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Thoughts on cross-posting & reporting it.

Posted 09-19-2011 at 11:08 AM by archtoad6

This was inspired by a recent triple post, & was originally going to be posted in the unclosed duplicate thread. As I got to the end of writing it, I realized that I was becoming guilty of "piling on" & decided to place this here in my blog instead.

<New User>,

Welcome to LQ. I hope you will return soon. If not, then the following may help some other newcomer to avoid your triple posting mistake.

It's obvious from this post <URL removed>:
I only did it because I though it's different forums so people only see and read the ones they are interested on since they are different subforums.After checking through the Internet I understood that this is a complicated problem that could be either due to <distro> version it self, due to wrong instalation or even due to the incompatability of the <brand> netbooks so First I posted on netbooks forum but after going through the site I though it was more appropriate to be on the wireless subforums.Iam really sorry if that caused any inconvinience to you all. It was really an act of desperation and tiredness after 6 hours of trying and I didn't mean to force anyone into this, just in case somebody had an idea I would like to hear it. Goodnight and take care
that you were acting in good faith & w/o any malice. Unfortunately, your good faith doesn't make the mess any easier to clean up.

The relevant rule
  • Do not post the same discussion in more than one forum. Duplicate discussions can be frustrating for other members. Try and pick the most relevant forum for your post. If you are unsure put it in Linux - General.

How to fix a mistake
As you found out, cross -- i.e. double or duplicate -- posting is a no-no. What the above rule doesn't say is that if you feel that you originally posted in the wrong place, the correct cure is to report your own post to be moved to the forum you prefer. Every post has a "Report" button in its lower right corner. Click it to get to the report dialog.

The idea of keeping the discussion in one place should be obvious, at least once it's mentioned. What isn't obvious, unless you're a moderator tasked w/ cleaning up after a cross-poster, is how much work it is to fix problems like this:
  1. We have to find all the duplicates.
  2. We have to find all the reports of the duplicates.
  3. We have to decide which one should live (not get closed).
  4. We have to close all the others.
  5. We have to resolve all the reports of the duplicates.
  6. In the process, we have to make sure we don't step on each other's toes & close everything.
The worst case I have seen in my 9 months of moderating was a quadruple post in 4 fora which had no moderators in common. Trust me, it was a nightmare.

BTW, IMO, a triple post is 3 times as difficult to fix as a double, & a quadruple is 6 times the work. Using the formula (n-1)!*, la cribbage, a quintuple would be 24 times as bad.

Suggestions for Reporting Multi-posts
  1. Find all the duplicates. Use the "Find all threads started by ..." link in the "Show All Statistics" tab of the poster's User Profile.
  2. Decide which one you think should live (stay open). It is normally NOT necessary to report this survivor.
  3. Report all the others. Paste the URL(s) of the duplicate thread(s) into your report. The following report is sufficient in the case of a simple duplicate:
    dupe: <URL>
    We deal w/ this problem often enough that we would understand the above.

    In the case of triplicates, the following might be better:
    Triple post:
    Please close <URL1>
    Please do NOT close <URL2> -- it's in the most appropriate place
  4. Post a short polite note in each of the reported-for-closure duplicate thread(s) w/ a link to the survivor. The following would work:
    Duplicate of <URL>.

    Reported for closure.
  5. Most people don't need this reminder, but report the duplicate post itself, not your in-thread comment. (I've seen this, I don't know if it was an accident or deliberate.)
  6. It is not necessary to post any comment in the "survivor". In fact, doing so might remove the thread from the 0-reply list.
  7. Please leave disciplining other members to the moderators, that's what we're here for.
    1. Keep your posted comments short & sweet -- especially sweet. It would be ironic if you got a Rudeness Infraction (red card) for trying to do a good deed.
    2. Don't "pile on" -- one note requesting closure per duplicate thread is enough. -- We want to change behavior, not drive potentially valuable members away.
  8. Know that the moderation team very much appreciate your reports, even if there is no automatic mechanism to acknowledge them, let alone thank you individually.

* "n!" stands for "n factorial" or: 1 x 2 x 3, ..., x (n-1) x n
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  1. Old Comment
    As always when I write something like this I am torn between using too many words & not making myself clear to everyone, especially those whose 1st language isn't English.

    I would appreciate any suggestions for improvement in:
    • clarity,
    • brevity,
    • tone,
    • respect for OP's privacy,
    • typos,
    • other ...
    Posted 09-19-2011 at 11:18 AM by archtoad6 archtoad6 is offline


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