omg it's YOU! November 15, 2007 10:48 AM   Subscribe

Isn't is awfully rude to make a big deal out of non-anonymity in an AskMe thread? It's implying someone should be ashamed, isn't it?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur to MetaFilter-Related at 10:48 AM (52 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

In all fairness, the question-asker opens by saying, "Quite embarrassing for me to ask this . . ."
posted by Partial Law at 10:55 AM on November 15, 2007


The poster is also about as anonymous as you can get on MetaFilter - he gives a location but no distinguishing data, and his only activity is in AskMe.
posted by yhbc at 10:57 AM on November 15, 2007


and his activity in AskMe is about as minimal as you can get.
posted by Stynxno at 10:58 AM on November 15, 2007


Umm...this warranted a whole thread on the grey?! I think not.
posted by misha at 11:03 AM on November 15, 2007


I'm glad you brought this up. I've been wanting to post a meta thread for every single askme answer I had a minor problem with, and now I know I can.
posted by shmegegge at 11:07 AM on November 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'm just happy the thread wasn't full of answers that blamed the girlfriend.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 11:09 AM on November 15, 2007


It's implying someone should be ashamed, isn't it?

Yeah. It's absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. The praise he's getting for not being anon is puzzling though...I could understand it (a little) if he were known, or had his name in his profile, or attended meetups or something. He's just some random anonymous dude who only asks questions on AskMe and only replies to his own questions.
posted by iconomy at 11:10 AM on November 15, 2007


It happens quite often. People can be embarrassed about things without being completely ashamed. Pointing out their courage to ask things without the anonymous cover is just plain rude and implies that they should be ashamed.
posted by necessitas at 11:11 AM on November 15, 2007


I think this is an issue worth talking about, misha, and certainly not limited to the thread I linked. I wound up posting something anonymously recently and it bothered me that I felt there would be jeering if it wasn't.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:14 AM on November 15, 2007


For some, one layer of anonymity is sufficient.
posted by milarepa at 11:14 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Can we turn this thread into one big bitch session about AskMeta answers? I've been meaning to bitch about that stupid coin toss answer for months.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:15 AM on November 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Clearly it's time for a Southern Cali meetup.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:17 AM on November 15, 2007


I agree with necessitas, being embarrassed and ashamed are two different things. I could easily remark on my social dysfunctions without batting an eye, and yet I might want to hide my identity if I was asking questions as to how I royally fucked up my finances.

Different things cause different people different levels of shame. Clearly misled finds this a bit embarrassing, but not shameful.

Which is all well and good.
posted by quin at 11:19 AM on November 15, 2007


I don't think it's implying that they should be ashamed at all... My take was that they were saying kudos for being real and not hiding behind anonymity. Why read into that any further? Just because you chose to post anonymously does not mean that there would have been jeering in any sense... It would ultimately depend upon the subject in which you posted anonymously, but since you were anonymous, you are not at liberty to enlighten us.

And for Pete's sake people, MeTa can be rather boring and slow for posting for this very reason... As soon as someone decides they have a valid issue to discuss it is shot down and berated.

Ridiculous.
posted by NotInTheBox at 11:25 AM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


AV - I'm with you on this. The answers shouldn't focus on how the questioner should post the question (aside or not).

Incidentally, I've counted about 3 unintentional puns, and I blame those god damned "Smiling Bob" commercials.

mr_crash_davis -- there's one in LA this weekend, and one in Santa Barbara in two weeks.
posted by spiderskull at 11:30 AM on November 15, 2007


I understand what you are saying, AV, about the jeering and anonymity, on a larger level. Lately there seems to be a rush to either snark or lavish praise on a post as soon as it is up, and whichever type wins for first place encourages the thread to follow along in kind.

Unfortunately, I don't think this is going to make a difference on how people act on teh internets. Not to mention the fact that I frequently enjoy snark, and have been guilty of it myself.
posted by misha at 11:30 AM on November 15, 2007


I agree that saying "You sure have balls for posting this non-anonymously" is obnoxious and unnecessary.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:31 AM on November 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


And doesn't bringing it to MeTa just increase the number of people the original Ask-er can be embarrassed with, and those of us who are more likely to see something in MeTa before AskMe can be a dangerous bunch, not to mention the tolerance for snark in the Grey that is not there in the Green.

I know I'd be less likely to ask a question like that non-anonymously if there was a chance it'd end up here, and I've had the same problem as the Ask-er myself, and I found that... D'OH!
posted by wendell at 11:36 AM on November 15, 2007


Sometimes I'm convinced that this site is full of a bunch of scared but good looking weirdos!
posted by NotInTheBox at 11:41 AM on November 15, 2007


Snark in AskMe is basically a non-starter, though, right?

Unfortunately, I don't think this is going to make a difference on how people act on teh internets.

You know, I know that, but I'd still like to take the pulse of Mefi with regard to whether posting things anonymously produces better threads, especially in cases of more recognizable members. I mean, if oh, quonsar, say, posted an AskMe about having low-self esteem or something... that wouldn't go well, would it? How "safe" a space is AskMe??

wendell, I don't think he should be embarrassed, but rather than get all bitchy to those rudies in the green, it should be done here. Maybe I shouldn't have provided the example. Point taken.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:42 AM on November 15, 2007


It's implying someone should be ashamed, isn't it?

I don't know if that's the purpose, although I imagine it could make the poster feel that way. I think it has to do with how our community is structured. I think most of the regulars on the site do not ask questions on extremely personal topics non-Anonymously, because they don't want everyone else to know, and they don't want it in their history forever and ever. So, for anyone to post a question non-Anonymously is sort of a shock to the status quo. Huh, we say, how interesting that you're not freaked out about revealing yourself to us in this way. We forget that not everyone is as involved in the community as we are (note that serial relationship question posters often have very little other history across any of the sites). They don't feel as vulnerable, and why would they? We're strangers to them, and it's easier to talk to people from outside your world about seriously personal stuff.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:46 AM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's implying someone should be ashamed, isn't it?

Or it could recognize that society in general thinks that they ought to be ashamed. In this instance, the poster's non-anonymity, which went against social convention, was praised, not mocked. While I can think of many other instances in which pointing out someone's non-anonymity would be rude, I don't think it was in this case.
posted by taliaferro at 11:59 AM on November 15, 2007


Isn't is awfully rude to make a big deal out of non-anonymity...

The big deal is in this thread, not the one to which you refer. Nice going!

I agree that saying "You sure have balls for posting this non-anonymously" is obnoxious and unnecessary.

Uh, why, exactly? Sounds like a compliment to me, and not a backhanded one.

Wait, I get it. It's Backwards Day on MeFi. Stuff like this gets to stay up, but perfectly legit responses get run through the wringer.

/snark
posted by Rykey at 12:04 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


"I'm just happy the thread wasn't full of answers that blamed the girlfriend."

She's fat, isn't she? I bet she's fat.
posted by klangklangston at 12:12 PM on November 15, 2007


taliaferro, I think you've got a point. However, I'm not sure if I "you sure are brave doing this" is on the praise or the mockery side of the line, and I'm not sure if there a difference between parroting society's strictest mores and embodying them in these cases.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:14 PM on November 15, 2007


Jeering? I took part in that thread, and didn't see jeering one. The answers, unless there was some deleted stuff I missed, were all very warm and positive. In fact, seeing as how loathe I was to talk about my OWN problems in that regard to answer his question, I totally think he deserves props for being comfortable enough to ask a very personal, very sensitive question without hiding behind anonymity (even as opposed to psuedo-anon).
posted by absalom at 12:16 PM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


That's OK people. I've been used to being SILENCED ALL MY LIFE.
posted by grouse at 12:17 PM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Although, now that we've all called attention to this in the grey, I'm sort of sad I responded to it. Of course, I'm enough of a non-entity that it doesn't matter I guess, so hooray?
posted by absalom at 12:21 PM on November 15, 2007


If I were leaving that comment, I'd have left off the bit about non-anonymity, but it doesn't seem to have ruined the thread nor been too big of a deal, in this instance, and it was a prelude to an actual attempt to answer the question. Eh.

The whole question of anonymity is an interesting one, and obviously endemic to the overall AskMe experience, so it's not surprising that a bit of commentary about it might burble out now and again; this is a good case where it's easy to read said burble in nearly opposite ways, which is probably a good argument for keeping it out of the green in general where possible.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:25 PM on November 15, 2007


*points and laughs*
posted by quonsar at 12:25 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't see any jeering. The comments lauding the Asker for not taking the anon route could even be beneficial, if his problem is confidence-based.

His q:a ratio's pretty weak, though. (Sockpuppet, maybe?)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:26 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I didn't mean to imply that this example contained "jeering." I hypothesized that questions about mefites with name-recognition might.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:29 PM on November 15, 2007


I didn't mean to imply that this example contained "jeering." I hypothesized that questions about mefites with name-recognition might.

In the question itself? Probably not (I imagine it would be cleaned up fairly quickly). In Metatalk? Maybe. In smaller, non-official venues and in the minds of other users? Absolutely, and I think that's why so many shy away from it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:39 PM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is there really anything funnier than the first comment? Self-propagating boners.
posted by phaedon at 12:40 PM on November 15, 2007


*Deletes list of rude and asinine variations on several usernames, favorites TPS's comment instead*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:42 PM on November 15, 2007


Is this my first callout?
posted by dead_ at 12:58 PM on November 15, 2007


misled is the greatest hero in American history.
posted by ORthey at 12:58 PM on November 15, 2007


Please send me a mefi-mail when you've figured out what this thread is about. TIA.
posted by ogre at 1:00 PM on November 15, 2007


My take was that they were saying kudos for being real and not hiding behind anonymity.

That's what I was getting at. It was only an aside--I did answer the question.
posted by dead_ at 1:02 PM on November 15, 2007


*yawn*
posted by dg at 1:16 PM on November 15, 2007


But the irony is that they ARE technically hiding behind anonymity. So it matters not.
posted by agregoli at 1:20 PM on November 15, 2007


I NOW TAKE OFF MY PANTS AND DANCE THE TRUFFLE-SHUFFLE

HOOYAH!
posted by loquacious at 1:20 PM on November 15, 2007


Hmm, I guess I'm coming to the conclusion that I shouldn't have felt cowed about my own yecchy post, and just sucked it up.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:23 PM on November 15, 2007


Is this it? Man. Can't someone post an animated gif or something? I've been waiting so long for this day.
posted by dead_ at 1:31 PM on November 15, 2007


I heard that dead_ punches puppies and kicks kitties and laughs, laughs, laughs all the while.

Also, he's a Republican.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:46 PM on November 15, 2007


Uh, why, exactly? Sounds like a compliment to me, and not a backhanded one.

Whereas it strikes me as backhanded. A quirk of the text-only medium, I suppose. Still, making an issue of anonymity or lack thereof strikes me as impolite -- obnoxious was a little too strong a word.
posted by ludwig_van at 2:24 PM on November 15, 2007


Hmm, I guess I'm coming...

Oh wait, wrong thread.
posted by taliaferro at 2:35 PM on November 15, 2007


So, there's been redaction, in case anyone just arriving is wondering what the hell I'm on about.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:37 PM on November 15, 2007


I like the idea that there could just be redaction someplace, without a definite subject or object. Maybe some sort of Redaction Zone, like the Bermuda Triangle for beliefs. You wander in and all of a sudden your opinions start going all vague and tentative on you....

Come to think of it, that shit sounds dangerous. We oughta put up a warning sign.

posted by nebulawindphone at 3:35 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


misled is the greatest hero in American history.

Nah. I can't remember who it was - which kinda reaffirms the point that it's no big deal to ask virtually anything under your non-anonymous username - but one user asked for advice on how to hire a prostitute, followed the advice, and posted a rather graphic followup. The bottom line? HUGE SUCCESS.

That AskMe leaves the fairly common "I'm having trouble keeping it up" question in its dust.
posted by Justinian at 4:46 PM on November 15, 2007


Exactly wrong. The ideal is a person who is fully able to discuss their shortcomings without difficulty. Powerful indeed, (or unaware of the anonymous feature) is the man who can bring up erectile disfunction under his own name. That's someone with some level of openness and confidence that many of us wish we had.
posted by Ironmouth at 5:21 PM on November 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Nah. I can't remember who it was...

I think of that post as THE great example of why not to post such personal matters non-Anonymously. I wouldn't want a cloud of any one dramatic thing to hang over my history forever and ever (not to throw judgment on the OP, of course).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:05 PM on November 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


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