Preventing reposts of deleted stories November 20, 2002 5:10 AM   Subscribe

This dangling baby . . . it vibrates? Every time Matt kills a "Jacko's dangling baby" post, another pops up to replace it. We've talked about this before, but I think the (general) question needs to be raised: What, if anything, can be done to prevent reposting deleted stories? It's been pointed out that posters may not know that they're posting something that has been deleted before because, um, it's been deleted before! (And with wacky news like this, there can be any number of sources for the same story, sorry.) Short of deleting the story every time it pops up, is there a better solution?
posted by mcwetboy to Etiquette/Policy at 5:10 AM (79 comments total)

Perhaps if Matt left one of the postings up long enough that most everyone is likely to have seen it before deleting it, then the likelihood of it's being reposted would be virtually nil. ;-P

posted by mischief at 5:25 AM on November 20, 2002


It's hard, this one: we can't blame it on newbies, though Pinwheel has only posted 4 comments to MeTa, all in one thread, & Reggie452 so far has posted Zero. So maybe they'll come a'lookin' to find out why, and we cn tell 'em.

However, as a strategy, that is known as the 'Shutting the Stable Door, In Hope', and therefore in a big and active community, not effective.

We are gonna have to live with this occasionally, folks. Chin up.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:26 AM on November 20, 2002


Well, if there could be a little message on the posting page that would display brief descriptions of undesirable topics "vibrating broom," "Jacko Dangling Baby" etc., which Matt could easily add to, and which would expire after X amount of days ...

...but we all know that no one ever reads what's on the posting page anyway. (I mean, the other day, some new guy posted a blatant self-link, claimed he never read that self links were bad - even though it's spelled out explicitly right there on the posting page.)

Maybe there could be some sort of code that uses that same brief description list, but more transparently -- keyword searching the text of the frontpage post, and disallowing people to post the message. Of course, that just means more work for Matt, both in the coding, and in the maintenance of the list.
posted by crunchland at 5:26 AM on November 20, 2002


Mischief - o, never mind! (",)
posted by dash_slot- at 5:26 AM on November 20, 2002


This dangling baby . . . it vibrates?

Damn you! I just made the same joke in the Turducken thread, now I find you beat me to it!
Foiled again...
posted by Shane at 6:13 AM on November 20, 2002


Shane, don't you know that "it vibrates" gets funnier every time it is repeated? Laugh, damn you, Laugh!

This Shane . . . it vibrates?

Laugh!
posted by Mid at 6:26 AM on November 20, 2002


What, if anything, can be done to prevent reposting deleted stories?

A warning in the sidebar? It kinda worked -- after a lot of effort -- for the sniper news.

posted by matteo at 6:27 AM on November 20, 2002


I really wish that about 30 leading Mefites had thread-killing admin privileges and used it mercilessly, so that Matt wouldn't even have to see some of the crud that depresses him and brings him one step closer to X-day; not that this is a particularly new idea, but it's not the same as running a whole moderation system with all the things that Matt fears, legitemately, I suppose. I don't have an answer to the 35 FPP's/day, though.
posted by planetkyoto at 6:37 AM on November 20, 2002


Short of deleting the story every time it pops up, is there a better solution?

No.

You see, out of 16,000 users, there's a significant portion that decided that even though a thread is bad and will be deleted, they need to post anyway.

Look at the damn thread about the drug-using 14-year old. At the time I'm writing this, 45 people have left comments, over 20 of which include some derivation of the line "well I know this thread's going to get deleted, but while I'm here..." Likewise, it's the fourth or fifth later-deleted thread this week that includes somewhere a derivation of "oh I know it's against the rules, but cut some slack and let the thread exist anyway." So what is the fucking point?

A long as Metafilter exists, there will be too many people with Pavlovian desires to see their username on the page and go "ooooh, pretty." Sadly, the only way this is stopped is by rational people with the power to dele threads, and as we've already established numerous times that a great responsibility only Matt should wield.

posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:40 AM on November 20, 2002


dele=delete
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:43 AM on November 20, 2002


How about a "these threads have recently been deleted, so you may not want to post them again" thing on the posting page that lists the last five deleted posts? So, if you manage to not notice that the words Jacko/Sniper/Broom are all over that page and you post anyway, well, you're a nimrod.
posted by Fabulon7 at 7:01 AM on November 20, 2002


I really wish that about 30 leading Mefites had thread-killing admin privileges and used it mercilessly...

Nice idea, but then Matt would get 100 e-mails a day that say "Why did so-and-so delete my thread/comment?" Not to mention the inevitable in-fighting between the Chosen Thirty.

Open that can?
posted by Shane at 7:05 AM on November 20, 2002


Ok, first let me formally apologize for posting the first of the deleted baby dangler links. I didn't scoop it off a major news site; a friend of mine living in Germany sent me a link to a smallish online newspaper carrying the story.

I think it would have been a moderately worthy post had it not ended up being such a ubiquitous story only minutes later. (I sincerely winced once I found that it had been posted on Drudge.)

As for how to prevent numerous double posts, perhaps a seperate page that logs the headlines of all posts deleted in the past 24 hours would help. Especially if it was searchable.

Also, after having my post deleted, I came up with a suggestion. Even though I soon had a very good idea why my post had been deleted, a newer member might have been left confused. Perhaps instead of just sweeping the post aside, why not leave a page up with a quick explanation by Matt as to exactly why it was deleted?

Not that he has to justify himself; I just think it would help us correct our misguided posting impulses.

Again, sorry about the dumb post. Next time I'll come with some real butter, I promise.
posted by Pinwheel at 7:10 AM on November 20, 2002


A "recently deleted" page might not be such a bad idea. While I don't want to needlessly create more work for Matt -- like detailing explanations for each and every deleted post -- maybe there could be a lofi MetaFilter with only deleted posts, linked with the posting guidelines or in the sidebar. It wouldn't stop everyone with those Pavlovian desires, but a simple "this stuff is crap, please don't post it again" might help.
posted by UnReality at 7:19 AM on November 20, 2002


Really...talk about making something out of nothing. See a post that should be deleted? Either ignore it or send Matt an e-mail. The FAQ is a great idea, but does this site really need to attempt legislation on every infraction? The more comments a bad thread receives, the more attention is given to something that should be otherwise avoided.
posted by BlueTrain at 7:25 AM on November 20, 2002


Is this feasible? simply leave the post up but close it? Delete all comments too?
posted by DBAPaul at 7:26 AM on November 20, 2002


The problem we keep coming up is that many users don't seem to understand why posts get deleted.
posted by UnReality at 7:31 AM on November 20, 2002


DBAPaul... I was just thinking that: instead of deleting the posts whole-sale, the FPP could be rendered using a different style (say, light gray italicized text) and de-linked. The only link would be something like "Dead Post" that linked to either the guidelines or the nifty new FAQ.

The dead post would eventually scroll off the bottom of the screen.

Whether the dead post was then archived for future reference might be a matter of debate.

Benefits: no one posts to, but everyone knows about the dead post; no excuse for double posting, as it would still be around, and would (hopefully) still be in the database that is culled for the double post warning in the posting area.

I even thought that a dead post counter on the user profile page might be a nice touch, but then realized that some among us might consider that an honor.
posted by silusGROK at 7:53 AM on November 20, 2002


I've posted about this before and have been lurking ever since. I still think communication is the way to go. If Matt won't be pinned down by policy, then communicate recently deleted topics on every portion of metafilter that a new poster is likely to look.
Suggestions:
1) On the right-hand side-bar where the sniper posts announcement was made.
2) On the Post a Link page.
3) In the search engine (i.e. it sucks that the deleted posts don't show up on the search engine, because most conscientious people know to look there, but won't find it there cuz it's deleted).
4) Anywhere else you can think of.
5?) Also, you may consider increasing the limits on new users, if you think that long-term observation will help new users feel comfortable with the unwritten rules.
The reason people don't understand WHY posts are deleted, especially new people, is that there is no effective document of policy, guidelines or musings, that is related to any subjective part of learning what's okay to post, that really talk about the editorial standards other than, "If it isn't interesting, don't post it." 'Interesting' is so completely subjective, the sentence is not informative.
Older users of this system may have a good idea of editorial standards, but younger users won't.
posted by kalessin at 7:54 AM on November 20, 2002


why not leave a page up with a quick explanation by Matt as to exactly why it was deleted?

People still keep commenting even after they know a thread shouldnt be here. If there was an explanation, it would probably get taken into account and then ignored, on the premise of this will be an "exeption."

Half of the posters in the advice thread jump on board with saying the thread is bad but it doesnt stop them from adding to the discusion.
posted by Recockulous at 8:00 AM on November 20, 2002


There is a recently deleted threads page. Most of the people posting these threads don't know about it, and most wouldn't think to check it -- even if it did become a more formalized type of I think we've all seen this, yes? type of page.

Matt has said about a billion times that he doesn't want to go down the shared moderation path. I think it is very unlikely that will ever happen.

I guess instead of deleting these threads Matt could consider leaving them on site (on preview as also suggested by DBAPaul) but closing them to discussion. Possibly adding a comment along the lines of I would have deleted this thread, but somebody else would have just posted it again. This isn't the kind of stuff we want on MetaFilter. Stop posting stuff like this.
posted by willnot at 8:00 AM on November 20, 2002


Habe you ever come across a cashpoint giving out free money, or a petrol pump that is only registering 5p a litre?

Well I have come across the latter, and that is the same feeling as coming across a thread that is going to be deleted. A chance to go nuts, be free if you will.



*taps microphone* Is this thing on?
posted by Frasermoo at 8:16 AM on November 20, 2002


Anyone ever get the feeling that the current wave of microscopic scrutiny to which everything MeFi is subjected will quash any spirit of spontaneity left here?

Maybe once in a while we should all just ease up and dance barefoot in the fields with vibrating turkeyduckens (and pancakes).

posted by Shane at 8:29 AM on November 20, 2002


Lofi isn't a deleted posts page, though. It's a page listing all the posts, including those that were deleted. It's nice that it's there, and when I see a post there and not in the blue, I just assume it was deleted and move on. But it doesn't really address the problem: most people posting these threads don't understand why they're a problem, and I'm not sure the guidelines adequately address that.

Is the suggested policy really "ignore them and hope they'll go away?"
posted by UnReality at 8:35 AM on November 20, 2002


One other thought on moderation. If I recall, Matt's problem with moderation is that whether a post belongs on MeFi is a judgment call. And, his question has always been who can I trust to make that call? People already complain when a post gets deleted, what if people don't agree with the call?

I totally understand that. What if we came at it from the other way though. Right now the only thing preventing (or causing) a post from appearing on MeFi is the single posters hopefully good judgment. What if instead of one member it took three members? What if all posts went into a posting queue, and two other members (any other members) had to review and release it before it made it onto the front page. Now instead of one persons questionable judgment on post worthiness, you have three people's questionable judgment on post worthiness.

You're probably always going to find three people who would say any post belongs here, so it may not provide much more in the way of a sanity check. Still, I suspect that the people who will be reviewing the queue will be the types of people who already spend all day here, so they are more likely than the casual member to understand what works and what doesn't.

Matt can maintain absolute control over moderation and post deletion. It now just takes a few more yes, that belongs here decisions before a post makes it to the front page.

It might also lay the groundwork for the new member buddy system that I know Matt had considered as a possibility at one point. It's a programming solution, so probably not the kind of thing that can be done anytime soon, but I just figured I'd toss it out there.
posted by willnot at 8:36 AM on November 20, 2002


Funny how we can talk about community and then absolutely bash someone who comes to the community for some actual help. Yeah, the advice thing is better left for elsewhere or as someone said, rephrase it so that it is not a pure beg for advice. No this isn't an advice site, no it wasn't appropriate, but a member of the "community" knew that and still had some genuine concerns that he needed some help with. People are STILL commenting on his FPP, mostly just to bash anyone for commenting (which is just of course adding to the noise). I think its sad that the guy didn't seek advice from a better source, but I think its even sadder that our "community" here treated him so very poorly. I think the guy has gotten what he was looking for and has moved on and has learned his lesson.
posted by Pollomacho at 8:37 AM on November 20, 2002


So pollomacho, if this occurred in the analog world at a community group meeting about smoking, would it deserve to be answered there too? Just because it's a community doesn't mean post your personal problems online for help. Search Y! Groups for parenting help, or better yet, read a book or even talk to other parents.

There are a lot of resources out there for parents, you just have to look. Kinda like RTFM.
posted by mkelley at 8:51 AM on November 20, 2002


[Anyone ever get the feeling that the current wave of microscopic scrutiny to which everything MeFi is subjected will quash any spirit of spontaneity left here?]

Yes. I mean No. Uh, what does everyone else think?
posted by revbrian at 8:58 AM on November 20, 2002


So you're saying then that if you were in a book group or even an aerobics class and somebody came in all crying and upset that you wouldn't want to help them? Like I said, I think it was not the place, and I think its sad that the guy had to turn to us for help, but he did, and we treated him like shit for doing it. Real great "community"

Community is about giving and taking and putting up with people when they have good times and bad, this guy had a seriously bad day, he obviously cares very much for his daughter and wanted the best for her. I don't know why he chose us to come to rather than some parenting site, maybe because he wanted advice from people he felt more comfortable with, or from people who aren't the "experts" where there are lots of folks with differing opinions, age groups, drug experience, etc rather than Dr. Phil and 10 thirty something yuppies looking for advice on the right car seat for their new SUV (although there might be a few of those here too). The post was not great, it sucked, but our treatment of him was far worse.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:02 AM on November 20, 2002


Shane: No snark intended, but posting images is frowned upon.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:23 AM on November 20, 2002


I agree with BlueTrain.

*universe crashes to a halt*

But I'm more apt to act like Frasermoo. Some of my best zingers and snarks have been on threads in the Mefi Cemetary.

Pinwheel: The site guidelines specifically state that Mefi is a place for interesting things on the web that most people haven't seen before. It is a given that a story about the worlds looniest pop star is going to be something everyone will have seen five hundred times, whether or not it is broken by a German newspaper.

What this all comes down to is people not understanding what works on this site. I think frykitty's faq is coming close to thoroughly describing it without limiting the site. It is definitely required reading for new users. Hell, it should be required reading for old and crusty users like me.
posted by eyeballkid at 9:25 AM on November 20, 2002


If you're going to a book class when you have home problems, then your priories aren't in order. Call a friend, call members of your family, or just those whom you trust. But turning to an online community weblog about a family problem is just not a good idea. While I don't agree with how he was treated, it did need to be smacked down.
posted by mkelley at 9:35 AM on November 20, 2002


Pollomacho: You got me thinking...

Then I checked out the thread. Deleting this guy's post was a good thing for both us and him. Us because this isn't really the place, and him because it's obvious we really have no idea what we're talking about.
posted by ODiV at 9:36 AM on November 20, 2002


I don't think we treated terrymiles that badly, Pollomacho; in fact, I think we were rather restrained in comparison to the usual smackdown that occurs in situations like this. I think the thread turned a bit when he started referring approvingly to the number of comments on his post.

And I don't believe that the fact that MetaFilter is a community means that we must accept any and all implications of having community status. I'm not inviting you guys over for pie, okay? I'm the president of a local reptile hobbyists' club, and you'd better believe that I'd be pissed if someone demanded time at one of our meetings for advice on how to deal with personal problems.

Our mandate is links plus commentary. Our personal lives should be as much in the background as is possible; to do otherwise violates this community's standards, because the poster's distress takes precedence over our mandate of finding interesting things for our readers. Posting personal stuff and asking for help takes this site's readers for granted.

Besides, many of us have had to deal with personal shit since joining MetaFilter. Should I have posted something on my breakup last February, or on my chronic illness? You put a stop to this stuff because you don't want others to chime in when something even worse happens to them (and someone else will always be worse off than you). It will build because people will see it as an acceptable place to turn for help. We will turn into flaming lagomorphs demanding a moment of each other's time, and then Matt will pull the plug.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:53 AM on November 20, 2002


You know, I was trying to come up with something constructive with this MetaTalk post . . .
posted by mcwetboy at 9:54 AM on November 20, 2002


Reading all the above, it seems like the simplest thing to do by far would be to have deleted posts still show up in the search engine, with some sort of tag that says DELETED.

Searching for "Michael Jackson" and "dangle" (a dangerous combination, granted) now turns up nothing. If the deleted links came up, italicized or somehow marked as "Posted already but zapped, thanks" the problem would (mostly) be nipped in the bud.

I'm not a programmer, but how hard could this be? Of course it wouldn't stop the attention-hungry nimrods who don't check before posting anyway, but probably nothing can.
posted by gottabefunky at 10:00 AM on November 20, 2002


Posting personal stuff and asking for help are two separate issues. Sometimes personal stuff in the form of an anecdote can add to a thread. Personal stuff could even be the basis for a thread on rare occasions provided it meets the posting criteria.

"This daughter, vibrates does she?"

posted by mischief at 10:02 AM on November 20, 2002


Pollomacho: This was not the equivalent of somebody coming in "crying and upset," it was the equivalent of somebody butting into a discussion with "Say, I don't know what to do about my kid, she's gettin' a little rambunctious, anybody got any ideas?" We have actually had the equivalent of the former, and people were nicer as I recall (though I'm too lazy to look up the thread). Reread his post and comments and I think you'll see what I mean.

On preview: what mcwetboy said.
posted by languagehat at 10:07 AM on November 20, 2002


funky: You are assuming a potential poster searched on the word, 'dangle', just as someone earlier referenced 'Jacko', another word many may not associate with Jackson.
posted by mischief at 10:10 AM on November 20, 2002


Wait... go back a minute... "local reptile hobbyist's club?"
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:19 AM on November 20, 2002


xquz: now responsible for one spit-take.
posted by mischief at 10:24 AM on November 20, 2002


Sometimes personal stuff in the form of an anecdote can add to a thread. Personal stuff could even be the basis for a thread on rare occasions provided it meets the posting criteria.

Yes and yes, but the key is that it only works on rare occasions. It seems that, on this site, using personal information to sway a conversation in your favor generally leaves you open to attack.

I have agreed with both BlueTrain and mishief in one thread. What is happening to me?
posted by eyeballkid at 10:35 AM on November 20, 2002


...posting images is frowned upon.

I try to keep it to a minimum, K, but maybe I should limit it to the current accepted bi-monthly posting of the animated-bunny-with-pancakes-on-head.


posted by Shane at 10:38 AM on November 20, 2002


What kinds of hobbies do you reptiles like?
posted by timeistight at 10:38 AM on November 20, 2002


Mcwetboy's comment from the doomed terrymiles thread, which I think bears repeating here:

"MetaFilter is not about us, it's about what we find out there."

I too like the idea of a back-up posse of people with the ability to delete the occasional post, too. Planetkyoto totally echoed my thoughts about how Matt must feeling upon seeing this sort of thing day after day. I think 1 or 2 people (preferrably in different time zones so they aren't all sleeping at the same time) would work out really well. Whoever deletes the thread pops off a standard notifying email which cites the guidelines, and maybe adds an extra, encouraging sentence or two about how to improve posting skills, for next time. Come on, Matt - do it on a trial basis! Let us help.
posted by iconomy at 10:40 AM on November 20, 2002


I'm perfectly happy to keep the power to delete in Matt's hands, and I'm perfectly happy to accept his decision as final. I just worry that many, especially new members, often don't understand why a message gets deleted and so they re-post or post something very similar. Maybe they think it's a bug, or that Matt specifically dislikes Michael Jackson, but I don't think it's always clear to them why a post meets the "bad post" criteria outlined in the posting guidelines.
posted by UnReality at 10:45 AM on November 20, 2002


"Maybe they think it's a bug, or that Matt specifically dislikes Michael Jackson"

Could be both, you know.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:16 AM on November 20, 2002


dash_slot- :
Well, if there could be a little message on the posting page that would display brief descriptions of undesirable topics "vibrating broom," "Jacko Dangling Baby" etc., which Matt could easily add to, and which would expire after X amount of days ...

...but we all know that no one ever reads what's on the posting page anyway.

Perhaps include the warnings as the default text in the textarea tag? i.e.,

<textarea>
Posting 'Dangling Jacko babies' make Matt kill a kitten
</textarea>

makes the text "Posting 'Dangling Jacko babies' make Matt kill a kitten" appear initially in the comments box, forcing the poster to interact with it prior to posting.
posted by nathan_teske at 11:27 AM on November 20, 2002


I think deletion was definitely the best idea for all the above posts, but I sure as hell want that deletion done by Matt and not some MeFi illuminati, good lord, some of you think new ideas get quashed now, just imagine! I think there's already plenty of folks that feel like they own the place, despite Matt's very fair hand and benevolent rule. Just wish the poor guy didn't have to put up with the aggravation.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:31 AM on November 20, 2002


Lots of ideas here, but let me be clear that I don't have the time to personally tell every person with a delted thread why and how it was done. I used to be able to do that, but now that I'm deleting 3-5 things a day, it's too much. A quick rundown of my initial thoughts on the ideas presented:

- A good idea is putting up a list of the last five deleted posts on the posting page, that would prevent the Jacko/Broom/Sniper posts. That's a new one I hadn't heard before, and something I'll consider adding.

- I don't want to create a deleted post graveyard. I've answered this question before a few times, but the 30-second answer is I don't want to create a permanent home for crap, as it will feed someone's ego into being king of the shit pile (no really, it would happen). A temporary list or place would be the only way I do it, if at all.

- I can't email people personally and steer them as to why they went wrong, nor can I even automate the system to email the deleted poster's account email because some people take it extremely personally when their post is deleted. Email is a very personal mode of communication, and that would intensify it.

- I'd be happy to create a deleted_reasons table and jot down a quick "was a double post" "too stupid" and/or "links totally uninteresting" when I delte things, which would get appended to the deleted post page. People looking for a reason could get one.

- I'm not going to farm out the admin to a bunch of people here as previously stated a dozen times. It's a management nightmare, and it's for the best. When I go out of town, I have given one person delete/edit control in the past, and I'll probably continue doing that when I'm offline for extended periods.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:46 AM on November 20, 2002


When I go out of town, I have given one person delete/edit control in the past, and I'll probably continue doing that when I'm offline for extended periods.

Oo, oo, oo ... pick me, pick me!
posted by timeistight at 12:08 PM on November 20, 2002


See, I knew someone would focus on that (even if jokingly). "Who is the person you trust?! Why isn't it me?!"

You can imagine the air of elitism that would surround a secret society of 30-40 heavy users with god-like control over the site.

Too many cooks spoil the...
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:23 PM on November 20, 2002


I'd be happy to create a deleted_reasons table and jot down a quick "was a double post" "too stupid" and/or "links totally uninteresting" when I delte things, which would get appended to the deleted post page. People looking for a reason could get one.

[this is good]
posted by PrinceValium at 12:26 PM on November 20, 2002


mathowie: I don't want to create a deleted post graveyard.

this hypothetical construct will henceforth be known as the AntiFilter. a link between it and MetaFilter could destroy the blogosphere.
posted by eddydamascene at 12:27 PM on November 20, 2002


See, I knew someone would focus on that (even if jokingly). "Who is the person you trust?! Why isn't it me?!"

Nah, I just want to delete some posts.
posted by timeistight at 12:32 PM on November 20, 2002


Okay, we know the Assistant God-Like Controller is NOT timeistight....only 16,000 or so more names to eliminate.
posted by briank at 12:32 PM on November 20, 2002


I bet Matt built some kind of modified google spider bot that goes into posts and determines that if number of cliches and injokes are 80% of all comments then it deletes the thread. I bet it's called ponybot.
posted by Stan Chin at 12:50 PM on November 20, 2002


I saw this on a different MeTa thread and thought it was a very good idea for reducing crap/news/narcissistic posts: a 24 hour waiting period before new posts hit the front page. This would eliminate most news posts, which become pretty irrelevant after a day, whereas truly novel links would remain interesting. Also, the absence of instant gratification would drive away those who just want to see their name in lights.
posted by shaneflyer at 1:00 PM on November 20, 2002


I don't want to create a deleted post graveyard.

So is this the only option what would allow deleted posts to appear in a search? I'm confused.
posted by gottabefunky at 1:36 PM on November 20, 2002


I have to get a pet peeve off my chest.

I'd like to point out to all of you who mentioned lofi.mefi as a place to look for deleted threads: There is no direct link to lofi.mefi anywhere on the MetaFilter front page, the the MetaTalk front page, the about page or anywhere else other than in erstwhile posts and comments made by you here in the grey. Unless a newbie (or even a not-so-newbie) happens across one of your mentions of it or does a search (presuming they know to search for it), lofi.mefi does not exist in their world.

If you think FPP and in-jokes are alienating, try telling someone to go someplace without telling them how to get there. I suggest lofi.mefi and any other hidden realms of MetaFilter be mentioned in the FAQ or somewhere else. Otherwise, lofi's a completely meaningless, elitist reference that just confuses outsiders. Worse than pancakes.
posted by me3dia at 1:51 PM on November 20, 2002


take it to lopan.cakefi
posted by quonsar at 1:54 PM on November 20, 2002


a 24 hour waiting period before new posts hit the front page

I was thinking about suggesting this earlier, but I think that the number of double posts would quickly grow when everyone submits a vibrating broom post without knowing that one's already one waiting in the queue.
posted by turaho at 1:55 PM on November 20, 2002


People looking for a reason could get one

Don't think this is needed. It's like the horse and the electric fence. It doesn't know why it hurts but it learns to not touch. Or like the dumb guy and the running lawn mower spark plug and a real full bladder... never mind.
posted by mss at 2:02 PM on November 20, 2002


I just got a horrible mental image of hordes of vibrating brooms bursting out of a posting queue a la the Sorceror's Apprentice scene in Fantasia and swarming the front page.

Whoa.
posted by yhbc at 2:03 PM on November 20, 2002


me3dia: I go to lofi all the time and I still sometimes forget the url. You're right about that one.

A 24 hour waiting period would really just cause more "Hey, this was on FarkDot yesterday!" crap.
posted by eyeballkid at 2:07 PM on November 20, 2002


I'd like to point out to all of you who mentioned lofi.mefi as a place to look for deleted threads

lofi was never meant to represent anything really. It was a one off thing I made while testing out some templating code about a year ago. Then some people started using it instead of the normal homepage. When I changed the code that deleted threads into instead hiding them, a few months after the fact, someone realized that deleted things showed up there. Then people kept asking for ways of seeing comments on deleted threads.

The whole thing snowballed from a one-off test page, and now that the plain text version of metafilter exists I don't think it's necessary anymore. If I institute ways of searching for deleted posts (by the way, when you submit a URL on the posting page, it does in fact search deleted threads - the Jacko problem was that the story was *everywhere* and posted as four different URLs), I'll get rid of lofi altogether.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:15 PM on November 20, 2002


It's like the horse and the electric fence. It doesn't know why it hurts but it learns to not touch.

David Sedaris, who currently lives in France, once postulated that his French neighbors perhaps refer to him as "The guy who doesn't understand the electric fence warning sign, and whose screams scare the horses."
Or something reasonably close to that.
posted by Shane at 2:26 PM on November 20, 2002


If my post got deleted and marked as 'too stupid', I would definitely start crying. This should be implemented immediately.
posted by eddydamascene at 3:13 PM on November 20, 2002


"The guy who doesn't understand the electric fence warning sign, and whose screams scare the horses."

I mentally hear that in Sedaris's poofter-drawl (not intended pejoratively, just descriptively) and that makes it even funnier. I also live somewhere where the warning signs tend to be indecipherable to me (although to my very minor credit I've learned that (phonetically romanized) 'ui-hum' means 'danger'!).
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:45 PM on November 20, 2002


On the westcoast of Canada, our 'No Hitchhiking' signs read as follows.

NO HITCHHIKING
   PICKUP IS ILLEGAL


The problem, of course, lies in the fact that there's no punctuation and it could easily be read to say "no hitchhiking pick up is illegal," a sort of pro-hitchhiking proclamation.

What, you don't care? Oh....
posted by The God Complex at 4:35 PM on November 20, 2002


The God Complex: I remember a case, from way back, won by a guy who smoked in a London cab because the sign "Thank you for not smoking" was accepted to apply only to passengers who didn't smoke and not interpreted as a request or a warning. Nothing to do with punctuation, or this thread, but there you go. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:01 PM on November 20, 2002


Whoever he is, this David Sedaris seems to have inadvertently undermined the Victorian, liberal aristocratic view of homos, that "those buggers can do whatever they like, as long as it doesnt scare the horses."*

*Who was it said that?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:10 PM on November 20, 2002


*Begging forgiveness for abusing my off-topic quota*

Moments after leaving my comment, I read this sentence from a CNN item about the man whose body was used for the public autopsy performed in London yesterday:

"One of his assistants identified the body as that of a businessman who started drinking heavily after losing his job at 50. The man then drank up to two bottles of whiskey a day and was smoking heavily for the last 50 years of his life, the assistant said. "

So what age was he? My first reaction was: "Well, he lived to be a hundred nonetheless." ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:11 PM on November 20, 2002


only 16,000 or so more names to eliminate.

Eliminate my name as well. Trying to be an objective editor for Plastic consumes way more time now than I can rightly invest.

posted by mischief at 7:08 PM on November 20, 2002


Hmmm... King Of The Shitpile?
posted by hama7 at 7:32 PM on November 20, 2002


.. Metafilter: The King of the Shitpile

Nah... doesn't roll of the tongue right.
posted by nathan_teske at 8:27 PM on November 20, 2002


King Of The Shitpile?

Plastic: We do NewsFilter right! ;-P

posted by mischief at 12:25 AM on November 21, 2002


Monthly lynching.

Every month we get the opportunity to vote on a memeber we want lynched.

The lucky winnner has their account suspended for a month.
posted by Frasermoo at 1:27 AM on November 21, 2002


It could be like Survivor, we could vote one more member off the island until, there is only one King of the Shitpile!

"I think pollomacho is making an alliance with the pancake tribe, he's off the island"
posted by Pollomacho at 8:59 AM on November 21, 2002


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