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MetaFilter covering election day, vote counting, subsequent wrangling
October 30, 2012 6:44 AM   Subscribe

Assuming any MetaFilter users are interested in writing posts or comments during voting and counting, how will this bloggie handle what will be its 4th US presidential election?

Seriously, there will obviously be thousands of comments during polling day (or days), and the vote counting night. Or nights and days.

There's a few election related threads ongoing, and the mods on mod island are currently setting a "very high bar" for new FPPs in this area. As a MEV*, how will MetaFilter work/what's the procedures during the voting and counting phases in relation to (a) starting new FPPs and (b) a prolonged vote and count resulting in several days of the USA figuring out who is the next President?

Bit concerned about a ten thousand comment thread (quite possible) if it's all funneled into one thread. Or trying to follow a myriad of rapidly created new threads if it's at the other extreme and all manner of things kick off at the same time (voting problems, riots, delays, lots and lots of lawyers etc).

*MEV = MetaFilter Election Virgin
posted by Wordshore to Etiquette/Policy at 6:44 AM (80 comments total)

As a MEV*, how will MetaFilter work/what's the procedures during the voting and counting phases in relation to (a) starting new FPPs and (b) a prolonged vote and count resulting in several days of the USA figuring out who is the next President?

We're not planning on doing anything differently than we usually do other than making sure we have decent mod coverage and we'll deal with things as they come up. There's already a MeTa thread from yesterday talking about how MetaFilter handles Very Long Threads and we're discussing that issue there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:47 AM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


did you just call metafilter a bloggie? *gushes vomit*
posted by Think_Long at 6:58 AM on October 30, 2012 [9 favorites]


What a cute ickle vommitie wommitie!
posted by pipeski at 7:01 AM on October 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm sure on the eve of the election some wise individual will construct a comprehensive post about the history of paper ballots, or the hackability of electronic voting machines, or an explanation of the Electoral College or some other "this thread isn't really about the election" post that will, of course, turn out to have nothing to do with the topic but will in fact be the 5000+ comment thread about the election.

You know, the way there's always a generic tablet post every time Apple comes out with a new product.
posted by bondcliff at 7:12 AM on October 30, 2012 [15 favorites]


Suggestion: watch movies on Nov. 6 until around 10 PM CST.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:19 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


You know, the way there's always a generic tablet post every time Apple comes out with a new product.

Is there? (The latest Apple product thread, for example, was pretty explicitly about Apple releasing a product.)

Honest question.
posted by stebulus at 7:42 AM on October 30, 2012


Can. Not. Wait.

For this election, and all it's related "discussion" to be over.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 7:43 AM on October 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Huh? You can use the blink tag in MetaFilter? I didn't realise. Awesome! Blinky: I've missed you...
posted by Wordshore at 7:52 AM on October 30, 2012


Don't get your hopes up, skeuomorph. Their hopes up, they're still arguing about whose fault it was that Gore lost the 2000 election.
posted by nangar at 7:53 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Their hopes up, they're still arguing about whose fault it was that Gore lost the 2000 election.

This is a particularly testy issue on the Green.
posted by Atreides at 8:02 AM on October 30, 2012


Is there? (The latest Apple product thread, for example, was pretty explicitly about Apple releasing a product.)

I dunno. I think tossing in the link to the Sony product was an attempt to make it not explicitly about Apple.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, I like discussing the election, or a new iPhone, or whatever. I just enjoy seeing the creative ways people come up with threads to discuss these things when you can't really start a "Hey, new iPhone, let's talk about it" thread every time there's a new iPhone or you can't just say "Let's talk about tonight's debate". I think it makes Metafilter a better site and keeps it from being just another discussion board.

But let's face it, nobody is fooling anybody. These threads are just a place to discuss these things, we just sort of pretend they're not. Like pretending a foot rub is just a foot rub*.

*I don't be ticklin' or nothin'.
posted by bondcliff at 8:06 AM on October 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


As a MEV*, how will MetaFilter work/what's the procedures during the voting and counting phases in relation to (a) starting new FPPs and (b) a prolonged vote and count resulting in several days of the USA figuring out who is the next President?

Usually the way anything works around Metafilter is that someone makes a post and people begin commenting in it. Ya wanna share something, you make a post, that's about it.

Sometimes there's more than one post made on the same topic at roughly the same time. Then it depends on whether the first post stays or whether the second (or third post) is qualitatively better, usually after the mods touch bases with the post authors. A single link post to blog article about the election will usually (but not always) rate as lower quality than a post that explores some angle or history of the subject in a non-hostile manner. A post about the poll worker volunteers, their training and stories from previous elections, with a few (or many) links would be a great idea. Posts aren't just an excuse to talk about a particular subject. People want to learn something new or interesting.

My personal view is that any post created about the election, on election day, should be fairly apolitical. Most people are sick of the ads and fighting and just want things to be finally over. It's more fun to just hang out and share stories about the experience, instead of fighting about what any particular candidate said or did. Election is a citizen's day, the politicians had theirs.

Anyway, once there's a post, thus begins the latest test of the MeFi server.

Somebody should set up voting poll or betting one, just for fun.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:16 AM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: Somebody should set up voting poll or betting one, just for fun.

There was a test run of a poll in MetaTalk some time ago, if I remember correctly. It might be fun to set one up for the election (including all the well-known third party candidates) to see how the MeFelectorate compares to the US in general.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:20 AM on October 30, 2012


I'm not sure there's much value in setting up a poll to explicitly confirm the balance of political leanings here.

Plus, under the electoral college system MeFites' votes are pretty much wasted. We probably all should have moved to a swing-site like Reddit, but alas the registration deadlines were weeks ago and do we really want to live there?
posted by nobody at 8:45 AM on October 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


So how about Jony Ive getting promoted at Apple? Anyone got a post cooking about the apple shakeup yesterday?
posted by Ad hominem at 9:12 AM on October 30, 2012


Or about corporate shakeups in general? *wink* *wink*
posted by Ad hominem at 9:14 AM on October 30, 2012


If someone were to do an election-day post, I would actually enjoy reading about people's voting experiences.

Some years I go extremely early to be one of the first voters. At least once or twice, the guy opening the polling station has put on a three-cornered hat and colonial-style vest and come outside ringing a bell, announcing "Hear ye! Hear ye! This polling place is now open!"
posted by kristi at 9:15 AM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


So how about Jony Ive getting promoted at Apple? Anyone got a post cooking about the apple shakeup yesterday?

Mr Ive (finally) articulated one of the feelings I've had for years about why America was preferable to be in over the UK. This brief clip of him being interviewed by Mr Fry is bang on, and is/was influential in my dragged-out move to over there.
posted by Wordshore at 9:20 AM on October 30, 2012


Anyone got a post cooking about the apple shakeup yesterday?

It should be slow roasted, for full favor.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:27 AM on October 30, 2012


Anyone got a post cooking about the apple shakeup yesterday?

"Say you're sorry about Maps."

"No."

"Say it!"

"I won't! You can't make me!"
posted by Egg Shen at 9:31 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mmm slow roasted apple shakeup.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:33 AM on October 30, 2012


Wait ... what's wrong with calling MetaFilter a "bloggie"? I thought that's what it was? Matt's Enjoyably Ticklish Arena for Filtered discussion and commentary (i.e. a bloggie).
posted by Wordshore at 9:55 AM on October 30, 2012


> Anyway, once there's a post, thus begins the latest test of the MeFi server.

Maybe pb will anticipate this ahead of time and hook up a few extra burros to the server wheel?
posted by Panjandrum at 10:48 AM on October 30, 2012


This confused me.

Bloggie is either an outdated camcorder or an award.

MetaFilter is a blog.

Maybe it's more like my resistance to "lippie" for lipstick than confusion, though.
posted by batmonkey at 11:01 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I got a little bloggie on my pant leg this morning on the way to work.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:41 AM on October 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


kristi: "If someone were to do an election-day post, I would actually enjoy reading about people's voting experiences."

I put my ballot in the envelope, signed the envelope, took it to the post office, and said "I want to air mail this to America".
posted by Bugbread at 4:49 PM on October 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


No, you're supposed to wait for the actual post.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:59 PM on October 30, 2012


I dunno, man--Obama said I should early-comment.
posted by box at 6:52 PM on October 30, 2012


My personal view is that any post created about the election, on election day, should be fairly apolitical. Most people are sick of the ads and fighting and just want things to be finally over. It's more fun to just hang out and share stories about the experience, instead of fighting about what any particular candidate said or did. Election is a citizen's day, the politicians had theirs.

You'd like to think that, wouldn't you?

The 2008 election thread informs that an Obama victory will be people gloating and congratulating each other while a Romney victory will be met with the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments or whatever SWPLs do when they don't get their way.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:00 PM on October 30, 2012


I wonder why you bother.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:01 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would actually enjoy reading about people's voting experiences.

I already voted. Twice.

Legally.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:29 AM on October 31, 2012


"The Obama Campaign's Nixonian "White House Enemies List" [Warning: Forbes.com]

also, VOTE RON PAUL... no wait, something something Ron Paul? [is this right? Ed.]

Just enjoy the show, the winner doesn't matter, they are all in the pay of the rich.
posted by marienbad at 4:18 AM on October 31, 2012


The 2008 election thread informs that an Obama victory will be people gloating and congratulating each other while a Romney victory will be met with the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments or whatever SWPLs do when they don't get their way.

Feel free to be the change you want to see on MetaFilter. There's no need to take someone's wish for a positive situation and turn it into something unpleasant based on one thread from four years ago.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:55 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Feel free to be the change you want to see on MetaFilter. There's no need to take someone's wish for a positive situation and turn it into something unpleasant based on one thread from four years ago.

Of course it is "one thread from four years ago". That is what fits the description of the most recent post "created about the election, on election day".

I would have an easier time being the change I want to see if I am not told by staff that there is "no need" for an innocuous comment that is mischaracterized as "something unpleasant". My description of the unnecessary unpleasantness of others is not itself "something unpleasant". There is nothing unpleasant about discussing the fact that past experience makes an expressed wish unlikely to come true, even if it is a wish I happen to share.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:41 AM on October 31, 2012


My description of the unnecessary unpleasantness of others is not itself "something unpleasant".

You mean other than the part where you characterized your fellow MeFites as whiny babies?
posted by Rock Steady at 7:46 AM on October 31, 2012


You mean other than the part where you characterized your fellow MeFites as whiny babies?

I referred to "SWPLs". While there is substantial overlap with whiny babies, they are not the same.

Again, the description of unpleasantness is not itself unpleasantness. If someone, even a fellow MeFite (who else could post on MetaFilter?) is being SWPL, they may be properly described as such.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:03 AM on October 31, 2012


Sooooo, if Romney wins, the people who supported him won't be in a celebratory mood?

Weird.
posted by batmonkey at 8:03 AM on October 31, 2012


I don't know what your goal here is, Tanizaki, in the sense of either this sub-thread in specific or being on Metafilter in general. You're frequently abrasive or dismissive talking to other mefites or about the site, you seem to kind of not like the people you're spending time around here, and it's not totally clear to me what you're getting out of it other than having a place to feel good about being grumpy at other people.

If your goal up there was a dispassionate comment on the dynamics of a website, you missed the mark. If your goal was to be actively dismissive, getting upset when someone criticizes that doesn't make a lot of sense.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:07 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is SWPL?
posted by gentian at 8:15 AM on October 31, 2012


SWPL = Stuff White People Like OR "white educated liberal bohemian".

Generally used disparingly, sneeringly, and/or pejoratively.
posted by batmonkey at 8:16 AM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


I put my ballot in the envelope, signed the envelope, took it to the post office, and said "I want to air mail this to America".

Things usually get interesting as you're standing in line and talking to to people. 2008 was giddy electric hum, you can could almost taste the pleasure of people getting the chance to vote for someone they really believed in.

2010 was dull and grey and empty.

2012 won't be anything like 2008, as the political realities and understandable disappointments have set in. Still, it's a day where citizens get to have their say and shoot the breeze for hopefully not too long.

My favorite spot to vote in Savannah, GA was at an American Legion post, which also had a bar. It was never open for voting early in the morning, however fervently we prayed. One year, there was an idea floated, while waiting in line, custom mugs that say "I voted" and handed out if you gave the bartender your voting sticker.

I don't live in that district anymore, but it always struck as the perfect polling place. Lots of old historic and community photos in the hall, with a watering hole.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:40 AM on October 31, 2012


I voted for Obama 5 times at various early voting stations. How? By stabbing other voters as they exit their vehicles and stealing their voter registration cards.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:42 AM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


disparagingly
posted by batmonkey at 10:44 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


(I don't know how I got invested in this conversation)

Tanizaki, you've favourited the comments where I clarified your SWPL mention. Does that mean that cortex's feeling that you may not be here in good faith is correct?
posted by batmonkey at 11:08 AM on October 31, 2012


I favorited your comments because they explained what SWPL means. That's all.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:17 AM on October 31, 2012


It might be fun to set one up for the election (including all the well-known third party candidates) to see how the MeFelectorate compares to the US in general.

And introducing the next President of the United States if the United States were MetaFilter ... Jill Stein.


Would you believe Jessamyn?
posted by notyou at 11:26 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a cheerfully liberal/progressive black person I demand my own dismissively applied acronym.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:26 AM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


As a cheerfully liberal/progressive black person I demand my own dismissively applied acronym.

French Fry gets out his trusty Ten-Foot-Pole TM .... thinks for a moment... sets it down and backs away slowly...

To address the OP: Well there shouldn't be multiple threads on the same topic.

So there will likely be something that passes muster on the Front Page on-the-night for people to go nuts in and probably something in Metatalk for people to go meta-nuts in.

It may not be ideal but Metafilter is not a news site and isn't organized to cleanly handle events in real time. I consider that a feature.
posted by French Fry at 11:32 AM on October 31, 2012


Brandon, being black doesn't necessarily disqualify you from being SWPL; don't let the W fool you.
posted by Tanizaki at 11:35 AM on October 31, 2012


Please proceed, Tanizaki...
posted by Burhanistan at 11:40 AM on October 31, 2012


whatever SWPLs do when they don't get their way.

an innocuous comment that is mischaracterized as "something unpleasant"

the description of unpleasantness is not itself unpleasantness. If someone, even a fellow MeFite (who else could post on MetaFilter?) is being SWPL, they may be properly described as such.

You're right, that's a completely objective measurement and in no way involves a judgement by you.

...
posted by adamdschneider at 11:44 AM on October 31, 2012


Brandon, being black doesn't necessarily disqualify you from being SWPL; don't let the W fool you.

Can you list the criteria, please? I want to know whether I qualify or not.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:17 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


This list is a good place to start. Some have more weight that others, of course.

Unfortunately, like many things, SWPLness is one of those things that falls under the Jacobellis v. Ohio test of knowing it when you see it.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:43 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, as long as we have a representative from the Union of SWPL Identity Appraisers, we'll all be fine. I'll just wait here until you get your ID.
posted by griphus at 12:46 PM on October 31, 2012


This list is a good place to start. Some have more weight that others, of course.

Can you be more specific please, such as what particular items have more weight and why?

Out of the 134 items on that list, is there a particular number needed to qualify as a SWPL? If so, how do the weighted categories factor into that number?

Apologies for all the questions, but the parents are coming into town for the holidays and I'll need this information to discuss any change in my (or their) status.

Thanks for all your help in this important matter.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:57 PM on October 31, 2012 [5 favorites]


Like I said, you will know it when you see it. If you cannot, you are probably just blinded by privilege.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:58 PM on October 31, 2012


wow you really went there.
posted by elizardbits at 1:01 PM on October 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


Whoa wait, have we gotten so postracial that Brandon's white now? If so, what's it gonna take for me to be able to switch races? I ate some ethnic food once, if that counts.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:04 PM on October 31, 2012


No, see, being a minority only counts when a white person acknowledges you as one.
posted by elizardbits at 1:07 PM on October 31, 2012


I think we're all losing track of what is important here.

And what is important here is for Tanizaki to outline which privileges he believes are blinding Brandon to the truth about himself. You're not doing anyone any favors keeping it all to yourself, Tanizaki. Tell the man what he needs to know about his own life and existence and privileges.
posted by griphus at 1:10 PM on October 31, 2012


Here let me give you this backpack for a second.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:12 PM on October 31, 2012


I can't see it though, where is it?
posted by elizardbits at 1:13 PM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Like I said, you will know it when you see it.

But I want to know what you see and how that balances against what others are seeing. That way, they can all be put in a formula and hopefully we discover what the current trend of SWPL truly is.

We'll make a website and call it onethirtyfour.com, with weekly and daily polling.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:16 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Tanizaki in this thread.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:16 PM on October 31, 2012 [4 favorites]


I can't see it though, where is it?

IT IS A MYSTERY
posted by shakespeherian at 1:21 PM on October 31, 2012


Huh
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:22 PM on October 31, 2012


This post was deleted for the following reason: I AM THAT LITTLE GIRL--Cortex.

Hang in there, guys.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 1:27 PM on October 31, 2012


I pity the W that fools
posted by clavdivs at 2:11 PM on October 31, 2012


Is it normal to post on MetaTalk, then come back a day later and not understand most of the comments?

Still, on the plus, this thread reintroduced me to the blink tag. If there one piece of HTML so perfect for hipsters...

Schrödinger's text
posted by Wordshore at 2:51 PM on October 31, 2012


this thread reintroduced me to the blink tag.

Excellent! Now please consider saving it for special occasions.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:59 PM on October 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Boy, that 2008 thread takes me back. After his win was announced I stepped out onto the street, a major thoroughfare in Baltimore that was deserted for all of the people inside waiting for the election results to air. Then I heard someone yelling "OBAMAAAA!" and it's a college kid on a bicycle, speeding down the middle of the street, screaming his head off. My boyfriend and I walked to a convenience store a few blocks away and with every step more and more people spilled outside. The air was thick with excitement, laughter, joy. Outside the convenience store in a major intersection a mob of cheering college kids and locals formed, dancing and yelling, chattered about the difference this election will make in our lives. I have never experienced such a profound sense of collective hope and happiness in a crowd, and I don't know if I ever will again.*

It's a bittersweet memory. At the time we really did believe everything was going to change. I don't think any of us could have imagined the level of obstruction Obama was going to face in Congress. Nor the popularity of the Tea Party and its ugly racist undertones. I approach this election not with a sense of hope, but foreboding. We expected there to be a lessening of those nasty, prejudiced, judgmental and anti-intellectual undertones that dominated the Bush years. But instead they've been nurtured and justified by voices who claim following the evillest impulses of our gut is the equivalent of finding the "truth". Relatives who four years ago would have been mortified to be seen as prejudiced and ignorant now openly claim if Obama wins again poor Black people will spill from the urban centers and slaughter rich suburban "nice" Whites in their sleep. And if you argue with them you simply have the wool pulled over your eyes and need to do your research.

If Obama wins I won't feel hope so much as relief--relief that America still believes itself a brotherhood, not an ever-narrowing "Us" who must fight to avoid being overtaken by the ever-broadening "Them".



*Incidentally, shortly afterwards police came in with riot gear and began to taze the non-violent crowd. Kind of ruined the mood.
posted by schroedinger at 10:39 PM on October 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


If using the blink tag invokes schroedinger and makes that sort of comment possible, I could stand to see it a time or two more.
posted by batmonkey at 10:49 PM on October 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I don't think any of us could have imagined the level of obstruction Obama was going to face in Congress.

I don't think any of us could have imagined that GITMO would still be open, there would be mega-awesome drone strikes, or indefinite detentions under the NDAA.

Excitement, laughter, joy.
posted by Tanizaki at 5:59 AM on November 1, 2012


I totally believe you are upset about those things and not a conservative concern troll trying to dampen turnout from people who are disappointed with his foreign policy decisions. 100% believe you.
posted by the young rope-rider at 6:35 AM on November 1, 2012 [7 favorites]


Doesn't matter, Obama will win.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:08 AM on November 1, 2012


I totally believe you are upset about those things and not a conservative concern troll trying to dampen turnout from people who are disappointed with his foreign policy decisions.

I appreciate the honor you give me, but I do not believe my comment can sway anyone's vote. I am simply delighting in progressive hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:56 AM on November 1, 2012


Solipsism like a canker sore, eh?
posted by Burhanistan at 7:58 AM on November 1, 2012


More like Giovanni di Bicci and Eleanor Roosevelt taking a trip to Waffle House.
posted by Tanizaki at 8:07 AM on November 1, 2012


I think the actual term you're looking for is "trolling".
posted by elizardbits at 8:18 AM on November 1, 2012 [3 favorites]


Now Brandon Blatcher is all confused, lets watch some Dave Chapelle....
posted by marienbad at 11:29 AM on November 1, 2012


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