Home »Forum»Feedback and Suggestions»Shoutbox: Technical change 9-2018

Shoutbox: Technical change 9-2018

posted on #1
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Posts: 2564
Joined: 30.12.10
Hey fellow wikiloops users,

some of you may (have) notice(d) that from today on, embedding images or video will no longer work on the wikiloops shoutbox.
This is not a bug, it is a deliberate decision.
As you will have observed, the shoutbox never featured the common buttons to embed youtube video or images (the ones you'll find below any comment-entering or foru-post-entering text form),
so it was always just a few users who knew how to work around that - leading to a not-so-nice new user experience of "now, how do they do that, and why can't I seem to?".

There were only two solutions to solve that:
Either, add the obvious embed buttons below the shoutbox,
or prevent anyone from using these embed codes.

The reason I went for the second solution after getting some feedback from my co-moderators comes down to three things:

There has been that drastic change to european data privacy law in may 2018 which basicly prohibits embedding stuff that is hosted on 3rd party servers on any site without explicitly informing the end users that third party servers are being connected to while browsing wikiloops.
That used to be no problem in the past, but the new regulations would require wikiloops to seek your consent before letting your browser fetch some image from some other website.
We've covered that for youtube in the data privacy policy, but since the img-tag allows embedding images from any given server address, there is no way to integrate such a wildcard-consent in our data privacy statement.

Stuff that gets embedded in the wikiloops shoutbox does impact the browsing experience of visitors by slowing things down. If three people posted video to the shoutbox (which gets pre-fetched from youtube as the page loads), that would lead to so much extra data traffic and additional tasks that need to be executed in your browser, that the wikiloops track player would start a few seconds later (if you don't happen to have a superbe internet connection), simply because your browser was too busy preparing these videos.
Since the majority of visitors on wikiloops are here to get to hear some loops tracks, slowing down their experience that way doesn't seem like a good idea.

In my personal opinion, the shoutbox is and has been a critical part of the wikiloops experience, both for new and old users.
While one can easily ignore any forum posts or other members uploads which one may not be interested in,
ignoring the shoutbox requires discovering the "hide me" option.
While a forum post like this one right here will be happyily ignored by 98% of the wikiloops users,
any shoutbox entry is likely to be noticed by 90% of the folks who are currently online.
That's why the shoutbox is one of the best ways to get in touch with the community,
but it also explains why we are moderating the shoutbox, because the way people interact there is one of the first impressions of the wikiloops community - and everyone knows first impressions tend to stick.
If you are feeling halfways safe & happy on the loops, then that probably has a little something to do with the fact that some people are working in the background to make sure the shoutbox stays as friendly as we like our wikiloops.
With over 50.000 members, you may be sure someone has a bad day today, or three beers too many, or feels the need to enter some rather pointless argument... it does cost a bit of effort to make sure that doesn't spoil our fun here.

When observing the use of the shoutbox ever since the embedding functionality came available, I couldn't help but notice quite a lot of the images and memes posted didn't seem suitable to support the idea of presenting wikiloops as a friendly place. And I'm not talking about friendly coffee-related images, I'm referring to images / memes of a kind which didn't really add any positive spirit.
We've always kept topics like religion, sex, drug consumption, hate speech or political opinions out of bounds on wikiloops, and are advertising awareness of cultural diversity, which needs to go along with a little diplomacy to make sure one is not stepping on some other users toes.
That culture obviously didn't always translate to the world of images and "funny" memes, so, that's one more reason why the feature is being disabled today.

I'd like to thank the many users who have contributed to the shoutbox in a positive way, by sending friendly greetings from all around the globe or by answering new users questions, by passing out some virtual tea or cookies and all that.
I do have a lot of love for virtual yodeling contests and such, too ;)

Thanks for the read &
happy jamming on the 'loops

posted on #2
User Avatar Supporter
Posts: 92
Joined: 03.05.13
it does cost a bit of effort to make sure that doesn't spoil our fun here.
I've experienced exactly what Wikiloops is NOT when it comes to public chats/shoutboxes - and I don't ever want it again.

I surely appreciate your efforts.
posted on #3
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Posts: 746
Joined: 07.01.13
thank you ! all of us wikiloops users should be aware how much we owe you for having a nice smooth and friendly wikiloops experience :)
clusters Clusters CLUSTERS !!!!!!
posted on #4
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Posts: 285
Joined: 20.01.14
Good call, much prefer the cleaner shoutbox without all the noise
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