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Deceptive question
April 10, 2011 9:37 PM   Subscribe

Is this kind of thing ok?

Is there such a thing, in any law, in any jurisdiction (even outside of the U.S.)?
...
I knew from the get go that there would never be a law of this kind


I don't feel super strongly about it, but I might have done if the question topic were different and I'd actually participated or something. It seems kind of not ok to me, how do the rest of y'all feel?
posted by juv3nal to Etiquette/Policy at 9:37 PM (44 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I see no problem with it.

asker seems to be a kid working on a high school english project; cut him some slack
posted by Jon_Evil at 9:47 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


They say in the "more inside": I cannot seem to find a precedent for "filming/camera required by law" on any subject, in any context. So I think they're looking for examples of legally required filming and broadcasting of something. And they know that applying it specifically to animal slaughter is unlikely.
posted by LobsterMitten at 9:48 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The way I read it Monkey0nCrack hoped there would be an example, but weren't surprised when there wasn't. Not that they 100% knew there wasn't and was just wasting out time. For example, just because I can't find something doesn't mean it doesn't exist and ask.me is pretty good at turning up unlikely examples.

Plus it seems that he's been given some good leads to get him thinking and investigating, so the question was worthwhile. I wish all homework questions went like this actually.
posted by shelleycat at 9:51 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


asker seems to be a kid working on a high school english project; cut him some slack

Presumably college, since his previous question mentions having a wife. Unless this is a kid using a parents' account, in which case shouldn't that have been stated?
posted by lwb at 9:53 PM on April 10, 2011


Jon_Evil: “I see no problem with it.”

There's a huge problem with askers abusing the trust of Metafilter by disingenuously lying about their position and asking people to defend it, only to prove those people wrong. If I'd answered that question, I'd feel severely put upon, because I have two choices: call bullshit on the question (which is not generally the best tack in answering a question on ask.metafilter) or get called bullshit on by the asker. It's manipulative, it's pushy, and it's abusive of the trust of people who are only trying to help out.

If a person wants to ask a question like this, let them respect us and show us the decency of being honest about it. If they don't want to respect us, I say the question should be deleted; and I'll think twice before answering a question by Monkey0nCrack in the future, as I imagine a lot of people will.
posted by koeselitz at 9:59 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


"disingenuously lying," now that's an interesting image, isn't it?
posted by koeselitz at 10:00 PM on April 10, 2011


disingenuously lying about their position and asking people to defend it, only to prove those people wrong.

Wow, that's a pretty big assumption to jump to based on a few words. Why is it more likely that he's purposefully lying to us rather than genuinely searching for information (which, incidentally, he seems to have been given)?
posted by shelleycat at 10:01 PM on April 10, 2011


Wow, that's a pretty big assumption to jump to based on a few words. Why is it more likely that he's purposefully lying to us rather than genuinely searching for information (which, incidentally, he seems to have been given)?

Because that's what he claimed. He says he already knew. Isn't it a reasonable default assumption in this situation to take people at their word?

On further consideration, I guess my problem boils down to a case of semantics. If, in his comment within the question he'd said "I strongly suspected from the get go...." I don't think this would have bothered me.
posted by juv3nal at 10:04 PM on April 10, 2011


shelleycat: “Wow, that's a pretty big assumption to jump to based on a few words. Why is it more likely that he's purposefully lying to us rather than genuinely searching for information (which, incidentally, he seems to have been given)?”

The follow-up comment revealed that the project is intended as "ironic," and that the position laid out therein is not in fact the poster's position. That's sort of an essential piece of information; when you hold back the fact that you're actually trying to state a ridiculous case for the sake of irony, it amounts to deception, and frankly it's deception of a more annoying sort on ask. It's this kind of "gotcha" at the end of a thread that's aggravating to people who have worked at giving a straight answer.

I know that the answer was given in this case, but in my mind that's despite the question, not because of it. And I think if we allow this kind of thing fewer and fewer good answers will slip through.
posted by koeselitz at 10:07 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think he's just saying that he recognizes that this is an unlikely and impractical situation, but he's wondering if there is some kind of precedent in other industries or situations that he can cite. Really not sure why this is worth a call-out as I don't see a real deliberate attempt to "disingenuously lie" anywhere here.
posted by zachlipton at 10:07 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think it's a problem of bad phrasing of the initial question.

It sounds like s/he meant the initial question to be: is there a law that requires filming and broadcasting of anything, any kind of activity, as a regulatory thing, anywhere in the world?

Then later s/he says: I knew that a film-and-broadcast law, as specifically applied to animal slaughter, would be a non-starter. [But I was asking in order to get examples of film-and-broadcast laws in other domains that I could use in my paper.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:09 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


zachlipton: “I think he's just saying that he recognizes that this is an unlikely and impractical situation, but he's wondering if there is some kind of precedent in other industries or situations that he can cite. Really not sure why this is worth a call-out as I don't see a real deliberate attempt to "disingenuously lie" anywhere here.”

You misunderstand the poster's explanation, I think. The poster seems to think it's ridiculous that anyone would want to put video cameras in private farms for surveillance and to make sure laws were being followed; and in order to prove that point ironically, he proposed to put those cameras there, and asked us to give him precedent.

We didn't answer the question; we told him that wasn't likely. (Frankly, there probably is some precedent to be found; there's precedent for everything. We just didn't give it.) Because we didn't answer the question as asked, he thanked us; that was his whole goal, to get a non-answer as some kind of demonstration of his point.
posted by koeselitz at 10:13 PM on April 10, 2011


That's no Monkey on Crack.......MeTaBots! Roll Out.
posted by cashman at 10:27 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The OP didn't write very clearly. As a result, there is more than one way to interpret his statements.

For example, when he writes, "I knew from the get go" that could be interpreted to mean "I knew the answer and I just wanted to see you guys fumble around" OR it could mean "I thought so, but I wasn't sure/had no proof, so I asked." In support of the second interpretation, he writes "that is exactly what I needed to get going in the right direction", perhaps implying that he didn't know the terminology to use in order to do the research to prove his hunch.

I'm not really sure which one is more likely, but arguing back and forth as if anyone can make absolute sense of OP's words doesn't strike me as very useful at this time. Overall, I thought it was more of a mefi thing to give the asker the benefit of the doubt and assume he's acting in good faith.
posted by lesli212 at 10:28 PM on April 10, 2011 [4 favorites]



Is there such a thing, in any law, in any jurisdiction (even outside of the U.S.)?
...
I knew from the get go that there would never be a law of this kind


Translation: "I really really suspect that X is not true, but I want confirmation".

Seems fine to me.
posted by orthogonality at 10:36 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I assume none of us are mind readers but if so *thinks about something really hard*
posted by BeerFilter at 10:42 PM on April 10, 2011


On a tangent -- I thought there were rules against using AskMeTa for answers to schoolwork.
posted by tzikeh at 10:43 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


BeerFilter: "I assume none of us are mind readers but if so *thinks about something really hard"

Beer!

What do I win?
posted by lesli212 at 10:46 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The poster seems to think it's ridiculous that anyone would want to put video cameras in private farms for surveillance and to make sure laws were being followed; and in order to prove that point ironically, he proposed to put those cameras there, and asked us to give him precedent.


The poster says "the recent hubbub" in Idaho and Florida "are utter bullshit" - but does s/he mean it's bullshit that people would:
1. protest against photos being allowed in slaughterhouses, or
2. expect to be allowed to take photos in a slaughterhouse?

I can't tell from the comment. I guess I had interpreted it as #1. koeselitz is interpreting it as #2.
posted by LobsterMitten at 10:48 PM on April 10, 2011


I didn't see anything where they claimed irony or whatever else you're reading into it all. I also think that my comments here are a pretty good example of how people don't always write in the bestest most clearest way possible (gah), and I still see no reason why you should assume he's fucking with you rather than just not writing things that are perfectly phrased.

But then I also see no reason to assume the worst of people, it's just too exhausting. Personally I have better things to do. If you want to decide all kinds of things he didn't say then you're fully welcome to not answer his questions in the future. But this call out is way over the top in my opinion, and maybe you should try assuming good faith rather than nitpicking over exact phrasing.
posted by shelleycat at 10:49 PM on April 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Intentionally misleading people about your assumptions or expectations going into a question or otherwise deliberately miscommunicating in a manipulative fashion is not an okay thing to do with askme, no.

In this case, I'm inclined to give the asker the benefit of the doubt because I agree with those saying that the followup is ambiguous. If there's something further from the asker that makes it absolutely clear that something problematic was going on here, that's something we'll take a hard look at, but barring that I think this is more of a thing where it's okay to feel weird about it if you feel weird about it but there's not much to do.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:56 PM on April 10, 2011


So in summary (since I feel like I'm having a somewhat incoherent evening). Poster wrote a question in an effort to get information. The question and follow up was not perfectly worded. He seems to have received the information he was looking for anyway. That somehow makes him a liar who is ruining our community. WFT?
posted by shelleycat at 10:57 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Intentionally misleading people about your assumptions or expectations going into a question or otherwise deliberately miscommunicating in a manipulative fashion is not an okay thing to do with askme, no.

I agree...and thats why I sometimes have problems with "anonymous" questions.

That is all.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:44 PM on April 10, 2011


I don't think M0C was being deceptive or abusing our trust at all. I saw the situation as LobsterMitten describes it— he really didn't think there would be an exact parallel, but was looking for less exact parallels, like the ones smoke and CCoDoD gave.

His writing is a little vague and hard to follow, and he's clearly interested in collecting information to favor a particular argument, but he's not grinding his axe at us; he's using AskMe to get some pointers for further research, which is the kind of thing AskMe is for, isn't it?
posted by hattifattener at 11:48 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


On further consideration, I guess my problem boils down to a case of semantics. If, in his comment within the question he'd said "I strongly suspected from the get go...." I don't think this would have bothered me.

I knew* you'd finally realize that this a case of semantics.


*I didn't actually know this. I just strongly suspected it. That's one of the definitions of "know", colloquially.
posted by 23skidoo at 11:55 PM on April 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I understood the sentence "I knew from the get go that there would never be a law of this kind" to mean "I knew from the get go that no matter how much I try to agitate for such a law, it's never going to be viable in the future". If that's what's meant, then the poster's tenses are a little wacky, but it makes more sense than the dissembling interpretation, especially with the following clause "but I wanted to [...] submit it as my homework assignment."

In other words, the poster seemed to be responding to the slight derail where people were pointing out how this law would never be acceptable, rather than saying whether or not there were any examples of something similar in other countries, in other circumstances.
posted by lollusc at 1:01 AM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I share zachlipton and LobsterMitten's interpretation, and agree that we should extend the benefit of the doubt and that this is no big deal.
posted by salvia at 1:06 AM on April 11, 2011


Using the phrase "I KNEW it!" when something that you suspected was true is proven to be true or confirmed by another person is common where I come from...
posted by tomswift at 3:03 AM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is this kind of thing ok? I don't feel super strongly about it, but I might have done if the question topic were different and I'd actually participated or something. It seems kind of not ok to me, how do the rest of y'all feel?

I feel great! Had a lovely weekend. Thanks for asking!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 3:36 AM on April 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


There's a huge problem with askers abusing the trust of Metafilter by disingenuously lying about their position and asking people to defend it, only to prove those people wrong.

You really read it like that? I really didn't.
posted by londonmark at 5:00 AM on April 11, 2011


I knew from the get go that there would never be a law of this kind

As others above, I read this as a somewhat confusing way to say, "I knew before I even started writing this paper that there is a very low chance of a law requiring surveillance in meat processing plants ever being created". He goes on to say that he wanted to turn this issue on its head - i.e., using examples of surveillance from other areas (internationally as well) to bolster his point.

I think it's a bit of a stretch to assume malicious intent. It doesn't look like he was trying to game the AskMe answerers.
posted by amicamentis at 6:11 AM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


shelleycat: “So in summary (since I feel like I'm having a somewhat incoherent evening). Poster wrote a question in an effort to get information. The question and follow up was not perfectly worded. He seems to have received the information he was looking for anyway. That somehow makes him a liar who is ruining our community. WFT?”

Lots of people get what they're looking for from a question. That doesn't mean they did it in a respectful way. It's not really nice to ask people rhetorical questions as though you meant them seriously and then be satisfied when they're not answered adequately. And the thing is that we've had people do this before, and it's annoying.

That said, I can see I was being a bit hasty. The interpretation I had is possible, but I guess it's possible that there's another interpretation of what the poster said. And in that situation, yeah, benefit of the doubt, etc.
posted by koeselitz at 7:21 AM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought there were rules against using AskMeTa for answers to schoolwork.

The FAQ does say "Please do not Ask MetaFilter to do your homework for you," but I think this is one of the looser guidelines—it's more like "don't have us do the entire thing for you," but asking for more general guidance, pointers in the right direction, etc.—which this question was—are OK.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:41 AM on April 11, 2011


Maybe I'm just stupid, but from the wording of the original question, I assumed M0C was teaching a class, not in a class.

That lying liar lied about lies!

yeah, I'm stupid
posted by owtytrof at 7:49 AM on April 11, 2011


Yeah I think there are two ways of reading what the OP was going after and I'm going for the more charitable one, but I'll drop the OP a note and make sure he's not doing the less-charitably interpreted thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:50 AM on April 11, 2011


The OP seemed to be organizing their, young and still forming, ideas. This is a perfectly legitimate use of AskMe.
posted by Blasdelb at 8:15 AM on April 11, 2011


I thought that AskMe wasn't there to do your homework.
posted by klangklangston at 8:20 AM on April 11, 2011


It's not there to literally answer your homework for you but if you're needing help generating ideas or whatever it's fine. Sometimes the line is blurry. I dropped the OP a note.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:28 AM on April 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


As someone who did spend some time (and put some thought) into trying to help the OP, I'm a vaguely bothered by the somewhat glib follow-up. I actually offered two examples of mandatory recordings, yet in spite of this, the OP still knows (and knew going into it?) that "there would never be a law of this kind"? That's just weird to me, and makes me feel like it was a bit of a put-up. Eh, no big deal, but not really a good use of AskMe, in my opinion.
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:28 AM on April 11, 2011


LobsterMitten: I think it's a problem of bad phrasing of the initial question. It sounds like s/he meant the initial question to be: is there a law that requires filming and broadcasting of anything, any kind of activity, as a regulatory thing, anywhere in the world?

This is exactly correct. I should not have put the animal-based subject matter in the question or additional info. This is for a College "Business/Technical Writing" English class. My professor said to come up with some topics, and I suggested three, and this was one of them. Also, SMOKE gave the type of answer I was looking for, so that I can research my paper. My homework is "to create a three page proposal with two or more works cited references." Now that I have SMOKE's answer, and Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell's as well, I can look for some references for my paper.

Since this is a "proposal" and the privacy issues are difficult, if not impossible, to mitigate through the proposal, it is doubtful that the proposal itself will ever be 'approved' so to speak. This is why I asked the question even through "there would never be a law of this kind."

Apologies, Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell. It was not a put-up.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 9:54 AM on April 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's fair. No worries, and no apology needed, in light of this explanation. Perfectly okay to write a paper advocating a proposal that has no chance of ever becoming law. (I certainly did that in law school.) Though I do think there are some counter-examples, like those I mentioned (CVRs being the clearest one).
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 9:59 AM on April 11, 2011


"dude, what are you watching?"
"meat-packing channel, man."
"heh. you said 'meat'... heh..."
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:37 PM on April 11, 2011


Ok, you work at a meat packing plant and are auditioning for a musical through the CCTV.
posted by clavdivs at 7:26 PM on April 11, 2011


Good luck with your paper, MonkeyOnCrack, and props for responding in a calm way in here.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:09 PM on April 11, 2011


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