(Let me preface this by saying I'm posting primarily regarding the Missing/Located Forum Discussion, as this doesn't really pertain to threads in many forums, such as with games; nor am I posting in reference to the post above!)
I'm wondering if there have been any mod posts on the etiquette of bumping. I understand why people like to post (often content-free) bumps -- they want to ensure that their thread is high up on the list and gets as much attention as possible. I appreciate that loyalty, and the understanding that publicity can help a missing person's case or a criminal investigation. Sometimes, people may just want to touch base or say 'good morning' to a thread's community of posters, too.
I wonder, though, if there can be some negative consequences to welcoming content-free bumps. Some threads seem to welcome and encourage such bumps. The threads maintain a prominent spot on the board, but they also become much less informative, for the amount of reading one must do. I believe that threads with chronic bumping likely turn off some readers as well, and may end up discouraging participation. Many may not want to open a thread when they strongly suspect that their time will be spent just reading another bump. In some cases, content-free bumps come hours or minutes after other content-free bumps -- these are clearly not the same as a bump that comes days or weeks after a previous bump.
While such bumps help some threads, they also hurt others, as they force them down the queue. Having lots of content-free bumps in one thread may encourage others to do the same in the threads they follow. This can lead to a (more) competitive situation for prominent thread placement.
So, while I'm not saying that there is no place for a content-free bump, I do think that they bring some negative consequences in terms of informational density and quality, and competition between cases. If everyone was a chronic bumper, threads would be mainly like popularity contests, and some threads would struggle to get any exposure whatsoever. While it is possible to put chronic bumpers on one's ignore list, it still doesn't solve the problems bumping can create for the forum as a whole. So, I'm guessing that I'm asking our mods -- am I being oversensitive here, or would some informal guidelines on bumping improve the forum? Or at any rate, can we get some feedback on opinions on chronic bumping?
Hi mountjoy and thanks for the question. Bumping is allowed. There are many reasons to bump a post and there are many cases close to a poster's heart.
However, if you notice many threads being bumped all at once as a distraction, please alert on the thread and let the mods know. Unfortunately, sometimes bumping posts is used as a distraction to keep posters busy and away from other important information. This is not allowed. It rarely happens but it has been noticed in the past. Alerting on one of the bumped threads and asking the mods to take a look is greatly appreciated.