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I am browsing /r/AskReddit and I find a lot of content is blacked-out. Some blacked-out contents are last edit information, username, karma, the whole body of the post. I do not find blacked out content on other subreddits. See the following images for examples:

Image 1:

search result

Image 2:

mommies and daddies thread on /r/askreddit

Image 3:

whole body of the post blacked-out

I have looked around the wiki of /r/AskReddit talking about Spoiler Tags, but these blacked-out contents are not Spoilers as I can make out.

Why are they blacked-out and how are they done so? Is there any way I can access that information?

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1 Answer 1

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Most of these are markers to show you that the text has been deleted. There is nothing to see. There really isn't supposed to be a way to access it unless you can find a cache of the page before that text was deleted.

So instead of showing:

[deleted]

the AskReddit subreddit just added in images to visually spice it up

blackout bar

If you look into the subreddit specific CSS you'll see rules like these:

.usertext.grayed .usertext-body:after{
  content:url(http://d.thumbs.redditmedia.com/SMBbM5hLWWEayAH3.png)
}

.grayed[id$="A"] .md:after, .grayed[id$="K"] .md:after,
.grayed[id$="9"] .md:after, .grayed[id$="7"] .md:after{
  content:url(http://d.thumbs.redditmedia.com/GX9hV2Hz1CjyWYvQ.png)
}

.grayed[id$="F"] .md:after, .grayed[id$="8"] .md:after,
.grayed[id$="Q"] .md:after, .grayed[id$="S"] .md:after{
  content:url(http://a.thumbs.redditmedia.com/pp1-TxU_p0Tjfr0N.png)
}

.grayed[id$="4"] .md:after, .grayed[id$="C"] .md:after,
.grayed[id$="P"] .md:after, .grayed[id$="U"] .md:after{
  content:url(http://d.thumbs.redditmedia.com/acRgCtL6iCfGYTei.png)
}

p.tagline em:after{
  visibility:visible;font-size:10px;
  content:url(http://d.thumbs.redditmedia.com/_d-bXQHsj_78q9oK.png)
}

Basically it looks for blocks of the page that fit the rules and replaces the content with "blackout" images.

Here's what a deleted comment looks like:

<form action="#" class="usertext grayed border" id="form-t1_c41aej7qev">
  <input type="hidden" name="thing_id" value="t1_c41aej7"/>
  <div class="usertext-body">
    <div class="md"><p>[deleted]</p></div>
  </div>
</form>

One of the CSS rules is this:

.usertext.grayed .usertext-body:after

Anything that has a class of .usertext-body and is inside another tag with .usertext and .grayed classes is replaced by a blackout bar.

Other non-deleted parts of the subreddit showing these blackout bars just happen to be caught in the CSS rules because the classes used by deleted content also show up in other parts of the page. Which is why you can sometimes see it show up on the page where there usually doesn't have anything normally visible.

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