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March 3, 2008 11:51 AM   Subscribe

With members flaming out in rapid succession recently (and I know that people do this all the time, but we seem to have a cluster right now), how difficult would it be for The Button to require email verification, say 24 hours after it is hit, before an account is actually closed?

In other words, once the button is hit, an email goes out the next day, and you enter a code or your user name or "please unsubscribe me" to actually close the account.

That way, if after the cooling-off period someone decides he/she was a little rash in quitting Mefi, there's less embarrassment all around because they simply don't verify and come back the next day. Also, as pushing the button itself wouldn't really be final, the flameouts we did have would at least be well-thought-out and more entertaining, as folks would have 24 hours to compose them.

I want a hand-carved wooden unicorn pony, please!
posted by misha to Feature Requests at 11:51 AM (161 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

No. This is not a good idea. Any member that wants to come back can come back no questions asked. This is not a suicide machine. A member should be able to leave when they want without having to have a verified email address, or clicking an "are you sure" button, or having the admins be involved at all. Plus, to be fair, anything that makes flameouts "more entertaining" for the peanut gallery almost certainly makes it more difficult for people making decisions about whether to stay or go here.

MeFites are adults and need to be treated like adults. There is no reason to make leaving MeFi whether permanently or temporarily, as irritating as trying to get off some spammy mailing list.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:55 AM on March 3, 2008 [13 favorites]


People on this site are adults, there is no need to turn Metafilter into a e-nanny-state.
posted by Falconetti at 11:58 AM on March 3, 2008


What jessamyn said. The stakes on account closure are not anywhere so high that we need to set up extra safety nets. A quick email to an admin fixes a regretted closure really easily, and requires no extra technical shuffle on our part.

Not quitting in a moment of pique if you don't actually want to quit is, itself, kind of the commonly held method for aiming for "less embarrassment all around". People are welcome to leave, and they're welcome to change their minds, but we aren't going to mollycoddle 'em in some effort to make them second-guess themselves.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:58 AM on March 3, 2008


A 24-hour waiting period for snarky comments would be more useful.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:59 AM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I vote to eliminate the "close your account" feature.
posted by ibmcginty at 12:00 PM on March 3, 2008


I vote to eliminate the "Post Comment" feature.
posted by jmd82 at 12:03 PM on March 3, 2008 [31 favorites]


I wasn't thinking that Mef members are not adults. I just know that many memberships require a verification email to *join*, and that a lot of newsletters, etc. require an "unsubscribe me" to, um, unjoin.

I thought, in this case, it might cut down on the "heat of the moment" flameouts, which members might regret if, say, they had perhaps been drinking a bit too much, or experiencing some personal stuff, and just went crazy in a thread, only to wake up in the morning with a Flameout Hangover and Quitter's Remorse.
posted by misha at 12:03 PM on March 3, 2008


I think the admins should come to my house and help me put training wheels on my new bicycle. And when I'm ready to try cycling without the wheels and I ask the admins to hold the seat and not let go, they'd better not fucking let go.

And while I do feel that the departure of anyone who has contributed constructively to site is unfortunate, I'd just like to express my support for the immediate closure and deletion of any "Fuck All Y'all, I'm Going And Here's Why" MeTas.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:11 PM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Am I the only person who came here for a list of flameouts?
posted by scrump at 12:13 PM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


I vote to eliminate. I just did, and it really was helpful.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:14 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


But a "heat of the moment" flameout should have some kind of consequence, either the mild humiliation of having to email the mods to re-activate (which is not really humiliating since it is "no questions asked") or $5 to set up an account under a Brand New Name.

Too many people are making too much of the high-profile quits (most of which are followed within weeks by a high-profile return). Cut it out. This is going to be my last comment on the subject (and that does NOT mean I'm quitting - I will NEVER Push the Red Button myself. Period.) Let's find something more interesting to MetaTalk about.
posted by wendell at 12:16 PM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


If they really regret it, they should pony up another $5. I've regretted lots of things that cost me a lot more to fix.
posted by desjardins at 12:16 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Or, what wendell said.

You know, if someone is taking the site so seriously that they feel they need to leave in a huff, I think they should stay gone for awhile, for their own mental health.
posted by desjardins at 12:18 PM on March 3, 2008


the immediate closure and deletion of any "Fuck All Y'all, I'm Going And Here's Why" MeTas.

maybe you should change your nic to Killjoy Killversand.
posted by Hat Maui at 12:18 PM on March 3, 2008


But a "heat of the moment" flameout should have some kind of consequence, either the mild humiliation of having to email the mods to re-activate (which is not really humiliating since it is "no questions asked") or $5 to set up an account under a Brand New Name.

This place is already too much about humiliation. And I'm as much for making sure Matt's kid gets to go to the best college imaginable, but I don't think we need to institutionalize yet another reason to line his pockets.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:20 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Use a greasemonkey script.
posted by dios at 12:21 PM on March 3, 2008


only to wake up in the morning with a Flameout Hangover and Quitter's Remorse.

But then they just email us and we'll straighten it out. No lectures, no dirty looks. We've had people who quit in the heat of the moment and unquit some time later and it's been fine. Except for a little note that shows up on the admin-facing part of the site, there's no permanent record. You could quit every night before you went to bed and unquit every morning and it's between you and your own personal moral compass. I don't mean to be totally flip about it because we take it seriously when people leave, but it doesn't seem at all appropriate for us to intervene in that process.

I'm with AA too, I'd like to see fewer "fuck ya'll I'm leaving" prolonged MeTas as well.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:22 PM on March 3, 2008


Real adults don't need a button on a webpage to stop them from doing whatever harm it is they're bringing on themselves. If you don't want to post to MetaFilter anymore, there's a button-free way of doing it.
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:23 PM on March 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


I still oppose the Big Red Button. I don't think that it has made MeFi a better place.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:23 PM on March 3, 2008


i got derek arnold to write a script that was supposed to push the button repeatedly but it looped once and quit.
posted by quonsar at 12:26 PM on March 3, 2008 [7 favorites]


I hadn't thought about it, but if this idea would add to MORE flameouts rather than less, I'm definitely sorry I suggested it. And I guess it could, so feel free to close this pony thread.
posted by misha at 12:26 PM on March 3, 2008


I will refer you to my favorite allegory on the subject.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:28 PM on March 3, 2008


While we're discussing flameouts, a two parted question: To the admins, under what circumstances will you generally leave an I'm leaving thread open? To the members, under what circumstances should an I'm leaving thread be left open?
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:28 PM on March 3, 2008


Real adults don't need a button on a webpage to stop them from doing whatever harm it is they're bringing on themselves.

Depends on how you define 'real adult', I guess. But there are lots of addictions that people have real trouble breaking. Not that metafilter compares to Heroin, or anything like that.
posted by delmoi at 12:28 PM on March 3, 2008


For scrump: hms_beagle, jonmc, konolia, dirtynumbangelboy, and I'm sorry if I am forgetting anyone!
posted by misha at 12:28 PM on March 3, 2008


Any member that wants to come back can come back no questions asked.

That's a terrible plan. You should at least make them pay a $50 drama queen tax. If only to pray for lotion for the hands of all the poor handwringers.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:29 PM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


Flameout threads, regardless of the desires of some rabid metatalk vultures, don't do anyone any good.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:30 PM on March 3, 2008


Metafilter: Pray for lotion
posted by cashman at 12:31 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Fuck ya'll, I'm staying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:31 PM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


But then they just email us and we'll straighten it out. No lectures, no dirty looks.

Wasn't the point of the button to prevent emails to mods asking to quit? It seems a pretty high proportion of people are coming back, or at least regulars are.
posted by cillit bang at 12:31 PM on March 3, 2008


I just know that many memberships require a verification email to *join*, and that a lot of newsletters, etc. require an "unsubscribe me" to, um, unjoin.

But newsletters require an "unsubscribe me" to unjoin because their user interface is email. We have an "unsubscribe me" function; the close button. We even have an "are you sure about that? function: a page that comes up from the Close link that asks for a password, explains that your account will be closed, and requires you to click on a literally bright-red button.

Stories about services that try to talk you out of closing your own account tend to cast the service provider as the antagonist.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:32 PM on March 3, 2008


BTGoG: as far as I'm concerned if someone has already left and there's no admin or site purpose to leaving the thread open, we'll close it. This may not have been true historically, but especially now when it's clearer that someone has left [i.e. disabled their account] there seems to be no reason to leave an "I'm leaving" thread open to invite a pile-on. However sometimes people turn a thread on another topic into an "I'm leaving" thread. Then there's a bind between dealing with whatever issue prompted the thread in the first place, which may involve a lot of back and forth discussion or at least not quashing discussion that is already there, and not wanting the thread to turn into a "don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out" thread.

Realistically speaking people leave the site for the short term or the long term for all sorts of reasons and lots of speculation and accusation about someone's decision to leave when they're not around to set the record straight seems counterproductive.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:33 PM on March 3, 2008


Fair enough; if you're such a tool you can't get off the internet, change your password to a fine GUID like {9ECE42E2-91A1-47C9-B9A8-04D1BB455BAA}. I will even provide you new GUIDs free of charge. Drop me MeFiMail with your current password and I'll change it for you.

Real question, though: Why does the user info page even indicate that the account is disabled?
posted by 0xFCAF at 12:34 PM on March 3, 2008


Like opting out of facebook, cortex? "You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave."
posted by Dave Faris at 12:34 PM on March 3, 2008


Well, there's a purpose to I'm leaving threads.

think of Cindy Sheehan's flameout. I thought her reasoning was pretty stupid, but it encouraged an extremely constructive debate. Boycotts don't work without awareness of boycotts, ya know, and it can be argued that the public withdrawal of a popular and influential member, posted on Metatalk, is well within the purpose of Metatalk.
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:35 PM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


I gotta say, yeah, I'm with the "Who needs a button?" crowd, and I've actually used it.

It's not like it erases the user's existance -- their post and comments are still there for all to see. All the button actually seems to do -- besides locking the user out and, in some cases, making MeFi a quick $5 -- is serve as a sort of "fuck all y'all." I think that's why whenever a disabled message is noticed, someone's sure to post a MeTa thread titled, "Hey, look, so-and-so quit! WTF!?"

Maybe it's just the user disabled message that needs to go?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:35 PM on March 3, 2008


nb: that was a response to AA not jess, I really should preview :)
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:37 PM on March 3, 2008


Heh. He said mollycoddle.
posted by grateful at 12:38 PM on March 3, 2008


Pray for lotion

Ick. Should have been pay for lotion. And also:

hms_beagle, jonmc, konolia, dirtynumbangelboy, and I'm sorry if I am forgetting anyone!

But how many wonderful new members have joined in that period? It's the Circle of Life, dude.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:40 PM on March 3, 2008


Dave Faris : A 24-hour waiting period for snarky comments would be more useful.

Oh sure, first I have to wait to buy guns, now you want to limit my snark? Shit, place a cooling off period on booze and you might as well just bury me now.
posted by quin at 12:40 PM on March 3, 2008


While we're discussing flameouts, a two parted question: To the admins, under what circumstances will you generally leave an I'm leaving thread open? To the members, under what circumstances should an I'm leaving thread be left open?

From the admin side, these things are sort of powderkegs. I don't think there's a clear cut line in our thinking for close-or-don't—it doesn't happen that often, and I think handling may have gotten more closure-inclined over time as a reaction to how badly some of them have gone when left open. But some red flags I can think of:
- aggressive or ranty post language
- pre-emptive closure of their own account
- appearance of some site-history vendetta with other user(s)
- coming on the heels of recent site weirdness

Basically, anything where someone's all "I'm leaving and I'm never coming back" makes for a pretty questionable metatalk thread. I can imagine a hypothetical planned departure in good will being pretty okee-dokey, but I'm not sure when we last had one of those was.

Wasn't the point of the button to prevent emails to mods asking to quit? It seems a pretty high proportion of people are coming back, or at least regulars are.

Well, before we would get at least one email, and have to verify identity somehow and have to do some manual tweaking at the admin interface, for each person who quits, and deal with another email and more tweaking if they came back.

Now, we get one automated note from the system on closure, and the id verification is handled by the site. So we might get one email that needs effort, if someone comes back, but it's definitely a net reduction in admin resources required in general.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:43 PM on March 3, 2008


it can be argued that the public withdrawal of a popular and influential member, posted on Metatalk, is well within the purpose of Metatalk.

I don't mean to fall back on the "it's just a website" canard too much but at the end of the day it's not global politics. If you want the site to change, you stay and try to help change it, or talk to us, or do something here. If you decide you don't want to be here anymore, it seems decent to let you go without the risk of a MetaTalk thread where people might be assholes to you and you can not respond. If people want to use their departure from the site as a way to protest MetaFilter, it seems to me that there are a LOT of better ways to do that than clicking the "close account" button just after starting a "fuck y'all" thread in MeTa. If people's departure prompts a MeTa thread -- as this one sort of did in a manner of speaking -- we don't close them.

Wasn't the point of the button to prevent emails to mods asking to quit?

The point was that if people are unhappy enough to want to leave, we don't want to make them jump through any more hoops than technologically necessary in order to leave. Mathowie related how his trying to close his Pownce acount was the incentive for the feature. It's not like the emails were bugging us, but rather people would email at night and say "close my account!" and their account would get closed ... sometime when we got the message. We felt that we could do better and make the process simpler.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:44 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Personally, I think when someone quits MetaFilter, the mods should send them an angel who magically transports them to a world where MetaFilter never existed.

In this world, Microsoft will have taken over the internet, and renamed it to "Gatesville". Countless people will be stuck in bad relationships because nobody told them to DTMFA. Librarians will have no place to congregate online. In other words, Hell On Earth.

When the angel brings the mefite back, we will all have a big party. Someone will have a laundry basket full of cash that will get dumped out on the table. Someone else will read a telegram from some rich guy. Everybody will sing that one song that everybody sings at New Years. Also, a bell will ring and we'll all know what that means.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:44 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sys Rq : Maybe it's just the user disabled message that needs to go?

I'd actually hope not. I really don't like the "Fuck ya'll, I'm outta here" threads, but I do like the visual flag that someone isn't using their account any more.

I don't know why, because the idea of people leaving in anger certainly bothers me, but I like to know when they've made that decision. I think it's because it's a reminder to me that people can take these conversations seriously, and feelings can be hurt.

And because of that, I should raise my game to make sure I don't ever put anyone in that position.

Of course, my posting history demonstrates that I haven't gotten to this point yet, but it's something for me to aspire to.

Right?
posted by quin at 12:46 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I just spent five minutes searching before realizing you meant Sheehan's flameout from her movement, not MetaFilter. I think that's a poor parallel - firstly, your definition of 'a popular and influential member' may be completely different from mine. Secondly, flameouts haven't given rise to constructive debates; they may help focus dialogues that benefit the community, but often they just end up with Team "I Miss MeFite X" barking at Team "MeFite X Wasn't That Great". I'm uncomfortable with the idea of MeFiCeleb Culture to begin with, and flameout MeTas feed into that and perpetuate it and assorted petty nonsense more than anything else, IMO.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:51 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


I vote to grease the monkey. He likes it when he's greased.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:55 PM on March 3, 2008


It seems silly to argue that people shouldn't be able to choose to leave the site under their own terms, when they want to. The mods are welcoming to those who wish to come back.

We shouldn't change a portion of the site that has some usefulness so that drunks can have a do-over. If you're drinking, posting and getting angry enough to close your account here, perhaps a little shame might prevent an action that's largely frowned upon in the future.
posted by scabrous at 12:55 PM on March 3, 2008


Neither of us define who is a popular and influential member - the community decides that.

Additionally, people who leave in a dignified manner do elicit constructive discussion. People who leave in an angry manner elicit snark. The same with any MeTa post, really - dignity and clear wording elicits same from responses.
posted by By The Grace of God at 12:55 PM on March 3, 2008


I do support a looped, autoplaying MIDI of "She's Leaving Home" on every disabled user page, though. Cortex?
And now I'm leaving1, and I don't know when I'll be back2! If ever3!

1 For work.
2 Depends on which bus I catch.
3 The bus could get hijacked or beamed up by aliens or some such shit, I suppose.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:02 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I vote that everyone smokes a fat doob and chills out. I'll start.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:05 PM on March 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


You could quit every night before you went to bed and unquit every morning

At last—a plan of action!
posted by languagehat at 1:07 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Way to take one for the team, Meatbomb.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:07 PM on March 3, 2008


Aw shit, jonmc quit? I missed that. What was that about?
posted by sveskemus at 1:08 PM on March 3, 2008


Hey, okay, okay, quit bogarting one for the team already.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:09 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Those flameout threads were soooo much more entertaining back when MF had the img tag.
posted by jasper411 at 1:13 PM on March 3, 2008


Sys Rq said: "I gotta say, yeah, I'm with the "Who needs a button?" crowd, and I've actually used it."

I knew it! I had a feeling about you. Who were you before?

Alvy Ampersand said: "I just spent five minutes searching before realizing you meant Sheehan's flameout from her movement, not MetaFilter. "

Thank God. I was all, "Cindy Sheehan was a member? The Texas Mad Protesting Mom was a 'Mefi's Own'? And I never heard this before now? Shee-it."
posted by pineapple at 1:16 PM on March 3, 2008


Sheeeeeeeeeeeiiiiit!!
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:22 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I will vote for a Push In Case of Remorse Button only because I've never been around when a flameout thread has still been open, and I've always wanted to ask this question.
posted by gnomeloaf at 1:22 PM on March 3, 2008


Those who leave should pay $5 to return. Pass the dutchie.
posted by adamvasco at 1:24 PM on March 3, 2008


Any member that wants to come back can come back no questions asked.

Then what's the purpose? It seems to me that the button serves no function at all, much like those buttons at crosswalks.
posted by justgary at 1:25 PM on March 3, 2008


Apparently you've never actually tried to leave.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:26 PM on March 3, 2008


My only issue with people closing their accounts is that I think re-opening them should cost another $5. I think that would cut down on the heat of the moment closings, and if not, at least Matt can make some money off it.
posted by puke & cry at 1:28 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


$5 isn't going to keep anyone from doing something rash, especially when their every intention is to leave, never to return. The only instance where this might work is if it was habitual.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:30 PM on March 3, 2008


The only instance where this might work is if it was habitual.

Exactly. And the rare-to-unprecedented case where that's an issue is probably exactly the sort of thing that would lead to a "you really need to make up your mind about this" discussion from us, so, eh.

Then what's the purpose?

The purpose is to let people who want to close their own account close their own account. The ones who come back are a secondary matter; the ones who leave in a genuinely spiteful huff and then want to reopen their account are a serious edgecase, not something that's happening every couple days.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:36 PM on March 3, 2008


Would any of you button-pushing thread jockeys happen to have dirtynumbangelboy's email address? Please to mefimail it to me.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:40 PM on March 3, 2008


This feature, and it is a feature, doesn't make MetaFilter a worse place, except insofar as it leads to a kind of confirmation bias among hand-wringing people inclined to think that "the good old days" were, in fact, the good old days. It's appropriate that users be able to disable their accounts, and remove the personal information stored there, relatively easily.
posted by OmieWise at 1:41 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Recent huffs have been a bit meh. As jasper411 observed, "flameouts were sooo much more entertaining when MF had the img tag".
Someone would have photoshopped a pony wearing a big red I QUIT button and all the wits would vie to be the first to post it.
posted by Cranberry at 1:41 PM on March 3, 2008


The ones who come back are a secondary matter; the ones who leave in a genuinely spiteful huff and then want to reopen their account are a serious edgecase, not something that's happening every couple days.

Not anymore. Now I have something to do after I'm laid off.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 1:43 PM on March 3, 2008


I have a better idea.

I want a 24-hour pre-flameout event warning. Get some pre-cogs wired up to the server and have them send out an email to regular MetaTalk users 24 hours before a flameout or disabling of a popular account occurs. That way I can have a) a case of Fat Tire and a bottle of Johnny Walker Black ready, b) popcorn made, c) well thought out snarks too keep the flameout fires stoked.

If there were good old days (something I don't really believe), the only thing that's different these days is the number of quality flameouts.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:44 PM on March 3, 2008


HURF DURF BUTTER BUTTON PUSHERS
posted by scody at 1:46 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


A quick email to an admin fixes a regretted closure really easily

Ohhh I'm gonna quit for a day.
posted by jeblis at 1:47 PM on March 3, 2008


You know, the thing to do is to have a really elaborate flameout, maybe with pictures and a video, on another site. Then that flameout can be linked by a friend on the blue as a fpp, along with links to other notable flameouts throughout history. (E.g. Hitler)

This way, the flameout survives via a crucial loophole.
posted by Pastabagel at 1:53 PM on March 3, 2008


Don't count on it. Have you seen the number of front page posts that get deleted every day? Besides... because it's been demonstrated that being a friend of the content is still too close. It'd only work in Projects, and no one reads that.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:57 PM on March 3, 2008


I want a 24-hour pre-flameout event warning
I could bring creme brulees and get them caramelized just so...
posted by Wolfdog at 1:58 PM on March 3, 2008


I want a 24-hour pre-flameout event warning.

I have for a long time wondered if it would be possible to do at least some very fuzzy prediction on brewing flameouts (or, more generally, brewing superheated RAWR RAWR arguments and meltdowns). Metrics would include an analysis (over a running period of, say, 3-6 hours) of comment frequency, comment length, use of profanity, flags and favorites attached to comments: all of that compared against the user's historical baseline activity, maybe.

Factor in a few other items too, like recent deletions, user starting (or being named in) a metatalk thread, proliferation of user's username in comments by other people (both in meltdown thread(s) and as a non-sequitur in unrelated threads, links to user's comments (both current and past), use of the words "flameout" or "languagehat" in comments by other users, etc.

Would it work? I have no idea. It'd probably be possible put together a decent model that would correctly identify a lot of past meltdowns as such, but I wonder if there'd be an awful lot of false-positives, too. As an actual admin tool, it'd be handy to have some reason to keep an extra eye on something and early, but if the early-warning watch-and-defuse system was barking at the moon 90% of the time, that's not so useful.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:03 PM on March 3, 2008 [6 favorites]


"Aw shit, jonmc quit? I missed that. What was that about?"

Too much talk, not enough rock.
posted by klangklangston at 2:05 PM on March 3, 2008


Maybe they're all starting a different metafilter somewhere and this is just their way of, you know, ascending or something. As soon as you click the "Close Your Account" button the blue changes to purple and everyone's user number is under 1000.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 2:05 PM on March 3, 2008 [14 favorites]


If 246 people favorite this comment, I'll do something, don't know what yet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:06 PM on March 3, 2008 [9 favorites]


Can I have a button that lets me quit while I'm at work and am kinda bored but should be doing something productive, but then lets me in automatically when it's after work or when I really don't have anything better to do while I'm there?

So maybe locks me out 45% of the time while I'm at work?

But not today, because I have the day off.

Just so you know.
posted by klangklangston at 2:07 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Too much talk, not enough rock.

Non sequitor: When I first read that, i could've sworn it said, "Too much talk, not enough cock."

Carry on.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 2:11 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love how cortex is all "meh meh meh we need metrics to be helpful, so we can predict for the sake of administration, so we can watch and defuse."

When you know nine-tenths of us who just read that post were thinking "I have for a long time wondered if it would be possible to do at least some very fuzzy prediction on brewing flameouts ...that would correctly identify a lot of past meltdowns as such, but I wonder if there'd be an awful lot of false-positives, too. As an actual admin tool, it'd be handy to have some reason to keep an extra eye on something and early"

FOR A TOTALLY SWEET FLAMEOUT POOL, TEN BUCKS TO ENTER, PAYS OUT EVERY FRIDAY, PLS SEND XTRA TO COVER PAYPAL FEES.

(klang, I think there's a greasemonkey script for that. not kidding.)
posted by pineapple at 2:14 PM on March 3, 2008


Brandon Blatcher: If 246 people favorite this comment, I'll do something, don't know what yet.

If 248 people favorite this comment I'll do whatever he does twice.
posted by flatluigi at 2:15 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Back in the days when actually I knew young people, there used to be a post-relationship break-up thing known as "the feeb". It happens to practically everyone, alas, and can be easily identified by that moment in time when you're with your ex, on fragile good terms, and you tell her that 'yes, your makeup does look shiny'. You know the person well enough to know what disconcerts them, and you play upon it.

Everybody knows this is a control thing, and that it reflects more on you than the object of your scorn, and that it's a definite indicator you need to take some time out. It's called 'the feeb' because it's a feeble grasp at imagined relevance past, and relevance lost. It's an inability to move on, or recognise your status as not the be-all and end-all. From the person, from the thread, from real or imagined slights.

And it goes away with time. Slowly and inexorably. The grim brutality of maturity, even amongst those who have been through hell and back. Self-righteousness rights itself through socialisation.

And the most annoying thing, at that time, is people who have been through it themselves and can pinpoint what it is your doing. Who wants to hear that it's not their own special Hell?

I'm overwriting this to the max, but if anybody has dnab's email, drop me a mefimail.
posted by Sparx at 2:15 PM on March 3, 2008 [5 favorites]


I WISH I KNEW HOW TO UNQUIT YOU!
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:31 PM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


Screw you guys, I'm going home.
posted by brain_drain at 2:35 PM on March 3, 2008


I gotta say, yeah, I'm with the "Who needs a button?" crowd,...
posted by Sys Rq at 12:35 PM on March 3

Eponysterical.
posted by euphorb at 2:37 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I love you guys, but the idea of having even one artificial impediment to me getting the hell out when I want to "for the good of the community" gives me 1d6+4 heebies and 2d8 jeebies. Hell, the only reason I'm down with the "Are you sure, please give your password" stuff is because without out it I can imagine my sleepy self accidentally defecting when I think I'm one-clicking myself a warehouse-sized pack of Slim Jims from Amazon.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 2:42 PM on March 3, 2008 [4 favorites]


You could quit every night before you went to bed and unquit every morning and it's between you and your own personal moral compass.

*resists urge to test the admins' patience.*
posted by shmegegge at 2:44 PM on March 3, 2008


I somehow managed to get rid of the button so I don't accidentally off myself after too much Taaka blue label. I'm not even sure how I did either, because I think I accomplished that after too much Taaka blue label.
posted by puke & cry at 2:48 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


One more request for Dirty Numb Bagel Boy's email.
posted by jtron at 2:53 PM on March 3, 2008


It seems a pretty high proportion of people are coming back, or at least regulars are.

I don't have the numbers handy, but I'd guess we're talking a dozen people have left and come back. Maybe 100 people have ever disabled their account. If you figure 5-10 people sign up a day, it's not like the "close account" button is draining the userbase because it's not used too much. Obviously, we're sad to see long-term people go and it definitely sucks when users make a big deal of their own exit, but I think in general it's a good thing that "close account" is an option because people wanting to get the hell out of here at least have an option and they don't have to ask/threaten/scream at us when we just kept their accounts as-is.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:55 PM on March 3, 2008


Astro Zombie writes "I vote to eliminate. I just did, and it really was helpful."

It's election day here; can I eliminate as my vote?
posted by never used baby shoes at 3:03 PM on March 3, 2008


I have constructed a MeTa sim, where I hone my flameout technique (and revel in the ensuing drama) with no consequences. Additionaly, sim-jonmc routinely writes tearful screeds defending Morrissey.
posted by everichon at 3:11 PM on March 3, 2008


Also, I routinely have Matt flameout, which is kind of like watching "The Day After", but without the hair loss.
posted by everichon at 3:14 PM on March 3, 2008


he idea of having even one artificial impediment to me getting the hell out when I want to "for the good of the community" gives me 1d6+4 heebies and 2d8 jeebies

In v4 it's a special feat you get at second level. You don't even have to roll.
posted by Sparx at 3:17 PM on March 3, 2008


Is it obvious to people leaving that they can come back, no questions asked? Like, is there a small message on the screen after they closed their account saying something like "If you decide to reopen at any time just email the mods and theyll do it, no questions asked."? Because it kind of worries me that people may not realise that this option exists. And while they obviously dont want the option right then when theyre leaving, it might be nice to make sure they know just in case for the future.
posted by shelleycat at 3:20 PM on March 3, 2008


You're my kind of hominid, Sparx.
posted by L. Fitzgerald Sjoberg at 3:21 PM on March 3, 2008


Dave Faris: "This place is already too much about humiliation."

Boy, do I agree with that. Yes, I will admit to getting out the popcorn and watching the occasional flameout with some glee, but, I think that speaks poorly of me. The flameout threads are MeFi social humiliation in flashing upper-case letters, and the less of that we have, I think, the better.

As a bit of an aside, I think DNAB was very poorly treated in the thread that led to him quitting. I wish I'd been reading it, because I would have chimed in. That whole "conversation" was a disgrace.
posted by Malor at 3:23 PM on March 3, 2008


argh, superfluous comma after the first "but". Sorry.

(editing posts: a pony worth having!)
posted by Malor at 3:25 PM on March 3, 2008


I vote to eliminate the "Post Comment" feature.

*eagerly awaits the Rhetorical AskMe subsite*
posted by phatkitten at 3:26 PM on March 3, 2008


I miss occhiblu.

There have been a few threads where I thought "and now occhiblu will come and smite this idiotic line of reasoning or set of assumptions!" and then... nothing.

I am completely unable to fill her shoes and so sit in shameful silence. Or, very occasionally, wade in and botch the whole thing.
posted by small_ruminant at 3:38 PM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


"as far as I'm concerned if someone has already left and there's no admin or site purpose to leaving the thread open, we'll close it. This may not have been true historically, but especially now when it's clearer that someone has left [i.e. disabled their account] there seems to be no reason to leave an "I'm leaving" thread open to invite a pile-on."

Of course comments that would have gone in the "I'm leaving" thread end up elsewhere.
posted by Tenuki at 3:40 PM on March 3, 2008


Is it obvious to people leaving that they can come back, no questions asked?

We say it in MetaTalk pretty much every other day, yeah. It's also in the FAQ.

And I agree, I thought people were being jerks to dnab. I also thought he was being a jerk right back. It was really difficult to figure out, after the thread had at least more or less re-railed, what to do about that mess.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:43 PM on March 3, 2008


I'd just like to express my support for the immediate closure and deletion of any "Fuck All Y'all, I'm Going And Here's Why" MeTas.
Yes - the dnab thread that's on the main page of the gray would disappear if I had the magic wand. Praise be that mathowie was awake to close it, and for his neutral tone in comments when he closes stuff like that.

You could quit every night before you went to bed and unquit every morning
Malebranche-filter!



I think the button is something mefi should have, and I wonder why it's been the source of so much dramarama. Maybe if it wasn't red and exciting?

Or maybe it's not the button but a spiritual problem with the gray-readers? That it's winter (in the NoHem) and people are cooped up with their glowing screen demons too much, and the subset of the users who hang out in Meta have gotten into a self-sustaining vibe of meanness instead of light snark? Do people think there's a different vibee in MeTa specifically than there was, say a year ago?
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:43 PM on March 3, 2008


Buttons don't close user accounts; users close user accounts.

Should I flameout and push the button, I would like my profile page to play "The Night Paddy Murphy Died" and buy everyone a whiskey in celebration.
posted by Tehanu at 3:49 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also cortex has a bit more to say about the thread that inspired the dnab flameout, more useful than me, for certain.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:51 PM on March 3, 2008


Is there really a red button? I see a little bit of text. Is there a red button beyond that for reals? I always assumed it was a joke-- haha don't push the SHINY RED BUTTON.
posted by Tehanu at 3:51 PM on March 3, 2008


Ugh. That thread is like the best of the internet slamming into the worst of the internet at 3 AM. And by that I mean a big mess and a whole lot of hurt and confusion.
posted by Tehanu at 3:53 PM on March 3, 2008


Jésus, je me suis juste joint aux personnes de rassemblement. Si j'obtiens le chahuteur trop foutu, je me donne une minuterie.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:55 PM on March 3, 2008


d'oh. i liked flirty dumb bagel boy :(
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:59 PM on March 3, 2008


Is there really a red button? I see a little bit of text. Is there a red button beyond that for reals? I always assumed it was a joke-- haha don't push the SHINY RED BUTTON.

Tehanu, click on the bit of text. It'll take you to the screen with the red button, which you can view with relative safety since you have to type in your password to arm it.

Also cortex has a bit more to say about the thread that inspired the dnab flameout, more useful than me, for certain.

That's funny; I was just getting caught up in here and thinking I should've, could've been briefer by just quoting you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:59 PM on March 3, 2008


er............. can we have an exposition mod or something ?
it's getting very tough to keep up with who's leaving !
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:07 PM on March 3, 2008


Well, I been thinkin' lately 'bout all this account disablin' and so on, you know, and I wrote a little song about it, called the Account Disabled Blues:

I went and punched that button
To shut down my account
I got those ol' disabled blues
In very high amount,
Lord knows I got 'em...
Them ol' account disabled blues.
From my ol' jonmc baseball cap
down to my Hermitosis shoes.

I'm like a kid without a toy,
Or dirtynumbangelboy,
Hey man it's like I tol' ya,
I feel just like Konolia,
Man I got 'em...
Them ol' account disabled blues.
Now I can't post no comments,
Y'all go on out and spread the news.

I'm tired of being offline,
Just layin' round this shack,
I believe I'll be like quonsar,
And get myself on back,
Cause babe I got 'em...
This ain't the way I oughtta choose.
I gotta get on back to MeFi,
Lose these account disabled blues.

I'm gonna get on back to MeFi, y'all
And looooooooose... these account disabled blues.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:09 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


awwwwwww, isn't that cute?
posted by timeistight at 4:10 PM on March 3, 2008


Ah. Thanks, cortex. Wow, so it's really a red button. I feel kinda dumb now. If the ponies are for reals, I may have to quit to internet myself.
posted by Tehanu at 4:10 PM on March 3, 2008


With members flaming out in rapid succession recently (and I know that people do this all the time, but we seem to have a cluster right now), how difficult would it be for The Button to require email verification, say 24 hours after it is hit, before an account is actually closed?

He's just not that into you.
posted by ersatz at 4:12 PM on March 3, 2008


I vote to rename the "Close My Account" button "Whuuuu!"
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:32 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


As much as I hate to admit it, these brussels sprouts are undercooked.
posted by disclaimer at 4:34 PM on March 3, 2008


jonmc quit? occhiblu quit? What's going on here? That's what I get for staying away for two months, I guess.
posted by dg at 4:40 PM on March 3, 2008


Flameout threads are addicting. Maybe we should starta 12-step group. Hi everyone, I'm Russ...Anybody got any popcornand I am powerless over flameouts.
posted by RussHy at 4:41 PM on March 3, 2008


i liked flirty dumb bagel boy :(

I liked him too, but just as with konolia and thehmsbeagle, being on the site always seemed to me to cause them so much more misery than pleasure. I'll never understand why any of them hung around as long as they did. If anything made me that unhappy, that often, I'd be off like a shot. Of course, if it was a website, I'd just stop reading it?

Life's too short.

jonmc's leaving was a surprise though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:47 PM on March 3, 2008


Someone should start a spinoff project where all people do is take turns flaming out. It could be like a dessert theater thing: every week, it's a new flameout, and each of you gets a dossier explaining your role, your relationship to the other characters, and—if you're the flamerouter—the timing and circumstances of your flameout-to-be.

And then everyone would chat merrily along, fulfilling their key plot bits according to their dossiers ("on tuesday, reveal that you have been cybering with ken65r's wife", or "defend a random stupid assertion for ten straight comments and then log off for the rest of the night"). It'd build up at last to the flameout proper, which people have been guessing at but only the star knows is coming for sure (red herrings and feints from other players to keep things lively).

Then, blammo! The manifesto or screed or kissoff or tear-stained goodbye that the star has been working up for the last few days, kazamm, and everybody goes nuts. Then a couple days of denouement, people have the weekend to recover, and on Monday it's a new set of players with fresh dossiers and it all starts over.

And the big twist is: that's actually what's been going on here for eight years muhahahahaHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:51 PM on March 3, 2008 [8 favorites]


"hms_beagle, jonmc, konolia, dirtynumbangelboy, and I'm sorry if I am forgetting anyone!

But how many wonderful new members have joined in that period?"


None that will be able to replace them, I'm sure.

*hoists glass*

*drinks*

*falls over and passes out*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:51 PM on March 3, 2008


Maybe instead of "this account is disabled" we should have it say "lurker," and then it won't seem so weird to meet de-activated users at meetups after the fact. (I met occhiblu only after her departure.) Pushing the button feels like walking away from the community in a huff, and it really ought not. Also, it would help imply that they're simply not contributing, but we all assume they're reading the site at least occasionally.

I dunno, surrounding EB's departure, which took place at the time we were enjoying a burgeoning friendship in email, I went from being really selfishly and emotionally dead-set against the practice of giving up on this community to a little more laissez-faire, a little more "fine, you can't take the heat? out of the kitchen and good riddance," but it's true: Everyone needs a hug.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:53 PM on March 3, 2008

jessamyn: I don't mean to fall back on the "it's just a website" canard too much but at the end of the day it's not global politics.
This has nothing to do with anything, but I think you misused 'canard' there, which means a [usually deliberate] falsehood. Wouldn't "cliche" or something similar have been more appropriate?
0xFCAF: ...change your password to a fine GUID like {9ECE42E2-91A1-47C9-B9A8-04D1BB455BAA}. I will even provide you new GUIDs free of charge.
Eponyhexical?
posted by hincandenza at 5:01 PM on March 3, 2008


Pushing the button feels like walking away from the community in a huff, and it really ought not.

Well, I think it's more that pushing the button right after a bit of drama on the site feels that way. It's just that that move is the kind that attracts attention—when there's no huffery, there's not usually so much Whuuuu going around either.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:07 PM on March 3, 2008


Can I have a shiny new pony

I want a hand-carved wooden unicorn pony

Stop messing with our mind.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:30 PM on March 3, 2008


I thought people were being jerks to dnab. I also thought he was being a jerk right back.

Yup. And people being jerks is part of the MeFi experience; if you can't take it, you should leave. There's a whole world out there.

Si j'obtiens le chahuteur trop foutu, je me donne une minuterie.

Is minuterie 'timeout'? Formidable!
posted by languagehat at 5:32 PM on March 3, 2008


Here is another story I think you'll really like. I am linking to it now so that the next time I can just pullquote it.
I said that they shouldn’t be frightened (although I am often frightened) and that there was value everywhere.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:36 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


Probably right pissed off now that some people are typing dirty numb bagel boy instead of dirty numb angel boy. More straw!
posted by tellurian at 5:38 PM on March 3, 2008


That's a great story—thanks, jessamyn! And this can be pullquoted when a n00b shows up:

Then there was a knock on the door, I opened the door, and the new gerbil walked in. The children cheered wildly.

posted by languagehat at 5:44 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: I spent quite a while the other day watching videos tagged with "hamster" on my phone. [cite]
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:54 PM on March 3, 2008


OK, here's the dilemma- if I flame out here on MeTa and disable my account in a fit of pique, I know that I can get my account reinstated, but will you delete the MeTa thread as well when it becomes apparent that, really, no one gives a crap?
posted by mkultra at 6:00 PM on March 3, 2008


could we get a list of self-disabled accounts sorted by favorites/comments/userid, sorta like a memorial to fallen MeFites?

and would that make quonsar a zombie?
posted by spiderwire at 6:12 PM on March 3, 2008


Well, that does it! I'm leaving Metafilter forever! So long, fuckers!
posted by Krrrlson at 6:13 PM on March 3, 2008


I'm back.
posted by Krrrlson at 6:13 PM on March 3, 2008


oh, oh, you know what would be even better? if the names scrolled up the screen like the credits sequence in an old NES game, while some cheesy MIDI song plays in the background.
posted by spiderwire at 6:15 PM on March 3, 2008 [3 favorites]


HA! That joke just never gets old, eh Krrrlson? Ranks right up there with the "This X, it vibrates?" joke and the "I for one welcome our X overlords." Keep up the good work, big guy.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:18 PM on March 3, 2008


HA! That joke just never gets old, eh Krrrlson? Ranks right up there with the "This X, it vibrates?" joke and the "I for one welcome our X overlords." Keep up the good work, big guy.

In Soviet Russia, button bans you.

Wait, no. That's not right. Oh, screw it.
posted by spiderwire at 6:20 PM on March 3, 2008


You know who I miss, and would have been perfect for taunting with the B.R.B.? BlueTrain. Whatever happened to that hothead, anyway?
posted by yhbc at 7:00 PM on March 3, 2008


spiderwire: In Soviet Russia, joke fucks up you.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:02 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just ban it!

Dude, you're gettin' a ban!

Where's the ban?

Even your closest friends won't ban you.

I'm bannin' it.

Think outside the ban.

Mmm, mmm, ban.

Plop, plop, fizz, fizz. Oh what a ban it is!
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 7:09 PM on March 3, 2008


HA! That joke just never gets old, eh Krrrlson? Ranks right up there with the "This X, it vibrates?" joke and the "I for one welcome our X overlords." Keep up the good work, big guy.

I do not know why I am fated to post that every time someone Leaves Metafilter Forever8482;. I can only grimly accept my fate.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:15 PM on March 3, 2008


Oh, fuck this Unicode bullshit.
posted by Krrrlson at 7:16 PM on March 3, 2008


if I flame out here on MeTa and disable my account in a fit of pique, I know that I can get my account reinstated, but will you delete the MeTa thread as well when it becomes apparent that, really, no one gives a crap?

If by "delete" you mean "frame and put on the wall", yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:27 PM on March 3, 2008 [2 favorites]


jonmc quit? occhiblu quit? What's going on here? That's what I get for staying away for two months, I guess.

jonmc quit after he found himself liking the '80s Alice Cooper more than the '70s Alice Cooper. Apparently he blamed it on Metafilter.
posted by NoMich at 7:30 PM on March 3, 2008


Well, that makes perfect sense.
posted by dg at 8:10 PM on March 3, 2008


"hms_beagle, jonmc, konolia, dirtynumbangelboy, and I'm sorry if I am forgetting anyone!

hermitosis. Hopefully he'll still be coming to meetups.
posted by StickyCarpet at 8:14 PM on March 3, 2008


You know how everybody always has to mention that they read dnab's name as "dirty-numb-bagel-boy" (although I always read it as "bangle-boy"). From my first lurking days, every single time I read jonmc's name in my head it is pronounced "Jon Mc-Cee." Every time. Even right now, when I'm writing about how only I read jonmc as "Jon Mc-Cee," I read "jonmc" as "Jon Mick-Cee."

Is this what it feels like to go crazy? Don't even ask me what my rabbit tells me to do.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:16 PM on March 3, 2008


Showing someone clicking on the big red button would be a good ending to the MetaFilter documentary.
posted by Sailormom at 8:21 PM on March 3, 2008


I know exactly what you mean, Bookmouse.
posted by brain_drain at 8:35 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


except it's clearly "jon emcee", like a DJ at a rave. makes perfect sense to me.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:29 PM on March 3, 2008 [1 favorite]


I pronounce it as "jonm see."

To pronounce a "nm," start with an "n" then kind of swallow it and finish with an "m."
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 10:23 PM on March 3, 2008


mate, if i'd kinda swallowed it, i can assure you i wouldn't be finishing with an "m".
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:26 AM on March 4, 2008


Don't even ask me what my rabbit tells me to do.

When the rabbit starts to agree with the squirrels...well, don't make the same mistake I did. Just get out.
posted by malocchio at 9:04 AM on March 4, 2008


Thank you for providing more attention to these flamers. Good job.
posted by arnold at 10:22 AM on March 4, 2008


OMG DID YOU JUST SAY FLAMERS
posted by Sys Rq at 10:25 AM on March 4, 2008


Is minuterie 'timeout'? Formidable!

It's supposed to be, yes. I think my translator needs a timeout. It was supposed to say "whenever I find myself getting too rowdy, I give myself a timeout."

Sometimes things just sound better in French. Je suis trés faché! (I am very angry!) I'm not sure how "flameout" would translate. I think the "a" in "faché" is supposed to have a caret, btw, but I can't remember how to do make it.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 12:44 PM on March 4, 2008


I didn't realize that AFTER the BRB is pushed, there's an "Are you sure you want to do this?" password page. I guess that's really what I meant as verification--something that will wake you up out of that whole flameout mentality and make you really think about the ramifications of what you are doing.

It's like when you are half asleep, and click on something by mistake, and a screen comes up and says, "Are you SURE you want to delete the contents of your hard drive?"
posted by misha at 2:29 PM on March 4, 2008


Y'all will notice this is my first comment to MeTa, ever.

I'm an Ask-er, mostly, and for the longest time I wondered what all the hoohah was with MeTa. Over at Ask, it's always MeTa this, MeTa that, and OMFG SOMEONE HAS GOT TO ASK THIS AT MeTa!!!ONEWTF.

And you know what? Watching admins snark is fun. I'm gonna have to be checking in over here now.
posted by SlyBevel at 8:15 PM on March 4, 2008


Oh, and I'm also going to have to start planning my uber-theatrical flameout, a la Cortex's Flameout Cabaret Theatre comment above.

Don't worry, I'll get myself reinstated the morning after.
posted by SlyBevel at 8:36 PM on March 4, 2008


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