Why allow blocking private messages? June 1, 2017 10:16 AM   Subscribe

For the first time, I just had another user block my private messages after a polite but heated exchange where I guess they just really wanted the last word. I'm not like offended, but I had never noticed the option to block private messages before, and was wondering what the rationale is there. If someone is spamming or harassing another user, that seems like something that could be resolved through the mods. Is this something that has always been there, and do people use it all the time and I'm just out of the loop?
posted by OverlappingElvis to Etiquette/Policy at 10:16 AM (132 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Not a new feature, yeah; it's been there for a long time. That said, I don't think it gets a ton of use (and never would have expected it to) but rather infrequent, as-needed use for one or another reason.

Most often I'm aware of it being used to cut off communications when someone either doesn't want a conversation to continue and feels like the mefite on the other end isn't picking that up or is choosing to ignore it. In that context it's a self-service sort of deal to more concretely stop a conversation. Various kinds of self-control and boundary things might play out that way, basically.

Now and then it gets used for more serious things like persistent unwelcome/harassing messaging or gross/bullshitty/scary out of line stuff. In those latter cases it's generally something we on the mod team want to know about and may need to take action on, but someone being able to take the first step of instituting a block is helpful for them to know they've at least put up an immediate barrier to the problem.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:24 AM on June 1 [11 favorites]


Originally, this feature allowed users to delete the entire user account of MeFites they no longer wanted to hear from. But following the whole Paphnuty incident, the Cabal* decided that this was a stupid feature and deleted it.




There is no Paphnuty Cabal.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:35 AM on June 1 [24 favorites]


It wasn't just the user account ... but I've already said too much.
posted by languagehat at 12:05 PM on June 1 [27 favorites]


Guys, I don't want to have to go over again the whole thing about not invoking the hidden names that will act as a fulcrum for a world-destroying horror.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:10 PM on June 1 [35 favorites]


covfefe?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:20 PM on June 1 [35 favorites]


People have heated exchanges over MeMail? Isn't that what the blue is for?
posted by bondcliff at 12:43 PM on June 1 [15 favorites]


I think it was there from the beginning. (Seems like a feature that in 2017 really doesn't need to be justified, tbh.)
posted by advil at 12:50 PM on June 1 [4 favorites]


I've used it a few times, including yesterday on mod advice, when getting abusive messages. Better sometimes, probably most of the time, than getting into an escalating vitrioic message exchange. Block, eyeroll, move on.
posted by Wordshore at 1:13 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Yeah, sorry about that OE, I think we've discussed things quite enough, thank you very much.

We've both said our pieces, multiple times, and frankly if you can't see that I'm right, then I really don't want to hear anymore of your sloppy and gross generalizations about why creamy peanut butter is better than crunchy. You're just wrong about that, deal with it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:14 PM on June 1 [21 favorites]


Less filling?





Tastes great?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:28 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I don't think I've ever used this and don't imagine it gets a lot of general use, but I think it's a good thing to have there, given how heated exchanges and people can go.
posted by byanyothername at 1:28 PM on June 1 [6 favorites]


It is just a fact that crunchy peanut butter is better, though.
posted by byanyothername at 1:28 PM on June 1 [12 favorites]


But on a serious note, yeah, it's been there close to from the beginning and it's good for users to have that bit of control themselves. It probably doesn't get used much, but is useful when it does.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:31 PM on June 1


I've used it maybe two or three times in 12-13 years? If someone got seriously nasty about something I said in a thread and blew up at me in memail. Used to leave my email address in my profile, but don't any more for that reason. For the most part people here have been polite even if they took an argument to memail, though. So it wasn't necessary.

Seconding everyone who says it's better to have the option, even if it's not used.
posted by zarq at 1:36 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


Is there a provision somewhere I'm missing where we can managed the block list? I don't know if I have blocked anyone or not, but it would be good to be able to check.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:39 PM on June 1


Used to leave my email address in my profile, but don't any more for that reason.

Many many years ago, when I was somewhat new and kind of an asshole/troll, I started a bit of a shitstorm (since deleted, I'm no longer proud, and in hindsight really not that big of a deal) and I had a whole bunch of people emailing me, one of whom said something involving wiping my mom's butt. People were pretty damn harsh.
posted by bondcliff at 1:40 PM on June 1


Is there a provision somewhere I'm missing where we can managed the block list? I don't know if I have blocked anyone or not, but it would be good to be able to check.

Open MeMail. Go to 'Your Contacts'. Scroll down to the bottom. "Manage Blocked Contacts."
posted by zarq at 1:41 PM on June 1


Ah, thanks, zarq. I guess I never did block anyone. Unlike Facebook, where I have a border wall-long list of trumpies blocked.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:44 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Also, Frimble if you're reading this, the first field on that Manage Blocked Contacts page which shows the name(s) of the person or people you've blocked is only 13 characters long. The display of longer names gets cut off.
posted by zarq at 1:46 PM on June 1


Ah, thanks, zarq. I guess I never did block anyone. Unlike Facebook, where I have a border wall-long list of trumpies blocked.

No prob. :)
posted by zarq at 1:47 PM on June 1


I would say blocking is just an unremarkable utility feature many messaging services have. What MeMail is really missing is the ability to warn someone up to 100%.
posted by michaelh at 1:54 PM on June 1 [7 favorites]


For the most part people here have been polite even if they took an argument to memail, though.

This seems so bizarre to me. That someone would go that far with regards to a discussion/argument. I'm glad that we have the option to prevent this kind of harassment from escalating, but wow. That people are that invested and willing to push back on a person. Huh...
posted by Fizz at 2:05 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Wordshore: I've used it a few times, including yesterday on mod advice, when getting abusive messages.

But, but…who would be abusive to such a refined and genteel person? Did they, like, insist that milk-in-first was the only way?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 2:13 PM on June 1 [10 favorites]


No one ever writes me so I was not aware you could stop that. That's not true, I get a message from the cortex-bot whenever I post something. Those are kind of annoying so I suppose I could block cortex and that would fix that. Then again, what if cortex is in the market for a good marotte and looking for a recommendation, and then I wouldn't respond and he'd be kind of hurt. That would be a dick thing to do. I don't really know cortex but I kind of like him. I suppose I could also just opt out of the new post notifications in my profile. Truthfully though, sometimes I forget I posted something and when I see the little red circle I get excited thinking someone's reaching out to me. Needs my advice, wants to bounce a few ideas off me, noticed I lost a little weight. But no. It's just cortex, and he's not in the market for a marotte. He's just a bot.

Sometimes I think that maybe nobody memails me because one night, after too many beers and an Ambien, I found the secret mod dashboard and accidentally blocked everyone, and maybe now I can't remember how I found it so I can't switch it back. Yeah, that's probably it. Actually, I'm probably better off without it in my life. Don't really need another queue I dread dealing with.
posted by Stanczyk at 2:51 PM on June 1 [18 favorites]


I could block cortex and that would fix that.

interesting. Though defeating a crystal ball with the glazed donut base takes a Limited wish spell at the very least.

I don't know if I have blocked anyone

you have, trust me.
posted by clavdivs at 3:21 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Stanczyk, it looks to me like you lost a little weight, am I seeing that right?
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:22 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: helpful for them to know they've at least put up an immediate barrier to the problem.
posted by Melismata at 3:22 PM on June 1


I blocked all of you.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 3:59 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


But I'm your spouse, wtf!?
posted by loquacious at 4:04 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


I get a message from the cortex-bot whenever I post something.

Even though I usually get them a half-second after I hit post, I still get a knot in my stomach and think I'm in trouble.
posted by Room 641-A at 4:08 PM on June 1 [25 favorites]


They still basically fuck me up too, so, I feel you.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:10 PM on June 1 [32 favorites]


You Blockhead!
posted by oneswellfoop at 4:15 PM on June 1


Even though I usually get them a half-second after I hit post, I still get a knot in my stomach and think I'm in trouble.

Thoughts that run through my brain immediately after posting:
“Oh shit, what did I do wrong now? I thought I was being a good MeFite. This is it, this is where
I get banned. I know it.”
EVERY. DAMN. TIME.
posted by Fizz at 4:22 PM on June 1 [19 favorites]


But I'm your spouse, wtf!?

Maybe you should have thought about that before you...before you...you know what you did...
posted by Joseph Gurl at 4:28 PM on June 1 [5 favorites]


It's just cortex, and he's not in the market for a marotte. He's just a bot.

No, no, Cortex handcrafts and sends all those messages. He's *really* fast.
posted by jacquilynne at 4:29 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


Bespoke SPAM. He's an artisan.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:31 PM on June 1 [4 favorites]


This seems so bizarre to me. That someone would go that far with regards to a discussion/argument

Most memails I get are lovely, but the above has happened to me a couple of times. I like to think (perhaps mistakenly!?) I'm a relatively restrained or moderate voice, but you never know what pushes someone's buttons.

In all those cases I've felt like the sender has been reluctant to put what they're saying to me out on the public fora of MeTa, MeFi etc - and deservedly so!

Personally, I'm like, only memail someone when you have something nice to say. I don't get a tonne of memail and it's - no lie - a little thrill when someone feels like they want to reach out to me and say something nice. Makes me feel closer to this community and more grateful for it. As most memails are like this it's disconcerting and sometimes even upsetting when you get one that's like the opposite.
posted by smoke at 4:51 PM on June 1 [10 favorites]


I used it on one occasion on a previous account, and was glad I did. I don't think most blocking occasions rise to the level of mod intervention; it's a tool for self-control, definitively ending a conversation after saying "ok let's drop this" a number of times, and sure, probably some Last Wordism, too. As there's no "mark as read" feature that I'm aware of, it comes in handy, although I suppose you could also just select and delete the reply without reading it and hope they don't follow up.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:54 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


(Seems like a feature that in 2017 really doesn't need to be justified, tbh.)

I mean, yes, for sure. I guess I had some weird unspoken thing in the back of my mind that said MetaFilter has always been the kind of place that didn't need that feature because everybody is basically good and decent (even though I've been a member for over 10 years and a lurker for even longer and should know better). Of course, that's both super privileged and super naïve.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 5:35 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I restrain my self, again and again, until I am smooth, I don't want any lumps.
posted by Oyéah at 5:52 PM on June 1 [4 favorites]


Perfectly smooth. Like a seal.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:53 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Speaking of smooth I had this big skin tag on my neck for years and years and I finally worked up the nerve last weekend to use one of those home freeze-off kits to try to remove it, and it worked! Even though the Compound W Freeze-Off says don't use it on anything but warts, the only difference between it and the dedicated skin tag freezer is the applicator, so just be careful. The skin tag itself shriveled to a hard little dried black currant in a few days and fell off leaving nary a scar. Plus, while you're holding a -60F implement against yourself you get to grit your teeth and do your best Arnold in Batman & Robin impression, like "how about a game of FREEZE... tag!" 5/5 would freeze myself again
posted by OverlappingElvis at 5:58 PM on June 1 [19 favorites]


How bad did it hurt? I got one too.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:15 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I've got one, too.
God, I'm such an ass. It's no wonder I'm on my second marriage.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:22 PM on June 1


Not bad at all, although the people on the internet who say it feels like an ice cube only more intense are only technically not lying.
posted by OverlappingElvis at 6:25 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


It's over, Stanczyk, and prescriptivism lost. (I've taught grammar for 15 years.)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:31 PM on June 1 [7 favorites]


(And my first and only marriage is still goin' strong.)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:31 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Marriages aside, you're right about the end of prescriptivism, but that might have led to the end of certainty, veracity, authority, empiricism, and led us to the unfortunate place we find ourselves today. It may not be directly related to what text messages and facebook, Google, and twitter have imposed on English in the last decade but they're probably not unrelated. And yes, I realize this does not make me less of an ass.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:43 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


It's the end of tradition as we know it, really. All those things you mentioned are basically a subset of that.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:45 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


No, it didn't. That's a slippery slope hypothetical and belief in it is voodoo.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:45 PM on June 1


Ok, sure.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:46 PM on June 1


It is the end of the classical European intellectual hegemony as we know it, and I feel fiiiiiiiiiiine.
posted by grumpybear69 at 6:51 PM on June 1 [9 favorites]


I mean, yes, for sure. I guess I had some weird unspoken thing in the back of my mind that said MetaFilter has always been the kind of place that didn't need that feature because everybody is basically good and decent (even though I've been a member for over 10 years and a lurker for even longer and should know better).

That's the funny thing, is everybody is basically good and decent, but (a) "basically" is doing a lot of work there because in a large enough crowd there'll always be the occasional dedicated asshole wandering through now and then, and (b) good, decent people have bad days or lapses in judgement or moments of flaring temper.

So it's a tool that is important not because of some fundamental failure of humanity, but because humanity isn't perfect. People can be doing a pretty good job 99% of the time and there's still gonna be moments of failure, etc.

The fundamental moderation philosophy of MetaFilter operates off the same basic principle, really. We don't have moderators here because it's a shithole that needs relentless fighting back; we have 'em because even with good folks trying to just get along there's still gonna be those little moments every day.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:51 PM on June 1 [24 favorites]


"Tradition" isn't a monolith. Much of it is arbitrary, some of it is pernicious, some of it is wise, and all of it deserves scrutiny. Grammar and usage traditions have been scrutinized and examined and debated for a very long time by very clever and thoughtful people, and the idea that slang usage or non-standard English merits criticism--especially when it doesn't produce any ambiguity as in my (intentional) casual usage above--is so wrongheaded it's laughable.

The idea that something like that can be linked to "the end of certainty, veracity, authority, empiricism" is even more baseless and is even pernicious.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:52 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


Oh, get off the horse.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:53 PM on June 1


More of an ass, but sure.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:56 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Wait, I was pretty sure that we had already established that I am the ass.
posted by Stanczyk at 7:00 PM on June 1


Now we're all caught up :)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:01 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


this is ass strapping fun
posted by clavdivs at 7:18 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Joseph Gurl just memailed me to make sure we were cool and we are. So apparently this shit works. Carry on.
posted by Stanczyk at 7:20 PM on June 1


BLOCKED

(I keed, I keed)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:21 PM on June 1 [5 favorites]


*stumbles in covered in horseshoe welts* "Okay, now where's this dead horse i'm supposed to get off?"
posted by fleacircus at 7:52 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


Uh, are we still doing phrasing?
posted by loquacious at 7:53 PM on June 1 [17 favorites]


I mean....
posted by tzikeh at 8:00 PM on June 1 [1 favorite]


I always hear about these references to blocking and interpersonal conflict that crosses threads and into Twitter and chats and wherever and I've been here for almost 13 years and I never know what's going on and all of the intrigue and gossip hasn't happened to me once. What's wrong with me? Am I insufficiently argumentative? Do I need more swears? More personal attacks? Am I not bringing up my opposition to declawing often enough?

I feel trapped on a little boat floating on an ocean of drama, unable to dive in and plumb its depths.
posted by schroedinger at 10:22 PM on June 1 [24 favorites]


I feel the same way, schroedinger. Like, are the people who get into this kind of shit just more popular than me? Why doesn't anyone hate me enough to send me nasty MeMail? Or like me enough to send me behind the scenes gossip?
posted by jacquilynne at 10:24 PM on June 1 [6 favorites]


WHAT'S WRONG WITH US
posted by schroedinger at 10:27 PM on June 1 [4 favorites]


In my defense, I'm almost never not stoned out my gourd. Well, I suppose that isn't a defense.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:31 PM on June 1 [3 favorites]


Ah, thanks, zarq. I guess I never did block anyone.

No, wait, you totally blocked me at one point. I probably deserved it and was arguing something stupid.

On preview: You smell good. Whatcha doing over there?
posted by loquacious at 10:45 PM on June 1


Blocking is, to me, a necessary feature for the maintenance of personal space, especially with modern technology. My phone is with me 24/7, generally--I can't hear notifications at night but they're still there--and having access to me that way is something I'm probably going to yank pretty quickly if talking to you isn't good for me. Not necessarily to "win" anything, but to be sane.

People online may in fact walk away while you're still talking to them, and it stings but you have to let that be about them and their decisions and not about you, IMO. In the real world, walking away mid-conversation is more rude, but in the real world, by default you aren't, like, still shouting at them through the door when they go to the bathroom, either.
posted by Sequence at 10:55 PM on June 1 [6 favorites]


What's wrong with me? Am I insufficiently argumentative? Do I need more swears? More personal attacks? Am I not bringing up my opposition to declawing often enough?
posted by schroedinger at 10:22 PM on June 1 [+] [!]


Yes and no, so long as I don't open the box.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:08 PM on June 1 [2 favorites]


MeFi Mail: Compose a Message
Use the form below to contact Sequence.

Note: HTML will be stripped from your message. If you want to include a link, put a URL on a line by itself.


From :clavdivs
To : metafilter

Subject : gossip

Message :xxxxx xxxxxx xx xxxxx x x
posted by clavdivs at 11:42 PM on June 1


in the real world, by default you aren't, like, still shouting at them through the door when they go to the bathroom

YOU DON'T KNOW ME
posted by Joseph Gurl at 12:00 AM on June 2 [12 favorites]


No worries, I'm sending scathing personal attacks to everyone who never got one.
posted by bongo_x at 12:11 AM on June 2 [5 favorites]


I don't know why all this off topic discussion of blocking is going on, we have skin tag removal to discuss.

Instead of using the freeze away kit, you can use strangulation. Pull a loop of unwaxed floss around the base of it really tight and it will just fall off in a couple of days. Depending on location, it may be easier to have someone apply the loop for you.

And if you want to go the doctor route, they CPT code for removal covers up to 15 tags, so it's like you buy one get 14 free. (There is another code for each additional ten in case you have a lot or were just curious).
posted by Apoch at 3:54 AM on June 2 [7 favorites]


What's wrong with me?

Nothing, I'm sure. Believe me, reaching a point where someone gets that nasty is nothing to strive or yearn for. Nor is having someone decide they have a vendetta against you to the point where they choose to make disparaging public comments about your mental health or whatever.
posted by zarq at 4:43 AM on June 2


I'm another person fascinated by these glimpses of the behind the scenes drama that appears to happen. I've always interpreted "take it to MeMail" as a polite euphemism for "shut the hell up," not an actual course of action that people might take.
posted by Dip Flash at 5:11 AM on June 2 [10 favorites]


Depending on location, it may be easier to have someone apply the loop for you.

Or if you're as stubborn as me, you can get ridiculously irritated after spending twenty minutes trying to tie a knot round the back of your armpit and just go at it with nail clippers.
posted by lucidium at 5:19 AM on June 2


No no no no no no no.

No.

No nail clippers.

So about that gossip...
posted by Stonkle at 6:09 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I dip mine in schmaltz and let the dog chew them off. Then everyone's a winner, except the chicken.
posted by Stanczyk at 6:26 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one who never heard the term "skin tag" before
posted by Melismata at 6:27 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with me?

Over the years I've received a couple of grumbly messages from readers, but only one which might've been actually block-worthy. That person never wrote me again and they were not a frequent commenter, so no worries there. The weirdest exchange I've ever had was with a commenter who was usually pretty incisive but who would just. not. let. go. of a disagreement over an extremely minor point and who continued to message me until I said "By all means, please continue sending flaming bags of poo for me to laugh at."

(I've received some very nice messages from readers, also.)
posted by octobersurprise at 6:28 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


What's wrong with me?

Just sent you a Mefail Mail.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:04 AM on June 2 [7 favorites]


Instead of using the freeze away kit, you can use strangulation.

First, be smart from the very beginning.
posted by zarq at 7:22 AM on June 2 [21 favorites]


Every time I grab one of mine with tweezers I wind up with a five foot silk scarf.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 8:30 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


I have the most horrifying skin tag removal story that I'm going to spare you from reading because it's 8:30 am where I am. But the short version is: don't try to remove a skin tag using nail clippers.
posted by roger ackroyd at 8:33 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Do Not Remove Tags Under Penalty of Law
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:00 AM on June 2 [13 favorites]


This is what flesh-eating bacteria is for.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:11 AM on June 2 [1 favorite]


don't try to remove a skin tag using nail clippers

oghodtheblood
posted by bonehead at 9:17 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


The drama thing always surprises me.

I've only gotten one nasty memail. There was a sock who asked a question and didn't like my stern response. She first came after me in the thread but the mods told her to chill, and then I got a nasty memail. And while I responded calmly, explaining exactly which of her words I was responding to and why, I thought it was total bullshit to send a message like that from a sock puppet account. I never heard back, of course.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:27 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Seriously, you just wait for them to get offensively big and then twist them a lot. They'll fall off eventually. As for blocking, well. That would involve some kind of actual engagement instead of a series of non-sequiturs masquerading as a posting history.
posted by h00py at 10:19 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


#Can I Eat This?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:46 AM on June 2 [2 favorites]


Hard for me to imagine blocking someone unless they were trying to sell me something.

If I did or am doing something which upsets anyone, I'd like to hear about it.

I felt a skin tag under my arm but not in the pit in the shower one day, noticed that it was one of a fair few on both sides, tried unsuccessfully to nip it off with fingernails, then forgot about it after it stopped hurting a day or so later.

Two weeks after that, though, I noticed that all the skin tags on both sides had disappeared without a trace -- but then over the next week maybe, all underarm hair on both sides fell out never to return, and both underarms stopped sweating altogether.

Now, 15+ years later, some skin tags have come back, but nothing else has.
posted by jamjam at 12:45 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure I have been blocked and that is OK. The nature of AskMe often includes uncomfortable shades of gray and some high emotions tied to many of them. (My own included)
posted by jillithd at 1:28 PM on June 2


I have a skin tag in my armpit that shows up whenever I don't shave for a while, so I guess I just shave it off on the regular?
posted by Grandysaur at 1:51 PM on June 2


I don't know why all this off topic discussion of blocking is going on, we have skin tag removal to discuss.

do it like this:
< /skin >
posted by Kabanos at 3:18 PM on June 2 [15 favorites]


It puts the lotion on its skin, or else it gets the tag again.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:22 PM on June 2 [6 favorites]


i've blocked two people. both times for flaming me, which is not something i'm going to tolerate - there's no need to bug the mods about it, as this was easily solvable with the tools i had - if it's something mean that can't be said out here, don't say it in my mailbox

interestingly enough, both accounts are now deleted
posted by pyramid termite at 4:46 PM on June 2


The first time I received a furious memail regarding something I said in a thread that the sender disagreed with I was SO excited. I had been on Metafilter for months at that point but still felt like some tween clamoring for attention from a group of cool teenagers. I wondered if I was cut out for this place. But then when out of the blue I got a message that was like "WOW you said the most misinformed incoherent garbage I have literally EVER heard", well yeah a part of me was hurt, but mostly I thought "holy crap I've arrived!" Fwiw me and that sender are on great terms now.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:04 PM on June 2 [8 favorites]


I never used that feature, so I ended up hanging a picture of Chip and Dale over the switch.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:10 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


Now, 15+ years later, some skin tags have come back, but nothing else has.

Which Richard Ford book is that from?
posted by bongo_x at 7:40 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


So, I invented the perfect skin tag removal technique in residency. Take a curved Kelly forceps and place in a cup of liquid nitrogen for about 10 seconds then gently grasp the tag and as the ice ball grows apply pressure until the forceps locks. Hold for about 10 seconds. Entirely painless and 100% effective.

Mods, is there a way I could Memail everyone to let them know about this exciting new medical procedure?
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 9:57 PM on June 2 [5 favorites]


Why do you want to put those sign spinner guys for all the laser tag removal shops that have sprung up in my town?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:08 PM on June 2


Laser tag combat to lasing your skin tags, we got you covered for your consumer laser needs.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:09 PM on June 2


Wow, I just bought curved Kelly forceps and liquid nitrogen because they were on clearance at Big Lots and I couldn't figure out what I was going to do with them.
posted by bongo_x at 10:09 PM on June 2 [21 favorites]


All this talk of skin tag removal is making me chuck a few more handfuls of change into the dermotologist's fund to get the tags removed around my eyes that popped up during my pregnancies, including that super annoying one on my eyelid that makes putting on eyeliner evenly a total bitch.
posted by romakimmy at 12:36 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


I just have to file off my tail.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:59 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


I hope you're planning on using a curved Kelly file for that, Burhanistan.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 1:39 AM on June 3


No, because of my clerical duties.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:01 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Is that why the catch all threads only have 2 or three posts?
posted by Oyéah at 9:54 AM on June 3


^ Oyéah, yes, the majority were tagged for removal.
posted by mightshould at 11:28 AM on June 3


I like getting mail from the cortex-bot after posting something. It's like being recognized by Senpai.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:44 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


annoying one on my eyelid that makes putting on eyeliner evenly a total bitch. If you say that it is making the eyelashes scratch your eyeball, and you have constant irritation, that will buy the plastics doc, and that is who you need for really perfect work, anywhere near your eyelids. I had one of those. With the exception of maybe three missing eyelashes in the corner of my eye, you can not tell anything happened there.
posted by Oyéah at 3:26 PM on June 3


I really don't understand. People have the right to opt out of any argument any time for any reason, whether they flounce away in a cloud of farts or lay down the most awesome argument ever or get sick of it and decide they'd rather eat doughnuts. They're allowed to do that. I don't understand why people shouldn't be allowed to do this for no reason or any reason.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:27 PM on June 3 [6 favorites]


Do people get told when someone has blocked them? Maybe they shouldn't, so they can just imagine that they've beaten their target into submission.
posted by Joe in Australia at 3:45 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


A MeMail hellban, if you will.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:04 PM on June 3


You don't get, like, a mefimail telling you you've been blocked; you just can't initiate a new mefimail to them next time you try. There's the edge case of being mid-message when the block happens and finding out when you send, which is sort of a high friction event but not something that represents enough of an issue that we've ever needed to complicate the mefimail workflow by monitoring and alerting for it.

Basically at the point that someone manages to annoy you by blocking you on mefimail mid-conversation, the conversation is pretty definitely over, so, well, fuck it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:29 PM on June 3 [2 favorites]


(Note that this tactic is probably not a very smart one to take while specifically communicating with a mod about moderation or behavior stuff, but that has come up pretty infrequently over the years and never in a case where things weren't already pretty dang rocky with that user, so what do you do.)
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:30 PM on June 3


Oh, while we're talking about edge-case behavior: I noticed that HTML tags in the recent activity preview can be literally cut in half when the comment is long enough to get trimmed, so you see something like "<blockquo..."

I thought I'd mention it in case it exposes a potential attack vector by letting someone pass executable code through pairs of interrupted HTML tags or something.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:12 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I just want to say that blocking is one of those features that I never gave a second thought about until all of a sudden I was really really glad I had access to it.

(Sorry, but I really didn't want to continue that conversation about how you were offended because I favorited a MetaTalk comment that you found personally insulting beyond the third exchange).
posted by firechicago at 8:07 PM on June 3


Yes, do not put liquid nitrogen and forceps around your own eye.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 10:05 PM on June 3 [3 favorites]


Unless you want to make a spectacle of yourself.
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:57 AM on June 4 [6 favorites]


Some one kind or another of interruptus.

(What's the word for the feeling you get after you work half an hour to compose a comment to a post that gets deleted just before you hit the send button?)
posted by mule98J at 9:39 AM on June 4


Compositive modererruptus?

I should be able to do better than that.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 11:50 AM on June 4


I thought you were supposed to paint skin tags with clear nail polish to strangle them, or something. Is that a myth?
posted by holborne at 6:22 PM on June 4


::walks into thread::

::looks around::

::slowly backs out::
posted by lazaruslong at 5:25 AM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Huh. I don't get a lot of me-Mail but a few messages a year. They are often in the categories of either private support for a heated exchange or mansplaining-direct for whatever. It can feel a little more in-your-face by me-Mail but I've not had to block anyone yet.
posted by amanda at 6:44 AM on June 5


I am not seeing where you can block people on my contacts page. Please hope me, metafilter!
posted by dogheart at 7:04 PM on June 5


To block on a per-user basis, you need to have received a message from that person. Then you go to the bottom of the message from them and click "block this sender"... I don't think we have a way to pre-emptively block someone.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:26 PM on June 5


Heh. I'd bet since the long national nightmare began the amount of interpersonal shit here tapered way off, at least from the site/mod vantage point. Ain't nothing like having the abyss shouting at you to attenuate the meaningless angry flare ups over little stuff.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:30 PM on June 5 [2 favorites]


(Until it all collapses then the knives come back out!)
posted by Burhanistan at 7:32 PM on June 5


Feel free to send me a memail requesting that I reply, thus giving you the ability to block me. I won't do it, of course, because that's just the kind of dick that I am. But ironically, the result will be the same.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:32 PM on June 5 [3 favorites]


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