Commenting in an old thread would be acceptable if you had some new relevant information regarding its topic

I was suspended without warning for replying to a comment in an old thread. The quote above is part* of the official response I received from a staff member. I am making this thread as a (suggestion to add this information to / warning to others because it isn't mentioned in the) rules or FAQ.

Edit: Here's the offending comment for context
Edit 2: Thanks to eeev for additional context
Edit 3: More context*

4 days ago*

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It's not overly emphasized in the rules or FAQ because it's something which is considered to be obvious [to the typical individual]. Likewise, the site rules are already pretty open about being opposed to spam (while it isn't clear that the chat rules apply to the core site, spam is listed under the list of causes for suspension) [though those are admittedly a bit hidden]. Similarly, the disdain the community has for necroing has been fairly easy to take notice of, ever since the major increase in necroing maybe a year or so ago.

Unless staff has [finally] started cracking down on necroing, they only suspend necroing users when they do something especially egregious [such as spam-necroing or necroing with advertisements]. Of course, whether it's necroing an old thread or posting a new one, if it works against the best interests of the site (in maintaining a healthy, relevant* forum) you're risking suspension, even if it's something that is usually let slide.

*[Goofy stuff engages the community, outdated stuff does not. Not all necroed threads are outdated, but whimsical necroing comes across as deliberately counterconstructive misbehavior. If you want to bump a thread because you're updating the progression of a developing situation, or want to build off previous discussion points, that's typically agreeable. If you want to bump a thoroughly well-aged thread to banter with someone or post a meme or reignite drama or so forth, not so much.]

I'm not saying it wouldn't be of benefit for the rules to state such details more explicitly, nor am I arguing the utility of pushing the recommendation that such be done. None of my above statements were there to argue that the rules couldn't use polishing; Rather, the point was just to clarity that a suspension over this matter isn't something that came out of nowhere.

What I am saying is that it can't be held against staff if they suspend someone after that individual acts in a manner that is clearly inappropriate (even if the inappropriateness is of a level which is typically overlooked). Of course, that's the considerations to work with if you were suspended with legitimate cause. Else, your topic wouldn't really be about site rules, but about staff professionalism.

In short, it is useful to have the proper context for a situation when it is brought up for discussion.

In any case, given all the other minor updates of that sort that've been backlogged for ages and have been brought up via similar requests, a thread asking for such polish for any specific thing will just comes across as another meaningless thread to clutter the forums, to be buried under the mountain of things cg will likely never get to. Rather than that, a condensed "what guidelines still need polish" thread would be a more effective option.

4 days ago*
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I added a link to my crime, you can use your judgement on whether it's "especially egregious" or not. I asked the staff for what specifically was not welcome on the site and that is where the quote comes from.

4 days ago
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That gives the impression of a rather deliberate troll bump to me, so I can't exactly blame staff for coming to the same conclusion. Nor can I fault them for deciding that even if it was a mistake, the circumstances still place fault on you to the point where the suspension is excusable regardless of intent. You can't exactly associate that with any general site policy, since you engaged in a rather specific act of necroing a thread from nearly 3 years ago just to offer a gag or, alternatively, mildly pester a user (regardless of if it was well-intentioned or not). Neither interpretation has much merit.

That said, if you- for some reason- have difficulty keeping tracking of whether you're in a new or old thread, you should help us in pestering cg to finally add in thread auto-closing [where a thread automatically closes after (for example) 6 months, while still allowing the creator to reopen it]. It's a very common forum feature, after all- which is no surprise given the benefit it offers in completely locking out the most severe instances of necroing.

4 days ago*
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The point his post made was valid. The fact that nobody had made it earlier doesn't make it invalid, let alone offensive. If the issue is with contaminating the active thread list, I think that artificially manipulating the active thread list with spam "BUMP" posts is far more offensive.

4 days ago
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The point he made was valid, but replying to a 2-year-old comment does not make it useful or helpful. There's no good reason that I can think of to say "trading is not allowed" in reply to a 2-year-old comment.

I don't think Robby should have been suspended for it, though. I think a warning would have sufficed.

3 days ago
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Well if it's true, then that's bullshit. I do hope it was a one-time error on the part of an overzealous moderator and not something users will get banned for from now on.

Gotta love how toxic users and rule breakers are rarely punished, but you write one completely innocent comment and you get suspended (happened to me before, for a comment that indirectly mentioned trading, in a context where it was relevant). Another reason to stay as far away from the SG discussions as humanly possible :/

Oh yeah, and prepare for a blacklist shitstorm. People here are extremely touchy about their beloved moderators.

4 days ago
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That's literally the policy of every single forum/board out there (maybe except 4chan)! :P

4 days ago
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I'm not a user of other forums and I am not familiar with their customs

4 days ago
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Ignorance of "rules" doesn't mean you're free to break them.

4 days ago
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I dislike necros as much as the other guy, but since there is no written rules it just makes RobbyRatpoison's plead more relevant, since he is exactly asking so that they put it explicitly as a rule.
You know, more information should always be better. No harm there from what I see.

4 days ago*
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Exactly

4 days ago
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Well you could have used some common sense too, without knowing the specific rule.
Do you think it would be a good idea if a forum would be full of comments with people informing others about their minor wrongdoings several years earlier? Would you like to be informed that you sinned by necroing the other thread, in 2021?

4 days ago*
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why not? it would feel more like thanksgiving with the family.

3 days ago
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Eh, more like "most". The big forum I cut my tooth many years ago on actually had a strict low thread count policy to mitigate duplicate ones, so the strict rule there was to necro stuff if your comment is relevant to its topic.
(To be frank, I still prefer that method over combing through 742352356 near-identical threads to hope one of them has an answer.)

4 days ago
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but it would be okay if you had spammed "BUMP" frequently enough beforehand?

4 days ago
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I've never seen a forum banning for necro. Usually the person who necro'ed ends up being gently (somewhat ^^) made fun of, people post a few pictures like the one below, and the thread goes back to sleep (or sometimes gets locked, depending on the forum and if things go South)

Still, I can't deny that necro'ing just for the sake of calling someone out on the rules was quite ironic...

Edit: also like @talgaby, I've seen some forums where reviving old threads was pretty much mandatory as opposed to create a new one on the same topic.

View attached image.
3 days ago
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A Overreaction from a staff member from my point of view (based on the provided infos here) AND based on the thought that you are not a "alltime rulebreaker" that are under special rules by his posts.

A bit bad that it isn't clear in the rules and/or FAQ's.

It give really bigger problems at sg as a little joke or a conincidence necroing of a thread.

4 days ago
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Well, that seems extremely heavy-handed. It's not like you spammed crap or just posted a smiley. While necroing an old thread can be annoying it also can be an honest mistake. Oh well, maybe it's time to reevaluate your generosity here.

4 days ago
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I actually saw your original comment after you posted it. I thought you were being extremely helpful, as there was a mod who was going around doing the same thing you did there. If anything you should have been asked to come on board as a moderator, not suspended.

It would be great if this was marked as an official rule, as sometimes it can be funny to revive an old thread as part of a joke. Or perhaps, if it is an official policy, threads that haven't had a reply in more than 6 months can be shut down automatically.

4 days ago
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How was commenting two and a half years after the fact that they shouldn't mention trades extremely helpful? Also, in his own post he mentioned trades which is something someone should not do, at least according to his own post.

4 days ago
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Well yeah, not particularly helpful, I'll agree, but it is what a mod was doing at the same time.

4 days ago
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Exactly. Here's the relevant comment you're referring to. I was warned for a breaking some new arbitrary rule that was the fad of the week two months after posting the comment.

4 days ago
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Yeah and I think it wasn't the only case. I just remember when I saw Robbie's comment, I "got" the joke.

4 days ago
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While it is pretty pointless to point out a mistake someone made a couple years ago, I do find it surprising that's a suspension-worthy offense.

That said, I hope someone finds this thread in two years and comments ;)

4 days ago
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You shouldnt be suspended for necro if its relevant. But the way you did it , lol :)

4 days ago
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Wouldnt be more useful If the mod closes the thread? considering that there´s no use in commenting anymore.
Guy makes a mistake and gets suspended X days, but the thread still open. Seems pretty unfair to me.

4 days ago
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As I recall, [Support] members can't close threads, only [Moderators] and [SuperModerators] can.
So the individual in question may not have had the power to do so. Moreover, closing any single thread won't exactly resolve anything. The issue is that threads don't auto-close, there's far too much there to expect staff to manually address anything. Likewise, most necroing of late has been blatantly intentional, so it wouldn't have mattered much if some portion of threads were closed, as another thread presumably would have been chosen in their place.

Also, the thread may still have further utility, and the thread also didn't break any rules. Claiming "unfairness" is just completely inapt. If you want to argue the effectiveness of the approach, that may work, but the only element that required resolution at the time was the behavior of the OP.

Besides, it seemed rather deliberate and out of place to be a mistake and, further, some degree of punishment is expected for any mistake to begin with, unless one has lived a rather generous lifestyle. This isn't throwing someone in jail, which is inherently cruel, this is just slapping them on the wrist with a newspaper. It's offensive and insulting if someone is coming out of noewhere to do it, but if you know why it's happening and know it's being done with proper intent to maintain order, there's really not much to argue against.

4 days ago*
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I still think the support guy overreacted, a warning would been enough, I had a similar experience in the past but SG users were the ones that warned me about necroing, I didn´t even knew what the hell It was. I also feel like there were some really tough support guys in the past, I saw It with one of my WL members, he did one single mistake and he was banned for good. Seems like each have their own criteria when It comes to sanctions. There´s nothing written so we can at least have an idea and prevent ourselves (Just like happened here). That seems unfair to me.

Your first 2 paragraphs were handy.

4 days ago
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It's uncertain if any relevant information regarding a topic will ever surface in the future, so leaving everything open might prove useful. Also there's no need to close a bumped topic, people will stop commenting and it will disappear from view soon anyway.

4 days ago
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You replied to a 2 years old thread, there is really no reason to do so unless there is a relevant new info, like an issue with keys provided in a bundle the thread is about or something. Banining you was probably too harsh but understandable As well.

4 days ago
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Banning for "necroing" is stupid.
If posting to old threads is such an atrocity, why don't you (= the staff) just automatically delete all threads after some period of time?

4 days ago
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Deleting is a bit extreme, but closing them would work.

4 days ago
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I completely agree. There should be an automatic closure procedure. E.G.: 1 month without comment = automatic closure.

4 days ago
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No, bundle threads get new relevant info months or years later about keys getting added or revoked

4 days ago
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Do those Bundle threads commnonly stay those months or years without any receiving any new comments?

4 days ago
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usually yes

4 days ago
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I am sure it is easy to handle the "Deals" Section different to the rest of the forum if it will get some automatic functions

4 days ago
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While yes, we still don't get any automated activation checks which would be far more urgent & useful, and also there are certainty meaningful cases to keep non-deal threads up as well

4 days ago
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Es wird doch so oder so, gar nichts, passieren :-D

4 days ago
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View attached image.
4 days ago
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Bans for doing something that mods themselves have been doing is unacceptable double standards....

On other hand I'm not always against necros... As they can raise the existing issues again... Refering to one of my slightly old threads...

4 days ago
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Wow, thats an incredibly stupid rule. Even if you resurrected old topic how long its going to be bumped? Like minutes probably, no reason to suspend for it

4 days ago
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I've never understood what's so taboo about necro-bumping. If someone's trolling, then yeah it's obnoxious, but what, I'm not allowed to share my thoughts on something simply because I wasn't around when the discussion was started?

One of my first posts in here was a necro-bump. I wanted to share my PC build, and creating my own thread just to show off my specs seemed foolish, since I knew such threads would already exist. I bumped one that was very old, because it was the only one I found that was specifically for people that had put together their own machine. I got the handful of "OMG NECROMASTER" comments, but then 25 other people came in and shared their builds. I thought that was pretty cool. If those people hadn't joined in though, would I too have gotten a temporary suspension?

I was a member in another video game forum not too long ago that had a small but loyal community. Due to the small number of us, it would get very dead at times. One day, after nearly 10 hours of no one posting, someone created 3 threads in a row, each one of them being interesting and on-point. Two of the founding members proceeded to chastise this poor guy for "cluttering up the board." I was awe-struck. I stayed around that forum for another 6 months, and I never saw a post from that individual again. Frightened/shamed away, simply for wanting to contribute.

"Our house, our rules. Respect them." I absolutely agree with that, but sometimes the rules can be a little batshit.

4 days ago
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Necroing causes a lot of people to waste their time reading a post from months or years before that holds no relevance whatsoever. Rarely the new comment is useful, but even then I would prefer if a new post is made because then only new information is posted and the reader doesn't have to peruse the whole topic only to see the relevant content.

4 days ago
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That's a valid point. I guess I'm just not as bothered by it as some people. I'd rather be in an environment where people can speak freely in any thread without the fear of banishment looming over their heads. Also, I don't think it's up to you or me to decide what's relevant to other people.

4 days ago
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True, but as someone pointed above there could a mechanism to lock older threads that spend a certain amount of time without receiving any comment.
So relevant or not those new comments would be created in a new thread, in a easy clear and accessible manner. Unless the thread is frequently receiving more comments (like "Orphan keys drop thread" or "Where are those giveaways coming from?").

To me it looks like it would be a very good implementation.

4 days ago
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Agreed that it could be a good implementation. Something worth trying anyway. I'll say this; I'm glad such decisions aren't mine to make. It's impossible to please everyone.

4 days ago
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But even the people implementing it shouldn't worry too much about it, mate. Some get happier and then later they get used to it just as some get sad but later they forget about it. Success is usually obtained by trial and error anyways. :)

4 days ago*
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Thank you for information.

I saw thread that was alive for 4 (!!!) years.
Where're MUST be function that close "old" threads if where's "hidden"* rule. Otherwise it make lot of mess and cases like this. Punishment must have a real reason but not mousetrap - that's why punishment is punishment.

*I mean something without exact definition.

4 days ago*
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What wtf is this crap... it's a trap for...

View attached image.
4 days ago*
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With a name like yours the mods must be watching you very closely for this unwritten rule.

4 days ago
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I don't give a shit about rules or mods...

4 days ago
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Your gif broke rules I guess.

4 days ago
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lol we got the rule police here , get a life guy's , SG is only for dead people.

4 days ago
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don't worry, lately they are on an overzealous quest to suspend people without a valid reason other than what you're told. ^^

enjoy the free days off sg, take it as a blessing to avoid the idiocy around here.

4 days ago
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I always thought of that as an unspoken rule but suspending people for commenting in an old thread seems rather extreme in my book.

4 days ago
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Robby, Steamgifts is notorious for enforcing "rules" that aren't actually written down anywhere.

Asking for the official site rules to be updated is a nice thought, but don't hold your breath.

4 days ago
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If I've been a member for 4 months and this is the first example I've seen of enforcing unwritten rules. Does that make me lucky or am I just not reading the right forum posts on this topic? BTW I do check most forums daily.

4 days ago
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It's not always discussed at length in a thread like this one; sometimes it's just a quick comment or two.

4 days ago
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Does that make me lucky

yes

am I just not reading the right forum posts

yes, the fun zone starts at page 488

4 days ago
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Oooh so many threads to necro... ;D

4 days ago
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Actually I was rather referring to the already closed threads starting there.

4 days ago
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EVIL. I like it :-D

4 days ago
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Wow, as someone with the skill level of a noob and/or uninformed elderly person on the internet even after 20 years of being on it, I'm glad that today I found out that this type of thing can actually get you suspended.

(edited badly used words)

4 days ago*
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Hahaha, kindred spirit! Yeah, I thought it was a 'you'll be glared at for five minutes straight' kind of rule and not an 'INSTANT SUSPEND HAMMER' rule.

We were naive ;-;

4 days ago
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Robby, I have some bad news -- you could probably be suspended again, because technically you "called out" someone (yourself) for breaking a rule, and "calling out" is against the rules...

:D

4 days ago
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On meta level there is one question? Does it ever end?

4 days ago
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Are you calling me out?!

4 days ago
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Hmm... I guess technically I did call you out...

And then by pointing that out, you called me out...

And now by pointing that out, I've called you out again...

4 days ago
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Please stop it, my head already hurts

4 days ago
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You're allowed to call out if there was previous topical reference to the matter, or if the individual is a public figure and you are addressing them within the behaviors they have presented within their role as a public figure. In short, Robby needs to spam call himself out to the point where they become recognizably famous online for being someone who calls themself out, thereby gaining immunity to calling themself out on this site. Genius.

I mean, you're also allowed to call someone out with their permission, so the real question is why Robby never permitted themself to call themself out in the first place.. :P

4 days ago*
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There are multiple competing "issues" contributing to this subject:

  • OPs very rarely lock their posts

  • Thread necromancy when not completely relevant to the current time is frowned upon at best or receives suspension at worst, but IMO OP's necro was completely unnecessary calling out a trade reference in a 2 year old comment - Why not leave that to mods? (A common exception to unwritten rule: A past bundle with its own thread in Deals occurs again)

  • If thread locking were to increase or becomes enforced after threads reach a certain age (created or updated), are we ok with people having to recreate threads for every time when necro is completely relevant (see above example)?

A mix of solutions are available:

  • Don't thread necro unless completely relevant to the current time

  • Encourage OPs to lock posts after comment activity dies down

  • SG could add a brief guideline on thread necro

  • After a thread has been created or not updated in X days/months, then threads are auto locked. This may slightly encourage bump spam closer to X timeframe.

4 days ago
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I think it should be that threads that haven't had a new comment in 6 months should be soft locked, with an option for the OP to open them again.
So it would allow deals threads to be reopened if a key has been revoked or the bundle is being repeated, but would also stop random bumps to really old topics. Active threads wouldn't be closed, because it would take 6 months with zero comments for them to be locked.

4 days ago
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That would require OP to be always around and be aware of the new info, which is not viable

4 days ago
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Are you really sitting here trying to tell us that it's okay to bump a two year old thread so you can engage in backseat modding?

I'd give you a second, longer suspension for this post if I were in charge, because you know what you did was stupid and this is just willful ignorance at this point.

4 days ago
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Then why don't you ask to be modded? That way, you'll be able to actually abuse vague rules instead of making empty threats!

shut up

4 days ago
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Why are you mad at me again?

4 days ago
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To be fair, that was an unjustifiable reason to necro. I'm typically fine with necros if there's a good reason to do so, such as ask a question/bring back life to a thread rather than create a new one - Responding to a 2 years old comment with something as unnecessary as the website rules, seemingly as a "backseat" moderator, is not something I can defend comfortably as I dislike this sort of practice.

Now, with that said, I do not agree with your suspension - I think it was unjustified unless you went around needlessly necroing multiple threads (as it falls within the spam rule), which, as far as I can tell from your description of the event, was not the case. I don't agree with your behaviour in the linked thread, but while I understand that moderation sometimes requires judgement calls without always following the exact website guidelines, your suspension was definitely uncalled for. If necroing isn't allowed, then the guidelines should be updated to reflect that. If it isn't, than there should be no suspensions - At most, a warning could have been provided in the form of a simple reply.

Some of the support/mods on SG tend to get pretty gung-ho with the moderation, and I too have, in the past, been subject to actions being taken that were not within the website guidelines - After disputing the moderator's decision with other support members via a support ticket, it was agreed that they (the mod in question) acted outside of the regulations, and the actions taken against my content was reverted - No harm done, but just to say it does tend to happen occasionally, unfortunately.

4 days ago*
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If necroing isn't allowed, then the guidelines should be updated to reflect that.

That's not really how this site works, though...

4 days ago
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Meaning?

4 days ago
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Meaning the site guidelines don't get updated very often.

4 days ago
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No need for it to be updated if no new rules are added - The case here is mostly that a suspension was handed out for something that doesn't really break any of the rules, more than that necroing is now disallowed but the guidelines were not updated.

With that said, I'm gradually more inclined to believe OP was suspended for spamming/trolling by the look of it.

4 days ago
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just out of curiosity, why did you decide to write that in that thread in the first place? you didn't notice it was 2 years old? which is kinda weird because you surely had to find that thread first or?

4 days ago
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Thanks for asking, I added a link to eeev's comment that provides more context. Posting in an old thread was part of the joke. Unfortunately the comment was deleted so it doesn't look like a joke, but the user clearly had no intention of trading via SG so it was more obvious that I wasn't being serious at the time.

4 days ago
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I suspect that a big part of the reason you were suspended was the context. The mods were likely a little sensitive about the ridiculous "now you can't even mention the word trade" thing that was going on, so if your comment was related to that, it makes more sense why you were suspended.

4 days ago
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