Comment moderation tool: disemvowelling et al
Introduce a reversible "mask" that may be turned on at a comment-by-comment level by a journal owner or community administrator, that initially displays a particular comment slightly obfuscated, serving as a warning that anyone who puzzles out the comment as displayed, or goes through to read the full version, that they do so at their own risk.
Current comment moderation tools involve leaving any possibly problematic (for any reason) comments in place, adding more comments, deleting the possibly problematic comment(s), screening them so only the journal owner/admins and the comment creator can see it, and disallowing any new responses to a particular comment or thread.
Missing from this toolbox is an option that leaves the comment in place, but in a way that clearly signals to a reader that while they *can* read this comment, they may not *want* to, and in a way that is friendly to the sort of fast reader who can take in a paragraph at a time before their brain has caught up with the idea that they may not want to read that, but also in a way that is friendly to someone who already struggles to read the text as presented.
Unlike similar tactics on self-hosted blogs, this would not involve actually editing the comment left by the other party. It would alter the display of the comment, with a clear notice that the display had been altered, and a control that any reader could use to view the comment as originally written.
This could be used for abusive comments, controversial/flamebait/triggery topics, and probably also spoilers and content warnings, and for comment-space games and other fun uses. (Owners might like the ability to proactively turn this mode on to set every comment this way at posting time, for entries likely to collect heated response, or for games. Commenters might like the option to self-moderate in this fashion for games and potentially triggery content.)
Options for the form of alteration could include:
Disemvowelling, where all vowels detected in the original are removed, making text that can often be puzzled out slowly without reversing the obfuscation. Can be read faster by someone who's used to it, makes hash of most HTML included. Popularized & I believe invented on Making Light, where I believe it's done by hand. Suitable for English; not so suitable for languages where vowels are implied rather than stated already; can be trivially defeated by writing in 1337 and other character-substitution methods; would need to have non-Roman vowels identified also.
ROT13, where all characters are moved around 13 places in their alphabet. (This is most useful for alphabets with 26 letters.) This makes text that most readers have to work through character by character, but some very experienced readers can read through at speed. Many existing ROT13 functions leave punctuation and non-English characters intact.
Display of a warning message without context derived from original text. No chance of something leaking through due to algorithmic shortcomings, because nothing would show; 100% chance that anyone wanting to read the comment would would have to request its display, causing a certain amount of potential extra server load.
Display of a warning message with optional context (similar to a comment edit message) to be provided by the journal owner/community admin. For screenreader users, the context should probably appear before the control to reveal the original comment.
Poll #7753 Comment moderation tool: disemvowelling et al
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 67