Disable invisible editing of comments

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  • #74812

    wank
    Member

    Yes, drmike clarified what I meant. It’s an extra timestamp which shows that the comment has been edited and reposted. It doesn’t say what the changes were. It just tells you there were changes. It’s common practice to signpost edits on forums, mostly because people involved in forum flamewars have a nasty tendency to edit their own comments to retrospectively change what they’ve said. (The fact that our software here is too lame to manage this is another matter entirely.)

    Being bothered by a little piece of text saying ‘this comment was edited by such and such at such and such a time’ is like being bothered by the timestamp on your blogposts on the grounds that the software added it rather than you. Or crying because it automatically fixed your broken html.

    It has nothing whatsoever to do with the issue of mature content, and I have no idea how that even ended up getting mentioned in this thread.

    #74814

    timethief
    Member

    @wank
    So what you are really suggesting is effected by the use of software. If a blogger edits a comment the software will automatically supply an extra timestamp which shows that the comment has been edited and reposted. No blogger discretion comes into play.

    (1) As we are all on a multi-user blogging platform then would each theme have to be coded to produce such an extra timestamp?

    (2) Or can it be done through software changes for all blogs without coding it into each theme?

    #74815

    judyb12
    Member

    Those are questions for staff, i would think

    #74822

    timethief
    Member

    @wank

    I’m awaiting your answers to the questions I posed above. :)

    #74823

    mark
    Staff

    So I leave a comment on Wank’s blog
    She edits that comment and a timestamp is added along with ‘This comment has been edited’
    But it does not say what was added / removed / altered
    So I could say “Wank changed it! I didn’t say b2evo was better than Pivot!” and no-one viewing will know whether or not Wank did alter that. In fact, if I see the comment has been edited then I could claim that was I said was not what I actually said.

    So we then would want some way of seeing what was changed. That wouldn’t happen. It’s a blog, not a versioning wiki.

    So we get back to where we are now – the editing of comments.
    I can’t see why the simplest of solutions isn’t going to work:
    You edit my comments to change anything but a typo and I’ll never comment there again.

    I could write a post saying how wonderful and better another blogging tool is.
    I could wait for a comment – and then change my post to ridicule the commenter.

    It comes down to an element of trust – all of this does.

    #74824

    timethief
    Member

    @mark
    Indeed and thanks for commenting. The solution proposed then is IMO “lame” and not worthy of the investment of staff time to effect.

    #74959

    wank
    Member

    I’m still not staff and I still don’t code so I’m still not qualified to say how exactly this would best be implemented. I don’t see how it would necessitate any recoding of themes, though. It’s just an extra piece of text at the end of a comment. The system already registers your login name and the time when you post a comment, and comments are already run through filters which strip them of invalid code and add ‘no follow’ to any links, so I can’t see that what I’m proposing would be technically impossible.

    And the ‘investment of staff time’, I’d imagine, would be rather less than it takes to implement pointless doodads like Snap Previews or whatever great new innovation it was that took the servers down yesterday ;) Certainly far less than support’s going to have to invest in future dealing with kids yelling ‘she changed my comments to make me look like a troll! kick her outta wordpress!’ and ‘I never changed her comments, she changed MINE!’.

    If I see the comment has been edited then I could claim that was I said was not what I actually said.

    You can claim that now, and I might not have touched the thing. With my proposed solution it is at least clear whether or not editing has taken place.

    I could write a post saying how wonderful and better another blogging tool is.
    I could wait for a comment – and then change my post to ridicule the commenter.

    I do hope you’re not seriously arguing that editing your own words is on the same level as editing other people’s words. I would have serious reservations about continuing to blog with a service where staff couldn’t make that distinction. I know that livejournal doesn’t even allow edits to comments because, quite apart from the potential for abuse, they’re of the point of view that comment content is the intellectual property of the comment author and shouldn’t be available for tinkering by third parties. If you were serious about preventing abuse, you’d need to follow their example and disable comment editing altogether. My idea is really a halfhearted kludge because I know you’re not going to go that far and users don’t like functionality taken away from them :)

    And yes, I can see that this stuff is insufficiently glamorous to get any time invested in it at all right now. But hey, not my problem. I was just making a suggestion to try and save you hassle further down the line.

    #74961

    raincoaster
    Member

    It IS relevant to mention that while the US courts have ruled that bloggers are not responsible for libelous comments made on their blogs, those commenters whose names are associated with the comments in question are legally responsible for the contents of that comment, so the information that the blog owner has edited your comment suddenly becomes a whole lot more relevant to EVERYONE at WordPress.

    #74967

    timethief
    Member

    Here’s another thread that provides some insight into how some of us have been using the edit function on comments not to change anything the commenters said but to reply to them in the same comment box. https://en.forums.wordpress.com/topic.php?id=6907&replies=12

    #75002

    mbd1974
    Member

    I have edited comments with spelling errors or to correct the appearance of links, but I’ve NEVER edited a person’s comment to change what they said. That’s just wrong.

    If I ever noticed another blog doing that to me, I would simply never post there again. Yes, I’d be angry, but I’d get over it.

    I think the perfect solution would be to allow us to edit or delete comments that we leave on other blogs. That way, if some blogger decided to slander us with our own words, we could simply delete it.

    As long as the blog owner gets notified of changed or edited messages (just like we do when one gets posted), I don’t see how that could be a problem.

    #75003

    mbd1974
    Member

    I also want to add that we have the ability to edit our comments on this support forum, as well as on our blogs, so why shouldn’t we have the same ability on the comments that we leave on other blogs?

    #75010

    wank
    Member

    mbd1974: are you a wikipedian by any chance? you seem to find the idea of edit wars attractive ;)

    What happens when you give people the option of deleting their own comments on other people’s blogs is that trolls use it as an email channel. They post abuse in a comment, admin gets it in the notify email, troll deletes the comment and denies they ever made it. Ditto giving people edit rights over their own comments without signalling that the edit has taken place; it gives them the power to say stuff then deny they ever said it.

    If there’s a label saying the comment was edited, both commenters and blog owners are going to think twice about misusing their edit powers to deceive people. It’s not necessarily going to stop them doing so completely, but it’s going to act as a deterrent. And I still can’t see how this would get in the way of people carrying out edits for legitimate reasons. If you desperately don’t want people to know you’ve done something, that’s usually a sign that you shouldn’t be doing it.

    (example: I edited this post just now for a typo :) )

    #75016

    timethief
    Member

    @wank
    I have been reading what you post. Thank you.

    @mark
    To get an idea of the impact on staff of the nature of the change suggested and the amount of staff time that would be devoted to accomplishing this, as opposed to being devoted to other priorities, I would like to know the answer to the following questions before I state my agreement or disagreement with the idea posed.

    (1) As we are all on a multi-user blogging platform then would each theme have to be coded to produce such an edit timestamp ?

    (2) Or can it be done through software changes for all wordpress.com blogs across the board without coding it into each theme?

    #75123

    mbd1974
    Member

    @wank
    No, I’m not a Wikipedian, altho I must admit I like that site.

    “Ditto giving people edit rights over their own comments without signalling that the edit has taken place; it gives them the power to say stuff then deny they ever said it.”

    Isn’t that something that any blogger can do? We could post an entry with any amount of defamatory content we wanted to and then delete it and pretend it was never posted.

    I know alot of us would appreciate the ability to edit/delete our comments on other blogs. Haven’t you ever posted a comment and then realized you either have a typo or didn’t like what you said?

    An edit/delete feature on comments with the timestamp you suggested should do the trick.

    #75148

    nosysnoop
    Member

    I have to edit comments on my blog all the time but I say:

    (( deleted by blog administrator for safety and legal reasons ))

    #75162

    drmike
    Member

    I don’t see how it would necessitate any recoding of themes, though. It’s just an extra piece of text at the end of a comment.

    Actually I agree with Wank on this one. It would be a core file change instead of a theme change. It would mean adding in the line with the time stamp information right before saving when a comment is edited. Heck, even i could code somehting like that. :)

    The issue woul dbe actually if you were to reedit it and try to remove that line. Would the system put a second notice in there or replace the first one? Would it have to scan the content of the comment to see if the notice was already in there?

    You edit my comments to change anything but a typo and I’ll never comment there again.

    With all due respect, Mark, that’s you and I can see where you’re coming from. That’s not whats happening in this case. The commenter has gone back many times and moaned about their comment being edited. I gotta admit that I would think that would be most people’s reaction. Heck, look at it this way. Fox news may lie through their teeth but, heck, someone still watches them. :)

    It comes down to an element of trust – all of this does.

    Agreed but disclosure (how ever you spell it) also comes into it as well.

    #75291

    i don’t have much to add.
    i will say +1 for the idea.

    i disagree with mark’s objection, on the basis that some accountability is better than none. but the ‘some is better than none’ argument has gotten me nowhere in the past.

    and yes, when i edit comments, i always add [editted per guidelines], or something more specific.

    #75333

    drmike
    Member

    Link

    Interesting way of doing it. Shows the timestamp of the edit as well as the reason why it was done.

    #75334

    brentroos
    Member

    I say, be careful what you say on other people’s blogs, because they will use your own words against you –which they completely have the right to do.

    A typo is one thing. I say, instead of adding editing, add a spellchecker. Or if you can edit, make it like Digg.com, where you only have a very short time to edit.

    Another good solution would be to add a preview feature, like that of Blogger.

    Or, alternatively, you could just proofread the posts you make.

    I say, if you want to make these changes, make it optional in the user settings, but do not force people to use them on their blogs. This could open the door to all kinds of trolling.

    I’d just leave it as it is now.

    #75335

    engtech
    Member

    I’d have it on the forums, but not on blogs.

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