Way to prevent new users from bumping old threads?


We have a problem where a new user comes in and posts a reply to an eight-year-old thread instead of starting a new one, even though they had to acknowledge that they're bumping an ancient thread (thanks to an add-on).

Is there any way to prevent this?

All of my new users are in a special usergroup until they get 10 posts, so a usergroup-based solution is fine.

Think about something like this possibly.

Think about something like this possibly.

Thanks. I considered that but there are legitimate reasons to bump old threads so we don’t really want to lock them.
We can't be the only ones having this issue.
  • Human spammer joins. We're fairly good at catching them, but they still get through
  • Human spammer posts in an old thread something that looks legitimate but is just fluff
  • Unaware members see the old post and start posting again because no one looks at the last post date
  • I usually catch the human spammer and spam clean them, but now the old thread has been revived for no good reason
  • If we don't catch the human spammer than they try to come back weeks later and edit their posts (which is why we lock all posts after three days)
Our forum has been live for 20+ years so we have some OLD threads.

Additionally, we sometimes get new users who respond to a 15 year old thread where they ask the OP a question and the OP has literally died.

Yes, we can force new users to posts in a hello node or some such, but that just seems ham-fisted when it should be trivial to make a user group that can only reply in threads younger than X days.
We can't be the only ones having this issue.

You're not. We use this: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/auto-close.5956/

And if a thread should be reopened instead of being a new thread, users can ask mods/admins to do that, or the Mods/Admins can merge it into the older thread and reopen it.

Making it so only a specific group can bump really old threads sounds like it's out of scope and would require a custom addon, if none of these solutions suit you, then go about that solution.
A funny thing I've observed over all my years participating on forums...

If a newbie posts a comment / question on an old thread, they get admonished for "necro-posting."

If the newbie starts a new thread with that same question, they're admonished to "do a search!"

Newbies can't win for losing! Damned if they do. Damned if they don't.
Try this add-on:

I've got a paid add-on around which helps prevent very new users replying to too old threads:

This add-on has a permission around accepting the old thread warning and posting anyway. Virtually all the various options can be configured globally or per-forum or per-thread.

Basically this slots well into using a user-group promotion to give a user full permissions after a day or a few posts.
Is there any way to prevent this?
It's not a problem I have as we prefer people replying to old threads rather than start another one, but I am really surprised that you can't actually do this with batch thread update. I thought you could lock all threads that are not responded to for x months or years. Seems not.
It's not a problem I have as we prefer people replying to old threads rather than start another one, but I am really surprised that you can't actually do this with batch thread update. I thought you could lock all threads that are not responded to for x months or years. Seems not.
Andy has an addon that creates a cron job that does exactly that: https://xenforo.com/community/resources/auto-close.5956/
This is what i do.
I create a new board for all the old threads to go into that is readable when logged in.
But in the section where a particular thread was i make a part 2 or part 3.
Once a certain thread is at a particular page limit i close it and then move it to where the old threads go to.
That works out to be a good thing.
For anyone watching from the future, we mostly solved this by forcing all new members to post in a "New Member Introduction" forum (Thanks XF2 Addons). This has all but stopped the spammers from bumping old threads, and in the two months since implementing this we've had just one post a generic intro and then bump an ancient thread. Between that, forcing new users to read an introductory post (Thanks Ozzy47/au lait) and me getting emailed when old threads get bumped (Thanks AndyB!), it has almost entirely solved the problem.

We may still end up locking threads with no activity over 1Y or something similar, but for now this setup seems to be working. Here's hoping all the (too many) add-ons I have work with 2.3. :)
My solution approached the issue from multiple angles:
  • display warning for replying to threads inactive for more than half a year (OzzMods Old Thread Warning);
  • auto close threads (XF2 Addons Auto Close) with last activity more than 3 years ago, with a very visible "Archived" thread title prefix to make it clear, and instructions to mods on how to open them if someone opens up a new thread that needs to be merged with the old closed one - very unlikely, but just in case;
  • all new users join a group with very limited permissions (no signature, no profile posts, no private messages etc.) and requiring mod/admin approval for their registration and first 5 posts, then they get promoted automatically to regular member with more permissions and no approval needed; just the hours of delay until a mod/admin manually approves a registration takes the spambot out of the waiting loop for using the account to post something;
  • forum is private hosted, but entire traffic passes through CloudFlare, whose Security features are set to block connections from several problematic countries which 1) don't have anything to do with the purpose of the forum and 2) are known spam sources fo spam/proxies/insecure systems; also blocked are the ASNs of a dozen or so cloud providers (sorry, I expect traffic from end users, not from servers in datacenter, and idgaf if people legitimately host their own proxies or whatever to hide their home IP) and completely block TOR;
  • robots.txt is designed to block a few tens of spiders ranging from data harvesters to SEO spam, and those who do not obey the rules get blocked in CloudFlare.
With all the above it's now pretty quiet, and this issue in particular persuaded me to address multiple problems at once.
Learned that new group idea from @Paul B does help but you do get the odd karen complaining of why their posts have to get approved all the time.
To stop the complaints i have rules for new users on what will happen if they decide to complain.
It works as well.
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