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What the heck is up with deleting posts?
May 2, 2013 10:08 AM   Subscribe

It seems that any interesting posts are getting deleted lately. Just now, The story about the bolt action rifle handed to the kid as a play toy - deleted. The story about the movies to help educate people before they make end of life decisions, deleted. And a few others that upset me at the time, before I noticed the trend... can't recall specifics. Is someone trying to push metafilter in a new direction, or what?
posted by MikeWarot to MetaFilter-Related at 10:08 AM (64 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

If only there were a way to read the reasoning behind a deletion and a mechanism for further clarification....
posted by cjorgensen at 10:12 AM on May 2, 2013 [14 favorites]


MikeWarot: "The story about the bolt action rifle handed to the kid as a play toy - deleted."

> This post was deleted for the following reason: Broken links and "ugh this is a terrible gun related accident" are a bad combo for a post about this topic.
posted by boo_radley at 10:12 AM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


And I'm curious: Why would you be upset about them?
posted by boo_radley at 10:13 AM on May 2, 2013


A post full of busted links to a "This just happened!" gun crime story isn't going to make a good post for MeFi. I'm not sure what the previous post is that you're referring to. There's really nothing new on our end. For the past few years we've had a few informal guidelines to encourage people to make better posts on contentious topics (and not make throwaway obit posts) but nothing really new and that's been discussed in detail in MeTa. Feel free to let us know if there are specifics you've got particular questions about.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:16 AM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


The rifle thread consisted of a link to an Apache test page and two short news clips. In short, in my opinion, there is no there there.

Reading the few comments that were made before the deletion also showed where that thread was headed. What's there to be said? Outragefilter! Bad things happen. This sucks. We've retreaded that topic a few times already with a lot more meatier material. May be an interesting topic, that doesn't make it a good post.
posted by cjorgensen at 10:16 AM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


It seems that any interesting posts are getting deleted lately.

Naw, the front page is loaded with 'em. Your example deletion didn't have much to discuss besides how awful it was, and an(other) argument about guns.
posted by Mooski at 10:19 AM on May 2, 2013


Is someone trying to push metafilter in a new direction, or what?

Hmmmm. I was going to make a jokey, facetious comment about the "new direction" that the mods were pushing Metafilter in and then I realized that almost all of the silly suggestions that I could come up with have probably featured in genuinely angry complaints here on Metatalk. I'm glad I'm not a mod is, I guess, the takeaway.
posted by yoink at 10:20 AM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


Jazz odyssey. Hope you enjoy our new direction.
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:22 AM on May 2, 2013 [16 favorites]


Aren't there still several open threads discussing deletions? Does this need to be another, now that the OP's question has been asked and answered?
posted by rtha at 10:23 AM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


ugh this is a terrible gun related accident

If anyone thinks the situation is just about that, they are misunderstanding the post.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:23 AM on May 2, 2013


It sounds like you've just noticed something that is fairly regular for Metafilter. I'd recommend running the deleted posts script so you can see how this is completely normal.
posted by mokin at 10:24 AM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or check out the blog.
posted by mokin at 10:27 AM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


There are currently at least 3 ongoing threads on guns in the US, and a couple more where the topic has seeped into a (semi-)related thread. So, there's that.

On the other hand, maybe it would be interesting to note that there have been at least seven (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7) accidental shooting deaths and injuries of children in the last three days--and those are just the ones that made it onto the local news--bringing the 30-day total to 13 young kids shot accidentally by other kids and the current year's total to 26. I don't know if the mods would go for something like that, fleshed out with statistics on children, the marketing of guns to children, and/or the laws surrounding children and guns, but there you are.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:31 AM on May 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


ugh this is a terrible gun related accident

If anyone thinks the situation is just about that, they are misunderstanding the post.


Replace "accident" with "thing," then. Or "crime" or "tragedy" or whatever noun floats your personal watercraft-related-noun. It was still a thin OutrageFilter post.

And I say that as someone who was about to hit Preview on a comment when the red box popped up.
posted by Etrigan at 10:43 AM on May 2, 2013


It's not a new direction, it's One Direction! Cortex is a big fan and if your post isn't even tangentially related to a One Direction song, it will probably be deleted. Sorry, that's just the way it is.
posted by muddgirl at 10:44 AM on May 2, 2013 [16 favorites]


Definitely 'or what.'
posted by carsonb at 10:50 AM on May 2, 2013


Delete all single link posts. Delete all posts that aren't more thought out than "this is cool brah." Ban posters if the site they came from is Reddit. Fixed.
posted by thylacine at 10:56 AM on May 2, 2013

i don't know how many times i have to tell people that step one in putting together a post is writing "duck penis" in the search box and hitting go -- cortex
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:03 AM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


thylacine: Delete all single link posts. Delete all posts that aren't more thought out than "this is cool brah." Ban posters if the site they came from is Reddit. Fixed.

Well, you're 0-for-3, but better luck tomorrow, slugger.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:09 AM on May 2, 2013 [6 favorites]


yea that is a real zero for three. Those are all good reasons to post.
posted by sweetkid at 11:26 AM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think this is the end-of-life movie post. The deletion reason is pretty standard and leaves the door open to repost.
posted by donnagirl at 11:28 AM on May 2, 2013


What rtha said. Do we have to do this again?
posted by languagehat at 11:29 AM on May 2, 2013


3rding rtha and languagehat.
posted by Aizkolari at 11:51 AM on May 2, 2013


Delete all single link posts.

Do people actually believe this nonsense or is it an ongoing joke I've somehow missed? The first person that made this statement needs to be punished severely.
posted by justgary at 11:53 AM on May 2, 2013


I think right now the mods are busy punishing all the people who aren't participating in this post. Because as you can see from some comments, it's mandatory.
posted by cribcage at 11:55 AM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


hat rtha said. Do we have to do this again?

Nope. No one has to read MeTatalk, so I'm not sure why this is bothering people. The general suggestion is to skip over posts you don't like or can't add anything constructive to, sooo... that?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:55 AM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why is it so hard for people to understand "make a better post"? Is everyone so delicate now that the deletion of someone else's low-quality post is instantly SILENCED! CENSORED! FREE SPEECH NOW!

Metafilter is not about being the first to post news no matter how meh (or inaccessible) the links/information is. If you think they're such great topics, either get with the OP to make a better one, or just do it yourself. Put some effort into it.

Don't mistake an interesting subject for an interesting post. Not the same thing. The former does not guarantee the latter.
posted by Lyn Never at 11:57 AM on May 2, 2013 [13 favorites]


The system is working as it should. Make better posts and all issues are resolved. If it weren't so logical, it would be magical.
posted by batmonkey at 12:00 PM on May 2, 2013


I'm not sure why this is bothering people

I don't really have an opinion on whether it stays open or not, but the reason it bothers me is the general bad-faith-ish wording of the post. Seriously to say both that you can't really remember what bugs you so much and ask if "someone" is trying to push things in a new direction? It smells stunty.
posted by donnagirl at 12:13 PM on May 2, 2013


If anyone thinks the situation is just about that, they are misunderstanding the post.

There wasn't much there to understand. It was roughly 450 words over two links.

I posit this isn't enough of a story for anyone to make any kind of comment of substance.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:17 PM on May 2, 2013


It's not a new direction it's an old direction. And that direction is: it's not enough to post about subjects that interest us. The actual links need to link to interesting things on the Internet. Some exceptions remain, but they are, by definition, exceptions, and shouldn't be used as templates.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:19 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


What bothers me more than posts complaining about deletions are the inevitable "use the contact form," "we've been over this before," "can't we close this," and other such hall-monitoresque tut-tuts.
posted by brain_drain at 12:23 PM on May 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


But I waaaaant to talk about outrageous things happening nowwwwwwww and I can't wait arounnnnnnnd for somebody to go back in time and invent blogger in 1999 and then for somebody else to invent wordpress and twitter and tumbler and myspace and facebook and create cheap web hosting and free forum software that I could run on my own website. This is the onnnnnnly place I can talk about these things and it totally sucks that the mods won't let me.
posted by gauche at 12:26 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


What bothers me more than posts complaining about deletions are the inevitable...

And, of course, someone will be bothered by people who post to say they are bothered, etc., etc. It does seem repetitive, yes, but folks just have to get it out there, ya know? If it makes them (and you) feel better, go right ahead, long as you can keep from beating any body up over it.
posted by Mooski at 12:31 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


No one has to read MeTatalk
wait, what?!
posted by the man of twists and turns at 12:36 PM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


other such hall-monitoresque tut-tuts.

Community policed means that feedback is not just okay it's actually expected. Of course some people may run with this more than others but offering suggestions is an okay way of interacting here. Begging and pleading (which we have seen none of in this thread) less so. There is now an open MeTa thread for discussion of that issue which must mean I have won some sort of karmic lottery this week.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:37 PM on May 2, 2013 [17 favorites]


wait, what?!

My bad, 140999, you have have 3 months left on your sentence.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:38 PM on May 2, 2013 [3 favorites]


.... other such hall-monitoresque tut-tuts.

Well, you've been here longer than I have, but I've noticed that the mods frequently include stuff in their comments along the lines of "we encourage you to make this the place you want it to be".

On Preview: what jessamyn said.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:38 PM on May 2, 2013


Ladies and gents, I give you The New Direction, Western New York's only "Chicago-style" polka band ...
posted by octobersurprise at 12:40 PM on May 2, 2013


What bothers me more than posts complaining about deletions are the inevitable...

The problem I have with these threads is the post has a deletion reason, it's usually obvious why it was deleted even if not, there's a contact form if you truly don't get it, and the mods are crazy responsive individually when on duty. Yet we have these threads.

If the framing is, "I think this was a bad deletion, and don't agree with the reasons presented, and want to know what the community thinks," that beats, "Cool shit is being removed what up with the new agenda?" One almost assumes laziness on the poster's part and bad faith on the mods' part.

Want to know why it was deleted? Read the reason. Don't understand it? Ask. Don't agree? Say why to a mod. Still think you are on the side of angels? Bring it to metatalk. Running to meta first, while acceptable, bypasses much of what makes this site work.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:51 PM on May 2, 2013 [5 favorites]


Still think you are on the side of angels?

Always with one wing dipped in blood.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:58 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jazz odyssey. Hope you enjoy our new direction.

MetaFilter: Our Bass Player Wrote This
posted by mazola at 1:10 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jazz odyssey

No, harmonica odyssey.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:28 PM on May 2, 2013


I'm not sure how those people got cats stuck in their harmonicas, or why.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:08 PM on May 2, 2013


Community policed means that feedback is not just okay it's actually expected.

To be clear, I have no objection to people providing feedback. I think that is great and it is one of the reasons I enjoy this site. I just don't understand why some people get exasperated about the very existence of certain MeTa threads -- especially when the mods, who are the only ones obligated to deal with those threads, handle them with patience and little visible consternation. I'll leave it there, though, since I am drifting into consternation about consternation and that calls for coffee!
posted by brain_drain at 2:13 PM on May 2, 2013


There are two open threads about gun control already.
posted by homunculus at 2:26 PM on May 2, 2013


i don't know how many times i have to tell people that step one in putting together a post is writing "duck penis" in the search box and hitting go -- cortex

I misunderstood "search box" as "contact form" for a little bit there and was wondering what the mods would get out of a deluge of emails containing only the words "duck penis."
posted by invitapriore at 2:28 PM on May 2, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have been lurking for much longer than I have been a member and anecdotally it seems that the amount of posts being deleted is not rising at a rate that is alarming in any way (as many, many people have brought up many, many times before, as the site has grown more posts in general have been made and thus the pool of which possible to-be-(appropriately)deleted posts has grown) BUT BY GOD THE NUMBER OF METATALK POSTS ABOUT THE ALARMING TREND ETC certainly has increased to the point that my first thought on clicking this post was dear baby whatever this surely is in jest...
posted by J0 at 2:30 PM on May 2, 2013 [2 favorites]


Just now, The story about the bolt action rifle handed to the kid as a play toy - deleted. The story about the movies to help educate people before they make end of life decisions, deleted.


A Partial Map of Your TARDIS - deleted. An open letter about an allegedly boring Coachella set - deleted. Practical app advice posted by its author - deleted and banned.

What about the 8,000 pot cookies? Given to starving children? Burned to give warmth to the snowed in citizens of Denver? Nope - Deleted!


What is this strange new direction being forced upon us?
posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 2:32 PM on May 2, 2013 [1 favorite]


Don't bogart that post!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:35 PM on May 2, 2013


NAID, self-links have always been ban-worthy.

Single link posts are and always have been great if that link goes somewhere awesome.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 6:23 PM on May 2, 2013


I have a question about deleted posts. If I posted a FPP and it got deleted would I get an automagically created MeMail telling me so? Or would I just see that it was gone and then find the link for the deleted posts blog to find out why?
posted by sacrifix at 8:11 PM on May 2, 2013


You'll get an autoMeMail when your post is live that contains the link for the post. If it gets deleted you don't get a notification but you can still click the original link and see the reason for deletion right underneath it like in this example from above.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:16 PM on May 2, 2013


Now that I have installed the deleted post viewing script in Chrome, I can see things that get deleted and at least find the links again, instead of losing things, and my comments, into the memory hole.

I'm more upset about things just disappearing, instead of just closing the thread with a reason.
posted by MikeWarot at 10:08 PM on May 2, 2013


Ah, thanks.
posted by sacrifix at 10:17 PM on May 2, 2013


NAID, self-links have always been ban-worthy.

/hamburger

posted by Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug at 10:48 PM on May 2, 2013


Delete all single link posts. Delete all posts that aren't more thought out than "this is cool brah." Ban posters if the site they came from is Reddit. Fixed.

That's certainly a concise recipe for completely fucking ruining MetaFilter.

Do people actually believe this nonsense or is it an ongoing joke I've somehow missed? The first person that made this statement needs to be punished severely.

People really believe it! I suspect the idea that single links are bad evolved from the old controversies surrounding Single Link Op-Ed posts, Single Link YouTube posts, &c. - users see those complaints (and deletion reasons) and latch on to the 'SL' part of the acronym. You see the same sort of thing with folk getting all het up when they see a self-link in a comment - they've absorbed the 'no self-linking' rule for posts and mistakenly apply it across the board.

Obviously, some people just genuinely prefer the link-rich megaposts -- I love those too, e.g. y2karl's 2005 'Dark Was The Night' multilink masterpiece -- but you defo see folk who think that single link posts should be frowned upon due to a misunderstanding of the site's rules/guidelines/culture/history/whatever.
posted by jack_mo at 3:43 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Man, if single link posts went away I'd pretty much have no reason to read MetaFilter anymore.
posted by invitapriore at 8:40 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


The story about the bolt action rifle handed to the kid as a play toy - deleted.

I must tell. I do think there is a post in that terrible story. Someone should try again.

6 weeks ago I needed another box of 12 gauge slugs. They are hard to get around here and I've a legitimate problem with wild pigs. Great big wild pigs.

Store had two incredibly expensive types of high-performance shells left and I was asking questions. Turn around and my 7 year old has been given one of these Cricket carbines to dance around the store with.

My first thought was "Holy shit. That thing is so short he could shoot himself in the head." "But it's blue Daddy. Your favorite color!" Staff demonstrated the safety mechanisms. "Only an adult could pull this bolt back, see? I got the pink one for my daughter when she was two."

Of course you did. (Probably bought her a Barbie on the same day.)

My boy is neither big nor small. He cocked it on his third try by holding the barrel between his feet and using both hands.

No way. It looks like a toy. It will be treated as such by children.

Sorry. I just had to tell somebody.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 9:29 PM on May 4, 2013


thylacine: "Delete all single link posts. Delete all posts that aren't more thought out than "this is cool brah." Ban posters if the site they came from is Reddit. Fixed."

How about the first poster on the first day of the month is given a cupcake. The second poster each day is banned for a week. If it's the fifth post of the day and it's Tuesday, that user who posted it is permabanned, but the post stays. The next user who posts gets a bagel with their choice of schmear, but they have to exchange user names with the person sitting to their left.

I have other ideas.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:24 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


The story about the bolt action rifle handed to the kid as a play toy - deleted.

Yep, because "the link was broken". When I offered to repost with other links, it was really because it might not go well and is controversial. Which seems to be the reason most things get deleted now.
posted by DecemberBoy at 8:33 AM on May 5, 2013


The obvious and immediate reason to take down a post with a broken link is because it's not functioning as a post which was why we removed it. You MeMailed me and asked if adding a few more links would help. My exact MeMail is posted below.
I think you need to think pretty seriously about what point you're trying to make. If the post is just "This shitty thing happened because the US is fucking nuts about guns!" that's sort of a thing we know and the post isn't going to add anything to the hundreds of discussions we've already had. Guns and horrible news stories involving guns fall solidly into "topics that go terribly here" and we require people to make posts that are going to be something that is worth discussing with the community, not just the most recent gun outrage. I'm not sure if this story, tragic and poignant as it is, is going to meet that no matter how many links you find since all the stories I've been reading about it online are basically saying the same things over and over again.

Please use the contact form if you need to follow-up.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:38 AM on May 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


How about the first poster on the first day of the month is given a cupcake. The second poster each day is banned for a week. ...

Yes, yes, let's implement The Wheel.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:50 AM on May 5, 2013


An open letter about an allegedly boring Coachella set - deleted

A Gaslight Anthem post was deleted? This is an outrage! Even if the post is critisizing them, the post would be of interest to people (me, mostly).
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:05 AM on May 6, 2013


« Older Do we know what post has the l...  |  I am very sorry to tell folks ... Newer »

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