Someone Needs to Disqus Searching (UPDATED)

The other day I was trying to remember one of the over 12,500 comments I’ve made on the Disqus comment board over the years, and thought “Well, I’ll just search for it.”.

Unfortunately,  I was too optimistic: Disqus doesn’t allow you to search for specific comments, and while a Disqus programmer has released an unofficial Disqus Search tool which uses Google to search, it’s very crude and only shows 10 results, making it practically useless.

(UPDATE! There is a way to search Disqus comments, scroll down to find out how!)

Apparently though, DISQUS has a programming API called “post/list“, which they describe “Returns a list of posts ordered by the date created.” So, there’s a chance some enterprising programmer might be able to use that to create a way for someone to search through Disqus Comments.

Check out what one of the available variables are, from their own documentation:

Variable: filters (Allows multiple, Defaults to [] )

Valid values are:

1: Is_Anonymous
2: Has_Link
3: Has_Low_Rep_Author
4: Has_Bad_Word
5: Is_Flagged
6: No_Issue
7: Is_Toxic
8: Modified_By_Rule
9: Shadow_Banned
10: Has_Media
11: Is_At_Flag_Limit

Some of the values are “good” codes (like 2 or 6) and some are “bad” codes (like 3, 7 or 9).

For example, Disqus labeled this person as “3: Has_Low_Rep_Author“, causing all their comments to be instantly deleted:
(click to enlarge in a new window)
Example: Disqus assigns "Low Reputation" to a surprised Commenter.
Others complain Disqus is marking their legitimate comments as spam.

Naturally, this begs some questions:

  • Are there any other codes Disqus doesn’t list?
  • What does Disqus consider to be “bad words“? Is there a list of bad words?
  • What does “Is_Toxic” mean? (Update: Official Answer is here) How does it compare to “Has_Bad_Word“? What are the criteria?
  • Can you check if you’re “Shadow Banned“? Is there some law which requires them to tell you if you are?

(Note Disqus also has the “Blacklist” API, which allows one to list all Disqus entries which have been blacklisted and, whitelisted)

So, if you’re an enterprising programmer who wants to make their mark, support the Disqus Community, or help preserve the 1st, 4th, and 5th Amendments - and don’t mind identifying yourself to Disqus, as that’s the only way you’ll be able to legally get the API Codes – then take a look at Disqus’ API Resources.

Update: Seems there is a way to search through Disqus comments: Disqus Comment Search let’s you search comments based on the User’s Name, word(s) which must appear in the comments, and how many comments to display. It’s free and easy, and convenient for making a back up copy of all your Disqus comments.

Please note I’m only using Disqus as an example because I want to be able to search through my own Disqus comments which I wrote and are protected by copyright (as are all our comments). I’ve no doubt that every social media platform, every comment board, every internet provider, etc. has the same or similar programming in place to manage their social media. Managing “Free Speech” isn’t a problem, the potential problem exists in how such speech is managed – and, how transparent such management is.

Thanks for Reading!

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