When should we close topics? (autoclose?)

I have a question to the more experienced forum users here. When seeing this topic I thought that it would be OK to close it as the problem is now solved. That’s at least what I would do on GitLab. On the forum, however, we never closed any topic if I remember correctly. Therefore, closing this topic would be kind of inconsistent with our former behavior.

Should we automatically close topics? Arguments in favor of automatically closing topics are for example that old topics that are somehow related to a new post but not really are not spammed but people have to open a new one.

Arguments contra that behavior are topics like F-Droid Contributor Meeting, New UI / UX of F-Droid app and our Maintenance Log that should be kept open for more time. Even if topic in general are automatically closed, I think we can choose single topics to not be affected by this.

The question now is: Should we automatically close topics? When should we close topics? I hope to have some responses of more experienced people. Thank you a lot!

\cc @anon99929151 How do you handle this in other forums?


On the Fairphone forum we generally set each topic to autoclose 6 months after the last reply. IMO the period could be shorter but the “after the last reply” part is important as than active topics stay open forever and it’s rarely necessary to make exceptions.
We then often also close topics manually, e.g. if:

  • It’s a duplicate. We then either move the posts to the other topic or just close and refer to the other topic if the posts wouldn’t add anything there.
  • The issue is solved for OP and the nature of the topic (e.g. title) doesn’t make it very suitable for a general discussion about similar issues. We then also try to link to a relevant open topic.
  • It atracts spam. Usually topics about backing up, wiping or restoring data.

I can’t say much about other forums as I’m not a moderator there, but from what it seems the bigger the forum gets the faster topics will be closed to keep things tidy.

Oh and by the way: Setting all topics to auto close only affects topics created after that. All old topics from before have to be closed manually.


Thank you for your quick reply! I think it’s a good idea to use autoclose to keep things tidy and think this part is important:

Which value to you recommend for the time to autoclose? I’m thinking of one month, but maybe that’s too quick or still to long. I would appreciate your opinion on this :+1:

I agree.

This one I don’t understand. Why does some topics attract spam? Because the topics are that general that spam posts are easy to write with high potential that it will not be marked as spam?

Aaah, really? Isn’t there any option to apply this backwards? I will investigate this when I enable autoclose.

I only have experience with six months. I’m guessing that if it’s one month we do have to make some exceptions for topics that should stay open and we’ll probably manually reopen some topics if they come up again. It’s probably best to just pick and try and then adjust if we feel it’s not quite right.

No, it’s just that a very high percentage of spam posts in the Fairphone forum are about some data recovery tools so those topics are usually where they get posted. Obviously we don’t close them before OP gets a satisfactory answer - unless they are the spammer themselves. :wink:

Maybe there is by now.

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I have now set it to automatically close topics after 60 days, i.e. two months, on all category, except Staff, Wiki and Package Thread. Let’s see how this works.

Ah, thanks for the explanation! I haven’t noticed that any type of topic attracts spam in F-Droid, but we will see.

This goes into the right direction:

I just did it by closing all topics with the last activity happened before Feb 16. If I understand your message and the feature correctly, only newly created topics will be affected, so we will have to handle all topics that are yet available manually? Or will old topics, starting from tomorrow, be closed automatically, too?

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OK, this is exactly what I searched for :stuck_out_tongue:

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Sorry for triple post…


rake topics:apply_autoclose

Applying auto-close to category 'General' ...
    closing old topics:        32 / 32 (100.0%)
    applying auto-close to topics:        63 / 63 (100.0%)

Applying auto-close to category 'Apps' ...
    closing old topics:         3 / 3 (100.0%)
    applying auto-close to topics:        40 / 40 (100.0%)

Applying auto-close to category 'Other languages' ...
    all old topics are closed
    all topics have auto-close applied

Applying auto-close to category 'Anonymous' ...
    all old topics are closed
    applying auto-close to topics:         1 / 1 (100.0%)


Now it says on this topic “This topic will close 2 months after the last reply.”. Discourse is great!

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Hey @NicoAlt, I just reopened https://forum.f-droid.org/t/making-it-easier-for-f-droid-to-package-mozilla-firefox/1649/21becasue I felt the discussion there is still ongoing (if slow).

Hope that’s okay.


This topic was automatically closed 60 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.