Why hasn't this been deleted?
January 10, 2013 1:14 PM   Subscribe

If this is fiction, why are we giving it any air?
posted by Chocolate Pickle to Etiquette/Policy at 1:14 PM (60 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Just saw that and totally agree. My vote is for deletion. Not framed as fiction and on a very touchy subject matter. True it was called out from the start, so anyone who checks the thread will know something's off, but I don't really see that as a reason to keep it.
posted by yellowbinder at 1:17 PM on January 10, 2013


MetaFilter: Only true things allowed.
posted by boo_radley at 1:20 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because it's a weird post on a message board that is spurring some interesting discussion including debating whether it's accurate or not. It didn't seem like anti-Semitic claptrap in and of itself. I do think COD may have posted it thinking it was accurate, but I've been keeping an eye on it and it didn't hit that level for me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:21 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It says SHORT STORIES right on top of the page. Not sure why anyone is still crying "fake!"
posted by desjardins at 1:29 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not sure why anyone is still crying "fake!"

Because people on Metafilter win cash prizes for being the first to point out fake stuff.

At least it seems that way sometimes.
posted by bondcliff at 1:31 PM on January 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


It is almost fitting that a post about shills has such a spammy comment.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 1:32 PM on January 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


the best thing about having mods is that i never need to spend time commenting in threads like this one



DOH!
posted by facetious at 1:36 PM on January 10, 2013


Can't wait to see what all the hubbub is about later as this is what I got when I tried to check it out.


Access Denied (content_filter_denied)

Your request was denied because of its content categorization: "Alternative Spirituality/Belief;Newsgroups/Forums".


Apparently, big brother is trying to tell me something.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:37 PM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


It says SHORT STORIES right on top of the page. Not sure why anyone is still crying "fake!"

I confess that I didn't notice the short stories banner. I am often swayed in my impression of an article by the way it is framed on Metafilter, and COD definitely presented this as something that he thought was a true story.

And I note that, while 'people' are crying fake, 'people' are also continuing to call those people shill skeptics, although no one, as far as I can tell, has said "paid shills don't exist."
posted by muddgirl at 1:40 PM on January 10, 2013


It is almost fitting that a post about shills has such a spammy comment.

Isn't that the greatest thing ever? I mean really.
posted by adamdschneider at 1:41 PM on January 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Because people on Metafilter win cash prizes for being the first to point out fake stuff.

bondcliff is fake. You heard it here first. In lieu of direct payment you can buy me a new couch. TIA.
posted by phunniemee at 1:48 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't click the link but I'm shocked it's still up with this phrasing:

Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to determine if this shadowy internet shill has a Metafilter account. Not really.

That kind of lulzy in-joke phrasing is just the opposite of what a post should be. Besides just being silly and poorly written, it's utterly alienating to anyone who isn't a "regular."
posted by drjimmy11 at 1:50 PM on January 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


There was an article in the Chronicle of High Education a few years back about academic writers that was written far better than this one.

I was also skeptical when i saw it, but if it is noted as fiction, that sort of negates the blaming (I did not see that notation though). At the same time, on the host site, "ATS Members have flagged this thread 86 times" so one has to wonder what is going on.

Its a pretty lame article for the half that I read. Full of pretty predictable scenarios. Like a bad 80s quasi IT conspiracy movie with lots of people saying out loud exactly what they are typing on screen with their old keyboards with very loud clackety-clackety keys (and starring Sandra Bullock).
posted by lampshade at 1:51 PM on January 10, 2013


bondcliff is fake. You heard it here first.

And though you'd never sink as low as him,
You could blab it all over the school if you wanted
The label on that Mefite
Said "100% Acrylic"
posted by bondcliff at 1:53 PM on January 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


wrestling
posted by philip-random at 2:01 PM on January 10, 2013


bondcliff is fake

I didn't think we were supposed to do this sort of sockpuppet-outing in public?
posted by carsonb at 2:41 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's ok. The only reason how come I know he's fake is that he's my sockpuppet. I've signed off on this.

Still want my couch, though.
posted by phunniemee at 2:48 PM on January 10, 2013


Because people on Metafilter win cash prizes for being the first to point out fake stuff.

Did you misread the letter? You win a No-Prize, not cash prize.
posted by griphus at 2:52 PM on January 10, 2013


Wait, phunniemee, I thought you were my sockpuppet. I'm confused.

Also, I can't get you a couch. Perhaps something in a Chesterfield or a divan? Would you settle for a settee?
posted by bondcliff at 3:16 PM on January 10, 2013


My current couch was free from a friend who was moving and is being held up on one side by a bocce ball set and is covered in puppy fur. So yes.
posted by phunniemee at 3:21 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


wrestling

bondcliff is still real to me, dammit!
posted by Ghidorah at 3:25 PM on January 10, 2013


"with their old keyboards with very loud clackety-clackety keys

Get off my Lawn.
posted by marienbad at 3:25 PM on January 10, 2013


*wonders if he should offer to trade stanky old couch for sweet-ass bocce ball set*
posted by BitterOldPunk at 3:34 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Regardless of the veracity or quality of the story, the website where it is hosted just tried to install some random .apk on my phone, after redirecting the browser to some porn site a minute or so after I started reading. Not cool.
posted by pharm at 3:49 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because people on Metafilter win cash prizes for being the first to point out fake stuff.

Did you misread the letter? You win a No-Prize, not cash prize.


If you look closely it says "a million doll hairs". Oh, well it was supposed to.
posted by bongo_x at 3:54 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


bondcliff is fake. You heard it here first.

Not true. I've met bondcliff, and he had those teenage Alpine ski-chiseled features and that sort of blank look that passes for deep thought that no sock puppet can simulate.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:04 PM on January 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Now I want a million doll hairs. Mostly for pranks, not gonna lie.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:41 PM on January 10, 2013


That "mostly" is going to keep me awake tonight.
posted by Etrigan at 6:23 PM on January 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Damn I'm in the market for a stanky old couch, but all I have to trade are these magic beans.
posted by Divine_Wino at 7:22 PM on January 10, 2013


Access Denied (content_filter_denied)
Your request was denied because of its content categorization: "Alternative Spirituality/Belief;Newsgroups/Forums".

Heh, obviously your workplace uses the same filtering software as mine does, but maybe mine starts from a different point to define 'Alternative Spirituality/Belief', because it let me view the site.
posted by dg at 7:36 PM on January 10, 2013


This is a horrible, horrible post to have on Metafilter. I am ashamed to see it here. I'm especially surprised to see it defended by a moderator. The story is clearly fictional but it is presented as fact in the FPP; and many of the commentators both here and at the original site accepted it as being at least partially truthful. I say "the original site", but in fact the story appears on many websites, often problematic ones (e.g.).

The story recycles anti-Semitic tropes under a veneer of anti-Israelism: a nebulous, ever-moving Jewish Zionist conspiracy; Jews Zionists living in physical filth and literal shadows; Jews Zionists bribing desperate gentile apolitical stooges to carry out their dirty work; Jews Zionists as a source of corruption; Jews Zionists conspiring to spread lies and slander their opponents.

The techniques used by the stooges of the alleged conspiracy reflect standard antisemitic tropes: they are taught to ingratiate themselves with powerful people; to fling false accusations at their opponents; even to use sexual innuendo [and] links to pornography. The sexual implication is a jarring note in the story but it's straight out of classic anti-Semitic narratives: the seductive Jew; the lecherous Jew. The author even uses a classic framing device: the Jews Zionists are convicted by their own words, reported by a virtuous insider who was recruited by their conspiracy but not part of it. This is literally the same framing device used by the infamous Protocols.

I really expect more from Metafilter. It's not just a crappy post and one which is badly framed, but one which places Metafilter among bad company. Most of the comments are just criticisms of the article itself. This is one FPP which really should be deleted.
posted by Joe in Australia at 7:41 PM on January 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


The reason they're colloquially called "dog whistles" is precisely because they are tuned so that most people don't recognize them. I don't think Mefites in general can hear them better than anyone else. The rest of your comment seems pretty pertinent to the Metafilter thread itself.
posted by muddgirl at 8:03 PM on January 10, 2013


I agree with Joe in Australia. Anti-Semitic websites like Stormfront and VNN are discussing that post as if it describes a real practice. White supremacists truly believe that the internet is infiltrated by people who work for Israel, and Above Top Secret has a history of posting offensive content that blurs the line between reality and trolling racists.

The article is totally within the bounds of topical discourse in white supremacist circles right now. I don't know if that's a place metafilter wants to be.
posted by vincele at 8:08 PM on January 10, 2013


Yeah, this is awful and I'm amazed it's still up. The heading "Short Stories" isn't necessarily a giveaway -- on a news-oriented website (though for AboveTopSecret I use the word "news" in only the loosest sense of the term) it could just as well mean "short (breaking) stories" or "short (news) stories." And yeah, of course it's the Jews who operate the massive conspiracy.

Anyhow, if it is fake (which seems to be the consensus) what exactly is the point of people debating whether it's accurate or not? To quote from the article itself, "Shouldn’t truth propagate itself naturally?" -- that is to say, do we really need a thread for which one side of the argument is likely to boil down to "Maybe this piece of Jewish-conspiracy bullshit is false, but it has truthiness"? People who want to argue for the existence of paid shills on the Internet deserve something better than a complete lie to start off from.
posted by ostro at 8:33 PM on January 10, 2013


Yeah, I just deleted it. We were on the fence all day, and I kind of wanted to see where the discussion about it went, but hearing it's a site closely tied to racists kind of pushed it over the top.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:59 PM on January 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I didn't recognize any of this for what it was and I feel hell of shitty about saying anything.
posted by boo_radley at 10:10 PM on January 10, 2013


Thank you, Matt.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 10:28 PM on January 10, 2013


I find it eerie that I come to a great conclusion about the idea of a "meme patrol" only to find my comments (along with the story), "disappeared"
posted by MikeWarot at 11:02 PM on January 10, 2013


Whoa. The original article (i.e., the one at abovetopsecret.com) has now disappeared. What's up with that?

boo_radley wrote: I didn't recognize any of this for what it was and I feel hell of shitty about saying anything.

I don't think you should. The author set out to manipulate his or her audience using tropes that are known to be effective. It's not like you were subscribing to Der Stürmer, calling for more racist invective! more! They're the one at fault.

There was a thread a while ago about women's experiences, with a semi-fictionalised story about a woman at a conference who was being stalked by another guest. Most men, including myself, automatically excused the stalker's actions - or at least didn't see them as threatening. It really shocked me when I finally understood the point of the story. We each live inside our own skin and other people's points of view are initially alien to us. If and when we come to recognise them it's actually a big deal, and we should feel happy about it.
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:27 PM on January 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks Matt. It was a poorly written story about something that didn't happen.
posted by deo rei at 12:53 AM on January 11, 2013


METAFILTER: a poorly written story about something that didn't happen.
posted by philip-random at 1:04 AM on January 11, 2013


FFS, who tagged this?
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 4:12 AM on January 11, 2013


There was a thread a while ago about women's experiences, with a semi-fictionalised story about a woman at a conference who was being stalked by another guest. Most men, including myself, automatically excused the stalker's actions - or at least didn't see them as threatening. It really shocked me when I finally understood the point of the story.

My guess is you are referring to this comment, which quotes in full the story from here. Definitely recommended reading.
posted by solotoro at 5:32 AM on January 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


I disagree with the deletion, based on the principle that sunlight is the best disinfectant. No one was going to discover that site via MetaFilter and come away from that story thinking, "Wow, this must be totally true -- the Jews really do run the media!" The discussion of how people came to believe that story was fake, the tropes in it that make it seem fake and the overall "Hey, this is a thing that StormFront and other racist discussion sites do, and here's how you can tell..." was valuable.

On the other hand, if the story at ATS is down, then I suppose the MeFi story on it is missing a major component and should be deleted.
posted by Etrigan at 6:12 AM on January 11, 2013


I actually found that story on another site, where it appeared to be much more legitimate. Then I linked to the original source without paying any attention to what the source was. My bad.

Then I broke all Metafilter conventions by actually emailing the mods via the contact form to own up to the mistake and tell them I was onboard with deletion if they wanted to go that route.

I shall prohibit myself from posting to the FPP for a fortnight as my penance.

Now to go Google what exactly a fortnight is. I just thought it sounded cool. I may have just committed myself to not posting for the next year.
posted by COD at 8:21 AM on January 11, 2013


"Fortnight" == "two weeks"
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 8:28 AM on January 11, 2013


Yeah, if you'd gone all Abe on us and said a 'score' or, worse, 'four score' then you'd be in new user account territory.
posted by carsonb at 8:38 AM on January 11, 2013


We'll accept you breaking that prohibition if you make an FPP about people living in forts, overnight.
posted by Lemurrhea at 9:48 AM on January 11, 2013


Also, "fortnight" = fourteen nights.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:40 AM on January 11, 2013


Also, "fortnight" = fourteen nights.

:O
posted by griphus at 10:43 AM on January 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


The techniques used by the stooges of the alleged conspiracy reflect standard antisemitic tropes: they are taught to ingratiate themselves with powerful people; to fling false accusations at their opponents; even to use "sexual innuendo [and] links to pornography". The sexual implication is a jarring note in the story but it's straight out of classic anti-Semitic narratives: the seductive Jew; the lecherous Jew. The author even uses a classic framing device: the Jews Zionists are convicted by their own words, reported by a virtuous insider who was recruited by their conspiracy but not part of it. This is literally the same framing device used by the infamous Protocols.

It is also the same framing as the infamous The Little Drummer Girl--whatever.

Is it really hosted on a racist site? That's interesting. I mean, if the writer just happened on Israel as low hanging fruit for the topic of shilling, I couldn't care less. If a concrete link can be drawn between anti-Semetic sites and the creation of the piece, that's an entirely different issue.
posted by Chuckles at 12:09 PM on January 11, 2013


I guess I'm tone deaf, too. I totally assumed that I/P was just an easy inflammatory topic and expected there to have been a trainee at the next table being paid to take exactly the opposite positions. I was actually recalling the old cartoons where the wolf and the sheepdog are walking in together, carrying lunchpails, and punching the timeclock together.

"Hey, Mike, I gotta hit the can. Can you write my answer to your post real quick?"
posted by tyllwin at 1:03 PM on January 11, 2013


If a concrete link can be drawn between anti-Semetic sites and the creation of the piece, that's an entirely different issue.

Yes, it is being actively discussed on Stormfront in the news section. It was posted several months ago in the jokes section of VNN, a rival white supremacist site where people post after they've been banned from Stormfront. I feel like it has been discussed more recently on VNN but a search doesn't bring up the post.

There is not a surefire way of knowing what white supremacists discuss or believe without reading their discussions. There is a huge amount of variety among them. I read hate sites out of fascination and a desire to know more about a really ugly part of the world we live in. (Most assumptions about their beliefs fall far from the mark.) The best way to inform oneself of their beliefs without going to the source is to read the SPLCs Hatewatch and Intelligence Reports.

I can tell you with certainty that white supremacists are very anxious about paid Jewish infiltrators gaining access to their sites. That article just reinforces what they already believe.

From its about page, Above Top Secret posts articles by freelance writers so it's possible, even likely that the author was one of the posters on those white supremacist sites or at least conversant with their beliefs and playing to them. A lot of the categories on the ATL forum have a strong antisemitic tone: New World Order and 911 Conspiracies being the two most prominent.
posted by vincele at 4:14 PM on January 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


the tropes in it that make it seem fake and the overall "Hey, this is a thing that StormFront and other racist discussion sites do, and here's how you can tell..." was valuable.

Such discussion or information would be even more valuable in an FPP that says, upfront "Hey, this is a thing that StormFront and other racist discussion sites do, and here's how you can tell...". People don't necessarily need to be goosed into recognizing dog-whistles by having to figure out themselves that this article was fake or whatever, they can just as easily have it pointed out clearly.
posted by anazgnos at 4:26 PM on January 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


"Also, "fortnight" = fourteen nights."

:O


Also, a fifth (as in whiskey) is a fifth of a gallon!
posted by KathrynT at 4:34 PM on January 11, 2013


I don't want a million doll hairs. I'll settle for a hundred sows and bucks.
posted by mule98J at 7:12 AM on January 12, 2013


Anyone still have this in cache? I'm curious about what the hell went on here.
posted by waraw at 6:06 PM on January 12, 2013


waraw - I'll memail you a link to a copy of the article - it's basically all over the internet. Don't want to post it publicly as that seems a bit shady since the post was deleted.
posted by muddgirl at 6:33 PM on January 12, 2013


It's fine to link it here if you find another copy, just not linking to Stormfront et. al. would be appreciated.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:47 PM on January 12, 2013


The apparantly-leftist website Conscious Life News copy-pasted the article I Was a Paid Shill and presented it as a factual but unsourced account.
posted by muddgirl at 7:05 PM on January 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


« Older MeFiWriMo! As discussed in thi...  |  80 minutes - 700MB - 5 discs -... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments