A little more detail on contributions? January 22, 2010 5:05 PM   Subscribe

I don't know whether this is possible or desirable, but could we have a count of our deletions somewhere on our profile page?

I bring this up because, back when Cortex was making the rounds, I think on the El train in Chicago, he made a statement about the mods knowing how many comments/posts had been deleted for each user. I of course, called him out, and he promptly humbled me by pointing out that I had had comments deleted no less than four times. (This was all in good alcohol-fueled fun at the time.) I had no idea I had ever had a comment deleted, and was chagrined to note that I'd never even noticed. To be fair, I suspect they were properly deleted as either off-topic or unnecessary jokey comments, as I have an underdeveloped sense of restraint at times.

To the point, I think it might be helpful of we could have a counter (perhaps visible only to the individual user) in the form of "You have had X posts and Y comments deleted" in the interest of informing us when we commit minor transgressions, so that we might be more sensitive to it in the future. If I don't even notice that one comment out of hundreds or thousands disappeared, how can I correct the behavior? Additionally, if it helps people self-correct, would that not make our beloved mods jobs easier?
posted by pjern to Feature Requests at 5:05 PM (86 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I don't make these decisions, but the answer is going to be no.
posted by GuyZero at 5:12 PM on January 22, 2010


How about instead of a counter, it could be visual and in the style of how we used to do it in preschool. Too many bad behaviors and our construction paper ducky on the wall with our name on it is taken out of the class pond.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:21 PM on January 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


Anything that puts a number on behavior is a bad thing, we've found.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:22 PM on January 22, 2010 [20 favorites]


If I don't even notice that one comment out of hundreds or thousands disappeared, how can I correct the behavior?

If it's a stray comment out of hundreds or thousands, it's really not a behavioral problem. And really, that's the norm: almost everybody on the site has very, very few comments deleted.

Folks who are exceptions to that rule generally do hear from us directly when we feel like it is a behavior thing that needs attention, but other than that we kind of figure everyone has a bad day or the occasional ill-considered moment at the keyboard.

Additionally, if it helps people self-correct, would that not make our beloved mods jobs easier?

See above; the idea of folks being able to study their deletions and self-correct is very nice, but in practice I think most people would learn very little from their deleted comments. Beyond which, I realistically doubt that having people going over their own deleted comments would make our jobs easier; if anything, I'd bet in some cases it would make our jobs harder for no particularly good reason.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:24 PM on January 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


If only a few people asked politely, by email, what their personal deletion numbers were...would that be frowned upon? I had no idea this data was enumerated in ModLand and now I'm curious. Hopefully, I haven't opened the floodgates of horrible-ness on you just by asking.
posted by schyler523 at 5:30 PM on January 22, 2010


Previous Metafilter ruling 666-ASHT re: possibility of "King of the Shitpile" motivations. Cf. user history "ParisParamus" et al.
posted by bardic at 5:33 PM on January 22, 2010


I don't mind the occasional request, schyler523. I'll warn you that it tends to be pretty underwhelming, though.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:37 PM on January 22, 2010


The last thing some of us need is something to wring our hands over.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:51 PM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


[incredibly offensive stunt comment]
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:03 PM on January 22, 2010


Horace, you know that is going to be pulled.

I know I have at least 2. I think that probably bad considering that I don't post that much.

But they had it coming.
posted by SLC Mom at 6:11 PM on January 22, 2010


wring wring wring wring wring wring wring
stunt comment phone
posted by subbes at 6:15 PM on January 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


Horace, you know that is going to be pulled.

Well, obviously. How else am I going to flame out? Anyway, that's fine, I don't want to be part of any bullshit online community that can't handle in-your-face truthtelling like [incredibly offensive stunt comment]!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:20 PM on January 22, 2010 [8 favorites]


I'm sorry, but this is not possible. It's weird, but somehow, when deletion counts are revealed, all kinds of crazy stuff like jrun errors and database hacks happen, and so...nope. They can't risk it. I'm sure you understand.
posted by desuetude at 6:21 PM on January 22, 2010


There's not enough anxiety in my life. I need to be reminded of all the times I failed to MetaFilter properly.

Ideally, you'll work in a Flash interface that spins around the ghostly emanations of your past deleted posts to scare bad users away from ever posting again.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:30 PM on January 22, 2010


Anything that puts a number on behavior is a bad thing, we've found.
posted by mathowie at 7:22 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]

Hee hee :-)

I love favourites.
posted by Babblesort at 6:32 PM on January 22, 2010


"Anything that puts a number on behavior is a bad thing, we've found."

Has favorites.
posted by klangklangston at 6:32 PM on January 22, 2010


Timing.
posted by klangklangston at 6:33 PM on January 22, 2010 [5 favorites]


What's the secret to comedy?
posted by klangklangston at 6:33 PM on January 22, 2010 [14 favorites]


Somebody delete klang's comment please. He's infringing my IP.
posted by Babblesort at 6:34 PM on January 22, 2010


Whenever one of my comments was "missing", I just assume it is my browser's fault.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:39 PM on January 22, 2010


Maybe we could earn deletion offsets? If you go for a month with nothing getting deleted, you earn a deletion offset, which you can use to delete another user's comment that you don't care for, or to appeal a deletion you don't care for. You can also buy and sell them via eBay, or work with a broker to form derivatives.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:40 PM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


PJERN BEARS [5] MARK(S) OF SHAME.
posted by Artw at 6:41 PM on January 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


I suspect most people notice fairly quickly if a post of theirs is deleted. But if you're really curious about it, you can extract a list of your own deleted posts from the Infodump.

Regarding deleted comments, extensive analysis of the Infodump has failed to turn up even a single deleted comment. My conclusion is that cortex uses a time machine to go back to the past and make it so your comment NEVER HAPPENED.
posted by FishBike at 6:42 PM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Failometer
posted by Toekneesan at 6:43 PM on January 22, 2010


This is never going to happen.

You can ask us directly and we'll send you a list of everything you've ever had deleted from MetaFilter. That seems like an okay compromise to me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:49 PM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


.if you're really curious about it, you can extract a list of your own deleted posts from the Infodump.

Eh? How?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:50 PM on January 22, 2010


Timing.
posted by stavrogin at 7:07 PM on January 22, 2010 [6 favorites]


fff: if you import the infodump data in MySQL, you can then use a statement like "select * from postdata_mefi where deleted = 1 and userid = $your_id" and get all the info on your deleted posts.
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 7:23 PM on January 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anything that puts a number on behavior is a bad thing, we've found.
posted by mathowie at 7:22 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]

Hee hee :-)

I love favourites.


Matt you had to see that coming.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:27 PM on January 22, 2010


I'd like a chance to re-evaluate how funny my deleted jokey replies that didn't answer the questions were.
posted by aubilenon at 7:28 PM on January 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


You can look up your own deleted posts with the Infodump, yeah. I'm pretty sure I just omit deleted comments entirely from the commentdata files, though, so that's no help. You could search for gaps in the commentid column, but that will only tell you that something's missing, not why or from whom or etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:36 PM on January 22, 2010


Time-ING.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:39 PM on January 22, 2010


My apologies to Steve Martin.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:39 PM on January 22, 2010


But not for stealing that joke.

Steve knows why.
posted by drjimmy11 at 7:39 PM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know that would lead to an evil sockpuppet war, where the object is to have your sockpuppet get as many deleted comments as possible without being banned. I'll stop being evil now.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:42 PM on January 22, 2010


I never played it, but there was a game called Black & White where you had control of an animal that would morph into something angelic or demonic based on how you played. Something like this would be kind of cool, in my humble opinion.
posted by Hypnotic Chick at 7:47 PM on January 22, 2010


Can I get the MeFi equivalent of the Mark of Cain?
posted by Eideteker at 7:47 PM on January 22, 2010


PJERN BEARS [5] MARK(S) OF SHAME.

So how did you find that out?
posted by pjern at 7:50 PM on January 22, 2010


I kind of like the firm handed-ness the mods have, what with personal deletions of threads and all that from only three people. Instead of an impersonal automated count of deleted threads/comments, why not instead just install an On Notice Board?
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:58 PM on January 22, 2010


If I don't even notice that one comment out of hundreds or thousands disappeared, how can I correct the behavior

Then in the greater scheme of your life, it probably isn't too important, but as for the site, such a deletion is one of the many tiny course corrections the mods might to keep the giant USS Metafilter on somewhat steady course.

posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:01 PM on January 22, 2010


I hope to never know what and when I have had stuff deleted. Nothing sounds less pleasant than reliving the worst of bunnycup.

I also imagine that if attention was called to deletions in that way, the mods would have to deal with a lot of argumentative "how on earth could you delete my [blah blah censorship silencing unpopular views sheeple blah blah blah]." I don't want to do that to them.
posted by bunnycup at 8:05 PM on January 22, 2010


This is a ....not good idea.

Also, I had my very first deletion in Ask today. I didn't understand the question.
posted by The Whelk at 8:11 PM on January 22, 2010


What we need are achievments like on XBox or WoW. Posted 100 Front Page Posts, Had 10 Best Answers, Had a Front Page Post With More Than 15 Favorites, etc. Then we could have Had 100 Comments Deleted. I feel very strongly this would be good for the site.
posted by cj_ at 8:14 PM on January 22, 2010


Metafilter Unlocked!
posted by The Whelk at 8:17 PM on January 22, 2010


Strike out one time and you never bat a thousand ever again. I wonder if that stops people from posting and commenting? I propose deleting each member's first comment and first post as a matter of routine. Just to get it over with right away.
No toe in the lake, shove them off the dock, a moment's shock and then the water is fine.
posted by vapidave at 8:24 PM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would like to say that I got another comment in Ask Metafilter deleted a week or so ago. And I'd been doing so well.

But goddammit the guy asked for us to identify this weird old story.... Fahrenheit 451. I answered him! I really did! I tried so hard not to add the extra sentence. ;(
posted by Justinian at 9:09 PM on January 22, 2010


Strike out one time and you never bat a thousand ever again.

I'd actually never thought of things from that perspective.

Now I'm suicidal.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:09 PM on January 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oops.
Which is why I switch leagues regularly, and remember there is always a new season.

BOP think; Roll Tide. Better? Good.
posted by vapidave at 9:52 PM on January 22, 2010


A nonzero amount of my deleted comments are along the lines of 'That is really not cool to say that and I have flagged your comment' that was then removed when the mods cleaned away whatever I was responding to, so I'm not even sure how informational this number would be.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:22 PM on January 22, 2010


I'm still waiting on the "alert me when someone deletes one of my hard-earned and definitely deserved favorites" pony, myself. Who are these people that change their minds about something, and then actually go back and do something about it, anyway?
posted by yhbc at 10:26 PM on January 22, 2010


Curious? Then read the book.
posted by jjray at 10:57 PM on January 22, 2010


Imagine the shame of having no deleted comments.
posted by Cranberry at 11:06 PM on January 22, 2010


I was going to do some sort of DELETED ALL OF MY LIFE thing, but did a quick search and by jeebus that one's old.

So why not munge a Slashdot meme instead? Here's a first draft of the MetaFilter Improvement Rejection Form for you all to tweak.

- - - -

Your post advocates a

( X ) technical ( ) moderation ( ) user-based ( ) vigilante

improvement to MetaFilter processes. Your idea will not work. Here is why it won't work. (One or more of the following may apply to your particular idea, and it may have other flaws which vary from subsite to subsite.)

( ) Users of the site will not put up with it
( ) The mods will not put up with it
( ) Mathowie will not put up with it
( ) We tried it, and it was used mostly for ASCII jokes
( ) FAVORITES DO NOT WORK THAT WAY
( ) Requires too much cooperation from users
( ) Does not require any cooperation from anyone
( ) It will stop that kind of asshattery for two weeks and then we'll be stuck with new asshattery
( ) Flameouts and dramatic pileons would be impacted
( ) The mods will get impatient
( ) The posters are too impatient
( ) You're too impatient
( X ) Threadshitters don't care about deleted comments, or improving behavior
( ) You can't stop all spoilers, just like you can't stop Edward proposing to Bella at the end of New Moon.

Specifically, your plan fails to account for

( ) FAQs expressly prohibiting this
( ) The user-ban / sockpuppet / $5 Mathowie cigar lighter lifecycle
( ) Running out of distinct primary colors for backgrounds
( ) Susceptibility of MetaTalkers to argue at the drop of a hat
( ) Willingness of commenters to type the first thing that pops in their heads
( ) Armies of YouTube-URLed broadband-connected first-timers
( ) Eternal arms race involved in all heavy-handed moderating approaches
( ) The extreme desirability of snark
( ) The fact that there are only twelve actual posters on MetaFilter (two are bots)
( ) The existence of a blindingly obvious checkbox on Preferences that does this already
( ) Huge existing site investment in that behavior / meme / injoke
( X ) The Treaty of Westphalia
( ) If we took away all jackass stunts, the locals would rebel
( ) Boing-Boing

and the following philosophical objections may also apply:

( X ) It's not a competition. FIRST OBJECTION.
( ) We should be able to talk about __ without being censored.
( ) This thread is NOT useless without pics.
( ) Abusing the self-linkers that way is not slow and painful enough
( ) Not enough free-floating hostility. Inflammation wants to be free.
( ) Why should we baffle the lurkers any more than necessary?
( ) Incompatiblity with known social mores or Geneva conventions.
( ) Your favorite improvement sucks

Furthermore, this is what I think about you:

( X ) Sorry dude / ette, but I don't think it would work.
( ) This is a stupid idea, and you should be replaced by a Greasemonkey script for suggesting it.
( ) GRAR! BANHAMMER! MODS SMASH!
posted by Hardcore Poser at 12:56 AM on January 23, 2010 [15 favorites]


hey, so like my friend forwarded me this email and I put it on my blog you should all check it OUT!!!!!!11!!! and stuff.
blogged by pjern to fucking awesomeness at 5:05 PM (52 comments total) [add to favorites]

[has deletions][+]
posted by clearly at 12:56 AM on January 23, 2010


I made a list of deletion reasons on Google Docs, which should help people find their deleted posts. Use the app's find function instead of ctrl-f, or sort by userid, or use the iphone interface, which has autofilter (!!!).
posted by Pronoiac at 2:06 AM on January 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Timing.
posted by flatluigi at 2:43 AM on January 23, 2010


I know that the people that pay attention to lyrics in songs like 'Chasing Pavements' by Adele are more wordy than I but I submit that 'Cold Shoulder' communicates, in sum of sound and word something truer.
posted by vapidave at 2:56 AM on January 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


What other data do you guys have for keeping tabs on folks?

Are there mod-notes on us?
posted by floam at 4:17 AM on January 23, 2010


Are there mod-notes on us?

When I was at the big 10th anniversary meetup, I got to see my "flag" page! It was just a cursory glance, but I did notice that some comments that seemed rather inoffensive were flagged. I was like, "What? Who flagged that?" and jessamyn was like, "Oh, it's this one lady who flags anything with swear words in it," and I was like, "Oh, wow! That's a thing!"
posted by Greg Nog at 6:02 AM on January 23, 2010


THIS COMMENT HAS NOT BEEN DELETED.

Watch carefully for the disappearance of this comment.
posted by ZsigE at 6:18 AM on January 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


"Oh, it's this one lady who flags anything with swear words in it,"

I shudder to think at what she must make of my comments.

I'm really impressed by the idea that Cortex must be able to reel off the volume of deleted comments and FPP's for everyone that he meets. Can he reel off our user numbers as well? Ah, here's that bastard 20844. The amount of work that little shit causes us drives me nuts!

[And here's another spot of wrist exercise for anti-swearing lady.]
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:28 AM on January 23, 2010


Are there mod-notes on us?

It's kinda like the secret police. If they know enough about you you're either doing something really good or really wrong.
posted by The Whelk at 7:31 AM on January 23, 2010


I shudder to think at what she must make of my comments.

I think they are designed sometimes to piss me off specifically and thus I admire your tenacity and refuse to get annoyed.

Yes, we have mod notes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:53 AM on January 23, 2010 [1 favorite]



Yes, we have mod notes.


Oh man, Vice-Principle Smuth was right about my permanent record!
posted by The Whelk at 7:57 AM on January 23, 2010


My mod notes apparently just say "cat-bus! Mmmmmmmrrrrrwwww! Mmmmmmmrrrrrrrwwwww!"
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on January 23, 2010 [4 favorites]


You can ask us directly and we'll send you a list of everything you've ever had deleted from MetaFilter.

Can we get lists of everything other people have had deleted?
posted by pracowity at 9:28 AM on January 23, 2010


There's a lady who flags All that rattles her cage And she's greasing a slipway to Hades.
posted by Abiezer at 9:32 AM on January 23, 2010


You can ask us directly and we'll send you a list of everything you've ever had deleted from MetaFilter.

Can I get a list of pies?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:45 AM on January 23, 2010


I think they are designed sometimes to piss me off specifically

Hopefully you mean swearing lady's flags and not my comments. I'd hate you to think that anything I posted was designed to piss you off. Nothing could be further from my mind.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:45 AM on January 23, 2010


My comments are only designed to piss librarians off generally, it's nothing personal.
posted by lore at 10:14 AM on January 23, 2010


Bad, bad idea. If you really want to find that stuff you can but it takes more work, and it should. Not so deep in the data Cortex so kindly amasses rest information about deletions.
posted by caddis at 10:25 AM on January 23, 2010


I'd hate you to think that anything I posted was designed to piss you off. Nothing could be further from my mind.

Interesting. I assumed those sweater puppy-type comments were pretty much intended as wry needling remarks. Now I'm concerned that maybe they're just dickish. Not trying to be snarkish mod here, but your statement genuinely surprises me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:00 PM on January 23, 2010


That was her surprised face.
posted by gman at 12:04 PM on January 23, 2010


I knew a guy in college who seriously had files on everybody in our dorm. I was really afraid of him.

Likewise, terrified that my mod notes read "Christ, what an asshole."

(Or probably more likely: "Christ, what a total self-important flake to think that we care enough to believe that she's an asshole.")
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:18 PM on January 23, 2010


For what it's worth, while we have mod notes almost nobody actually has any. Most people who do are likely spammers/etc who we're keeping an eye on for the first sign of trouble, or people who we've specifically talked with about some site issue (good, bad, or neutral) so that we can try and keep reference of it in the future.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:44 PM on January 23, 2010


Yeah, I should have mentioned that. We barely use this feature. But if we see something and are like "huh that's not a big deal but if it happens again it might be a bigger deal..." we leave a note so we don't have to IM each other to tell each other things we will forget. Other times we make notes

- people who have late night PWD-type sprees who we may have emailed
- people who are famous or otherwise notable and mention that in a comment
- people who say "I promise to never do that again" or some variety

We don't just keep idle observations pretty much ever, but will occasionally make a note if we see something that another mod might find useful.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:51 PM on January 23, 2010


Do you suffer from late night PWD-type sprees? Talk to your doctor about Powdvair. Side effects include flameouts, banhammering, and GRAR. If you experience disappearance of favorites, call your doctor immediately, because that can be a symptom of a serious side effect.
posted by qvantamon at 2:06 PM on January 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anything that puts a number on behavior is a bad thing, we've found.
posted by mathowie at 8:22 PM on January 22 [19 favorites +] [!]


That probably should have read "anything that puts a number on bad behaviour is a bad thing", etc. Favourites are means of positive reinforcement because a lot of people use them to show approval for comments or posts. Being able to see everyone's deleted material would be negative reinforcement and we'd soon have at least a few dickwads competing to see how high they could get their deleted count. If we were going to have a feature that involves us knowing about mod deletions or negative reactions to our behaviour on the site, the way to do it would be to make it so only the user involved can see it.
posted by orange swan at 4:24 PM on January 23, 2010


A nonzero amount of my deleted comments are along the lines of 'That is really not cool to say that and I have flagged your comment' that was then removed when the mods cleaned away whatever I was responding to, so I'm not even sure how informational this number would be.

Shakespeherian, I do that too. Then I flag myself. I FLAG MYSELF.
posted by zinfandel at 6:40 PM on January 23, 2010


Can I get a list of pies?

There's Bacon and Balony Pie, Jello Pie, and Pie Pie.
posted by zinfandel at 6:45 PM on January 23, 2010


Shakespeherian, I do that too. Then I flag myself. I FLAG MYSELF.

I don't want
Anybody else
When I think about the blue
I flag myself.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:48 PM on January 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am not famous. But I am otherwise notable. Make a note of it please.
posted by Babblesort at 6:53 PM on January 23, 2010


I keep arty photo-cut up and prose laden dossiers on everyone I know just like Linda Hunt's character in "The Year of Living Dangerously".
posted by Burhanistan at 6:53 PM on January 23, 2010


The solution to being aware of your deleted comments is probably not to post anything that isn't worth you, yourself remembering.
posted by Cyrano at 7:08 PM on January 23, 2010


I don't want
Anybody else
When I think about the blue
I flag myself.


I flag myself
and I don't mean lightly
I flag myself
It can be frightening.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:19 PM on January 23, 2010 [2 favorites]


Anything that puts a number on behavior is a bad thing, we've found.
posted by mathowie at 7:22 PM on January 22 [4 favorites]

Matt you had to see that coming.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders


I thought that's why he posted it - a wee bit of sarcasm after the "favorites" debates of late fall.
posted by _paegan_ at 10:29 AM on January 24, 2010


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