Reply to topic without bumping it to the top


(Zane Beckman) #1

I think a feature like this would come in handy, similar to 4chan’s sage option.

What does everyone think?


Ability to not bump topics
(Jeff Atwood) #2

For what purpose? What problem does it solve? How would it be selected or activated?

Not much detail here and no rationale.


(Zane Beckman) #3

For example, this topic. It was necessary to add additional information for future readers of the thread, but there was no reason for my post to elevate the topic to the top of current discussions.

Additionally, it could be configured such that new user’s posts do not elevate a topic by default (until they earn a certain trust level), if a particular forum admin felt it was necessary for their community.

Posts that are old and/or only apply to one user might fall under this category as well. (See this post.)

My thought was a simple checkbox while composing a reply. I’m interested to see if anyone else has different ideas.

This may be plugin territory rather than core functionality.


(Mittineague) #4

I’m not seeing the logic. Seems if I had read those topics (and not configured to get notifications) I’d want to know the additional information.

And if I wanted to convey information to someone specific I’d do a PM instead of creating a topic.

What am I missing?


(Zane Beckman) #5

From urbandictionary:

This can be used as a courtesy, allowing one to quietly add comments that may not be interesting enough to warrant pushing the thread to the top. It can also be used as a way to show displeasure with the post being replied to.

To expand on that last part: It could be used in circumstances where you want to voice your displeasure, but you don’t want to give the topic more attention by bringing it back to the top. This is more relevant on larger forums / imageboards.

It would fit in very well with some communities and not so well with others, so it should definitely be a feature that admins can disable, and should possibly be disabled by default.


Edit: here’s another good description from urbandictionary:

As a generosity to other posters - a long living but moot thread is not of aid to anyone, and this acts as a discrete manner to add complementary information.

Users who already have posts in a thread would typically edit one of their posts for this purpose, but a user with no existing posts in the thread doesn’t have that option.


(Jens Maier) #7

I don’t like this proposal. If posting replies without bumping the topic were possible, it would become too easy to hide just about any kind of content in year-old threads. Your Discourse forum could be made to host all kinds of smut, SEO links or copyright infringing uploads (just find an abandoned thread in a suitably busy forum and put your junk in there without bumping the topic) and the chances of an admin or mod finding that stuff are slim to none.


(Zane Beckman) #8

That makes a lot of sense.


(Rikki Tooley) #9

I don’t have any preference for this feature either way, but I don’t think that is a valid reason to keep it out. There are other ways to do what you’re talking about already.

The solution should be to improve moderation tools, not to forbid certain features that might be useful to someone. A page in the admin panel which showed a gallery of recent uploads, recent edits, etc. would be a much better fix to this problem.


(Zane Beckman) #10

Adding onto that, the way I envisioned this working is that it would only prevent a topic from bumping to the top of categories and the main list.

The topic would still appear in New, Unread, or anywhere else you would normally see updated posts.


(Michael Downey) #11

This is a great idea. It allows users to opt-in to not bumping the topic in topic lists if it’s a minor change (fixing a typo, grammar error, formatting, etc.) without notifying everyone that won’t care. There’s a reason sites like Wikipedia allow this, and Discourse should follow others’ lead.


(Jeff Atwood) #12

I think this is a very dangerous suggestion.


(Michael Downey) #13

Hmm. Any particular reason, or just your personal opinion?


(Dave McClure) #14

@downey, FYI the use cases you cited don’t match the feature being requested here. Sounds like you are talking about an edge case in edit-bumps, which is discussed here:


(Sam Saffron) #15

I actually strongly disagree with your example here. It is a perfect reason for bumping a topic.

There are 2 reasons I think bumping is critical.

  1. Alert others of a solution / progress on a topic.
  2. Prevent abuse

(2) is only covered partially as you can still edit earlier posts in a topic, and in a high scale forum have it go unnoticed. @howtogeek has discussed this with us in the past.

If anything I think we need even more intelligent bumping of topics, not less.


(Lowell Heddings) #16

Agreed. We already have an issue where long edit times can be used to hide links in old topics.

For instance, I hid a few links to my site in old Meta topics while testing and nobody noticed at all.


(Jeff Atwood) #17

Well that is because we trust you and like your sites :slight_smile:


(Qwertie) #18

What if only users with a high permission level can use this feature so it is less likely to be abused?


(Jeff Atwood) #19

At some point we might implement a suppress at the topic level which means no reply to the topic will cause it to be bumped, ever. This is called Sinking in Vanilla:

Sinking a discusion

By default, discussions are ordered by date of last comment. Sometimes moderators want to make a discussion ‘go away’ but don’t want to offend by deleting it or closing it to more comments. Sinking the discussion will make it sink down the page as others discussions are updated and created, even if that discussion thread gets new comments.

But I can’t see what you are describing implemented.


(Zane Beckman) #20

I envisioned it as “sinking” a discussion, but more granulated. i.e. on a per-post basis.

This seems reasonable to me.


(Caue Rego) #22

“Sinking in Vanilla” sounds a lot like muting a discussion in gmail. Wouldn’t that make more sense? Each person mute whatever is being constantly bumped and is of no interest to them.

Wikipedia has a “minor update” feature, which is somewhat similar to @fysics suggestion. Suppose someone wants to edit a wiki post to fix a typo. Perfectly valid minor update. Suppose someone wants to post an updated broken link. Perfectly valid minor update. Anyone should be able to do it, no trust level should be required there.

To that, it’s as @haiku already said: simply allow for mods to never ignore “minor” contributions. This actually is also good for mod, I suppose, you’d know the user believes it’s a minor contribution.

I think this feature makes a lot of logical sense to have, but then again, I don’t moderate large communities, nor do I make my contribution by watching any lists of topics.