Avoiding Duplicate Posts January 4, 2003 1:25 PM   Subscribe

Trying to avoid repeat posts is pretty hard because of timeouts from the search system. (In fact, I wanted to see if this is a duplicate Metatalk topic, but my searches stalled.) I want to avoid dupes, really I do! My memory isn't encyclopedic, though (and I have a life, *cough* ;-). How do the old hands here really avoid repeat posts? Shouldn't it be in a FAQ?

(Interestingly, after I started doing more searches, MetaFilter went into general "Server Error" mode for a while. Hmm...)
posted by tss to Etiquette/Policy at 1:25 PM (10 comments total)

Psst. ;)

Seriously though, the FAQ doesn't cover using anything other than the mefi search. Personally, I might try to use Google, but that isn't completely effective.
posted by frykitty at 1:33 PM on January 4, 2003

i've found the google site search to be pretty helpful, you can use the google button on the mefi search page, or, from the google site, in the search box type " site:www.metafilter.com" which will restrict the search to metafilter.
on preview: frykitty beat me to it

posted by dolface at 1:34 PM on January 4, 2003

my psuedo tag got stripped.
it should read: "[search term] site:www.metafilter.com"
posted by dolface at 1:36 PM on January 4, 2003

I wrote this (and it is linked on the posting page) a while back, but the FAQ states the same things.

I can't program a perfect AI bot, so it's up to the person posting it. Do one thing: figure out the most pervasive but unique thing in your post, be it either the subject matter or the URL you are linking to. Then search for a cut down phrase on that.

For your post, "racism" is the most important concept, but it's been done zillions of time on the site, so a search for posts mentioning it would be useless.

"tolerance.org" is unique, and what the entire post hinges on. A search for it came back to me in a few seconds, and I don't know what to tell you on the time-outs. The server has a lot of users (as many as 30,000 a day) pummeling lots of pages, making lots of database requests.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:51 PM on January 4, 2003

OK, these are good tips. I did try searching for tolerance.org and hidden_bias (parts of the URL) and the address didn't show up in FPPs. However, folks have been chided before for posting links that have only been mentioned in comments, so that's where I went to look more closely after seeing y2karl's post.

Once you do an initial Metafilter search, the search menu on the results page has a "threads and comments" option--anyway, that's where I was looking for hidden_bias in the past year's comments and encountering consistent timeouts.

I also tried searching for hidden_bias with the Google box on the search page, but I found nothing. Does Google return pages that contain keywords within HTML tags? If not, Google won't work for finding old links.

y2karl, if you're out there: where did you see the link on mefi before? I'm not trying to be accusatory; maybe I'm beating a dead horse, but I want to know if I'm missing something.
posted by tss at 5:59 PM on January 4, 2003

I think people who call out double posts should provide a link to the earlier post as a matter of fairness; if they're too lazy, they should skip it and move on. They might, after all, be wrong, and they leave the poster with a guilty feeling with no proof of wrongdoing.
posted by languagehat at 6:56 PM on January 4, 2003

y2karl, if you're out there: where did you see the link on mefi before?

It was actually before I joined--but back then there wasn't so much backlog to scroll through and I used to dink around in the archives and I remember running across it.

I found it again by wading through this.


posted by y2karl at 12:34 AM on January 5, 2003

As I have noted previously, a link in a comment which is later posted as a front page post is not a double post, in my opinion--although I have been known to point out such a link came from a comment of mine from time to time.
posted by y2karl at 12:44 AM on January 5, 2003

Oh wow. Well, there it is. That's before my time too, and it has a different URL. Scroll down--even that discussion got tagged for being a dupe!

Next time I'll be more careful about websites that have been under development for a while--they may only have been at the current address for a short time.
posted by tss at 10:36 AM on January 5, 2003

Yeah, well I was worried that my last post was a double post, too, but since no one seems to have read it, I'll never know. Should've titled
the Atrocity Exhibition after all... *gripe gripe mumble groan*
posted by y2karl at 12:49 PM on January 5, 2003

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