The address field and the censorship
Saturday, November 26, 2011 8:40:17 PM
Actually I took a long time to put this post out, as the things I'll talk about have happened some weeks ago. Going direct to the point: Opera is censoring bad comments about it on the Desktop Team blog.
Address field search suggestions in private tabs
My comments about the address field's search suggestions being disabled on the private browsing mode got deleted. Actually not completely... All the discussion I had with Rijk is there except my last comment where I showed him how the decision actually was counter what themselves have defined as the private browsing purpose. I tried reformulating my comment and posting it again numerous times (about three) but noticed all of them got deleted and in the end it seemed like I was wrong!!
I'll post the whole thing here and if my blog post here get deleted (as it seems they can do it by whatever reason in the My Opera terms), well Opera, I'll have to repost it in 10 different Websites on the Web because this is the way the Web works... And it'll get very bad for you. It doesn't means if no one sees this post or comment anymore, I just want my space to say what I mean now and you'll have to accept it!! I want to say "I was there" at least.
The full conversation (special guests by koimark and Slamdex):
"No search suggestions in private tabs" in the changelog of a new build...
Me: Why??? Are you guys at Opera Software confusing features' objectives? Private tabs is for not storing private data (history, cookies, cache, etc) not for being an "do not track me Google, 'I'll encrypt my connection and use a proxy and I like my privacy' freak" mode. It's like the same thing you've done to Pin Tab!
Rijk: I don't think everyone will be comfortable with text typed in private tabs going to Google automatically, even if they are generally OK with search suggestions.
Me: You're still confusing the feature purpose...
Private tabs are meant to be private on your computer by not storing data (so other people with access to it won't see what you've done), they're not meant to be an anonymous way (in "privacy against companies that track you" terms) to surf the Web!
The change made on this build makes searching on private tabs more difficult.
koimark: Funny. You told the Opera guys what the certain feature is or should be. I think Opera's way is logical way but of course that's my opinion.
Rijk: You've defined the purpose for yourself quite strictly, but that might not be what others expect from the feature. Also, you can still get search suggestions of course even in private windows, just like you can get them in Opera 11.5.
My first attempt to give the definitive answer was here, it got deleted without any notice.
Chris (Slamdex): Who are you to tell Opera what Opera is?
This, now koimark and Chris (Slamdex) thinks I'm completely wrong.
Here is my answer that was deleted:
(I'm actually redoing it now from scratch one more time since I hadn't save it anywhere, I didn't think that would have happened.)
I'm not defining what the private browsing feature is or not. It's already defined. Look at Wikipedia's article definition:
"Privacy mode, sometimes informally referred to as "porn mode", or "private browsing" is a term that refers to privacy features in some web browsers. Historically speaking, web browsers store information such as browsing history, images, videos and text within cache. In contrast, privacy mode can be enabled so that the browser does not store this information for selected browsing sessions. This allows a person to browse the Web without storing local data that could be retrieved at a later date. It is of note that this offers virtually no privacy protection beyond the local level. For example, it is still possible to identify frequented websites by associating the IP address with the user on the server end."
Now look at how Opera, themselves, define it!
"You can open a new Private tab or Private window that forgets everything that happened on it once closed." http://labs.opera.com/news/2009/12/22/
"Christmas time is near, you might want to go online to buy a few gifts for your loved ones without them noticing which sites you went to." http://my.opera.com/ODIN/blog/opera-10-5-pre-alpha-build-released-here-is-whats-new
"Keep your browsing private
Using a private tab or window ensures that evidence of your browsing history is removed as soon as the tab or window is closed. Now, it is safer to do your banking from a public computer or easier to plan that surprise vacation." http://www.opera.com/browser/features/
The removal of search suggestions from private tabs now looks completely nonsense and just make it harder to use it in the examples yourselves gave: search for gifts, hotels, flights, etc, now without suggestions.
My original comment finishes some part on the next paragraph.
The feature wasn't intended to increase privacy in any way, and it doesn't (the IP address is still accessible, etc). I'm not defining what the feature is. I'm just the guy who have read and repeated exactly what Opera Software said before. I know, features can evolve, they can change and even have identical names in two browsers and act differently, but mixing up user's Web privacy and user-to-another-user privacy in one feature is obviously misleading and this definitely isn't a case of what a user expects, this is a case where the change decreases the practicality of the feature.
Anyway, it's not THAT big deal because you can still use keywords to get the suggestions on the address field. The thing was my comments were completely censored when I get to the point to show that even them "agree" with me! But okay..., those Norwegians... lol
But them I witness a second censorship!
Luchio: Woah the whole discussion about "icons missing in address bar dropdown" regression just got moderated out, without any explanation. I don't believe it breached any term of use nor breached to request to keep the discussion focused on what would be required for a final release. It is a major UI functionality regression, whether you like it or not... You can ignore it, that's always your decision..."
Thanks for noticing this Luchio. It turns out they deleted all the comments on the Tunny Beta post that were showing support for a rollback on the previous iteration of the address field URL drop-down auto-complete list or improvements that would make it more usable like it was before.
There was also another case of posts being deleted on discussing the HTML formating on some parts of My Opera.
Were my comments on the first case any way off-topic (certainly not, as the changes happened on the build I was commenting). Did they infringed the terms? (I'm sure not.) Why no "Mod edit" pointing the reason, or a PM? Who deleted my comments?
It's censorship, and it must stop.
Update: It has just happened again!