Join 3,516 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Not Safe for Work Titles for Stuff that Should be Safe for Work
June 5, 2013 12:43 PM   Subscribe

Can we please not have the word "porn" for articles which are not that? I read the blue on my work breaks; I don't dare open links with that word at work (like the one posted today) since my web history is monitored and I don't feel like explaining myself to my boss, "Oh it was just photos of sea animals, the article writer was just being clever." because he is then going to thing that I whack it to sea cucumbers (not that there is anything wrong with that). I guess I'll have to check out that link at home, but by then there are other things to look at and I might not get back to it.
posted by Renoroc to Etiquette/Policy at 12:43 PM (173 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

The easier fix would be to quit your job.
posted by Curious Artificer at 12:50 PM on June 5, 2013 [52 favorites]


It's totally fine to ask folks to talk/think about this sort of thing, but for the record this is not the level at which we are going to take any action as mods. Metafilter should not be assumed to be safe for work, and it's ultimately a reader-beware situation for folks concerned about one or another taboo or taboo-ish word appearing in the text or titles or tags or comments of a post.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:50 PM on June 5, 2013 [11 favorites]


I support this if only because i absolutely hate the fuck out of the whole "Lol city porn!" kind of stuff.

leave porn as a term for describing sexual acts, this whole "cute" smartass trend of using it for pictures of pets and animals and buildings and stuff is tiresome.
posted by emptythought at 12:53 PM on June 5, 2013 [16 favorites]


The problem is you didn't click through the link yet. It's actually porn. I quickly closed my browser as the hermit crab was delivering pizza to the sea anemones.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:54 PM on June 5, 2013 [60 favorites]


The easier fix would be to quit your job.

Easier still would be to take your phone to the restroom.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:57 PM on June 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Metafilter: I whack it to sea cucumbers
posted by zarq at 12:57 PM on June 5, 2013 [15 favorites]


Maybe bookmark it on your phone?
posted by josher71 at 12:57 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


(Also, will keep this in mind for future posts.)
posted by zarq at 12:57 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Who ordered the extra large se--"

Metafilter: I whack it to sea cucumbers

DAMN IT!
posted by zombieflanders at 12:58 PM on June 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


zombieflanders: " DAMN IT!"

:D
posted by zarq at 1:02 PM on June 5, 2013


I feel like food porn / cute porn / blah blah porn is probably on the wane as a term, so you may get your wish purely because something else comes along to take its place. (Though, I've been saying this about bacon for years now, so you can't trust my judgement on trendiness.)

You can favorite things from the front page, even without clicking any of the links or having the post's URL show up in your browser history -- maybe try doing that to save posts you might want to check out at home?

Metafilter's a pretty flowing experience, though. If you miss one cool thing, another cool thing will be along shortly. So, really, if you miss the link and weren't interested enough to remember to check it out later, is it really a huge loss?
posted by jacquilynne at 1:03 PM on June 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


Metafilter: I whack it to sea cucumbers
posted by zarq at 3:57 PM on June 5 [+] [!]

(Also, will keep this in mind for future posts.)
posted by zarq at 3:57 PM on June 5 [+] [!]


Oh really.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:06 PM on June 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


More like seek u cumbers.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:09 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I mean, it's a good idea, but getting MeFites to agree to do something is like trying to whack it to a sea cucumber.

By that I mean it is something that zarq does regularly.

Small tag? That's what she said.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:15 PM on June 5, 2013 [23 favorites]


Should this me tagged MeTa Porn?
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 1:16 PM on June 5, 2013


Metafilter: I whack it to sea cucumbers
posted by zarq at 2:57 PM on June 5 [+] [!]

OH MY!
WAVES EYESTALKS NERVOUSLY
posted by a humble nudibranch at 1:16 PM on June 5, 2013 [48 favorites]


I read the blue on my work breaks

"Doctor, it hurts when I do this."

So don't.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:17 PM on June 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


I mean, it's sort of weird to ask everyone else to modify their behaviour just so you don't have to modify your own, isn't it?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:19 PM on June 5, 2013 [18 favorites]


Come on, boss, I only read sea creature porn for tentacles.
posted by 0 at 1:23 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Obligatory that most depraved of the whole subspecies, the whelk MP reference
posted by edgeways at 1:24 PM on June 5, 2013


I think it's a respectful request for posters to consider other user's surfing habits.

Also, instead of a discussion, I'm going to call every resulting mefi thread "comment porn". "comment orgy". " a verbal fuckfest".
posted by Think_Long at 1:24 PM on June 5, 2013 [11 favorites]


leave porn as a term for describing sexual acts, this whole "cute" smartass trend of using it for pictures of pets and animals and buildings and stuff is tiresome.

It's funny because I have some friends who are super seriously, verging on creepily, into things like men's suiting and public transportation. So I've always felt like the porn descriptor was only half in jest. Except, of course, when talking about baby animals because, ew. Ew.
posted by C'est la D.C. at 1:28 PM on June 5, 2013


I like how NSFW stuff is SFW if you work at MetaFilter, but the porn is rarely porn. And it just occurred to me that I was looking at all of those office nekkid photos at my other job working at a high school and now I am probably on some list or something. Good!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:30 PM on June 5, 2013 [14 favorites]


I support this if only because i absolutely hate the fuck out of the whole "Lol city porn!" kind of stuff.

Oh, that's how the word "porn" was meant in that FPP?

I have seriously been confused for the past hour or so about why it said "sea porn" but there weren't any pictures of fish or sea otters doing it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:34 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


This thread is nothing but aggravation porn.
posted by jonmc at 1:37 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I understand it's user beware, and it's best practice to hover over the link first. But since the titles create the url, it seems to be a reasonable request not to put NSFW words there.

This did become a less "dangerous" issue now that the titles actually appear on the front page, though.
posted by spaltavian at 1:39 PM on June 5, 2013


Enjoy this comment, you hot little sea cucumber.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:45 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


it seems to be a reasonable request not to put NSFW words there.

I get where you're coming from, but the standard line here has always been that NSFW, here on MeFi, is about links to images and some graphic description stuff that we'll toss below the fold. We'll add blinky warnings and trigger warnings if the OP asks but that's about it. I know people work in places where even the word porn is a problem, but it might be worth getting Greasemonkey to fix that for you? I wonder if there is a way to auto-serve the URLs without the /this-is-the-other-part-of-the-URL part since it's all optional anyhow....? This comes up more in AskMe since if you've got a problem with your penis or your breast it seems sort of weird to not put that in the title and I'd feel weird encouraging people to use euphemisms or other subterfuge.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:51 PM on June 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


pr@wn
posted by Kabanos at 1:55 PM on June 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


You know we sometimes link to actual porn here?
posted by Artw at 2:03 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Unfortunately OP, I think what people are saying is that it is everyone's mathowie given right to create headlines that vaguely describe (or not describe) their posts in some esoteric manner in order to create their own self-sustaining state of smug "fuck you if you don't like it" masturbatory glee.

Perhaps Instapaper or Pocket would be helpful to you?
posted by Silvertree at 2:10 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Hey Silvertree, bite me.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:12 PM on June 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


You know we sometimes link to actual porn here?

Right, and we call that taters to avoid confusion.
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:13 PM on June 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


I feel like food porn / cute porn / blah blah porn is probably on the wane as a term, so you may get your wish purely because something else comes along to take its place. (Though, I've been saying this about bacon for years now, so you can't trust my judgement on trendiness.)

Bacon is better than porn.

There, I said it.
posted by shelleycat at 2:15 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey Silvertree, bite me.

Hey, maybe silvertree didn't want to be exposed to anus.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:17 PM on June 5, 2013


in order to create their own self-sustaining state of smug "fuck you if you don't like it" masturbatory glee

No, this is wildly uncharitable and really just kind of a shitty thing to say.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:17 PM on June 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


Speaking of porn, it may just get its own scholarly journal, at which point I might HAVE to read it at work. But it's actual publication isn't guaranteed.
posted by Toekneesan at 2:23 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Tilda Swinton does not whack it to sea cucumbers.

Sea cucumbers whack it to Tilda Swinton. And it is glorious.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 2:24 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Generalized "porn" is a really useful descriptor. Common features are:

- extended descriptions of an activity
- images of materials relating to the activity
- said images are often of very high production value, beyond what is functional
- passive consumption
- consumed quickly
- used in place of actually performing the activity, not supplementing it.

It's how porn contrasts with having sex. Me, I like the occasional bit of electronics project porn.
posted by benito.strauss at 2:27 PM on June 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


"Lord. You can imagine where it goes from here."
"He fixes the Trans-Atlantic Cable?"
posted by Gygesringtone at 2:36 PM on June 5, 2013 [9 favorites]


It's how porn contrasts with having sex.

Except, not really. Porn isn't really of "high production value, beyond what is functional." Consumption is not really "passive" (unless I'm doing it wrong), and it is not always "in place of performing the activity" (many people who consume porn also have satisfactory IRL sexual relationships, often consummating those relationships while watching porn).
posted by muddgirl at 2:39 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Coroner-backwards, I actually agree with you. It bugs me on Reddit, so it bugs me doubly here. And not because of work (if we use responsibly and aren't actually looking at NSFW material), but because it's meh-twee (IMO, no offense, YMMV, de gustibus non est disputandum, etc.).

It'd be nice if folks agreed with either set of reasons or just suddenly felt it was played-out, but even clever, interesting people are still digging it, so that's probably not going to happen.

Just know that whatever other disagreements we may have, I'm on your side here: end the meh-twee, confusing "porn" appellation to things what aren't, actually, porn. We can stand in solidarity as our screens are steamrolled by imprecision, for whatever good that will do.
posted by batmonkey at 2:42 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Used to be you could only talk about sex indirectly, with things like metaphors and double entendres (cf. the Blues); now you can only talk about anything else in terms of sex, with those other things as the double entendres-- but it's still hard to talk about sex on its own terms.
posted by jamjam at 2:43 PM on June 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


Aesthetically, I think "porn" is overplayed, and there's a good friend on Facebook who totally overuses that descriptor so I may be more tetchy than most. But as for NSFW? Meh.
posted by klangklangston at 2:44 PM on June 5, 2013


Not a problem for those of us who eschew titles on the blue.
posted by OHenryPacey at 2:48 PM on June 5, 2013


This is one horse that's left the barn.
posted by Miko at 3:08 PM on June 5, 2013


It's probably more of a problem for those that eschew titles, they are not alerted beforehand (without a mouseover) that their browser history is going to include "porn", etc.

I see this as a reasonable thing for MeFites to consider.
posted by mountmccabe at 3:35 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


muddgirl, I've probably sectioned off a portion of what is currently called "porn" to isolate what I see in common between Playboy, Stereophile, and Gourmet magazines. I'd love to argue that some of the things you list are "erotica", and not "porn", but I've got to admit that the word is not used that strictly by the mass of English speakers.
posted by benito.strauss at 3:35 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean, it's sort of weird to ask everyone else to modify their behavior just so you don't have to modify your own, isn't it?

This sounds like a good argument, but only makes sense if you erase the context 100% of the time you use it.

In this case, someone is asking something really minor and completely usable that many people seem to find irritating or troublesome for several reasons.

It reminds me of the old "If everyone else tells you you're wrong, and you think you're right, you're probably wrong" chestnut. Just because everyone responds to someones request with "why should i bother?" or "I don't want to" doesn't mean it's an invalid request, especially when it's something minor.

This is, especially in the context of reading this site on a break at work, essentially like someone asking if you can close the shade a bit so there's less glare on their screen in a coffee shop.

Defending this in any way comes off as weird contrarianism, what's being lost here other than that you're "conceding" or something?
posted by emptythought at 3:39 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, I don't know. You could say I was a little harsh. Or you could read some of the comments that minimized the OP's concern. It doesn't bother me as I have free access at work, but if one were to try a little empathy, they might see that the OP had a valid point and that this could potentially affect a lot of users.

I am not sure if you were coming on to me or propositioning me with your link, Brandon, but chocolate is always a good idea.
posted by Silvertree at 3:53 PM on June 5, 2013


essentially like someone asking if you can close the shade a bit so there's less glare on their screen in a coffee shop

Well, I think a lot of folks generally understand that it's a request for some minor consideration and don't object to that aspect of it. But the analogy doesn't really work, because this isn't a site that's like two or three people sitting at a couple tables in a coffee shop; there's ten thousand of 'em, and not everybody agrees that it's better with the shade down.

So asking is fine as far as that goes, but you can't reasonably expect everybody to hear the request, or for those who hear it to agree with it. It's impractical on a couple fronts, not least being that it's a request for folks to not do something that it's always been totally fine for folks to do here. There is nothing wrong in general with using a word like "porn" (or "fuck" or "asshole" or etc.) in the title of a post; to whatever extent you could argue that a specific case was problematic, that doesn't change all the other cases that aren't. The assumption that people will collectively voluntarily stop doing something that's always been okay here is unrealistic, basically, even though people around here are often pretty nice and accommodating at a personal level when they can be.

This is one of those discussions that has come around a bunch of times over the years and I think part of the jokiness and abrasiveness that comes up in responses in here is owed significantly to that, as sort of an extension of the general point about this being a site cultural thing. Which, maybe not super great that people are being a bit snarky about it, but it's not from nowhere and it's certainly not just the product of people being incapable of showing consideration when it's fair and practical to ask for.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:54 PM on June 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


This Greasemonkey script should be what you need OP.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:57 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is, especially in the context of reading this site on a break at work, essentially like someone asking if you can close the shade a bit so there's less glare on their screen in a coffee shop.

Nah, that analogy doesn't work. This is the internet, people are not in each other's physical space, so asking someone else to change so your problem is fixed is odd.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:02 PM on June 5, 2013


Giant Sea Cucumber Eats With Its Anus

Aww yeah.
posted by homunculus at 4:03 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I highly recommend watching the video of the sea cucumber eating.

Also, re: the word replacement script, I recommend "Pat Sajack" in place of "porn".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:09 PM on June 5, 2013


But doesn't the "food porn" cliche work both ways?

The fact that it's a thing implies that nobody monitoring web usage at (most?) jobs is going to get all bent out of shape that you clicked on a link that said "architecture porn" or "bacon porn" or "cute bunny wabbits porn" or whatever. Because it is known that sometimes humans use that word to describe things that are not literally pornographic depictions of sexual acts.

I think if you work in an industry that monitors all web usage and frowns upon anything not clearly work related, the onus is probably on you to not be on Metafilter at work regardless of whether the word "porn" is used or not.
posted by Sara C. at 4:23 PM on June 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


This is, especially in the context of reading this site on a break at work, essentially like someone asking if you can close the shade a bit so there's less glare on their screen in a coffee shop.

And what I'm saying is that there are plenty of open tables that aren't in the glare zone, and maybe it's better for everyone if you shuffle over to one of those instead of insisting the rest of us sit in a dark room.

If surfing the internet at work is a problem, that's your problem, and the solution is really, really simple: Don't.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:31 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


...self-sustaining state of smug "fuck you if you don't like it" masturbatory glee.

That's how I jerk it too! generally I am in the shower though.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:32 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


This Greasemonkey script should be what you need OP.

How does that change the URL, which is the real problem?
posted by desjardins at 4:35 PM on June 5, 2013


Yeah, that wouldn't affect the URL. Well, it'd keep the word off the page. Beyond proxies and just not visiting from work, that's about it I guess.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:40 PM on June 5, 2013


In the end it isn't practical with a site of this nature. But saying so is much more helpful than minimizing someone's legitimate if unpractical request, no?
posted by Silvertree at 4:51 PM on June 5, 2013


I also think this is a reasonable request. If only because one day while I was reading this innocuous thread at work I suddenly noticed the very NSFW title.
posted by triggerfinger at 4:52 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


muddgirl, I've probably sectioned off a portion of what is currently called "porn" to isolate what I see in common between Playboy, Stereophile, and Gourmet magazines. I'd love to argue that some of the things you list are "erotica", and not "porn", but I've got to admit that the word is not used that strictly by the mass of English speakers.

Playboy magazine also sometimes has well-written short fiction stories and non-fiction essays (or at least, it used to). Does that mean that Harper's is also porn? Seems like a very broad, not-at-all-useful definition at that point.

Also, I don't think my description of porn use is idiosyncratic. This is how most of my friends consume clearly-non-erotica porn like xtube or the victoria secret's catalogue.
posted by muddgirl at 4:53 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh, Harper's is a more apt example than I realized, because that list really does just describe magazines as a genre. I really hope it's obvious why we can't call all magazines "porn."
posted by muddgirl at 5:07 PM on June 5, 2013


I find it hard to believe that there are employers who *closely* monitor web traffic for mentions of "porn" and then demand an explanation about it, while allowing their employees to surf the net using a work computer (and not equally demanding an explanation about why said employee is goofing off while reading MetaFilter at work). Doesn't make sense!

MetaFilter is NSFW. Even this thread!
posted by KokuRyu at 5:13 PM on June 5, 2013


This one doesn't stand a whelk's chance in a nova.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 5:14 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Please i was forged in the heart of a dying star.
posted by The Whelk at 5:30 PM on June 5, 2013 [7 favorites]



leave porn as a term for describing sexual acts, this whole "cute" smartass trend of using it for pictures of pets and animals and buildings and stuff is tiresome.


its not 'cute', though. food porn is food photographed like pornography. i get a real charge from photos of urban decay and great cities... it hits kinda the same note as porn. its a great phrase
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 5:35 PM on June 5, 2013


Panda Gangbang APPRECIATION.
posted by Artw at 5:40 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is, especially in the context of reading this site on a break at work, essentially like someone asking if you can close the shade a bit so there's less glare on their screen in a coffee shop.

Yeah…I get asked to close my shade on the plane occasionally, and I say no. I got an aisle seat on purpose and I like to look out the window. If I’m at the coffee shop and the glare is bothering everyone I’ll gladly close it. If it’s just so you can see your screen better you have a problem and you need to find a solution.

I’d stop reading MetaFilter at work if I was you. It’s not safe for that environment.
posted by bongo_x at 5:42 PM on June 5, 2013


No, I will not pat your "Sajack."
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:47 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Pat Sajack in the Woods... I like it.
posted by porn in the woods at 6:10 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


(I'd rather pat Sajack than pierce Brosnan)
posted by porn in the woods at 6:12 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


I support this even though I know it will keep getting used the same way. I refuse to follow "I F*CKING LOVE SCIENCE* on Facebook because that's not a very decent name (and I have friends who are children, and by children I mean 13 but still), and I am kind of embarrassed to follow Science Porn on Twitter.
posted by IndigoRain at 6:12 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Tired of jacking off? Find a local sea cucumber and fuck her tonight. No credit card needed."
posted by double block and bleed at 6:18 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Also, I don't think my description of porn use is idiosyncratic

I didn't say your use was idiosyncratic, I was saying that my definition was verging on idiosyncratic.

Seems like a very broad, not-at-all-useful definition at that point.

My definition might not be the best, but I'll bet that when CiS said "food porn" most people got an immediate vivid image of what he was referring to.

It feels like we're contesting new extensions for the meaning of the word "porn". I want to use it for media criticism (by metaphorical extension), and it sounds like you want to use it as part of less puritanical attitude towards sex(??). Probably not going to be resolved, any more than a mechanic and a tailor debating the word "belt".
posted by benito.strauss at 6:23 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Please i was forged in the heart of a dying star.

I think they meant "nova" as in the car. To be fair, no one stands much of a chance in one of those.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:25 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I refuse to follow "I F*CKING LOVE SCIENCE* on Facebook because that's not a very decent name (and I have friends who are children, and by children I mean 13 but still)

You know they have a mirror page called SCIENCE IS AWESOME, right?
posted by mykescipark at 6:31 PM on June 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


Maybe don't go on MetaFilter while you're at work would be an ideal solution?
posted by 1000monkeys at 6:33 PM on June 5, 2013


I think the use of porn as an indicator of a collection of items will die a natural death given time. We should get ahead of the trend and coin a new word.
posted by arcticseal at 6:34 PM on June 5, 2013


(I'd rather pat Sajack than pierce Brosnan)

I'd rather hunt Block than pat Sajack.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:39 PM on June 5, 2013


Yeah…I get asked to close my shade on the plane occasionally, and I say no. I got an aisle seat on purpose and I like to look out the window. If I’m at the coffee shop and the glare is bothering everyone I’ll gladly close it. If it’s just so you can see your screen better you have a problem and you need to find a solution.


That was probably a shit analogy on my part, and several replies(including jessamyn's) are making me realize that.

My real point was that those people knocking it off are losing nothing by being asked not to do this. I got almost immediately after the edit window closed and i reflected on my post a bit that my analogy sucked because those people were losing their enjoyment of the sun coming in the window, etc.

No one is losing anything by doing this except that they're conceding to the "PC POLICE" or whatever, which is a shit reason not to change a tiny little bit.

I'll get off my hobby horse though, this is a really tiresome hill to die on.
posted by emptythought at 6:57 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


You can still access the thread by deleting the title part of it, if you're only concerned with the URL.


As in: http://www.metafilter.com/128760

Hover over the link, remember the thread ID, and add that to the metafilter.com.
.
posted by Debaser626 at 7:00 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Note that the title description "Sea creature porn" will still show up on the tab and in most local browser histories... My company uses a web filter that only polls the URL, not the title description, so the above method would work at my job, but YMMV.
posted by Debaser626 at 7:08 PM on June 5, 2013


I refuse to follow "I F*CKING LOVE SCIENCE* on Facebook because, Facebook.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:10 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


mykescipark: " You know they have a mirror page called SCIENCE IS AWESOME, right?"

No I didn't and thank you!
posted by IndigoRain at 7:10 PM on June 5, 2013


Yeah…I get asked to close my shade on the plane occasionally, and I say no. I got an aisle seat on purpose and I like to look out the window.

I dunno, bongo_x, if you're sitting in the aisle seat and insisting the window shade stay open, your seatmates would be justified in feeling annoyed, IMO…
posted by Lexica at 7:14 PM on June 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


i think he means on one of those planes with 3 rows of seats like |||-|||-||| that he sits on the edge ones with the windows in the window seat, because otherwise that sentence is either nonsensical or laughably entitled.
posted by emptythought at 7:19 PM on June 5, 2013


Mykescipark, THANK YOU!
posted by zarq at 7:20 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


and it sounds like you want to use it as part of less puritanical attitude towards sex(??)

I use the word porn to mean pornography - "the explicit portrayal of sexual subject matter for the purpose of sexual gratification". If people find Gourmet magazine to be sexually titillating, great. It's their food porn. But that's usually not what they mean.

I understand that words change meanings, but I also think that we use words very intentionally (whether we know it or not). I don't think people made the connection between food "porn" and sex porn accidentally - it seems to me like there's a connection in both cases between indulgence and feelings of naughtiness, transgression, or even shame. I guess it is anti-puritan to think that we should be able to look at pictures of high-fat foods (or even actually EAT high-fat foods) (not to mention look at real actual porn) without feeling shameful.
posted by muddgirl at 7:33 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


You are certainly entirely correct about the dictionary definition, but the second paragraph of the Wikipedia page says something interesting:
Pornography is often distinguished from erotica, which consists of the portrayal of sexuality with high-art aspirations, focusing also on feelings and emotions, while pornography involves the depiction of acts in a sensational manner, with the entire focus on the physical act, so as to arouse quick intense reactions [emphases mine].
As you noted, "food porn" doesn't involve sexual feelings; it's those bolded parts of that sentence applied to food.
posted by benito.strauss at 7:57 PM on June 5, 2013


Is there no prawn porn?
posted by rtha at 8:04 PM on June 5, 2013



Is there no prawn porn?


The way I eat a prawn's head - sucking out the meat and juices and brains and eyeballs - might not the pornographic but its pretty gooey and sticky.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:06 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Go on...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:19 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Probably not going to be resolved, any more than a mechanic and a tailor debating the word "belt".

At the intersection layer of this Venn diagram is Steampunk.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:26 PM on June 5, 2013 [12 favorites]


Just out of curiosity, has there ever been a more gleefully vulgar string of MeTa commentary?
posted by batmonkey at 8:32 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Tell the posters to just stop it!
posted by JohnnyGunn at 8:34 PM on June 5, 2013


I mean, it's sort of weird to ask everyone else to modify their behaviour just so you don't have to modify your own, isn't it?

You are right; that is weird.

But I'm not asking for behavior modification, or moderator interference.

All I asked for is that if one has posted something that is not pornographic, to avoid titling it as "...porn" because that becomes part of the URL and can lead to sticky situations. I assume that people post stuff in the hopes that a lot of people read it and comment on it.

So why wouldn't a poster maximize the eyeball potential on their work by choosing more apt vocabulary; are there people who post stuff hoping fervently that NOBODY reads it or comments on it?

Because as of now there are only 11 comments on the sea creature porn thread, so I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one here with that issue.

Cheers, and thanks for considering my proposal.
posted by Renoroc at 8:46 PM on June 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


I dunno, bongo_x, if you're sitting in the aisle seat and insisting the window shade stay open, your seatmates would be justified in feeling annoyed, IMO…

I’m hardcore like that, I insist ALL windows remain open and I regularly patrol the plane to make sure no one is sneaking one down. I also show everyone my Karate moves in at random moments while I’m doing it, just in case someone is feeling brave.
posted by bongo_x at 8:49 PM on June 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


All I asked for is that if one has posted something that is not pornographic, to avoid titling it as "...porn" because that becomes part of the URL and can lead to sticky situations.

I think the problem is that just isn’t a practical request since most people aren’t going to read this. So there would have to be a warning at the time of posting, moderation interference asking for behavior modification. Otherwise you’re asking for the relatively small number of people that make posts, and agree with you, out of the few dozen people that may have read this, to remember that. Probably not going to have a big effect.
posted by bongo_x at 9:02 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Come on, boss, I only read sea creature porn for tentacles. posted by 0 at 1:23 PM on June 5 [2 favorites +] [!]

Fond memory:
When my youngest was two, he knew the very big word "testicles." But he had a speach impediment and could not say S in front of hard consonants. His brother went to 'cool, ghosts were 'pooky, and the "circles under his peepee" were te'ticles.

It sounded an awful lot like tentacles.

Back on topic.
posted by Michele in California at 9:16 PM on June 5, 2013


Thank you for sharing, Michele.
posted by Curious Artificer at 9:24 PM on June 5, 2013


"Instead he uses it as a chance to put his testicles all over me!"
"Sorry, what?"
"Uh, how you say... octopus... testicles."
"No, tentacles. N-T. There's a big difference."
posted by Chrysostom at 9:34 PM on June 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


if one has posted something that is not pornographic, to avoid titling it as "...porn" because that becomes part of the URL and can lead to sticky situations.

I'd like to believe you posted this thread and waited 8 hours to respond just so you could make this joke. Well played, player.
posted by carsonb at 9:41 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Because as of now there are only 11 comments on the sea creature porn thread, so I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one here with that issue.

That's a big post hoc ergo propter hoc stretch, honestly. Some posts don't get many comments; it's not terribly unusual. Especially so for posts that are more along the lines of "here's a bunch of non-controversial art/photography" vs. "here's a provocative topic, discuss".

While I understand your argument, I think you are aggressively overestimating the number of people who were (a) otherwise likely specifically to comment in that post but (b) did not do so specifically because they objected to the colloquial use of "porn" as a modifier in the title.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:46 PM on June 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


cortex: "...because this isn't a site that's like two or three people sitting at a couple tables in a coffee shop; there's ten thousand of 'em, and not everybody agrees that it's better with the shade down."

We could, though, spend several fruitful days arguing over whether the shade is 50% open or 50% closed, whether it should actually be called a 'blind' instead of a 'shade' (including numerous references to historic, geographic and technical naming conventions in window coverings), along with a tangent on whether the shade actually exists in this dimension. At the end of that, we still wouldn't be able to agree whether the shade is better up or down and everyone would have less friends.
posted by dg at 9:57 PM on June 5, 2013


Renoroc

OP here of the Sea Creature Porn post you are referencing in this MetaTalk. It must be difficult to have your internet browsing monitored. I personally am not subjected to such scrutiny and tend to think of MetaFilter as more of an adult level site. Over the years, it seems to have become somewhat of a trend here to use the word "porn" to describe a collection of photos. My usage of "porn" was in the spirit of the definition clarified by benito.strauss.

However, I am puzzled by your post title Doctors Do it in Debt. Maybe I have a dirty mind, but to me, that phrase implies Doctors Fuck in Debt. Was that a "tongue in cheek" usage? Perhaps I used the wrong cheek when labeling my post.

I will certainly be more mindful in titling my post in the future. In today's economy, jobs are hard to come by. I would be quite dismayed if you were fired over my usage of the word porn.
posted by JujuB at 9:59 PM on June 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


*titleing
posted by JujuB at 10:06 PM on June 5, 2013


Because as of now there are only 11 comments on the sea creature porn thread, so I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one here with that issue.

I had to come back because I just checked that post for the second time, not realizing it was the post in question here, and remembered what happened the first time; the page it links to comes up with no pictures or much of anything but the NBC logo. I’m far too lazy to figure out if it’s part of my "block everything that moves" browser setup, so no comment.
posted by bongo_x at 10:12 PM on June 5, 2013


Renoroc, perhaps your first step should be to go to the root!

I'm thinking a nationwide campaign to excise non-literal or colloquial uses of the word ("food porn," for example).

You can do it!
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:17 AM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I find it hard to believe that there are employers who *closely* monitor web traffic for mentions of "porn" and then demand an explanation about it, while allowing their employees to surf the net using a work computer (and not equally demanding an explanation about why said employee is goofing off while reading MetaFilter at work). Doesn't make sense!

This is more an anecdote for the people who think that no one could possibly care where they go on the Internet at work rather than an argument for changing the site's culture.

My employer (a global company) recently went through some major changes, as part of which we were notified that our network logs for the previous six months were being pulled for review and the results would be part of the consideration process on our continued employment. This is probably 30k employees in the US alone.

Since I'm paranoid and only surf the net on my phone while at work, it didn't affect me, but there are certainly situations where your web consumption matters.
posted by winna at 4:46 AM on June 6, 2013


But I'm not asking for behavior modification, or moderator interference.

You are indeed asking for behavior modification. From where I'm sitting, vernacular of "(general subject) porn" is common and understandable language usage. You would like everyone on Metafilter to reconsider that phrasing because of a single place of business.

Sure, it never hurts to ask for anything, but a request like this doesn't make any sort of sense. It's your place of employment that has the astonishingly oppressive environment, so it's unclear why everyone else outside of such a hostile place should have to give one iota of thought to its batshitinsane rules. This is a hyperlocal problem that simply can not scale to a global medium.


So why wouldn't a poster maximize the eyeball potential on their work by choosing more apt vocabulary; are there people who post stuff hoping fervently that NOBODY reads it or comments on it?

I like it when posts I've created have, say, under 50 thoughtful or informative comments. It beats the hell out of thread that hundreds of comments long with arguing and fighting.

As to the particular post you're talking about, I didn't comment on it, but posted the link to Facebook and showed it several friends and we oohed and aaahed in email. So lack of comments on Mefilter doesn't mean much, while no one is prevented from reading "controversial" posts on their own time.

It sucks (and is idiotic) that some businesses are so restrictive about internet usage, but that's no reason for everyone to change their behavior to suit such places.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:18 AM on June 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


On the other hand, if even one or two regular posters decide that in the interests of being polite and friendly they will not use the term in the future, something positive will have come of the post.
posted by zarq at 7:20 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Capitulation to nanny-state corporations is a positive? I really don't see an upside to that.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:32 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Right, and we call that taters to avoid confusion.

What's taters, precious??
posted by Mister_A at 8:24 AM on June 6, 2013


five fresh fish: "Capitulation to nanny-state corporations is a positive? I really don't see an upside to that."

I guess I just don't see a downside to being polite to my fellow mefites. So I put NSFW tags on posts and label links people might find disturbing for the same reason. It costs me nothing to try to be considerate.

To me, that's the big picture here.
posted by zarq at 8:24 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Fond memory:
When my youngest was two, he knew the very big word "testicles." But he had a speach impediment and could not say S in front of hard consonants. His brother went to 'cool, ghosts were 'pooky, and the "circles under his peepee" were te'ticles.

It sounded an awful lot like tentacles.


My kid went the other way, once gleefully announcing in public, "Did you know octopuses have eight testicles?"
posted by not that girl at 9:01 AM on June 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


Renoroc, not using the word "porn" in a,post title unless the post is actually boom chicka wow wow porn related sounds like a really reasonable request to me. I will refrain from doing that out of consideration for folks who have nasty nanny level snooping going on at their workplace.
posted by misha at 9:16 AM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


What's taters, precious??

Porntatoes.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:28 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Renoroc, not using the word "porn" in a,post title unless the post is actually boom chicka wow wow porn related sounds like a really reasonable request to me. I will refrain from doing that out of consideration for folks who have nasty nanny level snooping going on at their workplace.

I actually appreciate the occasional reminder that other people have Big Brother watching them, other people have small children reading over their shoulder, etc. In person, I tend to swear like a sailor. It is an old, bad habit. Out of respect for other people, I try to keep that down to a dull roar online or in public when there are strangers in earshot. Although I did work for a big company for fives years, I have mostly lived in a manner where I am largely free to think what I think, feel what I feel, speak my mind, etc. I am prone to forgetting that other people are not similarly unfettered.

I don't submit a lot of posts, so this specific issue doesn't directly apply to me, but I think it is good to remind people that different people have different situations and asking "can we try to be a little considerate of that fact?" is perfectly reasonable, even if specific requests are not. I need the occasional reminder. I try to shoot for a "PG 13-ish"/Night Court-esque standard online.

I use Night Court as a reference point because my older son has told me that when he watched the show as a little boy, he thought Dan was some total loser who struck out constantly but then when he watched it when he was older, he realized Dan was seeing all kinds of bizarre action. So I view it as an excellent example of being able to discuss adult topics without being offensive.

So, you know, we can talk about taters all day long and Big Brother and Little Suzy can read along over our shoulder without it turning into some big problem.

_____
(But I also think someone should find the text from "Nine Months" where Robin Williams, playing a Russian doctor, is saying "You have a little pussy?" to his pregnant patient and post it here. I cannot find it. I looked. Growing up with an immigrant mom, I think stuff like that is hysterical. I know cats are only related to sea cucumbers very loosely in that they both can be used as euphemisms, but, still.)
posted by Michele in California at 10:00 AM on June 6, 2013


Well, since everyone is being extremely uncharitable to a fairly reasonable request, I'll offer this:

As a Network Admin, I'll just note that most companies DON'T actively monitor that stuff, we have filters that just prevent the page from loading if certain key words are in the URL.

So it's not about "capitulating to nanny state corporations" (talk about 'porn', that's the most masturbatory sentence I've read all day), it's about actually being able to read potentially interesting posts without them getting blocked because someone still thinks it's edgy or cute to tack the word "porn" onto a themed collection.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 10:03 AM on June 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


it's about actually being able to read potentially interesting posts without them getting blocked because someone still thinks it's edgy or cute to tack the word "porn" onto a themed collection.

I’m not going to battle over this term, I just don’t think everyone is using it to be "edgy or cute" or to hurt other people, I think it’s often a great shorthand and gets the point across quickly and clearly.

I don’t know about this case, I couldn’t see the link, but if I see a heading "Cabin Porn" (a site I sometimes look at) I know what I’m getting;
Pretty pictures of cabins, not a lot of information, something pretty specific that you may or may not be into unless it’s a special interest of yours, presented with a realization how geeky and fetishistic it is.

You could write all that out every time, but "Cabin Porn" is a lot more to the point.
posted by bongo_x at 10:18 AM on June 6, 2013


Well, since everyone is being extremely uncharitable to a fairly reasonable request

Someone offered a working solution. And I don't think everyone's been extremely uncharitable. It's a fairly tall order to coordinate, even if OP's situation is entirely understandable, and makes for the most practical solution to be on the user end, rather than the site or the community.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:22 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Well, being able to read them at work, right? They're still going to be there when one is not at work.

I am for consideration when making up titles and putting together text for the stuff that's above the fold, and for not being really cryptic. But as many people like to point out when we have discussions here about trigger warnings, mefi is not a safe space, and that includes for people who work in monitored offices.

I did work at one place that had keystroke monitoring (because our boss did not have enough to do?), and it was....interesting when I had to google, say, plumbing or electricity phrases that sound really inappropriate in other contexts.
posted by rtha at 10:23 AM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


The OP of that post contacted me and asked me if I wouldn't mind changing the title for them, so I did.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:30 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sea creatures in their natural habitat should be safe for all viewers. The word porn has been removed.

After thoughtful consideration, I can understand Renoroc's point.
posted by JujuB at 10:46 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


You could write all that out every time, but "Cabin Porn" is a lot more to the point.

A friend of mine who is new to that blogging platform was sincerely and deeply disappointed, almost betrayed, by the fact that Cabin Porn is not a site about hot beardy dudes in plaid shirts making out in rustic cabins. I think she may have sent them a strongly worded email of complaint.
posted by elizardbits at 10:47 AM on June 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


That's cool, jessamyn, and how nice of the OP to make that gesture!

I understand what everyone is saying about it being easier for one person to change than for everyone to change, but 1) the OP of this Meta is not in charge of what his workplace filters for, and 2) It really is an extremely easy thing NOT to include porn in the title of a post. It's not like the OP asked us to sacrifice a basket of puppies to Cthulhu.

Individual rights vs personal responsibility vs community values here are fascinating to me. I expect the internet to be very Me Me Me focused in general, but here on Metafilter we seem to like to at least present ourselves as a community.

We have individuals asserting it is too much trouble to capitalize in accordance with universally accepted conventions and that even asking them to do so is infringing on their right to free expression. That's not community focused, it's Me Me Me focused.

There are users who blithely include spoilers in their comments for currently running shows, and asking them not to do that is seen as more of a problem than them being, well, asshats about spoiling stuff in the first place. We don't even allow a way to code comments so that you can choose whether or not to be spoiled. That doesn't seem very community minded, either.

If someone asks, like this thread, that we make a very minor change to our own habits--something that doesn't require us to subscribe to a particular philosophy or even change the way we use the site in any appreciable way, just basically omit one lousy word from the title of a post--and we get all up in arms about the request. How is that community minded?

Unilateral changes that DO affect a broad spectrum of the userbase, like the introduction of titles, are made without polling the community--they aren't voted on by a community, they are set by the site owner. I think that's pretty much par for the course for most of the internet. But here there is an illusion that these things are at least debatable, hence the existence of Metatalk. Despite serious opposition, it was finally made clear that that decision was NOT up for debate, which is certainly Matt's right, but, again, not community minded.

We have mods to look over everything on a 'case by case' basis, which suggests we assess each individual case on its own merits, but we also don't allow certain subjects because "Metafilter doesn't do X well," and prune comments that might lead to fighting as if we were one predictably unified body, when clearly we aren't.

The unwritten conventions and assumptions here could fill a book. No wonder new users are intimidated! No wonder we have so many Metatalks asking why this or that thing was deleted. Maybe we need more plain talk, more definitive decisiveness spelled out for us, so we can decide if we want to be part of this community or just another Me Me Me voice.

Or maybe we need more compromising and empathy if we ever want to actually be that community we say we are. Hell, maybe I am just talking out of my ass. I don't know.

TL; DR: In conclusion, Metafilter is a land of contrasts.
posted by misha at 11:37 AM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


A friend of mine who is new to that blogging platform was sincerely and deeply disappointed

I can understand "your friend’s" disappointment, but perhaps "Lumberjack Porn", or "Mountain Man Porn" would get her what she was looking for.
posted by bongo_x at 11:40 AM on June 6, 2013


misha: The unwritten conventions and assumptions here could fill a book. No wonder new users are intimidated!

But this request is literally asking for another unwritten convention. What do we do if a new poster does include the word "porn" in their title? Delete the post? Seems harsh. It would be an inappropriate derail to mention it in the thread itself. Calling them out in MetaTalk is overkill. MeMailing them to let them know about the unwritten convention is probably best, but if everyone does it it feels like a pile-on, but if no one does it, well they don't know they've done something wrong. In the meantime, Renoroc has been fired, because he assumed that everyone was on board with the new "no porn in non-porn titles" request, but this new guy screwed it up for him. It's the same thing with spoilers. If we tell users that they browse at their own risk, they they can be on guard, especially in relevant threads. If we tell people that you shouldn't spoil on MeFi, then they go blithely into Game of Thrones threads thinking that they won't get spoiled without warning when that is clearly not the case.

The problem I have with friendly requests like this is that they should either be a rule that is enforceable by the mods (like "no doubles", "no chatfilter") or they should be up to the individual user to determine their own best solution (greasemonkey, use your phone, get a new job, etc). A halfway approach of "we suggest you not use the word porn in titles for non-porn subjects if you remember, and unless you feel really strongly about it" doesn't seem to do anyone a bit of good.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:55 AM on June 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


the OP of this Meta is not in charge of what his workplace filters for

Sure, but he is in charge of whether he's on Metafilter or not and what posts he clicks on. He also has the ability to have post titles not display on the main page. And can even turn the background "professional white" so the site looks more innocuous.

I mean, I can't really be on Metafilter on the days I go in to work in my actual office, because I sit next to my boss and have a bunch of other stuff I'm supposed to be doing. But I'm not making a post on the gray asking everyone to just text me cool links instead of making posts about stuff.
posted by Sara C. at 11:57 AM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


If someone asks, like this thread, that we make a very minor change to our own habits--something that doesn't require us to subscribe to a particular philosophy or even change the way we use the site in any appreciable way, just basically omit one lousy word from the title of a post--and we get all up in arms about the request. How is that community minded?

How is it community minded for a single person to ask for everyone to change, so they can read an innocuous post at work, instead of at home?

How is it community minded to say that those who disagree with that request are "extremely uncharitable" or are "up in arms"?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:07 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Maybe we need more plain talk, more definitive decisiveness spelled out for us, so we can decide if we want to be part of this community or just another Me Me Me voice.

With respect, different places run differently. Some places operate more on an "everything not explicitly disallowed is allowed" basis, and some are more shiftable. In real life, any actual community is going to have some level of opacity to non-members, that's part of what it means to be a community. What we try to look at here as mods is whether we should have a long rulebook for guiding interaction here or if whether, outside of a few explicit rules and a lot of guidelines, people need to sort of make their own path with some feedback from the community (and mods) about how it's going. This place is specifically set up without a bunch of hard-and-fast rules which does sometimes mean that there are shifting expectations (over time, depending on the user, depending on the context) which a lot of other places don't have the luxury of being able to work with. And some people don't like this, which is certainly fine, but we try to set expectations properly.

I hear what you are saying about the Me Me Me thing. At the same time, depending on where you place the responsibility every request for people to do something different is just putting the dot on the community vs. mememe line in a different place. We have to examine what people are looking for, what assumptions they're making, what expectations we have already set as a community and what the ups/downs of making a change would be. And, practically speaking on a community level, asking all people to do a thing differently is a difficult if not impossible task. Sure, some people were also snarky about it, but that's a different issue.

I have a lot of empathy for people in differing situations who want MetaFilter to be more like they'd like it to be. That doesn't always mean the site will change to meet them, there may be other ways to get a situational compromise position that works for most people.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:09 PM on June 6, 2013


Brandon Blatcher: " How is it community minded for a single person to ask for everyone to change, so they can read an innocuous post at work, instead of at home?"

By this metric, no one should ever post pony requests to MetaTalk if they would benefit them personally.
posted by zarq at 12:32 PM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


By this metric, no one should ever post pony requests to MetaTalk if they would benefit them personally.

No one should ever post pony requests to MetaTalk if it would only benefit them personally. That seems like a good idea.
posted by bongo_x at 12:43 PM on June 6, 2013


bongo_x: "No one should ever post pony requests to MetaTalk if it would only benefit them personally. "

OK, explain to me please how any of us can know if other people might agree or disagree or be having the same problem unless we ask?
posted by zarq at 12:44 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think this is kind of a false dichotomy, to be honest. What is a community, but a collection of Me Me Mes? The tension between all the Mes is part-and-parcel with what it means to be an Us. We ask each other for ground, and sometimes we move one way for a while, sometimes another. We give ground, we take ground, you swing me round, round. It's a process, not an end point. It's okay to ask for change, and it's okay to disagree on whether and how to implement change, and it's okay to feel better or worse about the result. Being with other people is work, always has been, always will be.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:53 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


By this metric, no one should ever post pony requests to MetaTalk if they would benefit them personally.

No, I think mostly by that metric it just doesn't make sense to cleanly divide requests into Me vs Us buckets and that its not great to characterize the former as somehow incorrect or improper or imply that the failure to uncritically endorse the latter is anti-community.

Stuff is complicated and can have all kinds of different angles, reductiveness doesn't really help anything.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:08 PM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


cortex: "No, I think mostly by that metric it just doesn't make sense to cleanly divide requests into Me vs Us buckets and that its not great to characterize the former as somehow incorrect or improper or imply that the failure to uncritically endorse the latter is anti-community. "

A much better assessment. Thank you.
posted by zarq at 1:32 PM on June 6, 2013


There is no such thing as society.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:33 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


bongo_x said:

"I don’t know about this case, I couldn’t see the link, but if I see a heading "Cabin Porn" (a site I sometimes look at) I know what I’m getting;
Pretty pictures of cabins, not a lot of information, something pretty specific that you may or may not be into unless it’s a special interest of yours, presented with a realization how geeky and fetishistic it is.

You could write all that out every time, but "Cabin Porn" is a lot more to the point.
"

Cabin Geeking
Cabin Geeks
Cabin Geekery

Cabin Enthusiasm
Cabin Enthusiasts

Cabin Fans
Cabin Fanatic

Cabin Love
Cabin Lovers

Cabin Appreciation
Cabin Appreciators

Cabin Fanciers
Cabin Freaks
Cabin Buffs
Cabin Fiends

Cabin Mania
Cabin Maniacs

Cabin Showcase
Cabin Cache
Cabin Hoard
Cabin Treasury
Cabin Suite
Cabin Collection

...I could go on.
posted by batmonkey at 1:49 PM on June 6, 2013 [3 favorites]


Cabin Lovers - too porny!
Cabin Fiends - potentially satanic!
Cabin Hoard - offensive to dragons!
posted by elizardbits at 1:59 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Exactly, the NAAFP has been eyeing up a boycott of Metafitler for some time.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:03 PM on June 6, 2013


You know, Cabin Fanciers may be just what we were looking for.

It makes me think of Cat Fanciers, which helps the connotation that you can be a little obsessive about it without getting off on it sexually.
posted by RobotHero at 2:12 PM on June 6, 2013


Cabin Hoard - offensive to dragons!

And hoarders! Especially hoarders who live in cabins!
posted by nooneyouknow at 2:13 PM on June 6, 2013


Well and that becomes the difficult problem right? So this particular situation worked out pretty well in a general sense. It was easy enough to swap out the word for a different word. No problem.

But what about something like Free Cabin Porn (mefi post) which already has a name? Do you not link to it because it's got the word porn in it? Do you include a link but not name it in the title? Do you say pr0n instead? What about an article that talks about pornography? Is it okay to use the whole word and not the short form? Should you try to not use the word if you post a link to the article? Only keep it out of the title? And, my AskMe example, if you want to ask about a lump in your breast or a weird spot on your penis do you need to use a different word? (do NOT get me started on Ad Sense's "mature content" policies) Is it okay to have the word porn in the tags? What about talking about that sort of thing here in MetaTalk?

I'm not saying I know the answer, I'm just saying that it's really complicated and not at all as easy as "Hey please don't do this one thing" because trying to understand the real world context that our words appear in is actually super-challenging. This is why as mods we err strongly on the "very little is actually disallowed" side when it comes to NSFW stuff because it's a rabbit hole that's really tough to manage once you start going down it. Totally AOK if people just want other people to think about these issues, but people aren't necessarily being unfeeling or selfish if they draw the line in a different place. If this were easy it would be a solved problem.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:18 PM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm just saying that it's really complicated and not at all as easy as "Hey please don't do this one thing" because trying to understand the real world context that our words appear in is actually super-challenging.

Yeah, exactly. There was a recent thread in which the third or fourth letter of the title was "analysis" and it just so happened to cut off in the browser tab at ANAL in boldface letters, so naturally that wholly sexually unrelated thread was the first thing a coworker saw when they glanced at my computer. Nevertheless I do not think we need to ban the word analysis.
posted by elizardbits at 2:27 PM on June 6, 2013


I participate on a number of web sites and it's always necessary to do something akin to codeswitching when moving between them. There are different tones and vocabularies that are appropriate to different sites and I write differently for the different audiences.

But when things get really specific, as in requests like this, it becomes a lot less intuitive to keep track. So, it's not quite the case that people who are asking for these favours are asking for something so tiny the rest of us should just give it to them as a matter of consideration. It's the very tininess of these things, the fact that they would be little quirks in the framework of otherwise acceptable content, that makes them a pain in the ass. They're something we'd have to actively remember and check our submissions against. That's a level of mindfulness I don't think I could muster for posting on MeFi.

I mean, I could say in response to these requests, "Wow, I feel bad for people who work in places that allow web surfing but have really poor monitoring and display a total lack of nuance in their understanding of the web, and I want them to be able to read my posts at work, so I won't use the word "porn" in a non-porn-related FPP again." But a) I would be lying, because the chances of me actually remembering this thread 3 months from now when I make my next MeFi post is somewhere between nil and -5 and b) that still isn't going to render the site Safe For Work.

If TPTB suddenly decided that MetaFilter was to be a Safe-For-Most-Workspaces site, and disallow all NSFWish content, I would find that easier to comply with than this type of request. A bigger change, and one that's more likely to be problematic for the site's functioning as a whole, but a lot simpler to actually implement.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:27 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Cabin Fever!
posted by homunculus at 2:43 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


KokuRyu: "I find it hard to believe that there are employers who *closely* monitor web traffic for mentions of "porn" and then demand an explanation about it, while allowing their employees to surf the net using a work computer (and not equally demanding an explanation about why said employee is goofing off while reading MetaFilter at work). Doesn't make sense!"

In my experience, it's not about whether people are goofing off at work, but about content that is appropriate for the workplace. At both my current and immediately previous employer, 'reasonable personal use' of work equipment such as computers and Internet access is explicitly allowed (without being defined in any meaningful way), provided content viewed is 'appropriate for the workplace' (also not defined). I think it's recognition that the Internet is an integral part of people's lives rather than an acceptance of 'goofing off' while at work and also that, as flexible working arrangements increase, it gets harder and harder to draw the line between personal and work time.

Where I work, very little is blocked - they seem much more concerned with potential exploits that put security at risk than someone accidentally displaying boobies on their screen. There is no routine monitoring of anyone's Web traffic, but everything is logged and the logs would be reviewed if there were other indications of performance issues. There is definitely some arbitrary blocking of certain sites (strangely, metachat.org is blocked, while chat.metafilter.com isn't and I'm oddly amused by the opposite being the case on the free WiFi service on trains, where MeFi is blocked due to 'adult content'*), but the onus is very much on people self-filtering. I wouldn't click on a link that had 'porn' in the URL, for example, just because I don't know whether there are any automatic threshold triggers for such things that might lead to me having to explain myself, but I'm not about to expect that others modify their behaviour to accommodate me, beyond reasonable common decency (eg 'NSFW' tags or warnings on something that would seem innocuous until viewed). For most workplaces, I think it's important to keep in mind that lots of content on MeFi is NSFW and act accordingly.

* I'm equally amused that our e-mail system filters all sorts of language from e-mails sent to external addresses and bounces the message back if any of the trigger words are included, but you can send all the profanity you like to anyone within the network. I'm convinced that all the filtering is more about protecting the reputation of the organisation than about protecting the morals of employees.
posted by dg at 2:54 PM on June 6, 2013


I think I have told the story a couple of times about how, when I was first working for mefi in lulls from my desk at my day job at the time, I had to sometimes punt a flagged thread or comment over to Matt or Jess to check out because whatever the questionable thing on the other end of the link was, it wasn't something my workplace's software would let through.

It's a miracle they never ended up blocking Metafilter itself. But I suppose it helps that my hobby/moonlighting wasn't as much of an eyecatcher as far as data usage as whatever sketchy video stuff somebody elsewhere in the company must have really been slurping down to get us all a pretty cagily-written "please don't look at inappropriate or bandwidth-heavy stuff at work, thank you" email blast from HR.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:04 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


-batmonkey

I didn’t say there was no other possible way to write that. I said sometimes people use certain words because it captures their thoughts. Not because they’re trying to needle you, or are jerks. Just because you don’t like a phrase doesn’t mean people who use it have malicious intent.

I have a problem with LOTS of terms used here regularly and I might occasionally catch myself saying "that’s really fucking stupid". But I don’t ask that everyone stop using them and accuse them of selfishness if they don’t.

But if we’re entertaining the idea of a blacklist we could start with;

(eye roll)
pony
snowflake and all variations
(sigh)
writing out a fake conversation in script form
fake song lyrics about the topic

…I could go on.
posted by bongo_x at 3:06 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Heh, at my previous employer, they ended up blocking all social networking sites from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm because of an alleged impact that traffic to such sites was having on network capacity during peak working hours. What triggered this was that the head of the department (a department with 70k employees) fell in love with Yammer and 'suggested' that all staff should join up to 'facilitate sharing of ideas' (or some such crap).
posted by dg at 3:10 PM on June 6, 2013


Oh, I was just offering easy alternatives to fill a perceived void. The pup I have in this fight is very weak and prefers hugs and leg-humping to snarling and chomping by far. Meh-twee isn't nearly as strong as NSFW, motivation-wise.

...but why did I not think of Cabin Fever?!? Ludicrous failure of imagination and vocabulary, right there. Good going, homunculus.
posted by batmonkey at 4:59 PM on June 6, 2013


But if we’re entertaining the idea of a blacklist we could start with.... writing out a fake conversation in script form.... fake song lyrics about the topic

IRFH: Sorry
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:06 PM on June 6, 2013


benito.strauss: "You are certainly entirely correct about the dictionary definition"

This reminds me of how I used to say I have a purse fetish, and people would look at me weird, because they weren't aware that fetish can mean something besides a sexual attraction.

Sadly I usually refrain from using fetish now and instead call myself a purse-a-holic or something similar. I say sadly because I'm altering my perfectly valid usage of a word in order to avoid having to explain the alternate definitions.

Who knows, maybe in a few years an alternate definition of porn that includes the way it's being used in this topic will be added to the dictionary. It's not something that I particularly want to happen, and I might still not use it myself, but our language changes. Very few people use the word pregnant as it is defined in the phrase "a pregnant pause," after all. And I think that the word "pregnant" itself used to be not so widely used... society used euphemisms like "expecting" or "in a family way."
posted by IndigoRain at 6:28 PM on June 6, 2013


I grew up in a household where it was perfectly normal to refer to really cool and well-performing technology as "sexy" and it took me a while to realize that other people did not find this at all normal.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:36 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's ... not ... normal?
posted by jacquilynne at 7:01 PM on June 6, 2013 [2 favorites]


But if we’re entertaining the idea of a blacklist we could start with.... writing out a fake conversation in script form.... fake song lyrics about the topic

IRFH: Sorry


Ha! I hesitated to put that because I didn’t want to make anyone self conscious. I do hate it, but so what? This isn’t BongoFilter and other people love that shit. Carry on with your thing you do.
posted by bongo_x at 7:38 PM on June 6, 2013


Where do I find the porn porn?
posted by mazola at 7:57 PM on June 6, 2013


Jessamyn's Mum: "I grew up in a household where it was perfectly normal to refer to really cool and well-performing technology as "sexy" and it took me a while to realize that other people did not find this at all normal."

What kind of place is it where that sort of things isn't normal?
posted by dg at 8:09 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah I can't even drive and I consider certain cars 'sexy' - watch Top Gear, you'll get it. same with cool guns like Colts (and I don't shoot guns)... and its old, old old terminology. ships were named after women for a reason.

I'd add 'HAMBURGER' to the blacklist

Where do I find the porn porn?

I see that not as pornography but as fetishiziation of the aesthetics of pornography - the grimy 70s grindhouse filters, the current BangBus style gonzo stuff, the cheap furniture, the tacky lighting, etc
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:11 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I can definitely envision "porn porn" as being SFW non-erotic fetishization of the aesthetics of porn.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:16 PM on June 6, 2013 [1 favorite]


What kind of place is it where that sort of things isn't normal?

If I ever called some technology "sexy" it would have to be entirely tongue in cheek. Most people don't seriously talk like that, do they? Outside of television and magazine puffery, I mean.
posted by pracowity at 3:59 AM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


On my first "real" job out of design school, my brilliant boss, who was female, regularly pushed me to "make it sexy" or "sex it up". It was not meant in a T & A manner, but to make the design so visually appealing where people couldn't stop staring at it and wanted to touch it.

She was one of the smartest people I've ever known.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:17 AM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah my dad was responsible for building computers that, once upon a time, were really things to be amazed by in terms of their performance and their profile and their specs and what Brandon describes is absolutely what I think he meant. Thinking back on it, I probably heard the term "sexy" referring to computers (and tools) more often than I heard it referring to people when I was a little kid which probably explains a little bit about me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:11 AM on June 7, 2013 [5 favorites]


dg: "Jessamyn's Mum: "

?
posted by zarq at 8:12 AM on June 7, 2013


Oh, I just realized. You must be using a greasemonkey word replacement script thingy.
posted by zarq at 8:13 AM on June 7, 2013


Oh, is THAT what "taters" means? Right.
posted by alasdair at 8:51 AM on June 7, 2013


"ships were named after women for a reason."

From what I can tell, it's a fluke of Indo-European linguistics, though I have had to wade through a lot of folk etymology.

PAGING LANGUAGE HAT
posted by klangklangston at 9:32 AM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


Good luck!
posted by Artw at 3:05 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


...ships were named after women for a reason.

I made myself unpopular in a senior seminar on "Greek Civilization" by suggesting that the whole Iphigenia business in ancient Greece, taken together with the tradition of female figureheads, pointed to dark, dark roots for the association of women and ships, CiS, but I hadn't thought much about it for years before I got on the internet until I saw klang's quote of your comment.

Here's what answers.com, quoting the McGraw-Hill Boating Encyclopedia, has to say about figureheads:
Figureheads are a rarity these days, and more’s the pity, because they not only add interest and colorful detail to a boat, they also bring a touch of mystery that goes back to the origins of boating. They are, in fact, believed to represent the sacrifices that sailors made to the gods of the wind and sea—which is why they should always be carvings of human beings, never any other creature of land or sea.It has been suggested that in ancient times real human heads were placed on the bow of an important vessel starting her first voyage—more often than not, the heads were those of beautiful maidens. These were major sacrifices, of course, intended to ensure the safe passage of the vessel and her crew across stormy waters ruled by a few powerful gods and a host of minor ones.
posted by jamjam at 10:15 PM on June 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


That makes sense! Odd how that survives - iTunes tells you to name your iPhone, so I always gave mine a woman's name, and if I owned a weapon it would be named.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants at 8:07 PM on June 11, 2013


« Older I can't be the only one suffer...  |  Over on music.mefi we're consi... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments