comment deletion in AbePlaysGuitar's sexual predator post June 10, 2014 1:08 PM   Subscribe

Did anyone else leave a negative reponse to the pedo post in AskMe only to have it deleted?

Hi all,

I posted a comment in AbePlaysGuitar's Ask about whether he should continue his illegal sexual pursuit of a minor child, which was deleted. My reply was along the lines of, "are you fucking kidding me? You're lucky this girl's parents and the mods who know your real name aren't calling the police on you." What's left of the Ask thread is a long list of gentle, hand-holding replies telling a 27 year old man, who is pursuing a 17 year old girl who has told him to leave her alone twice, that he just needs to have more confidence in himself and pursue women who are equals and etc. I wonder how many other hostile or accusatory replies, like mine, were deleted. Did any other mefites post similar responses only to have them removed? Am I missing something? Why is mefi invested in coddling a sexual predator?
posted by moonlight on vermont to Etiquette/Policy at 1:08 PM (41 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

I'll post the explanation that I sent to you in email, just so everyone's on the same page:

Comments in AskMe need to be constructive answers to the question. Asking if someone is trolling is deletable in itself. Furthermore, bringing profile information into a thread is also deletable (because profiles aren't Google-indexed but threads are.) If you want to reframe your comment without either of those factors, that's fine (although frankly at this point I don't think it's necessary - the gist of what you wanted to say has been said many times over.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:09 PM on June 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


I don't like what he's been doing but is it illegal? Being 17 does not automatically make her undateable, depending on jurisdiction.
posted by rtha at 1:11 PM on June 10, 2014 [18 favorites]


Bringing profile information to MetaTalk is also deletable, afaik.

Also, "minor child"?
posted by ODiV at 1:14 PM on June 10, 2014


As per [redacted]'s current penal code 'corruption' of a minor is illegal, yes.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 1:15 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


The title and content of this post currently use the OP's full name too.
posted by vegartanipla at 1:17 PM on June 10, 2014


Oh weird, I guess "minor child" is a thing, after doing some Googling. One example.

I hadn't seen that before. Looks strange.
posted by ODiV at 1:17 PM on June 10, 2014


Bringing profile information to MetaTalk is also deletable, afaik.

Oh man, good catch. It is not only deletable but potentially bannable - I've edited the post, and this needs to not happen again. Posting someone's real name in a thread is not ok, ever.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:18 PM on June 10, 2014 [25 favorites]


I don't think he mentioned his location in the question or his profile?

I think people in the thread are doing an excellent job communicating to him that his interest and behavior are inappropriate, and I'm not sure that the level of anger that you bring to the topic is likely to be helpful.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:18 PM on June 10, 2014 [18 favorites]


As per [redacted]'s current penal code 'corruption' of a minor is illegal, yes.

I am not asking this to argue but because it's genuinely not clear to me - where does that location enter into this? I did a ctrl+f on the thread and on the user's comments and also looked at his profile and it didn't come up anywhere - he doesn't mention that place at all.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:20 PM on June 10, 2014


the full name is still visible in the URL of the post, too. I don't know how to fix that, but it's there.
posted by KathrynT at 1:20 PM on June 10, 2014


Got it, thanks.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:21 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I suspect that moonlight on vermont googled his name and figured out where he lives, which frankly strikes me as a little creepy.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 1:21 PM on June 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Yeah I think this post should be nuked, not just closed.
posted by lalex at 1:21 PM on June 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


200kers, man.
posted by planetesimal at 1:24 PM on June 10, 2014 [5 favorites]


It's creepy of me to do a five minute google of someone who talks about pursuing a teenager under his full name on the internet, but it's NOT creepy and worthy of censure to actually make that post and to go after that kid IRL? Yeah, that's the attitude I'm talking about: I honestly do not understand the community urge to circle the wagons around this person and his predatory behavior. If the mods want to ban me for this, fine. But the community response to protect and be gentle with this man is, imo, disturbing and incomprehensible.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 1:26 PM on June 10, 2014 [18 favorites]


"Potentially" bannable? WTF. I don't understand the point of having a queue if you're not going to screen out things like this, and I don't understand the point of having rules about doxxing if you're not going to enforce them. This should be deleted, not just closed, and the poster should be banned for having posted it as it was.
posted by cribcage at 1:28 PM on June 10, 2014 [53 favorites]


> Yeah I think this post should be nuked, not just closed.

No, it's a really sketchy question that was allowed to stay, so it can and should be discussed here if people take issue to it.


> which frankly strikes me as a little creepy.

It may be somewhat of a failure to understand the site dynamics, but it isn't creepy. Why is it creepy?
posted by planetesimal at 1:29 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I looked up the penal code of the country in question because I saw the mention of it before it got deleted, and the age of consent for girls in that country is 12. "Corruption of a minor" as cited does apply to all minors under 18, but specifically refers to inducing or forcing a minor into prostitution (prostitution is legal but regulated in the country in question).

The original question was creepy as heck and the OP should not be dating teenagers (in my opinion, the OP's relationship was immoral, but probably not illegal -- even in countries where the age of consent is 18, this has only progressed as far as hand-holding), but this is the most bad-faith MeTa imaginable and the MeTa poster's behavior is pretty freaking creepy too.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:30 PM on June 10, 2014 [47 favorites]


Yes; moonlight on vermont is the one who is in the wrong here. He or she should simmer down and step away, forcibly if necessary.
posted by Curious Artificer at 1:30 PM on June 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I honestly do not understand the community urge to circle the wagons around this person and his predatory behavior.

No one is circling the wagons around his predatory behavior. The AskMe thread is 100% unanimous in telling him -- often in very strong terms -- to stop pursuing this girl, period. It is also 100% against Metafilter policy to bring in profile information or real names as you did here. No one is coddling the OP of the AskMe thread, and no one is singling you out for special treatment here.
posted by scody at 1:30 PM on June 10, 2014 [37 favorites]


Moonlight, I read that thread only after following your link here - and saw that twice in the thread, the OP says he is going to drop pursuing this girl. In other words, he's already reformed.

I don't think what you're seeing is people "circling the wagons around predatory behavior," I think you're seeing bafflement that "why are you still trying to punish him when he's already stopped"?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:30 PM on June 10, 2014 [17 favorites]


I agree that his behaviour was the (initial stages of) predatory, but he took responses really quite reasonably and those stages of predatory and creepy are also shown as romantic in pop culture.
posted by jeather at 1:31 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


I honestly do not understand the community urge to circle the wagons around this person and his predatory behavior.

The problem is you're seeming to define "circling the wagons" as "not going scorched earth naming-names google-bomb on someone's ass". You do not have to personally approve of the general expectation we have that folks don't out personal information or so on as a tactic here, but you have to abide by it because it is one of the basic expectations here.

It applies to you just as much as it applies to people you disapprove of or people who disapprove of you. It's not negotiable, even if you think someone is a jerk or is gross or whatever other special reason.

We can talk about the larger issue here, and we can talk about site policy, but this is not and will not become a place to go on the personal warpath against someone you think is in the wrong.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:31 PM on June 10, 2014 [47 favorites]


> but this is the most bad-faith MeTa imaginable

Let's can the hyperbole if we want to talk about this honestly.
posted by planetesimal at 1:31 PM on June 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


I didn't get the feeling that the OP of the AskMe was a sexual predator. He only mentioned holding hands with the girl. He sounded quite immature if anything which is maybe what people were responding to. He was very firmly told "respect what she is saying and don't pursue this" which he basically replied to with something like "I hear you". Also an actual paedophile is someone who is attracted to prepubescent children, not 17 year olds. I get that you're angry but I don't think the situation is as clear cut as you seem to think it is.
posted by billiebee at 1:32 PM on June 10, 2014 [16 favorites]


Stop acting like (Ask)MetaFilter is a community in lockstep, moonlight on vermont. I really resent the implication that as part of the community I'm obviously okay with (and defending) the question and answers that I haven't even read.

Also, I think you might have severely overestimated the jurisdiction of the mods' powers.
posted by ODiV at 1:32 PM on June 10, 2014 [1 favorite]


Hi cortex, thank you for taking the time to reply; consider the issue dropped on my end.
posted by moonlight on vermont at 1:33 PM on June 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


It's creepy of me to do a five minute google of someone who talks about pursuing a teenager under his full name on the internet, but it's NOT creepy and worthy of censure to actually make that post and to go after that kid IRL?

It can be both. Honestly, I don't see it as that bad. He wasn't talking about what kind of condoms to buy to have sex with her. He was asking about asking her out. People mostly told him it was a bad idea. He took the advice that was generally given.

Calm down, Javert.
posted by inturnaround at 1:34 PM on June 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


Ah metafilter drama - how I missed ye. Listen if anyone got doxxed, first - it's incredibly shitty of the person and two, yea I thought this was bannable?

Second, I think it's important to note that using the search button, the topic of mods reporting someone for illegal activity has been discussed in depth already. I would link to it but I'm on my phone. I personally have always thought there should be a blurb in the FAQS about it.
posted by lpcxa0 at 1:34 PM on June 10, 2014


This man has been advised to take the girl at her word and respect that she just wants to be friends. According to the post, he had done nothing more than hold hands with the girl. That is not illegal anywhere, as far as I know. He has also said he will cease contacting her.

What do you WANT us to do, moonlight on Vermont? Hunt him down and tar and feather him?
posted by misha at 1:35 PM on June 10, 2014


Hi there. I'm the author of the post.

You see, when you comment on someone's posts, you need to try to understand where this person is coming from, the attitude that I'm taking, and if you had seen my other posts on the thread, you would have seen that I've made the decision that I'm not going to pursue this girl anymore. And it's not like I'm acting like a creeper or anything like that, as others have mentioned.

Surprised? Well there are people who have done the same thing, that have a WAY worst attitude than I do with it, and.... well... They don't talk about it online, and that's why you don't know.

Why don't you know where I'm coming from? Most likely cause you don't care. I'm telling you now, and I hope there are no further misunderstandings on this.

Besides, I didn't rape her, or force her to do anything even CLOSE to sensual/sexual touching, let alone sex.

I'm pretty sure you've had your good amount of crap you've done in the past, and I'm wondering how pleasant it would be, if people treat you or talk to you the same way you did on my thread. Let's be adults, and have a conversation, but not make such a big deal out of something I've already admitted, and again, that was VERY FAR from anything sexually related.

Cheers, and I wish you the best with everything you do in your future.
posted by AbePlaysGuitar at 1:39 PM on June 10, 2014 [21 favorites]


Well, uh, congratulations on not being a rapist, I guess?

I don't know what you're hoping to get out of wading into this MeTa, Abe.
posted by subbes at 1:42 PM on June 10, 2014 [32 favorites]


A 27 year old has the courage to ask for guidance in a situation he admits he doesn't understand how to navigate -- isn't that what we (members of the same society) want young men to do???

If there's something I've learned about 'male culture' it's that young men do not get much guidance from older men when it comes to this stuff. So even if their questions strike an uncomfortable trigger for me, I'd much rather see young men asking these difficult questions and getting the guidance they're seeking, rather than stay in their closeted lives wondering if that young 17 year old really is their bet shot at happiness, love and belonging...

The OP's followup reflects that he took in the advice, and even advocated for other men in his shoes who might need the guidance unearthed by the thread. Don't know about anyone else, but in the overarching issue of improving men and women's mutual understanding and respect... I consider that post and its answers a collective win.

[on preview, I see a nice followup above by the OP which appears to further reflect he has a reasonable understanding of his situation and the advice that was given to him *thumbs up*]
posted by human ecologist at 1:43 PM on June 10, 2014 [112 favorites]


What the heck, subbes.
posted by Melismata at 1:43 PM on June 10, 2014 [32 favorites]


This thread is acting like it wants to have a long-term relationship with metafilter.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:44 PM on June 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


We can talk about the larger issue here, and we can talk about site policy

This was the moderation approach to the last trainwreck MeTa, about mental health. Y'all kept a badly framed post in the hope that maybe-possibly a good discussion could hatch. It was a bad strategy then, it ended badly, and it's a bad strategy now. If there's a larger issue, then someone else can make a post about it.

For that matter, I suspect someone will. If the moderation team is now saying that deliberate, hostile-intent doxxing is not an immediately bannable offense, that seems to me a very live issue for a separate MetaTalk thread.
posted by cribcage at 1:45 PM on June 10, 2014 [4 favorites]


planetesimal: "Let's can the hyperbole if we want to talk about this honestly."

I think posting someone's full name, location, and the unproven allegation that they're a "sexual predator" in a googleable forum is very bad-faith and I was shocked to see it in a MeTa. I suppose I could imagine a worse MeTa if I stopped to try, so in that sense it was hyperbolic, but it struck me as an extremely abusive use of this forum (MeTa) in which we discuss site policy, to use it to doxx a user and publicize unproven, inflammatory allegations under color of "here's a problem with site culture and/or moderation."
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 1:45 PM on June 10, 2014 [35 favorites]


Holy shit, shut this MeTa down and take it to email.
posted by boo_radley at 1:46 PM on June 10, 2014 [3 favorites]


As much as I wanted to shout and yell and curse in the AskMe thread, the OP seemed genuinely open to new information, and I think if the community did what I wanted to do, it would have been worse for all.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:46 PM on June 10, 2014 [7 favorites]


I don't know if there's any such thing as an auto-ban offense, but I'd suggest that intentionally google-bombing someone as a sexual predator ought to be at the top of the list.
posted by lalex at 1:47 PM on June 10, 2014 [70 favorites]


I'm going to go ahead and close this one - if someone wants to talk about specific issues, feel free to open a new thread with different framing.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:47 PM on June 10, 2014 [6 favorites]


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