I Dislike Chatfiler Deletion of Ouch April 3, 2009 4:02 AM   Subscribe

I don't like the chatfilter deletion of Ouch (I had posted a comment but not posted the original question)

I read the FAQ and also Why was this question close which explained some of the owners and moderators perspectives. Of course it's your site, so you can do anything you want with it. I thought it was an interesting thread for a variety of reasons and didn't detract from other questions. When I read some of the background, I found that the owner prefers for ask questions to be directed to experts. It's possible there's some background for that that I haven't realized yet that gives it more value, but it feels to me snobbish and misguided. Most of the questions I find most interesting here allow people from many disciplines and maturities to contribute, and they actually do all add to the discussion. Most disciplines have their own forums for experts-in-X-only; if I were looking for that, I'd go there, not here, where IMHO diversity is one of the highpoints. Of course it's your site, and in many ways quite excellent, I'm just stating my opinion and explaining it, nothing more.
posted by peter_meta_kbd to MetaFilter-Related at 4:02 AM (165 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I agree. The question is phrased like chatfilter, but what the poster is actually asking might very well be something like "Emotional pain is killing me. Please tell me about ways of handling it that worked for you."
posted by rjs at 4:06 AM on April 3, 2009


This is one of the most interesting parts of the FAQ you read.
posted by gman at 4:12 AM on April 3, 2009


I dislike posters who can't make links out of URLs.
posted by crossoverman at 4:15 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I read some of the background, I found that the owner prefers for ask questions to be directed to experts.

No, not at all, see this answer in the FAQ.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:16 AM on April 3, 2009


Link to AskMe question.

It's way too broad.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:19 AM on April 3, 2009


I dislike posters who can't make links out of URLs.
posted by crossoverman

As a human, I'll thank you for speaking for all of us.
posted by gman at 4:23 AM on April 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


This deletion is tearing me apart.

How do you feel about it?
posted by Elmore at 4:23 AM on April 3, 2009


I dislike posters who can't make links out of URLs.

The snark isn't helpful and the user may not know or understand how. The user's non-American wife may posted this question.

Peter, or Miss Peter, here's how to add easily clickable links when making posts.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:27 AM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Now, I'm no computer expert but, this is in the poster's profile - I do website and nonwebsite programming, including drupal, C++, etc.
posted by gman at 4:29 AM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Most of the questions I find most interesting here allow people from many disciplines and maturities to contribute, and they actually do all add to the discussion

Well, yes, but AskMe isn't for discussion. It's for answering questions. The way this particular question was phrased pushed it over the edge into chatfilter, I think. The poster didn't say, "What should I do if my emotional pain has become overwhelming?" They asked, "what do you do?" It was a poll. Could the poster have been looking for ideas they could apply to their own situation? Perhaps. But then that's what they should have asked to begin with. The mods have, I believe, specifically said they don't want chatty open-ended questions to take over AskMe so it pays to make sure your question is as specific as possible. It might seem like it was a little heavy handed to delete the question but that's what happens when you get a question that's so close to the chatty line. It gets deleted, someone is unhappy. It stays, someone else is unhappy. It happens sometimes.

Besides, there are lots and lots of questions on AskMe dealing with emotional trauma. If relief is really what the poster seeks a quick search brings up tons of information. If relief is not what they seek then what's the point of the question?
posted by lysistrata at 4:30 AM on April 3, 2009


I'm also no grammatical expert.
posted by gman at 4:33 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Regardless of whether it was an appropriate deletion in any technical sense, its deletion is no great loss. Pretty much all it had to offer was "I smoke and drink when I'm feeling awful." No one needs to be told that people frequently smoke and drink when they feel bad. And the few bits of mom-approved advice -- even though the asker quite explicitly said "I'm not asking what you should do. What do you do?" -- weren't all that revelatory.

Save it for a better fight. Meanwhile, have a drink and a smoke.
posted by pracowity at 5:00 AM on April 3, 2009


Yeah, I generally agree that if the poster had been asked for advice, the thread would've gone over much better. As it is, he essentially specifically said they didn't want advice, just anecdotes. And not very specific, problem-oriented, solution-based anecdotes at that. While it'd be an interesting sociological experiment, it's not really what AskMe is for. The rules on AskMe are strict not necessarily because the occasional "I like this, what do you like" question detracts from any of the other questions, necessarily, but because if you don't police it strictly, the chatfilter type question, with an inherently wider target audience, will lead to a decrease in overall quality and utility in the answers themselves. When I use AskMe, I expect solutions, not chattiness.
posted by Phire at 5:24 AM on April 3, 2009


Apologies for the really crappy writing in the previous post. 2 x specific + 2 x necessarily? Can you tell I've been writing formulaic papers for school lately?
posted by Phire at 5:27 AM on April 3, 2009


Wow, I find myself defensive now that two people dislike me. Sorry, I cannot contribute any more now to this particular thread.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 5:45 AM on April 3, 2009


They don't dislike you, they dislike themselves and all that they themselves stand for. It's a hard way to live.
posted by gleuschk at 6:02 AM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


I understand that MetaTalk functions as a sort of escape valve for the site, that it's the lawless wild-west of Metafilter. But that doesn't mean you have to mindlessly bully everybody who posts something here. Especially when that poster is new here and has a question about why things are the way they are. And may not understand that posting a question to MetaTalk is like pinning a kick-me sign to their own back.
posted by bookish at 6:12 AM on April 3, 2009 [20 favorites]


I rather like chatfilter deletion. I would like even more of them.

if I were that sort of person, I'd link to that clip from the Simpsons episode, where Lisa invents Lutherans, who all cluster around her asking her questions, which is what I think of every time there's a chatfilter discussion. but I'm not that sort of person.
posted by crush-onastick at 6:14 AM on April 3, 2009


Wow, I find myself defensive now...

It's just a sloppy way of saying "I don't like it when people..." No sane person really dislikes another person solely because the other person neglects to add one hyperlink to one post. (And no sane person goes off in a huff over such comments.)
posted by pracowity at 6:17 AM on April 3, 2009


I understand that MetaTalk functions as a sort of escape valve for the site, that it's the lawless wild-west of Metafilter. But that doesn't mean you have to mindlessly bully everybody who posts something here.

I'm not sure that one comment snarking the unlinked URLs counts as mindless bullying but yes, it was unhelpful. Thanks to Brandon Blatcher and gman for pointing out the relevant bits of the FAQ.

peter_meta_kbd, please don't take the teasing personally. I hope you come back to the thread.
posted by lysistrata at 6:29 AM on April 3, 2009


OK, thanks for the PM who helped me get a little better perspective. Sorry I didn't make the link clickable; it was my error based on most sites where I post automatically doing that. Maybe the life experiences AskMe doesn't fit the rules, but seems like it was valued.

Maybe "its deletion is no great loss" to you, but this argument suffers from the problem that no deletion of anything will be a great loss. For me, I appreciated the thread and was looking forward all day actually to seeing what else might have been added. Well, took me a while to find it and, not much new added.

Maybe for some people, practical questions are the only ones that are valued. Not for me.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 6:30 AM on April 3, 2009


FWIW, I think Chatfilter Deletion of Ouch has possibilities as a band name.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:42 AM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Somebody doesn't like it already, so it's got that going for it.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:43 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe for some people, practical questions are the only ones that are valued. Not for me.

It's not that they aren't valued, but AskMe has a more specific mission and going outside that mission tends to make Askme less valuable for the community in general. The mods will be probably be up soon and go into more detail.

Big Big Question and Metachat are spin off sites from Metafilter and more suited for chatty and hypothetical questions and excellent ways to hang out with other Mefites.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:45 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe the life experiences AskMe doesn't fit the rules, but seems like it was valued.

I think this is something a lot of people stumble over. There are users who are comfortable with a little bit of inconsistent moderation and others who are not. I think the mods try to keep a light hand while moderating AskMe while still pruning enough to keep the site useful. Sometimes chatty questions slip through the cracks and sometimes they lead to some really great conversations but that doesn't mean that the site should be opened up to every chatfilter question that comes along. It seems to be a pretty organic and subjective process and sometimes it might seem a bit arbitrary but that's what happens when you have such an active site. I'm not sure on this but I think I've seen it mentioned by one or more of the mods here that AskMe gets a heck of a lot more traffic than any other part of the site and a lot of that from users who never wander into Metatalk and haven't seen any of the previous discussion of this very issue. So sometimes chatty questions get asked. Mostly they are deleted but once in a while one gets through. It's just one of those inconsistencies you have to get used to. And really, the mods are only human and there are only four of them.

The deletion of chatfilter used to bother me a little bit until I started thinking of AskMe as not just another part of the site for discussion but as a utility. From what I understand, it's meant to be a searchable repository of knowledge where users can get helpful answers to specific questions.
posted by lysistrata at 6:45 AM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Fixed the links.

Like I tried to at least hint at in the deletion reason, I didn't merrily zap this question, but someone being in pain doesn't overrule the site guidelines. Folks have done a good job upthread of addressing some of the issues that come with chatfilter and which stand out about this question in general—my main take-away on it is that while there could be an answerable and useful core question here, the asker really failed to put that on display in a productive way.

So, we've got a question that basically explicitly polls the audience for anecdotes and refuses advice. That's not how AskMe is intended to work; the question goes.

As a couple folks have said already, your impression that the rule is "only experts can answer" is off-target; there's no such proscription in place on AskMe, and generally all we want from folks is that they try to frame their answers in context of how or from where they got this information or came to this conclusion in situations where that sort of context is important.

So just to be clear: the question wasn't deleted for being too broad to allow for expert advice, or anything like that. That's not a criterion for deletion. It was deleted for being too broadly stated and non-specific to yield anything like a focused, answerable problem, and that left it floating in Hey, Just Say Whatever You Want territory. We call that chatfilter, and we generally remove those.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:47 AM on April 3, 2009


This one is a pretty close call but I think the question should have stayed. I think it was poorly worded but nevertheless was asking for other people's experiences to assist the asker with their own issues.
posted by caddis at 6:48 AM on April 3, 2009


caddis: "I think it was poorly worded but nevertheless was asking for other people's experiences to assist the asker with their own issues."

What issues were they? The question was vague to the point of ridiculousness.
posted by The corpse in the library at 6:53 AM on April 3, 2009


Yeah, what the corpse said. Askme is full of questions asking for advice on how to deal with [painful life situation], and the ones that stay have context that is helpful in answering. Did the poster just get laid off? Get cheated on? Did their cat die? And it's good to know what they've already tried or are trying - it helps stop an endless string of "Therapy!" or "DTMFA!" if people already know the poster has or is doing that (if people actually read the whole question, of course, but that's a subject for some other meTa). Just saying "I hurt. What do you do when you hurt?" is too broad to allow for really useful answers, since we don't even know what the problem is.
posted by rtha at 7:09 AM on April 3, 2009


I thought that question was brilliant. I think it went over the heads of a lot of posters, and apparently at least one moderator, who assumed it was a "problem person asking for help" question. For me the question was generative: it offered a context to dig down and wonder that about myself.

I didn't judge or assume the goal of the OP, and I think the OP specifically worded it so that people would focus on self, rather than OP. I didn't answer for the benefit of OP either, but rather as a part of a collaborative exploration of a specific question. Maybe the whole thing might benefit from being moved to metachat or somewhere else, rather than removed from the list, but I still do not connect with the posters who say that removing is better than keeping.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 7:18 AM on April 3, 2009


Yeah, it was the kind of post that cried out for a "Beer! Now there's a temporary solution!" type answer. And skimming through the comments, there were a few of those. The obvious answer would be "Go see a shrink," but he specifically doesn't want that answer. So chatfilter, yes.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:24 AM on April 3, 2009


For me the question was generative: it offered a context to dig down and wonder that about myself.

That is not what AskMe is for. I am sorry you don't like the deletion, but you're lack of familiarity with AskMe and the site guidelines is what is driving the disconnect here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:25 AM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think it went over the heads of a lot of posters, and apparently at least one moderator, who assumed it was a "problem person asking for help" question.

But it specifically did not go over the mod's head. If he thought that it was "a problem person asking for help" then the question might have had a chance. Most of us (including cortex, apparently) took it just as you did, a question worded so that "people would focus on self, rather than OP," which isn't what AskMe is for. The problem here isn't that you get the question while others don't. It's that you seem to think that AskMe exists to accommodate such questions. It doesn't.
posted by lysistrata at 7:27 AM on April 3, 2009


Not every damn thing on the web has to be some kind of jump off into an existentialist wankfest, does it?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:31 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Of course it's your site, so you can do anything you want with it.

People who come here and say this are a) annoying and b) unfamiliar with MetaFilter.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:35 AM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hi cortex, I suppose when you use an ambiguous word like disconnect, it can mean anything you want. I use more precise language. I dislike something you did. I dislike this "chatfilter" aspect of your site. I provided an example where one of the best-of-metafilter questions wouldn't pass an anal retentive comparison to the site guidelines as an illustration of how referencing site guidelines doesn't add value for me. I think you missed the boat on a great question. You could have asked a question in that thread, or here, and gotten some feedback in advance, but it seems you didn't do it; I dislike that also.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 7:39 AM on April 3, 2009


No offense directed at peter_meta in particular, but I genuinely find it shocking how many newbies over the years have come to Meta to complain and criticize the site instead of lurking until they get how things work here. I would hope this is not how they behave in the real world, but fear it is.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:42 AM on April 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


You're even more drunk than I am.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:42 AM on April 3, 2009


Peter, not linguist.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:43 AM on April 3, 2009


I think it was poorly worded but nevertheless was asking for other people's experiences to assist the asker with their own issues.

So, someone in real pain is getting their cry for help filled with "well, drink heavily of course" or we have a random call to the community to evaluate their personal coping mechanisms? The question explicitly rejected advice as a valid answer. So we've got a very vague question that's really a poll, which is pretty much the definition of chatfilter.

peter_meta_kbd, I think a lot of us who participate regularly in AskMe are intrigued to find how much answering questions can be an exercise in introspection and collaborative exploration. But I think that on this site, this is most successfully accomplished within the established framework here. This wasn't it. Why are you taking this so personally?
posted by desuetude at 7:45 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: some kind of jump off into an existentialist wankfest
posted by Joe Beese at 7:46 AM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Other's have said the same in different words, but here's my version:

AskMe isn't for asking any question that occurs to you. It's not for generating discussion or promoting introspection within the answerers. It is for solving a specific problem of the asker. "How do you suggest I deal with this emotional pain(with relevant details)?" is worlds away from "How do you deal with pain? Do not consider me in your response."

Think of it like this: The asker in the question that was deleted posted the equivalent of "So... what's up?" instead of "I'm new to [city] and have nothing to do tonight. Any recommendations as to how to spend my evening?" One is an AskMe with a specific question that can have definite and useful answers. The other is chatfilter.
posted by owtytrof at 7:48 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Where the hell did that apostrophe come from? Oh well, I guess my grammar's broken again.
posted by owtytrof at 7:50 AM on April 3, 2009


I find that when my personal ennui becomes overwhelming, that there are two responses I go to again and again. First, I'll try and find the source of the pain and make it stop. The problem is that, with depression, you rarely know the origin, so this means that there is a lot of trial and error:

Flip that light switch. Do I feel better? No...
Pet the cat. Do I feel better? No...
Build a fort out of cardboard boxes. Do I feel better? No...
Balance a hundred quarters on edge. Do I feel better? No...
Shoot out all the streetlights in my neighborhood. Do I feel better? No...
Teach my parrot dirty words. Do I feel better? No...
Randomly call 10 phone numbers and ask if they love me. Do I feel better? No...
Balance on one foot for four hours. Do I feel better? No...
Sit in a tree for an afternoon. Do I feel better? Yes. Ok, that was it this time.

The other system, for when the first doesn't work, is to stand up, loudly announce that you are unhappy with the world, and that you need everyone to immediately do whatever possible to resolve this situation.

If you find that this last one isn't working satisfactorily, you may need to make the fact that you are holding an easily dropped box of bullet ants more apparent. The key here is to get everyone to understand that your bad day could quickly become everybody's painful nightmare if someone doesn't do something to help quickly.
posted by quin at 7:52 AM on April 3, 2009 [6 favorites]


peter_meta_kbd: "Hi cortex, I suppose when you use an ambiguous word like disconnect, it can mean anything you want. I use more precise language. I dislike something you did. I dislike this "chatfilter" aspect of your site. I provided an example where one of the best-of-metafilter questions wouldn't pass an anal retentive comparison to the site guidelines as an illustration of how referencing site guidelines doesn't add value for me. I think you missed the boat on a great question. You could have asked a question in that thread, or here, and gotten some feedback in advance, but it seems you didn't do it; I dislike that also."

I personally think "disconnect" is a better and more precise word than "dislike", because it offers a semblance of a reason for a difference in opinion. Disconnect implies a difference in perspective and a difference in degree of ability to relate to a certain thing, whereas dislike can be for anything. Maybe you dislike cortex because he eats doughnuts. The disconnect here is merely that you disagree with the way AskMe is run, which is fine. It doesn't mean raising the issue will automatically change things, nor that the Mods don't get what you're saying or what the question is saying. You have to realize these types of disagreements vis-a-vis moderation come up a hell of a lot, and nothing's changed in the basic model of moderation yet.

I'm not sure what your point was re: asking a question in that thread to get feedback, but if you're considering the idea of having the community provide final say on whether or not to keep a question based on some very ambiguous measure of "merit", I will submit that there's a reason internet communities fail at policing themselves, and even the most anarchic forum will have some moderation to prevent it from going 100% to shit.
posted by Phire at 7:52 AM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


peter_meta_kbd: I thought that question was brilliant. I think it went over the heads of a lot of posters, and apparently at least one moderator, who assumed it was a "problem person asking for help" question... I didn't judge or assume the goal of the OP, and I think the OP specifically worded it so that people would focus on self, rather than OP. I didn't answer for the benefit of OP either, but rather as a part of a collaborative exploration of a specific question. Maybe the whole thing might benefit from being moved to metachat or somewhere else, rather than removed from the list, but I still do not connect with the posters who say that removing is better than keeping.

Peter, that's really the whole point of the deletion. ask.metafilter has been around for years now, and in that time it's become apparent to us all that it is most useful and least noisy when questions follow a simple set of guidelines.

The guidelines pretty clearly state that a question should be 'for the benefit of OP,' and that the point of ask.metafilter is to 'ask for help.' You absolutely right that the question didn't do those things. I think you're also correct in saying that the question seems to have some value; that's one thing we've debated all these years.

The reason, I think, that the people who own this site (and we've all had some dialogue with them as they've decided these things) have settled on not allowing what we tend to call "chatfilter" - by which we mean questions that are intended to provoke thought, not get answers - is because, if chatfilter were allowed, ask.metafilter would be totally unuseful and unusable. Think about it in terms of the environment; it is the most natural thing in the world to have a wood-burning fire to cook food over, but if everybody in a major city burned a wood fire, there would suddenly be so much smoke that the pollution would make it very difficult to breathe. In the same way, it is the most natural thing in the world to ask questions that are designed to lead to a discussion rather than get answers, but if ask.metafilter allowed this, we would be overrun by vague, general questions that would produce hundreds of comments each. Even worse, it might just provoke discussion fatigue, and the questions might just get ignored. While these questions are often full of thought-provoking answers and interesting perspectives, they don't help answer a question or solve a problem, and therefore they're less tangibly and immediately helpful.

Either way, this site has many thousands of contributors, and it's difficult to run it in a productive way when there aren't specific guidelines; unfortunately, those guidelines might have to cut out some pretty good questions in order to make sure that those many thousands of contributors can continue to do so in a productive way. Because of all this, the general rule of ask.metafilter has become: ask questions that are designed to get answers, not questions that are designed to provoke discussion.

Even so, it's something we debate regularly around here. In fact, just last week, one contributor here was asking whether there was some way we could start a new section of the site to allow this kind of question. Your view is a common one, in fact; a lot of us feel the way you do. We've just decided that the compromise is necessary to keep things working correctly.
posted by koeselitz at 8:08 AM on April 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hi cortex, I suppose when you use an ambiguous word like disconnect, it can mean anything you want. I use more precise language.

This is what you said in the previous comment:

I still do not connect with the posters who say that removing is better than keeping.

I don't want to give you a particularly hard time here, but please don't give me shit for using a negation of your own term in response to you.

I dislike this "chatfilter" aspect of your site.

It's not "my" site, it's the whole community's site. I help keep the place from falling over, but there are tens of thousands of people here who make metafilter what it is, and the whole mod staff is pretty focused on that every day.

I provided an example where one of the best-of-metafilter questions wouldn't pass an anal retentive comparison to the site guidelines as an illustration of how referencing site guidelines doesn't add value for me.

The example you provided is also, as it happens, a question we let stand, because we're capable of displaying some flexibility in our application of the guidelines when we think its merited. I'm not sure why you're holding up an example of when we didn't delete a good thread as an argument for why we shouldn't delete bad threads, but it's not a very good argument.

You could have asked a question in that thread, or here, and gotten some feedback in advance, but it seems you didn't do it; I dislike that also.

I don't know what this is supposed to mean. Elaborate, please?
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:10 AM on April 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Also, by the way, Peter, cortex used the word 'disconnect' in reference to your statement that you 'still do not connect with the posters who say that removing is better than keeping.'
posted by koeselitz at 8:11 AM on April 3, 2009


someone being in pain doesn't overrule the site guidelines

Oh, beware my lord, of Ask Metafilter
It is the green back'd monster that doth
Mock the pain it feeds on.
posted by kosem at 8:19 AM on April 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


You could have asked a question in that thread, or here, and gotten some feedback in advance, but it seems you didn't do it; I dislike that also.


Because that always seems to work out well:
Ok, um, we need to democratically decide on that. ... We would like to democratically decide in a consensus area. ... We need to look at the relationship here, the power hierarchy here. ... We need to decide whether we're going to cooperate with their demand. ... guys, we need to talk to each other ... ok, who wants to be facilitator? who can facilitate at this point?
posted by Bango Skank at 8:19 AM on April 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter is not all things to all people.

That's materialism.
posted by klangklangston at 8:36 AM on April 3, 2009


peter_meta_kbd: I didn't answer for the benefit of OP either, but rather as a part of a collaborative exploration of a specific question.

That's pretty much why chatty questions get deleted here. AskMe's not for text-based group meditation or collaborative philosophizing.

Maybe the whole thing might benefit from being moved to metachat or somewhere else, rather than removed from the list...

MetaChat is a completely separate entity; there is no mechanism for moving the question from here to there.
posted by CKmtl at 8:37 AM on April 3, 2009


I thought that question was brilliant. I think it went over the heads of a lot of posters, and apparently at least one moderator, who assumed it was a "problem person asking for help" question. For me the question was generative: it offered a context to dig down and wonder that about myself.

Late to the whole thing here, but really we're at an impasse about what the site is for according to the rules that have been set up and evolved and what people would like the site to be for. Questions that lead to personal exploration are really not the purpose of AskMe. If that's a side benefit, that's totally fine, but there's got to be a problem that the OP is trying to solve for themselves, not a random survey that asks people for their responses to a super-broad setup.

This MeTa thread seems to have two points

- you didn't like that this specific question was deleted because you liked it
- you have an issue with the site policy of "no chatfilter" posts generally

The muddling of the two seems to be why this thread is seeming off, to me. You also seem to be giving cortex a hard time because he's the First Responder here and is trying to explain to you why things worked out the way they did. The expert thing also seems to be a bit of a tangent and makes me wonder if you understand how AskMe, when it's working well, is supposed to work.

Many other people have chimed in as well. I don't think you need my additional perspective because my points have pretty well been covered. I lean towards caddis' impression that I think the OP had some core question, but it was mired in over-the-top non-explanation and ended with an "I don't want advice" [the purpose generally of AskMe] just anecdotes and sort of became a non-AskMe question as a result. I sympathize with people who are having a difficult time, but that doesn't really mean that any question is okay just because it's important.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:48 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, did cortex fix the links on your profile for you, or did you read the faq and fix that yourself? I ask because you seem to think a single instance establishes precedent, and I wouldn't want you thinking cortex is going to fix your clients' sites too. =p
posted by nomisxid at 9:21 AM on April 3, 2009


I don't know what this is supposed to mean. Elaborate, please?

I think he's saying you should take it to MetaTalk.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:14 AM on April 3, 2009


> I think you missed the boat on a great question.

A guiding rule in moderating AskMe is to ensure the site as a whole stays on track.

It's not hard to find chatfilter posts from the past that were allowed to stay up. Sometimes it's because the post slipped through while the mods were busy doing other things, and sometimes it's because the post is from years ago, when posting guidelines were looser and Matt and gang were still figuring out how to keep the site useful and manageable.

The upshot is that posts that would be good elsewhere are deleted because they're inappropriate on AskMe. There's no universal internet bannination going on; the question can be posted on any number of sites that aren't AskMe.

Every section of the site has posting rules and guidelines that seem idiosyncratic when you haven't picked up on community norms: You don't post about yourself or MeFi on the blue, you don't post things unrelated to MeFi on the grey, you don't post open-ended questions on the green. Rather than rail about the post having been closed because the community norms and moderator decisions decreed it to be, spend some time learning about how things work here, or find a forum that works more to your liking.
posted by ardgedee at 11:17 AM on April 3, 2009


I agree with the OP - I wish this question hadn't been deleted. But then again, I strongly disagree with the whole ChatFilter designation, and think that AskMe would be a much better site if we tossed it entirely as a deletion reason.

You probably think I'm wrong, but I'm entitled to my opinion.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:23 AM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wouldn't say you're wrong, as it's rather difficult to get opinions wrong unless you're deliberately misrepresenting. You voice an unpopular, non status-quo opinion however, without giving it any supporting reasoning, so you're at fault on that count.
posted by carsonb at 11:52 AM on April 3, 2009


I would say you're wrong, that color looks terrible on you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:57 AM on April 3, 2009

I am sorry you don't like the deletion, but you're lack of familiarity with AskMe
Oh.

Oh, cortex. This makes me so sad.

*puts head in hands*
posted by scrump at 11:57 AM on April 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Scrump, why you are lack of compassion for cortex?
posted by ODiV at 12:14 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


You probably think I'm wrong, but I'm entitled to my opinion.

No you aren't.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:28 PM on April 3, 2009


I disagree. No matter who you are, your entitled to you're opinion.
posted by stubby phillips at 12:40 PM on April 3, 2009


Are we not entitled to our opinions regarding your (wrong) opinion?
posted by owtytrof at 12:46 PM on April 3, 2009


No matter who you're, you're entitled to you're opinion.
posted by signal at 12:53 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

Scrump, why you are lack of compassion for cortex?
Because his should know better.
posted by scrump at 12:55 PM on April 3, 2009


Forget it, peter_meta_kbd. It's Metatown.
posted by various at 12:57 PM on April 3, 2009


Saying "I like chatty, non-advice posts in AskMe and dislike the 'no ChatFilter' rule" is a reasonable opinion. I think it's wrong, but it's reasonable.

Telling context that he somehow didn't "get" the point of a post in AskMe that says "I'M MISERABLE DON'T GIVE ME ADVICE LET'S ALL BE EMO TOGETHER" is unreasonable.

The Venus de Milo is a beautiful statue. But if you plop it in the middle of a busy intersection, it's just a hunk of stone that gets in people's way.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:57 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


cortex, not context, of course. My don't know what is wrong with I'm brain today.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:58 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's okay Sidhedevil, we can tell what you meant by the cortex.
posted by ODiV at 1:45 PM on April 3, 2009 [4 favorites]


Context is both waterproof and breathable.
posted by box at 2:02 PM on April 3, 2009


aw, now Cortex has gone and deleted the asavage post. that one could have been fun. ;)
posted by caddis at 2:11 PM on April 3, 2009


The example you provided is also, as it happens, a question we let stand, because we're capable of displaying some flexibility in our application of the guidelines when we think its merited. I'm not sure why you're holding up an example of when we didn't delete a good thread as an argument for why we shouldn't delete bad threads, but it's not a very good argument.

Cortex: That's fine, you obviously have separate criteria from the stated ones that are the actual criteria for chatfilter deletion. So (directed to many posters) please stop saying that the "reason" for deletion is the explicit criteria, when actually there is a separate actual criteria.

You could have asked a question in that thread, or here, and gotten some feedback in advance, but it seems you didn't do it; I dislike that also.

I don't know what this is supposed to mean. Elaborate, please?


I mean to say, you could have made a post in the thread or MT expressing your misgivings about the thread, not because you would have to do what other people suggested, but because you might have been missing something.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 2:13 PM on April 3, 2009


Maybe if nothing else the owners here might consider allowing comments to be added even after a thread has been deleted.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 2:16 PM on April 3, 2009


Cortex: That's fine, you obviously have separate criteria from the stated ones that are the actual criteria for chatfilter deletion.

No, we have the stated criteria. What we lack is some crazy robo-laser zero-tolerance DEVIANCE SHALL NOT BE TOLERATED, THESE ARE THE RULES, KLAXON, KLAXON, KLAXON method of moderation. You seem to want either an all or nothing thing here, which, hi, welcome to Metafilter, we don't really work that way.

I mean to say, you could have made a post in the thread or MT expressing your misgivings about the thread, not because you would have to do what other people suggested, but because you might have been missing something.

We don't moderate by participatory consensus-building through metacommentary in the middle of askme threads, because (a) it would muck them up, which is why that stuff goes over here, and (b) we have got shit to do.

If folks think we're missing something, they can start a Metatalk thread about it, which is what happened here. The system works!

Maybe if nothing else the owners here might consider allowing comments to be added even after a thread has been deleted.

For god's sake, no. I don't want to be all like "LURK MOAR", but your approach to this whole thread appears to be "fuck years and years of established community and moderation guidelines, let's change things so I like it better", and that's not going to get very far.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:23 PM on April 3, 2009 [26 favorites]


you could have made a post in the thread or MT expressing your misgivings about the thread, not because you would have to do what other people suggested, but because you might have been missing something.

Maybe if nothing else the owners here might consider allowing comments to be added even after a thread has been deleted.


Part of the issue here is that we have a site that is nearly ten years old with a ruleset and practices that have evolved over time. This is not to say that we don't change or adjust those rules but that doing so requires a fair amount of effort -- notifying people of the change, overseeing the change, dealing with feedback about the change both good and bad -- so when we do undertake something like this, it's a major effort, not a minor one.

Specifically, when moderators speak in AskMe with their "moderator voices" it's almost always to either

- try to get the thread back on track
- notify people that comments have been removed
- encourage follow-up on whatever was derailing to happen elsewhere, not in the thread

AskMe is pretty rigidly about asking questions and getting answers, not for debating site policies and not for us, the moderators, to be talking about how we feel about a particular topic. I know it's frustrating to have something to say about a topic that has been closed, but that short-lived and individual frustration, to us, often is outweighed by having a part of the site that is clear in mission and more or less consistently moderated. To restate: we are not saying a question like the one that was removed doesn't have value. We are saying it doesn't belong in AskMe. We are saying that because the site has a purpose and it's our feeling -- reinforced by the flag queue but ultimately a decision we have to make -- that that question didn't belong there.

A few people seem to disagree and that's usually the case whenever something gets removed. If some action we took is incredibly unpopular, often we'll reconsider the policies or guidelines that, in conjunction with our own feelings, led to whatever we did. I'm still feeling that you're arguing not that we didn't apply the policies and guidelines more or less fairly, but that you want AskMe to be something that it isn't.

Without a corresponding groundswell of MeFi-popular opinion that this is the case, we're unlikely to make wide-ranging policy changes around that feeling, especially since it seems that you either misunderstand or disagree with other norms about how this site works and is run. Nothing wrong with an opposing opinion, but this is a big boat that is tough to steer and we try to only make changes when they're either directly indicated by the community or when we think they will add value to the community and I'm not feeling it about this particular request.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:25 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


but this is a big boat that is tough to steer

Avoid the coast of Somalia.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:34 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


If comments are allowed after a thread is closed, what would closing a thread mean?
posted by rdr at 2:43 PM on April 3, 2009


Also, icebergs.
posted by dersins at 2:43 PM on April 3, 2009


The trick is this. (I don't know if this will actually work).

I'm writing a story about somone who hurts so much that every second feels like forever, and every beat of his/her heart is sheer agony? Emotional pain, not physical... although I know that emotional pain can hurt physically. I'm not asking what you should do - the character is not a perfect human being. What do you do? I wish to convey a realistic reaction to pain and loss.

There you go. Chatfilter fixed.

I give you permission, peter_meta_kbd, to use this adjusted text to ask your next question, if you like.
posted by b33j at 2:56 PM on April 3, 2009


"That's fine, you obviously have separate criteria from the stated ones that are the actual criteria for chatfilter deletion. So (directed to many posters) please stop saying that the "reason" for deletion is the explicit criteria, when actually there is a separate actual criteria."

I know that I've mentioned this before, but something that may be helpful for you is to think about the moderation here in terms of probability. Breaking the guidelines increases the probability of something being deleted. That something is not deleted does no prove that it did not break the guidelines, especially as breaking the guidelines is a graduated metric (things that break them more are likely to get deleted faster).

Clouds generally precede rain, but clouds do not always mean rain.

If you're still confused, I'm now running an Unofficial Metafilter User's Clinic at very low prices, which will direct you to the greatest hits of MeTa policy (and fun!) threads.
posted by klangklangston at 3:02 PM on April 3, 2009


I'm still feeling that you're arguing not that we didn't apply the policies and guidelines more or less fairly, but that you want AskMe to be something that it isn't.

I do think the actual criteria for chatfilter deletion has not been articulately expressed here or elsewhere (if they have been, where is it?). You and others have done a good job here of explaining some of the historical and contextual thought that has gone and continues to go into chatfilter deletion, but yet still haven't articulated even here the actual criteria. So I'm not sure whether I like or dislike the actual criteria, or whether cortex was applying them or not.

In any case, it's nice of so many people to think about the question, and to take the time to share their ideas on the topic.

I wish I could come up with some witty way to say that MF overall is a place I value more than most other collaborative sites (possibly even because of decisions that I disagree with under microscope) and that the snobbishness and resistance to new participants is less than wiki-goaway-epedia, but I am not as witty as many here.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 3:09 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


If comments are allowed after a thread is closed, what would closing a thread mean?

The question would not appear in the ASK MF list, but would still be open to questions for those who navigate to it from their comments link in their profile (and possibly other routes).
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 3:12 PM on April 3, 2009


Specifically, when moderators speak in AskMe with their "moderator voices"...

You know, I just realized... Most of the time, the idea of a "moderator voice" implies a voice of power, larger than all the others, demanding respect and attention above all else. Bold, large font text. But in Ask.Me, the "moderator voice" is almost always small. It's the smallest text, and it's even put in brackets to make sure that it is seen as lesser than the rest of the posts.

That's kinda interesting.
posted by Ms. Saint at 3:16 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Often, one can miss the texture of the wallpaper in the airport concourse when one is running to get to the bathroom from the jetway.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:19 PM on April 3, 2009


that the snobbishness and resistance to new participants is less than wiki-goaway-epedia

I'm not sure what this means, but I do know that your comments in the second half of this thread (from the 'use more precise language, cortex, you moron' comment on) have been both aggressive and off-putting. You keep accusing other people of not getting it, while there is a chorus here saying, for the most part very reasonably, that you don't seem to understand what you're talking about. To put it more succinctly, there seems to be a disconnect between what you understand and what you think you understand (or are willing to understand).

I wish I had a witty way to say that I value the contributions of new members more fully when their actions and words don't communicate scorn and derision toward the site of which they claim to want to be a part, but instead I'll have to hope that the brilliance of my comment doesn't go over your head.
posted by OmieWise at 3:20 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


I do think the actual criteria for chatfilter deletion has not been articulately expressed here or elsewhere

Here are 40 MetaTalk threads that have chatfilter as a tag. We tried to summarize this on the FAQ entry about chatfilter. Those are the criteria. If this is a larger question about why we don't allow questions like that, it's because of what we've been explaining above.

My best response is that chatfilter questions are those in which everyone's answer is equally correct/valid and the person asking the question seems to want to just talk about the topic [or survey people about the topic] and not actually solve a problem.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:20 PM on April 3, 2009


I do think the actual criteria for chatfilter deletion has not been articulately expressed here or elsewhere (if they have been, where is it?).

Why don't you take a second or two and look?

There have been dozens of discussions about the criteria for chatfilter, many of which have featured careful, nuanced, and constructive arguments on both sides of the pro- or anti-chatfilter divide. If you read through them, you might learn a thing or two about the difficulty of establishing clear and obvious criteria whose implementation requires no judgment calls at all.

I was sympathetic to your question at the beginning of the thread (though I agreed from the start that the question should have been deleted), but at this point you are coming off as ignorant and argumentative. Ultimately, what you like or dislike is irrelevant if you are defending your position out of stubbornness, rather than a demonstrated rationale for why your position will make Metafilter a better place.
posted by googly at 3:22 PM on April 3, 2009


The question would not appear in the ASK MF list, but would still be open to questions for those who navigate to it from their comments link in their profile (and possibly other routes).

Unanticipated effect #1: People start using "deleted" threads as their own off-topic playgrounds.

Unanticipated effect #2: "Deleted", but still active, contentious threads will breed more—and more persistent—fighting.
posted by CKmtl at 3:23 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


does anybody else read cortex's comments in this thread with the background music of Shaft running parallel? Because, for whatever reason, cortex is a baaaad mutha right now.
posted by shmegegge at 3:25 PM on April 3, 2009


I've had a great deal of coffee today and have spent way too much time discovering every little goddamned thing that Garageband can't do when you're trying to perfect a mix. I'm probably vibrating a little more than usual.

Unanticipated effect #3: creeping sense of immunity re: chatfilter, as deletion is no longer a meaningful threat.

1-3 all lead up to unanticipated effect #4: need for moderation of deleted threads and the creation of a multistage deletion heirarchy, leaving us pretty much exactly where we started but with more work and a harder-to-manage set of askme lifecycle criteria.

There's nothing wrong with brainstorming, but, see above, there is a wealth of prior discussion about this stuff, and doing your homework on that front needs to proceed any kind of insistence that a change would be good and ought to be implemented.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:47 PM on April 3, 2009


Not everyone has the same view of Metafilter. I mean that literally. I see deleted threads because I run a Greasemonkey script which makes deleted threads visible. I'm pretty sure that a good number of metafilter users run the same script. It would be pointless to make a thread quasi-invisible.
posted by rdr at 3:51 PM on April 3, 2009


I see deleted threads

rdr has the sixth sense!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:57 PM on April 3, 2009


I thought it was a perfectly valid question, and not even a little bit chatfilterish.

It was heaps better than all those Name My Cat and Compile My Mixtape "questions" that somehow manage to avoid the axe.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:07 PM on April 3, 2009


"You and others have done a good job here of explaining some of the historical and contextual thought that has gone and continues to go into chatfilter deletion, but yet still haven't articulated even here the actual criteria. So I'm not sure whether I like or dislike the actual criteria, or whether cortex was applying them or not."

It's all included in my MeFi clinic! I'll show you ever single time the word Chatfilter has been used, and tell you when you can ignore it!
posted by klangklangston at 4:11 PM on April 3, 2009


I've taken klangklangston's course and it's changed my life! I've asked about:
  • bears!
  • children!
  • corpse disposal
  • bears fighting children!
And so much more.

Whenever moderation contention comes up, I'm a bit surprised the answer isn't simply, "so noted."
posted by boo_radley at 4:21 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


These threads always remind me of a particularly glorious moment of "no, seriously, what the fuck" from about ten years back. A person with whom both my wife and I were acquainted had recently taken a class on Native Americans, and was bloviating on about "the Indians".

I, and a number of other people, quietly pointed out that many Native Americans tended to prefer terms like "Native American", or "First Peoples", or suchlike over "Indian". We were summarily dismissed, because, you see, we had not taken a class.

My wife, who had been distracted, returned to the conversation. As she is full-blooded Diné (Navajo, and oh by the way it's nav as in "navigation" not nav as in "novel"), someone asked her what she thought.

She said she, and everyone in her family, as well as all the Native Americans she'd encountered in Muwekma Tah Ruk, the Native American Theme House at Stanford, as well as all the Native Americans she'd met at all the various powwows her family sold jewelry at, didn't like the word "Indian", and preferred something like "Native American".

At which point, this guy, who is about as white as you can get, says "no, actually, you're wrong. My professor said that they prefer 'Indian'." Because, you see, he had taken a class. A class in something that my wife has been living since she was born. A class in something that her family, for uncounted generations, has been living.

As it turned out, of course, the professor was also white. Bet you didn't see that one coming.

Anyway, the "no, actually, you're wrong", coming from this idiot to someone whose family has been part of the history of the nation since roughly the land-bridge era, just epitomized the mindset.

You, my friend, are demonstrating exactly the same behavior by stomping in here and saying, nay, demanding that things be changed exactly how you want. For heaven's sake, cortex probably has Twinkies in his pantry that are older than your history here.

Doing what you are doing, in the way that you are doing it, is bad, and you are a bad person for doing it. Stop.
posted by scrump at 4:24 PM on April 3, 2009 [9 favorites]


maybe i was wrong: the snobs here (a subset of the users) might be just as conformist-oligarchy as wikipedia (same people perhaps) but at least the mods here don't fit as much into that category.

-

Hi Jessamyn, The FAQ currently states, "Ask Metafilter questions need to have some possible answer or should be asking for information that will be put to some practical use."

Maybe it should say something more like,

Ask MF questions are moderated on various criteria, one of which we call chatfilter (on average, 10% of questions in the past year were removed due to not meeting the chatfilter criteria).

Generally speaking, we insist that Ask MF questions be phrased in a way that makes in clear they have a practical use. Questions that don't fit this criteria are usually removed, and tagged chatfilter (find them all *here*). We sometimes also consider the answers that have been received in making a chatfilter removal decision. On rare occasions, the quality of the answers has been high enough so that even a question that would ordinarily not be allowed, has been allowed. But don't count on being so lucky. In the line of examples, the following generally trigger chatfilter moderation: [... as current ...]


Also the header in the top left corner might say, "querying the hive mind to resolve practical questions" rather than just "querying the hive mind".

Finally, the question submission form might be modified from, "AskMe questions should have a purpose, goal, or problem to be solved." to "Ask Me questions should have a clear goal; if it is not obvious, it should be stated explicitly; questions without a clear goal are likely to be deleted as chatfilter."

This might help avoid the situation where the newcomers walk through unmarked minefields, to the chorus of, "oh check out how he just blew off his leg, didn't read the good book, that young man, went over to the dark side and deserves to die there"
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 4:54 PM on April 3, 2009


"This might help avoid the situation where the newcomers walk through unmarked minefields, to the chorus of, "oh check out how he just blew off his leg, didn't read the good book, that young man, went over to the dark side and deserves to die there""

The only ones who'd sing that chorus are the Decemberists.
posted by klangklangston at 4:58 PM on April 3, 2009 [13 favorites]


You know, since the vast majority of askme posters don't seem to have a problem figuring out what's allowed in the green and what's not, I'm going to go ahead and guess that this is not actually a problem that requires your FAQ rewrite.
posted by rtha at 5:06 PM on April 3, 2009


Hi Jessamyn, The FAQ currently states, "Ask Metafilter questions need to have some possible answer or should be asking for information that will be put to some practical use."

Maybe it should say something more like,


[SNIP DISINGENUOUS PASSIVE AGGRESSION ]

Actually, the FAQ says a hell of a lot more than that. It says:
Ask Metafilter questions need to have some possible answer or should be asking for information that will be put to some practical use. Chatty open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of Ask Metafilter and push other questions off the front page. If you want to avoid having your question flagged and possibly removed, here are some things to avoid.

- Questions where everyone's answer is equally valid along the lines of "What's your favorite X?". Maybe there is a reason you want to know? Super, just put it in your question.
- Asking the question and giving your own answer before getting the answers of others, saying some variant of "I'll go first" If you can authoritatively answer your own question, it's probably not right for AskMe.
- Questions with no problem to be solved or where the problem is some variant of "I'm curious if other people feel like I do"
- Open-ended unanswerable or hypothetical questions like "What if Hitler had never been born?" or made up "what if" science questions. Creating arbitrary constraints and then playing "what if" is not a good use of AskMe.
- Questions that are some version of "What is the deal with X?"or "X sucks, am I right?" tend to not go well on Ask MetaFilter. Please do not rant on AskMe and pretend it is a question.

Put another way "...if your motivation for asking the question is 'I would like to participate in a discussion about X,' then you shouldn't be doing it in AskMe. If your motivation is 'I would like others to explain X to me,' then you're probably OK."
Everything you want it say, it says (albeit phrased more helpfully and less snottily than in your suggestion). Just because you stopped reading after the first sentence doesn't mean the words aren't there. As other have stated, you are more than welcome here, but please don't try to make Metafilter into the thing that you and only you want it to be. That's what your own blog is for.
posted by dersins at 5:08 PM on April 3, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hi Dersins,
I just proposed a replacement for the first sentence, not the whole entry. Of course I had read the whole entry quite a few times.
Peter
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 5:12 PM on April 3, 2009


The guidelines are pretty much clear plus the phrase "LURK MOAR" could be of use here.

I had some sympathy for the OP at the start of this thread, but his passive-aggressive commentary has blown that all away.

If you want to witter on about a given subject then there a billion usenet channels that will cater for that. Metafilter has a set of standards and personally I am glad we have them.
posted by panboi at 5:14 PM on April 3, 2009


This might help avoid the situation where the newcomers walk through unmarked minefields, to the chorus of, "oh check out how he just blew off his leg, didn't read the good book, that young man, went over to the dark side and deserves to die there"


The good book is there for you to read (in prose that is much more clear and succinct than what you've suggested), myou are encouraged to read it by all when you join, and the cover is clearly marked as containing charts for all the minefields. I can't believe I have to mention this, but if you choose to not read it you might get your fucking legs blown off. And then we laugh. And then, if you crawl around complaining your bloody stumps and screaming TL;DR we get out torches and pitchforks and poke you and laugh.

What avoids that situation is reading the goddamn book. You sign up, the splash page says 'Read the book, there's minefield charts in here!' and there isn't any need for more than that.

OK, enough with that dumn analogy. Take a step back peter_meta_kbd, maybe the evening off from this thread, and come back later with a clearer sense.
posted by carsonb at 5:15 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


Boo_Radley's gone from rural recluse to power user through my course! He knows why we have cameras and why they vibrate! He knows how the alphabet game is played on metaphorical viking longboats! All through a simple correspondence course, accredited as a degree in Computer Science in several Central European provinces!
posted by klangklangston at 5:16 PM on April 3, 2009


Why would any sane person replace an opening sentence with those two snotty paragraphs when the items immediately following that sentence convey the same information as those two snotty paragraphs, but less snottily and more comprehensibly?
posted by CKmtl at 5:16 PM on April 3, 2009


Because peter feels that leaving his mark upon this place means that he is, to some extent, not wrong.
posted by ryanrs at 5:26 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


It was heaps better than all those Name My Cat and Compile My Mixtape "questions" that somehow manage to avoid the axe.

1). There seems to be much fewer "Name My X" questions than there used to be. Maybe everything got named.

2). I never understood the complaint about music recommendations. Maybe the extremely vague ones, like "what is some upbeat music" are sorta worthless, but MetaFilter does music recommendations very well. Is it just the phrasing of "mixtape" that bothers you?
posted by Bookhouse at 5:27 PM on April 3, 2009


And I failed to italicize the quote up there:

It was heaps better than all those Name My Cat and Compile My Mixtape "questions" that somehow manage to avoid the axe.
posted by Bookhouse at 5:27 PM on April 3, 2009


Wow, I find myself defensive now that two people dislike me. Sorry, I cannot contribute any more now to this particular thread.

ahlevai
posted by stubby phillips at 5:28 PM on April 3, 2009


Dear peter_meta_kbd,

Thank you for your submission. While we appreciate your feedback and understand your desire for everything here to be 100% consistent unless it meets your approval, MetaFilter is not, in fact, welcoming applications for Overlord at this time.

In addition, your application for a change in the rules, application of the rules, or documentation of the rules has also been turned down.

We respectfully recommend that you get over yourself.

Love,

The Republic of Voices in IRFH's Head
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:28 PM on April 3, 2009 [12 favorites]


Can I just say that Ask MF sounds pretty badass.

Q: My boyfriend blah blah blah.
A: Break his legs.

Q: My friend won't pay me what he owes.
A: IAAMF, but IANYMF and I think you should break his legs.

Q: Why don't we hang out more?
A: Look, I'm not your dad.
posted by ODiV at 5:30 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


but this is a big boat that is tough to steer

"This thing is a ship, a supertanker. You don't just [snaps fingers] turn it around."

Sidhedevil Telling context. . . The Venus de Milo is a beautiful statue. But if you plop it in the middle of a busy intersection, it's just a hunk of stone that gets in people's way. . .cortex, not context, of course.

I skimmed your comment and thought "Right, art without context" you were probably thinking the same thing and cortex messed it up.
posted by mlis at 5:32 PM on April 3, 2009


peter_meta_kbd, please don't write things like that without a clear statement at both the beginning and end regarding the extend to which your comment is intended to be humorous. Your ambiguity is not conducive to a strictly rational exchange of pure facts and rigorous analysis.
posted by ardgedee at 5:35 PM on April 3, 2009


Wow, a lot of bitterness coming out there. Hope you guys are going to be ok.

I just got that greasemonkey script running to show deleted threads. It's pretty cool. I definitely appreciate that the site is built in such a way that it's possible to run it, and that the mods indicate their reasons for deletion.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 6:16 PM on April 3, 2009


to witter on

I learned a new word today!

I just got that greasemonkey script running to show deleted threads.

There's also the unofficial Deleted Threads blog, if you want to go surfing the archives.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:25 PM on April 3, 2009


peter_meta_kbd: Most people get it from the FAQ as-is. The fact that you didn't get it right away doesn't make you a bad person. You asked, the mods answered, now you know, problem solved, right?

Except it's not working that way. Why not? That's a question for you to get all introspective about. Brilliant, eh?

Thing is, it's great that MeFi has this MetaTalk community-driven thing where everyone gets a say in how the site works. However, that does not mean that some brand new shiny-face boot-camp newby gets as much of a say as the moderators, say, or all the other site users, or ten-year custom.

What I'm saying is, your opinion is noted. Thanks for bringing it up (seriously, not sarcasm). Consider it discussed. Will that be all?
posted by ctmf at 6:26 PM on April 3, 2009


hi ctmf, i was never asking for a say, just sharing my perspective and open to feedback on it. i agree, metatalk is a great feature. i think yes i am satisfied. thanks to all those who contributed.
posted by peter_meta_kbd at 6:44 PM on April 3, 2009


That'll be $5.
posted by boo_radley at 6:46 PM on April 3, 2009


I actually think that chatfilter questions are all brilliant. I could spend days arguing whether a bear could beat a monkey in a fair fight (of course), whether Batman or Superman is the superior superhero, what would happen in the aftermath of an apocalypse or zombie invasion...you name it.

In fact, I feel so strongly about this, I'm seriously considering starting up a new "AskMe Rejects" blog with only the best of the chatfilter deletions. And I shall make it members-only, and ultra-exclusive and elitist, and all the cool kids will come and play and join in the discussion.

And when I do, there will be a special invitation in MeMail just for you, peter_meta_kbd.

But that's still not going to get that question undeleted for you over on AskMe.

So, I think that, realistically, you're just going to have to accept your losses and retire with what dignity you can at this point, even though you (very passionately and sincerely) feel that someone on the internet is wrong.
posted by misha at 6:47 PM on April 3, 2009


Hi Dersins,
I just proposed a replacement for the first sentence, not the whole entry.


why on earth would you want to replace just one sentence with material that is capably covered by the following sentences? that doesn't make any sense.
posted by shmegegge at 6:47 PM on April 3, 2009


And on preview, that is exactly what you have done. Good on you, peter.
posted by misha at 6:48 PM on April 3, 2009


Yeah, I dunno. It just seems like nearly every thread that has been deleted for reasons of "chatfilter" would actually make for an interesting read. I would enjoy AskMe more if these threads had never been deleted. I don't see what harm they would do to the site, as a whole. But this ain't my site, so it ain't my decision. And I don't even really care enough to stick around and argue about it. It's just my opinion, and that's all there is to it.
posted by Afroblanco at 6:59 PM on April 3, 2009


afroblanco, I sincerely hope you have a bigbigquestion account. I just recalled that I haven't checked over there in forever and finally added it to my rss list.
posted by shmegegge at 7:05 PM on April 3, 2009


I took klangklangston's Mefi Course and all I've got to show for it is a pile of unfinished mixtapes and a horde of unnamed kittens.
posted by amyms at 7:10 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


(Navajo, and oh by the way it's nav as in "navigation" not nav as in "novel")

What the hell?
posted by jacalata at 7:29 PM on April 3, 2009


quoth peter_meta_kbd: Wow, a lot of bitterness coming out there.

Maybe if you would stop passive-aggressively blathering on to everyone about how you would run MetaFilter Differently! and Better!, people would stop hating you.

By "people" here, I mean "other people." You've already made me hate you forever. I am seriously considering haunting you from beyond the grave at this juncture. Don't make me come out of my mausoleum at you, now.


Note: I may or may not be joking about the hating stuff. The haunting stuff, on the other hand, is absolutely on the level.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:15 PM on April 3, 2009 [2 favorites]


Damn, we have some patient, considerate mods here. Three cheers, Jess & Cortex, three cheers.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:16 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


the snobs here (a subset of the users) might be just as conformist-oligarchy as wikipedia (same people perhaps) but at least the mods here don't fit as much into that category.

Seriously, why is anyone giving this pompous, fuzz-brained and ill-mannered twerp the time of day?

/totally conformist-oligarchy
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:53 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Seriously, why is anyone giving this pompous, fuzz-brained and ill-mannered twerp the time of day?

I've been reading with my rose-colored glasses again (and missed that) and peter_meta_kbd shot and killed a groundhog that we later ate together, once. Life is funny sometimes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:59 PM on April 3, 2009


Groundhog tastes like raccoon.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:03 PM on April 3, 2009


Yeah, what they all said. What a jerk! Every previous user has read the FAQ thoroughly and has easily understood it and obeyed it to the letter. This is why AskMe deletions are so very rare. Oh, yes. Yes indeed. What a spectacular moron this person must be to propose--nay, demand--improvements (as if!) to the holy word of our perfectly infallible and most benevolent Supreme Leaders!
posted by Sys Rq at 9:27 PM on April 3, 2009


Most people don't barge into metatalk criticizing the site rules and its users without any clear sense of how the site works. Whatever you think of the chatfilter prohibition, you can't really be defending this behavior, can you?
posted by CunningLinguist at 9:36 PM on April 3, 2009


There are always several people arguing that chatfilter is great, and yet chatfilter.com is "parked for free" by "hostingdude.com" Hosting. Dude. Dot. Com. You need to go PROVE you really love chatfilter by saving that domain. LET COST BE NO OBJECT. And let me know when you get it set up, because my wife - and not just my wife, but her whole family - has this bizarre thing where they don't pay attention to the gender of cats. Like, they will call a boy cat she or he or whatever, they just don't care. I'm not talking about random cats, I mean cats that they've owned for years. And I'm all, like, what's up with that?
posted by nanojath at 9:38 PM on April 3, 2009 [8 favorites]


Most people don't barge into metatalk criticizing the site rules and its users without any clear sense of how the site works. Whatever you think of the chatfilter prohibition, you can't really be defending this behavior, can you?

I most certainly can, but I'm not; I'm criticizing the pile-on.

Oh, fuck it, I am defending him. Even new users get to be critical. Dude didn't start getting dickish (and only very slightly at that) until all kinds of, yes, snobbish shit was flung at him.

Way to be helpful, supportive, and welcoming!

Fucking hell.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:57 PM on April 3, 2009


You're certainly setting a good example, Mr. Admonisher.
posted by carsonb at 10:01 PM on April 3, 2009


Y'know, I was just thinking of the buzz that would be generated if sign-ups were closed for a little bit:
As the world struggles through these tough economic times, even websites are feeling the pinch - graphic novel website Comics Should Be Good! has abridged its name to Comics Should Be! and as a bandwidth cost-cutting measure, popular consumer blog BoingBoing has eliminated the use of vowels. But maverick webpreneur Mat Howey, founder of venerable community blog MetaFilter, is bucking the trend by closing the doors of the TIME Magazine Best Blog Award-winning site to new members. Despite the fact that each new account means another $5 USD in MetaFilter's MetaCoffers, Haughee said, via an exclusive Skype interview, that some things are more important than money: "As the site gets more fucking popular, there's more people, duh. That makes things a little more tricky to deal with, making sure that the community maintains its fucking integrity while still being open and fucking flexible, like, robust. Closing sign-ups may appear counter to this, but it gives things a chance to fucking settle a bit, for new members to learn the ropes and encourage people who plan on joining in the future to lurk a bit, get a fucking feel of the place - wait, is this Jess? I thought we were making the damn podcast. Oh, shi-"

Oweee could not be reached for further comment.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:06 PM on April 3, 2009 [1 favorite]


You're certainly setting a good example, Mr. Admonisher.

You mean by cutting the n00b some slack? Yeah, thanks.

Or, wait, did you mean that sarcastically? In that case, I am afraid you are doing it wrong. See, there's a difference between me badmouthing old users who are used to it and those old users badmouthing a new one who isn't, just because he has the audacity to take issue with something and suggest improvements.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:21 PM on April 3, 2009


Most people don't barge into metatalk criticizing the site rules and its users without any clear sense of how the site works.

What are you talking about? This is a weekly occurrence. In fact I would argue that MetaTalk consists almost solely of people barging in to criticize the site rules and its users without any clear sense of how the site works. That, and WCityMike posts.
posted by Khalad at 10:39 PM on April 3, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hey, look pal, I was only feeling a little guilty for making some 'badmouthing' noises up there, and expressed that guilt by lashing back at you in a totally puerile fashion. I wasn't trying to equate your brand of bullshit with anyone else's, let alone peter_etc. But now that you mention it, getting fed up is getting fed up. Being able to reign in frustration, whether it's caused by boorish noobs or boorish oldies like me, is a quality we can all appreciate.

But really I'm just pushing buttons here....clickety-clack clack click clickety-click-clack click clickety...
posted by carsonb at 10:40 PM on April 3, 2009


Those aren't buttons.
posted by boo_radley at 11:17 PM on April 3, 2009

(Navajo, and oh by the way it's nav as in "navigation" not nav as in "novel")
What the hell?
Seriously, most people pronounce it wrong, like they're at Yale. "Gnaw-vah-hoe", and the like. It has the "nava" of "navigation". "Nah-vaa-hoe".

This helpful tip on how to avoid sounding like an ivory-tower prat from New Haven when you talk about the Navajo has been brought to you by a honkey who done got his ass clean thrashed for it back when he first met his wife.
posted by scrump at 12:03 AM on April 4, 2009




See, there's a difference between me badmouthing old users who are used to it and those old users badmouthing a new one who isn't, just because he has the audacity to take issue with something and suggest improvements.

So all that guff about how people should read for a while before posting, so they got some sense of the history, culture and traditions of a place before jumping in with both feet -- otherwise, they got flamed for cluelessness -- when was it we gave that principle up?

That was around about when AOL first got internet access, right?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:13 AM on April 4, 2009


Ok, I've emailed Hosting Dude (actually Gary Salvadore) about acquiring chatfilter.com. Don't get your hopes up, though. Dude will probably ask for $1000, which is out of the question. On the other hand, if I can get it cheap (and I mean real cheap), maybe we can put up some gender-related LOLcats.
posted by ryanrs at 2:29 AM on April 4, 2009


This helpful tip on how to avoid sounding like an ivory-tower prat from New Haven when you talk about the Navajo has been brought to you by a honkey who done got his ass clean thrashed for it back when he first met his wife.

I totally appreciate your story and wouldn't argue with the way to pronounce Navajo (I didn't know that), but I think your assignment of New England accents as ivory tower or Yale is pretty unfair and kind of shrill. Not everyone who uses long 'A's is fronting as a Boston Brahmin (see what did there?) and some of us might have grown up in Southie and say something pretty close to "bahthroom."
posted by Pax at 10:27 AM on April 4, 2009


(I had previously thought the Navajo thing was more like the way I grew up pronouncing Nevada and Colorado--horribly wrong to western US folks)
posted by Pax at 10:29 AM on April 4, 2009


"I took klangklangston's Mefi Course and all I've got to show for it is a pile of unfinished mixtapes and a horde of unnamed kittens."

I told you, you pad out the mixtapes with The Homosexuals, Goon Moon and Von Lmo, and your cats names are: Chet, Winston, Nipper, Maurice, Gompy, Sasha, Cinderella, Lois, Martha, Vandella, Freya, Medea, Morgana, Silver Rocket Kitty and Wrinklepaws.

That's why your diploma had a check, not a check plus.
posted by klangklangston at 10:56 AM on April 4, 2009


Actually, what I was really confused about was the fragment 'nav as in novel'. Now I keep hearing some imaginary voice saying 'naahhwvel' and it's driving me nuts.

navigation /nav/ (also castle, sam)
bath /baath/ (also rasp, fast) <> bathe /baythe/ (also naval, rave)
posted by jacalata at 11:28 AM on April 4, 2009


gah no ascii arrows

navigation /nav/ (also castle, sam)
bath /baath/ (also rasp, fast) :: are you saying novel is pronounced like this?
bathe /baythe/ (also naval, rave)
posted by jacalata at 11:29 AM on April 4, 2009


For heaven's sake, cortex probably has Twinkies in his pantry that are older than your history here.

Dude, cortex has Twinkies in his pantry that are older than MetaFilter. That's not a useful criterion.

Also, I took klangklangston's Mefi Course and as soon as my diploma arrived I achieved oneness with the universe. (Then I had to take his followup course to get my identity back, but it was worth it. I also got a gift certificate at Borders.)
posted by languagehat at 12:10 PM on April 4, 2009


I print my coursepack on Pringles!
posted by klangklangston at 12:14 PM on April 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Pax: fair enough, although we all know you're secretly a professor of hermeneutic statistics at Yale. I read it on the internet.

jacalata:

Lemme dig up the correct IPA so I stop giving people headaches.

Ah, here it is. The "wrong" way to do it, according to my wife, is /ˈnɑːv.ɑː.ˌhoʊ/. According to her, it's supposed to be /ˈnæv.æ.hoʊ/. Does that help?
posted by scrump at 12:20 PM on April 4, 2009

Dude, cortex has Twinkies in his pantry that are older than MetaFilter. That's not a useful criterion.
Like I'm going to take the advice of some guy named languageFAT. Amirite?

LOL
posted by scrump at 12:22 PM on April 4, 2009

Ok, I've emailed Hosting Dude (actually Gary Salvadore) about acquiring chatfilter.com. Don't get your hopes up, though. Dude will probably ask for $1000, which is out of the question.
Out of the question on moral grounds, or financial?

Because I know /I'd/ throw in $10 or even $20 to be a plankowner for chatfilter.com. Surely there are others of us.
posted by scrump at 12:24 PM on April 4, 2009


Oh, I'm ok with the Navajo bit - that's how I instinctively pronounced it all along. I just can't believe people mangle the word 'novel' like that.
posted by jacalata at 12:55 PM on April 4, 2009


Pax: fair enough, although we all know you're secretly a professor of hermeneutic statistics at Yale. I read it on the internet.

Nope, Hah-vud.
posted by Pax at 1:01 PM on April 4, 2009


(I also didn't grow up in Southie)
posted by Pax at 1:02 PM on April 4, 2009


Metatalk: just because you stopped reading after the first sentence doesn't mean the words aren't there.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:14 PM on April 4, 2009


>> Dude will probably ask for $1000, which is out of the question.

> Out of the question on moral grounds, or financial?


Both. Fuckin' domain squatters.
posted by ryanrs at 2:35 PM on April 4, 2009


I just can't believe people mangle the word 'novel' like that.

I have been sitting here quietly mangling the word 'novel' in my head to get the right combination of 'naw' and 'nah' and realising I'd heard somebody somewhere who did speak like that.

It turned out to be one of the actors from Robin Hood: Men In Tights aiming for a British accent and missing. They'd naturally say 'Rahbin' they're trying for 'Robin' and they end up with something closer to 'Rawbin'.
posted by the latin mouse at 3:21 PM on April 4, 2009


It turned out to be one of the actors from Robin Hood: Men In Tights aiming for a British accent and missing. They'd naturally say 'Rahbin' they're trying for 'Robin' and they end up with something closer to 'Rawbin'.

I hate, hate, hate IPA gobbledygook, but this is a place where it might be useful. The British accent (I know, I know, that's a horrible generalization) tends to pronounce "aw" in a manner that's completely foreign to North American ears.

This--and I mean this, as in this exact specific particular vowel sound--is a real pain in the ass when you're stupidly attempting to learn Swedish from a book, where the approximation of the long å sound is invariably described as "aw as in raw," which is, with my flat Canadian accent, just plain wrong; about the only place in North America where aw would sound anything remotely like å is NYC and New Jersey.

I eventually got a bunch of CD courses, but I still wish those language book people would realize that the English vowel sounds are ridiculously variable, so approximations tend to confuse more than they clarify.

(Also: Dear Australia, the first letter of the alphabet is A, not I.)
posted by Sys Rq at 9:34 AM on April 5, 2009


Ask MF questions

Can we at least advocate for lurking long enough to know the proper site acronyms? It's not MF; it's MeFi. Not Ask MF; AskMe. MetaTalk is MeTa and so on.

And MetaFilter Tuneless Idle Humming, of course.

I believe that klangklangston covered this in his MeFi course, but my cat ate the syllabus because she's a dick.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:31 PM on April 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


Ask MF was the short-lived sub-sub-site where all answers were required to contain some form of the word 'motherfucker.' After Plutor wrote a Greasemonkey script that replaced periods with ', motherfuckers!', Ask MF was no longer necessary, and so it was removed.
posted by box at 2:44 PM on April 5, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can we at least advocate for lurking long enough to know the proper site acronyms? It's not MF; it's MeFi. Not Ask MF; AskMe. MetaTalk is MeTa and so on.

I've also been very upset lately by several references to members of this community as "MeFi's." That's the sort of thing the scientists refer to as not even wrong.
posted by FelliniBlank at 3:07 PM on April 5, 2009 [1 favorite]


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