Doubles of deleted doubles are also doubles June 13, 2012 6:54 AM   Subscribe

Hey, I just posted something that was deleted because it was a double. I didn't know it was a double because the original post that it doubled had a different link and keywords (I even searched, nothing came up, wish I'd thought to search for just "iron"). However, it was an exact copy of another double that did match the URL and keywords exactly. So, it seems to me, that when searching past posts in the "New Post" form, it should search through deleted posts as well, to avoid these "doubles of doubles" type situations.

It also goes without saying that odds are good that if you link to something that was deleted in another post, it probably shouldn't be linked to again.
posted by Deathalicious to Feature Requests at 6:54 AM (74 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I also think that if the link on a doubled post is broken/doesn't work, the new post (in this case, this one) should stand. But that's a different issue altogether.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:57 AM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


This would be A Good Thing To Have.
posted by elizardbits at 6:57 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


They were different links. The link you used in your post was:

http://youtu.be/0WsmiGaWoTw

The link in the double that you said matched was:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0WsmiGaWoTw

The video id is the same, but the URLs are different. We match based on the URL, not pieces of the URL. If we just matched pieces we'd have more false positives than would be helpful.

I'm sorry about the frustration. The double link checker is just one method of checking for doubles. It's not the only way, and it's not going to be perfect.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:01 AM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh, and we do include deleted posts in the double link checker results for this very reason. But the URL does have to match for it to come up.

Looking through tags that you're going to use on your post is another way to check for doubles. Both iron and ironing include the post.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:06 AM on June 13, 2012


I sort of feel that if you're going to link to a YouTube video which is something that has a lot of different possible URLs that it's pretty important to maybe to a tag search at the same time as you're searching the URLs. Teaching people how to use the search engine that we have and how to do their own searches for doubles is also part of it. So it's weird here because a keyword search for iron or ironing would have found the double. A search for ironing wouldn't find the post but a search for iron shirt would.

At some level while we know it's frustrating to have a double post deleted, I don't think that searching through the deleted posts, while it might have caught this particular instance, is going to be as useful as just doing a more thorough search using tags if you are really concerned about doubles.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:06 AM on June 13, 2012


Another reason not to use link shorteners (even official ones).
posted by inigo2 at 7:07 AM on June 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


I had a double post that didn't get caught because I searched for "prisencolinensinainciusol" when I should have searched for "prisecolinensinenciousol." If you could make it so that the double post search function can autocorrect English-sounding gibberish that would be great, pb.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:08 AM on June 13, 2012 [4 favorites]


Well, now I just feel like a fool. I'll make sure to check for tags next time, and neither a shortener nor a shortened be.
posted by Deathalicious at 7:17 AM on June 13, 2012


At some level while we know it's frustrating to have a double post deleted

Frustrated? Moi?!? I was just worried about you running out of post ids.

I'll show myself out
posted by Deathalicious at 7:19 AM on June 13, 2012


Deathalicious: "Well, now I just feel like a fool. "

You shouldn't. I've lost count of the number of times I've been caught by the same exact problem. On the other hand, maybe we're both fools. ;)

The 'link in a previous post' function is great, but inexact. If I try to post a link to a single page version of an article, and someone else has posted the multi-page version, it won't catch it either.
posted by zarq at 7:26 AM on June 13, 2012


A related point, and I'm not calling anyone out in particular, but tagging here often leaves much to be desired. Posters frequently seem to view the tags as just another metacommentary where they get to crack a joke, rather than as a highly useful index.

For instance, a video about a cat snuggling a baby kitten should have at least the tags "cat" "kitten," "video," and not just "shmoopy" and "omigodIwanttodiethisissocyooote." Of course, if a post has the first three tags, I don't mind inclusion of the last two.

Also, not infrequently (and there's one of these today), there's a post on AskMe in which the tags add something that is completely unrelated to the question as posted, but highly relevant--along the lines of a question that asks about CA unemployment and then has an unexplained "faileddrugtest" tag. (Again, these are just hypothetical examples of the kinds of tags I see, not specific callouts.)

Could we collectively firm up the guidelines for tags, or re-open the back-tagging project from years back?

Obviously, there is so much great stuff on MeFi, and it's frustrating not to be able to find something seen ages ago because the tags are clever by not searchable. And I'm not even a librarian!
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:34 AM on June 13, 2012 [16 favorites]


Deathalicious: "Well, now I just feel like a fool. "

Just use good faith and do the best you can. The won-lost record will take care of itself.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:34 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Admiral Haddock: "Could we collectively firm up the guidelines for tags, or re-open the back-tagging project from years back? "

Yes, please. I would tag the heck out of this pony.
posted by zarq at 7:37 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


With the back-tagging, was there some sort of error-check on the tags, so that our treasured back-tagging superstars were not just adding "DTMFA" to all the relationship posts, and "TheOPisaJERK" to the posts of their nemeses?
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:42 AM on June 13, 2012


Could we collectively firm up the guidelines for tags

There really aren't any guidelines for tags except for "add some and try to make them helpful" and we're a little hesitant to make guidelines that we don't have a mechanism for enforcement. We should get better at highlighting the "You can add tags to any of your mutual contacts' posts" option here and people can always email us to add reasonable tags to a post or MeMail the OP and suggest tags for them to add. But no, the back tagging project was to add tags to tagless posts, not to just add more tags to posts that have suboptimal tags so we're not going to be starting it up again.

So again, I get that it can be frustrating to not have a double turn up in a tag search [though that wouldn't have been the case in this instance] but I don't think that overall the tag ecosystem is dreadfully lacking, just that it's not as robust as it could be. If we were a big site with a metadata specialist, this would be something we'd be all over but it's not high on our todo list.

And while we could spot check the back tagging if we wanted to but by and large the people who were stepping up to do volunteer work for the site didn't really overlap much with people who would take great joy in fucking around with the site for lulz. There was some pretty strong "You fuck around, we'll ban you" language but realistically no one really even came close.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:45 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It seems like if the video ID is the same the link checker should identify it as a double, even if the URL format is different. That's an easy win, isn't it?

I understand that not all instances of any given video will have the same video ID, but this would catch some, at fairly small cost.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:55 AM on June 13, 2012


There really aren't any guidelines for tags except for "add some and try to make them helpful"

Perhaps even just adding text below the Tags box on a new post we could just write something along the lines of:

Please try to tag your post with enough detail so that others can find it, e.g., "cat scanner flatbed" not "LOL peoplearesoweird whatisthisidon'teven"
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:55 AM on June 13, 2012


A related point, and I'm not calling anyone out in particular, but tagging here often leaves much to be desired.

It would have been OK to use my name, really.

I hereby pledge to do a better job with tagging.
posted by HuronBob at 7:58 AM on June 13, 2012


Well, now I just feel like a fool.

Good job! Good effort!
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:59 AM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


It would have been OK to use my name, really.

Just a quick peek at some of your posts suggests a model of clarity--the dogs post from yesterday had "dogs" "dogsincars" and "dogsincalifornia" which I think are the essential metadata there.

No, my callout for you is about something completely different, HuronBob. You scoundrel.

SOON.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:08 AM on June 13, 2012


I'd be up for some sort of back tagging project redux.
posted by arcticseal at 8:10 AM on June 13, 2012


Perhaps even just adding text below the Tags box on a new post

The current text on the tags field on the New Post page already feels pretty much on the mark:

(Keywords. Required. Separate each tag with a space, combine multiple words into a single word. Example: searchengine google news)

Emphasizes "keywords", gives a straightforward example. I feel like less-than-great tags aren't so much a result of people not being told that good tags are good as it is folks just kind of glossing over or shrugging past the guidance that is there, and putting up a little bit of extra signage isn't going to make a big difference.

It seems like if the video ID is the same the link checker should identify it as a double, even if the URL format is different. That's an easy win, isn't it?

Realistically we're not super interested in chasing down youtube variants and playing a rolling game of catchup with their url mangling developments just to build a stronger youtube-double-detection machine. It's diminishing returns on something that really, really can mostly be handled by more thorough searching by the poster, and the worst case scenario is something being deleted as a double which as scenarios go is not really a particularly bad one.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:10 AM on June 13, 2012


It is pretty difficult to resist the urge to add asinine tags to the posts of my contacts but thus far I think I have done a tremendous job.
posted by elizardbits at 8:16 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's diminishing returns on something that really, really can mostly be handled by more thorough searching by the poster, and the worst case scenario is something being deleted as a double which as scenarios go is not really a particularly bad one.

I understand, and agree that nothing would ever catch everything, nor should it be expected to. But here you've got a poster who searched with good faith and didn't get a match.

Even if it doesn't bother the mods to remove it, it can sting a bit for the poster, particularly when they (so far as they know) do everything right. Trapping for the videoID rather than a specific URL would remove both parties completely from the capricious URL rat race, and would do a better job of catching positives.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:22 AM on June 13, 2012


Emphasizes "keywords", gives a straightforward example.

I don't think the bare recitation of "keywords" is enough of a prompt, particularly given the actual tags we're receiving.

And the "straightforward example"--is just a list of words without context. Granted, the example isn't "whateverhappenedtodontbeevilhuhgoogle", it's impossible to know whether those would have been "good" keywords for any given (imaginary) post.

Even just "Keywords to help index your post" would be an improvement.

Tagged:cantfightcityhall
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:24 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even if it doesn't bother the mods to remove it, it can sting a bit for the poster, particularly when they (so far as they know) do everything right.

But that's true for any number of other "it might get through the cracks" situations with content rehosted on the same domain at a different url or under a different url presentation format or hosted at a different domain. The kinds of non-youtube cases where a poster won't be helped by the url-based double checking dwarf the youtube case; doing further parsing work specifically on youtube links seems like a kind of silly bit of overspecialization that doesn't help the general case at all.

People feeling a bit of sting about a deletion is something I have sympathy for, but on the mod side we're going to try and help with that mostly by re-emphasizing that the deletion is not a big deal and encouraging people to search more broadly for prior related or content-identical links when researching a post, not by going down the rabbit hole on youtube url variations.

Even just "Keywords to help index your post" would be an improvement.

Maybe. I'm not fundamentally against the idea of tweaking that wording or anything, I'm just not at all convinced that it'll have any significant effect; again, I think it's more a thing that people aren't reading that text at all than that people are reading it and getting the mistaken impression that it means they should type "ohwhatanadorablekitten iwanttotakeithome" in the box. Maybe other mods will have stronger opinions one way or the other, I dunno.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:33 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Admiral Haddock: "There really aren't any guidelines for tags except for "add some and try to make them helpful"

Perhaps even just adding text below the Tags box on a new post we could just write something along the lines of:

Please try to tag your post with enough detail so that others can find it, e.g., "cat scanner flatbed" not "LOL peoplearesoweird whatisthisidon'teven"
"

So I'll just pop in to say that I'm guessing that well over half of stunt tags are employed by regular members of the site. Many old timers consider it de rigueur to put something funny there. So the ones you'd like to target are people who will barely pay attention to the form as they've used it many times already.

Also, thanks to the mods for their responses. I agree that we can't keep our eyes out for every kind of YouTube URL. One thing I'll start doing, and I recommend it to everyone who posts a YT url -- put in both variants (the shortened share link *and* the normal one) then hit preview to see if either was used before.
posted by Deathalicious at 8:41 AM on June 13, 2012


One thing I'll start doing, and I recommend it to everyone who posts a YT url -- put in both variants (the shortened share link *and* the normal one) then hit preview to see if either was used before.

Don't. Just put in the video ID. So, instead of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul35l_vniQQ
http://youtu.be/ul35l_vniQQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul35l_vniQQ&feature=related

...just enter ul35l_vniQQ and it'll catch any of the variants. That ID has been the same format since 2005.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:49 AM on June 13, 2012 [10 favorites]


Many old timers consider it de rigueur to put something funny there.

Understood; I'm a (marginally) older timer than you, and was here before tags even existed and the site was run entirely with telex machines. I don't think we need to end jokey tags--they're fun! But jokey tags should be the delicious dessert to indulge in after dutifully scarfing down our bland repast of tags that are actually useful.

Though, as you say, changing behaviors would require more than simply changing the text under the box, but it may help, and can't hurt.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:53 AM on June 13, 2012


In Canada, we don't say "doubles of doubles" but rather a "double double," at least when referring to Tim Hortons coffee...
posted by livinglearning at 9:22 AM on June 13, 2012


Just FYI, the link in the original one is dead.

This video is no longer available because the uploader has closed their YouTube account.

Does link fixing get done?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:22 AM on June 13, 2012


Via Rock Steady's link above ...

Sung in incoherent pseudo-English, Adriano Celentano's Prisencolinensinainciusol (1973) yt could be thought of as an early example of rap.
posted by dunkadunc (64 comments total) [add to favorites] 201 users marked this as a favorite


Holy shit, 201 favorites. That just ain't fair. I only got 8 when I originally posted it in an askMe. Which Edward L was nice enough to point out in the relevant thread ...

previously: I have heard the future. It happened in 1974 .
posted by philip-random at 5:57 PM on October 9 [8 favorites +] [!]
posted by Edward L


Story of my life. Bad timing. And ummm, wrong context.
posted by philip-random at 9:30 AM on June 13, 2012


re-open the back-tagging project from years back?

I don't think we should do this. It made sense to update posts that didn't have a chance at tags on first go (and to seed the tag cloud so it would be useful quicker). However posts are supposed to be set in stone, we do very little editting of mostly the typo repair variety. allowing rolling tagging isn't really in the spirt of the site. Especially considering post commenting is closed after 30 days.
posted by Mitheral at 9:46 AM on June 13, 2012


Does link fixing get done?

Pretty much no, unless the thread is open and actively developing. It's one of those things that could end up eating a lot of effort to just marginally reduce the decay rate; a link gone dead once can go dead again, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:55 AM on June 13, 2012


Does link fixing get done?

Yeah absolutely not. When we did the backtagging project we did have people who at least tagged "brokenlink" for posts that no longer went anywhere, at least that they'd checked. But other than that no; link rot is a thing and not a thing we should really do anything about.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:16 AM on June 13, 2012


dirtdirt: "One thing I'll start doing, and I recommend it to everyone who posts a YT url -- put in both variants (the shortened share link *and* the normal one) then hit preview to see if either was used before.

Don't. Just put in the video ID. So, instead of:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul35l_vniQQ
http://youtu.be/ul35l_vniQQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul35l_vniQQ&feature=related

...just enter ul35l_vniQQ and it'll catch any of the variants. That ID has been the same format since 2005.
"

Sorry, I'm not sure I follow. Can I just enter ul35l_vniQQ into the link URL field and it'll do a partial link match?
posted by Deathalicious at 11:07 AM on June 13, 2012


Did you try it? Because yes, that's how it works.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:10 AM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I was going to suggest that since youtube is such a huge pile of link-bait with a well-known format for its videos, it might make sense for the double-link checker to try to automatically extract the video ID from the link and just use that in the search, instead of the full youtube url (which often has its pile of 'feature=related'-type cruft).

It should be pretty easy: the two cases to look for are:
a) Extract the 11 characters after the 'v=' in the url
or b) in the case of something like 'http://youtu.be/ul35l_vniQQ', just take the last 11 characters.
posted by kaibutsu at 11:20 AM on June 13, 2012


i think you should do what i do. read thru the entire site before posting to avoid a double. i've got this killer FPP i been getting ready to post since 2008.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:23 AM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Deathalicious: Can I just enter ul35l_vniQQ into the link URL field and it'll do a partial link match?

Easier yet: enter YouTube video IDs into the site search field. Viola, all instances of the video in question, even in HTML, and you don't have to draft a post to check.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:32 AM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


All this because a man ironed a shirt.
posted by Kabanos at 1:13 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"It's diminishing returns on something that really, really can mostly be handled by more thorough searching by the poster...

If the poster knows to search by the video id. The problem with videos is that they (like audio files, which are rarely linked) don't have content that's easily searchable in order to identify duplicate posts. I very rarely have posted, but when I have (or wanted to) I've done internal and Google searches looking for exact matches of some the (more likely to be unique) content of my link. But you can't do that with video content. You're stuck with finding it by keyword or how the poster might have described it or, as mentioned, the video ID which, frankly, you can't possibly expect more than a tiny number of people to even be aware of.

So, in short, I think that a bit more effort on the part of the admins for video content, from a site which is frequently linked (YT) does make sense because it's an edge case with an unusually large footprint. It would be very much an exception to the rule.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:22 PM on June 13, 2012


(which often has its pile of 'feature=related'-type cruft)

Surely we should instead just heap scorn on people who leave that crap in their links.
posted by hoyland at 2:33 PM on June 13, 2012


*cue someone pointing out where I've done it*
posted by hoyland at 2:34 PM on June 13, 2012


If the poster knows to search by the video id.

Or by tag, or by likely keywords like the piece's title or author or subject matter.

Or, in the very worst case scenario, the source of the double is totally unsearchable because it was mystery meat at a dead link with a bad title and poor tags and no explicatory comments in the thread, and yet someone recognizes it as a double and links to the old post and it gets deleted and nothing whatsoever bad happens.

The phrase "diminishing returns" doesn't mean "we don't give a shit", it means that we're looking at this pragmatically and saying that covering the large bulk of likely double situations is in fact good enough, that double posts are not a big deal, and that deleted doubles are a fact of life and tweaking one aspect of one source of post material further still to accommodate an external site's continued (and likely continuing) monkeying-around with their url structures is not necessarily worth some slim reduction in that specific subset of potential doubles.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:34 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


...t's an edge case with an unusually large footprint.

Which edge case are you talking about? Posting a duplicate YouTube video? That edge case doesn't happen very often, and when it does the stakes aren't very high. The same video can be posted to both YouTube or Vimeo or one of the thousands of sites that embed videos from these services. The same video can be posted multiple times to YouTube itself with different IDs. (That's what happened in this case.) We can't analyze video on this end to make sure a double won't be posted.

We could scrape YouTube IDs from existing posts and store them in a separate table. Then we could match against that table on posting. That might catch one or two doubles that we wouldn't otherwise catch. But how often is this happening? Is building this new system and the maintenance involved worth catching a couple extra doubles over the space of a year? It probably depends on how you feel about double posts.
posted by pb (staff) at 2:35 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


cortex: "...and nothing whatsoever bad happens."

LIES! All lies! NOT TRUE! We won't be allowed to post again for 24 hours. TWENTY FOUR WHOLE HOURS. One thousand four hundred and forty minutes -- every one like a little eternity -- of agonizing, excruciating withdrawal symptoms because we can't post to the goddamned Blue for a WHOLE FRIGGIN' DAY.

WORSE, the site MOCKS us with a notice on the YOU CAN'T POST NOW, SUCKER page, cruelly worded to provide the barest glimmer of hope before it's snatched away, leaving nothing but a black abyss: 'If you really have to get your post on the site before the day is up, email mathowie.' But does that ever work? Pffft. Pffft, I say.

The lambs. The lambs are screaming, cortex. Can't you hear them?
posted by zarq at 2:50 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


Perhaps I should switch to decaf.....
posted by zarq at 2:51 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't have strong feelings about this. I just thought it worth mentioning that it's harder to search for doubles in the case of video content and lots of posts are to YT videos.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 2:54 PM on June 13, 2012


Just block all links to YouTube. Problem solved. You people always look for the most complicated way to do simple tasks.
posted by dg at 3:09 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Perhaps I should switch to decaf.....

Either you need to or all of us have to.

posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:12 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Deathalicious: Can I just enter ul35l_vniQQ into the link URL field and it'll do a partial link match?

Easier yet: enter YouTube video IDs into the site search field. Viola, all instances of the video in question, even in HTML, and you don't have to draft a post to check.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:32 AM on June 13 [1 favorite +] [!]


Doing this only returns the comments in this thread, not any actual links.
posted by trip and a half at 3:13 PM on June 13, 2012


Doing this only returns the comments in this thread, not any actual links.

I did it with the actual string that Deathalicious used for the post [0WsmiGaWoTw] and got both deleted doubles. Are you sure you're typing it in the URL field of the New Post page?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:19 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Just block all links to YouTube. Problem solved. You people always look for the most complicated way to do simple tasks."

Aw. This sort of makes me nostalgic for the old days. Sadly, that ship has sailed and circumnavigated the Earth about eight times, then re-equipped, was launched into space, and is currently outbound from Neptune.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:23 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just added code to the double link checker that attempts to remove the various youtube link formats and search with the video ID alone. This should behave just like putting the youtube id in the form. The upside is that we'll catch those one or two doubles we wouldn't have. The downside is that if there is a difference between two distinct youtube URLs (maybe one has a time anchor, for example) they will show up as duplicates. This trade off seems ok.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:33 PM on June 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's very generous of you, considering that you didn't think this was worth the trouble. I don't care much either way, but I think it's sort of cool that you bothered.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:37 PM on June 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Building a separate youtube indexing service isn't worth the trouble. This change is a simpler alternative that should help.
posted by pb (staff) at 3:39 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Doing this only returns the comments in this thread, not any actual links.

I did it with the actual string that Deathalicious used for the post [0WsmiGaWoTw] and got both deleted doubles. Are you sure you're typing it in the URL field of the New Post page?

Oops, no. I was typing it into the search field.
posted by trip and a half at 4:30 PM on June 13, 2012


I'm grateful for the doubles and this meta because the link in the original-original post isn't working anymore and the commentary there made me really want to see it.
posted by morganw at 6:22 PM on June 13, 2012


That's very generous of you, considering that you didn't think this was worth the trouble.

Yeah, we've talked before here about the XY problems. People have an issue, they ask for a feature that will alleviate the issue. Sometimes the feature they're asking for is going to be a large-ish endeavor for what amounts to a small improvement for a small number. But sometimes we [I say "we" but pb is the mastermind most of the time] can think of a simpler way to achieve almost the same effect, in which case it suddenly becomes worth the (smaller) effort. It's always awesome when this sort of thing happens, but not something that always works.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:54 PM on June 13, 2012


Is it also possible (and worth the trouble) to check for doubles against comments?

I just made a (now deleted) post that was doublish - the story had been covered previously with a different link, and my fpp linked to an article that was linked in the comments on the previous thread very recently (the article didn't exist at the time of previous fpp's publication).
posted by vidur at 7:13 PM on June 13, 2012


Perha.ps.it/might /b/important.to rememb.er the bit.ly and dlvr.it traff.ic the IT net.wk knurds staY.UP @night 2getclicky.com on twitter are compiling.or not.

-99 problems and click traffic demographic aint 1
posted by vozworth at 7:24 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Technically something that has been in the comments may or may not be a double when put into a post, plus we have some order of magnitude more comments than posts, so this would be something difficult. Again, not to be all "you would have found it if you did THIS" about it, but checking the wine tag would have turned up the other post as the top result.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:25 PM on June 13, 2012


vidur, I thought it was an excellent and insightful article, and I really liked the angle from the producer whose wines were being counterfeited.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:30 PM on June 13, 2012


Thanks, jessamyn.
posted by vidur at 7:49 PM on June 13, 2012


The kinds of non-youtube cases where a poster won't be helped by the url-based double checking dwarf

I think it's great that we're employing people to double-check urls, but is "dwarf" the preferred nomenclature, dude?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:59 PM on June 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, comment-based doubles would be as technically approachable as anything (which is to say in theory doable, in practice probably not worth the extra effort of building out an additional built-to-purpose db table and callback hooks) but doesn't really fall nearly as cleanly into routine deletion reasons as a traditional double-post situation. Every once in a while it makes more sense to point back to the thread where something first came up as the venue for continued discussion, and we've deleted a few posts at least over the years on that basis, but it's not by far the common case and it's usually fine to turn a neat comment find into a post.

I think it's great that we're employing people to double-check urls, but is "dwarf" the preferred nomenclature, dude?

Serious answer to possibly light-hearted question: I have had the verb "dwarf(s)" as in "minimize by to-scale comparison" so thoroughly embedded in my vocabulary for so long (I'm one of those kids who grew up in love with astronomy, astronomical bodies, etc) that it doesn't even occur to me whether it's a skunked term because of the lexical politics of sizism or little people or whatever. I would be genuinely curious to know if this is actually an established issue.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:27 PM on June 13, 2012


Roger Ebert's column from '05 has an interesting back-and-forth on that.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:33 PM on June 13, 2012


It is.

There is a difference between a dwarf and a midget. I think one of them harkens back to P. T. Barnum.

I was also told, and no idea if it's true, that a dwarf is normally sized in all but stature, while in a midget things are proportional. Basically, this comes down to a midget has a proportional penis (small = small), while a dwarf is only short. Again, I have no empirical evidence to support this.

I work with a "little person" and it actually came up (by now people should know I lead a weird life). I asked him if he would rather be called a dwarf or midget or "little person." He said, "I hate midget. I'm a dwarf! But I'd rather be called Bob."*

*name changed to protect the innocent.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:45 PM on June 13, 2012


jessamyn: "Did you try it? Because yes, that's how it works."

I wanted to, but of course I was blocked from trying out the New Post form.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:17 PM on June 13, 2012


Hey, no backtagsies!
posted by blue_beetle at 6:15 AM on June 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Technically something that has been in the comments may or may not be a double when put into a post

Technically? This is the first I've heard of the idea that something that had come up in a comment might be considered a double; I (and others) have often reassured people who posted something and then discovered it had been mentioned in a comment that it was perfectly OK, it only counts if it was a separate post. Is this no longer the case? It seems like an awfully high bar.
posted by languagehat at 7:00 AM on June 14, 2012


I shall post every single link to everything on the internet in a comment, thus making every future post on MeFi a double. Checkmate.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:17 AM on June 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I should have been clearer.

Generally something that is a link in a comment isn't a double. However if it's an early link and quickly becomes THE topic of a thread it may make an actual post with only that link seem double-ish. So we've seen cases where there's a weak-link post, someone adds a much better link in an early "for more info, check this out" comment and then the thread starts to revolve around that link and not the main link. In that sot of case, which we do see but not often, making a new post with just that link would seem double-ish. And for niche-y topics opening a new post on a small subtopic in a thread that is open and active on or near the front page can seem double-ish. Or, as we see in long political type posts, pulling out one small link from a big topic and starting a new thread on just that may or may not be seen as a double depending on a bunch of things [see "Dick Cheney shoots man in face" we spent a lot of time trying to NOT keep people from spawning a ton of new subposts about that issue].

So, when in doubt assume that there is no new policy or guideline just that we may have not been clear enough in explaining it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:20 AM on June 14, 2012


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