question about "there's already an active thread" deletions June 28, 2013 1:52 PM   Subscribe

The deletion of this thread ("An Open Letter to Paula Deen" by Michael William Twitty) made me wonder about one aspect of "kind of a double" deletions.

Folks were redirected to this prior thread, which, with no disrespect to the OP, seems like a pretty clear "let's talk about this current event, guess I'll have to find some links" thread. On the other hand, the deleted thread points to a highly discussable short essay. Maybe this is totally just me, but it kind of seems like the concept of "there's already an active thread on this" makes a very uneasy bedfellow of the idea that MeFi is about discussing specific high-quality content. I don't know about other users, but I have no general interest in wading through a giant Paula Deen chatfilter, and thus would have completely missed Twitty's neat piece if I hadn't happened to come upon that thread before it was deleted.

Not throwing shade at the mods at all; obviously MeFi can't help everyone see everything interesting at all times! But I'm curious, I guess, to know if others feel similarly.
posted by threeants to Etiquette/Policy at 1:52 PM (43 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Personally, i'm not surprised that post was deleted simply because it's so thin. It's reads like one of homunculus's comments to an existing FPP that's basically just going "hey, look at this interesting article".

There's been plenty of worse deletions than this when the last post was six months ago(or years), or it's presenting something radically different. This basically falls under the category that if this site allowed it then it could be posted as "EDIT: UPDATE, check out this open letter..."

Pretty much, i agree with you that there are instances where i furrow my brow at deletions of stuff loosely related to an older post, or radical changes to the situation therein... but this is a pretty shoddy hill to die on as far as that stuff goes.
posted by emptythought at 1:57 PM on June 28, 2013


It's always a tough one, and I sat on that for a few minutes and thought about it. I'd read the Twitty piece a couple of days ago (yesterday? Time keeps on slippin'...) It's an interesting piece that covers some previously-undiscussed angles, but given the framing it seemed like it had a very high likelihood of just turning into "Paula Deen is a racist pt. 2" which we really don't need, because pt. 1 is ticking along just fine.

I specifically made a suggestion about a way to present that content differently in the deletion reason, because it does seem like the potential for a cool post is there, it just needs to get out from under the well-known, contentious, and active topic this individual piece is tied to.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:00 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Having read the link before it got whacked, that was another pretty bad deletion. Hoo-boy.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:00 PM on June 28, 2013


Yeah, that conversation was shaping up to be about Twitty, not Paula Deen. Shame it's gone.
posted by jbickers at 2:05 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


That makes sense to me, restless_nomad, and I didn't feel the deletion was at all out of line with site policy as I usually see it applied and discussed by y'all-- it's more that this instance raised some questions for me about the policy itself.

I guess in some ways, this kind of melds into the recent MeTa about single- vs. multi-link posts. It seems odd to me that the OP should need to look around for filler in order to smuggle in the "best of the web" content that they actually found worthwhile in the first place.
posted by threeants at 2:05 PM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


It seems odd to me that the OP should need to look around for filler

Sure, but in this case I don't think it's about filler, but rather framing. The point of adding additional content wouldn't be to "pad" the FPP, but to clarify a direction for the thread that isn't, as you say, a giant Paula Deen chatfilter. This one could have gone in equal directions Twitty and Deen, and I agree with Restless Nomad that the latter was likely.
posted by cribcage at 2:14 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think this is a good argument for why we should have fewer NewsFilter type posts in the first place. They crowd out better, later posts. I also understand that there are lots of participants here who really just want to have a conversation about current events, and the FPP, no matter what it is, just serves as a jumping off point for this conversation. My preference would be to cut back on NewsFilter and wait until there's a quality FPP to have those conversations.
posted by MoonOrb at 2:19 PM on June 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


i would love a straight up, not paula deen focused, twitty post.
posted by nadawi at 2:34 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I was the OP and I was more interested in what Twitty had to say about Southern cooking than about Paula Deen, but whatever. It's not the first time I've had a post deleted and it won't be the last. I'm not heartbroken.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 2:34 PM on June 28, 2013


i would love a straight up, not paula deen focused, twitty post.

I'll make one. I hadn't even read the huge Paula Deen post, so I didn't even know the essay was already linked there.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 2:38 PM on June 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


I think this is a good argument for why we should have fewer NewsFilter type posts in the first place.

Here's a wild idea that doubtless someone has had before: What about creating NewsFilter, wherein current events can be discussed?
posted by Celsius1414 at 2:41 PM on June 28, 2013


Skylitdrawl - Depending on how you want to frame a Twitty-focused post I humbly suggest considering including something about Denzel Mitchell, the other guest on that Kojo episode I linked to. He's also into regional food history and urban agriculture.

Although if you start down that road I guess you'd have to include Will Allen (who has Southern roots though now he's in Milwaukee) and a million other people...
posted by Wretch729 at 2:48 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yes, that was a wonderful piece and I'd love to see a post about him.
posted by rtha at 2:52 PM on June 28, 2013


I flagged that as a double. How many Paula Deen threads do we need, really?
posted by Sys Rq at 2:52 PM on June 28, 2013


Mmmm, seven. No, wait - maybe only six.
posted by Chrysostom at 3:25 PM on June 28, 2013


Sys Rq: "How many Paula Deen threads do we need, really?"

Clicking on any Paula Dean post should magically deliver a dozen donuts, 4 sticks of butter, a honey-baked ham and a salt lick to your door.
posted by zarq at 3:34 PM on June 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Butter is the real victim here. I'm sorry it had to get caught up in all this.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:42 PM on June 28, 2013 [18 favorites]


I mean, aside from the actual victims, of which Paula Deen is not one.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:43 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


"Having read the link before it got whacked, that was another pretty bad deletion. Hoo-boy."

Given how thoughtful and judicious BP is on the matter of deletions, and how rarely he weighs in with his opinion on one, I'm convinced.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:57 PM on June 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


C'est pas gentil.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:09 PM on June 28, 2013


Damn shit is going down in like half a dozen threads. Mods should just delete everything till we simmer the fuck down.

We should all just turn off the lights and put our heads down on our desks,like in school on hot days. On the way home hit up the mister softee, put on some shorts and go jump in he sprinklers.

I'm just waiting till sunset so I can have a half dozen vodka tonics and pass out.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:26 PM on June 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


On the way home hit up the mister softee

There's enough for the whole class. As a matter of fact, there's enough for all the classes.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 4:39 PM on June 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


I gotta figure out how to make this my ringtone.
posted by Ad hominem at 4:42 PM on June 28, 2013


Am I the only person dying for Alec Baldwin to finally taste the Paula Deen special?
posted by phaedon at 4:44 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure if I think blatant, Antebellum-South plantation-style racism is a good thing or a bad thing. By all means, please link me to some "open letters" to help me make my decision. I'm sure they will all be the critical social documents of our time that will be studied by historians, and not at all cheap grubbing for page views.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:49 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The big reason to delete it, in my opinion, is that it's already linked multiple times in the currently-open thread about this exact topic. Which is still an active thread. People who want to talk about the Open Letter To Paula Deen already have a place to do that.

I think Michael William Twitty is a pretty interesting dude, on his own, and would love to see an FPP framed more about him, with maybe some other culinary historians, reenactors who are doing interesting stuff, or other people who tackle social justice issues from unlikely angle.
posted by Sara C. at 5:15 PM on June 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


By all means, please link me to some "open letters" to help me make my decision.

If you were curious, that's exactly the sort of knee-jerk TL;DR response I was afraid of given the post's framing.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:17 PM on June 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Given how thoughtful and judicious BP is on the matter of deletions, and how rarely he weighs in with his opinion on one, I'm convinced.

A persuasive argument to be sure, but I'm still reserving judgment until we find out whether MrMoonPie thinks this was a good deletion or not.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 5:22 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm just saying he uses the word gadonkadonk in the article. He isn't doing his argument any favors discussing her appearance even in an admiring way.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:25 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Wow, Twitty is fascinating. I wish he had a show or podcast.
posted by Area Man at 5:39 PM on June 28, 2013


He isn't doing his argument any favors discussing her appearance even in an admiring way.

He was pointing out they have common ground. They're both fat Southerners. It's true. No need to hide from it or be ashamed. I see nothing wrong with it. I say this as a fat Northerner.

I'm sure they will all be the critical social documents of our time that will be studied by historians, and not at all cheap grubbing for page views.

Did you catch the part about the author being an historian? It's a blog post, but I'm thinking plenty of historians will be reading him.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:56 PM on June 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure if I think blatant, Antebellum-South plantation-style racism is a good thing or a bad thing. By all means, please link me to some "open letters" to help me make my decision. I'm sure they will all be the critical social documents of our time that will be studied by historians, and not at all cheap grubbing for page views.

Did you... read it? Because it was actually really good and not 'cheap grubbing' at all.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:57 PM on June 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Given how thoughtful and judicious BP is on the matter of deletions, and how rarely he weighs in with his opinion on one, I'm convinced.

Attack the person, EB, not the idea.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:58 PM on June 28, 2013


Yeah it is good.

Anyway, good humor is outside, the Sprinklers are on and spit it is a nice summer night. I know I'm going out.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:00 PM on June 28, 2013


He would be the subject of a fantastic post. He's pretty well-known and has been doing some interesting work with Colonial Williamsburg and other places, and as folks upthread note, it's a pretty interesting topic to mine, the interactions between Europeans and Africans (and significantly also, Native people, Hispanic people, etc) that happened in the New World after all those cultures came together to create what we think of as "American" food. The thing is, Michael Twitty and other food historians were there before Paula Deen and will be there after - they were interesting before and they'll be interesting after - so it would be really great to reframe a post around that larger endeavor instead of in response to a celebrity clusterfuck. I think they deserve their own spotlight.

I just finished this book How America Eats: A Social History of US Food and Culture, and it is a great sweeping synthesis with some fantastic basic pieces - the first chapter on the myths of early American foodways vs. the complicated intercultural reality, and another the racialization of food. A post on this topic could include that, and maybe Jessica Harris, and Frederick Douglass Opie.
posted by Miko at 7:30 PM on June 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


SkylitDrawl: "I'll make one. I hadn't even read the huge Paula Deen post"

Awesome, thank you for doing this. His writing was interesting and his job is fascinating.
posted by boo_radley at 8:20 PM on June 28, 2013


Nthing support for a nice solid Twitty FPP.
posted by desuetude at 11:54 PM on June 28, 2013


(I don't mean "solid" as some sort of euphemism for "fat," by the way.)
posted by desuetude at 11:55 PM on June 28, 2013


On the way home hit up the mister softee, put on some shorts and go jump in he sprinklers.

Beware of trying to make a homemade Slip N' Slide out of a tarpaulin, a garden hose, and dish detergent. It will end with the most epic road rash you have ever had.
posted by winna at 6:45 AM on June 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Ivan Fyodorovich: "Given how thoughtful and judicious BP is on the matter of deletions, and how rarely he weighs in with his opinion on one, I'm convinced."

“If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me.”
posted by Chrysostom at 8:54 AM on June 29, 2013


I wasn't familiar with Twitty and I was looking forward to learning more about him.

I wouldn't have found the links in the Paula Deen thread -- I've not been following it, because if I wanted to hear white Southern racists (who make killer cornbread) drawl nostalgically about plantation times I could just visit my relatives. And if I wanted to hear self-righteous liberal grandstanding mixed with butter jokes I can always check Twitter.

I encourage someone to make a Twitty FPP. I'd enjoy reading it.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:26 PM on June 29, 2013


I kind of wish there was more "no doubles" postings. As it stands to follow a discussion you have to trail through multiple threads often.
posted by corb at 6:28 PM on June 29, 2013


1. Call 'em "alsos" instead of "doubles"

2. ...

3. ?
posted by lordaych at 3:57 AM on June 30, 2013 [1 favorite]


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