Exorcising the ghosts of a deletion? June 10, 2011 6:26 AM   Subscribe

It seems a comment was deleted at the beginning of this thread, but several comments responding to it remain extant. This is confusing. Can something be done about it?

I am not complaining about the deletion. If the comment contained nothing more than "Nice editorializing.", then there is plenty of precedent for it to go under the banner of "threadshitting". But the 5 comments that now begin the thread by responding to it make the reader do quite a bit of thinking to figure out what is going on. This is a bigger distraction, IMO, than if the noisy comment were left standing.

The most obvious solutions are to delete the responses or to re-instate the deletion. But maybe I'm missing another option?

It seems to me that the question of whether "brainwashing" is an appropriate term is pertinent to the discussion, so I would vote that the responses not go away. But if they are to remain, I'd also like to see the context they are responding to, rather than having to spend time puzzling it out.

(If possible, it would be great if this didn't turn into folks piling onto brokkr. I really am most interested how discussing how we handle situations like this where a comment is gone but it still haunts the thread nevertheless.)
posted by Dano St to Etiquette/Policy at 6:26 AM (112 comments total)

The comment referred to the use of "brainwashing facility" in the post and said "Nice editorializing." This is not hard to deduce from the first few comments of the thread.
posted by gman at 6:29 AM on June 10, 2011


good thing to email the mods directly about. Very bottom left of the screen.
posted by edgeways at 6:32 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can something be done about it?

Flag and move on. Responding to obvious thread-shitting is what results in these situations, not the thread-shitting itself. Bite your tongue, or your fingers, or whatever, flag the offending post, and put it out of mind.
posted by carsonb at 6:38 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


edgeways: good thing to email the mods directly about. Very bottom left of the screen.

But make sure you keep your monitor facing you and turn it 90 degrees clockwise first.
posted by gman at 6:44 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


The mods are conservative about deleting comments, which is good. It does occasionally make responses to a deleted comment look peculiar, but peculiar is something we cherish here. You get used to it after a while.
posted by theora55 at 6:45 AM on June 10, 2011


This is one of those odd cases where it's hard to find any good solution. We don't want people to keep responding to the lazy snark; we also don't want to gut the entire thread because it has references to the lazy snark.

This one's enough of an "everybody directly responding" thing that I'm gonna experiment with resurrecting the original one-liner and leaving a note in the thread. I'm not entirely convinced that's even the best way to go, but for clarity's sake let's give it a shot; it's mostly a damage-is-done thing at this point and maybe this will reduce whiplash for the average newcomer to the thread enough to make it worthwhile.

Generally speaking, I think we're more inclined to let things be a bit patchwork around the deletion of something annoying than we are to let crappy stuff stick around just for a wholly unbumpy reading experience, and I don't really think that's likely to change, but as always it's pretty much a case-by-case basis.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:50 AM on June 10, 2011 [5 favorites]


you can bring back a comment!?
posted by milestogo at 6:53 AM on June 10, 2011


With my eldritch powers, yes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:53 AM on June 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


Man what is up with brokkr.
posted by boo_radley at 6:54 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


If possible, it would be great if this didn't turn into folks piling onto brokkr.

*puts saddle down, leaves chaps on, sulks into town to look for trouble*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:55 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


we're exorcising the ghosts,
the ghosts of a deletion
we're siphoning the vanished word,
through states of incompletion
backwards masking of the dead idea,
perfecting the confusion
bringing the shattered syntax home
to its illogical conclusion
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:58 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Brandon Blatcher, if you sulk into town wearing chaps, you're sure to find trouble.
posted by xingcat at 6:58 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah geez. Totally missed that.
posted by boo_radley at 6:58 AM on June 10, 2011


Brandon Blatcher, if you sulk into town wearing chaps, you're sure to find trouble.

Or, put another way:

Oh Ruuuuuuu-uuby,
don't take your love to town
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:01 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I know the mod team here is (rightly) adverse to using technical solutions to solve human problems, but it seems like we have this conversation frequently, and that moderator consensus is that there's not a whole lot of good options for adjusting this sort of thread-poisoning.

Do the mods have the ability to insert messages directly beneath (or above?!) the deleted (or re-instated) comment--interrupting the normal chronological flow of the text? Cortex's [repremand] would probably be more effective if it was directly next to brokkr's comment; people would be more likely to see Cortex's message before crafting a reply to brokkr. The way it is now, with Cortex's note as the 40th comment, people are likely to respond to brokkr before even reading down further.
posted by Richard Daly at 7:14 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


As an "old timer" here (relatively speaking) I was thrilled when The Powers became more proactive about removing first-responder snark. It's the MeFi equivalent of "FIRST!" That kind of attention-whoring really can derail an entire thread. In this case, the first-response was just one minute after the original post, making it almost certain that the commenter didn't even read the linked article, in which the author writes:
When people use the word “brainwashing” to describe what went on at Cross Creek and other WWASP programs, I don’t think it is in any way exaggerating or being over dramatic...
posted by The Deej at 7:15 AM on June 10, 2011


I don't see any problem with the comment. The post is blatantly editorializing. That's just a fact.

Personally, I find the Cross Creek facility abhorrent, and I wouldn't shed a tear if everybody involved in running it were to die in a fire. That's irrelevant to the question of whether the comment should have been deleted.

Editorializing in FPP is held out to be a bad thing. But the prevalent MetaFilter attitude seems to be that 'it's not editorializing if we agree with it!'. That's just intellectually dishonest.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:19 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Flag and move on.

There was nothing to flag. I had no problems with the responses, beyond "wha?... ohh, I see". It's just that I thought I had think more than I should; that it would be less disruptive to me as reader if everything was there.

Thanks for experimentation, cortex.
posted by Dano St at 7:19 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do the mods have the ability to insert messages directly beneath (or above?!) the deleted (or re-instated) comment--interrupting the normal chronological flow of the text?

We don't have that ability, and while I totally get where you're coming from it's not something that I at least am personally interested in seeing change; it'd be moving a lot more toward a sort of active editorial role in threads in a way that I'm not really comfortable with and which I'm not sure would really improve the overall site experience.

For as much as a case like this is annoying to behold, really stark examples like this are pretty rare in practice; most of the comment-deleting and note-leaving we do falls into much less conspicuous and more manageable territory.

Hopefully folks who read the thread and get to the bottom feeling annoyed at brokkr will also atch my note before they comment and take a breath and let it go. If a straggler or two misses it and tries to start into it again, folks can flag it and we can nix it. It's not perfect but it works pretty well.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:20 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't see any problem with the comment. The post is blatantly editorializing. That's just a fact.

No, the post is a quote - it is in fact the title the author gave to the original article. That's not the same as editorializing.
posted by arcticwoman at 7:24 AM on June 10, 2011 [8 favorites]


I wish the mods would regularly leave a note in the thread when they've deleted things that others have responded to. Otherwise the subsequent discussion becomes undesirably surreal and confusing, for example.
posted by exogenous at 7:24 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


The post is blatantly editorializing. That's just a fact.

One of the reasons we're not particularly hot on posts that use provocative pull-quotes or one-liners from the source they're linking to is that the issue of whether the poster is editorializing-by-proxy or just quoting in good faith is muddy and different people will read it different ways.

In general I think it's a good idea to shy away from that style of post construction because it's likely to start fights that don't need starting, but at the same time "that's just a fact" is not really so on the money here when the text is a direct quote of the hed from the personal-experience content on another site.

In any case, brokkr's comment at the top of the thread was not a good way to express reservations about any of that, as valid as those reservations might be in a policy-discussion context.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:26 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


Do the mods have the ability to dodge bullets?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:26 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


See, this is why I think some of us need a refresher on the appropriate application of inverted commas. Coulda prevented all this. Just sayin.
posted by londonmark at 7:28 AM on June 10, 2011


To boldly go where no man (or woman) has gone before?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:28 AM on June 10, 2011


Do the mods have the ability to dodge bullets?

Only rhetorically.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:34 AM on June 10, 2011


Do the mods have the ability to dodge bullets?

No. When you're a mod. You don't have to.
posted by The Deej at 7:39 AM on June 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Nothing compelled the OP to use that quotation as the anchor text for that link.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:39 AM on June 10, 2011


I think everyone here knows what trolls are, right? You know their motivation, which is "to make people get all lathered up by saying stupid shit." Most of the time they don't even really believe what they're saying, and if they do, you're not gonna convince them. That guy showed up purely to drop a bomb in the middle of that thread, and the thing that drives me insane is the sheer number of people who responsed to him anyway. He started the derail of that thread, but every person who actually responded to him derailed it further, which was his intention. I cannot believe that in 2011 people still bother responding to trolls, especially on a site which is famous for its moderation. Yeah, yeah, we get it, you're so progressive that you just couldn't bear to let that comment go unresponsed-to, but please realize that you are officially part of the problem when you don't just flag it and move on.
posted by showbiz_liz at 7:41 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


  • one o'clock
  • two o'clock
  • three o'clock
  • ...
  • BULLET TIME
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:42 AM on June 10, 2011


(Can't touch this)
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:43 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Jesus, Crabby, do you comment in any other place aside from MeTa threads where you can decry the community and the mods' practices? Cortex gave you a clean, concise answer to your charge of editorializing against the OP and now you're accusing him of rhetorically dodging bullets?

Is there any satisfying you? That's a genuine question. How would you have handled this situation differently if you were a mod? That's a genuine question too.
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:43 AM on June 10, 2011 [10 favorites]


If it's any consolation I deleted it, then undeleted it a minute later but for some reason (on my phone) it re-deleted. So the intention was to not delete the derail and it was a mistake that it was gone for a couple hours this morning. Sorry.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:49 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


delete the derail

Wasn't that a Talking Heads song?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:54 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Nothing compelled the OP to use that quotation as the anchor text for that link.

On the other hand, something is clearly compelling you to continue flogging this dead horse.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:57 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Flag and move on.

Was not directed at Dano St. It's directed at everyone who can't hold their pause before responding to that rhetorical junk.
posted by carsonb at 7:58 AM on June 10, 2011


Isn't this the kind of careless first comment that should also be deleted?
posted by Horselover Phattie at 7:59 AM on June 10, 2011


everyone who can't hold their pause

i cant bear to hold them any longer!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:00 AM on June 10, 2011


everyone who can't hold their pause

A bear walks into a bar. Says to the bartender, "I'll have a beer ............................................................................................ and a shot."
Bartender says, "No problem. But what's with the pause?"
Bear goes, "These? I've always had these."
posted by 8dot3 at 8:22 AM on June 10, 2011 [24 favorites]


Jesus, Crabby, do you comment in any other place aside from MeTa threads where you can decry the community and the mods' practices?

Yes.

Cortex gave you a clean, concise answer to your charge of editorializing against the OP and now you're accusing him of rhetorically dodging bullets?

I'm sure that even cortex would acknowledge that he's a past master of modly rhetoric, and his skill and fluidity is reminiscent of Neo's in the "bullet time" shots in The Matrix. So I'm not sure where the "accusing" comes in. Really, I can't say anything tongue-in-cheek here, can I?

Is there any satisfying you? That's a genuine question.

That's a rhetorical question.

How would you have handled this situation differently if you were a mod? That's a genuine question too.

Probably the way mathowie handled it.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:23 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


OTHER LEFT! OTHER LEFT!

Cripes... one of THOSE days

sorry
posted by edgeways at 8:26 AM on June 10, 2011


In that thread I did spend some time puzzling before I hit on "Oh, there must have been a removed comment".

Have we tried leaving a "Comment deleted." placeholder?
posted by benito.strauss at 8:28 AM on June 10, 2011


I don't see any problem with the comment. The post is blatantly editorializing. That's just a fact.

No, it isn't. It's how the author of the story described the facility. As such, it is not the injection of the bkudria's opinion into the FPP, and therefore not editorializing. It's pretty simple, really.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:39 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Do the mods have the ability to dodge bullets?

No, but they do great with bullet-points and bulletins.
posted by jamjam at 8:39 AM on June 10, 2011


Horselover Phattie: "Isn't this the kind of careless first comment that should also be deleted?"

It bugged me. Didn't flag it because it was on topic and raised a point that could be (and was) addressed in subsequent comments. If the thread had devolved into a stupid derail from it, that would have sucked, tho.

Part of the problem I have as the OP is I read all the materials I link to before I post, so it can be tempting to steer my own threads. For the last year or so, I've been flagging and moving on as much as possible. Healthier that way.
posted by zarq at 8:48 AM on June 10, 2011


I'm sure that even cortex would acknowledge that he's a past master of modly rhetoric, and his skill and fluidity is reminiscent of Neo's in the "bullet time" shots in The Matrix.

Yes. My rhetorical muscles have rhetorical muscles. Bill Clinton took lessons from me. I tell Yakov Smirnoff jokes so well that by the time I'm done with them they turn back into common sense observations about American culture with the words in the expected order.

You made a blunt assertion about something that ties into site policy; part of my job is explaining why that assertion doesn't really fly, something I try to do with care and which despite a lot of previous weird personalized grumping from you I have been trying to do politely. You want to call that dodging bullets, that's your prerogative, but this place tends to work better when conversation is treated like conversation rather than gunfire.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:50 AM on June 10, 2011 [17 favorites]


flapjax at midnight commented:
Nothing compelled the OP to use that quotation as the anchor text for that link.

On the other hand, something is clearly compelling you to continue flogging this dead horse.
Sorry, flapjax, I missed your comment first time around. No, I think I've said all I need to say about this. I've had this discussion with the mods before and I don't expect the outcome this time would be any different.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:52 AM on June 10, 2011


TBH I find this more deleteworthy, but I have a long standing gripe against that kind of crap even when it isn't quite so sour-grapesy.
posted by Artw at 8:52 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


arcticwoman: "No, the post is a quote - it is in fact the title the author gave to the original article. That's not the same as editorializing."

cortex: "One of the reasons we're not particularly hot on posts that use provocative pull-quotes or one-liners from the source they're linking to is that the issue of whether the poster is editorializing-by-proxy or just quoting in good faith is muddy and different people will read it different ways. "

An insight from my old newspaper days: When you're quoting someone from, tell the reader you're quoting from someone:
Bad
This camp brainwashes people [more inside]
Good
Gay teen describes Utah facility as brainwashing camp [more inside]
The distinction helps the reader understand that the description isn't your description, it belongs to someone else. So people don't get hoppitamoppita over the ambiguity.

next time: Why metafilter's novel use of the term "pull quotes" makes me die a little inside.
posted by boo_radley at 9:04 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


and of course, none of that will help when people don't read beyond the title, which gets into territory we're not going to cover here, but I hope the mods have taken in hand privately.
posted by boo_radley at 9:06 AM on June 10, 2011


brokkr's comment was perfectly valid and the knee-jerk amputation of that perfectly valid, perfectly lucid point - leaving a bloodied stump of a thread for innocent readers to get confused about - actually killed MetaFilter.

I mean, MetaFilter is actually fucking DEAD now, thanks to cortex's desire to crush free speech on this site.

Cortex, the murderer of MetaFilter, whose criminal lust for death knows no bounds, and whose bloody mass-murder of innocent, child-like MetaFilter was probably motivated by a perverted and abhorrent sexual compulsion, should be banned for life and then stomped on by a GIANT wearing very, VERY big shoes.

That's my opinion. I'd flag the deletion and move on, but you CAN'T flag a deletion, which is very "convenient" - isn't it? - for these so called "moderators". I just hope that cortex doesn't start deleting MY comments, such as my comments about his

                      and then he   


      tapir, wedged between   



                                          and


                                                                              mango


                                after the vaseline had dried            



      disabling my account, so            that.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:08 AM on June 10, 2011 [24 favorites]


An insight from my old newspaper days: When you're quoting someone from, tell the reader you're quoting from someone

Yeah, marking up quotation whether with italics or quotes or explicit framing is a really good idea to help avoid confusion about this stuff, definitely.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:10 AM on June 10, 2011


"Do the mods have the ability to dodge bullets?"

Yes, which is why you need to use the <ol> tag to get their attention.
posted by Eideteker at 9:39 AM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't see any problem with the comment. The post is blatantly editorializing. That's just a fact.

Well, I didn't find a problem with the low-grade editorializing, particularly as it was descriptive. It was also rude, derailing, and pedantic for brokkr to jump in and whine about the title being "editorializing." Maybe it was "editorializing," but you know what? Who the heck cares? I didn't. I hardly even noticed the title; I clicked on the link and read the story.
posted by deanc at 9:49 AM on June 10, 2011


The problem with saying you don't care about editorializing if it's right is that editorializing is always right to someone.
posted by proj at 9:53 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe it was "editorializing," but you know what? Who the heck cares?

I do. Having it in posts brings down the quality of the site by turning threads into a back and forth axegrindy fight.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:58 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, the post is a quote - it is in fact the title the author gave to the original article. That's not the same as editorializing.

I'm right there with cortex in that we'd love to see a whole lot less of the "editorializing quote from article used to avoid claims of FPP editorializing by the OP" situations happening.

There are a few people who employ this strategy a lot, it tends to set posts off on the wrong foot and is 100% avoidable and I think leads to better discussions without them. It's not at the level of something we'd start deleting posts over, but it's definitely something that's in a mushy area of "something that makes posts worse in most cases" and can tip otherwise good and informative posts towards outragefilter.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:59 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man what is up with brokkr.

Look, before this gets into a huge bashing-Python-developers thread again, I just want to say that really, not all Python developers are like this, okay? Some of us are genuinely empathic, with feelings and everything. And I'm pretty sick of people just lumping together all Python developers as if we were all the same.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:01 AM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's one thing to cherry pick a quote from part of an article to avoid editorializing, and another to simply copy the title as given in the link. The alternative is to post something like,
A gay teen discusses her experience at Cross Creek, a facility that deals with troubled teens.
Suddenly, it's no longer clear what kind of facility this really is. For example, it could be a place that helps teens feels better about themselves (it's not). Her homosexuality could be incidental to the story (it isn't).

So, to hint at this, perhaps we could put quote marks around the troubled:
A gay teen discusses her experience at Cross Creek, a facility that deals with "troubled" teens.
That is editorializing.

Whether or not the term "brainstorming" is harsh rhetoric, it is meant to describe how the teen experienced it, and is also the title used in the link, so if it is a link that can be on MetaFilter, then it can be presented as written. It may be that some people had positive experiences at Cross Creek, and that her experiences were not the norm, or that her perception of what happened is flawed. But specifically in this case, the link is a story, and the story is about brainwashing.
posted by Deathalicious at 10:17 AM on June 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


There is frankly too much outright deletion of editorializing on metafilter. Yes, an editorialized post creates a derail, which must be fixed by a deletion of sorts. In such cases, admins should maybe "delete-hold" the post, asking the poster to contemplate the derail-in-progress, and repost 24 hours later. Any sane poster will agree that they should've posted more impartially after witnessing their lovely post derailed.
posted by jeffburdges at 10:53 AM on June 10, 2011


No accounting for the crazy motherfuckers then, eh jeffburdges?
posted by carsonb at 11:08 AM on June 10, 2011


MetaFilter is actually fucking DEAD now

I don't want to go in the cart!
posted by Meta Filter at 11:14 AM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


jeffburdges: "There is frankly too much outright deletion of editorializing on metafilter. Yes, an editorialized post creates a derail, which must be fixed by a deletion of sorts. In such cases, admins should maybe "delete-hold" the post, asking the poster to contemplate the derail-in-progress, and repost 24 hours later. Any sane poster will agree that they should've posted more impartially after witnessing their lovely post derailed."

This will never happen, but if it were to be instituted I'd bet it wouldn't solve anything.

There is no way to frame a post so it is Guaranteed Derail Free™. People can be grouchy about the most innocuous subjects, with or without editorializing.
posted by zarq at 11:18 AM on June 10, 2011


Meta Filter: " I don't want to go in the cart!"

Would you settle for....
posted by zarq at 11:19 AM on June 10, 2011


Call me all the names you want, but you can't deny I made a good point. Too bad the mods are so lax when it comes to cleanup and keeping threads understandable.
posted by seanyboy at 11:30 AM on June 10, 2011


There is no way to frame a post so it is Guaranteed Derail Free™. People can be grouchy about the most innocuous subjects, with or without editorializing.

Yes, exactly. Someone seeking to derail will always be able to "find" the editorializing, no matter how innocuous. brokkr is far more at fault for the problems in the thread that bkudria was for using the quoted-term "brainwashing" in the title.
posted by deanc at 11:44 AM on June 10, 2011


Er, what? I'm not exactly Crabby Appleton's biggest fan (or favorite person, I imagine), but he didn't start this "conversation as bullets" metaphor, It's Raining Florence Henderson did. Crabby Appleton was just responding to a joke question with a joke. And it was The Deej who made the first Matrix reference, which Crabby Appleton then ran with. So, uh, what's going on here?
posted by Errant at 11:49 AM on June 10, 2011


You're using the truth to defend an asshole.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 11:51 AM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'd like that on my tombstone, please.
posted by Errant at 11:54 AM on June 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


Call me all the names you want, but you can't deny I made a good point. Too bad the mods are so lax when it comes to cleanup and keeping threads understandable.

seanyboy, you haven't commented previously in either this thread or the one linked in the post here, and no one has mentioned you by name in either. Is something up somewhere else? Is there something specific you're referring to? I am lost.

Crabby Appleton was just responding to a joke question with a joke.

Crabby Appleton has been a snarky or combative jerk to us enough times about whatever mod thing is going on that my joke-o-meter is tuned a little low at this point, especially when the Ha Ha It's A Joke stuff aligns pretty well with the past crappiness in overall thrust. Not responding seems like the best bet all around and it's what I've been trying to do for a while now, but I have my lapses.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:04 PM on June 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


MetaTalk: No account motherfuckers accounted for
posted by clavdivs at 12:11 PM on June 10, 2011


Sure, I've been part of some of those conversations too and I get where you're coming from. Just seems like if most any other user had responded to an obvious joke like "can the mods dodge bullets" with something like "they can dodge word-bullets" there wouldn't be this much heat, or really any heat at all. I get that Crabby Appleton doesn't really have much benefit of the doubt around here, but I'm not sure it helps if we're (and I do mean we, I do this too) poised to pounce on any comment he makes, especially a two-word response to a throwaway one-liner, and wrangle out how it must be the same shit he always says. But I appreciate that since it's often the same shit he always says, it can be hard to not brace for impact, as it were.
posted by Errant at 12:25 PM on June 10, 2011


cortex: "Crabby Appleton has been a snarky or combative jerk to us...."

Um.

Not for nothing, but seeing someone on Team Mod publicly calling a member a jerk is kinda disquieting.
posted by zarq at 12:39 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was under the impression being a combative jerk was sort of Crabby's raison d'etre around these parts. I mean dude takes the time to advise others that if they are seeking "a forum that values true diversity of viewpoints, you'll need to look further" on his profile. I thought his entire "bitch and moan about the site/moderation of the site" was a point of pride for him or something. His schtick, if you will.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:45 PM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


zarq: "Team Mod publicly calling a member a jerk is kinda disquieting."

And yet... and yet...
posted by boo_radley at 12:47 PM on June 10, 2011 [4 favorites]


CA seems like he's engaging much more positively of late so it's kind not so great to pile-on.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:54 PM on June 10, 2011


The OP would only be editorializing if the brainwashing facility was really something else, say, like a laundromat, or a Kentucky Fried Chicken. Otherwise, it's a pretty useful pull quote, in that it accurately describes the link you're being sent to.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:55 PM on June 10, 2011


I get that Crabby Appleton doesn't really have much benefit of the doubt around here, but I'm not sure it helps if we're (and I do mean we, I do this too) poised to pounce on any comment he makes, especially a two-word response to a throwaway one-liner, and wrangle out how it must be the same shit he always says.

I hear you, I'm for less pouncing in general and like I said I've been trying to just scroll on my with my day if there's something that gives me a twitch and assume that there's something I'm not getting and leave it at that. For Crabby Appleton's part he's acknowledged at least making an effort, so, fine; I've been trying to avoid mixing it up with him for both our sakes because I'd rather things be no more combative around here than they need to be. That's trickier sometimes when what my job is requires responding to stuff in Metatalk, but I've been trying to make it work.

But there's sore spots, and when there's been a lot of actual jabby behavior in the past it's hard sometimes to read the latest thing as being Clearly Not A Jab. Aside from which, a lot of folks other than just us mods have been pretty soured on trying to extend the benefit of the doubt there, ideal mode of being though that may not be. I don't think there's really a clean slate solution available for de-grumping the dynamic on the short term, but I'll keep trying to just walk on by if something makes me grumpy instead of engaging; on the long term, who knows, I'm all for CA getting along and people living and letting live and so on.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:09 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "I was under the impression being a combative jerk was sort of Crabby's raison d'etre around these parts.

Combative, yes.

I mean dude takes the time to advise others that if they are seeking "a forum that values true diversity of viewpoints"a forum that values true diversity of viewpoints, you'll need to look further" on his profile.

So? Many MeFites have voiced similar complaints here in MeTa about the dual nature of Metafilter wrt say politics, or religion / atheism, etc.

I thought his entire "bitch and moan about the site/moderation of the site" was a point of pride for him or something. His schtick, if you will."

Probably. I don't agree with him 99% of the time. But he's said that he's making an effort and seems to be doing so.
posted by zarq at 1:14 PM on June 10, 2011


Wow. Sorry, I'll try to be more explicit, next time. I really don't think this is such a big deal.
posted by bkudria at 1:37 PM on June 10, 2011


For what it's worth, cortex, I think almost all jabs at you mods, including Crabby's, including mine, only end up burnishing your reputations with virtually everyone else.

I realize that doesn't obviate the obligation you feel to make a reasoned response in most cases, and I would find that a heavy burden, personally, though I have appreciated its results many times, but I think you have every right to be a lot more dismissive than you have been so far.
posted by jamjam at 1:38 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


But there's sore spots, and when there's been a lot of actual jabby behavior in the past it's hard sometimes to read the latest thing as being Clearly Not A Jab.

I get you, and obviously there's a ton of history here that I'm not privy to, so my opinion is somewhat uneducated in this matter. I agree with you that there's probably not a clean-slate solution, but it seems to me like the metric ought to be "Clearly A Jab" as opposed to "Clearly Not A Jab", even in the case of a confirmed jabbermeister.

I wouldn't ever tell someone not to engage if they want to; that's really all we do here, say things and reply to things. It just seems to me that maybe part of the problem comes from us expecting hits and reacting reflexively, and maybe it's worth an extra second to see if there is a palpable hit before reacting to it.

I was about to turn this whole thing into a gom jabbar metaphor, but I'm pretty sure I used up all my goodwill with "jabbermeister", so, yeah.
posted by Errant at 1:44 PM on June 10, 2011


It could all be solved with a Jabber server.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:47 PM on June 10, 2011


I can't even stand the smell of jabbermeister anymore, even with that cool stag's head and cross logo on the label.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:57 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


In such cases, admins should maybe "delete-hold" the post, asking the poster to contemplate the derail-in-progress, and repost 24 hours later.

With respect, that is exactly what deletion is. People are welcome to repost their content, fixing whatever issue they had that made it deleteworthy [sometimes they are not fixable, often they are] and post it again the next day. In fact sometimes we actually suggest that in the deletion reason. People feel that deletion is some sort of "you are a bad person" mark of shame and we do not, at all, feel that way in ModTown and we work with people to help them make good posts. We think of it sometimes as more of a "do over" than a deletion.

seeing someone on Team Mod publicly calling a member a jerk is kinda disquieting.

Saying that someone has been a jerk to us in the past doesn't seem to be to be beyond the pale or that inaccurate. I'm sorry if it makes people uncomfortable and yeah I think cortex and I [and Jeremy and Matt and pb] really aspire to never be snippy or never have bad days, but it happens.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:57 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


cortex and I [and Jeremy and Matt and pb]

Total unrelated derail: it's really interesting to me, from a linguistic perspective, how some of the team in your enumeration are addressed offhand by username and some by first name. I don't really know anyone here well enough to address them by real name (other than the realname == username people), so I wouldn't have occasion to mix and match in this way, but if I did I wonder how and why I might split out such a list.

Man, I'm a geek.
posted by Errant at 2:15 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Either way, I think we can all agree that the important takeaway from all this is that a jerk pork sandwich and crabby appletini would be delicious right about now.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:17 PM on June 10, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's Raining Florence Henderson: " a jerk pork sandwich and crabby appletini would be delicious right about now."

You monster. * dials bbq delivery place *
posted by boo_radley at 3:14 PM on June 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


*wishes he could dial bbq delivery place*
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:30 PM on June 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wait, who is Jeremy, and who of the six mods does "cortex and I [and Jeremy and Matt and pb]" omit and are they sad?
posted by mendel at 8:44 PM on June 10, 2011


There aren't six mods. There are five mods and vacapinta who checks in in the middle of the night and isn't (and doesn't want to be) official. He is not sad. Jeremy = restless_nomad.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:59 PM on June 10, 2011


I would just like to say that

I tell Yakov Smirnoff jokes so well that by the time I'm done with them they turn back into common sense observations about American culture with the words in the expected order.

and

You're using the truth to defend an asshole.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 11:51 AM on June 10 [1 favorite +] [!]


I'd like that on my tombstone, please.
posted by Errant at 11:54 AM on June 10


both made me snort Young's Double Chocolate Stout through my nose and onto my keyboard. I would like a replacement keyboard and stout, please.
posted by Existential Dread at 9:31 PM on June 10, 2011


There aren't six mods.

I see! Well, in honor of my new understanding I've updated my local copy of Mefi Navigator to finally show that little [admin] thingy beside r_n's posts.
posted by mendel at 9:35 PM on June 10, 2011


Dammit, I broke it.
posted by mendel at 9:40 PM on June 10, 2011


I see being deleted as something of a cleansing experience more than anything...
posted by evil_esto at 12:08 AM on June 11, 2011


I really don't think this is such a big deal.

Contextualizing quotes clearly *is* kind of a big deal. It derailed your thread.
posted by mediareport at 6:31 AM on June 11, 2011


I'd like to thank Errant and zarq for their fair-minded observations. Having defended myself in threads like this before, to no apparent effect, I don't see much point in doing so here.

When I see something happening on MetaFilter that I think is wrong (such as piling on brokkr for stating the obvious), I will comment on it if I wish. But I'll try to keep cortex's sensitivities in mind.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:28 AM on June 11, 2011


Jeremy is way shorter than restless_nomad and doesn't involve a special character. But it is definitely sort of weird linguistically - I think of (and talk about) cortex as Josh about 50% of the time.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:51 AM on June 11, 2011


"Jeremy = restless_nomad."

OMG this whole time I'd somehow got it into my head that restless_nomad was a girl!

I feel like I'm in that scene in The Crying Game.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:19 AM on June 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh wait...

"Gender: Female, despite the name."

OK, I'm not actually losing my mind.
posted by Jacqueline at 11:20 AM on June 11, 2011


Heh, yeah, it confuses everybody. Internet dating is the worst.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:23 AM on June 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, do you ever have the urge to smack your parents for that? :)
posted by Jacqueline at 11:25 AM on June 11, 2011


Oh, it's not their fault. It's the internet handle that ate my life. My parents are just as baffled as everyone else.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:37 AM on June 11, 2011


Oh, wait, you are worried because a thread was rendered inscrutable by a mod? You must be new around here.
posted by falameufilho at 12:55 PM on June 11, 2011


mods: In the future, may I suggest an alternate method of dealing with load-bearing threadshit?

Leave the comment there, but insert a moderator comment directly below it along the lines of

"/\/\/\ See that post up there? /\/\/\ That's shitty. Don't do that."
posted by tehloki at 2:05 PM on June 11, 2011


There aren't six mods.

I heard that there was only one mod who regenerated four times
posted by Poet_Lariat at 4:52 PM on June 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


>>"Do the mods have the ability to dodge bullets?"

>Yes, which is why you need to use the <ol> tag to get their attention.

That's a <li>.
posted by maryr at 9:17 PM on June 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


...... maybe we need a brand new day mk2 or something.
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:23 AM on June 12, 2011


Not for nothing, but seeing someone on Team Mod publicly calling a member a jerk is kinda disquieting.

If the guy hosting the party hires a few waiters to help him cater it, and some guests are relentlessly jerky to the hired help, the hired help mentioning that guest x is a jerk is much less of a problem than the passive-aggressive-ha-ha-only-kidding arseholery that incites it.
posted by rodgerd at 3:18 AM on June 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


Contextualizing quotes clearly *is* kind of a big deal. It derailed your thread.

Abstract ideas ("lack of contextualization") don't derail threads. People derail threads.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 9:08 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


THERE ARE *FIVE* MODS!
posted by Artw at 9:19 AM on June 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


well, from crabbys page - his statement is to me pretty accurate..... but the thing about that is he should be accepting it. It's a feature of group behaviour on the internet in general, it's not something that 5 mods are going to change and it's not even something that 60 mods are going to change - some of us can see that and after much griping, sniping and moaning - can accept it and go off and play in the sun, come back and make some posts about cats. I recognise that the mefi mods are not personally responsible for creating the way group dynamics work on the internet. It must be kind of wearing to have people blaming you for that. Saying I will not change my mind but I demand reasoned discourse is fairly jerky and self defeating also. So crabby got off quite lightly for what looks like justified trolling imnvho.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:48 PM on June 12, 2011


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