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chatfilter May 23, 2006 11:08 PM   Subscribe

Chat Filter.
posted by grapefruitmoon to Etiquette/Policy at 11:08 PM (56 comments total)

*turns out light, goes to bed*
posted by mediareport at 11:17 PM on May 23, 2006


If so, flag them and let matt/jessamyn decide. Or do you have a point to make?
posted by vacapinta at 11:18 PM on May 23, 2006


One of these days I'll write me an autoresponse script. Seems like the same old things keep comming up in MeTa.

Yes... flag and move on.. lets see now, that should be Alt-F?
posted by edgeways at 11:21 PM on May 23, 2006


Alt-F.
posted by cribcage at 11:23 PM on May 23, 2006


Whatever.

On the other hand - I'm saving that beer thread for future reference so, thanks for pointing it out. I might have missed it otherwise.
posted by Zetetics at 11:25 PM on May 23, 2006


Neither of those are chatfilter. The "Problem" in the first one is the asker wants to know if what his friend is doing is "OK" and the "Problem" in the second one is wanting to know of some new beers to try.

No different then asking for music recommendations.
posted by delmoi at 11:43 PM on May 23, 2006


No. Go away.
posted by hototogisu at 11:44 PM on May 23, 2006


There has been much to do on this here MetaTalk about "ChatFilter" in regards to the pregnancy and ejaculation threads, and it seems to me that if we're going to get our panties in a twist about it that there is no "problem" to be solved by polling the audience as to their favorite beer.

Maybe I just don't get where the line is to be drawn in response to "ChatFilter." I thought that the pregnancy question was totally legit, but can't grasp how "What's your favorite beer?" or "What do you guys think of my friend's dating situation?" aren't also ChatFilter.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:01 AM on May 24, 2006


If the beer thread isn't chatfilter, I don't know what is. So much so that I'd guess delmoi paid mealy-mouthed off to make a point. He may have well have said "I want to chat about beer. I'll go first!"

That being said, I flagged it and moved on.
posted by team lowkey at 12:02 AM on May 24, 2006


Are you even reading the beer thread?

This is the first line after the [mi]:

I've tasted quite a few beers, but I'm always happy to taste more. I'm curious for mefi suggestions.

*mind boggles*
posted by hototogisu at 12:06 AM on May 24, 2006


I'm curious for mefi suggestions is not a question. It's a poll. It's a chat room topic. Is he going to mark best answer when someone comes up with the correct list of beers that he wants to try?
posted by team lowkey at 12:20 AM on May 24, 2006


He wants a list of beers to try. How does this not make sense? Why do so many seem to think that because there is a "best answer" feature mean that there is, in fact, a best answer (much less a right answer)?

"My doctor says I have [blah blah blah]--I'm going back for an MRI on Tuesday--if results are bad, what can I expect?"

Where's the best answer to that question? It gets posted all the time, too.

The underage girlfriend question is a bit sketchier, but worse things than that fly all the time.

If requesting a list of new beers to try is chatfilter, say goodbye to AskMefi...
posted by hototogisu at 12:24 AM on May 24, 2006


It's a chat room topic.

Of course it is. But I flagged it and moved on. Matt's probably seen it by now and it's still here, So whatcha gonna do? Not a big deal.

If requesting a list of new beers to try is chatfilter, say goodbye to AskMefi...

You're joking right? If deleted it wouldn't make a ripple.
posted by justgary at 12:44 AM on May 24, 2006


No, it's the reasoning behind such a deletion. I skimmed through the front page, and more than a few questions are of the same damn type.

Then again, I guess I'd rather have askmefi answer computer questions forever and ever, too. Also, the reams of relationship questions have lots of best answer potential too--wouldn't want us to miss out on those.
posted by hototogisu at 12:48 AM on May 24, 2006


I am torn. I love me some beer (you know, because I'm a lowbrow lout), but I can't claim that 'what's your favorite x' threads are optimal, regardless of the value of x.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:52 AM on May 24, 2006


Any number of threads get deleted that are "what's your favorite X?"

The same thread could get posted two days later as "I would like to try X. What should I get?" and it stays--the threads have the same utility and value, the difference is whether the poster phrases it as a question or not.

I think the deletion of the first and keeping of the second is ridiculous (I say keep both), but I recognize this as the opinion of a very small minority, and that's totally fine with me--but this beer thread didn't ask for favorites, it asked for suggestions (more or less in question/request form). That's the only litmus test I can ever recall see being employed, but then again, this isn't science, and I haven't been paying much attention in the last two months or so.

goes and looks for some Guldendraak
posted by hototogisu at 12:59 AM on May 24, 2006


My use of the "best answer" line was a hopeful shorthand to illustrate that the question is too broad. It's nothing more than an opinion poll, and not what I think AskMe is for. It's not as far gone as "Aren't wars the lamest? What do you think?", but it doesn't have the problem solving aspect that AskMe is supposed to be about. If it were instead "I'm going to Portland. What are the best breweries I can visit?", that at least is a problem looking for a solution. Or the ever popular "I'm making a mixed tape about the best beers. What are they?"

The general "What do you guys think are good beers?" with out any guidelines at all isn't really useful. It's a question about the community's opinions, nothing more. I'd be okay with "What makes a beer good?" But as it stands, this question would be much more suited to a chatroom. I'm sure it would go over great at metachat.

But... yeah. It stays or goes on the admins' call, and I've spent more time thinking about it than I should. Back to he "moving on" part.

I'm torn, too, stavros. I like beer a lot.
posted by team lowkey at 1:14 AM on May 24, 2006


It IS chatfilter but I liked it so no flag form me. Pretty much every response is an Answer not a Discussion and I found it useful information. Although substituting Beer for Sit-Com one might have been less forgiving.
posted by brautigan at 3:01 AM on May 24, 2006


The beer one is terrible; pre-answered by the original poster, entirely filled with opinion, offers nothing you couldn't find by going to a store and looking at the shelf, namely, an indiscriminate list of names of beers. No doubt a better-phrased question could have produced something more useful, but that's not what happened, and it should go. You can do better to start your research by going to google and searching "beer reviews" - unless for some reason it's important to you to try something that some guy on MetaFilter liked.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:17 AM on May 24, 2006


You can spot chatfilter because there is always more than 1 person who has added it to favourites, unlike legitimate AskMe questions.
posted by fire&wings at 3:43 AM on May 24, 2006


Alt-F4
posted by soma lkzx at 3:59 AM on May 24, 2006


I thought the beer question was very chatfilter-esque, but the underage gf one not as much. I read the underage one as a "is it ethically wrong for a 19yo to date a 16yo?" - which doesn't seem all that chatfiltery to me. The beer question is very close to a "What's your favourite X?" though, which is why I flagged it.
posted by antifuse at 4:05 AM on May 24, 2006


What's the best beer to give my underage girlfriend?
posted by emelenjr at 4:16 AM on May 24, 2006


I think people may be getting a little quick on the trigger here. Chatfilter questions are usually pretty few and far between, it's just been a weird week for them. The beer question to me seemed like all the mix CD and music questions we get "I like X, can you suggest more Ys that are like X?" and the underage question was just a "what are the ethics of this situation?" question.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:45 AM on May 24, 2006


Favorite color? == bad; favorite beer? == good.

Hmmm. What is your favorite color for beer? == ???
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:47 AM on May 24, 2006


What is your favorite color of beer == bad.
What are your favorite beers of color X == good.
It's a kind of alchemy.
posted by cortex at 6:18 AM on May 24, 2006


Not being a beer fan, I couldn't care less if it were deleted. But I'm still mourning the ejaculation chatfilter. That one could have been useful!
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:32 AM on May 24, 2006


"I like X, can you suggest more Ys that are like X?"

I have no problem with this, but that's not what the beer question is like—it's just "I like beer, what beers do you like?" The beers the poster mentions are not examples of a particular kind he likes that he wants matched, he's just "going first." As Wolfdog says, he might as well go to a store and look at the shelf, or (perhaps more pertinently) google for "good beer." As an AskMeFi question, it's worthless.
posted by languagehat at 6:33 AM on May 24, 2006


I cannot believe people get so invested in a question about beer.
posted by smackfu at 6:36 AM on May 24, 2006


"I like X, can you suggest more Ys that are like X?"

In good questions of this form - which we see plenty of - "...like X" actually places a nontrivial constaint on the space of answers that's hard to satisfy unless you have special knowledge. That does not happen in the beer question. It is exactly equivalent to "I like pancakes, what do you like for breakfast?" which is a canonical example of bad AskMe.

Are there shades of grey about how much of a constraint the question puts on the answerer? Sure, but questions where any answer - any opinion - is valid don't even remotely make it into the interesting part of the spectrum.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:48 AM on May 24, 2006



posted by Otis at 6:59 AM on May 24, 2006


I don't think that people understand that there's more than one place on the internet to ask questions and look for opinions.
posted by klangklangston at 7:16 AM on May 24, 2006


this shit is just getting funny.

do we need to redefine chatfilter, now? I'm asking in all seriousness, because apparently what had been considered chatfilter a week ago no longer is. the beer question specifically meets the criteria defined by jessamyn and reiterated by mathowie here, but everyone's acting like it's not chat. if we all want it to stay, rock on, but it's exactly what we all would have called chatfilter before this nonsense with the pregnancy and ejaculation threads.

wtf, metafilter?
posted by shmegegge at 7:58 AM on May 24, 2006


While I've been totally disagreeing with shmegegge in the other thread, I have to completely agree here. The beer thread starts out with the poster making his own recommendations. Those beers are not listed because he's looking for others like that, the descriptions just talk about how much he likes that beer. How is that not answering your own question?

At this point, it's been up so long it might be silly to take it down, but I don't understand why it stayed.
posted by occhiblu at 8:23 AM on May 24, 2006


(On non-preview: Sorry, that sounded like a swipe at shmegegge, which I didn't mean. I just meant that even people who are disagreeing on the pregnancy and ejaculation threads seem to be agreeing that the beer one should go.)
posted by occhiblu at 8:24 AM on May 24, 2006


it's okay, occhiblu. I hate you, too.

I mean, no worries. I really don't take this stuff personally.for too long.
posted by shmegegge at 8:25 AM on May 24, 2006


I shall remain armed, vigilant, and awake for an extended, unspecified amount of time so as not to be vanquished by surprise attack. I may also go get some coffee, so as not to make further unprovoked stupid comments.
posted by occhiblu at 8:32 AM on May 24, 2006


I don't even know who shmegegge is, but I had a dream incorporating him last night, and then when I woke up I forgot it.

WTF metafilter?
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:36 AM on May 24, 2006


I'm just some dude who apparently disagrees with occhiblu on just about everything except the beer thread, but keeps a stiff upper lip about it and resolves to eventually figure out this "dealing with other people reasonably well" thing.
posted by shmegegge at 8:38 AM on May 24, 2006


I think it's nice that we each have someone in our lives with whom we can agree about beer and disagree about pregnancy and ejaculation. That's a rare triumvirate, to be treasured for eternity.
posted by occhiblu at 8:43 AM on May 24, 2006


Rereading, I see my comment works pretty well as sarcasm, but that really did happen.
posted by StickyCarpet at 9:19 AM on May 24, 2006


Ya know? Lurking for a few days and reading this site from a more objective angle is very enlightening.
posted by mischief at 9:30 AM on May 24, 2006


I think people may be getting a little quick on the trigger here. Chatfilter questions are usually pretty few and far between, it's just been a weird week for them. The beer question to me seemed like all the mix CD and music questions we get "I like X, can you suggest more Ys that are like X?" and the underage question was just a "what are the ethics of this situation?" question.

What languagehat said:

it's just "I like beer, what beers do you like?" The beers the poster mentions are not examples of a particular kind he likes that he wants matched, he's just "going first." As Wolfdog says, he might as well go to a store and look at the shelf, or (perhaps more pertinently) google for "good beer." As an AskMeFi question, it's worthless.

I understand chatfilter isn't a black and white issue, that there's a fine line involved, but giving your approval to that question, which could be used as example number one in your faq:

- Questions where everyone's answer is equally valid along the lines of "What's your favorite X?"... Check.

- Asking the question and giving your own answer before getting the answers of others... Check.

- Questions with no problem to be solved. Check


You'd be better off just admitting it comes down to the whim of the admin's discretion. No way can you claim any sort of standard now.
posted by justgary at 9:32 AM on May 24, 2006


Put me in the "loves beer but is mighty surprised that the beer thread was allowed to remain"' camp.
posted by fixedgear at 9:33 AM on May 24, 2006


I think the dating question is terrible because the question being neither explicit nor clear.

The question in the title "how young is too young?" is not directly supported by the main text of the question -- it's not "how young a girl is it OK for me/my friend to date?" The only question that actually appears in the main text is "any opinions?", which is chat by the I'll go first definition, since the OP offers his own ("I think if the chemistry is there and they are cool with it why not."). If that's all the asker wants to know (i.e., opinions) then chat ahoy.

There are plenty of implied/related questions about issues that are not mentioned in the text, such as those of legality, morality, etc., and these are what the majority of responses are addressing. "Guess what my real question is" AskMes are noise pollution.
posted by camcgee at 9:39 AM on May 24, 2006


Kudos to everyone for not pointing out that "Your favorite beer sux." Everyone but me, of course.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 10:17 AM on May 24, 2006


I'm still chuckling about Unibroue.


posted by George_Spiggott at 10:37 AM on May 24, 2006


People may be quick on the draw to call chatfilter lately, but that doesn't change the fact that this particular question couldn't fit the criterion more. I swear I'm not on a quest to get this particular thread deleted. It is too late for that. But as occhiblu, shmegegge, justgary and others have been saying, it does set a bad precedent that "What's your favorite X" is a proper use of AskMe. This wasn't even a borderline case of "I like these beers. What beers are similar?", it was simply "I like these beers. What beers do you guys like?" It should be reiterated that AskMe not the place for that, lest people get the wrong idea.

jessamyn came up with a pretty good indicator of chatfilter nonsense "questions" that fill space and don't provide anything more useful than everyone giving their opinion on things. They always include the phrase "I'll go first."

"I'll go first" means everyone just gets to say what they think and it kind of loses the utility of the resource, which is why we like to see clearly defined questions that might have some answer that can be pointed to as correct.

...we let people post first and kill later, so of course it's not going to be 100% perfect when not all offending questions get deleted but I think the chatfilter yes/no definition is pretty clear cut. The chatfilter posts often have a question that is vague and the answers are set up as everyone's opinion not working towards any common goal, just expressing opinions for the sake of the question asker's curiosity. There is never a correct answer for the question.

posted by mathowie at 9:27 PM PST on May 2


I get that deletion isn't 100% perfect, and I even like the thread, but it definitely contradicts the "clear cut" definition of chatfilter.
posted by team lowkey at 11:39 AM on May 24, 2006


You'd be better off just admitting it comes down to the whim of the admin's discretion. No way can you claim any sort of standard now.

What we have are guidelines which we have been trying to codify somewhat in the faq. At the end of the day the decision is made by mathowie, or me, or both of us, with significant input from the flag queue and MetaTalk. In this instance mathowie and I chatted about the post, decided we thought that by some broad definition it had a problem to be solved. If we're both on the fence about a question, our decision is usually to leave it in. I had originally read the question differently than most people here had, as I had said above. It's entirely possible that I was wrong in my intepretation, but without input here from the OP "Oh yeah I was chatting!" it seemed to be a better idea to err on the side of not deleting it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:47 AM on May 24, 2006


there were a bunch of people in the other chatfilter threads talking about how askme space is a sort of limited resource due to how many questions push others off the page. if this is the case (i have no idea) then it might be worth considering erring on the side of deletion in cases like this in the future.
posted by shmegegge at 11:49 AM on May 24, 2006


I thought it was chatfilter and assumed it would be deleted, but I like the thread.

I think the problem with chatfilter is one of semantics- "What X do you like?" is sometimes only a different wording of, "I'm looking to buy an X but don't know which. I like Y. Any suggestions?"

The former doesn't have a right answer, but the latter could. At the same time, the questions can be rather similar.
posted by JMOZ at 11:50 AM on May 24, 2006


Uh oh! Somebody better call the WAHHHMBULANCE!
posted by antifreez_ at 3:22 PM on May 24, 2006


Otis, I want the full-sized image. Suitable for framing would be nice.
posted by squirrel at 10:05 PM on May 24, 2006


I cannot believe people get so invested in a question about beer.

There are few things in life more deserving of investment, emotional or otherwise.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:24 AM on May 25, 2006


It's better than the 10,000th "fix my fucking router" thread.
posted by trevyn at 5:53 AM on May 25, 2006


What we have are guidelines which we have been trying to codify somewhat in the faq...

Fair enough. I disagree, and think it's very clear most people do (even though most like the thread), but I appreciate the response.
posted by justgary at 7:41 AM on May 25, 2006


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