Obligatory "obligatory pet pic" comments
May 23, 2013 5:21 AM   Subscribe

Maybe I'm the only one, but the "pics or GTFO" business with respect to pet questions on AskMe really gets on my nerves. I feel like it makes MetaFilter come off as clique-y, and it trivializes serious questions about pet behavior and health. I've been letting this issue bother me for a long time now without saying anything, but a recent example has finally pushed me over the edge of raising the topic here.

When someone comes into a thread with nothing more to add than "The rules are you must post a picture of your pet before we can answer your question" I flag it, and I believe those comments usually get deleted as not answering the question. I'm not sure most pet-question responders have noticed that happening, though. If it is in fact true that the mods delete such replies if their attention is brought to them via flagging, might it be good for the mods to state that so everyone is aware that "pics or GTFO" is, in fact, off-topic in AskMe pet threads?

However, that leaves the issue of pics-or-GTFOs buried in otherwise on-topic replies. The last-straw comment, for me, was this one, in which knile essentially says that he doesn't have much standing to answer the question but is going to answer anyway just so he can launch into the "welcome to MetaFilter, ur doin it rong" because it's supposedly an "inviolable rule" to post pet pics to accompany a pet question. It may seem kind of innocuous in that post, but I recall several occasions where someone has posted about a pet that is sick or has real behavioral issues, and even then the pet pic people are on with the "sorry your pet is seriously ill, but you must post a picture before we can answer your question!" Ok...a slight exaggeration, but still. Example 1, Example 2

In my experience, people with pets generally love showing them off to others. I don't think we gain anything in terms of being a friendly community or seeing more cute pet pictures by heckling AskMe askers to give up the goods.
posted by drlith to Etiquette/Policy at 5:21 AM (141 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I think people are just trying to be nice.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:24 AM on May 23, 2013 [24 favorites]


Probably, but that doesn't help if it doesn't come across that way.
posted by Too-Ticky at 5:25 AM on May 23, 2013 [8 favorites]


It always comes across as good-natured to me, and in the more serious threads, an attempt to add some levity to a sad situation. I imagine such comments as being made with a friendly smile.

Also I don't think anyone is implying that you actually HAVE to post a photo in order to get help. It's a joke. Goofy, but...harmless? Maybe? For me anyway?
posted by Narrative Priorities at 5:26 AM on May 23, 2013 [39 favorites]


Thirteen years I've been here, nearly, and there are corners of this community whose norms and folkways are completely terra incognita to me. Makes me wonder how little I know about what's going on around me in my everyday life.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:43 AM on May 23, 2013 [23 favorites]


I've never read it as anything other than good-natured, and like Narrative Priorities said, also a way to add levity to rough situations. Animal lovers are often all too familiar with the ambivalence that comes with the territory: you love those furry little goofballs, all the while knowing they'll pass away before you do (hopefully... I don't want to imagine what would happen to my furballs if I passed first and none of my friends could take them in, which is a distinct possibility), and sometimes that happens very slowly and painfully for the poor dears.

Asking for photos is a way of acknowledging the love we have for pets, is how I've always read it. Your two examples are pretty good instances of just that.

On the other hand, if there are answers that are nothing more than "pics or else", then yeah, that's not answering the question.
posted by fraula at 5:43 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


We delete a bunch of comments (when we see them) that are just "where's your obligatory pic?" kinds of things, but leave them if they are attached to a serious suggestion. Maybe I should have deleted that one. It was flagged once as "display error," which I didn't really get, but thought maybe the flag reason was just fat-fingered, and then it was flagged once again, since this thread went up (at least that's when I saw the second flag).

I'm sort of on the fence about this comment, because "leave the dog at home" is an honest answer, I imagine, and the OP specifically asks whether they should do that.

At any rate, I'm pretty sure all the "show pics" suggestions are friendly, and the "obligatory" just a joke, but comments that aren't answers are still usually deleted.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:50 AM on May 23, 2013


I feel like it makes MetaFilter come off as clique-y

I agree with others that these comments - while perhaps on occasion thoughtless in the given context - are typically not intended to be mean-spirited, quite the opposite. We can easily find manifestations of a thousand collective quirks on MetaFilter that could be construed as clique-y, but I very strongly feel that this one is not among them.
posted by Namlit at 6:03 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


It always comes across as good-natured to me,

Of course they come across as good-natured to people who are familiar with Metafilter culture, but generally AskMe tries to be more newbie-friendly than that, no?

I don't want moderators to start deleting good comments because of a throwaway line about pics or GTFO, but I do wish AskMe commenters would consider whether it's newbie-friendly to joke about An Inviolable Rule about Obligatory pet photos. The "last straw" comment is pretty egregious on that count because it acknowledges that the OP is new right in the comment.
posted by muddgirl at 6:03 AM on May 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


Dear AskMiffy*

When video chatting, my SO's cat takes advantage of her attention being elsewhere by attacking her with laser beam eyes. This is causing annoyance, and means my SO has to now wear tin foil when chatting to avoid the risk of being vaporised by an angry 26 pound cat with 'attitude eyes'. How can the cat be kept from using her weaponry? Should we change his food? Obligatory pet picture from video chat.

Love,
@wordshore

*how we pronounce AskMeFi in these here parts; don't even ask us how we pronounce gif.
posted by Wordshore at 6:06 AM on May 23, 2013 [11 favorites]


This has never bothered me before, but now that you point it out, I think a better/ friendlier way to phrase the request for pet pics would be something like :

"Serious answer blah blah blah. And I'd love to see her if you want to post a picture!"

(Speaking as someone who asks pet questions sometimes, and is always happy for the opportunity to show off my kittens. Seriously, check out the awesomeness of Essie's face.)
posted by insectosaurus at 6:23 AM on May 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


I lean pretty heavily towards the "A little bit of fun in AskMe is OK" and "Inside jokes are hilarious" side of the balance, but something about these requests rankles so so much. I guess it is that we are making a demand of someone as a way to permit them into the community. Inside jokes are different, in that someone who is not in on the joke can decide whether or not to search around or ask what the joke is about, but these "Pics are required" requests put the onus on the new person to do something they may or may not want to do. I also don't think it is immediately apparent to a newcomer that this is not an actual, enforced rule of the site, especially when it is phrased as such.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:27 AM on May 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


Yeah, that makes sense. I'm going to go ahead and nix it, though it's going to cause some confusion in this thread for people just tagging in.

Basically, it was an answer to the question, but only barely, and a welcome-to-Mefi, which was nice, and a jokey you-need-show-pics-of-your-dog-so-we-can-gush expressed as "an inviolable rule."
posted by taz (staff) at 6:32 AM on May 23, 2013


I'm truly sorry that my comment has offended. I like pictures of dogs, and it's been my understanding that many AskMeFi community members also like to see animals involved in questions. I did mean it as good-natured, not a serious use of the term "inviolable". Here is a picture of a dog I used to sit for, measured in DVD cases for scale. And here is his face. Here are my dog-friends Bert & Emma. And, finally, my dog-friend Eddie, who is very well trained, or as his parents put it "food-motivated."
posted by knile at 6:33 AM on May 23, 2013 [16 favorites]


This is what my puppy thinks of this idea.

I will fight to the death anyone who tries to argue for fewer doggy pictures on the green. TO THE DEATH.
posted by phunniemee at 6:48 AM on May 23, 2013 [38 favorites]


"We like to share pictures of our pets in this community, if you're so inclined" seems both true and welcoming.
posted by muddgirl at 6:49 AM on May 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


I mean, if it was a question 'how do I cope with the demise of my beloved kitty' and one of the answers was SHOW ME YOUR DEAD CAT, that would be one thing.
posted by angrycat at 6:50 AM on May 23, 2013 [16 favorites]


And just to show that I am not opposed to adorbs in general, I give you the glory that is Murphy.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:56 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


omfg, Bert! Ha.

And good on you, knile. You meant well and your heart was in the right place; shame the whole comment had to go (but I also see how "inviolable" could be misunderstood in AskMe). The whole pet pics thing is good-natured and community-bonding, if anything. I like it; full of smiles.

Here's a pic of my two cats, now 5000+ miles away and I miss them so much!
posted by iamkimiam at 6:58 AM on May 23, 2013


Of course they come across as good-natured to people who are familiar with Metafilter culture, but generally AskMe tries to be more newbie-friendly than that, no?

I think it's very newbie-friendly--NewQuestionAsker loves their pet, MeFi loves ours, show us a pic so we can all love each other's pets together!
posted by scratch at 7:01 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't understand. Do some of y'all think that we should make pet pictures obligatory in pet-related AskMe's?

I love pet photos as much as anyone. I don't like the implication that Askers are required to post them if they don't want to.

show us a pic or else what? "Obligatory" implies that not posting a pet photo is punishable. How is that newbie-friendly?
posted by muddgirl at 7:04 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


No, I think it's probably kind of the opposite... people didn't think anyone would take it seriously. But to a new person, yeah, it could be confusing.
posted by taz (staff) at 7:08 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


With a few exceptions, I have always seen the pic requests attached to answers, and often rather thoughtful ones. It obviously isn't really obligatory. What are we going to do, take the advice back? It comes across to me as 'The Hivemind has spoken, now grant us a tribute of cuteness!'
posted by Garm at 7:10 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Lucinda says: "I volunteer as tribute!"
posted by MCMikeNamara at 7:14 AM on May 23, 2013 [9 favorites]


Either cortex or pb needs to sort out getting one of those devices which sits on the server and drains all the joy out of any MeFi post.
posted by biffa at 7:15 AM on May 23, 2013 [13 favorites]


Wow, yeah, I think you're really misreading these comments (at least, the ones that don't get deleted) if what you hear is "pics or GTFO." Unless that is explicitly what someone says, I think that it's safe to assume a bit more good faith in people who have tried to provide a useful answer capped with a request for pictures. I've always read it (and intended it, when it's been me asking) as trying to show an interest in the specific pet in question.

As someone who likes sharing pictures of her own dog but worries about ovesharing at times, when I was new here I appreciated seeing such comments - it was nice to know that posting pet pictures in your question was "sanctioned" even if not strictly necessary. I don't remember ever taking the "obligatory" as sincere, although I understand that everyone is different.

(On preview, I see several people have already posted pet pictures here. This pleases me. Is now the time when I can ask that these pictures be made obligatory in this thread?)
posted by DingoMutt at 7:15 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Obligatory pics for pet questions I'm fine with. But obligatory pics for sex questions seems out of line to me.
posted by mullacc at 7:18 AM on May 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


I will cop to the fact that I am very literal-minded. If people want to see pictures of someone's pet, why not just ask? Have I been very rude all these years, just up and saying, "Do you have any pictures of your pets that I can snorgle over?"
posted by muddgirl at 7:21 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


But obligatory pics for sex questions seems out of line to me.

I dunno, I don't think I'd have a problem with that.
posted by Melismata at 7:22 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


And this is the point where I consider posting "best of both worlds!" and then immediately nixing the idea, figuring I probably shouldn't google pics of "two dogs fucking" from my work computer. :(
posted by phunniemee at 7:27 AM on May 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


There's nothing, also, that makes the following go away: people ostensively misunderstanding what others have said or done with a none-too-focused mindset. It is just as impossible to eradicate that behavior as to minimize requests for pet pics on this site.
posted by Namlit at 7:31 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


To reach some kind of MetaFilter 'closing the loop', does anyone have the picture from their cat being scanned? (Warning: may cause MetaFilter to implode in a moment of singularity).
posted by Wordshore at 7:32 AM on May 23, 2013


I sadly, have no cat, because we travel too much. No dog either. I have pictures of model trains, but that's not the same.
posted by Namlit at 7:33 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


as to minimize requests for pet pics on this site.

Who wants to do this?
posted by muddgirl at 7:34 AM on May 23, 2013


heh yeah
posted by Namlit at 7:35 AM on May 23, 2013


I mean, who in this thread has asked to minimize requests for pet pics on this site? The OP mentions demands, and mentions heckling. Not requests. One of the cited examples
BTW, where is your obligatory cat picture, hmm?
is almost certainly meant as a request but reads as a demand to people unfamiliar with the history of pet photo discussions.
posted by muddgirl at 7:45 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


and i mean yeah i see what you mean
posted by Namlit at 7:46 AM on May 23, 2013


Ha, I thought you mean, "Yeah, what kind of person wants to minimize cat photos, indeed!" Need moar coffee.
posted by muddgirl at 7:48 AM on May 23, 2013


go over to the alphabet game thread. Hero Göran is having some micro-roast high-end coffee right now, in the sequel story that's begun below the page. Takes a while to load, though.
posted by Namlit at 7:51 AM on May 23, 2013


I probably shouldn't google pics of "two dogs fucking" from my work computer. :(

Good idea. You'd be showing a serious lack of ambition. I mean, just two? And both dogs? C'mon.
posted by mullacc at 7:55 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I probably shouldn't google pics of "two dogs fucking" from my work computer. :(

Rick Santorum is frowning at you.
posted by Wordshore at 7:58 AM on May 23, 2013

does anyone have the picture from their cat being scanned?
Here's a scan of my dog - does that count?
posted by moonmilk at 8:02 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


I sadly, have no cat, because we travel too much. No dog either. I have pictures of model trains, but that's not the same.

I disagree!
posted by Melismata at 8:09 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


The Puppy Train*

* actually a monorail
posted by moonmilk at 8:12 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


We should just make pictures mandatory for all AskMe's:

I just cheated on my wife and I feel terrible! How do I break it off with my mistress?

Wow, that's terrible, but where are your obligatory pics! Here's my mistress and she's all OMG CHEET MOAR!

So . . . something weird happened on the toilet yesterday, is there something wrong with my diet?

Probably, but we need a pic to be sure! Here's my BM from this morning! And I was like GROS UR GROS
posted by Think_Long at 8:12 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


And this is the point where I consider posting "best of both worlds!" and then immediately nixing the idea, figuring I probably shouldn't google pics of "two dogs fucking" from my work computer. :(

Just for you, phunnimee: a doggy three-way
posted by DingoMutt at 8:18 AM on May 23, 2013


I take it as a friendly way to share how much we love our furry family members (Hi Dad!) rather than YOU MUST COMPLY OR BE BANISHED. Good reminder that what we write may not be what we mean so we can perhaps be more thoughtful of the newer members of the site who aren't as familiar with our traditions.
posted by arcticseal at 8:20 AM on May 23, 2013


I'm in the camp of folks who get that people like pet pics and want to be welcoming to askers by sharing that like but are often not super great about (a) sticking to the askme guidelines or (b) thinking about how that reads cold to a new or low-engagement asker.

Because the problem isn't that anyone is seriously intending to say "you are obliged to provide cat pictures or you'll be in violation of this community's norms and rules"; I think it's safe to say that no one has actually meant that, people are just trying to share a little bit of the community dynamic they're already comfortable with, of being jokey and liking pictures of cats, and welcoming someone into that fold. Which, I totally get that.

But it's not all about intent; it's easy to forget that the newer person doesn't know your intent, may not get that you're all-kidding instead of half-kidding, may be worrying more about violating expectations accidentally than they are about ferreting out the intended tone of what they don't have any reason to know is a joke instead of ha-ha-but-seriously ribbing about an error on their part, etc.

It's easy to put someone off by essentially demanding that they run with a joke. Proceed with care and caution if you're going to slip a "oh, and I'd love to see a picture" line into an askme answer.

And for butt's sake don't leave those requests as standalone non-answers because you know we're just gonna delete that stuff. Cute Overload is available at all times elsewhere on the internet, avail yourself of it instead of dropping noise in someone's question thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:22 AM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Adding levity to answers is a problem (and yes, this sort of addition to an answer was just that in my opinion). I once did some seriously long research on a question about bringing something on to a plane and whether it would/should be regarded as a weapon. I made the mistake of appending it with a 'snake on a plane' reference, which caused it to be deleted. I think that was wrong. Just because a whole bunch of other people had made jokey references and I jokingly made the same reference caused it to be deleted but it was a genuine answer. Mods, can you help me out here? Can you find that deleted comment and send it to me with a reference to the deleted thread. It's bugged me for some time and I think it was a good reference. I know you do this on request (the deleted comments thing, most I'm not proud of). Sorry I made the snake joke.
posted by unliteral at 8:23 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


butts lol
posted by Melismata at 8:27 AM on May 23, 2013


^fraula; you shouldn't be allowed to comment in this thread unless we have a copy of your cats, because they are awesome.
posted by adamvasco at 8:32 AM on May 23, 2013


Asking in a nicer way, in conjunction with a helpful, in good faith answer, might be better. I had to ask a question about a new cat about a year ago, and I honestly felt pressured to provide a pic, which meant some work on my part -- figuring out how to upload a pic from my phone to the internet in an anonymous way, and then to link to it -- it was not trivial for me to do, but I felt I needed to do it.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 8:38 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


OK, everyone needs a hug (and a smile, courtesy of Mitzi and Shayna)
posted by Sophie1 at 8:40 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


Here's a scan of my dog - does that count?
posted by moonmilk


I would like to call attention to the fact that moonmilk's dog Samson is a cute puff puff puff Pomeranian and I bet he would be right good to pet a lot
posted by Greg Nog at 8:46 AM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


I bet he even has papers.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:48 AM on May 23, 2013


New Mefi Rule: Obligatory pet pix with the obligatory pet wearing the obligatory Aretha Franklin hat.
posted by taz (staff) at 8:54 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


This bow on Caliban Party Ghost is a little like that hat
posted by Greg Nog at 9:08 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


moonmilk, where I'm from we call Pomeranians "fraggles" since we forgot what this creature's name was
posted by pxe2000 at 9:10 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pretty sure the OP will put in picture if they want to. The picture requests are surely lighthearted and friendly, but that doesn't mean it isn't annoying.
posted by spaltavian at 9:11 AM on May 23, 2013


I once did some seriously long research on a question about bringing something on to a plane and whether it would/should be regarded as a weapon. I made the mistake of appending it with a 'snake on a plane' reference, which caused it to be deleted.

Unless this happened with some other account you have, this did not actually happen; there are no deleted askme comments from you that match this description at all. I'm afraid it sounds like you got nailed by a browser burp or a hit-preview-instead-of-post situation, or I'd happily send you the comment.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:11 AM on May 23, 2013


it makes MetaFilter come off as clique-y

I suppose it could contribute to it, but not as much as the cliques
posted by Hoopo at 9:11 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Cat picture, and possible caption competition.
posted by Wordshore at 9:20 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Now, of course, I can't not post a pic of my cute, sleeping cat in this thread.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:37 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


There was a time when we had 9 cats. I, um, don't miss those days (much). Now we have two: the fabulous Darth Lovey (he has a split personality; gives kisses for a few minutes and then the Talons of Doom are unsheathed) and the adorable Ms. Kitty, who has become a very loving cat since we've had her.
posted by Lynsey at 9:41 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe this isn't the best thread to post cat pics for no reason.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:47 AM on May 23, 2013


.25 animal unit
posted by edgeways at 9:54 AM on May 23, 2013


(why yes I HAVE been reading zoning ordinances for a semi-rural township lately)
posted by edgeways at 9:55 AM on May 23, 2013


Brandon Blatcher: "Maybe this isn't the best thread to post cat pics for no reason."

Seriously... is it that hard to provide a simple trigger warning for the cat-o-phobes in the house?
posted by Grither at 10:03 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I had a cat made of snow once.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:14 AM on May 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


I had a cat made of snow once.

I always hesitate a bit before looking at Jessamyn's animal pictures.
posted by Jahaza at 10:24 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


A little like Calvin's backyard.
posted by Namlit at 10:25 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


This seems like a good time to reveal the fact that I live with the most interesting cat in the world.

(sorry)
posted by invitapriore at 10:26 AM on May 23, 2013 [15 favorites]


I always hesitate a bit before looking at Jessamyn's animal pictures.

Just checked. Jessamyn-Snow-Cat is SFW.
posted by Wordshore at 10:26 AM on May 23, 2013


In your case, Jessamyn, that picture was a critical piece of evidence in formulating a suitable response to your special snowflake details inside.
posted by drlith at 10:27 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm actually pretty sure that yes, indeed, this IS the best thread to post cat (and dog! Ferret! Newt!) pictures without reason.

Here, have a newt pic.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:30 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


I just discovered via this thread that pet picture weren't required. I seriously thought that it was an actual rule, so count me as a relatively new noob who was fooled.

Also, here is a pic of my dear fish Sterling Malory Archer. I miss him dearly, and will getting Sterling Malory Archer II someday when I can afford it.
posted by Shouraku at 10:33 AM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


Did someone say non-mandatory puppy picture?

Did someone else say Pets on Trains Act of 2013?
posted by the littlest brussels sprout at 10:36 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Every so often Pru will forget how to use her face for just a few minutes. It is a rare and delightful phenomenon.
Last night we got pictures.
posted by St. Sorryass at 10:38 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Here's my cat Boscar (that's Bosco + Oscar) looking sad after I gave him flea drops.
posted by komara at 10:38 AM on May 23, 2013 [5 favorites]


My profile pic is my rabbit, Billy.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 10:43 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


He's cute, but I'm disappointed you aren't actually a rabbit.
posted by mmmbacon at 10:44 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm not used to being called Billy, but hey, nice rabbit.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:46 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]

moonmilk's dog Samson is a cute puff puff puff Pomeranian and I bet he would be right good to pet a lot
greg nog is correct, mostly
posted by moonmilk at 10:53 AM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


moonmilk: mostly

Now that is Fizzgig.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:00 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


The very idea of asking this knucklehead to hold still long enough to scan even a single paw is really utterly absurd.
posted by Devils Rancher at 11:10 AM on May 23, 2013


Hah! That's great motion blur in the first one, DR. It's like he's got cartoon eyes or something!
posted by Grither at 11:13 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was going to post a cat question this week but didn't precisely because of this issue. We're having a cat poop issue in our house - I thought, "I know, AskMe will save the day!" and then I thought, "Crap, they will demand cat photos as their tribute." My cat wears a collar with my name and telephone number clearly visible. I don't think I have any photos where you can't see the tag. Or my toddler, and we don't post kid pictures on the internet. I thought of posting my question without a pic, and I realized that I'd have to quickly chime in with "I understand about community norms and blah blah but no really, no pic" but wouldn't that be threadsitting?

And now there is more poop, and my husband threatens to ask reddit. Ugh.
posted by stowaway at 11:13 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


people love to see bitches whaddayagonnado
posted by klangklangston at 11:16 AM on May 23, 2013


I realized that I'd have to quickly chime in with "I understand about community norms and blah blah but no really, no pic" but wouldn't that be threadsitting?

I kinda don't really think you'd have to.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:17 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


That bit was tongue-in-cheek.
posted by stowaway at 11:20 AM on May 23, 2013


But we get to request photos in relationship questions, right?
posted by mazola at 11:24 AM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


I am proud to say that I scanned our cat Yorvit for this.
posted by gingerbeer at 11:26 AM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I realized that I'd have to quickly chime in with "I understand about community norms and blah blah but no really, no pic" but wouldn't that be threadsitting?

It's not like the lack of a picture brings the thread crashing to a halt. I seriously doubt there's anyone out here in mefi land sitting on a perfect answer to your cat poop problem but withholding it until the kitty pics are released. People may ask, but...who cares?
posted by phunniemee at 11:37 AM on May 23, 2013 [7 favorites]


I have given people the opportunity to look at Sadie's presidential portrait and Triceratops being ridiculous before, but I don't mind doing it again (and bonus: you can see some of my monkeys).
posted by ChuraChura at 11:46 AM on May 23, 2013


There's a pic of a cat staring intently at an air conditioner in my profile if that's helpful for anyone who needs it. CC licensed and everything, also somewhere in my flikr thing is a picture of that cat's brother sitting in a waste paper basket because he's a relentless goodnatured dipshit.
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:48 AM on May 23, 2013


This pic is probably from the first couple weeks I had my puppy, but it's just awesome. He was conked out like that probably for a good 40 minutes.
posted by phunniemee at 11:53 AM on May 23, 2013 [6 favorites]


why yes, I have cats and I would like to show them to you.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 11:53 AM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


It doesn't feel sociable, I guess, and I'm usually a sociable person. Typically there's a different, warmer vibe to the pet threads, which is great. It's no big deal at all, but at the same time the cat pic demands are so ubiquitous that it's enough to make a user like me go, "ehh, my time is better spent working through my own solution."

And I only get like 30 minutes a day on the computer. Cat can post her own photoshopped pics, dammit.
posted by stowaway at 11:53 AM on May 23, 2013


I no longer have a kitty, but I am always happy to share my pony.
posted by OolooKitty at 12:16 PM on May 23, 2013


The comment "Picts or GTFO" is just disgusting racism - and shame on the mods for even daring to defend it. The Picts have no more right to own pets than the Gaels, Saxons or even the Jutes. So if you want a MetaFilter that actively stands against pro-Pict fascism, please vote #1 quidnunc kid and I will personally come over to your house, strip you naked and smear you with woad.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 12:40 PM on May 23, 2013 [12 favorites]


Wilson dog!
I am in the camp that doesn't get the ire quite so much. I find it hard to imagine even the newest skulker seeing such a comment and worrying about picture requirements. (Though I'm sure it's been phrased poorly on occasion.) I missed the comment that drove the OP over the edge, but the two linked examples seem thoroughly harmless to me, particularly as both are included in larger, kindly stated comments with helpful information.
posted by Glinn at 12:43 PM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


I love pet photos, mine and other people's. It's literally my favourite thing about the internet. Basically looking at other people's pets is what the internet is for. But yeah, the demands for photos in ask.me have built up to the point I no longer like it.

When all someone has is the words you've written those words are going to be taken as they stand. So when people keep posting things like 'you have to' and 'it's a rule' and 'obligatory' of course at least some of the people reading those words will think that's what you actually mean even if it's not. And I've seen a number of people apologise after a bunch of those comments pop up (sometimes with photos, sometimes more awkwardly without) so clearly it's being taken seriously at least occasionally.

The whole 'it's a rule' thing was a cute joke the first few times but I don't think it's necessary or fun any more and I'd be perfectly happy if it never popped up again.
posted by shelleycat at 12:53 PM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


Are we posting pictures of our adorable cats? Because here is lovable doofus Lexie and Nigel and Lexie hugging the radiators during a cold snap last winter. With bonus picture of both of them (which is deceptive because it makes Nigel look larger than Lexie who is actually about twice his size, but still great). You're welcome.
posted by jokeefe at 12:56 PM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Personally I think that pics can sometimes be useful. I was actually reading an old dog question a few days ago that didn't have an "obligatory" photo. I found myself wondering, "well how big of a dog is this? is it an active breed or more of a lapdog?" It was an ancient question so obviously I wasn't going to be answering, but yeah, sometimes pictures of the animal in question really are useful.

On the other hand, when I updated my dog adoption question with the Pet Finder listing for my dog, and then it was taken down by the shelter before I actually took possession of said dog, someone made a snarky comment about wanting a photo. And I was all "OMG SRSLY I DON'T EVEN HAVE THE DOG YET JEEZ". But I knew it was all in good fun. And then posted a photo practically the second I got him into the house.

Obligatory dog photo!
posted by Sara C. at 1:05 PM on May 23, 2013


I think that it is meant well, but I can also see how -- if someone is really worried about a pet that is potentially very sick - the joke to hey post a picture before we can help you is really going to not sit right.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:25 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow. When I was new here and read those answers they actually made me feel included. I understood the humor immediately and loved that people would share that with a newbie. After all, cat pic love is universal!
In real life, if I joined a group and someone ribbed me good naturedly that would make me feel 100 percent more accepted than some polite questions or affirmations.

Anyway, I get that whether you feel this is funny or pushy as a new guy is subjective. Just wanted to share my perspective.
posted by Omnomnom at 1:52 PM on May 23, 2013 [10 favorites]


A friendly cat on the island of Islay from a decade ago; cats (Fatty and Fatty Mom) of the people I lived with a year ago; Skinny Latte, other cat of SO; cat when I lived in the Outer Hebrides, photobombing picture of Christmas tree; a staff bulletin board inside the British Library in London.
posted by Wordshore at 2:54 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Commenting to add my agreement with this MeTa. It's bothered me for a while, too. Though I must have been having a bad day when I posted that comment because I sound much harsher than I intended.
posted by misozaki at 4:30 PM on May 23, 2013


Awake, asleep, at home, abroad! It is scientifically proven* that black cats are the best.

*Note: this comment has not been subject to an academic peer review.
posted by capricorn at 5:02 PM on May 23, 2013 [4 favorites]


Is there where we share pet pictures? Because I always want to share pictures of Bertie, and I don't want to have to think of a pet question for askme in order to post them.
posted by madelf at 5:45 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, yay, show off the puppies tiemz!

Zoe, my beautiful red-headed American Pit Bull Terrier princess, and her big brother Rocky, a Boxer/Shepherd/Husky mix.

Mark Oshiro hung out at my house back in March, and Zoe glued herself right to him. She sat on his lap, followed him around, a essentially decided they were besties. You know how you REALLY know someone is cool? Your dog loves them.

Younger Monster is Rocky's bestie. I mean, he loves me, I'm Mama, but when Younger Monster is home, they are inseparable, and have been since we adopted Rocky at the age of 8 weeks.
posted by MissySedai at 6:00 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


Awake, asleep, at home, abroad! It is scientifically proven* that black cats are the best

That reminded me: So glad cats in sinks is still on line.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:18 PM on May 23, 2013 [3 favorites]


My profile pic is my rabbit, Billy.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 12:43 PM on May 23
He's cute, but I'm disappointed you aren't actually a rabbit.
posted by mmmbacon at 12:44 PM on May 23


She might still be a rabbit. Owning a cat does not preclude that.
posted by soelo at 9:06 PM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yes, I am clicking on ALL the pics and Flickr is not loading. I am having other people's pet photo withdrawal. I don't want to live in the kind of world where pet photos aren't linked! (And viewable!)
posted by bquarters at 9:08 PM on May 23, 2013


He's cute, but I'm disappointed you aren't actually a rabbit.
posted by mmmbacon at 12:44 PM on May 23


I'm disappointed I don't have bacon.
posted by arcticseal at 9:11 PM on May 23, 2013


We should just make pictures mandatory for all AskMe's

Speaking as someone who tends to ask questions about mystery rashes, I have to say no, we really shouldn't.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 9:30 PM on May 23, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh, and non-obligatory, totally gratuitous cat pic here; that's Pooh Bear on left, Shelby on right, on an appropriately catty Laurel Burch quilt I made.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 9:35 PM on May 23, 2013 [1 favorite]


If people are asking very serious or time-critical questions about coping with the loss of a pet, serious illness or some such, yeah, asking for a pic is pretty gauche.

On the other hand, a community's norms are probably more important to its identity and well being than many of its laws, and flippant demands for kitty-cat* and puppy-dog pictures in an age where almost everyone caries a digital camera around with them all the time is about as low energy of a binding ritual as one could ask for.

*Josephine and Cleopatra watching cat TV
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 10:24 PM on May 23, 2013


Comment deleted. "Fuck you" rage-guy comments are not the way to participate here.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:34 PM on May 23, 2013

> Comment deleted. "Fuck you" rage-guy comments are not the way to participate here.
To be fair, I absolutely did not say "fuck you" to anyone, and yours is not a remotely accurate summary of the comment that was deleted. I said "fuck your dog", and I said it fairly dispassionately... and I don't think anyone could characterize any part of my 7-year participation here as anything even approaching "rage guy". Though you have access to all my deleted and undeleted comments, and I welcome correction.

Not super passionate about the comment or its deletion -- don't even disagree with your deletion, really... it wasn't a great comment and in your shoes I might've done the exact same thing. I know you have a job to do -- but let's not make up shit.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 11:59 PM on May 23, 2013


Yeah, "Fuck your dog and your jokes and your ironic posturing" is what you said, and answer the goddamn question or GTFO, and just to be sure, topping it up at the end with another fuck your dog. I cannot imagine how your comment was supposed to be constructive as opposed to just an expression of rage that doesn't really contribute to the discussion here in any way but to be really, really clear that you are super angry about this.

You are totally welcome to rephrase and repost.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:12 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


It may be entirely my fault, but I think you've misjudged my tone. I'm not in any way angry, and surely not super angry. I'm sober as a judge and can't recall ever having such a divorce between my written words and their interpretations, ever, on this site.

But I do honestly appreciate your clarification, and understand your position better, now. Not trying to rock the boat.

I'll advance, though, that "answer the goddamn question or GTFO" is not only a legitimate position to defend in this discussion about AskMe answer policy... but is also, quite literally, AskMe answer policy. If the objection was to employing an acronymed expletive, I'd proffer that this have never previously been any kind of red line 'round here (eg. GYOBF, DTMFA).

Message received about overall tone, though, and you're quite right in that it could've been phrased better with more care on my end. I will adopt that going forward.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 12:38 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey guys, take it to meta-metatalk.
posted by biffa at 4:11 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I confess this particular not-really-a-policy means I am just itching to ask a kitten question so I can show you guys my new kittens. But I am standing strong and holding out until I have a real question. (Though this morning when I spent half an hour luring one back from where he was standing on a floor joist perched precariously over a 8-foot drop into the garage, I considered asking for help from MeFi. I guess "why are kittens so insane?" is not a real answerable question?
posted by Stacey at 5:34 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure someone has asked some variant of why kittens are insane. The answer is: kittens. And you can always post photos here.
posted by shelleycat at 6:33 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


I tried to look up half remembered questions about insane kittens and ended up reading about all kinds of silly kittens which is fun. Apparently they like to pounce and attack and climb and pounce and suck and wave and play with poo. But then I just got sidetracked with this.
posted by shelleycat at 7:26 AM on May 24, 2013


I guess "why are kittens so insane?" is not a real answerable question?

Definitely le chatfilter
posted by drlith at 7:37 AM on May 24, 2013 [4 favorites]


Thankfully no one's asked to see my read cat yet. It's been long enough since I asked that I don't think it will happen.
posted by theichibun at 7:44 AM on May 24, 2013


Cats are like mad homeless people who wander around shouting in malls. They are plunged at birth into chaos and must become one with it or perish. All cats are born with one important thing or another broken inside their brain, and it leads to behaviours such as those outlined above. Ours, for example, tend to rejoice after taking a poop. They cover it carefully in the litter tray and then screech in triumph and run back and forth through the house for a good three minutes, finally free from the oppressive shackles of a full colon.
.


To quote Tumid Dhalia. Using this as a basis for cat brains, kittens have yet to make the small adjustments that adult cats make to grudgingly accept the existence of the human world.
posted by angrycat at 7:51 AM on May 24, 2013


Yeah, I don't have a question or a point, but our little Ophelia could use some good vibes right about now.
posted by malocchio at 10:31 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hi! I'm the one that said 'obligatory' in Example 2, above. I'm sorry to have offended any one of you. At the time I was answering, I wished (in the thread) to be able to see the wound on the cat, which was the subject of the OP. It seemed like a natural opening to (teasingly, I admit) ask for the picture. I meant it in a gentle way, sort of a winking-nudge, and absolutely NOT to say "pics or GTFO". I'm very sorry anything I wrote here has been interpreted so differently than what I wished to convey. No cliquish-ness, no implication that anyone electing not to post a pet's picture can expect punishment was ever intended. Gosh.

But I do get the point of the objections. And what cortex said about intent and it not being fair to expect anyone (especially newer users) to run with a joke. A joke they may not get, or know about, etc., leading to misunderstandings and feeling unwelcome/
excluded.

I have learned a great deal from (mostly lurking around) MetaFilter, Ask, and MetaTalk. Many times I have been exposed here to new ideas and new ways of thinking, and I love this! Putting my presuppositions to the test is a useful exercise for me, and I thank you all for that.

Sorry for the 'obligatory', and the tone. Now carry on with this pet pic thread, I love it!
posted by bebrave! at 11:36 AM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


Oh god, at least the kittens aren't playing with poo. That's a developmental stage to look forward to, maybe? At any rate, here are The Ruckus, a.k.a. Gigi and Pascal, if anyone has not yet gotten enough kitty pictures.
posted by Stacey at 11:40 AM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


Completely gratuitous pic of my boy Lloyd (aka Lord Underfoot, Jackass, Mr. Man, etc).
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 4:03 PM on May 24, 2013 [1 favorite]


angrycat, that's a great quote that I had somehow missed. Thank you!
posted by small_ruminant at 4:44 PM on May 24, 2013


I'd just like to take this opportunity to say that I do not like the new Flickr redesign.

And also here is my cat. And my lamp.
posted by maryr at 8:20 PM on May 24, 2013 [2 favorites]


As far as I know, AskMe answer policy is, quite literally, "Please limit comments to answers or help in finding an answer", not "answer the goddamn question or GTFO".
But maybe I'm taking the word literally too literally? Is that even possible?
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:54 AM on May 25, 2013


But maybe I'm taking the word literally too literally? Is that even possible?
Possibly.
posted by unliteral at 5:14 AM on May 25, 2013


IMPORTANT KITTEN UPDATE STAY TUNED

A new kitten will be at angrycat's house at 11 AM today

THIS IS THE END OF THE KITTEN UPDATE
posted by angrycat at 6:07 AM on May 25, 2013 [10 favorites]


It is 12:49 PM where is kitten???
posted by maryr at 9:49 AM on May 25, 2013 [2 favorites]


angrycat's kitten is here. And adorable.
posted by arcticseal at 11:40 AM on May 25, 2013


If you go to angrycat's profile, and follow the twitter link, there's a tweet with the Instagram kitten pic.

I don't believe, in the cat-on-a-ledge post, that anyone would have asked for a cat pic, given how distraught the owner was. (Cat is okay.)
posted by SillyShepherd at 7:03 AM on May 27, 2013


Also owner posted pictures of cat on ledge without being asked.
posted by maryr at 5:12 PM on May 27, 2013


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