Deleted Posts Accessible to the User? July 18, 2009 8:30 PM   Subscribe

I recently had a MeFi post deleted. I know it will still show up in my Metafilter Recent Activity for a while, but once it goes from there, is there any way to track it and any deleted posts from my past?

This is something I thought I knew, but I didn't. The deleted post doesn't show in the post-count for my profile -- which I suppose is probably understandable, since that's publicly accessible -- but for the longer-term, it'd be good to know which posts of yours got deleted, if only to make it easier not to repeat the same mistake in the future ...

If not, could this perhaps be a pony request? Having a subpage or some sort of user-accessible linkage to the deleted post, perhaps along with the deletion reason?

I suppose it occurs to me that having that information accessible to the user whose post was deleted could be valuable for the site itself, i.e., letting prior deletions serve as self-tutelage for the user. I'd like to think I haven't had that many things zapped over the years, but having them handy would mean I'd be less likely to repeat mistakes in the future.
posted by WCityMike to MetaFilter-Related at 8:30 PM (34 comments total)

Does this do what you want?
posted by The Deej at 8:33 PM on July 18, 2009


Deleted Thread is a good resource for this.

I believe the URL for a recently posted thread gets MefiMailed to you, so you could always consult that to find out the deletion reason.

Beyond that, deleted posts are deleted for a reason: keeping a personal archive of them would sort of defeat the purpose.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:36 PM on July 18, 2009


Hmm! A pretty fair substitute. Might be nice to have something automatic that doesn't require a third party's manual effort, though ... whoever's keeping up that thing has to be getting really sick of that process by now ...

By the way, the "pony request"/question only applies to deleted posts on any of the subsites -- given that comments are deleted without any admin comment, they wouldn't have the same "educational value" that a deleted posts index would have.
posted by WCityMike at 8:39 PM on July 18, 2009


goodnewsfortheinsane: "Beyond that, deleted posts are deleted for a reason: keeping a personal archive of them would sort of defeat the purpose."

I disagree. It'd not be "keeping a personal archive." They're deleted because they usually don't match the quality standards of, or somehow break the guidelines of, the site. Having them thus no longer viewable by the public is the purpose. But they remain there, if you remember the URL or post number -- they are in actuality not "deleted."

So, since they are present anyway, having an index of same accessible to the user can, for the good-spirited, serve as a learning tool -- and for those of more malicious spirit, can serve as a way of eliminating an excuse for that person. "Oh, I did that before? I forgot." With said person having no way of viewing his deleted posts, that can be a ... partially legit excuse.
posted by WCityMike at 8:42 PM on July 18, 2009


whoever's keeping up that thing has to be getting really sick of that process by now ...

Why hell yeah, WCityMike! Keeping up with your voluminous deleted posts is a job right there in itself! You oughtta send whoever's keeping up that thing* a donation right now!

*puke and cry
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:48 PM on July 18, 2009


I am not a moderator, but I think it is not unreasonable to expect that users remember for themselves what they posted, or at least that they keep in mind the deletion reason for a post of theirs.

It's really a matter of heeding the guidelines and keeping an ear to the ground of the community: I do not doubt for a moment you mean well, but if a moderator decides your post doesn't make the cut then well, I don't see a point in keeping it around.

That is keeping in mind it does stay around at least in the form mentioned before in this thread.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:54 PM on July 18, 2009


I think if you have a metafilter post deleted, it should mean you get caned? What are you doing going back to the scene of the crime...are you going to CELEBRATE it?
posted by hal_c_on at 9:44 PM on July 18, 2009


hal_c_on: "are you going to CELEBRATE it?"

Right. Because, of course, that's exactly what I said, right down to the word.
posted by WCityMike at 10:18 PM on July 18, 2009


It's the grey, someone will make a joke.

Since the deleted posts still exists, this doesn't seem hard to do. Does one get mefimailed these days? Well, there you go - save that mail and it's your record of where the deleted post is (I presume the link is in the mail).
posted by dabitch at 11:43 PM on July 18, 2009


Saving the mail is our way of giving you a record of what you've posted and likely as far we're going to go in that direction.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:56 PM on July 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


and for those of more malicious spirit, can serve as a way of eliminating an excuse for that person.

Frankly, for those of a more malicious spirit, it seems most likely to serve as a way of prompting shitty emails, something we don't really have any incentive to encourage.

So, basically, what jessamyn said. If you have a question about a deletion that goes beyond your own personal capacity to check the log of your mefimail, send us an email to ask. Otherwise, this isn't something we're going to spend a whole lot of extra time on of our own volition, because it's not normal positive-mefi behavior we're talking about and the onus of discussing it is on the deleted poster. This is more or less the same reason that we don't auto-mefimail people about deletions.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:24 AM on July 19, 2009


(I presume the link is in the mail).

If not the check.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:24 AM on July 19, 2009


is there any way to track it and any deleted posts from my past?

Email it to yourself?
posted by iamkimiam at 1:23 AM on July 19, 2009


Yeah, before the memails I kept a little section of my profile apart for deleted stuff. Lessons learned, etc. Now the link is sent and saved automagically and that's all I need.
posted by carsonb at 1:40 AM on July 19, 2009


Write it down and put it in your scrapbook?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:20 AM on July 19, 2009


Write it in a notepad, then have it tattooed on your leg. And never answer the phone!
posted by The Deej at 6:21 AM on July 19, 2009 [2 favorites]


Put another way, almost no one has posts deleted percentage-wise. Those that do have posts deleted fall into two categories

1. people who had one post deleted, errantly or randomly
2. people who have many posts deleted for whatever reason, can range from people who make stunt posts to people with axes to grind to people who don't quite get the ethos here or whatever

In any case, the number of people in group #2 are quite small and it's not really worth it to us to build a feature for them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:21 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


cortex and jessamyn sound suspiciously sober.
posted by desjardins at 8:44 AM on July 19, 2009


And on the seventh day, they rested.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:54 AM on July 19, 2009


Yeah, I thought the whole idea was to not have enough deleted posts to need to keep track of them. I try to learn from my mistakes.

Also, there are bookmarks.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:56 AM on July 19, 2009


I just had a post deleted. I saved its url to del.icio.us. Goal achieved.
posted by grumblebee at 9:22 AM on July 19, 2009 [1 favorite]


Give up, it's hopeless.

Of course you should be able to see your own "deleted" posts (and comments) -- it's a textbook all-win, no-loss scenario -- but there is a giant wall of Not-Going-There that is nigh insurmountable. I smashed my face into it so hard when I asked once, all innocent-like, that my nose looked like spaghetti afterward. Not worth it.

It's probably dumb, it's definitely anti-user, and it's textbook bad web practice. But that's how it is on MeFi for reasons historical and emotional... and clearly, that's how it's staying.

So accept it: stuff gets fake-deleted in ways that often seem confusing or inconsistent. Half the time, you won't know why. Just think of it as a "fun extra flavor" that makes the place quirky and weird. Chaos isn't all bad.
posted by rokusan at 9:24 AM on July 19, 2009


I didn't get an email for my most recent deleted post.

It's OK though, I know it's just because cortex hates me.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 9:35 AM on July 19, 2009


I realized the other day that deleted posts that you had favorited are no longer shown in your list of favorites. How long has that been? It used to be you could use favorites to bookmark a deleted post that you wanted to be able to find later. Now it seems you have to use a real bookmark. I can't say I like that change, but I guess I understand if the intent was to stop people from fetishising some of the more trainwrecky shitposts.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:40 AM on July 19, 2009


With every fiber of my being, crash. Now gimme a hug.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:46 AM on July 19, 2009


Related side question: Are a user's deleted comments included in the "Export Your Comments" dump and if so, are they somehow marked as deleted in the dump?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:07 AM on July 19, 2009


This feature is only available to those who attended Mefi 10, WCM ;)

I kid, of course. We missed you.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 10:19 AM on July 19, 2009


yeah, where the hell were you anyway??
posted by desjardins at 10:30 AM on July 19, 2009


With every fiber of my being

Your being has fiber?
posted by pracowity at 12:52 PM on July 19, 2009


Bookmarks?
posted by a robot made out of meat at 2:08 PM on July 19, 2009


KevinSkomsvold: "This feature is only available to those who attended Mefi 10, WCM ;) I kid, of course. We missed you."

desjardins: "yeah, where the hell were you anyway??"

I'm flattered you even noticed! The bronchitis my dad had when I visited them last weekend seems to have stowed away with me on the return trip home, and it evidently has just the bestest form of timing. I was feeling pretty miserable and exhausted yesterday. :( Still not 100% ... :/
posted by WCityMike at 3:08 PM on July 19, 2009


pracowity: "Your being has fiber?"

Yeah, it's so you don't have to strain quite as hard when getting rid of that pesky soul. ;-)
posted by WCityMike at 3:21 PM on July 19, 2009


Perhaps this sort of thing could be worked into a feature of the browser - I mean, just about everybody I know wants to keep track of a list of web sites, so why not make a way for browsers to save or remember certain URLs so you can go back to them later?
posted by koeselitz at 9:43 PM on July 19, 2009


koeselitz: "Perhaps this sort of thing could be worked into a feature of the browser - I mean, just about everybody I know wants to keep track of a list of web sites, so why not make a way for browsers to save or remember certain URLs so you can go back to them later?"

Hah. Hah. Hah.
posted by WCityMike at 4:27 PM on July 21, 2009


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