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Another crazy deletion
February 14, 2013 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Sorry, but this is a dumb deletion, IMHO. A lot of people like Newsfilter type stuff, and those are almost always the most interesting and longest threads. This is big news in the sports community, and the deletion reason is just silly.
posted by roomthreeseventeen to Etiquette/Policy at 6:43 AM (72 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

No, it's a really sound deletion. "Famous person shoots their partner" stories, while tragic and upsetting are basically open threads where people argue about gun control. There's very little substance to it and while I have enjoyed the Pistorius story generally throughout the Olympic season a mostly single-link story with very few details is going to make for a terrible MeFi thread. It's a terrible tragedy but not a great MeFi thread at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:47 AM on February 14, 2013 [41 favorites]


I don't know, there's no there there. It's not anything that everyone hasn't read already. MeFi not being a news site and all.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:48 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I knew that one would be deleted. There's not really anything to talk about yet. The more substantial post that goes up this evening or tomorrow won't get deleted so you'll still have your forum for discussion.
posted by ThatCanadianGirl at 6:50 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


We routinely delete "Here's something awful that happened" posts. Perhaps there will be a way to make a more informed, deeper post about this when more information is known, but at the moment it's just a cut-and-paste headline from all major news sites and we aren't a news site. With nothing else to talk about, this would become yet another de facto gun control thread.
posted by taz (staff) at 6:50 AM on February 14, 2013


Metafilter is about neat things on the internet, your post was about a shitty thing thinly described on the internet. If there were something neat on the internet to link to on the topic of the post things would be different, but that was not really the case here.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:51 AM on February 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


With all due respect, I had more links than just the headline from a major news site. But whatever!
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:51 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Absolutely perfect moderation. I'll be following the story keenly, but MetaFilter is only barely a place to have a decent discussion about it (as though we need to discuss it), and that post wasn't the one to engender such a discussion.
posted by Etrigan at 6:53 AM on February 14, 2013


1. This isn't CNN.
2. It pains me to see people I generally like yelling "fuck you" at one another, which is where gun control threads (and this would have been one for absolutely certain) often go.

Judicious pruning keeps the tree healthy.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:57 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


What's to discuss at this point about the issue?

"Huh. That's sad."

"Guess you shouldn't have heroes."

Fin.
posted by inturnaround at 6:57 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Hey roomthreeseventeen! We still love you.
posted by ouke at 6:59 AM on February 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


YMMV, but longest threads != most interesting threads.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:02 AM on February 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Thread at Sportsfilter.
posted by LionIndex at 7:03 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah and I don't mean to imply that it wasn't a good faith post about an interesting subject, just that there's not a lot of THERE there at this point which means the conversation necessarily gravitates towards the things people DO know which is their own feelings about guns and gun control and random things about Pistorius and South Africa.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:05 AM on February 14, 2013


I will be far more interested in that post when we have a whole lot more than just speculation, which is what we have right now. This is a pretty classic deletion, and one that's hard to argue with. It's just too early for a good post about this.
posted by stoneweaver at 7:10 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


"People need to know about this!" - Not great for a post.
"People will think this is neat!" - Good for post.
posted by DWRoelands at 7:11 AM on February 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


This deletion strikes me the same way as the first Dorner deletion(s). It's an excellent deletion that leaves the door open for a more substantive, interesting post later. Moderating the timing of post is possibly more difficult than moderating for content, and I think the mods patience with newsfiltery stuff actually makes for improved discussions.
posted by klarck at 7:12 AM on February 14, 2013


I wouldn't call this deletion crazy, precisely.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:14 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good deletion.
It's all over the news everywhere and most of what's being said is pure speculation.
From the CBC:
Police said that earlier reports that Steenkamp may have been mistaken for a burglar by Pistorius did not come from the police. Several local media outlets had initially reported that the shooting may have been accidental.
"It would be very premature and very irresponsible of me to say what actually has happened," Beukes said. "There have been allegations. We are not sure."

posted by chococat at 7:17 AM on February 14, 2013


This is big news in the sports community

Only because it involves someone of note in the sports community. It's not sports-related except in the broadest sense. Which basically makes it "famous person allegedly kills spouse." Tragic, if true, but not really the kind of thing we talk about on MetaFilter much, especially as breaking news. I agree with the deletion.
posted by jedicus at 7:17 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it doesn't mean we can't post about what happened; it just means when a post re: the event gets approved (or not deleted), it will have more substance than the situation currently does. I think this is a very tragic yet interesting event in an lauded Olympic athlete's life, but right now, there's nothing but his wife's death and hearsay.
posted by Kitteh at 7:18 AM on February 14, 2013


Sorry, but this is a dumb deletion, IMHO.

Calling a deletion "dumb" or "crazy," especially when it is a deletion of something you posted, is not really a good way to show that you care about anything other than your own ego.
posted by OmieWise at 7:20 AM on February 14, 2013 [29 favorites]


It's a sound deletion for the wrong reason IMHO.

I disagree that this is just a "tragic thing happened". This man is the face of the modern Paralympic movement. It is huge news. We break the newsfilter rule when the news is big enough and the post is comprehensive enough because the comments section itself fills with updates and analysis.

The reason why it is a sound deletion, however, is the framing and the research. It's a thin post, and although some hours have passed since the event is significantly out of date with what is being reported by mainstream outlets.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:22 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


those are almost always the most interesting

Subjective much?
posted by scratch at 7:26 AM on February 14, 2013


It's a sound deletion for the wrong reason IMHO...It's a thin post, and although some hours have passed since the event is significantly out of date with what is being reported by mainstream outlets.

I think that's pretty much what the deletion reason was:

This post was deleted for the following reason: Yes, this is tragic, but perhaps we can wait and see if there is some substance that will make a good post instead of just speculating / getting angry. -- taz
posted by chococat at 7:28 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


It's been a long time since some good, old-timey "my post was deleted" MeTa whining!

Sorry, but this is a dumb deletion

Incorrect.

those are almost always the most interesting and longest threads.

Longest does not mean best. Also, newsfilter is the furthest thing in the world from "most interesting" post. In fact, almost all of the "most interesting" posts have maybe a dozen comments.

This is big news in the sports community,

Good thing there are tons of sports blogs out there. Even a Sportsfilter!

and the deletion reason is just silly.

What? It's straightforward. You might not agree with it, but it's far from silly. I think perhaps you are coming from a pretty biased PoV here.

I mean, I think this whole MeTa is "silly."
posted by absalom at 7:59 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


A lot of people like Newsfilter type stuff

This sentiment comes up in so many "Why was this post deleted?" threads and it frustrates me. A lot of people like it and a lot of people don't, but the pertinent issue is that that mods have made a conscious, explicit, and repeatedly articulated decision that "Newsfilter type stuff" is not in most cases representative of the site they want MetaFilter to be. That's the essence of what it means to moderate a site. I happen to also think it's the right choice, but I wish people who disagree with the policy could do a better job of acknowledging it as legitimate. I don't see what anybody gains from contesting this ground over and over.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:00 AM on February 14, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'd like to take this opportunity to

(A) agree with the deletion, even though, as far as newsfilter posts go, I agree that this one was decently done

(B) point out that over the last four days, I've woken up to Metafilter and the Today show simultaneously telling me about abdicating popes, North Korean nukes, and homicidal heroic Paraolympians. I'm getting to the point where I either don't want to go to sleep or don't want to check the news as soon as I wake up because I fall down the rabbit hole of 'must know everything about this that is known' and my day doesn't really start until about an hour after I intended.

(C) Say "fuck you" publicly for Gawker going with the headline "Blade Gunner" -- they better not make fun of the NY Post ever again.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:10 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Horace Rumpole: A lot of people like it and a lot of people don't, but the pertinent issue is that that mods have made a conscious, explicit, and repeatedly articulated decision that "Newsfilter type stuff" is not in most cases representative of the site they want MetaFilter to be.

Exactly. I'd love it if there was more flexibility for ChatFilter in AskMe, but I realize at this point that it is not going to happen, and I'm not about to argue when it comes up.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:36 AM on February 14, 2013


A lot of people like Newsfilter type stuff

As far as I am aware there are whole reams of websites that cater precisely to this 'news' you speak of. If you want the news, go there. If you want a reasonable and in depth analysis of the event from (usually) intelligent people then come back here for the post that may happen in a day or so when anyone has a clue what actually happened. A thread where rumour and 'first on the scene' reporting is the basis will be horrible and not what this place is for nor really all that good at.
posted by Brockles at 8:49 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Telling you, man. Just another reason to vote #1 quidnunc kid. Telling you. He doesn't need "reasons" to make deletions. He's not concerned with site "quality", only the maintenance of his power. It's a very simple, clear operating dynamic, and we should all be pleased to vote #1 quidnunc kid at the upcoming usurpation.
posted by Capt. Renault at 8:50 AM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


WWQKD?
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:07 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


Having Pistorius named above the cut would have a nice touch.
posted by maryr at 9:15 AM on February 14, 2013


Sorry, but

I hate this construction. On that grounds alone, I think it was a good deletion.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:26 AM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


And so begins the mods' game of whack-a-mole
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:31 AM on February 14, 2013


Having Pistorius named above the cut would have a nice touch.

Exactly; content-wise, it was pretty meh, but the presentation was pretty text-book breathless OMG Breaking-NewsFilter.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:33 AM on February 14, 2013


It's a darn shame there is no place else for people to find newsfiltery stuff on the internet.
posted by timsteil at 9:34 AM on February 14, 2013


It's a darn shame there is no place else for people to find newsfiltery stuff on the internet.

I have no opinion on this particular deletion but I really disagree with this line of reasoning.

There are a lot of other places on the internet to find pretty much everything posted to MeFi and its subsites; the point is that people enjoy discussing things within this specific community.
posted by lalex at 9:44 AM on February 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Is there a way to search deleted threads before posting? If I had known this topic had already been deleted I wouldn't have subsequently created my own post.
posted by tom_r at 9:46 AM on February 14, 2013


URL checker checking deleted posts would be awesome (if it doesn't already do that).
posted by nadawi at 9:48 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


those are almost always the most interesting

Subjective much?


Well, I personally am among those who consider Newsfiltery posts very interesting. I am aware not all users are on board with that but my suggestion to them is to not read the threads.

Newsfilter threads can be a pain in the ass to moderate, but this is one of those stories where we are going to get one eventually anyway and I don't see the content of the thread shifting vary much based on a few added links for more detail that are still just reporting what everybody else is reporting...just a few hours later. It is not my personal experience that the later posts are of significantly better quality.

It can be frustrating to write a Newsfilter post like this because the criteria for keeping them around can be subjective, based on an arbitrary decision to wait a certain amount of time or for information to be made more official. Having a post deleted isn't the end of the world, but it can be frustrating. Still, it's better just to let it go and wait to participate in the conversation when the time comes.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:48 AM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would like to make a statement for the record: I couldn't care less if the thread got deleted or if it stayed, as it's one that there's like a 99.9% chance that I'd stay out of completely.

Now, can we talk about how I'm able to put a percentage ranking on something like if I plan on commenting in a discussion forum thread? Because I just don't know and I'm a bit scared.
posted by item at 9:49 AM on February 14, 2013


There's a p<0.05 chance, yes.
posted by seanmpuckett at 9:50 AM on February 14, 2013


URL checker checking deleted posts would be awesome (if it doesn't already do that).


That would be a great idea. It would have worked in this case since we both included the same previously link. It might also be useful to include a "search deleted threads" box on the create post page (although I realize that deleted threads are not intended to be searchable).
posted by tom_r at 9:55 AM on February 14, 2013


Another possibility is searching tags. It appears that tags are thrown away for deleted posts, but I'm suspecting that roomthreeseventeen also used 'pistorius' as a tag. Point is, there are at least three potential ways to cut down on duplicate deleted posts.
posted by tom_r at 10:06 AM on February 14, 2013


Good deletion. I accidentally voted for eyeballkid instead of the quidnunc kid. Oops.
posted by rtha at 10:09 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure I'm expressing this right, but it's heartening to see how this thread has gone in light of the way it was started. I've had threads deleted before for various reasons, and every time I've been some combination of disappointed, angry, embarrassed, and confused. There's so much emotional attachment to a post you make!

Some of mine that got deleted were deleted with good reason, but there has been at least one that was objectively a bad deletion. I had been so excited to post it (it was edgy! it was cool!) and was absolutely furious in the moments after I saw it had been deleted. My emotions were already running high, just from making the post, and when it got deleted they blossomed into a fiery rage I hadn't felt in quite some time. I couldn't even state my case for un-deletion clearly, even though it was obvious, for as upset as I was.

But I did eventually make myself understood, and the moderator who deleted it helped me re-work the post a bit and then very kindly un-deleted it. Now, don't go rushing through my MeTa posts looking for the thread, for my rage-soaked ranting and breathless exhortations—they're not there. See, mods here do the deleting, and they also respond directly to your concerns via the Contact form. So when my post got deleted I used the contact form to make my case and got my post un-deleted. I didn't make accusations, I didn't call names, I simply made my case for why the post should stand and proposed a plan of action to get it reinstated.

The moderators' response (for several did) was reasonable. The post was re-worked slightly and un-deleted. All of this happened without the dog and pony show in MeTa.

I dunno, I guess what I'm getting at here is that zipping over to MeTa the second you notice your precious baby of a newsfilter post got deleted to publicly call out the moderators is a poor choice on two counts. If it legitimately is a bad deletion (and those are rare, so rare!) then taking a moment to calm yourself to the point where you can actually comprehend the deletion reason before explaining why is so much better than dashing directly over here and embarrassing yourself with poor choices like 'Sorry, but' and 'dumb'. And using the Contact form is just the smarter option in general when it comes to this particular sort of issue. You don't need the court of public opinion on your side if the deletion was a bad one, you just need some cool logic and a direct line to the mods (the latter of which is always available).

Do MeTa better.
posted by carsonb at 10:56 AM on February 14, 2013 [25 favorites]


Seriously I use the contact form ALL THE TIME and I'm sure the mods are SICK OF ME but they are speedy, courteous, and I am embarrassed in front of far fewer people.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:02 AM on February 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


Calling someone's actions "dumb" and "silly" at the same time you're referring to your opinion of said actions as "humble" is just plain confusing.
posted by heyho at 11:18 AM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


"People need to know about this!" - Not great for a post.
"People will think this is neat!" - Good for post.


Worse yet, the post under consideration was neither of the above.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:20 AM on February 14, 2013


There's so much emotional attachment to a post you make!

I forgot to put in another part related to this bit, and to railing against posts of yours getting deleted in general: Once it's out there, even though it's got your name there underneath it, a post is no longer yours. It's like a balloon you release into the sky. Off it goes, usually out further than you can see, but every so often it will pop two feet away. BANG! Sometimes you know why it pops (you've posted your balloon near a contentious saguaro) and sometimes you may not understand. Either way, you already let go of that balloon when you posted it to the front page. It's out of your hands at that point.
posted by carsonb at 11:30 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


"People need to know about this!" - Not great for a post.
"People will think this is neat!" - Good for post.


And, of course, the best posts are both.
posted by carsonb at 11:31 AM on February 14, 2013


(stares into the distance)

Yeah, roomthreeseventeen, I thought about your complaint and I don't really think...

(removes sunglasses)

you have a leg to stand on.

YEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!
posted by Justinian at 11:43 AM on February 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


maryr: "Having Pistorius named above the cut would have a nice touch."

Agreed.
posted by zarq at 11:44 AM on February 14, 2013


If it had devolved into a gun control post, it might have been a singularly interesting one, because Pistorius is South African; paranoia and gun ownership are at high level among South African whites; Pistorius' home had already been voted 'best defended' or some such thing in a poll I can hardly believe could have ever taken place; the predicament of South African whites-- being, or at least perceiving themselves to be an embattled minority-- is exactly how may gun-owning right wing whites feel in the US as it shifts toward non-white majority status under its first black president, and in some sense the issues that will arise in the wake of this tragedy are a preview of our own future in America if we're not very, very careful.
posted by jamjam at 11:53 AM on February 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I love SportsFilter and to some extent NewsFilter, but that was a good deletion. At some point there might be something there that's worthy of a post. Once more of what happened is clear, it'll be interesting to see the impact (if any) on the Paralympic athletes, sponsorships, etc.

Right now, it's just a very thin post about a very tragic event.
posted by 26.2 at 12:12 PM on February 14, 2013


Judicious pruning keeps the tree healthy.

Said the mohel...
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:25 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sigh, why do I not notice my typos and missing words until they are quoted back at me?
posted by maryr at 12:33 PM on February 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would like there to be a thread about this sad news item for the reasons jamjam outlines above (well, not the "this is how it's like the US" part). I don't think I had much idea about how high-status white South Africans live, and I didn't know that private gun ownership was a thing there.

Anybody wanna make a post about gun control in South Africa? I would like to read that.
posted by purpleclover at 1:14 PM on February 14, 2013


I'm most interested in the DV side of this story. The victim was reportedly very bright and educated (law degree), and was reportedly about to take a job opportunity that probably would have separated her from him for significant periods of time. So when we know more and this topic becomes a meatier one to post about, I hope that's something we can discuss.

There is a lot more potentially here than breaking news that famous person kills lover, to my way of thinking, but I concur with everyone else that 1) we need to learn the actual facts first and 2) the other aspects of the story need some coverage for a post that yields more than a lengthy thread full of fightiness.
posted by bearwife at 1:24 PM on February 14, 2013


So one of the reasons this worked out well, in my opinion, is that we didn't have a long discussion of the "he thought she was a home invader" theory of the crime that was apparently based on nothing, and which was explicitly deprecated in police statements. At another forum I frequent (also quite actively moderated) this discussion did not go well, and some hard feelings were created for what turned out to be absolutely no reason.

Sometimes things like that make me glad we don't do breaking news. Other times I really want to know what you all think about breaking news.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:35 PM on February 14, 2013


maryr "Having Pistorius named above the cut would have a nice touch."
Having Reeva Steenkamp named above the cut would have been the nice touch, if this is a good place to influence how the eventual post about this is written.

.
posted by ambrosen at 1:53 PM on February 14, 2013 [11 favorites]


Not a propos of this specifically, but if people really need to discuss a breaking news story with other Mefites, Metafilter Chat is a good option.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:18 PM on February 14, 2013


"If it had devolved into a gun control post, it might have been a singularly interesting one, because ..."

While it would be cool if there were a discussion of gun control with a focus on South Africa, I have a hard time imagining the discussion being anything other than another discussion of gun control in the US.
posted by Bugbread at 2:22 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tink Tink is headed for the Clink Clink
posted by Renoroc at 5:03 PM on February 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


URL checker checking deleted posts would be awesome ...
I agree - there should be automatic checking to see if a person starting a MeTa thread has had a post deleted within the past 24 hours. People having their post deleted are almost never in the right frame of mind to behave rationally about the deletion. If it really is a bad deletion, someone else will bring it up. Otherwise, yeah, it's just you.
posted by dg at 7:14 PM on February 14, 2013


I came in to see if this was covered here just this morning when I read that Reeva Steenkamp lost her life locked in a bathroom with shot injuries to her head and hand presumably shot through a door by her partner. There's something incredibly sad about injuries to hand and head when you're talking about guns.

This is after my disgust at the tabloid coverage in the UK of her death....

I wanted to ask how different it all would be if this were Chris Brown and Rhianna....

That's what I wondered.

I completely support the deletion but Metafilter commentary is actually best of the web.
posted by Wilder at 3:54 AM on February 15, 2013


Wilder: I completely support the deletion but Metafilter commentary is actually best of the web.

It's true, but I would argue that this is at least partly because of the restrictions on what can and can't be posted.
posted by Rock Steady at 5:35 AM on February 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Considered doing a FPP on this early on, but the news reports online were too similar and am more comfortable with a variety of (actual) facts from several sources. Also, very early on there was some confusion - still is - about whether it was a case of mistakingly being identified for a burglar, or shot deliberately (for want of better phrasing). Gave up as reckoned that there'd be a high chance of any FPP I did being (probably rightly) deleted as too thin.

There's the angle, as well. Personally think (YMMV) the more debate-worthy angle (gun debates elsewhere on MeFi) is of the media representation of Reeva Steenkamp. Which, as others have pointed out on here, has been unpleasantly objectified. Some British tabloids are running with full front cover pictures of Reeva in a bikini. Other places are referring to Reeva as just an unnamed "girlfriend of Pistorius". (Kudos to original FPP for including her name).

Reeva.

She has a name, and has an identity. Personally that's the angle I'd go for in an FPP.
posted by Wordshore at 6:20 AM on February 15, 2013 [6 favorites]


I caught part of a news show last night - whatever the one that's on after Maddow - and in the few minutes I saw they talked about a great career that had been derailed and the tremendous tragedy of all that potential, wasted. They were talking about him, of course. Steenkamp had no career and no potential, apparently.
posted by rtha at 6:29 AM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Personally think (YMMV) the more debate-worthy angle (gun debates elsewhere on MeFi) is of the media representation of Reeva Steenkamp. Which, as others have pointed out on here, has been unpleasantly objectified.

Not that I disagree or am not outraged about this particular thing, but it's still not a great recipe for a good MeFi thread unless done carefully. Domestic violence is wretched and the way the media portrays a lot of this stuff is also wretched. Moving this from "famous guy gets arrested" to "A shitty thing happened that is just a microcosm of this larger shitty thing that happens all the time in the world!" is still unlikely to foster decent discussion or anything other than "Domestic violence is awful and the way this was reported is likewise awful!" which I don't think there's a lot of debate about, and if there is debate it will be by people trolling and/or being intentionally provocative and/or clueless. I, too, am interested in the gun culture of other countries and the way that may or may not have played into this particular situation. Make a post that's better than the typical "This sucks!" posts that you see everywhere else on the internet.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:01 AM on February 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


I attempted another FPP about this in light of the stuff that came out at the bail hearing today. See how it goes I guess.
posted by unSane at 9:11 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think as these sorts of posts go, that was a decent effort and thanks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:43 AM on February 19, 2013 [1 favorite]


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