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Display of BBCode in search results

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GuyBarry
1240378.  Fri Jun 23, 2017 5:06 am Reply with quote

There's something very odd about the way that certain posts are displayed in the search results. Here's a post that I recently made to the "New Number Fact Game" thread (post 1240364):

GuyBarry wrote:
Here's a short video about using 3157 bulbs in 3757 sockets (which probably means a lot more if you're American).


But if I go to my profile and click on "Find all posts by GuyBarry", it appears as:

Quote:
Here's a short video about 3757 sockets (which probably means a lot more if you're American).


...which isn't what I wrote!

Other similar posts are reduced to incoherent nonsense. For example, post 1240239 actually reads

GuyBarry wrote:
According to estimates by Authority Nutrition, a pound of body fat contains anything between 3436 and 3752 calories.

Over to Strawberry then...


but appears in search results as

Quote:
According to estimates by 3752 calories.

Over to Strawberry then...


Even more baffling is post 1239831, which is reduced from

GuyBarry wrote:
Over to St Michel, Montreal, Canada for Groupe 3737 (note the French spelling), a self-styled "business incubator and accelerator" that "provides space and a dynamic and interactive structure for starting or growing entrepreneurs. Through the provision of facilities and services designed to improve productivity, it allows the growth of a wide variety of innovative projects and enriching the community". Yes, but what do they actually do?


to

Quote:
Over to St Michel, Montreal, Canada for 3737do?


I haven't quite got to the bottom of it but it appears to be something to do with the way that the BBCode tags are treated. As soon as the parser reaches the string "[url=", it appears to ignore everything in the text until the next opening BBCode tag, if there is one.

I'm slightly concerned about this because someone searching for another user's posts might gain the misleading impression that they were in the habit of writing gibberish, or even (as with the first example above) that they'd written something substantially different from what they'd actually written. Imagine a post like this:

Quote:
The police are making every effort to find those responsible for the attacks.


This would presumably appear as

Quote:
The police are responsible for the attacks.


A bit contrived but you see my point!

 
ali
1240382.  Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:03 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
<snip>
incoherent nonsense.
<snip>
misleading
<snip>
gibberish
<snip>


No-one's ever noticed before. :)

 
GuyBarry
1240385.  Fri Jun 23, 2017 6:29 am Reply with quote

ali wrote:

No-one's ever noticed before. :)


Maybe, but it didn't take me long to come up with a genuine, non-contrived example. Here's a post that dr.bob made a couple of days ago (post 1240147) in the "Terror attacks in the UK 2017" thread:

dr.bob wrote:
I've found this article on the BBC written back in 2004. It doesn't cover the whole story, but it does give some important details. The picture that emerges is that Abu Hamza was a cleric who joined the mosque and proceeded to bully and intimidate the trustees in order to further his own political aims.

The bit about the local trustees voluntarily closing the mosque does indeed seem to be incorrect. The BBC report notes that the trustees "launched a legal action to regain control" but it says that

Quote:
an out-of-court settlement allowed Abu Hamza to give two out of four Friday sermons. In return, the trustees regained access.

But this was later changed to allow Abu Hamza to give three out of four sermons.


<rest snipped>


But in the search results it appears like this:

Quote:
I've found an out-of-court settlement allowed Abu Hamza to give two out of four Friday sermons. In return, the trustees regained access.

But this was later changed to allow Abu Hamza to give three ...


The only two of those words that were actually written by dr.bob were "I've found"; the rest is quoted from the BBC website. Yet in the search results it appears as though dr.bob wrote the whole thing. This could be construed as a form of misrepresentation, don't you think?

 
Jenny
1240409.  Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:44 am Reply with quote

Interesting! I have no idea what causes that but dr.bob probably will.

However, when you search for somebody's post, and then click on the thread header in the result, the post that comes up is totally normal. I searched on "GuyBarry" and although in the search results it comes up as
Quote:
Here's a short video about 3757 sockets (which probably means a lot more if you're American).



when you click on the thread header the actual post shows as

GuyBarry wrote:
Here's a short video about using 3157 bulbs in 3757 sockets (which probably means a lot more if you're American)


which is what you intended.

 
GuyBarry
1240427.  Fri Jun 23, 2017 12:22 pm Reply with quote

Interesting, isn't it? So I could make a post saying

Quote:
I believe that Adolf Hitler said
Quote:
if you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.


and this site would report it as

Quote:
I believe that if you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.

 
GuyBarry
1240461.  Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:19 am Reply with quote

Another genuine example (post 1240195):

suze wrote:
I won't quote PDR's post 1240186 in detail. It's just up there if you haven't read it.

But I agree with it completely. As regular readers will know, my husband has a daughter from his first marriage, and while she never occupied my uterus she's as important to me as if she were my daughter as well.

Had she developed into the sort of woman that certain tabloids love to complain about, the sort of woman who has borne five children by five different men by the age of 25,

<rest snipped>


This appears in search results as

Quote:

I won't quote PDR's my daughter as well.

Had she developed into the sort of woman that certain tabloids love to complain about, the sort of woman who has borne five children by five different men b ...


As Jenny points out, the actual posts are unaffected, but it's difficult to avoid the suspicion that the script that generates the search results has somehow been tweaked to make it look as though people are saying things they haven't said. Substantial chunks of posts are omitted without any indication that anything has been left out, and it happens whenever a poster puts in a link to another site, or to another post on the forum. I'm not suggesting that anyone on this forum is responsible, but who would want to do this?

 
Bondee
1240462.  Sat Jun 24, 2017 1:38 am Reply with quote

GuyBarry wrote:
...but who would want to do this?


Aliens.

 
GuyBarry
1240464.  Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:09 am Reply with quote

Maybe! And inevitably, my own latest post in the thread has been similarly garbled. The search results quote it as:

Quote:
Another genuine example (I won't quote PDR's my daughter as well.

Had she developed into the sort of woman that certain tabloids love to complain about, the sort of woman who has borne five childre ...


I wrote none of that beyond the first three words!

This could be turned into quite an amusing game if it weren't so unsettling...

 
suze
1240465.  Sat Jun 24, 2017 2:18 am Reply with quote

Few things in this world are quite as unsettling as the notion of PDR being my daughter ...

 
PDR
1240476.  Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:07 am Reply with quote

Aw, mum - you NEVER acknowledge me in public!

PDR

 
GuyBarry
1240480.  Sat Jun 24, 2017 4:54 am Reply with quote

Try my new game then!

 

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