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.
posted by drlith to Etiquette/Policy at 5:21 AM (141 comments total)
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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.