LIGHTEN UP ON THE INSTANT DELETIONS, PLEASE March 17, 2013 11:26 PM   Subscribe

I made an ill considered remark in timsteil's folkstreams post and he made a polite response which made me feel ashamed after I saw his consternation. I wanted to clarify my harsh out and went to make a clarifying comment when my computer crashed and I had to reboot. And when I got back, I made my comment and then saw his was already deleted. I am getting so sick of the editing of our conversations.I really think sometime that there should be placeholders for all deletions you make. You are overdoing it, in my estimation.

As it is now, my original harshout and tepid apology by way of clarification stands but timsteil's all too human response is gone. I look like a jerk who is talking to himself. And I am not talking to myself, I am responding to tim's innocent remark. I really wish the warp speed hall monitoring was curbed a bit. You treat us like children and rob us of the opportunity to have a real, unplanned for conversation where we make mistakes and make amends when you instantly delete innocuous remarks. It really is getting a little too Big Brother and Big Sister around here. You may have godlike powers but you most asssuredly do not have godlike judgment. Please back off and give us a chance to be human beings having real conversations and stop making textual bonsai out of our interactions.
posted by y2karl to Etiquette/Policy at 11:26 PM (54 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

I would second the request for a visual marker where comments are removed. I see a lot of reasons for this but not least so that I as a participant have a better idea of the actual "temperature" of the site. I don't see it as necessarily a permanent measure, but I would like it for a couple of months, also to counter (if it needs countering) the suggestion that modding had become more heavyhanded in the past while.
posted by Iteki at 11:33 PM on March 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Hey, timsteil contacted us and asked us to delete that comment, so we did. But meta conversations about whether someone should or should not make a post belongs in Metatalk anyway, and if you want to speak to timsteil or any specific user personally, you can mefi mail.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:34 PM on March 17, 2013 [4 favorites]


Sorry for the length -- please feel free to more inside it.

Fairly.

About 70% of my frustration is with this piece of dying junk with which I am working but, all the same, the heavy handedness of the thread monitoring is really getting a bit too much. It has been bothering me for a long time. It really upsets me to see how much is going on.

When I joined, the ocnversations around here were a lot more human. I, myself, would much rather have more King Log and less King Stork.

OK, I'm going to bed now -- this is way too frustrating on my end....

Well, at least all this waiting around gave me time to take THE FUCK out between LIGHTEN and UP in the title.
posted by y2karl at 11:41 PM on March 17, 2013


Maybe it's just old age creeping up, but I also find it increasingly hard to work out what's gone on in the threads with many deletions. Maybe there could just be a small "X comments deleted" message at the bottom of the page? Then at least I'd know it's not my brain failing, the conversation really doesn't make sense.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:45 PM on March 17, 2013 [7 favorites]


but, all the same, the heavy handedness of the thread monitoring is really getting a bit too much

You did read the part where this wasn't a mod decision right?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:47 PM on March 17, 2013 [20 favorites]


I have to say I've also been wondering lately metafilter's mods' deletions are more active than is good for the community. Removing the occasional inflammatory comment is one thing, but when it leads to swiss-cheese threads and the feeling that entire legitimate side conversations might have silently vanished it's harder for anyone to care about actually participating in the site (as opposed to just reading and commenting).
posted by hattifattener at 11:55 PM on March 17, 2013 [6 favorites]


Okay, I more-insided some. We are not going to leave a comment for every deleted comment, but we mostly do if it is going to cause confusion in the thread. TheophileEscargot and hattifattener, if you could point out a thread where this has happened that would be helpful (totally sincere and not snarking when I say that), and makes it easier to respond specifically than just trying to answer a general charge that there are wholesale deletions going on, because I'm not seeing that from this end.

We normally apply our discretion about when it's going to be more or less helpful to leave a note. If it's about something that threatens to derail/disrupt the thread in an ongoing way, we'll leave a note, so that people know what's happening going forward. If we delete a throw-away joke from the beginning of a thread, or just an "I don't care about this topic" kind of comment, we don't, because it's not integral to the conversation, and just distracting. Those are a few examples, but there are more.

Also, anytime anyone is confused about what is happening, they can contact us, and we can explain, plus it lets us know that there is maybe a problem there.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:59 PM on March 17, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well to be a voice for the other view, I want to say for me the majority of deletions fall into two categories:

1) unnnoticeable
2) removing something offensive

I have absolutely no problem with either and feel the moderation remains even-handed and thoughtful - and always open to discussion via a quick email to the mods if something is in question. The replies - regardless of topic - are in my experience always quick, courteous and flexible. Thanks guys,
posted by smoke at 12:01 AM on March 18, 2013 [17 favorites]


I am sorry but I wish timsteil would reconsider.

And I did NOT ask you to remove my second comment where I explained it wasn't a double post by my lights. So, now I look like even more of a jerk, thank you. So, please put it back.

I sincerely feel that you really are being ham handed. And it's getting worse.

So, stop with the 'please provide us with an example we can all refute point by point' and get that people think you are overdoing it.

How about this for a concept: First. Do. No. Harm.
posted by y2karl at 12:16 AM on March 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


Some people 'think (the mods) are overdoing it'; others, like me, think Metafilter would be better if there was more comment deletion.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 12:32 AM on March 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


Geez, I don't understand why the thread itself wasn't deleted with an encouragement to try again tomorrow. It's the purest of mystery meat on the front page: No link (discounting the ouroubian previously); Local news at 11 description (IE: nothing but a generic hook via dire warning); and a meaningless title. It's worse than the infamous "." FPP
posted by Mitheral at 12:34 AM on March 18, 2013 [7 favorites]


y2karl, you were responding to a deleted comment. I'm not understanding why you want to have that conversation in the thread. We have Metatalk exactly so that we don't have situations where the beginning of a thread is a bunch of back and forth comments about whether the post is okay or not, and it's been that way since Metatalk was created.

If you want to talk about whether it's a double or not a double, do it here. If you want to talk about moderation, do it here. If you want to talk about the actual posted information do it there. If you want to have a personal conversation, do it via mefi mail.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:35 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mitheral, as much as some people really, really hate 'em mystery meat posts per se aren't against the guidelines (though if it's something political/news/contentious, we are more demanding about framing and presentation).

A couple of people have flagged it as a double, but that was sort of a judgment call: if the post were just "hey cool site!" it would have been deleted, because the site has been posted before... but with sites that have a lot of different content, pointing out particularly good material that hasn't been posted before is usually okay. When it becomes a several-times-a-month thing, we're more likely to say "hey this site has been posted *a lot* recently, so maybe we have this covered for now."
posted by taz (staff) at 12:43 AM on March 18, 2013


And this is why deleting comments without visible trace is ba: have you tried disemvoweli!@#$%NO CARRIER
posted by MartinWisse at 12:53 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


"You did read the part where this wasn't a mod decision right?"

But in general y2karl is right. The modding has become way too overzealous at the cost of leaving really confusing threads, and an atmosphere that does feel kind of like kindergarten, i.e., two people disagreeing is automatically grounds for deleting, and people aren't allowed to be held accountable for saying stupid things but rather, the mods step in to try and save them from themselves.

But I'll admit that the genie is out of the bottle now, and it's probably impossible to go back to the more free-wheeling days which were, IMO, 50% much funnier and "community" oriented and 50% more nasty, brutish, and occasionally rage-filled.
posted by bardic at 12:53 AM on March 18, 2013 [16 favorites]


Also worth mentioning the old argument against making a "this comment deleted" thingie (and this goes way back ) was that you'd get a "king of the shit-pile" vibe from certain users who regularly used to thread-shit as a way of shutting down posts and/or discussions they didn't like.

Because there used to be a hell of a lot of that going on and thankfully it doesn't happen much any more.
posted by bardic at 12:56 AM on March 18, 2013


I'm seeing an awful lot of posts about people disagreeing for that to be automatic grounds for deletion...

If people have examples that are not a result of user request, I'd be really interested personally, but I haven't noticed any heavy handed deletions personally.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:06 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


two people disagreeing is automatically grounds for deleting, and people aren't allowed to be held accountable for saying stupid things

I disagree with people all the time without being deleted. In fact, I'm doing it right now, and I'll wager this comment stands. Likewise I see much undeleted stupidity, from myself and others.

I'm all for discussing mod standards, but nebulous accusations of zealotry are hard to refute; furnish some examples where you think it's gotten out of control.

I've only been a member since 2009, and only a regular reader from 2007 or so, but I really do feel the site is a more interesting, nuanced and funnier and definitely respectful place, even since then.

When you consider the vast uptick in members, that is quite an achievement, and I doff my hat to the mods.
posted by smoke at 1:08 AM on March 18, 2013 [13 favorites]


In the same vague "Not pointing to specifics, but you should all know that people think this" vein, I'll just put a tally in the counter of 'not enough deletions, generally'.

Not that it matters, particularly, but claiming unilaterally that there's a broad consensus that there's too many deletions is woefully wrong, and should be countered for the wrongness that it is.
posted by CrystalDave at 1:08 AM on March 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


The modding has become way too overzealous at the cost of leaving really confusing threads

Has this really been a problem? I personally haven't really noticed deletions all that much, even in contentious threads, certainly not to the point of thread incoherence that you and y2karl are noticing. So where has this been going on?

There might be a case to be made that the mods in general have been slightly more proactive (ugh) than has been the norm historically, if only because there are more mods and proper 24 hours moderation, so you don't have overnight flamewars burning out of control until Matt wakes up. Perhaps there has also been a greater willingness to intervene early to stop derails and flamewars happening in the first place, as the mods and mefi in general have more experience with them.

Whether or not this is a bad thing is a personal preference. On the one hand, this does help make the site less obnoxious, on the other it may also stifle some debates (I v P being the poster child of this), on the gripping hand any moderation style has its advantages and disadvantages.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:09 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


Another concept worth noting is Moderation In All Things, Including Moderation.

My second remark was valid with or without timsteil's comment. Please put it back.

Placeholders with reasons would help keep you honest and eliminate ass covering by stealth. And by 'poster's request' is a perfectly valid reason.

Are we a community or a cash cow to be carved up into slices of product ?

If we are all in this together, then we are all in this together. Or is it some of us are more together than others, thank you ?

I mean, really, who is going to watch the watchers, you ? Who is going to keep you honest -- you?

That just does not work as far as keeping you honest, no matter how many attaboys you get from the newbies.

Either placeholders or an ombudsman, please. We need a way to watch the watchers.
posted by y2karl at 1:13 AM on March 18, 2013 [3 favorites]


One of the drawbacks of the invisible deletion style is of course that it can happen a lot to you without anybody else noticing it.
posted by MartinWisse at 1:17 AM on March 18, 2013


My second remark was valid with or without timsteil's comment. Please put it back.

The comment about why the thread isn't a double? Why is that better served in that thread, where it is a discussion about the thread itself and not the subject of the thread, and not here, which is specifically where discussions about subjects of threads typically go?

Perhaps you can explain the value it adds to to actual discussion of the links, and we can understand why you feel it belongs there and must be reinstated.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:19 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


eponysterical!
posted by y2karl at 1:26 AM on March 18, 2013


Sorry but I couldn't help it.

Because it's elimination covers their ass and makes me look worse.
posted by y2karl at 1:28 AM on March 18, 2013


Ok, now I'm thinking this is best chalked up to "Late night, St. Patrick's day in the US, everyone's probably buzzed, whether it's for the purposes of a holiday or just because it's Sunday and that's how we roll".

Also, if the concern is 'who watches the watchers', then who's watching the ombudsman? Who ombuds the ombudsman?

Doubly-also, I'm pretty sure that the mods don't need ass-covering. Their asses are precisely as covered as they desire them to be, metaphorically speaking.

Let go of pride & vanity. It'll serve you well. Sure does for me, at least.
posted by CrystalDave at 1:29 AM on March 18, 2013 [8 favorites]


makes me look worse

Walk away from your computer. Seriously. This isn't worth it — at any price, really.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:29 AM on March 18, 2013 [18 favorites]


Because it's elimination covers their ass and makes me look worse.

Hm. I suppose people will make of the thread what they will, but, from my perspective, your lone comment that remains merely seems to point out additional threads, as though you're adding new information. I assure you, at least in my read of it, you did not come off badly.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:33 AM on March 18, 2013


Are we a community or a cash cow to be carved up into slices of product

Dude, this rhetoric is getting kind of unhinged don't you think, given the mods have always welcomed opportunities to discuss their decisions, and are more often than not perfectly happy to have them in an open forum (like this one) without any attempt to shut down debate?

I dunno, you seem really steamed up over a comment that seems extremely trivial from over here, and I think your vagueish accusations would have more weight if your one example wasn't a) so personal b) so... inconsequential.

Either placeholders or an ombudsman, please. We need a way to watch the watchers.

This seems ludicrous overkill given the tiny minority of users who feel so strongly about this issue, and that this site is, after all, owned by Matt and subject to his wont not ours. Metafilter is not a parliament or government agency. An ombudsman, come on, man, how many other forums do you see with the kind of openness and flexibility we see here that haven't descended into aggressive in-groups or 4Chan levels of insanity? The same number that have ombudsmen, I would suggest.
posted by smoke at 1:34 AM on March 18, 2013 [19 favorites]


I am not going to be able to make a point by point conversation because my connection is so slow.

My point is that human communication is human communication, an organic process. All this we have rules in black and white and blue and gray sidesteps what troubles me.

With all these stealth deletions, it's a little too dealing from a stacked deck with a set of rules being used to refute error on the part of what has become a class structure with unaccountable royalty here.

This has become a court with courtiers rather than a community of equals. It really troubles me. We are just not equals anymore.
posted by y2karl at 1:37 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


And I don't care about my comment anymore. So, skip the long distance telepathy. This is just something that has bothered me for a long time.
posted by y2karl at 1:41 AM on March 18, 2013


We are just not equals anymore.

Well, this is true, but I've been posting for five years or so and it was ever thus. We have always had moderators. I guess, having done my time in the unmoderated cesspool that is much of the rest of the internet, I prefer it this way, and from my perspective it actually allows for greater communication -- it's very easy for unmoderated forums to be dominated by trolls and bullies, and for people to simply shout down unpopular opinions. Additionally, it's quite easy for threads to become derailed, accidentally or deliberately, and that's a shame when you actually wish to discuss the subject.

That being said, to each their own. If you feel this place is overly moderated, that's certainly your prerogative.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:42 AM on March 18, 2013 [9 favorites]


I don't know that all those cavorting metaphors really make sense when added together, though. Is your problem

a) rules inhibit "organic" communication - which is better why?
b) Stealth deletions are happening so the mods can preserve an illusion of being right? - this seems quite hard to refute or assert, what does "right" even mean in this context? The mods rarely argue for a POV in thread.
c) The mods have a privilege and their frequent use of it is showy and not aimed at a better functioning community? - I guess we have to just agree to disagree.

I don't feel the mods look down on me. In fact, in all my personal interactions with them - which has included their deleting my comments; refusing to post my responses when I have put up an anonymous askme; posting on my behalf on sensitive topics in other askmes; responding to my questions and thoughts in-threads; and asking for my take on a situation - they have been nothing but respectful, compassionate, and friendly.

I can't help but feel you're taking a deleted comment very personally.
posted by smoke at 1:45 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not the moderation style in use here that's making you look worse.
posted by Solomon at 1:46 AM on March 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


As much as I hate to encourage y2karl, who really should go for a walk, the percentage of comments deleted per day has in fact doubled from .5% to 1% over the last three years.

(the graph goes from January 2009 through three days ago.)

And now I'm going to set an example for other people by going to bed.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:49 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tell Me No Lies, is that as a percentage of comments deleted per day? I'm assuming the number of comments has also risen in that time.
posted by smoke at 1:51 AM on March 18, 2013 [2 favorites]


y2karl: "This has become a court with courtiers rather than a community of equals. It really troubles me. We are just not equals anymore."

Man, I like and respect you, and I feel like I kind of know you well enough to say that I think you're a damned intelligent person, karl. I've been here for almost a decade, so I'm hoping I qualify as not a newbie anymore. And I will even say that I have had moments like what I think you're going through right now; recently, even, when my comments have been "collateral damage," deleted not because they were bad but because they were part of an unnecessary and disruptive derail, and in an exchange with a mod I had to sort of face the possibility that I was kind of sort of part of that derail. Which was both a little embarrassing and also a little maddening and complicated, because while it was clear that I wasn't really the main problem in the situation I had to think for myself about whether maybe I was contributing to the problem - and at the same time that wasn't why my comment was deleted, so I wasn't even sure how embarrassed for myself I should be at all.

So, yeah. I hope that makes it clear that I think I understand the mixed feelings you're talking about here - that maddening combination of feeling like I kind of screwed up but then also that there isn't any clear way for me myself to do anything about that beyond going back to my corner and having a little think.

But - that's sort of always going to be the case, isn't it? There are rules, and the mods try to enforce those rules as consistently as possible. Frankly, I don't see any conversations that are really that difficult to read; I think they're only complicated and a little maddening when you're in that position of having commented and then had your comment deleted. I often want to blame that anxiety I feel about those situations on the mods, but when I'm honest with myself and take a look at what their results are, they've rendered conversations more direct and more coherent and headed off more derails and scuffles with their judicious and careful deletions.

What I mean is: I disagree with the images you're casting about for here, karl. You say you're worried about who will keep the mods "honest," but that's a mutual project around here - and there's never been a time when they haven't been clear and direct with me. Really, they tend to keep me honest, at least in my experience, and I think that's a good thing. And there is no court with courtiers here; the application of rules seems exceedingly consistent, and those most familiar and friendly with the mods get no more and no less moderation than anyone else.

Please believe I'm not trying to be hurtful when I say that I do think you're asking this too personally. Maybe turn it over in your mind a bit over the next few days. Is there really any way the mods are being dishonest here? Is there really some way they're imposing a class structure or building a court with courtiers? I don't think that's how it is at all, and I think if you contemplate the situation a bit you'll see that.
posted by koeselitz at 1:57 AM on March 18, 2013 [14 favorites]


Tell Me No Lies, is that as a percentage of comments deleted per day?

Yeah, the granularity is per day.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:59 AM on March 18, 2013


Well, having the site covered 24/7 has added to the number of deletions. I'm not sure what changes there have been, if any, in the level of site activity.

But anyway, just for a general idea of what's happening currently: I just added up all deletions from all mods for Metafilter blue for the past two full months and it averages out to 4.66 deletions per shift: that's three 8-hour shifts a day, so around 14 deleted comments on the blue per day, which includes all "please delete my comment" requests, commented in the wrong thread, double comments, "here's the fix for my typo / my link" once we fixed that, spam, etc. I feel like we skew much more to adding a note to a discussion when it starts to go south rather than just deleting comments.

(Ask Metafilter is much higher for many reasons, but I think this conversation is mostly about what happens on the blue.)

Meta comments are pretty much auto deletes, comments made after we've requested that people drop something are often but not always deleted, throwaway quick jokes at the beginning of a thread or "this sucks" kind of comments at the beginning of a thread are deleted more aggressively now... and then, with what remains, I can say that after we've had a few conversations with someone about posting / interaction problems and we've pretty much given them the "this must stop" talk, and they continue with that specific form of interaction – they are deleted a lot more, which usually leads to a time-out or ban. We are less likely than in the past to do deletion "sweeps" because we have more manpower to step in earlier now, assuming it's on our radar either because we are following a thread, or because something's been flagged and we see the problem early.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:02 AM on March 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


We need a "Godwin's law" for pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric. y2karl, this has nothing to do with class struggle or government oversight.

I, also, have never noticed a thread becoming confusing after comment deletions.
posted by wayland at 2:08 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have to also add that I'm not really 100% comfortable characterizing activity in this way, because other factors have a lot to do with what happens as well, and another set of months might come out lower or higher (higher during elections cycles for example)... and the months I just counted included at least one really contentious thread that lasted a long time, got hundreds of comments, lots of anger and fighting and a Metatalk thread, and very, very many requests for deletions... so this estimation may be on the high end for a non election season period.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:08 AM on March 18, 2013


And, oops... I left someone called "mathowie" out of my mod deletion count, which adds another half-deletion a day for that two month period, so more like 14.5 per day.
posted by taz (staff) at 3:01 AM on March 18, 2013


That just does not work as far as keeping you honest, no matter how many attaboys you get from the newbies.

I haven't been here as long as you have y2karl, but I've been here a good number of years, actively contributing for most of the time. And I totally disagree with your comments about too many deletions or confusing threads. I've never noticed a thread looking weird or confusing because of deletions and I've never been upset by the deletions I do notice (including the very odd time I get something deleted). A placeholder for every deletion is just going to put crap into the threads for no reason and I don't agree that there need to be either more or less deletions. This place runs pretty well these days, just as it did when I first joined seven years ago.

I do, however, notice how abrasive and rude you're being here. I'm sympathetic, I've had a lot of computer issues over the years and it can be totally rage-making in an irrational way. But that's no reason to come here stirring shit.
posted by shelleycat at 3:16 AM on March 18, 2013 [5 favorites]


And, oops... I left someone called "mathowie" out of my mod deletion count...

That's gonna be an awkward moment in the employee break room.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:47 AM on March 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


The "court with courtiers" comment was pretty shitty. There's a bunch of people who want to have a nice place to hang on the internet and another, smaller bunch that's paid to try to help make that happen. None of us are here to try to get the official y2karl stamp of non-sycophantic approval.

FWIW, I would characterize your complaint as hyperbolic and I think it's pretty amazing that you haven't backed off after you found out that you made it on a bad premise (i.e.: timsteil's comment was deleted at his own request). Personally, when I'm demonstrably wrong about a smaller aspect of a larger thing I tend to question if maybe I'm wrong about more of it, but perhaps I'm just weak in that way.

But now you can just blow off anyone that disagrees with you by going "pff, courtier" so whatever I guess.
posted by kavasa at 3:51 AM on March 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can't help but think that the mods have this whiteboard somewhere that tallies all the "the mods are being TOO AGGRESSIVE with deletions" complaints alongside the "the mods are NOT BEING AGGRESSIVE ENOUGH with deletions" complaints, and they do an over/under on which side's gonna win in a given time period and then there's a prize or someone has to buy drinks or something.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:11 AM on March 18, 2013 [4 favorites]


(Um. In case that wasn't clear - that was my jokey way of observing that for every person who thinks they're too aggressive, there's a person who thinks they're not aggressive enough, and that's a good sign that they've hit the Goldilocks "juuuust right" point, to my mind.

(It's also a good reminder that "not everyone agrees about everything, don't forget".)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:13 AM on March 18, 2013


Just for the record. I am so worried about things beyond this discussion. I am under a lot of stress financially and I have a very sick cat. And a very shitty computer and it just got to me tonight. Between cat and computer, guess where my money is going.

So, I made a stupid comment and tried to make amends and through no one's fault it got screwed up. Mostly because it took so longon my end.

Immediately after my last previous comment here, I asked my original comment in timsteil's post be deleted. I asked this post be deleted, too. Neither was done.

But I ask again: please delete my comment in that thread and please delete this post.

But if this discussion is so important, let someone else bring it up. In another post. I want no part of it.

I couldn't sleep and came back to see if my request had been honored. It would be the decent thing to do and I can't understand why tim's comment can be deleted upon request and my comment or this post can't. It's funny how these things work out. At any rate, I have no control in this matter. Minds wiser than mine decided to let this go on.
posted by y2karl at 4:19 AM on March 18, 2013


None of us are here to try to get the official y2karl stamp of non-sycophantic approval.

Let's not get too tetchy with Karl, shall we? He means well, if a bit frustrated at the moment.

And the point is, if comments are deleted invisibly as they are here, it's hard to tell why they are deleted which is why y2karl's mistake about why the original comment was deleted doesn't really impact the rest of his argument.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:21 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


y2karl, I did say I would delete the comment in the original thread, but that since it was mentioned here, I'd need to make a quick comment here saying it had been deleted, which you specified that you didn't want. This is now covered, and I'll delete that comment.

If nobody has a problem with closing this up, I'm happy to do that too. We all have super shitty days when our nerves are raw.
posted by taz (staff) at 4:36 AM on March 18, 2013 [1 favorite]


The reason I sometimes get frustrated with deletions is kind of the opposite of y2karl's (who I'm sorry is having a terrible time - this comment isn't about something I've seen him do).

When you're actively reading a thread, you see all the really horrible comments some people make that they must know will be deleted. And I for one can't unremember them. So the NEXT time they come in a thread people who remember the last thread will be less inclined to give them any slack. Which, since the troll's worst behavior has been deleted, makes the people who do remember and react accordingly look like unjustified aggression. And the worst offenders in this regard are wriggly with delight over the chance to play martyr, so deleting their terrible comments actually helps them troll the community.

There's no way to address it, really. It is an edge case. I understand why the mods have to delete the comments and even agree with the deletions. But it is very annoying.
posted by winna at 4:44 AM on March 18, 2013 [10 favorites]


We're aware of this, too, winna, and it also causes some blowback for us when we're accused of being too hard on people sometimes, when we've actually had a whole lot of interaction that isn't visible... but this seems like a better choice to us rather than a lot of SITE DRAMAZ about every bad patch anyone might have.

Anyway, what I'm going to suggest is that we go ahead and close this one up, and anyone who wants to discuss this more feel free to open a new thread – no problem with that at all, and it can be a fresh conversation, without getting distracted by the particular exchange that happened in the other thread.
posted by taz (staff) at 4:54 AM on March 18, 2013


I'd love to see a visible record of a deleted comment, like a little grey square or something else innocuous but noticeable.

y2karl, I'm sorry your cat is sick.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:58 AM on March 18, 2013 [6 favorites]


So, I'm going to go ahead and close this, but like I said, no problem with a new post on the subject generally.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:02 AM on March 18, 2013


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