Anchors for deleted comments February 28, 2017 8:32 AM   Subscribe

Since the megathreads are so long and cause problems with mobile browsers occasionally reloading the page, I've found it easiest to "checkpoint" my place by occasionally clicking on the timestamps so that my browser will update the URL to have the anchor of that comment. That way if the page is accidentally reloaded it will go back somewhere near the right location. If I'm unlucky enough to click on a comment that is deleted due to moderation, the anchor goes away and I must endlessly scroll hoping to find where I left off. Is it possible for the anchor tags for deleted posts be preserved into either the next comment or maybe the [moderators comment] that removed it?
posted by autopilot to Feature Requests at 8:32 AM (57 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

I'm sorry that happens, and I can definitely see how it's a pain in long threads.

This isn't a technical solution we're likely to implement on our side, though. It would mean including extra stuff in the thread (like anchors for all deleted comments), which would mean adding a lot of extra weight especially to the biggest threads (exactly the places this lost-my-place issue is most annoying).

Probably the best solution is to choose comments to anchor to that are unlikely to be deleted (not fighty, not responding to something fighty, etc). I know that's not a cure-all though, and I'm sorry this is frustrating.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:42 AM on February 28 [5 favorites]


I'll jump in and say "not really". The two ways that I see to accomplish this with how anchors work would be either to include anchors for every deleted comment where that comment would have been or to add Javascript to jump to the next comment. Both approaches have their own difficulties:

Having anchors for every deleted comment results in comments not having been deleted cleanly: there's still a little bit of HTML hanging around that says 'a comment was deleted here', and the approach so far has been that deleted comments are deleted: you can't go look at them or count them, etc. Just to explain a little further why this matters: the first thing that I would think of doing with that knowledge would be to write a userscript that inserted [5 deleted comments] into the thread.

Adding Javascript to jump to the next comment anchor has the side effect of making (especially large) threads load slower, because the script would have to check against all existing comments in order to see if the anchor with which the page was loaded still exists.

So yeah, I do the same thing out of habit when browsing on my phone, so I totally get where you're coming from and why you want it, but I'm not seeing a solution that doesn't make something else worse.
posted by frimble (staff) at 8:53 AM on February 28 [4 favorites]


Wait, if I click on the time stamp, I can link to that comment directly and I can go back to it when I load on my mobile? IF I click on a time stamp on my mobile does it carry over to the web browser version? What else can I do with this time stamp?
posted by AugustWest at 8:59 AM on February 28


I work across several shared computers during the day, so clicking the timestamp does nothing. I just remember the timestamp of the comment I last saw and CTRL+F for it when I come back.

Generally, the politics threads are fast-moving enough that there will be multiple comments at, say, 8:43, and if the only comment at 8:43 gets deleted, people rarely write anything like 8:4 in a sentence so I can CTRL+F for comments around where I was trying to get back to. It's low-tech but it works for me.
posted by blnkfrnk at 9:03 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


AugustWest, no, it's per-browser, per-device, so clicking the timestamp will only help you get back to that comment on the phone browser where you originally clicked it.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:06 AM on February 28


I've bookmarked the link on a timestamp on my desktop so I can open the bookmark on my mobile browser on the commute home and it works faster than finding my place in a long thread. I use Chrome logged into the same account on my 3 main devices so it works. It probably wouldn't be worth the effort of sending myself a link or whatever if the bookmarks weren't synchronized.

Also, in Chrome at least, if you click on a link on one browser and then open Chrome on another device (again logged into the same account) that link will be in History.

To the OP question - This might get too close to pagination, but would it be possible to have anchors independent of any specific comment that jump by X number to the previous or next block of comments? That could allow for faster navigation on mobile where right now the best option is to jump to the top or bottom if you can't remember a word or timestamp to search for. Something like every 25 comments there would be a small line with:
Next25 | Previous25
or similar. It could be mobile only or hide-able in preferences. It would move slightly when comments are deleted, but it would get people closer maybe?
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:26 AM on February 28


AugustWest: "What else can I do with this time stamp?"

It's how this style comment quoting works. If you click on your username above it'll take you to the comment being quoted so you can see the quoted text in context. You can also do this to link to a specific comment in another thread.
posted by Mitheral at 9:29 AM on February 28


Thank you to Mitheral and LobsterMitten for the info. Much appreciated.
posted by AugustWest at 10:22 AM on February 28


in Chrome at least, if you click on a link on one browser and then open Chrome on another device (again logged into the same account) that link will be in History

Ah cool - yeah, I should have said, as far as the site goes, we don't do anything to make it work across devices, but if your browser is cloudfully syncing across your devices I guess it can accomplish this without us doing anything.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:38 AM on February 28


Moderately related: Could we get a way to set a 'this is where I last read up to' in our Recent Activity? By default it goes to whatever your last comment in the thread was, but that's not that useful if you've either added it to RA manually or are in a fast-moving thread. In the latter's case, I feel that it encourages leaving small, quick comments in the thread to have a point of return from RA -- which just makes threads that are already fast even faster.

Funnily enough, I've ended up using favorites as *bookmarks* in fast threads, as a ctrl-F for "−]" puts me back at a comment I know I've read.
posted by flatluigi at 11:08 AM on February 28 [2 favorites]


If I'm unlucky enough to click on a comment that is deleted due to moderation, the anchor goes away

Can you use a nearby comment that wouldn't be deleted instead?
posted by Room 641-A at 11:09 AM on February 28


Can we maybe consider a running MeTa for asking miscellaneous housekeeping questions about the megathreads and their related threads that aren't worth starting a thread?

I know they must be a bear to moderate, and asking those kinds of questions in-band is evidently not helpful, which is entirely understandable.
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:10 AM on February 28


flatluigi, maybe I'm misunderstanding -- I think Recent Activity shows the last ten comments in the thread, or the comments since the last comment you made, whichever is fewer comments.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:11 AM on February 28


And if you have a housekeeping question, you can always hit us up at the contact form.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:13 AM on February 28


Yeah, even the contact form feels too obtrusive sometimes...plus there's no opportunity for feedback from other uses, vs the single mod who answers, and you can't check to see if something's already been discussed and then not bother busy people. Just a thought, if we're going to keep having these megathreads with associated thread....constellations?

If I understood FL, the idea is that RA would show you X posts after the last post the server thinks you read. But that seems like kind of a mess to implement and different than what RA does...

You can do the thing where you click on the time of a post while you're reading, and if you navigate away and then come back to the full thread-page, the view will anchor there. (If I said that right.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:20 AM on February 28


It's mostly that in a long, fast thread, the place where you've last read can be a hundred or so comments from your last comment but also a hundred or so before the most recent comments. The server already tracks the last post it thinks you've seen, and in long threads that's a more relevant comment to surface/link back to from RA than your comment or the last comments in a thread.
posted by flatluigi at 11:54 AM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Hitting the contact form isn't a bother -- it's the first, best way to ask questions of the mods. It's linked in the bottom right corner of every page, on the top of the FAQ page (which itself is linked in the top nav bar), and on the Metatalk New Post page. (Ongoing open MeTas paralleling every politics thread, just in case people want a place to have a displaced fight, would be a much bigger drain on mod resources. If there's some specific thing that needs community discussion, folks can post a MeTa about it.)

the server already tracks the last post it thinks you've seen

Actually, it doesn't track this -- never has -- although it's been requested and it's very understandable why folks think it does. We don't have it for RA or for regular thread view. The numbers on the front page of "x new comments since your last visit" are only approximate guesses based on the time you last hit the front page, and are not based on any tracking of where you've read to in threads. The basic reason we don't have this is: tracking it for every user, for every thread, would be a huge resource-suck.

Historically there was a Greasemonkey script (that you could install on your own computer) that would track your position in a thread -- it's the Metafilter Scroll Tag script. I don't think it's being actively maintained but it may still work, I'm not sure.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:02 PM on February 28 [2 favorites]


Hitting the contact form isn't a bother

OK! I will keep telling myself this until I believe it. I know the link is there for a reason, I'm not sure why it feels like an imposition. Appreciate the reassurance.
posted by snuffleupagus at 12:37 PM on February 28


My approach is to do a search on the page for a unique (or relatively unique) word from one of the most recent comments I had been reading. This usually works ok for me.
posted by aniola at 12:41 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


search on the page for a unique (or relatively unique) word

Me too! Recent winners have been "trundle" and "Valencia".
posted by paper chromatographologist at 1:06 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


We've had similar discussions before, and I still really think that a pseudo-pagination link of 250 or whatever comments would be a huge improvement on small screens.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:35 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


Ohhhh...I just thought the fact that usually clicking the timestamp worked, but that sometimes, randomly, Safari on my phone forgot the timestamp (and it disappeared from the URL) was that Safari was randomly crapping out. I'm glad to know what the problem is!

(Also, regularly on the long threads, Safari can't find the old timestamp even though it's stored in the URL. But clicking on the URL and *then* asking it to reload the thread sometimes helps it to find it.)
posted by leahwrenn at 1:49 PM on February 28


Recent winners have been "trundle" and "Valencia".

Incidentally, "Doin' the Valencia Trundle" is the name of my latest hit single.
posted by Greg_Ace at 5:43 PM on February 28 [1 favorite]


<facetious>Well, obviously, the correct approach is to take the comment number from the anchor fragment and use bisection to perform a binary search on the extant comment ids in the thread to find where the deleted comment would have been located. This is O(log2(n)), so even a thread with 4000 comments would only require 12 steps, at most. Simple.</facetious>
posted by Rhomboid at 6:54 PM on February 28 [6 favorites]


LobsterMitten: "it's the Metafilter Scroll Tag script. I don't think it's being actively maintained but it may still work, I'm not sure."

Still works with Classic view.
posted by Mitheral at 7:51 PM on February 28


Adding Javascript to jump to the next comment anchor has the side effect of making (especially large) threads load slower, because the script would have to check against all existing comments in order to see if the anchor with which the page was loaded still exists.

It doesn't actually slow things down much at all. I whipped up a quick implementation as a user script, using Rhomboid's binary-search suggestion. According to my tests (using Chrome on Windows), it only adds about 20 milliseconds when loading a 3000-comment thread. And the slowdown only happens in cases where the linked comment has actually been deleted.
posted by teraflop at 11:00 PM on February 28 [3 favorites]


Frimble: there's still a little bit of HTML hanging around that says 'a comment was deleted here',

Mods are presumably able to see the text and placement of deleted comments in a given thread. So is the site's mod interface -- the one that is not user-facing -- able generate that view even when a comment has been deleted?
posted by zarq at 5:30 AM on March 1


MetaTalk: a place to have a displaced fight
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 7:00 AM on March 1


is the site's mod interface -- the one that is not user-facing -- able generate that view even when a comment has been deleted?

Yes, although I'm not sure what you're asking -- as you said, mods can see deleted comments. But there are a lot of things in the mod view (and things like longer time-outs on the comment loader) that would be too resource-intensive to include in everybody's view.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:26 AM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Mods are presumably able to see the text and placement of deleted comments in a given thread. So is the site's mod interface -- the one that is not user-facing -- able generate that view even when a comment has been deleted?

frimble mentioned that part of the policy is meant to keep deletes from being even noticeable/countable. Although I don't know if that can be inferred from the post numbers, anyway.
(if it can be, it's not obvious.)
posted by snuffleupagus at 11:06 AM on March 1


LobsterMitten: But there are a lot of things in the mod view (and things like longer time-outs on the comment loader) that would be too resource-intensive to include in everybody's view.

snuffleupagus: frimble mentioned that part of the policy is meant to keep deletes from being even noticeable/countable. Although I don't know if that can be inferred from the post numbers, anyway.

I did understand why it's both not possible nor desired to make this available to all users. Was just curious how the mods see it, is all. You know, if it's inline with the rest of the comments on the page, like the deleted posts greasemonkey script, etc. Thank you, LobsterMitten.
posted by zarq at 1:15 PM on March 1


OP: Not sure if your mobile browser makes this possible/convenient, but... You could increment the "comment number" at the end of the URL when this happens. Keep incrementing until you get a non-deleted comment. Not ideal, but probably faster than scrolling?
posted by sibilatorix at 1:38 PM on March 1 [1 favorite]


Was just curious how the mods see it

Ah - yeah, they're inline with the other comments, just grayed-out.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:42 PM on March 1


Keep incrementing until you get a non-deleted comment. Not ideal, but probably faster than scrolling?

Index numbers appear to be across all threads on a subsite, but this might work if you could get the browser to do it for you until it finds a valid anchor on the page.
posted by snuffleupagus at 1:50 PM on March 1


We place a living pea over a mattress into a steel chamber, along with a device containing a jug of hydrocyanic acid...
posted by y2karl at 2:45 PM on March 1


For all the complaining the mods do about how they are stretched thin, they sure seem to create a lot of extra work for themselves by deleting comments that are not rule breaking, but rather deletions which seem to be aimed at putting every thread on rails. Any side commentary or disagreement they don't like is deleted as noise.

Maybe the mods should focus on the important stuff (see the recent antisemitism meta) instead of trying to hold our digital hands. I mean are you stretched thin or not? If so please stop with the pointless deletions and focus on the areas where we have problems that lead to users buttoning or feeling alienated from the community. A few people having a slightly contentious off topic sidebar is not one of these cases.

It would be interesting to be able to see deleted comments. I think if we could, we would be surprised at the volume of stupid and self defeating modding that goes on around here. I don't think metafilter could handle that type of radical transparency.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:59 AM on March 2


Good lord, dude, no. I know you for whatever reason find moderation especially chafing and have been clear about that any number of times both in MetaTalk and over email, but you're reasoning backward from your goal to invent an alternative moderation reality that supports it. That you are one of the folks who leaps habitually into derailing/angry arguments is coloring your take on this an awful lot and it's not something I'm going to ever agree with you on; that you are even still on the site after all this time is about the most giving compromise I can manage, and I'm increasingly unclear what the mod team or the site is getting out of that beyond further inevitable agitation.

Maybe the mods should focus on the important stuff (see the recent antisemitism meta) instead of trying to hold our digital hands.

Which is a pretty rich attempt to twist the knife, given that the mods moving more promptly to knock down some of the dumber "but I gotta say my piece!" derails that verge into problematic anti-semitic lines of argument is one of the things people made clear in that recent MetaTalk discussion they'd like us to do. "I wish you'd just get out of the way let people run their damn mouths more" wasn't one of the dominant themes.

Any side commentary or disagreement they don't like is deleted as noise.

Oh that this were true. What quiet and peace we would have.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:24 AM on March 2 [8 favorites]


[the mods] sure seem to create a lot of extra work for themselves by deleting comments that are not rule breaking,

I'm not sure you realise this: the only rule is to be constructive. I have to say, I looked back over your comments and found some undeleted ones that I didn't think much of.
posted by ambrosen at 7:29 AM on March 2


AElfwine Evenstar, I'm not proscribing this, but if you dislike Metafilter's moderators, why do you remain on the site and continue to "allow matthowie to monetize [your] content creation", as you say in your profile? There are a plethora of discussion forums that have different or no moderation.

I think the flaw in your thinking is that Metafilter isn't run like a democracy, nor does it even pretend to be. Now, they're totally willing to listen to opinions, but they're the ones putting in the hosting fees and the ones putting any effort whatsoever into making sure the website doesn't degenerate into chaos ... so in the end they get to make the moderation calls. That's the right you get when you build something and put in the effort to keep it running.

If people stay here as participants, they agree to respect that. That's why I haven't signed up for the RedState.com message forums; I know I'm not going to ever be on the same page with them, so why cause me and them aggravation?
posted by WCityMike at 7:41 AM on March 2


Separately, and more addressing the OP's question, I will generically add in that I agree with them as to the issue, insomuch as it's a symptom of a larger issue (I feel, at least) -- one of the reasons I've been disappointed in the current political thread solution has been that it ends up submerging important, even (to me, IMO) sometimes-republic-threatening stories (i.e. Spicer forbidding certain news outlets from a briefing) within huge, unwieldy, deeply-difficult-to-navigate message threads.

The OP's problem with losing navigational bookmarks upon deletion seems a tangentially related issue to this larger problem of navigating huge threads, which is now a weekly recurring problem with the Trump threads -- something previously only a problem when people got into an explosive, discussive tizzy over a hot-button topic.

Nonetheless, I would imagine a theoretical "PolitiFilter" to be a nightmare, so I can't imagine that'd be a useful solution.
posted by WCityMike at 7:46 AM on March 2


we would be surprised at the volume of stupid and self defeating modding that goes on around here. I don't think metafilter could handle that type of radical transparency.

So, I've been getting moderated/deleted rather more recently (AE and I got into it yesterday) and I'm sure others have too and it's hardly a mystery why, looking back at my own posts. We're in a (relatively) slow motion crisis and we're trying to find a new level. It's harder to turn away from arguments obviously at an impasse now, when everything feels so terribly consequential and urgent and so many of the issues at hand cleave directly to deeply held values. It's harder not to call out thinking you find false or harmful. It's harder to bypass condemnations and ridicule. It's harder to let personal remarks slide, and it's harder not to make them. I don't doubt the mods when they say they're slammed.

When part of an exchange is deleted, and then any attempts to follow up are deleted, there's a natural frustration at the impression that the last thing remaining from the curtailed exchange was undisputed -- sometimes even with mod notes, such as when assertions of bad faith or challenges to produce evidence are left hanging out there. But, that has to be balanced against the mods' efforts to preserve some of the substance of the comments while keeping the thread readable. Each decision can only have so much time allotted to it, and they won't all be perfectly calibrated.

And I will own that I've still been a little fighty about it at times in mod mail, out of that sense of urgency and worry that the resulting reading of the thread is unfair or misleading. Doubtlessly, some of those reactions were more justified than others. But the mods are always willing to explain their reasoning and to listen (even if not to argue), and to send you a copy of your comments if you want to hold on to something you said, and ultimately I'm not sure there's any better way. (Especially in comparison to other sites out there. Basically, all of them.) I may get frustrated when it happens to me, but I also understand that the moderation style and community standards here are part of why I value MeFi. And that, too, feels very important right now.

deletions which seem to be aimed at putting every thread on rails

one of the reasons I've been disappointed in the current political thread solution has been that it ends up submerging important, even (to me, IMO) sometimes-republic-threatening stories (i.e. Spicer forbidding certain news outlets from a briefing) within huge, unwieldy, deeply-difficult-to-navigate message threads

this larger problem of navigating huge threads, which is now a weekly recurring problem with the Trump threads -- something previously only a problem when people got into an explosive, discussive tizzy over a hot-button topic....Nonetheless, I would imagine a theoretical "PolitiFilter" to be a nightmare, so I can't imagine that'd be a useful solution.

I do think the current approach of megathread + strictly separated topic threads (the 'constellation' I mentioned above) is sort of clumsy, especially when there is direct crossover between the segregated topic threads. Purely as an example (and not to rehash the actual substance) disallowing any discussion of the DNC and whether Bernie is actually a socialist etc in the disengagement essay discussion didn't make sense. The essay was in large part about party politics.

Moving that part of the conversation over to the other thread would have been a total nonsequiter there, would have seemed like picking a fight with people not in the newer thread, and generally those instructions in similar crossover threads that piggyback off the megathreads are not practicable in a basic sense. Are we actually expected to invite people in New Thread to come back to Old Thread discuss that subtopic, cross-post or cross-link the previous remarks and context from the newer thread into the older thread so it flows and etc?

Really, those decisions are tantamount to just shutting down the discussion of the same subtopic in the newer thread. Which might be the right decision, but there shouldn't be any illusion that these exchanges are continued in the older threads when deleted.

How to manage this sort of crossover commenting and other stuff surrounding these megathreads and subthreads was why I thought maybe we could use a sort of running workshop MeTa , but if LM (and the other mods) think that would inevitably turn into "a place to have a displaced fight" rather than to cut down on fights then it's not a good idea.
posted by snuffleupagus at 8:43 AM on March 2 [1 favorite]


why do you remain on the site and continue to "allow matthowie to monetize [your] content creation", as you say in your profile?

Because I like metafilter and generally like the site culture and moderation.

given that the mods moving more promptly to knock down some of the dumber "but I gotta say my piece!" derails that verge into problematic anti-semitic lines of argument is one of the things people made clear in that recent MetaTalk discussion they'd like us to do. "I wish you'd just get out of the way let people run their damn mouths more" wasn't one of the dominant themes.

This isn't a zero sum game. You can do both. You can let people run their mouth more and also delete antisemitic comments when they show up.

that you are even still on the site after all this time is about the most giving compromise I can manage

Am I really so vexing to the mod team Cortex? I don't feel like I am. When I disagree I say so, but generally support the mod team and their mission. The number of election threads I participated in I can count on one hand. I think I tapped out after the second or third democratic primary.

I am just stating my opinion about the modding given my frustration over the last few days. Is that allowed without you biting my head off? I am not giving you an ultimatum. I am not dying on any hill. I am giving you an opinion. You are free to disagree with that opinion, but it would be nice if you could take your own mod teams advice and focus on my opinion and not me personally. The way you frame my interactions with the mods sounds so negative and hateful. If that is your experience of our interactions I am sorry. I will try to do better.

I don't know why it's so hard to conceptualize an individual who not only loves and values metafilter and its moderation, while also having some minor niggles along the way.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:44 AM on March 2


(AE and I got into it yesterday)

I have to say snuffleupagus, even though I vehemently disagreed with you, I was as frustrated by your comments being deleted as mine. Especially, when the mod said don't be personal. So we weren't, and our followups were again deleted and we were personally chastised by the mod.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:54 AM on March 2


It's frustrating to try and comply and then get deleted anyway, but I know from previous mod exchanges that letting threads turn into running arguments between two people who aren't going to agree is generally disfavored.
posted by snuffleupagus at 9:04 AM on March 2


This isn't a zero sum game. You can do both. You can let people run their mouth more and also delete antisemitic comments when they show up.

Please take it into account that I'm speaking from ten years of deep-in-the-muck experience when I say it is not as simple as "do both", as much as striking a balance there is in fact part of how we have to manage this stuff. It's not zero sum, but it is a complicated multi-vector soup of conflicts and dependencies and we will never, ever be able to just tweak that one knob that someone thinks needs tweaking, for the sum of everyone who has an opinion about which knob needs tweaking and in which direction. And individual people tend to prioritize the specific knob they're interested in while imagining that that's everyone else's priority as well, which is absolutely not the case 99% of the time.

Am I really so vexing to the mod team Cortex? I don't feel like I am.

I really am not looking to pick on you but there's not a polite way to say "yes" to this, and the answer is yes. You are—despite seeming to be very much in earnest and coming from what I think is basically a good place in your heart of hearts most of the time—a frequent pain in the ass and at times incredibly unpleasant to deal with in the course of doing our jobs. To the point where it's what I expect when I hear from you and am surprised and relieved when it's not so.

I don't know why it's so hard to conceptualize an individual who not only loves and values metafilter and its moderation, while also having some minor niggles along the way.

It's not hard to imagine; I think it's very common. And I believe you that that is your perception of what you're doing. But what has actually commonly come across in practice is a kind of flame-to-pool-of-gasoline 0-60 belligerence where your anger and dismissiveness in the face of some moderation you dislike shortcuts our ability to feel like what we're having is just some sort of well-throttled "hey, I disagree with this and I want to talk about it" sort of deal. You do not come across often as someone who mostly likes it here but has quibbles, you come across as someone routinely angry at the mods and other users when moderation or conversation doesn't go the way you want.

I'd be happy not to feel that way and if it's something that you can make some progress on in terms of how you approach your interactions with us and the site I think that'd be a win all around. But, yes. That's where we are, where I am. It's very hard to continue to extend patience and the benefit of the doubt in the face of fairly consistent hostility.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:23 AM on March 2 [4 favorites]


cortex: "But what has actually commonly come across in practice is a kind of flame-to-pool-of-gasoline 0-60 belligerence [...] You do not come across often as someone who mostly likes it here but has quibbles, you come across as someone routinely angry at the mods and other users when moderation or conversation doesn't go the way you want. "

I don't know you from Adam, AE, but I think (and Cortex can agree/disagree if he desires) that I could've been characterized this way on Metafilter years ago ... and in my head I felt the same way as you do about myself.

I'm not in a position to comment on your internals, not knowing you at all, but in my case it was a lot of anger at the world in general, which I was unknowingly channeling through my online interactions. I guess I'm just chiming in because I feel I'm an example of how, in a purely self-reflective sense, it's possible to be how Cortex is describing and totally not know it when comparing against your own internal sense-of-self.
posted by WCityMike at 9:43 AM on March 2


On the issue of keeping a place in long threads, I wonder if it would be possible to code something that lets you jump to a particular relative time in the thread? Like it would say "Jump to: 3 hours ago | 8 hours ago | 1 day ago" (or whatever) and then would look at the timestamps and jump to the comment closest to the time frame selected? It wouldn't be exact, but it would give some ability to jump backwards to somewhere in the ballpark of when you left off reading.
posted by yarrow at 2:29 PM on March 2


Metafilter: a complicated multi-vector soup of conflicts and dependencies.

...Too much?
posted by maryr at 2:38 PM on March 2


You can let people run their mouth more

Yeah; if what you have to say can be self defined as "running your mouth" that's something I think should be deleted in many contexts.
posted by French Fry at 3:23 PM on March 2


Damn, I wish I had seen this when it was first posted. Does anyone else have the problem where, even if you've clicked on a timestamp, when you rotate your phone from vertical to horizontal and then back again, it re-loads to a point like two days (and several hundred comments) before the timestamp? And then reloading won't take you back to your damn timestamp, no matter what? Even though when you finally scroll your way back to where you left off, the little carat is just sitting there waiting for you? Or is that just me?
posted by Weeping_angel at 3:42 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


I wonder if it would be possible to code something that lets you jump to a particular relative time in the thread? Like it would say "Jump to: 3 hours ago | 8 hours ago | 1 day ago" (or whatever) and then would look at the timestamps and jump to the comment closest to the time frame selected?

In principle, this would be really easy to add to the script I posted above. Currently it's kind of difficult in practice, because you have to parse comment timestamps and account for time zones etc.

If the mods are willing to add a data-timestamp attribute to each comment with the corresponding Unix timestamp, like Reddit provides, then I would be happy to implement this feature.
posted by teraflop at 4:33 PM on March 2


when you rotate your phone

I get that too, and it's really annoying.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 5:16 PM on March 2 [3 favorites]


On rotating phones- is this an Android phone? pb was testing a fix a little while ago.
http://metatalk.metafilter.com/23749/Help-Test-Android-Orientation-Update
posted by freethefeet at 4:39 AM on March 5


Mine's an iPhone 5s with latest iOS.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:35 AM on March 5


I've occasionally had the rotate phone problem happen too (I'm almost always in locked portrait mode so it doesn't happen much). Super annoying. iPhone SE with iOS 10.2, I think.
posted by leahwrenn at 8:38 PM on March 5


And sometimes, it just randomly resets to a timestamp several timestamps ago. I don't know if something was deleted or what.
posted by leahwrenn at 3:47 PM on March 6 [1 favorite]


Oh wow I thought I was losing my mind over the switching time stamps.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:05 PM on March 6


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