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Overmoderation.
September 12, 2007 1:34 AM   Subscribe

Hi there, mods. Yes, you. Mathowie, jessamyn and cortex. Please stop closing MeTa threads so early and so often. I think you're forgetting the "community" part.

No, seriously. It's getting a little heavy handed in my opinion. We don't always need baby sitters. Sometimes we just need to talk about shit. Sometimes we might just need to say goodbye to someone who was exiting gracefully. Sometimes that might get ugly or unpleasant, or it can be surprisingly civil.

But all in all? It's part of the process and it seems to work ok - if you allow it to happen.

But I feel you're trying to make things run too smoothly - for your own benefit at the cost of ours.

Please understand that I don't say this to invoke drama, but I have seen this before on a number of sites. If the patterns I've seen hold true you probably run the risk of a massive user exodus if these trends continue.
posted by loquacious to MetaFilter-Related at 1:34 AM (609 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite

I'm not going to have much time or energy to devote to this thread, but I've made my statement, more or less.

It's not just about today, I've been concerned about this for a few months now, and I've been wanting to say something, so I did.

MetaFilter, please do not put on that leather motorcycle jacket and jump the shark into that good night.

I really hate how "more inside" doesn't parse linebreaks like everything else does. WTF?
posted by loquacious at 1:41 AM on September 12, 2007


posted by loquacious If the patterns I've seen hold true you probably run the risk of a massive user exodus if these trends continue.

We don't want the people who are here for those reasons.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:42 AM on September 12, 2007


We don't want the people who are here for those reasons.

For what reasons? And who the fuck are you to speak for everyone, including me? Christ, what an...
posted by loquacious at 1:44 AM on September 12, 2007


Hi there, members. Yes, you. Please stop shitting all over the place and then smearing it on the walls and then getting upset when you're called on it. I think you're forgetting the "act somewhat mature" part.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:44 AM on September 12, 2007


posted by loquacious For what reasons?

The people whose reason is they "just need to talk about shit...that might get ugly or unpleasant." We don't want them here. If they leave because threads are being closed early, well, good riddance.

And who the fuck are you to speak for everyone, including me? Christ, what an...

Aw, who needs a hug? Come here, you big crazy freak!
posted by fandango_matt at 1:59 AM on September 12, 2007


On the one hand, I agree with loquacious and have also been noticing this for a while. It is a little jarring sometimes. But on the other hand I had a pointlessly bitchy comment to leave in a thread that was closed today that I couldn't because ... it was closed. So the system probably works.
posted by shelleycat at 2:09 AM on September 12, 2007


I should probably make a full metatalk post about this, but I'd just like to announce that I don't really have time to keep participating in metafilter anymore.

As a result I will be falling behind in both my work and sleep.
posted by aubilenon at 2:15 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


I agree with shelleycat.

Okay, close this thread up.
posted by liquorice at 2:34 AM on September 12, 2007


I know we can all do better about striking the right balance even here in the gray, but I think the fact that Burhanistan's departure is being brought up in other threads now indicates that we want to chat about it. That's not a terribly bad variety of MeTa post, is it? It didn't seem to be a flameout, just a piece of chatter... not a good thing to encourage, but worthy of virtual deletion; no comments allowed at all? Unpleasant.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:45 AM on September 12, 2007


But on the other hand I had a pointlessly bitchy comment to leave in a thread that was closed today that I couldn't because ... it was closed. So the system probably works.

Same here. In the Heywood Mogroot or Burhnistan threads, I was attempted to leave a one line snark:Hearking the old days of discussion list-servs when people would routinely flame out and announce dramatically that they had washed their hands of the group. Few MeFites are probably old enough to get the reference, and even fewer would find it funny.

So really, a lot of these early MeTa closures save me from making an utter jackass of myself.

Oh, wait.
posted by psmealey at 3:11 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


this thread is now closed






















































.
posted by seanyboy at 3:12 AM on September 12, 2007


And if you don't do what i want, I'M LEAVING!
posted by Roger Dodger at 4:07 AM on September 12, 2007


That was good, seanyboy, except that it's "This thread is closed to new comments"

Mods are damned if they do, damned if they don't. A few months ago, they were getting reamed for letting theads turn into smelly compost.

I say, GETOUTMOAR.
posted by lysdexic at 4:10 AM on September 12, 2007


I thought MeTa was meant to act as a valve for ventations. On the other hand, we don't want to encourage everyone who takes a week off to post about it. I mean, if you know someone well enough to wish them a fond farewell, you should have another channel by which to contact them other than MetaTalk, right?
posted by Eideteker at 4:14 AM on September 12, 2007


...a massive user exodus if these trends continue.

If so, I hope every one of them posts a metatalk farewell first. Epitaphilter.

u wownt hav dikniksins suckpoppet 2 kik a rownd kthxbye krewl wrld!!!

Present each with the traditional micturating pachyderm and cheese basket, ban that member's IP address and paypal account and mom, close the thread, and get on with things.
posted by pracowity at 4:19 AM on September 12, 2007


So really, a lot of these early MeTa closures save me from making an utter jackass of myself.

psmealey, I've yet to see you make an utter jackass of yourself, and somehow I don't think you would've even if said threads had remained open. Now loquacious, on the other hand...

But seriously, I think loq's got a point. And I agree that Burhanistan's perfectly gracious sayonara post here at MeTa probably should've stayed open. I can't see what the harm would've been, aside from, y'know, taking up too much of the internet.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:28 AM on September 12, 2007


Well, flapjax at midnite, Burhanistan's farewell followed hard upon Heywood Mogroot's more contentious kiss-off and likely would have served as a sort of referendum for the latter, at least as much as a polite goodbye. Another one of those damned context things, I guess.
posted by cgc373 at 4:37 AM on September 12, 2007


If the patterns I've seen hold true you probably run the risk of a massive user exodus if these trends continue.

I was reading the original September 11 thread yesterday and was struck by how many names I didn't recognize. I understand that you're talking about a larger, more sudden phenomenon, but 'Someone leaves town, someone comes to town', is the way of most web communities.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:40 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


If the patterns I've seen hold true you probably run the risk of a massive user exodus if these trends continue.

I got shotgun and dips on the cherry coke!

Seriously, I counted up and tallied the closed Metatalk threads in the last month. Then I accidently close the app I was using to tally, losing all the text and links so take this for what it's worth to ya

There have been about 10 closed threads since the beginning of September. Only one struck me as WTF (just cause no reason given, though probably the thread had run its course), the rest were people being bitchy, complaining about a deletion (the mod responded ), browser problems or opening another thread about a still open thread.

This stuff seems to come in waves and as someone pointed out, a few months ago, the mods were bitched at for keeping threads open.

Metafilter is going anywhere, no matter how much you or I think it isn't conforming to the" perfect vision".
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:44 AM on September 12, 2007


These situations should never be discussed so early in the morning. Come on, lets get you all a cup of coffee and we'll come back to it after lunch.
posted by SassHat at 4:46 AM on September 12, 2007


Metafilter: (Not) Going Anywhere
posted by psmealey at 4:46 AM on September 12, 2007


Tangetially-related, but where did tkchrist go? I haven't seen that dude in forever.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:47 AM on September 12, 2007


Re: tkchrist, apparently the account is disabled. Dunno why or when, though.
posted by cgc373 at 4:58 AM on September 12, 2007


If the patterns I've seen hold true you probably run the risk of a massive user exodus if these trends continue.

Hold these patterns as long as you can then. I doubt anyone gives a good shit about someone who can't manage to be a member of a community/ accept that not everything is going to go your way when 2 or more people are involved. Community involvement can be very different from you bossing around your cats.

Also, if vaginal sand ever led to pearls (even of wisdom), we'd be steady rolling around here.
posted by yerfatma at 4:58 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's completely understandable that they might want to undermine the Lord of the Flies mindset that prevails here in Metatalk. Absolutely nothing good ever comes from yet another pile on - trainwreck - making popcorn - pitchforks and torches - "christ, what an asshole" - hoping for a flameout clusterfuck, despite how perversely entertaining we might find them to be. The mods are really just protecting us from our inner 8-year-olds.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:03 AM on September 12, 2007


Think of poor languagehat, won't you - he must be having facial tics. We haven't had a good juicy "I'm leaving" thread in ever so long, and now two (count 'em, two) were nipped in the bud on the same day. No bloodshed, no threats of hand amputation, no flameouts, no snark.

Why I remember the day when the "I'm leaving" Metatalk threads were a fine art. Am I to believe that after all these years, if I want to royally flame out with fanfare and melodrama, the enmity and scorn of my peers will be denied me? Oh no, sirs, I am not liking that.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:13 AM on September 12, 2007 [17 favorites]


Close 'em early close 'em often.
posted by ND¢ at 5:19 AM on September 12, 2007


Closing is better than deleting forever, in most cases. As far as pre-emptive closing goes, well: sometimes you eat the b'ar, sometimes the b'ar eats you.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:32 AM on September 12, 2007


I support extreme moderation (you probably see my name pop up near stavros' whenever the issue of moderation comes up), but I agree with loq to some degree.

I can see the sense in preemptive avoidance of shitstorms by closing down posts/threads where the shit hasn't hit the fan yet, but is highly likely to. However, it seems to be becoming more and more prevalent, and balance is important. If you try to preemptively stop all shitstorms, you end up cutting out a lot of stuff which might not have become a shitstorm in the first place, and you tip over into "all jungle-gyms have been removed from parks because some kid got hurt on one one day" territory.

If we're going to amp up the moderation, which is what seems to be happening lately, I'd far prefer that the extra effort be placed into culling individual shitty comments and time-outing or perma-banning their makers than closing viable threads to avoid possible shitstorms.

I don't think CJM are guilty of overmoderation, per se, but perhaps of moderating the wrong bits.

And, Burhanistan and Heywood, if you're reading this: I don't feel that the moderation is so extreme that it makes the place not worth visiting, but I don't think you're assholes or idiots for leaving, either. My impression of y'all is that you were decent people, so it's a shame to see y'all leave, but hopefully after a while you'll remember the moderation as "stricter than I'd like" but not "so strict that I'm leaving", and come back.
posted by Bugbread at 5:34 AM on September 12, 2007


I think closing threads that are inappropriate to MetaTalk, and which should be discouraged, like one member announcing he's "logging out," is entirely justified.
posted by OmieWise at 5:46 AM on September 12, 2007


What OmieWise said.
posted by mediareport at 5:49 AM on September 12, 2007


Now, see; when I saw the thread this morning I assumed he was asking a question about logging out (maybe he never did it and wanted some pointers on what he would see when he logged back in?) and jumped into the thread all ready to help only to find it had been closed.

Which I found hilarious; so no real loss, but I do wish I had been able to say so in the thread.
posted by yhbc at 5:51 AM on September 12, 2007


To prevent such confusion in the future, maybe we can agree on conventions for flame-out/good-bye threads. All-caps is always a good tip-off, and perhaps the use of the code word "FUCKERS"?
posted by yhbc at 5:53 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Guys, Metafilter and Metatalk haven't been the Wild West in years.

.
posted by konolia at 5:55 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


I maintain that there's a difference between moderation and preemption when it comes to userherding on Thee Internet, and that the former is preferable to the latter.
posted by carsonb at 5:57 AM on September 12, 2007


They make me check my pistols before I order whiskey. What kind of a saloon is this?
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:59 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Also, loq, way to go posting a thread addressing the mods at least 3 hours before they have any right to be awake. Pretty much guaranteed it wouldn't be closed right away.
posted by carsonb at 6:04 AM on September 12, 2007


I've been thinking about making almost this exact same post, and I didn't even know about the Buhristan thing. Something along the lines of. "Hi, this is just a polite request for the mods to please lighten up a bit. Like Congress in times of peace and plenty, you might be over-legislating."

I've tried to stay out of MeTa for a long time now, and drop the tired 'CRUSADER FOR THE PEOPLE' schtick. But lately it has been harder to keep my mouth shut. I hope you guys take loq's advice.

Guys, Metafilter and Metatalk haven't been the Wild West in years.

"How dare you suggest loosening up? Over-moderation is tradition."

Konolia, not to be terribly rude, but I cannot conceive of a worse argument to make.
posted by Ryvar at 6:18 AM on September 12, 2007


The moderation round these parts sucks. Especially that trigger happy young gun Cortex. He just deleted an Askme post of mine and basically re-posted what I wrote as his own.

This town ain't big enough for the both of us, so I'm outta here!!!
















Ok, I'm back.
posted by brautigan at 6:25 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Welcome back, brautigan! It's good to see you again! It's been so long!

I can't think of anything really funny, so I'm going with obvious. Anybody with better suggestions for my miserly welcome wagon efforts, please pipe up. brautigan deserves our finest work, here.
posted by cgc373 at 6:28 AM on September 12, 2007


I'm not going to have much time or energy to devote to this thread

Why don't you wait until you have time and energy to deal with shit before you stir it up? Don't you think it's just a tad uncivil to stick your head in the door, holler "You suck and your deletions smell," and then run for the hills?

This callout is a waste of time, but it does give me a chance to say "Come back, Burhanistan!"




OK, you can close the thread now.
posted by languagehat at 6:31 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


The mods won't close this for ages for fear of confirming the allegations. Unless they close it after this post. Comic timing is what good moderation is all about after all.
posted by brautigan at 6:35 AM on September 12, 2007


Even though the tone of my post is a bit petulant, I'm glad other users can see my point and take it seriously.

Eideteker wrote: I mean, if you know someone well enough to wish them a fond farewell, you should have another channel by which to contact them other than MetaTalk, right?

Actually, I don't. Burhanistan seems to have wiped all of his contact info. Lesson learned - I should be more proactive about making contacts.

Since I don't have another venue: I'm going to miss Burhanistan's particular brand of exuberance, joy and irreverance. Fare thee well, weirdo. My email is in plaintext in my profile for members and nonmembers alike.

fandango_matt wrote: The people whose reason is they "just need to talk about shit...that might get ugly or unpleasant." We don't want them here. If they leave because threads are being closed early, well, good riddance.

It's not so simple and cut and dry as that. The people I'm talking about are people like Ryvar, quonsar - and, well, if I may wax egotisitical - myself, for easy examples. Or MiguelCaradaso, or others.

We've either lost or driven away a lot of damn good folks and it pisses me off. I realize some have left for personal reasons, be it boredom or real life obligations - but many have also left because of conflicts with moderation, or conflicts with users themselves.

Aw, who needs a hug? Come here, you big crazy freak!

Keep your befouled ape-mitts offa me! BAD TOUCH!
posted by loquacious at 6:36 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Alvy wrote: "I was reading the original September 11 thread yesterday and was struck by how many names I didn't recognize."

I was looking through the Kaycee Nicole thread about a week ago, and I had the same sensation. Even worse was the names I did recognize, only to realize that we haven't heard from them in years (and I hadn't even remembered to miss them.)

Of course, I have the opposite sensation when I read newer threads: I'm struck by how many of the names I DO recognize, over and over again. We may have tens of thousands of users, but sometimes it seems like most threads are the same fifty people posting again and again.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:40 AM on September 12, 2007


Oh and also...

Carsonb wrote: Also, loq, way to go posting a thread addressing the mods at least 3 hours before they have any right to be awake. Pretty much guaranteed it wouldn't be closed right away.

It wasn't intentional. At least in this instance, I'm not that clever, just a night owl.

And the esteemed languagehat wrote: Why don't you wait until you have time and energy to deal with shit before you stir it up? Don't you think it's just a tad uncivil to stick your head in the door, holler "You suck and your deletions smell," and then run for the hills?

Well, first off I didn't say "You suck" or "your deletions smell", you cantekerous old coot.

The warning was to be civil and let people know I probably wouldn't be able to respond to comments until after a brief sleep cycle. I've got a freakin' cold. It sucks, but I usually only get one a year or so.

There wasn't any running for the hills. Sucka, please. Insinuate such specious bullshit ever again and it'll be - good sir - dictionaries, to the death, at dawn.
posted by loquacious at 6:47 AM on September 12, 2007


I can see five posts that were closed in the past several pages of MeTa. Two were "I'm out of here" posts which don't really need to be in MeTa. One was the "ladies it's cool" thread which was a long contentious thread which had wrapped up. One was Optimus Chyme's performance art post and one referred to the post directly below it. MeTa has been busy, very busy.

I'll admit that it's a lot of closures for a few days, but it's also rare to have any "fuck it I'm out of here" threads in MeTa. Those types of threads also rarely serve any decent site purpose. The person who posted them often doesn't come back to say anything else. There's tons of abuse heaped in them which is just karmically bad and makes the whole site here look like a bunch of assholes. And, usually, there's not a real policy point at the center of them that even allow us to learn anything and move forward with some sort of different outlook.

I'm all for "Hey I don't like the way things are going enough so I'm considering leaving, let's take some of these member problems SERIOUSLY" posts and those stay up while we hash things out, but a user who can't even be bothered to put an email address in his profile who just posts "I'm leaving" and doesn't say why, I don't know what to do with that.

My guess is it's just the pendulum preparing to swing back the other way. There's always a bit of ebb and flow to how moderation happens here with pushback at both ends if it gets too loose or too strict.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:52 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


...you probably run the risk of a massive user exodus if these trends continue.

Well screw those massive users anyway, I haven't the pixels to render them properly!
posted by Mister_A at 6:54 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


The fact is that we can't really know why people leave or join the site. Anger and sadness over departures (announced or not) really can't reasonably laid at the feet of the mods, even if one or two people publicly identify moderation as the reason their leaving. In a group this size there are almost certainly people who leave because they feel like there isn't active enough moderation.

But this is precisely the libertarian cop-out: it's always good to keep around enough (gov't/moderator/social) intervention to be able to blame it for things you don't like, so that you don't have to get off your ass and start you own whatever.
posted by OmieWise at 6:57 AM on September 12, 2007


dictionaries, to the death, at dawn.

*hefts Websters Third Internation, Compact OED, ponders*

*waits*
posted by languagehat at 6:58 AM on September 12, 2007


*realizes he just posted "Websters Third Internation," bashes self with oversized lexicon*
posted by languagehat at 6:59 AM on September 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


Can I have their rooms, now that they've gone? Living in the back yard is getting old, and I think there are wolves stalking me.
posted by aramaic at 7:03 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


*limberly and deftly swings stacked, unexpurgated 20-volume 2nd edition OED on an axe handle*

I know what you're thinking. "Is the complete Second Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary actually twenty volumes, or twenty-three, including the three 'Additions series'? Or is it 24, including the Compact Edition?" Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement I kind of lost track myself. But being as this is The Complete Oxford English Dictionary, the most pedantically verbose dictionary in the world, and could cleave your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself a question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?
posted by loquacious at 7:07 AM on September 12, 2007 [40 favorites]


There were a few closures yesterday, most abruptly the two "I'm leaving mefi" posts, which have never, ever, gone well. This isn't just mods being overprotective, this is mods reacting to 7 years of bad precedent. It's a community, and when one person wants to make a big deal out of their own coming or going, it results in a mess. I really think there is no defending the Burhanistan post. What possible reason should a dramatic exit thread serve aside from a bunch of people mocking him for making it?

Also, Monday we had 10 threads in a single day. If you've seen a few closures in the past few days, consider the ratios of how many posts have shown up here lately.

I understand the feeling that we've been closing a lot of stuff lately or deleting a lot of mefi threads, but it sounds like the two quitting mefi posts seem to have broken the camel's back when I don't think those are examples of overmoderation at all.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:10 AM on September 12, 2007


it sounds like people aren't getting enough of a chance to hurt eachother's MetaFeelings. you've pissed off the threadshitters by closing the threads.
posted by phaedon at 7:14 AM on September 12, 2007


Apparently my "metatalk goes crazy while school is out" theory doesn't hold up after all.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:17 AM on September 12, 2007


Matt, again, this is the culmination of months of biting my tongue. It's not just today or yesterday, or Heywood and Burhanistan leaving.

They helped catalyze this post, but are far, far from the main reasoning behind it.
posted by loquacious at 7:17 AM on September 12, 2007


Matt, again, this is the culmination of months of biting my tongue. It's not just today or yesterday, or Heywood and Burhanistan leaving.

Can you provide some examples to instances that you think were bad deletions? That might be helpful.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:19 AM on September 12, 2007


phaedon writes "it sounds like people aren't getting enough of a chance to hurt eachother's MetaFeelings. you've pissed off the threadshitters by closing the threads."

Yes, but he's left this thread open so that you can threadshit by accusing anyone who doesn't like the recent closures of being threadshitters.
posted by Bugbread at 7:19 AM on September 12, 2007


Sometimes we might just need to say goodbye to someone who was exiting gracefully.

Starting a MetaTalk thread to say goodbye is not exiting gracefully. Add a note and/or means of contact to your userpage. If someone is curious they'll seek out the page and see your note.
posted by iconomy at 7:20 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, but he's left this thread open so that you can threadshit by accusing anyone who doesn't like the recent closures of being threadshitters.

I'm not implying loq is a threadshitter, and I'm glad he brought this up, because part of me agrees with him. But what the fuck is the point of keeping soft, cuddly "I'm leaving" MetaTalk posts open when mental rapists have been constantly clogging the channels with their second rate snark, minus any intelligence. I mean - isn't that why the Dawkins/Hitchens post was deleted?
posted by phaedon at 7:25 AM on September 12, 2007


Matt, again, this is the culmination of months of biting my tongue.

How you've managed to go on and on as you do all these months while biting your tongue is a wonder. You're an inspiration to us all ;-)
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:25 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Starting a MetaTalk thread to say goodbye is not exiting gracefully. Add a note and/or means of contact to your userpage. If someone is curious they'll seek out the page and see your note.

But then I won't get the rush of having everyone LOOK AT ME!!!!
posted by ND¢ at 7:27 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Exactly ;)
posted by iconomy at 7:31 AM on September 12, 2007


90% of the moderation I am aware of is fantastically appropriate.
posted by mzurer at 7:34 AM on September 12, 2007


Y'know, loq, I find myself in agreement with you more often than not by quite a wide margin. But in this case I'm just not seeing the phenomenon you're seeing. Is stuff getting closed more often? Yeah, that's obvious enough. However, it isn't clear that these are bad closures. Pretty much everything I've seen closed lately has been for a legitimate reason: a couple of jokey duplicates, some "please use the thread," and a side order of "the question is answered."

The only purpose leaving such threads open serves is as a pressure release valve for random thread-end crap, and there's already more than enough of that as it stands.

I'm concerned that this is bothering you. You're usually a pretty sharp, perceptive guy with a penchant for going off about the shit that really matters. That makes this all the more baffling, because I fail to perceive what's irking you here, or why.
posted by majick at 7:37 AM on September 12, 2007


Overmoderation is a sign that the mods are bored. Quick, jonson, post some of those incredibly engaging, 200-link, more-inside, 500+comment thread FPP's that they love so much!
posted by tehloki at 7:38 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


I have no beef with the mods; I think that they do a tough job very well. It is true though, as I said last night in another thread, that I will miss Burhanistan, and it is also true that if he hadn't posted that thread then I might not have noticed that he was gone. You might think no harm no foul then, but missing someone is better than having no feeling at all. I guess in the end I don't really have a point here.
*wanders away*
posted by Kwine at 7:40 AM on September 12, 2007


I agree, the fault really lies with jonson in this regard.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:43 AM on September 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


I think it's time we turned off comments. Or change the $5 fee to $5,000 and make it retroactive.
posted by mattbucher at 7:48 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


majick writes "I'm concerned that this is bothering you. You're usually a pretty sharp, perceptive guy with a penchant for going off about the shit that really matters. That makes this all the more baffling, because I fail to perceive what's irking you here, or why."

I'm not loq, but I'm one of those folks who usually sides with "more moderation", and am agreeing with loq here. I've been wondering why that is, and I think it comes down to:

Most "farewell" threads are "I'm leaving, fuck off and die, I hate you all", so when they're closed, well, that's great. With Burhanistan and Heywood, the posts didn't seem to be that, but were from pretty reasonable posters. The Heywood thread got full of "I'm glad you're leaving, fuck off and die" comments, so I guess closing it was reasonable, but it left an aftertaste that Heywood was the one at fault, instead of all the assholes kicking him in the ass on his way out. So my gut reaction was opposition to the closure because it made the threadshitters seem like the good guys, and the guy saying farewell the bad guy. However, on reflection, that's just my problem in the way I'm perceiving the closure. In reality, it was more simply "this thread is filling with shit, so it's best closed".

So, I guess, on further introspection, I no longer agree with loq. Though I still maintain that there is a problem (in general), but it isn't "excess moderation", but "if you're going to increase moderation, there are better things to moderate".

Kwine writes "It is true though, as I said last night in another thread, that I will miss Burhanistan, and it is also true that if he hadn't posted that thread then I might not have noticed that he was gone."

Really, what happened with Burhanistan was the optimal situation, in a way. He got to say goodbye, so we know he's gone. And the thread got closed up right quick, but not deleted, so nobody got their last kicks in.
posted by Bugbread at 7:51 AM on September 12, 2007


Threads are like public art. Everyone has an opinion about it, everyone wants to see what they want to see in it, and everyone wants to talk about it.

And when someone thinks it a piece of public art looks like a toilet, they shit in it.

Conclusion: Don't make public art out of toilets or urinals.
posted by dw at 7:54 AM on September 12, 2007


So my gut reaction was opposition to the closure because it made the threadshitters seem like the good guys, and the guy saying farewell the bad guy.

If you have enough of a prescence on the site that people will miss you, you'll be missed. If not, you won't. As such, farewell threads are completely unnecessary, and often give the impression that the person feels as though Metafilter will cease to exist in their abscence. They're a desperate bid for a little attention (I'd say "one last desperate bid", but the people who post them often come back).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:56 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Really, what happened with Burhanistan was the optimal situation, in a way. He got to say goodbye, so we know he's gone. And the thread got closed up right quick, but not deleted, so nobody got their last kicks in.

So you're saying we need iamleavingsolongsuckers.metafilter.com?
posted by dw at 7:57 AM on September 12, 2007


It's dangerous to confuse children and angels.
posted by mattbucher at 7:58 AM on September 12, 2007


You might think no harm no foul then, but missing someone is better than having no feeling at all.

Yeah, I hear you. On the other hand, not missing someone unless they pull out a megaphone and holler at you that they're leaving has pretty dire implications for background noise levels. People leave (and join) mefi every day; some folks leave and never come back, some leave for a while; some leave a note in their profile or make a comment tipping their hand, and some just disappear.

There are a lot of folks I miss, but I'm glad as hell that pretty much none of them started a Look At Me thread to announce their departure—I can think of a couple that I hazily recall going pretty okay, but in general it's a nightmare.

Burhan's logging-out post was civil and simple enough in a vacuum, and with Matt's closing it, it stays that way, but it's still a big attention-getter move, which is at pretty direct odds with the idea of gracefully stepping out. Mix in the argument he'd just been having with stavros in another thread and the ridiculous Heywood stunt earlier in the day and it's easy to see it being not just a questionable but a really, genuinely bad idea. No knocks against Burhanistan (or Heywood, for that matter, terrible posting instincts there aside), and they're both welcome back if they feel like it, but there's a difference between stepping away from the site and taking your football and going home.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:01 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


ThePinkSuperhero writes "If you have enough of a prescence on the site that people will miss you, you'll be missed."

That hasn't been my experience. Or, rather, sure, you'll miss them, when you go back and read a year old thread and realize "hey, I haven't seen X in yonks! What happened?"

Honestly, who would you miss on MeFi if they vanished without a word today? The only person I can think of is maybe Mathowie, if he didn't comment in technical questions on MeTa. And, even then, only if the answers weren't supplied by cortex or jessamyn instead.
posted by Bugbread at 8:02 AM on September 12, 2007


Well, I'm sorry Burhanistan is gone. I liked him, even though we argued a bit. Do we know that he was chased away by something here, because his post makes it sound like something in his real life demands more of a commitment, and if he sees this, I'd like to wish him well, and hope that everything is okay.

I'm also sad to see Heywood Mogroot go. He was one of the first names I recognized around here. :(

I also noticed the callouts of amberglow and Ethereal Bligh the other day, who both got a bit hot in a discussion that they were both passionate about. Again, these are two posters I respect and who's comments I read carefully. I understand loquacious position here. Burhanistan and Ethereal Bligh in particular often represent minority or alternative viewpoints on very touchy subjects, so it's a shame to have them stifled.

On the subject of moderation though, meh. I'm in favor of the cops policing traffic, but I have to accept that that means I'll get pulled over every once in a while.

If the baseline standard of communication on the internet is what is found in many phpBB bulletin boards or IRC chatrooms, then the moderators should get a Nobel Prize for turning this site into something that most other sites aren't.

If ugliness has to be squashed to keep the site up to snuff, squash away, close the threads, bomb posts from the sky, whatever. I figure they know what to do with their site better than anyone else.

On the subject of flameouts, we need to realize that the people having the flameout take the site and what happens on it more seriously than the people who just fade away, otherwise they wouldn't bother to post their flameout.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:03 AM on September 12, 2007


That hasn't been my experience. Or, rather, sure, you'll miss them, when you go back and read a year old thread and realize "hey, I haven't seen X in yonks! What happened?"

That's the kicker, ain't it? None of us are really as important as we think we are. Another reason a "Goodbye, I Know You'll Miss Me!" thread is a really bad idea.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:03 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Asketh bugbread: "Honestly, who would you miss on MeFi if they vanished without a word today?"

Honestly? You, for one. You heartless bastard you.
posted by davy at 8:06 AM on September 12, 2007


a user who can't even be bothered to put an email address in his profile who just posts "I'm leaving" and doesn't say why, I don't know what to do with that.

i find it interesting that you think you have to do *anything* with that.
posted by quonsar at 8:10 AM on September 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero writes "That's the kicker, ain't it? None of us are really as important as we think we are. Another reason a 'Goodbye, I Know You'll Miss Me!' thread is a really bad idea."

I don't think the issue is importance, though, really. It's more that the nature of this type of community is that there are a lot of people, and attendance is irregular. You can't really tell when someone's absence is temporary (they're on vacation, they're moving house and have no internet, they're doing overtime at work) or permanent unless one of two things happens: they tell you, or you happen to notice that they've been gone a really long time.

I guess I think of civil goodbye threads (like Burhanistan's) more like saying goodbye to folks when you leave a party: you're not implying that you think the party will end without you. You're just letting people know upfront so that they're not scratching their heads in a few hours saying "Hey, do you know where Burhan is? Is he just in the bathroom, or what?"

In fact, that's probably the big difference between Heywood's goodbye and Burhan's: Heywood was using his goodbye as a way to Make A Point. It was a goodbye used as an argument against the site. Burhanistan's was just a regular goodbye, like you say to colleagues at work or friends at a party.
posted by Bugbread at 8:12 AM on September 12, 2007


Plus, of course, a civil goodbye spares us from the "Is Burhanistan...dead?" questions which sometimes pop up, because people do suddenly disappear because they die.
posted by Bugbread at 8:14 AM on September 12, 2007


E-mailing other mefites that you are in communication with or leaving a note on your profile is saying goodbye to people at a party so they don't just wonder where you went. Posting to MeTa is getting up on a couch at the party and yelling "I am leaving this party now!"
posted by ND¢ at 8:18 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, I know I'm one of the people who said "WTF Burhanistan" in other threads. I've always gotten along well with him, and it was cool to have someone on here posting from Cairo to give different perspectives. Plus, it's not like I've never agreed with what he's saying about what a time-sucker this site can be -- I've taken quite a few breaks from it myself over the years. So I'll admit I would've liked for the thread to have stayed open so there could've been a little bit of discussion with him instead of just slamming the door closed on him.

On the other hand, when people create MetaTalks to announce they are leaving it often makes them look a bit childish. Reading Burhanistan's over again, it was uncommonly gracious, though. Heywood Magroot's wasn't.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:22 AM on September 12, 2007


Some Mefites don't have their e-mails listed so people can't contact them, though. Blame Wendell. :)
posted by miss lynnster at 8:22 AM on September 12, 2007


The rule of "this is too much, I'm leaving!" threads is that the person who makes them rarely actually leaves. Clearly if the site is important enough for them to actually make such a thread in the first place, they'll be back just as before.

Sites losing users occurs more on an organic sort of basis. The user notices something that he doesn't like, so he stops visiting for a while. After some time he comes back once or twice a month, and rarely resumes a daily presence.

But that's the web for ya.
posted by clevershark at 8:26 AM on September 12, 2007


ND¢ writes "E-mailing other mefites that you are in communication with or leaving a note on your profile is saying goodbye to people at a party so they don't just wonder where you went. Posting to MeTa is getting up on a couch at the party and yelling 'I am leaving this party now!'"

Emailing, yeah. Leaving a note in your profile...maybe I use profiles differently than others, but I almost never look at anyone's profiles. Leaving a note in your profile is like writing "I'm taking off now, see y'all later" on a piece of paper and slipping it between the cushions in the couch.

Though, I admit, it does handily clear up the "Is X dead?" problem. So it's halfway between saying goodbye at a party and doing the ninja disappearance.

The problem is that there is no practical way to tell folks you're leaving. You either ninja, semi-ninja (note in profile), or shout at everyone in the party from the front door. Given those choices, I've got no problem with shouting from the door "I gotta wake up early tomorrow, thanks for inviting me today, goodbye" (like Burhanistan), and dislike shouting from the door "This party started out good, but now it fucking sucks. I'm leaving, you cocksmurfs!" (like Heywood).
posted by Bugbread at 8:26 AM on September 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


Users of truly community-driven websites have come to expect and accept a limited amount of manipulation by the site's management. I expect a different editorial policy on Reddit than Slashdot. YouTube would not be nearly as popular if they were too diligent in enforcing their Terms of Use. At first slowly and now quickly, MetaFilter has veered drastically toward being an edited site. It is the Boing-Boingification of MetaFilter.

With all due respect, I'm not interested in reading the employees' versions of what MetaFilter should be. Mathowie, Jessamyn, and Cortex have prejudices, bad moods, and blind-spots just like every other person. I may be interested to read what they say, but I'm not interested in reading a website or discussion moderated to their tastes.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 8:32 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Emailing, yeah. Leaving a note in your profile...maybe I use profiles differently than others, but I almost never look at anyone's profiles. Leaving a note in your profile is like writing "I'm taking off now, see y'all later" on a piece of paper and slipping it between the cushions in the couch.

I guess it chalks partway up to profile use. I click through much more often these days than I used to, for obvious reasons, but I've check out peoples profiles on a regular basis for a long time, and every now and then I'll look someone up because I've noticed they're not around. Sometimes there's a note, often there's not; I'll check out their last few comments as well if I'm curious.

I see the note in the profile not so much like scrap paper shoved in the couch as like a note tacked up in the spot where they would always hang their coat when they were coming around. Yes, it's not really an alert, but it is a nice compromise between ninja and megaphonery.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:33 AM on September 12, 2007


or shout at everyone in the party from the front door. Given those choices, I've got no problem with shouting from the door

Given that about ten people sign up a day and maybe half as many chose to leave, wouldn't MetaTalk be unreadable if this happened more than once a week? once a day? 6 times a day?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:34 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm ok with MeTa threads being closed, I just take my snark to the blue and offload it there.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:35 AM on September 12, 2007


Well, damn.

I've been off MeFi, because I am at the Chapman Tunnel in Colorado, assisting a drill crew. (Um, no that's not my regular job, but... long story.) So, no internet, and even my hotel conection isn't working. Now I log on and my partner in lameness (not my judgment, someone else's Burhanistan is gone. No contact info. And the thread is closed. So here we are I guess. I'll read through this thread when I get back to civilization, but if Burhanistan is reading this, drop me an email, please.
posted by The Deej at 8:37 AM on September 12, 2007


I dunno. I should probably duck out of this conversation. I can see and agree with all positions here. Basically, there is no good answer. Leave all goodbyes, and the place gets clogged. Kill all goodbyes, and people don't find out when others are leaving until way later. Leave some, but nix some when the numbers get too high (the same way election posts are handled), and you get people bitching about "Why did X's goodbye get killed while Y's goodbye stayed?". So pretty much every position has its problems, leaving me with lots of opinions but no useful solutions. Sorry to have wasted y'all's time.
posted by Bugbread at 8:48 AM on September 12, 2007


No, that was not an intentional parody/imitation of a goodbye post. I only realized it looks that way after I wrote the comment.
posted by Bugbread at 8:49 AM on September 12, 2007


omg bugbread dont leavcome back!!!111lol!
posted by ND¢ at 8:53 AM on September 12, 2007


If the patterns I've seen hold true you probably run the risk of a massive user exodus if these trends continue.

Are you the JRun Gypsy come to read MeFi's tarot?

♪ Movement of Jah people! ♪

"LEAVING FOREVER" is an apex of hypocrisy and delusion as far as community membership is concerned; if you are honestly upset by anything that ever occurs on the internet you should probably have walked away a long time ago.

Maybe the administrators could be so gracious as to help reinforce these declared fasts and ban their IP, you know... on the odd chance that those most vocal have some unresolved issues with compulsion and discipline?
posted by prostyle at 8:55 AM on September 12, 2007


I'd like to take this opportunity to announce that I am staying on Metafilter, as a protest against the premature closing of threads.
posted by RokkitNite at 8:56 AM on September 12, 2007


omg rokkitnite leavdontcome back!!!111lol!
posted by ND¢ at 8:57 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Given that about ten people sign up a day and maybe half as many chose to leave, wouldn't MetaTalk be unreadable if this happened more than once a week? once a day? 6 times a day?

I would guess that 99% of users that "leave" don't actively decide to quit in the style of Burhanistan. They just log in less and less frequently, and finally stop entirely because mefi doesn't appeal anymore. Equally 99% of all users would intuitively know that they don't merit a meta thread if they do quit, because no-one ever really noticed them anyway. There are however lots of prominent users who would deserve a farewell thread if they ever actively quit, either because they hate us, or because we'll miss them.
If we are essentially banning farewell threads, how about a preferences check box for quitters that triggers an rss feed update of departed users.
posted by roofus at 9:07 AM on September 12, 2007


Obviously a "leaving.metafilter.com" would solve this quandary :)
posted by clevershark at 9:10 AM on September 12, 2007


There are however lots of prominent users who would deserve a farewell thread

::barf:: No. Nobody "deserves" anything. If anyone wants to leave, they can leave, and that can be their reward.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:11 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


90% of the moderation I am aware of is fantastically appropriate.

Agreed. I'd go even higher than that. But I agree with loq that there is also a non-negligent amount of (IMHO) "bad" moderation going on. The fact is that Matt, Jessamyn, and Cortex do a tough job and do it pretty well, and that I'd buy any one of them a beer in any bar I found them in. But I've stated before and repeat now, that i think heavyhanded, misguided moderation does happen here, and I very often find myself ranging from confused to annoyed to angry by some of the decisions they make.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 9:11 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


There are however lots of prominent users who would deserve a farewell thread if they ever actively quit, either because they hate us, or because we'll miss them.

Really? And who decides who those users are? And farewell threads have always been banned, this is nothing new. It's just that no one's posted one in a while.
posted by iconomy at 9:12 AM on September 12, 2007


It's dangerous to confuse children and angels for being a food source.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:14 AM on September 12, 2007


I'd buy any one of them a beer in any bar I found them in

All is forgiven! Come to Portland!
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:18 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


There are however lots of prominent users who would deserve a farewell thread if they ever actively quit, either because they hate us, or because we'll miss them.

Hundreds of "prominent" users have left in the past sans farewell threads. What would have been the use anyway? People come and go here constantly. It's the internet forcrhristssake.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:21 AM on September 12, 2007


I think there's a lot of folks missing the basic motive behind these posts, which isn't "I'm leaving LOOK AT ME", it's "I'm really pissed off with things around here, and I'm quitting -- so don't think I drifted off because I got busy, or just got bored or whatever. I left because I think X stinks, and it's not apparently changing, so it's the highway for me."
posted by bonaldi at 9:21 AM on September 12, 2007


though when I leave, I expect the site to shut down for a day and the front page to replaced with a blinking HATE sign
posted by eyeballkid at 9:23 AM on September 12, 2007


Moderation on the blue = :)
Moderation on the grey = :(
posted by dios at 9:27 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Moderation on my head = :|
posted by Stynxno at 9:29 AM on September 12, 2007


::barf:: No. Nobody "deserves" anything. If anyone wants to leave, they can leave, and that can be their reward.

I feel the same way about funerals.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:31 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Obviously a "leaving.metafilter.com" would solve this quandary :)

This is a good idea and would be enhanced by images. The format would be a graveyard, with each tombstone bearing the username, dates of usership, and an epitaph generated by MarkovFilter.
posted by brain_drain at 9:33 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


This is a good idea and would be enhanced by images. The format would be a graveyard, with each tombstone bearing the username, dates of usership, and an epitaph generated by MarkovFilter.

Did you always get annoyed only being able to carry 100 pounds back to the wagon too?
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:45 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


And the box for submission on leaving.metafilter.com would have a link to Google Vehicle Search, just in case you're like Fred.

sorry to post it again but that story is just too good
posted by ALongDecember at 9:46 AM on September 12, 2007


jessamyn: 'a user who can't even be bothered to put an email address in his profile who just posts "I'm leaving" and doesn't say why, I don't know what to do with that.'

quonsar: 'i find it interesting that you think you have to do *anything* with that.'

But Q, doing things with things is the function of the Safety Patrol.

(Do youse Mods get nifty badges like we did?)
posted by davy at 9:48 AM on September 12, 2007


AOL or Salon.com would want a nice, safe, tidy subsidiary.
posted by davy at 9:49 AM on September 12, 2007


I liked B-han and Heywood and am sorry to see them go. I also miss tkchrist and dizzy.
posted by vronsky at 9:54 AM on September 12, 2007


Did you always get annoyed only being able to carry 100 pounds back to the wagon too?

Man. Bloggin' Trail has meme potential written all over it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:58 AM on September 12, 2007


tkchrist is gone? Weird. There's something strange about the public good-bye; why can't you just not post for a while, until the day comes when maybe you want to post again. Or not. These public farewells come across as either, "I'm addicted and I have to leave" or else "You people are not up to my standards and I have to leave". Sometimes I get busy and I don't write anything for a while, but I see no need to alert the MetaMedia...
posted by Mister_A at 9:58 AM on September 12, 2007


Bloggin' Trail has meme potential written all over it.

We just need to come up with a blogging equivalent of dysentery.
posted by clevershark at 10:01 AM on September 12, 2007


dissentery?
posted by brain_drain at 10:04 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I've only been signed up for a short while, but I've been increasingly surprised by the largely uncritical view of moderation. I do see that that the site belongs to Matt Howie and that he is entitled to do what he likes with it, but there's also so much talk about it being a 'community' site. Community suggests to me something less oligarchical.

I suppose it simply means that people who like being moderated by Matt and the other two moderators are the people who belong here, and those who feel uncomfortable at the authoritarian nature of the site and the acquiescence to it of many vocal members, should just shut up and get lost.

If this were a country, I'd certainly leave for somewhere less moderated. But I would miss so many intelligent individuals' comments. Not so easy to come by on the web.
posted by jennydiski at 10:04 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I suppose it simply means that people who like being moderated by Matt and the other two moderators are the people who belong here, and those who feel uncomfortable at the authoritarian nature of the site and the acquiescence to it of many vocal members, should just shut up and get lost

No. This is what IRC is for.
posted by Stynxno at 10:06 AM on September 12, 2007


jennydiski, can you give some examples of what you consider overmoderation? You made one mefi post that was previously posted, so it was a routine double post thing.

I would guess that the "uncritical view of moderation" stems from years of history on MetaTalk of users calling for no more posts about x (elections, news, politics, dumb news, etc), and requests that we delete more and delete stuff more often.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:09 AM on September 12, 2007


Community suggests to me something less oligarchical.

Nonsense.
posted by phaedon at 10:10 AM on September 12, 2007


Obviously a "leaving.metafilter.com" would solve this quandary :)

How about a "I'm leaving and never coming back" checkbox in the user profile? That way the member can notify the site but not have to start a thread. Make available an RSS feed of those who leave.
posted by mikepop at 10:15 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


I wasn't meaning the double post I made. I had no problem with that.

I'm talking about the conversations on metatalk - the general tenor of them, the response to any criticism. I'm simply surprised at the lack of debate.

Incidently, what happened to Matt Howie's comment: blogarrhea ? It's disappeared.
posted by jennydiski at 10:17 AM on September 12, 2007


you know what I hate about the "Goodbye I'm leaving!" threads? It's never the people I want to see leave that post them.
posted by shmegegge at 10:19 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Heh.

Fuck you guys, fuck politics, and fuck all this noise. I'm leaving to work on my painting.
posted by Adolf Hitler

posted by cortex (staff) at 10:25 AM on September 12, 2007


Thank you, Cortex, that was certainly a considered response.
posted by jennydiski at 10:30 AM on September 12, 2007


I think the site could use a little less moderation and a little more extremism. Out: Moderators. In: Etreminators.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:31 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


jennydiski, I think he was responding to what I had said. Also, I'd be very surprised if you found someplace else on the web that was more leniently moderated and even remotely worthwhile to hang out at. Not to say that they don't overmoderate sometimes but for the most part it's either somethingawful (routine and unnecessarily cruel punishments at the seeming random whim of moderators) or digg (virtually no moderation whatsoever combined with the worst conversation you can find on the internet).
posted by shmegegge at 10:35 AM on September 12, 2007


100% a response to shmegegge, jennydiski.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:35 AM on September 12, 2007


What possible reason should a dramatic exit thread serve aside from a bunch of people mocking him for making it?

Jeez, Matt, the existence of the post didn't alone make it seem dramatic to me. He just left a note: I'm logging out, got stuff to do. Not a bad jumping-off point for a discussion about the place of MeFi in our lives, but I guess we just can't have nice things. He was a pretty great poster for the past year, would it really have had to be a boondoggle? I think I need a hug.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:39 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


You know who else thought Hitler humor was funny?
posted by miss lynnster at 10:41 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


I've only been signed up for a short while, but I've been increasingly surprised by the largely uncritical view of moderation. I do see that that the site belongs to Matt Howie and that he is entitled to do what he likes with it, but there's also so much talk about it being a 'community' site. Community suggests to me something less oligarchical.

I suppose it simply means that people who like being moderated by Matt and the other two moderators are the people who belong here, and those who feel uncomfortable at the authoritarian nature of the site and the acquiescence to it of many vocal members, should just shut up and get lost.

If this were a country, I'd certainly leave for somewhere less moderated. But I would miss so many intelligent individuals' comments. Not so easy to come by on the web.


I'm about to hop on a plane; I hope this site doesn't implode by virtue of its own hypocrisy by the time I land.
posted by phaedon at 10:42 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


This thread would be a lot funnier if it had been closed immediately.
posted by Koko at 10:42 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm simply surprised at the lack of debate.

a direct result of thread closings is a lack of debate.
posted by quonsar at 10:45 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


I can understand the ongoing debate -- and clearly there is one -- over how heavy the moderation should be. It's odd, though, that there seems to be an intermittent trickle of people coming in and saying "Wow, Metafilter is a really neat place with interesting conversation. Pity it's moderated, though."

To me, this is kind of like saying "Wow, this meal is really delicious! Too bad they use salt in their cooking." There's certainly such a thing as too much salt, and certainly people who want to have salt-free cooking are welcome to it, but to simultaneously praise the flavor of a meal while wishing it was cooked in a radically different way seems...odd.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 10:46 AM on September 12, 2007 [9 favorites]


I was beaten and raped in a political thread once, and would have died if the mods hadn't come closed it before it really got out of hand.
Words can kill, and moderation saves lives, people.
posted by 2sheets at 10:46 AM on September 12, 2007 [3 favorites]


Incidently, what happened to Matt Howie's comment: blogarrhea ? It's disappeared.
posted by jennydiski at 1:17 PM on September 12


Revolucion!
posted by Pastabagel at 10:47 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I just can't swallow the moderation around here any more! Too salty!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:48 AM on September 12, 2007


I think the site could use a little less moderation and a little more extremism. Out: Moderators. In: Extreminators.

Very nice, IRFH. I was groping toward something like this, but as usual, you were there first with better than I would've done, so thanks again for keeping me from looking as bad as I really should.
posted by jamjam at 10:49 AM on September 12, 2007


We just need to come up with a blogging equivalent of dysentery.

Blogging is the blogging equivalent of dysentery.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:49 AM on September 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


This cheezeburger I has is too salty. It tastes terrible. And the portion are too small.
posted by y2karl at 10:49 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Seems like it is second nature now for the majority (I'm including myself) to look at a post in the grey with jaundiced eye, expecting the worst kind of whining bitching moaning inside before we even click on it. Only tech requests/updates seem to escape our incessant snarkiness.
posted by misha at 10:49 AM on September 12, 2007


Why does nobody ever start a "Hi! I'm new here and I love you all!" thread?
posted by ardgedee at 10:50 AM on September 12, 2007


Those get deleted.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:51 AM on September 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


Most of my flagging in recent months has been of MeTa posts. Excluding meet-ups, bug reports, and egregious lapses in user behavior (Spamming, repeated and malicious abuse of others, which I think is actually pretty rare) they're fairly ineffective and pointless other than giving folks an opprotunity to kvetch and take their usual shots at one another.

I agree with your interpretation of "I'm Running Away To Join The Circus" posts, bonaldi, but at the same time, the self-martyr tone of them doesn't really lead to any sort of productive discourse, since the person who feels that they've outgrown the site or vice-versa isn't there to participate and is basically just using the soapbox to give the finger before hoisting their bindle.

Weird about tkchrist, though. I figured there would've been some huge Farewell Tale upon his departure. And yeah, I know, my MeFi Comments60;MeTa Comments.

Take it to MeTa, loser.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:52 AM on September 12, 2007


The pancakes will not be televised.
posted by phaedon at 10:52 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


mikepop: "How about a "I'm leaving and never coming back" checkbox in the user profile? That way the member can notify the site but not have to start a thread. Make available an RSS feed of those who leave."

Yes, and if you check the box? Automagically insta-banned.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:55 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


*Flags previous comment as "Fucked Up By Preview's Unicode Quirk"*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:55 AM on September 12, 2007


Honestly, who would you miss on MeFi if they vanished without a word today?

This place wouldn't be the same without Robert Brook. I admire his long-standing quiescence.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:55 AM on September 12, 2007


As far as the Burhanistan thread being doomed to a 100% snarky one-liners fate, a single "Ok, great" and bam, closed, from The Man is something of a sanction to the expectation of callousness, or at least a self-fulfilling prophecy. I just thought it sounded kinda... overly... dickish.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:57 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


"This cheezeburger I has is too salty."

*arrests mathowie*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:57 AM on September 12, 2007


Out: Moderators. In: Extreminators

My new band is totally going to be The Extreminators.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:57 AM on September 12, 2007


Not that it's worth much, but I also had been feeling that many MetaTalk threads in the past couple of months were being closed surprisingly early.
posted by leahwrenn at 11:00 AM on September 12, 2007


Hi, I've been here for a bit over a year, and every single one of you missed My BIRTHDAY! WAAAHHHH!

*sniff sniff* mathowie said he would get me a pony for my birthday BUT HE DIDN'T AND NOW LOQUACIOUS IS YELLING AT LANGUAGEHAT and davy is yelling at Jessamyn in THE OTHER THREAD! WAAAHHH WAHHH! WHY DID YOU HAVE TO BRING THIS UP TODAY? Why is everyone yelling on my birthday! YOU WRECKED EVERYTHING, LOQUACIOUS! and now mathowie and jessamyn are gonna get a DIVORCE! I HATE YOU!



Don't really hate you, and not really my birthday, but you all did miss it and that still hurts me a little , inside, where I'm still a little boy with a broken heart.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:09 AM on September 12, 2007


Sorry, Cortex, I didn't understand.

shmegegge: Yes, quite right about Metafilter being as interesting as it gets on the web. But even the use of the word 'leniently' makes me slightly alarmed. They always said I had an authority problem. They were right.
posted by jennydiski at 11:17 AM on September 12, 2007


Well, I'm sorry to see Burhanistan leave, but it's not the first time he's posted an "OK, I'm outta here" comment in MeTa, although it is the first post he's made about it. So the whole thing feels a bit like crying 'wolf'.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:18 AM on September 12, 2007


Hey, Pastabagel, is that you? Wasn't it your birthday a while ago? Happy Birthday!

I wanted to get you a pony but I don't know how to code it.
posted by misha at 11:21 AM on September 12, 2007


As far as the Burhanistan thread being doomed to a 100% snarky one-liners fate, a single "Ok, great" and bam, closed, from The Man is something of a sanction to the expectation of callousness, or at least a self-fulfilling prophecy. I just thought it sounded kinda... overly... dickish.

I realized after I woke up this morning that "Ok, great" does sound like a dick thing to say, but it was late and we've had a long week of metatalk fights. I should have said something totally neutral like "Ok, sorry to see you go, but I'm going to close this to keep things civil" because I'm absolutely 100% sure a post like that would be filled with people making comparisons of goodbye posts to drama queen behavior (and people having a problem with the word drama queen, and other people having a problem with those people with the problem).

I am genuinely bummed to see longtime or frequent posters go, but the so long threads on metatalk always come off as hey everyone look at me! and end up bringing out the worst in a lot of people.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:25 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm going to make a post soon as follows:

You know what? I have been fucking trying to troll you guys for so god damn long, but you keep being all reasonable and shit. I keep making inflammatory comments but the stupid mods and their stupid administrative procedures keep deleting them before anyone really gets upset. Fuck it, I'm out of here! You losers can keep your stupid website!
posted by shmegegge at 11:28 AM on September 12, 2007


A mountain of sugar is too much for one man :-(
posted by cmonkey at 11:31 AM on September 12, 2007


I realized after I woke up this morning that "Ok, great" does sound like a dick thing to say, but it was late and we've had a long week of metatalk fights. I should have said something totally neutral like "Ok, sorry to see you go, but I'm going to close this to keep things civil" because I'm absolutely 100% sure a post like that would be filled with people making comparisons of goodbye posts to drama queen behavior (and people having a problem with the word drama queen, and other people having a problem with those people with the problem).

I understand that, but Burhanistan was a well-liked poster who was leaving for perfectly neutral reasons. Even if we don't want to fête each outgoing poster with their own MetaTalk thread, the "Ok, great" did come off as a dick remark, irrespective of the intent.
posted by Sticherbeast at 11:36 AM on September 12, 2007


Thanks, Matt. I know how to mine late night geek-produced text for embedded silent sensitivity, but it's great to know you can reverse-engineer same.

I try a lot in MeTa threads to come up with interesting conversation points, and they're usually trolled, steamrolled and rickrolled, left to languish unaddressed, so I hear you, but leave some room for the polite and interested contingent to keep trying, okay?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:42 AM on September 12, 2007


I wanted to get you a pony but I don't know how to code it.
          (\(\_
     _.o o`\\\\
    ("_     ))))
     '---'  ((((          .=,
         )   )))___.-""-./=;\\\
        /    (((         \  ))))
       ;                  | |//
       /\          |      | ((
      (  \    /__.-'\    /   )
     / /` |  /    \  \  |
    / /   \ ;      \ (\ (
    \\_    ||       || ||
     \_]   ||       || ||
          /_< /_/_ br>
stupid doublespace
posted by pardonyou? at 11:43 AM on September 12, 2007 [4 favorites]


I'm simply surprised at the lack of debate.

Lack of debate? In MetaTalk??

*is boggled, doesn't know what to say*
posted by languagehat at 11:48 AM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I wanted to get you a pony but I don't know how to code it.
posted by misha at 2:21 PM on September 12


Really? Why are ponies hard to code anyway?

*sniff* But I got a cool hot wheels racetrack where the cars VROOM under these jumping sharks and if you put new batteries in it it makes a splashing sound like SPLASH only louder. Then the cars do a loopdeeloop and ZOOM right back. If you want you can bring some cars over and race them on my racetrack.

But don't tell shmegegge 'cause he always stomps on my tracks saying 'Grrr I'm a troll' and he calls my racers corporatist propaganda but when I told my dad he said shmegegge "sounded like a fucking Red". What's a red?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:49 AM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


Pardonyou got me a pony!
posted by Pastabagel at 11:52 AM on September 12, 2007


Be it resolved, that languagehat seems more stupefied than boggled, and be it further resolved that the quality of toilet paper is more important than plycount.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:55 AM on September 12, 2007


If we shadows have offended,
Think but this, and all is mended,
That you have but slumber'd here
While these visions did appear.
And this weak and idle theme,
No more yielding but a dream,
Gentles, do not reprehend:
if you pardon, we will mend:
And, as I am an honest Puck,
If we have unearned luck
Now to 'scape the serpent's tongue,
We will make amends ere long;
Else the Puck a liar call;
So, good night unto you all.
Give me your hands,
if we be friends,
And Robin shall restore amends.
posted by four panels at 12:00 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


*is boggled, doesn't know what to say*
Nobody asked you to say anything.
posted by fish tick at 12:03 PM on September 12, 2007


[closed]
posted by 517 at 12:09 PM on September 12, 2007


Care to say something, languagehat?

*Sniggers, scurries away, realizes I've been using asterisked actions a lot lately*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:10 PM on September 12, 2007


ok...so what *did* happen to tkchrist?
posted by hototogisu at 12:20 PM on September 12, 2007


OK I got yer debate:

"The Mods are a bunch of autocratic douchecocks"

vs

"No we're not and you're banned!"

Discuss.
posted by Mister_A at 12:24 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


TKOd: Tknailed to the tkcross.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:25 PM on September 12, 2007


Yo, you gotta be like:

RESOLVED: The mods are a bunch of autocratic douchecocks.

Then there's affirmative and negative arguments. Otherwise we have two topics for debate at the same time.

637-3463
posted by breezeway at 12:29 PM on September 12, 2007


*sends SMS vote to number above*
posted by quonsar at 12:37 PM on September 12, 2007


You are all retarded.
posted by Dataphage at 12:39 PM on September 12, 2007


If you had to pay fifty cents every time you wanted to post a comment, I bet this place would suddenly be a lot more civil.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:42 PM on September 12, 2007


Yea, cuz it'd be blank.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:45 PM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


The only thing I ever think about the closing of MetaTalk posts is that they don't come soon enough. It is not necessary to announce your decision to stop participating in a website in a general announcement on that website's internal issues page. Just stop using it. Few will notice and less will care.
posted by nanojath at 12:46 PM on September 12, 2007


Oh your way sounds nice and official breezeway. Everyone, please do as breezeway instructs. DO IT NOW!!!
posted by Mister_A at 12:46 PM on September 12, 2007


I'm simply surprised at the lack of debate.

Lack of debate? In MetaTalk??


languagehat, you ignorant slut!
posted by ericb at 12:47 PM on September 12, 2007


   /)  /)
  /  ⌒  ヽ   /
  | ●_ ●  | < HAY GUYS
 (○ ▽  ○ |  \_________
 /       |
 |     |_/
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:48 PM on September 12, 2007


O hold on, I'm giving instructions? Great!

1. Reach into the nest (any nest) and squeeze.
2. Bring full faculties to bear.
3. When bear eats faculties, wait, then collect bear poop.
29. Try not to eat bear poop.
4. Lather, rinse, repeat.
posted by breezeway at 12:50 PM on September 12, 2007


Looking at tkchrist's history, it appears he had a flameout last month over something, and it was before our nice automated timeout system, so he was grandfathered in as perma-banned. He hasn't emailed, but I'm sure we'd let him back in if he pinged us.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:50 PM on September 12, 2007


jennydiski - I'm really pleased to see you on MetaFilter. Your writing's fascinating. (Have just bought _On trying to keep still_.)
posted by paduasoy at 12:53 PM on September 12, 2007


Maybe he doesn't think it's an option.

He provided a lot of quality content--drop him a line if you get a chance...
posted by hototogisu at 12:57 PM on September 12, 2007


For what it's worth, I've taken notice of two recent absences with some relief. Unfortunately, this thread brought them both back. Bummer.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:59 PM on September 12, 2007


So now the position of Chief Violence Enthusiast is open.
posted by Mister_A at 12:59 PM on September 12, 2007


I'm sure that, like the rest of us, loquacious is happy with the insightful and thoughtful discussion brought about by this thread since it has remained open.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:03 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Pardonyou got me a pony!

Don't mention it. She was eating too much of my hay, anyway.
posted by pardonyou? at 1:05 PM on September 12, 2007


Welcome Jenny Diski.

Skating to Antarctica looks fascinating. I am ordering that for my Dad, who is an Antarctic freak and has travelled there 4 times in the last ten years.
posted by vronsky at 1:06 PM on September 12, 2007


"If you had to pay fifty cents every time you wanted to post a comment, I bet this place would suddenly be a lot more civil."

If you had to pay 50 Cent every time you wanted to post a comment, I bet this place would suddenly be a lot more gangsta.
posted by klangklangston at 1:16 PM on September 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


(So, um, I only read the last ten or so comments. Anyone wanna Readers Digest it for me?)
posted by klangklangston at 1:17 PM on September 12, 2007


From browsing his history, it looks like TKChrist left after that webquiz that said he should vote for Kucinich.

I can understand that—I'm a Bill Richardson man, myself.
posted by klangklangston at 1:19 PM on September 12, 2007


(So, um, I only read the last ten or so comments. Anyone wanna Readers Digest it for me?)

Mods Bad!
No, Mods Good!
derail 1
Mods: oh, maaaan....
I miss my freinds
oh hai! Y'all are wierd!
derail 2
I gots you a pony, but I eated it
posted by lysdexic at 1:22 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Go Richardson!
posted by lysdexic at 1:22 PM on September 12, 2007


MetaFilter: a better cathartic than most over-the-counter remedies.
posted by Cranberry at 1:28 PM on September 12, 2007


Hee you go, klang:

Waiting For MetaTalk, a short play.

Scene 1: A blank stage. Enter LOQUACIOUS, followed by METATALK CROWD.

LOQUACIOUS: Stop closing threads early! Moderators, I'm talking to you! (Shakes fist at sky)

METATALK CROWD: (Random shouts, hoots, and yelps)

(voice of unseen MODERATORS booms from stage)
MODERATORS: The threads will be closed. Thus it shall be.

METATALK CROWD: Burhanistan is dead! (Random shouts, hoots, and yelps)

LOQUACIOUS: I have failed. (exit LOQUACIOUS)

METATALK CROWD: (Random shouts, hoots, and yelps)

(Curtain.)
posted by fandango_matt at 1:29 PM on September 12, 2007 [12 favorites]


Stupid question: when you're banned, I know you can't post from the IP in question, but can you even see the site? Does banning mean the server refuses page requests to the IP?
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 1:31 PM on September 12, 2007


[Waves to parents in audience, hoots]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:32 PM on September 12, 2007


Your password gets randomized. You can still see the site, you can read the site. You can't log in to the site.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:38 PM on September 12, 2007


Welcome Jenny Diski.

First learns about another fascinating MeFite here on MetaFilter; enjoys finding/learning about her website and blog. I love this place!
posted by ericb at 1:38 PM on September 12, 2007


Looking at tkchrist's history, it appears he had a flameout last month over something, and it was before our nice automated timeout system, so he was grandfathered in as perma-banned. He hasn't emailed, but I'm sure we'd let him back in if he pinged us.

Why should he have to e-mail? Why should anyone have to e-mail to ask to have their account restored if they were banned by mistake? You see now that he was banned by mistake, so unban the account. Why do it any other way?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:39 PM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


I think youse should do as TPS suggests, and also send an email so he knows he's not unbanned, as he may not be checking if he thinks he's banned from the site.
posted by Mister_A at 1:45 PM on September 12, 2007


I meant to say "not not unbanned", not "not unbanned". Sorry for any confusions.
posted by Mister_A at 1:46 PM on September 12, 2007


He wasn't "banned by mistake". He was given a time-out after going on a weird melee in a MeFi thread. Usually when this happens we hear from the person at some point and we talk about it and un-time them out. In this case, we didn't.

What mathowie was talking about is that anyone who was on short-term time out or had asked to have their password changed until they asked to be let back in was automatically set to "banned" status as we move forward. There aren't many of those people. Now time-outs end on their own without intervention from us, which is better for everyone I think.

I'll drop him a note and let him know it's not permanent since he's got no email listed so you guys can't do it. But generally we let a user decide if they want to come back, we don't go to them and say "hey man, you've been away long enough"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:51 PM on September 12, 2007


I emailed tkchrist.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:52 PM on September 12, 2007


Now time-outs end on their own without intervention from us, which is better for everyone I think.

I agree.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:55 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Was whatever got tkchrist banned deleted? I am looking through his posting history and am kind of mystified.
posted by enn at 2:05 PM on September 12, 2007


Yeah, he went on a big old crazy ranting spree in a thread, dumped a string of like a dozen comments out of nowhere, which we deleted.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:07 PM on September 12, 2007


Because we're dirty, dirty overmoderators.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:16 PM on September 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


I dunno.. isn't a 1-comment flameout kinda like telling an empty classroom that you're taking your ball and going home? And then the teacher comes in and tells you to go home?

That's probably even more lamer, if possible.
posted by ninjew at 2:18 PM on September 12, 2007


Holy cow, Jenny Diski!
posted by veronica sawyer at 2:25 PM on September 12, 2007


I dunno.. isn't a 1-comment flameout kinda like telling an empty classroom that you're taking your ball and going home? And then the teacher comes in and tells you to go home?

You've got to do it right:

Goodbye everyone, I'm going to leave this community because of you. Right now. Well since no one here wants to hear people's opinions or views, and you must have to know someone who posts alot well not to be hounded everytime you post...then I will take leave of this place. You're all mean bitches. Your soil reaps of evilness. I've enjoyed my time here...meeting a lot of you, but I simply find this community's rules too restrictive, and since I write what I feel, without regard to content (Is it sexist? Is it parental? Is it political? Is it, God forbid, all three??), this community will only end up stifling my originality, and I have no intentions of letting myself be censored in this way. You don't feel creative? Are your friends changing? Maybe life is different. Maybe that's good. Maybe you need to spend a few years alone. If I were a hacker, I swear to Goddess you people and your stupid forum would be down tonight and never come back. I am soooo outta here. I left highschool a long time ago i don't need to be back there.
posted by lysdexic at 2:32 PM on September 12, 2007


Really, cortex, that's just not funny. Perhaps you are completely different in person, but this kind of "but I'm the cool RA" crap is really off-putting.
posted by frecklefaerie at 2:33 PM on September 12, 2007 [6 favorites]


Because we're dirty, dirty overmoderators.

Mmm. What are you wearing?
posted by misha at 2:47 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ambrosia Voyeur: Above you say it sounded like Burhanistan left for neutral reasons. I'm not sure why he left but it looked like it might have been that he was ticked off by something about an exchange with stavrosthewonderchicken.
stavrosthewonderchicken's comment
Burhanistan's reaction
There's a bit more discussion there, and I'm not sure I see what made Burhanistan upset, but he does sound upset and petulant there. The "Hey everyone, I'm leaving" post seems more emotional than neutral in light of this (to me).
posted by LobsterMitten at 2:49 PM on September 12, 2007


Really, cortex, that's just not funny.

Yeah, no, really, it is, if you don't take Metafilter all that seriously. (Is not! Is too!) But I don't know what an RA is, let alone a cool one, so maybe I'm missing something I could be getting offended by.
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:12 PM on September 12, 2007


Well, in light of a totally different thread where he made a pretty reasonable, if you know, bitchy and overblown, assertion, it's emotional.

But posts don't stand or fall based on unconnected comment content, typically. The MeTa post itself was pretty even-handed, and cut-and-dried.

I flipped through his recent posts and was surprised, not finding a frustrated callout of the Markov thread's inundation if inanity to be grounds for quitting altogether which I can view as comprehensible or genuine, and with further consideration was even moreso puzzled, because he's been registered less than a year and has been quite prolific and popular. Maybe if he had given a complainy reason he was quitting, I would have agreed with the deletion. Without that, I felt tantalized to discuss it. All things considered, I bet he'll be back and that makes me not miss the gray threat/d.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:16 PM on September 12, 2007


An RA is a Resident Assistant, also known as the older student in the corner dorm room who buys beer for the freshmen but is a little bit creepy because he's still living in a dorm.
posted by brain_drain at 3:17 PM on September 12, 2007


burn me in my tank, one-handed.
posted by quonsar at 3:17 PM on September 12, 2007


frecklefaerie writes "Really, cortex, that's just not funny."

I dunno, I thought it was funny. So how should I properly describe it? "It's not funny, but it's made-me-chuckly"?
posted by Bugbread at 3:20 PM on September 12, 2007


*hands brain_drain a write-up* that's Resident Advisor, thankyouverymuch. Are you coming to the safe sexcapades on saturday? Here's a flyer. And put a towel under the door,your room's smell is giving me an unnatural hankering for Pizza and Tool.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:23 PM on September 12, 2007


brain_drain writes "An RA is a Resident Assistant, also known as the older student in the corner dorm room who buys beer for the freshmen but is a little bit creepy because he's still living in a dorm."

Creepy if you're rich, maybe. If you aren't, it's more like "that older student in the corner dorm room who gets rent-free accommodation in exchange for walking around once a week to make sure nobody is setting cats on fire".
posted by Bugbread at 3:24 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


frecklefaerie, I don't think expecting us to be deadly serious and austere 24/7 is actually going to help things around here. Part of this job is making an effort to take a great deal of criticism in stride, so I'm sure as heck going to try to maintain a sense of humor about the whole thing.

I'm sorry if it bothered you, but it was intended as lighthearted self-deprecation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:24 PM on September 12, 2007


Self-deprecated cortex: This feature has been replaced by a more powerful, alternative cortex, and will be removed in the future in order to simplify the system as a whole.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:29 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


True enough, bugbread -- I just have a lasting impression of the Senior RA in my freshman dorm with huge eyes and a lingering stare that freaked people out, in addition to the fact that you could almost hear the capital "C" when he talked at length and intensely about the dormitory Community.

But enough of the derail -- back to cortex defending his inappropriate use of humor in a post-9/11 world.
posted by brain_drain at 3:34 PM on September 12, 2007


Mister_A : So now the position of Chief Violence Enthusiast is open.

*raises hand*

I'll take that!
posted by quin at 3:34 PM on September 12, 2007


Remember how in like April every other Metatalk post was all "I wish I could give cortex a handjob; he's the best moderator ever?" Now he can't even make a tame joke without someone getting up in his grill about it. And wasn't someone yelling about jokey deletion reasons the other day? Must be the changing seasons.
posted by Kwine at 3:40 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I still wanna have a million of his babbys. Must be good for something.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 3:45 PM on September 12, 2007


Let's face it, you can only give so many handjobs before you start expecting other privileges as well.
posted by psmealey at 3:45 PM on September 12, 2007


Easy come, easy go.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:45 PM on September 12, 2007


Really, cortex, that's just not funny.

Really, frecklefaerie, you have no sense of humor.
posted by languagehat at 3:49 PM on September 12, 2007 [2 favorites]


You wanted a pony?
posted by deborah at 3:56 PM on September 12, 2007


"If this were a country, I'd certainly leave for somewhere less moderated. But I would miss so many intelligent individuals' comments. Not so easy to come by on the web."

Welcome to Metafilter. I'm glad for the company.
posted by davy at 4:15 PM on September 12, 2007


"you know what I hate about the "Goodbye I'm leaving!" threads? It's never the people I want to see leave that post them."

What's it worth to ya?
posted by davy at 4:17 PM on September 12, 2007


... it's also rare to have any "fuck it I'm out of here" threads in MeTa. Those types of threads also rarely serve any decent site purpose. The person who posted them often doesn't come back to say anything else.
But you can bet they're hanging around to see what everyone is saying about them, because the type of people who post those threads (and I think the LOOK AT ME! assumption is spot-on) are not doing it to let us know that they're just leaving, they haven't died and not to worry, they'll be fine. They are doing it to make sure we know that, not only are they leaving, but we'd better miss them or we'll be sorry.

Closing them is always going to be a good call.
posted by dg at 4:25 PM on September 12, 2007


Said jennydiski: "They always said I had an authority problem. They were right."

Yes! Now I'm VERY glad you're here!
posted by davy at 4:25 PM on September 12, 2007


Mods are damned if they do, damned if they don't. A few months ago, they were getting reamed for letting theads turn into smelly compost.

What if a majority of thread participants voted to close a thread at any time? It could be done early if appropriate, or late as it may require. It would be simple to do when the thread was winding down and no new people joined it. Then as people got tired of reading it in their recent activity, they would vote for closure. Simple majority.

Anyone can see that the trajectory of most controversial threads is personally damaging towards the end. This would also be a better "sign off" proposal, because most people do not want to leave a thread if it is still open with their posts vulnerable to attack, yet they don't want to stay either. Sincere posters need a fair and democratic method to fight back in order to preserve their efforts from a minority of attention seekers.
posted by Brian B. at 4:26 PM on September 12, 2007


Some MeFite more industrious than I should do a montage similar to what the Oscars does for people that have died during the past year. You know, play some really crappy Enya tune and see the names scroll by with snippets to selected gems and/or flameouts... David Dark... Shouting.... MiguelCardoso.... ParisParamus.... tkchrist and so on. I think that would actually be the most affecting.

(I hope to see tkchrist back actually, his were some of the most hilarious posts of all time... I adapt that Lee Majors bit for cocktail parties)
posted by psmealey at 4:26 PM on September 12, 2007


*remembers the Lee Majors bit*

*smiles*

posted by quin at 4:31 PM on September 12, 2007


Part of this job is making an effort to take a great deal of criticism in stride, so I'm sure as heck going to try to maintain a sense of humor about the whole thing.

Thanks for being on Metafilter, cortex.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:38 PM on September 12, 2007


"our nice automated timeout system"

Will somebody please explain that to me?

And I recall that after my last timeout a few weeks ago I had to email a mod (I picked cortex at random) to ask to get back in. When did that change?

And jessamyn, thanks telling tkchrist he's not permabanned. Like Stasi that was not.
posted by davy at 4:39 PM on September 12, 2007


It changed I want to say in the last couple weeks. Matt probably knows the switchover date, but it's one of the last big backroom things we got done pre-pbdaddying.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:42 PM on September 12, 2007


Like Stasi that was not.

The only person who says that anymore is you.

It changed sometime after your last timeout. Basically there are now one day, one week and open ended [usually voluntary, requested] timeouts. Then there's banned. And, as many MeTa denizens know, even banned doesn't always mean banned.

The one day and one week timeouts just run out and you can log in again when time's up instead of emailing one of us. The other two require additional mod intervention to undo. Permabanning shows up with a teeny note on your userpage. There is a small set of users who were on short term timeouts who appear banned now, in error. tkchrist was one of them, I think the crunchland account was another.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:45 PM on September 12, 2007


That Jenny Diski. I'm impressed. But you do realize you're slumming here in this asylum with us, don't you?
posted by davy at 4:46 PM on September 12, 2007


A SHORT MONOGRAPH CONCERNING THE TEXT-BASED ARTS, PROVIDING THE DISCERNING AESTHETE, TO WHOM THE EXPROPRIATION OF THE <IMG> TAG —RIGHTFULLY CHATTEL OF THAT BENIGN THOUGH CHURLISH RABBLE, THE NAMELESS LEGION IN BLUE AND GREEN AND GRAY—WAS A GROTESQUE AND DETESTABLE ACT, WITH A MASTERLY AVENUE TO THE ADUMBRATION OF SPORTIVE IMAGERY WITHAL, IF ONLY IN OUTLINE; A TREATISE ON CAT ART IN ASCII, THAT IS TO SAY: A PRIMER FOR THOSE AMONG US WHO ARE BOLD AND PURE ENOUGH TO HURL OUR DISMAL DISCOURSE INTO THE EMPYREAN FROM ITS BEANPLATE-BEFOULED NADIR.

ASCII ART, METAFILTER, AND YOU:
1) Open up your artwork in a text editor.
2) Add <blockquote><pre> to the beginning of the first line
3) Substitute a <br> for every newline in the original artwork. To reiterate: get rid of all newlines. This step is easier if you gin up a macro to do the work for you.
4) at the end of the artwork, close out your blockquote and pre.
5) Post and enjoy.
posted by killdevil at 4:46 PM on September 12, 2007 [16 favorites]


Me: "Like Stasi that was not."

jessamyn "The only person who says that anymore is you."

And I only say it in jest, because it stuck me as laughably wide of the mark. Even I could do better than that.
posted by davy at 4:50 PM on September 12, 2007


Exodus! Movement of Matt People!

(also, I shelved a book by a Jessamyn West at the big-famous-indie-bookshop-that-rhymes-woth-one-man-band. Sadly, my job is maintaining the 'Dollar Book' racks.)
posted by jonmc at 4:50 PM on September 12, 2007


Conclusion: Don't make public art out of toilets or urinals.

Marcel Duchamp disagreed.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:51 PM on September 12, 2007


"What if a majority of thread participants voted to close a thread at any time? It could be done early if appropriate, or late as it may require. It would be simple to do when the thread was winding down and no new people joined it. Then as people got tired of reading it in their recent activity, they would vote for closure. Simple majority."

OOH OOH AND WE COULD USE ROBERT'S RULES FOR ALL METATALK DISCUSSIONS! I MOTION TO SET TIME FOR ADJURNMENT AS 10:30PM, PACIFIC!
posted by klangklangston at 4:52 PM on September 12, 2007


..and we have to post in Pig Latin.
posted by jonmc at 4:55 PM on September 12, 2007


OOH OOH AND WE COULD USE ROBERT'S RULES FOR ALL METATALK DISCUSSIONS! I MOTION TO SET TIME FOR ADJURNMENT AS 10:30PM, PACIFIC!

I smell fear.
posted by Brian B. at 4:57 PM on September 12, 2007


Hey, that's my post!

Also, I've always hated moderator cortex. I blame him for the death of the Aural Times. Well, i guess.
posted by absalom at 5:01 PM on September 12, 2007


Ointpay of orderyay, Istermay Airmanchay.
posted by languagehat at 5:03 PM on September 12, 2007


Because we're dirty, dirty overmoderators.

Even though it was meant as a joke, I want to be humorless and say that it's not really like that. I can't speak for loquacious - though he and I are often of a mind on this stuff - it just seems like it's more helpful for those of us who tend to fall a little more into the populist watchdog role to try and be constructive for a change and politely say "Hey guys it's getting a little heavy on the ground lately would it be possible to lay off a bit?"

That's all. The sky is certainly not falling, I just feel like I've been glimpsing some sagging more frequently of late.

Your mom is calling, and she wants to know how you're doing.

Better you don't ask her how SHE was doing last night, though.
posted by Ryvar at 5:08 PM on September 12, 2007


wow, you truly are a languagehat. Can you speak ubbie dubbie, too?
posted by jonmc at 5:09 PM on September 12, 2007


Conclusion: Don't make public art out of toilets or urinals.

Marcel Duchamp disagreed.


Monsieur Pinoncelli.

QED.
posted by dw at 5:34 PM on September 12, 2007


Subure, caban't ebeverybubbody?
posted by languagehat at 5:40 PM on September 12, 2007


hush, mushmouth.
posted by quonsar at 5:53 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


"What if a majority of thread participants voted to close a thread at any time?"

Good idea, that democracy method has worked so well with picking a US president!
posted by madamjujujive at 6:15 PM on September 12, 2007


This thread is never going to close, is it? I wonder who reads down this far?

Let's find out. First person to send an email to iwantmyponyplease@yahoo.com with a valid mailing address and the subject "I love toys more than I love closed threads" gets a free Hot Wheels car in the mail when I get around to it.
posted by davejay at 6:40 PM on September 12, 2007


Got any Matchbox?
posted by yhbc at 6:44 PM on September 12, 2007


Hi there, mods.

For a brief, shining second, I thought my dream of an entire metachat discussion about Paul Weller had finally come true.

*slinks away disappointed*
posted by scody at 7:05 PM on September 12, 2007 [5 favorites]


The langen Boot threads aren't overmoderated.
posted by RussHy at 7:21 PM on September 12, 2007


frecklefaerie writes "Perhaps you are completely different in person, but this kind of 'but I'm the cool RA' crap is really off-putting."

frecklefaerie really hits the nail on the head: "RA" (Resident Assistant, Dorm Mother) -type approaches rub me the wrong way, probably because I'm long out of college and don't need to be reminded "no beer in the dorms". I suspect they rub other adults the wrong way too.
posted by orthogonality at 7:25 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I suspect they rub other adults the wrong way too.

Please let me know when adults start showing up to this place. Especially MeTa.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 7:38 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


Adults only like to be rubbed the right way.
posted by cgc373 at 7:46 PM on September 12, 2007


*rubs a dub-dub*
posted by jonmc at 8:41 PM on September 12, 2007


bugbread writes "So pretty much every position has its problems, leaving me with lots of opinions but no useful solutions."

FlickOff.metafilter.com A post on which disables your account.

prostyle writes "ban their IP, you know... on the odd chance that those most vocal have some unresolved issues with compulsion and discipline?"

Please no IP banning. It's a totally ineffectual remedy with lots of collateral damage. Note how often "why am I seeing someone else's front page?" type questions get posted to meta.
posted by Mitheral at 8:50 PM on September 12, 2007


davejay said: Let's find out. First person to send an email to iwantmyponyplease@yahoo.com with a valid mailing address and the subject "I love toys more than I love closed threads" gets a free Hot Wheels car in the mail when I get around to it.

If we send an email to "iwantmyponyplease," can't we at least get a My Pretty Pony?
posted by amyms at 8:50 PM on September 12, 2007


Yub nub!
posted by cgc373 at 8:53 PM on September 12, 2007


jennydiski writes "I wasn't meaning the double post I made. I had no problem with that.

"I'm talking about the conversations on metatalk - the general tenor of them, the response to any criticism. I'm simply surprised at the lack of debate."


Part of it is that we've often had these debates several times before so we can fall back on previous debates and get right down to the crux.

stupidsexyFlanders writes "Stupid question: when you're banned, I know you can't post from the IP in question, but can you even see the site? Does banning mean the server refuses page requests to the IP?"

Banning doesn't currently affect your IP.
posted by Mitheral at 9:16 PM on September 12, 2007


Good idea, that democracy method has worked so well with picking a US president!

But the electoral college picks the president.
posted by homunculus at 10:01 PM on September 12, 2007


Sorry, I have a pile of Hot Wheels cars here, but no Matchbox or My Pretty Ponies. Perhaps a trip to the discount toy store is due...

For the record, though, I received three emails:

1. The first person didn't want the car, they just wanted to let me know they'd read down that far. Thank you!

2. The second person didn't give their name, or a valid mailing address, or send anything other than the subject line repeated in the mailing. So not really sure what was meant to happen there.

But the really fun one was mail #3. The third person gave their real name (which I won't share, as I'm polite) along with the following chastisement:

I'm glad you think it's all some lol joke, but I
don't. Next time you have nothing to add, don't add
anything, 'how bout it?


To which I can only say, how 'bout next time you feel the need to lash out at someone you don't even know, why don't you swallow that urge and save your hostility and persecution complex for your therapist?

Meanwhile, since nobody claimed the car, I'll keep it for myself. For the record, it was a "Way 2 Fast" Collector #994 from 1999, which I obtained in a huge lot of Hot Wheels from a friend who had decided to divest himself and start with a clean slate after years of collecting. I still have yet to open all the boxes full of 'em.
posted by davejay at 10:06 PM on September 12, 2007


One good hing about Metafilter, besides that it ain't Fark, is that it ain't kuro5hin.
posted by davy at 10:25 PM on September 12, 2007


Hey davejay, you should leave them boxed and sell them on eBay like that fictional 40 year old virgin. And send the money to me so I can buy a decent video card, so I can spend more time watching pr0n and less curmudgeoning here. That way we'd all win, as Ethereal Bligh will attest.
posted by davy at 10:29 PM on September 12, 2007


jennydiski: I suppose it simply means that people who like being moderated by Matt and the other two moderators are the people who belong here, and those who feel uncomfortable at the authoritarian nature of the site and the acquiescence to it of many vocal members, should just shut up and get lost.

The moderation of the site and the intelligence of the discussion here are closely connected.

By now, people have quite a lot of experience with computer-mediated communication. Without moderation, computer-mediated discussion groups degenerate, because there's no way to prevent cranks and trolls from dominating the discussion--social pressures don't work in computer-mediated groups the same way they would work in real life. Over time, everyone else leaves.

Bruce Sterling described the general phenomenon back in 1990:
Boards can be distinguished by the amount of effort spent in regulating them. First, we have the completely open board, whose sysop is off chugging brews and watching re-runs while his users generally degenerate over time into peevish anarchy and eventual silence. Second comes the supervised board, where the sysop breaks in every once in a while to tidy up, calm brawls, issue announcements, and rid the community of dolts and troublemakers. Third is the heavily supervised board, which sternly urges adult and responsible behavior and swiftly edits any message considered offensive, impertinent, illegal or irrelevant. And last comes the completely edited "electronic publication," which is presented to a silent audience which is not allowed to respond directly in any way.
Personally, I think mathowie, jessamyn, and cortex are doing an awesome job. (Of course, they have a great deal of help from the MetaFilter mob, which can generate a tidal wave of snark very rapidly.)

I don't think it'd be possible for MetaFilter to be less authoritarian than it is, and still function as a community.
posted by russilwvong at 10:38 PM on September 12, 2007


For anybody who wants to look at some raw data, here's a summary of thread closure rates since the inception of the close widget back in January of 2005, including status on every thread since 8796.

And, in what I like to think of a sort of spiritual precedent, thread 8798, which was the very first "what gives with all the closing" thread ever, was not closed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:40 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


I fuckin' hate how cortex is all like "Hey happenin' younger bros, I was watchin' some Magnum last night, and I was like, man, that car is gnarly! Hey, who wants to boot on over to my pad, rip open a couple of Capri Suns, jam a little Turbo-Graphx-16 and make fun of whichever authority figure is currently un-'with-it'. Yeah!" like he's our 'bud', and not just another tool of the man.

It's like, dude, come on. I'm an adult, and you better start treating me like one, or I am SO out of here when I'm 40!

Dude, can I borrow $5?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:09 PM on September 12, 2007 [1 favorite]


hey, can somebody please close this thread so people will return to commenting on the blue?

it's like a fucking ghost town out there today.
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:09 PM on September 12, 2007


I agree that some moderation of the kind y'all do is necessary for this site to function as well as it does (it beats kuro5hin, IMHO). Some rebelliousness is also necessary, because it is the nature of power to corrupt all its bearers, not just evil fiends we don't like.

In federations we have "instant recall of delegates"; on Metafilter, as the former is impractical and even nonsensical given the nature of the medium, we have the kind of oversight we subject y'all to.

And please remember (you too jessamyn) that most of us who bitch ain't so stupid as to stick around if we thought y'all flat-out sucked.
posted by davy at 11:12 PM on September 12, 2007


I wandered in here because I thought it said "over modulation". I was hoping for the latest podcast.

Silly me.
posted by Duncan at 2:10 AM on September 13, 2007


In terms of membership, MeFi is a decent-sized town; in terms of citizens who show up to town meetings (MeTa), MeFi is like Stars Hollow town meetings on meth and steroids. For every admin action there are these responses:
  1. I think that was awful/excellent; here's why, and let's discuss
  2. I think that sucked! Blahblah censorship blahblah abuse of power blahblah ew, librarians
  3. I think that was great - why don't you always to that? You need to do more of that.
  4. I can't believe that's ALL you did. You should have [insert radical nuke-it-from-orbit option here]
  5. meh.
  6. Why did you do that *this* time, but not this other time that was sort of similar? Huh? Huh?
  7. I think there needs to be A Rule about this. And Everything Else.
  8. [Gratuitous snide comment against admins expressing a totally different viewpoint than earlier gratuitous snide comment against admins by same poster]
  9. I'm going to talk about *me* instead. Me, me, me, me!!! ME!
  10. I'm going to make the same joke someone else made another time
  11. [random expression of hostility]
  12. *repeat 9 - 11 for 200 comments*
But, hey - that's okay, right? I think so, though it has to often be incredibly frustrating for the admin crew. But you know what? I'd love to see a whole lot more of #1-style responses here. So much. I get exhausted just trying to read through piles and piles of stale jokes and staler snark - I can't even begin to try to imagine attempting to sift through it and respond as a moderator.

I dislike thread-closing as well, but I'm sure that if there was more effort on the part of commenters to conserve a useful thread of discussion there would be a lot fewer closings. Not every metatalk comment needs to be Ever So Serious, but - really? - threads here get the moderation they deserve. There's rarely been a metatalk post that has been closed if people are actually discussing the issue at hand, and while preemptive closings may (and do) suck donkeyballs, one can see why they happen if there is an ever-diminishing likelihood that any serious conversation will occur.
posted by taz at 2:24 AM on September 13, 2007 [6 favorites]


“you know what I hate about the ‘Goodbye I'm leaving!’ threads? It's never the people I want to see leave that post them."

Funny you should say that. Because it's almost always, maybe even without fail, that the people who announce they are leaving are the people I'm quite happy to see leave.

I find this interesting from a social context. I'm more than a little bemused that anyone wouldn't realize that this is very out-group behavior—that is, it's a signal to the chimp gang that you don't belong and thus need to be hounded out. It the basic dynamic of what we're comparing it to: the disgruntled kid who says he's taking his ball and going home. Everyone laughs at the kid, what a loser.

There's conformity rules that I dislike—probably the majority of them—and conformity rules I've come to both understand and approve of. This is one of them. Because it's not unreasonable, actually. What is going on is that the disgruntled person just isn't understanding or accepting some essential and often unstated rule of the group. It's not whether the rule is fair or unfair, it's that you either accept it or you don't. If you accept it, you can be a member of the group. If you don't accept it, why do you want to be a member of the group?

Okay, that's tricky with bigger social things like heteronormativity where if you don't belong there's no where else to go. But with smaller groups, it's natural and, in its own way, fair. You can't expect a group to change its essential rules to accommodate you. It doesn't work that way.

And so announcing that you're quitting some group because they won't change to accept your way of doing things is a really, really stupidly, um, misfit thing to do. That's why it's universally laughed at and the floodgates of ridicule are opened up.

You might notice that while I may occasionally—very occasionally—argue that the things I do which bother some or many people are “unfairly” (really, I don't think I'd use that word; probably “unreasonably” is better) judged so, mostly I don't because I figure that I have a couple of options. Either do what I do and accept some backlash against it—because, after all, it's not what other people do and I have place to claim that everyone should or that they should accept that I do it—or leave. But complain about it? That's just silly and immature. MeFi has a way of doing things. Most of those ways I accept and follow. A few I don't. Those I don't I get backlash for, as is just the way things work. Complaining about it is like whining about the weather.

By the way, I don't think that Burhanistan's post was entirely acceptable. I do think that farewell posts can be completely well-received. But they absolutely must have no whiff of sour grapes about them. Burhan's included a “find better ways to use my time”, which I think is sour-grapes in code. People recognized that and would have ridiculed him for it. Secondly, for some reason it seems to me that there's a difference between announcing that you've decided to leave and announcing that you are forced to leave for some reason beyond your control. The latter will be met with approval, while the former may not. I'm not sure why that is, except that perhaps the announcement really needs to not be gratuitous for people not to think that someone is taking themselves too seriously and that everyone is going weep and rend garments because you're leaving. I dunno, but I'm pretty sure that (as I said in a different thread) an “I'm leaving because I'm moving to the tundra and will be living without electricity. It's been great, I love you all, and I wish everyone the best!” would be well received.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:33 AM on September 13, 2007


Sometimes I wonder about the quality of my existence. Then I see stuff like this thread that makes me realise my life, well, at least I have one.

Please moderate this thread to an end, for the love of god.
posted by Joeforking at 2:51 AM on September 13, 2007


Ethereal Bligh : What is going on is that the disgruntled person just isn't understanding or accepting some essential and often unstated rule of the group. It's not whether the rule is fair or unfair, it's that you either accept it or you don't. If you accept it, you can be a member of the group. If you don't accept it, why do you want to be a member of the group?

And so announcing that you're quitting some group because they won't change to accept your way of doing things is a really, really stupidly, um, misfit thing to do. That's why it's universally laughed at and the floodgates of ridicule are opened up.


Yes, that's a pretty good description of the way the world works. But is it really the way you want the world to work?

Maybe there's some island that all us misfits can be shipped to. Pitcairn, Captain Bligh?
posted by jennydiski at 2:53 AM on September 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Sweet moderation, heart of this nation..."
posted by Abiezer at 2:55 AM on September 13, 2007


... MeFi is like Stars Hollow town meetings on meth and steroids

I didn't realize Gilmore Girls had achieved its place in my mental set of navigational tools until I read this offhand reference to its odd little town. When Pitcairn followed it, the MeFi=Chinatown "forget it Jake" thing also seemed more real than I'd have believed. Man, this place, I tell you. What a world, what a world.
posted by cgc373 at 4:36 AM on September 13, 2007


The early thread closings to me feel like a theatrical "...blackout, and, curtain!" that is supposed to make a dramatic point, but I'm not sure what the point is.
posted by StickyCarpet at 5:49 AM on September 13, 2007


And please remember (you too jessamyn) that most of us who bitch ain't so stupid as to stick around if we thought y'all flat-out sucked.

It's not that we think you're hanging around because you're too stupid to know you can leave, davy; it's that we get really frustrated by the shotgun-style four-comments-in-a-row-in-three-different-threads "well, I'm not calling the mods Nazis or anything but also Niemöller amirite" stuff you do, and do often.

You lay down bursts of comment after comment that, whatever you may have intended when you wrote them, come off plainly as obsessive passive-aggressive attacks, addressing us personally out the blue, recycling some wheedling zing for the nth time in a week, like you're screaming at us just to make sure we're still looking at you. But then when we do respond to you, you just get really whipped up and hyperreact to that, to the point where even responding to any of the comments where you directly address us feels like a mistake. I've got misgivings even writing this one, but it's something I've deleted in some form or another I don't know how many times in the last couple weeks.

It's really unlike anything anyone else on the site does—even the few people who are or have been pretty consistently critical of Matt or the three of us—and what's confusing and bothersome about it is that you don't seem to react to feedback about it or even acknowledge just how much of a pain in the ass it is, except in the most short-lived, lip-service sorts of way. It has nothing to do with you having a dissenting opinion—again, plenty of people here do, plenty of people criticize us and others—and everything to do with you being extremely frustrating as this person who insists on following us and other people around the site, insists on attention, but then reacts really fucking badly any time they get it. That's what's confusing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:42 AM on September 13, 2007


I can't believe nobody claimed the car. I was going to e-mail and claim it, but I figure someone else already had. Now I'm certain you people are truly sick.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:20 AM on September 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Christ in hell debating with Aristotle on the Soul. I leave Metafilter for a few weeks, Burhanistan and Heywood Mogroot ditch out loudly, and Jenny Diski herself joins up and worries that there's not enough debate in MeTa.
posted by koeselitz at 7:45 AM on September 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Some rebelliousness is also necessary, because it is the nature of power to corrupt all its bearers, not just evil fiends we don't like."

Got anything beyond platitudes to back that up? The closest thing to corruption I've seen here is when mods use their power to post images, and really, is that a big deal?

"Maybe there's some island that all us misfits can be shipped to. Pitcairn, Captain Bligh?"

It's called Digg, Jenny. Or /.
posted by klangklangston at 7:49 AM on September 13, 2007


And it's boring as hell.
posted by koeselitz at 7:53 AM on September 13, 2007


The early thread closings to me feel like a theatrical "...blackout, and, curtain!" that is supposed to make a dramatic point, but I'm not sure what the point is.

I doubt it. My guess is that any "point" being made is fairly banal, and can best be boiled down to: "Nothing good was likely to come of this."
posted by pardonyou? at 7:53 AM on September 13, 2007


It's my birthday tomorrow. Can I have the car?
posted by The corpse in the library at 7:55 AM on September 13, 2007


Not until you clean your room.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 8:17 AM on September 13, 2007


Probably the most irritating thing about anti-authoritarians, besides their penchant for telling everyone "Hey! I'm an anti-authoritarian! So watch out if you're authoritarian! Because I'm..." is that most of them spend so much time sticking it to their boss by stealing office supplies or sassing the parking enforcer who just ticketed their car that they simply don't have the time to actually, y'know, do anything about the genuine authoritarian organizations and people who make our world a shittier place. You don't like being told what to do or being bossed around. Guess what? No one does, especially by self-righteous twits who're just looking for an excuse to give the chip on their shoulder a workout.

It's sort of like the disgruntled laid-off worker who, rather than go after the CEO who decided that quarter's profits needed a boost, goes back to the warehouse and shoots the place up.

Think globally, wank locally.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:18 AM on September 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


television has really fucked you people up.
posted by quonsar at 8:18 AM on September 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


No, our mum and dad have fucked us up. Television is just the teat we suckle to console ourselves.

Hey, "console"—there's a joke about TV consoles in there somewhere, but I can't be bothered to come up with it.
posted by languagehat at 9:13 AM on September 13, 2007


Maybe there's some island that all us misfits can be shipped to. Pitcairn, Captain Bligh?

The isle of misfit ponies
is a glum and cheerless place
where legless ponies wobble
in a legless pony race

They do not toss their manes there
For fear they'll fly away
like the other balding ponies
With their wigs made out of hay

Some have turned to drinking
from troughs filled up with gin
And though that's sad, what's sadder
is when they've fallen in

You can hardly hear them whiny
Without hearing them cough
But only very gently
in case something else falls off

Their pony eyes look sadly
Far across the sea
And They dream of pretty ponies
That they dearly wish to be

But the morning mist arises
And the isle is filled with gloom
And the lines of legless ponies
race towards the tomb.
posted by Sparx at 9:30 AM on September 13, 2007


C'mon, L-Hat, mommy's all right, daddy's all right, they just seem a little bit weird.
posted by klangklangston at 9:31 AM on September 13, 2007


hi, my name is .... long time fan, first time caller. this thread delivers. fred made me laugh. thank you.
posted by monkeyx-uk at 9:44 AM on September 13, 2007


doot dee doo...
          (\(\_       _.o o`\\\\     ("_     ))))      '---'  ((((          .=,          )   )))___.-""-./=;\\\         /    (((         \  ))))        ;                  | |//        /\          |      | ((       (  \    /__.-'\    /   )      / /` |  /    \  \  |     / /   \ ;      \ (\ (     \\_    ||       || ||      \_]   ||       || ||           /_|      /_ /_ 


posted by Pronoiac at 10:03 AM on September 13, 2007


I don't think the problem's overmoderation, rather it's overmodulation, and I will stop listening to the podcasts until it's fixed. You will let me know when it's fixed, won't you?
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:16 AM on September 13, 2007


doot dee doo...

Hey, cool! Thanks for the tip. Or, I should say...
 _    _                    _            _( )_ ( )                  ( )          ( )| ,_)| |__     _ _   ___  | |/')   ___ | || |  |  _ `\ /'_` )/' _ `\| , < /',__)| || |_ | | | |( (_| || ( ) || |\`\ \__, \| |`\__)(_) (_)`\__,_)(_) (_)(_) (_)(____/(_)                                       (_)
for the tip!
posted by pardonyou? at 10:27 AM on September 13, 2007


Ah, crap. Looked good on preview.
posted by pardonyou? at 10:29 AM on September 13, 2007


"whatever you may have intended when you wrote them, come off plainly as obsessive passive-aggressive attacks"

There's the problem, cortex: you're just not reading my mind correctly! (Yes, I'm joking.) I'll try to communicate more effectively.

And if I bring things up in more than one running thread that's because the same issues and topics are being addressed in those threads. E.g., talking about Pants Fish in threads entitled "Does quonsar really have fish in his pants?", "One Mefite has fish in his pants like some kind of atheist, who is it?" and "Why must it rain when the one Mefite with fish in his pants has time to mow the lawn?" If I start kvetching on this subject in threads devoted to podcasts, feature requests, meetup announcements, etc., that would be odd.

Nor in these cases am I "just out to get attention," and in fact I resent these comments being characterized that way. Whatever you intend, that strikes me as insulting and dismissive, especially given that I am not some pesky toddler in your daycare center and I'm old enough to be your father.[1]

And, would you say Patrick Henry was just out to get attention? Or Bakunin or Marx, or John or Sam Adams?[2] If so, well, you'd be at variance with most scholarly opinion on the subject.

So where I sit your comment sounds like direct reinforcement of my point that "it is the nature of power to corrupt all its bearers, not just evil fiends we don't like." Whatever's going on in your head (I can't read your mind either), I could (were I to be dismissive and snarky) reply with something like "That's the power that corrupting your brain talking."

Note also, again, that I recognize more need for more Metafilter moderation than many of my fellow "anti-authoritarians," with the proviso that more moderation calls for more community oversight. That is, I'm only kvetching about some details, not that Metafilter is not just like talk.bizarre. So do forgive the comparson, but sometimes the Mods' objections to me read like Rush calling Hillary a Communist lesbian. Me, I don't consider myself even "friendly opposition."


[1] Albeit only biologically speaking, not according to the approved American social norms of "Fatherhood"; egad, I'm not THAT old.

[2] Not that I'm equating myself with these greater lights, only that what I do is along the same lines in my own "special" way.

posted by davy at 10:30 AM on September 13, 2007


(Gussied that up for you, pardonyou?. Too tragic an irony to let stand.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:32 AM on September 13, 2007


Alvy characterized "anti-authoritarians" thusly: "It's sort of like the disgruntled laid-off worker who, rather than go after the CEO who decided that quarter's profits needed a boost, goes back to the warehouse and shoots the place up."

Now that's an even better example of "demonizing 'the Enemy'" than Rush Limbaugh calling Hillary Clinton a Comminist Lesbian. Just one or two more babysteps of "logic" and it'd be like those nuts who swear the Protocols of the Elders of Zion are "a blueprint you can count on."

Thank you Alvy Ampersand for providing such an easily aplicable object lesson! Too bad for you you intended something else.
posted by davy at 10:37 AM on September 13, 2007


"aplicable"

ARGH. Pony request: retroactive typo/spelling correction? Kinda like Supersede on some Usenet servers? One could get good markovs from our typos & "argh-goings" alone.
posted by davy at 10:51 AM on September 13, 2007


davy: You're becoming a self-parody. Please stop.
posted by Pronoiac at 10:57 AM on September 13, 2007


Thank you Alvy Ampersand for providing such an easily aplicable object lesson! Too bad for you you intended something else.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! /Fake dismay

Actually my point wasn't to demonize anti-authoritarians, but rather that their energy and vitriol is often misdirected. Instead of going after the most deserving target, they opt for most convenient, often making petty and foolish asses of themselves in the process.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:06 AM on September 13, 2007


I got all ridiculous in AskMe the last couple of days and had a raft of stuff deleted, which was best for all, especially me: now I can't gratify my insane compulsion to go back and re-read all my time-wasting comments another thousand and six times. It's healthier this way, of course, but...

Wouldn't it be way more addictastic if everyone's deleted comments went to a mortuary? That way I could see my poor, crazed, murdered children laid to rest among their little dead friends, and not be forever fretting about them out there wandering somewhere in the void. Also, when parts of disputes in threads get deleted there's sometimes confusion among late visitors, and that leads to a lot of comments rehashing the deleted dispute. This way if people really cared they could exhume a few dead comments for a private, quiet viewing, leaving the main thread unrederailed. The morgue/funeral home could have a maroon background, like a velvet-lined viewing room.

Of course I see why it can never be. People would try to write sure-fire delete-me comments so as to be the king of the undead.
posted by Don Pepino at 11:10 AM on September 13, 2007


"Of course I see why it can never be. People would try to write sure-fire delete-me comments so as to be the king of the undead."

I did not have sex with that woman.
posted by davy at 11:12 AM on September 13, 2007


Closing is done under the pretense that "bad stuff is happening or is likely to happen some more," which may often be true.

But it also sends the message that "nothing worthwile could possibly happen here," which definitely is a heavy-handed judgment call to make. Combining the two in a "the probably bad will outweigh any possible good" does seem a bit nannyish, too. Who are we protecting? Do we have 12 year old catholic school girls here on internship or something?

Metatalk was originally designed to be a shit-catch that would keep the Blue tidier. Focusing great effort to moderate *it* seems silly.

The mods mean well and usually do well but I agree with loquacious. It's a degreed thing, too... you don't have to desire drama and poo-flinging to think that fewer or later closures could be a good thing.
posted by scarabic at 11:16 AM on September 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


Pronoiac, please explain. In email if you'd rather; my addy's in the Profile.
posted by davy at 11:16 AM on September 13, 2007


"Metatalk was originally designed to be a shit-catch that would keep the Blue tidier. Focusing great effort to moderate *it* seems silly (etc.)."

Huh. This is not how I remember scarabic. Maybe I was wrong then, or maybe my memory is mistaken. In either case, 'What scarabic just said!' (Herein please find an implied apology, scarabic.)

By the way, so as a "shit-catch" this is the proper place to mention that I too like to poo? Hey, I know, maybe we could have polling.metafilter.com where people could ask things like "The statement 'I like to poo!' describes me well, True or False?"
posted by davy at 11:24 AM on September 13, 2007


I agree with all the mods' decisions in the past few days. Close those threads and sling those bans.

Good job topless furries. The moral majority is rooting for you. :)
posted by anthill at 11:34 AM on September 13, 2007


And if I bring things up in more than one running thread that's because the same issues and topics are being addressed in those threads.

The way the comments seem to just kind of spread from thread to thread often looks a lot more like you're making them because you feel like talking in whichever threads you wander into when you're on a spree than because your comments are addressing what's going on there in any reasonable sense. That's what sucks about it: you may be intending to hold several conversations at once, but it often reads instead like you're holding one (one-sided) conversation in as many places as you can—including little repeated quotes and references to comments that have nothing to do with the other conversations you're jumping into. It's weird, noisy behavior, and I don't know if you get that at all.

And you defend it here with the notion that it's okay to do whatever you're doing because you're trying to make a point—which is the kind of overt, anti-social axegrindy behavior that gets shit deleted and people banned, even on mefi and damned consistently on probably any other half-decent moderated forum you could name, so the main point you seem to actually have made here is that we're just shockingly, maybe stupidly, tolerant of this kind of self-involved campaigning or whatever you want to call it, especially (out of some bizarre triumph of optimism over experience or some hope that you'll finally rein it in a little) in your case.

I don't care if you do or don't like moderation or like it less or more than users x and y; do or don't like authority; do or don't like being told that your behavior is out of line; do or don't think that someone whose job it is to help keep this place from becoming a pit should be able so much as look at you if you don't approve. Your opinions are your own and you're welcome to them. Thing is, there are people on either side of any of those or a thousand other fences on this site, and almost all of them manage to get along, express dissent, be outspoken, and hold their ground without being a complete pain in the ass in the mean time. You characterize our noticing that you're acting out like crazy on a regular basis as somehow an expression of the corruption inherent in power and dress it all up in some Patrick Henry bullshit as if that somehow excuses you from the basic expectations that apply to every other member of the site.

Like it couldn't possibly be that you, specifically, are actually acting out in a way that's weird or problematic or crappy to have to deal with; that it must be something flawed in our perception of you. How I can ever convince you otherwise, I don't know; how I can convince you that I don't care at all to repress the substance of your views on the situation but rather that you're behavior itself, the way you go about your business here is a goddam disruptive mess and often weirdly personal to boot, I don't know either. You seem convinced that nothing you do here, no reaction to your mefi behavior, is at the root your fault, but rather that of the people you share the site with, and it's getting to be a tired goddam saw.

We've tried just ignoring you, not responding to comments where you address us out of the blue or make holocaust references or whatever the hell else you seem to think Drives Home Your Point that day, not addressing you when you get up to yet another cross-thread spree, in hopes that maybe you were just going to peak and then calm back down again, maybe take a clue from the last couple times you've done this sort of thing. It doesn't seem like it's happening, though, and the utter frustration at your inability or unwillingness to try to meet us even halfway on the basic social contract here—the one that just about everyone else on this site manages to either respect or depart from decisively—is what motivated me, despite deep misgivings about even re-engaging at all, to go ahead and respond to you this morning. I've still got this crazy fucked-up hope that there's some chance of getting through to you despite the fear that you'll just shrug everything I've said off as Not Your Problem and just keep getting stirred-up instead.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:46 AM on September 13, 2007 [10 favorites]


So Alvy, Y0U tHiNk I sHoUlD gUn DoWn MaTh0wIe?!?1!?

/self-parody

P.S. Oh, okay Mr. Ampersand, sometimes I read things wrong. (You know who else had occasional Reading Comprehension problems?) And anyway, like I said elsewhere, one thing I intend is for myself and others to practice here some anti-authoritarian skills and techniques that can then be generalized out there in the Real World, though my hunch is that I'm not the only "anti-authoritarian" Mefite with those intentions. (But no, O Homeland Security, it's not like I'm part of any organized conspiracy, or at least if there is one nobody told ME.)
posted by davy at 11:50 AM on September 13, 2007


So cortex, you're saying I'm coming off kind of like these guys?
posted by davy at 11:55 AM on September 13, 2007


I just want to second cortex, here. I often find myself wondering what the fuck is up with davy's lunacy, and it's getting too frequent to be ignored.
posted by shmegegge at 11:57 AM on September 13, 2007


Or maybe like some of those guys would if they got on Mefi?
posted by davy at 11:57 AM on September 13, 2007


one thing I intend is for myself and others to practice here some anti-authoritarian skills and techniques that can then be generalized out there in the Real World

So... you're not here for the hunting?

Practise, hiding, however you want to spin it, learning how to get up on your hind legs and growl at the mailman when it's really the Postmaster General you're pissed off at is not what MeFi or even MeTa is for.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:59 AM on September 13, 2007


Y0U tHiNk I sHoUlD gUn DoWn MaTh0wIe?!?1!?

davy, you're done here for the day. This is getting way out of hand, even for Metatalk.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:59 AM on September 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


And anyway, like I said elsewhere, one thing I intend is for myself and others to practice here some anti-authoritarian skills and techniques that can then be generalized out there in the Real World

This is sort of like when I convinced myself that playing Civ for 12 hours at a clip was teaching me about history.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:00 PM on September 13, 2007 [4 favorites]


davy: Less is more. Your recent torrent of hyper motor-mouthed schtick actually dilutes all your glorious piss and vinegar. Instead of a powerful acidic cleaning agent, you're creating a mildly rancid bog. And then wading into the bog, sinking into the peat, and drowning whatever point you may have had.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:02 PM on September 13, 2007


davy: You say people are namecalling & demonizing, then compare people to the Elders of Zion nuts.

You (deliberately?) missed someone's point there, after comparing yourself to "Bakunin or Marx, or John or Sam Adams." It's not part of a conversation, it's just axegrinding & inflammatory & boring.

On preview: This isn't the most timely response. Oh well.
posted by Pronoiac at 12:07 PM on September 13, 2007


"davy, you're done here for the day. This is getting way out of hand, even for Metatalk."

Eh. That one I saw as an obvious joke, and I'd fear a timeout over that would further the "They're not getting me!" thing.

I mean, I can tell when Davy's trying to tune it down (sometimes), it's just that, y'know, he can still be fairly clueless when it comes to how his comments are percieved even when it's obvious (to me at least) that he's making an effort.

Which is when I feel sorry for him.

Then he goes and says something stupid and inflamatory and I remember that the job of the mods is not Special Ed, and that a certain comportment is required, even of those who may not come easily to it.

Then I feel all like I'm having to think about Foucault and Chantal Mouffe again, about where the boundaries of reason are regarding contested assumptions in a community.

Then I drink.
posted by klangklangston at 12:28 PM on September 13, 2007


Dear mods:

Continue moderating.

Sincerely,
Eamon Daly

P.S.: Thanks.
posted by eamondaly at 12:50 PM on September 13, 2007


Seconding russilwvong here. I have not seen a single long-lasting and interesting forum that has survived without some degree of moderation - moderation that some members of those communities inevitably disagreed with, often strongly. This is not a case of 'well, maybe that's because no-one's tried it.' They have tried it, and it just doesn't work.

No-one should pretend that this is a democracy around here. Matt owns this website. He created it. He can do whatever he wants with it. If you disagree with the way he does things, then fine, maybe he and the admins will listen and change the rules. But he's under no obligation to do such a thing, even if that causes people to get upset and leave.

There's plenty of space on the internet. If you don't like the way things are being done around here, that's a shame, but you can always set up your own website. Call it a benevolent dictatorship, because that's what it is - and so far, that's the only way in which it works.
posted by adrianhon at 12:53 PM on September 13, 2007


Sorry to see davy finally get what he seemed to be cruising for, because I seriously don't think he realized that he was cruising for it, but... well, we all saw it coming.

davy, if you're reading this (and I think we all know you are): you have basically two roads you can stroll down from here.

1) Joyfully seize onto this as PROOF that you are being REPRESSED by the EVIL POWER-MAD MODS and refer to it as often as possible in your future contributions to the site.

2) Learn something. I know you're an eager reader and learner, and, well, read cortex's comment and learn from it. There are a lot of us who welcome your contrarian arguments and wish you'd cut out the juvenile look-at-me behavior that so often accompanies them. And there's really no point saying "But I'm not trying to get everyone to look at me!" That's kind of like saying "I'm not trying to hurt anyone when I whirl around spraying bullets from my Kalashnikov!" It really doesn't matter what you have in mind; you need to change your behavior if you want to be taken seriously, or even tolerated.

Or, you know, not. But it's not just the mods, and it's not just their lackeys and minions. Fellow anti-authoritarian cranks like me feel that way too. Your call.
posted by languagehat at 1:03 PM on September 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why you all are wasting so much time and effort on this kid. Has he contributed something that I've missed?
posted by timeistight at 1:19 PM on September 13, 2007


refer to it as often as possible in your future contributions to the site

Signs point to "No". EmPhAsIs on "contributions".
posted by yerfatma at 1:29 PM on September 13, 2007


Maybe now Davy will start taking his meds again.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:44 PM on September 13, 2007


I'm a little confused by this, as well, timeistight, but maybe I'm missing something because I usually sort of skim past his comments. The only time I really noticed him was in the BPD thread when he dashed in and dropped a bunch of silly comments into a really amazing conversation, and I sort of wanted to strangle him. But a wonderful thing happened; nobody paid the slightest bit of attention... and I guess he got bored and finally stopped.
posted by taz at 1:50 PM on September 13, 2007


timeistight: I don't understand why you all are wasting so much time and effort on this kid. Has he contributed something that I've missed?
*shrug* He made a comment yesterday that sounds nothing like what he posted today.
posted by Pronoiac at 1:53 PM on September 13, 2007


Aww, davy got sent to the Island of Misfit Toys

We're on the Island of Misfit Toys
Here we don't want to stay
We want to travel with Santa Claus
In his magic sleigh!

How would you like to be a Spotted Elephant?
Or a Choo-Choo with square wheels on your caboose?
Or a water pistol that shoots -- jelly?
We're all misfits!
How would you like to be a bird that doesn't fly? I swim!
Or a cowboy who rides an ostrich?
Or a boat that can't stay afloat?
We're all misfits.

--(back to singing)--
If we're on the Island of Unwanted Toys
We'll miss all the fun with the girls and the boys
When Christmas Day is here
The most wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful, wonderful day of the year!"

You guys are going to miss him when that big blizzard comes and nobody can lead the way.
posted by vronsky at 2:02 PM on September 13, 2007


Has he contributed something that I've missed?

Yes. But the fact that you've missed it is his fault, not yours. He makes himself very hard to appreciate.
posted by languagehat at 2:32 PM on September 13, 2007


Tough week for the Daves of metafilter.
posted by davey_darling at 2:35 PM on September 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I would guess that the 'uncritical view of moderation' stems from years of history on MetaTalk of users calling for no more posts about x (elections, news, politics, dumb news, etc), and requests that we delete more and delete stuff more often."

I think I may have said this before, but the folks who post complaints are not necessarily representative of the majority of MeFi users. After all, people aren't generally going to go to MeTa to post that they are happy and the content of the site is just fine, are they? No, people tend to post when they want to complain. So this gives you a skewed view of what people want.
posted by litlnemo at 3:38 PM on September 13, 2007


davy's comments must hit your ear different than mine l-hat, because I find him to be an original voice here in mefi land. I would take a thousand of his comments to one of matteo's any day of the week.

But then I could never resist bringing home strays and I love my drunken uncle too.
posted by vronsky at 3:52 PM on September 13, 2007


Moderation schmoderation. Getting a time out was totally worth it.

I am thoroughly unapologetic. In fact if only my comments, their shinning brilliance and razor sharp wit, still existed for all of you to behold. It's enough for me that the original electrons of my near Proust-like prose still sparkle brightly in my slightly damaged drug addled neocortex (no relation).

I chuckle my self to sleep just re-reading them in my head.

Also. And this is rather embarrassing. I never really "got" that I might be banned or anything. I thought I forgot my password.

Though I DID email jessmyn to tell me when I could log back in (What up wit dat? No reply? Sheesh) because I wanted to post about the death of JKD legend Larry Hartsell a couple of weeks ago.

When I tried to log in and it didn't work I assumed it was because I forgot my password. Since I've used pretty much the same password for everything since 1998 this confused me. So I was too proud and embarrassed to worry about it. Hopefully those Ukrainian hackers won't guess my password. But none the less this is what I thought.

So I discovered a couple of things during my time off.

Man. You can get a shit load of stuff done in the "real" world— stuff like work — when your not wasting time compulsively goofing on some "Gays for Jesus" dude in a random Mefi thread.

Yup. I accomplished shit. Like. I actually had sex a bunch of times. And. With my WIFE, of all people. She lit up like a pinball machine and paid off in silver dollars. She is lobbying for me to be permanently banned. So from here on out if my posts seem more unusually crazed it may be her posing as me.

My safe word will be: "Ledernerschottebügel"

Oh. Yeah. And I taught my self German.

And. Learned emergency field dentistry. Ran a Triathlon. And finally got around to burying those hitchhiker corpses.

I AIN'T GONE YET MOTHER FUCKAHS!
posted by tkchrist at 4:04 PM on September 13, 2007 [10 favorites]


a good majority of MeFi users do not make posts litlnemo. there is the skew.

> nobody paid the slightest bit of attention... and I guess [davy] got bored and finally stopped

not surprising taz. one of the first principles of behaviour management is to ignore unwanted behaviour completely. leave it totally without reward. it will go away.

behaviour modification need not be active. like aggression, modification can be passive. one of the differences i perceive between the mathowie and cortex styles of modification is just that. cortex fans the flames of noise, mathowie not.

twice recently i have flagged cortex comments as noise. he was in there adding to the din. so frustrating. now you know why cortex.

just as recently i've questioned the deletion of an obvious double knowing full well the removal was no absolute necessity. what could have been a side-barred thread if allowed develop was whisked away without due regard (IMO) while *asterisked action* chat and ascii-ed penises flourished only threads away.

frustration is a two way street, mods.

those of us who feel we do acquiesce in the name of acceptable group behaviour wouldn't mind a crumb every now and then in the way of sensitive and sensible moderation. ignore the pertinent and pretty soon all you will have is impertinence.

maybe that's what metafilter will become.
ok, great.
posted by de at 4:09 PM on September 13, 2007


Oh fuck, he's back.

Hide the booze and the guns.
posted by quin at 4:12 PM on September 13, 2007


Though I DID email jessmyn to tell me when I could log back in (What up wit dat? No reply? Sheesh)

Never heard from you, but my name does have an extra letter in it. Perhaps that is the problem?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:15 PM on September 13, 2007


Hide the booze and the guns.

For the sake of convenience and efficiency please hide them in the same place.

After all. I do practice sport drinking and binge shooting.

posted by tkchrist at 4:19 PM on September 13, 2007


those of us who feel we do acquiesce in the name of acceptable group behaviour wouldn't mind a crumb every now and then in the way of sensitive and sensible moderation. ignore the pertinent and pretty soon all you will have is impertinence.

Also de, I'm not sure what you're getting at here. Doubles get removed so that we don't have to judge whether it's a "good" double or a "bad" double and we can at least approach consistency on some of the things we do. If it's double posting something that was here less than a few years ago and we notice it, it goes.

In a smaller community you can have looser moderation; in a larger one where moderation actions are scrutinized as closely as they are here * gestures upthread * we need stuff a little more reproducible. Or were you saying that you think * asterisked action * is ... what exactly? ASCII penises aren't against the guidelines either.

If you're implying that you think we're not being sensitive and/or sensible in how we moderate, feel free to talk specifics beyond wishing the rules were different (or say that, if that's what you mean). Otherwise I'm just getting a vague "I don't feel so good" vibe from you and I don't really know where to go from there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:26 PM on September 13, 2007


Halifax.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:29 PM on September 13, 2007


I AIN'T GONE YET MOTHER FUCKAHS!

But you're displaying distinct signs of split personality, tk. You either want to go with "motherrr fuckerrrrs!", or "muthah fuckas". Can't have ot both ways, man.

And, welcome back!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:32 PM on September 13, 2007


You can't have it both ways either.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:33 PM on September 13, 2007


Just as well. I have a headache. And I have to wash my hair.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:40 PM on September 13, 2007


Has he contributed something that I've missed?
It's a sad fact that those who prance around saying "look at me" often have valid contributions but nobody notices because, well, they keep prancing around saying "look at me". If he has contributed anything other than noise, you are far from being alone in missing it.
posted by dg at 4:50 PM on September 13, 2007


"a good majority of MeFi users do not make posts litlnemo. there is the skew."

Well, I meant the majority of active users. There are a lot of people who complain about newsfilter, etc.; it's just that I don't think we should automatically assume that they represent the majority of MeFites. Those who are satisfied with things don't tend to complain, and many don't even enter MetaTalk.

This doesn't mean there shouldn't be moderation, of course. Just that the mods should be careful about responding to MeTa complaints as if they are the absolute will of the people here. There's a certain low-level of complaint that will always exist no matter what is done, and trying to eliminate that will lead to madness.
posted by litlnemo at 5:06 PM on September 13, 2007


davy vs. the mods
posted by vronsky at 5:10 PM on September 13, 2007


davy and the son of Goliath
posted by quin at 5:15 PM on September 13, 2007


Oh, tk, we're glad you're back!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:21 PM on September 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I find him to be an original voice here in mefi land. I would take a thousand of his comments to one of matteo's any day of the week.

God I hope that's a false dilemma.
posted by yerfatma at 5:36 PM on September 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


I would like to buy cortex much beer.

I am glad tkchrist is back though I hadn't actually realized he was gone, consciously. Just that gentle tug of sadness at the base of the medulla oblongata.

I have never addressed davy directly (despite often wanting to) because he gives off such powerful waves of The Crazy that the possibility of being pinned like a butterfly under his searchlight glare actually scared me. I have learned through bitter experience that no matter how attractive and interesting it might seem, The Crazy is dangerous and sticky.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:55 PM on September 13, 2007


davy's comments must hit your ear different than mine l-hat, because I find him to be an original voice here in mefi land.

I must have expressed myself poorly, because I do too. I was just pointing out that he makes it hard for people to get past his shtick.

I would like to buy cortex much beer.

Same here.

I am glad tkchrist is back

Yup, me too.

he gives off such powerful waves of The Crazy

Well, as I suppose he'd say, "Yeah? You think you're telling me something new? I've talked about my meds a million times. And besides, you're displaying the typical bourgeois relegation of anything you don't approve of to the realm of the insane! It's all in Bakunin!"
posted by languagehat at 6:03 PM on September 13, 2007


The Crazy is dangerous and sticky
You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by dg at 6:13 PM on September 13, 2007


(that was good Lh)

my fave davy quote

"vronsky, sometimes an MD can be your FRIEND. Not every "wonder drug" is a megelistic plot against you. Have you tried Abilify?"
posted by vronsky at 6:20 PM on September 13, 2007


*opens box turtle, peers inside*
posted by quonsar at 7:05 PM on September 13, 2007


*blinks, peers back*
posted by dg at 8:17 PM on September 13, 2007


Maybe All This

Maybe all this
is happening in some lab?
Under one lamp by day
and billions by night?

Maybe we're experimental generations?
Poured from one vial to the next,
shaken in test tubes,
not scrutinized by eyes alone,
each of us seperately
plucked up by tweezers in the end?

Or maybe it is more like this:
No interference?
The changes occur on their own
according to plan?
The graph's needle slowly etches
its predictable zigzags?

Maybe thus far we aren't of much interest?
The control monitors aren't usually plugged in?
Only for wars, preferably large ones,
for the odd ascent above our clump of earth,
for major migrations from Point A to Point B?

Maybe just the opposite:
They've got a taste for trivia up there?
Look, on the big screen a little girl
is sewing a button on her sleeve.
The radar shrieks,
the staff comes at a run.
What a darling little being
with its tiny heart beating inside of it!
How sweet its solemn
threading of the needle!
Someone cries, enraptured,
Get the Boss,
tell him he's got to see this for himself!


--Wislawa Szymborska

(translated, from the Polish, by Stanislaw Barankzak
and clare Cavanaugh)
posted by vronsky at 8:32 PM on September 13, 2007


"Like it couldn't possibly be that you, specifically, are actually acting out in a way that's weird or problematic or crappy to have to deal with; that it must be something flawed in our perception of you."

Seriously, taz just mentioned the BPD thread. In that thread, davy mentioned that he had been diagnosed with BPD and NPD on different occasions. But that since some of the characteristics didn't fit him, then the shrinks must have gotten it wrong. And then he did his best in the thread to call as much attention to himself as possible while insulting other people.

As those threads discussed, you simply cannot reason with someone with these two personality disorders. Giving them the attention, any kind of attention, is what they want. And whatever goes wrong is your fault. This is why trying to talk with davy has never worked. One, he thrives in the attention. Two, he doesn't think he's doing anything wrong in the first place. That everyone is telling him that he's acting crazy doesn't make a dent. The only thing that you can do is ignore.

I predict that if/when you let him come back, his behavior won't have changed at all. He might amp it up a bit. I dunno, I could be wrong. But we already know, aside from psychoanalysing, that rational discussion with him about his behavior doesn't work.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:21 PM on September 13, 2007


Well, to be accurate according to the view you've proposed of his behavior, EB, rational discussion works as well as anything else works, in that it focuses our attention on davy. It just doesn't work in the sense that it doesn't modify his behavior in ways we want him to modify it. (I may be restating what you've stated, though.)
posted by cgc373 at 10:53 PM on September 13, 2007


taz, that moment where davy did his typical davy crazy thing and everyone ignored was likely a conscious decision on a lot of people's parts. not a conspiracy or anything ridiculous like that, but as cortex said upthread people tend to try to ignore his ridiculous nonsense because of how completely apparent it is that he desperately wants attention. but there's only so far that goes before you realize the dude is just going to escalate and escalate until eventually he starts, for instance, dumping pieces of conversations in 5 threads simultaneously and routinely antagonizing the mods every hour or so for no good reason.
posted by shmegegge at 11:03 PM on September 13, 2007


My opinion of you went way up EB when you went after amberglow for knitting that big scarlet letter "A" for the congressman to wear, but you need to lighten up on davy. He thinks sideways, so what? Part schtick, part madman, part prophet, part lost little boy, part dumbass... but completely harmless and frequently funny.
posted by vronsky at 11:16 PM on September 13, 2007


A lot of people do a lot of things for attention around here. I wouldn't say that necessarily makes us all crazy.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:05 AM on September 14, 2007


shmegegge, I did realize that the people talking in that thread had (each, independently) made the decision to ignore - I was just surprised and gratified, because it hardly ever happens. Usually, even if most people try to ignore off-the-wall and/or attention slut and/or troll-y derails, somebody will fall for it, and then - whoosh!, there goes the thread. I guess the particular "skill set" in that group (people with experience of BPD in its many flavors) predisposed them as a group to refuse the bait.

I did not think that his comments there were terribly awful or anything; it's just that the thread was so fascinating, with so many people contributing some rather heartfelt (as well as damn interesting) stuff, that my heart sank when I saw him enter, since I was pretty sure that was going to be the end of the Interesting, and that it would devolve into a half dozen different micro-arguments with davy about a bunch of thoughtless stuff he was just throwing out to get a rise and somehow turn the conversation to a discussion about him.

Some people I like and respect a lot seem to think that he has some interesting things to say, though I haven't run across that yet. But if they're right, I bet he could have contributed there, to effect, if he cared to. I'll keep an open mind, and try to see the part-madman, part-prophet, etc. stuff, but I really must have missed an awful lot, because what I usually see is just... boring. Not amusing, not fresh, not even the tiniest bit intriguing. *shrugs*
posted by taz at 6:35 AM on September 14, 2007


Oh, Dave Faris, little do you know.

Muahahahaha! *dances a naked tarantella*
posted by GrammarMoses at 6:37 AM on September 14, 2007


"Part schtick, part madman, part prophet, part lost little boy, part dumbass... but completely harmless and frequently funny."

Oh, fuck that Art Brut bullshit.
posted by klangklangston at 7:35 AM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


One thing I will say is that the mods around here should remember to take the high road. Jessamyn, you are pretty good at this. I've never seen you haul off and swear at or openly berate a member. Keeping above the fray is a good thing, cortex. Word to the wise.
posted by scarabic at 7:57 AM on September 14, 2007


(I'm not saying you were wrong about any of that, just that you should play the cards a little closer to your chest).
posted by scarabic at 7:59 AM on September 14, 2007


So davy's banned forever for that obvious joke about gunning down mathowie.

How do I know this?

It's not because I snuck into mathowie's house in the middle of the night, bumbled around until I found the computer labeled 'METAFILTER!', and read through the admin logs. No, I only made a sandwich when I did that. I couldn't find a computer amongst all those beer cans.

It's not because davy is my sock puppet, as that would be reeeeeeally confusing considering I was outed as Bligh's sock puppet earlier this week during my own period in the Land of the Castoffs. Never you mind that my user number predates the five doller thing and Bligh's does not, I am indeed his sockpuppet. But not davy's.

I just woke up this morning knowing that there'd be no more davy, and I don't hesitate to say that I'll miss the little goober. I'm not going to say why, though.
posted by item at 8:10 AM on September 14, 2007


Part schtick, part madman, part prophet, part lost little boy, part dumbass... but completely harmless and frequently funny.

Really? I've seen a lot of schtick, which isn't funny, what look like some legitimate chemical imbalances (but we can call them madness, too), zero prophecy, some lost little boy, some dumbass, some harmlessness and also some basic thread shitting and antagonism, and zero funny. so what we're left with is... schtick, madman, lost little boy, dumbass. I wouldn't want to describe him that way, but I'd sooner do that than say he was funny or a prophet.
posted by shmegegge at 8:45 AM on September 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't really disagree, scarabic. Fact is, we practically built a skyway monorail re: davy for the last few weeks, trying to avoid responding to him at all, considering how reactive he's been in the past to word one from us. I think it was somewhere around his thirtieth or fortieth comment over here that the track started to crack a little.

What I said in this thread is just about the most polite but still honest statement I could come up with. Taking the high road is absolutely the right target, and I'm making an effort every day; but biting our tongues indefinitely and so letting someone just shit all over the site just to avoid saying anything brusque to them isn't viable either, unless the goal around here really does become robotic moderation against strictly codified rules.

For all the crap that he's pulled on the site, I've never thought there wasn't an interesting guy under there; he's made some good comments and seems very passionate and lucid under it all. I've got no desire to speak ill of him in his absence. But I've got no remorse about him not making a goddam mess around here anymore; and a sense of conflict but not of impropriety in trying, with what was excruciating consideration and editing, to put to him what exactly the problem is and has been in the clearest, fairest terms I could manage and without responding in kind to the baiting he's been doing for a while now.

Basically, it's not something that I get any pleasure from, and it pretty much sucks all around. I wish davy could have just eased down in the first place.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:49 AM on September 14, 2007


Keeping above the fray is a good thing, cortex. Word to the wise.

I agree with you in general, scarabic, but disagree strongly in this case. Cortex has thrown davy a life ring-- actually even lashed together a complete raft for him to clamber up on after one of those increasingly frequent occasions when davy can't seem to help throwing himself overboard (usually to put out the flames after he lit himself on fire). If I were davy, I hope I'd have the judgment to return to cortex's outburst over and over again as needed until I found some way of breaking the cycle, if I ever could.
posted by jamjam at 9:02 AM on September 14, 2007


Well, davy is gone forever now so the tough love I guess was in vain. If, jamjam, you're suggesting that davy carry that comment around in his private life and look to it as a North Star, I think you're exaggerating cortex's ability or responsibility to fix davy personally. In any case, whatever searing truth it offered could have been offered just as well in an email. Admin actions are always public but those searing missives intended to reach someone on a personal level usually shouldn't be. If you're trying to reach someone, great. But flogging them in public is going to erode their trust. They'll resent you for the humiliation. They'll feel the need to defend themselves. The odds of them taking your words to heart and actually changing go way down for both these reasons.

What I said in this thread is just about the most polite but still honest statement I could come up with.

And it was a good statement. A generous offering, to be sure. I haven't kept up with davy's shenanigans. I vaguely recall him as a kind of dumb cousin: you can't stand him but you can't really get rid of him either. I guess he finally stole mom's gin, pissed the sofa, and won't be asked back. So it goes. I offer the high road comment more for your benefit because it will serve you better in the long run.

item is referring to davy forwarding mathowie's "goodbye you're banned" email around to everyone he thought for some reason would care. I have never felt less distinguished to be part of a select group.
posted by scarabic at 9:14 AM on September 14, 2007


item is referring to davy forwarding mathowie's "goodbye you're banned" email around to everyone he thought for some reason would care.

Oh, Jesus, seriously? Somebody tell wendell that he's off the hook, I guess.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:26 AM on September 14, 2007


ah, so he got permabanned? no shit. ip and everything, or just the screenname?
posted by shmegegge at 9:27 AM on September 14, 2007


No such thing as an "ip and everything" ban on mefi.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:29 AM on September 14, 2007


Yeah, I'm still a little baffled about his choice in members to forward that to. The only interaction I've ever had with him was at the tail end of my own timeout thread a few days ago (a thread that davy turned into a thread about davy, something that he seems to be very skilled at doing - that thread was *my* coming out party, dammit).

I don't pretend to know all of the shenanigans he's caused around here and his banning was probably for the best.
posted by item at 9:32 AM on September 14, 2007


cortex, the email was forwarded to a group of about eight. We'll be in therapy from 4 to 5 today if you want to drop by.
posted by item at 9:34 AM on September 14, 2007


okay, since there are still people responding to this particular derail into an All-About-Davy thing, could someone please do me the kindness of linking to some of his past prophetic, mad, or even quirky, or somewhat shocking, or fairly interesting, or even notable (beyond idiot-notable), or slightly funny posts or comments?

srsly. I want to understand.
posted by taz at 9:41 AM on September 14, 2007


testing
posted by Tennyson D'San at 9:42 AM on September 14, 2007


Good! HA HA HA!
posted by Tennyson D'San at 9:43 AM on September 14, 2007


Did davy get banned for running his mouth? Am I reading this correctly?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:51 AM on September 14, 2007


this one is for you davy, you mad bastard -- late for the sky

The words had all been spoken
And somehow the feeling still wasnt right
And still we continued on through the night
Tracing our steps from the beginning
Until they vanished into the air
Trying to understand how our lives has led us there

Looking hard into your eyes
There was nobody I'd ever known
Such an empty surprise to feel so alone
posted by vronsky at 10:16 AM on September 14, 2007


Y'know, it's sort of sucks to see folks lining up to smack amberglow as though he's the panicky woman in Airplane! just because someone made an obvious point about dragon hunters becoming dragons themselves. Lord knows I've disagreed with things he's said, but if you have a problem you should say it instead of riding someone else's coattails and shouting "Open season!" at the first wiff of blood.

Feels sort of weird having a small role in day's departure and tkchrist's return. Wish I had gotten an email.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:24 AM on September 14, 2007


I've been turning that email over and over in my mind, figuring how to respond, but basically I don't think I could give him any opinion that he wouldn't just brush off as me not getting it, so I haven't responded.

item writes "Yeah, I'm still a little baffled about his choice in members to forward that to."

I've dealt with him a few times, but the only really really big, deep, "he'd remember me" time was a big discussion about whether dressing like a zombie is being exploited by giant corporations, and that was over two years ago. I was a little puzzled about the mailing list recipients, too.
posted by Bugbread at 10:32 AM on September 14, 2007


nah I like amberglow alvy, but the obvious glee he takes in outing a (closeted, hypocritical) fellow homosexual I do find disturbing. And EB said it in a way that encapsulated my feelings perfectly.
posted by vronsky at 10:40 AM on September 14, 2007


No such thing as an "ip and everything" ban on mefi.

No such thing anymore. The days of "you try to login from that IP, you'll be redirected to plastic.com" are probably over.

I'm torn between not wanting to discuss the davy thing too much more out of some sense of politeness towards davy who can't respond and wanting to reply to people here in the thread. davy was banned, after repeated timeouts, because his contributions here have been excessively noise-filled, very rarely on-topic, occasionally disruptive (as posting ten times in a row can be disruptive, especially in MeFi, not here), mod-fixated, and self-obsessed to a degree that made his participation here seem more like performance art than community interaction. Trying to work with him to tone it down some didn't work and netted us more of the same over email.

There have been many emails, besides that last one from mathowie that some of you read, that have gone towards trying to resolve this without resorting to a ban, but at the end of it either we had to take the "everyone just ignore him and maybe he'll stop eventually" approach, which really wasn't all that successful, or do this. One of the only ways we can keep MeTa as a more or less open forum where we can discuss community issues is if it's not seen as a 100% guaranteed trainwreck free-for-all anytime a difficult topic comes up. That was getting less and less possible to do with davy's recent participation here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:45 AM on September 14, 2007


.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:57 AM on September 14, 2007


“Never you mind that my user number predates the five dollar thing and Bligh's does not”

Not true. I know it's silly, but I am proud to be among the pre five dollars cohort. I am among the 150 or so (many fewer active members, I'm not sure how many) people who signed up on April 1st and 2nd of 2004 during matthowie's aborted “twenty per day at exactly noon” experiment. That didn't work out, he only did it two days, and then in November implemented the five dollar donation deal.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:51 PM on September 14, 2007


Nobody favourited my awesome pony poem. I am going to facebook! Goodbye forever, Metafilter, goodbye!

Also...while I am typing...I am of the opinion that moderation, such as it occurs, is always reasonable, and as a bonus, those reasons are provided if asked. Someone may disagree with those reasons, but it should not be said that those reasons are opaque or excessively arbitrary or made up on the spur of he moment. Inconsistency is inherent in changing/developing situations over the years and often due to increasing amounts of prior experience - and threads like this are often some of my favourites, because they are ultimately a community attempting to define a community and failing beautifuly. WITH PONIES!

Beautiful, poignant, unfavourited ponies
posted by Sparx at 6:47 PM on September 14, 2007


I am among the 150 or so (many fewer active members, I'm not sure how many) people who signed up on April 1st and 2nd of 2004 during matthowie's aborted “twenty per day at exactly noon” experiment.

Noonies, represent!
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:31 PM on September 14, 2007


What if a majority of thread participants voted to close a thread at any time?"

Good idea, that democracy method has worked so well with picking a US president!

It is the same plurality method, but it only works for a simple yes or no, not a multiple candidate race. And I don't mean to suggest that it merely works, but that it functions logically, while no other method does this. Under the majority rule any reasoning would be less sound than the method itself. A certain thread closes because the majority of its participants wanted it closed, end of story (not because it is annoying for an assumed number of people, for example).

As it is now, the noise exists to impress the moderators as a body of ownership, codependently, standing against the crowd as a deluded authority. That's why these people will cry censorship when they are deleted, because they can't or don't understand that isn't really their board, because they never learned this lesson of boundaries for one reason or another (and they imagine they are speaking as anti-communists too, although they use a communist argument). Either way, a self-moderating board does not obviate the need for moderators in any way, to the contrary, because the baseline level of authority is to be able to vote as assumed participants.
posted by Brian B. at 11:42 AM on September 15, 2007


Good idea, that democracy method has worked so well with picking a US president!

The sentence above was supposed to be in italics above that, as a quote.
posted by Brian B. at 11:44 AM on September 15, 2007


So you open a thread, the first two participants vote to close it: bang, it,s closed. And do you become a participant just by voting on a thread's fate, or do you have to post something in a thread you want closed first?
posted by timeistight at 12:39 PM on September 15, 2007


So you open a thread, the first two participants vote to close it: bang, it,s closed. And do you become a participant just by voting on a thread's fate, or do you have to post something in a thread you want closed first?


The latter. Which entails a degree of complexity, because if nobody immdediatly knows that it is a redundant post, then it wouldn't be so quick in that case.
posted by Brian B. at 12:52 PM on September 15, 2007


I don't really think voting is likely to catch on here. If we decide that voting is going to solve particular issues, we have to be more vigilant about sock puppets and change a lot of the current ways the site works. To do this, to make such a major change, we'd have to have a huge section of users who were really unhappy with how the site currently worked (see recent Craigslist implosion for an example) and I don't see that going on. We talk things out here in MeTa, things move forward, there are a small subsection of people who are never happy, they balance the people who are always happy or don't care, and the users are mostly right in the middle sometimes okay with things, sometimes not.

At the end of it everyone needs to decide for themseves whether the system mostly works or whether it doesn't. And from there you have to decide, if you think it doesn't work, if that's because you want the site to be something it's not (i.e. something the moderators and the bulk of the users don't want and aren't interested in -- as an example chatfilter.metafilter.com If you want that here, you are not going to see it here) or because you think the site is in some way degrading or not delivering what it claims to be delivering.

We've talked about it a lot, but we really don't want to see this site become Digg or Slashdot where there are modding wars getting stuff boosted up or boosted down and removed. It's not that the system can't be gamed, it's that it can be gamed in all new ways that then need to be confronted and dealt with. It's trading your old problems for new as yet unforseen problems.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:10 PM on September 15, 2007


It's trading your old problems for new as yet unforseen problems.

I tried to do that on Craigslist, but all I got were offers for anonymous restroom sex.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:15 PM on September 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


To do this, to make such a major change, we'd have to have a huge section of users who were really unhappy with how the site currently worked

I don't even see it as a change, but a logical development for stability, just like a neighborhood watch. The owner would be delegating corporal authority over a minor thread function, no more or less, rather than increase the number of generals. The average user would be "happier" to have plurality closing rights over their thread involvement. Even if we assume that it does require unhappiness, then this argument is somewhat circular because the unhappy people would have already left or avoided the site unnoticed.

As for bumping threads, this is unrelated, because the main page is about pointers to the web, not pointers to the commentary (which is consistent with methods of discouraging commentary noise in order to make the existing commentary less watered down). The gaming part, referring to sockpuppets, is countered by discouraging their effect, not increasing it. The demand for sockpuppets is lowered for voting purposes because it would be self-defeating to their attention seeking. If sockpuppets are used passively to make it harder to close a thread, it would be equivalent to a half-vote and would backfire if used offensively. Note that gaming is easiest under a rigid system, and is hardest under an ad hoc system that is aware of motives. The only conceivable downside I see is pissing off the unpopular sockpuppets, not the popular ones.
posted by Brian B. at 1:58 PM on September 15, 2007


If we decide that voting is going to solve particular issues, we have to be more vigilant about sock puppets and change a lot of the current ways the site works.

...but it's been said many times that a preponderance of flags was the deciding factor to tip an admin decision on a thread deletion or closure...

Does one of us have to demonstrate how easy it would be to write a bot to generate lots of flags on something? That would be pretty easy, and you could do it tomorrow, and it would amount to much the same thing that a voting scenario would.

we have to be more vigilant about sock puppets

I have dealt with this very issue on a large scale. It's not ridiculously hard to manage, or at least install some hooks that will give you recourse when you think you're being gamed. Email me if you're interested to take it offline.
posted by scarabic at 10:02 PM on September 15, 2007


it's been said many times that a preponderance of flags was the deciding factor to tip an admin decision on a thread deletion or closure

Yes, but it's never been said that said preponderance was the sole deciding factor. Most times when we see something flagged heavily, it's immediately clear why it's happening, and usually it's an indisputable violation of the guidelines. But sometimes it's something that a fair-sized crowd finds objectionable but really isn't a problem in and of itself (e.g. some sex-related FPPs or hot-button posts under auspicious circumstances), and in cases like that we just delete the flags and keep an eye on the thread for possible messes.

The distinction between the current flagging system and a voting system is that flags are not considered trusted data; they're very useful, and on-target 90% or 97% of the time, but we don't let anything happen just because of flags. And if we see consistently wtf-ish flagging behavior start happening, what we're likely to do is contact the user, not knee-jerk delete the stuff.

Mefi is a small enough town still that there's not really room for a dozen conspiracy accounts to just ninja a bunch of flags onto something they don't like without standing out. A userbase ten times this size, with flag activity scaling to match, would be more of a challenge there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:41 PM on September 15, 2007


The distinction between the current flagging system and a voting system is that flags are not considered trusted data; they're very useful, and on-target 90% or 97% of the time, but we don't let anything happen just because of flags.

Flagging is a form of deletion nomination and has nothing to do with a thread closure voting system. The latter doesn't require any second-guessing or reason-giving, but simply reflects a desire to move on sooner than later from a dead horse and help clear the Recent Activity list. It's a majority agreement to drop a subject, not a punishment.
posted by Brian B. at 12:24 AM on September 16, 2007


Those who want to drop a subject can just leave that thread. If you're really wanting a way to clear the Recent Activity page, we should just get a widget for taking a thread off that page.

You might see thread closure voting as "not a punishment" but can you not see how others would be able to use it to punish/hassle/etc? Especially if it "doesn't require second guessing"?
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:23 AM on September 16, 2007


Those who want to drop a subject can just leave that thread.

They could just leave the site too. But that would not drop the subject if they are the subject, and this is where trolls with infinite time on their hands have the upper hand. As stated, the Recent Activity is still reminding them how undropped it is.

The widget, yes, this is the widget. It puts an end to the problem in the same way of asking your neighbot to mow his lawn after 7AM avoids the need for earplugs or motels. When 11 out 20 people vote to close a thread without giving a reason, for 11 different possible reasons, I don't see how anyone out of the 20 could take this personally without first having a severe personality disorder (yes, perhaps the same disorder that leads them to troll the thread, but that is not our treatment problem).
posted by Brian B. at 10:22 AM on September 16, 2007


Brian B. you are welcome to continue stating your case eloquently, but I really don't think this is going to happen for many of the reasons elucidated above. If your problem is that you don't like your Recent Activity queue filling up with junk, there may be better ways to approach that issue without introducing a whole new procedure (voting) to MeFi. If MeTa threads are really filling up with trolls, we tend to close them. If they're just filling up wtih noise or nonsense, we tend to let them go. If 11 out of 20 people want to close a thread and nine don't, it's a bad idea to close a thread in my estimation.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:44 AM on September 16, 2007


If 11 out of 20 people want to close a thread and nine don't, it's a bad idea to close a thread in my estimation.

I don't think it will happen either, because it is being confused for power. For example, you made the convenient assumption that 9 don't. There is no such fact if eleven do. It stopped at eleven, because that's all you logically need decide any social issue where equal rights are assumed. Filling up with noise and nonsense is fine if that's what the thread was about. If that's not what it was about, then a minority form of noise censorship has occurred under the guise of moderation, which enabled it through a form of exhaustion tolerance by having less options.
posted by Brian B. at 11:20 AM on September 16, 2007


Brian B., what's not really clear to me is why we'd want to do this. I don't think it's axiomatic that, if a simple majority could vote to close any given metatalk thread, that should actually be sufficient to close it automatically. What's the actual gain for the site—not for the users voting, but for the site in general?
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:44 AM on September 16, 2007


you made the convenient assumption that 9 don't.

Maybe a better way to say this would be that I conveniently misundestood that the vote option you were talking about was "close this thread?" and you could either vote Y or not vote. I was thinking there would be "close this thread "Y/N/DC" where everyone would vote yes no or don't care. There are a lot of ways to make a voting option. We have now outlined two of them.

Noise happens often when threads have served their purpose and people goof off in them. We've never had a policy to shut that off and that seems to work pretty well. I get that it's something that bothers you personally, but I'm not getting that it's some sort of sitewide scourge that necessitates some sort of new guideline and function in order to eradicate. Or, what cortex said.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:26 PM on September 16, 2007


Brian B., what's not really clear to me is why we'd want to do this. I don't think it's axiomatic that, if a simple majority could vote to close any given metatalk thread, that should actually be sufficient to close it automatically. What's the actual gain for the site—not for the users voting, but for the site in general?

If a moderator showed up in a thread, without reading, and said that a majority of the participants expressed the need to close it, then I don't think you could offer a better reason. Anything less is reactionary and requires the need for judgment, placing the moderator in an indecisive holding pattern for lack of an arbitrary convincing reason (for lack of a rule to cite). The compelling factor here is that the majority of participants who engaged the thread in good faith have since changed their mind and should not be assumed to suddenly be acting in bad faith.

Bottom line is that if it could attract better participation with greater respect then that speaks for itself. An offensive poster would be angering sincere and invested people who could cut them short if it reached a critical mass (and they don't even need to engage them or flee the scene from intimidation). I don't see any incentive for MORE gaming because sockpeople can only beat the odds when the majority is impotent. To quote the great ones: it's the little innovations that often make a huge difference. And would it perhaps be a unique feature on this scale? If it isn't exciting as an experiment in itself, then I'm really arguing against boredom.
posted by Brian B. at 2:15 PM on September 16, 2007


I'm just confused as to why Brian B. gets such sustained and explain-everything responses from jessamyn and cortex to such a (sorry, but I reckon) not-particularly-useful idea, when much better and more important ones usually don't. Must be the thread at hand.

[NOT SOURGRAPIST]

If general problems are identified as such, ideas to improve the experience here need to focus not on how to cut off discussion or address edge cases, but create intrinsic user incentives and disincentives that aim to raise overall quality, so that the problems don't arise as much in the first place. Cause, not symptom.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:59 PM on September 16, 2007


when much better and more important ones usually don't.

Which ideas are you referring to?
posted by Brian B. at 5:05 PM on September 16, 2007


Which ideas are you referring to?

Almost any ideas other than yours, which is terrible and is not going to be implemented. I share stavros's puzzlement about why it is being taken so seriously. Also, you are really dominating this thread.
posted by languagehat at 5:11 PM on September 16, 2007


I just figured jessamyn was replying to Brian B. as a proxy for all the other users who think being able to vote to close threads is a good idea (it's not), but were afraid to announce their support for the idea lest stavros come and rip them a new arsehole. Either that, or sexual favours have been granted. Both work for me.
posted by dg at 6:00 PM on September 16, 2007


Also, it could be Sunday and we could be feeling totally chill and shit.

For my part, I like to understand where people are coming from with suggestions/requests even if I totally disagree with 'em; if it's not crazy hectic on mefi itself and I'm not busy with something else and the user isn't getting bent out of shape, I'll probably inquire just to make sure I know why they're suggesting that we start widgetizing the crapshaw or whatever.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:23 PM on September 16, 2007


Ah, see, your Sunday is my Monday, so I'm stressed and grumpy and expect everyone else to be the same. I can't wait 'till we can get instantaneous transport between countries, so I can have two Sundays and no Monday each week.
posted by dg at 6:37 PM on September 16, 2007


Hai, why not?
Your own, personal, Jesus
someone to hear your prayers,
someone who cares

Your own, personal, Jesus
someone to hear your prayers,
someone who's there

Feeling unknown
and you're all alone,
flesh and bone,
by the telephone,
lift up the receiver,
I'll make you a believer

Take second best,
put me to the test,
things on your chest,
you need to confess,
I will deliver,
you know I'm a forgiver

Reach out and touch faith
Reach out and touch faith

Your own, personal, Jesus
someone to hear your prayers,
someone who cares

Your own, personal, Jesus
someone to hear your prayers,
someone to care

Feeling unknown
and you're all alone,
flesh and bone,
by the telephone,
lift up the receiver,
I'll make you a believer
I will deliver,
you know I'm a forgiver

Reach out and touch faith
Reach out and touch faith
Reach out and touch faith

Reach out and touch faith
posted by vapidave at 9:22 PM on September 16, 2007


Okay, I'm voting to close this thread. Nobody has voted to keep it open so closing is the overwhelming majority choice.

Make it so.
posted by timeistight at 9:43 PM on September 16, 2007


...they're suggesting that we start widgetizing the crapshaw or whatever.

And the widgetized lineman
Is still on the liiiiiiiiine...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:51 PM on September 16, 2007 [2 favorites]


timeistight writes "I'm voting to close this thread. Nobody has voted to keep it open so closing is the overwhelming majority choice. "

Wait, wait, wait. *pants breathlessly* I vote to keep it open. Not that I think it should be open to debate but just to ensure the tyranny of democracy doesn't close it prematurely.
posted by Mitheral at 10:15 PM on September 16, 2007


Well, I vote to close it, so now the closers have a 2:1 majority against the openers.
posted by dg at 10:21 PM on September 16, 2007


I vote thunderweasel.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:53 PM on September 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sure, me too. Thunderweasel 4 EVAR!
posted by cgc373 at 1:52 AM on September 17, 2007


Very well. This thread is thunderweaseled to new comments.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:31 AM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Point of order! Point of order!
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:35 AM on September 17, 2007


You're a corpse—no points of order for you!

*does the thunderweasel*
posted by languagehat at 7:07 AM on September 17, 2007


*thunderweasels*

Oops, excuse me.

*opens a window*
posted by dg at 3:05 PM on September 17, 2007


Undermoderation.
posted by brautigan at 3:17 PM on September 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Almost any ideas other than yours, which is terrible and is not going to be implemented. I share stavros's puzzlement about why it is being taken so seriously. Also, you are really dominating this thread.

You sound very angry, jealous and insecure.
posted by Brian B. at 3:23 PM on September 17, 2007


I vote that Brian B. is being a big sook.


And that his user name should be changed to Doris.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:31 PM on September 17, 2007


Seconded. All in favour say aye.
posted by dg at 3:35 PM on September 17, 2007


I just figured jessamyn was replying to Brian B. as a proxy for all the other users who think being able to vote to close threads is a good idea (it's not), but were afraid to announce their support for the idea lest stavros come and rip them a new arsehole.

She was opposed to it. You may have assumed that when people whined about her that it was because she was for it, but that's not why they were whining. If you aren't too afraid, you can ask the chicken, but he doesn't answer direct questions.
posted by Brian B. at 3:45 PM on September 17, 2007


How can you be so sure of that, Doris? Do you have access to some secret sub-thread information not visible to mere mortals? I ask because I don't see it here.
posted by dg at 3:55 PM on September 17, 2007


dg is Doris Gay?
posted by Brian B. at 3:57 PM on September 17, 2007


I don't know, is Doris gay?
posted by dg at 4:48 PM on September 17, 2007


I don't know, is Doris gay?

So Doris is your gay fantasy. I thought so.
posted by Brian B. at 4:57 PM on September 17, 2007


Real mature, Doris.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:04 PM on September 17, 2007


Alvy, we already know about your motives.

From your profile: Gender: All man, mostly.

Did they botch something?
posted by Brian B. at 5:08 PM on September 17, 2007


I feel Doris' wrath.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:10 PM on September 17, 2007


Earth to Doris, earth to Doris… Come in, Doris.
posted by klangklangston at 5:10 PM on September 17, 2007


He zinged you there, Alvy! You write that down, so you can win the next Al Jaffee "Snappy answers to stupid questions" contest.
posted by klangklangston at 5:13 PM on September 17, 2007


You sound very angry, jealous and insecure.

Oh, Doris, you say that to all the boys.
posted by languagehat at 5:24 PM on September 17, 2007


Oh, I'm far too shattered by Doris' masterful transmutation of my self-mockery into mockery of myself to do anything more than sniffle into my sleeve and wipe the tears from my keyboard, klang.

Seriously, the way you twisted around a comment I made impugning my manhood and used it to impugn my manhood was just... just devastating, Doris.

Like a verbal alchemist, you are.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:35 PM on September 17, 2007


Doris something wrong with dis thread.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:37 PM on September 17, 2007


Like a verbal alchemist, you are.
Doris something wrong with dis thread.
Like a verbal alchemist, you are.
Doris something wrong with dis thread.
Like a verbal alchemist, you are.
Doris something wrong with dis thread.


My prediction for the rest of the thread.
posted by Brian B. at 5:47 PM on September 17, 2007


Doris is indeed an alchemist - she is equally masterful at foretelling the future as she is at sculpting sentences.
posted by dg at 5:52 PM on September 17, 2007


Doris, you inspired an FPP.
posted by klangklangston at 6:28 PM on September 17, 2007


So let's get serious for a minute.





Are we going to make it to 500?
posted by languagehat at 10:50 AM on September 18, 2007


Christ, lh, I've been regretting commenting in this thing so that it would drop off my comments page, and then you have to go and throw down that gauntlet? Thanks a lot.
posted by OmieWise at 10:58 AM on September 18, 2007


462
posted by shmegegge at 11:07 AM on September 18, 2007


I'd like to belatedly place my vote for, in order: pirates (tomorrow's Talk Like a Pirate Day!), monkeys, then ninja.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:19 AM on September 18, 2007


oh crap i forgot thunderweasel - don't make the same mistake, people
posted by Pronoiac at 11:22 AM on September 18, 2007


40 more comments isn't a gauntlet. Now let's see if we can push her to 1000, that'd be different.
posted by Mitheral at 11:23 AM on September 18, 2007


466 - the nephew of the Beast.
posted by psmealey at 11:31 AM on September 18, 2007


So is Brian B. Doris the official harbinger of the longboat, now?
posted by team lowkey at 12:08 PM on September 18, 2007


I'd just like to point out that the term "overmoderation" is an oxymoron. Whereas I am an omnimoron. But not an Erin Moran. That is all.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:29 PM on September 18, 2007


Leave Erin Moran ALOOOONE! It's not her fault Scott Baio dumped her!!!
posted by vronsky at 1:23 PM on September 18, 2007


Cheez, what a maroon!
posted by misha at 1:42 PM on September 18, 2007


Can we please not turn this into another Mormon-bashing thread?
posted by languagehat at 2:01 PM on September 18, 2007


On the other hand, that might be fun.
posted by languagehat at 2:02 PM on September 18, 2007


Will you people stop post in this thread? We voted to close this two days ago.
posted by timeistight at 2:16 PM on September 18, 2007


It's not ok to be Mormon. Yet, if anyone gets anywhere near this medical, social, and genetic consensus, people go apeshit and like magic, the comment is deleted. It just doesn't seem right to me.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:21 PM on September 18, 2007


475
posted by shmegegge at 2:42 PM on September 18, 2007


I only posted "what a maroon" because of Erin Moran, btw. I'm feeling bad now, because I'm worried vronsky might think I meant him.
posted by misha at 2:44 PM on September 18, 2007


timeistight writes "Will you people stop post in this thread? We voted to close this two days ago."

Every post here is an implicit vote for keeping it open so I demand a recount.
posted by Mitheral at 3:27 PM on September 18, 2007


The problem I see with having a threshold vote to close threads is that some small group of people, a Cabal as it were, could decide they don't like a topic or a person or how everyone is behaving in a given thread and vote en bloc to close it, stifling the free flow of Meta goodness. Well, that's essentially what we have now, only the Cabal members can be trusted to have the interests of the whole MetaVerse at heart. It's like a well functioning aristocracy. BB Doris' idea would be like the French revolution--soon we would be taken over by a radical minority, banning members for not being snarky enough, guillotining the elite, and probably requiring everyone to read all LOLCAT threads. There would probably be cannibalism, too.
[not Cabalist]
posted by RussHy at 3:28 PM on September 18, 2007


*blows a kiss to misha:)*
posted by vronsky at 3:29 PM on September 18, 2007


There is no cannibal.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:31 PM on September 18, 2007


Not now there isn't, but there could be.
posted by RussHy at 3:35 PM on September 18, 2007


Every post here is an implicit vote for keeping it open so I demand a recount.

Yeah, only posts in green comic sans count as no votes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:47 PM on September 18, 2007


*tucks thread under arm, lunges for the goal line*

We few, we happy few, we band of brothers. For he today who sheds his blood with me shall be my brother. Be he ne'er so vile, this day shall gentle his condition, and gentlemen in England now abed shall think themselves acursed they were not here, and hold their manhoods cheap whilst any speaks, that fought with us upon St. Mefite's day!
posted by vronsky at 4:30 PM on September 18, 2007


If you aren't too afraid, you can ask the chicken, but he doesn't answer direct questions.

Sure I do, Doris, except when they are already ably answered, by, say, for example, languagehat, who said everything I would have in response to your query.

Also, this.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:47 PM on September 18, 2007


Fight, and you may die. Run, and you will live - at least awhile. And dying in your bed many years from now,
would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance, to come back here as young men and tell the jews that they may run Bartertown, but they will never take our blink tag!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:51 PM on September 18, 2007


Do not ask for whom the bell tolls - it tolls for Doris.
posted by dg at 5:41 PM on September 18, 2007


I vote for Danton.
posted by languagehat at 5:56 PM on September 18, 2007


No, wait, I don't vote—I'm an anarchist. Dammit.
posted by languagehat at 5:57 PM on September 18, 2007


You caught me in a moment of weakness.
posted by languagehat at 5:57 PM on September 18, 2007


<nelson>haha!</nelson>
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:09 PM on September 18, 2007


Your life is an uninterrupted string of moments of weakness, man. I just saw you push a baby out of the way so you could steal an ice cream cone from an invalid—which cone you promptly discarded when you caught site of and ran giggling after a puppy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:10 PM on September 18, 2007


Fuckin' puppy ate the ice cream, man. I don't take that shit from nobody. Not even a puppy.
posted by languagehat at 6:19 PM on September 18, 2007


Say, anybody got any ice cream?
posted by languagehat at 6:20 PM on September 18, 2007


I refuse to play any part in dragging this whole sorry mess on towards the 500 comment mark.
posted by Abiezer at 6:35 PM on September 18, 2007


Yeah, me too.
posted by yhbc at 7:11 PM on September 18, 2007


I'll play any part, dragging or not. I got no pride.
posted by team lowkey at 7:20 PM on September 18, 2007


I can't believe Matt disabled the <nelson> tag. Now the terrorists have really won.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:39 PM on September 18, 2007


So. Very. Close.
posted by RussHy at 8:47 PM on September 18, 2007


closer still...
posted by vronsky at 8:57 PM on September 18, 2007


I hereby claim comment 500 (or 501, if I've been tardy) for the King of Sprain. He's a bit of a damaged ligament, but he's still my sovereign.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:34 PM on September 18, 2007


Oh. Nice. That means I can still save comment 501 for the crown princess Aleph-null of Port-U-Google. She's quite high-born, but you can still count on her in a pinch.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:45 PM on September 18, 2007


I will always be King of Sprain.
posted by cgc373 at 5:48 AM on September 19, 2007


Once again, I rue the need for sleep that made me miss my chance at comment #500 and a firm place in history. I hate you all. Especially the King of Sprain.
posted by languagehat at 6:30 AM on September 19, 2007


I was awake and alert for 500. I just didn't want it. Take that, your value system!
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:33 AM on September 19, 2007


Abashed, the Sprain King stood, and felt how awful hatred is, and saw language in his own hat, how hateful.
posted by cgc373 at 6:33 AM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Abashed, language puked his value system into his own hat and slunk away to rehab.
posted by languagehat at 6:43 AM on September 19, 2007


Ah bash ed, but 'ts really a jim dandy little application as line edituhs go.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:45 AM on September 19, 2007


In Rehab, Jim Dandy's little application is a Viking of Sprain.
posted by cgc373 at 6:51 AM on September 19, 2007


Abou A'bashid, (may his fave count increase!)
Awoke one night from a dead drunk of peace,
And saw, within the trainwreck of this thread,
Made over-long, and like an aching in his head,
A mod, typing up a list of banned.
posted by Abiezer at 7:42 AM on September 19, 2007


A metaphorical Viking of Sprain or a literal Viking of Sprain?

*blushes, catches vronsky's kiss and tucks it away, smiling, relieved*
posted by misha at 7:59 AM on September 19, 2007


Banned members, when they came to read their names,
Because they were misspelt, took umbrage at mods' games.
But possessed of no recourse, tormented in fits
Not stopping or relenting in their scorn at nits
Bravely borne, they rose to shriek and whine.
posted by cgc373 at 8:14 AM on September 19, 2007


Consumed by self-regard and quite inured to shame,
Crying for justice (or at least for somebody to blame),
Constantly at risk of saying something overwrought,
Overthinking all the plates of beans in parodies of thought,
Critics take their leave of absense in this gray place.
posted by cgc373 at 8:22 AM on September 19, 2007


Poetry? I was going to suggest celebrating with a singalong.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:47 AM on September 19, 2007


I was there for 500 as well, but I was saving it for languagehat. Next time I will claim it for him.
posted by RussHy at 8:56 AM on September 19, 2007


Doubly begun in jest—perhaps unearned—and in earnest
Doubt of its efficacy, when once supposed interest
Does its work, momentum builds to push each stanza on,
Propelled by no more purpose than a swan
Drifting in a Yeats-inspired pool, all white.
posted by cgc373 at 9:06 AM on September 19, 2007


Ensembles tend toward some self-assembled point
Except when called upon to name their joint
Each piece protests, disclaims identity for single
Quintessential quality: "Though I commingle
Everywhere, I am my own person, all my own!"
posted by cgc373 at 9:21 AM on September 19, 2007


Fretting now, simply too far into a process to neglect
Fitting the next part into its place, to protect
Form for its own sake, it's better to decide
Right now will do as well as later. Pride
Feels less important than an arbitrary line.
posted by cgc373 at 9:29 AM on September 19, 2007


Good timing may be enough to see us through
Glass, if we move with the light, if you
Give the signal a chance in the noise.
Since it's a game, losing your toys
Goes on the board as a winning score.
posted by cgc373 at 9:36 AM on September 19, 2007


Higher powers pencil in appointments in pen
Here and there, willy-nilly, knowing when
Heat is mistaken for light, they can disregard
Tiny expectations and others' calendars, hard-
Heartedly following nobody, unaccountable.
posted by cgc373 at 9:46 AM on September 19, 2007


All you who lurk, snark, pass-by, and by-stand,
Would you kindly go tell those Mefite fools,
That we are silent, our accounts are banned,
Disobedient to guidelines, not rules.

posted by anotherpanacea at 11:45 AM on September 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Update on this thread - defence calls in spin doctor in an attempt to humanise nappy-wearing astronaut.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:12 PM on September 19, 2007


what
posted by languagehat at 2:53 PM on September 20, 2007


's on second?
posted by OmieWise at 3:05 PM on September 20, 2007


I don't know.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:08 PM on September 20, 2007


well, overcortexification caused the premature closing of my astronaut update thread, so i thought it best to cross-post the update to this, the Thousand Year Thread.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:16 PM on September 20, 2007


I for one have my fingers crossed for CameraObscura to complain about his deletion.
posted by anotherpanacea at 4:34 PM on September 20, 2007


well, overcortexification caused the premature closing of my astronaut update thread, so i thought it best to cross-post the update to this, the Thousand Year Thread.

Oh, OK. Anything that pushes us onward and upward is jake with me.

This post was deleted for the following reason: hobbyborse elsewhere?

What's a hobbyborse? A hobbybourse would be a stock exchange for hobbies, which is a cool idea, but there doesn't appear to be any word borse. Although there is a borsholder, which is "The chief of a tithing or frank-pledge; afterwards a parish officer identical in functions with the Petty Constable." Maybe we could start a frank-pledge and have a borsholder. Or a Petty Constable.
posted by languagehat at 4:39 PM on September 20, 2007


*hopes jessamyn is no longer keeping up with this thread*
posted by languagehat at 4:40 PM on September 20, 2007


A hobbybourse would be a stock exchange for hobbies

No. It would be a stock exchange where amateurs & dilettantes could play the market on weekends (using a choice of currencies, such as monopoly money, toothpicks or New Zealand dollars) without fear of being eaten by the sharks.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:50 PM on September 20, 2007


well, overcortexification caused the premature closing of my astronaut update thread

Uh, I flagged it. Not that I'm so important that my flags make or break posts - I mean, it's still mostly close-happy cortex's fault, but I just didn't want people to have the impression that he was acting quite so unilaterally.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 4:56 PM on September 20, 2007


Yeah, I've actually got like six or seven different laterals that I use on different days, so it's all good.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:01 PM on September 20, 2007


et tu, Alvy?
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:32 PM on September 20, 2007


I blame Doris.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:08 PM on September 20, 2007


*hopes jessamyn is no longer keeping up with this thread*

keep dreaming.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:10 PM on September 20, 2007


*runs, hides*
posted by languagehat at 6:27 PM on September 20, 2007


languagehat: do you really think j355amyn has time to keep up with every thread? just misspell her name & you won't show up on any of her automated blackberry alerts.

this won't work for cortex, though, because he doesn't have a life is a self-propelling dynamo in the form of a perpetual moderation machine.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:40 PM on September 20, 2007


I don't actually read all the threads either.

I just grep for keywords.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:23 PM on September 20, 2007


"grep"?!?

i'd look that up, if i weren't so afraid of ending up at Lemon Party.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:26 PM on September 20, 2007


Well you know what they say, "You can't grep a dead tree".
posted by Mitheral at 12:22 AM on September 21, 2007


K-r-r-r-r-ep!
posted by Rock Steady at 4:42 AM on September 21, 2007


meh. it's all grep to me.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:46 PM on September 21, 2007


If it's not Scots, it's grep.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:43 PM on September 21, 2007


I can't believe this madness went on for this long.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:48 PM on September 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


What makes you think it's ended?
posted by dg at 3:00 PM on September 23, 2007


exactly. don't count your kittens before they're declawed.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:07 PM on September 23, 2007


one step beyond.
posted by vronsky at 8:07 PM on September 23, 2007


Yo, Lo? is this overmoderation?
posted by vronsky at 8:32 PM on September 23, 2007


moderation kills the spirit

a little knowledge can go a long way

a lot of professionals are crackpots

a man can't know what it is to be a mother

a name means a lot just by itself

a positive attitude means all the difference in the world

a relaxed man is not necessarily a better man

a sense of timing is the mark of genius

a sincere effort is all you can ask

a single event can have infinitely many interpretations

a solid home base builds a sense of self

a strong sense of duty imprisons you

absolute submission can be a form of freedom

abstraction is a type of decadence

abuse of power comes as no surprise

action causes more trouble than thought

alienation produces eccentrics or revolutionaries

all things are delicately interconnected

ambition is just as dangerous as complacency

ambivalence can ruin your life

an elite is inevitable

anger or hate can be a useful motivating force

animalism is perfectly healthy

any surplus is immoral

anything is a legitimate area of investigation

artificial desires are despoiling the earth

at times inactivity is preferable to mindless functioning

at times your unconsciousness is truer than your conscious mind

automation is deadly

awful punishment awaits really bad people

bad intentions can yield good results

being alone with yourself is increasingly unpopular

being happy is more important than anything else

being judgmental is a sign of life

being sure of yourself means you're a fool

believing in rebirth is the same as admitting defeat

boredom makes you do crazy things

calm is more conductive to creativity than is anxiety

categorizing fear is calming

change is valuable when the oppressed become tyrants

chasing the new is dangerous to society

children are the most cruel of all

children are the hope of the future

class action is a nice idea with no substance

class structure is as artificial as plastic

confusing yourself is a way to stay honest

crime against property is relatively unimportant

decadence can be an end in itself

decency is a relative thing

dependence can be a meal ticket

description is more important than metaphor

deviants are sacrificed to increase group solidarity

disgust is the appropriate response to most situations

disorganization is a kind of anesthesia

don't place to much trust in experts

drama often obscures the real issues

dreaming while awake is a frightening contradiction

dying and coming back gives you considerable perspective

dying should be as easy as falling off a log

eating too much is criminal

elaboration is a form of pollution

emotional responses ar as valuable as intellectual responses

enjoy yourself because you can't change anything anyway

ensure that your life stays in flux

even your family can betray you

every achievement requires a sacrifice

everyone's work is equally important

everything that's interesting is new

exceptional people deserve special concessions

expiring for love is beautiful but stupid

expressing anger is necessary

extreme behavior has its basis in pathological psychology

extreme self-consciousness leads to perversion

faithfulness is a social not a biological law

fake or real indifference is a powerful personal weapon

fathers often use too much force

fear is the greatest incapacitator

freedom is a luxury not a necessity

giving free rein to your emotions is an honest way to live

go all out in romance and let the chips fall where they may

going with the flow is soothing but risky

good deeds eventually are rewarded

government is a burden on the people

grass roots agitation is the only hope

guilt and self-laceration are indulgences

habitual contempt doesn't reflect a finer sensibility

hiding your emotions is despicable

holding back protects your vital energies

humanism is obsolete

humor is a release

ideals are replaced by conventional goals at a certain age

if you aren't political your personal life should be exemplary

if you can't leave your mark give up

if you have many desires your life will be interesting

if you live simply there is nothing to worry about

ignoring enemies is the best way to fight

illness is a state of mind

imposing order is man's vocation for chaos is hell

in some instances it's better to die than to continue

inheritance must be abolished

it can be helpful to keep going no matter what

it is heroic to try to stop time

it is man's fate to outsmart himself

it is a gift to the world not to have babies

it's better to be a good person than a famous person

it's better to be lonely than to be with inferior people

it's better to be naive than jaded

it's better to study the living fact than to analyze history

it's crucial to have an active fantasy life

it's good to give extra money to charity

it's important to stay clean on all levels

it's just an accident that your parents are your parents

it's not good to hold too many absolutes

it's not good to operate on credit

it's vital to live in harmony with nature

just believing something can make it happen

keep something in reserve for emergencies

killing is unavoidable but nothing to be proud of

knowing yourself lets you understand others

knowledge should be advanced at all costs

labor is a life-destroying activity

lack of charisma can be fatal

leisure time is a gigantic smoke screen

listen when your body talks

looking back is the first sign of aging and decay

loving animals is a substitute activity

low expectations are good protection

manual labor can be refreshing and wholesome

men are not monogamous by nature

moderation kills the spirit

money creates taste

monomania is a prerequisite of success

morals are for little people

most people are not fit to rule themselves

mostly you should mind your own business

mothers shouldn't make too many sacrifices
posted by vronsky at 8:40 PM on September 23, 2007 [1 favorite]


C'mon Jenny D, and help me out here. John Ashbery not good enough for the front page? I thought you wanted to debate? Now is the perfect opportunity to mass-debate. Everybody mass debate on mefi.
posted by vronsky at 9:12 PM on September 23, 2007


Shirley you can't be serious? I'm surprised that train wreck stayed alive for the time it took to get three comments.

*mass debates furiously*
posted by dg at 9:37 PM on September 23, 2007 [2 favorites]


it would be useful to have the image tag back at this point.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:08 PM on September 23, 2007


vronsky. vronsky, vronsky, vronksy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:20 PM on September 23, 2007


Who is this vronksy you're referring to?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:26 PM on September 23, 2007


Do you have something to tell me?
Say something.
Anything.
I'm warning you.
posted by team lowkey at 12:36 AM on September 24, 2007


Ah, shenanigans. Ah, see, shenanigans. Ah see dead people. Ah see dead shenanigans.
posted by cgc373 at 6:40 AM on September 24, 2007


it would be useful to have the image tag back at this point.
Right. Maybe we could post images for any thread over 500 comments?
posted by RussHy at 8:11 AM on September 24, 2007


...and so, in the fall of 2007 began what most historians agree was the end of Metafilter, as every thread, bar none, became a breakneck sprint to the five-hundred-image mark. That threshold-as-goal came to be called first "The Half-K", then "LOLIANAPOLIS 500"; as mefite brains continued the now unstoppable descent into atrophy, the name (d?)evolved through "five oh oh", "500z", "pix", ":)", and, finally, a lone dot linking to a picture of an elephant urinating.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:23 AM on September 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


John Ashbery not good enough for the front page?

Sure he is. I'd love to see a good Ashbery post. This wasn't it, and you know it. Now take a deep breath and think of LOLCATS. There, now don't you feel better?
posted by languagehat at 9:20 AM on September 24, 2007


I know we can make 600.
posted by languagehat at 9:20 AM on September 24, 2007


I mean, hell, this is #560 right here.
posted by languagehat at 9:21 AM on September 24, 2007


The righteous do not ask what others can do to accomplish their goals. They roll up their sleeves and get to work.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:30 AM on September 24, 2007


This is me, rolling up my sleeves.
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:31 AM on September 24, 2007


Here's a classic problem in moral philosophy for, you know, discussion or snarking or riffing or ignoring:

Two men back their cars out of the driveway. Both fail to properly check their surroundings. One hits a small child, the other luckily does not. Since both were irresponsible, why do we hold the driver who hit the child more blameworthy than the driver that didn't? Should due care and intention be the only guides to moral culpability?

A similar question: why do we punish attempted murderers less than successful ones? Aren't they both equally reprehensible? Aren't they both murderers in their hearts? Why should ineptitude be an excuse?
posted by anotherpanacea at 9:36 AM on September 24, 2007


Why do fools fall in love?
posted by psmealey at 9:57 AM on September 24, 2007


Because they're so damned moved by the earnest, heart-breaking testimony of the defendent. He had them at "...I just replay the moment in my mind again and again. Why didn't I check my surroundings? Of course I didn't mean to hit that poor child, but what consolation is that to his mother? Oh, but to turn back the clock; I mourn every moment. I am reduced to mere humanity...
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:22 AM on September 24, 2007


It's not that fools fall in love so much as that people in love become fools. Which comes first is the real question here.

anotherpanacea, are you suggesting that we should punish attempted murderers twice? Once for being heartless enough to try and kill another human being and once for being bad at it? Won't that just encourage people to get better at murder before they start, by practising on small animals first? Won't someone think of the animals?
posted by dg at 3:00 PM on September 24, 2007


I would just like to point out that the War Between the States had nothing to do with slavery.

*rubs hands, anticipates another 600 comments*
posted by languagehat at 3:51 PM on September 24, 2007


And I would just like to point out that in 1952 John Cage wrote a piece of music which consisted of 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence, in order to illustrate and celebrate the impossibility of silence. And as far as I know, the piece had nothing to do with slavery.

*rubs hands, anticipates another 600 comments*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:57 PM on September 24, 2007


I hate to break up the party, but the point is really pretty much moot once you acknowledge that the moon landing was faked. By slaves.

*rubs pincers, anticipates the satisfying crunch of human skulls*
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:09 PM on September 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have irrefutable proof that the moon landing was faked by circumcised slaves. I don't think they were fat, though. Because, you know, slaves have at least a shred of self-respect.
posted by dg at 4:29 PM on September 24, 2007


They knew people wouldn't believe them if they wasted all that Delta-V.
posted by Mitheral at 6:06 PM on September 24, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have irrefutable proof that it was compulsive hand-rubbers who did the WTC.
posted by Abiezer at 6:21 PM on September 24, 2007


I went back in time to assassinate John Cage, that wanker, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:41 PM on September 24, 2007


I went back in time to assassinate John Cage, that wanker, and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.

But did you really listen, stavros, to the sound of the gun as it went off? To the sound of the bullet as it entered Cage's skull? See? You STILL DON'T GET IT!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:16 PM on September 24, 2007


How insensitive. Next thing, you'll be saying you didn't know that stavros is deaf.
posted by dg at 2:47 AM on September 25, 2007


*cries (in an unselfconsciously loud and full-throated guttural and possibly-embarrassing-in-public way)*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:27 AM on September 25, 2007


*points, laughs, trips over own feet*
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:34 AM on September 25, 2007


*trips over cortex*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:51 AM on September 25, 2007


I've been waiting for this moment. Waiting patiently for weeks, for months in this Swiss valley. For years, indeed, in that tiny unheated garret up under the rafters, with only beer and mousedroppings for sustenance, I've been waiting and plotting, scratching charcoal longhand plans for the time when it came, maps and dusty grey blueprints on the backs of the credit card slips from my chiropraxis; I've been preparing for the time when I'd have you both there on the ground, dazed, distracted by my mock-deaf ululations.

And now that we are here, my friends, let me savour the moment. Let me indulge myself as the Kilowatt Laser charges up to deal death -- yes 1000 watts of death dealing -- let me enjoy the triumph. Because I have earned it. I have earned it.



Wait! What's that sound?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:16 AM on September 25, 2007


it's the sound of everybody joining in the cortex pile-on.

*trips over flapjax*
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:21 AM on September 25, 2007


EVERYBODY LOOK WHAT'S GOING DOWN
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:22 AM on September 25, 2007


OMG! They're all going down in the Gray! Talk about overmoderation.
posted by RussHy at 9:02 PM on September 25, 2007


It's what they're going down on that makes me OMG. I have no problem with going down in general.
posted by dg at 9:32 PM on September 25, 2007


So... is that it? Is it all over?

I knew it—the Jews win again!!
posted by languagehat at 6:45 AM on September 26, 2007


I was just going to write something like "Hava Nagila, baby. [empties shotgun]" but then it occurred to me that The Critic or maybe The Simpsons has actually done that, so now I'm back at square one.

Which is exactly where those bastards want me!
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:03 AM on September 26, 2007


relax. have a nargila, baby.

*passes water pipe, apple tobacco scents fill the air*
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:50 AM on September 26, 2007


Yeah, I'll have a hit of that.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:52 AM on September 26, 2007


you'd hit it?

*passes opium-infused apple tobacco pipe snakey mouthpiece*

hang on, we're all still piled on top of each other, aren't we?

lucky i'm still wearing my underpants!
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:12 AM on September 26, 2007


Actually, those are my underpants. Has anyone seen mine? They're pink with little white hearts on them.
posted by dg at 3:16 PM on September 26, 2007


Hmm, that didn't come out right.
posted by dg at 3:17 PM on September 26, 2007


*Opens door*

*Looks*

*Backs out. Closes door*
posted by Catfry at 4:34 PM on September 26, 2007


so mote it be
posted by vronsky at 5:26 PM on September 26, 2007


i think the opium has addled your brain, dg.

they are indeed your undies, only you were probably momentarily confused, because i'm wearing them inside out & back to front.

(gotta say, though, a back to front thong isn't the comfiest thing in the world...)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:41 PM on September 26, 2007


So, whose are these that I'm wearing on my head, then? And why are they wet?
posted by dg at 7:13 PM on September 26, 2007


probably quonsar's.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:31 PM on September 26, 2007


That's it, then, I'm outta this pile.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:24 PM on September 26, 2007



An angel appears at a faculty meeting and tells the dean that in return for his unselfish and exemplary behavior, he will reward him with his choice of infinite wealth, or infinite wisdom.
Without hesitating, the dean selects infinite wisdom.

"Done!" says the angel, and disappears in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning.

Now, all heads turn toward the dean, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light.

One of his colleagues whispers, "Say something."

The dean sighs and says, "I should have taken the money."
posted by vronsky at 8:35 PM on September 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Doris lost his grep.
posted by phoque at 3:09 PM on September 29, 2007


Just because I like ... Wicked and Wierd
posted by phoque at 3:13 PM on September 29, 2007


600!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:43 PM on September 29, 2007


601!
posted by timeistight at 10:44 PM on September 29, 2007


Sexy and too!
posted by phoque at 4:24 PM on September 30, 2007


Man, they just don't build long boats like they used to. Anybody read any good books recently? I just discovered Michael Connelly mysteries.
posted by RussHy at 5:55 PM on October 3, 2007


Decided to go longboat shopping after my wife saw some Saxon maid jewelry boxes in a circular bog-grave in Targgettsfjord .. She did a search for hardy viking warriors , and to my surprise she found some wanting maids of Saxony for personal whores . She sent off ten longboats and got ten dozen of flaxen-haired maidens practically free ... (lol) . Why can't us men think of these things ? Lol
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:02 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I like Targgettsfjord, but I didn't know they carried longboats. I usually go to Heim Depot for such stuff.
posted by RussHy at 6:18 PM on October 3, 2007


Yes, Heim Depot - that's where the customer is viking!
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:25 PM on October 3, 2007


Fun viking fact: here in Japan, if a restaurant has any kind of "all-you-can-eat" offer, that's referred to as "viking". Many "family" type restaurant chains will have a serve-yourself area underneath a big sign saying "SOFT DRINK VIKING". My personal fave was my old local coffee shop (I say was, cause they discontinued it) that had a big sign on the front door that used to say "CAKE VIKING".
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:28 PM on October 3, 2007


Overmoderation thread: COMMENT VIKING
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:07 PM on October 3, 2007


(also, "Oh, boy! All-you-can-eat seafood restaurant - that's where I'm a Viking!")
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:08 PM on October 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


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