A Comment About Comments

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Burt Likko

Pseudonymous Portlander. Homebrewer. Atheist. Recovering Republican. Recovering Catholic. Recovering divorcé. Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Ordinary Times. Relapsed Lawyer, admitted to practice law (under his real name) in California and Oregon. On Twitter, to his frequent regret, at @burtlikko. House Likko's Words: Scite Verum. Colite Iusticia. Vivere Con Gaudium.

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72 Responses

  1. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Thanks for this, Chief.Report

  2. Avatar KenB says:

    FWIW — I just experimented with reporting a comment (MD’s, above) and noticed that there’s no confirmation dialogbox nor any obvious way to undo it.Report

  3. Avatar Don Zeko says:

    This post is a nice illustration of why I hope that your efforts to become a judge are successful.Report

    • Avatar Burt Likko says:

      Thank you and I very much appreciate the well wishes for my career ambitions.

      But don’t give me too much credit. I had a lot of help and input from the other editors, and @will-truman is the one who’s done the more technical work.Report

  4. Avatar DensityDuck says:

    another suggestion: Stop using “but he was mean first” as a justification for being mean.Report

  5. Avatar Bad Commenter says:

    This is a bad comment and someone should report it.Report

    • Avatar Mediocre Commenter says:

      My comment is less bad than yours and so should not be reported. What happens if yours goes into moderation but mine doesn’t?Report

  6. Avatar Francis says:

    I would like to extend my apologies to the community for losing my cool and acting unprofessionally.

    I’m sorry. I misbehaved.Report

  7. Avatar Bad Commenter says:

    This is also a bad comment and worthy of being reported.Report

  8. Avatar notme says:

    I love the Indian head test pattern, it’s a classic.Report

  9. Avatar Michael Cain says:

    You must be logged in to use the feature.

    Could you say a few more words about this? One of the interesting things about OT (at least to me) has always been that the commentariat is remarkably well behaved for a community that doesn’t require readers to be registered. Or does logged in mean something different here?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      There was a miscommunication. It’s the other way around: At least some people who are logged in cannot report a comment, but those who are not logged in can.

      We know that editors cannot Report a comment. What we don’t know is whether contributors can. Could you do me a favor and log in and tell me if you see the Report button?Report

      • Avatar greginak says:

        fwiw…i’m seeing report buttons using firefox.Report

      • Avatar Michael Cain says:

        When I’m logged in, I do not see the report button. When I’m not logged in, I do see the button. Firefox in both cases.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird says:

          Ah, I’m logged in in Firefox and I am *NOT* logged in in IE.

          So I probably mis-guessed the nature of the issue.Report

          • Avatar Will Truman says:

            Yeah, there don’t seem to be any browser-related issues. I’ve tested eight and it works on all of them (as long as you’re not logged in).Report

            • Avatar Kazzy says:

              There are 8 browsers?Report

              • Avatar Michael Cain says:

                By OS as well. No guarantees that Firefox’s Javascript engine on Mac OSX is bug-for-bug compatible with their engine on Windows. Or Linux. Or what they do in the brain-damaged world of Android (which is largely Linux underneath, but…).

                Microsoft has leveraged this well. Office on Windows is a global de facto standard. Anything else… you take some chances.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                There are way more than eight. That just happens to be what I have installed on my devices at the moment.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                Is Netscape Navigator one of them? Cuz that’s what I’m rocking.Report

              • Avatar Burt Likko says:

                Nothing better for cruisin’ Geocities, but you may need to upgrade if you want to check out Friendster.Report

              • Avatar Kazzy says:

                As soon as my mom is off the phone, I’ll log on. Lemme just find an AOL cd… They’re hard to find.Report

              • Avatar Will Truman says:

                Sweet. I’m really old school and they’ll take Mosaic out of my cold, dead fingers.

                (I actually used Mosaic once! For real!)

                Geocities may be dead, but Friendster is huge in The Phillippinnes.Report

              • Avatar Kolohe says:

                iirc, you could go to a page on Mosaic that was ‘all the pages on the internet’ and was about 3 scrolled pages of links (this was circa ’93-’94)Report

              • Avatar Brandon Berg says:

                Geocities is alive and well in Japan. If you’re familiar with Japanese web design, your response to this should be, “Yeah, that makes sense.”

                I have vague memories of browsing the Internet in text mode over dial-up around 1995 or so. Not sure if it was Lynx, or just some proprietary thing the ISP set up.

                Edit: Yahoo is surprisingly big there, too. Ebay never really caught on, and Yahoo Auctions filled that niche.Report

              • Back in Usenet days, I knew a guy who used Lynx and would complain bitterly every time he tried to use one of the 99.85% of websites that don’t work well in text-only mode.Report

        • Avatar Burt Likko says:

          This appears to be what’s going on. We think we know what to do to fix it, but we’re reluctant to do that during peak readership hours. Stay tuned, we’ll try again in a little while.Report

  10. Avatar aaron david says:

    Well done, Overcounselor Likko!Report

  11. Avatar Will Truman says:

    Everybody please do me a favor and Report “Bad Commenter”s comments. I need to test a couple of things.Report

  12. Avatar Bad Commenter says:

    This is one last bad comment. Please report this! It’s bad! Bad! Bad!Report

  13. Avatar Dand says:

    I think I caused, I apologize I should have kept my cool.Report

  14. Avatar Alan Scott says:

    Huzzah for this. And let me say how happy I am that the technical changes being made to the site are finally under the control of people interested in maintaining OT as a respectful community. It shouldn’t have taken until April 2016 for this feature to be implemented.Report

  15. Avatar Kazzy says:

    Excellent efforts, Burt and Will.Report

  16. Avatar KarelEtc says:

    I reported the last ‘bad comment’ and got a nice checkmark. Great ‘hacking.’
    However, after reloading the page, as a test, neither checkmark or the report button was visible. Not sure this is the intended effect.Report

  17. Avatar Dand says:

    Any chance you could make it possible to unflag a post or at least move the flag button so it’s not so close to the quote button?Report

    • Avatar Will Truman says:

      Unfortunately not yet. Since something out there will offend just about everybody, it takes more than one click for a comment to get pulled. So hopefully that will not be a recurring problem. I hope to be able to dive in at some point in the future and be able to set the button apart or do something to make it stand point.Report

    • Avatar Maribou says:

      @dand Seems like a good place to remind folks that if errors are made, one could write the editors and tell us “wait wait I didn’t mean to flag such-and-such comment.”

      Not perfect, but a better-than-nothing patch perhaps?Report

  18. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    Reporting is fine, by why stop there? Feature Request:

    [Report]
    [Duel]
    [Dance Off!]
    [Drink!]
    [Pun]
    [Banned] see aboveReport

  19. But actually endorsing the Blood Libel, actually calling someone the “n-word,” or actually stating that homosexuals are by definition mentally ill, are all very likely to be considered intolerably disrespectful. Again, these are illustrative examples and are in no way intended to exhaust or limit what will be deemed intolerably disrespectful; this post is also intended to be a restatement of the commenting policy, and not a revision of it.

    So just to be clear, you’re changing the commenting policy to say the blood libel, n-word, and calling homosexuals mentally ill are the only things that violate the comment policy? 🙂

    I’ve lost my cool at least a few times and shouldn’t have. So I apologize. While I’ll probably do it again, I’ll try not to.

    To be honest, most of the time when I’ve written a comment that I’ve come to regret, there’s usually a little eudaimon inside me that says, “I know it will feel good right when you say what you’re about to say, but in an hour or so, you’ll start to regret it.” The more I listen to that eudaimon, the more civil my comments have become. Also, the happier. After the initial flush of “I must get back at that person” subsides, I can go on my merry way and just leave certain things be and live my life.

    Glyph had a comment a while ago about civility that I think is a very good supplement to the things Burt said in the OP: https://ordinary-times.com/2015/11/05/the-state-of-the-art/#comment-1090972Report

  20. Avatar Art Deco says:

    I’m sure we all benefit from 2,000 words worth of humbug from you.Report

  21. Avatar Will Truman says:

    I believe the logged-in/logged-out thing has been addressed.

    Can anyone (else) logged in let me know if Report is showing up for you?Report

  22. Avatar Dave says:

    None of us enjoy calling people out for violating it, and we really don’t enjoy disciplining commenters…

    None of us? I’ve had my moments. 😉Report