The Battle for the LGF Archives: All Comments Pre-2008Posted: November 24, 2010
The past few days have been rather busy here at DoD, and we’ve been a bit overwhelmed with some of the activities on other sites as well. Given the fact that I do actually have a day job, I haven’t had as much time to address the interesting stuff that is going on behind the scenes, and what we’re seeing on the tip line.
In the heat of the Digg battle on Sunday, it was discovered that CJ had made the decision to at least play around with the idea of scrubbing all LGF comments made prior to 2008. Yes, you read that right. That means that millions of comments disappeared from public view. Soon after, we found out that logged-in LGF members could still view them, but for the rest of the world, a visit to one of those old threads had just a comment link to tease you.
In fact, right around this time, CJ intentionally linked back to an old ’07 thread, as if to test the system on live lizards:
Sure enough, no one mentioned anything about missing comments. But if you aren’t logged in and follow the link…
…you might notice it.
Now, in light of the recent successes we’ve had with the use of those archived comments, along with the fact something like this would be pretty big news in lizard land, we wanted to post something about it right away. But most of us will remember CJ mentioning doing something similar in an attempt to “fuck with heads“, so we decided to employ the 48 hour rule. The Grand Lizardoid has got the on-the-ropes taint to his statements, and we’re in uncharted territory here, meaning that we weren’t quite sure what to expect. So in the meantime, I figured it might be interesting to poke CJ a little, and see if he would let the lizards know about this cool new “feature” that gave them exclusive access to what was the old LGF. (see Breaking: Big Announcement from LGF Imminent).
The thread was designed to send the message to CJ that we knew about the disappearance, and that we were calling him on it if it was a joke. Soon after, word got to us that all the comments reappeared again, then disappeared, and then seemed to reappear but only for certain threads (the 07-08 boundary and a few others that had been visited). This is why we couldn’t let on what we knew, as it looked like CJ was having fun or trying to make up his mind (or waiting on us). Hide millions of comments, or not? Decisions, decisions.
We’re now a few days on, and as far as we know, no announcement has come from CJ. Makes sense, as the rationale for leaving the LGF archives as a hollow shell is a tough one to explain. That, and I’m not sure that anyone would buy the predicted Ludwig assertion that it would have been an “improvement”, or whatever else a cultist’s mind might dream up to cope. But as of this writing, the pre-2008 comments cannot be accessed by unregistered visitors.
Knowing CJ, we should probably expect them to reappear again once this thread is noticed (it usually doesn’t take long). I’m sure he’s set up to do it with a few clicks. That’s fine. Like I said, we’ve had a lot of fun with the archives, and I for one would rather see them stay visible. But CJ could really mean it this time, instead preferring the ability to quietly monitor logged-in LGFers as they enter the now “classified” archives room of LGF (note to lurkers and those with socks; another reason for CJ’s lack of announcement, and why we’re breaking the news).