Likelihood to "go smoothly": necessarily a positive quality in a topic? February 6, 2014 11:31 PM   Subscribe

I'm curious about the deletion message for an article I posted to the blue: "This is a kind of incoherent article on a topic that's not likely to go smoothly. -- restless_nomad". I have no objection to the deletion! But the stated reason raises an interesting question, I think: are good topics necessarily topics that generate discussions which go smoothly?

I'm intrigued by the notion that among the criteria for judging the suitability of a topic for discussion, the likelihood of the conversation to "go smoothly" might be important. Does the community hold that "potential to produce discussion that goes smoothly" is a necessary and/or highly desirable quality of a submission to the blue?

Another, slightly different question: if an issue or idea is likely to meet with uniform disagreement, contempt, or disapproval from most of the hivemind, is there still value in posting it? That is, is there a place here for--and merit in--an opportunity for sustained and educated critique?



Postscript: I seem to recall that a few years ago, conversations about Israel-Palestine issues were getting so fractious that the mods began to nix new posts on the issue. But if I recall correctly, it was the debate's repetitive quality -- the same Mefites posting the same points in response to each other across multiple threads -- that led to the crackdown. Not the fractiousness itself.
posted by artemisia to MetaFilter-Related at 11:31 PM (191 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

If your post actually says that it's inflammatory, then you probably shouldn't be put out when a mod kills it for being inflammatory.
posted by Etrigan at 11:34 PM on February 6, 2014 [14 favorites]


"not likely to go smoothly" is a euphemism for "you are trying to start a shitstorm here, aren't you?"
posted by oneswellfoop at 11:43 PM on February 6, 2014 [9 favorites]


I'll again quote myself from a response to someone inquiring about this deletion: "As usual, there may be a way to post it, but it looks like a click-bait, flame-bait article based a study that's been out for a while, and posting on Mefi with a title like "Ladies who like sex: take off your shoes and get into the kitchen" isn't the way to do it if someone is hoping for a discussion that is more than a shitfest."

It's a single link to an opinion piece from someone who has something of a reputation for flame-bait that is based on a study using research from 20 years ago in a piece that has been framed in a really strange way (why are only the married men getting less sex? are the married women not getting less sex? how does that work? is that addressed in the original study? can we actually see the original study and research?) on a topic that tends to be very difficult under the best of conditions.

If someone really wants to revisit that old research, I'd say do a much more in-depth post, ideally including access to the study/research, and without the outrage-inducing title.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:49 PM on February 6, 2014 [12 favorites]


But I'm not put out! Arrgh, is this going to seem like sour grapes? I'm not sure how to avoid that, except to say that I really do genuinely mean to ask about the broader philosophy of what constitutes a worthwhile topic of discussion. If it helps, I'll repeat that I think the mod was totally correct in deleting my post, not least because I got lazy and didn't give it any framing.

Anyway, to put my question in your language, do topics that make for inflammatory discussions necessarily make for bad posts? (If this isn't a question that interests anybody else, fair enough!)
posted by artemisia at 11:50 PM on February 6, 2014 [1 favorite]


Gotcha, Taz! Thanks for that reply. It looks like this discussion is going to keep circling back to that specific deleted question -- so it seems I've once again not framed my post well. Probably a sign that I should call it a night!
posted by artemisia at 11:53 PM on February 6, 2014


Yeah, lots of sites love inflammatory rage-fueled discussion because it drives more views, which results in more $$, and they don't invest much in moderation or community building. We'd much rather have good, intelligent, insightful, thoughtful discussion without people being hateful to each other, bad feelings and anger all around, people closing their accounts and leaving the site, grudges formed, etc.
posted by taz (staff) at 11:55 PM on February 6, 2014 [27 favorites]


It makes sense if you think of "smooth" as shorthand for "thoughtful and reasoned." There is always room for thoughtful and reasoned discussion on MetaFilter, but not everything works out that way. Sometimes we don't realize it until it's going off the rails, and mods deal with it as best they can, but sometimes (with topics we have proven we can't be trusted with, FFPs about articles that are themselves not thoughtful and reasoned, and post framing that sets an unnecessarily provocative or confrontational tone before a single comment is made) mods can see the train wreck coming from a mile down.

Of course they don't do it alone, and the flagging system is the rail they put their ear to; sometimes it is non-mods who see it coming, and I suspect that happened here (I doubt I was the only one who flagged your particular post based on either the content itself or the provocative title.) Speaking more generally, thought, it's an inexact science, much like a community's judgment of what obscenity is by knowing it when we see it. It is still arguably a better system than not filtering at all, otherwise what's the point of this whole site anyway?
posted by davejay at 12:21 AM on February 7, 2014


Another, slightly different question: if an issue or idea is likely to meet with uniform disagreement, contempt, or disapproval from most of the hivemind, is there still value in posting it? That is, is there a place here for--and merit in--an opportunity for sustained and educated critique?

I'd imagine that if a post contains content that is *handwave* "good enough", then it can potentially outweigh the negative considerations accrued to it by the volatility of the subject matter. The general sense I get is that bar is higher, in some cases, much, much higher, not that the topic is necessarily entirely a no go.

Postscript: I seem to recall that a few years ago, conversations about Israel-Palestine issues were getting so fractious that the mods began to nix new posts on the issue. But if I recall correctly, it was the debate's repetitive quality -- the same Mefites posting the same points in response to each other across multiple threads -- that led to the crackdown. Not the fractiousness itself.

Yes, but if the mods have a sense that a given topic is or is not "likely to go smoothly" that's probably based on experience with prior posts (i.e. repetition, even if threads on that topic have never reached the extent that Israel/Palestine threads have).
posted by juv3nal at 12:27 AM on February 7, 2014


Going smoothly basically means that the only people arguing are Miko and someone who respects Miko.
posted by michaelh at 12:53 AM on February 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'm not even sure what that is supposed to mean, but perhaps it's better to stick to the question about good topics on Metafilter rather than making obscure comments about other members.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:59 AM on February 7, 2014 [27 favorites]


That is, is there a place here for--and merit in--an opportunity for sustained and educated critique?

Do you actually read the site regularly? Sustained and educated critique is an enormous part of what makes up the comments here.

"Going smoothly" doesn't mean "everybody silently nodding their heads", it means "not a flamefest". Like bouncers, the moderators have naturally become quite good at spotting posts that will lead to stupid shitshows and escorting them from the building before the trouble can start.

Keeping out stupid shitshows is exactly how one encourages and supports "sustained and educated critique".
posted by emilyw at 2:04 AM on February 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


But I'm not put out! Arrgh, is this going to seem like sour grapes? I'm not sure how to avoid that, except to say that I really do genuinely mean to ask about the broader philosophy of what constitutes a worthwhile topic of discussion.

Um, yes? It's pretty much not possible to post a MeTa asking "why was my post/comment deleted?" and not have it seem exactly like that. Not because you necessarily intend to, but because there have been so many MeTas that have been exactly that that you end up guilty by association. If you really want to know, and you don't want to look like you are complaining to the community, using the contact form would be the way to get the question answered.

I mean, you could create a very general MeTa by collecting FPPs that have stood and others that have been deleted and ask what the difference is, but I think this impulse comes from wanting a set of hard and fast guidelines that can always be applied, and there are two problems with that. First, the mods have pretty much refused to go there -- moderation is on a case by case basis (with a few exceptions like self-links) not according to a long set of criteria. Second, if guidelines were created, it would just lead to even more contentious rules-lawyering MeTas, so it doesn't seem like a good idea, even in theory.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:42 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I too have more general concerns for how making deletions to avoid asshattery in threads tacitly give asshaberdasher-minded mefites the ability to censor the front page by expanding their asshattery, but this seems like a pretty excellent deletion to me. Where the linked article was itself assmillinery worth avoiding.
posted by Blasdelb at 3:36 AM on February 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


Yea seriously.

Like, uh, i get what you're saying sometimes. But that title, and the premise of that article(which really brings nothing new to the table, and is "find me evidence to support my point" crap) makes this a really terrible example of anything but shitposting if you're trying to get anyone on your side of the ring.

There's been plenty of worth discussing/arguing in the defense of deletions of decent posts on the basis of "oh, people will be assholes about this", a lot of those have gotten metas even. Some didn't and probably deserved it.

This though, is shitposting on the title alone. I would have flagged it even if it was actually a great post that was really level headed and in-depth. But then again, i'm getting really tired of BS inflammatory titles on posts.
posted by emptythought at 3:44 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Anyway, to put my question in your language, do topics that make for inflammatory discussions necessarily make for bad posts?

Yes, because the thing is that inflammatory discussions are rarely actually "discussions" so much as they're people screaming at each other and having dick-measuring contests about who's more right/noble/smart/enlightened/proper/patriotic/globally informed/put-upon/progressive/intelligent/with-it/cool/whatever.

I've been tempted to join such screaming before, I suspect I will again (even though I really am working on it); but it's still better that they just not happen at all.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:38 AM on February 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


I'd like to object to all the anti-asshattery comments in this thread, because my ass actually is a hat. I am wearing my own ass right now, a feat I achieved by bending my torso backwards until I could insert my head into said ass. You may say: "Uh ... gosh. Maybe just get a beanie?" - but the fact is, I save $3 this way and I find wool kinda itchy. Sure, that's outside the "site norms" and contrary to your "MeFi biases" and such, but that's the kind of guy I am. And anyway maybe instead of me being an asshat, maybe my ass just has a body-sock. Think about THAT why don'tcha.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:46 AM on February 7, 2014 [26 favorites]


Does the community hold that "potential to produce discussion that goes smoothly" is a necessary and/or highly desirable quality of a submission to the blue?

This tiny part of the community does.

Going smoothly basically means that the only people arguing are Miko and someone who respects Miko.

I'm not even sure what that is supposed to mean, but perhaps it's better to stick to the question about good topics on Metafilter rather than making obscure comments about other members.


I dunno, I think it means that Miko is consistently probably the most rational and articulate member here and her participation in a thread, even a contentious one, signals a level of discourse that elevates Metafilter.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:02 AM on February 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


VOTE #1 QUIDNUNC KID FOR AN ASS IN EVERY HAT
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 5:06 AM on February 7, 2014 [15 favorites]


and having dick-measuring contests about who's more right/noble/smart/enlightened/proper/patriotic/globally informed/put-upon/progressive/intelligent/with-it/cool/whatever.

Yeah we get it lady, you can use the most slashes, enough already!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:11 AM on February 7, 2014


Some comments deleted. cupcake1337, take some time off.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:51 AM on February 7, 2014 [23 favorites]


What I like about Metafilter and AskMeFi is that there IS an opportunity for intelligent discourse AND snarky comments. I rarely come away from here...(I know what you're thinking but wait for it)...feeling like I've been slugging it out with assholes.

Sure, there are random jerks everywhere, but this site is well moderated and that's what makes it a pleasure!

A LOT of that is thoughtful deletion of things that are contentious for the sake of being contentious.

So yes, you want topics to go smoothly. Not without disagreements, but without downright flaming and baiting and general Reddit comment nastiness that prevails in other corners of the interwebs.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 5:57 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Holy cow - we are now deleting comments in Metatalk? I dont follow the site as closely as I used to, but is this a thing now?
posted by The Blue Olly at 6:07 AM on February 7, 2014


As one of the deletees, it was probably for the best.
posted by GenjiandProust at 6:09 AM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


To me, the overarching topic is one that would interest me and I'd be interested in discussing, but there's not much framing/context in the post that give a grounding for discussion, and the jokey title in this case seems likely to encourage a whole bunch of "make me a sammich" comments before any discussion could even get started. I probably would have skipped reading the thread because I would have predicted that within 20 comments there'd be a couple people trying to have a discussion about changing roles within marriage, a couple people riffing on the jokes, and a couple people using it as a launching pad for "this is why women are terrible," with the first group of people getting increasingly enraged by the amount of cruft in the conversation and the third group eventually escalating to getting themselves a day off or two.

Also because there's been some pretty contentious threads lately on gender issues (MeFi and MeTa both) and I've definitely noticed some people starting to carry their anger at particular posters from one thread to the next and picking fights in new threads so they can carry on with the fight, and a high rate of "I'm going to make this jerky comment but of course the mods will delete it/the community will shun me/I will get piled on" which usually isn't great either. Which is nothing to do with your post's quality, just that I've noticed sometimes when these topics are currently in the site zeitgeist (sitegeist?), all threads on that topic are going to be difficult until people cool off a little bit, and gender issues are currently in that sitegest place. It happens with other issues too; when you get to a third or fourth post in a couple weeks on, say, drones, they're likely to just be mad people shouting at each other carrying it over from previous threads and not such an interesting discussion about the links/topics.

Of course this doesn't ALWAYS happen, but I've definitely learned to expect it on currently-hot topics if people are up in each other's faces already.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 6:10 AM on February 7, 2014


I actually don't think comments should be deleted in MetaTalk ever. People have a choice not to come to the grey if they don't want to see ugly crap and my sense is that most people in the community make exactly that choice.
posted by escabeche at 6:11 AM on February 7, 2014


I've seen good discussions happen in threads with less-than-ideal links, but usually when the links are less-than-ideal in ways that are not flame-bait.

Another, slightly different question: if an issue or idea is likely to meet with uniform disagreement, contempt, or disapproval from most of the hivemind, is there still value in posting it? That is, is there a place here for--and merit in--an opportunity for sustained and educated critique?

It really depends on the issue, the links, and the framing, and probably the phase of the moon and how drunk we are, collectively and individually. Also, is it something neat? Is it a new-to-most gadget or comic or cool tech? Is it framed as a "Look at this kind of awful but also neat thing!" or "Look at what this asshole is saying!"

On preview: Also as one of the deleted, I am okay with those deletions. cupcake was being an asshole to someone who isn't even here and I responded and shouldn't have.
posted by rtha at 6:12 AM on February 7, 2014


People have a choice not to come to the grey if they don't want to see ugly crap

Eh, while I understand MeTa is kind of meant to be wilder/less moderated than the other sub-sites, it is still a resource available to all users for the purposes of discussing site issues, not a repository for "ugly crap" which allows any manner of crappy ugliness however offensive and disruptive it may be. If we go down the ugly crap route, people who don't want to see ugly crap will be discouraged from reading/posting about, say, Mix CD Swaps, Secret Quonsar, and discussions and announcements about how the site is run.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:14 AM on February 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Metafilter: It really depends on the issue, the links, and the framing, and probably the phase of the moon and how drunk we are, collectively and individually.

Am I having wine for breakfast? Yes I am.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:18 AM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yahbut aren't you somewhere where it's already after 9 am? Everyone knows wine is fine after 9 am.
posted by rtha at 6:19 AM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


"People have a choice not to come to the grey if they don't want to see ugly crap and my sense is that most people in the community make exactly that choice."

I've had a MeTalk comment deleted. It wasn't the sensibilities of the readership that was spared by the deletion; I'm the one who actually benefitted. Thanks mods.
posted by klarck at 6:20 AM on February 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


I started at 7:30.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:20 AM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


The Blue Olly: "Holy cow - we are now deleting comments in Metatalk? I dont follow the site as closely as I used to, but is this a thing now?"

It's extremely rare, but it happens. Usually only when people start attacking each other in a nasty way.
posted by zarq at 6:20 AM on February 7, 2014


I actually don't think comments should be deleted in MetaTalk ever.

We still delete very, very little from Metatalk. This was a case of a user who has been warned multiple times not to hijack threads to axegrind about his own issues pulling in another member who has nothing at all to do with this post or thread to make a shitty axegrindy personal slam against them.
posted by taz (staff) at 6:21 AM on February 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


zarq: It's extremely rare, but it happens. Usually only when people start attacking each other in a nasty way.

I don't know about that. I reckon I've had dozens and dozens deleted in MetaTalk. Maybe a mod can can confirm the number.
posted by gman at 6:26 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


So, why not just give them a time out (like you did, apparently)? Deleting their comments sends them down the memory hole, with no way for anyone who didnt see what happened to figure out what happened.

I liked the (apparently totally naive) idea that there was at least one part of the site that was a full & complete record of who was being a decent human being and who wasn't.
posted by The Blue Olly at 6:28 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Santa Claus?
posted by planetesimal at 6:29 AM on February 7, 2014


Maybe because we don't need a full and complete record. Maybe because it's probably a good thing for really egregious shit to be deleted so it doesn't follow you around forever. Mefites have a habit of dredging up old bullshit, even when the person in question has made a turnaround, for the purposes of character assassination. It's been done to me recently.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:30 AM on February 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


I don't know about that. I reckon I've had dozens and dozens deleted in MetaTalk. Maybe a mod can can confirm the number.

Shut it, you...CANADIAN.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:30 AM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I liked the (apparently totally naive) idea that there was at least one part of the site that was a full & complete record of who was being a decent human being and who wasn't.

IIRC, the mods have a record of all deleted comments. If you're concerned somebody has a history of saying horrible things, and they say something horrible again that you think is worthy of a MeTa, they can confirm or deny as necessary. And in this user's case, there's a bunch of stuff on the grey that is still up, along with the mod's responses to it. I get the sense that they're just tired of dealing with his comments and their fallout, and I don't blame 'em.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:33 AM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Why, when it can be shut for me?
posted by gman at 6:33 AM on February 7, 2014


$20, SAIT, gman.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:36 AM on February 7, 2014


Why, when it can be shut for me?

Sweet BBQ baby jesus with a garlic ginger infused dipping sauce, what is your problem?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:41 AM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I'm Canadian. You know that.
posted by gman at 6:41 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


SILENCED ALL HIS LIFE
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:42 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


I'm more and more of the opinion that high quality source material (meaning well-written FPPs, both the material in the links and the FPP itself) is a lot more likely to result in a good discussion. It's not that more people will necessarily read it (it'll always be perhaps 10 or 20 percent who even click on a link before commenting, much less read a longform article all the way through), but the quality and thoughtfulness of the source material provides structure and sideboards to the discussion. (Or, put another way since it's what so often causes those conversations to devolve, it's a lot harder to troll high quality source material, so derails are prevented before they even start.)

So while the basic topic (sexual desire and gender equality within marriage) of this article would make for a great FPP, the odd focus of the article and problematic framing makes it way more likely to produce an undignified screaming match. I just read it all the way through, and there were at least ten WTF? sentences in it that could get people's blood pressure up but never shed much light on the subject. Whereas most of the experts the author was quoting are extremely thoughtful and nuanced, and an FPP relying directly on those kinds of sources would (hopefully) proceed smoothly.

Also, good riddance to the deleted comments here. There's no need for this to become yet another shitshow all about one or two people's anger and unpleasantness.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:44 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I dont follow the site as closely as I used to, but is this a thing now?

If you look hard enough , you can find deleted MeTas.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:44 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


So while the basic topic (sexual desire and gender equality within marriage) of this article would make for a great FPP

Even better if said putative FPP also covers sexual desire and equality within gay and lesbian marriages, too. There are really fascinating dynamics at play in long term queer relationships.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:47 AM on February 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


There's a meTa a couple doors down where cupcake could have dropped his comment without it being deleted (maybe), but he decided to drag a totally unrelated mefite into a totally unrelated topic so he could grind his axe.
posted by rtha at 6:47 AM on February 7, 2014


I was here for the original SILENCED ALL MY LIFE thread, but I can't find it again. Can someone help me walk down memory lane? I have already started my second breakfast brandy and I'm feeling sentimental. Thank you, dear hearts.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:49 AM on February 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Does that mean it is the second brandy you are having for breakfast, or that you customarily have a brandy with second breakfast?

And where is my breakfast? I want French toast.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:51 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Does that mean it is the second brandy you are having for breakfast, or that you customarily have a brandy with second breakfast?

I'm not a Hobbit, I'm a bande dessinée sea captain, with self inflated delusions about his naval commission. I'm having my second nutritive brandy-based smoothie as part of a single petit déjeuner, thank you very much.

I AM ACTIVELY BEING SILENCED RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:57 AM on February 7, 2014 [14 favorites]


Even better if said putative FPP also covers sexual desire and equality within gay and lesbian marriages, too. There are really fascinating dynamics at play in long term queer relationships.

It's mentioned in the article, but just as a "men are like this and women are like that" kind of way to help explain heterosexual marriages. Again, the experts being quoted do in fact focus on those questions and have had some very interesting things to say about it -- but this author's weird framing (plus tonedeafness) is exactly why this article alone is going to produce a less great discussion.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:57 AM on February 7, 2014


Hmm, maybe I'll dig through the article and see if I can figure out an FPP for the upstream authors.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 6:59 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I AM ACTIVELY BEING SILENCED RIGHT THIS VERY MINUTE.

Emily Post says it is rude to talk with brandy smoothie in your mouth.
posted by drlith at 7:10 AM on February 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


...on reading there's a whole bunch of weird gender reductionism and oversimplification that I don't know if I can extract to form a decent post. Someone smarter than me probably could though.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 7:12 AM on February 7, 2014


Especially if you didn't bring enough for everyone.
posted by rtha at 7:12 AM on February 7, 2014


I actually don't think comments should be deleted in MetaTalk ever. People have a choice not to come to the grey if they don't want to see ugly crap and my sense is that most people in the community make exactly that choice.

Come on people, take these kind of comments to MetaMeta.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 7:15 AM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Admiral: it's kind of weird and sad, honestly.

And I did not recall that MeTa had been around since way back in 2007.
posted by psoas at 7:20 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


are good topics necessarily topics that generate discussions which go smoothly

No, but people are no damn good and some actually enjoy the feeling of shit in their bed.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:20 AM on February 7, 2014


Metafilter: it's kind of weird and sad, honestly.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:42 AM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


I actually don't think comments should be deleted in MetaTalk ever. People have a choice not to come to the grey if they don't want to see ugly crap and my sense is that most people in the community make exactly that choice.

eschabeche, I sort of get where you're coming from but it's not that simple. Like taz says, we delete very little from Metatalk, far less by proportion and kind than we do from other parts of the site in large part because there's less routine-maintenance stuff in terms of mere off-topicness or non-answerness. But going from very little to none doesn't win us anything; it just becomes license for people to be jerks or act outrageously secure in the knowledge that they can at least get some sort of pyrrhic victory out of shitbombing a thread and watching the fallout.

So it's very little instead of none. Metatalk has utility beyond just being a place for ugly crap; while this is definitely the hard-hat section of the site, it's for everyone who is willing to navigate the slightly bumpier territory, not just people specifically on board with having bricks actively thrown at heads.

So, why not just give them a time out (like you did, apparently)? Deleting their comments sends them down the memory hole, with no way for anyone who didnt see what happened to figure out what happened.

We don't consider maintaining a public record of bad behavior to be the highest priority the site has. If the choice is between deleting something to prevent it from fucking a thread up and letting it stand so that people can publicly note and respond to it, our attention's gonna generally fall more to the first half of that equation. We want this site to be an okay place for folks to have community interactions far more than we want it to be a place to be sure everybody gets a real good look at something obnoxious; rubbernecking makes for poor conversation usually.

Anybody who really specifically has a need to know what went on with a deletion can always check in with us via the contact form. Ideally for a better reason than totally idle curiosity, and in this case there's not much to be curious about since the content wasn't something interesting or surprising, it was just a user grinding yet again an axe we've told them to stop grinding and a few people being like COME ON ALREADY, MAN.

I reckon I've had dozens and dozens deleted in MetaTalk. Maybe a mod can can confirm the number.

gman, it's 34 total, over six years. You are sort of an overachiever on this front, though, because that's way above average. They are collectively made up of (a) instances of you specifically and directly being shitty to another user, (b) you making a shitty joke at a shitty time, (c) you complaining about a previous comment deletion, or (d) you posting large excerpts of the Treaty of Westphalia.

I would recommend that you not assume that your experience with Metatalk deletions is normative. Most people don't seem to try so hard so regularly to push the envelope.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:43 AM on February 7, 2014 [25 favorites]


I would recommend that you not assume that your experience with Metatalk deletions is normative. Most people don't seem to try so hard so regularly to push the envelope.

We aren't as conversant in medieval European law either.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 AM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


cortex: I would recommend that you not assume that your experience with Metatalk deletions is normative. Most people don't seem to try so hard so regularly to push the envelope.

But I've heard the Olympic Committee is considering adding MeTa deletions as a demonstration sport for the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.

Did I really post large excerpts of the Treaty of Westphalia at some point? No recollection of that at all.
posted by gman at 7:59 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I objected, via the contact form, to this deletion.
posted by jayder at 8:04 AM on February 7, 2014


Does the community hold that "potential to produce discussion that goes smoothly" is a necessary and/or highly desirable quality of a submission to the blue?

Here's the way I look at it:

While there's a near infinite amount of untapped Metafilter discussion out there, there's a finite amount of Mod hours with which they can supervise those discussions. Any especially rough discussions that go on require a way larger percentage of the mod's time than other posts, and that's without the attendant MeTa that might get made. So, if there's going to be that discussion, it needs to be about something that's worth taking away time from the mods being able to keep on eye on other posts and all the other stuff they do.
posted by Gygesringtone at 8:05 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


do topics that make for inflammatory discussions necessarily make for bad posts?

No, sometimes they make for very good posts, but starting out the discussion in as neutral a territory as possible usually lets the thread develop organically and not seem like a "This touchy topic! Choose sides! Fight!" as a starting point. To me the big thing is that these topics, topics that seem highly charged, where people come to the table pre-outraged, are fairly normal on many media sites. It attracts clicks and eyeballs and church and more eyeballs and that's actually what keeps the lights on. There is value to that, value that is just "If lots of people argue about it then it's good by definition"

We don't have that same formula here. If people are getting into a thread and arguing and being awful to each other (not just having a really deep if conflicting conversation about it) it's actually tougher for the site, for the things that this site is supposed to do. It makes people unhappy with each other, it gets people hollering at the mods, people leave the site, mods have to babysit threads (which we do occasionally but this site can't sustain multiple babysitting-requiring threads over any length of time) and it just contributes to general bad feeling here. Community is our product, it's all we have. Things that make that community fall apart have to be balanced against whether they're "worth it" in some sort of way.

People who have an axe to grind often think their topics are "worth it" because they want to fight with people about it and so often we see threads like this come from people who are basically teeing up a fight with other users for whatever reason. Less so, we see people who just sort of wandered in to that territory and maybe didn't realize something would be so polarizing. There are ways to make a post about basically anything touchy that will go decently (not awesome, but decently) if people take the time with it, but it takes work and some sort of "I value having a discussion that will go okay and I understand what I can do to make that happen" sort of insight that is not necessarily something the average user would be able to do.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:06 AM on February 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


"We aren't as conversant in medieval European law either."

IT'S THE BEGINNING OF THE MODERN NATION STATE!
posted by klangklangston at 8:18 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Yeah, but most people can't, like, recite footnotes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:21 AM on February 7, 2014


I realize it's just the title, and that the post content expands a bit, but of course the answer to "Likelihood to "go smoothly": necessarily a positive quality in a topic?" is yes. Going smoothly is a positive quality, basically by definition. It's not necessary, it's not sufficient, but it is a positive.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:28 AM on February 7, 2014


(c) you complaining about a previous comment deletion

That's dedication, to be fair to gman.
posted by 0 answers at 8:29 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


WHAT THE FUCK?

Seriously??

Are you guys that unfamiliar with the recent scholarship on the Treaty of Westphalia? It didn't begin shit, just some old fashioned codification.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 8:32 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Does this derail mean we're at recipe-sharing time or are we rerailing?
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:36 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Westphalian Pumpernickel
posted by Drinky Die at 8:38 AM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


"We don't consider maintaining a public record of bad behavior to be the highest priority the site has..."

Alrighty then - thanks for the explanation.

Can anyone tell me / point me to a link when the first comment deletions happened on Metafilter?
posted by The Blue Olly at 8:40 AM on February 7, 2014


It wouldn't have started for quite a while - nobody used to read the posts down here.
posted by LionIndex at 8:42 AM on February 7, 2014


It's hard to track the early stuff because originally deletions were removed from the database entirely, vs. the current system where things are set to hidden within the db but otherwise left to stick around. So examining The Infodump for the earliest gaps in commentids will be ambiguous—missing stuff could be deleted-as-in-problematic, or just deleted-as-in-Matt-was-testing-code.

That said, the earliest deletions would have been in 1999 or, maaaaaybe, 2000 since there were very few comments on the site in the earliest months. If you want to try and track the origin of deletion discussions on the site I'd recommend starting at the beginning of the Metatalk archives (this specific part of the site has been around since early 2000) and seeing what people broach there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:44 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, although we seem to have gotten totally derailed: I thought this started out as a perfectly reasonable MeTa with a perfectly reasonable question.

I'm somewhat disappointed by the several people who immediately jumped down artemisia's throat because they apparently couldn't take the time to read a 200-word post before assuming bad faith.
posted by teraflop at 9:03 AM on February 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


taz: "and without the outrage-inducing title."

See! If we went back to no titles this problem fixes itself!
/ducks
posted by Big_B at 9:03 AM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


WHAT THE FUCK?

Seriously??

Are you guys that unfamiliar with the recent scholarship on the Treaty of Westphalia? It didn't begin shit, just some old fashioned codification.


Thanks to this comment, this may well be the one and only thread where posting excerpts from the Treaty of Westphalia might actually be appropriate.
posted by davejay at 9:03 AM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


... It attracts clicks and eyeballs and church and more eyeballs and that's actually what keeps the lights on....

Once again, is it bad auto-correct that I can't unravel, or am I out of the loop on some slang usage?
posted by benito.strauss at 9:04 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: It attracts clicks and eyeballs and church and more eyeballs and that's actually what keeps the lights on.
posted by Melismata at 9:13 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


It is a typo; Jessamyn meant to refer to the band Chvrches, who are notorious hounds for internet arguments.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:15 AM on February 7, 2014


Is this the right place to start an argument about the linked Chvrches video not being available due to region-blocking? No? OK. I'll just sit over here and click on this infographic forlornly.
posted by frimble at 9:22 AM on February 7, 2014


Just for the record, I also think that general *topic* is an interesting one, but I am slightly bitter that my job forced me to read *that article* on it. Good thing I can write off brain bleach on my taxes.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:34 AM on February 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


hint to restless_nomad: sometimes I don't read the whole article!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:40 AM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Now you tell us.
posted by taz (staff) at 9:40 AM on February 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


(d) you posting large excerpts of the Treaty of Westphalia.

would we prefer that he annexed the Sudetenland?
posted by philip-random at 9:46 AM on February 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


meanwhile the "what was church supposed to mean" mystery remains unsolved.
posted by sweetkid at 10:17 AM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


To the extent that MeFi tries to be a place for productive discussion rather than verbal fisticuffs, I think "is this thread likely to go smoothly" is one reasonable criterion to judge threads by. It's long been the stated mod position that threads on hot-button topics need to be made carefully so as to reduce the chances that they will quickly descend into a bunch of poo-flinging and hoppitamoppita. That's not to say that any given topic is off-limits, but it makes sense to me that threads about contentious topics should be held to a higher standard in order to promote the kind of civil and productive conversation that is part of MeFi's mission. MetaFilter is intentionally not a place for recreational outrage.

Also, and I'm pretty certain this is a very secondary issue but an issue nonetheless, is the fact that MeFi is only lightly moderated. At any given time there are likely to be only one or two mods on active duty, and there's only so much moderation that they can handle. So a secondary concern is trying to keep the moderation workload down to a manageable level, and sometimes that means pre-emptively deleting a thread (usually with the option to re-post the topic later in a more carefully-framed way) rather than waiting to see if it goes bad and then trying to manage the result.
posted by Scientist at 10:25 AM on February 7, 2014


Does the community hold that "potential to produce discussion that goes smoothly" is a necessary and/or highly desirable quality of a submission to the blue?

No. This was a great post, but there's not a lot to discuss and speaking as someone who participated I don't feel like our discussion was terribly insightful or important or went anywhere. It was just chitchat. Still, the FPP was great. It shared something cool on the Web that I hadn't seen and was definitely interested in.

But there are all different kinds of FPPs, and I'd suggest you separate out a couple questions. First, "Is this the kind of FPP that's likely to generate discussion?" A post sharing a photography gallery may not, necessarily. Often those threads are quiet, and/or they attract comments that are largely just, "Hey cool, thanks for posting this." By contrast, an FPP that links to a provocative article about sex and gender is much more likely to generate discussion—especially when you frame it with an "inflammatory question" above the fold.

That raises the second question, "Is the discussion likely to go well?" Nobody seems to think the answer needs to be yes, but it's a different thing to say that if the answer is no then the FPP deserves more scrutiny.

if an issue or idea is likely to meet with uniform disagreement, contempt, or disapproval from most of the hivemind, is there still value in posting it?

Probably, but how much will depend on the specifics. Let's say you found a truly thoughtful article written from the perspective of someone who opposes gay marriage or works to criminalize abortion. You could probably dismiss any possibility of an in-thread discussion "going well." Nevertheless, many people will read the article. Some of them may find it thoughtful, be glad they read it for one reason or another, and then move on to the next post. That's a positive. It just isn't reflected in the thread.
posted by cribcage at 10:49 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Are you guys that unfamiliar with the recent scholarship on the Treaty of Westphalia? It didn't begin shit, just some old fashioned codification."

I don't think I've read anything written about it past 2004, which, god, now is a decade. Are you talking about Krasner disparaging the inaccuracy of "Westphalian"?
posted by klangklangston at 10:57 AM on February 7, 2014


At any given time there are likely to be only one or two mods on active duty, and there's only so much moderation that they can handle.

At any given time, there's one mod officially working and a varying number of Nosy Nellies around to offer opinions. So, yeah, you're correct - we have limited moderation bandwidth.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 11:10 AM on February 7, 2014


That's not to say that any given topic is off-limits, but it makes sense to me that threads about contentious topics should be held to a higher standard in order to promote the kind of civil and productive conversation that is part of MeFi's mission. MetaFilter is intentionally not a place for recreational outrage.

The problem with this, as it manifests in Metafilter, is that there is a dedicated cadre of members here whose views on gender are as fanatical and credible as Tom Cruise's views on psychiatry, and this cadre swarms any gender-related thread and collectively shouts down any nonconforming view. So, with that being the background, the mods know this will happen, and understandably don't want the headache of moderating a thread highlighting a nonconforming view. However, if a link is posted that conforms with the fanatical viewpoint, all the loudmouth/fighty people are okay with that, so it becomes a love-in, and thus not a problem for the mods. So, effectively, there is a higher standard for posts that would offend the fanatics among us. As one of the mods stated, the deleted post from last night could have been reworked but come on, who really wants to do that? It puts the person who reworks it in the position of looking "ax grindy" and most people with shit to do other than stare into the glow of their monitor looking for a new genderfight to get into aren't going to want to spend the time recrafting a post that was already deleted ... few people care that much. But the end result is that the fanatics are controlling the discussion.
posted by jayder at 11:18 AM on February 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


Also, is it something neat? Is it a new-to-most gadget or comic or cool tech? Is it framed as a "Look at this kind of awful but also neat thing!" or "Look at what this asshole is saying!"

I think this is a really good point. There was nothing about the deleted post that was "best of the web" on any level.

It's like... Ooooh, look, another glib "trend piece" from the NYT about something that is full of shitty sexist generalizations and no actual news. It contributes precisely nothing of worth to human society. And it's also going to start some shit. So.... yeah, delete the fuck out of it.

I, for one, would like to see some glib trend pieces that actually question our assumptions about gender in some way. Why do they ALL seem to rest on some kind of Sex And The City by way of Jane Austen framing of the world?
posted by Sara C. at 11:20 AM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


I don't think I've read anything written about it past 2004, which, god, now is a decade. Are you talking about Krasner disparaging the inaccuracy of "Westphalian"?

That and the more recent writings, like in the recent issue of Security Studies, which offers a history of the idea in the International Relations lit.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 11:21 AM on February 7, 2014


> this cadre swarms any gender-related thread and collectively shouts down any nonconforming view

I guess you're referring to me and folks like me? I don't shout down shit. I follow the same fucking mod guidelines everyone else does here.

That I have a strong opinion and am willing to go to the mat for it is true. I don't fucking shout anyone down here and the number of times I've felt shouted down for having a minority opinion far outweighs the number of times I've felt I've made real progress here in regards to communicating my perspective and having it heard.
posted by kalessin at 11:24 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]



Also, is it something neat? Is it a new-to-most gadget or comic or cool tech? Is it framed as a "Look at this kind of awful but also neat thing!" or "Look at what this asshole is saying!"

I think this is a really good point. There was nothing about the deleted post that was "best of the web" on any level.


Yeah, but the Alinea baby post was like that, too. Personally though that post made me avoid all posts like it and I'm just trying to make my Metafilter experience about Best of The Web and maybe talk about mindfulness in Ask.
posted by sweetkid at 11:25 AM on February 7, 2014


jessamyn: "hint to restless_nomad: sometimes I don't read the whole article!"

Wrong thread.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:25 AM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


As an aside, this is the first time in a very long while I can remember talking about "feeling shouted down". Mostly I take it in stride and expect that it's a common experience - here we run face first into opposing viewpoints. Get over it and move along.
posted by kalessin at 11:26 AM on February 7, 2014


Jayder, by "fanatics" you're talking about the MRA guys that sleaze out of the woodwork a lot, right?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:29 AM on February 7, 2014 [9 favorites]


The problem with this, as it manifests in Metafilter, is that there is a dedicated cadre of members here whose views on gender are as fanatical and credible as Tom Cruise's views on psychiatry, and this cadre swarms any gender-related thread and collectively shouts down any nonconforming view.

I think that's a really odd take on the situation and implies a pretty extreme dynamic that I haven't really seen on the site. We've got some folks with loud opinions about lots of things, gender included, but fanaticism not so much, and the stuff that usually ends up getting shouted at is shitty casual sexism, not failure to conform to some extreme philosophy.

As one of the mods stated, the deleted post from last night could have been reworked but come on, who really wants to do that? It puts the person who reworks it in the position of looking "ax grindy"

This is a kind of backward caricature on how that actually goes. We wouldn't tell folks a post could be reworked if we thought that the core of thing was fundamentally axe-grindy; a third party taking another shot at it to reframe things better is usually pretty much the opposite of that, taking what's workable and valuable about the subject of the original post and presenting from a generally more well-framed, non-axe-grindy stance.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:29 AM on February 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


Yeah, but the Alinea baby post was like that, too.

I think it would be perfectly OK if the Alinea baby post had also been deleted. I think that post is slight less bottom-feeding because at least it's about a new event that has apparently taken place, and doesn't rest on any kind of Men Are From Mars Women Are From Venus framing. It's about a contentious issue (how child-friendly should urban society be), but there is some there, there.

The deleted post in question is basically "hahalol married people never have sex amirite" plus "let's see how we can blame feminism in this case".
posted by Sara C. at 11:29 AM on February 7, 2014 [6 favorites]


I don't fucking shout anyone down here and the number of times I've felt shouted down for having a minority opinion far outweighs

nobody really shouts here, EVEN WHY THEY TRY TO!!!!!

But sometimes an accumulation of strong opinion can begin to feel like shouting to someone who finds themselves at the other end of it. I've certainly learned, mostly just by observation, that there are some issues that I will be far more careful speaking to than others.

Does this sometimes make me feel like I'm being constrained? Yes.

But maybe I should be constrained. Maybe sometimes (on some issues) my freedom to just wing it is likely to inflict unintentional hurt, provocation etc on others. Such is the nature of this community. I guess if I find it too toxic, I can either A. speak up about it, or B. wander away, find some other community.

That said, I have found that biting my tongue on certain topics and just reading what others have to say has taught me quite a bit.
posted by philip-random at 11:34 AM on February 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


The problem with this, as it manifests in Metafilter, is that there is a dedicated cadre of members here whose views on gender are as fanatical and credible as Tom Cruise's views on psychiatry, and this cadre swarms any gender-related thread and collectively shouts down any nonconforming view.

It is a fascinating quirk of human behavior that insofar as these people on either side of the topic exist, I am certain that upon reading this, both sides would nod their heads and agree with you because they're both sure you're talking about the other one.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:38 AM on February 7, 2014 [25 favorites]


"That and the more recent writings, like in the recent issue of Security Studies, which offers a history of the idea in the International Relations lit."

Yeah, I haven't had consistent social science journal access since about 2008. But then, I don't see Westphalia in here. Nothing obvious is popping in the search either.
posted by klangklangston at 11:40 AM on February 7, 2014


I'm going to be very disappointed if this thread suddenly becomes about one thing and not another, and that one thing is not the Treaty of Westphalia.
posted by philip-random at 11:46 AM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


It is a fascinating quirk of human behavior that insofar as these people on either side of the topic exist, I am certain that upon reading this, both sides would nod their heads and agree with you because they're both sure you're talking about the other one.

I have the opposite reaction, I always assume a swipe is about whatever group/side I happen to be part of. I could go back and look at Jayder's comments to try to deduce if I have agreed or disagreed with them on gender issue discussions, but I am far far too lazy for that. And it doesn't matter anyway.

I don't mind the mods exercising some not-perfect kinds of discretion on posts, because they are human and trying to moderate a website made up of a seething mass of opinionated people, and they are trying to keep discussion at a generally civil level. A job that would make me pull my hair out, personally. There is always another thing to post about and another discussion on any given topic to be had, if you bother to research/frame it right.
posted by emjaybee at 11:47 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Clearly, comments are the problem.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 11:49 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


You can't deduct the brain bleach unless you spent more than 2% of your adjusted gross income on it and itemize deductions. It's cheaper to just not read the bleach-requiring articles.
posted by michaelh at 11:56 AM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


If by "a dedicated cadre of people who shout down any nonconforming gender views" you mean the subset of members who have strong progressive views about gender due to a life history of having been forced to confront and think about gender issues and/or of having been the victims of gender-based bigotry, and who gravitate to gender threads because those issues are especially relevant in their lives, and who patiently and rationally explain their views and argue time after time in astonishingly civil tones for a system of gender that is inclusive, flexible, and liberating rather than exclusive, rigid, and oppressive, then I guess I see what you mean.

I'd put it rather differently than you, though.
posted by Scientist at 11:56 AM on February 7, 2014 [24 favorites]


The Blue Olly: " we are now deleting comments in Metatalk? I dont follow the site as closely as I used to, but is this a thing now?"

Entire posts have gone down the memory hole.

restless_nomad: "there's one mod officially working and a varying number of Nosy Nellies around to offer opinions"

Hey, I'm not nosy. I'm home recovering from surgery and I'm bored.
posted by Mitheral at 12:04 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


The problem with this, as it manifests in Metafilter, is that there is a dedicated cadre of members here whose views on gender are as fanatical and credible as Tom Cruise's views on psychiatry, and this cadre swarms any gender-related thread and collectively shouts down any nonconforming view.

So, in my experience of gender/sexism-related threads over the years here, I haven't seen a lot of MRA/PUA-types swarming these threads and shouting or shutting down views that don't conform to theirs, though not for lack of trying sometimes. This leaves me interpreting your comment to mean that the "fanatics" in this are...people expressing feminist views? Or certain kinds of feminist views? And that those are as discredited as a Scientologist's views on psychiatry?

I'm *really* not sure I'm reading your comment correctly or understanding what it is you're getting at. I am asking for clarification, and I am not hoping to jump on you or call you names. I may disagree with your assessment (or not, I don't know!), and if that can be qualified as fanatical, then so be it.

What all this boils down to (to me) is that whatever behavior one is trying to call out as unproductive or actively damaging, the content in that behavior can make a huge difference in how most people characterize the behavior.
posted by rtha at 12:07 PM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Community is our product, it's all we have.

This gives me a little warm feeling inside for what it's worth.
posted by shelleycat at 12:09 PM on February 7, 2014 [5 favorites]


To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:10 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm going to be very disappointed if this thread suddenly becomes about one thing and not another, and that one thing is not the Treaty of Westphalia.

The Holy Roman Empire was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire. Discuss.
posted by zombieflanders at 12:13 PM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


i just like to say smock

SMOCK SMOCK SMOCK
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:15 PM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


We could use a good FPP about the Peace of Westphalia. There's this one, but it looks like it got immediately sidetracked into stuff about Iraq/Afghanistan.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:20 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Entire posts have gone down the memory hole.

Whole threads, even, everything associated with them, the perpetrators banned and all the participants sworn to secrecy.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:31 PM on February 7, 2014


We could use a good FPP about the Peace of Westphalia. There's this one, but it looks like it got immediately sidetracked into stuff about Iraq/Afghanistan.

I can't take another contentious Westphalia FPP. I may have to lock myself out of my account or something. I try to make my points, but the revisionist historians and critics of sovereignty show up and push their dastardly anti-state agenda.
posted by Area Man at 12:35 PM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


The line between newsfilter and outrage porn is a fine line indeed.
posted by Ardiril at 12:38 PM on February 7, 2014


So, yeah, you're correct - we have limited moderation bandwidth.

Y'all should upgrade to Hyperdyne Systems model 341-B.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:38 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Whole threads, even, everything associated with them, the perpetrators banned and all the participants sworn to secrecy.

Paphnuty seems to have made an escape recently, however.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:43 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


My bad, it was ISQ, not security studies:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1468-2478.2011.00667.x/abstract

References to the Peace of Westphalia have played an important role in the discourse of international relations. Originally referred to as a concrete historical event and associated with a variety of meanings, such as the triumph of state sovereignty, the establishment of a community of states, and even the beginnings of collective security, the Peace was later transformed into a conceptualization of the international system. Beginning in the late 1960s, phrases like “Westphalian system” came to convey a package of ideas about international politics limited to the supremacy of state sovereignty, territoriality, and nonintervention, to the exclusion of other meanings. This conceptualization serves as a popular and convenient contrast to a more globalized order, but there are problems with its use: first, because the Westphalian system is an ideal-type that might never have actually existed, the impact of globalization may be exaggerated by scholars who employ it. Second, its use implies a linear progression from some Westphalian configuration toward some “post-Westphalian” state of affairs, whereas actual system change is likely to be more complex.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 12:51 PM on February 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


The only reason for paphnuty escaping all the time is because he's in so tight with the ca
posted by rtha at 1:04 PM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Do we want Metafilter to be the sort of place where people can openly parrot attacks on the concept of the Westphalian system"?
posted by Area Man at 1:05 PM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Well, I certainly don't want it to be the sort of place where people can openly attack parrots, if that's what you're suggesting, you monster.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:23 PM on February 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


jayder: The problem with this, as it manifests in Metafilter, is that there is a dedicated cadre of members here whose views on gender are as fanatical and credible as Tom Cruise's views on psychiatry, and this cadre swarms any gender-related thread and collectively shouts down any nonconforming view.

I'm really confused as to where you're coming at this from. Like, where you are basing these opinions in and what your opinions are.

Is this about trans issues? or is this about gender politics WRT feminism, etc. Because the first could be a legitimate discussion if you're talking about this sort of "I'm cis, and i have trans friends, and I'M GOING TO HAVE THE OPINION I HAVE NO ONE CAN STOP ME!" sort of stuff. Because that is toxic garbage, and conforms to the description you gave of Tom Cruise-ness.

However, for some reason, and correct me if i'm wrong here because i'll appologize... but i get the feeling you're some saddlesore person whose opinion wasn't agreed with in one of the feminism/gender dynamics threads or think women don't have an objective view because they're "emotional" about that stuff, or are exaggerating their experiences, or whatever. Or maybe you're just generally contrary and don't think that "All views are given equal time".

The thing is, on both of these issues there is kind of a right or wrong side. And i'd absolutely be willing to argue that this isn't an opinion thing. It's like arguing whether you as a white person get to say the N word or something. The side highlighted on the trans issues thing is the wrong side. The side i described on the feminist issues thing is the wrong side.

Metafilter is not doing anything wrong by telling those people to shut up, and telling them why they're wrong. Just because that can seem like a circlejerk or a cult of opinion or something doesn't make it a bad thing.

There's absolutely cults of opinion for the shitty sides of this, like reddit. Any site that claims to give a fair shake to both sides of those arguments is either a shithole, or a shithole overrun by people on the hateful negative contrary side. And i've only ever really seen the second category go down anywhere that wasn't fervently moderating and pushing as a community to push the second category of folks to either shut up or get out.

This shits like matter and antimatter, it explodes on contact. You can't just keep both in one place for the sake of a "balanced range of views". Especially since one is essentially hate speech, and denying the people with actual experience, that their, well, experiences are legitimate in some way.

sweetkid: Yeah, but the Alinea baby post was like that, too.

I legitimately do not understand how that post stayed up. It reminded me a shitload of a combo of this fiasco and this and their collective FPPs.

Basically, to me, it seemed like the perfect trollbait. Yea i engaged with it, and i'll admit this was a huge part of it as it was for many other people... but that's exactly why i thought it was a crappy FPP.

I mean, i know the idea isn't to post things "for the discussion", but things get deleted all the time because the mods think/know the discussion will be shitty or a fruitless tug of war/circlejerk. How was that anything but the platonic ideal of that?
posted by emptythought at 1:36 PM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]



I legitimately do not understand how that post stayed up. It reminded me a shitload of a combo of this fiasco and this and their collective FPPs.

Basically, to me, it seemed like the perfect trollbait. Yea i engaged with it, and i'll admit this was a huge part of it as it was for many other people... but that's exactly why i thought it was a crappy FPP.


yea word to all this. Not to be dramatic but that post and the resulting MeTa (that I started) made me quit Metafilter for a few weeks...not because of a huge This is a Bad Place With Bad People reason or anything just...so I could come back and try more to not just engage with topics because I have a side picked and want to assert my feelings on it.
posted by sweetkid at 1:42 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


How was that anything but the platonic ideal of that?

The post (not the comments) got one flag (and it wasn't by you, emptythought, or you sweetkid). Sometimes we'll make judgment calls with threads that are on Known Terrible Subjects but pre-emptive (i.e. non-community motivated) deletions of parent/baby/restaurant threads? Nope. You guys want that stuff deleted, please consider using the flagging feature.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:45 PM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


cortex: while this is definitely the hard-hat section of the site, it's for everyone who is willing to navigate the slightly bumpier territory

I REALLY WANT THE IMG TAG NOW.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:49 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


As Norbert Götz wrote here, "If there were no concept of the 'Westphalian System', the statement that national strategies and policies in nation states depend on that system would evaporate into the mere tautology that the logic of the nation state determines the nation state." I leave the implications for MetaFilter as an exercise for the reader.
posted by languagehat at 1:57 PM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


The people who participated heavily in that Aliena thread wanted to, for various reasons. It was something, that's for sure. Hopefully, we've all learned a valuable lesson.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:59 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


I'm going to say, again, that from the perspective of the participants in a "pile-on", it looks like many individual users expressing their opinion. No one has an Opinions Signal. No one secretly communicates with each other via some off-channel method in an attempt to silence different opinions. We just all comment on things that interest us. Short of developing some kind of ticket system, such that Con Opinion #5 has to wait her turn to comment, I don't know how to prevent people with less popular opinions from feeling piled-upon.

We are not the Borg. We are not ants. We're just Mefites.

(God, I hope everything I just wrote is true. If people are doing some Digg shenanigans off-site I'll be pretty angry that y'all proved me wrong.)
posted by muddgirl at 2:04 PM on February 7, 2014 [10 favorites]


MetaFilter: We are not the Borg
posted by The Riker Who Mounts the World at 2:18 PM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: God, I hope everything I just wrote is true.
posted by GenjiandProust at 2:21 PM on February 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


yea actually I guess when I said "word to all this" to emptythought's comment about the Alinea baby post I meant the sentiment behind thinking it was a crappy FPP and engaging in it anyway...not that I think it should have been deleted.
posted by sweetkid at 2:55 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


At least you behaved like a reasonable person in that thread, and not a jackass like me.
posted by Area Man at 2:58 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wait does the ISQ piece include Dan Nexon's great book about the reformation and early-modern Europe? Curse my lack of journal access.
posted by Wretch729 at 3:10 PM on February 7, 2014


It reminded me a shitload of a combo of this fiasco and this and their collective FPPs.

Hadn't thought about those in a while, they contain some quotes of pre-fatherhood me and I am sort of surprised to note my opinions actually have not changed with the addition of the little one.

I am truly a master of stubborn
posted by Hoopo at 3:15 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


parrot attacks on the concept of the Westphalian system"?

it actually starts to explain a hell of a lot about European History (from the mid-17th century onward) that parrots were actually used to attack the concept of the Westphalian system, which, it's true, probably only ever existed as an ideal anyway. But still ... Hitler.
posted by philip-random at 3:23 PM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


Incidentally, the Treaty of Westphalia has been (theoretically) on topic in Chat for a few days, since pb was kind enough to humor me. Also penguins. I appreciate the discussion here: I like having historical context for the absurdly long wall of text!
posted by beryllium at 3:44 PM on February 7, 2014


If the Treaty of Westphalia was not signed in a rusty camper van, I will be very disappointed.

The problem with this, as it manifests in Metafilter, is that there is a dedicated cadre of members here whose views on gender are as fanatical and credible as Tom Cruise's views on psychiatry, and this cadre swarms any gender-related thread and collectively shouts down any nonconforming view.

At least this in a MeTa, not an FPP, but this is the kind of drive-by hostile shiftiness that turns otherwise good discussions of things like gender into total shitshows. It gets tag-teamed back and forth and BAM, the bus is off the bridge in derail city. So if one of the ways to minimize this is to delete weak FPPs, I'm all for it.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:45 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Westphalia is the best phalia
posted by Hoopo at 3:48 PM on February 7, 2014 [4 favorites]


careful, I'm from East Van
posted by philip-random at 3:51 PM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Westphalia?

More like Worstphalia, amirite?
posted by Sara C. at 3:56 PM on February 7, 2014 [7 favorites]


More like Worstphalia, amirite?

Surely worst faileah, at least in Southern New England.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:59 PM on February 7, 2014


Wurstphalia?
posted by Pudhoho at 4:14 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Wurst Failure.
posted by Chairboy at 4:36 PM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Wurstphilia.

I suffer from it.
posted by Hairy Lobster at 5:10 PM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


There must be some sort of ointment...
posted by Pudhoho at 5:12 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


That's OK people. I've been used to being SILENCED ALL MY LIFE.
posted by Treaty of Westphalia at 5:19 PM on February 7, 2014 [26 favorites]


The thing is, on both of these issues there is kind of a right or wrong side. And i'd absolutely be willing to argue that this isn't an opinion thing. .

The problem with this, as it manifests in Metafilter, is that there is a dedicated cadre of members here whose views on gender are as fanatical and credible as Tom Cruise's views on psychiatry, and this cadre swarms any gender-related thread and collectively shouts down any nonconforming view.

I agree with both emptythought and a modified jayder-- on topics that are personal and intimate, some members have very well developed theoretical tools for sharing their experiences of pain. Most of us don't. It can sometimes feel difficult to contribute to threads in those areas if you don't have personal experience of victimhood or expertise in that area.

For example, in a thread about discrimination in the workplace, I would want to hear from jayder about gendered power dynamics in his profession-- even though I've experienced gender-based discrimination and even if he is a little tone deaf in how he says what he wants to say. And he probably wouldn't say "gendered power dynamics." I'm still ok hearing from him. (Again, this is just an example.)

I feel it is Metafilter's loss if people who lack conceptual language or experience don't write when they have things to say. I know that the other side is that not every thread is for every member/not everyone has to contribute to every thread. But that kind of seems to me to rest on the presumption that threads are for either education or sharing similar experiences.

I also agree with emptythought that there is a right and wrong side to a lot of issues. These days I am confused. This seems like a time of change for the site.
posted by vincele at 5:37 PM on February 7, 2014 [8 favorites]


the problem with every good cause is that once it gathers momentum, it starts to empower people, which is great ... except power's a tricky thing.

Just ask any white male heterosexual who's come to grasp the depth of his so-called privilege, and then found time to reflect on the myriad ways he's used that privilege (or just allowed it to manifest) without really being conscious of it. My point being, power/privilege (whatever you want to call it) tends to cast a shadow. We often can't see it being applied.

So yeah, the downside of having things swing our way is that we inevitably let them swing too far. The former underdogs become the overdogs. And I do think this is inevitable.

Just like what happened in the 17th Century with the Treaty of Westphalia, how it gave impetus to the birth of nation states which inevitably led to the world wars of the 20th century.
posted by philip-random at 6:32 PM on February 7, 2014 [8 favorites]



Phillip, I've been sick for three days with what now is this annoying dry cough that once it starts it won't stop. Your last comment made me laugh out loud, which started such a bad coughing fit that my Mother came into the room because she thought I was having some sort of weird fit and was choking and throwing up. It was bloody painful.

I'm never going to think of the Treaty of Westphalia the same way again.
posted by Jalliah at 7:39 PM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


sorry
posted by philip-random at 8:03 PM on February 7, 2014


Boy, do I wish Jayder were talking about MRAs...
posted by en forme de poire at 9:39 PM on February 7, 2014


The post title made me imagine a scene with the mod team power walking towards the camera while a thread explodes in the background, raining flaming-out and debris down over everything. But their eyes remain cool with a level gaze, they're calm and collected, and their fingertips rest casually on the heads of their holstered Mjolnir-like banhammers.

Someone should make that.
posted by XMLicious at 10:02 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


power walking?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:05 PM on February 7, 2014


go smoothly
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:08 PM on February 7, 2014 [3 favorites]


Mod Power Walk
posted by Hairy Lobster at 10:20 PM on February 7, 2014 [1 favorite]


Boy, do I wish Jayder were talking about MRAs...
posted by en forme de poire at 9:39 PM on February 7 [+] [!]


huh?
posted by jayder at 10:21 PM on February 7, 2014


Sorry, I was responding to EC's comment above.
posted by en forme de poire at 10:38 PM on February 7, 2014


Oh, ha ha. I missed that. I like the use of "to sleaze" as a verb.
posted by jayder at 11:06 PM on February 7, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thanks to this thread I'm now fully aware that the user named "Hairy Lobster" is not the same person as the mod named "LobsterMitten", both of whom I had previously thought of as "lobstermawhosis".
posted by benito.strauss at 8:38 AM on February 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Oh, ha ha. I missed that. I like the use of "to sleaze" as a verb.

I note you have no other comment about what I said. I also note that you have disabled your MeMail so I cannot ask you for clarification on my initial question.

Ah well. I shall remain unsatisfied, I suppose, and thank you for your appreciation for "to sleaze" as a verb form. Appropriate, isn't it?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:09 PM on February 8, 2014 [5 favorites]


I also note that you have disabled your MeMail so I cannot ask you for clarification on my initial question.

Seems like you could do that right here in this Metatalk thread if you really wanted to.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:01 PM on February 8, 2014


She asked him right here and jayder doesn't seem interested in answering her, nor in addressing the confusion I expressed above. Which is fine. But they have been asked.
posted by rtha at 1:16 PM on February 8, 2014


Speaking as someone whose MeMail is also disabled, I agree the remaining alternative is just keeping your two cents to yourself. Raising your hand to proclaim that's what you're doing, however, isn't really doing that.
posted by cribcage at 1:17 PM on February 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


Seems like you could do that right here in this Metatalk thread if you really wanted to.

The mods have in the past discouraged that kind of "I'm gonna ask you again" chain of comments between a couple people (at least when I was one of the people). I asked once, didn't get an answer, mentioned it again in case jayder missed my question too. And so it goes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:32 PM on February 8, 2014


Makes sense.

Seemed like a rhetorical question, though. It made your point very well regardless of the answer, I think.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 1:50 PM on February 8, 2014


jayder didn't respond to my criticism either.
posted by kalessin at 2:18 PM on February 8, 2014


And given that jayder's mention of the cadre of folks sort of seemed like a sweeping generalization of folks like me, it struck me as a sort of a free shot with no follow through.

Not really surprising given the comments I've seen from jayder but still disappointing.
posted by kalessin at 2:21 PM on February 8, 2014 [1 favorite]


I think that Jayder is an asshole, especially on this particular topic. But you cannot be unaware that gender issues are real third rail around here if you are not 100% in step with the very latest social justice concepts.

Hell, in this very thread, we have this: "The thing is, on both of these issues there is kind of a right or wrong side. And i'd absolutely be willing to argue that this isn't an opinion thing."

And that right there, shuts at least some of our community down, me included. And I try to be an ally. I don't harass people, I believe in equal opportunity and pay, and that everyone ought to be able to live their lives in peace with no fear of violence, sexual or otherwise. Hell, I think that the only allowable punishment for sexual violence ought to be death.

But, I predict none of that will matter once I say that I found the article to have some interesting parts to it especially the ones that seem to track with my experiences in my own marriage. Because I am fucking WRONG, and it's not an opinion thing.
posted by The Blue Olly at 2:38 PM on February 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


Ah well. I shall remain unsatisfied, I suppose, and thank you for your appreciation for "to sleaze" as a verb form. Appropriate, isn't it?


I sleaze
You sleaze
We all sleaze
For Febreze
posted by Sebmojo at 2:48 PM on February 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


I find that I'm a lot happier when I only assume that people are talking about or to me when they quote or name me.
posted by Etrigan at 3:01 PM on February 8, 2014 [2 favorites]


Either super duper passive aggressive or sage, sage advice.
posted by kalessin at 4:14 PM on February 8, 2014


benito.strauss: "I'm now fully aware that the user named "Hairy Lobster" is not the same person as the mod named "LobsterMitten""

LobsterMitten is my arch nemesis and the sworn enemy of all true lobsters united in resistance against those that would force them to wear mittens against their will and in violation of their true crustacean nature!
posted by Hairy Lobster at 4:25 PM on February 8, 2014 [3 favorites]


That North Atlantic water gets cold! Bundle up!
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:54 PM on February 8, 2014 [7 favorites]


Advice goes well with sage and a little oregano.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:13 AM on February 9, 2014


Apologies for another long post.

The Blue Olly said: But, I predict none of that will matter once I say that I found the article to have some interesting parts to it especially the ones that seem to track with my experiences in my own marriage.

It seems to me that it is difficult to talk about OPs on gender/abuse unless you can tie them to your own intimate experiences.

It is just my feeling that OPs about intimate topics are becoming more about identifying with victim's experiences on a personal level. When that happens, it’s not just that some people can’t participate and their wrong opinions get silenced. We lose sight of the fact that experiences of gender, trauma, etc. are mediated by institutions (bureaucracies). We’re not just bundles of intersectionalities coming to terms with who we are. We are bundles who try to get things done through imperfect institutions that are bigger than any one person.

So while not every member has experiences of victimhood, we have all navigated institutions. Some of us on Metafilter know how power flows in bureaucracies relevant to these OPs and how to parse bureaucratic language.

When we prioritize certain kinds of experience, we miss out contributions that clarify the institutional context. This is different from what I said before about jayder and his workplace. Yes people in that Dylan Farrow bring up the various reports and judgments, but it feels more like the reports are support for one side or the other. That’s totally fine if that’s where the thread goes.

What I am saying is that a lot of Metafilter members know how bureaucracies work, and they might pass up these OPs when they have something to say. That makes the site less rich in my opinion.

For instance, when this story came out I found a link to the 1994 appellate court ruling and read it. I don’t feel strongly enough to interrupt that thread. But I am very curious about that ruling, its subtext and the politics of that court in NY. Someone here might have know something about that stuff, and that would deepen the understanding of the institutional constraints on Farrow family back in 1992-1994. But a post like could very easily be read as victim blaming, and people with that kind of knowledge might not be paying attention anyway.

It’s maybe a loss that posts in threads like this aren’t getting made.
posted by vincele at 8:43 AM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


(Just a note - in general in MetaTalk, it's not okay to call someone an asshole. Ordinarily we would delete immediately and suggest the comment be edited and reposted. In this case we missed it at first, and now the rest of the substance of the comment has been responded to, so I'm leaving it -- but I wanted to restate that, in general, please don't call other site members assholes here.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 8:50 AM on February 9, 2014 [1 favorite]


What I am saying is that a lot of Metafilter members know how bureaucracies work,

Yes, and some of them have been victimized (again) by those same bureaucracies. People who know about bureaucracies and people who have been victimized (by an individual, and also by a bureaucracy in the course of reporting) are not necessarily two separate things, and I've seen really good comments from people with those experiences. I've also seen really good comments from people who can speak to the legal/bureaucratic issues and who do so without sounding like they're blaming the victim or intellectualizing a heavy and personal topic while brushing off the actual experience of victims.
posted by rtha at 9:22 AM on February 9, 2014 [5 favorites]


I just want to quickly respond to rtha and bow out.

I agree with what you're saying. I have seen it myself as a victim, advocate and researcher.

I want to respond to the last part. What sounds like victim-blaming and what sounds like a asshole (sorry LobsterMitten) differs for everyone, including those who have experiences of victimhood.

As a site it feels like we are moving towards the assumption that victimhood is a deeply traumatic, lifelong struggle.

Reifying victimhood in this way discourages posts to an OP (1) from members who have experiences of trauma but don't identify as victims and (2) from members who don't have any experience as victims.

Those two categories probably account for the majority of eyeballs on any OP.

So to a thread like the one on Dylan Farrow, I feel like there is an emerging bar to entry. It's not just don't be a jerk. It's knowing the assumptions about victimhood that are being hashed out right now throughout the site.

Those assumptions might be right for some victims, and maybe they are right for the smooth running of Metafilter. I am not sure.

It seems like we are moving towards creating space for a specific kind of sharing. Meeting victims' needs is important but we need to think about balancing victims' needs with the other functions of the community.

Thanks for reading something else that got long.
posted by vincele at 11:14 AM on February 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


In this case we missed it at first

I wondered about that. It was flagged.
posted by cribcage at 11:47 AM on February 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Can someone find the MeTa comment where jessamyn stated that MeFi is explicitly not a "safe place"? Fairly recent, I had thought.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:29 PM on February 9, 2014


Mod Power Walk

How to mod.
posted by maryr at 12:31 PM on February 9, 2014


It is just my feeling that OPs about intimate topics are becoming more about identifying with victim's experiences on a personal level. When that happens, it’s not just that some people can’t participate and their wrong opinions get silenced. We lose sight of the fact that experiences of gender, trauma, etc. are mediated by institutions (bureaucracies). We’re not just bundles of intersectionalities coming to terms with who we are. We are bundles who try to get things done through imperfect institutions that are bigger than any one person.

I dunno. I think a bigger problem for many threads is that there are a lot of members who would like to address these issues as theoretical -- MeFites as a whole are intelligent, and part of intelligence is the ability to abstract. And that leads to imagining all sorts of edge scenarios that can be used to test a particular stance, which is fine, that's part of abstract thinking, but these people tend to forget that there are a lot of other members who have real, visceral, lived experience with whatever oppression is being discussed, and all that abstracting and theoretical edge cases reads as diminishing that real experience. And that's a serious problem that leads to a lot of contention.

And it's not just MetaFilter -- I have been in some faculty meetings where people insisted on discussing options which were theoretically possible but somewhat less likely than, say, flying monkey attacks, in preference to looking at issues that were actually occurring. These faculty weren't being intentionally obstructionist (although I have seen that, too), they were just really really deep into their abstraction. They did derail the meeting and cause immense and unnecessary friction, though, too.
posted by GenjiandProust at 12:37 PM on February 9, 2014 [11 favorites]


Can someone find the MeTa comment where jessamyn stated that MeFi is explicitly not a "safe place"? Fairly recent, I had thought.


A safe space, I imagine. Safe space has a particular and specific meaning in organising/activism/discussion, and MetaFilter has repeatedly been said not to be such a place, nor could it be under the current setup.

OTOH, I doubt that Jessamyn or any of the other mods wants anyone on MetaFilter to feel unsafe, even if in some cases it is unavoidable.
posted by running order squabble fest at 12:42 PM on February 9, 2014 [4 favorites]


Yeah I think we were referring specifically to "safe space" terminology which would mean heavier moderation, more proactivity on trigger warnings and NSFW sort of things. With that terminology specifically in mind, this comment is one place I've said that. This thread is a more recent discussion of the "save space" idea as I understand it. And, to be clear, this is not me saying "Oh hey I'd like this place to be unsafe or for people to feel unsafe here" but there's a lot of grey area in the middle of unmoderated free-for-all and "safe space" as I understand it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:35 PM on February 9, 2014 [2 favorites]


Thanks, jessamyn, that was what I was thinking of.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:45 PM on February 9, 2014


Re: the difference between a generally civil space and a safe space, I made this comment a while ago about what it's specifically understood to mean (though I called it a safe zone at the time).
posted by Miko at 2:12 PM on February 9, 2014 [3 favorites]


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