Pinned threads are topics so important that everyone who reads a particular forum should read them first. They are pinned (hence the name) to the top of the forum they belong to so that new users will see them. Only admins, moderators and forum champions can pin, but people can unpin threads for themselves once they’ve seen them. (More on this later.)
What threads should be pinned?
Ideally only threads that every new user of a forum should read will be pinned. For instance, if there are special guidelines for a forum that are a little different from the rest of the site, a post explaining differences should be pinned. The more threads that are pinned the less likely anyone will take the time to read them. So ideally only one thread should be pinned per forum.
How are threads pinned and unpinned?
If a thread seems important enough to pin, talk about it with other people who are active in the forum and, if you all generally agree, ask a moderator to pin it for you. Alternatively, if a thread no longer seems important enough to pin, a moderator can unpin too.
Individuals can also unpin (and repin) threads for themselves. A the bottom of each pinned thread there is a widget for flipping between pinned and unpinned. You can also tap or click on the pin icon in front of the title:
The idea is once you’ve seen the thread, you don’t necessarily need to keep seeing it every time you return to the forum.
There’s also an option to unpin a thread for yourself when you read all the way to the bottom. Just go to https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/my/preferences/interface and check the box that’s labeled “Automatically unpin topics when I reach the bottom.” (Until last night, that was the default for everyone. Now the default is to only unpin when you choose to do so. Automatically unpinning was a surprise to many users.)
What should I do if a thread I wanted to return to gets unpinned?
There are a lot of pinned threads in the forums right now and I think many of them should be unpinned. But I also know some people are expecting these threads to stay at the top of the forum so they can read them later. Pinned threads might not be the best option. Instead, consider bookmarking the thread or change your notifications.