Why is the S.H.A.M.E. project blacklisted on mefi? July 28, 2013 11:22 AM   Subscribe

My post appeared to be deleted because a page consisting mainly of a bibliography of internet publications of a prolific author (subject multiple mefi fpps) documenting his connections with right-wing political activism and with critiques of selected quotations is "editorially undiscriminating" and people don't like it. Editorially undiscriminating? Is MeFi now "fair and balanced." It seems like we are only allowed to talk about politics when provoked by someone like Balko (in a fpp) but can't actually examine the politics of provocateurs on the internet.
posted by ennui.bz to MetaFilter-Related at 11:22 AM (90 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Essays by activists like Balko are the political equivalent of Pepsi blue. They are designed to provoke a particular response towards his political agenda. This is fine by me. But we need to also be allowed to examine his agenda. It's not "ad hominem" to break out exactly where an author is coming from politically, even critically.
posted by ennui.bz at 11:27 AM on July 28, 2013


That whole project SHAME, and the people behind it, even with their tendency to go after people I don't like (Malcolm Gladwell and Megan McCardle can fall into a vortex and the world would not miss them) fail in such fundamental ways at the most basic journalism, lapsing into ad hominem almost immediately whenever they have a gripe. I'd be happy to never see another SHAME profile, anything from exiled online, or anything by Mark Ames/Yasha Levine ever make the front page of metafilter again.

Good deletion.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 11:29 AM on July 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Yeah, my first reaction is I don't like that deletion reason, which validates one side of the discussions we've had about SHAME in the past. Mark Ames et al are polemicists, no doubt, and savage in their tone of attack, but there's usually a lot of baby in that bathwater and sorting through that is something MeFites are more than capable of doing.
posted by mediareport at 11:33 AM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I can't say if it was right or wrong to delete the fpp but IT WAS NOT AN AD HOMINEM. If you're writing someone's political bio then it stands to reason that you focus on events and actions in his past. Now, if the SHAME project or your fpp had tried to discredit Balko on a certain topic by referencing his past, that might have been an ad hominem but that didn't happen.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 11:35 AM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


But we need to also be allowed to examine his agenda.

Why?

Metafilter isn't a quest to save the world. It's a place to post cool stuff you've found on the web. (Where "cool" doesn't mean "politically correct".)

A good MeFi post is "I just found something pretty neat, and I think some of you would like it, too."

A bad MeFi post is "Hey! This is Really Important and you need to read it so that you'll get angry and support my political position!"
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:36 AM on July 28, 2013 [57 favorites]


The S.H.A.M.E. project is not blacklisted, and in fact has already had its own FPP. In that FPP a year ago, everybody was complaining about the quality of their research (which includes some truth and some stretching and some outright misrepresentation - which is what I meant by "editorially undiscriminating"). And in today's FPP people were making the same point.

By "ad hominem" here I meant not that the post is about Balko's biography, but that it implicitly makes the argument that because of his biography, people should discount his writings on police overreach. That argument is ad hom. (I was too brief in stating that, sorry.)

I left the post up originally, even though I felt it was borderline. It got flagged a ton and the thread was full of people saying they felt the linked content was poor quality and that it didn't belong on the blue, so I felt that pushed it over the line and I deleted it.

To be very frank, another thing that made it seem borderline was that it seemed somewhat axe-grindy, in the sense that you've had previous pointed arguments here about Radley Balko specifically and your post came across less as "here is something great on the web" and more as "see, you were all wrong about this guy". That intention doesn't help a post to go over well.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:42 AM on July 28, 2013 [21 favorites]


If you the world needs to hear that badly about who is guilty of the terrible crime of appearing to agree with you on certain issues but not actually being a True Leftist, get a fucking tumblr. It's not what the front page here is for.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 11:43 AM on July 28, 2013 [26 favorites]


'Fair and balanced.'
posted by box at 11:46 AM on July 28, 2013


That page didn't tell anyone anything they couldn't find with Google. Balko makes a living writing about his libertarian opinions. The project S.H.A.M.E. people need to do a little more than say, "hey isn't this guy an asshole for publicly expressing his opinions," which is how the entire page came off.
posted by dortmunder at 11:47 AM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


To be very frank, another thing that made it seem borderline was that it seemed somewhat axe-grindy, in the sense that you've had previous pointed arguments here about Radley Balko specifically and your post came across less as "here is something great on the web" and more as "see, you were all wrong about this guy". That intention doesn't help a post to go over well.

Oh, so if someone else had posted it it would be ok? That's super weird: not only do we have to not be associated with a page to post it, but we have to not have a particular opinion or interest in the topic.

The S.H.A.M.E. project is not blacklisted, and in fact has already had its own FPP.

It's not blacklisted, but can never be the subject of a post again?
posted by ennui.bz at 11:48 AM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


it implicitly makes the argument that because of his biography, people should discount his writings on police overreach.

Or, it *explicity* makes the argument that people on the left who like Balko's work on abusive police practices should also know about his strong and deep connections to obnoxiously right-wing groups diametrically opposed to those people on the left. That argument is *not* ad hom. I dunno, LobsterMitten, I don't think your understanding of the "implicit" argument should have had anything to do with the post being deleted. (note: I'm not commenting on the deletion, just on the reason given, which I think should not be used again.)
posted by mediareport at 11:51 AM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Some of that is in the nature of deletion reasons, which by necessity are pretty short, written pretty quickly, and can't capture all the elements that go into the deletion of a borderline post. (Slam-dunk deletes are easier to capture, usually.) I felt like 'ad hom' captured the specific way this post seemed to strike people as axe-grinding, in the sense that this bio stuff was being posted not as "here are interesting facts" but in service of a larger ongoing argument, so that's why I used that phrase. So maybe it's more accurate to say that the problem 'ad hom' was meant to capture there is better phrased as 'axe-grinding'.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:56 AM on July 28, 2013


I'll leave it after this, but your deletion reason seems pretty clearly to be attacking the entire site as not post-worthy - "via an editorially undiscriminating site." Again, you're staking out one position on a site about which members have expressed different opinions in the past. I understand why ennui.bz feels you're stating future SHAME Project pages (and this one is new) will not be allowed in the future.
posted by mediareport at 12:00 PM on July 28, 2013


I understand why ennui.bz feels you're stating future SHAME Project pages (and this one is new) will not be allowed in the future.

We very seldom blacklist sites. It seems to me like a bit of a reach to read a deletion reason (which, as LM said, is by necessity short and imperfect) and assume it is a blanket ban, when that is not now nor ever how we've managed posts.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:03 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm sure that id they published new land/or previously unknown information about someone, it would be looked on differently than an article that boils down to "shaming" someone by retyping his own "about me" blog page.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:13 PM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


We very seldom blacklist sites.

That's good to hear. Maybe Ames & Co will come up with something in the future that passes muster; I generally cringe at the tone but have found their collections of information to be very useful, and appreciated learning they'd picked a new target to one-sidedly critique.
posted by mediareport at 12:13 PM on July 28, 2013


By "ad hominem" here I meant not that the post is about Balko's biography, but that it implicitly makes the argument that because of his biography, people should discount his writings on police overreach. That argument is ad hom. (I was too brief in stating that, sorry.)

Deletion by implication.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:21 PM on July 28, 2013


I left the post up originally, even though I felt it was borderline. It got flagged a ton and the thread was full of people saying they felt the linked content was poor quality and that it didn't belong on the blue, so I felt that pushed it over the line and I deleted it.

i think that's firmly in 'tragedy of the commons' territory.... if people don't care, it's ok, but if there is a strong difference of opinion then no.
posted by ennui.bz at 12:24 PM on July 28, 2013


(and it's still not clear to me when posting a SHAME project page is ok... except that it definitely isn't blacklisted even tho it will get deleted if lots of people don't like 'theexile' crew, which presumably will continue to be the case)
posted by ennui.bz at 12:26 PM on July 28, 2013


If the sole or anchor link of an FPP is a SHAME project page, it's likely not ok because it's a weak FPP for the reasons above. As part of a larger FPP it's almost certainly ok.
posted by fatbird at 12:33 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I don't know anything about "theexile" crew, but I scanned that page and it seemed like they were including some stuff as damning when it wasn't, or they were interpreting it weirdly, and then reading what people here said about the site in the prior FPP it sounded like that was their general M.O. So it seemed like a very slanted site. Posting an FPP that is a single link to a slanted site's "dossier" on a guy when you've recently been in "wake up sheeple" type arguments about that guy comes across as axegrinding. (I tried to put this in more polite terms in the deletion reason but I think that just caused confusion.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:36 PM on July 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


The S.H.A.M.E. project is not blacklisted, and in fact has already had its own FPP.

If it's already had it's own FPP, shouldn't any post built primarily or exclusively around a S.H.A.M.E. page be deleted as a double? I don't think an FPP of a single Wikipedia page would make much of a post either.
posted by dsfan at 12:37 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


and it's still not clear to me when posting a SHAME project page is ok

Akin to what Chocolate Pickle said, when it fits:

"I just found something pretty neat, and I think some of you would like it, too."

and not

""Hey! This is Really Important and you need to read it!"

So, perhaps never.
posted by nightwood at 12:40 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


The one saving grace for that thread was zombieflanders' comment that...

Reason and the Koch media empire have done an outstanding job in making a an angry white guy the face of a movement consisting of many civil rights and social justice groups that have been doing the real work since before he was born, most of whom want little to nothing to do with him.

...which explains a reasonable justification why SHAMEproject would target him, and why the way it did pretty much failed...

A much better expose of the commercial motivations behind "Anti-Police Libertarianism" would be much more Best of the Web.
posted by oneswellfoop at 12:53 PM on July 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


"I just found something pretty neat, and I think some of you would like it, too."

and not

""Hey! This is Really Important and you need to read it!"


that criteria is almost completely subjective.

you've recently been in "wake up sheeple" type arguments about that guy comes across as axegrinding

it's interesting that you keep on coming back to my comments in a thread. i'm going to guess that, since i was going against the thread consensus, that a lot of those comments were flagged. but you seem to be very definitely making an editorial decision about my opinions: "wake up sheeple."
posted by ennui.bz at 12:56 PM on July 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh, so if someone else had posted it it would be ok? That's super weird: not only do we have to not be associated with a page to post it, but we have to not have a particular opinion or interest in the topic.

Why are you surprised by this? The mods have been pretty clear that axe-grindy posts are an issue for quite some time now, and despite your characterization having a particular opinion or interest in a subject isn't the same thing as having an axe to grind.
posted by asterix at 1:06 PM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man this Balko fellow seems to love spouting inflammatory opinions. The self-promoting, self-aggrandizing nature of pundits is basically why I hate pundits.

On the other hand, this Reason article about Chris Christie is pretty good.

I'm really surprised there hasn't been a post on MetaFilter about Amash/Conyers.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:10 PM on July 28, 2013


that criteria is almost completely subjective.

You can't really have objective criteria of what makes a good FPP: If it's too permissive, people will post crap and then use The Rules to back it up - if it's too restrictive, you lose a lot of good content. In both cases, you will also get ruleslawyering and stunt posting. Instead of that we have vague rules and attendant metatalk discussion - though whether it's any better is again subjective.
posted by Dr Dracator at 1:10 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Your post = "Conservative man is conservative." I think any equally obvious and newsless post about a person whose job it is to publicize their opinions (Rachel Maddow is liberal! Who'da thunk it) would also have been deleted. There might have actually been something worth reading there if you'd included material on how and why his opinions on police power contrast with the rest of his thought, but pointing out that he's conservative doesn't stand on its own as interesting or informative.
posted by ostro at 1:30 PM on July 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


that criteria is almost completely subjective.

The idea that MetaFilter has guidelines, not rules is not a new one.
posted by Lexica at 1:58 PM on July 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


The FPP content was middling at best, but the stated deletion reason was really poor. "Editorially undiscriminating site" is either an extremely awkward way to not say what you actually mean or a standard that was made up on the spot to justify deleting the post because the mod didn't like it.

The "Blurred Lines" FPP states above the fold that the song is gross and unconsensual. I almost flagged it because of the editorializing, until I realized it was a quote from the article itself. Almost every linked piece has an opinion. If those weren't allowed, we'd pretty much stuck with cat videos and Wikipedia articles.
posted by spaltavian at 2:01 PM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I don't fall on one side or another of this particular fight, but I do wonder if some more thinking about the role that flagging plays in deletions might be in order.

I think it is uncontroversial to suggest that flags happen with some degree of frequency -- just as favorites do -- based on the personal feelings of members about the flagged content in question. This may or may not line up with What Is Good Content For Metafilter, and I'm not entirely sure that it translates through aggregation as well as it might into triggers for Administrative Action.

Just musing here, though; because something is flawed, I admit, does not mean that it may not be useful.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:15 PM on July 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


I, for one, read Metafilter in very large part because of the stringent stance towards posts that are "YOU NEED TO READ THIS" types of things.

I think it's "undiscriminating" not because there's opinion in it but because this is not a generally trustworthy source and it has not been linked in such a way that encouraged skepticism about the contents. I get enough dubiously-sourced outrage on Facebook, I don't need more of it here.
posted by Sequence at 2:17 PM on July 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'm not wild about the exile/NSFW crowd (with the exception of the War Nerd), but it's not like they're InfoWars or something.
posted by spaltavian at 2:25 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm in a bad mood and came in here spoiling for a good argument but there's just nothing to be had, even the fighting seems sort of lackluster. I'm disappointed in all of you.

Anyways, carry on.
posted by windykites at 2:27 PM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


I didn't like the post, I said so in the comments, and I was deleted. I reposted a much more moderate version of my criticism right before the post closed. So, fine, I'm okay with that deletion, and I'm okay with the post deletion, too.

The real problem is how unsubstantive the post was. The SHAME site has been posted before, so this would be like me posting a random link to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, or just a random post to somebody's Wikipedia page. Why do we need this bibliography, at this time?

If there's a reason, i.e. "This guy recently wrote a well-received book on the militarization of the police, but don't believe it he's actually a shill for the Koch brothers" then say so. The fact that you didn't say so made the post look particularly stunty and axe-grindy. The link is literally a list of things the guy did written with a strong POV about how shitty a human being he is. I think the bar should be pretty high for cold-blooded character assassination. Like, there should be a reason for it beyond "It's Sunday, have you seen the latest enemy's list?"

That said, I've ground some axes in my day, so I can imagine where you're coming from. But you've got to do a much better post, not just a biased wikipedia article, if you want that axe to shine. Why not just do that much better post, one where the SHAME link is supporting something substantive? I'd be interested in that discussion.
posted by anotherpanacea at 2:30 PM on July 28, 2013 [7 favorites]


I can't say if it was right or wrong to delete the fpp but IT WAS NOT AN AD HOMINEM.

What's your definition of "ad hominem" that doesn't apply to that article?
posted by John Cohen at 2:30 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Getting angry that someone deleted your fpp because you feel like the topic is too important is a sure sign that you shouldn't have made the post to begin with.
posted by empath at 3:11 PM on July 28, 2013 [28 favorites]


If there's a reason, i.e. "This guy recently wrote a well-received book on the militarization of the police, but don't believe it he's actually a shill for the Koch brothers" then say so. The fact that you didn't say so made the post look particularly stunty and axe-grindy.

That's the very definition of axe-grinding and editorializing... that's what I should do?

The problem is that a single-link post by a political operative posing as a "journalist" advancing his agenda through "single issue politics" apparently is fine by the guidelines (Balko has come up 5 times on metafilter, it's the only reason i know about him.) But a single link post which factually lays out where this political operative is coming from and illustrates nicely how right-wing (it should be interesting to you libertarian types just how close to the republican party balko is) media operatives work, politically, is ad hominem axe-grinding.

If you think about that, it's a hole that any marketeer (and Balko started off in marketing) can drive a train through on metafilter, whether they are marketing politics or video games or whatever.
posted by ennui.bz at 3:15 PM on July 28, 2013


I don't know anything about "theexile" crew

Well, if you ever meet them and they offer you some pie, you should decline.
posted by homunculus at 3:20 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


that criteria is almost completely subjective.

Yes, it is. And that's why we have mods, to make those subjective judgements. The rest of us have two choices: 1. Live with it. 2. Cease reading the site.

Just remember the fundamental rule of baseball, "The umpire is always right."
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:21 PM on July 28, 2013


3. Revolution.
posted by homunculus at 3:27 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Or, I guess, choice 3: go to MeTa and have a tantrum.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:28 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


4. Vote #1 quidnunc kid.
posted by strangely stunted trees at 3:30 PM on July 28, 2013 [16 favorites]


5. Profit!
posted by box at 3:31 PM on July 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


You made your point in a previous post, barely two weeks ago, that you didn't link to in any of your many previouslys. This looks axe-grindy.
posted by Etrigan at 3:33 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

Just remember the fundamental rule of baseball, "The umpire is always right."
This is not true. Even ignoring instances where umpires retract their decisions (sometimes in consultation with other umpires), there are instances in which the umpire has explicitly been overruled.

For example, the Pine Tar Game, wherein an umpire's decision was overruled by the American League president.

Although come to think of it, the ump was right. The overruling was wrong. Nonetheless, the ump can be overruled.

And come to think of it, maybe not "instances" plural. I can't think of any other incidents. But at the very least, games are played under protest due to disagreement with the decisions of umpires all the time; it's very common. The league then reviews the ump's decision, and at least theoretically can decide to overrule it.
posted by Flunkie at 3:36 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


If the league overrules the umpire's decision, does he have the opportunity to appeal that decision--to 'strike back,' so to speak?
posted by box at 3:38 PM on July 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


Hmmm... I'm not sure. I would assume the umpire(s) and whoever is lodging the protest have a chance to argue their case before the decision is made, but I don't know.
posted by Flunkie at 3:39 PM on July 28, 2013


If, after the umpire strikes back, he mistakenly called out a himalayan sasquatch, is he allowed to call for the return of the yeti?
posted by jenkinsEar at 3:41 PM on July 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


No. Play is to be stopped when an animal is on the field potentially interfering with the game. The ump should be making sure that the grounds crew has a chance to get the yeti off the field, not encouraging the yeti to come back on.
posted by Flunkie at 3:43 PM on July 28, 2013 [11 favorites]


If you think about that, it's a hole that any marketeer (and Balko started off in marketing) can drive a train through on metafilter, whether they are marketing politics or video games or whatever.

So look, I read your post, and I still don't see the complaint. The guy was and is politically active. He's devoted his activism and his journalism to an area that really, really needs more attention. That issue is way more important than anything I read in the SHAME link. So, I don't speak for the mods, but for me, I just don't get it. Why shouldn't I be happy that there's at least one libertarian who actually takes his principles seriously and doesn't just want lower taxes but also wants less stop-and-frisk of black men, less sending paramilitary entry teams to knock down people's doors, and less oppressive incarceration? His reporting has contributed to getting death sentences overturned: how many people have SHAME gotten out of jail?

Who the hell cares about his other politics? He's politely leaving that politics out to focus on something we should all agree on. He frequently blames Republicans for bad things in the world (about as often as Democrats, I'd wager) and he's RIGHT about this.

I mean, the parallels with Glenn Greenwald are pretty clear. Lots of people who commit themselves to this particular set of problems with the growth of the police and security state do so because of politics you wouldn't agree with all the particulars of. We should celebrate that big tent, I think. But if I'm wrong, you owe me a reason why.
posted by anotherpanacea at 3:48 PM on July 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


The problem is that a single-link post by a political operative posing as a "journalist" advancing his agenda through "single issue politics" apparently is fine by the guidelines (Balko has come up 5 times on metafilter, it's the only reason i know about him.) But a single link post which factually lays out where this political operative is coming from and illustrates nicely how right-wing (it should be interesting to you libertarian types just how close to the republican party balko is) media operatives work, politically, is ad hominem axe-grinding.

If Balko's writings on police militarization are somehow corrupted by his political ideology that'd be a fine thing to bring up in the comments of a such a post. Creating a whole new post to warn site off of him strikes me as infaltilizing. We're adults, we can read his stuff and judge it for ourselves. The average mefi's views fall well to the left of the American political spectrum. But the site itself does not endorse an particular ideology, and therefor a post which merely warns people off a source of info because it's from the wrong side of the aisle is not something I'd say meets the bar of "a cool thing on the web." The front page is not the weekly meeting for the university's Socialist Club, and items that would suit the former's agenda don't necessarily merit a post.

If you think about that, it's a hole that any marketeer (and Balko started off in marketing) can drive a train through on metafilter, whether they are marketing politics or video games or whatever.

Ye gods, someone might read an article about police militarization without realizing it was written by someone they disagree with on other issues. Where have you gone, Joe Dimaggio, etc.
posted by Diablevert at 3:48 PM on July 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Oooooooh, here's a list of upheld protests in Major League Baseball, along with links to details for several of them.
posted by Flunkie at 3:50 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


metafilter: the umpire is always right.
posted by ennui.bz at 3:53 PM on July 28, 2013


Jesus, when will Taz stop pulling these power deletes?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:54 PM on July 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


The Cato institute does a bunch of terrible shit. It also happens to pay balko to cover a beat that is completely ignored by the mainstream media. That doesn't in any way make Cato a good organization over all, but neither does it tarnish his reporting. He either reports facts or not. If there is a problem with his reporting, I'd love to know about it.
posted by empath at 3:55 PM on July 28, 2013


Balko is a mefite and has explicitly denied having far-right politics.

Taking Koch money and doing something worthwhile with it doesn't strike me as the worst thing a person could have in his vita-- but I would like to know where the money a commentator lives on comes from when I evaluate his or her opinions.
posted by jamjam at 4:14 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


This may or may not line up with What Is Good Content For Metafilter, and I'm not entirely sure that it translates through aggregation as well as it might into triggers for Administrative Action.

If we think something is getting grudge-flagged we can click through and very easily see if people are consistently flagging the same people over and over again. There have been, historically, cases where this has happened. We're always, as mods, answerable for whatever got deleted though sometimes flags play a bigger and lesser role in that. This may just be overconfidence on my part, but I think we're often good at discerning when something is getting flagged because of either who posted it or the nature of the subject matter. Anyhow, it's something we look at. This post seemed axe-grindy to me as well, but I mostly checked in quickly in the morning and then went off to do something else. I could see ways of approaching the same topic but without the creepy-ish dossier angle being the main point.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:02 PM on July 28, 2013


I would like to know where the money a commentator lives on comes from when I evaluate his or her opinions.

You need to update your profile page before I can tell whether this is a good idea.
posted by Etrigan at 5:12 PM on July 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


spaltavian: "Almost every linked piece has an opinion. If those weren't allowed, we'd pretty much stuck with cat videos and Wikipedia articles."

It's kinda depressing that strongly politically motivated people on MeFi seem to see the Internet as consisting of only "stuff to get outraged about, cat videos, and Wikipedia articles". There is so much cool stuff out there on the net!
posted by Bugbread at 5:55 PM on July 28, 2013 [17 favorites]


"Stuff to get outraged about, cat videos, and Wikipedia articles" describes the entirety of posts of people I have ignored on Facebook so it's a large constituency.

Anyway, the biggest problem I have with Taz is he won't give me the inside of the plate when I'm trying to work my curveball.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 6:18 PM on July 28, 2013


Wait – so people were seriously able to load this link? Because it flat-out does not work for me. In fact, nothing in the shameproject.com/ domain actually works for me at all. I had to use a google cache to even see what the page looked like. Honestly, I was surprised at this deletion reason because, well, I was shocked that anybody anywhere was able to look at this. I've tried it on numerous devices on numerous networks – I remember trying it when it was posted, and it was just as useless then. So, uh. Yeah. I'm clearly not the only one having this problem, because downforeverone has that domain down as well.
posted by koeselitz at 6:33 PM on July 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


It was working earlier today, but it does seem to be down now.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:24 PM on July 28, 2013


That whole project SHAME, and the people behind it, even with their tendency to go after people I don't like (Malcolm Gladwell and Megan McCardle

I'm not a huge Ames fan but if he's writing about McArdle, I want to read it. That's gotta be like Sharknado chasing Tara Reid.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:25 PM on July 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Here ya go, octobersurprise. Remember to please shower when you're done.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 7:37 PM on July 28, 2013


"apparently [blah] is fine because it wasn't deleted before" "apparently [blah] isn't fine ever because it got deleted"

Sometimes [blah] is fine and sometimes it isn't, depending on a lot of things up to and including how the thread is actually going once posted. Literally the exact same thread might be deleted at some times and not deleted at others.

I understand the impulse to figure out some sort of iron-clad set of criteria by which you can determine whether or not something might be deleted. I get it. But no such set of criteria exists. None of us can control everything in our lives, including the mods, and metafilter is no different. Do your best and hope it turns out well. If it doesn't, oh freaking well. A metafilter post got deleted. The world will continue to revolve about its axis. Pick up the bike, dust off your knees, and get back on.
posted by kavasa at 7:38 PM on July 28, 2013 [9 favorites]


What a shitshow of a FPP. Not everyone here is shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, that someone doesn't agree with your politics. FPP deserved to be nuked from orbit, just to be sure.
posted by unSane at 8:26 PM on July 28, 2013


Innit a double, at least without a major update? Like, SHAME's there, we know about SHAME, if it keeps doing the same thing then people who are interested will keep seeing it.
posted by klangklangston at 8:38 PM on July 28, 2013


I think it's extremely fucking rich that Mark Ames and Yasha Levine are calling anyone an "angry white man".

Balko's done more for the cause of human freedom than any of us likely ever will.
posted by downing street memo at 8:39 PM on July 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


The "Blurred Lines" FPP states above the fold that the song is gross and unconsensual. I almost flagged it because of the editorializing, until I realized it was a quote from the article itself.

And while I enjoyed the discussion in that thread very much (and didn't flag it), your initial response was right - it was very editorializing to have that in the FPP and I think a lot of the reactions in the discussion were along the lines of "Oh, wow, I never thought of it as gross and unconsensual". I'm not sure if there would have been as many defenses of the song as there were without that quote.
posted by maryr at 9:37 PM on July 28, 2013


illustrates nicely how right-wing (it should be interesting to you libertarian types just how close to the republican party balko is) media operatives work, politically

But your post didn't do that. If you think that there's some kind of conspiracy here wherein the Koch brothers and the Cato Institute are sending this guy out to advocate reining in police power but also carry out some kind of secret conservative mission, and you can find some interesting links about it, than by all means say so in a post. Otherwise, all that's been illustrated about how right-wing media operatives work is that they write right-wing articles, which was not exactly news to me.
posted by ostro at 10:01 PM on July 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Balko's done more for the cause of human freedom than any of us likely ever will.

Let's not get carried away.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 10:54 PM on July 28, 2013


jenkinsEar: "If, after the umpire strikes back, he mistakenly called out a himalayan sasquatch, is he allowed to call for the return of the yeti?"

Finally something good has come of this thread!
posted by chavenet at 4:01 AM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Balko's done more for the cause of human freedom than any of us likely ever will.

Indeed. A statue of Balko delivering fire to the apes should be raised in Dupont Circle.

Here ya go, octobersurprise. Remember to please shower when you're done.

Oh, I read that a while back. Disappointed now. Was hoping for some heavy Ames-style angry jeremiad.

By the by, I can't see this thread without humming this.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:25 AM on July 29, 2013


octobersurprise: “A statue of Balko delivering fire to the apes should be raised in Dupont Circle.”

Didn't they just raise a statue of Balko in Trafalgar Square?
posted by koeselitz at 8:03 AM on July 29, 2013 [2 favorites]


Maybe something a little more balanced could be posted noting that Balko, while being actively against police militarization, is also pro-gun rights and pro-Stand Your Ground? Two stances that usually run contrary to anti-police militarization.

As much as SHAME is a useful resource for collecting information on pundits, the tone is a bit too accusatory and polemical for a reasoned debate. I mean it is titled SHAME after all.
posted by destro at 8:26 AM on July 29, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's entirely too much SERIOUS BUSINESS on this site now. We somehow turned into Plastic so gradually some of us didn't even notice.

Can we all just lighten up? Yeah, I know, nobody's forcing me to read this stuff. Sorry, I'll go to the nearest cat FPP.
posted by entropicamericana at 9:39 AM on July 29, 2013 [4 favorites]


Good deletion. Bad FPP. That was also one the weakest SHAME dossiers of all time.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:11 AM on July 29, 2013


I have to say that I find this kind of critique of Balko (or anyone else) weird and frightening in the assumptions it makes:

Many of Balko’s progressive followers, unaware of his long career inside the GOP think-tank network, have mistaken Balko’s criticisms of police abuse and the War On Drugs with a larger progressive politics; they’ve assumed he shares many of the same progressive assumptions they do. So every time Balko comes out with a pro-corporate, reactionary position — boosting for privatization and guns, defending Stand Your Ground, savaging Naomi Klein and teachers’ unions, or taking misleading and reactionary positions on the Trayvon Martin murder case — his progressive readers are left confused, but without a broader understanding of where Balko comes from.

Why is it even remotely interesting, or relevant to anything else, that "many of Balko's progressive followers" have any kind of views about his "assumptions"? Is it really true that his "progressive readers" are left confused? Are these readers really incapable of understanding that not everybody has generic, cookie-cutter political views? My own opinion is that it often happens that when I read the work of an author who agrees with me about certain things and disagrees with me about others, I run the terrible risk of learning something. Really, what are the other consequences of Radley Balko, Alleged Right-Wing Sleeper Agent? I find the implicit argument here -- that we should pay lots of attention to "where Balko comes from," even to the extent that we should worry more about stigmatizing his ideological origins than hearing what he expressly says -- to be completely wrong-headed.

The single-link substance of the post is so offensively bass-ackwards, intellectually and conceptually, that it's very problematic. I am on the fence as to whether it deserves deletion, but if admins thought it deserved deletion largely because it was in such terrible taste intellectually, I'm 100% in support of them.
posted by Mr. Justice at 10:20 AM on July 29, 2013 [16 favorites]


Yes, SHAME is weak. But the discussion was getting good. Must all posts start from a point of all agreeing? There was nothing offensive in the post and perhaps the weakness of Ames, SHAME etc, could have been explored. Also the fact that most the thunder against the drug war seems to be coming (quite embarrasingly for the Obama-coopted left) from the Libertarian right would appear to me to be a worthy topic of discussion.
posted by telstar at 11:18 AM on July 29, 2013


Yes, SHAME is weak. But the discussion was getting good.

And the post was getting flagged.

Must all posts start from a point of all agreeing?

Has anyone remotely suggested anything like this?

There was nothing offensive in the post and perhaps the weakness of Ames, SHAME etc, could have been explored.

The weakness of SHAME has been discussed -- if you just want to toss SHAME up there as a discussion point in and of itself, the post is a double.

Also the fact that most the thunder against the drug war seems to be coming (quite embarrasingly for the Obama-coopted left) from the Libertarian right would appear to me to be a worthy topic of discussion.

It absolutely is. But not from that axe-grindy post.
posted by Etrigan at 11:54 AM on July 29, 2013


Who tagged this MeTa "waaaah"?
posted by maryr at 12:47 PM on July 29, 2013 [3 favorites]


No. Play is to be stopped when an animal is on the field potentially interfering with the game. The ump should be making sure that the grounds crew has a chance to get the yeti off the field, not encouraging the yeti to come back on.

Last month, my friends and I were at a College World Series baseball game during which an animal ran past us in the stands and jumped onto the field. A bit larger than the squirrels or other varieties one usually sees. My friend posted about it, including a couple of pix.
posted by Celsius1414 at 4:23 PM on July 29, 2013


A statue of Balko delivering fire to the apes should be raised in Dupont Circle.

A the end of the Peter Gabriel concert the house lights slowly come up while we are all still chanting "Balko". Powerful stuff, man.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:03 PM on July 29, 2013


maryr, all those tags are from the author of the thread.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:05 PM on July 29, 2013


blah blah woof woof yada yada nod nod off off
posted by y2karl at 9:26 PM on July 29, 2013


Wake up Karl, your tie is in soup sir.

Good deletion but the Lulz value was fairly high but thats not what...yada, yada.
posted by clavdivs at 7:13 AM on July 30, 2013


that criteria is almost completely subjective.

No one else has pointed this out, so I will — yes, that's a subjective test. But in this case, being subjective is not equivalent to being undecidable or (necessarily) ambiguous.

The poster has access to their inner-state. They know, to varying degrees, their motivations for constructing a post. That anyone else can't reliably decide whether the poster faithfully applied the test to their post doesn't mean that it's useless as a promulgated standard for the prospective poster deciding whether they ought to make a given post.

This is what "self-policing" means. And if a post is called-out on MeTa, or if it's deleted, and people say, "huh, it looks like maybe you posted this more because you thought it was important than because you thought that others would find it interesting", well, obviously they can't know this and so it's a poor test for others to decide about the quality of the post but, again, that doesn't mean that suspecting this and asking the poster to ask this of themselves isn't useful. Because it is.

We can, and should, know why we make a post. If it's more because we think it's really important and the rest of MetaFilter should know about it, and not so much because we think that the rest of MetaFilter would be interested and pleased ... well, that's not a good post.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:54 PM on July 30, 2013 [3 favorites]


The ump should be making sure that the grounds crew has a chance to get the yeti off the field, not encouraging the yeti to come back on.

Awwww maaaaan.
posted by yeti at 2:34 PM on July 31, 2013 [7 favorites]


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