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Best of the Web (except cnn.com?) March 19, 2012 4:44 AM   Subscribe

When did "you can find this on your own" because a reason to delete an FPP?

The stated reason for the deletion of this post linking to an in-depth exploration of the institution of slavery in Mauritania was "...a CNN Special Report isn't really something that people can't find on their own."

Now, I am assuming that there were flags on this post that drew the attention of the mods in the first place. I can imagine that some flaggers viewed the subject matter as falling under the rubric of "outrage filter". And in my searching for the existence of any prior policy on the matter I've discovered there's a vocal anti-CNN contingency amongst us.

Regardless, the reason that the mod chose to explain the deletion was simply that you can find it on your on your own (reading "readily" between the lines). If that's the case, can't we say the same thing about any single-link post from a relatively popular site?

Although I'm a relative newcomer in the grand scheme of things, nevertheless my understanding of Metafilter is that it aims to be the Best of the Web. Not Best of the Obscure, Deep Web. Nor Best of the Web Except Those Sites that Any Responsible Web Denizen Already Has On Their RSS Feed. I could trot out several samples of single-link-to (IMHO thinner)-CNN articles that have stood, so I'm not sure why this one was different.

I found this to be a good piece of long-form journalism and provides good fodder for discussion and reflection--it's not just "look at this shitty thing that f'ed up people in some African backward do." Obviously, I am capable of finding things on my own on the Web. I come to MetaFilter because other people can do that work for me, filtering out the mundane and leaving me with the bits that are interesting, eye-opening, and worth reading/watching/hearing. I thought this article fell into that category.
posted by drlith to Etiquette/Policy at 4:44 AM (104 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite

I would actually never find a CNN special report on my own. CNN just doesn't pop up in my usual collection of feeds and sites.
posted by ignignokt at 4:52 AM on March 19, 2012 [33 favorites]


I agree, this is a bad deletion.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 4:56 AM on March 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Well, if nothing else, a single link to CNN, or NYT, or Cracked, or The Onion probably doesn't make for a very good post. Maybe the post would have survived had it had some more supporting links.
posted by crunchland at 4:57 AM on March 19, 2012


If that's the case, can't we say the same thing about any single-link post from a relatively popular site?

Some more than others. The OP could've done a much better job of fleshing the post out than they did with support links. That would've made it significantly less topic du jour.

For example, I am pretty sure that a post with a history of chattel slavery and timelines and opinions around the subject would be pretty great, but this is one article without a context. You could recreate that in a few minutes, I suspect.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 4:57 AM on March 19, 2012


I think it's a matter of perspective - as I read The Guardian online every day, I am always surprised by how many single link stories pop up here.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 4:58 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree it should have stayed. I get when CNN pieces are deleted because they're just news. But this was journalism.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 5:00 AM on March 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yeah, that's a topic not many people here know much about, and I too doubt that I'd have seen that Special Report otherwise. As for the source, I don't give a shit who puts a piece out, so long as it's decent and the publisher isn't known for being bigoted, sexist, etc.
posted by gman at 5:00 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


If anything good comes of this metatalk thread, it'd be an explicit ruling that single link Guardian posts will not stand.
posted by crunchland at 5:03 AM on March 19, 2012


Not only am I never going to find a CNN Special Report on my own, I wouldn't even click on one if you gave it to me.

So in that sense, this is a good deletion. But a terrible reason.
posted by DU at 5:08 AM on March 19, 2012


Thanks for making this post. I would never have seen the report without the FPP.

If the mods believed the thread was going to go south because it was thin outragefilter, then that would have been fine to say. But a "people can find this on their own" metric seems *way* too vague and thin to me. Everything we post to MeFi is publicly available and something people can find on their own.
posted by zarq at 5:11 AM on March 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


DU: Not only am I never going to find a CNN Special Report on my own, I wouldn't even click on one if you gave it to me.

So in that sense, this is a good deletion. But a terrible reason.


Deletions based on something that isn't of interest to a particular user would make for a blank front page.
posted by gman at 5:13 AM on March 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


I have to say, it was an interesting find I thought. It was a good article by a news source that i generally dismiss. Had the link not been posted, I would not have seen it. I read and learned quite a bit from the article.

It was far from outrage filter as well. A well written piece about a very sensitive subject.

I think the YCFTOYO filter could use a some tweaking
posted by lampshade at 5:15 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


An estimated 10% to 20% of Mauritania’s 3.4 million people are enslaved — in “real slavery,” according to the United Nations’ special rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, Gulnara Shahinian. If that’s not unbelievable enough, consider that Mauritania was the last country in the world to abolish slavery. That happened in 1981, nearly 120 years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation in the United States. It wasn’t until five years ago, in 2007, that Mauritania passed a law that criminalized the act of owning another person. So far, only one case has been successfully prosecuted.

Holy shit, I had no idea. Mauritania doesn't seem like a very good place. Interesting article, super lame deletion reason.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:16 AM on March 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


Wait, when did CNN start doing news reporting?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:20 AM on March 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


Sometimes I like posts with a single link -- one link to a best of the web, no padding with other links until it resembles a research paper. I think the linked article was strong enough to stand on its own.
posted by Houstonian at 5:21 AM on March 19, 2012 [8 favorites]


Good deletion, badly stated reason.

I have no idea who coined it, but the like-should-must continuum applies:
"Other people will like to see this" -- good FPP
"Other people should see this" -- not a good SL FPP
"Other people must see this!" -- bad FPP

This one was firmly in the middle and deserved more of a look than SLCNN.
posted by Etrigan at 5:21 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Couple of minor points:

When did "you can find this on your own" because a reason to delete an FPP?

Why is phrase in quotes? Nobody wrote that quote and it feels like you're being deliberately vague and inflammatory. There's no need to make shit up or read between the lines when you have can just copy the quote, like so: "Hey, this is a terrible thing, but a CNN Special Report isn't really something that people can't find on their own. -- taz"


nevertheless my understanding of Metafilter is that it aims to be the Best of the Web

Metafilter isn't about the Best of Web and it certainly isn't capitalized, which implies it's some sort of thing. Making a post is about sharing interesting links you've found.

I found this to be a good piece of long-form journalism and provides good fodder for discussion and reflection...

Metafilter is not about posting links for discussion or reflection. They simply have to be neat or interesting. Yes, of course, discussion often happens but that should not be the point of making a post.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:22 AM on March 19, 2012


Etrigan: I have no idea who coined it, but the like-should-must continuum applies:
"Other people will like to see this" -- good FPP
"Other people should see this" -- not a good SL FPP
"Other people must see this!" -- bad FPP


Okay, but I fall firmly into the first option.
posted by gman at 5:28 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


"MetaFilter itself, where you can find the list of all current "best of the Web" posts"
posted by Houstonian at 5:29 AM on March 19, 2012


I thought the article was worthwhile and the post should have stood. And I can't remember the last time I went to CNN of my own volition.
posted by peacheater at 5:29 AM on March 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Not only am I never going to find a CNN Special Report on my own, I wouldn't even click on one if you gave it to me.

So in that sense, this is a good deletion.


It's a good deletion because you personally aren't interested in the article? Huh?
posted by John Cohen at 5:30 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Brandon, I think the overwhelming majority of FPP's I post are on topics that lend themselves to discussion or reflection, not that are necessarily "neat or interesting", and I don't think I've ever had them deleted. Yesterday, for instance, I posted a single link to a story in the Guardian/Observer about Britain's working poor. It was not "neat" or "interesting" any more than this deleted FPP.

I think this is a poor deletion, and looks more like a reflex response to it being a CNN iReport rather than connected in any meaningful way to the content.
posted by modernnomad at 5:31 AM on March 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yes, of course, discussion often happens but that should not be the point of making a post.

What? Well then lets bring back the IMG tag while we are at it.
posted by lampshade at 5:34 AM on March 19, 2012


I mean, i get that a discussion is not the whole point of a post, but I think it is a big part of why we have keyboards connected to our computers and MF seems to utilize that feature well.
posted by lampshade at 5:36 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


i get that a discussion is not the whole point of a post...

That's all I was saying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:37 AM on March 19, 2012


Terrible deletion.
posted by empath at 5:39 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: Why we have keyboards connected to our computers.

Sorry. Couldn't resist. Carry on.
posted by zarq at 5:39 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


I saw this on the front page of CNN (both the US and international editions), and also on the front page of Google News, so it seemed to me something that was super visible, and therefore not really so much of a "filtered" item... and then I also looked back to see if we had ever had just a bare link to a CNN Special Report as an FPP before, which I didn't find.

It seemed like the sort of thing that would be really great if it were accompanied by some link (or more than one) that was a special find, something different that people might not normally see if it wasn't brought to their attention.

BUT, as I said in my email to the other moderators asking about this, "Newsfilter" is a slippery thing for me, so I may very well be wrong about this. I didn't think it would be a controversial deletion at all, but I got an email and a memail disagreeing with it, which actually surprised me, but made me realize that it isn't as clear as I thought... and so I'm not surprised that it was brought up here.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:40 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


So what's the standard — if a mod has already seen a link before it's posted to Metafilter, the FPP gets deleted? That seems very arbitrary.
posted by John Cohen at 5:43 AM on March 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


I don't understand people saying it could have been good with more links. This is just asking for FPPs to be padded by doing a quick, obvious Google search and throwing in random extra links. That's what anyone could have found on their own. It's harder to find the one good article that's worth focusing on.
posted by John Cohen at 5:46 AM on March 19, 2012 [36 favorites]


So what's the standard — if a mod has already seen a link before it's posted to Metafilter, the FPP gets deleted?

Look, if you're going to ask a question, then ask a question and then let the moderators answer it. If you're going to answer it yourself, while throwing a negative spin on it, then what's your point?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:47 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Finding something good in the morass at CNN and highlighting it for other people is pretty much the epitome of filtering.
posted by Wolfdog at 5:47 AM on March 19, 2012 [25 favorites]


something different that people might not normally see if it wasn't brought to their attention

I do not go to CNN or Google News, so this was new to me when I saw the MeTa. Just finished reading it - well done journalism and I think others will like it too.

Other people will like to see this" -- good FPP
"Other people should see this" -- not a good SL FPP
"Other people must see this!" -- bad FPP


For me, this also definitely falls into category one.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:51 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't ever look at CNN. I would have never seen it.
posted by empath at 5:51 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Deletions based on something that isn't of interest to a particular user would make for a blank front page.

It's a good deletion because you personally aren't interested in the article?

Notice that I said I wouldn't click on a CNN Special Report, not that I wouldn't click on a link to a story about slavery. (Hint: I was dissing CNN. Possibly too early in the morning for some.)
posted by DU at 5:52 AM on March 19, 2012


"Newsfilter" is a slippery thing for me, so I may very well be wrong about this.

In-depth reports are not "Newsfilter". I have no idea how you got this impression. "Newsfilter" is linking to headlines; often "breaking news". Indepth, unhurried analysis of events has always been accepted- welcomed, actually. This is a really, really bad deletion and I hope it will be reversed.

if a mod has already seen a link before it's posted to Metafilter, the FPP gets deleted?

Look, if you're going to ask a question, then ask a question and then let the moderators answer it. If you're going to answer it yourself, while throwing a negative spin on it, then what's your point?


I'm pretty sure the point was to point out how the deletion made no sense.
posted by spaltavian at 5:52 AM on March 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Same here - I wouldn't have seen it if it weren't posted to MetaFilter, and it was a worthy article to read.
posted by cmonkey at 5:53 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


And in my searching for the existence of any prior policy on the matter

I think this is a mildly surprising deletion, but good grief I'm exhausted by the endless Talmudic parsing of deletion reasons and relentless search for "policy" which will once and for all spell out every possible post which is permitted and forbidden. I wonder if we might actually have fewer "Why was my post deleted?" MeTas if we stopped doing deletion reasons. (Not actually advocating this.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:53 AM on March 19, 2012 [18 favorites]


It seemed like the sort of thing that would be really great if it were accompanied by some link (or more than one) that was a special find, something different that people might not normally see if it wasn't brought to their attention.

The 'something different' was the CNN report. I never check CNN or Google News. Also, CNN is not one of the go to places for "Newsfilter" - New York Times, Guardian, Daily Mail, but not CNN. And even then posts from Metafilter popular news sources don't get axed because their from Metafilter popular news sources, I don't think. And the fact that there are no previous links to a CNN report on MeFi would seem like a reason to keep it to me.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:53 AM on March 19, 2012


I don't often agree with the "bad deletion" threads, but I agree with this one. The post seemed well past the deletion threshold. (And I wouldn't have encountered it otherwise either.)
posted by dfan at 5:55 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


gman has reposted the link, and I'm leaving it. Sorry all, I honestly didn't realize that front page CNN stuff is actually fairly obscure.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:57 AM on March 19, 2012 [9 favorites]


Taz, I posted one in November 2010.

I'm sorry. I don't mean to pile on. And I realize that my post had a couple of additional links. But the idea that we should only post stuff that doesn't show up on the front page of a major news media outlet (and since we're using that as a deletion metric, now site policy) is news to me.
posted by zarq at 5:58 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


DU: Notice that I said I wouldn't click on a CNN Special Report, not that I wouldn't click on a link to a story about slavery. (Hint: I was dissing CNN. Possibly too early in the morning for some.)

Right, you said you wouldn't click on a CNN Special Report link and that because of that, it was a good reason for deletion. Well, I wouldn't click on a comicbook.com link (or whatever). And another user might not click on a link whose source is foodnetwork.com, etc., etc., etc.
posted by gman at 5:58 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Since when is obscurity a requirement for posting?
posted by zarq at 6:00 AM on March 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think you may be taking my comment a tiiiiiny bit too seriously.
posted by DU at 6:00 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry all, I honestly didn't realize that front page CNN stuff is actually fairly obscure.

To me it's not that the front page of CNN is fairly obscure (and I would say that it isn't); it's that "fairly obscure" doesn't seem to be (in practice) a criterion that FPPs have to meet in order to avoid deletion. I'd say that well over a quarter of the posts on Metafilter are about things that are already pretty widely known.
posted by dfan at 6:01 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Sorry all, I honestly didn't realize that front page CNN stuff is actually fairly obscure.

I think that's probably CNN's fault. I get the feeling they used to be a somewhat reasonable news organization, and then they went sort of crazy and a lot of people stopped watching/reading. So they've managed to become fairly obscure with much of the audience here.

Which is not to say they don't still have good stuff from time to time, as with this post.
posted by FishBike at 6:01 AM on March 19, 2012


Sorry all, I honestly didn't realize that front page CNN stuff is actually fairly obscure.

I don't think obscurity has ever been a pre-requisite for posting.
posted by empath at 6:08 AM on March 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


Look, if you're going to ask a question, then ask a question and then let the moderators answer it. If you're going to answer it yourself, while throwing a negative spin on it, then what's your point?

What's your point? Brandon Blatcher, your comments in this thread haven't beeng adding anything to the discussion of the deletion; you're just nitpicking other people's comments.

I notice that no one defending the deletion has said anything about the content of the link. The only reasons given by anyone for the deletion are that it's one link and it's on CNN. No one has pointed out any "context" that was actually missing from the article.
posted by John Cohen at 6:09 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I think my reaction to front-page-CNN was sort of a kneejerk thing. When the NYT does an in-depth report I don't have the same Durrr reaction (though I personally -- just as a user -- do think we have too many NYT links, but that's another topic). So, yeah, a bias.
posted by taz (staff) at 6:11 AM on March 19, 2012


Since when is obscurity a requirement for posting?

It's not, but ubiquity definitely counts on the negative side of the tally (as does outragefilter and single-linkiness -- for better or worse), and so taz pushed it over the edge. The community responded that it wasn't as ubiquitous as she originally thought, which appears to have been enough to pull it back.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:11 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry all, I honestly didn't realize that front page CNN stuff is actually fairly obscure.

It is not that FPCNN is obscure, but the occasional decent story from CNN is. This one went against the grain of typical CNN story. Given that I normally dismiss CNN, this was a nice surprise.

(unlike the mommy-filter-800-word-book-shill-nyt post just above it)
posted by lampshade at 6:12 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


or below it....now
posted by lampshade at 6:12 AM on March 19, 2012


What's your point? Brandon Blatcher, your comments in this thread haven't beeng adding anything to the discussion of the deletion;

My point, as written before, is that if you're going to ask a question, then just ask it. Answering it yourself and then putting a negative spin on that answer doesn't help.

you're just nitpicking other people's comments.

Sort of like nitpicking the deletion reason to death, eh? It was bad deletion, moderators are human, Taz has repented her sins, so what's the issue? Sheesh.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:16 AM on March 19, 2012


And to be clear, Brandon Blatcher, I was obviously asking a rhetorical question, not a real question. If you'd prefer me to express myself without using a question mark, OK, here goes. Taz has already given her explanation for the deletion (twice). I disagree with the deletion and the explanation. The fact that a mod has seen a link doesn't mean anything. The mods probably see a huge amount of content on the internet every day. The fact that an FPP has only one link isn't a deletion reason. If we want to generally disfavor links on CNN that's one thing, but if this post is deleted it seems like nothing on CNN can ever be posted on Metafilter, which is arbitrary. Links should be judged by their content, not the domain name in the URL.
posted by John Cohen at 6:17 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you'd prefer me to express myself without using a question mark, OK, here goes

Now do the Dance of the Seven Veils!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:19 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thanks for letting the repost stand, Taz. :)
posted by anitanita at 6:38 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks taz for being a reasonable mod, it is excellent.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:50 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


anitanita: "Thanks for letting the repost stand, Taz. :)"

Same. Thank you, Taz.
posted by zarq at 7:14 AM on March 19, 2012


I think the new post is fine. I think the old post may have been fine but it bore such a resemblance to the "Single link outragefilter" posts that we see too many of that make terrible posts for MeFi that it fell into a crack. Child endangerment/abuse posts tend to go terribly and while this is an exceptionally different sort of post once you get into it, it has all the external trappings of something that is just more-of-the-same ungood. So taz had basically told the OP to post tomorrow but we have a different version of it today which I think works out okay instead.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:15 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Taz, thanks for bringing it back - I haven't finished the article yet, but it's really interesting. FWIW, I can see why single link stuff sometimes gets deleted, but I still find many of the single link posts as interesting as the ones that have more, if the linked piece contains its own context and has real meat to it.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 7:15 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Granted, Metafilter is good at introducing me to things I might never have found on my own. But is it not also meant to be a place for intelligent discussion of things that are well established on the cultural radar screen?

I mean that's one thing I at least like about the site, and I'd hate to think I've been doing it wrong all this time.
posted by Naberius at 7:18 AM on March 19, 2012


I have the same sort of "CNN, really?" instinct myself, I'll say; I'm glad to see this is actually some good journalism work, and letting the repost stand seems like a good idea, but I can see where taz was coming from with her original reaction. A little clearer framing of what's at the other end of the link, with or without any extra links, would I think have helped with making it clearer that this was some substantial reportage.

But the idea that we should only post stuff that doesn't show up on the front page of a major news media outlet (and since we're using that as a deletion metric, now site policy) is news to me.

Well, not only, but it's honestly not a bad general guideline for getting into better post territory. Newsfilter is a slippery category indeed, partly because different people apply the label to different subsets of posts from "posting ubiquitous headline news just to be first" to "posting about something that's some sort of news in the world instead of something that's neat on the internet" to "omg did you hear about this horrible shit that happened" and various spaces in between. And different folks have different feelings about how much of that belongs on the site vs. absolutely does not belong, from "no news, period" to "this is where I come to discuss the news".

There's not really a firm monolithic cultural take on either what Newsfilter is or whether and how much of a good or bad thing it is, basically.

From a personal perspective, I'd like to see less news on the site, but that's just my preference. Not none, but a lot less. The big stuff or the deep stuff, the good reporting and the really unavoidable topics, and that'd be about it. But that's me.

From a mod perspective, we do pretty much want people to not go overboard, at least. Newsfilter such as it is isn't really what we see as being a key part of what makes Metafilter, and Metafilter's community, good. And for some newsfiltery stuff on the lazier/gawkier side we have and will absolutely nix it if all it has going for it is "hey this is a thing that is on the news sites and the blogs" and seems not to serve any purpose except to widen the basin for chatting. I murder blurby little news-of-the-weird/bad posts pretty much relentlessly. Stuff that's a bit more substantial but still not great is dicey and we have mixed reactions.

So, like I said, I'm glad this turns out to be some actually good, substantial journalism from CNN. It's not something they've really made a great go of the last several years it feels like in terms of what they put out there; it really feels like they've taken the 24 hour cable news thing and run it into a sort of embarrassing Blizterian abyss. But exceptions are nice, so hey.

I was obviously asking a rhetorical question, not a real question.

In a part of the site where asking actual non-rhetorical questions and getting answers to them from the mods is part of the cultural norm and part of our jobs to step up on, rhetorical "here's an unflattering characterization of their imagined response" type stuff is in fact both disruptive and kind of frustrating to have to deal with. It'd be helpful if you could just state your feelings as your feelings rather than dressing them up as our pretend feelings to be cute.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:28 AM on March 19, 2012 [6 favorites]


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE start doing this to some of the single link New York Times pieces that turn out to be shit 75% of the time!!!
posted by oneswellfoop at 7:30 AM on March 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE start doing this to some of the single link New York Times pieces that turn out to be shit 75% of the time!!!

Or even when it's good. We don't need a link to the cover story of the NYT Sunday Magazine. It's good stuff every week.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:48 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks for reposting it zarq, the article was good and deserved a second chance at being read.
posted by arcticseal at 7:49 AM on March 19, 2012


arcticseal: "Thanks for reposting it zarq, the article was good and deserved a second chance at being read."

LOL

Thanks, but that was gman. :D

Even though we've never been seen in the same room twice, gman is not my sockpuppet. I swear.

I'm his sockpuppet!

posted by zarq at 8:00 AM on March 19, 2012


I'm his sockpuppet!

That suddenly explains a lot, thanks!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:03 AM on March 19, 2012


When I first saw this, I thought it was going to be a complaint about the Derrick Rose question.
posted by Melismata at 8:04 AM on March 19, 2012


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE start doing this to some of the single link New York Times pieces that turn out to be shit 75% of the time!!!

Twas a time back in Ye Olden Days Of MetaFilter when single-link NYT stories were routinely deleted, as well as a few other "obvious" news sites like Salon. Now the damn kids are all over my lawn all the time.
posted by briank at 8:07 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Crap, I meant to put gman! Multiple windows syndrome, also thanks to dragoon for posting the orignal link.
posted by arcticseal at 8:12 AM on March 19, 2012


FWIW, I've hardly ever in my life visited the CNN website, and I've seldom ever looked at Google News.

If the criterion is going to be "anyone who cares will already have seen this", probably that should mean it's been taken up by most every major news service internationally, and in a pretty prominent way.

Btw, while I'm on the topic, let me also mention that something could be the hottest thing on YouTube or Reddit or whatever, and I wouldn't know. Not all of us live on those sites, and for the likes of me it is actually an important benefit of Mefi that it flags up the very best from those places for us.
posted by philipy at 8:35 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Twas a time back in Ye Olden Days Of MetaFilter when single-link NYT stories were routinely deleted

Yeah this is one of those really odd things to me as an old-timer. None of the mods particularly like newsy posts [there are many better places to get breaking information, there are places to discuss this with people who are more knowledgeable, there are sites that are made for news and discussion of same, newsy thread often devolve into stupid shouting matches here, lots of heat but also also sometimes lots of light, etc] but people here really like to talk about he news of the day with other people here.

So, most of the time there is a NewsFilter-type post (which I define as "this is basically a single reasonably current news story from one of the usual suspect news outlets or newsy blogs"), there are strong feelings on both sides: people who really dislike them and people who really like them. So, we try to walk a line down the middle as best we can but it is a little challenging because it's one of those situations where you can't just have a vote and so we try to adhere to the guidelines as we understand and interpret them and do our best. And ultimately, for the site, we also feel like if there are errors in our judgment, odd/bizarre community response, or just a post that hits a bad note, someone (the OP or someone else) can repost the same content to hopefully better results. Since this isn't a news site, there's no real value to being first with something except in people's own personal assessments. The site does pretty good in not being a cult of personality in that way, I think.

So, the thread is there, people can discuss it, we've talked a little about how we make our decisions and we muddle forward as per usual. We appreciate people's patience.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:36 AM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


cortex: "A little clearer framing of what's at the other end of the link, with or without any extra links, would I think have helped with making it clearer that this was some substantial reportage.

If I had been making the post, I would have given it more depth by pointing out that the article is part of CNN's Freedom Project series, which shines a light on human trafficking and slavery and discusses solutions to the problem. The entire series has an ongoing blog (which includes an entry on the Mauritania article where readers can interact.) The Freedom Project's pages aggregate the network's stories on those topics, with special pages on traffickers, their victims and outsiders whose efforts are making a difference. They also have a nice 'How to Help' section.

But I don't necessarily know if that would avert the grouchy "IT SUCKS AND I DON'T LIKE IT" crowd from complaining that you'd linked to "OMG CNN" in-thread or here in MeTa.
posted by zarq at 8:40 AM on March 19, 2012 [7 favorites]


There! I knew zarq had really made the FPP in alternate-MeFi!
posted by arcticseal at 8:44 AM on March 19, 2012


I have been surprised that there has been no attempted thread on the Afghanistan murder rampage, despite the lack of much solid information beyond the fact that it occurred. I've been especially surprised at not being able to find any deleted threads about the same, though I may have missed those. That's pretty remarkable restraint on the part of the community.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:46 AM on March 19, 2012


there are many better places... sites that are made for news and discussion of same, newsy thread often devolve into stupid shouting matches here

Maybe this should be an AskMe, but what are those better places? I would be glad to find someplace that has thoughtful and friendly discussion of global current affairs. And I agree, Mefi is really not that place.
posted by philipy at 8:49 AM on March 19, 2012


The subject matter of the deleteted post is of interest however the presentation was poor.
Now its back and presented in a less outrage filter way. So i guess we can now play the alphabet game or post about our pets or something.
posted by adamvasco at 8:53 AM on March 19, 2012


arcticseal: "There! I knew zarq had really made the FPP in alternate-MeFi!"

LOL :D
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on March 19, 2012


Alternate-Mefi, where zarq just makes more quality posts, is much better than BIZARRO-Mefi, where zarq makes nothing but YTMND posts.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:27 AM on March 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


It'd be helpful if you could just state your feelings as your feelings rather than dressing them up as our pretend feelings to be cute.

Now I'm imagining John Cohen dressing up his feelings to be cute and inviting them to a tea party with his other pretend feelings. All in a rhetorical manner, of course.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:02 AM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


SpiffyRob: "Alternate-Mefi, where zarq just makes more quality posts, is much better than BIZARRO-Mefi, where zarq makes nothing but YTMND posts."

*...trashes idea for a comprehensive YTMND roundup....*
posted by zarq at 10:11 AM on March 19, 2012


*...trashes idea for a comprehensive YTMND roundup....*

DYTMNDA
posted by Horace Rumpole at 10:32 AM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


*locks up the pitchforks and torches*

I really enjoyed (if one can saying one can enjoy reading about slavery) the article. I had no idea slavery still existed in such a big way (I know it still exists in pockets here and there). Thanks for being flexible and allowing the link to be reposted, taz.
posted by deborah at 10:43 AM on March 19, 2012


MeTa.
posted by zarq at 11:13 AM on March 19, 2012


That's pretty remarkable restraint on the part of the community.

Or maybe we as a community already know how that post would go.

Mefite #1: We should get out of Afghanistan NAO!!!oneelven!!111

Mefite #2: No we can't because of teh freedom and Obama's still got his 11 dimensional chess game going with the repubs and if he pulls out nao he might lose the election and then the country would collapse because Mitt Romney is evil.

Mefite #3: Oh god now it's personal you guys are so depressing, this is why I avoid political threads.

Mefite #4: It's all Obama's fault he's worse than hitler.

Cortex: Knock it off you blithering idiots!!! Oh god please someone put me out of my misery...ahhhhhhh

Mefite #2: Obama is a god among men and can do no wrong.

Mefite #5: Wait weren't we talking about children being murdered?

Mefite #2: Obama winning reelection is moar important than dead children.

Mefite #4: No Obama being worse than hitler is moar important than dead children.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 2:21 PM on March 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Parts of Mefite #1 and #4 played by yours truly
Part of Mefite #2 played by Ironmouth
Part of Mefite #3 played by hippybear
Part of Mefite #5 played by zarq

and

Cortex as himself
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 2:25 PM on March 19, 2012


The role of Afghanistan is being played by Toronto, Hitler by Mel Brooks, and Obama by Zach Galifianakis
posted by found missing at 3:10 PM on March 19, 2012


Taz's profile says that she's an expatriate American; perhaps CNN seems like a default news source to her, the sort of thing that everybody is aware of. I don't think this is true of most people outside the USA: CNN isn't actually something I'd ever look at except for links like these.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:28 PM on March 19, 2012


let me also mention that something could be the hottest thing on YouTube or Reddit or whatever, and I wouldn't know. Not all of us live on those sites, and for the likes of me it is actually an important benefit of Mefi that it flags up the very best from those places for us.

I've thought about more-often skimming the cream from other sites and crafting FPPs around them, but I thought it would be pretty annoying and repetitive to users who (like me) maintain accounts across several aggregators.

Thanks for letting me know there it someone who would appreciate it.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 3:28 PM on March 19, 2012


(unlike the mommy-filter-800-word-book-shill-nyt post just above it)

^Uh, I wasn't taken with that article, but "mommy-filter"? What exactly is your problem with mommies who participate in the 'Filter? (I am not a mommy. But my mother was. So was yours, I'll wager.)
posted by gingerest at 4:48 PM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


mothers I'd like to filter
posted by found missing at 4:50 PM on March 19, 2012


Parts of Mefite #1 and #4 played by yours truly ...

Do you like to use finger puppets or minifigs when you perform this?
posted by octobersurprise at 5:30 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: we muddle forward as per usual.
posted by scalefree at 5:49 PM on March 19, 2012


Do you like to use finger puppets or minifigs when you perform this?

Usually I just talk out of my butt Ace Ventura style.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:58 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Frankly, the same metric should then apply for any SLYT post. Because YouTube videos are VERY EASILY found by people on their own.
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:03 PM on March 19, 2012


So taz had basically told the OP to post tomorrow but we have a different version of it today which I think works out okay instead.

Won't anybody think of the favourites?
posted by Chuckles at 6:23 PM on March 19, 2012


Part of Mefite #3 played by hippybear

I'd like to thank the Academy and everyone who voted for me. I knew it was a small part when I took it, but I knew I could really put some soul into it. I'm thrilled to be recognized for this award, and promise not to use it as a doorstop in my bathroom.
posted by hippybear at 7:10 PM on March 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


Do you like to use finger puppets or minifigs when you perform this? -- They're ACTION FIGURES! And Jar Jar Binks is a fine stand-in for Cortex.
posted by crunchland at 7:16 PM on March 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Told you he shouldn't have cut his hair.
posted by arcticseal at 8:58 PM on March 19, 2012


Yeah, we need an update on The Hair™.
posted by deborah at 12:14 AM on March 20, 2012


Jar Jar Binks is a fine stand-in for Cortex.

Actually for cortex I prefer to use buddy Christ. Talking butts for everyone else though...sorry.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 5:49 AM on March 20, 2012


Look, if you're going to ask a question, then ask a question and then let the moderators answer it.

Yes, Brandon, why don't you just let the moderators answer it?

(Hint - you're not one.)
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:36 AM on March 21, 2012


You are being ridiculous, which is fine and normal, but you're taking it to a strange new height. Get some rest.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:34 AM on March 21, 2012


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