Discuss moving off-topic posts to a new thread

Noone is saying not to discuss other things, just that it shouldn’t be that someone has to fight their way through 20 off-topic posts to find the 5 posts scattered between the off-topic posts that actually contribute to what that person wants to know.

I see what you did there. LOL.

You just need a ‘sort ascending’ option (i.e. sort in the opposite order to whatever gives what you are apparently not wanting).

Thank you for the information. I was on the verge of suggesting exactly this feature before you posted about it, but I was too tired to write coherently. It’s not at all obvious to me that the little arrow thing is a button with a menu. (Especially since its tooltip is “null”.)

I think this is often the reason threads go off-topic. The poster might know they are going slightly off-topic, but within the realms of acceptability. It is not worth starting a new thread for the original remark. But then, unexpectedly, dozens of other people pile on, responding to that remark. It’s difficult to anticipate when a remark might blow up out of proportion.

A cool feature might be the ability to mark sections of your own posts as off-topic, so that if anyone tries to reply to your post without quoting an on-topic section of it, or quoting an off-topic section of it, they will receive an firm suggestion to start a new thread. In the editor, the feature could be called “off-topic reply barrier” or something like that, and applied the same way as emphasis.

What about adding another icon beside the like icon which symbolises a tangent, meaning a post has gone off-topic? It functions similarly, allowing people with sufficient permissions to flag posts as off-topic x times per day, or whatever the criteria is. In my mind this allows a few benefits :

  • Everyone can visually identify off-topic posts
  • Moderators have an easier time considering what is off-topic by how many people have flagged it
  • A filter could be added to hide off-topic banter for anyone looking to follow the only discussion to the solution
  • This allows for everyone to show both how much they like particular off-topic additions

Going further with this, there could be something in your preferences that allows you to set a threshold for how many off-topic flags something needs to get for it to apply to your filter. This could include zero, which implies disabling it completely.

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@tracy I’m having a cognitive dissonance telling me to not lean into this while I’m leaning into an off-topic reply to a post about off-topic posting. Did the mathematical convolution come naturally to you? The hook that you got me with was I don’t know what Top v. Bottom Posting is. I’m sure I should have asked the Internet, but here we are. :expressionless:


I just think your idea of modifying the solution tag (and people can sort ascending within those results when they search them for quick results (?)) is far superior.

It’s easy, back in the day when list-servers were big, discussion replies were emailed back and forth to a central server for distribution to subscribers.

It became a debate over decorum whether the text of your reply was placed at the bottom of quoted threads or at the top. Called “top posting” or “bottom posting”.

Since this forum automates the process, no one thinks of it now. Since we scroll down, responses on this forum would be considered “bottom posted” as with most other forums. (Bottom posting seems to have won the argument.)


or you can do a quick ctrl + F and do an “off-topic” search just in case someone uses that word in their own post …

Seems like posts are now getting flagged for being off-topic, so now we have censorship of a sort. Wonder how long that’ll take to get out of hand…

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Oh, now I remember. It seemed like Microshaft Outlook users replies were all top-posting, and it would make it difficult to review a long thread with multiple replies. You would have to read down for a while, but not too far, then jump upwards, but not too far, then start reading down again, GOTO 1000.

I remember when I was tuning in somebodies Outlook Express and found all the settings which included the default to top-post and the option to bottom-post. Default settings can be evil. :hear_no_evil:


Absolutely yes, especially where Microsoft is concerned.

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let’s please NOT do them the honor of using their real name here on Purism forum … i like the name @merupp used … Microshaft … it’s got a unique balls tingling to it …

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I’ve been calling them Microshaft since at least the late 1980s.

And their products: Microshaft Orifice consisiting of Microshaft Turd, Microshaft Excrement, Microshaft Powerhog, and then who can forget the Internet Exploder?


I miss the good old days when we knew who was the evil empire. Today, we have to worry about Goolag, Facespook, and virtually every other company that wants to give us some service for “free”.


And all the letter ‘S’ on the third syllable were turned into a dollar sign.

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thanks guys, this was a perfect demonstration how useless off-topic moderation is :slight_smile: I’m with you.


Faceborg. You will be assimilated.

now that is just spitefull AND off-topic. we should stop this BEFORE we get assimilated. :wink:

I just remembered their is a rollup type feature for excessive details and post/reply readability. Perhaps it could be cultured into the community that when hyjacking a thread, it must be done with a content warning type statement and a details hiding for the content.