How Can You Tell It's a Self-Link? September 10, 2009 6:22 PM   Subscribe

How do the admins determine that a fpp is a self-link?

I have the deleted post greasemonkey script, and I see a lot of posts getting deleted saying something like, "self-link, banned." How do you guys figure out what are self-links? Are people just dumb and include their full names in their mefi profile? I feel like there must be a method I'm missing.
posted by kylej to MetaFilter-Related at 6:22 PM (78 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

They can smell them a mile off, usually. Self-linky posts are usually pretty obvious; the wording is often just off.
posted by ocherdraco at 6:25 PM on September 10, 2009


Divining rods
posted by fire&wings at 6:26 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Are people just dumb and include their full names in their mefi profile?

People do the darnedest things.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 6:29 PM on September 10, 2009


It's a hassle really. The information we have available to us that you guys don't see include

- the user's IP address
- the user's PayPal address (and other paypal related stuff if it's included)
- maybe the user's email address

We spend a lot of time in various Google configurations trying to see if there are any hinky matches between the URL, domain or other information of the linked website and the user information. Also we go look to see if someone with the same username has been pimping the site on OTHER sites [this is a super duper red flag, incidentally] because then it seems way more like spam than "hey this is something I thought MeFi might like."

There's a big difference between "wow this is a spammy self-linker SEO douchebag" sorts of posts and "wow this is a little too close to be okay" posts. The former are never okay and always involve a banning, the second can sometimes just be deleted and the poster given a sort of "don't do this again" talking-to sort of thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:33 PM on September 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


Is it in his face (oh no that's just his charms!)
Is it his warm embrace (oh no, that's just his arms!)
If you really think,
That it's a self-link
It's in his kiss (that's where it is!)
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:34 PM on September 10, 2009 [13 favorites]


Are people just dumb and include their full names links to their websites in their mefi profile?
posted by TedW at 6:37 PM on September 10, 2009


There's a pretty standard behavioral foot print which applies about 90% of the time: a person joins and the account is idle for anywhere from a day to two years. Then suddenly they make a small number of comments in quick succession in order to qualify to post, and those comments are usually perfunctory, minutes before making the suspect post.

That pattern doesn't usually come up for a first-time poster who isn't self-linking, so it raises alarms.

You can see the pattern in full display with this guy, who was banned for this post. He did the required minimum 3 comments withing a 7 minute interval, and then made his self-link FPP five minutes after that.

There are other trouble signals, things like certain kinds of subject matter or certain ways of writing the post. Experience teaches you what they tend to look like.

But proving it can be tricky, and I'm sure there have been self-links that have gotten past the mods because the self-linker covered his tracks well.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:38 PM on September 10, 2009


Are people just dumb and include their full names in their mefi profile?

Yes, sometimes they are. Ditto putting their self-linked website in their profile.

There's also the a-few-quick-comments-and-then-a-post pattern, some of which Effigy2000 collected on Musings of a Metafilter Spammer.
posted by CKmtl at 6:41 PM on September 10, 2009


There is also one big advantage the mods have: self-linkers don't learn from the experience of other self-linkers. That's why that pattern I mentioned keeps coming up: the self-linkers don't realize that they're trodding a well-worn path.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:43 PM on September 10, 2009


Great, Fiasco de Gama, now I'm going to be humming that song to myself all day.
posted by that girl at 6:45 PM on September 10, 2009


the self-linkers don't realize that they're trodding a well-worn path.

Or don't realize there's even a policy. Or realize both things, but think/hope/know that the post will survive for N minutes, during with time they'll get M clickthroughs. If M is worth $5 plus the time it takes, it's a no-brainer.
posted by DU at 6:46 PM on September 10, 2009


Or don't realize there's even a policy.

Before you make your first post, we require that you click off a checkbox agreeing that you just read the giant highlighted paragraph that explains anything you post must not be something you were involved with, or know someone involved with the creation of and that you will be banned and the post deleted if you are lying to us.

I used to feel sorry for people accidentally not reading over the faq or guidelines, but after we put that giant bold paragraph and required people agree with it, it was time to start banning with impunity.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:00 PM on September 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


Or don't realize there's even a policy.

I don't buy that. They'd have to be a fucking idiot. This warning comes up when you try to post to the Blue:
Note: You read the guidelines, right? Because linking to your own site or a project you worked on in this space will result in a deletion and your account will be banned. Post it to MetaFilter Projects to announce your work instead, which was designed especially for this purpose.
It's pretty hard to miss.

Or realize both things, but think/hope/know that the post will survive for N minutes, during with time they'll get M clickthroughs. If M is worth $5 plus the time it takes, it's a no-brainer.

I'd go with this.

There are literally hundreds of effective ways to attract traffic on the web without spamming sites that don't permit it. They're just assholes.
posted by zarq at 7:01 PM on September 10, 2009


Before you make your first post, we require that you click off a checkbox...

I was actually imagining posts from the SEO spammer types. They just farm these things out via Mechanical Turk or whatever. Nobody reads the guidelines (if they can actually read English at all) they just click through and post as fast as they can to make their $.03.
posted by DU at 7:02 PM on September 10, 2009


Nobody reads the guidelines

Yep. The checkbox was basically so we didn't have to sit through tortuous "I didn't KNOW!!!" emails from people who would then fight with us over the return of their five bucks. I know we all felt ridiculous even having to get to that point, but man is it nice to be able to say "look you affirmatively checked the box. If you didn't read the three sentences, I can't really help you"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:05 PM on September 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


So if I post something I wrote under a different username and use a stolen credit card for Pay Pal and what I post is liked by a lot of people I can totally self link!
posted by The Devil Tesla at 7:10 PM on September 10, 2009


There once was a man named Matthew
Who set up this thing called "the blue"
He forbade all self-links
And textual blinks
Using methods quite foreign to you.
posted by turgid dahlia at 7:15 PM on September 10, 2009 [16 favorites]


Also note that some who break the rules don't get banned. Spaizy made this post pimping a friend's fundraising efforts earlier today. The post was deleted, but he survived the banhammer.

It's a matter of degrees, I think.

If he had posted it as a question in AskMe, "How can my friend raise money for this movie?" any links he added to his friend's site would have been removed. A mod would have asked him to place the links in his profile, instead. I made a similar mistake once, asking for legal advice / assistance for a friend. Jessamyn was far more patient with me than I probably deserved.
posted by zarq at 7:18 PM on September 10, 2009


Oh, and kylej: The Deleted Threads Blog.
posted by zarq at 7:19 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


he survived the banhammer.

Only because he and I had a nice talk about that.

Often if we see iffy posts that we can't really track down a bad part to, we'll email the poster directly "Hey I notice you're new here, just wanted to make sure you're aware of the rule basically, bla bla bla" Anyone who makes a bad-seeming post more than once gets a lot less of the benefit of the doubt. We had one hinky poster a while ago who kept posting things that just didn't feel right, a few of them, and we finally caught her in a more direct street-team linking situation and man does that feel crappy.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:24 PM on September 10, 2009


Only because he and I had a nice talk about that.

Ah!

Often if we see iffy posts that we can't really track down a bad part to, we'll email the poster directly "Hey I notice you're new here, just wanted to make sure you're aware of the rule basically, bla bla bla"

That makes sense. For some reason it didn't occur to me that y'all might do that.

We had one hinky poster a while ago who kept posting things that just didn't feel right, a few of them, and we finally caught her in a more direct street-team linking situation and man does that feel crappy.

Yeah, but it still speaks volumes for your vigilance and success rate that a single person who slipped through the net is an exception to the rule.
posted by zarq at 7:34 PM on September 10, 2009


I have hundreds of sleeper sock-puppet agents just waiting to be activated. There will be self-links... oh yeah!
posted by blue_beetle at 7:50 PM on September 10, 2009


Self-linkers almost always act hilariously casual. Oh hey, by the way, what's up, I noticed you're reading this comment, yeah cool, I can dig that. Anyway, my friend saw this interesting site - nothing big, but maybe something to watch out for, you know? Yeah, cool.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:50 PM on September 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


We had one hinky poster a while ago

I was going to ask if you did reverse deletions then, but I'm guessing you let them stand as is?
posted by P.o.B. at 7:59 PM on September 10, 2009


Self-linked a post on the front of the blue,
I'm sure they won't notice, and this will get through
I've tried to cover my tracks so I won't get caught
But, whoops, its deleted at the speed of thought

Search Engine Optimizing, every day's the same
Posting crap on the internet -- a source of great shame
Listen to me, oh no, that's not a self-link at all,
I didn't do what you're claiming, why should I take the fall?

That's not a spam,
That's not a self-link,
Please do not ban,
I don't deserve it,

That's not my name,
That's not my name,
That's not my name,
That's not my name

I barely know him,
He's not my brother,
I worked there once,
She's not my mother,

That's not my name,
That's not my name,
That's not my name,
That's not my name

It was an accident,
I didn't mean to break the rules,
I paid five hundred US cents,
I should post what I want you fools

I didn't mean it,
FAQ? I haven't seen it,
And why the perp walk,
Out here on Metatalk?

That's not my name,
That's not my name,
That's not my name,
That's not my name

Are you calling me spammer?
Are you calling me twat?
I just did it by accident,
Nobody's perfect like that.

I barely know him,
He's not my brother,
I worked there once,
She's not my mother,

That's not my name,
That's not my name,
That's not my name,
That's not my name

(With apologies to the Ting Tings)
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:00 PM on September 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


I was going to ask if you did reverse deletions then, but I'm guessing you let them stand as is?

Depends. Sometimes we're so pissed we'll retroactively delete stuff but usually we'll let them stand.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:17 PM on September 10, 2009


It's amazing what a powerful tool recent comments is for catching some of these twits. They'll often post their required comments as answers to old askmes related to their self link subject. If that subject happens to be something I answer a lot of questions on (say refrigeration, woodworking or electrical wiring) I'll see three ancient askmes pop to the top of my recent activity all curtsy of a brand new shiny member adding a sentence or two who, hey look at that, just posted a front page post on the subject. Which results in yet more exercise for the contact page by me. A few times I've just kept their user page open in my browser waiting for the front page posting.
posted by Mitheral at 8:18 PM on September 10, 2009


a more direct street-team linking situation

What's a one of them? Sounds unhygenic.
posted by Sparx at 8:31 PM on September 10, 2009


With apologies to the Ting Tings

I'm pretty sure that should be the other way around.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:35 PM on September 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


Wow you guys know far more about this than I could possibly have imagined.
posted by smoke at 8:35 PM on September 10, 2009 [8 favorites]


It's amazing what a powerful tool recent comments is for catching some of these twits.

We actually have a back end tool call "straggling comments" or something that only lists comments that have been made some longass amount of time after a thread's basically been dormant. We find a lot of weird sneaky spam action in there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:50 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


And a lot of nice thread resolutions!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:53 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


We actually have a back end tool call "straggling comments"

Oh, the buffoonery that could ensue knowing this!
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:59 PM on September 10, 2009


There are some things you can't cover up
With IP and astroturf
Thought the URL matched your username
Lotsa people said "HURF-DURF"

Don't post any friend's site, or I'll get my pitchfork
Are you really that dumb or just an SEO dork
Oh, I just wanna ban self links

Got lots of torches bein' fired by self links
It's a more or less situation inspired by self links
But you can't post the sites you wanna shill
I suppose you can't sell your Viagra pill, but still

And now, self link
And they wanna banhammer, self link
And Matt says it's not allowed, self link
If mods say that it's so
Don't they think that you'd know by now
posted by Bernt Pancreas at 9:07 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I don't know why my creepy/deceiving self-link from earlier this evening is still up.
posted by gman at 9:12 PM on September 10, 2009


I don't know why my creepy/deceiving self-link from earlier this evening is still up.

If it remains that way for more than three hours, consult a physician.
posted by maxwelton at 9:23 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Pretty Flowers was surely the best self-link thread ever.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:25 PM on September 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


Pretty Flowers was surely the best self-link thread ever.

Wow that takes me back. It's been so long since the image tag was taken away that those pictures are actually a little funny again!
posted by mrmojoflying at 9:31 PM on September 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


A lot of this has been covered pretty well upthread already, but I think one thing worth emphasizing if we're gonna get all theory-of-mind on spammers is that they're not used to getting shut down. We do an awful lot of fairly attentive house-cleaning around here compared to a great big proportion of the web in general—downright sketchy shill comments, shit I could call out from a hundred yards, manages to live long happy lives on everything from Joe Blogger's comment sections on up to threads on nytimes.com.

We've put together a pretty good toolset for working the heuristics to our advantage—every trend that we've been able to identify as correlating to spam/shill/turf behavior, we've made an effort to quantify and build a heuristic of some sort out of, whether as an active alert system of some sort (e.g. emails when risky behavior x occurs) or as a passive monitoring system (e.g. a list of people doing risky behavior y, that we can check in on periodically).

Most places don't do this, as far as I can tell. Which, it's time consuming and if you just don't care that much about preventing self-links (some places are explicitly okay with it, a lot more just probably don't have anything like a firm policy about it) it's probably too much work to bother with. Building custom tools certainly requires some resources that demand justification—our justification is "pb works here", but most bloggers don't have a pb on staff and even significant places don't necessarily have that no-how on hand and/or a willingness to spend effort on this specific area.

I feel like to a degree there are principles that can be carved out of our defense plan, if you will, that could be applied fairly generally in blog/site contexts elsewhere by folks who wanted to actively pursue a shill-free environment, but a lot of it is that we have the combination of inclination and resources to be as vigilant about it as we're inclined to be. And I don't think that's a degree of vigilance that a lot of these shitheels really expect, warning text or not.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:41 PM on September 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


no-how? i think you're selling pb a bit short, there.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:02 PM on September 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


This was another hilarious self-link: "a declaration of war" by risk.
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:14 PM on September 10, 2009


I've noticed that self-linkers have this strange habit of mentioning how what they're posting is "something they found" and "thought was cool."
posted by dhammond at 10:19 PM on September 10, 2009


I get goosebumps when cortex just drops "heuristics" like it's nothing, and gets all stern and stuff.
posted by tula at 10:35 PM on September 10, 2009


Oh my lord, those threads are bananas.
posted by ocherdraco at 10:43 PM on September 10, 2009


Blue - is where I want to be
Click my link and buy my shit
I play dumb - didn't read the rules
Pretend my link is just for fun
The less we say about it the better
Make it up as we go along
Link on the page
Is cash in the bank
It's ok, act like nothing's wrong . . nothing

Hi yo I got plenty of time
Hi yo they won't see my disguise
And they're driving all this traffic
I note the spike in my stats
Always for money
Never for love
Cover up and say goodnight . . . say goodnight

Blue - is where I want to be
But those assholes are so uptight
I come home - my login doesn't work
Guess that this won't be the place
I can't tell one from another
Did I fuck you, or you fuck me?
Where is that rule? Where's my five bucks?
If someone asks, I just didn't see . . . didn't see

Hi yo we threaten to sue
Hi yo cortex fuck yourself, too
Out of all those kinds of websites
You got a Pagerank that rules
I'm just an spammer who's looking for a chump
Get inbound clicks for a minute or two
And you ban me till my heart stops
Hate me till I'm dead
Alarms light up, admins see through
Randomize my link and
Hit me on the head
Ah ooh
posted by Meatbomb at 10:56 PM on September 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm pretty sure that should be the other way around.

Well if I'm honest, it's really the Ting Tings via A Song For Dave Ulliot.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:57 PM on September 10, 2009


Kylej's self-linking posts are going to be really hard to detect after this.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 1:07 AM on September 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


tea leaf reading.

givemethecuPP . . .

you have . . . THE GRIM!
posted by exlotuseater at 1:15 AM on September 11, 2009


As a member who joined relatively recently, I absolutely love it when veteran MeFites get together and pull out a big stack of Metafilter Back Issues - some of these Great Moments in Self-Linking are absolutely hilarious reads. I especially like the spammers who think enough of the site to throw up their shitty blog or band's MySpace or whatever on the Blue, but then turn around and call everyone a loser for calling them out. Priceless!

Since this is the thread where we talk about self-linking in the abstract, I guess it's as good a place as any to ask a question I've always kinda wondered about: When did you guys start taking the extra step of stripping out the self-link URL as well? When I load up a recent deleted self-link thread from the Deleted Thread blog, the URLs have been switched to example.com or somesuch. But in these older Self-Link Classics, like Pretty Flowers or risk's act of confounding Civil Blogobedience, the offending URL is still there.

Fun as it is to see what everyone in those old threads was mocking, it makes sense that you wouldn't want a MeFi thread, even an archived one, driving any further traffic to a self-linker's site. From this very narrow sample, it seems like for awhile there, the links were retained, but now they aren't. When did the change take place?
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:58 AM on September 11, 2009


When did you guys start taking the extra step of stripping out the self-link URL as well?

I don't know exactly when it started — but the first time I noticed that some, but not all, deleted posts were having their links replaced with example.com was very early 2008.

Around that time I asked mathowie what was up (since I thought it wasn't really necessary as the web pages for deleted posts contain a nofollow, noarchive directive). As I recall, he mentioned that it annoyed him to see a URL of a "spammy douchebag" in his RSS reader, and that he had done it to negate any traffic effects from the RSS.
posted by RichardP at 4:23 AM on September 11, 2009


We've put together a pretty good toolset for working the heuristics to our advantage

Wow, you folks must have superpowers. To do this I would have to:

1. Go to the dictionary to make sure I know what "heuristic" means.

2. Figure out which of these things you call "tools" can help me work this heuristic to my advantage.

3. Then go buy this tool, I guess you get those at the hardware store. My parents got me a nice toolset a few years back: hammer, screwdrivers, a measuring tape (seems like I can never find a measuring tape when I need one).

4. Then, to have a "toolset," I'd have to get more than one of these tools so I'd have a set. I guess then I could work heuristics to my advantage.

Do I have all that right?
posted by marxchivist at 4:45 AM on September 11, 2009


marxchivist, to the man who has only a hammer, screwdrivers, and a measuring tape, everything looks like a Phillips-head 9.25 mm length x 0.89 mm diagonal nail.
posted by taz at 5:27 AM on September 11, 2009 [6 favorites]


Do I have all that right?

The vehicle you're using to enhance an enabled understanding needs a less focused solution.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:01 AM on September 11, 2009


Perhaps a few enterprise-level virtual tool simulations will help you re-synergize with the MetaFilter vernacular culture.
posted by mrmojoflying at 6:02 AM on September 11, 2009


Metafilter: enterprise-level virtual tool simulation
posted by marginaliana at 6:21 AM on September 11, 2009


I can't believe no one has done this yet

Metafilter: banning with impunity
posted by slogger at 6:36 AM on September 11, 2009


Ticking off 'Devout Buddhist' on your profile page allows you to circumvent the self-link rule.
posted by gman at 6:44 AM on September 11, 2009


We actually have a back end tool call "straggling comments"
The knowledge of this tool is making is really hard for me to resist creating comments that are like geocached love notes for the mods. Yes, I know I could just send memail, but where's the surprise in that?
posted by plinth at 6:47 AM on September 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Hey guys cool thread I was looking for plastic butts and boob s the otrhe day and i saw http://www.costumebuttsbreasts.com/ it's p neat just whatever if you need Costume Breasts and Butts for costuming. Plastic costume breasts, boobs and butts for larger than life characters. Huge costume breasts, boobs and butts in plastic and feelable latex foam. Costume Breasts and Butts are for any occassion that requires huge assets. Assorted costume breasts and butts for your sorted affairs. ANYWAY cool thread like I said just check out that link if you need it

mirror-universe optimus chyme
posted by Mirror-Universe Optimus Chyme at 6:48 AM on September 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


As Karl Lueger would say, I decide who is a self-linker!
posted by geoff. at 6:54 AM on September 11, 2009


It's been so long since the image tag was taken away that those pictures are actually a little funny again!

I am SO glad there are no images on here. For one: animated signatures. Just, no. For two: I hate it when on fora people post images thinking that is a witty way of debating, when, actually, it's really just boring to see.
posted by mippy at 7:16 AM on September 11, 2009


I have a couple of very low traffic personal blogs that e-mail me when anyone links, posts back or comments on any thread, and I occasionally get spams on really old comments and posts back, and it's silly.

It's cool to hear about the options the MeFi moderators have created and exercise to deal with such problems in a high-traffic site, though. Neat!
posted by kalessin at 7:23 AM on September 11, 2009


Metafilter killed the Yoga Dogs, gman.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:49 AM on September 11, 2009


Or don't realize there's even a policy. Or realize both things, but think/hope/know that the post will survive for N minutes, during with time they'll get M clickthroughs. If M is worth $5 plus the time it takes, it's a no-brainer. we don't do a recall.
posted by owtytrof at 8:30 AM on September 11, 2009


We actually have a back end tool call "straggling comments"

The knowledge of this tool is making is really hard for me to resist creating comments that are like geocached love notes for the mods. Yes, I know I could just send memail, but where's the surprise in that?


People don't do this?

Seriously, I've been known to pop into old threads and add a bit of data if it seems likely to help someone, someday. I'd say about a quarter of the time I can't because the thread's closed.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 8:44 AM on September 11, 2009


And I totally expected the response to this question to be: "That's classified."
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 8:44 AM on September 11, 2009


What irks the hell out of me whenever I see these threads is that I'm actually part of a search marketing agency. We do SEO work.

Calling the crap that these guys pull "SEO" is giving them way too much credit.
posted by generichuman at 8:47 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


How do the admins determine that a fpp is a self-link?

The mods have already answered this, but I can answer as a layperson: eventually, after you've seen enough of the same repeated behaviors, you just get a feeling. It even becomes fun after a while, hunting spotting the self-linkers before they get the hammer. I've got my eyes on one now, and I'm sure he's about to drop his SEO payload any day now.
posted by lekvar at 11:34 AM on September 11, 2009


GAWD I wish I could FPP my friend's latest blog post about voronoi diagrams. It's OSSUM. But, the smallest amount of snooping would easily show that we're friends. (plus I just told you.)

So I can't. Right?

Drat it all.

I do understand why. I'm just piggybacking here.

(and I'm not being sarcastic, there really IS an awesome blog post out there that I think a lot of you nerds would enjoy greatly. But the blogger is a personal friend.)

*le sigh*
posted by sidereal at 12:44 PM on September 11, 2009


As Karl Lueger would say

Essential bit of information if you want to quote that remarkable personage out loud: the name is pronounced loo-AY-ger, not like the gun. I embarrassed myself in Vienna by not knowing that.
posted by languagehat at 2:31 PM on September 11, 2009


languagehat: Are you sure? "loo-AY-ger" sounds to me like how an non-German-speaker might try to pronounce 'Lueger'. As far as I've known, 'ü' (or 'ue') is an umlauted U, not an "ooay"- so you'd pronounce it the same way you would "klüger" or "Betrüger".

Of course, this is Austria we're talking, where Salzburg is "Soitzburg" and "Das darf nicht wahr sein" is "Des deffa niet waa saan!".
posted by dunkadunc at 11:30 PM on September 11, 2009


I'm trying not to be too snarky here: yes, I'm sure. Do you really think I would have written that comment if I were just guessing or making shit up? I know exactly how the name looks and how you'd expect it to be pronounced; that's why I made the mistake myself. To repeat myself: yes, I'm sure. But feel free to ignore me and pronounce it however you like.

Also, it's not ü, it's ue. If it were ü, this question would not arise.
posted by languagehat at 6:27 AM on September 12, 2009


jessamyn: "We actually have a back end tool call "straggling comments" or something that only lists comments that have been made some longass amount of time after a thread's basically been dormant. We find a lot of weird sneaky spam action in there."

It would be cool if this was public facing.
posted by Mitheral at 6:34 AM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


That Pretty Flowers thread is the second best thing of my day so far.
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 9:54 AM on September 13, 2009


I'm sure there have been self-links that have gotten past the mods because the self-linker covered his tracks well.

Bwaaaaa-hahahahahaha!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:13 PM on September 13, 2009


languagehat: Do you know the underlying reason? Is it because that's not really an umlaut, but etymologically two vowels that just happened to end up together? Or is it some regional Austrian thing that "they just say it that way" (perhaps because they don't want to associate Lüge with the guy?)
posted by qvantamon at 8:00 AM on September 16, 2009


It would be cool if this was public facing.

Yeah mixed feelings about that. People can follow the "resolved" tag for more or less the same good parts of this, but we feel like giving the SEO jerkoffs any more eyeballs is

1. a bad idea
2. sort of asking for the torch/pitchfork brigade to pounce on them before we can see them

So I'd suggest following the resolved tag so we can do the Dirty Jobs part of our job in sekrit.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:43 AM on September 16, 2009


> languagehat: Do you know the underlying reason? Is it because that's not really an umlaut, but etymologically two vowels that just happened to end up together? Or is it some regional Austrian thing that "they just say it that way" (perhaps because they don't want to associate Lüge with the guy?)

I don't know the reason (meaning the etymology of the name), though I wish I did, but it's definitely two vowels that just happened to end up together and not any sort of desire to distinguish the name from something else.
posted by languagehat at 11:57 AM on September 18, 2009


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