Keeping Offsite Offsite March 12, 2015 3:42 PM   Subscribe

Metafilter as a general policy does not consider offsite behavior from the moderator perspective unless it is something ridiculously egregious. If you want to talk trash on a user here over on Reddit, more power to you. I think that's kind of jerky if you make a habit out of it, but whatever. People need an outlet. This is not in general a bad policy at all. I like that I can be more free wheeling with my commentary elsewhere without it potentially souring my relationship with this community. So in general, there is a firewall between offsite and onsite behavior and the potential for mod involvement. We've had debates about to what degree that should be the case in the past, but I think the consensus has been pretty clear that this is the right way to go so I don't really want to re-fight that battle.


However, I'm seeing an issue here with folks who have posts from their offsite social media accounts displayed on their profile on this site when they regularly use those accounts to criticize, sometimes rudely, other members here in a way they wouldn't on the site. It puts the targeted individual in a very awkward situation. The comments are sitting there being displayed on this site, but since information on profile pages/offsite pages isn't allowed in the conversation here they just kind of have to eat the abuse and pretend it isn't functionally being published also right here on Metafilter.com. It's no excuse to freak out, but it's understandable to me how it can push buttons.

I think this behavior is in violation of the spirit of how we should interact with each other, though it is within the letter of the law. It's pretty clearly in a grey area. The mods feel it's important not to intervene in offsite issues or let profile information into conversations here, but it also doesn't seem appropriate to allow profile pages to be staging grounds for personal attacks on other users.

I'd like to request, as a matter of courtesy, that if you regularly use social media accounts to criticize users here that you do not display the posts on your profile page and instead keep them truly offsite. A link to the account would be fine instead. Since, "What are you trying to accomplish here?" is often asked, I want to repeat that awareness of that request is all I'm asking. I would be grateful if you did so because I think it will be a tiny step to promote a less disagreeable Metafilter in the future. I can definitely understand if you think this is a minor change that won't impact anything, but it feels important to me to make sure the separation between offsite and onsite commentary is clear. Reasonable to disagree I think, but that's how I feel.

I've been there with both sides of this offsite/onsite firewall issue. I have commiserated with other users about people who frustrated me on offsite venues. I have also had a user upset about some offensive (but satirical) comments I made here spam abuse at me on my personal blog and I found it pretty upsetting. We can't really ask the mods to solve the bulk of the issues that arise from this sort of thing. It's just not practical. But I don't think we should let the offsite stuff creep onto the site itself. Make the dividing line as clear as we reasonably can.

Thanks for reading. Time's yours.
posted by Drinky Die to Etiquette/Policy at 3:42 PM (151 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

We talked about this some, and the conclusion we're coming to pretty much the one Drinkie Die proposes - if you use Twitter (or another app with a widget that displays the content on your profile) to say things that we'd mod if you posted them elsewhere on the site, that's not awesome. The Twitter widget in particular can be turned off without de-linking it from your profile, and we'd prefer that if you use Twitter that way, please change that setting so you're not crossing the streams.

General or even specific grousing elsewhere on the internet is not something we're going to get involved in, but if it's a safety valve for you it needs to be pointed away, not towards, Metafilter. I'm curious how people feel about this - my gut instinct is that most people won't mind self-policing on it at all, because the overlap is probably unintentional in the first place.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:47 PM on March 12, 2015 [26 favorites]


Flagged as making it harder for me to keep believing that actual grown up people don't actually go on other websites to talk actual shit about other Mefites.
posted by two or three cars parked under the stars at 3:52 PM on March 12, 2015 [64 favorites]


Hear, hear. It takes one hell of a child who loves drama to post shit about users from here on their public social networks in order to circumvent the rules on Metafilter. Especially those who love to claim that they are above and against personal attacks.
posted by gman at 3:53 PM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Says the (g) man who, until a few minutes ago, was using his profile page to gripe about other users.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 3:54 PM on March 12, 2015 [31 favorites]


I agree with the OP.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 3:58 PM on March 12, 2015


Flagged as making it harder for me to keep believing that actual grown up people don't actually go on other websites to talk actual shit about other Mefites.

I think there was a recent thread about how online relationships are real relationships? Complaining about other people in a way you wouldn't to their face is just part of human nature. Often it's just a release valve and not some sign you really dislike the person.

So, as I said in the post, I think it's best we just make sure it isn't indirectly going to their face with the stream crossing thing.
posted by Drinky Die at 3:59 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Yeah, this is a thing where I think folks need to show some level of willingness to partition their on-site and off-site behavior, because the wall we try to maintain between Metafilter and everywhere else needs to function in both directions for it to function in good faith.

The twitter widget is one specific sticking point there: it's something we provide as a fun bit of social media community integration, focus on fun and community; it's not intended as a loophole for beefing off-the-site-but-on-the-site, and if what you want to use twitter for is beefing about mefi that's more or less your prerogative but the community-minded thing to do is go ahead and shut that particular on-site channel down if so.

This is of a piece with larger issues of how people interact on the site and skirt edge-case stuff about site and inter-user drama, one notable if also only occasionally problematic example of which is grudgy stuff on profile pages. We've historically been very hands-off about profile pages, which as with the twitter thing is a non-issue like 99.9% of the time because people mostly just use them as intended, to share info about themselves or link to stuff on the internet or otherwise have some varyingly-metafilter-specific fun content in their own space. But folks who are using them against that spirit, to basically dump stuff that they know would get deleted if it were in a comment into a non-comment space, aren't behaving in a community-minded way and that's a problem itself.

These are both examples of things that have for a long time been treated as "unless it's bad enough to literally ban them over, it's just sucky thing that we won't touch" situations. Which has some value in terms of keeping lines super bright and rules really simple, but it also creates some really lousy edge-cases. And we've talked before about revisiting some of this stuff with profile pages a couple times, and at this point it's feeling more than due.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:00 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I vaguely realize that this happens, since it's been mentioned in MeTas before, and I can see how it would get up your nose if you were being sniped at on twitter, but stumbling across this seems pretty hard -- do people really spend a lot of time reading profile pages? I usually only go there when I am a) going to memail someone, b) want to add someone as a contact, or c) can't remember how to spell their username (I am often uneasy about the ts and ls in Kattullus, and, oh look, the k is capitalized).
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:01 PM on March 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


I had no idea this was a thing that happens. Does it happen often?
posted by corb at 4:03 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I agree 100% with this OP. What a shitty thing to do.
posted by Golden Eternity at 4:04 PM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


another reason to just go ahead and remove your social media accounts is that someone with a grudge might use that info to make connections outside of metafilter that you weren't intending to be made. this happened to me from a (now banned) mefite and i cleared out my entire profile that day (and i'll likely not fill it back in again).
posted by nadawi at 4:07 PM on March 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


Christ
posted by Golden Eternity at 4:09 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'd like to request, as a matter of courtesy, that if you regularly use social media accounts to criticize users here that you do not display the posts on your profile page and instead keep them truly offsite.

I think this is a reasonable request. It basically comes down to 'don't be a dick'.

Vent away offsite if you feel like it, I suppose. People can be frustrating, and everyone needs a release. But don't cause more drama by bringing it back here in some unmoddable way.

I have seen one or two users (whom I follow through other channels) vent offsite about events here. But they have never named specific user names. I think that's good practice also, although your miliage may vary.
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 4:10 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm also curious about the probability of this being an issue. A quantity of users, who are on Twitter, with their accounts linked, and the widget hooked up, are out there talking identifiable shit about other mefites, with such regularity that other users are likely to be looking at their profile during the times one of these tweets is the most recent. That is a lot of shit being slung. And we're also saying that this is okay and understandable.* My mind is blown.

*Not that it's not understandable, or good for people to keep it offsite, but this information is just surprising to me.
posted by bleep at 4:10 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


ceiling cat really is watching you masturbate. who knew?
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:13 PM on March 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


I'm seeing an issue here with folks who have posts from their offsite social media accounts displayed on their profile on this site when they regularly use those accounts to criticize, sometimes rudely, other members here in a way they wouldn't on the site.

Like GenjiandProust: this sounds like a very specific issue that'd require you to be compulsively refreshing people's profiles in order to see any particularly gripey tweet fly by in the widget.

It also feels to me like a thin figleaf over a real complaint of "some MeFites gripe about some other MeFites on Twitter."

(And to be honest, that also feels to me like an even thinner figleaf over "some specific MeFites gripe specifically about me on Twitter.")
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 4:13 PM on March 12, 2015 [22 favorites]


I suspect that some, if not all, people who are doing this aren't doing it deliberately. I would never think about the fact that there is a Twitter widget on MeFi before tweeting something.

Of course, I don't generally tweet shit about other Mefites.

Or tweet at all, really.

(I did once tweet about MetaFilter, but it was general, rather than specific annoyance.)

On the other hand, it's entirely possible that I'm several underestimating the general shittiness of some people on this site. If possible, I'd like to be able to continue to do that, so no one fess up here to actually having done this, mmkay?
posted by jacquilynne at 4:16 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't like any intrusion from the MetaFilter community into what I can or cannot tweet about, sorry.

I don't mind removing that little widget thingie at the bottom, though.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 4:19 PM on March 12, 2015 [26 favorites]


I'm also curious about the probability of this being an issue.

It's been an issue a couple times. It's not at all some sort of rampant issue though, that is for sure and as I said it's reasonable to see it as a very minor one.

One of the problems is that it's not one that is really discussed too much on Meta because the Mods are in a rock and a hard place on it. When someone points out the tweets, they delete the comment because it's a violation to bring offsite or profile stuff into a conversation.

(And to be honest, that also feels to me like an even thinner figleaf over "some specific MeFites gripe specifically about me on Twitter.")

Heh, only time I've been personally attacked on Twitter it was a player from my favorite NFL team mocking me for mocking something he said. I probably deserved it. :P
posted by Drinky Die at 4:26 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Outside of libel/harassment/etc., I can't imagine that anybody outside a small coterie of gripers would care about such gripes. My "inner Republican", as Sideshow Bob would put it, says that these people should generally find a better way to occupy their apparently enormous stores of free time. OTOH, I also understand that people in general in the world complain about stuff, and they don't need my permission or approval to do so, and besides, I've certainly said and done all kinds of stupid shit in my life, so who am I to judge, outside of the fact that I am clearly the single most reasonable person on the planet.

I don't see this as a big issue, but then again, I don't check this stuff. Delinking the Twitter accounts of habitual offenders seems fine. Everybody wins, as even the griper gets something new to gripe about! Anything to use the drama of day-to-day frustrations to distract us from the fact that we are all going to die and we all die alone.
posted by Sticherbeast at 4:26 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Mefite who I'm most likely to tweet shit about is myself (I called myself an unbearable BBQ hipster snob last night). I know I'd never think about it showing up on my profile page if I did (sub)tweet about something Metafilter-related, but I mostly tweet about music and pop culture and dorky RPG stuff. If I were going to subtweet about Metafilter a lot, I'd kill the widget.

If any user is stirring drama on twitter and using the widget to show it on a profile, that seems like a reasonable thing for the mods to ask them not to do, or even, if the user kept doing it after requests to stop, for the mods to potentially turn the widget off. On the other hand, I agree with the folks asking who's finding this out by refreshing profile pages. I find Mefites on twitter all the time, but that's because I have a critical mass of mutual follows with other Mefites, and twitter recommends more to me. I've encountered more commentary about Metafilter issues through twitter recs than anything to do with profile pages.
posted by immlass at 4:27 PM on March 12, 2015


We had a deal, Kyle: Says the (g) man who, until a few minutes ago, was using his profile page to gripe about other users.

It'd be really great if you could describe for the audience exactly what you saw vis-a-vis whose comment from this morning I was quoting and the gist of what my reproduced deleted MeTa comment said. Thanks.
posted by gman at 4:27 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Im also completely surprised this is something that people even do. I for one prefer to bore my partner or roommates to death by recounting full metatalk threads over dinner and drinks.
posted by kittensofthenight at 4:29 PM on March 12, 2015 [46 favorites]


the figleaf to me is that people are just happening to catch the widget - but maybe that's just because i know for a fact that some who have been upset with me for whatever reason were following some of my other social media accounts to stack up some sort of case against me. weird grudges all the way down...
posted by nadawi at 4:30 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


It'd be really great if you could describe for the audience exactly what you saw vis-a-vis whose comment from this morning I was quoting and the gist of what my reproduced deleted MeTa comment said.

One thing I really enjoy about this site is that it sometimes really challenges my advanced parsing skills.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:31 PM on March 12, 2015 [85 favorites]


“I must not tweet. Twitter is the mind-killer. Twitter is the little-death that brings reputational obliteration. I will face my desire to tweet. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the desire to tweet has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.”
posted by Sebmojo at 4:34 PM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


Wow, thanks for this alert DD. I too had no idea.
posted by clavdivs at 4:45 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


I got your back.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:47 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


If this is an actual concern, drop the Twitter widget. I don't think it's fair to demand MetaFilter etiquette be exercised across all of an individual's internet presences. People need places to vent, even about petty stuff.
posted by eamondaly at 4:48 PM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


Whenever I need to vent at a mefite, I lean over, fart a little bit, and then yell really loud at the screen. No need for it to go any further than that.
posted by disclaimer at 4:49 PM on March 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


I got your back.
posted by Drinkdie

Ditto, shits scary I read it twice.
posted by clavdivs at 4:51 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Offsite is where we're Vikings.
posted by rtha at 4:51 PM on March 12, 2015 [21 favorites]


*adds Twitter thingie to profile page*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:53 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


It'd be really great if you could describe for the audience

I didn't keep a copy, dude, but I'm sure you did.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:09 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think there was a recent thread about how online relationships are real relationships? Complaining about other people in a way you wouldn't to their face is just part of human nature. Often it's just a release valve and not some sign you really dislike the person.

Sure, maybe you do that in private. In RL or online, it's natural to grouse about people privately. But posting it publicly on Facebook or Twitter -- where it can end up on your MeFi profile page -- isn't letting off steam with a friend, it's walking down a high school hallway talking shit about someone at the top of your longs where you know other people (including the subject) will hear it. It's just not necessary.

So, I agree with the sentiment of keeping this stuff off our profile pages.
posted by alms at 5:10 PM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Plausible Deniability Filter
posted by shakespeherian at 5:12 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


It'd be really great if you could describe for the audience exactly

... where on the doll the comment touched you.

(I, too, am like, wow, some people devote a lot of time to metafilter. Imagine that.)
posted by octobersurprise at 5:12 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I think it's reasonable to say that if you vent on twitter about people by name on mefi, remove the widget from your profile.

I have had a member say stuff in their profile that was clear to me was aimed at me. This individual changed their profile three times (that I know of -- I was checking, because I had reason to be concerned, but not checking real obsessively), each time with comments that were aimed at me (without naming me). I made a screen shot the third time, in case it goes further, so I would have some evidence of the history. I just checked and their profile seems to have been cleansed of any remarks aimed at me. So perhaps they are finally letting it go.

So, yes, I am all for metafilter talking about what is and is not okay to post in one's profile. I don't think that space should be some backdoor place where it is okay to talk smack at someone, either on the profile directly or via the twitter widget.

I personally try hard to never say anything negative in public by name about anyone, on mefi or anywhere. I was told years ago to not post anything to an email list that I belonged to that I wouldn't be okay having on the front page of my local paper. I try to keep that rule of thumb in mind. If I wouldn't want it repeated to someone, I try to just not say it to begin with.
posted by Michele in California at 5:15 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


octobersurprise - i'm totally sure you didn't mean it this way - but that construction you used about the doll is kind of a childhood sexual abuse joke and i'd appreciate if you found a different way to word that sentiment in the future.
posted by nadawi at 5:20 PM on March 12, 2015 [19 favorites]


I tweet about pigeons a lot I hope they don't read meta filter
posted by Potomac Avenue at 5:22 PM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Jesus. I didn't realize MetaFilter was populated by children.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:26 PM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


do people really spend a lot of time reading profile pages? I usually only go there when I am a) going to memail someone, b) want to add someone as a contact, or c) can't remember how to spell their username (I am often uneasy about the ts and ls in Kattullus, and, oh look, the k is capitalized).

I visit profile pages fairly frequently, probably on the order of a different person's every day or two. Sometimes it's because someone whose name I didn't recognize said something I like and I'm interested in other comments of theirs. If someone I don't know is going to a meetup that I'll be at, sometimes I'll take a glance at their profile to see if I can glean some quick identifying information to avoid the occasionally interminable process of finding people at meetups. Sometimes it's because they seem like a spammer and I'm curious if it's a new account or just my being overly suspicious. Sometimes it's because someone seems like a BND and I can't help myself from Internet detectiving at least a little bit. Sometimes I see a name I haven't seen in a while and I check to see if they were really gone or if I just missed them, and, likewise, sometimes I'm reading an old thread and wonder what happened to people I used to see all of the time.

I won't hold up all of those uses as particularly great things for me to be doing, but I do think it's a fairly natural thing to be curious about the other people on the site and to see how else they've contributed. That said, the particular thing we're talking about here hasn't ever happened to me because the Twitter widget hasn't loaded properly for me in ages, so I never see what people have recently tweeted and can't really speak to how likely it would be that this could have happened to me naturally. In any case, I'd be a little surprised if my commenting was interesting or frequent enough for anyone I don't know in real life to even recognize my username, let alone be tweeting about me, although, who knows, maybe I'm setting myself up for notoriety as "The Guy who Visits Profile Pages Way More Than Anyone Else and For Terrible Reasons" now.
posted by Copronymus at 5:27 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


I bet no one gossips off-site about ME :(
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:29 PM on March 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


No, we totally gossip off-site about you.

I mean really, using a Windows Phone? What did you expect?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:37 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Kitty has a rear cam
posted by clavdivs at 5:46 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


walking down a high school hallway talking shit about someone at the top of your longs where you know other people (including the subject) will hear it.

That's... not really true for Twitter? Unless you're directly @mentioned, or already following the user: the only way you're going to see a gripey subtweet is by ego-searching for your own username.

(And not even then, for me at least: anyone subtweeting about my MeFi username is going to be swamped by the background noise of South Park quotations. Except for that weird bot that was retweeting my Untappd reviews for a time. So have at it.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:47 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Gotta admit I'm not grokking how this is a thing.
posted by subbes at 5:48 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


what's Twitter?
posted by philip-random at 5:53 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


I vaguely realize that this happens, since it's been mentioned in MeTas before, and I can see how it would get up your nose if you were being sniped at on twitter, but stumbling across this seems pretty hard -- do people really spend a lot of time reading profile pages? I usually only go there when I am a) going to memail someone, b) want to add someone as a contact, or c) can't remember how to spell their username (I am often uneasy about the ts and ls in Kattullus, and, oh look, the k is capitalized).

This. I totally get that on/off site drama is a bad thing, but going and seeking this out seems like it would take about six extra steps and giving-a-shits beyond what I could imagine doing. It does sound like there is an easy technological fix (in terms of turning off the relevant widget) if people can't manage to get their behavior in order.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:54 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


the only way you're going to see a gripey subtweet is by ego-searching for your own username.

Or, I'm guessing, by hate-following the people you dislike, which is pretty inefficient, but happens sometimes. As someone who attracts a lot of grudgewank, I'm not sure why people do this for me, because I am super prolific and so people have to spend a lot of time reading my issues with cpap burps and my retweets of other people who would probably also be enraging and the feelings I have about fictional characters in order to find any griping, but I guess compared to the effort required to comb through every single internet post that has ever been left by various big name Internet Feminists and the overwhelming number of haters who think that's worth their time, I guess a couple of hate followers from metafilter is kind of small potatoes. It's still kinda bizarre, though.
posted by NoraReed at 5:54 PM on March 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


You finally showed up to your party!
posted by gman at 5:56 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


See? FIGLEAF.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 5:58 PM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


And just like that, offsite becomes onsite.
posted by gingerest at 5:59 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Or, sometimes people keep tabs on people they don't trust because they have reason to worry what that individual will do that could negatively impact them.

There is some old saying about "keep your friends close and your enemies closer."
posted by Michele in California at 6:00 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Hey gman et all, can I request that if you're gonna try to insist on turning this into yet another MeTa about everyone's hate-boners for me that y'all call me either by my full handle or just Reed, as I request in my profile? Calling me by my first name alone feels like an assumed familiarity that I didn't give permission for, and it feels skeevy.

Alternatively, you could not try to turn this into a me-hating circlejerk, again, maybe consider some new hobbies. I'm just spitballing here.
posted by NoraReed at 6:03 PM on March 12, 2015 [30 favorites]


You finally showed up to your party!
posted by gman at 19:56 on March 12


Huh, can someone explain what gman means here regarding a post he has nothing to do with and which had nothing to do with NoraReed?
posted by shakespeherian at 6:04 PM on March 12, 2015 [34 favorites]


. I don't think it's fair to demand MetaFilter etiquette be exercised across all of an individual's internet presences. People need places to vent, even about petty stuff.
---
I don't like any intrusion from the MetaFilter community into what I can or cannot tweet about, sorry.

These just aren't accurate parsings of Drinky Die's request:

I'd like to request, as a matter of courtesy, that if you regularly use social media accounts to criticize users here that you do not display the posts on your profile page and instead keep them truly offsite.

He's not asking you to change your offsite behavior at all. Or even hinting at it.
posted by spaltavian at 6:05 PM on March 12, 2015 [20 favorites]


Hey gman et all, can I request that if you're gonna try to insist on turning this into yet another MeTa about everyone's hate-boners for me that y'all call me either by my full name or just Reed, as I request in my profile?

Ya lost me. When have I ever called you by your first name?
posted by gman at 6:08 PM on March 12, 2015


Is this like a hazing the new guy thing for Cortex or...?
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:09 PM on March 12, 2015 [41 favorites]


Were there comments deleted from this thread? I'm trying to follow and things aren't making total sense.
posted by andoatnp at 6:10 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Mathowie gazes off towards the pacific ocean while idly thumbing through a Conde Nast Traveler and sipping a daiquiri.
posted by boo_radley at 6:10 PM on March 12, 2015 [158 favorites]


spaltavian - in both the comments you quoted you left out the part where they talked about dropping the widget or choosing to disable it (much like you selectively quoted the fpp). it seems obvious they know the crux of the issue is the widget, but were responding to the wider issues raised both in the fpp and in the thread about how people conduct themselves offsite.
posted by nadawi at 6:10 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


gman, it's just a general request. I figure that since you're trying to get a circlejerk about how much you hate me and my feminist-swearing ways, I'd like to get what I prefer to be called out of the way off the bat.

Or if you decide to take my "find a new hobby" suggestion I can make a list or something.
posted by NoraReed at 6:11 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


It'd be pretty cool if you made a lick of sense with your accusations and suggestions.
posted by gman at 6:13 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


I assume (without endorsing his apparent opinion) he means that the original complaint was about NoraReed's profile.

I've not only ensured the widget is off but removed the link to my twitter account and locked because the notion of someone keeping tabs on me is super creepy.
posted by gingerest at 6:13 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


I hate-follow The Whelk, and he'll never see this because he never reads Meta. mwahhahaha!
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 6:13 PM on March 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


Mathowie gazes off towards the pacific ocean while idly thumbing through a Conde Nast Traveler and sipping a daiquiri.

Heh. But really, I talked to Cortex and the rest of the mods a lot about this before posting. It's a minefield regarding certain issues, but it still seemed like a worthwhile conversation. It has been going very reasonably so far until it got a little choppy here, so I would request we continue making an effort to keep it reasonable going forward.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:13 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


My God. Get me out of here.
posted by Golden Eternity at 6:14 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


i'm so sick and tired of the total lack of regard you people have for wood-eating burrowing insects
posted by pyramid termite at 6:15 PM on March 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


but were responding to the wider issues raised both in the fpp and in the thread about how people conduct themselves offsite.

How were those wider issues raised? OP starts out saying that he's glad he can say whatever he wants about MetaFilter offsite:

Metafilter as a general policy does not consider offsite behavior from the moderator perspective unless it is something ridiculously egregious. If you want to talk trash on a user here over on Reddit, more power to you. I think that's kind of jerky if you make a habit out of it, but whatever. People need an outlet. This is not in general a bad policy at all. I like that I can be more free wheeling with my commentary elsewhere without it potentially souring my relationship with this community.

I didn't selectively quote; the parts about the Twitter widget don't change that the comments implied changing offsite behavior was ever part of the request. One of the comments said "sorry"; I'm not sure how to read that other than "sorry, I'm not going to do the thing you're saying I should do".

For the record, I am neutral on this request.
posted by spaltavian at 6:16 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


...that if you regularly use social media accounts to criticize users here that you do not display the posts on your profile page and instead keep them truly offsite. A link to the account would be fine instead.

I think this is a reasonable request that would contribute to a culture of more productive, less agonistic discourse here. I don't think it's something that will be codified in site policy (I share restless_nomad's hope for self-policing), but it is certainly a point worth considering and discussing in a respectful manner.
posted by audi alteram partem at 6:19 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


I assume (without endorsing his apparent opinion) he means that the original complaint was about NoraReed's profile.


Ding, ding.
posted by kbanas at 6:22 PM on March 12, 2015


well, unless she changed something it couldn't have been since NoraReed doesn't display the widget.
posted by nadawi at 6:24 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


Were there comments deleted from this thread? I'm trying to follow and things aren't making total sense.

You, too? Good. I just thought it was because I was old and drunk.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:26 PM on March 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


Nothing's been deleted, and I'm also clearly missing a bunch of references.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:27 PM on March 12, 2015 [17 favorites]


I got rid of the widget because I'm sick of hearing people whine about my whining
posted by NoraReed at 6:27 PM on March 12, 2015


its weird when it turns out theres a huge ball of drama involving people and you have no idea who they are

its like ive just woken up from a 10 year coma or something


who are all of you people
posted by subbes at 6:28 PM on March 12, 2015 [49 favorites]


we're you, subbes. You need to wake up.
posted by boo_radley at 6:30 PM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


its like ive just woken up from a 10 year coma or something

that's an odd thing - i feel like i'm slipping into one

suggestion - close this thread, it's not going to be good
posted by pyramid termite at 6:30 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


So, problem solved. Which means that, between gman's own (hypocritical) profile chicanery and gleeful hooting at the mere appearance of his apparent nemesis, he's just here for his usual "shit on the site/mods/specific users" song and dance that seems like it has become the entirety of his reason to be a member.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:34 PM on March 12, 2015 [37 favorites]


It took a little digging and poking and reading between the lines but I now kind of understand why this thread was opened, and who is upset about what, and - yeah, I can't believe I honestly spent that much effort on it, but reading this felt like reading a book with half the words missing, so it bothered me - but, so, anyway I did - but I'm also not going to lay it all out there because that seems like it would be violating certain policies, especially given that the widget in question is now deactivated.
posted by kbanas at 6:35 PM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


I'm trying to follow and things aren't making total sense.

From what I can gather NoraReed was badmouthing gman on the twitter and he quoted her twit on his twitter. Gman and NoraReed I like both of you guys, but maybe you can take it to mefimail or maybe the mods can step in and stop this trainwreck before this meta gets really messy.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 6:36 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


Which means that, between gman's own (hypocritical) profile chicanery and gleeful hooting at the mere appearance of his apparent nemesis, he's just here for his usual "shit on the site/mods/specific users" song and dance that seems like it has become the entirety of his reason to be a member.

I think you're out of line.
posted by kbanas at 6:36 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


it takes a lot to make a stew
posted by hellojed at 6:38 PM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Ok, folks, insofar as it is possible, let's lay off the personal sniping and discuss the policy if it needs discussion.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:40 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


At the risk of suggesting a technical solution for a cultural problem, is there an argument for just deactivating the Twitter widget universally?
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:41 PM on March 12, 2015 [12 favorites]


i wish this just read as arcane nonsense to me; keeping track of the weird hateboners that gman and co have for me uses a lot of brain space i could be using for memorizing spell lists and shit
posted by NoraReed at 6:42 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


> At the risk of suggesting a technical solution for a cultural problem, is there an argument for just deactivating the Twitter widget universally?

oh, or maybe there could be a "don't show me the twitter widget" setting or gm script.
posted by boo_radley at 6:42 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I would be just completely thrilled if folks could take my comment in another thread this morning to heart and just step away from the grudgematch stuff or speculation about same in here.

One of the reasons we try to keep off-site drama off of the site is because it's a huge and unhelpful drain to revisit it here; the same basically goes for on-site drama except instead of not bringing it over here the solution there is to just not do it here period. If you don't like someone, or think someone doesn't like you, or don't like what you think someone thinks about you or someone else, etc, please make an effort to just put that down and walk away from it instead of making it an ongoing public feud.

People scrapping nastily in Metatalk may be sort of a tradition over the long history of this site but it isn't one of the good ones.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:43 PM on March 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


if you can't say it here, maybe you should consider whether you should say it somewhere else - and if you do, you really shouldn't link to it here

does that work?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:44 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


running order squabble fest: “At the risk of suggesting a technical solution for a cultural problem, is there an argument for just deactivating the Twitter widget universally?”

I am tempted to say this is a good idea, actually. The Twitter widget is kind of neat, but beyond that I can't quite think of any burning need it fills. I can't quite imagine people being really broken up about it disappearing.

boo_radley: “oh, or maybe there could be a ‘don't show me the twitter widget’ setting or gm script.”

Maybe if the Twitter widget were disabled right away, and they could add an option for "I want to see the Twitter widget" later if people want it. Seems like a fair off-by-default option anyway. And besides, I know it's broken more than once.
posted by koeselitz at 6:47 PM on March 12, 2015 [5 favorites]


My profile is about me me me to an almost Cinderella's Step-Sister level. I don't understand wanting to make it about other people.

I can understand the sometimes desire to roll your eyes with a confidant about some Metafilter antics, but I'm not sure about linking it in on the profile. In my mind, if you wanna talk about Mefi out of school, marry another Mefite. Works great. "Hey, honey, did you set this trash on fire or..." "DID YOU SEE THAT METATALK THREAD?! THAT WENT WHOOSH LIKE THIS FIRE EXTINGUISHER I HAVE FOR NO RELATED REASON!"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:47 PM on March 12, 2015 [11 favorites]


oh, or maybe there could be a "don't show me the twitter widget" setting or gm script

The problem with that is it puts the onus on someone potentially being talked about to not look instead of putting the onus on people saying negative things to keep it offsite and not use their profile as a backdoor means to say things onsite that wouldn't be okay to say in comments. And that amounts to letting them talk trash to everyone else about you. So I would not be for such an option as a solution to this particular concern. (As an option generally, sure, But I don't like it being suggested in this context as a solution for this issue.)
posted by Michele in California at 6:48 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


At the risk of suggesting a technical solution for a cultural problem, is there an argument for just deactivating the Twitter widget universally?

Personally, my feeling is it'd be bummer to nix the whole thing over an edge-case instead of trying to figure out how to approach the edge case itself. Like I said earlier, it's something that people are almost always not creating a weird situation with, just as people overwhelmingly aren't doing weird shit with their freeform profile text. If there's the occasional odd case where we need to drop someone a line, I think that's a better approach than broadly removing functionality.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:52 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


Jesus. I didn't realize MetaFilter was populated by children.

I believe YA is the preferred nomenclature.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:55 PM on March 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


Context:

Gman had a comment deleted in the fffm reddit meta. He had responded to a comment of Nora's by accusing her of speaking about Metafilter (or possibly Mefites, I don't remember exactly) on Twitter: off site.

The comment was deleted. Gman then posted a note to his own profile complaining that the site's moderation was off the deep end, because he had a comment deleted. He reposted Nora's comment and his response there.

All of that's paraphrased. I didn't pay close attention to what it actually said.

I only noticed because I was going to send him a memail this afternoon but decided against it.

I wonder if this thread was posted in good faith, or if it's a way for those people who are apparently carrying a grudge against NoraReed to try and get away with getting their hate on for her, disguised as a questionable policy discussion. This entire thing strikes me as a solution looking for a problem. Or are we inundated with mefites routinely attacking their nemeses on twitter showing up in the widget in their profiles, and I've never noticed? Seems unlikely, no?
posted by zarq at 6:59 PM on March 12, 2015 [71 favorites]


> The problem with that is
yeah well nothing's perfect i guess.

> So I would not be for such an option as a solution to this particular concern.
that's fine, I'm more of an idea man. I guess it's hard for me to care about other people's hot nonsense stream in a way that would approach being actionable in some way. If somebody wants to get hecka dingdongs on twitter, that's on them in the first place. Not me (or you).
posted by boo_radley at 7:00 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


Zarq:

I don't know if that's the entire story, as it also looked to me that NoraReed had some very critical remarks about Drinky Die on her Twitter feed, and she apparently had the Twitter widget enabled until... now-ish? Which may have been what prompted all this in the first place?
posted by kbanas at 7:04 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


This thread was first submitted weeks ago and the mods agreed then and now that it's a worthwhile conversation. They have said as much in this thread. So, consider that please.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:04 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


yeah, the issue has come up before, and Drinky Die had previously talked with us about a post on this subject. So it's a genuine issue that I think was worth clearing the air about. We ask people to keep offsite stuff offsite, but the Twitter widget was creating a weird in-between situation regarding that, and it's good to set some ground-rules about that where everybody can see/comment on them.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:05 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Y'all should have just listened to my mother, rest her soul: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."

Solved
posted by HuronBob at 7:05 PM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


This entire thing strikes me as a solution looking for a problem.

That is an exceedingly generous reading of the situation and the personalities involved.
posted by Dip Flash at 7:06 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


I really do recommend a small fart and a yell. Scared the shit out of the cat (the yell, not the fart) and cleared my sinuses all at the same time. A brief moment of disorientation followed, might need to get that checked out.
posted by disclaimer at 7:08 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


Cortexs' link to his statement in an earlier thread brought to mind Der Little Green Football days.
community consensus worked in that case.
I hate to see it applied technically here rather then reach a social consensus here.
My gut tells me edge case. My gut is liking what zarq said.
posted by clavdivs at 7:09 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


if your fart clears your sinuses it aint small
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:10 PM on March 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


In the same way that calls to keep conversations about social justice issues "civil" can seem like a way of elevating discourse while actually silencing people personally affected by the issues, I fear that calls to keep MeTa free from personal attacks (which is a good thing) is open to manipulation from people who can cloak personal grudges in the language of "site policy," leaving the person against whom they have a grudge either forced to hold their tongue or else looking like they're being defensive for no reason if they point out context.
posted by jaguar at 7:12 PM on March 12, 2015 [25 favorites]


That is an exceedingly generous reading of the situation and the personalities involved.

On rare occasions, I'm successfully diplomatic.
posted by zarq at 7:12 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Am I just enough of an asshole that I get enough comments deleted to not worry too much about it, or is getting the occasional comment deleted not actually a big deal?
posted by Pope Guilty at 7:15 PM on March 12, 2015 [13 favorites]


As someone who spends all day refereeing a 2 and 3 year old's fights about who gets to sit on which couch cushion, who touched who first, and who gets to use which block.... this whole thing is stupider than all of that put together.
posted by that's how you get ants at 7:16 PM on March 12, 2015 [27 favorites]


Although I do wish they would adopt a "subtweeting" attitude, rather than shrieking accusations at each other all day.
posted by that's how you get ants at 7:18 PM on March 12, 2015 [3 favorites]


In the same way that calls to keep conversations about social justice issues "civil" can seem like a way of elevating discourse while actually silencing people personally affected by the issues

So not being an asshole is now equal to being silenced? As in all your life?

I fear that calls to keep MeTa free from personal attacks is open to manipulation from people who can cloak personal grudges in the language of "site policy,"

Wait, what?
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:19 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I fear that calls to keep MeTa free from personal attacks (which is a good thing) is open to manipulation from people who can cloak personal grudges in the language of "site policy," leaving the person against whom they have a grudge either forced to hold their tongue or else looking like they're being defensive for no reason if they point out context.

Yeah, I hear you on that concern, and it can happen sometimes. That said, digging into it in Metatalk isn't the only or the best avenue available for resolving that kind of thing; folks can get ahold of us at the contact form and let us know if there's some weird or bullshitty context being elided in a conspicuous way, or a more on-the-DL backstory to whatever is going on, and that's something we can take action on privately and publicly.

One of the things about all that that I think is really difficult to manage is when people are mutually annoyed with or upset at each other, which can be both totally understandable at a human level but also a recipe for an ongoing public spat that sucks for everyone else. Often we literally have people complaining in each ear about the other with stuff like this, and at least when it's kept to the contact form it's just the mods who have to put up with it and it doesn't derail stuff like policy discussions or less utterly personalized arguments.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:23 PM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


Zarq:

I don't know if that's the entire story, as it also looked to me that NoraReed had some very critical remarks about Drinky Die on her Twitter feed, and she apparently had the Twitter widget enabled until... now-ish? Which may have been what prompted all this in the first place?


Okay well just to be clear I don't think NoraReed has ever tweeted anything about me. At least nothing I'm aware of. You are probably misinterpreting whatever you read. Please let's not dig into it either way in the grey though.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:29 PM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


I tend to look at MeFi profiles a few times a year when I'm like "who's that person who just dis/agreed with my earlier comment with such an annoying/insightful comment?" And usually I learn nothing (much as one would learn nothing from my profile page), and that's that.
I had no idea that there was a "Twitter widget" that (if I'm understanding correctly) shows a few recent Twitter posts from whatever user it is. (Yes?) I had no idea that people viewed profile pages frequently enough to catch recent tweets.
Creating a widget like that must have taken some work, and while I wouldn't have asked for that widget in the first place, I can understand being reluctant to just turn it off over one or two complaints.
If in fact this is yet another semi-disguised thread about what NoraReed has to say about certain people or posts, I think that's already two threads too many (although in this case, if there's a "Twitter widget" that brings offsite content into Metafilter, I agree with LobsterMitten that it's worth some discussion).
posted by uosuaq at 7:30 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


The wider internet would be a brighter place if everyone had a little internal mefimod voice that weighed in on their contributions before committing them to the ether. Listen to HuronBob's mom.
posted by pseudonick at 7:32 PM on March 12, 2015 [10 favorites]


So not being an asshole is now equal to being silenced? As in all your life?

Asking people to be civil in conversations where they are the wronged party and where they have every right to be angry is a classic silencing technique used on marginalized people. It plays out differently in different situations, but it's the driving force behind misogynists who are angry about "shrill" feminists. This is not news.
posted by NoraReed at 7:35 PM on March 12, 2015 [29 favorites]


I wonder if this thread was posted in good faith, or if it's a way for those people who are apparently carrying a grudge against NoraReed to try and get away with getting their hate on for her, disguised as a questionable policy discussion. This entire thing strikes me as a solution looking for a problem. Or are we inundated with mefites routinely attacking their nemeses on twitter showing up in the widget in their profiles, and I've never noticed? Seems unlikely, no?
posted by zarq at 6:59 PM on March 12


Since NoraReed routinely gets away with being pretty nasty to people here in various ways, it seems just as likely that it's not a "grudge against NoraReed," but rather a "legitimate grievance against NoraReed."
posted by jayder at 7:37 PM on March 12, 2015 [18 favorites]


I'm trying to follow and things aren't making total sense.

My best friend's sister's boyfriend's brother's girlfriend heard from this guy who knows this kid who's going with the girl who saw Ferris pass out at 31 Flavors last night. I guess it's pretty serious.
posted by ActingTheGoat at 7:38 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


can u not
posted by NoraReed at 7:38 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


When people are asking for civility, even of marginalised people, it isn't always a silencing technique. Unless you think that marginalised people can never be disagreed with without also attempting to silence them.

Twitter widgets are pretty common on all sorts of websites, a little minifeed of a specific Twitter account. Have so many users not encountered them before? Or is it just that they were part of people's profiles which is causing such surprise?
posted by gadge emeritus at 7:41 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


you know what's a new compound curse i've heard a lot recently? trashfucker. like it just hit some critical mass and now i'm seeing it everywhere.
posted by subbes at 7:42 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


dang, wrong thread
posted by subbes at 7:42 PM on March 12, 2015 [14 favorites]


Context:

Gman had a comment deleted in the fffm reddit meta. He had responded to a comment of Nora's by accusing her of speaking about Metafilter (or possibly Mefites, I don't remember exactly) on Twitter: off site.


If memory serves, wasn't that....all the way back in, like, October?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:44 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


yeah, the issue has come up before,

Yes, when crayz started attacking mefites on twitter. For which he was banned. Had twitter attacks of mefites showing up in the profile widget happened before that, and had they shown up on the mods' radar? After the crayz incident, were complaints raised about anyone other than NoraReed? If so, who? What was the context?

This may be a widespread problem and therefore an issue worth discussing, but this sure makes me wonder.
posted by zarq at 7:44 PM on March 12, 2015 [2 favorites]


Asking people to be civil in conversations where they are the wronged party and where they have every right to be angry is a classic silencing technique used on marginalized people.

It is. It's also something that the mods here try to balance, mindfully, when trying to maintain a generally civil site. As you and everyone else who frequents MetaTalk knows, it's challenging. At the same time, there are guidelines here that play out a bit differently on this small, entirely voluntary, members-only site thanon the internet at large.

If people think the mods or other users are trying to silence them, that is something to be taken seriously. At the same time, there are some things that are against the rules for everyone, even if individuals feel that they have a good reason to break them. And a lot of mushy stuff in the middle that mods ask people to be mindful of with the understanding that it's a bit of a minefield.

Asking people to be civil is asking people to be civil. It can also be used as a silencing tactic by misogynists and others. Being able to tease out how people are using it and what their goals are is a better plan than just saying that people can't ask people to be civil.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:46 PM on March 12, 2015 [63 favorites]


Since NoraReed routinely gets away with being pretty nasty to people here in various ways, it seems just as likely that it's not a "grudge against NoraReed," but rather a "legitimate grievance against NoraReed."

ffs. Can't we get away from this grudgematch "We drove her away once, let's see if we can do it again" tone/business? It's like there's something special going on (even beyond what might be chalked up to "being vocally feminist") where the same names/people keep showing up, teeth out, feeling safe in being able to target NoraReed. Seriously. This is not something I like seeing in Metafilter.
posted by CrystalDave at 7:46 PM on March 12, 2015 [62 favorites]


I think a "legitimate grievance against NoraReed" should have a legitimate expression, like "hey NoraReed, you're pretty nasty to people here in various ways". I'd even agree with that sentiment to some extent (10%? 30%? I don't even want to think about it). And on the other hand it's clear to me that many MeFites favorite NoraReed's comments because she's expressing something that they feel, and doing a good job at it.
But my point was about the legitimate expression. Start a MeTa titled "NORAREED DELENDA EST" if you feel that way, not "I don't like the tone of certain comments recently."
posted by uosuaq at 7:51 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


Zarq, you keep questioning if this request by Drinky Die was made in good faith by refrencing things regarding gman. I'm not following; are you saying this is some sort of joint venture, or that Drinky Die is just like gman (but not in a way you can link to)?
posted by spaltavian at 7:56 PM on March 12, 2015 [4 favorites]


If memory serves, wasn't that....all the way back in, like, October?

No, that was THIS MORNING. And it elides the whole shenanigans of reposting his deleted comment onto his MeFi profile page, then deleting it THE MOMENT this MeTa went up.

Also, the pattern of sly needling and then wide-eyed "who, me?" blinking that a number of members use is getting pretty tiresome.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 7:56 PM on March 12, 2015 [25 favorites]


how many threads are we going to have that are either started explicitly or turn into attacking NoraReed? it started out gross and now it's just tiresome.
posted by nadawi at 7:57 PM on March 12, 2015 [46 favorites]


it's still gross
posted by NoraReed at 7:58 PM on March 12, 2015 [60 favorites]


Okay well just to be clear I don't think NoraReed has ever tweeted anything about me. At least nothing I'm aware of. You are probably misinterpreting whatever you read. Please let's not dig into it either way in the grey though.

Okay well it turns out NoraReed did tweet some stuff about me, sorry for the confusion. I really didn't know about it until now and I don't care. As I said, I use other sites as outlets for my frustration too. It's unfortunately made it very easy to see this Meta in a different light than I intended. If it isn't in the widget, not big deal. Sorry NoraReed I did not intend for the thread to go this way.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:00 PM on March 12, 2015 [23 favorites]


It would be really great if we could discuss the issue of this meta --- which was put out as a general policy request which most people seemed to think was reasonable --- without getting into specific people. No good is going to come of taking sides in some specific spat between members.

You are welcome to imagine that the thread was created to target x, y, or z person. Please spare the rest of us your imagination. If you mention it then you are the one making it personal, and if it gets personal then all sides will want the last word and it will just be another fuckfest until someone disables their account.

If you think that some comment which doesn't mention you is somehow an unbearable personal attack against you that you can't leave unanswered, maybe it's time to visit another website for a little while, or write a letter to the mods or something. But please don't bring your fights in here.
posted by alms at 8:02 PM on March 12, 2015 [9 favorites]


So, as far as I can tell:

1) It's best not to carry offsite arguments onto MetaFilter, or MetaFilter arguments into other public fora and social networks. The first leads to deletion and, over time, suspension or banning. However, the second isn't really something the mods can easily police, or even be aware of.
2) As such, if you are going to talk on social networks about how frustrated you are with $user, try to do it in such a way that it doesn't get back to them. Don't advertise it, don't post links to them etc.
3) As a subset of that, if you're going to use Twitter to complain about other MeFites, don't have the Twitter widget reposting those complaints on your profile page.

Does that about sum it up?
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:05 PM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


No, that was THIS MORNING. And it elides the whole shenanigans of reposting his deleted comment onto his MeFi profile page, then deleting it THE MOMENT this MeTa went up.

I'm actually remembering an earlier incident where NoraReed tweeted something about the blue, and people here found out and a couple were upset - and it appears gman has been mad about that incident ever since.

Now, as to the matter at hand, I think that it would indeed be wise for people who want to use Twitter as a venting post to disconnect their profile from their Twitter feed, and perhaps face mod attention if it looks like they're doing that on purpose. But I also think if you've been the topic of such Twitter critique, then you REALLY need to try to get over it rather than being in a snit over it for five months.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:06 PM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


Is this something I would need a Twitter to understand?
posted by uosuaq at 8:07 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think MeFi is a much, much better place than it was back in the bad boyzone days, but it's amazing to me how many MetaTalk arguments, then and now, for different reasons, all come down to: it's OK for me to be an asshole because I'm right . And personally, actually, I think more people are right now than then, and I'm happy about that, but there are just as many assholes these days, and they're making the same excuses.
posted by neroli at 8:13 PM on March 12, 2015 [39 favorites]


Am I just enough of an asshole that I get enough comments deleted to not worry too much about it, or is getting the occasional comment deleted not actually a big deal?

Hey, Pope Guilty: Noooope. Actually, I've flagged a couple of mine for deletion lately, if they happened to be in a discussion thread the mods were pruning anyway. Like I've said elsewhere, I have a tendency to get fighty/want to respond directly for as long as something I'm angry about is standing openly, and while I appreciate the mods' new policy of pruning the nasty stuff before it can upset people I still tend to flag and comment at about the same time. So I think I've had like, ten comments deleted in the past couple of weeks. It happens; I think I've only bothered to inquire about it once and that was a situation that was the result of an honest, extremely quickly resolved mistake.

I'm uncomfortable with the way this thread has become a referendum on NoraReed again, so in the hopes of diverting that I'm going to comment on the main discussion of the thread. In general, I'm sympathetic to the problem of wanting to vent about people who are annoying you on Metafilter to friends elsewhere.... possibly friends who you met on Metafilter on the first place, or friends you had before and then recruited to MeFi. It happens! I try hard to keep that kind of venting private rather than public, and I think in general that's a pretty good tack to take--either via email or IM or something where the person I'm venting about will not see it.

I don't think that's a ridiculous thing to ask people to do. I'm not sure I want it regulated on any level more official than "posting public commentary on a specific person who is not notified and can't respond is kind of a dick move, guys," but if we're talking social censure here, I'll weigh in on that score.

That said, with respect to the Twitter widget, I really don't see what value it's adding. Are there any folks who use the Twitter widget who would like to explain what the benefits of using it are? I don't use Twitter, but I'm not sure why the widget is any better than just listing your Twitter handle would be.
posted by sciatrix at 8:17 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


And personally, actually, I think more people are right now than then, and I'm happy about that, but there are just as many assholes these days, and they're making the same excuses.

Indeed; at the risk of making all of my contributions to this MeTa Lebowski references, "You're not wrong, Walter, you're just an asshole," is one of those evergreen turns of phrase.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:19 PM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


That said, with respect to the Twitter widget, I really don't see what value it's adding. Are there any folks who use the Twitter widget who would like to explain what the benefits of using it are? I don't use Twitter, but I'm not sure why the widget is any better than just listing your Twitter handle would be.

I follow a few Mefites on Twitter and their tweets often bring a smile to my face. It could be a picture of Dad with kid, a funny quip, an overwrought woe is me complaint, or a million other things. It's just a nice little slice of what is going on with that person. It can be pretty cool to have that available to Mefites who might browse the profile but don't use the Twitter or people who don't follow the person in question. I've followed a few people based on clever quips I noticed when looking at profiles. It's not an essential site feature, but the abuse cases for it are actually very limited, so the self policing route is probably the way to go.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:21 PM on March 12, 2015 [1 favorite]


spaltavian: Zarq, you keep questioning if this request by Drinky Die was made in good faith by refrencing things regarding gman. I'm not following; are you saying this is some sort of joint venture, or that Drinky Die is just like gman (but not in a way you can link to)?

This is Drinky Die's post.

In response to NoraReed commenting in this thread, we have:
"You finally showed up to your party!"
posted by gman at 8:56 PM on March 12 [2 favorites +] [!]


To answer your questions:
I'm not sure if this was posted in good faith, or whether or not it's a joint venture between Drinky Die and gman. I tend to doubt it's a joint venture, but who the hell knows? I do not believe that DD is "just like gman."

But given the quoted comment, I would like to see more of a explanation than a vague "yeah, the issue has come up before, and Drinky Die had previously talked with us about a post on this subject" from a mod. When has the issue come up? Who was involved? What specific incident(s) prompted DD to talk to the mods about a post on this subject? Have anyone other than crayz and NoraReed ever been publicly called out for twitter widget "abuse"? Because in the absence of any other context, gman's comment makes this look like a policy discussion is being used to fulfill a grudge. And I don't think it's unreasonable to ask whether this "party" was a coincidence or premeditated.
posted by zarq at 8:24 PM on March 12, 2015 [8 favorites]


try to do it in such a way that it doesn't get back to them etc.

What I think many above are missing is why does it matter if something shitty said on Twitter gets all the way back to that same user, being that it's being displayed publicly? If disparaging remarks are said on Twitter and show up in the widget, literally any other member of the community can click on a profile and see exactly what was said. Ignorance being bliss aside, I don't think there are many orders of magnitude of difference between whether an individual is aware of being the target of an off-site personal attack or not.. the shitty remarks exist in either case, and, for some amount of time, viewable by the rest of the community.

To me, this type of behavior is just a transparent attempt at skirting site guidelines and getting away the type of personal attacks that are clearly frowned upon around here.
posted by wats at 8:24 PM on March 12, 2015 [6 favorites]


FWIW I feel like profile space should be a MetaTalk-like space for you to represent yourself, warts and all, so other site users know what you're all about, and can choose to like or dislike you (or hey, remain neutral) as they see fit. That's the use case for a profile, right? Finding out more about another user? And if part of that person's window into a wider slice of their life includes "super hates Rando Innocent Bystander MeFi User and talks about it incessantly", hey, that's useful information for the profile-viewer to have.

I mean it's not like a profile is a FPP, nor would it get that much traffic. You have to dig a little to get to a profile. This isn't taking out an ad on Times Square for slander, right?
posted by Andrhia at 8:25 PM on March 12, 2015


I am completely disgusted by the childish, pathetic behaviors we've seen demonstrated in this thread and, apparently, in other social media. I had no idea we had such childish, stupid users. I really detest banning people but, FFS, some of you need to be gone. No one needs your stupid toddler-quality squabbles.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:27 PM on March 12, 2015 [28 favorites]


Because in the absence of any other context, gman's comment makes this look like a policy discussion is being used to fulfill a grudge.

No. The meta was the opposite. It was trying to set aside the personalities and address the policy. Other people later turned it from a policy discussion into some sort of middle school take sides personality fight. Let's not do that. This isn't a popularity contest.
posted by alms at 8:29 PM on March 12, 2015 [15 favorites]


Because in the absence of any other context, gman's comment makes this look like a policy discussion is being used to fulfill a grudge.

I don't know what gman and Drinky Die have been up to, but I'll come out and say that I sent an email to the mods today (well before this MeTa was posted) about NoraReed and included a line about her habit of name-checking people on Twitter. I don't think they're the only ones that find it distasteful.
posted by lalex at 8:31 PM on March 12, 2015 [16 favorites]


Kinda really over this circus. This thread is making me side-eye a whole bunch of users. I hate inside baseball grudge match bullshit, it's bad for the site and it's embarrassing to watch grown-ass adults act like teenagers.

Talking shit about people you don't like publicly off site may not be against the rules, but it is tacky as fuck, sorry. Reading the tweets or profile page of someone you don't like looking for reasons to be pissed off is pathetic.

I think the widget should go. I don't get what the point of it is, if you want to follow someone on twitter you can just do that.

Barring that I think this thread should be closed. You're not going to get any reasonable policy discussion at this stage. Nerd thunderdome is in full swing and no conversation is likely to be productive.
posted by supercrayon at 8:32 PM on March 12, 2015 [52 favorites]


I am completely disgusted by the childish, pathetic behaviors we've seen demonstrated in this thread and, apparently, in other social media. I had no idea we had such childish, stupid users.

Maybe what we need is a greasemonkey script that lets users "shadowgag" each other.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:40 PM on March 12, 2015


On the asking people to be civil front, there is this pterry quote from today's binge rereadings:

“Be generous, Sir Samuel. Truly treat all men equally. Allow Klatchians the right to be scheming bastards, hmm? In fact the ambassador is just a pompous idiot. Ankh–Morpork has no monopoly on them.”

This is truly not aimed at anyone, but it makes the point that sometimes a request for civility is reasonable and called for, not a silencing tactic. Plus, pterry, I had always sort of hoped he was a secret mefi lurker, this thread would have disappointed.
posted by pseudonick at 8:43 PM on March 12, 2015 [7 favorites]


I wish MetaFilter had an Old Farts lounge. Tired of the angryangry kids. So tired.
posted by Klaxon Aoooogah at 8:45 PM on March 12, 2015 [21 favorites]


It looks like, despite very neutral framing, this is turning into an extension of various grudgefests. I think the general gist has been gotten across, and if people want to offer further opinions, we're always happy to hear them at the contact form. At this point we're pretty serious about not letting MeTa become a gladiatorial arena and we appreciate those folks who are on board with that.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:46 PM on March 12, 2015 [28 favorites]


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