Moderators have access to a widget on posts -- if the browser window is wide enough (I think 1250px is the minimum?), and if your vision is good (it's small and light gray). The widget provides instant access to the number of (and actual) deleted comments and the number of flags. That information is also available via the "mod" menu on posts, but that's pull, not push -- the widget alerts me that there's something to see, while I'll only look at the menu if something prompts me (a new flag, more problem comments, a mention by another moderator, etc). So the widget provides valuable information -- if you can use it. Not all of us can (especially when we're using tablets).

The widget also makes it easy to undelete comments -- purge an entire thread, click the control to see the deleted comments inline, and undelete the handful that should stay. The mod menu doesn't give us undelete. (It's also a separate page, so slower and harder to use.)

Some CM, I think Shog9, said the widget was designed for large sites like the trilogy and moderators of smaller sites aren't the main audience. But as a moderator on some of those other sites, I've found having these controls right there to be very helpful in doing my job. It's so helpful that I asked for help from my fellow moderators in solving my "can't see that thing" problem, and ArtOfCode wrote a userscript. This script moves the information from the widget into the main part of the page, right under the voting buttons. It looks like this:

screen shot: controls under voting buttons

From top to bottom, that's: number of flags, number of deleted comments, and timeline. Everything fits conveniently within the space the site is already using -- no marginal protrusions needed. If the post is super-short, it doesn't overlap with comments either because those don't extend past the post's left margin. (I changed flag background from the usual orange back to yellow because I can't read the ones that use orange. You'd get your flag color there, whatever it is.)

This userscript works great on my desktop computers, but I haven't been able to make userscripts work at all on my Android tablet. And my tablet is 1024px wide, so I don't get the default widget. When I travel I only have a tablet, which means I'm hindered in doing my job. In discussion with other moderators I've learned that I am far from the only one who doesn't use full-screen browsers; people who use a browser and text editor side by side on a 1900px monitor (still a common size) also don't get the widget.

Feature request: please add the functionality of this user script to SE, so that it will work on all devices without need for userscripting. The back-end work is already done; this is purely a UI matter. It's a moderator tool, not part of the main site design, so it doesn't have to be beautiful; it just has to let us do our jobs.

Please may we have a built-in, accessible UI for this super-useful tool?

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    I have to zoom out on my monitor at work to moderate. This would be nice. – enderland Jun 21 '17 at 3:15
  • If I zoom out I can't read the text any more, which is...problematic when moderating. :-) – Monica Cellio Jun 21 '17 at 3:16


The basics of the ask here are now done. The floating info box at the left no longer exists, and has been replaced with inline options under the usual voting options:

Mod Sidebar Options

The only notable thing from my user script that didn't make it in were the additional comment moderation options (move to chat and purge all) which are nice to have, but not implemented as a part of these changes. If moderators would really like to have these options pulled out of the mod menu on the post, I'd suggest creating a separate feature request so it can be tracked accordingly.

Original request:

I was literally just writing up a request on our internal board to incorporate some of the main features from my user script directly into the site. To be honest, we're very against adding a bunch of indicators to the vote column there, which is why we've previously declined requests like this and why I originally endeavored to create a user script that avoided doing exactly that as much as possible.

Having used this script for over a year now, I can say that the positioning of these elements in this way has been extremely useful and the items appear in logical places where one would expect to find them through natural moderation activities. For what it's worth, here's the screenshot I used with the request, because it was easier to just show than to type out detailed plans.

enter image description here

I'm not including the additional line of moderator tools in this request because some moderators have expressed that having all those options there makes the page seem very bulky, and we don't want to overwhelm all moderators while trying to make their UI more user-friendly.

Hopefully the bulk of this request will make it into the live site for moderators.

  • 2
    Ooh, and comment management inline -- nice! Adding the "# deleted" link there (in a different color like you've shown here), with the flags indicator out in the left column, meets my need. I just need easy, visible access to that stuff, and the current widget doesn't give me that. Thanks for moving this forward! – Monica Cellio Jun 21 '17 at 3:12
  • What does “revisions” do different from clicking on “edited”? – JDługosz Jun 21 '17 at 3:20
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    @JDługosz Nothing. It's there for situations where the post hasn't yet been edited but we still need to look at the revision history for some reason. Particularly useful if you need to redact something from the post, which can only be done from the revision history. – animuson Jun 21 '17 at 3:21

You could put that same info — all of it — in the footer that appears when there are outstanding flags.

Agreed, when I'm on a desktop the browser is never “full screen” but a width suitable for reading text.

  • You could, but the UI in the userscript makes the page easy to scan, which is nice too. – Monica Cellio Jun 21 '17 at 3:09
  • Do userscripts work on Chrome on Android? – JDługosz Jun 21 '17 at 3:17
  • Didn't for me. If I recall correctly, TamperMonkey wouldn't install. Maybe on a newer OS; my tablet is a few years old, so while Chrome is up to date, it's not the newest Android version. – Monica Cellio Jun 21 '17 at 3:18
  • So you do mean Greasemonkey scripts there. I thought I saw some indications that SE injected scripts on its end also, like how Wikipedia does it. – JDługosz Jun 21 '17 at 3:22
  • Oh, dunno. AFAIK all the built-in SE functionality (from the full-site view, I mean) works; I don't know about any built-in scripting that they (or Wikipedia for that matter) do. I just can't add my own scripting, apparently -- not sure why; chalked it up to Android at the time. – Monica Cellio Jun 21 '17 at 3:26
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    That information is useful even when there are NOT outstanding flags. If you meant "also" then sure. If you meant "instead of the userscript's layout" then I would disagree. I started using this userscript a couple weeks ago and now hate trying to do anything moderator-related on mobile, I end up waiting until I'm back on my desktop where these layout enhancements are available to me. – Rubio Jun 21 '17 at 8:11
  • I mean it might be easy and possible and thus more likely to be accomplished soon. – JDługosz Jun 21 '17 at 16:14

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