Deleted Posts Blogs March 25, 2019 3:54 PM   Subscribe

I'm not clear on how these work or who runs them, but thank you for fixing them.
posted by still_wears_a_hat to MetaFilter-Related at 3:54 PM (48 comments total) 30 users marked this as a favorite

I don't remember who's running them right now offhand. It's been at least two different people over the years, maybe more. But yeah -- thank you to the person who maintains them!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:01 PM on March 25 [6 favorites]


I believe those are run by cj_
posted by lalex at 4:12 PM on March 25


Very weird. I just noticed a comment of mine from the recently deleted PTSD post got some favorites hours after the deletion. Apparently that’s a thing that can happen going through the deleted post blog.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 5:42 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]


No problem, sorry it was gone for so long. I had a billing problem with the EC2 instance it runs on and just completely forgot to take care of it. Hopefeully it caught up with the backlog when I started it back up and doesn't need any manual intervention.
posted by cj_ at 5:50 PM on March 25 [39 favorites]


Hear, hear!
posted by Going To Maine at 6:24 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


On of my favorite RSS feeds. Thank you!
posted by supercres at 6:47 PM on March 25 [1 favorite]


Yaaaay, thank you! I love them.
posted by Fig at 6:57 PM on March 25 [2 favorites]


Viva transparency!
Viva the ... (checks notes) ... userbase!
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:23 PM on March 25 [5 favorites]


(By that I mean cj_ of course!)
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:25 PM on March 25


I tell ya this "frimbletest" person is getting to be a real problem. Plus, how could they even know they are more frimblet than anybody else?
posted by rhizome at 9:35 PM on March 25 [28 favorites]


Very weird. I just noticed a comment of mine from the recently deleted PTSD post got some favorites hours after the deletion. Apparently that’s a thing that can happen going through the deleted post blog.

It is indeed possible to favorite comments on deleted posts. The one from Huffy Puffy is a good example of this; only the first favorite came before the post was zapped (it had a brief life of six minutes). The rest have come afterwards, and it can still be favorited now.
posted by Wordshore at 3:06 AM on March 26 [4 favorites]


Thank you! Made my day. I love reading these.
posted by sacchan at 3:24 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


I didn't know there was a problem with them, I don't check them super often, but big big thanks to cj_ for running and maintaining these. I've learned a lot about how to make posts and asks better just by seeing examples of what not to do, and read some interesting links and discussions even if ultimately the FPP doesn't stay up.
posted by soundguy99 at 4:24 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]


Every time I dip my toe back into the deleted posts blog I realize how much I miss sixcolors and get really sad.
posted by phunniemee at 6:49 AM on March 26 [7 favorites]


“The past is a foreign country; they do things differently there.”
posted by Barack Spinoza at 7:01 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


Oh, man. I used to be able to get comments in on shitty posts regularly before they got deleted but it's been ages since I've done so. Gotta stop working so hard and refocus on what's important.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:36 AM on March 26 [2 favorites]


So many spammers.
posted by JanetLand at 7:57 AM on March 26 [3 favorites]


I haven't looked at these in years. I have a question/request: For accounts that are banned can they be shown as "this account has been banned" rather than "deleted"? Isn't the deleted term used for when users close their own accounts?
posted by terrapin at 8:39 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]


"Disabled" is the term shown for self-closed accounts.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:42 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]


Good callout, I like them, too.
posted by theora55 at 9:03 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]


There are three types of closed accounts:
- Self-closed - profile page shows "this account is disabled" and no personal details like profile pic
- Banned - these look the same as self-closed accounts
- Deceased - profile pages still show the profile pics etc, but with a label at the top indicating the person has died and usually a link to the Metatalk thread or obit.

But this thread and the linked blog are about deleted posts rather than accounts, maybe that's where a confusion was coming in?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:14 AM on March 26 [4 favorites]


Thanks for running this, cj_!
posted by mordax at 9:47 AM on March 26


Cool - interesting to read the post deletions and some of the more amusing mod comments. I hadn't noticed before that deleted posts where the user is banned, have any links in the post changed to link to example.com, and I see something similar in a few AskMe's.

Makes total sense to change the URL, especially for self-linking / obvious spam posts and other cases where community standards are not followed, but just curious is that automatic or is just up to each mod to decide and tweak as they feel necessary? Would it make more sense to have them link to a "the link on this page was redirected here because the post didn't follow community rules" type page on Metafilter rather than example.com which is sort of unfriendly and doesn't make clear why the link doesn't work. Pretty minor impact I guess - but more so if someone shares a post that is subsequently deleted it may not be clear to viewers unless they notice the mod comment (which they may not see immediately if the post that is deleted is relatively long) and keeps the user on Metafilter / maybe encourages them to join if they aren't logged in etc.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 9:54 AM on March 26


Switching spam links to example.com is manual, not automatic; I sometimes forget and have to go back later. It's a thing we do for spam, not for other kinds of links usually.

I suppose we could put together some kind of site-specific redirect but yeah, I guess my feeling is, it's not a big impact? I don't have a sense of how much people share deleted posts around. My guess would be that's not very common for the kind of empty-headed spam posts that get example'd, which are usually like "hey I just found this amazing site with top deals on cheap Miami office furniture chairs tables".
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:07 AM on March 26 [4 favorites]


It's such a shame when spammers who make good usernames get banned, like Justincase. What a waste.
posted by Melismata at 10:28 AM on March 26 [7 favorites]


Didn't there used to be a thing where when someone spammed, they would both get banned AND the links they posted in the spam post would be nixed or like, directed to NULL or something? For example, this spam post's link looks (without clicking on it) like it is still a valid URL.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:33 AM on March 26


Ha yes - perfect illustration, we sometimes just forget to edit them. If you see one like this let us know. I've just fixed that one.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:35 AM on March 26 [1 favorite]


It's such a shame when spammers who make good usernames get banned, like Justincase. What a waste.

I feel like the spammers really aren't send their best and brightest with usernames like BestHairClippers, Guide Your Health, MedicareFAQ, and inmods_com. And evidently deleted user deeplearner, wasn't.
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:00 AM on March 26 [6 favorites]


oh man if I ever BND my new username is gonna be something like "VacationRentalMarketingPro" just so the mods are poised over me like hawks alla time
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:12 AM on March 26 [39 favorites]


Hi VacationRentalMarketingPro, I'm cheap Miami office furniture chairs tables.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:30 AM on March 26 [10 favorites]


Ok - so I need to get myself out of this rabbit hole that is deleted posts. But before I do I will say, although most mod deletion notes are short and to the point, there is some real gold in some of comments going back as far 2002. Good chirping mods, appreciate the hustle.
  • I've got a PhD in Advanced Spamology from Banhammer U
  • THREE FISH SIX FISH SEEN FISH NIXED FISH
  • this post had to be dumped at mordor, for the good of middle earth
  • This post sucks enough that it must be your band
  • Boy howdy are you ever banned
  • d'oh! I'm a dumbass
  • I found this in a spider hole
  • Twenty bucks, same as in this is a really lousy post
  • Christ, is it self-link week or something?
  • let's just pretend I came up with a funny Gary Larson reference or something
  • Do you want to go to prom with me? Check one Y[] N[]
posted by inflatablekiwi at 11:47 AM on March 26 [29 favorites]


Honourable Mention for Economy of Style in a Deletion Reason goes to:

Post 107832 by Hi Dan deleted for the following reason: Bye, Dan.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 1:28 PM on March 26 [31 favorites]


Stupid question, if the poster requests it is the delete automatic? I was a bit surprised at some of the poster request ones there (though maybe I'm missing some context, I didn't read carefully).

Also, "just on the shy side of the delightfulness-vs-thinness fulcrum" is somehow an extremely cortex deletion reason.
posted by advil at 2:05 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


if the poster requests it is the delete automatic?

I'd say it's likely but not guaranteed.

Sometimes people will let us know their reason, e.g. they're worried their account has been found out by someone at work, and we aren't going to put that in a deletion reason. Sometimes the person decides they want to rework it for another day, etc.

As for when we might say "no" -- Sometimes a poster will request a delete because they feel a thread is more rocky than they wanted, or they had a specific idea of how the discussion should go. I'll generally push back on that if I think it's not so bad. People get invested in their own posts and sometimes aren't able to be objective judges of how contentious a discussion is - it feels more contentious or critical because it's their own thread, or if it's not what they had envisioned people talking about. But basically for those kinds of things, posters are meant to post it and walk away, let people engage with the material on its own terms.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:21 PM on March 26 [2 favorites]


Having looked at some of the more recent posters-request deletions, a number of them are ones where the person found some problem with the link afterward, either the source wasn't credible or the copyright situation wasn't settled or that kind of thing.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:37 PM on March 26 [1 favorite]


Me again. It was down for a couple days because I decided to update the server and didn't come back to start it up after a reboot in a timely fashion. bofh. Should be back to normal now.

So everyone is on the same page, the contents of the blog is all taken from the html of the deleted post itself and fed into Google's blogger post API. It does the work of occasionally looking at the front page to see what new posts have appeared and if it sees a gap in the post id (which increments by 1 for each post), it assumes that reepresents a deleted post. Since it's possible to view them if you know the ID, it can go to the post and scrape relevannt information out of it.

Somebody else bridges the blog itself to Twitter, I believe, as-is. I forget what the Twitter handle is and am not sure if they change the contents, but I doubt it. I don't control any wording that goes into each entry, it's all scraped and then plugged into this template:
template = '<div class="mefipost">Post <a href="{post_url:s}">{post_id:d}</a> by <a href="{user_url:s}">{user_name:s}</a> deleted for the following reason: <span class="reason">{reason:s}</span></div>'
Last, but not least, my production monitoring system is nagios^wmefi user Busy Old Fool, who mails me when he notices it down.

Cheers,
posted by cj_ at 8:53 PM on March 26 [9 favorites]


If a post is deleted at the poster’s request because of privacy/safety issues, is the original post redacted in any way along with the deletion? I always worry about that aspect of the deleted-ask-me sites, that they might think they’ve disappeared the thread from web searches after the Metafilter.com deletion and not realize that the mirror thread is still out there somewhere.
posted by oh yeah! at 9:18 AM on March 27 [2 favorites]


In some cases it's redacted, e.g. if someone put their phone number in a post that's an easy thing to redact and we're happy to do that. If anyone needs that kind of thing done just let us know.

But beyond the deleted posts blog, other unrelated sites mirror/copy AskMe all the time, and there isn't anything we can really do to make all those sites delete things. This isn't unique to AskMe by any stretch, it's just the nature of the modern internet - content can be quickly spread beyond the originator's control. We tell people about the likelihood of mirrors existing when they ask for a deletion, and we try to remind people to think ahead about privacy stuff before they post - it's all we can really do.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:54 AM on March 27 [3 favorites]


I had no idea this existed, so thanks!
posted by aspersioncast at 11:28 AM on March 27 [1 favorite]


Just as an FYI, it seems as if you follow the RSS feed of Mefi or Ask Mefi with a web-based RSS reader (Inoreader, Feedly, etc.), the deleted threads stay in the feed. (Could be talking out of my ass on this, but if I remember right: I believe they're removed from Metafilter's actual RSS feed but somehow cached by the web-based RSS provider.) So if you have an interest in deleted threads, that's another way to stay abreast of them ...
posted by WCityMike at 12:35 PM on March 27


Hi VacationRentalMarketingPro, I'm cheap Miami office furniture chairs tables.

Little Bobby Tables, we call him.
posted by cozenedindigo at 6:42 PM on March 27 [7 favorites]


Little Bobby Tables, we call him.

Yeah, well. Big Jimmy Rooms wants to talk to him.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:08 PM on March 27 [4 favorites]

Last, but not least, my production monitoring system is nagios^wmefi user Busy Old Fool, who mails me when he notices it down.
For a quote on the cost of upgrading to the Enterprise version of me with SLA and ISO27001-compliant audit logging, please MeFiMail via the link in my profile.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 10:02 AM on March 29 [4 favorites]


Thank you, cj_! I had really missed reading the deleted posts (and sometimes, the reasons for deltion).
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 3:44 PM on March 29 [1 favorite]


Little Bobby Tables;         <--- semicolon. The semicolon is important for, ah, reasons.
posted by sammyo at 8:01 AM on March 30


Is that like Little Jackie Papers? As usual, I'm totally lost.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 8:54 AM on March 30


still_wears_a_hat: Here's your reference.
posted by DanSachs at 10:20 AM on March 30 [1 favorite]


The twitter bot is mefideleted, which only includes the deletion reasons.
posted by vibratory manner of working at 1:32 PM on April 3


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