Notification for deleted posts? April 21, 2009 7:54 AM   Subscribe

So earlier this morning I posted something innocuous but inane in an askme thread that had been more or less answered. Just now, logging in, I see that that comment has been disappeared. This is fine, and not particularly worthy of complaint, but I find it sort of annoying that there's no notification or anyway for me to know that the reply was ever made at all.

I do know, as a good mefite, that askme is serious bizniss and that threads are to be kept on topic. I just think it would make broad sense if there was some sort of trigger in place for a memail to be sent to users who have comments removed? There'd be no need for a customized message or anything, just "Your comment has been deleted. Please read the FAQ." Surely this wouldn't be too tricky, and would help avoid confusion in the future?

If this has been discussed in the past, I apologize. I did a quick search and didn't find anything, but I don't spend tons of time on the gray.
posted by cmyr to Feature Requests at 7:54 AM (70 comments total)

We don't do an automail thing for (at least) a couple of reasons:

1. We want to keep the number of autogenerated mefimails to a bare minimum to avoid creeping system spamminess.
2. We can't count on people to read their mefimail, so as a signal path it's unreliable.

Generally, we'll send an email to someone about a deletion if (a) they are brand new and seem to maybe not get the site very well or (b) they have displayed a pattern of problematic behavior on the site and we're worried it'll continue without some sort of explicit intervention.

Other than that, we generally don't write about a deleted comment in askme. We'll leave a note in thread if there's a significant issue that lead to deleting some comments, but for jokey you-should-know-better one-offs that's usually not something we do.

One of the problems with throwing an automated (or manual) "hey we deleted your comment" message at someone is it's a predictable way to trigger a bad reaction where no bad reaction would otherwise have occurred. Generating more heat is not something any of us is really excited about doing; people sometimes react badly, and out of proportion to the actual action, to being told they Did Something Wrong.

Not saying you fall into that bucket, cmyr, but if you don't that may be part of why you wouldn't see this angle on our disinclination to go there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:03 AM on April 21, 2009


Long story short, the mods don't have the time, nor the inclination, to send an email every time they prune a comment.
posted by Mister_A at 8:03 AM on April 21, 2009


you should probably delete my comment there, cortex.
posted by Mister_A at 8:04 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't want to start an argument with everyone I ever deleted a comment with. I think I'd basically be having extended conversations via email 24hrs a day.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:04 AM on April 21, 2009


Good reasons all.


My interest in this was mostly because I've been having issues on another community of posts I make not actually being submitted, and so I keep on thinking I've posted things I haven't, and then getting confused when I reread those threads and see my comments didn't actually make it, but I understand if this small potential positive is outweighed by the vast and varied negatives. Thanks for the prompt replies.
posted by cmyr at 8:13 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


No sweat. If you're ever curious about a specific deletion-or-was-it, you can drop us a line to sanity check the situation. Mefi is pretty damned good about getting comments from the box to the db, but every once in a while you might hit a snag if the server chose that precise moment to lurch to a halt and you didn't double check, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:18 AM on April 21, 2009


I've long been a proponent of either enclosing the offending comment in four or five <small> tags, or replacing them with a little splatter, as if a small bug were squished. Either one would let you know, hey, something was here.
posted by adipocere at 8:22 AM on April 21, 2009


You know who hasn't had anything deleted in FOREVER? Me. I bet it has been 6 months. Back in the day I used to get things deleted like weekly at least. Now I got this shit down! Mostly the key is not to act like a damn ijit. It took me a while to learn that, but now that I have I am fucking golden! I think that if you go a year without getting something deleted that you should automatically be made a mod. That means I am like half-mod right now. A demi-mod. I bet when they are throwing around names for future modhood that old ND¢ comes up quite regularly. Well, thanks a lot guys, but I am pretty busy with my normal job and can't really take anything like that on right now, but I appreciate the thought.
posted by ND¢ at 8:23 AM on April 21, 2009 [12 favorites]


Or maybe you could leave the comment in and remove all the consonants.
posted by grouse at 8:24 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


oo iea, oue!
posted by Mister_A at 8:26 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


a ou, ie_A.
posted by grouse at 8:28 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


IA! IA!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:42 AM on April 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


oh my, can you imagine the complaints?!
posted by iamkimiam at 8:44 AM on April 21, 2009


I bet it has been 6 months.

Two.

And yeah cmyr, we know it's not an optimal solution for everyone but feel free to email us if you're ever curious. If you're thinking "gee was that jokey comment I posted to AskMe deleted or did I forget to hit Post?" we'll be happy to let you know.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:46 AM on April 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


Two.

mini-mod!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:50 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


All this self-restraint I been exhibiting and its only been two months?! Fuck this then. My new motto is live fast, die young, leave a bunch of deleted comments.
posted by ND¢ at 8:55 AM on April 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


Maybe something about deleted comments can be added to the FAQ (if it's not already there)? We seem to have had this conversation a few times.
posted by inigo2 at 8:55 AM on April 21, 2009


That would help, if people read the FAQ.
posted by grouse at 8:58 AM on April 21, 2009


That would help, if people read the FAQ.

It would help if the FAQ included the caloric count of individual portions of common foods, like a slice of multigrain toast with Becel margarine and raspberry jam.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:02 AM on April 21, 2009


Special snowflake?
Yes [ ] No [X]

posted by yhbc at 9:04 AM on April 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't want to start an argument with everyone I ever deleted a comment with. I think I'd basically be having extended conversations via email 24hrs a day.

So, hire 3 new moderators who each have the sole job of fielding deletion inquiries. Problem solved.
posted by Jaltcoh at 9:26 AM on April 21, 2009


There's an FAQ? Also, what's a mefimail? Sorry, but I'm just here to snark.
posted by JeffK at 9:35 AM on April 21, 2009


If you need someone to argue with people I'm your man.
posted by Mister_A at 9:39 AM on April 21, 2009


That would help, if people read the FAQ.

Maybe the FAQ should be read to people.
posted by Sailormom at 9:52 AM on April 21, 2009


If you need someone to argue with people I'm your man.

The hell you are.
posted by sleevener at 9:52 AM on April 21, 2009


We should put out an audio book. Get Christopher Walken to read it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:53 AM on April 21, 2009 [6 favorites]


That's not arguing, that's just simple contradiction!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:03 AM on April 21, 2009


.it read to Walken Christopher Get .book audio an out put should We
posted by shmegegge at 10:04 AM on April 21, 2009


So, hire 3 new moderators who each have the sole job of fielding deletion inquiries. Problem solved.

(for small values of "solved")
posted by FishBike at 10:28 AM on April 21, 2009


A.

E U.

A?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:42 AM on April 21, 2009


If you need someone to argue with people I'm your man.

You call yourself a man?
posted by box at 10:51 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I would like an RSS feed of my own deleted comments, located handily on my profile page. I would also like to be the only person that can see it.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:53 AM on April 21, 2009


You know who hasn't had anything deleted in FOREVER?

Hitler?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:55 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


That is not a fair comparison! He only has three comments.
posted by ND¢ at 11:00 AM on April 21, 2009


Personally, I'd love to see statistics on my user page, something like "2 of your posts and 14 of your comments have been deleted in the last year. Try harder!" or "No posts and only 3 comments deleted in the last year. Good job!"

Viewable only by me, of course.

It'd be a somewhat useful way for people to measure (for themselves) whether their contributions may be unhelpful.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:03 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought I had a comment deleted the other day, but it turns out I'm just really stupid and skipped over it about 3 times reading back through the thread. I'm thinking "WTF? Why would that get deleted? Especially since someone else quoted it." So I just do a find on my name, and BAM! there it is. Then I thought "Oh, there it is. I'm just a moron."

You probably all knew that already.
posted by owtytrof at 11:05 AM on April 21, 2009


box, I will ignore your ad hominem attack on account of you're a doink-knocker.
posted by Mister_A at 11:17 AM on April 21, 2009


JeffK: There's an FAQ?

Wait wait wait wait hold everything…

People say FAQ eff ay kyoo and not fack?

I mean, it makes sense that people do I've just never heard it said that way.
posted by Kattullus at 11:21 AM on April 21, 2009 [2 favorites]


People say FAQ eff ay kyoo and not fack?

OMG people say fack?! but that's not how acronyms work!
posted by moxiedoll at 11:30 AM on April 21, 2009


FAQ that!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 11:30 AM on April 21, 2009


Yeah, it blew my mind the first time I heard "eff ay kyoo" too. Then I got concerned that I'd been reading it wrong for years. Then I realized that I know what the faqs is, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna start reading letters.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 11:31 AM on April 21, 2009


As an aside, I would pay one tiny cupcake for a list of my own deleted comments. Hint.
posted by dersins at 11:38 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


The first time I heard someone say "fack" I had no idea what they were talking about.
posted by grouse at 11:39 AM on April 21, 2009


Awww... tiny cupcakes are so cuuute.
posted by Mister_A at 11:44 AM on April 21, 2009


The first time I heard someone say "fack" I had no idea what they were talking about.

I figured it out from context. I saw the hammer, and my father's black and blue thumb.
posted by found missing at 11:47 AM on April 21, 2009


I really need to post/comment more. I don't think I've had anything deleted yet.... I must be doing something wrong.
posted by zarq at 11:59 AM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


I agree, only idiots pronounce acronyms as words. Everyone should be required to pronounce every letter. Starting with SCUBA, RADAR, and LASER.

That is all.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:01 PM on April 21, 2009


I am wary of taking advice from members with underscores in their usernames.

*squints*
posted by Skot at 12:08 PM on April 21, 2009


Dear Skot:

He doesn't like you. I don't like you either!
posted by Mister_A at 12:10 PM on April 21, 2009


Someone I know says FAQ as "fact". That annoys the holy hell out of me. It's pronounced "nacho"!
posted by owtytrof at 12:10 PM on April 21, 2009


I agree, only idiots pronounce acronyms as words. Everyone should be required to pronounce every letter. Starting with SCUBA, RADAR, and LASER.

You mean I shouldn't have been chanting "Oosa! Oosa!" at the Olympic games last summer?
posted by jabberjaw at 12:12 PM on April 21, 2009


MetaFilter: basically like having extended conversations via email 24hrs a day
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:14 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


He doesn't like you. I don't like you either!

Well, I do get this a lot. That and gunplay.
posted by Skot at 12:32 PM on April 21, 2009


Okay, so once I'd designed this website and at the bottom of the page one of the links was "faqs" in lowercase. We got an phone call from our client, "Why do you have the word fags on the bottom of the page? Please remove it!"

The lesson? It's generally better to use uppercase for acronyms.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:35 PM on April 21, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's pronounced "faq". "Q" sound from the back of the throat like the Arabic ق .
posted by Burhanistan at 2:44 PM on April 21, 2009 [3 favorites]


I bet when they are throwing around names for future modhood that old ND¢ comes up quite regularly.

I am sorry, but no, your name has never come up in this context.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:04 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


moxiedoll : but that's not how acronyms work!

Really? blue_beetle already mentioned SCUBA, RADAR, and LASER, but even just sticking within the realm of computer phrases; SCSI (scuzzy), JPEG, (Jay Peg), GIF (Giff or Jiff depending on who you talk to (but it's Giff)), RAM, ROM, BIOS, there are tons of them.

I can't imagine actually trying to work in a tech support environment if we spelled out every acronym.
posted by quin at 3:50 PM on April 21, 2009 [1 favorite]


Aw, quin. Blue Beetle's comment seemed like friendly joking - obviously some acronyms were designed to be pronounced as words, while most aren't (like how my family spent a week each summer at E.P.C.O.T.) Your follow up seemed weird and earnest but by the end, I got it.

I can't imagine actually trying to work in a tech support environment if we spelled out every acronym.

The difference between you and me is that you're like the guys who used to work at Ontario's northern electric research and development labs.
posted by moxiedoll at 4:06 PM on April 21, 2009


Maybe the FAQ should be read to people.

Have you ever played the Metafilter podcasts backwards?
posted by lukemeister at 8:20 PM on April 21, 2009


Speaking of the acronym / initialism / abbreviation controversy and tech support, anyone ever deal with the "Hotmail" problem that had nothing to do with Hotmail but did involve a URL ending in .html? I'm pretty sure I've read of such atrocities here and can vouch for my own single experience back in '98 when AOL 4.0 was bringing 90MHz Refurbished DAK Computers to their knees.

This was initialacronymismTM gone wrong. I am no innocent...I can't resist pronouncing SQL "sequel"; SEQUEL vs. SQL ambiguity is apparently not a significant concern within my sphere of existence.

On the subject of FAQs...how 'bout a FAQQ -- Frequently Asked Questions Quiz? You heard it here first. Maybe not the idea, but perhaps the abbreviation?

So, you create as many possible multiple-choice questions based on the FAQ, and give new users 4-5 randomly selected ones to answer. Upon failure the test is re-randomized. It needn't be a barrier to entry but perhaps quiz-passing-status would be visible to users and their peers via their profile.

Just throwin' it out there. I'm probably influenced by the grueling computer-based training I've been subjected to recently. It's like a massive RTFM and CYA rolled together into a nice pretty package. Don't be callin' the help desk until you've gotten an 80% or greater score on all of the assessments, ya hear? All in all I appreciate the process, as tedious and time-consuming as it is.
posted by aydeejones at 8:34 PM on April 21, 2009


The river crabs have been out in force lately.
posted by b1tr0t at 8:46 PM on April 21, 2009


but that's not how acronyms work!
Obviously, you've never worked for the government. The first thing any public servant will do, when confronted with a new acronym, is find a stupid way to pronounce it and/or try to make it sound like a dirty word.
posted by dg at 2:23 AM on April 22, 2009


I got into a shouting match with my brother over the pronunciation of "S-Q-L" vs. "See Quel" some years ago. In the end, we agreed to differ: I would continue saying it the correct way, "See Quel" and would be free to say it the wrong way, "S-Q-L" like the pretentious git that he is. We're such nerds.

The subject of C vs. C++ is never brought up at family gatherings anymore, to avoid bloodshed.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:43 AM on April 22, 2009


he would be free
posted by double block and bleed at 7:43 AM on April 22, 2009


Obviously, you've never worked for the government.

Indeed, they often give things completely awkward, idiotic names just so they have a cutesy pronounceable acronym. Unless you think that syntactically unlikely names like the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act or the Troubled Assets Relief Program are just coincidence.
posted by dersins at 9:17 AM on April 22, 2009


I am sorry, but no, your name has never come up in this context.

That's the final straw meatbomb! I challenge you to a fake mod off. Next Metatalk post we each answer as if we were mods. Whoever is the more judicious, balanced and reasonable wins. I will be like the song of Solomon on your ass!
posted by ND¢ at 10:12 AM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


I will be like the song of Solomon on your ass!

You're going to kiss Meatbomb's ass with the kisses of your mouth?
posted by dersins at 10:22 AM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well his cheeks are comely with rows of jewels.
posted by ND¢ at 10:28 AM on April 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


Dunno about that, but no doubt his hair is like a flock of goats.
posted by dersins at 10:33 AM on April 22, 2009


Metafilter: There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and virgins without number.
posted by ND¢ at 10:58 AM on April 22, 2009


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