USA Only May 5, 2008 10:50 PM   Subscribe

Should an FPP stay if only those in the US can access it?
posted by meech to Etiquette/Policy at 10:50 PM (137 comments total)

Yes it should stay. That's the fault of the linked to website, not the fault of Metafilter.
posted by crossoverman at 11:08 PM on May 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Works in Canada, too.
posted by tracert at 11:14 PM on May 5, 2008


OMG this is the most amazing stuff ever put on the internets. Can't you access it?
posted by caddis at 11:15 PM on May 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ah shoot, never mind. US only videos are the suck.
posted by tracert at 11:16 PM on May 5, 2008


>That's the fault of the linked to website, not the fault of Metafilter.

It's the fault of the poster for putting it up there. Same as paywalled stuff.
posted by pompomtom at 11:18 PM on May 5, 2008


The rest of the world has Internet???
posted by Krrrlson at 11:23 PM on May 5, 2008


The rest of the world has Internet???

They have an old copy of the beta release, which some dude hacked to kinda work--but he got a girlfriend and no one else has done anything with it.
posted by maxwelton at 11:25 PM on May 5, 2008 [16 favorites]


Should an FPP stay if only those in the US can access it?

Well, many have in the past.

But I learned in freshman philosophy many decades ago to tread carefully around utilitarian is vs. ought discussions, so I am going to decline to offer an opinion on the question at hand.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:44 PM on May 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Should an FPP stay if only those in the US can access it?

Love it or leave it.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:57 PM on May 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


If you're not FOR the USian FPPs, you're AGAINST them!... er, something.
posted by amyms at 12:05 AM on May 6, 2008


Should an FPP/link stay if only those in Australia/China/Vietnam/France can access it? Should an FPP/link stay if it's not in English?
posted by b33j at 12:25 AM on May 6, 2008


Should an FPP stay if it's not in English?

Now there's a pickle.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:45 AM on May 6, 2008


> Should an FPP/link stay if it's not in English?

I've already gone there, and I imagine a few others have as well.
posted by neckro23 at 12:51 AM on May 6, 2008


I would have pulled out my bag of proxy tricks if I cared, but all (some number) best of link-bait articles suck anyway.
posted by derMax at 12:58 AM on May 6, 2008


I'm on the other side of the world and can read it, no problem.

But I still think links only accessible to some (paywalled, geographic limitations, etc.) fail...it's not the best of the web if it's not on the interweb. Inter. Like international. It was opposition to exclusive locations that made register-to-read links so unfashionable on MeFi.

Otherwise I'm sure there's plenty of great FPPs people can make to locations inside their corporate VPNs.

To insert a cat into pigeons (sqawk!), and being aware I'm arguing against my own point here, what if a page is not accessible to the majority of the world's population? i.e. blocked by the web gateways of China/Pakistan/India/Indonesia/Iran? I'm sure we'd be okay with that - and that many FPPs already fall into that categorey.

/ponderisation
posted by cosmonik at 1:05 AM on May 6, 2008


It's the fault of the poster for putting it up there. Same as paywalled stuff.

Right. Because naturally the poster first visited the site using a non-US proxy. But then he decided to fuck over the Aussies anyway.
posted by thinman at 1:09 AM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Should an FPP/link stay if only those in Australia/China/Vietnam/France can access it?

You know very well that if an FPP went to a site that, to Americans showed as "NOT AVAILABLE" or "ACCESS FORBIDDEN" there would be all sorts of shit about it in the comments, and it would probably not stay up.

Should an FPP/link stay if it's not in English?

Those stay. You just tell Americans that "it's art" and then there is lots of nodding.

I love you guys!
posted by blacklite at 1:10 AM on May 6, 2008


What's the problem here? I can view it fine here in Australia. Are you sure it's not just blocked at work for you or something?
posted by dg at 1:22 AM on May 6, 2008


Rather ironic that the site's URL starts with "www", doncha think?
posted by Neiltupper at 1:24 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not a single ad on that first page is viewable for me - if it's not "The clip you selected isn't available from your location", then it's "this clip is no longer available on youtube" which is a really annoying feature of youtube.
posted by dabitch at 1:26 AM on May 6, 2008


Rather ironic that the site's URL starts with "www", doncha think?

Hey, we saved all your ungrateful asses in World War II. If you can't deal with web addresses starting with "world war winners", don't call on us to save you next time around.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:34 AM on May 6, 2008 [42 favorites]


I checked at uni and at home and they're not available. Maybe they're just specially enabled at your work? GOVERNMENT CONSPIRACY!
posted by jacalata at 1:44 AM on May 6, 2008


I'm not at work, I'm on the train, so that can't be it ;-)

Actually, it could, because I'm accessing the Web via a work computer.

I must remember to add this to our conspiracy register when I get back to the office in the morning. It's so hard to keep track.
posted by dg at 1:47 AM on May 6, 2008


The link seems to work fine here in The Netherlands, for what it's worth.
posted by swordfishtrombones at 2:28 AM on May 6, 2008


"We're sorry, currently our video library can only be streamed in the United States."

I know I'm in Ireland, but I'm an American, godammit! I HAVE A GOD GIVEN RIGHT TO WATCH VIDEO ONLINE!
posted by DarlingBri at 2:42 AM on May 6, 2008


I don't understand why certain sites are only viewable in the U.S.

Isn't that counterproductive to the whole internet thing?

Think the FAQ says the prevailing language here is English, by the way.

I guess I'd be pissed if someone posted an interesting-looking FPP and I couldn't get to the site, yeah. What to do about it? I have no idea. I'm sure it was an honest mistake. Maybe there's some nerd solution to be found?
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 3:46 AM on May 6, 2008


Hey, we saved all your ungrateful asses in World War II. If you can't deal with web addresses starting with "world war winners", don't call on us to save you next time around.

You're Russian?
posted by srboisvert at 4:05 AM on May 6, 2008 [16 favorites]


I will weigh in and say, no, it shouldn't stay, if only to deprive the site owner who would implement such a restriction of the mega-hits that mefi gives. I resent that bbc has put all its content on the web but no one but brits can access it. The first 2 w's in "www" stand for "world wide," after all.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:09 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm writing a FPP about how many interesting files we have in our computers. Adding a link to localhost is cool and all, right?
posted by Memo at 4:37 AM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Memo, use file:// links for people who aren't running local web servers.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 4:48 AM on May 6, 2008


B33j: No, yes.
posted by pompomtom at 4:59 AM on May 6, 2008


Poster here.

As I said in the thread, it sucks when people outside the US can't access content. Of course there is no way to know that's the case until it's posted and people complain. It happens here all the time. Comparing such a post to a link to a pay or password-blocked site isn't useful, for obvious reasons.

Yes, the post should stay, and if precedent is any indication it will. But that's not my decision to make, of course.

I have empathy for those who can't access it. I can't watch instant-view movies on my NetFlix account because I use a Mac. I also can't watch BBC-hosted videos from the U.S. In fact, I can't even buy or pay to download a legitimate U.S. version of some Top Gear DVDs I'd love to own. So I've had to watch those episodes on youtube.co.uk.

There is no technical reason NetFlix can't feed the movie to my Mac, or BBC can't allow viewing outside the UK, just as there is no technical reason U.S.-based websites can't feed video to countries outside the U.S. But it's not about technical issues, it's all about supposed "rights management." Sure, we all know it's pile of drying and dusty crap, but that's how those with the power choose to play the game right now.

Maybe someone with more knowledge than I could put together a FAQ about how to view such things from outside the US, and it could serve as a reference in the future. It might have to be hosted on another server, to avoid any trouble for Matt. Or maybe someone here could offer a link to some instructions, and post it in the thread.

In any case, again, I have empathy for those who can't view it, but this has been an issue from the dawn of (MetaFilter) time, and will continue to be an issue until those with the power realize they are ultimately playing a losing game, depriving themselves of viewers, and, ultimately, revenue. They are losing more than they are trying to protect.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 5:17 AM on May 6, 2008


Netflix is stupid about that online viewer. It only works under Internet Explorer on the PC. This is the 21st century. Surely there's someone at Netflix with half a brain cell to realize that limiting their online viewing to fractions of their audience can't be good for business.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:37 AM on May 6, 2008


I resent that bbc has put all its content on the web but no one but brits can access it.

When they initiate a global licence fee, *then* you can have access to our television. And not before!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:58 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Fuzzy Skinner: In any case, again, I have empathy for those who can't view it, but this has been an issue from the dawn of (MetaFilter) time, and will continue to be an issue until those with the power realize they are ultimately playing a losing game, depriving themselves of viewers, and, ultimately, revenue. They are losing more than they are trying to protect.

That's nice and all but it doesn't actually address what's being discussed here, which is whether or not sites with these restrictions are suitable for Mefi posts.
posted by loiseau at 6:02 AM on May 6, 2008


Surely there's someone at Netflix with half a brain cell to realize that limiting their online viewing to fractions of their audience can't be good for business.

Yeah, it's all about DRM, though. From the Netflix blog:

Hey, all. I'm Steve, responsible for the instant watching feature on our site.
...
Bottom line: we're committed to giving all of our members access to our instant watching feature. Both Mac and Firefox are on the list.
...
A key issue for delivering movies online is that the studios require use of DRM (Digital Rights Management) to protect titles. And that's our holdup for the Mac - there's not yet a studio-sanctioned, publicly-available Mac DRM solution (Apple doesn't license theirs). I can promise you that, when an approved solution becomes available for the Mac, we'll be there. I'll also say that Silverlight 1.1 looks like a promising candidate - but that its DRM isn't likely to be fully available until 2008.


And here were are almost halfway through 2008. Whatever happened to "internet time"?
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:06 AM on May 6, 2008


Fuzzy Skinner:

Netflix and the Beeb do not attempt to summarise the 'best of the web'. The 'best of the web' is not included in that part which can't be seen by most of the people using it.
posted by pompomtom at 6:09 AM on May 6, 2008


That's nice and all but it doesn't actually address what's being discussed here, which is whether or not sites with these restrictions are suitable for Mefi posts.

I'm fully aware of what is being discussed, and I addressed it in addition to my "nice and all" comments.

But I'll expand:

Precedent says "yes."

And my personal opnion is yes. Not because my post happened to be the catalyst for this MeTa, but because there is no reasonable way to check for compliance prior to posting, and because such links are still viewable by the majority of MetaFilter members, if my understanding is correct.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 6:16 AM on May 6, 2008


Hey, we saved all your ungrateful asses in World War II. If you can't deal with web addresses starting with "world war winners", don't call on us to save you next time around.

Hey now! Watch who you're calling ungrateful!
posted by grateful at 6:20 AM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wouldn't everybody except you be ungrateful?
posted by cgc373 at 6:28 AM on May 6, 2008


Generally speaking, it's not a good ida to post things that aren't accessible to large groups of MeFites and we'll often remove paywalled stuff. This video thing hasn't come up as much and I think we're still feeling out the outlines of the whole thing. So people can se it in the US, Canada and Australia but not the UK? What are the geographic limits of this sort of thing?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:36 AM on May 6, 2008


can't be seen by most of the people using it

Are most MetaFilter users non-American? Even if so, is the issue here one of majority/minority? I would imagine that the majority of people on MeFi are not interested in a sizable portion of the posts here, should those posts be removed?

It's a bummer that this stuff is not available to (some) people outside of the US, but I don't think that means the post should be ixnayed.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:42 AM on May 6, 2008


jessamyn: Generally speaking, it's not a good ida to post things that aren't accessible to large groups of MeFites and we'll often remove paywalled stuff. This video thing hasn't come up as much and I think we're still feeling out the outlines of the whole thing. So people can se it in the US, Canada and Australia but not the UK? What are the geographic limits of this sort of thing?

I can't see it in Canada. I get a message saying as much. I think these things can depend on your IP. (I use a .ca ISP; maybe .com or .net ISP users have better luck.)
posted by loiseau at 6:53 AM on May 6, 2008


It's only the Hulu and nbc.com videos that people outside the US can't see, however, those account for more than half.

Also, when the hell did nerve.com become a comedy list site?
posted by Kattullus at 7:06 AM on May 6, 2008


I'm in the US and I refuse to watch those videos. Solidarity, my brothers and sisters!
posted by Falconetti at 7:06 AM on May 6, 2008


I'm sure it'll stay but I doubt very much that if I linked to a site only viewable to Canadians it would last more than an hour.
posted by dobbs at 7:07 AM on May 6, 2008


[derail for personal advice]
So, I'm an American who lives much of the year in Canada. While I'm there I can't access things all the time and it drives me crazy. For instance, I want to watch the Office of 30 Rock from NBC.com, but it gives me this americans-only warning. As DarlingBri pointed out, I'm sure I have some sort of Natural Right to see this content... so how do you Canadians get around this? Does any old free proxy site work? Anyone want to help me out?
[end derail]
posted by boubelium at 7:08 AM on May 6, 2008


dirtdirt: Could you please go back and read what I wrote, before you quote it in a different context?


ta.
posted by pompomtom at 7:18 AM on May 6, 2008


So people can se it in the US, Canada and Australia
Without a great deal of effort, there is no way Fuzzy Skinner could have known that this was blocked to some users.
POR No, we cannot see some of the clips in Australia (any Hulu - No Way!, 'Fashion tampons' #48, some NBC, (but not all [eg. #46 - yes, #42 - no]), straight SNL - No Way!), YouTube - no problem. Those that we can't access make it quite clear it's a licensing problem for them.

Also: They're not that good anyway. I guess you'd have to be an American to appreciate them. WIN - WIN really.

I would have liked to have been able to view #1 though. Dan Aykroyd - the funniest man in America. What? WIN - WIN really.

And lets face it, who views the links before commenting?
posted by tellurian at 7:19 AM on May 6, 2008


>Without a great deal of effort, there is no way Fuzzy Skinner could have known that this was blocked to some users.

No-one is hassling Fuzzy Skinner, but now that we know that this is not BOTW, it can be removed.
posted by pompomtom at 7:23 AM on May 6, 2008


Trying to track down some other links for the commercials FPP--here's Robot Insurance Commercial on google video (can you see this, not-in-America people?)
posted by misha at 7:26 AM on May 6, 2008


There's also this treasure trove of SNL commercials, but again, not-in-America people, you will need to tell me if you can see them or not!
posted by misha at 7:28 AM on May 6, 2008


Tina Fey, Tina Fey, Doughnuts, Tina Fey, Woomba, Some Guy Whose Name I Forgot, Tina Fey, Bass-O-Matic.
There.
Everybody back in the pool.
posted by Dizzy at 7:37 AM on May 6, 2008


As a protest of solidarity, I'm not going to watch any of the fake commercials.

But I do think it's funny that people are gettin' all legalistic over "Best of the Web."
posted by klangklangston at 7:46 AM on May 6, 2008


Ahh the Russians are here!

Are there Russian MeFites?
posted by WalterMitty at 8:05 AM on May 6, 2008


As outrage MeTas go, this one is leaving me malnourished. Got any meat? Not even any marrow to suck on? Can I at least salivate through the butcher window? No, nothing? Just stone soup today? Darn.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:13 AM on May 6, 2008


Actually, that should read "salivate while staring through the butcher's window". I can't salivate through windows, or else I'd be some kind of Alien-human hybrid.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:14 AM on May 6, 2008


For instance, I want to watch the Office of 30 Rock from NBC.com, but it gives me this americans-only warning. As DarlingBri pointed out, I'm sure I have some sort of Natural Right to see this content... so how do you Canadians get around this?

Your options: 1. Bittorrent; 2. The Canadian networks also have full episodes online, although just finding their websites in the first place is a pain, and navigating them once you're there is a nightmare; 3. Check your local listings and watch it when it's on TV like a normal person would do in 2002.

Also, no, most of these videos don't work in Canada.

The entire Showtime website, among others, is also blocked.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:20 AM on May 6, 2008


I don't really feel its an issue. If someone in Britain posted links that I, an American, could not view I wouldn't leap off on a rant and pout about the fairness of everything. If all the FPPs were blacked out, then yeah, there's something crappy going on. However, the actual number of links posted with such restrictions is minor. I probably skip more posts I'm simply not interested in than are posted that can't be fully accessed. Though, I suppose American society should be flattered that so many people outside of her borders gripe about not getting the content it has vomited up over the years. Go USA! Go USA!
posted by Atreides at 8:34 AM on May 6, 2008


Should an FPP stay if only those in the US can access it?

Yes.
posted by juiceCake at 8:47 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's also this treasure trove of SNL commercials, but again, not-in-America people, you will need to tell me if you can see them or not!
Against my better judgement, I clicked upon that link. To my great fortune, I was rewarded with introductory stills, info and naught else.
posted by tellurian at 8:55 AM on May 6, 2008


Should an FPP stay if only those in the US can access it?

Good ones should, yes. Stupid Top 50 lists from nerve.com should be deleted no matter where they can be accessed.
posted by shmegegge at 9:04 AM on May 6, 2008 [3 favorites]


Stupid Top 50 lists from nerve.com should be deleted no matter where they can be accessed.

Seconded. There have been a rash of posts recently that are limp Top X lists from blogs and sites that are just a scat's throw away from SEO rank-spam blogs.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:12 AM on May 6, 2008


but now that we know that this is not BOTW, it can be removed.
Now that we know this post has been up for quite a while, is harmless, and is unlikely to be deleted, please get over your 'blaming the OP for a faulty post' or whatever it is that causes you to call for its deletion.
Live and let live.
posted by tellurian at 9:18 AM on May 6, 2008


Pompomtom : I'm sorry. I honestly didn't mean to take you out of context. You wrote "Netflix and the Beeb do not attempt to summarise the 'best of the web'. The 'best of the web' is not included in that part which can't be seen by most of the people using it."

I read that as saying "MetaFilter, unlike Netflix and the Beeb, purports to summarize 'best of the web', and best of the web must be able to be viewed by most of the people using it." where "it" means the summary: MetaFilter. I see now that you meant "MetaFilter purports to be best of the web, and best of the web must be able to be viewed by most of the people using it." where "it" means the web. I guess that makes sense, but then why isn't more of MetaFilter in Chinese?

At any rate, sorry for the mixup.
posted by dirtdirt at 9:28 AM on May 6, 2008


Hey world: PWND AGIN YOU ASSHATS!
posted by Mister_A at 9:39 AM on May 6, 2008


I'm in Japan, and all the hulu and NBC videos don't work. I've never been successful in getting a proxy to work on either of those site, either. Tips, anyone?
posted by Espy Gillespie at 9:57 AM on May 6, 2008


Every hour on the hour, I'm rolling a D20. If I get a natch, I'll delete it.

Note: not actually doing this. I wrote a perl script running on a cron job to do the random number generation instead.

Note: butts lol.


Seriously, it's pretty much what Jessamyn said: while paywall stuff has come up a lot before, region-restricted-video has been less visible of an issue in posts and I think the fact that the bulk of mefi's membership is in the US makes the US-only situation a bit muddier than, as folks have pointed out, a Canada-only or Germany-only or other such restriction that would exclude the vast majority of folks on the site.

That doesn't make US-only content super duper and not an issue, of course, but it's more of a points-against-it kind of thing than an outright this-post-is-DOA situation. In this particular case, it sounds like only some of the content is restricted and that the restriction itself is kind of spotty; the post is harmless if not exactly superb and isn't burning a hole in the site and has been around for a bit now already; so, eh, we'll leave it alone.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:03 AM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


You people outside of the US get the benefit of sane governments, free healthcare, and thriving economies.

LET US HAVE OUR DAMN VIDEOS, BITCHES!!!!! WHAT, YOU WANT TO TAKE EVERY GODDAMN THING!?
posted by Afroblanco at 10:13 AM on May 6, 2008 [5 favorites]


Guys, just go to non-usian.metafilter.com for the post with working videos.
posted by Memo at 10:16 AM on May 6, 2008


With all due respect to cortex and jessamyn (who are not at all douche-like), it seems to this non-American that y'all don't really mind US-only content because it doesn't affect most MeFites (i.e. Americans, e.g. yourselves).

It may not be "burning a hole" in MeFi to you, but to the rest of us, it is a hole.

(I must, however, agree with schmeggegge; the US-only issue isn't nearly as bad as the ListFilter, which has become a daily dose of entirely pointless prefab FPP clutter.)
posted by Sys Rq at 10:16 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


The bulk of mefi's membership is in the US

And, with decisions like that, is now more likely to stay that way.
posted by genghis at 10:24 AM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


The worst thing about that thread is the threadshitting at the top.
posted by oaf at 10:28 AM on May 6, 2008


Everyone needs a hug.

Hugs work in all countries.
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 10:53 AM on May 6, 2008


With all due respect to cortex and jessamyn (who are not at all douche-like), it seems to this non-American that y'all don't really mind US-only content because it doesn't affect most MeFites (i.e. Americans, e.g. yourselves).

Reciprocal non-douche high five!

So, well, that it doesn't affect most mefites is, yeah, part of why it's not such a problem as compared with a restrction that does affect most mefites. There's all kinds of awesome content on JSTOR, but a post whose meat is an article on JSTOR is just plain coming down because nearly all readers will be unable to access it. And I like your average JSTOR-centric post more than some Top 50 ad list, so the "e.g. yourselves" thing is kind of a red herring here.

I'm postivie I'd be more actively personally annoyed about US-only content if I lived in a different country, but I don't think that'd have any measurable effect on my administrative opinion on the subject. The strongly US-centric userbase of mefi is an artifact of chance and internet demographics and the existing dominantly English-language nature of the site and whatever other happenstance factors; it's not something we're specifically aiming for, but we'd be nuts to ignore it in trying to decided what's a huge problem for the userbase at large vs. a headache for a subset.

It may not be "burning a hole" in MeFi to you, but to the rest of us, it is a hole.

I mean simply that people are not flipping the fuck out and flagging that post into the ground. Like I said, I think the geographic restriction is points against; in this specific case, it seems kind of low-stakes and taking the post in question down at this point would be kind of after-the-fact and a tad spiteful or reactionary.

In an ideal post the poster will know about and disclose any such restrictions and provide some sort of good path around them or provide alternate or additional content that is not thus restricted. But knowing ahead of time is a challenge if the poster is in the US and the content provider doesn't have a blinking neon sign mentioning the restriction, and so sometimes instead of a priori warnings and reroute we get more of a rug-pull after the post is up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:09 AM on May 6, 2008


I would imagine that the majority of people on MeFi are not interested in a sizable portion of the posts here, should those posts be removed?

Not being interested in something is not the same as being denied access to something.

If nothing else, it's frustrating to click through to a site, only to find that half the links don't work. Not frustrating to me, mind. I could care less about a bunch of clips from crappy American tv shows. I'm too busy watching the latest episode of Peep Show on 4 on Demand.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:12 AM on May 6, 2008


I'd say it severely diminishes its value.
posted by Artw at 11:14 AM on May 6, 2008


I'm too busy watching the latest episode of Peep Show on 4 on Demand.

Gah. Maybe that'll be on BBC America... in a million years.
posted by Artw at 11:15 AM on May 6, 2008


Good grief!! Those no-goodnik Americanazis have blemished our Front Page with their exclusionary comedy links which are also not very good quality!!! WILL THIS TYRANNY OF MEDIOCRE WEB PRODUCT WHICH I CAN'T EVEN LOOK AT NEVER END?! I AM PRETTY DARNED SURE THAT I SHOULD FEEL VERY ANGRY ABOUT THIS!!
posted by Koko at 11:22 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not being interested in something is not the same as being denied access to something.

You could always purchase a reliable proxy service that gets you access to US sites, if you wanted to.

Otherwise: "I don't like in the UK and I'm still denied access to the BBC's online services. Why should I have to pay for their service?"
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:29 AM on May 6, 2008


Cortex: Did you know you're the first hit on google for "butts lol"? I bet you did.
posted by puke & cry at 11:31 AM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


Not being interested in something is not the same as being denied access to something.

Sure. But there are many posts here that are quite acceptable (even exemplary) even though the content of them excludes many people. Whenever there are hardcore math posts, I am excluded from participating. Should they be taken down? Sometimes people make jokes that refer to movies I have not seen. Should they be deleted? Lots of things are blocked from lots of peoples' places of employment. Should those links be deleted? the sound on my computer does not work, should we delete music.metafilter.com?

This is an openly specious argument that I am annoyed at myself for making, so take it with a grain of nothing. I just think there is such a tiny amount of damage caused by the existence of a post like this, and what is gained by deleting it? It was posted in good faith. Can't it be allowed to exist in good faith?
posted by dirtdirt at 11:33 AM on May 6, 2008


I can access it from Ireland, FYI. But I chose to un-access it after about eight seconds.
posted by StephenF at 11:41 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


dirtdirt has basically made my point.

I just think there is such a tiny amount of damage caused by the existence of a post like this, and what is gained by deleting it? It was posted in good faith. Can't it be allowed to exist in good faith?


In a general sense if this happened a lot, yes we'd start deleting them. If it's a once in a blue moon thing then no we won't.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:48 AM on May 6, 2008


MeFi is definitely very U.S. centric, there's no arguing against that. Lots of the cultural references are American because a majority of the user base is from the U.S. Posts like this stay up because they only annoy a minority. The site is un-moderated for several hours of the day when the mods, who are all on the other side of the planet, are asleep. This is the way MeFi is and I still love it. But I do admit that sometimes it makes me feel a little less than welcome here. And that makes me love it just a little bit less.
posted by sveskemus at 11:55 AM on May 6, 2008 [6 favorites]


It's an enormous tragedy for world culture but I suspect we'll soldier on without, nursing our bitter regrets.
posted by Abiezer at 11:56 AM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Perhaps its excusable, but a most shameful US Filter: should procede it!
posted by munchbunch at 11:58 AM on May 6, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is reasonably similar to windows-only content, except that it's more difficult for the poster to notice that it's restricted. I don't think that really clarifies anything, but I'm just sayin'.
posted by aubilenon at 12:09 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Too bad. There was a party and some of the kiddies weren't invited.
posted by Cranberry at 12:27 PM on May 6, 2008


Didn't dash_slot- start Viewropa for this very reason? Sounds like somebody should start it up again.
posted by grateful at 12:43 PM on May 6, 2008


Too bad. There was a party and some of the kiddies weren't invited.

Well, the food wasn't very good. And such small portions!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 12:45 PM on May 6, 2008


But I do admit that sometimes it makes me feel a little less than welcome here.

Really? When I hang out on Russian community blogs I sometimes feel a little out of it, but never unwelcome. Just because you're not the focus of the site doesn't mean you're not welcome.
posted by languagehat at 1:18 PM on May 6, 2008


Can we get rid of Windows-only software posts? They make me less than welcome here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:22 PM on May 6, 2008


Every time you masturbate an American, God kills a kitten.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:25 PM on May 6, 2008


Every time you masturbate an American, God kills a kitten.

Not to be a penile pedant, but if someone else administers it then it ain't wankin'.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:29 PM on May 6, 2008


A British kitten.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:38 PM on May 6, 2008


I think it was a misplaced comma. Everytime you masturbate, an American God kills a kitten. Since I haven't read that much Gaiman I propose we delete this joke.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:38 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well I can see it in Merry Olde England... not that I give a toss about a bunk of Yank-centric advertisement spoofs.

Oh and do I feel less that welcome? May be, but us British have had hundreds of years practice of going places where we are not welcome and telling the locals what to do, though I see are colonial cousins have been trying real hard in this area lately
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 1:41 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


languagehat: Just because you're not the focus of the site doesn't mean you're not welcome.

I guess not but the thing is that these things serve as small reminders that I'm a tourist here. That the site is built and maintained first and foremost for an audience that doesn't include me. That's fine of course and I don't expect it to change but most of the time MeFi is such a brilliant entrance point to the best of the world wide web that I tend to forget that it is so. And being reminded that you're not as important as some of the other members of the community of which you feel a part is just not a very nice thing.

Posts that are U.S. only are very rare and I think that it's very reasonable to let this one stand. If it became something that happened every week I would like to discuss a way to do something about it. For example I could imagine having a disclaimer text on posts like that warning international users that there's no need to click through. But I don't expect it to become a problem so it's not really important.

As I've argued several times before I would like a mod over here. I can't see how one more carefully chosen mod (perhaps even with limited powers) could affect the community in a negative way and I've been annoyed with the "HAI GUYZ ITS 5 IN THE MORNING LET'S SPAM THE SITE AND GO CRAZY" sentiment enough times that it's become important to me. I'm probably overreacting and there's probably a bit of confirmation bias involved since I tend to notice it more than the mods (I guess, or they would have done something about it) but that's how I feel and I don't seem to be alone. I can see how it seems alright to let the site go a little crazy when it's night time where you are but that's often my MeFi prime time so I wish it would go away.
posted by sveskemus at 3:09 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


I don't think we should post stuff if people without computers can't access them.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:16 PM on May 6, 2008


And being reminded that you're not as important as some of the other members of the community of which you feel a part is just not a very nice thing.

But you are as important. There is no US or Bust! mentality behind this, and not summarily banning every post that has region-specific content isn't something that has anything to do with who's a tourist and who's family. It's a weird outlier situation that, because the userbase happens to be largely concentrated in the US, leads to somewhat different evaluations of keep-or-kill questions depending on the nature of the not-very-common regional restriction thing.

If, as you say, it was something that happened every week, we absolutely would need to look into how to deal with it, because none of us mods are onboard with the idea of consistently, aggressively excluding non-US members. But that's not what we're dealing with at the moment, so I'd hate to think good, long-standing members would go and read a weird little outside occurance like this as being some sort of exclusionary signpost.

probably overreacting and there's probably a bit of confirmation bias involved since I tend to notice it more than the mods (I guess, or they would have done something about it) but that's how I feel and I don't seem to be alone.

It's how we feel too, actually, and we have been doing something about it behind the scenes in terms of trying to figure out the details of doing exactly the sort of Midnight Mod thing that's been talked about a few times. I can sympathize with the frustration that musc come with downtime-as-primetime, especially when there's some silly bullshit happening on the front page. It's not something that is directly threatening the site in some crisis-type sense, though, so for now we're going to proceed with care and caution in getting the mechanisms for that rolled out.

Rest assured, it's something we're very much senstitive to and interested in finding a good solution for, and I think we're on our way there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:22 PM on May 6, 2008


Just because you're not the focus of the site doesn't mean you're not welcome.

TIME TO UNPACK AMERICAN PRIVILEGE amirite?
posted by GuyZero at 3:52 PM on May 6, 2008


fearfulsymmetry: "Well I can see it in Merry Olde England... not that I give a toss about a bunk of Yank-centric advertisement spoofs.

Oh and do I feel less that welcome? May be, but us British have had hundreds of years practice of going places where we are not welcome and telling the locals what to do, though I see are colonial cousins have been trying real hard in this area lately
"

But are you used to BEING SILENCED ALL YOUR LIFE?
posted by misha at 3:58 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


You just tell Americans that "it's art" and then there is lots of nodding.

Oh yeah? Somehow I thought there was a bit more than just "nodding" in this thread...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:03 PM on May 6, 2008


And anyway, you got that wrong. You just tell Americans "it's chicken". And then they'll eat it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:04 PM on May 6, 2008


uhh, too long, didn't read.

The answer to your query is "yes."
posted by exlotuseater at 4:22 PM on May 6, 2008


I don't really feel its an issue. If someone in Britain posted links that I, an American, could not view I wouldn't leap off on a rant and pout about the fairness of everything.

Plenty would, and do. In fact I could point to several FPP's featuring rants by Americans failing to grasp the worth of Euro or UK-centric content of a post and in some instances calling for its deletion because they...probably don't know what it is. Mainly because they haven't taken the time to understand it. That's one thing, but to allow posts that some people just can't see is kinda stupid.
posted by fire&wings at 5:02 PM on May 6, 2008


If someone in Britain posted links that I, an American, could not view I wouldn't leap off on a rant and pout about the fairness of everything.

Why speculate? Someone did, last December. And most of the comments left to the post dealt with the injustice of not being able to access it.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:27 PM on May 6, 2008


Um, Dave Faris, you know that that post was specifically about the launch of the BBC video player, and it talks about how it does not support Linux or Mac, and finishes up by saying that it won't work outside of the UK? That makes it slightly different than posting something for its content and accidentally cutting someone out.

It seems like all the comments there (maybe some were excised, I dunno) are on-topic and pretty calm.
posted by dirtdirt at 5:42 PM on May 6, 2008


We should block YouTube posts. Won't someone think of the blind?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:47 PM on May 6, 2008


They can still read the comments, BP.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:48 PM on May 6, 2008


It may have been about how unix and mac were excluded, but the fact that it was UK only was secondary, and that's what drew most of the ire.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:52 PM on May 6, 2008


My point is that it was specifically about the player and its shortcomings - what they hell else are they supposed to talk about?
posted by dirtdirt at 5:54 PM on May 6, 2008


Well, considering that there's not a single comment in there about how there was no unix and mac support, you'd think that they'd talk about that, since that was the point of the post.
posted by Dave Faris at 5:56 PM on May 6, 2008


Ugh, bicker bicker bicker.

this post = "here's this cool stuff. Oops, some people can't see it"
that post = "here's this restrictive video player that is made of fail"

They are framed differently and are expecting different sorts of comments.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:03 PM on May 6, 2008


sveskemus: And being reminded that you're not as important as some of the other members of the community of which you feel a part is just not a very nice thing.

Well, I started reading this site while living in Iceland and started commenting while living in Iceland and I'm currently in Iceland (though only for another few days) and I've never felt unwelcome or less important than any other user. Like any community, MetaFilter can be exclusionary sometimes (Militant Grammarians represent!) but it certainly doesn't exclude non-Americans.
posted by Kattullus at 6:14 PM on May 6, 2008


cortex: They can still read the comments, BP.

And listen to the audio. A lot of blind people watch movies.
posted by Kattullus at 6:16 PM on May 6, 2008


I guess not but the thing is that these things serve as small reminders that I'm a tourist here.

Remember last week, when commas were added as thousands separators in comment counts in user profiles and then promptly removed again when Jessamyn pointed out that that's not really a universal convention? I thought that was a nice moment of not being so US-centric.
posted by yarrow at 6:16 PM on May 6, 2008


TERRIBLE FOOD

SMALL PORTIONS
posted by klangklangston at 6:20 PM on May 6, 2008 [1 favorite]


Heyyyy! We think alike!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 7:00 PM on May 6, 2008


They can still read the comments, BP.

*smacks forehead* You're right. Keep up the YouTubery.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:29 PM on May 6, 2008


My main peeve content access-wise in China is Google video not working here, as there's been some very interesting-looking longer documentaries posted up. The political blocking is easier to get round but I haven't found any proxy solution that is quick enough for streaming video.
You will note that as a grown up, this is not something I have ever moaned about. Well, except now. And those other times.
posted by Abiezer at 7:45 PM on May 6, 2008


The main link from the very recently posted Green Porno FPP seems to be US only as well (until July, they say). It doesn't particularly bother me, but I could see that it might become a problem in the future if these become more common.

jessamyn: "In a general sense if this happened a lot, yes we'd start deleting them."

I'm not sure how the mods intend to keep track of this (being Americans) in the future. I'd hate to see a MeTa for every video that can't be viewed outside the US, but I don't think the mods want a truckload of whingeing emails every time either.
posted by ssg at 9:06 PM on May 6, 2008


cortex: we have been doing something about it behind the scenes in terms of trying to figure out the details of doing exactly the sort of Midnight Mod thing that's been talked about a few times.

That's good to hear. Thanks, cortex.
posted by sveskemus at 12:21 AM on May 7, 2008


I'm not sure how the mods intend to keep track of this (being Americans) in the future.

Flagged as UScentric.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:58 AM on May 7, 2008


You could always purchase a reliable proxy service that gets you access to US sites, if you wanted to.

Hey, I've paid my $5. I expect mathowie to personally drop a copy of every single one of these clips around to my house on DVD for that.

And he also can do: feelinglistless (8 miles), BeepK (8 miles), djstig (9 miles), gergtreble (9 miles), Acey (11 miles), moocheen (21 miles) and Incharitable Dog (23 miles) while he's in the area.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:08 AM on May 7, 2008


I'm not sure how the mods intend to keep track of this (being Americans) in the future.

We get emails. People flag things. People flag them and then send follow-up emails in case we didn't understand their flags. I get IMs. People comment in-thread. People comment in-thread and then flag their own comments just for good measure so we'll see them. I get MeFiMail. We keep track of it because you keep us tracking it, same as the rest of the site realy. I'd love to have time to check out all the links in all the posts but except for the ones that I find particularly fascianting [and this wasn't one of them] and all of AskMe, I rely on the buzzing hive to send news back.

I'm with cortex, we'd like to see a Midnight Mod feature as much as or more than the people who are antipodal from us, but it's just a bunch of ducks to line up and it's springtime here in USland which means a lot of sneezing and other distractions and we haven't been on it as quickly as we'd like.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:05 AM on May 7, 2008


That's nothing to sneeze at!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:07 AM on May 7, 2008


Hey, I've paid my $5. I expect mathowie to personally drop a copy of every single one of these clips around to my house on DVD for that.

Flagged as Unrealistic Wishful Thinking.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:26 AM on May 7, 2008


Flagged as Unrealistic Wishful Thinking.

Yeah, that's cortex's job.
posted by languagehat at 8:36 AM on May 7, 2008


We get emails. People flag things. People flag them and then send follow-up emails in case we didn't understand their flags. I get IMs. People comment in-thread. People comment in-thread and then flag their own comments just for good measure so we'll see them. I get MeFiMail.

I'm glad I don't have your job.
posted by middleclasstool at 10:48 AM on May 7, 2008


Is there somewhere I can move to where the pubic lice post is blocked?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:21 AM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


North Korea, and it might just be worth it.
posted by Kattullus at 12:30 PM on May 7, 2008 [1 favorite]


We get emails. People flag things. People flag them and then send follow-up emails in case we didn't understand their flags. I get IMs. People comment in-thread. People comment in-thread and then flag their own comments just for good measure so we'll see them. I get MeFiMail.

Whoa! Awesome! Thanks for all the suggestions, jessamyn!
posted by Fuzzy Skinner at 4:07 PM on May 7, 2008


Happy Yom Ha'atzmaut y'all.
posted by caddis at 5:12 PM on May 7, 2008


60 years!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:15 PM on May 7, 2008


I'm wearing my new Gordon Freeman Hazmat suit!
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:20 PM on May 7, 2008


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