Perhaps a deletion was not the best solution in this case. January 25, 2015 9:57 AM   Subscribe

The deletion of this question troubles me.

It seems to me that the asker is being open and honest about the beliefs that are causing the problem she is asking about. The beliefs are obviously ones that many people find offensive, but the asker is not presenting them in order to convince anyone that they're accurate or to oppress anyone. I'm not sure where that leaves her, or others who want advice or help with problems that involve similarly offensive beliefs. Should she have concealed the nature of the problem, rendering her question less useful? Apologized more for them, which just seems like a difficult requirement to intuit beforehand and enforces a certain orthodoxy?

Frankly, sexist beliefs are not some isolated, esoteric problem. The issues the asker is facing are not uncommon, and the beliefs she describes are held to some degree by overwhelmingly many people in society. It seem like her problem, and the bigger picture problem, deserve a more productive response than deletion.
posted by prefpara to Etiquette/Policy at 9:57 AM (442 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

It's theoretically a workable question with a pretty hefty rewrite. As it stands, it's more rant than question and we routinely delete those (regardless of subject matter) because people tend to latch on to the rant and debate it rather than answering the question as asked. A certain amount of questioning of premises is ok, but too much derails a question and is frustrating for everyone.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 10:01 AM on January 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


Smells awfully trolly. Even if sincere it could have gone to a much lesser length expounding on the many reasons for such self-hatred.
posted by localroger at 10:02 AM on January 25, 2015 [59 favorites]


I actually contacted the mods about that... my apologies to the asker of this is not the case, but the question did not appear to me to be in good faith.

Although, even though I doubt its sincerity, I'd love to see the awesome responses to it we could compile.
posted by meese at 10:08 AM on January 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


It was a strangely worded question, and I agree with encouraging a do-over, but I think the topic does reflect a trend in AskMe questions of late.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:11 AM on January 25, 2015


Ya I caught it via RSS and thought combo:derail-as-artform, and chatfilter at best. Seems a reasonable deletion to me?
posted by chasles at 10:13 AM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Good thing I'm not a mod because I would have banned the person and salted and burned the account.

Why would we allow hate speech here? Imagine if the poster had expounded upon how dumb and ugly black people are!
posted by desjardins at 10:13 AM on January 25, 2015 [49 favorites]


It was looking for a fight rather than an answer. (And it smelled fishy as hell.)
posted by sallybrown at 10:15 AM on January 25, 2015 [34 favorites]


Not only was it a resounding slam on females, but it took a hit at the ethics of the males with "because heterosexual men seem to prefer us looking spindly or blobby"....

It was a good delete, other than "get some help for yourself..." what else could be said that wasn't just arguing the allegations put forward...
posted by HuronBob at 10:19 AM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I've rewritten part of it to make this crystal clear:
Black people aren't as smart as white people -- or, to be more precise, the smartest people in society are overwhelmingly white. I don't particularly care whether this is due to innate ability or to differing interests, because the outcome is the same either way. The black people I know (myself included) want to sit around chatting about rappers or fashion or feelings in their free time. The white people talk about stocks, history, tech, science.... You get the picture. Magazines geared toward the respective sexes reflect these stark differences. The greatest writers, inventors, comedians, scientists, philosophers, artists and composers throughout history have overwhelmingly been white. Now that black people are free to innovate and create, what have we produced? Fashion magazines? Reality TV shows? Or have white people made those and we're just consuming them?
posted by desjardins at 10:19 AM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Bad faith question and amateurish online playacting.

I disagree that it could even have spawned a useful conversation about internalized misogyny.
posted by crush-onastick at 10:21 AM on January 25, 2015 [12 favorites]


I've rewritten part of it to make this crystal clear

The question is bad enough on its own terms without overlaying in a different language of oppression.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:21 AM on January 25, 2015 [78 favorites]


My troll-sense is tingling over time on that question, sorry.
posted by DiscourseMarker at 10:22 AM on January 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


It was looking for a fight rather than an answer.

This. Sincere or not, anything starting "tell me how I'm wrong" is never a sincere invitation for opposing views, so that they may be considered fairly.
posted by fatbird at 10:26 AM on January 25, 2015


I'm pretty familiar with internalized misogyny, having seen it in myself and others. A logical question if a woman actually felt this way would be "help me unlearn these feelings of inadequacy," not "given this is all clearly true that women are the worst, how can I be happy anyway?"

Stunt post, and not even a well-disguised one at that.
posted by misskaz at 10:30 AM on January 25, 2015 [65 favorites]


Editor's eye:
A sorry-I'm-new-to-this-place intro, followed by a number of carefully Mefi-selected ragebait topics, the repeated insertion of a "question" ("I ask a question, I really do, don't you see this folks?"), and finally Sunday afternoon... all this suggests experienced-trolling. Someone bored to smithereens, someone who stumbled across a box of old axes in her/his mental attic, someone not kindly disposed to Sundays (and people) in late January--something along those lines.

I could be wrong. If it isn't that, the OP should indeed totally re-write that question, let it rest for a number of days, look again, perhaps rewrite it again--like people sometimes do when they address tricky topics. Nobody can give a level-headed answer to that question.
posted by Namlit at 10:32 AM on January 25, 2015 [40 favorites]


Also, I want to add: even if the question might have spawned a useful conversation about internalized misogyny, I would have flagged it as chatfilter (I thought the popular "Bitch in Business" thread was too chatty to be a good fit for ask.me, for instance and I think most of the "I need to know what to cook! HALP!" threads are too vague and recope-filtery to be useful, too).
posted by crush-onastick at 10:35 AM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well *coughs*

Since the bread thread is crumbling at the edges, perhaps we do Muffin recipes right away, what?
posted by Namlit at 10:37 AM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you don't believe that was trolling, if you really believe that was an honest question posed by a deeply confused person, I would love to see how it could be answered.

Because I would like video of the backflips and twists it would require. I could make some sweet gifs.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:43 AM on January 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Dear AskMe,

I hate myself. Now what?

AskMe responds:

Get therapy.


What would responses to the deleted hate-filled rant say? Arguing that girlz be smart? Girlz don't need no makeup? Girlz be whatever they want?
posted by kinetic at 10:45 AM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


It was the trolliest troll that ever trolled *implodes*

TROLL! *gasp*
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:45 AM on January 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


there, you said it
posted by Namlit at 10:46 AM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Everyone knows what sexism is. All the 'explanation' was unnecessary. The entire question could have been reduced to:

"How can I be happy as a woman, and confident when dating, given that I don't understand what men see in women at all?"

Not sure I agree it was definite trolling, but it was very unfortunately framed and I'm wholly in favor of the deletion. Agree that most responses would say get therapy, but then again, many human relations questions are like that.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:47 AM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Good thing I'm not a mod because I would have banned the person and salted and burned the account.

Yes, I was kind of surprised the account wasn't disabled when I checked out their profile. I would've definitely banned like Thor.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:50 AM on January 25, 2015 [11 favorites]


That question was so full of shit it squishes when it walks.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:50 AM on January 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


It was a good deletion because that was the trolliest troll. With this fighty ending statement clinching it - "Feel free to prove me wrong--really, I'd be happy to see these ideas challenged."

O rly? I don't think so.
posted by Squeak Attack at 10:51 AM on January 25, 2015 [20 favorites]


Dear AskMe,

I hate myself. Now what?

AskMe responds:

Get therapy.


I agree that this was probably a giant troll and a good deletion either way, but to be fair that exchange sums up a pretty hefty number of Ask posts, most of which don't get deleted.
posted by Itaxpica at 10:52 AM on January 25, 2015


A fine troll. It got a Meta even if the Ask didn't make it. Kudos, sir, kudos.

There are quite a number of Ask questions that I've felt were outright trolling that the mods let stand. Some hilarious relationship questions spring to mind.
posted by Ik ben afgesneden at 10:55 AM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Don't feed the trolls.
posted by Jacqueline at 10:56 AM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


if you really believe that was an honest question posed by a deeply confused person, I would love to see how it could be answered.

I don't, but here goes: show me a man who can do this
posted by flabdablet at 10:56 AM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


I agree that this was probably a giant troll and a good deletion either way, but to be fair that exchange sums up a pretty hefty number of Ask posts, most of which don't get deleted.

The sentiment in the question reflects almost exactly what we've seen in other questions lately, although more cringeworthy in its wording. AskMes do sometimes come in topical waves as some questions prompt additional questions by other members. I think either the poster was trolling because it was recognized to already have traction here, and thus elicit a response, or the person was jumping on the bandwagon of similar type questions to deal with her own angst, albeit poorly worded. I tend lean towards the former (although it sucks to be wrong about these things), as it is too coincidental to not be grounded in recent AskMe history, and as such, would have had access to well worded responses already.
posted by SpacemanStix at 10:58 AM on January 25, 2015


Which recent AskMes are you referring to as similar?
posted by Jacqueline at 11:05 AM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


> Perhaps a deletion was not the best solution in this case.

Betteridge's law of headlines
strikes again. The answer is "No, deletion was the best solution in this case."
posted by benito.strauss at 11:09 AM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Which recent AskMes are you referring to as similar?

It felt like a spiritual successor to this question, for example, but now more generalized.

I'd bet money that this question prompted the one that was deleted. Even the pacing in places is pretty similar.
posted by SpacemanStix at 11:13 AM on January 25, 2015


Yeah - I am sure I was one of many who flagged the question. There are many, many better ways to say that you get along better with men, dislike the stereotypical roles that women are put in, and want to find a way to be happier with your life without the outrageous wording in the question.

Good deletion.
posted by Suffocating Kitty at 11:14 AM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


That troll was so epic i could actually see harry potter's wand in its nostril
posted by poffin boffin at 11:14 AM on January 25, 2015 [69 favorites]


I agree that this was probably a giant troll and a good deletion either way, but to be fair that exchange sums up a pretty hefty number of Ask posts, most of which don't get deleted.

Most of those AskMes tend to play out so that it's people attempting to gently convince the OP that what they feel isn't normal, that they don't need to hate themselves so much or that the self-destructive behavior they're engaging in or tolerating in a SO is evidence of self-hatred because it's not normal and not acceptable and they do actually deserve better, and that therapy might be a good place to start working on that underlying problem.

Just diving in with "LOL YEP DEFINITELY HATE MYSELF WHO WOULDN'T" isn't really the same dynamic at all.

I don't, but here goes: show me a man who can do this

Son, you need to bring your knowledge up to the modern era. And yes, dudes can do it just as well.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 11:23 AM on January 25, 2015


That as a sincere first contribution from a new user who's "been carrying this sense of inferiority all my life"?

Not too damn likely.
posted by jamjam at 11:38 AM on January 25, 2015


Brand new user, trolly sounding question phrased in a really hamfisted way. From the question:

I wouldn't normally spout off such un-PC views in real life... but that's what the Internet is for, right?

It could be argued it is what the Internet is for but it's not what MeFi is for.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 11:45 AM on January 25, 2015 [40 favorites]


Most of those AskMes tend to play out so that it's people attempting to gently convince the OP that what they feel isn't normal, that they don't need to hate themselves so much or that the self-destructive behavior they're engaging in or tolerating in a SO is evidence of self-hatred because it's not normal and not acceptable and they do actually deserve better, and that therapy might be a good place to start working on that underlying problem.

That sounds great in theory, but in my experience when those kinds of questions come along there's generally a wave of "this isn't normal and you should seek therapy" well before any kind of attempts to gently convince anyone of anything, if that happens at all.
posted by Itaxpica at 11:51 AM on January 25, 2015


That sounds great in theory, but in my experience when those kinds of questions come along there's generally a wave of "this isn't normal and you should seek therapy" well before any kind of attempts to gently convince anyone of anything, if that happens at all.

Well, if it isn't normal and they should seek therapy, what's more convincing than a whole fuckton of different people chiming in and saying "hey, no, what you're describing is not normal, please seek therapy"? I don't see it as being any different from someone using an AskMe to ask "hey is this thing I want to do a stupid idea? should I do it?" and everyone chiming in with "yes, it is a stupid idea, do not do it".
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 12:10 PM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I definitely did not come away with the impression that the question was asked in bad faith, so that explains one way in which my reaction to it was different from the reactions I'm seeing expressed here. I do think the problem being expressed is real and deserves real answers. There should be some way for people to say, "I have these beliefs that I know I'm not supposed to have, and I generally don't even feel able to admit that I have them, but nevertheless I do have them and they make me feel terrible in various ways. How can I cope?"

My bias tends to be to err on the side of letting poorly-phrased questions stand because asking for help is really difficult, but I realize that may not always be possible from a community-management perspective. Nevertheless, I think that if this asker is legit, it would be sad if she has been discouraged from reposting.
posted by prefpara at 12:21 PM on January 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I propose that people whose Asks are deleted get to rewrite them and repost them a week later in a form that avoids the obvious problems with the original post. I further propose something called a "contact form," so that questioners can contact mods directly about this if they want to, and I will even further suggest that mods on this site be willing to work with questioners who are unsure of how to frame their questions appropriately.

Now if only we had something like that here, we wouldn't need to start MeTas about deleted questions. But I guess until we do, we're stuck with MeTas like this, aren't we?
posted by MoonOrb at 12:50 PM on January 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Even if that comment wasn't asked in bad faith (I think it was, but still), it was not going to engender a good discussion. Deleting it and telling the asker to recast was absolutely the correct move.
posted by Etrigan at 1:00 PM on January 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


It felt like a spiritual successor to this question, for example, but now more generalized.

Honestly, and i can't believe i'm saying this, that feels really unfair to that question which is legitimate depressed self loathing shit.

"I have these beliefs that I know I'm not supposed to have, and I generally don't even feel able to admit that I have them, but nevertheless I do have them and they make me feel terrible in various ways. How can I cope?"

The thing is, as discussed above, that is not what was said here. It wasn't so much "i believe these things and..." it was more "given that these things i believe are backed up by reality, how do i deal with the fact that i objectively suck?"


i can't decide whether this is a troll or not, and i have a pretty finely tuned trolldar. it IS a shitpost though, especially if you define trolling or a shitpost by how people would respond to it.

What the fuck good could come out of this post? it would get 75+ replies and just turn in to a huge proxy war.

Honestly i think the veneer of reasonableness on posts like this only works because, from what i've observed from even recent discussions here and other good places, people are willing to accept a much higher level of weasel-wordsy "some people say" type of discussion and "thoughtpieces" about women and misogyny than they are about racism or whatever. While that word-swapping post above was a bit blunt and vaguely beyond the pale, it did bring up the point of how that post never would have flown. Not that this one did, but we wouldn't even be discussing it here.

There are, online and off(at least local to me for both) womens-only spaces in which this kind of question could be asked in earnest, and probably get significantly less fighty replies. I'm not disparaging mefi, it's more that i think if someone was really going to ask this toxicly worded of a question it would have to be in a tightly focused and moderated space dedicated to that set of issues.

Pretty much, i'm willing to believe that this potentially could not be a troll. In the context of this site, it sort of just is a troll though regardless of what intent it was posted with.
posted by emptythought at 1:05 PM on January 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


I would have deleted that question SO HARD and I don't like deleting anything.
posted by Justinian at 1:07 PM on January 25, 2015


I've rewritten part of it to make this crystal clear:

No, you haven't. You're just trying to prove how right you are by using a hyperbolic and made up example of racism, based on a hyperbolic and made up example of sexism. Please don't do that, it doesn't do anyone any good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:12 PM on January 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


I think the OP is trolling because the problem that she outlines is not a real problem. Even deeply traditional, conservative women with very strict views of gender roles and female sexual proprietary don't think like that, don't act like that, and aren't filled with that kind of self-loathing just because they're gender traditionalists. If it's a troll, the only answer is deletion. If it's sincere, the only answer is "this is not something an AskMe can help you with, because not even Quiverfull women feel the way you do, and what you are announcing as the problem isn't the problem, and you're actively trying to avoid having to engage with other answers", plus some of those potential answers are things that just aren't appropriate for anyone to bring up. Why do so many MeFites think "in good faith" means having to entertain things that are patently ridiculous on the face of it?
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 1:16 PM on January 25, 2015 [28 favorites]


I concur with the deletion (not that anyone asked) if only just because even if it were sincere, it's beyond the scope of what AskMe can help with.
posted by bleep at 1:17 PM on January 25, 2015


The best possible option for that question was a thread whose answers looked like this:

Get therapy.
posted by Username at 3:30 PM on January 25 [+] [!]

Get therapy.
posted by Username at 3:32 PM on January 25 [+] [!]

It must be really tough to go through life feeling that way. You should get therapy.
posted by Username at 3:36 PM on January 25 [+] [!]

Therapy.
posted by Username at 3:37 PM on January 25 [+] [!]


There is seriously no other even remotely possible good place for that thread to go.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:18 PM on January 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


Yes, jinx.
posted by bleep at 1:18 PM on January 25, 2015


It seemed so trolly to me that although it was deleted while I was crafting a response, I MeMailed the asker with the title, "You're Trolling Right?" My one line message, "If you believe this about women, you need to hang out with a better class of people."

There's no helpful way to answer the question, other than, "dude, get some therapy." (As everyone here notes.) It was properly deleted not because it was trolly, but because there's no real helpful information any of us could have imparted to this person. Not really.

But there's something pretty fun about getting tolled like that. Like even though he's being mean, the football quarterback knows who I am!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:20 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I guess my point is also: Answer in MeMail. If you feel you have something helpful to add.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 1:21 PM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


This was so obviously a troll I cant even.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:24 PM on January 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


I disagree so strongly with many people on this thread. You really all think that feelings of female self-hatred are so unlikely and so uncommon in a society that's obviously hostile toward women that this woman is an obvious troll? You think it's so inconceivable that a real woman would feel regularly burdened by feelings of inadequacy due to messages received day in and day out? Seriously?? That to me suggests that you don't think these messages are: 1. pervasive or 2. insidious. And that's insane.

And really, if a black person wrote in about feelings of inadequacy within this fucked up society we'd just call them racist and shut down the thread?

I agree there may not be a great deal of useful advice to give beyond therapy, but there certainly is some. It strikes me that crying 'troll' and refusing to acknowledge that some people actually feel this way is just another way to invalidate unfortunately common feelings. Great work, everyone.
posted by namesarehard at 1:27 PM on January 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


You think it's so inconceivable that a real woman would feel regularly burdened by feelings of inadequacy due to messages received day in and day out?

When I saw the title, that's where I assumed the question was going, but oh boy was it not. The question "I am bombarded by messages that make me feel inferior. How do I cope?" is perfectly reasonable and, I think, probably would have been left up. The question "Women suck amirite?" is not perfectly reasonable and I am super glad it was deleted.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 1:30 PM on January 25, 2015 [51 favorites]


Right, because those messages never actually carry their intended effects? Because everyone is only affected in a meta-intellectual capacity?

Hey, here's me NOT trolling - sometimes I feel shitty and envious about being a woman too. If you want to pretend I'm only throwing that out there to antagonize, go ahead, but you're sticking your heads in the sand. There is a serious problem of misogyny in this society, and it seems unproductive to pretend it affects everyone identically.
posted by namesarehard at 1:32 PM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


It screams troll because of the presentation, not the content. 'anti-PC', 'women are dumber', 'men like tech, women like fashion magazines'. The OP stated these things AS FACT, not as ones feelings.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:33 PM on January 25, 2015 [28 favorites]


...and then the thread turns in to a preview of comments that mostly would have been deleted from the question.
posted by emptythought at 1:34 PM on January 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


I can be gullible, to be fair, but I sincerely do not think the question was a troll. I can't quite put my finger on why. Maybe the bit about women's hips. It seems like there's something real that this person is grappling with and I believe her description of what reality looks like to her.
posted by prefpara at 1:36 PM on January 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


...and then the thread turns in to a preview of comments that mostly would have been deleted from the question

we could avoid that you know
posted by Namlit at 1:36 PM on January 25, 2015


You really all think that feelings of female self-hatred are so unlikely and so uncommon in a society that's obviously hostile toward women that this woman is an obvious troll?

Those particular feelings of self-hatred, manifesting in that particular way as outlined by the OP of that post? No, not at all. In fact, the only time I've ever heard anyone express something similar about female bodies in comparison to male bodies the people expressing those views were all either transgender men who were in a horrible place of essentially projecting their own dysphoria onto the outside world, or extremely, viciously misogynist gay men who I want to believe were trying to dilute the pain of internalized homophobia. You'll note "there is nothing attractive about female bodies at all" is not actually how societal misogyny generally breaks down, yes? Female bodies are sexualized and objectified, not cast as repellant.

"Lol why would anyone ever be attracted to women?" isn't actually part of the Patriarchy's Greatest Hits Playbook. Read the OP again. It's really, really weird, even among women who struggle with feelings of inadequacy because of their gender. Sexist men would find it weird, and then make a joke about boobs or asses.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 1:38 PM on January 25, 2015 [40 favorites]


Yes, MisatropicPainforest, because those are 'facts' presented to her. Do you think she made all of those messages up rather than internalized them? Like the messages that little girls hear are sincerely about how equally capable and valuable men and women are? Maybe that will be true one day, but I'm skeptical it will be in our lifetime.
posted by namesarehard at 1:38 PM on January 25, 2015


Any benefit of the doubt that I gave the question and the OP -- and trust me, there wasn't much -- was pretty much vaporized when I saw where the OP posted the question. It wasn't in Human Relations. It was in freaking Science and Nature.
posted by bakerina at 1:40 PM on January 25, 2015 [59 favorites]


I didn't read it so much as 'why would anyone want to fuck me LOL' but rather, 'I don't feel valuable as an equal partner.'
posted by namesarehard at 1:40 PM on January 25, 2015


I'm also hearing that people don't think there are constructive responses beyond encouraging the asker to seek therapy. Not only do I disagree with that, but it can't be true, because sexism is a pervasive problem in society that we have (I think) a moral duty to address in ways large and small as we live our lives. It can't just be dumped into the "not my problem" bucket, which is what we're really saying when we tell someone they need therapy without adding anything more. Sometimes, people really do need specialized help that is beyond what a layman can provide. But sexism isn't, and can't be, one of those instances. In real life, we encounter sexism every day. When people we interact with express a sexist view, directly or indirectly, we don't, and can't, just tell them that they need therapy. I think part of the project of combating sexism is figuring out what tools sexist people can use to become not sexist, which is really the question in this case - at least to my mind.
posted by prefpara at 1:40 PM on January 25, 2015


No, she didn't' say " I feel women are dumb" she flat out said that women are dumb and like fashion magazines and that men are smart and like stocks and tech.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 1:41 PM on January 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


Ok, I'm repeating myself, so I'll back away, but my bottom line is:

Strikes me as crazy to imagine that no women actually internalize society's messages about how worthless they are.
posted by namesarehard at 1:44 PM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


I like to think that question was posted by the actual Guinevere, who is using some kind of fae magick to post from Camelot.
posted by betweenthebars at 1:49 PM on January 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


Strikes me as crazy to imagine that no women actually internalize society's messages about how worthless they are.


In my experience, when women internalize them, they don't get internalized that way. It doesn't mean someone couldn't, but yeah.
posted by joyceanmachine at 1:49 PM on January 25, 2015 [17 favorites]


What fascinated me about the Ask is that, in most stunt posts, it's not terribly hard to tell what point the poster was trying to make with it, whether it be in the post itself or in the reaction the poster expected to get. But in this case, I really have no idea what the poster's agenda was. It seems certain that they have one and that there was going to be a gotcha buried somewhere in there either now or later, but it was made in such a bizarre and ham-handed way that I just cannot tell what point they thought they were making. Whoever actually wrote it, they're either a mad genius or a drooling idiot.

Funny old world, this.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 1:50 PM on January 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


That question reminds me of the "sexy decoy" cartoon cliché, where someone sticks a pillow in a wig and a dress in a clumsy attempt to distract their opponent. And in the cartoons, it always works, even though the decoy is ridiculously, obviously fake.

Someone out there thinks we're a bunch of Elmer Fudds, I guess.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:58 PM on January 25, 2015 [19 favorites]


If the question is sincere I don't think it's actually a question about sexism. It's a question about hating your own self to an extreme and unusual degree and trying to make sense of that using cultural messages you heard. A man could decide he hates himself and find negative cultural messages to make sense of it too. Your brain finds something and tries to interpret it in terms of what it already knows. My conjecture is that the self-hatred was pre-existing but in thinking unconsciously "Why do I hate myself so much? It must be because.." There are plenty of negative cultural messages in the unconscious's collection to explain it. But for most people the little germ of hating oneself is not that big and doesn't need that degree of explaining. This is why it's an issue in this individual 's head and requires IRL help. Of course some questions about sexism can be answered, if they're really just about trying to cope in a culture infected with sexism and require information that can only be found outside of yourself.
posted by bleep at 2:00 PM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


More evidence that this is just a Troll.

Here's a response to a question about PUA sites.

The response is so weird and facile and not understanding of the underlying question that...it's seems so freaking obvious to me that it's Trolly McTrollson trolling away. Clearly the PUA question spurred joining Metafilter merely to give this weird, weird, weird reply. And I suppose someone got bored this afternoon, and posted the post in question.

I seriously suspect that the owner of the account is NOT a woman, and clearly not much of a man either.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 2:03 PM on January 25, 2015 [29 favorites]


It seems certain that they have one and that there was going to be a gotcha buried somewhere in there either now or later, but it was made in such a bizarre and ham-handed way that I just cannot tell what point they thought they were making.

Sooner or later, someone would have responded with A) a list of ways that men suck, if just as an example of how the OP wasn't the only person who thought things like this; or B) a list of great things about women, which would have been taken as a back-door version of A.
posted by Etrigan at 2:05 PM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


I agree with namesarehard and others. I think the asker was genuinely wondering about this and trying to figure out why she feels the way she feels and what information she was missing.

I think a lot of people have a tendency to infer an emotional context for text when there is no real evidence to support this emotional context (here, that context would be hostility toward the reading audience or toward all women).

I think she used "is" where "seems" or "feel" would have been more precise verbs, but the style she used is more immediate and vivid at the cost of precision and gentleness. I myself also sometimes phrase questions (in real life speech) as "what am I missing here" -- sometimes, yes, I've heard that phrase used in a hostile way, but other times it is not hostile at all. Maybe there's a better way to indicate, "I think you know something I don't, so please tell me what it is," but I can't think what it would be right now and I wouldn't be surprised if others can't either.

I also think that a lot of females, especially "non-girly" females, or those with no positive female role models, have struggled with this belief system. Where does one get any sense that the things that women are often better at than men are valuable?

Futhermore, this particular time, and this particular venue, are so aware of some of these issues, and these issues are so frequently discussed, that I was genuinely excited when I saw the question; I thought that this group of people, now, were ideally suited to putting into words exactly how and why these perceptions have formed, and how they can be overcome.

I truly hope she posts the question again in a slightly buffered form.

I'd started writing my own clumsy answer and sent my half-a-draft to her through memail.

Of course there's always the chance that the question was disingenuous, but I don't think so. I can well imagine something like this coming from a place of pain and exceptional openness, and I hope we have passed peak cynicism.

In my experience, when women internalize them, they don't get internalized that way.

In my experience, they do. Most women who have this internalized just don't bother to question it. The poster did, she realizes she's clueless -- somehow she picked up just enough information to slightly crack the Dunning-Kruger effect -- and I'm proud of her.

Not everyone knows what you know. As someone who, when I was younger, was accused over and over again of "faking" ignorance of various social "norms" -- my family growing up was very different from the families of anyone I knew -- I feel I must say something. It can seem incredible that anyone could "not know" something is or sounds offensive, but this can really happen in good faith.
posted by amtho at 2:07 PM on January 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I don't know that we have a right to unpack all of our ugliest thoughts and questions wherever we choose, and where they can hurt other people, even if our questions and beliefs are sincere.

I don't think this was sincere, though. The loathing expressed for all women engaged in physical activity was the end of any vestigial presumption of good faith. Do you know why? Because there was no room made for any dance forms, and it is just....uncommon not to hear types of performance and physicality pitted against each other in sexist (not to mention other oppressive axes) discourse about women's physical appearance and athletic (and artistic) performance. Even among women and girls who are extremely self-loathing and also very sexist. It was just...off to my ear.
posted by Uniformitarianism Now! at 2:08 PM on January 25, 2015 [10 favorites]


Strikes me as crazy to imagine that no women actually internalize society's messages about how worthless they are.

I think people use questions on AskMe as Rorschachs into other things. I think there are a lot of women who have internalized lousy messages. However, I found the "Look, I don't like to say this shit out loud but $WALL_OF_SHIT" presentation a problem. Even if that is someone who is genuinely having those issues, having a chitchat with a mod and reposting their non-time-sensitive question next week is going to go a hell of a lot better for them than the Armchair Shrinks of AskMe doing a number on them.

Look, in real life AskMe gets its (small) share of trolls. It also has genuinely confused and/or hurting people who are very bad at social interaction and become indistinguishable from the former type of people. For nearly-new posters, it's a kindness of the mods to try to help them out so that they can get the best out of AskMe. This question was not that, regardless of whatever the OPs truly-held feelings are.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 2:15 PM on January 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


Obvious Sockpuppet - don't think it would have led to the free-spirited rough-and-tumble of ideas that we're so fond of here.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:24 PM on January 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Another vote for obvious troll is obvious. Good delete.
posted by spitbull at 2:31 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Only the OP knows if this was sincere or not. No amount of speculation will tell otherwise.

But the following were presented as facts about women:

* need lots of makeup just to look decent
* hips are angled strangely
* we look ridiculous when running or engaging in other physical activities
* We're not strong like men; we barely even develop muscles after months of weightlifting
* heterosexual men seem to prefer us looking spindly or blobby
* we lose most of our appeal in the eyes of even the most ardent fan of female "beauty"
* Women aren't as smart as men
* the smartest people in society are overwhelmingly male
* women want to sit around chatting about boys or fashion or feelings in their free time
* men talk about stocks, history, tech, science
* the greatest writers, inventors, comedians, scientists, philosophers, artists and composers throughout history have overwhelmingly been male.

Feel free to prove me wrong--really, I'd be happy to see these ideas challenged.


If there was a genuine question nestled in there, it was damned near impossible to get to because there was just a lot of gender-bashing going on, and the OP presented it all as factual manifesto.
posted by kinetic at 2:32 PM on January 25, 2015 [34 favorites]


So yeah, in order to not to feed the Sockpuppet, perhaps an ongoing collective votefest about genuine or not isn't the greatest thing to keep doing.
posted by Namlit at 2:33 PM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


And thanks kinetic for making this list, as a reminder for just how much this question not only wasn't answerable in any reasonable fashion but also is a chatfilter caricature.
posted by Namlit at 2:37 PM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


eh, if this was posted by a genuine person then they have so many damn genuine issues that require genuine medical help that a bunch of internet jerks trying to explain why she is wrong would not help in the slightest. As in, Scott Aaronson levels of 'let me blame my pathological anxiety on Andrea Dworkin' that need to be answered with 'that's not just internalized misogyny, you're actually sick and need a doctor not a discussion'.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 2:39 PM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Feel free to prove me wrong-

This part alone seems like enough for it to land on the Chatfilter spectrum.
posted by CrystalDave at 2:41 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Even if this wasn't a troll, to me it falls squarely in the Storytime category. Not that there is necessarily anything wrong with such questions if they're framed tightly enough.* But sometimes you get questions like: "I am on the verge of a divorce, please tell me stories about relationships that were close to ruin and then miraculously bounced back" where you can't really help with the individual problem, since the OP has masked the details of their situation in such a way that the question can't be answered without diving into chatfilter. The only way to really answer her question, as it was presented, would have been to relay stories about women being awesome, or calling for therapy. Broad Storytime questions tend to be only tangentially related to how AskMe is meant to function, so even if the OP was sincere, I don't think that the question should have been allowed to stand without a re-write that made it more than a commentary asking for countering anecdotes.

*There is currenty a Storytime question in AskMe right here that I consider to be just fine because it's tightly framed in such a way as to not seek wild abandon chatfilter.
posted by Shouraku at 2:51 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, that couldn't have been more obviously a stunt troll post. It may as well have had the first letters of each of the sentences spell out HA HA I AM TOTES A TROLL.

Whomever owns that sock puppet (because it was obviously from someone with a primary real account) needs to be banned so hard there's a perceptible dent in the server housing their account information.
posted by winna at 3:10 PM on January 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


Of course internalized misogyny is common and some of the things the poster wrote are typical examples of it. But some other things were very much not. People have good reasons for being suspicious.

I can imagine that some of the unusual assertions could come from another direction, like a body dysmorphic disorder that finds expression and validation through encultured misogyny and for that individual person there's a strong interaction between the two. This could be a genuine question.

Okay, but the problem is that it's very combative which, all by itself, indicates that the thread would likely go badly and not be productive for that asker. But also, per the previous paragraph, if it's genuine it also represents a fairly extreme example of self-loathing that has a complicated and idiosyncratic etiology and there is no way that the thread would end up being helpful to such a person. This is someone who -- in my admittedly lay opinion -- has a psychiatric disorder and any help they could use is beyond what AskMe can offer.

But, all told, I'm strongly leaning toward troll.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 3:11 PM on January 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


I find it funny (funny-sad not funny-ha-ha) that people are so shocked by this level of internalized misogyny that they don't think it could be possible.

I assure you that ten years ago, I could have written this AskMe almost verbatim.
posted by overeducated_alligator at 3:47 PM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Not only was it a resounding slam on females...

I also think that a lot of females, especially "non-girly" females...

We're "women," not "females," please.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:48 PM on January 25, 2015 [56 favorites]


No-one is denying that internalised misogyny is a real thing. But that question by a new user very much reads as someone wanting to troll the userbase with a 'Women: Why Are We So Terrible?' question, which should be deletable in how it was written just as much as what it was written about.

In other words, this MeTa is very likely to be catnip for an OP who wants to watch 'the feminazis at MetaFilter' go at each other.
posted by gadge emeritus at 3:52 PM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Whomever owns that sock puppet (because it was obviously from someone with a primary real account) needs to be banned so hard there's a perceptible dent in the server housing their account information.

It would be nice if the mods could do whatever behind-the-scenes stuff they can do to investigate whether this is indeed a sockpuppet of an existing user. Because the question really does read as if it were written by a man trying to deliberately troll the MetaFilter community and that's not cool.
posted by Jacqueline at 3:55 PM on January 25, 2015 [20 favorites]


do folks think there has been an uptick in this sort of thing on metafilter since goobergrate or is this just more like background static?
posted by thug unicorn at 3:57 PM on January 25, 2015


The existence of this MeTa is being counted, by the asker, as a whole herd of billy goats walking over "her" bridge, i.e. what Jacqueline said.
posted by busted_crayons at 4:01 PM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


prefpara: "My bias tends to be to err on the side of letting poorly-phrased questions stand because asking for help is really difficult"

The mods can help rephrase the question and it's not a big deal.

If it is/was a sincere cry for help, I can think of few things less likely to help than a 200-comment thread of people going, "THIS IS A TROLL, RIGHT?" and "YOUR THOUGHTS ARE TERRIBLE" and "GET THERAPY YOU ARE SUPER FUCKED UP."

It is really hard to ask for help. But if this poster was sincere, I honestly feel that she asked for help in such a way that it was going to result in a million people coming down on her and excoriating her. The Ask was so aggressively, offensively phrased that that was unavoidable. Removing it and asking or helping her to reword it is a kindness if she is genuinely suffering from this kind of self-hatred, because all she's going to get from a question phrased that way is an echo chamber of what a rotten person she is.

While it would probably be a better world if we were all perfect bodhisattvas of compassion and helped without judging, the mods have to deal with the world we have, not the utopia we want, and -- if it was sincere -- the question was so indistinguishable from trolling as to invite a very angry response. That won't help a person in pain.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 4:04 PM on January 25, 2015 [22 favorites]


We're "women," not "females," please.

Whenever people talk about "females" I read the comment in full Ferengi voice.
posted by Justinian at 4:08 PM on January 25, 2015 [71 favorites]


Gren fatarik oo-mox?
posted by lesli212 at 4:16 PM on January 25, 2015


Whenever people talk about "females" I read the comment in full Ferengi voice.

I never did before, but now I always will.
posted by miss-lapin at 4:17 PM on January 25, 2015 [15 favorites]


Diploma of MetaTalk: Final Exam
Question 4 (10 marks). Pick ONE answer.

This AskMe was so horrible, it was obviously written by:

(a) a Man!
(b) a Woman!!
(c) a ... wait a fucking minute, I see what you're trying to pull!!!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 4:22 PM on January 25, 2015 [22 favorites]


The existence of this MeTa is being counted, by the asker, as a whole herd of billy goats walking over "her" bridge

Eh. It would be better than nothing, but a cascade of "obvious troll is obvious" isn't as good as a breathless thread of well-meaning ask.me drama. And neither would be as good as a fighty meta thread about it.

I'm actually with sgt.serenity that we can probably expect this to be brought up in an axe-grindy meta soon as "evidence" of how mefi doesn't tolerate points of view that aren't "party line" or "approved thinking". You know, "oh you hypocrites deleted my sockpuppet's some poor girl's question because she didn't internalize misogyny the way the mefi thought bullies think she should." Stopwatch started.
posted by ctmf at 4:47 PM on January 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


You know, "oh you hypocrites deleted my sockpuppet's some poor girl's question because she didn't internalize misogyny the way the mefi thought bullies think she should." Stopwatch started.

This strikes me as uncharitable, unfair, and in my experience, untrue.
posted by kinetic at 4:55 PM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


"HA HA I AM TOTES A TROLL."

Trolly troll troll. Thinking back about those days with the troll, I get teary-eyed and ... really snide. I think that, deep down, I hated that troll. But not as much as Mister Farr. I'm gonna go smoke a cigar.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:57 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Bad deletion.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:03 PM on January 25, 2015


I think this was a well-crafted troll. If it went undeleted then the poster would have gotten away with writing misogynistic bullshit on Metafilter, possibly causing a flame war. Even better, in the troll's eyes, is that by deleting it, the mods "proved" that Metafilter doesn't care about this poor woman and her problem, and by extension doesn't really care about women in general and therefore doesn't follow its own feminist agenda when push comes to shove. Even better than that is this MeTa, where good-hearted people give assholes like this way too much benefit of the doubt. The OP is reading this MeTa with glee. It's too bad he doesn't understand that a real man doesn't need to put women down to lift himself up.
posted by double block and bleed at 5:05 PM on January 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


I think the OP is trolling because the problem that she outlines is not a real problem. Even deeply traditional, conservative women with very strict views of gender roles and female sexual proprietary don't think like that, don't act like that, and aren't filled with that kind of self-loathing just because they're gender traditionalists.

I'm pretty sure it was a troll too, and I think deleting it (pending a reframing that will never happen) was the right call, but this comment is terribly dismissive. I can easily imagine some kind of dysmorphia leading to a comment like that.

If it went undeleted then the poster would have gotten away with writing misogynistic bullshit on Metafilter, possibly causing a flame war.

oh noes not a flame war

I think the real issue is that AskMefi demands and expects good faith engagement, and this almost certainly wasn't good faith.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:18 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah I don't think anyone is saying that a woman could not possibly feel the way the OP did in the Ask question did, but what many of us are saying is that the OP's post was functionally identical to a poorly executed attempt at trolling.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:26 PM on January 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


The OP is reading this MeTa with glee. It's too bad he doesn't understand that a real man doesn't need to put women down to lift himself up.

I really agree with the quidnunc kid (VOTE #1) that speculating as to the troll's gender is not productive. It could just as easily be a lady troll as a gentleman troll or a troll preferring to eschew binary gender. The entire rich panoply of gender is not denied to people who get their jollies from trollish japery.
posted by winna at 5:26 PM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]



It would be nice if the mods could do whatever behind-the-scenes stuff they can do to investigate whether this is indeed a sockpuppet of an existing user. Because the question really does read as if it were written by a man trying to deliberately troll the MetaFilter community and that's not cool.


I agree. Sockpuppets are obviously totally ok when used appropriately, but this question (and the one answer linked above) don't fit that at all.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:36 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Do you honestly think that if it was a troll, the op wouldn't be in here messing with us further? This thread would be a godsend to a troll. On the other hand, if it was posted in good faith, the op is probably cringing in a corner, vowing never to post here again.

I'm cool with the deletion, because I think the question and its framing were problematic (also it made me feel weird about my hips), but I think this meta is unnecessary and potentially harmful.
posted by lollusc at 5:39 PM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah I don't think anyone is saying that a woman could not possibly feel the way the OP did in the Ask question did

Well, apart from the person I quoted.
posted by Sebmojo at 5:43 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It would be nice if the mods could do whatever behind-the-scenes stuff they can do to investigate whether this is indeed a sockpuppet of an existing user. Because the question really does read as if it were written by a man trying to deliberately troll the MetaFilter community and that's not cool.

It's not an obvious sockpuppet nor an obvious troll. We generally assume good faith as a moderation policy where we can, and here it doesn't matter whether the question was sincere or not - it wouldn't work either way as written.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:45 PM on January 25, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm pretty sure it was a troll too, and I think deleting it (pending a reframing that will never happen) was the right call, but this comment is terribly dismissive. I can easily imagine some kind of dysmorphia leading to a comment like that.

I actually pointed that out already, but the OP didn't present herself as someone experiencing dysmorphia and it's incredibly problematic and straight up unkind and interpersonally nasty to question someone's gendering of themselves, so I didn't want to outright suggest that as a motivation for the OP.

The discussion of the OP's gender as it relates to potential trollery doesn't strike me as too problematic, because like it or not there is sometimes a gendered aspect to gendered trolling, but if we're assuming the OP is in good faith, I don't think it's cool to impute that particular motivation to it. I kind of regret pointing dysphoria out as a potential angle, honestly, because that's just kind of out of bounds.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 5:50 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It felt like a spiritual successor to this question, for example, but now more generalized.
Honestly, and i can't believe i'm saying this, that feels really unfair to that question which is legitimate depressed self loathing shit.

Perhaps "spiritual successor" wasn't quite the right way to put that. I meant that we can sometimes see patterns where the general framing can follows types of questions that we see here already, either as a troll, or with legitimate follow-up concerns. I could certainly be wrong about that, but those are the kinds of social patterns that happen. Either trolls pick up on things that the community legitimately cares about (which I suspect is happening here), or questions cause other well meaning people to be internally reflective in a similar way.
posted by SpacemanStix at 5:56 PM on January 25, 2015


Just a small aside: sometimes the patterns may also just be a case of the Baader-Meinhof illusion.
posted by Pyrogenesis at 6:03 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


Coming back in again just to apologize for my satirical racist re-wording up there. I didn't think that through very well.
posted by desjardins at 6:15 PM on January 25, 2015 [31 favorites]


Master and Margarita, it may be out of bounds but I thought the same thing. I think it's possible it's not a troll, but a young, horribly ignorant and horribly confused person. [But still a bad Ask.]
posted by Glinn at 6:18 PM on January 25, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I'm good with the mods' deletion call, not good with the unnecessary trollhunt. Honestly, my first thought after I read that post was, "Ack! Someone hacked my account! Oh wait, no, that's not me. Phew!" So, I guess I'm naturally biased against this person for picking a dumb name that's too close to my own dumb name, but I still think it's well within the realm of possibility that this was a sincere post that was just very poorly-crafted.
posted by gueneverey at 6:19 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I could easily see a question like that coming from someone struggling with figuring out their gender identity - I've heard similar things from plenty of trans people still figuring out they're trans. But I agree that since there isn't anything else in the question that indicates dysphoria, jumping in with a "you hate women so clearly you must be a man and don't know it" would be completely inappropriate, and the question is pretty much unanswerable other than "therapy". But I spend a lot of my time interacting with other trans people and sometimes forget that statistically we're not that common, so it's probably more likely they're a troll. I guess I agree that it could be a good-faith question or not, but either way it wasn't going to get any productive answers, so leaving it up wouldn't be helpful for anyone.
posted by CJF at 6:28 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I saw it after it posted and didn't think Troll - and I didn't flag it - but my overall reaction was wow, what can anyone say in answer to that? It was a total turd in the punchbowl, maybe the best answer is a wall of silence, no good answer could be possible sort of question.

But looking at their previous (and only) other post, a question from back in June that they answered in January with "All I can tell you is..."? There are lots of reasons and posts that make people suddenly decide to jump in and finally open an account here. But a months-dead post where you don't actually have an answer to the question that even you consider definitive? Troll.
posted by Mchelly at 6:29 PM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


We're "women," not "females," please.

Yes, and apropos of that, and wrt trolling: the deleted question used in its first sentence the self-description "a female."
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 6:37 PM on January 25, 2015 [14 favorites]


A suggestion that a body dysmorphia might be involved is not a suggestion that she is misgendering herself. Body dysmorphia involving sexual anatomy and being a transgendered person are not equivalent to each other. They correlate -- but neither is necessary nor sufficient for the other and an assumed equivalency erases a lot of actual people's actual experiences.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:41 PM on January 25, 2015 [6 favorites]


What makes the question seem particularly fishy to me is that she states that she grew up in a liberal, egalitarian setting and that she went to a women's college. I mean yeah, sure, women get all kinds of shitty messages from society and there's internalized misogyny but surely someone with both of those backgrounds--or really, even enough to have the word "egalitarian" in their vocabulary and think to use it here--would be a bit beyond making a post quite like that. And all the women at her women's college sat around talking only about boys or fashion...really? I don't buy it.
posted by needs more cowbell at 7:49 PM on January 25, 2015 [44 favorites]


If that question wasn't posted by a 14 year old boy, I'll eat my hat.
posted by empath at 7:55 PM on January 25, 2015 [23 favorites]


I really agree with the quidnunc kid (VOTE #1) that speculating as to the troll's gender is not productive. It could just as easily be a lady troll as a gentleman troll or a troll preferring to eschew binary gender. The entire rich panoply of gender is not denied to people who get their jollies from trollish japery.

I would call this fair if this didn't read like some snarky bizarre fanfiction an MRA type guy would write. It just reads way too much like a guy who doesn't really understand much trying to sound like a woman in a really superficial way.

it's trying to extrapolate from some really incomplete performance of femininity in a way that's so weird and obvious that someone who only has second hand knowledge of said femininity is suspicious.

i have many, many years of experience with being around high effort shitposting and trolling to create the maximum possible response, where the endgame isn't so much lulz as just lots of energy being spent and infighting initiated.

It may not be a man who wrote this, but from the groups of trolls i've seen/interacted with/been involved in there was probably 1 woman for every 19 men or even less.

Oh, and only redditor fuckheads say egalitarian. i've never heard it said non-sarcastically by anyone else.
posted by emptythought at 7:57 PM on January 25, 2015 [16 favorites]


Crap on a stick! I grew up in the '70's and read The Harrad Experiment, but by gum, if that wasn't some fugged up stuff.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:58 PM on January 25, 2015 [2 favorites]


Strongly concurring that this is trolling. The language is so lavishly strained in its effort to sweep up every shallow stereotype of early adolescence. If anything, the insulting part is not any of the content but the idea that even a few of us could believe it. But there are some very compassionate folk here, and their kind willingness (even after reading the wall of shit) to offer some support should be a source of shame to any insincere writer.

I absolutely get the idea that internalized misogyny can make people ask themselves some similar questions, but even the beginnings of anything like the life experience we're asked to believe here start to disabuse them immediately.

Let's not trouble ourselves overmuch. Seeing these ideas roundly rejected is, in its way, a useful answer. Even in the exceedingly slim chance that this isn't a stunt, this isn't a good way to express yourself here. The OP would do well not even to try re-crafting this (it doesn't appear to be urgent) and simply lurk more and read some past threads on women's issues and the trajectory from internalized impression to acceptance and appreciation.
posted by Miko at 8:05 PM on January 25, 2015 [13 favorites]


Yeah, my guess is that this is more likely than not a troll, but I'm certainly not in 90% or even 75% certainty mode. Basically, I'm not certain it's trolling beyond a reasonable doubt. If we can be fairly sure it's a troll, then it's a good delete... but if it's not actually a troll and it was asked by a genuinely *utterly* messed-up person, who could have read other threads here which are generally supportive-to-society's-oppressed-and-mentally-messed-up and hoped that they'd find some help here, well I certainly hope they don't read this thread, because that could put a person straight back in there box for god-knows how long. Again, I think *probably* troll, but possibly not, and the absence of conclusive evidence makes the deletion a bit worrisome. (Therefore the insidious beauty of skillful trolling). That said, sometimes I think that, a la post-9/11 'muria wrt terrorism, the fear of trolling and the reaction it engenders (i.e. deletion in this case) is possibly more dangerous to a community than the thing itself. Probably there's no good obviously correct response here, though I personally might have refrained from deletion unless the OP (or someone with the same IP) showed up and started sprinkling more troll-spice down on the broth. Hard call either way.
posted by amorphatist at 9:11 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty active on the Green, and I think that we do need to have space for when people come in with pretty lousy views and ask how they can deal with it or themselves. However, I don't think that space needs to extend to toleration of trolls. So I think I'm on the side of "delete if a troll" (which, Sunday post + axes + 'go ahead and fight' does tend to indicate) but against deletion if it's just a self-loathing lady.
posted by corb at 9:29 PM on January 25, 2015


but against deletion if it's just a self-loathing lady

But what about the option which was taken here, which is "delete and it can be reposted in a way that is less likely to be a complete shitshow?"
posted by MoonOrb at 9:42 PM on January 25, 2015 [5 favorites]


Did y'all read that shit? It's standard ridiculous tropes and parodic stereotypes from the mouth of an ignorant person pretending to be someone who embodies some sort of archetypal person-predisposed-to-NOT-have-such-beliefs, in some kind of transparent bid to make the whole thing less ridiculous.

I'm not happy being a female and never really have been.

Female-as-noun.

I wouldn't normally spout off such un-PC views in real life...

Nobody says "PC" unironically, except for people with troglodytic views who are hypersensitive to reasonable folks' (perceived) hypersensitivity.

but that's what the Internet is for, right?

Having been a dorky 14-year-old, I know what dorky 14-year-olds (of any age) sound like when trying to sound casual and colloquial.

I was raised among liberals and egalitarians.

Ridiculously ham-handed and stereotyped attempt to establish not-spiritual-14-year-old-boy bona fides. Bread giveaway about what this is really about...

I even attended a women's college where my opinions were encouraged and I was told to pursue a glittering career.

More of same. Plus: "glittering career"? Is this the Elliott Fucking Rodger Manifesto?

...

The women I know (myself included) want to sit around chatting about boys or fashion or feelings in their free time.

I don't believe that anyone literally believes this.

...

Feel free to prove me wrong--really, I'd be happy to see these ideas challenged.

This reminds me of the time another member of the Disingenuous Right-Wing Fraud Squad, Kent Hovind, offered a large monetary reward for "proof" of the veracity of the theory of natural selection (to his unspoken specifications, of course).
posted by busted_crayons at 9:48 PM on January 25, 2015 [18 favorites]


What kind of hat are you wearing, empath?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:50 PM on January 25, 2015


I think we have sufficiently determined that OP is a terrible lying asshole who should STFU and stop asking her questions here. Do we really need to keep going now?
posted by Drinky Die at 10:00 PM on January 25, 2015


Metafilter: She referred to her gender as female, an incredibly common thing to do, so I have decided she is a 14 year old boy.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:02 PM on January 25, 2015


OP is a terrible lying asshole who should STFU and stop asking her questions here

No one said that. It's super simple to be someone online, even someone online with problems, and not have people claim you're trolling. You do have to have the ability to receive and process feedback however. We have very little information on this person. The way they asked their question was, at best, ambiguous and not a good fit for AskMe.

MetaFilter is an iterative process for the most part. This can sometimes make it not as welcoming as other places for first-timers. That's a trade off that the community, in general, is okay with making. The OP is welcome to come back and rephrase that question if it was sincere and re-ask. No problem.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:05 PM on January 25, 2015 [20 favorites]


Metafilter: She referred to her gender as female, an incredibly common thing to do

False. She described herself as "a female". I don't believe I have ever heard anyone call themself "a female" or "a male" before.
posted by busted_crayons at 10:26 PM on January 25, 2015 [8 favorites]


I don't believe I have ever heard anyone call themself "a female" or "a male" before.

It's not uncommon in the U.S. military. But I doubt that the person described in this AskMe (if existent) was ever in the military.
posted by Etrigan at 10:46 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's not uncommon in the U.S. military.

Huh; I did not know that. I wonder what the origin is. Is it similar to the phenomenon that manifests in e.g. cops tending to say "vehicle" where most folks would say "car", or does it have to do specifically with how military policy/culture relates to gender?
posted by busted_crayons at 10:53 PM on January 25, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't believe I have ever heard anyone call themself "a female" or "a male" before.

Lots of examples here mixed in with adjectival uses: "I am a female" site:ask.metafilter.com / "I am a male" site:ask.metafilter.com. My recollection of what others have said here previously is that there could be a bit of a generation gap, recent historical shift, or something register-specific to how odd or sexist the terms seem, such that I personally went from having no opinion to making a mental note to avoid using them as nouns describing humans. I suspect it still varies according to some circumstance or other, but there might be a good explanation for never hearing this in some contexts. I'm not sure details like this merit prolonging the MeTa discussion though, so I apologize if this is contentious.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 10:55 PM on January 25, 2015 [3 favorites]


Psh with your evidence and your citations psh i say
posted by Sebmojo at 11:46 PM on January 25, 2015 [7 favorites]


Read like jenleigh finally got that BND account.
posted by klangklangston at 12:20 AM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


There are women orbiting the MRA/red pill communities who sound exactly like this poster. It was a good deletion, but there are people trapped under that kind of cult-like misogyny and it's very possible she's one of them. I hope she can get help, but I doubt that even with a perfectly worded question she'd find much useful here while she's still in that deep.
posted by Corinth at 1:55 AM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


I can't believe that this entire thing got hung up on the "a female" thing.

That is not necessarily a torpedoing phrase in and of itself, but you're completely ignoring the forrest for the trees here if you focus in on it. In the context of the rest of the post, it's incredibly eyebrow raising.
posted by emptythought at 3:26 AM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


. If we can be fairly sure it's a troll, then it's a good delete..

It's a good delete either way because it's full of hate speech. If it is sincere it can be rewritten and reposted without repeating the garbage it ostensibly seeks to debunk.

There are women orbiting the MRA/red pill communities who sound exactly like this poster.

Yes, I wish adult female MRA apologists and antifeminist contrarians were not a thing, but they are. The only reason I think this is not that is that I agree the life experiences she is describing are not real adult female life experiences, but what non-females with limited information imagine to be adult female life experiences.

I also refer to myself as female from time to time and many people do. It's not that uncommon and not something that in and of itself is a nugget of proof. Without the rest of the context it would not raise an eyebrow.
posted by Miko at 4:54 AM on January 26, 2015 [36 favorites]


my immediate thought was troll, my next thought was maybe gender identity issues, and third was redpill woman. regardless of which it was, it was a good deletion.

do folks think there has been an uptick in this sort of thing

yes. i thought it was more that it started after all the glowing posts about mefi when the adsense issues went public, not gg, though. it's honestly distressing to me. some of the mefites i talk to off site and i have questioned our continued participation here because of it.
posted by nadawi at 6:54 AM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


"some of the mefites i talk to off site and i have questioned our continued participation here because of it."

Can you tell me more what you mean? That the hate speech that slips through (prior to deletion) is making people not want to participate at Metafilter?
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:07 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's funny because I think this question does show up on AskMe on a routine basis, but I agree with everyone above that the good-faith versions of this question are much more focused on personal inadequacy rather than statements about women as a whole (example).
posted by Asparagus at 7:07 AM on January 26, 2015


Also, if the OP of the deleted post is real, they could probably find some good advice in the answers to the question linked above.
posted by Asparagus at 7:12 AM on January 26, 2015


it's not the hate speech that gets deleted that is frustrating me, but rather that there is a growing group of loud voices that aren't getting deleted and expressing (polite) anti feminist stuff all over the place. i was here through the boyzone times and i'm not saying it's that bad, but it does seem like a new version of that and i don't have much of an interest in fighting those fights again. i guess some of us are feeling like the heat is rising and it's getting less comfortable for us here.
posted by nadawi at 7:14 AM on January 26, 2015 [22 favorites]


I also refer to myself as female from time to time and many people do.

Again, for what it is worth, I was not talking about the OP referring to themself using the adjective "female", which is routine, but about the noun "a female". Apparently this is more common than I thought, although it still reads to me as a bizarre thing for a person of the age and with the type of background claimed in the OP to say (although maybe not to write?).

I agree, it's not the question's content that makes the question obviously the work of a troll; I've certainly heard similar shit from people of various genders, expressed seriously. It's the execution, and the total lack of subtlety, that gives it away. Genuine expression of internalized anything isn't written in such a transparently insincere way.

Yes, I realize that it would be incredibly offensive to have made a false accusation of trolling, here. Bad-faith engagement with other people should also be met with extreme disapproval. Since I think this is the latter with probability like 90%, I'm willing to risk the former.

Someone saw the bread thread, and kneaded to get a rise out of us, is what probably happened here.
posted by busted_crayons at 7:15 AM on January 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


the bread thread, and kneaded to get a rise

Is this an intentional pun?
posted by Asparagus at 7:19 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


* women want to sit around chatting about boys or fashion or feelings in their free time

Amusingly I was out yesterday visiting two friends of mine and we spent quite a while discussing boys and fashion and (less, but still) feelings. All three of us are dudes.

Whether or not it was trolling, the post was hateful and offensive AND could probably be re-written in less inflammatory language that got at the heart of her problem, which is a thing that exists. It definitely was a good deletion.

How often does one discuss feelings directly? You can discuss your feelings about particular things, but that's not the same as discussing a feeling. The only discussions of feelings I've ever seen are in the context of coping strategies & sensitivity training; how to deal with (your or another's) emotions.
posted by Lemurrhea at 7:21 AM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I want to insist that I don't mean this as a reflection on the poster at all -- whether troll or sincere -- but it strikes me as sort of interesting in and of itself that while the deleted question's details don't line up with the standard internalized misogyny patterns, with the genders reversed (and with the stereotypes switched out for others) it does fit into a not too uncommon genre of expression from a certain type of self-hating young man. (And, even more so, straight men saying they don't understand how anyone could find men attractive is almost a cliché, no?)
posted by nobody at 7:21 AM on January 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


False. She described herself as "a female". I don't believe I have ever heard anyone call themself "a female" or "a male" before.

I just want to back Etrigan that this is super, super common in the US military. I, likewise, don't think she reads as military or I think she would have structured her position differently, but there may be other professions that do this. Likewise, I don't think using the term "PC" unironically automatically means trolling, I have heard this as well.
posted by corb at 7:22 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


nadawi: "it's not the hate speech that gets deleted that is frustrating me, but rather that there is a growing group of loud voices that aren't getting deleted and expressing (polite) anti feminist stuff all over the place. ... i guess some of us are feeling like the heat is rising and it's getting less comfortable for us here."

I would be interested in having a MetaTalk specifically about this.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:22 AM on January 26, 2015 [30 favorites]


...like, I call myself a female sometimes, though I try to get away from it.
posted by corb at 7:22 AM on January 26, 2015


with the genders reversed (and with the stereotypes switched out for others) it does fit into a not too uncommon genre of expression from a certain type of self-hating young man.

Really? I feel like most self-hating young men (and admittedly, I guess I'm not currently acquainted with very many) are self-hating in a way where they compare themselves negatively with other men. They feel inadequate for not being as strong or athletic or rich or gregarious or whatever as other men. I can't remember ever hearing a man say that he thought his life would be easier if he were a woman.
posted by Asparagus at 7:30 AM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


. I can't remember ever hearing a man say that he thought his life would be easier if he were a woman.

this is especially common in parts of the manosphere. it's usually a veneer to talk about how women don't "deserve" this or that, but it's a pretty common talking point.

I would be interested in having a MetaTalk specifically about this.

it's been something i've considered, but one of the big problems to my mind is the way that the more relaxed rules on meta allow for sweeping attacks on mefi feminists, etc. it seems to pull the silenced all my life folks out of the woodwork and ends up making me feel less comfortable here. i wish i knew a way to discuss it that wouldn't make it worse, but i've come up blank. the problem is that it's mostly happening within guidelines and i'm not trying to hush dissenting opinions - there just seems to be a change in the air that i'm finding hard to take. anyway i don't mean to turn this into the thread i don't want to have by proxy...
posted by nadawi at 7:44 AM on January 26, 2015 [19 favorites]


(And, even more so, straight men saying they don't understand how anyone could find men attractive is almost a cliché, no?)

This was the part that really stuck out to me. I've never in my life thought "I don't get why a man would want to be with me because I don't think women are hot." It's almost male gaze-y in that way.
posted by sallybrown at 7:48 AM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


You know the part that prevents me from believing it's real? The bit about how the angle of women's hips is some sort of sign of inferiority. Oooookay, then, I'm going to have to counter that with the fact that stereotypically, at least, men have more ridiculous genitals, so we win! Seriously, of the things to hate about living-while-female, none of the real troubles I've ever had made this list. I have had all kinds of self-hatred issues with my body and such, but never expressed like that. It's written in such a way that I not only doubt the poster is female, I'm wondering if they've ever met one they weren't related to.

Also, it showed up pretty quick after Metafilter got a Reddit reference re: GamerGate stuff, didn't it? That sort of thing seems to have previously brought both newbies and people with preexisting-but-barely-used accounts out of the woodwork.

I was left with the feeling that this sort of thing was supposed to produce the "lulz" by having a thread full of fairly liberal MeFites writing earnest responses about gender equality which someone or possibly multiple someones could guffaw at after the fact. My brief experience with Reddit involved quite a lot of people who disingenously claimed to be female or POC for the purposes of trying to start an argument of exactly this type. Maybe it's made me more paranoid.
posted by Sequence at 7:49 AM on January 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


this is especially common in parts of the manosphere. it's usually a veneer to talk about how women don't "deserve" this or that

I can see that, but somehow I think if those men were offered a free, immediate, painless transition to become a woman, there wouldn't be many taking up that offer. It's like a white person complaining about affirmative action or some other perceived "advantage" that people of color supposedly get. As much as they complain they probably wouldn't trade away their white skin.
posted by Asparagus at 7:58 AM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


fwiw the hips thing is one of the things that made me wonder if it was gender issues.but at the end of the day it doesn't matter what that question's purpose was, it wasn't suitable for askme regardless of intent.
posted by nadawi at 8:02 AM on January 26, 2015


Asparagus, sure, but it's still a common thing that gets brought up, regardless of actual sincerity.
posted by nadawi at 8:03 AM on January 26, 2015


. I can't remember ever hearing a man say that he thought his life would be easier if he were a woman.

I've seen/heard that in two ways: complaints that women can effortlessly get laid, and complaints that affirmative action means that underqualified women get hired and promoted over white guys. Both are meaningless but the first I've seen many times on metafilter and the second I hear all the time at work.
posted by Dip Flash at 8:04 AM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


If it walks like a troll and talks like a troll, I don't think it matters if it isn't really a troll. It can be reposted without all the ridiculous bullshit, and maybe get some useful answers.
posted by rtha at 8:04 AM on January 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


I'm not going to try and tell people how to make the points they want to make. But haven't we had people of color tell on MeFi us on several occasions that the "What if they were talking about black people?"/rewriting hate speech into specifically racist speech debate gambit is extraordinarily tiresome?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:16 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


there just seems to be a change in the air that i'm finding hard to take.

Are you saying that you feel that MeFi is becoming more hostile to feminist viewpoints than in the recent past? (actual question)
posted by Shouraku at 8:17 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's not an obvious sockpuppet nor an obvious troll.

It is to a lot of people in this thread, most of whom are pretty clued up in terms of mefi- given that the veracity of mefi plays a large part in its Google rankings - does it make sense to be particularly averse to complaints about sockpuppets?
posted by sgt.serenity at 8:19 AM on January 26, 2015


no, i'm saying some mefites are good at circumventing moderation in a way that at times makes me feel uncomfortable. it's a micro aggression type of thing that is difficult to address without changing moderation in a way i also wouldn't be comfortable with. c'est la vie.
posted by nadawi at 8:24 AM on January 26, 2015 [26 favorites]


I'm not going to try and tell people how to make the points they want to make. But haven't we had people of color tell on MeFi us on several occasions

yes, and it was pointed out in this thread a few times and the person apologized. what else would you like to see happen?
posted by nadawi at 8:29 AM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Did I miss that? Threads are hard to read on cellphones sometimes. I missed that. My bad entirely. Please carry on.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:31 AM on January 26, 2015


My kneejerk snarky response would have been, "So you're straight. Congratulations?"

'Cause, seriously, that question reads to me exactly like a gender-flipped version of the way entirely too many "straight" men, without prompting, have defensively justified their heterosexuality to me personally. "No offence bro, nothing against the whole gay thing, but men? Yuck!" I find it's best to pretend to believe them and change the subject.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:46 AM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


I was left with the feeling that this sort of thing was supposed to produce the "lulz" by having a thread full of fairly liberal MeFites writing earnest responses about gender equality which someone or possibly multiple someones could guffaw at after the fact. My brief experience with Reddit involved quite a lot of people who disingenously claimed to be female or POC for the purposes of trying to start an argument of exactly this type. Maybe it's made me more paranoid.

Yeah, it immediately reminded me of this question.
posted by likeatoaster at 8:47 AM on January 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


(That said, good deletion.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:48 AM on January 26, 2015


Seeing this obviously trolling post get swiftly shunted off to the MeFi forbidden zone confirmed my faith in MeFi and the moderators here. Great deletion.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 8:58 AM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think the elephant in the room is the departure of jessamyn.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:03 AM on January 26, 2015 [32 favorites]


no, i'm saying some mefites are good at circumventing moderation in a way that at times makes me feel uncomfortable. it's a micro aggression type of thing that is difficult to address without changing moderation in a way i also wouldn't be comfortable with. c'est la vie.

So much this. I really feel like I've been seeing an upswing in the number of strongly anti-feminist comments made by people who appear to have figured out how to best present those opinions under a veneer of politeness that makes them materially impossible to delete and difficult to even call out. I'm not even comfortable flagging comments that fall into this category because, as nadawi observes, they don't explicitly break the existing moderation guidelines, but they do make me feel weird and, at times, kind of unwelcome.

Dogwhistles tend to be emitted at a pitch that only a certain percentage of people are able to hear; around here, I think it's starting to be done by design, so the folks who hold misogynist beliefs can make any would-be objectors seem unreasonable and reactionary if we speak up, like any less-than-conciliatory response we might have must be born from a desire to look for offense where none exists (or, at least, where none was intended -- after all, they're not explicitly breaking the guidelines). But just because their opinions as stated aren't quite as obviously woman-hating as the OP under discussion doesn't mean they're not just as odious. It reminds me of how Tea Party lunatics will often sand the sharpest edges off of their wackiest messages in hopes of achieving some sort of ostensible 'respectability,' so they can continue to drop crazy right-wing bombs while making a big show of the idea that they're earnestly trying to play to a more moderate base.

On the off-chance the OP wasn't trolling, and I guess maybe even if they were, my heart goes out to them. It must be seriously fucking miserable to burden oneself with the weight of so much contempt and loathing for half of the human race.
posted by divined by radio at 9:04 AM on January 26, 2015 [58 favorites]


is the elephant peeing
posted by poffin boffin at 9:04 AM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


You're looking for the next thread on the right 👉
posted by Westringia F. at 9:18 AM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


I don't really see what anti-feminist comments have to do with this troll.
posted by smackfu at 9:26 AM on January 26, 2015


no, i'm saying some mefites are good at circumventing moderation in a way that at times makes me feel uncomfortable. it's a micro aggression type of thing that is difficult to address without changing moderation in a way i also wouldn't be comfortable with..


I absolutely agree with you, and this is something that has been bothering me. I would also like to see a meta about this (though I would worry that it would go poorly)
posted by Shouraku at 9:27 AM on January 26, 2015


I don't really see what anti-feminist comments have to do with this troll.

Well, as nadawi herself said,

anyway i don't mean to turn this into the thread i don't want to have by proxy...
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 9:34 AM on January 26, 2015


i'm saying some mefites are good at circumventing moderation in a way that at times makes me feel uncomfortable. it's a micro aggression type of thing that is difficult to address without changing moderation in a way i also wouldn't be comfortable with..

While I think you and I might disagree on which mefites are doing this, I definitely think this is a thing. I have definitely gotten the feeling on occasion that some mefites are deliberately trying to provoke me in conversation through things that seem innocuous, but they happen to know are a hotbutton point for me. I haven't noticed it as much for others, but completely believe that it is happening.
posted by corb at 9:35 AM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]




no, i'm saying some mefites are good at circumventing moderation in a way that at times makes me feel uncomfortable. it's a micro aggression type of thing that is difficult to address without changing moderation in a way i also wouldn't be comfortable with..


Also agree with this.
posted by zutalors! at 9:35 AM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


After this attack on NoraReed went undeleted, it's hard to encourage someone to expose themselves by posting a new Meta about the issue.
posted by gilrain at 9:38 AM on January 26, 2015 [27 favorites]


Well it would seem this would be a good topic to discuss, in a separate post, here on MetaTalk. But someone's got to go ahead and make the Meta even if it means stepping out of your comfort zone a little.

You gotta Meta me halfway on this.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:38 AM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Okay I made that comment for the bad pun but it's basically sincere...
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:39 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Oh what the shit, I didn't even see that attack on NoraReed. That's super shitty, and honestly I'd say bad even for MeTa.
posted by corb at 9:42 AM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


it's not a comfort zone issue, it's that those types of threads push me closer to buttoning and i've had other mefites tell me the same thing. anyway i'm sorry for opening this can of beans...
posted by nadawi at 9:43 AM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


presumably that amongst other things are what led to her closing her account.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:43 AM on January 26, 2015


WHAT THE SHIT?

Fuck. God, I stayed out of that thread because I knew it was going to be shit but now I regret not wading in. NoraReed was and is a gem. I hope she comes back.
posted by corb at 9:44 AM on January 26, 2015 [25 favorites]


Wow. Didn't know Nora Reed had closed her account; dammit.

Thanks for answering my questions nadawi - you didn't open a can of beans, you answered in more detail and then others gave their thoughts, perfectly find IMHO. Esp. in metatalk..
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 9:46 AM on January 26, 2015


I think it's a different-but-related issue, personally. The guidelines that people on the site are used to are, I think, to my mind, relaxing somewhat. Which means that there's more lag time with deletions and mod responses, and not as much opportunity for laser-beam focus on specific issues, untangling complex knots, and processing-with-mods. This is good and bad news I think, but I feel that it's a change that it's tough to have a robust discussion about because it's all about general impressions and not so much a specific "You did THIS when you should have done THAT" sort of thing.

I've noticed the same thing, is what I am saying.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 9:51 AM on January 26, 2015 [45 favorites]


I've noticed it too. Nothing outrageous, nothing that feels totally actionable, just a different level of tolerance for stuff that makes women feel ever so slightly more shitty and unwelcome combined with some people rapidly becoming aware of and exploiting / pushing that tolerance as much as possible.
posted by KathrynT at 10:01 AM on January 26, 2015 [27 favorites]


Has it seemed to get worse since Gamergate, or was it already picking up by then?
posted by Etrigan at 10:08 AM on January 26, 2015


likeatoaster, wow that troll gets negative points for having such a dead-giveaway username.
posted by We put our faith in Blast Hardcheese at 10:10 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jessamyn's description rings true to me.
posted by Dip Flash at 10:11 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Has it seemed to get worse since Gamergate, or was it already picking up by then?

Both?

I noticed it getting worse throughout last year, ramping up a bit after the resignations/reshuffling, and then ramping up much more when Gamergate started. It wasn't necessarily new posters or lurkers, either, as some of the MeTas from the last couple of months can attest to.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:13 AM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


in my memory it started after the adsense stuff and just took a while to really get rolling. i think the change in moderator staffing along with the uptick in outsider interest in metafilter brought lurkers and new users or of the woodwork.
posted by nadawi at 10:13 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


To be blunt, it started happening to my eyes / experience after jessamyn left the moderation staff. I can't remember how exactly that lined up timeline-wise with GG.

(I should note, explicitly and for the record, that I don't intend to give the impression that jessamyn shouldn't have quit, or anything. Solving this problem forever is not her sole and lone responsibility.)
posted by KathrynT at 10:14 AM on January 26, 2015 [32 favorites]


Adding an agreeing voice, both in the change of atmosphere and in wondering if jessamyn's absence as well as the changes in the makeup of the mod team have contributed to it, changes which jessamyn herself so succinctly summed up with her comment here about how previously "the M/F moderator balance [was] equitable (it was FFFFMMM, it's now FFMMM)."

Last year was a totally shitty, shitty year in terms of a lot of hot button, discussion heavy events, and the bombardment of these events started occurring just when MeFi was losing resources to deal with it.
posted by barchan at 10:14 AM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


The guidelines that people on the site are used to are, I think, to my mind, relaxing somewhat

Post that meta.
posted by sgt.serenity at 10:16 AM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


I also started noticing people who posted or lurked on MeFi (at least one of whom has since been banned here) either showing up in some of the more asshole-ish corners of Reddit or complaining in /r/Metafilter. I think places like TiA/KiA and subreddits that overlap them are noticing and occasionally coming over to start shit.

Oh, and I hadn't noticed NoraReed was gone until just now. Damn.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:20 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Honestly, I feel like Gamergate/Isla Vista both sapped my ability to have the part of the conversation where I convince people that feminism is necessary and this stuff is really happening. I just don't have the patience to argue for the legitimacy of my feelings in the face of such obviously horrible shit happening. I don't know if that's just a me thing or a widespread thing, and I don't really feel like it's positive or negative. But I could definitely relate to the obvious frustration in NoraReed's comment in that comics thread.
posted by almostmanda at 10:23 AM on January 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


That NoraReed thread, as someone with no stake in the interpersonal conflict, was so absolutely despicable that I still find myself wondering if I should even bother coming here any more.
posted by selfnoise at 10:24 AM on January 26, 2015 [24 favorites]


Not only would I bet money that was a lying troll, I would be willing to hazard five dollars that it was the same troll who posted a fake question about whether his male fetus would be able to make it in this sadly misandrist world that got deleted a month ago (poster had previously identified himself as male).
posted by bq at 10:26 AM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I didn't know NoraReed had closed her account. I'm sad to hear this and hope she comes back, although I really wouldn't blame her if she didn't.
posted by maxsparber at 10:31 AM on January 26, 2015 [28 favorites]


I'm so sad and angry that NoraReed left. I've been trying to figure out for 10 minutes how to angrily howl out my sense of loss and my sense of doing her and others like her wrong in not doing enough to step up when she was one of the few to step up and thus taking the brunt of it, and all I have is this gibberish in a goddamn comment box.
posted by barchan at 10:43 AM on January 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


There's an /r/MetaFilter?

Forget it. Forget I asked. I don't want to know.
posted by Etrigan at 10:43 AM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


That NoraReed thread, as someone with no stake in the interpersonal conflict, was so absolutely despicable that I still find myself wondering if I should even bother coming here any more.

Why Misha is still allowed to post her noxious bullshit here is unfathomable to me.
posted by empath at 10:45 AM on January 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


There's an /r/MetaFilter?

Forget it. Forget I asked. I don't want to know.


No, the sub itself is fine, it was put together by Rhaomi a couple months ago. It's just that some folks who are obviously salty about the site occasionally show up to complain about the site or mock users.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:48 AM on January 26, 2015


Misha imploded in that thread too.
posted by maxsparber at 10:48 AM on January 26, 2015


> I would also like to see a meta about this (though I would worry that it would go poorly)

> it's a change that it's tough to have a robust discussion about because it's all about general impressions

I'd like to see more discussion of this, too. And perhaps I'm being naive, but I think/hope that it might go well -- or if not well, then at least not disastrously -- in articulating some of the more abstract problems that we're picking up on. I mean, we just had a MeTa about the more-or-less-nuanced antiSemitism that many Jewish MeFites (myself included!) have been detecting. Even though it wasn't the smoothest of threads and didn't always lend itself to specific & decisive action, it did (IMO) end up shedding more light than heat overall. The collection of voices in the ensuing discussion revealed patterns, whereas previously many of us had just sorta thought "there's something making me uncomfortable here" without being able/willing to articulate the matter. I think that having that type of [ongoing] discussion about the atmosphere for women here could be similarly valuable.

Of course, I'm way to overwhelmed with other stuff to try seeding such a MeTa now, so this is pure back-seat driving.
posted by Westringia F. at 10:52 AM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think empath meant aryma, who as noted upthread went beyond the pale several times in that MeTa.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:54 AM on January 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


...and as a mod of r/metafilter, I can tell you that it's a pretty quiet place and any salty stuff tends to get nuked pretty quick. Rhaomi takes good care of the place.
posted by disclaimer at 10:55 AM on January 26, 2015


Yeah, sorry if I made it sound like a regular thing, because it isn't. Even on the highly curated/moderated subs, a bit of Reddit culture occasionally seeps in.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:00 AM on January 26, 2015


How to get banned from Metafilter.com in just over 6 hours -- sheesh. I say we should keep the money.
posted by potsmokinghippieoverlord at 11:04 AM on January 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


At least they gave me my $5 back - "I don't think this is going to work here, sorry"

is there any concern from the mod team that refunding the 5 bucks, and it being known that you guys do that, will increase the amount of this type of griefing?
posted by nadawi at 11:08 AM on January 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


This too might be another issue for another Meta, but the same user (aryma) who wrote that awful comment towards NoraReed has suddenly come on my radar as someone who frequently seems to post dog-whistlely, just this side of meeting the bar for deletion type of comments and it definitely makes me want to participate less when discussing issues that are extremely personal and close to my heart. As she was writing that terribly personal, hurtful attack on NoraReed, she was also participating in the anti-Semitism thread making one "just this side of being truly offensive" comment after the other (I think my favorite was her feigned shock at why "...but some of my best friends are Jewish" might possibly be considered offensive), culminating in the classic concern troll/tone argument "If only the Jews would be NICER when they complain about anti-Semitism..." comment.

I assume her comments are flagged to death; I guess I would be interested to know from the mods how they deal with this type of site interaction, where someone is constantly toeing up to the line of crossing a boundary, but not quite going over 100%. Each individual case might not be enough to warrant mod action* (although the NoraReed comment is beyond the pale), but in aggregate shows a persistent pattern of nasty, offensive interaction with the site.

*I realize they may be doing just that behind the scenes
posted by The Gooch at 11:11 AM on January 26, 2015 [33 favorites]


So, looks like gamer gaters are actively trying to troll here.
posted by empath at 11:11 AM on January 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


I find it heartbreaking that NoraReed left. I didn't always agree with her, but I learned a great deal from her comments and she definitely made me a stronger and more aware feminist. I really hope that she comes back, though I can see why she wouldn't want to.
posted by Shouraku at 11:13 AM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


is there any concern from the mod team that refunding the 5 bucks, and it being known that you guys do that, will increase the amount of this type of griefing?

PayPal is a fickle beast. Basically we've had hundreds if not thousands of SEO link spammers sign up for MeFi, spam the site, then we delete their stuff. But then their only recourse is to try a reverse charge at PayPal by saying MeFi was fraudulent and stole their money. We have spent years showing PayPal that we have anti-spam mentioned in the signup pages and we didn't defraud anyone, but in some cases it would turn into 20 email chains between a spammer, me, and PayPal, and then spammers started threatening legal action (yes, over five dollars).

Basically, after years of this nonsense and wasting untold hours of time on pointless fights, I started giving refunds after if they protested. This user emailed us immediately after saying they wanted a refund, but I'd already given him one. $5 is not worth the headaches and time and annoyance so I'm ok occasionally just giving it back to really awful people using the site.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:14 AM on January 26, 2015 [22 favorites]


although the NoraReed comment is beyond the pale

Personal and hurtful indeed. It honestly felt like the kind of comment that, even just tonally, would've gotten a "hey, come on now" note or something traditionally. I've been wondering why it went unchecked.
posted by mintcake! at 11:22 AM on January 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


that all totally makes sense. thanks for answering, mathowie.
posted by nadawi at 11:23 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


After this attack on NoraReed went undeleted

More shocking to me was that it went entirely uncommented upon by any moderators: not even a "hey, dial it back a bit." Brandon was censured for using "crazy" as a label; aryma's comment went way beyond that into (as NoraReed herself put it) real person fanfic.

(on preview, what mintcake! said.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 11:26 AM on January 26, 2015 [13 favorites]


The really hilarious thing is the commentator talking about how the anti-sexist pushback has gotten worse since Jessamyn left and R_n was given "free reign." Yes, Jessamyn - well known curb on the evil feminists that she is.
posted by corb at 11:34 AM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Also, apparently this thread has been linked to that comment there as well, so expect a host of incoming $5 idiots.
posted by corb at 11:36 AM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


The meta being currently discussed (link) was one of the times I've come closest to formally quitting Metafilter, as well.

I think most Metas that focus on criticizing just one user are toxic and gross (even the ones about users I don't care for) and that recent one started by misha was the pinnacle of unhealthy and unhelpful Metas that push way beyond discussing different philosophies of posting and cross into mud-slinging that is is harmful to the community.
posted by Squeak Attack at 11:39 AM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


Both metas in question were started by the same person.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:44 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, apparently this thread has been linked to that comment there as well, so expect a host of incoming $5 idiots.

Or a DDOSing, personal harassment, etc..
posted by empath at 11:48 AM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Both metas in question were started by the same person.

Actually, I think I am confusing a different terrible thread from this summer, in which strange personal accusations were made, with a more recent one started by that person, nvm.
posted by poffin boffin at 11:58 AM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I generally consider MeFi to be a pretty rough place. A user here actually made me cry (not their fault, my comment was ignorant and they were responding to it), and I've seen many users be snarked into oblivion, but I still have never seen a comment as ad-hominem as this one against NoraReed. It attacked 1) her proposed life history, 2) her mental state, 3) her motivation in posting comments in her chosen tone.

I mean, I have yet to ever see NoraReed* be straight up wrong in her comments, nor have I ever seen her personally attack another user. I hate to derail this thread so I'll stop with this monologue here, but that comment against her is so fucking nasty.


*Also, I believe that she asked to be referred to as NoraReed and not Nora, which I'm not sure if that commenter knew or not.
posted by Shouraku at 11:59 AM on January 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


w/r/t flagging dog-whistley comments: IME they are often very very long. I admit to skimming very long comments, or even scrolling to the name on very long ones, and I imagine I'm not alone in this. I wonder if longer comments are often not flagged because the nasty parts are camouflaged, unintentionally overlooked, or simply not read?
posted by crush-onastick at 11:59 AM on January 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


It just reads way too much like a guy who doesn't really understand much trying to sound like a woman in a really superficial way.

Hey everyone i am real female woman and i have a questioin about my sexuals. how do i make them biggest? like a queen
posted by Greg Nog at 12:08 PM on January 26, 2015 [72 favorites]


I wonder if longer comments are often not flagged because the nasty parts are camouflaged, unintentionally overlooked, or simply not read?

Perhaps. But the NoraReed attack didn't need a lot of warming up for the reader to get what was going on. Had i seen it then, I'd likely contacted the mods directly about it. Jesus.
posted by Namlit at 12:10 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Agreed. I've had comments deleted that look like a nursery rhyme when compared with that comment.
posted by Sara C. at 12:19 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


i just saw a ghost
posted by Namlit at 12:23 PM on January 26, 2015


he would've gotten away with it if it hadn't been for you meddling kids!
posted by poffin boffin at 12:37 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


what happen? Something was deleted?
posted by zutalors! at 12:52 PM on January 26, 2015


Don't y'all worry about Nora Reed, pretty much any member who's posted as much as she has always comes back.

Breaks are good things!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:55 PM on January 26, 2015


After watching you go after NoraReed in that other MeTa, Brandon, I'm a wee tad uncomfortable being advised by you about how to feel here.
posted by sculpin at 1:19 PM on January 26, 2015 [55 favorites]


.
Don't y'all worry about Nora Reed,


That might sound less dismissive if you weren't a name I recognize as being generally dismissive about feminist discussion here.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:20 PM on January 26, 2015 [27 favorites]


I think it's totally possible that an actual woman who was in a particularly bad place could actually write an AskMe post like that. I remember being really depressed in the early days of realizing I was gay, and one of the ways it manifested was compulsively reading and latching onto every hateful pseudoscientific thing people had posted on the internet about how damaged, useless, and/or inferior gay people were. It wasn't just self-hatred or just internalized homophobia, it was sort of a weird interaction between both. One way it might manifest for a woman would be to enter the general orbit of redpill/mra communities and obsessively look for awful things to believe about themselves.

Having said that, I think Jessamyn and Eyebrows McGee made excellent points about how regardless of the poster's motivations, the resulting question wasn't appropriate for AskMe in its current form, and how the mods could help steer that conversation in a repost so that it was actually helpful for the asker. Just because someone is hurting doesn't give them carte blanche to hurt others, of course.
posted by en forme de poire at 1:23 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


The current shift is actually pushing me toward solidarity where feminism is concerned. Whereas a year ago, I would have put on my two cents on the maybe 5% of things where I don't entirely agree, these days, refining the edges of the movement doesn't seem worth the cost of potentially giving those hostile to feminism even a perceived amount of temporary support.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:26 PM on January 26, 2015 [21 favorites]



That might sound less dismissive if you weren't a name I recognize as being generally dismissive about feminist discussion here.


Yes, and also quick with the "jokes" in feminism related MeTas, especially.
posted by zutalors! at 1:27 PM on January 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


The mods have been talking about that recent MeTa and a few things that happened there, and agree that things went too far and it's something we as a community need to do better at holding in check. There's definitely a larger discussion to have here.

For the moment I would just say - nobody should be going hyper-personal here. Even people you really dislike on the site are still real people with real lives, real histories, and so on. We should all be decent to each other; that's one of the baseline things we need in order to make this place work as a community.

This year -- at the same time as huge reduction in staff -- we've had a ton of outragey posts which turn into huge fights that end up being really personal and angry, and spawn hyper-personal angry MeTas, and people feel justified in being super nasty to each other. It sucks. Something about this dynamic has to change and I think it's good for us to talk about how.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:27 PM on January 26, 2015 [19 favorites]


After watching you go after NoraReed in that other MeTa, Brandon, I'm a wee tad uncomfortable being advised by you about how to feel here.

Seconded. That comment was a passive-aggressive insult directed at NoraReed, cloaked in a nicey-nice shit-eating grin. Whatever negative feelings about her that you're carrying from that thread (or others) into this one are out of place and, really, just make you look like petty, petulant kid who's upset because the adults told you to shape up and knock it off, even though you have more tremendously important things to say about her. Just get over it already.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:31 PM on January 26, 2015 [30 favorites]


Yeah, on the comment by aryma, it was discussed behind the scenes but was happening while a couple other heated threads were going with similar exchanges as well as off-site drama being brought back to the site and vice versa all while we were considering closing it up to shut it down since it was getting toxic. It during one of the worst days on MetaTalk in ages where a couple people on both sides of that thread closed up their accounts, and like LM said above, it's something we need to reconsider about how personal some of these attacks have been becoming.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:33 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


That comment was a passive-aggressive insult directed at NoraReed, cloaked in a nicey-nice shit-eating grin.

It's kind of an example of the recent micro aggressions we've been talking about in this thread, in my mind.
posted by zutalors! at 1:34 PM on January 26, 2015 [20 favorites]


That comment was a passive-aggressive insult directed at NoraReed, cloaked in a nicey-nice shit-eating grin.

Nope, it was comment about worrying about high volume commenters disabling their account. Most do seem to come back at some point. Usually with for the better.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:38 PM on January 26, 2015


No, it was passive aggressive bullshit that you for some reason seem powerless to stop.
posted by stoneandstar at 1:40 PM on January 26, 2015 [35 favorites]


yeah, the problem with that thread was in its inception - it was far gone by the aryma comment (which was part of a string of comments by them which personally attacked other feminists - but NoraReed certainly got the worst of it by a mile). i hope one thing being considered is whether a thread like that should stand in the first place.
posted by nadawi at 1:42 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


nadawi: Yes, it is.

Brandon, I'm going to ask you to leave the NoraReed thing alone here. You were acting badly that day, regardless of what anybody else was doing, and your commenting about her here comes across as needling.

And other people, I'm going to ask you to leave Brandon alone for the time being about that thread if he's able to drop it, here.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:43 PM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


the problem with that thread was in its inception

Yeah, exactly. The entire purpose of that thread was a long-held and well-documented grudge against NR.
posted by poffin boffin at 1:43 PM on January 26, 2015 [13 favorites]


Yes, please consider stopping the public hating threads. They are gross and don't serve as an escape valve... everyone just gets angrier.
posted by selfnoise at 1:44 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


"but I still have never seen a comment as ad-hominem as this one against NoraReed. "

Man, that was an oblivious, insulting comment, but the most ad hominem? The worst?

MeTa can be elbows-out, and Nora's no stranger to unloading both barrels on someone. It sucks that someone would choose to post that as a comment, but it just feels hyperbolic and naive to think it's somehow beyond the pale.

I think Stav's general points in that thread about the waning of self-policing and the increased appeal to mod authority are pretty right on: Aryma posted that comment, NoraReed responded well, that was fine. Calling for it to be deleted from MeTa would be endorsing a large shift from the historic ethos of MeTa, and further toward a MeFi where a user's comment history no longer as clearly defines their identity on the site. That comment wasn't so poisonous as to preclude any other discussion, which really should be the bar in MeTa. Nora can dish it out well enough; I'm pretty confident that she can take that odd "fan fiction" about her life.
posted by klangklangston at 2:00 PM on January 26, 2015 [11 favorites]


Something about this dynamic has to change and I think it's good for us to talk about how.

Ban early, ban often.

/this is why I'm not a mod.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:01 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


that whole thread was a fucked up personal attack. and the string of comments aryma made were really nasty, topping off with the one everyone is focusing on. it might not be the absolute worst ever, but i'm happy with a metafilter where that's not acceptable.
posted by nadawi at 2:04 PM on January 26, 2015 [16 favorites]


The comment was definitely harsh but not, I think, beyond the historical pale. There is some white-washing of NoraReed's participation here given the sad fact of her disabling her account; she gave at least as good as she got and skirted the edge of acceptable behavior in a lot of ways. So I don't know that the comment in question was so out of line as to be deleteable in Metatalk. On the blue, definitely. But this isn't the blue. A "lets calm down and not launch personal attacks" wouldn't have been unwelcome at that point though, sure.

I agree that 15 minute hate threads don't tend to do anybody any good.
posted by Justinian at 2:04 PM on January 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


On the hopefully improving discourse in MetaTalk, we've implemented an optional email field for new MetaTalk posts because we've had a few that were strongly worded but we had no way of contacting the poster to request a rewrite, since their listed emails were sometimes 10+ years old. The hope is in the future a contentious thread can get a rewrite to be more constructive and not lead to bad feelings on all sides while focusing more on solving problems like a MetaTalk thread should ideally.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:08 PM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sometimes I sing 'troll' to myself like the opening guitar riff of Smoke On the Water.
Troll troll troll, troll troll troll-troll, troll troll troll, troll trollllll.
Then I'll come in with the baseline, troll troll troll troll-troll-troll-troll-troll-troll-troll-troll.
If my hands are free I'll mime the drum parts.
That's just something I like to do sometimes when the subject of trolls comes along, here now you can too.
posted by Kwine at 2:10 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


the most ad hominem? The worst?

You know, I might just bite that bullet. Going in with guns blazing is one thing, but that comment was slyly, poisonously nasty under a sugary crust. I had to think back a long time to remember a comment that struck me as being anywhere near as manipulatively vicious as that.

I don't know that I think it should have been deleted, but a sharp word from the mods would have been welcome there.
posted by sculpin at 2:10 PM on January 26, 2015 [16 favorites]


More shocking to me was that [aryma's attack on NoraReed] went entirely uncommented upon by any moderators

Totally agree with We had a deal, Kyle here. I don't often comment in threads like that one but I do read them, and that comment made me scroll quickly ahead to find the bright-line mod comment stating that this kind of thing is absolutely not okay. It was really disturbing to me to see that it went unremarked upon by the mods - I realize you guys can't catch everything, and I've read the mod comments just now saying it was a busy day, but it was still hard not to read tacit tolerance of aryma's tactics into the fact that there was no mod pushback. Even though I understand that not acting upon something does not equal approval of said thing - it's still glaringly conspicuous when the mods leave a comment of that magnitude untouched.

I know LM and matthowie have now said that the mods are already discussing how to better address personal attacks, but in the meantime I guess my point of feedback is that when a vicious turd of a comment gets dropped in a thread, I would rather see something from the mods about it days later (the thread was open for quite a while, wasn't it? You guys knew the comment was causing troubles, yes?) than not hear anything from them at all. Sounds like you guys were indeed talking about it; hearing so in that thread would have made me less worried about comments like that hinting at a trend rather than an unacceptable one-off.

Something about this dynamic has to change and I think it's good for us to talk about how.

Sorry if this is a stupid question, but are you guys saying this is the thread to do that in, or are you asking for someone to open a new thread? Or something else altogether?
posted by DingoMutt at 2:11 PM on January 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


The Comment(tm), and much of the lead-up to it, is pretty great as an illustrative example of nadawi's earlier observation:

no, i'm saying some mefites are good at circumventing moderation in a way that at times makes me feel uncomfortable. it's a micro aggression type of thing that is difficult to address without changing moderation in a way i also wouldn't be comfortable with. c'est la vie.


Because it dances right in the liminal space that accomplishes--whether deliberately by design, or by sheer idiot luck--that moderation circumvention. The sheer quantity of benefit of the doubt that moderation here gives everyone has much to be lauded for--but it has weaknesses that I don't doubt are consciously exploited.
posted by Drastic at 2:12 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


"but I still have never seen a comment as ad-hominem as this one against NoraReed. "

Man, that was an oblivious, insulting comment, but the most ad hominem? The worst?

Dude, I get to have an opinion about what I personally feel is the worst.
posted by Shouraku at 2:12 PM on January 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


Why is the email field optioal? Seems to me that it should be verifyable and mandatory.

You shouldn't be able to drop a meTa bomb and walk away.

My 2 cents.
posted by futz at 2:13 PM on January 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


I haven't read everything in this meta, so apologies if this is out of step with where the conversation is currently:

I think it's a good deletion. But the account has so little history that I think it's impossible to judge if it is a troll or someone who has no clue what the culture is here. I think a lot of long-term mefites take a lot of things for granted and read in a lot of stuff with new members that is not accurate.

Metafilter is a fairly large forum with a long history. It can be hard for new people to get their bearings and figure out how to fit in here. I have at times talked with new people on the site who sounded as green and what not as this Ask. Some of what goes on here is very high minded and positive. For people from backwards environments, that can be wildly misinterpreted in ways that go bad places and look so gauche as to look like a troll.

I don't know if this person was trolling or not. But I know that one of my early Asks was deleted and I didn't know how to interpret that at the time. It took me months to conclude the mod was just doing his job. I honestly couldn't tell what that was about.

So I think that one issue that may or may not be relevant to this particular case is that metafilter is a "mature" forum in that it's been around a long time and people who have been here a long time seem to not get how hard it can be for new people to figure out how this large, complicated place works. And I don't think it helps to have so many people just presume TROLL, OBVIOUS TROLLY TROLL.

I am guessing Guinivere probably doesn't know we are talking about her. She probably hasn't yet found MeTa. And if she finds we are talking about her and many of us are assuming the worst based on very little history for the account, that may lead to her just leaving or, if she stays, it will make it that much harder for her to figure out how things work around here and how to step into the flow of things more gracefully.

Also, I can't really explain this last thought, but her remarks feel to me like the product of someone who has spent time in too many female dominated forums of not much size. My experiences with forums that are mostly female members and not very big is that misogyny and other problems there are far, far worse than on male dominated forums. It took me a long time to recognize that my gender was an issue on a male dominated forum I participate in because the environment there was so much more civil than female majority small forums I have spent time in.

So I am wondering if, like me, this person has had something of an old fashioned life and their experience of the internet is limited and mostly is with small, female majority forums. Inevitably, one or two MEN seem to dominate such forums and god help you if you disagree with him, a whole lot of WOMEN will kick the living shit out of you for it. It's really crazy sick stuff. And maybe that's where this person is coming from.

/my (feverish) 2 cents worth.
posted by Michele in California at 2:14 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


The comment was definitely harsh but not, I think, beyond the historical pale.

Yeah, I thought the historical stance on MetaTalk was that flagging was ignored, no comments were deleted, and it was your choice to engage in this part of the site. Very different from the other parts.
posted by smackfu at 2:15 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'd say that having a verifiable email address is a good idea for anyone posting to metatalk. Doesn't have to be public but I think it should be there.
posted by disclaimer at 2:15 PM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


klangklangston: “Man, that was an oblivious, insulting comment, but the most ad hominem? The worst?”

Yes, the worst. The worst I've ever seen on Metafilter. I am serious.

People toss around insults on Metatalk all the time. Yes, that's par for the course at this point. But a thorough attempt to twist somebody's posting history into a diagnosis of mental illness in order to belittle and dismiss them like that? It's thoroughly offensive, and no, I haven't seen anything like that here before.

“That comment wasn't so poisonous as to preclude any other discussion, which really should be the bar in MeTa.”

Seriously? How does one continue a discussion when (a) they've been told their comments are evidence of mental disorder and (b) they've been told that being mentally disordered disqualifies them from being able to comment?

I get the feeling you glanced over that comment and took its deceptive undertones of 'I'm just trying to help here' seriously without paying attention to what it actually says. Maybe look over it again and think a little about what it means. At the very least, it's denigrating the mentally disabled by making it sound like they don't have any right to comment or reason to be taken seriously. Even if it weren't a comment about a particular user, that alone would be poisonous enough to kill conversation.
posted by koeselitz at 2:21 PM on January 26, 2015 [26 favorites]


My own entry into the technical-solutions-probably-too-much-of-a-hassle-for-administrative-problems pony race: make a valid email address the user actually uses be a requirement for any post. Hit the Post Thread button, that email address gets emailed with a "click this to verify it's you" and the post only goes up once that's done. Takes care of the ten-years-gone email factor, and might even safeguard folks from posting something they'd regret if they're just having a terrible night or whatnot, from that much extra step. It also moves the responsibility on having some place firmly mod-contactable onto the user. (Seriously, if the mod team here got a bonus every time a MeTa gets into "we emailed you about your deleted thread/comment/whatever" "no you didn't!" "yes we did, is your email on file valid?" "oh I'm sorry I didn't see it I don't look there" routine, they'd probably have to have more fundraising to cover it.)
posted by Drastic at 2:22 PM on January 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


also maybe spend some time reading the other comments by aryma in the thread (or just the thread in general)...there was a lead up and it wasn't just focused on NoraReed (although the personal attack nature of the thread on her was the biggest issue) and it was obvious that at points NoraReed was being used as a proxy for metafilter feminists. this is what makes this sort of thing hard to talk about - it's hard to point to a comment and say "there!" because it's usually the last shitty straw on the stack.
posted by nadawi at 2:25 PM on January 26, 2015 [25 favorites]


Oh keep in mind the email thing is only on MetaTalk, which doesn't have automatic posting. We've had a couple instances where we emailed people after requesting a rewrite only to hear a week or two later that they never heard from us and were confused why their post didn't go up. There's no way someone can drop a turd of a new thread and be unreachable by mods, we still have to make the decision to put the thread up and we'll be more likely in the future to contact people first on contentious ones, which is why we added the field.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:26 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Seriously? How does one continue a discussion when (a) they've been told their comments are evidence of mental disorder and (b) they've been told that being mentally disordered disqualifies them from being able to comment?

Honestly, you should ask yourself that about a comment you've had deleted from this thread.

A lot of people seem perfectly ok with being insulting, passive aggressive and aggro and what not, as long as it's someone they don't like or they feel deserves it.

To me, that's the major crux here, does the site membership want a general toning down of the nastiness or are they (the general they) ok with selectively choosing who to get nasty with?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:27 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


me: “Seriously? How does one continue a discussion when (a) they've been told their comments are evidence of mental disorder and (b) they've been told that being mentally disordered disqualifies them from being able to comment?”

Brandon Blatcher: “Honestly, you should ask yourself that about a comment you've had deleted from this thread.”

I had a comment deleted in this thread which stated that you, Brandon Blatcher, should get time off from Metafilter after your comments here over the past few days.

I meant it.

Your last sarcastic barb at NoraReed was evidence of this. You're being nothing but poisonous here, Brandon. I respect you, and I would have thought that when you saw aryma's comments in that thread you would stand up and say something about how really terrible they were. But you didn't – you doubled down, and you joined in. And that was more than a little bit disappointing to me.

“A lot of people seem perfectly ok with being insulting, passive aggressive and aggro and what not, as long as it's someone they don't like or they feel deserves it.”

You've been nothing but crappy to NoraReed. Are you seriously suggesting that other people are being passive-aggressive to you? After that comment about "time off" being "good"?

If you really and truly care about rapprochement, why not actually show it? Do you have an apology to NoraReed? Or at least a statement in solidarity, that you think aryma went too far? Or something?

Seriously, your entrenched inability to leave off the seething hostility here is becoming suffocating.
posted by koeselitz at 2:32 PM on January 26, 2015 [30 favorites]


i understand why it happens and i understand why it's what the mods can focus on, but anti-feminist microaggressions isn't the same conversation as getting everyone to be nicer to each other, and that shifting is part of the problem - it turns it into an interpersonal thing instead of trying to figure out why some people seem to always be the same ones to shit in specific punchbowls, often in just inside the guideline ways and if not specifically discouraging that is driving women or or other marginalized groups away. to my mind the niceness conversation is related but separate.
posted by nadawi at 2:34 PM on January 26, 2015 [41 favorites]


And I don't think it helps to have so many people just presume TROLL, OBVIOUS TROLLY TROLL.

It doesn't help to have you presume they're a poster with an "old fashioned" internet background similar to yours, either.

This Meta was started because the OP thought it was a bad deletion. The mods have answered how the Ask didn't fit in with site guidelines. The mods did not delete the Ask because they thought the poster was a troll.

Commentary on whether the post was sincere is bound to happen when a topic like this, about an Ask like that, is left open.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:39 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I never saw NoraReed attacking anyone personally. She just used vulgar language and was very direct and didn't sugarcoat anything. Which a lot of us appreciated, including me, but I don't think she was doing it for an audience. People keep saying "she gave as good as she got" but it was not like that at all.
posted by zutalors! at 2:40 PM on January 26, 2015 [32 favorites]


I have never, ever, EVER seen NoraReed deliver anything like the level of weapons-grade foulness that was in aryma's comment. Not even close -- not even in the same vein.
posted by KathrynT at 2:42 PM on January 26, 2015 [45 favorites]


Of course she attacked people personally. We must not be reading the same site.

But its immaterial at this point; her account is disabled so it's probably not worthwhile to litigate.
posted by Justinian at 2:46 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have to agree - I even had a bit of a disagreement once with NoraReed, and while she was direct, sometimes crude, used swears, and could be abrupt, she was never personally insulting, and she mostly focused her commentary on a macro, rather than personal, level.

I was always curious to read her comments, and while she used language very differently than I do, I enjoyed seeing what she had to say.

I guess to some it's a fine distinction, or not apparent at all, but to be abrupt and state your own boundaries (like the cactus comment) is not at all the same thing as being personally nasty.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:47 PM on January 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


I just wanted to drop in that I appreciate the serious discussion of the concerns I expressed, and it was helpful to me to understand how others were reacting to the original ask. It had not occurred to me, for example, that it may be a troll post, but it helps me understand the community reaction to know that some people had that suspicion.

I still feel that in a perfect world, we could find a way to provide advice even to people who express offensive views in clumsy ways. But I also recognize that there is a limit to how much one question can reasonably burden the community and use up moderation resources.

I'm seeing a lot of anger expressed here. It's hard when you can't see everyone's faces - normally in a group conversation, people who aren't speaking can affect the tone by sharing their feelings with body language and facial expressions. I suspect lots of the people in this thread would kind of gentle it up if we were all sharing the same room. I'm smiling at you guys. This site is in many ways our shared project, and our collaboration is mostly friendly, at bottom. I hope that comes through and is felt, even during difficult discussions.
posted by prefpara at 2:47 PM on January 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


Commentary on whether the post was sincere is bound to happen when a topic like this, about an Ask like that, is left open.

Sure, but there is a difference between "looks like trolling to me" and some of the stronger statements asserting that it is obviously a troll. As you said, the mods did not delete it for trolling. So the jury on that is still out. And this is a very new member. I find it generally helps to give the benefit of the doubt and have a better understanding of what is going on before being too condemning.

My main point was that I think more could be done to help new members adjust. I don't know what that is, in practical terms. I suggest that not simply for the sake of new people, but because I think it is in the best interest of the health of the site.
posted by Michele in California at 2:50 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


One problem is we can never tell if a new member is actually new. Benefit of the doubt is nice, but that post was way too suspicious and was rightfully axed. They can try again if sincere, that's the beauty of it.
posted by agregoli at 2:51 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I also thought that aryma's comment to NoraReed was the most vile toxic comment I have seen allowed on MetaFilter and I was extremely disappointed there was no public response from the moderators. As others have said, NoraReed has never attacked anyone else personally like that -- their arguments, yes, but not their person -- and she did not deserve that.
posted by jaguar at 2:52 PM on January 26, 2015 [19 favorites]


My main point was that I think more could be done to help new members adjust.

I mean, like what? Every new sign-up gets a Metafilter buddy that accompanies them into all threads? And why does Metafilter, specifically, require a period of adjustment for new members?

It's really pretty simple, I think: Observe, learn, don't be an asshat (though not necessarily in that order). Oh, and there's a FAQ if you need it.

I think you're looking for solutions to problems that don't exist in any broad sense.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:55 PM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


Sure, but there is a difference between "looks like trolling to me" and some of the stronger statements asserting that it is obviously a troll.

I used to post on a site that had a rule against stating your opinion as fact, but Metafilter has no such rule, and it happens all the time, in every section of the site, probably every minute of the day (my opinion.)

"It's obviously a troll" is obviously someone's opinion and pretended otherwise is annoying (my opinion.)
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:56 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


As for the site being more helpy to new members who get questions deleted for not meeting site guidelines - that would pretty much up to site design or the moderator who deletes the question, and we know they're already stretched very thin.
posted by Squeak Attack at 2:59 PM on January 26, 2015


Whether or not the AskMe that spawned this MetaTalk was a troll or not seems besides the point? It was more or less instantly deleted. So it hardly seems to matter.
posted by Justinian at 3:00 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Man. I don't even care about stuff and still that question stank to high heaven.
posted by turbid dahlia at 3:08 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Whether or not the AskMe that spawned this MetaTalk was a troll or not seems besides the point? It was more or less instantly deleted. So it hardly seems to matter.

At some level it does matter if it was a troll (meaning one more in a very long list of hostile antifeminist shits in the punchbowl) or if it was just a tonedeaf newbie.

Back to the comment from Aryma, I actually though her* comments in the antisemitism thread were worse, though not so intensely and grossly personal, of course. It's not my site, but I don't understand the incredible tolerance for the small subset of users who are simply incredibly toxic.

* I'm using "her" because that's what Aryma presents as, but who knows.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:09 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


But a thorough attempt to twist somebody's posting history into a diagnosis of mental illness in order to belittle and dismiss them like that? It's thoroughly offensive, and no, I haven't seen anything like that here before.

I have. A few times. And I can't really believe that you've not seen those comments.

It was a strong comment to be sure, but painting NoraReed as someone who never attacked and was suddenly thrown the 'worst comment ever!' is ignoring vast swathes of the site. The whole thread was shitty, but it's not like only aryma and misha were posting things that were mean and wrong.

NoraReed has buttoned. She might come back, we don't know why she left. But there's an extremely obvious trend, on the internet not just here, of being more permissive about the behaviour of people you agree with vs. those you don't. Painting her is the innocent victim of the most heinous attack ever is an extremely reductive view of her and her participation here.
posted by gadge emeritus at 3:12 PM on January 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


I just looked at her posts and don't see any personal attacks though admittedly I didn't go through every single one. It's not disingenuous or ignoring to say that she didn't personally attack anyone. It's what I really think. I think some people might see strong language as an attack and that just might be a difference in perception, but I didn't see anything hostile directed at other users from her, and not things that tried to guess at the motives behind their participation style.
posted by zutalors! at 3:23 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why is the email field optioal? Seems to me that it should be verifyable and mandatory.
You shouldn't be able to drop a meTa bomb and walk away.
My 2 cents.

I would go further and suggest that the address actually be verified before any likely contentious MeTa thread goes live, by sending a copy of the post as submitted and asking the poster to confirm that, yes, this is really what I wanted to say, with an opportunity to re-word if desired - it's easy to start a shit-fight inadvertently by writing out in a hurry what is bothering you and re-reading can often help to identify a lack of clarity.

I agree that the attack on NoraReed was unconscionable, although I feel somewhat contradicted in that by a desire for MeTa to be a place where members can discuss without reserve things that are bothering them about the site or other members. MeTa has always been, in the past, a place where the gloves are off and that type of discourse can be very useful if only as a pressure relief. I'm not suggesting that personal abuse is OK in any way, but that we all could accept that others have a right to call out behaviour in unambiguous terms without making it personal ('you are an arsehole' = bad, 'your behaviour makes you seem like an arsehole' = not good, but OK).
posted by dg at 3:28 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


we've had a few that were strongly worded but we had no way of contacting the poster to request a rewrite

I sort of feel that the burden should be on the poster to get in touch if they have questions. I mean there has always been MeMail as an option if you really truly needed to contact people (and I know why it's not used and I support that) but just being clear that people need a working email address in their profile (could be mod-view only) to post to MeTa seems to me 1) not that onerous 2) a minimum-possible requirement for people who want to speak to other community members about things that matter to them.

Mods had misha's email address and it didn't help that thread at all.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 3:29 PM on January 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


As you said, the mods did not delete it for trolling. So the jury on that is still out.

One of the mods asserted that it was not the work of an "obvious" sockpuppet or troll. Moreover, as numerous others have correctly said, given the other reasons for deletion, it's not really relevant from the mods' point of view whether this question was asked in good faith.

However, my point of view is completely different: I don't care, by and large, what the mods decide to delete, but I am interested in seeing disingenuous propaganda bullshit called out wherever it exists. The mods, I think correctly, assume good faith for moderation purposes. In the present situation, from my point of view (which, again, is not about the question of deletion), assuming good faith is a pretty naive assumption, since the question was indisinguishable from a common tactic used to grind specific axes on the same subject as the question in question.

restless_nomad: can you elaborate on how factual questions of sockpuppetry or trolling are decided? For example, I assume it would be obvious if this account had been paid for in the same way as some other account; what else counts as an "obvious" sockpuppet/troll?
posted by busted_crayons at 3:29 PM on January 26, 2015


Whether or not the AskMe that spawned this MetaTalk was a troll or not seems besides the point? It was more or less instantly deleted. So it hardly seems to matter.

Well it's going on because no ones answered the question really - they used to chase the sockpuppets from here, but now it's different.

Anyway- onto the proposal that we divert from asking about that and into a how can we be nicer to each other kind of thing. Trying to give someone their inventory like happened to Nora is out of order - no question about that, but the mods have let users attack people who they didnt quite agree with for some time here, only when it fails as a useful modding tool is the utility of it questioned.

Mods had misha's email address and it didn't help that thread at all.


Was the free pass she got in anyway way related to previous meta posts about how great the moderators were ?

posted by sgt.serenity at 3:33 PM on January 26, 2015


This thread has now largely devolved into a tenuously-related discussion of a subject whose dedicated MeTa thread was closed, right?
posted by busted_crayons at 3:35 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


busted_crayons, we have several pieces of info we can see about users - e.g., some info from their Paypal account, the email address they use to sign up, and their IP address. Those are sufficient to catch most sockpuppetry. Also we can do some old fashioned internet digging to see if, for example, the name on the Paypal really seems to match up with a person who seems to be in the place they claim to be in, or more commonly, if a new member is spamming for a business they're affiliated with.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:35 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Serious question: what do people hope to accomplish by arguing over whether or not NoraReed ever engaged in personal attacks?

Was the free pass she got in anyway way related to previous meta posts about how great the moderators were ?

Are people seriously arguing that the mods have been corrupted by the manipulative lie-coos of a complimentary MeTa post? Yumpin' Yiminy.
posted by Sticherbeast at 3:37 PM on January 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


Thanks, LobsterMitten. So a scenario where, e.g., a MeFite complained in the Deep Manosphere about some discussion/person/perceived slight here, and one of their friends from the Deep Manosphere, appetite whetted, got a MeFi account for nefarious purposes would not count as "obvious" trolling?
posted by busted_crayons at 3:38 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Well it's going on because no ones answered the question really - they used to chase the sockpuppets from here, but now it's different.

We're not psychic so we don't know if it was a troll. We looked at the person's info, it's not an obvious sock, that's what we've said here already.

Was the free pass she got in anyway way related to previous meta posts about how great the moderators were ?

Her MeTa was posted because they almost always are - as we've said. We're going to be reconsidering that going forward because this one was so awful - as we've said.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:38 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I would go further and suggest that the address actually be verified before any likely contentious MeTa thread goes live

I apparently didn't explain what I meant very well. This is exactly what I was trying to say.
posted by futz at 3:39 PM on January 26, 2015


Serious question: what do people hope to accomplish by arguing over whether or not NoraReed ever engaged in personal attacks?
'

I think it's interesting because it exposes what people think of as personal attacks. Like when we have threads where someone calls out another person's language as problematic re: race and then there's this "You called me a racist how dare you" back and forth.
posted by zutalors! at 3:42 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


So a scenario where, e.g., a MeFite complained in the Deep Manosphere about some discussion/person/perceived slight here, and one of their friends from the Deep Manosphere, appetite whetted, got a MeFi account for nefarious purposes would not count as "obvious" trolling?

? I'm honestly not sure where that scenario is coming from. Is that a thing you know to be happening right now?

What I mean by "not an obvious sock" is "not an obvious second account of a member."
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:42 PM on January 26, 2015


(Smiling right back atcha, prefpara :))
posted by ipsative at 3:45 PM on January 26, 2015


assuming good faith is a pretty naive assumption

Ok, sure. As long as you are honestly keeping in mind the fact that it is possible a person you don't know and whose worldview and assumptions are wildly different than yours, might say things you don't understand in the way you think you do.
posted by Glinn at 3:46 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Her MeTa was posted because they almost always are - as we've said. We're going to be reconsidering that going forward because this one was so awful - as we've said.

To clarify: do you mean that mods are going to be making more subjective calls about which MeTas are posted, going forward? I had interpreted cortex's statement in the other thread to mean that the mods would continue to take the kind of wait-and-see approach to MeTas that they generally have done in the past.
posted by Greg Nog at 3:47 PM on January 26, 2015


We're not psychic so we don't know if it was a troll. We looked at the person's info, it's not an obvious sock, that's what we've said here already.

It's a completely obvious sock and more respected and learned mefites than me (not that difficult tbh) have already pointed it out.

What I mean by "not an obvious sock" is "not a second account of a member."

Anyone else apart from that ?

We're going to be reconsidering that going forward because this one was so awful - as we've said.

She was doing stuff way before that - there was one where she was accusing saraC (i think) of a fake kickstarter.
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:48 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


do you mean that mods are going to be making more subjective calls about which MeTas are posted, going forward?

Nope, it's about identifying problematic framing and language (threads that will incite a flame war, etc) and asking authors to reconsider/rewrite/reformat.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:49 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mods had misha's email address and it didn't help that thread at all.

We didn't contact her to ask to rewrite it in this case. Lesson learned, we will going forward.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 3:50 PM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


? I'm honestly not sure where that scenario is coming from. Is that a thing you know to be happening right now?

No, that's one of numerous hypotheticals, all vaguely plausible and easy to cook up, that make it irrelevant (from the point of view of someone who is interested in whether that was a good-faith AskMe, which I understand is not necessarily your concern given the other problems with the question) whether that was an obvious sockpuppet.


Ok, sure. As long as you are honestly keeping in mind the fact that it is possible a person you don't know and whose worldview and assumptions are wildly different than yours, might say things you don't understand in the way you think you do.


I said that it is a naive assumption in a particular situation, namely one where the person in question is saying things that read like very standard propaganda techniques, on a subject in discussions of which those techniques are commonly deployed, as part of a pattern of recent such discussions on the site (e.g. the other AskMe mentioned above, or the recent ludicrous and disingenuous Bread MeTa). In other situations, where there is not a large neon "TROLL" sign, I agree that it is best for all parties if everyone assumes good faith.
posted by busted_crayons at 3:55 PM on January 26, 2015


Mostly irrelevant, I should have said.
posted by busted_crayons at 3:56 PM on January 26, 2015


there was one where she was accusing saraC (i think) of a fake kickstarter.

And the one where she falsely accused shakespeherian of forwarding around her memails to everyone so they could, idk, quote entire passages in meta? or something?
posted by poffin boffin at 3:56 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Greg Nog - Speaking only for myself, I would consider being more restrictive about what kinds of personal callouts are ok for MeTa posts. (That is me, it's not mod consensus.)

sgt.serenity - If you have something to say, just say it rather than dancing around.

busted_crayons - Ok, sure, that is hypothetically possible. I don't think we mods have any information on whether that is happening in the case of this AskMe, so I can't offer you any additional clarity on that point. If someone did come here to troll, then that would of course count as trolling. (But maybe I'm just missing the point of your question about how it wouldn't count as trolling?)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:58 PM on January 26, 2015


"You know, I might just bite that bullet. Going in with guns blazing is one thing, but that comment was slyly, poisonously nasty under a sugary crust. I had to think back a long time to remember a comment that struck me as being anywhere near as manipulatively vicious as that. "

I agree that comments like that are a good example of the failings of "civility" as the prime measurement of participation.

I don't know that I think it should have been deleted, but a sharp word from the mods would have been welcome there."

Again, Nora handled it well enough herself. She's not an infant — she replied clearly, and that was pretty much it.

"Dude, I get to have an opinion about what I personally feel is the worst."

You do. And I get to call your opinion naive and hyperbolic. Opinions for everyone!

"Yes, the worst. The worst I've ever seen on Metafilter. I am serious."

Really? Because I don't have a handy list of all the terrible comments I've ever seen here, I don't have a good go-to, but a quick browse around the MeTa archives (see: Alex Reynolds vs. Dios) should turn up quite a bit of ugly shit without much digging.

"Seriously? How does one continue a discussion when (a) they've been told their comments are evidence of mental disorder and (b) they've been told that being mentally disordered disqualifies them from being able to comment?"

Like this. Nora rolled with it and the thread continued.

"I get the feeling you glanced over that comment and took its deceptive undertones of 'I'm just trying to help here' seriously without paying attention to what it actually says. Maybe look over it again and think a little about what it means. At the very least, it's denigrating the mentally disabled by making it sound like they don't have any right to comment or reason to be taken seriously. Even if it weren't a comment about a particular user, that alone would be poisonous enough to kill conversation."

Yeah, no, I read it. It didn't kill the conversation. Nora responded, to argue that "In fact, that's the usual way we grab onto to defend ourselves after being crushed and damaged and traumatized and PTSD'd and whatever else you want to throw into the heap - because how else are we supposed to survive? " makes it sound like the mentally ill or disabled don't have any right to comment or be taken seriously is a stretch. The comment is basically a patronizing dose of "Why so mad, sweetie?" with the implication that because Nora has been hurt, she's lashing out. But it's pretty demonstrable that the conversation did actually continue afterwards.

"also maybe spend some time reading the other comments by aryma in the thread (or just the thread in general)...there was a lead up and it wasn't just focused on NoraReed (although the personal attack nature of the thread on her was the biggest issue) and it was obvious that at points NoraReed was being used as a proxy for metafilter feminists. this is what makes this sort of thing hard to talk about - it's hard to point to a comment and say "there!" because it's usually the last shitty straw on the stack."

I read the thread as it happened, and have skimmed back through it. That thread was started by Misha and seemed like a grudge-post against Nora, but the specific comment is from aryma. And it's not even the most overt of the disagree-therefore-crazy, which was Brandon's, explicitly questioning her sanity.

Look, I hope that NoraReed comes back and I have no problem with her profanity-laden scathing comments — I enjoy them, generally. I think that MeFi and MeTa should be open enough to roll with them. I also think that MeTa should be open enough to roll with Aryma's comment, and that we can largely take care of things like that ourselves as members without having to go running for the mods.
posted by klangklangston at 4:00 PM on January 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


(But maybe I'm just missing the point of your question about how it wouldn't count as trolling?)

Sorry, I was clarifying that it wouldn't fall under what restless_nomad called obvious trolling, since you would, I guess, not detect it using the techniques you mentioned. My point is that, regarding the question of whether that was a good-faith Ask, whether or not it was an obvious sockpuppet or obvious troll isn't really much evidence one way or another, since one can spend all day listing plausible, non-obvious, scenarios in which the question was, as it certainly seems to be, the work of a troll.
posted by busted_crayons at 4:02 PM on January 26, 2015


"It's a completely obvious sock and more respected and learned mefites than me (not that difficult tbh) have already pointed it out."

"Obvious" for you is your intuitive assessment, it's not a deduction. I agree that it was an attempt to troll. I wouldn't be hugely surprised if it were a sockpuppet but, if so, they'd have had to go to some effort to cover their tracks. The PayPal info for the fee and the IP address make sockpuppets deductively obvious, which is what LobsterMitten is saying isn't the case. And, as I understand it, the mods don't go to any special effort to see those things -- linked accounts are shown right there in their interface. Sockpuppet accounts are self-evident to the mods unless the user has taken fairly elaborate steps to cover their tracks.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 4:04 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


busted_crayons - Ah, I agree. I think r_n was responding to people above who were saying "check to see if it's a sock!", saying basically, we've already checked in the ways we can easily check.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:05 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


busted_crayons, I am not being naïve. I just bet the odds differently from other people.

If 9 times out of 10, x thing means someone is x-ist, a lot of people will assume x = x-ist and start saying a lot of blamey, ugly things. I may be just as aware of those odds, but I know that if this is the 1 time in 10 when it means something else, I am creating trouble unnecessarily to assume it's the majority answer. Multiply that 10% minority occurrence by tens of thousands of people on an Internet site, and that can get to be a pretty big number over time.

I am aware that most people will bet on the 90% side of that equation. I am aware that it is entirely possible this person is a troll and the odds are even in favor of that outcome. I just think it is worth it to wait and see before drawing that conclusion, to have some kind of more conclusive evidence because of the impact it has on the 10% of cases where x does not = x-ist.

Since it got deleted, if it is a troll, the potential damage has been shut down. I already stated I agreed with the deletion. I just disagree with the degree to which so many people here are making firm assertions of bad faith when there is so little evidence upon which to base it.
posted by Michele in California at 4:05 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


sgt.serenity - If you have something to say, just say it rather than dancing around.

I'll say pretty much what I emailed Matt a few days ago then - a sockpuppet showed up in another thread a few days ago to back the mods up in a meta, we were then told we shouldnt ask any questions about it and the thread was closed a few comments later.

It doesn't look very good.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:13 PM on January 26, 2015


klangklangston - then i guess we just wholly disagree. someone referring to mefi feminists as wild things, a gang hell bent on destruction, spraying tom cats, like domestic abusers, too mentally disordered to participate, and demanding by name that we answer for our participation (basically suggesting we're cowards in real life who use mefi to bully people), etc etc etc is too far and the mods should step in. i hope they do next time.
posted by nadawi at 4:13 PM on January 26, 2015 [21 favorites]


sgt.serenity, I literally have no idea what you're talking about.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:20 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Michele in California, I think that's reasonable. We might not disagree on the likelihood of trolling, or whatever; we just disagree on what the risks and benefits are of adopting different viewpoints. I'm mostly just sick of people trying to advance nasty views by bad-faith arguments -- this explain, I think, most of our continued failure to have nice things -- and I want to see this shit called out for what it is, not merely removed from visibility. In particular, we differ because I am not sure I agree that deleting this question shuts down the potential damage, although I don't have an opinion about whether deleting the question was the best course of action from the point of view of the health of AskMe (not my call). I'm willing to risk accidentally being unwarrantedly* accusatory if the chances of doing so are sufficiently low. That is because it's important to me that, if, as I think very likely, that question was bad-faith propaganda, it should be recognized as such and mocked accordingly.

*actually, only partially unwarrantedly, even in the best case: if that was a good-faith question, then the asker still needs to be called out on that shit, although obvious much more sensitively and without spurious accusations of trolling.
posted by busted_crayons at 4:20 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I just disagree with the degree to which so many people here are making firm assertions of bad faith when there is so little evidence upon which to base it.

As I said, earlier up thread, I actually sent the asker a MeMail asking if they were a troll, and then offered a line of earnest advice, just in case they weren't. If this person wasn't a troll, and if 'she' was really in turmoil and questioning, even if she didn't know how to contact the mods, a simple reply to me would have resulted in a directions of how to contact the mods for clarification. The silence was deafening.

Trust me, people do NOT have a hard time MeMailing me asking for information on how to work the site (or for myriad other reasons.)

That said, as acrimonious as this thread has become and as nasty as some of the individuals are being, yanking the ask was clearly the right answer.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 4:23 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


You do. And I get to call your opinion naive and hyperbolic. Opinions for everyone!

You know, I've tried very hard to act in good faith on this site, and I have learned so much from everyone here. I feel like I've become a better person from interacting with this community. But there is just too much nastiness here for it to be worth staying on this site any longer.
posted by Shouraku at 4:23 PM on January 26, 2015


busted_crayons,
As I noted earlier, I am running a fever. I am also just having a really tough month, so I am in a particularly bad place for debating this.

Suffice it say, I don't believe that going gangbusters on anyone who MIGHT be doing bad things creates a better world. There is a time and a place for banning people and so on, but if you really want a better social fabric, more viciously pursuing "justice" doesn't create that outcome. There are studies on how peaceful societies work and that is not how they work, even though they also will, for example, kill someone who just goes way too far.

Anyway, I have other things I need to attend to.

ciao.
posted by Michele in California at 4:27 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I had a comment deleted in this thread which stated that you, Brandon Blatcher, should get time off from Metafilter after your comments here over the past few days.

I meant it.


Then you'll be happy to know I did get some time, a day or so. Hell, I would have thought it was more, but someone MeFiMailed me, which indicted the timeout was over.

As to the more pointed aspects of you're comment, I'm going to acknowledge that I read it, understand where you're coming from and bear you no ill will.

However, this aspect of your comment is troubling: "Or at least a statement in solidarity, that you think aryma went too far?"

It gets to the heart of the general point: While a lot of people did think that arymo's went to far, others didn't. While some thought NoraReed's original comment in the comics thread went too far (as I did), others didn't (most who commented in that MeTa thread). Your call to pick a side and stand on the "correct" one naturally places people in categories and sides and divisions. I don't think that's healthy for the site. The "us" vs "them" dynamic that seems to growing and just leads to all sorts of fighting.

I'm not sure what the solution is. I've sort of thrown my hands up in the air about the issue, after seeing how viciously people dug in to Misha (who definitely could have soften the language in her MeTa post) while NoraReed's in-your-face antics were lauded. It's hypocritical and disturbing to see and shouldn't be happening. She, and anyone else who chooses to spit fire in their comments, should tone it down, as it just pisses people off and starts fights.

Well, unless you want fights. Do you want fights?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:28 PM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


Again, Nora handled it well enough herself.

Then the point of a sharp word from the mods would be not to protect NoraReed so much as to protect the site by informing aryma that she was on thin ice. It would have shown that the mods would not be gamed with a veneer of civility, and it would have publicly defined that kind of stunt as something that does not fly here.

Good on Nora for rolling with it, but I don't believe that mod action should be dictated by the perceived toughness of an attacked user.

Obviously, though, we disagree on exactly how terrible that terrible comment was.
posted by sculpin at 4:28 PM on January 26, 2015 [21 favorites]


sgt.serenity, I literally have no idea what you're talking about.

This User in This Thread.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:29 PM on January 26, 2015


But that account is shut down. What's the problem?
posted by Justinian at 4:32 PM on January 26, 2015


This User in This Thread.

This is what you call "Backing up the mods?"
Not a sock puppet. Just sick of this bullshit game getting played on a website that I'd been a member of for >10 years. The pile ons, the vitriol. It's really sad that loud obnoxious voices have been allowed to take over. That's great if its better for you, but you alienate lots of other users. What used to be best of the web is now "OMG I'M SO ANGRY ABOUT THIS!"

Cue the "oh just another angry boyzone Loozer!"

Enjoy the $5er.
man I hope nobody ever tries to back ME up like that.
posted by KathrynT at 4:34 PM on January 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


Misha imploded in that thread too.

misha buttoned after someone sent Mormons to her house as a creepy "we know where you live" prank, which, as a woman who has been stalked in the past, she understandably found to be quite frightening.

I followed up with misha off-site and it really happened -- the Mormons.org people confirmed that her name and address had been submitted online and I did my own investigating to confirm the plausibility of her story. Since then, I've been trying to help her scrub the connections between her online identity and real identity so that she doesn't have to worry about future "pranks" from this or other internet communities she participates in.

I'm not a misha fan but I still think that escalating an internet feud into sending people to knock on your opponent's door to scare them is beyond the pale. I have no idea who was responsible for the so-called "prank" but if you're reading this -- shame on you!
posted by Jacqueline at 4:35 PM on January 26, 2015 [54 favorites]


sgt.serenity, are you saying you think that BStrummin (who was, as they acknowledged, a longtime member who had previously closed their account, returning briefly under a new name, but now the Bstrummin account is closed) posted this AskMe that we're talking about?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:35 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Again, Nora handled it well enough herself. She's not an infant — she replied clearly, and that was pretty much it.

I think it's true that NoraReed handled it well, but I don't think that means it didn't have a dampening effect. I felt the dampening effect, and I wasn't even participating in that thread. It made me feel like maybe my time could be better spent than on caring about this community. I won't speak for NoraReed, but personally after that MeTa I was like "iiiiiit's time to not be on Metafilter so much now."

That sounds like a weird dumb threat but it is just honesty. This has been a good community for women to participate in, IMO, and one where complaints against Internetty microaggressions could actually be heard by mods, and that is something special. In the past I would get annoyed and pissy when sexist stuff would go down here, but I had faith in the basic foundation of the site, that it was modded well. In the absence of that, this place will continue to be interesting but on the whole just More Internet and I don't really feel a desire to go in that direction. So one could say good riddance, but I think it's clear in this thread that a lot of feminist-aligned women on this site may possibly flame out or drift away over time if the site keeps going in this direction.

I'm not saying the current mods are bad mods-- I actually think the deletion that began this MeTa was a shrewd decision-- but if modpower is stretched too thin, to the point where multiple members calling one member crazy for being an "strident" feminist is supposed to roll off our backs, then... I don't know.

jessamyn was basically an invaluable influence, and I totally respect her decision to leave, but the absence of her leadership is definitely felt. I think that nadawi is right that being nicer to each other would be great, but it's basically up to the mods what kind of site they want this to be. Whether anti-feminist hostility under the guise of saccarine kindness is tolerated, or feminist anger about a shitty article in an FPP is tolerated, or where in between.
posted by stoneandstar at 4:35 PM on January 26, 2015 [36 favorites]


Why can't we all just get along? This is exactly what the GOP wants to happen!
posted by turbid dahlia at 4:36 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also want to say that *by "feminist anger about a shitty article" I mean an article some people thought was shitty, not an objectively shitty article. Ahem.
posted by stoneandstar at 4:39 PM on January 26, 2015


misha buttoned after someone sent Mormons to her house as a creepy "we know where you live" prank

Just to address this: Misha told us this and we are talking to the LDS to see if they can give us more info. To be totally clear: this is 100% unacceptable (using profile info to track down someone's real life address and sending something there). It is harassment, and it is over the line. If a MeFi member did this and we can confirm who it was, they will be banned.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 4:39 PM on January 26, 2015 [80 favorites]


I'm really happy to hear such an unequivocal response about the fucked-up-ness of doing that to someone!
posted by Greg Nog at 4:41 PM on January 26, 2015 [13 favorites]


I had assumed that misha was being weirdly paranoid and that it was a pure coincidence that Mormons came to her house. That really blows if that was not the case.
posted by Justinian at 4:41 PM on January 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


busted_crayons,
As I noted earlier, I am running a fever. I am also just having a really tough month, so I am in a particularly bad place for debating this.

Suffice it say, I don't believe that going gangbusters on anyone who MIGHT be doing bad things creates a better world. There is a time and a place for banning people and so on, but if you really want a better social fabric, more viciously pursuing "justice" doesn't create that outcome. There are studies on how peaceful societies work and that is not how they work, even though they also will, for example, kill someone who just goes way too far.

Anyway, I have other things I need to attend to.

ciao.


You ALWAYS do this. You come into a thread and drop your opinion, complain about a health issue, posit some humblebrag while saying how slighted you are and then say you have other more pressing issues to attend to. It is tiresome.
posted by futz at 4:43 PM on January 26, 2015 [37 favorites]


as a very vocal ex-mormon i just want to say that i am horrified if it were done in relation to her internet activities and if the connection is here. that is fucked up.
posted by nadawi at 4:44 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not a misha fan but I still think that escalating an internet feud into sending people to knock on your opponent's door to scare them is beyond the pale.

Yes, adding to what is on preview already a chorus, I agree without reservation.

If this is was done by a MeFite, I also would hope that they would own up to doing this soon, and save people a lot of anxiety and wasted time tracking them down.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:46 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


someone referring to mefi feminists as wild things, a gang hell bent on destruction, [...] etc etc etc is too far and the mods should step in. i hope they do next time.

Do you think the mods should step in for something like this?

> * I'm using "her" because that's what Aryma presents as, but who knows.
posted by Dip Flash at 3:09 PM on January 26


That's the sort of thing that would cause a major shitshow if somebody directed it against, say, NoraReed, yet the "mefi feminists" seem to be oddly unperturbed when it's directed against Aryma. Seems to be a bit of a double standard. I do hope NoraReed comes back, but hopefully in this interlude she figures out how to contribute here like a grown-up; her child-that-just-discovered-sugar shtick wrt profanity is best reserved for twitter or tumblr IMHO.

So, Dip Flash: do you have some evidence that Aryma is other than what she presents as, or what exactly did you intend by that comment?
posted by amorphatist at 4:48 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Jacqueline: I followed up with misha off-site and it really happened -- the Mormons.org people confirmed that her name and address had been submitted online and I did my own investigating to confirm the plausibility of her story.

Good. I'm sure all the assholes in that thread will be along soon to apologize for their behaviour after she mentioned the incident.
posted by gman at 4:49 PM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


if modpower is stretched too thin, to the point where multiple members calling one member crazy for being an "strident" feminist is supposed to roll off our backs, then... I don't know...........jessamyn was basically an invaluable influence, and I totally respect her decision to leave, but the absence of her leadership is definitely felt.


Er..........she was actually taking part in the thread in question.

Look, you want Jessamyn back - that's great but please dont keep spreading this meme that the other mods are inept and we're hurtling into a mysoginistic abyss to do so.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:49 PM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


hopefully in this interlude she figures out how to contribute here like a grown-up; her child-that-just-discovered-sugar shtick wrt profanity is best reserved for twitter or tumblr IMHO.

holy SHIT that's gross.
posted by KathrynT at 4:50 PM on January 26, 2015 [44 favorites]


You ALWAYS do this. You come into a thread and drop your opinion, complain about a health issue, posit some humblebrag while saying how slighted you are and then say you have other more pressing issues to attend to. It is tiresome.

In this case, I'll assume good faith: Michele in California favourited the comment of mine to which she was responding, which I take to mean that it's marked for a later, more substantive response, when MiC has the time and is feeling better (which, regardless of whether that response is forthcoming, I hope is soon).
posted by busted_crayons at 4:52 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Some of these comments do read a bit differently to me after this thread, to be honest.

And if that Mormon thing was indeed real, then there is definitely someone out there who needs to recalibrate their reactions to Someone Is Being Wrong On the Internet. It would be nice of them to 'fess up but I would sincerely doubt they would, considering there would be real consequences to their prank.
posted by gadge emeritus at 4:54 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Good. I'm sure all the assholes in that thread will be along soon to apologize for their behaviour after she mentioned the incident.

I already MeMailed the ones who expressed incredulity over her claim at the time and the general response has been one of horror at the harassment and sorrow over doubting her. I think at this point everyone feels pretty badly about what happened without having to resort to public flagellation.

Personally, my initial reaction was also that she was crazy, but then I checked my premises and did some investigating and reversed my position. I feel badly about the nasty assumptions I'd made about her claim and thus I've been trying to set the story straight as penance.
posted by Jacqueline at 4:55 PM on January 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


I do hope NoraReed comes back, but hopefully in this interlude she figures out how to contribute here like a grown-up

Man, if this comment is supposed to be an example of contributing "like a grown-up," I really hope she doesn't.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:57 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


sgt.serenity: " Er..........she was actually taking part in the thread in question."

As a member, not as a mod.

amorphatist : "what exactly did you intend by that comment?"

Dip Flash may have meant that since aryma has never said anything like "I use 'she' and 'her' pronouns" (or "'he' and 'his'" or "'they' and 'their'"), addressing aryma as "she" and "her" is a bit cisnormative. I don't know that that's the meaning that was intended, since I'm not inside Dip Flash's head, but that's how I'd interpret that.
posted by Lexica at 4:57 PM on January 26, 2015


Do you think the mods should step in for something like this?

not sure if you're trying to gotcha me - but yes, i think any weird games with gendering someone should be heavily discouraged at a mod level. however, i've listened to trans members on the site tell us repeatedly that allies picking up the fight in aggressive, unrelated threads is a net negative for them because it always seems to turn into "those mean angry trans people (women)!!" even though they weren't in any way involved initially. i've been trying to pay attention to this and ruminating over what the right approach is. maybe contact form? but i'm also aware that the mods are juggling a lot right now... in fact, in the thread we keep talking about there was an accusation that NoraReed "called out" someone over a very small reminder on a trans issue - and so it's been more in the forefront for me, thinking about the best way to be an ally to our awesome trans members. i've been realizing that how i fight for myself, for groups i'm a member of, isn't always appropriate when i'm more of an ally to a community.

tl:dr - while i cringe at the misgendering that happens during accusations of trolling (and not for zero reason, either, #notyourshield didn't start with gamergate), i also don't know the best way to respond to every instance of it yet.
posted by nadawi at 4:57 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


"klangklangston - then i guess we just wholly disagree. someone referring to mefi feminists as wild things, a gang hell bent on destruction, spraying tom cats, like domestic abusers, too mentally disordered to participate, and demanding by name that we answer for our participation (basically suggesting we're cowards in real life who use mefi to bully people), etc etc etc is too far and the mods should step in. i hope they do next time."

Wild things, tomcats, those were at least said. She didn't compare Nora to a domestic abuser except obliquely by describing someone's comment about reflecting after criticism to that of an abuse victim. She didn't say anyone was too mentally disordered to participate, she spun a narrative based on her own experience of being firey and used it to condescend. The calling out by name, along with the question about whether you act like this in real life, those are still pretty shruggo for me. Nora replied that she call people out in real life, and the litany of names was specifically framed around "setting her thinking straight." It was idiotic, but if someone asks you if you call out idiots in real life, that's not a threat.

"I won't speak for NoraReed, but personally after that MeTa I was like "iiiiiit's time to not be on Metafilter so much now.""

It's a pretty mild MeTa in the annals of sexism MeTas, honestly. And it's fine to not be on Metafilter so much — I haven't been on nearly as much as I used to be.

"In the past I would get annoyed and pissy when sexist stuff would go down here, but I had faith in the basic foundation of the site, that it was modded well. In the absence of that, this place will continue to be interesting but on the whole just More Internet and I don't really feel a desire to go in that direction. So one could say good riddance, but I think it's clear in this thread that a lot of feminist-aligned women on this site may possibly flame out or drift away over time if the site keeps going in this direction.

but it's basically up to the mods what kind of site they want this to be."

This is a really fundamental disagreement, then. It's not up to the mods what kind of site they want this to be. It's up to the members, the people who comment and post. The mods are a subset of that who help keep MeFi on the rails and clean up a lot of the bullshit, but this is what I was getting at when I was talking about Stav's comments. Mods should be users first, and who work with the users to get a site that we're all (mostly) happy with. Mods are not and should not be bosses or rulers. That member responsibility is a big part of what forms the core of the community here, and a big part of what keeps it viable. "Flag it and move on" isn't there to put the responsibility onto the mods of making each thread a reflection of some model Metafilter — it's the equivalent of a service bell that substitutes for members standing around saying, "HEY THERE'S A BUNCH OF SHIT ON THE FLOOR. SOMEBODY BRING A MOP."

"I do hope NoraReed comes back, but hopefully in this interlude she figures out how to contribute here like a grown-up; her child-that-just-discovered-sugar shtick wrt profanity is best reserved for twitter or tumblr IMHO."

Grownups swear and get angry. Maybe you can choose to use some time to reflect on that.
posted by klangklangston at 5:00 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


hopefully in this interlude she figures out how to contribute here like a grown-up; her child-that-just-discovered-sugar shtick wrt profanity is best reserved for twitter or tumblr IMHO.

holy SHIT that's gross.
posted by KathrynT


I think NoraReed's excessive use of profanity is childish. I would find it childish in anyone. I'm confident this is an opinion shared by more than just me. And it is telling that you aren't bothered to be outraged by Dip Flash's questioning Aryma's gender, one would think that an actual genuine unacceptable shitty gross thing to do.
posted by amorphatist at 5:01 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


misha buttoned after someone sent Mormons to her house as a creepy "we know where you live" prank
What the fuck? That's not a prank - it's nothing less than abuse (not dissing Mormons, it wouldn't matter what was sent). If this turns out to be a member here, I hope there's a 'ban with extreme prejudice' option waiting in the wings.

Look, you want Jessamyn back - that's great but please dont keep spreading this meme that the other mods are inept and we're hurtling into a mysoginistic abyss to do so.
Yeah, some of this stuff makes me a little uncomfortable - I have a great deal of respect for jessamyn and she did a fantastic job as a mod, but to suggest that she was the only thing holding the place together is quite insulting to pretty much everyone. If the behaviour of members has become worse since she left, that's because of users misbehaving, not the absence of one staff member. It also ignores the fact that there has been an enormous spike everywhere on the Internet in discussion/arguments about misogyny. I don't see any evidence to show any causality between jessamyn leaving and any significant change in site culture or behaviour.
posted by dg at 5:01 PM on January 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


holy SHIT that's gross.

It reads a little bit like something NoraReed would say, too.
posted by uosuaq at 5:02 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


I take to mean that it's marked for a later, more substantive response, when MiC has the time and is feeling better

If you really want me to expand on my point of view on the matter, I will be happy to try to do so Wednesday or Thursday, if my fever is more under control by then. It's really a tough week for me (for other reasons, unrelated to the fever). I appreciate you being understanding. (If I forget, feel free to memail me.)
posted by Michele in California at 5:02 PM on January 26, 2015


I think NoraReed's excessive use of profanity is childish. I would find it childish in anyone.

Even when you do it yourself?
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:04 PM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


I mean this is a literal tone argument
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:05 PM on January 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


klangklangston - when responding to me you keep focusing on things said directly to NoraReed and i'm talking about the nastiness directed towards many mefites, and the way that, to me, it's part of the growing background radiation. you're welcome to disagree but i do wish you'd stop redirecting or just miss me all together.
posted by nadawi at 5:05 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jacqueline: I already MeMailed the ones who expressed incredulity over her claim at the time and the general response has been one of horror at the harassment and sorrow over doubting her. I think at this point everyone feels pretty badly about what happened without having to resort to public flagellation.

If people are going to call someone out in MeTa, someone who has stated that they are freaked out, for what they believe to be a made up story, and said story turns out to be true and pretty horrific, then the honourable thing to do is to be as public about their apology as they were with their erroneous accusations.
posted by gman at 5:07 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think NoraReed's excessive use of profanity is childish.

I think it's kinda shitty to be axe-grinding against NoraReed when she's not even here any more.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:08 PM on January 26, 2015 [30 favorites]


guys what if aryma is skynet
posted by PMdixon at 5:08 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


Kind of a coincidence, the misha thing and the gamergaters starting to show up here.
posted by ctmf at 5:09 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Again, Nora handled it well enough herself. She's not an infant — she replied clearly, and that was pretty much it.

How NoraReed handled it is immaterial. The issue is that it discourages many people who read that exchange from contributing in the future. I certainly don't want to accept that kind of criticism of my mental health and personal character as the price for talking about tough issues here.
posted by dialetheia at 5:09 PM on January 26, 2015 [35 favorites]


I think NoraReed's excessive use of profanity is childish. I would find it childish in anyone.

Even when you do it yourself?


I love cursing as much as the next person, but if you find me at it as much as NoraReed was, feel free to call me childish. Whether it's a call for attention or just a bad case of potty mouth, I think "childish" is a fair description.
posted by amorphatist at 5:09 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


It would be nice of them to 'fess up but I would sincerely doubt they would, considering there would be real consequences to their prank.

Yeah, I've been going through some contacts in the LDS church trying to reach the tech team and get some evidence we could circle back to usage here on MeFi but it is currently coming up empty. If someone here did it, I wish they would be a big person and admit it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:09 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Why am I only now learning of the ability to weaponize Mormons? Is this a new trick?
posted by item at 5:10 PM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


Sending Mormons to peoples houses was raised in the recent glitter prank thread.
posted by phoque at 5:10 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


After this attack on NoraReed went undeleted, it's hard to encourage someone to expose themselves by posting a new Meta about the issue.

This may or may not be the place to say, but that was one of the ugliest and just generally most disgusting threads i've seen on this site in recently memory. Basically since the big >1000 comment throwdowns over feminism from a couple years back.

I can't believe many of the comments that stood in that thread, and just generally the level it got taken to.

I miss many people who have left, and i'm frankly impressed many people who have been attacked at that level haven't over shit like this. I'm not surprised she did, but i'm sad.

Am i the only one who feels like the most vocal people have been repeatedly attacked until they left, just like this? It's like they're actually targeted, just for being the ones always willing to engage and say the shit that needs to be said. I know this happens everywhere, but ugh.

I think it's kinda shitty to be axe-grinding against NoraReed when she's not even here any more.

I also think it's kinda shitty to divert any discussion back on to her again. All i saw in that thread was verbal violence against her. The worst i've seen her do is like, be angry and swear some in situations in which it might have been brash, but wasn't out of context or out of line in any way.


This is probably a super fucked up sentence to write, but i'm angry at whoever did that mormons thing because misha was acting, and has acted, really shitty in a way that nora never did. And now that will entirely be overshadowed by "omg but she was attacked in a gg like way" and any criticism of her behavior in that situation will create a fuckmess.

Good on the people who followed up on it, because i seriously didn't believe it at first. it was just too convenient of an out.
posted by emptythought at 5:12 PM on January 26, 2015 [41 favorites]


I tried sending them to myself, but i gave them a fake number (because I didn't want to get MormonCalls), and no one has shown up IRL. Presumably they call first, to make sure it's not a prank?
posted by Greg Nog at 5:12 PM on January 26, 2015


I think at this point everyone feels pretty badly about what happened without having to resort to public flagellation.

Eh, if ever there was time to step up and join in solidarity, this would be it. A member of this community was harassed, people called her nuts for voicing her concern and there's been jackshit apology wise about learning that it was actually true.

Nobody on this site deserves that kind of abuse hurled at them. Nobody.

Personally, my initial reaction was also that she was crazy, but then I checked my premises and did some investigating and reversed my position.

When I first read it, I figured it was a 50/50 chance. The venom directed towards Misha was sharp and obvious in that thread, has been growing for a while, so it's not surprising someone would sink that low. People can always find a way to disappoint you .
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:12 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


Whether it's a call for attention or just a bad case of potty mouth, I think "childish" is a fair description.

A) Your definition of "fair" is not everyone's definition of "fair."

B) There's been a lot of discussion in this thread about whether it's appropriate to psychoanalyze your fellow MeFites. Please pay more attention to it.
posted by Etrigan at 5:12 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


If people have a problem with swearing on Metafilter, maybe they should get a MetaTalk started about a policy that curtails it. Otherwise, it's within site policy.

I would like to see more mod guidance in topics like the one posted by misha. I know not everyone feels this way, and some rambling MetaTalk discussions are probably helpful, but I prefer to see them addressing specific problems and working towards a solution. But I'm an AskMe person - that section was my entrance to the site and where I spend the most time, and I really like the focus in that section.

Rather than Metas turning into tons of drive-by snarking, I'd like to see them address a problem and stay on track. And I'd like to see them closed up a lot sooner, when the question/comment/quibble of the OP is addressed.
posted by Squeak Attack at 5:13 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


I certainly don't want to accept that kind of criticism of my mental health and personal character as the price for talking about tough issues here.

Yeah, as someone who has talked about my shit, well, I'm not super interested in hypothetical predictions of my behavior in extremis, but I would be Not OK with any attempt at turning that back at me.
posted by PMdixon at 5:13 PM on January 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


Cursing isn't a behavior I often find in children, but maybe I know different kids than you.

Anyway, anyone who complains about cursing on internet forums needs to look in the fucking mirror.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:13 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you really want me to expand on my point of view on the matter, I will be happy to try to do so Wednesday or Thursday

Totally your call. I hope whatever is making the week tough works out okay.
posted by busted_crayons at 5:14 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Anyway, anyone who complains about cursing on internet forums a lack of lips to kiss needs to look in the fucking mirror.to the eyes of a beautiful werewolf who wants to kiss you on the lips
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:15 PM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have learned so much from everyone here. I feel like I've become a better person from interacting with this community

Take care, Shouraku.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 5:16 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


If people are going to call someone out in MeTa, someone who has stated that they are freaked out, for what they believe to be a made up story, and said story turns out to be true and pretty horrific, then the honourable thing to do is to be as public about their apology as they were with their erroneous accusations.

There's one comment that comes anywhere close to what you're accusing them of (using the word "batshit"), and I thought it was about the situation, not her mental state. In any case, Jacqueline has already stated that even she thought it was made up, and that when she contacted others they expressed horror. What do you want out of this, apart from your usual smug sense of superiority?

Eh, if ever there was time to step up and join in solidarity, this would be it. A member of this community was harassed, people called her nuts for voicing her concern and there's been jackshit apology wise about learning that it was actually true.

Same question for you, especially since you were all aboard on the "lol crazy" train to a number of members yourself in that thread. As someone who doubled and then tripled down on that, it seems extremely hypocritical for you to be getting up on the high horse now.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:18 PM on January 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


Cursing isn't a behavior I often find in children, but maybe I know different kids than you.

Hmmmn. In my experience, when certain children discover a curse word, and learn that the adults don't want it said, they just go around the place repeating it, for the attention and to piss the adults off.
posted by amorphatist at 5:20 PM on January 26, 2015


I think NoraReed's excessive use of profanity is childish. I would find it childish in anyone. I'm confident this is an opinion shared by more than just me.

Well, I think this level of sanctimoniousness about profanity is also childish (and etc.). But more importantly, I don't think "childish" is a particularly useful criticism of users of MeFi, because I think in general people are not likely to be on the same page about its definition, or how much of what types of "childishness" are even a problem for the site, independent of other, more specific criticisms. Sometimes people post things on MeFi that I don't think are terribly "mature" but are also really funny; other times, people post things that I think are bad for the site, but in a very reserved and "grown-up" style.
posted by en forme de poire at 5:22 PM on January 26, 2015 [23 favorites]


Greg Nog: I tried sending them to myself, but i gave them a fake number (because I didn't want to get MormonCalls), and no one has shown up IRL. Presumably they call first, to make sure it's not a prank?

I just called them and the woman said that if you order a Mormon to your house (and say it's your house), they do not call first. Ordering one online... they may or may not call first, it depends on the area. Try for yourself if you'd like - 1-888-537-6600.
posted by gman at 5:23 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm no longer at all sure that "adult" behaviour is anything to aspire to.
posted by busted_crayons at 5:23 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


when certain children discover a curse word, and learn that the adults don't want it said, they just go around the place repeating it, for the attention and to piss the adults off.

Ironic, given your truculent insistence on using "lads" to people who didn't want it used about them.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:23 PM on January 26, 2015 [18 favorites]


Oh who cares if NoraReed swore. This is so pointless, unrelated to anything of any possible interest, and nitpicky.
posted by Justinian at 5:24 PM on January 26, 2015 [39 favorites]


Maybe we could drop this weird derail about whether children swear, based as it was on a direct insult aimed at a specific MeFite?
posted by Etrigan at 5:24 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


It's a shame that the Mormons were used for evil, since it seems like a pretty hilarious prank in other situations.
posted by klangklangston at 5:24 PM on January 26, 2015


If people have a problem with swearing on Metafilter, maybe they should get a MetaTalk started about a policy that curtails it. Otherwise, it's within site policy.

Not entirely true, it depends on context, to whom or where the profanity is directed, cultural/social mores, accepted cusses, and other stuff.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:26 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


What do you want out of this, apart from your usual smug sense of superiority?

For people who venomously disagreed with Misha in that thread to publicly say that harassing her or anyone else on the site is completely uncalled for, completely unacceptable and throughly fucked up.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:27 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


On non-preview: pardon the fuck out of me, fuckers.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 5:27 PM on January 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


Hmmmn. In my experience, when certain children discover a curse word, and learn that the adults don't want it said, they just go around the place repeating it, for the attention and to piss the adults off.

Consider the kind of child, slightly older in my experience, who takes a certain obnoxious glee in pointing out occasions when adults break the "rules", completely and utterly oblivious to context and that they have not, in fact, managed to put one over on mom and dad.

If you don't personally like cursing, feel free not to do it, but you're clearly using it as a (bullshit) proxy for something else you object to about NoraReed. It's just some fucking words. Don't be a santimonious nitwit.

It's a shame that the Mormons were used for evil, since it seems like a pretty hilarious prank in other situations.

No, it's douchey no matter what, both to the pranked person and the Mormons.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 5:28 PM on January 26, 2015 [13 favorites]


order a Mormon to your house

Reality has apparently been in touch with Elon Fucking Musk about the best and most dramatic means of being propelled right the fuck over the shark.
posted by busted_crayons at 5:28 PM on January 26, 2015


That seems like... not incumbent on anyone, unless the one who called the Mormons.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 5:29 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I certainly don't want to accept that kind of criticism of my mental health and personal character as the price for talking about tough issues here.

it just occurred to me that i'm maybe extra sensitive to this with this community in particular. when i first started participating way back when i was emailed by a (well liked) member and told that i was using my childhood trauma to manipulate the thread and make people agree with me. i guess when i saw someone weaponize the sorts of things NoraReed has talked about, it brought into focus the uncomfortableness i've been feeling here lately. i do worry that my openness will be used against me at some point and i just hope it's contained to some shitty words - but, ugh, the mormon thing and the gators showing up - the temperature is rising, i fear...
posted by nadawi at 5:29 PM on January 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


For people who venomously disagreed with Misha in that thread to publicly say that harassing her or anyone else on the site is completely uncalled for, completely unacceptable and throughly fucked up.

I don't see the point of that. Extraordinary claims require evidence. Some people might have been assholes about it, but it was a fairly huge claim to make(especially for this site, where that shit doesn't really happen) and the timing of it seemed like "well now that everyones mad at me, i know how to make them shut up and look like the REAL bad guys!"

just because they were wrong in this instance didn't mean that "i don't believe you" was an unacceptable response.

I don't think any of those people condone what happened. They just, and i think fairly reasonably, didn't believe it when it was unconfirmed.
posted by emptythought at 5:29 PM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


I bet the Mormons have an opinion on whether children swear or not. I for one was a goody-goody who didn't take the lord's name in vain until I was 15, at which point I determined I would never fucking stop.
posted by sallybrown at 5:30 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


the mormons go out or don't go out based on all sorts of factors - they present like they care about every convert, but there's a lot of demographic info that is considered at a micro and macro level. if anyone is curious about that feel free to memail me but it's a derail on a derail on a derail to go further into it.
posted by nadawi at 5:32 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


since it seems like a pretty hilarious prank in other situations.

Seems like it would be a great party gag. And a lot cheaper than a singing telegram.
posted by octobersurprise at 5:32 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Eh, if ever there was time to step up and join in solidarity, this would be it.

Well, for my own part, my response was that this is not an accusation one should just hurl about, and that was based on previous accusations on Misha's part. There was some backchannel discussion where it was pointed out there was evidence that this actually had happened to her, and I expressed there what I will happily express here: That I find this horrifying and astonishing, and no matter what issues people had with Misha, this wasn't just a prank, but crossed a line, and if the mods find out who was responsible, they deserve to be banned, because that sort of thing is about the worst of the web, rather than the best.
posted by maxsparber at 5:33 PM on January 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


sallybrown - the mormons care so fucking much about cursing! like, a ridiculous amount. like i still remember my soap preferences from having my mouth washed out so many times. i guess i was the sort of kid who loved cussing - but i'm also that sort of adult.
posted by nadawi at 5:35 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


You know, I've tried very hard to act in good faith on this site, and I have learned so much from everyone here. I feel like I've become a better person from interacting with this community. But there is just too much nastiness here for it to be worth staying on this site any longer.

Interesting. Over the years I've spent here, I've found I've learned almost as much about social interactions from instances of nastiness (both other people's and my own) as I have from non-ugly behavior. I like to think I'm a much more thoughtful creature now then I was, say, 10 years ago and I also like to think that my interactions and observations on Metafilter have played a big part in that.
posted by item at 5:36 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


"No, it's douchey no matter what, both to the pranked person and the Mormons."

Given how widely Mormon time is wasted on door knocks anyway, I don't really feel bad about that — I'd imagine you just get added to a list and they get you when they're in the neighborhood. But I get the sense that you haven't been in many prank wars — that's an order of magnitude less douchey than most pranks. If you think pranks are douchey in general, I don't think Mormons would sway you.
posted by klangklangston at 5:36 PM on January 26, 2015


It's a prank when you do it to your friends. (Un-cool to be shitty to the Mormons like that, though.)

It's not a prank when the whole point is to send a "haha you don't know who I am, but I might be dangerous and I know where you live, see?" message. Then it's just a threat involving bystanders.
posted by ctmf at 5:37 PM on January 26, 2015 [17 favorites]


Yeah, exactly. That "friends" part is what distinguishes a lot of "pranks" from just being an asshole.
posted by klangklangston at 5:38 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it doesn't matter if they sent a delicious cake with a message like AGREE TO DISAGREE on it, it's the knowledge of full name and home address to send anything in the first place that's the issue.
posted by poffin boffin at 5:39 PM on January 26, 2015 [32 favorites]


Well, I think this level of sanctimoniousness about profanity is also childish (and etc.). But more importantly, I don't think "childish" is a particularly useful criticism of users of MeFi, because I think in general people are not likely to be on the same page about its definition, or how much of what types of "childishness" are even a problem for the site, independent of other, more specific criticisms. Sometimes people post things on MeFi that I don't think are terribly "mature" but are also really funny; other times, people post things that I think are bad for the site, but in a very reserved and "grown-up" style.

There are, of course, times when something which may appear "mature" at first glance reveals an underlying childishness on a second reading; also those times when, after reading what seems a particularly incisive criticism, it occurs to one weeks or even months later that, in fact, the terms of said criticism were nugatory at best, if not faintly malicious. Then again, what may seem "funny" in the crepuscular light of evening might appear puerile -- if not loutish -- in the harsh light of day. And after all, even mushrooms appear "grown-up" after their roots have delved deeply enough into the festering mulch of previous insights, but which are poisonous and which nutritious?

(Sorry, en forme, I'm making fun of my own prose at least as much as your comment.)
posted by uosuaq at 5:39 PM on January 26, 2015


If you don't personally like cursing, feel free not to do it, but you're clearly using it as a (bullshit) proxy for something else you object to about NoraReed. It's just some fucking words

Again, I have no problem with cursing, it can be a beautiful thing to witness. If you feel the need to drop profanity in what seems like every other thread, by all means go ahead. I might think your potty-mouth is childish, but who gives a fuck if I think someone is immature? There's no call to ban profanity.

Don't be a santimonious nitwit.

Yeah, well, may your piles hang like grapes.
posted by amorphatist at 5:40 PM on January 26, 2015


[Seriously, can we drop the cursing or not derail at this point?]
posted by mathowie (staff) at 5:41 PM on January 26, 2015 [27 favorites]


as someone who feels absolutely abused by the mormon church, it's not a tiny fun prank. it is fucked up, full stop. and that's even before you get into the doxxing nature of it - the threat of, "this time it's the mormons, watch it." maybe if you haven't had a stalker that doesn't seem like such a big deal, but it's a very big deal.

and the missionaries - mostly 19-21 year old kids far from home facing indifference or outright verbal abuse for intruding on people while surviving the abuse of their church (and in some cases, family) who can't even go swimming or listen to taylor swift. i hate the church with pretty much everything i have, but i mostly only feel sadness for the barely adults acting as its front line.
posted by nadawi at 5:42 PM on January 26, 2015 [34 favorites]


I didn't think much of misha's politics or behavior, but I think much less of those of whoever pulled that Mormon "prank" on her. They should come forward and get banned. Failing that, they should disable their account. What they did was harrassment and, as ctmf points out, an implicit threat. It's completely unacceptable.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 5:44 PM on January 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


Hands up if you think it's okay to "swat" somebody with Mormon missionaries. Nobody? Okay, maybe we're done with that subject.
posted by uosuaq at 5:44 PM on January 26, 2015 [8 favorites]


Look, you want Jessamyn back - that's great but please dont keep spreading this meme that the other mods are inept and we're hurtling into a mysoginistic abyss to do so.

I speeeeeciiiiifically said that I am cool with jessamyn leaving and that the other mods are great, just that jessamyn's modding had a distinct quality to it that I and others miss. This was discussed earlier in this thread-- it took a certain kind of leadership to lead things out of the boyzone. And it just might be the case that the site changes due to the new overall mod situation (i.e., fewer eyes on MeTa, different personalities, whatever). I'm not down on the other mods but they are their own people.

Also, I was not saying the mods get to choose what kind of site this is in the sense that the userbase will have no say, but in the sense that the way the mods mod will affect the overall feel of the site. The way the mods field the userbase and interpret their comments will affect the feel of the site. That is how leadership works. As for myself, I can't imagine how difficult it is to be a mod and to make sense of this whole beast.

For people who venomously disagreed with Misha in that thread to publicly say that harassing her or anyone else on the site is completely uncalled for, completely unacceptable and throughly fucked up.

Of course it's fucked up? Jesus. misha has really been an asshole to me on this site, but I would never wish that on her, if it was something done malevolently. It's very frightening and it is harassment. She has in the past made a big deal out of, e.g., people talking about her on other social media, so people took her claim with a grain of salt, but if someone here did that it really really sucks, and also makes me not want to participate here as much.
posted by stoneandstar at 5:45 PM on January 26, 2015 [20 favorites]


(Sorry, en forme, I'm making fun of my own prose at least as much as your comment.)

All the dry and prolix posters in the house make some noise!
posted by en forme de poire at 5:46 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


if the Mormons had indeed come to my house (and perhaps they still might!) I should point out that my plan was to offer them a drink and a snack and a game of Mario Kart Wii
posted by Greg Nog at 5:48 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


She has in the past made a big deal out of, e.g., people talking about her on other social media, so people took her claim with a grain of salt...

People actually do talk about misha on other social media, though, so I don't know why her previous mentions of that would hurt her credibility in this case?
posted by Jacqueline at 5:48 PM on January 26, 2015 [5 favorites]


A good expression, "background radiation." Feels like there's more of it, which often enough comes across as, "Your opinion is wrong so I have license to bludgeon you 'cause you're a (racist, misogynist, anti-semite, bigot).

I've wondered if it's coming from what feels like more newsfilter/outragefilter, a small number of prolific people who come across as over-caffeinated, sanctimonious, quick to take a scorched-earth approach, as people who enjoy being angry and nasty.
posted by ambient2 at 5:51 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think what happened to Misha was utter bullshit. I think Brandon Blatcher's call for the people he acted like a shitty, grudgy, butthurt, whiny little titty manbaby towards in that thread (including NoraReed) to have to publically perform some kind of warped Cult of Nice Loyalty Oath for his satisfaction is also bullshit. Are you fucking kidding me?

Given how widely Mormon time is wasted on door knocks anyway, I don't really feel bad about that

Still douchey. They're kids, I happen to think proslytization is incredibly shitty and deeply wrong (especially given the gross and disgusting way all of Mormonism is mostly just really nasty, racist Judaism fanfic, and their gross, disgusting habit of posthumous conversion), but they're basically heavily pressured into having to do the "dirty work" of their community and it is a shitty, shitty job. Further contributing to the shittiness of that is, shocker, also pretty fucking shitty. I honestly deeply loathe and despise Mormonism like burning fire, but the kids who go on mission are still people and it's not okay to treat them like one's personal pranking army.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 5:51 PM on January 26, 2015 [33 favorites]


Almost flagged my own comment, poire, but I'm glad you didn't mind it too much. I studied philosophy too long, I think, and my thoughts often look like a really gnarly perl regex.
posted by uosuaq at 5:51 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it doesn't matter if they sent a delicious cake with a message like AGREE TO DISAGREE on it

but what if you're both just huge fans of Men In Black III

...

On a more serious note, here are my two cents on the Mormon thing: if the Mormon thing did indeed come from a MeFite, then until this is resolved, then this is a MeFi problem. This has nothing to do GG. We cannot pretend that this comes from somewhere else. This is the responsibility of someone on this site. This is a person so lacking in basic, fundamental integrity that they cannot admit to even somewhat harmless stupid shit. This person, if this person exists, is not only a petty, craven coward, but they are aware of the fact that they are a petty, craven coward, and they do not care.

What a miserable life. If this person exists, then they must be very sad. All the time. Whether or not they know it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:52 PM on January 26, 2015 [7 favorites]


A good expression, "background radiation." Feels like there's more of it, which often enough comes across as, "Your opinion is wrong so I have license to bludgeon you 'cause you're a (racist, misogynist, anti-semite, bigot).

...yeah, that's not what i meant...
posted by nadawi at 5:54 PM on January 26, 2015 [14 favorites]


I did it. My name is Scott Adams, and yes, I am very sad, all the time.
Okay not really, but whoever it is isn't necessarily reading this thread and isn't likely to step forward either way. I don't see why this any less of a derail than curse words.
posted by uosuaq at 5:55 PM on January 26, 2015


If this person exists, then I would bet that this person reads MeTa threads with great interest. But, who knows?
posted by Sticherbeast at 5:59 PM on January 26, 2015 [6 favorites]


All the dry and prolix posters in the house make some noise!

I'm verbose and pedantic: the master of yawns!
Fronting with run-ons when MetaTalk spawns
horrendous and heinous ridiculous dramas:
on your bickering asses, I'm here to drop commas,
appositives, footnotes, arcane punctuation,
while y'all gibbering fools discuss moderation,
and gossip and kvetch and splutter complaints
and mobilize hapless young Latter-Day Saints.
posted by busted_crayons at 6:03 PM on January 26, 2015 [16 favorites]


I'm kind of thinking that being flip about whatever it is (swormoning?) that happened to misha is not the best thing right now?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:08 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


So far we have Misha saying someone sent Mormons to her house, and Jaqueline reporting that Misha said the Mormons confirmed that.

I think we need more of a parallax view to know what's going on.
posted by jamjam at 6:08 PM on January 26, 2015 [9 favorites]


he acted like a shitty, grudgy, butthurt, whiny little titty manbaby

Apropos of not much, what does the word "titty" mean in this context? A Google search is only turning up exactly what you'd expect.
posted by posyblue at 6:08 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


my plan was to offer them a drink and a snack and a game of Mario Kart Wii

I would offer them hot cocoa, a chance to warm themselves by my fire, and an opportunity to listen to the new Kyle Bruckmann album I'm currently digging.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:10 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think Brandon Blatcher's call for the people he acted like a shitty, grudgy, butthurt, whiny little titty manbaby towards in that thread (including NoraReed) to have to publically perform some kind of warped Cult of Nice Loyalty Oath for his satisfaction is also bullshit.

No, I talking specifically about the people who were shitty to Misha. If you're going to get all listy with the insults, at least try to make sure you're talking about the right thing.

Also, don't be hatin' on little titties.

Are you fucking kidding me?

I am not fucking kidding you.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:13 PM on January 26, 2015 [4 favorites]


Yo, I got clauses like Obama's got pauses
Considering both sides of all kinds of causes
I can bake up your beans like a cast-iron pot
Put 'em onto a plate while I'm lost in thought
Like my comment? then favorite
You know that I'll savor it
Like a mouthful of beans
Appreciation, I slave for it
posted by uosuaq at 6:14 PM on January 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


Complaining about misha's activity on metafilter does mean you condone sending people to her fucking house. FFS.
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:16 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think you a word.
posted by Justinian at 6:17 PM on January 26, 2015 [10 favorites]


little titties

Do you have a microaggression checklist or something?
posted by mudpuppie at 6:18 PM on January 26, 2015 [12 favorites]


...and Jaqueline reporting that Misha said the Mormons confirmed that.

I checked on some things that led credence to misha's claim before I talked to her, and it was those findings that led me to change my mind and reach out to her (and the mods) with what I found. I'm not going into further detail than that lest another "prankster" use the information.

It sounds like mathowie is following up with the Mormons.org people to try to get an IP address of the person who submitted her name and address to compare to the IP addresses of members -- is that "parallax" enough for you?
posted by Jacqueline at 6:22 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Apropos of not much, what does the word "titty" mean in this context? A Google search is only turning up exactly what you'd expect.

It's "titty baby" as a phrase, if that helps. It's just a (honestly fairly crass and problematic) slangy way of saying "someone who will loudly complain if the largesse they are receiving, of which they are blissfully unaware, is a second too late in coming". A bit similar to "sucking on that government tit" (which is unambiguously awful), more or less, but without the creepy classism. It's not just that you're a whiny baby, it's that you're howling for mommy to come and shut you up with her boobs - so in the context of an adult, it's basically saying that you're acting beyond the level of a spoiled brat. That you're so damned spoiled you have no clue how spoiled you are.

No hate intended towards actual babies, babies are cool and it's totally legitimate for them to act like other people exist solely to satisfy their needs and base impulses. They're fucking babies, they're incapable of understanding anything else. There's a reason it tends to be directed at bratty teenagers and the kind of grown men who make a big fucking deal out of how mature and reasonably adult and rational they are, and throw a big goddamn crying fit the moment a woman or a gay person or really anyone challenges their view of themselves or criticizes them in any way.

No, I talking specifically about the people who were shitty to Misha. If you're going to get all listy with the insults, at least try to make sure you're talking about the right thing.

If you're going to ask for people to publically flagellate themselves for behavior you're trying to take sole moral ownership of outrage over, at least try to make sure you have any evidence that anyone was ever actually guilty of what you're calling for the sinners to repent.

Also, don't be hatin' on little titties.

I wasn't, I was hating on your frankly pathetic level of entitlement, santimony, and whininess.
posted by The Master and Margarita Mix at 6:25 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


"Do you have a microaggression checklist or something?"

He got told he was acting like "a shitty, grudgy, butthurt, whiny little titty manbaby."
posted by klangklangston at 6:27 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Babies are *not* cool. You know what the carbon footprint of one of those things is?
posted by uosuaq at 6:27 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


If this thread is going to descend into lobbing insults at each other, it might be time to close it up, since we've haven't really discussed the Ask MeFi post in a few hours.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:28 PM on January 26, 2015 [15 favorites]


Do you have a microaggression checklist or something?

Way to isolate two words from a longer comment and focus on those as the real problem.

If you're going to ask for people to publically flagellate themselves for behavior you're trying to take sole moral ownership of outrage over, at least try to make sure you have any evidence that anyone was ever actually guilty of what you're calling for the sinners to repent.
*checks off item on checklist*

I was hating on your frankly pathetic level of entitlement, santimony, and whininess.

Yessss, let it flow
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:29 PM on January 26, 2015 [1 favorite]


would you say this thread is getting.... STALE!?!!
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:29 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


What Ask MeFi post?
posted by uosuaq at 6:30 PM on January 26, 2015 [2 favorites]


jesus dude
posted by MisantropicPainforest at 6:30 PM on January 26, 2015 [3 favorites]


Ok, I think we're done here.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:33 PM on January 26, 2015 [21 favorites]


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