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First They Came for the AskMe Questions About Rectal Porn...
January 13, 2009 1:35 PM   Subscribe

People who choose to complain about a question instead of trying to answer it are bad enough as is, but it was so excessive for this question about porn that the question itself got deleted and I think that's really inappropriate.

What was especially egregious about this example was the question was an anonymous question, which means a moderator had already approved it for Ask MetaFilter. But instead of letting well intentioned people try to help the question asker, people came in to complain about the question itself and ruined it.

If you don't have a helpful answer for the question, then don't answer it. If you must, flag it, email a mod, or post to metatalk.

Because of the nature of metafilter, it only takes a small number of people shitting in a thread to ruin it for everyone. And while metafilter isn't a democracy (and rightly so), this is an especially annoying example because it only takes a tiny tiny minority of people to ruin a question.

There are lots of questions that a small number of people might object to for some reason and they could easily ruin all of them if they wanted (or at least require a ton more work by the moderators) and I think with examples such as this we should discourage that type of behavior and chastise those people who engage in it.

[I realize that it's possible that this question also accumulated a ton of flags and it was deleted solely for that reason. It's hard to tell from the deletion reason whether jessamyn is referring to the answers posted or flags that might be used on the question, but even if it was massively flagged, that doesn't excuse poor behavior by the people who answered the question. And even if it was flagged, I still think it was a fine question and people who don't like the question can skip it and answer something else.]
posted by davidstandaford to Etiquette/Policy at 1:35 PM (248 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

This was a ton of flags situation and I think the basic issue was the "non-consensual okay" angle which was, even to my eyes (and I approved the question) sketchy. Since it was falling a little into the "please show me where to find buttrape, thanks" arena, I figured it might be better off being deleted since I don't know who asked it and didn't want to go back and forth with edit requests.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:39 PM on January 13, 2009


I'm just going to take a guess and say that jessamyn thought the question wasn't important enough to spend half her day moderating the thread. It's not as if it's life or death, like the should I eat it questions.

I agree with you that people should have used restraint and either answered the damn question or skipped it. We have "recommend me a good book about Russia" or "where can I find big band music?" questions all the time. This is only different because it's porn.
posted by desjardins at 1:39 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Christ, what an asshole!

(just to get it out of the way)
posted by jonmc at 1:42 PM on January 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


it only takes a small number of people shitting in a thread to ruin it for everyone.

Well, the question did involve the rectum.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:46 PM on January 13, 2009


Yeah, we both kind of blinked at it. Flags piled up surprisingly quickly on it once it went up. I think to a degree (clarity of?) presentation was part of it—for one thing, "It can be non-consent or not." can be read a couple of different ways, one of which is really not okay—because I'm pretty sure we've had successful porn-help questions in the past.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:47 PM on January 13, 2009


This was a ton of flags situation and I think the basic issue was the "non-consensual okay" angle which was, even to my eyes (and I approved the question) sketchy.

If the question was a problem because of the non-consensual part, then that should have been articulated so the poster can resubmit the question in the future without that part if he/she would like. In my mind, porn is all fantasy anyway, and if you take it literally then a ton of it could be problematic, so I'm not sure why the fake-rape stuff is any special exception, but if the question would be ok without the consensual angle, I think that should have been clearer.
posted by davidstandaford at 1:49 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jesus, this one just has too much potential to just give one answer.

(1) davidstandaford, if it's such a let-down, you can just ask the question again without mentioning non-consensual rectal-exam porn.

(2) I actually think the mods were right on this one. AskMe isn't really for telling people where to stick it - that sort of thing should probably stay in MetaTalk.

(3) davidstandaford: Because of the nature of metafilter, it only takes a small number of people shitting in a thread to ruin it for everyone.

Rectal-exam porn, shitting in a thread... somebody else want to take this one?
posted by koeselitz at 1:51 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Confession: I e-mailed the mods about the question. NOT because I had a problem with the question, but I did have a problem with the way the entire question appeared on the front page. I thought it should have been worded something like, "Looking for a specific type of porn", and then with the specifics inside. I was squicked out seeing "rectal exam porn" on the front page.
posted by marsha56 at 1:52 PM on January 13, 2009


You can call it non-consensual rectal examination, if you like. Proctologists call it an "intervention."
posted by found missing at 1:55 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Does a screenshot of the mods' admin page count as rectal exam porn?
posted by waraw at 1:56 PM on January 13, 2009


By the way, now that I have some moderators in the thread, I'm curious what you think about the larger issue at hand (unrelated to that specific example): even if a question is inappropriate, complaining about it in the askme thread is wrong.

The commenters in the original question didn't know that it would be flagged and removed, but even if they did know that would happen, that sort of behavior still seems like a clear violation of askmetafilter policy and when the question was deleted a note should have been made that the commentators were misbehaving.

Mods, any thoughts on this?
posted by davidstandaford at 1:57 PM on January 13, 2009


Post it in the 'ask anything' thread.
posted by fixedgear at 1:58 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Agreed with desjardins. There's plenty of kinky porn that looks non-consensual but ain't out there.
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:58 PM on January 13, 2009


"please show me where to find buttrape, thanks"

lol.
posted by The Straightener at 2:02 PM on January 13, 2009


Confession: I e-mailed the mods about the question. NOT because I had a problem with the question, but I did have a problem with the way the entire question appeared on the front page. I thought it should have been worded something like, "Looking for a specific type of porn", and then with the specifics inside. I was squicked out seeing "rectal exam porn" on the front page.

It grossed me out, too. But it would never have occurred to me to write to the mods about it, because I don't think it's fair for posts to be deleted because I'm squeamish about them. There was a time (when I was much younger) when the idea of men kissing squicked me. I hope even back then, I would have stopped myself from emailing the mods and asking them to do something about a post that said, "I'm a gay guy and I want some tips on how to kiss my boyfriend more passionately."

This whole issue is muddied by the non-consensual thing, but I hope people wouldn't have reacted the same way if that had been omitted. I really see no difference between "help me find rectal-exam porn" and "help me find movies about aliens attacking the Earth." Both are about being titillated.

I wish people would shed their Victorian attitudes. And I say that as someone who is, at heart, very conservative and squeamish. Seeing a nipple ring just about ruins my day. I have to continually work to be non-prudish. But I recognize that it's work I should be doing.
posted by grumblebee at 2:05 PM on January 13, 2009 [20 favorites]


(Just typing the words "nipple ring" made me shiver with disgust. Gross! Gross! Gross!)
posted by grumblebee at 2:06 PM on January 13, 2009


You're objecting over the deletion of that piece of shit question? Go outside.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:10 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The commenters in the original question didn't know that it would be flagged and removed, but even if they did know that would happen, that sort of behavior still seems like a clear violation of askmetafilter policy and when the question was deleted a note should have been made that the commentators were misbehaving.

Mods, any thoughts on this?


I fucking hate it when people post Metatalk-appropriate stuff (e.g. callouts) in AskMe threads. And I think it's against the rules. However, it seems to be something that doesn't bothers the mods all that much. I've come to the conclusion that though it bothers many people here, the extreme way it bothers me (and perhaps you) is out of the ordinary and therefor unlikely to be placated. (If someone posts something offensive, I'm much more bothered by the out-of-place callouts than by the original offense.)

So just deal.
posted by grumblebee at 2:10 PM on January 13, 2009


On closer inspection, analysis reveals that the consensus is that the non-consensual anal inspection thread did not, in fact, end well.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:10 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


It was non-consensual, in the end.
posted by found missing at 2:12 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just typing the words "nipple ring" made me shiver with disgust.

really? on the right person it can be pretty sexy, I think, but vive la differance. The butt thing dosen't bug me much either, since, as I've mentioned before, the ass is the one body part that we all-male or female, straight or gay-can enjoy. The 'exam' part is what's baffling to me. I was just at the doctor to day. he was very courteous and helpful, yes, but I really wasn't turned on.
posted by jonmc at 2:13 PM on January 13, 2009


I don't think it was an issue so much of prevailing Victorian attitudes than having the phrase "RECTAL EXAM PORN" blazoned across the front page of AskMe at the peak of US work hours.

Shit, man, next time throw a blink tag on that mother fucker!
posted by The Straightener at 2:14 PM on January 13, 2009 [10 favorites]


You're objecting over the deletion of that piece of shit question? Go outside.

You're objecting to my objection to the... (you get the point).

Anyway, it's dark and cold here, so that isn't really an option.
posted by davidstandaford at 2:14 PM on January 13, 2009


By the way, now that I have some moderators in the thread, I'm curious what you think about the larger issue at hand (unrelated to that specific example): even if a question is inappropriate, complaining about it in the askme thread is wrong.

We've been pretty consistently and frankly clear that crapping in a "doomed" thread isn't cool and that metacommentary needs to come over here, yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:15 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


really? on the right person it can be pretty sexy, I think, but vive la differance.

I think it comes down to being overly sensitive on that particular body part (to the point of discomfort and pain if the wind hits it) and thinking about how it could feel to have that part pierced whenever I see someone with it pierced. It's the same reason I hate watching people eat mustard. I don't like mustard, and I can't watch someone else eat it without imagine how it would taste if I was eating it.
posted by grumblebee at 2:17 PM on January 13, 2009


Is this where I go to make a joke about rectal examinations? Thank you. Here's my insurance card.
posted by not_on_display at 2:17 PM on January 13, 2009


yeah, I don't think it's a good idea to let the attitudes of a minority (prudes? concerned fellow citizens?) determine which questions are acceptable for AskMe when it comes to this stuff... the historic pattern has tended to be "unless its illegal", squicky q are ok.. in this case, Jessamyn's initial belief seems to have been that the q was not asking for something illegal, and that the "non-consent" stuff referred to an element of the fantasy (I am presuming this on the basis of the initial approval of the anon question).

What's troubling to me is that this decision was seemingly reversed due to a vocal group being (apparently) squicked out by the q. If the q had originally been not-approved due to this potential illegality, then I don't think I'd have a problem with the deletion... it's the second-guessing and reversal after complaints that I don't really like.
posted by modernnomad at 2:18 PM on January 13, 2009


Well, there goes my question about non-consentual porn involving those machines you see in old movies in gymnasiums that look like a big malt machine with a strap on it, and you put the strap around your belly, and it just jiggles you for some reason.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:20 PM on January 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


If the question was a problem because of the non-consensual part, then that should have been articulated so the poster can resubmit the question in the future without that part if he/she would like.

No. There is no way to articulate to an anonymous poster what exactly is wrong with their thread without digging around in the database to figure out who they are unless they contact us. Our general MO is that if you have questions about your anonymous thread -- why was it deleted, why wasn't it approved, is it going to be approved, can you add this part to it -- then you have to contact us and we will talk to you about it. In the rare case that something is time sensitive, we may make that sort of effort. Help me find better porn is not along those lines.

And yeah if we hadn't deleted that question I'm pretty sure all the current answers there would have been removed. And yeah, that's lame. Since we deleted it, it's just a shruggo situation and I didn't go through the effort.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:20 PM on January 13, 2009


We've been pretty consistently and frankly clear that crapping in a "doomed" thread isn't cool and that metacommentary needs to come over here, yes.

There seem to be things that get regularly deleted and things that get you a "please don't do that." Cortex, maybe I'm wrong (confirmation bias), but I feel like posting "this is chatfilter" or whatever in an AskMe thread is in the latter category.

I'm not saying it should be in the former (though it would be if I ran the world). I'm just trying to get the rules/customs straight.
posted by grumblebee at 2:20 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The ONLY reason I could see for deleting the post was the non-consensual part, since we have questions asked every day that, if taken really literally, break the guidelines, as they are easily researched on Google. And this was a more specific interest, and of a more adult nature, that may have made it hard to research.

So, the "squicked out" factor shouldn't count against it in the least--that's a personal boundary, and MeFi isn't about censoring material you find personally distasteful, or we would have no bacon posts (NOT VEGETARIAN-IST) or no Mac posts (NOT PC-IST), etc.

Only If the post involved graphical depictions of rectal exams would it deserve some attention--but even then the mods could throw the NSFW tag on it, as a lot of Mefiers access the site from work, and we don't want to get anyone fired.
posted by misha at 2:23 PM on January 13, 2009


If the question was a problem because of the non-consensual part, then that should have been articulated so the poster can resubmit the question in the future without that part if he/she would like.

No.


Sorry not to be more clear. I meant that you should have done that in the deletion reason. If you decided that, on second thought, the reference to non-consensual was the reason you deleted it, then that should have been the deletion reason, and not what you mentioned, which I translated as, "a small angry mob didn't like this question so it is being deleted."
posted by davidstandaford at 2:25 PM on January 13, 2009


I really think it got flagged because it grossed people out, more than the non-consensual angle. I assume when people talk about non-consensual sex in pornography they mean non-consensual in a theatrical way, not literally.

I didn't flag it, but I also didn't click it, because I'm one of the people it skeeved out and the appalling number of hours I've spent on the internet have shown me to try to limit my clicks on items that are sure to annoy me or give me nightmares. Also I was worried some Mefite who had proven to be insightful or articulate or funny would also turn out to be an expert on rectal exam porn, and I'm just as happy not knowing.

All told, though, it didn't bug me half as much as the ninny who posted in AskMe because she wanted to keep a baby seal as a pet.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 2:26 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


posting "this is chatfilter" or whatever in an AskMe thread is in the latter category.

Yes, if we see those sorts of comments we try to delete them, but it's not a super high priority and if someone says "this is chatfilter but blah blah blah this is an answer...." and it's a question we're leaving, we'll leave that comment as well.

If you decided that, on second thought, the reference to non-consensual was the reason you deleted it, then that should have been the deletion reason

That wasn't the reaosn, though my guess is it would be the reason of the people who flagged it. Basically there's a flagging threshhold above which even a question that *I* think is okay will get deleted and that's what happened. I'm guessing why people flagged it.

I don't care about the consensual angle because I agree with you that fantasy is fantasy. Basically, in short I did not want to spend my afternoon arguing about rectal porn and I thought that might be the best way to do that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:32 PM on January 13, 2009


p.s. I was wrong.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:33 PM on January 13, 2009 [21 favorites]


It was just a little bit too seedy.
posted by caddis at 2:37 PM on January 13, 2009


Just curious, was my answer in the post wrong? I went in there to suggest Usenet but when I saw the responses I responded to the thread-shitters too.. would this dual response mark an answer-containing post for deletion?
posted by By The Grace of God at 2:37 PM on January 13, 2009


And in the end, the love we take will be equal to the love we make.
posted by fixedgear at 2:38 PM on January 13, 2009


You people are indeed deserving of scorn.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:39 PM on January 13, 2009


If you think comments are going to get deleted, responding to them muddies the waters.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:39 PM on January 13, 2009


Cortex, maybe I'm wrong (confirmation bias), but I feel like posting "this is chatfilter" or whatever in an AskMe thread is in the latter category.

Confirmation bias, yes, and/or a bad inference. If I see "this is chatfilter" as a standalone comment in an askme thread that I haven't already decided needs deleting, I kill it. As a general rule I remove standalone metacommentary from askme threads unless there's a very good reason for it to be there.

Complicating factors:

- If someone makes a comment like that in a thread and nobody flags it and none of us trip across it on our own, it'll sneak through the cracks. Certainly flag 'em when you see 'em to help us out on that front.

- If someone makes a comment like that in a thread that we promptly delete, we likely won't make a thorough pass through the thread itself, since the priority on doing cleanup of a thread we're deleting anyway is a lot lower and doesn't generally pass triage muster.

- If someone includes a bit of metacommentary in an otherwise constructive comment, there's a chance we'll let it stand instead of deleting it. Since we don't edit comments, it's a matter of deciding which way to go, which we have to evaluate on a case-by-case basis.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:39 PM on January 13, 2009


Metafilter: I did not want to spend my afternoon arguing about rectal porn.
posted by Astro Zombie at 2:40 PM on January 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


A little while back, I had a question about porn, and I asked it, 'cause it seemed above-board to me. But it filled up with a bunch of jokey comments pretty quick-like. The mods were helpful enough to not only let my question stand, but also to prune the thread, which I imagine was kind of a lot of work. This seems like a good place for me to say, "Thanks, mods!"
posted by Greg Nog at 2:42 PM on January 13, 2009


And in the end
The porn you get
Is inversely proportional
To the flags
We vet
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:42 PM on January 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


Basically there's a flagging threshhold above which even a question that *I* think is okay will get deleted and that's what happened.

I didn't realize this was a policy and I guess it largely answers my question, although it isn't necessary an answer that I'm happy with. In an ideal world, people should be able to ask their questions that abide by all of the askmetafilter guidelines and if other people are annoyed or grossed out by them that shouldn't be a reason to delete the question.

Even when those questions are about butt sex, especially when those questions are about butt sex, because giving in to mob rule sets an unhealthy precedence and continues to stigmatize something that is already unnecessarily and unhealthily stigmatized.
posted by davidstandaford at 2:42 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thanks for the clarifications.

On the general issue, as long as threads are always SFW above the fold and legal, I am all for letting everyone's freak flag fly... but thread posters might want to take people's mores into account and say, for instance, "simulated non-consensual" whatever. Like it or not, kink has a long way to go before it's easily accepted, even on the Internet!
posted by By The Grace of God at 2:43 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


*looks up site's ass*

your hat's on crooked.
posted by jonmc at 2:49 PM on January 13, 2009


That's gotta be a tough call to make, to have to decide whether a question should come down just because it'll be hell to moderate.

moderation decisions aside: I'm going to cast my vote in the column for "people should shut up instead of getting on someone's case about looking for porn." that's pretty weak sauce right there.
posted by shmegegge at 2:50 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


You owe me one, IRFH.
posted by fixedgear at 2:51 PM on January 13, 2009


I didn't realize this was a policy and I guess it largely answers my question, although it isn't necessary an answer that I'm happy with.

Understand that the anonymous queue is a unique case where we're already doing our best to act as predictive filters for what is and is not going to realistically fly on askme. Some submissions get through, some don't, and it's a daily judgment call.

Most of the time it goes reasonably well, which is itself a weird relative description unique to this situation—anony questions can be a pain to deal with and we'll often time their release tactically to make sure someone is around to specifically keep an eye on them after they're posted, for example.

But every once in a while there's going to be some immediate and striking feedback, enough to make us take a second look at said judgment call and reconsider it. It's not like there's a magical numeric flag threshold, but fast and furious flagging and email response to something like this is pretty notable.

See also the rare undeletion on the blue—we're pretty confident about our day-to-day decision-making, but sometimes one or three of us will make a call and then see a great big community response and reconsider it. And it's rarely a case that the subject will be something mild and free of contention, so there's rarely a perfect solution.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:53 PM on January 13, 2009


Speaking of butt sex, the 2005 Enumclaw horse-sex story was the No. 5 most-read story of 2008 at the Seattle Times website.
posted by homunculus at 2:57 PM on January 13, 2009


Man, reading that question makes me feel like I just got a non-consensual rectal exam. Mostly because it's a really poorly worded question.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:01 PM on January 13, 2009


Speaking of butt sex

I'm fine, and you?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:01 PM on January 13, 2009


I didn't realize this was a policy and I guess it largely answers my question, although it isn't necessary an answer that I'm happy with.

It's not an official policy. I'd say without putting words in Jessamyn's mouth that she meant that even if we check something out and think it's ok enough to pass on, if we see dozens of people saying it sucks, we reconsider the position. That's different than "we automatically delete something."

I wouldn't say I ever automatically delete something unless there are dozens of people flagging it plus tons of comments saying it sucks plus personal emails to us explaining why it sucks, and if I can be brought around to understand something I might have missed on the first pass.

It's not a prudish minority running the mods really, it's that we got into the reconsider phase and took it down. I didn't see the non-consensual mention in my first quick scan through the question and if I approved that one and someone brought it up as they did, I would agree that's super freaky and uncool ("hai, halp me find hidden camera colonoscopy pr0n, kthnx") and I would have reconsidered the post as well and I think it was right to be removed.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:02 PM on January 13, 2009


"male examining male, female examining male, or male examining female"

Hey, what does he have against lesbians giving each other rectal exams?
posted by sixcolors at 3:02 PM on January 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


p.s. I was wrong.

You did want to spend your afternoon arguing about rectal porn?
posted by Joe Beese at 3:06 PM on January 13, 2009


Eye loohkd at mye ass-whole in da mirror de uddr day....it bloo mye fuckin' MIND!
posted by notsnot at 3:09 PM on January 13, 2009


Thomas Kinkade non-consensual rectal examination pornTM will make even the most uptight asshole glow!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:11 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't say I ever automatically delete something unless there are dozens of people flagging it plus tons of comments saying it sucks plus personal emails to us explaining why it sucks, and if I can be brought around to understand something I might have missed on the first pass.

Now I'm back to being confused. I can't figure out if the mod message here is that:

*the post was deleted because there was something wrong with it that was missed at first and when it was flagged we realized something was wrong with it and deleted it because there was something wrong with it

or

*what was wrong with the post was that people flagged it

Is there anything inherently problematic about the post itself beyond people flagging it or is what was came to be understood is that it would get more flags than you thought it would? [sorry for the passive voice, I'm responding to matt's comment but talking about jessamyn's thought process]
posted by davidstandaford at 3:12 PM on January 13, 2009


What's troubling to me is that this decision was seemingly reversed due to a vocal group being (apparently) squicked out by the q.

Agreed.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:17 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, there goes my question about non-consentual porn involving those machines you see in old movies in gymnasiums that look like a big malt machine with a strap on it, and you put the strap around your belly, and it just jiggles you for some reason.

We went to Cuba about 10 years ago and they HAD one of those, so we all got pictures of ourselves using it.
They also had one of those big sweatbox things that you sit in and just your head sticks out.
It was like we were in an episode of Laverne and Shirley.
posted by chococat at 3:21 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


As to the poster's gender and true intentions, sixcolors, we can only speculumate.
posted by adipocere at 3:22 PM on January 13, 2009


Is there anything inherently problematic about the post
IT WAS POORLY WORDED AND IMPLIED RAPE TO MANY READERS. RAPE IS NOT OK TO MANY READERS.
hth.
posted by boo_radley at 3:22 PM on January 13, 2009


Also the hyperbole of your title is vexing.
posted by boo_radley at 3:23 PM on January 13, 2009


Can I just go on record here saying that I believe the Fifth of the Final Five is the Galactica itself?
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:26 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also the hyperbole of your title is vexing.

Oh, really? You know who else had a problem with non-consensual rectal exam porn?
posted by Joe Beese at 3:26 PM on January 13, 2009


Can I just go on record here saying that I believe the Fifth of the Final Five is the Galactica itself?

It's probably sKat.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:29 PM on January 13, 2009


Can I just go on record here saying that I believe the Fifth of the Final Five is the Galactica itself?

I keep hearing rumors that it's Maggie from The Simpsons. Prepare to be disappointed once again, I guess.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:31 PM on January 13, 2009


Butt.
posted by koeselitz at 3:40 PM on January 13, 2009


Guh, I just had a horrible thought. Admiral Adama and Madame Airlock are chatting about who the final cylon is, looking over the devasation of Earth, the rubble, the garbage, the desolation. We get the idea that we should be thinking about all the ills we have inflicted on Mother Earth. Then, Wall-E buzzes past and the theme tune for Koyaanisqatsi starts up. Adama turns to camera and looks right in our eyes, and says: "The final cylon...is YOU!"
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:41 PM on January 13, 2009 [14 favorites]


So the moral of the story is that if we don't like an askme question, instead of growing up and getting over ourselves, a group of us can be a big enough pain in your collective moderator asses (pun intended) to get it taken down.

Duly noted.
posted by toomuchpete at 3:46 PM on January 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Perhaps a mechanism for parallel meta-commenting in thread that is only visible to those who opt-in would reduce the in thread crap, and/or the number of metatalk posts?
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:48 PM on January 13, 2009


it's just a shruggo situation

Shruggo, of course, being one of the lesser-known characters (due to his extreme apathy) in the Ernie Bushmiller pantheon.
posted by scody at 3:48 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


beat you to it, scody
posted by jonmc at 3:50 PM on January 13, 2009


J and C, thanks for the clarifications on policies/procedures.
posted by grumblebee at 3:51 PM on January 13, 2009


Guh, I just had a horrible thought. Admiral Adama and Madame Airlock are chatting about who the final cylon is, looking over the devasation of Earth, the rubble, the garbage, the desolation. We get the idea that we should be thinking about all the ills we have inflicted on Mother Earth. Then, Wall-E buzzes past and the theme tune for Koyaanisqatsi starts up. Adama turns to camera and looks right in our eyes, and says: "The final cylon...is YOU!"

Add one teary-eyed Indian chief, and you have it.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:54 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


The final cylon is Muffit.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:57 PM on January 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Can I just go on record here saying that I believe the Fifth of the Final Five is the Galactica itself?

You can detect a cyclon by giving it a rectal exam. They don't have normal, human rectums. So, why didn't Dr. Cottle discover the cylons when he gave them their checkups? Because Cottle is the Fifth Cylon, that's why.
posted by homunculus at 3:57 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Perhaps a mechanism for parallel meta-commenting in thread that is only visible to those who opt-in would reduce the in thread crap, and/or the number of metatalk posts?

Huh? You want pb to code a parallel opt-in meta-in-thread because people aren't capable of walking away from their keyboards?
posted by desjardins at 3:58 PM on January 13, 2009


beat you to it, scody

gah! *shakes fist in the general direction of New York*

posted by scody at 4:01 PM on January 13, 2009


So the moral of the story is that if we don't like an askme question, instead of growing up and getting over ourselves, a group of us can be a big enough pain in your collective moderator asses (pun intended) to get it taken down.

I've never seen a sufficiently large group of mefites display that kind of cohesiveness and message discipline. Our inability as a group to fully agree on anything is a feature, not a bug, of the community—it's not so much that there is no cabal as that there could never possibly be one, because it'd all fall apart inside of fifteen minutes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:08 PM on January 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


showing aggression towards a (temporary) cripple? you should be ashamed, lady.
posted by jonmc at 4:08 PM on January 13, 2009


I've never seen a sufficiently large group of mefites display that kind of cohesiveness and message discipline.

Yes we can.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:11 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I've never seen a sufficiently large group of mefites display that kind of cohesiveness and message discipline.

you don't remember Givewell?
posted by desjardins at 4:20 PM on January 13, 2009


sixcolors: Hey, what does he have against lesbians giving each other rectal exams?

Maybe he likes to watch it and imagine himself as one of the participants. The absence of a male would make that more difficult.

Plus, who says the anonymous rectal-exam fetishist is a dude? There are kinky women out there. What do you have against the possibility of a woman wanting fetish porn?
posted by CKmtl at 4:22 PM on January 13, 2009


You people are indeed deserving of scorn.

Scorn? Is that another term for scat porn?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:25 PM on January 13, 2009


Not to be confused with scarn, scarification porn.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:28 PM on January 13, 2009


you don't remember Givewell?

Very clearly. It was a really interesting debacle to follow and participate in, but "message discipline" isn't something I'd use to describe how it went down from the mefi side. Even the folks doing heavily lifting as far as communicating with the outside world didn't entirely agree on the specifics, and there was (the core issue of Jerk Spams Metafilter, Elsewhere, Is A Jerk aside) a lot of disagreement and discussion about the particulars of what it all meant and what should vs. shouldn't be done.

Which is what I mean, basically: the idea of a like roving death squad of organized single-issue flagtroopers bombing out a thread they don't like is silly. There are times when a bunch of varied people from the community all react in a spontaneous and unanimous fashion to something, but that's a function of the novel situation and not of any organized "group of us be[ing] a big enough pain" throwing their weight around.

Which is maybe taking toomuchpete's snarky comment too seriously, but there it is.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:28 PM on January 13, 2009


What's troubling to me is that this decision was seemingly reversed due to a vocal group being (apparently) squicked out by the q.

I agree.
posted by small_ruminant at 4:39 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I ran the question through a speech synthesizer and fed that into Songsmith, and it started to get good once I ramped up the Porn Groove Cliche slider.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:44 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Is there anything inherently problematic about the post itself beyond people flagging it or is what was came to be understood is that it would get more flags than you thought it would?

Basically I saw the post and was like "huh, rectal porn, weird" and approved it. Quickly, in MeFi terms we got email complaints and the flag queue went nuts. This is unusual, especially because, as BtGoG said, people knew it was anonymous and hence already approved by us. So, reading through the emails, it became clear that

1. some people were just squicked out, okay, happens
2. some people thought the non-consensual aspect of it was looking for something more along the lines of rape porn and it was unclear whether this was non-con-as-fantasy (as I saw it) or "underground against the law sort of rape-y shit" which would be against he guidelines.

Since it wasn't going to be possible -- because it's an anonymous question and as anonymous questions go, this one was brief -- to amend the question and I didn't want to spend all afternoon babysitting a rectal exam thread (haha, jokes on me!) we, cortex and I, decided to remove it.

So, the problematic aspect was more like "huh, I thought when I read this that it was okay, but clearly there are a lot of people who think its not okay and I can see their point even though it's not my own perspective and there's no inherent first amendment right to have an Anonymous AskMe question and this doesn't seem time sensitive so if it's a huge issue they can ask again next week" so it's a combination of things. The reason for removal was trying to basically sum those things up (i.e. why something mod-approved became mod-removed) with the assumption (usually correct in my experience) that if it were important enough to the OP to ask this question, they'd get in touch with us.

Keep in mind, as much as some people dislike it when we say this, this "mod message" such as it is applies pretty much to this post only in that every post is a different set of contexts and impressions. The general take-away is that the flag queue supplements our own judgement on what's a good question for AskMe. Sometimes we overrule it and sometimes it overrules us. Sheer numbers of flags, unless they're truly stratospheric (i.e. not in this case), really won't force our hand in most cases but they will send us back to asking "what do these people see that we don't?"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:00 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Well, on the bright side, a "ton of flags", yet only a couple of rants in thread, means that 'flag and move on' may be more common than you might think from reading MeTa.
posted by ctmf at 5:01 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all the answers and information moderators (and others).
posted by davidstandaford at 5:06 PM on January 13, 2009


Flags? In my rectal examination AskMe?

It's more common than you think.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:20 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Put me on the side of being bugged that the moral majority got this pulled, though the actual subject of the sought porn is a mystery to me.*

* I'm trying to imagine a non-consensual rectal exam: Walking home, a group of thugs hustle me into an alley and hold me down, and have me stare at motivational poster they've taped to a dumpster. Things...happen. As they snap off their latex gloves, the leader speaks, face hidden by his surgical mask: "Listen, punk, you definitely have hemorrhoids and I suspect more fiber in your diet would not be amiss. We didn't discover any polyps but we're going to be back next year...when you least expect it. So eat your oat bran. Got it? Oh, yeah--drop the swallowable camera in the trash can on the west side of the park by Friday, or expect a visit from pauly the podiatrist." A few days later a bill with no return address arrives for $675 plus $200 in sidewalk supplies, with instructions on where to wire the money.
posted by maxwelton at 5:20 PM on January 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


Wasn't fuckin' me.
posted by gman at 5:23 PM on January 13, 2009


Incidentally, I think this:

(1) davidstandaford, if it's such a let-down, you can just ask the question again without mentioning non-consensual rectal-exam porn.

Is pretty lame. I get the impression that David is in here not necessarily as the questioner or even an enthusiast of the question, but as someone who saw something they objected too and wanted to know why it was pulled. The cheap shot is weak sauce.
posted by maxwelton at 5:27 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


expect a visit from pauly the podiatrist."

I was at the podiatrist today. His name was Sam, I think. Also, now that I'm on disability for the next month, I've decided that Nashville Pussy's "Lazy White Boy," is my new anthem.
posted by jonmc at 5:27 PM on January 13, 2009


Happy Medium - Keep it "Safe for Work" above the fold and label the inside as such. People can safely browse the front page and click through if they want. Problem Solved!! Hugs all around!!
posted by pearlybob at 5:29 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for all the answers and information moderators (and others).

THIS IS THE WORST FLAMEOUT EVER.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 5:32 PM on January 13, 2009


Incidentally, I think this:

(1) davidstandaford, if it's such a let-down, you can just ask the question again without mentioning non-consensual rectal-exam porn.

Is pretty lame. I get the impression that David is in here not necessarily as the questioner or even an enthusiast of the question, but as someone who saw something they objected too and wanted to know why it was pulled. The cheap shot is weak sauce.


I saw that comment, but I read it as saying, if I was so concerned about this question being removed (on behalf of whoever asked it) then I could re-ask it in the future (for whoever had originally asked it).

If the intent was to imply that I asked the original question, then that would be incorrect, although I don't think there is anything wrong either with people using askmetafilter for help finding porn or people who enjoy rectal porn, whatever exactly that would entail.
posted by davidstandaford at 5:37 PM on January 13, 2009


Rectal exam porn doesn't move me, I guess the non-consensual part depends on how you read it (me: creepy, but hopefully part of the fantasy), but porn taste is a super objective thing, no?

This question reads to me like the asker is a dunce or taking the piss, but I'm constantly baffled by human beings, so what do I know?
posted by Divine_Wino at 5:38 PM on January 13, 2009


It would entail endtail.
posted by gman at 5:41 PM on January 13, 2009


/me kicks jonmc's crutch, and laughs. "That's for the Cocteau Twins!!"
posted by not_on_display at 5:44 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't think it was an issue so much of prevailing Victorian attitudes than having the phrase "RECTAL EXAM PORN" blazoned across the front page of AskMe at the peak of US work hours.

Fuck those European prats, fuck those Asian assholes: it's only the US work hours that count for shit.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:56 PM on January 13, 2009


n_o_d: my crutch is in the other room and I'm sitting down.

*cranks AC/DC*
posted by jonmc at 5:57 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


This will not wendellexposed.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:00 PM on January 13, 2009


This question reads to me like the asker is a dunce or taking the piss, but I'm constantly baffled by human beings, so what do I know?

Dunce.
posted by crossoverman at 6:06 PM on January 13, 2009


Fuck those European prats, fuck those Asian assholes: it's only the US work hours that count for shit.

You said it, not me.
posted by The Straightener at 6:14 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


And I'm not sure if it needs saying but we won't remove a post (or even "more inside" it usually) just because it has the words rectal porn in it. NSFW, as we interpret it, is mostly about unmarked/blind links to images/sounds/omgwtfbbq stuff.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:18 PM on January 13, 2009


fuck those Asian assholes

Or just examine them, if you'd prefer. That's good too...
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:20 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


fuck those Asian assholes

Yellow fever posts never go well around here.
posted by fixedgear at 6:32 PM on January 13, 2009


I don't know if I'll ever have an opportunity to call a future thread "rectalpornexamfilter".

But I'll be waiting. And watching.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:37 PM on January 13, 2009


I don't know if I'll ever have an opportunity to call a future thread "rectalpornexamfilter".

That would have been a lovely tag as well.
posted by gman at 6:44 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


So someone actually does want to be exposed to anus and this is what happens?
posted by dead cousin ted at 6:54 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Alright, I got a beef. Why can't I favourite that question?
posted by gman at 6:56 PM on January 13, 2009


So someone actually does want to be exposed to anus and this is what happens?

Your cousin dies?
posted by gman at 6:57 PM on January 13, 2009


I don't know if I'll ever have an opportunity to call a future thread "rectalpornexamfilter".

That would have been a lovely tag as well.


Hey, lookie there...
posted by davidstandaford at 6:58 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hey, lookie there...

I can't believe no one's EVER used that tag before. Must be a glitch.
posted by gman at 7:00 PM on January 13, 2009


You should have gone into Family Medicine.
posted by docpops at 7:01 PM on January 13, 2009


An anagram for anus is usan

An anagram for metafilter is Male Fitter

An anagram for rectal is cartel

This means something, I'm quite sure of it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:03 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Metafilter has been all kinds of crazy lately.

Please stop violating my pooper. My emotional pooper that is.
posted by bardic at 7:04 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Everybody needs a hug and some fiber.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:24 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


What's funny to me that Jessamyn's by profession a librarian; if a bunch of squicked-out people came into her library demanding that Harry Potter, or Heather Has Two Mommies or Lolita or American Pyscho be removed from the shelves, I have no doubt Jessamyn would politely tell them to go to hell.

I'm not sure why she applies such a different standard to askMefi. Is removing off-topic comments that difficult?

And it doesn't just apply in askMefi; we've seen perfectly legit threads in the Blue get deleted not because they were bad posts, but because thread-shitters' excesses convinced the mods it was easier just to close the threads.
posted by orthogonality at 7:29 PM on January 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Man, I was all pissed off that the question got deleted, though I understand the mods' position that it was just, like, a fucking hassle, man. And Cortex is totally gonna mail me some shit to rub my balls on, so I can't rag too hard.

But I'm pretty fucking disappointed in the the membership, y'know? I mean, I realize I'm kinda to the left of the bell curve regarding what offends me, but what the fuck? What's so terrible about rectal exam porn? Even non-con, which wasn't the focus of the question, is a) not really non-con, and b) morally negotiable between the asker and the answerer.

Maybe it's because I'm starting into my cups here, but it's shit like this that makes me hate democracy, especially relatively anonymous democracy. Fucking cowardly prudes.
posted by klangklangston at 7:35 PM on January 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


Metafilter has been all kinds of crazy lately.

Is this where I trot out my boring theory that metafilter's peak crazy times seem to coincide with the longer breaks for students and academics? So hold tight, the new semester starts soon.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:36 PM on January 13, 2009


_0_
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posted by turgid dahlia at 7:41 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: violating your emotional pooper
posted by Joe Beese at 7:41 PM on January 13, 2009


What's funny to me that Jessamyn's by profession a librarian; if a bunch of squicked-out people came into her library demanding that Harry Potter, or Heather Has Two Mommies or Lolita or American Pyscho be removed from the shelves, I have no doubt Jessamyn would politely tell them to go to hell. I'm not sure why she applies such a different standard to askMefi. Is removing off-topic comments that difficult?

1. Because AskMe has a different mission statement and general reason for existence than the public library.
2. Because the library is a public institution funded by taxpayer dollars and is nominally a public space, "free speech" is a very real concern there. Public librarians are, in a real sense, people who are paid by the government. I take my job seriously.
3. Because my job description is different at the library than it is here at MeFi
4. Because I know who the people are in the public library and have often known them for years, I don't have to worry if they're trying to ban a book as some sort of half-assed stunt and we have written policies that guide all book challenges.
5. Because when I go home from the public library, I'm no longer at work. MeFi requires partial attention whenever I'm awake, less so now that cortex is around, thank jehu.

But feel free to trot out that tired old "hurf durf, the librarian censors, how ironic" canard as if no one's ever heard it before or as if you actually don't understand the difference between a public institution and a private website. The thread wasn't removed because it was going to be difficult to moderate and I have better things to do (though both of those things are true) and it wasn't removed because the moral majority "won" something. It was removed because, upon reflection, we decided that it wasn't a good post for AskMe and we decided to use our discretion to change our mind.

If you're made uncomfortable by that, or by comment removal generally, feel free to continually bring it up in MeTa and email but please leave the rest of my personal and professional life out of this. You don't know me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:47 PM on January 13, 2009 [38 favorites]


What's funny to me that Jessamyn's by profession a librarian;

What's funny to me is that we don't know who orthogonality is.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:54 PM on January 13, 2009


You don't know me.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:54 PM on January 13, 2009


Once again, I have to admire the patience of the mods and their willingness to explain and explain again every angle of a situation that looks to me pretty clear from their first answers. The three of them take great care of clarifying the process of their decision without letting themselves be boxed in straight rules. There is a pattern at work, a kind of school of moderation. A model of professionalism in this emerging field. Congrats.
posted by bru at 7:59 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Heh how Ironic that a librarian doesn't want people looking for pictures of non-consensual rectal examination porn

Guess thats life....in Bush's Amerikkka
posted by Damn That Television at 8:01 PM on January 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Any time someone has the chance to use "canard" in a sentence (and not misusing it e.g. as referring to a bird) is alright in my book. So
posted by boo_radley at 8:02 PM on January 13, 2009


UPDATE: YES THANK YOU IT MEANS DUCK IN FRENCH. I'm talking about one guy who used the word instead of "cardinal" and he drove me real crazy.
posted by boo_radley at 8:07 PM on January 13, 2009


jessamyn writes "please leave the rest of my personal and professional life out of this. "

Jessmyn, I wasn't trying to drag your professional life (and certainly not your personal life, I didn't even allude to that) into this, and I didn't mean for you to take it so, well, personally. My apologies, I was just struck by the contrating approaches.
posted by orthogonality at 8:11 PM on January 13, 2009


I try to imagine myself telling a friend about the situation... "so, in the end, they deleted this anonymous post about where to find non-consensual colonoscopy videos. Isn't that a violation of free speech??".

I'd probably pause here to light a cigarette, and continue, "Don't you agree!! Aren't the mods crazy??" and my friend would nod knowingly. After that, we would unite with all those other millions who shared our disgust, and perhaps rise up.
posted by localhuman at 8:15 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I don't even really agree that it's so much a "Yay moral majority" issue in this case, because given the ambiguous way the question was phrased, it could very well have been interpreted to be outside the guidelines (much as requests for a snuff film would be, as it involves something illegal).
posted by Phire at 8:18 PM on January 13, 2009


Jessamyn, thanks for explaining your rationale in this case. I have to admit that I had the same question as orthogonality, but you've cleared it up for me.

But you can understand how people's assumptions might lead them into confusion. I think people assumed that your attitude toward censorship was based on deeply held and strongly felt ideals regarding freedom of expression and freedom of access to information, ideals that transcend institutional boundaries. Now that you've explained that it's a simple matter of policy for you, I don't think anyone will accuse you of inconsistency on this issue again.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:24 PM on January 13, 2009


What's funny to me that Jessamyn's by profession a librarian; if a bunch of squicked-out people came into her library demanding that Harry Potter, or Heather Has Two Mommies or Lolita or American Pyscho be removed from the shelves, I have no doubt Jessamyn would politely tell them to go to hell.

I'm not sure why she applies such a different standard to askMefi. Is removing off-topic comments that difficult?


Dude, some shit off RedTube or YouPorn is not Lolita. It's just not. If you can walk into your local library and check out Big Wet Asses 8, God love you. But no library I've ever visited has been in the habit of renting out video pornography. It's just not what they're known for. I'm not saying that maybe on some high-level, abstract way you don't have a point, but in reality, real reality, libraries themselves have made the determination that some material is just not appropriate for them to stock. That doesn't mean you can't get Big Wet Asses 8 somewhere else; you just can't get it there. Because that is simply not how that venue rolls.

Making material unavailable in one place is not tantamount to saying that it should not be available at all, anytime, anywhere. A call was made here that this question was not appropriate for AskMe. That does not mean that the question cannot be asked somewhere else, you know?
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:32 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think people assumed that your attitude toward censorship was based on deeply held and strongly felt ideals regarding freedom of expression and freedom of access to information

That's true. However, I don't see removing a question on a website as tantamount to censorship and that may be where our beliefs differ.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:33 PM on January 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Even if you really really really wanted to pretend MetaFilter was a library (why?), let us then imagine AskMe as the community meeting wing of your local library, all carpeted in green. Each question would, in library terms, represent something like an impromptu book club meeting, with anywhere from two to a few score folks showing up, depending on what they see on the sign outside. Just drop by! Today's topic is ...

And while some questions are the equivalent of bringing in Jonathan Livingston Seagull (feel-good, non-contentious), occasionally you'll have someone who shows up with a copy of Razor Wire Pubic Hair, Mein Kampf, or maybe Michelle Remembers. You might blink a second or two, decide to keep an ear out for trouble, then put up the sign: "TODAY'S TOPIC IS: BOOK CLUB MEETING FOR RAZOR WIRE PUBIC HAIR."

One could conceivably have a reasonable, adult discussion about any one of those books, but sometimes you get a bunch of ticked-off people showing up at the library front desk, saying anything from a meek "I don't know if this material is appropriate" (a flag) to "WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH YOU?" bellowed from the meeting room itself, heard all the way across the library. And then you hear something knocked over in the distance and some angry milling about. (Yes, you can hear people mill, it's like a short shuffle of disgruntlement, without much purpose.)

I imagine any sensible librarian (or anyone else, really) would take the sign down, mutter, "Well, maybe we'll skip that one next time," remind everyone that it's just a book, and suggest that the discussion continue elsewhere, before someone knocks over the magazine display. And maybe you keep an eye out for that person in the future, because they're either doing it to provoke a reaction, or they're just dangerously out of touch.

While I'm pretty much a rampant, in your face advocate of free speech, to me, this is much more of a case of ending trouble in the pleasant community wing of the library (moderation) rather than keeping books off of shelves (censorship). Nobody is going to solve anything and nothing positive will evolve out of the Mein Kampf meeting once the negativity sets in.

If I strained that analogy any harder, I'd get 'roids. MetaFilter is not a library, but even if it were, whacking the question would still be appropriate.

For what it's worth, quite a bit of the medical fetish stuff seems to revolve around non-con situations and implements of restraint and exposure. Why, I'm not sure — some odd hormonal surge when the nice dental hygienist took off a teen's braces, or some misplaced guilt from taking your cat to the vet? In any case, it seems to be something of a theme, which is probably why it seemed "okay" to the poster and very not okay to anyone unfamiliar with those particular kinks.
posted by adipocere at 8:38 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


A call was made here that this question was not appropriate for AskMe.

Actually, a call was made to post it, meaning it was indeed appropriate for AskMe. Then people flagged and bitched and it was removed.
I think "because it will be a pain in the ass to mod" is a perfectly acceptable reason to yank it. My disappointment is with all the flaggers and off topic commentators who forced its removal.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:40 PM on January 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


kittens for breakfast writes "Dude, some shit off RedTube or YouPorn is not Lolita."

Oh, agreed: the "shit" on RedPorn (presumably, I wouldn't actually know) doesn't involve children being victimized; Lolita does. Or were you making some other distinction between them?
posted by orthogonality at 8:41 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, a call was made to post it, meaning it was indeed appropriate for AskMe. Then people flagged and bitched and it was removed.

I think the flags are intended to show that the community at large finds something inappropriate (for one reason or another), are they not?

I think "because it will be a pain in the ass to mod" is a perfectly acceptable reason to yank it. My disappointment is with all the flaggers and off topic commentators who forced its removal.

Honestly, I don't know why anonymous didn't just Google it. I haven't Googled it myself, but I'm willing to bet s/he'd get a whole big bunch of...umm...rectal porn, if s/he did.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:44 PM on January 13, 2009


Oh, agreed: the "shit" on RedPorn (presumably, I wouldn't actually know) doesn't involve children being victimized; Lolita does.

Tell me you're not serious. Mostly because I need to go to bed in a minute and can't really have this insane conversation right now, but also because I really hope you're just kidding.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:46 PM on January 13, 2009


I think the flags are intended to show that the community at large finds something inappropriate (for one reason or another), are they not?

Not unless there's a corresponding "hey this looks gross but I'll just skip on to the next question and I'm fine with it being posted" flag.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:53 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh course I'm not being serious, but I am waggishly implying that your analogy isn't serious either. But you are right, it's late and we're all tired and maybe a little cranky at this point, so let's let it lay.
posted by orthogonality at 8:53 PM on January 13, 2009


(Okay, because I'm going to bed, and because I can see where this could go otherwise: You guys, no real children were molested in Lolita. Lolita is not a real person. There are no real people in this novel, which is a work of fiction, as novels tend categorically to be, and not even an especially graphic one at that.

Also: I used "shit" as a synonym for "stuff" above. I don't think pornography is shit, at least not categorically; certainly, some pornography is shit, literally or figuratively. On the whole, I think porn is great! I am in favor in porn. I am not crazy about porn on AskMe, because [a] I look at MeFi at work, which is not a porn-friendly environment, [b] in terms of AskMe in particular, I have no real questions about porn, so find porn questions personally useless, and [c] if I'm interested in porn at any particular moment, I am probably going to just go look at porn. Porn isn't why I read this site. It's not that we've never had porn-related FPPs that I found worth checking out -- I'm pretty sure Klang has linked to some photo galleries that I thought were cool and that I would never have seen otherwise, probably -- but generally speaking, that's not what I'm here for.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:01 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh course I'm not being serious, but I am waggishly implying that your analogy isn't serious either. But you are right, it's late and we're all tired and maybe a little cranky at this point, so let's let it lay.

As it were. Okay!
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:02 PM on January 13, 2009


Dear Mefites,

Hi, I'm one of the asshats who complained in the thread and flagged the post. I stated clearly in the original thread that my problem was with the use of "non-consensual".

There's at least four ways this can be read:

1. It can be taken as meaning simulated non-consensual, if you pretend there's another word there.
2. One person involved did not consent to be filmed.
3. One person involved did not consent to the act.
4. One person involved is not old enough to give informed consent.

If you mean simulated non-consensual then try using the word simulated in the sentence, because there's at least three other ways it can be read otherwise, none of which are cool or legal.

The subject matter isn't my thing, but if rectal inspections get your engine running than Yay! for you - I could care less. I'm not squicked out by porn, anal or otherwise, or even by fantasy non-consensual stuff. Is it really so difficult to use the word "simulated" or "fantasy" in there somewhere?

Best regards,

C. Asshat Thread-Shitter.
posted by mandal at 9:05 PM on January 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Rectal exam porn: we have cameras.
posted by netbros at 9:30 PM on January 13, 2009


"I don't even really agree that it's so much a "Yay moral majority" issue in this case, because given the ambiguous way the question was phrased, it could very well have been interpreted to be outside the guidelines (much as requests for a snuff film would be, as it involves something illegal)."

What happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt? If a question could be interpreted as either asking for legal stuff, or illegal stuff, why not answer as if the person is asking about legal stuff rather than flagging and assuming that it's illegal?

"If you mean simulated non-consensual then try using the word simulated in the sentence, because there's at least three other ways it can be read otherwise, none of which are cool or legal."

Oh, get off your damn high horse, you weenie. "Hey man, I just want you to know that non-consensual colonoscopy is not cool, man." Yeah, OK.

But I'm gonna shatter your whole world here with some insider knowledge: porn isn't real. When someone says "porn," that implies fantasy. I know that you made this mistake because you got hung up on a bad-faith reading of the question, and are now trying to bolster your case with a bunch of semantic quibbling (I can think of at least three other ways it might have been illegal and/or wrong), and because maybe you don't get how one of the things that keeps communities functional is a mutual assumption of good faith, but try not to be such a rules-lawyer dickweed next time.

Kudos for wading in here, though, and I don't mean that sarcastically.
posted by klangklangston at 9:33 PM on January 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'm not sure if it needs saying but we won't remove a post (or even "more inside" it usually) just because it has the words rectal porn in it

Thanks for saying it anyway, jessamyn. It's very surprising that anyone in this thread could possibly believe that the words "porn" or "rectal" would be inappropriate for AskMe's front page. I'm a big fan of polite NSFW warnings for links, but sexy/naughty/scatalogical words have always been accepted on the front pages here, and it's bizarre to see someone imply otherwise.
posted by mediareport at 9:41 PM on January 13, 2009


What happened to giving people the benefit of the doubt? If a question could be interpreted as either asking for legal stuff, or illegal stuff, why not answer as if the person is asking about legal stuff rather than flagging and assuming that it's illegal?

Or why not just rephrase the question to remove the ambiguity and submit it again? It's not exactly a hard day's work is it?

But I'm gonna shatter your whole world here with some insider knowledge: porn isn't real.

Your world is clearly nicer than the one I grew up in. If you truly believe that all the porn available online is fluffy and consensual, lucky you; it isn't though.

I know that you made this mistake because...

No, you don't. Kudos for the straw man though.
posted by mandal at 9:57 PM on January 13, 2009


I can never watch these rectal exam porns because I always get distracted yelling at the screen: "JESUS CHRIST EAT MORE FIBER THAT CAN'T BE GOOD FOR YOU!" Is that rude?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:01 PM on January 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


but porn taste is a super objective thing, no?
Subjective, subjective, sorry, it's been a long fucking day.
posted by Divine_Wino at 10:04 PM on January 13, 2009


I concede your point, klang, and I agree with the basic principle behind it. But in my interpretation of the situation, jessamyn saw it as on the fence, and gave it the benefit of the doubt, whereas other people saw it squarely on the wrong side of the fence, and there was thus no doubt to be given. It seemed less a "jessamyn thought it was 100% pure and okay and completely rescinded her opinion based on a mountain full of flags situation", which is what a lot of the hand-wringing in this MeTa about censorship and moral majority seem to be complaining about.

I can understand why people would be upset if someone asked a contentious question that involved an unpopular opinion (off the top of my head, "how do I convince my friend that Creationism is the way to go") that later got deleted. In that case, deleting the thread really would have been purely based on community outrage and nothing else. But that's not really the case here; there is a legitimate doubt to the legality of the question that many people apparently felt very viscerally, and I guess I personally don't see any issue with swaying with community opinion when the mods didn't have too strong of a stance to begin with. It is community policing, after all.

Especially when apparently all responses thus far had been deleted, and the thread itself wasn't very well crafted, I definitely see why the mods wouldn't have thought it worth the trouble of constant monitoring. I guess I just consider all the cries of "censorship!!" to be a bit too hyperbolic.
posted by Phire at 11:03 PM on January 13, 2009


um... nonconsensual? I think the onus insert joke here is on the poster to clarify that. What if it said "underage okay"?
posted by taz at 11:27 PM on January 13, 2009


Porn isn't why I read this site.

I sympathize. I feel the same way about computer games.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:18 AM on January 14, 2009


Metafilter: non-consensual colonoscopy
posted by bardic at 12:48 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


non-consensual rectal examination

goatse?
posted by Phanx at 1:33 AM on January 14, 2009


I'm trying to imagine a non-consensual rectal exam

Well, you're in the toilet, and doing your business, and from the next stall over someone sniffs and starts talking about your diet...

Your world is clearly nicer than the one I grew up in.

Well, for starters, perhaps it has people with enough manners not to act like collosal fucking retards whenever it suits them. But hey, you're so special and important that trying to adhere to ask.mefi guidelines is beneath you, right?

I'm trying to imagine a non-consensual rectal exam

Well, you're in the toilet, and doing your business, and from the next stall over someone sniffs and starts talking about your diet...

Your world is clearly nicer than the one I grew up in.

Well, for starters, it has people with enough manners not to act like collosall fucking retards whenever it suits them. But hey, you're so special and important that trying to adhere to ask.mefi guidelines is beneath you, right?

Porn isn't why I read this site.

I don't read it for the Apple advertising, but apparently some people do. But by all means, if you want a site that shows only things in which you are interested, feel free to set one up.
posted by rodgerd at 2:00 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, you can hear people mill, it's like a short shuffle of disgruntlement, without much purpose

Wow. That's just awesome. I think that's my new band name. Shuffle of Disgruntlement. Or, perhaps, our first album title: The Disgruntlement Shuffle.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:51 AM on January 14, 2009


Well, for starters, perhaps it has people with enough manners not to act like collosal fucking retards whenever it suits them. But hey, you're so special and important that trying to adhere to ask.mefi guidelines is beneath you, right?

If I broke a guideline, I apologize. Now I know, I'll just flag and move on without comment.

Nice tone, btw.
posted by mandal at 4:38 AM on January 14, 2009


Nice use of "manners" and "fucking retards" in the same sentence!
posted by gman at 4:45 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Interested question: are there some other ask.mefi guidelines other than these?
posted by mandal at 4:51 AM on January 14, 2009


Bored now.

Seriously, in the "ask any question you want" thread, I'm all, "Please to have more arguing on MetaTalk!" And then it comes to this. Fighting over whether it was okay to delete a question about porn.

(Personally, I have no qualms about porn questions, or even about people who like rectal exam rape fantasy porn and want help finding it. But I understand Jessamyn's attempt -- unsuccessful though it might have been -- to avoid a major headache.)

Still, as callouts go, this is such a yawn. Is this the most offensive thing going on here at MeFi these days? Should I call Pat Robertson and see if he'll sign up for an account? Should I attempt to be a troll myself, you know, by going into threads and saying ridiculous and cruel things? How does one go about that? Any advice?
posted by brina at 5:12 AM on January 14, 2009


Should I attempt to be a troll myself, you know, by going into threads and saying ridiculous and cruel things? How does one go about that? Any advice?

Check your inbox.
posted by Joe Beese at 5:25 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


to avoid a major headache.

or a pain in the ass. hahaheeheehoohoo

*cries*
posted by jonmc at 5:37 AM on January 14, 2009


I think people assumed that your attitude toward censorship was based on deeply held and strongly felt ideals regarding freedom of expression and freedom of access to information, ideals that transcend institutional boundaries. Now that you've explained that it's a simple matter of policy for you, I don't think anyone will accuse you of inconsistency on this issue again.

CWAA.
posted by languagehat at 5:54 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Safe For Work Porn. (NSFW)
posted by gman at 6:24 AM on January 14, 2009


If you can walk into your local library and check out Big Wet Asses 8, God love you.

But you'd be wastng your time. Big Wet Asses 8 was a hollow shell of the classic original. The sequel was alright, the subsequent two Victorian Era prequels pushed it a bit but stayed true to the original spirit. After that it was all downhill. By the time they got to Big Wet Asses 7: The Wettening, they'd already done everything they could do with the storyline, really, and all the dynamics were exhausted. The dialogue stilted, the actors phoning it in. You could tell no one really believed what Big Wet Asses stood for anymore.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:37 AM on January 14, 2009 [9 favorites]


I thought the question was fine, though not great. It didn't even occur to me that someone could read it as for-real non-consensual, not scenario-non-consensual. I wasn't feeling the need to fight for in MeTa, and thought Jessamyn's explanation for deletion reasonable, but hey, props to davidstandaford for a thoughtful and competent post here.

Now this thread's all stunk up, though. Bleh.
posted by desuetude at 7:01 AM on January 14, 2009


This would never have happened if we'd followed the best practice of a well-known UK forum and named a sex and relationships sub-section of AskMe "knobbing and sobbing."
posted by Abiezer at 7:03 AM on January 14, 2009


I think that there might have been good reasons to delete (or never approve) the question. But the given reasons weren't very convincing.

And I'm really sad that it might have been partly because of people saying things like I was squicked out seeing "rectal exam porn" on the front page. That's the saddest, lowest-common-denominator kind of comment, for which I have no sympathy.

I like MeFi when it is a place not where "anything goes," but where anything that fits the boundaries of the community goes. And if someone wants help finding links to their particular and legal pornographic preference, well more power to them, and someone who doesn't like it doesn't have to answer the question.
posted by Forktine at 7:23 AM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


This would never have happened if we'd followed the best practice of a well-known UK forum and named a sex and relationships sub-section of AskMe "knobbing and sobbing."

Wonderful, magical, amazing. God Save The Queen!
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:25 AM on January 14, 2009


CWAA

County of Warwick Archery Association?
Ching Wu Athletic Association?
Chinook Winds Adventist Academy?
Congregationalist Wiccan Assembly of Alberta?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:49 AM on January 14, 2009


Oh, d'oh, I get it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:50 AM on January 14, 2009


...doesn't involve children being victimized; Lolita does.

I thought that in Lolita, the child is the victimizer and the adult the victim. Isn't that the point of the story, that this girl is waaay to precocious and the old man has a helluva hard time dealing?
posted by five fresh fish at 7:51 AM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought that in Lolita, the child is the victimizer and the adult the victim. Isn't that the point of the story, that this girl is waaay to precocious and the old man has a helluva hard time dealing?

I always thought Lolita was a case of unreliable narrator. Humbert Humbert believes himself seduced, or would at least like to convince himself, and the reader, that he was.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:59 AM on January 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


BOHICA
posted by McGuillicuddy at 8:01 AM on January 14, 2009


I always thought Lolita was a case of unreliable narrator. Humbert Humbert believes himself seduced, or would at least like to convince himself, and the reader, that he was.

That's the way I read it.
posted by caddis at 8:16 AM on January 14, 2009


Big Wet Asses 8 was a hollow shell of the classic original.

I don't think many would argue against this point. So wanting was the final cut of Big Wet Asses 8 that they decided to reimagine the entire franchise, Battlestar-style. There was pretty serious uproar from both the BWA: Classic and BWA: 1980 fanbases, but at the end of the day, BWA: Phoenix represents a major, major step forward in the genre of library-approved hardcore rectal exam pornography.
posted by SpiffyRob at 8:55 AM on January 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Oh, d'oh, I get it.

I'm afraid I still don't. Oh, well, life is short.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:02 AM on January 14, 2009


Crabby, think, "Christ, what..." and it will come to you. Took me a minute, too.
posted by misha at 9:41 AM on January 14, 2009


Oh. I guess I was expecting something more profound from languagehat.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:45 AM on January 14, 2009


CWAA isn't working for me as an acronym. C,WAA might work better.
posted by desuetude at 9:54 AM on January 14, 2009


While we're burning down the town, can we get rid of Dr. Who-related posts as well? That's like a rectal exam for the brain.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:58 AM on January 14, 2009


Stop being so anal - you'll never be able to come up with exact policies about what gets deleted and what doesn't.
posted by jasper411 at 10:08 AM on January 14, 2009


I confess, I flagged the question because I was irked by the non-con angle, and I thought that porn questions would be against AskMeFi rules. Guess I was wrong there.
Next time I'll just move on...
posted by kolophon at 10:31 AM on January 14, 2009


While we're burning down the town, can we get rid of Dr. Who-related posts as well?

you know who else
posted by Greg Nog at 11:04 AM on January 14, 2009


"Or why not just rephrase the question to remove the ambiguity and submit it again? It's not exactly a hard day's work is it?"

What, to make you feel better because you've got a stick up your ass? Why not delete answers that give illegal information, rather than the question?

I mean, like I mentioned upthread, I totally understand this from a practical mod perspective—on some level, the reason why we don't have this question is the same as the reason why libraries don't have Big Wet Asses 8 (which does look pretty lackluster), and that's limited resources. Correct or not, the assumption is that money spent on Big Wet Asses 8 could be better spent on another copy of Mother, Jugs and Speed. In this case, mod time could be better spent, well, anywhere else.

But that doesn't preclude me from being disappointed in petty bullshit from folks with sandy taints, which means that questions like that take lots of mod time.

"Your world is clearly nicer than the one I grew up in. If you truly believe that all the porn available online is fluffy and consensual, lucky you; it isn't though."

Well, how about this—despite your scaremongering wariness regarding all that evil porn that somehow lurks everywhere subrosa, we can wait until it actually makes an appearance here rather than preemptively deleting shit. And as someone who deals with the record keeping requirements of pornography and has a pretty decent handle on just what porn is available online, no, the vast, vast, vast majority of it is consensual. Even the vast, vast, vast majority of "non-consensual" porn is consensual. Just like the vast, vast, vast majority of "underage" porn is actually made by people who are of age (which does depend on your jurisdiction, but that's another semantic argument), and the vast, vast, vast majority of "incest" porn is made by people who aren't related. That there may be some terrible shit out there is not an argument to restrict this question any more than the idea that there are some terrible terrorists out there is an argument to tap everyone's phone line.

So don't try dropping science on me just because you've got some hardass fantasy about the seamy world of porn.

"No, you don't. Kudos for the straw man though."

Uh, actually, I was working with the assumption that this was an honest mistake and that you just didn't understand how the community works, rather than you being an anal asshole who tries to justify his personal hang-ups under a rubric of literal interpretation of guidelines. And learn how to use the term "straw man," since your coming to the question with a bad-faith reading is pretty undisputed.
posted by klangklangston at 11:16 AM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jesus, klang, dial it down a bit.
posted by jokeefe at 11:49 AM on January 14, 2009


I think the assumption of puritanical panty-waddedness on the part of the flaggers is slightly unfair. There are a limited number of flags and they are not very nuanced. There is no flag for "This post is offensive unless the word 'simulated' is added, in which case we're cool" or "I know I shouldn't be browsing MeFi from work, but could we put the details of the porn behind a jump? Pretty please?" or whatever the hell other reason people were flagging the damn thing.

Of course as pony requests for flags go, neither of those are on my list. I'd personally like the opportunity to flag posts as "Horrifyingly bad pun", "Christ, what an asshole" and "Six people already beat you to that quote/joke/link. Read the thread before commenting, fucker."

The mods wouldn't need to do anything with this information; the very act of flagging them would be enough to make me feel better.


And those of you who can't imagine a non-consensual rectal exam have clearly never been abducted by aliens.
posted by the latin mouse at 12:13 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Porn is VERY SERIOUS. Do NOT sully the good name of porn.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:33 PM on January 14, 2009


I heard from Jill that Bobby says porn is a total slut.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:47 PM on January 14, 2009


Maybe we should have a "not for USians at work who skeeved out by porn" section of the site?
posted by stinkycheese at 12:47 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I vote we have it right next to the "USian-use Free Zone" section of the site.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:50 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I thought that in Lolita, the child is the victimizer and the adult the victim. Isn't that the point of the story, that this girl is waaay to precocious and the old man has a helluva hard time dealing?

Nope. Like Marisa said, you're getting the story told through Humbert, and even he eventually realizes he's fucked up Lo's life.
posted by languagehat at 1:19 PM on January 14, 2009


Oh. I guess I was expecting something more profound from languagehat.

Oops, sorry; shall we try a little Catullus?

hanc ad munditiem adde mundiorem,
quod culus tibi purior salillo est,
nec toto decies cacas in anno;
atque id durius est faba et lapillis.

posted by languagehat at 1:24 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe we should have a "not for USians at work who skeeved out by porn" section of the site?

Can we put that next to "Americans who are sick of seeing the term 'USians' because we're not at all sure how you would go about pronouncing it, it looks awkward, and it always reads as 'Asians' on the first go-round?"

HONESTLY. THIS 'WORD' IT STICKS IN MY CRAW.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:25 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Freedom of speech, just watch what you say?
posted by stinkycheese at 1:27 PM on January 14, 2009


And those of you who can't imagine a non-consensual rectal exam have clearly never been abducted by aliens.

I had an alien abduction experience once. I was certainly not abducted by aliens, but about once or twice a year I seem to get a sleep paralysis. These are basically quite intense waking nightmares but would seem to be the cause of many reports of paranormal or supernatural phenomena. Mine usually come across as a ghost or shadow people menacing me, but the one time it was definitely some Gray aliens. They did go for the rectal probe, but luckily these particular aliens ended up being real incompetent and ended up missing, poking my buttcheeks a bit before they gave up.

Just lasts a few minutes and, knowing what's going on, it's basically a slightly annoyance as while my thinking brain knows what's going on (literally as this one happened I was thinking "Oh, that's fucking hilarious, I've got aliens this time.") the lower-level brain is still all "OH SHIT WTF GTFO FIGHT OR FLIGHT OH NO CAN'T MOVE OH FUCK." Trying to wiggle fingers and toes seems to usually work for snapping out of it faster than trying to move the limbs.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 1:31 PM on January 14, 2009


Look, I'm not getting into an argument about USian. That's not what this thread is about. If it sticks in your craw so much it causes you to yell, may I suggest you flag any such comment and get its use banned from the site. Or just put it in the guidelines.

Otherwise, it's just a word (or 'WORD' as you put it).

Some like it, some don't.
posted by stinkycheese at 1:33 PM on January 14, 2009


may I suggest you flag any such comment and get its use banned from the site. Or just put it in the guidelines.

Pffft, I don't have that kind of power. I'm not a mod. And there will obviously never be consensus on the word, but it is one of the very few things that bugs me enough to point out when I see it that it just LOOKS WRONG. You're right, there's no point in digressing into a further argument, which isn't my intent - it just, as mentioned, sticks in my craw. While there was joking and general tomfoolery going on about intolerance to p0rn, I threw in my two cents on my intolerance for the term "USian".
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:42 PM on January 14, 2009


it is one of the very few things that bugs me

TBH, grapefruitmoon, I think that's kind of the point. (Not you specifically, mind.) Think of it as another teeny-tiny blow against cultural imperialism.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:51 PM on January 14, 2009


And there will obviously never be consensus on the word, but it is one of the very few things that bugs me enough to point out when I see it that it just LOOKS WRONG.

Maybe because it's not so much a word as a point trying hard to be made. It's also a Jamaican track star, apparently. GO USIAN!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:52 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Does anybody actually like "USian"? I've always had the impression that it's one of those things people like to invoke because they know other people dislike it. I have a hard time imagining someone sitting down and thinking to themselves, "yes sir, 'USian'! That's a fine word; a handsome word!" or anything like that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:55 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Think of it as another teeny-tiny blow against cultural imperialism.

THAT'S WHY IT BUGS ME. Because it's NOT! The reason that residents of the US are called "Americans" is because the WORD "America" is IN THE NAME of the country. Until we have "The Canadian States of America," "The Mexican States of America," or "The Brazilian States of America" there is NO DISRESPECT in referring to the citizens of the United States by a valid abbreviation of the NAME OF THE COUNTRY.

I have only said this five hundred times on MetaFilter, so I guess I need to add caps in different places.

HONESTLY. If "USian" didn't look awkward and unprounceable ("you-see-an?" "us-ee-an?"), it would be a perfectly cromulent alternative. As is, it's clunky and reads too closely to "Asian." I'm not in favor of the term "American" because I'm in favor of Manifest Destiny, I'm in favor of it because it's AN ACTUAL WORD.

Maybe because it's not so much a word as a point trying hard to be made.

That too, and really, I think the point doth protest too much.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 1:58 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Does anybody actually like "USian"? I've always had the impression that it's one of those things people like to invoke because they know other people dislike it.

Yeah, I get the impression that anytime it's used someone is "sticking it" to "the man." Unfortunately, the man, as it were, could care less and the rest of us think it's a dumb word. Actual cultural imperialism doesn't care what you call it, as long as you continue to shop at Wal-Mart.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:00 PM on January 14, 2009


quod culus tibi purior salillo est,

That was definitely non-consensual.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:02 PM on January 14, 2009


If I'm being honest, "USian" just comes off as precious to me, and in thinking about it just now, I'd say that it seems to have the general effect of making me take the speaker just a little less seriously. Not saying that's fair, just copping to a prejudice I just noticed. I also just noticed just how many times I just typed "just".
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:03 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


Sorry for the derail everyone. Can we get back to the proctology now?
posted by stinkycheese at 2:14 PM on January 14, 2009


Yes - let's get back to it, shall we?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:16 PM on January 14, 2009


Well, how about this—despite your scaremongering wariness regarding all that evil porn that somehow lurks everywhere subrosa, we can wait until it actually makes an appearance here rather than preemptively deleting shit. And as someone who deals with the record keeping requirements of pornography and has a pretty decent handle on just what porn is available online, no, the vast, vast, vast majority of it is consensual.

So don't try dropping science on me just because you've got some hardass fantasy about the seamy world of porn.

****

Uh, actually, I was working with the assumption that this was an honest mistake and that you just didn't understand how the community works, rather than you being an anal asshole who tries to justify his personal hang-ups under a rubric of literal interpretation of guidelines. And learn how to use the term "straw man," since your coming to the question with a bad-faith reading is pretty undisputed.



You have no idea of the places I wound up in care when my family life got too violent, nor of what happened to me or what I saw happen to others in some of those places. If you did, giving you the benefit of not being an idiot, it is possible that you'd see how someone might take non-consensual in a completely different light than you.

...as someone who deals with the record keeping requirements of pornography...

How lovely. Most of my records are broken bones and scar tissue.

Not everyone has your life. Perhaps, at some point, you might understand the ramifications of that and how, as a consequence, other people see and understand things differently than you; or you can just be some unpleasant blowhard the rest of your life.

Come back. Have another go. Call me some more names if you want. Worse things have happened and none of it will matter much, since my account will be closed by then. And no, I'm not closing out because I need the drama, but because now every time I see your name it's going to make me think of things I'd sooner leave buried.
posted by mandal at 2:40 PM on January 14, 2009


From now on whenever I see the pseudo-word USian, I'm going to mentally substitute "non-consensual rectal examination" and respond accordingly.
posted by found missing at 2:42 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


From now on whenever I see the pseudo-word USian, I'm going to mentally substitute "non-consensual rectal examination" and respond accordingly.

Isn't there a FireFox script to do this?
posted by fixedgear at 3:01 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, I didn't see a flameout coming.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:14 PM on January 14, 2009


Well then, you overlooked the first safety rule of rectal examination.
posted by found missing at 3:20 PM on January 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


That whole USian discussion doesn't seem too bad now, does it?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:24 PM on January 14, 2009


Well then, you overlooked the first safety rule of rectal examination.

No smoking.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:25 PM on January 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


I thought it would be beans related.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:25 PM on January 14, 2009


Isn't there a FireFox script to do this?

Wouldn't Greasemonkey be more effective?

I'm sorry.
posted by rtha at 3:32 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, that's what I meant. And mandal did deactivate his/her account.
posted by fixedgear at 4:00 PM on January 14, 2009


Did anyone get the number of that crazy train that just blew past here?
posted by dead cousin ted at 4:20 PM on January 14, 2009


Non-consensual rectal exam and you DIDN'T see a flameout? Well, it's no cat de-clawing, but still, touchy subject.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 4:30 PM on January 14, 2009


Tushy subject.
posted by dead cousin ted at 4:35 PM on January 14, 2009


Butt seriously, folks...
posted by jonmc at 4:37 PM on January 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Put Your Finger In My Butt

I'm sorry.
posted by pianomover at 6:11 PM on January 14, 2009


ass.metafilter.com
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:50 PM on January 14, 2009


don't be cheeky, mac.
posted by jonmc at 8:10 PM on January 14, 2009


This thread was all just some bad holodeck simulation, right? Right?
posted by chinston at 8:13 PM on January 14, 2009


the bottom of his ballsac in level enough to make a great paperweight.
posted by jonmc at 8:19 PM on January 14, 2009


Sure, but where would you keep your pens?
posted by turgid dahlia at 8:23 PM on January 14, 2009


On Pen Island.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:39 PM on January 14, 2009


that was just too easy
posted by caddis at 5:40 AM on January 15, 2009


Metafilter: I did not want to spend my afternoon arguing about rectal porn.
posted by BigLankyBastard at 9:34 AM on January 15, 2009


Matthowie: ("hai, halp me find hidden camera colonoscopy pr0n, kthnx")

*puts on monocle and top hat* I say old chap, isn't all colonoscopy hidden camera, eh? eh? *twirls cane in victory*
posted by felix at 12:17 PM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Think of it as another teeny-tiny blow against cultural imperialism.

"USian": the "Micro$oft" of International Relations
posted by Rock Steady at 1:00 PM on January 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's kinda cute the way Americans get a bug up their ass whenever someone writes "USian".
posted by five fresh fish at 5:36 PM on January 15, 2009


Eh, I dunno. It's on par with "Micro$oft" - kind of immature, not really constructive, but generally harmless.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:40 PM on January 15, 2009


You have no idea of the places I wound up in care when my family life got too violent, nor of what happened to me or what I saw happen to others in some of those places. If you did, giving you the benefit of not being an idiot, it is possible that you'd see how someone might take non-consensual in a completely different light than you.

...as someone who deals with the record keeping requirements of pornography...

How lovely. Most of my records are broken bones and scar tissue.

Not everyone has your life. Perhaps, at some point, you might understand the ramifications of that and how, as a consequence, other people see and understand things differently than you; or you can just be some unpleasant blowhard the rest of your life.

Come back. Have another go. Call me some more names if you want. Worse things have happened and none of it will matter much, since my account will be closed by then. And no, I'm not closing out because I need the drama, but because now every time I see your name it's going to make me think of things I'd sooner leave buried.


Can mods add a "it's all about MEEEEEE" flag?

It's kinda cute the way Americans get a bug up their ass whenever someone writes "USian".

All right, but don't come crying when we start calling you foreigners EUians.
posted by gjc at 8:55 PM on January 15, 2009


five fresh fish is in Canada, dude. We call them EHians.
posted by jonmc at 9:10 PM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


That's C, eh, N, eh, D, eh, Ians.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:55 PM on January 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can mods add a "it's all about MEEEEEE" flag?

That's sort of unneccessary; what say you close your account and we'll shit on you for a while?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:00 PM on January 15, 2009


It's kinda cute the way Americans get a bug up their ass whenever someone writes "USian".

fwiw, I think it's less the word and more the way it's used. around here, at least, it's almost always derogatory.
posted by shmegegge at 8:21 AM on January 16, 2009


grumblebee writes "Just typing the words 'nipple ring' made me shiver with disgust. Gross! Gross! Gross!"

Interesting. I knew lots of people don't like assorted piercings. I did not know that some find certain piercings squicky.

Metatalk: "We call them EHians"
posted by Mitheral at 6:31 PM on January 18, 2009


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