Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Original Loveparade thread was imperfect but why close it?
July 25, 2010 12:01 PM   Subscribe

Is anyone else weirded out by the closing of the original Love Parade tragedy thread?


This post was deleted for the following reason: This kind of weirdly framed, and you need to maybe not argue with people in your own post twoleftfeet. -- cortex
It's a tragedy and some people deal with tragedy by fleshing out the controversy. I don't think it's healthy site moderation to shut down threads because there is some minor, reasonable disagreement in an organic discussion. Is it really the end of the world if the poster comments in their own thread and there's no derail? Sometimes MeFi culture is trying way too hard to be polite. Not every tragedy should be responded to with nothing more than empty .'s. And yes, it was a poorly worded newsfilter, but that's what I sometimes expect from a community written blog.

I'm not necessarily looking for explanation from the moderator. I do think it's worth discussing the often controversy and imperfection adverse culture here.
posted by Skwirl to Etiquette/Policy at 12:01 PM (144 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

To the extent you suggest that it was a bad deletion, I agree. I'm not sure what you mean by the last sentence (presumably, the wider discussion you're looking for).
posted by cribcage at 12:14 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


imperfection adverse

Um.

(I do completely agree that that thread should not have been deleted. The comments about its framing should have been, however.)
posted by Sys Rq at 12:16 PM on July 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Bad deletion. Absolutely.
posted by joost de vries at 12:16 PM on July 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wow, the comments in the deleted one are about eighty times more substantive than the post that lived. Anyone interested in large festivals, crowd control, or responses other than "oh no death is sad" should do a post-delete read-through.
posted by soma lkzx at 12:17 PM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is it really the end of the world if the poster comments in their own thread and there's no derail?

It's not the end of the world, no, but it's not a great practice, and waiting around for the derail to happen-or-not doesn't seem like a great idea. twoleftfeet wrote to ask about the second half of the deletion reason and I explained that in combination with the already sort of problematic framing (and a bunch of flags coming in), the responding-in-thread-with-an-editorial-position thing was really not a great thing to do even if it was relatively mild in this case.

There are a few things on the site where in general we'd just rather the poster accept being the one person out of the crowd who ought not to do something, in part just to avoid having things complicated or derailed by the specter of Too Close or a sense that they're using mefi more as a platform to pursue personal bloggish/discussion goals than to put something out there for the general crowd. Linking to or posting about something you've got a personal connection to is one good example—there's forty thousand mefites who could link to site x that you know the author of, so asking you not to do it isn't that onerous of a request. Avoiding editorializing in a post, and avoiding editorial arguments in the comments of the post, is another—there's, again, a ton of people who can go ahead and pursue those arguments in the thread if they want for whom that sort of thing will not seem like a modding-your-own-thread problem.

The good news as far as the topic itself is that someone went ahead and took another shot at the Love Parade thing this morning in a way that I think does a good job of presenting the topic without some of the bumpiness of the original. Obviously there's no guarantee that that'll happen with any given deletion, but in this case it did and that's part of how these situations can work beyond just "the mods said no". If the post is worth doing, someone can always give it another shot.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:18 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Avoiding editorializing in a post, and avoiding editorial arguments in the comments of the post

Wait, what? Since when is that a thing?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:20 PM on July 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


cortex vilsacked the post
posted by found missing at 12:23 PM on July 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


Wait, what? Since when is that a thing?

When it's an early and notable presence, it's a thing. Has been for a while. Doesn't come up too often, thankfully, but we've definitely removed posts now and then and/or told the poster to can it in cases where the sequences goes:

1. User makes post.
2. User jumps into post to tell people that (a) they're wrong about their interpretation of the subject matter or (b) they're wrong to disagree about the post or (c) here is how it actually is.

It's more of a problem when it's something that happens at length or with vituperation, but as a general principle if you're doing something other than walking away from your post after you make it you need to proceed with caution and restraint and keep your presence to a minimum. It may be your post, but it's not your thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:24 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Obviously there's no guarantee that that'll happen with any given deletion, but in this case it did and that's part of how these situations can work beyond just "the mods said no". If the post is worth doing, someone can always give it another shot.
Wow, that's really weak.
posted by joost de vries at 12:27 PM on July 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


It may be your post, but it's not your thread.

Then why delete the thread to punish the poster?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:28 PM on July 25, 2010 [16 favorites]


What the hell? Were some other comments of twoleftfeet's deleted? There are three remaining in the the thread (out of fifty), only two are editorial, and they are brief and the discussion in the thread had long since moved on. This deletion is an overreaction.
posted by enn at 12:29 PM on July 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


Wow, that's really weak.

How so? This has come up tons of times before—deleting a post is not prohibiting future posts about the subject of the deleted post, and if someone thinks the subject deserves another go they can give it a shot. We've invoked this idea explicitly in plenty of deletion reasons and discussed it in metatalk a bunch of times.

No individual post has some sort of law-of-nature right to exist. The stakes are low, someone else can give a post a shot the same day or the poster themself can give it a shot 24 hours later if there's not some other sort of "that would be a very bad idea" mitigating factor, and there usually isn't one. This is part of how mefi works as a community larger than any individual within it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:30 PM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


How so?
Because 'there will be another post' doesn't address the deletion reason of this post. And that's what we're discussing I thought.
posted by joost de vries at 12:33 PM on July 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Then why delete the thread to punish the poster?

To be clear, the thread was deleted because the framing was not great and was bothering people and the post got flagged a bunch. I mentioned the in-thread-argumentation stuff as an aside, and this is feeling like a classic example of Deletion Reason Author's Regret because I really wasn't trying to get overly much on twoleftfeet's case so much as mention that dynamic as problematic aside from the issue with the post itself.

I've talked to twoleftfeet directly about this via mefimail already and acknowledged there, and will happily acknowledge here as well, that I didn't think it was a particularly stark or troubling example in this case and didn't mean for it to be a chiding thing so much as a heads up. It seems like I failed in communicating that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:33 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


On second thought; sorry about the criticism. In the larger scheme of things it doesn't mattter that much.
posted by joost de vries at 12:34 PM on July 25, 2010


Because 'there will be another post' doesn't address the deletion reason of this post. And that's what we're discussing I thought.

Note that that was the third of three paragraphs in the comment you're replying to, and not anything like the whole content of what I've said in this thread. "Someone can try again" isn't a blanket excuse for any deletion we choose to make, it's a silver lining, and one worth keeping in mind given the very low bar for posting, for folks who are feeling like the deletion of the post is a bummer because it means there's not a post on a given subject.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:35 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


In defense of cortex, I think my post really was kind of weirdly framed.

Intentionally.

There's a weird conceptual mismatch between Parade and Stampede, and between Love and Death, and sometimes I get caught up in the poetry of the situation when making a post, so it comes off as less factual and more along the lines of fantasy or supposition.
posted by twoleftfeet at 12:42 PM on July 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


2. User jumps into post to tell people that (a) they're wrong about their interpretation of the subject matter or (b) they're wrong to disagree about the post or (c) here is how it actually is

Sys Rq, we've also had whole MeTa posts in the past that called out people who were modding their own threads. Usually it happens when someone posts, then argumentatively replies to many comments.
posted by zarq at 12:48 PM on July 25, 2010


This is part of how mefi works as a community larger than any individual within it.

*facepalm*

To be clear, the thread was deleted because the framing was not great and was bothering people and the post got flagged a bunch. I mentioned the in-thread-argumentation stuff as an aside, and this is feeling like a classic example of Deletion Reason Author's Regret because I really wasn't trying to get overly much on twoleftfeet's case so much as mention that dynamic as problematic aside from the issue with the post itself.

I guess what I meant by Why delete the thread to punish the poster? is less Why punish the poster? than Why delete the thread? The thread was excellent, despite the opinion of some that the post was slightly iffy. I'm not seeing a clear case for deletion there.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:48 PM on July 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I don't see a "weird framing" beyond a lack of pronouns. And if the mildly editorializing comments hadn't yet caused a derail, why not just delete the comments instead of a whole pretty-excellent thread?
posted by soma lkzx at 12:51 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I guess what I meant by Why delete the thread to punish the poster? is

I read you wrong in the first place and was responding to an imagined question ala "Why delete the thread and punish the commenters". Sorry for the muddle. I didn't delete the thread to punish the poster, I deleted it because it seemed iffy to me and the flags pouring in suggested it seemed iffy to others as well. I hear you that you and other folks in here didn't think it was iffy; we may be stuck agreeing to disagree about that. Whether Matt or Jess have a specific opinion about this that differs from mine, I don't know, and on a Sunday morning any potential response on that front may be slow in coming in any case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:52 PM on July 25, 2010


...and this is feeling like a classic example of Deletion Reason Author's Regret...

Recite the moderator's creed 5 times and relinquish all Sookie Stackhouse fanfic, then go in peace my son.
posted by new brand day at 12:52 PM on July 25, 2010


I didn't know there were flags pouring in. My guess is that the framing made it sound like some sort of sexual thing? Is that possible?

Again, got caught up in the poetry. Sorry.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:00 PM on July 25, 2010


As an aside, flagging mods' comments in metatalk doesn't really tell us what's bothering you about them and doesn't tell anyone else anything at all, and we're (implausible bizarro meltdowns aside) really not likely to make comments we'd consider deletable so they're not doing any useful behind the scenes work besides.

Drop me an email or bring it up in the thread here (it's metatalk, that's pretty much kosher) if you want to let me know something's up, but skip that route.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:00 PM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


(Not a reply to twoleftfeet but to the person who flagged a comment up thread and who doesn't have to be a public part of this conversation if they don't want to. General principle stands beyond just this thread, in any case; it doesn't come up a ton, but it does come up and it's not helpful.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:02 PM on July 25, 2010


twoleftfeet, I think a lot of people took it as, "All those people died and now the festival is ruined for everyone else."

...I really have no idea how it could be construed as something sexual.
posted by rachaelfaith at 1:04 PM on July 25, 2010


My guess is that the framing made it sound like some sort of sexual thing? Is that possible

I didn't have a problem with the post, and didn't think you were modding the thread. I learned a lot from the comments and think it's a shame the thread is gone.

But there was a comment complaining early on that you had written the post in such a way that the Love Parade being cancelled sounded more upsetting than that 19 people had been killed. You responded to that comment. It seems likely to me that's why the post was being flagged.
posted by zarq at 1:08 PM on July 25, 2010


Yeah, my feeling is that the reaction was along the lines of what rachaelfaith and zarq are saying: that while I don't think you meant to express this feeling at all, twoleftfeet, there was a weird reading of essentially "dead people spoil festival" to the framing; and it's in response to people pushing back on that that a couple of your replies were in pushing-an-editorial-position territory, as mild as it was in this case.

Sort of a multiplicative effect of two kinds of mildly problematic yielding a bit more problematic, hence the (maybe not so smart on my part) mention of it in the deletion reason.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:14 PM on July 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think a lot of people took it as, "All those people died and now the festival is ruined for everyone else."

Yeah, you can read that in the simplicity of the phrasing. It's kind of child-like. It suggests a petulant child.

I only know this in retrospect, and from your guiding comment, becaause honestly I have no idea what meaning everybody will assign to my post when I make my post.
posted by twoleftfeet at 1:15 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I missed the argument in the post.
Dabitch seemed to be more 'there' so she got the post that stayed seems.
posted by buzzman at 1:16 PM on July 25, 2010


The weird framing To me made it seem like you were upset that a few stupid deaths ruined your favorite music festival. Clearly not what you meant from your followups but I think the replacement post is better worded. The comments on the first post were great though.
posted by fermezporte at 1:20 PM on July 25, 2010


and thankfully we were spared stupid jokes about the Great White concert disaster in the new thread.
posted by jonmc at 1:23 PM on July 25, 2010 [5 favorites]


there was a weird reading of essentially "dead people spoil festival" to the framing

It was clear that some people read it that way. It's also not terribly unfair or uncharitable to paraphrase that reading as, "OP was not sufficiently outraged, and about the wrong thing." Which is a valid opinion to hold, but not a good reason to delete the thread.

You can read the story two ways: "Damn, the concert was cancelled because people died," or "Damn, people died and the concert has been cancelled." Setting aside the self-moderating stuff, MetaFilter (via comments, flags, and a mod) didn't like Framing A and so the thread was deleted in favor of Framing B. That's not moderation so much as editorialization.
posted by cribcage at 1:24 PM on July 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


The objectionable phrasing for me amounted to how twoleftfeet made the point of the post be that people died during a stampede at a love parade. So, ya, that deserves to be deleted.
posted by pwally at 1:26 PM on July 25, 2010


and thankfully we were spared stupid jokes about the Great White concert disaster in the new thread.

It's never too late to make jokes about Great White.

Who are they again?
posted by new brand day at 1:27 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


parodox deserves deletion
posted by found missing at 1:36 PM on July 25, 2010


parodox deserves deletion

..no, no, no. paradox that mocks dead people deserves deletion.
posted by pwally at 1:40 PM on July 25, 2010


I'm unhappy about Jell-O San Francisco getting dumped because it was a double from 5 years ago and two The First Thing We Do, Let's Kill All The Canada Geese FPP eluding the gooseman's gaff and staying on the front page. What does this have to do with the unfortunate events at Loveparade? Very little.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:43 PM on July 25, 2010


paradox that mocks dead people deserves deletion

To me, this indicates the weakness of moderation via referendum. It's not a good way to run California either.
posted by found missing at 1:47 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


There was actually a dude murdered a block away from me yesterday. There were rumors flying all over the neighborhood. When I walked pips to the subway yesterday morning the whole street was taped off. Crazy shit.
posted by jonmc at 1:59 PM on July 25, 2010


and thankfully we were spared stupid jokes about the Great White concert disaster in the new thread.

Hah! There's no such thing as a stupid joke about Great White! Making jokes about tragedies is as old as humanity, as I'm sure you probably know. Coping mechanism, gallows humor, yadda yadda.
posted by Justinian at 2:22 PM on July 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


there was a weird reading of essentially "dead people spoil festival" to the framing

A weirder reading would be the Dead People Spoil festival, which I'm imagining as a kind of trade show extravaganza for undertakers.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:34 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


My guess is that the framing made it sound like some sort of sexual thing?

No, I think it was the fact that the post seemed to at least some people to be saying "it sucks that we can't have a festival just because a few people died" which is a totally okay perspective to have, but maybe not the best way to introduce a thread about a tragedy. People were reacting weirdly to it and it seemed like cortex jumped in with the "well if this is sort of a obit thtread maybe we need to have someone else do a better one" approach. I was more on the fence about it [and I liked some of the comments] but between the lulzy Great White jokes and the "it's not fair" tone that I [maybe incorrectly] though I was reading it seemed like maybe a better time for a do-over.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:38 PM on July 25, 2010


Just because some people misread the original post doesn't mean it was a bad post.

Chalk me up as another person who though the comments chiding the framing of the post were way worse than the post. twoleftfeet, the framing of it was fine, some people were just looking for reasons to get all huffy and all puffy. Bad deletion.

And, on preview, gotta love the commenters who immediately read the worst possible meaning into the post and now have the grace to acknowledge that they, upon reflection, understand what twoleftfeet was trying to say. How very big!

I don't see why people are pissed at twoleftfeet instead of the obvious threadshitting in the first post.

Oh well. You say potato I say potato.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:42 PM on July 25, 2010 [9 favorites]


Is anyone else weirded out by the closing of the original Love Parade tragedy thread?

I don't like the phrase "weirded out"--it sounds like you're implying that cortex deleted the thread because he has some sort devious motive.
posted by mullacc at 3:17 PM on July 25, 2010


Yes, let's continue picking apart every little phrasing that people use, no matter how benign.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 3:28 PM on July 25, 2010 [7 favorites]


I came here to post a link to the deleted thread. I thought that no matter how weak the post itself may have been, the following comments were substantive and thoughtful. The surviving FPP was nowhere near as informative.

"Weird framing" is a weird reason to delete.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 3:31 PM on July 25, 2010


I don't see why people are pissed at twoleftfeet instead of the obvious threadshitting in the first post.

For what it's worth, I don't think a lot of people are pissed at twoleftfeet so much as a lot of people were bothered by the presentation of that post.

The surviving FPP was nowhere near as informative.

But you read the comments in the original post, and you know the new post exists; it'd be totally okay to reference or summarize some of that good content into the existing thread to help it be a better thread in your estimation. There really isn't an either/or thing here; that's part of why we talk about post deletion as being a pretty low-stakes thing. There's not only ever one chance to say something on metafilter.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:35 PM on July 25, 2010


Yes, let's continue picking apart every little phrasing that people use, no matter how benign.

You're weirding me out. You and the guy jerking off in public.
posted by mullacc at 3:53 PM on July 25, 2010


"Weird framing" is a weird reason to delete.

I'm not so sure, in this case. If I were a person who had lost somebody in the Love Parade disaster, I would not be happy to chance across a blog post that seemed to place the discontinuation of the festival over the life of my loved one who was stomped to death; I would be appalled and extremely upset. I think that's a great reason to delete it.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:58 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Inviting people to repost their "good content" into the (says you) better-framed thread misses the point. Sure, they could do that, but you could also have trimmed all that threadshitting out of the first thread.

between the lulzy Great White jokes and the "it's not fair" tone that I [maybe incorrectly] though I was reading it seemed like maybe a better time for a do-over.

This is not the first time recently that you (mods) have cited threadshitting as a (partial) reason for deletion. I think that is unwise. I try to be pretty charitable about how I read things, but it has honestly begun to sound to me like you are—not intentionally, but nonetheless—in effect encouraging people who dislike a thread, instead of flagging it, to bitch and post LULZ in order to increase its likelihood of deletion.
posted by cribcage at 4:00 PM on July 25, 2010 [15 favorites]


Class Warfare Nachos. Think about it.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:04 PM on July 25, 2010


Is that a plate of beans with corn chips on top?
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:26 PM on July 25, 2010


and thankfully we were spared stupid jokes about the Great White concert disaster in the new thread.

Hah! There's no such thing as a stupid joke about Great White! Making jokes about tragedies is as old as humanity, as I'm sure you probably know. Coping mechanism, gallows humor, yadda yadda.
posted by Justinian


I have no desire to push you into a corner about this, Justininan, but I hope you can see that at least some people would feel (however disputably) that your unwillingness to give an inch here, despite the reaction against what you said in your initial comment, might bespeak a certain deficiency of empathy.
posted by jamjam at 4:29 PM on July 25, 2010 [4 favorites]


Sure, they could do that, but you could also have trimmed all that threadshitting out of the first thread.

If I had thought the first post was great in its own right and that threadshitting was the problem, I would have done that. I didn't. I'm not sure what there is to say here beyond "we disagree about the deletion". But people lamenting that the new post isn't as good as the old one because people said interesting things in the old post can, in the actual reality of the situation we're in rather than some hypothetical counterfactual, add that good content to the post that's open. I don't think it's missing the point to encourage people bothered by a lack of good content to take positive action to do something about that lack.

This is not the first time recently that you (mods) have cited threadshitting as a (partial) reason for deletion.

Things like timing and context make this complicated. I don't think this thread compares very neatly to the sort of threads where we've felt they were unfixable trainwrecks, honestly.

I try to be pretty charitable about how I read things, but it has honestly begun to sound to me like you are—not intentionally, but nonetheless—in effect encouraging people who dislike a thread, instead of flagging it, to bitch and post LULZ in order to increase its likelihood of deletion.

I hear what you're saying. I think the problem is that we cannot fundamentally prevent people from making bad decisions about how they react to posts they dislike—some people are going to lack the self-control or regard for the guidelines to flag and move on or take it to metatalk, and they're going to crap in threads instead.

We think that behavior sucks; we are pretty constantly encouraging people to not do that, to instead deal with stuff through less disruptive means and keep in mind that that which they dislike is not necessarily that which other people dislike. I think we're fairly vocal and unambiguous about that when it comes up, and we spend a fair amount of our time trying to counteract that bad behavior with deletions, notes, private correspondence, and sometimes public discussion in Metatalk.

Maybe more to the point, we spend far more time doing that than we do citing threadshitting as an influence in deletions. So while I hear what you're saying and follow your logic and don't think that it's a point without some merit as far as concerns about sending the wrong message, I also think that anyone really getting the impression that our position is more "hey, shit in it if you don't like it" than "do not threadshit, it sucks" is doing some exceptionally selective reading and not participating in good faith in the first place.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:41 PM on July 25, 2010


Count me as one who thought the value of the discussion on crowd control outweighed the odd phrasing of the original post and the ensuing snark. Also, this seems to me to be an example of "using mefi ... as a platform to pursue personal bloggish/discussion goals" and I fear will bring the new thread to a screeching halt.
posted by stargell at 4:46 PM on July 25, 2010


Is this thing on ...?

Good.

Newsfilter fracking sucks.*

An excellent post on crowd control this was not.

It was however a creepily puerile post description with a suggestion to the effect that if those people hadn't died 'we' would still have the love parade nyah nyah nyah...

*Newsfilter fracking fracking sucks.
posted by rudster at 5:21 PM on July 25, 2010


If I have added good content to a post, it is extremely depressing to see it deleted and I'm not inclined to add more content to another post whose fate is similarly unknown. Deleting the original thread was stupid. There was nothing wrong with it. How am I to know that there isn't something similarly invisibly wrong with the new thread? Why should I participate when my contributions disappear like this? Even kuro5hin never did this kind of thing.
posted by localroger at 5:35 PM on July 25, 2010 [8 favorites]


Screw the OP. There was a vibrant discussion going on. If some weirdness in the OP is cause to blow that all away, then maybe I made a mistake thinking this would be a place to come now that kuro5hin is well and truly dead.

Hell, maybe I should just turn off the computer and go outside.
posted by localroger at 5:58 PM on July 25, 2010


By that logic, how are you to know that any thread won't get deleted?

Really, I get the point. It does seem weird that a post was deleted and then another one pops up about the same thing. But really, if the OP isn't mad/sad/etc. about it then why should anyone else be?

I've always seen deletion as a case by case basis, where part of that decision is how the community feels about the post (flagging being thrown in here). If it was being flagged like crazy, and I have to believe cortex about that since he can see that and I can't, then there's probably something wrong with it.

I've moderated and administered fora in the past. It's a pain in the ass. There's always going to be someone second guessing what you've done.

Really, I was the original post and thought it was poor form to frame it in a way that read (at least to me) "woe is the music festival that's ended because of death".

As to screwing the original post and leaving it because of the discussion, why don't I go post a link to my blog or something that's been posted about recently or something stupid. As long as I can get a good discussion about it, then it should stay, right? Because if the discussion is all that matters we can just stop making posts to the blue altogether, grab a copy of PHPBB, and go to town with discussions.

On a side note, I find it wonderful that the mods even allow this sort of discussion to happen about them. I've been a member of fora where this type of thread would be shut down in about 3 seconds and the user would get on the banhammer watch list. Instead, we've got the mods here encouraging it. And to that, I say Firefly vodka all around.
posted by theichibun at 6:07 PM on July 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


think a lot of people took it as, "All those people died and now the festival is ruined for everyone else."

Yeah, you can read that in the simplicity of the phrasing. It's kind of child-like. It suggests a petulant child.


Yeah. And maybe you were writing poetry, but it did read like you were castigating the organizers for canning it due to the deaths.

I don't know -- maybe you don't do these things on purpose, or you're not aware that you're doing them, but you have a way with a lot of your posts/comments of just.. well, serving some vinegar in them. I'd hope maybe you were tone deaf about it and not realizing that you frame things like this, but on the other hand I've learned to associate your name with a post with "Caution: Read carefully, as he is either looking to start shit or he's not cognizant of what he's writing reads as inflammatory."
posted by cavalier at 6:11 PM on July 25, 2010


many people died during the Love Parade so now there is no more Love Parade.

This, I think, is the sticking point. You might not have meant what this sounded like. But it still sounded a sour note.
posted by Splunge at 6:38 PM on July 25, 2010


The Love Parade post had been happening for over four hours but there was a stampede and lots of comments got deleted during the Love Parade post so now there is no more Love Parade post.
posted by koeselitz at 6:42 PM on July 25, 2010 [10 favorites]


Except for previously enthusiastic participants who wonder if they should try something else.
posted by localroger at 6:50 PM on July 25, 2010


For just about as long as I can remember, there has been a general consensus that if you are going to post general headline news to mefi, it should be held to a fairly high standard. That wasn't the case here. That combined with framing that many people found offputting (cortex: "...and a bunch of flags coming in"). I trust that if cortex said that, it is true. I see no nefarious plot on the part of the mods to encourage threadshitting, that's crazy talk.

Also, for just about as long as I can remember, there have been threads deleted, many of which had good comments posted within. None of this is new. Ya, sucks if you made a comment and the post is deleted - it's happened to many of us.

Quoted for truth: As to screwing the original post and leaving it because of the discussion, why don't I go post a link to my blog or something that's been posted about recently or something stupid. As long as I can get a good discussion about it, then it should stay, right? Because if the discussion is all that matters we can just stop making posts to the blue altogether, grab a copy of PHPBB, and go to town with discussions.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:59 PM on July 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Skwirl, to answer your first question: kinda. I saw that it wasn't going great, what with the ha-ha jokes of deaths at music venues, but I also saw that people had things to say about it that was clearly rising above the lulz, and there was a budding discussion about crowd control that was becoming very interesting.

So, when I spotted the post had been deleted, I made a new one. That is what to do when a post steers off trainwreckstyle but you can clearly see that there's a posse of people who still want to talk about it. Isn't it? It wasn't to steal anyones posting glory, it was to allow for the interesting discussion to continue.
posted by dabitch at 7:00 PM on July 25, 2010


Not that I think that anyone thinks I was trying to steal posting-glory, it's really late here and I'm not making much sense now.... heh.
posted by dabitch at 7:02 PM on July 25, 2010


"You're weirding me out. You and the guy jerking off in public."

It's only jerking off if he finishes. Otherwise, it's just jerking.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:16 PM on July 25, 2010 [2 favorites]


It's only jerking off if he finishes. Otherwise, it's just jerking.

That's why I always leave a bit of goat on my plate at that west indian place.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:28 PM on July 25, 2010


Dabitch wrote: when I spotted the post had been deleted, I made a new one. That is what to do

That isn't much of a solution. It breaks continuity and it leaves participants wondering if the new thread will be deleted too. If it's the same discussion and the only objectionable thing is the "framing", why not just the FPP? You could just replace it with "Thread about the recent Loveparade tragedy". Yes, I know that might seem censorial - but it's not nearly as censorial as killing the OP.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:51 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Is this thing on ...?

Good.

Newsfilter fracking sucks.*
"

It might be on, but you're getting wicked distortion through it.
posted by klangklangston at 8:02 PM on July 25, 2010


Aside from a Dream Academy song, I'd no idea about this Love Parade thing.

And, jamjam, really ... insufficient displays of empathy? Chiding someone for ruining the synchronized hand-wringing lineup is not conducive to actual discussion. "You, there in the back ... in the teeth-gnashing row! No, not you, you're a wailer, and a good one ... you're not wringing hard enough! How will anyone believe we're not devastated by this if you're not wringing with the rest of us!"
posted by adipocere at 8:08 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


"If I have added good content to a post, it is extremely depressing to see it deleted and I'm not inclined to add more content to another post whose fate is similarly unknown. Deleting the original thread was stupid. There was nothing wrong with it. How am I to know that there isn't something similarly invisibly wrong with the new thread? Why should I participate when my contributions disappear like this? Even kuro5hin never did this kind of thing."

Seriously? Kuro5hin? You can always get a free account for Plastic.com if you want.
posted by klangklangston at 8:10 PM on July 25, 2010


Huh. If I were the type of person who was easily offended, the "love is all around" jokey headline would be way more flagworthy for me. (Clever, though, that one.)

Metafilter has always seemed way more moderation-heavy and, to a lesser degree, non-transparent for my tastes (it would be cool to see a tally of flags on deleted posts and to have a feed somewhere of deleted posts). I'm probably an outlier with regards to moderation tastes. And I'm here because Metafilter has survived where its community-moderated contemporaries have majorly imploded (Yes, I was a Kuro5hin refugee myself many years ago. Hi localroger!)

There are so many written and unwritten rules on Metafilter, though, it's kind of ridiculous. I didn't want to pile on cortex, per se, because being a mod is hard and unfairly thankless. But I think there is a jumpiness on MeFi. An example of this culture is all the cringes whenever a declawing or circumcision discussion pops up. Or, more commonly, the "*yawn*, outrage fatigue," comments. Metafilter has the potential for an awesome community that does awesome things, like the recent heroics with the human trafficking rescue. I think it's curious that there's not actually more of that kind of IRL spillage into activism and volunteerism here. (That's the cure for outrage fatigue, not snark.)

The connection here is that the leadership in any community sets the vision and, to some degree, the culture. Jumpy moderation rewards jumpy flagging. Let's not allow that become a feedback loop. Likewise, the "low-stakes of reposting attitude" doesn't give any credit to the cost of our time as Metafilter's content creators and it doesn't account for an organically evolving community. I'm glad that some of this reasoning is at least being explained here.
I'm not so sure, in this case. If I were a person who had lost somebody in the Love Parade disaster, I would not be happy to chance across a blog post that seemed to place the discontinuation of the festival over the life of my loved one who was stomped to death; I would be appalled and extremely upset. I think that's a great reason to delete it. -- kittens for breakfast
In my opinion, this is an attitude worth guarding against. The survivors are going to read all kinds of stuff in YouTube comments, or stumble on 4chan or whatever. Let's not police our threads over hypotheticals.

(Or, ya know, we could add a flamewar.metafilter.com and a troll.metafilter.com ... That would be pretty neat.)
posted by Skwirl at 9:01 PM on July 25, 2010 [3 favorites]


Which is all to say, I think Metafilter handles disagreement a lot better than it sometimes gets credit for.
posted by Skwirl at 9:02 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


(it would be cool to see a tally of flags on deleted posts and to have a feed somewhere of deleted posts)

Flags we're not likely to ever make public—I know it's tasty data, but having it publicly viewable is begging for way more armchair analysis and second-guessing of administrative decisions than we're interested in wading through on a given day.

Deleted posts don't have an official feed, but you can follow puke & cry's Deleted Thread blog or use one of few javascript/greasemonkey tools that makes deleted threads visible inline on the site.

We try to be awfully transparent in general; I recognize that we don't operate in a literally 100% open fashion where every scrap of mod activity and data is publicly viewable, but as much as I think experiments along those lines are interested (and read k5 too, lo back in the day) I think making this site work in a sane fashion with the very small team of employees that it can support and with the general site culture and community M.O. it has had over the years requires a few compromises on that front.

I appreciate that not everybody agrees entirely with those compromises, and that's fine, we're not the only site on the internet and as was being discussed in a metatalk thread there's no way for mefi to be all things for all people and still be, recognizably, metafilter.

I'm not really sure how to address the idea of "jumpy moderation"; if you want to try and elaborate on that, Skwirl, I'm game, but as is I feel like I'm not clear on what you're going for.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:50 PM on July 25, 2010


Coping mechanism, gallows humor, yadda yadda.

Sounds like you really understand those excuses and are using them thoughtfully and conscientiously.
posted by setanor at 9:58 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Skwirl Jumpy moderation rewards jumpy flagging.

cortex I'm not really sure how to address the idea of "jumpy moderation"; if you want to try and elaborate on that, Skwirl, I'm game, but as is I feel like I'm not clear on what you're going for.

I can't speak for Skwirl but his comment is a brilliant insight into what may be happening - it looks an awful lot like the situation that happened to me while admin'ing a popular music upload site for over 5 years.

I was hyper-vigilant in "cleaning" the site's uploads and commentary because I felt a burden to represent the larger institution and maintain its integrity. In the end I remembered that it takes a pound of dirt to die and all the flagging calmed down when I loosened up a bit and let the community self-police a lot more.

(Personally, I think people in this thread are reacting this way because the thread was pretty great. The kind of thread you hope to find here, but you know, don't always - I suspect the harshest critics are the ones that value the discussion over the wording of the post. But boy, if nothing else, two big differences between the way I handled things and here is that you guys are good at it and probably enjoy it.)
posted by victors at 10:26 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I favor less transparency in moderation. And more deletions.
posted by fourcheesemac at 10:32 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


cortex writes "Flags we're not likely to ever make public—I know it's tasty data, but having it publicly viewable is begging for way more armchair analysis and second-guessing of administrative decisions than we're interested in wading through on a given day."

This is just thinking out loud and not a pony request but it would be kind of cool if flag activity was revealed after a certain time (think 10-50 years). Like declassifying government information.
posted by Mitheral at 11:17 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


Like the sea drying up and all those lost treasures and cement shoes revealed.

It might be cool if actual flag counts were revealed when moderators offer flagging as part of the argument for whether something should have been done. Were people unusually upset over a certain post about subject X? Or was flagging not really significant considering the number of flags people always reflexively throw at posts about subject X? Are Y flags against a post significant considering the number of people who read the post? Does every flag make you look? Or is there always a certain amount of flagging noise that you just ignore unless it reaches a certain threshold? What's the threshold, Kenneth?

(Mind you, I'm just thinking out loud about the audible thinks of Mitheral. We already have a horse and two cats.)
posted by pracowity at 11:55 PM on July 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not the end of the world, no, but it's not a great practice, and waiting around for the derail to happen-or-not doesn't seem like a great idea.

Umm yeah. I remember seeing a clip of Robert Kennedy talking to local cops who had arrested Indians because they may or may not engage in something possibly illegal.
Kennedy said "So you arrested them because of something you thought they might do...but they hadn't done?"
Local cop said "Yes".
Reporters gasp.

Yeah, cortex...sometimes I acted kinda like I needed direction on metafilter and you and jessamyn were pretty good at providing it, even though I may not have wanted to hear it.

I've seen like 10 or so comments from you in a thread of 80...I think its time you acknowledged that maybe you may need to consider that you may have made a mistake.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:14 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, I think it was the fact that the post seemed to at least some people to be saying "it sucks that we can't have a festival just because a few people died" which is a totally okay perspective to have, but maybe not the best way to introduce a thread about a tragedy.

"at least some people"...I'm sure that "at least some people" flag things like "I'm a man, and I like men and I believe that Republicans are wrong about me". So by that reasoning, you should assume that the flaggers are saying "it sucks that people need to talk about their personal lives in a political thread". So yeah, by that reasoning, it would make it ok to delete the comments that are flagged because someone admits they are homosexual.

"Flags we're not likely to ever make public—I know it's tasty data, but having it publicly viewable is begging for way more armchair analysis and second-guessing of administrative decisions than we're interested in wading through on a given day."

Mods, I'm sorry to be going off on you, but metafilter is great...and its because of you. Everyone on here knows that.

BUT...that also means you have the power to make metafilter suck.

Seriously, I don't know if you're trying to turn this pine tree into a bonsai by cutting off stuff that you just don't like, or if there are legitimate concerns from members here.

You can cut the shit about "flags from members" out. Everyone here knows you have deleted comments and posts that have received no flags, and you have deleted comments and posts that have received hundreds of flags. So telling the members that you have deleted something because it was flagged is kinda ludicrous; its rather arbitrary. Its like telling someone they are in jail because someone thought they

I can understand why you mods think it isn't a good idea to make flags public (yes, some people will try to accumulate a big flag count), but that doesn't make sense when one thinks about it. If the flags are doing what they are supposed to...the flag count won't get that high, and it is deleted anyways, so its not like having the high score on Double Dragon that shows up for everyone to see. Right?

The only use I see of non-public flags is to alert a mod to a possible problem on another area of metafilter when they're hanging out in projects or something, so they can get their ass in gear and delete.

Again, I want to say I really appreciate the hard work you mods put into this; metafilter is great because of the modding...but that doesn't mean that all future modding is perfect; it just means that you have the power to make metafilter not great because of the modding.

Good luck...to all mefites.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:44 AM on July 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think its time you acknowledged that maybe you may need to consider that you may have made a mistake.

I think moderator action is morally neutral within the context of the site - kind of like how God can't sin even if he murders whole nations because he's acting correctly by definition. We take this action as fait accompli and adjust our posting actions as a result - now we know that lack of ultimate reverence to a tragedy inspires flags, and if there are any pronouns missing in a post, flags equal deletion. Simple mathematics, folks, you could probably write a script to do it automatically. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, the flaggy wheel gets deletes. (ha, sorry that's too cute and awful by half)
posted by thedaniel at 2:03 AM on July 26, 2010


2 things:

1. Besides cults that require castration, your religion based on the altar of the Mods is the first religion I have called "totally wrong"

2. I like the idea about the scripts. We can totally make metafilter better by doing away with the members. Lets get a script to take stories from the NYT, then take comments from that same story on CNN with phrased like "my heart goes out to..." and paste them on the blue.
That way, metafilter would be really awesome.

But what will we do when the mods start trying to delete new york? What then...what then?
posted by hal_c_on at 2:22 AM on July 26, 2010


"Weird framing" is a weird reason to delete.

For what it's worth, "weird framing" was me, and I didn't flag the post or expect it to be deleted. I've only just read the rest of that thread, but it seems fine to me. Likewise twoleftfeet responded to my comment, and, while I disagreed with him, and still do, we seem to be having a perfectly civil disagreement.

Doesn't seem like the rest of the thread was ruined either by my comment (and similar) or by the "Great White" comments. So while I don't think the OP was great, I'm not sure the thread should have been deleted.

That all said, a number of people in this thread have called me and others out for threadshitting. I didn't think I was, but given that a number of people do, and I generally trust the collective wisdom here, I apologise.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:50 AM on July 26, 2010


I think its time you acknowledged that maybe you may need to consider that you may have made a mistake.

There's a little too much tempesting going on in this teapot. A mod decision was made and some people didn't like it, but a post was replaced by a post, links were made to the old post, and the OP doesn't seem all that put out. You really want Cortex to get out the hair shirt now? Cause those things are itchy in this weather.
posted by pracowity at 3:55 AM on July 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I think moderator action is morally neutral within the context of the site - kind of like how God can't sin even if he murders whole nations because he's acting correctly by definition.

Holy crap. Did you just equate cortex with God?
posted by crunchland at 4:07 AM on July 26, 2010


This whole thread is weirding me out.
posted by blucevalo at 5:02 AM on July 26, 2010 [5 favorites]


The impression I always had of MeFi -- and maybe I'm wrong and Matt could weigh in and say so -- is that the OP's are the seeds from which the community grows via the following discussion. Yes, MeFi is judged in some circles by the quality of the OP's and there are some standards to maintain, but when you have a situation like this where an OP that is "marginal" has spawned a discussion to which people have devoted some time and energy, pulling the OP out from under the other contributors is at best extremely rude. For me, even before Matt re-opened membership and I was on the outside looking in, MeFi was always more about the discussions than the OP's. Those are MeFi's content. I am strongly disinclined to continue to read threads and craft replies when my effort can disappear without warning or accountability.
posted by localroger at 5:24 AM on July 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


This thread is weirding me off. Or almost. I'm so close...just need one more melodramatic analogy...
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:46 AM on July 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


I am strongly disinclined to continue to read threads and craft replies when my effort can disappear without warning or accountability.

And that happens so frequently that you are gnashing your teeth and ready to jump ship and head on over to some other site where they respect the writer's craft so much more? Or are you just talking hypothetically?

I am strongly inclined to continue to read threads and craft replies when I know that most of the crap is deleted in real time before I even get a chance to waste my time reading it, even if that speedy critical response means that one or two fairly good things might very rarely end up on the compost heap accidentally.
posted by pracowity at 5:47 AM on July 26, 2010


The impression I always had of MeFi -- and maybe I'm wrong and Matt could weigh in and say so -- is that the OP's are the seeds from which the community grows via the following discussion. Yes, MeFi is judged in some circles by the quality of the OP's and there are some standards to maintain, but when you have a situation like this where an OP that is "marginal" has spawned a discussion to which people have devoted some time and energy, pulling the OP out from under the other contributors is at best extremely rude. For me, even before Matt re-opened membership and I was on the outside looking in, MeFi was always more about the discussions than the OP's. Those are MeFi's content. I am strongly disinclined to continue to read threads and craft replies when my effort can disappear without warning or accountability.

You may want to look at this post, or maybe this one.

I would say it's about the post, and the discussion is awesome. Otherwise, what do you do with the posts that get dozens of favourites* and only a handful of comments? They're good posts, but they spawned no discussion.

And your effort has always been able to disappear without warning - not just deletion of posts, but of comments too. Them's the breaks. I'm not sure I'd say there's no accountability, given this thread alone is almost 100 comments. Furthermore, can't you just copy your beautifully-crafted comment into the new thread?

* not to open up a can of worms about favourites, but I think under either the 'this-is-good" model or the "bookmark" model a post with favourites is doing well.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:56 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


User 1 makes MeFi post.
User 2 makes comment. Questions User 1.
User 1 responds. Explains self.
Mod deletes User 1's post.
User 3 makes MeTa post asking about said deletion of User 1's MeFi post.
Mod responds. Explains self...


OH, the ironings!
posted by nineRED at 5:56 AM on July 26, 2010


I can understand why you mods think it isn't a good idea to make flags public (yes, some people will try to accumulate a big flag count), but that doesn't make sense when one thinks about it. If the flags are doing what they are supposed to...the flag count won't get that high, and it is deleted anyways, so its not like having the high score on Double Dragon that shows up for everyone to see. Right?

Honestly, I think this makes clear that you don't understand why we think public flag data would be bad. The king-of-the-shitpile phenomenon you're talking about is at most a side issue, certainly one we think about with public-facing feedback and a good reason not to show negative feedback publicly but not really the biggest problem with it.

Making flags a public data source would make everything we do or do not do in response to any given collection of flags a matter of public speculation and literalist interpretation. That sounds like a pile of awful for essentially no benefit—we're already doing as responsible and responsive a job as we can of moderating this place with an ear toward the community reaction to stuff going on, and inviting people to scrutinize flagging information in the case of every moderation decision we make isn't going to change that, but it would be asking for a lot more grief from anyone who feels like they have a personal insight into exactly how many flags = what sort of moderation action.

Kennedy said "So you arrested them because of something you thought they might do...but they hadn't done?"
Local cop said "Yes".


Oh for fuck's sake. I am not a cop, this is not a law enforcement situation, no one goes to jail. This is precisely what "low stakes" mean; trying to put what we do here into a context like police corruption is putting this so deeply out of context it's ridiculous and kind of insulting to have that thrown around.

There are several thousand people popping around on mefi on any given day, and we cannot hang out with all of them at every moment. A big part of what we do is try to contain potentially disruptive stuff on the site so that it doesn't melt down and get out of hand, so that everybody can more or less enjoy using the site as they normally do. Much of what we do is reactive, but it can't all be. Part of the job is trying to keep an eye out for, yes, what might go wrong. The difference between basic pattern recognition in how a website operates and e.g. racial profiling should be damned clear.

but when you have a situation like this where an OP that is "marginal" has spawned a discussion to which people have devoted some time and energy, pulling the OP out from under the other contributors is at best extremely rude.

At best it's mefi-as-normal, localroger. We have always deleted posts, those posts have sometimes had good discussion in them, it's kind of a bummer when a good discussion gets cut off with the deletion of a not-so-good post, but deleting posts for being bad has always generally trumped the discussion inside. To the point where the exceptions I think of to that rule, where we let a bad post stand because there was a big discussion inside, have often been the sorts of things that lead to Metatalk callouts about "wtf mods?" themselves.

It's an intractable problem: there will always, always be cases of discussions that are better than the posts they're in where how we deal with posts will sometimes lead to those discussions getting cut off. Again: it's a bummer when it happens. But the deletion policy on the front page has always been heavily focused on the quality of the post, not of the discussion inside.

OH, the ironings!

Explain myself is my job. twoleftfeet has been totally able to explain himself here as well, and was able to explain his side and ask me about mine via mail as well. I'm not sure what you're trying to get at beyond "structural asymmetries exist between the few people whose job it is to explain their actions on metafilter and the rest of the userbase who are not so obliged", or if you're going for something beyond a random jab or what.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:16 AM on July 26, 2010


Cortex, I love you bro, but maybe try to explain yourself in a calmer tone next time. I understand your view, and understand why this is fustererating, and I am staying out of this debate as I usually try to do, but coming across in that tone wont help them chill out.
posted by wheelieman at 7:40 AM on July 26, 2010


> but coming across in that tone wont help them chill out.

It's not like he's trying to talk them down off of a ledge or something. This whole thread is full of stupid.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:55 AM on July 26, 2010 [9 favorites]


This thread makes my head hurt.
posted by desuetude at 7:59 AM on July 26, 2010


It's beer o' clock in the Netherlands!
And I'm at peace with the world. If only you people could share my wisdom.
All clinging to what's gone is sorrow. And posts are illusionary!
posted by joost de vries at 8:04 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Jesus fucking H Christ on a stick, what a bunch of handwringing, bedwetting bullshit this thread is.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I don't think the mods even need to give reasons for deletions beyond "not right for Metafilter." Then impose a ban on any Meta threads about deletions.

In the larger ecology of this place, the exercise of judgment by mods is what makes MeFi different and better than anything else of its ilk. I'm hardly a kissass, and I've given the mods a hard time before, and been given a hard time by them as well, but the pettiness, melodrama, self-righteousness, and OHMYGODITSTHEENDOFMETAFILTERMYPOST/COMMENTSWUZDELETEDYOUFUCKERS
gets so fucking tiresome. I don't know how they show the restraint they do, cuz if it was my site I'd be banhammering people left and right for the babyish whining in this thread.

If you have nothing better to do than to bitch for hundreds of comments about something so trivial, you need to get out more. The original post was lame in a dozen ways. The whole topic is newsfilter anyway.

Metafilter is a community. It's not a democracy. Or a religion.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:07 AM on July 26, 2010 [8 favorites]


It's not a religion?!
Oh, but you're so wrong.
You've gone astray my dear fcm. But you're not the only one.
I sense a lot of dukka in this thread.
As your spirit guide I'm here to help you move on.
Repent fourcheesmac. It's not too late.
posted by joost de vries at 8:21 AM on July 26, 2010


*quickly destroys my shrine to Jessamyn* Nope not a religion whatsoever
posted by wheelieman at 8:22 AM on July 26, 2010


So, mods are God with cop complexes, or are they cops with a God complex? It's so confusing.

(Also? Dumb. They're here to clean up the shit we make, or, ideally, keep the shit from getting to a point where it needs to be cleaned up. I never met Kennedy, and I'm pretty sure cortex is no Kennedy. This is good. cortex makes an excellent cortex, and does not need to be a Kennedy. That analogy was seriously wtf.)
posted by rtha at 8:23 AM on July 26, 2010


YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FUCKING KIDDING ME
posted by setanor at 8:24 AM on July 26, 2010


That's very astute of you setanor.
posted by joost de vries at 8:25 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was thinking of giving my input to this whole deletion issue and the original thread, taking something cortex said out of context and nitpick it, be slightly insulting in a clever manner that could easily be misinterpreted or taken two ways, and write up a rant of epic Grar! (even though gar are much cooler), but I agree with Burhanistan: This whole thread is full of stupid.

So even though I have an opinion (and it's the right one) I'm not going to share it out of spite and due to the fact that I'm making a concerted effort to minimize my contribution to stupidity.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:26 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Read the whole thread; agree that this was a case of editorializing, not moderation. Bad call.
posted by msittig at 8:34 AM on July 26, 2010


I'm glad the post was deleted. It was weak. Madamjujujive is exactly right and everyone should go read her comments over and over until they are no longer interested in complaining.
posted by klangklangston at 8:35 AM on July 26, 2010


The Vermin only teaze and pinch Their Foes superior by an Inch. So Nat'ralists observe, a Flea Hath smaller Fleas that on him prey, And these have smaller Fleas to bite 'em, And so proceed ad infinitum.

[1733 Swift Poems II. 651]
posted by ServSci at 8:37 AM on July 26, 2010


"The survivors are going to read all kinds of stuff in YouTube comments, or stumble on 4chan or whatever. Let's not police our threads over hypotheticals."

If there's one thing I've learned from years of reading online discussions of accident reports it's that grieving people do search the net gathering information to wrap their heads around things in order to process them. Have you seen how highly metafilter ranks in search? I don't think this is hypothetical at all.

We aren't those other sites and they are not the yardstick.
posted by Manjusri at 8:37 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


I exhort all suffering mefites in this thread to contemplate this: when you're in the pub tonight or when you're having a glass of wine with your partner you'll shrug and laugh about this thread and its gnashing of teeth.
So why not do the same now and be done with it?! Realise the error of your ways.
I'm castigating you my dear mefites because I love you. I'm driving out the spirits of clinging. By the power of The Astral Mod; let go!
posted by joost de vries at 8:38 AM on July 26, 2010


Behold; I sense the presence of The Astral Mod.
Meatbomb, is that you?
posted by joost de vries at 8:40 AM on July 26, 2010


No, that was just your lunch.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:42 AM on July 26, 2010


Oh for fuck's sake. I am not a cop, this is not a law enforcement situation, no one goes to jail.

THEN LET ME OUT or throw Natalie Portman in here with me. and a dozen marble frosted donuts.
posted by new brand day at 8:56 AM on July 26, 2010


Good comments lost in bad threads, and disagreements over deletions and non-deletions of threads that are on the edges of mefi's fuzzy guidelines, these are relatively minor costs we pay for having a flexible, sustainable community moderated by benevolent moderators.

I don't agree with every moderator action taken on the site, but I do trust the moderators, as they've proven themselves to be open, honest, and motivated to act in the best interests of the site and community. And they put up with a lot of shit.

Mods, keep on keeping on.
posted by ericost at 8:57 AM on July 26, 2010 [2 favorites]


but coming across in that tone wont help them chill out.

Where he patiently explains the same thing over and over despite the threat of having every word picked apart and analysed for evidence of malevolent intentions? Oh, weird, I like that tone.
posted by desuetude at 9:08 AM on July 26, 2010 [4 favorites]


I declare this thread ready for kittens. This is totally a link to my own blog, but I feel a musical kitten is in order.
posted by theichibun at 9:10 AM on July 26, 2010


I, for one, would LOVE to see what kind of shrine Wheelieman would come up with.
posted by norm at 9:11 AM on July 26, 2010


The Jessamy West Library for the Ornery Threadshitters Who Can't Control Themselves Good.

It would only have copies of Atlas Shrugged.
posted by new brand day at 9:23 AM on July 26, 2010


I have learned from AskMe to leave things up to the trained professionals. Get a lawyer, see a doctor, and only a CPA can determine how much taxes you owe. Ok, so I do take the advice of everyman when I leave the ham and cheese with mayo sammie on the counter and want to know if I should eat it, but... This is no different. The mods here are trained professionals. Let them make decisions. Occasionally, they will make mistakes. (No implication wrt the thread in question.) Doctors make mistakes. We all make mistakes. Look at the bigger picture. Over time, this site has proven to work real well and be a terrific community.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:23 AM on July 26, 2010


I agree with cortex that the flag counts should not be public, and for his same reasons I'd like to see the mods refrain from lifting the veil ever so slightly to justify a deletion based on a "bunch of flags coming in".
posted by found missing at 9:37 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


We try not to invoke it constantly, I agree that given that it's essentially a behind-the-scenes thing there's not a whole lot we can talk about w/r/t to flag counts in abstract.

But in situations where there's some sort of presumption that we made a decision arbitrarily or in defiance of the actual community sentiment about a post or comment, establishing that there is this external thing we're taking into account beyond our own personal opinions is sometimes I think important. "We did this because we thought it was problematic and we saw feedback from other people that it was problematic" is a kind of common situation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:45 AM on July 26, 2010


I'm pretty sure we never use flagging as the sole indicator of why we removed something, but it is one of a few "post needs attention" indicators. I'm never sure how much to talk about flags.

At some level the fact that something is getting a bunch of flags means that we're likely to say "huh, I didn't think that post was good and a bunch of other people didn't either" and then it feels weird to not mention that in a MeTa thread, or when someone emails us. However, I know that it is also a strange tack to take to say "I didn't like it and so didn't a bunch of other people who shall remain nameless." I hate it when people say that to me when they're trying to make their case for something or other.

Flagging is one of a few crude tools that we have to gauge how the community feels about something. It feels odd both to refer to it or to not refer to it when we have discussions like this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:48 AM on July 26, 2010


I avoid the distress attendant on having your comments go the way of all flesh along with a deleted thread by the simple expedient of typing the first pile of fatuous old tosh that pops into my head. No loss if they go down with the ship, though admittedly precious use if they float to the top like something unpleasant from the drains.
posted by Abiezer at 9:51 AM on July 26, 2010


I often tend to go out on a limb to have a public or private convo with a mod or two that is pretty nitpicky about what's right or not for Metafilter. And even I think that some of you douchbags are going way too far into paranoid conspiracists fuck-the-policemods land. Time to shut up and go on posting/commenting somewhere else.
posted by kalessin at 9:53 AM on July 26, 2010


What about the rest of us douchebags?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:58 AM on July 26, 2010


LET THEM EAT CILANTRO!
posted by new brand day at 9:59 AM on July 26, 2010


zarq wrote: "Sys Rq, we've also had whole MeTa posts in the past that called out people who were modding their own threads. Usually it happens when someone posts, then argumentatively replies to many comments."

And here I thought "many" was one of the requirements there. I don't really see anything wrong with a poster of a thread after a while coming back and saying that they don't agree with the consensus view. If it gets to be nitpicking on a whole bunch of comments, that's a completely different thing.

And there's certainly nothing wrong with discussing an unusual deletion. I think it is unusual, as there are many awful NewsFilter posts that get left up when the discussion thread isn't irredeemably bad.

cortex wrote: "deleting posts for being bad has always generally trumped the discussion inside."

Yes, deleting posts for being bad, not marginal. Maybe I don't pay enough attention, but it seems that marginal posts with good discussion tend to stay. I think that's what sparked the push back here. I don't think anybody is saying that an awful post ought to stand no matter how great the discussion is.

There's no need to apologize or anything, but it would be nice if the consensus view (whatever it may turn out to be) could influence future decisions of this type.

cjorgensen wrote: "So even though I have an opinion (and it's the right one) I'm not going to share it out of spite and due to the fact that I'm making a concerted effort to minimize my contribution to stupidity."

Ironically, the stupidity in this thread is the folks who are shitting in it for the sole purpose of avoiding a reasonable discussion.

I don't think by any means that moderation ought to be generally done by committee. Being people, our fearless leaders will occasionally make mistakes. That's perfectly OK. But it also seems that it's perfectly OK to air one's opinion as to what is reasonable and what is not. If it devolves into a constant stream of second-guessing, well, that's a horse of a different color.
posted by wierdo at 10:04 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


wierdo, are you aware that there are Dutch people who have 'Wierd' as a first name? And people who respond to 'Joke', 'Freek' or 'Coc'?
posted by joost de vries at 10:10 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joost, don't get me started on Gert, you guys pronounce it in exactly the way us Swedes say "butt" (stjärt).
posted by dabitch at 10:13 AM on July 26, 2010


I did not know that dabitch.

I do know that life in the Netherlands is hard.
And then we have beer.
posted by joost de vries at 10:15 AM on July 26, 2010


Cortex, I love you bro, but maybe try to explain yourself in a calmer tone next time.

You and I must be reading different threads. cortex replies patiently from the beginning, and then hal-c-on makes a wacky comment comparing mods to corrupt cops, and cortex responds with much more restraint than that comment deserved.

is that the OP's are the seeds


This confused me at first- I've only ever seen OP used for "Original Poster", not the post itself. So instead I imagined a horde of weedy little Ron Howards growing in a field like corn to the strains of "Windowlicker". And now I will have breakfast and go to work.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:18 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah, to wierdo -

what's going on here may not be pretty but it is Metafilter. That is, the mods are empowered to make decisions (some might call them enlightened, some might call them arbitrary) and we are empowered to take issue. Better to vent frustration than bottle it.

I, for one, came to The Love Parade thing late (only found out about this morning), so read the original thread as an already "closed" thing. And I'd be lying if I didn't say I think it was a bit harsh to shut it down. Or more to the point, I believe that a very good, very helpful, very informed discussion was brewing up there (in spite of some of OP twoleftfeet's initial mucking about) ... and the same energy has not carried through to the new/approved thread. Not that it's gone wrong or anything. It just lacks ... something.

So yeah, a mod made a judgment call and, to my mind, we lost something. The good thing is we're discussing it and I believe it's kind of childish to imagine that the mods aren't listening, that they're not allowing some of what's being said here to percolate and perhaps inform future decisions.
posted by philip-random at 10:22 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


Man, I've seen some stupid MeTa threads before, but this one takes the cake. Everyone needs to go lie in the grass and have a cool drink and contemplate the heavens. And don't shoot the mods, they're doing the best they can.
posted by languagehat at 10:27 AM on July 26, 2010


contemplate the heavens

What's the url?
posted by found missing at 10:32 AM on July 26, 2010


...we lost something. It was a good thread, a beloved thread. But now it has gone on to the place where deleted threads go. You know the url.
And as we contemplate the heavens we wonder what it is all about, this internet. And why it is blue.
And then we open our Westmalle Dubbel.
And we realise the way things are is good, if painful.
And our joys and our pains; they have not been in vain. For they have been noticed.
posted by joost de vries at 10:45 AM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


languagehat, quit shitting in in this thread for the sole purpose of avoiding a reasonable discussion!
posted by cjorgensen at 12:13 PM on July 26, 2010


> languagehat, quit shitting in in this thread for the sole purpose of avoiding a reasonable discussion!

I have absolutely no idea what degree of irony/sarcasm/snark is present in that statement, so I shall contemplate the heavens instead of responding.
posted by languagehat at 12:49 PM on July 26, 2010


I contemplated your mom.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:57 PM on July 26, 2010


It just lacks ... something.

Yeah, I'm going to take a wild stab at what that might be...maybe... participation? Do I win?

I was in the original thread, I saw that it went bye-bye and I posted the new thread mere minutes after the original was nuked, so to keep the thread-ball rolling. But it seems people are a lot happier chatting about the original thread in this thread, than talking about the topic of the thread in the surviving thread....
posted by dabitch at 12:58 PM on July 26, 2010


dabitch wrote: "But it seems people are a lot happier chatting about the original thread in this thread, than talking about the topic of the thread in the surviving thread...."

This is Metafilter. We complain. We second guess. It's what we do. (See: almost every post having to do with war, law, government, annoying blogs, etc.)

joost de vries, I did not know that.
posted by wierdo at 2:52 PM on July 26, 2010


I'm really glad I haven't posted in this thread.












Oh, fuckkity fuckkity fuck!
posted by Elmore at 3:39 PM on July 26, 2010 [1 favorite]


The rest of you douchebags can do what you want. Obviously you're not going to listen to a single person telling you to move on anyway.
posted by kalessin at 5:21 AM on July 28, 2010


I'm engaged. Do you think they'd listen to me? What about after the wedding?
posted by SpiffyRob at 5:34 AM on July 28, 2010


« Older St. Louis: how's about a happy...  |  There are a lot of new people ... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments