Preggyfilter? December 15, 2016 4:44 PM   Subscribe

Seems like there are always pregnant MeFis who are looking for some answers / like-minded people to talk to. Anyone want to join an FB group?

I ran away screaming from a due date based group from Glow when people started posting terrible fake articles about dangerous miscarriage-inducing fruits and saying things like "if your skin is bad while you're pregnant you must be having a girl because girls steal your beauty."

Would anyone want to be part of a closed Expecting/Early Days of Parenting Mefites FB group? Open to any confirmed member or partner of a member who wants some sane compassionate company for a few long months? I am in early stages right now and could admin for a good while before handing off next year to the new crop... or does this exist already and can I come to the party?
posted by sestaaak to MetaFilter-Related at 4:44 PM (126 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite

oh my gosh i would be so interested. Reading through that thread of other women who hated pregnancy made me so happy.
posted by brainmouse at 5:02 PM on December 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yessssssssss.
posted by muddgirl at 5:38 PM on December 15, 2016


YES YES YES YES YES

(YES)
posted by joyceanmachine at 5:42 PM on December 15, 2016


LIKE

I WOULD EVEN START USING FACEBOOK AGAIN OMG
posted by joyceanmachine at 5:43 PM on December 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yes!

(First thing I want to commiserate about: what about pregnancy makes standard units sound like they might not work? Guys, trying to describe how long a baby is is a SOLVED PROBLEM. If you tell us it's about 1.5cm we can always translate that to "about the size of a raspberry!" for our sensitive, fruit-based brains as needed. I thought it was an embryo/fetus specific thing until I had to look up information about diastasis recti: the gaps are universally described in terms of finger-widths. But OTOH our weight gains are in pounds/kilos. No one says "This week you should weigh one extra stapler!" or "In the second trimester, aim to increase your weight about as much as a housecat!")
posted by cogitron at 6:30 PM on December 15, 2016 [24 favorites]


When I first glanced at this I thought it said "peggyfilter" and read on, fully expecting it to be a private group for very average but completely wonderful people who sometimes feel like an AND PEGGY* and maybe want to connect with others. And I would never have picked the AND PEGGY archetype to form a group around but as soon as I read it was like, no, I AM TOTALLY ON BOARD WITH THIS. And.... NOW I KIND OF WANT TO START THAT GROUP?

*it's a Hamilton reference, I am sorry.
posted by kate blank at 7:32 PM on December 15, 2016 [20 favorites]


I'm not pregnant nor expect to be any time soon, but I think this is a great, great idea.
posted by punchtothehead at 8:25 PM on December 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I've finished with children, but would have been all over this when I was pregnant, so I hope it works out.
posted by gaspode at 8:29 PM on December 15, 2016 [4 favorites]


I have a 5.5 month old and I would be/have been so up for this, but I guess maybe I've missed the boat in terms of a group for currently-pregnant people; maybe we can have one for the slightly further-along cohort too? Like the under-1-year-olds?
posted by snap, crackle and pop at 9:44 PM on December 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I have a 6-month-old and can't belong to too many parenting Facebook groups.
posted by liet at 10:04 PM on December 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd be happy to join although I'm another of the 5-month-old cohort.
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 12:31 AM on December 16, 2016


Yes please, that would be perfect!
posted by Skybly at 12:37 AM on December 16, 2016


Not pregnant, but this is a great idea and you should totally call it [more inside].
posted by Catseye at 4:22 AM on December 16, 2016 [53 favorites]


I have a 5.5 month old and I would be/have been so up for this, but I guess maybe I've missed the boat in terms of a group for currently-pregnant people; maybe we can have one for the slightly further-along cohort too? Like the under-1-year-olds?

I imagine advice from people who already have a baby would be useful for people about to have one. And it's not like the problems/worries/questions stop once they're born (sadly).
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:46 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


And hey, what's up, 5m/o crew!
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:47 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not pregnant anymore and definitely definitely not going to be pregnant again but I love talking about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.
posted by TheLateGreatAbrahamLincoln at 5:00 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


40 weeks today and interested!
posted by songs about trains at 5:01 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


Not pregnant, but this is a great idea and you should totally call it [more inside].

That's better than what I had come up with: MeFertility Club.
posted by radwolf76 at 5:05 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


No one says "This week you should weigh one extra stapler!" or "In the second trimester, aim to increase your weight about as much as a housecat!")

My husband found a website that would tell you the fetus's size each week in terms of something nerdy and my favorite piece of information from this is that when our beautiful kraken was born she was the size of a pikachu.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 5:11 AM on December 16, 2016 [19 favorites]


Not pregnant anymore and definitely definitely not going to be pregnant again but I love talking about pregnancy, childbirth, and parenting.

This, times a million. Like, we're in the process of launching the eldest and the youngest has pretty much raised herself (just because she's so damned independent, not because we were hands off) but I LOVE LOVE LOVE talking about pregnancy and babies and little kids and big kids. I also like giving advice, so...
posted by cooker girl at 5:31 AM on December 16, 2016


My husband found a website that would tell you the fetus's size each week in terms of something nerdy and my favorite piece of information from this is that when our beautiful kraken was born she was the size of a pikachu.

Tragically our marriage is ending because he won't let me change her legal name to Nessie.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 6:16 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have a 2 year old but I hope to have another at some point and this would be totally awesome. I am also very happy to share my no maternal instinct prior to having my kid/hated being pregnant/had trouble breastfeeding/didn't strictly obey all the dietary guidelines during pregnancy or breastfeeding after I did lots of research/etc perspectives.
posted by olinerd at 6:44 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


I have an eight month old and would love to join a pregnancy/babies/kids mefite group!

Sometimes I have a semi-question but I mostly just need reassurance that it'll be ok, and Ask isn't really designed for that. I enjoy reading the FB One Bad Mother group (which I think someone recommended in an Ask recently) but it has 5K+ members so I don't really want to post.
posted by insectosaurus at 6:56 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yay! I don't think there's any reason why this shouldn't be inclusively a pregnancy + getting through the first years + anyone who loves talking about this stuff group. I would include folks who are actively trying as well. If you have any more suggestions for names, I'll start something up, but I do quite like [More Inside].

Should we could make it a secret group in case some folks are not ready to be public about their statuses yet? In which case, I think I'll need your names / emails to invite you to the group. You can memail me this?

Mods would it be ok to link to this meta from a few of the recent pregnancy questions for visibility in those conversations?
posted by sestaaak at 7:05 AM on December 16, 2016 [5 favorites]


Yes yes yes yay!
posted by beandip at 7:11 AM on December 16, 2016


I'd be interested! Not pregnant at the moment, but interested in learning more.
posted by peacheater at 7:24 AM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Tragically our marriage is ending because he won't let me change her legal name to Nessie.

But she does have your last name, Pterodactyl, yes?
posted by gingerbeer at 7:46 AM on December 16, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'm fine with either a closed or a secret group. One option that might preserve privacy without the hassle of a secret group would be to call it something that doesn't implicate pregnancy (I like [more inside]!) and have zero information about viewable to the public.

Another option would be to start off with a closed group for a day or five, so that people can join more easily, then move it to secret going forward, which would be a trickle of people rather than a big group.
posted by insectosaurus at 8:02 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


Awesome idea! Also, check out forums at altdotlife if you haven't already. It's a mefi heavy crown over there and tends to be much less...whatever words you would use to describe the awfulness that is most pregnancy and baby boards.
posted by purenitrous at 8:04 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


[More Inside] FB group up and running! If anyone wants to help let me know and am open to tips and advice as I dont know anything about anything.

--> Thanks insectosaurus I set it up as closed for now.
posted by sestaaak at 8:10 AM on December 16, 2016 [8 favorites]


YES!!! All of your stories made me feel so much better yesterday.
posted by colfax at 8:49 AM on December 16, 2016


I would also like to recommend the forums at altdotlife.com. It's intended to be women-only (sorry dudes). The inhabitants run as a similar bent to metafilter - there is plenty of talk of the realities of day-to-day life and very little judgy fake bullshit. It's not as active as it once was, though an infusion of members might help that, but there are cohort threads for pregnancy and kids where (for example) you can join in with others who have newborns and all muddle through together, or 3 year olds and commiserate about what an asshole all of your kids have suddenly become. Or with others who are pregnant and all going through today's edition of Hooray! Surprise Indignity!

You can't read most of the forums unless you join, which a good thing. It's where I've gone for most of the support I've needed about my kids' ongoing health problems (there's a "chronic disease" thread) and behavior problems (there is a sensory processing thread and an annoying preschooler behavior thread and several other relevant ones) and random shit like OMG MY KID HAS LICE NOW WHAT (there's a lice thread). I've gotten nothing but kind words and helpful suggestions and it's never made me feel bad or shitty. There are plenty of non-parenting sections too, by the way - this MeTa is just about feeling less alone through parenting and pregnancy.

Anyway, if anyone joins up and needs help finding their way around, feel free to MeMail me here or private message me there (same username).
posted by telepanda at 9:40 AM on December 16, 2016 [4 favorites]


My husband found a website that would tell you the fetus's size each week in terms of something nerdy

When my partner was pregnant and we were reading all the "your fetus is now the size of a blueberry/potato/clock radio" stuff I wanted to make a widget where you could enter the due date and get an approximation of the fetus' size in terms of other newborn animals, so you'd get "your fetus is now the size of a baby vole!" or "your fetus is as big as a freshly hatched chick!" etc. I don't think I'll ever get around to it so if someone else wants to build that feel free.
posted by contraption at 9:47 AM on December 16, 2016 [3 favorites]


I have zero use for it, but based on the pikachu reference, I now want such a thing to exist but entirely in Pokemon.
posted by gingerbeer at 12:57 PM on December 16, 2016 [1 favorite]


Hey, I have a 5-month-old, too! There must have been something in the (Metafilter) water.
posted by pitrified at 1:28 PM on December 16, 2016


Man I was like "Hey I have a 5 month old too" and then I realized my baby is 8 months old now and my brain just hasn't caught up yet

*hangs head in shame*
posted by potrzebie at 10:18 PM on December 16, 2016 [9 favorites]


I'm not pregnant yet, but things seem to be heading in that direction. Reading the experiences in threads like the one that inspired this post has been a huge help as I read "What To Expect" and find out about all kinds of crazy shit I was not familiar with, like "lightning crotch" and class 4 perineal tearing.

Also, the wedding planning FB group I'm in reminds me every day that I'm definitely going to need some more chill and feminist pregnancy support, because I swear to god if I have to read about bridesmaid proposal boxes one more time, I cannot be held responsible for the result.

So, yeah, I want in!
posted by Sara C. at 1:09 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wtf is a bridesmaid proposal box? (Married 14y, not up with all this crap)
posted by gaspode at 5:46 AM on December 17, 2016


It's literally a box that is filled with something (I have only ever seen wine and an engraved wine glass) that has a note or some cutesy card that says "Will you be my bridesmaid?" I hate them and I am SO GLAD that it wasn't a thing when my cohort was getting hitched.
posted by cooker girl at 6:39 AM on December 17, 2016 [2 favorites]


I'd be interested! Not pregnant at the moment, but interested in learning more.

Well, you see, peacheater, here's how it works. There are MeFites and there are AskMeFites, and sometimes they decide to get enspousened. If they get together IRL, sometimes they end up with [more inside].
posted by headnsouth at 10:35 AM on December 17, 2016 [9 favorites]


cooker girl has it.

Honestly, it seems like a thing that has cropped up in the last year or two, since I went from never having heard of it to nonstop obsession among the wedding message board cohort. Or maybe it has always been around for the uber-crafty Obedient Female* crowd, but nobody I personally know goes in for that stuff?

The thing that makes me sad about it is that a lot of the women in the FB group are honestly stressing about it! I've seen it cause actual drama among friends, because the bride wants to take her prospective bridesmaids out to brunch (always brunch) to present them with these and do a big Bridesmaid Proposal (don't even ask), but when X or Y female friend can't make it, so much drama ensues and OMG seriously guys I am so happy I waited till I was in my 30s to do all this wedding crap. I can only hope being an elderly primigravida brings the same level of chill to my childbearing phase.

*A lot of women in my wedding FB group are of the immediate post-sorority demographic. They all seem very well acquainted with forced gift giving and gilding the lily when it comes to even the tiniest social rituals.
posted by Sara C. at 1:03 PM on December 17, 2016 [1 favorite]


I requested to join, though my kids are past babyhood (2 and 5 years old). I've been looking for a new FB parenting group, as the ones I used to like best became too fighty. Thanks for setting it up.
posted by terooot at 1:42 PM on December 17, 2016


yay! great idea!
posted by likeatoaster at 4:08 PM on December 17, 2016


My kids are 3 and five but I'll join too! Great idea.
posted by Jubey at 2:56 AM on December 18, 2016


Just requested to join.
Not pregnant, but a maternity/infant/canine bodyworker who also helps expectant parents safely prepare their dog(s) to welcome a new baby to the family. I love talking with folks about everything from postural support/body comfort to prenatal/postpartum mood disorders to breastfeeding support to TummyTime! for babies and on and on and on.
posted by sutureselves at 11:44 AM on December 18, 2016


My kid is 6, but I like talking about babies and kids, so I'm going to join, too!
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 6:24 AM on December 19, 2016


My kids are older too but I'm not part of any parents' groups. Request sent!
posted by Liesl at 10:15 AM on December 19, 2016


I requested to join the group twice and was denied/had my request deleted or maybe timed out both times. Is there a reason "I'm gonna be trying to conceive 2 months from now" isn't an allowable case for joining this group?

I just re-requested. I can wait till we are formally ttc rather than where we are now, which is "not trying not to anymore," to ask again, but it seems convenient to just join now.
posted by Sara C. at 1:21 PM on December 19, 2016 [2 favorites]


Hey, this is a great idea! I got a lot out of the alt.dot.life forums with my last pregnancy on the suggestion of several AskMefi threads, and a lovely reassuring MeMail response from someone I messaged. I'd love to have some Metafilter company on Facebook this time around.

sestaaak, do you plan to make it a secret group at some point? I prefer my Facebook parents groups that way, personally. It might be nice for early pregnancy people, especially. I'm 11 weeks and am not out about my pregnancy yet, and I'm not sure whether I will to be open about it on Facebook at all this time around.
posted by fussbudget at 7:25 PM on December 19, 2016


Just sent a request to join yay!
posted by kat518 at 12:37 AM on December 20, 2016


My kids are 1 and 4 and I would definitely love this. Joining!
posted by forza at 2:50 AM on December 20, 2016


Thanks for the add! This is very timely for me as we will be beginning to try very soon (soon as in I just took out my NuvaRing for the last time and am currently on day 2 of my period). It super weird to go from trying to prevent for 14 years to actually trying! I've reading so many pregnancy AskMe's the last week or so.

Is the group private yet? If I post there now, will others on my feed be able to see? After 14 years of constant badgering (we did talk to people and get it to slow down around year 10) I am very reluctant to let anyone know that we are trying, although most are probably expecting some announcement soon as my go-to excuse is no longer usable.
posted by LizBoBiz at 7:53 AM on December 20, 2016


Hey guys, I just want to share something that happened via MeMail that I think folks ought to know just as a warning of what this group is likely to be about.

The mod of the [more inside] FB group just messaged me to say that she denied my request to join the group because she doesn't think my particular voice would be a good fit for the group she apparently wants to curate, and that she would prefer that it only be open to certain Mefites who she thinks are right for the group.

This is fine, people can set up any facebook group they like for only themselves and their particular friends to use, and add or deny anyone they want. I'm in a few "friends only" FB groups, myself, so I know how it goes.

But I just wanted to let folks know that this particular group is apparently not open to Metafilter users with an interest in pregnancy, in general, but only for people who the mod of this group particularly wants to be in it.

So.... good luck with that I guess.
posted by Sara C. at 11:17 AM on December 20, 2016 [11 favorites]


I thought the group would be open to any Mefite who wanted in. As sestaak said, "Open to any confirmed member or partner of a member who wants some sane compassionate company for a few long months?"

This exclusion does not seem OK to me.
posted by beandip at 11:43 AM on December 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


The reality is, people organizing offsite groups can organize them as they want. We ask that folks not bring offsite interpersonal stuff over to Mefi, on any side.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 11:46 AM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


The reality is, people organizing offsite groups can organize them as they want. We ask that folks not bring offsite interpersonal stuff over to Mefi, on any side.

I mean, that's cool if it's all offsite but posting a MeTa is not offsite. If folks want to have an exclusionary group based on MeFites I'd rather they MeMail folks they think are a good fit for their group. This is icky.
posted by lalex at 12:06 PM on December 20, 2016 [18 favorites]


I mean, that's cool if it's all offsite but posting a MeTa is not offsite.

Posting a MetaTalk to organize something ultimately managed offsite is pretty much the normal process for getting offsite stuff started.

Offsite groups can manage their own self-determination basically however they see fit; I'm a big fan of folks seeking to do stuff inclusively in general, and it's important to me that people not be jerks or abusive about stuff tied to the site.

But expecting universal compulsory admission to every group that organizes offsite is unrealistic, and unfortunately that means it's possible to have hurt feelings when someone says no. And that sucks at a personal level, so I'm sympathetic, but that's also the way it works sometimes. Making it a matter of public argument can get pretty weird in its own right pretty quickly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:16 PM on December 20, 2016


Wow this is pretty gross. And I'm pretty disappointed by cortex's response. This isn't organizing something off-site—it's being organized right here on-site in a front-page MetaTalk thread. If individuals are going to be excluded in the manner that Sara C. describes, the thread should be deleted and then whoever wants to can actually organize off-site.
posted by grouse at 12:47 PM on December 20, 2016 [15 favorites]


Obviously there will be general constraints in any offsite group or activity, like "this is for [women] [people interested in politics] [folks who would like to donate a gift to a needy child], and here is our code of conduct that you must follow."

But I really hope you would not have approved a more honest MeTa saying "I'm curating a FB group and some people will be excluded based on my personal feelings about them", especially when folks are (quite naturally!) in here being like "thanks for adding me! I'm so excited!" as others are barred from joining.
posted by lalex at 12:49 PM on December 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


Ok guys. I'm sorry that was shitty and that I missed this discussion - not how I wanted to start things off. You're right I wanted to set up something open to MeFi and it should be open to everyone on Mefi. Sara, I will apologize to you directly but wanted to do it here too.
posted by sestaaak at 12:56 PM on December 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


This isn't organizing something off-site—it's being organized right here on-site in a front-page MetaTalk thread.

The distinction between something offsite being organized in part via a MetaTalk thread and something that is "actually" offsite doesn't really bear out in practice. Folks have done a wide variety of things over the years, with varying amounts of the preliminary organization taking place in MetaTalk even when the group itself exists basically independently of the site once it gets going.

Again: I think there's a natural avenue toward hurt feelings if something's not "literally anyone who says boo is in" and I totally sympathize with that feeling. But compulsory admission to a group or organization is not some prerequisite to being able to try and organize that group or organization on MetaTalk, and allowing folks running something offsite to manage their own processes is the only sane way we could approach something like this.

It sucks that that can create friction, but that friction is a potential part of basically any organization process and I feel like pushing on the idea that everybody has to interact with everybody is at best operating in well-meaning but problematic "geek social fallacies" territory and at less-than-best essentially bullying folks into not determining their own priorities or social boundaries by putting them in a high-stress no-win situation for trying to express those boundaries in whatever they're trying to do.

Whatever else aside, I think there's more productive and less coercive paths towards resolving a conflict along these lines than what has gone down in this thread in the last bit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:03 PM on December 20, 2016


Nobody is arguing for "compulsory admission" and even using that phrase seems like a bizarre strawman.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 1:11 PM on December 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


If the mod attitude is going to be basically "people gonna people, whatevs" it's not actually "bullying" to share one's opinion that as a matter of MetaTalk policy, groups that are exclusionary of particular individuals in this manner are not a great post idea for the public front page of MetaTalk.
posted by lalex at 3:27 PM on December 20, 2016 [4 favorites]


If the mod attitude is going to be basically "people gonna people, whatevs"

That's a pretty uncharitable and dismissive paraphrase. My primary attitude here is that there's less dicey, less obviously fraught ways to hash out a personal/general concern about the whether-or-not-admission-to-a-thing-is-automatic/guaranteed than what happened here. In any case, there needs to be some space between the pretty reasonable "I don't like this" and farther-reaching notions like such threads should be disallowed or deleted, when there's a long precedent of it actually being an okay if sometimes socially complicated thing for folks to do in MetaTalk. It's fine to disagree with that policy, but that doesn't mean it isn't policy.

Nobody is arguing for "compulsory admission"

But that does seem to be the core issue: the question of whether it's okay to organize some spinoff thing and then not be compelled to admit everyone who expresses an interest. Either admission to the group is compulsory or it isn't. If it's not, people will get told no sometimes. Which can suck to hear; this stuff can be socially complicated. It can lead to personal hurt feelings and it can make folks who prefer totally open groups uncomfortable, and I understand both of those reactions.

But making the choice to not admit literally every applicant can be and very frequently is part of a group's organizational process, and it's okay for that to be part of the process of something that starts out as a MetaFilter or MetaTalk discussion as well. It's happened before for varyingly successful small group things, along side more 100% open door policy group things; both are valid and allowable choices. And it's fine for folks to choose whether they want to be involved in any given group based on their own personal preferences about such things, or to prefer at a personal level that that wasn't something folks ever did with MetaFilter-spawned spinoff stuff. But it is a normal and allowable aspect of group organization.

I'm trying to be receptive to the more genuinely metatalky aspect of this, the just general question of procedure and comfort about group organization stuff, but I think these are poor circumstances to start off the more useful flavor of that discussion because it's simultaneously inseparable in context from someone's specific unhappiness with specific circumstances and something that really, really needs to not turn into a discussion of any specific person. If folks want to dig more generally into the question of whether and how and what should be organized in MetaTalk and their reasoning behind that, that'd work a lot better as a discussion started for its own sake down the road that doesn't have some very specific context like this informing it and making it more difficult to talk out.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:12 PM on December 20, 2016


Deleted a comment. This is really not the place to further debate the specific decisions of a third-party community - it's going to get personal and nasty and we have no interest in hosting that particular fight.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:09 PM on December 20, 2016


It seems like how MetaTalk and the community at large handle off-site groups that are exclusionary in non-transparent ways IS a matter of Metafilter policy that should appropriately be discussed in MetaTalk. From the FAQ, what is MetaTalk about: "People often use it for discussing policy and etiquette questions with the mods and other users, making feature requests, or asking questions about the site itself."
posted by likeatoaster at 6:49 PM on December 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


The MetaTalk thread dedicated to organizing this group seems like a reasonable place to discuss organization of the group. I can understand that the mods don't have control and that they want to minimize the drama coming in from offsite interactions but why keep the thread open if we're not allowed to talk about what's going on?
posted by beandip at 7:05 PM on December 20, 2016 [1 favorite]


If folks want to dig more generally into the question of whether and how and what should be organized in MetaTalk and their reasoning behind that, that'd work a lot better as a discussion started for its own sake down the road that doesn't have some very specific context like this informing it and making it more difficult to talk out.

I'm also kind of sick of this idea, which seems to be getting more common, that MetaTalks to discuss site issues should be made under near-perfect circumstances in a vacuum unrelated to things currently happening on the site.

Combined with the MetaTalk post queue, it puts a damper on discussion of site issues and in my experience encourages people to vent their ongoing frustrations in other MeFi-related channels instead of being able to resolve and improve things here. I think this has a negative impact on the site.
posted by lalex at 7:14 PM on December 20, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm also kind of sick of this idea, which seems to be getting more common, that MetaTalks to discuss site issues should be made under near-perfect circumstances in a vacuum unrelated to things currently happening on the site.

Again, that's seriously uncharitable and not what I said. I said this is a particularly poor kickoff for that discussion, because (a) it's tied directly to a specific person's complaint about not being included in something but (b) there is I think no chance in hell that anyone wants this to turn into a laser-focus discussion of why that would have happened. We are in, frankly, a fucking bind here in trying to be decent by avoiding letting this go in that direction and turning into a potential pile-on or interpersonal recriminations.

I'm not asking for near-perfection, I'm suggesting we don't start with "here's a super awkward situation" and decide that that, of all things, is the best way to get to a productive discussion that doesn't inevitably gyre its ass back to a personal angle.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:25 PM on December 20, 2016


Yeah, I dunno. Deletion of Sara C.'s totally reasonable comments explaining her intention here isn't really helping with the whole MetaTalk transparency thing.
posted by lalex at 8:20 PM on December 20, 2016 [5 favorites]


Man, I left the grey for a bit, because it felt weird, came back for a peek, and now it's weird again. To check my understanding: there was an open invite to any/all expecting Mefites, later expanded to Mefites expecting to expect; then some sort of nebulous selectivity was all of a sudden applied; now I see that Sara C's buttoned? Not cool.

I think, in future, if people are going to be publicizing invitations to off-site groups that they don't think will be wide open, it should happen over MeMail to start with and privately snowballed from there. Awkwardness could still happen, but your sample would be biased in a way you'd prefer.

We are in, frankly, a fucking bind here in trying to be decent by avoiding letting this go in that direction and turning into a potential pile-on or interpersonal recriminations.

Understandable... imo, better to just shut the thread down than try to walk the line, delete comments, etc.

(Sara C, hope you come back, sorry all that happened. I'd have MeMailed you, but you're not around.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:55 PM on December 20, 2016 [7 favorites]


Ok so yeah, this is awful. Perhaps the OP could have framed this differently rather than saying

Open to any confirmed member or partner of a member who wants some sane compassionate company for a few long months? since that's clearly not what sestaaak intended the group to be.

There are definitely private side groups that spawn from Metafilter, and some that are specifically about mocking certain members/being super exclusive etc and I actually think that's reasonable and fine, if not the best example of generous human behavior or whatever.

But to put a post on MetaTalk saying you want to create a supportive group for all and then saying "but hey, not YOU" violates the spirit of this community as I understand it.
posted by zutalors! at 5:41 AM on December 21, 2016 [8 favorites]


Well this absolutely sucks.
Here was the intent of the group: to have a nonjudgmental, nonsoapboxy community open to everyone.
Here was the criteria for joining: there was no criteria. Everyone was accepted.

EXCEPT:
1) Quite early on, several! people wrote me, unprompted!, to say that one specific person had loudly, repeatedly, made them feel like crap in previous Metafilter parenting threads by being aggressive, judgmental, and soapboxy -- had made them uncomfortable and reluctant to participate and engage in those parenting threads -- and could we please not allow this person into the group if possible because it would become toxic very quickly?

I didn't want to reject this person outright. I also didn't want to humiliate her by explaining that several people had asked her not to be there.

So I reached out directly and said I'd noticed this person was quite vocal, generally, on this site, and asked if she might maybe have some awareness of her presence and help make sure much quieter folks felt more comfortable speaking up in the FB forum... and would she be ok with that? It was not a rejection, it was an attempt to have a conversation before bringing her in to mitigate some concerns people had expressed. This was taken immediately as me being "weird and shitty" and a whole lot of crapping on this thread ensued about evil personal grudges typical of mommy groups.

I had several people tell me that this specific person was going to be judgmental and mean about parenting based on a past history of being judgmental and mean about parenting. I had not wanted to say anything publicly about this; it makes everyone feel terrible. I was not trying to be an evil arbitrary power hungry ostracizer but here we are and this has gone badly, and for that I am sorry.

2) The one and only person I actually! literally! rejected looked like he sold used phones from Brazil through copious, daily FB spam. I'm sorry if that's you, Involved Phone-Selling Dad, ping me we'll fix it.

Group dynamics are hard. I'm not a pro, just an overwhelmed parent who wanted everyone to play nicely in the sandbox together. I just wanted a group to ask about gross symptoms and infuriating toddlers and to share baby pics. I really have no interest in admin, or being perceived as a mean girl, so if anyone else wants to do it let me know. I'm sorry for how this went down, Sara C. And for the rest of you who were at some point interested in joining this group I hope this doesn't poison it for you.
posted by sestaaak at 6:16 AM on December 21, 2016 [18 favorites]


The public MeTa callout has gone out of favor over the years, and that's a shame because in situations like this, I think it is both healthy and productive. We've done this before in Meta (even on this exact topic)- users get called out for patterns of bad behavior, everyone gets to weigh in and speak for themself (no invisible armies), it gets hashed out, and things improve. It's not easy but at least it's transparent.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:57 AM on December 21, 2016 [8 favorites]


Yeah I don't know, being all boldface about how people were hating on one "specific" person who then wasn't permitted to be in the group does seem to be a public callout.
posted by zutalors! at 9:20 AM on December 21, 2016 [2 favorites]


I think since Sara brought the issue here it's fair for the OP to state her reasoning. Also to categorize privately expressed concerns as "hating" on someone isn't very charitable. Those concerns aren't petty.
posted by JenMarie at 9:49 AM on December 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


I was responding to the Pink Superhero's comment about public callouts. This basically turned into one by the OP.
posted by zutalors! at 9:59 AM on December 21, 2016


This is part of why it's not great to bring stuff about interpersonal interactions to the court of "hey everybody in MeTa".

On the one hand, people wouldn't be happy if we disallowed Sara C from voicing her complaint here. But then if the complaint is a mischaracterization ("you can't join because of my baseless personal whim" vs. "this is a supportive space and to join, you need to agree to respect people's privacy and not dominate conversations/shame people/etc"), it's not fair to let the mischaracterization stand unchallenged. It was Sara C's choice to bring this in here and so now there's a spotlight on her participation.

But regardless of how it gets rolling, it's not great for a thread to become a referendum on one person either. We've had that in the past and it was becoming utterly toxic and in the last couple years we've backed way, way off it, being much quicker to shut down individual-person-focused callouts or pile-ons. It's a weird time, where many-on-one social media harassment is bigger/worse in scale/effect/etc from what it was on the old internet, and our internal community discussions/norms are having to adjust to that context.

In general we want to be transparent, but we also want community members to feel in some basic way like this is at least a not-unsafe place to be. I'm sympathetic to the idea that hearing everybody say "your behavior is a problem" can be useful, but the flip side of that is people in general worrying that at any time they could be the one under the spotlight.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:03 AM on December 21, 2016 [3 favorites]


(b) there is I think no chance in hell that anyone wants this to turn into a laser-focus discussion of why that would have happened.

Ugh, yes, you were correct.

I'm not asking for near-perfection, I'm suggesting we don't start with "here's a super awkward situation" and decide that that, of all things, is the best way to get to a productive discussion that doesn't inevitably gyre its ass back to a personal angle.

Ugh, yes, so sorry I contributed to that happening.
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:07 AM on December 21, 2016


This thread turned into a callout after the fact. There's many ways that could have been avoided- there could have been a discussion upfront either about specific users people were concerned about, or about general topics/behaviors people would not want to see carry over into the group (and then those topics/behaviors could be policed in the group, away from here, as desired and needed).

I'm sympathetic to the idea that hearing everybody say "your behavior is a problem" can be useful, but the flip side of that is people in general worrying that at any time they could be the one under the spotlight.

I don't understand why the flip side is bad. This is a community weblog- the community part is what separates us from the comments section of newspapers. If you stick around long enough, people will get to know you- we're a large, loose, wacky family. I understand that people shouldn't hold grudges, but I also don't think we should have to pretend like this place doesn't have any history.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:17 AM on December 21, 2016 [9 favorites]



This is part of why it's not great to bring stuff about interpersonal interactions to the court of "hey everybody in MeTa".

On the one hand, people wouldn't be happy if we disallowed Sara C from voicing her complaint here. But then if the complaint is a mischaracterization ("you can't join because of my baseless personal whim" vs. "this is a supportive space and to join, you need to agree to respect people's privacy and not dominate conversations/shame people/etc"), it's not fair to let the mischaracterization stand unchallenged. It was Sara C's choice to bring this in here and so now there's a spotlight on her participation


I mean, I guess? I don't feel like we really have much info on what went down, I feel like Sara C tried to clarify, her comment got deleted, and now this sense that she "shames people" is left hanging in this thread.
posted by zutalors! at 10:18 AM on December 21, 2016 [4 favorites]


I don't understand why the flip side is bad.

Because regardless of the validity of the originating reason for the callout, discussion is almost never (to my knowledge) constrained in scope and intensity to that scenario or behaviour. It broadens, intensifies; as the thread gains in length, odds are increased that people will insert unrelated personal peeves, agitations, and anxieties - maybe, some who shouldn't will see themselves in the callout - and next thing you know, the thread turns into some kind of ritual purging, and six people you never would have thought had anything to do with it end up leaving. And the original behaviour - which *might*well have been representative, or, as the case may be, *might* have been the result of an off day, and just become distorted by crowd dynamics - becomes attached to a given user in a permanent and stigmatizing way. And it's unclear to me - although I don't actually know, maybe someone can say - that this excoriation/purging has any long-term benefit to the individual or the community. Because something else will happen later anyhow. (So I am anti Meta callout.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 10:35 AM on December 21, 2016


I actually do think it was better when we had personalized Meta callouts. I've had some mini ones in-thread of the zutalors! is the worst! variety and I was like, I dunno, let's make it a whole thing I guess.
posted by zutalors! at 11:00 AM on December 21, 2016 [1 favorite]


Group dynamics are hard. I'm not a pro, just an overwhelmed parent who wanted everyone to play nicely in the sandbox together.

They are hard, yes. I suggest writing up a Standards of Behavior for your community outlining your baseline expectations for what people can and can't do. That way incoming members don't have to be judged on their past behaviors and if the standards aren't met once they join there's a means of recourse for community leaders to act in response.

EXCEPT:
1) Quite early on, several! people wrote me, unprompted!, to say that one specific person had loudly, repeatedly, made them feel like crap in previous Metafilter parenting threads by being aggressive, judgmental, and soapboxy -- had made them uncomfortable and reluctant to participate and engage in those parenting threads -- and could we please not allow this person into the group if possible because it would become toxic very quickly?


Again, setting expectations up front gives you leave to ignore or decline requests for exclusion of specific members based on past actions. (Because, damn that's not sane or compassionate at all.) People with concern for a specific community member can rest assured that everyone will observe the standards for behavior, or then face the consequences. You aren't responsible for past beefs, only anything that crops up within your community. Any community member not acting up to standards of behavior can be addressed.

I know you didn't ask, and I hope I'm not being too mansplainy offering my take, but I hoped to help you get your community working out after this rough start.
posted by carsonb at 11:48 AM on December 21, 2016 [7 favorites]


Yea, it's weird to accuse someone of pre-violating community standards you haven't laid out.
posted by zutalors! at 12:15 PM on December 21, 2016 [8 favorites]


Any group that doesn't want Sara C is seriously wrong. I met her irl through Metafilter and cannot say enough good things about her--we work in the same industry and she is respected on every level. I'm stunned at this entire thread.
posted by Ideefixe at 4:22 PM on December 21, 2016 [8 favorites]


Ooh, just seeing this, and I have a 9-mo-old, so I'd love to join. I benefited greatly from MetaFilter advice during pregnancy and would do my best to return the favor. And what was the verdict for the post-birth crowd; are we in the same group? My take would be "let's do it," as what I think a comparison of r/babybumps vs. /r/afterthebump (if I'm remembering those right) shows is that post-baby, there is a lot less posting. (/r/parenting, with a lot of tots + older, picks up again.)

Also, I just want to say thanks to sestaaak for taking this on. I'm sorry this thread turned the way it did. I think people jumped to a conclusion that it was some hand-picked clique, when it sounds like what actually happened was one specific, tricky decision that some people would disagree with. Regardless of the merits of that decision, I think the ratio of disapproval to "hey, thanks for taking this on" is way off. Thanks for making this happen.
posted by slidell at 9:49 AM on December 22, 2016 [6 favorites]


Why have a group promoted on Metafilter that isn't open to all Metafilter?
posted by Ideefixe at 10:25 AM on December 22, 2016 [5 favorites]



Also, I just want to say thanks to sestaaak for taking this on. I'm sorry this thread turned the way it did. I think people jumped to a conclusion that it was some hand-picked clique, when it sounds like what actually happened was one specific, tricky decision that some people would disagree with. Regardless of the merits of that decision, I think the ratio of disapproval to "hey, thanks for taking this on" is way off. Thanks for making this happen.



I think the details of what actually happened are very much unclear.
posted by zutalors! at 11:00 AM on December 22, 2016

Why have a group promoted on Metafilter that isn't open to all Metafilter?
Yes! When an invitation "Open to any confirmed member or partner of a member who wants some sane compassionate company for a few long months" is posted to MetaTalk, the community is going to take it at face value.

When the supposedly-open invite was then amended to say "oh EXCEPT THIS ONE PERSON" then the whole thread should have just been nuked, because that's some grade-a junior-high star-bellied sneetches nonsense right there. Of course off-site groups aren't the mods' purview, but the invite was posted here and allowed to stand even after it became clear that it's not actually open. If Sara C.'s response was deleted then the callout accusing her of being "aggressive, judgmental, and soapboxy" should have been deleted as well. I'm with Lalex, this is icky.
posted by usonian at 11:20 AM on December 22, 2016 [16 favorites]


If Sara C.'s response was deleted then the callout accusing her of being "aggressive, judgmental, and soapboxy" should have been deleted as well.


This, plus Lobstermitten's characterization of the conflict as:

("you can't join because of my baseless personal whim" vs. "this is a supportive space and to join, you need to agree to respect people's privacy and not dominate conversations/shame people/etc")


which seems to be just made up, not anyone's actual words.
posted by zutalors! at 11:28 AM on December 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


It's easy to, with all good intentions, make a basically untenable argument for never limiting participation in a group. And while I get where folks are coming from with one angle of the discomfort about how this played out, I feel like that's kind of exactly what's happening here.

Boundaries are normal and healthy for groups. Being able to aim for basically open participation while still maintaining the ability to set limits is core to just about every successful group structure I've ever participated in. And a failure to collectively recognize or allow those boundaries has been a destructive problem for most of the unsuccessful ones.

It's true of MetaFilter; folks get warned, banned, in some cases preemptively refused at signup if we have significant concerns about how their pattern or history of behavior clashes with the goals of the site and the community.

It doesn't make it not sometimes hard, or messy, or a source of hurt feelings, which is why I've argued some of the stuff I have above about better and worse ways to navigate that. It's not simple stuff.

But any argument that a group organizer saying "no" to someone joining a given new group is an inherent problem or fundamentally incompatible with MetaFilter is missing the mark. MetaFilter itself hasn't collapsed under the weight of time and trollery in large part because a degree of thoughtful control over admission comes hand-in-hand with our otherwise general desire to let folks who want to participate do so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:38 AM on December 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


If Sara C.'s response was deleted then the callout accusing her of being "aggressive, judgmental, and soapboxy" should have been deleted as well.

Following this horse back to the stable would have meant deleting Sara C.'s initial objection as well out of the reasonable concern that as presented it was kicking off a minor shitstorm to begin with. Crappy dilemma for us to be dealt; see my previous comments in the thread about wish this had been approached differently.

which seems to be just made up, not anyone's actual words.

The whim bit is from a deleted comment from Sara C. It's not an invention or a mischaracterization.

Which, again: it's gonna be basically impossible to have a further discussion about this that is specific to a given person without shit getting more personal in a way I see no good outcome from. Doubly so with that person not participating in the conversation at this point.

See again my suggestion earlier that if there's a general concern here it be brought up as its own post without the complicated baggage of this specific incident. If this is literally just about Sara C. and this particular group, let it be at this point because there's no good way to approach that further.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:09 PM on December 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


So, moving forward, Metafilter should not promote groups that are not on Metafilter.
Anyone who wants an FB group or a Google group or a Yahoo group or a subreddit can spread the word about their group to those whom they feel will mesh with that Group's stated goals without having Metafilter do the promotional/emotional labor.
I don't understand why the mods are deleting some comments here, but allowing those that seem to be pure self-justification.
posted by Ideefixe at 12:14 PM on December 22, 2016 [6 favorites]



I don't understand why the mods are deleting some comments here, but allowing those that seem to be pure self-justification


Yeah. I think some of the mod action here drove away a long time member while some hearsay from the OP was allowed to stand. That's pretty serious and should be discussed I think.
posted by zutalors! at 12:16 PM on December 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


I do not think Sara C. said "baseless", unless there was a third deleted comment I didn't see. So moving forward I think paraphrases of deleted comments aren't great.

Also moving forward, I don't think comments like Sara C.'s, which were basically like, "I wanted to let people know that I was rejected, so this may not be the inclusive and drama-free group you are looking for," after the mods were questioning why the whole thing would be brought in here, should be deleted.

As someone who's sensitive about rejection, this is the kind of thing I want to know before putting myself out there to join a group.
posted by lalex at 12:22 PM on December 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


> Yeah. I think some of the mod action here drove away a long time member while some hearsay from the OP was allowed to stand. That's pretty serious and should be discussed I think.

It...wasn't hearsay. What?
posted by desuetude at 1:16 PM on December 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Sara C's original comment made that "I wanted to let people know" point. Then she followed it up with further callouts of and insulting comments about the OP (which we deleted since they didn't add anything and our stance has been "this is the prerogative of the offsite group", so they just seemed to be calling for a personal focus on the OP). As it turned out, her version of events seemed to be misrepresenting what went down between her and the OP.

The OP didn't call out Sara C or initiate anything on this public forum about Sara C -- it's Sara C who brought that here. OP was going to handle this extremely awkward thing discreetly and privately, and in a way that didn't bring a public spotlight to Sara C's past behavior. It's Sara C who chose to publicize this, which creates a difficult situation because a full discussion of this decision would involve scrutiny of how Sara C has behaved in parenting/pregnancy AskMes. I.e. it would throw a negative spotlight on her personally.

Pressing for a declaration that this group acted unreasonably is pressing for a fuller airing of complaints about Sara C.'s past behavior. We've been resisting allowing that.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:18 PM on December 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


Then she followed it up with further callouts of and insulting comments about the OP

I saw at least some of those and they were not insulting. This is weird.
posted by zutalors! at 1:22 PM on December 22, 2016 [7 favorites]


Whatever Sara C has done or said or typed or whatever, yes it's beside the point. I can leave her handle out of it from here, because the real rub is that this happened:

EXCEPT:
1) Quite early on, several! people wrote me, unprompted!, to say that one specific person had loudly, repeatedly, made them feel like crap in previous Metafilter parenting threads by being aggressive, judgmental, and soapboxy -- had made them uncomfortable and reluctant to participate and engage in those parenting threads -- and could we please not allow this person into the group if possible because it would become toxic very quickly?


The answer to that question if I'm being asked is I'm sorry, that's just not possible every time. I mean, the most uncharitable reading of that report from sestaaak is that several people promised to poison the well if a certain other member joined. My first interpretation of it and the one I still believe is not that severe, that several people insisted that member would be the one making things toxic, but that's like one tiny step in the direction of less-reprehensible. Either way those requests are not polite and certainly not welcoming, in direct opposition to the stated purposes of the group.

To my view the next step in this thread is the, uh, Preggyfilter people take that one back as best as possible and clarify the policies and standards for behavior in the group.

The way the mods are handling this fru-fra-rah is grist for a whole nother thread.
posted by carsonb at 1:31 PM on December 22, 2016 [5 favorites]


I saw at least some of those and they were not insulting. This is weird.

If we fundamentally disagree about whether Sara C.'s approach there was insulting or problematic, so be it; I'm not going to convince you to feel otherwise than how you do. But that's how it read to the entire mod team and is consonant with a lot of examples of her problematic behavior on the site over the last few years that we've had to talk to her about. This isn't some one-off thing being treated uncharitably in isolation.

There is no way we can both be polite and dig in on this, and I've been trying repeatedly to make that clear in as non-specific a way as I can in favor of having people just let it be already. I'm tearing my hair out a bit at the insistence, from people who otherwise seem to want to get her back, on it being a dig-in thing rather than a let-it-be thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:39 PM on December 22, 2016 [2 favorites]



The way the mods are handling this fru-fra-rah is grist for a whole nother thread


Is it though? I feel like this is usually code for "let's never discuss it again"

I mean that genuinely, though it might not be taken as such.
posted by zutalors! at 1:39 PM on December 22, 2016


No code meaning to what I said, and I could be wrong. I'm listening.
posted by carsonb at 2:05 PM on December 22, 2016


This whole "people are saying..." takedown of Sara C is really uncool. I've met her a once or twice irl and we interact a little on FB. I read askme and see her responses there. So she expresses her opinions? Unlike other users?

sestaaak's description of Sara C is not recognizable. I am mystified as to why mods are ok with leaving this up. I'm not comfortable being a part of a community where this sort of thing is ok.

I agree with lalex's interpretation of Sara C's follow up post re: rejection. I tend to assume that most mefites are sensitive about social group exclusion and the feelings that can bring up. So she posted so that to let others know they might be excluded in spite of the announcement that it is open to all. That it's maybe a group open to anyone except Sara is even weirder and even more reminiscent of middle school group dynamics.
posted by mandymanwasregistered at 2:10 PM on December 22, 2016 [9 favorites]


Either way those requests are not polite and certainly not welcoming, in direct opposition to the stated purposes of the group.

I feel you on the sentiment—that it's inherently unwelcoming in one sense to not want someone to be part of a group—but I think it's a mistake to generalize that to the idea that the two options are (a) a group aiming to be welcoming or (b) a group being able to establish boundaries. Like I said above: boundaries are normal, and exceptional concerns are something any organization has to take into account in the course of managing itself. MetaFilter itself has to straddle that constantly by e.g. being unwelcoming to behavior that is itself unwelcoming to people in the community. There are sometimes unreconcilable conflicts; there are often situations less totally unreconcilable but which still require at best an uncomfortable compromise that one or more parties feel underserved by.

And I think the idea of trying to communicate boundaries up front is laudable, and I think for more ambitious/complex/formal organizations baking that into a membership process it goes beyond that to being basically necessary. I've been working with a group to do just that recently for a co-op type organization in Portland, because we're dealing with something involving money and a shared physical space and personal property, with all the safety and security considerations that come with that.

But for smaller, less formal stuff it's less realistic to expect that kind of explicit process or announcement to be baked in upfront just on the off chance that an exception comes up. Doesn't mean it's not worth thinking about or talking about especially if/when something thorny comes up, but I don't think it's a given that it's an oversight for it not to have been hashed out preemptively, basically. "Hey, you folks interested in starting a facebook group?" is definitely far more to the informal side as such stuff goes.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:37 PM on December 22, 2016 [1 favorite]




This whole "people are saying..." takedown of Sara C is really uncool.


yeah, that's why I called it hearsay, to respond to desuetude. I don't think we know what happened, but we're supposed to let sestaaak's account stand for the truth.
posted by zutalors! at 2:37 PM on December 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


Sara C's original comment made that "I wanted to let people know" point. Then she followed it up with further callouts of and insulting comments about the OP

Please stop doing this. In my view this is a very, very uncharitable view of her first deleted comment and it is straight up untrue about her second deleted comment. Maybe there was a third, I don't know.

I don't think you're speaking in bad faith, at all, but it feels really inappropriate for a mod to make these kinds of characterizations about deleted comments.
posted by lalex at 4:30 PM on December 22, 2016 [8 favorites]


The point is Sara C's original comment made that "I wanted to let people know" point.

To say that the OP of this thread called Sara C out is incorrect; it's the other way around.

As cortex says, there's no way for us to both be polite and dig in on this.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 6:02 PM on December 22, 2016 [2 favorites]


sestaaak's description of Sara C is not recognizable

It is absolutely recognizable to me. Maybe you don't read all of the parenting questions, or maybe she has never sent you multiple argumentative emails because you had a different take than her in a thread. I agree with the mod approach that it's better to let this drop than to keep poking at it and saying there is no basis for people to have concerns about her participation, because then people will feel the need to defend their points and a dig through posting history would ensue, which serves very little purpose. I think the OP and the mods have handled this awkward, uncomfortable situation just fine.
posted by JenMarie at 6:04 PM on December 22, 2016 [14 favorites]


(For the record I didn't object to her or anyone else joining the group and I think it would have been fine if she did, I just recognized the concern the OP mentioned)
posted by JenMarie at 6:51 PM on December 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


I think the OP and the mods have handled this awkward, uncomfortable situation just fine.

Agreed. I hesitated to speak up here, but in the 12 years I've been on MetaFilter I have had one single person ever MeMail in a harassy, argumentative way, and it was Sara C, and it was about [pretty innocuous] comments I made in a parenting thread. I was not one of the people who privately expressed concern about her participation in the group, but I am not surprised to hear that people did so. I hope this isn't too much of a pile-on, I'm just really uncomfortable with the impression that the OP was coming out of left field on this.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 6:56 PM on December 22, 2016 [3 favorites]


I'm on the record as thinking Sara C.'s comments should have stood, and that less stuff should be deleted in MeTa in general, but I'm not really getting this whole thing where folks are still allowed to post their jabs at her when she has literally been barred from responding in the thread.
posted by lalex at 7:18 PM on December 22, 2016 [9 favorites]


> folks are still allowed to post their jabs at her when she has literally been barred from responding in the thread.

What the heck? She hasn't been barred, she deactivated her own account.
posted by desuetude at 10:31 PM on December 22, 2016 [4 favorites]


She deleted her account after her attempts to continue participating in this thread were deleted and she was told to stop.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 11:31 PM on December 22, 2016 [1 favorite]


She wasn't "told to stop" as far as I know.
posted by zutalors! at 5:56 AM on December 23, 2016


she has literally been barred from responding in the thread.

She was told to drop that one specific thing that we have also been trying to tell everybody else to drop, largely for her sake because it was going to go nowhere good. She closed her account without note or discussion and didn't reach out to us to talk any of it over or figure out a compromise or path forward with the discussion.

Which, it's her prerogative to do so, but she was not barred, was not banned, and using her voluntary absence to argue people shouldn't criticize her behavior on the site—in response to people ignoring our urges to drop it and instead insisting on defending her honor against the possibility that people could have actual concerns about her behavior—is beyond unreasonable into the vicinity of ridiculous. It's deeply tedious eat-cake-and-have-it-too stuff, and I'm exhausted by it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:31 AM on December 23, 2016 [5 favorites]


Come on now, you deleted a comment from her that literally said "My purpose was in no way to complain about not being included in something, but to inform other people that this is not an open group for general Mefite participation."

I should have been clearer that you didn't ban her, but saying it's her prerogative to participate here, when you've deleted comments like the above, is disingenuous. Obviously nobody is coming into this thread to talk about the weather.
posted by lalex at 7:44 AM on December 23, 2016 [3 favorites]


This thread was about people wanting to talk about pregnancy and babies and toddlers etc and setting up a place that would allow like-minded people to do so. Everything outside of that is a massive derail.
posted by h00py at 7:47 AM on December 23, 2016 [2 favorites]


Come on now, you deleted a comment from her that literally said "My purpose was in no way to complain about not being included in something, but to inform other people that this is not an open group for general Mefite participation."

Fuck's sake, this is ridiculous. People had been coming into this thread to talk about a facebook group that was starting up. Sara C. dropped a self-centered drama bomb on it in what was just about the worst possible approach to getting friction about signing up, and this has from that point on been a stupid, hard-to-manage mess that has made further discussion and organization for that group impossible. We deleted followup comments that were trying to laser it back in on her self-defense of her dramamongering, to keep it from turning into a goddam pile-on on her and fucking up the thread further. For all the good that has done with the cyclical Yeah, but! refusals to let it lie.

My patience for the notion that the problem is with everybody else and not with her having done the same sort of dramariffic bullshit she's done on the site for years is totally expended; I'm not going to keep arguing these side-argument nitpicks with you and ignoring the actual bulk of the issue.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:32 AM on December 23, 2016 [20 favorites]


cortex, the ordinary mefi member is going to be totally unaware of any previous history between the mods & Sara C. What they’re going to see is what’s in this metatalk post which, frankly, looks pretty bad for the mods no matter whether you’re ultimately in the right.
posted by pharm at 10:09 AM on December 23, 2016 [9 favorites]


The ordinary mefi member who has had much interaction with her in AskMe, however, is likely to be familiar with what they are referring to. It's not like she's been a neutral presence on the site. Which is why they were trying, possibly too politely, to prevent this from being a referendum on her behavior.
posted by gingerbeer at 10:24 AM on December 23, 2016 [12 favorites]


The ordinary mefi member who has had much interaction with her in AskMe, however, is likely to be familiar with what they are referring to.

It me.
posted by CrazyLemonade at 4:16 PM on December 23, 2016


I've had positive interactions with Sara C. on Metafilter for half a decade and I've never heard of the low-participation OP before today, so my benefit-of-the-doubt-o-meter certainly leans very far in one direction. It's pretty hard to tell what is going on, especially with the deleted comments. Metatalk comments basically never used to be deleted and I wish that was still policy.

This is yet another piece of evidence that the 'disable my account' button is bad; it solves no problems and creates some.
posted by Kwine at 11:43 AM on December 25, 2016 [3 favorites]


I've had positive interactions with Sara C. on Metafilter for half a decade and I've never heard of the low-participation OP before today, so my benefit-of-the-doubt-o-meter certainly leans very far in one direction

That's a pretty uncharitable read of the situation, and a good illustration of why some people may feel more comfortable being "low participation" on this website at times. You could have made your points about deleting comments and disabling accounts just as well without judging the merits of users based on their number of posts and comments.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 2:47 PM on December 25, 2016 [9 favorites]


Yeah, the reality is that the bulk of the userbase is low-participation folks, and that big chunk of folks are just as much MeFites and just as much deserving of a basic level of credit when trying to sort out site-related stuff. There's occasional side-eye due with neophyte spammers and shit-stirrers, but those are the exceptions and this wasn't one of them.

We've, very much by design, got a moderation staff who can look close at discreet reports of odd behavior or unusual situations and try to steer around or resolve issues with users of any given level of habitual participation. That's a structure that works well to let folks e.g. contact us to try and examine or mediate a dispute or conflict or other tricky situation. I've tried to communicate a few times in this thread that I'm basically unhappy that that approach wasn't taken here, because it's the one that tends to work best and cause the least bad feelings and unnecessary drama.

So I'm pretty uncomfortable with the idea of routing around that safety net to instead conclude that someone who doesn't comment a ton on the site is ipso facto not as trustworthy or deserving of benefit of the doubt as someone who does. It's a bad dynamic and does nothing to make this a better community.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:03 PM on December 25, 2016 [6 favorites]


sestaaak's description of Sara C is not recognizable.

It's perfectly recognizable to me as well.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:13 PM on December 30, 2016


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