Deleting comments on your own instructable. Good or bad?

I met one of our contributors at Maker Faire in Austin and he had a concern about people posting comments on his own instructable. He wanted to be able to delete comments that he thought were off-topic or rude.

We have a flagging system and we do check the flags as often as we can, but there are a lot of comments out there and as Instructables continues to grow it gets harder to keep up.

So the question is whether or not we implement our own comment deleting system that some other sites, such as youtube, employ. Is this a good idea or not?

Here's how I see it break down:

Pros: Dumb or off-topic comments are spotted earlier by users since they get notified of comments on their own instructable. They are also more knowledgeable of the topic and will then know if the comment is correct or not.

Cons: Users can squash dissenting opinion. While most Instructables will be speaking from a knowledgeable point of view there are some, it's true, that make Instructables with faulty instructions or are not giving enough information. In these cases it's important to have extra information in the comments. If the user is able to delete objections that are valid, then the result is a weaker compilation of information.


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kelseymh7 years ago
Since this has been bumped .... the current (2009-2010) flagging system is working pretty well.  Perhaps if the FT could volunteer to receive notifications of flags, and then decide whether to "re-flag" or not?  I don't know how complicated it would be to dynamically modify the flagging-system's notification method.
.  Do you mean something like:
  • User flags iBle/topic/comment.
  • Robot and FT are notified.
  • If FT member agrees that post should be removed, (s)he flags to let Robot know that a FT member has looked at it (assuming flags have user info attached).
.  That sounds like a great idea to me. I'd add "If user "owns" post, it becomes 'invisible" - not deleted, but doesn't show up in any listings." to the first step.
.  I don't think it's a good idea to let any user delete something. All deletions should be reviewed by Robot before being carried out.
Yes.  We already have functionality in place where if an FT member flags something, it gets pulled off and then sent to Robot.  There can be a delay in this due to the server caching, but that's about it. 

What I'm proposing is to make that functionality active rather than passive:  rather than waiting for an FT to notice something and act on it, they could be notified to take a look at something questionable.
.  OK. Just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.
.  Yeah. I forgot to add the invisibility part to the last step.
DJ Radio7 years ago
I would think the pros far outweigh the cons here.  It works very well on Youtube, why not here?
I would call the comment areas of youtube the armpit of the internet at best and unrepeatable things at worst...  
KronoNaut7 years ago
Found this while looking for a way to delete innappropriate comments.  I really would like a way to delete comments that turn into off-topic conversations.
John Smith10 years ago
The comments could have a rating system, like uTube, with comments with a rating of -5 and less getting hidden. And/or you could let the author hide bad or off topic comments.
KentsOkay10 years ago
YYYYYYYYAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! WHEN WAS THERE A MAKER FAIR IN AUSTIN?!?! OFJKFUGHCNMK!!!!!!!! Flagging's good enough for me, but deleting from the orangeboard could be helpful (ask Eric, my computer froze when i tried to get on his page)
Lithium Rain10 years ago
do you need more mods? i might be able to help a little.
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