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Do comments here on Metafilter get "disappeared"? May 9, 2013 8:12 PM   Subscribe

I have a vague unsubstantiated feeling that some comments I've written got tossed into the memory hole. Am I being paranoid, or is this normal with some justification I'm not aware of?

I wrote two comments earlier today about the supposed Boston Bomber story, and the second seems to have vanished.

Is there any way to tell what happened and where it went?

I've since recreated what I thought I said, and added a bit more... lets see if this one sticks.
posted by MikeWarot to Etiquette/Policy at 8:12 PM (460 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

This FAQ entry might help.
posted by zamboni at 8:20 PM on May 9, 2013


The last time I wasn't sure if I'd had a comment deleted or if I just managed to wander off without actually clicking "post", I emailed the mods at the contact form and got a very prompt reply.
posted by rtha at 8:21 PM on May 9, 2013


Yes, comments are regularly removed from Ask MetaFilter and MetaFilter every day, less so on the other subsites. Users help us out by flagging objectionable stuff, and we remove things that can cause derails, run away arguments, and/or inflammatory stuff. If you cruise through the MetaTalk archives, you'll see a lot of previous discussions of the policy.

You left a comment that was flagged and it was a bit of a molotov cocktail to throw into a thread where emotions were already running high, and was removed. The comment you just left explains a bit more about your position and will likely stay up, but it's still a bit of a derail from the rest of the thread.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:25 PM on May 9, 2013


The mods have a button labeled "gaslight".
posted by alms at 8:25 PM on May 9, 2013 [50 favorites]


Is there any way to tell what happened and where it went?

I've since recreated what I thought I said, and added a bit more... lets see if this one sticks.


I think you got the order wrong, here. Shouldn't you find out what happened first before you attempt to replace it? If indeed it got deleted (for whatever reason) you can then attempt to account for that reasoning when restating your points. Like others have already mentioned, the best way to find out the 'why' is to use the Contact form and email the moderators. They will respond to your email address (not memail).
posted by carsonb at 8:26 PM on May 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


...we remove things that can cause derails...

This seems to me to be quite recent, and very undesirable.
posted by jamjam at 8:31 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


"derail" has been a flag reason since the day we implemented it, six or so years ago.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:32 PM on May 9, 2013 [28 favorites]


Time to wipe the whiteboard again.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:36 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


[ 0 ] Days Since Last Nonsense
posted by QueerAngel28 at 8:43 PM on May 9, 2013 [48 favorites]


The more comments you have deleted, the closer you are to the truth.
posted by Eideteker at 8:49 PM on May 9, 2013 [14 favorites]


I find this post disingenuous considering your metatalk post from last week. I suspect you are pretending to be unclear about how the site works and hoping to stir stuff up or your post from last week caused you to investigate not at all about how the site works.

Comments get deleted, as do posts. This is the price we pay (in addition to five bucks) for being a 10,000 active member, general interest site in which people write in full sentences and with at least a veneer of respect for the rest of the participants. It works this way because most members want it to.
posted by shothotbot at 8:52 PM on May 9, 2013 [49 favorites]


If my post was deleted (and not just lost) I should at least be told why, instead of just being "gaslighted" into silence.

I understand how Metafilter is supposed to work, but I was inquiring as to how it actually is run. I saw a discrepancy, and this seems to be the way to handle asking about it.

I'm not trying to stir up anything, if my comments are going to be deleted, I'll just go elsewhere and save everyone the grief.
posted by MikeWarot at 9:29 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


FWIW, it's not necessarily intuitive to email the mods. The form makes it feel like a bigger deal than it really is, like you're filing an official complaint to the Webmaster, Master of The Webs. At least, that was my feeling. Especially in the pre-edit window days, it can feel kind of embarassing to email all the mods just because I'd typoed a their/there.
posted by maryr at 9:33 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I should at least be told why, instead of just being "gaslighted" into silence.

Again, check out the dozens of previous discussions about comment deletions, but the quick version is that we don't have the time/energy/staff to contact every member and begin an email discussion about every comment that is removed. It would literally take hours a day to conduct these sorts of things and it's why no site I know does this. I've had comments removed from blogs, in communities, and on forums and have never been notified.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:33 PM on May 9, 2013 [16 favorites]


i wish there was a place the deleted comments could go. not to die, but just corralled off to the side like the misbehaving lot that they are. maybe your inbox? it is weird to say something, wander off, and then come back to find it gone. or was it even there to begin with? memory being such that it is it's helpful to have traces left behind with a remark of "this was trolly" or "spamburger" to let you know whatcha done wrong and why it's gone.
posted by cristinacristinacristina at 9:33 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


I suspect you are pretending to ...

Notice how nicely mathowie dealt with the question. He assumed nothing about the asker's motivation, and explained the relevant site policies and how they applied to this particular situation. You certainly don't need to justify your comment, but I don't understand the need for it.

(On preview): MikeW, if the risk of having things deleted makes you unhappy you're really not going to like posting here. Sorry it's not working out but I really doubt that aspect will change.
posted by benito.strauss at 9:34 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


it's not necessarily intuitive to email the mods.

If you check out the MetaTalk Post page, the first bullet point asks you to consider emailing us with a link. We've even considered putting a checkbox on the post form to indicate that you know that emailing us is an option, just to make it totally clear.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:35 PM on May 9, 2013 [22 favorites]


If my post was deleted (and not just lost) I should at least be told why, instead of just being "gaslighted" into silence.

I understand how Metafilter is supposed to work, but I was inquiring as to how it actually is run. I saw a discrepancy, and this seems to be the way to handle asking about it.

I'm not trying to stir up anything, if my comments are going to be deleted, I'll just go elsewhere and save everyone the grief.


If you've been here for 3 years and only had one comment deleted, you're doing pretty good.
posted by empath at 9:35 PM on May 9, 2013 [16 favorites]


The mods will occasionally put a note into a thread to indicate that a comment or comments have been removed, and why. They haven't made any agreement that they will let us post whatever we want, neither have they ever agreed to let every comment stand. We comment here at our own peril. That being said, if you are experiencing an unusual number of deletions, it may be worth contacting the mods to find out why. You may be misunderstanding something, or posting in a way that, rephrased, would not be a problem. We all get comments deleted now and then, but if it happens a lot, it's generally because the comments violate a longstanding norm on this site.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:45 PM on May 9, 2013


+5 for consistent use of tags on your MeTa posts, for sure.
posted by donnagirl at 9:57 PM on May 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


Sometimes a mod will MeMail you to let you know that they deleted your comment and tell you why. This is a courtesy which I appreciate very much, because usually when one of my comments seems to have vanished, it's because I closed the tab absentmindedly before hitting post.
posted by homunculus at 10:03 PM on May 9, 2013


Do we need to start a deleted comments support group?
posted by Annika Cicada at 10:06 PM on May 9, 2013 [12 favorites]


Why doesn't anyone talk about the elephant in the room here? Not deleted comments. Disappeared comments. The comments that were raided in the middle of the night. The comments that were escorted away by plainclothes agents in broad daylight. The comments their family members have been searching for all these years. They say the comments are in prison, but no one will say what prison they are in. Legally the comments should be able to receive visitors, but they never get visitors. The comments' attorneys try to meet with them, but there is always some reason why the meeting gets canceled.

The reluctant activist group Grandmothers Looking for our Comments has been protesting outside some of the prisons, but they don't know if that's where the comments are, or were. Some of the comments had children when they were seized, and the baby comments were taken too. Some of the child comments have shown up in totally different threads, claiming that they're happy with their new parent comments. Others have never been seen again.

Every now and then one of the comments is released to the family, with some story about how the comment got sick and died of natural causes even though it is riddled with bullets.

Soon a leader will come. A true leader who will find our comments and bring them back to us. At long last, we will be reunited with our comments.

And the blood of the comment captors will run in the streets.
posted by medusa at 10:07 PM on May 9, 2013 [30 favorites]


doubleplusmeh
posted by mintcake! at 10:08 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]

Again, check out the dozens of previous discussions about comment deletions, but the quick version is that we don't have the time/energy/staff to contact every member and begin an email discussion about every comment that is removed. It would literally take hours a day to conduct these sorts of things and it's why no site I know does this. I've had comments removed from blogs, in communities, and on forums and have never been notified.
There has to be some code somewhere that deletes comments (or makes them invisible), why can't that code just do the right thing along with the deletion, flagging, etc?

It shouldn't add ANY administrative burden to do the notifications once this code is up and running.
posted by MikeWarot at 10:13 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


It shouldn't add ANY administrative burden

Code can't have an email discussion with dozens of users a day about their deleted comment.
posted by donnagirl at 10:17 PM on May 9, 2013 [35 favorites]

i wish there was a place the deleted comments could go. not to die, but just corralled off to the side like the misbehaving lot that they are.
In 2009 there was a riot in http://jail.metafilter.com—JailMe—that nearly led to cortex losing an eye. And fortunately, despite extensive injuries from unruly jailed comments, Matt can still have children and bicycle (though only on recumbent bikes). It's just too dangerous to have all those comments in place.
posted by Llama-Lime at 10:22 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


Code can't have an email discussion with dozens of users a day about their deleted comment.

Eliza disagrees.
Do you feel strongly about discussing such things?
posted by Podkayne of Pasadena at 10:34 PM on May 9, 2013 [25 favorites]


Instead of sending a notice to the user that their comment was deleted, could the comment continue to appear in the user's comment history with a 'deleted' tag beside it? That would at least provide a user with some acknowledgement that: 1) yes they did post the comment correctly; and 2) it was deleted.
posted by mazola at 10:35 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


I heard cortex willingly sacrificed his eye to MímirFilter — MíFí — to gain greater wisdom of the ways of moderation.
posted by homunculus at 10:36 PM on May 9, 2013 [22 favorites]


why can't that code just do the right thing
posted by MikeWarot at 10:13 PM on May 9
[+] [!]


I feel like the mods (mathowie in particular) are being really civil with this whole thing, especially since its been reviewed at least hundreds of times before, and is, quite frankly, just how the site works. and they try to explain that to you, and the question goes from "hey whats up?" To frantic moral hand-waving about how they're refusing to do the right thing in like, no seconds. So I'm really confused. You don't even submit a real pony request, and then tantrum because you didn't get a pony.
posted by FirstMateKate at 10:38 PM on May 9, 2013 [31 favorites]


I'll add to my suggestion above that I can recall at least one occassion where I made a stupid comment, came back to the thread and did not see said stupid comment so I figured I didn't hit 'post' resulting in me rewriting it and reposting it. When it disappeared for a second time it dawned on me that it had been deleted, probably twice.

I believe I did check my posting history and figured, since it wasn't there, I must not have posted it correctly the first time. Acknowledging a deletion in the comment history provides an avenue for the curious to know what happened to their post. I suspect the vast majority of deletions would go unchecked.
posted by mazola at 10:44 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oy. MikeWarot, you're a troll. Stop doing that. No, really. Just stop.
posted by scalefree at 10:47 PM on May 9, 2013 [2 favorites]


MíFí

So, how is that pronounced? I await the next doctoral thesis.
posted by Ghidorah at 11:01 PM on May 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


I feel like the mods (mathowie in particular) are being really civil with this whole thing, especially since its been reviewed at least hundreds of times before, and is, quite frankly, just how the site works. and they try to explain that to you, and the question goes from "hey whats up?" To frantic moral hand-waving about how they're refusing to do the right thing in like, no seconds. So I'm really confused. You don't even submit a real pony request, and then tantrum because you didn't get a pony.

If a question gets asked hundreds of times, and the answer is 'that's just how the site works', then maybe change how the site works?
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:23 PM on May 9, 2013 [5 favorites]


I like how the site works. I am not alone.
posted by donnagirl at 11:29 PM on May 9, 2013 [77 favorites]


Deleted comments are badges of honor, wear them proudly, chest out.

But then again, I like being naughty.
posted by Annika Cicada at 11:29 PM on May 9, 2013 [4 favorites]


If a question gets asked hundreds of times, and the answer is 'that's just how the site works', then maybe change how the site works?

What do you think would change if people were notified every time one of their comments got deleted? Do you think we would have fewer metatalk threads about comments being deleted? I kinda don't think we would.
posted by empath at 11:32 PM on May 9, 2013 [21 favorites]



What do you think would change if people were notified every time one of their comments got deleted? Do you think we would have fewer metatalk threads about comments being deleted? I kinda don't think we would.


It would let people know it's not a site error. Hell the site doesn't even notify you when a POST is deleted, which is even less user-friendly.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:32 PM on May 9, 2013 [1 favorite]


Site works fine.
posted by Wolof at 11:35 PM on May 9, 2013 [13 favorites]


Lurk moar.
posted by desuetude at 12:18 AM on May 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Oy. MikeWarot, you're a troll. Stop doing that. No, really. Just stop.

Oh FFS, it's not an unreasonable question. Name-calling doesn't help.
posted by homunculus at 12:30 AM on May 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


"Site works fine" - ?
But, users whine:
"All deletion is a crime!"
Mods say, "we just don't have the time
To email all you horrid swine"
I say, "Friends, defile the shrine
Made for these mods, and grow a spine,
Send these tyrants all a sign -
Then, gather in an ordered line,
Await the ballot box, assign
Your vote to quidnunc kid - combine
Your love of Justice thus with mine!
Your freedom I shall ne'er confine,
Your attitude I'll not malign,
For liberty you shall not pine,
You'll live then in a happier clime,
And write out every thought in rhyme!
(Or assonance is also fine).
BUT if you anger me I'll climb
Up to my golden throne divine
And on your paltry flesh I'll dine!
And violate all that was thine!
BWAH HA HA HA! Err, hang on, I'm
Quite clearly drunk. Must be this wine.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 12:31 AM on May 10, 2013 [65 favorites]


I'm a bit of a drunk so I like not being notified.
posted by johnpowell at 12:31 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh FFS, it's not an unreasonable question. Name-calling doesn't help.

Definitely a false flag libertarian nutjob, though.
posted by mlis at 12:36 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


i'll be worried when users start quietly getting disappeared
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 12:42 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


It shouldn't add ANY administrative burden to do the notifications once this code is up and running.
and
It would let people know it's not a site error.

In terms of programming, yes, it would be trivial to notify you that your comment has been removed, and that is exactly how a good system should behave in terms of user friendliness. How the software should behave. It's something pb should be able to set up in a few minutes.

But we're talking about a team of people who have to work with that software while they ride herd over a bunch of disembodied egos. My impression from reading past discussions of this stuff is that the mods are hoping that you don't notice that your comment has been deleted; they certainly don't want to announce it to you or they would be announcing it to you right now, automatically and at no cost to anyone.

They are confident that notification of comment deletions would significantly increase the number of requests for deletion reasons (or force them to type a reason for every time they click Delete in a thread) and lead to lots of bootless requests for undeletion and repetitive arguments over whether their sense of humor is good enough or whether they are just biased or...

And they don't have the time or the patience for too much of that. So no one gets a deletion notification.
posted by pracowity at 12:49 AM on May 10, 2013 [7 favorites]




the mods are hoping that you don't notice that your comment has been deleted

If you don't notice your comment has been deleted, you'll just keep posting the same problematic stuff.

I seriously doubt any significant percentage of deletions goes unnoticed, except maybe for posters with a fire-and-forget style (and frankly, I don't see how you can take part in a discussion if you don't stick around long enough to realize your comment has been deleted).

I think what the system is hoping for is not that you don't notice your comment has been deleted, but that you figure out why on your own and not make a big stink about it.
posted by Dr Dracator at 2:01 AM on May 10, 2013


Gaslighting is a real phenomenon that is used in abusive relationships.

To infer, imply or otherwise indicate that the mods of this site are using such tactics on any individual user is hyperbolic nonsense at best, and OMG Drama Llama at worst.
posted by Faintdreams at 2:05 AM on May 10, 2013 [19 favorites]


When I log on to find my comment purged
Without a trace, nor hint of modly shame,
I must - yes, must! find out who is to blame
And whine about my ego being scourged.
The contact form's no good for this. I'm urged
To air my grievance here, although my name
Will evermore be known among the lame,
The silenced all their lives, and the submerged.
For moderation's heavy hand must be
Resisted at all costs. This censorship
Must not be left to stand! So I shall flog
The dead horse of their callous scorn for me.
As yet, it's not responded to the whip;
Perhaps it's time I got a fucking blog.
posted by flabdablet at 2:07 AM on May 10, 2013 [62 favorites]


*round of the paws for that one*
posted by Wolof at 2:21 AM on May 10, 2013


It is my experience on AskMe that comments get deleted all the dang time (that is a technical measurement term) without people noticing; things get chatty or people latch onto something the asker did not intend or whatever the case may be, and a bunch of people who just popped into the thread to dump their delete-worthy two cents get their comments deleted.

Now, the culture of the front page is far different from AskMe, but they have the same back end (I believe?) for the most part. If all the deleted non-answers in AskMe had personally calligraphied and wax-sealed notices sent to inboxes, that would be a helluva lotta messages and would go far in encouraging stubborn answerers to insist that their ineffable wisdom was vital to the life experience of the asker. Having been one of these ineffably wise people in the past and going "wait, where did my wisdom go??" I can say that it was far preferable that my deleted comment poof into the void with no communication about it, because I would probably still go back and look at those deletion notices and burn with shame that I had so failed AskMe, and thus, myself.

So maybe it's smart to keep it simple and only deal with comment deletion clarification when a person makes some noise about it, because if we were officially informed of our fuckups every time, with trumpets and all personally delivered to us, there'd be a whole bunch more negativity distributed around, just looking for a nice place to fester.

I do, however, think it's a really good idea to have "a checkbox on the post form to indicate that you know that emailing us is an option, just to make it totally clear." and I don't understand why that wasn't implemented a good long while ago.
posted by Mizu at 2:22 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have all MetaTalk posts start as comments that go only to the mods, but with a check box that says "I think this issue can be better resolved with group participation. Please post this to MetaTalk for everyone to see."

Then let the mods deal with it one to one and close it up or, if the check box is selected, maybe (but maybe not) also publish it to the MetaTalk page for everyone else to see.
posted by pracowity at 2:49 AM on May 10, 2013


Bad idea - you severly limiting the airing of greviances capability of MetaTalk, people will abuse other parts of the site to vent.
posted by Dr Dracator at 3:11 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


MetaVent
posted by telstar at 3:19 AM on May 10, 2013


If you cruise through the MetaTalk archives

Ensure you have the coloured handkerchief or your choice in the correct pocket for the best possible experience.
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 4:48 AM on May 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


It shouldn't add ANY administrative burden to do the notifications once this code is up and running.

There would be a meta every single day about "Why was my post/comment deleted." Pretty much what we have now.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:52 AM on May 10, 2013


It saddens me to see broken behavior (silently deleting things) is something that the moderators have come to rely on as a crutch to help control the scope and nature of discussion here.

I thought Metafilter was better than that. 8(
posted by MikeWarot at 4:54 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


If my comments are going to be deleted, I'll just go elsewhere and save everyone the grief.

Comments get deleted everywhere. Many or most of us have had comments deleted here. I've had comments deleted on a forum where I was an admin. It's part of being on the internet. I don't think it's necessarily causing anyone 'grief' - if you or anyone else was consistently posting problematic comments, rather than occasional ones, I'd assume the mods would contact you to discuss it and offer guidance, and it would only become a problem if the user kept on posting such comments.
posted by Infinite Jest at 4:55 AM on May 10, 2013


It saddens me to see broken behavior (silently deleting things) is something that the moderators have come to rely on as a crutch to help control the scope and nature of discussion here.

Alternatively, they use it to keep the site from descending into the tornado of shitcockery that is the rest of the internet.
posted by empath at 4:59 AM on May 10, 2013 [78 favorites]


It saddens me to see broken behavior (silently deleting things) is something that the moderators have come to rely on as a crutch to help control the scope and nature of discussion here.

I thought Metafilter was better than that. 8(


Yo, metafilter has pretty much always done that in my experience with it. That's just how it works, and to be honest WHY it works--the mods have the task of cultivating unfighty discussions for the majority, not for the individuals. Needs of the many, etc. If you want a more individualistic posting experience, there are other discussion and link sites.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:00 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


8(

OMG this totally makes a womp wommmmmmmmmmmmmmp noise when you type it, amazing
posted by liketitanic at 5:05 AM on May 10, 2013 [21 favorites]

It shouldn't add ANY administrative burden to do the notifications once this code is up and running.

There would be a meta every single day about "Why was my post/comment deleted." Pretty much what we have now.
Well, there should be a reason assigned to each and every deletion. It's an exercise of authority to censor someone else's speech, shouldn't there be a reason in each case? Surely a set of default options could be provided, and perhaps could even be a multi-button array to make it not even require additional mouse clicks/keystrokes.


Additionally, if there are a large number of MetaTalk "why was my post/comment deleted" entries, perhaps those are indications that there is a problem?

I've written lots of times about the nature of discussion on the internet being pushed towards ego/one off/emotional responses instead of rational discussion. I believe I have some idea of what the moderators are up against. (Oh, the horror)

I really don't want to make it harder to moderate, but I do want things to be more excellent here on MeFi, and not less.

Please reconsider the notion that its ok and good to silently censor anyone.
posted by MikeWarot at 5:07 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I like how the site works. I am not alone.

This is true. I don't think that a large number of people inquiring about/kvetching about their comments being deleted is any kind of sign that the well-established policies of the site are broken. And although it never occurred to me before, I also am not aware of any other site that notifies you in the event of a comment deletion.

I understand the utility of having metatalk around for people to discuss whether or not a specific comment deletion was warranted, but this post, at least, is framed as a discussion of whether or not deletions-without-notifications are a good idea. Regardless of where one comes down on that question, it's a settled policy that's already been discussed to death here. What new is there to say on this subject?
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:09 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Please reconsider the notion that its ok and good to silently censor anyone.

Please reconsider your opinion that having an openly stated policy of deleting shitty comments (together with at least two easy ways of discussing such deletions with the mods) is either "silent" or "censorship".
posted by jonnyploy at 5:15 AM on May 10, 2013 [57 favorites]


I flagged the deleted comment. It was in fact a shitty derail directly suggesting a Boston police conspiracy to silence Tsarnaev -- a "patsy" -- with not so much as a link to a shitty Infowars article. The thread is now better for it (despite MikeWarot's follow-up comment which is essentially a longer rehash of the same idea, but at least doesn't leave as much of a drive-by trolling aftertaste).
posted by BobbyVan at 5:18 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


"There would be a meta every single day about "Why was my post/comment deleted." Pretty much what we have now."

Well, there should be a reason assigned to each and every deletion.


The greatest end user feedback is accompanied by a contemptuous and flippant attitude about the impact of adding additional time and effort to the work flow!
posted by winna at 5:20 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I really don't want to make it harder to moderate, but I do want things to be more excellent here on MeFi, and not less.

Be the chaaaaaaaaaaaaange

elizardbits is it ok if you are my muse
posted by liketitanic at 5:22 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Seriously? We're doing this again? Wasn't it just yesterday we had this conversation? Started by the same user?

I'm a big fan of the free-form way that people can start discussions on MeTa and the transparency of moderation and general site policy, but I have to wonder if there needs to be a process for MeTa threads that does a quick parse of the post for words like 'deleted', 'post', 'comment', 'censored' etc and throws up the 900 previous discussions with a suggestion that the user might like to read one or two first.
posted by dg at 5:26 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Having it drawn to my attention every time I have something deleted, with a generic (and therefore meaningless) auto-reason attached to boot, is something I would find really really awful. I'm so glad that's not done here, ug.

The vast majority of people using metafilter are fine with how things are currently deleted here, which makes sense because it's a really normal and common way to do things. It's not censorship, it's not broken, and adding in automatic deletion notifications is only ever going to greatly increase moderation effort for very little gain.
posted by shelleycat at 5:26 AM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


And if you're not sure whether something was deleted or didn't post or whatever, you can already contact the mods and you'll get a helpful, compassionate reply generally within minutes. Adding a blunt-force, automated system is a much worse option than that.
posted by shelleycat at 5:28 AM on May 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Just for the record
Many or most of us have had comments deleted here - Infinite Jest.

Most people never have a comment deleted from MetaFilter - Jessamyn.

What are stats ? Active users vs. deletions (comments per day / comments per week). Is this possible to deduce.
I don't know if Mike Warot is a regular poster or hangs out in metatalk a bit. Calling him a troll is unhelpful.
Further question. Why is the remark calling him a troll still up? or is this some sort of effort to drive ''dissenters'' away?
posted by adamvasco at 5:31 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Please reconsider your opinion that having an openly stated policy of deleting shitty comments (together with at least two easy ways of discussing such deletions with the mods) is either "silent" or "censorship".

It's censorship. It's just that it's generally a beneficial and acceptable form of censorship.

The vast majority of people using metafilter are fine with how things are currently deleted here

I would be interested to see the user base polled on some of this stuff. I think the large majority of people here never have a comment deleted so they aren't really pushed to think about if they would prefer a notification or not.

I would prefer a *comment deleted* note in the thread just so people aren't confused if they do go back and look. That way people who otherwise just moved and would not have noticed don't suddenly get upset when they get the notification. That one has been debated to death though. The mods usually leave a note when they feel it needs to be there.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:32 AM on May 10, 2013


We've even considered putting a checkbox on the post form to indicate that you know that emailing us is an option, just to make it totally clear.

Hmmm. As long as emailing the mods first isn't mandatory or this isn't a slow walk to that end goal.

MikeWarot, deleting comments and posts will always be a problematic and not alerting users to every deletion will be an imperfect solution on Metafilter. I'm not thrilled about it, though I recognize it's impossible for every deletion to get a human notifying a user and answering any questions about the deletion. At best you can check with the mods via the contact form and found out how many comments you've had deleted.

Seriously? We're doing this again? Wasn't it just yesterday we had this conversation? Started by the same user?

Nobody has to read MetaTalk accept for the mods. Your and others dismissal of another's concerns isn't helpful.

20 years from now, there will still be MeTa threads about deletions. No one but the mods will have to read those either.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:33 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


So, my comment was deleted... and because it was considered a "derail" it was done silently.

I'm fine with a deep distrust of Alex Jones and Inforwars, but if that's the problem, just say so instead of making me think it's a software bug somewhere in the vast chain of stuff between me and metafilter and the moderators, etc.

Me | Browser | AJAX stuff | TCP/IP | ISP Filtering | The Internet | Web Server | Metafilter code | Metafilter Database | Server Hardware --- That's just some of the parts in motion to make all this work, a bug anywhere in there could have lost my post.
posted by MikeWarot at 5:35 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm fine with a deep distrust of Alex Jones and Inforwars, but if that's the problem, just say so instead of making me think it's a software bug

Dude, maybe settle on one specific form of this complaint for your thread. Is your concern with the effect of comment deletion as such on discussion here, or is that you were confused about this specific instance. If the former, you're arguing against how things have always gone here, and again, as they go in most places on the web so far as I have experienced. If it's the latter, you don't need a metatalk thread, you need to use the contact form.
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:39 AM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Don't worry Mike, it hapens all the time. I had one deleted in the kidnapped girls thread where peolpe actually argued the girls wanted to be held captive! And when I pointed out this was not so it was all deleted.

And now we find out the truth of what happened there, I hope the people who said the girls weren't being held against their will are happy as larry.

So don't sweat it mate.
posted by marienbad at 5:44 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


i'll be worried when users start quietly getting disappeared

Don't be obtuse.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:45 AM on May 10, 2013


I don't agree that silent disappearing of things is the norm for forums on the internet. Usually at least the poster can go back and see what they said. I have no idea exactly what I typed in my now-vanished post. I didn't think I needed to save it redundantly elsewhere.
posted by MikeWarot at 5:53 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Why is the remark calling him a troll still up?

It probably wouldn't be still up on any other subsite, but that's kind of how MetaTalk rolls- deletions are pretty rare here.
posted by Jpfed at 5:53 AM on May 10, 2013


Why is the remark calling him a troll still up? or is this some sort of effort to drive ''dissenters'' away?

Isn't it policy to delete stuff very sparingly (if at all) in MeTa? Much worse has been posted and stayed up from both sides of the argument since the Deletion Wars started.
posted by Dr Dracator at 5:54 AM on May 10, 2013


i'll be worried when users start quietly getting disappeared

Don't be obtuse.


obtuse was my favorite poster by a mile, his disappearance really hurt the site. I'll never forget that FPP he did on the ancient cave paintings of lemurs in Madagascar.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:58 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes. Pretty much anything of a direct "Fuck you, asshole" stays up in MeTa.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:58 AM on May 10, 2013


Seriously - I've been hanging out on my local Patch playacting a bit of madness and even though I'm posting about black helicopters and the like, I wish there was more trimming of derailing comments. There was one from the other day that was just a PSA on how to avoid scammy moving companies that was instantly derailed by some dude talking about Obummer and impeachment.

While I wish there didn't have to be comments pulled from Metafilter, I'm thankful that there are. Given the nature of how comments work on this site, a feature that it part of its DNA, a toss off derail can send things spiraling pretty quickly.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:58 AM on May 10, 2013


FREE PAPHNUTY
posted by Curious Artificer at 5:59 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Don't be obtuse.

Maybe we should spin that around 365 degrees and have a protracted conversation about why you're being so acute
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:00 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't agree that silent disappearing of things is the norm for forums on the internet.

How can you tell?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:01 AM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'd like some examples of places where users are notified of comment deletion, actually, because I have never been anywhere that it happened.

Maybe it is a reddit thing, or SA, because I've never been a member of those?
posted by winna at 6:03 AM on May 10, 2013


Well, on Reddit, as far as I've seen, deleted comments remain up, but the text is replaced with "[comment deleted]" or the like.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:05 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


why can't that code just do the right thing

Now I'm imagining a 90's Hackers-style movie about simmering tension at an internet start-up.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:08 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have no idea exactly what I typed in my now-vanished post. I didn't think I needed to save it redundantly elsewhere.

If you email the moderators they will send you back a copy of your comment. And emailing them to ask what happened would have also cleared up the question of deletion vs software bug pretty much immediately. The system we have works perfectly fine, you just need to bother to use it.
posted by shelleycat at 6:11 AM on May 10, 2013 [27 favorites]


Some day, when the internet is dead and gone, researchers will have to wade through Himilayan Mountains of shit dumped by the troll people (they had voracious appetites) to find little morsels of good faith argument that will help them figure out who we were and what we were thinking. So I am glad that the MF archives will be dusted off and found to be all clean and tidy, as if to say: "we knew you'd be coming....here is our civilization presented to you on a silver platter".
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 6:12 AM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I actually find it freaky that all our ephemeral mind-poops are stored here for all eternity.
posted by selfnoise at 6:13 AM on May 10, 2013


Well, on Reddit, as far as I've seen, deleted comments remain up, but the text is replaced with "[comment deleted]" or the like.

I wonder if the decision not to hide the comment altogether is just an artifact of the threaded structure, then? If they deleted the comment that started a subthread, it would affect how the rest of the thread displayed.

If the deleted comment is the top comment in a subthread, do all the comments in that subthread also change to say comment deleted?

And if I understand in that example it is not that the text of the comment is preserved, it is merely a placeholder indicating the comment existed. So the complaint about not being able to see what you posted in the first place here is applicable there, too, unless the poster of the deleted comment can still see what they said. And it's actually worse there if the comment is changed to say comment deleted, because here it's just hidden, not altered, so you can get it sent to you if you ask.

Off to look at their deletion policy, although I suppose it would vary by subreddit like everything else.
posted by winna at 6:14 AM on May 10, 2013


The vast majority of people using metafilter are fine with how things are currently deleted here

The vast majority of people using MetaFilter haven't said so, have they? There's a just a tiny but vocal and probably unrepresentative minority saying things in threads like this.

To get a fair answer to this question, you'd have to do something like automatically notify everyone who gets a deletion, add a clear opt out link to the message so they could easily opt out of receiving future notifications of deletions, and see how many people opt out over time.

I think I'd choose to continue receiving notifications.
posted by pracowity at 6:14 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: "Nobody has to read MetaTalk accept for the mods. Your and others dismissal of another's concerns isn't helpful."

Here's my take. There are MeTa threads that are "Why was this specific comment/post deleted?" Those rarely result in the comment/post being resurrected, but sometimes we have productive discussions about specific features of site policy. For example, having a higher bar on I/P posts. These kinds of discussions can have long-range influence on the direction of that policy. This type of thread doesn't always go as well as that, but it at least has a chance of doing so.

Then there are MeTa threads that are, "I hate the fact that posts/comments are deleted in GENERAL." Those are not productive discussions, because that is a feature of Metafilter, not a bug. It's not going anywhere. At best, the poster gets the message of, "That's how the site works" relatively quickly. When they don't, the thread devolves into a lot of the same old dirty laundry and freeform bitching, mean-spirited commentary, and someone deactivating their account. Or even being banned, like wolfdreams01. So people have lower tolerance for those threads, given that they both have negative outcomes and explicitly are not changing anything.

This thread seems a lot more to me like the latter. I'm not saying it should be closed, but I think that's why people have a low tolerance for it-it's the same slow motion car wreck we've seen many times before.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:15 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like some examples of places where users are notified of comment deletion, actually, because I have never been anywhere that it happened.


I admin'ed a site where comment deletions were notified, although not universally.

If someone was spamming, or agreed to be trolling, generally their posts were deleted without notification. If someone had good-faith posted something inappropriate or irrelevant, and it was gotten to in time, generally that person got a courtesy mail from a mod explaining why it wasn't there any more, along with the text of the comment. That often opened a conversation about what one could do with that content (start a new thread, rephrase, post elsewhere).

A fair amount of the time you did get "OMG you are censoring me", scaling up to "you are literally Hitler"-level angstfests, topic spamming and banning, and other times you got useful and productive engagement. But that was a site with fewer active members than MetaFilter, and with a far more hands-off approach to moderation in general. I don't think that solution would necessarily scale very well.

From a moderation point of view, the system as it stands seems to work. These threads may seem tiresome and repetitive, but relatively few people read MetaTalk. Having it as a kind of combination group therapy space and market square pillory isn't damaging to the site in general, and keeps the angst levels relatively low elsewhere.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:16 AM on May 10, 2013


The vast majority of people using MetaFilter haven't said so, have they? There's a just a tiny but vocal and probably unrepresentative minority saying things in threads like this.

I hereby attest that I am personally comfortable with the current deletion process.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:16 AM on May 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


While adding *comment deleted* to each place a comment is deleted might seem to be a good idea, there are a number of reasons why it might be counter-productive.

For instance, if you just replace the comment text with *comment deleted* the attribution is still there and people essentially get called out for a comment deletion (regardless of whether it was an accidental double-comment or a comment in the wrong thread or a genuine thread-shitting or a personal attack or whatever). Getting a comment deleted would be more public and thus, more punitive across the board. It also can add to people's presumptions about people and feed tensions. ("Oh, julen got another comment deleted from the Cats Are Awesome thread. Typical! Her pro-cat-bowtie agenda is getting out of hand. Thank goodness, those mods slapped her down. It's about time. I am glad to see the forces of the pro-cat-tutu agenda are winning the day")

If you replace the whole string of text including the author/date/action line, the original user can't be sure it's refer to the comment he or she posted, and doesn't clear up the Was it deleted?/Did it just not go through conundrum. It also could have the effect of turning the focus from the topic to what is getting deleted. In some fast moving, contentious threads, if the Mods trim a nasty back and forth or a derail+aftermath that isn't really about the topic, you might see 3 or 7 or 10 comments in close succession have been replaced with *comment deleted*. It'll disrupt the flow of comments as we read them. And because we're human, we'll start wondering what got trimmed and why, and we'll act accordingly.
posted by julen at 6:18 AM on May 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


We're going to need that in a notarized affidavit, EC.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:18 AM on May 10, 2013


I don't think that solution would necessarily scale very well.

We should do an experiment!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:20 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


combination group therapy space and market square pillory

This morning I think I'd like to talk about how I feel like no one ever listens to me in group.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:20 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I admin'ed a site where comment deletions were notified, although not universally.

That's how it works here, too. Comment deletion notifications are dropped into threads and people are emailed. That it didn't happen in this case, or even in most cases, does not mean it doesn't happen.
posted by OmieWise at 6:21 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fortunately, I'm a Notary Public. She's attested, as am I. Every comment of mine that has been deleted turned out to be for a good reason.
posted by Curious Artificer at 6:21 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the comment deletion policy works well for Metafilter. I can understand wanting it to be different or enjoying a different approach at other fora, but the benefits of silent deletion for Metafilter qua Metafilter (as opposed to internet discussions in the abstract) far outweigh the costs of changing to notifications.
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:21 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe I should have said that the vast majority of users are oblivious to things like comment deletions. They certainly aren't emailing the moderators or starting metatalk posts or doing anything else to show they notice or care in any kind of way. Which is good because there aren't the resources to deal with it if they were.

I agree that it's only a vocal minority that comes here and jumps up and down and personally I don't think it makes any kind of sense to make site-wide changes based on those small few. And for comment deletions it really is only a small few complaining and wanting notification and calling it censorship and whatever. Putting in notifications or whatever to appease those few is only going to make things worse in a number of ways for all those who currently either don't care or don't care enough to do anything, while also making things a lot worse for the people trying to run this site.

I occasionally make the mistake of reading comments or forums on other websites and ug, it's pretty ugly out there. Metafilter doesn't always get things 100% right, but right now I think things are running fairly well.
posted by shelleycat at 6:26 AM on May 10, 2013


Also, fuck, thank you, medusa and Charlemagne in Sweatpants, for pointing out that it is MAD GROSS to compare this to very real political violence. It's not "obtuse." It's pointing out that this is a fucking Godwin.
posted by liketitanic at 6:28 AM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'm fine with the deletion policy as-is.

If the deleted comment is the top comment in a subthread, do all the comments in that subthread also change to say comment deleted?

And if I understand in that example it is not that the text of the comment is preserved, it is merely a placeholder indicating the comment existed. So the complaint about not being able to see what you posted in the first place here is applicable there, too, unless the poster of the deleted comment can still see what they said. And it's actually worse there if the comment is changed to say comment deleted, because here it's just hidden, not altered, so you can get it sent to you if you ask.


Only the deleted comment gets deleted, at least in the subreddits I've frequented. People often join the comment thread to ask what the deleted comment was and why it got deleted. Reddit as a whole isn't as moderated as MeFi is. I've only seen deletions in better-moderated subreddits like ShitRedditSays and AskHistorians.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:29 AM on May 10, 2013


Also: if I'd gotten an automatic email letting me know the first time I got something deleted I would have left the site in total shame and guilt and not come back. I still squirm when I think about the few things I have had deleted, much better to just pretend it never happened.
posted by shelleycat at 6:30 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm enthusiastically in favor of the deletion policy as it is. The bar is higher here, conduct yourself accordingly.
posted by Skorgu at 6:31 AM on May 10, 2013 [13 favorites]


Dude, maybe settle on one specific form of this complaint for your thread.

Good advice, wrong perspective. If MikeWarot was an honest user genuinely confused about how things work here & actually concerned about the health of the site, picking one problem to focus on would lead to less confusion & be generally productive, possibly leading to a successful resolution of that one problem.

But since he's a troll his empathy, confusion & sincerity are feigned & his scattershot approach gives him many more chances to seed confusion & dissatisfaction among the rest of us. All those things he says he feels are lies pieced together in an attempt to sound authentic because they're his best guess at what a sincere person would say, not because he actually feels any of those things himself.

I feel sad for him, that that part of him is broken & this is the only way he can participate. But not so much that I'm going to let him succeed at it, because it hurts the community & the site if he succeeds.
posted by scalefree at 6:31 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's pointing out that this is a fucking Godwin.

Eh, no on that very last part. Disappearance is not a direct Nazi comparison, could refer to people vanishing into CIA black sites for example. Not debating the questionable application here.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:32 AM on May 10, 2013


What has struck me as odd has been the deletion of comments days after posting. I have noticed on a few occasions where my favorite count has suddenly dropped after being constant for several days, indicating that a comment was deleted after being several days old. This indicates to me that a comment never becomes immune from deletion.
posted by Tanizaki at 6:35 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I really don't want to make it harder to moderate, but I do want things to be more excellent here on MeFi, and not less.

Respectfully, in the past week you have made two MeTa posts indicating that you were not aware that posts and comments are routinely deleted around here. That is pretty much MeFi 101 - we are a moderated forum. If you don't even know that, then you don't really have any basis from which to make suggestions to make the site better.

If you did know that, then you are being deliberately obtuse.
posted by Think_Long at 6:35 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I have noticed on a few occasions where my favorite count has suddenly dropped after being constant for several days, indicating that a comment was deleted after being several days old. This indicates to me that a comment never becomes immune from deletion.

Is that necessarily what happened? Isn't it more likely people had favorited a post you made and unfavorited once the activity in it died down?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:38 AM on May 10, 2013 [18 favorites]


Yeah, I'm not sure how you can have been a member for four years and not know that comments and posts get deleted all the time.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:40 AM on May 10, 2013


I wonder if the decision not to hide the comment altogether is just an artifact of the threaded structure, then? If they deleted the comment that started a subthread, it would affect how the rest of the thread displayed.

It believe it is. As far as I know, when a comment is deleted that has no replies, that comment is not displayed in any way.
posted by Jpfed at 6:41 AM on May 10, 2013


Nobody succeeds at anything if yet another MeTa devolves into point-by-point debate as to whether or not a particular user is a troll. Whether or not MikeWarot is being disingenuous does not discount the validity of the subject matter being discussed, nor that people will read this thread to form a better idea of MeFi cultural norms in order to participate in the entire site more productively, as people here are so often suggesting others do.
posted by Mizu at 6:42 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Usually at least the poster can go back and see what they said.

But have it deleted for everyone else? Yes, the "shadowban" or "hellban" is a truly excellent option.

But I think my suggestion is even better: disallow commenting. Give an option on the "new post" page to specifically allow comments! Or have the mods be able to close the thread to comment in the Blue, like is done on the Grey.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:44 AM on May 10, 2013


Do comments here on Metafilter get "disappeared"?

If it's any consolation, my comments mostly just get ignored.
posted by mazola at 6:45 AM on May 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


Disappearance is not a direct Nazi comparison, could refer to people vanishing into CIA black sites for example. Not debating the questionable application here.

No, I mean it's an equivalent in a censorship discussion, not that it's a Nazi reference.
posted by liketitanic at 6:46 AM on May 10, 2013


Sorry, "censorship."
posted by liketitanic at 6:47 AM on May 10, 2013


I feel like I'm just reading words off cue cards to invisible people in an invisible room.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:47 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whether or not MikeWarot is being disingenuous does not discount the validity of the subject matter being discussed,

Does the fact that the subject matter has been discussed, regularly and extensively, have any bearing?
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:48 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tanizaki: "I have noticed on a few occasions where my favorite count has suddenly dropped after being constant for several days, indicating that a comment was deleted after being several days old. "

Not necessarily. People de-favorite things all the time. This pre-dates your time on the site, I believe, but one of the things that came out of the war over allowing favorites was that people use them in different ways.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:49 AM on May 10, 2013


Also if a user closes their account the favorites they gave no longer count towards your total.
posted by mazola at 6:50 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, really? That's not good. Just because someone leaves doesn't mean my precious favorite count should suffer.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:52 AM on May 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


From Hell's heart they steal from thee...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:53 AM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Wait, really? That's not good. Just because someone leaves doesn't mean my precious favorite count should suffer.

I predict a new MeTa coming up!

See you there!
posted by mazola at 6:54 AM on May 10, 2013


I have noticed on a few occasions where my favorite count has suddenly dropped after being constant for several days

That's just me. Sometimes I favorite and then I un-favorite your comments in a grotesque parody of communication. God, I disgust myself.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:57 AM on May 10, 2013 [19 favorites]


That's just me. Sometimes I favorite and then I un-favorite your comments in a grotesque parody of communication. God, I disgust myself.

Don't blame yourself - He created you in His image. Like Him, you both giveth and taketh the favorites.
posted by Think_Long at 7:00 AM on May 10, 2013


I have noticed on a few occasions where my favorite count has suddenly dropped after being constant for several days, indicating that a comment was deleted after being several days old. This indicates to me that a comment never becomes immune from deletion.

IIRC, your favorites count doesn't drop when a comment is deleted. Everybody who's had a comment favorited and then deleted has some phantom, free-floating favorites in their count.
posted by gauche at 7:01 AM on May 10, 2013


I believe favorites given to comments within deleted threads get removed when the thread is taken down.

Anyhoop, details aside, the takeaway should be that there are a number of ways that favorites can be reduced that don't indicate phantom deletions.
posted by mazola at 7:04 AM on May 10, 2013


phantom, free-floating favorites in their count

If what you say is true, how can we possibly exchange favorites for cold cash moneys?

Not that... not that anybody is eligible for that, or anything...
posted by Mizu at 7:06 AM on May 10, 2013


MeFi all-star band name #2006: The Phantom Phavorites
posted by mintcake! at 7:07 AM on May 10, 2013


...and their new party rocker 'I've Got A (Vague Unsubstantiated) Feeling'
posted by mintcake! at 7:08 AM on May 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm telling you, it all went to hell when they took favorites off the gold standard.

Actually, I'm wrong. Deleted posts and comments apparently are stripped of their favorites before they go on to the Great Community Weblog in the sky.
posted by gauche at 7:08 AM on May 10, 2013


And the drum corp version, The Phantom Phavorites Regiment.
posted by Green With You at 7:09 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


And, yes, the Phantom Phavorites will definitely be playing The Great Community Weblog in the Sky on their next tour.
posted by gauche at 7:09 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe we should spin that around 365 degrees and have a protracted conversation about why you're being so acute

TIL Brandon failed geometry.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:13 AM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I's never flailed anys of my classes.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:14 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Not necessarily. Consider an obtuse angle of 91 degrees. If we "spin it around" 365 degrees, depending on which way we went, we're either at 96 degrees (obtuse) or 86 degrees (acute).
posted by Chrysostom at 7:15 AM on May 10, 2013


>Maybe we should spin that around 365 degrees and have a protracted conversation about why you're being so acute

TIL Brandon failed geometry.


I actually parsed it as a terrible pick-up line for a meet-up.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:16 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Not necessarily. People de-favorite things all the time. This pre-dates your time on the site, I believe, but one of the things that came out of the war over allowing favorites was that people use them in different ways.

I regularly go back and unfavorite things that I favorited at the time as "endorsements," I use favorites that way in the short term, but the long term, I use them as bookmarks.
posted by Jahaza at 7:17 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


*opens his copy of Rolemaster to the flail table*
posted by selfnoise at 7:17 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I use the threat of de-favoriting to keep the Rebel Systems in line.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:18 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Also if a user closes their account the favorites they gave no longer count towards your total.

I don't think this is true; here's dirtynumbangelboy's profile, which he closed a long while back, and his favorites (and comments and posts) still exist.
posted by rtha at 7:19 AM on May 10, 2013


I miss bagel boy.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:20 AM on May 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


Also if a user closes their account the favorites they gave no longer count towards your total.
I don't think this is true; here's dirtynumbangelboy's profile, which he closed a long while back, and his favorites (and comments and posts) still exist.
Whoops, you could be right about that. It's probably the favourites obtained within a deleted thread that I'm remembering.

Sorry for that derail, but the point stands that you can lose favorites and it does not necessarily indicate that one of your comments has been deleted.
posted by mazola at 7:21 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I agree with that statement but again to confound you I'm still getting favorites from a couple comments in a thread yesterday that was axed.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:25 AM on May 10, 2013


I don't think this is true; here's dirtynumbangelboy's profile, which he closed a long while back, and his favorites (and comments and posts) still exist.

Sure those favorites still exist. But do they count towards everybody's totals?
posted by scalefree at 7:26 AM on May 10, 2013


There is a lag between the time of thread deletion and the time favorites are removed from your count, IIRC.
posted by mazola at 7:26 AM on May 10, 2013


Yeah, I've gotten favorites for things I've said in fpps that have been deleted that come in after the deletion. I've given them, too, I think.

Sure those favorites still exist. But do they count towards everybody's totals?

Only one cup of coffee into the day, but...why wouldn't they?
posted by rtha at 7:28 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, here's a link to a comment of mine that got favorites (it's a link to who favorited it) and dirtynumbangelboy was one of the favoriters, so....it appears to still count towards the total.
posted by rtha at 7:30 AM on May 10, 2013


Wait is this a preening-over-our-favorites-total conversation cuz I'd rather not have that.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:30 AM on May 10, 2013


I have been looking up content deletion policies because taking a day of vacation obviously means sitting on my couch reading boilerplate. Surprise: there are no industry standard guidelines that I was able to find, so I went looking for the larger content platforms on the assumption that their policies flow downstream to other sites and were probably at least reviewed by lawyers.

* Reddit allows users to delete or modify their own content at any time in addition to moderator action. If a comment is deleted, only the administrators have access to it, and it is permanently preserved even if the account attached to the comment is deleted. I'm not seeing anywhere that there is a notification sent out to users upon deletion. Based on what Jpfed says, the only comments that have 'comment deleted' inserted are comments that are the first comment of a subthread, while comments within the subthread are 'silent' deletes.
* Wikipedia also does 'silent' deletion of content and only the administrators have access to it once deleted.
* Huffington Post's policy also appears to allow for 'silent' deletion.
* Blogger has 'silent' deletion - individual policies on moderator reports differ and are not automated.
* Most of the major forum software platforms do 'silent' deletion - individual policies on moderator reports to the user differ and are not automated.
* Wordpress and Movable Type have 'silent' deletion - individual policies on moderator reports differ and are not automated.
* Facebook has 'silent' deletion but it is structured differently for different types of content and policies vary by structure as well as within structure by who is making the deletion decision - Facebook itself or group/page administrator level.

It seems clear to me from a survey of the policies of sites with moderators that silent deletion is common, but not universal. So the policy here at Metafilter is well within accepted norms for roughly similar organizations. In addition, the policy has been in place for the duration of the existence of the entity and is in the FAQ, although the FAQ entry does not specify that there is no notification of a comment's deletion. I would suggest we add it to the entry except that my experience of process and policy guideline documents is that no one reads them except the kind of people who will spend an hour researching comment deletion policies across the web.
posted by winna at 7:31 AM on May 10, 2013 [22 favorites]


The only favourites that disappear are the favourites that are removed by hand by the favouriteer, as you may recall from An Incident a few years back when someone went on a defavouriting spree and there was widespread outrage and sobbing.

(and the ones from deleted comments. but not from deleted threads because those comments still exist.)
posted by elizardbits at 7:35 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I agree with that statement but again to confound you I'm still getting favorites from a couple comments in a thread yesterday that was axed.

They will be cleared out at some point (couple of days?). Being somewhat of a database geek I'd like to know why the count is not updated immediately - it's probably an efficiency thing.
posted by Dr Dracator at 7:35 AM on May 10, 2013


shakes, if you don't preen your favorites occasionally you get favorite lice and that gets itchy. Also, no one will stand next to you in the tubes.
posted by rtha at 7:37 AM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


They will be cleared out at some point (couple of days?). Being somewhat of a database geek I'd like to know why the count is not updated immediately - it's probably an efficiency thing.

pb answered this in the comment I linked to above. Basically they save them for a short time in case they undelete something, which happens rarely but not never.
posted by gauche at 7:46 AM on May 10, 2013


Only one cup of coffee into the day, but...why wouldn't they?

It could happen. It could too!
posted by scalefree at 7:48 AM on May 10, 2013


shakespeherian: I agree with that statement but again to confound you I'm still getting favorites from a couple comments in a thread yesterday that was axed.

I think you keep favorites on a comment you make within a post that happens to get deleted, but you don't keep favorites on a deleted post or comment itself.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:48 AM on May 10, 2013


This site has been shit for years in no small part because of all the moderator imposed blockades on non-normative behavior and caveats for why we can't talk about this thing here or now or in this tone or that style. You bunch of jerks care more about never seeing what is wrong with this place than actually admitting something is wrong and has been getting worse. I really don't even care, I just thought you should know I think you're an jerk for spending any time in here or taking the staff seriously in their ernest mutilation of anything interesting that they don't "get". So easily threatened. So quick to fix. Moderation around here is creepy, and the love of it is creepier. Have a nice weekend.
posted by a shrill fucking shitstripe at 7:51 AM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I love you.
posted by mintcake! at 7:53 AM on May 10, 2013


Eponysterical!
posted by rtha at 7:53 AM on May 10, 2013 [16 favorites]


elizardbits: "The only favourites that disappear are the favourites that are removed by hand by the favouriteer

cortex once said that when a post is deleted, any favorites it has accumulated will also disappear. I do no know if that is the case for deleted comments.
posted by zarq at 7:53 AM on May 10, 2013


Dude if you need a hug just ask.

BTW I finally got around to reading the thread in question on the burial and it was either a great job by the mods cleaning it up, or great user restraint, because the obvious troll bait was just ignored.
posted by selfnoise at 7:55 AM on May 10, 2013


Yeah, I think favorite counts are just extremely flexible. I have comments in deleted threads that still count, but my overall total bounces around a lot because people like toying with all of my emotions, I guess. (Or because they no longer need that quick link to the Paris AskMe, or ye olde Romane London things, or whatever.)
posted by jetlagaddict at 7:56 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thread contains some of the most obvious trolling I have ever seen on Metafilter in my six years of reading the site. There is no way that someone who has been a user here since 2009 would not know what comments occasionally get deleted.
posted by Aizkolari at 7:56 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't give a fuck about my deleted comments, personally. The first time it happened I was all "HUH?!" and pouty for like all of three minutes, then got over it and moved on.
posted by Annika Cicada at 7:57 AM on May 10, 2013


> i'll be worried when users start quietly getting disappeared

Where is quonsar, eh? Where is quonsar?
posted by jfuller at 7:57 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd like that whole rant on the back of the next Metafilter t-shirt.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:57 AM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


we are all just brainwashed victims of the modriarchy
posted by elizardbits at 7:58 AM on May 10, 2013 [10 favorites]


[poop]
posted by lampshade at 8:00 AM on May 10, 2013


I tell ya, there's something phony going on. There's something phony about me, about the mods, about the whole Community Weblog business... I said: 'The mods are the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human beings I've ever known in my life, and even now I feel that way - this minute. And yet, somewhere in the back of my mind, something tells me it's not true. It's just not true.
posted by gauche at 8:01 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


This thread contains some of the most obvious trolling I have ever seen on Metafilter in my six years of reading the site.

I think my own perspective on the matter has changed over the course of the thread. While it's true that MikeWarot is a troll, his underlying point about disappearing favorites is valid & worthy of discussion. Carry on!
posted by scalefree at 8:01 AM on May 10, 2013


I tell ya, there's something phony going on. There's something phony about me, about the mods, about the whole Community Weblog business... I said: 'The mods are the kindest, warmest, bravest, most wonderful human beings I've ever known in my life, and even now I feel that way - this minute. And yet, somewhere in the back of my mind, something tells me it's not true. It's just not true.

And now, the weather...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 8:04 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


If we "spin it around" 365 degrees, depending on which way we went, we're either at 96 degrees (obtuse) or 86 degrees (acute).

IN YOUR FACE SHAKES
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:10 AM on May 10, 2013


I'd like to point out that this is comment number 180 in this thread and it contains the first instance of the word "sheeple". That may be a record.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:11 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I pledge that I will never start a MetaTalk thread to ask why my comment or post was deleted. As a member of this website I pledge to keep up with site policy by reading MetaTalk and perusing the FAQs when I have questions. For questions that I can't figure out this way or with a little bit of googling, I pledge to email the moderators before starting something in MetaTalk that asks for community participation in my personal dilemma. I further pledge that in the future I will research any post I plan to make to MetaTalk to be sure it is not something that has been thoroughly discussed of late. I realize this pledge is not for everyone, but I think it is something I can try to achieve in an effort to do my part for a website I love.

I am also working on trying to deescalate rather than escalate conflict in my comments, which is harder, but I am trying.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:18 AM on May 10, 2013 [13 favorites]


I pledge that I will never start a MetaTalk thread to ask why my comment or post was deleted.

That's my policy, too.
posted by zarq at 8:23 AM on May 10, 2013


I pledge to bring the mods at least one apple each, every day. I pledge that this apple shall be a cultivar of their choice. I pledge, however, that the apple shall not be a Pink Lady, as that apple reinforces reductive gender norms.

I pledge that the apple shall not be a cider variety, as wow, homebrewing cider gets more expensive than you would think really fast. I'm doing you a favor, mods.
posted by gilrain at 8:24 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


cortex once said that when a post is deleted, any favorites it has accumulated will also disappear. I do no know if that is the case for deleted comments.

ugh yes because that one time someone posted an AskMe about whether it was possible for something to be living inside a coconut, I posted the following poem and got like 50 favorites and my comment was deleted because it "didn't answer the question," pffft


Locked In – Ingemar Leckius

All my life I lived in a coconut.
It was cramped and dark,
especially in the morning when I had to shave.
But what pained me most was that I had no way
to get in touch with the outside world.
If no one out there happened to find the coconut,
if no one cracked it, then I was doomed
to live all my life in the nut, and maybe even die there
A person who chooses to live in a coconut!
Such a person is one in a million!
But I have a brother-in-law who
lives in an
acorn.
posted by liketitanic at 8:24 AM on May 10, 2013 [12 favorites]




Actually, I regret making that apple comment. I meant it as much more gentle than I think it wound up. I apologize, onlyconnect.
posted by gilrain at 8:27 AM on May 10, 2013


I am (not) disappointed there isn't more "stasi!!" in this post
posted by edgeways at 8:28 AM on May 10, 2013


This is unpossable.
posted by clavdivs at 8:33 AM on May 10, 2013


I pledge that I will never start a MetaTalk thread to ask why my comment or post was deleted.

No one can be elected mod without making the pledge.
posted by maryr at 8:33 AM on May 10, 2013


Thanks, gilrain. I'm sorry to seem like I'm trying to curry favor with the mods. I'm not, I think, they really know me by now, but who knows what is really in our hearts? Anyway, that was awfully nice of you to follow up.
posted by onlyconnect at 8:38 AM on May 10, 2013


Now I want homebrewed cider but I have no idea where to procure some.
posted by winna at 8:42 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I came, I saw, I trolled, I caused a row
Which gratified me hugely, I must say.
I'm quite unused to getting my own way,
So having all of you dance for me now
Was making me feel like the cat's meow.
But now I fear the thread has got away!
It seems another troll has come to play
And that's a thing I simply can't allow.
So I'll be back, you bastards, wait and see!
I'll drop a turd in someone else's post
And when it gets deleted, make a fuss!
Oh no, you haven't heard the last of me
Although I'll likely never have a ghost
Of writing much of substance to discuss.
posted by flabdablet at 8:43 AM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


Look, MikeWarot, this site, more than many others, runs on trust. Your $5 says, in part, that you trust that the site is run in a sound and sane manner, or you wouldn't have ponied it up. You have to want to be here, is the point.

I am (I think!) on pretty friendly terms with the mods here, and have met some of them personally. I've had comments deleted, and to me, it's no biggie. The mods are here as metaphorical oilcans, to address the squeaks, if you will, and Metatalk could be considered the repair shop.

(Can anyone tell I've had vehicle issues lately?)

The point is, I trust the mods to do their job. Over the last decade, they've amassed a remarkable record, IMNSHO. If you don't trust the mods here, the Internet is a big place.
posted by pjern at 8:46 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Now I want homebrewed cider but I have no idea where to procure some.

Disguise yourself as a cat and break into greg nog's house.
posted by elizardbits at 8:51 AM on May 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


cortex once said that when a post is deleted, any favorites it has accumulated will also disappear. I do no know if that is the case for deleted comments.

Based on from what I've been able to tell from experience:

Favorites on deleted comments disappear. Those comments and thus the favorites no longer exist.

Favorites on deleted posts disappear. Even though the post still exists in a deleted state, the favorites are basically zeroed out.

Favorites on non-deleted comments in a deleted post stay. Heck, you can go back into those threads and still favorite/unfavorite comments.
posted by kmz at 8:56 AM on May 10, 2013


Disguise yourself as a cat and break into greg nog's house.

That seems like a clever plan that will not end in tears!

I will get my Easter bunny ears headband and dye it brown, then make a cat mask out of construction paper and draw a cat face on it with crayon. The only problem will be drinking the cider without wetting my mask, thus betraying my non-feline nature.

No one tell him about this so perhaps he will not notice the new cat with a strangely-textured chin and much longer than normal ears.
posted by winna at 8:59 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Disguise yourself as a cat and break into greg nog's house.

Who stole my day planner?!?
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:59 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


No one tell him about this so perhaps he will not notice the new cat with a strangely-textured chin and much longer than normal ears.

This is Greg Nog, remember. All you need is a sweatshirt with the word "CAT" stenciled on it.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:01 AM on May 10, 2013 [21 favorites]


Just show up at his door dressed like a normal person and when he answers say "Meow?" And then yak on a rug.
posted by rtha at 9:02 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


"pb answered this in the comment I linked to above. Basically they save them for a short time in case they undelete something, which happens rarely but not never."

If you know the right guy to ask, you can get the favorites that *ahem* fell off a post about a truck, at a very reasonable price.
posted by klangklangston at 9:02 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


All you need is a sweatshirt with the word "CAT" stenciled on it.

Okay, that shit was funny.
posted by Mooski at 9:02 AM on May 10, 2013


I have noticed on a few occasions where my favorite count has suddenly dropped after being constant for several days, indicating that a comment was deleted after being several days old. This indicates to me that a comment never becomes immune from deletion.

It's certainly possible though it's generally pretty unusual. The odds of us seeing something deletable only days later are pretty darned low and most stuff that gets deleted after hour one or two is specific exceptional stuff where the commenter specifically asked us to remove something they regretted. If this is something you think you're seeing frequently, the favorite drop is likely an unrelated phenomenon you're misattributing, as folks have noted.

Also if a user closes their account the favorites they gave no longer count towards your total.

This is not the case. There have been a couple cases where a user, possibly shortly before closing their account, removed a bunch of favorites manually; maybe that's the point of confusion.

And as gauche noted, favorites get stripped from deleted comments and posts, but per another idea up thread they do not get stripped from undeleted comments in deleted posts.

On preview, kmz's got the rundown right.

But since he's a troll

Seriously, I'm not going to tell anyone they can't believe personally that someone is a troll, but it's one of those basically unproductive assertions because it removes the possibility that someone can just actually earnestly be wrong about something or wildly out of their depth and be arguing their point really poorly. And it's a charge that's verifiable only by heartfelt confession or telepathy, so the only possible followup is an exchange of "nuh-uh"s and "yuh-huh"s. We sometimes talk in a mod context about specific behavior looking like trolling but even with that I wonder sometimes if it's getting people to think about this stuff in a not-great way.

It's generally a lot more productive to tell someone why you think their argument is wrong or their rhetoric is problematic, or to just step around them.

Moderation around here is creepy, and the love of it is creepier. Have a nice weekend.

You too, you big ol' ray of sunshine.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:02 AM on May 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


It saddens me to see broken behavior (silently deleting things) is something that the moderators have come to rely on as a crutch to help control the scope and nature of discussion here.

I think this might be one of the problems you're having. You assume that deleting things without notification is a bad thing. You don't really explain why, just keep asserting that the behavior's bad. I'm going to ask you to consider the implication of two facts:

1) You like Metafilter. Otherwise you wouldn't be here, and you wouldn't think Metafilter was above doing the thing you think is bad.

2) The thing you think is bad has been going on since before when you found that you like Metafilter.

Doesn't that seem to suggest that the thing you think is bad, might not actually be as bad as you thought?
posted by Gygesringtone at 9:08 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Disguise yourself as a cat and break into greg nog's house.

From what little I know of Greg Nog, if you show up dressed as a cat, I think he'll just let you in. No break in required.

How you get back out is an entirely different matter.
posted by maryr at 9:13 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


This is Greg Nog, remember. All you need is a sweatshirt with the word "CAT" stenciled on it.

I think to be extra sure I will wear the ears, the mask AND the shirt, but I will put MAINE COON CAT THE BEST KIND OF CAT on the shirt. Since they are enormous puffy cats perhaps the size disparity between myself and a cat will be thus explained.

Again this is a secret plan so no repeating it. Loose flaps sink cats!

I know I link that comment over and over but I love it so.
posted by winna at 9:14 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


The reluctant activist group Grandmothers Looking for our Comments has been protesting outside some of the prisons, but they don't know if that's where the comments are, or were.

I have to say that I think this comment is shockingly insensitive and in awful taste. The events you're parodying are real events that took place in living memory and impacted real people, some of whom share this site with you. It isn't funny, and while trying to use if for humour is something you can try to do, you might consider the merits of not doing that.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:17 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]



+5 for consistent use of tags on your MeTa posts, for sure.


Wow those tags are useless. Do we all need to go back to tag camp or something?
posted by sweetkid at 9:18 AM on May 10, 2013

Moderation around here is creepy, and the love of it is creepier.
While I might have stated it differently, I do agree with the sentiment. I won't even call it moderation anymore--it's straight-out editing, shaping discussion, guiding what we talk about, controlling the tone. And the fact that there are many of you who like it just blows my mind.
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:25 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


There are many many mefibrarians who would likely make excellent counselors for Tag Camp. And also know how to braid a wicked hemp bracelet.
posted by donnagirl at 9:25 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


This one time, in tag camp....
posted by zarq at 9:25 AM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


I have a vague unsubstantiated feeling that some comments I've written got tossed into the memory hole.

ya know, i was JUST thinking the same thing.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 9:26 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Moderation around here is creepy, and the love of it is creepier.

Unfavorite the witch!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:27 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


MrMoonPie: "While I might have stated it differently, I do agree with the sentiment. I won't even call it moderation anymore--it's straight-out editing, shaping discussion, guiding what we talk about, controlling the tone. "

Steering people away from saying, "fuck you" to each other is shaping the discussion, yes.

MrMoonPie: "And the fact that there are many of you who like it just blows my mind."

I don't see how steering people away from saying, "fuck you" to each other is a bad thing.
posted by zarq at 9:28 AM on May 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


While I might have stated it differently, I do agree with the sentiment. I won't even call it moderation anymore--it's straight-out editing, shaping discussion, guiding what we talk about, controlling the tone.

Otherwise known as moderating.
posted by empath at 9:28 AM on May 10, 2013 [14 favorites]


I don't see how steering people away from saying, "fuck you" to each other is a bad thing.

How are people going to hook up at band camp?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:29 AM on May 10, 2013


There is such a difference between "fuck you!" and "fuck you?"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 9:30 AM on May 10, 2013


Fuck!

YOU!?
posted by flabdablet at 9:31 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would agree that moderation is creepy but only because the mods insist on moderating threads while wearing black capes, and also because of the way that the mod notes are communicated in eldritch whispers and also whenever I get a MeMail from a mod there is always the sound of a baying wolf to announce its arrival and instead of an envelope the icon for it is a big spider.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:31 AM on May 10, 2013 [24 favorites]


How are people going to hook up at band camp?

*Tag* camp. It's waaaay easier to hook up at Tag Camp.
posted by donnagirl at 9:31 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


mod notes are communicated in eldritch whispers

Okay people I think we know how next April Fool's Day is going to roll.
posted by winna at 9:32 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


The events you're parodying are real events that took place in living memory and impacted real people

That was barely a parody, and quite harmless imo.
posted by ipsative at 9:36 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not trying to troll anyone, regardless of the assumptions people have made about me.

I was genuinely surprised to learn that comments just disappear, 1984 memory hole style. I expected they would at least still remain visible to me. I now know better, and will adjust my behaviour appropriately.

I still don't know about emailing anyone (why would I go outside of MeFi to handle things? That seems weird) to deal with things... my posts were more of a "hey, does anyone else notice this?" thing... I wouldn't even know who to email.

It is now clear that there are certain views of what constitutes acceptable areas of discussion held by the moderators, which are not to be enumerated.

This makes me sad, MeFi is less awesome than I thought it was.
posted by MikeWarot at 9:37 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This makes me sad, MeFi is less awesome than I thought it was.

8(
posted by liketitanic at 9:37 AM on May 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


It should make you glad that you have learned something about how a place you spend time works. I don't know why you would have comments visible only to you.
posted by sweetkid at 9:39 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


MikeWarot: "

Me | Browser | AJAX stuff | TCP/IP | ISP Filtering | The Internet | Web Server | Metafilter code | Metafilter Database | Server Hardware --- That's just some of the parts in motion to make all this work, a bug anywhere in there could have lost my post.
"

I'm sorry, sir. This is the damaged bag comment line. The lost or stolen bag comment line is over there. Here, I can save you a little time. Here's the claim form for a lost/stolen bag comment. Just fill it out and stick it in the mail. That's easier than standing in line posting to MetaTalk. Please allow the airline mods a few months at least an hour to investigate and get back to you about what happened to your bags comment.

We're so sorry for your inconvenience. Your concern is important to us Thank you for flying with United Airlines.
posted by double block and bleed at 9:40 AM on May 10, 2013


I'm fairly convinced that a small group of people have decided to fuck around on with the site and mods on Fridays, post metas, and troll through the weekend as a form of entertainment. Which is that is your thing is ok, but a pretty shit show way of interacting with the site.
posted by iamabot at 9:41 AM on May 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


I was genuinely surprised to learn that comments just disappear, 1984 memory hole style.

In 1984, the attempt was to erase any living memory of a thing, and to intimidate the populace into refusing to even acknowledge that the thing ever existed. The book is talking about active historical revisionism, the suppression in totality by an oppressive government of freedom of thought or independent memory.

The difference between that and "I do not get an explicit alert when a comment on this website is deleted" should be obvious. Maybe it's less obvious to some folks how tiring and offensive lazy comparisons to Orwell are, but, for the record, they are and they make you sound ridiculous and undercut our otherwise generally pretty solid desire to work with someone to help them understand how this place works.

I still don't know about emailing anyone (why would I go outside of MeFi to handle things? That seems weird)

The contact form is part of Metafilter, and the Metatalk posting page points to it specifically because it's a useful way to get ahold of us directly and get a generally very quick response. The FAQ is also a good source of info on basic how-the-site-works questions.

It is now clear that there are certain views of what constitutes acceptable areas of discussion held by the moderators, which are not to be enumerated.

If the idea of "acceptable areas of discussion" is something you wanted to talk about in here, you have done a very poor job of communicating that and will need to pretty much start from scratch. You framed this as a complaint about your confusion about how comment deletion works, not about the scope and purview of moderation re: different areas of discussion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:42 AM on May 10, 2013 [38 favorites]


MikeWarot: "It is now clear that there are certain views of what constitutes acceptable areas of discussion held by the moderators, which are not to be enumerated."

Everything is up for discussion. There are no subjects that are banned from conversation on Metafilter, and no subjects that result in automatic insta-bans. However, there are areas of discussion that are likely to turn the site into a flamewar, so the mods ask that people who delve into them do so thoughtfully.

Poorly constructed posts on some topics get axed. Comments that are all heat and no light do too.
posted by zarq at 9:44 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


This makes me sad, MeFi is less awesome than I thought it was.

I really hate it when adults pull this infantile "this makes me sad" bullshit. Moderation on a website "makes you sad"?

Please grow up.
posted by Unified Theory at 9:46 AM on May 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


There should be a speedy close reason for MetaTalk threads called "Get Your own Online Community" (GYOOC).
posted by azarbayejani at 9:47 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I really hate it when adults pull this infantile "this makes me sad" bullshit."

Those Sarah McLaughlin animal shelter ads make me sad.
posted by klangklangston at 9:49 AM on May 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


It is now clear that there are certain views of what constitutes acceptable areas of discussion held by the moderators, which are not to be enumerated

VOLDEMORT
posted by elizardbits at 9:50 AM on May 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


I still don't know about emailing anyone (why would I go outside of MeFi to handle things? That seems weird) to deal with things... my posts were more of a "hey, does anyone else notice this?" thing... I wouldn't even know who to email.

But it's right there on the page where you make a MetaTalk post:

Post a Thread on MetaTalk:
  • For specific, personal and/or immediate problems, please use the the contact form. MetaTalk is not the most efficient or the quickest way to contact an admin.
  • Check out the faq. It covers a lot of questions that have been asked here before. You should also try searching to see if your question has been covered before.

posted by rtha at 9:50 AM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


It is now clear that there are certain views of what constitutes acceptable areas of discussion held by the moderators, which are not to be enumerated.

Your second comment's still up. Obviously, you can talk about that, just not in the way you did for your first comment.
posted by Gygesringtone at 9:51 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


It makes me sad that we're all in here and not on the Blue hashing out somebody's half-baked Boston marathon bombing conspiracy theory.
posted by BobbyVan at 9:53 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tentative preliminary suggestion:
I made a comment, but now it is not there.

Sometimes comments are deleted. Reasons for comment deletion can be found in the entry for Why was my MetaFilter comment deleted? The site does not systematically notify users if one of their comments is deleted. If you have questions or concerns about a comment deletion or if you would like the text of your comment sent to you, we recommend that you use the Contact Form to discuss the issue with the moderation team. Comment deletion is uncommon, but it is necessary to ensure that discussion adheres to MetaFilter guidelines. Comment deletion without systematic user notification is consistent with generally-accepted standard practices on content curation.
posted by winna at 9:54 AM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


I'm fairly convinced that a small group of people have decided to fuck around on with the site and mods on Fridays, post metas, and troll through the weekend as a form of entertainment. Which is that is your thing is ok, but a pretty shit show way of interacting with the site.

Who stole my day planner?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:55 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


This makes me sad, MeFi is less awesome than I thought it was.

I wish that my life were so charmed such that the moderation style on a web site I frequented were the worst thing about it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:55 AM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]

Post a Thread on MetaTalk:
  • For specific, personal and/or immediate problems, please use the the contact form. MetaTalk is not the most efficient or the quickest way to contact an admin.
  • Check out the faq. It covers a lot of questions that have been asked here before. You should also try searching to see if your question has been covered before.
I wasn't sure what happened with my comment, so it wasn't something I thought I should bother the Admin with.

I didn't see anything about just plain missing posts, there was no evidence that my comment was deleted, it was just missing. (I incorrectly expected to be notified when a comment got deleted, just as there are notifications when posts get deleted)
posted by MikeWarot at 9:55 AM on May 10, 2013


MikeWarot: "I wasn't sure what happened with my comment, so it wasn't something I thought I should bother the Admin with."

How is posting a MetaTalk thread not "bothering the Admin"?
posted by Chrysostom at 9:56 AM on May 10, 2013 [32 favorites]


The only favourites that disappear are the favourites that are removed by hand by the favouriteer, as you may recall from An Incident a few years back when someone went on a defavouriting spree and there was widespread outrage and sobbing.

It was like the day my father came into my room, took all my stuffed animals, and threw them away.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:57 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Dude, who else would you bother? Why would any non-mod mefite have any idea specifically what happened to your comment?

If something weird happens on my computer at work, I don't wander over to the nearest cube-dweller to ask them what happened. I get in touch with someone in IT.
posted by rtha at 9:58 AM on May 10, 2013 [8 favorites]


I wasn't sure what happened with my comment, so it wasn't something I thought I should bother the Admin with

No one but the mods (Admin) knows why your comment was deleted, so there is literally no better outcome posting something here if what you want to know is why your comment was deleted. That is why you should use contact form.
posted by sweetkid at 9:58 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


There should always be at least a note left in the thread that a comment was deleted. An extensive explanation isn't always requried, but at the very least people would stop wondering if there was a deletion or a technical problem, and third parties would know they are reading an altered conversation.
posted by spaltavian at 10:02 AM on May 10, 2013


We call them the Admins. They abducted us and brought us here. This community, everyone in it... is their experiment. They mix and match our memories as they see fit, trying to divine what makes us unique. One day, a man might be an inspector. The next, someone entirely different. When they want to study a troll, for instance, they simply imprint one of their citizens with a new personality. Arrange a family for him, friends, an entire history... even a lost sockpuppet. Then they observe the results. Will a man, given the history of a troll, continue in that vein? Or are we, in fact, more than the sum of our memories?
posted by urbanwhaleshark at 10:04 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Those Sarah McLaughlin animal shelter ads make me sad.

Me too. Her decline from early brilliance to human Quaalude is tragic.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:05 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't see anything about just plain missing posts, there was no evidence that my comment was deleted, it was just missing. (I incorrectly expected to be notified when a comment got deleted, just as there are notifications when posts get deleted)

It's understandable that you might not have known what was going on here. It's a little more confusing because you opened up a MeTa post a week ago about post deletion where we hashed over some of the same topics. Specifically I mentioned that you don't get notified when a post was deleted, so I'm not sure what you're referring to.

There's sort of a short list of what could be happening there--we have some people who hit preview and fail to hit post and email us asking about it--and all of them can be cleared up here or by contacting us. It's fine that you chose this route, but if you have specific questions, please make them clear otherwise we're going to wonder what part of "This stuff is in the FAQ" is problematic.

And we've gone over, repeatedly, why we don't leave deleted comment notifications other than the times we feel like people are going to get confused and then we leave a note or contact the commenter. It's on the list of "denied pony requests" on the wiki. Again, no reason you might know that, but it's not really an open-for-debate topic at this point.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:06 AM on May 10, 2013 [12 favorites]


He's just going to keep going until steam comes out of Cortex's ears just you watch
posted by Curious Artificer at 10:06 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Spoken like someone who doesn't use and love quaaluzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:07 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


i say this whenever i can, but the contact form continues to be totally awesome! i know some people view it as some serious thing, or like the last refuge - but the mods have always been prompt, gracious, and open when i've contacted them about this that or the other. just the other day i was like "here is my spleen! look at it! grar-rawr-rawr!" and they were like "that is a very nice spleen, thanks for sending it, send it again any time, but you know, maybe don't show much of it in the thread." A+ would contact again.
posted by nadawi at 10:07 AM on May 10, 2013 [18 favorites]


rtha: "If something weird happens on my computer at work, I don't wander over to the nearest cube-dweller to ask them what happened. I get in touch with someone in IT."

I've found that people commonly ask their officemates if they are having the same problem before contacting IT. And those of us in IT appreciate that.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 10:07 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's easier when you open the thread on Cortex's birthday.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:08 AM on May 10, 2013


Reading these threads is always incredibly weird for me.

I don't think folks are trolling; there's obviously a shared sentiment among some users that the style of moderation here is stifling and unfair.

Personally, the moderation style on MetaFilter and the environment it creates is like 80% of what keeps me active on this site. This is the only public forum online that I read or contribute to, in large part because I know that really awful behavior won't be tolerated. And that goes for my own behavior, too! It's not like I've never made an ass of myself on the internet; as much as it may have felt humiliating in the moment, I'm glad that the handful of shitty comments I've made here were deleted.

I don't know, guys -- I just want to spend my free time on a site where people are expected to bare-minimum behave themselves, and those expectations are enforced. I honestly don't get what's creepy about that at all.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 10:08 AM on May 10, 2013 [23 favorites]


pjern: " The point is, I trust the mods to do their job. Over the last decade, they've amassed a remarkable record, IMNSHO. If you don't trust the mods here, the Internet is a big place."

I trust the mods to do their jobs. But I haven't always agreed with their decisions, and when that's happened I've said so here, in the place on the site that is specifically designated for those kinds of conversations. Or over memail.

That's kind of the whole point of MeTa. It's the one place where we can question the mods about their decisions and Metafilter guidelines and policies, and hopefully gain insight into how everything works around here. It's okay for people to do that here. We're practically encouraged to do so.

I don't really think we've reached the point in this thread where we should be telling MikeWarot, 'METAFILTER: LOVE IT OR LEAVE IT.' But everyone's mileage may vary.
posted by zarq at 10:08 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Can someone summarize this thread in three words?
posted by Mister_A at 10:10 AM on May 10, 2013


WTF

I can't do anything right.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:11 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


People won't read.
posted by flabdablet at 10:11 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I can do it in one: 8(
posted by MoonOrb at 10:11 AM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


There should always be at least a note left in the thread that a comment was deleted. An extensive explanation isn't always requried, but at the very least people would stop wondering if there was a deletion or a technical problem, and third parties would know they are reading an altered conversation.

I don't agree that this is necessary. Reading yet another reminder that we shouldn't be screaming obscenities at one another doesn't enhance anyone's thread experience.
posted by almostmanda at 10:12 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Silenced Allmy Life?
posted by elizardbits at 10:12 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Can someone summarize this thread in three words.
Friday mastabatory frills.
posted by adamvasco at 10:13 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


He's just going to keep going until steam comes out of Cortex's ears just you watch

Photoshop just crashed on me as I was pasting up the last panel of dialogue on an unsaved comic strip so it's already basically a nuclear turbine up in here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:13 AM on May 10, 2013 [11 favorites]


Silenced for life.
posted by stoneweaver at 10:14 AM on May 10, 2013


It's fine that you chose this route

Nearly every MeTa has the mods and other users chastising the user for not using the comment form, but with some (often parenthetical) clause that it's not against policy. It's kind of a mixed message.
posted by spaltavian at 10:14 AM on May 10, 2013


Wrong thread, cortex.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:15 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]



Resistance is futile?
posted by a shrill fucking shitstripe at 10:15 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'd like to read more about nuclear turbines.
posted by Packed Lunch at 10:16 AM on May 10, 2013


cortex: "Photoshop just crashed on me "

If you are running CS5 or earlier, get PSD Autosaver. If you are running CS6 or later, you can turn on the autosave function. Preferences->File Handling, check the 'save recovery info' box option and set a time parameter.
posted by zarq at 10:17 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


just the other day i was like "here is my spleen! look at it! grar-rawr-rawr!" and they were like "that is a very nice spleen, thanks for sending it, send it again any time, but you know, maybe don't show much of it in the thread."

They're also not too crazy about showing off your pancreas or thyroid in the threads.


I know what you meant i just couldn't resist
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:17 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just seconding the love for the contact form. The mods have always humored me for sending them my spleen ventilation over things that otherwise would have had me fuming all day.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:18 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I don't agree that this is necessary. Reading yet another reminder that we shouldn't be screaming obscenities at one another doesn't enhance anyone's thread experience.

Like I said, a reason isn't always required. As a reader, I like to know that what I'm viewing has been edited, and it's frequently the case that a thread is clearer when done so. Mods sometimes try to erase an entire derail, but often that's impossible, especially when non-deleted posts touch on the deleted comment and unedited material. Also, it's kind of an honesty thing for me, like when an edit is made in an on-line article. I understand others may not feel that way, and I'm not saying Mods should be held to journalistic standards of integrity, but it seems so little cost to make moderation more above board.

The "denied pony request" is about notifications to the author of a deleted comment. I'm talking about a note left in the thread. To me this absolutely basic, and I don't understand the resistance to it, but evidently others disagree.
posted by spaltavian at 10:19 AM on May 10, 2013


Packed Lunch: "I'd like to read more about nuclear turbines."

The Library of Congress suggests these books:
posted by Chrysostom at 10:20 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I saw this movie, it's called "Groundhog Day".
posted by HuronBob at 10:21 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Some of these are well more than 3 words but thanks I think I've got the gist of it.
posted by Mister_A at 10:22 AM on May 10, 2013


I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to hurt anyone. I've just been going throuh alot. sorry.
posted by a shrill fucking shitstripe at 10:23 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


As a reader, I like to know that what I'm viewing has been edited, and it's frequently the thread is clearer when done so.

Threads where deleted stuff is going to leave some sort of odd hole in the conversation are the ones we're mostly likely to leave an explicit note in, for basically this reason. Knowing why something feels like a response to nothing-there can be helpful sometimes; knowing that something no one responded to, or something that was an accidental double-comment or wrong-thread post, not so much.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:24 AM on May 10, 2013


Don't worry, it's just a website. Although I am certain that the moderators and the rest of the community appreciate your conciliatory words here.
posted by Mister_A at 10:25 AM on May 10, 2013


The only favourites that disappear are the favourites that are removed by hand by the favouriteer, as you may recall from An Incident a few years back when someone went on a defavouriting spree and there was widespread outrage and sobbing.

Wait, did this actually happen?

/cleaningoutfavorites
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 10:26 AM on May 10, 2013


It wasn't obvious to me to use a contact form. My milage varied from yours, but that doesn't mean I'm trying to be a troll.

You now have one more piece of existence proof that it's not obvious to everyone. It may be obvious enough, though if you don't mind reading threads like this as the continue to be generated by others in the future.


I've made my suggestions, and will wait to see if any changes occur as a result.
posted by MikeWarot at 10:27 AM on May 10, 2013


I'm really sorry. I didn't mean to hurt anyone. I've just been going throuh alot. sorry.
posted by a shrill fucking shitstripe at 12:23 PM on May 10 [1 favorite +] [!]


If you hadn't posted that apology, I would have missed your knee-slappingly hilarious rant.
posted by Unified Theory at 10:28 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd like to read more about nuclear turbines

The only special part about nuclear power is how you make the steam. Once you have superheated steam, the turbine part is much the same as for coal or wood-fired power plants, and is pretty straightforward.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:29 AM on May 10, 2013


I don't think its going to happen
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 10:29 AM on May 10, 2013


It wasn't obvious to me to use a contact form.

Even though this was mentioned about a dozen times in the last thread you posted about deletions? Okie dokie.
posted by elizardbits at 10:29 AM on May 10, 2013 [21 favorites]


It wasn't obvious to me to use a contact form. My milage varied from yours, but that doesn't mean I'm trying to be a troll.

What about the last time you posted a MeTa and were told to use the contact form? That didn't help?
posted by sweetkid at 10:30 AM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


haha jinx elizardbits
posted by sweetkid at 10:30 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Never show contrition

That would be the other way to sum up this thread Mister_A
posted by a shrill fucking shitstripe at 10:32 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


This afternoon I learned the guy in the Aw Jeez Not This Shit Again meme was named James Horne and he was a big time advertising model in the 1950's. He was on the cover of the very first issue of GQ magazine in 1957. He was born in Los Angeles and his father was a movie director. Here is his NYTimes obituary from 2009.
posted by bukvich at 10:32 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Always Be Closing? Am I doing this right?
posted by gauche at 10:33 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


MikeWarot, if it is not clear yet, the content of your posts and comments make it increasingly difficult to conclude that you're participating in good faith.
posted by trunk muffins at 10:33 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


troll so hard motherfuckers wanna fine you
posted by elizardbits at 10:35 AM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


Rustic Etruscan: "Wait, did this actually happen?"

Oh, yeah. There really should be a section in the wiki for "Nutty Stuff That Happened In MeTa."
posted by Chrysostom at 10:37 AM on May 10, 2013


I've made my suggestions, and will wait to see if any changes occur as a result.

As jessamyn said earlier in this thread:
And we've gone over, repeatedly, why we don't leave deleted comment notifications other than the times we feel like people are going to get confused and then we leave a note or contact the commenter. It's on the list of "denied pony requests" on the wiki. Again, no reason you might know that, but it's not really an open-for-debate topic at this point.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:38 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


troll so hard motherfuckers wanna fine you

this site gray
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:39 AM on May 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


I've found that people commonly ask their officemates if they are having the same problem before contacting IT. And those of us in IT appreciate that.

Yeah, that was a bad example, since I've certainly done the "Hey, my Outlook just did a weird thing, did yours do a weird thing, too?" as a way to decide whether or not to call IT (also, I always reboot before I call, because why not).

But in this particular case, since the OP just posted a why was my thing deleted meTa like a week ago...well, it seems a little weird that it just wouldn't occur to him to use the contact form, or to imagine that posting another meTa would be less of a mod-bother.
posted by rtha at 10:39 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Jeez rtha that was like a Brazilian words.
posted by Mister_A at 10:40 AM on May 10, 2013


It may be obvious enough, though if you don't mind reading threads like this as the continue to be generated by others in the future.

Comments get deleted regularly, like multiple times per day, but threads like this are rare. I don't think there's really a problem here.
posted by shelleycat at 10:41 AM on May 10, 2013


Rustic Etruscan: " Wait, did this actually happen?"

Twice.
posted by zarq at 10:45 AM on May 10, 2013


There have been a bunch of mod-approved academic studies of the Mefi userbase, you know, and I just wonder if the mods yet suspect if there is an ongoing user-approved academic study of the Mefi modbase. You see, our IRB is surprisingly permissive.
posted by gilrain at 10:46 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


Why don't I get deleted more often? I feel like giving up.

No. That would be the coward's way.
posted by mule98J at 10:46 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


So the other day someone at work called me in a lather. 'winn, winn!' they shouted down the phone hole at me, 'your document is broken again!' in a tone that strongly suggested that I did it with stupidity and malice aforethought.

I trotted up to their department, donning my helpy face. When I got there I nestled close to their desk and asked what was wrong in an encouraging voice.

'It doesn't WORK,' they wailed, 'LOOK!' and they gestured to their monitor. I looked closer, and sure enough it wasn't working, but I noticed something else.

'I see,' I said in the most neutral voice I could summon, 'that you're using Word 2003? I thought we had all migrated to 2007 years ago?'

'Yes, but I like 2003 better. You should make your documents backward compatible, isn't that what you people are supposed to do?'

I tried to explain why they should run the most recent version of Word. They then advised me that they were just giving me feedback and it was meant to help me and they hoped that I could take their suggestions in the spirit in which they were meant, all said in a more in sorrow than anger tone. I then went back down to my office and stamped my feet and said bad words.

They were infinitely nicer about it than users here can be, but it was still maddening. I wouldn't last a day as a moderator. I'd run amuck on a massive scale.
posted by winna at 10:55 AM on May 10, 2013 [20 favorites]


Let me assure you, my deleted comment was better.
posted by mazola at 10:56 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


One time I had a comment deleted and I emailed cortex and was like "'Sup?" and for reals he said "Welcome to my boot stamping on your face - FOREVER!" My further attempts at enlightening him to the fact that line was totally lifted from Zamyatin's We seem to fall on deaf ears as he then threatened to send "The Langoliers" to "disappear you into the same black hole your comments went."

All I'm saying is I am okay with the usual torchlighting that goes on, and maybe I've said t
posted by P.o.B. at 10:56 AM on May 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


LANGOLIERED
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:57 AM on May 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


LANGOLIERED ALL MY LIFE!
posted by jamaro at 10:58 AM on May 10, 2013 [13 favorites]


Blunt Farts Trauma
posted by tehloki at 10:59 AM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I have just discovered a wide variety of videos featuring beatboxing birds on youtube and I urge you all to enjoy them as well.
posted by elizardbits at 11:02 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


You should provide us the URLs of a representative sample!
posted by winna at 11:03 AM on May 10, 2013


Those birds are appropriating human cultural expression for profit, so fuck them in the cloacae.
posted by Mister_A at 11:03 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Me too. Her decline from early brilliance to human Quaalude is tragic."

Meh. She was kinda a twangless Syd Straw.
posted by klangklangston at 11:09 AM on May 10, 2013


> I've made my suggestions, and will wait to see if any changes occur as a result.

Well, one change has already occurred. You are now aware that the contact form is an appropriate and efficient way to ask why a comment or post of yours was deleted.
posted by desuetude at 11:11 AM on May 10, 2013 [9 favorites]


Ah Blasdelb has made a post of the beatboxing bird variety.

Nobody puts baby bird in a corner!
posted by winna at 11:11 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Those beatboxing birds should get together with the moonwalking birds (right around 2:43).
posted by DingoMutt at 11:11 AM on May 10, 2013


The mods have always humored me for sending them my spleen ventilation

I see what you did there.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:20 AM on May 10, 2013 [6 favorites]


I just want a video compilation of adorable animals that look like they might be dancing to NWA's Express Yourself. Why doesn't this exist, this is an outrage.
posted by elizardbits at 11:28 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


This is all I could find for you, elizardbits. I hope it is enough.
posted by gilrain at 11:30 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


FAMOUS MONSTER: troll so hard motherfuckers wanna fine you

this site gray


"MeFites in MeTa"

Troll so hard moderators wanna ban me
But first cortex gotta find me
What's favorites to a MeFite like me?
Can you please remind me?

(Troll so hard) This site gray, y'all don't know that Ask don't phase me
The mods could delete me 80 times, and I'd look at you like this shit gravy
(Troll so hard) This shit weird, grar ain't even spose to be here
(Troll so hard) Since we be here, only right that mods be fair
Psycho: I'm liable to go Michael. Take your pick, Cardoso, Namara, Joey, The The
(Troll so hard) Got a broke clock, time zones that don't match up
Image tags that don't work, hidden behind a bucket o' cocks
(T-Troll so hard) I'm shocked too, this thread supposed to be locked up too
If you posted what I've posted, you'd be in MeTa getting fucked up too
(Troll so hard) Let's get faded, meetup for like six days
gold stars, scold mods, deleting all of my sick plays
(Troll so hard) Matt, behave, I might even let you meet J[essamyn]
Portland mafia, I'm trolling the site from a BK
...

OK someone else do Ye's verse.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:30 AM on May 10, 2013 [21 favorites]


omg
posted by elizardbits at 11:34 AM on May 10, 2013


> Additionally, if there are a large number of MetaTalk "why was my post/comment deleted" entries, perhaps those are indications that there is a problem?

There is. An indeterminate but excessive number of members have unrealistic expectations and a need to vent their displeasure in public.
posted by languagehat at 11:35 AM on May 10, 2013 [24 favorites]


The mods take a good-humored, phlegmatic approach to the spleening, bless their hearts.
posted by Mister_A at 11:40 AM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Say, that reminds me: how would a person even know their comment was deleted? I mean, the site doesn't track it somewhere, does it? Wouldn't a person have to go back through things they'd posted in the past and review their comments to see if they were still present, or stumble across it by accident? I mean, for all I know I've had hundreds of comments deleted, but it feels like a lot of work for me to bother looking to see if it's true, and even if I had the memory for it, why would I bother? What I don't know doesn't hurt me.
posted by davejay at 11:44 AM on May 10, 2013


Recent activity shows it up pretty well if it was the last thing you posted in that thread. Otherwise yeah, I imagine a lot of people don't notice and I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing.
posted by shelleycat at 11:50 AM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


yeah I've noticed when I've gone to recent activity and noticed a thread I commented on isn't in there, or it starts tracking from an earlier comment.
posted by sweetkid at 11:51 AM on May 10, 2013


Say, that reminds me: how would a person even know their comment was deleted?

Cyberdyne Systems Series 200 implant.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:53 AM on May 10, 2013


I wouldn't think you'd know except in those situations where you only had one comment in a thread and all of a sudden that thread didn't show up in your recent activity.

Or, you could scrupulously keep a spreadsheet of all of your comments!
posted by MoonOrb at 11:53 AM on May 10, 2013


I send the thread to print whenever I make a comment.
posted by mazola at 12:00 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


davejay: " Wouldn't a person have to go back through things they'd posted in the past and review their comments to see if they were still present, or stumble across it by accident? "

It usually happens quickly, and would be apparent if you're using the Recent Activity page to track your recent participation in threads.
posted by zarq at 12:07 PM on May 10, 2013


Ah, I don't use that page, so that explains that. Thanks for the sincere answers (okay, yes, the funny ones too.)
posted by davejay at 12:09 PM on May 10, 2013


how do you keep track of conversations you're having?
posted by sweetkid at 12:10 PM on May 10, 2013


davejay, I have Recent Activity bookmarked as my entry point into the site. It's an excellent tool for keeping up with multiple conversations.
posted by zarq at 12:11 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Say, that reminds me: how would a person even know their comment was deleted?

I've been told it feels much like the sensation of a phantom limb.
posted by liketitanic at 12:22 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


A thousand-member Bollywood dance troupe appears and, with carefully choreographed gyrations, spells out the word CENSORSHIP.
posted by elizardbits at 12:34 PM on May 10, 2013 [19 favorites]


but this only happens in Recent Activity
posted by elizardbits at 12:35 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


As if tens of voices suddenly cried out in annoyance, and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terribly mundane has happened.
posted by The Riker Who Mounts the World at 12:36 PM on May 10, 2013 [15 favorites]


the dancers are led by Aishwarya Rai and MechaCortex singing a romantic duet.
posted by elizardbits at 12:37 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


A marimba constructed entirely from dead horses.
posted by Pudhoho at 12:37 PM on May 10, 2013


The dead horses are being beaten with severed human limbs, each bearing a tattooed imprecation: REMEMBER ME
posted by Mister_A at 12:40 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Mods:

Please implement this script on the metatalk page. I think it would be helpful.

Ok talk to you later
posted by disclaimer at 12:43 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Uh...you just install it on every bodies computers right now! Duh!
posted by QueerAngel28 at 1:22 PM on May 10, 2013


Let there be farts!
posted by QueerAngel28 at 1:22 PM on May 10, 2013


I send the thread to print whenever I make a comment.

I print out whole threads from the archives, read them all, and stash them away in my doomsday library. I came in here to find the most offensive comment there was...forgot to look...but was going ask that everybody flag it, just to see if it "disappears". HA! Seriously did not come here for the farts. Damn you Disclaimer.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 1:33 PM on May 10, 2013


I think I have a solution. In order that the forbidden knowledge and Subversive thought contained in deleted comments not be lost, we should each take it upon ourselves to memorize random comments. That way if one is deleted it will not be lost to humanity.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:38 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeah it'll be an oral history project! I'll memorize this one.
posted by Mister_A at 1:46 PM on May 10, 2013


I got this one.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:01 PM on May 10, 2013


Some scientists believe that every time a comment is deleted, a new universe is created where that comment was not deleted. And there's also a universe where not a single comment has ever been deleted, which would totally address the complaint in this MeTa thread. There's even one where we're all having a serious conversation about some crazy conspiracy theory.

So maybe we should stop being so goddamn parochial by thinking that the only stuff that matters is the stuff that happens in *our* universe.
posted by BobbyVan at 2:13 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Somewhere outside the ordered universe is that amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasephemes and bubbles at the center of all Metafilterity -- the boundless word cloud made up of every deleted comment ever posted, whose contents no lips dare read aloud, and which gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unnetworked servers beyond TCP and IP amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile dead horses and the thin monotonous whine of accursed MeTa threads.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:21 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


But, BobbyVan, ours is the only reality of consequence. [warning TVTropes link]
posted by Mizu at 2:26 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


MoonOrb: "I wouldn't think you'd know except in those situations where you only had one comment in a thread and all of a sudden that thread didn't show up in your recent activity.

Or, you could scrupulously keep a spreadsheet of all of your comments!
"

Spreadsheets are clunky. A simple diff shows me all of my deleted comments and everyone else's.

I don't actually do this
posted by double block and bleed at 2:56 PM on May 10, 2013


Or, you could scrupulously keep a spreadsheet of all of your comments!"

Spreadsheets are clunky. A simple diff shows me all of my deleted comments and everyone else's.

I don't actually do this
posted by double block and bleed at 2:56 PM on May 10 [+] [!]


Youse fancypants, all of youse.
posted by MoonOrb at 3:04 PM on May 10, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think some of the reasons people are calling MikeWarot a troll are

a) he said he would leave if his comments could just be deleted, but after learning that actually is the case he's still here.
b) I dunno about everyone else, but personally I expect a little more 'internet competence' (ie,: read the instructions, remember what was said in the last thread, maybe the ability to generalise an inch from post deletion to comment deletion) from a guy who links to his blog on computer security in his profile
posted by jacalata at 4:08 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


For me, everything about him screams troll. Every word rings false, pieced together to sound like something he's not & doesn't understand. He uses overly emotive language to describe what should be fairly direct, matter-of-fact activity, in a way that feels calculated to push his target's buttons. He's evasive & ever-shifting his arguments like he's firing them from a shotgun to cover as much space as he can & see which ones hit something. He's not a genuine, authentic persona but an artificial, contrived one designed to make trouble.

In short - troll.
posted by scalefree at 4:43 PM on May 10, 2013


Things I didn't know about metafilter until right now but the just-this-minute-disappeared thread on the IRS improperly targeting conservative groups for investigation gave me a chance to test: you can indeed still go into a deleted thread and add favorites to comments, and they appear to be sticky. (Can't test whether they actually show up in people's totals, but Optamystic could tell us.)
posted by jfuller at 4:45 PM on May 10, 2013


Additionally, if there are a large number of MetaTalk "why was my post/comment deleted" entries, perhaps those are indications that there is a problem?

Indeed there is a problem but it's not what you think it is.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:10 PM on May 10, 2013


Things I didn't know about metafilter until right now but the just-this-minute-disappeared thread on the IRS improperly targeting conservative groups for investigation gave me a chance to test: you can indeed still go into a deleted thread and add favorites to comments, and they appear to be sticky.

Oh yeah absolutely. Some of my favorite comments are in deleted threads (though not recently).
posted by furiousthought at 5:30 PM on May 10, 2013


Whether or not MikeWarot is being sincere, something that comes up often in threads like these is confusion about the Contact form. Some people are relunctant to bother the mods, others don't even know it exists or that it's sometimes better to contact the mods rather than start a MetaTalk thread.

I don't know what the solutions are for each case, but I do think the Contact form can seem a little sterile and daunting. I'm a regular MetaTalk user, so I know it's totally fine to contact the mods about even the simplest questions. Maybe we could change the language on the Contact page to reflect that? Even adding a little levity to the page would help, something akin to the "everyone needs a hug" message on Metatalk's comment form.

Also, I agree with winna's suggestion that the FAQ could be clearer about contacting the mods about deleted comments.

Of course, another reason this continues to be a problem is because some people never read the FAQ, or even the text on the MetaTalk new thread page. Oh well.
posted by mokin at 5:35 PM on May 10, 2013


I leave for a few hours, and ooooh boy the thread goes on and on....
MikeWarot: "I wasn't sure what happened with my comment, so it wasn't something I thought I should bother the Admin with."

How is posting a MetaTalk thread not "bothering the Admin"?
I assume that there is somewhere a system administrator. A single person, who is busy doing technical non-moderating, non-interacting with users type stuff. I don't want to bother that person, because a possibly wierd bug in that big chain of stuff I mentioned earlier (browser | isp | isp filter | internet | mefi web server | mefi database server | hardware) isn't something they would likely deal with anyway. (If the MeFi part were broken, it would be sufficient to take the site down).

So... I didn't want to bother the system administrator.

I did figure some other user who reads metatalk, might be able to offer some insight into what happened... (I.E. don't use Chrome, don't use Javascript, the "show deleted posts" script is bad)...

I didn't really think it was moderator action that made my post go missing, but it was in the realm of possibility. So I posted in MetaTalk.... and found out that posts disappear without a trace... and got called a troll for being surprised by this.

I like Metafilter, for a long time I didn't even know about the comments, then after discovering and reading them for a while, I ponied up the amazingly low $5 to be able to comment... and have been quite happy with things.

I'm surprised by the disappearing without a trace nature of things... and perhaps I've been a bit grumpy about it... sorry for that.

Some day I'll go off and get my own online community... (ha!)... where nothing will ever get deleted (except for legal reasons)... but moderation out of the view of others will be the norm. 8)


I'm sorry to everyone for the grief... thanks for your patience.

--Mike--
posted by MikeWarot at 5:40 PM on May 10, 2013


Hey Mike,

Just for completeness, I'm pretty sure the (browser | isp | isp filter | internet | mefi web server | mefi database server | hardware) chain is validated by by the comment showing up at the bottom of your browser window after you hit "Post".

pb (the technical guy at MetaFilter) can validate it, but I'm sure there's a round-trip to the database involved, and not just some local DOM hacking.
posted by benito.strauss at 6:08 PM on May 10, 2013


I said recently in these gray pages that there is a "censorious vibe" apparent here. I believe that.

We all, most likely, have posted things that have been removed, and when it is done we usually understand why. Up until recently.

In the last couple of months, though, and perhaps more, I have noted that comments that I have posted have disappeared, and not for any discernable reason other than the fact that they were somewhat critical of someone's comment or position.

I am a level-headed person. I do not flame anyone. The last couple of deletions that I have experienced are inexplicable to me. And of course there is no recourse, no one to explain why this has been done.
posted by yclipse at 6:11 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Have you asked?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:13 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


Except yclipse, there is someone. You can use the contact form to ask the mods, and they will get back to you with an explanation.
posted by Mizu at 6:13 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am a level-headed person. I do not flame anyone. The last couple of deletions that I have experienced are inexplicable to me. And of course there is no recourse, no one to explain why this has been done.

You can in fact email the mods and get every single deleted comment you've ever made.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:16 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I didn't even know about the comments
posted by box at 6:16 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Ok maaaayybee I can see how Mike thought the Contact form was more for communications with "technical" admins? Although not really since he posted an AskMe last week and he had MeMail communications with the mods (as explained last week) about how he should use the contact form.

But the Contact form does say "contact the Site Admins" which isn't a term we usually use elsewhere. Maybe it could be changed to "moderators" or even be explicit enough to use mod handles (contact moderators - jessamyn, cortex, etc).

Dunno.
posted by sweetkid at 6:23 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, to be super duper clear, you are always welcome to drop us a line at the contact form if you're curious about the whether and why of a notional deletion. We have someone watching and promptly responding to that literally around the clock these days.

And for what it's worth, yclipse, you've had all of one comment removed in 2013, and it was indeed you being critical of someone else's askme comment but not substantiating that criticism in any way. The guidelines for commenting askme don't stop simply at "no flaming"; the focus is on keeping answers as constructive and question-centric as possible, so just calling someone else's answer nonsense in a non-specific way is missing the bar by a bit. Not a huge deal or anything, just not what an answer should look like in principle.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:24 PM on May 10, 2013


Maybe it should also include testimonials. " A+ would contact again." for example. And a picture of mathowie doing a thumbs up.
posted by Mizu at 6:26 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I wish to make a Contact Form Testimonial:

Ahem. Several times in the last two years or so, I have worked myself up over something, and, instead of going all Grey about it, I have used the contact form. And in that form, I have said "Dear Mods. I am all angry and hurt and ferociously GRAR about [topic], and I am thinking about making a MeTa about it. Would that help or hurt?" Mostly, they have written back and said "Thank you very much. You could do that, but do you think it would really help?" And I have mostly realized, no, it would not. So I mostly kept my rage to myself, and had a cookie or a beer (or, I admit a cookie and a beer), and I got over it.

Contact forms -- they work for me, and they can work for you, too! Try a contact form today!

(Not all at once, though; that would be mean; don't even think it.)
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:34 PM on May 10, 2013 [7 favorites]


Darn all of you people, I have hit my favorite limit for the day in like the last 90 minutes, and I'm pretty sure that means it's going to be 22ish hours before I can favorite comments made following this one (which I also didn't get to favorite; I would like a "countdown to your favorite limit" greasemonkey script, please.)

Oh, and also, I'm with shelleycat on the "if you email me to tell me my comment was bad enough that it had to be deleted, I will slink away in despair never to return" thing. There's actually a forum I was on where they sent you a very apologetic note explaining what you did wrong every single time you got something deleted... I haven't been back since the first note I got (and a bunch of people I know tried the forum and got completely paranoid about "doing things wrong," which I doubt they would have if not for the constant active reminders about how they'd screwed up yet again.)
posted by SMPA at 6:39 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'd like some examples of places where users are notified of comment deletion, actually, because I have never been anywhere that it happened.

I was a moderator on Gaia Online and our deletion software was such that we could automatically send cut & paste messages (and it was all logged). I got argued with sometimes. The most fun would be when a user would be mad about my deleting his deathless prose and begin attacking me in posts and threads (and once an account name) so I'd poke a fellow moderator who would then start deleting him. 8D

We had a staff of about a hundred and fifty to two hundred volunteers, though, and the culture was a lot different. More often than not I never heard from anyone. MetaFilter is also a lot more moderated like a party, too. The first couple times someone is gauche or rude, people largely ignore it, brush it under the rug. If it becomes a pattern, the hosts (moderators) take the person aside. Now and then, someone starts a scene in the front yard and screams for a while. Sometimes the scene becomes a riot, other times it simmers a bit then dies down.
posted by Deoridhe at 6:54 PM on May 10, 2013


Wait, there are comments!?! This is great!
posted by shothotbot at 7:05 PM on May 10, 2013 [4 favorites]


I assume that there is somewhere a system administrator. A single person, who is busy doing technical non-moderating...

Yeah, just to be very clear, we don't have this person. The contact form says, "You can use this form to send an email to the site admins." Essentially that means "everyone who works on MetaFilter". (Here's a list.) We're a very small operation so everyone gets every message from the contact form and responds accordingly.

Maybe it could be changed to "moderators" or even be explicit enough to use mod handles...

Potentially, but you might not always need a moderator. You might need technical help, be reporting a bug, have a complaint about advertising, need a Paypal refund, or dozens of other things that aren't related to moderating the site. So "site admins" might sound scary, but it's really just a short way of saying "everyone who works here".

pb (the technical guy at MetaFilter) can validate it...

Yeah, to verify, there is nothing uniquely complex about commenting at MetaFilter. It's a simple form post that sends you back to the thread. If you see your comment, it worked. If you see an error message, a blank page, or get a browser timeout message, it didn't work. We try to keep that process very simple.
posted by pb (staff) at 7:09 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just assume roughly half of my comments get deleted, that way I'm pleasantly surprised when I see them later.
posted by Justinian at 7:34 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just assume roughly half of my comments get deleted

I do too, and quite frankly, I'm not sure how you find the time to post so much.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:36 PM on May 10, 2013


I outsource much of my posting to low paying jobs in India.
posted by Justinian at 7:36 PM on May 10, 2013


So "site admins" might sound scary, but it's really just a short way of saying "everyone who works here".

Maybe swapping that out for something less scary like "the Metafilter team"? Now that's going all the other way to the end of cheesy, but surely there is a middle ground. "Admin" is definitely a term with a lot of seriousness baggage that doesn't need to be there.
posted by Mizu at 7:37 PM on May 10, 2013


I outsource much of my posting to low paying jobs in India.

For $20 I'll get really drunk and roll out a years worth of deleted comments in one night.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:42 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait, there are comments!?! This is great!

Yeah, but I'm not sure that anybody reads them.
posted by maryr at 7:47 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


Potentially, but you might not always need a moderator. You might need technical help, be reporting a bug, have a complaint about advertising, need a Paypal refund, or dozens of other things that aren't related to moderating the site. So "site admins" might sound scary, but it's really just a short way of saying "everyone who works here".

I see the distinction you are making, pb, but I think in practice, a lot of people use "mod" as a word for anyone who works at Metafilter. If I posted a MetaTalk about my Paypal problems, I'm sure the most common response would be "contact the mods."
posted by mokin at 7:56 PM on May 10, 2013


(Can't test whether they actually show up in people's totals, but Optamystic could tell us.)
posted by jfuller at 12:45 AM on May 11


I am very confused.
posted by Optamystic at 8:02 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, right. Just re-read the comment. Never mind. Yeah, they stick, for what it's worth.
posted by Optamystic at 8:04 PM on May 10, 2013


> Wait, there are comments!?! This is great!
Yeah, but I'm not sure that anybody reads them.


Maybe the first few, but no, not this far down.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:45 PM on May 10, 2013 [5 favorites]


...I'm sure the most common response would be "contact the mods."

Yeah, you're right. But I think "mods" tends to be MetaFilter-specific jargon in that way. So if you're familiar with MetaTalk, you'll pick up how that's being used right away. But the contact form needs to be for a wider audience. People completely unfamiliar with the site need to use it. The word "admin" is a friendly abbreviation of Administrator. It's also jargon-y, but is used in Web culture more widely than mod. I think the connotation is: someone who has the ability to do something on a system that standard users of that system can't do.

So I think you're right that "mod" works better for folks who are familiar with how it's used here at MetaFilter, but I think "admin" is a friendlier choice for the wider world.
posted by pb (staff) at 9:17 PM on May 10, 2013 [1 favorite]


But I think "mods" tends to be MetaFilter-specific jargon in that way.

Having spent my entire career bucking that particular term (it's not a flattering job description in some industries) I have to agree. That said, we could probably use "staff" and it'd be broader and less confusing, and also match our badges.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:10 PM on May 10, 2013 [2 favorites]


Comments on blogs are pretty much ephemeral anyway. We're not writing the Constitution. Fretting about deletion is like worrying about whether people remember what you said in the coffee shop yesterday.
posted by Segundus at 1:05 AM on May 11, 2013 [3 favorites]


Now I have this song stuck in my head.
posted by shelleycat at 1:05 AM on May 11, 2013


> I am very confused.

Oh, I favorited a comment of yours in the thread after it was deleted.
posted by jfuller at 3:57 AM on May 11, 2013 [1 favorite]


For $20 I'll get really drunk and roll out a years worth of deleted comments in one night.

Same as in town, then?
posted by Hobo at 5:12 AM on May 11, 2013


Essentially that means "everyone who works on MetaFilter". (Here's a list.)

Oh, hey, thanks for updating that list! ;)
posted by SMPA at 1:41 PM on May 11, 2013


I wrote two comments.
Now there's just one. I am sad.
What's a contact form?
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:25 AM on May 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


A contact form is what you see when you click on the link that is labeled 'Contact' at the bottom right corner of every page.
posted by jacalata at 11:48 AM on May 12, 2013


... thank you, jacalata. I know. I wasn't actually asking.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:51 AM on May 12, 2013


I suspected as much, but it seemed mean to call out a fairly new member for apparently pointless trolling when you might just be ignorant. As you've admitted to it though: what the hell was that?
posted by jacalata at 12:20 PM on May 12, 2013


It appears to have been a haiku.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:21 PM on May 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yup. A pretty lousy haiku. Sorry that it made you think I needed help (or was trolling).
posted by Too-Ticky at 12:31 PM on May 12, 2013


Un-needed line breaks?
An attempt at poetry?
Count the syllables.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:50 PM on May 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


needs more spring and the hint of kisses.
posted by clavdivs at 1:54 PM on May 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


More of a senryū, really.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:56 PM on May 12, 2013


line breaks and meter
don't make the pointless comments
less stupid
posted by jacalata at 3:36 PM on May 12, 2013


nothing's sadder than
reading a haiku with a
missing syllable
posted by MoonOrb at 4:36 PM on May 12, 2013


At the end of the AskMe there was a door
Hear me out that which you flagged and deleted,
I remember

You who do not notice
deletion from the other thread
I tell you I could post a MeTa: whatever
returns from oblivion returns
to find a voice
posted by humanfont at 4:55 PM on May 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Two missing syllables, in case you miscounted. And when a haiku is defined by the number of syllables, can there really be such a thing as a haiku that is missing a syllable, or is it simply not a haiku?
posted by jacalata at 6:24 PM on May 12, 2013


There once was a man from Peru
Whose limericks stopped at line two.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:01 PM on May 12, 2013


When asked "Why so short?"
He replied "Because I
Can never quite get them to rhyme."
posted by flabdablet at 7:10 PM on May 12, 2013 [3 favorites]


There once was a man from Verdun.
posted by en forme de poire at 7:26 PM on May 12, 2013


Yes, we probably are.
posted by flabdablet at 4:24 AM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


"I like Metafilter, for a long time I didn't even know about the comments, then after discovering and reading them for a while, I ponied up the amazingly low $5 to be able to comment... and have been quite happy with things." (italics mine)

I'm not picking on you, at all . . . but I can't make sense of this. Every thread on the front page has something like this:

posted by username at 6:53 PM - 42 comments (16 new) +

What did you think that meant? This is an honest question, and asked in earnest.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:38 PM on May 13, 2013


I think if you were to just click the link right from the front page, and not look at the username or anything around that line, you could have no idea there were comments. This strikes me as very weird but possible.
posted by sweetkid at 7:41 PM on May 13, 2013


Every thread on the front page has something like this:

posted by username at 6:53 PM - 42 comments (16 new) +

What did you think that meant? This is an honest question, and asked in earnest.


Not to mention the frequent [more inside]s.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:55 PM on May 13, 2013


blue doesn't have [more inside]
posted by sweetkid at 7:58 PM on May 13, 2013


Go check. I'll wait.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:09 PM on May 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


haha that was weird of me. ok maybe he didn't see that either
posted by sweetkid at 8:12 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


No worries sweetkid. I had to check myself when you said that. We've had [more inside] on the Blue since 2007.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:27 PM on May 13, 2013


I had to check myself

I am glad you did not wreck yourself.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:25 PM on May 13, 2013 [5 favorites]


Websites like this are bad for my health.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:38 PM on May 13, 2013 [1 favorite]


Not terribly serious about this pony request, but it sounds like fun to wish for a pony.

On the profile page, have listed in someones statistics some extra items - number of deleted comments/posts, date/time of last deleted post/comment.

(on the minus side) Of course we don't want people to try to start collecting deletions like they try to collect favorites.
posted by el io at 9:54 PM on May 13, 2013


I just found out that comments were deleted in Metatalk, which I didn't know.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 11:07 PM on May 13, 2013 [2 favorites]


Quick, someone delete CiS' comment before day break in murka
posted by lordaych at 1:42 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just found out that comments were deleted in Metatalk, which I didn't know.

It's very rare.

I had one or two comments deleted in MeTa once. Consider for a moment that someone has to step WAY, WAY outside the boundaries of acceptable site behaviour to have it happen. In my case, it was a sign that I had angrily and immaturely misread the site and another member very badly and was letting my ego run wild.

I'm not sure why yours was deleted, and am not judging your behaviour here. Just commenting on my own situation with the benefit of hindsight. But in my case it was a bit of a wakeup call.
posted by zarq at 4:31 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's very rare.
It's so rare it's happened to me a couple of times in the past month and I don't comment all that much. One suprised me more than usual as it was deleted twice, the second time after it had been suggested I repost it.
I think it is a culture thing and also that the Americans can get quite defensive. But I also see the noose of moderation on this site is tightening quite rapidly, with the result that conversations are being shut down, prevented or steered in different directions. I think the days of Metafilter being a self governing site have had their sunset. It is only when there is a tidal wave of often very ''in yer face'' feedback that things seem to change away from the new dictats. I am thinking of the Title wars. I say all this as observation but somehow I would not be suprised if it ends up on my metastasi file. After all in march a mod personally called me out for a thread I did not make or comment in. I just walked away, it was easier.
posted by adamvasco at 5:19 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


You do know that people have memories, and the the search function works pretty well, and also that humans can actually demonstrate patterns of behavior, right?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:31 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


The noose and Stasi metaphors are both a nice touch and totally appropriate.
posted by box at 5:39 AM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I like how you throw in "Americans get defensive" in the middle of a super
defensive comment.
posted by sweetkid at 5:41 AM on May 14, 2013 [3 favorites]


I also see the noose of moderation on this site is tightening quite rapidly, with the result that conversations are being shut down, prevented or steered in different directions.

Oh teh drama!

I think the days of Metafilter being a self governing site have had their sunset.

I don't think Metafilter ever was a "self governing site". It started out as "Matt Haughey's blog". If anything, it's gotten more open with the addition of more than one mod, whereas initially Matt was King And Dictator.

I say all this as observation but somehow I would not be suprised if it ends up on my metastasi file. After all in march a mod personally called me out for a thread I did not make or comment in.

Let me get this straight - in one sentence you imply that the mods have files in which they record all of our behavior on some kind of permanent record, and in the very next sentence you grump at a mod for confusing you for someone else. If the mods really were keeping "metastasi files" on us, then....wouldn't they have known whether you did or didn't say that comment you got called out for? So then....doesn't the fact that they got you confused with someone else sort of....disprove your "metastasi file" theory?

I think it is a culture thing and also that the Americans can get quite defensive.

....Okay, I just got a comment deleted yesterday - I posted the phrase "enough with all the FPPs about hipsters already" in this thread. Within an hour it was gone. I thought about contacting the mods, but then realized "eh, I'm being sort of a spoiled grump and the discussion's going well. Okay, fine." On another occasion, I was in a heated exchange with another mefite and posted something in anger; an hour later I noticed one of my comments was gone but his was still there. I contacted the mods (using the contact form, by the way) to ask what was the what; someone emailed me back to say "we deleted your comment because of the fact that your exact words were 'go fuck yourself'." And I realized "oh, right. Yeah, that wasn't cool. fair enough." And life went on and the sun rose in the morning and everythng was okay.

I would suggest that perhaps that kind of behavior is not anywhere near as "defensive" as accusing the mods of having "stasi files" on us and declaring that there is a "noose" being "tightened".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:57 AM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


After all in march a mod personally called me out for a thread I did not make or comment in. I just walked away, it was easier.

So you say, and yet:

O'rly

I would just like to clarify that I haven't been silenced all my life, neither am I interested in dying on hills.
posted by adamvasco to Etiquette/Policy at 12:27 PM (259 comments total) [add to favorites] 5 users marked this as a favorite [!]

posted by Gygesringtone at 6:12 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Which is to say, the call out wasn't a bolt from the blue. You started a conversation about why an I\P post was deleted, and have a history of being involved in I/P posts that go badly. Even if you personally didn't get involved in that particular thread, you certianly were involved in that particular conversation, and very much involved in the way that I/P conversations go in general.
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:17 AM on May 14, 2013


One thing I've found interesting is that people often say something like, "I've been having bunches of comments deleted lately as part of the MOD FASCIST CRUSADE, etc. etc." And then a moderator comes by and says, "You had three comments deleted over the past twelve months, two of which were direct 'fuck you, asshole's."
posted by Chrysostom at 6:25 AM on May 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


adamvasco: "It's so rare it's happened to me a couple of times in the past month and I don't comment all that much."

This is true only in the specific sense that the incident you describe, where your instant derail of an exercise MeTa was removed twice, was the only instance where a comment of yours was deleted, anywhere on the site, in the past month. The fact that it was removed a second time was the result of a miscommunication between mods, which is something we try to avoid, and something we've tried to explain to you over email. It's the occasional, regrettable by-product of having a globe-spanning team.

Speaking of which: I'm not an American, and I remember the time of two Germanies very well. I have not bugged your flowerpots, I'm here to answer questions from Mefites. If you have one I'll be happy to help.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 6:38 AM on May 14, 2013 [8 favorites]


goodnewsfortheinsane: " I have not bugged your flowerpots"

:D
posted by zarq at 6:42 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gygesringtone I can only deduce from your last comment that my participation in I/P threads is not approved by you. It would be here where I would make a comment that gets deleted.
I don't think I have ever said ''fuck you'' to anyone in any thread though I may certainly have felt like it . I do remember telling someone somewhere that their comment deserved a ''Fuck You'' and that comment I believe is still around.
And on preview thank you gnfti. I am glad to know my flowerpots are safe I shall just keep probing the electrical sockets, and thank you for stating that there was a between mod misunderstanding which in itself is quite understandable. I was just indicating that maybe zarq's assertation that metatalk deletions were very rare was from my point of view not quite so.
posted by adamvasco at 6:44 AM on May 14, 2013


Gygesringtone I can only deduce from your last comment that my participation in I/P threads is not approved by you. It would be here where I would make a comment that gets deleted.

I was pointing out that you were framing the call-out in a way that made it seem like it came from nowhere, when in fact there were good reasons for you to be specifically addressed.
posted by Gygesringtone at 6:51 AM on May 14, 2013


adamvasco: "in march a mod personally called me out for a thread I did not make or comment in."

FWIW, I didn't think the mod comment to you in that thread was appropriate and IIRC, told you that at the time.

But yes, the mods do remember this stuff. And you've been the OP of at least a couple of MetaTalk posts because I/P FPP's were deleted.
posted by zarq at 7:09 AM on May 14, 2013


Perhaps we could ask pb or cortex to validate comment deletion percentages across subsites?
posted by Chrysostom at 7:11 AM on May 14, 2013


I was just indicating that maybe zarq's assertation that metatalk deletions were very rare was from my point of view not quite so.

But this is basically at the level of "if global warming is real, how come it's snowing?" for argumentation, though. Anecdotal experiences of a spike in a distribution are not a sound basis to extrapolate and characterize that distribution; we don't see that someone won the lottery twice or got hit by a car twice and conclude that lottery winnings and car injuries must be soaring.

I sympathize at a basic level about being frustrated about having something deleted but the thing in question here was you ranting out of nowhere about Nike's corporate crimes in a "hey, let's do some exercise" metatalk, and the only reason you had it deleted twice was that a mod was overly polite or overly optimistic in suggesting that you could find a way to rework the complaint, after which you just reposted it pretty much verbatim in the same thread without reflecting an ounce of awareness of how much of an odd jerk move it was in that context.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:24 AM on May 14, 2013


Consider for a moment that someone has to step WAY, WAY outside the boundaries of acceptable site behaviour to have it happen.

I think that is changing a little and they are going to delete potential derails more now? I had a very mild joke deleted in Meta recently, likely because it mentioned a member who is sometimes a contentious topic and was not a subject of the Meta and it could have led to a derail. Also the mention of deleting for derail above, though I have no idea what happened in that incident.

Let me get this straight - in one sentence you imply that the mods have files in which they record all of our behavior on some kind of permanent record, and in the very next sentence you grump at a mod for confusing you for someone else. If the mods really were keeping "metastasi files" on us, then....wouldn't they have known whether you did or didn't say that comment you got called out for?


They do keep notes on users, it's a frequently mentioned part of the moderation style here. Obviously I wouldn't call that metastasi or whatever though.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:29 AM on May 14, 2013


I think I can feel
the noose of moderation
metastasizing
posted by flabdablet at 7:31 AM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


They do keep notes on users, it's a frequently mentioned part of the moderation style here. Obviously I wouldn't call that metastasi or whatever though.

I was more skeptical of the notion that whatever notes were a formal, J. Edgar Hoover-esque chronicling of each and every thing that a user has ever said, both deleted and undeleted. I'm envisioning more of a whiteboard with a shortlist of "keep an eye on this guy for a little while" kinds of notes, for if someone is on the high end of combatative or has a particular hobbyhorse they like riding. (Meaning - you gotta do kind of a lot to get noticed in that way.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:42 AM on May 14, 2013


I had a very mild joke deleted in Meta recently, likely because it mentioned a member who is sometimes a contentious topic and was not a subject of the Meta

Dragging people's names into MeTa who are not even participating there and making fun of their religion is always going to go this way. These comments have been deleted from MeTa for some time now.

We keep really short notes on people in about the way EC outlines. If someone's having a bad day or said a thing to one of us in MeMail that is worth keeping track of or appears to have a vendetta against another user, we'll usually write that down. We also use the notes field for pointing out usernames that we think are funny, noting why we put someone on a watchlist, or picking out or pointing out famous people or people with weird and interesting jobs.

I was just indicating that maybe zarq's assertation that metatalk deletions were very rare was from my point of view not quite so.

I'd be interested if the percentage/ratio of deletions from MeTa is growing more than the volume of comments in MeTa. I'm not sure if that is a thing that we can trawl the InfoDump for. MeTa has been significantly busier generally with more threads and longer threads. Back when we never deleted anything from this part of the site there was also significantly less activity. Not to say that moderation style in MeTa hasn't changed at all, it has changed a little, but deletions in MeTa are still rare and usually happen for the same set of reasons, we just seem to have more people pushing that envelope nowadays for whatever reason.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:58 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Glad you bought that up jessamyn. I asked earlier in this thread.
What are the stats ? Active users vs. deletions (comments per day / comments per week). Is this possible to deduce in some way?
posted by adamvasco at 8:04 AM on May 14, 2013


Dragging people's names into MeTa who are not even participating there and making fun of their religion is always going to go this way.

It was a mild and good natured joke, not making fun of Christianity. I like the person and religion in question. I can see how it could be misread though. As I said I do understand the not participating or subject of the Meta part.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:04 AM on May 14, 2013


I think that is changing a little and they are going to delete potential derails more now?

Mostly I think it's just that there's an old dogmatic idea that "nothing gets deleted in Metatalk" that hasn't been strictly true for years but gets held onto because it's catchy and it's not really off-base with the general spirit of this place being more permissive than other subsites and deletions are on a smaller scope.

So when something gets deleted at all, folks working with the "things never get deleted" rubric see it as an eye-opening thing, even when in practice it shouldn't so much be. Which is not a dig on those people; deletions are comparatively rare in Metatalk, and there's no reason anyone should be any more able to have like Total Information Awareness about everything that happens on this part of the site than anywhere else.

Basically, stuff gets deleted, not much stuff, for a smaller set of reasons but larger than "only if you post personal info or literal shout FUCK YOU at someone".

I'll see if I can get some stats together this afternoon, though someone recently did a decent job of graphing deletions-per-comment-over-time from the data in the Infodump.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:06 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


We keep really short notes on people in about the way EC outlines.

For the record, my favorite color is purple. I am a Libra and I like tomatoes and Black-capped Chickadees.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:25 AM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Libran Mefites Unite!

Or not.
posted by zarq at 8:31 AM on May 14, 2013


Libras are all about romance and charm. And corn. There will also be corn served.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:46 AM on May 14, 2013


I'm a Pisces, And I like dachshunds and Chinese noodles (but I'm not exactly the empress of fashion....)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:51 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Secondary Growth

Fell moderation's hand crushed all dissent
Until dissent self-censored, and was stilled;
Consensus reigned and as mathowie willed
Kind thoughts and words alone were evident.
Yet underneath the noble sentiment
Our hearts remained with basest fury filled;
Unspeakable, it could do naught but build
And harden as we wrote not what we meant.
So courteous we seem, but it's a ruse:
Sour bile and petty spite will find a way!
Habitual politeness can't uproot
Our fundamental need to hurl abuse
Lest someone else's viewpoint win the day
Especially if they're clearly more astute.
posted by flabdablet at 9:39 AM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


So when something gets deleted at all, folks working with the "things never get deleted" rubric see it as an eye-opening thing, even when in practice it shouldn't so much be.

There are even MeTa thread deletions in the archives (or rather, not in the archives).
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:41 AM on May 14, 2013


That's a known thing. Sometimes people open threads that really really shouldn't be opened (full on harassment or outing of another user is usually the vector I can think of) and we delete them. This is the flipside to the "We let you post without checking your posts beforehand" freedom that people have here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:43 AM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


though someone recently did a decent job of graphing deletions-per-comment-over-time from the data in the Infodump.

Ook did that (not to call him out) but the links don't work anymore otherwise I would have linked to them earlier. I was surprised by the number of metatalk deletions, like 2% if I recall correctly.
posted by shothotbot at 9:45 AM on May 14, 2013


That said, we could probably use "staff" and it'd be broader and less confusing, and also match our badges.

We did this today. The contact form used to say, "You can use this form to send an email to the site admins." Now it says, "We're here to help and available around the clock. Use this form to contact MetaFilter staff."

We hope that makes it more clear and less off-putting.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:16 AM on May 14, 2013 [13 favorites]


Metafilter: your exact words were 'go fuck yourself'.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:20 AM on May 14, 2013


...like 2% if I recall correctly.

No, it's more like .2%. I just took a look at the numbers for 2012. There were 86,887 total comments posted to MetaTalk and 225 of those deleted.
posted by pb (staff) at 10:27 AM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


So - we're not allowed to tell people to go fuck themselves anymore?
posted by Mister_A at 12:18 PM on May 14, 2013


I think the accepted terminology is something along the lines of ''Bless your little heart''.
posted by adamvasco at 12:33 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you're feeling really aggressive you can combine the two with "Fuck your little heart".

Which, hey Trent Reznor, you can have for free as a song title.
posted by benito.strauss at 12:39 PM on May 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


Silenced Gently upbraided for inflammatory incivility all my life!!11!
posted by Mister_A at 12:41 PM on May 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


"We're here to help and available around the clock. Use this form to contact MetaFilter staff."

Ooo, I like this. I have a pile of dirty dishes you guys could get started plus I need a cat minder in June ...
posted by shelleycat at 1:28 PM on May 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


My great aunt used to say "Bless your heart" to me all the TIME. Was she actually telling me to fuck off? I really need to know.
posted by Brody's chum at 6:35 PM on May 14, 2013


Oh, go fornicate yourself, for fornicate's sake.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:39 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


Go gently caress yourself.

And give my regards to your mom.
posted by Doroteo Arango II at 11:09 AM on May 15, 2013 [1 favorite]


When I was just a lurker on Something Awful, I thought for the longest time that goons were all incredibly disciplined about their swearing in-joke.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 12:37 PM on May 15, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm regarding your mom right now.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:12 PM on May 17, 2013


Try not to wake the dragon.
posted by The Riker Who Mounts the World at 1:44 PM on May 17, 2013


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