Backdoor FPP? May 6, 2013 8:31 PM   Subscribe

Is there a consensus on "backdoor FPPs?" I have noticed a few - do people think they unnecessarily steer a thread? Takeover discussion? Provide a new viewpoint and welcome context?

By "backdoor FPP" I am referring to a comment like this [mine], in which a comment is pretty clearly an FPP in its own right.

"Backdoor" like backdoor pilot, in which an episode in an established TV show is a testbed for a new show.
posted by the man of twists and turns to Etiquette/Policy at 8:31 PM (72 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

this is not about buttsex?
posted by elizardbits at 8:45 PM on May 6, 2013 [19 favorites]


Not without lube, you know the rules.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:46 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


It depends on the thread. Sometimes, especially with news or politics, someone will throw up something on a hot topic with a few links, and then a backdoor comment will come in that actually has much better, more interesting info, and you're like, I wish this comment was the post instead. Sometimes the links in the backdoor aren't better, they're just more plentiful, and the thing just sits in the thread like a dead fish and people pass over it politely holding their noses. They tend to be such a wall of text that unless the OP itself is borderline shitty I think most people just skip over them. Rarely someone will come in with and even more awesome set of links that enhances a good post.
posted by Diablevert at 8:48 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I really thought this was going to be about that Doc Johnson thread. Disappointing.
posted by donnagirl at 8:49 PM on May 6, 2013


By backdoor FPP it sounds like you mean, when someone posts a bunch of links and some quotes in a comment?

And do you mean, is this permissible? Or are you wondering whether people like/dislike it when others do that?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:49 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


And dinner. A good dinner, none of that boxed wine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:49 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


I see them in obit thread sometimes where people get beaten to the punch with obit posts. They seem fine in obit posts but ones like the one you linked to seem a little attention-grabby and GYOBish. Not saying that about you at all, just that's my first impression when someone does that in a thread.

Folks maybe don't jump straight to lulz in this thread?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:50 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


And do you mean, is this permissible? Or are you wondering whether people like/dislike it when others do that?
Yes. I mean, I know its permissible, because I don't seem them deleted or mod-noted. But I wanted to take the temperature on posting links - not just one-line links, but links, blockquotes, some writing and contextualizing, in someone else's FPP. Especially close to the top.

To get specific, this post touches on a lot of things that are in a post I have been working on, and I want to contribute and share, but not monopolize the thread.

This is not the first time.

A good dinner, none of that boxed wine.
Boxed wine is surprisingly good.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:00 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Isn't this what you're supposed to do when you have some interesting links on a topic but there's already an open post? If you tried to make a new fpp with it, it'd get nuked and you'd be told to add it to the existing discussion.
posted by alms at 9:00 PM on May 6, 2013 [12 favorites]


It's not really wrong. But it can act as a derail, and that's at least rude.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:14 PM on May 6, 2013


Well, if you're looking for people's opinions on comments like the one you linked to, mine is that it feels like a bit much. When I click into a thread to read the discussion, it's largely because I'm interested in people's responses - either to the OP, or to other members' comments. It can be interesting when someone provides an extra link or two that can provide further support, detail, or another side of the matter at hand, but a comment that fills up my screen (or two screens' worth, in this case) with links and blurbs is probably going to get skipped or skimmed lightly. ESPECIALLY if it's unclear how each part is responding to the OP or other users' comments, and not just throwing in a lot of other information about the same topic.

Even if the info is good, the sheer amount feels overbearing to me, kind of like the guy at the party who wants to hold forth on his favorite topic. That dude may know his shit to an impressive degree, but I just wouldn't have much to say in response. However, I'm not the hugest fan of mega-FPPs, either, AND I'm much more a lurker than a participant on the blue, so I certainly wouldn't say this is the general consensus - just my opinion.

But I think you asked, so there you go. I was told there would be wine ...
posted by DingoMutt at 9:17 PM on May 6, 2013 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I would agree it's a little overwhelming, and I'd personally just skip it to keep discussing the original links. But I'm mostly an AskMe person anyway, and there it would be totally out of line.
posted by donnagirl at 9:20 PM on May 6, 2013


I like good comments.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:27 PM on May 6, 2013 [7 favorites]


On the other hand, you're not allowed to post an FPP when someone else's just posted something---you're told there's an open thread already. So if you've gone to all the work of collecting links for a post and got scooped, where else are they to go?

I do appreciate the notice that you'd been already working on a post, though.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:35 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am... a backdoor thread
I am... a backdoor thread
well the noobs don't know,
but the mods? "no good" they said...

sung to the tune of
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:12 PM on May 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Interesting question. This really doesn't happen that often, and, when it does, it's usually the result of someone's being in the process of constructing a comprehensive post and someone else posts something a bit more shallow.

My take is, make the comment, put in the links, and, somehow, in order to be polite and all, acknowledge the original FPP for allowing the space to add your content.
posted by HuronBob at 10:13 PM on May 6, 2013


I love comments like this as long as it's at least marginally on topic.

MeFi comments are at their best when they're actually contributing signal, and at their worst when it's just the same old people bloviating on the topic du jour.
posted by no regrets, coyote at 10:15 PM on May 6, 2013 [10 favorites]


Boxed wine is surprisingly good.

LIES.

However, boxed wine (or, rather, the bags of wine in the boxes) is the foundation of the great Australian drinking game, GOON. OF. FOOOOORTUUUUNE.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 10:28 PM on May 6, 2013


I always assumed those just happened when FPPs got deleted for being too similar to recent posts.
posted by flatluigi at 10:31 PM on May 6, 2013


The one time I've done this, it was on a topic that I happen to know a lot about, and deal with on a daily basis in a professional capacity. On top of knowing that I had something legitimate to offer to the discussion, I had been reading along without commenting, and noticed a wealth of incorrect or flat-out disinformation in the discussion, which was easily corrected by linking to more objective, or actual primary sources. Also I happened to have the links readily available.

I'm not exactly sure what the intent of the question is here, but the given example seemed more attention grabbing than contributory.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:37 PM on May 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


My comments are all pretty much FPPs in their own right.

It's hard being me.
posted by mazola at 10:50 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I sometimes post comments with a number of links if I am dissatisfied with what the OP has put up.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:50 PM on May 6, 2013


I think your comment is way too much and is a sign you should have your own blog. I would probably think that if it were a post too.
posted by jacalata at 10:53 PM on May 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


You kind of have to think about the sheer volume of information you're posting - will anyone read it? The number of links makes the comment impenetrable.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:01 PM on May 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


His backdoor is impenetrable?
posted by homunculus at 12:16 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think the linked example contributed to the discussion and was not (deliberately) attention-grabbing. More quality links are always good.

If you're concerned about derailing / distracting with a wall of text, just split it up into multiple comments and don't post them all at once.
posted by inire at 1:48 AM on May 7, 2013


If you're concerned about derailing / distracting with a wall of text, just split it up into multiple comments and don't post them all at once.

Which, I now see, is what you did in the income inequality post. Definitely a better approach.
posted by inire at 1:54 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


My thoughts are quite in line with DingoMutt's. I'm not opposed to multilink posts, but I prefer that they be carefully curated so that the substantive links speak to one another rather than simply being related by virtue of addressing the same topic. I don't particularly care for encyclopedic posts. Even though your comment in the Gaza FPP has garnered a pile of favorites, to me it is too much, and the impression I get is that it is just a compendium of news and opinion pieces, lacking any real focus. It's telling that not a single word of that comment is in your own voice; it's all hyerlinked titles and pull quotes. That's unfortunate, because even just glancing on it it seems there's a focus or two there that you could have helped shaped: the Twitter/social media angle, for example, is worth exploring.

What you did in the income inequality thread is a little better in terms of avoiding a wall of text. Even there though, I think your comments would be more valuable contributions to the thread if you took the time to provide more of a summary of the articles and how you see them relating to the overall topic. There are other commenters in that thread who, IMHO, do a better job of explaining why they're linking to the links they offer (e.g., taz and surrendering monkey). The FPP, after all, is not just about income inequality, but specifically about income inequality and violence; hence, the links you added seem to go off a bit on a tangent.

I think you would have been better served to save them for a couple of FPPs, one perhaps looking at the angle of cognitive dissonance in attitudes about income inequality, and another from the perspective of economists "getting it wrong." Income inequality (like cat videos) is quite a broad topic, and I'm pretty sure Jesus said it would be with us always. If you waited a few days you could certainly have put up your own post without getting told "hey, we've got an open thread on income inequality, why don't you put these there?
posted by drlith at 4:24 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


No but if you are zarq or otherwise adored by the mods you can make obvious double posts with impunity. Damn the double standards around here just keep on expanding.
posted by spitbull at 5:09 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm trying to imagine this outside of Newsfilter. I have a feeling what would happen is you'd hold onto the post and refine it for another time, but I could see it being perfectly on topic and nicely supplementary, in which case who could argue.

In the context of a news/politics/obit or social-issues-citing-mainly-newspapers thread, I'm always grateful when people speak in links, but if there's some concern a big pile of links will lose its interestingness/topicality in a month or so, maybe that's a sign it could be filtered better.

But if not, I think I'd slightly prefer being able to roll around in and/or skip the blob of links all at once rather than have to evaluate a relatively unfiltered collection of links assembled from one point of view but that has been scattered among several comments. I appreciate that the latter would be an effort to break things up into discussable units and not stand out, but in addition to being less skippable, the somewhat univocal yet multiplied number of comments feels slightly astroturfy--obviously, not in intent, but in terms of the burden on the reader to notice it's probably one point of view.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 5:10 AM on May 7, 2013


Scandal of scandals, I don't like the megaposts that seem to get otherwise universal accolades. I find them cumbersome and annoying. It strikes me that the backdoor FPP is likely to be one of these multi-link affairs--after all, one has spent the time crafting the huge post and need everyone to see it. If the FPP is a single-link cat video, posting another cat video is not going to be with a MeTa.

I'm squarely in the camp of don't do this. You were late to the dinner table, and that's sad for you, but that's life.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 5:15 AM on May 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


Wow, Spitbull - are you going to be grating in every meta this week?
posted by ChuraChura at 5:18 AM on May 7, 2013 [7 favorites]


Wasn't there a Mefite a couple of years ago who quit Mefi (he may have returned) because he was unhappy of people taking his threads into directions he didn't intend?

Backdoor posting, it hurts people's feelings.
posted by gertzedek at 5:18 AM on May 7, 2013


No but if you are zarq or otherwise adored by the mods...

I demand to see the Official List of Adoration!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:32 AM on May 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


I guessed initially that a backdoor FPP was when a MetaTalk post complaining about a FPP deletion starts to turn into a discussion of the subject matter of the deleted post.
posted by Area Man at 5:38 AM on May 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you had been thinking about making a post and had some links lined up but someone posted in the meantime I think its fine to toss them in.

Also, in some cases I thread goes in new directions for organic reasons, I called it a turducken when Miko did it in the election thread.
posted by shothotbot at 5:46 AM on May 7, 2013


No but if you are zarq or otherwise adored by the mods you can make obvious double posts with impunity. Damn the double standards around here just keep on expanding.

Not only is this wrong, its getting boring. Maybe stop?
posted by shothotbot at 5:48 AM on May 7, 2013


Sometimes the backdoor FPP seems a little hijackey, especially one as detailed as that. That would have been an awesome FPP on its own, but dropped in like it is, it's like a roadblock to discussion.

FPP = cool enough...little newsy...but worthy
coupla comments, then shablam! Like a semester's worth of reading and context to deal with.

Obviously very well researched and executed, but to do it justice, and comment thoughtfully involves a pretty big time committment, and it's a flip of a coin whether you have that time,, or care that much about a particlular issue.

It's great to have that work here and archived. Too bad it got buried just a little.
posted by timsteil at 6:27 AM on May 7, 2013


Keep doing what you're doing. There's no law that everyone has to read every comment. The tl;dr crowd can skip it and those of us who who aren't in that crowd can read it and dig through the links as we see fit.

People who double post are routinely told by the mods to post what they have in the existing post. This is a site policy that has a very long precedent. That being said, dumping your links in what you think is a crap post as the first comment would be rude, but maybe it would serve as a lesson to the OP to do a little better next time.

BTW, if you do end up GYOB over this, please drop me the link because I would read it every day.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:20 AM on May 7, 2013


Brandon Blatcher: "And dinner. A good dinner, none of that boxed wine."

It takes a hell of a lot more than a good dinner, in my experience.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:34 AM on May 7, 2013


No but if you are zarq or otherwise adored by the mods you can make obvious double posts with impunity. Damn the double standards around here just keep on expanding.

What are you talking about? Cite or gtfo.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:40 AM on May 7, 2013 [13 favorites]


spitbull: your MeFi Mail is disabled, otherwise I was going to send this there. I generally find that I enjoy your contributions, and many of your MeTa comments have seemed insightful and thoughtful to me. In several recent threads, you have seemed really aggressive, angry, and often, personally so. I just wanted to express my concern that all was well with you. My email is in my profile. As I said, I wouldn't have posted this here if your MeMail weren't disabled.
posted by bardophile at 7:40 AM on May 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


spitbull: "No but if you are zarq or otherwise adored by the mods you can make obvious double posts with impunity. Damn the double standards around here just keep on expanding."

*snort* I'm not "adored by the mods." I've been an argumentative, shit-stirring pain in the ass for them over the years. Sorry. Also, most of my dozen or so deleted posts have been doubles.

Anyway, I've made three posts that I can think of that could conceivably be considered doubles. This one, this one and this one. In all three cases I flagged the post myself when alerted in the thread and in the Japanese and Movies threads a mod subsequently stepped in and said the post was okay. I don't see a mod note in the Amazon thread, but since I flagged it I guess they must have at least checked on the thread. I always try to remember to flag my own doubles.

Were there others? If so I'm not aware of 'em. I try to keep up with my posts' threads but don't always get a chance.
posted by zarq at 7:54 AM on May 7, 2013


I MAKE DOUBLE POSTS WITH IMPUNITY.

actually, I make 'em with a MacBook Pro
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:02 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dunno, if zarq is well-loved or whatever on MetaFilter it's because he consistently makes great posts.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:07 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


if zarq is well-loved or whatever on MetaFilter it's because he consistently makes great posts.

About a variety of subjects.

And he is, most of the time, just an all-round mensch. One of the people whose contributions really make my Metafilter experience better.
posted by bardophile at 9:13 AM on May 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


I've had it up to here with zarq and his bonhomie and his well considered arguments and his respectful and open-minded disagreement with online interlocutors and his seemingly inexhaustible trove of new or at least new-ish stuff to post. I don't even think zarq is his real name! How can we trust this guy?
posted by Mister_A at 9:31 AM on May 7, 2013 [12 favorites]


Back to the original topic, I guess I just don't see the point of these things. This type of link dump usually feels only marginally more curated than search engine results, and the effort of just doing the searching yourself is pretty marginal compared to the time you would spend actually reading all the things, and moreover effective learning is a serial process of focus and incremental exploration, so if the goal is to get people to actually synthesize all that information so they can discuss it I don't think the fire-hose approach is going to be even marginally successful.

It feels like a manifestation of the FPP-as-art trend here, which a lot of people seem to enjoy, but to this curmudgeon it's always seemed like an unnecessary attempt to inject personality into a medium that really shines best when people are acting as conduits rather than authors. I can always just skip those posts, of course, but intuitively it feels like it's had the unfortunate side effect of discouraging people from making short posts about meaty topics, like it's only appropriate to do a single link post if it's a video of puppies. I love puppies, but I'd love shorter posts about other things too.
posted by invitapriore at 10:05 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cite or gtfo.

When you've got the mods channeling anon, you probably need to check yourself.
posted by Mooski at 10:09 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh yikes-- I've done this once or twice in threads that are of extreme interest to me where I thought I could provide more context for anyone who wanted to dig more deeply into archaeological research. I'm sorry if this was ever a problem, though I have always hoped it was seen more as a way of sharing knowledge than a fight with the original post.
posted by jetlagaddict at 10:27 AM on May 7, 2013


It's important to make a distinction between a user sharing relevant expertise and how I've tried to illustrate what I mean by "backdoor FPP." People who are close to the subject and have specialized knowledge, sharing it, is one of the best parts of the commenting system here.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:34 AM on May 7, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks KokoRyu, bardophile and Mister A. That's very kind of you.
posted by zarq at 10:37 AM on May 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Back to the original topic, I guess I just don't see the point of these things.

Me, too. In my book, ManoOfTwistsAndTurns, what you've linked to off the top here would be overload even if it was its own FPP.

Of course, this is MetaFilter, many different things to many different people, so I always have the option to just skip such overload and read/click something else, which I generally do. But I do think it's a mis-read of how this site works best, which is NOT to have anyone dominate (and that starts with the FPP). I don't want just one individual's angle on things, I want a compelling subject and then perhaps some conversation/discussion/argument that opens things up.

If you've truly got a topic that demands dozens of links to do it justice, maybe you should take it to Projects, make it the basis for your own blog ...
posted by philip-random at 10:46 AM on May 7, 2013


If it adds to thread fine why not and if would otherwise be a double because of parallell thought processes be kind enough to add some kind of disclainer such as ''I was working on a similar post so I shall just put these here''.
More often than not it leads to further understanding on the subjec or even an alternative viewpoint.
(Brandon, I will only turn up for dinner if you offer this sort of boxed wine).
posted by adamvasco at 10:53 AM on May 7, 2013


I've been a little hesitant about responding to this meta because I do the "linkdump" comment-in-a-post thing every once in a while, which might mean I'm part of the problem -- if there is one, which tbh I don't really want to acknowledge. :)

But yeah, if I see a post go up and I've been putting together a related FPP, I usually just shift the language around so it works as a comment, check for link dupes and put the rest in. I probably do that most in obit posts.

Am far less likely now to preface a bunch of links with "I was working on my own post and here it is" because once that turned into the OP insisting that I make my own post and generously, embarassingly asking the mods for his own to be deleted. He was incredibly nice about it, but I felt very guilty. (Also, the mod on duty was also quite nice about it, but basically said, "NEVER AGAIN!" which is totally understandable.) I definitely don't want to steal anyone's thunder.

Breaking them up into multiple comments makes sense. Will try that in the future and see how it looks.
posted by zarq at 10:54 AM on May 7, 2013


My two cents is that discussing whether and how users should add large amounts of quality links in a comment to a post is way up there on top of Maslow's Hierarchy of Internet Etiquette.

I mean, most places on the net will never have this quasi-problem. If we frequently have situations where a user makes a post, and another user comes along and posts a large amount of context and quality in the comments of the thread, it's tough for me to see that as anything but indicative of MeFi's awesome userbase.

If it's an issue of feelings being hurt because maybe that user's post would have been subjectively better, well....I mean, posts are just posts. They belong to everyone after one hits submit. I don't think that's really too....I dunno, important or serious enough to get het up about. But that's just my opinion.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:55 PM on May 7, 2013 [4 favorites]


When Joey Michaels dropped this fantastic comment in my relatively thin Elvis Costello thread, i was totally stoked, schooled and educated. I invite anyone to please expound upon my posts or to correct errors in them. I learn stuff that way, & the post gets better.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:00 PM on May 7, 2013 [3 favorites]


I've dropped a draft post in an obit thread, and had a drafted post comment approved to replace a short obit post. I also had a post deleted as a double, then I copied my post into the still-open thread.

In other words, I've done it a few times, but most often for breaking news obits.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:08 PM on May 7, 2013


So are self links OK in backdoor fpps?
posted by jfuller at 3:57 PM on May 7, 2013


Self-links are fine in comments in general so long as (a) you're disclosing your connection and (b) it's actually topical and (c) you're doing it every once in a while, not as a significant or even primary chunk of your activity on the site.

Exceptions to those are mostly things we see from straight-up spammers/marketers, though now and then someone a little more on the well-meaning side just doesn't get the site's cultural expectations about self-promotion and leans a little too heavy on the "oh and this is another thing I wrote about _on my blog_" in every fifth comment, etc.

Another little wrinkle that comes up sometimes: don't exclude a self-link from a post and then proceed to pop into the thread and toss it in a comment right away, because that's seeming like a deliberate end-run around the guidelines and we'll delete it and give you the stinkeye.

Basically: it's okay to self-link in a comment now and then, but be sure you don't look like you're trying to get away with something or using mefi to promote yourself or your stuff.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:09 PM on May 7, 2013


i've done something like this in music threads when there were various songs that i thought would add to the music being discussed

although i've never done it at that length - too lazy, i guess

still, i see nothing wrong with it in general - if i don't want to click on it all, i'll just skim through and move on
posted by pyramid termite at 5:32 PM on May 7, 2013


You can always wait and post it just before the thread closes.
posted by unliteral at 5:43 PM on May 7, 2013


i'd prefer if people made seperate threads if the link is especially good
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 7:13 PM on May 7, 2013


If it adds to thread fine why not and if would otherwise be a double because of parallell thought processes be kind enough to add some kind of disclainer such as ''I was working on a similar post so I shall just put these here''.

Yeah, it's the 'I was writing a post about this and here's how far I got.' that totally flips my attitude towards massive link-filed comments. Actually, it doesn't have to be that someone beat them to the FPP, just some explanation. Like in jetlagaddict's example, "This is super interesting to me and here's some other cool stuff I've read about it." I think it's that a prefacing sentence makes the comment part of the conversation, rather than just a link dump or a pseudo-FPP out of nowhere.

>No but if you are zarq or otherwise adored by the mods you can make obvious double posts with impunity. Damn the double standards around here just keep on expanding.

What are you talking about? Cite or gtfo.


I'm pretty sure they're referring to the Old Believers FPP from the other day, which, as I recall, spitbull felt was a double or a near enough double that it should have been deleted. I suspect many people have occasionally thought something should be deleted as a double and it wasn't. But that's the nature of near doubles--someone has to make a call and because that person isn't you, sometimes they'll make the call you wouldn't have--rather than some vast conspiracy. (Sorry if we had killed this derail and I started it again. I thought maybe it was useful that I remembered what post spitbull was talking about.)
posted by hoyland at 6:19 AM on May 8, 2013 [2 favorites]


bardophile: "In several recent threads, you have seemed really aggressive, angry, and often, personally so."

It is my experience that Spitbull gets away with a lot by masterfully navigating the zeitgeist of Metafilter.
posted by gertzedek at 6:56 AM on May 8, 2013


hoyland: "I'm pretty sure they're referring to the Old Believers FPP from the other day, which, as I recall, spitbull felt was a double or a near enough double that it should have been deleted. "

Huh. Thanks. I missed those two comments of his. I've been kinda/sorta following the thread on Recent Activity, but tbh not very closely.

(Sorry if we had killed this derail and I started it again. I thought maybe it was useful that I remembered what post spitbull was talking about.)"

It's fine with me. It's better to understand what he was talking about so we can address it.

I guess the best thing I can do at this point is ask Team Mod if anyone flagged the post and now that it's been brought to their attention I assume they'll delete it if necessary. No worries.

I've made hundreds of posts that have survived on the front page and have a small number of deletions on top of that. Deletions are pretty much unavoidable: they can happen when something posted isn't a good fit for the community, or it's a double. If something gets deleted for being a double I might be disappointed, but certainly won't take it personally. It's not a big deal.

Although I reserve the right to whine about it once or twice if whatever was deleted took a long time to put together. ;)
posted by zarq at 7:46 AM on May 8, 2013


I guess the best thing I can do at this point is ask Team Mod if anyone flagged the post and now that it's been brought to their attention I assume they'll delete it if necessary. No worries.

That's really not how things work. A post is generally either deleted as a double at the point at which we figure out that it's a double, or it's generally okay and will stick around. Someone saying that something might be double-ish (as opposed to exactly the same link within a fairly short timeframe which is more clearcut) does come down to judgment call territory unless something has been flagged a bunch of times (which would imply strong judgment from the community which we'd consider as well as our own feelings on the matter) which your post wasn't.

So we had this post in January and then this one and this one within a few days of each other. And sure, maybe your links could have been put into the current Old Believers post but again that's a choice, not a site ultimatum. I'd argue that your post was a more general post about the religion not the Lykov family in the taiga. On big breaking news type of stories we may try to corral discussion into a few major threads, this is not quite the same for general interest topics.

So, it's fine that there are degrees of feeling just how strict we should be about double posts. Less fine to presume favoritism and bad faith actions on our part as the result of what may only be a single decision? I guess I just feel that people who post a lot are sometimes going to make double posts because of poor tagging, others' quirky posting styles and a host of other reasons. People are generally pretty gracious about the whole system and we're thankful for that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:11 AM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


hoyland's take is right on: there's plenty of stuff that's a slam-dunk delete sort of double, and most stuff isn't a double at all, and then there's sort of borderline stuff, and the borderline stuff is where we make calls depending on the context and user feedback and a bit of a gut check. It's either that or codify some strict "any whiff of double means it's deleted" process that'd I think be a worse deal for everybody involved. (And I suddenly remember one of the earliest bits of WHOA THERE, NEW MOD feedback I got from the community in 2007 was over some overly literal deletion(s) of double-ish things that when we talked it out Matt and Jess were more in a "there's wiggle room, do a gut check" place on.)

Not everybody is going to agree about any given case, and that's okay. Declaring that a thread should be deleted in the thread itself is sort of "okay" but flagging it would have sufficed and dropping us a note at the contact form is a better route if you want to outline your thinking. Beefing randomly in a metatalk thread that it's a conspiracy of mod favoritism that prevented your belief in doubleness from being manifested is just sort of weird and crappy.

There's no in-list in the first place; we certainly don't not-delete doubles because of said notional in-list. It's not a factor, period.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:11 AM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


TIMING
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:12 AM on May 8, 2013


TIM....

o_O
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:14 AM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]


Thank you both for explaining. :)
posted by zarq at 8:29 AM on May 8, 2013


I see them in obit thread sometimes where people get beaten to the punch with obit posts.

I have done exactly this when I was working on a post and the subject died. And, too, I would rather link to something than Wikipedia regarding a person and a publisher for a book rather Amazon. Wikipedia links just seem so lazy and, after working at an Amazon warehouse, I refuse to steer them any business.

I sometimes post comments with a number of links if I am dissatisfied with what the OP has put up.

Exactly. It's obvious where I stand on multi-link posts, so that's not the issue for me. But if someone has posted on a topic or event and has used what are crap links to my mind, I will add whatever better ones I have collected. Not to show up the poster or derail the thread but because I have better, more complete information to contribute.

And because I have them lying around -- there are so many posts I have started and then left hanging, often for years.

As for double standards, pfft! I have been spending more on my cat's medical problems than on mine at times and sometimes, because I have forgone a refill, I fly off the handle as a result. Not here so much but rather in real life. I would think that something similar may be happening when someone makes such an uncharitable suggestion here.
posted by y2karl at 11:24 AM on May 8, 2013


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