Anonymous questions of the most mundane order October 21, 2008 9:42 PM   Subscribe

Is it me or are some people abusing the anonymous question loophole?

Sometimes, it's pretty strange to me, some of the questions that are asked anonymously. And some may have their reasons, but I'm guessing most people who ask questions that make no sense (even with a creative) do it so they don't "waste" their question.

Ironically, I would've thought this impossible given Matt's comment about recent code that makes this impossible, but I asked an anon < 7 days ago and I can still ask a normal.

So, this may be a bug report more than anything, Matt.
posted by disillusioned to Bugs at 9:42 PM (55 comments total)

I asked the OP and they said their boss reads MeFi. Generally speaking since we know who you are we can sort of keep an eye out ot make sure you're not abusing it, but yeah it would have been nice if they had put that info in the post too.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:46 PM on October 21, 2008


Their boss reads metafilter and? I guess asking for help is against company policy?
posted by puke & cry at 10:03 PM on October 21, 2008


Their boss reads MetaFilter and I am not their mom. If they ask another similarly sketch question we won't approve it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:08 PM on October 21, 2008 [3 favorites]


Their boss reads metafilter and? I guess asking for help is against company policy?

If you can't imagine a boss looking negatively on someone who has to ask a question about their job online rather than "just knowing it," you have apparently never had a boss.
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:25 PM on October 21, 2008 [29 favorites]


I'm guessing most people who ask questions that make no sense (even with a creative) do it so they don't "waste" their question.

That didn't make sense.

With a creative what? Premise? Vocabulary? Sexual practice?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:29 PM on October 21, 2008


I've asked anonymous questions before that were rejected. And I wasn't asking so that I could game the system.

If they ask another similarly sketch question we won't approve it.

Why? Obviously they would find it embarrassing or harmful to have this question associated with their identity. It's too far-fetched to think that could happen more than once?
posted by grouse at 10:36 PM on October 21, 2008


Hm, I guess after thinking about it more I could see how that would be frowned on by some dickhead boss. I'd like to retract my earlier comment.
posted by puke & cry at 10:58 PM on October 21, 2008


Sometimes people need to ask questions that they have no business not knowing the answer to, for whatever reasons. AskMe provides for that.
posted by iamkimiam at 11:04 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've asked anonymous questions before that were rejected. And I wasn't asking so that I could game the system.

Maybe they sucked?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:13 PM on October 21, 2008


dude! Can't you allow cortex a little privacy - sheesh!
posted by madamjujujive at 11:23 PM on October 21, 2008 [11 favorites]


zomg he is so fired!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:38 PM on October 21, 2008 [14 favorites]


Loopholes are frequently abused, but they're asking for it in their own loopy way.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:39 PM on October 21, 2008 [1 favorite]


Haha, I shouldn't have been chatting while writing the question.

I'm just more or less pointing out the game-ability, despite Matthowie's attempts to fix; a bug report if nothing else. The semantics are just delicious metagravy.
posted by disillusioned at 11:40 PM on October 21, 2008


If you can't imagine a boss looking negatively on someone who has to ask a question about their job online rather than "just knowing it," you have apparently never had a boss.

I think you mean "you've never had a crappy boss."
posted by rodgerd at 12:13 AM on October 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I ask questions anonymously so that I won't be expected to interact in the process, because sometimes the people responding can be quite harsh and I'm awful delicate. It's not about not connecting it to me, exactly, more me not connecting to it. Also, some people make assumptions about people based on previous questions, demographic information and so on. If I feel that metafilter could provide me with valuable insight, but could be distracted by what they might conceive me to be, yeah, I like to be able to control that.

So, are there guidelines for the reasons why you should ask something anonymously and when you shouldn't?
posted by b33j at 1:27 AM on October 22, 2008


Loopholes are frequently abused, but they're asking for it.

They shouldn't dress so provocatively... all slinky and loopey and... mmmm.
posted by rokusan at 2:16 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I wonder if the boss was among the people who provided answers...
posted by Phanx at 4:03 AM on October 22, 2008


Haha yeah, and now some unrelated boss who suspects a minion of posting anonymously is going to fire a hapless programmer who actually knew what he was doing!
posted by Grither at 5:20 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Matt said zomg, making this thread worthwhile.
posted by Mister_A at 6:13 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's a discussion in one of the podcasts about how to pronounce ZOMG. It's my favorite podcast moment, but I can't look for it from work (sorry).
posted by solipsophistocracy at 6:51 AM on October 22, 2008


Hate to be a downer, but doesn't the existence of this thread go a long way to undo the good of this question being anonymous?

The Ask thread only revealed that there was a MySQL coder with a question.

This thread reveals that anonymous' boss reads MeFi, which leads me to believe that Boss knows that anonymous knows this.

How many Bosses out there can there be who 1. Have people doing SQL work under them 2. Read Mefi 3. Have (potentially) discussed #2 with #1?

Positive ID or no, Boss could well be on the scent much more than earlier.

Although I probably just made it worse.
posted by SpiffyRob at 7:09 AM on October 22, 2008


Uh-oh, now you've gotten us into common knowledge territory. Paradoxes and/or mass deaths ahoy!
posted by languagehat at 7:42 AM on October 22, 2008


Why? Obviously they would find it embarrassing or harmful to have this question associated with their identity. It's too far-fetched to think that could happen more than once?

The AnonyMe feature isn't intended to provide ongoing anonymity in the case of boss-reads-mefi or girlfriend-has-mefi-account generally. There are no hard and fast guidelines, but the assumption, I think, of the other posters is that people use the AnonyMe feature if they NEED to.

If it becomes something you use regularly, that can overuse a resource that doesn't scale terribly well. So if you found yourself needing to be anonymous on the site regularly, we'd probably prefer that you got a second account that wasn't linked to your main ID. We have ways of tracking these sorts of sock puppets, so getting one to end-run the seven-day window is possible but not easy-peasy.

And as far as when you "should" use it, there's no real rule but sometimes if we can't figure out why something is anonymous, we'll dig around to figure out whose question it is and then ask them. Doesn't happen much [I can only think of a handful of times I've done this] and usually people have what we figure is a good reason so we approve it.

Dealing with AnonyMe questions is a long complicated flow chart of what ifs and maybes that at this point mostly works so we haven't seen fit to tamper with it much.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:57 AM on October 22, 2008


There's a discussion in one of the podcasts about how to pronounce ZOMG.

I didn't listen to the podcast, but obviously it's "ZOH MY GOD"
posted by desjardins at 8:32 AM on October 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


I prefer running it into one word, like ZOMIGOD.
posted by echo target at 8:48 AM on October 22, 2008


I say ZOM-GEE
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:52 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I would like to have an AnnoyMe feature, where I can ask AnnoyMe questions.
posted by limeswirltart at 9:00 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


With a creative what? Premise? Vocabulary? Sexual practice?

Person. In marketing, "creative" can be used as noun to describe someone involved with the creative process, and it seems that the word is being used in a similar context.
posted by malocchio at 9:11 AM on October 22, 2008


Be nice, LH, or I might tell you what color your eyes are.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:15 AM on October 22, 2008


"dude! Can't you allow cortex a little privacy - sheesh!"

"My dumb boss makes me use ColdFusion. How can I convince him to switch to something (anything) else?"
posted by klangklangston at 9:28 AM on October 22, 2008


In marketing, "creative" can be used as noun to describe someone involved with the creative process,

Nice theory but it still doesn't make sense. I think there was just a missing word, like "creative reason".
posted by smackfu at 9:38 AM on October 22, 2008


ALL THE ANONYMOUS QUESTIONS ARE FROM THE SAME DUDE!!!!

OR POSSIBLY DUDETTA, I DON'T KNOW.

AND THE QUESTIONS ARE COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!!!

ZOMG

posted by Mister_A at 10:00 AM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I say ZOM-GEE

Zomg, Jess is a ZOM-BEE. Only explanation for that.
posted by dame at 10:05 AM on October 22, 2008


Nothing bad has ever started with "ZOM".
posted by Mister_A at 10:09 AM on October 22, 2008


What's this ZOM-GEE nonsense? Zomg is a one syllable word. It doesn't rhyme with 'zombie' it rhymes with 'long'!

Well, okay, technically it doesn't rhyme with it, it... Hmm, what's the verb version of 'assonance'?
posted by the latin mouse at 10:13 AM on October 22, 2008


Assonates? That sounds dirty.
posted by echo target at 10:21 AM on October 22, 2008


*assonates zombie*
posted by Mister_A at 10:31 AM on October 22, 2008


I hear it as "zom-guh", with the "guh" said really quickly.
posted by arcanecrowbar at 12:40 PM on October 22, 2008


The thing about this that I don't get is why you would let your boss know your on-line handle in the first place?

Unless you're like me and just don't give a fuck.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:45 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


You mean cjorgensen isn't anonymous?
posted by cjorgensen at 12:57 PM on October 22, 2008


ZOHMYGOD seems the weirdest, yet most natural, probably because I autoexpand OMG to OHMYGOD and never hear or say it as an acronym or initialism.

ZOM-GEE? Reading it, this looks like a soft G instead of a hard G. Or do you pronounce it "ZOM-GHEE"? (Mmm! Divinity in clarified butter...) And going back to the first syllable, is it ZAHM-GHEE or ZOME-GHEE?

And while we're at it, I would like to remind you all that it's it's MEE-FIE, not MEH-FEE, OK?
posted by maudlin at 1:04 PM on October 22, 2008


You know that tween girl in the cell phone commercial who only talks in text-message abbreviations to her mom? I hear "zoh-em-gee" in her whiny, annoyed and annoying voice.
posted by vytae at 1:18 PM on October 22, 2008


I hear it as described by arcanecrowbar.
posted by Mister_A at 1:50 PM on October 22, 2008


ZOHMYGOD and MEH-fee.

languagehat has spoken
posted by languagehat at 2:38 PM on October 22, 2008


MEEEEE FIIIIIIIIII !!!!!!!
posted by desjardins at 3:49 PM on October 22, 2008


ZOH-MIG, I'm a meeee-fite.
posted by donnagirl at 4:52 PM on October 22, 2008


ZOH-MIG, I'm a meeee-fite.

That's exactly how I mentally pronounce both words. We seem to be in the minority.
posted by necessitas at 7:31 PM on October 22, 2008


ZOHMYGOD and MEH-fee.

languagehat has spoken


Prescriptivist!
posted by atrazine at 10:16 PM on October 22, 2008 [1 favorite]

ZOHMYGOD and MEH-fee.

languagehat has spoken
but he's not making sense with that "MEH-fee" crazytalk...
posted by russm at 1:07 AM on October 23, 2008


ZOMG is pronounced ZOMG. To rhyme with XOMG, or TSOMG.
posted by matthewr at 8:21 AM on October 23, 2008


So totally Zoh-Mah-Goh (with a near-silent 'D').

Must say with staccato... zOH' mAH' GOH'(exhaled air).
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:46 AM on October 23, 2008


It's ZOməGAH!, realfastlike.

I don't understand you "Mee-fee" people. You don't say "Meat-a-filter," do you? "Meet a filter?"

...I guess I don't say "Metafeelter," either, so maybe that's not a reasonable standard.

logic has no place here

all those pronunciations sound like mefi personals gone downhill

posted by hippugeek at 9:47 AM on October 23, 2008


Additionally, "MeFi" must have a long, drawn-out FEEEEEE, preferably done at an annoyingly high pitch, that stretches on until the sayer of said word runs out of air.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 9:47 AM on October 23, 2008


I like MEH-fye, like wifi.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 2:23 PM on October 23, 2008


WEH-fye? That doesn't even make sense. It's WHY-FYE, clearly.
posted by desjardins at 2:57 PM on October 23, 2008


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