We get it already June 8, 2011 1:10 PM   Subscribe

What to do about users monopolizing threads?

What I'm talking about are commenting patterns like this:
A: blah blah blah
B: yackity yack
C: some other thing
D: something else
A: blah blah blah
E: something else again
F: something about yackity yack
A: Listen, I said blah blah blah
F: something about some other thing
G: something about what C said about the other thing
A: Don't you understand? The problem is blah blah blah
H: something about something else
A: I said, blah blah blah
....
This has come up on MeTa a couple times before, and there seems to be general agreement that this is a problem, but not what to do about it. People who do this often aren't aggressive or obnoxious about it (other than repeating the same point over and again), and sometimes I even agree with the point they keep repeating. It can nevertheless get pretty annoying if it goes on for a long time (and even if it's only every tenth or twelfth comment or so).

Flagging definitely doesn't work, presumably because all of the user's individual comments seem to be innocuous statements of "blah blah blah." People trying to address it in-thread can just end up provoking hostility and making the thread even more about the incessant commenter than it was already.

Should we flag all the users comments in a thread? Does this show up in flag queue in a way that makes it clear what the problem is? Should we use the contact form and explain the situation? ('User U has made N comments in M hours all making the same point. That seems a bit excessive. Could you ask them to lay off a bit or something?')
posted by nangar to Etiquette/Policy at 1:10 PM (198 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

You can't change anyone's behavior, but you can reward behavior you want to encourage. If someone posts inane things over and over in a thread I ignore them entirely and engage the with person who said one great thing instead. Together, we can all train each other to be great thread participants.
posted by 2bucksplus at 1:13 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


ignore it?

It is kind of like a cocktail party, there is usually at least one incessant blowhard but most people are able to tune him out. We are lucky to be online in that he isn't able to physically corner you and spout off in your face (ewww).

You can also just mention it in-thread polite as possible and then ignore the verbal diarrhea that comes after, at least you have had your polite word and the natter knows people have noticed him....
posted by edgeways at 1:15 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If it's a longtime problem user you're welcome to drop us a note about it. If it's just someone who is excited or somewhat single-topic, the best bet is to totally ignore them or politely suggest they might want to start another thread about their pet topic because this one is mostly about something else.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:16 PM on June 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't think that's nearly as annoying as

A : (discussing topic)
B: (discussing topic)
C: (discussing topic)
B: (discussing topic)
D: SOMETHING CONTROVERSIAL AND/OR STUPID!
A : (discussing D)
B: (discussing D)
C: (discussing D)
B: (discussing D)
posted by Afroblanco at 1:20 PM on June 8, 2011 [57 favorites]


Spouse them. We all know how easy it is to tune out a spouse. Pretty soon you won't even know you live with them.
posted by tomswift at 1:22 PM on June 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


Together, we can all train each other to be great thread participants.
posted by 2bucksplus at 4:13 PM


Mention this user name, and get a free favorite!
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:23 PM on June 8, 2011


It is kind of like a cocktail party, there is usually at least one incessant blowhard

Bore: (n) a person who talks when you wish him to listen.

Ambrose Bierce: the Devil's Dictionary
posted by UbuRoivas at 1:27 PM on June 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


blah blah blah, SOMETHING CONTROVERSIAL AND/OR STUPID, blah. in my pants.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:30 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


The problem is, I'm feeling kinda blah blah blah, right now.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:32 PM on June 8, 2011


what does everyone have against blahblahblah?

also has anyone heard from interrobang
posted by boo_radley at 1:32 PM on June 8, 2011


OK, jessamyn. My goal was just to get some kind of official statement about this.
posted by nangar at 1:35 PM on June 8, 2011


G really pisses me off. I wish I had a killfile for them.
posted by Trurl at 1:40 PM on June 8, 2011


As long as we're discussing amusing MetaFilter thread patterns,

Post: SENSATIONAL THING IS SENSATIONAL

A: (discussing sensational news)
B: (discussing sensational news)
...
...
...
C: (discussing sensational news)
D: Wait guys, this actually isn't true [cite 1][cite 2][cite 3], we should stop perpetuating this misinformation
E: (discussing sensational news)
F: (discussing sensational news)
...
...
...
G: (discussing sensational news)
D: No, seriously guys, did you read the comments? This is manifestly untrue.
H: (discussing sensational news)
I: (discussing sensational news)
J: (discussing sensational news)
K: (discussing sensational news)
posted by Salvor Hardin at 1:40 PM on June 8, 2011 [41 favorites]


FPP: Interesting post about invention of the saxaphone, multiple links, brief mention of Nobel Prize
More Inside: Thirty links to background and sources

A: YEAH THEN WHY DID THEY GIVE OBAMA A PEACE PRIZE CUZ HE BOMBED SHIT UP
(143 favorites)
B: Defense of Obama
C: Invective against Obama
D: Measured criticism of Obama
C: One-liner
posted by shakespeherian at 1:42 PM on June 8, 2011 [27 favorites]


also has anyone heard from interrobang

What the hell are you talking about‽
posted by Afroblanco at 1:44 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Post: GREAT THING IS GREAT

A: GREAT!!!
B: YEAH!!!
(crickets)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:47 PM on June 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


Wow, sorry!
posted by desjardins at 1:49 PM on June 8, 2011


Look, NASA is money well spent, deal with it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:50 PM on June 8, 2011


Is this about threads relating to Batman?

I just *really* like Batman.

:-(
posted by Artw at 1:52 PM on June 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


You can't change anyone's behavior,

You have clearly never spent any quality time in my operant conditioning chamber. I'm not saying I was the inspiration for the Saw movies, but I'm not, not saying that either.
posted by quin at 1:53 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Batman "likes" you too, Robin.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:54 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh, come on. Batman, at best, tolerates Robin. What's Robin's real purpose, anyway? Seriously, think about it. Batman wears all grey and black. Robin? Bright green, red, and yellow. Who's more noticeable? Easier to see? Easier to shoot at? That's right, Robin's there so the bad guys shoot at him, not Batman. He's a freaking bullet catcher.

Was that SOMETHING CONTROVERSIAL AND/OR STUPID! enough?
posted by Ghidorah at 2:07 PM on June 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


I kind of like the current, evil Robin that Batman is teamed up with.
posted by Artw at 2:08 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think the solution is to stop looking for a process to fix a perceived general problem, and also to stop alluding to the users that irritate you. Just come out and tell them by name that they suck.

Or don't and just enjoy your life.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:09 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, a killfile would work pretty well too.
posted by Artw at 2:11 PM on June 8, 2011


Are we talking about Robin the Boy Hostage?
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:11 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Damien would totally stab never used baby shoes for that crack, for a start.
posted by Artw at 2:13 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


What if I'm evil? What if enjoying my life involves destroying my enemies? Should I still feel free to enjoy my life?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:13 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Whenever a metatalk callout happens, I'm a little paranoid that I'm the offender and I've somehow annoyed someone.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 2:16 PM on June 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


What to do about users monopolizing threads?

Killfile.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:18 PM on June 8, 2011


Damien would totally stab never used baby shoes for that crack, for a start.

Sounds like a more Rockin' Robin, for sure.
posted by never used baby shoes at 2:22 PM on June 8, 2011


Monopolizing threads? Why would anyone do that?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:25 PM on June 8, 2011


Seriously, I don't get it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:25 PM on June 8, 2011


When I see with blah blah blah I just think da da da .
posted by Sailormom at 2:25 PM on June 8, 2011


I mean, I suppose it could be annoying.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:25 PM on June 8, 2011


How 'bout them Yankees?
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:25 PM on June 8, 2011


Whenever a metatalk callout happens, I'm a little paranoid that I'm the offender and I've somehow annoyed someone.

Your occupation is listed as "face-puncher," among other trades. Do you find that it annoys people when, you know, you punch their face?
posted by longsleeves at 2:35 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


C: One-liner

~blush~
posted by chavenet at 2:37 PM on June 8, 2011


I know I have been guilty of doing this. I try to restrain myself. It happens because of either or both (a) I'm super excited and the conversation is getting somewhere and is really productive or mindblowing or novel and (b) it's kind of a contentious topic and there are numerous separate points to which I want to directly respond.

I do the same thing in RL conversation, and yes, I know it is a character flaw. I work on being aware of it and keeping it in check , while also understanding that this very enthusiasm can also be one of my best qualities and not quashing it entirely. I think you should look at it in the context of a specific user - do they do this all the time? In every thread they're in? To be annoying? Because they are not listening? Because they are axe-grinding? Because they are honestly participating in moving the discussion forward? Because it's come down to a conversation amongst just a few people who are still interested on Day 5? I think it's a shame to make a blanket policy when there are a lot of reasons for doing this, and few if any people do it all the time, on purpose, to be a jerk.

As a verbose individual, I used to be of the opinion "Well, why should I hold back? I'm happy if everyone contributes just this much and it's lively, and it's up to other people to speak up also if they want to!" While I still think that's not totally unreasonable, it's also not super conducive to inclusive discourse. It's demonstrably true that if you don't yap as much as you really would like to, it does leave more room for more people to respond and take more time doing it. It has been a good practice for me to say my piece and then step away for at least a few hours, and when I come back, find that the discussion has evolved in directions it wouldn't if I were in there again with every fourth comment.

I would plead in general for a forgiving attitude toward excitables like myself, and understand it's not (usually?) an intention to be annoying and can, in fact, indicate that the discussion is going great and there's a whole lot of interchange. If it gets annoying, usually a "hey, I see what you're saying but am interested in other responses, so what do others think?" kind of thing can get the point across. So can a MeMail and so can mod reminders to not moderate your own thread (when in fact it is your own thread) or to settle back and let other people have a chance.
posted by Miko at 2:38 PM on June 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Miko, I don't think you have.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:44 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Your occupation is listed as "face-puncher," among other trades. Do you find that it annoys people when, you know, you punch their face?

I try to avoid mixing my work with my metafiltering.
posted by thsmchnekllsfascists at 2:45 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Whenever a metatalk callout happens, I'm a little paranoid that I'm the offender and I've somehow annoyed someone."

Same here, except the opposite. I worry that:

1) It's not about me. (Aww, my poor ego) or,
2) It's about me, but it's good.

Both times I've had a callout on MeTa, it's been positive. And then I've ended up with a ban/timeout within 24-48 hours.
posted by Eideteker at 2:48 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sometimes when I am A, I experience it more like this:

A: My experience is X because of Y
B: X never happens.
C: Yes, X never happens and neither does Y.
D: Y never causes X!
A: Again, my experience is X.
A: And also, again, Y.
E: X never happens.
F: Yes, X never happens and neither does Y.
G: Y never causes X!
A: Why isn't anyone acnowledging that X, because it happened to me?

Maybe the best thing to do is just step away and recognize that almost no one reads every comment - heck, I am guilty of skimming, too - and I can't expect semi-anon internet people to recognize my own experiences as valid.
posted by muddgirl at 2:49 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


PROTIP: If Miko ever does this to you IRL, just give her a big ol' hug. Usually works fine to slow her up, plus she gives great hugs.
posted by Eideteker at 2:52 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some people might call it 'monopolizing'. Other people might call it 'engaging in conversation'.

Threaded comments would pretty much fix this 'problem'.

Personally, I love threads where a few people hash out every detail of a contentious subject and it bothers me a lot less than someone like Faze dropping a conversational turd in the punch bowl and then checking out.
posted by empath at 2:55 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


A: My experience is X because of Y
B: X never happens.
C: Yes, X never happens and neither does Y.
D: Y never causes X!
A: Again, my experience is X.
A: And also, again, Y.
E: X never happens.
F: Yes, X never happens and neither does Y.
G: Y never causes X!
A: Why isn't anyone acnowledging that X, because it happened to me?


Never happened.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:56 PM on June 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


A Faze-ing is like a the sudden opening of a portal to another dimension.

It might be awesome, it might be scary, or it might be wtf. But it's almost certain to be more interesting than anything else that was likely to have occurred at that moment.
posted by Trurl at 2:58 PM on June 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Personally I enjoy the rich, deep variety of MeFi comments and commenting styles; from the perspicacious and the pertinent, to the pissed and the puerile, to the pugilistic, the petulant and the pointlessly provocative. I think the only ones I don't like are the whiny, complaining ones.
posted by Decani at 2:58 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


from the perspicacious and the pertinent, to the pissed and the puerile, to the pugilistic, the petulant and the pointlessly provocative

People love to quote it, but I firmly believe P for Poinsettia to be among Moore's worst showings.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:04 PM on June 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I prefer it to The League of Extraordinary Oafs.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:07 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is one of these where if you want to write code that solves this problem, you're going to have to use adenine, cytosine, guanine, and thymine.
posted by Diablevert at 3:08 PM on June 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


blah blah i have a killfile blah blah
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:10 PM on June 8, 2011


I know I have been guilty of doing this. I try to restrain myself. It happens because of either or both (a) I'm super excited and the conversation is getting somewhere and is really productive or mindblowing or novel and (b) it's kind of a contentious topic and there are numerous separate points to which I want to directly respond.

I think you're doing fine, Miko. I love reading your comments, especially when you are participating in a responsive discussion, and I wouldn't cut down.

One of the nice things about textual communication is that it is easy to keep commenting even when someone else is commenting a lot. You can't stop someone else from talking by talking yourself the same way you can in person. There are only a couple of users I can think of that comment too much in the same threads in a problematic way.
posted by grouse at 3:11 PM on June 8, 2011


it's kind of a contentious topic and there are numerous separate points to which I want to directly respond

Yeah, I tend to ignore comments when people do this sort of thing. But it's mostly because I'm uninterested in most of the back-and-forth that goes in in threads. In most cases I think it's possible to fit your opinion into one coherent statement without responding to points individually.

Please take this with a grain of salt, though, as I realize that not everyone reads the site the same way I do. I've actually thought of writing a greasemonkey plugin that removes any comment that's obviously a response to another comment. I'm generally only interested in someone's first comment in a thread, because that's usually where they say the thing they actually mean to say.
posted by Afroblanco at 3:16 PM on June 8, 2011


Is this the logic puzzle thread? I didn't read any of the lists posted, but I'll assume it is!

During a recent police investigation, Chief Inspector cortex was interviewing five local villains to try and identify who stole jessamyn's cake from the mid-summers fayre. It was well known that each suspect told exactly one lie. Can you determine who stole the cake?

Afroblanco:
it wasn't Eideteker
it was boo_radley

boo_radley:
it wasn't Cool Papa Bell
it wasn't Eideteker

Cool Papa Bell:
it was Eideteker
it wasn't Afroblanco

desjardins:
it was Cool Papa Bell
it was boo_radley

Eideteker:
it was desjardins
it wasn't Afroblanco

posted by m@f at 3:18 PM on June 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


"A Faze-ing is like a the sudden opening of a portal to another dimension.

It might be awesome, it might be scary, or it might be wtf. But it's almost certain to be more interesting than anything else that was likely to have occurred at that moment."


Sorry, but Faze is just *yawn*
posted by Eideteker at 3:19 PM on June 8, 2011


It was Cool Papa Bell.
posted by mahershalal at 3:20 PM on June 8, 2011


It was Cool Papa Bell.
posted by Eideteker at 3:20 PM on June 8, 2011


Wait, does that count as my lie or my truth?
posted by Eideteker at 3:21 PM on June 8, 2011


I get the cake!
posted by mahershalal at 3:21 PM on June 8, 2011


During a recent police investigation, Chief Inspector cortex was interviewing five local villains to try and identify who stole jessamyn's cake from the mid-summers fayre. It was well known that each suspect told exactly one lie. Can you determine who stole the cake?

You really just want someone to make a portal reference. I will not give you the satisfaction, sir.
posted by empath at 3:22 PM on June 8, 2011


I saw a wasp eat some cake. Wasps are nazis, therefore only nazis like cake.
posted by Artw at 3:23 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh lord, I would be really sad if the only measurable change to result from this metatalk was if Miko decided to speak less.
posted by Greg Nog at 3:27 PM on June 8, 2011 [43 favorites]


I have noticed that some people post chat-room style -- instead of saving up a few thoughts and posting all at once, they basically use the "post comment" button as the Enter key. So for a span of time, every fourth comment or so will be from them.

I think it's especially tiresome when these comments are all basically jokey non sequiturs -- basically just the first things that pop into their head as they consider the topic. But they're pretty easy to skim past once you start noticing people's patterns.

Then again, people who seem to contribute massive ruminant comments also bother me. These people should get their own blog, and the rapid-fire people should pour their excess energy into Twitter.

Also, everyone should do things the way I do them, and when I don't hold myself to my own standards, they should be good enough to avoid pointing it out.
posted by hermitosis at 3:41 PM on June 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


Eideteker: Sorry, but Faze is just *yawn*

While I may not always agree with what he has to say, you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about if you don't think he makes this place more interesting.
posted by gman at 3:46 PM on June 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I have noticed that some people post chat-room style -- instead of saving up a few thoughts and posting all at once, they basically use the "post comment" button as the Enter key. So for a span of time, every fourth comment or so will be from them.

I think it's especially tiresome when these comments are all basically jokey non sequiturs -- basically just the first things that pop into their head as they consider the topic.


Yes, this. This is nothing like what you do, Miko, whatever it is you think you are doing. I always look forward to a comment from you.
posted by mlis at 3:55 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is this the Peanuts parents thread?
posted by clavdivs at 4:03 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've got this problem where as soon as I hit post, I think about some other thing I want to add.
posted by box at 4:24 PM on June 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'll try to work on it.
posted by box at 4:28 PM on June 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


"Oh lord, I would be really sad if the only measurable change to result from this metatalk was if Miko decided to speak less."

I think we've fixed it to where she speaks just as much as she always has, and also gets more hugs.
posted by Eideteker at 4:29 PM on June 8, 2011


> I know I have been guilty of doing this ... It happens because of either or both (a) I'm super excited and the conversation is getting somewhere and is really productive or mindblowing or novel and (b) it's kind of a contentious topic and there are numerous separate points to which I want to directly respond.

... I think you should look at it in the context of a specific user - do they do this all the time? In every thread they're in? To be annoying? Because they are not listening? Because they are axe-grinding? Because they are honestly participating in moving the discussion forward? Because it's come down to a conversation amongst just a few people who are still interested on Day 5?


I don't think repeated comments by a single user are remotely a problem when they're making a bunch of different points, genuinely engaging in conversation with other users, and moving the discussion forward. And, no, Miko, I was not thinking of you when I made this post. I like your comments, and I'd miss them if there were less of them.

It only bothers me if the user is repeating the same point over and over again, where the attitude seems to be: 'I already said everything that needs to be said about this 20 comments ago, but you're still talking. Why are you still talking? Maybe if I repeat it another 20 times you'll realize that and stop talking.' I don't think anybody who actually does this would recognize themselves from this description, or care very much about it if they did.

Salvor Hardin and muddgirl, thank you. I've been in the poistion of Salvor's commenter D, not exactly the position of mudgirl's alternate commenter A, but I get it. I think thinking about it this way could help me be more compassionate to people who do this. Certainly, people who do this sort of thing think they have the truth, and it will be obvious if people just read their comments, the same way I think it will be obvious if people just read the %#$ article. Maybe this will help me engage with people like that better, if I decide to engage with them.
posted by nangar at 4:44 PM on June 8, 2011


Ha ha, suckers! I stole the cake!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:47 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry about that. I'm easily excited, don't think before I type and tend to do this in real life too. It's a bad habit.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 4:52 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Confess, don't do it
When you want to go to it
posted by clavdivs at 5:07 PM on June 8, 2011


Hit me with those laser beams
posted by clavdivs at 5:07 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


my tendency is to put rhymes in a thread
they're often inspired by what someone has said
if it bothers some people, well, sorry 'bout that
but hey, i don't like your shoes, or your hat
so you do things your way, and I'll do 'em mine
and i reckon that way, things will move along fine
you're Wisconsin cheddar? well, i prefer feta
but friend, that ain't something i'd take here to MeTa.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:09 PM on June 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I don't think repeated comments by a single user are remotely a problem when they're making a bunch of different points, genuinely engaging in conversation with other users, and moving the discussion forward.

Ah, helpful clarification. So it's more axe-grindy content and insistent repetition than the frequency that's getting in the way?
posted by Miko at 5:17 PM on June 8, 2011


Remember that MeFi members are a variety of ages, with varying degrees of writing/social skills, with good and bad days, etc. If a member is a persistent thread-sitter, email the mods. Otherwise, teach by example, be patient, encourage good behavior.
posted by theora55 at 5:24 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah, helpful clarification. So it's more axe-grindy content and insistent repetition than the frequency that's getting in the way?

Certainly, I think frequent participation is fine so long as one is saying different things or addressing different facets of a topic. Who was it here who talked about bailing from a conversation after they find that they're repeating or restating the same thing for the third time? I think that's probably a pretty good metric.
posted by Errant at 5:24 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


empath writes "Threaded comments would pretty much fix this 'problem'."

By ruining metafilter.

gman writes "While I may not always agree with what he has to say, you have no idea what the fuck you're talking about if you don't think he makes this place more interesting."

Unfortunately all to often in a Chinese curse sort of way.
posted by Mitheral at 5:27 PM on June 8, 2011


Unfortunately all to often in a Chinese curse sort of way.

Oh, you wanna hear a Chinese curse?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:55 PM on June 8, 2011




Chinese curse
posted by Trurl at 6:28 PM on June 8, 2011


I was just thinking that I might be guilty of this. It's Mefi, not the misha show. I got caught up in my enthusiasm in a couple threads and decided I'd better step back.

Anyway, I hope I didn't ruin any for you, nangar.

My own pet peeve is when everyone's making thoughtful comments and then Clueless comes along, latches on one or two words and turns everything around:

A: So I actually worked with dragons in my last job. Loved watching them fly on my lunch hour.
B: Really, A, you worked with dragons? What did you do?
A: I was in charge of scale procurement. Did you know there's 17 varieties of herbivorous dragons alone?
D: Seventeen?! Wow, how do you tell them apart?
A: They're all green, actually, so it can be tricky. Carnivorous dragons, now, they're easy. Just red or blue with pink spots on their ears.
E: Aren't carnivorous dragons the small ones?
A: Yes, they tend to run smaller.
CLUELESS: A, How can you go around claiming carnivorous dragons run, when everyone knows dragons fly? What are you trying to pull?
A: What? Wait, I think you misunderstood me.
CLUELESS: Oh, So now I'm STUPID?!
A: No, I didn't say that.
CLUELESS: I SUPPOSE YOU NEVER SAID DRAGONS WERE 'EASY' EITHER, DID YOU? THAT'S DRAGON SLUT SHAMING, ASSHOLE.
B: Whoa, dude, calm down. No need for that.
A: Yes, please stop. How can I engage with you if you're going to call me names?
CLUELESS: TONE ARGUMENT!
D: But you called A an asshole!
CLUELESS: HE'S THE ONE CLAIMING ALL CARNIVOROUS DRAGONS ARE SLUTTY RUNNERS, NOT ME! DRAGON-HATERS DESERVE TO BE CALLED ASSHOLES.
A: Kill me now.
posted by misha at 6:44 PM on June 8, 2011 [33 favorites]


I have also been known to drag on.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:53 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh god, that conversation a thousand times over - which coincidentally is what they feel like when you're in one.
posted by Artw at 6:58 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


People call it 'Triggaman,' but it's clearly named 'Drag Rap.'
posted by box at 6:59 PM on June 8, 2011


CLUELESS: TONE ARGUMENT!
D: But you called A an asshole!


I think I've had this exact exchange thirty times on this site.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:02 PM on June 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


you spelled saxaphone wrong
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:06 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


shakespeherian: CLUELESS: TONE ARGUMENT!
D: But you called A an asshole!


I think I've had this exact exchange thirty times on this site.


Don't stress it, dude. D's a fuckin' know-it-all.
posted by gman at 7:17 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


you spelled saxaphone wrong

So I did.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:25 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


NEXT TIME ON FINALFILTER: War and Peace; What is it good for?

REALLY? WHICH IS WORSE. MONOPOLIZING... OR JEOPARDIZING a thread.

$200
At the start the game Diplomacy, France Controls 3 Supply Centers: Paris, Brest & this port.
-spoilers here, mouseover

$400 -- Daily Double
Each army unit is represented by a cannon; Each fleet unit by this, also the name of a different game.
-spoilers here, mouseover

$600
Turkey is one of the 7 Great Powers players may represent: The game is set just before this war.
-spoilers here, mouseover

$800
On the Diplomacy board, the country in the middle of Europe in considered impassible.
-spoilers here, mouseover

$1000
The game is base on making and breaking these, such as the Triple one that in real life united Italy, Germany and Austria.
-spoilers here, mouseover


Your answer, Watson Blue?
Who is a mouseover and why should I care?????

Sorry, yeah, people "losing it" can clam down all people (it is a good bet that with less willfully inflammatory and absolutist rhetoric, more of the quiet, but deeply knowledgeable, and thoughtful people will feel more likely to participate [note, that isn't me, I am the fool who follows him]... I think of the internet as similar to an iceburg, for every person who is attacking the very souls of people who dare to diverge in opinions (or to share elements of a position which runs counter to the "counter-opinion" (people can disagree with self-titled "counter opinion", and not be Group-thinkers)... there are 100 people just waiting, and reading along, and occasionally something outrageous/falsifiable will cause a thoughtful person to chime in... so... I guess what I'm saying is that, some of the most insightful or thought out comments actually come as responses to the depths of ignorance; my-axe is people who turn everything into a thing where there must be "bad guys" and "good guys" rather than seeing complex human beings, all of them with flaws, some happening to be noticed (or imagined/asserted), and commented on, while the flaws of others pass under the radar (see for examples: every thread about "parents", who are either being too restrictive, or too permissive... no matter what, OTHER parents are always "doing it wrong" [and I don't just mean the most recent examples, same thing happened when Liz Lemon talked about becoming a mom] also Uke threads, Nuke threads, and Fluke threads; what do you mean that isn't her real name? Who are you to tell me what I can call her! I have RIGHTS! Rights like the RIGHT not to be questioned; do you people not read Frank Herbert's translation of Ayn Rand's 'The Passion of the Constitution'?

If I weren't able to use slurs and hate to alienate less bold potential interloqutors (and feminists [I dropped that course, Ego, I can summarily dismiss everything that may or may not have occurred in that classroom, in particular what I imagine they all were talking about in Our royal absentia]), to shut down discussion... CAN YOU REALLY SAY THAT ANYONE HAS CIVIL RIGHTS?

Also, we all know that people claiming Dragons were carnivorous suffer from groupthink. Anyone who actually reads their history books know that operation Draco, (where the Unicorns were the aggressors, despite a secret pact with the Dragons) was both the first and only time dragons actually ate other creatures. Anyone else up for making the dragon/unicorn conflict their axe (deodorant)?
posted by infinite intimation at 7:31 PM on June 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


*quietly eats cake*
posted by vidur at 9:10 PM on June 8, 2011


So it's more axe-grindy content and insistent repetition than the frequency that's getting in the way?

I have been this person in the past, which is why I force myself to shut up and pull a thread from Recent Activity after I've repeated myself three times. I need to also force myself to shut up and pull the thread from Recent Activity when the other guy(s) have repeated themself/selves three times too. Working on it.
posted by immlass at 9:45 PM on June 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


immlass, I've been meaning to let you know for ages that I've been using your three times guideline. I dunno if other people have enjoyed me shutting up after a bit, but I'm certainly a lot calmer for it. It's a pretty good idea.
posted by harriet vane at 10:44 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


immlass: I also read about your rule in some previous metatalk thread, and have found it to be extremely helpful.
posted by bardophile at 11:13 PM on June 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


My main contribution is to add a punchline to the conversation the day after a thread has petered out. And then giggle a bit.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:24 PM on June 8, 2011


Count me in as someone who has been trying to use immlass's rule, too.
posted by Infinite Jest at 11:51 PM on June 8, 2011


SOMETIMES I GET MIKO, MIPPY, AND MISHA CONFUSED ;-;
posted by jtron at 12:18 AM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I need some attention over here!
posted by bluedaisy at 12:49 AM on June 9, 2011


(Which is what people are ACTUALLY saying when they do this annoying stuff.)
posted by bluedaisy at 12:51 AM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Besides my pathological need for attention, positive and negative, there's also the fact that sometimes I post about things I'm emotional about. If you mess with them I will get annoyed.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 12:56 AM on June 9, 2011


Miko,

I am confident no one is speaking about you. Everyone values your contributions. I know this to be true. This place would be worse without your words.

This is why bullshit metatalk callouts are bullshit. Way to go with the coy, passive-aggressive accusations. Look, if someone pisses you off, call them out for it. Or don't, actually. Memail them. Or don't actually, let it go?

This kind of thing does not make MetaFilter a better place.
posted by cj_ at 1:45 AM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is this the thread where anxious people who worry they talk too much can get a hug? And is there any cake left? I could really do with a hug. And some cake.
posted by talitha_kumi at 2:37 AM on June 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


You see, this is the kind of thing that conturbs me a little. I doubt I'm on the radar - I'm new, and my sleeping patterns are such a mess that I very rarely see a thread before it's descended into chat, anyway - so I'm not all that worried about being one of the OP's nameless violators. But I'm looking at that, and thinking:

That's weird. The phrases used to illustrate how stupid, aggressive, time-wasting, thread-killing people talk - slut-shaming, tone argument - are things feminists say. Is that deliberate, or coincidental?

And then I think:

And if it is deliberate, what's the message there? That feminists kill threads? That the language of feminist cultural critique is often used maliciously to derail threads?

And then I think:

But of course, someone's going to turn up in any attempt to discuss that and start talking about plates of beans, because that's a kind of anaphylactic reaction to complexity. So what's the use?

And, yeah. This may be plate of beans territory in itself, but it feels like there are a number of things that sit somewhere between the in-the-FAQ (no posts about your own projects) and the blindingly obvious (don't get into conversations about Israel-Palestine unless getting into conversations about Israel-Palestine is what you want to do with your life) which are probably common sense to the long stayers but harder to intuit.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:08 AM on June 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


I will follow jessamyn's advice and send the mods a note if it's a recurrent problem with a particular user and otherwise pretty much ignore it.

Thanks again Salvor for pointing out a case where I've been user A. In the future I will follow immlass's three-times rule, so hopefully I won't be engaging in the behavior I'm complaining about.

I'm sorry that some people took this as a 'some people talk too much' complaint. I really did mean constant repetition of the same point, not just commenting a lot about a topic you're interested in, which is usually a good thing.

> This is why bullshit metatalk callouts are bullshit. Way to go with the coy, passive-aggressive accusations. Look, if someone pisses you off, call them out for it. Or don't, actually. Memail them.

My intent was to ask about how to deal with a certain kind of behavior, not to call out certain users as bad people. (And 'mostly just ignore it' is a perfectly good answer.)
posted by nangar at 4:19 AM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


... pointing out a case situation
posted by nangar at 4:22 AM on June 9, 2011


No, I see what you're saying running order squabble fest, and it's true - there's a really fuzzy line between "this guy is making a problem" and "this guy is saying something kind of unpopular and easy-to-stereotype, so I see it as a problem."

All I can do is change my own behavior, so I do my best to read instead of skim (this is super-hard for me, for some reason) and to make my own relative position clear - state what I'm assuming, state my own knowledge base, etc. I also have to accept that lots of people won't extend me the same courtesy. Again, HARD.
posted by muddgirl at 5:27 AM on June 9, 2011


X never happens!
posted by Splunge at 7:05 AM on June 9, 2011


quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon: "blah blah blah, SOMETHING CONTROVERSIAL AND/OR STUPID, blah. in my pants."

Don't you mean in your fishpants?
posted by bwg at 7:19 AM on June 9, 2011


Cool Papa Bell: "Seriously, I don't get it."

You just don't get it, do you?
posted by bwg at 7:20 AM on June 9, 2011


empath writes "Threaded comments would pretty much fix this 'problem'."

By ruining metafilter.


Total thermonuclear war would also fix the 'problem' ... and ruin Metatfilter. It will now be my standard response to folks that suggest threaded comments as a solution to anything around here. What they are is a final solution ... to everything (at Metafilter that is -- they're actually quite appropriate for some online communities).

But I will only say this once per thread.
posted by philip-random at 9:52 AM on June 9, 2011


As for user monopoly of threads, it happens in various ways, it's annoying in various ways, it's just like real life except it's way easier to just walk away online.
posted by philip-random at 9:54 AM on June 9, 2011


I do it all the time.
posted by philip-random at 9:54 AM on June 9, 2011


And then I come back a few minutes later with a pretty much random Youtube link.
posted by philip-random at 10:03 AM on June 9, 2011


Also, everyone should do things the way I do them, and when I don't hold myself to my own standards, they should be good enough to avoid pointing it out.

That's really it. Who decides "monopolizing" vs. "making good contributions"? Better off with less moderation than more, imo.

If you don't like one person making multiple comments, just ignore them and focus on the other comments.

I do it all the time.

I just did it at the end of the NYC intersection/biking thread. It happens when it's something that you are passionate about. We all have things to say. As long as you're not saying the same thing over and over (which generally requires 2 to tango) I rarely even notice if 1 person posts 10+ times.
posted by mrgrimm at 11:48 AM on June 9, 2011


_____
/ ___ \
__/ / \ \__
| \___/ |
\ /
\____ ____/
/ \
______| |______
| __ ( ) __ |
.---> | (__| | | |__) |
| | < > |
Wards ---|---> | ====| |==== |
| | ( ) |
'---> | =====|_ _|===== |
| [[[[(_____)]]]] |
| (_) |
|_________________|
Y Y
| |
Opening spring
posted by clavdivs at 12:18 PM on June 9, 2011


(ALT-255)
posted by mrgrimm at 12:22 PM on June 9, 2011


Afroblanco, boo_radley, desjardins, and Eideteker all stole the cake.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:41 PM on June 9, 2011


I agree that this is a cocktail-party issue.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:43 PM on June 9, 2011


Isn't it usually ironed out in-thread with a little simple self-policing?
Aren't MeTa's on this topic themselves starting to get too frequent?
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:43 PM on June 9, 2011


hermitosis: everyone should do things the way I do them, and when I don't hold myself to my own standards, they should be good enough to avoid pointing it out.

A+. I don't think I'll be able to stop myself from putting this on a t-shirt, over a Happy Bunny parody-caricature.
posted by herbplarfegan at 12:43 PM on June 9, 2011


Aren't MeTa's on this topic themselves starting to get too frequent?

No.
posted by muddgirl at 1:31 PM on June 9, 2011


The phrases used to illustrate how stupid, aggressive, time-wasting, thread-killing people talk - slut-shaming, tone argument - are things feminists say. Is that deliberate, or coincidental?

I'm a feminist myself. And it's an interesting observation, now that I look at it from your perspective. Here's mine, for what it's worth.

Let's say I'm in a thread where A and B are arguing back and forth. B makes a comment, with paragraphs of references supporting B's position. B also notes in that same comment that A has been an asshat to others in the thread. Now, I don't agree with B's position on the issue at all, in fact I don't really care for B all that much, but I start looking through the thread and sure enough, A has been an asshat.

A responds to B's comment by saying that of course B would focus on A's tone, and that kind of tactic is just typical of people like B, who are always dismissing people like A instead of, you know, actually discussing the real issue.

In this scenario, A is the one who has avoided addressing any of the real points B has made on the issue. But it's B who stands accused.

I've seen situations like this play out a lot lately on MeFi, and it's frustrating. It's frustrating even when B does have a habit of dismissing people like A, even when A is a feminist I like and respect and B is a chauvinist who generally puts my teeth on edge.

And it's really frustrating when just pointing that out makes other A's question whether I'm truly an A at all.

substitute Apple & PC, circumcision & non-circumcision, claws & declawing for A and B if you like. You can reverse the order, too. Doesn't matter. Different issues, same tactics.
posted by misha at 2:52 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've seen situations like this play out a lot lately on MeFi, and it's frustrating.

Oh yes.

And yet... B isn't really accused of anything. This is a conversation. B can step away if A isn't addressing any of B's points. B can even say "I will not engage with someone who is not interested in a real conversation" and then (here's the trick) hide the thread in Recent Activity.

They don't lose. In most reference frames, they win.
posted by muddgirl at 2:58 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


substitute Apple & PC

That's an interesting point for me - I just made an Apple post on MetaFilter, partly because I thought something was interesting and partly to see if I could - the hubris of inexperience - create an Apple post sufficiently balanced, sufficiently representative of all viewpoints, that it would not immediately descend into a welter of accusation and counter-accusation.

I think, somewhat immodestly, that I did a pretty good job. The standard of discussion is consistently good, pretty much until here - where somebody is called a troll for having a differing opinion. From that point on, it's basically doomed - I'll be very surprised if it remains civil, relevant to the topic or based on having read the links in the OP.

I'm interested by this input, although it's not really enough to base a hypothesis on1, because it's useful in terms of working out what's happening with people when they do start bombing threads or making multiple sequential posts - how much it's about what has actually been said, how much it's about what's going on in people's minds, and that highly personal and very emotional landscape.

1 Although there's enough accreted data to identify trends, I think.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:41 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


(Just popping back in to say thanks to the people who are being kind about my 3-repeats rule. Glad to hear it's helping other people.)
posted by immlass at 5:39 PM on June 9, 2011


The standard of discussion is consistently good, pretty much until here - where somebody is called a troll for having a differing opinion.

Heh. Here's a thing I never thought I would say about anyone under any circumstance: entropicamericana is being a little unpleasant in that thread and could really do well from emulating Blazecock Pileons more reasonable tone.
posted by Artw at 6:00 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, as I say, my curiosity was whether one could phrase an OP carefully enough to avoid melodrama. The answer appears to be that this was based on a false assumption - that the OP would be read. If it isn't, then obviously that can't be a factor.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:13 PM on June 9, 2011


I'll be very surprised if it remains civil, relevant to the topic or based on having read the links in the OP.

Where are Pot and Kettle when we need them?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:26 PM on June 9, 2011


Pot and Kettle occasionally get up together to lip-sync half-heartedly to an old favorite on the cheap stage in a low-rent casino, but their headlining days are long behind them. Ever since it came out that they secretly didn't even hate each other, their act just doesn't hold water anymore.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:43 PM on June 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


their act just doesn't hold water anymore

I see what you did there.
posted by grouse at 8:36 PM on June 9, 2011


I have no idea what that means, Blazecock, but could we avoid more drama? I don't get much out of it.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:41 PM on June 9, 2011


Your comment was a passive-aggressive jab and did absolutely nothing to improve the tenor of the thread. If you want to avoid the drama that bothers you so much, knock it off yourself.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:45 PM on June 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


running order squabble fest, it is considered poor form to comment on how a thread is going badly in the thread itself. Comments predicting that a thread will go badly as it starts are deleted. You can do it here.
posted by grouse at 8:46 PM on June 9, 2011


As for the Pot and Kettle remark, Pot and Kettle were infamous MetaFilter trolls of yesteryear. I have it on the best authority that they were total dicks for awhile, and that knowing that now, they wish they had never been born. Because all they ever wanted was to be loved. Hard. And often.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:51 PM on June 9, 2011


Well, grouse, I wasn't predicting that it was going to go badly - merely noting that it had gone badly, under the weight of poor-quality contributions, whereas it had just about managed to hold together despite the odd outburst. The thing's a dead loss at this point, although it did better than most.

However, as I say, it was an experiment. I experimented with the content of the starter post to see if that would make a difference. I hadn't anticipated that the starter post would not be read.

It's a shame, because if starter posts aren't going to be read, then there really is no mechanism to prevent that sort of thread-fouling, and Misha's right - there's no point in trying to have an intelligent discussion about Apple, because there's too much investment in keeping the discussion at the lowest level possible - platform wars and calling people trolls for holding different viewpoints.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:05 PM on June 9, 2011


Well, grouse, I wasn't predicting that it was going to go badly - merely noting that it had gone badly, under the weight of poor-quality contributions, whereas it had just about managed to hold together despite the odd outburst.

At the risk of repeating myself (ironic for this particular thread), that is what I said was bad form.
posted by grouse at 9:27 PM on June 9, 2011


However, as I say, it was an experiment

We're not your monkeys.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:33 PM on June 9, 2011


Can I say Community Chest?
posted by clavdivs at 9:35 PM on June 9, 2011


At the risk of repeating myself (ironic for this particular thread), that is what I said was bad form.


Quite right - I stand corrected. It looks like this is one of those things that, to quote myself, sit somewhere between the in-the-FAQ (no posts about your own projects) and the blindingly obvious (don't get into conversations about Israel-Palestine unless getting into conversations about Israel-Palestine is what you want to do with your life) which are probably common sense to the long stayers but harder to intuit..

We're not your monkeys.

Have you considered that life might be better if you weren't so... victimy on this front, Blazecock? I say this sincerely - it's a little selfish, I admit, because having people Zune Guying up threads about any form of mobile device or computer limits what can be discussed on MetaFilter, but it's not totally selfish. I genuinely think you'd be happier.

Case in point: one of the first things you do on arrival is to quote and then take angry issue with Joe Belfiore and his comments on Windows Phone. Nobody has mentioned Joe Belfiore up to this point, as far as I can tell. Windows Phone is not relevant to the discussion. Best guess, you have been carrying around anger in your heart since you heard Joe Belfiore slight your beloved Constance, and you just had to find a public forum in which to slap him with a kid glove or you'd explode with rage. But why did it have to be here? There are plenty of forums, and indeed discussions, where it would be appropriate and welcome.

Then you triumphantly reveal that the Android reference model changed after the launch of the iPhone. Of course, I'd noted that in the original post. From which I can deduce that seeing the word Apple in the rough hands of another man actually impelled you to post before you reached the end of the original post.

Now, it could be worse. You didn't mention your justice boner, for which relief much thanks. And you didn't accuse someone of being a troll simply for mentioning Android tablets, as Entropicamericana did here. In terms of the race to the bottom, he's way ahead, although you are favoriting each other all the way, which doesn't feel like a healthy feedback loop.

So, yes. As I say, it was an experiment. It's my third post - they're all experimental. I was wondering if I could avert tiresome platform-wanking if the original post put in context, represented different viewpoints, touched on the deeper background. As it turns out, that presupposes that the initial post will be read with any attention. My second post taught me that people don't RTFA, and this has to be taken into account. This one is teaching me that people don't RTFP, which is also useful knowledge.

However, it would still be nice if I didn't have to think "oh, well, at least the spelling's better than Gizmodo comments" of any thread involving technology on MetaFilter. Monkeys are intelligent creatures who can be persuaded through positive reinforcement not to throw their feces. I would hope the same can be said of Zune Guys, no matter which platform they are Zune Guys for.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:03 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nobody has mentioned Joe Belfiore up to this point, as far as I can tell.

It was brought up here. It was a perfectly fine, on-topic response, even if you didn't personally approve it.

It would be awesome if you stop your passive-aggressive games. Threads are not "experiments", except for quacks and trolls. You could also stop playing the victim because you couldn't control the discussion topics in your "experimental" thread. I don't really care why you're doing it, but your act since signing up is getting old, quick.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:17 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, sorry - I didn't follow Artw's link. I stand corrected. You were right to defend Constance, although I am starting to wonder if I actually know what passive aggressive means - clearly, you do not know what "experiment" means. Oh, and I see you've called me a troll. Well done, d'Artagnan. Well done!

So, am I the only person who thinks you're a Zune Guy? That would be a bit humbling. I'll check that out in a MeTa after I've had some kip.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:23 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, am I the only person who thinks you're a Zune Guy?

Probably not, but the fact that you need to say something like this makes you a kind of a bully, in addition how playing stunty games with the front page would also seem to make you a troll. Congratulations on making Metafilter a worse place, I guess.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:32 AM on June 10, 2011


That's sort of breathtaking, cosidering that you have so far in this thread called me a hypocrite, passive-aggressive (whatever that means), a quack and a troll (based on a misreading so ludicrous that it must be either illiterate or mailicious) and now a bully. Considering your love for dishing it out, have you considered taking a few night classes in taking it?

My metaphors have, I like to think, been more carefully chosen. The Three Musketeers thing is pretty clear - you behave like a courtly lover. Unless someone shares the passion and purity of your affection, they will feel the bite of your steel. There is genuinely no point in trying to have a conversation with you, because you are constantly on guard for slights, real or imagined, against the object of your courtly love.

The Zune Guy comparison is, likewise, intended to be instructional. The Zune Guy no doubt had a lot going on in his life which was totally unconnected to Microsoft's music and media brand. However, something about that - the product, the logo, whatever - tripped a little switch in his head that made him commit heavily, and indulge in public shows of faith. Now, I think we both agree that Apple make better products than the Zune player, right? And that Apple's brand is a better brand than Microsoft Zune? As such, it's hardly surprising that that switch gets tripped more often and in more ways.

As far as I can tell - and a quick riffle through MetaTalk seems to suggest I am not the only one - that's pretty much where we are, here. Perfectly nice person, but slights real or perceived to Apple lead to rapid escalation - as we can see here with the litany of insults and bad-faith accusations, as we can see in the thread by your not having read the initial post to the end before bowling in. However, as cortex said on one of the surprisingly frequent times this has come up before:

BP, I'm getting really tired of having to clean up pointless snipe-fests between you and whoever you can't just FIAMO on any given day. You both need to work on that shit.

I'll go and work on that shit.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:12 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I had not said anything "escalated" in your thread, at all, nor have I done so in most Apple threads these days, for that matter.

You couldn't control the direction of conversation in your thread, so you made some weird swipe at me. Until you dragged your nonsense here and derailed this thread. You couldn't mention me by name, you couldn't just bring your issue to your own Metatalk thread.

Nope, you had to do so by writing some vaguely undefined accusation of bad faith at someone commenting at a specific time of the day, that just happened to be at the same time as my lone, on-topic comment. That's just sad.

You are fabricating outrage out of nothing I have said or done, all while admitting to making what is essentially a stunt post.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:42 AM on June 10, 2011


"I have no idea what that means, Blazecock, but could we avoid more drama? I don't get much out of it."

ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh no he DI'NT!

Would you two like to stop monopolizing this thread? Hrm?
posted by Eideteker at 6:33 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Again, your interpretation of events is either dishonest or delusional. But you're right, you are definitely one of the people who shifted the discursive-to-fighty balance towards fighty. I didn't realize I couldn't mention your name, but I am happy to put your name to that trend.

For what it's worth, I'm not feeling outrage, fabricated or otherwise - I'm just kind of bummed out, because defending myself against a series of increasingly crazy accusations from you of being a fraudulent doctor, a puppet master, some sort of monkey trainer, a troll, a bully and quite possibly a witch is wasting my time and making me use my outside voice in a community where I would like to be using my inside voice.

I had not said anything "escalated" in your thread, at all, nor have I done so in most Apple threads these days, for that matter.

Oh, bless your heart.

One person is enough to get the same anti-Apple-user axe-grinders going against their tedious, pet strawmen, and that's what counts.

And the mask comes off. - Still a moment of utter incredulity to me, as you revealed that you are constantly on alert for people to reveal that they do not revere Constance enough to satisfy your courtly passion. Sorry if you find the musketeer metaphor annoying; it just seems so perfect. If you had shown any respect for other people during your little warpath nature rambles, I'd probably be more inclined to dialog that, admittedly.

Fact remains that Apple is beating everyone, including the neckbeards - ah, those neckbeards. It's fine to call people who like products other than Apple products neckbeards, but of course calling people who do like Apple products fanboys is a homophobic slur. That was the first time you avowed that you weren't my monkey, as well. Is this a theme?

I've tried to treat your paranoia with respect - see this response - but it just doesn't work, does it? Eventually, the mask will slip, Constance will be disrespected and the flashing steel will be slipped from its sheath.

It's cool. I get it, already. You have a bit of wiring that makes you feel it's OK to behave like this. It's a shame, because it means that an adult discussion of any technology with even a tenuous connect to Apple tends towards impossibility. Others have similar wiring about or against other brands, but so far they haven't tried so hard to make it personal with me on MetaFilter. As it is, personal appears to be the well you want to go to - well, personal and monkeys - and I'm just not interested in doing that.

It seems a ridiculous thing to do, and a real shame, because I think we could not only get on in every other context but also seem to agree on most things, but it's clear I will never love Constance enough to satisfy your honor, and so it seems like the only option is to remove myself from the arc of your flashing steel by leaving MetaFilter, never talking about or looking at a thread about technology on MetaFilter again or working out how killfiles work, which goes against the grain and will involve fiddling about with my least favorite browser. Still, sometimes we have to make sacrifices for the good of the community.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:38 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apple users are not an oppressed minority. They don't need advocates.
posted by empath at 7:30 AM on June 10, 2011


Blazecock, I think what running order squabble fest meant by calling his FFP an "experiment" was that he wanted to see if he could make a post about Apple that went better than they usually do. Quoting his original comment about that in this thread:

I just made an Apple post on MetaFilter, partly because I thought something was interesting and partly to see if I could ... create an Apple post sufficiently balanced, sufficiently representative of all viewpoints, that it would not immediately descend into a welter of accusation and counter-accusation.

It did actually seem to work. It did go better than usual and didn't immediately descend into a welter of accusation and counter-accusation. Trying to do that doesn't seem remotely seem like trollish behavior.

Your entire beef with him seems to be based on his criticism of a comment you agreed with in the "iOS 5, third-party apps" thread. That's it.

Do you think the original post could have been written better? You haven't even mentioned that. Do you have any reason for thinking that running order squabble fest is biased against Apple, Apple users, or even that he's not an Apple user himself? To me, some his comments indicate enough familiarity to suggest that he uses some Apple products. Your suggestion that he hates all Apple users seems a little off base. Criticizing someone for making a comment he saw as overly aggressive is not the same as hating all Apple users, even if it was pro-Apple comment.

Apparently the terrible trolling comment running order made was this one:

Not questioning your right to your emotions, but could you unpack that for me? Do you feel that jailbreaking has an ethical element, or is it just the violation of the EULA?

Am I missing something? Maybe I am, but if I'm not this isn't making sense.
posted by nangar at 9:11 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


is this the right place to say that, after biting the bullet and finally deciding to buy a Mac three years ago, my next laptop, to be purchased any day now, will be some form of Windows? Three reasons:

1. it's cheaper
2. way more software options (and way better for the price)
3. the last time I was in a Mac store, all those earnest blue shirts sort of freaked me out (do you take some kind of oath now before you can wear one?)

That said, I will keep the Mac on hand for certain uses because it is essentially a better machine, kind of like how a BMW is better than a Ford, but why the f*** does this BMW only come with automatic transmission?
posted by philip-random at 9:54 AM on June 10, 2011


The irony of this conversation happening in this thread is almost too much to bear. Almost.
posted by Errant at 11:39 AM on June 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


But you're right, you are definitely one of the people who shifted the discursive-to-fighty balance towards fighty.

I did no such thing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:31 PM on June 10, 2011


The irony of this conversation happening in this thread is almost too much to bear. Almost.

I saw the replies in my Recent Activity page without bothering to check the thread, and I was thinking, "man I should post this example in that monopolizing MeTa thread" to show what's much worse than 1 person monopolizing: 2 people arguing back and forth about basically NOTHING.

And then yeah, delicious, delicious irony.
posted by mrgrimm at 12:55 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's, like, performance art?

OH NOES I JUST ACCUSED SOMEONE OF TROLLING!!!!
posted by muddgirl at 12:59 PM on June 10, 2011


Maybe that Apple thread needs it's own meta, but, well, we all know how pointless that would be.

/wonders if he should pour on petrol and mention that a certain participant in this thread habitually lobbies the mods to get any comments refering to him as a troll deleted.
posted by Artw at 1:02 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Are you talking about me? Mods, can we have that insinuation stricken from the record?
posted by shakespeherian at 1:14 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh.
posted by Artw at 1:15 PM on June 10, 2011


/wonders if he should mention that someone in this thread is a card-carrying MAGIC: THE GATHERING player

Artw, I think highly of you, but these "blind items" don't help anything.
posted by jtron at 1:18 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


/wonders if he should mention that someone in this thread totally smells like butter
posted by shakespeherian at 1:20 PM on June 10, 2011


/wonders if he should pour on petrol and mention that a certain participant in this thread habitually lobbies the mods to get any comments refering to him as a troll deleted.

I don't do this, either, Artw. In fact, I don't even bother with flagging your comments.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:31 PM on June 10, 2011


That'll show 'im!
posted by shakespeherian at 1:31 PM on June 10, 2011


/wonders, wonders, who wrote the book of love?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:11 PM on June 10, 2011


And then yeah, delicious, delicious irony.

I'm with mrgrimm on this one but I'd like to extend his ironic meal to include more than two people. It seems that some people just have to comment multiple times in almost every thread just for the *lulz*. I don't really see how you can moderate that though. It's like a different version of ask/guess. People get their fill of attention in different ways.
posted by futz at 2:33 PM on June 10, 2011


Oh no, I like the lulz. Do not stop with the lulz.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:37 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


lulz are ruining this great country. Also some people.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:39 PM on June 10, 2011


it's own meta

YOU DO THIS TO ME ON PURPOSE ARTW!!!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:15 PM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


(You're right on, by the way, nangar. The "experiment" was just futzing around with putting in background links, having seen one-or-two-link threads about factory conditions in China and Apple's most recent earnings statement go almost immediately to Hell. On the whole, I think people who took a little time with the links did respond thoughtfully. I hadn't realised that the "experiment" metaphor would occasion such a strong reaction, but perhaps it was insensitive of me not to have considered that some members of MetaFilter might also be Rats of NIMH.)
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:49 PM on June 10, 2011


For someone who claims not to get much out of drama, you sure do have a knack for stirring it up.
posted by grouse at 5:01 PM on June 10, 2011


On the whole, I think people who took a little time with the links did respond thoughtfully.

Perhaps you should really avoid making passive-aggressive snipes like this, when you can't be bothered to read your own thread before issuing a callout over nothing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:10 PM on June 10, 2011


I don't get much out of drama, grouse, but I love comedy. And, now I've processed the sadness at the brokenness of technology discussions on MetaFilter, being called a passive-aggressive monkey-quack troll bully sniper is pretty much the funniest thing that's happened to me all day.

There's a more serious question, about how bad somebody's wiring can get before they are identified as needing to be separated from the group on certain subjects. But a cursory riff through MetaTalk threads of yore seems to demonstrate that the light touch of moderation extends to people breaking technology discussions, so I doubt that's much of a goer.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:27 PM on June 10, 2011


Dude, you are a passive-aggressive monkey-quack troll bully sniper. Wow, that just rolls off the tongue.
posted by gman at 5:34 PM on June 10, 2011


You have a very long tongue.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:37 PM on June 10, 2011


I'm very popular with the ladies.
posted by gman at 5:41 PM on June 10, 2011


I've been chewing on wires lately, or at least I kind of feel like it ...
posted by nangar at 5:42 PM on June 10, 2011


I'm very popular with the ladies.

Probably because you are so cultured.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:46 PM on June 10, 2011


Is that why yogurt is so popular with women, too?
posted by grouse at 5:50 PM on June 10, 2011


No, that is silly.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:52 PM on June 10, 2011


I've processed the sadness at the brokenness of technology discussions on MetaFilter...

You keep doing this passive-aggressive thing where you use comments like this to keep blaming me for something I have not done.

That said, even if the discussion did not go in the direction you wanted, there's nothing wrong with how the discussion progressed. It was and is a perfectly fine thread, as far as it goes.

It's "your" thread in the sense that you are the author, but that's where the ownership ends. You don't own "your" thread, and you do not get to direct who has permission to make approved statements in "your" thread.

If the idea that you do not own your post pains you, then perhaps Metafilter is not the best place for you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:01 PM on June 10, 2011


Metafilter isn't the best place for anyone.

The best place for anyone is an ice cream parlor.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:08 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or a frozen yogurt shop.
posted by grouse at 6:10 PM on June 10, 2011


If you can't stand Blazecock attempting to hijack any thread that has the word "Apple", "Google", "Microsoft" or "Obama" in it then Metafilter is not the place for you.
posted by Artw at 6:13 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Grouse it is time to admit that you have an unhealthy obsession.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:18 PM on June 10, 2011


No, it is time for a bowl of delicious Greek-style yogurt with fresh blueberries.
posted by grouse at 6:19 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm going to call the Apple Google Microsoft Obama paramedics.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:22 PM on June 10, 2011


I can't stand Artw's consistently-tolerated baiting, it really sours his occasionally interesting post and comment history, so maybe this thread isn't for me. Hope you have a pleasant weekend.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:41 PM on June 10, 2011


I hope you get some ice cream.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:51 PM on June 10, 2011


You scream. I scream.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:59 PM on June 10, 2011


Passive-aggressive. Passive-aggressive. Passive-aggressive Passive-aggressive.

Dude, new word. Or, failing that, get the hang of what passive-aggressive actually means. It means expressing aggression by passive means without providing a clear expression or target which would allow the cause of the aggression to be identified and discussed, e.g in a therapeutic environment. It's what your spouse or partner expresses when they forget to wash the dishes while insisting they are not still angry about you forgetting your anniversary. I wouldn't say we were quite there yet. What you are trying to accuse me of is covert aggression.

The odd thing is that I'm clearly not being covertly aggressive. I have provided examples regarding how you have previously cried "the mask slips" as if I were an agent of the Cardinal. I have shown that trying to be polite to you doesn't work, because you are too paranoid about somehow being tricked into denying Apple. I have suggested that you have a bit of wiring that makes you incapable of behaving with courtesy or consideration in threads involving Apple products or Apple Inc. Currently, although it's hard to prove a negative, I am crediting myself with having kept the Sherlocking thread in pretty good shape by keeping you busy in this one. My aggression, if that's the word you want, is neither passive nor covert. I am stating my case perfectly clearly. Pointlessly, because see "bit of wiring", but clearly.

Still, it's a laugh, and if it helps one person on the Internet to step up their wordpower, it won't have been a total loss.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:16 AM on June 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Image tag
posted by shakespeherian at 8:18 AM on June 11, 2011


lulz are ruining this great country. Also some people.

You've convinced me. I hereby proclaim that I will only use lolz to refer to jokes, funnies, and other humorous happenings from this point forward.
posted by mrgrimm at 2:09 PM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's like the MUZLIMZ versus MOZLEMZ thing.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 2:13 PM on June 11, 2011


We will not be MUZLOLED.
posted by gman at 3:14 PM on June 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or, failing that, get the hang of what passive-aggressive actually means.

Calling out a comment by referencing the time of day, because you're too cowardly to start your own Metatalk thread, is pretty fucking passive aggressive.

Starting a stunt post to, I presume, get me to do something you finally admitted I didn't end up doing, because you're too cowardly to start your own Metatalk thread, is pretty fucking passive aggressive.

Hijacking someone else's Metatalk thread because you're too cowardly to start your own Metatalk thread is passive aggressive.

Everything you've been doing so far has been some fucked-up, drawn-out callout because you couldn't come out and do any of this directly. That's the definition of passive aggressivity.

And when you did finally call me out, it was over something you admit you didn't even bother to read properly. You're an idiot, and you look dumber and more axe-grindy every time you open your mouth.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:01 AM on June 12, 2011


Starting a stunt post to, I presume, get me to do something

Oh my God. Do television newsreaders talk to you as well? Are there voices from the walls telling you that you can heal the sick?

This is staggering. Actually staggering.

Even if we actually lived in this demented Blazecock Wonderland and where everything was about you, this would still not be passive-aggressive. But lack of wordpower hardly matters now.

I thought that your paranoid dementia manifested only around Apple, but in fact you believe that everything I do has you at its center - perhaps that everything anyone does has you at its center.

This is sort of horrible and sad, and I don't know how to deal with it.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:26 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]




Um, are you okay?
posted by Artw at 7:28 AM on June 12, 2011


Hey BP, how was that ice cream?
posted by shakespeherian at 10:26 AM on June 12, 2011


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