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Zombie threads - WHY do people start them up?!

(102 Posts)
TeethDrama Sat 14-Jan-17 23:28:04

Recently there's been (it seems to me) a load of threads which are resurrected zombie threads.

How far back in the pages do you have to go to find a thread from 2009?

Even if one comes up via a search - why would you pick on up from (say) 2010 and post as if it is a current problem?

What kind of MNetter does this?! grin

If you are one of those MNetters who does this. Why?!

HelenaWay Sat 14-Jan-17 23:35:39

I've noticed it's mainly new posters who resurrect these threads.

Sparklingbrook Sat 14-Jan-17 23:38:09

They stumble across them while googling I think. Then for unknown reasons start them up again.

A lot of it is Spam though.

It's quite funny when a 10 pager from 2010 gets bumped and people don't RTFT and start responding to the OP. especially when it's a school problem. grin

JellyMouldJnr Sat 14-Jan-17 23:38:20

I think mainly people do an internet search and the thread comes up, so they reply without realising how old it is. Once someone's done that it turns up in active threads and it's fair game to respond.

DrivingMeBonkers Sat 14-Jan-17 23:39:56

Because the regular posters sarcastically mention the topic is done to death and scare off new posters? They in turn look for a similar situation to post on?

Ohdearducks Sat 14-Jan-17 23:41:28

I don't notice dates until it's too late, I've not resurrected one yet but have inadvertently posted on some that have been resurrected.
I used to find the little Zombie pictures helpful but they seem to have disappeared. I have to train myself to look at dates grin

Manumission Sat 14-Jan-17 23:42:06

I don't know. They never tell you when you ask them, either smile

VonHerrBurton Sat 14-Jan-17 23:46:52

Exactly, DrivingMe. Especially on Aibu. If you're new it must be quite something to feel the virtual eye rolling from regulars when innocently asking something!

VonHerrBurton Sat 14-Jan-17 23:49:14

Manumission - when asked WHY and they don't reply, it's probably because they're embarrassed. I would be if I inadvertently and innocently pissed people off!smile

Awwlookatmybabyspider Sat 14-Jan-17 23:49:36

My guess is that people Google randomly for advice, and stumble upon threads and maybe don't think to check the age of the thread.

ScarletSienna Sat 14-Jan-17 23:52:14

I don't understand why some people get so cross that someone has posted on an old thread, so cross that they go onto it to say how ridiculous it is etc.

Sugarlightly Sat 14-Jan-17 23:53:57

A lot of it is people commenting "this is a zombie thread". Just ignore it, move on xx

DoloresTheRunawayTrain Sun 15-Jan-17 00:01:34

A lot of forums in general frown upon multiple threads being started concerning the same or a similar topic. I've noticed a few snippy remarks from admins on them to search the site for the topic they wish to post about and post there rather than start a new thread. This seems to be the prevailing etiquette, MN seems to be in the minority with its style.

TeethDrama Sun 15-Jan-17 00:01:52

They are just so annoying. Especially when you've taken the time to post something thoughtful to find you're only, ooh, 8 years too late grin

CherryChasingDotMuncher Sun 15-Jan-17 00:10:01

Someone must have had their child's school raise an attendance issue as I've noticed 3 zombie threads about attendance resurrected tonight!

marylennoxwasanaspie Sun 15-Jan-17 00:10:42

I really think it's not beyond the wit of any techie to make any thread that hasn't been added to in the last week read-only. But then MNHQ logic on this sort of thing has always been a bit odd.

PidgeyfinderGeneral Sun 15-Jan-17 00:18:20

Given the number of current posters who appear to be incapable of reading a thread to see if there have been updates, it's hardly surprising that new members don't either.

Though in fairness, not all forums are quite as draconian as MN about older threads being resurrected. I've never seen anywhere else where people get quite so angry about it.

HotchPotchLollipop Sun 15-Jan-17 00:30:15

Maybe they find those threrads interesting? I don't have a problem with it. Of course some threads are so out of date it seems pointless, but ones created within weeks or months, or if they relevant to the poster's own life/interests.views etc I can't see anything wrong with it. I have trouble understanding why people on MN and other forums find it so upsetting tbh. Wish someone would enlighten me.

saoirse31 Sun 15-Jan-17 00:33:33

Why does anyone care? Seriously. I like them, something about this major or minor issue that's of massive importance and suddenly u realise it was ten yrs ago...and is therefore all resved. Its calming surely.

HotchPotchLollipop Sun 15-Jan-17 00:36:58

Having said all that, there is a thread from years ago which I wish I had the courage to resurrect simply because it is so baffling. This OP was saying "her OH was doing T-Rex in the supermarket." It had me baffled and intrigued. What is T-Rex? Some kind of dinosaur dance? And why was OP complaining about it? I think the thread dated back a long time, from my lurker days, but I am longing to find out if anyone did discover what the OP was on about? I have the obsessive type of brain that harps on about this kind of random trivia. I hope I manage to sleep tonight with the curiosity and frustration eating away at me!

plimsolls Sun 15-Jan-17 00:46:14

I think MN is slightly unusual in how angry people get when old threads are resurrected.

Sometimes it's obvious someone has googled an issue they need advice on and found an old MN thread. They've then just posted on it to add to it, presumably thinking that anyone who is online will have a look at their latest post respond if they have anything else useful to offer. I think MN is unusual (not necessarily bad!) in that threads are seen as much more tied to the OP and cease to be relevant after a short period of time.

I also think that new users won't always intuitively understand that MN etiquette is not to post on old threads. The Zombie type warning doesn't make that clear. The old warning that said "warning zombie thread" was meaningless unless you knew what zombie meant. The news warning that "this thread hasn't been posted on for a while" could be interpreted as a warning that your addition may not get noticed, not that other forum uses will be annoyed because they no longer consider the previous posts relevant so you shouldn't post on it.

HotchPotchLollipop Sun 15-Jan-17 00:53:44

plimsolls I at first used to think zombie thread actually meant it had something to do with zombies? Am I the only one who was that daft?

Cornettoninja Sun 15-Jan-17 08:14:50

Adding to previous posters - MN is an anomaly in forum etiquette on this one in my experience. A lot of forums don't like multiple threads started on the same subject and would rather people add to an already existing conversation.

To be mumsnetters don't like multiple threads on the same subject either but would much rather moan about it grin

longdiling Sun 15-Jan-17 08:23:00

It is normally new posters. That part doesn't bug me, its a simple mistake and I can see how it's done. It's the people who post on it without reading any of the thread and then give the op the benefit of their completely uninformed opinion 6 years too late.

LostSight Sun 15-Jan-17 08:30:47

I posted on one last night, having read the full thread. The date is fairly small and I didn't notice when it had been posted until after I had responded. By the time I had written my post, I had cross posted with someone else who pointed out it was a zombie thread. But it wasn't that obvious before I began.

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