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Deleting a dissenting voice is not awesome.
October 16, 2010 7:14 AM   Subscribe

It appears that a comment I made in this thread was deleted.

I guess I've taken up the mantle of "anti-pot-legalization curmudgeon" on the blue. OK, not what I imagined when I joined this site years ago, but it is what it is.

I posted a comment to the effect of "THIS is the best of the web? Really?" And I meant it - I don't think linking to a random item for sale is what Metafilter should be, and I especially don't think linking to that item is what Metafilter should be.

Disagree with me - that's fine. But deleting the comment? Especially since I followed the rules and didn't insult anyone? Rather crappy.
posted by andreaazure to Etiquette/Policy at 7:14 AM (141 comments total)

I think that sort of comment falls under derail, personally. Also, you can contact the mods directly for these types of concerns rather than post a MeTa about it...
posted by elpea at 7:18 AM on October 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


Those "this is the best of the web" comments are all derails and should be deleted. I think people say things like, "Flag in and move on" or "take it to Metatalk" or "use the contact form." What you are complaining about is the site working effectively.

I don't know why I'm saying this, I'm sure there will be a mod along any moment to help you.
posted by breezeway at 7:20 AM on October 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


I think it's a convention at metafilter that "this is best of the web?" comments are frowned upon. They don't contribute anything -- if the post is bad, flag it and maybe it will be removed. If they decide it's a good post your comment is noise.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 7:21 AM on October 16, 2010


THIS is the best of the web? Really?
posted by Tomorrowful at 7:24 AM on October 16, 2010


As I understand it, the etiquette for commenting on the appropriateness of a post for MetaFilter is (in order of your feeling of urgency about it):

1. Flag it
2. Contact a mod about it
3. Make a MetaTalk post about it

Commenting that "this post is not the best of the web" is not good etiquette - it breaks up the thread, potentially derails the conversation about the topic of the post into a conversation about the post itself, and is mildly rude. This site provides several outlets for your disapproval, but commenting as you did in the thread is not one of them.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:25 AM on October 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


You're not alone in thinking that linking to "a random item for sale" is not what MeFi should be, hence all the variations on "Pepsi Blue." Heck, there's even a FAQ entry about that. But if your comment was approximately what you said up there, it was threadcrapping and rightly deleted.

It certainly seems like this particular product got posted under the "overall consumer joy" exception to Pepsi Blue, so, meh.
posted by Gator at 7:28 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Those kinds of comments are routinely deleted, and I think they have been being deleted more often lately.

It's astounding to me how often people think that the mods are censoring opinions with which they don't agree. I suppose it provides a sort of backhanded confirmation for folks: "I must be doing something right, the great Metafilter moderating machine can't handle my truth!"
posted by OmieWise at 7:33 AM on October 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Granted I smoke a fair bit of weed, but I don't understand what the thread you linked to has to do with the safe drinking water prop you used as a tag?
posted by gman at 7:34 AM on October 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seems weird that this was *so* against the rules that it warranted deletion.

Seems weird that this got under your skin enough to warrant a MeTa.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 7:46 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The whole forum has gone to pot.

sorry
posted by WPW at 7:50 AM on October 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


To be fair, I think that with a post that combines blatant advertising with uninteresting SEO bullshit by someone who has contributed a grand total of 34 words to our community we should probably through away the diaper instead of picking out the shit.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:55 AM on October 16, 2010 [46 favorites]


You're not being censored. MeTaTalk is entire subsite where (among other things,) discussion about whether a post is appropriate to Metafilter is okay. If you had complained here first instead, your opinion would have not been deleted.

The mods (I assume) deleted the comment you made in an inappropriate place to keep thread from derailing.
posted by zarq at 7:58 AM on October 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


I really feel so much better about MetaFilter when I just move past posts that either don't interest me or that get my goat. If I'm in a thread and there's something yucky going on inside, I'll flag, but otherwise: just walk on by. You'll be so much happier.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:07 AM on October 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


(insert witty and banal comment here)
posted by nomadicink at 8:10 AM on October 16, 2010


Good catch by Blasdelb.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:14 AM on October 16, 2010


second that. I have noticed the differance since MODS silver hammer came about. And i have comments/ links cut...two in the couple of months. One was derail in that motorcycle story thread where the one fellow posted that wonderful story of his dad, now if my hinky stolen bike utube link would have stayed, it would have...well. after that good post i'm glad mods cut it.
posted by clavdivs at 8:17 AM on October 16, 2010


You shouldn't have made that comment, but, wow, what a lame post. Flagged.
posted by grouse at 8:22 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Higgamus Hoggamus
Don't be a Bogart just
Huff once and pass on your
Gripe to a mod

No need to harsh the buzz
Anti-narcotically,
Flag it, or e-mail, and
Onward you plod.
posted by The White Hat at 8:26 AM on October 16, 2010 [6 favorites]


Blasdelb's got it. My reaction, too.
posted by ericb at 8:27 AM on October 16, 2010


I totally agree Meatbomb.
posted by joost de vries at 8:28 AM on October 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


So... you made a bitchy comment about how much a post sucked, and then you came here to make a bitchy post about how much it sucked that your bitchy comment got deleted?
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:28 AM on October 16, 2010 [9 favorites]


I don't understand why the mulitple "Pepsi Green?" comments aren't being deleted as well. They convey a similar sentiment and offer no substantive commentary.
posted by aberrant at 8:30 AM on October 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


"THIS is the best of the web? Really?" isn't a contribution to the thread. It's noise. As such, it was deleted. If you had come out with something substantial to say while still disagreeing with the thread, it might have lived.
posted by moviehawk at 8:30 AM on October 16, 2010


Like folks said, we pretty routinely delete comments that are nothing but "this post sucks" or rhetorical "really, you posted this?" sort of stuff. That's what flags are for, or email, or metatalk, or if you absolutely must say something in thread about the flaws or unsuitability of the post then take the time to actually put together a detailed and substantial comment on the subject.

It has nothing to do with the topic of the post or the politics of that subject; you didn't bother to even say anything about that, so I'm not sure how this would count as dissent on any subject other than that-post-existing.

It certainly seems like this particular product got posted under the "overall consumer joy" exception to Pepsi Blue, so, meh.

That was my reading of it, too. I didn't really care much for the post and the producty-post-by-new-user thing always sets off my alarm bells, but we went looking for anything sketchy (which is something we do pretty routinely with first posts especially from newish users) and didn't turn anything up. As far as I can tell the poster is just some college dude, one whom I have a sneaking suspicion enjoys getting high and/or watching youtube videos about paraphernalia.

I thought the post was meh myself, I think Jessamyn felt the same, but it was a busyish day, we didn't find anything sketchy, and neither of us really felt like insta-delete about it so it stuck around. Post picked up some flags but the thread didn't melt down, so it lived.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:31 AM on October 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


You are better off flagging the post than getting in there and trying to derail the FPP into becoming a referendum on itself.

In a related story, you are better off using MeTa as a place to discuss the validity of an FPP you have concerns with rather than making some vague claims about censorship and oppression.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:33 AM on October 16, 2010


I've had comments deleted...

...or maybe I never made them in the first place...

I DON'T KNOW WHAT'S REEAALL ANYMORE!!
posted by fuq at 8:42 AM on October 16, 2010


You can really tell who gets high around here.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:42 AM on October 16, 2010


were?
posted by clavdivs at 8:45 AM on October 16, 2010


I guess I've taken up the mantle of "anti-pot-legalization curmudgeon" on the blue.

Maybe I'm wrong.. but this isn't really a place where you should carve out an opinion and sit in your fox hole all day while you defend it. You're not really protecting anything. This is a community blog about cool and interesting stuff, and people have awesome opinions, but to share them over and over again is pointless.
posted by pwally at 8:48 AM on October 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Plastic POS made in China by wage slaves. Yeah, I'm gonna hit that?
Sorry, farmers market has them carved local out of solid wood; with slots for bics and brass inserts for the flame channel and bowl. Lead free even.
posted by buzzman at 8:52 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


fourcheesemac: "You can really tell who gets high around here"

Who?
posted by lazaruslong at 8:56 AM on October 16, 2010


andreaazure: “Disagree with me - that's fine. But deleting the comment? Especially since I followed the rules and didn't insult anyone? Rather crappy.”

I appreciate that you care about this issue, but I think you shot yourself in the foot here. Specifically: you're talking about two different things. Do you disagree with the legalization of marijuana? That's a fair opinion. But that's not what you said. You made a comment about the post – which is a completely different issue.

Imagine, for example, that I'm in Congress, and every time the senator with whom I disagree stands up to say stuff that I disagree with, I start making noise about how he's not following proper parliamentary procedure, etc. That's actually counter-productive to my cause, because I'm not actually talking about what I disagree with at all. In fact, an uncharitable view might even say that I'm just trying to shut him up. A better approach in this case would be to stand up in the thread and say: "Look, this post is all well and good, but isn't marijuana use a harmful thing? Is this really something that we want to encourage people to do?"

The basic guideline here is: if you have a problem with the post, then flag it and move on – don't fill up the thread by sniping about someone's improper parliamentary procedure. If you think it was a mediocre post, there's even an "other" category you can use to flag it; or if you think it was offensive, there's a flag for that, too.

If, on the other hand, you disagree with the content of the post – then go ahead and say so. Go ahead and make a comment stating that you disagree with the principle behind this invention. Just remember that this stuff about "this is a crap post!" or "this isn't proper for the blue" – commentary about the legitimacy of the post – is only a distraction from the actual issues at hand. And the issue at hand was what you wanted to talk about in the first place, right?
posted by koeselitz at 8:59 AM on October 16, 2010 [14 favorites]


You can really tell who gets high around here.

They are usually the ones who are aggressively fighting with people in every thread that can loosely be perceived to be about pot, is what I remember. But my memory isn't so good lately....

And yeah as cortex said, we probably should have deleted that but it never reached the "truly terrible" level. I was at a library conference and had to wake up early and was, as they say "off my game" That said, early threadshitting of a "this sucks" variety has always been subject to deletion. Not that everyone has to be all joy and sunshine, but if you think it's not great, use words, explain yourself and look like you're trying to have a conversation with other people, not just thumb your nose at it. It's a big internet, there's something for everyone.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:13 AM on October 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


But my memory isn't so good lately....

I see what you did there.
posted by grouse at 9:22 AM on October 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


aggressively fighting with people in every thread that can loosely be perceived to be about

wtf? really? wait... what? preview.... huh.
posted by victors at 9:23 AM on October 16, 2010


It was a bad post.

/pro-pot-legalization curmudgeon
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:38 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Didn't you know that Pepsiblue chatfilter is allowed on Friday evenings. Especially as you don't have to read 78 links or formulate a reasoned and thoughtout opinion on a complex and controversial subject.
posted by adamvasco at 10:05 AM on October 16, 2010


I don't understand why the mulitple "Pepsi Green?" comments aren't being deleted as well. They convey a similar sentiment and offer no substantive commentary.

"Pepsi [blank]?" comments are kind of a running gag. I would be depressed if a post about a product didn't include a comment about that. IMHO both Pepsi Green and my Pepsi Pot thing were pleasantly silly and not threadshitting.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 10:06 AM on October 16, 2010


"IMHO both Pepsi Green and my Pepsi Pot thing were pleasantly silly and not threadshitting."

In your high opinion?
posted by gman at 10:09 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Didn't you know that Pepsiblue chatfilter is allowed on Friday evenings. Especially as you don't have to read 78 links or formulate a reasoned and thoughtout opinion on a complex and controversial subject.

And of course, facile and snide whinges are welcome 24/7.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:12 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think we need a multi-step comment-posting process. The first one is called "Get it out of your system." Nothing you write actually gets posted. Next step is for your actual comment. Maybe there needs to be a third step, too, so we can go ahead and complain about censorship to save time.
posted by katillathehun at 10:24 AM on October 16, 2010


If you'd like to dissent, please do. However, I (as an individual) find that "is this the best of the web" is not a sufficiently well thought out argument for it to qualify as dissent.

Here's some past threads on how "is this best of the web" style posts turn out.
posted by boo_radley at 10:28 AM on October 16, 2010


boo_radley: "Here's some past threads on how "is this best of the web" style posts turn out."

I don't know what you're smoking!
posted by gman at 10:31 AM on October 16, 2010


oh the original link had a quote in it whoops sorry.
posted by boo_radley at 10:38 AM on October 16, 2010


I don't know what you're smoking!

well, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:57 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


The post could probably done with a little more filling out but I like. I've never seen any Linda vids and she's loads more entertaining than 99% of YT stoners. Even if I'm more of a hash / spliff man at the moment...
posted by i_cola at 11:04 AM on October 16, 2010


Dammit, I was third to make a Pepsi Green comment. How embarrassing. Way to pay attention in the thread, FFFish. Dumbass.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:14 AM on October 16, 2010


well, isn't that the pot calling the kettle black?

UbuRovias, always trying to be the cock of the walk.

(Did I use it right?)
posted by vincele at 11:17 AM on October 16, 2010


To be fair, I think that with a post that combines blatant advertising with uninteresting SEO bullshit yt by someone who has contributed a grand total of 34 words to our community we should probably through away the diaper instead of picking out the shit.

That was why I flagged it. And I rarely flag anything.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:17 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Good to see the original poster of this MeTa stuck around to address responses to the claim of censorship of a 'dissenting voice'.
posted by setanor at 11:38 AM on October 16, 2010


What I don't get about a post like this....

Even if you disagreed with the deletion because you thought it was on-topic, fair, obeyed the rules, and wasn't threadshitting, is it worth getting upset over? Worth drawing attention to?

Even if you're baffled as to why it would go away, can't you just trust that there was a reason?

Maybe if a goodly portion of your comments were being removed I could see asking, "Why am I being silenced?" but one comment in one thread?
posted by cjorgensen at 11:47 AM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


"...and they just happen to sell everything I review!"

Well shucks. Is it just me or is there more fish smell?

I wonder what would be found if someone stronger in the ways of GoogleFu than I, and with a less desperately pressing need to memorize proteins related to nucleoid occlusion, were to look more deeply into Linda/ThusSpakeLinda/weedandbombs. Someone who lists her occupation as "Cannabis Queen", yet has a professionally designed website on Tumbler that looks built to launch something viral?
posted by Blasdelb at 11:55 AM on October 16, 2010


Here's what I do when a comment of mine is deleted.

I scream, get up, stomp through to the bedroom, throw myself onto the bed, beat the pillow with my angry little fists and screech "WHY WHY WHY YOU FUCKERS I HATE YOU ALL, YOU SHOULD HAVE LEFT ME BANNED, AFTER ALL I HAVE BEEN SILENCED ALL MY LIFE". Then I strip naked, put on my black fedora, stand in front of the full-length mirror, wink sexily and say "Hey... you've still got it, Decani. Fuck those Metafilter asses."

Actually, to the best of my knowledge I've never had a comment deleted. But if I ever do, this is definitely how I plan to handle it. I recommend you try it.
posted by Decani at 11:56 AM on October 16, 2010 [13 favorites]


Some days, it seems like whether a comment stays or goes depends on the alignment of the moons. For example, kafziel's threadshitting and generally poisonous commentary stays. But yours goes. Forget it Jake, it's Metatown!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:10 PM on October 16, 2010


kafziel's complaint about your interview post was a little obnoxious as an out-of-the-gate thing, but it was a substantial response, not a throwaway "this is the best of the web?" one-liner. Your response to him was pretty obnoxious as well, as were a few other specific comments in that thread in a it's-the-same-six-people-again way that's gotten badly predictable. But so it goes.

The other kafziel comment you're linking to was flagged by no one, not even you. I think it's crappy that they used the word "retarded" as a generic pejorative but beyond that if there's a specific issue with the comment someone needs to say so, and if it's something that would deserve deletion I'd hope anyone at all would try to register that with any of the tools we have available.

We make only infrequent use of lunar charts when moderating, mostly just to check the current juice levels.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:45 PM on October 16, 2010


It should have been deleted for the use of comic sans let alone anything else.
posted by deborah at 12:49 PM on October 16, 2010


kafziel's complaint about your interview post was a little obnoxious as an out-of-the-gate thing, but it was a substantial response

I think what he did was selectively quote a paragraph to make it look like a "substantial response". It gave him cover to drop this little bomb:

"This garbage should stay on Cult Of Mac, and not pollute the Blue."

That's trolling, plain and simple.

It's not the first time kafziel has been tiresome, either, but as far as this post goes, his comment poisoned the thread right from the start. With a handful of exceptions, the rest of the comments became a referendum on Apple-on-Metafilter and bizarre comments about the poster, as opposed to actually discussing the frankly interesting historical content in the post. That's really sad.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:07 PM on October 16, 2010


We make only infrequent use of lunar charts when moderating, mostly just to check the current juice levels.

When I want to track the moons, I take a look here. Beautiful stuff.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:16 PM on October 16, 2010


Macs are absolutely wonderful computers, and Steve Jobs is a great, great man, but I think your perspective is a bit skewed.
posted by BeerFilter at 1:39 PM on October 16, 2010


this site has gone downhill since forced preview
posted by klangklangston at 1:57 PM on October 16, 2010


I agree with you that that post is not best of the web, which is why I flagged it and moved on. I half-expected it to stay, purely because of the bias on the site to the side of stoners and pot smokers. I personally don't give a crap if people want to smoke pot or whatever, but that post is most certainly not the best of the web in any way, shape or form. But judging by the podcast, etc., I'm fairly certain some or all of the mods enjoy the wacky tobaccy and therefore will leave it up (even though it's not even a good pot-related post).
posted by 1000monkeys at 2:03 PM on October 16, 2010


That being said, just FIAMO or send a message to a mod. If there was going to be a MeTa post about that post then it should have been about the merits of the post itself, not to whine about a derail-y "This is the best of the web?" comment being deleted.
posted by 1000monkeys at 2:13 PM on October 16, 2010


Heh. None of us are anti-drug crusaders, that much is sure, but I feel like (partly because it's an easy jokey thing to run with in general, partly because Jessamyn's not shy about discussing drug policy and whatnot, partly because I'm a longhaired dude living in Portland and hey it goes to figure, right?) there's this perception that Mefi HQ has a skunky haze about it when in fact that's really, really not the case.

A couple of the (thankfully rare) obsessive hatemailers out there seem to fixate on this idea, even. Everything they don't like about how mefi works is a result of me ripping on a bong 24/7, apparently.

Part of my feeling on leaving the post up was actually from the other direction: just because I don't give a shit about stoner tech doesn't mean it's fundamentally a bad post, so I wanted to let the thread percolate on its own and try to see how people who actually might care about the subject felt. They seemed by and large to feel like discussing gear and such, so, eh.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:17 PM on October 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Everything I don't like about MeFi is a result of your crippling Minecraft addiction.
posted by adamdschneider at 2:23 PM on October 16, 2010 [7 favorites]


Now we cut to the heart of the matter, yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:29 PM on October 16, 2010


"My words were deleted ... 'cause I got high ... I took it to Meta ... 'cause I got high ... all my life I've been silenced ... 'cause I got high ..."
posted by octobersurprise at 2:34 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


well, flotson hq certainly has a skunky haze about it. in case anyone's interested. and has snackins. i'm famished.
posted by flotson at 2:52 PM on October 16, 2010


"...just because I don't give a shit about stoner tech doesn't mean it's fundamentally a bad post, so I wanted to let the thread percolate on its own and try to see how people who actually might care about the subject felt."

I'm sure there are awesome posts to be made about stoner tech, but my problem with this post was that it was neither awesome, nor really even about stoner tech. It was about a product made by one company with a link to the the site where one purchases the product, as well as a review of the product by someone who only seems to review things sold by the company and of course loves them all.

Or maybe I should just stop bitching and try to cash out from their astroturfing campaign
posted by Blasdelb at 2:52 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do we really need to drag another one of BP's personal grudge matches into this thread?
posted by Falconetti at 3:04 PM on October 16, 2010


You have to admit, the man knows trolling, plain and simple.
posted by found missing at 3:19 PM on October 16, 2010


UbuRovias, always trying to be the cock of the walk. (Did I use it right?)

It's a little archaic. The term we use nowadays is "dick of the wick."

(I said wick! I'm on topic!)
posted by Gator at 3:22 PM on October 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


Message received: next time, I'll flag.
posted by andreaazure at 3:23 PM on October 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


Looks like he's at it again. Meh.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:23 PM on October 16, 2010


Blasdelb: ""...and they just happen to sell everything I review!"

Well shucks. Is it just me or is there more fish smell?

I wonder what would be found if someone stronger in the ways of GoogleFu than I, and with a less desperately pressing need to memorize proteins related to nucleoid occlusion, were to look more deeply into Linda/ThusSpakeLinda/weedandbombs. Someone who lists her occupation as "Cannabis Queen", yet has a professionally designed website on Tumbler that looks built to launch something viral
"

Would RequestPolicy showing a direct link to grasscity.com mean anything?
posted by Splunge at 3:31 PM on October 16, 2010


Looks like he's at it again.

Fuck's sake, let it lie. You are the one who is at it again. Cut this shit out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:32 PM on October 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


"That's trolling, plain and simple. "

Man, the manufacturers of fine disingenuous inflammatory comment products must sure be incensed that their trademarks are now just used to describe everything.

Also, all Mac users will go to hell if they use the Darwin OS it is promoted by "HEXLEY" a satanic cross between a duck and a beaver that is an abomination read Leviticus.
posted by klangklangston at 3:43 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Fuck's sake, let it lie.

Getting blamed for his trolling is unfortunate. I've taken it to Metatalk, anyway. *shrug*
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:47 PM on October 16, 2010


Looks like he's at it again. Meh.
posted by cjorgensen at 3:49 PM on October 16, 2010


Clever.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:50 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Would RequestPolicy showing a direct link to grasscity.com mean anything?

it means she is hotlinking images.
posted by tallus at 4:06 PM on October 16, 2010


As an aside, does her Tumblr page really look that "professional" to people? I clicked on the link and it looks pretty basic/plain to me, but then again, I don't...uh, tumbl.
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:10 PM on October 16, 2010


MetaFilter: Mefi HQ has a skunky haze about it
posted by hippybear at 4:43 PM on October 16, 2010


The Wickie Pipe Lighter is for enjoying tobacco.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:43 PM on October 16, 2010


The Wickie Pipe Lighter is for enjoying tobacco.

Great, so even the potheads will agree that it's a crappy post then.



:-P
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:53 PM on October 16, 2010


It may not look any good, but it was designed by this guy, who presumably didn't do it for free
posted by Blasdelb at 5:03 PM on October 16, 2010


I'm surprised the post is still standing and that the user hasn't been banned.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:06 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


second that fff
posted by Trochanter at 5:14 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm confused where the "ban him" thing would come from. Again: as far as I can tell, the person who posted this has fuckall to do with Wickie Pipe or this Linda woman. We looked. If it seemed like there was a connection, that would be one thing, but we haven't found anything. Whether Linda is a stoner agent in the employ of Wickie is kind of beside the point. Unless I am fundamentally missing some connection here, there's no indication that the guy who made the post is guilty of anything other than being a stoner with meh taste in posts.

I say this as someone who is fairly tenacious about ferreting out and banning without remorse people who attempt to self-link on the site. I need an actual connection of some kind, we don't ban people for just being banal.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:15 PM on October 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


There's my tombstone inscription:

BANNED
FOR BEING
BANAL
posted by Dumsnill at 5:24 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


adamdschneider: "Everything I don't like about MeFi is a result of your crippling Minecraft addiction"

Did you know? He's making a giant bong in Minecraft.
posted by boo_radley at 5:42 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


(that is not even remotely true)
posted by boo_radley at 5:42 PM on October 16, 2010


I was just struck by how much the poster is acting exactly like a spammer, as spammers have been described by you guys in other threads. New account. Minimum number of comments to enable posting, and up it goes.

Plus it looks, according to one of the links upthread, like the Acme Pot Pipe company has some kind of Amway deal going.

I'm not "calling for" a banning, so much as just expressing surprise that it hasn't happened.
posted by Trochanter at 5:53 PM on October 16, 2010


if that's not a self link I'll eat my hat.....
posted by HuronBob at 5:53 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


if that's not a self link I'll eat my hat.....

That was my feeling too, but the mods say that they've checked it out and it turns out okay, so well.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:58 PM on October 16, 2010


I don't think it's so much that it "turns out okay" as that whoever made the post was very careful to disconnect his user name/email from that site... not that hard to do on a one time basis.... I'm not running out to buy salt for the hat, I think it's safe...
posted by HuronBob at 6:10 PM on October 16, 2010


"I say this as someone who is fairly tenacious about ferreting out and banning without remorse people who attempt to self-link on the site. I need an actual connection of some kind, we don't ban people for just being banal."

I cannot see a this FPP being made in good faith, the OP made the barest possible minimum investment into Metafilter with comments like "incredible." and "Wow, that's impressive." and then made a post advertising the flagship product of a company which advertises its desire for astroturfers. That said I'm not calling for his banning, just deleting the post, perhaps with a encouraging email explaining why.

I trust your GoogleFu, particularly with additional resources, to be much stronger than mine but even super-sleuthing can only go so far. An easy to acquire clean PayPal account, an academic email address he doesn't use for anything, a common username and the choice of a identity averse industry would make him seem much more legit while making him extremely resistant to smoking guns.

on preview, if carpenter becomes a meaningful part of our community I'll help HuronBob with his hat
posted by Blasdelb at 6:12 PM on October 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


...there's no indication that the guy who made the post is guilty of anything other than being a stoner with meh taste in posts.

Well, to be fair there's nothing linking him to being a stoner either other than a meh post. If we're going to make deductions about the poster based on the post someone needs to start excavating my basement now. I'm one D&D post away from taking over Ed Ted Gein's old cell.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:15 PM on October 16, 2010


whoever made the post was very careful to disconnect his user name/email from that site

Possibly. But if you're gonna make that accusation some sort of actual evidence would be nice.
posted by Dumsnill at 6:20 PM on October 16, 2010


Well, to be fair there's nothing linking him to being a stoner either other than a meh post.

Granted, speculation on my part. Based in part on info that's not publicly viewable but fundamentally just a guess.

I was just struck by how much the poster is acting exactly like a spammer, as spammers have been described by you guys in other threads. New account. Minimum number of comments to enable posting, and up it goes.

Trust me, I hear you. I can give a like fifteen point presentation on Things That Make You Look Like You Might Be Spamming Metafilter. I dug like hell on this one because it fit the profile well. But we dig for a reason, and that's that profiling is a useful starting point but it's nothing more than speculation until some actual dirt turns up.

So: worst case scenario, the guy posting this has some sort of explicit affiliate relationship with Wickie Pipe or some less explicit quid pro quo shit going on, and posted this specifically in bad faith for remunerative gain. It's possible that's what's actually going on, and by some mix of luck and canniness he has gotten away with it. Which, it's entirely possible that's the case and that is some total bullshit and fuck that guy, but this is a hypothetical "fuck him" that doesn't in practice come into play until such time as some scooby squaddie actually connects a couple dots.

Best case scenario, the guy posting this is some guy who thought for whatever reason that posting a little weed contraption and youtube review of it was a good first post, and by the luck of the draw his weak post managed to not get deleted, and that's it. This is also entirely possible. Generally when we've got a couple possibilities and no way to establish which is the actual case, our move is to extend the benefit of the doubt but keep a close eye on the situation. Which is where we are right now: anything sketchy further from this guy will be a clincher, lack of anything sketchy further from him is, hey, okay, whatever.

That a stealthy bit of shill work may sneak by us now and then is a fact of life. I put a lot of energy into keeping it to a bare minimum without also going shoot-first-ask-questions-later on the odd situations where it's not clear what the deal is. I'm more or less satisfied with banning 99 spammers out of 100 and risking letting the one go by; it's keeping mefi from being a cesspool that's important to me, not some absolutely perfect operating record.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:34 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Okay, but regardless of his being a spammer or not, and aside from whether or not people are pro- or anti-pot or whatever, I'm surprised the post is still there simply because of the fact that it totally sucks (in my not-so-humble opinion). It's a pretty lame post, and it isn't the best of the web or anything like it. It's just "hey, look at this cool thing, and here is a (supposedly) random link with someone talking about it". How is that not GYOB material?
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:40 PM on October 16, 2010


If we do eat a hat, it's gonna be my 15 year old faded baseball cap that's stuck next to the seat in the Jeep, not the good Tilly hat....

or..., it might be more appropriate to shred it and smoke it...
posted by HuronBob at 6:48 PM on October 16, 2010


After reading the poster's comment history, I'd like to get in on that hat-eating action too, please.
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:53 PM on October 16, 2010


it might be more appropriate to shred it and smoke it...

We'll make brownies, man.
posted by Trochanter at 7:08 PM on October 16, 2010


He doesn't look like a stoner.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 7:09 PM on October 16, 2010


cortex, thank you for explaining you reasoning more thoroughly. I suppose what I found so offensive about the FPP is that it is a cesspool encouraging post, regardless of any real quid pro quo.

HuronBob, the three of us could let carpenter decide if he ever comes back, but I think were safe from any geriatric hat related lung cancer or bowel obstruction. Google seems to be doing good things for WickiePipe©(2010) these days and carpenter has made his first, lame, SEOish, post on a subject metafilter does not do well with limited investment and is still nowhere to be seen, even as we have all of these questions.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:19 PM on October 16, 2010


And... cortex.. My comments are not intended to be critical of your thinking or decisions... I would have probably made the same decision regarding that post..... spam or not...
posted by HuronBob at 7:34 PM on October 16, 2010


Ditto (though I would have probably deleted the post based on the grounds I mentioned above) :-)
posted by 1000monkeys at 7:44 PM on October 16, 2010


I'm no expert, but I don't believe there's any connection between the tumblr template and anything.

Is marijuana really a subject that Metafilter does not do well?
posted by box at 8:05 PM on October 16, 2010


Well, they do it well if you're a stoner :-P

I do agree though though that the tumblr template is probably irrelevant.
posted by 1000monkeys at 8:14 PM on October 16, 2010


... we don't ban people for just being banal.

Well ... that explains why I'm still here, at least.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:22 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


No-true-stoner.
posted by box at 8:23 PM on October 16, 2010


Maybe we can add another bit of criteria to our spamming/SEO/astroturfing general (explicit or mod-evaluation) guidelines: products, services or sites that spam the internet are probably not good links for MeFi?

Here's Wicki Pipes all over a (crappy, spammy) site about dog food (including the Linda youtube link).

I agree that this isn't something I'd expect to see on Metafilter.
posted by taz at 9:47 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here's Wicki Pipes all over a (crappy, spammy) site about dog food

You know you can put anything in that site and it will come up with stuff? It has nearly a thousand pages of banjo posts and 22 pages of Metafilter related content but that doesn't mean there is an army of banjo wielding mefites spamming the internet. it just means that it is a spam site that builds itself from youtube searches (hey dog food site is dogfood scam).

(and, er, it's a free theme).
posted by tallus at 10:39 PM on October 16, 2010


Better that a criminal go free than an innocent go to jail.

MeFi is not jail. I'd rather see an innocent post deleted—we have an abundance of them—than a creep successfully post Pepsi Blue.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:57 PM on October 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


BURN HIMMMMMMM!
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:09 PM on October 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


No! Let's see if he floats!
posted by five fresh fish at 11:23 PM on October 16, 2010 [3 favorites]


tallus: "(hey dog food site is dogfood scam)"

Your link is broken. So a "dogfood scam" is a thing? Searching for dogfood scam gets me a whole bunch of spammy looking hits all advertising one book.
posted by idiopath at 11:25 PM on October 16, 2010


I'd rather see an innocent post deleted—we have an abundance of them—than a creep successfully post Pepsi Blue.

You're probably right.

but that book about dog food is pretty awesome - and I don't even like dog food.
posted by Dumsnill at 11:39 PM on October 16, 2010


The first rule on the Blue I'd that you don't talk about the Blue.
posted by blue_beetle at 5:48 AM on October 17, 2010


I am assuming other people do this, but when I am massively irritated by something trivial, I pretend I am Keith Olbermann and I do his 'How daaaare you, siiiiir?!' thing. It is not a very good imitation, because I can't get my voice that low, but it does make me laugh at my disproportionate fury that EarthFare is out of Gold Peak tea or something.

I would suggest we put a little note in the create MeTa fields that asks: 'Have you attempted to rebuke the object of your ire by pretending to be Keith Olbermann? If not, please try to do so, verbally. Only if that does not assuage your honest wrath may you proceed.'

The deleting comments outrage seems to me to be the perfect thing upon which to vent the spleen of pretend Keith Olbermann, along with 'I made this beautiful post about glue-sniffing through the ages and it was deleted!' and 'I am incensed that we can't post eighty questions a day!'
posted by winna at 9:23 AM on October 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I had no intention of stiring up such a controversy over that post... I'm reletively new to the site and looking back at some of the comments, as well as the posts in this thread I would like to apologize for making such a lousy post.

I got a little excited when I saw this thing, I got these two links from a friend. I should have at least put more thought into how I worded their sharing.

You all have a great thing going here, and I'm proud to be apart of it. My contributions in the future will be of more value to the community than this one.
posted by carpenter at 1:52 PM on October 17, 2010


carpenter, welcome to Metafilter! I'm sorry I was so sure that you were gone, but I'm glad you're still here. My first post was kind of shitty and on the edge of deletion too. Lurking for a while and waiting until you have awesome links helps.

I have MeMailed HuronBob my address and fully intend to consume or imbibe whatever portion of his old hat he might send me once you start making awesome posts or comments.
posted by Blasdelb at 2:15 PM on October 17, 2010


that hat has NEVER been washed... washing it would ruin the flavor...
posted by HuronBob at 2:20 PM on October 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you wash the hat, then you'll lose all the salty, sweaty flavour! Guess I need a piece of that hat too...mmm, canvas, so tasty and filling!
posted by 1000monkeys at 2:55 PM on October 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


So a "dogfood scam" is a thing?

Well according to urban dictionary it is.

1. A old school scam used by bums to get money by using a can of dog food and a can of cornbeef and hash. The can of dog food is emptied and cleaned out and the cornbeef is placed in the dogfood can. The bum then sits outside a grocery store eating from the dogfood can and is given money by strangers that think the poor bum is eating dogfood. 2. Any scam where a bum lowers himself to a unethical level, such as pretending to have no legs.
and it seemed to good to not use it as a metaphor for "misrepresenting your contents for scammy purposes".
posted by tallus at 6:44 PM on October 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was..., as they say "off my game"

That's code for stoned out of your gourd, isn't it?
posted by juv3nal at 7:01 PM on October 17, 2010


That's code for stoned out of your gourd, isn't it?

I wish. It's code for "I'm a huge baby and can't wake up at 8 am without complaining about it for days on end" Eight am!

I don't know about cortex but I've got a pretty serious house rule against moderating while any sort of inebriated.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:49 PM on October 17, 2010


"I'm a huge baby and can't wake up at 8 am without complaining about it for days on end" Eight am!

Yeah, it shits me when I sleep in that late, as well. The pre-dawn is by far the best part of the day.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:01 PM on October 17, 2010


Morning people are disturbed deviants and should be put down like a diseased dog.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:03 PM on October 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Not that I'm judging them.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:04 PM on October 17, 2010


You'd have to stay up all night to even try it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:09 PM on October 17, 2010


I actually used to be a night person, then decided that evolutionarily we are probably wired to wake with the pre-dawn, and retire not long after dark - this was tied in with ideas of the serotonin / melatonin daily cycle, plus the effects of full natural light on mood, ie avoiding Seasonal Affective Disorder; aiming to get as much natural daylight into me as possible.

Plus, it's nice to have a leisurely breakfast & still get in an hour or more of exercise before work.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:15 PM on October 17, 2010


I don't know about cortex but I've got a pretty serious house rule against moderating while any sort of inebriated.

It's more of a sliding scale, like:

1 drink: no banning without double-checking with another mod
2 drinks: no hollering at anyone in metatalk even if they deserve it
3 drinks: no deleting something if I'm ambivalent
4+ drinks: it better have at least two-digit flags or I'm just going to bed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:22 PM on October 17, 2010 [3 favorites]


Wait, there's an eight ... AM? How dark is it out THEN?
posted by not_on_display at 9:27 PM on October 17, 2010


I always said when I embarked on this sordid career that I would never do banal.
posted by Skot at 8:58 AM on October 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


Your special snowflake melted.
posted by terrapin at 9:29 AM on October 18, 2010


You know, in the give and take, the rough and tumble of a campaign, a lot of things are said, a lot of promises are made, and, and well, as citizens, we must realize that any talk of hat eating by some over zealous members of this campaign was, I think, in their understandable eagerness to "get the story," over reported by the media. Rest assured that this administration remains committed in principal to its hat eating policy, and that we will continue to work with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to ensure that, as we move forward, that all eaters of hats will feel safe to eat the head covering or cranial adornment of their choice as we move into a new era. An era of hope and change where families of all races are free to wear or eat hats, or wigs, or amusing reindeer antlers, or any head covering or cranial adornment of their choice, as the voice of their conscience dictates. With the condiments of their choice.
God bless America.

posted by Trochanter at 9:39 AM on October 18, 2010 [2 favorites]


...we don't ban people for just being banal.

Hey, you can't spell "banal" without "ban". Think about it.

*inhales*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:08 PM on October 18, 2010


And, banal is full of anal.
posted by found missing at 5:11 PM on October 18, 2010


A man a plan ban banal anal Panama!
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:05 PM on October 18, 2010


Bugger it, my permissions are all hosed up again.
posted by flabdablet at 12:04 AM on October 19, 2010


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