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May 22, 2012 12:40 PM   Subscribe

There was a FPP deleted about the blocking of parts of the NDAA and a link to a Guardian.uk article by Naomi Wolf. Why was it deleted?

It hasn't had much attention in the US press, and I probably wouldn't have heard about this ruling if not for the post. Is there already a thread running on this or something?
posted by victory_laser to MetaFilter-Related at 12:40 PM (40 comments total)

Deletion reason.
posted by eugenen at 12:41 PM on May 22, 2012


It's here, the deletion reason is pretty clear, a repost along those lines would be fine, and I really have about zero energy for dealing with this further today for reasons that are down the Metatalk front page about another inch or so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:42 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah the post as written was great for people who had been keeping up with the story but a bit too opaque for people who were looking at that post and trying to figure out what it was about and what the story was. Seemed a little updatefilter as written, if someone would like to make a better post with a little more backgrounder information, that would be great. You can read the deleted thread blog if you want to see deletion reasons generally.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:44 PM on May 22, 2012


That blog hasn't been updated since March 2011. Is there another go-to way to see answers like this?

I hope this gets reposted; the NDAA is a big fucking deal.
posted by victory_laser at 12:50 PM on May 22, 2012


Whoops, that's the old blog. The current, auto-updated one is mefideleted.blogspot.com.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:53 PM on May 22, 2012


Use this one v_l.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:53 PM on May 22, 2012


Not only was it crappy for the reasons stated, the line "Here is a website that you can use to voice your concerns to your congressmen and women" does not belong in a MetaFilter post.
posted by languagehat at 1:24 PM on May 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


I thought it was a pretty good post myself. While I was aware of the NDAA (not by name!), I have not been keeping up on the topic at all. I still found the post to be pretty straight forward.

Anyway, not earth shattering.. so, I chose to send a note instead of starting a thread. Now that I see the rest of the news today I hope that was a good decision.. I'm commenting here just to let victory_laser know that they are not alone.
posted by Chuckles at 1:25 PM on May 22, 2012


Yeah, I don't object to news about NDAA, but I couldn't make heads or tails of that, which seems contrary to the apparent urgency of the thing. Even if all the info is in the links, a linkdump isn't half as effective as an incitement to read as a linkdump plus a short wrapup/summary/intro, as appropriate.
posted by ardgedee at 1:48 PM on May 22, 2012


At the very least, all the (previously) links should have been included under the fold rather than on the frontpage part.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:52 PM on May 22, 2012


the line "Here is a website that you can use to voice your concerns to your congressmen and women" does not belong in a MetaFilter post.

Really? We can't talk to our elected representatives?
posted by kbanas at 2:17 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


You shouldn't be using MeFi to write a "this is really important, sign my petition!" sorts of posts. If people want to talk to their elected representatives, they should go do that, but people should not make posts for MeFi that have that as an end result, no.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:29 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


but people should not make posts for MeFi that have that as an end result, no.

So including that link in the repost will guarantee another deletion? Just wondering because the site serves as the plaintiffs "official" website. I just want to know because I don't want to have to go for three tries. What if I include the link and frame it not as "sign my petition" but rather as "here is the website that some of the plaintiffs have started"?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 2:49 PM on May 22, 2012


Oh wait I think I found a solution. What if I link to this page instead of their homepage?d
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 2:53 PM on May 22, 2012


Really? We can't talk to our elected representatives?

Talking to your elected representatives is awesome, and go you. This is my personal endorsement. It is not so much something that we want folks telling other folks to do in posts to the front page of Metafilter, however, because we've got a general guideline against doing advocacy/petition/get-out-the-whatever type stuff.

We don't want folks using the front page in part as an activism staging ground or getting the impression from other posts that that's an okay way to go. Even if it's about stuff we agree with.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:55 PM on May 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'd also add that people on mobile devices have an extra barrier to cross on posts or subjects that may not necessarily be obvious. Food for thought if people are really interested in having as large a response and interest from many members as possible.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 3:46 PM on May 22, 2012


I don't get it. I had not seen or participated in the original post but three seconds of reading the Greenwald link filled me in. I'm glad I got to see it before it was axed because this is important
posted by spicynuts at 4:09 PM on May 22, 2012


The deletion reason said it "requires a bit of back reading to even know what the new developments are about" which is pretty much what you just said.
posted by smackfu at 4:19 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm glad I got to see it before it was axed

Don't worry I'll repost. I actually agree with it being deleted. The framing was weak and there were apparently some formatting issues(Is it really more kosher to put the (previously)s after the fold?). As far as the petition angle....that was kinda fail on my part. I honestly don't know why I thought that would be ok.... sooo mulligan???
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:29 PM on May 22, 2012


(Is it really more kosher to put the (previously)s after the fold?)

I vote yes, especially when there are so many (previously)s. Tell the story that's happening, and then point people to the bits that describe what's already happened.
posted by rtha at 4:33 PM on May 22, 2012


Yeah, if there was just one [previously], then it seems fine above the fold. All of them on that post just made it kind of junked up looking, and to me seemed like it could be misinterpreted as trying to lend validity to a call for action.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:48 PM on May 22, 2012


I saw it when it was still live and poking through the links trying to find the point was like when they put down straw to keep the birds off the grass seeds. It was just a bitch to pick through. Lil more context next time.
posted by cashman at 4:57 PM on May 22, 2012


I'm glad I got to see it before it was axed because this is important

Speaking of reasons that are not good enough to justify a mefi post...
posted by jacalata at 5:02 PM on May 22, 2012


I know people usually get a lot of shit for silly non-sequitor Meta posts, but I'm actually kind of glad to have a silly one, it almost clears the air a bit.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:51 PM on May 22, 2012


I remember the FPP about the original lawsuit and I believed it when all of MeFi's lawyers posted that the case would go nowhere because those who were suing had no standing to do so. And I also totally believed the holdkriss99 suicide. So I feel doubly naive today.
posted by Obscure Reference at 7:24 PM on May 22, 2012


I remember the FPP about the original lawsuit and I believed it when all of MeFi's lawyers posted that the case would go nowhere because those who were suing had no standing to do so.

It'll still get thrown out on standing grounds, anyway.
posted by empath at 7:39 PM on May 22, 2012



The deletion reason said it "requires a bit of back reading to even know what the new developments are about" which is pretty much what you just said.


What the hell does that mean? Isn't the point of MeFi the links? So, I read a link. Which is what you're supposed to do. And the fact you have to read a link is now a deletion reason? My point was that I did NOT need 'a bit' of back reading at all...I needed to just read the post. What am I not getting?
posted by spicynuts at 7:47 PM on May 22, 2012


What am I not getting?

Reading the FPP should give you at least a hint what the topic is: be it biscuits, cats or war. I had no idea from the text as presented. In some ways this was a mystery meat post which don't tend to get deleted but thats because they are usually just one link of silliness, not 12 of seriousness.
posted by meech at 10:57 PM on May 22, 2012


The deletion reason said it "requires a bit of back reading to even know what the new developments are about" which is pretty much what you just said.

What the hell does that mean? Isn't the point of MeFi the links? So, I read a link. Which is what you're supposed to do. And the fact you have to read a link is now a deletion reason? My point was that I did NOT need 'a bit' of back reading at all...I needed to just read the post. What am I not getting?


Agreed. Any confusion a reader may have had was cleared up by the first few comments. This was a dick move by the mod.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:33 AM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Always reliable to shit in the pool.
posted by smackfu at 12:18 PM on May 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


So why wasn't today's post on the Defense of Marriage Act removed?

(In no way am I suggesting the DOMA post should be taken down. You shouldn't have taken down the original NDAA.)

You guys are cherry picking.
posted by victory_laser at 10:57 PM on May 31, 2012


Because they like gay people and hate Internet freedom, obviously.
posted by empath at 11:00 PM on May 31, 2012


Are you trying to say that the DOMA post was also dense and incomprehensible to the point of being mystery meat, or are you cherry picking something other than the stated deletion reason on the NDAA post to argue with?
posted by jacalata at 11:00 PM on May 31, 2012


Because the NDAA post collected flags and complaints about opaqueness and the DOMA one didn't?

No, that's wrong. It's probably what empath said.
posted by rtha at 11:01 PM on May 31, 2012


I'm going to try and be polite here and just note that the repost of the NDAA post that was put together in response to our feedback in the deletion reason and this metatalk discussion is still standing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:26 PM on May 31, 2012


Thanks empath and rtha, I appreciate your sarcasm.

OK, we have here two posts. Both are about a judge making a ruling regarding a bill.

-The first one provides a lot of links with no explanation, and gets shut down.

-The second one provides one link with no explanation, and stays up.

If you're going to require that people give backstory, be consistent.

I can appreciate you guys trying to hold people to a high standard when it comes to formatting FPP. I appreciate your politeness, cortex, and the work you do. I think, however, that it's possible to get carried away with deleting these things. As a user, I start to feel like the rug's been pulled out from under me when a post I was excited to see suddenly disappears without explanation.

If opaqueness in general is the enemy: make it easier for people to find deletion reasons. If you delete it and the post is gone, I can't see why it's deleted until I ask. Or, if I've asked before, I know about the blogspot. The blogspot. Guys we aleady have our own website here, can we integrate the deletion stack with the rest of the site so it it's easier to find and there's a record? Or is there a purpose for sweeping it under the rug?
posted by victory_laser at 3:59 AM on June 1, 2012


The first part of my comment was not sarcastic. If the DOMA post was not flagged because people understood what it was about right off the bat, then why should the mods delete it? The (first!) NDAA post came to the mods attention because people were flagging it and going WTF; mods said, hey how about a do-over, and there was one, and it's still standing. What is the problem with that?

Also, it was not deleted with explanation. There are deleted thread scripts for FF and Chrome and probably a bunch of other browsers as well. And you can always use the contact form.
posted by rtha at 5:47 AM on June 1, 2012


Guys we already have our own website here, can we integrate the deletion stack with the rest of the site so it it's easier to find and there's a record? Or is there a purpose for sweeping it under the rug?

Generally speaking, most users don't care about deleted posts. We make them available somewhat so that people who made the post can see what was up and so that people who are commenting in the thread can see what was up. The site users have assembled a number of different ways so that people who really want to get into this level of detail about how MeFi works can find and see the deletion reasons [inline if they want to] but we're not planning on surfacing them more than that for reasons we've spelled out many times before in MeTa. If people are curious about their own post, they can email us. If they're curious about what they see as a trend, they can come to MeTa which is exactly what it's for.

My best guess about the DOMA post is that

1. people already knew what DOMA was and the backstory and so this was basically talking about something that was clearly in progress to a bunch of people
2. the post linked to one article which stood alone and didn't require a "the story up until now" backstory to understand it
3. Timing

But literally, there was no reason to delete it. It received zero flags. I didn't even see it until now honestly. The same was not at all true for the NDAA thread [which as cortex points out has been reposted and is chugging along nicely] which seemed to confuse people in its original incarnation.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:30 AM on June 1, 2012


You'll have to excuse me, I'm stressed about finishing up a degree right now and I think that's manifesting in nitpicking, picking fights, cherry picking, and being generally picky. Don't take it personally. Still the best of the web ;)
posted by victory_laser at 6:51 AM on June 1, 2012


I can appreciate you guys trying to hold people to a high standard when it comes to formatting FPP. I appreciate your politeness, cortex, and the work you do. I think, however, that it's possible to get carried away with deleting these things. As a user, I start to feel like the rug's been pulled out from under me when a post I was excited to see suddenly disappears without explanation.

I can sympathize with the rug-pull thing. It's something we actually think about a lot in how and when and whether to deal with all kinds of things on the site, including where to find compromises on not so great posts getting big responses and so on.

But deleting poorly-constructed posts on otherwise interesting topics is a thing that has happened here for a very long time, and always, always with the notion that putting together a better version and having another go is acceptable. I can't tell you not to have preferred that a thread that got deleted on its first go hadn't gotten deleted, that's totally your prerogative, but when you accuse us of cherrypicking a week later when we have noticed and you have not that the post you were defending in the first place did get remade and is fine now, it leaves me feeling pretty frustrated by the conversation.

It sucks that you felt like the rug got pulled out from under you. I've been there. But it sucks as well that you're now basically standing on that rug, which has just been dry-cleaned, and pointing at someone else's rug and saying "yeah but how come they get a rug and I don't".

If you delete it and the post is gone, I can't see why it's deleted until I ask.

If you're the poster, you have a mefimail with the link in it. This is the biggest "there should be an easy way to get there" case we have for finding deleted posts.

But beyond that, if you were a participant in the thread while it was up, you can get to it via your comment history as well. If you popped it open in a tab for later, that tab doesn't get removed from your browser. If you closed the tab, it's still in your browser history. Etc. To the degree that you have engaged in some way with the thread while it was up, it's generally pretty easy to find again later even without tools.

Or, if I've asked before, I know about the blogspot. The blogspot.

And at least a couple different scripts that make it trivial to find deleted posts without leaving the site. And full info in the Infodump if that's your thing. And, beyond that, it's completely fine to drop us a note at the contact form to ask. Or Metatalk, though "was x deleted and why" doesn't always make for great threads.

There are lots of routes to finding out the details about a deletion even if your engagement with the post didn't get past "noticed it in passing, was wondering what happened".

Guys we aleady have our own website here, can we integrate the deletion stack with the rest of the site so it it's easier to find and there's a record? Or is there a purpose for sweeping it under the rug?

We have a website here that we're more interested in having be about people sharing and discussing interesting things than about maximizing the ease of cruising at a minimal-engagement level for stuff to complain about. We have Metatalk for when folks feel a specific need to talk about how the site works or is working, etc, but we don't want to seed extra driveby chatter about metacommentary stuff just for the heck of it.

That it takes a really seriously small amount of effort to track down random deletion reasons is okay and kind of a good thing; about the only way we could make them less hard to find would be by broadcasting them on the front page, which defeats somewhat the purpose of deleting posts and trying to keep the focus on stuff that's active. It's not so much sweeping under the rug as it is declining to graffiti the walls.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:20 AM on June 1, 2012


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