Why do topic titles need to be unique?

Why is there even a feature that prevents 2 threads/topics of the same name being created?

No other forum software has this, and there’s a legitimate reason for topic names to be the same, such as with “What is this thing?” or other common questions being posted.

Also, topics have IDs, so it isn’t due to database keys.

So… Does someone know why is this needed?

The primary reason is to prevent spam and encourage people to participate in an existing topic instead of opening a billion topics just expressing their views about something.

Not to say it is a moderation nightmare to have multiple topics discussing the same thing.


I have 2 guesses as to why.

  1. To prevent spam. This would make it hard for spammers to just name their topics Go to <Some scam website> for 5 bitcoin. They would need to at least add an extra character.
  2. To make people be more creative and help with the search. So instead of I am having trouble with x topic 5 times you would need to explain in more detail what your problem is in the title.

This is an optional thing - administrators can toggle a setting to allow duplicate topic titles. In some communities, duplicate titles can make sense. In others, as you said, they generally mean spam or duplicate content. :+1:


Out of curiosity what kind of communities

One example is that we have a category on our internal forum which is for “alerts”. Whenever there is an issue with our systems, a topic is created automatically with a title like “increased 5xx error rates”. We resolve it, then close the topic.

In future, the same issue might happen again, and so an fresh automatic topic gets created with the same name.


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