Why was my answer on AskMe deleted? August 18, 2006 12:48 PM   Subscribe

A few weeks ago, I left an answer on this post. I went back to look at it again, and it's gone. It wasn't rude, it wasn't abusive, it didn't contain foul language or untruths.

It was a criticism of previous advice, but it was, I believe, a legitimate criticism. Frankly, I think it should still be there - no one else has made a similar point, and someone needed to.

I know that people will turn around and say 'this is Matt's site, we shouldn't complain...' - but I don't buy it. This site would be nothing without the community. And this sort of arbitrary moderation makes me much more reluctant to contribute to that community.

I'm not the most prolific member, I may not be a loss, but if it can happen to me...
posted by ascullion to Etiquette/Policy at 12:48 PM (92 comments total)

Obviously people will want to know what my comment was now.. I said that this was the worst advice I'd ever seen on AskMefi. Possibly that wasn't the most well-structured comment ever, but it surely doesn't cross a line? I've seen a lot worse around.
posted by ascullion at 12:50 PM on August 18, 2006


*exposes self*
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:52 PM on August 18, 2006


Hey, did you try emailing the mods about that? Maybe they could explain what was the problem.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:52 PM on August 18, 2006


Jessamyn will usually email you when she deletes one of your comments in ask if you supply an email address in your profile.
posted by Mitheral at 1:00 PM on August 18, 2006


Some people have email addresses right in their profiles! I know it's a crazy idea, but I find it helps people get ahold of me.
posted by Floydd at 1:01 PM on August 18, 2006


kelp beds and sugar faries!

btw, is that an implied threat at the end? Put my comment back or I will leave? Or that that last "I" suppose to be an "it"? And as people have said, email the mods
posted by edgeways at 1:05 PM on August 18, 2006


These kinds of things are best handled with a lot more rage. Both the original question and this MeTa.
posted by OmieWise at 1:15 PM on August 18, 2006


<giggles/>
posted by blue_beetle at 1:21 PM on August 18, 2006


I said that this was the worst advice I'd ever seen on AskMefi.

That's all you said? No suggestion as to why it's bad advice or what a better solution might be? Like, you see somebody has a problem and a bunch of other people are offering suggestions, and you just toss out a "That won't work" as you walk past without even breaking your stride? You poor, bruised snowflake, you.
posted by Gator at 1:24 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


"...it didn't contain foul language or untruths..."

"I said that this was the worst advice I'd ever seen on AskMefi"

Don't read Ask much, do you?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:28 PM on August 18, 2006


ascullion, would you say you're pissed, or just slightly baffled?
posted by Zozo at 1:29 PM on August 18, 2006


careful, don't want to beat off a prolific member
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:33 PM on August 18, 2006


Now can we get a flameout?
posted by languagehat at 1:46 PM on August 18, 2006


That was not even close to the worst advice ever posted here.
posted by smackfu at 1:47 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Don't be an arse, sonofsamiam... I think it's a valid question: I've had stuff deleted before — I'm sure a lot of us have — and if we find out _why_ it's deleted, everything seems a little more orderly and a little less arbitrary. Heck, if we're lucky, we even learn how to leave a better comment or craft a better post.
posted by silusGROK at 1:48 PM on August 18, 2006


I was trying to make a dirty joke. Get your mind into the gutter.
posted by sonofsamiam at 1:58 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn deleted your comment because she's in the pointing and laughing at penises camp, and you're not.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 1:59 PM on August 18, 2006


Jessamyn will usually email you when she deletes one of your comments...

I doubt this very much. I've had comments deleted from AskMe, and I've never received an e-mail from either Matt or Jessamyn.

I'm not complaining, for two reasons:
  1. I can usually figure out for myself why a comment was deleted; and if not, my idle curiosity is outweighed by my desire to keep my inbox free from discussion-board overflow.
  2. There are two mods patrolling X-thousand active members, and AskMe is apparently the most heavily-trafficked part of the site. I want more deletions on AskMe, not fewer — and requiring each mod to gift-wrap a personal little missive every time someone's snowflake is deleted would be counterproductive to that goal.
So I'm fine with silent deletions. But I've seen that myth passed along on MeTa not infrequently, that most deletions come with an e-mail explanation, and I doubt it's true.
posted by cribcage at 2:07 PM on August 18, 2006


I think it's a valid question

Let's do a little thought experiment, shall we? Let's imagine that everyone who had a comment deleted wondered why oh why their precious snowflake of a comment was deleted, and posted that oh-so-valid question to MetaTalk. How many MeTa threads do you think there would be each day, each one saying, essentially, "Waah my precious snowflake was deleted and I wanna know WHY GOD WHY???" Do you really want MetaTalk to be taken up with that? I didn't think so. Neither do the rest of us.

*still waiting for the flameout*
posted by languagehat at 2:31 PM on August 18, 2006


ascullion - are you sure you posted it in the first place? I mean, what usually happens to me is that I'll compose some nice long flameout with the worlds wittiest comebackery. Then, like any good Mefizen, I'll hit preview to make sure my inline image of a dog rutting against a fence doesn't break the page. Then, I'll get up to get a glass of water, come back, and completely forget to hit post. Hours later, I'll think "WTF happened?!?!?!?!" when really, it was my own water-loving ways that done me in.
posted by muddgirl at 2:35 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ditto muddgirl. I'm reknowned for doing the same thing.

Or rather, unreknowned.
posted by yeti at 2:41 PM on August 18, 2006


Or maybe unrenowned.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 2:49 PM on August 18, 2006


nope, the comment was definitely posted.

the 'precious snowflake' comments are way off the mark. and a bit childish. the point is simply.. why should a comment of this nature be deleted? it's not the best comment ever, but i fail to see how it crosses any boundaries.

it's perfectly legitimate to have a public conversation about the nature of moderation on these sites that we all maintain.
posted by ascullion at 3:00 PM on August 18, 2006


This precious snowflake line is wearing thin, languagehat.
The issue is not deletions; it's arbitrary, inconsistent, personalized deletions by jessamyn. Matt doesn't do this. The comment telling the parent to teach his pre-school daughter to point and laugh at the boy's penis is left in. The comment saying this is inappropriate advice is deleted. This is shitty moderation.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:02 PM on August 18, 2006


why should a comment of this nature be deleted?

How about, "Because it didn't answer the question, nor did it provide help towards finding an answer to the problem"?

I suspect your response to this will be along the lines of "I've seen plenty of similar comments that weren't deleted" or "Why wasn't so-and-so's comment deleted then," but I'm hoping you'll prove me wrong and just admit that your comment was a derail that offered nothing helpful and therefore its deletion was warranted after all, based on the guidelines and the little note under the Live Preview. You know, the one that says "Ask MetaFilter is as useful as you make it. Please limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer."
posted by Gator at 3:09 PM on August 18, 2006


Great logic, Gator. I'm going to call you an asshole. I'm hoping you'll prove me wrong and just accept my characterization as the truth, but knowing you, you'll probably respond.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:15 PM on August 18, 2006


I've had a comment or two deleted myself, and in later reflection, I realized they basically made me sound like a mean condescending jerk. Maybe as time passes, and you continue to think about your comment, you'll realize that it wasn't really helpful, and it was kinda mean.

And the comment to which you were referring? Frankly, my dear, I thought it was rather funny.

Of course, we're not supposed to be funny on AxMe...
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 3:19 PM on August 18, 2006


why should a comment of this nature be deleted?

Because the moderator is imperfect and made a mistake? Just a thought.
posted by LarryC at 3:21 PM on August 18, 2006


I think EVERY comment should have its own discussion thread. And each comment in the discussion thread should have its own, and... [* HEAD EXPLODES *]
posted by blue_beetle at 3:25 PM on August 18, 2006


How does one notice that one's comment was deleted? Do you go back to check on it? For all I know, I've had shitloads of comments deleted, it just never occurred to me to check to see if they're still there.
posted by jayder at 3:33 PM on August 18, 2006


The issue is not deletions; it's arbitrary, inconsistent, personalized deletions by jessamyn.

How do you know that? I agree that this looks like a case of rubbish moderation, but I can't see a way to tell whether mathowie or jessamyn is behind a given deletion.
posted by jack_mo at 3:39 PM on August 18, 2006


Seems pretty clear to me. Teaching girls to point and laugh is pretty awful advice, but if the comment said merely "This is the worst advice I've ever seen on MeFi" then, well, how does that help anyone?

Languagehat, it looks like ascullion isn't going to flameout after all... maybe you could explode over the "precious snowflake" meta-commentary? Then again, it's ten 'till six on a Friday, so I'll probably miss all the excitement anyway.
posted by Squid Voltaire at 3:52 PM on August 18, 2006


This precious snowflake line is wearing thin, languagehat.

I'm gonna keep it up, then, just because it annoys you the way these whiny self-pitying MeTa posts annoy me.

the point is simply.. why should a comment of this nature be deleted? it's not the best comment ever, but i fail to see how it crosses any boundaries.

Do you not grasp that everyone who ever has a comment deleted can say that? I'm truly impressed by the level of self-importance it requires to think that one's own special, particular snowflake comment is deserving of its own special MetaTalk post because, well, it just is. Because MetaTalk is all about Me.
posted by languagehat at 3:57 PM on August 18, 2006


Then again, it's ten 'till six on a Friday

Yeah, if I ever decide to flame out, I'll save it for a weekday, because I'm just that kind of guy. Considerate of others, even when I'm threatening to cut off my right hand and eviscerate everyone in sight.
posted by languagehat at 3:59 PM on August 18, 2006


Actually, the comment you were pointing out as bad advice should have been deleted as well, since it's a jokey non-answer.

Usually me and jessamyn only swarm onto a comment if several people have flagged it as noise, then we judge it in context and sometimes out of context, and act upon that. It was probably tersely worded or sounded like a derail I suspect.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:06 PM on August 18, 2006


Ascullion, what is it about the guidelines (that Gator helpfully provides) don't you understand?

If all you did was comment on the quality of a piece of advice, you did not follow the ask.me guidelines. What's the problem?
posted by oddman at 4:12 PM on August 18, 2006


weapons-grade pandemonium - The issue is not deletions; it's arbitrary, inconsistent, personalized deletions by jessamyn. Matt doesn't do this. The comment telling the parent to teach his pre-school daughter to point and laugh at the boy's penis is left in. The comment saying this is inappropriate advice is deleted. This is shitty moderation.

I'd agree with the spirit of that comment (though I might have skipped the personal attacks).

Gator - I'm hoping you'll prove me wrong and just admit that your comment was a derail that offered nothing helpful and therefore its deletion was warranted after all, based on the guidelines and the little note under the Live Preview.

Nope. It was intended to make people think about the really-poor advice given above. I don't see that every rebuttal needs to be an essay.

M.C. Lo-Carb! - I've had a comment or two deleted myself, and in later reflection, I realized they basically made me sound like a mean condescending jerk. Maybe as time passes, and you continue to think about your comment, you'll realize that it wasn't really helpful, and it was kinda mean.

And the comment to which you were referring? Frankly, my dear, I thought it was rather funny.


That's funny, I thought it sounded bitter and dangerous. Maybe if they'd put a smiley afterwards...

oddman - If all you did was comment on the quality of a piece of advice, you did not follow the ask.me guidelines. What's the problem?

Rubbish. My comment was basically "i may not have good advice, but i know that this is bad advice". There's nothing wrong with saying that - it can make askMefi more useful.

mathowie Actually, the comment you were pointing out as bad advice should have been deleted as well, since it's a jokey non-answer.

Thanks for the response. I guess the thing is that the answer I was objecting to didn't strike me as jokey, it struck me as dangerously bad advice. I wouldn't have posted to MetaTalk if both had been deleted (which is not to say that I think the current moderation strategies are perfect).

languagehat - Because MetaTalk is all about Me.

I didn't post because my pride was hurt, I posted because I've long thought that the moderation strategy around here was imperfect, and this was a good example of that.

LarryC - Because the moderator is imperfect and made a mistake? Just a thought.

All moderators are imperfect and make mistakes. Which is why a site like this should have a more transparent moderation policy. I'd like a MeFi where I could choose to turn on/off deleted (or flagged) posts and comments. There are days when I'd read one and days when I'd read the other.

But at least there would be transparency.
posted by ascullion at 4:30 PM on August 18, 2006


Perhaps the snowflake just... melted.
posted by klangklangston at 4:30 PM on August 18, 2006


"Which is why a site like this should have a more transparent moderation policy. I'd like a MeFi where I could choose to turn on/off deleted (or flagged) posts and comments. There are days when I'd read one and days when I'd read the other."


I'd like a database with as little extraneous load on it as possible. And a general moderation sense that moves toward eliminating comments that would otherwise become blown out of proportion if they were visible after they were deleted.
Further, I'd like to point out that trying to establish a system that operates on objective principles (and the argument is most often turned against rational liberalism) is a fool's game. Better to have open methods of contention and community norms with options for pluralistic expression.
posted by klangklangston at 4:38 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


I would also like Metafilter to acknowledge Thin Lizzy as totally fucking awesome and underrated.
posted by klangklangston at 4:39 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


The important point here is that the deletion of your comment is NO BIG DEAL and unworthy of a MetaTalk thread.

The second most important point is that Thin Lizzy sucked monkey nuts.
posted by LarryC at 4:44 PM on August 18, 2006


I'd like a cucumber sandwich.
posted by blue_beetle at 4:45 PM on August 18, 2006


Sorry I didn't remove the preceding post as well as yours, ascullion. A lot of people flagged yours and I must have missed the one previous to it.

she's in the pointing and laughing at penises camp

untrue and unfounded.

The issue is not deletions; it's arbitrary, inconsistent, personalized deletions by jessamyn. Matt doesn't do this.

Matt doesn't do this because he doesn't spend as much time in AskMe as I do. We've been workiing on adding a few guidelines for AskMe posts to the FAQ, but seriously being able to ask why each and every comment was removed seems pretty transparent. I'll email people if they're new or I think there might be some confusion, or I'll leave a note in the thread. If people are just being asshats, I generally won't send an email "Dear Asshat, you were being an asshat and I removed your asshat comments. Please stop the asshattery, love jessamyn"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:54 PM on August 18, 2006 [15 favorites]


I know that people will turn around and say 'this is Matt's site, we shouldn't complain...' - but I don't buy it. This site would be nothing without the community. And this sort of arbitrary moderation makes me much more reluctant to contribute to that community.

You should definitely set an example for the rest of us and leave. Then we'll all follow and the site will suffer. But you have to set it up by leaving.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:02 PM on August 18, 2006


"Please stop the asshattery, love jessamyn"

Now there's a song that should be on MeFi Music.
posted by smackfu at 5:08 PM on August 18, 2006


"The second most important point is that Thin Lizzy sucked monkey nuts."

Tonight, when we have our jailbreak, you're going to have to stay behind with Nazareth.
posted by klangklangston at 5:35 PM on August 18, 2006


the boys are back in town!
posted by scody at 5:42 PM on August 18, 2006


This site would be nothing without the community. And this sort of arbitrary moderation makes me much more reluctant to contribute to that community.

I'm not the most prolific member, I may not be a loss, but if it can happen to me...


Dude, stop taking yourself so seriously.

Jessamyn deleted one of my comments in another thread a couple of weeks ago. I got a little annoyed. Then I thought to myself: "Oh, well. Maybe my tone might have been a little offensive. Maybe she thought I was acting like a dick? Was I? Nah, I was in the right. Eh, whatever. Life goes on."

I had actually forgotten about it until now.

Just roll with it. It's not that huge of a deal.
posted by jason's_planet at 5:46 PM on August 18, 2006


If people are just being asshats, I generally won't send an email "Dear Asshat, you were being an asshat and I removed your asshat comments. Please stop the asshattery, love jessamyn"

Very well said.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:51 PM on August 18, 2006


Now there's a song that should be on MeFi Music.

Okay, but you totally owe me a coke.

Please Stop The Asshattery [mp3]
posted by cortex at 5:54 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Larry, I think you know that I like you and your attitude fairly well. I certainly consider you to be a well-balanced and intelligent contributor here. Tonight, however, you've shown that even the best of us can be a complete fool. Thin Lizzy so far surpasses almost all other bands that it's impossible to seriously consider the suggestion that they "suck monkey nuts" unless by that you mean either 1) they were awesome, or 2) Phil Lynott was busy doing something that even now we do not understand. Please apologize to Phil's ghost forthwith.
posted by OmieWise at 5:59 PM on August 18, 2006


Why, and I'm genuinely asking this, was the "point and laugh" advice considered so bad and even "dangerous"? I honestly don't get it.

And, was the fact that it was marked as a "best" a factor?

Because if someone gives a dumb jokey answer, but the OP marks it "best" that kind of makes me think it should stay.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 6:08 PM on August 18, 2006


Omie, alas, how does a man with a straight-edge X tatooed on his hand (self tatooed! fuckin' hardcore!) sink to the depths of defending such a tawdry commercial concoction? Thin Lizzy were so bad that I am tempted to search Youtube for images of actual monkey nuts being sucked. Only my extreme horror of monkey nuts, and Thin Lizzy, restrain me.
posted by LarryC at 6:45 PM on August 18, 2006


I am now deeply and profoundly in love with cortex.
posted by scody at 6:50 PM on August 18, 2006


Alas, I am extremely married. Fate's a fucker!
posted by cortex at 6:55 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


What does it say about AskMe that a comment the admins agree should have been deleted for being a useless non-answer was marked as Best Answer?
posted by Dasein at 7:03 PM on August 18, 2006


In the past, joke answers have been marked best answer and then deleted later. Not saying this is a joke answer, although it seems like it. So, to answer you're question: it says nothing.
posted by bob sarabia at 7:09 PM on August 18, 2006


*exposes self*

*points and laughs*
posted by quonsar at 7:10 PM on August 18, 2006


sweet jesus, cortex, that was lovely. Also, LarryC, Thin Lizzy rules, don't make me, klang and omie have to marker fight you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:11 PM on August 18, 2006


You could always set it up so every time a comment is flagged, the commenter gets an email. That wouldn't be hard, right? Or annoying in any way whatsoever?
posted by ferociouskitty at 7:15 PM on August 18, 2006


Is cortex competing with Thin Lizzy?
posted by cgc373 at 7:36 PM on August 18, 2006


OmieWise is significantly more hardcore than I previously suspected.

LarryC, I think you can expect a visit from the Stasis sometime this evening...
posted by hototogisu at 7:36 PM on August 18, 2006


Seems pretty clear to me. Teaching girls to point and laugh is pretty awful advice, but if the comment said merely "This is the worst advice I've ever seen on MeFi" then, well, how does that help anyone? - Squid Voltaire

Exactly. If you elaborate on why it's a bad idea then it's more justified in being there. Ideally, you provide better alternatives. But at the least it must be a specific criticism in order to add anything of value to the thread.

Also, cortex kicks butt.
posted by raedyn at 7:38 PM on August 18, 2006


Thin Lizzy rules, don't make me, klang and omie have to marker fight you.

OK, now I am intimidated--Klang seems kind of tough, and Jess knows where I live, and I have little girly arms and everything. I'll just buy a round and slink out the back.
posted by LarryC at 8:05 PM on August 18, 2006


Yes! Yes! Buy me beer in shame!
(It probably doesn't help that the only online picture of me that I can think of where you can see both my face and my stunning lack of musculature has me pointing a gun at the camera. Ah well, I'm not too tough. It's only a .22.)
posted by klangklangston at 8:19 PM on August 18, 2006


Thanks to last.fm, I can watch klangklangston listen to Thin Lizzy almost in realtime.
Thin Lizzy – Opium Trail 37 minutes ago
Thin Lizzy – Southbound 42 minutes ago
Thin Lizzy – Killer Without a Cause 45 minutes ago
Thin Lizzy – Downtown Sundown 50 minutes ago
Thin Lizzy – Dancing in the Moonlight (It's Caught Me in It's Spotlight) 53 minutes ago
Thin Lizzy – That Woman's Gonna Break Your Heart 57 minutes ago
Thin Lizzy – Dear Lord 1h and 1m ago
Josh Millard – Please Stop The Asshattery 1h and 2m ago
Creepily awesome.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:25 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


raedyn : "If you elaborate on why it's a bad idea then it's more justified in being there. Ideally, you provide better alternatives. But at the least it must be a specific criticism in order to add anything of value to the thread."

Well, yes, but according to ascullion:

ascullion : "It was intended to make people think about the really-poor advice given above. I don't see that every rebuttal needs to be an essay."

As matt once said, "I've been tweaking the server a bunch lately and things are much better than they used to be, but still once every 48hrs or so, the java server dies. It usually happens while I'm asleep, resulting in a few hours of downtime."

I'm not going to elaborate on how that relates to the issue at hand. It's intended to make you think about something relevant to this topic, but I don't think every rebuttal needs to be an essay.
posted by Bugbread at 8:26 PM on August 18, 2006


I think it's good advice.
posted by Paris Hilton at 8:27 PM on August 18, 2006


I am now deeply and profoundly in love with cortex.
posted by scody at 6:50 PM PST on August 18 [+] [!]


Alas, I am extremely married. Fate's a fucker!
posted by cortex at 6:55 PM PST on August 18 [+] [!]


"Why does it have to be wrong or right?

Why do we have to hurt one to love another?"
posted by baylink at 9:02 PM on August 18, 2006


A bad answer in AskMe is a far lesser sin than a comment pointing it out as such. My great-grandma knows that, and she's been dead for 14 years.

I'd like a MeFi where I could choose to turn on/off deleted (or flagged) posts and comments.

Don't make me link to the definition of "deleted".

What I like to do upon discovering that one of my comments has been deleted is pretend that it was so freakin' awesome the admins felt that the MeTaRabble were unworthy of its brilliance and so printed it up on a big rasterized poster to hang over their respective beds so that they and they alone could enjoy the goodness.


I also like to smother my nethers in Cheez-Wiz and shredded coconut and rub up against mail boxes in low income neighborhoods, but that's not really MeFi-related.

Unless any members out there want it to be.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:27 PM on August 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


"My comment was basically "i may not have good advice, but i know that this is bad advice". There's nothing wrong with saying that - it can make askMefi more useful."

You know what? That's a dumb attitude to have. By your reasoning so long as I feel something is bad advice, I can just slam the comment to my heart's content. Nevermind that perhaps the question is about what menstruation feels like and as a man I'm actually incapable of knowing anything about it. I think it's bad advice, ignore it.

Why not explain why it's bad advice? Give the people in the discussion some reason to believe your opinion is credible and worth heading. Don't just make an off the cuff comment and expect it to be treated as some obviously grand and eloquent statement. If the post is nothing but a brief, unexplained, uninteresting and ill-written comment on another post the post should be deleted. Good!
posted by oddman at 9:43 PM on August 18, 2006


The issue is not deletions; it's arbitrary, inconsistent, personalized deletions by jessamyn.

You're really broken up about that one aren't you?
posted by nanojath at 9:49 PM on August 18, 2006


Why not explain why it's bad advice?

In general, I agree with this.

But, aside from "would we really expect a parent to *tell* a child that", do we really have to go that deep on this one?
posted by baylink at 10:09 PM on August 18, 2006


I think there are some pretty childish responses above, and I think a few have really taken my point the wrong way. MY individual comment is not even remotely important - all I was trying to do was raise the fact that the moderation around here can be pretty arbitrary, which makes the entire community less valuable. And I think that's been demonstrated.
posted by ascullion at 3:18 AM on August 19, 2006


Seriously now. Why is "tell little girls to point and laugh" such bad advice that you're still talking about it after all this time?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:07 AM on August 19, 2006


Perhaps ascullion was deeply scarred early in life, when the prettiest girl in grade two laughed at his micropenis.
posted by Meatbomb at 7:07 AM on August 19, 2006


ascullion writes "all I was trying to do was raise the fact that the moderation around here can be pretty arbitrary, which makes the entire community less valuable."

Personally I think the arbitrariness is a strength, moderation is often better when administered by a human (as long as the human can be trusted and acts fairly but flexibly) using their judgement rather than by strict adherance to a series of committee rules.

Alvy Ampersand writes "I also like to smother my nethers in Cheez-Wiz and shredded coconut and rub up against mail boxes in low income neighborhoods, but that's not really MeFi-related."

Note to self: do not attend meetups organised by Alvy Ampersand.

posted by Mitheral at 7:45 AM on August 19, 2006


"Creepily awesome."

There's even an RSS feed so you can ALWAYS know what I'm listening to (on my computer).

Right now it's BÖC. Who also rule. Later, probably some Mott the Hoople and Skynyrd, as I slowly plow through the classic rock bounty of Soulseek. But who knows? I got French indie pop yesterday that I'm curious about, and a handful of classic rap albums... And some Stockhausen and Xenakis. Most of it's streamable.

Sorry to derail this whingefest onto my (awesome) taste in music, but I think we've resolved to an impass where some people care when their crappy comments in AskMe are removed, and others feel secretly relieved (like me).

Oh, and Mitheral's right.
posted by klangklangston at 7:51 AM on August 19, 2006


AmbroseChapel - seriously, that's not the point.

Meatbomb - grow up.

Fair enough if you're all happy with the way things are.
posted by ascullion at 7:58 AM on August 19, 2006


ascullion, I don't think it's that everyone is saying "things were handled exactly perfectly in this case" just that the bulk of them seem to be saying that the system in place for handling moderation and notification and clarification mostly works and that maybe that's as good as it's going to get.

I don't think "pretty arbitrary" is at all accurate, if it were, people would be hauling mathowie and I in here all the damned time. The fact that we're talking about this once or twice a week instead of four or five times a day -- the site is lightly moderated but that doesn't mean it's NOT moderated -- seems to imply, to me anyhow, that it's mostly working.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:13 AM on August 19, 2006


Fair enough if you're all happy with the way things are.

No we are not happy with the way things are. You keep walking to the edge of a flame-out, and stepping back. Then you walk to the edge again. Stop teasing us. People are talking shit about you on the internet. Are you gonna stand for that? You need to set us straight, with bitter, personal attacks on every person in this thread, alternated with hysterical complaints about how you are misunderstood, persecuted because of your ideas/politics/religion/sexual orientation, and smarter and cooler than the rest of us anyway. Keep it up, answer every single charge with a reply, for 4-6 hours. Turn up the heat, engage the caps-lock, drink heavily.

You need to follow through here.
posted by LarryC at 8:28 AM on August 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


The fact that we're talking about this once or twice a week instead of four or five times a day...

And the balance that is missing is that nobody is posting what I imagine is the vast majority of the reactions, which are "my post/comment got deleted and I didn't notice/didn't care/was relieved because I sounded like a jerk."

I heard someone on the radio the other day say that one of the problems with open forum on the internet is that "anger drowns out sanity."
posted by nanojath at 8:37 AM on August 19, 2006


"Fair enough if you're all happy with the way things are."

Y'know, I disagree with the moderation here on occassion, but in general I'd be pro having more, not less. And when I disagree, I tend to say so and then leave it. Y'know why? Because the operation of this site takes a vast number of decisions, and in general I think those decisions are for the betterment of the site. When there's an area of contention, I'm willing to move on because a) usually the deleted item is of ambiguous utility (thus making it hard to argue to strenuously for restoration), and b) it's a blip in the overall universe.
So... Yeah, I guess I am happy with the way things are, even if they're not perfect. I woulda axed both your comment (which was noise) and the joke that preceeded it, but that's assuming that I was able to act perfectly and read the whole thread before acting. If Jessamyn wasn't able to, y'know what I say? "Oh well. Not a big deal." I don't start twisting my y-fronts and demanding a great contrition.
And, frankly, I tend to agree with Jessamyn's decisions more than I agree with Mathowie (which has led people to dismiss me as a "fanboy" before, though that's not accurate).

So... While I think that you're maybe a decent guy who's been unable to let go off something stupid on the internet, that's a position I can sympathize with and recommend that you take some deep breaths and go play Quake or something.
posted by klangklangston at 9:16 AM on August 19, 2006


ascullion, while I agree with much of what you said, particularly on the seemingly arbitrary nature of comment deletions, your comment was basically noise. Did it give pause to the reader going through the thread? I suppose. But you backed it up with nothing--not even a subjective, second-hand anecdote to support your point.

Extrapolate further: what if everyone did this to comments they didn't agree with? You'd have a sea of you're wrong's but would be unable to determine who's actually right, since everyone decided that any kind of actual explanation was so obvious and beneath them to warrant typing out.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:39 AM on August 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


sweet jesus, cortex, that was lovely.

Yes. Yes it was yes I said yes.

And Mitheral's right.

And so is klang.

Final word of wisdom to ascullion: next time you feel like picking an example to illustrate your profoundly important feelings about moderation, pick one by somebody else. Because nobody's going to believe you don't care about yours, it just happened to be lying around handy, no matter how many times you say it.
posted by languagehat at 10:44 AM on August 19, 2006


>AmbroseChapel - seriously, that's not the point.

Just answer the question and I'll stop asking.

It mattered enough to you at the time to post, and it matters enough to you to start an entire thread on the post being deleted, but you can't explain why?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:59 PM on August 19, 2006


As the author of the comment in question, I have to say that my response was only partially 'jokey'. My point was attempting to express a way to empower the little girl to immediately defuse the situation in a non-confrontational way on her own instead of escalating things to the adult level (tattling to the nuns, talking to the parents, calling in the police) and making a 'big deal' out of what many above have pointed out is normal behavior for kids that age, and also a way that would condition the little boy to stop the behavior through peer socialization - enough other kids start making fun of you every time you pull down your pants, pretty soon you're going to learn to stop waving around your pee-pee.

Like AmbroseChapel, I don't see why what I said was such horrible terrible advice. Had I a daughter at that age, that probably is what I would have told her to do first, and then to go and tell the teacher. Maybe my idea just brought back painful memories from ascullion's own youth...
posted by SenshiNeko at 4:37 PM on August 19, 2006


And the balance that is missing is that nobody is posting what I imagine is the vast majority of the reactions, which are "my post/comment got deleted and I didn't notice/didn't care/was relieved because I sounded like a jerk."


Jessamyn deleted one of my comments in another thread a couple of weeks ago. I got a little annoyed. Then I thought to myself: "Oh, well. Maybe my tone might have been a little offensive. Maybe she thought I was acting like a dick? Was I? Nah, I was in the right. Eh, whatever. Life goes on."

I had actually forgotten about it until now.

Just roll with it. It's not that huge of a deal.

posted by jason's_planet at 8:46 PM EST
posted by jason's_planet at 4:55 PM on August 19, 2006


There are no Thin Lizzy songs on HiFi. Therefore, they suck.
posted by Mikey-San at 3:29 AM on August 20, 2006


I would also like Metafilter to acknowledge Thin Lizzy as totally fucking awesome.

My mum shagged Phil Lynott. She said he was nice.
posted by meehawl at 7:04 AM on August 20, 2006


I didn't post because my pride was hurt, I posted because I've long thought that the moderation strategy around here was imperfect, and this was a good example of that.
If you want Usenet, you know where to find it.
posted by darukaru at 10:45 AM on August 20, 2006


"Right now it's BÖC. Who also rule."

I love a man who respects his umlauts. Better album: Tyranny and Mutation, or the Red and the Black?
posted by Eideteker at 4:36 PM on August 23, 2006


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