rar bad idea may become bad law October 11, 2011 7:25 AM   Subscribe

Is this a good reason to delete a fpp: Can we maybe have this discussion once something has happened and not "rar bad idea may become bad law"?

Surely we can discuss laws before they are actually made?
posted by Foci for Analysis to Etiquette/Policy at 7:25 AM (64 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

apparently not
posted by caddis at 7:31 AM on October 11, 2011


The ratio of stupid ideas for laws to laws actually in force seems to be pretty high in the US, where proposing a new law is more a tactic for getting your wacky views in the news than a serious attempt at legal reform.

As such, I'm happy to see such flamebait deleted.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 7:32 AM on October 11, 2011 [14 favorites]


The post met the guidelines, and therefore should not have been deleted. If posts like this are now deletion-worthy, the guidelines need to be rewritten. This is going to happen more and more as election season heats up.

Mods--deleting a post because you didn't like it is going to ruin Metafilter. Please don't ruin Metafilter.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:33 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think it was almost guaranteed to be outrage filter. If it was phrased differently, it stood a better chance of surviving.
posted by arcticseal at 7:35 AM on October 11, 2011


Is this a good reason to delete a fpp

Yes. Pointless outragefilter about something that hasn't even happened yet is pointless outragefilter about something that hasn't even happened yet.

Surely we can discuss laws before they are actually made?


Surely we can. But not productively if the starting point for the discussion is pointless outragefilter consisting of not much more than a link to an activist site.

That's why God invented DailyKos. And Free Republic.
posted by dersins at 7:35 AM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Mods--deleting a post because you didn't like it is going to ruin Metafilter.

"This is something that may also not happen" is not the same as "I do not like this so neener". Accusing people of doing something they didn't do is going to ruin Metafilter for the rest of us. Please don't ruin Metafilter for the rest of us.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:36 AM on October 11, 2011 [8 favorites]


It has always been my understanding that mods do not delete posts because they do not like them. They delete posts because they get flagged. Their personal opinions of the topic do not generally play into the deletion decision.

When I looked at the post, I did not see a discussion. I saw a bunch of snarky one-liners. I think it is possible to discuss laws before they are made, certainly. In this instance, the post was flamebait and not conducive to a meaningful conversation.
posted by That's Numberwang! at 7:39 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


The problem is that MetaFilter is about the links. Discussion is secondary to the links. Post a good link about this and it should stay, even if it is controversial. The link posted was just essentially a political ad. That is not a good link. Find something with analysis etc. Even then the mods may want to delete it as these posts make much work and trouble for them. If you are going to impose that on them it had better be a decent link.
posted by caddis at 7:40 AM on October 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


If posts like this are now deletion-worthy, the guidelines need to be rewritten.

The guidelines that mention that a good post consists of linking to something cool you found on the web rather than trying to start an argument about [X]? 'Cause I know which one that post was. (Protip: it wasn't the "something cool you found on the web" one.)

Mods--deleting a post because you didn't like it is going to ruin Metafilter. Please don't ruin Metafilter.

AHH! THE SKY IS FALLING! WATCH OUT! DON'T GET HIT BY FLYING PIECES OF HYPERBOLE!
posted by dersins at 7:41 AM on October 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


Mississippi Goddam: or, Here's to the State of Mississippi.
posted by box at 7:43 AM on October 11, 2011


Surely we can discuss laws before they are actually made?

Surely we can discuss things that are never going to happen as well. But there's got to be a limit on just how absurd those things can be. I'd rather stick to things that have/ will happen.
posted by yerfatma at 7:53 AM on October 11, 2011


This was clearly a post meant to inflame the senses of people who believe that the proposed law is a bad idea. That said, even if this were already a law, a link to a webpage put up by a group that is outraged about something and a link to the group who is doing the outraging thing would be an inappropriate post for MetaFilter.

If this post had some context, a wider perspective, a different take on a topic that has been heatedly discussed many, many times here in the past, maybe it would have been something worth staying.
posted by Kimberly at 7:53 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is going to happen more and more as election season heats up.

And presumably they will delete more and more posts that are about various political topics, editorially posed and sparsely linked. This will maintain Metafilter rather than destroy it, and is in line with what they usually do and have always done in my experience.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:54 AM on October 11, 2011 [6 favorites]


The fact that it made it onto the ballot makes it one step more serious than any of those out-there laws that get proposed by a state legislator but are never going to become law, contra bea_arthur.

But the only links in the post were to a "Panic Now" site and the obligatory link to the site of the people pushing it. I would love to see a post giving info about this new anti-choice tactic, but this wasn't a very good one.

Yes, there are plenty of posts with this few links, but parallel to the scientist's "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" rule, there seems to be a MeFi "more controversy requires more information" rule.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:57 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Did Charles Rangel propose reinstating the military draft yet this year? Maybe we should discuss that in a post too, as if it is going to happen. That would be just as productive.
posted by smackfu at 7:59 AM on October 11, 2011


The post met the guidelines,

It was shitty flamebait with links to more shitty flamebait. How does that meet the guidelines?

I reckon there's a good post out there about when personhood begins, legally speaking. But this wasn't it.
posted by rtha at 8:00 AM on October 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Mods--deleting a post because you didn't like it is going to ruin Metafilter.

Gotta respectfully disagree. If you renamed Metafilter to "Just Things That Mathowie, Cortex, Jessamyn And The Rest Like dot Com", I wouldn't visit any elss.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 8:03 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I would support and follow an FPP and ensuing discussion about this amendment. I just wouldn't support that FPP about this amendment, because the ensuing discussion wouldn't get any better than GRARFILTAH.
posted by Etrigan at 8:08 AM on October 11, 2011


That said, even if this were already a law, a link to a webpage put up by a group that is outraged about something and a link to the group who is doing the outraging thing would be an inappropriate post for MetaFilter.

It would, however, be fair and balanced. Perhaps Fox has a blogging site?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:09 AM on October 11, 2011


To be fair, rar files do kind of suck, especially if some torrent uploader packages them.
posted by Horselover Phattie at 8:11 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, we can discuss laws before they're made, but this:

This would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages.

Isn't true. No matter what side of the debate you're on, that's deliberate hyperbole if not an outright lie. There's no way that this proposed state law, even if passed, will ever effectively do that.
posted by inturnaround at 8:16 AM on October 11, 2011


Main link was short blurb from opponents of the bill with big red letters at the top that starts out "The extremist group – Personhood USA - states openly that 'personhood' is the political vehicle to overturning Roe v. Wade ..." and a nice fat donate button at the bottom.

This wasn't a 'let's discuss a this proposed ammendment in Mississippi' post. Some could probably make a post about the campaign for this ammendment in Mississippi, the organization, the organzation behind it, and opposition to it, but that's not what this was.
posted by nangar at 8:16 AM on October 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


The basic problem with metafilter is that it is so one-sided: the mods get to delete comments and posts because they don't want users to talk about certain issues - but how many mods do WE get to delete? NONE!

Thus I propose a change to the basic set rules of MetaFilter. From now on, if you get your comment, post or question deleted, you get the chance to make a saving throw, and if you make that save, you can delete a mod. Here's how such a mechanism would actually work in a "real" game-play situation:

FunkyHelix (8th level Anticleric): "I cast the spell 'anti-personhood'! Mississippi takes 4d6 damage to its reputation!"

jessamyn (25th level Modulator): "I swing my +1 mace of silence."

FunkyHelix (8th level Anticleric): "I roll 18 on 1d20! SAVED!!!"

JESSAMYN HAS BEEN DELETED FOR THE FOLLOWING REASON: THE DIE DO NOT LIE.

So, if you'd like to see a MeFi where each and every member has the chance to slap down a cortex or a pb with an ice-cold boxed one-liner - or even to "turn" the lich-fiend that is mathowie himself - I invite you to do as I will do and vote #1 quidnunc kid at the metafilter elections in 2012.

"the quidnunc kid: for change you won't believe in".

This message is authorised by the Chaotic Neutral Party of America.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:16 AM on October 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


The post met the guidelines, and therefore should not have been deleted.

This was not some totally new act or a reason for deletion. I had a post about the iPad deleted FOUR hours before it was officially unveiled. The reason was pretty similar to this, i.e. "Can we talk about this once it's out"?*

I did not scream about the injustice of it all, nor see it as the beginning of the end of Metafilter ora blatant act of the mods enforcing their world view upon the site.

If I can be vaguely mature on occasion around here, surely ya'll can do the same.

* After the iPad officially came out, someone took my post, slightly reworded it to change future tense to present tense and reposted it. It stayed.

Note: I was mostly right about the iPad. NEENER NEENER.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:20 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


You were so close to taking the high road.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:36 AM on October 11, 2011


quidnunc kid, I'll take you on as my running mate if we can change the slogan to: "Change you won't fucking believe!"
posted by Eideteker at 8:43 AM on October 11, 2011


Metatalk: You were so close to taking the high road.

I, for one, would welcome a FPP about the history of strange, proposed anti-choice laws that try to get around the decision made by Roe vs. Wade and all seem (to my amateur, non-legally-trained mind) uniquely weird in their attempts to legislatively redefine what constitutes a life, and if this link had been a part of that, I'm pretty sure it wouldn't have been flagged as much or deleted at all.

I also think that the mods, in their mod mindset, wouldn't instantly be a fan of a post like this because it could still be outragefilter or derail. But if it was a good post, they wouldn't delete it. It's that faith that makes me realize that Metafilter isn't going to be ruined any time soon -- because good posts tend to stay and bad ones tend to not.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:49 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


nangar: " This wasn't a 'let's discuss a this proposed ammendment in Mississippi' post. Some could probably make a post about the campaign for this ammendment in Mississippi, the organization, the organzation behind it, and opposition to it, but that's not what this was."

Yep. There's definitely a decent non-outragefilter post that could be created on the topic. I agree that this wasn't it.

But the ramifications are both fascinating and absurd.

Mississippi College law professor Jonathan Will (he heads their bioethics and health law center) suggested to the Jackson Clarion-Ledger that if the amendment passes, the legal voting age would actually have to be 17 years and 3 months after birth, and that population figures might have to be calculated with the frozen embryos housed in fertility.
posted by zarq at 8:49 AM on October 11, 2011


If the mods really were evil, evil Republican activists constantly censoring MetaFilter because they hate liberals and want to suppress liberalism on the internet, we wouldn't have posts about Occupy Wall Street and Wikileaks.

We've been through this over and over again in 'why was this post deleted' MeTas: MetaFilter is not a place for you to spam for your cause. There's a difference between linking to interesting coverage and commentary on political issues, and "Stop the conservative menace! Donate now!'

I really wish the mods would ban people who nothing but post political spam and brow-beat other members of site in comments, like they do other spammers. I'm interested in what other people have to say about politics, but we don't need this crap.
posted by nangar at 8:51 AM on October 11, 2011


You were so close to taking the high road.

I AM THE 53%.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:51 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


I posted that and if the Mods want to delete it, that's fine.

They delete for the good of the community, and I dislike when more malicious motives are assigned their actions. Chill out. I posted it while half awake and before coffee. If I had waited an hour or so, I wouldn't have posted it.
posted by FunkyHelix at 9:01 AM on October 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


It's gone, dude. Get over it.
posted by crunchland at 9:02 AM on October 11, 2011


If someone wants to make a better post on this important topic, please feel free. That post seemed to first off be about an impending vote which seemed a lot more like "important thing MAY happen" filter than anything. The below-the-fold part of the post seemed to be more interesting, but was going to be lost in a "fuck the south" type of thread. If you think the topic is important, please make a better post about it. Nothing personal FunkyHelix.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:09 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


S'ok, Jess. Crap post was crap post. Sorry for the aggravation before lunch.
posted by FunkyHelix at 9:11 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Is this the wrong time to say F the South?
posted by Max Power at 9:12 AM on October 11, 2011


Yes.
posted by koeselitz at 9:14 AM on October 11, 2011


The post turned me into a newt!

I got better
posted by nomisxid at 9:20 AM on October 11, 2011


I've been wondering about this. Are we meant to post only about things we personally like?

If it is the case that "The guidelines that mention that a good post consists of linking to something cool you found on the web" then we should never really post something we think is uncool, or news we are upset about.

FWIW, I am fine with a "only cool things" mandate but If we are only going to post cool stuff, lets also relax the "this is thin" snarking. If something is cool, it needs no justification or supporting documents.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:26 AM on October 11, 2011


Ad hominem: "I've been wondering about this. Are we meant to post only about things we personally like?"

No.

Because that's the guideline for what the mods and many people in this community believe makes a good mefi post, not a hard and fast rule.
posted by zarq at 9:30 AM on October 11, 2011


we should never really post something we think is uncool, or news we are upset about.

And to be clear, there are sometimes "this is a bad thing that happened" posts that are well-received ans that go well and that spark good discussion, but there are just as many that go poorly that didn't have to turn into bad posts just on the topic alone. "This is a thing that is upsetting me" is a difficult position to build a good post from and if you're going that path you should be mindful that you probably have a more difficult challenge than someone who just found some cool panda robot bacon bicycle thing.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:35 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


jessamyn: "....some cool panda robot bacon bicycle thing."

I am now regretting googling "panda bacon."
posted by zarq at 9:38 AM on October 11, 2011


Uh oh.
posted by zarq at 9:41 AM on October 11, 2011


I agree that OutrageFilter-type posts are bad (and that this post was bad) and also wish we didn't have so much subjective and frankly kinda sanctimonious "this is going to go poorly"-type moderation.

I don't know where that leaves me. I guess I have a higher tolerance for train wrecks than other people.
posted by eugenen at 9:42 AM on October 11, 2011


I found a panda robot, and I found a picture of some law enforcement officers on velocipedes.
posted by Edogy at 9:42 AM on October 11, 2011


Reasonable deletion, unreasonable deletion reason.
posted by jamjam at 9:43 AM on October 11, 2011


I've been wondering about this. Are we meant to post only about things we personally like?

No, but I think whenever someone is making a post about something that makes them unhappy there needs to be a serious bit of extra consideration about why they're posting and how they're posting. There have been loads of posts about complicated or ugly or contentious things that have worked okay, but also loads that have not, and a common theme separating the two is how much a post seemed like someone posting about something postworthy because it was really worth sharing vs. someone posting about something because they wanted other people to be upset along with them.

Distance is pretty important if what you're posting about is something that you feel like is A Bad Thing in one sense or another.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:47 AM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Agenda-driven posts are fucking boring. I'm happy when any of them get deleted.
posted by empath at 9:58 AM on October 11, 2011


Agenda-driven posts are fucking boring.

Fahrvergsnüzen
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:06 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


eugenen: "I agree that OutrageFilter-type posts are bad (and that this post was bad) and also wish we didn't have so much subjective and frankly kinda sanctimonious "this is going to go poorly"-type moderation."

It a post is well-constructed on any topic, the mods hardly ever delete it right off the bat.
posted by zarq at 10:08 AM on October 11, 2011


Reasonable deletion, unreasonable deletion reason.

Came here to say this. Lots of times it's appropriate to make a post before the main event has happened, as long as it's a good post. This just wasn't a good post, and I think the deletion reason should reflect that.

That said, if

Can we maybe have this discussion once something has happened

is official policy now, maybe we can wait until November 2012 to have any more posts on the US election? Cause then something good will have come out of this.
posted by auto-correct at 10:17 AM on October 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


A law has no rights before it's passed.
posted by GuyZero at 10:30 AM on October 11, 2011


The post met the guidelines, and therefore should not have been deleted.

The post said: "This would effectively outlaw birth control and criminalize women who have miscarriages."

That statement is "purposely inflammatory." Obviously, miscarriages are not going to be criminalized. The FPP wasn't news or something cool on the web. It was just trying to scare or anger people.
posted by John Cohen at 10:44 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


If someone wants to make a better post on this important topic, please feel free.

I would have been totally fine with this being the deletion reason. Anyways, I think we can all agree on that I'm going to eat some cookies right now.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:49 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yep, I should have written a more useful deletion reason. The morning was sort of filled with wack-a-mole flagging that we were trying to get a handle on and we have a lot of mods in transit today so I was hastier than I should have been.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:55 AM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


Upset posts go like this:

"There is this thing that I am upset about it is terrible and awful maybe Hitler!"

then either:

"You are right I am also upset upset upset! I am angry and agree!"

Or:

"This thing does not upset me! I am upset at you being upset!"

"You are wrong about being not upset can't you tell how upset I am!"

There can be posts on controversial things, or things that make us upset, but goddamn, show some perspective and realize the difference between those good possible posts and this shallow crap.
posted by klangklangston at 11:13 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


"There is this thing that I am upset about it is terrible and awful maybe Hitler!"


"There is this thing that I am upset about it is terrible and awful maybe" - Hitler
posted by The World Famous at 11:30 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Cohen: "Obviously, miscarriages are not going to be criminalized."

You're making an assumption here that may not be true in the future: several bills have been introduced and defeated in US states in recent years, such as Georgia, (bill linked here) that would criminalize deliberate miscarriages if they became law.
Both miscarriages and abortions would be potentially punishable by death: any "prenatal murder" in the words of the bill, including "human involvement" in a miscarriage, would be a felony and carry a penalty of life in prison or death.
Personally, I would never assume that Mississippi, the most conservative state in the Union, would be unwilling to pass such a law. After all, last year, Oklahoma passed a law which said that doctors could not be sued if they lied to their patients about their baby's birth defects.
posted by zarq at 11:31 AM on October 11, 2011


Do not make this MeTa thread into a MeFi-post-by proxy please.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:32 AM on October 11, 2011


(I realized that I almost always favorite comments where someone says "I was wrong.". It's what makes MeFi civilized.)
posted by benito.strauss at 11:32 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


You were wrong.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:33 AM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


> I realized that I almost always favorite comments where someone says "I was wrong."

Speaking of which ... I said earlier in this thread:

I really wish the mods would ban people who [sic] nothing but post political spam and brow-beat other members of site ...

FunkyHelix obviously did not deserve that. I apologize.
posted by nangar at 11:49 AM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wow, thanks. It's ok.
posted by FunkyHelix at 12:07 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've written numerous of 'bad law coming down the pipe posts', but never had one deleted. I think jessamyn's problem with this post was mostly its simplistic approach.

I'll make three concrete suggestions that imho would've kept this post alive :

(1) Personhood USA should be mentioned above the fold. I'll mostly just lol and sigh if Mississippi passes such a stupid law. I'll pay attention if you warn me about an influential right-wing group with which I'm unfamiliar.

(2) There should be analysis of Personhood USA's financial backing under the fold. Any other organizations playing a major role in backing this should be mentioned as well, preferably with finances discussed.

(3) You should relate this legislation to the anti-abortion movement's wider strategies, either historical or current.

It ain't outrage filter if people hold an intelligent conversation, which the poster has the responsibility for starting.
posted by jeffburdges at 1:22 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]




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