Yesterday evening I submitted a metafilter post (pointing out this website
) that was just a single link, with a description of what I was linking to (a descriptive list of bombings of commercial aircraft). I thought, and still think, that the post works better as a single link.
The post was deleted, with the explanation: "A little context for this probably would be a good idea."
What I'm not clear about, and the reason this goes to Metatalk, is the question of when the need for additional context can serve as an appropriate reason for deletion. Why in a case like this is more context necessary, when other single-link posts (a list of 100 spaceships
, or a baby owl
) are permitted, "context-free," as it were? It seems more that a little arbitrary.
With respect to this post on airline bombings that relates pretty clearly to recent TSA controversies, bombings, the security state and so forth, I would have thought that the context here (the one that most readers will focus on, anyhow) is unusually obvious, and that posting links to CNN, the NYT, etc. about these issues would at best be adding a bunch of already-familiar filler material, and would also tend towards editorializing.
And since "lack of context" isn't listed in the FAQ's list of common reasons for deletion
, I need to raise two related questions: 1) how often is "context needed" or some variation thereof cited as a reason for deletion, and 2) how can submitters know whether or not their post requires additional context, and judge what sort of context might be required in order for their post to avoid deletion under Metafilter's guidelines?
One would think that context would normally be required when introducing a subject or question that isn't already widely familiar. I'm not sure why this common sense understanding shouldn't be sufficient.