Text not "MeFi" enough?! September 1, 2011 6:57 PM   Subscribe

Regarding this post, which was deleted. "This is the sort of thing you need to write a more MeFi-like post for." Well, considering that the text of the headline I used is very similar -- if anything, less graphic -- than the headline of the article I linked to, with much of the text is taken verbatim from the memo, with additional information accurately presented, can I get a clarification on how this isn't written in a Me-fi enough way, please?!
posted by markkraft to Etiquette/Policy at 6:57 PM (267 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

I think it was mainly just hard to parse. Also, it may have been booted because of the higher bar set for outrage filter.
posted by Think_Long at 7:04 PM on September 1, 2011


Can I get a clarification on how this isn't written in a Me-fi enough way, please?!

The best way to do this is to email the mods.
posted by dfan at 7:05 PM on September 1, 2011


Mark, you've been banned several times from MeFi for ax grinding. You get much less leeway around here because you are pretty much a pro at dropping insane bombs of posts about the most controversial topics.

Make posts to MeFi because you found something cool and interesting, not so you can get some news in front of as many users as possible with a crazy headline.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:05 PM on September 1, 2011 [30 favorites]


Sure. Here is your post. "OMG an apallingly shitty thing happened" posts aren't great for MeFi generally because all people can do is just sort of agree with each other and get upset and angry and flap their hands and then sometimes start making weird inappropriate jokes or USA SUCKS comments which aren't great jumping off points for discusison. Things that are so shocking that you need to add GRAPHIC NSFW tags to them generally fall into the category of things you should make a considered respectful post about since it's a touchy issue and MeFi is not a blog for "Wow this really crappy thing happened!"

Add to this that above-the-fold horrific descriptions of violence are usually ... not so great. I was in fact talking about this in a comment elsewhere. There are many blogs that do that sort of thing and this is not one of them. Your editorializing headline, even if it's espousing an opinion that is widely held, was also not really fitting a MeFi post. Adding a list of the deceased and explaining that they were shot in the head makes spicy reading but can be linked to so that people who find such graphic violence disturbing (people who we have heard from, people whose opinions we consider along with the people who are not disturbed) can make a choice to read or not read them.

You have been on this website for a long time. You have had many posts deleted. You have been banned. You have a different style than a lot of people here, which is fine. However I'm not sure why you thought that post was a good post for MetaFilter. Posts need to seem less like weird click-bait and more like something that you'd like to share with and possibly discuss with other people. It's a giant internet and there are many many places you can make a post like this, but MeFi isn't one of them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:09 PM on September 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


Well, isn't this comfortable?
posted by gman at 7:22 PM on September 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Matt...

The "crazy headline" used by the Kansas City Star -- hardly a radical paper -- was:

"WikiLeaks: Iraqi children in U.S. raid shot in head, U.N. says"

My "crazy headline" was far more moderate in comparison. But if you look at other major US papers who have covered this, well... given the choice between this information rich KC Star article, and the article on it at HuffPo... well, I believe I made the right choice.

As far as axe grinding, are you talking about pro-war or anti-war axe grinding? Because I have been accused of both.

This isn't about war, Matt. But about a war crime case which is serious and about as open and shut as we're likely to see. It's unacceptable, no matter who does it... but you seem to think it's axe grinding, as opposed to say, important.

If you don't want important things on the Blue, well... I can make sure all my posts are "cool and interesting" fluff, but sometimes, serious info has become public as a result of WikiLeaks. This was easily the most serious documented claim in recent history, and it was fully investigated by the UN.

Reality is crazy, Matt. And frankly, other people question your balance at times, too.

"you are pretty much a pro at dropping insane bombs of posts"

Insane... crazy... bombs?

You owe me an apology, Matt.
posted by markkraft at 7:26 PM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


"I can make sure all my posts are "cool and interesting" fluff"

For some folks, perhaps for yourself, that's really best.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:34 PM on September 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


As far as axe grinding, are you talking about pro-war or anti-war axe grinding? Because I have been accused of both.

Sometimes people can't tell you precisely what ax it is, but they recognize the sound of grinding.

As to Matt owing you an apology -- you asked a question, and he gave you a straightforward answer. Just because you didm't like it, or don't agree, it doesn't seem to me that any apology is owed.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:36 PM on September 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


maybe it's your excessive use of the interrobang.
posted by nadawi at 7:36 PM on September 1, 2011


You owe me an apology, Matt.

Good luck in your future endeavors!
posted by Justinian at 7:41 PM on September 1, 2011 [16 favorites]


Oh god. Sigh.
posted by josher71 at 7:41 PM on September 1, 2011


You owe me an apology, Matt.

*laughs a crazy laugh*
posted by rtha at 7:41 PM on September 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think by headline mathowie may be referring to the title: Abu Ghraib?! Worse. More like Mai Lai.

If you don't want important things on the Blue, well... I can make sure all my posts are "cool and interesting" fluff

Plenty of people make posts to the blue about important issues and even the horrific thigns that happen in wartime. Things that are important can always be presented in ways that do not seem to be axe-grinding.

And frankly, other people question your balance at times, too.

I have no idea where you are going with this, but I'd suggest it isn't really a fruitful path. This is not a newspaper and balance is not the issue or the responsibility of MetaFilter. We have a set of guidelines that we try to enforce consistently.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:43 PM on September 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


We should definitely have a post on this massacre, but :

- Isn't enumerating the victim names above the fold kinda unnecessary? If you'd waited a while, you could've posted the victim's names as a comment, decreasing the derail probability. Do you want your thread derailed by arguing over style?

- Aren't all the parenthetical comments distracting? Ditto, the funky formatting. Oh, you even copied the youtube warning twice, wtf?!?

Btw, you could usually tone down such topics by including more context, letting the links speak for themselves, or even related wikileaks cables.
posted by jeffburdges at 7:44 PM on September 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


Back away from the computer slowly, gradually taking in the world beyond the bezel of your screen about which you claim to care so strongly. Observe that people are suffering and dying, or living and loving and laughing. The wind is blowing. The sun is shining, or not, but it will be again.

Nothing depends on your Metafilter post.
posted by spitbull at 7:47 PM on September 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


What is this supposed to balance against? Cats getting trapped in boxes?
posted by Brocktoon at 7:47 PM on September 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


His failure to use an interrobang you mean‽
posted by cjorgensen at 7:48 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


"But about a war crime case which is serious and about as open and shut as we're likely to see."

The letter was asking if the account was accurate. It's shameful that the US didn't respond, but this isn't really open and shut.

Also, I believe the only way that you get an apology is if you threaten to cut off your hand. Are you man enough for that?
posted by klangklangston at 7:49 PM on September 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


mark,

I agree that this site has an aversion to things that I consider important, but that's a reflection of our culture in general, and not MetaFilter. More people spend time looking at videos of cats and nut shots than at actual news. That's just the way the world is, and MetaFilter is not here to change that. If you want to bring issues up that you consider important, and you actually care about getting some people to read them, I would consider the audience and adjust your language accordingly.

You're trying to make people face facts that they want to ignore. It's like trying to get an addict to admit they have a problem, and the implications of the truth of these wars is too much for most people to consider. They'd rather just ignore it, and as you can see by what makes it past editors -- from the NYT to MetaFilter -- that's what they usually choose to do.

So you can choose, as I fail to do regularly, to engage people instead of beating them over the head with reality. You can get people to at least consider that they should do something concrete instead of pretending that these horrors don't exist, and that they have no responsibility for the actions of their government. But whinging in MetaTalk is probably not going to work in your favor.
posted by notion at 7:49 PM on September 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


I was glad this meta was asked, since at first glance there didn't seem like anything wrong with it. After clarification and the history I this it's not even a good faith question.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:50 PM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


My "crazy headline" was far more moderate in comparison.

A comparison to an event that's practically the definition of emotional overtones is NOT more moderate than a factual if blunt summary of the story, in any way shape or form. Any comparison to My Lai is intended to bypass reason & hit an emotional trigger response. We don't do that here.

Reality is crazy, Matt. And frankly, other people question your balance at times, too.

Fail. Just fail. C'mon, really?
posted by scalefree at 7:50 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


OH NO NOT OTHER PEOPLE
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 7:52 PM on September 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


spitbull: " Nothing depends on your Metafilter post."

This is excellent advice.

Please take it to heart. Take a deep breath, and walk away for a little while. Speaking as someone who both has and hasn't done so under similar circumstances, I've never regretted taking a little break, and always regretted allowing my temper to get the better of me.

It's not worth it.
posted by zarq at 7:54 PM on September 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


eh I don't want to get involved in metatalk much under this incarnation but I agree the 'cute baby stays, war crime goes' thing is just odd here.
posted by the mad poster! at 7:55 PM on September 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


eh I don't want to get involved in metatalk much under this incarnation but I agree the 'cute baby stays, war crime goes' thing is just odd here

My guess is because the war crime stuff is usually less a "good stuff on the web" type thing than the cute baby stuff.
posted by josher71 at 7:58 PM on September 1, 2011


Nothing's any clearer, is it?
posted by carsonb at 7:58 PM on September 1, 2011


Things other people do:


  • have sex with inflatable rafts
  • put fish down their pants
  • believe President Obama is the Antichrist
  • listen to Justin Beiber. Willingly.

    Feel free to add to this list.

  • posted by scalefree at 7:58 PM on September 1, 2011


    "You're trying to make people face facts that they want to ignore."

    WAKE UP SHEEPLE!
    posted by klangklangston at 8:00 PM on September 1, 2011 [17 favorites]


    "You're trying to make people face facts that they want to ignore. It's like trying to get an addict to admit they have a problem, and the implications of the truth of these wars is too much for most people to consider. They'd rather just ignore it"

    If trying to be a site that isn't as filled with knee jerk outrage means we get accused of ignoring things, I'm okay with that.

    If you want to have a nice dinner, side down. If you just want to pee on the carpet, go to your friends house.
    posted by y6y6y6 at 8:01 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


    That I may often prefer cat videos doesn't mean I've got my head in a box regarding news about shitty, shitty things. I suspect that much of mefi is like this.

    I get much of my news here, but by no means all of it. If you are bereft because OH NO IMPORTANT THING GOT DELETED FROM A WEBSITE then you really really need to get out more.

    And if you're going to get all judgey about mefites being shallow because cat videos stay and crappy posts about awful things get deleted, you also need to get out more.
    posted by rtha at 8:02 PM on September 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


    "OMG an apallingly shitty thing happened" posts aren't great for MeFi generally because all people can do is just sort of agree with each other and get upset and angry and flap their hands and then sometimes start making weird inappropriate jokes or USA SUCKS comments which aren't great jumping off points for discusison.

    Not trying to be fighty, and I appreciate the job you do here, but this really doesn't make a lot of sense if you read it a few times. I was about to eat when I saw the post, and it shocked me so much I had to postpone my meal (still haven't eaten).

    Nonetheless, I was really looking forward to the discussion later on, and I think it's an incredibly important one to have. The way you describe people's behaviour... I just don't see that. In fact, I find the blue, generally speaking, to excel at such posts: issues get teased out, a body of helpful links gets posted, obviously the moral and political are considered. Not so much the hand flapping and angry consensus.

    I hope we will see a post about these latest Wikileak revelations; it may be fair to hold markkraft to a different standard based on his history here, but a post is a post to the person checking out the site, and that discussion held a lot of promise. There's nowhere else on the web I'm aware of with the same level of discourse.
    posted by stinkycheese at 8:02 PM on September 1, 2011 [11 favorites]


    They don't make films like "The Thing" anymore.
    posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:03 PM on September 1, 2011


    I think jeffburdges has it right; looks like a combination of framing and the poster's track record have done for this one, but it's certainly a significant enough piece of news to justify posting if we allow news posts, which we do.
    posted by Abiezer at 8:04 PM on September 1, 2011


    WAKE UP SHEEPLE!

    Once again, beautifully illustrated.
    posted by notion at 8:05 PM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


    the mad poster!: "24eh I don't want to get involved in metatalk much under this incarnation but I agree the 'cute baby stays, war crime goes' thing is just odd here."

    There are plenty of posts about things that stimulate outrage. Various War Crimes, Israel-Palestine, Bradley Manning, Hoder, women's issues, civil rights and Wikileaks have all had multiple, prominent FPP's.

    The better ones don't editorialize and don't create an environment where the only possible discussion that can develop from the FPP is "look at these assholes. Aren't they assholes?"
    posted by zarq at 8:05 PM on September 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


    Don't presume that the readership is so poorly read they need your help. If you frame a post hand-wringingly enough you'll most likely get it pulled. End of story for the most part.
    posted by nola at 8:07 PM on September 1, 2011 [12 favorites]


    Abu Ghraib?! Worse. More like Mai Lai.

    Did we shoot hundreds of women and children in prison cells or did I miss the cable.
    posted by clavdivs at 8:08 PM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


    Jessamyn, when I said "worse than Abu Ghraib", I meant it. If the byheadline was a problem, though, you could've certainly brought it up with me, or deleted it entirely.

    Killing a dozen or so innocent civilians, including women and very young children, is fundamentally a more serious war crime than sexually humiliating them. It, quite literally, is more in the Mai Lai category -- an systematic execution -- than in the Abu Ghraib category (torture and sexual abuse) with the potential for very serious criminal charges -- possibly life or the death penalty -- should those responsible face justice. Indeed, there have been other soldiers tried by the Iraqis for similar, smaller crimes and sentenced quite severely. In comparison, the max. sentence served at Abu Ghraib was only 6 1/2 years for Grainer, who has been a free man for awhile now. This *is* potentially far more serious.

    I have lots of friends who served in Iraq. They didn't buy the rationale for going there, but they did their best in a difficult situation, and aren't anti-war... but they have a real problem with soldiers who go bad. In fact, they grind an axe about it. And that's how it's supposed to be, frankly.

    There have been 86 wikileaks posts made since its creation... a regular flurry... but I do find it kind of insulting to be considered a source of crazy, insane bombshells when I link to State Department memos, especially in a political and journalistic environment that actively discourages and discredits WikiLeaks. I don't see the UN here being accused of being crazy ... insane, nor do I see the same claims about WikiLeaks.

    Really, I don't care what you think of me, personally. Frankly, it shouldn't matter, just like what I think of you shouldn't effect my posts. I think you *should* consider the fact that the story is more important than the messenger though, and try to work with me and every other contributor to see that posts are informative and accurate, editing posts as needed, rather than junking posts on important subjects.

    ... which is why I asked, frankly.
    posted by markkraft at 8:10 PM on September 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


    "I agree the 'cute baby stays, war crime goes' thing is just odd here"

    So in your world, every single site allowing members to post topics must regularly have biased posts about ugly issues where we bicker back and forth and no one changes their mind or learns anything new but we all leave feeling angrier?

    There are sites pretty much devoted to pitchfork and bonfires posts like this. I'm totally missing the reason why MeFi needs to join in on that.
    posted by y6y6y6 at 8:10 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


    "Once again, beautifully illustrated."

    Why, yes, I did illustrate the underlying attitude of your comment with a pithy phrase that both encapsulated and snarked. But I didn't expect you to appreciate it, so I'm pleasantly surprised.
    posted by klangklangston at 8:11 PM on September 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


    mathowie: Mark, you've been banned several times from MeFi for ax grinding

    This can happen? How many Brand New Days do you get?

    stinkycheese: that discussion held a lot of promise

    Really? It looked like a series of one-liners to me. Even if the discussion had been given the chance to develop, I doubt the substance would have developed along with it. Jessamyn is right in this case. These posts generally don't move beyond "USA SUX AMIRITE LOL."
    posted by troll at 8:12 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Not so much the hand flapping and angry consensus.

    I agree. Most posts go well. Check out the comment in the deleted post

    You're trying to make people face facts that they want to ignore.

    Many of us lead lives full of political involvement at a local and global level. Acting like MetaFilter has the same journalistic responsibility of a newspaper or other news-based site is overlooking that this site's stated purpose is not news and not journalism, though examples of both do show up here often. It's insulting to characterize a deletion of one news oriented post as somehow some sort of head in the sand editorial decision. There have been plenty of posts on difficult topics that get posted and discussed here daily.

    In fact, they grind an axe about it. And that's how it's supposed to be, frankly.

    Not here it's not. It's a huge internet, feel free to take your post to it. We don't edit posts (per your suggestion about your title) as I would have assumed that you knew.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:15 PM on September 1, 2011 [14 favorites]


    " I think you *should* consider the fact that the story is more important than the messenger though, and try to work with me and every other contributor to see that posts are informative and accurate, editing posts as needed, rather than junking posts on important subjects."

    After finding out about his low sperm count, the Southern gentleman bought a top hat and tails. When his wife asked him why, he told her, "If I'm gonna be impotent, I'm gonna dress impotent."

    (Or, simply asserting that something is important is both begging the question and not a defense of a weak post.)
    posted by klangklangston at 8:15 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


    So in your world, every single site allowing members to post topics must regularly have biased posts about ugly issues where we bicker back and forth and no one changes their mind or learns anything new but we all leave feeling angrier?

    what are you talking about? I don't mean "here" as in mefi I mean here as with these two adjacent threads. that said I didn't realize somewhere along the way the site had turned into a group hug where how fuzzy people left feeling was the most important meter of relevance. But things change.
    posted by the mad poster! at 8:18 PM on September 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


    Frankly once, shame on me. Frankly twice, shame on you. Frankly FOUR TIMES, frankly, you're playing with yourself again.
    posted by Chipmazing at 8:19 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Did we shoot hundreds of women and children in prison cells or did I miss the cable.

    No, it's only evidence of the massacre of one family including an infant. Most of the hundreds of women and children that were shot happened at check points. Tens of thousands more were accidentally killed by one of our surgical strikes.

    It's apparently old news.
    posted by notion at 8:19 PM on September 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


    You owe me an apology, Matt.

    Mark, here's your history here. You find outrageous news stories from dubious sources and drop them here with flame-bait style headlines and setups. You did this about President Bush so much you got banned. In the past we've had problems of you using "summary quotes" from stories where something inflammatory wasn't actually stated by anyone in the article but paraphrased by you.

    In this case we have some outrageous heinous claims that are unsubstantiated and the only source is a leaked diplomatic cable from another country asking us if the rumors they heard were true. That's not actual evidence of anything happening. When something more substantial than a leaked cable alluding to something comes around, then maybe it's time to post about it.

    Overall, you treat MeFi like it's your own personal Daily Kos or indymedia.org, and we don't do that kind of thing. We don't let people fly off the handle over daily political rumors and get everyone all crazy about something that may or may not have actually happened. There are sites for that, and you're welcome to use those sites mentioned because that's pretty much their normal sort of activity, but sorry, it doesn't fly here.
    posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:22 PM on September 1, 2011 [59 favorites]


    Even if it is worse than Abu Ghraib, and on the order of Mai Lai, that still doesn't need to be the title of your post.
    posted by 6550 at 8:23 PM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


    The fpp wasn't that bad. I mean, if we can stomach two cat SLYTs on a single day then surely this can be tolerated. As for the fpp being controversial... well, important stuff sometimes have that quality.
    posted by Foci for Analysis at 8:24 PM on September 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


    I'm glad this became a MeTa because I probably would have missed the news, since I don't peruse the blue religiously.

    HOWEVER...

    "In this case we have some outrageous heinous claims that are unsubstantiated and the only source is a leaked diplomatic cable from another country asking us if the rumors they heard were true. That's not actual evidence of anything happening. When something more substantial than a leaked cable alluding to something comes around, then maybe it's time to post about it."

    Thanks to mathowie for putting the story in context!

    Perhaps if you had put the story in context, the Delete Hammer might not have struck here?
    posted by jbenben at 8:28 PM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


    No, it's only evidence of the massacre of one family including an infant. Most of the hundreds of women and children that were shot happened at check points. Tens of thousands more were accidentally killed by one of our surgical strikes.

    I had no notion your were stationed near Darfur notion.

    It, quite literally, is more in the Mai Lai category -- an systematic execution

    Is it really? Do you anything about mai lai? Can you compare the two without the truth being known about the iraq example BUT lets say it happened. Other then murder what do they have in common. War is one...give you a head start.

    wikileaks, thats two and thats were i will have you.
    posted by clavdivs at 8:30 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Hell. Don't forget the hell.
    posted by Sailormom at 8:33 PM on September 1, 2011


    I think you *should* consider the fact that the story is more important than the messenger though

    Thing is, there are a whole lot of potential messengers here, and depending on the message and the potential presentation they might do a hell of a lot better job without weird baggage attached. If someone else wants to try tackling the story and doing a better job of it, they can do that; if no one decides to do so, so be it. Metafilter is not a news site, it is not a political blog, and with its relatively small post volume on a daily basis the vast majority of things are not going to get a post of their own.

    If you feel that that's unjust or something, that the things you feel should be posted must, in fact, be posted, you've got the wrong idea about Metafilter. There are other sites out there that are less likely to discourage you posting what you want however you want to; posting this stuff on one of those is probably a saner resolution to that disjunction than making a fuss in Metatalk, especially considering how not-new this discussion with you is.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 8:34 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Yes, the comments that were posted before the post was removed were mostly jokey and/or third rate (Trurl providing one exception), but that in itself is interesting and certainly had the potential to be something people in turn reflect on (or get meta on, if you prefer).

    The site is largely U.S. citizens, yes? Mostly social progressives, compared to Republicans at least? For a decade now, Metafilter has at least recognized the importance of these stories - posted in less rhetorical fashion, yes - and it's strange to see people here questioning the value of their inclusion to the front page.

    To say 'I can read about that depressing stuff elsewhere' is to start down a road where Metafilter would lose much of its appeal for me, as a forum where sensible people hash out the realities of ugly truths, sometimes very close to home.

    We can debate NYT articles and see cute Youtube videos elsewhere too. That cuts both ways.
    posted by stinkycheese at 8:35 PM on September 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


    Meant to link Trurl's comment.
    posted by stinkycheese at 8:37 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


    that said I didn't realize somewhere along the way the site had turned into a group hug where how fuzzy people left feeling was the most important meter of relevance. But things change.

    Oh please.
    posted by rtha at 8:40 PM on September 1, 2011


    Speaking as someone who favorited the post simply because I think it's an important story, the deletion was justifiable on editorializing grounds alone.

    And history matters too. This wouldn't have been an acceptable post from me - even if I bowled it straight down the middle.

    That said, calling the charges "unsubstantiated" strikes me as special pleading. Alston heard several reports of this and took them seriously enough to present them to the Secretary of State - who did not deny them. There is also the reporting of Iraqi and Italian television. There is also the history of such behavior mentioned at my link.

    "Unaddressed" would be more appropriate.
    posted by Trurl at 8:56 PM on September 1, 2011 [9 favorites]


    I don't like cat videos, either. The 'awww cute' reaction seems a bit silly.
    posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 8:58 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


    So is a "Mai Lai" something in between a tasty drink and a massacre?
    posted by RogerB at 9:02 PM on September 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


    We are in the post-LOLcat era, it's all about the ponies now.

    I think the My Lai thing put this one over the top, so I flagged it and favorited it at the same time. Someone without the history should make another attempt on this one.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:02 PM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


    Really, I don't care what you think of me, personally.

    Someone knock on Matt's door and let him know he can stop drafting that 8-page apology letter.
    posted by mannequito at 9:09 PM on September 1, 2011 [10 favorites]


    colin powell perhaps
    runs
    posted by clavdivs at 9:10 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


    What's that? It's already that time during a meta thread when we post locates? sure!
    posted by jeffburdges at 9:12 PM on September 1, 2011


    You owe me an apology, Matt.

    BREAK OUT THE HAIR SHIRT
    posted by shakespeherian at 9:15 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


    The thread so far...
    posted by timsteil at 9:16 PM on September 1, 2011


    but sorry, it doesn't fly here. --- Well, it does have the word "sorry" in it.
    posted by crunchland at 9:19 PM on September 1, 2011

    moderator kitteh


    disapproves ur submishinz.
    posted by troll at 9:20 PM on September 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


    It's already that time during a meta thread when we post locates?

    I see a promising corpus linguistics humor niche in the form of "collolcations".
    posted by cortex (staff) at 9:31 PM on September 1, 2011 [8 favorites]


    I see a promising corpus linguistics humor niche in the form of "collolcations".

    Now Cortex owes us an apology.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:34 PM on September 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


    for beiing spicy, never.
    posted by clavdivs at 9:42 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Needs more lolcats.
    posted by 1000monkeys at 10:08 PM on September 1, 2011


    Trurl: " That said, calling the charges "unsubstantiated" strikes me as special pleading. Alston heard several reports of this and took them seriously enough to present them to the Secretary of State - who did not deny them.

    Well, let's be honest with ourselves here. That's not proof of anything in and of itself. Government officials no doubt refuse to comment on a great many things until they know all the facts. It wouldn't surprise me if in cases like this they only do so to prevent imminent diplomatic incidents, or high-level requests for clarification.

    There is also the history of such behavior mentioned at my link."

    True. And as you acknowledge, that wasn't in the post. Also, precedent is not evidence.
    posted by zarq at 10:19 PM on September 1, 2011


    You owe me an apology, Matt.

    as a Canadian, I'd be willing to apologize for Matt.

    I'm sorry.
    I shouldn't have doubted you.
    I shall endeavor to make sure this never happens again around here.
    Frankly, I'm embarrassed.
    posted by philip-random at 10:25 PM on September 1, 2011 [4 favorites]


    I read the post as being structured to create an outrage filter response. If it had been structured differently with a more thoughtful approach, it could have led to a reasonable discussion. I thought the deletion was valid without even knowing markkraft's posting history.
    posted by arcticseal at 10:28 PM on September 1, 2011 [7 favorites]


    as a Canadian, I'd be willing to apologize for Matt.

    as a American, I'd be willing to accept that apology for Mark.

    Thank you. I'm sorry too. I accept your apology for Matt via phillip-random by proxy.
    I shouldn't have doubted you.
    I shall endeavor to make sure this never happens again around here.
    Frankly, I'm embarrassed.
    posted by lampshade at 10:40 PM on September 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


    But if you look at other major US papers who have covered this, well... given the choice between this information rich KC Star article

    Nitpick: this was originally a McClatchy article which the Kansas City Star reprinted (without the disturbing photograph.)
    posted by homunculus at 11:00 PM on September 1, 2011


    I would like to apologize to the site for the opening comment I made in markkraft's deleted thread.

    I have participated in fewer WL threads these past few months, but I do read them, and one common opinion expressed by several MeFi users is that what WL exposes is of no consequence.

    So when I read about innocent people — children, particularly — being handcuffed and murdered in cold blood by our military, I get a bit incredulous at Internet armchair apologists who smear their disdain on folks in and affiliated with Wikileaks, who have risked their freedom (and potentially their lives) trying to uncover these crimes by our government and our military.

    My comment was a snarky I-told-you-so, one that ultimately doesn't do a lot to address the crimes committed in our names, more than it is a pointed wake-the-fuck-up remark at the US government's apologists on MetaFilter, who shrug these heinous crimes under the carpet at any chance they get.

    Mine was a comment made out of frustration, and I regret making it. It was a wasted effort. My apologies to all concerned.
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:02 PM on September 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


    "So when I read about innocent people — children, particularly — being handcuffed and murdered in cold blood by our military, I get a bit incredulous at Internet armchair apologists who smear their disdain on folks in and affiliated with Wikileaks, who have risked their freedom (and potentially their lives) trying to uncover these crimes by our government and our military."

    You've read this thread right, Blazecock Pileon? And understood that there's no actual proof this event happened? If U.S. military personnel carried out such a terrible deed then of course they should be punished to the full extent of the law, but rushing to condemn individual soldiers, the whole U.S. army and indeed the whole U.S. government on this sort of 'evidence' might be seen as premature if your whole concern is for justice to be done and seen to be done.
    posted by joannemullen at 11:23 PM on September 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


    I'm still waiting for my mai tai.
    posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:28 PM on September 1, 2011


    (Also, a lady from Legacy knocked on the door, and I threw a brick at her, because she's funding baby killers.)
    posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:30 PM on September 1, 2011


    Change the title of the post to BAYONETING BELGIAN BABIES and it's good to go.
    posted by KokuRyu at 11:32 PM on September 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


    You've read this thread right, Blazecock Pileon?

    At this point, I don't feel inclined to go over the particulars of what has been uncovered and corroborated — and most certainly not with you. If you're okay with innocent men, women and children being handcuffed and shot in the head by the United States military, then that's on your conscience.
    posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:37 PM on September 1, 2011


    markkraft writes "My 'crazy headline' was far more moderate in comparison."

    Even if that is true that doesn't mean it's a good headline.
    posted by Mitheral at 12:09 AM on September 2, 2011


    So, what's the consensus? Can the marines destroy Roman empire or not?
    posted by vidur at 12:14 AM on September 2, 2011


    Mefi is not all fluff and asserting that because something you're interested in didn't get a good post is ridiculous.

    I've made two seriously unpleasant posts about controversial issues in adoption. Neither got deleted.

    I flagged this post, because graphic descriptions of violence seriously bother me and it lacked substance anyway.

    Reading about horrible things is not inherently good, it does not make the world a better place, and it does not make you smarter than everyone else.
    posted by the young rope-rider at 12:45 AM on September 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


    " If you're okay with innocent men, women and children being handcuffed and shot in the head by the United States military, then that's on your conscience."

    That's not a fair statement to make at all — it implies that if someone doesn't agree with your gloss on this letter that they implicitly support murder.
    posted by klangklangston at 1:01 AM on September 2, 2011 [20 favorites]


    Not super great for management to call rank-and-file members crazy/insane. I don't have strong feelings about the deletion either way, though.
    posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:07 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    I agree that this site has an aversion to things that I consider important, but that's a reflection of our culture in general, and not MetaFilter. More people spend time looking at videos of cats and nut shots than at actual news.

    It's a big universe, so big we're only just starting to see brief snapshots of it in motion. For anyone on this planet to act like their special snowflake interest means much of anything in the greater scheme of things is astonishingly arrogant.

    It also reflects a simplistic view of reality. The truth is, killing that family, if it occurred, works for some people, it makes sense. You and I may find it horrible and unjust, but really what is war but killing as many people deemed "the enemy" as you can? There is a certain profane logic to it, in any war situation. Which is, of course, why countries should work really hard to avoid going to war. Because once you're in it, then you really can't blame the soldiers for killing anyone remotely deemed to be an enemy.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:58 AM on September 2, 2011


    40K+ paid up accounts. I'm pretty sure we've got a few crazy members.

    Also where does management call any member crazy?
    posted by Mitheral at 2:00 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Joseph Gurl and Mitheral: I did a quick Ctrl-F run-through of the page, and as far as I can tell mathowie only ever called the headline "crazy" and the posts that markkraft makes "insane bombs."

    It's a bit of a stretch to suggest that the management actually called the member "crazy" or "insane."
    posted by col_pogo at 3:13 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I have no problem with "fluffy" posts. Sometimes what I want is some light humor or discussion of fonts or to learn something I don't know (note: "shitty people do shitty things" is something I know). Other times I am really thankful for the global view on news, even horrible news, that metafilter can bring.

    That aside, I think part of the "fluffy focus" comes from the process (and it's a good thing). Because "fluffy" posts are less likely to be badly constructed. Consider a tinyfilter where there are equal numbers of posts on three subjects -- cute cat videos, vegan recipes, and war news -- and nothing else.

    Pretty much all of the cat video posts will stay, because the framing will always be "Cat in box! Heee!" maybe, once in a while, a post will get deleted for "cat in a box, Obama sucks!" but not often.

    Vegan recipe posts will go more often, because some people would be unable to resist the framing "vegans are assholes, here are recipes without BACON" and will get deleted.

    War news posts will get deleted even more often, because they require more handling. Rumors, editorializing, grindy framing, etc will ensure a fair number will go.

    As long as the mods are doing this with an even hand, an not letting asshole cat videos stand because they are cute, the imbalance of the surviving posts isn't a problem.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 4:36 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    "you are pretty much a pro at dropping insane bombs of posts"
    - Matthowie

    "Not super great for management to call rank-and-file members crazy/insane."
    - Joseph Gurl

    I think Matt called him a "pro".
    posted by klarck at 4:46 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    Pro-crazy.

    I'm not management.
    posted by spitbull at 5:01 AM on September 2, 2011


    There is a difference between calling a post insane and calling a member insane. I see Matt doing the former, and do not see him doing the latter.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:21 AM on September 2, 2011


    "cat in a box, Obama sucks!"

    Tea Party Cat demands to see ur birf certificat.
    posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:22 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Tea Party Cat demands to see ur birf certificat.

    That is the sort of thing of which I am talking. It would get deleted for grammar alone.
    posted by GenjiandProust at 5:38 AM on September 2, 2011


    the story is more important than the messenger

    This is the opposite of everything I've ever figured out about how to structure a good post here. That was a badly constructed post; I saw it in my RSS feed and was ready to flag it but the mods beat me to it. If the message is really that important it deserves a better framing.
    posted by immlass at 5:54 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Nitpick: this was originally a McClatchy article which the Kansas City Star reprinted

    You know, McClatchy's central news operation seems to me really good. The best thing about my local rag is the work it reprints from its corporate parent, and if your local paper isn't McClatchy-owned, McClatchy DC is a pretty good jumping-off node for national and international reporting.
    posted by mediareport at 5:55 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    The waters of MeTaLand has been poisoned this week, I swear.
    posted by wheelieman at 5:59 AM on September 2, 2011


    And understood that there's no actual proof this event happened?

    The bodies of 5 dead children were broadcast on Iraqi television.

    They say we murdered them.

    We say... nothing.

    If you think there's an entitlement to a presumption of innocence here, in the context of a war crime that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians, I disagree.
    posted by Trurl at 6:05 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    For anyone on this planet to act like their special snowflake interest means much of anything in the greater scheme of things is astonishingly arrogant.

    There's a reason both you and klang feel the need to resort to personal attacks. It's because otherwise you'd have to support the argument that cat videos are more important than human lives. I'm not saying that everyone has to be doing the most good at all times, but at least acceptance of something as simple as valuing life over personal entertainment would be a good start.

    While I don't think markkraft is doing himself any favors in this forum, I think it is truly disheartening that he is being criticized for getting upset about a family being massacred. (I agree that he should have changed the tone, but instead of asking for a repost he was threatened with what amounts to being kicked out of a community he has been a part of for years.) The only conclusion I can draw is that on top of having little compassion for a murdered family, or feelings of accountability for the actions of our government who may have committed that act (and certainly have committed others), as a culture we have perhaps less compassion for people who dare to interrupt our dream-like innocence with any actual news.
    posted by notion at 6:12 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    notion, I appreciate your passion, but let me help you with the appropriate analogy:

    NO: cat video:human lives
    YES: cat video:this specific article posted in this specific way
    posted by the young rope-rider at 6:22 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    Nothing depends on your Metafilter post.

    Really? Everyone just lets that stand for 85 more comments? COME ON, people, get your act together:

    so much depends
    upon

    a flame-baity
    post

    glazed with foreign
    rumor

    beside the culture
    FPP
    posted by griphus at 6:24 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    Are there people who get all of their news from MetaFilter and will never know anything about matters of life, death, war and peace if they are not informed on the blue?
    posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 6:27 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    My morning so far:

    1. beautiful sunrise over the lake
    2. pleasant walk with the dog
    3. nice cup of coffee
    4. this meta

    One of these things is not like the others.
    posted by tomswift at 6:30 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    he was threatened with what amounts to being kicked out of a community he has been a part of for years

    Speaking as someone who has been kicked out of a community I had been part of for years, I know from firsthand experience how far the mods will go to avoid that.

    But don't take my word for it. The fact that markkraft's account is still active after not only contravening the terms of his n-th BND but saying the mods owe him an apology for pointing it out is all you need to know.
    posted by Trurl at 6:31 AM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


    There's a reason both you and klang feel the need to resort to personal attacks.

    I am no longer an official spokesperson for Klang (no benefits package and got tired of him hoarding the strippers and drugs), but I just wanted to point out your smug righteousness and arrogance.

    You're free to view the world however you like, but people who don't agree with your black and white take on it aren't necessarily "less compassion for people who dare to interrupt our dream-like innocence with any actual news." I would guess that most members of Metafilter are keenly aware of how awful the world and war can be at times.

    Soldiers have been doing unjust, unfair and immoral killings since the first war. If you truly want to change that (which is worthwhile goal), then the front page of Metafilter is not the place to start, IMO. Put your money where you mouth is, start a website, an organization, a movement or just march into a small town church who's main source of employment is the local military base and start speaking before the congregation.

    But no, you have to show up on Metafilter and start preaching to people who are probably on your side and then when they're not as angry, you feel the need to insult them. Hell, even a soldier can tell you that won't win anything.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:36 AM on September 2, 2011 [14 favorites]


    i don't understand bringing up cat videos over and over again. when the FPP was posted, on the front page there were posts about DADT, corporate taxation, the financial benefits of 9/11, filming police, a wikileaks post (where markkraft could have posted all this information, editorialized and all, and not have it deleted), the role of segregation in WWII, and the AT&T/T-mobile merger. there were also posts about art, music, gaming, linux, an Australian folk hero (a fascinating thread, i thought), and science.
    posted by nadawi at 6:42 AM on September 2, 2011 [25 favorites]


    It's because otherwise you'd have to support the argument that cat videos are more important than human lives.

    Wait wait wait-- if this post had stayed, human lives would have been saved?

    WHAT.
    THE.
    FUCK.
    MATT?
    posted by shakespeherian at 6:42 AM on September 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


    tyrr, like I said, I think he should have been asked to repost to reproduce a more even post about the topic designed to induce discussion instead of outrage. Those comments were not directed at the mods -- it's their job to curb useless outrage and flamewars -- but at people who were personally attacking markkraft.

    I know MetaFilter is just one of many communities and news sites we can choose to visit, but what attracts me to it is that there are a lot of smart people giving their opinion. (Just look at the comments sections anywhere else.) I want to hear what everyone has to say about important issues, and selfishly issues that I consider to be important, and I think underlying markkraft's anger is a desire to know why this isn't more important to more people.
    posted by notion at 6:43 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Trurl: " If you think there's an entitlement to a presumption of innocence here..."

    Why? Because you smell blood in the water and want to believe, no matter if the evidence is flimsy or not? How about we investigate further and don't act solely on the word of outsiders who may or may not be biased before we break out the pitchforks, torches and battering rams?

    The country's media had a history of being a propaganda tool for the state under their last dictator. Now that Iraq is a fledgling democracy, who owns the Iraqi television stations and can we confirm that reports on the incident are unbiased and accurate? Or are they our equivalent of FoxNewschannel, biasing and spinning the news like an out of control dreidel?

    One of the things coalition forces were criticized for during the was in 2003 was bombing the Iraqi TV hub of the military- and state-run television stations. Iraqi TV did nothing but broadcast 24 hours of "thought reform" propaganda to the country.

    I assume this has changed? That they're now entirely objective and not in any way used to disseminate propaganda?
    posted by zarq at 6:43 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    I'd liek to apologies for the comment i was thinking of making in that post, sadley i dodnt make it and now the centaur of mefi attention has shifted to mr seven times banned when it should rilly be on me all the time so sawry for that.


    I'M STILL HERE EVERYONE!!!!!!
    posted by sgt.serenity at 6:45 AM on September 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


    is a desire to know why this isn't more important to more people.

    they are important. and being important, it behooves those who bring it up to use good framing, a lack of editorializing, and knowledge about their audience.

    (Just look at the comments sections anywhere else.)

    has it occurred to you that the comments are at such a high bar because the guidelines for posting are at such a high bar? that a focus on framing for the tough issues is why we aren't all screaming like the newspaper commenters?
    posted by nadawi at 6:48 AM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


    Blazecock Pileon: " At this point, I don't feel inclined to go over the particulars of what has been uncovered and corroborated — and most certainly not with you. If you're okay with innocent men, women and children being handcuffed and shot in the head by the United States military, then that's on your conscience."

    I've looked over the evidence and I'm still not completely convinced that's what happened. I'd like to see harder evidence. And if it was something we did or even turned a blind eye to and sanctioned while someone who wasn't us did it, then yes, we absolutely should do what wasn't done with Abu Ghraib and punish those responsible so harshly that it sends a message to everyone whether they were involved or not.

    BP, apologizing for wasting your time talking (snarkily or not) to those who are so blindered that they refuse listen to you is the conversational equivalent of a non-apology.
    posted by zarq at 6:50 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    I think it is truly disheartening that he is being criticized for getting upset about a family being massacred.

    He's being criticized for how he posted it on MetaFilter, not for being upset about it. That is an important distinction that you are either willfully ignoring are deliberately obfuscating.
    posted by DWRoelands at 6:52 AM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


    As I said in the deleted thread, and the other Wikileaks thread...the reports are just reports, did the US investigate this and what did they find?
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:53 AM on September 2, 2011


    nadawi, as I have stated a few times now, I think the mods made the right choice. My issue is with how markkraft has been treated after that.
    posted by notion at 6:55 AM on September 2, 2011


    markkraft has done more than just raise an issue. if all he did was say "hey, look at this thing" and people brought out the pitchforks, that'd be ridiculous and i could get behind "you just don't want to look at the bad stuff." but, his framing of the post, framing of this metatalk, and responses in this metatalk have been far broader than that. isn't it possible that people are responding to him and not to the story that he presented (badly)?
    posted by nadawi at 7:02 AM on September 2, 2011


    Soldiers have been doing unjust, unfair and immoral killings since the first war. If you truly want to change that (which is worthwhile goal), then the front page of Metafilter is not the place to start, IMO. Put your money where you mouth is, start a website, an organization, a movement or just march into a small town church who's main source of employment is the local military base and start speaking before the congregation.

    Does this go for everyone who posts about war crimes or just markkraft?
    posted by stinkycheese at 7:11 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    notion: "I think underlying markkraft's anger is a desire to know why this isn't more important to more people."

    Then he really should have tried to frame it better. This isn't the first public MeTa conversation the mods and community have had about the way he has framed a post on an angry-making topic.

    Outragefilter is not a great reason to make an FPP. The posts usually get flagged to death, turn into massive arguments, spawn Meta threads and people get righteous, defensive, pissed off and even leave the site over them.

    Here's an example of two posts that had similar links but very different framing:

    Postal Worker Secretly Films Customer's Racist Rant
    (deleted)

    Small digital cameras, the web and the crowd.

    Both were posted by members who have been on the site a long time, and have made many, many posts to MeFi. (nomadicink was an alternate account for a long-term member.)

    Framing matters here. If he wants people to not get bogged down arguing about whether his post is appropriate for Metafilter and instead focus their attention on the issues at hand, then it behooves him to pay attention to that.
    posted by zarq at 7:12 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    Well, I for one want to state emphatically that I believe that cat videos are much more important than human lives.
    posted by koeselitz at 7:16 AM on September 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


    Is there more to this argument that "this specific issue is of such importance that it should not be held to the usual standards of posting to MetaFilter?" If so, could somebody articulate it, because I suspect everybody feels they have an issue of such importance that the usual standards shouldn't apply.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:16 AM on September 2, 2011


    How about we investigate further and don't act solely on the word of outsiders who may or may not be biased before we break out the pitchforks, torches and battering rams?

    It's their country being occupied. We are the outsiders.

    But sure, how about we investigate. Because so far the official government response so far appears to have been "LA LA LA I CAN'T HEAR YOU". (Though in fairness, that's been a common response here as well.)

    In the meantime, what we have are 5 small dead bodies with bullet holes in their skulls, a documented history of similar cover-ups after botched raids, and the larger context of a continuing war crime that killed hundreds of thousands of people guilty of nothing more than living on top of oil we want.

    Excuse me if I expect the worst.
    posted by Trurl at 7:28 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    Trurl: " Excuse me if I expect the worst."

    Expecting the worst is different than saying, "They definitely did it" based on non-evidence.
    posted by zarq at 7:32 AM on September 2, 2011


    This thread is not really the place to have a proxy discussion in the stead of the deleted thread.
    posted by shakespeherian at 7:35 AM on September 2, 2011 [10 favorites]


    I care about things that are never mentioned on Metafilter.

    The straw man stuff here is getting silly. No one is saying this is not an appropriate subject for an FPP. We've done dozens of war crimes threads here over the years. It's a hot topic on MeFi.

    But the presumption that if we don't discuss it NOW in a tone of presumptive outrage and in the absence of all the facts, then the subject will be swept under the rug and forgotten in society at large is absurd. It is to confuse MetaFilter with The World.

    Even The Internet is not The World. Justice for dead children does not depend on the front page of this website.
    posted by spitbull at 7:36 AM on September 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


    "How about we investigate further and don't act solely on the word of outsiders..."

    Indeed, *let's do* investigate further! Which is a big part of the reason why I specifically pointed out and criticized Condoleezza Rice, for failing to either respond to or investigate this incident.

    As for "outsiders" though? Which ones are you talking about? The Iraqi Government, who has said that this incident smells funny and needs to be investigated, or a respected US Citizen / Professor of Law at NYU who worked for the UN, or Italian journalists who were on the scene, taking video and first-hand accounts of the incident...?! Or the US government and it's military?

    I would like to think that MetaFilter is a global enough site not to have "outsiders" in this context (i.e. inherently less trustworthy non-American journalists -- albeit from major Western nations -- and any American who would conduct investigations for the UN), but I can say with some certainty that when it comes to Iraq, it's the US who were/are the outsiders.
    posted by markkraft at 7:41 AM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    markkraft: “Indeed, *let's do* investigate further!”

    Yeah! Gosh, with a few more Metafilter posts, I'll bet we can uncover the truth and put the perpetrators to justice!
    posted by koeselitz at 7:43 AM on September 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


    (nomadicink was an alternate account for a long-term member.)

    That would be me. No need to keep it a secret at this point, but thank you for doing so.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:45 AM on September 2, 2011


    markkraft: “Indeed, *let's do* investigate further!”

    And they would've gotten away with it, if it wasn't for us pesky Metafiltarians!
    posted by rollbiz at 7:51 AM on September 2, 2011


    here's the existing wikileaks thead. maybe you guys can take the discussion of PROOF/NOT-PROOF over there?
    posted by nadawi at 7:52 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    shakespeherian: "This thread is not really the place to have a proxy discussion in the stead of the deleted thread."

    Good point.

    markkraft: " Indeed, *let's do* investigate further!

    I'm not going to debate this with you here. As shakespeherian says, this is not the thread for it. It distracts from points we're discussing.

    Which is a big part of the reason why I specifically pointed out and criticized Condoleezza Rice, for failing to either respond to or investigate this incident."

    I could be wrong, but my impression is that this is part of the problem. MeFi posts on incendiary issues should not be your personal soapbox. Or mine. Or anyone else's. And believe me I know all too well how hard it can be when you feel passionately about something to not editorialize.
    posted by zarq at 7:56 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Brandon Blatcher: " That would be me. No need to keep it a secret at this point, but thank you for doing so."

    You're welcome.
    posted by zarq at 7:56 AM on September 2, 2011


    As always, posting about stuff on metafilter because you think it's important is a bad idea.
    posted by empath at 7:56 AM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


    The waters of MeTaLand has been poisoned this week, I swear.

    Byyyy the waaaters, the waaaaters of MeTaLand
    We laid down and weeept, and weeept, for d'le-ted posts
    We remember, we remember, we remember front page posts
    posted by curious nu at 7:57 AM on September 2, 2011


    I get an RSS feed from Foreign Policy magazine with the most important news stories from around the world every morning. I like it because it's an easy way for me to get short summaries of what important news is going on around the world. The massacre story was one of their top stories today (as part of the wikileaks release). They framed this story as "Among the most incindiary [sic] of the latest round of cables is one implicating U.S. troops in the killing of an Iraqi family" with a link to a NYT story. If the deleted post had been framed that way, it would probably have survived (although it might have been kicked to the existing thread).

    It's not the content that got this post deleted, it's the outrage-filter framing.
    posted by immlass at 8:05 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    I think underlying markkraft's anger is a desire to know why this isn't more important to more people.

    And he's been here long enough to know how we do things here.

    Part of the BND policy, which I wasn't going to bring up at all but mathowie did so I'll mention it, is that you come back to the site and don't do whatever that thing was that got you banned in the first place. You have to give yourself a brand new day and not be that guy/gal. If that is not the case, then we have a problem. markkraft is not doing anything too weird for a member who got a post deleted, but we've been around this particular merry-go-round before with him with not-so-great results and we expect there to be some awareness that "oh this is that thing again" Instead we just have this.

    No one expects people not to be angry about horrifying things that happen in the world. However, making a post to this website is something that goes better when you're trying to share something on the web [even if it's a horrible thing] and not saying YOU MUST KNOW about this. If you are too angry to make that post you should either wait until you are not or let someone else make it.

    One of the reasons people want to talk about things here and not elsewhere is because the commenters are incisive and interesting and all the rest. The other reason is that this place isn't just a place where people holler at each other about provocative topics in the news and we, with the guidance of the community, moderate the site to help make that true. There's a wide range of things here and the site has guidelines for what those things are.

    tl;dr Posting about more provocative topics needs to be done much differently than this post was; markkraft has been around long enough to know this.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:09 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    I think the FPP was poorly framed and understandably deleted. By the nature of its content, it's inflammatory material, it need not be amped up in presentation (i.e. 'US troops handcuff, execute women, children... [wait for it!] and a 5 month old baby.)

    That said, I find the clique-y tone of a lot of the MeTa follow-up not particularly helpful and a little distasteful.
    posted by mazola at 8:11 AM on September 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


    mazola: “That said, I find the clique-y tone of a lot of the MeTa follow-up not particularly helpful and a little distasteful.”

    You've got to expect that we're going to be a little clique-y and unhelpful. After all, we think cat videos are more important than human life.
    posted by koeselitz at 8:22 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    "I find the clique-y tone of a lot of the MeTa follow-up not particularly helpful"

    Yeah, it sucks when people agree about something.
    posted by y6y6y6 at 8:22 AM on September 2, 2011


    So is a "Mai Lai" something in between a tasty drink and a massacre?

    Similar to a Naga-sake or a Pina Columbine.
    posted by foursentences at 8:25 AM on September 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


    I'd like apologize for my previous apology. On reflection, it was insincere and facetious. Frankly, I'm embarrassed.
    posted by philip-random at 8:27 AM on September 2, 2011


    clique-y

    This is a large subject which deserves a separate forum. But if anyone is prepared to say there aren't "cliques" - or if you prefer, "factions" - on MetaFilter, I'd be interested to hear why they think that.
    posted by Trurl at 8:32 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    The kitten video clique gets the best seats in the cafe.
    posted by shakespeherian at 8:35 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    y6y6y6: Yeah, it sucks when people agree about something.

    No, it's really not that at all. Justifiably or not, mathowie quickly jumped in with a very direct and strongly worded comment. Yeah, markkraft set the tone with the framing of his initial post and subsequent MeTa, and yeah, the mods frustration at the amount of time they have to spend on a single user is more than apparent, but in the end, the pile-on was both predictable and ugly. It was inevitable that support was going to be shown for the creator of this website either by comment or by favourite (and no, I don't imagine anyone clicked the [+] to bookmark Matt's comments for future reading).
    posted by gman at 8:38 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    But if anyone is prepared to say there aren't "cliques" - or if you prefer, "factions"

    I prefer to say gangs.
    posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:39 AM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    *snaps sinisterly*
    posted by shakespeherian at 8:44 AM on September 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


    When you're a Met, you're a Met all the way...
    posted by Trurl at 8:50 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Similar to a Naga-sake or a Pina Columbine.

    Or those Holocausts the kids were drinking last Tuesday. Seriously, what kind of sick f*** would mix single malt Scotch with Cream Soda?

    But seriously ...

    Excuse me if I expect the worst.

    I wonder if there's anyone who regularly posts to MetaFilter who doesn't on some level "expect the worst". Call it a symptom of achieving so-called maturity in a time of information overload. It isn't that we occasionally choose to ignore an atrocity, it's that, if we're honest with ourselves, we know that there's at least a thousand others we're not even aware of, and maybe never will be. Welcome to the ongoing drama of 6 billion plus humanoids endeavoring to work out their differences.

    So yeah, figuring out a way to not be consumed by the significance every horror becomes a survival skill. Some do it by caring about cat videos. Some listen to ACDC. Some read vampire stories, go to action movies, watch sports. Does this make them less humane? More so, I think.

    So yeah, markkraft. By all means keep on caring and raging, but please don't get too despairing if we don't all immediately join with you in the shaking of fists. I'm giving mine a rest this week.
    posted by philip-random at 8:51 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    and no, I don't imagine anyone clicked the [+] to bookmark Matt's comments for future reading . . .

    That's a bad-faith reading of the situation. Although I didn't favorite Matt's post, there are plenty of reasons to bookmark it and come back to read it later: it's a genuinely useful point about how the mods treat both brand-new days and about how not to make a grar-y, axe-grindy FPP. I could easily see how someone would want to refer back to it at a future date.
    posted by Frobenius Twist at 8:52 AM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    "No, it's really not that at all."

    I disagree. It's called community. We're trying to have a civilization here.
    posted by y6y6y6 at 8:53 AM on September 2, 2011


    Dear commenter markkraft, you're really a square;
    This thread don't need a judge, it needs an analyst's care!
    It's just his neurosis that oughta be curbed.
    He's psychologic'ly disturbed!
    posted by shakespeherian at 8:54 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    But if anyone is prepared to say there aren't "cliques" - or if you prefer, "factions" - on MetaFilter, I'd be interested to hear why they think that.

    I think it's a tricky subject in large part because both perceptions of what exist and definitions of what even qualifies as a clique or faction are going to be pretty subjective and vary from person to person a lot.

    It's a basic given that your going to have some degree of subgrouping in any sufficiently large group; people organize organically by shared interest, shared passion, shared timezone, shared dislike, etc. Denying that would be a little silly—there are people who are nuts for comics (I'm at least a junior member of that group), there's folks who are really invested in crisis aid subjects, there's folks who enjoy (if that's the right word) digging into political arguments, there's folks who are keenly aware that their mefi prime time is when most of the site is sleeping, there's folks who don't like cat videos, etc.

    Where it goes from "people have shared inclinations" to "there are cliques/factions" is sort of definitional by necessity, and I think a couple key parts of that definition are (a) the degree to which the group is actually organized in any sense rather than just happening to be in the same place some of the time, and (b) the degree and scope of influence a notional group has over the rest of the site.

    What I don't feel like I've seen is anything I'd think of as problematically factional group behavior in general: we don't have people actively putting group actions into play in some manner or another where a small group tries to use factional organization to apply disproportionate pressure to the rest of the site. I've seen the occasional claim that this sort of thing is happening, generally by someone who is opposed to whatever it is they feel like is happening, but I've never seen that actually substantiated.

    Generally, people are grumpy when things they don't like happen, or when things they do like don't happen enough or are discouraged, or when people they don't like talk too much. That's normal, understandable stuff, but I don't think anything like factional behavior is at the root of most of it. People tend to mostly act out in notable ways as solo acts around here, or as at best incidental allies; the biggest loosely organized group we seem to have is Mefites Who Wish You'd Cut That Out Already, and that's way too big and heterogeneous of a group to really make sense as a faction in any divisive sense.

    Like you say, it's a big subject, and I don't mean to write it off out of hand, but I think there's a lot of need to look at the when and the how of where "clique" or "faction" assertions/accusations come up, because my gut feeling is it tends to be more of a "I don't like what happened here" thing than a "what happened here is the result of organized small-group behavior leveraged to disproportionate influence" thing. A manifestation of spontaneous agreement or similar behavior in a community context can be, in fact, a manifestation of community normative expectations in general rather than something produced by subgroup machinations.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 8:55 AM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    But if anyone is prepared to say there aren't "cliques" - or if you prefer, "factions" - on MetaFilter, I'd be interested to hear why they think that.

    When everyone agrees with me, it's totally obvious there are no cliques.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:57 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    I agree with Brandon Blatcher, there are no cliques.
    posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:02 AM on September 2, 2011


    Frobenius Twist: That's a bad-faith reading of the situation. Although I didn't favorite Matt's post, there are plenty of reasons to bookmark it and come back to read it later: it's a genuinely useful point about how the mods treat both brand-new days and about how not to make a grar-y, axe-grindy FPP. I could easily see how someone would want to refer back to it at a future date.

    I just [+]'ed your comment as something to refer back to when I'm looking for an example of a textbook nitpick.
    posted by gman at 9:07 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Troupes. Like the ones the US sends to all those other countries. In my happy world
    posted by fritley at 9:08 AM on September 2, 2011


    But if anyone is prepared to say there aren't "cliques" - or if you prefer, "factions" - on MetaFilter, I'd be interested to hear why they think that.

    Because there is no cabal.

    *flashes secret Wisconsin Faction gang sign to the crew*

    WIMEFITES REPRESENT!

    posted by quin at 9:21 AM on September 2, 2011


    METAFILTER: there is no cabal

    I'd buy that t-shirt
    posted by philip-random at 9:23 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I know me and art are part of the Blade Runner/Judge Dredd/Aliens 2 clique, but, then, I'm part of the bingo card clique and he's opposed to them. So I think it's less about cliques than loose affiliations of likeminded members, who join forces for common good and part ways when there isn't mutual agreement, like, say, Deckard and Gaff, or Dredd and Psi-Judge Feyy, or Ripley and Bishop.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:30 AM on September 2, 2011


    Metafilter is basically just a million different ad hoc pop culture Voltrons waiting to form up.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 9:42 AM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


    They made an Aliens 2?
    posted by shakespeherian at 9:43 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Indeed, *let's do* investigate further!

    I agree.

    Blogger.com is *thattaway* -->
    posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:43 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Metafilter is basically just a million different ad hoc pop culture Voltrons waiting to form up.

    Hey, somebody named Michael Bay is on the phone, wants to talk. Are you here?
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:45 AM on September 2, 2011


    It's called community. We're trying to have a civilization here.

    This.

    There are things I have to say that I do not say here any more. Not because I don't think them true. Not because I don't think people deserve to have it said to them. But because I have come to understand that my manner of saying it is not assimilable into the kind of community the mods are trying to make for us.

    The last time I felt exceptionally depressed about this ugly time we live in, rather than putting up a post about whatever outrage had exceptionally depressed me, I made a post about the most beautiful thing I could think of offhand: the paintings of Pierre Bonnard. An act of spiritual self-defense. It was given some nice comments.

    Truly, did not I give more to the community that way?

    Then there's this perspective:

    Never think that God is oblivious to what the unjust are doing.
    posted by Trurl at 9:45 AM on September 2, 2011 [15 favorites]


    shakespeherian: "They made an Aliens 2?"

    They were everywhere man. They were comin' out of the goddamned walls. We were fucked!
    posted by zarq at 9:46 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    The last time I felt exceptionally depressed about this ugly time we live in, rather than putting up a post about whatever outrage had exceptionally depressed me, I made a post about the most beautiful thing I could think of offhand: the paintings of Pierre Bonnard. An act of spiritual self-defense. It was given some nice comments.

    This is the best thing.
    posted by shakespeherian at 9:47 AM on September 2, 2011


    "CLIQUES NIX FPP CLICKS QUICK"
    posted by mintcake! at 9:48 AM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    Aliens 2 was an Rosencrantz and Guildernstern are Dead-style film wherein the Queen (voiced by a very drunk Dame Judi Dench) finds herself in space with nothing but the tiny little mouth in her face (voiced by Janeane Garofolo in several sessions over a cell phone on the highway) to talk to.

    It's two hours of supposedly witty, retroscripted conversations on the nature of violence and desperation. It was never released and the director -- supposedly a malformed clone of Christopher Guest -- hung himself with the second reel while watching the first. Michael Nyman refuses to acknowledge he ever did the score, claiming a missing week due to an Oxycontin bender with Peter Greenaway.
    posted by griphus at 9:51 AM on September 2, 2011 [9 favorites]


    I'd watch that.
    posted by shakespeherian at 9:55 AM on September 2, 2011


    I want to be watching that right now.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 9:55 AM on September 2, 2011


    Little known fact: Ghostbusters Two was originally intended to be the fourth volume of the Cremaster cycle, before Akroyd and Barney got into a fistfight over the grape arrangements.
    posted by jenkinsEar at 10:03 AM on September 2, 2011


    "There's a reason both you and klang feel the need to resort to personal attacks. It's because otherwise you'd have to support the argument that cat videos are more important than human lives. I'm not saying that everyone has to be doing the most good at all times, but at least acceptance of something as simple as valuing life over personal entertainment would be a good start."

    Wait, pointing out the rhetorical similarity between your contention that people are intentionally ignoring atrocities and the glib "Wake up sheeple!" is a personal attack, but arguing that I believe cat videos are more important than human lives isn't?

    Well, that's bullshit.

    Further, your framing of this as your rhetorical opponents holding that cat videos are more important than human lives is pretty clearly a manipulative statement meant to be inflammatory — there is literally no evidence to support that contention, and it's pretty clearly an intentionally bad faith reading of my comments.

    Finally, it's important to note that if we follow that logic, you clearly believe that arguing about cat videos is more important than human lives, which is pretty fucking scummy of you, Notion. I'm not sure why I should grant any moral standing to someone so clearly venal and hypocritical, and so prone to these fallacious attacks. I'd hope you'd apologize, but I don't think you have any shame.
    posted by klangklangston at 10:07 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Looks like this incident could seriously affect US plans for maintaining a long-term presence in Iraq:

    Iraq's government said Friday it will investigate the new allegations. And some officials said that the document was reason enough for Iraq to force the American military to leave instead of signing a deal allowing troops to stay beyond a year-end departure deadline. . .

    "The new report about this crime will have its impact on signing any new agreement," said Sunni lawmaker Aliya Nusayif. She said Iraq's parliament will investigate the new details about the raid and seek to prosecute any U.S. soldiers who commit future crimes in Iraq.

    Whether U.S. forces in Iraq will continue to have legal immunity from prosecution if they stay is one of the major stumbling blocks in the ongoing negotiations, as Washington will not allow the military to remain without it.

    An adviser to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said the government will revive a stalled probe into the 2006 raid. Al-Maliki has said he needs more information from the U.S. to fully investigate the raid.

    "We will not give up the rights of the Iraqi people, and this subject will be followed," said Ali al-Moussawi, the prime minister's media adviser."

    posted by markkraft at 10:08 AM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


    You have to hand it to the kid, he's got gumption!
    posted by griphus at 10:10 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Dude. Seriously, you gonna try and continue the post here in MeTa?
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:10 AM on September 2, 2011 [8 favorites]


    Hey, you got your IMPORTANT DISCUSSION anyway!

    Cheers from Funky Voltron.
    posted by klangklangston at 10:10 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I'm glad meta exists for discussion of site policy and practices, but using this space to do an end-run around a deletion strikes me as pretty cheesy.
    posted by Forktine at 10:13 AM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    That's, like, the third Cremaster joke I have seen on this site in a few days. I had no idea Matthew Barner had influenced MetaFilter so much.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:13 AM on September 2, 2011


    I wonder if NOLA will flood this weekend.
    posted by Horselover Phattie at 10:16 AM on September 2, 2011


    I think people just like saying "Cremaster."

    Say it. "Crrrrrremaster." Sounds like a brand of German ice cream makers.
    posted by griphus at 10:18 AM on September 2, 2011


    I: Crrrrrremaster! The bodies have all been prepared. The funeral pyre is ready.
    C: Exccccccellent!
    posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:20 AM on September 2, 2011


    Oh please.

    What?

    We: the deletion was unwarranted
    You: *mockery* *appeals to stoicism*
    We: *get stoic*
    You: "oh please"

    I feel a certain way about this. I can't help that it's inconvenient.
    posted by the mad poster! at 10:23 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    So to recap:

    You posted outragefilter to MeFi.

    Which you already know does not fly here.

    When your outragefilter was deleted, you opened up a MeTa... it increasingly seems... to argue that your post was too important to delete, thereby forcing a discussion about it.

    You've been asked by several people not to turn this MeTa thread into a proxy argument about your post's contents.

    You're doing so anyway.

    Mathowie says you've been banned for making ax-grindy posts in the past.

    This... isn't going well. Surely you can see that?
    posted by zarq at 10:25 AM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    Looks like this incident could seriously affect US plans for maintaining a long-term presence in Iraq

    This is not a thread to talk about that incident. That's one of the many things it's hard to believe you don't know already after years and years here. Cut it out.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 10:26 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I feel a certain way about this. I can't help that it's inconvenient.

    You expressed your stoicism by posting a completely made-up "oh so this is how things are here now." It's fine to disagree with a deletion. It's dumb to claim that the deletion happened because the site and its members only care about things being warm and fuzzy.
    posted by rtha at 10:46 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    rtha: "...members only care about things being warm and fuzzy."

    Next April Fool's day, pb should make the site autoplay "soft kitty."
    posted by zarq at 10:56 AM on September 2, 2011


    The last time I felt exceptionally depressed about this ugly time we live in, rather than putting up a post about whatever outrage had exceptionally depressed me, I made a post about the most beautiful thing I could think of offhand: the paintings of Pierre Bonnard. An act of spiritual self-defense. It was given some nice comments.

    I do exactly this thing, it works quite well.
    posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:58 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Hmm. By this measure, one could argue that MetaFilter's love of cat videos is actually proof of exactly how important human lives are to us!
    posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:05 AM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    Trurl: " The last time I felt exceptionally depressed about this ugly time we live in, rather than putting up a post about whatever outrage had exceptionally depressed me, I made a post about the most beautiful thing I could think of offhand: the paintings of Pierre Bonnard. An act of spiritual self-defense. It was given some nice comments."

    Ironically, the few times I have tried that, people have gotten into arguments in the comments.
    posted by zarq at 11:10 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Now Mark's over in the most recent Wikileaks thread, posting the same stuff as here (even though Trurl already posted the link before). It's like he didn't even bother to read the thread, but just decided IMPORTANT NEWS needed to be dropped in again.
    posted by klangklangston at 11:10 AM on September 2, 2011


    klang: seriously, why do you like starting snark and then complaining about it?
    posted by notion at 11:11 AM on September 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


    He didn't start the snark


    god dammit billy joel get out of my head
    posted by the young rope-rider at 11:15 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I would not post links to art I love when I was depressed. People always want to take the piss out of art.
    posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:15 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Someone is asking for a week off.
    posted by DWRoelands at 11:18 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Someone is asking for a week off.

    MEMEMEME!

    I would like to be Will Smith for a week, please. Or Jada
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:23 AM on September 2, 2011


    Week off. Not wank off, week off.
    posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:26 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I have the week off. I am actually on vacation right now! And all next week! It's pretty great.
    posted by rtha at 11:26 AM on September 2, 2011


    Put on them orange plastic gloves...
    posted by stinkycheese at 11:28 AM on September 2, 2011


    Week off. Not wank off, week off.

    Pray tell, what do you do with your weeks off?
    posted by griphus at 11:28 AM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I haven't yet made a post to the blue, but in the time I've spent here I've noticed that controversial or incendiary topics that stay tend to be less opinionated. By that I mean it's not only a refrain from injection of the poster's opinions and sentiments, but also a refrain from presenting a singular point of view copied verbatim from whatever sources happen to be floating out there.

    The content of your post, regardless of whether or not it was provided by you or the referenced articles, contained language and formatting designed to explicitly skew opinion in one direction. When you combine that with a hot-button issue (political or not) it really does become less about "discussion" as you say you want it.

    A "MeFi" post, to me, at least tries to set the stage for mature, reasonable discussion of the information presented. People have mentioned before that the post should not determine the direction of comments; yours did so.

    Really it doesn't matter that someone else said it and you just copied what they wrote, nor does it matter that you "toned down" the editorial feel of the original source. What made your post "not MeFi enough" was less about the subject and more about the way you presented it.

    And in regards to animal videos, the same can be said. I'm pretty sure that if someone posts footage of a dog chasing toads with the editorial slant of "GRAR stupid pet owners shouldn't abuse animals" or "OMG dog endangers native cane toad population" it would meet the same deletion criteria as yours.

    Finally, and quite frankly, seeking to continue the "discussion" here in MetaTalk makes it seem like you really don't care about what constitutes a "Mefi enough" post, and instead you're just looking to make some noise in a hand-waving look-at-me-and-my-injustices piece of performance art.
    posted by CancerMan at 11:30 AM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


    Now Mark's over in the most recent Wikileaks thread, posting the same stuff as here (even though Trurl already posted the link before). It's like he didn't even bother to read the thread, but just decided IMPORTANT NEWS needed to be dropped in again.

    This bit of hallway-monitor snitchery reminded me of your Balloon Juice jab at me the other day.

    So before I forget again: your mentioning my involvement on other sites - though a privilege I've granted myself on occasion - crosses a line that I respectfully ask you not to cross in the future.

    Thank you.
    posted by Trurl at 11:30 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Week off. Not wank off, week off.

    I don't even understand what they were going for with this Karate Kid remake.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 11:30 AM on September 2, 2011 [12 favorites]


    New countertops in the kitchen and maybe re-decorating the guest room.
    posted by griphus at 11:32 AM on September 2, 2011


    I don't even understand what they were going for with this Karate Kid remake.

    Trying to create a dynasty.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:42 AM on September 2, 2011


    "klang: seriously, why do you like starting snark and then complaining about it?"

    I'm sorry, why are you still here? Aren't there handcuffed Iraqi babies you could be saving? Or is it because you're still formulating your apology for that specious bullshit and just haven't gotten around to posting it yet?
    posted by klangklangston at 11:49 AM on September 2, 2011


    New countertops in the kitchen and maybe re-decorating the guest room.

    Sounds hot!
    posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:50 AM on September 2, 2011


    Or is it because you're still formulating your apology for that specious bullshit and just haven't gotten around to posting it yet?

    I like to think that every time you write "bullshit", an angel gets its wings.
    posted by Trurl at 11:54 AM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    klang, your whole deal in this thread has been to throw half a shrug of response to someone and wrap it random sarcastic prickliness. Then you want to go after the thread subject in various threads and whine that they're still talking. Given that your whole commitment here is the opportunity to spar about something you apparently don't care about maybe *you* should stop posting.
    posted by the mad poster! at 12:00 PM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    MetaFilter would be a MUCH nicer place if everyone would just stop posting!
    posted by mazola at 12:02 PM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    I was unaware that there was art that people liked.
    posted by shakespeherian at 12:06 PM on September 2, 2011


    What are all you people still doing here!??? People are suffering in the world. Do something about it!
    posted by spitbull at 12:11 PM on September 2, 2011


    Trurl: ...guilty of nothing more than living on top of oil we want.

    Excuse me, I don't want to derail such a productive thread, but I have a question about this. It was my understanding that, accounting for the cost of the war, any oil we (i.e. corporations) pull from Iraqi sands is exorbitantly expensive. Has this notion not been debunked? Can someone explain this to me?

    My cynical side would suppose that the government pays for the war while the corporations profit.
    posted by troll at 12:23 PM on September 2, 2011


    Beneath its candy coated shell of a horror gross-out flick, "The Thing" really is some kind of deep psychological thriller and zen parable of man's search for his real identity amid the falsehood of history and speculation.
    posted by Horselover Phattie at 12:30 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    any oil we (i.e. corporations) pull from Iraqi sands is exorbitantly expensive.

    The corporations that would benefit from the oil didn't pay for the Iraq War.
    posted by empath at 12:38 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Then you want to go after the thread subject in various threads and whine that they're still talking. Given that your whole commitment here is the opportunity to spar about something you apparently don't care about maybe *you* should stop posting."

    Wait, I whined that he was still talking? No, I complained that he ignored the thread itself in order to post something that had already been posted, in the exact same formatting of his FPP, in order to do yet another end-run around it being deleted, in a way that is both a derail to the thread and fairly tone deaf.

    And given that you can't help but conflate that with my rebuke to Notion means that maybe instead of me stopping posting, you could start reading.
    posted by klangklangston at 12:40 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    "If you want to tell people the truth, make them laugh, otherwise they'll kill you."

    -Oscar Wilde.
    posted by loquacious at 12:51 PM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


    I have seen that quote attributed to so many people, I refuse to believe it exists.
    posted by griphus at 12:52 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I'm sorry, why are you still here? Aren't there handcuffed Iraqi babies you could be saving? Or is it because you're still formulating your apology for that specious bullshit and just haven't gotten around to posting it yet?

    I'm trying to be earnest and discuss this with you. Can you give me your opinion without including insults?

    Your sheeple quip was in response to this:
    You're trying to make people face facts that they want to ignore.
    To assert that a culture has a general aversion to dealing with its own evils has been an accepted part of human philosophy for a long time. The only point it seems to become controversial, especially to you, is when we start talking about our culture, which sort of proves the point.

    So tell me, which part of this do you disagree with? Do you think it didn't happen? Do you think people want to know that their government is responsible for alleged war crimes like this one? Do you think the editors and readership of MetaFilter are entirely immune to it?

    (And please, don't pile on to klang. I've said my share of snarky shit)
    posted by notion at 12:54 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Wanna know what I think? I think your presumption that we need you to enlighten us as to the likelihood that the US government is up to metric fucktons of evil is condescending and unwarranted. A quick search would show that MetaFilter is far from ignorant of American misdeeds. So maybe backing off on the "face facts that they want to ignore" BS a tad would serve you better. Preaching to the choir is bad enough. Chiding the choir for being atheists is tone deaf and self-defeating.
    posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:01 PM on September 2, 2011 [17 favorites]


    Notion, you are missing the forest for the trees here. MeFi is not an issue-advocacy website. Every question you raise above is moot once you acknowledge this fact, which multiple mods have stepped in to express in various ways.

    And, I feel like I can vouch for klang when I say with confidence that, yes, klang is well aware that cultures have a general aversion to dealing with their own evils. But that is completely beyond the point.
    posted by joe lisboa at 1:01 PM on September 2, 2011


    Excuse me, I don't want to derail such a productive thread, but I have a question about this. It was my understanding that, accounting for the cost of the war, any oil we (i.e. corporations) pull from Iraqi sands is exorbitantly expensive. Has this notion not been debunked? Can someone explain this to me?

    They told us it would last weeks or months, and cost no more than 50 billion dollars.

    In that administration, you had a ton of leftovers from conservative administrations with a long history of starting wars. You had oil and defense executives all the way up to the Vice Presidency. Powell said they'd need half a million troops, but they ignored him, because if the cost was that high, it would be a non-starter, especially among a population who only supported the war after a massive propaganda effort to link Saddam with 9/11.

    They made a horrible and stupid decision, mostly based on the political and financial gains they could get for America and some of her largest companies, and then they didn't have the courage to admit it.
    posted by notion at 1:04 PM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


    As I said in the deleted thread, and the other Wikileaks thread...the reports are just reports, did the US investigate this and what did they find?
    A Pentagon spokesman, Lt. Col. Jim Gregory of the Army, said on Thursday that the information revealed in the cable did not change the conclusions of military investigators that no crime or cover-up had taken place.

    “There has been nothing new we haven’t already looked into here,” Colonel Gregory said.
    posted by homunculus at 1:04 PM on September 2, 2011


    "He laughed like an irresponsible fetus."

    T. S. Eliot or maybe Ben Franklin, depending

    So, I'm not klang and, klang, I pretty much agree that you could get more profit out of leaving the zings by the wayside if you're trying to accomplish anything here besides getting in zingers, but:

    > You're trying to make people face facts that they want to ignore.

    So tell me, which part of this do you disagree with?


    What I find problematic about it is the implication that the default state of Metafilter is to have a responsibility to make people face facts, an idea grounded in nothing other than some from-whole-cloth misapprehension about this place. Making People Face Facts has never, ever been anything like a mission statement for the site, and as an approach to posting it's almost always been subpar.

    There are advocacy blogs out there. There are political news sites, activist sites, expose sites, all of which are fine and exist as what they are. Metafilter is not one of them, and trying to shoehorn that sort of mission and responsibility into it is a mistake and not great for this place.

    If someone sees their mission on the internet as being Making People Face Facts, they need to find a different place to do it. It's a great big internet, there are options.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 1:06 PM on September 2, 2011 [17 favorites]


    Can you give me your opinion without including insults?

    Not when you're sitting on such a paper thin horse.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:14 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Did you have to insult his horse, too?
    posted by Horselover Phattie at 1:17 PM on September 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


    It's a great big internet, there are options.

    I can personally endorse getting one's own fucking blog. Wish I'd done it years ago.
    posted by Trurl at 1:20 PM on September 2, 2011


    If someone sees their mission on the internet as being Making People Face Facts, they need to find a different place to do it. It's a great big internet, there are options.

    This bears repeating.

    By and large MetaFilter users are not unaware of these issues at all. You're talking about a very active, well read and compassionate demographic. Many MetaFilter members are involved in working on the ground in non-profits, advocacy groups and more.

    Posting confrontational and aggressively framed posts about issues or current affairs is actually counter-productive if not outright harmful. For one, you're generally preaching to the choir. For two, fighty/obnoxious framing is going to turn those people off to your cause.

    And most importantly, for three - if you (markkraft or others) really care about the issue you're posting, you really should be doing something else with that energy besides posting to MetaFilter about it. Get off the goddamn computer. Get on the phone to your representatives. Protest. Do something beyond being a keyboard warrior.

    Posting to MetaFilter isn't going to do much for your issue or cause or concerns. It's not fighting the "good fight", you're not actually doing anything at all except creating more strife and ugliness where none existed before.

    If you care - put your energy and money where your mouth is. Do something more effective with your time and energy than posting ranty posts to MetaFilter to people who are already very will appraised and aware of the issues.


    Personally, I come to MetaFilter for the "fluff". I come here to see the beauty of the world, to laugh, to appreciate the finer things in life that make life worth living and fighting for despite how horrible it can be. This isn't willful ignorance, this is a healthy balance. If it was all bad news all the time - what's the fucking point?

    There are millions of other web pages I can go to for bad news with aggressive editorial framing. MetaFilter doesn't need to be one of them.
    posted by loquacious at 1:27 PM on September 2, 2011 [16 favorites]


    You're trying to make people face facts that they want to ignore.


    Additionally, I strongly resent the implication that it's cool to make people do things based on your judgment of what's important, whether they want to or not.

    Ironically, I think that the people most likely to be disturbed by unexpected descriptions of violence are people who have witnessed or been the victims of violence...but hey, the most important thing is that you know better than they do what they should be reading and thinking about.
    posted by the young rope-rider at 1:30 PM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]


    For two, fighty/obnoxious framing is going to turn those people off to your cause.

    The cause of U.S. troops not shooting babies in the head?
    posted by stinkycheese at 1:31 PM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    [...] it tends to be more of a "I don't like what happened here" thing than a "what happened here is the result of organized small-group behavior leveraged to disproportionate influence" thing.

    A clique is not defined as a frighteningly effective organized activist group. That's more like a cabal. You don't get to define MetaFilter's cliques away by asserting a non-standard definition.

    I mean, thank God that MetaFilter's cliques are relatively disorganized and ineffective; otherwise, things would be a lot worse here. But cliques, just by virtue of almost random reinforcing interactions among members and between members and outsiders, can certainly have undesirable effects.
    posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:35 PM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    It's a big universe, so big we're only just starting to see brief snapshots of it in motion. For anyone on this planet to act like their special snowflake interest means much of anything in the greater scheme of things is astonishingly arrogant.

    It also reflects a simplistic view of reality. The truth is, killing that family, if it occurred, works for some people, it makes sense. You and I may find it horrible and unjust, but really what is war but killing as many people deemed "the enemy" as you can? There is a certain profane logic to it, in any war situation. Which is, of course, why countries should work really hard to avoid going to war. Because once you're in it, then you really can't blame the soldiers for killing anyone remotely deemed to be an enemy.


    Man, nothing means anything in the scheme of things. The universe is infinitely unthinking, unfeeling, uncaring and unloving. But human beings think, feel, care and love, and we are supposed to do all those things about and for one another. Hell YES I blame the soldiers who ("allegedly") deemed a five-month-old child to be their enemy and put a bullet in its little baby head. I blame them so very hard, along with anyone who ever had anything to do with bringing them to that catastrophic point. This story makes me want to scream, and you know what? Good. Knowledge like this is supposed to hurt. I'm not going to rationalise my way out of feeling this feeling. Ugh. I am going outside, to breathe some different air.
    posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 1:37 PM on September 2, 2011 [6 favorites]


    A clique is not defined as a frighteningly effective organized activist group. That's more like a cabal. You don't get to define MetaFilter's cliques away by asserting a non-standard definition.

    My reason for getting definitional there is that if cliques exists only in the weakest and most inevitable sense—that in large groups of people, subgroups will form to some degree around affiliations—then making note of or more to the point making complaints about or implications of group-minded behavior by those cliques is like complaining about the fact that sometimes it rains. Water is wet, people get along better with people they get along with than with people they don't.

    A clique with weight to throw around and the will to do so is a lot different, in a social context, than a clique of people-with-a-shared-interest who exist largely without any disproportionate power. It is a meaningful distinction if an observation about cliques is meant to be anything other than an acknowledgement that more than one person might disagree with something at the same time.
    posted by cortex (staff) at 1:43 PM on September 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


    Man, nothing means anything in the scheme of things. The universe is infinitely unthinking, unfeeling, uncaring and unloving.

    ***SPOILER ALERT***

    I know this might sound surprising, entirely counter intuitive, but it turns out that MetaFilter and what happens on it is very important in the end. Thought, feelings and love also feature prominently in the resolution. The cynics end up with egg on their faces - wait and see.
    posted by Meatbomb at 1:44 PM on September 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


    I like egg.
    posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:45 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


    There are no chickens.
    posted by clavdivs at 1:48 PM on September 2, 2011


    Doesn't mean there aren't any eggs. No one ever said the chicken came last.
    posted by maryr at 1:50 PM on September 2, 2011


    The cause of U.S. troops not shooting babies in the head?

    Any given issue. I wasn't singling out the post or issue in question.
    posted by loquacious at 2:14 PM on September 2, 2011


    It's a basic given that your going to have some degree of subgrouping in any sufficiently large group; people organize organically by shared interest, shared passion, shared timezone, shared dislike, etc.

    Well, here comes the Australia shift! Get out people. Time to clean the place up for the next MeTa.

    *fucken americans. always leaving the place in a mess*
    posted by vidur at 2:59 PM on September 2, 2011


    I like egg.
    posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson

    From my head down to my leg.
    posted by lazaruslong at 3:27 PM on September 2, 2011


    Here are the first three paragraphs of Seymour Hersh's first report on the My Lai massacre:

    William L Calley Jr., 26 years old, is a mild-mannered, boyish-looking Vietnam combat veteran with the nickname “Rusty:’ The Army is completing an investigation of charges that he deliberately murdered at least 109 Vietnamese civilians in a search-and- destroy mission in March 1968 in a Viet Gong stronghold known as “Pinkville.”

    Calley has formally been charged with six specifications of mass murder. Each specification cites a number of dead, adding up to the 109 total, and charges that Calley did “with premeditation murder… Oriental human beings, whose names and sex are unknown, by shooting them with a rifle.”

    The Army calls it murder; Calley, his counsel and others associated with the incident describe it as a case of carrying out orders.


    This would have been a great post to Metafilter, if Metafilter had existed at that time. If the post at issue here was phrased with that level of nuance, I am confident it would not have been deleted.
    posted by ferdydurke at 3:51 PM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    If you're okay with innocent men, women and children being handcuffed and shot in the head by the United States military, then that's on your conscience.

    Damn. You sure got my number.
    posted by spaltavian at 4:10 PM on September 2, 2011 [3 favorites]


    empath: The corporations that would benefit from the oil didn't pay for the Iraq War.

    Your answer contains no information that is not in the question. Nice try though.

    notion: They made a horrible and stupid decision, mostly based on the political and financial gains they could get for America and some of her largest companies, and then they didn't have the courage to admit it.

    Thank you. This responds to the plutocratic dynamics to which I was referring. But I won't persist with this line of questioning in this thread any further. I'll just use an AskMe or something. Carry on.
    posted by troll at 4:28 PM on September 2, 2011


    Put me down in the pro-fluff clique. I have enough shit that matters, and when I don't have enough, I can easily locate enough shit that matters. Give me shit that doesn't matter.
    posted by BurnChao at 7:04 PM on September 2, 2011


    klang, your whole deal in this thread has been to throw half a shrug of response to someone and wrap it random sarcastic prickliness.

    How is that different from 2/3 of the threads klang participates in?
    posted by mlis at 7:45 PM on September 2, 2011 [4 favorites]


    There go those clowns on Metafilter again. What a bunch of clowns.
    posted by rhizome at 9:37 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Much of the time I'm convinced that grad school makes most people worse off.
    posted by Horselover Phattie at 9:38 PM on September 2, 2011



    Hmm. By this measure, one could argue that MetaFilter's love of cat videos is actually proof of exactly how important human lives are to us!



    Cat videos do have a place here and a real purpose and I feel compelled to defend them.

    Have you ever read the comments for a cat video? There are always at least one or two people who say "I really needed this today, thank you.



    So I'm taking a break from writing a report on a brutal, most likely random assault.

    It's not something I usually do, but it's something I sometimes have to do.


    In this instance, I might watch cat videos because if a cat, such a small creature, feels comfortable enough in the presence of a human to behave in such a way, then we must have a side that is trustworthy and gentle and good.

    I could wallow in horror, and have, and I can attest it does not help anyone or make me a better person. So I would prefer to balance that with a small, humble piece of evidence that humanity is worth saving.
    posted by louche mustachio at 9:59 PM on September 2, 2011 [7 favorites]


    They made a horrible and stupid decision, mostly based on the political and financial gains they could get for America and some of her largest companies, and then they didn't have the courage to admit it.

    Jesus Christ, for the fuckteenth time and to the couple people who just will not or cannot stop doing it: This isn't the place for a proxy discussion of that. I'm kind of surprised that the mods have let it be so as much as they have, even considering the light hand of MeTa moderation.

    Metafilter takes on many hardcore issues in a pretty hardcore but mostly intelligent and sane way. It's basically the only place I read or post comments on anything anymore, and that's not an accident. My thinking and attitude about many topics, and the way that I go about expressing them, has changed quite a bit over the years thanks mostly to Metafilter. We might not always do them well, but we do hash out some really challenging issues here.

    I don't want to suggest that anyone "love it or leave it", but if this site strikes you as a place where difficult discussions are ignored or deleted based on the fact that they are difficult discussions, I don't really know what to say that doesn't involve finding a site other than this one to love.
    posted by rollbiz at 10:57 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]




    I made that link into an FPP, mulled over the preview for about 10 minutes, and realized it just wasn't worth it.
    posted by troll at 12:04 AM on September 3, 2011


    This post should not have been deleted.
    posted by jb at 5:38 AM on September 3, 2011


    lol
    posted by lazaruslong at 10:46 AM on September 3, 2011


    Note: Everyone needs a hug kitteh.

    [Ooh, look at me learning html tags. Woot!]
    posted by 1000monkeys at 12:57 PM on September 3, 2011


    Yeah, it's snack time.
    posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:04 PM on September 3, 2011


    As far as I can tell, this was MeTa'ed to get exposure for the issue. Mark, make really thoughtful posts, with good, substantiated links, and let us look into it for ourselves. It doesn't have to be sensationalized; there are plenty of people who will read a factual, non-flamboyant post.

    I'd be perfectly happy with fewer cat videos.
    posted by theora55 at 2:17 PM on September 3, 2011 [4 favorites]


    I'm having a hard time understanding the TERRIBLE TRUTH vs cat videos dichotomy here. Are these really my only choices?
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:54 PM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


    LOL Here come the cat people!
    posted by stinkycheese at 8:09 PM on September 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


    Eh?
    posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:23 PM on September 3, 2011


    I can stare for a thousand years.
    posted by Meatbomb at 9:05 PM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


    Laundromat Kat
    posted by Sailormom at 9:41 PM on September 3, 2011


    Cat Burglar
    posted by Sailormom at 9:43 PM on September 3, 2011


    I can stare for a thousand years.

    You wouldn't believe what I've been through.
    posted by bakerina at 10:13 PM on September 3, 2011


    not letting asshole cat videos stand because they are cute

    My cat can definitely be an asshole. She is pretty cute, though. She will be disappointed.

    Of course, she is frequently disappointed over trivial matters, so this will not be a new experience.
    posted by krinklyfig at 1:17 AM on September 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


    I'm having a hard time understanding the TERRIBLE TRUTH vs cat videos dichotomy here. Are these really my only choices?

    As far as I am aware, this is all that is on the internet.

    Oh, and porn.
    posted by krinklyfig at 1:23 AM on September 4, 2011


    I can stare for a thousand light years, but the red shift causes distortions.
    posted by Horselover Phattie at 5:22 AM on September 4, 2011


    The truth about cat porn.
    posted by Sailormom at 7:46 AM on September 4, 2011


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