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He should have known he would get responces like this from wacked-out liberals.
March 4, 2008 1:38 AM   Subscribe

Okay, so this is an idiotic question.. Given that, howzabout everyone (myself included) sits on our hands since I just don't think anything helpful remains to be said.

Except that orthogonality's answer was pretty awesome, and actually answered the question.
posted by Deathalicious to MetaFilter-Related at 1:38 AM (361 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

Who would Jesus flag?
posted by dersins at 1:40 AM on March 4, 2008 [8 favorites]


Eh, we all know it will be deleted when the mods wake up. Also, Officer JesusPants has gone to bed.
posted by chiababe at 1:41 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Oh... now it comes to MeTa. You know frankly I thought we were handling it just fine on our own.

Dude is a fucking class-A dickhead and deserved every lump served to him.
posted by wfrgms at 1:41 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Who would Jesus flag troll?

Fixed that for me.
posted by dersins at 1:42 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Automated means to game Craigslist violate its terms of use. For that reason alone the question should be removed.

A similar question would be asking the best ways on how to sneak into a movie theatre through the fire exits. That's not what Ask Metafilter is for.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:42 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Except that orthogonality's answer was pretty awesome, and actually answered the question."

For some definitions of "answer", yes.
posted by orthogonality at 1:43 AM on March 4, 2008 [8 favorites]


And Wroksie is just all over it like white on rice:

I would immediately send a link to the question in which you ask about DOWNLOADING MUSIC ILLEGALLY through Limewire to the RIAA in order to help them out with their 'sting operations'. Or did you post the question in order to entrap the people who might want to help you find a stupid, terrible, shitty song for your 'girlfriend'?
I am absolutely blown away by what a hypocritical douchebag idiot you are. Completely flabbergasted.

posted by wfrgms at 1:44 AM on March 4, 2008


Oh and Blazecock has the gist of why it's a bad AskMe
posted by wfrgms at 1:45 AM on March 4, 2008


For some definitions of "answer", yes

I see what you did there. And I like it.
posted by dersins at 1:46 AM on March 4, 2008


Troll. Don't feed. Just flag.
posted by sveskemus at 1:47 AM on March 4, 2008


wfrgms: Yeah, well... go fuck yourself churchy.

Favorited. Because he said "churchy."
posted by dhammond at 1:47 AM on March 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Ok, I'm dense. Someone clue me in.
posted by chiababe at 1:48 AM on March 4, 2008


On the brilliance of ortho's answer, that is.
posted by chiababe at 1:49 AM on March 4, 2008


princeofpersiaxz writes "We are helping the police with THEIR sting operation. And our church is active in over 100 weekly community events, thank you very much."

I find it difficult to believe that a state agent would ask a church to put itself in the position of using deception to facilitate a sting.

But putting that aside, to what extent could such church action be justified theologically as part of a Christian church's mission? (I'm reminded of Luther's theological justifications for brutality against the Peasants' Revolts.) To what extent can scriptural support be found for this?
posted by orthogonality at 1:52 AM on March 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Oh shit, ortho, were you joking? Was that all made up to make the process of flagging a post to death seem long? If so, you had me fooled. I thought I was getting some insight on Craigslist.
posted by ALongDecember at 1:52 AM on March 4, 2008


And Wroksie is just all over it like white on rice:

This princeofpersiaxz fellow really seems like a 24K hypocrite:

"This is driving her nuts, all she wants is to download that song or find out wheat CD it is on.. she has tried every variation of the song title in Limewire to no avail."

Stealing music, how unethical. It would be ironic indeed if someone turned the RIAA's attention to him.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:52 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


orthogonality, perhaps to his credit, maybe not, stayed above the fray and actually provided meaningful, step-by-step guidelines for gaming the flag system on Craig's List.
posted by wfrgms at 1:53 AM on March 4, 2008


Worthless thread.

See, I don't really care if it's illegal or not, "moral" or not. From an engineer's perspective, it's simply a misallocation of available resources. With the time and energy it takes to do this gaming bullshit, one could actually make a discernable, impactful difference in one's community.

But even that doesn't matter. It's a shitty fucking thread. I don't like shitty threads. This guy posts shitty threads and has contributed nothing to the MeFi community since registering, but feels the drive to be an asshole to people in that thread and not listen to anyone's reasoning.

If you're reading, princeofpersiaxz, lurk more and stop being a prick, or just flame out here on MeTa and leave.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:53 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


To what extent can scriptural support be found for this?

Dude. Scriptural support don't mean shit. Have any of the fuckers even read the bible? NO. If they had they wouldn't be building little Craig's List Nazi armies to police the random encounters section. For fuckssake...
posted by wfrgms at 1:56 AM on March 4, 2008


I don't mean to imply that you have to post a lot of great stuff to be here. Not at all. But you can't post and respond like that and not expect to get called out for it when ends up constituting a great portion of what you've ever contributed.
posted by Mikey-San at 1:58 AM on March 4, 2008


ALongDecember writes "Oh shit, ortho, were you joking? Was that all made up to make the process of flagging a post to death seem long? If so, you had me fooled. I thought I was getting some insight on Craigslist."

Well, more or less. The actual point was to obscure something else by throwing out several plausible red-herrings, and to put god-botherers through a pointless waste of time doing something harmlessly ineffective instead of anything actually harmful.

The actual "tell" or give-away is in my second comment, about the "CPU-time cost". While there would be a (minor) CPU-time cost, anyone who has read my askme comments on databases wold notice I'm ignoring the effectiveness of indices (or hashes, even) when I hand-wave about "comparing every IP to every IP in the table".

That said, what I outlined is mainly a plausible but overly-complicated Rube Goldberg mechanism for an automated flagging system. There's a much simpler mechanism (which others alluded to in the askme, and which is easy to come up with), which I am sure craigslist actually uses.
posted by orthogonality at 2:04 AM on March 4, 2008 [14 favorites]


Yeah, one particularly shitty thing I noticed is that pretty much all he does are post AskMes, and that's it. No answers in other threads, no helping others.

Unchristian.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:05 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


The fact that the asshole watches "To Catch a Predator" is pretty fucking telling on its own...
posted by wfrgms at 2:06 AM on March 4, 2008


Good night everybody! See you tomorrow morning when both of these threads are closed.
posted by Deathalicious at 2:07 AM on March 4, 2008


I mean... this guy is living out some sort of fantasy right? He watches To Catch a Predator then he gets this idea about busting whores on Craig's List... first he is saying he just wants to flag their posts and then he alludes to some sort of law enforcement involvement. WTF? What type of strange ass, authoritarian fantasy is this guy working through? Gezz... what a creep.
posted by wfrgms at 2:08 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well played ortho. I just would have said

Press Alt-F4 anytime a post comes up that you would like to flag. This special key combination submits the post to Craigslist and closes the window to allow for multiple reporting on multiple windows in rapid succession.

MetaTalk newstime is 10 minutes past the hour. We'll be back with more post-thread analysis after a quick traffic and weather update. Jess?
posted by ALongDecember at 2:09 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I found orthogonality's answer absolutely brilliant — simultaneously funny and appalling:
  1. It struck exactly the right tone. It probably doesn't say good things about my answers, but 90% of my own answers on AskMeFi have the same dry, unemotional feel.
  2. The verisimilitude of the answer was sufficient to fool those who have heard of the technical terms he used.
  3. The solution he proposed was amazingly and precisely calculated to be just cumbersome enough to significantly impair the effectiveness of those who adopt it, while not so cumbersome as to immediately discourage them from trying it.
  4. For a number of reasons, some technical and some not, the odds that craiglist uses the scheme described by orthogonality is precisely zero. As an anti-automated comment scheme, that implementation would be insane.
To be honest that answer actually kind of scares me. There are plenty of fields where I could easily be fooled by a seemingly reliable and informative answer AskMeFi. It might be naive of me, but I hadn't previously considered the fact that an answer might not just be wrong, but might be deliberately subtlety sabotaged.

Nonetheless, I practically fell out my chair laughing when I read orthogonality's answer.
posted by RichardP at 2:11 AM on March 4, 2008 [17 favorites]


wfrgms writes "orthogonality, perhaps to his credit, maybe not, stayed above the fray and actually provided meaningful, step-by-step guidelines for gaming the flag system on Craig's List."

Well.... actually I provide a magical-thinking OCD exercise backed up by wild-ass guesses and made up numbers, intended to keep that god-botherer tediously occupied downloading pics of prostitutes and counting seconds until he could make his next mouse click.

The only bad part was that I couldn't "break my cover" by favoriting wfgrms's excellent comments showing the difference between real Christianity and Mrs. Grundy-ism.
posted by orthogonality at 2:11 AM on March 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


I'm in the process of writing a long essay/short memoir type thingy about growing up in a family and community of people JUST LIKE this idiot and the abuse and persecution I suffered after I realized, around age 13, that I didn't actually believe in god, much less christianity, any more. I'm nearly 30 now and living half a world away from that place and I'm still trying to work all this shit out, and I think my rather OTT anger at people like this is indicative of that. Anyway, I had just rolled out of bed after a mostly sleepless night thinking about some particular scenes I'm trying to write, and this question was the first thing that showed up in my RSS feed and I kind of lost it. I should have left it alone, since it's going to be deleted, and I know that people like this get off on feeling like martyrs and they KNOW that they're right and everyone else is wrong, even in the face of truth and logic. Head, meet brick wall. Seriously, this guy seems kind of young, so I hope he realizes how wrong he is at some point, and I hope a minimum of people (prostitutes or otherwise) are hurt by him and his 'church'.
Also, Ortho, I love you.
posted by Wroksie at 2:17 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Argh...
answer on AskMeFi. It might be naive of me, but I hadn't previously considered the fact that an answer might not just be wrong, but might be deliberately subtl et y sabotaged.
posted by RichardP at 2:19 AM on March 4, 2008


Yeah, what Wroksie said x 1,000,000. And also, I love you too Ortho, you marvelous bastard.
posted by wfrgms at 2:21 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Oh, the shame...totally fooled by orthogonality's posts. A flicker of suspicion, sure, after seeing how long each between the ad loading and the flaggery, but then I thought, "It's orthogonality, this guy has posted a lot of really good stuff. It must be true."
posted by Locative at 2:21 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Now of course, everyone combs through my previous askme answers, looking for more sly sabotage.
posted by orthogonality at 2:22 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


Ten questions and sixteen answers.

I don't know what bothers me more: that someone could so callously deploy a precision-guided troll onto our greenish and well-sculpted manse or that princeofpersiaxz might actually be serious.
posted by hototogisu at 2:24 AM on March 4, 2008


Now of course, everyone combs through my previous askme answers, looking for more sly sabotage.

And I thought I was just being cute posting as a Christian Fundamentalist on a certain small town's CL rant's and raves. Viciously sneaky.

posted by wfrgms at 2:25 AM on March 4, 2008


Wait, hold on a second, those aren't answers.

I don't think princeofpersiaxz is doing it right.
posted by hototogisu at 2:30 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


hototogisu, only one of the comments he's made has not been on a post of his own. So actually, no answers, one comment to the blue.
posted by Locative at 2:33 AM on March 4, 2008


I just gotta say that I'd like to flag that AskMe as "flippin' awesome."

And to everyone that suggested that his wacked-out church group do something productive like work with children or at-risk populations? Seriously? Slacktivism is a good thing if it keeps people like this off the streets.

And if this is a troll...? Hooboy, good show.
posted by Skwirl at 3:05 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I like how orthogonality`s answer will force the guy to look at all these prostitution ads, thereby increasing the chances that he will be tempted into procuring the services that the ads offer.

Brilliant.

Mhwahahahahahah!
posted by chillmost at 3:07 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think princeofpersiaxz is a dick, too, but it was hilarious to see everyone completely fail at "flagging and moving on" and then vigorously tell him what was wrong with him.

Ask MetaFilter: Serving your need for both altruism and your need to lecture people over the Internet!
posted by ignignokt at 3:24 AM on March 4, 2008 [8 favorites]


orthogonality, you're my hero.
posted by juv3nal at 3:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Also, I have to wonder: Let's say he successfully harvested the secret Internet tricks he needed from the "wacked-out liberals" and succeeded in his mission to destroy part of Craigslist for the sake of the community. At the banquet and award ceremony, after receiving his medal from the chief of police and the #1 Christian Community Leader, would he credit the wacked-out liberals when asked how he was able to do it? Or would he just rest his forearms smugly on the podium and say the Lord told him all about waiting for all of the images to load?
posted by ignignokt at 3:32 AM on March 4, 2008


Jessamyn's gonna be pissed at all y'all when she gets up.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:52 AM on March 4, 2008


Whaddya all newbies? I'd guess princeofpersiaxz = troll, and possibly looking for some middle of the night fun. Please do not feed.
posted by SteveInMaine at 3:56 AM on March 4, 2008


I think it's safe to say that of all of the AskMes tagged with "erotic", this is my least favorite.
posted by burnmp3s at 4:21 AM on March 4, 2008 [8 favorites]


I vote troll too. Look when he posted! The optimal time to have a post stay up due to mods sleeping. During the day, this would have lasted two minutes, tops.
posted by the dief at 4:21 AM on March 4, 2008


Up here where it's still cold outside, the police are doing prostitution stings on craigslist. Fairly regularly. Funny thing is, the local police don't seem to need any church help--none's been mentioned in the reports I've read.

I vote troll.
posted by gimonca at 4:22 AM on March 4, 2008


I dunno from one thing and another but "Go solicit yourself for sex" is certainly going to get tucked away in the handy niche vocabulary file.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:29 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ya know I've thought about signing up for another account and trolling like a fundy every so often, just for shits and giggles, but I actually like this place, and quite frankly I have better things to do. Like not troll. Oh yeah and I'm not sixteen years old. Still, regardless of whether this guy is a troll or not, there were some marvelous responses there. Now I want to go out and have an argument with someone gathering souls just so I can say: "Fuck you, churchy". Oh Jehovah's Witnesses, why are you not at my door when I need you?
posted by ob at 4:39 AM on March 4, 2008


or is that you and your churchy goons just prefer the illusion of Christ-like activism from the comfort of your own fart-smelling desk chairs?"

o, god, I laughed. You people are very, very bad, and need to be disciplined.

*wipes tear from eye*
posted by taz at 4:42 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Troll yes, but it's some weirdfuck irony that the people who most invested time and energy into embedding the hook several whichways through their lips are those who most belabour the point that the poster and their church ought to spend their wasted time and energy doing more worthwhile things.
posted by peacay at 4:43 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


we all know it will be deleted when the mods wake up.

and therein lies the real problem. inquiries of most any nature, even borderline criminal, are defended virulently with "just answer the question and keep your moralizing to yourself". i predict this will disappear rapidly, as it completely escapes most of you that you've become a parody of yourselves.
posted by quonsar at 4:48 AM on March 4, 2008 [18 favorites]


The sum total of this guy's contribution here is 10 questions, responses within his own questions, and one throwaway MeFi comment. And people are surprised that he is asking how to game an online forum?
posted by googly at 4:59 AM on March 4, 2008


holy fuck that guy is retarded
posted by Optimus Chyme at 4:59 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Of course it's a troll. But great fun anyway.
posted by rokusan at 5:00 AM on March 4, 2008


This is such a great way to wake up in the morning.
posted by Durin's Bane at 5:18 AM on March 4, 2008


To what extent can scriptural support be found for this?

The practice of Christianity, like support for a given political party or Grateful Dead fandom, can easily be severed from any underlying principles. It need not happen that way, but it can and does.

It is pretty galling to see the religion founded by Jesus, of all people, used as some sort of paganistic God/country/family totem, but hey, they know not what they do.
posted by ibmcginty at 5:22 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, it's going to suck to hit the delete button 117 times if they let the post stay.
posted by smackfu at 5:30 AM on March 4, 2008


...You know frankly I thought we were handling it just fine on our own.
posted by wfrgms at 9:41 AM on March 4 [1 favorite +] [!]


No. Really. No. You weren't. It doesn't matter how much churchy needs to fuck off (and for the record, I think churchy does indeed urgently need to fuck right the fuck off), AskMe isn't the place to suggest the off-fuckage.
posted by flashboy at 5:33 AM on March 4, 2008 [15 favorites]


I'm finding it's hard to type all this while I'm sitting on my hands.
posted by not_on_display at 5:45 AM on March 4, 2008


Wow. I've been sick for three days and suddenly I feel so much better.
posted by JanetLand at 5:51 AM on March 4, 2008


This post has healed me!!
posted by JanetLand at 5:51 AM on March 4, 2008


The offending poster left the thread, never to return....damn I love MefiMail...
posted by Jimbob at 5:59 AM on March 4, 2008


Whoo-hoo this cheered me up. This is why I always read metaTalk first.

*hugs everyone*
posted by shothotbot at 6:03 AM on March 4, 2008


inquiries of most any nature, even borderline criminal, are defended virulently with "just answer the question and keep your moralizing to yourself". i predict this will disappear rapidly, as it completely escapes most of you that you've become a parody of yourselves.

Seconded. Maybe you all could offer to beat him up as well. That's the next step toward Internet Tough Guy status.
posted by yerfatma at 6:04 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Good morning. That was fucking embarassing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:06 AM on March 4, 2008 [24 favorites]


Saaaad, jessamyn's awake. Was a great belly-laugh inducer (both there and here) while it lasted.
posted by gramcracker at 6:06 AM on March 4, 2008


Belly-laughs? Is that what you get when you solicit yourself for sex? Hmmm.....
posted by goo at 6:16 AM on March 4, 2008


Seriously should have been a flag and move on. Instead, it became a pile on and now it seems a celebration in MeTa about how well you've put down a "churchy and a "retard." The guy did make idiotic comments, but I agree with yerfatma, the next step in this series of events would have been to break his front teeth.
posted by Atreides at 6:17 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Please don't do this here" is a nicely ambiguous deletion reason.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:18 AM on March 4, 2008


I enjoyed that.
posted by triv at 6:20 AM on March 4, 2008


WWJD?

Never mind gaming CraigsList lazy bunch of fuckers need to get out and start washing some stinky ho feet.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:23 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'd just like to point at allkindsoftime's comment. More Christians like that, please.
posted by EarBucket at 6:25 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I have to disagree with the claims that this is a troll. Like some others, I grew up in an environment with the hard-core conservatives and his post sounds exactly like something they'd do. Methodology, and in particular the reasoning. Maybe that does make the OP a brilliant troll. Either way, the sad truth is that, if anything, childhood friends who were that hardcore only get more intense as they get older. And not to say he shouldn't be rightly ridiculed, but the "crazy liberals" only seem to inflame their resolve.
posted by jmd82 at 6:26 AM on March 4, 2008


but it was hilarious to see everyone completely fail at "flagging and moving on"

The problem of course is that everyone who does in fact flag it and move on is completely invisible to you. It might be nice to see how many flags a post has, if only to compare the number of people who can't help shitting in the thread and those who actually do move on after they flag.

I mean, can we at least get a gold star or something? Meh, no one really thinks about the silent majority (I hope we're the majority anyway).
posted by splice at 6:29 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


That was wonderful. Orthogonality has earned himself one(1) Drink Of Choice should he show up in NYC.
posted by Skorgu at 6:32 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


The poster hasn't even closed his account yet. C'mon guys, get to work.
posted by Eideteker at 6:37 AM on March 4, 2008


"Please don't do this here" is a nicely ambiguous deletion reason.

Thanks. All the flagging and acting up in that thread brought every other site activity to a complete standstill while I figured out what the hell was going on.

After all the MeTa threads about religion and "snark kills" and various flameouts and quittings lately, that thread stands as a shining beacon to people that like to get their lulz/hate on (hard to tell the difference some days), both the OP and the general peanut brigade. That's good news for people that like that sort of thing, but bad news for people who are trying to explain that the site isn't all full of sarcastic nasty king of the shitpile behavior just waiting for an excuse to surface.

Seriously, I'm sure I'll have more perspective once I've had some coffee. I know that things can be good for the site that aren't necessarily good for me personally, but while this seemed to be a good bonding exercise for the people who participated and cheered it on here it just seems a little too much like rising to troll bait because it was too good an opportunity to pass up.

I know people disagree with my assessment of these sorts of things, but I really don't think anyone "deserves" this sort of "fuck you churchy" and related pile-on behavior on this site or anywhere. That thread got over 100 flags (as far as that user's original post and assorted comments). It's pretty rare we ever see anythin go to three digits. I may not have ever seen that before.

The poster hasn't even closed his account yet. C'mon guys, get to work.

Don't talk like that. The account is timed out until we figure out wtf is up with it. That doesn't show up on the user page.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:39 AM on March 4, 2008 [27 favorites]


I have a theory that others with better google skills can verify, and I have reported it to the mods.

princeofpersiaxz may be Armen Asl. Armen Asl, for those unaware, is the culprit behind this story:

http://ask.metafilter.com/27155/is-an-ebay-fraud-seller-free


My evidence is here (there's more, but this suffices):

http://people.bakersfield.com/home/User/princeofpersiaxz/MPage3

Armen has every reason to want to troll and bait Metafilter. Just a guess and a hypothesis, mind you, not an accusation. But we may have been trolled here.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:41 AM on March 4, 2008 [57 favorites]


Woah.
posted by goo at 6:47 AM on March 4, 2008


On the money, fourcheesemac. We're upgrading his 24-hour WTF timeout to a nice, meaty permaban right now. Armen, if you're reading this? Go elsewhere, and stay there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:49 AM on March 4, 2008


He's learnt capitalisation and punctuation, which is only good.
posted by goo at 6:50 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Now that's a plot twist.
posted by EarBucket at 6:51 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Well spotted, fourcheesemac.
posted by goo at 6:51 AM on March 4, 2008


...that thread stands as a shining beacon to people that like to get their lulz/hate on...

Damn, I misread that as "shining bacon" and it was soooo much better that way.
posted by rokusan at 6:51 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ooh, just when I thought this couldn't get interesting again.
posted by sugarfish at 6:53 AM on March 4, 2008


I know people disagree with my assessment of these sorts of things, but I really don't think anyone "deserves" this sort of "fuck you churchy" and related pile-on behavior on this site or anywhere.

Thanks Jessamyn. I for one appreciate your impartial position. I hope my answer didn't come across as snarky, even though it wasn't answering his question directly. I still think, on re-reading the thread, it's the only serious answer with any hope for the user to benefit from it (whilst ortho's was funny, it certainly was not hopeful).
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:53 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Don't talk like that. The account is timed out until we figure out wtf is up with it. That doesn't show up on the user page."

Sorry, Jess. I assure you, I was being sarcastic about the witchhunter being turned witchhuntee.
posted by Eideteker at 6:57 AM on March 4, 2008


Oh, and Armen - Unlike cortex, I hope you are still reading this. I hope you read my comment in your little troll thread. I hope you understand that I really do believe what I wrote there.

But that doesn't change the fact that you're a prick for starting hate shit like this.
posted by allkindsoftime at 6:58 AM on March 4, 2008


I'm ashamed of this community.

The rule here is that on AskMe, you either answer a question or keep quiet. If you have problems with the question (even if you suspect it's from a troll), you have a couple of resources: you can "flag and move on" or you can take it to MeTa. I'm sorry that so many people can't (or won't) follow these rules. I'm sorry that so many people accused princeofpersiaxz of violating CL rules while, at the same time, they hypocritically violated MeFi rules.

For the record, I am a liberal atheist who believes that prostitution should be legalized. I'm opposed to pretty much everything princeofpersiaxz stands for, and I find his desire to game CL distasteful and wrong. But as my mom told me, "two wrongs don't make a right."

Rules don't only apply to people you agree with!
posted by grumblebee at 6:58 AM on March 4, 2008 [29 favorites]


His twitching eye made him do it.
posted by vrakatar at 6:58 AM on March 4, 2008


And to underscore what Jessamyn said: that thread went down more or less a perfect example of the failure of askme. I'm not going to bother doing the calculations to see who flagged and didn't move on or whatever, I don't care that much about the specifics, but the guidelines don't disappear when (a) a thread is probably going to get deleted and (b) we're in bed, and it's a pretty crappy move to jump into freeforall mode like that. Start a goddam metatalk thread if you need to, but don't collectively shit in the green.

I know from lulz and freakout doomed threads, and I get it, but just don't.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:09 AM on March 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


NICE catch fourcheesemac.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:13 AM on March 4, 2008


Well, he sure knew exactly what button to push to make AskMe look like shit.
posted by mediareport at 7:16 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Given that the pileon achieved the desired result, I can't see any reason why anybody shouldn't try to get a question pulled by throwing muck at the next "offensive" question they see.

Armen should be banned for trolling, but everyone else who piled into the green to shoot their mouths off and ruin the thread should be given a timeout or a brief telling off.
posted by seanyboy at 7:17 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


woooo

I feel pretty confident that a) yes, it's the same guy b) no, he was not trolling.

Why would he have asked all those inoffensive questions with this account, only to turn on troll mode now?

No, this man is the genuine article. God bless you, brave soul.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:19 AM on March 4, 2008


So, the OP was a troll and gets banned -- good news.

Is there ever any repercussions beyond admonishment in meta to the pile-on people and the 'fuck you churchy' people? It seems like they might be breaking the guidelines as much as someone posting that question who wasn't a troll would have been. I ask because I know there's a lot of behind the scenes stuff that I don't need to know the specifics of, but I'd certainly feel much better knowing that at least some of the commenters got something.
posted by garlic at 7:20 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


So, Asl by name, asl by nature.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:21 AM on March 4, 2008 [6 favorites]


allkindsoftime: Your answer was beautiful and brought tears to my eyes. Thank you.
posted by anotherpanacea at 7:23 AM on March 4, 2008


a perfect example of the failure of askme.

Perhaps more important than any Metafilter-specific guidelines, by falling for the troll so badly everyone lost at the Internet bigtime.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:24 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nice catch, fourcheesemac!
posted by OmieWise at 7:26 AM on March 4, 2008


Every time I flag and move on, I put a reward sticker on my Trapper Keeper. This time I chose a Garfield one.
posted by burnmp3s at 7:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [26 favorites]


I can't see any reason why anybody shouldn't try to get a question pulled by throwing muck at the next "offensive" question they see.

This is why we have a flagging system. And MeTa.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:27 AM on March 4, 2008


Aaaaaaand I just realized I totally misread that, sorry.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:28 AM on March 4, 2008


As someone who completely missed the entire Armen Asl / eBay saga the first TWO times around (how could I be such a bad MeFi servant?), I really appreciated the window-in that fourcheesemac just supplied.

In fact, thanks to this AskMe (last night's) I just spent an hour of my life re-reading the old but new-to-me Armen MeFi drama from two years ago. If this latest AskMe had been flagged and killed too quickly last night, I'd have missed out on so much information/entertainment! :)

Also, I am also really admiring (if that is the right word) how deftly the discord was sown around here. No wonder trolls are so problematic. Humans are so easy to divide.
posted by rokusan at 7:31 AM on March 4, 2008


Bakersfield? Prostitution is only just now coming to Bakersfield?
posted by JanetLand at 7:36 AM on March 4, 2008


Well, it is Trouble With a 'T' that rhymes with 'P,' JanetLand.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:40 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, this has got interesting...
posted by ob at 7:42 AM on March 4, 2008


Armen should be banned for trolling, but everyone else who piled into the green to shoot their mouths off and ruin the thread should be given a timeout or a brief telling off.
Amen to that.
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 7:50 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow, what a disaster. Just echoing jessamyn, cortex, grumblebee, and everybody else who was disappointed with the responses in the AskMe thread. I feel that there's a precious gray area (no, not THIS gray area) in AskMe posts where the questioner has left some ambiguity about her purposes and the answers may be tilted slightly.

To grievously just attack a user over their question because of your own biases against their beliefs really degrades all of Ask Metafilter.

The fact that AskMe was trolled (and not for the first time) doesn't play a role in this. We should be better than that.
posted by onalark at 7:56 AM on March 4, 2008 [4 favorites]


I hate it when some prude gets in my way of getting laid. I don't use "services" but this prudish attitude extends way beyond prostitution.
posted by jeblis at 7:56 AM on March 4, 2008


That thread got closed to early. We had a real shot a creating an infinitely regressive hypocrisy loop, a rare and fabled phenomenon of mutually reinforcing pious one-upmanship. It's a shame to go through all the messy first stages and then truncate the process before it had a chance to evolve into perfection.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 7:57 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Told ya she'd be pissed.
posted by Dave Faris at 7:59 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


Armen should be banned for trolling, but everyone else who piled into the green to shoot their mouths off and ruin the thread should be given a timeout or a brief telling off.

Agree.
posted by sveskemus at 7:59 AM on March 4, 2008


As someone who piled on, I hope my Colombo act gets me a pass. But I'm sorry I shit on the green. Pre-coffee mania.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:07 AM on March 4, 2008


Trolling: bad.
Rising to the bait: worse. If this was a troll, he had Metafilter's number.

Or what grumblebee's mom said. Respect to grumblebee's mom.
posted by Tehanu at 8:13 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Given his history, I don't think Armen is morally opposed to prostitution.

I think he is just trying to eliminate competition from other pimps.
posted by sourwookie at 8:16 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Had I seen the question in time, I would have contributed to the collective hate, I suspect, and would have been entirely wrong to do so.

Good lesson there.... it's hard to see your own double standards sometimes.
posted by Malor at 8:17 AM on March 4, 2008


I'm sick of people triple essing (snarking, shitting and soapboxing) and giving OPs whatfor instead of just flagging the thread.

I *heart* grumblebee, as usual.
posted by iconomy at 8:18 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm so conflicted. That thread was such fun to read, yet I agree entirely that Ask shouldn't be the place for that kind of thing.

If only it had gone to the gray sooner, I wouldn't have this crushing ambiguity on my soul.

Alas.
posted by Skorgu at 8:24 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Why would he have asked all those inoffensive questions with this account, only to turn on troll mode now?

I have a theory about that; I don't think it was a troll.

Given history of deception, the much more likely possibility seems to be that he wanted genuine information about how to get Craigslist ads deleted but couched his question in such a way that would disguise his true motives. This fits exactly with his whole eBay method of earlier.

He simply underestimated the orneriness of those trolling the green at that hour and misjudged a general willingness to indulge his proposed agenda.
posted by camcgee at 8:39 AM on March 4, 2008 [15 favorites]


Sorry for the bad usage there -- I meant "trolling the green" in the more common sense of trolling.
posted by camcgee at 8:41 AM on March 4, 2008


You know, as someone who remembers when 'trolling' meant more than 'posting something I disagree with', it's rare to see such a precision-guided effort. That was a two-litre bottle of Troll Classic, from an AskMe Wanker Emeritus. It would be exhilarating if it wasn't so fucked-up.

A thought: MeFi/AskMe needs a mod for those few hours of the night shift between west-coast bedtime and east-coast wakeup, perhaps someone antipodean or a European early-bird. I got some grief a while back for trying to divert an AskMe pile-on to MeTa, but in the small hours, when the mods are sleeping, I'm not confident that a member base of this size and diversity will have the troll-savvy that old bastards like mesel' acquired from Usenet in the mid-90s.
posted by holgate at 8:45 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Given history of deception, the much more likely possibility seems to be that he wanted genuine information about how to get Craigslist ads deleted but couched his question in such a way that would disguise his true motives.

As in he had moved from eBay scams to Craigslist scams and was looking for ways to hide his tracks? Makes sense.
posted by sourwookie at 8:46 AM on March 4, 2008


I agree with camcgee. He's never mentioned church or God or said anything remotely like God Bless in any other post or comment. He's probably selling boxes of rocks laptops on craigslist now and wants to find out how to delete ads warning of his scams.
posted by iconomy at 8:47 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Missed on preview: that's an interesting theory, camcgee. And funny, in a deeply ironic way. If your theory's correct, he inadvertently chose a false flag that was a massive troll. Had he picked a more innocuous subject, it might not have been noticed as such.
posted by holgate at 8:52 AM on March 4, 2008


I'm still trying to wrap my head around the events in the Armen e-Bay thread. This guy is really such a piece of crap and headed for some bad end.
posted by orange swan at 8:55 AM on March 4, 2008


I agree with camcgee; the dude wants info on how to game craigslist, and so picked the confluence of church, scripture, police snoopiness, women's rights, STDs, sanctimony, and on/off-line privacy as a cover to deflect attention from his motives. Who would have thought this would cause a ruckus? This guy is a genius.
posted by Mister_A at 9:00 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


so. we're all just fish in airnxtz pants now.
posted by quonsar at 9:03 AM on March 4, 2008


Speak for yourself, quonsie.
posted by orange swan at 9:05 AM on March 4, 2008


Christ, what an Asl.
posted by emelenjr at 9:06 AM on March 4, 2008 [23 favorites]


Christ, what an Asl.

Pony request: please let me favorite this comment more than once.
posted by chinston at 9:08 AM on March 4, 2008


So, Asl by name, asl by nature.

Christ, what an Asl.


Hardy fucking har har. Foreign last name resembles an english insult. Grow the fuck up.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:12 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


As one of the people who messed up (I was in a bit of a mood this morning), I just want to say sorry to the mods and everyone else. I will be a better person in the future and avoid any and all threads that reference religion in any way, because I cannot be trusted to be civil or reasonable or follow the guidelines.

The whole ebay scam thing is absolutely fascinating, but I can't decide if I feel vindicated or even more disgusted to learn that this guy isn't a Christian, just a (rather stupid) criminal (not that those two things are mutually exclusive).
posted by Wroksie at 9:12 AM on March 4, 2008


Foreign last name resembles an english insult.

For my part, completely apart from insults.... I've been thinking about how Three Stooges-like an internet conversation could be with a person named ASL.
posted by rokusan at 9:14 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hardy fucking har har. Foreign last name resembles an english insult. Grow the fuck up.

You think people who speak other languages don't make apt puns or jokes about English names in those languages?
posted by orange swan at 9:17 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Hardy fucking har har. Foreign last name resembles an english insult. Grow the fuck up.

FOR SHAME - GIGGLING ON THE INTERNET IS FORBIDDEN.
posted by chinston at 9:18 AM on March 4, 2008 [10 favorites]


If your theory's correct, he inadvertently chose a false flag that was a massive troll. Had he picked a more innocuous subject, it might not have been noticed as such.

Yeah, if he'd asked about flagging racist posts from the Rants and Raves section, I imagine he would have gotten serious answers from a lot of people who shit in that thread.
posted by Bookhouse at 9:22 AM on March 4, 2008


I think that there are plenty of reasons to mock this guy. Having a foreign last name shouldn't be one of them. It doesn't make this site sound very intelligent, or open. It makes the lot of us sound like xenophobes (to a degree). I'm not sure it'd be kosher to mock him based on his religion, sex, sexual orientation, or skin color, either.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 9:22 AM on March 4, 2008


Wow.
-orthogonality, I was hoping last night that your answer was a finely crafted snark hunt, and it makes my day to see it confirmed.

-About trolling Ask: look, the nature of Ask is that it requires us to mostly take things at face value and just answer in earnest. Earnestness opens it up to a certain kind of trolling (not flamebait so much as comically-earnest-answer-bait), but taking questions at face value and just answering them without a lot of extra snark or doubt about poster's motives is also what makes it useful.

-About Armen: wow, what a shitmonkey.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


if he'd asked about flagging racist posts from the Rants and Raves section

He would've gotten the same response from me.
posted by dersins at 9:28 AM on March 4, 2008


snark hunt = snipe hunt? now I've confused myself.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:28 AM on March 4, 2008


Oh fer feck's sake, it was obvious within about three posts that it was going to get deleted. I would have posted dancing gifs if I'd had them. What a load of parsimonious maroons, honestly.
posted by unSane at 9:29 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hardy fucking har har. Foreign last name resembles an english insult. Grow the fuck up.

Wha?

It's a pun. The fact that his last name may or may not be "foreign" - and here in the U.S., what does that mean, exactly? If your last name's not Smith, then it's automatically "foreign"? - is irrelevant. Its resemblance to "asshole", in conjunction with his behavior, is what makes it funny.

What if his last name was Douche? Would we be allowed to make fun of him then?
posted by rtha at 9:32 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I would have posted dancing gifs if I'd had them.

I'm starting to come around to the idea of timeouts for people who pull this shit. It may be the only thing that will reach them.

And SeizeTheDay, you're being way too sensitive on behalf of someone who doesn't deserve it. It's all we can do to keep genuine sexist/racist/offensive bullshit off the site; minor funny-name snark really isn't a problem.
posted by languagehat at 9:39 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


You guys, have a heart. Bakersfield really, really sucks.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:40 AM on March 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


BIGGUS DICKUS!!
posted by Mister_A at 9:41 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


That was for rtha, but people posted stuff in between while I was laughing at other stuff.
posted by Mister_A at 9:42 AM on March 4, 2008


You know, there's a guy who appears fairly regularly on KQED radio's "perspectives" series. His name is Dick Meister.

I giggle every single time I hear it.
posted by rtha at 9:48 AM on March 4, 2008


It's worth a read for allkindsoftime's comment.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:49 AM on March 4, 2008


What if his last name was Douche? Would we be allowed to make fun of him then?

You filthy francophobe.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:50 AM on March 4, 2008


You filthy francophobe.

I took a shower this morning, you cheese-eating-surrender-monkey-lover!
posted by rtha at 9:56 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


The Butcher of Bakersfield
posted by BeerFilter at 9:57 AM on March 4, 2008


I don't believe Airnxt has real concerns about the morality of anything whatsoever on craigslist. So what was he doing?

I see several possibilities in decreasing order of probability: he's scamming some church or churches to get them to donate money to him for his big project to clean up craigslist and protect the community from the evil and immoral invading internet, and the purpose of this question was to get some ideas that would make him more credible in their eyes and help get the money flowing; he's thinking of extorting money from advertisers on craigslist by threatening to implement this kind of campaign against them; or, he has some harebrained idea of getting money from craigslist itself. The last possibility may not be a crazy as I think, given those tens of thousands of dollars Microsoft was giving Ralph Reed every month as a consultant a few years ago. I have increasing difficulty seeing that as other than a form of protection money.

But as with all good cons, he has his finger on something very real. I think it's only a matter of time before churches and syndicates of churches become significant ISPs in their own right. It's just a natural evolution-- imagine a preacher giving a fire and brimstone speech about the evil pornographers on the internet who will prey upon your children, and then following up with how you can save them by signing up with the new PraiseTheLord ISP, which will filter all content according to Christian Principles, devote all its income to getting out the word and driving the demons out of the internet, and is cheaper because of its tax-free status and the subsidies from donations. Just imagine the advantages churches would have if they decided to construct their own WiFi networks, for example.

Anyone who thinks craigslist or any other such service has the sand to stand up to even 5% of ISPs demanding removal of certain classes of ads or we'll turn you off altogether, has a very different image of American business than I do.
posted by jamjam at 10:02 AM on March 4, 2008


It's kind of mindblowing to me to see people who, even after the airnxtz revelation, are still proud to have shit in that thread. I mean, you guys do realize that you got played, right? That all the righteous indignation we're all so happy to bust out at every opportunity was for nothing and that the scammer got you all to shit directly on the floor of your own living room? it's honestly pretty boggling that anyone who shit in that thread (except maybe for orthogonality, who just posted a really funny but serviceable bad answer) could possibly come away from it feeling like anything but a world class sucker.

Don't get me wrong, I've had my moments of piss poor judgement, too, and could quite easily have found myself in precisely the same position. But afterward I'd feel like a goddamn sap and maybe reevaluate my criteria for certain behavior around metafilter.

Also, it occurs to me... again... that metafilter doesn't seem to be scaling very well. Something like this - while it certainly demonstrates the problem with certain attitudes among the userbase - also demonstrates a problem with the number of users we have versus the number of mods and what hours they keep. Maybe I'm totally off here, mods, but aren't you guys kind of feeling like there isn't a whole lot that can be done to discourage this sort of thing? Shouldn't there maybe be more you could do? I'm referring, by the way, to the commenters' behavior, not princeofpersiaxz.
posted by shmegegge at 10:02 AM on March 4, 2008 [8 favorites]


Recently a Button was implemented to help with this problem.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:09 AM on March 4, 2008


oh hey, quick unrelated question that I don't really want to pester the ask community with: does anyone know what the deal is with the persian thing? I refer to people of middle eastern ancestry referring to themselves as persian. Some friends of mine whose families come from iraq and saudi arabia began a couple years ago insisting that they be called persian. Now, that's their prerogative so I call them persian, but it always struck me as comparable to me insisting everyone say I'm roman. I asked some of them what the deal was and one of them said it was because it wasn't a very good time to be considered iraqi. word. but then... among their friends that's not really a problem, you know? also, the rest of them said that wasn't the reason for them. I forget precisely what it was, but it amounted to trying to connect with the history of their ancestors. is everyone else's experience with this thing similar? I'm honestly just curious, mostly if it's really the "bad time to be iraqi" thing and my other friends didn't want to admit it, or if they did just suddenly and all at the same time develop a real yen to connect with their persian history.
posted by shmegegge at 10:11 AM on March 4, 2008


>You filthy francophobe.
I took a shower this morning, you cheese-eating-surrender-monkey-lover!


Vous avez pris une douche? Haw-haw!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:13 AM on March 4, 2008


Persian is an ethnic classification, like Arab. There are Persians in many middle eastern countries, but I tend to think of them as predominantly Iranian. Less camel jockey, more carpet pilot.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:15 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


maybe not a couple years ago. probably within the last year.
posted by shmegegge at 10:15 AM on March 4, 2008


...minor funny-name snark really isn't a problem.

Agree, Languagefat (lol)
posted by BozoBurgerBonanza at 10:16 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I refer to people of middle eastern ancestry referring to themselves as persian. Some friends of mine whose families come from iraq and saudi arabia began a couple years ago insisting that they be called persian.

Probably has something to do with the longstanding Persian-Arab hostility.
posted by Krrrlson at 10:19 AM on March 4, 2008


I wonder if overnight threads are becoming an issue. Perhaps some code on the server end can be active based on predictable times admins are away (or asleep) and close to new comments or hide threads that receive a lot of bad flags?
posted by ALongDecember at 10:21 AM on March 4, 2008


What if his last name was Douche? Would we be allowed to make fun of him then?

No. Wash your mouth out with soup.
posted by Rumple at 10:23 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Vous avez pris une douche? Haw-haw!

Merde! Foiled encore!
posted by rtha at 10:26 AM on March 4, 2008


Bolding and underlining:

Armen should be banned for trolling, but everyone else who piled into the green to shoot their mouths off and ruin the thread should be given a timeout or a brief telling off.

There are a lot of comments that weren't deleted in there from people who should really know better. "Limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer" doesn't only apply to questions you think probably won't be deleted. People who think defending their opinion and flinging insults (even especially at someone who is purposely trolling) are more important than keeping AskMe a place where people can expect answers deserve at the very least a time out.
posted by Plutor at 10:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


In the bolding and underlining, I lost anything that indicated that I was quoting seanyboy.
posted by Plutor at 10:28 AM on March 4, 2008


I agree with Plutor. Plus it would have been so easy to post this MetaTalk thread (Is gaming a community a good use of AskMe?) and then have a snark fuckfest right here. While the mods rest their gentle heads.

Speaking of time-zoned moderators, how about the down-underers and east-asianics hold a little contest for best deletion reason. We can start with the AskMe under discussion:

This post was deleted for the following reason: "____________" -- username
posted by Rumple at 10:33 AM on March 4, 2008


(the winner gets to be nightwatchman)
posted by Rumple at 10:34 AM on March 4, 2008


I wonder if overnight threads are becoming an issue. Perhaps some code on the server end can be active based on predictable times admins are away (or asleep) and close to new comments or hide threads that receive a lot of bad flags?

We've talked a little bit about this over email. The thing is, overnight threads don't seem to really be becoming an issue; it's a rare night that something really crazy happens, and for all the admin work it generates in the morning and the frustration that comes with seeing people willfully misbehave, the stakes are pretty low.

So that, taken against our general collective disinclination to automate moderator decision-making, kind of argues against any thresholding stuff. We might look into something like a passive alert system, to drop us email if somethings going bonkers.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:39 AM on March 4, 2008


MeFi/AskMe needs a mod for those few hours of the night shift between west-coast bedtime and east-coast wakeup, perhaps someone antipodean or a European early-bird.

You know honestly, we get flipped a lot of shit here for being nanny-statish and how people miss the good old days when threads could go half a day of animated GIFs and the like before being shut down. I mean we get flipped a lot of shit for every reason but this is one refrain that we hear often here.

There's usually a window of about 3-6 hours when no one's at the wheel and it's been our general assertion that nothing can go THAT wrong in that amount of time. Saying "I have to keep my eye on your every minute, don't I?" to me IS nanny-statish and presuming some lowest common denominator of lame behavior and total failure of community correction (i.e. people don't step in and say "stop this shit"). I've seen the rare gleeful free-for-all on MeFi in the past and a few here certainly, but this is the first one I can remember seeing in AskMe.

I don't see this as a scaling problem so much because I see a lot of the people fucking around in that thread are people who have been here a while, it's not like we're OMG overrun by n00bs. I deleted maybe the last 10-20 comments in that thread after it was closed before I decided to just let it stand so that people could peer at it through the morning lens of MetaTalk. Short of some new rule saying "anyone who fucks around in a doomed thread gets a day off" and then having to fight with people who think their answer was a brilliant piece of satire and letter-of-the-law allowable in AskMe, I'd just like to ask people to make slightly more of an effort, or maybe even a lot more of an effort to 1) not get trolled 2) keep AskMe useful 3) not ruin my damned morning. Thanks,
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:39 AM on March 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


"Automated means to game Craigslist violate its terms of use. For that reason alone the question should be removed.

A similar question would be asking the best ways on how to sneak into a movie theatre through the fire exits. That's not what Ask Metafilter is for."

Pssh. No. Deleting it because it was stupid or because this community shouldn't be the place for it (due to our liberal bias)? Yeah. Deleting something because it breaks someone else's TOS? No. That's silliness.
posted by klangklangston at 10:40 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


It makes the lot of us sound like xenophobes (to a degree). I'm not sure it'd be kosher to mock him based on his religion, sex, sexual orientation, or skin color, either.

OK, OK, we'll always pronounce your name "Az-WEE-pay." Geez.
posted by ibmcginty at 10:41 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's 3am, and your moderators are safely asleep. But there's a troll on AskMe and it's trolling. Something is happening on the site. Someone is asking how they can use Scientology to make their mail-order bride less fat. Your vote will decide who will answer that call. Shouldn't it be someone tried, tested and ready to lead in a dangerous blogosphere?
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:46 AM on March 4, 2008 [29 favorites]


There's usually a window of about 3-6 hours when no one's at the wheel and it's been our general assertion that nothing can go THAT wrong in that amount of time.

*busily writing on list of "to-do"*
posted by Dipsomaniac at 10:49 AM on March 4, 2008


is everyone else's experience with this thing similar? I'm honestly just curious, mostly if it's really the "bad time to be iraqi" thing and my other friends didn't want to admit it, or if they did just suddenly and all at the same time develop a real yen to connect with their persian history.

Here's my understanding of it:
In the U.S., there's often an assumption that people from the Middle East, particularly Muslims, are Arab. And there's a lot of hostility aimed in that general direction right now. There's that Persian family in Crash who are called some ethnic slurs meant for Arabs-- I always thought that was pretty realistically done. So yes, my understanding is that part of it is meant to avoid hostility. Part of it is also real. I don't know which is true for your friends. I don't think the comparison to being called Roman is correct though. Persian is real current-day ethnic group, in addition to a historical group, and sometimes it's used interchangeably with Iranian, so maybe it's more like insisting you be called ethnic Italian, which is most, but not all, of modern-day Italy. I'm not sure that Roman is or isn't a an identity in current use, but in any case I think your use in this context-- reaching back in time to a friendlier-sounding identity-- oversimplifies things.

Most Iranians are Persian (70% or so I think). Not all Persians are Iranian, but what we call Iran today is more or less where Persians originally came from. Iranian = nationality; Persian = ethnicity. But they overlap a lot.

posted by Tehanu at 10:53 AM on March 4, 2008


WWJD?

What would Jessamyn delete?
posted by The Bellman at 10:57 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


You know, if you think about it, had AskMe guidelines been followed, more evil would have been done than was done by them being broken. If everyone had done like they were supposed to and not acted like asshats and put aside their personal feelings about the fact pattern and not shat in the thread, then someone might have seen the question and gone "Sure, here is a program that will do what you want" then Airnxt would have likely used that code to scam countless people on Craigslist in ways that I am not quite understanding. So by doing wrong (not being helpful in AskMe) people actually prevented a worse harm from occurring. It reminds me of this episode of Magnum PI where Magnum has a tape of a guy where it sounds like he is about to kill somebody, but then on the tape you hear that actually somebody else killed them, and Magnum can't play the tape in court, because you aren't allowed to play tapes in court or something, but Magnum does anyway, and he plays the part of the tape where it sounds like the first guy is killing the guy, but before he can let the rest of the tape play to where you hear that it was the other guy that killed the guy, the people in the court stop him and are all like "You can't play tapes in court. Stop that Magnum." And so he stops and the first guy goes to jail for murder, but it is actually good that he did, because he was a child abuser or something. I don't remember it very well. Anyway, that is a lot like this, so that gives you something to think about.
posted by ND¢ at 10:58 AM on March 4, 2008 [45 favorites]


Since when did trolling become a bad thing? Trolls provide lulz for many people. Does this mean that because a few crybabies get upset, the whole community should fight back? No. Flag or favorite, make your choice. Move on. Don't dwell in the past unless you have a time machine.
posted by 29 at 11:02 AM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


ND¢, that was the funniest thing I've read on MetaTalk in a long time.

"Magnum can't play the tape in court, because you aren't allowed to play tapes in court or something"

posted by ALongDecember at 11:03 AM on March 4, 2008


Jesus, people, if you don't like a question don't answer it.

If it breaks the guidelines, flag it. If you must share your righteous indignation, bring it to MetaTalk. Don't be douchebags on AskMetaFilter.
posted by timeistight at 11:05 AM on March 4, 2008


I liked the part in the MeTa where everyone who wasn't awake at 2am in the morning judges all the people who were awake at 2am in the morning.

Look, I'll be the first to admit that I reacted badly to the question. I'd like to think that my initial answer at least was valid, and that my later ones weren't quite as full of as invective as some people's. I started the MeTa to shut myself up, honestly, since otherwise I would be tempted to keep commenting in the green.

But still, it was an incredibly trollish post by someone who apparently has made a profession out of manipulating people. Then he does it at 2am, when people are already suffering from a lack of sleep* and not at full mental capacity.

Since all this bullcrap was about Christianity anyway, let's all turn the other cheek and laugh at our silly indignation, and then remember it's just a website. No one actually suffered from the snark that got tossed out, yes it was inappropriate but no long term damage done. I suppose it's possible that some people might go there and feel we aren't taking religious people seriously enough (ooh, newsflash) but most will see the hypocrisy of the poster and take the responses with a grain of salt.

We'll always have orthogonality's kickass "answer" and fourcheesemac's brilliant detective work.
posted by Deathalicious at 11:16 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Q: AM I GETTING RID OF MY FIBER?

A: Nope. You still seem a little backed up to me.
posted by freshwater_pr0n at 11:16 AM on March 4, 2008


WE MUST IMPLEMENT BUTTONS!!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:18 AM on March 4, 2008


There's usually a window of about 3-6 hours when no one's at the wheel and it's been our general assertion that nothing can go THAT wrong in that amount of time.

Yeah but not that wrong is still wrong and that's still frustrating when it is the main time you're on MeFi. In the podcast you and Matt talked about how weird it is to be on MeFi from the rest of the world because you're on when everyone else is sleeping. This is one of the things that sometimes makes MeFi feel just a bit more like a U.S. thing that we Europeans, Australians and whoever get to take part in but not really be a part of.

I don't see what would be so wrong about having a night watch mod.

Deathalicious: I liked the part in the MeTa where everyone who wasn't awake at 2am in the morning judges all the people who were awake at 2am in the morning.

See? That's what I mean. It wasn't 2am in the morning for everyone!
posted by sveskemus at 11:19 AM on March 4, 2008


So by doing wrong (not being helpful in AskMe) people actually prevented a worse harm from occurring.

I realize the rest of your post was snark ND¢, but I hope you're being sarcastic here. Plenty of harm can come from the use of any information, from avoiding speeding tickets to disposing of dead bodies. The snarkers in the thread didn't explode in the AskMe because it was a 'oh-its-dangerous' topic. People went apeshit because the 'asker' was Christian and trying to find more effective ways to proselytize. The fact that he wanted to do it by breaking the rules on a popular website was only an excuse to bust out the Christian-bashing snark-cannons.

And having said all this, I need to go take a break.
posted by onalark at 11:21 AM on March 4, 2008


(except maybe for orthogonality, who just posted a really funny but serviceable bad answer)

orthogonality's "answer" was the worst: general noise and asshattery can be filtered out; deliberately posting a believable wrong answer undermines the whole purpose of AskMe.
posted by timeistight at 11:22 AM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


no no no. it was the best.
posted by shmegegge at 11:25 AM on March 4, 2008


It looks like it was "Blind Justice," episode number 91, season 5, which was first aired on Thursday November 8, 1984.
posted by ND¢ at 11:27 AM on March 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


It was the best of answers, it was the worst of answers, it was the apex of wisdom, it was the ague of foolishness, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way — in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:30 AM on March 4, 2008


What Grumblebee said. Sheesh.
posted by brautigan at 11:31 AM on March 4, 2008


orthogonality's "answer" was the worst: general noise and asshattery can be filtered out; deliberately posting a believable wrong answer undermines the whole purpose of AskMe.

I thought that thread was full of a bunch of shit, but I disagree with your judgment of orthogonality's answer. Askers all the time mark as best answer the answer that best fits their own preconceived notion of what they want to here, even when that answer is wrong. It's maddening. If askers are allowed to do that, there's no reason why orthogonality's serviceable (and quite funny) answer isn't within the spirit of AskMe.
posted by OmieWise at 11:32 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


We might look into something like a passive alert system, to drop us email if somethings going bonkers.

Drop you e-mail? Bah! I want an alarm to go off and a mechanical hand to throw you out of your soft cushy bed and a harsh voice to come from a speaker telling you to GO FIGHT EVIL.

orthogonality's "answer" was the worst: general noise and asshattery can be filtered out; deliberately posting a believable wrong answer undermines the whole purpose of AskMe.

Oh for heaven's sake. Do you honestly think this is some sort of precedent, that because ortho did it people are going to go around deliberately posting believable wrong answers in all sorts of AskMe threads? Or that some honest Seeker After Truth will go looking for the one true way to game the Craigslist flag system for the best of reasons and be FOILED by ortho's vile cleverness? Come on. A troll asked an asshattish question and ortho trolled him right back. It may not have been strictly per guidelines, but it was brilliant and cannot possibly have any consequences that need trouble our sleep. Sheesh.
posted by languagehat at 11:36 AM on March 4, 2008


Carol [I am pretty sure that this was not Carol Burnett, although she would often appear in Magnum episodes, and it was always awesome.] persuades Magnum to do some work for her, gathering additional evidence for the big murder case [it was a really big murder case] of a man accused of killing his wife that is due to come up in court in a couple of days. The only witness of the woman's death is her young daughter, but Thomas faces a crisis of conscience over just what to and what not to present as evidence in the court-room [you better not play any tapes in that courtroom Magnum!] that could ensure the conviction of the violent accused killer. Meanwhile, Higgins, tired of Magnum's slackness around the Estate, has taken use of the Ferrari away from him, so Thomas must find a new vehicle to get around in. [Fuck you Higgins.]
posted by ND¢ at 11:36 AM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Come on. "Brilliant?" Really?
posted by Dave Faris at 11:39 AM on March 4, 2008


1 user marked this as a favorite:
29 March 4, 2008 2:02 PM
posted by danOstuporStar at 11:41 AM on March 4, 2008


"Thomas must find a new vehicle to get around in"

Was it a recumbent bicycle?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 11:43 AM on March 4, 2008


Do you honestly think this is some sort of precedent, that because ortho did it people are going to go around deliberately posting believable wrong answers in all sorts of AskMe threads?

But weren't you the person who was arguing against any funny/ any bad behavior in the halls of Ask Me back in the day? Why is it ok when you like the poster?
posted by yerfatma at 11:48 AM on March 4, 2008


You know what is funny about Tom Selleck? He and Burt Reynolds are generally agreed upon as being two of the handsomest men that ever lived, and they both had mustaches, and so now people are starting to have mustaches again, and even though they act like they are doing it ironically (Ha Ha, look I have a mustache and that is not the normal condition of most peoples faces aren't I zany?!), I bet part of the reason that they have them is because they are children of the 80's and remember how incredibly handsome Tom Selleck and Burt Reynolds were and deep down inside they hope that if they grow a mustache that they will be as handsome as Tom Selleck or Burt Reynolds. But I have yet to see any young hipster really pull off a mustache. They all look ridiculous. Like clowns. For a lot of them, I don't even think that it is their fault. It is like irony kills mustaches. Even a drop of irony, and it cancels out the awesomeness of your mustache and you look like an idiot. It is a shame, because I would like to see them make a genuine comeback, but as long as people are sporting ironic mustaches it can't happen, because nobody wants to look like those tools.
posted by ND¢ at 11:56 AM on March 4, 2008 [7 favorites]


You know, if you think about it, had AskMe guidelines been followed, more evil would have been done than was done by them being broken.

Sometimes asshattery uncovers something worse than asshattery. It doesn't mean asshattery is now good behavior.

Drop you e-mail? Bah! I want an alarm to go off and a mechanical hand to throw you out of your soft cushy bed and a harsh voice to come from a speaker telling you to GO FIGHT EVIL.

Just like Batman. Except his is all in his mind. Actually, he's probably available for middle of the night AskMe policing. I bet he doesn't stop at timeouts and deletions though. Oh no, precious. Troll a thread, and he is outside your window in his bat outfit, tapping on your window to get your attention. The next thing you remember, you're in the Gotham City jail with the rest of the riffraff. Internet trolls, cat burglars, supervillains-- it's all the same to the Bat.
posted by Tehanu at 11:56 AM on March 4, 2008


AskMe's beloved troll, Armen Rezai Asl (whose name was posted in the original Ebay thread), is pursuing a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at CSU-Bakersfield.

Five years from now, if the dude graduates and gets his license, folks will be going to him for help dealing with mental health and/or relationship issues. I think it's kind of important for there to be some sort of Google-able record of his own apparent -- what? -- instability? Dishonesty? Dickheadedness?

So there it is.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:00 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I shouldn't say tools, because I bet a lot of very nice young men have somewhat ironic mustaches and don't mean to look stupid.
posted by ND¢ at 12:01 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I still haven't seen any real evidence this guy's a troll. He's an eBay scammer with the world's douchiest MySpace. If he's a troll, he's more method than Day-Lewis.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:05 PM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


-About Armen: wow, what a shitmonkey.

Shitmonkey, eh? Is that a racist dig?
posted by sourwookie at 12:05 PM on March 4, 2008


Do you honestly think this is some sort of precedent, that because ortho did it people are going to go around deliberately posting believable wrong answers in all sorts of AskMe threads?

Anything that gets that many pats on the back is likely to be imitated.
posted by timeistight at 12:08 PM on March 4, 2008


AskMe's beloved troll, Armen Rezai Asl (whose name was posted in the original Ebay thread), is pursuing a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at CSU-Bakersfield.

Huh. So, not a troll, but a scammer.
posted by Tehanu at 12:10 PM on March 4, 2008


Actually, he's probably available for middle of the night AskMe policing.

I have a feeling Batman would have a hard time being light-handed with the moderation. But he would probably do an aces job of scaring off the spammers, and he'd never shoot anyone if he could help it, so that's something.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:14 PM on March 4, 2008


ND¢:

I am a wearer of a mustache that I do not consider to be ironic in any way, shape, or form. They look like shit on some guys, but mine is hot as hell - ask Unicorn on the cob. I did wait until I was nearly thirty to grow my first one, however, as I do feel that a mustache should be earned with life experience. Most guys under 30 that grow them look like they're trying too hard, are trying to prove something, or are funny and ironic. Not me.

My 'stache kicks ass.
posted by item at 12:15 PM on March 4, 2008


After much deliberation and personal reflection, I have decided that I am mostly opposed to bad internet behavior.
posted by aubilenon at 12:15 PM on March 4, 2008


The Jesse Helms, if you want to drop a link to Eco's Ur-fascism essay, that's fine, but posting the whole text without comment seems kind of unnecessary.

*glares at Meatbomb*
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:17 PM on March 4, 2008


Jason Lee looks good in a Mustache. Mustache. Mustache. Now that's a funny word.

But he's old. I'm old.
posted by Pax at 12:19 PM on March 4, 2008


I will take your word for it item. As for Jason Lee, I disagree. I think his is the perfect example of the ass-ugly neostache.
posted by ND¢ at 12:25 PM on March 4, 2008


Moustaches standing alone are merely impractical. You still have to shave and you still have skritchy stubble. A full beard contains a sexy moustache and a snuggly chinbeard, and the broader swath of whiskery fuzz is... less likely to prickle when being ridden for a nickel.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:25 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie: AskMe's beloved troll, Armen Rezai Asl (whose name was posted in the original Ebay thread), is pursuing a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at CSU-Bakersfield.

Five years from now, if the dude graduates and gets his license, folks will be going to him for help dealing with mental health and/or relationship issues. I think it's kind of important for there to be some sort of Google-able record of his own apparent -- what? -- instability? Dishonesty? Dickheadedness?



And searching Armen Rezai Asl brings up Metafilter as #2 on google, without even searching for Armen Rezai Asl Marriage or Family Therapy or Clinical Psychology Counselling Bakersfield California airnxtz ebay etc.

Or, KissmeImPersian.com

And mudpuppie, that is scary. Clinical Psych students are rightly held to very high standards and I wonder what the institutional reaction would be to his shenanigans.
posted by Rumple at 12:27 PM on March 4, 2008


Hardy fucking har har. Foreign last name resembles an english insult. Grow the fuck up.

I'm glad nobody saw my Cornhole-ya crack. I might be getting accused of being both homophobic and lolxtianist at the same time.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:27 PM on March 4, 2008


I think the impracticality of a mustache is part of its charm. Its kind of dandyish. "Yes ladies, there is no purpose to this hair on my face. I am doing it just for you. Think of all the other things I do just for the ladies . . ." *raises eyebrows, waggles mustache*
posted by ND¢ at 12:32 PM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


What kind of Marriage and Family student is also a peeping tom?



25 Jan 2008

My Naked Neighbor...
Current mood: imaginative
Category: Life

I can see my neighbor take showers from across the building. The window is closed, so all I see is a blurry outline. I have yet to determine if my naked neighbor is male or female, however.

8:09 - 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add Comment

posted by Rumple at 12:32 PM on March 4, 2008


orthogonality really should write bits for Infinite Solutions.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:33 PM on March 4, 2008


Moustache. Mustache. Moustache. Now I don't know which it is. I'll go with neostache. But Earl isn't what I picture when I think of the hipsters with neostaches talking about their vinyl collections or comparing whose bike frame is more obscure. Or is my conception of hipster outdated?

In any event, they're scratchy in real life and I hate that. Beards too. Or any combination.
posted by Pax at 12:35 PM on March 4, 2008


This is what happens when we don't have a professional white background.
posted by Stynxno at 12:36 PM on March 4, 2008 [6 favorites]


But weren't you the person who was arguing against any funny/ any bad behavior in the halls of Ask Me back in the day?

Yes, and I'm still against it. In general. It's an excellent rule and I'm glad it's there. But you know what? Unlike the people who make whiny MetaTalk posts at the drop of a hat ("Billy posted this but last week Bobby posted that but the mods deleted Bobby's post and it was almost the same!!"), I accept the fact that neither the world at large nor MeFi in particular is perfect and that there's never going to be total consistency, and frankly I prefer it that way. Messiness is life and life is messiness. And if there are going to be occasional rule-benders, I prefer they be as excellent as ortho's.
posted by languagehat at 12:38 PM on March 4, 2008


Also, my mustache is not in the least ironic. Nor my beard neither.
posted by languagehat at 12:39 PM on March 4, 2008


My dad's moustache could beat the crap out of all of you. Not your moustaches, mind you, that was not a typo or error of omission, it could beat the crap out of YOU.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:44 PM on March 4, 2008


whenever someone talks about how they look I always check out their user pictures. Mostly, they don't reflect what I'm hoping to see. Most mustache-claimers don't have a mustache in their user page. I feel robbed.
posted by garlic at 12:45 PM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Despite my real affection for moustaches, I vowed in my younger days that I would not sport one until I reached age thirty, unless part of a beard. Now that I have a beard, I have only a couple more years to go.

And incidentally, my roommate grew one last year, at age 27, and looked surprisingly good with it. When he finally shaved it, everyone he knew was really disappointed.
posted by Greg Nog at 12:46 PM on March 4, 2008


I'm one of those jerks who can't grow a proper mustache. My mustache only grows to the edge of my lips and not down the sides to meet with a beard, so my choice is either go mustache-less or grow one of those greasy don juan deals that no one should ever have grown after the 19th century.
posted by shmegegge at 12:51 PM on March 4, 2008


oh, to be able to grow a fu manchu.
posted by shmegegge at 12:51 PM on March 4, 2008


The funny thing about all my mustache-related pontificating is that I am clean-shaven (well it is late afternoon here, so I am a little stubbly). I just think that 70's era Burt Reynolds was one of the coolest men that ever lived, and all my thoughts on mustaches are inspired by him. I googled his name recently, and the first result was the image of him lying naked on a bear skin rug. How cool do you have to be to, when you are googled, an image of you naked on a bearskin rug pops up as the first result? What level of coolness is that? It is beyond anything I can even conceive of. "Yeah I googled you the other day Bob, and the first thing that came up was an image of you lying naked on a bearskin rug." "Yeah that is just how I roll." "HOW COOL ARE YOU!?" "Very."
posted by ND¢ at 12:54 PM on March 4, 2008 [9 favorites]


evidence of past fu manchu to make shmegegge jealous
posted by jtron at 12:55 PM on March 4, 2008


A couple weeks ago, the bf had to grow a William Powell mustache for a short film he was making. I mocked it initially, then fell helplessly under its spell.

When he shaved it off, my inner Myrna Loy actually got a little teary-eyed.
posted by scody at 12:59 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I have an utterly unironic lazy facial-hair thing going on, because it makes me not look like a twelve-year-old and because nobody ever gives you trouble at work for having a five o'clock Didn't Trim Your Mustache Today.

I've always kind of abstractly wished for more robust facial hair. My dad has a great 'stache, understated but bountiful, and my brother can grow a full beard in about three minutes. I've never done a true stand-alone mustache, and I probably won't do so for a long time at least, because I think I probably would get mistaken for somebody trying to be ironic. It's hard to be unironic in Portland, sometimes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:00 PM on March 4, 2008


my man, that right there is an imperial (which also makes me jealous, as an avowed zappa fan). the fu manchu, as I understand it, starts at the corners of the mouth and hangs down in long strands.
posted by shmegegge at 1:00 PM on March 4, 2008


When he shaved it off, my inner Myrna Loy actually got a little teary-eyed.

That you have an inner Myrna Loy explains my jealous hatred of said bf.
posted by OmieWise at 1:07 PM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Prostitution is against the law... in case some of you forgot. So as long as it is illegal... don't worry about us please. Thank you and God bless.

Pretty polite, for a jerk.
posted by doctor_negative at 1:12 PM on March 4, 2008


Come to think of it, haven't about half the mass-murderers out there shown an unhealthy interest in prostitutes frequently combined with a religious-inspired desire to punish them? Maybe the police would be interested in talking to this guy.
posted by telstar at 1:20 PM on March 4, 2008


sorry, meant "serial killers", not mass murderers
posted by telstar at 1:22 PM on March 4, 2008


Is this the thread where I can yet again profess my envy of Sam Elliot's upper lip?

And hair, too, the guy's got great hair
posted by middleclasstool at 1:25 PM on March 4, 2008


note: Everyone needs a mustache.
posted by ND¢ at 1:28 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


A good corollary, btw, would be questions about buying WoW gold. This is clearly against WoW's TOS, but nobody would ask that such a question be deleted. It isn't, after all, illegal.

Cancelbotting Craigslist is obviously an asshole thing to do, but it's not illegal either.

One thought that comes to mind... in this case, the scammer could really be serious. He might really be doing exactly what he says, and then turning around and scamming people and stealing music with his next heartbeat.
posted by Malor at 1:28 PM on March 4, 2008


oh no! I just looked up mustache types, and I was wrong. apparently, imperial mustaches are those awesome ones that curl up into huge circles. the fu manchu is, in fact, jtron's mustache. well, I want all three, now. the imperial, jtron's fu manchu, and my own imaginary fu manchu that grows like a willow tree from the corners of my mouth.
posted by shmegegge at 1:30 PM on March 4, 2008


I hereby confirm the Burt Reynolds bearskin rug situation over at Google. Truly, that is quite something.
posted by folgers crystals at 1:43 PM on March 4, 2008


telstar: "Come to think of it, haven't about half the serial killers out there shown an unhealthy interest in prostitutes frequently combined with a religious-inspired desire to punish them?"

I requested the Wikipedia article for each of the serial killers listed on Wikipedia's List of serial killers by country, and searched for the substring "prostitut". Only 48 of 268 (17.9%) matched. Not definitive by any measure, but, well, at least it's a data point.
posted by Plutor at 1:49 PM on March 4, 2008


I hereby confirm the Burt Reynolds bearskin rug situation over at Google. Truly, that is quite something.

Unless my memory is failing me, that picture was Playgirl magazine's first ever centerfold.
posted by timeistight at 1:55 PM on March 4, 2008


Goddammit 70's Burt Reynolds! There is a finite supply of awesomeness in the world. You can't have all of it!
posted by ND¢ at 2:00 PM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Do you honestly think this is some sort of precedent, that because ortho did it people are going to go around deliberately posting believable wrong answers in all sorts of AskMe threads?

No, I don't think it's a precedent, because a precedent by definition is the first instance of something.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:09 PM on March 4, 2008


I just shaved my mustache for job hunting purposes. I look much better with a mustache. Also, I look much better in a leisure suit, which I wear unironically. It will all come back, folks. All of it. As soon as I get health insurance, I'm learning to roller disco.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:13 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


note: Everyone needs a mustache.

And I suppose you agree with Freud's penis-envy theory too.

[has neither accessory]
posted by orange swan at 2:13 PM on March 4, 2008


I didn't say that everyone needed to have a mustache. I just think that everyone would benefit from having a mustache in their lives in some capacity.
posted by ND¢ at 2:20 PM on March 4, 2008


True enough! And this also applies to penises.

Possible discussion topic... "Penises and Moustaches: More Alike Than You Realize?"
posted by orange swan at 2:26 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


I let the beard grow out over Christmas, loargely through laziness. I thought I looked like a mugshot of the Unabomber (though lacking the intellectual rigour and ideological commitment) but was complimented on same facial fuzz both by my love and on the rare occasions I emerged from the cabin. I fear however the chief aesthetic improvement was probably the the amount of my face it served to conceal :(
Moreover, whilst cognisant of the differing mores of the times, I think Mr Reynolds should be ashamed for lending cachet to the barbaric practice of bear-skinning. And getting his cock out in public, the filthy fecker.
posted by Abiezer at 2:26 PM on March 4, 2008


I'm glad nobody saw my Cornhole-ya crack. I might be getting accused of being both homophobic and lolxtianist at the same time.

Damn, I'm torn. On one hand, I feel compelled to call out your homophobia, but on the other hand, well, lolxtian.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:27 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


How many of you who sit and judge him
Dare to walk the streets of Bakersfield?

posted by The corpse in the library at 2:30 PM on March 4, 2008


I didn't say that everyone needed to have a mustache. I just think that everyone would benefit from having a mustache in their lives in some capacity.

Business plan: Mustache On A Stick. Hand-crafted 10" stand with a mustache affixed to the top. Available in Handlebar, Imperial, Dali, and Chaplin/Hitler. Choice of colors.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:37 PM on March 4, 2008


I didn't say that everyone needed to have a mustache. I just think that everyone would benefit from having a mustache in their lives in some capacity.

That doesn't work out for all of us either. But it's fun to read people describe his superhuman attractiveness. Are there no Chuck Norris-like memes for him? It seems like there should be.
posted by Tehanu at 2:40 PM on March 4, 2008


Available in Handlebar, Imperial, Dali, and Chaplin/Hitler. Choice of colors.

Come on down to Mustache On A Stick, for our yearly clearance blowout! This week, get three Hitlers for the price of TWO! (Available in purple only.)
posted by scody at 2:44 PM on March 4, 2008


Business plan: Mustache On A Stick.

That is just raunchy.
posted by ND¢ at 2:45 PM on March 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


I liked the part in the MeTa where everyone who wasn't awake at 2am in the morning judges all the people who were awake at 2am in the morning.

As one of those for whom 2am is a close, personal friend (and who has followed MeFi for extended periods in two continents) I do know it's a bit weird to see the site's collective mood change in the American small hours. It's good that anon AskMe posts tend to go up earlier in the (mod-)day now, but I do think someone needs to have access to the terminate-with-extreme-prejudice button for the night shift, even if it's just for the green, where slightly tighter modding seems more helpful.
posted by holgate at 2:49 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Are there no Chuck Norris-like memes for him?

Burt's moustache is so cool that it has it's own moustache?
posted by chugg at 2:57 PM on March 4, 2008


My mustache is attached to my beard. It's a two for one deal.

The more I think about it, the more I realize Armen is also stupid or else wanted to get caught. He used the same username for his MeFi and MySpace accounts. Finding the connection was as easy as looking at the first four google hits.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:57 PM on March 4, 2008


Cortex: there is actually a store in San Francisco's Mission District (on Valencia around 18th-ish?) that sells very expensive handcrafted mustaches-on-sticks.
posted by moonmilk at 3:23 PM on March 4, 2008


I knew I'd seen some mustache-related news article recently. BBC News: Man fired from airline for refusing to shave.

The best part: "The spokesman said that some passengers could be unnerved by such a striking facial feature."
posted by Tehanu at 3:28 PM on March 4, 2008


Holy crap, moonmilk. Would that be the Curiosity Shoppe? (Note picture well down the page featuring said item; note also bizarre not-our-Jessamyn collision.)

Which seems to come back to someone in Philly, originally.

Though if it's not made of real hair, I'm not sure it counts.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:38 PM on March 4, 2008


Business plan: Mustache On A Stick.

Good news for you, pard. I got a buddy what already makes 'em.

Yes, my son is available for modeling gigs.
posted by middleclasstool at 3:41 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Alright, facial hair issues aside. What are the arguments for not having a mod in a time zone outside of the U.S.? Jessamyn has said that she thinks it would be nanny-stateish to assign one more mod. Is that the only issue? How big would MeFi need to be before another mod was assigned? Would that mod also be in the U.S.?
posted by sveskemus at 3:42 PM on March 4, 2008


The biggest problem with having a real mustache is that it makes it hard to wear a false mustache.
posted by aubilenon at 3:49 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


mudpuppie said: "AskMe's beloved troll, Armen Rezai Asl"

I feel like that should anagram into "sleaze"-something but can't be arsed.

item said: "My 'stache kicks ass."

What garlic said: "whenever someone talks about how they look I always check out their user pictures. Mostly, they don't reflect what I'm hoping to see. Most mustache-claimers don't have a mustache in their user page. I feel robbed." In other words, item, pics or it ain't real.

languagehat said: "Unlike the people who make whiny MetaTalk posts at the drop of a hat ("Billy posted this but last week Bobby posted that but the mods deleted Bobby's post and it was almost the same!!"), I accept the fact that neither the world at large nor MeFi in particular is perfect and that there's never going to be total consistency, and frankly I prefer it that way."

Right on. This is an imperfect world, screws fall out all the time.

With regard to The Midnight Mod (™ me): I have to admit that my US-centric self at first read the discussion and thought, "Damned straight! If we can't be adults for four piddly hours..." Then I read the point about, "Hi, it's not middle-of-the-night for all of us..." and thought, "Uh. Shit. Yeah. So, the folks outside North America deserve to play with legitimate MeFi too." So, while I opposed The Midnight Mod™ when I thought it was nanny-ish, I support The Midnight Mod™ now that I think of it as extending the same courtesy to users from all time zones.

I also wholly support everyone's frequent, consistent use of the phrase The Midnight Mod™. PM me if you need help making the ™ properly.
posted by pineapple at 3:53 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's official. My superpower is causing fanciful business plans to have already been undertaken, merely by proposing them. I shall call myself Rule 34 Man.

I hereby claim responsibility, and apologize, for the entire dotcom bubble. I was just kidding around about that whole selling-socks-online thing, and I promise to avoid drinking-and-superpowering in the future.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:58 PM on March 4, 2008


You know, pineapple, as a communications guy I fully believe that we need a name like The Midnight Mod™ to make this happen. If I weren't so damned busy I would cook up a plan for the Midnight Mod™ campaign. But I am right now, unfortunately. But I promise I won't forget the term and when everyone least expects it I will launch some kind of guerilla campaign for The Midnight Mod™ to happen.
posted by sveskemus at 4:05 PM on March 4, 2008


Midnight Mod sounds really fucking cool. He could be in a band with Dawn Rocker.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 4:12 PM on March 4, 2008


The Midnight Mod™ does sound cool, and is probably more sustainable than my "cortex eats nothing but No Doze and drinks nothing but Red Bull" idea.
posted by Gary at 4:27 PM on March 4, 2008


What are the arguments for not having a mod in a time zone outside of the U.S.?

Well the argument really is that 99% of the time we don't need one. People have often claimed that more moderators means more moderation in a way that chafes. So, most of the time just having the 2.5 of us around is enough. It might be a good idea to find someone in another country just to have some sort of "IN CASE OF FIRE BREAK GLASS" powers for situations like this stupid clusterfuck, but usually the people who volunteer aren't the ones you want to do the job.

If you can also recall back to when cortex started here, vetting a new person is difficult and fraught with peril, so it's really a certain sort of person that can deal with that and not turn into instant vendetta gal (because I would like a girlmod to play with, yes I would) thus defeating the purpose. Everyone else basically gets to work when someone else is around to check things with etc. An antipodal mod would be all out there on their lonesome.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:34 PM on March 4, 2008


We could try both ideas.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:35 PM on March 4, 2008


I'm willing to stay up all night, if you're looking for a Midnight Mod. Email me and I'll send you my salary requirements, which are minimal, but I need it to be understood that I am going to be spending a lot of that time watching old Shatner films.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:35 PM on March 4, 2008


jessamyn: People have often claimed that more moderators means more moderation in a way that chafes.

But the fact that cortex started as a mod didn't mean stricter moderation, did it? As far as I can see the limits of moderation are pretty much the same. I guess having one more mod made it a bit easier for you guys but we mere mortals having been feeling anything that different.

I don't think that The Midnight Mod™ needs to be someone who disappears twelve users per day but it would be really nice to have someone to clean up the worst mess while you guys are sleeping.
posted by sveskemus at 4:52 PM on March 4, 2008


having haven't

It's really late here, sorry.
posted by sveskemus at 4:53 PM on March 4, 2008


pineapple:

The most recent photos of myself with a mustache are from two weeks ago, and in said pics I also happen to be dressed as a zombie. Zombie mustache pics:

Here I am about to receive a kiss from Unicorn on the cob, zombie prom queen
. Mustache featured prominently.

Again with Unicorn on the cob. I think Ufez Jones took this pic.

Just zombie Item and my zombie mustache.

There you go.
posted by item at 4:54 PM on March 4, 2008


Sorry, I'm skipping down to comment having only read half the thread. What'd I miss?

shmegegge: Also, it occurs to me... again... that metafilter doesn't seem to be scaling very well. Something like this - while it certainly demonstrates the problem with certain attitudes among the userbase - also demonstrates a problem with the number of users we have versus the number of mods and what hours they keep. Maybe I'm totally off here, mods, but aren't you guys kind of feeling like there isn't a whole lot that can be done to discourage this sort of thing? Shouldn't there maybe be more you could do?

I agreed with your comment wholeheartedly up until this part. MetaFilter is not scaling well, agreed, but more specifically it is not scaling well in relation to its classic moderation technique, self-policing. This part of the comment,
I mean, you guys do realize that you got played, right? That all the righteous indignation we're all so happy to bust out at every opportunity was for nothing and that the scammer got you all to shit directly on the floor of your own living room? it's honestly pretty boggling that anyone who shit in that thread (except maybe for orthogonality, who just posted a really funny but serviceable bad answer) could possibly come away from it feeling like anything but a world class sucker.
is the solution that is needed, not more admin-style moderation. MetaTalk is the designated arena for MetaFilter's self-policing. I wonder if the numbers would back my suspicion that as usage of MeFi and AskMe has gone up, MeTa's slice has decreased proportionally. If that's the case then even if good self-policing (like shmegegge's comment) is occurring in its proper forum, fewer people are heeding it. What would be needed is increased MeTa visibility. How you'd do that? I dunno. Maybe posts to the sidebar would be enough.
posted by carsonb at 5:00 PM on March 4, 2008


Err...more posts to the sidebar from MeTa would be enough.
posted by carsonb at 5:03 PM on March 4, 2008


The Evil Midnight Mod What Mods at Midnight!
posted by aubilenon at 5:28 PM on March 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


The Evil Midnight Mod What Mods at Midnight!

.... will always be my sworn enemy.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:52 PM on March 4, 2008


If you can also recall back to when cortex started here

Oh hey. Happy anniversary, me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:01 PM on March 4, 2008


fourcheesemac : The more I think about it, the more I realize Armen is also stupid or else wanted to get caught. He used the same username for his MeFi and MySpace accounts. Finding the connection was as easy as looking at the first four google hits.

The other possibility is that he is so arrogant and/ or deluded that he really never dreamed that someone would see through his clever ruse. I've known people like this: scammers, that is, and there is a predisposition to just assume that no one is smart enough, or willing to take the time to put all the pieces together.

The defense strategy that is usually employed when someone starts getting close is to try to change the game by redefining it through excuses and lies.

Looking of the posts this of this individual, his behavior seems to match my experiences with the type.
posted by quin at 6:01 PM on March 4, 2008


Just what we need... someone else to run up 10,000 comments in metatalk, spouting on and on about their important administrative duties.
posted by Dave Faris at 6:10 PM on March 4, 2008


They don't call me the bearded lady for nothing.
posted by Sailormom at 6:29 PM on March 4, 2008


Is there any MetaFilter favouriting software that actually works? My, um, friend is trying to find out a way to favourite comments in the blue, green & grey sections on my local MetaFilter. I am not here to debate about the morality of egotism or fraudulent use of others' accounts, so any replies of that nature will be ignored. I am just trying to boost the rating of a certain person and reward him for coming to our website to solicit himself for favourites. I have tried a script on http://userscripts.org/ but it does not seem to favourite enough comments. I have one computer, I mean, my friend does, so he cannot favourite a comment from multiple computers. Thank you.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:40 PM on March 4, 2008


Just what we need... someone else to run up 10,000 comments in metatalk, spouting on and on about their important administrative duties.

Hit.....the......button.....dude......
posted by popechunk at 7:08 PM on March 4, 2008


Armen, if you're reading this, cut this shit out. You're a dickwad and MetaFilter is too smart for you. Go away for ever. You're only hurting yourself. people who meet you in real life--like at school, or people who might want to date you even--they google your name and see this dumbass shit you've done on MetaFilter and eBay. Then those acquaintances of yours email MeFi members or contact them through MySpace or other sites just to ask us--complete strangers--whether they should associate with you or be wary of you. That's pretty fucked up, dude. It's happening. I pity your dumb ass. Think about it.
posted by Anne Coulter's Butt Plug at 7:16 PM on March 4, 2008


People in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

I've never heard anybody say a kind word about Ann Coulter's Butt Plug either, just so you know...
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:27 PM on March 4, 2008


I've never heard anybody say a kind word about Ann Coulter's Butt Plug either, just so you know...

Then you obviously haven't read Tucker Carlton's memoir...
posted by Anne Coulter's Butt Plug at 7:33 PM on March 4, 2008


Ann Coulter's Butt Plug wrote "Armen, if you're reading this, cut this shit out...."

histronisterical!
posted by mrmojoflying at 7:42 PM on March 4, 2008


This is what happens when we don't have a professional white background.
posted by Stynxno


Please end this humorless racism.
posted by rokusan at 8:18 PM on March 4, 2008


AskMe's beloved troll, Armen Rezai Asl (whose name was posted in the original Ebay thread), is pursuing a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy at CSU-Bakersfield.

you know it has to be true, it's on his myspace page.
posted by quonsar at 8:24 PM on March 4, 2008


Speaking of mustaches, I need to share this video clip from the kids' punk rock public access show "Pancake Mountain".

I give you the Telephone Company and their hit "Mustache Mustache"
posted by padraigin at 8:33 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


DevilsAdvocate said: No, I don't think it's a precedent, because a precedent by definition is the first instance of something.

That's the precedent I've ever heard that word defined that way.
posted by ericost at 8:42 PM on March 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


You know what's worse than hipstrionic mustaches? The fingerstache.
posted by sugarfish at 10:26 PM on March 4, 2008


I thought I looked like a mugshot of the Unabomber

You wish, pal.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:58 PM on March 4, 2008


I heard talk of mustaches. Sadly, the closest thing I have to a real mustachio is this, which came about during a discussion of those stupid finger mustaches.


You know who else had a great mustache?


That's right!
posted by louche mustachio at 2:07 AM on March 5, 2008


Holy shit. I've only read up to and including fourcheesemac's outing of princeofpersia as being Armen Asl (and the linked AskMe thread about the ebay scam, which I somehow missed at the time), but this is riveting, not to mention sickening stuff. I take it the authorities never prosecuted what's-his-face, and if ebay did finally terminate him, it wasn't until he'd pulled a million more scams even after being repeatedly notified by several MeFites that the guy was a scammer. Way to go, Armen (and Pierre Omidyar of ebay). You've done all us Iranians proud.
posted by Devils Slide at 2:16 AM on March 5, 2008


Another interesting footnote: "Asl" means "genuine" in Farsi. I've never run across an Iranian with that last name. Particularly one with the first name "Armen", which suggests he's an Armenian-Iranian. It would follow that his real surname would end with "-ian", as does every other Armenian surname I've ever heard. So yeah, I think the "Asl/genuine" bit is Armen's way of being funny, as in "I'm the biggest scammer/liar/crook MeFi has ever seen, but my 'surname' means the opposite of that."
posted by Devils Slide at 2:33 AM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Hmm, looks like I was wrong about the "Asl" name being made up, because he's listed as Armen Rezai Asl in the linked CSUB page.

shmeggage: I have no idea why your Iraqi friends are insisting on being called Persian. Yeah, there's the "not a good time to be an Iraqi in America" angle, whereas Persians are the wealthiest, most highly educated ethnic group (and that includes white Americans of European origin) in the U.S, according to the 2000 census. Too bad I'm one of the poorer ones.

Another reason they're referring to themselves as Persian could be because Iran has had a long history of invading Iraq for long periods throughout the millennia, so perhaps your Iraqi friends are of distant (?) Persian origin. Also, after the revolution many Persian Mojaheddin fighters who were/are opposed to the Islamic regime set up base in Iraq (at Saddam's invitation), and it could be that your friends are the sons and daughters of those people.

But yeah, as mentioned upthread, Persian is an ethnicity and Iranian is a nationality. For instance, if Armen is indeed Armenian-Iranian, he wouldn't be considered Persian, but he's still Iranian, as are Iranian Kurds and other non-Persian ethnic groups who live in Iran.

Less camel jockey, more carpet pilot.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:15 AM on March 4 [1 favorite +] [!]


I resemble that remark, you potential pony-birther!
posted by Devils Slide at 3:22 AM on March 5, 2008


The midnight mod doesn't have to be someone overseas. It can be a North American night owl. (For example, it's 5:14 am on the West Coast and I am just about to go to sleep. It's morning on the East Coast already. So theoretically, someone with my schedule could easily cover the mod-less hours.)
posted by litlnemo at 5:15 AM on March 5, 2008


Well, I'm glad I stayed well away from all of this.

Except I admit that did get a mild tingling sensation in my general sitting-down regions thinking about the texty howls of the summarily banned, maimed and dying, avatar bodies broken on the wheel of Fark and Digg, the arcs of fire across the shattered vault of imagined sky, the rivers of meta-blood and lexical filth, the sturm und mod-drang, the ASCIIpocalypse that would ensue if Matt&co were dog-biting loopy enough to make me the suggested GMT+9 admin. Sweet frisson of potential evil, oh how you tease me.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:16 AM on March 5, 2008


The Midnight Mod™ versus Instant Vendetta Gal! Two mods enter, one mod leaves! Getcher tickets now!!
posted by languagehat at 6:09 AM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Sorry, I'm skipping down to comment having only read half the thread. What'd I miss?

Not much. Just a bunch of guys who can't be arsed to shave every morning.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:12 AM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


What!? You deleted that post? There was some brilliant writing in it!! (I didn't see it till it was closed, so none of mine...)

Put it back, please (perhaps closed?)!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:01 AM on March 5, 2008


Put it back, please

wtf are you talking about? it's still there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:05 AM on March 5, 2008


Oh, no. It was a troll?! How annoying.

Now what to do with it! Some excellent moments there - the fake instructions on how to do Craigslist click fraud - and this.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:09 AM on March 5, 2008


Now what to do with it!

well, allkindsoftime linked to his own comment in the post he made today about Tim Keller. It's going about as well as you would expect.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:17 AM on March 5, 2008


If I had to guess airnxt's (or whatever his name is) true purpose with wanting to game CL, it would be one of these:

a. he's selling shit on there that he doesn't want any competition at (ie, wants to delete his competitors' ads) or

b. he's buying shit on there that he wants to delete the ads of immediately after emailing the seller (ie, so that no one else will see the ad).
posted by dobbs at 8:38 AM on March 5, 2008


Rumple: And mudpuppie, that is scary. Clinical Psych students are rightly held to very high standards and I wonder what the institutional reaction would be to his shenanigans.

Clinical psych =/= counseling (marriage and family) psych.

Just sayin'.
posted by CKmtl at 8:38 AM on March 5, 2008


Apologies to cortex. That was a cheap shot I took last night in this thread. I have no justifiable reason to take any animus out on him - quite the opposite, really. He's always been fair and open-minded, and yet I went ahead and slurred him anyway. I don't know why I sometimes behave like such a boorish jerk. My comment reflected more on me than it did on him. The less said about it, the better.
posted by Dave Faris at 9:21 AM on March 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I don't know why I sometimes behave like such a boorish jerk. My comment reflected more on me than it did on him. The less said about it, the better.

i feel we should discuss this at great length.
posted by quonsar at 9:42 AM on March 5, 2008


It's going about as well as you would expect.

Jessamyn, there really needs to be a "ROTFL" flag! That is all.
posted by Melismata at 9:46 AM on March 5, 2008


Thanks, Dave. I appreciate it. Metatalk is kind of a strange brewing pot for boorishness, sometimes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:52 AM on March 5, 2008


It might be a good idea to find someone in another country just to have some sort of "IN CASE OF FIRE BREAK GLASS" powers for situations like this stupid clusterfuck, but usually the people who volunteer aren't the ones you want to do the job.

I'm not volunteering, but I am a chronic insomniac.
posted by timeistight at 10:20 AM on March 5, 2008


Non-ironic moustache which only exists in certain remote corners of space-time and my driver's license
posted by ludwig_van at 10:22 AM on March 5, 2008


"well, allkindsoftime linked to his own comment in the post he made today about Tim Keller. It's going about as well as you would expect."

It was going pretty well for a while, despite being a wafer-thin Pepsi Blue post. Then the usual gang of idiots showed up and started the general "Everyone who believes in God is an idiot" bullshit.
posted by klangklangston at 10:31 AM on March 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Remember that guy who wrote that thing that led to this post? That guy was awesome. Thanks, guy!
posted by Mister_A at 10:39 AM on March 5, 2008


I resemble that remark, you potential pony-birther!
posted by Devils Slide at 3:22 AM on March 5 [+] [!] Other [3/3]


I'm trying to live up to my potential! In metatalk intercourse, I beg the admins "give me a pony, make a pony for me," but I think the responsibilities of pony paternity must be a turnoff.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:56 AM on March 5, 2008


ew
posted by prophetsearcher at 11:24 AM on March 5, 2008


I wonder if the numbers would back my suspicion that as usage of MeFi and AskMe has gone up, MeTa's slice has decreased proportionally. If that's the case then even if good self-policing (like shmegegge's comment) is occurring in its proper forum, fewer people are heeding it.

Hey, thanks for the plug. I'm not sure if my comment is an example of good self-policing. Either way, I don't really think that self-policing can necessarily be relied on at all as metafilter gets bigger. the bigger we get, the less homogeneous our userbase will be. the less homogeneous our userbase is (and maybe this is the cynic in me) the more it will include assholes and idiots. the more assholes and idiots, the less a self-policing and/or reasonable voice will be heard.

I believe that's it's easier for someone to make an impact saying "guys, stop piling on this guy," when that someone is one voice among a dozen than when it's one (or three or a dozen) voice among a thousand. I know, I'm blowing your mind right now. Point is, I usually think our self policing is the way to go. I just don't know if it's effective when it comes to stopping a thread full of assholes, anymore.
posted by shmegegge at 11:32 AM on March 5, 2008


This Armen guy is like Murdoc out of MacGyver. Every once in a while he pops back into our life like some kind of evil nemesis from MacAfilter to fight. And when we do beat him, and he falls down a cliff or something screaming "MacAfilteeeeeeeeeer!!!!" you hope he's dead but still you just know he'll be back...
posted by Effigy2000 at 12:15 PM on March 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


rokusan: "This is what happens when we don't have a professional white background.
posted by Stynxno


Please end this humorless racism.
"

Are you being sarcastic, or did you miss this brouhaha as well?
posted by team lowkey at 12:30 PM on March 5, 2008


he falls down a cliff or something screaming "MacAfilteeeeeeeeeer!!!!" you hope he's dead but still you just know he'll be back...

But we'll be here, ready to save the day -- with naught but a shoelace, a foil gum wrapper, and a collective ton of sweet, sweet moxie.
posted by pineapple at 12:31 PM on March 5, 2008


...then the usual gang of idiots showed up and started the general "Everyone who believes in God is an idiot" bullshit.

I'm not sure why I love this sentence fragment but i do.
posted by srboisvert at 1:37 PM on March 5, 2008


the more assholes and idiots, the less a self-policing and/or reasonable voice will be heard

Apologies to Carlin, but I'm not sure mob rule works on any scale beyond two people.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:08 PM on March 5, 2008


actually, in my case, it doesn't work on any scale below two people, either.
posted by prophetsearcher at 3:10 PM on March 5, 2008


Just guessing here, but judging by his assholic behaviours on AskMe, EBay, and Craigslist, Armen Rezai Asl is way overdue for some karmic retribution. That boy is gonna fall, and he's gonna fall some fucking hard. You just can't be that stupid, arrogant, and useless without it coming back on you.

The schadenfreude will be something to behold.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:32 PM on March 5, 2008


Just guessing here, but judging by his assholic behaviours on AskMe, EBay, and Craigslist, Armen Rezai Asl is way overdue for some karmic retribution.

Karma? Jesus forgives, man. He's a bastard like that.
posted by Jimbob at 6:21 AM on March 6, 2008


Jesus forgives, but people don't. Karma will run over his dogma.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:26 AM on March 6, 2008


What would be needed is increased MeTa visibility. How you'd do that?

There was discussion once about a "MetaTalk Banner" on threads that were called out (for whatever reason). Here was my MS Paint-stylee mockup. Still not sure if it is a great idea, but there was some support for it.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:36 AM on March 6, 2008


I like the idea of a MetaTalk banner as well as the idea of a Midnight Mod. But what I'd REALLY like is for people to just stop treating AskMetafilter like a toilet.
posted by onalark at 7:01 AM on March 6, 2008


You just can't be that stupid, arrogant, and useless without it coming back on you.

george w. bush.
posted by quonsar at 9:33 AM on March 6, 2008


Strangely I had always assumed we'd never hear any more from Asl, that he'd go change his name and engage in similar behavior but we'd not get to track it, since the threads are now closed. Silver lining - someone will now have all this info to stumble on.

However after reading all the comments here my brain is now running amuck with random pop cultural references... Burt Reynolds' mustache and Magnum PI's (for some reason, I think of Tom Sellek's mustache as being more part of that character rather than belonging to the actor, maybe it's the Hawaiin shirt fu or something) mustache enter the Thunderdome - two mustaches enter, one mustache leaves! - in a witty (debatable) battle to the death! And next on the lineup - the 1977 Pontiac Trans Am versus the Ferrari 308 GTS, with a surprise guest appearance by a talking 1982 Pontiac Trans Am!
I'm thinking I need to try decaff.
posted by batgrlHG at 11:41 AM on March 6, 2008


you know, i wouldn't be surprised at all if "princeofpersiaxz" in the craigslist thread was a sockpuppet of airnxtz (the victim in the ebay fraud thread).

the ebay thread was posted on nov 14th last year.

"princeofpersiaxz" "signed up" on nov 17th, after the thread had been running for several days, with much internet sleuthing.

coincidence?

i think you've all been trolled by airnxtz in some kind of hivemind-based revenge fantasy, hoping to dig up dirt & destroy the reputation of the real princeofpersiaxs.

in fact, i'm willing to stake a $3,000 laptop on this theory.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:50 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


(what's with all those x's & z's, btw?)
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:52 AM on March 7, 2008


oh, airnxtz has been disabled. interesting question history.

i'm now betting two laptops that they're both the same guy.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:58 AM on March 7, 2008


In case anyone stumbles across this thread, you ought to visit this one as well - our poster, airnxtz, turned out to be an eBay fraudster. Funny old world, eh?

posted by blag at 11:21 AM on November 17 [+] [!] No other comments.

(or did everybody already work this out in my absence?)
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:02 AM on March 7, 2008


Yep.
posted by goo at 6:04 AM on March 7, 2008


So you get to keep the laptop.
posted by goo at 6:04 AM on March 7, 2008


oh, but i don't have the laptop yet; it's on its way...

tell you what, i've already got a lappy, why don't you drop $2K in my paypal account, and i'll tell fedex to send it to you...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:12 AM on March 7, 2008


goo: you missed the point. i'm saying that maybe princeofpersiaxz = airnxtz

which is very different to "i found princeofpersiaxz on a google search"
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:20 AM on March 7, 2008


Ubu, fourcheesemac said that days ago.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:18 AM on March 7, 2008


Yeah, at this point I think you've pretty much forfeited the laptops. I'll send you my mailing address.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:48 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


That scuttles my nomination of UbuRoivas as midnightmod, or, as we say in Canada, Maudit Nuit. but the plan for a Comonwealth takeover of metafilter continues, right guys?
posted by Rumple at 8:59 AM on March 7, 2008


Why? I don't think it's manditory for a moderator to actually read the threads, is it?
posted by Dave Faris at 9:26 AM on March 7, 2008


We're just not comfortable, at this point, with his ability to safely use the Moderation Dartboard.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:31 AM on March 7, 2008


the plan for a Comonwealth takeover of metafilter continues, right guys?

I believe it is formally referred to as "The Cabaul".
posted by Rock Steady at 9:31 AM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


fourcheesemac said that days ago.

I always knew that the internet was awesome, but I didn't know it was this awesome.

Nice work, fourcheesemac.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:12 AM on March 7, 2008


goo: you missed the point. i'm saying that maybe princeofpersiaxz = airnxtz

No, I didn't. Do I get the other laptop?
posted by goo at 12:07 PM on March 7, 2008


OK, nice shiny macbooks for cortex & goo.

the only thing is, they're currently being held in a safe deposit box at the bank, since the junta seized my family's assets in the recent coup. i can arrange for them to be transferred into your name through a contact at the bank, though. all i need is your bank account details, and i'll expedite the transfer to a mutually beneficial conclusion.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:52 PM on March 7, 2008


We're just not comfortable, at this point, with his ability to safely use the Moderation Dartboard.

No, I've worked that one out now. It was deceptively simple: I just needed to turn it upside down!
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:53 PM on March 7, 2008


but the plan for a Comonwealth takeover of metafilter continues, right guys?

Yes, soon the sign-up fee will be referred to as a Wilfred.
posted by Gary at 12:57 PM on March 7, 2008


Yes, soon the sign-up fee will be referred to as a Wilfred.

The Queen, with a willie on her back side.
posted by Rumple at 1:10 PM on March 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


queens tend to like willies on their backsides, from what i've heard.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:17 PM on March 7, 2008


The Queen, with a willie on her back side.

Actually, it's a bunch of children on Willie's back side. I like to think we're slowly phasing her out so that Charles won't get to be on the money.
posted by Gary at 1:36 PM on March 7, 2008


It will be so weird to hear "God Save the King" and see that moronic prat on the money. We should just go all primitive and keep the Queen even after she is dead. Put her in a waxen tomb or have her bones wheeled out for the throne speech.
posted by Rumple at 4:17 PM on March 7, 2008


Late correction: I spoke to my mother about this, and she said "Armin/Armen" is a Persian name, it's not Armneian. So it appears dickhead is Persian after all.
posted by Devils Slide at 11:57 AM on March 9, 2008


Wait, don't I get a laptop too?
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:45 PM on March 11, 2008


damn, i guess you do.

if i sent you one, but all you received was a box of rocks, could you claim it on insurance, do you think? assume that the fedex guy didn't make you sign for the delivery.
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:11 PM on March 11, 2008


rokusan: "This is what happens when we don't have a professional white background. Please end this humorless racism."

Are you being sarcastic?

I'll make it more obvious next time. :)
posted by rokusan at 1:37 PM on March 20, 2008


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