LW Update 2018-08-10 – Frontpage map, Markdown in LaTeX, restored posts and reversed spam votes

by habryka1 min read10th Aug 201815 comments

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Here are the updates I pushed in the last week:

  • The community map is on the frontpage for the next week, to celebrate and promote the "SSC Meetups Everywhere"
  • We are now using a new Markdown processor, which allows you to use Markdown in your LaTeX. We use Pandoc's syntax, which uses single $ , but doesn't parse them when there is a number right after the second one. I.e. $4000 and $4000 doesn't get parsed as LaTeX since the second dollar sign has a number immediately after it.
  • I've finally figured out how the old LW database stored some of the old deleted posts, which means you can now access a bunch of posts from LW again. Most notably this one, which many people requested.
  • I've also went back through the old database and did a larger hunt for spam and troll voters, and reversed all of their votes. This resulted in the votes of over 500 accounts getting reversed, with over 15000 votes being reversed (which is a lot, about as many votes as we had in all of March this year). If you had any of your old posts or comments downvoted, now might be the time to check whether that was just a result of trolls.
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I'm curious about the process for detecting spam voting (and if it's robust to public knowledge).

Mostly just a bunch of heuristics of me looking at patterns in the account creation, and then following up on that. One major pattern was that a lot of spam accounts used @Mailinator.com email addresses, which made that part a lot easier. But there were also a few others.

So the week's up; can we get rid of the annoyingly huge map at the top now? :-)

(Maybe the answer is that it's genuinely useful to have it there for the sake of people going to SSC meetups in the near future, in which case fair enough.)

Will remove it early next week. The idea was indeed that it would be useful for people going to SSC meetups, but a lot of the SSC meetups have now happened, so it's less important.

Yup, understood. But right now, on my laptop this is how it looks; the actually-kinda-useful portion of the page is outlined in red.

[EDITED to add: ah, no, the image-embedding syntax doesn't work when using the WYSIWYG editor. Will try to fix.]

The really useful portion of the page, the chronological list of posts, is off the bottom of that image. To a good approximation, nothing visible on the page is actually useful to me.

But, again, I understand that the extra value to meetup-goers may justify this.

I've failed to fix the embedded image; I switched to Markdown editing mode, but now editing the comment above and clicking "submit" appears not actually to change anything. Might be a cacheing problem somewhere, but e.g. viewing in an entirely different browser doesn't show my changes as having taken effect either.

Oh, huh. I think I must have introduced that bug when I refactored some in the last few days. Will fix ASAP.

Have a PR up, should be merged and deployed tomorrow. Sorry for the hassle.

Doesn't seem to be fixed yet; any revised ETA?

Ah, yeah. Sorry. We ended up discovering some bugs in the main branch we wanted to fix before deploying. I think we fixed everything yesterday, so should be deployed by the end of today.

It's certainly working now, anyway. Thanks!

Yep, fixed it two days ago, sorry for the delay!

Yeah, agree. I think it's quite costly for non-meetup-goers.

This is fantastic news!

I wonder if it would be possible to use some kind of machine learning to discover new troll accounts given the known ones, and then flag them for manual review.

[+][comment deleted]3y 0