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Changelog: Hidden Comments

andy profile image Andy Zhao (he/him) ・2 min read

About a month ago, we released blocking tools for user safety. That functionality was part of an ongoing priority to provide community members with the tools they need to deal with a variety of situations. Today, we're rolling out the ability for authors to hide specific comments on their posts.

When hiding a comment, the comment as well as any children comments will be removed from view in the article's comments section. A hidden comment (and any of its children replies) has not been deleted β€” it will still be visible in the comment's permalink. Once a comment has been hidden, there will be a visible notice at the bottom of the post.

That notice looks like this:

Example of notification: "Some comments have been hidden on this post" and a link to the FAQ section

To hide a comment, authors can click the dropdown of any comment in your post to hide it:

Example of hide comment button

Given the above example, Clouds' reply comment and all replies will be hidden from the comments section.

We want to give authors the agency to manage the discussions happening on their own posts. After all, it is their post, and our community members shouldn't feel concerned that an incendiary comment may tarnish or derail their contributions. We hope this feature will help avoid situations where a comment thread becomes too heated, and will help allow authors to simply hide comments about typos or minor inaccuracies that have been fixed. This tool supplements the regular and consistent efforts of our community moderators, and of course its use is also governed by our Code of Conduct and Terms of Service.

As always, we're open to suggestions on how to improve this feature. If you have a feature request or suggestion that will help us improve community safety, please feel free to open an issue.

Happy coding. ❀️

Discussion (22)

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jmfayard profile image
Jean-Michel Fayard πŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΈπŸ‡¨πŸ‡΄

this could be useful for non offensive things as well.
I have proposed to have a group like dev.to/conect/proof-read-me
where people could ask for a human to proof-read their basic mistakes before they hit "Publish".
it would be especially useful for non native English speakers

where this nicely fits in is that once feedback has been provided in a comment and taken into account, that discussion could be hidden and replaced by a big thank you to the reviewer

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I agree 100% with this. Really well-articulated point of view.

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ziizium profile image
Habdul Hazeez

I agree 100% with this. Really well-articulated point of view.

+1

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ryansmith profile image
Ryan Smith • Edited

I think it is a great feature and I have a suggestion to improve it. While I agree that giving the author power over their post is good, it can also lead to unwarranted censorship which can leave the readers and commenters feeling slighted. Because of that, I would suggest hidden comments are less discoverable, but can be expanded to view the content. That would allow the author to have control while also allowing the reader to determine for themselves if the comment was constructive.

I think it could be combined with comments marked as low quality/non-constructive by the community. Those could also be hidden but expandable. These could also be restricted from further replies to them.

Screenshot showing DEV's low-quality content indicator as an expandable comment

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tarasnovak profile image
dataPixy πŸ§šβ€β™‚οΈ • Edited

This 'feature' would just lead to more curation by authors and dev.to staff on top of already heavy moderation by the dev.to staff per my expi.

It really depends on what you are trying to achieve with dev.to.

Is it a blogging site for devs, or curated content by dev.to staff?

tbh, I find it more of the latter after taking it for a spin last month.

Also, consider this: github repos let devs to comment without getting into NLP logistics of what's in comments.

Perhaps better upvote/downvote UX for comments would be a much better approach to keep it more liberal ...

That includes adding more than just tag, heart & unicorn to blog posts.

I've seen a few I'd mark with πŸ‘Ž without resorting to any constructive feedback comments some might find offensive.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

We're taking this all into account about next steps. Definitely worth making more clear that mods/admins cannot use this feature on posts. Only the author can take the hide comment action.

And we don't want to imply that the comment has been hidden because of code of conduct issues or because the comment is bad per se. The author may want to hide it for any reasons, perhaps just because it's confusing or the question's been answered elsewhere, etc.

Thread Thread
iuliudumitrascu profile image
Julian Dumitrascu
  1. I want to use communication software in which all messages are equal. Example: I'd reply later to your message, but you haven't created the command to bookmark it. We could actually design command series that are even more helpful.
  2. You have included the command to upload images. Who wants to discuss principles of data management, so that we decide on what we want from software that we need often and see how little "developers" have given us?
Thread Thread
chengxi profile image
chengxi

Hello.
I am very interested in your question.

Thread Thread
iuliudumitrascu profile image
Julian Dumitrascu

I haven't forgotten your words, but I can't be expected to use this program after complaining about it.
What is your name? Where can I see it in a social profile? Your GitHub profile includes no name.

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tobiassn profile image
Tobias SN

I actually think this is a bad idea. Say someone wrote an article about a piece of software they made, and someone makes a comment about a critical flaw it has. Because this will likely reduce the amount of people who are going to use it, the author simply decides to hide the comment.

Now I understand that this will not always happen, so I’m proposing that users need to earn permission to use the feature, perhaps by having to reach a certain amount of comments and hearts. And even then, they shouldn’t be completely hidden. Maybe something like what Ryan suggested.

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onizuka89 profile image
Stian

It is a bad idea indeed. There was a post I read this morning, that had comments on it that was on-topic, refuting most of the post.

Author even replied that there is a lot of good points, but later that day comments are hidden, and as far as I can tell, the author have not updated post to reflect any of the points in the comments. So feel like it's just burying information for self serving reasons.

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joedotnot profile image
joedotnot • Edited

This feature is total bullshit. Say I am an author, I write some marketing crap or total nonsense. Commenters are on-topic and refute most of my crap and non-sense. But I can choose to leave only favourable comments, and hide negative ones? How is that good for credibility (of dev.to) ?

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kopseng profile image
Carl-Erik Kopseng

This has already happened several times, one example being mentioned further up. And DEV.to does not have much credibility in itself; there's not enough curation and no editorial process to keep a consistent quality for that to happen. Chrome's article suggestions have had me end up at hastily thrown together articles way too many times, and since calling out low quality language is a violation of the Code of Conduct it will likely not change. Go team.

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andy profile image
Andy Zhao (he/him) Author • Edited

Here's an example top level comment :)

Link to hidden comment: dev.to/andy/comment/imkf

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defman profile image
Sergey Kislyakov πŸ‡·πŸ‡Ί πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

Let me see hidden comments then. This feature feels like censorship with extra steps.

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ben profile image
Ben Halpern

One thing of note.... Due to caching, this will get rolled out unevenly in places. If you check now you may not see the functionality available.

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muhimen123 profile image
Muhimen

And how do I un hide them?

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andy profile image
Andy Zhao (he/him) Author

You can click the dropdown again and click "unhide". Note that you'll need the comment's permalink to do so.

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ziizium profile image
Habdul Hazeez

This would also be useful for hiding comments marked as low quality/non-constructive.

Some comments have been hidden by the post's author - find out more