I'd like to be able to delete threads that I started. March 1, 2001 3:39 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to be able to delete threads that I started, so that if it turns out that I screwed up and made a duplicate post that I can correct it without having to bother Matt about it.
posted by Steven Den Beste to Feature Requests at 3:39 PM (14 comments total)

You just hate me, don't you.
posted by DoublePostGuy at 3:49 PM on March 1, 2001

Okay, DPG, that was just funny.

Non-programmer weighing in here (and topic drifting oh so slightly), so this might just be stupid as all hell. (Now that I've got your hopes up . . . )

I know that not all double posts match up with exactly identical URLs (one person links to yahoo, the other to cnn, but the same story), but what if when you previewed or tried to post a link, a MeFi search was automatically performed to see if that particular URL matched any other posts in the MeFi history? I know it would add to the lag time, but the search function has never taken very long, from what I can tell. It would at least throw up a flag for identical links saying, "Hey, this has been posted, check it out."

I shall now stand around nervously, waiting for all the cool kids to laugh at me.
posted by Skot at 3:59 PM on March 1, 2001

Actually I don't think that's a bad idea, Skot. I think I recall someone touching on something similar about a month back or so in another MetaTalk thread, but I just tried looking and couldn't find it.

I think most people just said "you should just search for the story before you post it". But that hasn't seemed to work much. Maybe this is a better solution.
posted by christian at 4:06 PM on March 1, 2001

That wouldn't have saved me in the case of my (now deleted, thanks Matt) thread today, since my link was to a different source than the one whose subject matter I duplicated.

Part of the problem was that the thread I duplicated had a facetious and non-revealing headline on the main page, but that's not solvable by technology.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 4:25 PM on March 1, 2001

Yeah, the automatic search is like half done. One night I hacked the search script to work on the posting stage, and I never got around to finishing it. I will RealSoonNow.

The "authors get to delete their own thread" would actually be kind of easy, but in the past week there have been two threads* the original poster wanted deleted, which later turned out to be the result of misunderstandings, and then they eventually blossomed into ok threads.

* plasticbag.org Tom's thing about Blogger, and hans about the newspaper article.

posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:01 PM on March 1, 2001

Isn't there a semi-famous Well story about thread creators leaving and taking down all of their threads? I seem to remember it was sour grapes, and suddenly a bunch of community history was lost. Not that that is necessarly a bad thing, but it is something to consider. The poster can delete his/her link, but can they do it once there are 50 comments squeezed out? If the poster does not like the direction the conversation has taken?

I think being allowed to delete, but perhaps not edit your own comments is cool, but maybe killing threads is still better left to Matt.

This post worth somewhat less than 2 cents.
posted by thirteen at 10:49 PM on March 1, 2001

Yes. You're thinking of <mandel> on the Well, who did it twice, once deleting two entire conferences (he had moderator powers over them), and then years later going through each conference systematically deleting only his own posts. But even that made thousands of old threads barely readable because he had been such a prolific poster; the threads were left with so many holes in them they barely made sense any more. The whole story was covered in numbingly exhaustive detail in the May 1997 Wired. Search for "deleted" twice, which will take you to the relevant grafs of both incidents.

And yes, it's a very good example of why you might not want to allow a user to go in and delete his posts after some point. But then, the conversations we have here on MeFi almost never get as intimately personal as they do on the Well; Most of the Well's posts were made at a time when the users thought nobody except other Well subscribers would ever see their writings. All of us here on MeFi know that everything we say will end up getting Googlized within days.
posted by aaron at 11:05 PM on March 1, 2001

How about setting a time or comment limit for deletion, that way if someone shows up before Doublepostguy and points out the duplicate, we can still delete, but if a conversation ensues then the history won't be lost.
posted by Markb at 5:14 AM on March 2, 2001

This is out of left field. Metafilter never really seems to be down, how often is everything backed up? Nightly? Using an array? It seems like Matt could probably restore any deleted discussion at will. Once you hit post, your words are a gift to the world.
posted by thirteen at 10:08 AM on March 2, 2001

I heard that the 3 primary MetaFilter datacenters (at least the North American ones) are constantly being archived to DLT tape. I would guess that even if a post were deleted, someone could just restore the thread over at the MeFi japan or MeFi europe server farms and it would propogate back to the MetaFilter Network.
posted by anildash at 3:03 PM on March 2, 2001

Actually I try to backup the db nightly, but if there were a paid, non-googled version of metafilter that kept out the riff-raff (heh), would people post more introspective, thoughtful things?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:13 PM on March 2, 2001

Speaking of a Googled Metafilter, is there any indication that once you changed the URL structure to avoid querystrings readership has increased?

Also, is there anywhere that discusses how you did that, or was that a Mathowie special? It's a nifty trick, and while I can see how it was done (you just parse the URL for the last slash, and get the id from that right?) if it's a known algorithm or something I may just steal it.
posted by cCranium at 8:18 AM on March 3, 2001

I'm not Matt, and I don't know how he did it, but you might want to check out this article at A List Apart that discusses doing this very thing. It's pretty cool.
posted by webmutant at 1:18 PM on March 3, 2001

Good link, thanks!
posted by cCranium at 7:01 AM on March 4, 2001

« Older online novel forum   |   How about a little script that filters out all... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments