Site Notes

Comment Voting Part 2: Set Comment Score Threshold

By Ryan McGreal
Published June 29, 2009

this blog entry has been updated

When we decided to implement a Comment Voting system on RTH comments, we added the actual comment voting as the first stage of the new functionality. Now the second stage is in place: the ability for registered RTH users to set a threshold score for displayed comments.

To set a threshold, log into your RTH user account via the Manage Profile page and enter a numeric value in the Comment Threshold field.

Any comment with a net score (upvotes minus downvotes) that is below the threshold you set for your user account will be hidden from view. However, you can temporarily unhide the comment by clicking the "Unhide this comment temporarily" link for that comment.

For example, if you set a threshold of -4, a comment with a net score of -5 will not be displayed. Instead, the following message will be displayed in its place:

This comment's net score is -5, which is below your comment threshold of -4. You can change your comment threshold using the Manage Profile page.

Important Notes

The last stage of the Comment Voting system, which we will implement shortly, is the option to disable comment voting entirely so a registered RTH user would only see comments and not their scores or voting forms.


Update: in response to a reader suggestion, we added the ability to unhide a comment temporarily. You can jump to the changed paragraph.

Ryan McGreal, the editor of Raise the Hammer, lives in Hamilton with his family and works as a programmer, writer and consultant. Ryan volunteers with Hamilton Light Rail, a citizen group dedicated to bringing light rail transit to Hamilton. Ryan writes a city affairs column in Hamilton Magazine, and several of his articles have been published in the Hamilton Spectator. He also maintains a personal website and has been known to post passing thoughts on Twitter @RyanMcGreal. Recently, he took the plunge and finally joined Facebook.

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By JonC (registered) | Posted June 29, 2009 at 14:55:56

It works.

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By zookeeper (registered) | Posted June 29, 2009 at 14:57:02

Perfect! This will definitely help cut down on the unauthorized feeding of our resident trolls.

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By z jones (registered) | Posted June 29, 2009 at 14:59:20

I think I found a bug. When you log into the manage profile page, even if you didn't set a comment threshold it has a zero (0) in the field. If you hit the update button it sets your comment threshold as 0 and hides anything with a negative score. Not sure if that's the functionality you had in mind...

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 29, 2009 at 15:02:48

Z jones, thanks for pointing this out. It should be fixed now.

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By nobrainer (registered) | Posted June 29, 2009 at 15:15:35

w00t! About time! Thanks for doing this.

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By seancb (registered) - website | Posted June 29, 2009 at 19:57:59

This is awesome!

THe only thing I'd suggest (since you probably have lots of time on your hands) is to add a link to the hidden comment to unhide it - just in case you want to have a peek without changing your profile setting back and forth.

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By synxer (registered) | Posted June 30, 2009 at 10:56:00

It's funny to think that this feature might have been implemented due to A Smith and Capitalist.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted June 30, 2009 at 11:46:49

It's funny to think that we might have spent the time developing this working on an actual functionality enhancement instead of a patch to limit the damage caused by trolls. Sigh. Such is life online.

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By Ryan (registered) - website | Posted July 02, 2009 at 08:52:31

Seancb wrote:

The only thing I'd suggest ... is to add a link to the hidden comment to unhide it - just in case you want to have a peek without changing your profile setting back and forth.

Thanks for suggesting this great idea! I just implemented it.

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