Thread (internet)

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Example of a thread in the phpBB application

Related specifically to the Internet , the term thread [ θɹɛd ] ( English thread , thread ',' string ') is a hierarchical series of online discussion contributions ( postings ), especially in forums (including the so-called Usenet ) imageboards and blogs .

In German , expressions such as discussion thread , contribution thread or conversation thread roughly correspond to the anglicism thread in the meaning set out in the article here.


In Usenet , but also in other virtual discussion forums such as mailing lists and some web forums, a thread is a sequence of discussion contributions that are organized hierarchically.

Each contribution with the exception of the initial contribution refers to a previous message, so that a tree structure results. Usenet this happens technically the References - header line in a post .

Usually exactly one topic is discussed in a thread that was initiated by the thread's opening contribution (the author is sometimes referred to as OP for original poster or TE for thread creator ). This is usually an expression of opinion, a question or an announcement. Many newsreaders allow a thread (or a sub-thread, all posts below a specific post) to be ignored. In this way, the user can hide topics that are not of interest to him. Conversely, a preferred treatment can often be defined for a thread, such as the unconditional loading of all associated articles.

If the discussion develops in a different direction within a thread, it is usual to change the subject line and thus document the change in direction. In particular, participants who ignored the thread because of the original topic can also become aware of the new topic that may be of interest to them. The new subject is then given in the subject line, followed by the old subject, preceded by “( what :” (English for “ was ”, past to “ is ”) and enclosed in brackets. An existing Re : (short for reply or response , English for “reply” or “reply”, German for short “Aw.” or “AW”) is removed.


┬ blaue Papageien
├─┬ Re: blaue Papageien
│ └─┬ gelbe Elefanten (was: blaue Papageien)
│   └── Re: gelbe Elefanten
└── Re: blaue Papageien

Web forums

In most web forums , the thread is not displayed as a tree structure, but as a series of chronologically arranged discussion contributions (so-called posts or postings) that refer to the first contribution that opened the thread or to each other. In this representation as a contribution thread, if there is a change of direction within a thread, the topic is divided differently than in Usenet . This means that all posts from a certain point onwards are moved to a new topic with a new title or subject.

Certain posts can also be moved from the middle of the old thread to the new thread. By default, the moderators and administrators of the forum have the rights to share. In addition to sharing, a moderator can also lock (“close”) the thread, which means that no users without special rights can no longer write a post in the thread. This usually happens when there are minor violations of the rules of the web forum (which can set the rules itself, but the rules are very similar). Moderators can delete a post or even an entire thread if there are major violations of the forum rules or legal violations, because the operator of the web forum can be held responsible for legal violations.


There is an opening post in a thread that usually contains a question. You can reply to this post. Depending on the setting of the forum , you have to be registered and logged in . The latest post appears at the end. So that there is not so much scrolling , most forums create an anchor , which immediately jumps the image to the latest post.


Am 21. Juni 2007 um 16:11 schrieb Admin:
Hi Community!
Wie gefällt euch das neue Design?
LG Euer Admin
Am 21. Juni 2007 um 16:57 schrieb Mr.X:
Sehr gut.
Am 22. Juni 2007 um 05:21 schrieb Gast:
Mhh, das Rot gefällt mir nicht so sehr.


In many forums, changing the direction of a thread, whether deliberately or "accidentally", is a violation of netiquette . One then speaks of the “hijacking” of a thread (“ hijacking a thread ”). Forum participants should instead open a new thread with their new topic and not trust the moderators to “clean up”.

It is also frowned upon to open a new thread without first searching the forum's archive for threads with the same topic. Even if the thread found in this way is blocked, it is sometimes expected that a moderator will be asked in a private message to unblock this old thread instead of opening a new thread on the same topic.

Sticky thread

A sticky thread (or simply “sticky”) is a special post that is “pinned” at the beginning of a forum (or blog ), ie it always remains in this position in order to increase its visibility and not be drowned by new threads. This usually contains important or general information of ongoing use, such as announcements, rules or guidelines, FAQs or simply interesting topics. They are usually identified by a notepad icon. An administrator or moderator of a forum can designate any thread as a sticky thread in a forum or a category for a specific or unlimited period of time.


A bump or push (English, for example "push", "push") is a means to increase awareness of an existing thread. A user creates a message that primarily serves the purpose of bringing the thread to the front in a chronological order. "Bumping" is frowned upon in most forums if such messages have no new content or are repeated. In addition to the English translation, Bump also means bring up my post as an acronym , so that the post appears higher up in the forum overview due to the newer post.


Occasionally the English word "thread" is onomatopoeically Germanised to "Fred". This is often to be understood as a joking comment on Anglicisms, whereby the transitions to established language usage are fluid.

Web links

Wiktionary: Thread  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations
Wiktionary: Discussion thread [German]  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations (English)

Individual evidence