IRL pony: Making meetup locations private August 17, 2014 8:20 AM   Subscribe

Can we have a way to optionally restrict the visibility of a meetup location to the participants who've confirmed their attendance? Or to at least limit the visibility to logged-in mefites? Currently there's no way to, for example, announce a house party without the whole world seeing where the host lives.
posted by ardgedee to Feature Requests at 8:20 AM (32 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

MeFiMail.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:27 AM on August 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


The way people are posting house parties right now is to either MeFi Mail the address to confirmed attendees or post the full address and then change it once the event is over. We don't want to provide the illusion of more security than there really is. The $5 barrier is not a huge barrier, so we're very hesitant to create privacy features around it. (The exception is some profile information like social apps and email addresses.)

If you're not comfortable sharing a real street address on the Internet, MetaFilter probably isn't a great place to post it--even if a member barrier existed.
posted by pb (staff) at 8:46 AM on August 17, 2014 [6 favorites]


Here's a conversation we had about this in 2010: I guess this is a feature request?
posted by pb (staff) at 8:55 AM on August 17, 2014 [1 favorite]


I totally understand the problem here, we designed this for public meetups at public spaces and now that a few private residences are used, it does present a problem for the FOREVER INTERNET that Google indexes. The problem though is that whatever flavor of "private" we all decide would work best (let's go with only logged in members that have said they want to go) isn't any guarantee of privacy.

We tend to stay away from trying to cloak sensitive material on MeFi here because it's so easily thwarted. In this example, someone that didn't like you could say they were going to the meetup for 30 seconds just to know your home address, which is less than ideal. People can copy/paste info, they can screenshot it, etc, what I'm saying is expectations of privacy are easily (and constantly) shattered online, so I think the interim hack people have come up with "contact me to get the final venue address via mefi mail" gives a more substantial layer of privacy than any automated tools we could build.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:01 AM on August 17, 2014 [9 favorites]


It seems like this wouldn't necessarily be a protection against Random Stalker who either already knew your username or was in fact stalking you because of your posting on Metafilter, but it would certainly be a protection against someone being able to determine your Metafilter username by having Googled your address.
posted by Sequence at 10:12 AM on August 17, 2014 [5 favorites]


Haven't people been posting a location in the approximate area and then saying in the meet description "This is not where the meet is, I will MeMail you the address before the meet"?

That way the location is more or less correct for people who use distance as a guide for attending, but the actual home address is not public.
posted by hippybear at 10:45 AM on August 17, 2014 [4 favorites]


In Canada, we use inukshuks to guide people the last 5 km or so.

I think the MeMail solution is a good one for keeping the information as confidential as possible.
posted by arcticseal at 11:25 AM on August 17, 2014 [8 favorites]


In Canada, we use inukshuks to guide people the last 5 km or so.

Hah, you can't fool me!

Everyone knows there's nowhere to go in Canada.
posted by curious nu at 12:31 PM on August 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


There is lots of places to go just no addresses because their aren't any paved roads.
posted by Mitheral at 1:05 PM on August 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


Turn right at Timmy's, left at Petro Can, another left at the next Timmy's, and it's behind White Spot.
posted by Beardman at 1:12 PM on August 17, 2014 [15 favorites]


See that track of single footsteps on the dirty pavement? That was when I walked by myself because you were really drunk and embarrassing everyone around you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:32 PM on August 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


Turn left where the Johnsons' old barn used to be, then keep going past where they're going to put the new drug store and take the fork in the road.
posted by maryr at 2:11 PM on August 17, 2014 [7 favorites]


Wasn't it Jessamyn's place that showed up in the middle of a lake on Google Maps?
posted by infini at 3:04 PM on August 17, 2014


No, pretty sure it was cortex's bank.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:22 PM on August 17, 2014 [2 favorites]


I had one at my dad's house yesterday and the IRL post form let me post just the street name instead of the full address. People were able to see the neighborhood on Google Maps but had to MeMail me for the actual address.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:58 PM on August 17, 2014


Wasn't it Jessamyn's place that showed up in the middle of a lake on Google Maps?

Hey Google, My Town's In The Lake
posted by ActingTheGoat at 5:18 PM on August 17, 2014


That is more Joanna Newsom than Joanna Newsom is!
posted by winna at 6:25 PM on August 17, 2014


No one can ever seem to find my secret island volcano lair even when I do give them the address.
posted by double block and bleed at 7:51 PM on August 17, 2014


They just end at the regular island volcano lair instead?
posted by aubilenon at 9:22 PM on August 17, 2014 [3 favorites]


In Canada, we use inukshuks to guide people the last 5 km or so.

This is true. Unfortunately no one ever takes them down so, like construction barricade posters, there a zillion inukshuks littering our streets and sidewalks. Few people remember this, but the reason Timmy Douglas fought for universal healthcare was because of all the rwisted ankles from people tripping over the damn things. Still, they're one of the things that make Canada so neat, and my Viberg boots keep my ankles and toes happy.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:04 AM on August 18, 2014


My solution previously back in the pre-IRL days when I hosted the DC cortexathon.
posted by exogenous at 9:31 AM on August 18, 2014


> In Canada, we use inukshuks to guide people the last 5 km or so.

I think you mean ᐃᓄᒃᓱᐃᑦ.
posted by languagehat at 10:52 AM on August 18, 2014 [4 favorites]


I don't know what inukshuks are. Instead of googling it like a normal person I'm just imagining they're some kind of snow fox or miniature polar bear. So cute, so helpful.
posted by shelleycat at 11:52 AM on August 18, 2014 [12 favorites]


They wear little orange hats with an interrobang embroidered on it!

Sometimes if it's a big event they show up in groups and wear matching embroidered vests like mariachi bands so that they can take each guest by a paw and gently lead them to the party.
posted by winna at 12:00 PM on August 18, 2014 [5 favorites]


Timmy Douglas fought for universal healthcare

I thought Timmy Douglas fought for free doughnuts for staff meetings at all Crown Corporations, thus the nickname for civil servants as "Crown Crullers"
posted by chapps at 5:45 PM on August 18, 2014 [1 favorite]


Timmy fought for many rights.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:55 PM on August 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


My friend's place on the google map in Kamakura Japan has his name on it, in English. All the buildings in town are on the map, in vector or wire frame. None of the other residences have names on them.

Subsequent to this discovery I learned that Japanese towns keep detailed records of buildings and who lives in them for disaster rescue and maybe other purposes.

My theory is that google purchased this data for the building profiles, and agreed to strip out the names for privacy, but the algorithm only looked for kanji characters, not English. So my friend's last name didn't get stripped.

It's still there, if you know where to look.
posted by notyou at 10:47 PM on August 18, 2014 [2 favorites]


I left off the punchline which was, "let's all meet at WC's house for the next Kamakura meetup."
posted by notyou at 11:23 PM on August 19, 2014


This is true. Unfortunately no one ever takes them down so, like construction barricade posters, there a zillion inukshuks littering our streets and sidewalks.

An unrelated and largely dormant MeTa thread seems like an appropriate place for me to confess that I destroyed an inukshuk one time. Somebody had built a big one on a little island at the entrance to a small bay on a moderately remote island where it was just barely possible to fit a small cruising sailboat in. My dad, captain of our little boat, was displeased with the idea that anyone else might find his secret anchorage, and ordered me out in the dinghy to destroy the thing. I was hesitant at first, because clearly someone had put a lot of time and effort into building it, and it was a beautiful work of art. It was at least four feet tall. The builders probably had to carry rocks across the water from other little islands, because the one it was on was quite barren and only a few feet across. This was just around the time they had started to become ubiquitous though, and it seemed to me that it probably was possible for there to be too many inukshuks in the world, so I tore it down. By the time I'd got half-way though tossing one stone after another as far as I could out into the water, I was revelling in the physical act of senseless destruction. Soon there was no trace left, and I sat on the bare rock that was now pretty much indistinguishable from the dozens of others around, and meditated on the impermanence of all things.

So sure, use them to navigate the way to meetups, but in areas with excessively high levels of inukshuk density they may not last forever.
posted by sfenders at 9:19 AM on August 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


Well now I know what an inukshuk is. I was previously familiar with cairns.

I have a less interesting story: As a lad I went to summer camp in the White Mountains, and day hikes were pretty common. As we neared a summit, our trip leader pointed to a cairn and asked "Does anyone know what this is called? I'll give you a hint, it sounds like a woman's name."

After much consideration, Mikey offered an answer:

"Roxanne?"
posted by SpiffyRob at 3:26 AM on August 21, 2014 [3 favorites]


Another Mefite recently posted a nearby major intersection then gave out the address by MeMail. So yeah, that works.
posted by IndigoRain at 4:39 PM on August 21, 2014


Don't take the forks in the road, leave the trail of forks for the next person to follow.
posted by yohko at 5:17 PM on August 29, 2014


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