Double Posts Must Stop Or Else January 28, 2002 11:45 AM   Subscribe

I'm sick of double posting. I want to stop double posting. How can I be sure, without manually searching the source codes of every month in the archives, that I'm not double posting? And is there any point in telling someone they've double posted when there's no way they can avoid it?
posted by swift to MetaFilter-Related at 11:45 AM (17 comments total)

Google: "subject" "metafilter"
posted by y2karl at 11:47 AM on January 28, 2002

That works. Thanks.
posted by swift at 11:59 AM on January 28, 2002

That works. Thanks.
posted by swift at 12:00 PM on January 28, 2002

I'm going to write a definitive guide to avoid double posting, for now you get the cliff notes version:

1- searches on threads only, since day one usually don't time out. Try out key phrases from your post, if not the root server of the URL you are posting (unless it is something really general like or or Has the site ever been mentioned before? It hasn't? Go ahead and post.

2. If that doesn't work, and it's a news piece, go to the current months' archive. Go to Edit/Find on your browser menu, and put in a key phrase for the post. See if it has appeared in the past couple weeks. It hasn't? Ok, post away.

In this post's case, you could have searched Bruce Lee or the domain on the site hosting the page, for all threads since day one and you would have caught it.

The double post check failed because you pointed at a different URL than the previous poster. When you go to a specific page, I can't automatically search for the domain above that, without reporting a lot of false positives for people posting to common domains.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:11 PM on January 28, 2002

Although Matt isn't going to delete that the irony is...

...actually too delicious to be said.

*smile*, swift, you've made my day.
posted by nedrichards at 12:13 PM on January 28, 2002

The best way to stop double posts is to read Metafilter, rather than drive-by-posting.
posted by Mo Nickels at 3:45 PM on January 28, 2002

Easy to say, Mo Nickels, not necessarily so easy to do. Personally, I don't have access to MetaFilter at work so I generally manage about 1 or maybe 2 hours a day and sometimes that just isn't enough time to keep up with both MeFi and MeTa.

Also, and I know this is something of a shocking admission, I'm not actually interested in some of the stuff that appears as an FPP so I may not delve into the connected thread. Or the FPP may be poorly worded so that I don't realise what it is concerned with. Either of these things could prevent me from realising that my cool link was already posted 2 days previously or that it was covered in-depth by a thread sparked by a different but related link.
posted by MUD at 4:15 PM on January 28, 2002

I know what the swift means, I hope I don't sound callous in any way.

I occasionally check out FilePile, perhaps once a week, and there's no way on earth for me to know what the past 500 images that were uploaded, and if the really weird image I found is truly new to anyone there. If andre had some sort of hash values describing files or searches on filenames or content, maybe it would be analogous to the searches I suggest above.

But there's no way I could read all of FilePile and keep up with it just to post the occasional image.

And this may come to a shock to some, but I don't/can't read every post at MetaFilter. I follow maybe 50% of the posts to the comments inside. People regularly come up to me and say "that thing last week about the little girl on the bike was a great thread" and I have to say "huh?" I've actually posted a double post here once, and those steps I described above are what have prevented me from doing it again.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:54 PM on January 28, 2002

Whoops. This post next door+1 should probably be in this thread. Even given what Matt's said here, though, I'd still like to hear if enough people think it's a worthwhile making it an actual feature request....
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:57 PM on January 28, 2002

Maybe its allready done but one quick solution is keep a database of URL's from FPPs and scan against it before allowing a new FPP. Obviously this has limitations if the URL is diffrent. But, one could always say, that the vast majority of MeFi readers dont read every post and so double posts get a lot of new readers. There should be a mechanism to flag a post as double so that regulars can skip over it once its been identified and non-regulars can still read it. Keep a record of the number of double posts a person made in his profile for all to see. Set thresholds before DPs suspend posting privs automatically. Just some thoughts Im not makeing any feature requests and probably some of this has allready been discused or done.
posted by stbalbach at 7:22 PM on January 28, 2002

another solution, just streamline the process?

posted by th3ph17 at 7:39 PM on January 28, 2002

Maybe its allready done but one quick solution is keep a database of URL's from FPPs and scan against it before allowing a new FPP.

It's already being done. The problem with today's double post that started this thread was this:

person wanted to post as a post, the db searched and found nothing. People found the original, which was

I could search for the existence of URLs in all posts, but like I mentioned above, there will be frequent misfires. I know that (the root) is in the db as a post. So any future CNN post will say it's in the db.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:22 PM on January 28, 2002

I think the more common type of DP isn't the /foo/foo.html vs. /foo/ posts....It's the mirrored images/flash files/memes.

I think it's very important to add a #3 to Matt's list:
3. Pick out keywords, phrases and SEARCH MeFi (if that times out, then use the Google box on the search page).

Searching for just URL in any case is just irresponsible, IMO.
posted by jennak at 4:53 AM on January 29, 2002

A bit more involved, but not too much, is to get the < title> off the FPP URL and store it along with the URL and so when scanning for DPs check against both URL and < title> .. not every page has a title, but using the example each page on does have a unique identifier < title>.
posted by stbalbach at 4:59 AM on January 29, 2002

too many anagrams...must...take...nap...
posted by jpoulos at 8:35 PM on January 29, 2002

I've just spent an hour crafting a comment to a thread. I press 'post' to learn it has been deleted, apparently because somewhere in the mists of time before I was born the topic was 'discussed' and so the seminal thread has been created to which I should contribute instead.

I don't, because:

(i) I don't hang on MeFi's every word, and so it is increasingly effortful to discover what has and hasn't already been discussed;

(ii) I can't get the search to do anything other than time out, google is unreliable (sorry);

(iii) If I comment on old threads I get no interaction because nobody looks at them (probably the most dissatisfactory aspect);

On the few occasions in which there has been a double post that I have been aware of, there has invariably been a fresh perspective introduced, either as a result of the passage of time or the dynamic created by the different combination of contributors.

Sorry: single post purity is value destroying.

(For all I know, this thread has been deleted while I have been crafting this is an unsettling feeling which I don't much care for. Here goes....)
posted by RichLyon at 2:11 PM on January 30, 2002

On the few occasions in which there has been a double post that I have been aware of, there has invariably been a fresh perspective introduced

the double post threads that survive do so because either

-the topic is important enough to matt [he has excellent priorities]

-the hijack of the thread is funny/interesting

-the thread is going well, even for a double post. Well as in, a good discussion, rather than a horde of comments.

the rule isn't just some random thing, it is to foster discussion and keep the noise level down. Discussions here rarely last more than a day or two, due to the number of posts and also user settings--i can only see three days at a time for instance--but the THEMES of the discussions are often pop up again. Save you comments and refine them for another day. If you wait, the post will come.
posted by th3ph17 at 12:35 PM on January 31, 2002

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