No Talkin' Bout Women on the Blue! December 13, 2007 2:11 PM   Subscribe

It may have been a "crappy fight-starter of an op-ed", but seems like people were discussing it in a civil fashion. There was no good reason to delete this thread.

I'll grant that it was a weak FPP, but that's hardly unusual. How many "sexist" flags did it attract, and was that why it was deleted? If so, I call bullshit. If not, I still call bullshit, cuz then cortex is apparently deleting stuff at random.
posted by BitterOldPunk to Etiquette/Policy at 2:11 PM (85 comments total)

It had ten flags when I checked the admin console, which is how I discovered the post. I didn't count how many went in each category, so no idea on the proportion of offensive/sexism/racism among those.

It was a weak FPP, and a single-link op-ed, on a topic that was contentious not on its merits but by virtue of the op-ed's author being a dick. Deleting crappy op-eds is also hardly unusual, so calling bullshit on this one seems a little weird.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:16 PM on December 13, 2007


"crappy fight-starter of an op-ed" is a perfectly good deletion reason, regardless of the civility of posters in the thread. This is not a new development.
posted by The World Famous at 2:17 PM on December 13, 2007


I've seen worse stuff stick, and with 40-plus-comments, and not a flame in the bunch, I'd have figured it would have stuck, too.

whatevs, y'all.

*rolls eyes*

*smacks gum*

The Man is keepin' me down.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:20 PM on December 13, 2007


I didn't count how many went in each category

Possibly most of them flagged it as a fantastic post.
posted by found missing at 2:21 PM on December 13, 2007


Sophie was a truly beautiful girl I used to be friends with, but hadn’t seen in 15 years. I was surprised to hear that she was still single and was excited to meet her again. At dinner, I found myself sitting opposite something that surely would have been happier hunting for truffles in the forests of France or grazing on the grassy marshlands of Canada.

This is what you're crying over the loss of?

Oh goodness, and now I've gone and read the whole thing. Fucking mind poison. Good riddance.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:24 PM on December 13, 2007 [5 favorites]


The Man is keepin' me down

YM "The Woman." HTH.
posted by dersins at 2:25 PM on December 13, 2007


The Man is keepin' me down.

Oh please. Just because no one had flamed out yet doesn't mean it gets to stay. It was still a shitty post.
posted by pupdog at 2:27 PM on December 13, 2007


Fucking mind poison. Good riddance.

Indeed. Thoughtcrime like that op-ed is doubleplus ungood!
::rolleyes::
posted by Ryvar at 2:28 PM on December 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


I used the sexist flag. That article was a misogynistic piece of garbage and should be the type of thing hauled into Meta as sexist, not crap like non-english speakers using "promiscuous" to mean "promiscuous".
posted by Justinian at 2:31 PM on December 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


I haven't shed a tear, TPS.

I sure haven't hyperbolically described a lame pull-quote as "fucking mind poison".

I'm not defending the quality of the article, I'm just saying that similarly mediocre stuff sticks all the time because of the comments, and there were no comments in that thread that merited pulling it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:32 PM on December 13, 2007


And to top it all off, now I feel guilty about naming Doogal as my all-time favorite film.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:33 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


BitterOldPunk: ...I'm just saying that similarly mediocre stuff sticks all the time because of the comments, and there were no comments in that thread that merited pulling it.

Bullshit. Point them out, so we can delete them.
posted by koeselitz at 2:34 PM on December 13, 2007


I'm not defending the quality of the article, I'm just saying that similarly mediocre stuff sticks all the time because of the comments, and there were no comments in that thread that merited pulling it.

On the other hand I don't know that there were any comments that made it worth keeping. Everything there was basically a different version of 'This op-ed writer is a dick.' So if the article stinks, and the entire discussion is merely descriptions of how it stinks, what's the point?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:36 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Are you on dope?
posted by loquacious at 2:41 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Who, me?

Yes. Yes, I am.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:43 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


A crappy post is a crappy post; crappy posts are likely but not guaranteed to get deleted. I'm sorry we can't offer perfect consistency in deleting all of and only those posts that any given person (a) considers deletable and (b) hasn't been enjoying the conversation thereof enough to reconsider point a, but that's pretty much an unfulfillable ideal.

Non-bad conversation does not automatically redeem a bad post.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:43 PM on December 13, 2007


Non-bad conversation does not automatically redeem a bad post

I agree, cortex.

I guess this one just fell on the other side of the "delete" fence for me.

No biggie.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 2:47 PM on December 13, 2007


Mmmmmm, dope.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:48 PM on December 13, 2007


White punks on dope!
posted by tommasz at 2:52 PM on December 13, 2007


I can dig it, BOP. Having bullshit called on my apparently random deletion sprees gets up my shirt a little, mind you, but I really do get where you're coming from.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:54 PM on December 13, 2007


Dope? Did you bring enough for the whole class?
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:55 PM on December 13, 2007


*notes potential future cortex-shirt-spelunking strategy*
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:55 PM on December 13, 2007


I came to this thread for the sexism, but stayed for the dope.
posted by item at 2:56 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I BLAME YOU CORTEX.


YOU.


get back on irc :(
posted by Stynxno at 2:56 PM on December 13, 2007


I call rayon bullshirt on cortex.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:58 PM on December 13, 2007


Perhaps I phrased it a bit strongly, and if I ruffled your feathers, cortex, I apologize.

I still think the thread should have stayed and died the death of benign neglect like so many mediocre threads do, but I guess my dull rainy afternoon needed a bit of MeTa drama to spice things up.

And if I had enough for the whole class I wouldn't be using this nasty one-hitter. I hate how if you tilt it up too much all the resinous spit flows back into your mouth. Bleh.

Don't do drugs, kids.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:01 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Cortex is a shirt-lifter!

(flags self)
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:03 PM on December 13, 2007


I sure haven't hyperbolically described a lame pull-quote as "fucking mind poison".

The quote was lame, the article was fucking mind poison, and I'm not sad it's gone. You got to link to the article here, plus open up a place to continue the discussion, so everybody wins! Yay! Happiness on a cold, snowy day.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:03 PM on December 13, 2007


The Man is keepin' me down.

Last time I checked, The Man was busy keeping the minimum wage low and busting up unions. You think he has time to go on MeFi deletion sprees? Especially when the thread in question distributes his own finely written material? Please.

There is no snow here. :(
posted by Tehanu at 3:17 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Since I can't point it out in the thread, by the way, my personal experience has consistently shown that bitter old punks are unkempt and lazy about grooming, not to mention somewhat surly, when compared with bitter old people in general.
posted by koeselitz at 3:20 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Has anyone ever done a poll about how much of Metafilter is on drugs? Because the more I read this site the more I think most of you are on drugs.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:20 PM on December 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


I'm just high on life.

Well, that and caffeine...
posted by pupdog at 3:22 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


If you look around and don't see the person who is not on drugs, the person who is not on drugs is probably you.
posted by found missing at 3:23 PM on December 13, 2007


That's true, koeselitz, but I compensate for it by being a total slut.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:27 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, sure -- delete the fight-starter that wasn't starting a fight so that now can have another thousand-post MetaTalk thread about sexism. Good going, man! {insert cutesy I-mean-no-harm emoticon here}

(Sorry, but I so knew this callout was gonna be here, and I figure that with the weekend coming up and all...)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:30 PM on December 13, 2007


Because the more I read this site the more I think most of you are on drugs.

Really? Which people make you think that? Because I look at the majority of the users and think either "Drunk" or "Needs to be on drugs a whole lot".
posted by thehmsbeagle at 3:30 PM on December 13, 2007


{insert cutesy I-mean-no-harm emoticon here}

The best part is that I'm pretty sure the last big thread we had about the bad-post-good-discussion issue was the one jennydiski started a few weeks back that turned into the sexism discussion. Fate. Fatey fate fate.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:33 PM on December 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


well, BOP's over it, so unfortunately there's no reason to pile on...

BUT WHO NEEDS A REASON?!

NICE CALLOUT, DICK!

just kidding. but yeah, the rule of thumb around here is "having equally bad posts stay does not justify keeping any given bad post." the mods are human beings and they miss things or they disagree with the general population on the quality of a given post. these things happen.

but hot shit, that article was fucking horrible. there really was no reason to write something like that. "lol me hate porkers, amirite? brit chix is uggos! make with the deodorant facestuffer!" jesus christ. and the dude doesn't actually have any credentials that would give him the benefit of the doubt in an editor's eyes, either. so I'm completely baffled as to how something like that gets published.

but here's the silver lining: this means that I have a good chance of getting my article published, entitled "what's the deal with hot chicks not sleeping with me? wtf, am i not rich enough or something?"
posted by shmegegge at 3:35 PM on December 13, 2007


That article was a misogynistic piece of garbage

Yeah, that about says it all. I'm in favor of good discussions of interesting if flawed links, but there was nothing the slightest bit interesting about that one. Most of the people "discussing it in a civil fashion" were pointing out what egregious crap it was. Seriously, it was some asshole screenwriter saying "British chix are fat and dress bad and smell worse, amirite?" How could that possibly lead to a good discussion?

Now, if anyone is lamenting they missed the chance to get in their licks, well, here we are in a brand new thread. Go for it!
posted by languagehat at 3:38 PM on December 13, 2007


Y'all hold on a sec while I strap into the gimp suit.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:42 PM on December 13, 2007


but seems like people were discussing it in a civil fashion.

ya? did you read the thread?
posted by munchingzombie at 3:44 PM on December 13, 2007


Interesting that the first time I saw that article was on Arts and Letters Daily.
posted by konolia at 3:57 PM on December 13, 2007


I can't think of more than one or two instances where a thread like this brought about the reversal of a deletion. This thread was brought to you by the words futile and impotent.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:59 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


This thread was brought to you by the words futile and impotent.

Self-referential humour isn't your best suit, Dave.

Hah! Zinger!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:08 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wait, when did cortex start wearing feathered shirts?
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:11 PM on December 13, 2007


Discussion is the point of MeFi? I thought it was a side effect.
posted by absalom at 4:19 PM on December 13, 2007


I wish I was on dope. I will have to settle for some wine when I get home.

*sigh*
posted by everichon at 4:33 PM on December 13, 2007



Are you on dope?
posted by loquacious


Who, me?

Yes. Yes, I am.
posted by BitterOldPunk


Well, then gimme some!
posted by jonmc at 4:38 PM on December 13, 2007




Thank you for deleting this, cortex.
posted by transona5 at 4:53 PM on December 13, 2007


On dope? Maybe. Is a dope? Definitely.

What passed for quality in the discussion in that thread was a (well-deserved) pile-on of abuse and derision toward the author of the piece. And really, we should save that kind of bile for the truly dangerous sources of disinformation like "Policy Exchange".
posted by wendell at 5:36 PM on December 13, 2007


eponysterical!!!!
posted by NolanRyanHatesMatches at 6:02 PM on December 13, 2007


This thread has inspired me to do an FPP.

It will consist of a single link to a clueless and obnoxious op-ed addressing the question: "How Come Black People Always Got Their Pants Hanging Off Their Asses?"

It's gonna be LOL-tastic.
posted by jason's_planet at 6:08 PM on December 13, 2007


[shrug] I thought it was nice that we were all unified in our assessment of Tad as "wow, what a fuckwad." Wasn't exactly best of the web, though, I admit.
posted by desuetude at 6:11 PM on December 13, 2007


I think this whole MeTa could have been averted if cortex provided the real deletion reason: crappy post. It wasn't starting a fight, though it's the kind that could start a fight. Instead, it was unifying people behind the banner of "the guy is a dick". So the article deserved deletion, but not for "crappy fight-starter of an op-ed", but just "crappy op-ed".
posted by Bugbread at 6:12 PM on December 13, 2007


Aw, those fuckin' one-ies, man, I was puffin' tough once about a month ago and got that resiny flow all over my front teeth; I had to brush my teeth with vodka to break it up, and then I'm talking to this elderly neighbor of mine who's like, "You really should go easy on the booze at this time in the afternoon, you won't stay that age forever," and I'm all, "Lady, you don't know the half!"

So I went and got a shit-hot glass bowl and a half ounce of some prime sweet and sour hydro and I done smoked it all and my teeth are white as Wayne, so maybe I should just go get a job now.

Also, when it comes to good discussions deleted for bad posts, I think it works more or less this way: on the blue, the post/link holds primacy, while on the grey it's all about the discussion. Sort of.

Fuckin one-ies.
posted by breezeway at 6:20 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't get why people would flag the FPP as sexist. Obviously the content is sexist, but does that in itself mean it doesn't belong here? Should I avoid FPPing Lawrence of Arabia or Great Expectations?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 6:26 PM on December 13, 2007 [2 favorites]


It didn't strike me as sexist because I just started reading the body of the article without looking at the byline and I immediately assumed it was written by a woman. A catty, loathsome woman.
posted by hermitosis at 6:40 PM on December 13, 2007


I flagged it as sexist because it had nothing to offer except sexism--no redeeming artistic or social value.

I figured the thread would be people decrying the sexism until the first troll stepped in and it went to hell in a handbasket, but there's no flag for that.
posted by jacquilynne at 6:44 PM on December 13, 2007


Should I avoid FPPing Lawrence of Arabia or Great Expectations?

Yes, but not for that reason.

I think it's usually pretty clear with just a modicum of thought whether someone is a) posting something sexist or racist or speciesist or [whatever]ist (which right-thinking people decry) and saying "Hey, this material is totally awesome because I really hate X too!' or b) posting it and saying "This material is something worth talking about, and included in the things that are worth talking about is that it is [whatever]ist, because talking intelligently and calmly about that hateful stuff shines a light on it and it withers away."

If it's unclear, then it's just more fun helter-skeltering around with pants down and hair on fire, is all.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:44 PM on December 13, 2007


You know, stav, your commented contribution here helps, but doesn't redeem that thread. I flagged it as "Other" but now I'm gonna pipe up here, not because it's talkin' bout women, but because it's about poor posts. Poor, poor, newsfiltery, outrage-filtery posts.
posted by cgc373 at 6:54 PM on December 13, 2007


bugbread: I think this whole MeTa could have been averted if cortex provided the real deletion reason

No. Whatever finicking nuance that you imagine would have averted this particular MeTa would have triggered another MeTa.
posted by dogrose at 6:54 PM on December 13, 2007


Hay, yeah! I worked really hard on my snark!
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:09 PM on December 13, 2007


Discussion is the point of MeFi? I thought it was a side effect.
No, it's a symptom.
posted by dg at 7:40 PM on December 13, 2007


Would it be possible to pull posts from the front page without closing them? It makes sense to pull bad FPPs, but it seems unfair to cut off long or interesting conversations based on their catalyst. A poor poster's mistake shouldn't be paid for by dozens of people engaged in a conversation.

(I was actually thinking of posting this as a new MeTa thread, but decided against it)
posted by delmoi at 8:29 PM on December 13, 2007


You know, stav, your commented contribution here helps, but doesn't redeem that thread.

No biggie. I was just practicing my bearded-elder-slash-pretentious-doucheballoon schtick.

Would it be possible to pull posts from the front page without closing them?

Possible, yes. Wise? Hell no!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:56 PM on December 13, 2007


Ever notice how, when you're not eating, other peoples' food always smells like farts? But when you are eating, your food always smells good?

What's up with that?
posted by Afroblanco at 8:58 PM on December 13, 2007


Ever notice how, when you're not eating, other peoples' food always smells like farts? But when you are eating, your food always smells good?

I think that's just you.

Possible, yes. Wise? Hell no!

*yawn*. This "we don't do things that way now, therefore, it would be a disaster" type thinking is very tiresome.
posted by delmoi at 9:36 PM on December 13, 2007


Would it be possible to pull posts from the front page without closing them? It makes sense to pull bad FPPs, but it seems unfair to cut off long or interesting conversations based on their catalyst.

How does doing so advance the purpose of this site? I think it sounds like a bad idea, and not just because it's not the way we do it now. A post should either be up as a representative of what Metafilter is, or it shouldn't exist at all; going halfway is pointless. I can't imagine an undeleted-deleted thread wouldn't get called out to Metatalk just the same, would you? Activity within the thread would still be fair game for callouts and flags and all that, yes? Mine as well just leave all bad threads up on the front page, which I don't want to do, either.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:48 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


*yawn*. This "we don't do things that way now, therefore, it would be a disaster" type thinking is very tiresome.

Oh bugger off. If you paid any attention, you'd realize you're shooting your thicko-cannon at the wrong target there. I've written more words than you know how to spell correctly in the past few weeks suggesting that in various ways various things could be done better 'round here.

I'm not dismissing your idea because Metafilter should never change, I'm dismissing it because it's just kinda dumb.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:33 PM on December 13, 2007


OK, that was unnecessarily vituperative. I'm sorry.

But just think for 30 seconds about it, please. Just the immediate first order problems that come to mind:

1) A massive increase in complete crap hobbyhorse posts by people that just want to chat about something, because they know that even if it's disappeared from the front page, the discussion could continue
2) Threads that are effectively invisible to anyone except people who saw or commented in them, carrying on in some kind of metalimbo, splintering the site.

Then of course, you'll have Metatalk posts about threads that nobody who doesn't know about them can see, more of them because the conversations in question would no doubt get even nastier than they might, because they're 'hidden' from view for most users.

I don't need to go on, do I? It's just not a good idea.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:46 PM on December 13, 2007


Cortex is a shirt-lifter!

Every time I encounter a reference to shirt-lifting, it reminds me of Our Band Could Be Your Life's section on Beat Happening, and Calvin Johnson's propensity for baring his bellybutton or whatever twee coquettish bullshit he did, and it makes me want to punch something.

Preferably Calvin Johnson.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:47 PM on December 13, 2007 [1 favorite]


I am on drugs
posted by ludwig_van at 11:43 PM on December 13, 2007


Mmmm, dope.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:09 AM on December 14, 2007


JESUS CHRIST METAFILTER IS TURNING INTO SUCH A GIRLZONE.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:37 AM on December 14, 2007


Ha, that thread had some comic gold.
posted by spiderskull at 2:39 AM on December 14, 2007


As long as he isn't also a shirt-cocker, we're still OK.
posted by flabdablet at 3:18 AM on December 14, 2007


*gives Krrrison a home-perm and a bowl of ice cream; files and polishes his toenails*
posted by taz at 4:51 AM on December 14, 2007


The original article was emberassingly shitty (guy thinks he's _ever_ gonna get chicks with that spiel?), the post was totally mediocre one link-and-we're-off crap and the discussion never rose above "Coffee is good with milk" "Better with half and half" "Maybe, yeah."

Man. My two cents are shiny!
posted by From Bklyn at 5:54 AM on December 14, 2007


Your two cents smell like farts, man. My two cents are shiny!
posted by languagehat at 6:46 AM on December 14, 2007


JESUS CHRIST METAFILTER IS TURNING INTO SUCH A GIRLZONE.

NO THANKS TO YOU, BACKHAIR.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:00 AM on December 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


I knew that post was going to disappear. It didn't matter how good the commentary was, the moment I clicked the link and saw Paris Hilton being used as the be-more-like-this example, I knew that the article was going to be shit and the thread was doomed.

I get where BOP is coming from, in that I've seen great threads that sprang up from weak beginnings, I just don't think this one was worth saving.
posted by quin at 7:21 AM on December 14, 2007


languagehat: Your two cents smell like farts, man. My two cents are shiny!


Of course those two cents I gave you smell like farts. They came out of my ASS.

HA!
posted by koeselitz at 7:40 AM on December 14, 2007


Oh man, when I saw that post I thought "Damn! There's going to be a MetaTalk about THIS!" and I'm so glad that when I woke up, it was true! It's like Christmas!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:35 AM on December 14, 2007


I figured the thread would be people decrying the sexism until the first troll stepped in and it went to hell in a handbasket, but there's no flag for that.

There should be a big red one and it should say something like "HERE BE DRAGONS TROLLS!" preferably in some sort of Tolkien-esque calligraphy.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:41 AM on December 14, 2007


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