Testing out a new US Politics sidebar widget February 6, 2017 2:23 PM   Subscribe

Based on a lot of discussion over the last year and especially the last couple months about how the site handles the visibility and organization of posts about contemporary US politics, we've put together a new sidebar tool that you can test out starting today.

This new US Politics widget, appearing for now in the sidebar of the front page between Contact Activity and the New & Noteworthy sections, is intended to address two distinct needs:

1. Providing an easy solution for folks who would like to see fewer posts about the current US political situation on their front page view of MetaFilter.

2. Providing a quick reference to relatively recent US politics threads for folks who would like to be able to find those more easily and consistently.

Trying to account for those two goals, the new widget has the following features:

- A "hide US politics post" link which, when enabled, will filter all posts tagged "potus45" from the front page
- A list of mod-curated links to noteworthy recent US politics posts on MetaFilter (this is hidden if you've got the "hide" option enabled)
- A +/- toggle to collapse the sidebar widget itself if you don't want it taking up much space in your sidebar (regardless of whether or not the "remove" option is enabled)

The mod team has had frimble prodding at the details of this for a while and it feels about as ready to road-test as we can get it, so we're gonna put it out there and let y'all start testing it out now.

If you're not interested in this feature, you can safely do nothing. The feature is disabled by default, and can be enabled and disabled freely. We'll evaluate folks' feedback on how useful it is for them and how well it works and go from there.

Note that this only affects the default front page view, so posts will not be filtered from Recent Activity, archives, tag pages, etc.

Some background

As a community we've had a lot of discussions in MetaTalk over the last year+ and especially the last couple months about how to approach both moderation of and discoverability of posts tied to the 2016 US Presidential election process and now the Trump administration. A few concerns have repeatedly come up in those discussion:

A. Some folks don't like seeing US politics discussion on the front page much if at all, because it interferes with their use of MetaFilter as among other things an oasis from that stuff.
B. Some folks don't like the way we've been herding most related topics into a single large catch-all megathread to reduce the number of distinct posts on the front page, because it leads to especially busy threads where focused discussion of a subtopic can be difficult.
C. There has been frequent confusion (expressed in both MetaTalk and in threads on the blue) about whether and where there's a new thread, based on tag searching, skimming the front page, and catching-or-not a mention of a new thread in a large extant one.

None of these have trivial solutions; solving all of them would be very difficult indeed. There's been suggestions of a couple measures on the drastic side—just plain barring the topic, or conversely building out a new subsite specifically for politics/news—neither of which is on the table.

This is instead an attempt to make an incremental change. This widget should help some with (A) and (C) in a direct way: folks can more easily avoid and/or locate US politics posts using the widget. It'll help with (B) more indirectly, in that having an easy way to either hide or locate related posts will make it more justifiable to relax a little bit the One Big Thread prescription and selectively allow a bit more sub-topic posting through on the front page, something we've been easing into a little already to ease the strain on the megathreads.

So: not a cure-all, but hopefully it'll help some. For folks who want more detailed/customized filtering of the front page, there is the existing My MeFi feature available from the front page menu, with which you can use a personal list of tags to filter your view of the site, and which works independently from this new feature.
posted by cortex to MetaFilter-Related at 2:23 PM (124 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite

This is a good thing.
posted by waitingtoderail at 2:27 PM on February 6 [10 favorites]


i just saw it and yelled

it's great
posted by poffin boffin at 2:29 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


I like it! Thanks mods and frimble!
posted by lalex at 2:30 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


This is a good thing, and I like it; sometimes I want politics in my Metafilter, and sometimes I don't.

Initial playing around seems to confirm it is working as intended; only question/thought is that enabling/disabling prompts the browser to open a new tab for Metafilter, so I wind up with multiple tabs of the front page (default; no politics; politics turned back on, etc); is that as intended? I'm not sure it's a big deal, I was just anticipating a page refresh/reload rather than a new tab. Or maybe I have a weird setting somewhere.
posted by nubs at 2:32 PM on February 6


Oh, nubs, interesting. I bet that's keying into the preferences behavior for "open links in new tabs", which I think we should be making an exception case for if so. Probably a quick tweak.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:33 PM on February 6


Yeah, I have to say "keepin g the politics and letting me decide whether or not I'm in the mood for it" is an ideal solution for me too. Thanks frimble and team!
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:34 PM on February 6 [6 favorites]


I like it. I tried disabling/reenabling and it just refreshed my browser window, rather than opening any new tabs. The mod curation of which posts are included in the widget is also good, I think.
posted by Existential Dread at 2:35 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Any way of having the posts hidden on the FPPs BUT displaying in the sidebar?
posted by lmfsilva at 2:38 PM on February 6


___ DAYS SINCE THE LAST #POTUS45 THREAD
posted by grouse at 2:39 PM on February 6 [13 favorites]


This doesn't seem to actually do the filtering under the classic theme. I still see at least 3 potus45 posts, even thought the potus45 section in the sidebar goes away. I've tried refreshing after the initial load. I haven't tried the modern theme yet.

That aside, this is a great idea.
posted by figurant at 2:39 PM on February 6


Oh, nubs, interesting. I bet that's keying into the preferences behavior for "open links in new tabs", which I think we should be making an exception case for if so

Yes, removed that as a preference for myself, and it now just refreshes the page. So that would seem to be it.
posted by nubs at 2:40 PM on February 6


This is awesome. Thanks frimble! Thanks mods!
posted by Ruki at 2:40 PM on February 6


It's indeed that preference, nubs. I've fixed it now.
posted by frimble (staff) at 2:42 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Any way of having the posts hidden on the FPPs BUT displaying in the sidebar?

No plans for that for the moment; we don't to add more moving parts to it if we can help it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:42 PM on February 6


Figurant, can you give me a few examples of potus45 posts that you see after clicking 'Hide US politics posts'? The filtering has been working for me in classic, but perhaps I'm missing something.
posted by frimble (staff) at 2:44 PM on February 6


Is this visible on a smart phone? I don't seem to be able to find it.
posted by taff at 2:45 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Is this visible on a smart phone? I don't seem to be able to find it.

Ballsy hell, that's a good point. It's down the page on Modern in mobile with the rest of the sidebar stuff; for Classic on mobile you'd need at the moment to pop over to the desktop layout to get at it (or pop temporarily over to Mobile). We'll think about how to handle that long-run.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:50 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


http://www.metafilter.com/164968/doonaldjtrump-dot-com
http://www.metafilter.com/164967/When-I-hear-the-art-of-the-possible-I-reach-for-my-revolver
http://www.metafilter.com/164947/The-Trump-roundup
http://www.metafilter.com/164941/Trump-Metafilter-is-now-illegal

All display for me on the front page with US politics hidden (the sidebar prompt looks like: US Politics [+] ) under both classic and plain themes. I noticed that I had javascript disabled for metafilter.com in Chrome, but that's enabled now.

I've tried the modern themes, and the filtering looks like it works there just fine.
posted by figurant at 2:53 PM on February 6


___ DAYS UNTIL #POTUS46
posted by jillithd at 2:55 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


hmmmm I am using Chrome with Classic theme and those all hide just fine.
posted by lalex at 2:55 PM on February 6


First, this is awesome - thank you!

Second, a question: For those of us that consume MetaFilter via an RSS reader, is there anyway to carry this over to our feed so these posts don't appear there, either?
posted by NotMyselfRightNow at 2:55 PM on February 6


I imagine disabling javascript might have messed something up. I'll clear my cookies and try again.
posted by figurant at 2:56 PM on February 6


The [-] just hides the sidebar item (as it also does for Contact Activity above). Do they hide when you expand the sidebar item and click "Hide US politics posts" ?
posted by frimble (staff) at 2:56 PM on February 6


I'm possibly an idiot. How do you enable it?
posted by mudpuppie at 2:56 PM on February 6


This doesn't play very nicely with the plutor's MeFi Deleted Post serscript. That's a) not surprising, since this is basically 'deleting' posts and b) not something I would expect you guys to worry about. But I dropped a MeMail to plutor, and wanted to note it here for others.
posted by Frayed Knot at 2:57 PM on February 6


(Oh, and I LOVE this! thank you thank you thank you thank you!!!)
posted by Frayed Knot at 2:58 PM on February 6


Second, a question: For those of us that consume MetaFilter via an RSS reader, is there anyway to carry this over to our feed so these posts don't appear there, either?

No, this wouldn't affect the RSS for the front page; we serve that globally, not per-user, so the feed will always just be based on the default collection of (non-deleted) posts on the front page.

In general, if the question is "does/can this affect a view of the site other than staring at the front page", the answer is no; we're scoping it really narrowly by design right now, and generally expect that scope to stay narrow.

And yeah, Frayed Knot, I'd guess this enabling this might mess with a couple of scripts.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:59 PM on February 6


The [-] just hides the sidebar item (as it also does for Contact Activity above). Do they hide when you expand the sidebar item and click "Hide US politics posts" ?

Doh. That was it. The filtering definitely works now.
posted by figurant at 3:00 PM on February 6


Veryveryvery cool
posted by not_the_water at 3:03 PM on February 6


yeah, we need this. The potus45 threads are providing a useful safety valve and space for dealing with the horror. The work going in to this and to the moderation is deeply appreciated.
posted by theora55 at 3:03 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Mudpuppie, on the front page, in the right-hand column, there should already be a heading, "US Politics", with a list of links underneath.

If you're using a phone, and are in the modern theme, the list will be all the way at the bottom of the same page. If you're using a phone and are in the classic theme, the tool is not yet available.
posted by frimble (staff) at 3:03 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


One approves of this idoneous enhancement.
posted by Wordshore at 3:04 PM on February 6


This doesn't play very nicely with the plutor's MeFi Deleted Post serscript.

Just posting the MeFi Deleted and AskMe Deleted blogs for folks who may not know about them.
posted by lalex at 3:05 PM on February 6 [4 favorites]


I'm Johnny Wallflower and I approve of this feature.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:05 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie, try ctrl-f searching your front page for "potus45".
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:06 PM on February 6


It's indeed that preference, nubs. I've fixed it now.

Awesome! Thank you very much!
posted by nubs at 3:09 PM on February 6


Thank you for this!
posted by mixedmetaphors at 3:11 PM on February 6


I didn't notice it while browsing today, but I like the idea.
posted by tobascodagama at 3:15 PM on February 6


This is fantastic, thank you!
posted by jacobian at 3:27 PM on February 6


Seriously, thanks frimble and Team Mod for this. I was literally thinking earlier today how depressing it was becoming to visit the front page, and how much I missed seeing just a collection of radom interestingness instead of stuff that made me want to cry. I genuinely appreciate the respite.
posted by billiebee at 3:38 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Good!!!!

Also, 6 tagged US politics posts in February. That's one per day. Fuuuuuck
posted by naju at 3:41 PM on February 6


6 tagged US politics posts in February. That's one per day. Fuuuuuck

Holy crap, that's all? I would have guessed more.

Happily engaging this feature. Perhaps someday I'll be up for politics again...but for right now, I'm glad that Metafilter can be a low-politics zone (for me).
posted by Elly Vortex at 3:48 PM on February 6


Thank you! A good solution.
posted by Celsius1414 at 3:54 PM on February 6


I like it lots. Thanks!
posted by you must supply a verb at 3:58 PM on February 6


Doesn't seem to filter the "recent comments" page. Not sure if feature or bug.
posted by effbot at 3:59 PM on February 6


Yeah, it only affects the front page, not any other view. So the potus45 posts will still show up on Recent Comments, Popular Favorites, search results, etc.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:02 PM on February 6


Oh man I'm glad we have the US politics posts but I never visit the Popular Comments page anymore.
posted by lalex at 4:05 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Apologies if this is elsewhere, but is there guidance on when to use the #potus45 tag? Should this only be for posts like the omnibus election posts, or should it be on any post related to the current administration?
posted by grobstein at 4:08 PM on February 6


Any post related to the current administration, to aid people in finding and filtering them (in or out). Mods can always take a look at borderline cases and add or remove the tag as needed (feel free to use the contact form and let us know if you think a tag is missing or overreaching). We can kinda see how it shakes out in practice; and if there's a lot of problems/borderline cases, we can revisit it and see if we need a couple of tags or different types of tags or whatever.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:14 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


On the sidebar links --
They're manually curated. The basic idea is, we'll try to sidebar a small handful of the most-likely-to-be-sought-out posts. For the current catch-all main thread, we'll keep a handy link in the sidebar; a random silly art project, we probably wouldn't include even if it's about Trump. Selection for that list, and re-titling to short simple titles, is by mods, so make suggestions to contact form if something's missing/etc.

On which posts you should tag #potus45--
The "hide posts" function hides things tagged #potus45, and is meant to be much more broad than the sidebar quicklinks list. Certainly it should include posts about Trump administration doings, major figures, thinkpieces about them, etc. If your post names Trump, or is something you'd naturally tag "trump", also tag it potus45. Major US political stuff, and international or non-US stuff that strongly involves Trump and Our Current Unpleasantness, would also fall under this. (So like, a post about whether Trump will get a state visit in some country, that would count as something to tag.)

Then we'll have some posts that are more gray-area. Thinkpieces about fascism more broadly. Historical stuff, or artistic stuff, etc that's clearly inspired by current politics but which maybe doesn't mention the administration by name. US political stuff maybe at the state level that doesn't actually involve the federal government. Current-events posts about big important badness, but which aren't about the current administration. We'll need to see how people feel about these.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:18 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


Thank fuck. I thought I'd never be able to come back here again. Blessings on frimble et al.
posted by tzikeh at 4:19 PM on February 6 [3 favorites]


Will mods be adding the #potus45 tag if the OP doesn't?
posted by tzikeh at 4:20 PM on February 6


Where it seems appropriate, sure.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:21 PM on February 6


Can you guys consider adding a "should be tagged politicsfilter" to the flagging popup menu?
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:21 PM on February 6


We had been adding "Election2016" to election threads when people let us know it was missing, a lot of people do use the tags to find the current political threads. So yeah, we'll continue that with the potus45 tag.

"Can you guys consider adding a "should be tagged politicsfilter" to the flagging popup menu?"

No, just use the contact form.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 4:22 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


Yay! Done and done.
posted by chococat at 4:26 PM on February 6


Oh, this is amazing and much-needed. Merci, merci, merci mille fois.
posted by infinitewindow at 4:33 PM on February 6


Thank you!!
posted by masquesoporfavor at 5:25 PM on February 6


This is clever, peculiar and unexpected. I heartily endorse the effort that went in to attempting to meet our (we, the Mefites') contrary needs. Game Boy Advance!
posted by comealongpole at 5:27 PM on February 6


This is great.

I mean, I'm unheathily addicated to the politics posts, but this is great for everyone else.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 5:28 PM on February 6


Curiosity: is it coded such that similar sidebars could be conveniently conjured based largely upon their #tag?
posted by comealongpole at 5:37 PM on February 6


The links in the sidebar aren't auto-generated -- they're manually selected and re-titled.

If you want to filter FPPs by tag in general, you can do that with the fully-customizable MyMefi tab. Lets you include or exclude by tag and/or category.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 5:45 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


This is so nice - thank you!! It's a brilliant solution for both supporting our voices in these troubling times (read letting us scream angrily into the horror void) AND having a scary-free space to chew on unrelated and interesting things.

Superb idea, excellent execution, 10 points to Ravenclaw.
posted by hapaxes.legomenon at 6:02 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


This pony is good and I have fed sugar cubes to her.
posted by cooker girl at 6:24 PM on February 6 [2 favorites]


This is a work of art. Thank you.
posted by kimberussell at 6:29 PM on February 6 [1 favorite]


This seems like an elegant solution to a thorny problem. Many thanks.
posted by Tentacle of Trust at 6:35 PM on February 6


This is great.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 6:58 PM on February 6


Thank you very much. <3
posted by Hermione Granger at 10:15 PM on February 6


I'm here to add my woop to the pile of WOOP WOOPs building up already.

Mucho thankso fantastico!
posted by Juso No Thankyou at 12:40 AM on February 7


Will you be collecting any numbers on how many people turn on the filter?
posted by deadwax at 2:25 AM on February 7


Nice!
Thanks for the hard work!
posted by From Bklyn at 2:34 AM on February 7


Nice work, really helpful! Thanks :)
posted by adrianhon at 3:08 AM on February 7


I'm always on Mobile so I've switched to the Modern theme for this (Ive always been on professional white because I used to have a job).

I love it! Oh frabjous day!
posted by threetwentytwo at 4:40 AM on February 7


Good thing I held off on my well thought-out MetaTalk submission on maybe holding down the number of Trump posts to one per week (or when he's impeached or strokes out, whichever comes first).
posted by yhbc at 5:47 AM on February 7


Thanks for Making MetaFilter Great Again!
posted by briank at 6:18 AM on February 7


You guys are the best, thank you!
posted by something something at 6:33 AM on February 7


No, this wouldn't affect the RSS for the front page; we serve that globally, not per-user, so the feed will always just be based on the default collection of (non-deleted) posts on the front page.

Doesn't the RSS feed show deleted posts? I know it used to.

And I thank you deeply and honestly for making this work with the Classic Theme.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:39 AM on February 7


Will you be collecting any numbers on how many people turn on the filter?

Hadn't specifically planned to; this was motivated by enough of a clearly expressed need that it doesn't really live or die on volume of uptake, so we're more concerned with whether it ends up seeming to do the job it was meant to fairly well than with raw numbers, etc.

Doesn't the RSS feed show deleted posts? I know it used to.

I believe the feed stops serving deleted posts once they've actually been deleted, but the nature of RSS readers and second-hand caching and non-immediate deletes and so on is such that those threads may still end up existing as feed entries in some client-side contexts. But I could be wrong; I interact with RSS very little personally these days.

Thanks for Making MetaFilter Great Again!

TOO SOON
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:43 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Very thoughtful and well done! Thank you.
posted by klarck at 6:49 AM on February 7


Fully awesome. I do believe I was the last person to get lost before the rollout of this, so I'm going to consider myself the catalyst, and that I've changed the world for the better. Go me.
posted by HotToddy at 6:59 AM on February 7


naju: Also, 6 tagged US politics posts in February. That's one per day. Fuuuuuck

We had a ton of Obama posts starting around a year before he won the presidency (MeFi search for "Obama," second to last page), and it ramped up after he won, but it's a lot different when you're sharing and chatting about wonderful things, compared to another round of "holy shit, how can there be more bad news?"

Really, the catch-all threads are fantastic to corral the chaos, and this is a leap up in terms of serving many wishes of the users. Kudos and thanks!
posted by filthy light thief at 7:16 AM on February 7


Yay! This is a great idea!
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:30 AM on February 7


This is so wonderful, and so helpful for my sanity levels--thank you!!
posted by theatro at 7:38 AM on February 7


With this new feature, and regarding point B above, is there some new guidance as to what's appropriate for its own thread (and what's not)? Is one thread per executive order/issue going overboard?
posted by fragmede at 7:40 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I think we'll have to see how it shakes out, but yeah, the thought is, this will make it a little more tolerable to have more separate threads. So, a really meaty article on a single issue could now support its own thread, and a silly art project can now be its own thread, as well as maybe having a separate thread for an especially discussion-worthy event/nomination/exec order/etc. We'll still be applying discretion and trying to avoid a proliferation of news-update type posts, so it's definitely not a "each thing should get a separate thread" change. But yeah, I anticipate there will be more latitude to split off separable bits of discussion.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:48 AM on February 7


Meant to add -- lots of people won't use the "hide" feature, and the general public/logged-out users can't use it, so the "normal" (un-hidden) view of the front page still matters. We still want to keep the front page more-or-less balanced and not have it be flooded with political posts -- so (sigh) one post per outrageous action would be too much.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:56 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


This is so awesome it almost seems like magic. I turned it on and the front page was instantly restored to the non-panic-attack-inducing state it embodied in The Beforetimes. Thank you, thank you!
posted by amnesia and magnets at 8:26 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


I reactivated my account for this.
posted by odinsdream at 8:35 AM on February 7 [4 favorites]


the general public/logged-out users can't use it

Update: I'm informed that this is wrong! The general public/logged-out users can use it.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:39 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


<THUMBS UP EMOJI>
posted by scrump at 10:29 AM on February 7


Is anybody producing a POTUS45-free version of the RSS feed yet? I would prefer to put that in my feedreader, if one existed.
posted by the antecedent of that pronoun at 12:46 PM on February 7


As a regular in the politics threads, I love this feature already.
posted by Excommunicated Cardinal at 1:00 PM on February 7


Shouldn't this be tagged as a political thread?
posted by naju at 1:56 PM on February 7


Yeah, so that's a good example of a borderline case -- it's not directly about politics or the administration, it's not even about a news event like the original Nazi-punching was, instead it's an videogame art project responding to (for lack of a better word) the current climate. So, do people want kind of thing that to be hidden?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:05 PM on February 7


Please hide all Nazi-related material that is clearly directly related to Trump. I saw that post and was very surprised that my activation of the new feature didn't hide it. Just seeing the words make me shake.
posted by tzikeh at 2:29 PM on February 7


I believe the feed stops serving deleted posts once they've actually been deleted, but the nature of RSS readers and second-hand caching and non-immediate deletes and so on is such that those threads may still end up existing as feed entries in some client-side contexts. But I could be wrong; I interact with RSS very little personally these days.

At least with Feedly, it seems to keep posts in the feed until the user has read or deleted them. I've seen posts still on my Feedly feed five or six days later that I know have been deleted shortly after posting. (This is why I follow both the MeFi RSS feed and the Deleted Posts blog feed…)
posted by Lexica at 3:18 PM on February 7


So, do people want that kind of thing to be hidden?

I'm willing to defer to others on this, but just personally seeing a bunch of the same questionable rhetoric I'm flooded with by friends on Facebook right now ("Doesn't this make you the real Nazi?", "Wait, wait, isn't it important to protect their free speech as well?") was enough to incense me a little bit, especially given that I was excited about a newly politics-free front page. It may not refer to specific political events expressly, but it's clear enough that it's meant to be a comment on a certain type of reaction to the Nazi-punching and Berkeley protests. So, political in all but name, in my view, and thus worthy of the tag.
posted by naju at 4:11 PM on February 7


Would this be considered for the potus45 tag?
posted by zabuni at 5:51 PM on February 7


Would this be considered for the potus45 tag?

I think that should have been considered for the open thread.
posted by lalex at 5:52 PM on February 7


This is a brilliant solution. I like it.
posted by Wretch729 at 6:28 PM on February 7


LobsterMitten: "So, do people want kind of thing that to be hidden?"

It's a bit of departure for Metafilter but in this case I think borderline cases should be included.
posted by Mitheral at 7:46 PM on February 7


And one more. Are we going to have a separation of politics, or is this just a fig leaf? I'm going to start flagging them.
posted by zabuni at 10:55 PM on February 7


Please keep in mind that we are testing this to work out exactly these sorts of issues, so it's really much better to discuss here to help us get a handle on things than to flag right now.

So, yes, I'm going to include this one for the filtered-out list, but was just discussing with frimble about how to do that, and we're working on it. The idea right now is to add USPolitics as a tag that will work with the filter list. The Yiannopoulos thing is sort of different from many of the usual US politics posts since he was an "internet troll" topic well before this administration, so it's not quite "Potus45," but because it's "alt right" related, it's definitely (now) US Politics related. *sob*

Also, not sure what you mean by "fig leaf" but it would be good to go ahead and let us know what your specific concern is rather than assuming ... whatever it is you're assuming. Is it that you think we secretly want to slip politics posts into your page view while pretending that we're not? Because that's not true, and we would be creepy weirdos to do that.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:35 AM on February 8


Can you add a feature that lets me turn Dark Mode off, but for the entire world
posted by XMLicious at 1:01 AM on February 8 [4 favorites]


I think that feature is called, "lighting a candle".
posted by frimble (staff) at 1:28 AM on February 8 [5 favorites]


I love you all.
posted by infini at 2:59 AM on February 8


If you want to filter FPPs by tag in general, you can do that with the fully-customizable MyMefi tab. Lets you include or exclude by tag and/or category.

I use My MeFi to filter out obit posts (which generally bum me out), and the "Hide/Show US Politics posts" does not seem to affect My MeFi. I realize I can just add potus45 to my excluded tags manually, but I don't always want to avoid politics threads.

So, my pony is a two parter (ew):

1. Have the sidebar show up in My MeFi (I think this was once in the works, not sure if it has been delayed or binned).

2. Have the "Hide/Show US Politics posts" work on the filtered My MeFi view.

I fully realize this may be technically difficult or impossible, but just thought I'd mention it.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:51 AM on February 8


By fig leaf I am wondering how much effort will be made to monitor new front page posts in order to tag them correctly. The whole point of the filter is to keep them off the front page, if the person chooses. This is going to be an ongoing effort. The mods are already overburdened, and not putting enough effort into checking the content of every post will make the filter not very useful.

Is it that you think we secretly want to slip politics posts into your page view while pretending that we're not?

Not the mods, but there is a tendency on Metafilter for posters thinking "people NEED to see this". Thus the ban on petitions, kickstarters and the like. Combine this with the fact that posters on the site have started not to name Trump by his name, using keywords and tags (which have always been a more voluntary part of the site), makes self filtering efforts fall short.

I know it can't be perfect, but I see this going the same way as any potential of adding spoiler tags to Metafilter: an ongoing battle on which items qualify, items slipping through constantly, loads of additional mod duties that will give when other more important duties have to be done, and no one satisfied.
posted by zabuni at 6:30 AM on February 8


cortex, frimble, any chance we could have the links in the widget take us downthread instead of to the top each time? What I mean to say is, given a thread that on the front page looks like "2400 comments (40 new)", to link to the '40 new' anchor. Even when those links aren't super accurate they're still way easier than finding your last-read place from the top of a huge thread.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 7:05 AM on February 8


zabuni - yeah, it will definitely be imperfect, and anybody using this should brace themselves for it to be imperfect -- especially for newly-posted threads, in the first hour or so after they go up. I think tagging will steadily improve as the frequenters-of-political-threads get accustomed to adding the new tag, but yeah, there'll still be folks who just haven't heard about the tag or whatever. Folks can drop us a line to the contact form (or in here for now) and let us know if something should be tagged.

Maybe we should add a tag for "altright" if that's something people who want to filter this stuff will want filtered out. I'm torn, because I'd like to keep it simple (one tag) but it's hard to pick one tag that naturally encompasses everything that I imagine people might want to block.

two unicycles - IIRC, the "40 new" that you see on the front page is only approximate based on something about cookies and the front page -- not on your own actual read-to-here point in the given thread. In other words, it's not tied to an actual anchor comment within the thread. The site doesn't track where you are in a thread and (again IIRC) it's trickier to implement that than it might seem.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:17 AM on February 8


I'm too worn out this week to keep up with current ongoing US political threads, so I appreciate this addition and I think it's a pretty good solution to the sitewide blowup on politics threads. I know wrangling them has probably meant a big uptick in active moderation, so thanks, active modpersons.
posted by byanyothername at 4:16 PM on February 8


Would it be worth including links to schmod's MobileFilter tool for each thread for people who have to bail from the live thread due to device overload?
posted by XMLicious at 6:24 PM on February 8


Is it appropriate or unhelpful to flag new posts as "Other" if they pretty clearly need a potus45 tag?
posted by yhbc at 12:46 PM on February 9


Dropping us a quick note at the contact form would be the clearest thing, but an "other" flag isn't an awful move or anything.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:59 PM on February 9


Here's another one.
posted by zabuni at 1:43 PM on February 9


Yeah, that's the one I was talking about too, but after I wrote my comment I saw it got a "USPolitics" tag which I assumed took care of the situation.
posted by yhbc at 2:56 PM on February 9


I gasped in delight when I saw the tiny widget! Thank yoooooooooouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu!
posted by one teak forest at 11:11 AM on February 10


holy SHIT can someone tag that cockroach post with #potus45
posted by lalex at 4:10 PM on February 10 [2 favorites]


So when will this be available for other sites? I'm getting rather tired of this Trump guy, he's everywhere.
posted by effbot at 9:23 AM on February 11 [1 favorite]


Can someone tag the Stand with Gavin post, please? http://www.metafilter.com/165093/StandWithGavin
posted by tzikeh at 2:51 PM on February 13


Should we discuss exactly what constitutes a US politics post? Because there's now a request to tag the #StandWithGavin thread so it is excluded for those with the filter turned on. And I certainly don't want to force anybody to see anything they don't want to see, but I'm not sure what the community expectation is around, say, civil rights posts, most of which will inevitably have some degree of a political dimension because politics is part of how one fights for or against civil rights.
posted by zachlipton at 2:54 PM on February 13


In that case I went ahead and added "uspolitics" and nixed that comment because I think the combination of judiciary action at the moment and the Trump admin's recent open agitation against trans rights plants that particular discussion pretty firmly in current administration territory. I don't think the same analysis would necessarily hold for posts about trans issues or rights in general, but this felt clear-cut enough to me to just act on.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:59 PM on February 13 [3 favorites]


I wish the OP of the Stand with Gavin post hadn't continued the FPP about Gavin's fight going to SCOTUS with "in other news about TRUMP TRUMP TRUMP," because that's really the major trigger, and I'm not using that word lightly.
posted by tzikeh at 3:05 PM on February 13


Just popping in to say I've already gotten a lot of use out of the new "here's the most recent catch-all thread" part of the sidebar. Thank you!
posted by lalex at 9:36 AM on February 15


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