Give it a rest.
August 29, 2012 12:44 PM   Subscribe

Can we just once have a thread about apple, that isn't Blazecock Pileon versus the world?

I mean really, do you collect a paycheck from them? If you don't, then you should. There are actual lawyers and experts on patent law contributing to the thread, but bp is, as usual, monopolizing it with whatever tedious talking points he got from daring fireball or complaints about an anti-apple conspiracy on metafilter. It is beyond boring.
posted by empath to Etiquette/Policy at 12:44 PM (117 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Should I complain about empath trying to frequently mod-via-metatalk in this thread, or post a new metatalk about it? It's pretty tiresome behavior.
posted by absalom at 12:49 PM on August 29, 2012 [10 favorites]


While BP's views on Apple-related subjects are, let us say, seldom shocking, I have never seen them presented in a manner that is not articulate and respectful - which puts them one-up on this callout.
posted by Egg Shen at 12:50 PM on August 29, 2012 [20 favorites]


I take no opinion on Blazecock Pileon's commenting, but this seems way too harsh. It's one thing to suggest that someone dial it back a tad or to ask that people avoid some behavior you find problematic, but saying he's basically a paid shill and making your point in such a fighty way is unnecessarily antagonistic and ultimately does a disservice to whatever point you want to make.
posted by zachlipton at 12:52 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


You are right, it is a bit unfair. We just need to recruit more apple fans to help out.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:54 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Are MeMail and the contact form both broken? Because they're working for me.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:54 PM on August 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


So, when you went to a mod with this, they shot you down? Or did you just want to work on the heavy bag a little bit to work off steam?

I'm just trying to think where in your internal dialogue you thought "Hey, what bp is doing isn't cool. You know what IS cool? Calling him out publicly!"

People can have a point of view. It's great when people have something they're passionate about and can cite examples of why other peoples arguments are faulty. It's called a conversation.

This? This smells of "I don't like something, so I have to complain loudly!"
posted by inturnaround at 12:55 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Egg Shen, and in the current topic he called his opponents whiny children who want to upend the American judicial system out of hatred for Apple. That's respectful?

BP is a valuable member of this community 90 percent of the time, but as soon as he steps into a technology post he becomes a classic forum troll.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:55 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


BP (among others) could definitely do to rein it in a bit with hashing out the same old arguments about Apple/Google/Microsoft in threads about same. That said, the paycheck thing is a crappy rhetorical gambit in pretty much any context it arises in and if you want to have a useful discussion about people setting up camp on specific topics it's kind of shooting the thread in the foot.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


I did try to subtly suggest it in the thread, but he's still going at it. I've barely contributed in the thread itself except to say that I think apple deserved to win. I'm actually just interested in reading updates and analysis on the case without bp chiming in every third post with the Official Apple Position.
posted by empath at 12:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I never understood the way my mom would often say "You're both sort of being annoying" to me and my sister when my sister was CLEARLY WRONG about whatever it was that she and I were disagreeing about, until just recently.

Which is a slightly snarky way of saying that while I think BP could stand to dial back his behavior in that thread somewhat (and yes the name calling is not okay), I think that this snarky callout is not really a great way of actually trying to be the change you want to see on MetaFilter. I'm sorry you're piqued about this, empath, but this seems to be a sort of long-standing grudge the two of you have that could maybe benefit from a better presentation than this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2012 [20 favorites]


Haven't we had this exact MeTa (Apple/BP) before?
posted by vidur at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I went through that thread and looked for anything by BP that could be considered anything other than a valid side of the story, and found nothing. This call-out seems more like a personal issue than anything else.
posted by xingcat at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm afraid the fighty way empath framed this is going to prevent any constructive discussion, here. That's a shame, because I do think there's some kind of problem when literally any thread directly or tangentially related to Apple becomes, in a very real way, a Blazecock Pileon thread.

I'm surprised he hasn't been officially warned away from the topic, frankly.
posted by gilrain at 12:57 PM on August 29, 2012 [11 favorites]


he called his opponents whiny children who want to upend the American judicial system out of hatred for Apple

Ctrl+F is finding nothing for "whiny" and nothing from BP for "children".
posted by Egg Shen at 12:59 PM on August 29, 2012


I stay out of Apple threads because I can't afford their products anyway, so what's the deal? Blazecock Pileon likes Apple products, or doesn't, or something?
posted by infinitywaltz at 12:59 PM on August 29, 2012


Quite seriously, I think that "Hey, User X, your comments are inappropriate! What does everyone else think?" is a terrible way to use MetaTalk.

There are several ways to approach inappropriate comments:

a) flag
b) MeMail person and share your concerns
c) contact mods

Do we also need to have this "User X is a Jerk Club" kind of thread in MetaTalk? Has it ever once helped an inappropriate poster to realize that their posting style is inappropriate? Has it ever once drawn the mods' attention to someone's patterns of inappropriate posting that somehow had escaped their notice despite flags and the contact form?
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:00 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


Oh good, this again.
posted by Think_Long at 1:01 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Haven't we had this exact MeTa (Apple/BP) before?

For the record, this is the third. (Previously 1 and 2)
posted by inturnaround at 1:01 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


I've engaged with BP on this before (and was doing so in the linked thread), and my only problem with him is that his vociferousness and selective quoting when confronted means his side arguments end up dominating the conversation and chases away other, possibly more interesting voices and conversations. This is particularly the case in slightly older threads, as other people tend to drift away rather than keeping on going at it hammer and tongs.
posted by modernnomad at 1:01 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


(That said, this callout will just lead to the same re-hashing, so I'll step away now).
posted by modernnomad at 1:03 PM on August 29, 2012


I'm surprised he hasn't been officially warned away from the topic, frankly.

I would be delighted if the mods made that suggestion and BP agreed to it. I don't see how this kind of thread helps to get there. It's not like BP is unaware that many people on the site find his responses in Apple threads to be way too much. It's not like the mods aren't aware of the same.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:03 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


There are some threads I just never even think about entering. Apple threads are one of them. Over time, you figure out the "no click here" topics and avoid them.
posted by tommasz at 1:04 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


I stay out of Apple threads because I can't afford their products anyway...

Check their refurbished store or ebay, plenty of good deals to be had.

Otherwise, just ignore BP.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:04 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think I forgot the FAQ that said MeTa was for

"Dear User,

You suck.

Love,
Me"

threads.
posted by inturnaround at 1:05 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sidhedevil: Do we also need to have this "User X is a Jerk Club" kind of thread in MetaTalk?

Just for the record, for my part, I do not think BP is a jerk at all. I usually enjoy his participation a lot.

It's just that he seems to be physically incapable of not dominating any thread about Apple or Apple's competitors.
posted by gilrain at 1:05 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


The exact phrase was "odious, childish, tantrum-based demands to get rid [of] a core principle in the American judicial system."

I (and presumably others) flagged, it was deleted after this post was made.

Anyway, my issue with BP isn't the Apple thing. Lots of people at MetaFilter like Apple! Many of them even talk about it in the threads! 100% of my mothers and siblings use Macs, and I have yet to disown any of them. It's the selective quoting, the complete disregarding of any comment (or sentence within a comment) that doesn't fit an I'm-right-they're-wrong viewpoint, and his endless search for some new derail to fight over that get to me. If this post hadn't been made, I'd be typing this into the contact form right now, but here it is so here I am.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:06 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


For the record, I do not think bp is a jerk, nor do I think he is generally a bad member of the community, I just thinks he ruins almost every single thread about apple, and since I like apple and reading about apple and a think a lot of mefites other than him have interesting opinions about apple I would like to read, I wish he would knock it off.

And now I am going to back away from the thread.
posted by empath at 1:06 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


It was a nice thread for quite some time but then, unfortunately, the opinions of others were labelled as biased and therefore effectively dishonest and most of the responses were measured and considered to counter that particular viewpoint but basically, it's acceptable behaviour from certain members here. I think of it as the Barry policy.
posted by juiceCake at 1:06 PM on August 29, 2012


I didn't know that people were still talking about that ruling. The conventional wisdom now is that samsung is the secret winner, they got to rip off apple all they wanted and only had to pay 1 billion, which is like walking around money compared to what they made.

The real lesson here is just violate the shit out of patents and let the courts figure it out.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:07 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, sorry, folks, I was sloppy in my wording there. I should have characterized this thread more as "User X Does This Thing Wrong Club" because you are right that the callout was focused on one very specific set of behaviors.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:11 PM on August 29, 2012


While BP's views on Apple-related subjects are, let us say, seldom shocking, I have never seen them presented in a manner that is not articulate and respectful

I went through that thread and looked for anything by BP that could be considered anything other than a valid side of the story, and found nothing

Ctrl+F is finding nothing for "whiny" and nothing from BP for "children".


He claimed that people who don't believe that every single civil court case in the US should have a jury are using "odious, childish, tantrum-based demands to get rid [of] a core principle in the American judicial system." This was after he made several accusations of "bias," to the point that he alone had done so significantly more often than the actual biased statements.

That said, the paycheck thing is a crappy rhetorical gambit in pretty much any context it arises in

Agreed, although while empath isn't in the right here, I'm pretty sure Blazecock Pileon isn't entirely innocent of the tactic himself. Nobody should be doing it.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:11 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The exact phrase was "odious, childish, tantrum-based demands to get rid [of] a core principle in the American judicial system."

Thanks, I found that later after further reading.

Agreed that the tone is slipping there - and no one should get to use "odious" twice in the same thread.
posted by Egg Shen at 1:16 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


BP is a great guy, and if you don't like what he says about Apple (and, with apologies to BP, it's pretty predictable) it's best to just flag and move on.

I would make a MetaTalk post about empath's consistently abrasive attitude, but who the fuck really cares anyway.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:19 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


There's an apple thread, I don't know, about once a day. I play a game where I see how quickly BP will come in and adopt the predictable stance. That, for me, is the only thing interesting about BP's posts, seeing how fast they come.

That said, I've never felt BP's made posts that remotely require some sort of mod discipline (though I had to look away from discussion on the Samsung/Apple court thing, because yuck). Is it totally tiresome to see the endless retreads of the same talking points from one user? Well sure, but please. There's nothing to see here people, move along.
posted by mcstayinskool at 1:22 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I gotta admit, I'm so looking forward to this thread asploding into all kinds of drama. When I feel like that, it's probably best to pinch it off...
posted by roboton666 at 1:23 PM on August 29, 2012


Agreed that the tone is slipping there - and no one should get to use "odious" twice in the same thread.

Agreed. Metafilter has always been a big tent, commodious enough to fit all viewpoints without resorting to repetitive harsh language, which too often ruins the melodious plethora of distinct voices, ringing out in succession.
posted by googly at 1:24 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't understand how you have "to be a system administrator for your phone, as opposed to just using all the features you paid for and having a good time with friends" to even operate an Android phone, and yet Samsung copied Apple exactly.
posted by inigo2 at 1:28 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I make my iPad and Galaxy Nexus Android phone hump like Barbie and Ken.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:33 PM on August 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


So, we know that this has been raised before, and we know that, historically, nothing lasting has come of it.

So... is there a point in continuing to have this discussion? For some people, the very low-stakes question of consumer electronic choice has become very high-stakes, for whatever reason. Some people love kashew nuts. Some people have a morbid fear of clowns. It's just the way we're wired.
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:35 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


We've had similar callouts in meta before and nothing has ever changed so nothing will probably change after this one either. I mostly just try to stay out of phone/computer/tablet threads these days.
posted by octothorpe at 1:35 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


"the opinions of others were labelled as biased"

What does this sort of accusation mean on Metafilter? I've seen it in the Apple thread and the Assange thread and it confuses me. We aren't serving a judges or jurors. Typically commenters, including those accusing others of bias, have existing points of view, personal experiences, or ideological tendencies. In fact, many of the very best comments on the site are from people who've had personal experience with the topic of a FPP. So what is the point of accusing someone else of bias?
posted by Area Man at 1:36 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I make my iPad and Galaxy Nexus Android phone hump like Barbie and Ken.

Disgusting! I make my Android phone and iPod Touch fly around in a Care Bears cloud car, spreading love wherever they go.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:46 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish: "It's the selective quoting, the complete disregarding of any comment (or sentence within a comment) that doesn't fit an I'm-right-they're-wrong viewpoint, and his endless search for some new derail to fight over that get to me. "

I don't like callouts of specific users, and I have no problem with BP personally.

I think a better callout would be about the tactics you have listed, and how daunting they are to others in a thread who just want to engage in a good faith discussion of the issues.

I've seen the same stuff used in a recent abortion thread*, along with another tactic of proposing outrageous hypotheticals to someone on an opposing side and then calling them out for their implied inconsistency, because of course we are all 100% logically consistent beings, 100% of the time, about every issue, ever!

When you get derails over semantics, selective quoting used to mischaracterize a nuanced argument (also a pet peeve of mine), and contrived hypotheticals like, "What if you had Siamese twins attached to your eyes and they had to be surgically removed so that you could see? Would that be okay with you?"*, Those all = sign that the discussion has seriously veered off the rails.

I'd welcome a discussion like that. This is just a witch hunt, though.

*I'm pro-choice, and the tactics are being used by others who are pro-choice, so this is not at all an "I disagree with their basic position" issue.

**Obviously not a real example, because I don't want to start a tangential debate here.
posted by misha at 1:47 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm surprised he hasn't been officially warned away from the topic, frankly.

I'm
surprised you think the mods would be so cruel as to do that kind of thing publically rather than sending him a MeMail.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:51 PM on August 29, 2012


No, no, I assumed they would send him an email. I also assume that he would comply if asked, which is why I suspect they haven't asked.
posted by gilrain at 1:54 PM on August 29, 2012


We have, in the past, sent emails along these lines along with mentioning stuff in-thread. It's one of those things that gets better and worse over time. We have a lot of users for whom that sort of thing is the case.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:03 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


gilrain: "No, no, I assumed they would send him an email. I also assume that he would comply if asked, which is why I suspect they haven't asked."

Your first assumption assumes that the mods do their job. This is reasonable. Your second assumes that people respond appropriately to mod feedback. This is less reasonable.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:18 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


The original post was terribly worded. After a year of scorched-earth litigation, a jury decided Friday that Samsung ripped off the innovative technology used by Apple to create its revolutionary iPhone and iPad. Scorched earth! Innovative technology! Revolutionary! With that much editorializing, the thread was doomed from jumpstreet. It ought to have been deleted.
posted by samofidelis at 2:19 PM on August 29, 2012


It's a copy/paste of the first line from the article it links to. Not psyched about it as a tactic, but it's a different animal than making your own weird editorial stance about a topic which is the thing that is more not-okay. Wasn't stoked with the post personally but the discussion was going mostly okay, got a little soap boxy towards the end there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:25 PM on August 29, 2012


Are we to believe that was the only possible article available on the topic at the time the post was made? If not, then I do not think it is an appropriately impartial way to frame the post. A choice was made by the post's author; that the language used was not his or her own makes no difference.
posted by samofidelis at 2:29 PM on August 29, 2012


Participating in and not flagging the thread is not a great way to communicate "I think this should be deleted", for what it's worth.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:30 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


If I'm to assume that was directed toward me, cortex, my entire contribution to that thread appears to be
Did they decide Samsung ripped off the innovative technology belonging to Apple, or just that one large corporation infringed upon the intellectual property of another?
posted by samofidelis at 18:48 on August 24 [37 favorites +] [!]
Which I think is actually a pretty good way to communicate "I think this should be deleted," unless I am to assume that no one else is familiar with sarcasm. I don't see what your point is supposed to be here.
posted by samofidelis at 2:34 PM on August 29, 2012


unless I am to assume that no one else is familiar with sarcasm.

I'm actually pretty unfamiliar with sarcasm. Flagging is the "This post should be deleted" mechanism. Commenting that you don't like the post is commenting that you don't like the post. If you think a post should be deleted, please flag it. Thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:35 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


My point, very specifically, is what I said. We do not go cruising for random comments in threads to see if someone somewhere is saying something that could be read as a critical opinion about the link; we look at the things that are designed to give us info, like flags (think a post sucks? Flag it!) or the contact form (think something needs mentioning? Write to us!).

So no, that is not a very good way to communicate in any meaningful way your feelings about the post.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:36 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


I guess the question in my mind is whether BP's actually a disruptive force or simply holds a strong minority opinion. I tend to think it's the latter?

He is predictable about leaving anti-Microsoft comments in Microsoft-related threads, and strongly pro-Apple comments in Apple-related threads. However, he doesn't seem to make every unrelated thread about Apple. I don't think we should be pushing to censor him unless he's causing serious problems. Is that happening?

The last couple of times this was brought up in MeTa, the person doing so (artw) had been arguing with BP in several threads and sort of publicly dragging that argument through MeTa. He's said he won't be doing so anymore. Empath has similarly argued with BP in several threads on the blue and gray. So this post is sort of more of an ongoing issue between them personally in my mind, rather than indicative of a larger problem.

Is BP really being so disruptive that he's dominating threads and preventing people from participating? Because if he is, I'm not seeing it.
posted by zarq at 2:37 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


cortex -- It's not an obvious problem that the author was editorializing? The post clearly breaks the guidelines.

I commented here because I was not surprised that it went off the rails, and because I thought it would reinforce the community standard against editorial heavy posts, and because I keep getting told when I mail mods about problems that this is the right venue and that memail is not. If my opinions aren't wanted, let me know. Otherwise, I'm going to read your remarks in the context of those recent memails I've gotten from mods that refuse to address the problem I've raised with the use of MeTa as a remedy for problems with MeFi threads -- namely, that MeTa actually acts as an arena that attracts users who are more interested in arguing for the sake of argument, and that the ensuing cacophony can deflect any criticism of moderation choices away from the moderators.
posted by samofidelis at 2:41 PM on August 29, 2012


Yeah, I've certainly had my share of "There goes BP again, doing his Apple thing" but I'm certainly not going to say he shouldn't post about Apple. And it's not like he started the Apple/Microsoft/Google flamewars that are on every tech site on the net.
posted by smackfu at 2:44 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm going to read your remarks in the context of those recent memails I've gotten from mods that refuse to address the problem I've raised with the use of MeTa as a remedy for problems with MeFi threads

I did not, at all, refuse to address your problems. We talked about your problems at length.

You MeMailed me six times in ninety minutes and would not take your concerns to MetaTalk even though that was the best place to get the remedy that you appeared to be seeking. The specific reason we tell people to go to MetaTalk is so that these concerns become public and we are not misquoted by members who are unhappy about something and then are in this awkward situation where we have to either remain quiet about things that are untrue or set the record straight and delve into private conversations.

I discussed your concerns with you probably more than I should have over MeMail. I will repeat my statement that if you have an issue with the site that requires the attention of either 1) all the mods or 2) the larger community, then talking to one mod over MeMail is not the way to get your concerns addressed in the manner you wish them to be addressed. If you have concerns about me and the way I do my job, you need to either email mathowie, write to the contact form or open your own MetaTalk thread.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:51 PM on August 29, 2012


and chases away other, possibly more interesting voices and conversations.

For me this is the crux of the issue. I don't really care what BP or any other serial commenter is on about. They could be talking about (to quote uncleozzy) piloting Air Force One while juggling fire and getting hummers from a series of twenty-five increasingly attractive women who are wearing increasingly-crispy bacon bras -- and still the constant noise would be really offputting.

The noise of serial commenters really is a drag on the site.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:55 PM on August 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


I only memailed you each time you memailed me back, Jessamyn. I specifically didn't name names here because I thought that it was conventional wisdom not to pull such specifics into another thread. But, apparently, that's out the window. So.

You kind of took a shit in a very polarized thread. You admitted to me that this was a mistake in one of your messages, and I told you that I thought you should apologize for it. Describing that exchange as though it were a one-sided barrage of emails seems very dishonest to me.
posted by samofidelis at 2:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Describing that exchange as though it were a one-sided barrage of emails seems very dishonest to me.

You are reading way more into my comment than I wrote there. I told you to open up your own MeTa thread about the thing you had an issue with and said I would not be opening a MeTa thread about myself to apologize about the thing you had an issue with which was what you suggested I do.

I will restate that you are welcome to open your own MeTa thread about this, but it's sort of out of place in this unrelated thread.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:00 PM on August 29, 2012


Do we also need to have this "User X is a Jerk Club" kind of thread in MetaTalk? Has it ever once helped an inappropriate poster to realize that their posting style is inappropriate?

You know, it... kindaaaa... has? I mean, the actual context in the instances I'm talking about are everything, and I'm not providing them here, so feel free to take this with a HUGE grain of salt, but you can look at BP's early posting history compared to today (and necessarily the legendary meta threads resulting from same) and at least plot out a rising trend in his behavior on site.

Now, were the threads from way-back-in-the-day I'm talking about the best way to handle the situation? probably not. Is this a good thread? certainly not. But I think that when a meta thread pops up that is NOT "user x is a jerk" and is rather along the lines of "this is a problem, and I think it merits talking about our discourse on the site a bit," then it is a net good. of course, if I haven't been clear enough already, handling it civilly and well is the key. this is not one of those civil well handled threads, though.
posted by shmegegge at 3:01 PM on August 29, 2012


I saw a really interesting Apple-related link yesterday and considered posting it to MetaFilter but I didn't because I thought the resulting conversation would be the same stuff over again.
posted by grouse at 3:02 PM on August 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


Whatever "branding" person go people to care so much about this stuff sure earned their paycheck.

You find these attitudes in everything from computers to phones to cars to coffee to fast food chains to clothing to soft drinks to whatever. It's really weird. People line up to buy these various things, sometimes, camping on sidewalks! WTF?

I mean, computers themselves sure changed my life, but I didn't actually notice any real difference when I switched from Apple to PC for job-related reasons in the 1990s, enough so that I've never switched back.

Stuff which has a cult-like following makes me uncomfortable for whatever reason, and I feel that vicarious embarrassment thing when the defenders of the cult item show up on the blue. Apple is our biggest one, it seems, but there are a few others that definitely fit that definition.
posted by maxwelton at 3:06 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The patent law stuff in there is interesting. I avoid apple threads because they're usually one or two people whose identification with technology is completely beyond my comprehension.
posted by the young rope-rider at 3:19 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


When a user contacts mods and has an exchange they are not satisfied with and the mod(s) suggest opening a MeTa thread, should the user state that this exchange first took place when opening the MeTa thread?

If so, any guidelines on doing so would be appreciated, like what parts of the exchange it's okay to share and what is not okay to share.

(Asking because I'm not clear on this myself. Thanks.)
posted by marsha56 at 3:25 PM on August 29, 2012


Well, BP does freakin' go on about Apple, but then I freakin' go on about Korea sometimes, so. We all have our quirks.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:26 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


> I guess the question in my mind is whether BP's actually a disruptive force or simply holds a strong minority opinion. I tend to think it's the latter? ...
Is BP really being so disruptive that he's dominating threads and preventing people from participating? Because if he is, I'm not seeing it.


While I appreciate your generous impulse here, do you really not see, at all, that he tends to dominate threads about this topic? Because I am generally appreciative of BP as a poster/member, but I don't even bother going into such threads any more because of that, and I am obviously not alone. No, he's technically not preventing people from participating, but if his hyperactive presence is making a significant number of people give up and walk away, then he's having that effect, whether he intends to or not (and I'm sure he doesn't).
posted by languagehat at 3:26 PM on August 29, 2012 [17 favorites]


What I think is fun is how I see that a moderator's comment has received a favorite and can guess which user has granted said favorite.

That's what I call fun these days.
posted by item at 3:32 PM on August 29, 2012


I saw a really interesting Apple-related link yesterday and considered posting it to MetaFilter but I didn't because I thought the resulting conversation would be the same stuff over again.

Oh, what the hell, I posted it anyway. I think it's really fascinating, whatever your feelings about Apple.
posted by grouse at 3:32 PM on August 29, 2012


Oh, what the hell, I posted it anyway. I think it's really fascinating, whatever your feelings about Apple.

I also found it very interesting when I saw it the other day and I also thought that posting it would start a rumpus wasn't in a mood to start.

I trusted that someone else was bound to do it and I'm glad someone now has.
posted by Egg Shen at 3:40 PM on August 29, 2012


stavros, there's a difference between relating one's experience and arguing/attacking other's comments.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:47 PM on August 29, 2012


Seems like several people see it as an anti-Apple post, which is really unfortunate. I don't see it that way.
posted by grouse at 3:48 PM on August 29, 2012


Yeah the problem is that Gizmodo sort of has this longish "scrw you Apple" history and so folks think that Gizmodo's reading of an employee manual that isn't that different from other employee manuals is a bit over the top and digging for more shitty stuff to say about Apple. Either that or their clickbait presentation isn't really a great lead-in to the actual item. I don't mind the post, but I find Gawker posts have a tendency to start out on shaky footing just because of the pre-graring that Gawker seems to do to whatever topic it is before they even link to whatever it is they're talking about.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:50 PM on August 29, 2012


I can see how the Gizmodo's history would get them off on the wrong foot with some people. I guess I am unfamiliar with this sort of employee manual and I imagine many others are as well. Also, Apple clearly does it much better than many retailers, and something that might provide insight into why makes this more interesting than any run-of-the-mill employee manual. Although I would be very interested in seeing others.
posted by grouse at 4:03 PM on August 29, 2012


I thought that he was actually pretty good for most of the thread, and only started getting shirty at the end. But some of it seems to be that anything BP says about Apple gets up folks' noses out of a broader impatience with him.
posted by klangklangston at 4:13 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


languagehat: " While I appreciate your generous impulse here, do you really not see, at all, that he tends to dominate threads about this topic?"

I'm not convinced he's being hyper-responsive, no. I've seen people like Ironmouth and Markkraft (to toss out two examples) do that in threads, and BP's interactions are different.

I think he gets into the same arguments with the same people in threads on certain subjects. It's an ongoing dynamic that seems to be less about him individually (although I admit I sometimes find the way he expresses his opinions baiting) and more about a core group of people who are taking offense at the things he's saying. Perhaps that's less important than the fact that he's the common denominator in those incidents. I don't know.
posted by zarq at 4:13 PM on August 29, 2012


I make my iPad and Galaxy Nexus Android phone hump like Barbie and Ken.

So that's how the Galaxy Note got made!

Is BP really being so disruptive that he's dominating threads and preventing people from participating?

I can only speak for myself, but as someone with a mild interest in Apple, Samsung, OSes etc, I basically never bother reading the comments on Apple posts, almost never contribute to the threads, and would never, ever, post something about it. So for me, yes.

More broadly, I think using the site consistently as your personal soapbox on any issue is a shitty, shitty use of the community and also disrespectful toward the other members of the community. Is it the end of the world? No. Is it lacking in courtesy, selfish, and lowering the utility of the site? Definitely, imho. I mean, when I can imagine all the things BP might say (who is, to be fair, never rude in his rabid defence of Apple), what's the point of writing them?

To be honest, I'm surprised Apple hasn't joined circumscision, Israel/Palestine etc on the list of "things metafilter doesn't do well". It's galling to me that those crappy threads are largely (but not wholly) the result of one user.
posted by smoke at 4:13 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


When a user contacts mods and has an exchange they are not satisfied with and the mod(s) suggest opening a MeTa thread, should the user state that this exchange first took place when opening the MeTa thread?

If so, any guidelines on doing so would be appreciated, like what parts of the exchange it's okay to share and what is not okay to share.


Not mandatory to mention they already tried to email/MeMail but sometimes it's helpful if they feel like "I talked to a mod and they told me to come here" as opposed to "I talked to a mod and they said this other user was being a jerk and I should calm down so I came here instead"

Basically even though reprinting email/MeMail is a bannable offense for users, we understand that people are going to sometimes do that with our email/MeMail to them. And we definitely don't have a problem with people using Meta for what it's intended for, even though we think there are better and worse ways to do that sort of thing. But saying "The mods said 'eh that's just how he is' but I think it's a real problem and I wanted to get the community's feedback" is totally fine. So not sure totally what sort of interaction you're talking about specifically, but paraphrasing what we've said unless you have specific reason to feel that we said something in confidence is okay. Large scale quoting of email/MeMail that is likely to be taken out of context is more of a problem.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:17 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I guess the question in my mind is whether BP's actually a disruptive force or simply holds a strong minority opinion. I tend to think it's the latter? ... Is BP really being so disruptive that he's dominating threads and preventing people from participating?

I have ~20 years of IT experience in various forms, a degree in electrical and computer engineering and I often just walk away from various computer/IT related threads because of his behavior.

And I know - my insights and thoughts are probably far less interesting to everyone else than they are to me, and so who cares.

But you asked.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 4:19 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


Yeah, generally it's fine to go from an exchange with the mods where we've said "you can take this to Metatalk if you want" and follow that up by posting a Metatalk and presenting the issue and acknowledging that you've talked to us about it already.

As far as transplanting the content of that discussion, we'd mostly rather people took the approach of saying "this is what I'm thinking/seeing/wondering about/bothered by" and letting us speak for ourselves as far as our take rather than pasting the content of mail into a thread unilaterally; the context is often different and so quotes from conversations can make for weird footing for a public discussion, and in any case people may be pretty disapproving of the mail pasting even if it's done with good intent and our implicit approval. Simpler to just have the whole discussion in public at that point, basically.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:22 PM on August 29, 2012


Thanks Jessamyn !!!!!!!
posted by marsha56 at 4:22 PM on August 29, 2012


And Josh too !!!
posted by marsha56 at 4:24 PM on August 29, 2012


(I meant cortex. Sorry.)
posted by marsha56 at 4:26 PM on August 29, 2012


Nobody must know is human identity. For our safety, not his.
posted by gilrain at 4:30 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have to confess that I am bi. I use both Mac & PC products. I guess I lean more toward Mac due to the screen saver with the fish and hooting owls and that little game like astroids where the guy screamed when you shot him and then, oh... SoundMaster, when I could play "I'm tryin' to think but nothin's happen'!" as my Nerd-you-messed-up-Alert sound. Curley: The Three Stooges.

I have a Samsung phone and a Mac. I like both, I guess. It's all just a venue to get into your head, really.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 4:44 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I mean, when I can imagine all the things BP might say (who is, to be fair, never rude in his rabid defence of Apple)

Well, I wouldn't go that far... I think a case could be made based on:
Still not as loud as, say, people who come into these threads and bully others in a shrill and passive-aggressive way when, for example, a court case doesn't align with their own biases.
or
And now there's the idea being put forward that court cases shouldn't be tried by a jury of peers, which is about as odious and undemocratic an ideal I've ever seen spewed here in a long time.
And that's just that thread. Those are classier than "your phone is a shitty phone", but it's still pretty confrontational and very much about the personal failings of other MetaFilter users. However, there's no bright-line rule against a confrontational tone per se, right? And it seems this is not actionably rude - it's permissible rough and tumble, in MetaFilter terms.

Which, I guess, is the interesting part in terms of community dynamics. It would probably lead to better discussions if everyone could just tune that kind of insertion out - it doesn't really say anything useful about the case, only about the way one person sees the discussion around it.

That's sort of like the old Usenet problem, though: it's almost impossible to get everyone to ignore something voluntarily. And people are talking here about the specific impact of one person making them ignore threads they would otherwise enjoy participating in, which is kind of awkward.

But what's the alternative? The implications of a greater-good removal seem a little disquieting, and whatever soft power the mods are able to exert is presumably already being exerted, as discussed above. Perhaps ideally everyone just has to remember that, however high the stakes feel for the person getting voluble, they remain pretty low in the greater scheme of things, and the discussion should proceed on that basis.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:03 PM on August 29, 2012


I think it's worth noting, for the record, that just the other day it was stated explicitly and for the record that all the mods use Apple stuff.
posted by kbanas at 5:20 PM on August 29, 2012


But what's the alternative?

A member can decide that their promoting of their opinions is interfering too much with discussions that others want to have, and, as a courtesy, not get involved in them. Me, I've generally stepped away from commenting in religion threads. I've got strong opinions, but they generally run cross-ways to what the other commenters want to talk about. So, it's not a big loss to me, and it's not like the comments I would have made haven't been made before.
posted by benito.strauss at 5:28 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't go in a lot of Apple-related threads any more either and part of it is the arguments that are being cited in these threads. While I can't speak to the Apple-Samsung thread, which I avoided despite being interested in the subject precisely because it was doomed to become a MeTa-inspiring clusterfuck, my sense is that it's not just BP.

I get tired of BP being on one side of a one-vs-many argument, but I also get tired of seeing all the same arguments that I've been seeing on this subject since I got on the internet in the mid 90s. I probably would still not read/comment on most of those threads because I wouldn't expect the crap quotient to decrease that much if BP bailed out of those threads/disabled his account.
posted by immlass at 5:32 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


This is why I never upgraded from my Commodore 64.
posted by bardic at 5:37 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was just thinking wow, I haven't seen Empath around in a while. Hope he's ok. Went to see what was up, and boom. Well hello sir! haha!
posted by cashman at 5:55 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


it was stated explicitly and for the record that all the mods use Apple stuff.

cortex and restless_nomad have both sorts of machines in their house because they're gamers. I'm not totally sure what taz uses as her main axe and I don't know much about pb's tech background. mathowie and I have both been Mac users for a long time but I've shifted back and forth between Mac/PC/Ubuntu over the years and most of the local tech instruction that I do is about PCs. I do know that as far as browsers pb and mathowie are Chrome guys, I use Firefox and I'm not sure about the others, so we're definitely not in the "everything Apple all the time" camp. We mention it but we're not culty about it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:17 PM on August 29, 2012


I was just thinking wow, I haven't seen Empath around in a while.

I am posting a lot less because I quit my 9-5 deskjob for a few months and have slowly been working my way from lake atitlan in Guatemala southward. I am currently sitting in a hammock on a volcanic island in lake nicaragua, during a torrential downpour. There are a pair of lizards fighting for space near the light bulb over my head. I have a huge painful friction burn on my wrist from falling down while volcano boarding a few days ago, which i am wondering about whether it might be getting infected, and i was in a foul mood earlier, because i was hung over and a person i had been travelling with for a few days after meeting on said volcano boarding trip, whose company I had enjoyed a great deal, ditched me for some other guy. ALL I WANTED WAS TO FIND OUT WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE SAMSUNG CASE. And now here I am.

Ps, Internet is surprisingly good here, considering that 'here' is a one street town and a ferry terminal in the middle of the rain forest.

Pps, I hear this song everywhere down here and now I can't get it out of my head, and I thought it share my pain.

And that is my status update.
posted by empath at 6:49 PM on August 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


It's admirable that in light of all that going on around you, you chose calling BP out on metalk over fighting lizards and friction burns.
posted by crunchland at 7:34 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


We have, in the past, sent emails along these lines along with mentioning stuff in-thread. It's one of those things that gets better and worse over time. We have a lot of users for whom that sort of thing is the case.

Which is why I now wear pants whenever I visit the site.

I did not, at all, refuse to address your problems. We talked about your problems at length.

The thought that people have long exchanges with the mods is kind of bizarre to me; I always try to keep my interactions with them to a minimum, and I still feel like I'm wasting their time if I send a second email. The implication is that there are lots of these extended exchanges going on in the background, in which case...well, I guess I just feel bad for you mod-folk. I'd go out of my mind.
posted by davejay at 7:40 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Stupid callout.

Empath would do well to take a walk in the park, listen to the birds, and stop obsessing over someone on the internet.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:03 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Empath would do well to take a walk in the park go volcano boarding, listen to the birds the rain, and stop obsessing over someone on the internet worrying about the lizards.

Shit I think I did this wrong.

posted by Big_B at 9:10 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


AND SCENE
posted by Big_B at 9:10 PM on August 29, 2012


Thanks for the earworm, empath! I am enjoying it more than its predecessor, which I forbear to mention here.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:44 PM on August 29, 2012


I mean the earworm your earworm just displaced.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:45 PM on August 29, 2012


I think it's worth noting, for the record, that just the other day it was stated explicitly and for the record that all the mods use Apple stuff.

Is this a joke? I'm not being sarcastic or obtuse. I seriously wonder if people think that owning products by Apple has any relevance to their moderation, like it's a conflict of interest, or if you're parodying that mindset.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:18 PM on August 29, 2012


Brandon Blatcher writes "Check their refurbished store or ebay, plenty of good deals to be had."

I don't know about the cesspool that is eBay but Apple's refurb store pricing is a mean hearted joke. Wow, 14, 15 or even 16 whole percent off of manufacturer's full suggested retail price on current offerings. I'm surprised they don't charge for shipping.
posted by Mitheral at 10:20 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Solid advice
posted by flabdablet at 7:57 AM on August 30, 2012


Empath would do well to take a walk in the park, listen to the birds, and stop obsessing over someone on the internet.

The thing about travelling in central America during rainy season, aside from big discounts on hostels is that, well, it rains. Every night. For hours. And then after that, it's night time and everything here closes at around 8pm and its kinda not safe for tourists to wander around alone. So, I like have 6 hours a day at best where I can actually do stuff and the rest of the time is spent reading and swatting away malaria and dengue-fever infested insects and getting annoyed at people on the Internet.
posted by empath at 8:21 AM on August 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's admirable that in light of all that going on around you, you chose calling BP out on metalk over fighting lizards and friction burns.

I'm not sure "admirable" is the word I'd use.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:24 AM on August 30, 2012


What we need is a nice atheism thread to calm everyone down.
posted by Decani at 8:43 AM on August 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Declawing fat circumcised atheist Libertarian cats on the West Bank. By a lesbian separatist veterinarian who really likes Nickelback, the paleo diet, and Tom Cruise movies.

Best. Thread. Ever.
posted by Sidhedevil at 9:48 AM on August 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Nickleback? Now you've gone a bridge too far.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:21 AM on August 30, 2012


Nickelback playing a concert on the bridge over the River Kwai for the people of Madison County.

Actually I'd probably post that link.
posted by carsonb at 10:57 AM on August 30, 2012


Declawing fat circumcised atheist Libertarian cats on the West Bank. By a lesbian separatist veterinarian who really likes Nickelback, the paleo diet, and Tom Cruise movies. Best. Thread. Ever.

Only if the vet uses LINUX.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:04 AM on August 30, 2012


And is a juggalo.
posted by flabdablet at 6:27 PM on August 30, 2012


And the cats are owned by Cory Doctorow.
And their names are all SEO keywords.
posted by misha at 9:19 PM on August 30, 2012


And the first link goes to Reddit.
posted by misha at 9:19 PM on August 30, 2012


And Reddit is down.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:32 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure "admirable" is the word I'd use. --- You've got to accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative. That's my motto.
posted by crunchland at 9:36 PM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Guys, can you consolidate these ideas for the Best Metafilter Thread Ever into a single pastebin file for my future reference? Trying to put links together on the go is kinda tough. Thanks in advance.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:54 PM on August 31, 2012


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