Blink tags don't kill threads, users who post blink tags kill threads.
April 6, 2006 12:38 AM   Subscribe

Blink tags don't kill threads, users who post blink tags kill threads. [more inside. this is not about a four letter word for god]
posted by cytherea to Feature Requests at 12:38 AM (187 comments total)

But while users get a time-out, or a new name and a five dollar fine, the tags are banned forever. Is the only solution to thread terrorism the loss of our creative liberties? It's one thing, clearly, if they represent a true security risk, but when that's not they case, perhaps the tags could be granted clemency after a sufficient time to contemplate their sins and pay their debt to the community? Will population growth lead to site-wide discussion heating and a massive tag extinction? I fear for the future of our poor img tag from the hands of an irresponsible user.
posted by cytherea at 12:39 AM on April 6, 2006


I, on the other hand, look forward to the day when a single malicious user will provide the reason needed to finally purge that annoying blight.
posted by cribcage at 12:42 AM on April 6, 2006


I've noticed that of late there have been fewer and fewer usages of "This is why we can't have nice things," and more and more variations of "This is why we should get what we want, c'mon..."

Just an observation.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:46 AM on April 6, 2006


The blink tag never did nobody any good. But don't you worry about the image tag, little pardner... Matt's had plenty of reason to get rid of it. It's been abused, corrupted, cut up, damaged, defiled, depraved, desecrated, harmed, hosed, humped, ill-treated, impaired, maltreated, manhandled, marred, messed up, mishandled, mistreated, misused, molested, oppressed, persecuted, polluted, roughed up, roughhoused, ruined, shaken up, spoiled, tainted, totalled, victimized, and violated, and yet it continues to endure and bewitches, like a boil on our asses.
posted by crunchland at 12:47 AM on April 6, 2006


I've never had a bewitching boil, bub.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:49 AM on April 6, 2006


Blink was fun and blink was innocentof any wrongdoing! Poor blink was convicted when it was the victim, not the perpetrator.
*phones ACLU*
posted by Cranberry at 12:53 AM on April 6, 2006


I miss the blink tag.

If the image tag goes away, I just might, too.

Here's where you'd insert a sufficiently pithy quote about liberty vs. safety and deserving neither.
posted by loquacious at 1:29 AM on April 6, 2006


Indeed. Of course the blink tag is terrible. That's the whole point. I'm fairly certain that nobody here, upon encountering usage of the blink tag, is going to say to themselves, "Golly! I'd better pay extra special attention to that word!" In fact, I will be quite surprised if anyone can find an instance of blink usage here on MetaFilter that wasn't sarcastic or generally and obnoxiously ironic in nature.
posted by gramschmidt at 1:32 AM on April 6, 2006


But what possible use does it have? I mean, really? I can't think of a single instance of the blink tag that was interesting, enlightening, or even vaguely useful.

And I don't mean just here on MeFi, I mean EVER.

On preview: what gramschmidt said. Its sole purpose is to annoy. We're oversupplied with annoy just now.
posted by Malor at 1:34 AM on April 6, 2006


IHVH
posted by shnoz-gobblin at 1:40 AM on April 6, 2006


Actually, I meant "terrible", "sarcastic" and "obnoxiously ironic" as positives. Sorry if I didn't make that clear.

Or am I being sarcastic? I could, in fact, signal such a thing if I had access to a working blink tag.

Therefore, the blink tag should be reinstated. QED
posted by gramschmidt at 1:47 AM on April 6, 2006


I don't know what the right solution is. Words can be abused too. Many of the worst, most offensive posts contain nothing but perfectly plain words. We could ban some of those particular words which are most abused, but I don't think anybody would want that. Really, it's not the words in and of themselves which are offensive, it's the nature of the message, and tempering that requires a far more subtle answer--but I hope whatever answer should be found results not in users being treated like children with toys taken away, but in people willingly assuming the rights and responsibilities of adults entrusted with the power to tag and word for good, and the necessary potential for evil.

If that is not possible, then I fear that someday soon we may have to celebrate international caps-lock day in a very, very different manner.
posted by cytherea at 2:09 AM on April 6, 2006


The img tag is pretty essential to proper communication in any online community because some things need to be shown, now (not linked), and are unquestionably relevant.

It helps that people seem to have been more sparing with it of late, and it's made more good jokes than bad ones by a fat fucking measure, which is more than can be said of blink.
posted by Ryvar at 2:18 AM on April 6, 2006


<img src="http://barnyardnookie/images/Ryvar_hotButteredManwhore.jpg"
posted by loquacious at 2:34 AM on April 6, 2006


Damnit. It worked in preview!
posted by loquacious at 2:34 AM on April 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


Add another vote to cutting users, not features.
posted by nthdegx at 2:44 AM on April 6, 2006


I thought the same thing as shnoz-gobblin, but I was thinking more along the lines of יהוה.
posted by Plutor at 3:38 AM on April 6, 2006


The img tag is pretty essential to proper communication in any online community because some things need to be shown, now (not linked), and are unquestionably relevant.

What fits that description? Seriously, what image 'needs' to be shown so immediately that a link to it wouldn't serve?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:57 AM on April 6, 2006


What, no love for the fallen marquee tag?
posted by dgaicun at 4:00 AM on April 6, 2006


Seriously, what image 'needs' to be shown so immediately that a link to it wouldn't serve?

I would cite this as an example.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:04 AM on April 6, 2006


And I would say a description and a link would have been fine in that case. In fact, without the link (which is missing) it's less useful to post the graphic.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:12 AM on April 6, 2006


Add another vote to cutting users, not features.

I'll cut you, punk!
posted by loquacious at 4:16 AM on April 6, 2006


I'd love to see blink reinstated, and I think cold (capitalist) calculations based on use-value are bad for the community.
posted by OmieWise at 4:31 AM on April 6, 2006


In fact, without the link (which is missing) it's less useful to post the graphic.

I disagree. It's faster reading, casual readers can access the relevant information more directly, and the source URL can readily be gleaned with a right-click, in many browsers.

Plus, if img goes I'd have to write another song, and I'm real fucking lazy.

Anyway, this whole thing is backwards to me. I don't have any special warm feelings about blink, but it still needs to be reinstated. Not because it's such a major asset to the community, but just because it's completely benign. I mean, silly in-jokes or whatever don't add much to the site either, and some people may criticize those, and I'm fine with that, but you're not going to impose a ban on in-jokes.

Come on. This site has more pressing issues than nonstandard html elements.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:33 AM on April 6, 2006


big! Please, bring back big.
posted by Chuckles at 5:34 AM on April 6, 2006


For everyone who wants blink re-instated, can you offer a single positive use of blink? Images remain because they have both positive (e.g.) and negative uses. Blink, as far as I can tell, has only negative uses.
posted by scottreynen at 5:37 AM on April 6, 2006


Are y'all really debating on whether or not the blink tag should be reinstated? That's pretty sad.
posted by Witty at 5:47 AM on April 6, 2006



posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:55 AM on April 6, 2006


can you offer a single positive use of blink?

Well, the ironic "Remember Web 1.0 in '95?" use gramschmidt pointed to, for instance. As I said, I don't care much for it per se, I'm campaigning more on a free speech ticket, myself. :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:59 AM on April 6, 2006


What gave you the impression that this place is necessarily about free speech? Messages get deleted all the time, for one reason or another. Blame the person who broke the camel's back, but don't delude yourself that this is some sort of utopic free-speech zone.
posted by crunchland at 6:43 AM on April 6, 2006


It's the fact that <blink>, <marquee> and <big> have all been taken away that irks me. Much of the fun and community-atmosphere is taken away by disallowing these tags.

scottreynen, one positive use of blink that I have seen implemented successfully several times is when someone lets loose some sparkly inanity during a particularly nasty MeTa thread. It's like farting when you're fighting with your lover; it has no consequence to the argument but it sure helps lighten the mood.

Can we please have just one of these tags back? Maybe just for MeTa? Maybe they could rotate on a quarterly basis? Maybe somebody could pull my finger?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 7:02 AM on April 6, 2006


That joke is useless without an anus.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:09 AM on April 6, 2006


I would like to point out that, for those who feel strongly against blink tags, you can disable them in firefox about:config. I did this ages ago, and virtually forgot the existence of the blink tag until it came up here (I think everyone started complaining about how horrible somebody's posts were, and I was mystified until someone mentioned the blinkingness which I hadn't seen.)

I'm just sad that there is no equivalent for the marquee tag: then I could truly feel safe on the web.
posted by jacalata at 7:13 AM on April 6, 2006


I think I have something in my eye.
posted by grateful at 7:28 AM on April 6, 2006


I hope that blink goes away forever, and img too. the reason I hope for this is because I hate fun, and I think that metafilter must become as uniform and boring as humanly possible in order for me to enjoy it because of this hatred of fun.
posted by shmegegge at 7:32 AM on April 6, 2006


For pure personal enjoyment I find myself in agreement with gramschmidt It's all become very serious recently; with of course some notable exceptions.
posted by adamvasco at 7:35 AM on April 6, 2006


I will do my best to get all vowels banned from MeFi.
posted by wakko at 7:50 AM on April 6, 2006


Much of the fun and community-atmosphere is taken away by disallowing these tags.

That just amazes me.
posted by Witty at 7:50 AM on April 6, 2006


What gave you the impression that this place is necessarily about free speech?

I don't understand why one would assume that I believe that. Free speech may or may not be a main objective of a given website, but I don't see how that would influence my decision as a user there to underline the importance of it, even in seemingly trivial details.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:54 AM on April 6, 2006


What gave you the impression that this place is necessarily about free speech?

But that's overstating it, crunch; what gave you the impression that he believed this place is necessarily about free speech? It seems like one'd most likely be campaigning for that somewhere that one didn't see it as a universal feature.

Anyway, I agree with gramschmidt as well; the blink tag's virtue is that it is annoying; it's grace is that it is infrequently deployed.

Its exile sits poorly with me because it was not the vehicle of significant abuse—even setting aside how ridiculously simple and uninvasive it is to disable it in your browser, which has the added effect of working for the rest of the web too, if blink is such a bother to you.
posted by cortex at 7:57 AM on April 6, 2006


jinx
posted by cortex at 7:58 AM on April 6, 2006


Ok, wakko, I will start. It might turn out difficult, though. This sucks. It's... limiting.

How about two? Right. Horrid. Silly, too. Vocab diminishing. Brain ow. Stop.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:03 AM on April 6, 2006


challenging, not limiting. maybe you can't hang!
posted by wakko at 8:08 AM on April 6, 2006


Bring back the IFRAME tag! Wooooooo hooooooo!
posted by blue_beetle at 8:10 AM on April 6, 2006


You're right, guys. I assumed you thought you were somehow entitled to free speech. How could I be so wrong?

Keep fighting the man, good fellows! Like the revolutionary, Thomas Paine, before you, history will surely remember you for the important work you do here!
posted by crunchland at 8:20 AM on April 6, 2006


Why the hate?
posted by OmieWise at 8:23 AM on April 6, 2006


"I'll cut you, punk!"

Talkin' to me or chewin' a brick, mate???!?!!?!
posted by nthdegx at 8:29 AM on April 6, 2006


crunchland, that sure is a lot of unwarranted sarcasm for such a kickass Mefite.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:35 AM on April 6, 2006


Oh for God's sake, crunchland. [img rolleyes] It's a private messageboard - nobody here with an IQ above room temperature thinks there's some kind of 'freedom of speech' issue unless posts are being deleted left and right. It's just that some of us miss our rarely-used toys because a few people saw fit to abuse them, and we have the temerity to suggest the problem is those few people.

If this somehow births the desire to be an asshole within you, than as one asshole to another I'm truly sorry. But give it a rest, eh?
posted by Ryvar at 8:38 AM on April 6, 2006


Each and every component of graphic and linguistic content can be used to irritate and annoy. Eliminating them once they do can only progressively shrink the ability to express anything.

Can't offenders have their own vocabulary limited?
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:41 AM on April 6, 2006


Along the lines of what Ryvar said, crunchland. I believe, personally, in the fundamental importance of free speech. I do not believe, generically, that I have been granted unselfconcious exercise of that right in all possible private venues.
posted by cortex at 8:45 AM on April 6, 2006



For some reason.
posted by knave at 8:52 AM on April 6, 2006


Also, take-backs are never a good idea if they can be avoided. If you never had free bagels at work, no one cares. But if you discontinue them after two years, people complain, and the toilet paper and light bulbs start disappearing from the supply closet.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:54 AM on April 6, 2006


I understand the need for freedom here, to let users create a culture all their own using the tools available, especially towards humor. I totally get the need for some flexibility on my part, and that's why the img tag has stayed despite years of (ab)use. But let's look at the three banned tags.

blink: makes what you say look obnoxious, screaming 'look at me!' I've seen it used maybe once or twice (to mimic a cursor) to fun effect, but every other use has been to annoy.

marquee: where blink leaves off, marquee takes over. This is screaming 'look at me!' while running back and forth with your words written on a giant sandwich board. I can't recall a single use of this that wasn't to annoy others.

big: lets users make their words larger, hence more important. There's a reason why from day one I filtered out the font tag (and all heading tags) -- I didn't want people to try and make their posts louder or more prominent than others. Everyone has an equal say and the big tag breaks that in my mind.

Of the three, I don't see ever putting marquee back in the allowed tag pool. Blink could be argued as a subtle humor device in most cases, but I have a hard time coming up with a reason why big should be used here.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:54 AM on April 6, 2006


Blink could be argued as a subtle humor device in most cases

There, that's settled then. Thanks Matt. :)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:57 AM on April 6, 2006


Eh. Apparently, my last entry came off more lethal than I intended. Consider it the actions of a tired, old man. I only wished I had half your passion and energy for something as trivial as the blink tag (which, I admit, I don't miss one bit). But, please, accept my apologies, and don't let my sarcastic barbs and attempts at humor stop your enthusiastic retreat from the deadly, slippery slope, while I relish in the fact that Ryvar, of all people, considers me to be an asshole.
posted by crunchland at 8:57 AM on April 6, 2006


Done!

(If it explains it at all: it's easy to be passionate about the trivialities of internet typography when one is bored to death by the trivialities of one's job.)
posted by cortex at 9:00 AM on April 6, 2006


No problem, crunch.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:04 AM on April 6, 2006


Alternatively, cortex, one gets their passion about the tools, methods and systems (and, ultimately, silliness) of language from their cynicism about the content many users generate. I'm trying to be hopeful.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:07 AM on April 6, 2006


Well, yes, but I was mostly aiming to deflate via self-deprecation. If you get me started on that vector I might start foaming and ranting.
posted by cortex at 9:11 AM on April 6, 2006


I'm not surprised. But, more importantly, will the rant *blink*?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 9:14 AM on April 6, 2006


Fuck, if we lose because of cortex's incontinence I'm outta here for good.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:15 AM on April 6, 2006


what tha?

...if we lose *<foam>* because ...

I blame spellcheck.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 9:16 AM on April 6, 2006


crunchland writes "blink tag never did nobody any good"

I've used it a few times to draw attention to a warning about a potentially fatal course of action in AskMe.

I'd really like to get the marquee back, it is fun and a lot less annoying than embedded images.
posted by Mitheral at 9:21 AM on April 6, 2006


And, for the record, the correct answers are:
1. end sentences with prepositions if it sounds good,
2. ain't is too a word,
3. swear-filtering policies are for pussies, and
4. vi.

posted by cortex at 9:30 AM on April 6, 2006


What? You mean we're going to have to communicate through the content of our expression, rather than its presentation? This is truly an outrage!
posted by blue_beetle at 9:31 AM on April 6, 2006


marquee: where blink leaves off, marquee takes over. This is screaming 'look at me!' while running back and forth with your words written on a giant sandwich board. I can't recall a single use of this that wasn't to annoy others.

What about the fishtank? I miss the little fishes.
posted by puke & cry at 9:41 AM on April 6, 2006


hmm.
posted by killdevil at 9:51 AM on April 6, 2006


I thought this was a good use for the blink tag and recieved several positive comments about it; it's a shame that one user's inability to behave restricts the creative expression of the rest of us.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:02 AM on April 6, 2006


Man, it's a shame that several userss wild overreaction to one user's indiscretion restricts the creative expression of the rest of us. Let's not play that game.
posted by cortex at 10:04 AM on April 6, 2006


puke & cry writes "What about the fishtank? I miss the little fishes."
Ditto.
I don't ever ever care for blink though.
posted by peacay at 10:10 AM on April 6, 2006


Have a link for that fishtank?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 10:13 AM on April 6, 2006


Of the three, I don't see ever putting marquee back in the allowed tag pool. Blink could be argued as a subtle humor device in most cases, but I have a hard time coming up with a reason why big should be used here.

Actually, I had a question about that, matt. Since the comment-parsing code is only pegged once a second (you mentioned there was a new comment per second, roughly, last week) - it seems like a tiny bump in its complexity isn't going to be what brings the site crashing down (rather, it's the multiple queries per page read, correct?). I'm asking because it occured to me that a potential solution would be to just limit the big tag to being nested once. In other words you can bump your font size up two levels, and any further big tags are simply dropped until you've closed the existent ones.

Just a thought, and probably the last thing you need right now is more shit on your plate over something so trivial, but big is the one people I see people actually complain about, and I thought if it were sanity-checked . . . etc.

I agree re: marquee, though - God I hate that shit. Except the fishtank.

while I relish in the fact that Ryvar, of all people, considers me to be an asshole.

crunchland, I don't consider you an asshole. I quite like you, in a completely hetero way. You just came off a little strong in the one comment. Between the two of us, I'm positive the asshole is the guy staring back at me in the mirror.
posted by Ryvar at 10:32 AM on April 6, 2006


(note: Ryvar is holding the mirror at an angle.)
posted by cortex at 10:35 AM on April 6, 2006 [1 favorite]



posted by gramschmidt at 10:36 AM on April 6, 2006


how do you do that ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:42 AM on April 6, 2006


Now to get that posted in EVERY MetaTalk thread.
posted by Ryvar at 10:42 AM on April 6, 2006


sgt: he just used an image of the MeFi font rendered on the background color of MetaTalk. Try highlighting it to see. He may have been making an unsubtle point about img/big tag disparity.
posted by Ryvar at 10:44 AM on April 6, 2006


Or just look at this thread in 'My Comments'
posted by OmieWise at 10:51 AM on April 6, 2006


So, we're going for the marquee/blink/images trifecta of forbiddenosity now?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:52 AM on April 6, 2006


Oh, except that won't show the image once you comment, since it's above your last comment. What Ryvar said, then, it's an image with a specific background color.
posted by OmieWise at 10:52 AM on April 6, 2006


I didn't want people to try and make their posts louder or more prominent than others.

Reasonable enough, but what about making parts of your own post louder.

In large posts big can be very helpful as a section break, and it is useful as an emphasis on warnings, like Mitheral is saying about blink. Obviously the nesting thing is a real pain, but..
posted by Chuckles at 10:52 AM on April 6, 2006


There's always [small], which makes regular size big by default.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:55 AM on April 6, 2006


Ya, ask y2karl how that goes..
posted by Chuckles at 10:57 AM on April 6, 2006


I prefer small anyway.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:03 AM on April 6, 2006


You know, the blink tag was totally and completely acceptable before I used it. I am really glad to know that I have the power.... nay, the prestige!... to be able to turn something verboten merely by me doing it one time. Being the Most Evil Thing There Is really has its benefits.
posted by dios at 11:05 AM on April 6, 2006


So, really, you can still "blink" if you create your comment in an animated .gif file, right?
posted by Balisong at 11:07 AM on April 6, 2006


You realize the implications of this, dios?

You know what you have to do.

You have to complain about dios.
posted by cortex at 11:08 AM on April 6, 2006


Balisong: just so. But you might as well say you can still "sing" if you open your mouth and press play on the tapedeck. It's just not the same.

Also, why am I saying "just so" so goddamned much lately? Probably from reading the Baroque Cycle.
posted by cortex at 11:10 AM on April 6, 2006



posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:10 AM on April 6, 2006


Seeing as I am the Great and All Powerful Evillord who can take things and single-handedly alter policy by doing them one time, maybe I'll start spewing political tripe everyday in Front Page Posts in order to convince the world of my political viewpoints. Seeing as how I have the power to singlehandedly ruin things, maybe then political axe-griding will be banned too!
posted by dios at 11:18 AM on April 6, 2006


Haven't you done enough already?
posted by crunchland at 11:21 AM on April 6, 2006


You laugh, dios, but someday we're going to run out of tags to throw to the mob baying for your blood at our gates. After that, well . . . "The Defenestration of Metafilter" doesn't have the same ring to it as "The Defenstration of Prague."
posted by Ryvar at 11:24 AM on April 6, 2006



posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:24 AM on April 6, 2006


This isn't about you. Please stop trying to make this about you. This is about our little friends blink, marquee, big, img and their cousin css. This as about finding the correct balance in a world of thread terrorism between security and liberty. I don't want to live in a web were I open my mouth to say "fuck" and it comes out as "@!#$$^&%".
posted by cytherea at 11:35 AM on April 6, 2006


Alvy Ampersand won't like being associated with a banned word. Or maybe he will?
posted by Balisong at 11:37 AM on April 6, 2006


:\
posted by prostyle at 11:42 AM on April 6, 2006


I have no <blink> and I must scream.
posted by jenovus at 11:43 AM on April 6, 2006


Huhn?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:46 AM on April 6, 2006


Awesome!
posted by OmieWise at 11:48 AM on April 6, 2006


You could please (most of) the masses in the um, blink of an eye, mathowie.
posted by Cranberry at 11:53 AM on April 6, 2006


Jesus Christ, what an asshole.
posted by bardic at 11:54 AM on April 6, 2006


Witty writes:

Was that supposed to be funny?
posted by If I Had An Anus at 12:03 PM on April 6, 2006


Related: I've always been disappointed at the sparseness of the blink style. Why couldn't they have included a cycle-speed control?
posted by cortex at 12:10 PM on April 6, 2006


Alvy Ampersand won't like being associated with a banned word. Or maybe he will?

It MeFi does start to use grawlixes, I expect a royalty for every &.

At first I thought you meant that using ampersands were on Murderous Ma(d)thowie's much-stained chopping block or something.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:50 PM on April 6, 2006


How about the <object> tag?
posted by delmoi at 1:39 PM on April 6, 2006


here's the fishtank. That anchor is messed up so look for mendel's comment.
posted by puke & cry at 1:44 PM on April 6, 2006


I wonder if we MeFites, having been terrorised by the likes of spammers, self-linkers, and a select few destructive users, are going to go all USA on ourselves and start making up restrictive laws, curtailing personal freedom, and all that jazz.

Outlawing tags, f'rinstance: I've been here for years and I've seen the blink tag used only a few times. It simply is not a big problem in our community. And even where it is overused/"abused," message flagging quickly takes care of it.

So why is it banned? Out of fear that it might be abused?

It's an interesting reflection of real life.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:54 PM on April 6, 2006


Seeing as I am the Great and All Powerful Evillord who can take things and single-handedly alter policy by doing them one time, maybe I'll start spewing political tripe everyday in Front Page Posts in order to convince the world of my political viewpoints. Seeing as how I have the power to singlehandedly ruin things, maybe then political axe-griding will be banned too!

Damn straight.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:56 PM on April 6, 2006


cortex writes "Why couldn't they have included a cycle-speed control?"

It was in Mosiac 1.0, be glad (or sad) it works at all.

five fresh fish writes "So why is it banned? Out of fear that it might be abused?"

dios was an ass.
posted by Mitheral at 2:29 PM on April 6, 2006


(Note: results atypical. Banning of tags not guaranteed. Consult your a physician if you have any history of violent reactions to usernames.)
posted by cortex at 3:01 PM on April 6, 2006


As I see it (heh), the blink tag can be used effectively! via growabrain.
posted by Cranberry at 4:12 PM on April 6, 2006


Thanks puke & cry. And what five fresh fish said.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 4:19 PM on April 6, 2006


And the marquee tag is banned? WTF? Only place I recall ever seeing it used this past half-dozen years is in MeTa threads after they've become silly.

And I'm kinda personally pissed the big tag is gone, because it has been very useful upon occasion.

Y'know, little pisses me off quite like pre-emptive panic. FFS, we have one user who jerks off in a thread by using blinking, and we ALL get punished?

Fucking stupid administrative decision, that.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:39 PM on April 6, 2006


No. You have one user who broke the camel's back, after years of jackasses abusing the tag, and Matt finally said "enough is enough." Now he has to deal with all of us jackholes second guessing him, and loudly criticizing him for doing whatever he wants with his own site because some of us have the mistaken impression that if we whine loudly enough, the aggravation of having to deal with incessant crybabying outweighs the annoyance of whatever abuse the tag caused.
posted by crunchland at 4:54 PM on April 6, 2006


Metachat allows blink, big, and marquee, right?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:55 PM on April 6, 2006


>Much of the fun and community-atmosphere is taken away by disallowing these tags.

>>That just amazes me.


I'm inclined to agree with Witty, again. The Age of Aquarius is upon us!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:01 PM on April 6, 2006


"Metachat allows blink, big, and marquee, right?"

Zing!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:12 PM on April 6, 2006


Metachat allows blink, big, and marquee, right?

Just big, it's XHTML.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:08 PM on April 6, 2006


Can we please disable dios image tag now before he fucks us all over with that one too?

A pillowcase full of soap party tonight, private pile
posted by dgaicun at 6:22 PM on April 6, 2006


<blink>
posted by holloway at 6:46 PM on April 6, 2006


Metachat allows blink, big, and marquee, right?

Even if it did, it's not exactly kosher or fair to consider MetaChat some kind of dumping ground or retarded step-brother or a lawless land where anything goes or something, 'cause it's not.

Ok, well, maybe it's a little retarded, but only in that endearingly special way.

MeCha is it's own entity, with its own culture and its own forms of self policing at this point.

Anyway, we weren't talking about MetaChat. We were talking about MetaFilter.

Whether or not MeFi doesn't allow something and MeCha does is not even remotely tangential to the argument - unless you're arguing that we should link to the comments we'd want to make inline on MeFi, tagged and formatted the way we want over on MeCha, and then linking them back to MeFi. Or something

But that's not what you're arguing at all, is it?


There's a great quote from Larry Niven's Smoke Ring, and I think there's something also like it in the first Frank Herbert Dune book, talking about the Naib and Sietch leader Stilgar - both of which were most likely cribbed from some non-fictional, historical source. It goes a little something like this (extrapolated, redacted):

A great leader will lead a people where they want to be lead.


Yeah, I am still talking about the debate over the lowly blink tag, or image tag. Mostly. But it goes beyond that as well.

One of the things that keeps me coming back here is the humor, the ascerbic wits both large and small, altruistic and petty.

People don't have to take MeFi so damned seriously. (This includes you, Matt.) People can either choose to be offended by statements or methods they don't like, or they can behave in a manner they find proper, and they can ignore those that don't. And they can take or leave it. (Well, I guess this part of it doesn't really include you, Matt, not so easily, at least.)

The thing that people often forget is that not any single one of us - not even Matt - is MetaFilter itself.

MetaFilter exists because of us. It exists because of the good and the bad. It exist because of - and for - the things we love as well as the things we hate.

Undeniably it is amalgam, and moreover, a tempered alloy. A very nice, light, strong and exotically sexy alloy. And this alloy is so sexy and appealing explicitely because of our differences, our disagreements, and our agreements.

Attempting to render 100% of MetaFilter trouble free, conflict free, friction free and non-offensive to everyone and agreeable to all is not only short sighted, but ultimately wrongheaded and failing to realize that it is exactly these things that make MetaFilter what it is - a joyous, tulmultuous representation of real life and real ideas and real ideological conflicts as wrought by thousands and thousands of some of the brightest (available ;) minds on the net all babbling at once.

And it is exactly this ribald thrust and parry, this manageably pleasant conflict that brought myself and many, many others here to this place to participate.

To test our minds and mettle against kin, to stretch our brains, our words, our thoughts and see how they compare to those of our peers.

To deny this is to be ingenuine and dishonest. The links here usually aren't any fresher then they are at dozens or hundreds of other link aggregators.

But the discussion and debate most certainly is, as are the people, and as are our two admins. Top notch, all. (No, seriously. There are barbarians at the gate. It's a messy, screwed up place out there in the real web. Count your blessings, suckers, this place is paradise compared to the average.)

And it works, pretty much. And it's a goddamn miracle, all things considered. But don't fix it too much - you just might break it.
posted by loquacious at 7:36 PM on April 6, 2006


My, that was loquacious!
posted by Lynsey at 9:23 PM on April 6, 2006


Jesus, loq. I mostly agree though.

Pretty sure that line wasn't in the Smoke Ring, though. I'm familiar with the part where Kendy talks Clave into visiting the Admiralty and I don't recall a line like that at all. I think Dune is right.
posted by Ryvar at 9:47 PM on April 6, 2006


The thing that people often forget is that not any single one of us - not even Matt - is MetaFilter itself.

Metafilter with loquacious is still Metafilter.

Metafilter without crunchland is still Metafilter.

But, until he sells it to Google or Yahoo, Metafilter without Mathowie is a "Server not found" error page.
posted by crunchland at 9:54 PM on April 6, 2006


Ryvar, I have the book on my desk at home so I'll look it up when I get there after work. If it exists it would indeed be around the part just before they go check out Admirality/The Clump, probably just before Rather steals the suit.

See, this is why I love MetaFilter. I can quote SF in the context of a debate and people don't look at me like I'm crazy.

Crunchland: I don't debate that at all, and indeed all due respects are deserved to Matt for being the glue, the seed, the instigator and even the thankless janitor.

But Metafilter without the mass of users at all is just some dude's blog.

Which came first? The chicken? Or the egg? The egg, of course. Dinosaurs, doncha know.
posted by loquacious at 10:03 PM on April 6, 2006


loquacious, paypal me twenty bucks and you can have the blink tag back.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:18 PM on April 6, 2006 [6 favorites]


loquacious, paypal me twenty bucks and you can have the blink tag back.

Matt, I can't tell if you're serious or just making a point, but either way that's HILARIOUS.
posted by dersins at 10:28 PM on April 6, 2006


I. Uh. I'll go in on that.
posted by cortex at 10:30 PM on April 6, 2006


I covered half. The rest of y'all better pony up, goddammit.
posted by cortex at 10:37 PM on April 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hmm. I read Matt's message to be that if loquacious sent in $20, then loquacious would get the blink tag, not that everyone would get the tag back for a measly 20 bucks. And I cursed that it was such an ingenious model for Matt to make more money off of this place.
posted by crunchland at 10:48 PM on April 6, 2006


I'd cover half, but I've used paypal all of twice (hate and despise it) and have no idea how to transfer $10 to Matt.
posted by Ryvar at 10:54 PM on April 6, 2006



And it is exactly this ribald thrust and parry, this manageably pleasant conflict that brought myself and many, many others here to this place to participate.

To test our minds and mettle against kin, to stretch our brains, our words, our thoughts and see how they compare to those of our peers.




loquacious, paypal me twenty bucks and you can have the blink tag back.

That's the funniest thing I've read all week.

posted by gsteff at 11:03 PM on April 6, 2006


I covered half. The rest of y'all better pony up, goddammit.

So that's why they're called ponies. I did wonder.
posted by Jon Mitchell at 11:44 PM on April 6, 2006


Argh, I can't find the quote in Smoke Ring. I know there's something like it somewhere, 'cause it made me think of the similar quote from Dune.

loquacious, paypal me twenty bucks and you can have the blink tag back.

That's the funniest thing I've read all week.

That was smooth. Yeah, I pontificate pompously. Gotta shake whatcha got, y'know?

I have neither paypal, nor 20 bucks to spare. Every dime I have for the next 3-4 weeks is getting saved up for moving costs, bills and services.

However, others seem willing to pony up. Does $20 bucks give me access to the blink tag, or everyone? It'd be a waste on me, 'cause I don't think I've ever used it. Img and big tags, sure, but I always left the blink and marquee tags to the masters.
posted by loquacious at 12:10 AM on April 7, 2006


Suckers.

All you need is a strobe light or a crappy monitor and hey presto! all comments are blinking comments.

*Runs off to LifeHacker, cackling madly and kissing the twenty dollar bill that escaped Ol' Man Haughey's greedy clutches*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:49 AM on April 7, 2006


1 person = $20
2 persons = $10
4 persons = $5
8 persons = $2.50
16 persons = $1.25
20 persons = $1
40 persons = $0.50
80 persons = $0.25
200 persons = $0.10
2000 persons = $0.01

Alright now what's my bid on the Marquee tag? Gotta start saving up for Fiona's college fund, boy howdy.
posted by dgaicun at 1:13 AM on April 7, 2006


I'll throw in 20 bux, if my account will automatically post all my text in comic sans.
posted by dgaicun at 1:18 AM on April 7, 2006


Metachat allows blink, big, and marquee, right?

Metafilter allows you to post to the front page when you get a new job, move to a new city, or a loved one or a favorite pet dies, or even if you're just bored, right?
posted by trondant at 1:45 AM on April 7, 2006


If you're talking money, why not a Blink on/off charity contest a la Rothko/dios timeoff?
posted by peacay at 2:17 AM on April 7, 2006


You know, people that whine about how fascism is upon us because the blink and marquee tags are disabled make fascism start to look pretty good. I use italics a lot. Eliminate them, I don't care. If you think that the playful, community spirit lives in things like the blink tag, then frankly I think Matt should disable you. We could be having this argument about emoticons because it's exactly the same issue, but most or all of you would be condemning them instead of defending them. Yeah, let's ban the user, not the instrument. Let's start with whining.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:05 AM on April 7, 2006


I'm not sure what to make of Matt's 20 bucks remark, but I sure as hell second peacay's idea, if only in the interest of fun, games, and measured frivolousness.

Maybe proceeds can go here or here.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:12 AM on April 7, 2006


Lighten up EB. This thread seems less like whining to me and more like the coming together of various people in the pursuit of fun. Emoticons are not that same thing because they aren't part of the culture here. [blink] may not be for you, either, but that doesn't mean that it isn't for a lot of people here. It's precisely a non-serious way to vent steam and have fun.
posted by OmieWise at 5:36 AM on April 7, 2006


I don't know what to make of the $20 remark either. I assume it was a joke, but I put up the other half anyway just to further amaze the easily stupified among us with the seriousness of my commitment to fun tags.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 5:47 AM on April 7, 2006


Well, that was very eloquent Matt, and I do feel rather foolish now. You're absolutely right: the blink tag isn't worth twenty bucks, or the hassle I'm sure it causes you. And while, it might be worth a penny to a sufficient fraction of the community, it's certainly not worth their bother.

But my post wasn't really about the blink or img or marquee tags--it was about the eerie parallels in the consequences for the collective from the actions of a few between this place and a certain country--and what alternatives there might be if only in the small.

Perhaps freedom does have economic costs--And how much is it really worth to us? That's kind of unsettling.

But I will feel bad if cortex spent ten bucks for nothing on a thread I started. I'll cover the rest if you email a paypal link. But I feel just as icky as before.
posted by cytherea at 5:49 AM on April 7, 2006


Ah, oops. Can I send you two $3.33?
posted by cytherea at 5:56 AM on April 7, 2006


That would be <blink>$6.66!</blink>
posted by If I Had An Anus at 6:00 AM on April 7, 2006


You know I meant each and you're being purposely disingenuous as an excuse to abuse the blink tag.
posted by cytherea at 6:05 AM on April 7, 2006


If you think that the playful, community spirit lives in things like the blink tag, then frankly I think Matt should disable you.

Ha!

Perhaps freedom does have economic costs

Yeah, their fuckin' heavy, hoss.

But I will feel bad if cortex spent ten bucks for nothing on a thread I started.

Don't consider yourself culpable; the act was its own reward.
posted by cortex at 6:43 AM on April 7, 2006


omg we can live again
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:52 AM on April 7, 2006


You rock!
posted by OmieWise at 7:56 AM on April 7, 2006


Shit, now I've forgotten how it works.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:57 AM on April 7, 2006


But my post wasn't really about the blink or img or marquee tags--it was about the eerie parallels in the consequences for the collective from the actions of a few between this place and a certain country--and what alternatives there might be if only in the small.

I didn't dignify this with a response before, but since you mention it again, I'll give it to you: you're reading far too much into this and drawing a parallel between terrorism and a blink tag is ludicrous.

It's not me becoming a fascist president and using specific incidents as an excuse to curtail freedoms -- I'm not an opportunist like the president is. These are the straws that broke the camel's back. I've been meaning for years to filter out the dumb tags and it seems that when people do use them the few times they do, there are often three followup comments saying "what? we can use the blink tag? wtf?"

dios was the first to abuse the tag to be really annoying in a political thread, which suddenly thrust the tag from amusing prank device into giant annoying tool to make political threads worse than they already are. I wanted to head that off at the pass, hence the blockage.

I was half-joking on the twenty bucks thing, but since two users put their money where their mouth is, I put it back. But abuse it in other ways and it will be gone.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:59 AM on April 7, 2006


Still: thanks!
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:00 AM on April 7, 2006


*does a little boogie*

Thanks, Matt.
posted by cortex at 8:11 AM on April 7, 2006


I've never used it before and probably never will again, but I have to celebrate my newly regained freedom!
posted by languagehat at 8:39 AM on April 7, 2006


Thanks, Matt.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:57 AM on April 7, 2006


Viva < blink>!
posted by dersins at 9:38 AM on April 7, 2006


c:\> This is a test...|
posted by monju_bosatsu at 9:41 AM on April 7, 2006


Awesome! I had a point I was trying to make the other day, and I felt like it wasn't getting the definitive attention it deserved. Glad to have this tool back.
posted by dios at 9:51 AM on April 7, 2006


And I think to myself, what a wonderful world. . .
posted by bardic at 9:56 AM on April 7, 2006


C:\ _
posted by shmegegge at 9:58 AM on April 7, 2006


I personally prefer to make my blinking less obtrusive; I use blink for the spaces between words.

Mainly to surprise people who highlight text
posted by Bugbread at 10:00 AM on April 7, 2006 [3 favorites]


I Mathowie!
posted by Lynsey at 10:07 AM on April 7, 2006


Thank-you for taking back your decision, Matt. I think "don't fix what ain't borken" is a good maxim for running this place: maximum freedom with maximum personal responsibility.

Can we now have the big and marquee tags back? They were not significantly abused, IMO.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:26 AM on April 7, 2006


FFF, I love, love, love the "big" tag, but I remember it being more abused than blink or marquee ever were (having a single giant letter that took up the whole screen and then some...Or a string of letters that caused you to have to scroll through several pages. Admittedly, the enter key could be used to the same effect (enforced scrolling), but I'm not talking about what could be abused, but what has been abused).

If there were some way to allow "big", but not allow it to be nested, that would absolutely rock, though. I understand that that's difficult, though, so there's no pony request here.
posted by Bugbread at 10:32 AM on April 7, 2006


Give an inch, and they take a mile.
posted by crunchland at 10:40 AM on April 7, 2006


If you give a Moose a Muffin....
posted by dios at 10:52 AM on April 7, 2006


bugbread, that's awesome! I highlighted.
posted by OmieWise at 11:02 AM on April 7, 2006


182
posted by nthdegx at 11:17 AM on April 7, 2006


Mathowie for president! Thank you for listening to the little people, o mighty #1.
posted by Cranberry at 11:35 AM on April 7, 2006


______
|12:00|
--------

Thanks for the reset!
posted by booksandlibretti at 11:51 AM on April 7, 2006


Apparently, Metafilter does negotiate with terrorists.
posted by gigawhat? at 11:53 AM on April 7, 2006


It's not enough. If we can't use javascript to give people's cursors comet-trails then our our basic human rights are still being trampled on!
posted by George_Spiggott at 12:05 PM on April 7, 2006


Metafilter is the best. In a thread this awesome, it seems unlikely that any one person could win, but I think bugbread came pretty close...

-=SV
posted by Squid Voltaire at 12:45 PM on April 7, 2006


Damn, those blinking comments are annoying.
I wish someone would outlaw the blink code.

And get this extra sideways pixel off my cursor, too.
posted by Balisong at 1:28 PM on April 7, 2006


FREEEEEEEEDOOOOOMMMMMMM![sound]

posted by Ryvar at 1:29 PM on April 7, 2006


Next, could we get a Flash intro for the blue?
posted by COBRA! at 1:42 PM on April 7, 2006


So how much will it take us to buy back /marquee?

Also, woohoo!
posted by UKnowForKids at 1:43 PM on April 7, 2006


mathowie writes "omg we can live again"

Thanks.

Balisong writes "And get this extra sideways pixel off my cursor, too."

Ya, what is up with that? I just noticed it in the last few days, has it always been there? Took me 2 minutes trying to get a ` off my screen before I figured out it was the cursor.
posted by Mitheral at 2:14 PM on April 7, 2006


Mitheral: Currently being discussed here.
posted by Bugbread at 2:20 PM on April 7, 2006


So how much will it take us to buy back /marquee?

hundreds.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:21 PM on April 7, 2006


to monju bonsatsu:

Dio(s) has rocked (echo: rocked) for a long, long time,
Now it's time for him to pass the torch.
He has songs of wildebeasts and angels,
He has soared on the wings of a demon.

It's time to pass the torch,
You're too old to rock, no more rockin' for you.
We're takin' you to a home,
But we will sing a song about you.

And we will make sure that you're very well taken care of.
You'll tell us secrets that you've learned. Woah!
Your sauce will mix with ours,
And we'll make a good goulash baby.
Dio(s), time to go!
You must give your cape and scepter to me.
And a smaller one for M_B.
Go! Go! Dio(s)! Dio(s)!

--tenacious d

which is a pretty fitting tribute to our own little man on a silver soap box.
posted by Hat Maui at 3:05 PM on April 7, 2006


FFF, I love, love, love the "big" tag, but I remember it being more abused than blink or marquee ever were

I recall the occasional Very Big Dot in obit and silly threads and, of course, all bets were off in MeTa.

But I should think abuse will remain rare, and a spanking from Matt or Jess should pretty much take care of offenders.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:36 PM on April 7, 2006


Personally I'm looking forward to the day they get rid of the tag.
posted by mowglisambo at 7:26 PM on April 7, 2006


< a href>, that is
posted by mowglisambo at 7:27 PM on April 7, 2006


welcome back, old friend.
posted by cortex at 11:23 AM on April 8, 2006


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