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Dead friend hot-or-not over the line
September 26, 2002 3:57 PM   Subscribe

Culling of the heard. Can somthing be done about crackedheadmatts post to someone whos friend just died. "Was she hot?" -- over the line.
posted by stbalbach to Bugs at 3:57 PM (83 comments total)

So far, people have just ignored it, which is probably the best that can be done. I'm more worried about the inevitable piling-on that is going to happen any moment now - re posting a thread purely for discussion purposes, pasting in the first two links found on Google as an afterthought.
That thread needs a Carol Anne type to search out some great links to save it.
posted by Catch at 4:04 PM on September 26, 2002


he's got a pretty lousy sense of humor.
posted by GeekAnimator at 4:09 PM on September 26, 2002


I saw the comment and thought it was pretty uncouth, but probably not worth the callout to MeTa. After all, crackheadmatt has established an interesting pattern of jumping in just to say juvenile things.
posted by contessa at 4:10 PM on September 26, 2002


I actually read through his last five or six comments, too. He's just an asshole, ignore him. You'll be glad you did.
posted by interrobang at 4:10 PM on September 26, 2002


Disease.: Disease
(Dis*ease"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Diseased ; p. pr. & vb. n. Diseasing.]

1. To deprive of ease; to disquiet; to trouble; to distress. [Obs.]


His double burden did him sore disease.
Spenser.

2. To derange the vital functions of; to afflict with disease or sickness; to disorder; ? used almost exclusively in the participle diseased.


He was diseased in body and mind.

Cure it. Eradicate it. Solve the problem.


Okay, so that's a reprint from a current thread, but it applies. When mathowie decides he's gone too far, he'll be byebye. Until then, he's disease...aviod and don't be infected.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:15 PM on September 26, 2002


There's the wider issue of whether the thread should even exist. I'm pretty sure it violates the guidelines.
posted by donkeyschlong at 4:16 PM on September 26, 2002


I'm pretty sure it violates the guidelines

yeah, I was going to say, the first moment I saw it, I hovered over the delete button. MetaFilter ain't a support group or a discussion group, so those links better be good.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:19 PM on September 26, 2002


I think joaquim just saved the thread.
posted by machaus at 4:25 PM on September 26, 2002


Donkeyschlong, I agree with you on the guideline violation. It seemed like a call for help, though, and maybe worth fudging the rules a little bit. Matt's call.

I hit the Post button before previewing people's advice about crackheadmatt. My bad and apologies to the group for feeding the troll. I normally delete about 99% of my replies before I post them and should have done it this time.
posted by joaquim at 4:26 PM on September 26, 2002


Matt, you just a big softy! (Seriously, luv ya, man. You got good heart.)
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:28 PM on September 26, 2002


Speaking of links that should be questioned, what about that link to a french news story about a guy raping his daughter? You'd think we could wait a couple days for an English story to be printed instead of trying to have a discussion (which isn't the point in the first place, the link is, correct?) about something we might not even be reading properly. It's not a race to see who gets to post something first, but it certainly appears that way sometimes.

Sorry for the aside, but I didn't know if it was worth another thread and Wulfgar! quoted himself from that thread so its tangentially on topic.
posted by The God Complex at 4:29 PM on September 26, 2002


Given that the thread is becoming a double helix of "crackheadatt sucks" and some fairly common and easily Googled About.com-ish suicide info, it may (I honestly don't know) be time to put it out of its misery.
posted by donkeyschlong at 4:29 PM on September 26, 2002


Speaking of links that should be questioned, what about that link to a french news story about a guy raping his daughter?

I really wanted to delete that one, but there were already a bunch of comments by the time I saw it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:32 PM on September 26, 2002


My 2 cents is you should delete it (the French news post) anyway, Matt. Bad enough there are so many news posts, but particularly something like this. How much discussion can there be? It just seems like rubbernecking to me.

Incidentally, the fact that it's a French post, for me, is neither here nor there, the thread just seems out of place here.
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:36 PM on September 26, 2002


I really wanted to delete that one, but there were already a bunch of comments by the time I saw it.

I wish you'd deleted it anyway, and not just because of the french news story. These Horrible Crime posts always have the same discussion:

"God that's awful!"

"What a monster!"

"Hanging's too good for him!"

etc.
posted by timeistight at 4:39 PM on September 26, 2002


Missed your comment, Kafkaesque. You said it better.
posted by timeistight at 4:40 PM on September 26, 2002


Come on, we've had links today about drinkin' piss. How much can we "swallow" without saying enough? I don't believe that posting a link relating to and coping with a friend's suicide is all that dreadful, relatively speaking. The guy raping his baby is awful in the extreme, and the only way I could cope with it is by boiling it down to definition. Please, if we're going to pretend to be a community, let's be that thingy.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:42 PM on September 26, 2002


"I really wanted to delete that one, but there were already a bunch of comments by the time I saw it."

Fair enough, and if you deleted it now it would probably crop up in a day or two when the AP gets ahold of it. Not that it probably won't anyway.

Wulfgar!: I wasn't making comment on what you said (if you're talking to me). I was just trying to justify why I decided to make that comment in this thread in case anybody wondered. I'm with you as far as your thoughts on the link, I just don't think it's a good link.
posted by The God Complex at 4:48 PM on September 26, 2002


tGodc - no lack of worship here. We're cool.
posted by Wulfgar! at 4:51 PM on September 26, 2002


Matt, please keep the suicide post--the guy's really hurting and in shock about it, and there are great comments from suicide helpline people....

I wasn't here on 9/11, but weren't those threads a support group in a way?
posted by amberglow at 5:09 PM on September 26, 2002


Good show. There'd be much cap doffing if I was wearing a cap.
posted by The God Complex at 5:12 PM on September 26, 2002


Matt, please keep the suicide post--the guy's really hurting and in shock about it, and there are great comments from suicide helpline people....

The thing to do when one is "really hurting and in shock" is to post about it, casually, to a public website read by gazillions of readers.

An inappropriate thing, to say the least.

I'll return to my glass house now.
posted by hijinx at 5:26 PM on September 26, 2002


i wouldn't say it was inappropriate, hijinx, especially if you know that there are well-informed people at the website who will enlighten and inform....and if you feel like part of the community there...(this is a valuable resource sometimes, at least I've found)
posted by amberglow at 5:35 PM on September 26, 2002


Perhaps I'm out of bounds, and perhaps it's not my place to suggest this, but why isn't this guy gone by now?

9/11 thread: ALL AMERICAN CAMEL JOCKEY LYNCHING DAY!

French retards can sue for not being aborted: KILL ALL THE RETARDS!

These are just a couple of the choice comments; he's really starting to bug me.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 5:58 PM on September 26, 2002


Matt: thank you for leaving the thread up.


posted by swerve at 6:03 PM on September 26, 2002


"There's the wider issue of whether the thread should even exist."

It shouldn't. The post has no place on Metafilter.

We don't even know if this is true. And if it is real it's still dumb. Someone you know dies, you're hurting, so you turn to a bunch of snarky strangers best known for grammar and spelling call outs? Please.

This is a weblog entry. And it's not even someone from the same gene pool. Someone from work died. Can someone please explain to me why this is a good idea?

And we're a community now? When bad things happen to one member we're all going to drop our differences and offer a hug? How many members get to be the beneficiary of this MiFi group hug before we realize it's a bad idea?

Hey, don't ban things like this yet!!!! I want to go make a post about my car being broken into. Oh!!! And my grandfather died a while back. I want to post that tomorrow. I'm all depressed, can I have a hug too?
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:13 PM on September 26, 2002


my pee pee is sore.
posted by quonsar at 6:20 PM on September 26, 2002


*hugs y6^3*
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:31 PM on September 26, 2002


$.02 mine: Glad the thread's still up, it's a good thing. Not good to encourage such posts, but this one might be good for someone down the road...

Can we assume crackheadmatt is really a crackhead? Sad, really. Really sad to see a human being even make comments like that. Cry for attention, cry for help? Not that I'm excusing it, but...
posted by Shane at 6:32 PM on September 26, 2002


What does one have to do to have thier membership on mefi suspended? not advocation, just curious.
posted by djacobs at 6:36 PM on September 26, 2002


Re baby-rape thread-deletion: [me too] with TGC, timeistight and Kafkaesque. Are a few comments (tangential at best, asinine at worst) enough to save a crummy post from the Wrath of Matt?
posted by stinglessbee at 6:39 PM on September 26, 2002


My god, those were shitty posts. People, post less poo please.

Re crackheadmatt: Recent experiences -- that I don't think we want to get into right now, but I think you know what I mean -- suggest to me that banning members ought to occur a bit more preemptively, i.e., no last chances: act like an asshat and you're at least in the penalty box until you grovel towards Matt a bit and promise to do better next time.

I'm with y63.
posted by mcwetboy at 6:39 PM on September 26, 2002


An asshat?
posted by Mid at 7:11 PM on September 26, 2002


Mid: An asshat?

Yes. A hat made out of an ass. By wearing one, one's head get's covered with, if you will forgive the word, shit. Ergo, the wearer of the asshat is a shithead. I think this is the basic etymology of the word.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:20 PM on September 26, 2002


An asshat?

more creeping fark-ism.
posted by donkeyschlong at 7:20 PM on September 26, 2002


I've tried to counterstrike by using "fuckwit" on Fark, but their filters change it to "farkwit" which is more accurate but not nearly as satisfying.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:25 PM on September 26, 2002


I saw the comment and thought it was pretty uncouth, but probably not worth the callout to MeTa. After all, crackheadmatt has established an interesting pattern of jumping in just to say juvenile things.

Can you explain to me how this lovely pattern that he has established excuses his behavior and exempts him from being called on and condemned for it? I fail to see the causal link you are implying. On the contrary, I would suggest that it is that very pattern which demonstrates his unwillingness to participate in the community according to its rules and spirit--more, he is clearly not equipped to do so.
posted by rushmc at 7:36 PM on September 26, 2002


In regard to my posting the suicide story:

From the posting guidelines: A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.

I believe it's an interesting topic, warrants discussion, and the links (while googleable) provide information regarding suicide prevention and statistics. Did you know everything about suicide? Just because it's a topic that can be emotionally charged- doesn't make it irrelevant.

Interesting because most of the links about suicides point to danger signs that in many cases do not exist. Worth discussing because drawing upon the collective experience of mefi users can be of benefit to readers, else matt should just remove the ability to comment.

It isn't/wasn't a cry for help. It was a post for information on a subject we probably don't talk about much- until we are confronted by it.

And we're a community now?

Says community 'blog right up on the front page. :)

posted by mad at 7:39 PM on September 26, 2002


mad, good job on defending yourself. FWIW, I believe that there is lots of room for this post on MeFi. The amount of people who have responded is proof enough of that.
posted by ashbury at 8:14 PM on September 26, 2002


rushmc:

I do realize my statement above might appear to contain two contradictory statements. (My fault, I think I over-edit my comments sometimes.) I'll expand on it --

"...not worth the callout to MeTa", meaning, it's far from the most offensive thing he's said - though yes, highly offensive by the standards set by most other members - and when the topic came to MeTa all the other members commenting on the relevant MeFi post had, by and large, ignored the ignoramus. Despite his best (or worst) efforts, the thread remained underailed, hence my curiosity as to why it got taken here so fast. I have no wish to defend crackheadmatt. He seems like a jerk and is very ably hanging himself with each contribution he makes.

"crackheadmatt has established an interesting pattern...", which he has. That he has chosen to do it stealth-style and not you-know-who-style doesn't make it any less distracting or unpleasant.

On reflection, and reading the progression of this thread and the Front Page thread, I'm glad it got taken here and I do think it deserved calling-out. So, I retract my first sentence (if I may do that) and mea culpa.

posted by contessa at 8:48 PM on September 26, 2002


An asshat?

more creeping fark-ism.


No, actually. The word was born (along with a lot of others) from the Something Awful forums. If you're going to snark, at least get your facts straight.

Recent experiences -- that I don't think we want to get into right now, but I think you know what I mean -- suggest to me that banning members ought to occur a bit more preemptively, i.e., no last chances: act like an asshat and you're at least in the penalty box until you grovel towards Matt a bit and promise to do better next time.

Agreed, although it makes more hassles for Matt than he probably wants. A little fear o' god (or mathowie as the case may be) might make some of our sloppier and more cretinous new members sit up and pay attention to the trash they're flinging around.

As far as the post in question? There have been similar ones which have been deleted. I think it has no place here, but I'm perfectly willing to live and let live (so to speak), as long as we are aware that a new precedent has been set by leaving it up. I do lean towards agreement with y6y6y6 though, aware as I am of his long-past anti-niceness jihad. (joke)

crackheadmatt has established an interesting pattern of jumping in just to say juvenile things.

There's nothing interesting about it. If it were me (and thank goodness it's not, I can hear you thinking) he'd be out on his ass until he promised to at least attempt to contribute intelligently.


posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:53 PM on September 26, 2002


The suicide front page post is yet another example of why Matt's approach to censorship is subjective, impractical, and ultimately hypocritical. There's been threads where more MeFites felt it deserved to remain and yet it was gone. There were more relevant threads in the past which were subjected to the delete button. I'm not surprised though. It's a heart grabber. And maybe the information on those links happens to be something some MeFite somewhere needs to see. Although the two links in the Front Page Post were not your standard MeFi fare, and don't hold a candle to some of the better links of the past, maybe Matt inadvertently saved a life by leaving it up there. I'm NOT saying that sarcastically. It's possible. We'll never know.

This was a tough call. It's like every time someone posts to MeFi, Matt's like an umpire. What's the call? Is it foul? Is it fair? Did that guy hit it out of the park or did he just bunt and hopes to make it to first base before he gets tagged?

Are the links relevant? Is the wording of the Front Page Post encouraging discussion about the link itself or just debate about the subject in general? Does it abide by the guidelines? Does the poster troll? Does the relevance of the post matter?

This post in question, from an objective standpoint, clearly does not belong on the front page of MetaFilter. Most people have heard about suicide before. This is nothing new. The actual content of the links in question could arguably be ..interesting, but if you take away the disturbing subject matter of suicide, it just doesn't belong. It'd be like this:

A friend and I went to a zoo. There's a lot of bears at the zoo. The one we saw appeared to be young, dedicated, driven, and personable. I was shocked to learn that zoos are the 11th leading cause of incarceration for defenseless animals. It doesn't make sense to a lot of us, but it makes you think a lot more about the lives of poor, defenseless, cute and cuddly animals kept in captivity.

If I posted something like that on the front page, Matt would throw me into a corner and beat the living crap out of me.
posted by ZachsMind at 9:55 PM on September 26, 2002


if i had a lie detector test i would use it to ask some mefi people if they had a thing for just seeing their own words pixellated on these pages. then again i know the answer already. "my lord, mefi has come down with a bad case of ownwordyitis." god, i am getting grumpy like quonsar. asfksjfjkdf
posted by kv at 10:29 PM on September 26, 2002


I have to go stitch up my bleeding heart, but this, I think, is true today:
maybe Matt inadvertently saved a life by leaving it up there

I know it's all about the links, and the discussions resulting from them, but there are real people posting those links, and today reminded me of that. Also, for all the commenting on reading the archives and getting more familiar with them--this is something definitely worth having in those archives.

now, someone get me a needle and thread, stat.... : >
posted by amberglow at 10:52 PM on September 26, 2002


Matt's like an umpire. What's the call? Is it foul? Is it fair?

Zach, we've debated the relative merits of guidlines versus rules before; do we need to rehash them once again? The thread in question was content light and a lot of the comments didn't help.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 12:58 AM on September 27, 2002


Zachsmind: If I posted something like that on the front page, Matt would throw me into a corner and beat the living crap out of me.

Nah, he'd probably just delete it. It's called "enlightened despotism".
posted by eddydamascene at 1:07 AM on September 27, 2002


I agree with amberglow and ashbury. Catch quickly posted a wonderful link about surviving suicide. Even if you think the initial post wasn't worthy, the thread was saved right there. I'm also wondering if folks would be complaining if mad had just posted the save.org and afsp.org links, without mentioning the friend who'd chosen to end her life. That would have been a perfectly fine front page post, right? Then what exactly is being objected to here? Emotion? It's not like this was an inflammatory post about Dubya or anything.

ZachsMind: The suicide front page post is yet another example of why Matt's approach to censorship is subjective, impractical, and ultimately hypocritical.

Blech. Of *course* Matt's approach is subjective. You'd have to be blind not to see that; it's his site. But no, it's not impractical, since MeFi is doing just fine with him as final arbiter. And good lord, no, it's not "hypocritical." They're called gray areas, ZachsMind, and they're everywhere. Aren't you used to them by now?
posted by mediareport at 1:25 AM on September 27, 2002


crackheadmatt: 10 seconds before posting.

Just 10 seconds.

Try it.
posted by mediareport at 1:30 AM on September 27, 2002


more creeping fark-ism.

No, actually. The word was born (along with a lot of others) from the Something Awful forums. If you're going to snark, at least get your facts straight.


i never said anything about its origins. i just think it's reminiscent of fark (where it's certainly ubiquitous).

hope you got your correctional rocks off though. always in such a hurry.

creeping pessimistic know-it-all-ism.
posted by donkeyschlong at 2:10 AM on September 27, 2002


(Well, at least I didn't get in your face about capitalization and get called a Grammar Nazi! I hate when that happens.)

Actually, I regretted being so snarky in my anti-snarkery after I posted it. But now I don't, as much.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:22 AM on September 27, 2002


"mad, good job on defending yourself. FWIW, I believe that there is lots of room for this post on MeFi. The amount of people who have responded is proof enough of that.

How is that proof of anything? Some great links get almost no response, some pitiful ones great ones.

I would give you examples, but it's not hard to find them.

posted by justgary at 3:06 AM on September 27, 2002


Wouldn't it be weird if there were really only about 10 members of mefi other than Matt, and all of the other users and their comments were really Matt, products of a brilliant, yet twisted, mind. I haven't ruled this out.

I also haven't ruled out the possibility that I am really Matt. I think this is a bad sign.
posted by internook at 4:34 AM on September 27, 2002


I believe it's an interesting topic, warrants discussion, and the links (while googleable) provide information regarding suicide prevention and statistics.

This would be a better weblog if members asked themselves one question before making a new post: How am I filtering the Web?

If a post's links are just the first thing that popped up on Google, the post doesn't meet the guidelines. The main point of this weblog is good links; if they're not new or noteworthy, none of the rest matters. People who post here simply to start a discussion can easily hide this fact -- take the 5-10 minutes required to find at least one good new link. Otherwise, you're not filtering the Web at all.
posted by rcade at 6:10 AM on September 27, 2002


rcade, that deserves to be etched in gold on the guidelines page.
posted by rory at 6:37 AM on September 27, 2002


The suicide front page post is yet another example of why Matt's approach to censorship is subjective, impractical, and ultimately hypocritical.

Jesus Christ. Nobody ever, ever claimed that the goings-on at Metafilter were fair. It's Matt's show. He can slant it any way he feels, or not. He can run it as a corrupt, brutal despot in the odd hours and as a benevolent, healing force in the even ones.


posted by websavvy at 6:38 AM on September 27, 2002


rcade, that deserves to be etched in gold on the guidelines page.

Seconded.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:38 AM on September 27, 2002


I, for one, have welcomed my nerdly overlord. Hail Matt!

He does whatever he wants. Deal with it, or banish yourself.
posted by Dark Messiah at 6:56 AM on September 27, 2002


How is that proof of anything? Some great links get almost no response, some pitiful ones great ones. --justgary

Sure, justgary, that's a good point, but I don't believe that this is a case of pitiful links. As has been mentioned somewhere in this thread, most of us have come across suicide issues before, myself included, but how many of us have actually done either cursory or in depth investigation into it? While I might be surprised at the amount of people who have, nor would I be surprised at the amount of people who haven't.

...if they're [links] not new or noteworthy, none of the rest matters. --rcade

While suicide is a common occurence, it is not common to have a discussion about it. The fact that it is posted here, in a highly public forum, and is being heavily discussed is in itself noteworthy, which in turn makes the links noteworthy. Altho this isn't always the case (see the latest Justin and Britney thread, for example), I don't see why a thread about suicide can't have relevance along the guidelines as we understand them.
posted by ashbury at 7:24 AM on September 27, 2002


While suicide is a common occurence, it is not common to have a discussion about it. The fact that it is posted here, in a highly public forum, and is being heavily discussed is in itself noteworthy, which in turn makes the links noteworthy.

So anything posted on Metafilter is new and noteworthy as a result of being posted on Metafilter?
posted by rcade at 7:28 AM on September 27, 2002


I'm with rcade - without dragging up "the good ol' days," it does seem that with the huge increase in membership, the number of posts that can legitimately be questioned for front-page-worthiness has gone up at least proportionately (it feels exponential, but let's assume it's not...). More members, more posters, more commenters... more noise obscuring the signal that is/was MetaFilter's main mission: filtering the web for the new and the obscure-but-interesting. There's nothing new nor obscure-but-interesting about anything in the referenced thread. Period. It's just a discussion about a painful, usually avoided topic with a couple of useful but not "new or obscure-but-interesting" links thrown in because, well, "if we don't have some links, Matt might delete this thread!"

If MetaFilter is going to devolve once and for all into a chat site, then fine, just say that and those of us who are not interested in a chat site will just stop hanging out, hoping the ship will correct its course and harranguing the captain and crew on MeTa. I already skip anything below the front page about 90% of the time because frankly I already know what most long time members will respond with and the chances of finding an interesting link in the comments is swiftly declining anyway. If the front page is going to increasingly be taken up with chat-starters, ("What's your favorite 'X'?!?!") even that strategy won't work.
posted by JollyWanker at 7:50 AM on September 27, 2002


Not at all, rcade. The taboo nature of the subject matter, combined with the location (an extremely public forum such as metafilter) of the posting, causes the thread and links to have a unique status. I don't think you can always judge FPP's based solely on their links alone; in some cases, the content has merit that goes beyond what the guidelines state.

jollywanker, while I appreciate the signal/noise issue, metafilter is no longer a website with a few hundred or even thousand members. I think it's pointless to think that the ratio will ever be what it was. I am not condoning more noise, I am just saying that perhaps societal issues (of which metafilter has many, many, many links to) are just as much signal, to a point, as anything else. I get as tired as the next person to see another I/P thread, or another American Politics thread, or another heinous crime thread, but the subject of suicide is a rarity and I don't believe that it fits into the noise category.
posted by ashbury at 8:04 AM on September 27, 2002


As much as I think the conversation on the suicide thread is noteworthy, I do think that the links might not have been as strong as they could have been. But on the other hand compared to many of the other recent links, I think singling this one post out is unfair.

If Matt wanted to delete it it would be gone. We already know he's seen it. We already know the standards around here are subjective, by Matt's choice. So let's leave the suicide thread alone. We always have the Justin Timberlake post to savage...
posted by konolia at 8:16 AM on September 27, 2002


Posts, and posters should be banned via democracy. This decentralizes the responsibility for making these decisions, thereby releasing Matt of the overwhelming burden of being a contributing member and the police force. Also, this might greatly reduce the number of posts to MeTa about unworthy MeFi posts. You speak with your vote. You click a 'delete' button and then move on. If enough people click delete, the thread is removed (this formula can be figured out somehow). Same thing goes for a user. Someone pisses off enough people, then they end up being banned by popular decision.

Isn't it time for MeFi to eveolve into a self governing entity, Matt? Isn't it time that we became a place of the people, for the people, and by the people? Who is with me? Who will stand with me to move MeFi from a (albeit benevolent) dictatorship to a thriving democracy? This isn't over, Matt. Oh no, this isn't over.

What?! Over? Did you say over? NOTHING is over until WE decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? HELL, NO!

It ain't over now! For when the goin' gets tough,..............the tough get going! Who's with me!? LET'S GO! C'MON!
posted by internook at 8:18 AM on September 27, 2002


ashbury, I think you missed my point. The "noise" I'm referring to is the continued (but since 09/11/01, accelerated) conversion of this site into NewsFilter (or, worse, Chat-n-RantFilter). 1,000 members; 16,000 members - makes no difference to me, so long as every front page post revolves around links to web content that the poster can be reasonably assured most other members haven't seen. There are lots of sites out there if you want to chat, or if you want to rant about those damned (insert-news-topic-here), or if you're feeling shitty because a co-worker committed suicide - all legitimate activities, none of which are appropriate given the original (and, as far as can be discerned, since Matt hasn't changed it) mission of MetaFilter.

If Matt does want to change that, hey, he can change it - I'll wish him all the best and go find another new-and-or-obscure-links site to spend time reading. His leadership style is distinctly hands-off, for reasons he doesn't have to share with us. But unless and until the overall goals of the site are changed by him, I think it's appropriate to call people on front page posts that don't follow that mission.
posted by JollyWanker at 8:26 AM on September 27, 2002


If enough people click delete, the thread is removed
I've heard of this on other sites, and I'm wodering how this method has worked in the past on those sites. Call me a bit cynical, but my biggest fear is that when people see pro-Bush (or pro-Clinton) or pro-anything-against-my-views post, instead of being mature and defending themselves in the thread, they may choose to simply click the delete button (and after some of the threads around here lately, I'm leaning towards the later).
posted by jmd82 at 8:41 AM on September 27, 2002


My $.02 (total of $.04 for this thread): So far I have no objections to Matt's moderating style. I've seen high-profile forum moderators who use their position and deleting-rights for egotism and self-aggrandization, partisanship, and cliquish games, to which I'm really sensitive. Nothing about Matt sets me off, though.

Just my .02. You're all welcome to your .02s, of course.
posted by Shane at 8:49 AM on September 27, 2002


re: crackheadmatt

i don't know if it's worth the callout either, but i guess i shouldn't disparage the metatalk thread about it (and it is much less about it than i thought it would be, but i came late to it). i wish we could ignore people like that, and that we would not need a thread where we had to vent about it, but so we do and here we are.

ZachsMind:

The suicide front page post is yet another example of why Matt's approach to censorship is subjective, impractical, and ultimately hypocritical. There's been threads where more MeFites felt it deserved to remain and yet it was gone. There were more relevant threads in the past which were subjected to the delete button. I'm not surprised though. It's a heart grabber. And maybe the information on those links happens to be something some MeFite somewhere needs to see.

a lot's been said to zach about this. yes, of course the process is subjective: that is no argument against it. nor is impracticality: it's quite impractical to administrate a website with over 15,000 members, i would say, yet so what? the hypocrisy eludes me, and i think zach is confusing subjectivity with hypocrisy (that is, i think he is constructing examples in his head where, for him, the similarity of topic and context is clear -- and i think it is right to say that matt would likely have felt justified in his own action. such is merely an example of differing opinion, and not necessarily hypocrisy.)

some threads get too big, and have too much emotional energy invested in them, to be deleted. i've seen matt say that "too many had already commented" in the past. that hasn't stopped him, if the comments were stupid pancake references or haiku or some other tripe. but the suicide thread is filled with a lot of genuine and sincere comments: thus it stands, as it should.
posted by moz at 9:04 AM on September 27, 2002


rcade, thanks for the succinct, spot-on description. That will certainly work into the posting page soon.

As for the questionable threads, my instincts told me to delete them as soon as I saw them, but it was a bit too late, as a few dozen people had already commented in each.

In the past few weeks I've deleted based on my instincts to a greater extent, and I've had to get a lot of flak for it, from the people that posted the threads (why did my thread go away?) to the people that commented (just wondering why that thread went away). We're talking 5-10 emails each time I delete something, so it sucks to be the guy that has to maintain quality, but hey, that's what I'm here for.

Zach, in regards to the poor posts being discussed, the french rape one already had 30-something comments when I saw it, so I knew if I axed it, I would get a lot of email about it, and it'd probably show up again in a day or two in english, and have to be deleted again. I'll delete it now though, because I should have deleted it in the first place. Today's post about dragging a kid next to a car is a perfect example of "hey, I just saw this horrific thing in the local paper, and I just saw the horrific thing at metafilter yesterday, I should post this." So in the future, I'm just gonna delete, and Zach, when your posts go into the shitter, don't come crying to me (as it is, I'm unfair when I delete, and unfair when I don't).

For the suicide post, I agree with y6y6y6 100%, but I didn't want to be the bad guy. Do I delete it and give further grief for someone looking for some answers and a little support? I would ask anyone here to put themselves in my shoes before you answer it, because it's no fun to be the bad guy, even when you're doing the right thing.

Oh, and I blocked crackheadmatt's account from posting his tripe.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:06 AM on September 27, 2002


I would tend to side with the naysayers here, but the suicide thread did turn out to be decent. If you want to post this kind of thing, post the best possible links, then add your recent personal experience as a comment. Keep the watercooler off the front page, for precedent's sake.
posted by liam at 9:09 AM on September 27, 2002


"No one knows what it's like ... to be the bad man. To be the sad man ..."
posted by yhbc at 9:12 AM on September 27, 2002


Same thing goes for a user. Someone pisses off enough people, then they end up being banned by popular decision.

Socrates.
posted by rushmc at 9:32 AM on September 27, 2002


I wonder what a social theorist would make of the genuine success of Matt's benevolent Monarchy over a membership of nearly 20,000 --with a vocal group of avowed liberals and libertarians who demonstrate for fascistic ideas (opressive, dictatorial control of content) with xenophobic (undue fear or contempt of that which is foreign) fervor.

Is everybody too young here to correct internook:
"Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
posted by semmi at 10:03 AM on September 27, 2002


Matt, how about this: every time you delete a thread, you could just send out a quick little email to everyone (are they all on a mailing list somewhere?) Then, people would know what the post was, why it was deleted, and most importantly, they'd know not to post it again.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:08 AM on September 27, 2002


Maybe easier coding: a sideblog in MeTa with a quick explanation:

"Thread Q deleted: weak link"
"Thread R deleted: double"
"Thread X deleted: self link"

With a permanent message saying something like "DO NOT e-mail me about deleted threads. Here's why the thread is gone. Deal."

posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:15 AM on September 27, 2002


Matt, how about this: every time you delete a thread, you could just send out a quick little email to everyone (are they all on a mailing list somewhere?)

You want Matt to send out 16,228 emails every time he deletes a post? You're kidding, right?
posted by timeistight at 10:26 AM on September 27, 2002


This would be a better weblog if members asked themselves one question before making a new post: How am I filtering the Web?

YES! triple word! excellent suggestion.

Also: another tangent: it'd be nice to take the energy and passion from this thread and put it in the form of good posts and comments (it's evident from this thread many people love mefi dearly, and, uh, verbosely).

posted by fishfucker at 10:31 AM on September 27, 2002


Psst, semmi - the pop-culture reference you missed.
posted by yhbc at 10:32 AM on September 27, 2002


Since we all know the guidelines (or should) aren't we smart enough to figure it out for ourselves? And if we didn't see the post to begin with why does it matter?


posted by konolia at 10:32 AM on September 27, 2002


What the original post was lacking was quickly made up for by the excellent links and comments provided by those who contributed to the thread. Keep it.
posted by tdismukes at 10:32 AM on September 27, 2002


jollywanker, I think you missed my point, so I guess that makes us even, doesn't it? :)
posted by ashbury at 10:43 AM on September 27, 2002


Jollywanker: without dragging up "the good ol' days," it does seem that with the huge increase in membership, the number of posts that can legitimately be questioned for front-page-worthiness has gone up at least proportionately (it feels exponential, but let's assume it's not...). More members, more posters, more commenters... more noise obscuring the signal that is/was MetaFilter's main mission:
The "old school" at MeFi are not wiser than the new kids on the block, the signal to noise ratio is the same, it's just the total quantity of both has increased. I, for one, welcome our new contributors, previously this site was getting so stale, the same contributors repeating their entrenched and predictable views day after day. To me that has brought a bit of sparkle back here.
posted by Joeforking at 9:53 AM on September 29, 2002


joeforking, you are a new contributor, so what the heck are you talking about?
posted by ashbury at 12:59 PM on September 29, 2002


I was here when Metatalk was all fields.
posted by Catch at 2:03 PM on September 29, 2002


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