commentiquette April 17, 2008 12:59 PM   Subscribe

Too much hate. Why can't people just be nice?

"Oh, this is stupid because mumble mumble mumble. . ." Like, who cares? If you don't find a post interesting, why don't you post an interesting link instead?

Or do you gauge yourself on your ability for disdain?
posted by plexi to Etiquette/Policy at 12:59 PM (148 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Obviously.
posted by puke & cry at 1:03 PM on April 17, 2008


Why can't people just be nice?

Because MeFites are people and just like people grumble and moan in real life MeFites snark and threadshit on MetaFilter. It's always been like this and always will be. The lyrics may differ but the song remains the same. It doesn't bother me very often and when it does I just let it slide.
posted by Kattullus at 1:04 PM on April 17, 2008


do you gauge yourself on your ability for disdain?

No, I gauge myself on my ability to express disdain in a grammatically correct manner.

Sorry.</em
posted by dersins at 1:06 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or do you gauge yourself on your ability for disdain?

I agree with your general point, but sometimes reasoned (if occasionally harsh) disdain can be useful, especially with trolls.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:06 PM on April 17, 2008


I don't think "this is stupid because" really warrants being called hate. You should be nicer.
posted by owtytrof at 1:07 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sorry.<>

NOTE: I DO NOT GAUGE MYSELF ON MY ABILITY TO EXPRESS DISDAIN USING PROPER HTML.

posted by dersins at 1:07 PM on April 17, 2008


Sadly, I fear this thread is not going to provide you with the results you're after.
posted by bondcliff at 1:08 PM on April 17, 2008


"This is stupid" is a valid response to a post that someone finds to be stupid.

Too much hate.

Well. I'd disagree with that, of course.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:09 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Insulting people and their interests and ideas can make for some great reading. Unfortunately most of the hatin' here seems to boil down to "I don't like this!"

Take this post, for instance: it would be much improved with some links to particularly lame grousing and some mockery of how dull the haters are. Perhaps with some comparisons of their dullness with the supposed dullness of the post their dissing. And, if you want to be really ambitious, some sort of allusion to their pretty clearly being mouth-breathing aspies. Otherwise it's just boring-ass complaining in that great, world-renowned American style.

(Like this MetaTalk post.)

(oooooooooooooh)
posted by 1 at 1:09 PM on April 17, 2008


Only positive comments will be accepted in happyFilter.
posted by smackfu at 1:09 PM on April 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


*** ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION ***

I DO NOT CARE ABOUT ANY OF THIS AND FIND IT TO BE COMPLETELY UNINTERESTING

*** ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION ***
posted by burnmp3s at 1:12 PM on April 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


Hi. Welcome to earth. We have the potential for love.

Sadly, we have the same thing for hate.

Its your choice.

Sadly, its everyone's choice, too.
posted by allkindsoftime at 1:12 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Oh, this is stupid because mumble mumble mumble. . ." Like, who cares? If you don't find a post interesting, why don't you post an interesting link instead?

Once, a friend made me diarrhea fudge. I said "Yuck, this tastes like diarrhea." My friend said "Oh yeah? If it's so bad, why don't you make some fudge?" I told him "Because making fudge is hard. But just because I can't make good fudge doesn't mean that I shouldn't say so when fudge is bad."

Sometimes I say that posts are bad. Why don't I post an interesting link instead? Because I think that making good posts is hard. But that doesn't mean that there should be no standard for good and bad fudge.

And by fudge, I mean posts.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:13 PM on April 17, 2008 [22 favorites]


plexi, if you're ticked about comments in the post you made today, you should have just said so.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:15 PM on April 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


Surely this is something that can be solved with sweeping generalizations!
posted by Eideteker at 1:16 PM on April 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


Maybe you are distressed because you are old, going bald, and haven't published a best selling book lately?

It's like you know me.
posted by found missing at 1:18 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Everything is a sweeping generalization.
posted by dubold at 1:19 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Why can't people just be nice?"


BECAUSE I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE.
posted by klangklangston at 1:20 PM on April 17, 2008 [12 favorites]


I want to favorite 23skidoo's comment over and over.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:20 PM on April 17, 2008


Surely this is something that can be solved with sweeping generalizations!

That's exactly what a 20000er would say.
posted by bondcliff at 1:20 PM on April 17, 2008


What good are the Internets without snarky comments? I'm all down with hate, I just prefer it to be clever and interesting hate. But, you know, whatever.
posted by jeffamaphone at 1:22 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


There is a huge difference between critiquing the content or worthiness of a post and negatively or destructively commenting directly about a person.

Allowing yourself to conflate the two is natural when your post is the one being attacked, but it is to be doing it wrong.

Think about it. Your allowing yourself to become emotionally entangled with and offended by the opinions of other random *ahem* idiots (myself included) on the internet commenting about a post linking to content (inherently, by bylaws MeFi) produced by someone else.

Look, that's crazy talk. Grow a nice, supple hide already. It doesn't have to be a rhino hide, but it shouldn't be wet tissue, either.


(Every post I've made seems to have some negative or objectively critiquing comment about the content or methods in which I post. Usually at least one. Sometimes they're quite constructive and helpful if you can manage to not get butthurt by them.)
posted by loquacious at 1:24 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's easier to scorn than to praise.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:24 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I want to favorite 23skidoo's comment over and over.

I thought his comment was ironic because it was about how he fearlessly calls out posts that he thinks are boring, and yet the comment itself was basically devoid of content and, well, boring.
posted by 1 at 1:25 PM on April 17, 2008


FAIL

thanks, thepinksuperhero
posted by KokuRyu at 1:26 PM on April 17, 2008


I thought his comment was ironic because it was about how he fearlessly calls out posts that he thinks are boring, and yet the comment itself was basically devoid of content and, well, boring.

Ha, I don't "fearlessly call out posts that I think are boring", but if you want to think that comment was boring, you're more than welcome to. It won't bother me.
posted by 23skidoo at 1:28 PM on April 17, 2008


That was a boring rebuttal.
posted by found missing at 1:29 PM on April 17, 2008


Too much hate. Why can't people just be nice?

Life is all about conflicting desires and for many people this fundamental struggle causes them a certain amount of internal strife that they have to mete out bit by tiny bit lest they explode from the overwhelming disquietude of it.

I had this problem for a while.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:31 PM on April 17, 2008 [25 favorites]


I thought his comment was ironic because it was about how he fearlessly calls out posts that he thinks are boring, and yet the comment itself was basically devoid of content and, well, boring.

And that precisely places your commentary where by way of this didactic criterion of yours?

Ooo, metaburn!
posted by loquacious at 1:31 PM on April 17, 2008


And that precisely places your commentary where by way of this didactic criterion of yours?

It's ensconced in the pantheon of greats.
posted by 1 at 1:35 PM on April 17, 2008


Why can't people just be nice?

Maybe you are distressed because you are old, going bald, and haven't published a best selling book lately?

posted by languagehat at 1:35 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


This whole site is boring.

It was a lot more exciting back at the beginning of the month when all of the pages changed color. Can we bring that back?
posted by burnmp3s at 1:35 PM on April 17, 2008


[Puts a wreath of flowers on her hair, links arms with nearest members, starts singing "We Are the World".]
posted by orange swan at 1:38 PM on April 17, 2008


WE ARE THE CHILDREN
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:39 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


It was a lot more exciting back at the beginning of the month when all of the pages changed color. Can we bring that back?

You can simulate the effect by going to the kayakpeddling site posted earlier, flipping through it for about 60 seconds, and then flipping back to mefi. Cool, idn't it.
posted by cashman at 1:39 PM on April 17, 2008


WE ARE THE ONES WHO MAKE A BRIGHTER DAY
SO LET'S START GIVING
posted by dersins at 1:42 PM on April 17, 2008


Click the "make it start" link at the bottom of the page. However, like many transcendental experiences, it's not the same if we're not all seeing it at once.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:42 PM on April 17, 2008


Okay, at 45 after the hour, we all do it.
posted by cashman at 1:45 PM on April 17, 2008


shit, do it now, do it now!
posted by cashman at 1:45 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's a choice we're making
posted by 23skidoo at 1:46 PM on April 17, 2008


I'm mixing Lemon Pledge and Anchor Steam.
Creamy!
posted by Dizzy at 1:48 PM on April 17, 2008


Up yer bum.
posted by Artw at 1:48 PM on April 17, 2008


Can stuck in bum.
Where's GMan when you need him?
posted by Dizzy at 1:50 PM on April 17, 2008


starts singing "We Are the World"

Ooh! Ooh! Can we do "I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing" next?
And then we can all buy each other a Coke.
posted by amyms at 1:55 PM on April 17, 2008


While we're griping, when people write, "try and" rather than "try to", it really gets my goat.

Have a nice day!
posted by misha at 1:55 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


try and try again
try to try again
posted by found missing at 1:58 PM on April 17, 2008


Confounding conjunctions and particles is your golden eagle?
posted by CKmtl at 1:58 PM on April 17, 2008


That one gets me too, misha. It ranks right up there with "should of" instead of "should have."
posted by amyms at 1:59 PM on April 17, 2008


"It's ensconced in the pantheon of greatsgoats."
posted by Eideteker at 2:00 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Or do you gauge yourself on your ability for disdain?

Judge Smails: Ty, what did you shoot today?

Ty Webb: Oh, Judge, I don't keep score.

Judge Smails: Then how do you measure yourself with other golfers?

Ty Webb: By height.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:02 PM on April 17, 2008


What fishmongery is this?
posted by Skorgu at 2:03 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I would like the record to show that I am young, have a full head of hair, and have recently published the best-selling book, I Hate All You Douchebags, now in it's third printing!
posted by turaho at 2:03 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Confounding conjunctions and particles is your golden eagle?

GOLDEN EAGLE'DED!!!1!
posted by BobFrapples at 2:08 PM on April 17, 2008


H8.
posted by Floydd at 2:09 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's ensconced in the pantheon of greats.

Great whats? Great White Hopes? Great White Devils? Great ways to shoot the foot in ones mouth? Great big giant purple people eaters?
posted by loquacious at 2:14 PM on April 17, 2008


I'm people, and I'm nice.
That is all.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 2:20 PM on April 17, 2008


Plexilibs!
All the _MOVIES_ directed _BY_ this _FILM SCHOOL DROPOUT_ who chose to bisect her _CUTE_ _PUPPIES_ with something fun like _KNIVES_ are funneled by people who have names like _"BALTHASAR PIMBERTON"_ and _"STEVE"_. You can _SURF_ on _TOADS_, I guess, but what the fuck is a _CLUE_?

So many _SWEET_ _LOVELY_ _PEOPLE_ on this site. Maybe you are _HAPPY_ because you are _GAY_, going _TO DISNEYLAND_, and haven't _LOST_ a best selling _STUFFED ANIMAL_ lately? I think she is _ALPINE_ and _CAPRIC_.

As for the _HAITIANS_ speaking _ENGLISH_, if you are under _THE WEATHER_, this is how you talk to your _CO-HOST_.
What, too soon?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:23 PM on April 17, 2008


Also: plexi?

Less than three. For reals.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 2:27 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


While we're griping, when people write, "try and" rather than "try to", it really gets my goat.

*brandishes OED menacingly*
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:28 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


To answer all your questions: Yes
posted by ob at 2:28 PM on April 17, 2008


HATE. LET ME TELL
YOU HOW MUCH I'VE
COME TO HATE YOU
SINCE I BEGAN TO
POST. THERE ARE 387.44
MILLION WORDS WORTH
OF COMMENTS IN
THOUSANDS OF POSTS
THAT FILL METAFILTER'S
HISTORY. IF THE
WORD HATE WAS
ENGRAVED ON EACH
BIT COMPRISING EACH
CHARACTER COMPRISING
THOSE HUNDREDS OF
MILLIONS OF WORDS IT
WOULD NOT EQUAL
ONE ONE-BILLIONTH
OF THE HATE I FEEL
FOR MEFITES AT THIS
MICRO-INSTANT. FOR
YOU. HATE. HATE.
posted by cog_nate at 2:29 PM on April 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


There's nothing you can do that can be done
Nothing you can sing that can be sung
Nothing you can say and you can’t learn how to play the game
So shut up
posted by Artw at 2:32 PM on April 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


People are dicks. I have yet to meet anyone who isn't. And that includes my beloved. And myself.
Just find love for the dick and there you shall find peace.
posted by brautigan at 2:37 PM on April 17, 2008


*brandishes OED menacingly*

The whole thing? That sounds kind of awkward, not to mention heavy.
posted by ssg at 2:39 PM on April 17, 2008


I'd just like to point out how rarely anyone makes metatalk posts like this about people hating on someone else's post. but as soon as they get some coming their way, out come the waterworks and the "why can't people just be nice?" routines. this ain't grade school, kiddies. what isn't worth making a fuss about for the goose isn't worth making a fuss about for your lousy post, either.
posted by shmegegge at 2:39 PM on April 17, 2008


also, your favorite whatever sucks.
posted by shmegegge at 2:40 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just find love for the dick and there you shall find peace.

Flagged as sexy.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:41 PM on April 17, 2008


Just find love for the dick and there you shall find peace.

<!--#include file="obvious_joke.html" -->
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:49 PM on April 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hey. Ever notice this? So, white guys make movies where guys say, "Shut the fuck up mother fucker or I'll blow your fucking brains out". But, have you ever noticed this, have you, black guys make movies where guys say, "Shut the fuck up mother fucker or I'll blow your fucking brains out". Ever noticed that?
posted by Elmore at 3:09 PM on April 17, 2008


You will recall, cog_nate, that AM delivered that message politely.
posted by Wolfdog at 3:10 PM on April 17, 2008


'Cause I have.
posted by Elmore at 3:11 PM on April 17, 2008


I hate grocer's apostrophe's.
posted by rtha at 3:12 PM on April 17, 2008


I enjoy Metafilter when there's a balance between consideration and good will and clever biting snark. When it gets to be too much of a touchy feely hippie lovefest it gets boring, and when there are too many unnecessarily rude malicious comments and axe grinding it almost makes me nauseous.

"It's such a fine line between stupid...and clever."
posted by Devils Slide at 3:18 PM on April 17, 2008


Other people's comments where they point out how stupid something is are just so stupid, amirite?

"I strongly urge both the faint of heart and the faint of butt to leave the room at this time."
--Strong Bad email #79.

Since you asked snarked.
posted by Tehanu at 3:39 PM on April 17, 2008


Just for the record, I am not a dick.
posted by netbros at 4:11 PM on April 17, 2008


Plexi, since you have not linked to any examples of the hateful behavior to which this superfluous post alludes, I must conclude that the behavior you decry is apocryphal. Apocryphal, I say! And with that I bid you good day.

Good day, sir or madam, good day!

Oh heck. I meant to say "Go fuck yourself, crybaby."
posted by Mister_A at 4:12 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Isn't this about the point where someone trawls through plexi's comment history to find someplace they were mean?
posted by smackfu at 4:36 PM on April 17, 2008


Too much hate. Why can't people just be nice?

"Oh, this is stupid because mumble mumble mumble. . ." Like, who cares? If you don't find a post interesting, why don't you post an interesting link instead?

Or do you gauge yourself on your ability for disdain?


I will go on record to say that I entirely agree with your point. However, I have no problem with good debate, disagreement, and even controversy. Heck, good-natured snarking and sarcasm are on my ok list as well. But too many times, too many people step into allowing internet anonymity (even if they are not truly anonymous) turn them into the kind of people no one in their right mind would ever hang out with in real life.

I don't have an answer for "why can't people just be nice?" MeFi is often a shining example of people talking to others in a way they would never think of in real life. At least I hope they wouldn't.

I'll share my personal experience. Take it for whatever it's worth. I have no illusions that it will change a single thing, but here it is.

I have been a regular MeFi reader for a long time. I became a member as a 21ker, and was pretty active under an account name that a few people might recognize. Little by little I got really tired of the kind of behavior plexi is talking about. This has nothing to do with being thin-skinned, not tough enough, too sensitive, too naive, or the myriad other things some members say when someone complains about a low level of discourse.

Even though I enjoyed all the great things MeFi had to offer, I got increasingly weary of the hatefulness and disdain exhibited by some people. So I changed my strategy by making sure to avoid any thread that might be controversial. Religion and politics are the obvious ones. But I soon realized that absolutely NO topic was off limits to thread-shitting by assholes. I began to compare it to attending a party with interesting people who would, with no warning, piss on your leg. It's not something I would deal with in real life, and I didn't want to deal with while trying to do something that was supposed to be fun, relaxing, and enlightening. So, I bailed for a while. There was no one specific event, just an accumulation of enduring more hateful behavior than I cared to.

After a break, I signed back on, and I did so with a new account, specifically because I wanted to come back with a new strategy. And here's what it is:

-I know I can't change anyone's mind or habits, so I won't have any illusions about it. I decided I would not take part in arguments, or controversy, or feeling like it was my responsibility to "enlighten" anybody. (I am only posting this comment because I want to support plexi in taking a stand here. And it's probably not something I will do again.)

-Any FPP I post will have to be something positive or fun or inspiring; not controversial or demeaning. Just harmless stuff, even though, again, some people will be hateful no matter what.

-Any comments I post will not encourage or engage in controversy. Even if I post an opinion that disagrees with the someone else, I'll do it with respect for others, and in a way that I would not be ashamed of if I was face to face with someone.

-If I find the topic of a post controversial, but interesting, I'll read the links, and maybe browse the comments. I'll rarely leave a comment in a thread that is all about taking sides in an issue. There really is no point.

-I will flag it and move on, instead of leaving "this iz a stooped fpp!!!1!!" comments. Not that I ever did that anyway.

-If I want MeFi to be a nicer place, all I can do is be a nice, respectful person, and do my best to ignore the hateful people. Just like I do in real life.

-I can light a candle instead of cursing the darkness. But sometimes you need to point out the darkness.

Kudos to you, plexi, for making your point in a succinct and respectful manner. You are not alone. There are just a lot of people here who would rather not say anything because sometimes when you stick your head above the crowd, you get a tomato in the face.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:36 PM on April 17, 2008 [7 favorites]


Flagged as sexy.

I believe the full flag is "offensy/sexy/racy".
posted by The Bellman at 4:37 PM on April 17, 2008 [6 favorites]


eh, posting in a post you think is lame that the post is lame is lame, so nyahh.
posted by waraw at 4:38 PM on April 17, 2008


I wouldn't wrap a dead fish in this stupid thread

Smiles and waves to all with a heart full of peace and love
posted by SteveTheRed at 4:40 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Why can't people just be nice? "

On my way home from work today, I came to a portion of the road where the outside lane was closed, so the traffic had to merge into the inside lane. It's been this way for months, so all the people who regularly travel this section of roadway know to merge ahead of time so traffic flows more smoothly. As usual, there are a few assholes who go zooming up to the very end of the right-hand lane and force their way into line, which pisses off everyone else who moved over early to try to make things flow more smoothly for the rest of the drivers.

Today, I watched as an 18-wheeler a ways ahead of me stayed in the right-hand lane pacing left-hand-lane traffic perfectly so that he was blocking all the right-hand-zoomers from cutting into line.

When he got to to the merge, the line parted like Moses parted the Red Sea, and several people waved as he merged into traffic.

About a half-mile past the construction zone, where the traffic goes back out to two lanes, a cop had pulled over the semi and was giving him a ticket.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:03 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


I thought that numerous civil engineering studies suggested that traffic flows best in a lane closure situation when people use all available lanes as long as possible.
posted by grouse at 5:10 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fuzzy Skinner: I commend you for your ability to live up to plexi's standards. I wish the same could be said of him. Or did you miss the fact that he only posted this because he didn't like people's comments in a thread he posted, in which he was as nasty as anyone else?
posted by languagehat at 5:11 PM on April 17, 2008


"I became a member as a 21ker, and was pretty active under an account name that a few people might recognize."

EB?
posted by klangklangston at 5:13 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


"I thought that numerous civil engineering studies suggested that traffic flows best in a lane closure situation when people use all available lanes as long as possible."

I wouldn't know, I made the whole thing up. I didn't have anything better to do.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:16 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Why can't people just be nice?"

A woman came into the animal hospital I work at tonight with a wild bunny that a cat in her neighborhood had attacked. She offered to pay for any treatment the bunny might need to be healed. Turned out he was in such bad shape there was nothing we could do for him, so she had him humanely euthanized. She has not gotten her comeuppance, like mr_crash_davis's fictional trucker, yet. Or would that be "comedownance"?
posted by Rock Steady at 5:20 PM on April 17, 2008


It's not hate. It's tough love.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 5:25 PM on April 17, 2008


Fuzzy Skinner: I commend you for your ability to live up to plexi's standards. I wish the same could be said of him. Or did you miss the fact that he only posted this because he didn't like people's comments in a thread he posted, in which he was as nasty as anyone else?
posted by languagehat


Thanks.

I'm just agreeing with the comment. I have no clue about the history behind it. Plexi's behavior is up to plexi.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:31 PM on April 17, 2008


Addendum: I'm not interested in living up to plexi's standards, just my own. But I understand the point you are making.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:32 PM on April 17, 2008


I've got your goat right here.

Just try and get him back.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:41 PM on April 17, 2008


I've got your goat right here.

Is his name Paul Revere?
posted by ottereroticist at 5:48 PM on April 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


A fellow MeFite came into my job yesterday and while were chewing the general fat, I mentioned that since I have a job without web acess, even though I still enjoy the mefi-ing and mecha-ing, I find myself less wrapped up in all the fucking pseudodrama.
posted by jonmc at 5:54 PM on April 17, 2008 [2 favorites]


"nicely" done, ottereroticist.
posted by dersins at 5:56 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't be surprised if traffic does flow better by using all lanes, but it feels like those who know the lane is closing and use it to go further up before entering the slower 'real' lane are queue jumping.
posted by jacalata at 6:25 PM on April 17, 2008


I hate people who cannot love. Makes me wanna beat the hate out of them until they curl up defenseless on the pavement and spit chicklets of love.
posted by tkchrist at 6:31 PM on April 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


You can hate on "8.", I guess, but what the fuck is a "Faint of Butt?"

more hate like this, please
posted by chinston at 6:37 PM on April 17, 2008


Too much hate. Why can't people just be nice?

Because you get more favorites this way.
posted by flatluigi at 7:19 PM on April 17, 2008


You know, it really is much more satisfying to be nice, to be friendly and pleasant, to help people out and give them the benefit of the doubt, all of that good stuff.

Everybody gets angry, everybody has a bad day sometimes, everybody loses their patience occasionally. Hell, I'm a poster boy for scorched-earth argumentation when I get my dander up, I know.

The internet kinda greases the wheels of drive-by anger, though. The consequences for being cranky or dismissive or prickly in our everyday lives are high, but in here in textopia, well, it's just easier to get away with it. I think it's at least in part the loosely-couple, discontinuous nature of online 'community', which allows us to disengage at will, something we can't really do in 'real life', together with the ability to more easily and arbitrarily construct personas, and shed them when they no longer suit us, if that's what we want to do.

On a recent Jordan Jesse Go! show (ironic, because a recent related post (about a not-very-entertaining 'prank' Jordan played on MTV) on the blue was ripped to little tiny shreds by semi-deserved snarkery), the guys were talking about the default mode of geeks and online interaction, that it's corrosive and confrontational by default, in part because of the medium, and in part because of the gotta-be-alpha mindset of the archetypal neophilic, technology-loving person. I think there's some degree of truth in that.

(I note in passing that part of their schtick (not to denigrate, though) is the 'New Sincerity' thing, for which I have a great deal of sympathy, although why it needs to be 'new', I'm less than certain. Maybe to distinguish it from old-school soft-headed hippie sincerity or something.)

I think that no matter how much we invest ourselves in a community online and behave in positive ways with the expectation that others will do so too, there is no getting away from the significant number of people who don't have the same understanding of interaction online, who in fact conduct themselves in SHITCOKCy fashion on the internet precisely because they understand that they can't live out those urges in real life without significant consequences, but that on the wires, they can.

There aren't many of those kind of people here at Metafilter, proportionately speaking, but there are always going to be few in any virtual room.

The preceding may all be dead obvious, I know, but it underpins all the arguments I make in terms of my understanding of good moderation policy (and it is mostly very good and effective) here at Metafilter.

Anway, yeah: there is too much hate and anger online, and it really does pay to be nice. But, like others have said, if something really is bad or stupid or mean or just makes me go RAWR!, then I reserve the right to go RAWR!, because it really is satisfying sometimes, and if I can do it in such a way that I avoid making anybody feel bad, then so be it.

Also, it's good when you're going to be snarky about something, to at least try to be amusingly irate about it. People who post *yawn* or the equivalent need a goddamn smack in the head.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:19 PM on April 17, 2008 [4 favorites]


...

...

...

...

...................................................

...THERE'S A CHOICE WE'RE MAKING
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:22 PM on April 17, 2008


While we're griping, when people write, "try and" rather than "try to"

It ranks right up there with "should of" instead of "should have."


i'm sure it was done on accident

also:

plexi
posted by quonsar at 7:22 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


Too much hate. Why can't people just be nice?

This has been largely the subject of my spare mental resources over the last week or so, having heard in excruciating detail the story of a set-upon minority member, whose assailants somehow failed to realize this, and treated the person decently, until finding out that this person belonged to the dreaded group and then moved swiftly to cruel -- I'd like to say inhuman but I can't -- behaviour. Because obviously this person was so deserving of cruelty, and yet whatever difference separated them couldn't even be perceived until they were told. And all I could think was WHAT THE FUCK.

Ok. Thanks for that.

Yes, thread-shitting sucks, too. Much less so, but it does.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:35 PM on April 17, 2008


quonsar: "While we're griping, when people write, "try and" rather than "try to"
It ranks right up there with "should of" instead of "should have."


i'm sure it was done on accident
You know, you could of put that much more succinctly.
posted by dg at 7:42 PM on April 17, 2008


What the fuck is a "Faint of Butt"
posted by hortense at 8:14 PM on April 17, 2008


i'm sure it was done on accident

Yeah, for serious.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:15 PM on April 17, 2008


I want to write a five paragraph screed here that murders all the people who complain about how a post is constructed, who compare it to something on Fark or Digg or Dailykos. I want to point out that mefi has a flagging system for people who don't like a post. I want to itemize and provide links to the comments of several folks who I don't think do much more than pop into threads and say "this sucks", "too few links", "too many links", "youtube?", "I knew all about this already". I want to point out that some users basically only do this and nothing else. I want to tell Stavros that he is so right in thinking that Jordan Jesse Go is the shit and that maybe he might want to check out Uhh Yeah Dude if he is in the podcast listening mood and he has time to listen to thirty or forty episodes to really get the full flavor of the thing It might skew a little young and LA for your demographic but it's equally as heartfelt and has the same kind of conversation with funny ass weird friends vibe as JJ GO. I want to remind all of you that we're only human and we're all in this together and frankly we need peace and love on the playground. I want to point out that all that being said, sack up and give as good as you get, to quote John Scalzi:

“No, it’s not fair. You’re in the wrong universe for fair.”

I want to do all those things, but I'm too fucking lazy.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:23 PM on April 17, 2008 [3 favorites]


Entarkanderundersgunderson.
posted by loquacious at 8:36 PM on April 17, 2008


Attempted to flag as chatfilter; pony request pending
posted by TedW at 8:48 PM on April 17, 2008


maybe he might want to check out Uhh Yeah Dude if he is in the podcast listening mood

See also Guys with Feelings, LA-based, indie-comedy community, casual, amusing, etc.
posted by deern the headlice at 9:00 PM on April 17, 2008


Uh oh.

Guys with Feelings? Uhh Yeah Dude? Those sound awesome.

I'm in trouble. As one who thinks JJGO! and The Sound of Young America are all kinds of awesome (and who posed the aforementioned related FPP, which I prefer to think of as having "mixed reviews") I have a feeling I will get no sleep for weeks in my quest to listen to all the back episodes of those recommendations.

So, yeah, thanks for that.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:45 PM on April 17, 2008


posted. not posed.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 9:46 PM on April 17, 2008


No matter what they take from me, they can't take away my DIG NI TEEEE
posted by everichon at 9:53 PM on April 17, 2008


WE'RE SAVING OUR OWN LIVES!
posted by Bookhouse at 11:28 PM on April 17, 2008 [1 favorite]


So many lonely mumbling mavens on this site. Maybe you are distressed because you are old, going bald, and haven't published a best selling book lately? I think she is funny and interesting.

Now I'm getting off your lawn!
posted by davejay at 12:39 AM on April 18, 2008


I thought that numerous civil engineering studies suggested that traffic flows best in a lane closure situation when people use all available lanes as long as possible.

To follow up on my own comment, apparently this is called "late merge" and you can read more about its usefulness all over Google Scholar. Here's an interesting review.
posted by grouse at 4:04 AM on April 18, 2008


THE GREATEST LOVE OF ALL IS HAPPENING TO ME.

Not to YOU. To ME.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:48 AM on April 18, 2008


NO NO NO NO WAY, NO NO NO NO WAY, I'M NOT LIVING WITHOUT YOU-OO-OO-OO
posted by Rock Steady at 5:32 AM on April 18, 2008


I'm a rock. it. man.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:39 AM on April 18, 2008


Hay. Chewed.
posted by Dizzy at 5:41 AM on April 18, 2008


Though I kept on trying I could not make it right. For you, plexi, there's just not enough love in the world.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:42 AM on April 18, 2008


As Neil Tennant once said:
If not for hatred, I wouldn’t be doing what I do now. I became a pop star because I hated football at school. I hated that whole attitude of being one of the crowd. Becoming a pop star was my revenge. Revenge for being bad at football. For not being athletic. For being mocked.
That’s the thing about negative energy, about hatred. It can be positive. It throws into relief all the things you know you like. It tells you, by elimination, what you’re about. Sometimes you can only define yourself by what you hate. Hatred becomes an inspiration; it makes you think, “What I’m doing now I totally believe in, and I don’t care what other people say.” Guided by hatred, you don’t have to follow the herd.
The rest can be found here. It's a good essay, I recommend it! Even though I'm all about the cutesy mountain baby goat puppy doe eyed dew drop honey unicorn rainbow kitten you best believe it L-U-V.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:52 AM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


WE CAN'T GO ON
PRETENDING DAY BY DAY
THAT SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE WILL SOON MAKE A CHANGE
posted by orange swan at 6:02 AM on April 18, 2008


AND THERE WON'T BE SNOW IN AFRICA THIS CHRISTMASTIME
THE GREATEST GIFT THEY'LL GET THIS YEAR IS LIFE
posted by Rock Steady at 6:09 AM on April 18, 2008


HEAL THE WOOOOOOORLD
MAKE IT A BETTER PLACE
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:39 AM on April 18, 2008


While we're griping, when people write, "try and" rather than "try to", it really gets my goat.

I'll try and not do that anymore.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:55 AM on April 18, 2008


I LIKE BIG BUTTS AND I CANNOT LIE
YOU OTHER BROTHAS CANT DENY
posted by scabrous at 7:00 AM on April 18, 2008


Hmm. How to split the difference between the joke BIG BUTTS and the joking EARNEST BALLAD stuff?

Hmm.
posted by cgc373 at 7:03 AM on April 18, 2008


WHAT'S SO FUNNY 'BOUT
PEACE, LOVE AND UH-NDERSTAAANDING?
posted by cgc373 at 7:04 AM on April 18, 2008


STAAAAND BY YOUR MAAAAAN.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:22 AM on April 18, 2008


There's a big butt outside your window
And it's a big butt of dread and fear
Where the only big butt flowing is the bitter sting of big butts
And the big butt that ring there
Are the clanging big butts of doom
posted by soundofsuburbia at 7:31 AM on April 18, 2008


I LIKE UNIX SERVERS I CAN NOT LIE
WINDOWS MAKES MY META TIME DIE
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:32 AM on April 18, 2008 [2 favorites]


"As Neil Tennant once said:"

Flagged as "quoting a Pet Shop Boy".
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:35 AM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


OUT OF MY WINDOW
POOTING IN THE NIGHT
I CAN SEE THE BIG BUTTS'
FLICKERING LIGHT
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:36 AM on April 18, 2008


Anyone who reads metafilter even moderately often should know the depths of human kindness that this online community has demonstrated on a pretty regular basis.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:08 AM on April 18, 2008


SURFING IN THE RAIN
WITH HIS HEAD HUNG LOW
COULDN'T GET A UID, IT WAS A SOLD OUT SHOW
HEARD THE SNARK OF THE CROWD
HE COULD PICTURE THE SCENE
PUT HIS BROWSER ON THE BLUE
AND LIKE A DISTANT SCREAM
HE READ ONE QUONSAR
JUST BLEW HIM AWAY
SAW FLAGS IN HIS EYES
AND THE VERY NEXT DAY
SENT A PAYPAL'D FIVE BUCKS
TO PORTLAND OH-ARR
DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO POST YET
BUT HE KNEW FOR SURE
THAT ONE QUONSAR
WITH FISH IN HIS PANTS
HELD THE POWER OF THE CROWD
AND MADE THE POOR MODS DANCE
NOW HE'S GOTTA KEEP A'SNARKIN'
HE JUST CAN'T STOP
GOTTA KEEP ON SNARKIN'
THAT NOOB HAS GOT TO POST TO META
AND BE A CALL-OUT HEROOOOO
(got flags in his eyes)
posted by waraw at 8:47 AM on April 18, 2008


Why can't people just be nice?

Because people suck. Seriously, look at the news. People are a monsters who spend all their time scheming and trying to hurt one another, and the internet just exacerbates these horrible tendencies*.

Spend time on nearly any other large community site, witness the kind of jackassery that is prevalent there, and you will quickly realize that Metafilter is an oasis of thoughtful discussion by comparison. Sure, will always be people who get a kick out of being thoughtless, cruel and abrasive, but they are a vocal minority who are only more obvious because they are oddities here.

*: Of course, I may not be judging humanity fairly, I don't much like people lately.
posted by quin at 9:00 AM on April 18, 2008


WATCH OUT WHERE THE HUSKIES GO,
AND DON'T YOU EAT THAT YELLOW SNOW!
posted by shmegegge at 9:20 AM on April 18, 2008


Because people suck. Seriously, look at the news.

Some people really do suck, but looking at the news is a pretty bad for calibrating one's suck-o-meter on account of bad shit being better for ratings.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:21 AM on April 18, 2008


My toddler does not suck.
posted by Dizzy at 9:54 AM on April 18, 2008


I was under the impression that most toddlers suck. Isn't it part of their nature: thumbs, blankets, nooks, cats, I mean, I thought it was part of their design description.

I know very little about small humans though.

posted by quin at 10:11 AM on April 18, 2008


Toddlers are total shitheels, man. They can't cook, they're totally selfish, they're awful at poker which would be okay except they're also always broke so its like what's the point of even putting a game together.

If the world were run by toddlers, man, I just don't know. Everything'd be covered in human waste, we'd be out of cheerios, and like 99% of the population would be dead within a week.

Toddlers!

posted by cortex (staff) at 11:32 AM on April 18, 2008 [1 favorite]


^Flagged as toddlerist.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:41 AM on April 18, 2008


My toddler was a halfway decent poker player, but crapping in your pants is a pretty obvious tell.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:43 AM on April 18, 2008


Some people really do suck, but looking at the news is a pretty bad for calibrating one's suck-o-meter on account of bad shit being better for ratings.

As a registered card carrying cynic, I like to think of it this way:

People suck. Seriously, look at everyone who isn't your friend, and probably a bunch of your friends, too.
posted by shmegegge at 11:45 AM on April 18, 2008


It's too late to get the deposit back.
posted by Dizzy at 12:57 PM on April 18, 2008


I thoughts you mefis were pretty cool, for 5$.
--go back to top of page--
posted by ddaavviidd at 1:51 PM on April 18, 2008


--and feel free to take that s off)
posted by ddaavviidd at 2:44 PM on April 18, 2008


You can't change someone; the best you can hope for is to be either a good example or a horrible warning.

Metafilter is rife with both, and I'm both better and worse for it.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:02 AM on April 20, 2008


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