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April 27, 2012 11:41 PM   Subscribe

I was repeatedly censored in a thread while discussing freedom of speech. When I posted again, connecting my censorship directly to the topic, I was censored again. I would like an explanation.

A very curious thing happened in the thread "Hanging Judged." The topic was a sophomoric undergrad art project on a college campus, showing flags streaked with bloody red crosses and several nooses. The project was obviously trolling, it was a juvenile attempt to provoke people at best, egregiously naive about the historical and societal implications of the noose symbol at worst.

Alongside the usual sorts of discussion of social implications, and the cluelessness of the "artist," comments clearly indicated that this ridiculous provocation was too stupid to take so seriously. The first of those comments:

No noose is good noose.
posted by jonmc at 8:11 PM on April 27 [7 favorites +] [!]


My own response was even more terse, invoking a stupid internet meme to comment on how the project was itself now a stupid internet troll:

trollface.jpg

Problem?


This mode of commenting is becoming fairly common on text-based internet discussion boards. Further discussion appeared in this same mode, invoking that old meme with Freddy Mercury raising his fist:

slow noose day

YYYEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
posted by GuyZero at 9:06 PM on April 27 [4 favorites +] [!]


From all the favorites, it is apparent that people enjoy this mode of communication. A discussion can be serious and not take itself too seriously. So I continued on with another response in that mode, starting with a quotation from 23skidoo that was already being discussed, but I quoted it anyway for specific context.

>it's not like every noose HAS to make people think of lynching.

close_enough.jpg


Both of my comments were removed from the thread, while other remarks such as GuyZero's were untouched. It seemed that the mod who censored my remarks was acting capriciously, illogically. I could not imagine why any mod would do such a thing, particularly since the discussion involved topics of whether artists should be allowed to use provocative imagery, and whether it pushed the limits of free speech. Perhaps the mod merely misunderstood the message. This was also a topic of the thread:

If you leave your communication open to multiple, valid interpretations, don't be surprised when people interpret it in one of those ways.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:58 PM on April 27 [1 favorite +] [!]

So I made another comment to tie this act of censorship directly to the subject under discussion. I considered making the post in MetaTalk but this seemed specifically related. But I knew the mod was acting strangely, so I kept a copy of what I posted.

>The artist's free speech should be protected.

Yes, even sophomore art exhibits that are poorly thought out are protected speech. But nobody guaranteed you a life free of annoying, even sophomoric speech.

To wit:

When 23skidoo says "it's not like every noose HAS to make people think of lynching." and I respond with "close_enough.jpg", no less authority than the New York Times has declared these sort of shorthand notations for visual images as a new frontier of expressive language. It is unworthy of MeFi moderators to censor and remove such remarks, particularly in a thread discussing the limits of freedom of speech.

Using meme/emoticon/verbal imagery like this can work on multiple levels. Other comments in this thread used the same mode to express that we are not taking this outrage too seriously, after all, the art project is a sophomoric attempt at trolling for outrage and deserves a response in the same sophomoric mode. Yet at the same time, when 23skidoo says that not all nooses evoke lynching, I say it's close enough to that symbol that of course it will be recognized as such.

So sometimes I just don't know what the hell is going through MeFi mod's minds when they pull relatively innocuous remarks like "close_enough.jpg". Are they protecting the sensitive, paper thin skin of mefites? Or perhaps a stalwart defender of old school online linguistic modes against the depredations of meme based communication?

Face it, kids these days communicate in terse symbols. The noose, the white flag with a red cross, these are almost minimalist. They are clearly conveyed without any reduction in impact even in the crude 400x250 pixel jpeg in the FPP link. I responded by invoking similar imagery, with a method that is now becoming commonplace online, when people want to evoke the sentiment of a well-known internet icon without bothering to link to the photo. When I say "close_enough.jpg" almost anyone who has been on the internet recently knows exactly what I mean.

Except apparently MeFi mods.


This comment was also removed. Discussion continued, with other people making comments "The artist's free speech should be protected." I responded:

MY freedom of speech should be protected. I'm taking this to MetaTalk.

This comment was also removed. It seemed relevant to the discussion that part of it was censored. Removing that message was unreasonable.

So perhaps the unknown moderator who persistently removed my comments can explain their actions to me. It is unseemly for MetaFilter moderators to remove comments from a discussion about the limits of freedom of speech, particularly when the targets are the most innocuous comments in the entire thread, and other similar comments were not censored.
posted by charlie don't surf to Etiquette/Policy at 11:41 PM (505 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Stephen_Colbert_Popcorn.gif
posted by Pinback at 11:51 PM on April 27, 2012 [40 favorites]


You don't have freedom of speech on mefi, just like you don't have it in any other privately owned space, cyber or not. If matt and mods want to delete your comment for spelling color "colour" they can do that and it's not a violation of your 1st amendment rights.
posted by rtha at 11:55 PM on April 27, 2012 [33 favorites]


Why is this happening in a metatalk post and not over email with the moderators?
posted by Kwine at 11:58 PM on April 27, 2012 [17 favorites]


FYI this isn't Reddit.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 12:00 AM on April 28, 2012 [69 favorites]


Good fucking grief. There's a bloody contact option available for you to contact the mods and request clarification. Use it.

Here's another suggestion: GYOsite. Run it the way you like, and leave the rest of us blissfully unaware of your tantrums.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 12:02 AM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Rehashing reddit memes is basically noise-machine behavior. It's not a guaranteed delete but it's also not a particularly winning strategy on metafilter. Doing it twice doesn't improve your odds; responding to that with an in-thread screed complaining about moderation is pretty much a guaranteed delete; if you wanted to talk about moderation the thing to do was to come over here, or go to the contact form, immediately.

You seem to have a misunderstanding of the difference between Metafilter and the federal government. All of the mods on this site have a pretty healthy and nuanced attitude toward the first amendment as protection against government intrusion on the fundamental right to expression, but the gulf between that and being granted carte blanche to be tersely obnoxious on Metafilter is a pretty fucking vast indeed.

I'm sorry if you were frustrated at having your insubstantial meme comments deleted, but this is a thing to get over, not a thing to make a big goddam deal about.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:05 AM on April 28, 2012 [171 favorites]


So perhaps the unknown moderator who persistently removed my comments can explain their actions to me.

If that were actually what you were angling for, you could contact the mod team with the contact link, found at the bottom of every page.

Your earlier comments added nothing to the discussion; they were the kind of comment that exists only to solicit upvotes which don't exist in this community. Your longer comment, complaining about the moderation of the earlier comments, belonged in a message to the mods, or, if you insist it Have Its Day, should have been posted here in metatalk in the first place. Posting it as a further derail in the blue, where it doesn't belong, and will inevitably get flagged and deleted, then as part of a grander grievance to air here – that just comes off as stuntish.

"But these other lame comments didn't get deleted" isn't a strong defense of yours, and despite the way we're throwing around the comically loaded term "censorship", we're talking about how the site has pretty much always been moderated and I feel like you've been around long enough to recognize that. You're a valuable contributor here, don't go down swinging defending "trollface.gif".
posted by churl at 12:05 AM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Or, what Cortex said.
posted by churl at 12:07 AM on April 28, 2012


Hello. Your comments that were just "trollface.jpg" and "close_enough.jpg" were flagged as noise and removed by restless_nomad. I removed your comment complaining about moderation because that belongs either here or in a message to us via the contact form.

We don't care if you want to evoke those images, but if you're just leaving them as cryptic comments in some sort of one-sided game that other people in the conversation are supposed to try to decipher, people are going to flag them and we'll delete them. "trollface.jpg" as the sole content of your observation? Who is the troll? The artist? The university? The OP? The person who left the comment just before yours?

Likewise, close_enough.jpg. You aren't discussing, you're playing around. Not every comment has to be serious, obviously, but, as we say around here "use your words" if you want to express your thoughts or opinions.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:07 AM on April 28, 2012 [15 favorites]


This is MetaTalk and not Metamail because I believe that participants in a thread about issues of free speech should be aware that the discussion was censored. FYI I did get a private message from the moderator but apparently that person does not stand behind their actions publicly.

Yes, this is a privately owned forum and they make their own rules, it's not censorship when it's done by private individuals, it just smells like censorship. I am merely asking what those sooper sekrit rules are, and why they were applied inconsistently within a single thread.

FYI I did start my own site. I started it because I was incensed that I was censored on a forum while defending Andres Seranno's "Piss Christ" photo against censorship. The reason given was that I used offensive speech by calling people Philistines. Apparently they thought this was an obscenity or a racial epithet or something, they didn't quite have a rational explanation.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:10 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It doesn't smell like censorship. It smells like flagged shit getting deleted, and shit that breaks the known rules getting deleted. If you think this is what censorship smells like then I suggest you don't know what the smell really is.
posted by rtha at 12:14 AM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


apparently that person does not stand behind their actions publicly

This is silly. No single moderator is on 24/7. And believe me, we have absolutely no interest in censoring your thoughts or observations... but if you post pure noise in a thread, with no explanation, as some sort of artistic statement that others are supposed to guess, that's something that gets flagged, then gets our attention, and gets deleted.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:15 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Comments are crossing here while people are writing them.

We don't care if you want to evoke those images, but if you're just leaving them as cryptic comments in some sort of one-sided game that other people in the conversation are supposed to try to decipher, people are going to flag them and we'll delete them. "trollface.jpg" as the sole content of your observation? Who is the troll? The artist? The university? The OP? The person who left the comment just before yours?

Did you not read the thread? This is exactly the topic of the entire thread. Is the artist trolling, or is it a common cliche that can be interpreted multiple ways?

The message I received from a mod isn't quite what you told me, but I'm not going to disclose private communications without permission. But I will say what I wrote back, "Obviously you think I am some sort of idiot that would post a meme without an actual deeper purpose for doing so."
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:21 AM on April 28, 2012


Perhaps this will help you see how your complaint reads to others....
posted by Lynsey at 12:22 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Lynsey, I am going to interpret that remark in the belief you have sufficient self-analytical powers to understand the irony of posting that comic to tell me I was wrong.

But I could be wrong.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:29 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


You may be expecting us and everyone else participating in or reading the thread to know a lot more about you than we actually do. It's much safer to assume that we really don't know if you are that kind of idiot or not, and go ahead and offer your observations in a way that doesn't make us guess.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:32 AM on April 28, 2012 [55 favorites]


10 favorites can be very visible while 50 flags are not.

There is also a difference between courageous provocation and making fart noises. Rage Face references have fully migrated out of the first category into the second, if you haven't noticed.

The removal of the img tag is a strong symbol of the kind of discussion that is generall accepted as NOT good for MetaFilter. So linkless references to images (which it seems your comments are, unless you didn't bother to full re-create them here) become both a poor alternative for something we already don't do AND a reference that's too Meta for MetaFilter.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:33 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


You received feedback from the mods via email and now here. You don't have to like the explanation, but you now have one. I'm not comfortable with pulling other users into the MeTa as examples without letting them know they are being referenced here.
posted by arcticseal at 12:35 AM on April 28, 2012


Also a 'Treaty of Westphalia'-length MeTa about deletion of one and/or two word comments? That's enough self-contradiction to earn a job as a political speechwriter.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:38 AM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


ಠ_ಠ

charlie don't surf: "When 23skidoo says "it's not like every noose HAS to make people think of lynching." and I respond with "close_enough.jpg", no less authority than the New York Times has declared these sort of shorthand notations for visual images as a new frontier of expressive language"

┌─┐
┴─┴
ಠ_ರೃ
posted by Rhaomi at 12:49 AM on April 28, 2012 [40 favorites]


This is a form of concept art.... isn't it.
posted by Deoridhe at 12:50 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Lynsey, I am going to interpret that remark in the belief you have sufficient self-analytical powers to understand the irony of posting that comic to tell me I was wrong."

I know, right?! God forbid somebody post a meme without an actual deeper purpose for doing so!

I'm the idiot that posts memes for fun. Here's one of my favorites: Linguist Llama!

Or maybe I'm not an idiot and this is all part of my life's mission in spreading the glottal of linguistics.

posted by iamkimiam at 12:52 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


taz: You may be expecting us and everyone else participating in or reading the thread to know a lot more about you than we actually do. It's much safer to assume that we really don't know if you are that kind of idiot or not, and go ahead and offer your observations in a way that doesn't make us guess.

facepalm.jpg

That is exactly the topic of the discussion in the thread. Nobody knows the artist, all they see is what he did, which was enough to get people wondering if he's an idiot or not. Perhaps that was the message.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:08 AM on April 28, 2012


You don't have freedom of speech on mefi, just like you don't have it in any other privately owned space, cyber or not. If matt and mods want to delete your comment for spelling color "colour" they can do that and it's not a violation of your 1st amendment rights.

I don't have first amendment rights, I have charter rights. I do have freedom of speech on the internet, in the sense that mathowie can delete my comments but the Canadian government cannot. No one is going to delete my comment for spelling colour correctly.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 1:19 AM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Wow that is deep, man.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:20 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


When I say "close_enough.jpg" almost anyone who has been on the internet recently knows exactly what I mean.

The Internet you've constructed in your mind is actually nothing like the Internet that thousands of other users here experience, Charlie. As just one example, I have absolutely no clue what you are trying to tell me when you post comments like that. If you have something to say, then by all means, say it. But if your goal is to explain something, or somehow enlighten others, the method which you so vociferously defend here seems a tad sub-optimal.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 1:32 AM on April 28, 2012 [74 favorites]


...almost anyone who has been on the internet recently knows exactly what I mean.

No they don't. Quite a lot of internet users spend their time on news sites, or Ravelry, or eBay, or one of the million sites that aren't gif-based. Don't generalise from your own experience to the whole of MeFi's userbase. And while serious subjects don't have to be discussed seriously, they do need more than just gifs to make sure they don't turn into a shitfest.
posted by harriet vane at 1:43 AM on April 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


That is exactly the topic of the discussion in the thread.

No, it's totally not. The topic of the discussion in the thread is "Nooses, and what they mean". Just because you can draw parallels between an artist whose imagery may or may not be understood and someone who posts image macros doesn't mean that the thread is about "Images, and what they mean". It's still about nooses, so trying to make it about anything else is a derail.
posted by 23skidoo at 2:01 AM on April 28, 2012


Thanks for this thread, charlie don't surf. You've reminded me why I joined MetaFilter and not Reddit.
posted by robcorr at 2:11 AM on April 28, 2012 [21 favorites]


crybaby.jpg
posted by robcorr at 2:11 AM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm used to being silenced all my life.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 2:11 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


it was a juvenile attempt to provoke people at best


First, given that, in your own words, it was a juvenile at best, does this need to get into censorship territory? Something as brazenly idiotic (or, possibly as you said, clueless), does the creator of the stunt really get to cry censorship? If they do, couldn't we just tell them to try it again after they've taken the reading of the room, so to speak, and actually tried to find out just why people think they're idiots? It's not even close to a new stunt, and if they're just out to cause outrage, shouldn't they feel like idiots for failing to even find a new way to cause outrage? Moreover, shouldn't they be made to feel like the morons they are?

My own response was even more terse, invoking a stupid internet meme

I don't know, I've always thought it was a good idea to try to raise the level of discourse, rather than jumping to internet short hand. You comment a lot. Some of your comments are pretty fantastic. Why not use your words, instead of stunt commenting/meta posting?

becoming fairly common on text-based internet discussion boards

Which, by the way, are largely not MetaFilter, and thank god for that. Comments that work here don't work elsewhere, and that's fine. Comments that work elsewhere don't work here, and that's not a bad thing either. Yes, some people here are using gif-speak, and it'll continue to spread, and someday, people will have no problem with your comment, because the beautiful witiness of it will encapsulate the meaning you intend so cromulently, we might as well shut down the internet. Until that frabjous day, maybe just say what you mean, as if you were talking to a room of adults that communicate in full sentences.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:12 AM on April 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


This mode of commenting is becoming fairly common on text-based internet discussion boards.

Why don't you go back to reddit? I'd hate to think that you're missing out on any of your daily lulz at the expense of children with severe birth defects.

Think of the fun you could be having defending borderline child pornography, surely that must be more rewarding than this?

pedobear.jpg
posted by atrazine at 2:43 AM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Good riddance to bad rubbish, sounds like. If the best way you can express your sentiment is a phrase that ends in "'.jpg" (or similar) it's almost certainly not a sentiment that warrants expressing. At the very least, express it in actual language. This isn't Reddit.
posted by Dysk at 2:47 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Remember : Memey shorthands don't Wendell on mefi.

*headdesk*

HAMBURGER
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 3:00 AM on April 28, 2012 [14 favorites]


"Wow that is deep, man.
posted by Meatbomb at 4:20 AM"

Hey, I see what you did there.

FWIW -- "Dave's not here!"
posted by ericb at 3:59 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


censoredallmylife.jpg
posted by empath at 4:04 AM on April 28, 2012


there'salotoflayerstoyourargumentbutyou'restillwrong.psd
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:19 AM on April 28, 2012 [28 favorites]


freedom.txt

Am I doing it right?
posted by Splunge at 4:24 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


goatse.jpg
posted by flabdablet at 4:31 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


"freedom.txt

Am I doing it right?"

didyoupreflightthefile.ppp
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:33 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


youknowiliketothinkofmyselfasreasonably​intouchwithinternetculture​foramaninhis40sbutragecomicsmemes​areoneofthosethingsthatiabsolutely​donotgetatallandthewaytheyre​drawnkindofmakesmefeelweirdand​uncomfortableeverytimeiseeone.docx
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:47 AM on April 28, 2012 [18 favorites]


Uh, dude, I was just making a pun about not like nooses is all.
posted by jonmc at 4:54 AM on April 28, 2012


Dammit, Rumpole.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:56 AM on April 28, 2012


charlie don't surf, this is a private forum. It is consistent with free speech principles to have certain rules or guidelines about content and mode of expression in a private, nongovernmental forum (and I mean "free speech" in general, not just the US First Amendment). For example, you would probably be kicked off a website geared towards expectant mothers if you posted that it is evil to have children because the world is overpopulated. Metafilter, although fairly open and lenient, also has rules on content and mode of expression. Using simplistic memes popularized by Reddit is frowned upon (even though the New York Times mentioned them!), especially when they contribute almost nothing to the thread. And anyway, your "speech" was not "censored" because of its content, it was removed from the thread because we don't like stupid Reddit memes polluting our discussion. You were free to make whatever points you think you were making by writing it out with words like an educated adult.
posted by Falconetti at 5:02 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


charlie don't surf but we think he should.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:07 AM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Out of interest, why didn't we all respond to these deletions with a single period?
posted by sodium lights the horizon at 5:11 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


jaypg
posted by tzikeh at 5:21 AM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


.
posted by Sailormom at 5:26 AM on April 28, 2012


When I say "close_enough.jpg" almost anyone who has been on the internet recently knows exactly what I mean.

I have no idea what "close_enough.jpg" or "trollface.jpg" are supposed to mean. Can someone clue me in?

But I guess I now have a good excuse to be spending even more time on the internet, lest I'll be missing some important memes.
posted by sour cream at 5:26 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's time for a moratorium on memes. Let the memetorium begin, because it's not all about meme!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:41 AM on April 28, 2012


I hate this thread.
posted by Jofus at 5:54 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


hate_this_thread.jpg

and then I was all like

welcome_to_reddit.gif
posted by Meatbomb at 5:57 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah pretty sweet piling-on guys, expert use of torches.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:00 AM on April 28, 2012 [15 favorites]


Cortex is a musician.

Jessamyn is a public librarian.

People in both of these professions value free speech that there are a decades of history on censorship in both areas.

I don't know what taz, restless_nomad, or vacapinta do in their away-from-Metafilter-lives, I'm sure they wouldn't have been chosen as mods if they had issues with free speech because that is not the way Metafilter rolls.

But this is, as others have pointed out, is not an issue of free speech. Metafilter likes comments that add to the discourse that is occurring, and I have certainly posted my share of provocative posts that have upset people and some of which I'm sure were flagged. But I used words and explained my viewpoint and where I was coming from with those comments. They probably weren't deleted because even though they were provocative with regard to the topic at hand, they still added value to the discussion. And I have had comments deleted, too. I shrugged it off and moved on.

A .jpeg comment like that without context doesn't add value to the discussion. In fact, I think there's an interesting post that could come from the discussion of using .gifs and .jpegs in text forms as accepted internet speak. But with regards to that thread, a stand alone comment like that is nothing but noise.
posted by zizzle at 6:01 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Why don't you go back to reddit? I'd hate to think that you're missing out on any of your daily lulz at the expense of children with severe birth defects.

Please don't do this. It's lazy generalization, and knocking another site does not make MetaFilter any better.
posted by Ritchie at 6:02 AM on April 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


I can't believe I'm dignifying this but: Rage faces and their sources.

Specifically, trollface. Close enough isn't there but he's a modification of #31.
posted by Skorgu at 6:03 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was repeatedly censored in a thread while discussing freedom of speech. When I posted again, connecting my censorship directly to the topic, I was censored again. I would like an explanation.

forever_alone.jpg
posted by PeterMcDermott at 6:09 AM on April 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Even though this isn't as big a deal as Charlie_Dont_Surf is making it out to be, this was a dumb set of deletions. I do think it's totally obvious what he was communicating with those fake gifs, but even if it wasn't to all, still in no way can they be construed as offensive, or derailing. So that leaves "noise" which perhaps is valid, but should be used sparingly as a deletion reason in my opinion. If backing up a common thesis in a thread in a non-standard way is noise then many many comments would be taken down and that would be silly.

People flagged this because they didn't get it or they didn't like the phrasing as a redditism. Neither of those is a reason to delete something from metafilter.

"A .jpeg comment like that without context doesn't add value to the discussion."

Neither is that a reason to delete something from metafilter. When I come into a thread and say "HEY great link I love it thanks" I'm not adding any value either, I'm backing something up. That should be OK. Every comment doesn't have to add value, as long as its not derailing, offensive, or legit noise: meaning something like "FUCK THIS GUY HE SUCKS". CDSs comments were none of those.

This was a bad deletion.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:10 AM on April 28, 2012 [23 favorites]


Oh and obviously this isn't a free speech issue, lol. OP is muddying the waters hard by Thomas Paine-ing all over the place. It's an issue of enforcing guidelines too rigidly and thereby getting IN THE WAY of discussion instead of helping to facilitate it. The prime directive of modding should: First do no harm. This was like that one episode when Kirk went down to an alien planet and accidentally toppled their government by making out with the queen or that other episode or all the episodes.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 6:14 AM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Deleting literally one- or two-word comments is hardly getting in the way of discussion. If you post a comment consisting of just "lol" you'll likely get that deleted too. If you honestly can't see the difference between "Hey, that was a fantastic link, really enjoyed [video/article/whatever]" and "lol" or "trollface.jpg" (the latter effectively being an - if ironic - statement that you're engaging in trolling, which I believe is not something generally considered acceptable on Metafilter) then I really don't know what to say to you. The chasm betwixt them is so self-evidently wide.
posted by Dysk at 6:20 AM on April 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Poop on my face while reading off the scientific names of exotic flowers.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:24 AM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Deletion is a thing that, in my anecdotal experience, just happens a lot more than it used to. Consequently I post here a lot less than I used to. This has kinda turned out okay for me. It's not the worst thing that could happen.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:30 AM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Freedom of speech means the government cannot limit your speech in certain situations. You are in a private forum owned by Metafilter LLC. They may delete anything you post. You have no freedom of speech here.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:34 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Freedom of speech means the government cannot limit your speech in certain situations. You are in a private forum owned by Metafilter LLC. They may delete anything you post. You have no freedom of speech here.

"MetaFilter: You Have No Freedom of Speech Here" lacks a certain ring, I don't know.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 6:43 AM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


When I say "close_enough.jpg" almost anyone who has been on the internet recently knows exactly what I mean.

Um, no, not really. Unless I am an outlier or just crawled out from under a rock. I assumed you linked some controversial picture that was then deleted. I've never heard of "whatever.jpg" as a new shorthand for anything.

Also, free speech? I have been around long enough to know that Jessamyn et al will probably tell you that you have the rest of the internet to rant on at will. Go to it.jpg. (They would never say that part, that's my immature joke).
posted by bquarters at 6:50 AM on April 28, 2012


Because what Metafilter needs is to be more like reddit.
posted by crunchland at 6:50 AM on April 28, 2012


Nobody knows the artist, all they see is what he did, which was enough to get people wondering if he's an idiot or not. Perhaps that was the message.

Metafilter threads are not a good place for performance art. There's very seldom enough context for people to figure out whatever deeper meaning you're trying to convey, and in the meantime you look like you're deliberately not adding anything meaningful to the conversation.

I actually let the first one go for a while, because it was random noise but didn't seem to be an huge problem. When you did it again, though, and that got flags, it was clear that a) you were doing something deliberately, b) I couldn't tell whether it was in good faith or not, and c) neither could other people. That's the problem with context-free stunt comments - they're usually indistinguishable from trolling.

The whole "free speech" thing... actually, Mefi's own jscalzi said it better than I could (although to be clear his moderation policies are different from ours, even though the First Amendment issue is exactly the same in regards to both sites - i.e., it doesn't apply in the slightest.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:55 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah, complaining about first amendment violations for having internets comments deleted is like complaining about voter disenfranchisement when your godaddy poll about the best Jonas Brother didn't end up the way you'd hoped.
posted by elizardbits at 6:56 AM on April 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


ugh, POLLdaddy obvsly
posted by elizardbits at 6:57 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


So that leaves "noise" which perhaps is valid, but should be used sparingly as a deletion reason in my opinion.

I'd much rather the mods left the offensive and derailing stuff in place, and deleted the noise.

Offensive -- well, I post a lot of stuff people might consider offensive, so I'm not gonna want that to go, am I? My comment offends your delicate sensibilities? Fuck you!

Derails -- that just means the conversation has taken a turn that might not have been indicated by the subject of the post. But provided people are happy to talk about that, that seems fine to me as well.

But noise? Noise is just noise. It has no redeeming value whatsoever. If you want to delete my offensive derails, just tell me that it's noise and I'll nod my head and support your decision wholeheartedly.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:00 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah, complaining about first amendment violations for having internets comments deleted is like complaining about voter disenfranchisement when your godaddy poll about the best Jonas Brother didn't end up the way you'd hoped.

It is, but at the same time, this site really only serves two functions -- it's a link depository and a forum. The deletion of one's internets comments may not be an affront to one's First Amendment rights (it's not), but it does stand as a good indicator that one's comments are not wanted, in which case, why make them? Stop using the forum and the remaining functionality of the site can be replaced with a Twitter feed.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 7:12 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is slightly changing the subject, but GuyZero's:

slow noose day

YYYEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH


is a David Caruso CSI: Miami reference: YEEAAAAHH, not Freddie Mercury, given the bad pun before the exclamation.

But if you're going to base your whole argument on how accepted and widespread just referencing the images, and not actually showing them, it doesn't help when you misidentify one because the image isn't there.
posted by skynxnex at 7:17 AM on April 28, 2012 [21 favorites]


youknowiliketothinkofmyselfasreasonablyintouchwithinternetcultureforamaninhis40s...

Can you turn that into an acronym? That would be so much more metafilter.

As would, you know, not using these .gif references as enigmatic shortcuts.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:35 AM on April 28, 2012


legit noise

Hi, I flagged your '.jpg' comments that way, because they read as noise to me.

I flagged your 'make the thread about me' comment as a derail. I was tempted to say 'make a MeTa,' because I had an inkling this would end up here. But I thought it would sound rude and dismissive.

Since you were so kind as to quote me above, I'll elaborate on why your communication was interpreted by me that way.

I spend a lot of time on other sites. I am very familiar with 'internet shorthand.'

When you posted:
'trollface.jpg

Problem?'

I interpreted this comment as implying the artist was 'trolling,' that is, 'engaging in a deliberate provocation via insincere expression of beliefs or statements.' It was unclear if you thought this was a good or bad thing, and whether or not you were playing along with the artist, annoyed that the artist had done so, or laughing at the discussion that followed.

When you posted 'close_enough.jpg,' I interpreted it to mean that you thought the display of a noose was 'close enough' to make people think of lynching. Or it was 'close enough' to every noose that would make people think of lynching. Or you were mocking the people involved in the discussion.

Your attempts at communication were terse enough to be almost completely devoid of information. A picture is worth a thousand words, but apparently dead links are worth a MeTa.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:37 AM on April 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


Life is short, art long, opportunity fleeting, experience treacherous, judgment difficult. — Hippocrates (460-400 B.C.)

This is just a website. Calm down. — netbros (1952- )
posted by netbros at 8:02 AM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


When I say "close_enough.jpg" almost anyone who has been on the internet recently knows exactly what I mean.

Nope, no idea. And I spend a ton of time on the internet, let me tell you. Sounds like maybe you assume that everyone spends time on the internet in exactly the same places you do? And when the mods accurately recognize that no, not everyone understands these kind of cryptic comments, that makes you angry?

When 23skidoo says "it's not like every noose HAS to make people think of lynching." and I respond with "close_enough.jpg", no less authority than the New York Times has declared these sort of shorthand notations for visual images as a new frontier of expressive language.

Uh, I clicked that link because of my aforementioned total lack of knowledge of this meme, and it doesn't say anything about vague ambiguous text references to who-knows-what images... it seems to just be talking about the use of emoticons/emoji. Did you add the wrong link, or how is that supposed to explain what you're doing?
posted by EmilyClimbs at 8:13 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


It's all just 1's and 0's
posted by HuronBob at 8:15 AM on April 28, 2012


The deletion of one's internets comments may not be an affront to one's First Amendment rights (it's not), but it does stand as a good indicator that one's comments are not wanted, in which case, why make them?

Which I can dig, but there's a difference there between drawing a conclusion based on having all of one's comments deleted vs. on having a small set of one's comments deleted.

If what you need out of a site is to never have something deleted, the latter seems like a pretty reasonable thing to hang your future participation on, and that's honestly fine for you if it's where your priorities are. There are places that are essentially totally unmoderated, where getting a comment deleted would be a real feat rather than part of the established social contract.

Metafilter is not one of them, obviously; here you are told you're not welcome by getting banned from future participation, which happens very rarely, and otherwise you're still here, still allowed to comment, and still just as much as anyone liable to get something deleted now and then.

Everybody has their own needs and every site is different; this place will serve some folks' better than others, and that's fine.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:15 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I actually let the first one go for a while, because it was random noise but didn't seem to be an huge problem. When you did it again, though, and that got flags, it was clear that a) you were doing something deliberately, b) I couldn't tell whether it was in good faith or not, and c) neither could other people.

That's a reasonable explanation. But absent that explanation, I would have agreed with Potomac Avenue—and Charlie Don't Surf, to some extent—that those were bad deletions. I actually do think zero-value noise comments should be deleted more often; I flag them occasionally. But since they aren't, these two deletions end up looking somewhat arbitrary.
posted by cribcage at 8:18 AM on April 28, 2012


Charlie Don't Surf, I understood perfectly well what you were saying, even though I really hate the trollface meme. Honestly, it was fine. Probably as large a percentage of readers understood that as well as any other comment in the thread. (And of course, the people that didn't get it are going to speak up.)

I think "some people don't get it" is a bad reason to delete a comment that will stunt discussion. The same could be said of a comment that uses some French phrase, local slang, or esoteric medical terminology.
posted by ignignokt at 8:19 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


You know who else the New York Times mentioned?

That's right, all of them. Discuss immediately.
posted by spitbull at 8:25 AM on April 28, 2012


Also,

monalisa.oilpainting
posted by spitbull at 8:29 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Everybody has their own needs and every site is different; this place will serve some folks' better than others, and that's fine.

It really is, and while at first it was alarming to me that the MeFi moderation seemed to be moving on from a "clean-up at aisle 10" mode to something more aggressive, I also realize the user base is much larger now and the nuance kind of has to drop accordingly. It's become a site where I'm a lot less interested in participating actively, but that's actually not so bad because I tend to use the site as a means of procrastination, which I...uh...have this feeling is a sentiment that is not a stranger to many of us. I don't think my reduced participation has had any impact on the site at all, but it's been kind of a good thing for me, so it's kind of a win all around.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:30 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


So apparently a picture is worth a thousand words. Each. At least.
posted by ardgedee at 8:32 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Just a note here charlie don't surf but we mods talked and none of us wrote you a private mefi mail. Someone might have sent you one but it wasn't a mod. That's why you might say their message was different because it was in fact not our message. This might have led to further frustration and confusion.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:43 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


is a David Caruso CSI: Miami reference: YEEAAAAHH, not Freddie Mercury, given the bad pun before the exclamation.


Wait, is he putting on sunglasses over his sunglasses? I think I've only seen the meme in words before.
posted by book 'em dano at 8:52 AM on April 28, 2012


silenced all my life
posted by Justinian at 9:00 AM on April 28, 2012


You were trying to make some kind of point by implication that you weren't stating. That's not really the way this place works, no matter how clever you think you are being.
posted by J. Wilson at 9:15 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is there a mod vacancy or something? It's like a mass audition in here.
posted by de at 9:24 AM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Is there a mod vacancy or something? It's like a mass audition in here.

In our dream world, a lot of people on the site would know enough about how the site operates and how we operate to be able to answer a lot of "Why did this happen?" types of questions nearly as well as we could. As far as this specific thread goes, since there were specific questions directed towards the mods--and I'd like to re-stress none of the mods MeMailed cds privately--we have all chimed in at least somewhat.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:31 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


You have no freedom of speech here.
boatload of toleration though, I still wonder which is better in the scheme of things.
posted by clavdivs at 9:33 AM on April 28, 2012


When people start analyzing my comments to the point where they are criticizing me for inadvertently citing the wrong meme for YYYYEEEEAAAAHH, then obviously this mode of communication is more evocative than it is being given credit for.

MeFi, and in fact, the entire internet, is a place where a lot of conversations are simultaneously taking place on a lot of different levels. For example, conceptual artist Jenny Holzer, who is famous for recontextualizing meme-like aphorisms, might get satirized in twitter format and I might respond by recontextualizing that as a LOLCat. Some people might consider that sort of communication to be mere noise, but if moderators act against them based on flagging by people who don't get it, MeFi will be dumbed down to the least common denominator, and will become reedit.

Obviously I was insulted by the capricious removal of posts that were so similar to other posts in that thread that were not removed. Before making such removals, it might be worth considering that a meme might not be the product of some 12 year old kid, but a statement by an artist who has spent his life dealing with issues like this thread presented. Let me give you an example.

Quite a while ago, there was a huge controversy on my campus. A sculpture at the school of Social Work disappeared. The campus police were alerted, and the sculpture was discovered in a dumpster, cut into pieces. Artists were outraged, and a public forum was assembled at the art school and broadcast live on local TV.

The sculpture was not on the level of master works, but it was the product of a serious artist. It was a blobby, semi-abstract fiberglass sculpture of a man and woman, holding a toddler's arms up as they walked alongside it. The sculpture was so innocuous, it could not possibly be offensive, right?

Well at the hearing, it turned out that the sculpture was destroyed by the head of the department, who came in one night and cut it up and dumped it when nobody was around to see it. He had received a complaint from a student that the sculpture reminded her of her parents. This was kind of the point of the sculpture. We all have parents, that is one of the themes of social work so it was fitting for that department. But no. The student said she walked in the door every day and was confronted with an image that reminded her of her abusive parents and it gave her a PTSD reaction.

The head of the department admitted he never liked that sculpture, and claimed he was merely accommodating a student. Obviously he seized the opportunity to trash it, he was about to retire and was immune to any public criticism. He made a controversial decision just because he could. The sculptor was contacted to see if it could be restored, but he was long retired and no longer capable of restoring it. Even if it could be repaired, it would cost more than the original, and the results would be ugly. But more importantly, the reputation of the school itself was damaged by this ridiculous destruction of an artwork. While many people with traumatic personal backgrounds are drawn to social work, it was outrageous to respond with destruction of the icon of the school's facilities merely because a student had such an idiosyncratic response. Perhaps the sculpture was actually doing the traumatized student a favor, giving her an opportunity to confront her problems in the context of a school of professional social workers. She is not going to be able to demand the removal of any parents walking with a toddler that she might encounter in her life. Get over it. Turn your head and walk the other way. But now it is too late for the school, an icon that had been in the lobby for decades is gone, and instead of it being a symbol of family bonds, it became a symbol of the damaged trust in the leadership of the school. Now the school building lobby is an empty place, the students that came to the school after the removal do not understand that their lives are a tiny bit impoverished by its absence, and that the school was diminished by that act.

While the MeFi mods interventionist policy of removing worthless posts is something I use myself when moderating other forums, this was not a good application of that policy. I don't expect the mods to consider in detail the implications of every flagged message, so commenters deserve broad leeway. The way I interpret this in moderating other forums is that if the comment does not add to the discussion, at least it gives people an opportunity to engage, and shows other readers that they are engaged merely by their presence. It is common nowadays for people to "ping" a conversation to indicate their presence, this is not merely noise, even if it may seem like it does not contribute to the discussion. As I interpret it, a comment must actually damage the discussion to be worthy of removal. Mine did not. I have made many comments in this sort of mode and none of them were ever removed, which indicated to me that I knew enough about the site's unacknowledged "rules" to judge that my post was worth making and would not be removed.

Just a note here charlie don't surf but we mods talked and none of us wrote you a private mefi mail. Someone might have sent you one but it wasn't a mod. That's why you might say their message was different because it was in fact not our message. This might have led to further frustration and confusion.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:43 AM on April 28 [+] [!]


OMG WTF Matt. You sent me the message.
posted by charlie don't surf at 9:41 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'd say the plot has just thickened, only I haven't really been following along well enough to know the whole plot. To me this thread is a series of plotholes. Just like my life, come to think of it.
posted by item at 9:49 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


While the MeFi mods interventionist policy of removing worthless posts is something I use myself when moderating other forums, this was not a good application of that policy.

You put in the bare minimum of effort into your comments in that thread. I don't understand why exactly you'd want to advertise that fact by protesting so intensely against their removal.

Even making a joke about the post's content, as unwelcome as that joke may be to some, is less flagworthy than peppering a potentially controversial discussion with reductive snarkbombs. There was nothing to suggest that you were actually interested in participating in a conversation.
posted by hermitosis at 9:51 AM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


As I interpret it, a comment must actually damage the discussion to be worthy of removal. Mine did not.

Unless you're certain that your audience is going to get it, "trollface.jpg, Problem?" has a really high chance of being misinterpreted as calling someone in the thread a troll, and calling someone a troll damages the discussion. It's not uncommon for mods to delete edgecase comments that look like they might be fighty. It'd be one thing if your comment was anything like an irreplaceable sculpture, but it was a jokey throw-away comment. So many people have had their jokey throw-away comments deleted in the past. Just because it's happening to YOU now doesn't mean it's any more of a tragedy than when it happened to any of us who just got over our jokey comment deletions.
posted by 23skidoo at 10:10 AM on April 28, 2012


Your deleted jokey comments are not important. Comparing a deleted trollface.jpg link to a irreplaceable and hastily shredded sculpture is a reach to say the least.

The point you wanted to make about different levels of communication and how they interact and overlap is a worthy and interesting one. The thread would have been well-served by an explicit mention of this phenomena. Posting memelinks and expecting folks to grasp the metatextual implications of them is asking a bit much. Calling their removal "censorship" and a violation of free speech is straight up ridiculous.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:22 AM on April 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


Even making a joke about the post's content, as unwelcome as that joke may be to some, is less flagworthy than peppering a potentially controversial discussion with reductive snarkbombs.

That's a good point. Oh wait.

No noose is good noose.
posted by jonmc at 8:11 PM on April 27 [8 favorites +] [!]


No it isn't.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:23 AM on April 28, 2012


Is there any explanation that would satisfy you, charlie don't surf?
posted by Etrigan at 10:24 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


christonacrutch.mp4 - to continue on and on to defend this reddit tripe is as screwed up as a football bat. I'm heading out to my free speech zone (going to mow my lawn.)
posted by porn in the woods at 10:32 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is common nowadays for people to "ping" a conversation to indicate their presence, this is not merely noise, even if it may seem like it does not contribute to the discussion. As I interpret it, a comment must actually damage the discussion to be worthy of removal. Mine did not.

Other people thought otherwise, and flagged those comments. That you've made other similar comments that went undeleted in other threads is neither here nor there. People in the thread we're talking about found some of your comments dispruptive/noise. You're not actually the sole judge of what damages discussion - the other participants also get a say, and they said, and so here we are.
posted by rtha at 10:32 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


hermitosis: There was nothing to suggest that you were actually interested in participating in a conversation.

That is, until he realized in a flash of inspiration that, really, when you look at it, the thread was really about him and his fight against persecution from the capricious mods. Then, he was quite interested in the discussion and post hoc artist's statements about his controversial works, "trollface.jpg" and "close_enough.jpg".
posted by gilrain at 10:33 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


That's a good point. Oh wait.... No it isn't.

jonmc's comment stands on its own as a dorky joke. Yours relies on people understanding a different nationality of internet culture than the one we have here. You've made assertions that of course people would understand your comment in the manner in which it was intended and that has turned out not to be the case at all. One single throwaway joke that at least refers to the thread being discussed is different than a few noiselike comments followed by a long rant about mod censorship.

One of the reasons people like it here on MetaFilter is that we're not doing the super-reductive "Let's all lol at and ping eachother" meme volleying type of discussions and instead using words and sentences to talk about things. I get the point you were trying to make, now that you've explained it, many people didn't at the time. The fact that there are different standards for discussions in different forums shouldn't be that surprising.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:36 AM on April 28, 2012 [16 favorites]


OMG I'm so curious if charlie don't surf is going to die on a hill calling the owner of the site a liar, or if Matt had a brain fart and did message him. THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:47 AM on April 28, 2012 [20 favorites]


charliedon'tquit
posted by spitbull at 10:48 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


cds, you managed to write a huge screed but did not respond to the myriad reasonable explanations you've received for why your comments were deleted.
posted by Falconetti at 10:48 AM on April 28, 2012


It is common nowadays for people to "ping" a conversation to indicate their presence,

I'm kind of glad I don't belong to forums where this is accepted common practice.

But goddam, 2000+ words to defend trollface.jpg style of communications?

I seriously doubt there is going to be a resolution, it's sorta cycled into theater mode now.
posted by edgeways at 10:51 AM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm not a fan of all the deletions here on MeFi, it seems they've gotten a bit more freewheeling since more moderators have come on board.

But please, Charlie don't surf, why are you so surprised that "trollface.jpg" and "close_enough.gif" were deleted? What do they even mean? I'm basically an Internet addict and I would have been completely clueless about what those comments meant. What did they add to the discussion?

Are you on drugs?
posted by jayder at 10:54 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sometimes it is obvious a comment was constructed on a smart phone. Those comments are almost always not worth the short time it takes to recognize the obviousness and skip forward to the next comment. And by almost always I mean really really really really close to always.
posted by bukvich at 10:56 AM on April 28, 2012


Yours relies on people understanding a different nationality of internet culture than the one we have here.

Exactly what percentage of metafilter users must understand a comment for it to not be deleted? Are regional slang, in-jokes, or computer code out of line? Is there a policy for foreign languages? Is a reference to a movie without an accompanying footnote allowed if the film is relatively well known?

I don't believe people understanding really had any relation to the deletion.

close_enough.jpg was deleted, but "close enough" would almost certainly not have been. It's a failure to comply with unwritten style guide based decision.
posted by Winnemac at 10:57 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


trollface.jpg was clearly inflammatory and was rightly deleted.

Had you went with the more moderate trollface.gif, I think you would have been OK.
posted by mazola at 10:57 AM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


bukvich: Sometimes it is obvious a comment was constructed on a smart phone.

You're thinking of "Trollface. Gif" and "Close_enough. Jpg".
posted by gilrain at 10:58 AM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


Damn, I should've said "Trollop. Gift" and "Close_enough. Jumping".
posted by gilrain at 10:59 AM on April 28, 2012 [13 favorites]


charlie_youre_just_repeating_yourself.gif
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:02 AM on April 28, 2012


cds is not doing himself any favors with his pretentious and silly comments in this MeTa, but I agree with Potomac Avenue upthread: Those were bad deletions. The first two comments were at worst very moderately noisy. If you didn't understand what they were referring to, all you had to do was highlight the comments and google them. And deleting comments simply because a large number of people don't instantly understand them (or if they do understand them, don't think they add much of value) seems a bit too trigger happy to me. Not a big deal, but still.

(Yes, the rant about mod censorship obviously didn't belong there.)
posted by Dumsnill at 11:10 AM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Censorship: it doesn't mean what you think it means, OP.
posted by Occula at 11:18 AM on April 28, 2012


I wish I had a dime for every time someone shouted "censorship" when a comment on an internet message board got deleted.
posted by crunchland at 11:21 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I blame alcohol.
posted by aramaic at 11:21 AM on April 28, 2012


April is the cruelest month, charlie don't surf.

I think you should step back and try to relax a little.
posted by jamjam at 11:22 AM on April 28, 2012


OMG WTF Matt. You sent me the message.

I like to think that Matt is gaslighting charlie don't surf here. I also think that he should change 'colour' to 'color' in this comment, just to keep it going.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:30 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Bring back images on MeFi!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:31 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


OMG I'm so curious if charlie don't surf is going to die on a hill calling the owner of the site a liar, or if Matt had a brain fart and did message him. THE SUSPENSE IS KILLING ME.

Reframing an argument as hostile when it was not, and saying "let's you and him fight" is probably not a good strategy for this thread. The internet is a happier place when people do not express outrage on behalf of other people.

In any case, it is obvious there are differences of opinion (other than mine) on whether this deletion was justified. Sure, the site operators have the power to do as they see fit, but relying on an invisible stylebook that ultimately boils down to "because I said so" is not necessarily the optimal strategy on a forum known the quality of its discussions. On this level, it just becomes akin to the Société Française "defending" the language by not letting words like "le drug store" into the dictionary because a perfectly good native word like "la pharmacie" exists.

It is obvious this issue is played out. The mods responded with their reasons for the deletion. Fair enough. But my questions were intended to get the mods to reconsider the issue for the future. I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.
posted by charlie don't surf at 11:34 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


deleting comments simply because a large number of people don't instantly understand them (or if they do understand them, don't think they add much of value)

The second thing is the good reason for deletion, not the first. (And I am pretty sure the comments weren't deleted because of people not knowing what "trollface.jpg" refers to.) If even a smidgeon of the rationale behind them were present in the comments themselves rather than only in all this post-hoc MeTa rationalization, they wouldn't have been noise. But since without a trace of that rationale they were indistinguishable from simple idiocy, they were noise. The claim that the comments looked just like idiocy because of their actual, intelligent (but secret and uncommunicated) rationale does not change this; faux-idiocy has to be in some way distinguishable from true idiocy to be worth doing.
posted by RogerB at 11:37 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

If that's your intent, and that's totally fine, maybe you ought to consider context. I'm pretty familiar with the memes you were referencing here, and how they're used, but the thing about them is that context matters. I understand perfectly well trollface.jpg means "someone is trolling" but we have no idea who. Hell, on the aforementioned message boards you can at least point to a post number to indicate who you believe to be trolling. Flags came up, plenty of people expressed confusion over how you were using these, so maybe that's something to have in mind in the future. And I say that as someone who finds that the image macro can often be the most succinct form of expression.

Although why you'd devote this much energy to the deletion of what you've admitted were dispensable, or at least innocuous, posts is beyond me, that's totally your prerogative.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:40 AM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


it is apparent that people enjoy this mode of communication.

Count me as not one of those people.jpg
posted by timsteil at 11:40 AM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Reframing an argument as hostile when it was not, and saying "let's you and him fight" is probably not a good strategy for this thread. The internet is a happier place when people do not express outrage on behalf of other people.

I'm not expressing any outrage on the behalf of anyone, you're just continuing to be all weird and defensive and crazy. I'm in suspense! Although if there's one person you could be insinuation is dishonest and others would be right to defend, it's freakin' Matt. lolz.

It is obvious this issue is played out. The mods responded with their reasons for the deletion. Fair enough. But my questions were intended to get the mods to reconsider the issue for the future. I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

You're funny. The issue isn't played out, you went crazy and got reasonable explanations, which you seem to indicate you have accepted (fair enough) and then state your intention to continue trolling the community. You might want to just.......stop.

Aaaaaaanyways, I'll put away my popcorn pitchfork and check back in a couple hours to see if you decide to chill out. This was fun, now it's sad.
posted by lazaruslong at 11:41 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


It is obvious this issue is played out.

Like Kwame and those fuckin' polka dots.
posted by box at 11:41 AM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is just like that thing this guy I work with says.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:41 AM on April 28, 2012


Hey, I agree that the comments didn't add much value, but that is true for about 76 % of all comments here and 94 % of all comments on the internet.
posted by Dumsnill at 11:42 AM on April 28, 2012


I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

I'd like to put in a vote for a MetaFilter where we just don't do this. At all.
posted by Dysk at 11:42 AM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


surf moar
posted by Sys Rq at 11:43 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

facepalm.jpg
posted by ericost at 11:48 AM on April 28, 2012 [21 favorites]


but relying on an invisible stylebook that ultimately boils down to "because I said so" is not necessarily the optimal strategy on a forum known the quality of its discussions.

It seems like we've had this same argument for years, with some people saying "show me the absolute, concrete rules!" The mod position, which has been stated more eloquently by jessamyn and cortex on numerous occasions, is that we have guidelines, which are enforced by the mods on a case by case basis, based on their years of experience on the site and evolving community norms.

Different people have had different opinions on which of these strategies is optimal, but calling them capricious for making deletions that a lot of the members in this thread could have seen coming from a mile away is unfair. Personally, I like the approach to moderation on Metafilter. I think it keeps a lot of us coming back.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 11:48 AM on April 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


If matt and mods want to delete your comment for spelling color "colour" they can do that and it's not a violation of your 1st amendment rights.
posted by rtha at 7:55 AM on April 28 [12 favorites +]


No, but it would be anti-British racism, by Harry, and should they ever do such a thing I can assure you that I for one would be jolly miffed and inclined to write a strongly-worded letter.
posted by Decani at 11:49 AM on April 28, 2012 [19 favorites]


I would really like to know if there's a jokester among us impersonating mathowie in email. That's... not cool.
posted by Rhomboid at 11:49 AM on April 28, 2012


No, but it would be anti-British racism, by Harry, and should they ever do such a thing I can assure you that I for one would be jolly miffed and inclined to write a strongly-worded letter.

monocle.jpg
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:50 AM on April 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


Those were bad deletions. The first two comments were at worst very moderately noisy.

that's like saying "those were bad deletions, they were just a little derail" - noise is one of the flag reasons. people participating in that thread (not armchair quarterbacking it later) found them to be noise and flagged them. then the moderators did the job they're paid for, went through the thread and decided they were noise. the system worked as intended.

i don't mean this in a shitty gotcha way, but sincerely, if you want more random noise comments and almost jokes, reddit is a fine place to find it. there's no reason to turn metafilter into that.
posted by nadawi at 11:51 AM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

Are you also likely to post another MeTa when these throwaway style comments are flagged and deleted? Summer is the season for reruns I suppose ...
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:52 AM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


When you post a Meta, you get an automated email from mathowie.
posted by jamjam at 11:52 AM on April 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


don't mean this in a shitty gotcha way, but sincerely, if you want more random noise comments and almost jokes, reddit is a fine place to find it. there's no reason to turn metafilter into that.

I honestly do think this is a shitty comment. Nothing I said indicated that I want Metafilter to become Reddit. I mildly disagreed with a deletion and try to explain why, that's all.
posted by Dumsnill at 11:54 AM on April 28, 2012


This was fun, now it's sad.

I really don't like it when people make these things fun by goading the OP. If the takeaway point here is "engage with the community in good faith and with clear intentions" then maybe others can lead by example instead of sharpening up their jabbing sticks.
posted by churl at 11:55 AM on April 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


relying on an invisible stylebook

It's not invisible. Many people here read it just fine.

The rules-lawyering that comes up in meTas like this is just insane.
posted by rtha at 11:56 AM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

I once had a comment deleted for the use of the word 'cunt', a word I tend to use excessively, both in my written and verbal expressions.

Following a long internet call-out, somewhat akin to this, I was told that some portion of the community thinks that the word is unacceptable, therefore I should seek to bear that in mind and show them some consideration.

Like you, I announced that I was likely to use the word 'cunt' again, but that I don't have a problem with the mods deleting the comment if I do so. Indeed, I have used the word since, and I bet that I've also had comments deleted as a consequence.

Fortunately, no major contribution to Western thought has been lost as a result of these deletions.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:00 PM on April 28, 2012 [6 favorites]


i don't mean go to reddit in a shitty way - i'm saying, if you don't mind a bunch of random noise in your comments and don't want to see them deleted, reddit might be a better fit. since one of the flag reasons here is "noise" it would suggest that metafilter will be more likely to delete comments that are just noise. you said yourself that the comment was just "moderate noise", it seems to follow that it would have a chance of being deleted.
posted by nadawi at 12:01 PM on April 28, 2012


I really don't like it when people make these things fun by goading the OP. If the takeaway point here is "engage with the community in good faith and with clear intentions" then maybe others can lead by example instead of sharpening up their jabbing sticks.

Indeed. Whether you agree with him or not, CDS is clearly coming from a place of sincerity, and now people are just doing the text equivalent of flapping their arms around and saying, "Dude, this is you, 'Durrrrrr! Durrrrrrrrrrr! Woop woop!'" and it's supposed to be funny. It's fucking lame.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 12:01 PM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


OMG WTF Matt. You sent me the message.

charlie don't surf, I get that you're frustrated but I have to reiterate that you are wrong, but I can maybe clear up the confusion. There is an automated message sent to every poster when they make a post. I absolutely did not send you any messages (because I went to bed an hour before you posted it and awoke to this nonsense) about content aside from the AUTOMATED SYSTEM MESSAGE SAYING YOU MADE A POST AND HERE IS THE LINK.

If I'm somehow wrong and I sleepwalked to my computer, read the thread then told you off about it, please by all means post a screenshot of it (you have my permission to share this private message, if it existed).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:02 PM on April 28, 2012 [16 favorites]


What is it with MetaTalk and invisibility? We have invisible stylebooks, invisible sky wizards and invisible backpacks.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 12:03 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


jpg.gif
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:03 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


The invisible backpack is where I keep my invisible style guide, of course. And my invisible water bottle, bag of snacks, and kindle. The invisible sky wizard just kind of floats along above me. I guess. I can't see it so who knows?
posted by rtha at 12:05 PM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]

The rules-lawyering that comes up in meTas like this is just insane.
Meta consistently reminds me of my undergrad evenings spent playing dungeons & dragons & bong hits.

Less giggling, though.
posted by kavasa at 12:08 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


What is it with MetaTalk and invisibility? We have invisible stylebooks, invisible sky wizards and invisible backpacks.

posted by ActingTheGoat at 8:03 PM on April 28

Invisible all the things!
posted by Decani at 12:13 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


^ Hotlink fail, this is why you should just use text based image descriptions and not real images.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:16 PM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


charlie don't surf, I get that you're frustrated but I have to reiterate that you are wrong, but I can maybe clear up the confusion. There is an automated message sent to every poster when they make a post.

Okay, I see what happened. I received two messages and I followed across the screen and mistook the line with your username on the automated message for the message under it. My apologies. I really need to get new eyeglasses, lately I've had a few moments of visual confusion like that.
posted by charlie don't surf at 12:17 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


<>http://travel.state.gov/law/citizenship/citizenship_5199.htmlInvisible all the things

This snowclone of "X ALL THE Ys" is everywhere in the last month or so. Anybody know where it came from?
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:17 PM on April 28, 2012


Whoa, weird! Meant to be quoting Decani's "all the things" text.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:18 PM on April 28, 2012


Reframing an argument as hostile when it was not, and saying "let's you and him fight" is probably not a good strategy for this thread. The internet is a happier place when people do not express outrage on behalf of other people.

It's not reframing it that way, when you're already picking a fight with mathowie. Embarrassing.
posted by jayder at 12:26 PM on April 28, 2012

Anybody know where it came from?
Why I'll never be an adult.
posted by kavasa at 12:27 PM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


You guys, I found the culprit who sent the fake mathowie email.

God damn you, Ed Helms.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:27 PM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Lobstermitten, "X all the X" comes from Hyperbole and a Half.
posted by mmmbacon at 12:28 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


My apologies. I really need to get new eyeglasses, lately I've had a few moments of visual confusion like that.

Not that big a deal but when the guy who owns and runs the site tells you that neither he nor any of his employees sent you a message, a response along the lines of "uh let me check that" might be a better idea than OMG WTF. Again, I get that you are frustrated, but I find the jumping to worst-case-scenario situation here [that mathowie is lying to you in a clearly falsifiable way] is a problematic way to go forward here.

We're all pretty much after the same thing and while we may have somewhat different ways of achieving those goals, we will not lie to you as moderators about something we did or did not do or something that did or did not happen. There are some things we'd prefer to not talk about publicly, a very short list, but we flat out don't lie.

We have a closer-to-a-rule-than-a-guideline guideline about calling people trolls which may be why your trollface comment got even more flags than usual, but yeah if you keep up that facepalm.jpg stuff it's your choice but the next time it happens it will be with everyone knowing that we've already had this conversation. Your choice, as I said.

God damn you, Ed Helms.

Hey *I* took that photo!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:30 PM on April 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


I love Ed Helms.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:31 PM on April 28, 2012


He plays the banjo and is dreamy.
posted by lazaruslong at 12:38 PM on April 28, 2012


We have a closer-to-a-rule-than-a-guideline guideline about calling people trolls

Moderators should publicize that more. I've considered posting a MeTa thread about that issue—specifically, to advocate that y'all prohibit it ("troll" accusations) to the same extent that you prohibit accusations of self-linking, astroturfing, etc. You have said the latter is something to use the contact form for, and not to be raised in-thread, and I think accusing somebody of bad faith by "trolling" is essentially the same thing and has the same negative effects on a thread, and I think it should be treated identically.

If that's not a MeTa that needs/deserves to happen because that rule is basically already in place, then I think it should be publicized more. I didn't know about it, and the reason it occurred to me to post a MeTa is that I see this happen not infrequently.

I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

So be it. But a significant number of people are telling you that they didn't understand your meaning. I didn't. I don't visit Reddit, I don't know "memes," and I have no idea what those comments you posted were supposed to say. Personally, it strikes me as antisocial to say, "Yes, a significant portion of the membership has told me they don't understand [expression], but I'm going to keep using it anyway." I think that when you write something on MetaFilter and click POST, you should be endeavoring to make it comprehensible to the entire membership. Otherwise it seems kind of, pardon the idiom, masturbatory.
posted by cribcage at 12:54 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Your cardinal mistake is thinking that anyone gives a rat's ass about your context-less reactions to something, or that they are in any way valuable, or that they belong here at all.
posted by Aquaman at 1:08 PM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

Why?
posted by jayder at 1:25 PM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Not that big a deal but when the guy who owns and runs the site tells you that neither he nor any of his employees sent you a message, a response along the lines of "uh let me check that" might be a better idea than OMG WTF.

You know, I actually did go to my memail page and double-checked before I wrote that comment, and I saw the same thing I misread the first time. Thus the response like I couldn't believe my eyes, Matt wouldn't do this. My fault, totally. I really need new eyeglasses, I haven't had an eye exam in 5 years, my computer glasses prescription is not quite right anymore.

We have a closer-to-a-rule-than-a-guideline guideline about calling people trolls

I never heard of that before. I don't go around calling people trolls so this thought never entered my mind. This is a phenomenon known as "The Curse of Information." We mistakenly assume other people know what we know, but they don't. So what seems obvious to us, isn't to them. Perhaps mods assumed I knew this rule and judged me accordingly. Similarly, I assumed the trollface.jpg was so obviously applied to the artist-provocateur that nobody could possibly think I was calling other commenters trolls.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:27 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


you can't spell meme without me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me me
posted by TwelveTwo at 1:41 PM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


This is a phenomenon known as "The Curse of Information." We mistakenly assume other people know what we know, but they don't.

Physician, heal thyself.
posted by Falconetti at 1:41 PM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Physician, heal thyself.

You obviously didn't understand the part where I diagnosed myself with the same problem:

Similarly, I assumed..

Perhaps again, I assumed that people understand I wasn't condemning someone for a personal failure when it is a human condition that we all share, that I share.
posted by charlie don't surf at 1:58 PM on April 28, 2012


While I didn't get CDS's meaning (even though I recognized the images when I googled the file names) they didn't bother me much. But it also doesn't bother me much that they were deleted. You win some, you lose some. I've had plenty comments deleted.

But I kinda gotta ask, why were his deleted and all the RICK RICK RICK is allowed to stay? I could not for the LIFE of me figure out what the reference was to until recently someone explained in a thread. It wasn't obvious and it is often thread noise (it's a reference to an outside text-based comic strip, apparently). So why allow one outside shorthand joke to stay on mefi, and another to be eradicated?
posted by Windigo at 2:03 PM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


(⌐■_■) moveon.org
posted by El Sabor Asiatico at 2:05 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


now_kiss.jpg
posted by Burhanistan at 2:08 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


why were his deleted and all the RICK RICK RICK is allowed to stay?

The rick rick rick stuff doesn't get flagged much, so I seldom see it in the first place. And when I have, it's really clearly a joke (if not necessarily a funny one if you don't know the reference.) They're easier to judge in context since the meaning is pretty clear.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:11 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I disagree that the meaning of RICK RICK RICK is pretty clear. I saw a bunch of those comments before seeing a link to that talking-cat blog, and the comments made no sense to me. I actually think it's a pretty spot-on comparison.
posted by cribcage at 2:15 PM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

Yourjustignoringestablishedstandardsanddoingyourownfuckedupthing.ie6
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:16 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


By all means flag ones that aren't and/or flag if they annoy you. I can't remember the last time I saw one pop up in the queue (and I haven't seen a ton in the wild recently that I recall.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:17 PM on April 28, 2012


I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

And I'm now considerably more likely to flag comments like that now than I was before because this was SERIOUSLY ridiculous.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:25 PM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think that a lot of people probably found RICK RICK RICK through the post on the blue, making it more of a shared joke. There are a ton of references to things seen or mentioned in other threads on this site. There is a comment on today's homophobia thread asking if it is a reference to Thursday's Ender's Game thread. This kind of thing happens all the time here. Obviously everyone doesn't read every post, but part of what makes this a community rather than a string of isolated YouTube comments is that people have some exposure to some of the same things, or something.
Maybe part of what happened is that a lot of people either didn't recognize the trollface, or did recognize it and associate it with Reddit, which tends to get dumped on here, or saw it as a lazy end run around the lack of an image tag, which was gotten rid of years ago.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 2:29 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


SERIOUSLY ridiculous.jpg
posted by Dumsnill at 2:32 PM on April 28, 2012


Bring back images on MeFi!

.Txt Or .Gif The Fuck Out.

Hunh, I had no idea what that RICK RICK RICK shit was about; I assumed it was from some video clip of Rick Perry getting accosted by a nutbar or talked over at a debate or some such nonsense, and yes, it got far too much play.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:35 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can I still say I've been SILENCED ALL MY LIFE?
posted by jayder at 2:42 PM on April 28, 2012


Only if it's true or really really feels like it is.
posted by EatTheWeak at 2:43 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I had no idea what the rick rick rick thing was about until now.
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:50 PM on April 28, 2012


Obviously I was insulted by the capricious removal of posts that were so similar to other posts in that thread that were not removed.

I don't see any *.jpg comments in that thread. You were wrong about that.

It is common nowadays for people to "ping" a conversation to indicate their presence…

Not on MetaFilter. You were wrong about that.

I have made many comments in this sort of mode and none of them were ever removed, which indicated to me that I knew enough about the site's unacknowledged "rules" to judge that my post was worth making and would not be removed.

And I turns out you didn't know enough. You were wrong about that.

OMG WTF Matt. You sent me the message.

No, he didn't. You were wrong about that.

See the pattern here?


I am likely to write things like facepalm.jpg again.

FREEDOM FIGHTER
posted by robcorr at 2:53 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I love the RICK RICK RICK RICK thing; I still find it funny. If the mood of the site is that people find it tiresome and annoying, then hey - I won't make any RICK RICK RICK RICK comments. It costs me nothing not to make comments like that--it doesn't infringe on my "right to free speech," and has the win-win of me not annoying people (which I try not to do--whether I succeed is another story), and people not finding me annoying (always a good thing).

I cannot imagine raising this kind of fuss over something this minor. It isn't like there aren't a gazillion words in the English language at your service.

(Okay, to be fair, the number of words in the English language that are actually useful in most everyday communications is < gazillion, but Jeez Louise it's a whole bunch of words; far more than any of us would ever need to communicate precisely what we want to say in any given situation. I propose the collective-noun term "a plenty of words.")
posted by tzikeh at 2:57 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


what if this is all one big meme

man

think about it

like what if this whole thread
is a meme
like any other meme
but like just another meme, a meme man, a meme

like think about it

oh oh whoa wow going deeper down the rabbit hole
here we go

here we go

down the rabbit hole

here it comes

what if like our universe
our big huge universe
everything
everything in our universe
what if it is all
is all one big meme
oh man


oh man

this is freaking me out

the universe is god's big reaction gif

but in reaction to what?????
posted by TwelveTwo at 2:57 PM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


And I turns out you didn't know enough. You were wrong about that.
No, he didn't. You were wrong about that.
See the pattern here?


Man, I love these cocksure "I am awesome, you are terrible" type comments. If only you could be as unfailingly right as I always am. The second one is particularly lovely, since it's posted long after the OP apologized for their mistake.
posted by Dumsnill at 2:59 PM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I thought the RICK RICK RICK stuff was a reference to the Peter Lorre character in Casablanca. Seriously.
posted by Splunge at 3:20 PM on April 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I disagree that the meaning of RICK RICK RICK is pretty clear.

until about a month ago, i had no idea what that was about, either
posted by pyramid termite at 3:20 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


I thought the RICK RICK RICK stuff was a reference to the Peter Lorre character in Casablanca. Seriously.

Great, now every time I see this, I am going to read it in his voice. Why don't you sing a chorus of, "Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting" and get that stuck in my head too.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 3:23 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


RICK

RICK

RICK

THOSE CATS WERE FAST AS LIGHTNING
posted by elizardbits at 3:28 PM on April 28, 2012 [42 favorites]


I thought the RICK RICK RICK stuff was a reference to the Peter Lorre character in Casablanca.

RICK

RICK

RICK

YOU DESPISE ME, DON'T YOU? YOU KNOW RICK I HAVE MANY A FRIEND IN CASABLANCA BUT SOMEHOW JUST BECAUSE YOU DESPISE ME YOU ARE THE ONLY ONE I TRUST
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:31 PM on April 28, 2012 [38 favorites]


I cannot imagine raising this kind of fuss over something this minor.
posted by tzikeh at 10:57 PM on April 28


THAT'S HOW NAZI GERMANY STARTED.
posted by Decani at 3:37 PM on April 28, 2012


THAT'S HOW NAZI GERMANY STARTED.

thesudetenland.jpg
posted by tzikeh at 3:45 PM on April 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


Horace Rumpole, bravo.
posted by Splunge at 3:53 PM on April 28, 2012


ActingTheGoat: "I thought the RICK RICK RICK stuff was a reference to the Peter Lorre character in Casablanca. Seriously.

Great, now every time I see this, I am going to read it in his voice. Why don't you sing a chorus of, "Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting" and get that stuck in my head too.
"

Good news everyone! RICK RICK RICK.
posted by Splunge at 3:54 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


If only there were a catchy name for posting RICK, especially when it is unexpected. Preferably a name we could draw from an older meme.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:57 PM on April 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Perhaps mods assumed I knew this rule and judged me accordingly.

Why would it matter whether you knew the rule or not? The result would have been the same. You make it sound like this was a real borderline case for the mods involving a lot of thought. It was really a pretty basic case of standard garbage-comment deletion. On a site this complex, we often learn about the rules by breaking them.
posted by hermitosis at 4:02 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Thanks to a three-hour phone call, this thread, and the now-starting White House Correspondents Dinner, I had close to zero chance of productivity today. Add thanks to Acting the Goat's evil insertion, I'm now unable to even proofread aloud the little bit of the article I've written, without doing it in these cadences. Sigh.
posted by The Wrong Kind of Cheese at 4:03 PM on April 28, 2012


hermitosis: "Perhaps mods assumed I knew this rule and judged me accordingly.

Why would it matter whether you knew the rule or not? The result would have been the same. You make it sound like this was a real borderline case for the mods involving a lot of thought. It was really a pretty basic case of standard garbage-comment deletion. On a site this complex, we often learn about the rules by breaking them.
"

Much like life.
posted by Splunge at 4:04 PM on April 28, 2012


TROLLFACE.JPG IS HOW I FEEL INSIDE RICK.
posted by zombieflanders at 4:56 PM on April 28, 2012 [19 favorites]


I'm pretty sure Google is out of beta now. You can use it.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:59 PM on April 28, 2012


I have become the standard by which bad comments are judged.

Wow.

Thanks I guess.
posted by GuyZero at 5:13 PM on April 28, 2012


Is this where I get all "ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED" or should I be solemn and reflective here?
posted by GuyZero at 5:16 PM on April 28, 2012


chandlerdancingonmefilogo.gif
posted by elizardbits at 5:19 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yet again, we see that flagging works, but only as much as users mark it.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:24 PM on April 28, 2012


Next up, let's see if flogging works.
posted by item at 5:29 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


The floggings will continue until morale improves.
posted by Splunge at 5:41 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


The flaggings will continue until comments improve.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:56 PM on April 28, 2012 [9 favorites]


The comments will continue until the floggings improve.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:07 PM on April 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


Flagging give the most poopy-faced MeFites the most influence over site content.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:15 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Funny, I always thought that was MetaTalk that did that....
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:19 PM on April 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


Flagging give the most poopy-faced MeFites the most influence over site content.

Judge me by my flagging practices if you must, but do we really need to stoop so low as to insult each other's skin care choices? Pretty low, man.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:50 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Is this where I get all "ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED"

No, this is where you decide how to spend the 10 XP points you just earned. Do those points go to WIS or INT or DEX or STR or CON etc...
posted by Chekhovian at 7:00 PM on April 28, 2012


SERIOUSLY ridiculous.jpg --- This is as good a place as any to mention the nifty HoverZoom extension for chrome. You just hover your mouse pointer over a link to a graphic, and it'll automatically pull up the graphic without needing you to click it.
posted by crunchland at 7:05 PM on April 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also, yes, let's change how we do flagging. The only people who are going to flag comments are the ones who like to gripe and complain. I don't have anything to back that up, but it's what I imagine is true, which is just as good as data. So maybe the solution is to institute "counter-flagging"; like, if you suspect that some of the more humorless thin-skinned members of the site are going to flag the shit out of that guy's prolonged Sam Kinnison monologue, you can hit that counter-flag button to be like "BAM! I know people are going to want this deleted, but I, for one, want it to stay." You should also be allowed to counter-flag multiple times to emphasize just how important you think that comment is. I think this will help reduce the pernicious influence of the "politically correct" members of this site. Let freedom ring!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:06 PM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


This is as good a place as any to mention the nifty HoverZoom extension for chrome.

HoverZoom is also available as an extension to Safari. In addition to showing you images w/o clicking when you hover over a youtube link it shows the poster frame and in many cases you can tell if you've seen the video.
posted by birdherder at 7:14 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


whaaaambulance.jpg
posted by odinsdream at 7:17 PM on April 28, 2012


So maybe the solution is to institute "counter-flagging"

(╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

flagged as fantastic comment.
posted by birdherder at 7:40 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


These threads really are a lot more fun when there's a dramatic flame-out sometime before 200 comments.
posted by hippybear at 7:48 PM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, yes, let's change how we do flagging. The only people who are going to flag comments are the ones who like to gripe and complain. I don't have anything to back that up, but it's what I imagine is true, which is just as good as data.

I'd tell you you're wrong about this, that I've flagged comments, but I suspect you'll just call me a griping complainer.
posted by odinsdream at 7:53 PM on April 28, 2012


SCREW YOU I'M OUT OF HERE.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:53 PM on April 28, 2012


I've been eating these tonight. Our long thankless quest for a sugar equivalent of heroin is now over.
posted by jonmc at 7:56 PM on April 28, 2012


chandlerdancingonmefilogo.gif

Bit rusty with .gif construction, but consider this a tentative attempt.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:57 PM on April 28, 2012 [7 favorites]


Our long thankless quest for a sugar equivalent of heroin is now over.

I'm still holding out for the heroin equivalent to sugar.
posted by item at 8:35 PM on April 28, 2012


Enough about MetaFilter's First Amendment abuses; when are you folks going to recognize our Third Amendment rights and stop quartering soldiers in our homes?
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:06 PM on April 28, 2012 [17 favorites]


So those soldiers that I "quartered"... I shouldn't have done that? Damn. It's hard to know when you went too far. But the jerky kept my family alive through the MetaWinter of '05.

The toothmarks on the bones was The Whelks fault.
posted by Splunge at 9:20 PM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Sorry for the confusion, Sidhedevil; when we asked you all to accommodate our Privates, we weren't talking about soldiers.
posted by taz (staff) at 9:20 PM on April 28, 2012 [34 favorites]


No, this is where you decide how to spend the 10 XP points you just earned. Do those points go to WIS or INT or DEX or STR or CON etc...

What is this, Star Frontiers? Who "spends" XP?
posted by GuyZero at 9:24 PM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


Actually all my XP goes to charisma. Can't you tell? No? Dammit. Back to making jerky.
posted by Splunge at 9:36 PM on April 28, 2012 [5 favorites]


What do you mean, I have to eat them to get the XP? What kind of sick game is this?

... you mean I don't have to kill them, just eat them? Pass the jerky; I'm grinding to the level cap without leaving my couch, then.
posted by frimble at 9:43 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


What a coincidence! I'm on my couch grinding to my level cap as we speak!
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 9:49 PM on April 28, 2012


My new favorite version of whoosh.gif.
posted by birdherder at 9:52 PM on April 28, 2012 [11 favorites]


This is a phenomenon known as "The Curse of Information." We mistakenly assume other people know what we know, but they don't.

Forget it, Charlie. It's MetaTown.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:54 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


inspirationalfreddiemercurylawnmower.gif
posted by elizardbits at 10:09 PM on April 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


What, no apology for accusing Mathowie of being a liar?

I'm of the view that CDS's view and argument here is ludicrous. Fine, whatever, express your view, make your argument. But, at the very least, show some basic manners.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 11:49 PM on April 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


buttfrustsrated.jpg
posted by fleacircus at 12:09 AM on April 29, 2012


What, no apology for accusing Mathowie of being a liar?...at the very least, show some basic manners.

My apologies.
My fault, totally.

Let's hang up the pitchfork, mmmkay?
posted by lalex at 12:25 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looks like I need new glasses too.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:01 AM on April 29, 2012


CHARLIE

CHARLIE

CHARLIE

DON'T SURF!
posted by vidur at 3:27 AM on April 29, 2012


What if all hammers were made of ham?
posted by blue_beetle at 4:57 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Then all nails would look like cheese.
posted by Dumsnill at 5:47 AM on April 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


then you'd have to build kosher delis with duct tape
posted by pyramid termite at 6:23 AM on April 29, 2012


I miss Bunny Ultramod.
posted by languagehat at 6:24 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


You kidding? He was just like that Astro Zombie guy.
posted by cjorgensen at 6:55 AM on April 29, 2012


Yes, but the third installment, Astro Zombie 3, was surprisingly good. Looking forward to Bunny Ultramod With a Vengeance.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:07 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


AZ/BUm's next screenname: Hollywood and Weill
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:48 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Is this really a 240+ comment thread about a user defending his right to post file names as comments?

charlie don't surf, do you have hobbies? I suggest getting some, or if you do, get more.
posted by schroedinger at 10:24 AM on April 29, 2012


When I say "close_enough.jpg" almost anyone who has been on the internet recently knows exactly what I mean.

I too belong to this group of people who have used the Internet recently and yet still haven't the slightest idea of what this means. With millions of people viewing thousands of sites this is not a surprise. /images/diversity.png exists.

With no love .png upthread, I just had to do it. Look for .svg down thread?
posted by juiceCake at 10:32 AM on April 29, 2012


I too belong to this group of people who have used the Internet recently and yet still haven't the slightest idea of what this means.

Fine, but is it difficult for you to spend 10 seconds googling it?
posted by Dumsnill at 10:41 AM on April 29, 2012


Sorry, the first sentence should have been italicized.
posted by Dumsnill at 10:42 AM on April 29, 2012


Next up, MIME encoding in posts as a protest.
posted by benzenedream at 10:45 AM on April 29, 2012


Fine, but is it difficult for you to spend 10 seconds googling it?

¿Por qué lo hacen más difícil para el auditorio de entender?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:49 AM on April 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


charlie don't surf, do you have hobbies? I suggest getting some, or if you do, get more.

My hobby is typing 110 words per minute.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:51 AM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Debido a que su madre, es por eso.
posted by Dumsnill at 10:56 AM on April 29, 2012


So how long until this thread gets archived? I think we should all be done here...
posted by spitefulcrow at 11:01 AM on April 29, 2012


What? Where do you expect me to post my improved Chandler Dancing On Metafilter Logo .gif?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:02 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Someone send up the davidjmcgee signal so he can end this thread...WITH DANCING. (Sorry, Chandler.)
posted by mintcake! at 11:18 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


This is such a strange thread, hopeful some folks got their need for attention all taken care of for a while.
posted by iamabot at 11:26 AM on April 29, 2012


What does "close_enough.jpg" mean? I Googled it, I'm still not sure.
posted by demiurge at 11:26 AM on April 29, 2012


So how long until this thread gets archived? I think we should all be done here...
posted by spitefulcrow 22 minutes ago [+]


You can remove it from your recent activity and not worry about whether it's still open or not.
posted by jayder at 11:27 AM on April 29, 2012



My hobby is typing 110 words per minute.


So, you hit the delete key 20 times a minute?
posted by TwelveTwo at 11:30 AM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why?
posted by clavdivs at 12:20 PM on April 29, 2012


We should have a MetaFilter Typing Speed Olympics someday. (I still have my silver medal in typing speed from the 1981 Western Massachusetts High School Office Skills Olympics somewhere...)
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:56 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


We should have a MetaFilter Typing Speed Olympics someday.

I strongly suggest drug testing.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sure, we can test some drugs too.
posted by stebulus at 1:05 PM on April 29, 2012 [30 favorites]


Fine, but is it difficult for you to spend 10 seconds googling it?

Not at all. How about you? Do you like grill cheese sandwiches?

The response was to people just knowing about on the basis of having been using the Internet of late. What does searching for the meaning on Google have to do with that?
posted by juiceCake at 1:58 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Close Enough is a rage face often used in 4panes and Rage Comics that shows a figure that doesn’t care that he hasn’t achieved his expected result and is instead satisfied with an inferior result . (See also: Nailed It, Freddie Mercury: So Close Rage Face)
Origin

The image of Close Enough is the same image used in the F*ck Yea Rage Face with the text of “F*ck Yea” replaced with “Close Enough”.
source
posted by birdherder at 2:32 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


if we are gonna start the whole "borrowing dumb stuff from other forums" thing then I demand a tricked out signature block.

lordaych the pot puppet
chronic smoker extraordinaire
today I'm smoking: sour diesel, strawberry cough, afghani and some of the kief on the side
gear: volcano, indestructible blown glass 16" bong, various glass pipes and one hitters
posted by lordaych at 2:51 PM on April 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Where do you expect me to post my improved Chandler Dancing On Metafilter Logo .gif?

TUMBLR
posted by elizardbits at 2:52 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think mathowie should just convert Metafilter to PHPbb or MyBB or whatever that out of the box forum software is, so every comment can have about six levels of prior comments embedded and we can have animated smilies and custom signatures and GIF avatars, the works.
posted by jayder at 2:54 PM on April 29, 2012


Also, does /b/ like my gear? tell me please. validate me, /b/itches. I can make you an ASCII pic if u want.
posted by lordaych at 2:56 PM on April 29, 2012


Whoa whoa whoa. Listen: I'M GONNA DANCE.

ON THE METAFILTER LOGO.
posted by davidjmcgee at 2:57 PM on April 29, 2012


The phpBB will appear to replace metafilter. But you see, that will be exoteric mefi. Mefi was we know it will continue on esoterically but you will need to submit blood samples to verify your bloodline and you probably won't know how to apply anyway unless Matt sends you notice by carrier pigeon.
posted by lordaych at 2:59 PM on April 29, 2012


Strange, fascinating, deliciously entertaining thread indeed. My late two cents.

Such an avalanche of words and I am still not clear about what, exactly, charlie wants. It is clear to me that charlie's not getting what charlie wants.

Charlie was trying to communicate something interesting to him to an larger audience. That's okay. His audience did not get it and responded accordingly. That's okay too.

When one person does not understand what I am communicating but lots do, I assume I've been effective in accomplishing what I set out to accomplish.

When lots of people don't understand what I am trying to communicate, I assume I am not being effective. I also assume that if I want to be understood, it is my responsibility to revisit how I communicate. My desire to be understood = my job to work harder.

If my audience tells me what they need from me in order to understand me (use your words!) and I continue to disregard their request (I shouldn't have to!) the lack of understanding is completely my fault.

If I erroneously assume that everyone speaks my language (everyone on the internets knows what I mean!) and I then subtly insult them for not speaking my language, I've earned whatever snark and crankiness they throw at me.

This is a very useful life skill.
posted by space_cookie at 3:15 PM on April 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


YOU’VE BEEN HIT BY THE

|^^^^^^^^^^^^](ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧
| KAWAII TRUCK | ‘|”“”;.., ___.
|_…_…______===|= _|__|…, ] |
”(@ )’(@ )”“”“*|(@ )(@ )*****(@    ⊂(゚Д゚⊂⌒) NO KAWAII TRUCK NO!!!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:16 PM on April 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


I didn't know what the words with apparent file extensions were about either. Despite almost 20 years on the net, and a few on Reddit btw, I just don't care to follow or interpret such things. I like the thoughtful and articulate verbal discussion on Metafilter. There's even some on Reddit. I don't like the in-jokes and jokey one-liners here for the most part. I don't want to see more obscure and worthless references, so now I know what to flag if I see it, too.
posted by Listener at 3:54 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


We should have a MetaFilter Typing Speed Olympics someday.

I respectfully request a 10-key event be added as well.

I keep some badass books.
posted by wallabear at 4:22 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


If we're going to have a speed-typing contest, can I recommend a text to use? Yeah? OK.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:27 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


lordaych: "... and you probably won't know how to apply anyway unless Matt sends you notice by carrier pigeon."

Just like the Good Old Days!
posted by dg at 4:27 PM on April 29, 2012


I did a Google search for "close_enough.jpg" and even after I found what I assume was the right image, I still don't understand what it was supposed to mean.
posted by SMPA at 4:38 PM on April 29, 2012


can I recommend a text to use?

We will use the Treaty of West End Girls like always.
posted by mintcake! at 4:41 PM on April 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


years ago I recall reading something about a greasemonkey script, (or oliginous-primate script.jpg, if you will) to block specific posters.


until now, I had no need of same.

please forward.jpg


ASAP, even
posted by Wilder at 4:43 PM on April 29, 2012


Rather than a simple kill-file script, I think what we need is something a bit more intelligent. Something that can establish the age of the poster and, where age is <x, block the user. Perhaps one that self-adjusts to block all posters where age is < (my age) - x.
posted by dg at 5:12 PM on April 29, 2012


Something that can establish the age of the poster and, where age is [less than] x, block the user.

I believe you're thinking of the "French rule" which is 1/2 your age +7.
posted by fuq at 5:26 PM on April 29, 2012


I thought it was invented by the Belgians.
posted by TwelveTwo at 5:46 PM on April 29, 2012


The Belgian rule is to put mayonnaise on it, isn't it?
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:49 PM on April 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


The Belgian rule is not to put mayonnaise on anyone younger than half your age plus seven.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:15 PM on April 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


mycock.gif
posted by cjorgensen at 8:01 PM on April 29, 2012


Sorry, that was supposed to be animated.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:04 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


netbros is my mom's age?!?
posted by maryr at 9:19 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The amendment goes "Congress shall make no law..."

It's not "Cortex shall make no law..."
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:31 PM on April 29, 2012


The Belgian rule is to go to Frjtz while discussing what not to do with people younger than half your age plus seven.
posted by spitefulcrow at 10:30 PM on April 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


When one person does not understand what I am communicating but lots do, I assume I've been effective in accomplishing what I set out to accomplish.

That's only a problem when one person who does not understand is a moderator that removes your message so the people who might understand it can't see it.

Anyway, you're a little late with with the condescension. At this point, long after you missed the entire thread and its more subtle points, it serves no purpose except to assert your moral superiority. Spare us.
posted by charlie don't surf at 10:49 PM on April 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I hear the kettle has a message for you about condescending moral superiority, pot.
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:04 AM on April 30, 2012 [18 favorites]


"Rather than a simple kill-file script, I think what we need is something a bit more intelligent. Something that can establish the age of the poster and, where age is < (my age) - x."

It's funny that you that say this. I got the strongest feeling that I've had in a long while, as I was reading this thread, of the whole age difference thing. CDS reads, to me, very much as of an age, a college student, who still doesn't know that the world is a very big place. It's odd to me that in this day and age that anyone would think of "being on the Internet" as something that would be, or could be, a mostly universally-shared experience. In 1998, maybe. These days, that's like saying, "everyone who listens to music will recognize...". The internet is huge and diverse, now. Most of us here probably spend at least five hours a day on the Internet, and have done so for years (some nearly as long as CDS has been alive), and participate or have participated in dozens of community forums. And many or most of these experiences could be almost entirely disjoint.

The second part is the weird earnestness that also has the characteristic of being very parochial. Such as relating his concerns over having a comment deleted to a campus controversy about a sculpture.

And the bigger thing is that arguably the most fundamental and distinguishing aspect of MeFi culture is that it's all about conventional written language, perhaps even prestige English dialect. The one thing it very much is not, is a culture where chatspeak and related are welcome.

I feel old in that I dislike chatspeak and everything like it, but I realize that this is more a particular and subjective judgement. What is puzzling is that CDC seems weirdly blind to MeFi's cultural values. And I don't think this is the first example — perhaps, though, I'm confusing him with a previous MetaTalk poster who expressed some similarly wrong-note sentiments.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:30 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


That's only a problem when one person who does not understand is a moderator that removes your message so the people who might understand it can't see it.

I'm really hoping that after all this discussion you understand that your comments weren't removed because a moderator didn't understand them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:43 AM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


CDS reads, to me, very much as of an age, a college student, who still doesn't know that the world is a very big place.

CDS is older than you are.
posted by Wolof at 5:53 AM on April 30, 2012


"CDS is older than you are."

Yeah, I didn't say that my impression was necessarily correct, just that he seems that way to me.

However, I find I am having a bit of difficulty imagining a fifty/sixty-something who is enthusiastic about rage faces and has some trouble integrating into an online community where more formal language usage is the norm. But, the word is a very big place.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:33 AM on April 30, 2012


think that a lot of people probably found RICK RICK RICK through the post on the blue, making it more of a shared joke. There are a ton of references to things seen or mentioned in other threads on this site.

You know another good example? (I don't know the RICK RICK RICK thing, nor who Stephen Colbert is.) Fenton. 90% of the UK population that use the internet* know exactly what Fenton/Benton is. By the time that post went up, it had hit the newspapers and every permutaion on the video had been e-mailed round offices. The people of MEtafilter? Not so much. When I saw trollface.jpg and similar, I thought it was someone attempting to debate using images, not getting the image tag right or not understanding that HTML doesn't work on Twitter, and then when I did find out what it meant, not knowing how to construct an intelligent response outside of the specific messageboard where people post broken image tags to make a point. How is that helping anyone?





* we use the internet for our job. I had to explain to someone what goatse was once.
posted by mippy at 6:42 AM on April 30, 2012


> CDS is older than you are.

Then he should goddam well know better.
posted by languagehat at 6:46 AM on April 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Maybe he's senile.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:02 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Maybe he's senile.

Do senile people post repeatedly in music threads that are about music they don't happen like, and say things like 'this isn't music'?

Cause if so, yeah, the dude is senile.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:22 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Happen TO like, that is.

when it comes to typing, I am senile
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:24 AM on April 30, 2012


We're all a bit senile at times. And I like your music.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:27 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


You don't have freedom of speech on mefi, just like you don't have it in any other privately owned space, cyber or not
it's a good thing there's publicly-owned cyberspace then
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 7:37 AM on April 30, 2012


Do senile people post repeatedly in music threads that are about music they don't happen like, and say things like 'this isn't music'?

Ouch!
posted by Wolof at 7:38 AM on April 30, 2012


Actually, now I'm slightly curious: cds doesn't seem to have made a single comment in music or music talk. Were his comments deleted?
posted by Dumsnill at 7:39 AM on April 30, 2012


Actually, now I'm slightly curious: cds doesn't seem to have made a single comment in music or music talk. Were his comments deleted?

Talking about music posts to the blue, Dumsnill.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:40 AM on April 30, 2012


Were his comments deleted?

I believe you mean "Were his first amendment rights further trampled upon by the CABAL."
posted by iamabot at 7:40 AM on April 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ah, my senility strikes again.
posted by Dumsnill at 7:43 AM on April 30, 2012


it's a good thing there's publicly-owned cyberspace then

Freedom of the press was always mostly for those who owned them. It's easier to own a website than a printing press. The fact that the web is becoming as corporate-owned as private spaces in America doesn't make the "You can't say that here" edict any less applicable or reasonable.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:45 AM on April 30, 2012


chickenfuck.gif
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:28 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


However, I find I am having a bit of difficulty imagining a fifty/sixty-something who is enthusiastic about rage faces and has some trouble integrating into an online community where more formal language usage is the norm. But, the word is a very big place.

Bigger than you understand, apparently. I remember reading a critique of the modern era that complained of a new generation of kids that had no manners, spoke poorly with crude, slangy, incomprehensible language forms to deliberately confound their elders, and were incapable of explaining their ideas in formal language. The critique was written in the 12th century in Japan.

Don't be too surprised that you encounter someone like me on the internet who is a scholar of both classical and modern Japanese orthography, and also enjoys rage faces, and finds linguistic similarities between them. I would hope that even middle aged people like me are still capable of enjoying the mutations of language and in-jokes propagated even by dumb little kids on the internet. Now get off of my lawn!
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:31 AM on April 30, 2012


Don't be too surprised that you encounter someone like me on the internet who is a scholar of both classical and modern Japanese orthography, and also enjoys rage faces, and finds linguistic similarities between them.

Were I to meet such a person, I would very much hope that they would be wearing a fedora.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:34 AM on April 30, 2012 [14 favorites]


Since you are a scholar of classical and modern Japanese orthography, your future comments will be automatically approved.
posted by Dumsnill at 8:37 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, don't be too surprised when you discover that some bit of cultural ephemera that you assumed *everyone* knew about is not known about by everyone in your audience. The internet's a big place, and even Renaissance/dilettante internetters don't spend time learning every meme out there.
posted by rtha at 8:41 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Were I to meet such a person, I would very much hope that they would be wearing a fedora.

It is one of my great disappointments in life that men's hats went out of style. It is now impossible to locate a proper milliner. I have tried.

Since you are a scholar of classical and modern Japanese orthography, your future comments will be automatically approved.

Obviously this connection is too obscure to get into, but I will anyway. I am particularly amused by the linguistic similarities between classical hiragana "onna de" (women's script) that goes back to the 10th century, and the new emoji and "gyaru" linguistic forms that evolved over Japanese cell phone messaging. I'd show you a video I posted online about it, over 10 years ago, if my blog video server wasn't broken.

My point is, this argument about "acceptable" and understandable language forms has been going on for at least a thousand years. There is a considerable amount scholarship on this topic. This thread isn't one of them.

The internet's a big place, and even Renaissance/dilettante internetters don't spend time learning every meme out there.

It even has space for people who are proud of their ignorance.
posted by charlie don't surf at 8:50 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I used to work in a grocery store deli in a neighbourhood that skewed older. Amongst our many wonderful and treasured customers, we also had The Pooper.

He didn't start out as The Pooper. He started out as "Quarter Inch Ham Guy". He was very specific about the slice of ham he wanted, and he knew exactly what a quarter inch was. He didn't want any specks or flecks of other products on his ham. Just the one slice. Quarter inch thick. No more, no less, and damn the public school system if it varied.

He didn't stick with one variety of ham, though. He tried every kind, being particularly enthusiastic when we brought new varieties in and eager to let us know what he thought of each one (rarely positive, but with gusto).

So, yeah, Quarter Inch Ham Guy.

At the same time, we'd been dealing with a food service nightmare - someone was using the men's room in an abusively explosive fashion. Artifacts...migrated. The stall was apparently viewed as optional. It happened twice weekly, generally, and within a specific time-frame. Finding artifacts outside of the restroom set off a process of surveillance that I'm sure the assigned youths still marvel (or grouse) over in their middle years. During the two weeks of surveillance, artifacts were discovered even in food storage areas, and awareness amongst staff quadrupled. Everyone was on the lookout for the offender.

One of our meekest checkers was coming back from morning break when she saw a man in the process of tracking what seemed to be that least welcome output just outside the dairy case. The burly meat guy and the assistant director confirmed it - it was the smear we all feared. During the quest for validation, though, the violator had vamoosed.

The trio went looking for the offender and found him standing before the deli case, waiting for his quarter inch of ham, his spattered shoes bearing the evidence they sought. The AD asked to speak to him and ended up recommending he should come in after he had completed his toilet for the morning, rather than relying upon our facilities.

He raged. He was furious he'd been followed. He was so angry any store time had been dedicated to finding out what was happening that he threatened legal action. He was positive his rights had been violated. The assistant director was accused of having a camera in the men's room. Anyone could hear him yelling from the front office about how he'd been a loyal customer, supportive despite our various inconsistencies and failures, and how he couldn't believe he would be treated in this way.

And, all this time, he had crap on his shoes and pants that he'd been tracking all over the store for (at this point) at least a couple of months. During the entire rant. And he wasn't being banned from the store or anything else within the rights of management. He was being asked to poop at home so that any explosive situations could be handled comfortably and appropriately. He raged on.

Some kind of accord was reached. The AD came to pick up the ham and gifted it to him. We didn't see him for a couple of weeks after that. When he returned, though, he was no longer the deli's Quarter Inch Ham Guy - he had gained perpetual infamy throughout the store as The Pooper.

ANYWAY. Not sure why, but this thread toooootally reminded me of that whole thing. Whew.
posted by batmonkey at 8:51 AM on April 30, 2012 [33 favorites]


Holy sh...

nevermind.
posted by desjardins at 8:58 AM on April 30, 2012


\[p4...:4

There's meaning there. You just have to look really hard to find it. It's not my fault if you don't find it. Nor is it my job to explain it further.


This is a bit of an aside but I guess what I'm saying is how do you expect mods, the people responsible for policing this site, from distinguishing from a zero-context, but perhaps known to some circles, meme, message, or what-have-you and genuine rambling or noise?

Artistic and self-poking-fun-at messages aside, how are the mods supposed to know? Do they trust that everyone is participating in good faith and leave it or lean the other way and tidy things up for the other participants?

It's not an easy decision is all I'm saying and I'm glad I don't have to make it umpteen times in any given day.
posted by RolandOfEld at 9:09 AM on April 30, 2012


It even has space for people who are proud of their ignorance.

Show me the guy who literally knows everything and I'll give him a big high five and he'll probably correct my form but, hey, at least he's done the impossible so go him.

In the mean time, even knowledge-hungry humans have their own fields of particular interest and gaps in knowledge. Folks are made up mostly of gaps, as far as that goes, because even someone with tremendous amounts of time on their hands can't keep up with everything and most folks don't have that sort of spare time at all.

Acknowledging that, for any given sub-subject x, most folks aren't keenly up to date on the the details isn't a statement of pride in ignorance, it's a statement of basic common-sense pragmatism. That's a pretty basic and important distinction. It's great to be excited about learning new things, but it makes no sense to take cheap shots at other people for not having a set of interests identical to your own.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:21 AM on April 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


- thinks rage faces are a form of communication
- fan of Japan
- relentlessly argues over the minuscule details of imagined slights
- makes up for lack of social skills with a intellectual superiority complex

All we need now is to find out you watch anime and are a men's rights advocate and you're the prototypical Reddit user. Maybe this is like some kind of performance art experiment, where charlie don't surf has decided to see how the Reddit stereotype interacts with non-Reddit communities.

It even has space for people who are proud of their ignorance.

. . . Because being ignorant of rage faces is a Big Deal and people should be ashamed they don't know that meme. Ashamed. You have a lot of strong, strong feelings about this rage faces thing, man.
posted by schroedinger at 9:25 AM on April 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


It even has space for people who are proud of their ignorance.

As well as those of us who have a lot of other things going on, and so can't dedicate the time to learning All The Things. You think you've just insulted me, but you've only pointed out your own blind spots.
posted by rtha at 9:29 AM on April 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Whoops, hit post instead of preview.

Charlie, I know a lot of random things that you are unlikely to know about. Should I conclude that because you don't know something that seems really obvious to me, that you'd be acting proud of your ignorance if you acknowledged not knowing it?
posted by rtha at 9:31 AM on April 30, 2012


It even has space for people who are proud of their ignorance.

But enough about you....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:36 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


To me the most fascinating aspect of this whole discussion is not how completely out of proportion your response was to the deletion, but how insistent you are that your response is wholly appropriate and the deletion of your internet meme reference is an assault on free speech and knowledge itself.

I mean, there are plenty of Metatalk threads where people are getting really hot under the collar about a deletion, though in the grand scheme of things having a comment or post deleted on a message board is really not a big thing. But this is the first time I've seen something like this over a comment so flippant and stupid.

And I don't think I've ever seen the person with the deleted comment continue the argument for days, despite the clear lack of support for their argument from, well, anyone. Like, I really wonder whether maybe you have other things going on in your Real Life and it's projecting into how you deal with things on the internet. Maybe close the Metafilter windows, go outside and go for a walk or something. Come back in a few days and see whether this all really matters in the grand scheme of things.
posted by schroedinger at 9:37 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


RolandOfEld, you have no idea how much restraint it took for me to not respond with an equally cryptic coding that contained a subtle, yet hilarious, insult.

And yet here we are. No cryptic ribaldry to be found. Thread largely unmarred by our increasingly strenuous encoding, which would surely have ended in tears.

It seems to me, right here & now, that you and I may in fact be the greatest heroes yet seen on this planet.

Either that or we've got other things to do with our time. Heroes, or normal. One of the two.

Probably doesn't really matter which.
posted by aramaic at 9:44 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


All we need now is to find out you watch anime and are a men's rights advocate and you're the prototypical Reddit user.
posted by schroedinger at 5:25 PM on April 30



Oh good. Some lazy and insolent generalisation about reddit will help things along here no end.
posted by Decani at 9:44 AM on April 30, 2012


Hey charlie, I've been gone all weekend and totally missed this awesome call out and pile on - if you have any ass left can I get a piece? I mean it makes me feel so vindicated to be part of a mob! Maybe it's because I have issues in Real Life and I'm too scared to go out for a walk.
posted by Big_B at 9:47 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Oh good. Some lazy and insolent generalisation about reddit will help things along here no end.

lazy, insolent, more true than anyone wants to admit, especially reddit users.


Look, every place on the internet with a lot of user interaction has its own subculture and shibboleths. Reddit is into the rage faces. We're not here. It's simply a question of the audience.
posted by GuyZero at 10:06 AM on April 30, 2012


Insolent? Is Reddit an authority figure I'm not respecting? Also, I thought I was pretty clear I was referencing a stereotype--that's why I find the whole scenario hilarious, CDS is hitting all the "Reddit Stereotype" points so far.
posted by schroedinger at 10:12 AM on April 30, 2012


Freedom of the press was always mostly for those who owned them. [...] The fact that the web is becoming as corporate-owned as private spaces in America
yes but these are both bad things aren't they
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:13 AM on April 30, 2012


yes but these are both bad things aren't they

Do you actually think Jessamyn disagrees? Or if not, what is your point — is this just a general lamentation about the present state of free speech, or are you under the impression that you're implying some specific-to-Metafilter argument that you'd like addressed? This cryptic one-liner "i'm implying something really deep can you guess what it is" commenting style is really not productive of good discussions.
posted by RogerB at 10:21 AM on April 30, 2012


yes but these are both bad things aren't they

Of course, but it falls under the giant heading of "Things that are bad in the world that are not going to be remedied by MetaFilter policies or practices."

We've been clear from the get-go that this site has certain values and goals and being a place on the internet where anyone can say anything they want is not one of them. I'm surprised I need to repeat this continually in Metatalk. People may have different opinions about whether this amounts to censorship according to their definition of the term, and that's their business, but acting like this is something new and regrettable about how this site runs or even how the site should run just makes me confused about people's ability to understand complicated systems or living in the adult world generally where most people have to make at least some compromises with their absolute dream world just to stay alive and happy.

Put another way: I have no idea what you're actually getting at and I would appreciate if you would make it much more clear if you want to actually have a discussion about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:26 AM on April 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


"Things that are bad in the world that are not going to be remedied by MetaFilter policies or practices."
my fear is that nothing can remedy this, metafilter or otherwise

probably passe but all i'm saying is that this small thing is reflective of a much much larger issue
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 10:37 AM on April 30, 2012


Freedom of speech means the government cannot limit your speech in certain situations. You are in a private forum owned by Metafilter LLC. They may delete anything you post. You have no freedom of speech here.

I had to jump ahead in the thread here to say that there are a lot of people making the argument that this is a privately operated space and therefore freedom of speech arguments don't apply. I just want to say that the reason freedom of speech is in the constitution is that it's a good idea.
posted by Trochanter at 10:40 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I just want to say that the reason freedom of speech is in the constitution is that it's a good idea.

It's a good idea for the government, I think, to not be setting the limits for how its citizens speak. It does not mean that speech without boundaries is always a good idea. Individuals (and groups of individuals) can make private decisions on contextual appropriateness, and even enforce those decisions.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:48 AM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just want to say that the reason freedom of speech is in the constitution is that it's a good idea.

It is a good idea. That's why it's in the Constitution and nowhere else.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:49 AM on April 30, 2012


I just want to say that the reason freedom of speech is in the constitution is that it's a good idea.

Challenge: Find me an unmoderated space on the internet where you would like to spend time.

These places exist in the real world, sort of. I spend a lot of my non-MeFi time working with and for the good of public libraries and arguing strongly for their continued importance and existence. Trust me, I understand the issue. If you want to make a cogent argument that you think what MetaFilter needs is a more aggressive no-moderation policy than make that argument and discuss it with the other members. We are basically a membership-run website and if there was a huge groundswell of "Yeah we'd like this to be a place where free speech is one of the primary values" we would seriously look into changing the way we do things. But honestly there is and will always be a difference between the government saying what you can and can not do and a small website making rules about what sorts of discussion are and are not okay here.

Making a bunch of sideways jabs as if deletion of comments on this website (something that has been policy here for the majority of its existence) is part of the gradual slippery slope that is the erosion of civil liberties in the US and elsewhere without any substantive discussion, analysis, or anything constructive does nothing to forward the point I think you are actually trying to make.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:50 AM on April 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I just want to say that the reason freedom of speech is in the constitution is that it's a good idea.

That is not why it is in the Bill of Rights in the way I think you mean it. The Founders were specifically concerned with the government supression of political speech. I'm glad that in the US we have a broader conception of what freedom of speech encompasses, but in reality, "freedom of speech" in the US is more a creation of court rulings from roughly a 100 years ago than any original intent.
posted by Falconetti at 10:51 AM on April 30, 2012


I had to jump ahead in the thread here to say that there are a lot of people making the argument that this is a privately operated space and therefore freedom of speech arguments don't apply. I just want to say that the reason freedom of speech is in the constitution is that it's a good idea.

Sure, and we put a lot of effort into keeping things relatively open here as well despite a lack of government mandate to do so. But free speech is protected in (an amendment to) the US Constitution because it would be bad to allow the government unrestricted control over the speech and expression of its citizens, not because it's a good idea to have everybody always saying anything they want in every situation.

You won't find anybody who works here who thinks that free speech is a bad idea, and as much as the argument that as a private organization Mefi has the right to delete whatever it wants is strictly true it's not an argument you'll find us as mods making because that's not really the lens we look at things through. We prefer to operate with as light a touch as we reasonably can, and leave undeleted plenty of things that might get nixed quickly on other sites.

But we also don't think that free speech absolutism makes sense here. And the difference between "I had something deleted on this private website" and "my federally granted right to freedom of expression is being oppressed" is a really important one. And failing to mark that distinction tends to make for very tedious, stupid arguments of the sort that I certainly get tired of having to facilitate and that beyond that lots of folks get tired of just having to spectate. I think that's why you tend to get see the short circuit sometimes where folks stop trying to be delicate about it and just point out that, no, you don't have a right to squat in a private forum.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:52 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


FIRE! FIRE!

THIS WHOLE THREAD IS ON FIRE!!!!!!
posted by GuyZero at 10:57 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The thread should see a doctor ASAP and remember to use protection next time.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:59 AM on April 30, 2012


I had to jump ahead in the thread here to say that there are a lot of people making the argument that this is a privately operated space and therefore freedom of speech arguments don't apply. I just want to say that the reason freedom of speech is in the constitution is that it's a good idea.

It is. And that is why it gives you, personally, the right to start your own web site if you don't like the policies here, where you can say whatever you want.

....The fact that you don't want to learn code or spend money purchasing a domain in order to do that is not something the Constitution has any control over. Other people have done that, and one of the privileges of learning code and spending money to maintain the platform is that they have control over what people can and can't say in their site. The First Amendment preserves your right to get your own site if you don't like it.

That is what the First Amendment is all about, Charlie Brown.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:05 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


one of the privileges of learning code and spending money to maintain the platform is that they have control over what people can and can't say in their site.

i'm just going to go ahead and say that 'privileges' is an interesting choice of words
posted by This, of course, alludes to you at 11:09 AM on April 30, 2012


Seriously, if you are not trolling this thread, try actually talking about something instead of the continual wry asides.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:16 AM on April 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


i'm just going to go ahead and say that 'privileges' is an interesting choice of words

Would you just go ahead and consider, and I mean really seriously consider, moving toward some sort of different commenting paradigm where you take the time to string together an entire paragraph that clearly expresses whatever is on your mind? Maybe take the time to lay out your points instead of just vaguely nodding in their direction in one-liner drivebys?

Because this sort of thin, ambiguous i'll-just-leave-this-here type comment is a thing you do, and do very consistently, on the site, in a way that doesn't make for good conversation. I don't know why that's how you choose to interact here; I've seen that you can put together thoughts differently than this, so it's clearly a choice, but I don't know what your motivation is or whether you're under the impression that it's improving conversation for anyone other than you or if you just don't give a shit whether this ambiguous, low-engagement, sarcastic-except-when-it's-not stuff helps.

I don't like harping on personal style choices, but this isn't some random one-off thing, and at this point it's happened so many times, and been disruptive to enough threads, that we really need you to take a look at this and figure some shit out about how you interact on this site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:21 AM on April 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


That's the thing about fire, GuyZero. It's hard to define flamebait, but I know it when I see it.
posted by maryr at 11:24 AM on April 30, 2012


You don't even have to know how to code to have your own site. There's a zillion WYSIWYG....things that let you set up a basic site where you can write whatever you want without knowing even basic HTML, let alone actual coding languages.
posted by rtha at 11:30 AM on April 30, 2012


This, of course, alludes to you: Metafilter's first novelty account*


* For those not in the know, this is an account on Reddit which is pretty much eponysterical all the time. For instance, Shitty_Watercolours paints shitty versions of photos that other users post. Reddit_Noir turns a conversation into something that reads like a hard-boiled detective novel, etc.

Do not ask about POTATO_IN_THE_ANUS.

posted by zombieflanders at 11:31 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


you don't have a right to squat in a private forum.

And I was reacting to the easy way that kind of thing gets tossed out, and to that sort of fuck you phrasing. I've got nothing against you guys. You do a great job here.

I didn't follow the thread OP's complaining about. I have no idea whether the deleted comments were timed/placed in a funny or poignant way. Because of course, I can't know now.

It's not a big, big deal to me. Maybe other people have a different impression than I do of how ephemeral the front page of the blue is. I'll read the small text "few comments removed" and think, "In three weeks will it matter? Hell, in three days will it matter?"

I know AskMe is a different beast. One where those threads are meant to be of value as information for as long as there's an internet. That's a great idea, and it's well that that part of the site be tightly policed.

(On preview, EmpressCallipygos' tone is pretty much exactly what I'm talking about. If yew don't like Amurrica, you kin git out.)

jessamyn, I didn't say anything about zero moderation. I'm not totally clear on the history of this stuff, but aren't a lot of people here because boingboing was too draconian? Again, you guys do a great job -- I don't want to die on this hill.

I just don't like the tone of those "you don't have a right to anything here" comments.
posted by Trochanter at 11:34 AM on April 30, 2012


Gman tried to warn us, then he disappeared and now it's too late.

NEVAR FORGET.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:40 AM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not totally clear on the history of this stuff, but aren't a lot of people here because boingboing was too draconian?

Not really, that I know of. I remember a couple folks who were BB emigres around the time of that whole Violet Blue thing, but beyond that I don't think there's been any real systemic userbase relationship between the two sites; BB hadn't even had a consistent commenting function for a lot of years as I recall, with them being on and then off and then on-with-TNH-moderating and then Teresa leaving at some point, no real metacommentary venue on the site, etc.

Very different beasts on a lot of those points in any case. I'd guess the portion of the mefi userbase who would significantly attribute their membership to BB commenting/moderation stuff is vanishingly small. Even the portion of the userbase that even has anything like an opinion about BB's policies on that front is probably pretty teeny, though thanks to BB and Mefi being in sort of similar functional space on the web in some ways and the old VB-related drama and its spillover into Metatalk at the time I'd say a disproportionate chunk of of long-time high-engagement regulars here can summon up something to say about it when it comes up.

I just don't like the tone of those "you don't have a right to anything here" comments.

Me neither, really. But I can understand where they come from; badly footed arguments generate annoyed responses, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:44 AM on April 30, 2012


THIS WHOLE THREAD IS ON FIRE!!!!!!

Is it crowded?
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 12:21 PM on April 30, 2012


I too subscribe to the concept that wherever free speech is not required, it remains a Really Good Idea. The mods here strike the right balance and I don't think the "do as we say" attitude prevails to the extent that you think it does. I've been annoyed by deletions of some of my comments, but that feeling lasts for a few minutes and then I let it go.

Moreso, the ACLU, or private litigants who bring free-speech claims before the courts, draft their pleadings with care and precision, keeping in mind the rule requiring "a short and plain statement of the claim." This is also good policy for the private sector.
posted by moammargaret at 12:21 PM on April 30, 2012


I think one of the most fascinating things about this whole discussion (aside from the fact that this thread is still going) is the effect that having this MeTa, about the use of implied image macros (such as Trollface.jpg) and their relation to Mefi culture, will (or at least might) have on their potential future use on Mefi. That is to say, if their use was considered foreign before, by having this MeTa it's almost like they've been formally introduced to the site (well, a subset of its members anyway), and through mocking the meme (see the various examples of people riffing on the form in this thread) have appropriated it and turned it into another potential in-joke, which I feel is now more likely show up in one form another than it was before. I feel it's not too different from (for example) "I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine", which by itself isn't something a Mefite is likely to say (at least sincerely), however due to the on-site history associated with the phrase and the ironic way it is now used, it isn't a strange thing to see. Perhaps not the most best parallel among in-jokes, but I think it's adequate for conveying what I (think I'm) observing.

Anyways, I don't really feel strongly about this one way or another, except that I find it all absolutely fascinating (and thought you might as well).
posted by kilo hertz at 1:03 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I actually know far more about this subject than I think you can imagine"

This was the original wording, by the way, which seemed to morph and mutate through use by the time it got documented on the in-jokes wiki page. This is unfortunate, in my opinion, as that original wording, and specifically the "I think you can imagine", is possibly the most wonderful aspect of the meme/in-joke, as it ends up subtly undermining any impression of authority or absoluteness that is generally meant to be conveyed by the common wording of the phrase ("I know more about this than you can possibly imagine"). But I digress.

posted by kilo hertz at 1:11 PM on April 30, 2012


My point: Take 2 (with a genuine good faith effort to shed a wee bit of the condescending moral superiority)

That's only a problem when one person who does not understand is a moderator that removes your message so the people who might understand it can't see it.

I was referring exclusively to this thread. trollface.jpg and close_enough.jpg had their day. You presented your case for your deleted comments and received a lot of feedback here from folks telling you that your chosen mode of communication in this particular context didn't fly for a number of reasons. You also received feedback saying: Yes, it was a bad deletion, but no, being edited does not rise to being censored.

My read on all of this is that in the great universal balance between ambiguity and clarity, this particular forum prefers clarity. While you may have thought your intentions were clear enough, your audience disagreed.

The overall consensus seems to be that your outrage was out of proportion to the incident. This hurt your argument.

It is unclear to me what you want and reasonable to suggest rethinking how you go about getting what you want.

You said you wanted an explanation from the mods for deleting your comments. They explained and you continued to forcefully argue their explanations. This make me question the sincerity of your request and wonder what you're really after.

You stated you wanted a reconsideration of policy. Great. Very Reasonable. But this request was posted so far down-thread and after so much blustery argumentativeness, outrage, insults to the mods and other MeFites that you lost good-will from your readers. If you want more latitude from the community and the mods about letting certain comments stand, there are more effective ways to go about getting this.

May I also submit that what you consider to be a lack of subtly on my part is simply one reading among many possible readings from one person with certain sensibilities. That's all.
posted by space_cookie at 1:12 PM on April 30, 2012


Forget it, Decani. It's MetaTalk.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:14 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Such horrible injustice!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:23 PM on April 30, 2012


My point is, this argument about "acceptable" and understandable language forms has been going on for at least a thousand years. There is a considerable amount scholarship on this topic. This thread isn't one of them.

...nor was (really) the one in which you posted your deleted comments. Really, in context, it looks like a pretty barefaced "what a troll" expressed in a purposefully obtuse way (but hey! I'm no linguistics scholar, so what do I know?) and if there was any meta-commentary about the analogies between your post and the controversial art that the thread was about, it an incredible stretch, and pretty much relies on the deletion having happened. It's nice that you, like many of the rest of us, have a field of study and interest. Shoehorning it into places where it's not appropriate isn't likely to be, well, appropriate, and to be honest, it's very hard to see that intent in the original posts except in the context of this post-factual MeTa stunt.
posted by Dysk at 1:24 PM on April 30, 2012


I find it strange the cds trumpets, pretty insistently, his highbrow interests spanning hundreds of years of Japanese orthography and does not know what censorship means or why "freedom of speech" is not implicated when his comment is deleted on a website owned by some guy.
posted by jayder at 1:31 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


To be completely honest, CDS has come across in this thread like he had a jokey throw-away comment deleted, was indignant, and loudly contested the deletion with a bunch of arguments about the validity of his mode of communication, largely with appeals to authority that are, at best, tenuously relevant to the deletion/comment in question. Obviously, I have no idea if that's what happened, but that's how it comes across to me.

The fact that ragefaces are fascinating from a linguistic perspective and have lots of similarity to archaic Japanese languages and so on may be very interesting and relevant to expound in a thread about ragefaces, modern metalingustic developments, archaic Japanese languages, and indeed many others. It doesn't give you carte blanche to use them to make jokey comments in all sorts of other contexts, much like comments partially in and about, say, German, will be awfully interesting and relevant in some threads, but doesn't mean you can just start engaging MetaFilter in German as a rule.

In my opinion, of course.
posted by Dysk at 1:31 PM on April 30, 2012


Hey charlie, I've been gone all weekend and totally missed this awesome call out and pile on - if you have any ass left can I get a piece? I mean it makes me feel so vindicated to be part of a mob! Maybe it's because I have issues in Real Life and I'm too scared to go out for a walk.

Since you were gone all weekend, please allow me to clarify things a bit: To the extent this is a "call out," charlie don't surf was the one calling out the mods. Even after receiving lengthy and respectful explanations from the mods, he signaled his intent to continue to make identical posts in the future. And then he wrongly claimed Matt was lying about sending him a message. By and large, over 200+ comments, people have generally conveyed their agreement with the mods' decision, which by definition implies disagreement with charlie don't surf -- at least as it relates to this particular community website. I haven't seen an example of the "mob" banding together to "chew his ass out." In fact, about the only example of someone casting unfounded aspersions is your insinuation that those who disagreed with charlie don't surf have mental problems.

Anyway, as as a wise man once said: "The internet is a happier place when people do not express outrage on behalf of other people."

gandhiorcharliedontsurf.gif
posted by pardonyou? at 1:31 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


In fact, about the only example of someone casting unfounded aspersions is your insinuation that those who disagreed with charlie don't surf have mental problems.

Then apparently you missed the joke, that someone just above my comment insinuated that cds has mental problems. Also his apology to mathowie.

facepalm.jpg
posted by Big_B at 1:41 PM on April 30, 2012


pissingelephant.jpg
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:46 PM on April 30, 2012


Also his apology to mathowie.

Saw the apology. Didn't make his accusation any less reckless.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:05 PM on April 30, 2012


You also received feedback saying: Yes, it was a bad deletion, but no, being edited does not rise to being censored.. The overall consensus seems to be that your outrage was out of proportion to the incident. This hurt your argument.

So, it seems you are saying that you disagree with what I say, but you defend my right to say it, unless you don't like the way I say it.
posted by charlie don't surf at 2:10 PM on April 30, 2012


No, I think that they're defending your right to post "trollface.jpg" as well as other people's right to flag it as noise and the mods' right to decide that, yeah, in this particular conversation that it really is noise and better deleted.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:14 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Not all editing is censorship, in other words.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:14 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


So, it seems you are saying that you disagree with what I say, but you defend my right to say it, unless you don't like the way I say it.

      |Yes. This really shouldn't come as a surprise, as this is a normal convention of conversation - the content behind your words might be acceptable, but the words you use and how you use them do matter.|
    /l、/  
   (゚、 。 7
__ l、 ~ヽ__
   じしf_, )ノ  \
________ \
 ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄| | ̄
_______| |
 ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄ ̄| |
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:15 PM on April 30, 2012


catscan.jpg ?
posted by iamabot at 2:16 PM on April 30, 2012


So, it seems you are saying that you disagree with what I say, but you defend my right to say it, unless you don't like the way I say it.

Nobody is arguing against your right to say trollface.jpg or close_enough.gif, or whatever your favored meme is, they're just saying that in a moderated discussion that right isn't implicated.

You can register a domain, host a website, and say those things as much as you want.
posted by jayder at 2:18 PM on April 30, 2012


So, it seems you are saying that you disagree with what I say, but you defend my right to say it, unless you don't like the way I say it.

No. Nobody is saying that you don't have the right to be outraged about the deletions, if that's what you want to do. People are observing that your outrage is not getting a lot of traction in this thread, and -- to the extent that the response of people in this thread is reflective of it -- in the greater community of MetaFilter. It doesn't seem like a lot of people share your outrage, and trying to couch these circumstances in language that suggests that your basic human freedoms are being violated here is not, despite what you seem to think, helping your case.

You have a right to rave like a madman, if that's what you want to do. (That's a f'rinstance, not a characterization.) But you don't have a right to persuade anybody. You do that by choosing your rhetoric carefully, by reading the room, by thinking about what's working and what's not for your audience. By coming across as though what you want to convince your audience of is really the most reasonable thing in the world.

You have gotten valuable feedback in the past few days about what persuades and doesn't persuade this audience (including the mods). You can do what you like with that feedback, too: you don't have to change how you want to talk on the internet one bit if you like. But some of how you seem to want to talk on the internet is going to be shut down by the mods if you do it here. And it seems like the mods have the approval of the audience in shutting some of that stuff down. So maybe it would help to consider that, when people say things about how you're presenting your argument, they aren't censoring you. They are helping you to read the room.
posted by gauche at 2:28 PM on April 30, 2012 [11 favorites]


Very apropos comment, batmonkey. Where's Jim Lahey when you need him?
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 3:27 PM on April 30, 2012


Jessamyn said (not to me, I hasten to add, lest there be any confusion):

Making a bunch of sideways jabs as if deletion of comments on this website (something that has been policy here for the majority of its existence) is part of the gradual slippery slope that is the erosion of civil liberties in the US and elsewhere without any substantive discussion, analysis, or anything constructive does nothing to forward the point I think you are actually trying to make.

I would like to say, in a non-weird, non-trolling, good faith kind of way, that in my personal anecdotal experience there are substantially more deletions on MeFi than there were even a few months ago, though I can't really validate that impression because (a) I have only my own personal history to go from here, and it's possible that I have simply metamorphosed into a huge asshole and/or have become incomprehensibly random in a way never before the case in just the last few months, and (b) by virtue of the deletions being the result of a thing deleted, I can't exactly point to them all and say, "Ah hah!" Because, like. They aren't there.

I am cool with MeFi having a deletion policy. I do not think anyone wants to see this site become the comments section on YouTube. I do, however, think that the deletions have been a little more fast and furious than they used to be. Like I said, it makes me want to post here less, so that's what I do, I'm sure to the gnashing of teeth/rending of garments of millions. But my point is that I don't think this is a question of some people wanting a free for all and others wanting moderation. I think it's a question of some small number of people who want a free for all (there are always some people who want one), another number of people who think moderation is awesome and think no more about it, and I don't know how many people -- possibly only this person? -- who think moderation is peachy-keen but kinda think it's been dialed up a little too high of late. I even get why it would be -- the site grows by leaps and bounds and it's maybe better to nip things in the bud than try and feel them out -- but I wish that it weren't, personally.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:32 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Kittens for breakfast, you've been running steady on a handful of comment deletions a year and look on track for the same this year - it doesn't look like there's much at all of an increase in your case. The numbers that everyone has run so far don't really point to a statistical increase overall. It's quite possible that there's been a change in the kind of comments deleted, or the timing, or some other pattern - we're better-staffed now, so late-night, weekend, and early-thread comments are under far more scrutiny than before, so it may well feel different.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:39 PM on April 30, 2012


Kittens for breakfast, you've been running steady on a handful of comment deletions a year and look on track for the same this year - it doesn't look like there's much at all of an increase in your case. The numbers that everyone has run so far don't really point to a statistical increase overall. It's quite possible that there's been a change in the kind of comments deleted, or the timing, or some other pattern - we're better-staffed now, so late-night, weekend, and early-thread comments are under far more scrutiny than before, so it may well feel different.

It's possible. I do know that I've posted much less this year (well...it certainly feels as though I have?), if that skews matters at all.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:42 PM on April 30, 2012


Quite possibly, there's probably a infodump-based way to run those numbers, but I am not the math person. Anything bigger than a handful and it all just turns into rainbows.

(Seriously, there's an OKCupid quiz question that's something like STALE is to 12345 like STEAL is to which number? and I have answered it every single possible way despite the fact that I thoroughly understand both analogies and number-substitution. All the answers are still white, orange, yellow, blue, and pink.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:56 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


So, it seems you are saying that you disagree with what I say, but you defend my right to say it, unless you don't like the way I say it.

No. I am saying that you may communicate any old way you'd like, but please don't be surprised when it doesn't get you what you want.

That said. At this point I have changed my assumptions about what you are going after.

Your behavior in this thread suggests to me that you never wanted: an explanation of the mods decision; a reconsideration of policy; a thoughtful discussion about evolving modes of expression; a thoughtful discussion about the tensions between free speech and community standards.

I assume your intention was to use MeTa as a stage to provoke an audience into participating in an elaborate performance art piece designed for attention and your own amusement.

To this end I think you succeeded beautifully. Well done.
posted by space_cookie at 3:56 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The numbers that everyone has run so far don't really point to a statistical increase overall.

That's not true. Cortex provided some numbers in a previous thread that showed that deletions ARE up.
posted by jayder at 4:00 PM on April 30, 2012


Which isn't that surprising, since there's more mod coverage now.
posted by rtha at 4:06 PM on April 30, 2012


This is maybe the comment from cortex that jayder means, in which cortex links to these nifty graphs.
posted by rtha at 4:10 PM on April 30, 2012


Quite possibly, there's probably a infodump-based way to run those numbers, but I am not the math person. Anything bigger than a handful and it all just turns into rainbows.

(Seriously, there's an OKCupid quiz question that's something like STALE is to 12345 like STEAL is to which number? and I have answered it every single possible way despite the fact that I thoroughly understand both analogies and number-substitution. All the answers are still white, orange, yellow, blue, and pink.)


Yeah, I have this same problem myself; I learned to balance a checkbook out of dire need, but higher math than that and, like, no.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 4:10 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, that's the comment.
posted by jayder at 4:15 PM on April 30, 2012


On preview, EmpressCallipygos' tone is pretty much exactly what I'm talking about. If yew don't like Amurrica, you kin git out.

Whoa, hold up -- if that's the tone you drew from that, I really mis-spoke somehow. Can I try again?

I was attempting to clarify what others have also done in here -- that the First Amendment dictates what the Government can and cannot do in terms of restricting speech. Individuals can set their own restrictions within that for what is and is not allowed within the confines of their specific turf, and those restrictions are also covered by the First Amendment.

To wit: you've got two guys - Sid and Hank. Sid likes the Beatles; Hank likes the Rolling Stones. The First Amendment lets Sid talk about how much he likes the Beatles and how much better a songwriter John Lennon was than Mick Jagger or whatever. But - just because Sid's right to talk about how much cooler the Beatles are is protected by the First Amendment, that doesn't mean Sid has the right to barge into Hank's house at all hours and sing "Penny Lane" in Hank's living room. Hank has the right to kick Sid out if he tries to do that.

But Hank's not saying "Sid, you can't talk about The Beatles at all anywhere ever." Hank's only saying "Dude, you take that Beatles talk out of my living room. You don't have to go home, but just don't talk like that here." Sid still has the right to talk about the Beatles, but Hank has the right to say "I just don't wanna hear it in my own turf." And Hank has the right to do that.

The mods making a decision about deleting a comment is not comparable to a First Amendment Violation; it's a case of Hank telling Sid "shut up about The Beatles in here already, go talk about it with Stan if you want."

Just a clarification for what the First Amendment actually protects, is what I was doing.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:19 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Yeah there has been a small rise in deletions and some debate about whether we're talking actual numbers or the rate of change. I don't think we've run the numbers more granularly to see if this is a result of us having 33% more moderation coverage than we used to (i.e. seeing when the deletions happen and comparing the nighttime deletions which are also "new mod" deletions with the deletion rate during the rest of the day).

There's the counterargument that more moderator coverage could lead to fewer deletions because we can step in with "Hey let's not let this thing go off the rails" comments and not delete any comments at all. I'm not suggestion this is happening, it's not, but that it's one of our goals at having more round-the-clock moderation generally: the ability to see problem areas more quickly and head off longer nastier shitstorms with a few early threadshit deletions or mod notes and no deletions. That sort of thing only works if we can be on the site more regularly and if people trust us to be on the site more regularly.

So, it seems you are saying that you disagree with what I say, but you defend my right to say it, unless you don't like the way I say it.

For me personally, I'll defend your right to say whatever you want but not necessarily defend your right to say it on MetaFilter, a place you can freely choose to be or not to be.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:25 PM on April 30, 2012


It's really sad that you had to explain that, Empress. Anyone who needed that explanation should go back to sixth grade civics.
posted by jayder at 4:26 PM on April 30, 2012


I can only hope that it hurts to be that stupid.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 4:50 PM on April 30, 2012


PENNY LANE THE BARBER SHAVES ANOTHER CUSTOMER
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:03 PM on April 30, 2012


BORN AND RAISED IN SOOOUTH DETROOOOIT
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:09 PM on April 30, 2012


NA NA NA NA NA NA NA
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:12 PM on April 30, 2012


I would like to say, in a non-weird, non-trolling, good faith kind of way, that in my personal anecdotal experience there are substantially more deletions on MeFi than there were even a few months ago, though I can't really validate that impression because (a) I have only my own personal history to go from here, and it's possible that I have simply metamorphosed into a huge asshole and/or have become incomprehensibly random in a way never before the case in just the last few months, and (b) by virtue of the deletions being the result of a thing deleted, I can't exactly point to them all and say, "Ah hah!" Because, like. They aren't there.

Well that is probably the center of my feelings on this issue. It feels like the standards have changed, I haven't really changed. I wasn't aware there were more mods and more deletions. Hell, I wasn't even aware you could flag posts as noise. I think I've flagged maybe 10 posts in my history here, and those were mostly doubles.

I think that if MeFi mods are moving the goalposts, I need to know where they are, and it's reasonable to defend my (relatively innocuous) posts as not worth deletions. In this context of a FPP that discussed the expression of an artist, it seemed like an excessively harsh decision. Sure, I am a mod on other forums and I believe that deletions are a primary tool for mods to shape discussions and thus the whole tone of the forum. That's something I learned partly from MeFi mods. But I also learned from other forums that when moderating, you can't keep such a tight grip on discussions that you strangle them. People need to talk about things in their own way.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:24 PM on April 30, 2012


Dude, seriously? Have you just completely ignored the patient, thorough explanations in this thread? You should take like, 10 minutes to re-read all the mod posts addressing your specific concerns. Maybe use the much-vaunted Google to read the plethora of past discussions on these issues with additional explanations and context. Moving the goalposts, indeed. You ignore any explanation that offers dis-confirming evidence for your 'core principles' and cite any confirming evidence as either a justification for future shitty engagement or impetus to re-frame your argument. It's weird and you should stop.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:28 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sometimes I hate the Infodump. My anecdotal fuzzy barometer has recorded an uptick in assertions of a data-oriented nature. It's like the presence of the Infodump has given carte blanche to vaguely handwave at 'statistics' without ever actually doing the work and gathering the data to support an assertion. Ugh.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:30 PM on April 30, 2012


lazarus, I have read every single explanation in the thread and I acknowledged them all (insofar as I can, without writing for hours and hours), and I explicitly acknowledged that the mods have the right to moderate as they see fit. I just did acknowledge that again, right now. You're merely looking to keep pounding me for your own amusement. It's weird and you should stop.

I don't think it's unreasonable to ask where the goalposts got moved to, and state my opinion that they should be moved back to the left a smidgen. Apparently you do think that's unreasonable. Along with moving goalposts, I will suggest you might also like to reposition that stick in your ass.
posted by charlie don't surf at 5:37 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


But I also learned from other forums that when moderating, you can't keep such a tight grip on discussions that you strangle them.

Is this what happened when trollface.jpg and close_enough.jpg were deleted? Was discussion strangled?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:39 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


You thought the deletions were too harsh. Lots of people here - not mods - have expressed how they thought your comments were noise and/or disruptive and they flagged them, or would have. Are those goalposts not enough?
posted by rtha at 5:41 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


SHUT UP WHEN I'M TALKING TO YOU

damn, i need to talk my kid into listening to a different radio station once in awhile
posted by pyramid termite at 5:43 PM on April 30, 2012


Hey, charlie, I was wondering -- have you ever been a mod on another forum?
posted by Etrigan at 5:44 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: Pounding me for your own amusement.
posted by iamabot at 5:46 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


You can say you have acknowledged the explanations, but your continued assertions of addressed concerns suggest you have not actually internalized them.

You don't really need to explicitly acknowledge that the mods have the right to moderate as they see fit. It's kind of a shitty thing to say, as you're both suggesting that they need some sort of permission from you, and that their moderation style is based solely on their personal beliefs and not patient, active, constant engagement with the community.

It's not unreasonable to ask "Where did the goalposts get moved to?". That's not what you did, though. If you want to reframe your shitty MeTa post as a "Hey, I'm curious about current moderation norms on MetaFilter", that would probably get a better result. You're also asserting a ridiculously complex premise. Were they moved? In relation to what? How out of touch are you exactly with the current moderation style, so we know how far back to educate you? If you don't know where they are, how can you know that you want them moved left?

I don't think it's unreasonable, I think that is not what you've actually done here with this post. I think you've been obstinate and rude, weirdly combative, and painted yourself into a markedly tiny corner as a martyr for....something.

As for the stick in my ass, I'd like to know how you got footage. I have curtains.
posted by lazaruslong at 5:52 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think that if MeFi mods are moving the goalposts, I need to know where they are, and it's reasonable to defend my (relatively innocuous) posts as not worth deletions.

Every time someone tells you where the goal posts are, you complain and try to prove that really, they're not there. If you accept that the mods had a right to delete your post, and accept that they've explained why they deleted your post, that's where the goal posts are. Accept that, and maybe consider moving on instead of continuing to complain and insult others.
posted by Dysk at 5:54 PM on April 30, 2012


Life is unfair. People are imperfect. Goalposts shift. The mature person considers the bigger picture and goes on with their life. Starting to smack of someone who just can't handle feeling like he was silenced and rejected. The actual content is a red herring.
posted by griselda at 5:55 PM on April 30, 2012


It's not unreasonable to ask "Where did the goalposts get moved to?". That's not what you did, though. If you want to reframe your shitty MeTa post as a "Hey, I'm curious about current moderation norms on MetaFilter", that would probably get a better result. You're also asserting a ridiculously complex premise. Were they moved? In relation to what?

This is a good point. I don't think the goal posts have maybe moved, though we might have introduced better goal-line technology, to torture an analogy.
posted by Dysk at 5:56 PM on April 30, 2012


Just a clarification for what the First Amendment actually protects

But why is that protection there in the first place? Because it's one of those "self evident" truths that free speech is a worthy thing. That was my point. The fact that the First Amendment doesn't oblige the moderators to not abridge free speech is not germane.
posted by Trochanter at 6:12 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Because it's one of those "self evident" truths that free speech is a worthy thing.

A government that cannot restrict speech is a worthy thing.

"Free speech" means nothing. There's not free speech in my house, because I don't all
posted by jayder at 6:15 PM on April 30, 2012


allow people to come in and say whatever they like.
posted by jayder at 6:16 PM on April 30, 2012


I think that if MeFi mods are moving the goalposts, I need to know where they are

We have not knowingly moved any goalposts, though we do have more round-the-clock coverage. And honestly if you are in a position where you did not know that we hired two new mods last year, basically doubling our staff, and you don't seem to know how the flagging system works, it's unclear where we should start in explaining things.

I think we've been patient and informative here. Other than your deleted comments (and a few other people's assertions of same) I'm not sure what makes you so certain of this goalpost movement you think you're seeing, but I suspect it's the same conclusion-leaping that led you to feel that Matt was lying to you when he said he hadn't emailed you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:18 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Free speech" means nothing.

What do you say to that?

dot jpeg
posted by Trochanter at 6:21 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, charlie, I was wondering -- have you ever been a mod on another forum?

Surely you're joking. If not, go reread this.

I've been moderating online forums for a long time, since the late 1970s. Right now I'm moderating a forum with over 50k users and another with about 5k. As I just said in that post, I use some of the principles I learned from MeFi mods, to moderate on other forums. So these subtleties of moderation are significant to me. That's one reason I have hashed these issues out before, both privately in PMs as well as public discussions. I do want to hear more aspects of the issue. Most comments in this thread don't offer any. Those comments that did, I appreciated.

People like lazarus are merely amusing themselves by prolonging this argument, reframing it with misinformation. For example, the assertion that people in this thread declared my deleted posts were disruptive. Command F "disrupt" one hit of one person speaking about how his own posts were disruptive. Nobody called my posts disruptive. Some people said the posts were not noise and they shouldn't have been deleted. How inconvenient for people who would like to continue their "unanimous" condemnation.

So after I declared this discussion played out probably 200 comments ago, and then having watched people continue beating it to death, I understand it's futile to stop people from their misplaced righteous indignation and vengeful wrath on behalf of moderators who are fully capable of speaking on their own behalf. From the way some people are behaving, you would think I advocated killing kittens.

And on preview, I notice jessamyn chips in. Perhaps you don't recall my remarks saying that my intention was not to say Matt was lying. That is an impression that people repeated to smear me. I clearly meant my remarks as an quick gasp of incredulity, how could I have (seemingly) received a message from Matt when he says nobody messaged me? But everyone wanted to leap to conclusions here (I am not necessarily excluding myself). Unfortunately, the people most interested in leaping to conclusions were generally the ones most interested in finding the most negative ones and beating me over the head with them.

Yes, you and the other mods have been patient and informative, amidst a discussion that verges on griefing. Apparently that is the norm for MeTa. I guess it doesn't serve any point for you to again assert you've been patient and helpful, and again I said you were patient and helpful, and we keep saying that while everyone else is egging on a fight. Apparently they want us to restate our positions over and over and over. Some people even expressed anger over the exact wording of how I respectfully acknowledged your points, they wanted you to be offended. Should we just start swearing at each other so everyone can get the vicarious entertainment they are seeking? I think we both have better things to do.
posted by charlie don't surf at 6:37 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


And, scene.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 6:41 PM on April 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


I've been moderating online forums for a long time, since the late 1970s.

moderator, moderate thyself
posted by pyramid termite at 6:44 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Has the flame-out happened YET?
posted by hippybear at 7:03 PM on April 30, 2012


Oh yes.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:04 PM on April 30, 2012


More than anything, it's threads like this that move me.
posted by the goalpost is a lie at 7:04 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


TO A BIGGER HOUSE!
posted by box at 7:06 PM on April 30, 2012


There were online forums in the 1970s?
posted by schroedinger at 7:12 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


charlie don't surf, seriously, can you please give a detailed explanation of the positive impact that you think trollface.jpg and close_enough.jpg had on the discussion that made their deletion a poor choice?
posted by schroedinger at 7:14 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


you can't keep such a tight grip on discussions that you strangle them. People need to talk about things in their own way.

The discussion wasn't strangled by deleting your comments.

People are not free to communicate anyway they want, without consequence.

Please stop pulling the "The post was about an artist, I can talk however I want" card. It makes no sense
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:20 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yes, you and the other mods have been patient and informative, amidst a discussion that verges on griefing. Apparently that is the norm for MeTa. I guess it doesn't serve any point for you to again assert you've been patient and helpful, and again I said you were patient and helpful, and we keep saying that while everyone else is egging on a fight. Apparently they want us to restate our positions over and over and over.

Nobody wants you to restate your opinion over and over. You've said your piece, the fact that other people want to also say theirs doesn't mean they're necessarily expecting (or necessarily desiring) a response from you, so much as registering their opinion on the matter.
posted by Dysk at 7:33 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


So after I declared this discussion played out probably 200 comments ago

Yet here you are, still.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 7:33 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


You played yourself.
posted by box at 7:41 PM on April 30, 2012


I wasn't aware there were more mods and more deletions. Hell, I wasn't even aware you could flag posts as noise.

....You didn't know there were more mods? Dude, they ANNOUNCED it each time they added one. This doesn't look so much like "them moving the goalposts" so much as it's looking like "a member not paying attention."

Your not paying attention to how things work is not the mods' responsibility.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:43 PM on April 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


charlie don't surf - I mean this in a positive way - I'm not griefing/trying to goad you, but you need to walk away from this. This crowd doesn't like to put the pitchforks away without some proper usage.

Chalk it up as a lesson and move on.
posted by Big_B at 7:54 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


These aren't pitchforks. They're really, really sharp goalposts.
posted by the goalpost is a lie at 7:56 PM on April 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


The goalposts are made of "oh my god, I can't believe he keeps on going!"
posted by Occula at 8:05 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I like the goalpost metaphor. Cause the thing is, it's not that the goalposts have moved. It's that you don't get points for kicking a turd through the goalposts.
posted by the goalpost is a lie at 8:08 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Australian rules turd kicking.
posted by iamabot at 8:09 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Damnit. Now I want an "Australian rules turd kicking" sockpuppet.
posted by the goalpost is a lie at 8:10 PM on April 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


charlie don't surf, you don't get to "declare the discussion over." What you can control is whether or not you choose to continue posting to the discussion and reading the discussion. That's all you can control. That's all any of us who are not mods can control.

You get to post "troll face.jpg" in good faith. I get to flag it as noise in good faith. Someone else gets to favorite it in good faith. The mods then make their decision about it in good faith.

The discussion will be over for you when you walk away from it. It will not be over just because you say so.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:18 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


The game's over when Minnesota Fats says it's over.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:38 PM on April 30, 2012


>starts MeTa thread about censorship
>"I declared this discussion played out"

OH_THE_IRONING.gif
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:39 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


One thing you might have noticed through this meta, which could have been handled with a more agreeable email to the mods initially, is that the community will pretty aggressively defend what the mods are saying and what they accept as norms for site interaction from other community members. When someone persists against what usually begins as a fairly reasoned response from both the mods and the community you tend to see what the thread now is.

The mods and Matt have always operated the site with an aim of providing the community as clear a picture as possible in to the challenges and responses driven out of maintaining a large, vocal and active set of users. When you post metas of this nature, there is the fighting the good fight angle, but that really only works if you understand the community, and plainly there is some knowledge or experience gap you're struggling with here.

So, as has been suggested a couple times by well meaning folks, take a step back and observe the communities reaction to your comments about being censored and understand that while you may feel wronged, the community as a broader group statement doesn't share that sentiment and most importantly doesn't come to the same conclusion you do as a normal response from the moderation team.
posted by iamabot at 8:39 PM on April 30, 2012


hey everybody, we don't actually have quorum to declare the thread over. So unless 645 more MeFites show up in the next 30 minutes, this thread will have to continue indefinitely.
posted by GuyZero at 9:29 PM on April 30, 2012


644
posted by bdave at 9:32 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


In regards to your comment about not having seen any comments in the thread about your 'disruptive' comments, my personal response to comments that I consider to be noise is to flag them as noise, not make more noise in the thread about them. That's what the mods react to and delete (or not) based on their own modly wisdom. That's what the flagging system is there for, so that all members get to put in their mite if they choose to do so. Having a comment deleted can sting, that's for sure, but it's always going to be a possibility when you're participating in a moderated forum which draws from input from the members. This doesn't seem unreasonable to me.
posted by h00py at 9:39 PM on April 30, 2012


OH_THE_IRONING.gif

YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH WITH THAT FILTHY REDDIT TALK
posted by Ritchie at 10:12 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


YOU SHUT YOUR MOUTH WITH THAT FILTHY REDDIT TALK

WTF did u just say to me u lil punk?? ive nevr been to redddit in my life.

STATUS:
[ ] Not Told
[x] Told
[x] TOLD
[x] AlTOLD
[X] TOLDASAURUS REX
[X] Cash4TOLD.com
[X] No country for TOLD men
[X] Knights of the TOLD Republic
[X] TOLDSpice
[x] The Elder TOLDS IV: Oblivious
[x] Command & Conquer: TOLDberian Sun
[x] GuiTOLD Hero: World TOLD
[x] CounTOLD Strike
[x] Unreal TOLDament
[X] Half Life 2: Episode TOLD
[x] World of Warcraft: CaTOLDclysm
[X] Roller Coaster TOLDcoon
[x] BattleTOLDS
[x] S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: ShaTOLD of Chernobyl
[X] TOLDasauraus Rex 2: Electric Toldaloo
[x] TOLD of Duty 4: Modern TOLDfare
[x] TOLDmember
[X] Pokemon TOLD and Silver
[x] The Legend of Eldorado : The Lost City of TOLD
[x] X-men: The first TOLD
[x] TOLD Fortress Classic
[x] TOLDman: Arkham TOLD
[X] The Good, The Bad, and The TOLD
[x] Super Mario SunTOLD
[x] Legend of Zelda: TOLDacarnia of Time
[x] Microsoft Essential TOLD
[x] GNU/TOLD
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:18 PM on April 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


^Well, don't be too surprised when you discover that some bit of cultural ephemera that you assumed *everyone* knew about is not known about by everyone in your audience.

You're not kidding. My husband of over ten years, a computer guy, an Internetter since the Usenet days, didn't know about lemonparty dot org until I showed him a week ago, when he failed to catch a 30 Rock joke. I was stunned.

For DAYS I have been trying to figure out an excuse to tell someone this. He reads Boing Boing! He knows everything before I do!
posted by gingerest at 10:21 PM on April 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sometimes I wonder if those lemonparty guys are dead.

Maybe so. At least they went out with style.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:45 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


it's kind of a game theory thing. charlie came over here to give his opinion. which is cool. but it just so happens that 90% of the people who commented didn't sympathize with his position. which is as it should be, because his position was really, really weak. and while i certainly don't love the idea of one guy being beaten up by ten - this isn't that. everybody has expressed their opinion. most people people's opinions didn't agree with his. outside of self-censorship (<>
it's also kind of a supreme court thing. sometimes they pick strong cases, sometimes weak. the point of picking a weak case is to tee off on it and use it to make law unconstrained by the compromises that must be made when dealing with strong facts.

if you want to have a game-changing discussion about moderation levels and about what gets deleted and what shouldn't, you can't show up at court with a word that represents a gif that's not there and that a lot of people haven't heard of and that's not especially funny even if you have heard of it.

the other problem about these sorts of dicussions is that at their maximum point they're nothing, they vanish. if you understand that 1st amendment rights are not in play here, and if you understand that mods delete comments for certain reasons that are laid out in black and white - there's just not much to say here. certainly if your position is to *attack* moderatorial discretion and policy, you've just neutralized yourself. but in the rare case when someone has gotten him or herself well enough in hand to start a real discussion, that can work. but it's just so rare, because posters over here often self-select for resentment and anger, which, unsurprisingly, are strongly dominated strategies.

my post is complete.
posted by facetious at 10:48 PM on April 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Hey, sorry, actually you're not allowed to pronounce your own post complete.

You've got another 350 words left to go.
posted by GuyZero at 11:01 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Lots of comments get deleted.

Every time I've (realised I'd) had a comment deleted, I've been a little embarrassed, taken it as a guideline as to where the metafilter norms have been, and tried to be a better contributor in future.

If you hang out on Ask Mefi, a lot more of the cruft gets regularly removed.
I've had them removed for things like, being too short (Should I go to Doctor? : 'Yes'), replying to other commenters questions, generally failing to make sense, just all sorts of things. When I notice, I occasionally send a mea culpa to the mods.

The mods were totally justified everytime. Hey, it's their site, I've been a mod and know what a hassle it is, and this is one of the best moderated, nicest communities online.
Mods also correct broken tags, and all sorts of things. They're the visible invisible ninjas of Mefi. Further, they're only responding to things that were flagged to begin with.

Also, I'm sure I'd only notice about half the deletions, at a maximum, given they disappear silently, so - if it took awhile for me to realise something, mods, and other mefi users, my apologies!

(Wow... just realised how long I've been on the site! Hey! I'm not a newb anymore!)
posted by Elysum at 11:04 PM on April 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have a comment I wish had been deleted, but which the mods let stand as a monument and example to what you shouldn't do on MetaFilter.
posted by hippybear at 11:11 PM on April 30, 2012


BTW, I am very proud of having been ignorant of lemonparty dot org all this time.

And, yea, I've been on the internet since the middlin' Usenet days. Funny how that works. Somehow, I think a lot of people who came from early usenet don't have time enough to get exposed to that star dot jpg shit... if it's not here or posted on facebook by someone I know, I will never find out about it (somehow I don't think it'll show up in journal articles :-))
posted by smidgen at 11:24 PM on April 30, 2012


Also, having made it further to the bottom (why am I here? Oh whhyyyyy!):

I posted the above comment because I wanted to give example of my various comments that have been deleted, in a "It's not you, it's how the site works" kinda thing.

As there's vague allegations of increased moderation, I'd like to point out that I had more deletions when I was a newer user to the site, and less now.

Note: 'Newer', not when I was a brand new user to the site. As a brand new user I was cautious, and careful, and tried to post well-thought out replies! (er, 'tried' that is).
I think it was the point I was more comfortable with Mefi, and would check it on coffee breaks, and throw off a quick reply, and found myself appalled at the downward slide my spelling and grammar had taken, that I found I had deletions. It's the cycle with social circles. You get comfy, a bit wilder, and then people point out the social norms you missed. *gulp* And then you get so used to the norms that it's old habit, and you're hopefully only sometimes a dick (and hope people will still call you out when you are).
Thanks guys!


Finally. This isn't youtube. Or any other forum. I'm pretty sure multiple comments of 'Great link!' etc, *do* get deleted, because - I don't see them. I'm actually pretty happy with my occasional 'noise' being deleted, because it is what makes this place more readable.
It's ingrained enough that often get a little surprised here in metatalk before I remember, and think, hey - this is the Grey.

(And, it's a guess above as to the frequency of deletions. Possibly, I had more deletions at the beginning, or more now, and I'm just not noticing. The mods possibly know, but not I).
posted by Elysum at 11:34 PM on April 30, 2012


Hey, sorry, actually you're not allowed to pronounce your own post complete.

You've got another 350 words left to go.

"I cannot and will not recant anything, for to act against our conscience is neither safe for us, nor open to us. On this I take my stand. I can do no other. God help me. Amen." Martin Luther, 1521

in nomine Patris. Over and out. Bring back .gifs! The struggle lives on.
posted by facetious at 11:48 PM on April 30, 2012


"(Seriously, there's an OKCupid quiz question that's something like STALE is to 12345 like STEAL is to which number? and I have answered it every single possible way despite the fact that I thoroughly understand both analogies and number-substitution. All the answers are still white, orange, yellow, blue, and pink.)"

Heh — restless_nomad, so many people get that one wrong that the question piqued my interest and was the impetus for my policy of explaining the correct answer to all such questions in the "explanation" field when I answer them. Also, I ended up posting several times in the forum thread devoted to that question and, as a result, I get these slightly annoying periodic emails from OKC telling me that someone has posted a new comment to that thread.

For what it's worth, here's what I wrote as my explanation for my answer:
I can't quite figure out why so many people have trouble with this...but I noticed months after I had answered it that I got it wrong. (I think because I focused on "547" and didn't notice that my pick had the first two digits reversed. This is common, I suspect.)

One thing, I think, is that the order of comparison is important. That is, you use STALE to identify the associated numbers, then reorder them according to STEAL, not the other way around. This comparison is essentially the same as a proportion of ratios, like so: 2:4 :: 10:20 (where ':' translates to 'is to' and '::' to 'as'). Which is actually another way of writing an equivalence of fractions: 2/4 = 10/20.

Note that 4/10 DOES NOT equal 2/20 (by comparing the second and third terms to each other along with the first and fourth to each other), but that 2/10 DOES equal 4/20 (comparing the first and third terms with each other along with the second and fourth to each other).

So, properly, you compare the first term to the third, then use the second term to find the fourth.

Therefore:

STALE is to STEAL as
89475 is to 89547
What's very interesting about that question in general, and I guess it slightly relates to this thread, is that a very large proportion of respondents get the answer wrong (the overwhelming majority, I think), including many who seem to be people who otherwise could be expected to know better, and, of course, most of them mark as unacceptable for a potential match to answer what, in fact, happens to be the correct answer. Also, as I mention in my forum posting, while this is a staple of a certain kind of standardized test and has its roots in logic and proportions, it's not clear why everyone should be expected to be familiar enough with this kind of question to not make a mistake in understanding or solving it. Finally, I think it's very weird that many people consider this a "math" problem, which it's not.

This has slight relevance to this discussion because it involves mistaking one's own particular interests and abilities as being some sort of reasonable universal standard that applies to everyone else. While I find this sort of question trivial (though, as I confess, I initially answered it wrong because I paid attention to only the last three characters and selected the wrong answer as a result!), and was initially puzzled as to how it is that all smarter/educated people don't similarly find it trivial, I've since realized that this reaction is both very parochial and very shallow. Even so, there's lots of comments in that forum thread from people who think this one question will reliably separate the smart people from the idiots and they are confident that anyone answering it wrongly is just too stupid for them. And maybe it does work in that way as a match question — not that those who answer it incorrectly are actually too stupid, but that this will reliably separate those who are overly judgmental and have deeply narrow definitions of what it means to be "smart" from those who would be hurt by such jerks. I dunno.

But I do know that if restless_nomad has trouble with the question, then it can't possibly be revealing a lack of intelligence.

Likewise, CDS, you wrote:

"It even has space for people who are proud of their ignorance."

Not knowing about rage faces is technically being in ignorance of them, but it certainly doesn't reveal general ignorance. That's absurd.

Also, you wrote:

"My point is, this argument about 'acceptable' and understandable language forms has been going on for at least a thousand years. There is a considerable amount scholarship on this topic. This thread isn't one of them."

I, like cortex and by languagehat, am very far from a language prescriptivist peever who is unthinkingly and/or ignorantly opposed to language evolution and asserts some sort of idealized and supposedly conservative usage against such change. You're very badly misrepresenting my point, or, indeed, the point of view of everyone arguing against you here.

Because this is not at all about what is or is not an "acceptable" language form in the greater sense. What this is about is acceptable usage in the particular. And, the irony is that it's only the prescriptivist universalists who make the argument, as you implicitly are, that one kind of usage is appropriate everywhere. You're arguing that the shorthand you used is appropriate everywhere on the Internet because everyone on the Internet should be familiar with it. The latter assertion is quite false, which by itself destroys your argument. But the former assertion is also false. Different communities and situations have always, and will always, have different usage conventions associated with them. This is both the nature of communities and the nature of language. If you're that interested and knowledgeable about linguistics and usage history, then you know this.

All that's being asserted is that for whatever (demonstrated) reason, your usage in that thread wasn't appropriate to MetaFilter. It was inappropriate and it therefore caused confusion and a little resentment for its inappropriateness. The mods were correct to delete it because — this can't be emphasized enough — those comments had been repeatedly flagged. This was not a case of an arbitrary enforcement of rules, or a case of mass egregious ignorance, but rather a case where your behavior was not in conformance with community norms (which change over time, by the way; and it well may be the case that such comments may be appropriate in the future though they weren't appropriate last weekend).

Your attempt to make this into an example of how people here are ignorant compared to you, or that people here are totalitarian compared to you, or (combining both) people here are authoritarian language anachronists compared to you, is just stupid and, frankly, at least a little bit offensive.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:52 AM on May 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Could I maybe have not known about lemonparty dot org for a while longer? That would have been nice.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:06 AM on May 1, 2012


Insolent? Is Reddit an authority figure I'm not respecting?
posted by schroedinger at 6:12 PM on April 30


What? "Authority figure"? What are you talking about? You do know how "insolent" is defined, right?

Also, I thought I was pretty clear I was referencing a stereotype--that's why I find the whole scenario hilarious, CDS is hitting all the "Reddit Stereotype" points so far.

He's hitting some of your reddit stereotype points, yes, but my point is that your reddit stereotype is lazy and insolent.
posted by Decani at 3:04 AM on May 1, 2012


Heh — restless_nomad, so many people get that one wrong that the question piqued my interest and was the impetus for my policy of explaining the correct answer to all such questions in the "explanation" field when I answer them.

You realize people are just on there trying to get laid right?
posted by empath at 4:11 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, Decani. It's all fun and games until it touches a nerve, right?
posted by h00py at 4:15 AM on May 1, 2012


Surely you're joking. ... I've been moderating online forums for a long time, since the late 1970s.

"I am tired of these jokes about my giant hand. The first such incidence occured in 1956 when..."

Bighand.png
posted by robcorr at 6:02 AM on May 1, 2012


It's really getting unseemly in here. The man who don't surf has backed right off, apologised as politely as possible, is no longer biting, and this should really be the end of it.
posted by Wolof at 6:15 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


What? "Authority figure"? What are you talking about? You do know how "insolent" is defined, right?

I think maybe you don't. My sense of the word is just the same as I gather schroedinger's is: snide, surly disrespect shown to an authority figure. I don't think you can use insolence to describe behavior between peers.

For example, you don't have to be such a dick about this. But I wouldn't describe your behavior as insolent.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 6:18 AM on May 1, 2012


It's really getting unseemly in here. The man who don't surf has backed right off, apologised as politely as possible, is no longer biting,

Hey now, it's not even 6:30 am in California - give the man a chance to have some coffee and a bite to eat before he comes back to tell people they have sticks up their asses!
posted by rtha at 6:23 AM on May 1, 2012 [6 favorites]


Insolent is most often used with a sense of presumptuousness, but it can just mean rude or disrespectful. Ultimately from the Latin soleo - I am accustomed to. Insolentia is behaving in a way that goes against custom.

So, it's an odd choice, and there are probably better alternatives, but it can be defended.

(Besides, isn't Reddit an authority figure? At least in the field of posting meme images...)
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:25 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Even 4chan deletes posts and comments man.
posted by tr33hggr at 6:45 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


Could I maybe have not known about lemonparty dot org for a while longer? That would have been nice.

It's water under the bridge now. Besides which, all the cool kids are making each other search for Graduation and Beheading Ceremony these days.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:36 AM on May 1, 2012


Lemonparty gets lots of free advertising around every presidential election.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:00 AM on May 1, 2012


Ultimately from the Latin soleo - I am accustomed to.

Perhaps this explains why my user name is so often misspelled. People are not accustomed to it.
posted by soelo at 9:35 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


"You realize people are just on there trying to get laid right?"

I should have clarified that the reason I explain such questions/answers is because people are judgmental about such things and I don't think that's really fair. The correct answers to such questions shouldn't be, in a sense, secrets.

And, as it happens, no, people are not just on there to "get laid". If you want to merely get laid, you don't need to be interested in compatibility in the greater sense that these questions are relevant to.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:38 AM on May 1, 2012


"You do know how 'insolent' is defined, right?"

Ah, you're one of those.

Anyway, insolent, impudent, and impertinent all now moderately connote explicit disrespect of authority in common usage, assuming they haven't always.

This is not a trans-Atlantic divergence — interestingly enough, the Cambridge Dictionaries site in its minimal one-sentence definitions includes "lack of respect" in some form in the definitions for all three words (and explicitly mentions this with regard to someone of higher status in its definition of impertinent). In contrast, Merriam-Webster doesn't include any such thing in any of its offered definitions for these three words. But I think it's safe to say that Cambridge's definitions are more representative of common usage of these three terms than are Merriam-Webster's. All three do not merely connote rudeness; they connote rudeness to someone owed some deference.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:57 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


When I saw lemonparty for the first time, I was all "Ew."

Now I am all "You go, old dudes. Grab the gusto." It actually makes me a little teary eyed. I am not even kidding here--I think it's touching that these guys are so excited about having a threesome that they wanted to document it for posterity. Especially since it's unlikely all of them are still with us today, actuarially speaking.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:06 AM on May 1, 2012 [4 favorites]


That has long been my feeling as well, Sidhedevil.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:10 AM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am the same way; an enemy of lemonparty is no friend to me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:15 AM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I remember reading over on a service-industry-person's-anecdote blog (you know the kind where clerks and waitresses and such write in with stories about the crazy customers) where a guy was shopping for anti-virus software - Norton, say -- and was so incensed at the price that he started threatening the clerk that he would find "the free site" where he could download Norton "for free". The woman in line behind him said "oh, yeah, I know that site, it's called 'lemonparty.org'."

The first guy wrote that down, gave the clerk one last "in your face, I'm gonna get this free at lemonparty" and walked out.

The clerk gave the woman a discount on her purchase sheerly for awesomeness.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:21 AM on May 1, 2012 [10 favorites]


But, did those guys consent to their picture being posted on lemonparty?
posted by Burhanistan at 11:22 AM on May 1, 2012


I have long wanted to do a miracle fruit + citrus tasting meetup with that title.
posted by benzenedream at 11:23 AM on May 1, 2012


Probably not, Burhanistan. So that person is probably a jerk for violating their privacy. But the guys themselves are my heroes.
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:24 AM on May 1, 2012


I'm not anti the lemonparty people having fun at all. I was just sort of... at work. And had never encountered the lemonparty dot org meme - or rather, had never followed it to source, since I now remember the joke in 30 Rock. Clearly I thought at the time "that must be a porn site" and moved on.

Which perhaps helps to round out the argument about how everyone who uses the Internet knows all of these memes...

Incidentally, Ivan F, if you're looking for an argument-winner, I maintain that you really have to go OED or go home. It's the shotgun behind the bar of dictionaries. That, obviously, involves a little extra expense, but it's worth it, I think.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:24 PM on May 1, 2012


> Incidentally, Ivan F, if you're looking for an argument-winner, I maintain that you really have to go OED or go home. It's the shotgun behind the bar of dictionaries. That, obviously, involves a little extra expense, but it's worth it, I think.

Not true. The OED is, of course, superb, the world would be a much poorer place without it, but it is not the be-all and end-all. To take the most obvious point, much of it is over a century old, specifically including the insolent entry, which was first published in 1900 (the most recent citation is from 1898). It is thus useless except for historical purposes. The most recent serious dictionaries I have access to, both hot off the presses in 2011, are the Concise Oxford (which lives up to its modifier in this case—the entire definition is "rude and disrespectful") and the Fifth Edition of the American Heritage Dictionary ("Audaciously rude or disrespectful; impertinent or impudent"; the second definition, "Presumptuous and insulting in manner or speech; arrogant," is qualified as "Archaic").
posted by languagehat at 1:54 PM on May 1, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not anti the lemonparty people having fun at all.

Sorry, didn't mean to imply that you were. I was just interested in how my reaction to the image has changed through the years.

I was just sort of... at work.

Yeah, I can see how that could be a bit uncomfortable.
posted by Sidhedevil at 2:21 PM on May 1, 2012


the second definition, "Presumptuous and insulting in manner or speech; arrogant," is qualified as "Archaic").

... which is a shame, in a way, because that second definition better supports Ivan's argument, and the first does not, so much, unless one believes that "respect" is equivalent in meaning to "deference", which it is not. It is perfectly possible to be respectful of a peer, or indeed an inferior. Thus, for example, Xerxes is described in Robert Anderson's Life of Glover (1795) as an "insolent monarch" - clearly he should not be deferent to king Leonidas, but respectful of him. It is thus presumptuous of him to expect him to offer tribute. I'd say it is also audaciously rude, but that need not relate to their social standing.

Then again, this is an argument straddling prescriptivist ideas of definition and personal usage, and those never end particularly conclusively. I'd still say that Decani's usage was eccentric but able to be defended (or, more accurately having seen this happen before, that the defendant can repeatedly say "I meant to use it thus, and my usage is correct") and trying to prove that he used the wrong word by appeal to lexicographical authority is probably not going to work as an approach. It's a sideroad, albeit one that is probably appropriate in the context of the thread...
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:37 PM on May 1, 2012


Sorry, didn't mean to imply that you were.

Oh, no problem - I didn't feel you were! I just looked back and saw that my response good very easily be read as LOLOldPeopleSex, whereas it was more WOAHCLOSEWINDOW.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:39 PM on May 1, 2012


jessamyn [star]: "an enemy of lemonparty is no friend to me."

I figure the 'eeww, wrinklies having sex' reaction is largely from those young enough to believe they'll never look like that and naive enough (or enough in denial) to think that their parents and grandparents don't have sex of any kind.
posted by dg at 2:44 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


(good=could, of course. Man, I'm even writing with a head cold. When will this day end?)
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:46 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's almost quaint when someone links to Lemonparty these days. In a way, what qualifies as "shock" on the internet is a good high-water mark of cultural attitudes of the day. Geriatric gay sex is pretty shrug-worthy to your average internet user today; in the Bush years, not so much.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:51 PM on May 1, 2012


in the Bush years, not so much.

Things really have changed since everybody started shaving their privates.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 3:00 PM on May 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


the second definition, "Presumptuous and insulting in manner or speech; arrogant," is qualified as "Archaic"

Really? Fuck me. That's a pretty big capper on a long series of things lately that have made me feel old. I mean, sure, fine, I dunno who the latest popstar is or what that hilarious new acronym is referring to, but a word that's been in English dictionaries for centuries shifting in meaning, and I didn't notice?

Sad trombone.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:01 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm really sorry, all - I thought you'd get from general context that it's NSFW. My bad, mea culpa, writ large. I really was not looking to shock-site you - the whole fake-link/trick-link thing falls into a category of jokes/pranks that are so literally juvenile they feel eerily remote from my middle aged perspective. Like ding-dong-ditching or putting a tack on someone's chair.

(I, too, am pro-gay-sex, pro-old-person-sex, pro-old-gay-person-sex. Yay lemon guys. I hope you had lots of fun, fellas, and that your fun inspired others. Increase the peace! But that doesn't mean the pic is good for the workplace.)
posted by gingerest at 5:10 PM on May 1, 2012


Depends on where you work, I suppose. I work at the Rivendale Home for Retired Orgiasts.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:28 PM on May 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


I work here. The pic is good for here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:44 PM on May 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


I always vote for the Lemon party. Figure we're all going to get screwed by a bunch of old men, anyways...
posted by the goalpost is a lie at 6:35 PM on May 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


The man who don't surf has backed right off, apologised as politely as possible, is no longer biting, and this should really be the end of it.

I backed off. That doesn't mean I backed down. You should.
posted by charlie don't surf at 7:47 PM on May 1, 2012


NEVER BACK DOWN!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:14 PM on May 1, 2012


I backed off. That doesn't mean I backed down. You should.

... He's defending you.

And I seriously don't get why you keep telling folks to stop talking.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:25 PM on May 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


NEVER BACK DOWN!

NOT EVEN ON LADDERS!
posted by Sys Rq at 8:30 PM on May 1, 2012


I won't back down.

Full Moon Fever is a pretty good album.
posted by box at 8:57 PM on May 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


And I seriously don't get why you keep telling folks to stop talking.

becauseimstilltrolling.jpg
posted by space_cookie at 9:05 PM on May 1, 2012


There's only one problem with this thread: it's impossible to truly enjoy seeing someone get his comeuppance when he himself doesn't seem to understand or acknowledge that he is getting his comeuppance.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:08 PM on May 1, 2012 [5 favorites]


That doesn't mean I backed down. You should.

Thank you. I'm honoured.
posted by Wolof at 9:51 PM on May 1, 2012


Just when you think there's a dead horse being beaten, it staggers back up onto its umbragey hooves once more.
posted by Occula at 9:53 PM on May 1, 2012


Wolof: Well hey, good attempt at taking the moral high ground.

A thread is not your lawn.
It's like blowing a bubble. Who knows where it'll go, but the mods have big ol' fans.
I guess it's kinda Mathowie's lawn. But we all have deckchairs.

*Sits in deckchair while the titanic sinks... and Lemon Party(1) plays on*


(1) I missed lemon party too. I will see it when I'm not at work! It doesn't sound as horrific as goatse, tub*shudder*girl... which I am glad to have not seen for over a decade.

Actually, it looks like a case example of why I really feel like the internet is becoming a kinda, gentler place, and that just backs it up.
We went from tubgirl, to goatse, to lemonparty, to Rick-rolling (seriously, an 80s pop song? That's a shock site?), to trolling with pictures of My Little Ponies.
So... what lies in the future?
How adorable are the shock sites of the future going to get?
How will we cope with the saccharine overload?
posted by Elysum at 10:09 PM on May 1, 2012


Spacedicks say otherwise.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:20 PM on May 1, 2012


Your timeline's borked, I think - goatse's been around longest of all - per Wikipedia, the website launched in 1999, four years before 4chan. Tubgirl hits in 2002. Rickrolling and 2 Girls 1 Cup both date from 2007.
posted by gingerest at 10:51 PM on May 1, 2012


censoredagin.gif


(hommage a R. Crumb)
posted by Sidhedevil at 10:55 PM on May 1, 2012


Actually, it looks like a case example of why I really feel like the internet is becoming a kinda, gentler place, and that just backs it up.
We went from tubgirl, to goatse, to lemonparty, to Rick-rolling (seriously, an 80s pop song? That's a shock site?), to trolling with pictures of My Little Ponies.


Uh, Rickrolling was never a "shock site". It was a take on the earlier and now largely forgotten Duckrolling, and while shock sites are also used for point-and-laugh "gotcha" purposes, this alone does not a shock site make.

More interestingly, asserting that the internet has become kinder and gentler sort of underlines what was said earlier in this thread about the internet being a big place, with most people aware of and active within only a portion of it, each believing that their sphere of familiarity is the internet. Because for my part, there is nothing that suggests to me the internet has gotten any kinder; the ugliness has just found new modes of expression. But to you it has gotten nicer, whereas someone else in another corner of the internet might argue it's gotten a lot worse.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:44 AM on May 2, 2012


I am 100% certain the deep, dank bowels of the internet have gotten worse.
I'm a little more cynical than I sound above, my full half-arsed-theory goes more into that I actually think that's a reason I'm less likely to step in a turd in my normal wanderings around the internet. People are able to self-segregate more, and hang out with similar basement dwellers.

I have whole other modes of concern about that (big ones - if you watch TV you might get the sense that say, Fox News disagrees with all the other channels, but what if you watch no other channels? Just hang out in particular echo-chamber communities? Well, I made a friend who turned out to be one hell of a conspiracy-freak, and I think it was largely due to that. No one contradicting the flat out lies and inaccuracies).

I was being very flippant/careless with my use of 'shock site'. I meant more, when-you-get-trolled-by-a-link-to-go-where-you-didn't-mean-too, which is how shock sites were generally used, and just went with the general gist. I should have said link-trolled.

It's easier to find the terrible stuff in most ways, but it's also easier not to stumble across it, in a highly inaccurate sample of the couple dozen people I've had this discussion with. Anecdata! (Joking, I know this is silly). The internet is larger, but it has specialised in many ways, but is also more cosmopolitan maybe.
It feels more like a large, wild city than a lawless border town.
Widespread pranks are far gentler.
Content tagging, navigations, and even trigger warnings etc are all more effective, letting you know what you're getting into.

Frankly, I like living in the city better.

Your-Opinion-May-Vary, Objects-May-Be-Closer-Than-They-Appear-In-Mirror, Etc...

Oh, and if anyone has any solid stats on this kinda thing rather than my bullshit opinions, that'd also be good!
posted by Elysum at 4:44 AM on May 2, 2012


Because for my part, there is nothing that suggests to me the internet has gotten any kinder; the ugliness has just found new modes of expression.

Amen.
posted by squeak at 7:12 AM on May 2, 2012


The internet hasn't changed, it's just better indexed than it used to be.
posted by Ritchie at 7:44 AM on May 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wolof: Well hey, good attempt at taking the moral high ground.

I was stupid and I was wrong. This happens no more than 3.5 times/day.

I guarantee it!
posted by Wolof at 7:47 AM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


The internet hasn't changed, it's just better indexed than it used to be.

Oh, the internet has certainly changed.

Once upon a time, it was text-only, largely either USEnet groups (which were actual discussion groups and not places for people to post pirate download material), or documents which you would find via gopher or some other means, or MUDs, or games like Conquer, or IRC, which at one point was on a single server and was small enough that all the channels could be listed and looked at easily in a short sitting.

Then Mosaic was introduced. And the internet had a subspace, the World Wide Web, which seemed to be mostly personal pages about specific people and the things they had written/done/found/accomplished and posted for viewing and download. (Before you say "wait, that sounds like Facebook!"... it wasn't anything like Facebook.)

Then came the Eternal September, after which the constant influx of new, uninitiated users changed the culture of the internet entirely.

Then began the small bit of advertisement on the web, mostly in the form of LinkExchange and other such things. It was grassroots, it wasn't commercial, it was all done to help people with discovery and mostly was altruistic.

Then came the early days of the commercial web. And animated GIFs. And companies testing the waters to see if there really were people out there in this place called "cyberspace".

Then AltaVista gave way to Google.

And now you have today.

The internet certainly has changed. Some ways for the infinitely better, some ways for the pathetically worse. But being online today is nothing like it was in 1994, and certainly nothing like it was in 1985. Indexing improvements notwithstanding, what we have today makes 25 years ago look like cuneiform in a lot of ways.
posted by hippybear at 4:56 PM on May 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


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