Deleting the thumbs down? June 4, 2012 5:25 PM   Subscribe

Were there some comments deleted from this post?

I could have sworn that I saw an early comment from St. Alia of the Bunnies that was just one sentence along the lines of "I don't think this is funny" that has now disappeared. If I wasn't just imagining that, I would like to hear a bit more about the rationale behind such a deletion.

I ask not because I agreed with her or really have much of an opinion at all on the subject of that post, but because it has seemed to me that during the last six months or a year moderation of comments has taken a turn towards shaping the discussion that unfolds moreso than it did previously. (Although I may simply have the wrong impression; this may always have been the sort of thing that got deleted and I have just been unaware of it.)
posted by XMLicious to Etiquette/Policy at 5:25 PM (59 comments total)

Yeah, it had started a multi-comment derail of people being like "Thanks for stopping by and letting us know!" and we axed it to stop the derail. Early short "I don't like it" comments in the first few comments of a thread have a demonstrably negative effect on how the rest of the thread goes. If people want to actually discuss the topic with other people, even if it's to talk about why they didn't like it, fine. Showing up with what amounts to a "meh" is not that great for the first few comments in a thread and axing early comments like this is something we've been doing for a few years now.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:29 PM on June 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


Do you really think that was a case of "bad comment in the first few" or was it really "some people won't leave her alone"?
posted by smackfu at 5:33 PM on June 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


What do *YOU* really think?
posted by carsonb at 5:34 PM on June 4, 2012


I *really* think that Jessamyn ignored the elephant in the room in that explanation.
posted by smackfu at 5:35 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


It was a textbook derail, although I'm sure it was slightly magnified by the fact that she's a known quantity. "I don't like this" without any explanation is not a conversational gambit so much as a downvote, and that kind of comment leads to predictable snark no matter who makes it.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:35 PM on June 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


Okay, that makes sense as a rationale. I guess my reaction is because that doesn't seem like the equivalent of "meh" to me, personally; one of the links in the post is an article where the author is primarily talking about how funny it all is and this seems like a simple statement of disagreement, much like the one-word "No." response to another commenter early in that thread by mediareport.
posted by XMLicious at 5:37 PM on June 4, 2012


I think if it's one of those "I don't like TV." comments in a thread on a TV topic it should go, but not a "I've watched this show and I don't like it." type comment, even if there isn't much detail. I mean, the first comment is the exact opposite, outside a quote it's just "I love everything about this story."
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:51 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought st alias' comment was deleted because it just wasn't DaDa.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:51 PM on June 4, 2012


this seems like a simple statement of disagreement, much like the one-word "No." response to another commenter early in that thread by mediareport.

That was a direct answer to a question. Not the most helpful possible one, certainly, but it's not the same thing at all in terms of policy. In general, if you dislike a thread, flag it and move on. If you dislike the content of a thread and want to discuss it, then discuss it. Doing the verbal equivalent of flagging and moving on actually accomplishes neither.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:52 PM on June 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I don't see saying the story isn't funny as saying the post is bad. My personal view is that cyber-squatting is lame and not particularly clever or amusing, regardless of what you do with it, but the post is fine.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:56 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Doing the verbal equivalent of flagging and moving on

Slagging and moving on, surely?
posted by joe lisboa at 5:56 PM on June 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


I mean, the first comment is the exact opposite, outside a quote it's just "I love everything about this story."

Practically, I doubt the mods will ever delete that kind of comment, no matter how many flags it has. It's not just about zero content, it's about positivity!
posted by smackfu at 6:01 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's not just about zero content, it's about positivity!

Well, it's about the negative effect a comment has on the rest of the thread. For whatever human-nature-related reason, people coming in and saying "I hate this!" has a vastly different effect than someone saying "I love this!"
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:04 PM on June 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


If I go into a thread about some neat thing and say "I love this!" and that's it, no one's going to come at me with a "What's wrong with you? Why do you love it, you jerk?" kind of comment. A drive-by "meh" or "Do I need to have a TV to understand this?" or "Sports are stupid" is going to have people going "Fuck off already" and then the train derails.
posted by rtha at 6:11 PM on June 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


"I love this" in a thread = "I love this."
"I hate this" (or "hurf durf sports", or other variants) in a thread = "I hate this and it's VERY IMPORTANT that I come into this thread about the thing I hate to tell you how much I hate it. You should hate it too, because it's that important."
posted by specialagentwebb at 6:13 PM on June 4, 2012 [13 favorites]


All happy comments all the time yay.
posted by smackfu at 6:18 PM on June 4, 2012 [7 favorites]


I really appreciate the mods taking the extra effort to nix derail-y negativity bombs in the first few comments, but there are a few topics (that I've noticed) wherein shitty "DOINEEDATVTOCAREABOUTTHIS?"-type comments are left to stand. Especially egregious examples tend to include threads about athletics and sport (see this gem of a comment left in a thread about hockey and hockey tradition).

This isn't some lame "Double Standard!!1!" call-out or anything, just something I've noticed.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:18 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Saying that you like something, in a thread about that thing, indicates that you like it and you want to share that feeling with people who probably share that sentiment (given that they're already also in the comments thread). Simply saying "I hate this" in a thread about something is as 4chan lulzy as going into a GameFAQs game board to troll, because there's nothing of value being said at all.

Nuanced disagreement, on the other hand, is valuable. "This would be so much better if ___" is intelligent discourse. "I'm just here to say I don't like this" is taking a dump on someone's porch and ringing the doorbell.
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:19 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Looking at the content and expressing your negative opinion on it isn't the same as discounting something because it is bad as a category, such as with sports or TV. I agree doing that is very irritating.

Anyway, there are plenty of topics where "I love this." would lead to the bigger derail, it just depends on what the hive mind generally approves of.

Try an "I love this." for a "Conservative Politician Wins Election" type story and see if it doesn't get some feedback.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:19 PM on June 4, 2012


Flagging works.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:19 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean, God knows I've used "assholes!" both as an epithet and as a comment on this site before, but to punctuate it as such directed at fans of a particular activity in a thread dedicated to discussing that activity's traditions? Such a comment would be wildly flagged and mocked in other contexts. In a thread about hockey, it nets 4+ favorites or whatever and no deletion.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:19 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


And, largely so no one beats me to it:

Metafilter: God knows I've used "assholes!"

posted by joe lisboa at 6:20 PM on June 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


This thread sucks.
posted by MattMangels at 6:21 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


All happy comments all the time yay.

It's like we read totally different sites.
posted by rtha at 6:22 PM on June 4, 2012 [8 favorites]


In a thread about hockey, it nets 4+ favorites or whatever and no deletion.

And got a couple flags and honestly is borderline at best, but not everything that's borderline at best gets deleted, and so it goes. For what it's worth, I read that comment as saying "the people who threw a live animal on the rink are assholes", not "hockey fans in general are by association with this assholes", but it's ambiguous.

All happy comments all the time yay.

All sarcastic refusals to grapple with nuance in the discursive dynamic of a community in favor of cheap shots woo.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:24 PM on June 4, 2012 [17 favorites]


Woo!
posted by smackfu at 6:25 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Cheap shots are also the worst thing about hockey.
posted by box at 6:26 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


They're pretty great at happy hour, though.
posted by rtha at 6:27 PM on June 4, 2012 [12 favorites]


"I love this" in a thread = "I love this."
"I hate this" (or "hurf durf sports", or other variants) in a thread = "I hate this and it's VERY IMPORTANT that I come into this thread about the thing I hate to tell you how much I hate it. You should hate it too, because it's that important."


'All happy comments are alike; each snarky comment is snarky in its own way.'

That said, I've definitely left comments that are negative but still discussing the content e.g. "I'm uncomfortable with this because..." or "I think this would work better if..." which I assume is alright since I actually am trying to engage with the post instead of just being like "fuck this". Actually, I often WILL type "fuck this" or "this is stupid" or "can we all stop talking about this?" or something and then I delete it to prove to myself that I am a grownup. This takes a lot of proving.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:34 PM on June 4, 2012 [17 favorites]


That's pretty much the definition of being a grownup, Mrs. Pterodactyl.

That and being married.
posted by notyou at 6:41 PM on June 4, 2012


Both claims are right. 1) MeFi is worse for early "this sucks" comments; it's clearly labeled, you're free to read something else 2) Some people just can't be nice to SAotB, which means minor infractions on her part turn into derails.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 7:08 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wish the mods would always leave a note in the thread when comments are deleted, even if it's just a macro paste [derail-ey comments deleted] thing.
posted by exogenous at 7:10 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I thought the post was about basketball what the fuck I hate hockey
posted by Brocktoon at 7:12 PM on June 4, 2012


As the person who gets the snarky emails that Mrs Pterodactyl's deleted comments turn into, I wouldn't go declaring her grownupness official just yet. That said they're a fair bit more grown-up than the "oh my God, look at this loser's stupid problem" emails she gets from me.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:13 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I made the original comment as a reaction to what the domainsquatters did. I was on a smartphone and didn't realize I was required to say more. I don't agree it was a derail. Since at the moment I am dealing with real life stuff that is more important I will leave it at that.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:13 PM on June 4, 2012 [4 favorites]


rtha: "It's like we read totally different sites."

Heh. I favorited it because I liked the idea. I'd like to see more happy comments, all the time.
posted by zarq at 7:19 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mrs. Pterodactyl: "Actually, I often WILL type "fuck this" or "this is stupid" or "can we all stop talking about this?" or something and then I delete it to prove to myself that I am a grownup. This takes a lot of proving."

I do that sometimes. It's cathartic.

I've also found it good practice for dealing with my children.
posted by zarq at 7:24 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Especially egregious examples tend to include threads about athletics and sport (see this gem of a comment left in a thread about hockey and hockey tradition).

Well, you'll probably think this is weird, but it is fucking stupid to throw live animals on ice. It's also fucking sick to have a coach say "you: go give that guy a concussion so they lose their first line and collapse during the first round of the playoffs."

I can't think of any other sport where this is tolerated.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:27 PM on June 4, 2012


much like the one-word "No." response to another commenter early in that thread by mediareport.

Just to clarify, if you read the grantland article, you learn that the Charlotte Bobcats have not only known about the site for years, but have made repeated, increasingly expensive offers to pay the owners for it. My assumption - which I could have made more clear for folks who hadn't read the article - was that if the team had a legal leg to stand on, they would have stood on it already.

I don't agree it was a derail.

Oh, please. The mods have been deleting contentless "This isn't funny!" garbage for years now, as jessamyn noted above. This has nothing to do with you and the silenced-all-my-life stuff folks are reading in about your participation in religious threads.
posted by mediareport at 7:29 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's also fucking sick to have a coach say "you: go give that guy a concussion so they lose their first line and collapse during the first round of the playoffs."

I can't think of any other sport where this is tolerated.


Football?
posted by Ragged Richard at 7:33 PM on June 4, 2012


Alia you have been here so long.

When has it ever been a good idea to show up in a thread and say "this sucks" without providing even a pretense of a "because of the following reason(s):"?
posted by kavasa at 7:39 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I said what I had to say.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:40 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


And look what happened.
posted by zarq at 7:41 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cam we just stop this right now? I noticed the deletion but I am not the one that brought it here. Since it was here I stated my opinion. Today is not the day I need a lecture from any of you so how about we just drop it?
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:43 PM on June 4, 2012 [3 favorites]


Ugh. What a ridiculous avoidance of the point. Drive-by "i said what i had to say" toss-off garbage has been a bane of the site for a long time; I flag the hell out of it when I see it and am gratified when the mods usually agree that it's bullshit.

St. Alia is being ridiculous here.
posted by mediareport at 7:44 PM on June 4, 2012 [5 favorites]


Can we close this with the op 's permission? I can't see the point of more discussion.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:45 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wow.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:45 PM on June 4, 2012


(I was responding to St. Alia's 10:40 comment, not her 10:43 comment, for what it's worth.)
posted by mediareport at 7:47 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, you'll probably think this is weird, but it is fucking stupid to throw live animals on ice. It's also fucking sick to have a coach say "you: go give that guy a concussion so they lose their first line and collapse during the first round of the playoffs."

If you read the thread in question, Koku, you'd know I wasn't defending the throwing of live animals on anything. I said something almost verbatim to that effect in-thread. But go ahead and re-litigate your disgust of hockey in this thread instead of in that one, which was, you know, about hockey.

I stand by my comments. Imagine someone barging into a Dr. Who thread here who starts dropping uninformed, unfunny comment turds about how much "Sci-Fi/Fantasy in general suxamirite?"

But again, you'd have the read the comments in the thread I linked to if you want to participate in a thoughtful fashion on this.
posted by joe lisboa at 7:47 PM on June 4, 2012


Can we close this with the op 's permission? I can't see the point of more discussion.

Whoa. Forget I said anything about hockey.

*backs slowly out of thread, again*
posted by joe lisboa at 7:49 PM on June 4, 2012


Alia, maybe follow your first instinct and opt not to participate in this thread, at all, if you really can't spare the attention. I don't get the sense that the level at which you're engaging right now is likely to be at all productive.
posted by Ipsifendus at 7:49 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sounds like someone's having the sort of day a keyboard just can't help. Hope tomorrow is better for you, Bunny.
posted by carsonb at 7:49 PM on June 4, 2012


Hope things improve, Alia
posted by tyllwin at 7:54 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, me, too. Sounds like you're dealing with a lot right now.
posted by mediareport at 7:57 PM on June 4, 2012


St. Alia of the Bunnies: "Can we close this with the op 's permission? I can't see the point of more discussion."

Agreed.
posted by zarq at 7:58 PM on June 4, 2012 [1 favorite]


I have two thoughts.

My first thought is that "this isn't funny" is a different category of comment from "this sucks." For that reason, in my pocket universe, a comment like that would be more likely to stay than a drive-by "lame thread" type remark.

My second thought is that there are a lot of deletion decisions made about comments that are in a gray area, but the only ones most people notice are the decisions to delete. All these other comments get not-deleted silently and under the radar. Since the mods are going to make judgment calls as long as there is any moderation however minimal, and since no judgment call will please all of the people all of the time, I am finding my world to be a calmer place when I try not to put a lot of energy into the deletions I do notice and remind myself that many, many other decisions are being made that I do agree with.

I've just been reminded that everyone needs a hug.
posted by prefpara at 7:58 PM on June 4, 2012


I got the answer to the question I was asking and would neither object to the thread being closed nor discussion continuing.
posted by XMLicious at 8:06 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm just here to smile.
posted by :-) at 8:08 PM on June 4, 2012 [6 favorites]


okay I'm happy to close this up. We can talk about it more another time if people want to. Thanks XML.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:09 PM on June 4, 2012 [2 favorites]


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