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Greasemonkey Killfile
January 16, 2006 5:26 PM   Subscribe

Here's a little Greasemonkey script that filters out posts by any users you don't want to read on Metafilter (if you use Firefox).

If you want to use it, download Greasemonkey and restart your Firefox if you haven't already. Then click on the first link and then the Greasemonkey install button on the top right hand corner.

By default, it only filters on single Mefi article pages, not on preview or on Metatalk, but you could easily change the Included Pages. By default, it filters out ParisParamus and dios as users but you could very easily download this to your local drive and edit it -- or I'd put up any other variations that were useful (or even come up with a way for you to edit preferences from the program).

This was fun. Was it a good idea? Discuss.
posted by lupus_yonderboy to Etiquette/Policy at 5:26 PM (110 comments total)

(Hmm, it seems to disable "Live Preview" -- but I have no idea why. )
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:29 PM on January 16, 2006


(Does it do anything else - but you have no idea why?)
posted by fire&wings at 5:35 PM on January 16, 2006


Filtering specific users by default is explicitly anti-community and offensive. Echo chambers are the stage immediately before star chambers.
posted by gleuschk at 5:37 PM on January 16, 2006


Does that mean you're against Spam filters?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:40 PM on January 16, 2006


Why is it that anytime someone mentions killfiles in a positive light, I end up picture them saying "talk to the hand" in a jaunty way?
posted by loquax at 5:43 PM on January 16, 2006


Filtering specific users by default is explicitly anti-community and offensive.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:44 PM on January 16, 2006


What the hell is a star chamber?
posted by tweak at 5:45 PM on January 16, 2006


Star chamber. Oh, and filtering specific users by default is explicitly anti-community and offensive.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 5:47 PM on January 16, 2006


Terrible idea. If you have so little self-control you can't ingore people you dislike or you consider flames, then that is your problem.
posted by Falconetti at 5:51 PM on January 16, 2006


Filtering specific users by default is explicitly anti-community and offensive just plain rude.
posted by Ritchie at 5:53 PM on January 16, 2006


It's not offensive. It's the client-side version of Matt banning someone. It makes skipping people's posts easier, that's all. It's completely democratic. If I've decided that I've seen enough of PP's derails once and for all (and I have), then why shouldn't I install this? Am I required to read every post in order to continue participating in mefi? Thank you, lupus.
posted by muckster at 5:55 PM on January 16, 2006


The script now has no specific names in it.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:56 PM on January 16, 2006


Me, I've also said before that I think killfiles are infantile.

Offensive, infantile, just plain rude? You decide! Adjectival choice is completely democratic!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:57 PM on January 16, 2006


Filtering specific users by default is explicitly anti-community and offensive.

wait.

nevermind.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 5:58 PM on January 16, 2006


(original filter available on request).
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:59 PM on January 16, 2006


Isn't this like the 4th script that does this? Why do people keep making these?
posted by puke & cry at 5:59 PM on January 16, 2006


The difference between killfiles and spamfilters is...?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 5:59 PM on January 16, 2006


Why do people keep making these?

Perhaps because they want to do a first, fast and fun Greasemonkey project?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:00 PM on January 16, 2006


1. The filter's inefficient, as it makes FF throw out and then re-parse the whole document tree -- even if no comments need to be filtered out.

2. I've not tested it, but examining the code I think it would filter out any comment containing any link text that matched a filtered user's name. This is problematic because a) it would filter out reasonably named links to a filtered user's profile, e.g.,"look at <a href="http://www.metafilter.com/username.mefi/dios">dios</a>'s profile" or b) any link text that happened to match a filtered user. As many users (myself and dios included) user common nouns as user names, this might not be a rare occurrence.
posted by orthogonality at 6:01 PM on January 16, 2006


There's nothing offensive, or, as far as I'm concerned, even rude about a user of this script blocking the posts or comments of any other member. What's offensive is the author of the script targeting specific users in the default filter. Thanks for changing that, lupus.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:02 PM on January 16, 2006


There's nothing offensive, or, as far as I'm concerned, even rude about a user of this script blocking the posts or comments of any other member.

Ditto. Killfiles that allow the removal of jerks who produce nothing but noise are now inherently rude? What planet did *that* come from?

The only thing offensive here is the assumption from the anti-killscript folks that folks who might use this thing can't handle the responsibility that comes with the power. Nice. Real nice.
posted by mediareport at 6:10 PM on January 16, 2006


meh, not feelin' it. I guess that's why I'm not usin' it.
posted by shmegegge at 6:12 PM on January 16, 2006


The script now has no specific names in, and will download free hardcore hentai for the user, when installed.
posted by fire&wings at 6:15 PM on January 16, 2006


What monju_bosatsu said.

The reason that people are making these scripts is because there is a need for them. Individuals' perceptions of this need will vary; based on how much value you put on trolls. I, for one, never indulge them, but sadly not everyone subscribes to this philosophy.

As a result of the Admins tolerance for certain posters, clear outright trolls are not only tolerated, but sometimes wind up dominating some conversations, precisely their aim.

If more average users start filtering out the noise, these attention-whores will soon see their posts being mostly ignored. They will then wander off elsewhere in search of a new audience to torment, and poison THAT community instead.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 6:32 PM on January 16, 2006


Don't you realize that this sort of thing only encourages the trolls?

I'll never understand why people get all worked up by PP and dios. They're just conservatives saying conservative things. Although their viewpoint may seem novel and offensive to us, it is, in all actuality, depressingly common.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:54 PM on January 16, 2006


Nonsense. Killfiling problem users encourages them to even greater heights of attention-whoring, precisely because it's done client-side and they don't know that they're invisible to some users, or to who.

Their escalating look-at-me histrionics then impact the rest of us who are capable of just ignoring them using the software inside our heads, because as they work harder to be outrageous, more people take the troll bait, and more discussions crash and burn.

Killfiles make the situation worse for everyone but yourselves, and even that's debatable as threads spin out of control for reasons you can't even see, because you're hiding the roots of the disturbances.

On preview, what Afroblanco said, except that I don't personally think one of the accused users fits the classic definition of a troll most of the time, while the other almost always does, except when he gets yelled at, then sprinkles a few non-inflammatory comments around for a while, and inevitably goes back to his old ways thereafter.

I don't think it's about politics. Or if it is, it shouldn't be.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:58 PM on January 16, 2006


Er, the 'nonsense' was directed at PareidoliaticBoy...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:58 PM on January 16, 2006


Wouldn't posts coming from someone using a killfile really muck up a thread? What if that user is actually fanning the flames without knowing it? Should one post to a thread they haven't fully read? (Note: I've never seen kill files in action)
posted by klarck at 7:04 PM on January 16, 2006


stavros: Killfiles make the situation worse for everyone but yourselves, and even that's debatable as threads spin out of control for reasons you can't even see, because you're hiding the roots of the disturbances.

Interesting theory. No evidence for it, but interesting as a theory. Now let's see how it works out in real life, mm?

klarck: Wouldn't posts coming from someone using a killfile really muck up a thread?...Should one post to a thread they haven't fully read?

Good questions. The answer, in my experience in Usenet groups where killfiles were a regular part of the mix, is that most folks killfile very carefully, such that their participation in the thread isn't affected adversely. I've never seen the "spin out of control" scenario stavros is waving around; in fact, I've seen it work just the other way - the folks who don't see bullshit tit-for-tat name-calling are more likely to elevate a thread's signal-to-noise ratio than they are to "muck up a thread." Something about tone, I think, if nothing else.

Anyway, I don't think folks should announce the names of folks they killfile (that seems dumb, like announcing an angry departure from the site), but maybe after a month or so of use, a few killfilers can reveal themselves and we can look at the evidence to see if the use of killfiles is affecting specific threads in negative ways. I've never been much for them myself, despite heavy temptation, but I certainly can respect other folks' desire to not see insulting garbage regularly. The lack of subthreads here makes killfiling particularly attractive, I'm guessing, to those who want to do it.
posted by mediareport at 7:53 PM on January 16, 2006


I kinda like matt's idea for giving every page a "talk" page. It seems like that would re-direct a lot of the flame energy and the "this post sucks" energy.
posted by Afroblanco at 7:56 PM on January 16, 2006


allow the removal of jerks who produce nothing but noise

Btw, I just want to clarify that I wasn't referring to either dios or PP in the phrase above; I was speaking generally.
posted by mediareport at 7:58 PM on January 16, 2006


You can see the results of killfiles by looking at any thread thats had comments deleted from it. You get a bunch of responses to comments that aren't there anymore and it's pretty confusing.
posted by puke & cry at 8:01 PM on January 16, 2006


I've seen it work just the other way - the folks who don't see bullshit tit-for-tat name-calling are more likely to elevate a thread's signal-to-noise ratio than they are to "muck up a thread."

Given that it is standard procedure here to quote someone's comment when responding, if the response is not made immediately thereafter, and given that there is a significant number of people who now use an automated quoting script which actually adds attribution to that comment, I don't see how this is defensible, and by extension, how killfiling (and particularly announcing it) is anything but merely punitive. Killfilers still see the tat, even if they're missing out (and only sometimes, for reasons I mention about) on the tit.

But, you know, whatever.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:02 PM on January 16, 2006


(er, about=above)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:03 PM on January 16, 2006


Interesting theory. No evidence for it, but interesting as a theory. Now let's see how it works out in real life, mm?

Anyone with a few years worth of IRC experience will tell you that stavros is dead fucking on. Any sort of /ignore or killfile function used for any other reason than blocking spam/pure noise results in the splintering of the community. I've seen this happen in countless IRC channels, and - more slowly, but just as surely - web forums.

Here on Metafilter we don't have spammers because we have a cover charge and moderators that aggressively go after that kind of bullshit. When you start ignoring other people who are genuinely participating clientside all of a sudden there are multiple versions of 'reality' at work - people start answering the same question three times, while you're missing responses and obvious shifts in tone in the current debate. The end result is a much poorer user experience for everyone. It's one thing to not be able to summon forth the personal maturity required to just scroll past - it's another thing entirely to ruin everybody's day because of your lack of maturity.

Filtering specific users at all is anti-community, here on Metafilter.
posted by Ryvar at 8:14 PM on January 16, 2006


You can see the results of killfiles by looking at any thread thats had comments deleted from it. You get a bunch of responses to comments that aren't there anymore and it's pretty confusing.

Yeah, but most deleted comments are crap, so the confusion is over the sequence of responses to crap. Annoying, yes (particularly since I find Matt's rationale for not using a placemarker for deleted comments unconvincing), but not all-important. Besides, with killfiles, there's only confusion for the people with the killfiles. The real question, then, is whether those people can then go on to participate in ways that aren't confusing to everyone else. Guess we'll see.

But, you know, whatever.

Exactly. Some folks want this option, despite the probability of seeing quoted material from those they've killfiled. Other folks are curious to see how it'll play out. Most folks don't care and won't use it. But pronouncements that killfiling in general is infantile are way off-base.
posted by mediareport at 8:18 PM on January 16, 2006


But pronouncements that killfiling in general is infantile are way off-base.

I speak, as always, only for myself.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:20 PM on January 16, 2006


Heh.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:20 PM on January 16, 2006


Anyone with a few years worth of IRC experience will tell you that stavros is dead fucking on.

Usenet is a far better analogy for the kind of discussion setup we have here, Ryvar. And I have more than a few years worth of Usenet experience, and I say again that I have never seen killfiling get out of hand and "splinter a community." I have seen folks decide to stop killfiling without announcing it, and have also seen folks killfile specific people for years and continue as active, positive members of the community.
posted by mediareport at 8:22 PM on January 16, 2006


The real question, then, is whether those people can then go on to participate in ways that aren't confusing to everyone else.

mediareport I can tell you as someone who's been through failed online community after failed online community that the answer to this is always a firm 'no.' In one particularly brutal case I watched a group of 35 good friends - many who were friends in real life - crash and burn in just two months because three different key people decided to ignore one another. The misunderstandings, repetition, and the way people were not able to see the full conversation consistently misunderstood the connotations and nuance of those whose words they could see destroyed everything in a very ugly fashion.
posted by Ryvar at 8:24 PM on January 16, 2006


Usenet is a far better analogy for the kind of discussion setup we have here, Ryvar.

No, it isn't. Killfiling is perfectly valid on Usenet due to the proliferation of spammers and people verbally shitting themselves for the unadulterated hell of it. Most of the better IRC communities are gated and moderated, as is Metafilter, so our situation here as applies to the justified use of killfiles (or lack thereof) is more analogous to a closed IRC community.
posted by Ryvar at 8:26 PM on January 16, 2006


I'm perfectly capable of ignoring trolls, and that's always been my policy. Not only do I never respond to them under any circumstances, I refuse to acknowledge their existence, and won't discuss their behaviour.

Threads don't spin out of control if all posters would adopt this tactic, but it almost never happens. Trolls can always find an audience for their mental masturbation, it's why they do it. Since the community is so large, and not self-disciplined enough to refrain from feeding these emotional leeches, a set of ear-plugs is the best solution.

My own one experience has been the opposite of what you propose, Stavros. I base my opinion and analysis on my own limited experience. I was a member of another community whose administrator also kept a pet troll. Her private argument to me was that his presence stirred controversy, and raised the interest level, a theory I never bought. A couple dozen of the most prolific posters killfiled the user, and also agreed to never so much as utter the troll's name again. Within two weeks, his frustration and anger became apparent as responses trickled to almost zero, and his plaintive cries for a repsonse went ignored. Within a month he was gone, but I still see him at another site; where a good chunk of the content is devoted to debating his antics. WHICH IS WHAT THEY WANT.

If the effect of a large part of the community ignoring a few specific posters is to kill that community as some seem to think, therm perhaps it's time for the administrators to examine their policy regarding those posters. There is only one poster here that I personally would killfile, but I can think of a handful who I would ban, were I in charge,

This will be last involvment in a any debate about trolls, killfiles, etc; this kind of debate only fuels these moron's pathology. It's actually a distinct part of the problem. Trolls LOVE this kind of conflict, it's what their sickness is all about.

You guys can thrash it out to your heart's content. I won't have to look at that imbecile's bilious spew, or get involved in yet another pointless discussion about their relative merits, ever again.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:33 PM on January 16, 2006


Mefi is "gated"? News to me. And I'm not talking about killfiles for spammers here; I'm talking about jerks. Like I said, I've never been much for killfiling, but I respect other folks' desire to do it in specific cases, and think the "sky is falling" scenarios we're seeing here are highly overblown.

Again, guess we'll now see.
posted by mediareport at 8:34 PM on January 16, 2006


Er, that was for Ryvar.
posted by mediareport at 8:34 PM on January 16, 2006


Mefi is "gated"?

$5 says yes.

And I'm not talking about killfiles for spammers here; I'm talking about jerks.

Right. I have no problem with spammers being killfilled because it's just pure noise. When people in a community start killfiling one another because they don't like each other - and I'm not talking about a massive group effort against one person, but rather random individuals killfiling other random individuals they dislike - then the conversation inevitably becomes fractured and the community discordant.
posted by Ryvar at 8:38 PM on January 16, 2006


$5 says yes.

Ryvar, the point is you're comparing a community of 35 with a community of 10,000-30,000. Usenet is a much better comparison. Good night, man.
posted by mediareport at 8:39 PM on January 16, 2006


Right. And you're comparing a community with moderation and cover charge to one without. Good night, [gender].
posted by Ryvar at 8:43 PM on January 16, 2006


Oh there are lots of people here I probably won't like, Ryvar. I find the consistent attention-whoring and bickering of some posters far more disruptive than the possibility that the sacrecd continuity of few bits of some threads might get altered.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:43 PM on January 16, 2006


PareidoliaticBoy:

Right. The problem is that if multiple people prioritize their individual user experience by filtering out people they dislike, that continuity gets fractured multiple times in multiple ways because not everybody is working from the same version of events. When you start getting three or four 'core' participants doing this and each has a different killfile, the resulting mess leads to a lot of communities crashing and burning as arguments brew up over countless misunderstandings.

Far better is for people to be unselfish enough to recognize what their actions could mean if everybody did it, and summon the personal maturity necessary to participate without filters.
posted by Ryvar at 8:58 PM on January 16, 2006


Ryvar pretty much sums up my take on it, as well. I might even guess that we've already been seeing some hints of the outfall of killfiling with Greasemonkey in combative political threads in recent months.

But we shall see.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:08 PM on January 16, 2006


[gender]

Oops. Sorry for the assumption, right or wrong. Damn, I'm usually better with that. But while I'm here in my pajamas, I'd just like to note your odd fixation on the notion that everyone here is part of some sort of "continuity" capable of being "fractured" "in multiple ways" "because not everybody is working from the same version of events."

Huh? In what sense exactly does the current MeFi membership all "work from the same version of events," Ryvar? Seems to me that with everyone picking and choosing what threads, kinds of threads, or even whole sections of the site they read, it's a bit strange to talk about "continuity" as if it's something not already riddled with fractures - fractures the site handles just fine right now.

When you're talking about 35 people in live chat, ok, maybe there's a continuity there that's horribly disrupted when a few of them actively ignore each other. But when you're talking about a site with tens of thousands of members, many of whom never interact at all in any threads whatsoever, what the heck's this "continuity" that's in so much terrible danger? You're overdoing it a little, is all I'm saying.
posted by mediareport at 9:15 PM on January 16, 2006


One other thing that needs to be mentioned is that this being the Internet, there's absolutely no way to dictate what people do with their data clientside. You can't stop people from filtering MeFi anymore than you can stop them from trading MP3s - all you can do is point out what the results would be if the tactic gained traction, and hope that people choose not to be destructively selfish.

Christ, I feel like I'm advocating wind farms or something here.

mediareport: No, no, I'm a penis - I just wasn't sure you were since your userpage's gender field reads 'what day is it?' To make an example, though - what happens when jonmc, amberglow, y2karl, and Postroad all filter each other out? Political threads on MeFi would go from informative cesspits to pure unadulterated noise . . . and suddenly I worry I'm giving people ideas, here.

I feel I should mention I've seen this phenomenon take down a web community of over a thousand active members (MeFi is only what, five thousand active not counting AskMe incidentals?), it's just that the 35-people one was a group of incredibly tight friends the majority of whom met in real life weekly. I've been on IRC since 13 (now 25) and don't get out much, so chat and web have been nearly the entirety of my social life growing up. I've just seen this sort of thing wreck one too many communities to not be deeply concerned about the proliferation of killfiles.
posted by Ryvar at 9:24 PM on January 16, 2006


Oh, and in what sense is there a continuity - everyone reads from the same thread. Sometimes the devil's advocate in a thread does have a change of heart - if you've already filtered him out, you'll keep berating him. Then other people who have already forgiven him will berate you for not letting go. Then you'll shout back at them that you didn't know - and if you're particularly blinded by anger blame them for NOT blacklisting your nemesis (I've seen this coming far too often from otherwise level-headed people). Cycle this through a few dozen times and all of a sudden the number of intense interpersonal rivalries where people follow each other around the site haranguing each other begins to scale exponentially.
posted by Ryvar at 9:28 PM on January 16, 2006


Seems to me that the problem with killfiling trolls is that it doesn't give them much incentive to reform, especially in a community of this size -- there's more than enough users and people willing to respond or give the benefit of the doubt that there's always fuel for troll fire. The existence of MetaTalk only compouds this problem w/r/t drama queens.

I'm not sure why a killfile would be necessary here, but maybe a script with temporary rather than permanent bans would be more effective.

Personally, I think that the public shaming tactic works well here; there's a transaction cost for joining, however small, so people generally only join up if they have something to say. --Even ParisParamus (one of my least favorite posters, FWIW) complains constantly about the overly-liberal environment here, which to me indicates that he at least has some ancillary concern for the community and his participation in it, however much of a douche he may be. As long as he keeps that username, his comments here will be permanent, and, more importantly, they'll be used against him by the more attentive posters here (the impeach-Bush-if-there's-no-WMDs comment comes to mind). If he gets mocked too horribly but still wants to participate in the community, he could open a new account, but then he's lose all his current cred and recognition, so there'd be an opportunity cost.

It seems to me that all this creates a floor on trollishness here. Many of us might want that floor to be higher, but in reality it's really not that bad, folks.
posted by spiderwire at 9:54 PM on January 16, 2006


posted by spiderwire Seems to me that the problem with killfiling trolls is that it doesn't give them much incentive to reform

I'm trying to remember the last time I saw a troll reform--oh, of course, it was here.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:05 PM on January 16, 2006


Well, Stavros and Ryvar you're both far more experienced in this arena than I am. In fact, I have no Idea what IRC or Usenet is. So perhaps your combined user experience has shown you problems that I can only guess at. However i do know human nature fairly well, and i recognize the innate insecurity that drives trolls to behave as they do. The only solution on the Net and in Life is to IGNORE THEM.

Now, if I am getting the gist of your argument Ryvar, you feel that there won't be enough overlap in killfiled users, based on personal tastes, and that many conversations will become fractured as a result? I guess i can see this happening in a small group, but I don't really perceive this as a danger in one this size. However, my argument is that if that if this does, in fact, then becomes a problem, it's become a management issue. It needs to be dealt with at that level. Poor management practices have killed far more viable operations than any single one thing.

The group I was referring to upthread was fairly large, more than 6000 members; with a few hundred who frequently participated, and maybe fifty who dropped by on a daily basis. Politically it was much more centrist than this pretty left-wing place though, vociferous political debate was not uncommon. However, because of management practices, acrimony seldom reached the levels I've seen it reach here lately, as it simply was not tolerated. (In my own community I almost never delete posts, as I enforce a strict policy of not allowing hate-speech or personal attacks).


But for some reason the Manager of that site tolerated the most egregious outbursts from this one specific poster. She'd delete his posts, publicly admonish him, give him a time-out but she wouldn't;'t ban him. She allowed ME to ban him , but she always re-admitted him when he reapplied. The distress caused by this one particular user was not so much based on what he had to say, but rather on how he said it. Rude, personal, and always condescending, he drove many members away, often within moments.

One of the differences between that community and this one was that there was an assistant manager or two in almost every time zone, so flare-ups and personal squabbles were very quickly dealt with. Here we have only have two moderators, both based in the US, so there are times when no moderation occurs at all. Additionally the volume of materiel is simply astounding, I can't believe that just Matt and Jessamyn manage this place so effectively.

Since thay have chosen to allow some users a wider latitude in the tone they adopt than most users are comfortable with repercussions are the inevitable result.

I don't tolerate misogyny, racism, and homophobia in my daily life under any circumstances, and I sure won't tolerate it in a place I attend voluntarily for my own amusement. I'd really rather not stop coming here just to avoid that rare kind of horrific conversation. A killfile solves this dilemma, quite nicely.

I also believe that that the biggest troll in this place would soon go elsewhere as he would soon lose about 90% of his "audience".
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:08 PM on January 16, 2006


Well, I agree with what stav and Ryvar have said. I'd even prefer a policy of "no killfiles" where the admins will ban someone they think is killfiling. That's extreme, but stav and Ryvar are exactly right to point out that this is a tragedy of the commons sort of a situation. Killfiling benefits you at the cost of everyone else.

Perhaps not incidental to my position on this, I don't think there are currently any highly-visible trolls on mefi, and I mean that to include PP. If you guys were so good at identifying trolls, then you'd have caught dhoyt in his various manifestations. I don't doubt that there's people who are just fucking with us, but I doubt that those who do so mildly or occasionally are identified while I am sure that many are falsely accused. The "troll" label is way, way too easy to throw around—a certain user has called me a troll and that was a first for me in my two-and-a-half decades online. Those who use "troll" as a means to attempt silencing those with whom they disagree are more destructive to a community than the real trolls are.

It also says a lot about their character and, frankly, even when it's someone I normally like and respect, when I read comments in a thread that talk about trolls as PareidoliaticBoy does—in his case, especially when he implicitly claims that Matt keeps a "pet troll"—my estimation of them is lowered. Someone saying something that is provocative to you is not the same as being a troll. It might even imply, on the other hand, that there's something wrong with you, not them.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:15 PM on January 16, 2006


I'd even prefer a policy of "no killfiles" where the admins will ban someone they think is killfiling.

That is much too extreme for my taste. However, if someone feels the need to not listen, then they shouldn't be heard either.

In other words, you run killfiles=you don't post. Simple.
posted by stirfry at 10:24 PM on January 16, 2006


posted by Ethereal Bligh Well, I agree with what stav and Ryvar have said. I'd even prefer a policy of "no killfiles" where the admins will ban someone they think is killfiling.

So decent users would be banned, and the trolls would be encouraged to stay. We could call it BizarroFilter.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:25 PM on January 16, 2006


PareidoliaticBoy:

Pretty much anything that's perceived as being posted 'in good faith' passes muster (isn't deleted) around here - including misogyny, racism, and the odd bout of homophobia. The test seems to be that they're genuine sentiments and not outright intentional noisemaking.

While I can't speak for everyone I'd hope that part of the big draw of Metafilter for a lot of its participants is this freedom. With it comes the need to grow some fairly thick skin. I don't think anything short of everyone leaving will ever effect that aspect of this site. The 'management' here simply doesn't operate that way and people have in the past gotten pretty upset (*cough*) when there's been any sign of an upswing in deletions.

It's worth mentioning I'm sitting here sort of stunned that Ethereal Bligh agreed with me. He and I have, you're probably unaware, had some truly nasty fights here in Metatalk and I can't really say that I think I was wrong in most of them, either. If I was the sort of person to killfile, he'd be one of the three-four people I would have at various points in the past, and I would have totally missed that he's come out in support of my position here. If I saw someone reply to him further down the thread, there's a good chance I'd assume he was disagreeing with me and probably react badly without double-checking.

BTW, EB: I'm surprised, and pleasantly so that you agree with Stav and I, but banning people who killfile seems way over the top. Since the problem can never be solved perfectly I think community peer pressure is probably the way to go.
posted by Ryvar at 10:27 PM on January 16, 2006


If you believe that this place is without trolls EB, you're the one with the perception problem.

Further, I have clearly stated a number of times, in this thread and elsewhere, that I can, and often do, engage in online debate with those with whom I disagree. Your characterization of my opinion on this matter is wholly without foundation of any sort.

In fact, your personal attack and insinuation that I am the one with character faults might even be construed to be somewhat trollish. I guess it's obvious that there are others whose definition of trollish is broader than your apparently miniscule one.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:29 PM on January 16, 2006


Filtering specific users by default is explicitly anti-community and offensive.

On the other hand, if that's what it take so that you won't bite the trollbait, then please, oh please! use the filters.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:38 PM on January 16, 2006


heh. idea: filter automagically determines if 'troll' has posted within the last five comments, and automagically posts a 'will not take this thing from your hand' message...
posted by five fresh fish at 10:39 PM on January 16, 2006


If you killfile someone Ryvar, the point is to IGNORE THEM, not react badly to something they say. This defeats the entire purpose. You might as well not even bother.

That said, I can now see your point about missing nuances and continuity holes creating furtherdisruptions. Therefore I will change my position, and hold off on this killfile thingy, for a while, at least.

However, if I lose it, flip out, and go all medieval on this site some day, you guys can't say you weren't warned.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:42 PM on January 16, 2006


your personal attack and insinuation that I am the one with character faults might even be construed to be somewhat trollish

You are both wildly oversensitive and quite clearly under some misapprehension about the more-or-less commonly understood definition of 'troll', I reckon.

EB is correct: someone saying something that is provocative to you is not the same as [them] being a troll.

For what it's worth, my understanding of 'troll', which I believe to be more or less consistent with the definition held by most, is: someone who posts inflammatory and deliberately annoying or outrageous comments to a website in order to stir other users to make some reaction. The comments are posted not because the user believes the opinions he or she expresses (although that may be possible), but primarily in order to incite anger or dismay, to stir things up, and to gain attention for themselves. Once this has been accomplished, the troller generally moves on to foment his/her next argument.

I've always understand 'troll' (the noun) to derive not from the troll-under-the-bridge, but from the verb 'to troll' -- in other words, what a fisherman does from the back of the boat. Put out a hook, capture, and reel in their quarry. In this context, the hook is hidden in the inflammatory comment, and the fish is the user who takes the bait.

For what it's worth.

Words are important, and slippery. Like fish. Pantsfish, even.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:42 PM on January 16, 2006


Thanks, PareidoliaticBoy. I appreciate it. You're right about the point being to ignore them, btw, but people don't seem to be able to contain themselves when they see others NOT ignoring their nemesis.

Stav: you might know this already, but a trolling amateur fisherman usually has 4-8 fishing pole mounts on his boat which he lets drag through the water - with bait on them - while slowly puttering around using an ultra-slow, ultra-quiet 'trolling motor.' There is often the unstated secret hope that one of the hooks on the many lines will 'snag' on an extra fish that wouldn't have gone for the bait normally - depending on the local laws and fish type catching fish this way is frequently illegal. That's what I always thought trolling meant - casting out a lot of inflammatory lines and then sitting back hoping one of them 'snags' a fish.
posted by Ryvar at 10:57 PM on January 16, 2006


Aye.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:04 PM on January 16, 2006


I'd say a personal attack on someone's character without any justification or supporting evidence falls well within the definition of being "somewhat trollish", Stavros. Note the use of "somewhat" and "ish" . As you say, words are important.

EB posted those personal comments not to advance any argument, as I have never argued for the things he accused me of supporting. I don't know why he did it, but my guess is that he did it specifically to get a reaction from me. And that, my friend, is "somewhat trollish" by anyone's definition.

I could be wrong, however. Maybe he really believes that there is no one here that is a huge disruption to the community, and that I consider anyone who disagrees with any of my opinions to be a troll. Is his ad hominem attack worth of deletion or further discussion ? Hardly. But it has awakened bmy "jerk" detector.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 11:06 PM on January 16, 2006


And that, my friend, is "somewhat trollish" by anyone's definition.

I'd disagree, respectfully, and suggest that weakening the definition we collectively use for the word makes it harder to talk about dealing with the problem.

As you say, though, I could also be wrong.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:08 PM on January 16, 2006


EB posted those personal comments not to advance any argument, as I have never argued for the things he accused me of supporting. I don't know why he did it, but my guess is that he did it specifically to get a reaction from me. And that, my friend, is "somewhat trollish" by anyone's definition.

Having had the same done to me by him, PareidoliaticBoy, I sympathize.
posted by Rothko at 11:27 PM on January 16, 2006


Filtering specific users by default is explicitly anti-community, offensive and just plain bad manners.

better late than never, I always say.
posted by dg at 11:29 PM on January 16, 2006


Very very interesting. Thanks for the comments!

re: tech notes: /me snaps fingers. Of course I should just be editing the DOM tree! The regexp could have been more specific, that I knew. I wanted to see what the reactions were (not so good)...

I'm no longer convinced, if I ever was, that killfiles are a good solution to trolls. What would be a good solution?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:30 PM on January 16, 2006


I'd say a personal attack on someone's character without any justification or supporting evidence falls well within the definition of being "somewhat trollish"

Nah, not really. The word you are looking for is "asshole".

Trolls' comments, like the fisherman's rods, don't much care who they catch. A personal attack, as in real life, is designed to inflame and annoy one person only, and is an example of assholery rather than trolling.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:35 PM on January 16, 2006


lupus: Kuro5hin.org has had, years back before anybody heard of AJAX, a very AJAX-style javascript hack as one of its supported threadview models. In it, you could click a little plus sign next to posts to expand/collapse them. I think it's called 'Dynamic Threaded' under the Display menu.

I'm sure something similar to this could be accomplished clientside using Javascript that would *collapse* the comments of people in your killfile, but not remove them from the page. This way, by default you 'scroll past' them, but you still see that they did in fact post, and if you start to feel you've lost context in the thread you can simply click once to see what they wrote and get back on the same page as everyone else.

I'm not sure I like it, but if I was going to suggest a compromise that would be - don't filter out people, just automate scrolling past their comments in a 'pretty' manner with the ability to expand them again without reloading the page.
posted by Ryvar at 11:38 PM on January 16, 2006


Actually, I do use a killfile here and have since day one. Mine, though, is one of those old-fashioned ones integrated into my brain. When I see a trollish comment, the killfile part of my brain says "Oh, that is just [user a] being an arsehole as usual, I will ignore that". This way, when I see the inevitable reaction, my brain says "Well, [user b] got sucked into that one again, so i will ignore that as well".

The plus side of this is that the old-fashioned manual killfiles are totally flexible and you can use them to ignore whole threads with no further programming needed (as I do with almost all threads nowadays). The minus side, of course, is that it requires a modicum of thought. Not so cool, but much more effective, I find.
posted by dg at 11:39 PM on January 16, 2006


My response to Ryvar's suggestion:

Why not a plugin that just replaces the offending posts with "blah blah blah"? It would serve the purpose of a killfile, you'd know the user posted, and it's a little bit of personal schadenfreude. I'd use it.
posted by spiderwire at 11:41 PM on January 16, 2006


Interesting compromise, Ryvar. If killfiles have to exist (and I'm not saying they do), at least that would provide some context to the discussion.
posted by dg at 11:46 PM on January 16, 2006


Here: Check this link and switch the Display mode to 'Dynamic Threaded.' Try clicking on one of the down arrows to the left of the title of an individual comment - see how it collapses the comment without reloading the page?

How about something like that where people on your killfile are collapsed by default - in place of their text of their comment there's just a tiny '+' sign that when clicked expands the comment. You still always, no matter, see the "posted by Ryvar at 2:38AM EST on January 17 [!]" but you have to choose to see the comment text.
posted by Ryvar at 11:46 PM on January 16, 2006


Ryvar, are you saying that the threads themselves should be dynamically threaded, or that the killfiled comments should just be hidden behind javascript? MeFi comments don't "respond" to a specific comment, so the former option really feasible.

As for the second option, I'd like to reiterate my "blah blah blah" suggestion. Although really, we just need more options for hiding/deleting comments -- the logical option seems to be a pair of variables to splice in before and after the comment and its footer, so that you can just put in whatever you like, be it code to hide the comment completely or collapse it or what have you. Then a few spiffy default values like my suggestion or yours in the greasemonkey script.

If no one implements this, I will go learn greasemonkey and do it myself this week.
posted by spiderwire at 11:52 PM on January 16, 2006


**the former option isn't really feasible
posted by spiderwire at 11:53 PM on January 16, 2006


spiderwire: I'm saying that killfiled comments should be hidden behind javascript, yes. Whether you want the 'expand' widget to be plus_sign.gif, down_arrow.gif, or just the text 'blah blah blah' is up to you - but you've got my general idea.
posted by Ryvar at 11:56 PM on January 16, 2006


This makes total sense to me Ryvar. It's a pretty elegant solution, allowing ignored comments to be called up if they actually have any relevance.

I also like spiderwire's idea, just for the laugh-factor. The text should be user-customizable, you could have some fun with the replacement text.

I can see it now. Within a week, 90% of Mefi webpages worldwide will render my comments as "yet even more blather from that dork with the unpronounceable user-name". Someone who doesn't like quonsor could replace his comments with that elephant pic of his.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 12:04 AM on January 17, 2006


if you did Ryvar's suggestion, it would be a small step to combine the two and just have some JS code that swaps the "blah blah" and the actual comment.

i just had the greatest idea for a greasemonkey plugin... i am gonna go learn it

i can't believe there's not an Ask Meta thread about it

posted by spiderwire at 12:10 AM on January 17, 2006


Let's repeat the portion of my comment that's given PareidoliaticBoy the vapors:

"It also says a lot about their character and, frankly, even when it's someone I normally like and respect, when I read comments in a thread that talk about trolls as PareidoliaticBoy does—in his case, especially when he implicitly claims that Matt keeps a "pet troll"—my estimation of them is lowered. Someone saying something that is provocative to you is not the same as being a troll. It might even imply, on the other hand, that there's something wrong with you, not them."

One of your responses:

"Your characterization of my opinion on this matter is wholly without foundation of any sort.

In fact, your personal attack and insinuation that I am the one with character faults might even be construed to be somewhat trollish. I guess it's obvious that there are others whose definition of trollish is broader than your apparently miniscule one."



...in which you prove my point.

Implicitly, I asserted that those who are quick to label others as "trolls" are too easily provoked because they overestimate their own righteousness and thus wrongly assume malice in those with whom they disagree; and whether they are sincere or not, they use the label of "troll" as a scarlet letter with which they wish to tar others.

In response, you asserted that I am possibly trolling.

I didn't say that there were no trolls on MeFi, I said that I don't think there are any high-profile trolls on MeFi. Given the huge userbase, I don't doubt that here and there are people who are intentionally and destructively provocative for the hell of it. But I see the label of "troll" thrown around far, far more often than it is deserved.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:05 AM on January 17, 2006


Ryvar, it seems bizarre to me that you'd find it surprising that I would agree with you about something. We probably agree about a lot of things. And my banning-for-killfiling thing was just musing out loud. I probably wouldn't want it if I thought more about it.

And to echo stav's description of the term "trolling", the word in this sort of context has its origin in USENET. It should be noted that it meant a kind of "fishing" that was mostly good-natured and clever, not mean-spirited and simpleminded. It's come to mean "a non productive, egregiously provocative, less-than-completely sincere participant". The "less-than-completely sincere" part is important. The less the sincerity the more trollish, the more egregiously provocative, the more trollish. And people think of "trolls" under bridges.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:05 AM on January 17, 2006


Well. I suppose then that this whole sincerity thing which most people seem to put so much weight on with regard to trolling does show me that I haven't quite grasped the finer nuances of the word. It seems that more experienced users than myself also agree that the poster's intent is not absolutely paramount; the potential catch needs to be fairly broad to really fit the definition.

So I stand corrected. My apologies then, EB.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:04 AM on January 17, 2006


I've never posted a thread about my Greasemonkey scripts — I prefer to spam tangentially-related threads with comments linking to them.
posted by Plutor at 5:41 AM on January 17, 2006


Like EB, I agree with stav and Ryvar about this. In fact, I agree with pretty much everything EB has said here, now that he's withdrawn (tentatively) his ban-the-killfilers fantasy. I frankly don't understand why people have such a hard time dealing with speech they don't like. "Teacher, Timmy said a bad thing! Make him stop talking! Lalalala, I can't hear you! I can't hear Timmy!" Jesus. For the ten thousandth time: if you don't like it, scroll past it.
posted by languagehat at 5:45 AM on January 17, 2006


I would ordinarily agree with stravos, ryvar, ethereal_bligh and languagehat in this thread that there killfiles are inherently wrong. The same thing can be accomplished by simply ignoring someone and refusing to respond to them until their behavior changes.

That being said, insofar as so many people seem incapable of doing so, I would say that I hope lupus_wonderboy does killfile me. And PareidoliaticBoy. And anyone else who is positive that I am a troll. I hope they do killfile me so they won't bother ruining my attempts at discussing things to start frothing "dios is a troll!!!" Many of these people seem either unwilling or incapable of accepting good faith discourse if they personally disagree with it. They can't stand seeing it before their eyes. So if the option is to killfile it to protect their sensibilites or for them to ruin a conversation so they let the world know who they think is a troll and why one side of the conversation should be ignored, then I choose the killfile.

So, in this regard, I support the use of a killfile. People who can't be bothered to give people the respect of their opinions and can't stand seeing opposing viewpoints should utilize the killfile.
posted by dios at 6:46 AM on January 17, 2006


"For the ten thousandth time: if you don't like it, scroll past it."

Although there's certainly a great deal of truth in it, I've never been completely happy with that as a rebuttal.

Although I'd been reading for about a year or so, the moment that I was sure I really, really wanted to be on MeFi was when I read a comment Matt made about some of his decisions regarding site design. The gist was that he chose a variety of things—like attribution at the end of the comment rather than the beginning—to make it hard for people to interact in a way that is hostile to being part of the entire community. It's also why there's no threading.

We have to deal with each other here and although it can often be unpleasant, it's a very important part of what MetaFilter is. When we are at our best, it's when we are a whole community. We have shared experience here, and that's a very good thing. Sure, it's hard to imagine that there's anyone who doesn't have some form of mental killfile—it's practical and necessary that we choose what we read and not read. But a killfile is too extreme. The word kill is the root of the term for good reason. It's essentially and deeply hostile to the shared experience that is necessary to keep a community whole.

There is far, far, far more noise in unmoderated USENET groups than there is on MeFi and that's the crucial difference. And even then, my experience on USENET was that killfiles were used reluctantly and sparingly. (However, they are sort of useful in identifying the sort of noxious personality that announces every addition to his killfile.)
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:58 AM on January 17, 2006


There are plenty of people using filters here already; as plutor obliquely indicates, lupus' script isn't the first. It doesn't appear to me that the sky has fallen.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 7:07 AM on January 17, 2006


But how do you know what a fallen sky looks like?

"So I stand corrected. My apologies then, EB."

I'm not certain you owe me an apology, nor that you should concede your argument in the face of our description of the roots of the word troll.

My argument was sound and the point relevant, I believe, but I apologize that I used you as an example. Because I started with "even people I like", and qualified it with possiblys and maybes, I didn't think I was being rude. You don't deserve to be singled out. However, I will almost always particularize a general argument in this way because I have strong beliefs and habits about always anchoring the abstract in the real.

At any rate, ubiquitously and easily making the accusation of "troll" really, really rubs me the wrong way.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:57 AM on January 17, 2006


any of these people seem either unwilling or incapable of accepting good faith discourse if they personally disagree with it.

On the other hand, Dios, in your short tenure here, you have been reliably unwilling or incapable of addressing good faith concerns about the factual content of many of your comments.

Often your comments have been found to be propped on incorrect information. When this is pointed out, you often cry foul play made up of an invisible cabal of every Metafilter user other than yourself, never taking any responsibility for what you've said. Or, you insult every Metafilter user who does not share your viewpoint. Ironically, it is sometimes discovered that you never had a serious viewpoint to begin with, despite your deliberately inflammatory comments.

Just because you bring what you think is an alternative viewpoint to this place, does not give you carte blanche to say whatever you please without any consequences, no matter what Matt's policy may be.

No one else receives this kind of dispensation, and there's no reason why you should be treated special.

If you don't like being called a troll, Dios, perhaps you had better start addressing this problem of yours. Otherwise, people get the impression (and, to date, a mostly correct impression) that you simply "shit in the punch bowl and then leave." And that's pretty much what defines a troll on the Internets.

And before you call this "just another thread from Rothko" — you should take a really close look at who initiates every thread started on Metatalk about the damage you cause, because it ain't me, buddy.

It is you who is responsible for your words, and no one else here.
posted by Rothko at 8:14 AM on January 17, 2006


Dios isn't given any special treatment or dispensation. That's just malarkey. Rothko, you lecturing Dios on good behavior and rigorous argument is absurd.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 8:23 AM on January 17, 2006


Ethereal Bligh: Rothko, you lecturing Dios on good behavior and rigorous argument is absurd.

*enjoys loop-de-loop of inwardly spiralling meta-pomposity*
posted by mediareport at 8:29 AM on January 17, 2006


Dios isn't given any special treatment or dispensation.

Maybe, maybe not. Either way, he often behaves as if he expects to be allowed to do whatever he pleases, under the guise that providing an alternative viewpoint to Metafilter — whatever that means — allows him this right.

Rothko, you lecturing Dios on good behavior and rigorous argument is absurd.

EB, I don't need to count the number of times you've come after me with comments that would get others banned for a week. I'll leave the dispensation talk at that.
posted by Rothko at 8:30 AM on January 17, 2006


A script to delete any Rothko comment that quotes dios and any dios comment that quotes Rothko might not be a bad thing.
posted by klarck at 8:31 AM on January 17, 2006


I don't understand the hesitation to identify all the trolls that are presumably lurking around here. OK, I guess many people think that PP and Dios are trolls, whatever. Are these two guys what this whole killfile/trolling discussion is about? If they are the only two trolls on Metafilter (assuming they're even trolls at all), then there is no problem with this community whatsoever that would justify using killfiles. Otherwise, name names! Don't be afraid! We'll never arrive at a useful definition of a troll if we speak about them in the abstract.
posted by loquax at 8:32 AM on January 17, 2006


There's nothing offensive, or, as far as I'm concerned, even rude about a user of this script blocking the posts or comments of any other member. What's offensive is the author of the script targeting specific users in the default filter. - monju_bosatsu

Seconded.
Thanks for the change, lupus.
posted by raedyn at 9:09 AM on January 17, 2006


MattOrJess croaks a thread, no one sees it, everything's cool.

I croak a comment on my machine, everyone else sees it, we're on a highway to hell?

I'd be more willing to buy this line of reasoning if no one advocating it had ever called for a thread or comment (or a user) to be deleted.
posted by trondant at 10:19 AM on January 17, 2006


Your implied assertion that they are both the same sort of thing is false.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:44 AM on January 17, 2006


Sure, a thread is not a comment. Put it this way: if other people are already deciding for me what I can and can't see on a given site, why the hell wouldn't I exercise my judgment too?
posted by trondant at 1:22 PM on January 17, 2006


Molehills, meet mountains. My god, you'd think this was an important issue.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:10 PM on January 17, 2006


Truly the best MeTa comment ever.
posted by Kwantsar at 3:15 PM on January 17, 2006


Truly the best MeTa comment ever.

And it's not even a double post from the same front page! Bonus!
posted by Rothko at 4:00 PM on January 17, 2006


Clearly we need the "Troll's Fantasyland" version of the user script, with mathowie and jessamyn ignored by default.
posted by darukaru at 4:24 PM on January 17, 2006


Troll's Fantasyland

Could somebody please do a mockup of what this would look like in board game form? I imagine it would vaguely resemble CandyLand or Monopoly. Please?
posted by Gator at 4:30 PM on January 17, 2006


I'm not sure who this Dios person is, or where he got the idea that I intended to killfile him; but from the egocentric and hostile tenor he adopted in his post, it's pretty frikken easy to see why he's so widely disliked. Looking up his profile however, I see that Dios has chosen to single out some other posters for public passive aggression. Nice touch.

News flash for you, Dios. everything in the world isn't about you. Next time you accuse someone of something, make damn sure you've got your facts straight, it's only prudent.

Otherwise, you run the risk of coming across as a supercilious bore.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 4:59 PM on January 17, 2006


Thanks for the rant, PareidoliaticBoy.

I never said that everything was about me. But this post is, in fact, about me. See in the top of the page? See how my name is mentioned?

And I was reacting to that. If you, individually, weren't talking about me, then my apologies. I hope I haven't greatly offended you by suggesting that you might be talking about me. But surely you can't be too mad. You have made it a point to avoid being clear who you are talking about. So, if you are ranting about the same thing the original post is about, and the original post is about me, and you don't part ways with the post and note who you are evasively referring to, can you fault me for assuming that you were referring to me, as well?

If you weren't, again, I am sorry for suggesting otherwise. But I am a little suprised why you would feel so incredibly insulted that I made that mistake.
posted by dios at 12:10 PM on January 18, 2006


Well it's a long thread Dios, but I did say at the very beginning ( albeit in an oblique way) that I felt that singling out users was inappropriate. Not only because it's rude, but because it also validates attention-seekers, in naming them. So I can't really blame you for missing that. And yes, I have been very careful not to mention any names throughout this discussion. If you've read my posts on this subject, you will see that never acknowledging attention-seekers in any way is, and always has been, my policy. My belief is that this is the most effective method for dealing with this problem. I therefore will not engage attention-seekers in any way. As a sweet side-effect, this tactic infuriates them. So, as you now can clearly see, I was not referring to you, or I wouldn't be addressing you.

Further, I was also persuaded by Ryvar, Stavros and EB to change my position on this matter. Their arguments convinced me that killfiling ( in THIS community at least) is selfish and against the ethos of the group. EB and Stavros also convinced me that I have been using the word troll incorrectly, hence my switch to the (more unwieldy) term attention-seeker.

So I guess that the reaction you received was based on the fact that you wrongly assumed that I was talking about you, ( someone I've never interacted with) and then ignored the fact that I had stated that I had been persuaded by sound argument to change my position, and was not in fact going to implement a kill-file, for the greater good of the community.

However had I seen my name as the subject for broad derision as a thread topic, I'm not sure that my comprehension-level or blood-pressure would have been any better. Your obviously sincere apology is accepted, with thanks.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:55 PM on January 18, 2006


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