Join 3,440 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

MeFi Behavior
October 19, 2001 11:24 AM   Subscribe

What the hell has been going on these past few days?
posted by mrbula to Etiquette/Policy at 11:24 AM (62 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Is it just me, or has this place just gotten uglier than usual? Aside from everyone snipping at each other and that unclosed <i> tag still sitting on the front page, now we have people intentionally quadruple-posting links. What gives? Does MetaFilter need a time-out?
posted by mrbula at 11:27 AM on October 19, 2001


It was an ironic post - a don't double-post link artfully disguised and using newbie language - but I enjoyed it for the comments it engendered. It may be an inside thing but I think the poster meant exactly what you're saying, mrbula. Hell, so do I. Don't these people know that the age of irony has just begun?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:38 AM on October 19, 2001


I think that maybe it's just Silly Day.
posted by ColdChef at 11:39 AM on October 19, 2001


That didn't belong on the front page. Breach of etiquette and fucking rude at that.
posted by sudama at 11:47 AM on October 19, 2001


Bondcliff actually saw fit to post his reasons, Miguel.

Monkeys throwing shit at the zoo.
posted by xiffix at 11:47 AM on October 19, 2001


I think for Matt it might be yet another Pain in the Ass Day.
posted by Skot at 11:48 AM on October 19, 2001


Well, Miguel, I hope so, but lately I've found myself getting exasperated just about every time I visit here.

(And speaking of irony--or, at least, the Alanis Morissette kind--I basically double posted this thread, as sawks beat me to it.)
posted by mrbula at 11:54 AM on October 19, 2001


I don't understand the impulse behind the sort of trolling Bondcliff is doing. What sort of person purposefully sets out to make other people look ridiculous and then delights when they fall for his trap? Also, it wasn't really all that artful. People knew what he was doing and still called him on it, and then he pretended that they didn't get the joke. It just wasn't that funny.

Even more, though, I don't understand the impulse to defend this sort of behavior and the rancor it encourages under the "it's all good" theory. It isn't all good; some of it sucks.
posted by anapestic at 11:57 AM on October 19, 2001


First thought: Miguel! You've returned!

Second thought: Math Owie apparently disappeared sometime Wednesday afternoon and has not yet returned. Therefore, ugly open tags and user abuse is not being cleaned up.

To me, this is A BAD THING. I'm not exactly sure where he is, but Matt leaving his baby for more than a few hours to sleep seems a bit strange, and two days is just plain frightening.

I get the feeling that Matt is sick of it all, taking a break, and letting MeFi spiral into the abyss. And I get the feeling he's doing it just to see how far MeFi would devolve without him being around to clear up the simple administrative BS that he deals with on a daily basis, and that we take for granted.

But then, I could be wrong. He could just be taking a long nap.
posted by dogmatic at 11:58 AM on October 19, 2001


You ever see those bumperstickers that say "Jesus is coming back and he is PISSED"?

Matt's gonna feel the same way when he gets back and sees what we've done to the place.

MetaFilter today looks like Jake Ryan's house Post-Party in "Sixteen Candles" and I ain't planning on being Anthony Michael Hall hiding in the glass coffee table when he gets here.
posted by ColdChef at 12:10 PM on October 19, 2001


I don't understand the logic that reasons from "People who point out double posts are wasting their and our time" to "I'll post this double post to point out that their pointing out of double posts is a waste of time".

Best post ever? We're obviously using very different criteria.

I don't think that Matt is going to give anybody a pony now.
posted by iceberg273 at 12:22 PM on October 19, 2001


...And now all the text under thread 11648 is small.

posted by mrbula at 12:23 PM on October 19, 2001


double posts 1) waste space on matt's computer, and 2) make searches take longer. imagine if double posts were never deleted:

suppose there were 11,000 threads (there's more now).
suppose there are 160,000 comments (we're about 1,000 shy of that right now).

we know that from these numbers, the average number of comments per thread rounded down is 14.

we have no way of knowing how many threads have been deleted in mefi's liftime: i think a fair guess would be about 1 per day, or 730 total.

that means that by deleting double posts, we've saved from searches and needless storage all of those 730 threads including 730 * 14 = 10,220 comments.

bondcliff's joke was more of a ha-ha-its-funny-because-its-not-me sort of joke.
posted by moz at 12:24 PM on October 19, 2001


Why double-posts, yahoo/ananova/onion links, and trolling are Bad Things. And, most importantly:
posted by Avogadro at 12:25 PM on October 19, 2001


the end is nhie, repent sinners
posted by Mick at 12:35 PM on October 19, 2001


Mad props to bondcliff for a troll befitting the exquisite post. And the courage to point out the self-appointed MeFi police are the true pain in the arses, not the newbies.

Also, reading the comments on the last post made me think of Metafilter as a community rather than a news outlet for the first time since September the 11th. This isn't a "bad thing" but it's just how I percieve the board, and I can either like it or lump it.

I can't help but feel slightly annoyed at the "MeFi" was sooo much better 6/12/18 months ago comments which will continue to plague the place as it grows. It belongs to Matt and no-one else. There's always someone who was here before you, except for him.

Cheers Matt, you're a star.

Just one last look at 1142 before I go.
posted by fullerine at 12:41 PM on October 19, 2001


it's like watching my dog die.
posted by raaka at 1:07 PM on October 19, 2001


...slowly and painfully. and at the hands of a bunch of fuckwits.
posted by ColdChef at 1:15 PM on October 19, 2001


Did anyone else read that thread and wonder how the hell they got to Usenet?

And didn't Matt say once that that was his biggest fear?
posted by Skot at 1:15 PM on October 19, 2001


I can't help but feel slightly annoyed at the "MeFi" was sooo much better 6/12/18 months ago comments which will continue to plague the place as it grows. It belongs to Matt and no-one else. There's always someone who was here before you, except for him.

This argument stands only if Matt believes that MeFi is better, or at least as worthwhile now as it was 6/12/18 months ago. The problem is, Matt has admitted that 'it used to be so much better.' And despite that, new users and (in the case of bondcliff) old are making things worse.
posted by dogmatic at 1:24 PM on October 19, 2001


(with hat in hand)
Uh, gosh, I'm sorry for encouraging Boncliff. I guess I'm part of the problem.
(kicks dirt)
I'll never encourage low brow behavior again.

I want MeFi to Live!

posted by thekorruptor at 1:33 PM on October 19, 2001


As funny as yelling fire in a filled movie theater. The reason folks end up being Mefi-police is because they're trying to keep some structure - the structure Matt himself determined - in place during Matt's absence.

Bondcliff has decided that anarchy rules, and none of the structure Matt has decided on applies to him. And a toadload of others have, in that thread, supported his actions, and have calls to further anarchy. If Bondcliff can do that "as a joke", then who's going to post the Onion again tomorrow? As a joke. Maybe two or three times in a row. As a joke.

Useless. The patients have taken over the sanitarium.

Maybe Matt was right; it's time to pull the plug.
posted by Perigee at 1:36 PM on October 19, 2001


Mad props to bondcliff for ... the courage to point out the self-appointed MeFi police are the true pain in the arses, not the newbies.

I can't help but feel slightly annoyed at the "MeFi" was sooo much better 6/12/18 months ago comments which will continue to plague the place as it grows.


Does it strike you, fullerine, when these two sentences of your post are juxtaposed, just how hypocritical you are being?

Just wondering.
posted by daveadams at 1:41 PM on October 19, 2001


I think the flies are getting to that boar's head out there...
posted by transient at 1:51 PM on October 19, 2001


Its a pigfling I tell ya. Followed by a ritual dodo burial.
posted by redhead at 1:54 PM on October 19, 2001


Ok. This has gone far enough.

Hear me out.

This whole shitstorm has really surprised me.

I've been posting on MeFi for about a year now, and not very regularly at that. I don't know the newbies from the regulars, I have never talked, emailed, IMed, or even read any of Matt's posts. I've never read MetaTalk until today.

I've been reading a lot of MeFi lately and I've been getting really irritated at all the Double Post Police comments and a lot of "this is not funny. You should not have posted this." type posts. Those types of posts are typical of ANY message board or listserve. And you know what? Even if you think you're helping things along by policing the board, all you're doing is wasting time and bandwidth, and annoying people as well. People know if something is or isn't funny. People often know something is a double post. We don't need 1000 people to point it out. We have a scroll bar.

I understand now though, that the front page is not the place for me to express those opinions. I should have read the rules more carefully. I sorry.

A few months ago, the "All your base..." thing came out. For a few weeks after that there was a rash of "The next All Your Base..." posts. It became a running gag. When it got out of hand I just stopped clicking on the threads. I knew it was just going to waste my time.

In the past couple of weeks I have seen about five or six links to those cartoons I linked to. When I saw another one today I laughed. It struck me as funny. I'm not sure why, it just seemed like those cartoons had turned into that tourist guy or the Andre the Giant stencil. They were everywhere. It became a joke to me.

So, being that I've always been the type to tell a joke first and think later, I posted what I thought was an obvious joke. I posted another link to the cartoons, talking about how fresh and new they were. "Nobody had ever seen them before." haha. Funny me. I'm brilliant. Ph33r my sense of humor and irony. I also knew it was bait for the Double Post Police, but I didn't care.

Holy crap, if I had known what I was going to start I never would have done it.

My inbox has been flooded. I'm getting things from "you are my hero" to people telling me Matt will take the board down because of this. They're about 50/50 positive and negative.

The positive feedback has been nice for my ego. It's always nice when people get my jokes.

The first negative email I got I figured was just someone lacking a sense of humor. They said I owed Matt an apology. Now I read through all the negative emails (some from people who know me) and they all have a similar theme: Matt puts a lot of work into this place. Matt is tired of this kind of crap. Matt has been thinking of taking this place down. Matt is going to be pissed off.

The general feeling is that it's the "newbies" who appreciate what I've done, and the MeFi old-timers who know the harm I've caused. As I said, I don't know most of the newbies from the regulars, but when several people point out the same thing I tend to look more carefully at what they have to say.

Obviously, the only one who can speak for Matt is Matt. I am curious to hear what his thoughts are. The thing is, most of the negative feedback seems to be from people who know the behind the scenes goings on at MeFi. I don't. I'm not aware of anything that goes on behind the scenes. I just come here for news, links, and the occasional chance to post a joke or two. I respect the fact that the regulars ARE aware of the goings on here. Some of them have pointed out (generally in a polite manner, although one or two mentioned my mother and feces in the same sentence) what I did that was wrong. I respect what they have to say because they obviously know something I don't.

I'm sure Matt puts a lot of work into this site. I don't want to ruin it for him or anybody. If my post, which I thought was nothing but a harmless joke, is the type of thing that makes him consider taking MeFi down, then I apologize. In addition, I'm sorry for causing him any grief or adding to his workload. That was not my intent. I posted something that I thought would amuse a few people. I did that, but I also caused a shitstorm. Not only did I cause it, but I also fueled it once it had started. For that, Matt, I am sorry.

Sincerely,

Jim
(Bondcliff)

P.S.

Just to show you how swell I am, as a sort of olive branch, I give you this.

posted by bondcliff at 1:57 PM on October 19, 2001


There's no way TWO people were that vile in their emails.
posted by sudama at 2:05 PM on October 19, 2001


Bondcliff: Maybe you should post your above response here, too.
posted by ColdChef at 2:05 PM on October 19, 2001


Done, ColdChef.


posted by bondcliff at 2:07 PM on October 19, 2001


Um. Everybody, chill. So the front page is cluttered with shit, bondcliff made a funny joke at the expense of those who didn't get it, and Matt's absent (for the moment), preventing administrative clean-up.

This isn't the end of the world. I'm still checking out the new posts, participating in discussion, and enjoying MeFi for what MeFi is. You can do this too.

Chill.
posted by Marquis at 2:12 PM on October 19, 2001


Do you hate it when people tell others what they should and should not post?

Then stop telling others what they should and should not post!
posted by daveadams at 2:18 PM on October 19, 2001


Bondcliff, I think folks are venting a more general dissatisfaction with the current state of Metafilter on you. But I do think Matt wants the site to be a log of interesting links, not primarily a news log or discussion board, and his post here is worth reading.
posted by liam at 2:18 PM on October 19, 2001


What is happening around here? Someone posts something out of frustration with the situation which leads to an amusing thread which then gets so overblown that the original poster now feels like he needs to write a statement and apology in an attempt to appease everyone. Huh!?!

Somewhat depressing that some felt the need to send Jim hate mail, which does offer a window into some of the people who post around here -- who may well lack a bit of perspective. With everything which is happening in the world the last thing we need is to be turning on each other in our own little enclave. And besides, I'm sure if you all met Jim in person you wouldn't say half or in fact any of the things you say in text (and fingers on keys is that the result is more permanent than speech).

I’ve been there myself. It’s a strange feeling actually because you don’t know these people – unless they happen to keep a weblog they exist simply as a username or email address – and yet they make you feel uncomfortable for something you supposedly done. And they lead to write posts like Jim’s.

I agree that Matt has created this great playground for us all to play in. It's unique and we should all be honoured that he invited us in. But if I was him I would despair when reading Jim's statement, so filled with emotion. Someone actually felt victimised for posting something at information gathering site. Doesn’t anyone else see the implications of something like that for all of us?

posted by feelinglistless at 2:22 PM on October 19, 2001


I think MeFi needs another break, like the one it had earlier. Only during this break Matt keeps anyone over 1000 or 2000 from posting. Yes, there are rotten apples in that bunch. Yes, it would be just reinforcing the snobbish "senority is better" train of thought, but hopefully those posters would do their best to put the best damn links they can find. A lot of new people on MeFi have no idea what it was like, and we end up with crap on the front page.

Just a thought.
posted by geoff. at 2:24 PM on October 19, 2001


listless: Like always, it wasn't just about the post itself; it was about the way the discussion after the post was handled.

That said, anybody who apologizes and promises not to do it again is okay in my book.

Thanks, bondcliff. I'll see you around MetaFilter.
posted by gd779 at 2:26 PM on October 19, 2001


Thanks, feelinglistless.

The negative feedback I got mostly pointed to some concerns Matt has had recently about the purpose of MeFi. My apology was to him and nobody else. I also sent him an email.

If Matt should turn around and say "No Jim, your post was fine, I thought it was funny." than you can be sure I'll be starting a "nanny nanny boo boo" thread. Until he does that though, I stand by my apology to him. A lot of people, people who seem to know Matt well, seem to think they know how he'll feel about it so I gave them the benifit of the doubt.

For what it's worth, I'm still giggling about my post. I don't want to cause any problems for Matt though.
posted by bondcliff at 2:29 PM on October 19, 2001


I bet most of the mail was not hate mail but mail sent out of love for mefi.
posted by sudama at 2:30 PM on October 19, 2001


mail sent out of love for mefi

Perhaps then Metafilter should have it's own email address...
posted by feelinglistless at 2:33 PM on October 19, 2001


Perhaps then Metafilter should have it's own email address...

MetaFilter is an idea. Ideas don't have email addresses.

Not everyone is in agreement about what the MetaFilter (the idea) is.

Hence the unexpected divisiveness. (All of the email sent was sent in defense of an idea, whether that email was lovemail or hatemail. How you see the loveness or hateness of the mail depends on what your interpretation of MetaFilter is.)
posted by iceberg273 at 2:40 PM on October 19, 2001


Ideas don't have email addresses.

No, but they have profiles.

But do see what you mean. I just don't think that directing a lot of raw emotion at one man's in-box is likely to solve much of anything.
posted by feelinglistless at 2:47 PM on October 19, 2001


It's not getting better by itself(post)
posted by chrismc at 2:56 PM on October 19, 2001


Very nice, bondcliff -- the joke and the apology. I thought your post was pretty funny (I especially liked "These cartoons are so fresh and new. There's no way they were posted before.") But even I was ready to flame you when you claimed that your posting was some kind of super-dooper subtle commentary of MeFi "policing" culture, instead of just fessing up that you posted it because it was a funny idea and you gave in to what-the-hell-its-friday-ism.

Daveadams: While I agree with you in principle, whomever told you to stop posting "Zippity Bop!" in every single thread deserves a hot fudge sundae.

(It's a joke! I'm joking!)
posted by Shadowkeeper at 3:01 PM on October 19, 2001


What it might be time for, instead of a 'only low-numbered users may post' deal is this: Police Action.
Self-link: go to jail.
Double-post: go to jail.
Post the Onion: go to jail.
Post mnftiu.cc: go to jail.
Post a CNN link: go to jail.
Post something on Memepool: go to jail.
Front-page troll: go to jail.
'jail' in this case could be anything from suspension of posting (both front-page and comment) privileges for a while to IP-banning. Nothing else has worked; it may just be time for zero-tolerance.
posted by darukaru at 3:02 PM on October 19, 2001


Metafilter - "Nobody goes there anymore. It's much too crowded." (Yogi Berra) ;)
posted by liam at 3:03 PM on October 19, 2001


I think the only opinion on this whole thing that should matter should be Matt's....i have not been around all that long but even I have been able too figure out that he would like this site to be a cut above......if one wants something different one may certainly start one's own weblog.

besides, the gratuitous use of a certain anglo-saxon word starting with "f" are not only offensive but boring....

and why be boring? it has been done to death already.
(yawn....)

bf
posted by bunnyfire at 4:13 PM on October 19, 2001


it occurs to me our (everyone's) true nature is revealed in the absence of our benevolent crap-deleter. Bondcliff's post was unfortunate (a good joke, but, no, it didn't belong on MeFi (as Bondcliff himself says he realizes now), but the way it was handled (by us) was worse. That "Everyday Uglies" post has absolutely no place on MeFi (second self-post and all), and its thread is even more fucked up.

Yeah, there is too much crap on the main page. But far too many supposedly responsible members of the community contribute to the bad vibe on the site, and far too many newer members follow their lead. I think we need to ALL agree on a code of good behavior (e.g., appropriate responses to bad posts) if we want to keep things from degenerating further.

Damn. I mean, imagine if this were your own site....
posted by mattpfeff at 4:34 PM on October 19, 2001


hey guys.. cheer up.. the weekend is coming... less postings and all that jazz.. maybe people will mellow out.
posted by lotsofno at 4:42 PM on October 19, 2001


Egads, we’re being talked about! Uh, not really. I’m just being silly.
posted by gleemax at 5:48 PM on October 19, 2001


Maybe Matt was right; it's time to pull the plug.

If you (or anyone else) feel that way, I heartily recommend that you pull the plug that exists on YOUR end, rather than encouraging the pulling of the master plug. Some of us do not wish it pulled.
posted by rushmc at 7:24 PM on October 19, 2001


Rush, let's make something clear:

It doesn't matter whether either you or I want the plug pulled. It's going to get pulled when running this becomes more of a pain than a pleasure for Matt. (And we're damned near that point now.)

This isn't a community; it's a virtual house that Matt owns. He's invited us to visit him, but too many people have moved in and decided to call it home -- and forgotten that they're guests. There will come a point when the real owner of the house will shout "That's it! OUT, all of you, OUT!"
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:52 PM on October 19, 2001


whoa. I was down in LA for a couple days. I guess I can never leave again, eh?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:28 PM on October 19, 2001


we made pancakes for you.
posted by moz at 9:34 PM on October 19, 2001 [1 favorite]


That 'pancakes' joke just gets funnier and funnier.
posted by Karl at 11:54 PM on October 19, 2001


That 'pancakes' joke just gets funnier and funnier.

Just think, in 2036 it might even be funny.
posted by holgate at 5:46 AM on October 20, 2001


I used to like the pancakes jokes. Now I wish Matt had taken it and left it in LA. They like pancake jokes down there, you know.
posted by ericost at 6:01 AM on October 20, 2001


It's going to get pulled when running this becomes more of a pain than a pleasure for Matt.

Which is precisely why I wish certain of you would just shut the hell up and go away if you don't like MeFi in its current incarnation, rather than bitch and moan about it, no doubt adding to Matt's dissatisfaction and disgruntlement. If it's not a community, if we are at the hands of a capricious, put-upon master (not my view, but the agenda that many of you are pushing), then airing our discontent cannot help create solutions. If this is naught but Matt's toy, then the constant harping for him to shut it down and take it away because it doesn't suit some of US anymore is presumptious, annoying and offensive.

I ran a chat BBS years ago that was populated by a decent number of thoughtful, participatory individuals. It was MY baby, ran on MY computer, I owned and maintained it. But I never for a moment felt the kind of selfish proprietorship over it that you and others are wont to attribute to Matt (note: I have never seen him express or display this attitude himself, only others on his "behalf"). Of course he has created it and can and will dispose of it as he sees fit. Duh. That in no way implies that he doesn't value or acknowledge the contributions of the many people who contribute toward making the site what it is. If you make a better mousetrap and no one comes, it's just a pile of junk.

I know that he, at least, knows this. His respectful and even-handed treatment of his "guests" indicates that he values us. I would go so far as to imagine that he sees us more as "partners" on some level, in the creation and operation of this thing, than the poor, pathetic creatures hanging around, shuffling our feet, begging for alms that you would make of us. I in no way wish to speak for him, particularly in his absence. But it disturbs me that so many of you fell no qualms about doing so. And get it so wrong, IMO.
posted by rushmc at 7:28 AM on October 20, 2001


The point I was trying to make is that none of us have any property rights.

Let's put it this way: Matt is having a party at his house. You and I are attending it. What right have you to order me to leave the party? Matt can do so and I will, but why should I care what you think?

The problem here is that people are thinking "community" and not "guest". If people would start thinking more like "guest" then they'd keep in mind at all times that their first and foremost duty is not to mess things up for the host.

It's not that I think Matt is a draconian dictator, it's that I think we collectively have been putting him in the position where the only way he can make this system be what he wanted it to be is to become a draconian dictator. Since he doesn't want to be like that, his only other choices are to shut down or to put up with the crap.

The right answer is for all of us to exercise discipline and to try to make this a place that Matt will be proud to operate, instead of a pain in the neck.

And one place to start is for all of us to stop acting like we are part owners of it. You don't have any more right than I do to tell other people to stop using the system.
posted by Steven Den Beste at 8:01 AM on October 20, 2001


C'mon, group hug....
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:33 AM on October 20, 2001


The problem here is that people are thinking "community" and not "guest".

Perhaps that is because Matt has overtly designated it as a "community" (look at the top of the page)? I don't buy the party analogy, sorry.

You don't have any more right than I do to tell other people to stop using the system.

I agree. And I'm not "telling" anyone to do so. I'm simply suggesting that if they don't enjoy Metafilter anymore, they can productively either (a) go find somewhere that they DO enjoy or (b) stay and try to demonstrate by example the sort of functions and behaviors they support and want to see more of. Bitching and moaning about the "good ol' days" and "clueless newbies" only adds to the noise, degrading the signal even further.
posted by rushmc at 9:56 AM on October 20, 2001


grrrrr. I'm a villain! #10355! oooooooh, scary! I'm the bad guy! High numbers are the bad guys! I'm going to hell because I didn't sign up before the rush started, even though I've been reading for quite a while. Yup, I'm one bad mother fucker, nothing good in my heart, as you can tell from my >1000 number. I'm pure evil, determined to destroy everything you love, even though I love it too.
posted by fuq at 7:29 PM on October 20, 2001


*hugs fuq*
posted by gd779 at 8:08 PM on October 20, 2001


Let's put it this way: Matt is having a party at his house. You and I are attending it. What right have you to order me to leave the party? Matt can do so and I will, but why should I care what you think?
The problem here is that people are thinking "community" and not "guest".


Perhaps not, but if you were putting your cigarette butts out on Matt's carpet, you better damn well believe that I'm gonna say something. And Matt would approve, right before kicking your ass out (not YOU necessarily but you know what I mean...)

And one place to start is for all of us to stop acting like we are part owners of it. You don't have any more right than I do to tell other people to stop using the system.

Well, I think we all know that we have a right to say just about anything we damn please, but that's not your point. I think it is important for all of us to educate newbies of the rules around this place. Otherwise it all falls on Matt's shoulders.

If there's any doubt that self-policing works, just think what the place would be like if no one ever said anything about a double post or a stupid comment. This place would quickly devolve into a oozing mess. Self-policing creates a "think first" step that is necessary in any community, online or not. Matt of course is the final judge, jury and executioner.

For the record, Matt has never told me that I was out-of-line in what I told transgressors. Combined with the things I've heard him say and seen him write on the matter, I take that as tacit approval.
posted by fooljay at 8:22 PM on October 20, 2001


« Older just another old-timer rant (...  |  Break out the big guns, kids, ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments