or 12 months after the last activity.

Yeah, you can have A at the same time as B or C. A I think is global, while B/C can be configured per category.

This sounds good. Not sure I see the use-case for B. I think C sounds good with either 6 or 12 months. I’m leaning towards 6 months as “me too” replies are usually wrong, old ones even more so.

p.s. Love that that new header with links to the docs (and stuff).

Not sure if this would be possible or feasible, but could there be an automated feature that emails the original poster after 2 weeks or so to ask if the query has been resolved, if it has ask them to return and mark it as the solution. That would clear up quite a few entries.
Also I can’t see how to mark as solution, should there be a bigger button somewhere?

I don’t think there’s any builtin way to send those emails. https://github.com/discourse/discourse-solved describes what toggles we have available to configure this functionality.

Then I suggest we start with this policy:

  • Auto-close 72h after post is marked as a Solution.
  • Auto-close 6 months (4380h) after last activity on post.

Let’s hope Discourse supports processing all the existing posts right away.

2 Likes

I’ve enabled these policies now, but I haven’t seen any indication of it having any effect on existing posts so far. I’ve done some light searching for a way to trigger the closing of old topics, but haven’t found anything yet. I will leave it for now, in case there’s a daily background job or something doing the work.