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October 26, 2012 9:50 AM   Subscribe

If something needs to go to Metatalk, it seems to me it doesn't need mods discussing it in thread while paying lip-service to the Blue/Grey distinction. If people need to defend their decisions, they can surely just direct the conversation here, not do what looks a bit like a drive-by on a Blue thread.
posted by howfar to Etiquette/Policy at 9:50 AM (78 comments total)

Well now it's just awkward.
posted by iamabot at 9:54 AM on October 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


I didn't feel like either deleting the comment mentioning it or responding with an affectless "Metatalk" were particularly great routes there, so I tried to respond a little bit to the substance of the comment while reiterating that it needs to come over here. Jess did the same.

I can guarantee you that neither I nor Jessamyn is going to get into a long haul discussion in that thread. I feel like it's a little bit weird that people were doing the metadiscussion-in-the-thread thing in the first place, but it's been a long goddam election season and I'm trying to be a little bit flexible despite how tired I am of the whole thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:55 AM on October 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


I see your position. Just seems to me that the engaged response has a tendency to make the derail/meta worse, rather than better. I recognise that there is no ideal solution. The problem with saying "this is why, but we should discuss it in MeTa" is that it seems (to me) like it might look like trying to have your cake and eat it too.
posted by howfar at 9:58 AM on October 26, 2012


It seemed like a bad deletion to begin with. “I don’t want to moderate this thread” is not really a great reason, is it?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:00 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


Threads as long as the third debate thread become their own little subcommunities and end up working slightly differently from the rest of MetaFilter.

In other words, what happens in ElectionFilter, stays in ElectionFilter.

Then when it's all over, we can all stop getting drunk every night to make the hurt go away.
posted by Kattullus at 10:01 AM on October 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Is this MetaTalk going to be about what happened in the linked thread, or about a different FPP that was deleted?
posted by cribcage at 10:02 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


“I don’t want to moderate this thread” is not really a great reason, is it?

It's a reason which has been given several times in the past, and it basically means "MetaFilter doesn't do this kind of discussion well, and so we won't have this post".

I do remember other threads where the mods have said "take it to MeTa" and then deleted any further discussion in-thread with reminders that MeTa is just around the corner. That seems like a good policy to me, and while flexibility is a good thing, perhaps once the MeTa option has been mentioned by a mod, that should be a line which isn't all that flexible.
posted by hippybear at 10:03 AM on October 26, 2012


“I don’t want to moderate this thread” is not really a great reason, is it?

That isn't the deletion reason given.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:05 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Both the comments you linked to struck me as being thoughtful responses to the thread. The mods generally don't rely on stock responses from a script as far as I've seen.
posted by arcticseal at 10:05 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Honestly, you can delete my comment from that thread, and any other deraily follow-ups that stemmed from my comment, and close this up. I didn't start a meta thread because I didn't want another monster 1300-comment thread that didn't end well, and resulted in nothing positive. I was trying to not make more work for the mods, who I respect and like a lot, but I did want to just comment in that post, since roomthreeseventeen had linked us to that FPP.

Cortex had already commented in the thread so it was clear he was around so it wasn't a "drive by". There are probably 15 or 20 posters posting at the tail end of that old debate thread. I think this has been asked and answered. Miko left a good comment. I don't think we need to bring a MeTa into this.
posted by cashman at 10:06 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


it seems (to me) like it might look like trying to have your cake and eat it too.

I would say that discussing the pros and cons of discussing systemic regressive attitudes about rape and abortion is about as metaphorically far from either having or eating cake as it is possible to get. We knew it might come up on Metatalk, we did not expect it to come up in a random thread on the blue, and it should have gone to Metatalk in the first place, where we'll be facilitating the discussion regardless. Parsing the difference between "metatalk, no comment" and "metatalk, brief comment" seems kind of like needless rules-lawyering, honestly.

“I don’t want to moderate this thread” is not really a great reason, is it?

It would not be a good reason, and it wasn't the reason stated. There are all kinds of threads I don't particularly want to moderate that end up standing anyway, and we moderate them, and that's part of the gig. The question is more central to what Metafilter is: not "do I want to deal with this" but "is this really what we want the front page to be".
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:06 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


"is this really what we want the front page to be".

Doesn't the community get to decide that, and not the mods?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:07 AM on October 26, 2012


Doesn't the community get to decide that, and not the mods?

Certain aspects of the community want the front page to be different things, like All Politics All The Time, or Fuck Tha Police, or Self Link Central. The mods are here to keep the front page on track.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:11 AM on October 26, 2012 [23 favorites]


Parsing the difference between "metatalk, no comment" and "metatalk, brief comment" seems kind of like needless rules-lawyering, honestly.

Less about rules lawyering and more about what seems respectful. "We can't discuss this here" is very different to "You can't discuss this here". MeTa plus comment looked, in this case, more like the latter than the former.
posted by howfar at 10:11 AM on October 26, 2012


Good grief. You're annoyed that cortex explained his position in a thread?
posted by oneirodynia at 10:15 AM on October 26, 2012 [16 favorites]


Doesn't the community get to decide that, and not the mods?

Matt gets to decide that. It's my impression that he often takes into account the opinions of the userbase when making decisions, but the idea that this is a direct democracy is a non-starter.
posted by Lexica at 10:18 AM on October 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


Good grief. You're annoyed that cortex explained his position in a thread?

Yes. I have said why. It wasn't a thread about rape discussion or cortex's position on it. It was not an appropriate place for the comment, particularly not when cortex had made it clear that responses to his position outlined in the thread belonged elsewhere.
posted by howfar at 10:18 AM on October 26, 2012


I contributed to the MeTa discussion in the thread and am sorry for contributing there instead of letting it all go.
posted by Miko at 10:19 AM on October 26, 2012


I do not understand this meta at all. The mod responses were reasonable and brief, I cannot see what your problem with them is at all, sorry.
posted by marienbad at 10:20 AM on October 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


"We can't discuss this here" is very different to "You can't discuss this here".

More "if we're gonna keep having this discussion, let's do it over there". My response was specifically to someone bringing up commentary about moderation, and an offhand policy proposal, in the thread; it's not like I jumped in there out of the blue to preemptively comment on the deletion and forbid a response as some disrespectful taunt to non-mods or something, and it's weird to me that you're treating it like that's what happened.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:24 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been careful to couch this in terms of how this might appear and why it's generally a bad idea to get involved in discussions while specifically saying that they shouldn't continue. I have no doubt that you acted in good faith and made the decision you believed to be correct.
posted by howfar at 10:28 AM on October 26, 2012


I contributed to the MeTa discussion in the thread and am sorry for contributing there instead of letting it all go.

I apologize as well for bringing it up. I tried to make it clear that I wanted to avoid creating more work for the mods, yet here this is. I am sorry. I restate that I am fine with my comment and follow-ups being deleted. The whole point was not to make more work for the already taxed moderators.
posted by cashman at 10:28 AM on October 26, 2012


Can this be closed then or is there something more to discuss?
posted by Miko at 10:30 AM on October 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


'tevs
posted by howfar at 10:31 AM on October 26, 2012


Yes. I have said why. It wasn't a thread about rape discussion or cortex's position on it. It was not an appropriate place for the comment, particularly not when cortex had made it clear that responses to his position outlined in the thread belonged elsewhere.

2 comments out of 3977 on a four day old thread. I'm not seeing either the necessity or importance of having a site wide discussion on whether a casual clarification in thread is inappropriate. It's clear you think it is; but the discussion pretty much started and ended and everything was fine.
posted by oneirodynia at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2012


No worries, cashman, I get where you were coming from and I think the brief discussion-and-redirect as it stands in there isn't really a problem or anything so I don't think it needs deleting after the fact.

As a general thing, if it should go in Metatalk the best plan is definitely just to decide up front whether or not you want to make the Metatalk post and do it or don't do it, but the simplest middle-path fallback is to drop us a line at the contact form if you want to share that concern but not actually kick a thread off. But things happen, and it's alright.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2012


it's generally a bad idea to get involved in discussions while specifically saying that they shouldn't continue.

I get this part, and I've seen it happen elsewhere. For instance, there was some mod participation in the recent Mormonism MeTa thread that got directly into the discussion that they were then turning around and saying, "You can't talk about that here." It happens. I think it has to do with having moderators who are also active site participants.
posted by cribcage at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2012


Can this be closed then or is there something more to discuss?

This. This MeTa makes zero sense to me. I'm getting the unfocused GRAR loud and clear, but am not sure what the real target is, and am not getting any sense that figuring that out would make anyone's life easier or more pleasant.
posted by Forktine at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Forktine, I've no grar of any sort. Suggesting people are acting out of unfocussed rage is a bit of a silly way to avoid conflict though. My point is a fairly simple one, if you disagree, that's dandy.
posted by howfar at 10:36 AM on October 26, 2012


I'm also not getting what the problem with the mods' comments here is.
posted by nangar at 10:38 AM on October 26, 2012


Cortex: ...but it's been a long goddam election season and I'm trying to be a little bit flexible despite how tired I am of the whole thing.

Man, Cortex needs a hug.

{{{{ HUGS CORTEX }}}}
posted by Skygazer at 10:46 AM on October 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


"is this really what we want the front page to be" ... Doesn't the community get to decide that, and not the mods?

No. Because every five FPPs would endlessly look something like:

1. SLYT Gangnam Style parody.
2. Look! Those beastly Republicans are saying something bad, again!
3. SYLT cat video.
4. Look! Some religious people are saying odd things!
5. Something unique.

Cue lots of MetaFilter people drifting away to the lands of Reddit, 4Chan, ALA Think Tank, in search of more varied content. Which eventually leaves Matt, quietly despondent, softly sighing to himself, an empty MetaFilter front page flickering on his monitor, sitting alone in a dusty garage in Oregon, surrounded by rusting bicycle parts and resting a broken scanner full of cat hairs on his lap.

Is that what you want? Is that how this MetaFilter story arc ends?

No.

Thought not.
posted by Wordshore at 10:49 AM on October 26, 2012 [13 favorites]


Disregarding any disagreement we may have here, I am seconding Skygazer's cortex hug. It'll all be over soon. Then you've got like nearly 3 whole weeks until campaigning starts up again.
posted by howfar at 10:53 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


We don't need mod police.
posted by batmonkey at 10:54 AM on October 26, 2012


unfocussed rage

Spelling "focused" with the extraneous S is one of the very few things that will in fact drive me into a frothing pile of unfocused GRAR. It shows up at least once in every issue of the New Yorker and every time it irks me more. If I ever cancel my subscription it will be with a letter composed entirely of those unnecessary S's carefully cut out of each issue with nail scissors and taped to a ransom note.

So yeah, I guess I am with you on being allowed to have utterly unimportant things be bothersome... but I'm still not fully seeing the point of this MeTa.
posted by Forktine at 10:59 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


No idea what this complaint is about and feel a bit sorry for anyone that has to deal with politics threads on mefi at this point in time - I stopped reading them around the millionth george bush post.
posted by sgt.serenity at 11:00 AM on October 26, 2012


I have never understood a MeTa less than this one.
posted by mintcake! at 11:02 AM on October 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


It shows up at least once in every issue of the New Yorker

I actually saw it in the most recent New Yorker and wondered if it was a typo.
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 11:02 AM on October 26, 2012


Don't ever read my unedited anything then forktine. I use focused and focussed interchangeably. I literally don't give a damn. I am your nemesis.
posted by howfar at 11:02 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


They also use "insure" instead of "ensure"
posted by ultraviolet catastrophe at 11:03 AM on October 26, 2012


mintcake!: "I have never understood a MeTa less than this one."

A MeTa smaller than this one.
posted by boo_radley at 11:03 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


Wait, no, I disunderstood you. Sorry.
posted by boo_radley at 11:04 AM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


We are never ever getting back to leather.
posted by mintcake! at 11:05 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


“I don’t want to moderate this thread” is not really a great reason, is it?

For the record, it really is. MeFi is not just everybody's personal soapbox, it's a place of employment for a team of nice people. Making that place of employment miserable for that team of people just so other folks have the chance to crank their toy cars is not a great workplace policy.
posted by DarlingBri at 11:19 AM on October 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


I have never understood a MeTa less than this one.

If you tune in to MetaFilter TV on US election day, Cortex will explain this thread using the medium of interpretive dance.
posted by Wordshore at 11:22 AM on October 26, 2012 [5 favorites]


Spelling "focused" with the extraneous S is one of the very few things that will in fact drive me into a frothing pile of unfocused GRAR. It shows up at least once in every issue of the New Yorker and every time it irks me more.

There's an easy fix for this. Just visit your local magazine vender, buy thirty-four thousand copies of The New Yorker, give them away to a teen-ager, and soon enough you will find yourself reëxamining your position.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 11:33 AM on October 26, 2012 [12 favorites]


reading while scrolling: Cortex will explain this thread using a modicum of interpretive dance.

Because no one here is satisfied with any explanation without the requisite interpretive dance, even if it's only a token performance.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:35 AM on October 26, 2012


> We don't need mod police

The mods reporting to a new Meta.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:36 AM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


*falls down the nostalgia hole*
posted by rtha at 11:41 AM on October 26, 2012


Corpse in the library, the only poster I ever taped to my bedroom wall was Michael Cole as Pete Cochran. It was luuuurve!
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 11:50 AM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


If I ever cancel my subscription it will be with a letter composed entirely of those unnecessary S's carefully cut out of each issue with nail scissors and taped to a ransom note.

You should coördinate with a friend to intercept your weekly issue and cut them out för you.
posted by griphus at 11:57 AM on October 26, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you tune in to MetaFilter TV on US election day, Cortex will explain this thread using the medium of interpretive dance.

Dibs front-row seat. I'll bring the donuts.
posted by catlet at 11:58 AM on October 26, 2012


Skygazer: Man, Cortex needs a hug.

Honestly, and I'm only half-joking here, I feel like that on the day after the election, the entire MetaFilter community should get together and buy each of the mods a crate of single malt Scotch, or (should that be legal where the live) a five pound bag of marijuana. Unless Romney wins, in which case we should buy two crates of Scotch and ten pounds of marijuana (legality be damned, because we're all gonna be fucked anyway).
posted by Kattullus at 12:04 PM on October 26, 2012 [19 favorites]



In all seriousness whoever wins, I am almost dreading the day after.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 12:06 PM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Me too--if Obama wins, I bet at least one of my staff members will call in hung-over the next day.

And if Romney wins, Romney wins.
posted by box at 12:11 PM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


all election seasons are difficult, but this one has been especially difficult for sexual abuse/rape survivors. i am so eager for it to be over (and for us to hopefully have a majority government who don't use rape victims as villains). even though i loved that scalzi piece, i'm glad the latest thread was deleted. i was just thinking last night - "man, i wish the culling of politics related threads would be something that happened more to rape/harassment threads."
posted by nadawi at 12:26 PM on October 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


the entire MetaFilter community should get together and buy each of the mods a crate of single malt Scotch...

They'd probably like it if we made an effort to act like well behaved teenagers instead of sugared up and cranky adolescents.

Or were those emails just directed at me?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:40 PM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


the entire MetaFilter community should get together and buy each of the mods a crate of single malt Scotch...

Don't know about the other mods, but if you want to make young Jessamyn happy then you may want to consider obtaining her book. Or borrowing it from your local public library. Or, if you've lapsed, then going to your local public library, renewing your acquaintance and getting a library card to use.

tbh after dealing with us lot she'll probably gladly take the crate of whisky as well.
posted by Wordshore at 1:00 PM on October 26, 2012


tbh after dealing with us lot she'll probably gladly take the crate of whisky as well.

Nah I'm all about dark chocolate and hallucinogenics and/or benzos for my mind-mushing.

And to the main topic of hand, we try to keep mod notes in threads brief in order to not derail things but also to hopefully answer short questions and head off MeTa threads and/or more in-thread metadiscussion. We have varying degrees of success with this. We may not have been so successful this time but I feel our approach is generally sound.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:04 PM on October 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Corpse in the library, the only poster I ever taped to my bedroom wall was Michael Cole ...

I would prefer not to be taped to a bedroom wall, and would stop posting altogether in order to avoid it if that's what it takes.
posted by jamjam at 1:04 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


We don't need mod police.

We don't need no link control.
posted by arcticseal at 1:15 PM on October 26, 2012 [11 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: They'd probably like it if we made an effort to act like well behaved teenagers instead of sugared up and cranky adolescents.

Obviously, on the day after the election we should all lie in bed, stare at the ceiling and think about what we have done.
posted by Kattullus at 1:20 PM on October 26, 2012 [6 favorites]


all election seasons are difficult, but this one has been especially difficult for sexual abuse/rape survivors. i am so eager for it to be over (and for us to hopefully have a majority government who don't use rape victims as villains). even though i loved that scalzi piece, i'm glad the latest thread was deleted. i was just thinking last night - "man, i wish the culling of politics related threads would be something that happened more to rape/harassment threads."

Preach.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:22 PM on October 26, 2012 [4 favorites]


Spelling "focused" with the extraneous S is one of the very few things that will in fact drive me into a frothing pile of unfocused GRAR.

C'mon, don't loose your head over this.
posted by banshee at 1:49 PM on October 26, 2012 [3 favorites]


Focuseds
posted by 4ster at 2:09 PM on October 26, 2012 [1 favorite]


'Focused Daily'
posted by box at 2:44 PM on October 26, 2012


FOCUSED ALL MY LIFE.

(Seriously hoping for an Obama win just to keep Grar-levels relatively low around here post-election. Well, not JUST for that reason, but you know what I mean).
posted by Infinite Jest at 3:06 PM on October 26, 2012

If I ever cancel my subscription it will be with a letter composed entirely of those unnecessary S's carefully cut out of each issue with nail scissors and taped to a ransom note.
Dear New Yorker:

sssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

posted by Lemurrhea at 3:17 PM on October 26, 2012 [7 favorites]


You can listen to this while reading this.
posted by AugustWest at 3:37 PM on October 26, 2012


jamjam: "Corpse in the library, the only poster I ever taped to my bedroom wall was Michael Cole ...

I would prefer not to be taped to a bedroom wall, and would stop posting altogether in order to avoid it if that's what it takes.
"

Hey now, hey now, wait a minute, which bedroom wall are we talking about here? Whose bedroom is it? Because some of these here Mefites are darned sexy, I tell you what.
posted by misha at 4:41 PM on October 26, 2012


Words like "lip-service" and "having their cake and eating it, too" about the mods always make me GRAR. Because just about every day I wonder how they make such incredibly thoughtful tough decisions and take the high-road Again after having climbed every grary mountain.

Thanks for all you do to make this a better place, mods.
posted by ldthomps at 4:42 PM on October 26, 2012 [8 favorites]


every grary mountain

"Grary", eh? Good thing jonmc isn't around here anymore or he'd be all over you for that one.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:22 PM on October 26, 2012


Climb GRARy mountain
Snort every breeze
Follow every Meta
Until you find....
oh please.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:01 PM on October 26, 2012


Flapjax at midnite: "Grary", eh? Good thing jonmc isn't around here anymore or he'd be all over you for that one.


Where's JonMC??
posted by Skygazer at 11:38 PM on October 26, 2012


Gone, like a train...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 11:53 PM on October 26, 2012


In all seriousness whoever wins, I am almost dreading the day after.

Wondering which calendar day that will be, though. As Tanenbaum et al speculate, it could be that there's no declared winner, or loser conceding, on election night.

Or election week.

Or November.
posted by Wordshore at 11:53 PM on October 26, 2012


Please don't say things like that, Wordshore.
posted by nangar at 6:33 AM on October 27, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's an easy fix for this. Just visit your local magazine vender, buy thirty-four thousand copies of The New Yorker, give them away to a teen-ager, and soon enough you will find yourself reëxamining your position.

It all depends on what you think that teenager is going to do with 34,000 copies of The New Yorker.
posted by scalefree at 10:52 AM on October 27, 2012


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