Zen and the Art of Moderation September 7, 2016 8:46 AM   Subscribe

Does a write-up exist of the MetaFilter philosophy of moderation?

My town's local subreddit is undergoing a civil war. Long-standing toxic moderation has driven away enough souls that a new, kinder, gentler alternate sub has coalesced and is gaining momentum. I'd love to post an inspirational link there to the MetaFilter philosophy of moderation (since we all know that MetaFilter is the apex of civility for which all other forums should strive), but my Googles are turning up blank.
posted by qxntpqbbbqxl to MetaFilter-Related at 8:46 AM (80 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

Nothing is true; everything is permitted.
posted by selfnoise at 8:56 AM on September 7, 2016 [11 favorites]


It's funny, I don't think there's really any stand-alone contemporary write-up on specifically the philosophy of moderation on MetaFilter. It's something that we've variously talked about in bits and pieces over the years (Matt's given a lot of talks about MetaFilter here and there, Jessamyn likewise), so a round-up of those talks might be a useful thing for finding something fairly concentrated to point to.

We've also talked about it a lot here and there in MetaTalk over the years, but that's a hard thing to point out specifically given the scattered, rolling-discussion nature of things.

One thing I'd say is that I have on a couple occasions—and I'd guess this is so more so still for Matt and Jess—talked at a decent length about MetaFilter moderation theory and practice and philosophy to someone doing a piece on this or that web thing and MetaFilter's relationship to it, to then see most of that hit the floor for the sake of a shorter, tighter published piece. Which, not shocking, that's the reality of the process where that stuff isn't the actual literal subject of the piece, but it means we've probably all written or talked about this stuff in a way that just never ends up showing up on paper the way it came out.

I think on a recurring basis that writing some of this stuff down in a long-form, organized way would be great to do, if only I wasn't busy actually putting theory into practice or giving my brain a break from that in my time off. One of those tricky things.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:57 AM on September 7, 2016 [10 favorites]


Nothing is true; everything is permitted.
posted by selfnoise


Eponysterical.
posted by Melismata at 9:02 AM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


[eagles crying mournfully in the distance]
posted by poffin boffin at 9:07 AM on September 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Don't be a dick."
posted by Etrigan at 9:26 AM on September 7, 2016 [7 favorites]


The only thing I'll say is, watch out for Farty Grouch impersonating Mad-eye Moddy (or was it Mod-eye Moody? I forget).
posted by Namlit at 9:31 AM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


"Nothing is true; everything is permitted."

That's not true.
posted by I-baLL at 9:45 AM on September 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Alright, I'm gonna need to see your permit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:46 AM on September 7, 2016 [5 favorites]


Just Do It. Except That.
posted by Kabanos at 9:48 AM on September 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


1. Delete every third flagged comment or post.
2. When challenged on this in a MetaTalk post, reply with "Because." and close the thread.
3. Lunch.

#MayNotBeEntirelyAccurate
posted by Wordshore at 9:55 AM on September 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Mods all defer to the whims of the jealous God Cronus, which is why we are not allowed to discuss cronuts.
posted by maxsparber at 10:03 AM on September 7, 2016


Please tell me you aren't gonna start proselytizing about the beneficent God Deeznus again.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:05 AM on September 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Gather, friends, for I bring you good, testicular tidings of our Lord and savior
posted by maxsparber at 10:08 AM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I actually posted a very similar Ask just a few days ago (and then regretted the timing, as perhaps the middle of a holiday weekend wasn't the best for getting eyeballs on the question). I'd love to see any links to specific discussion of Metafilter moderation policy, as all I could think of was various vast Metatalk threads, which wouldn't be that accessible/consumable for someone outside the community.
posted by msbubbaclees at 10:12 AM on September 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


The Palimpsest of Cardoso.
posted by clavdivs at 10:17 AM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Smock.
posted by clavdivs at 10:21 AM on September 7, 2016


SMOG!!!
posted by Melismata at 10:22 AM on September 7, 2016


Surely you can expect a visit from The Cabal just for thinking about asking this question. It was nice knowing you.
posted by Tevin at 10:24 AM on September 7, 2016




a new, kinder, gentler alternate sub

LOL.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:26 AM on September 7, 2016


Any monograph on this subject must include this piece by Jessamyn.
posted by clavdivs at 10:30 AM on September 7, 2016 [6 favorites]


[This is from a user who prefers to remain anonymous.]
know of two places that have done some meta-level analysis of the Codes of Conduct used by various organizations/communities/websites. Though a code of conduct is not necessarily a set of moderation guidelines, decisions about when and how to moderate are often based in whether the user violated a CoC policy.

First, one I am not personally involved with: Geek Feminism Wiki's list of Codes of Conduct is probably the gold standard as far as comparing moderation/code of conduct policies, though it focuses heavily on tech orgs/sites as opposed to general social media. Second, one I am personally involved with, so caveat emptor: My coworkers and I recently posted an informal research project on Wikimedia's "meta" wiki, summarizing the individual Codes of Conduct used on about a dozen social media and/or tech websites, MeFi among them. We looked at what the policies said, how they had developed, how they were enforced, etc. We are hoping to do a comparative analysis (strengths/weaknesses) of these policies down the road, but we don't have a timeline on that right now.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:56 AM on September 7, 2016 [9 favorites]


Expatiate softly and carry a fish in your pants.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:35 PM on September 7, 2016


Eschew obfuscation.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:52 PM on September 7, 2016


I can't, in good conscience, recommend the MeFi moderation ethos after what happened to Paphnuty.
posted by grouse at 2:11 PM on September 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Heh, my previous proxy comment was meant for a sorta-related Ask and we had a miscommunication over email. Carry on!
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:16 PM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Matt gave this talk at SX in 2011 that I think is relevant.

Here are my notes, re-organized a bit for better zen:
  • A community has members and moderators. Moderators should also be members.
  • Moderators should be active & the best participants in your community.
  • Moderators should be the people at the front of the crowd in the concert, not the security people keeping the crowd from the performers
  • Moderation is noticing patterns.
  • Moderators should have a sense of the ultimate goal of the community, and how to identify the patterns that lead to that goal.
  • Moderators should highlight the best of the site to show off to non-members and to give community members something to strive for.
  • The moderators should have time to relax. A moderator who only sees grimness every day will become a bad cop.
  • Bad things can happen. Don't use them as excuses to become overprotective.
  • Moderators should be available when the site is active. If the site is active twenty-four hours a day, it needs moderation twenty-four hours a day.
  • Involve community members in the moderation process.
  • Community members should have a place to vent or offer feedback to moderators and/or each other. (Every 20 - 30 minutes during the daylight hours MeFi moderators are fielding feedback from users.)
  • Community members should be able to flag content.
  • Moderators should know roughly how many members the site has.
  • Moderators should know roughly how many active users the site has.
  • Moderators should know roughly how many users are active per day.
  • Moderators should know how many heavy users the site has, along with their handles, and how to talk with them at a party.
  • Moderators should talk to each other on a preferred channel, and should share information.
posted by Going To Maine at 3:07 PM on September 7, 2016 [30 favorites]


(Actually, I’d argue that what is needed is in some sense less a zen of moderation and more a zen of community membership. After all, the mods are few, but the community is large. The oft-cited “don’t be a dick” is more generally applicable to members in general than mods in specific.)
posted by Going To Maine at 3:50 PM on September 7, 2016 [2 favorites]


Does a write-up exist of the MetaFilter philosophy of moderation?

None does and none should.
posted by escabeche at 6:30 PM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


You might be interested in this Ask.


I will add that the context of your desire to share such info is not clear. If they are interested in additional resources and have asked for such, awesome! If not, giving them resources risks embarrassing them and insulting them. This potentially undermines their authority during a time when their authority is on shakey ground to begin with. A better approach would be to thank them for doing better than the previous whomever (moderator, group, whatever) and support what they are doing.

If it is better, telling them "Oh, thank god you are taking over. You rock! This is vastly better than before." may be much more valuable for the group as a whole as well as the new mods than implying you are some perfectionistic dick who will forevermore throw it in their face that they aren't Metafilter.

Best wishes.
posted by Michele in California at 6:43 PM on September 7, 2016


Here's another thing I wrote: Advice for the Accidental Community Manager
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:49 PM on September 7, 2016 [12 favorites]


Someone please link to comic with the mods starring as cute furry animals. People who've been around and paying attention know what I mean.
posted by marxchivist at 8:55 PM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


Against our better judgement, we trust you will behave in a civilized fashion and not act like total fucktards.
posted by invitapriore at 10:45 PM on September 7, 2016 [18 favorites]


I consider that comic an interesting artifact of where the site once was.
posted by Going To Maine at 11:17 PM on September 7, 2016 [3 favorites]


Agreed, it...definitely doesn't match the tenor of 2016 MetaFilter.
posted by invitapriore at 11:29 PM on September 7, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think it was "don't be an asshole"?
posted by Meatbomb at 12:50 AM on September 8, 2016


Not necessarily. Being called an "ostentatious nincompoop" remains one of my higher aspirations for obtaining membership last year.
posted by Freelance Demiurge at 1:43 AM on September 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Speaking as a former Something Awful admin, I'll have you know I look nothing like Howard Stern.
posted by the uncomplicated soups of my childhood at 9:13 AM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]

Moderators should have a sense of the ultimate goal of the community, and how to identify the patterns that lead to that goal.
That would be an interesting conversation to have. What do folks consider to be the goal of metafilter?
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:46 AM on September 8, 2016


Sniping at the mods for eight years running?
posted by beerperson at 10:57 AM on September 8, 2016 [10 favorites]


Now that I am no longer drunk I regret having thoughtlessly quoted the part that I did from that comic, so apologies for that.
posted by invitapriore at 12:39 PM on September 8, 2016 [4 favorites]

Sniping at the mods for eight years running?
Is that a response to my question about the goal of Metafilter? If so, I don't understand what you mean.
posted by MrMoonPie at 12:57 PM on September 8, 2016


What do folks consider to be the goal of metafilter?

There isn't one, as far as I can see. Best of the web—whatever that meant—was the closest it ever came to a goal and that was always half in jest. I think that's a source of many of the disagreements here. In the absence of such, in the absence even of any broad goals like "talking about music" or "talking about politcs" or what have you, the street finds its own uses commenters find their own uses for metafilter. And I think a lot of the meta-level disagreements arise when people feel like metafilter is deviating from whatever goal or purpose they imagine it to have. That isn't something that can be fixed, I think. It's pretty much baked-in.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:23 PM on September 8, 2016 [3 favorites]


I always feel like MeFi is about sharing cool stuff you find on the web and having conversations about that stuff. For Ask MetaFilter it's for getting answers from the community. For MetaTalk it's about discussing rules and policies with the people who make them. I've often told people that the whole site is about community, trying to keep it healthy, trying to keep people engaged and involved. However unlike most places with bolt-on community sections that are about something else, it's not for some ulterior motive like to sell people things, but just so that there's a place people can go and a place people can be that requires a low-key amount of upkeep and a level of interaction from mods that mostly works.

This doesn't mean that every single person is happy with the way the place works, but it does mean that people can at least understand how and why it works the way it does and what would need to happen in order for those things to change. As far as goals "Keep the lights on and keep the community on" seems like about all there is.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:35 PM on September 8, 2016 [5 favorites]


MetaFilter: Now that I am no longer drunk I regret having thoughtlessly quoted the part that I did
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 1:37 PM on September 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


"If you can't be interesting, be funny," was Harold Ross' instruction to his New Yorker writers.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:44 PM on September 8, 2016


Tho, given the relative difficulty of those demands, maybe it should be the other way around.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:46 PM on September 8, 2016


"If you can't be interesting, be funny."

"If you can't be good, be colorful."
    -- Pete Conrad, third man on the moon
posted by Rash at 2:38 PM on September 8, 2016


“If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.”


― Catherine Aird
posted by Michele in California at 2:54 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Thanks, MiC! That was my motto during my drinking days and I never knew where it came from.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 3:07 PM on September 8, 2016 [2 favorites]


Moderators should have a sense of the ultimate goal of the community, and how to identify the patterns that lead to that goal.
That would be an interesting conversation to have. What do folks consider to be the goal of metafilter?


A scanned cat in every home.
posted by Fizz at 4:42 PM on September 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


What do folks consider to be the goal of metafilter?

Everyone gets a hug?
posted by ferret branca at 8:21 PM on September 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


That gets my vote.
posted by Rash at 9:12 PM on September 8, 2016


Posting a double... that's a paddlin'
Name calling... that's a paddlin'
Derailing a thread... that's a paddlin'
Self-linking... that's a paddlin'
Going out of order in an alphabet thread... that's a paddlin'
Not sending your Quonsmas gift on time... that's a paddlin'
[...]
posted by Hairy Lobster at 11:32 PM on September 8, 2016 [4 favorites]


What do folks consider to be the goal of metafilter?


3. Profit!
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:16 AM on September 9, 2016 [4 favorites]


It would be hard to write a succinct statement about moderation philosophy here, I would think. Over the last, god 14 years? that I've been here, moderation has changed according to size and need. Just like it used to be ok to shoot bazookas at Burning Man, it used to be ok here to post GIFs of chicken-carcass fucking. But if everyone was shooting off bazookas at Burning Man and posting various carcass fucking GIFs here, it would destroy the things that were originally special about these places. So moderation needs to have a strong sense of the identity of a community and a completely transparent line of thinking when certain activities are culled, a willingness to withstand the eggs thrown by long time community members when difficult decisions are made, and being open to the idea that some decisions may be out of step with the community and may need reconsideration. We've been lucky so far here, that despite the lack of chicken fucking, there's still something worthwhile about the place. But humans being what they are, the usual scenario is that most human communities will outgrow themselves, will require more and more rules to keep things in line which squashes intellectual freedom (see: Burning Man). But so far, I'm amazed at how the mods here keep the place going for so long and I'm still here.

But really, after you've ended the chicken fucking, you're on an inevitable downward spiral.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 12:35 AM on September 9, 2016 [7 favorites]


MetaFilter: Despite the lack of chicken fucking, there’s still something worthwhile about the place
posted by Going To Maine at 12:53 AM on September 9, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Hey, this is one of those grey areas where in other circumstances we might have done it differently but in this case it felt right to do it this way. Obviously there might be a judgement call there and I'm not saying we would do the same thing again if it came up. You may feel that's unhelpful but I totally understand and really I'm OK with you going ahead and feeling that way if you want."

;)
posted by Segundus at 3:47 AM on September 9, 2016 [6 favorites]


Office Space or Metafilter?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:11 AM on September 9, 2016


"If you can't be interesting, be funny"

"If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy."
posted by octothorpe at 12:34 PM on September 9, 2016


I believe they use Boron control rods.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:10 PM on September 9, 2016


What do folks consider to be the goal of metafilter?

I'm all about cultivating lower level discussions, the primary purpose of which is to prompt the development of creative and unique emoticons as an emergent sort of super language. Sometimes I wait a long time.
posted by SpacemanStix at 9:07 PM on September 9, 2016 [2 favorites]


Interesting thread, considering that I think Metafilter actually has more to learn from Reddit about tolerance and conversation than vice-versa.

The stick of censorship - of the ability of some privileged individual to simply make your contribution disappear, as if it never was - is the main tool of Metafilter's management style. Reddit style mob rule has its drawbacks, but one of them is that unless you actually violate the subReddit's rules, your post will usually be judged on its merits. It may sink like a stone due to downvotes, but it won't simply be disappeared. On Metafilter, since it can't be downvoted, every problematic post is an opportunity for a mod to "improve the conversation" by disappearing it. Sometimes on the basis of a report, sometimes just because. And because the mods are so busy micro-managing, a reported comment is generally treated as guilty. Safer to quietly delete it.

If you've missed me around here the last few days (doubtful, but hey), it's because I'm not around here much any more. I gave Metafilter a chance, I tried to contribute, but eventually I looked back and realised that too many of my comments were being disappeared. I felt silenced. I felt othered. As a white male cis-het individual, you'll understand this is an unusual sensation for me. After a particularly egregious instance I took the matter to the mods - via PM instead of spashing it across the front page, but in the end the answers I received were unsatisfactory. I felt I was being told I wasn't good enough for Metafilter. So now I hang out elsewhere.

Here's my point: Metafilter may be having the best conversations on the web for all I know, but they mostly aren't reaching me, at least, because I'm not reading them any longer. Congratulations!

Well, I'm one person. Who cares? Maybe I'm alone. But if in fact you are turning people away by your moderation choices on how you wsnt threads to go, it's hard to see how you can be having the best conversations.
posted by Autumn Leaf at 3:53 AM on September 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


I notice LobsterMitten in particular dropping notes about how the conversation should go, what threads shall be about, whose stories are appropriate where. I guess this makes things better by some metrics, but from my perspective sucks big time and is most certainly a change of direction in the last few years.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:27 AM on September 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


I reject your reality and substitute my own. Sounds about right.
posted by Splunge at 8:27 AM on September 11, 2016


And because the mods are so busy micro-managing, a reported comment is generally treated as guilty. Safer to quietly delete it.

There are folks who have a much stronger general anti-deletion preference for how online discussions go than we aim for in moderation on MetaFilter, and I respect that. It's a big web and there are as you note different places with different rubrics, and I think that's a good thing all in all; I don't think any one model can work for all things or serve all people, or even serve any given person well all the time. Reddit does things differently, or more accurately does things in a fairly wide variety of ways in different subreddits, everywhere from up/down free-for-all to per-comment deletion and bans significantly more aggressive than our style. And that's healthy for the web's overall heterogeneity.

That said, however much from an anti-deletion perspective your quoted assertion may feel like an attractive or compelling explanation of how things work: it's absolute horseshit, and represents a seriously skewed impression of how and why we do the work we actually do. If MetaFilter isn't a good fit for you, that's okay, it's not going to be for everyone and I think going where you like to be is a smart and healthy thing. But MetaFilter also isn't operating in the way you're imagining it to, and that may be part of the reason for your frustration with it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:01 AM on September 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


Downvoting is bizarre and insane. Say what you will about comment deletion, at least I can get to know the mods and how they work and what the acceptable space for comments is.

Downvoting is why I rarely comment on technical forums any more. Because nothing makes you want to help someone like an entirely technical comment downvoted eleven times because I used the word "Nvidia" in it and apparently some people not liking that company is enough to invisible my comment THAT IS SPECIFICALLY ABOUT HOW TO CONFIGURE SAID COMPANIES PRODUCT.

(deep breath)
posted by selfnoise at 9:44 AM on September 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I flag stuff a lot and it's rarely deleted. I'm gonna go and eat worms.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 9:48 AM on September 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sometimes I just narrow my eyes at a comment and it gets deleted. The mods love me best
posted by beerperson at 10:09 AM on September 11, 2016 [7 favorites]


mods what is being done to stop this shadowy beer cabal
posted by poffin boffin at 10:13 AM on September 11, 2016


Reddit style mob rule has its drawbacks, but one of them is that unless you actually violate the subReddit's rules, your post will usually be judged on its merits. It may sink like a stone due to downvotes, but it won't simply be disappeared.

What about 'cool kids' getting all the faves & babes? Imagine a cool kid stamping on a human face - forever...
posted by naju at 12:11 PM on September 11, 2016


That ain't workin.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 12:15 PM on September 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Reddit style mob rule has its drawbacks, but one of them is that unless you actually violate the subReddit's rules, your post will usually be judged on its merits.

This is a take that I think I'd agree with if I were feeling radically democratic, but I think that a key building block of Metafilter is elitism: the mods are best equipped to evaluate the merits of a comment.

I mentioned above that I think it's more important to have a zen of Metafilter for community members. A big party of that zen would be being okay with the idea that your comments might get deleted for the greater good of a thread.
posted by Going To Maine at 12:29 PM on September 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


one of them is that unless you actually violate the subReddit's rules, your post will usually be judged on its merits.

MetaFilter is exactly the same, just the rules are different.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 1:00 PM on September 11, 2016 [11 favorites]


Well, I believe life is a Zen koan, that is, an unsolvable riddle. But the contemplation of that riddle - even though it cannot be solved - is, in itself, transformative. And if the contemplation is of high enough quality, you can merge with the divine.

-- Tom Robbins
posted by Michele in California at 2:43 PM on September 11, 2016


That ain't workin.

I saw this out of context and was about to reply "That's the way you do it."... but then I clicked the link and I guess that is the context.
posted by Justinian at 5:05 PM on September 11, 2016


A couple of links from my bookmarks:

- Moderation on MeFi and NPR - Horace Rumpole's original MetaTalk text is an excellent summary: "A 5-minute framework for fostering better conversations in comments sections." NPR's Matt Thompson interviews Jessamyn about why a thread about the assault on reporter Lara Logan turned so ugly on NPR's site, but didn't on the blue.

- Aaand on a different note: for a brief (~one-minute) take on the MetaFilter philosophy of moderation, I recommend The Moderation Song, as performed by cortex and jessamyn.
posted by rangefinder 1.4 at 6:42 PM on September 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


Mods sometimes delete my comments. Usually I appreciate it because the comment was something I'd said hastily, angrily or unthinkingly -- even if I thought it was super clever at the instant I mashed my index finger onto the mouse button to post it.

Sometimes I think they've unfairly deleted a perfectly okay comment, or deleted a comment based on the fact that other people were reacting badly to it and it was derailing the thread. That's annoying.

I have never been mad at the mods about it, though. For one, I know they are doing their job. They are helping us to adhere to the norms we've established ourselves about how we want this community to work.

But fundamentally, I don't get mad at the mods, because I trust them. I've watched them working at community moderation for years, and I've seen them not lose their temper, not reach for the easy banhammer, not tip the scales toward their favorite people time and time again.

I've come to respect the processes and the structures that have been officially established -- and I believe those structures are fundamentally democratic, based on the community's collective decisions and implemented by the mods.

That's the core of moderation, and it's a thing that can't be implemented overnight. The people in the community have to trust that the people who get authority to run the community are listening to what community members think and using that input to make informed and thoughtful decisions about what rules are needed to keep the community going where it wants to go.

This also applies in real life, by the way.
posted by tivalasvegas at 7:14 PM on September 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


"Anyone who isn't confused really doesn't understand the situation."

-Edward R. Murrow
posted by clavdivs at 10:26 PM on September 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


God, I get deleted all the time. I feel I have a meaningful relationship with my own private time zone mod. Who is kind and generous and patient. I deserve almost all the deletes I get. Usually I"m on a phone and sometimes I don't have the patience to write longer, nuanced comments and they come out a bit snarky.

Mods keep me looking good here, and for that I'm grateful. They're my text-photoshopper.

A few times I've really truly disagreed with comments I've flagged remaining or with deletions of my extreme erudition and insight ...but we've talked about it over email (or I've whinged with red thoughts and smoke).

I've realised that I come here for the mods. I stay because I like the place they're helping to maintain. I trust their distance from the issues that press my buttons, and I trust their reading of the greater community or their ability to learn. (Thank you Jessamyn!).

I don't spend much time in the blue so I'm open to being told I'm tone deaf. Or when my mefi peeps agree that another user really is a dick and I just need to step away from the keyboard because it's not a hill I want to die on and my buttons are being pushed. Again.

I think we've got lots of ways to go with racism, elitism, gender, America-centrism etc ... but I think the evolution here is faster than elsewhere and faster than I am.

I love my moddy overlords. (And Jessamyn.) I've only just realised how truly lovely cortex is too. It wasn't till he was explaining something to Jessamyn in the most recent podcast that I finally understood his tone... I don't listen to the podcast often... and realised he wasn't a lecturer. He was a quiet explainer. I had an aha moment.

Autumn Leaf Have you listened to the podcasts? I think text doesn't always do justice to the tone of the moderator emails. Or other members. I know things I've written here with an inadvertent distinctly Australian tone have offended or bewildered Americans. And probably many others.

I try to use my, "talking to my favourite high school English teacher that said something I want to disagree with " tone. And to listen with my ,"my favourite high school English teacher wants me to be my best self and is about to tell me how to be avoid being a dickhead " ears.

If it's not for you, so be it. But when you're already feeling cross, as I often am, it can feel dictatorial and hostile when comments are deleted. In these times, this is where you check in with a mefite friend to see if you're being an David Leyonhjelm or a Tony Windsor. Sadly it appears that not every thing I say is fair, relevant or true. Who knew?
posted by taff at 6:19 PM on September 12, 2016 [4 favorites]


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