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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

when comments threads go wrong

Have you seen the comments following my review of The Expendables 2? I’m not even talking about the content of those comments — though, please, go have a look, and then a good cry — but the formatting of the page.

See, post pages here should look like this:

Main content in the wide lefthand column, a narrow column of meta info in the middle, then a narrow column of site info on the far right.

What happens, however, when a comment spawns a subthread that itself gets a ton of replies, is this:

Disqus wants to keep making room for all the subthreading replies, so it pushes out that middle column to make room. It’s a thing with HTML tables, and there’s probably some way to fix it, but I have no idea what that fix might be, and no time to hunt it down.

Here’s a feature Disqus has: I could limit the number of replies a comment gets, which would fix this issue, but at the expense of limiting the conversation here, which I am loath to do. Very few pages end up in this situation anyway, so it’s not a major issue.

Here’s what you can do to fix the problem, if it’s bothering you. Click on the little minus sign to the right of a commenter’s ID. Just to the right of the red arrow here:

This will collapse individual comments threads (it’s usually fairly obvious which one is causing the problem), and the page will go back to looking how it’s intended to look. You’ll then see something like this:

And you can just click on the little plus sign to expand the thread again.

Any threads you collapse should stay collapsed on your subsequent visits to the page.

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