Slash Boxes

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posted by martyb on Saturday March 21 2020, @12:30PM   Printer-friendly
from the if-at-first-you-don't-succeed,-avoid-skydiving-or-making-immediate-changes-directly-to-live-systems dept.

[2020-03-21 15:06:00 UTC: Update 1:
(1) Reminder: this has so far been implemented only on our *development* server (; it has NOT yet been rolled out to this (the production) servers.
(2) The control (now a simple text link, no longer a button) no longer defaults to taking up a whole physical line immediately above the first comment.
(3) Please note that in certain corner-cases, it is possible that screen size limitations may cause an overflow onto the next line.
(4) And the control should now appear aligned-right in the story header. =)

[2020-03-21 15:42:00 UTC: Update 2: Fixed typo in the first of the above two links to our dev server. --martyb]

This is a follow-up to: Changing the Site UI to Making Long Stories Easier to Navigate -- Input Requested.

Wow! Thanks for all the positive feedback to the previous story! I knew the implementation was a bit rough around the edges, so I very much appreciate the positive, constructive feedback that was provided!

Based on your input -- primarily displeasure in having a single button take up a whole physical line -- I have modified the in-memory template on our development server to now provide a textual link in the story header right after the printer icon. It should only appear when viewing the story by itself; there should be no indication of this on the main page.

To repeat, this is only on our development server so far; it is not yest implemented on our production server (i.e. what you see here).

In short, should this get rolled out to production?

  1. Yes.
  2. Yes, with these suggested changes.
  3. No.

Please refer to the previous story (linked above) for test scenarios and reply with any issues you may find!


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  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21 2020, @09:40PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Saturday March 21 2020, @09:40PM (#973932)

    There's nothing forward thinking about it. I demonstrated the reason in my comment where I set the link test to but actually linked to Slashdot started showing link domains almost 20 years ago because trolls would make the link text appear to go to an innocuous site while actually being a link. Worse yet was (I think it was .org), which had a javascript infinite loop to produce popups. I believe there was some audio with it, too. It was very common to disguise links to and other shock sites to trick unsuspecting users into clicking on them. To try to prevent this, Slashdot started showing link domains.

    Trolls countered this with some interesting tactics. One was to use redirect pages on other sites, that would redirect to but allow the link to show a different domain. Another was a bait-and-switch redirect, in which the link initially goes to seemingly legitimate content. Once the comment with the link is modded up or a story with the link gets posted, the redirect is changed to And then there's the tactic of a redirect link that mostly sends users to legitimate content but sends a small percentage of users to This is particularly useful for trolls because some users will respond and claim that the link is a link while other users will see legitimate content and argue that comments warning of a link are misinformation.

    There's nothing forward thinking about it. Domains are displayed because of rampant trolling on Slashdot. It may have actually made if easier for trolls to trick users because, instead of hovering over every link before clicking, they might click if the domain appears safe without looking to see if it's a redirect.

    Before some overzealous moderator decides the link in my other comment makes it trollish, that hasn't been a shock site in over a decade. The server that hosted the site is still online, I believe, and the page is actually up. However, the domain no longer redirects to the page because the Christmas Island domain registry revoked the domain. It was intended as a humorous homage to the history of trolls on Slashdot trying to trick users into visiting shock sites.