Strike that, reverse it? February 15, 2019 11:29 AM   Subscribe

Deleted posts can be flagged but not favorited. Shouldn't it be the other way around?

Like many folks here, I read MeFi largely through RSS, which means I see all deleted posts. There have been more than a few times where I've wanted to favorite a deleted post, whether because it was a well-constructed double, an amusing attempt at spam with a hilarious deletion note, a neat post and discussion inexplicably nixed "at poster's request," etc. But deleted posts all have the favorite button removed. (This also leads me to wonder what happens to a post I've favorited that is subsequently deleted -- is it removed from my favorites list? That makes sense for comments, but posts remain accessible, right?)

Oddly enough, though, deleted posts do still have the flag button on them, which is basically useless since the post has already been dealt with by the mods.

Any chance we could swap out the redundant flag button with the occasionally useful favorite button? (And in case the answer is yes, let's use this space to share our favorite deleted posts for some long-deserved [+]-ing.)

Bonus: While using the Infodumpster to try finding deleted posts with favorites, I stumbled across a way to identify posts that were deleted and then miraculously resurrected, at least between 2003-07. Neat!
posted by Rhaomi to Feature Requests at 11:29 AM (18 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

So, the history of no faves on deleted posts stretches back to probably before my time working here; I think it falls in the bucket of decisions that followed in the mid-2000s from the implementation of a new feature and having to make a "wait, what should we do about edge case x" call on this or that detail as it surfaced.

I'm curious if I'll be able to find any email discussion about it if I go looking; it miiiight be something that got tweaked further after I came on board and was party to such discussions, especially given that fall-off in 2007 of the deleted-and-undeleted specimens you found. I wouldn't be surprised if there's some comment or other from Matt about it in an old MetaTalk as well.

Whether or not to reverse that behavior, I don't know; I'd need to think about it some, and also just look with frimble at how we've got it implemented currently. I don't have strong feelings about it off hand, but I also don't have a strong sense that it actually needs to change, basically.

Oddly enough, though, deleted posts do still have the flag button on them, which is basically useless since the post has already been dealt with by the mods.

We actually do occasionally get use out of the flag function on deleted posts, more so now that there's the free form text option -- there will sometimes be lingering display errors with a post, or some odd explanatory/elaborative wrinkle, or a reminder that some spam didn't get redacted, etc.

Bonus: While using the Infodumpster to try finding deleted posts with favorites, I stumbled across a way to identify posts that were deleted and then miraculously resurrected, at least between 2003-07. Neat!

So, yeah, I wonder if it was sometime after late September 2007 that deletions started ditching favorites associated with those posts, or what is going on there. One thing that you can do with the raw Infodump data but which probably isn't surfaced on the Infodumpster's interface is look for posts that explicitly have a false/0 value for the deleted/"hide" flag, but which have deletion reason content of some sort. If we don't explicitly delete the deletion reason when undeleting a post (and I'm not sure any mod has a habit of doing that) then the deletion reason should persist in the data tables even though it's not viewable on an undeleted post.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:40 AM on February 15 [1 favorite]


I remain amused that you can still favorite comments on deleted posts, and that the carefully considered comment by Huffy Puffy to my equally detailed (and deleted) post now has several favorites.
posted by Wordshore at 11:48 AM on February 15 [5 favorites]


Side issue: I frequently check the two deleted post Blogspot sites, to calibrate my understanding of what constitutes a delete-worthy post. But they haven't updated since January 16th. Did something change behind the scenes?
posted by Liesl at 11:56 AM on February 15 [4 favorites]


Those are run by third parties, not directly by the site, and probably just need a nudge to the owner to check on a broken feed. Has happened periodically over time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:26 PM on February 15


Did a little diving into my email archives and it looks like maybe the can't-fave-a-deleted-post feature predated my time on staff (and hence my discussion archives) but the actual stripping out of favorites from deleted posts was implemented in late 2008 after some team discussion over email. That corresponds well with Rhaomi's list of faved posts that nonetheless had deletion reasons attached and would explain why there's nothing in the last decade that fits that pattern.

There were a few MetaTalk threads in late 2007 about a favorites miscount bug, like this one from Sept. 2007, which is what I think led to the discussion in 2008 of changing favorites behavior on deleted posts. The inconsistency between having and counting favorites on a deleted post, but also not listing deleted posts in people's archives, was at the heart of it and may be a sufficient reason to decide to not revisit this functionality after all: we'd probably have to do some extra plumbing on how favorites are stored and processed to not break post history and misc. functions on the site, and would still I think be reintroducing some of those inconsistencies.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:44 PM on February 15


IIRC we had beancounting nerds getting agitated about ghost favorites.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:02 PM on February 15 [7 favorites]


jonmc made me spit jujube's at my screen in a GGDT* thread.

Only favorite I remember.

*=Gonna get deleted thread.
posted by clavdivs at 4:36 PM on February 15


My single-character comment continues to accumulate ghost faves. 11 favorites per character probably isn’t a record, but it’s the best I’ll ever do.

+ to Wordshore.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 4:50 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


11 12 favorites

couldn't resist
posted by not_the_water at 5:12 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]


So, the history of no faves on deleted posts stretches back to probably before my time working here; I think it falls in the bucket of decisions that followed in the mid-2000s from the implementation of a new feature and having to make a "wait, what should we do about edge case x" call on this or that detail as it surfaced.

I recall mathowie saying, several times, that he didn't want anything which would promote people trying to be "King of the shitpile"; favoriting deleted posts probably fell under that concern.
posted by thelonius at 6:00 PM on February 15 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: beancounting nerds getting agitated
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:28 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]


that he didn't want anything which would promote people trying to be "King of the shitpile"

Thank heavens we don't have to worry about *that* anymore!
posted by Chrysostom at 9:10 PM on February 15 [4 favorites]


18, come on drive by's, give a click, Huffy Puffy Neeeds This. (here's the comment)
posted by sammyo at 7:28 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]


Do the old concerns still apply? Is there any evidence that we see that behaviour with comments in deleted threads? What would be the impact if a poster did start playing King of the Shitpile?

Asking to help further this pony along, in the hopeful case that after consideration perhaps the risks aren’t what they once were.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:00 AM on February 17


Somewhat relatedly, is there a reason that deleted thread links show up literally hundreds of times on Fanfare? Scrolling past them is a right pain!
posted by iamkimiam at 1:04 AM on February 17


deleted link sausage fatigue.
posted by clavdivs at 1:22 AM on February 17


What would be the impact if a poster did start playing King of the Shitpile?

I haven't followed Game of Thrones that closely, but my understanding is that my comment's 31 favorites, 30 of which came after the thread was deleted, make me some sort of unbeatable zombie monarch.

So, uh, I guess I'd like to invite Wordshore to try to form a Government for the new Kingdom of Zombie Shitpilea.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:23 AM on February 17 [1 favorite]


Somewhat relatedly, is there a reason that deleted thread links show up literally hundreds of times on Fanfare? Scrolling past them is a right pain!

It's a failure of that script to ignore FanFare; some subsites have very consistent serial post ids on the front page, and some don't; FanFare doesn't and so the scripts that look for gaps in post ids mistake all the non-serial gaps as deleted posts.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:30 AM on February 17


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