Skipping posts on a topic September 6, 2011 8:09 AM   Subscribe

Is there a greasemonkey script that hides all posts with a given keyword? Can there be?

I looked around a bit a didn't see anything, and I apologize if this has already been covered and I missed it. (thought about putting this in ask but the grey seemed like a better fit.) But I was wondering if there's and extant technological solution for avoiding a certain topic, and if not whether that would be acceptable.

I suppose I should explain why --- for me it's 9/11. I wasn't personally touched by that event, though I was in Manhatten that day, and speaking for myself alone, I'd just...rather not. It's obviously something people will want to talk about, and certainly i can simply not read the site for a week or so. But it'd be nice if there was one place I could come to in my media diet where that wasn't an issue. So, is this possible? And allowed?
posted by Diablevert to Feature Requests at 8:09 AM (59 comments total)

Building a script to do this is possible in principle and basically fine with us if someone wants to use it. I don't know if it actually exists at this point or not.

On the server side, you could use the (recently added, based on similar functionality that's been on AskMe for a while) My Mefi functionality to get a filtered view of the front page based on the exclusion of tags you suspect will be a problem. Fill out that preferences page and then visit the "My Mefi" tab on the front page in the upper right.

In either case, it may be difficult to get it tuned to work 100% of the time without producing a lot of false positives; setting it up to look for certain keywords will do a good job of ducking past a lot of posts but you can't account ahead of time for more roundabout phrasing or posts coming to the topic from a different angle, so short of making a long list of blacklisted keywords (and potentially incidentally dodging a bunch of totally fine posts in the process), it's a triage game at best.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:17 AM on September 6, 2011


yup.
posted by clavdivs at 8:19 AM on September 6, 2011


A Greasemonkey script, or tweaking My Mefi as Cortex suggests seems like a lot more work than just not reading any posts that appears to be related to 9/11. Is there some reason you just not reading the 9/11 related posts won't work for you?
posted by COD at 8:19 AM on September 6, 2011


Yeah, since pb added exclusion tags, My Mefi is pretty awesome.
posted by quin at 8:21 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


That My MeFi fix is great (and, COD, takes like four seconds). Thank you.
posted by davidjmcgee at 8:22 AM on September 6, 2011


Yeah, I was thinking of keeping away from MeFi for a couple weeks to avoid the inevitable cavalcade.
posted by DU at 8:22 AM on September 6, 2011


As a potential stopgap solution, you could move to the UK and then not have to hear about it until the ninth of November.

At least I'm pretty sure that's how it works.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:26 AM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there some reason you just not reading the 9/11 related posts won't work for you?

Personally -- and I would love a script like this -- I think it is like walking into a room where someone is waving their genitals about. While it would take time and effort to design a special set of glasses that prevent you from seeing the guy helicoptering his dick, it's a much better solution than just trying to summon the superhuman self control it requires not to look.
posted by griphus at 8:27 AM on September 6, 2011 [8 favorites]


COD: “Is there some reason you just not reading the 9/11 related posts won't work for you?”

It's always funny to me that the "JUST MOVE ON IF YOU DON'T LIKE IT" brigade seems utterly unable to follow their own advice.

It's not a massive request. Some people might want to respond. You clearly don't. That means you might want to just... well, you know your options.
posted by koeselitz at 8:32 AM on September 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Which word would you like to avoid? (And don't say "crunchland.")
posted by crunchland at 8:35 AM on September 6, 2011


ah. never mind. I see. 9/11.
posted by crunchland at 8:36 AM on September 6, 2011


samsara's gonna git ya
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:40 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


That was a genuine mistake, crunchland, technically 9/11 is not a word in any language.
posted by infini at 8:45 AM on September 6, 2011


I was thinking that maybe one person would make a 9/11 post with a bunch of resources and information, including links to the thread here, and that everything would be collected there. Kind of a filthylightthiefification of things, so that when posts like "what if 9/11 never happened" appear, people can say "this can go in the already open 9/11 thread". Also, it would be a really dense thread for those who want to go there. Yahoo has its own little 9/11 tab, archive.org relaunched their international tv archive with footage, and there have been a bunch of other resources. I would be happy to add resources to a thread, but I have no desire to turn the front page of the blue into 9/11filter this week.
posted by cashman at 8:46 AM on September 6, 2011


> technically 9/11 is not a word in any language.

Giuliani disagrees.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:47 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


My Mefi is pretty awesome.
Suggestions: Politics music science food video youtube history Obama art cooking film war humor religion government death economics programming comedy economy egypt money sex usa videogames
pb, get out of my head!
posted by Deathalicious at 9:00 AM on September 6, 2011


There is a very real chance that my kid might be born on 9/11 (the "due date" is 9/10). Just the possibility makes me grossed out (not because of the actual tragedy, but because of the much worse tragedy of how the event has been manipulated into this engine of hate, hysteria, fear, prejudice, and violence). It also makes me feel pretty sorry for people who were actually born on 9/11/01 (can you imagine what the hospitals were like in NYC that day) as well as people who already had that birthday.
posted by Deathalicious at 9:05 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks, cortex. Will see if tweaking my mefi works.

In re:
Is there some reason you just not reading the 9/11 related posts won't work for you?

Well, this morning I learned without trying or desiring to that Niall Ferguson has again applied his insufferableness to this subject in his uniquely infuriating way, using the arriversary as his indispensable prop. I didn't read the whole post; getting the gist from the above-the-fold was sufficient to tighten my gullet.

You may think that I must consider myself a special little snowflake indeed, to want to banish all mention of it from my blue. But that's what I want. And I don't feel particularly apologetic about it.

I remember, and my memories are sufficient, to me. Thinking about that day makes me sad; thinking about all that's happened after makes me angry. Thinking about what I can do about what happenned, or its effects, or the uses to which it has and will be put, especially this week --- nothing, nothing, nothing --- makes me despair. And I'd rather not do that, for a solid week. Some of it's inescapable, but not all.
posted by Diablevert at 9:14 AM on September 6, 2011 [13 favorites]


Deathalicious: "It also makes me feel pretty sorry for people who were actually born on 9/11/01 (can you imagine what the hospitals were like in NYC that day) as well as people who already had that birthday."

Second Birthday In A Row Ruined By Terrorism
posted by Plutor at 9:22 AM on September 6, 2011


filthylightthiefification is also not a word. What does Giuliani think?
posted by infini at 9:25 AM on September 6, 2011


Giuliani thinks that it's a bit much to carry on like that.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:28 AM on September 6, 2011


filthylightthiefification is also not a word.

It totally is. Check the Mefictionary.
posted by cashman at 9:42 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


There is a very real chance that my kid might be born on 9/11 (the "due date" is 9/10). Just the possibility makes me grossed out (not because of the actual tragedy, but because of the much worse tragedy of how the event has been manipulated into this engine of hate, hysteria, fear, prejudice, and violence).

If said child is born on 9/11 you should give him/her an Arabic name.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 9:43 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is My Mefi documented anywhere? Not seeing anything on a wiki search.

I'm specifically interested in knowing what happens when one of your favorite tags is used. Do you get a MeFi Mail? Does the div get highlighted on the front page (even if you use the professional white background at work)? It would be nice to not have to dig through MeTa to find the answers.

(As always, if you drop me a line with some info, I'm happy to document whatever for you.)
posted by Eideteker at 9:46 AM on September 6, 2011


Anyway, I also vote that there be one and only one 9/11 thread, with all other posts deleted with a message redirecting to the sole 9/11 thread.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:48 AM on September 6, 2011


It also makes me feel pretty sorry for people who were actually born on 9/11/01 (can you imagine what the hospitals were like in NYC that day) as well as people who already had that birthday.

My sister was born on 9/11! It's actually been good, because I'm bad at remembering birthdays, and this helps me to NEVER FORGET
posted by Greg Nog at 9:54 AM on September 6, 2011 [24 favorites]


Checking out the Mefictionary
posted by infini at 10:06 AM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Checking out the Mefictionary

Do that, but it's $5.00 per day if it is overdue, and you can't renew it.
posted by cashman at 10:07 AM on September 6, 2011


Also it hasn't been totally legible since griphus borrowed it and drew all those doodles of stick men waving their genitals.
posted by mannequito at 10:10 AM on September 6, 2011


Those are pictograms of stick men waving their genitals, you ignorant boob. I was taking notes.
posted by griphus at 10:12 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


griphus, thank you for those doodles, I have just used that amazingly accurate visualization in the Apple thread.
posted by infini at 10:27 AM on September 6, 2011


It's actually a flip-book helicopter penis drawn out on the corner of the pages.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:31 AM on September 6, 2011


Well, this morning I learned without trying or desiring to that Niall Ferguson has again applied his insufferableness to this subject in his uniquely infuriating way, using the arriversary as his indispensable prop.

FWIW, the rest of the thread is basically people throwing fish and old fruit at Niall Ferguson. But I certainly wouldn't object if it were deleted, or indeed if griphus drew priapic stickmen over it. I'd be quite impressed by that.
posted by running order squabble fest at 10:32 AM on September 6, 2011


Clearly, an X rated Cornify is needed more than a 9/11 keyword blocker.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:34 AM on September 6, 2011


Don't forget to also block 11/9, which is how much of the world configures date formats.

I still can't avoid automatically parsing 9/11 as the 9th of November, and wondering how different the revenge sentiment might have been, had it occurred 2 days before Armistice Day.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:40 AM on September 6, 2011


...indeed if griphus drew priapic stickmen over it. I'd be quite impressed by that.

Done.
posted by griphus at 10:49 AM on September 6, 2011 [14 favorites]


There is a very real chance that my kid might be born on 9/11 (the "due date" is 9/10)...

My sister's 21st birthday was September 11, 2001. (For unaware non-Americans, drinking legally is supposed to make this a big deal birthday, and though the legality of alcohol purchasing was no big deal for her, it still, obviously, sucked.) The next year sucked too. But she says it's really not that big of a deal anymore, with the occasional exception of when she is asked for her birthday, and people say "oh..." and pause in a strange way. But even that is becoming less and less common.

Despite how the events of the day will be etched in American's collective memory for a while to come and we'll be living with the fallout for the next couple of lifetimes, I think the date itself is getting to be less and less of a point. (This year, of course, being an exception compared to the last few.)
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:18 AM on September 6, 2011


I want to ask a bunch of Americans born on 12/7/41 how many birthdays in did people stop bringing it up at all.
posted by griphus at 11:23 AM on September 6, 2011


I've thought about that as a comparison as well, but stumbled over two points:

1) Pearl Harbor wasn't, despite being "a date which will live in infamy", was never (as far as I know), known as the December 7th attacks.

2) That war ended.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:31 AM on September 6, 2011


eek! Griphus uses professional white ... and are those arrowheads?
posted by infini at 11:33 AM on September 6, 2011


Could you get the rss feed, and only follow up on links that are of interest?

I will be very thankful for the tivo in the next several days. Newscasters have an extra-special-caring-voice they use, which makes my skin crawl with it's overweening sincerity.
posted by theora55 at 11:51 AM on September 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


eek! Griphus uses professional white ... and are those arrowheads?

They're priapic stickcatmen, I guess?
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:01 PM on September 6, 2011


Second Birthday In A Row Ruined By Terrorism
posted by Plutor at 9:22 AM on September 6


The man in the story Plutor linked is already accursed - his name is Bachman.
posted by Cranberry at 12:07 PM on September 6, 2011


Nevar Forgit!
posted by Devils Rancher at 1:57 PM on September 6, 2011


There is a very real chance that my kid might be born on 9/11 (the "due date" is 9/10).

Our eldest son was due to be born on September 1, 2002, but *he* *refused* *to* *come* *out*. So the days marched down towards 9/11 and we prayed he would not be born on that inauspicious day (actually, my wife was just praying for her water to break).

We tried everything, from walking on sand (on the advice of an old midwife from Kyoto) to singing, but nothing happened. Eventually, on a walk around the neighbourhood my wife experienced some severe cramping, but she had had that before, so she didn't pay any attention. Eventually on our walk she was doubled over, and some kids asked her, "Lady, what's wrong?"

"I'm having a baby!" she said. We went to the midwife clinic and our son was born an hour later, on September 9.
posted by KokuRyu at 2:14 PM on September 6, 2011


My birthday is 9/11. It's a bigger deal to other people than it is to me. Yes, that was a shitty day, but it was my birthday before, and it will be for years after (forever? How does one even write that?).

At this point, it's just a pain in the ass to make doctor's appointments or show my i.d. for things, because people always do the sharp intake of breath, followed by some sort of sorry. And I'm all, "Uh, can I just make my appointment?"/"Get into this club?"

I'm probably also an anecdote for a lot of people I know, due to my birthday.
posted by loriginedumonde at 3:06 PM on September 6, 2011


Anyway, I also vote that there be one and only one 9/11 thread, with all other posts deleted with a message redirecting to the sole 9/11 thread.

No thanks. It's a big, complex topic with a lot of facets --there were more than 200 9/11-related posts within just a few days of the attacks. Granted, the site worked differently in 2001, but compare to posts about presidential elections or other headline-grabbing events. No need to cram all the various anniversary material into one megathread. I'm working on one myself covering a small but compelling niche that could definitely stand on its own.
posted by Rhaomi at 3:12 PM on September 6, 2011


This doesn't work for metafilter, but if you use Chrome, there's an extension called "Silence of the Celebs" which deletes articles with overexposed celebs or topics from a handful of websites. You can customize the topics/celebs that are blocked, but unfortunately it currently only works with these sites:

Twitter
NYTimes
CNN
Huffington Post
Google News
Gawker
Mashable
TMZ

A few caveats:

First, it's all or nothing as far as the blocked websites. You can't block topics on Gawker without blocking them on Google News.

Second, sometimes a website (NYT loves this) will do an article about, say, elementary school education, and be unable to resist throwing in a sentence like, "Thaddeus Smith is a regular fourth grader who loves Lady Gaga" and you'll go to read it, and the article will vanish in front of your eyes. It's pretty surprising the first time it happens, but once you know what's going on, you can click the extension off to read the article. There's also a little indicator that shows exactly which topic the extension is blocking for a given page, so you know before you unblock.
posted by lesli212 at 4:02 PM on September 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Is there a greasemonkey script that shows (in, like, really enlarged, blinking, hot pink letters) all posts with the word "twitch" in them? Cause I really like that word. Also "thud", "flummox" and "squelch".

Oh, and "sluice". lately I've been digging that word, too.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:34 PM on September 6, 2011


You may think that I must consider myself a special little snowflake indeed, to want to banish all mention of it from my blue. But that's what I want. And I don't feel particularly apologetic about it.

No need to be apologetic for it, but it's also worth understanding that it won't happen, and why. As much as I'm in favor of folks trying to be decent and civilized on the week of 9/11 as with any week, the sheer diversity of the community here [and it's one that isn't even that diverse by true diversity metrics] will have different ways that they feel are appropriate to commemorate or not commemorate the date.

So, while I really encourage people to use the (not particularly well-documented) MyMeFi feature if there are things they can't bear to interact with personally, there's not much else we can or will do on a mod basis except delete bad posts and shitty comments in decent posts.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:07 PM on September 6, 2011


I kinda thought (for some reason) I was the only person who felt this way about this topic.

Thanks Diablevert for bringing this up.
posted by jbenben at 6:39 PM on September 6, 2011


(can you imagine what the hospitals were like in NYC that day)

Yes, it was an ordinary day w/r/t the number of people seeking treatment. Hospitals all over Manhattan went on super alert mobilizing every kind of specialty and trauma team. . .for patients that never arrived.

In Practice: A Bellevue doctor remembers 9/11

The ER was packed, six doctors deep wherever you looked. The clinic was overflowing with medical reinforcements and equipment. Everyone was geared up, eyeing the ambulance bays nervously.

And then … no one came. A spooky calm flooded the hospital. Thousands of medical workers — doctors, nurses, medical students, technicians, orderlies, therapists, clerical workers — were poised at the ready, but there were no patients. Mostly we stood around, nervously fingering stethoscopes and lab coats. Nobody could tend to their regular work — that felt unseemly.

A handful of patients, mostly first responders, trickled in over the course of the day; they were so outnumbered by doctors that the scene felt surreal. There were almost no victims from the towers.

posted by mlis at 7:52 PM on September 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the "no cats on Metafilter" script can be modified to block posts with whatever words you define. Just open it with a text editor and add the words.

I don't, however, know if you can easily change it to work on Metafilter proper, as opposed to just AskMe.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:01 AM on September 7, 2011


Those are some sweet fuckin' pictograms, G!
posted by Mister_A at 1:09 AM on September 7, 2011


I have a similar visceral response to 9/11. I generally just turn off the news, abruptly end conversations, and otherwise listen to a crapton of music over the next few weeks. Otherwise, I throw up.

I've tried to forray into the world of rational and calm discussion, but I can't. Hell, I had a hard time just writing three numbers that I wouldn't think twice about if I was in an accident... but, when you add that slash it has entirely different meaning...

Anyway... I'm going to go drink a cup of coffee and pretend to not be thinking about this for a few more years.
posted by Nanukthedog at 4:31 AM on September 7, 2011


I just looked at the source code for the no cats on Metafilter script. I don't actually code in javascript (I think that is what I'm looking at) but if you change the @include url to Mefi proper, and change "my cat" to "9/11", I think that might work. It'll take you 3 minutes to test it out...
posted by COD at 8:01 AM on September 7, 2011


griphus you are a hoot.
posted by bukvich at 9:31 AM on September 7, 2011


there's not much else we can or will do on a mod basis except delete bad posts and shitty comments in decent posts.

I recognize that this is not a moddable problem, or even a problem at all, from a nodding point of view. That's why I said "my blue;" it's certainly an appropriate topic for the blue. I'm sorry if I got a bit snappish in my reply. I don't think my personal take on this should rule the site, I was just hoping for a tech fix other than not reading it at all. If there wasn't I was prepared to do that. And I certainly don't expect all mention of the event to be scrubbed from every comment in non-related threads. People are going to say what they're going to say. I just wasn't looking forward to clicking over and having every four links be something related to this for a solid week, the endless worrying round of the event, its mourning, its personalities and controversies.
posted by Diablevert at 9:33 AM on September 7, 2011


There is a very real chance that my kid might be born on 9/11 (the "due date" is 9/10). Just the possibility makes me grossed out (not because of the actual tragedy, but because of the much worse tragedy of how the event has been manipulated into this engine of hate, hysteria, fear, prejudice, and violence).

If said child is born on 9/11 you should give him/her an Arabic name.


I was half kidding about this, but if you someone did want to go through with giving their child an Arabic name on 9/11, I think Salma for a girl or Selim for a boy would be quite fitting. They are both derived from Salam, "peace" or "safety".
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 7:14 AM on September 9, 2011


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