Forced (Auto-?)Moderation

Hello 'sourcers,

I would like to raise a question concerning the “auto”-closing of threads. First let me explain where i am coming from, then after that there are some questions.

I am disappointed about the way most threads are now mutilated after a reply has been marked as an answer and seven days nothing has happened. Some times life is more important and an reply takes longer, sometimes time tells truth and the better answer is only to be found some month into future. Stackoverflow is a perfect example for Threads where new Findings display better (newer) Answers, some are given years after the question has been asked. Which is not possible here.

Is the current stance on moderation documented somewhere? I would like to ask because i want to better understand the reasons why a thread is auto-closed. If it is auto-closing at all. What reasons you have for closing threads.

Besides my first stated “if marked reply, wait 7 days then close” there might be other ways to change a thread into the “wait 7 days without activity, then close”-mode

I did not find a fitting category and so chose the most fitting in my opinion.

Please document your reasoning behind this way of handling community activity and re-think its implementation. If possible, make it an optional setting the Thread-Opening-Person can choose (or un-select if default-active)


For referencing specific examples i will be adding a line here when i found another case of mis-moderation by a generic rule. If it helps for nothing more, it is my way of venting.

--- actually this is not a fitting example, please unread it :( leaving it in to not taint the replies
2021-11-15: Noone can add the suggested (hopefully?) created thread to this posting, so after a stream of +1's the trail ends here.


I’m a bit lost here. Your most recent example

  • was not auto-closed, but closed manually after
  • it was flooded by related but ultimate irrelevant requests related to a different product.


sorry ann, you are spot on right with the “was not auto-closed”.

i got carried away by fuming about not being able to reply with a helpful url, still had the auto-moderation on my mind and thought that by marking the last reply as an answer the thread got closed. but actually it was manually closed, i see that now.

Hey Daniel,

Thanks for raising the point.

I hope that I can try to give a little bit of context about why we decided to put this in place – so at least we can start from a shared understanding.

In ~April 2020 we were facing a rather annoying issue where topics that were solved (and were long dormant) would be bumped by users who faced a problem that maybe had the same error message, or looked similar, but were really entirely different and deserving of their own thread.

  • When a thread is marked as solved, SonarSourcers (who respond to the majority of threads) don’t consider that the thread needs any additional attention. It’s also what causes those threads to fall off of any internal tracking solutions teams have for threads they should pay attention to.
  • A thread starts to lose coherency if you are troubleshooting different user’s problems (often slightly different, sometimes very different) in the same thread, long after the initial problem was solved
  • The moderation effort to split/rename/categorize posts is not a huge, but still laborious

In almost all cases, we’d prefer that a user start a new thread (giving us the full context of the issue they have) and link to a previously closed thread as a reference. Closing topics after a set amount of time (after a solution was marked) was a step to drive this behavior.

To us, this behavior helps us manage a community where primarily people are coming with support questions. It’s also, admittedly, defensive – every SonarSourcer who answers on this forum does so “voluntarily” (it’s always secondary to the job of Developer, or PM, etc…). Because of that, we’ve tried to find ways to make an ever-growing community manageable. We have 1 full-time Community Manager as of… last week (it’s me!) and another should be coming soon.

Ideally, we wouldn’t have to act so defensively (which can also sometimes drive the unfortunate behavior of threads being closed too early when a SonarSourcer thinks they’ve provided a solution and there’s no feedback from the user).

So that’s the context for why moderation works this way. Happy for any feedback you have on the points I mentioned here.

1 Like

Congrats, Colin, that is excellent news. :partying_face: :tada: Right now I am not in the mood to reply with a more thoughtful response, but i will surely take the time to do that. It might take some time, though.

As a short insight, after some time has passed, i’d say: There is a balance to be found. (concerning the auto-close-timeperiod, for example)

I’d like to think that every pov mentioned has thougtful reasons that validate its existence :nerd_face: Thank you for laying out your motivations to implement the current solution!