Just wondering about the etiquette of threadsitting December 4, 2013 9:16 PM   Subscribe

When someone posts to AskMefi, is there a standard etiquette that posters should be knowing to follow? Something like "Do not post any responses for 24 hours after you've posted your question or else you will be threadsitting/tempted to threadsit," perhaps? I avoid Metafilter for 24 hours after I post anything because then I feel like an embarrassed ass asking a question, but that's just me. I was wondering if this was any kind of ... more official thing for everyone else, or should be, or what.
posted by jenfullmoon to Etiquette/Policy at 9:16 PM (61 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Usually we-as-mods just want to make sure the OP isn't turning their thread asking one question into a general bullshit session about their topic. Updates that answer commenter's questions or that add information helpful to answering the original question are fine, but try to keep it within reason. OP comments that ask further questions, that change the scope of the question in a major way, or that just seem to want to talk about the topic without really having a question to be answered are less good. We'll leave a note if we think the OP is overdoing it but most of the time I usually try, personally, to stick to 2 or 3 comments in my own threads unless there's an ongoing problem-solving aspect to them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:21 PM on December 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


oh and by the way my boyfriend ate a childs face should i stay idk?
posted by klangklangston at 9:44 PM on December 4, 2013 [57 favorites]


Was child's face prepared in an authentic manner? Like, say, a recipe from a despotic African dictator's revolutionary kitchen?
posted by TrialByMedia at 9:48 PM on December 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


Uh its not just "despotic Africans" that eat child face check your privilege much of America has authentic child face like chops or tacos or whatevs
posted by klangklangston at 10:00 PM on December 4, 2013 [43 favorites]


Lots of times the OP can clarify something ambiguous or further elaborate on a question with a quick comment. By doing so, she can get more useful answers to her question than if she kept her mouth shut for a 24 hour embargo. I think this is especially true for more "factual" or "procedural" types of questions ("How do I get this stain out of shirt?" with the follow-up comment "Does it matter if it's emu spit-up instead of ostrich?") rather than human relations questions ("Do I DTMFA?" with the follow-up "But he's really sweet when he's not on crack"), but context matters. If you're coming back to argue repeatedly with the people who are trying to help you, then that's obnoxious, but if you're trying to clarify the situation to help them help you, that's probably a good thing.

Why should you feel like an "embarrassed ass" asking a question? That's what the website is here for. If anything, AskMe has taught me that other people have far more embarrassing, unusual, and awkward questions than I ever thought possible. And that's not a bug; it's what makes the site so powerful. Anyway, looking through your questions, you almost certainly don't make the 50th percentile for embarrassed ass territory.
posted by zachlipton at 10:40 PM on December 4, 2013 [12 favorites]


If you're coming back to argue repeatedly with the people who are trying to help you

Also, if you're tempted to do this, remember that you're not obligated to take the advice that anyone gives you in AskMe. Use what you find useful, and ignore what you don't.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:46 AM on December 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


I don't think this happens enough to really be a problem does it? Often clarifications are really helpful (though, yes, in the case that presumably prompted this... yeech). The mods don't seem to mind dropping a note in where required.
posted by smoke at 12:57 AM on December 5, 2013


I was just reading this question immediately before finding this which includes a "don't threadsit" note; I suspect that might have raised the question?

It's the first time I've noticed that sort of mod note in Ask but I don't read it as much as your typical AskMe fan. At first it was slightly jarring and I wondered if the OP would know what that means...didn't check their profile, but I just had an "aww, I hope they don't get teh sads" feeling for a sec before realizing I was actively processing what it meant myself. I was familiar with the term outside of the AskMe context and have been guilty of it in another life perhaps in the blue but had to think through what it meant here, beyond "lots of comments from Asker, potentially replying to questions."

I realized there was a conversational flow building up where some of the replies were more like comments on the answers that brought on replies from the answerers, which has various ramifications, including discouraging other potential answerers from posting in the the short-term in this particular thread ("my comment will just get drowned out") and transforming Ask into more of a "let's talk about me!" festival in the long term, where posts are less "here's a question and then a bunch of possible answers" and more "here's a conversation to parse out."
posted by lordaych at 1:43 AM on December 5, 2013


Yeah, Metafilter is the discussion part of the site, while Ask Metafilter is fairly strictly an "ask a question, get some answers" space where discussion, chat, debate and arguing is strongly and actively discouraged. Sometimes posters want to have more of a "hash-it-out" or processing sort of conversation, or are looking for a support group sort of thing, or want play their own devil's advocate role, or otherwise participate in an ongoing discussion or just something different than the intended use for Ask Me, and we typically intervene when we see it. Overall, this works for the site to stay mostly useful instead of becoming a drama magnet, or devolving into a chat space. Occasionally it doesn't work out perfectly for an individual poster who may find that the question they asked isn't the question they really need answered, say, or they didn't really do a good job of conveying what sort of help they are looking for... but they can usually post again the following week with a more targeted or clear question (though we also discourage people asking essentially the same question over and over).

Sometimes ungreat formulations of questions lead to less helpful answers, but that's a bit of a learning curve sort of thing. If the issue is complex or confusing, it helps to take some time to make the question as clear as possible so that people understand what sort of help you are looking for, and it's wise to leave out unnecessary details that you don't really want to get feedback on (such as long intricate backstories, usually expressing anger or frustration about something that's not needed to answer the question – because people will address that aspect, and maybe not in the way the OP hopes for, and we don't allow posters to jump into the thread to fight with people trying to answer their question). On the other hand, leaving out extremely pertinent details, and maybe disclosing them later in the thread also throws things for a loop ("My wife gained a lot of weight recently and doesn't seem to think it's a problem, what should I do?" and 30 comments later, "Oh, by the way, she's pregnant.") [<-- EXAGGERATION FOR EFFECT. MOSTLY.]

People can comment to clear up misconceptions, add a detail that might have been neglected ("oh, I should have mentioned I'm in Specific City"), or answer questions, but if the poster is popping in to comment over and over again, or commenting in a way that is fighty or chatty, there is usually a problem. Maybe they didn't do a great job of presenting their problem or what sort of advice/recommendations they are looking for, or perhaps they want to chat, or vent, or argue or whatever, but we'll usually drop a note asking them to stop, and if they have questions about that, we're always available to explain the issue.
posted by taz (staff) at 2:54 AM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I think that thread was the first time though I was specifically glad the OP was threadsitting, particularly because of the "oh by the way he is a baby-eater, should I stay?" notes.

I think for "Should I stay or should I go?" questions, a lot of times people need a little time to feel comfortable before they come out with the real dirt that is bothering them, which can be helpful.

because holy jesus the answer is no
posted by corb at 3:49 AM on December 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


I was just having a look at the form for posting a question, and while there are links to the FAQs on how to post a good question and the guidelines etc, there doesn't seem to be anything that mentions threadsitting on the part of the OP. Would it be helpful to include that somewhere? Basically a line or two from jessamyn's first comment here? If someone is new and thinks of it in more of a discussion forum way - especially in terms of relationship advice - the idea of posting a question and then not responding to answers might not be intuitive.
posted by billiebee at 4:14 AM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


With relationship questions - like the one linked in here - sometimes you get the kind of threadsitting where the OP gets a little defensive, it sounds -
"My boyfriend eats baby faces, what should I do?"

"OMG, leave now."

"But what if he's not killing the baby himself, then it's not so bad, is it?"

"Seriously, leave now."

"No, it's not like he's buddies with Ed Gein or anything, he gets them from some mail order club. But I dunno...what do you think?"

"WE THINK YOU SHOULD LEAVE."

"No, but see...."
That always comes across as someone who hasn't asked the question because they're sincerely looking for help, it comes across as someone who's seeking some kind of weird reverse validation ("No, this is normal, you're fine") or some way to have their cake and eat it too ("you're right that eating baby faces is wrong - but you can totally fix him by just doing this one weird trick and everything will be fine"). Or, that they're still in the Bluebeards'-wife phase of things where deep down they know something's wrong but they're still kind of afraid to face it, and if they just keep talking and distract themselves long enough then they won't have to open the scary closet and look at the monster just yet.

And sometimes, encouraging them to stop threadsitting makes them quiet down and listen to the advice people are giving them, which ultimately is REALLY what they need in the line of help, is being encouraged to confront the fact that they deep down already know something's wrong and it's time to do something about it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:39 AM on December 5, 2013 [10 favorites]


Threadshitting? Well, of course, I'm against it. No one should do that.

*Puts on glasses*

...oh, never mind. —SCI(Sight-Challenged Investigator) Guy
yeah
posted by Toekneesan at 5:05 AM on December 5, 2013


There's a bunch of of asker-answerer interactions where continuous asker input seems totally okay. For example in tech-solve threads (like "I locked myself out of/into my apartment/toilet/fridge", "my car whistles the Marseillaise in third gear"), or threads with some type of time-sensitive dynamic, like many acute health-related questions, or the famous my cat ran away into the wilderness question, for instance. Answerers walk the asker through loops of problem-solving and the asker answers and tells them what didn't work why.
posted by Namlit at 5:26 AM on December 5, 2013


Billiebee we do have a bit on threadsitting in the FAQ, so yeah, maybe we can add "threadsitting" and a link to that in the "Why was my Ask MetaFilter post/comment removed?" section of the Ask Me FAQ.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:36 AM on December 5, 2013


It's the first time I've noticed that sort of mod note in Ask but I don't read it as much as your typical AskMe fan.

It is not uncommon.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 5:48 AM on December 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


When someone posts to AskMefi, is there a standard etiquette that posters should be knowing to follow?

When posting to any of the sites, I try to actively stick around for 15-30 minutes to clear up in confusion or questions.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:01 AM on December 5, 2013 [7 favorites]


You should especially hang around for MeTa posts, especially especially if they are potentially controversial. I find it aggravating when someone drops a 30 megaton MeTa question about censorship of I/P threads or something, and then disappears.
posted by Chrysostom at 6:20 AM on December 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


If someone is new and thinks of it in more of a discussion forum way - especially in terms of relationship advice - the idea of posting a question and then not responding to answers might not be intuitive.

And AskMe seems kind of unusual in this especially among sites for asking questions about the woolier, human-relations part of human experience. Mostly, those are either problem-page formats, where you wouldn't expect to come in and debate your question further, or broader discussion-based ones where the community weighs in, and your further participation is not just encouraged but often outright expected. (And then there's Yahoo! Answers, but God help you if you're looking for relationship advice on there.) What's considered threadsitting over here is considered a polite level of participation in lots of other places.

I like the way AskMe's run and don't want it changed to allow more of a debate-style format - but, yeah, I agree with billiebee that something about threadsitting linked to from the posting form would be helpful for posters less familiar with AskMe.
posted by Catseye at 6:34 AM on December 5, 2013


If an asker's reply starts with "No" or has the word "but" in the first half-dozen words, he or she should get a popup window:

"You look like you might be threadsitting. Are you sure you want to post this right now?"
posted by Etrigan at 6:47 AM on December 5, 2013 [8 favorites]




Guys, how do you ask questions? BTW I won't be checking this thread for answers. Thanks.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 7:11 AM on December 5, 2013 [5 favorites]


it comes across as someone who's seeking some kind of weird reverse validation ("No, this is normal, you're fine") or some way to have their cake and eat it too

Yes. While commonly found in relationship questions, it can also be found in the likes of "what can I do about my barking dog, which my neighbors hate?" or "please make me like doing something that I think would be a good idea to do but really I don't want to do it". It is a string of "yeah, but" until a mod comes in with a threadsitting warning. You can predict with near certainty which answers the OP will mark as "best".

The constant OP input in this thread was of a different sort in that instead of putting relevant information in the main question, she kept piping in to trickle out little facts of information that were pretty relevant to answering the question, one of which was so consequential that it led me to revise my first answer. (there where also a few chatty follow-ups)

Although, my least favorite type of OP follow-up is when the OP becomes snappish. "Look, stop tell me X" or "I'm not an idiot/asshole. Geez." It's like that time someone asked me for directions and then told me I was wrong. You came to me for help, so accept or ignore it, but don't be an ingrate.
posted by Tanizaki at 7:22 AM on December 5, 2013 [8 favorites]


I didn't cite a specific thread because I see this probably multiple times a week, it seems (I read Ask Mefi when bored, so...frequently). It seems like it comes up a lot.

As for the embarrassment, that's my own personal quirk of feeling stupid once I realize that people saw what I was whining about and will have opinions now. And as we all know, answers don't always go in the way you think they're going to go, and then I start thinking I look dumb....but again, that's just me, not anyone else.
posted by jenfullmoon at 7:31 AM on December 5, 2013


Lmao, seriously, that thread. I'm sorry that the asker is having trouble but I was literally rofling when the bit about the upskirt pics came out.
posted by downing street memo at 7:31 AM on December 5, 2013


Its super not-helpful to come in here and talk about how laughable you find other people's problems. Please don't turn this thread into a point-and-gawk exercise.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:35 AM on December 5, 2013 [30 favorites]


"Although, my least favorite type of OP follow-up is when the OP becomes snappish. "Look, stop tell me X" or "I'm not an idiot/asshole. Geez." It's like that time someone asked me for directions and then told me I was wrong. You came to me for help, so accept or ignore it, but don't be an ingrate."

The other side of that, though, is having to come back in because answerers didn't bother to read the whole question. Like, "I'm looking for more fusion jazz. I already own Miles Davis's entire catalog, so I don't need any more of that." "Well, have you heard Bitches Brew?" People frequently give bad answers because they didn't bother to actually parse the query.
posted by klangklangston at 8:44 AM on December 5, 2013 [12 favorites]


I'm gonna keep digging...

Sometimes people refuse to listen until they've dug themselves into a deep enough hole.

Regarding threadsitting, I try and limit my interactions to new info or clarify on a question.
posted by arcticseal at 8:54 AM on December 5, 2013


The other side of that, though, is having to come back in because answerers didn't bother to read the whole question.

I think the mods are really good at nixing those answers, though. I asked something recently and someone immediately asked for a clarification that was already in the question, but it was deleted in nanoseconds.

I think Tanizaki is referring to OPs who clearly don't want to hear the advice being offered, and get a bit defensive.
posted by billiebee at 9:15 AM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


As someone with a natural tendency to threadsit, I try to ask myself if my response in the thread is actually going to help people give more effective answers or not. If the answer is "no" then I refrain from updating, and if it's "maybe" then I think real hard about it. I also try to avoid providing any but the most critical and obvious updates until I've already gotten several answers, so that I can have a sense of how the thread is actually going before stepping in to make an adjustment.

I try to limit my responses to providing pertinent information that I forgot to include in the original question (I do carefully preview my questions to help make sure that all relevant information is included, but it's still not a perfect system), clarifying misconceptions about my situation that seem to be making the advice less relevant, or reminding people that a certain class of answer is not up for consideration.

Occasionally I will also pop in a while after the advice seems to have tailed off (days or weeks) in order to thank people for their advice and give a summary of how the problem was resolved.

Some questions involve ongoing situations where more frequent updates from the asker are appropriate, but I don't think I've ever asked a question like that except for maybe my "how can I catch this cat?" question. Even then I think it's best if the asker refrains from posting updates unless they are actually of material importance to the situation.
posted by Scientist at 10:24 AM on December 5, 2013


I think Tanizaki is referring to OPs who clearly don't want to hear the advice being offered, and get a bit defensive.

And whoa, did I just get one of those.
posted by Tanizaki at 1:10 PM on December 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


I actually came back here after reading what I assume is the thread you're referring to so I could see if anyone had commented. I wasn't sure whether to flag anything since their response was heated but I don't know that they technically did anything wrong.
posted by brilliantine at 1:22 PM on December 5, 2013


I think of threadsitting as either:

-- when you ask a question and then repeatedly trickle out information that drastically changes the responses from the beginning of the thread to the end. It's different, depending on the type of question being asked, but I think more than one or two follow ups is a conversation.

-- when your follow-up invalidates all responses that do not agree with your original premise and it's got a 'tude.
posted by sm1tten at 1:29 PM on December 5, 2013


I wasn't sure whether to flag anything since their response was heated but I don't know that they technically did anything wrong.

Oh, I imagine there is no issue with site policy if an OP wants to have a snit. Whenever I read one of those OP follow-ups, I wish that they get everything they want.
posted by Tanizaki at 1:31 PM on December 5, 2013


-- when you ask a question and then repeatedly trickle out information that drastically changes the responses from the beginning of the thread to the end

This is the second most annoying thing that happens on Ask Metafilter. The most annoying thing being when 99 answers tell you one thing, 1 answer tells you the opposite, and you mark the 1 answer as BEST ANSWER.
posted by Justinian at 2:39 PM on December 5, 2013 [12 favorites]


brilliantine: "I wasn't sure whether to flag anything"

There's probably no need to flag at this point. The mods have said in the past that once they're already paying close attention to a thread (as they surely are in this case, since they've already deleted comments and left notes, and now we have this Meta) flagging just slows them down. Flags just draw their attention to a post or comment, and if their attention is already there then it just means that the mod is going to have to stop and clear the flag before they can go back to whatever else they need to be doing.

Flags aren't votes for deletion, they're more the equivalent of raising your hand and saying "Hey, look at this!" If the mod is already looking then it's sort of pointless, and slightly counterproductive since they're going to have to deal with your raised hand now as well as whatever the actual issue is.
posted by Scientist at 2:55 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


The most annoying thing being when 99 answers tell you one thing, 1 answer tells you the opposite, and you mark the 1 answer as BEST ANSWER.

The best answer is the one that I want to hear because it tells me that I'm great and what I did/am doing/plan to do is glorious and everyone else is a "hater" who can sit on it.
posted by Tanizaki at 2:55 PM on December 5, 2013 [6 favorites]


The most annoying thing being when 99 answers tell you one thing, 1 answer tells you the opposite, and you mark the 1 answer as BEST ANSWER.

I don't get many best answers, but when I do, that is exactly how it happens.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 3:17 PM on December 5, 2013


Flags aren't votes for deletion, they're more the equivalent of raising your hand and saying "Hey, look at this!" If the mod is already looking then it's sort of pointless, and slightly counterproductive since they're going to have to deal with your raised hand now as well as whatever the actual issue is.

Except not that, because sometimes you'll say, "Hey, why didn't X comment get deleted?" and mods will say, "Because it didn't get flagged" or "it didn't get many flags", which kind of encourages you to flag every single time you think something violates guidelines enough for a delete, just in case.
posted by corb at 3:34 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


Except not that, because sometimes you'll say, "Hey, why didn't X comment get deleted?" and mods will say, "Because it didn't get flagged" or "it didn't get many flags", which kind of encourages you to flag every single time you think something violates guidelines enough for a delete, just in case.

Well it's more complex than that. We have talked to you specifically a lot about the fact that you flag a lot of things that, in the absence of other flags, are likely things we are not going to act on. You also often flag stuff that is hours or days old in threads, or comments that have already been responded to a lot. We never use the presence or absence of flags as the sole reasoning for what we are doing but it's often supporting evidence for the decisions we make. "How come you're not deleting the stuff that I'm flagging?" "No one but you is flagging that stuff and it's not really meeting any other threshold for deletion" is an example of the back and forth that I'm familiar with having.

Different people's metric for what should be flagged and what mods should act on can be more or less in line with how we-as-mods look at what requires attention or acting on by us. Please believe us when we say that if we are already active in a thread and commenting often, flags are not as important to helping us do our jobs and flagging stuff that is half a day old in active busy threads is actually never helpful (sometimes it's helpful for slow threads or ones that we might not have seen). If you need more explanation of this, please feel free to ask, but your take on this may not be in line with how we actually do our jobs.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:43 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


At some point you just kind of have to accept what you're getting. I asked a question about a job situation; I got a bunch of answers that were probably very good in a generic context but weren't taking much into account about the specifics of the situation. I could point that out again. But why? AskMe always gets some of those sorts of too-generic answers and most of us who hang out there regularly give them at least part of the time and an ordinary intelligent adult can mentally weed out what's not helping, I guess.

Continuing to post is good if people are really asking for more info about your situation, or if the situation changes, or that sort of thing. Not because some of your answers are wrong, because some of the answers are always going to be wrong--wrong answers are a good opportunity to examine your assumptions about the problem, but sometimes they're just wrong.
posted by Sequence at 3:48 PM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]


. "How come you're not deleting the stuff that I'm flagging?" "No one but you is flagging that stuff and it's not really meeting any other threshold for deletion" is an example of the back and forth that I'm familiar with having.

That's probably a relatively accurate recollection, from what I personally recall - but, absent a mod guideline that is different for me than every other person, what it encourages me to do is to flag more, not less, because I think, "Man, this really sucks. This thing is categorically awful. I wish someone else had my back in flagging this awful shit. I can't be on Metafilter 24/7." *light bulb* "If this standard is being evenly applied to every other person, then some other person is possibly out there flagging awful things, and not having them deleted because no one is having their back." *lightbulb* "That really sucks. I'm going to be the change I want to see in the world, and be more conscientious about flags instead of lazy about them."
posted by corb at 3:55 PM on December 5, 2013


taz: "My wife gained a lot of weight recently and doesn't seem to think it's a problem, what should I do?" and 30 comments later, "Oh, by the way, she's pregnant.") [<-- EXAGGERATION FOR EFFECT. MOSTLY.]

Am I completely off-base (not to mention off-topic) here, or wasn't there an Ask in the past year or two that had exactly that issue?
posted by ambrosen at 4:35 PM on December 5, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yup.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:56 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


"And whoa, did I just get one of those."

DO NOT QUESTION MY DESIRE TO POISON MY OFFICE MY QUESTION WAS WHAT THERMOS HOLDS POISON BEST!
posted by klangklangston at 5:31 PM on December 5, 2013 [12 favorites]


Although, my least favorite type of OP follow-up is when the OP becomes snappish. "Look, stop tell me X" or "I'm not an idiot/asshole. Geez." It's like that time someone asked me for directions and then told me I was wrong. You came to me for help, so accept or ignore it, but don't be an ingrate.

I get why this is annoying, and personally I am annoyed by this attitude most of the time, but I think that in many cases, answers assume bad faith/stupidity on the OP's part, and that's not fair. If you find yourself getting preachy and sanctimonious in an AskMe answer, just stop. (Do what I say, not what I do, etc.) I've had to delete a lot of my answers to questions before posting them because I read what I wrote and realized that I was being a dick. And an unhelpful dick, at that.

So, sometimes I can empathize with an angry OP.

Re: The trickling of relevant information - That is the WORST. So annoying.
posted by ablazingsaddle at 6:22 PM on December 5, 2013 [2 favorites]


absent a mod guideline that is different for me than every other person, what it encourages me to do is to flag more, not less

You're welcome to follow up with us via the contact form if you want to discuss this further but I'd suggest a better strategy would be to accept that some of the stuff you are flagging is not stuff we are going to delete (as we've told you over email) and make your peace with that instead of continuing to flag it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:28 PM on December 5, 2013


I just flagged the previously referenced comment just 'cause I think the Mods should mess with some people more. ;-}
posted by sammyo at 6:48 PM on December 5, 2013


My strategy has always been to just flag stuff that I feel ought to be fixed, and then to just not stress about it if the mods don't do what I would do.

If they do what I was hoping then I do a silent victory dance for having made MeFi a better place, and if they don't then I just figure that they probably know better than anyone else how this site is meant to work and that they didn't see a need to make a change, or just maybe they did something behind the scenes that I'm not seeing. I generally trust their judgment, and if we disagree then, well, the stakes were always pretty low for me. My job as the flagger is to bring stuff to their attention, and their job as the mods is to decide what if anything to do about it.

I try to flag in the way that they've said is most helpful to them, by just highlighting a single comment (or a post) rather than a whole series of them. If I flag something as a derail, I trust that they'll take a look at the comments surrounding it and that I don't need to flag every single comment in the derail. Once their attention is on something I assume they're going to do their due diligence and try to suss out the problem in a holistic fashion and take whatever they see as the most appropriate action. If I don't think a flag would be self-explanatory, then I drop them a brief heads-up in the contact form to the effect of "hey, there's this thing going on in such-and-such a thread, I just thought you might want to look into it and see if you want to do something."

Either way, once I've dropped a flag it's sort of out of my hands and I don't really think much more about it. Why stress? The mods are going to do what they think is best for the site, and if I disagree with that then that's just because my vision for MetaFilter is a bit different from theirs. At that point it's on me to decide if I can live with that or not, but there's not really much else to be done about it.
posted by Scientist at 7:02 PM on December 5, 2013 [3 favorites]


If there's a particular comment that I really have a problem with, I use the oh-so-convenient Contact link and send a message to whoever's on duty. "Hey, I think the recent comments in this thread [paste link] are a problem because (blah)." "Things seem like they're going off-track here [paste link] FYI and action as appropriate." "Okay, the comments in this thread [paste link] are COMPLETELY SCREWED UP because (blah blah blah) and could you please do something? Assuming you see fit, I mean."

So far, every such contact has gotten a response. Sometimes it's been something like "Yeah, that was going overboard, I deleted the worst and left a message" and sometimes it's been "Took a look and don't see a problem, but will keep an eye on it." However it worked out, I felt like my concerns had been registered.
posted by Lexica at 9:45 PM on December 5, 2013


Either way, once I've dropped a flag it's sort of out of my hands and I don't really think much more about it. Why stress? The mods are going to do what they think is best for the site, and if I disagree with that then that's just because my vision for MetaFilter is a bit different from theirs. At that point it's on me to decide if I can live with that or not, but there's not really much else to be done about it.

Otherwise known as "Let go, Let Mod."
posted by kimberussell at 6:59 AM on December 6, 2013 [5 favorites]


corb: sometimes the mods decide to handle a flagged comment by doing something other than deleting it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:02 AM on December 6, 2013 [4 favorites]


My strategy is not to flag things and to hope the mods don't delete things.
posted by Justinian at 1:42 PM on December 6, 2013


Oh, except doubles and self-links and chatfilter askmes and the like. Administrative stuff rather than delete-for-content stuff.
posted by Justinian at 1:42 PM on December 6, 2013


Yeah, I do a lot more "administrative" flagging than "content" flagging, and I imagine if the infodump had information on flag usage (does it?) this would probably be shown to be pretty normal across the site. I think I'm pretty good about not flagging stuff just because I disagrree with it, I try to limit my content-related flagging to stuff that is clearly against the stated site rules, like racial slurs or personal attacks. That stuff is a lot more rare around here than HTML errors and the like. I do flag a fair few derails.
posted by Scientist at 3:02 PM on December 6, 2013


I try to flag personal attacks, bigotry, and when a category of people are being insulted, as I read, rather than going back for them. I don't tend to flag double posts and the like because I assume everyone else has got that.
posted by corb at 6:26 AM on December 7, 2013


oh, and "X people should be killed". I flag that a lot.
posted by corb at 6:27 AM on December 7, 2013


Yup. I flag that kind of stuff too. Usually it gets deleted or otherwise moderated. Occasionally not, but that's usually for the stuff that was a bit more borderline to begin with. Either way I don't stress over it. FIAMO and all that.
posted by Scientist at 10:50 AM on December 7, 2013


Yup.

OMG. I'm sad that no one advised that his wife should dump him.

posted by MissySedai at 2:09 PM on December 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I might be totally alone on this, but i often find myself wishing there was some sort of "casual askme" or "BSfilter" board that wasn't just an IRC style chatroom like metachat where people could post threads that didn't follow the "one question, lots of answers" formula and could just talk about stuff. Because i've seen some threads that seemed like they'd be interesting or just downright amusing flagged as chatfilter.

I don't disagree with that assessment of them, but i wish there was somewhere for that stuff to go.

Just because something doesn't fit within the format of AskMe doesn't mean that it wouldn't be an interesting or worthwhile discussion. There's a lot of interesting people on here, and sometimes i wish i could just see them talk about stuff that wasn't FPP material and wasn't a link to something. Just a discussion thread, that isn't everyone fighting on MeTa or something.
posted by emptythought at 7:29 PM on December 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's actually another thing called Metachat, and it isn't an IRC chatroom at all.
posted by klangklangston at 11:52 PM on December 7, 2013


« Older We're not talking about this. Period.   |   Certainly I'm not the only one who would find this... Newer »

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