Merging duplicate topics

(Ben Green) #1

I see quite a few duplicate topics, mostly in feature ideas, of people repeating old requests that have gone stale and gotten lost in the noise of newer more recently updated topics.

The way they’re being dealt with at the moment is just being linked to each other. Meanwhile we continue posting replies on both new and old. Is there not a way to merge those duplicates?

(Alex Sherwood) #2

It is possible but you need to be a Level 4 user

which can’t be earned, it has to be granted…

(Rika Raybould) #3

@Naji has done a great job on the travel threads. Not so sure the same merge could be done with some of the complex feature request threads though as requests often require linking in multiple other threads to explain reasoning.

Discourse already heavily dissuades duplicate threads with pop up suggestions of existing threads that likely already answer the question during post creation.

Short of trying to build some kind of directory of frequently answered questions, I’m not too sure what can be done here. I certanly don’t want to see the Monzo community become like other forums I’ve been a part of where users are explicitly told to use the search function or have their threads closed on sight with heavy handed moderation.

(Alex Sherwood) #4

This functionality is useful but we’ve seen so many posts asking duplicate questions. I have a directory of FAQ’s that I’ve put together & it would be straightforward to merge new posts with the existing topics.

I understand your concern about threads being shut down but merging enables the conversation to continue, once the user’s been directed to the previous conversation. I’d still favor a light touch approach here too.

(Ben Green) #5

Agreed that @Naji has indeed done an excellent job at housekeeping the travel topics. I don’t consider those a problem area either.

This is true at least on the web community, but I haven’t noticed it when posting to the community from the mobile app (kind of obvious as there’s not enough screen space), which is where I suspect a lot of the duplicate feature requests are coming from.

I certainly wouldn’t want a totalitarian forum run by George Orwell either, but I’d be interested to know what happens when a merge occurs.

(Ben Green) #6

Wow! That’s thinking ahead. Very switched on.

(Rika Raybould) #7

Indeed, though duplicate threads is far less of an issue here than it is in at least one place I’m thinking of, it’s something that does happen too often to completely ignore. It feels like a solvable problem though, even if I don’t have a solid answer.

Honestly, I’m impressed with your collection of links there! Here I’d taken to just reading every single post and remembering the key points to later search for, mixing it with outside research in to banking and payment systems.

(Alex Sherwood) #8

Thanks, having the collection just saves a bit of time. Your approach is obviously well received too though :wink:

Current Quarter

(Ben Green) #9

I think you can get away with saying the name StackOverflow :wink:

(Rika Raybould) #10

Not actually what I was thinking of but I suppose that’s exactly what StackOverflow does too!

(Naji Esiri) #11


For questions which have standardised straightforward responses, i completely agree with merging and closing duplicates. The difficulty is that some of these discussions start off asking the same questions and end up in quite different places.

@alexs 's FAQ is a really great point of reference, we’re working on putting together a much more comprehensive FAQ section for the website over coming months.

Having created pinned posts for bugs and travel, (two umbrella categories which I think a lot of these threads fall under) I would feel that that in time, the number of duplicates will fall for two reasons. 1. With some regular housekeeping, people will be able to find the solutions to their questions much easier through these threads. 2. Old duplicates which haven’t been replied to will automatically archive after a year (I could also look at possibly reducing the time before a post is archived, maybe 6 months?)

Overall I think one of the most unique and appealing aspects of our community is that someone can access relevant and timely answers from a welcoming and knowledgeable user community at the click of a button. For me, it’s amazing to see and I’d hate to lose this through managing interactions too rigourously. :slightly_smiling_face:

(Alex Sherwood) #12

I completely agree & just to pick up on this point -

this is why I wouldn’t want the topic to be closed as a duplicate - as long as the thread is merged pretty quickly, the discussion can carry on & sometimes end up with the different outcome but hopefully without the original discussion being repeated quite as often :pray:

(Alex Sherwood) #13

Recently I’ve been trying tying duplicate posts together by updating the newer post’s title, to match the existing post’s title but with a ‘2’ at the end so that users can see that both topics are discussing the same thing, when they appear in their search results.

For example

This does seem like it’s driving home the point that it’s a duplicate post to the user who posted the topic quite forcefully (especially as they can’t delete the topic themselves) but my guess is it’ll be quite useful for the rest of the community.

Compared to merging one topic into another, it’s pretty ‘light touch’ too.

What does everyone think, is this going too far?

(Alex Sherwood) #14

Following on from this

@Naji is it possible to allow users to delete topics that they’ve posted which don’t have any replies to them? If so, we could message the user to make them aware of the existing post, before anyone replies (& a new conversation gets started) so that if they chose to, they could delete the duplicate post…

It was quite difficult to sort out a way to deal with this duplicate post, the other day


I think alexs you have done a great job handling the issue of duplicate postings. It makes you wonder how many read recent or unread postings by others as so many duplicates have popped up recently

(Alex Sherwood) #16

Thanks Richard, I’m glad you think so. It is a little bit frustrating sometimes but I know how easy it is to assume that you’re the first person to have an idea or miss a strangely named topic in the search results so it’s all good!


if it is in any way some reassurance the problem is not just limited to this community, I regularly see it in other communities too

(James Smith) #18

This is something that I posted about a while back. There are a few on here that do a fantastic job of answering the same questions over and over again. To be honest whilst I started quite keen to get involved in the community I’ve been coming on here less and less as I notice more and more it’s the same questions asked repeatedly.

(Josh Bray) #19

I think that eventually this place will need some sort of community moderation. Something as simple as a few members that would be able to merge or delete duplicate content. Remove offensive or inappropriate content. But atm i believe @Naji is keeping on top of everything. Keep it up pal :yum::facepunch:

(Rika Raybould) #20

We seem to keep having this discussion of community moderation while it’s nowhere near needed.

Between how genuinely nice this community is, Discourse’s trust levels, flagging and the actions Naji, Bailey and the rest of the Monzo team that show up here take, this is one of the most pleasant and clean communities I’ve possibly ever participated in. This is even taking in to account some of the previous arguments that have happened.

On an infinite timescale as Monzo grows, yes, some internal or external delegation of powers will likely be needed. At the risk of sounding like I’m on loop, when you’ve seen and tried to manage what comes out of the firehose at many gaming sites or anonymous image/message boards where you can’t trust users to go five minutes without posting a wildly inappropriate image or having a fight, you really appreciate this community and how truly great everybody in it is. :heart: