Rethinking comment deletion December 17, 2007 7:27 AM   Subscribe

I'm seeing a lot of very eloquent responses to AskMe questions getting deleted. Some of them are very long, and while they could be thought of as containing some offending material, the whole comments are being deleted. I want to propose and discuss just removing the offensive parts -- editing out sentences or paragraphs, and not entire comments, so that the "good stuff" can remain.

And maybe there is just too much hacking and slashing. Looking at an AskMe thread, you can sometimes see remnants of previous comments in what people copy and paste in their own comments, but the originals have been deleted. And sometimes this can be quite disorienting.
posted by strangeguitars to Feature Requests at 7:27 AM (135 comments total)

It might be nice if you explained that this post is coming just after the deletion of your own AskMe comment and a hefty back and forth with cortex about that deletion.

The reason we don't edit is because we can't rightly say that what is left are your words; going back and forth with commenters over HOW to edit an offensive or otherwise problematic comment requires more time than we generally have. It's true that there is a bit of a hurdle to cross from the commenter's perspective, that if a comment that has some good parts and some bad parts has bad parts that are REALLY BAD, the commenter might risk losing the whole thing. On the other hand, particularly in AskMe, there is rarely much of a penalty to regrouping, rethinking and commenting again in a way that is less likely to get your comment flagged fifteen times.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:32 AM on December 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


When someone writes something, as advice, that everybody strongly disagrees with, you can see that it's not a popular idea if all the comments are intact. If most of them are deleted, you can't see that at all. And if the original unpopular comment was deleted, then you can't really see what people think about that idea at all. And if responses to that comment are left alone, then you just look at that and go "WTF?!!"
posted by strangeguitars at 7:33 AM on December 17, 2007


Jess, I think you just explained that pretty well. And I didn't explain that because it was simply the source of my idea, and not the idea itself. Where the idea came from does not invalidate the idea. I'm opening this to discussion because I think it's a valid idea, and there are many aspects of this question that should be thought out more thoroughly, in my opinion.

Do you have anything against that? Isn't that what MeTa is for?
posted by strangeguitars at 7:36 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's not only the commenter that is losing the whole thing. It's the whole community.
posted by strangeguitars at 7:39 AM on December 17, 2007


Surely this is only a problem if you
a) Don't know what part of what you said was offensive
b) Don't know what you said

For all other cases either

a) email mod asking for clarification; comment again - omitting offensive part or
b) do not comment again.

Either way, as my mother would say:
a) Build a bridge
b) Get over it.
posted by Jofus at 7:40 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


If an admin deletes my comment, I'm annoyed, and that is the only problem. If they edit it, even with good intention, I am misrepresented, and my name is eternally below a thought that is not the one I intended.

I'd much rather simply be annoyed.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:42 AM on December 17, 2007 [10 favorites]


Cortex and I talked about this a lot. We don't delete things because they're unpopular -- it's pretty obvious in the flag queue and through context when people are flagging just because they don't like someone or their ideas. However, sometimes comments can be flagged/removed because they're presented in such a way that they're guaranteed to have more shock/derail value than informative value, much more. This is the different between answers like

"You're a total slut and I hope your boyfriend dumps you, oh by the way get tested" and

"I don't think a relationship of mine would have withstood what you are getting in to. You and your partner should have a serious conversation and decide how you want to move forward with this news as you decide how and when to get tested."

So, to look at your specific issue which incidentally does NOT seem to me to be an endemic problem across AskMe. A question about someone whose fiancee kissed someone while drunk and told him about it asking "what to do? what about the wedding?" got a response from you including, among other parts "Give me a break. Show me a man who would never cheat, and I'll show you a liar. (Or a guy who's not fully a guy.)" That's a bit of a gauntlet-tossing to my read and regardless of the rest of your answer, just seemed designed to stir shit up and not actually help the OP work towards a resolution. This has nothing to do with Heinlein.

I'm not disagreeing that trimming threads is sometimes not done as well as it could be. In fact we left your comment in for quite a while while we saw how it played out, just to see if maybe people would skip around it. However, they didn't and we decided on balance that it would be better to remove it and have you comment again if you wanted to, rather than leave it and have it be getting in the way of the OPs original question.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:43 AM on December 17, 2007


I think jessamyn and Jofus have it right on this one.

(1) Editing comments is not good as the comment is no longer "yours" (see many previous meta threads decrying the practice);

(2) there is nothing to stop you from editing the comment yourself and reposting the not-guidelines-breaking version.

I don't see the problem with the system as it stands.
posted by mosessis at 7:44 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Jofus -- If you don't know what part of what you said was offensive, other people commenting on what you wrote can bring that to light. At that point you may want to clarify, or even apologize. In our day and age, apology is something that can garner respect.
posted by strangeguitars at 7:45 AM on December 17, 2007


Who describes their own writing as "very eloquent"?
posted by smackfu at 7:46 AM on December 17, 2007 [10 favorites]


Jessamyn -- I didn't want this to be about my personal experience with a little comment being deleted. I wasn't ticked off at all about that, but rather a little surprised because I didn't think that what I wrote was (more than a tiny little bit) offensive.

I saw that many other comments were being deleted, some of them rather well thought out and insightful (at least in my opinion). That's why I posted this. It's a bigger issue, which I think if you read my post more carefully, I think you'll understand. Or maybe I'm just not good at writing clearly.

But if I want to gripe about someone deleting my comments here, then I'll say just that. This is no gripe.
posted by strangeguitars at 7:50 AM on December 17, 2007


Who described their own writing as eloquent?
posted by strangeguitars at 7:51 AM on December 17, 2007


Not only is this a bad idea because of everything Jessamyn said but also if what she quoted you as saying above is accurate, wow you're a shit. And, I can say that because this is the grey and I'm not derailing anything. I mean, I get the impetus to be snarky especially when people ask things that to you have black and white answers. But if all you ever have to say is nasty things to people who are putting themselves out here asking for help/advice, well, you frequent the wrong site, buddy.
posted by sneakin at 7:52 AM on December 17, 2007


See previous thread.
posted by 0xFCAF at 7:52 AM on December 17, 2007


If you don't know what part of what you said was offensive, other people commenting on what you wrote can bring that to light. At that point you may want to clarify, or even apologize. In our day and age, apology is something that can garner respect.

Yes, but AskMe is not first and foremost a forum for educating commenters about their rhetorical blind spots; we try and value the usefulness (and non-derailedness) of a thread toward the question asked well above the usefulness to a rebuked/overzealous commenter. The idea is not that having your ideas tested is bad, but that doing it in the middle of someone's question is bad for the question.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:54 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Usually the mods do a pretty good job of cleaning up the aftermath of deleted comments. This time there were a few remnants so you could tell something was gone. It's not an exact science.

As for your comment about all men being either cheaters or liars. I wouldn't have flagged it, but it is ridiculous. You're either a troll or you've gotten the short end of the stick in your personal life. I hope you're just a troll though.
posted by poppo at 7:56 AM on December 17, 2007


I flagged strangeguitar's comment as "too eloquent."
posted by mullacc at 7:57 AM on December 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


strangeguitars: Jofus -- If you don't know what part of what you said was offensive, other people commenting on what you wrote can bring that to light. At that point you may want to clarify, or even apologize. In our day and age, apology is something that can garner respect.

That's absolutely true.

Jofus, what you said up there was extremely offensive. I was insulted by the fact that you neglected to point out that people who respond to deletions of their questions with keening cries for 'discussion' and 'reason' and cloaked criticisms of the moderators, all the while conveniently neglecting to mention that they're talking about their question being deleted, are pompous blowhards. I furthermore found it beyond reproach, Jofus, that you left out the fact that those pompous blowhards might have had more luck if they'd actually searched metatalk for discussion of this very topic, and noticed that'd we talked about it at least dozens of times, and that the vast consensus is that people don't like having their comments edited without their say-so.

I was also offended, Jofus, that you didn't point out that strangeguitars' claim that "maybe there is too much hacking and slashing" is passive-aggressive bullshit, and that, if he's so hellbent on having us all agree with him, well then, he can bloody well link to the deleted post in question, or at least some other example of whatever it is he's actually talking about, and we can go from there, eh?
posted by koeselitz at 8:00 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


You said "Give me a break. Show me a man who would never cheat, and I'll show you a liar. (Or a guy who's not fully a guy.)" and you wonder why it got pulled? Give us all a break and take some time to get used to the fairly strict rules on AskMe before you start whining again.
posted by caddis at 8:01 AM on December 17, 2007


Yeah, I am kind of a cock like that, aren't I?
posted by Jofus at 8:03 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I saw the comment, caddis, and there was more to it than just that part. Though I did favorite the comment (that also got axed) where someone said it was sexist, tautological, and wrong. And maybe egregious. And possibly slanderous. And deadly.
posted by cashman at 8:05 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


poppo: As for your comment about all men being either cheaters or liars. I wouldn't have flagged it, but it is ridiculous. You're either a troll or you've gotten the short end of the stick in your personal life. I hope you're just a troll though.

Oh ho. The truth comes out.

strangeguitars: I don't know the context, but given that that's a false (and extremely cynical) point of view, I can't really imagine it answering any question I can think of. That's probably why it got nixed.
posted by koeselitz at 8:06 AM on December 17, 2007


And, by the way, we're talking a lot about sexism around here lately, and while anti-male sexism isn't exactly the biggest problem we're trying to confront, it sure as shootin' doesn't fucking help.
posted by koeselitz at 8:08 AM on December 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


strangeguitars: in that askme you wrote "I was being facetious" No wonder your precious snowflakes got deleted. Get over it. Ask me doesn't need facetious. ( but you could stay here and flame out, we need a flame out for Xmas nice pagan festival that it is)
posted by adamvasco at 8:09 AM on December 17, 2007


sneakin -- I may well be a shit. But while "Give me a break. Show me a man who would never cheat, and I'll show you a liar. (Or a guy who's not fully a guy.)" is kind of crass, it's also pretty facetious coming from a man. I could have said "Maybe it's human nature for people to cheat. That idea is certainly very well attested in history and culture." There is no ocean of difference between those two expressions semantically, and as I explained later, "I was being facetious. I was semi-quoting some line from a movie or something. I can't remember the quote precisely, or where it came from. Maybe someone else can. Maybe it's not a quote, per se, but a kind of meme."

If nobody's ever heard lines like "Show me a man who would never cheat, and I'll show you a liar." before, I'll eat my hat. I certainly didn't invent it.

I don't want to focus mainly on my own comments that were deleted (Jessamyn!).

Here's another example from the same thread:

I'm glad that people are bringing Heinlein into this - his views on jealousy finally helped me get over my own. Don't discount him just because he was a sci-fi writer; the man had a keen eye into the way humans interact. While adults may not be able to unlearn jealousy, they can at least recognize it for the poison that it is, and work against letting it do its nasty work.

The above came from a deleted comment, but was quoted in someone else's comment. So at this point in the thread we have people referring to Heinlein being introduced but the introduction is gone. And when I read the above paragraph, I wondered what was so offensive about it that the original comment that contained it was deleted, and what other valuable stuff was in there.

If I write "You should get tested. You're such a slut!", would it really be misrepresentation to just take out the second sentence?

Maybe the system is perfect as it is now. But I hope no one seriously thinks that it should never be questioned. Personally, I think things should always be questioned. Things change and develop, so the system (and all systems) should change and develop with them.
posted by strangeguitars at 8:15 AM on December 17, 2007


Give me a break. If the sentiments that you wished to express are that important, re-phrase them in a less inflammatory way. You're not barred from civilly participating in the thread. Uh, yet.
posted by desuetude at 8:16 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


koeselitz -- I'm not bent on everyone agreeing with me. If everyone agreed with me, then there would be nothing to discuss.
posted by strangeguitars at 8:20 AM on December 17, 2007


Though I did favorite the comment (that also got axed) where someone said it was sexist, tautological, and wrong.

That would be me. And I have no problem with the deletion of my comment, since the offensive comment was also deleted.

strangeguitars, your original comment was offensive. Telling the men who have never cheated on their partner and would never cheat on their partner that they are not "fully" men is offensive. At first you claimed you did not recognize its offensiveness as that is an individual matter of perception. Then later, you changed tack and said you were actually being facetious. Twice you have pointed out that the derail you caused was distracting people from your "main point."

If that's really your main point, and the inflammatory content was just distracting from it, or if we are charitable, we will say easily misinterpreted, you should really thank the mods for cleaning things up. Now your main point was made clearly, without all the distractions.
posted by grouse at 8:21 AM on December 17, 2007


If I write "You should get tested. You're such a slut!", would it really be misrepresentation to just take out the second sentence?

No, but it would also something we would Never Do On MetaFilter without the commenter's specific request.

I think the issue is, if someone points out that something you (or anyone) said is offensive and irritating and getting in the way of the OP getting his or her question answered, it's easier to just remove it and have you repost and edit it yourself, not have us go back and forth with you on it. That way it's more clear to other readers what has happened and we-as-mods don't have to bear responsibility for the resultant comment. The comments belong to the individual, they're not a group project.

I don't think the system is perfect certainly, you've pointed out ways in which it isn't. But I never see "wrong" answers being removed purely on the basis of wrongness, btu by the same token eloquent answers don't stay purely on the basis of eloquence. Those two things seem to work as they should.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:22 AM on December 17, 2007


Just flame out and call it a day.

Also, suggesting people edit deleted comments and post them again would be easier if deleted comments were still somehow accessible. I don't keep a log of my comments here in some external system I can go back and look at later if my comments here are removed.
posted by chunking express at 8:23 AM on December 17, 2007


If I write "You should get tested. You're such a slut!", would it really be misrepresentation to just take out the second sentence?

Removing sentences is the only worse idea than removing comments. Sorry strangeguitars, but jessamyn has explained it very well. It's too problematic and time consuming.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:26 AM on December 17, 2007


So you're not complaining that you're not allowed to express your ideas, you're complaining that you're not allowed to express them in any way you choose, no matter how offensive and inflammatory.

Well, if that is the way you like things, can I express my idea that your wife needs to ditch you by removing your nuts and having sex with her? Or maybe I can just express my distaste by leaving a bag of flaming shit in your doorway. Why are you so upset? I could say these things, but what's the semantic difference, right? Aren't I communicating the same ideas?
posted by schroedinger at 8:28 AM on December 17, 2007


chungking express: I've only asked once, but jessamyn was happy to provide the text of a deleted comment so I could remove a more pointed bit of it.
posted by grouse at 8:28 AM on December 17, 2007


grouse -- I'm not familiar with facetious meaning offensive. I always thought it meant humorous.

I seriously do think that lustful feelings toward people who are not your S.O. are natural and OK. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one who thinks this.

I also think that people (not only men) who say that they only have eyes for their S.O. are ridiculous because they are suppressing a natural human trait, and denying the fact that that trait exists. Some people may be offended by that no matter how I word it. I don't think that there's anything wrong with anonymous (the guy posting the "kiss and told" question) being aware of that viewpoint. And again, I don't think I'm the only person who feels that way.
posted by strangeguitars at 8:33 AM on December 17, 2007


I also think that people (not only men) who say that they only have eyes for their S.O. are ridiculous because they are suppressing a natural human trait, and denying the fact that that trait exists

That is emphatically not the assertion you made. Having eyes for someone is not the same as cheating with them.
posted by 0xFCAF at 8:35 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


strangeguitars: But while "Give me a break. Show me a man who would never cheat, and I'll show you a liar. (Or a guy who's not fully a guy.)" is kind of crass, it's also pretty facetious coming from a man. I could have said "Maybe it's human nature for people to cheat. That idea is certainly very well attested in history and culture." There is no ocean of difference between those two expressions semantically...

I understand where you're coming from, but you're wrong. As wrong as white boys who proudly declare that they're "one of the niggaz," and as wrong as a hip kid who says "I'd hit it" ironically. Again, anti-male sexism may not be as big a problem, but it's sure isn't a good thing, and comments like that are bad because execrable things said with irony are almost always understood literally, especially on the internet. And that notion-- that "men are cheaters"-- is at best inflammatory, and at worst base insult. It's the same as if I posted a comment that said "well, we all know Jews are greedy, eh?" with some kind of implied eye roll.

The point is that implied eye rolls don't come across on the internet. Say what you say in the least inflammatory way possible, say it with dispassion, and for God's sake, say it without the powerful air of cynicism that that comment communicated even if it was meant ironically.
posted by koeselitz at 8:35 AM on December 17, 2007


Some people may be offended by that no matter how I word it.

But you didn't say that, strangeguitars - you said they're not fully a man, as if it makes me more of a man because I wanna hump around (that's for you Bobby Brown fans out there). That would be sexist. Man or no man. I'm black, but if I say "Black people are wayyy smarter than white people", it's still racist.
posted by cashman at 8:38 AM on December 17, 2007


Ask me is not supposed to be about what you think. It's supposed to be about what you know.
posted by frecklefaerie at 8:38 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Who described their own writing as eloquent?

You did, essentially. You posted a MeTa about how a lot of "very eloquent" AskMe responses were getting deleted, with no supporting examples, right after your own AskMe response was deleted. It's not hard to connect the dots here.

Let's face it: you tried to hide a typical "WAAAH, MY VERY SPECIAL SNOWFLAKE OF A RESPONSE THAT IS OH SO IMPORTANT WAS DELETED" MeTa under the guise of concern about the welfare of the community. In the first post, you were pretty much outed by jessamyn on this front, and I expect the rest of this MeTa is going to be people pointing that out in the hopes that you flame out.

You'd probably do the community the most good if you either took chunking express' advice and just flamed out, or took some time out and thought about why it is you think that your own advice being heard is more important than following the guidelines of the site.
posted by tocts at 8:39 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


/Rolls eyes, dispassionately.
posted by Jofus at 8:40 AM on December 17, 2007


Pony Request: A way for us to view any of our comments that are deleted, and a way for the OP of a (AskMe especially) thread to view the comments that were deleted from the thread. If these two ideas have been discussed previously/recently, can someone let me know.

Would a discussion about these requests make for a good MetaTalk post?
posted by davidstandaford at 8:40 AM on December 17, 2007


I had a comment deleted. I was miffed not only because I had an answer deleted, but also because further answers had missed the mark.

I grumbled and reposted.
posted by popcassady at 8:40 AM on December 17, 2007


mathowie -- I hope that somehow the hive mind can come up with ways to tweak the system a little. Every improvement is an improvement.
posted by strangeguitars at 8:40 AM on December 17, 2007


I'm not familiar with facetious meaning offensive.

Your claim that it was facetious seems a bit disingenuous, considering that you defended it in a non-facetious way both before and after making such a claim. If you want to repudiate your comment and prove me wrong, now is a fine time.

Regardless, it's possible for a comment made in jest to be offensive nonetheless.
posted by grouse at 8:41 AM on December 17, 2007


If I write "You should get tested. You're such a slut!", would it really be misrepresentation to just take out the second sentence?

Um, yes? Jessamyn is not your superego. Moderate yourself.
posted by Skorgu at 8:41 AM on December 17, 2007 [5 favorites]


...with a fuller and more explained answer.
posted by popcassady at 8:42 AM on December 17, 2007


I have yet to shed tears over a deleted comment, my own or otherwise. That's the risk you take when you say something on the borderline.

What if I say Gordon Ramsay is a sexy, badass chef in this thread? I throw it in here because it's MeTa, so I feel safe that it won't be deleted. Try it sometime!
posted by SassHat at 8:44 AM on December 17, 2007


I grumbled and reposted.

...with a fuller and more explained answer.


^^^ The winning formula.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:44 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Maybe the system is perfect as it is now.
It's not and no one claims it is.

But I hope no one seriously thinks that it should never be questioned.

No one has said that.

Personally, I think things should always be questioned.

I'm questioning why you're still trying to argue about anything here. Seriously, you're all over the place, seemingly looking to make a point something, yet when it's pointed out why X won't work, you bring up Y as if it was X. Stop that.

You wrote an off the cuff comment which didn't answer the question and was bound to derail the thread, so the comment was deleted. There is no mystery here, this has all occurred before and will no doubt occur again. Unless you're going to entertain us or give us money, let it go.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:45 AM on December 17, 2007


strangeguitars: I seriously do think that lustful feelings toward people who are not your S.O. are natural and OK.

Do you 'seriously think' that men who don't have lustful feelings toward other people who are not their S.O. aren't "fully male"? Does this extend to women, too? Are women who don't desire multiple partners not real women? If that's the case, then your argument seems to be that monogamous people aren't human, or, at the very least, they're androgynous.

On the other hand, you might be saying that this only applies to men, and that women might be monogamous or not, but "real men" tend toward multiple partners. In which case you seem to be arguing for polygamy.

Can you see how those four little words ("not fully a guy") took an already-inflammatory argument and pushed it over the edge into soapboxing?

Maybe the system is perfect as it is now. But I hope no one seriously thinks that it should never be questioned. Personally, I think things should always be questioned. Things change and develop, so the system (and all systems) should change and develop with them.

Look, saying "maybe there is just too much hacking and slashing" isn't questioning the system. It's questioning the competence of the people who implement the system. Now, we've all had our little quibbles here, but when you come in here saying (no matter how much you tried to cloak it) that they're not doing their job, that they're hacking away indescriminately at threads, be prepared to get a reaction from those of us who have been around here for long enough to see that they do a pretty good job. But we're not above a little thought about it, which is why you'd best come in here with examples when you question whether someone is handling something correctly.
posted by koeselitz at 8:47 AM on December 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


Perhaps there should be an opportunity for the poster to rebuke the deletion. Nobody's going to protest the deletion of a snidey comment but if the poster feels genuinely hard done by, there would be a good chance that the comment might have been misread or judged too quickly.
posted by popcassady at 8:48 AM on December 17, 2007


If you object to a deletion, rewrite your comment, and repost it.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:49 AM on December 17, 2007


Your comment was bad, and you're a bad person.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:51 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Cortex and I talked about this a lot. We delete things because they're popular. You're a total slut and I hope your boyfriend dumps you, oh by the way get tested.
posted by jessamyn at 7:43 AM on December 17 [+] [!]
{edited at 8:56 AM on December 17}

posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:51 AM on December 17, 2007 [5 favorites]


frecklefaerie -- Not when someone is asking a question like "what should I do".

everyone -- I don't mind that my comment was deleted. I re-expressed the most important parts of it in a later comment before I even noticed that it was deleted. On the contrary, I'm wondering what the content of other people's deleted comments were when I see bits of their comments quoted, and I think that the quoted part is well written and insightful. I'm not trying in any way to suggest that what I wrote was well written or insightful. I agree that it was not expressed very well. It was rightfully deleted. But it got me thinking about the whole deletion process, and how it might be improved, so I posted here.

Maybe the system can't be improved. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't put our heads together and think about it.

tocts -- I didn't give another example right away. But I did later. Jessamyn assumed that I was ticked off at my post being deleted. I wasn't. Maybe she thought what I wrote was offensive, so she posted it here. I don't think that helped my point. In fact that was kind of a flame in itself. I hope that it was wholly based on a big misunderstanding on her part, because it would have be very inappropriate for her (being an admin) to flame me like that. If you're confused about what my post is about (as it seems you are), please read the post itself.
posted by strangeguitars at 8:59 AM on December 17, 2007


If I write "You should get tested. You're such a slut!", would it really be misrepresentation to just take out the second sentence?

Um, so would it be a misrepresentation to just take out the first sentence?

Feature request! Cortex, Jessamyn, Matt - from now on please edit all of my posts so that they say precisely what I mean, but without regard to what they actually say. Very eloquently, if it's not too much bother. TIA!
posted by dirtdirt at 9:00 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Perhaps there should be an opportunity for the poster to rebuke the deletion

I'm not 100% sure, but I think comments have been restored at least a few times. In such situations I think it'd be better to e-mail the mods and explain what you meant (On the off chance they took it out of context, etc.) rather than post more whinefilter to the Grey under the pretense that you're championing the forces of eloquence and LOLS.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:03 AM on December 17, 2007


strangeguitars, your comment absolutely came across as offensive. That you later defended it as "facetious" fails, as "facetious" has no place in AskMe.

And you should really, really read the thread about "Mods edit comments?!???!" linked above (and here). It was posted the day you joined, so you might've missed it. If you think having comments deleted gets people worked up, having them edited positively sets hair afire.
posted by rtha at 9:06 AM on December 17, 2007


I hereby declare metafilter to be smack dab in the middle of its very own Long September.
posted by shmegegge at 9:08 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


First, that AskMe *definitely* should have a mod's mention that some comments were removed.

Second, strangeguitars is completely unconvincing on this point:

I don't want to focus mainly on my own comments that were deleted (Jessamyn!).

Blaming jessamyn for giving the relevant backstory is ridiculous (and someone else would have rightly done it if she hadn't). You posted this MeTa - after apparently not being satisfied with your back-and-forth with the mods - in response to a specific incident, an incident where you broke the AskMe guidelines. Sorry, but that's important to this discussion.
posted by mediareport at 9:12 AM on December 17, 2007


I hope that it was wholly based on a big misunderstanding on her part, because it would have be very inappropriate for her (being an admin) to flame me like that.

Flame you by posting the comment you were mad was deleted? Say what?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:15 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


strangeguitars: Maybe the system can't be improved. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't put our heads together and think about it.

We have. There is no better solution. Editing of comments would be worse than deletion, because it would be actively changing people's words, and because it would turn the three esteemed moderators here (mathowie, jessamyn, and cortex) into copywriters. Not deleting bad comments would turn AskMefi into a circus. Deleting whole questions on the basis of a few comments would be unfair and unhelpful. Editing a thread to remove all trace of deleted comments would require rewriting comments. Sometimes there will be loose ends, but there's no good way to avoid this, and it's not really a big problem, since it's the answers that matter, not the discussion.

Do you have any better ideas? I can honestly tell you that we're not as happy as we'd like to be with what we've got, but given that we've devoted years to discussing this precise issue, we're pretty sure there's no better way. So far, you haven't given us a reason to think otherwise.
posted by koeselitz at 9:19 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


shmegegge: I hereby declare metafilter to be smack dab in the middle of its very own Long September.

I hear you. And it's awful. I never could stand the Counting Crows.
posted by koeselitz at 9:20 AM on December 17, 2007


"not fully a guy" is one of the more ineloquent sexist epithets I've ever heard. Spoken, it sounds like a tubeworm classification.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:22 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


rtha -- There's no reason not to be humorous in AskMe. Is there some ban against humor there? I've never seen anything to that effect in any guidelines.
posted by strangeguitars at 9:23 AM on December 17, 2007


cue someone posting the entirey of the lyrics to Long December but with mefi references subbed in and that comment getting a thousand favorites.
posted by shmegegge at 9:23 AM on December 17, 2007


No editing please. If the the comment contains something that needs removing then delete the entire thing and let the commenter repost without the offending parts.
posted by oh pollo! at 9:24 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


Is there some ban against humor there?

Only if it's British.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:27 AM on December 17, 2007


FUCK! YES THERE IS A BAN ON BEING IRRELEVANTLY HUMOROUS IN ASKME!

It says it right below the comment box:

note: Ask MetaFilter is as useful as you make it. Please limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer. Wisecracks don't help people find answers. Thanks.

also right here!
posted by shmegegge at 9:27 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


grouse -- I'm not familiar with facetious meaning offensive. I always thought it meant humorous.

ASK ME IS NO PLACE FOR JOKING AROUND!!!

(but seriously, a comment doesn't need to be offensive to get removed, jokes can be removed as well)
posted by delmoi at 9:31 AM on December 17, 2007


Is there some ban against humor there? I've never seen anything to that effect in any guidelines.

Now you're just being foolish.
posted by mediareport at 9:35 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Editing comments is a really bad idea, but this thread has brought a new focus on a much more interesting issue..

jessamyn: it's pretty obvious in the flag queue and through context when people are flagging just because they don't like someone or their ideas.

It is impossible for a user to know if this is true. However.. Obvious in particular instances? Of course. On the whole? Seems unlikely..

strangeguitars (via jessamyn): "Give me a break. Show me a man who would never cheat, and I'll show you a liar. (Or a guy who's not fully a guy.)"

I'm actually a little surprised this was deletion worthy.. A ridiculous assertion, expressed poorly, to be sure, but it is an answer, and people do hold that opinion. Borderline, I'd have thought..

jessamyn: rethinking and commenting again in a way that is less likely to get your comment flagged fifteen times.

Avoiding anonymous flags shouldn't really be a user's focus when answering a question in good faith.

Was this deletion related to new policies on sexism? It was an offensive comment..

cortex: The idea is not that having your ideas tested is bad, but that doing it in the middle of someone's question is bad for the question.

If the ideas are directly related to the answer of the question, I completely disagree.
posted by Chuckles at 9:39 AM on December 17, 2007


Sometimes when I say something that I am soon going to regret saying, my response is to charge headlong into defending my wrong, stupid or needlessly mean statement, this is never the right thing to do and I never regret it more than when I am neck deep in even more stupid justifications and qualifications after a long, pointless and angry argument. If I don't make that choice to be a jerk about a jerky thing I just said and instead I apologize and move on, I am always happier afterwards.

Not cheating on your wife or girlfriend doesn't make you less of a man, it makes you less of an asshole.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:44 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Give me a break. Show me a man who would never cheat, and I'll show you a liar. (Or a guy who's not fully a guy.)"

I'm actually a little surprised this was deletion worthy.. A ridiculous assertion, expressed poorly, to be sure, but it is an answer, and people do hold that opinion. Borderline, I'd have thought..


How is that response an answer to this question?

If I called off the wedding or broke up with her would I be over-reacting?
posted by oneirodynia at 9:48 AM on December 17, 2007


...
posted by koeselitz at 9:51 AM on December 17, 2007


I flagged it because I was under the impression we were living in the new MetaFilter sexism-free world. It wasn't racist or terribly offensive, but it was sexist, so there you go.
posted by 0xFCAF at 9:57 AM on December 17, 2007


I once had an entire FPP removed because of a misunderstanding. After talking with Jess, she said I could put it back... but I never did as it really wasn't that important. too many people think what they have to say is oh so important and the world would be a poorer place without their words of wisdom/humor/whatthefuckever:
1. It won't be
2. It has been said before
3. are you actually still reading this?

-end-
posted by edgeways at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2007


People, we need to think outside the BOX! Perhaps even outside the bun! We can solve this problem with the liberal use of exclamation marks!
posted by blue_beetle at 9:58 AM on December 17, 2007


I was going to comment more at length, but Jofus and frecklefaerie already said it pretty well. On the up side, reading people's comments here reminds me why I like this place.
posted by Tehanu at 10:04 AM on December 17, 2007


koeselitz -- I thought I might have had some better ideas, or at least things to consider. The way you put things is making me reconsider. I don't regret the fact that everyone is thinking about these ideas though. Thanks for your insight (I favorited two of your comments here). Nice writing.

mediareport -- I was very satisfied with my back-and-forth with the mods (actually just cortex). Jessamyn seems to have grossly misinterpreted my post here. She didn't carefully read what I wrote in the post, and assumed that I was venting over my comment being deleted. I was not.

Chuckles -- Thank you for also being a little surprised that it was deletion-worthy. I didn't mind it being deleted; I just was a little surprised.

everyone -- Thank you all for the good discussion. Sorry if I came off as a jerk with that "guy who's not fully a guy" comment, but I really didn't mean to offend. It's 2am here in northeast China, and I better get to bed before I become a guy who's not fully a guy.

Carry on.
posted by strangeguitars at 10:04 AM on December 17, 2007


Jesus. It's like Ethereal Bligh's brain got chopped up and the parts divvied out to a handful of you people. I for one am happy I was in the wrong line when that happened.
posted by item at 10:06 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


"On the contrary, I'm wondering what the content of other people's deleted comments were when I see bits of their comments quoted, and I think that the quoted part is well written and insightful."

I hereby declare you a poor judge of well-written and/or insightful.
posted by klangklangston at 10:09 AM on December 17, 2007


Box. Pandora. LOL.
posted by chlorus at 10:10 AM on December 17, 2007


Maybe the system can't be improved.

The system can be improved, but not with bad ideas. Next time try a good idea.
posted by scottreynen at 10:29 AM on December 17, 2007


High road: learn from the deletion and repost your comment more eloquently, omitting the offensive bits.

Low road: tumble headfirst down the gray hill of shame, seeking validation for your shaky stance in a platitudinous metatalk post, making sure your name shows up as "posted by" on every fifth comment, and pride yourself on dangerously flirting the flameout line.

Next time, take the road less travelled and none will be the wisecracker.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:30 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Every improvement is an improvement.

Flagged as eloquentalicious!
posted by Kwine at 10:34 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


There's no reason not to be humorous in AskMe. Is there some ban against humor there? I've never seen anything to that effect in any guidelines.

Oh come on, now. Your first two trolls ("all men cheat" and "let´s edit comments") were at least plausible newbie shit. This one is just pathetic.
posted by tkolar at 10:41 AM on December 17, 2007


Jessamyn seems to have grossly misinterpreted my post here. She didn't carefully read what I wrote in the post, and assumed that I was venting over my comment being deleted. I was not.

It isn't just jessamyn. Everyone else seems to be pretty convinced that this thread was your response to your deleted comment. Nothing you've really said in it has convinced me otherwise, either.
posted by OmieWise at 10:47 AM on December 17, 2007


Now, now. Maybe it was just a coincidence that the first strangeguitars post (or comments for that matter) to MetaTalk were right after a contentious deletion of a strangeguitars comment.
posted by smackfu at 11:11 AM on December 17, 2007


Since strangeguitars won't flame out I have decided to instead. I think Tupac said it best:
Now when I came out I told you it was just about the Mods.
Then everybody had to open their mouth with a mother fuckin' opinion.
Well this is how we gon' do this: fuck Mathowie, fuck Jessamym, fuck MetaFilter as a staff, record label, and as a mother fuckin' crew.
And if you want to be down with MetaFilter,
Then fuck you too.
Cortex, fuck you too.
All you mother fuckers, fuck you too.
posted by chunking express at 11:16 AM on December 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


Maybe the system can't be improved. But that doesn't mean we shouldn't put our heads together and think about it.

Here's my proposal, strangeguitars: I take you to a bar where we can have a few drinks and discuss your eloquent posting style, exchange tips on what makes our writing so excellent, etc. We can bitch about how the mods are unfair, that they don't recognize our genius, etc.

After a while, we start getting kind of hammered. Well, you do, anyway, because I am drinking really watered down drinks and just playing along. I convince you to stay until beyond last call, it's just the two of us there, and I make sure you are positioned with your back to the entrance.

Have you figured out where this is going yet? All of a sudden I've got your arms pinned behind your back. Well lookee here, it's my friends koeslitz, klang, mediareport, the gangs all here! They reign blows down upon you, throw you to the floor, and start laying in with the boots. Then we wrap your comatose body in tablecloths, throw you in the trunk of my car, and drive out to the woods and bury you in a shallow unmarked grave.

It might not be a perfect solution, but hey every idea is an idea and every improvement is an improvement, so it deserves to be discussed and maybe step by step we'll make MetaFilter a better place.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:18 AM on December 17, 2007


Ugh.
posted by mediareport at 11:22 AM on December 17, 2007


That comment was not intended as an actual threat, just a facetious gedankeneksperiment, if you will. Mods, if you find anything about it offensive, drop me a line and we'll debate what parts you should edit out.
posted by Meatbomb at 11:22 AM on December 17, 2007


Please put less gedanken into your gedankeneksperiment.
posted by smackfu at 11:23 AM on December 17, 2007


that eksperiment has a gedanken badonk butt.
posted by shmegegge at 11:28 AM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I didn't want this to be about my personal experience with a little comment being deleted.

Gee, what a surprise.

I wasn't ticked off at all about that

Yeah, sure. Why is it that people keep coming here to bitch about their precious comments being deleted and pretending that it just happens to be their comment, it's really the principle of it all they're concerned about?

Stop shitting in AskMe and you'll be fine.
posted by languagehat at 11:30 AM on December 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


It isn't just jessamyn. Everyone else seems to be pretty convinced that this thread was your response to your deleted comment. Nothing you've really said in it has convinced me otherwise, either.

That is for sure. strangeguitars, trying to obscure the importance of your own comment in this discussion weakens your position. Even if you believe what you are saying, everyone else sees it as disingenuous. So, consider your audience..

Heh.. Failing to consider your audience was what got you in this discussion in the first place, of course. The context is quite different though.. Over here you are trying supposed to be rallying public opinion, over there you are supposed to be giving your well formed and well reasoned opinion on the answer to the question.
posted by Chuckles at 11:52 AM on December 17, 2007


trying
posted by Chuckles at 11:53 AM on December 17, 2007


Jessamyn seems to have grossly misinterpreted my post here. She didn't carefully read what I wrote in the post, and assumed that I was venting over my comment being deleted. I was not.

It's easy to blame the messenger but 1) I didn't remove your comment 2) all the mods have said pretty much the same thing. I read your post over and over again each time it was flagged. It may have been uncool of me to only quote the part that I was pretty sure was getting everyone so pissed off and leaving out the other parts, so I'm sorry for that. However, I don't know why you're focusing on me as the problem here and implying that my responses to your question are in some way loaded, angry or otherwise pointed. All I want is for you to understand what went on here, and for you to understand how the site works.

I happened to chime in earlier because I got here first and I knew you'd been talking to cortex so I figured maybe what he was saying wasn't exactly working for whatever reason.

I hereby declare metafilter to be smack dab in the middle of its very own Long September.

I mentioned this in the podcast. I am going to mention it in every podcast herafter. Perhaps it would make a good signoff. "Farewell from the land of the long september"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:58 AM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


not fully a guy

That man comes on to tell me how precious my snowflakes can be, but he can't be a man 'cause he doesn't smoke the same cigarettes as me.
posted by meehawl at 12:00 PM on December 17, 2007 [4 favorites]


As we all drove away from the shallow grave, we breathed a sigh of relief. The edge of violence in the air began to fade, but our mild buzz from the watered-down drinks was subsiding faster than we wanted it to. Wild whoops of encouragement and excited congratulatory chatter settled into a dreary silence; the radio blared a song that none of us paid attention to, staring through the dark at the fleetingly-lit trees. Meatbomb, the one among us who actually got drunk, tries to tell us something about Bruce Springsteen's influence on Rush, but mediareport, who's driving, just coughs. I'm still caught in the moment, but part of me understands that this really was murder, the murder that everybody tells themselves they won't do, and even if we were all a little hyped up in the moment, well, it's a heavy thing nonetheless.

I'm trying to keep my mind off of it when there's a loud bang, then the car is hobbling down the dirt road on one rim. A blowout. In the darkness we all sigh, as one, and inwardly roll eyes; this is not what we need. I try to make a joke about the blowout being what all of this seemed like, and the others laugh weakly as we're filing back out to view the damage.

A moment of collecting ourselves, and we remember: the spare is in the trunk with the jack. klangklangston lugs the tire up, and I grab the jack. I bring it around and set it under the body in front of the driver's-side front wheel. I've even begun to jack it up a bit when Meatbomb, fumbling in the trunk, asks: Where's the crowbar? klang and mediareport and I pause for a moment, remembering, and groan: we'd used it to deliver one of the final blows to strangeguitars. It must be wrapped up with the body.

We reluctantly set off down the road, hands in pockets. Klang lights a cigarette for himself and passes the lighter and the pack around; I decline. I don't smoke. But I wish I had another drink.

It's only a half-mile back to the shallow grave we've dug. mediareport brings the big flashlight he had in the back of his car, but even so, it takes us a moment, adjusting to the surroundings that we hadn't planned on remembering, that we'd only seen in the light of glaring headlamps. There are a few bushes aways from the road in front of a stand of aspen trees which had seemed like the best place to keep it from being found. We stagger singly over the roots and around the bushes; mediareport gets there first, and I'm behind him. He stops, squints, throws the light around on the ground a bit, then looks back at me with some confusion. Coming up, I follow his gaze: the bloody tableclothes are torn and shredded, and lie anent the bushes, dirt scattered everywhere. The crowbar is nowhere to be seen, and the shallow grave is empty. Meatbomb staggers up and asks: what the hell?

I look back at mediareport, and he's leaning in to me. He speaks: somebody must have followed us. I mean, he was flat dead, right? I saw Meatbomb stomp his windpipe. He wasn't gettin' up anytime soon. There's a small sound, just a gurgle, behind us, and we turn to look.

When we see klangklangston, crowbar buried in his neck, lying spreadeagled across the road, it occurs to all three of us that we probably won't be alive to see the sun rise.
posted by koeselitz at 12:20 PM on December 17, 2007 [16 favorites]


I really need to listen to the podcasts.
posted by shmegegge at 12:30 PM on December 17, 2007


"When we see klangklangston, crowbar buried in his neck, lying spreadeagled across the road, it occurs to all three of us that we probably won't be alive to see the sun rise."

My girlfriend asked me about my plans for my funeral once. I told her that it was my will to be a zombie reanimated by a hive of bees, which I could shoot from my hands.

If I have to die in a Jim Thompson-esque spree of witness-killing, all I ask is that my wishes be honored.
posted by klangklangston at 12:38 PM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm going to put "I want to be a zombie" in my will.
posted by shmegegge at 12:42 PM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Go easy on the leftover rigatoni and old Sopranos episodes late at night, koeselitz.
posted by ottereroticist at 12:48 PM on December 17, 2007


I am totally baffled by this recent crop of MetaTalk posts complaining about deleted comments in AskMe. It's not hard. AskMe is about answering questions. The helpful attitude this implies should be ever present. Save your cute jokes and snark for the blue. Or the gray.

What's so hard about that?
posted by Avenger50 at 12:48 PM on December 17, 2007


If I write "You should get tested. You're such a slut!", would it really be misrepresentation to just take out the second sentence?

I'm gonna buck the trend and answer: Yes. The second sentence indicates clearly that the poster is an asshole, and it would be misleading for people not to know that. Important information, that.
posted by LordSludge at 1:02 PM on December 17, 2007 [2 favorites]


I told her that it was my will to be a zombie reanimated by a hive of bees, which I could shoot from my hands.

Like Swarm?
posted by Tehanu at 1:10 PM on December 17, 2007


Yeah, pretty much. Only with more flesh left, which the bees will live in.
posted by klangklangston at 1:21 PM on December 17, 2007


Like Candyman?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 1:26 PM on December 17, 2007


ottereroticist: Go easy on the leftover rigatoni and old Sopranos episodes late at night, koeselitz.

Meatbomb started it.
posted by koeselitz at 1:36 PM on December 17, 2007


Ah. Then I think you should request flesh flies, but with stingers. They're much more zombiesque.
posted by Tehanu at 1:38 PM on December 17, 2007


mathowie -- if I really wanted to send a comment directly to you I would have sent you an email, but instead I want to write you this open letter so that everyone can see how reasonable I am.

Give me a break. Show me a man who would never cheat, and I'll show you a liar. (Or a guy who's not fully a guy.)

Dear AskMe: my wife and I are struggling with my marriage, because she says I'm not fully a man. Should I cheat on her to fix my marriage?
posted by davejay at 1:47 PM on December 17, 2007 [3 favorites]


davejay: have you tried hitting her with the butt of your pistol?
posted by boo_radley at 2:49 PM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


When we see klangklangston, crowbar buried in his neck, lying spreadeagled across the road, it occurs to all three of us that we probably won't be alive to see the sun rise.

*gets out copy of Zombie Survival Guide, tightens grip on big flashlight*

Bring it.
posted by mediareport at 2:53 PM on December 17, 2007 [1 favorite]


Candyman was full of bees? I know that he died that way, but I didn't remember him being full of them in the film (never read the book).

Tehanu—I'm just worried that flesh flies won't have the social intelligence to keep my body living forever as a hollowed husk of entomological evil.
posted by klangklangston at 2:55 PM on December 17, 2007


yes, candyman was full of bees, as a direct result of that slave-era bee death you remember.
posted by shmegegge at 3:29 PM on December 17, 2007


Good point. New suggestion: yellowjackets. Social, like carrion, stingy. Very entomologically evil.

*wanders off to submit BBQ question*
posted by Tehanu at 3:34 PM on December 17, 2007


Forget yellowjackets. The ultimate evil is the asian giant hornet.
posted by CKmtl at 3:51 PM on December 17, 2007


Hm. They're like giant yellowjackets. That can be eaten deep-fried or as sashimi. Weird.
posted by Tehanu at 4:02 PM on December 17, 2007


With neurotoxic and flesh-dissolving venom.
posted by CKmtl at 4:13 PM on December 17, 2007


I didn't mind it being deleted; I just was a little surprised.

Surprised? Really? That's one of the few I've seen and thought, "Man, I don't even need to flag that one."
posted by juv3nal at 4:19 PM on December 17, 2007


Mega Pony: Mods can flag posts, which are automatically taken out of view (though their place is marked: "Post under moderation". When the author of the comment next logs on, he can see he has a post under moderation, and can choose to delete it, or to rewrite it. If he goes the latter path, the new post is placed in situ and automatically flagged for the mods to check the alterations/rewrite are acceptable...

Man, that pony would need a huge stable. And lots of hay. And it would produce a lot of shit that would need shovelling. But it sure would be a mega pony...
posted by benzo8 at 4:49 PM on December 17, 2007


Email notification should suffice IMO. I don't think I've had a post deleted yet, although I'm curious to see if that's still the case by this afternoon. Anyway I'd like to know if one was, though, and I'd like to have a chance to re-state what I had to say, perhaps more civilly or perhaps more subtly sarcastic. But I think we tend to do that anyway, if we actually had something to say. A comment worth flagging rarely goes without reply.

Regarding editing, the few times I've had a letter to the editor of a dead tree newspaper 'edited', the presumption of them messing with my carefully chosen text, inevitably reducing the sense and impact of it, has been vastly more annoying than the mere disdainful slight of them not publishing it at all.

In general though some threads are just going to polarize opinion, and that's not a bad thing. People tend to get more worked up over things they care about more, like degrees of marital fidelity. That's an unavoidable consequence of having a discussion about it. I think it's more useful to have the discussion and put up with some incivility, rather than avoid the discussion lest incivility strain our delicate feelings. Besides, incivility can be extremely entertaining in itself.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:26 PM on December 17, 2007


I like Benzo8s idea. It seems like it would work. On the other hand, why not just put up a link to the deleted content? That way, people can see it for context if they need to.
posted by Happydaz at 10:49 PM on December 17, 2007


A thread should have a trash can, all deleted posts go into the trash can. No recovery or editing of these posts, just browsing. Provide an icon along with the post, but otherwise don't highlight or indicate the presence of trash. Referring to trash would be frowned upon.
posted by ogre at 11:26 PM on December 17, 2007


I want to propose and discuss just removing the offensive parts -- editing out sentences or paragraphs, and not entire comments, so that the "good stuff" can remain.
I just wanted to chime in to remind everyone that this is a very, very, very bad idea, as history has shown us. Just in case we had lost the point.
posted by dg at 1:31 AM on December 18, 2007


Give me a break. Show me a self-important writer with a deleted post who actually wants to discuss AskMe deletion policies in earnest, and I'll show you a liar. (Or a guy who's not fully a guy.)
posted by 23skidoo at 6:20 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yellowjackets are way more evil than bees. Bees have a social conscience and probably would end up animating your corpse to do good in the world by pollinating the almond crop or some such goddamn hippie nonsense. Yellowjackets, on the other hand, exist pretty much solely to clog soda fountains at county fairs and terrify children. You definitely want the yellowjackets for the maximum fear and loathing reanimation experience.
posted by mygothlaundry at 7:08 AM on December 18, 2007 [1 favorite]


*sniff sniff*

*sniff sniff*




Hmm.

That's funny.

I could have sworn I smelled cocks burning in here.

Must just be me.
posted by mds35 at 7:29 AM on December 18, 2007


Good point. New suggestion: yellowjackets. Social, like carrion, stingy. Very entomologically evil.

*wanders off to submit BBQ question*


Heh. Tehanu wasn't kidding.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:39 AM on December 18, 2007


Re: Notification

Wouldn't it be simple to just have a Memail show up anytime you had something deleted? Just a link to whatever it was (so it could be automatic)?

Asian Giant Hornets don't seem social. I think I will amend my will to "Yellowjackets."
posted by klangklangston at 8:39 AM on December 18, 2007


klang: I remember jessamyn mentioning once that she tends to email people when something's deleted if they haven't had a comment deleted before, or if they're new, and they might not understand; also, if it's a borderline case. I can understand how the three weird sisters might not prefer to have a notification system for every deletion, as it would provoke a backlash and almost guarantee at least fifteen "why was my comment deleted?" threads on metatalk per day.
posted by koeselitz at 8:47 AM on December 18, 2007


I think automatic memails on comment deletion would be problematic because it likely works out in the mods' favors to not have everyone realize all the time when a comment has been deleted. It would be like asking for email fights over every little thing.

In fact, I'm inclined to wonder if Jessamyn's whole "I usually write emails if I delete something" thing isn't just a white lie to shut people up. I've had comments deleted often enough before and only the first comment (of many) I ever had deleted (an intensely stupid askme response years ago) got an email notification. I know if I were her or cortex or mathowie, I certainly wouldn't want to announce to anyone that they now had an opportunity to bitch me out over something insignificant.
posted by shmegegge at 9:02 AM on December 18, 2007


Asian Giant Hornets don't seem social. I think I will amend my will to "Yellowjackets."

Your will is wrong, O Potentially Undead Pornmonger, for someone who has been reanimated by asian giant hornets could come along and kick your yellowjacketed ass.

How are they not social? They have queens. They live in nests. They squirt pheromones around to call in other when they find a juicy beehive to raid. They rely on their larvae to digest protein for them.
posted by CKmtl at 1:52 PM on December 18, 2007


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