What is MeFi's definition of a "recreational outrage" and why are such posts banned? August 30, 2010 9:38 PM   Subscribe

Pray tell, what is MeFi's definition of "recreational outrage" and why are such posts banned?

Apparently, it's a reason for removing a post. Is it against MeFi policy somewhere to post something upsetting? If so, why isn't "recreational grief" banned, too? I see any number of posts about important people's deaths.

It seems to me that MeFi is an ideal forum for being exposed to and discussing important societal issues, but is there a policy somewhere intended to curb such a potential use?

The reason for my asking is this post.

And why is something like this post or this one not considered recreational outrage? Is it simply that there's no commentary on the "inside" of the post?
posted by GnomeChompsky to Etiquette/Policy at 9:38 PM (129 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Your post was deleted for the following reason--a short single-link editorial is rarely a good post. Including explicit metacommentary about how the site works in a post is pretty much an instant delete. We're totally fine talking about the subject via the contact form or in metatalk if you want to, but that post was not the way to do it.
posted by mattdidthat at 9:41 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


My definition of "recreational outrage" is this. I think such posts are banned because they're pretty terrible. Tautology? Maybe. But so simple!
posted by dersins at 9:41 PM on August 30, 2010


Your explicitly stated reason for posting was because a very similar post had been removed due to rules you didn't understand or bother to investigate.
posted by setanor at 9:44 PM on August 30, 2010 [6 favorites]


My definition of "recreational outrage" is this.
posted by setanor at 9:45 PM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm sure one of the mods will be along shortly to explain, but in the meantime this is an explanation Jessamyn (one of the site's aforementioned mods) gave for why a post was deleted regarding a police raid earlier this year.
posted by zarq at 9:48 PM on August 30, 2010


Well it was an automatic delete when you made it about Mefi and not about the link.

In addition, when you make your own outrage and opinion too much a part of the post, it controls the conversation. Either people must agree with you or argue with the way the post is setup, rather than discussing the link and their impressions. That's more like a personal blog and not what Metafilter is about.

The sole link is an Op-Ed, which is also a problem. I mean, obviously you just want to talk about this subject and you picked a measly link. But MeFi is for talking about interesting links and having discussions that arise from those.

Honestly, there's barely a sentence in that post that isn't problematic, especially the More Inside.
posted by Danila at 9:48 PM on August 30, 2010 [7 favorites]


I generally oppose deletions but I can see why Cortexs deleted this one. Firstly, it's a single link. I feel that single links tend to be lazy unless they're really unique. Editorials are almost never unique - they're the anonymous expression of the editors' views on a noteworthy subject. Secondly, the editorial basically says "it's time the Attorney General did something about prison rape!" without going into a substantive discussion of the issues. As far as I know none of us are the Attorney General or in a position to influence him. Lastly, and I think this is what Cortex may have meant by "recreational outrage" the response to this is pretty much limited to "yes, prison rape is bad, the Attorney General ought to do something". At best you're going to have a few people chime in with "Yes, it's really bad, here's another example." It's not the sort of thing that makes for a good discussion, something that might otherwise rescue an otherwise-weak post.

That being said, I think the subject deserves more attention and there's probably lots of material out there for a really substantive post.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:48 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's an important topic, with loads, and I mean LOADS of information to be found on the internet. You could make a great post about prison rape, that could take readers hours to sift through and provoke a great discussion, but this is not the way to do this methinks.
posted by IvoShandor at 9:49 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's a term that mathowie mentioned recently which is sort of a replacement for "look at these assholes" when there's a news article posted which is basically "this really shitty thing is happening in this one place in America" and everyone reads the post and says "that sucks!" and then they sort of sit around in the thread and get angry about it and usually fight with each other. Micropolitics about individual states can sometimes be interesting news, but they're pretty loosely outside of the "This is something interesting you found on the web that you think will be interesting to talk about" range.

So, your post was a stunt post which as near as we could tell was objecting to the deletion of this other post. That post was deleted because

- it was a look at these assholes post
- with an added "sign my petition" aspect to it
- that people were flagging
- that was devolving into a "fuck america" thread
- with added molestation/prison angle

Now there are lots of great reasons that people might have to be pissed off at the US and the way they treat their prisoners is certainly among them, but starting a thread because you're really outraged or upset at something may be great for your own blog [and certainly is popular on some of the linked blogs like jezebel] but it tends to not make such great MetaFilter posts.

And as far as the other two posts, couldn't tell you. First one was more newsy, second one was a thread I commented in and I can't remember if it wound up in MetaTalk, I think it did. There's no absolute rulebook for this sort of thing as you probably know.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:50 PM on August 30, 2010 [8 favorites]


I should really just let jessamyn/cortex handle this one, but ...

From the Guidelines page:
A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.
...
A good thread values uniqueness over novelty.
The part of that relevant to the posts you point out is the 'warrant discussion from others'. (The other two criteria don't even apply!) There's not much to discuss regarding the topics of those posts; pretty much all there is to say boils down to "That is terrible! I am outraged!" and anything past that moves dangerously close to trolling.

Further tips:
- Asking why this and this didn't get deleted but your this did is a recipe for disaster. There is no satisfaction down this route, and it reads like you're accusing our very capable and incredibly wonderful moderators of inconsistency. When there's only guidelines, every post is evaluated on its own merits.
- It seems to me that MeFi is an ideal forum for being exposed to and discussing important societal issues This is Not What MeFi Is For. MeFi is for many things, but not that.
- You've noticed that your post still exists. Therein now lies a short explanation of why your post was deleted and closed (which has been repeated here in the first comment by mattdidthat).
- Maybe read up on the Deleted Thread Blog a bit to familiarize yourself with what doesn't work on MeFi and why.

And sure enough!
posted by carsonb at 9:54 PM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


Credit: jacquilynne.
posted by flex at 9:55 PM on August 30, 2010


I just want to clarify: My question was about recreational outrage, not about why the post was deleted. There are all kinds of good reasons why the post should have been deleted -- I'm not arguing that at all given a few quiet moments to reflect -- but the deletion e-mail I received cited recreational outrage. I had never heard the term before, and I'm curious about it and how it's interpreted/handled on MeFi. Googling it didn't provide a whole lot of useful information (at least not in the top pages).

Mattdidthat, I appreciate your posting/copying the publicly viewable reason why the specific post was deleted (even though that wasn't really the question). But since you mention it again, why are single link editorials bad while single link videos seem to be fine? Is there a general MeFi feeling that video content is superior to written?

And Setanor, you're partly correct -- which is why I'm now going back and trying to understand the rule through investigation.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 9:57 PM on August 30, 2010


the deletion e-mail I received cited recreational outrage. I had never heard the term before, and I'm curious about it and how it's interpreted/handled on MeFi.

And the reason you took this to MeTa rather than responding to the email you received was...?
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 9:59 PM on August 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Apparently, it's a reason for removing a post. Is it against MeFi policy somewhere to post something upsetting?

No, but it's against MeFi policy to post something upsetting merely because you find it upsetting and want others to share your outrage. Such posts always create lots of bad comments (most of them telling the OP to go and take their outrage somewhere else, maybe get their own blog) and rarely anything else.

If so, why isn't "recreational grief" banned, too? I see any number of posts about important people's deaths.


A lot of those get deleted, too, especially if it was someone famous who died. If the post is just a single link to an obituary, it's insta-delete.
posted by daniel_charms at 10:01 PM on August 30, 2010


Carsonb, thanks for posting the Guidelines link. I was looking for a link such as that one but didn't see one anywhere on the main metafilter.com page or the FAQ page.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:02 PM on August 30, 2010


I did not really agree with the deletion of the "Stripped of Dignity" post, but it was clearly walking a line, and commentary on mod decisions is clearly not worthy of a FPP.

What I did instead of a stunt post was contact Jessamyn in private and she gave a good explanation of her thought process. The mods here are really easy to contact and are sensible and reasonable people. I highly recommended that course of action when you have any concerns, before bringing it to Metatalk or making a protest post.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:02 PM on August 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


why are single link editorials bad while single link videos seem to be fine? Is there a general MeFi feeling that video content is superior to written

Emphasis mine, concept fully your own.
posted by setanor at 10:03 PM on August 30, 2010


It's located on the 'New Post' page, GnomeChompsky, right under the big bold text that says "Step 1": Found something cool on the web and want to share it with everyone else? Great! Just fill the blanks and it'll go live. If this is your first post, please read the guidelines.

Side note: I really think the "If this is your first post" part should be removed. (I still click the link occasionally and I'm 100+ posts deep.)
posted by carsonb at 10:04 PM on August 30, 2010


Does this mean the inevitable "Twisted Girl Throws Puppies in River" video from reddit will be deleted too? Because I'd be really okay with that too.
posted by klarck at 10:05 PM on August 30, 2010


AkzidenzGrotesk -- Well, to be fair, the e-mail address was mefimaildontreply, but less sarcastically: I'm a relatively new member (who isn't embarrassed to have people think he's an idiot) who figures the best way to learn a community's culture is to hear as many people's opinions as possible.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:06 PM on August 30, 2010 [5 favorites]


When it comes to any controversial topic, you want to present as much information as you can, as objectively as possible. More information will allow people to see a fuller perspective of a given situation and draw their own conclusions.

Don't editorialize in your post, because Metafilter is not your personal blog. People come here for many reasons and posts that lecture them about what you think they should be paying attention to are simply inappropriate.
posted by zarq at 10:08 PM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]



Does this mean the inevitable "Twisted Girl Throws Puppies in River" video from reddit will be deleted too? Because I'd be really okay with that too.


Yes, for the love of God, no one post it. The video is not something people should watch and the internet detectives at 4chan are working on it better than anyone here could so there is no fucking point.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:08 PM on August 30, 2010


Yeah the term is really recent because it sort of touched on something we've seen but had a hard time explaining. Someone posts a link to something that makes everyone go GRAR and there's really nothing to talk about, just a bunch of people being mad together: recreational outrage. I'm trying to remember which site it came from... Kos? Huffpo? TPM?

MeFi isn't a generally political site and while the majority of our members are American, there are a lot of other parts of the world represented so something that's strictly single-state American politics is often not great to begin with.

why are single link editorials bad while single link videos seem to be fine?

Single link editorials are often posted with some sort of "I want you to believe what I believe" agenda. Certainly not always but often enough that we've had to be sort of clear that hey this place isn't really for your own soapbox, this is for sharing stuff with other people that you think they'll find interesting, and talking about it. Polarizing topics often aren't great for community discussion though when these sorts of posts are made well, they're really terrific. It's just that people often don't take the time to frame their post and be careful about language because they're really pissed off, or whatever.

And, I have to say again, as something of a radical activist in my own life: MetaFilter is not like other politics and news blogs. It is not a politics/news blog. It is something else that includes politics and news. In those places, it's optimal to get people as pissed off as possible, fighting with people in the comments, clicking over and over and retweeting or whatever. That really isn't how things work here. If there's a topic you really care about, please make a post about it. But keep in mind that it's a large site with a lot of people who may not feel the way that you do about it and think "if people on the site don't agree with my particular viewpoint on this issue, is this still a good post for metafilter?" and, relatedly "if everyone on this website already agrees with my viewpoint on this topic, is there some reason I am trying to make this post on MetaFilter?"

I know that there are some people who think it's asinine that Important Topics posts get deleted while we don't delete skunk eating a banana [or whatever it is] but it's a big internet, and we're a site that runs on a shoestring, and we're not desperate for clicks. If something's important take the time to make a post that explains that to the community and don't make it seem like every other "OMG SIGN MY PETITION" issue and don't put sensationalist rape.torture stories on the front page unless you're really trying to get people all riled up. There are great ways to effectively communicate without making the site seem like HuffPo on a bad day.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:09 PM on August 30, 2010 [8 favorites]


the best way to learn a community's culture is to hear as many people's opinions as possible.

That's exactly right. LURK MOAR.
posted by grouse at 10:10 PM on August 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm trying to remember which site it came from...

The Straight Dope Message Boards have used the term for at least a couple years now, so much that they've shortened it to 'RO'.
posted by fatbird at 10:11 PM on August 30, 2010


I don't think you're an idiot, but I think that the best way to learn an online community's culture is to read as much as possible before contributing.

There have been tens of thousands of FPPs to date. Have you ever seen one (that survived undeleted) containing an explicit, MeFi-related editorial under the fold like yours?
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 10:11 PM on August 30, 2010 [2 favorites]


[bangs head on wall] The mods be saints.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:13 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Furiousxgeorge, thanks for your thoughts. This isn't really a protest post. Like I mentioned, after a brief moment of reflection, I have no doubt that the post (as written) should have been removed. A more appropriate post (though perhaps not anymore interesting in some people's eyes) would be a link to a DOJ report and a link or two to the many mainstream news stories related to the report (as opposed to an editorial).

And the title of the post (along with the entire post except one line) are about the concept of recreational outrage, in which I'm genuinely interested.

I provided the link to my post specifically as context so that people could understand why I brought the topic up. Obviously, including the link is somewhat embarrassing since it's an example of childishness, but the some members' focusing on that particular part of the original post also helps me learn about MeFi culture.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:14 PM on August 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Yes, for the love of God, no one post it.

Christ, I haven't seen it and am sad even thinking about what it might be.
posted by maxwelton at 10:15 PM on August 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


I also thought the labia lifting post should have stayed. It's not really "recreational" to be outraged about something that is systemic, pervasive, and sick. That is, sometimes outrage is a reasonable response and the post itself had multiple interesting sources and I thought easily met the standards of an FPP.
posted by Rumple at 10:16 PM on August 30, 2010


AkzidenzGrotesk, I don't think I have -- and I certainly understand a policy of not criticizing MeFi in posts on the blue (or even anywhere -- although I don't think I would completely agree with that one). My question wasn't about that, though. :)
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:17 PM on August 30, 2010


> Christ, I haven't seen it and am sad even thinking about what it might be.

It's on the front page of reddit right now. It's not anything that needs to be seen. Here's an img of the 4chan post about it. It's all around horrible and numbing. Recreation rampage may be the solution.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:18 PM on August 30, 2010


jessamyn,

Thanks for your extremely reasonable post and for answering the question I posted.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:19 PM on August 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Obviously, including the link is somewhat embarrassing since it's an example of childishness, but the some members' focusing on that particular part of the original post also helps me learn about MeFi culture.

Okay, this is a totally hackneyed analogy, but I'm trotting it out anyway: an online community is (sort of, in some respects) like a party. Every party is different, and every group has its own peculiar norms for the ways people interact.

What some people are saying is that, if you are serious about wanting to learn how the party works and what those peculiar norms are, you should spend some time in the room quietly observing what goes on. What you said that I quoted above? It's more like putting yourself in the middle of a conversational circle and saying "Hey everybody, here is this idea I have, what do you think?" and hoping that you'll get responses that illuminate your perception of the party, when nobody at the party knows you yet or has any context for your idea.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 10:20 PM on August 30, 2010


On non-preview, I understand jessamyn's last comment though I still don't agree with the deletion - it's not really a single state issue insofar as very often a single case can indeed illuminate a systemic problem.
posted by Rumple at 10:20 PM on August 30, 2010


I also thought the labia lifting post should have stayed.

Honestly it was the second advocacy post on MeFi about female prisoners in the US and their vaginas in roughly twelve hours. I know labia lifting isn't the same at all as giving birth while shackled to a bed, but at some level that went into our decision to delete the second one.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:20 PM on August 30, 2010


but the deletion e-mail I received cited recreational outrage.

For what it's worth, I don't know what email you're referring to. I haven't sent you anything tonight, or previously as far as I know, and checking with Jess it sounds like she hasn't either.

why are single link editorials bad while single link videos seem to be fine? Is there a general MeFi feeling that video content is superior to written?

No, it's more an issue of style and tenor and content—short-form editorials tend to be all argument and no neat/substantial comment. It's "here is someone telling you how it is", which pretty much only opens the door for "say he's right!" or "say he's wrong!" followed by "yell at each other about that disagreement". They tend to be ideologically charged in a way that's more problematic than something that's functionally neutral.

We delete the video equivalent of single-link op-ed stuff too—it's not the medium that's the issue, it's the content and whether it's really a good fit for mefi. Most of the single-link video stuff we see is not really in this territory, though, so it's apples and oranges as far as that goes.

A really superlative piece of editorial writing might make a good post. An editorial or multiple contrasting editorials as part of a larger post with some otherwise substantial but functionally neutral links can work well too. But when it's mostly gristle for people to gnaw on and seethe about, it's less likely to result in any real good stuff on mefi and hence those sorts of posts tend to get deleted a lot more often than others.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:22 PM on August 30, 2010


OK I missed the shackled birth one, that does add useful and understandable context towards deletion. Thanks.
posted by Rumple at 10:22 PM on August 30, 2010


Have you ever seen one (that survived undeleted) containing an explicit, MeFi-related editorial under the fold like yours?

Well, to be fair, Gnome's a new member. He (or she?) may not have seen a post deleted before, or be aware of the various criteria that allow one to survive.

Gnome, I post a lot on controversial topics to varying success. May I offer some unsolicited advice? From here on in if you want to post on a controversial topic, write your post as if it were going to appear on the front page of a major, non-partisan news site. (Not FoxNewschannel.) You want to create a post that presents facts, but doesn't add your personal opinions or emotions into the mix. This is a decent example of what I mean.
posted by zarq at 10:22 PM on August 30, 2010


posted by GnomeChompsky A more appropriate post (though perhaps not anymore interesting in some people's eyes) would be a link to a DOJ report and a link or two to the many mainstream news stories related to the report (as opposed to an editorial).

No thank you. Please don't. We have way too many outrage newsfilter FPPs here as it is, and the mods have spoken about this issue, many times. Here are the MetaFilter guidelines for making a good front-page post. I also recommend crunchland's guide to making good front-page posts. If you want a site that specializes in news and outrage, try Daily Kos.
posted by mattdidthat at 10:23 PM on August 30, 2010


AkzidenzGrotesk, Yeah, I completely understand what you're saying. But by the same token, someone who embarrasses himself by testing the waters learns much more quickly thank someone who lurks! (I mean, isn't all the fad in pedagogy these days that different people have different learning styles?)
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:27 PM on August 30, 2010



Christ, I haven't seen it and am sad even thinking about what it might be.


It's exactly what you think it is, don't watch it.


It's not really "recreational" to be outraged about something that is systemic, pervasive, and sick. That is, sometimes outrage is a reasonable response and the post itself had multiple interesting sources and I thought easily met the standards of an FPP.


See, what I found made it pass muster was that it wasn't cut and dry that the searches were wrong. There are a million examples of people sneaking shit into prison any way they can, and the safety of other inmates has to be considered. In this case calling it a weapons search is clearly ridiculous, but if you think drugs shouldn't be smuggled in you could argue for it.

I'm not saying I agree with that, but there is a valid area of debate and discussion, as opposed to something like a prison rape or female circumcision thread when there just isn't anything to do but out-angry each other. I think the content of the comment thread supports the idea that the subject can be discussed rationally with that debate in mind. It was not pure GRAR, and it didn't get flamey.

As Jessamyn explained it to me, the problem was that the post was obviously thin without the advocacy links and with them was too much advocacy. I find that argument more compelling than the recreational outrage point in this case, and think in that light a post could be made on this subject that would stand.

In combination with the shackle post it may have been too much too soon, but it is really a different sort of subject because there are two legitimate sides instead of just, "What the fuck?'
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:29 PM on August 30, 2010


Oh, cortex, the e-mail I received...

Here's another reason why this post exists. I received a message from mefimaildontreply@metafilter.com with a subject "Your post will probably be deleted." It listed four reasons for deletion, citing as number 1: "1. The deletion reason for the previous post was as follows: this is a recreational outrage/sign my petition post. This post is also a recreational outrage post, not to diminish the import of the topic."

I just now realized that the message was from a private MeFi member, not someone charged with moderating the board. Sorry, I probably wouldn't have posted anything if I had realized that the term recreational outrage came from a private Mefite, not a mod or someone else acting in an official capacity.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:33 PM on August 30, 2010


You have your MeMail preferences set to forward them to your email account.
posted by carsonb at 10:38 PM on August 30, 2010


I pretty much set the rules around here, anyway, you know.

The pantswear rules.
posted by carsonb at 10:39 PM on August 30, 2010


Oh that makes a lot of sense then. We were really confused about the email thing. We made an Orientation page over on the wiki which may have links to other stuff you'd find useful. It's definitely not required reading but if you're interested in inside baseball, that page and the Mod Explanations page have a lot of wonky mod-type talk.

The biggish deal is that the site has a lot of guidelines and very few hard and fast rules. So a lot of the deletion or retention decisions are made on a pretty case-by-case basis that may vary a little from day to day depending on context. We try pretty hard to be as consistent as we can be and we're available for talking to either privately via the contact form or here in MeTa.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:39 PM on August 30, 2010


Ah. Yeah, that's absolutely not an official message, just someone sending you a message on the internal mefimail system. It sounds like you have your mefimail forwarding to your external email, in which case the server sends you a copy of your received message from that "mefimaildontreply@metafilter.com" address. As mods, me and jessamyn and mathowie are basically never gonna send an email saying "this will probably be deleted"; we'll delete something or not, and maybe send an email if it's a weird or complicated situation but otherwise just try to leave a clear comment in the deletion reason field as a guide to what was up.

Anyway, if it's a thing where whoever sent that to you dressed it up intentionally to look sort of official-ish that's really kind of not cool, but if it was just a misunderstanding on your end of an attempt on their part to be helpful then I figure it's a wash. I don't want to talk about the details in public—we have a firm "no republishing correspondence without explicit permission" rule here—but if it is something you think was a little bit sketchy or anything you can hit us up via the contact form (there's a link in the bottom right of every page) with the details.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:41 PM on August 30, 2010


To figure out how deletion works, new users (yes, I am one too) are advised the following:

1. Install Greasemonkey
2. Install "Mefi deleted posts"
3. ???
4. Profit!
posted by placeholder at 10:44 PM on August 30, 2010


It only seemed official because I was reading it on my phone and because I wouldn't have expected to get a memail with four bulleted reasons for the deletion of a post. Seeing it in my actual e-mail browser makes it look much less official.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:47 PM on August 30, 2010


I just now realized that the message was from a private MeFi member, not someone charged with moderating the board.

Yeah, one doesn't receive official email notification of deletions. Or notification of any sort, really, aside from the in-thread deletion reason. I sent you a 'MeMail' (which got forwarded to your email account) in the hopes that I could explain a bit what happened but mostly to direct you to that Contact link and discourage a MeTa post. Mods here don't 'probably', they just delete.
posted by carsonb at 10:48 PM on August 30, 2010


carsonb is a wonderful fellow, but he definitely does not work here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:50 PM on August 30, 2010


They fuckin' type faster than I can too, dammit.
posted by carsonb at 10:50 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


... because he types too slowly.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:50 PM on August 30, 2010 [24 favorites]


And that one that said you need to paypal $50 to fxg@mail.com to continue your membership here...that one is legit.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:51 PM on August 30, 2010 [3 favorites]


Pfft, don't get paid is more like it!
posted by carsonb at 10:52 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


damn you guys type fast.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:52 PM on August 30, 2010


Damn, I better run over to AskMeFi and find out how to challenge a debit card charge.
posted by GnomeChompsky at 10:55 PM on August 30, 2010 [11 favorites]


Man, that's a crap post.
posted by pompomtom at 10:55 PM on August 30, 2010


Confession: I make FPPs for the sole reason that the automated confirmation MeMail from "Mathowie" makes me feel like a bigshot.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:57 PM on August 30, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also: Damn, I so could have lived without hearing about that Puppies in a River video.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:58 PM on August 30, 2010


Thanks for asking, I was wondering about the whole "recreational outrage" thing, too.

I don't think that lurking more would have answered this question.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:10 PM on August 30, 2010


Internet detectives from 4chan.

Dude, dude. Please tell me they have badges. Badges that they flash, and then they say, "Ma'am, we're here from the Internet."

"You mean like AOL?"

"No, ma'am. The real Internet. Now show me on this doll where the Nigerian prince touched you."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:35 PM on August 30, 2010 [4 favorites]


Badges? No. They are anonymous.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:38 PM on August 30, 2010


You know, we euthanize about 2-3 million dogs and cats every year. Granted, tossing it in a river is marginally more cruel than suffocation or lethal injection, but the end result is still a dead puppy.
posted by empath at 12:29 AM on August 31, 2010


They (the detectives, that is) also don't talk to you directly. Instead of this, they send a random person over with a cell phone, who calls another person, who calls another person and so on times seven, until they reach the real detective. This way, the detective remains really anonymous (seven proxies! You can't prove nothing!).
posted by daniel_charms at 12:30 AM on August 31, 2010


GnomeChompsky, this is the most reasonable and level-headed "why did my post get deleted?" thread I have ever seen here. I am sort of stunned, actually, and pleased.

In my opinion, the only thing seriously wrong with your post (that made it an insta-delete) was the meta-commentary below the fold. This is completely verboten for reasons I can't articulate precisely, but if you lurk a bit more I think you will understand better and surely agree. There is a whole area of the site (where you find yourself now) to discuss site-related issues. Front page posts to the main part of the site need to stand on their own, not be a reaction to ongoing drama or contentious issues. When you make a post that breaks the fourth wall (or is it the fifth?) and bring the site into it in the post itself, most people will consider it a "stunt" post, ie. one made to prove a point. I don't think that's what you were doing here, but either way, you need to make your posts stand on their own.

I really want a solid FPP on this topic, because it's a serious issue that I want to discuss, read brilliant and articulate people's take on, etc. A part of me fears that this site will never do this topic well, but I retain hope someone will pull it off. This just wasn't that post. Thanks for trying though.
posted by cj_ at 12:40 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Empath, are you fucking serious?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:50 AM on August 31, 2010


Seeing as how this has all devolved into a happy tale of peaches and cream (and, uh, dead puppies), perhaps we could close the thread? We wouldn't want to have people read the post and rush in here to tell GnomeChompsky what a graceless n00b he is without reading the thread where it's established that we are all, GnomeChompsky included, nice, articulate, sensitive people trying to understand how to engage with each other.

Hug!
posted by lapsangsouchong at 1:17 AM on August 31, 2010


"Empath, are you fucking serious?"

Please. Don't. Not even on Metatalk. The discussions are the other thing that are distressing about the lady-puts-cat-in-the-dumpster posts. Really. Please. Just don't. I'm sorry I brought it up.
posted by klarck at 1:26 AM on August 31, 2010


...the response to this is pretty much limited to "yes, prison rape is bad, the Attorney General ought to do something". At best you're going to have a few people chime in with "Yes, it's really bad, here's another example." It's not the sort of thing that makes for a good discussion, something that might otherwise rescue an otherwise-weak post.

This brings up a very good tangential point -- I suspect that there are a few people out there, both in here and in the world, who think that the definition of "discussion" is "a group of people all sitting around and saying they agree about something." For them, I suspect that the instant you have someone express a disagreement, no matter how calmly, for them it becomes "an argument."

...Sorry, that just struck me. As you were.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:23 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Empath, are you fucking serious?

Yes? Human beings kill millions of animals everyday. We grind up pigs and stuff them in intestines and sell them to kids. This girl probably has some kind of mental disorder, but she lives in eastern europe, and drowning there is an acceptable method of disposing of unwanted puppies. I'm really not sure that the difference between tossing them in a river instead of drowning them in a bathtub is worth getting the internet lynch-mob wound up. Especially when 4chan hasn't been that great at, you know, actually getting the right person.
posted by empath at 5:31 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


Dude.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:37 AM on August 31, 2010


I just wanted to pop in here and say that I like your username, GnomeChompsky.
posted by iamkimiam at 5:37 AM on August 31, 2010


No, it's not the same.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:37 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Joe in Australia: "....but I can see why Cortexs deleted."

There's more than one? Ohh Noooos!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:49 AM on August 31, 2010


fatbird's comment made me seek out the Straight Dope's definition:

"RO -- "Recreational Outrage" describes when a poster expresses righteous indignation and gets highly worked up (outraged) over some issue, typically some news occurrence that is completely irrelevant to the person’s own life and has no effect on that poster personally. The poster derives (recreational) satisfaction from expressing outrage and moral indignation, frequently including a sense of moral superiority, thus differentiating Recreational Outrage from other forms of outrage."
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:17 AM on August 31, 2010


If we can't do recreational outrage can we do prescription outrage?
posted by Decani at 6:18 AM on August 31, 2010


If we can't do recreational outrage can we do prescription outrage?

Depends on your jurisdiction.
posted by modernnomad at 6:22 AM on August 31, 2010

but I can see why Cortexs deleted."

There's more than one? Ohh Noooos!
Yes, but it's spelt Cortices.
posted by zamboni at 6:49 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yes, but it's spelt Cortices.

Yes, but it's spelled spelled.
posted by John Cohen at 7:33 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


> It's an important topic, with loads, and I mean LOADS of information to be found on the internet. You could make a great post about prison rape, that could take readers hours to sift through and provoke a great discussion, but this is not the way to do this methinks.

Just to provide the counterpoint: I hate posts that could take readers hours to sift through; just yesterday I bailed out of a post on an interesting topic because it had 61 links (that's right, sixty-one, I took the trouble to count them) and screw that. As I say every time the subject comes up: there is nothing wrong with single-link posts, and more links does not equal more goodness. If you find something interesting out there on the internet, share it with us and don't bother googling up a hundred "supporting links" (what an awful concept).
posted by languagehat at 7:42 AM on August 31, 2010 [9 favorites]


Nim Chimpsky.
posted by box at 7:53 AM on August 31, 2010


Yes, but it's spelled spelled.

Spelt's spelled spelt, though. Or perhaps spelt's spelt spelt, maybe it is one of those British/American things.
posted by TedW at 7:57 AM on August 31, 2010


I think it's icky that someone is sending your post will probably be deleted for the following bullet pointed reasons me-mails.
posted by Babblesort at 8:01 AM on August 31, 2010


Yes, but it's spelled spelled.

Not if you're going against the grain. [drum sting]
posted by five fresh fish at 8:03 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


If we can't do recreational outrage can we do prescription outrage?

Make sure you check the bottle closely and don't go over the daily recommended dosage: I did that once and spent the better part of a night sick as hell obsessing over the dump trucks which don't pull the protective covering over their loads and bounce gravel all over the road.
posted by quin at 8:04 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I spell spelt spelt, you spell spelt spelled. Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.
posted by zamboni at 8:07 AM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


More to the point it's spelt without a capital c.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:09 AM on August 31, 2010


re: spelt. I think somebody is trying to get a rise out of you.
posted by iamkimiam at 8:12 AM on August 31, 2010


And thus Muphry's law is fulfilled.
posted by zamboni at 8:12 AM on August 31, 2010


More to the point it's spelt without a capital c.

Capital c is spelungimatized C.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 8:35 AM on August 31, 2010


empath my love, it's true that there is some hypocrisy in getting super-anguished about people taking delight in puppy torture while there are farm animals being industrially processed and enslaved, but it's sort of like you're saying that because cilvilians are dying in wars that there's no difference between giving grandpa a nice funeral and reenacting Weekend At Bernies with his floppy corpse. Wrong things are wrong even though other wrong things are also wrong.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:36 AM on August 31, 2010 [7 favorites]


It would be really really okay to not have further dead-animal discussions in this thread just for their own sake. If there's some kind of like actually currently mefi-relevant footing for the discussion, cool, make it clear why, but otherwise it just seems like something nobody is really happy talking about that we're talking about unhappily for the sake of discussing it unhappily. Which is a metaphor for something, or something.

Anyway, nothing personal anyway. Just, eh?
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:03 AM on August 31, 2010


Prescription-strength Outrage is now available without a prescription! It's behind the counter at your local pharmacy; ask for it by name YOU FUCKING WHEEDLY HYPOCRITES.
posted by Mister_A at 9:11 AM on August 31, 2010 [5 favorites]


Hmm, sure, but i doubt it was going to get ugly since empath and me are rl pretty tight bros and i know he's just being overly thoughtful about this new thing on some corners of the internet where folks demand some kind of shaming justice on evildoers, which in reality is more like cruel stalking than helpful helping. the animal cruelty notwithstanding, i wish we could have a discussion about that, but yeah, we probably cant until someone (i accept) takes the challenge of writing a thoughtful editorial post about it on their own f.blog.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:16 AM on August 31, 2010


Interesting issue. Bad post. Good deletion.

Alls I know's that if 1) the guards are female, 2) the hands are the inmate's own, and 3) it's actually possible that something may have been surreptitiously inserted, I don't really have that much of a problem with the procedure. (Caveat: I'm neither female nor an inmate.)

That third criterion is a sticky one, though. I mean, presumably there are guards present to supervise any meetings with outsiders, right? Well, just keep your eyes peeled for palmed contraband going into pants, and there's no reason to do any traumatic spelunking. It ain't rocket surgery.

Conjugal visit, though? Yeah, that might warrant a search.

Idea! Rather than an outright ban of what could conceivably be a necessary precaution in certain cases, why not just make the atmos less rapey and more medical? You know, with an actual gynecologist and paper-lined exam table and stirrups and stuff. Maybe do some actual medical exams while they're up there, and, hey, suddenly the inmates maybe might sort of almost kinda feel like they're getting something out of it beyond pure unadulterated degradation. Then, instead of everything being about forcing the inmates to bend over and cough as part and parcel of walking through a particular doorway, it would be more like making an appointment for the gyno that just happens to be scheduled for right after your date with Bob.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:39 AM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking of starting a site called OutrageFilter where people post stuff just to get mad at it.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:11 AM on August 31, 2010


That is an outrageous idea, Tesla. Truly, truly outrageous.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:14 AM on August 31, 2010


Truly, truly outrageous.

No. It's only that if it's called JemFilter.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 10:39 AM on August 31, 2010


We are the misf.it/s.php
Our site is better
We are the misf.it/s.php
We're all redditors

posted by cortex (staff) at 10:42 AM on August 31, 2010 [6 favorites]


MUSHROOM, MUSHROOM!
posted by oddman at 11:09 AM on August 31, 2010


"Firstly, it's a single link."

This is not now, nor has it ever, been a problem.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:24 AM on August 31, 2010 [3 favorites]


Weird comma thing going there. Huh. NOT NOW BEEN. Fail.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 11:34 AM on August 31, 2010


The New York Review of Books had a couple of good pieces on this subject recently:

The Rape of American Prisoners

Prison Rape: Eric Holder's Unfinished Business
posted by homunculus at 11:57 AM on August 31, 2010


GnomeChompsky, I started reading this and said "Oh no, not ANOTHER why-was-my-post-deleted-wah-wah-wah" MeTa thread. But you proved me wrong. Welcome, dude! You'll fit in awesome here.
posted by futureisunwritten at 12:05 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


Awesomely
posted by Mister_A at 12:06 PM on August 31, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm thinking of starting a site called OutrageFilter where people post stuff just to get mad at it.

Test: Jonathan Franzen looks like an art-yuppie douchebag.
posted by jonmc at 7:26 PM on August 31, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm thinking of starting a site called OutrageFilter where people post stuff just to get mad at it.

Already been done, although it seems they are mainly mad that Barak Obama is the president, or perhaps that Sarah Palin is not the president.
posted by TedW at 7:43 PM on August 31, 2010


Ya think Murkowski will run as in I in AK? That would be cool.
posted by Mister_A at 5:58 AM on September 1, 2010


Man, a couple really off things flying under the radar here:

But by the same token, someone who embarrasses himself by testing the waters learns much more quickly thank someone who lurks!

No, dude, no. You are not a special flower. MeFi's a big community, and we don't need more people following this idea. Look and learn.

Here's another reason why this post exists. I received a message from mefimaildontreply@metafilter.com with a subject "Your post will probably be deleted." It listed four reasons for deletion, citing as number 1: "1. The deletion reason for the previous post was as follows: this is a recreational outrage/sign my petition post. This post is also a recreational outrage post, not to diminish the import of the topic."

It's pretty irresponsible for members to be sending other members messages like this. I know your intent is good, carsonb, but the mods will take care of it. You are not part of some inner clique of users who are granted special status. It's not your place to give anyone any kind of heads up about policy, because you're not ultimately making the call.

I realize this may seem nitpicky, but it highlights the over-possessiveness some users feel toward this site and the meta-moderation too many users like to engage in. Please, stop it.
posted by mkultra at 7:39 AM on September 1, 2010


it highlights the over-possessiveness some users feel toward this site and the meta-moderation too many users like to engage in. Please, stop it.

As opposed to the meta-meta-moderation you're engaging in?
posted by grouse at 8:16 AM on September 1, 2010


Technically, that would be meta-MeTa-moderation.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:54 AM on September 1, 2010


Yeah, that's rich.
posted by carsonb at 10:29 AM on September 1, 2010


Yeah, the things we're talking about are TOTALLY equivalent...
posted by mkultra at 11:45 AM on September 1, 2010


Well, don't you think your message to me was something the mods ought've taken care of?
posted by carsonb at 12:10 PM on September 1, 2010


carsonb, when you send people friendly advice in MeMail, please make sure it's clear to them that you are not a moderator.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:19 PM on September 1, 2010


Yes ma'am.
posted by carsonb at 12:23 PM on September 1, 2010


Instead, hint that you're the owner.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:31 PM on September 1, 2010


My official title is actually MetaFilter Fashion Accessories Analyst
posted by carsonb at 12:40 PM on September 1, 2010


He reports to the Chief Flair Officer.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:52 PM on September 1, 2010


mkultra,

I understand your logic, but I'm not entirely sure I agree. Your reasoning seems to presuppose that most new people are willing to undergo the discomfort of embarrassment or otherwise "putting themselves out there." Your reasoning also assumes that new members have a lot of time to read and read and read (while also not just reading but evaluating and making inferences about MeFi policy and culture while they read).

The main downside I see about people posting something that could end up embarrassing them is that it could add more work for the moderators, but if the moderators ever do become overwhelmed, I would hope that they seek the assistance of the seemingly many qualified, loyal, veteran MeFites.

I really don't see what I wrote as being indicative of my assuming I'm a special flower. I've spent some time in the field of education, and I can definitely report that there are some folks who are more active participants/learners and some who are more passive. The active ones sometimes have spectacular failures -- along with spectacular successes. The passive ones tend to have more constant performance in my experience. Neither one is inherently special or more important. The active ones provide fodder for the passive ones to reflect and think about, and the existence of passive folks balances things out for the teachers (or moderators or whatever mediating figure).

A problem would be someone who thinks he/she is so clever or creative (or whatever else) that he/she has a special right to post or comment that isn't subject to normal rules or moderation. I think we should encourage MetaTalk threads that lead to fairly civil discussion of site policy and procedures. Isn't that a substantial part of what it's for, after all?
posted by GnomeChompsky at 2:37 PM on September 1, 2010


The main downside I see about people posting something that could end up embarrassing them is that it could add more work for the moderators, but if the moderators ever do become overwhelmed, I would hope that they seek the assistance of the seemingly many qualified, loyal, veteran MeFites.

The ability to carelessly make a mess with the expectation that the Mods will just clean up after you is not an entitlement you got for your $5.
posted by mkultra at 3:12 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


It's not a mess. It's a metatalk thread that was ending fine with lots of happy warm feelings and some (needed) clarification from the mods and that was it.

You're really making more of a mess of it than anything.
posted by the young rope-rider at 5:57 PM on September 1, 2010


All of my correspondence end with 'Funding for MetaFilter is provided in part by The Ampersand Group'. Might be a little grandiose to present myself as a PBS-style philanthropic organization, but shit, five dollars is five dollars. Up yours, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur, you are not better than me.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:24 PM on September 1, 2010 [1 favorite]


I really don't see what I wrote as being indicative of my assuming I'm a special flower.

I do!
posted by Sys Rq at 2:51 PM on September 2, 2010


Oh gosh, I'm a newbie, and I already cringe every time I see someone include "special snowflake" in one of their AskMeFi posts. =/
posted by GnomeChompsky at 6:16 PM on September 2, 2010


That just means you've got a head start on curmudgeonhood. If you haven't already staked out a lawn, now's the time to do it. Buyer's market and all.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:18 PM on September 2, 2010


Puppy girl caught.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:21 AM on September 4, 2010


Puppy girl caught.

Aw, heck, I was expecting that to be a lot more "Bat Boy Found in West Virginia Cave!" than "Puppy-drowning she-douche caught in Bosnia."

Hypertrichosis is a thing, though, so there's hope yet.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:07 PM on September 4, 2010


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