Filtering for favorited comments July 26, 2016 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Is there a Firefox extension or Greasemonkey script that will hide comments with fewer than X favorites in a thread? I want to see the best of the political threads without having to wade through thousands of comments.
posted by BuddhaInABucket to MetaFilter-Related at 9:27 AM (24 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

There's a listing of userscripts on the Mefi Wiki. I'm not sure offhand if any of those do the thing you want, though.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:28 AM on July 26, 2016


Ah, this Metatalk seems to have some answers.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:30 AM on July 26, 2016


See also bookmarklets, specifically GraphFi by yourcelf, which doesn't filter the conversation, but generates a fancy graph of favorites per comment on the left side of the screen, allowing you to visually filter and jump to "top" comments, and it links comments in the thread, allowing you to follow replies, expanding the context rather than diminishing it.
posted by filthy light thief at 10:12 AM on July 26, 2016 [4 favorites]


I've used this to cull comments in some of the long convention liveblog threads where I wasn't able to watch in the moment but still wanted to catch some of the responses.
posted by Copronymus at 10:24 AM on July 26, 2016


Thanks, Filthy light thief. GraphFi is exactly the sort of thing I was looking for. I generally like browsing through big threads, but for personal sanity reasons this election cycle, I'm really feeling like it's important to limit the amount of energy I spend thinking about it. I'll save it for choice comments.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 11:00 AM on July 26, 2016


I put together a bookmarklet for filtering by favorites last year. It's the MeFi Filter bookmarklet on that page.

The bookmarklet pops five comments to the top of the page in a thread highlight section, and marks the rest of the thread by hiding any comments with fewer favorites than average for that thread. Click on any dimmed comment to un-hide it for reading.

I've tested the bookmarklet with 1500+ comment election threads and it seems to work, just a little slower than typical threads.
posted by Jeff Howard at 1:13 PM on July 26, 2016 [4 favorites]



I use a combination of the metafilter multimedia width and Metafilter thread highlights.

The latter, I noticed, doesn't have a non-sketchy, stable host, so I uploaded it as a gist on github.

So, here's what my screen looks like in the dnc thread, filtered to only see the comments in with 5 or more favs.
posted by fizzix at 3:17 PM on July 26, 2016


First off, I don't agree that favorites equal "best", and wonder if it has been considered that if one is filtering comments with less than X favorites those comments will be less likely to receive favorites. If more people adopt these scripts then the site becomes even more of an echo chamber.

This sort of thing is tantamount to a kill file which I know was something matt and the mods often spoke out against over the years.

Thanks for (possibly) listening. If this doesn't get enough favorites some may not even see my thoughts.
posted by terrapin at 8:56 AM on July 27, 2016 [8 favorites]


The "favorites are not upvotes" train has left you and me at the station, rounded the bend, and the whistle is no longer audible. Surrender, Dorothy.
posted by phearlez at 9:17 AM on July 27, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's not like every participant in an election megathread diligently reads every comment before posting. Some people don't have the time or energy to do that, and I don't blame them. Using favorites as a heuristic to summarize a huge, unreadable thread is probably better than "skim the thread at random" or "post without reading the thread at all."

Filtering based on favorites is never going to become the default way of interacting with the site. I doubt it will ever be supported by the site at all. We're talking about third-party browser extensions here, not something official.
posted by a mirror and an encyclopedia at 10:55 AM on July 27, 2016 [4 favorites]


I put together a bookmarklet for filtering by favorites last year. It's the MeFi Filter bookmarklet on that page.

Woah, these bookmarklets are fantastic! I'm gonna use them a bunch, thank you.
posted by naju at 2:17 PM on July 27, 2016


This sort of thing is tantamount to a kill file which I know was something matt and the mods often spoke out against over the years.

Yeah, I've said a bunch over the years that we're never implementing killfiles, and we're never implementing sort-by-favorites. Those aren't things that I see as good additions to the core default functionality of the site.

That said, the other thing that I've said again and again about third-party scripts is that people can do what they like with their browsers and can modify their experience of the site in ways that make it more useful for them and which help them interact better with the site. My primary criterion there is that people avoid using such stuff to be jerks, which people generally do a good job of; beyond that, do what works.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:21 PM on July 27, 2016 [3 favorites]


Favorites aren't always that great an indicator of what you should pay attention to in a thread, but it's kind of interesting to see them highlighted in a megathread that I otherwise just don't have the energy to skim. What GraphFi does that's really neat, though, is show connections between replies. Thanks for the link, filthy light thief. I've resisted adding any 3rd-party tools to my MeFi experience 'til now, but I think I'll hang on to this one.

And as an aside, now that I think about it, I comment here less and less lately, as the volume of discussion goes up and the bar for usefully commenting on a lot of things I'm interested in ratchets higher (or the frustration of trying to participate in many kinds of discussion escalates, to look at it less positively), but I do favorite a lot of stuff as kind of a very mild signal boost. It's definitely not like there isn't a useful signal there to be parsed, even if it's not always a signal I'm in much accord with.
posted by brennen at 3:39 PM on July 27, 2016


In my experience, many heavily favorited comments are just well-delivered snark. Very few of them are genuinely insightful. This is especially true in long threads like the election ones.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:17 AM on July 28, 2016 [3 favorites]


This is a really bad idea. I understand it would be an unofficial user-made add-on but Metafilter is not Reddit. It isn't Slashdot. Don't do it. Every time you do this a kitten cries.
posted by Justinian at 2:44 AM on July 28, 2016 [4 favorites]


First off, I don't agree that favorites equal "best", and wonder if it has been considered that if one is filtering comments with less than X favorites those comments will be less likely to receive favorites.

This already happens. I am not sure how the infodumpster could be used to prove what I admit is an experiential theory, but nevertheless: a comment, even an innocuous one, that has attracted 2 or more favourites is much more likely to gather many more. It is a sort of rolling stone effect I think.
posted by DarlingBri at 4:13 AM on July 28, 2016


I understand the discussion about whether this is a good idea. I raise the counter-question of whether reading 2,500 comments worth of political commentary is necessarily a good idea, and if you guys have any suggestions on more effective scanning of those threads, I'm all ears.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 2:38 PM on July 28, 2016 [2 favorites]


Drink lots of margaritas. I don't know if that makes it more effective but it sure makes it more fun.
posted by Justinian at 3:35 PM on July 28, 2016


I raise the counter-question of whether reading 2,500 comments worth of political commentary is necessarily a good idea

If you have to ask...
posted by brennen at 3:43 PM on July 28, 2016


querty just posted a new Greasemonkey script to filter by favorites.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:29 AM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


many heavily favorited comments are just well-delivered snark. Very few of them are genuinely insightful

A keen and concise summary of my metafilter, career, Joe. I want it on my tombstone.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:03 AM on August 2, 2016 [2 favorites]


I love GraphFi but am too lazy to select a bookmarklet so I wrote a Safari extension that adds a little icon at the top left of any MetaFilter page which opens GraphFi.
posted by nicwolff at 2:34 PM on August 2, 2016


querty just posted a new Greasemonkey script to filter by favorites.

Look, I don't intend to insult or offend anybody, but this strikes me as a really bad idea, and I truly hope it does not become the way anybody interacts with Metafilter on a regular basis.

I get that this is not affiliated with the site in any even remotely official capacity, and that probably only a very small proportion of people are likely to choose to use it, but it is way too close to what makes certain parts of Reddit so toxic and shitty sometimes.

Filtering out comments below a certain favorite-threshold is tantamount to choosing to silence unpopular voices, and that strikes me as profoundly undemocratic and incompatible with a healthy and reasonable discourse.
posted by dersins at 5:43 PM on August 2, 2016 [1 favorite]


Way late to the party here, but I do have a bit of javascript (not sure of the source) that lets you filter threads by favorite count. I'm normally opposed to the idea (especially when they re-sort comments out of order, yuck), but it's essential for getting at least the gist of the ENORMO election threads we're now seeing on a weekly basis -- at least if you want to avoid tehhund's fate.

Here is the raw code:

javascript:(function(){window.glork=function(){var d=document,e=d.getElementsByTagName('div'),i,z;var lim=1*document.getElementById('favr').value;document.getElementById('nfav').innerHTML=lim;for(i=0;z=e[i++];){if(z.className=='comments'){var m,nc=0;if(m=z.innerHTML.match(/\b(\d+) users? marked this/))nc=m[1];do{z.style.display=nc>=lim?'block':'none';z=z.nextSibling;}while(z&&z.tagName=='BR');}}};var d=document.createElement('div');d.innerHTML='<div style="position:fixed;right:0px;top:0px;border:2px solid black;background:white;color:black;padding:5px;text-align:center;">Only show comments with<br><input id=favr type=range min=1 max=50 value=1 onkeyup=glork() onchange=glork()><br>at least <span id=nfav>-</span> favorites</div>';document.body.appendChild(d);glork();})();

A Chrome bookmark with that as the URL should work.

For Firefox, use this encoded version for the Location field of the bookmark:

javascript:%28function%28%29%7Bwindow.glork%3Dfunction%28%29%7Bvar%20d%3Ddocument%2Ce%3Dd.getElementsByTagName%28%27div%27%29%2Ci%2Cz%3Bvar%20lim%3D1%2Adocument.getElementById%28%27favr%27%29.value%3Bdocument.getElementById%28%27nfav%27%29.innerHTML%3Dlim%3Bfor%28i%3D0%3Bz%3De%5Bi%2B%2B%5D%3B%29%7Bif%28z.className%3D%3D%27comments%27%29%7Bvar%20m%2Cnc%3D0%3Bif%28m%3Dz.innerHTML.match%28%2F%5Cb%28%5Cd%2B%29%20users%3F%20marked%20this%2F%29%29nc%3Dm%5B1%5D%3Bdo%7Bz.style.display%3Dnc%3E%3Dlim%3F%27block%27%3A%27none%27%3Bz%3Dz.nextSibling%3B%7Dwhile%28z%26%26z.tagName%3D%3D%27BR%27%29%3B%7D%7D%7D%3Bvar%20d%3Ddocument.createElement%28%27div%27%29%3Bd.innerHTML%3D%27%3Cdiv%20style%3D%22position%3Afixed%3Bright%3A0px%3Btop%3A0px%3Bborder%3A2px%20solid%20black%3Bbackground%3Awhite%3Bcolor%3Ablack%3Bpadding%3A5px%3Btext-align%3Acenter%3B%22%3EOnly%20show%20comments%20with%3Cbr%3E%3Cinput%20id%3Dfavr%20type%3Drange%20min%3D1%20max%3D50%20value%3D1%20onkeyup%3Dglork%28%29%20onchange%3Dglork%28%29%3E%3Cbr%3Eat%20least%20%3Cspan%20id%3Dnfav%3E-%3C%2Fspan%3E%20favorites%3C%2Fdiv%3E%27%3Bdocument.body.appendChild%28d%29%3Bglork%28%29%3B%7D%29%28%29%3B

When activated, it should load a little slider in the upper-right corner of the page -- it might be hidden by the site's navbar if you're at the top of the page, so just scroll down if so. Slide to the desired threshold and it will filter the thread accordingly. Use wisely.
posted by Rhaomi at 11:47 PM on August 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


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