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A small question about metafilter deleting posts.
September 17, 2006 5:21 PM   Subscribe

A small question about metafilter deleting posts. Why so hasty? Why so abrupt? Perhaps we, as a online community, should define more precisely *exactly* the demographic metafilter, as a business, seeks to appeal toward. Posts on metaTalk get deleted before I can even put a more in depth explaination. What is going on here?
posted by kuatto to Etiquette/Policy at 5:21 PM (46 comments total)

don't delete this post
posted by kuatto at 5:22 PM on September 17, 2006


please
posted by kuatto at 5:22 PM on September 17, 2006


This is the post on the front page that started this whole thing for me. Quite possibly the most interesting post on metafilter for quite some time, In my opinion.

In a certain sense, metafilter is stifled. I get the impression that any post that is slightly kooky or off the wall is immediately shot down. It seems the moderator's reason for removing that post explains this rather nicely, "oh thank jehu this is a double", as in thank god I have a reason to remove this so I can make room for more links to the NewYorker.

Hey Metafilter,
Chill out, you don't have to sanitize the front page for old people who are used to watching the CBS evening news.
posted by kuatto at 5:28 PM on September 17, 2006


I get the impression that any post that is slightly kooky or off the wall is immediately shot down.

Let me know which whack-ass flea market you got that impression at. I've been looking for some weird stuff to decorate my dorm room.
posted by cortex at 5:34 PM on September 17, 2006


If anything, the post was removed to “make room” for more posts that look like this.
posted by tepidmonkey at 5:35 PM on September 17, 2006


Perhaps we, as a online community, should define more precisely *exactly* the demographic metafilter, as a business, seeks to appeal toward.

The minute it got to that, I and (and I would hope and assume) a lot of other people would be saying thanks for the memories and moving on.

Leaving out the marketingspeak, though, Metafilter has, as long as I can remember, been mostly web-aware, clued-in, mostly leftish, mostly older-than-teenage, articulate, language-loving, somewhat artsy, mostly smart, discussion-loving, and too snarky by half. We also have cameras and many of us are fond of pancakes, so the syrup marketers should be all over us.

The personalities of mathowie and (more recently) jessamyn are reflected to some extent, I suppose, in the sort of people that have tended to congregate here. My impression is that many of the epithets I used above apply to them personally, though I haven't met either of them.

Not to marginalize those who are only some or even none of those things. It'd be boring if everyone was X.

One defines the community by what it is, not what one wishes it to be.

Now, to move on to your real query: moderation here is mostly invisible, and can seem arbitrary at times, but you either learn to live with it or not, because that's the way it goes, and I don't think it's going to change.

For the most part, both Matt and Jessamyn usually seem to have quite rational justifications for their administrative actions (which are quite lighthanded, appearances to the contrary because (ironically) of their invisibility, sometimes) when pressed on things.

I would guess that things aren't scaling all that well behind the scenes as the userbase grows beyond the traditional demographic, in terms of the onerousness of their admin tasks, but that's just a guess.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:35 PM on September 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


You just made three replies in a row to a thread and you're telling us to chill out?
posted by MegoSteve at 5:36 PM on September 17, 2006


Perhaps we, as a online community, should define more precisely *exactly* the demographic metafilter, as a business, seeks to appeal toward.



no ... you REALLY don't want to do that
posted by pyramid termite at 5:42 PM on September 17, 2006


The post that set you off was deleted because it was a double, not because of content.

Your soapbox is a tad bit on the wobbly side. You should get it checked-out.
posted by purephase at 5:43 PM on September 17, 2006


By the way, if you'd actually like to test your perception of the share of deletions that correspond to weirdness, you can always dive into the deleted thread record and do a straw poll. I think you'll find that the posts the get deleted the most are (1) doubles, (2) shitty GYOB op-ed links, and (3) spam. "This is really odd" isn't that well represented in the deletions, and seems to correspond mostly to the incomprehensible, rather than the merely odd. And even that is only a small share of the total amount of weird stuff that gets posted.

There's a deleted thread bookmarklet out there, as well as at least one greasemonkey script. And there's also the deleted threads blog. Have fun. Test your assertions. I, personally, think they're bunk and that this post is pretty silly.

And try not to shear any neurons.
posted by cortex at 5:46 PM on September 17, 2006


(not to toot my own horn)
i admit the format of my post was rather chaotic
but i tried to keep it in the spirit of the craziness of the random image board.
i especially thought calling it a double was harsh.
4chan /b/ has become quite a monster of its own since 2004.
and i thought that having two GETS thread at the same time on two boards
was the perfect moment to get a glimpse of the phenomenon.
i somehow wish someone else made a better post about it i guess.
i also thought the comments in the thread (except the animated poo maybe)
were good and had demonstrated an interest in the subject.
(btw i managed to restore my year old hax0r flash interface to 4chan teehee)
posted by zenzizi at 5:55 PM on September 17, 2006


*blinks*
posted by scody at 5:58 PM on September 17, 2006


YOU'RE SOAKING IN FUCKING MOONJUICE YOU GODDAMN OVERRIPE MOONBERRY
posted by loquacious at 6:04 PM on September 17, 2006


I'm pretty sure there's been a 4chan post since 2004. Anyway, the post wasn't deleted because MeFi is afraid of offbeat stuff. Because MeFi isn't afraid of offbeat stuff. I think this is obvious to everyone but you.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:06 PM on September 17, 2006


I'm not sure what post on MetaTalk you're referring to, did I miss something earlier?

As far as the "why so abrupt?" question, there are a few reasons.

First, if a post is an established double, or if it's so lousy people all know it's going to be deleted, the thread tends to fill up quickly with noise, snark and general farkery. Nothing wrong with that, BUT this can then spawn -- in a thread already destined to die -- further flagging/metatalkery for NSFW images, stuff that breaks people's "my comments" pages [they posted when the thread was normal, then it got weird, etc]. This wastes time, from an admin perspective fixing this stuff, in a thread that was already dead.

Second, people get grouchy if they perceive that mathowie and I are asleep at the wheel somehow. Doubles or truly lousy posts (or chatfilter, sometimes) that go undeleted turn into MetaTalk threads where people cast aspersions onto our good names, or just talk shit. So if something is going to be removed it's better to do it more quickly. It shows we're awake and paying attention.

Third, it's better for all involved if a thread is removed before lots of people have commented on it and have some investment in it. People get unhappy, and rightly so, if they tried to create well-crafted responses and discussions to something that turns out to be a double post or chatfilter or whatever.

I realize that the above could all be arguments for not ever removing anything ever, but the truth is we don't remove much as it is. If you accept the premise that sometimes things have to be removed, then it seems like it would be a good idea to remove things quickly.

Lastly, if you think either me or mathowie is waiting for more New Yorker stuff to appear on the front page as opposed to more great molasses flood and/or teledildonics posts, you may not have been paying close enough attention. I was only happy to remove that post because it was a formatting nightmare and a ton of people had flagged it. The fact that it was a double meant, I thought, that it could be removed without a MetaTalk thread appearing about it. I was wrong.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:07 PM on September 17, 2006


For the record, I liked today's 4chan thread in question - as did most of the posters, it appears.

The random junk in that thread - for once - wasn't merely random junk, but random 4chan junk. Junk which I will now hit with this brick, repeatedly, until it yields up delicious arctic candy.
posted by loquacious at 6:11 PM on September 17, 2006


pyramid termite writes "no ... you REALLY don't want to do that"

That's cute, pt, but you've got it all wrong. This is the demograhic you're after (NSFW).
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 6:18 PM on September 17, 2006


It is easy to get an inaccurate sense of what gets deleted here and what doesn't. Most folks only notice a disappearing post when it was one that interested them. "Damn," they think, "Matt really hates X!"

Here is a Google search for deleted posts on MetaFilter. You will see that most of them are, as Cortex said, doubles, KosFilter, and self-links.

There is also a Greasemonkey script you can run which inserts links to deleted posts into the blue. (I can't remember where I got it--anyone?) Seeing the deleted posts in real time gives you a great sense of how moderate and thoughtful the moderation here really is.
posted by LarryC at 6:20 PM on September 17, 2006


And for God's sake Zenzizi, use the shift key.
posted by LarryC at 6:23 PM on September 17, 2006


WHAT
THE
FUCK
GNFTI?
posted by loquacious at 6:27 PM on September 17, 2006


I get the impression that any post that is slightly kooky or off the wall is immediately shot down. It seems the moderator's reason for removing that post explains this rather nicely, "oh thank jehu this is a double", as in thank god I have a reason to remove this so I can make room for more links to the NewYorker.

If you get the impression that ANY post that is slightly kooky is shot down, the way to convince people of that is not by posting a thread that was filled with nonsense because people knew it was going to be deleted because it was a double. The way to do it is by finding a whole lot of kooky non-double posts that people crapped all over for no reason.

Go ahead.
posted by 23skidoo at 6:44 PM on September 17, 2006


Teledildonics and and the great molasses aside. That's not what I'm refering to here.

This is:
http://metatalk.metafilter.com/mefi/12703

I posted a thread on metaTalk, (The self-referential part of metafilter, the part of metafilter that examines itself). Now granted I don't post much and I don't think I'll start, because I'm not very good at it. But here it was, my insignificant attempt to up bring up something that I felt strongly about, a deleted post. ok great.

It was deleted in about 1 minute.

Or was it the server monsters?????

So here is the REAL meta'ness
This is a post about a post that was deleted, about a post that was deleted, for no goddamn good reason. In addition to that, it was deleted from the forum that is dedicated to letting people vent frustrations.

That is just a bunch of crap.

Stavros, you are correct. I have to get used to the editing policy on the front page, that's fine. But with regards to the moderation of MetaTalk, I feel that whoever else is doing the moderation, is a little heavy handed. At least let me post the additional information that explains things, inside the thread. The post was deleted before my fat stupid fingers could type up my nonsense.

I think I am going to do the internet equivelint of screaming into my pillow now.
posted by kuatto at 6:44 PM on September 17, 2006


In addition to that, it was deleted from the forum that is dedicated to letting people vent frustrations.

Appearances aside, that's not what MeTa is for.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:46 PM on September 17, 2006


YOU'RE SOAKING IN FUCKING MOONJUICE YOU GODDAMN OVERRIPE MOONBERRY

Actually that's called purge, it's that color 'cause of the myoglobin in the beet juice and now you're scaring davy.
posted by y2karl at 6:47 PM on September 17, 2006


Sorry, that came out a little too fast. Maybe I should just realize that everyone is doing their best and nothing is perfect.

I just hope that the one area of metafilter that could tolerate some laxness is metatalk. Does there need to be a meta-metatalk, where people can safely complain into a bit-bucket?
posted by kuatto at 6:51 PM on September 17, 2006


kuatto, what was the deleted MeTa post about? Was it the same as this one? Can you help out a little? Otherwise I'm just having this sign/signifier problem, I can't really speak to the deletion without having a clue what it was that was deleted, except to tell you that it was deleted by mathowie who, um, runs the place.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:51 PM on September 17, 2006


Since I'm hitting refresh now, tell me monju_bosatsu what is metatalk about, if not talking about metafilter?
posted by kuatto at 6:52 PM on September 17, 2006


ok, I'm taking deep breaths. I apologize again. It really was my fault. Everyone here does a great job, really.

I posted a link to the thread in question and was going to explain stuff inside, stuff like reasons why I thought it was worth saving etc. But it was deleted out from underneath me. I then became irrational, and stubborn.

Sorry again, metafilter is the best place on the internet.
posted by kuatto at 6:56 PM on September 17, 2006


MetaTalk is a discussion area for topics specific to MetaFilter itself, ranging from bug reports to feature requests to questions of content.

What I don't see listed in that description is the notion that MeTa "is dedicated to letting people vent frustrations."
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:56 PM on September 17, 2006


I deleted the metatalk post because it didn't make a lick of sense. It was just the deletion reason linked to the deleted post on mefi.

If you're going to post to metatalk, explain your purpose and your point. There's a big list of tips on the posting page asking people to do this. You did it this time around, but I'm tired of obtuse metatalk posts (esp. when linked to obtuse posts with deletion reasons quoted).

Anyway, doth protest too much. It was deleted because it was posted before. It didn't make much sense, which is probably what prompted the "thank jeru" comment because it gave jessamyn a good reason to ax it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:59 PM on September 17, 2006


If we consider metafilter to be a grand process, in which we are all participants, and when that process appears to be malfunctioning, it creates frustration.

I consider the manner in which metafilter is run to be integral to metafilter itself. therfore when there is a problem incorrectly or corectly that is percieved, meta-talk is the place to be. Am I incorrect in this assumption?

Of course delivery is everything, and again, I apologize for my bad delivery. But I felt strongly about this dammit.
posted by kuatto at 7:03 PM on September 17, 2006


jehu.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:03 PM on September 17, 2006


This discussion, can it be summarized as "mathosamyn" made the administrative decision to remove a post, and the postee is upset?

I believe that's what's commonly called "moot." Admin policy is admin policy. "jessaowie" seldom argues justifications. And wisely so, I might add.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:03 PM on September 17, 2006


not jeru.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:03 PM on September 17, 2006 [1 favorite]


I found the "deleted Mefi threads" greasemonkey script referred to by cortex and LarryC here. Fabu!
posted by facetious at 7:07 PM on September 17, 2006


Don't you guys see? The real issue here is that by deleting messages so quickly, we're not synergising the paradigms of our essential proactive monitoring capabilities. Continuous surgical extractions from the communicative loops cause our marketshare to nose-dive and the dichotomous ether to be disrupted in the space/time axis of the universal whole!
posted by crunchland at 7:12 PM on September 17, 2006 [2 favorites]


It didn't make much sense, which is probably what prompted the "thank jeru" comment because it gave jessamyn a good reason to ax it.

Yes!! This exactly confirms my suspicions. Thanks, dude. But please, don't justify yourselves. I think that it cheapens the process. This is *not* my show. I am just yelling from the peanut gallery.

Also, you are correct, my post was essentially obtuse. I did it to complement the actions of a moderator that delights in removing posts.

Not delight, but a sigh of relief, "Thank Jebus I can save these poor schmucks from themselves."

Thanks guys! feel free to delete this crap too, essentially this is brain-waste.
posted by kuatto at 7:12 PM on September 17, 2006


This is the post on the front page that started this whole thing for me. Quite possibly the most interesting post on metafilter for quite some time, In my opinion.

Well, I thought it sucked. So there's that. I don't know what that has to do with "demographics"
posted by delmoi at 7:17 PM on September 17, 2006


After Ehud, Jehu is one of my favorite OT Badasses. If the Bible was nothing but Kings and Judges, I'd never have left the church.

On Topic: Why the crazy?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:18 PM on September 17, 2006


If your paradigm was more proactive you'd understand, delmoi.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:20 PM on September 17, 2006


i admit the format of my post was rather chaotic
but i tried to keep it in the spirit of the craziness of the random image board.


Well that stratagy sucks, IMO.
posted by delmoi at 7:21 PM on September 17, 2006


*throws seroquel at this thread, hope it sticks*
posted by konolia at 7:28 PM on September 17, 2006


The post was deleted before my fat stupid fingers could type up my nonsense.

it's a good idea to have everything you want to include in any given post prepared ahead of time. then, just cut and paste the different parts (post, first comment, more inside, etc.) all at once.
posted by carsonb at 7:30 PM on September 17, 2006


MetaTalk: It didn't make a lick of sense.
posted by loquacious at 7:33 PM on September 17, 2006


Don't worry, I'm putting together personality profiles of the admins, and most of the frequent posters. I've cross referenced it with most of the information in the NSA databases, and some former KGB data. I'm aiming for a publish date of November 1st, I just need to source 20,000 three-ring binders to put it all in.

* Note #1: in order to cover my butt, I've written it all in sanskrit, using mirror writing, and a red crayon. I'm also publishing it under a "nom de plume", J.J McFartzNgiggle. Keep checking amazon for pre-orders.

* Note #2: If you're confused, this is in reference to the target demographic request in the original post.
posted by blue_beetle at 7:34 PM on September 17, 2006


I'm going to call this complete.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:41 PM on September 17, 2006


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