Automatic detection of the un-best of the web? December 12, 2004 3:26 PM   Subscribe

Would it be possible to do a little real-time checking for easily catchable sub-par posts, and provide the user with a little advice or more information?

One instance where (given the largely negative feedback in this earlier post) this might be appreciated: If the post consists of a single link to an ebay item, present the user with a message as they preview, something along the lines of "You appear to be posting a single link to an item on ebay. Even if you think that it is quirky or wacky or outrageous, metafilter is probably not the place for it, and you may wish to reconsider your post."

There is some more inside.
posted by Lirp to Feature Requests at 3:26 PM (29 comments total)

Another one would be to keep track of users who have had posts deleted recently and, if they make a post to metatalk with 'deleted' or 'disappeared' in it somewhere, have the preview page say something like "If you are asking what happened to your post, please make sure you've read matt's comments in the thread itself. You can find it via lofi [or provide a link]. You may also want to read the wiki about deleted threads before posting."

Other ways to elicit automatic suggestions might be posting single link bbc or reuters articles, or having ultra-short or ultra-long ask metafilter questions.

Redundant or mediocre posts that can actually be caught with simple string matching are relatively uncommon, I think, but this kind of setup might be worth having just for those few posts that do get prevented (or improved) because of it.
posted by Lirp at 3:26 PM on December 12, 2004


I think the effort required to program this kind of thing may well exceed the benefits realized. It would be easier just to add a sentence in the posting guidelines.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 3:30 PM on December 12, 2004


IS MY IDEA ORIGINAL OR NOT?
1 2* 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

IS MY PONY HARD TO CODE OR NOT?
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9* 10
...
posted by scarabic at 12:35 PM PST on December 10

posted by metaculpa at 3:36 PM on December 12, 2004


Well, ok. It's more original than two. But I don't think we should babysit other people - let them make crap posts, and they'll just hear about it. Please take a look at my FPP history for examples of good posts.
posted by metaculpa at 3:37 PM on December 12, 2004


The idea to catch single-link posts at the preview page is a good one.
posted by tomharpel at 4:31 PM on December 12, 2004


hey, while you are at it matt, could code up a scan of all the major news outlets and if a submission isn't newsfilter and contains the acronym "IMHO", display the message "get your own blog, fuckwit".
posted by quonsar at 4:34 PM on December 12, 2004


I dunno, the word count wouldn't be so hard. Easier yet would be to put a limit on the length of the FPP by specifying the length of the input text block, and thereby forcing people to MI.

A search of links for "reuters.com", "cnn.com", and the like, would be a bit tougher, and Matt's still working on other bits of the site which are taking time, so, though nice, I doubt this part is practical.
posted by Bugbread at 4:41 PM on December 12, 2004


Good gawd you are talking about virtual censorship on a platform which demands you to post so as to move from one colour to another. Look at blue page, they are just as stunned as we are.
posted by Ranger03 at 4:51 PM on December 12, 2004


Is there some way that I can get someone else to wipe my ass for me after a pinch off a loaf? 'Cause, you know, it's just exhausting thinking of having to do it myself.

Don't create elaborate Rube Goldberg mechanisms to steer the stupid away from acting stupid, just kill the fucking stupid. Or, in this context, give them the opportunity to how thickheaded they are, then wait for them to flee in shame, or flame out, or get banned.

Survival of the slightly-less-stupid, baby.

I need a coffee.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:52 PM on December 12, 2004


...to display...
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:52 PM on December 12, 2004


Metafilter: Just kill the fucking stupid.
posted by Jimbob at 4:57 PM on December 12, 2004


Is there some way that I can get someone else to wipe my ass for me after a pinch off a loaf?

AAAA+++++!!!! WOULD WIPE STAVROS ASS AGAIN!!!!
posted by fandango_matt at 5:20 PM on December 12, 2004


In defense of my post, I learned it from you all.

All posted since I became a member and by members who've been here longer than me.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 5:24 PM on December 12, 2004


The idea to catch single-link posts at the preview page is a good one.

Careful. A lot of bad posts are single-link posts, but a single-link post does not in any way imply a bad post. People seem to enjoy the encyclopaedia-entry posts, but there have been many, many fine posts pointing out the oddities of the web using only a single link.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 5:46 PM on December 12, 2004


Yeah, actually, come to think of it, when did single-linking become a sin? I'm often much more concerned with people who obviously spent 3 and a half hours googling up a dozen or more links to pepper all over their post. If it's a good site, it can stand on it's own. If you feel you need to sculpt your post into a complex, multidimensional, link-heavy rant to make an impact, you're probably not pointing towards anything too vital.
posted by Jimbob at 6:13 PM on December 12, 2004


I appreciate single links. Lots of people like to pad their posts with yellow text that doesn't go anywhere interesting, and I find it exasperating. For example, check out the second link of this post.
posted by painquale at 6:24 PM on December 12, 2004


What those last three said. What the heck is wrong with (good) single-link posts? I've been seeing a lot of ridiculously padded posts, with every third word pointlessly linked, and recently a poster complained because a commenter hadn't clicked on every single link. Bah!
posted by languagehat at 6:33 PM on December 12, 2004


Yes! What an original retort: "I'm just doing what you did." That makes it all better.

Most of us recall using this as an excuse around age 8 and being met with "If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you jump too?"
posted by sillygit at 8:10 PM on December 12, 2004


Sillygit, so if 19 posts since I registered have followed a similar pattern, I'm supposed to somehow realize that noone here is interested in that type of post?

I knew it wasn't the holy grail of posts but I thought at least a few might get a chuckle out of it. I was wrong. I was just pointing out, however, that I'm not the only one to have done it and that perhaps there are more people here interested in a post about an ebay auction than would let on.

I won't do it again, however.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:39 PM on December 12, 2004


dfleming- Don't sweat it. It's just that for every 100 relatively well-adjusted mefites, there is 1 that feels threatened by the influx of new blood. When you look at the number of members, that means there's a crowd of people just waiting to pounce on any perceived infraction.

In another thread, a member suggested that noobs should send their proposed fpp's to an oldbie for vetting before posting. I sent one to the guy and guess what? No answer. Snarking noobs is just a hobby for some. The best defense is to tell 'em to piss off but not otherwise engage them.
posted by Doohickie at 9:13 PM on December 12, 2004


I always wondered where Hollywood was.
posted by DrJohnEvans at 9:50 PM on December 12, 2004


The best defense is to tell 'em to piss off

Might I suggest, "Piss off you ungrateful snobs!"
posted by fandango_matt at 11:34 PM on December 12, 2004


It must be said that (with the recent influx) trying to find a good post seems to be like bobbing for apples in a bucketful of cocks.

However there are still some gems to be found and the noobs will soon graduate from the meta school of hard knocks.
posted by Tuatara at 1:53 AM on December 13, 2004


What stavros said.

Also, on the flipside it seems to be par for the course that our newer members think a post that is extremely lengthy and chock full of links is, by default, thoughtful and useful to mefi.
posted by glenwood at 5:19 AM on December 13, 2004


....give them the opportunity to how thickheaded they are, then wait for them to flee in shame, or flame out, or get banned.

You forgot "or buck up and post good shit".

I know I've laid my share of steaming three-coilers on the blue but without the beatings I never would have gotten better at it. MetaFilter is my Great Santini.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 6:54 AM on December 13, 2004


Would it be possible to do a little real-time checking for easily catchable sub-par posts,

Just email it to someone here and get a sanity check before you post it. Seriously. Pick someone whose posts you like, or who seems like a decent judge of these things. Or Matt, if you absolutely must.

Really, we are all human beings sitting at keyboards, and we have email. Someone will answer and give you good advice.
posted by scarabic at 10:30 AM on December 13, 2004


Ok, for one thing, I feel that the bad-post pile-ons are at least as undesireable as the bad posts, if not much more so. That might put me in a minority in this thread. But as long as there are new users coming in, there will be inexperienced ones, and a good number of their first few posts will be lousy. These posts will be attacked and dumped on by other users, and, like others have said above, the poster will learn a lesson or leave, often with an ugly mess of a thread left behind.

The point I'm trying to make is that it would be nice to figure out a way to move the "learn a lesson" step so that it comes before the posting step, whenever possible. That's all.

Also, dfleming, I didn't mean to make your post the centerpiece of this or anything. Looking at the other ebay threads, there is nowhere near the same amount of negative response that appeared in yours, and I guess it was incorrect to say that it was attacked for being a link to an ebay item.
posted by Lirp at 12:02 PM on December 13, 2004


Just email it to someone here and get a sanity check before you post it. Seriously. Pick someone whose posts you like, or who seems like a decent judge of these things. Or Matt, if you absolutely must.

Really, we are all human beings sitting at keyboards, and we have email. Someone will answer and give you good advice.

By the way, scarabic- have you checked your email lately?
posted by Doohickie at 3:58 PM on December 13, 2004


scarabic- n/m. And thanks.
posted by Doohickie at 5:13 PM on December 13, 2004


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