Suicide Girls TextAds February 2, 2005 12:27 AM   Subscribe

So yeah, suicide girls. After some teeth gnashing, and asking all my female friends about taking on suicide girls image ads on mefi, I decided to take them (they seem tasteful to me -- I dropped the ones showing too much skin) with the caveat that a simple click and anyone could hide them forever. Here's what I said when I took their first textad long ago and the same applies here. They are as racy as I will go, and this won't start a slippery slope as they're the exception to the rule.
posted by mathowie to MetaFilter-Related at 12:27 AM (649 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

The suicide girls folks asked me if I wanted to follow boingboing's lead a few days ago. I know this will be controversial, but I thought the boingboing ads were ok, while more than one friend said they were too racy and they didn't like looking at boingboing while at work. When I asked about clicking to hide them, they were ok with that, and the suicidegirls folks were ok with that too.

Anyway, I hope folks don't find it offensive, and if so, you have the option to hide it. I've always liked the site and felt it was a well-designed, female positive, sex positive place that wasn't like your typical demeaning porn site. And I'll reiterate: I won't take other porn ads or casino ads or any of that crap. SG is an exception and as racy as anything I ever take as an advertiser here.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:32 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't like it. I can't concentrate on all the nsfw posts.

No really - I just don't like the pr0nofication of my space.
posted by FidelDonson at 12:45 AM on February 2, 2005


I like it. I know one of those girls--I met her at at Zipperhead show on Saturday and she almost knocked me dead. Yeah, you're for me, punk rock girl!
posted by fandango_matt at 12:50 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't mind porn ads at all. But why make an exception for suicidegirls.com? It's brand of holier-than-thou edginess is a downer and a turn off.

Plus IME goth girls are, without exception, nutcases.
posted by dydecker at 12:58 AM on February 2, 2005


Very tacky.
Personally, I'd rather porn not show up in yet another space.
Especially since that particular website doesn't seem to have a problem finding advertisers.

I did appreciate the "hide this ad" option though, so kudos for that.
posted by madajb at 1:03 AM on February 2, 2005


Thanks for your thoughtfulness with this Matt, and I appreciate you setting limits on the ads themselves. I'm all for the sex-positive and so on, but I'll be clicking the hide option; and not because I have anything against pretty girls, but just because it gets wearisome having to pick my way through a visual field of female skin, as I have to do at some of the sites I visit every day. If there were equal opportunity Suicide Boys, then perhaps? Though really I'm just tired of the constant objectification of both female and male bodies, so a site advertising Suicide Boys wouldn't really serve to even the playing field for me.

At any rate. Thanks again for your sensitivity in consulting with the Mefite masses about this.
posted by jokeefe at 1:04 AM on February 2, 2005


Ah, just to clarify: the 'sites I visit every day' referred to above-- I should have mentioned that it's precisely Suicide Girls ads that I'm running into and which I find, cumulatively, wears me out.
posted by jokeefe at 1:07 AM on February 2, 2005


matt, it doesn't bother me. don't let the resident Puritans or PC Brigade tell you how to run your website. (besides, SGs are teh hawt.)
posted by keswick at 1:08 AM on February 2, 2005


But why make an exception for suicidegirls.com? It's brand of holier-than-thou edginess is a downer and a turn off.

I think they do things right. Almost every other porn-related site online is built for the pro wrestling set and I've long wondered why there wasn't a site that didn't insult people's intelligence. SG always seemed tasteful, not too tacky, and it's almost entirely softcore pin up girl stuff. They're the exception to the rule for me because they're the exception to the porn site rule that everything needs to be hardcore and appeal to your base instincts.

but I'll be clicking the hide option; and not because I have anything against pretty girls, but just because it gets wearisome having to pick my way through a visual field of female skin

That's totally fine and I'm happy users have the hide option (even non-logged in users) because if the ad is annoying or turns you off, you're not going to click anyway, so I might as well do everything to help you avoid it.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:10 AM on February 2, 2005


Like jokeefe I'm a tad weary of the skin and would have rather not seen it (it doesn't matter that it's sex positive, it's the female = sex that tires me) so I'm pleased there is a "hide this ad" option.
posted by dabitch at 1:14 AM on February 2, 2005


matt - It is cool that you are trying to encourage tasteful art involving the human body, but adding the suicide girls ads really brings metafilter, in a visual sense, down to Fark's level.

I don't mind suicide girls at all. I generally work from a home ofice, and am quite capable of using your "hide this ad" link, if they did bother me. The problem is that I can't forward a metafilter link on to someone without *them* getting the suicide girls ad. They see the blog with the pr0nchick ad, and immediately think "another fark". I'm not worried that they will be offended, I'm worried that it cheapens Metafilter's content.

That having been said, if Americans are ever going to become more body-positive, it has to start somewhere.
posted by b1tr0t at 1:19 AM on February 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


It's only on the front page, b1tr0t, so sending comment threads to friends will be ok, but I understand your point and hope it doesn't come across that way.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:22 AM on February 2, 2005


I'll be adding that to my adblock list, because one click will not hide them forever here at work, the only place I'd care (assuming that you're saving the preference to a cookie), where the impenetrable asian wisdom of our IT guys and their arcane ware means that cookies do not stay on my machine more than about 4 hours at a time.

Yeah, I know, don't read MeFi at work, yadda yadda.

For what it's worth, I agree with b1tr0t, and reckon given the tenor of things lately, more Farkescence couldn't come at a worse time. Ah well.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:24 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't think the SG ads will cheapen or degrade the MetaFilter brand. A significant part of MetaFilter's brand is the excellence and high caliber of the posts contributed by its members and I don't see ads for SG compromising or changing the MeFi brand.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:28 AM on February 2, 2005


Aw crap, the hide link doesn't work for non-logged in users and there isn't an easy way to fix it just now, but I'll get it working tomorrow.

reckon given the tenor of things lately

Things seem a bit weird lately with the continued growing pains of new users getting their sea legs and old users flipping out, but I don't think it's been any worse of a boyzone lately, has it?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:29 AM on February 2, 2005


Nihilo Sanctum Estne?
posted by basicchannel at 1:34 AM on February 2, 2005


I appreciate the hide option too, nice that I only need to choose it once. Thanks for that, and nice to hear that I'm not the only one tired of seeing bare skin and pouty lips everytime I try to read something. It never bothered me until it was everywhere, but now that I can't blink without seeing more it's really getting on my nerves.

Just to clarify, I think it's fine to have the ad. But...yeah. What dabitch said.
posted by cali at 1:42 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't think it's been any worse of a boyzone lately, has it?

Not really. Just kinda... jokey and dumb. But maybe I'm just being cranky. It happens.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 1:47 AM on February 2, 2005


frankly I'm much more appalled by some of the comments in the Ann Coulter thread. I say go for it -- do MeFites get a discount for SG membership now?
also, to show true bipartisan, anti-boyzone spirit, I strongly (and seriously) suggest we start taking ads with half-naked cute guys as well.
posted by matteo at 1:48 AM on February 2, 2005


I've never understood the name – what's sexy about suicide?
posted by timeistight at 2:03 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't like it much, to be honest. My line of thought is somewhere around what b1tr0t said, but I'm also just sick of all the skin on sites everywhere. Pitchfork has become unbearable with the enourmous cycling SuicideGirls ads (and no adblock at work), and while this ad is as unobtrusive as you can possibly make it, it still grabs the eye off the front page (and not in a good way). Still, props to Matt for making it easily rid of and not too conspicuous.
posted by rooftop secrets at 2:08 AM on February 2, 2005


what's sexy about suicide?

It's like so totally edgy cool, or something.
posted by rooftop secrets at 2:09 AM on February 2, 2005


Readers may also want to keep in mind that the suicide girls are very urban-pacificnorthwest. I haven't seen anyone remotely like a suicide girl here in soutern california (maybe I'm not hanging out with the cool kids?), but urban Seattle was full of them. Matt lives in portland, so they may seem less unusual/exotic to him than they will to mefites who live elsewhere.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:15 AM on February 2, 2005


I am not sure if I like blog whores on MeFi. I consider them a modern form of (self)prostition. Let's be honest - nobody goes to SG for their brilliant essays, nor sparkling characters. It's a celebration/exploitation of fertility, sex and pseudo-nasty behaviour.

But it brings in some money and I am using adblock to get rid of them anyway.
posted by homodigitalis at 2:17 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't have any free-speech/appropriateness issues with it, personally, but I really think that b1tr0t is definitely raising a valid point. It absolutely makes it harder to just recommend MetaFilter to someone as a great site to check out. (As a matter of fact, I just recommended it to a client of mine last week--an older guy, VP of a big e-commerce company--and now I'm really kind of regretting doing that.)

I'd also point out that visually, as the only brightly colored item on an otherwise pretty monochromatic page, it does really grab the eye. Boing boing and the other sites I've seen it on tend to have so many _other_ ads on the page (before you adblock them) that the SG ad is just one of many. Here, I've got to say that it really does look like we're showcasing SG. (Also reinforcing my first issue, above.)
posted by LairBob at 2:47 AM on February 2, 2005


"but I don't think it's been any worse of a boyzone lately, has it?"

It doesn't seem worse, but it's not much better. What matteo said about the latest Ann Coulter thread echoes my dismay.

Thank you for the "hide" option; I appreciate it.
posted by reflecked at 2:52 AM on February 2, 2005


...and what homodigitalis said is so true. Perhaps if I show off a lot of skin and my lovely tats people may finally wander over to my blog..... God that's depressing. ;)
posted by dabitch at 2:57 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm thinkng of putting up naked pictures of dash_slot and dodgygeezer to attract people to viewropa.
posted by taz at 3:06 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't think it's been any worse of a boyzone lately, has it?
Not really. Just kinda... jokey and dumb. But maybe I'm just being cranky. It happens.

Having been on a leave of absence from MeFi for a month or so, I came back the other day and was amazed by how much the bar had been lowered during that time. Unless, like the awesome fowl, I am just being cranky.

Also, Suicide Girls rock my world, but I think I will stay away from MeFi while at work, because my new employers are very strict about what content is visited via their network.
posted by dg at 3:07 AM on February 2, 2005


dg, the ads don't show up on inner pages, so use lofi for your front page. We want you to stick around.
posted by taz at 3:11 AM on February 2, 2005


especially if you're half-naked
posted by matteo at 3:42 AM on February 2, 2005


I like it. I know one of those girls--I met her at at Zipperhead show on Saturday and she almost knocked me dead. Yeah, you're for me, punk rock girl!

:-D

there is never enough dead milkmen references on this site.
posted by Stynxno at 4:00 AM on February 2, 2005


This scene just keeps getting juicier.
posted by iconomy at 4:02 AM on February 2, 2005


I agree with Jokeefe, it gets tiresome to see the SG advertised everywhere now. I am glad to have the option to hide, though, thanks Matt.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 4:13 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't personally care, but it does mean that MF is no longer a site I can recommend to my 'professional' friends, who would be very uncomfortable with receiving a link from a co-worker and seeing weird naked girls.
posted by Jairus at 4:23 AM on February 2, 2005


SG always seemed tasteful, not too tacky, and it's almost entirely softcore pin up girl stuff. They're the exception to the rule for me because they're the exception to the porn site rule that everything needs to be hardcore and appeal to your base instincts.

I think you owe hardcore pornography an apology.

On preview: From the SG ads I've seen so far, these girls are only naked for certain surprisingly non-naked values of naked. Just my observation.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 4:29 AM on February 2, 2005


Even if they're only 'kinda' naked, I can't send my boss's associates a link with pr0n ads on it. :)
posted by Jairus at 4:33 AM on February 2, 2005


I agree with Captain_Tenille. Could you make them more... naked?
posted by rusty at 4:35 AM on February 2, 2005


I find the addition of a photo of that size more jarring than anything else, so I hid it. But I do agree with MH that SG is tasteful.

Matt just wants a bigger flat screen tv....
posted by ParisParamus at 4:36 AM on February 2, 2005


Matt, if any MeFite's get sacked because they can't be bothered to lock their office doors before they start masturbating then it will all be your fault.
posted by biffa at 4:38 AM on February 2, 2005


Bit late but:

fandango_matt: You do know that California Dreamin' was the Mamas and the Papas, not the Beach Boys, don't you?
posted by benzo8 at 4:40 AM on February 2, 2005


(Not a problem with the SGs though...)
posted by benzo8 at 4:43 AM on February 2, 2005


but I don't think it's been any worse of a boyzone lately, has it?

No but it looks more like one now. I'll choose to click it off. Although the ad itself doesn't offend me, it changes the look of Metafilter somehow. :-(
posted by Tarrama at 4:49 AM on February 2, 2005


They're hot, yeah, but still, the internet's full enough of tit and arse without MeFi having a front page ad (for members, even) with seminudes in em.

So, I vote no. If I wanted to visit SG, I would. Without the link.
posted by armoured-ant at 4:53 AM on February 2, 2005


Very bizarre: for the first time, ever, I had a dream last night about pr0n.
posted by ParisParamus at 4:55 AM on February 2, 2005


What LairBob said about the ads popping more on monochromatic Mefi, making it look like they are showcased. I no like.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:25 AM on February 2, 2005


I came back the other day and was amazed by how much the bar had been lowered during that time.

I'm with stavros & dg; there's been more simple minded frat boy-ness around of late, and although these ads won't directly cause that, they could sort of encourage people toward that. The environment will give people certain impressions, and when new people visit, they'll get a 'sense' of the place from such little cues as picture ads. The thoughtful, respectful, somewhat reserved type may be slightly less likely to join in. The "hahahaha teh boobs!" type may be just slightly more likely to feel welcome. And of course, it's a positive feedback loop, as the more comments of a certain sort there are, the more assured people will feel that those sort of comments are the norm.

For me, the direct impact is basically nil. But I do wonder if the long term effect will be noticeable. Are sign ups still open? Is that unchanging? It seems like it might be useful to regroup and clarify the tone around here...
posted by mdn at 5:27 AM on February 2, 2005


It totally and completely bums me out. It's not my site, and I didn't even pay for my login, but meta occupies this very particular mental space in my head, and honestly the pr0n just completely violates that. Being able to hide it is well and good, but somehow the fact that this space is in some way being supported by the same goddamn nekkid chix sites as every other websheet on the internets is depressing to me.

I know, I'm naive and idealist. Sue me.

Matt should you maybe seek out a site that similiarly objectifies men and offer to sell ad space to them? Just to keep things nice and balanced?
posted by glenwood at 5:27 AM on February 2, 2005


Howza bout a "hide" feature for tired political threads?

(I'm fine with the nekkid girls.)
posted by ColdChef at 5:36 AM on February 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


Matt was good enough to code an intelligent and complete solution for this *from the start* - the ad exists, but you can hide it at will. I have no problem with it - although I'll be hiding the ad regardless just to reduce clutter.

There are a lot of other, bigger, nastier things going wrong with MeFi of late than it becoming the final popular Internet site to run SG ads. Complaining about this particular addition just seems petty to me.
posted by Ryvar at 5:37 AM on February 2, 2005


But I don't WANT to be exposed to anus oh wait yes I do yes I do.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:38 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm fine with the nekkid (hide ad feature and adblock means I'm double-covered at work), but I do understand what people are saying about their reduced ability to recommend mefi to coworkers / other non-friends.
posted by Bugbread at 5:40 AM on February 2, 2005


My grandmother's tea parties had less collectively delicate sensibilties than the people weighing in here. I wouldn't have picked this crowd for supporting victorian-style prudery.

And "objectification" in relation to women is a term used by 20-year-old women to let you know that they've taken a women's studies class and the men who want to seem sensitive enough to sleep with them.

The ads aren't particularly racy, they're giving mathowie money that we aren't and you can opt out of them. The whiners should go cover up piano legs or something.
posted by Mayor Curley at 5:41 AM on February 2, 2005


Odd... despite all of the comments about how the ad visually ruins the front page, I didn't even notice it until I saw this thread. I'd like to dissent a little: I find the ad small, unobtrusive [especially compared to, say, Pitchfork's SG ads], and generally no problem. The content isn't bothersome either - full-frontal nudity in ads isn't the SG style, and I find a little skin much less offensive than some of the comments and attitudes in threads. Matt's made it so that you don't have to see the ads if you don't want to, so as long as he manages to create a turn-off option for non-members, or something with that sort of effect, I really don't see any problem.

[Furthermore, regarding "Farkification" - I think that how we conduct ourselves in threads has a much greater impact on the direction the site is going than this ad ever will. The flamewars, the inability to have a civil discussion on controversial topics, the ad-hominems - these are a much greater problem. Putting too much emphasis on the Negative Effect of T3h B00B5!!1! seems like a cop-out, to me.]
posted by ubersturm at 5:43 AM on February 2, 2005


I had no idea you guys were so precious about a few harmless pictures of pretty girls.
posted by cheaily at 5:44 AM on February 2, 2005


I for one wasn't overjoyed to see it, but it's infinitely preferable to that "Asses of Evil" gobshite a few weeks/months ago. I don't necessarily agree with the above analyses of either Suicide Girls (not *that* hot) or porn "in general", either. That said, the option to hide it is most welcome and negates almost all complaint. Opting into "adult" ads would be even better -- but then I guess no one would see them, so no one would place them, defeating the object of the exercise.

I'm also a little uncomfotable with this also moving MetaFilter one step closer to other weblogs with lame lame ads on their front page. How much do you want to take it down?
posted by nthdegx at 5:44 AM on February 2, 2005


for the first time, ever, I had a dream last night about pr0n.

Now that you've finally discovered your sexuality I'm sure we'll see a much more mellow and tolerant Paris!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 5:48 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm clicking the Suicide Girls ad off, since multiple piercings and tattoos turn me off. Far more irritating to me are posts (aka FPPs) which are broken into multiple paragraphs, so they sprawl all over my screen.
posted by Carol Anne at 5:55 AM on February 2, 2005


Said nthdegx How much do you want to take it down?

Given the preponderance of gibberish like "teh" and "l33t" (or whatever the kids are saying these days) I'd say we haven't far to go.
posted by fandango_matt at 5:58 AM on February 2, 2005


What Glenwood said.
posted by shawnj at 5:59 AM on February 2, 2005


Pretty_Generic: no, and I have the references to prove it!
posted by ParisParamus at 6:01 AM on February 2, 2005


Suicide Girls is still exploitation.

It is wrong for you to take porn ad money.

What a sorry day for this site.
posted by plexi at 6:02 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't think the ads are tasteful enough for my boss - couldn't there be another way? How much money is being made on these things?
posted by crazy finger at 6:11 AM on February 2, 2005


These Suicide Girls--they vibrate?
posted by fandango_matt at 6:12 AM on February 2, 2005


Plexi: You think Suicide Girls is exploiting Mefi?
posted by Bugbread at 6:16 AM on February 2, 2005


Not keen on the style or the idea of hawking pr0n on a discussion board which was (close your ears, pappa) better than that.

Still, here goes.
Better style, better girls, better skin - SpicePlay
http://www.spiceplay.com/tour/
(initial page SFW, but don't push it at work, 'k?)


Big thanks for the "hide" option though, that was considerate.
posted by NinjaPirate at 6:19 AM on February 2, 2005


I find the addition of a photo of that size more jarring than anything else, so I hid it.

Exactly: never mind the content: the ad looks like shit on the front page, partly because it's almost completely at odds with the color scheme. Can it, and don't take any more image ads.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:20 AM on February 2, 2005


Suicide Girls is still exploitation.

How is it any different from any other employment under capitalism? You're paid to do something, and it's not as much as what it's actually worth or else your boss wouldn't make any profit.

You're right that the women in those photos are being exploited, but you're making it seem like the rest of us aren't. Which is wrong.

Can it, and don't take any more image ads.

And you're going to subsidize the lost revenue, right?
posted by Mayor Curley at 6:21 AM on February 2, 2005


*Clicks to hide ad*

Because mefi and sexual arousal are two great tastes that just don't taste great together.
posted by falconred at 6:26 AM on February 2, 2005


And "objectification" in relation to women is a term used by 20-year-old women to let you know that they've taken a women's studies class and the men who want to seem sensitive enough to sleep with them.

You know, there is a tenable argument to be made in favour of these ads, but I'm pretty sure that ain't it.
posted by ITheCosmos at 6:26 AM on February 2, 2005


Well I'm willing to have that discussion, Mayor. When I said "wow much do you want to take it down?" I meant "How much money would you want to take it down?". I'm not sure I was clear.
posted by nthdegx at 6:27 AM on February 2, 2005


I think y'all oughta be glad it's not me choosing the porn ads for the front page, considering how much people around here hate fat chicks. Man, I can only imagine the ruckus. Of course, they'd be tasteful soft-core-porn fat chicks, but ... boy-oh-boy. The howling masses would revolt!
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:30 AM on February 2, 2005


How about this, PST & nthdegx--Matt can get rid of the ad, and charge everyone a monthy membership fee of twenty bucks.
posted by fandango_matt at 6:31 AM on February 2, 2005


And you're going to subsidize the lost revenue, right?

No fair enough, but image ads still look like shit on the front page. I don't have had a problem with the text ads, occasionally even click them. I'll be using the hide option for any image ads that come through, regardless of the product, and definitely not clicking on any of them.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:31 AM on February 2, 2005


My issue with the ad has nothing to do with sex or naked people. It is the stupid semi-glorification of something as serious, uncool, and dark as suicide. If the site was the same site except the name was something like ... Brainy Babes ... I might not have as much of a problem with it.

However I also agree with those who suggest that having it on the homepage cheapens the site. Sure, I can still forward a direct link to a thread without the ad popping up, but I can't recommend the site to everyone because without knowing the history of the community (or even seeing this thread) they will see the ad and make their own decisions. Or even if I send a direct link to a thread, I can't tell someone "oh, um, don't go to the homepage unless you want to see a half-naked woman with a bad dye job. But it's a tasteful half-naked woman with a bad dye job. No. Really."

I will be hiding it, and hope that the decision is rethought when the redesign is up and running. Soon, right? ;)

Although, I must admit, I am glad the ad isn't one of those punch the ______ pieces o' shit
posted by terrapin at 6:33 AM on February 2, 2005


How about this, PST & nthdegx--Matt can get rid of the ad, and charge everyone a monthy membership fee of twenty bucks.

These ads bring in $400,000+ a month?
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:34 AM on February 2, 2005


My inner Bohemian pithily adds: "Don't they get enough publicity and revenue from their coffee table and pinup calendar? They're the Hooters version of Matt Belgrano and less than half as original!"
posted by Smart Dalek at 6:34 AM on February 2, 2005


It's matt's baby, I have no problem with anything he does. We don't like it? We can leave.

Still, they really do seem out of place on the front page, and I'm a little surprised that a girl in pigtails, tattoos, and a collar is now considered "tasteful". Guess I'm getting old.
posted by justgary at 6:38 AM on February 2, 2005


Sadly, because of these ads, I can no longer recommend MetaFilter to anyone, and I'll have to stop linking to it on my weblog. Not because I object to the ads on moral grounds, but simply because I need to be more professional than that.

I'll agree with mdn that this will, over time, likely increase the trend towards a fark-like membership and correspondingly decrease the number of more reserved, thoughtful posters. I know that, had this ad been around when I first found MetaFilter, I would never have signed up and I wouldn't have stuck around.

Which kinda sucks, because I'm sure they pay good money and I want Matt to make lots of money off this place, but there you are.
posted by gd779 at 6:39 AM on February 2, 2005


Oh, and obviously, I won't be able to surf MetaFilter from work anymore, filters and no-ad option or no. I just can't take the chance, unfortunately.
posted by gd779 at 6:39 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm frankly surprised you have the audacity to suggest Matt get rid of a lucrative source of revenue for the site he built, moderates, and maintains--for free--so you can post for free.
posted by fandango_matt at 6:40 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm with stavros & dg; there's been more simple minded frat boy-ness around of late,...

You really don't like fraternity guys, do you? Not that I've ever been in a frat or anything, I've just noticed that it's a lot of people's catch-all epithet for whatever they don't like.

The "hahahaha teh boobs!" type may be just slightly more likely to feel welcome.

So? One of the good things about this site is that anybody with 5 bucks is welcome. Part of the enjoyment of this site (for me, anyway) is rubbing up against veiwpoints and attitudes utterly alien to my own and getting to understand them. And if that includes "teh boobs!" (or for that matter "teh weenies!) types so be it.

As far as the ad goes, I can see the utility in making it hideable for people like myself who surf mefi at work, but it never fails to amaze me how people who can calmly discuss goatse, cannibalism, and the like can get alll bluenosey about a remarkably tame porn ad.
posted by jonmc at 6:41 AM on February 2, 2005


I browse BoingBoing at work, but am a little more cautious and eager to scroll past that part of the page than I would otherwise be.

That said, if it were a text ad, or if it were not the only visual ad on the homepage, it probably wouldn't bother me as much as it does. Starting graphic ads with pr0n seems like not the best place to start.

The other week I added MeFi to my family's bookmarks. I definitely would not have done that now.

Not sure how strongly I feel, but what does it cost to have it removed?
posted by xammerboy at 6:43 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm frankly surprised you have the audacity to suggest Matt get rid of a lucrative source of revenue for the site he built, moderates, and maintains--for free--so you can post for free.

I was expressing an opinion.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 6:43 AM on February 2, 2005


I couldn't comment on this issue without doing the due diligence of looking at the SuicideGirls site, and found this:
FAVORITE SEXUAL POSITION: tony danza
A sexual position called Tony Danza?! I don't even want to know what that is.

posted by kirkaracha at 6:49 AM on February 2, 2005


Rock on, Matt. Do what you gotta do.
posted by mds35 at 6:51 AM on February 2, 2005


A sexual position called Tony Danza?! I don't even want to know what that is.

for those who might (SFW).
posted by jonmc at 6:52 AM on February 2, 2005


"A sexual position called Tony Danza?! I don't even want to know what that is."

You stand there and yell "Who's the boss?" at each other, and never actually have sex.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:52 AM on February 2, 2005



I'm frankly surprised you have the audacity to suggest Matt get rid of a lucrative source of revenue for the site he built, moderates, and maintains--for free--so you can post for free.


Matt's invited conversation about it by posting here. This angle is a sidetrack -- a waste of time.
posted by nthdegx at 6:53 AM on February 2, 2005


My biggest problem with the suicide girls website is that I feel like I'm not cool enough to visit it.
posted by greasy_skillet at 6:54 AM on February 2, 2005


I am all for it if it helps defray the costs of running the site. All those who dislike them can make the ads disappear. Pretty good compromise I think.
posted by caddis at 6:54 AM on February 2, 2005


We've had several potentially offensive text ads (SG being one of them...), and on an almost daily basis there are potentially offensive posts, with words like sex and fuck and pr0n (and Bush) right there on the front page, for anyone to see, so I don't understand why all of a sudden people are saying that they can't recommend the site to friends/relatives/coworkers, or be seen looking at it at work. Was it ok to recommend it or look at it before?

Right now the top post is about monkeys. Monkeys paying for pr0n. 'Nuff said.

*runs to check it out*
posted by iconomy at 7:03 AM on February 2, 2005


You really don't like fraternity guys, do you? Not that I've ever been in a frat or anything, I've just noticed that it's a lot of people's catch-all epithet for whatever they don't like.

it's not a 'catch-all' at all; it's a generic term to bring to mind a certain set of behavioral traits. Belonging to a fraternity is one thing; acting like a "frat boy" is something else, and I think everyone gets the sense of its meaning, which is along the lines of doing dumb, sometimes outrageous, sometimes offensive, things for fun with no particular intent or reflective thought.

I'm not saying it's bad to act like a frat boy here and there, either; I'm just saying that's not what I come to metafilter for. It's specifically the intelligent, reflective comments that I find interesting.

So? One of the good things about this site is that anybody with 5 bucks is welcome.

This has never been my opinion. I have enjoyed this community because I am in general impressed with the percentage of users who contribute at a higher level than average chat boards. If metafilter is going to be just another chat board, that's ok, that's evolution, but I will probably not stick around.

Part of the enjoyment of this site (for me, anyway) is rubbing up against veiwpoints and attitudes utterly alien to my own and getting to understand them.

I absolutely agree with this. However, it is not the viewpoints that are troubling at this point, but the way in which they are presented. Intelligent, thoughtful discussions with people of different religious, political, social, cultural etc persuasions is stimulating and enlightening. Reading random comments tossed out without consideration does nothing for me.

And if that includes "teh boobs!" (or for that matter "teh weenies!) types so be it.

If someone wants to make an insightful comment about boobs or weenies, I am all for it. But "hahahaha" is not an insightful comment.

The degree of care & reflection taken in producing and presenting opinions makes a difference. I'm not saying there should be no casual comments, and I understand that everyone will have a different view about the right balance, but I'm just noting my own perspective, which is that we've gone too far toward the fark end of the spectrum recently.
posted by mdn at 7:05 AM on February 2, 2005


Hay guys, the Suicide Girls are not WHORES or STRIPPERS! What they do is ART!

Seriously, is starting this meta thread also part of the promotional package deal with SG? Mathowie, I’ve always lauded you for prudent decisions and judiciousness, but you really blew it this time.
posted by naxosaxur at 7:10 AM on February 2, 2005


It's going to mean that work might block metafilter. Thanks a lot.

Things seem a bit weird lately with the continued growing pains of new users getting their sea legs and old users flipping out, but I don't think it's been any worse of a boyzone lately, has it?

Not any worse, but not any better. How exactly is the boyzoneness going to be tempered when before some jerk comments they are baited by pictures of half-naked women? I'm seriously appalled that Metafilter has stooped this low. Is it honestly that hard to find ad support, Matt?

And I agree - I will hesitate before sending Metafilter links to just anyone - I know it's on the main page, but it cheapens the whole site. I'm extremely disappointed.
posted by agregoli at 7:10 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't think linking to SG is the problem, but I do think having the pic of a topless model holding her breasts does cheapen the front page. What about a logo ad? I know I've seen SG use them on other sites.
posted by 4easypayments at 7:13 AM on February 2, 2005


also, to show true bipartisan, anti-boyzone spirit, I strongly (and seriously) suggest we start taking ads with half-naked cute guys as well.
definitely! : >

i suggest this mighty fine ad on the lower right at RawStoryQ

and while you can put whatever ads you want on the front page, i'm going to have to think twice about forwarding MeFi to coworkers too. That's our problem, tho, and not at all yours, Matt.

i did detest that previous flash ad--it slowed loading.
posted by amberglow at 7:13 AM on February 2, 2005


Said PST: Can it, and don't take any more image ads.

That sounds more like a directive to me. But fine, whatever.

I do hope you and anyone else opposing the ad will offer to reimburse Matt for the lost revenue an extremely tame ad would have generated. Don't like it? Hide it, or build your own site. Last time I checked we were guests here, not paying customers, and I don't think we're in much of a position to make demands from someone who generously built, maintains, moderates, and cleans up this site for free so you can post for free.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:14 AM on February 2, 2005


Metafilter: We do it for the pussy money.
posted by orange clock at 7:17 AM on February 2, 2005


This has never been my opinion. I have enjoyed this community because I am in general impressed with the percentage of users who contribute at a higher level than average chat boards.

Well, It's more that anyone with 5 bucks can step up and try their luck. But what they stay still has to withstand the dissection of the other members of the community.

How are we supposed to preserve the intellectual level of the community, ask for SAT scores and a writing sample before registration?

I'm exaggerating, obviously, but the implied "it takes a certain type of person to fit in here," that I often hear in complaints about The Decline Of Metafilter worries me.

I'm not picking on you, mdn, since I figure that what I'm talking about isn't what you intended, and I definitely don't want to seem like I'm grinding my usual anti-elitism axe, but there you have it.

I'm just noting my own perspective, which is that we've gone too far toward the fark end of the spectrum recently.

Yes, but when we do veer towards the crude and puerile, we do it better than most, mainly because of higher intelligence level you mentioned.
posted by jonmc at 7:18 AM on February 2, 2005


To help me decide...can I have a free membership?

I care little either way....seems pretty inoffensive to me, although it does make my screen at work a little more 'risque'.
posted by mattr at 7:18 AM on February 2, 2005


I think matt himself had concerns about it, and thus posted this about it. (which is kinda telling, no?)
posted by amberglow at 7:18 AM on February 2, 2005


For a second time, fandango_matt -- Matt has invited feedback by posting about this. We all know it is his site and is more than welcome to do anything he likes with it. We all know he doesn't owe us anything. He does seem interested in what some people around here think, though, so I really think you're wasting space here by saying "it's up to Matt". Everyone knows it's up to Matt. We all agree.
posted by nthdegx at 7:20 AM on February 2, 2005


I'll just switch to using the lofi version of the site. I'd propose a text link form of the ad with some NSFW indicator, but I don't really know the financial aspects of it all. This is why I don't read Boing Boing at work.
posted by joelr at 7:20 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't understand why all of a sudden people are saying that they can't recommend the site to friends/relatives/coworkers, or be seen looking at it at work. Was it ok to recommend it or look at it before?

First, caveat: I'm not particularly bothered, I'm just trying to provide a possible answer.

The SG ad is now guaranteed to be the first thing to catch a newcomer's eye. That makes pr0n the first impression of a new visitor. And, as a photo, not text, it has a harder time getting "balanced out" by the rest of the page in a short amount of time. In the past, it was luck of the draw if the top post was about cannibalism or paedophilia or nun-raping or what-haveyou, and scanning through the other posts would quickly balance the first impression, as they're all given equal precedence. With the SG ad, you have a strong first impression, which then needs to be counteracted by reading through the rest of the FP.

And as far as work-safety, that's pretty damn clear: as a straight guy, I know that if I glance at a computer screen at a distance, I notice immediately if there are any naked chicks on the screen. I only notice words like "sex", "fuck", or "Tony Danza" if I actually take the time to read the screen.

I don't think we're in much of a position to make demands

Um, for that matter, has anybody actually made a demand yet? I think you're railing at people who aren't existing.

How are we supposed to preserve the intellectual level of the community, ask for SAT scores and a writing sample before registration?

Once again, not necessarily arguing my own opinion, but the answer that seems obvious to me: the suggestion is to preserve the intellectual level by avoiding things that attract more Farkish people, like boobies on the FP.
posted by Bugbread at 7:21 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm totally cool with this. One click and it vanishes forever? What could be easier? I would support much racier than SG under such a system. Whatever pays the bills.

I agree SG is interesting and generally cool. But I've heard that their "community" angle is a bit played up, for the sake of making their porn more convincing. Same proprietor as Firegirls is what I heard.
posted by scarabic at 7:22 AM on February 2, 2005


Metafilter: Doing lines off hookers' thighs since 1999.
posted by orange clock at 7:22 AM on February 2, 2005


SG ads are fine with me, honestly. I like them better than a lot of the other things that were occupying that space and when I hide them, there's no ad at all! Are any of them racier than the smiling girl head with the SG logo that I saw the first time? I do think offering a subscription option where you could pay to hide all the ads would be something I would be into. Also, killfiles.

I don't think it's been any worse of a boyzone lately, has it?

I don't know if boyzone is the right word but people seem cranky and irritable and defensive and I'm still as tired of the "I'd hit it" and "I'd like to tie her up and piss on her face" [paraphrased] as I ever was.
posted by jessamyn at 7:24 AM on February 2, 2005


Some of the people most likely to be tempted to buy a SG account are also those who will want to (or need to) block the ad. So if I were the SG people, I'd be pissed at Matt. But I'm not, so I'm simply indifferent and thankful that I hid it in time so that an entire law school class didn't see me looking at boobies. I think for those of us who are still employed and don't read Metatalk before they read Metafilter it could cause some really bad mojo, and I wish mathowie had posted this thread before he linked the image so that people could have made an educated decision. To me, this seems like steamrolling. "We're here, we're goth, we're nekkid, get used to it."

FWIW, the ad on boingboing (which, if I recall, was a vertical banner running down the entire page) made me uncomfortable to the point at which I didn't know if I would get called out for linking to a boingboing post from Metafilter without adding the NSFW tag. Maybe this is all par for the course now in Internet advertising, but tell that to older, non-hip people who might walk by and see my screen.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 7:25 AM on February 2, 2005


I can almost smell the sweet, wet vaginas.

I am sex positive.
posted by orange clock at 7:25 AM on February 2, 2005


In principle, I understand why the SG ads are there. The reasoning is sound, and Matt has gone out of his way to make them as inoffensive as possible. I applaud this.

In practice, the ads are really distracting and tear my eyes away from the content. While I'm glad we have the option to hide the SG ads (and trust me, I shall take full advantage of this), the fact that they are colored, animated, and occupy a relatively larger space compared to the usual text ads makes them hard to ignore.

Matt, I know you were hoping for a possible win-win situation or at the very least a suitable compromise, but I have to pipe up and say - these ads are really turning me off. :(
posted by furious blush at 7:25 AM on February 2, 2005


What about a logo ad? I know I've seen SG use them on other sites.

I imagine that would be a big improvement.
posted by gd779 at 7:27 AM on February 2, 2005


nthdegx: Right, yes, I understood you the first time, and since we're in agreement about the person to whom the site belongs, you will therefore agree with me that telling Matt to get rid of the ad (as part of a discussion about the ad and how it may or may not change or otherwise affect MeFi) is a waste of space.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:28 AM on February 2, 2005


This is why I don't read Boing Boing at work.

This is why I don't read Boing Boing.
posted by nthdegx at 7:28 AM on February 2, 2005


I can almost smell the sweet, wet vaginas.

Do I turn that on in the Dock? I'm on OSX, v10.3.7.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:31 AM on February 2, 2005


the suggestion is to preserve the intellectual level by avoiding things that attract more Farkish people

Do you honestly not hear how that sounds? "This place is for us smart people. Run along back to fark, little retard."

When I first started participating here, it was the type of place where you could hear somebody expound eruditely on astrophysics one minute, and hear the same person tell an hilariously gross fart joke the next minute. In short, it was a true agora.

I'm not saying this place should become some kind of Animal House, but I'm not sure I like the push towards making it a Gifted Class Only type of hangout either.
posted by jonmc at 7:37 AM on February 2, 2005


iAlmostsmell
posted by nthdegx at 7:38 AM on February 2, 2005


Hay guys, the Suicide Girls are not WHORES

Well they certainly don't look like angels, so what else could they be?
posted by biffa at 7:42 AM on February 2, 2005


Your space Matt and ultimately your choice. Personally i'm sad to see MeFi going down this road. Kinda makes me wonder what kind of FPP's we'll see in the future because some people will think it's ok to post so and so because hey there's already SG adds on MeFi.

Personally I turned it off, once I figured out that MeFi hadn't been hacked as I thought initially.

And boyzone... Not really. Just a bad case of PMS since you opened the gates again.
posted by tonelesscereal at 7:45 AM on February 2, 2005


"This place is for us smart people. Run along back to fark, little retard."

I think that all the time.
posted by orange clock at 7:46 AM on February 2, 2005


For those who have issues with the ad, use the rss feed to jump right to the thread.
posted by gen at 7:47 AM on February 2, 2005


And boyzone... Not really. Just a bad case of PMS since you opened the gates again.
posted by tonelesscereal


What?
posted by agregoli at 7:47 AM on February 2, 2005


Hay guys, the Suicide Girls are not WHORES
Well they certainly don't look like angels, so what else could they be?


Farkers?
posted by fandango_matt at 7:47 AM on February 2, 2005


I really think that b1tr0t is definitely raising a valid point. It absolutely makes it harder to just recommend MetaFilter to someone as a great site to check out.

I agree.

fandango_matt, since you're making the same comment over and over, and since as has been pointing out you're attacking a nonexistent person (Matt invited comment, Matt's getting comment, nobody's ordering him around, we all know it's His Site), you will therefore agree with me that continuing to make these comments is a waste of space.

jonmc, do you not get the difference between discussion and a porn ad on the front page? Yes, we can turn it off, but what are we going to do when we want to recommend MeFi to somebody, say "Uh, this is a great site, but when you go there, you'll see this porn ad, but you can turn it off, so it's OK!" Maybe you don't know anyone who would be offended/bothered by it, and that's fine, but if you're saying we shouldn't be recommending it to anyone who would, then it's you who wants to limit MeFi to a certain type: those who are totally cool with Suicide Girls ads in their face.
posted by languagehat at 7:48 AM on February 2, 2005


Readers may also want to keep in mind that the suicide girls are very urban-pacificnorthwest. I haven't seen anyone remotely like a suicide girl here in soutern california (maybe I'm not hanging out with the cool kids?), but urban Seattle was full of them. Matt lives in portland, so they may seem less unusual/exotic to him than they will to mefites who live elsewhere.
posted by b1tr0t at 2:15 AM PST on February 2


Are you serious? Have you ever been to Orange County? San Diego? Southern California is literally infested with Suicide Girl types. Although it does seem to be a fading fad. It seems to be most popular with High Schoolers, a sure sign it's on the way out.
posted by tinamonster at 7:51 AM on February 2, 2005



I don't like any graphics on Metafilter. I'm here for the words, not the pictures. There are plenty of places on the web (many of which I've found by reading Metafilter) that saitisfy my desire to look at pictures. I'd read LoFi if black-on-white didn't give me a headache.

The way Matt has handled this impresses me and makes me appreciative, once again, of his thoughtfulness. However:

...everything needs to be hardcore and appeal to your base instincts...

Isn't that, you know, the whole point of porn.
posted by TimeFactor at 7:53 AM on February 2, 2005


well, orange clock, I can tell you that few things have caused more resentment and discord in this world than the feeling that one's neighbors/peers think they're superior.

Whenever I hear the phrase "You think your better than me?" I know that, "I'll show you," is what's coming next. Something to think about is all.

jonmc, do you not get the difference between discussion and a porn ad on the front page?

I do, and while I've registered my opinion on the ad, I'm not gonna be heartbroken or disappointed if matt decides to get rid of it. I was just sort of meta-commenting on my concerns about the direction (partially in reaction to some other users going in the opposite direction) things seem to be going in.
posted by jonmc at 7:54 AM on February 2, 2005


it's you who wants to limit MeFi to a certain type: those who are totally cool with Suicide Girls ads in their face.

Can we make this a rule? Because I think MetaFilter would be a lot more fun if people didn't have their pants in a knot.
posted by cheaily at 7:54 AM on February 2, 2005


langaugehat: I interpreted "Can it, and don't take any more image ads" as someone telling Matt what to do. But we're all in agreement, so agreeing that we agree upon something upon which we agreed we agree is, in fact, a waste of space. So yes. Agreed.

And now, on with the campaign!
posted by fandango_matt at 7:55 AM on February 2, 2005


Sex is perverted and sick.
posted by rocketman at 7:56 AM on February 2, 2005


I've seen more skin on the front pages of daily newspapers. Get over yourselves; you're just upset at the fact that OMFG IT'S A PORN AD, not that it's risqué sui generis or that it pollutes the front page.
posted by mcwetboy at 7:58 AM on February 2, 2005


but if you're saying we shouldn't be recommending it to anyone who would, then it's you who wants to limit MeFi to a certain type: those who are totally cool with Suicide Girls ads in their face.

I certainly see your point, but some of the complaints here are not "I'm now afraid to forward the site to my Aunt Nancy," which is perfectly valid, but "the ad is going to attract those people," which is a little more problematic.
posted by jonmc at 7:58 AM on February 2, 2005


Hay guys, the Suicide Girls are not WHORES or STRIPPERS! What they do is ART!

Art?! Maybe these little brats got some body art done to them - but what they write and how they present themselves is hardly art. I can attribute some 'art' to the photographer - but not the girls themselves. I read several of their blogs ... and they are a rather depressive representation of mediocrity.

I think they are rather boring bloggers with pretty skins.

And they are skin whoring - since the only ware people are willing to pay for is their nudity/sexuality. Nobody would pay for their writing - and nobody would pay if these were old women or guys ...
posted by homodigitalis at 8:01 AM on February 2, 2005


Sex is perverted and sick. -- only when done well ; >


Metafilter: they are skin whoring
posted by amberglow at 8:02 AM on February 2, 2005


At least pr0n is more interesting than jewelboxes. As much as I like SGs, I'm ambivalent regarding the advertisement.
posted by sciurus at 8:03 AM on February 2, 2005


I never would have guessed that mefites would be so prissy. (prissy, yes, but not this prissy.)
posted by subgenius at 8:04 AM on February 2, 2005


Thank God someone's protecting us from the naked bodypainted Spiderman.
posted by fandango_matt at 8:05 AM on February 2, 2005


biffa & homodigitalis: i can't begin to fathom how you deciphered my comment 'pr0n as art' for serious. What with the erratic, psychotic CAP-LOCK and all?! Welcome to the intarnets?

...and fandango_matt: ALRIGHT you've made it perfectly clear that you have a e-boner for the SG girls. Please put your e-erection back into your e-pants before I e-smack you. We get it.
posted by naxosaxur at 8:05 AM on February 2, 2005


e-asy does it, naxosaxur.
posted by jonmc at 8:07 AM on February 2, 2005


e-motional.
posted by naxosaxur at 8:08 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm still as tired of ......"I'd like to tie her up and piss on her face" [paraphrased] as I ever was.

I don't think that thread is a good example of boyzone. It's a good example of a politically charged thread gone wrong, as they often do when discussing conservative personalities.

We often joke that it would be great if we could go back in time and run her off the road or something.

Pure class.

I'll take the SG ads over the idiotcy found in that thread anytime.
posted by justgary at 8:08 AM on February 2, 2005


now that I made the ad go away, how do I get it back?
posted by jessamyn at 8:10 AM on February 2, 2005


Do you honestly not hear how that sounds? "This place is for us smart people. Run along back to fark, little retard."

Not only do I honestly hear how it sounds, I struggled for a while to find the right word. I picked the wrong one. I should have said "the suggestion is to preserve the intellectual level by avoiding things that attract idiots". I avoided the word "idiots", and I regret that. However, just so we're on the same page, that was my answer about what could be done to keep up the quality of posters here if it were true that the ads bring down the level. I don't think they do. It was a hypothetical answer.

So, in that sense, neither one of us appears all that concerned about the ads. The only place we disagree is about the role of intelligence in Mefi.

When I first started participating here, it was the type of place where you could hear somebody expound eruditely on astrophysics one minute, and hear the same person tell an hilariously gross fart joke the next minute. In short, it was a true agora.

I agree. And I still do. And that's why I should have used the word "idiots". I like Mefi because the folks are intelligent, the discussion interesting, and the links are good. If I wanted to hang out with idiots, I'd go join some random livejournal or yahoo group. If I wanted to hang out with boring intellectuals, I'd go to...I dunno, I don't even know if boring intellectuals have forum sites that they frequent, or if they do everything via secure mailing lists.

Instead, I like Mefi because it has intelligent people, who, as you say, can talk about astrophysics one minute, and fart jokes the next. The worst thing to happen would be for Mefi to turn into a place where all anyone can talk about are fart jokes, because "science is boring and shit".

Ok, actually, the worst thing that could happen is for Mefi to be filled with psychopaths who track me down and kill my family and cut off my eyelids, or for Mefi to give me ebola, or something like that.

BUUUUUUUT:

Again, I am not one of the people who thinks the SG ads will bring down the intellectual level, though, so my own opinions are a digression from the initial point.
posted by Bugbread at 8:12 AM on February 2, 2005


This has nothing to do with being prissy or prudish, it has to do with the general atmosphere of this website and what sets it apart from others of it's ilk.
posted by glenwood at 8:15 AM on February 2, 2005


[ot]

justgary, someone who talks about wishing the staff of The New York Times had been blown up by Tim McVeigh has kind of abdicated her right to be upset at vituperative, violent fantasies aimed her way. People have a part in defining the parameters of how they are discussed.

[/ot]

bugbread, we seem to be more or less on the same page. I'm just chafing at the tone of some of the reaction here. I have to wonder if some of our best contributors would feel welcome here if they stumbled upon this site today.

The worst thing to happen would be for Mefi to turn into a place where all anyone can talk about are fart jokes, because "science is boring and shit".

Agreed. But conversley, it would be lousy if all we could talk about was high-minded topics, because "fart jokes are juvenile."
posted by jonmc at 8:17 AM on February 2, 2005


bugbread, I've never been concerned about fart jokes. Sex jokes degrading women though, I AM concerned about, and porn ads seem to be in the same sphere. That's why I'm concerned.
posted by agregoli at 8:19 AM on February 2, 2005


I was very glad of the "do not view ad" link myself. If there hadn't been one, I'd probably have been the 100th to call the ad out here in MetaTalk. It's boobierific enough that it can be seen by someone casually walking by. I can get away with a certain amount of personal surfing at work, but it really is best if the sites I visit aren't littered with obvious porn ads.
posted by Karmakaze at 8:20 AM on February 2, 2005


Count me among those disappointed by the inclusion of this ad (I saw it when I first logged on this morning, and it's the first ad I've even noticed in longer than I can remember), for many of the reasons stated above. The SG site has a weird vibe that clashes strongly with the tone of Metafilter for me. I don't like the ads on BoingBoing and I don't like them here.
posted by rushmc at 8:20 AM on February 2, 2005


i think it's more about mathowie being a hypocrite...a man who always postures as "Mr. Equality-For-All-Minorities-Especially-Womans'-Rights", and then running a completely objectifying ad for hookery and cocksuckery on the front page.
posted by naxosaxur at 8:22 AM on February 2, 2005


To echo what bugbread said and what I said earlier, I don't think the SG ads will cheapen or change MetaFilter--its beauty comes from the wide variety and high caliber of the posts contributed by and policed by its members and ads for SG will not change that.
posted by fandango_matt at 8:23 AM on February 2, 2005


my MeFi brethren, this non-USian infidel is very, very, VERY surprised that so many smart users here are using the word "porn" in connection with SuicideGirls. Sexist? Very possibly so. Exploitative of women? Yes, sadly.
BUT PORN? WTF?
I am under the impression that SG is about young women in various degrees of nakedness.
nudity = porn? really? either I missed the SuicideBukkake pages (and if I did please disregard and I'm sorry) or something's wrong here, all I see is Goth young women showing a little skin. Calvin Klein ads are often more graphic than that.
Don't get all "The Crucible" on me please

especially those of you who want to urinate in Ann Coulter's face.

oh, and I read SG for the interesting literature articles and book reviews, of course

posted by matteo at 8:23 AM on February 2, 2005


Sex jokes degrading women though, I AM concerned about, and porn ads seem to be in the same sphere. That's why I'm concerned.

And I understand that concern. But that opens up the can of worms question, "is all porn/erotica inherently degrading to women?" which is one that'll be contentiously debated till the cows come home.

But matt's gotta pay the bills, too, and he's given everybody a convenient out, so that should be taken into consideration, too.
posted by jonmc at 8:24 AM on February 2, 2005


Matt, please make the "?noad=yes" query string option apply universally. Then we can send a link to sensitive non-member readers.
posted by brownpau at 8:25 AM on February 2, 2005


I forget, what number of 'imminent death' are we up to now?
posted by darukaru at 8:26 AM on February 2, 2005


You're asking if MetaFilter is becoming more of a boyzone in a thread announcing a porn ad?

I'm just going to be the one snickering in the corner. You may continue.
posted by FunkyHelix at 8:26 AM on February 2, 2005


To be straight, I think the ads are an absolute abysmal idea.

Sure, the pu$$y is good, but c'mon, why not put a fucking UNICEF ad in it's place.

You know and everyone else knows the circumstances that leads those girls to spread for the Internet.

And it's not because they are rebellious upper East Side girls usurping lawyer Daddy. It's because football coach Daddy's given it to them since middle school, and now boyfriend Bobby's got the good stuff, but they can't get it unless Sister Suicide gives them the check.

And it's all just a little bit sad.
posted by orange clock at 8:28 AM on February 2, 2005


What BP said.

I'd also get behind the subscription fee to not see ads.
posted by terrapin at 8:29 AM on February 2, 2005


You're asking if MetaFilter is becoming more of a boyzone in a thread announcing a porn ad?

Hypothetical: what if it were a gay porn ad? Would those who objected be seen as crusaders for decency, or mere homophobes?

on preview: of course orange clock, that's the only reason anyone would get involved in porn, something that's been around since the dawn of civilization. And please try to avoid cliches.
posted by jonmc at 8:31 AM on February 2, 2005


jonmc, please don't turn this into a philosophical argument.

And I understand that concern. But that opens up the can of worms question, "is all porn/erotica inherently degrading to women?" which is one that'll be contentiously debated till the cows come home.


The point is it's offensive to me and many others. Metafilter and Matt have made a point, especially recently to strike down boyzone comments offensive to women and I see this ad as a huge slap in the face to women on Metafilter who feel uncomfortable posting because of such comments. If this is the direction the site is going in, count me out.

As for whether it is pornography:

One entry found for pornography.


Main Entry: por·nog·ra·phy
Pronunciation: -fE
Function: noun
Etymology: Greek pornographos, adjective, writing about prostitutes, from pornE prostitute + graphein to write; akin to Greek pernanai to sell, poros journey -- more at FARE, CARVE
1 : the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement
2 : material (as books or a photograph) that depicts erotic behavior and is intended to cause sexual excitement
3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction

I'd say Suicide Girls qualifies. What else is it's purpose, someone please tell me.
posted by agregoli at 8:32 AM on February 2, 2005


justgary, someone who talks about wishing the staff of The New York Times had been blown up by Tim McVeigh has kind of abdicated her right to be upset at vituperative, violent fantasies aimed her way. People have a part in defining the parameters of how they are discussed.

Has nothing to do with rights or being offended. The thread is trash. You enjoy it, fine. It reads like LGF, and the irony was lost on those who participated. My point was that the thread was not an example of boyzone talk, but the far left having fun with someone on the far right. There's nutcases on both sides.

And please, this whole "she's a creep so we can act like creeps" excuse should have been left in childhood.
posted by justgary at 8:33 AM on February 2, 2005


Hypothetical: what if it were a gay porn ad? Would those who objected be seen as crusaders for decency, or mere homophobes?


If it were an equivalent ad, with a man standing naked with just a hand over his junk, then absolutely yes. I guess I'm reacting more strongly to the pictorial content of this one than anything.

But it's still innappropriate, and the fact that it's a female porn site still insults me in regards to the pro-boyzone arena.
posted by agregoli at 8:35 AM on February 2, 2005


No sir, I don't like it.
posted by kindall at 8:36 AM on February 2, 2005


Count me among those disappointed by the inclusion of this ad... I don't like the ads on BoingBoing and I don't like them here.

I don't have anything to add to what's already been said here, but I figure numbers count on this issue, so I'll chime in to agree entirely with this sentiment. I didn't have a problem with the text ads.
posted by furiousthought at 8:36 AM on February 2, 2005


jonmc, it's not an ad for gay porn though, is it? No. Just the wimminz wit da b00biez.
posted by FunkyHelix at 8:37 AM on February 2, 2005


naxosaxur: ....running a completely objectifying ad for hookery and cocksuckery on the front page.

I could care less about the ad, but the reactions to it are completely fucking awesome.
posted by subgenius at 8:40 AM on February 2, 2005


agregoli, fair enough. I opted out of the ad myself. I just had concerns about some of the other issues people's reactions brought up is all.

FunkyHelix: I know, but I just want to see what peoples objections are based on, and whether they'll be applied across the board. And if that's the case, cool. I certainly can live without the ads, porn's not that hard to find.
posted by jonmc at 8:40 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't like it.

Like many of the posters above, I just feel the SG image ad seems so out of place on MetaFilter, the best text-oriented intelligent link lapdance on the web.

I have no problem with porn sites. I host/code a few myself and I've linked to one (not mine) on the frontpage. And I have no problem with the SG text ad. But this ad is so glaring, it just doesn't seem right, Matt, since you asked. So, if you're counting, please count my echo of furiousthought's echo.
posted by danOstuporStar at 8:46 AM on February 2, 2005


MetaFilter: Prissy on the inside, cocksuckery on the outside!
posted by fandango_matt at 8:46 AM on February 2, 2005


cocksuckery? "completely objectifying?"

naxos, SG is, frankly, neither of those things. In fact, MeFi is all the things you just described SG as being, and to a far greater degree than SG is.

I understand and respect that you don't want to be exposed to tattooed anus, but this overreacting on everyone's part is unbecoming at least and frankly offensive in itself to me at worst.
posted by chicobangs at 8:46 AM on February 2, 2005


My god. Matt finds a source of revenue through which he can spend the time and money to keep the site running, gives you an extra pony by giving you the option to turn it off, and yet there's still bitching.

Give it a rest, or don't complain if someday Matt doesn't have the resources to run the site the way you want it run.
posted by adampsyche at 8:48 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't subscribe to the "pornography: bad; erotica: good" notion. You can argue about whether it's soft- or hard-core porn, and about whether it's exploitation, but it's certainly pornography of one sort or another.

But so what? I can lament as well as anyone the fact that we live in a capitalist world and society, but since that's what I'm living in, I have to pay for it. I don't guess that many of us actually like advertising, but it's a necessary evil.

I don't reckon you'll ever see the equivalent gay male porn ad here. MeFi isn't exactly a good target market for those advertisers, and they don't really care about being tasteful. The gays are pretty open about their enjoyment of seeing nude men, and we don't worry too much about the whole exploitation thing.
posted by anapestic at 8:48 AM on February 2, 2005


And what was said here. I'm E-LMAO.
posted by adampsyche at 8:50 AM on February 2, 2005


Without wading through this whole thread, I'd just like to say that I had to stop reading Pitchfork Media at work because of the Suicide Girls ads there (which are, admittedly, a lot tackier than the ones I've seen on MeFi today). I work in an open-floor newsroom environment, and you just can't have ads like that on your screen while there's a constant stream of people passing behind you.

I'm disappointed to see these ads here, but at least Matt gives us an option to get rid of it, which I appreciate.
posted by BoringPostcards at 8:52 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't reckon you'll ever see the equivalent gay male porn ad here.

Exactly why in my opinion it's an awful ad to run. Great, so only women will be shown naked on Metafilter for capital gain! Why does that not make me feel better?
posted by agregoli at 8:52 AM on February 2, 2005


More comments about how intelligent Metafilter is please.
posted by dydecker at 8:55 AM on February 2, 2005


One more thing ...

I always loved MeFi for it's text only style ... and that it was unpolluted by visual/pictorial adversting. That has changed. I don't mind Jewel Cases, political ads or dancing gorillas. But half naked chicks - they are already everywhere else.

Sexuality as a topic - yes please! As advertising - yawn.

I am willing to pay a monthly subscription fee if it help MeFi to stay afloat and pay our Godfather to keep the god work up.
posted by homodigitalis at 8:57 AM on February 2, 2005


I have to chime in with those who are saddened and disappointed by this news. I seem to recall that textads were not going to become a "slippery slope" into anything more obnoxious. I was happy for the revenue you were getting from textads--I thought it was a great compromise between making money and being nice to your users.

Now...*slump* So sad.
posted by frykitty at 8:57 AM on February 2, 2005


The gays are pretty open about their enjoyment of seeing nude men, and we don't worry too much about the whole exploitation thing.

That's an awful big assumption. Gay porn is as much a business as straight porn is, and I really doubt that it's any less corrupt, so if one is going to argue "porn=exploitation" (an argument that there's some truth to), exceptions shouldn't be made based on preference or politics.

The objection that's really the most valid is that most of us would rather not have our bosses/coworkers come up behind us and see pussies or cocks on the screen if at all possible.
posted by jonmc at 8:57 AM on February 2, 2005


Great, so only women will be shown naked on Metafilter for capital gain!

I haven't seen any naked women so far.
posted by anapestic at 8:58 AM on February 2, 2005


Matt finds a source of revenue through which he can spend the time and money to keep the site running, gives you an extra pony by giving you the option to turn it off, and yet there's still bitching.

First off, who is bitching? I assume Matt started this thread primarily because he wanted the feedback. Second, there's been no indication it's a money issue. If the thread had been worded like "I had to accept a SG banner ad to pay this month's bandwidth" then I'm sure there would be less negative reaction. But it wasn't worded that way and I believe there are enough revenue sources available to MetaFilter that losing the SG ad wouldn't break the bank.
posted by danOstuporStar at 9:00 AM on February 2, 2005


langaugehat: I interpreted "Can it, and don't take any more image ads" as someone telling Matt what to do.

Alright, Count Korzybski, I'll fucking revise it then:

Matt, IMHO, you should can it, and don't take any more image ads because, IMHO, they don't fit the design of the front page.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:00 AM on February 2, 2005


So was there a problem selling the ad space, or was the ad put there because boingboing did?

At any rate, kudos to whoever is running the suicide girls PR department. People are not only talking about the ads themselves, but apparently sites are banging down the door to run the ads as well.
posted by djc at 9:02 AM on February 2, 2005


biffa & homodigitalis: i can't begin to fathom how you deciphered my comment 'pr0n as art' for serious. What with the erratic, psychotic CAP-LOCK and all?! Welcome to the intarnets?

naxosaxur: I can't begin to fathom how you deciphered my classification of women as whores or angels as serious.

Welcome to the intarnets?

Gee thanks, it's nice to be welcomed by those at the very top of their game.
posted by biffa at 9:03 AM on February 2, 2005


So with the implied editorial message this ad sends, I suppose my next post could be:

Suicide Girls not your thing? How about Fat Chicks, or Trannies or Amateurs or Bears in Leather?

All links would be guaranteed soft-core only, and tastefully photographed (imho).

Would it stand?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 9:04 AM on February 2, 2005


That's an awful big assumption. Gay porn is as much a business as straight porn is, and I really doubt that it's any less corrupt, so if one is going to argue "porn=exploitation" (an argument that there's some truth to), exceptions shouldn't be made based on preference or politics.

No one said it was less corrupt. But I know a lot of straight men who think that pornography depicting women is exploitative, and I don't know many (actually, I don't know any, but I'm sure some exist) gay men who feel the same way about pornography depicting men.

Anyway, there aren't going to be any genitalia of any variety appearing on MeFi.
posted by anapestic at 9:04 AM on February 2, 2005


Great, so only women will be shown naked on Metafilter for capital gain!

I haven't seen any naked women so far.
posted by anapestic


Right, that woman with her arms crossed over her breasts? She so has a shirt on.
posted by agregoli at 9:05 AM on February 2, 2005


chicobangs, what is this magical inverse internet world you speak of, and what magic snake oil can I trade for residency? This sounds an awful lot like Rand McNally, where they apparently wear hats on their feet, and hamburgers eat people!
posted by naxosaxur at 9:05 AM on February 2, 2005


Right, that woman with her arms crossed over her breasts? She so has a shirt on.

Do you know for a fact that she doesn't have underwear or jeans or a kilt or bloomers or anything, really, on? I don't think it counts as a naked picture if you can't see that someone's naked, but feel free to continue with the hysteria.
posted by anapestic at 9:09 AM on February 2, 2005


Jessamyn, to turn the ads back on you have to log out.
posted by iconomy at 9:09 AM on February 2, 2005


My first reaction when seeing the ad was, "Oh great, this one has a SG ad on the front page now, too." I'm not sure I'd really get too worried about referring mefi to others with the advertisement, mostly because they've already infiltrated half a dozen other sites I frequent and recommend. So they've worn me down already.

For those not familiar with SG, it's basically a created form of fandom for these tattooed, pierced, alterna/goth/indie girls. Paying customers get to see moderately risque pictures (nude, lots of breasts) and profiles of these ladies and get the opportunity to read their livejournal-esque pages and comment about how hot and indie/alterna/goth they are. The site has occasional interviews and some news content. But basically, a community of created fandom. I think they'd rather think of themselves more as burlesque than porn.
posted by mikeh at 9:09 AM on February 2, 2005


Do you know for a fact that she doesn't have underwear or jeans or a kilt or bloomers or anything, really, on?

Well, if you're going to reductia ad absurdum or what ever you call it, how do we know she dosen't have a penis?
posted by jonmc at 9:12 AM on February 2, 2005


Do you know for a fact that she doesn't have underwear or jeans or a kilt or bloomers or anything, really, on? I don't think it counts as a naked picture if you can't see that someone's naked, but feel free to continue with the hysteria.

Uh, it counts because the parts I can see of her in the picture are naked. Why are you even quibbling this point?
posted by agregoli at 9:13 AM on February 2, 2005


3 : the depiction of acts in a sensational manner so as to arouse a quick intense emotional reaction

Hmmm, so the Bush Social Security plan is basically porn. I learn something new everyday here.
posted by 31d1 at 9:14 AM on February 2, 2005


My lands, people.

Not only am I not in any way troubled or offended by the Suicide Girls ad, but I am fully in favor of any reasonable measure (and this surely seems like one) that generates money for Matt, who spends way too much of his time and money babysitting 21000+ whiny (and, apparently, overwhelmingly bluenosed) brats.

1. diasble the ad. How often do you get that option?
2. send links using the individual thread URLs
3. use the RSS feed
4. use lofi

If y'all would quit whining and take one or two simple steps, this wouldn't be an issue, even if you (or your boss, or your kids, or whomever) faint at the mere mention of b00biez.

On preview, as an aside, I think the notion that SG characterizes themselves more as burlesque than as porn is right on the money.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:15 AM on February 2, 2005


I strongly (and seriously) suggest we start taking ads with half-naked cute guys as well.

Capital idea! Looking forward to the Sk8terBois ads...
posted by AlexReynolds at 9:16 AM on February 2, 2005


If it pays the bills, I guess it's OK, but I wouldn't have them on my own site.

I'm just glad it isn't animated. I hate their damn flickering ads.
posted by me3dia at 9:16 AM on February 2, 2005


To all the people that don't like the pictures on the front page, log out and look at Metafilter. I count five picture ads on the front page, sure they link to tsunami information and NOVA, but they're still ads. Don't give me that argument, and if you don't like it, hide it forever.

To the people that don't like the porn, how many swear words have you seen on this site. How many times has 'wet vaginas' or 'fuck' been used in this thread alone. The previous thread is tilted 'fucking maniacs'. How about the NSFW threads that are posted every other day. Get over it.

To the people that complain about the link on the main page, use LoFi and if you don't like it on Boing-Boing either, use BB Lite. Figure it out people, it's not too hard.

And the Suicide Girls scare me.
posted by Arch Stanton at 9:17 AM on February 2, 2005


Why are you even quibbling this point?

Because your argument has no merit. By your definition, a picture of a face or a bare forearm is a naked picture. You were whining earlier about naked pictures on MetaFilter, when no such pictures exist. You can feel free to not like the advertising, but don't make them out to be nudes.

Anyway, it takes two to quibble, so why are you quibbling, if quibbling is such a terrible thing?
posted by anapestic at 9:17 AM on February 2, 2005


I think the notion that SG characterizes themselves more as burlesque than as porn is right on the money.

Well, ultimately boobies is boobies, as they say.
posted by jonmc at 9:18 AM on February 2, 2005


Burlesque:

3 : theatrical entertainment of a broadly humorous often earthy character consisting of short turns, comic skits, and sometimes striptease acts

Striptease definitely falls into the realm of pornography for me.
posted by agregoli at 9:20 AM on February 2, 2005


It's pr0n. I mean, just because it's a bunch of goths showing their bits doesn't really change the fact that most people are browsing SG with the mouse in their left hand.

Personally, I don't like it, I think it cheapens Metafilter, but I understand the pressure to make some cash. It's a difficult call, but if Metafilter were my site, I'd pull it (the ad that is).
posted by johnny novak at 9:21 AM on February 2, 2005


anapestic, they ARE nudes. You're not making any sense at all.
posted by agregoli at 9:21 AM on February 2, 2005


chicobangs, what is this magical inverse internet world you speak of, and what magic snake oil can I trade for residency?

Naxos, you're soaking in it.

How long, in seconds, have you spent looking at the actual content on the SG site? You describe it as some kind of gomorrah that makes goatse/tubgirl look tame.

Not only is that not even close to an accurate description of the place, but I said (and maintain) there are way racier and offensive things on MeFi, literally every day, than 90% of what you see on that site.

Dr. Wu lists all the different ways you can enjoy Mefi the way you always have, without the mess of the extra gif. (And yes, I disabled it too.)
posted by chicobangs at 9:22 AM on February 2, 2005


Thank you Arch Stanton for that link to BB Lite. I can now feel a little more comfortable going to BB during the day without having someone peer at my monitor and thinking I am surfing pr0n. Even though I support Matt's decision I did turn off the SG ads for just that reason.
posted by caddis at 9:23 AM on February 2, 2005


agregoli: You should check out this very good book about burlesque by Robert Allen. Suicide Girls falls pretty squarely within his definition of burlesque, if I remember correctly.
posted by Dr. Wu at 9:23 AM on February 2, 2005


To all the people that don't like the pictures on the front page, log out and look at Metafilter.

Wow. Hadn't done that. Asstastic. IMHO.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 9:24 AM on February 2, 2005


Not only is that not even close to an accurate description of the place, but I said (and maintain) there are way racier and offensive things on MeFi, literally every day, than 90% of what you see on that site.


Pictures of racy and offensive things aren't on the front page of MeFi every day. And I don't care what the content of the site is - it's a site specifically for people to get off on pictures of naked women. THAT is what I object to. Turning it off is a nice gesture on Matt's part, but I feel it's missing the point.
posted by agregoli at 9:25 AM on February 2, 2005


This should be restated:

Matt, please make the "?noad=yes" query string option apply universally. Then we can send a link to sensitive non-member readers.

This would solve the problems of maybe 10% of the people in this thread, without much disagreement.
posted by Bugbread at 9:27 AM on February 2, 2005


And I don't care what the content of the site is - it's a site specifically for people to get off on pictures of naked women. THAT is what I object to

The getting off on pictures or matt advertising it?

If it's the latter, then you have a point about there being appropriate times and places for things. If it's the former then, well, you're objecting to human nature, since most people have gotten off looking at pictures of naked humans, and as long as it's between consenting adults, it's really nobody's business.
posted by jonmc at 9:30 AM on February 2, 2005


Now that we have to see the ubiquitous suicide girls ads on the formerly pr0n-ad-free Metafilter, perhaps some generous and genius-type person will code a Metafilter-lite, such as some genius did for bOINGbOING (bOINGbOING lite), where you can filter out pr0n, xeni, sg ads, mickey mouse and anything else that offends you about bOINGbOING unfiltered. And call it "soft pr0n" or whatever you like, pr0n is still pr0n and I'm disappointed to see it here.
posted by Lynsey at 9:35 AM on February 2, 2005


Unfortunately, Lynsey, as long as "All posts are © their original authors" that solution is impossible (or at least impracticable.) I'm not sure why we haven't jumped on the Creative Commons bandwagon yet.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 9:41 AM on February 2, 2005


Call me a prude, but I think it's totally inappropriate to have an ad with a topless gal holding her tits on the front page of Metafilter. I browse this site during down time at work, and if my boss would have happened to walk by while I'm looking at a site with topless girls on it, my job would have been compromised.

It doesn't matter that you can turn the ad off, because all it takes is that first time viewing an ad before you've turned it off to get your ass fired.

What this does is make Metafilter completely NSFW, and that's a damn shame.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:42 AM on February 2, 2005


How many of you who are complaining about the presence of the SG ad also complained when Matt deleted the link to the photos of dead Iraqis?

More than a few, I think.

So, to sum up the MetaFilter Consensus: we want links to pictures of gruesomely killed dead people, but we don't want links to pictures of attractive live naked women.

Get your various vicariousnesses in order, people.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:42 AM on February 2, 2005


how many swear words have you seen on this site. How many times has 'wet vaginas' or 'fuck' been used in this thread alone. The previous thread is tilted 'fucking maniacs'. How about the NSFW threads that are posted every other day.

No. Profanity does not equal pornography, and neither does talk about sex. Neither do nude drawings for that matter! The purposes are entirely different. It's a bad argument. Not that the SG ads are pornographic per se, but it's like constantly browsing a site with prominent ads for Sensual Massages and such.
posted by furiousthought at 9:42 AM on February 2, 2005


asking all my female friends about taking on suicide girls image ads...rarely will females actually tell the whole truth about how this kind of stuff really makes them feel but you can bet that your quality points have gone down today Matt...they seem tasteful to me...a simple click and anyone could hide them forever..that is so not the point. yuck. this won't start a slippery slope ...what frykitty said and the slope has been slipping drastically in the last five months. Metafilter used to be safe haven where the undercurrent of porn in any form was unacceptable, even typing to the word fuck seemed uncool.
posted by oh posey at 9:44 AM on February 2, 2005


whenever I'm worried by this place something happens -- like somebody evoking Count Korzybski to insult another user -- and I suddendly feel better
posted by matteo at 9:44 AM on February 2, 2005


agregoli: Do underwear ads or ads for shower and bath products strike you as pornographic? Because those ads are often more explicit than the SG ads on metafilter. Hell, as others have said, the site itself isn't terribly explicit, and has a deserved reputation as being a very fair, woman-positive site.

As far as gasp linking to "a site specifically for people to get off on pictures of naked women", you can turn it off. If the mere thought that SOMEONE might decide to look at porn because of that ad keeps you up, get over it. Your dislike of pornography does not give you some magical moral high ground. That goes for the rest of you who object to the ad too.
posted by Captain_Tenille at 9:44 AM on February 2, 2005


So, to sum up the MetaFilter Consensus: we want links to pictures of gruesomely killed dead people, but we don't want links to pictures of attractive live naked women.

If the link were in the form of a prominent picture of a bloody hand that looked like it might be severed, but you couldn't quite tell for sure, that would be one thing, yes.
posted by furiousthought at 9:47 AM on February 2, 2005


jonmc, I love porn, myself. I wish you and everyone else would stop trying to imply that people who are objecting to this are prudes or something. It's not about that at all. It's entirely not appropriate here, and I also find it more than a little intimidating to the many women who ALREADY feel uncomfortable posting on Metafilter.

It's my sneaking suspicion that Metafilter has jumped the shark.

The comment above about work is dead on, as well. Metafilter is now NSFW in many instances.
posted by agregoli at 9:47 AM on February 2, 2005


so it's not quonsar that will ultimately ruin this site, it's money.

*feels all righteous and shit*
posted by quonsar at 9:47 AM on February 2, 2005


jonmc, I love porn, myself. I wish you and everyone else would stop trying to imply that people who are objecting to this are prudes or something

Which is why I asked whether you were objecting to the sites existence or matt's advertising it. From your statements, I really wasn't sure.

Like I said before, the best argument for it not being here is that having it surprise you on your screen at work is a bad thing.
posted by jonmc at 9:51 AM on February 2, 2005


Unfortunately, Lynsey, as long as "All posts are © their original authors" that solution is impossible (or at least impracticable.)

Actually, that's incorrect, because 1) that copyright notice has no legal force (your rights are what your rights are, whether you give notice of that fact or not), and MetaFilter is therefore legally no different than BoingBoing and 2) copyright only matters if somebody asserts their rights, and nobody here is going to sue over MetaFilter lite, are they? No, because it'd be way too expensive, and for what? Matt's the only one with a financial interest in having people view the ads here, and I seriously doubt he'd get all litigious over it.
posted by gd779 at 9:52 AM on February 2, 2005


we want links to pictures of gruesomely killed dead people, but we don't want links to pictures of attractive live naked women.

Pretty darn poorly summed up.

How about "We're ok with LINKS to NSFW stuff, but we don't want NSFW stuff displayed directly on the FRONT PAGE."

Hell, I'm not even opposed to the SG ad, but that is some vicious mischaracterization of the opposition there, mcwetboy.

Metafilter used to be safe haven where the undercurrent of porn in any form was unacceptable, even typing to the word fuck seemed uncool.

I can't remember Mefi ever being a place where the word "fuck" was uncool. That whole "sand in the vagina thing" was about three years ago, right?
posted by Bugbread at 9:52 AM on February 2, 2005


BoingBoing has ads for Strawberry Astroglide and Butter Boy Lube and Fark and Google Hacking -- and it still manages to kick our asses
posted by matteo at 9:53 AM on February 2, 2005


Well they certainly don't look like angels, so what else could they be?

Dark angels from my most beautiful nightmare visions.
posted by Zed_Lopez at 9:53 AM on February 2, 2005


Metafilter has never been safe for work.

The fact that people are using "it's not safe to browse at work now!" is laughable.
posted by Stynxno at 9:53 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't buy the argument that "I can't view MetaFilter at work any more" because of this. The colour of the site is enough of a giveaway that you're not working: not much that's work related has a { background: #069; }, you know? If your work surfing policy is that strict, you're probably already in trouble for coming here, oblique 125×125 girl-with-bare-shoulders shot or no.

On preview: furiousthought, there were plenty of objections to the SG ad when it was just a textad, too. And I think that at least some of the objections to it are not just because of the picture, but because of what it's linking to.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:54 AM on February 2, 2005


it's like constantly browsing a site with prominent ads for Sensual Massages and such.
You do know you can block the ad, right?

I keep forgetting how congenitally afraid of their own sexuality Americans, as a people, really are. Damn.
posted by chicobangs at 9:54 AM on February 2, 2005


You should just hide them from logged-in users. Then no one posting here would ever notice.
posted by smackfu at 9:55 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't think they look very nice (aesthetically). So i turned them off. Cheers for that. I'd rather not have them at all, but it's a small price to pay.

The only alternative I can think of is to have a "donations to prevent raunchy ads" box... which would probably look even worse on the front page. Maybe these ads could have been better integrated with the new site design?

Only Mathowie can actually weigh it up properly. This thread has shown that a considerable number of people (a sizable minority?) dislike the ads, and as we don't have the ad revenue figures, we can't really say if it's worth it or not.
posted by iso_bars at 9:56 AM on February 2, 2005


Metafilter has never been safe for work.

Huh? How do you figure? The links that Mefi connects to haven't, but Mefi itself is about as safe as safe can be. The only way to be more safe is to turn off the css options so it's all black text on a white background.
posted by Bugbread at 9:56 AM on February 2, 2005


Once again - just because people object to this doesn't mean they are prudes. I love sex, I look at porn, and I have no problems with porn in the right realm. I object because I don't feel Metafilter is the right place for it, and I don't appreciate pictures of half-naked girls on this site, especially when we were just making progress on making it a place where degrading sexual comments against women are taboo.
posted by agregoli at 9:57 AM on February 2, 2005


The colour of the site is enough of a giveaway that you're not working

That's one of the strangest statements I've read today. And I just saw a story about a photo of a GI Joe doll being held hostage, so that's saying something.
posted by BoringPostcards at 9:57 AM on February 2, 2005


Metafilter used to be safe haven where the undercurrent of porn in any form was unacceptable, even typing to the word fuck seemed uncool.

You've got to be kidding me.
posted by Skot at 9:58 AM on February 2, 2005


There's a big difference between looking at non-work-related sites at work and looking at porn (or what appears to be porn), mcwetboy. I don't think you are understanding it at all.
posted by MegoSteve at 9:58 AM on February 2, 2005


damn, folks. i'm late on this, but Zipperhead is a store in Philly, on south street. they're not talking about the band.
posted by taumeson at 9:59 AM on February 2, 2005


Metafilter used to be safe haven where the undercurrent of porn in any form was unacceptable, even typing to the word fuck seemed uncool.

When the hell did this happen? I've been here for going on five years now, and I must have been away that day.
posted by chicobangs at 10:00 AM on February 2, 2005


Huh? How do you figure? The links that Mefi connects to haven't, but Mefi itself is about as safe as safe can be. The only way to be more safe is to turn off the css options so it's all black text on a white background.

Well, at least one member was fired from their job for reading a thread talking about child porn or pedapohilas (spelling..i know). So some work environments do think that NSFW text is just the same as NSFW images.

So if a thread is talking about sex, well...how is that safe for work if your work runs a filter that scans a page and counts the number of times "bad" words are used? It doesn't.

I know I know, it depends on where you work and I'm looking at the worse case but in terms of NSFW, the worse case is the base case imho
posted by Stynxno at 10:01 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't buy the argument that "I can't view MetaFilter at work any more" because of this. The colour of the site is enough of a giveaway that you're not working: not much that's work related has a { background: #069; }, you know? If your work surfing policy is that strict, you're probably already in trouble for coming here, oblique 125×125 girl-with-bare-shoulders shot or no.

Wha? "If your company policy is so strict that it doesn't allow looking at a blue, obviously non-work related site, then you're already probably in trouble for looking at a blue, obviously non-work related site?"

Well, yeah, of course. And if you're a bachelor, you probably aren't married.

Of course, NOBODY in this thread is coming from a position where it's that strict. Once again, who the heck are you talking to?

All of us (on both sides) appear to be talking about companies where non-work related sites are allowed, but porn is not allowed. Welcome to this conversation.
posted by Bugbread at 10:02 AM on February 2, 2005


Well, at least one member was fired from their job for reading a thread talking about child porn or pedapohilas (spelling..i know). So some work environments do think that NSFW text is just the same as NSFW images.

Whoa. I stand very, very corrected.
posted by Bugbread at 10:03 AM on February 2, 2005


Here's the reason why this bugs me: Matt "ask[ed] all [his] female friends about taking on suicide girls image ads on mefi." But he declined to ask the community of people who would actually be seeing the ad, i.e. us, except to the extent that it overlaps with his group of female friends (and why only female? The outrage in this thread has been equal to both genders. Agregoli is exactly right when he says that the problem with SG is not the content, but the fact that we have lost control over when and how we view it. This isn't to protect our sensibilities, it's to protect our jobs.)

So what are we, chopped liver? Since you apparently felt uneasy enough to require asking your friends whether or not it would have been appropriate, would have it not been a good idea to ask us before you did it? You don't have to allow us to change your mind, just say:

"I'm thinking of putting up some image ads to Suicide Girls, here's links to the 29 images that will display at random; after consulting my friends I don't think this is explotative or inappropriate, but I would appreciate your input nonetheless. And if I decide to put up the ad after all, please be aware that as of February __, one of these images will display at random when you load the front page of Metafilter."

It's a sneak attack, and it's lousy.

BTW, there are 29 images in rotation. You can see them at http://www.metafilter.com/sg/1.jpg through http://www.metafilter.com/sg/29.jpg. Before you make a judgment one way or the other, recognize that most users in this thread were exposed to completely different images, and if you thought there was no problem with this idea when you saw #4, you might have a different view once you see #6. So consider that the non-member who gets one image at random may suffer different consequences from the non-member who gets a different image.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 10:05 AM on February 2, 2005


Suicide Girls is artistic in the same way Thomas Kinkade is artistic. It's formulaic bullshit designed to appeal to a particular niche market, and it all looks the same.

Just because it happens to be your niche doesn't make it art. And just because it's dimly lit doesn't mean it's not porn.

I'd go into my feelings further, but everyone else has already expressed theirs. I used to send my sister links to mefi. But she's already got enough body image issues and the starved, moody look of a lot of the SGs would not be something I'd want her to emulate. If she finds it on her own time, so be it, but I'll not be giving her any more links from here.
posted by u.n. owen at 10:06 AM on February 2, 2005


Whoa. I stand very, very corrected.

Hey it shocked me the first time I heard about it too. I really think the supervisor was looking for an excuse to fire the person and jumped at that opportunity.

Again, worse case scenario but it happens.
posted by Stynxno at 10:07 AM on February 2, 2005


Oh, right, and also: I do enjoy pornography. I don't enjoy pornography creeping into decidedly non-pornographic spaces. I like to keep my porn and my discussion of issues in different corners. If I needed that kind of one-stop shopping you'd find me over at fark.
posted by u.n. owen at 10:08 AM on February 2, 2005


I've had more than one person looking over my shoulder at work make a remark about the SG on BoingBoing (thanks to Arch Stanton for the BB Lite link!). Now I can expect the same here unless I switch to LoFi. I can understand the economic realities behind the graphic ads but I still find the whole thing disappointing.

I joined in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 because this was the single best place I could find for real information. Perhaps my expectations were set too high, but the Metafilter of 2005 is very different from what it was in 2001.
posted by tommasz at 10:09 AM on February 2, 2005


Matt, I'd like to know if you're reconsidering the ads, based on the responses here.
posted by iconomy at 10:11 AM on February 2, 2005


frykitty: have to chime in with those who are saddened and disappointed by this news. I seem to recall that textads were not going to become a "slippery slope" into anything more obnoxious. I was happy for the revenue you were getting from textads--I thought it was a great compromise between making money and being nice to your users.

Now...*slump* So sad.


I agree with this sentiment. Its not that this is heading down a slippery slope but that we have already slid.

And with what others have said about recommending Metafilter to friends/coworkers etc. I am far, far from being a prude (I won't provide examples but nobody who knows me could make that accusation) but for new users arriving at this site, the ad definitely creates a visual impression of what the site is about and I think its giving a wrong impression. I dont mind what it links to (and so didnt mind the textad), SG seems to be a cool site. Its the visual ad that disturbs me.

I'll still continue to post on ask.metafilter but I'm done with posting on the Blue.
posted by vacapinta at 10:11 AM on February 2, 2005


I just wanted to jump in and ditto the majority of what agregoli, oh posey and u.n. owen said. I've no issues with porn in general, but it does not seem like a good fit with Metafilter.

Are there other options? Other ways to help with Mefi costs? Monthly fees, that's fine. A [blank]-a-thon, sure. Ads that are perhaps directed towards issues and organizations that help humanity as a whole (and yes, in it's own way, I'm sure porn helps)?

If it's a matter of money, what can we do to help that will have a positive impact on the members and the site? It has been indicated in this thread multiple times that we are intelligent people, so we should be able to come up with an intelligent solution.
posted by erisfree at 10:11 AM on February 2, 2005


i agree with the people who are tired of seeing naked girls (generally) and suicide girls (specifically) every time they look at something on the internet. i also agree with the people who think that the suicide girls ad, like the "i'd hit it" comments, contribute to a generally hostile environment for women. so, i'm glad there's a "make this ad go away" option, but i'm also sorry that it's there at all.

(and i also think deleting the link to dead iraqis was the right thing to do. i see violent crime scene photos every day at work; i don't happen to think it raises anyone's consciousness or serves any higher moral purpose to disseminate photographs of the dead and dying, most particularly not when it gets wedged in between chatter about some guys' bubblegum portraits of famous blondes and some cell phone service to prevent you making drunk phone calls at two am.)
posted by crush-onastick at 10:11 AM on February 2, 2005


I disapprove of it. Not on moral issues, I emphasize. I'm fine with porn, and SG is one of the more female friendly ones out there (the three members I know are all women), but it doesn't seem right for MeFi aesthetically, somehow.

By the way, I swear I remember an old thread where (I thought) konolia commented negatively on the SG textads and asked for other women's opinions, which were pretty universally in favor of having the ads.... but I can't find that, and I'm not sure if I made it up. if not, might be an interesting discussion to look at in this context as well.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 10:12 AM on February 2, 2005


For that matter, if it's not a matter of the IT department logging links, but a matter of people walking around and glacing at your screen, a passer-by practically has to be leaning over your shoulder to read obscentities or refernces to sandy genitalie references, but the "Hi here are my boobies" picture is identifiable from a much longer distance.

Last night I caught one of the supervisors testing the distance on a wireless keyboard by typing a naughty word as he walked (and backspacing right back over it, but that's not the point). It's a reasonably relaxed workspace. I still would not want someone to walk past my cubicle and see boobies on my screen.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:12 AM on February 2, 2005


Metafilter, a collection of information and links provided by a loose community of users, is inherently Not Safe For Work. You're trusting people you've never met, who are posting anonymously to not be jerks and post a link to something inappropriate. Remember Keyser Soze and Goatse? Matt has said on numerous occasions, don't look at this site at work. Within the last year, someone complained about being fired for clicking a link to some 18th century paintings of nudes and was fired over it. Matt chewed him out and dismissed his claims. Reading this site at work is your own risk and has never been recommended or advised.

On Preview: pedophilia thread.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:13 AM on February 2, 2005


I can't send my students to boing any more and now I can't send them here. It's your site, however.
posted by mecran01 at 10:13 AM on February 2, 2005


So, a large majority of members clearly feel that this ad is not in keeping with the tone of the site. The question is, is this really a community where, as members, we should have some say or input over matters such as this, or is it merely mathowie's site, and no other opinion matters or should be taken into consideration? And if, as it seems reasonable to conclude, the truth lies somewhere in the middle, to what degree should mathowie feel comfortable in forcing content upon the community that the community rejects (the ability to "turn it off" notwithstanding)?
posted by rushmc at 10:15 AM on February 2, 2005


I find myself going to Boing a lot less, mostly due to its pornification. Basically, it's embarassing to have a coworker or family member walk by and see weird fetish crap all over the screen. The hide option is nice, but I often work in a lab setting with frozen machines that don't retain settings.
posted by mecran01 at 10:18 AM on February 2, 2005


Will these new ads mean a reduction in mefi's population of wailing thin-skinned prudes?

Tragic.
posted by Luther Blissett at 10:18 AM on February 2, 2005


The question is, is this really a community where, as members, we should have some say or input over matters such as this, or is it merely mathowie's site, and no other opinion matters or should be taken into consideration?

BINGO!
posted by quonsar at 10:18 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't want to be one of those jerky types that claims ownership over what Matt's built because I read the site a lot, but the tag line at the very top of the page is "We're all in this together."
posted by MegoSteve at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2005


There are ads on Metafilter? Since when?
posted by birdherder at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2005


furiousthought, there were plenty of objections to the SG ad when it was just a textad, too.

That is true, but I have stated that I was not opposed to the textad.

As for the crushing repression of American sexuality goes - well, yeah. I look at it this way. If somebody points and blanches because they see me looking at an Egon Schiele book I can launch into a passionate defense of artistic investigation and expression and how it limits our perspectives et cetera so on. Same situation, article on a page full of Call Ashley ads, much more boring argument, extra layers of meta, the head hurts. I live and work in a place where adults giggle at the mention of gay people. I'd rather choose my battles. And yes, I know how to turn the silly thing off.
posted by furiousthought at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2005


bugbread, I'm not trying to be vicious, but I am trying to be blunt about what people are really arguing for here (make war, not fuck). The ads themselves are not NSFW. There's no nudity. (Matt: "I dropped the ones showing too much skin.") As I said before, there's worse on the front pages of newspapers. As Captain_Tenille said, there's worse in shower and bath product ads. Ignoring that difference -- between cropped pictures of women, or women wearing bras, and full-on nudity -- misrepresents my position.

On preview: Others have contributed their 2¢ to the issue of work-safe surfing, so I'll just add the following. I am coming from a position where it is that strict. Or at least I used to. The Canadian government, where I used to work, has strict policies on the use of the Internet by employees during work hours: for work-purposes only; surf for personal purposes during breaks or outside work hours. I'm drawing upon what I know.

Granted, titty pictures get you fired, whereas generally surfing the web merely gets you in trouble (if that), but we're not talking about titty pictures; we're talking about 125×125 thumbnails in the right-hand column with nary a nipple to be seen. If you're going to get fired for cleavage in a small ad on the sidebar of a site, you're probably going to get fired for surfing that site in the first place. (And if someone can see that thumbnail that clearly, you're either running a huge monitor at low resolution or they're right there in the cubicle with you.)
posted by mcwetboy at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm not offended, hurt, upset, or worried about it, you can hide the ad, and if that doesnt work (or cookies get reset) you can always use lofi. Or have all of us new users not figured out lofi yet?
posted by nile_red at 10:20 AM on February 2, 2005


So, a large majority of members clearly feel that this ad is not in keeping with the tone of the site.

How do you reach this "clear" conclusion? A small minority of the users have commented in this space, and they have not universally objected.
posted by anapestic at 10:21 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm not in favour of these ads at all. I mean Google runs a billion dollar business based on text ads and MeFi can only resort to a girl holding her tits?
posted by sebas at 10:21 AM on February 2, 2005


large majority of members clearly feel that this ad is not in keeping with the tone of the site

That should really read "large majority of members posting in this thread....". Also, I don't have specific numbers since a large number of people are posting multiple times.

However, until 1500* people in this thread say "no", I'd rather you not use statistic mumbo jumbo to justify your position rushmc.

*Note: on the assumption that Matt previously mentioned 3000 members visit the site a day (at least)
posted by Stynxno at 10:22 AM on February 2, 2005


Matt, I wish you hadn't accepted the SG ad. It's the only image on the front page, so it draws a lot of attention and makes MetaFilter look - well, cheaper. A text ad would be fine.

I hid it.
posted by widdershins at 10:23 AM on February 2, 2005


We're here, we're goth, we're nekkid, get used to it

Not quite. More like:

We're here, we're goth, we're nekkid, you click, we're gone.
posted by scarabic at 10:23 AM on February 2, 2005


Do you think it's possible to be overtly sexual without being naked, mcwetboy? Your definition of NSFW seems awfully narrow to me. Reminds me of the story of the couple who were caught having sex on a park bench and fined for indecent exposure. The woman complained that she wasn't indecently exposed because the man was on top.
posted by MegoSteve at 10:24 AM on February 2, 2005


Big rule being broken here: Don't ever, EVER speak for the group. Your opinion is your own. Don't tell me what I think. I hate being spoken for.

A question:
Are there any SG people (both subscribers and SGers themselves, be they models or behind-the-camera types) who are also Mefites?

Or rather, because there must be a few of you: how much crossover is there? And what's your take on this?

We've heard from the "sex-is-bad-keep-it-away-from-me" brigade (and the "it's-not-esthetically-right-for-Mefi" people, and the "lighten-the-hell-up-this-isn't-the-fires-of-hell-here" people), but -- how about people involved with both groups? What do you people think?
posted by chicobangs at 10:26 AM on February 2, 2005


Also a worthwhile question: is it the case that most members of the community are objecting to these ads? Or is it the case that most people who have posted to this thread object, while most of the population at large doesn't even care enough to be participating in the thread, let alone objecting?

There's the silent majority to take into account.

On preview: yeah, what anapestic said.
posted by Luther Blissett at 10:26 AM on February 2, 2005


Late to the party, as usual.

Oh, and what Saucy Intruder said, in all of the above postings. Yeah, yeah, I know it's Matt's site, blah blah skippy blah. It's still a little upsetting. Sorry, Matt, but I Adblocked it on BoingBoing and I'll be Adblocking it here as well. If you wanted a little extra cash I'd be happy to float you a fiver until payday.
posted by 40 Watt at 10:27 AM on February 2, 2005


If I needed that kind of one-stop shopping you'd find me over at fark.

but then you'd pilfer lamer story ideas from Fark. you need us more.
posted by matteo at 10:27 AM on February 2, 2005


So much for the so-called 'liberal bias' of MeFi. Prudes! ;-P
posted by mischief at 10:27 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm far more troubled by the unbelievable prudery exhibited in this thread than I am by these commonplace, SFW ads.
posted by Dr. Wu at 10:28 AM on February 2, 2005


mischief for the win!
posted by Stynxno at 10:29 AM on February 2, 2005


A small minority of the users have commented in this space, and they have not universally objected.

That should really read "large majority of members posting in this thread....".

Which has brought more different members out of the woodwork than any issue/thread I've seen in ages, the vast majority of whom are expressing their disapproval (do a count, if you're that interested). What makes you think that the proportion of con/pro displayed in this thread isn't representative and generalizable to the larger population (including the non-member readers who have no voice to express an opinion)? It seems reasonable to me that it does.
posted by rushmc at 10:29 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't like the NSFW possibilities, but I am definitely, definitely more offended by the possibility of this making any woman more uncomfortable about posting, or the possibility of it increasing the boyzoneness. This place was just starting to turn around a little bit, in my opinion.

I also agree - this raises a much larger issue - are we a community, that decides things together, or are we subject completely to Matt's whim? One or the other, please, let it be known!
posted by agregoli at 10:30 AM on February 2, 2005


What mcwetboy said. The ad is completely work safe. It's even safer than the Sports By Brooks pictures on Fark because there isn't even any evil cleavage. It's safer than Yahoo! Top News Stories because there aren't pictures of women in bikinis or models on runways. It's safer than the New York Times's coverage of the Golden Globe red carpet.

You know what's on the other end of the Suicide Girls link, don't click on it. And another thing, if you even click on it, there isn't any nudity on front page of Suicide Girls. So you're safe that way as well.
posted by Arch Stanton at 10:30 AM on February 2, 2005


OK, so, I do think MeFi benefits a ton from the lack of tech-snobbery that you see on places like Boingboing and Pitchfork. And by setting SG aside from other porn sites - even if it's true - you create the impression that you're indulging in that, since it is the official porn site of the blog world etc. Still, the question of whether it tarnishes MeFi's rep, probably comes down to whether SG really is an unusually legitimate porn site, in which case it'd be something like a discreet Playboy ad in respectability. I say it's somewhere in between, hence "tolerable."

To those who don't want to see the SG ads, you can turn off images, hit the "hide ad" link, then turn them back on.

In fact, Matt, how about this: for those who are concerned about being able to see the no-porn version and not worry about cookies and such, why not have a /?nosg=1 option to be sure?
posted by abcde at 10:31 AM on February 2, 2005


how about people involved with both groups? What do you people think?

I don't see how someone's participation in any other community is relevant to issues affecting this community.

But maybe you're just curious and aren't suggesting it's relevant.
posted by rushmc at 10:33 AM on February 2, 2005


What makes you think that the proportion of con/pro displayed in this thread isn't representative and generalizable to the larger population (including the non-member readers who have no voice to express an opinion)? It seems reasonable to me that it does.

In general, more people will post to complain about something than to say they like something. Take a look at the front page of MeTa and see the proportion of "this is bad" to "this is good" posts.
posted by anapestic at 10:35 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm a tawdry, irrepressible deviant. I like porn, and I like art, but I spend no money at all on the former and am only able to spend a little at all on the latter. I'm not remotely uncomfortable with either.

Seeing a Suicide Girls ad on MetaFilter was startling. I'm not really sure if I like it or not. It doesn't really effect me on any level other than being startled by a huge block of eye-catching color and (even sometimes breasts) when I load the front page.

However, everyone complaining about the reduced linkability and safe-for-work-ness has a very valid complaint. Even more so are the boy-zone comments. As are the exploitation comments. It would be nice to know exactly how fair and non-exploitative Suicide Girls is, if it is.

But then, I'm still waiting for someone to properly do nerd porn with any skill and frankness. There should be dissertations, thesis, and/or observations and other writings posted. Let me hear you play your flute like you used to at band camp. Got robots? Uh-huh, Hobbitses are kinda cute. Is that a TRS-80 Pocket playing digital dice in your pocket or are you just happy to see me? Yeah, baby, peel off that Star Trek/Ren Faire/Rocky Horror costume and read E. E. Cummings to me in Esperanto while balancing on your unicycle. That's hot.
posted by loquacious at 10:35 AM on February 2, 2005


What makes you think that the proportion of con/pro displayed in this thread isn't representative and generalizable to the larger population (including the non-member readers who have no voice to express an opinion)? It seems reasonable to me that it does.

It's not reasonable because you're making the assumption that all active posters are like all active members. I'm not willing to make that assumption.

This whole thread from the beginning has been framed as "if you don't like it, post here". The people who agree with it aren't going to have the need or the desire to post in this thread. This thread is designed to attack rather than defend.
posted by Stynxno at 10:35 AM on February 2, 2005


I like the beautiful women in the upper right corner. In fact, when I opened my browser, I thought "Oh ho, what's this now, hmmm?". It's like a little sexy decoration. Otherwise, I appreciate that the rest of them are text-only. I'd be upset if it went much further than the way it is right now.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:35 AM on February 2, 2005


I have no problem with these ads.
posted by kyrademon at 10:36 AM on February 2, 2005


Caution: Practical Feedback Ahead

The "turn off the ad" linky under the ad is realllllly close to the ad (and reallllly small in my Firefox browser). So close that in my haste to make the ad disappear, I hit the SG ad instead, and blammo, I was at A Bad Site at work. Did this happen to anyone else? Maybe you could get some kind of floatover thing going on with the ad so you're double-dog sure of what you're hitting.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 10:36 AM on February 2, 2005


Sure it's possible to be overtly sexual without being naked, MegoSteve. My point is, a lot of that is already on television and in print. (On preview: what Arch Stanton said.) I will concede, though, that it's possible to be NSFW without being naked. But overtly sexual and NSFW are not the same thing. Where we disagree is on what side of the NSFW-line these thumbnails fall.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:36 AM on February 2, 2005


anapestic: stop repeating what I'm saying in less words. :p
posted by Stynxno at 10:37 AM on February 2, 2005


Rushmc, I'm asking again: Please stop speaking for "the majority of Mefites."

I see a half-dozen very shrill people in this thread who are petrified of accidentally seeing a 125-pixel-square picture of a tattoo or some colored hair (not even a nekkid person). To say that those half-dozen people speak for all MeFites is not only insulting, it's frankly dangerous to assume.

I continue to be astonished at the melodrama and histrionics shown in this thread. Certainly, this puts the myth of Mefi as a liberal website to rest for good.

posted by chicobangs at 10:38 AM on February 2, 2005


The question is, is this really a community where, as members, we should have some say or input over matters such as this, or is it merely mathowie's site, and no other opinion matters or should be taken into consideration?

BINGO!


Metafilter's content is provided by the community. In every other sense – technical, monetary, administrative – it's private, single-proprietor business. We have about as much control over MetaFilter as we do over a radio phone-in show.

I don't want to be one of those jerky types that claims ownership over what Matt's built because I read the site a lot, but the tag line at the very top of the page is "We're all in this together."

Please. We're in a small part of it together.

I'm not arguing pro or con here; I'm just describing the situation as I see it.
posted by timeistight at 10:39 AM on February 2, 2005


Nothing against porn here. I just want to go on record as saying I think the SG ads make Metafilter look cheap and in my opinion the ads are a bad idea.

Carry on everyone.
posted by marxchivist at 10:40 AM on February 2, 2005


The ads themselves are not NSFW.

They are at my workplace.

If you're going to get fired for cleavage in a small ad on the sidebar of a site, you're probably going to get fired for surfing that site in the first place.

Well phrased (by not being an absolute, and refering to firing, as opposed to reprimanded). I don't really know the probabilities involved, but I know that I'm at one of the improbable workplaces where I wouldn't get reprimanded for looking at Mefi as it was yesterday (day before?) but I would get reprimanded for looking at it as it is today. Of course, I just turned the ad off, so I'm not inconvenienced.

And if someone can see that thumbnail that clearly, you're either running a huge monitor at low resolution or they're right there in the cubicle with you.

Neither, really. Imagine a place like NASA, with rows of desks facing a big screen (but not doing important things like NASA). The person behind me is far enough away not to be able to read words, but close enough to see flesh. But that's just my case, again, and I realize it's probably the exception, not the rule.

I'm far more troubled by the unbelievable prudery exhibited in this thread than I am by these commonplace, SFW ads.

If you had a bit more empathy, you'd be troubled by the unbelievable prudery exhibited by the bosses of the people in this thread that make this commonplace, non-explicit ads be considered NSFW.
posted by Bugbread at 10:42 AM on February 2, 2005


Can you really say someone is a member of a community if they never post or comment? What makes them different from non-members?

There may indeed be a "silent majority" that is all in agreement, but until they become un-silent, one can only guess what they think.
posted by tommasz at 10:42 AM on February 2, 2005


Can you really say someone is a member of a community if they never post or comment?

YES.

until they become un-silent, one can only guess what they think.

Or you can not guess what they think, and express your own opinion as if it were yours. If you don't like the pics, say so. But don't pretend the silent majority is you.
posted by chicobangs at 10:46 AM on February 2, 2005


i see a half-dozen very shrill people in this thread who are petrified of accidentally seeing a 125-pixel-square picture of a tattoo or some colored hair (not even a nekkid person). To say that those half-dozen people speak for all MeFites is not only insulting, it's frankly dangerous to assume.

I'm far more troubled by the unbelievable prudery exhibited in this thread than I am by these commonplace, SFW ads.


I notice everyone seems to be refuting the "Help! I cant bear to see nakedness!" crowd which is an easy target. Yeah, yeah, we're all prudes and you are soooo much hipper than us. *shrug* But nobody has addressed the objections of

1) This brings down the aesthetics of Metafilter
2) This creates a "first impression" of Metafilter that Fark-like people will find welcoming. It furthers a boyzone mentality.
3) I can no longer recommend metafilter.com to people I meet because although *I* dont personally mind seeing the ad (*shrug*) I am unwilling to risk where they will be and in what situation when they point their browser at this site. Its about social etiquette really.
posted by vacapinta at 10:46 AM on February 2, 2005


This whole thread from the beginning has been framed as "if you don't like it, post here".

Not true. The thread followed a mathowie post in which he simply stated what he had chosen to do. The rest of the content has been what people have made of it, making it reasonable to assume that it reflects their views.

Rushmc, I'm asking again: Please stop speaking for "the majority of Mefites."

Can't stop doing something I'm not doing, sorry. I'm summarizing what has been said in this thread, not inventing it.

I see a half-dozen very shrill people in this thread

If you are paying so little attention to the thread as to be able to make a ridiculous comment like that, why should we take anything else you have to say seriously?
posted by rushmc at 10:46 AM on February 2, 2005


{close}
posted by scarabic at 10:47 AM on February 2, 2005


SG: the new X10 (only sexier!).
posted by rushmc at 10:47 AM on February 2, 2005


Nope, no good. I too got the 'uh-oh, jumping the shark' feeling when I saw the ad. I'm particularly disappointed: Metafilter has been a unexpectedly rich link (both meanings) for my teenage daughters and me, generating laughs, discussion, music, art, etc ... I can't, in good conscience, pimp this (tired tired tired Victoria's Secretesque) SG body-image thing to them -- they get enough of it everywhere else. It would make me look way uncool. Too bad.
posted by thinkpiece at 10:47 AM on February 2, 2005


I do have to say something now that I was alerted to the fact that the photos are randomly chosen out of 29. For example, what Arch Stanton says above may be true of some of the photos, but as was pointed out earlier, #6 pretty much shows nipple, and some of the others have girls in lingerie, or quite nude.

Many of these photos are really, really close to the line of having nudity (and I don't think nudity is required for something to be sexual, anyway). I think everyone should look at them all before arguing about their appropriateness (er, unless they make you feel uncomfortable generically, of course.)

I think if something like #4 was the only picture, I wouldn't really care - it would be frankly difficult to tell what the ad was for from that picture, but the girl is cute and a lot of people might click through. Again, disclaimer, not a prude, yada yada, but I do think that this could have been handled better. I would really hate to have some of those show up if I've logged out, or what not.

(P.S. I'm just wondering about the technology parts - if I turn it off, will I ever see photoads again, or is just that one ad turned off? Just curious how that works.)
posted by livii at 10:48 AM on February 2, 2005


"Matt, I'd like to know if you're reconsidering the ads, based on the responses here."

I should hope not, since those who don't care one or the other may not bother posting.
posted by mischief at 10:48 AM on February 2, 2005


Sorry, quick link to #4 didn't work - here it is again.
posted by livii at 10:49 AM on February 2, 2005


I should hope not, since those who don't care one or the other may not bother posting.

In all communities, everywhere, those who don't bother participating don't have input. Are you suggesting it should be different here?
posted by rushmc at 10:50 AM on February 2, 2005


Aww. I kinda assumed the new advert would animate just like the Jewelboxing one did...
posted by Pretty_Generic at 10:51 AM on February 2, 2005


I came here to post a thread about how NSFW this ad is, so I'm glad this is here, but a bit surprised this is posted by #1. I like the "hide the ad" feature, but that's not going to be all that useful if my boss pops her head in as she often does (i'm the office homo but it won't matter). Please, maybe text-ad the SGs?
posted by moonbird at 10:51 AM on February 2, 2005


chicobangs, I'll take the high road and assume that you're not speaking to me directly. I've stated my opinion on the matter. I don't know what people who haven't stated their opinion think about it, and I hope others refrain from drawing any conclusions.
posted by tommasz at 10:52 AM on February 2, 2005


I see a half-dozen very shrill people in this thread

If you are paying so little attention to the thread as to be able to make a ridiculous comment like that, why should we take anything else you have to say seriously?


I don't have the time to annotate the shrillness statement (they won't fire me for surfing the web at work, but they would fire me for, y'know, not doing my job), though if it's not true, then I have another question: who's "we"?

And tommasz, you asked a semi-rhetorical question, and I answered it, possibly accidentally. Apologies.
posted by chicobangs at 10:55 AM on February 2, 2005


A quick brain dump on all the major issues:

I kind of knew people would find the ad somewhat objectionable, which is why I only took it on the condition that people could easily hide it forever.

I don't want this place to turn into a boyzone and I don't want to turn women off, and I know that's at odds with the ad somewhat. The SG folks sent over about 40 images to rotate through and I chucked about 25% of them to make sure there was as little skin showing as possible.

Running MetaFilter feels more like a job everyday, and lately it's been taking up all of my free time. When the baby comes in a few months, the strain on my time will worsen even more, and I'm currently weighing the option of quitting my dayjob to be a stay-at-home dad and do mefi full time, where I actually code it everyday while my daughter naps and I release lots of new stuff and maybe figure out a subscription model so pro folks never see an ad ever and get to do extra things.

MeFi has bills for the server and my time here is keeping me from doing other things so it's nice when it can turn a buck. The google ads are doing poorly, the blogads are so-so, and the graphical ads on the front pay pretty well, so with reservations I took the latest ad.

I guess I should share some stories about advertising here. So far, the little graphical ad space at mefi hasn't sold very much or very well. It's kind of a hit and miss thing where I've only gotten 3 folks to sign on so far. I do get requests for obnoxious banner ads and flash block ads in the middle of the page a great deal. If I had a banner across the top with a flash ad, and big skyscraper ads going down the sides, and ads between a post and comments, I could be making many thousands per month, but I've turned them down. I've also gotten requests for racier, demeaning ads like the stuff you see on fark everyday, and turned those down as well (with the person trying to buy them telling me not to listen to "a few uptight women that might get offended"). The SG folks have been kind to me before and in between the ads for bikes or CD cases I thought taking their ad was an acceptable limit of what is possible in the space, as long as people can hide it forever.

Currently, if you're logged in, if you go to /index?noads=yes you will never see the ads ever, and though non logged-in folks can't turn them off right now, they will by this afternoon, and you can use the same URL to send the page to your boss or whatever, without any danger of seeing the ad, ever.

I don't really plan to do an ad-free metafilter for pay, since I've given everyone the option to remove the ad and I've removed all google ads from every other page of MetaFilter as long as you're logged in.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:56 AM on February 2, 2005


I don't want this place to turn into a boyzone and I don't want to turn women off, and I know that's at odds with the ad somewhat.

But that doesn't bother you? You don't really address this.

I don't currently pay at all for Metafilter, but I'm in the territory of wanting to if it will cut out this crap.
posted by agregoli at 11:00 AM on February 2, 2005


Also, turning off the ad isn't really a solution to many in this thread at least, me included.
posted by agregoli at 11:01 AM on February 2, 2005


There is a large difference between not contributing to MetaFilter and not commenting in a particular MeTa thread.

This thread was not listed as a poll, but as an announcement. No one was asked to give an opinion, though it's clear that people are welcome to.

I think it makes no sense to make policy based on something that might happen, like the farkification of MeFi, or whatever. Most users will simply turn the ads off, and that'll probably be an end to it. Maybe people should give the ads a few weeks before they assume that they're going to bring about the end of civilization as we know it.
posted by anapestic at 11:01 AM on February 2, 2005


Though I don't really care about pr0n ads on the front page (since I can turn them off,) I am bothered by the virtuous swearing that this will be the only one ever, ever, ever.

I'm a woman, and I like looking at naked women, but it really chafes my ass that female skin is quasi-acceptable and male skin is taboo. If you're going to slap Suicide Girls up there, I want Nightcharm to have the same access. If my rubbery, middle-aged-post-childbirth bodied self is supposed to merely appreciate the aesthetics of the Suicide Girls, I want the male joystick-and-donut jockeys to merely appreciate the aesthetics of a bronze-cast Nightcharm twink.

Sex-positive? Nightcharm's sex positive- so are Nerve and Blowfish and Fishnet, so why don't they make the cut? Heck, Blowfish doesn't even use pictures of the dildoes they're hawking in their catalogues- they're all rendered in tasteful pastel art, put those on the front page.

The text-ads were better- they actually said something. Photographs, however... well, half naked chickery on the front page doesn't say a lot about how thoughtful and sex-positive and intelligent the Suicide Girls are. (We all read Playboy for the articles, too, don't we?) All it says is "Look! half naked chicks!"

If I had my way, that spot would stay textful instead of photographic, but if "sex-positive" tits are acceptable, I want "sex-positive" cocks, too. It's only fair.
posted by headspace at 11:02 AM on February 2, 2005


Not for nothing, but In thinking about it, my vague disapproval has solidified quite a bit. We take their textads, and that's a good thing. And I'm quite fine with the pics for my own (ahem) personal use.

But though the great majority of commenters on both sides were behind the text links when those started, this is showing to be far more problematic. The specifics of the linked site is irrelevant. The IMPRESSION that images like this give about us is not a good one, and it doesn't help our boyzone issues.

And frankly, it just looks ugly. Keep things to textads, #1.

(as a sidenote, no one is more surprised that I'm saying this than me. But there are times and places for everything. As keeps being said, for Fark, this would work. But I got pretty sick of Fark's fraternity attitude, and this, thank god, isn't Fark.)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:02 AM on February 2, 2005


To chicobangs' half-dozen very shrill people and the repeated unjustified accusations of prudetry.

What vacapinta said. The only shrill people I see commenting here, are those you support the ads based soley on ad hominem attacks. There are very legitamiate objections that have nothing to do with objections to porn. If you refuse to acknowledge them, I don't see how you are contributiing anything of value to the discussion.

On preview: Matt has explained that it is about the money, so I withdraw my objection.
posted by danOstuporStar at 11:03 AM on February 2, 2005


I want the male joystick-and-donut jockeys to merely appreciate the aesthetics of a bronze-cast Nightcharm twink.

Hear! Hear!

(I still don't think it'll happen, though. You can't make people buy ads, and MeFi is clearly a better market for something like SG than it is for tasty male porn.)
posted by anapestic at 11:04 AM on February 2, 2005


Right on, headspace.
posted by agregoli at 11:05 AM on February 2, 2005


My opinion? I couldn't care less how many ads (dirty or otherwise) you have on the page, as long as they don't make sounds or cover the text. My new sales resistance techinque is unstoppable.
posted by Pretty_Generic at 11:05 AM on February 2, 2005


Train's a-comin'...
posted by abcde at 11:06 AM on February 2, 2005


MeFi is clearly a better market for something like SG than it is for tasty male porn.)

Part of the point, for me. We're a boyzone, great. But why do we have to legitamize that with naked women?
posted by agregoli at 11:06 AM on February 2, 2005


_sirmissalot_: So close that in my haste to make the ad disappear, I hit the SG ad instead, and blammo, I was at A Bad Site at work.

apt nickname, sir.
posted by theFlyingSquirrel at 11:06 AM on February 2, 2005


I'm a woman, and I like looking at naked women, but it really chafes my ass that female skin is quasi-acceptable and male skin is taboo. If you're going to slap Suicide Girls up there, I want Nightcharm to have the same access. If my rubbery, middle-aged-post-childbirth bodied self is supposed to merely appreciate the aesthetics of the Suicide Girls, I want the male joystick-and-donut jockeys to merely appreciate the aesthetics of a bronze-cast Nightcharm twink.

If it helps matt offset the costs of running the place, I say dandy. Bring 'em on.

MeFi is clearly a better market for something like SG than it is for tasty male porn.

I dunno. We're heavier on gays than a lot of (you'll pardon the word) heterogenous communities, so I imagine it'd add a nickel or two to the community chest.
posted by jonmc at 11:07 AM on February 2, 2005


hey matt, when i first saw it this morning, i think my ad was #22 that only showed a naked collar bone and face. I was like "no big deal" but I do realize where other people are coming from.

Why not just reduce the number of images to anything that is collarbone and up? No boobs, no women in underwear, etc. I'm sure that might make it more accessible to others.

I'm not sure what your deal is though so it's up to you. Is there any room for compromise?
posted by Stynxno at 11:08 AM on February 2, 2005


If I had my way, that spot would stay textful instead of photographic, but if "sex-positive" tits are acceptable, I want "sex-positive" cocks, too. It's only fair.

seconded.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 11:10 AM on February 2, 2005


If my rubbery, middle-aged-post-childbirth bodied self

hawt!
posted by Stynxno at 11:13 AM on February 2, 2005


What glenwood and plexi and others said. This cheapens the site. It may seem "tasteful" to you, but to some of us it's just more skin on an internet already crammed full of it. The ad I saw was definitely nsfw. Having already gotten fired for reading metafilter once, I can see why people are going to be unable to read from work. Plus, the Suicide Girls are just plain...tacky.

And you're going to subsidize the lost revenue, right?

How much does metafilter cost to run, per month? How much money comes in, per month? I have never seen an answer to these questions.

How much is it fair for Matt to make off of the site?

How many image ads til the front page is a total dump?

If metafilter is any kind of burden that Matt dislikes, he can always give it away or sell it. Probably for a hefty amount of money.

Matt created the site, but what makes it a valuable place is the content created by the members. #1's posts and comments are only a tiny, tiny sliver of that.
posted by beth at 11:13 AM on February 2, 2005


I think you missed a mefi in the link matt:

http://www.metafilter.com/index.mefi?noads=yes

should not show any ads (from this afternoon I understand.
posted by sebas at 11:13 AM on February 2, 2005


Thirded. It'll make a nice change as well from boingboing/fark/theotherguys who only have SG/gals poor things.
posted by dabitch at 11:13 AM on February 2, 2005


apt nickname, sir.

Touché.
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 11:14 AM on February 2, 2005


well, to be fair, even fark has a "weeners," category to go with the "boobies."
posted by jonmc at 11:16 AM on February 2, 2005


How much is it fair for Matt to make off of the site?

As much as he can.
posted by anapestic at 11:17 AM on February 2, 2005


well, to be fair, even fark has a "weeners," category to go with the "boobies."
posted by jonmc at 11:16 AM PST on February 2


Yeah, but they always suck.

Wait, did I just make a funny?
posted by BoringPostcards at 11:17 AM on February 2, 2005


What about the sex-positve vegetables?
posted by danOstuporStar at 11:18 AM on February 2, 2005


First your sense of humor, now your integrity.
posted by dfowler at 11:20 AM on February 2, 2005


Those who have, in this thread, expressed an opinion against the ad or its content:

FidelDonson
madajb
jokeefe
dabitch
b1tr0t
stavrosthewonderchicken
cali
rooftop secrets
homodigitalis
LairBob
reflecked
dg
banjo_and_the_pork
Jairus
Tarrama
armoured-ant
CunningLinguist
glenwood
plexi
crazy finger
NinjaPirate
falconred
terrapin
gd779
xammerboy
agregoli
4easypayments
joelr
Saucy Intruder
furious blush
tonelesscereal
languagehat
glenwood
Karmakaze
rushmc
naxosaxur
orange clock
kindall
furiousthought
danOstuporStar
BoringPostcards
frykitty
PinkStainlessTail
johnny novak
Lynsey
MegoSteve
quonsar(!)
u.n. owen
tommasz
vacapinta
crush-onastick
erisfree
John Kenneth Fisher
mecran01
sebas
widdershins
40 Watt
Marxchivist
thinkpiece
livii
moonbird
beth
...and possibly a few others whose intent was not clear to me

Hardly seems like "a half-dozen shrill people"...
posted by rushmc at 11:20 AM on February 2, 2005


rusmc, I'm sorry I wasn't clear. a tad tired of = really sick of it, while trying not to be rude to Matt.

jonmc , do fark also have picture ads of buttery babe-boys posing in tight t-shirts because dude, I must've missed that. *runs back to fark*
posted by dabitch at 11:22 AM on February 2, 2005


hi rush. that still doesn't number 1500.

thanks for playing though! you win a no-prize!
posted by Stynxno at 11:22 AM on February 2, 2005


Or this oldie but goodie?
posted by Captain_Tenille at 11:22 AM on February 2, 2005


oooops. sorry I missed my own name, and then managed to hit post instead of preview. Do'h.
posted by dabitch at 11:23 AM on February 2, 2005


I would have put myself on the prude side of things here, but these don't bother me that much - I really dislike the kind of pseudo-edginess the site stands for and if it were up to me I'd rather not have the ads, but I didn't think about them until I saw this thread. I'm pleasantly surprised, though, that so many people feel comfortable here voicing any kind of reservations about porn. Maybe it's less of a boyzone than I thought.
posted by transona5 at 11:23 AM on February 2, 2005


As much as he can.

From what he posted, I don't think even he thinks this, otherwise we'd have mega-ads plastered everywhere already.

Is this a community or a cash-cow?
posted by beth at 11:24 AM on February 2, 2005


I absolutely agree there are a few objections to the ad that are very legitimate. My only objections were to the statement that this one ad immediately makes MeFi into some kind of evil porn site, and that anyone here (myself very definitely included) is speaking on behalf of the "silent majority," or frankly anyone other than themselves.

I actually agree with the aesthetic argument (so rushmc, add me to your still-meaningless list, please, though I stick to my statement that this conversation has been driven a half-dozen or so of those people who have seriously overreacted about it). But the fear of "Fark-Like People" (whatever that means) barging in here like rampaging Hottentots because of this one ad sounds kind of melodramatic.

And if Matt's got a kid on the way, and this ad helps keep the tyke in pampers and #1 out of the nuthouse, I'm frankly willing to let this extremely thought-out rationalization slide.
posted by chicobangs at 11:26 AM on February 2, 2005


jonmc , do fark also have picture ads of buttery babe-boys posing in tight t-shirts because dude, I must've missed that.

I generally don't click on their "weeners," links so I couldn't tell you. And buttery is a really weird way to say "sexy." Makes me think of waffles.
posted by jonmc at 11:26 AM on February 2, 2005


Oh, and equal time for dingles and hoo-has is fine by me, though we haven't seen either, and I'm guessing we won't.
posted by chicobangs at 11:27 AM on February 2, 2005


Three and a half hours later, sex is still perverted and sick.
posted by rocketman at 11:28 AM on February 2, 2005


hi rush. that still doesn't number 1500.

Again, I wasn't claiming some magic number you pulled out of your ass, but merely looking for an accurate reflection of opinion as expressed here.
posted by rushmc at 11:28 AM on February 2, 2005


you can use the same URL to send the page to your boss or whatever, without any danger of seeing the ad, ever.

Thank you, matt. Very much appreciated.
posted by Bugbread at 11:29 AM on February 2, 2005


The ads stick out like a sore thumb. And even though I'm logged on, and I've clicked the "hide this ad" link, everytime I type in www.metafilter.com, I get the ads again. I don't like it.

ANY brightly coloured image ad on the front page would have looked bad and been a bit annoying. If the pics had been of something else - like a iPod or something innocuous - it would have been mildly irritating but understandable. The fact that it's naked women is much more disappointing.

I have never before felt that being a woman made me unwelcome here. Now every single time I come to the front page, I am reminded that Matt is making money off of women taking their clothes off. That makes me uncomfortable.
posted by raedyn at 11:29 AM on February 2, 2005


MORE TITS.JPG, THX MATT.
posted by corpse at 11:32 AM on February 2, 2005


Three and a half hours later, sex is still perverted and sick.

Have you tried taking a break, changing positions, or getting a glass of water?
posted by Saucy Intruder at 11:33 AM on February 2, 2005


Again, I wasn't claiming some magic number you pulled out of your ass, but merely looking for an accurate reflection of opinion as expressed here.

quote:

timeistight is wrong about the 3,000 number, that's actually the amount of members that have hit the site in the past 24 hours. If you extend it to the last 7 days or 30 days, it goes up a tad to around a thousand more, so it's safe to say about 3k users are active and showing up here everyday, with several times that coming back everyday as non-members.

posted by mathowie at 9:32 AM PST on August 9

also, i'll repeat what you said:
So, a large majority of members clearly feel that this ad is not in keeping with the tone of the site.
posted by Stynxno at 11:35 AM on February 2, 2005


If the pics had been of something else - like a iPod or something innocuous -

Actually, to tell you the truth, I find the continuing macsterbation over all things iPod more annoying than a removable porn ad, but that's just me.
posted by jonmc at 11:37 AM on February 2, 2005


ahh nuts. screwed up my link.

posted by mathowie at 9:32 AM PST on August 9
posted by Stynxno at 11:37 AM on February 2, 2005


If metafilter is any kind of burden that Matt dislikes, he can always give it away or sell it. Probably for a hefty amount of money.

Ayup and how quickly will the beloved MiFi last then? such a move would more then likely result in more ads for more skin

Is there any room for compromise?

Would seem the compromise has been made, the ability to turn off ads, the selective acceptance of images...

Consider that most people 1) don't make it to MeTa and 2) Have little reason to come here to complain about the ad if they don't care about it. We will almost by definition hear from those who dislike it in greater proportion to those who don't mind.

Perhaps a monthly small charge to those who want no ads, and the current system to those who don't mind the current system?
posted by edgeways at 11:39 AM on February 2, 2005


I've seen the site (not impressed and I'm pretty well bored with the Goth crap), saw the ads, didn't really care either way but I appreciate the Hide This Ad alot.

And Matt, if you have the option to quit your day job and be at home with your daughter and work on MeFi while she sleeps, JUMP ON IT! I am saddened everyday that I drop my son off at daycare and know that someone else gets to watch him explore his universe and learn.
posted by fenriq at 11:40 AM on February 2, 2005


Hey Matt, it's your site and you should go bonkers. The people who dislike the idea have an easy, one-time opt out and if it's bringing in revenue to keep Metafilter and/or you and your family going, then I support it 100%. There's really nothing offensive about it. Obviously some people here don't interact with women enough or they'd understand why admiring the female form is a good thing.

raedyn: Did you read what Matt said? You can opt out of seeing the images forever with one click. Your sensibilities will be horribly offended once, and only once, and then you can go find something else to be pointlessly offended about.
posted by baphomet at 11:40 AM on February 2, 2005


Metafilter: Equal time for Dingles and Hoo-has
posted by BoringPostcards at 11:40 AM on February 2, 2005


Matt, remember to have realistic expectations of what you will be able to accomplish with MetaFilter as a stay at home dad. For at least those first two years, if you stayed at home, I expect that you will be a busy and exhausted full time dad. You might want to spend your free time sleeping and not writing code for us nutballs!
posted by onlyconnect at 11:41 AM on February 2, 2005


Not that my opinion matters, but this makes the site a lot less appealing to me. I used to send links to interesting threads on here to all kinds of people, and no longer will. Even the noads URL option doesn't help. What if they go back the next day from a different computer as they liked what they read?

How can one send a mother/girlfriend/coworker to read something at this site, then when he or she goes to look at the main page - wham - porn ad. Sure, there have been lots of links to risque things, but those you had to dig for. This smacks you in the face saying we peddle tits for money.

SG must pay well, if it were about community then something this divisive would already be gone. Matt can do what he pleases, its his sandbox. I realize he wants to make money from the site, and think he should. One should be careful of cutting off ones nose to spite ones face though.

Pageviews drive revenues, chase the people off and the money will follow. I guess the questions here are: how many will go? How will the demographic shift change the content? Are those changes that, in the long run, will cause this to be a more valulable resource to its owner and its constituents, or a less valualble resource?
posted by jester69 at 11:43 AM on February 2, 2005


See, when I saw the ad first thing this morning, it was #4 - t-shirt girl. Not bad. I was like "enh, that sucks, I hate SG and everything about them," but it wasn't patently offensive or NSFW.

I come to work. Load the page. BOOM, tit-girl. Great.
posted by u.n. owen at 11:44 AM on February 2, 2005


And by the way, I completely support the idea of balancing the Suicide Girls ads with ads for a comprable male-oriented site. Why? Because it means more revenue for Matt and MetaFilter, and even though I don't spend any of my time looking at pictures of scantily-clad men, I could just click once and opt out of seeing the ads again forever. I have much better things to be worried about than being suprised once by a sexually suggestive ad which is aimed at a demographic I don't belong to.
posted by baphomet at 11:45 AM on February 2, 2005


Obviously some people here don't interact with women enough or they'd understand why admiring the female form is a good thing.

Way to rationalize The Stile Project.
posted by MegoSteve at 11:45 AM on February 2, 2005


Can we ask, truly, how much SG is paying? Since he says banner ads would bring "thousands a month," I'm assuming SG is hundreds a month. Which, if the 30 or so people who've already objected just kicked in 10 bucks or whatever, could be compensated for.
posted by u.n. owen at 11:46 AM on February 2, 2005


an anonymous woman who recently left mefi says:
first of all the ads were clearly made on purpose with the youngest looking SG, the one who looks 15 if she's a day, but all that boobage hanging out on the front page... and this is not a boyzone, this is where adult women can be taken seriously...? bullfuckingshite
(she's also pissed off at all the capitalization-obsession...)
posted by Shane at 11:46 AM on February 2, 2005


I wonder if (some) people are reading the comments before they comment? Seems like a lot of the same things keep coming up that have been answered already.
posted by edgeways at 11:48 AM on February 2, 2005


358 comments (43 new)
SG is (are?) certainly getting their money's worth.
posted by klarck at 11:48 AM on February 2, 2005


jester69: Considering how easy it is to be accosted by skin ads on the internet, especially the kind that are distasteful, demeaning, and not optional, I doubt that your mother/girlfriend/coworker will drop dead of shock if they see one stupid picture of a guy or girl in their underwear.
posted by baphomet at 11:50 AM on February 2, 2005


Add my voice to the "won't tell people about MetaFilter as much" crowd. So that means word-of-mouth-driven, non-member traffic - which I assume is a large target for ads - could well drop. It'd be interesting to watch the numbers.

I'd pay a subscription (and cover at least one other's subscription, probably more) to know that non-members I send here won't be greeted with photographic evidence that MetaFilter makes money from girls taking their clothes off.

If MetaFilter makes money from boys showing their peepees, too, that's no improvement in my mind.

Obviously some people here don't interact with women enough or they'd understand why admiring the female form is a good thing.

Yeah, I can feel the respect from here.
posted by caitlinb at 11:50 AM on February 2, 2005


Matt, thanks for trying to clear things up and taking the time to explain yourself, but I'm more confused than I was before.

You say early on that, ".... maybe figure out a subscription model so pro folks never see an ad ever and get to do extra things. " and close with: "I don't really plan to do an ad-free metafilter for pay..."

Isn't this contradictory?
posted by cedar at 11:52 AM on February 2, 2005


if it were about community then something this divisive would already be gone

I'm starting to come to the same conclusion myself.

Are those changes that, in the long run, will cause this to be a more valulable resource to its owner and its constituents, or a less valualble resource?

Well said. We see constant complaints about certain types of members (especially newbies) who treat Metafilter like Fark (or worse) and who create lots of extra work for mathowie with regards to cleaning up their messes. I think anything that makes the site appeal MORE to that type of person is extremely short-sighted. As someone said above, I think it would have shown a lot more respect for the community to post this MetaTalk thread prior to making such a change. If he really wants to ever make a living off the site, I think he's going to have to learn to understand it a lot better than he seems to lately.
posted by rushmc at 11:54 AM on February 2, 2005


I would think if he wanted to make a living off the site we would have those annoying flash banners and ads up the wazoo
posted by edgeways at 11:56 AM on February 2, 2005


In all communities, everywhere, those who don't bother participating don't have input. Are you suggesting it should be different here?

The difference is that just because some of us abstain from adding more fuel to MeTa crapfests (or believe that others have spoken our piece for us) doesn't mean we don't hold an opinion on the matter, and it's awfully presumptuous of you to assume that the participant in this thread reflect a proportionally accurate sampling of opinions. It's obvious that the contra people have more invested in making a stink about this than the "like it" or "don't give a fuck" people.

The only way to accurately gauge majority opinion is to ask Matt to put together a straw poll with a straw for each login, rather than drawing poor inferences based on the decibel level of the squeaky wheels. Beyond that, I agree with those who find your attempt to seize the "majority opinion" cudgel to be rather clunky and self-interested.

Personally I think Matt should have used a heavier hand in vetting the images for display. I'd strip it down to maybe 5-10 of the least objectionable images out of the current set. The noad option addresses any other objections I might have had.
posted by DaShiv at 11:56 AM on February 2, 2005


i can't read through all this stuff (because I'm lazy), but has someone already suggested that it'd be possible just to keep actual photos of the models out of the ads?

that doesn't seem entirely unreasonable, and would probably be a good compromise.
posted by fishfucker at 11:58 AM on February 2, 2005


If even one woman MeFite is less comfortable being here now, it should go. What's more important, matt? the community or the money that ad brings in (which other ads would and have brought in as well).

I think you have a problem with it to begin with, which is why you made this MeTa post--listen to your conscience. Kill it.
posted by amberglow at 11:59 AM on February 2, 2005


I don' t have a problem with the ad for SG in concept, it's the execution that bothers me. Does it have to be hot pink? Can't it be subtler, black and white or blue toned? I know ads are meant to jump out at you, but if one is not into porn or that particular trailer trash gothic look, it's pretty annoying.

On preview: or what fishfucker said. Just something less agressive.
posted by sic at 12:00 PM on February 2, 2005


Personally I think Matt should have used a heavier hand in vetting the images for display.

I agree. My shock would have been tempered had I not logged in to the image of the topless gal holding up her breasts. If it were a head shot, a logo or the curve of a female back, I probably wouldn't have given the ad a second thought.
posted by MegoSteve at 12:01 PM on February 2, 2005


I think anything that makes the site appeal MORE to that type of person

I swear I'm not trying to single you out rush, but there's that phrase "that type of person."

What type of person, exactly? And what type of people are we, if we're supposed to be diametrically opposed to "them." I agree with chicobangs that the fear of these mythical farkite hottentots is making me uneasy.

One of the main appealing factors about this place, to me anyway, is that anyone is welcome to put their 2 cents in. If we're going to start putting stringent qualifications on what "type of people," are desirable here, then we're not a community anymore, we're a club.
posted by jonmc at 12:01 PM on February 2, 2005


Your sensibilities will be horribly offended once, and only once, and then you can go find something else to be pointlessly offended about.

As entertaining as this thread has been today- funny one moment, thought-provoking the next- this disingenious argument that "If you hate the ad you must hate SEX!" is just counterproductive for everyone involved. Not singling you out at all, baphomet, yours was just the most recent example.

If we all calm down and look at what is really being said: Matt doesn't love the ads, but needs the money. Most of the women who've posted feel less welcome as a result. Many of the posters of both genders feel the ads make Metafilter less cool, less SFW, or just less enjoyable. Many of the men who've posted like the ads or don't see what the big deal is.

That's basically it. I haven't seen anyone who claimed to be struck blind when their randomly-served goth-tart was served up.

(I know, some of the women (not all, by any means) expressed larger reservations about porn in general, but seeing how its their gender being advertised like an iPod or a low-rate mortgage, I'm not gonna judge them for having strong opinions on the subject.)
posted by BoringPostcards at 12:02 PM on February 2, 2005


I was going to suggest just turning off #6 which was suggested as the worst, but then I started stepping through them all and there are plenty that are just as bad. Half are nice and clean, half are 2 pixels away from porn. If you're topless but you cover your nipples with your hands, does that make it safe for work?
posted by smackfu at 12:03 PM on February 2, 2005


I think we need more pussy.
posted by astruc at 12:04 PM on February 2, 2005


I have read all 380 or so comments prior to me writing this one, and fishfucker is right: the one thing not being discussed that ought to be discussed is keeping the ads but insisting on non-skin pictures.

Given the discussion above, I'm inclined toward the NO camp, but closely controlling the images is a good compromise.

I'm sex-positive and pro-porn (non-exploitative, that is; and I don't consider porn inherently exploitative) and while I think SG is contrived, it's better than most. Even so, the various arguments people have given above are persuasive to me and, like rushmc, I think the majority opinion in this thread is against the ads.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:05 PM on February 2, 2005


chicobangs:
Are there any SG people (both subscribers and SGers themselves, be they models or behind-the-camera types) who are also Mefites?
I've been subscribed since the meta thread on the first text ad appeared. I don't find SG or SG'ers to be overly erotic frankly, I don't even visit the site much.

Thing is, I visit MetaFilter several times a day, almost always using lofi for the links and for the comments. If I wanted to see the SGs I'd go there.

I can understand the boyzone affect that soft-core pr0n has on the front page. I also sympathize with those who worry about viewing at work (which perhaps you should not be doing in the first place).
On the other hand, I don't worry about recommending MetaFilter to others, if they are on the Web they've been exposed to far worse than the little SG ad images matt has here.
posted by DBAPaul at 12:07 PM on February 2, 2005


If you're topless but you cover your nipples with your hands, does that make it safe for work?

Interesting question, I wonder (not snarky I promise) if people would have the same trouble with swimsuits instead of hands? Is a bikini image SFW?
posted by edgeways at 12:07 PM on February 2, 2005


If even one woman MeFite is less comfortable being here now, it should go.

Does that apply to posts and comments as well? Because then we'd be staring at a blank site. Someone out there will find always something to be uncomfortable. Democracy is unanimous only with the smallest populations.
posted by DaShiv at 12:10 PM on February 2, 2005


I agree so much with amberglow, I'm posting it twice:

If even one woman MeFite is less comfortable being here now, it should go. What's more important, matt? the community or the money that ad brings in (which other ads would and have brought in as well).

I think you have a problem with it to begin with, which is why you made this MeTa post--listen to your conscience. Kill it.
posted by amberglow


And:

Three and a half hours later, sex is still perverted and sick.
posted by rocketman

Obviously some people here don't interact with women enough or they'd understand why admiring the female form is a good thing.


You guys are REALLY missing the point. Amberglow's post might help you.
posted by agregoli at 12:11 PM on February 2, 2005


Isn't this whole discussion moot, because you have the option of hiding the damned ad if you don't like it? Christ. Click to hide the ad, and get on with your day.

Sometimes it really is that simple.
posted by adampsyche at 12:13 PM on February 2, 2005


If you read the discussion, you'd see it isn't moot.
posted by agregoli at 12:14 PM on February 2, 2005


chicobangs: I'm a member here and over there both. The community angle isn't quite as artificial as some of the people upthread have said. Think of it like MeFi: lots and lots of people looking at the site, a small handful taking part in forums and such. For the most part, though, the SG journals *are* shallow or overly angsty/faux-artsy.

I have zero problem with an add for SG (obviously), but my mind craves consistancy, and one photo on an otherwise textual medium is jarring to me.

Though, I am totally unsurprised about how this thread is turning out.
posted by absalom at 12:15 PM on February 2, 2005


" You know and everyone else knows the circumstances that leads those girls to spread for the Internet.

And it's not because they are rebellious upper East Side girls usurping lawyer Daddy. It's because football coach Daddy's given it to them since middle school, and now boyfriend Bobby's got the good stuff, but they can't get it unless Sister Suicide gives them the check.

And it's all just a little bit sad.
posted by orange clock at 8:28 AM PST on February 2"


As an alternative to the football coach father drug pusher theory, might I suggest that these women are just hot, punk-rock, sex-positive, and enjoy paying rent without having to punch a clock?

Having spent several years amongst the 'suicide people' of SoCal, I can say with certainty that you'd be shocked at how infrequently drugs enter seriously into the picture.

And the number of people that are actually addicted to the kind of expensive drugs that might make you do things you would ordinarily consider unpalatable make up a tiny, tiny sliver of the society.

Moreover, those drugs tend to reduce people to haggard, scarred up phantoms with a quickness. I'm not a member, but what I've seen of the SG site indicates that these ladies are not haggard scarred up phantoms.

So on behalf of all the SG who I now urge to contact me all cooing with excitement because I'm their faithful defender, drop the puritanical weirdness and open yer eyes.
posted by felix at 12:16 PM on February 2, 2005


Count me among the disappointed that MeFi has joined the tits-for-cash enterprise that has swallowed up a lot of the Internet.

And I don't know where you people work, but a chick in lingerie grabbing her tits and mugging at the camera is pretty NSFW.

Disappointed, but turned the ads off. No real complaint beyond the fact it really seems out of place in the MeFi culture and sort of tasteless. I like my tasteless, but on on my MeFi.
posted by xmutex at 12:17 PM on February 2, 2005


I have zero problem with an add for SG (obviously), but my mind craves consistancy, and one photo on an otherwise textual medium is jarring to me.

1. Click to hide.
2. As has been stated before in the thread. Logout and load metafilter. There are 5 picture ads on the front page.

I understand the other arguments, but that one has no merit.
posted by Arch Stanton at 12:19 PM on February 2, 2005


but not on my MeFi, I mean. And like, how can I send my granny all those links to the Iraq posts now?!
posted by xmutex at 12:19 PM on February 2, 2005


Matt - I don't like the ads but I'll pay more to be a member - can't you ask us to pay enough to be self-supporting? This would have the added benefit of stemming the tide of lower quality posts. Why not?
posted by felix at 12:20 PM on February 2, 2005


a n o n y m o u s w o m a n, please come back, and type some really long anti-boyzone rants in all lower case. That'll teach 'em.
posted by iconomy at 12:21 PM on February 2, 2005


I agree - I'd like Matt to make money off the site, and collecting member fees would do that. I have no problem with paying money to be a part of this if that means that people will take the whole thing slightly more seriously and we could do away with ads.
posted by agregoli at 12:22 PM on February 2, 2005


I'd pay. We'd be so frickin' elite, a major website without ads I'd love that. :)
But I like the textads actually, they should stay. It would be equally elite to be able to buy one of them. ;)
posted by dabitch at 12:23 PM on February 2, 2005


jester69: Considering how easy it is to be accosted by skin ads on the internet...

Exactly why I wouldn't personally point them to more of the same. Different people have different tolerances for nudie ads. The ones here would go beyond many of my female acquaintances standards for what is offensive.

Why would I assume that other people see the same shade of grey I do?

Xmutex: I have sent links on here to several people that I now would not. Your snark is just lovely, thanks.
posted by jester69 at 12:23 PM on February 2, 2005


"... I'm currently weighing the option of quitting my dayjob to be a stay-at-home dad and do mefi full time, where I actually code it everyday while my daughter naps and I release lots of new stuff and maybe figure out a subscription model so pro folks never see an ad ever and get to do extra things..."

And someday, when little Pancake Pony Haughey grows up and has to deal with female body-image issues, her daddy can proudly tell her that he got to be a stay-at-home daddy by pimping out his site to a purveyor of that image.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:24 PM on February 2, 2005


"You know, MetaFilter turned into a hardcore
sex site so gradually that I hardly even noticed!"
posted by straight at 12:25 PM on February 2, 2005


Um, I did read the discussion. And I still think that this is much ado about nothing, if the fact remains that you can turn off the ad, and go about your day.
posted by adampsyche at 12:27 PM on February 2, 2005


I can't believe there are this many comments! I think this is being handled by Mathowie in the best possible way, for god's sake you can click to hide the ad, what more do you need? If you don't like it, turn it off and it's over.
posted by chaz at 12:28 PM on February 2, 2005


All of you “old timers” with your pseudo intellectual anti porn prattle are just the thing that the liberal world needs less of. Going off on this seemingly endless whining about a relatively mild ad that helps keep this site running is misguided at best. Matt made his choice and he gave his reason why. If this is one of the things that gives him the opportunity to devote more time to improving the site and coding more features that we’d ALL like to see, then good for him. Some of you folks make Ann Coulter seem downright moderate.
posted by white_devil at 12:29 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm a woman...and frankly i dont care either way. Up or down...the ads dont bother me. I don't see what the fuss is about especially seeing that Matt HAS given you the option to turn the ad off! Turn it off if you dont want your sensibilities assaulted by bare skin. That's all it takes...one click!

Inhale 2, 3....exhale 2,3...!
Now don't you all feel better?

posted by ramix at 12:29 PM on February 2, 2005


adampsyche, you obviously discredit all the other arguments then. That's your right, and I'm glad you're not upset, but don't tell other people not to be upset when they still have valid complaints.
posted by agregoli at 12:30 PM on February 2, 2005


Why would I assume that other people see the same shade of grey I do?

#333??
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:31 PM on February 2, 2005


Amberglow: If even one woman MeFite is less comfortable being here now, it should go.

That's sort of paternalistic, isn't it? No, I'm not joking.
posted by subgenius at 12:33 PM on February 2, 2005


You got your porn in my metafilter.

Oh well.
posted by mosch at 12:33 PM on February 2, 2005


mathowie: It's only on the front page [...] so sending comment threads to friends will be ok

Since some of us apparently missed it, or don't read.
posted by mcwetboy at 12:33 PM on February 2, 2005


I really think a pretty reasonable compromise has been put on the table--how about just culling the pictures more ruthlessly, and/or ask that SG provide a subtler set of photos?

I mean, no one freaked out like this over the "jewelboxing" ad that was up for months over the sheer esthetics of color on the front page. There don't seem to be an awful lot of people who are objecting squarely to mention of SG at _all_ on the front page.

Wouldn't a rotating set of SG images that were much more scaled back a bit--less garish, and more coy/artful than risque--be a decent balance between letting Matt make some income, and not having tattooed boozums jumping off the front page?
posted by LairBob at 12:34 PM on February 2, 2005


["much more scaled back a bit"--I should've picked one or the other]
posted by LairBob at 12:35 PM on February 2, 2005


OK, to sum it up you can:

1 - turn off those (VERY tame) ads if you don't like them.

2 - give Matt your credit card number and, all together, pay him the same amount SG gives him. every month.

3 - choose not to read MeFi at work.

is it that hard?
posted by matteo at 12:35 PM on February 2, 2005


I bet if a suicide girl were to stumble upon this thread, she'd think we were all a bunch of ginormous dorkasauruses.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:36 PM on February 2, 2005


If you don't like the SG revenue, do something to make it unnecessary.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:37 PM on February 2, 2005


I bet if a suicide girl were to stumble upon this thread, she'd think we were all a bunch of ginormous dorkasauruses.

would she be wrong?
posted by jonmc at 12:43 PM on February 2, 2005


I hope and trust that Matt will do the right thing.
posted by grateful at 12:43 PM on February 2, 2005


a) "When the baby comes in a few months, the strain on my time will worsen even more"

Whoa! Extreme understatement there, Matt.

b) "If even one woman MeFite is less comfortable being here now, it should go."

Why be sexist, a_g? "If even one MeFite is less comfortable being here now, it should go," and then apply this statement to all MeFi practices. heheh

c) I wonder how many of you anti-addies ridiculed the Moral Majority (or whomever) over their dispute over some TV show.

d) To whomever objected to some part of whatever I wrote, someone else answered very well in my stead, somewhere. ;-P
posted by mischief at 12:44 PM on February 2, 2005


It doesn't bother me at all, and I must say I love suicidegirl -many thanks to mefi, it makes me discover it-. The image on the mainpage are hosted by metafilter and that's the best point. The proxy of my megacorporate is not going to bother me with this and that's great. You are the Man, Matt.
posted by nims at 12:46 PM on February 2, 2005


c) I wonder how many of you anti-addies ridiculed the Moral Majority (or whomever) over their dispute over some TV show.

dingdingding! We have a winner!

I seem to recall a lot of us ridiculing those offended by a bare breast at the Superbowl, but we see no irony in the same community getting bent out of shape over a breast-free ad that can be easily removed.
posted by jonmc at 12:48 PM on February 2, 2005


I don't mind it, although I think SG's a rip-off in term of photo size and ease of download ;-)
posted by hyperizer at 12:48 PM on February 2, 2005


i don't like the ad. my eyes are assaulted everywhere i look these days. i'm old, but i still like sex. i like sex but i don't care much for the obsession. it's everywhere.

while i'll not for a second diminish my responsibility for my many foolish antics around here, dfowler expressed eloquently what my recent feelings are: first the sense of humor, now the integrity.

in my view matt's recent vigorous attempts to squash what he doesn't like and contain the site within his own parameters is creating frustration and anger in him, occurs as a burden for him, and i'm not convinced a cashflow will ameliorate that. his feelings about any individual member aside, i don't feel like matt enjoys the site anymore.

i think there's more going on than meets the eye. and on preview, i think crash davis makes a very important point.
posted by quonsar at 12:49 PM on February 2, 2005


c) I wonder how many of you anti-addies ridiculed the Moral Majority (or whomever) over their dispute over some TV show.

Some people's objections to the ad, however, aren't based on 'moral' objections to tolerance and freedom of expression, so it doesn't hold up for most.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:49 PM on February 2, 2005


Heh, you're astute as usual, iconomy.
posted by Shane at 12:50 PM on February 2, 2005


a photo of a woman in a bra is not safe for work? What part of the USA has such a time difference that Queen Victoria is still on the throne?
posted by Pericles at 12:50 PM on February 2, 2005


jonmc, another point that has nothing to do with a lot of the objections.
posted by agregoli at 12:50 PM on February 2, 2005


agregoli, the only objection that really made any sense to me was the NSFW objection which is easily fixed by the opt-out. And I think lack of consistency in what's OK and what's not has a lot to do with what we're discussing and that's what my comment was pointing out.
posted by jonmc at 12:54 PM on February 2, 2005


Ok, as long as you realize the other objections make a lot of sense to me and apparantly many others.
posted by agregoli at 12:55 PM on February 2, 2005


Yes, I realize that, especially after you said it reeeal slow so's I could understand it.

Don't get mad at me for stating my counterarguments.
posted by jonmc at 12:59 PM on February 2, 2005


Hey agregoli, can I ask you to address why simply clicking "hide ad" is insufficient?
posted by adampsyche at 12:59 PM on February 2, 2005


In all communities, everywhere, those who don't bother participating don't have input. Are you suggesting it should be different here?

- Input doesn't equal participation and vice versa. Anyone who stumbles across this site can provide input by emailing the owner of the site or a person who authored a thread. Only people who pony up the $5 get to participate by posting comments and links.

- The metafilter community doesn't have any mechanism for implementing what the community thinks are good ideas... there's no real method for change. I'm not judging anything, I'm just saying thats how it is. This entire place could say "X is bad, needs to go" and if Matt decided not to do that, it wouldn't happen. Again, I'm not judging, just stating the reality of things. Matt seems to make decisions with the community in mind of course, but this is one roadblock to having a community of members who feel they have a stake in things around here.

- As a member of the community, we really have zero to say with repect to how things are run around here. Again, not judging, just stating. So while many people feel more empowered by being able to participate, they really have just as much say in how the show is run as somone who isn't a 'member': zero.


MeFi has bills for the server

I thought the $5 signup fee was to cover the server costs? Back in November, I seem to recall you saying that within a couple days of opening up new accounts you'd gotten enough cash to pay for the first year of hosting. Surely you've gotten enough new accounts between November and now to have the server costs covered for the next year+?

FWIW, I personally think these particular ads are Bad(tm) as well. Soft porn is soft porn no matter how well designed the web site is.
posted by djc at 1:00 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm not mad at you. You always think I'm mad or hating you, when I'm not in the slightest!

I'm just getting tired of people saying people are objecting because it's morally offensive - I haven't seen a single person saying that.
posted by agregoli at 1:01 PM on February 2, 2005


Hey agregoli, can I ask you to address why simply clicking "hide ad" is insufficient?
posted by adampsyche


Many, many people have already expressed that better than I could reiterate it.
posted by agregoli at 1:01 PM on February 2, 2005


Ok, change my statement: If even one Mefite is less comfortable being here now, it should go. That better?

Of course, you guys are ignoring the whole boyzone thing, and how this sexist--and objectifying--ad plays into that, whether the site is or not, but what the hell. You happier now?

If someone is offended by something, and this thread shows that some are, don't disregard that.
posted by amberglow at 1:02 PM on February 2, 2005


Said astruc: I think we need more pussy.

If we get any more pussies in here, we're going to make Hello Kitty look like StileProject by comparison.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:02 PM on February 2, 2005


BoringPostcards: I didn't make that argument at all. You're putting words in my mouth and I don't especially appreciate it.

Seriously, I can say that MetaFilter has changed my life for the better over the years I've been reading it, and I'm sure most people in this thread would also say the same thing. So are you really telling me that you'd be less likely to share that benefit with your friends because they might once see a picture of a bra-clad woman...on the internet?

"If even one woman MeFite is less comfortable being here now, it should go."
Come on. That's such a ridiculous overgeneralization that it makes my temples throb. All of us, regardless of nationality, are bombarded by dozens of images more blantantly and explicitly sexual than the ads I've seen so far every day, and not even just on the internet. This shouldn't even register on the radar. Why should Matt have to change the operation of his site for the imprecations of (in theory) one person, or (in practice) several? This isn't going to destroy the community, and if you turn off the ads chances are in a month you'll probably forget they're even there for anyone to see.
posted by baphomet at 1:02 PM on February 2, 2005


The boyzone argument carries the most weight with me.

If your friends or grannies have a problem with the SG ad then they probably shouldn't be on the internet.

I vote for the text or tasteful/coy SG ads. Money is obviously an issue, and deconstructing Matt's feelings about the site doesn't help with that. If he made enough to fulfill his goal of being a stay at home dad, probably he would enjoy the site more, if indeed he is enjoying it less. There is no easy way around the money issue, friends - it's ads, or donations. Within the realm of ads that actually make money, these seem like the least evil.
posted by Rumple at 1:05 PM on February 2, 2005


a photo of a woman in a bra is not safe for work? What part of the USA has such a time difference that Queen Victoria is still on the throne?

The parts that aren't in the USA. It's "metafilter.com", not "metafilter.co.us"
posted by Bugbread at 1:06 PM on February 2, 2005


I think this is being handled by Mathowie in the best possible way, for god's sake you can click to hide the ad, what more do you need? If you don't like it, turn it off and it's over.

This many comments down and the same stuff is just getting repeated.

1) Most people arriving at metafilter will arrive at the main page. These ads will be part of their first impression of Metafilter.

2) A conversation:
Vacapinta's business-ish acquiantance:"Hey, vacapinta whats the URL of that site you once told me about. The one with all the interesting links and intelligent discussion."
Vacapinta:"Oh right. The URL is metafilter dot com slash question mark no ads= yes. Or, once you get to the main page, click on "hide this ad" underneath the girls tits so that you dont get the wrong impression about this site."

Uh huh.
posted by vacapinta at 1:07 PM on February 2, 2005


All of you “old timers” with your pseudo intellectual anti porn prattle...

Is it just me, or does anyone else role their eyes whenever someone uses the expression "pseudo intellectual"?

Matt, can we get a response to the proposal to keep the ads but insist they be much more low-key and non-nudity?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:08 PM on February 2, 2005


Anyone here who has said that the ad will encourage bad behavior is, in fact, a prude. We've been tossing the word "prude" around to refer to people with a direct esthetic aversion to the ad itself. But the assumption of a connection between SG and sexism, stupidity, or unoriginal hooliganism is specious. If you know thing one about the site, you know that it's not as simple as "all porn is sexism." And it's plain puritannical to say that only stupid, unoriginal louts like porn.

Many the erudite among us enjoys the smutty jpeg. If you want to be a prude, that's fine. But at least don't try to weasel out of being a prude by trying to make so-called "logical" arguments that a smutty ad will necessarily cultivate a downward trend in the quality of the membership and their behavior. That's casting an all-purpose negative judgment on porn, which is, frankly, prudish.
posted by scarabic at 1:08 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm just getting tired of people saying people are objecting because it's morally offensive

But isn't saying "this is offensive to me as a woman," just another way of saying "I find this offensive, therefore it must go?" And my comparison to the superbowl bra-ha-ha was just my way of asking for some kind of consistency.

And the "talk reaaal slow," was in response to the "Ok, as long as you understand.." which sounds like something you'd say to a dull-witted child. I'm perfectly willing to accept that you didn't mean it that way, but that's how it comes out sounding.

If someone is offended by something, and this thread shows that some are, don't disregard that.

But, as Lemmy Kilmister once said, there's people walking aroud who live to be offended, (I'm not referring to you, my freind), are we supposed to cater to them, too?
posted by jonmc at 1:08 PM on February 2, 2005


Anyone here who has said that the ad will encourage bad behavior is, in fact, a prude.

Wrong.
posted by agregoli at 1:10 PM on February 2, 2005


I think # 18 looks like Natalie Wood. [no objection]
posted by JohnR at 1:11 PM on February 2, 2005


you know, i value the diversity of this community--this ad is going to hurt that, as has been said above.

This shouldn't even register on the radar.
who's making ridiculous overgeneralizations??? why is it for you to say what should or shouldn't be on other member's radar, but i'm making a ridiculous overgeneralization?

read this whole thread, baphomet. i did.

the ads run on a site--any site--make statements about the type of site it is, just like with other media.
posted by amberglow at 1:12 PM on February 2, 2005


baphomet:are you really telling me that you'd be less likely to share that benefit with your friends because they might once see a picture of a bra-clad woman...on the internet?

I only said *I* only feel uncomfortable with ads like that on my screen at work. (Others made the forwarding-link argument.)

But now that you mention it, I WOULD be less likely to send a friend a link to MeFi now, for fear of getting an email back that says, "Thanks a lot, a***hole! I clicked on that link you sent me, a picture of a woman covering her bare nips with her hands popped up while my boss was coming up behind me, and she just lectured me for half an hour."

That's what I'm saying- it's not that I'm offended, it's that I wouldn't like to get in trouble for visiting or sending others to visit MeFi. Your "prude" argument (and that IS what you're saying, despite your protestations otherwise) are just disingenious and a distraction from the actual issue.

Also, nowhere have I said the ads should go, only that they're tasteless and I personally don't like them being there. That's it.

(And before anyone else asks, the "no-ad" thing is great, but since the ad appears until you log in, isn't a perfect solution. Matt said he'd address this problem, and I suspect if he'd done so from the start, this thread would be about 400 posts shorter.)
posted by BoringPostcards at 1:12 PM on February 2, 2005


adampsyche: Hey agregoli, can I ask you to address why simply clicking "hide ad" is insufficient?

I'll take a stab. Not that I agree or disagree, but this has been what's come up:

Argument: It's degrading to women.
Insufficiency: Even if a women clicks "hide ad", it doesn't hide her knowledge that the ad is there.

Argument: It makes it hard to recommend to coworkers / stuffy people.
Insufficiency: Well, none, now, you can use the "http://www.metafilter.com/index.mefi?noads=yes" URL. But it took 2/3 of the thread for that to come out, so you have to give it a bit of leeway. Plus, presumably, if the person clicks through to Mefi after leaving the FP (to an individual post), the problem comes up again.

Argument: It will attract yahoos to the site by making it look even more idiotfriendly.
Insufficiency: You can click "hide ad" on your own computer, but it's hard to go to the computer of every idiot in the world and click "hide ad" for them.

Those are the three biggies that I remember for which "hide ad" would be insufficient.
posted by Bugbread at 1:13 PM on February 2, 2005


1) Most people arriving at metafilter will arrive at the main page. These ads will be part of their first impression of Metafilter.

And you can judge what's good and bad for them, can you? With enough confidence to securely place your judgement against the value of a new revenue source for the site? You really trust your judgment.

Here's another conversation:

"Hey Vacapinta, what site did you see that such-and-such on?"

"Well, it was on a site called MetaFilter, which was really cool for a long time, but was kind of a labor of love, and ultimately went offline when the proprietor had a kid and couldn't spend as much time as he needed to on it because of his full time job. Too bad I can't show it to you at all, now."

Matt - just for the sake of people like Vacapinta who want to send their grandmothers here, can you supply a URL parameter that will set the no-SG cookie when the person arrives? That way, people can construct ultra-safe referal URLs if they want to, and this becomes a non-issue.
posted by scarabic at 1:13 PM on February 2, 2005


Tell me why, agregoli. I already told you why.
posted by scarabic at 1:15 PM on February 2, 2005


"Many, many people have already expressed that better than I could reiterate it."

So, the wingnuts were right when they said "Turning it off is not an acceptable option."

Funny, the objections I read here are all significantly based in moral or freedom-of-expression issues.
posted by mischief at 1:16 PM on February 2, 2005


Wrong.

This, like so many of your other twenty-odd posts here, reveals a dismaying contempt for logic. "Because I say so" is not a compelling reason. I think people were probably pretty clear on where you stand by the twenty-fifth post you made in this thread. If you have nothing better to add than "Wrong," you might want to consider sitting on your hands.
posted by anapestic at 1:17 PM on February 2, 2005


If even one Mefite is less comfortable being here now, it should go. That better?

Not really. If I felt a little bit more uncomfortable because you're gay and posting on mefi, does that mean you should go? Obviously not, it should be my attitude that left. That's an equivalent to what you're saying, though, and it's a terrible way to judge this.

Personally, I think it's ridiculous to think that anyone wants to clean mefi up so they can browse it at work. Most likely, you're looking to avoid getting caught sticking your hand in a pot that you've already been into by browsing here anyways. The objection to web browsing is based on productivity loss, not content in most cases. People want to pay you to do things, not do things around your personal web browsing.

As for the ad, I think it should stay. Suicide Girls is a site with consulting adults doing something they choose to for profit. I never really understood how that is degrading to anyone besides perhaps the clientele. The human form is a beautiful thing; it just so happens, however, that people are more likely to pay to see females than males and Matt's taking advantage of that.

I'm sure that the day a male, pseudo Suicide Boys page makes the kind of money that Suicide Girls does right now, Matt would put something up for it. He seems like a pretty equal rights guy, no? He's not helping support the female porn industry by showing people that it exists; the people who are going to click through know that already. He's just taking advantage of them and I don't see how that's wrong.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 1:17 PM on February 2, 2005


Cripes, we should just be paying Matt's MeFi bills anyway. There's a lot of people on this thread saying the SG ads "cheapen" the experience. That means MeFi is worth something to them.

If it's worth something, we ought to pay. How about an annual MeFi Internet-a-thon? Put up begware for a couple weeks or a month a year, like NPR stations' panhandling. Pay the dough, get switched to the non-ad product.

Once enough consciences are prodded to fork over the dinero, voila.

Matt! Take my money, please!
posted by sacre_bleu at 1:18 PM on February 2, 2005


and the people who are commenting negatively about this ad are not the members who live to be offended (and we know who they are, for the most part, and what offends them)--it's a very broad cross-section, from what i see.

There are plenty of ads matt can run--ads that will pay him as much if not more than SG--that will also not turn people off or offend.
posted by amberglow at 1:19 PM on February 2, 2005


Anyone here who has said that the ad will encourage bad behavior is, in fact, a prude.

This is wrong simply because I was one of the people who added this argument to my list of arguments against it. And I can't think of any way I could be classified as a prude. But you can believe what you want to believe about me, of course.
posted by agregoli at 1:19 PM on February 2, 2005


Argument: It will attract yahoos to the site by making it look even more idiotfriendly.
Insufficiency: You can click "hide ad" on your own computer, but it's hard to go to the computer of every idiot in the world and click "hide ad" for them.


Man, what is this hard-and-fast connection between anything vaguely sexual and idiocy? I hope you remind yourself what an idiot you are the next time you look at porn, bugbread.

Right now, I'm on the edge of arguing for the continuance of the ad on the grounds that it might bring in more people who don't have to rinse with holy water whenever they touch their genitals.
posted by scarabic at 1:20 PM on February 2, 2005


It must be said though: most of the actual stuff posted here is a lot more screamingly offensive than a picture of a suicide girl. Wasn't someone talking about wanting to tie Ann Coulter up and piss all over her face?

So that's alright to send to coworkers?
posted by xmutex at 1:20 PM on February 2, 2005


you can believe what you want to believe about me, of course.

Well, I'm going to have to. I would rather you explained your POV a bit, but you just said a whole lot of nothing.
posted by scarabic at 1:21 PM on February 2, 2005


(I also don't see the point of insulting individual members when they are voicing their opinion just as you are.)
posted by agregoli at 1:21 PM on February 2, 2005


Said raedyn Now every single time I come to the front page, I am reminded that Matt is making money off of women taking their clothes off. That makes me uncomfortable.

I must caution you against visiting newsstands in the United States, and espescially overseas. And do not, under any circumstances, visit The Louvre.
posted by fandango_matt at 1:22 PM on February 2, 2005


I already posted to this thread my objections, as well as agreed with a number of people on theirs - I agree with all the objections except for any (that I did NOT see) of "this is morally corrupt) so what else do I have to add? You know my objections because they've already been voiced. Continue on with your personal attacks.
posted by agregoli at 1:22 PM on February 2, 2005


I don't currently pay at all for Metafilter, but I'm in the territory of wanting to if it will cut out this crap.

See, that's why Matt resorts to things like this. You've been mooching here all along, knowing that he has bills to pay and you're only offering to pay if it benefits you personally.

If you, we all, had've been dropping into his tip jar regularily, I'm fairly sure this ad wouldn't exist.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 1:23 PM on February 2, 2005


Nightcharm's sex positive- so are Nerve and Blowfish and Fishnet, so why don't they make the cut?

They never called, but I would have considered them (I would also consider t-shirt sites, tech books, or any normal thing, not just sex-related things).
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:23 PM on February 2, 2005


If you, we all, had've been dropping into his tip jar regularily, I'm fairly sure this ad wouldn't exist.
posted by dflemingdotorg


You're right, so let's rectify this situation, so that Matt doesn't have to have ads at all.
posted by agregoli at 1:25 PM on February 2, 2005


Quonsar:


posted by dfowler at 1:26 PM on February 2, 2005


You're right, so let's rectify this situation, so that Matt doesn't have to have ads at all.

Since I've been reading, which was a good while before I joined, that call has been sent out and there just isn't enough members willing to do it enough. You and I might be, but in the end, it's going to take a large number of members contributing a few dollars for Matt to justify not having ads on the site. It isn't happening and I see no reason to believe that it will any time in the near future, other than a one time pay-off to get the ad off the site.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 1:28 PM on February 2, 2005


Not really. If I felt a little bit more uncomfortable because you're gay and posting on mefi, does that mean you should go? Obviously not, it should be my attitude that left. That's an equivalent to what you're saying, though, and it's a terrible way to judge this.
I'm not paying for ad space in which i'm putting sexualized and objectified imagery tho--there's your difference. My status here is the same as yours=words on a page. The day we can post permanent images to the front page here is the day your argument makes sense. And many people in this thread have already stated that it makes them uncomfortable, and less likely to recommend the site to others.

With this ad, the front page now says it's a site for hetero men--and young men at that. I thought otherwise, or wouldn't be here. You guys may find that you're all that's left if the feelings of others are disregarded.
posted by amberglow at 1:29 PM on February 2, 2005


There are plenty of ads matt can run--ads that will pay him as much if not more than SG--that will also not turn people off or offend.

Where, amberglow? It sounds like Matt's been looking for these people for at least the last year, if not longer.

If you have any pointers, I'm sure he'd love to hear them.
posted by chicobangs at 1:29 PM on February 2, 2005


I mean, no one freaked out like this over the "jewelboxing" ad that was up for months over the sheer esthetics of color on the front page.

That ad was an obsessive-compulsive's nightmare. I'd avoid working by hovering over the ad and pulling the cursor away at the exact moment that the case was fully open. The SG ad is much less damaging to my productivity.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:30 PM on February 2, 2005


And you can judge what's good and bad for them, can you? With enough confidence to securely place your judgement against the value of a new revenue source for the site? You really trust your judgment.

No, this isnt about moral issues. When Metafilter gets mentioned in places like the NYTimes it sends a flood of people here eager to check it out.

Like it or not, they will form their impression of the site very quickly, whether they will stay and look around,maybe even join. Right now, with this new ad this is front and center, the new identity for metafilter for new people coming to the site. And, as much as (I've said already) I like and even respect SG, the general association is porn=sleazy and that will rub off on the site as a whole.

I'm likewise afraid that the people that will stay will not be saying "Oh, look, metafilter is cool because they support a progressive site and are not afraid of showing a little nudity" rather the people that will stay will be the "Oh cool! tits!!" type.

Yes, all this is only my judgement and my opinion but I think this is unfortunate.
posted by vacapinta at 1:31 PM on February 2, 2005


I respectfully disagree, scarabic. I think you could look around the web at community sites that accept advertising and find that there's a correlation between those that accept porn ads and those that are very immature boyzonie "I'd hit it" type of places. So far, "I'd hit it" is used here ironically. The SG ad gives the impression that this is the kind of place you could say that in earnest.

Similarly, I'd love for there to be gay male porn graphical ads because that would turn off a lot of people from coming to metafilter (including, particularly, the "I'd hit it" crowd) that we're better off without anyway.

Bugbread did a really good job a few comments back describing why the "just hide it" solution is inadequate...along with generally being very reasonable about this. (Kudos, bugbread!) While there certainly are objections to SG that seem to me to be prudish in nature, there's more that are simply pragmatic. I think the pragmatic arguments are persuasive.

Look: I don't subscribe to SG and never have because, like I said, it's too contrived for me. But those kind of women ring my bell and I'd be happy to look at their photos all day, every day. The body image objections don't carry much weight with me given that whatever negative influence it might have is dwarfed by all advertising, everywhere. And I'm sex-positive and don't think that sexual images of women are necessarily objectifying. All things considered, I'm the exact kind of person who'd defend the SG ad and, in fact, I was initially put-off by what seems like prudish objections in this thread (and found myself agreeing with matteo and similar). But I think the pragmatic arguments are persuasive. Is that so wrong of me?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:32 PM on February 2, 2005





posted by fandango_matt at 1:35 PM on February 2, 2005


I've lost respect for the site.

I don't think I will post again.
posted by four panels at 1:35 PM on February 2, 2005


So from what I gather about this Suicide Girls ad is that they sell record store employees?

I didn't care for it. I turned it off. Much easier than bitching. Good for Matt for valuing his time and effort.
posted by bondcliff at 1:36 PM on February 2, 2005


With this ad, the front page now says it's a site for hetero men--and young men at that.

Oh, come on. That's like saying my corner newstand is cordoning off the non-het-male world because it displays Playboy. We're big boys and girls here. We know that people like to look at smut and that it makes money. And that money helps matt run the site. I'm just stunned that so many otherwise worldly and mature people are so wigged out by that realization.

Someone said that they're scarred by the knowledge that MeFi is profiting from women taking their clothes off. Were they previously unaware that numerous people were profiting from the same thing?
posted by jonmc at 1:37 PM on February 2, 2005


They never called, but I would have considered them (I would also consider t-shirt sites, tech books, or any normal thing, not just sex-related things).

I will be more than happy to help contact other sites marketing departments and ask if they are interested in this communities potential business.

Am I missing something? Why wait for them to come to you? I think this is why the other Meta thread on other potential revenue sources materialised.
posted by terrapin at 1:38 PM on February 2, 2005


MetaFilter: Oh cool! Tits!!
posted by mischief at 1:39 PM on February 2, 2005


Someone who thinks that it would be easy to sell other ads for MeFi should pitch himself or herself to Matt as a marketing director. I bet you could get him to give you a commission of 10% for the first year's revenue from any new ad source.
posted by anapestic at 1:39 PM on February 2, 2005


matt hasn't been looking, as far as i can tell by his statements.

If you're waiting for people to contact you re: ads, matt, why not start or sign up for a real ad program? we're a desirable target market, and shouldn't have to rely on whoever writes to you, matt. I'd bet many tech publishers and other publishers would love to place ads here, as well as many product manufacturers (moleskine, for one, given the love for them throughout mefi's history)

many of us here know how to put together press kits and other materials that you could send to prospective advertisers.
posted by amberglow at 1:40 PM on February 2, 2005


"Wasn't someone talking about wanting to tie Ann Coulter up and piss all over her face?"

That'd be me. Because this has been mentioned like six times in this thread, I'd like to say something about that. The whole context was what jonmc said: my point was that Ann Coulter's speech is so beyond acceptable, so deliberately offensive, that I don't think any rules of civil discourse apply with regard to her. My comment wasn't sexist (I'll get to that in a second), but I'm willing to turn a blind eye to sexist comments about her, too. I hate her. I'd like her to be dead. If you think this is too much like becoming one's enemy, I respect that viewpoint. In this case, I disagree.

As to that comment being sexist: I had considered including that I'd like to tie up Limbaugh and Pat Robertson and pee in their faces, too. I should have.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:42 PM on February 2, 2005


If we all calm down and look at what is really being said: Matt doesn't love the ads, but needs the money. Most of the women who've posted feel less welcome as a result. Many of the posters of both genders feel the ads make Metafilter less cool, less SFW, or just less enjoyable. Many of the men who've posted like the ads or don't see what the big deal is.

Can we just move this comment to the top of the thread, thus saving members the time of reading the entire thing?

At any rate, I'm on my way to Paypal now to put my money where my mouth is.

And Matt trying to figure out how to work his life around Mefi troubles me; surely it should be the other way around (and I can say from experience that thinking that you will have any free time to work while the baby sleeps is highly optimistic). Metafilter shouldn't be a burden. Matt's already delegated some mod duties to Jessamyn, and I'm sure there are others who would be happy to help out. Perhaps that's another discussion, but it seems to be the subtext here.
posted by jokeefe at 1:44 PM on February 2, 2005


"Someone said that they're scarred by the knowledge that MeFi is profiting from women taking their clothes off. Were they previously unaware that numerous people were profiting from the same thing?"

Come on, jon, you know better than that. What they're saying is that they're upset that a community site in which they feel personally invested has now gone tits-for-profit. Whether anyone else's site was doing it is irrelevant.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 1:45 PM on February 2, 2005


Defining prudishness is not a personal attack, nor an insult, agregoli, and I resent the victim act. In fact, I said that being a prude is fine, but people should just own up to it. If you want to impose your conservative sexual morals on others, you're a prude. It has a pejorative connotation, but also a simple functional definition, which has been met. I think worrying about a jpeg of a woman's face - to the exclusion of revenue for the site - qualifies as "excessive concern for appearing proper or modest."

I think you could look around the web at community sites that accept advertising and find that there's a correlation between those that accept porn ads and those that are very immature boyzonie "I'd hit it" type of places.


EB: I have observed this, of course, but I think your causal reasoning is off. The ads don't define the site. The character of the site determines which ads succeed. I've arranged ad targeting structures on the web and I know it works this way around, not the reverse. If the ad makes no money here, it will be pulled. If it does make money, then it is not so far out of sync with the population here as you think.

But the ad can't steer the site like a tail wagging a dog.

With this ad, the front page now says it's a site for hetero men--and young men at that.

Once again, here we have someone projecting their own associations with the ad onto others. Why not lesbians? Why not old men? Why not young women (they like to look at pictures of other beautiful, fashionable women too, you know - even the straight ones).
posted by scarabic at 1:46 PM on February 2, 2005


Jon, I said I am not favorably impressed by MeFi taking money for girls taking off their clothes. That's all I mean. The fact that other people profit from the same thing runs from irrelevant - who cares what they do? - to central - yeah, partly I'm just incredibly tired of it.

So, in my case, I personally am saying I'd be willing to help compensate for lost ad revenue + if the ad stays, I will drive less traffic to the site. All by my lonesome, that's not much, but if there's a silent majority that feels the same way, well, then, the economics might look a bit different for Mefi.

It sounds like Matt's been looking for these people for at least the last year, if not longer.

I thought Matt said he didn't actively sell the space, just made it available and waited for people to come to him.

Others have called for members who can to offer ad sales expertise for free. MeFi is a fantastic demographic, and the tags page would make it ultra simple to target deep-pocketed advertisers.

There are a lot of alternatives to the SG ads, as noted above and in another thread. Actually using the tip jar, subscriptions, annual funding drive, ... and even paid sales staff. I bet a small outlay of hours would pay both an ad sales person and Matt quite handily.
posted by caitlinb at 1:47 PM on February 2, 2005


Scarabic: Man, what is this hard-and-fast connection between anything vaguely sexual and idiocy? I hope you remind yourself what an idiot you are the next time you look at porn, bugbread.

I thought that I had made it clear that these were not MY opinions but a summation of the arguments that OTHER people have made.

I do not think this. I may be an idiot in general, but that has nothing to do with the post you reference, because that post was not made up of my ideas.

I hope we don't meet in a discussion about anything really contentious:
"Scarabic: What did Hitler think about the jews?"
"Bugbread: He thought they were vermin."
"Scarabic: Bugbread, you antisemitic bastard!!"
posted by Bugbread at 1:48 PM on February 2, 2005


In fact, I said that being a prude is fine, but people should just own up to it. If you want to impose your conservative sexual morals on others, you're a prude.

Still doesn't apply to me, or the majority of the people I saw posting similar views about why they don't like the ad. I'm not a prude, nor do I have conservative sexual morals.
posted by agregoli at 1:49 PM on February 2, 2005


MeFi is a fantastic demographic,

We are? I just assumed we were all people too broke to afford to go out at night.
posted by jonmc at 1:49 PM on February 2, 2005


Excuse me, bugbread. Indeed I did not follow that you were summing up beliefs you don't hold.

I had considered including that I'd like to tie up Limbaugh and Pat Robertson and pee in their faces, too.

Don't do it, man. He'd be into it.

"Doesn't Rush Limbaugh remind you of one of those gay guys who likes to lay in a tub while other men pee on him? Am I the only one? Can't you see his fat body in a tub while Reagan, Quayle and Bush just stand around pissing on him? His little piggly wiggly dick can't get hard, 'Uhh... uhh... I can't get hard. Reagan, pee in my mouth!'..."
posted by scarabic at 1:49 PM on February 2, 2005


What type of person, exactly?

I thought that was clear from my comment, jonmc. The type of person who is disruptive to the community and who tries to turn it into Usenet or Fark instead of Metafilter. It's a waste of time for you to try to twist that into some sort of elitist "chase out the lowbrow" remark, though I know that's your favorite bugaboo, because that's clearly not what I'm saying and I've long been vocal for encouraging the acceptance of new members. But if your idea of inclusion includes those who don't care about the community and actively do it harm, then yes, we disagree.
posted by rushmc at 1:51 PM on February 2, 2005


Still doesn't apply to me

Is this discussion even about you? I thought we were talking about an ad module.
posted by scarabic at 1:52 PM on February 2, 2005


It was, until people decided to make it personal for some reason.
posted by agregoli at 1:53 PM on February 2, 2005


I removed three of the raciest images, pointed out in this thread.

Also, everyone (non-logged in users too) can turn it off now with one click.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:56 PM on February 2, 2005


Actually, rush, when it comes to people who deliberately start fights, post hateful stuff, etc. I assume we're on the same page. But, from some members (not you, if anything your patience with me demonstrates you can tolerate lowbrow), I get the feeling would be glad to see such a thing, and the automatic association of a softcore site with idiot behavior is kind of unfair, as many others here have said. I was more just using the "that kind of person," which had turned up in a few others comments as a jumping off point. Sorry if I misrepresented you.
posted by jonmc at 1:57 PM on February 2, 2005


If someone comes up with a concrete company/way that's willing to replace the ad's revenue and not a combination of:

a)There's "gotta be" someone out there, you just need to actively start selling the site. No, I don't realize you have a day job. (And yes, I know people will help but no plan will fit into Matt's direction for the site and his guiding it AND cost him no additional time)

b)I'll tip now and forget about it in a year, but I will promise to tip again the next time I'm put in a position to pay to get what I want and not just because I like the site.

c)You should take more time, Matt, to contact X company because I think they might help. No, I'm not sure and I'm only willing to offer the idea.

I will gladly support it. I really do think that if people are offended and offer a less offensive option that's not just "it's gotta be out there" that we need to follow it. People's feelings matter here but they can't go above the sustainable revenue this site needs to keep going and/or pay Matt for his time.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 1:57 PM on February 2, 2005


Matt made his choice and he gave his reason why.

And some people disagree with it and have given their reasons why.

So what's your problem?
posted by rushmc at 1:58 PM on February 2, 2005


I don't like the ad. But I understand that's my problem, and not Matt's. I'll get used to it, as will everyone else here. I see nothing wrong with that.

We have to all be really really bored for this to be an issue. Janet's nipple was a bigger deal than this. And Janet's nipple being an issue was just dumb.
posted by y6y6y6 at 2:00 PM on February 2, 2005


What's the difference between tits-for-profits and jewelboxes-for-profit? Can someone lay down that argument for me without moralizing?
posted by xmutex at 2:05 PM on February 2, 2005


Bosses.
The feelings of female members.
posted by Bugbread at 2:07 PM on February 2, 2005


BoringPostcards, I'd have to say that I think you're probably making assumptions when you claim that "most women feel offended/demeaned by the pictures, most men like the ad." Unless you've taken some sort of secret mefi census, I rather suspect you've no more idea than I about the genders of most of the people who've posted in the thread, unless they've stated them. Just as various people have been telling rushmc and others not to speak for all members, I think it's reasonable to avoid generalizations about what people of a given gender think - particularly when you don't really have the data to prove it. Same goes for people making generalizations about either the SG or their potential audience [trailer trash? viewed solely by heterosexual white men in their teens and twenties? My experiences suggest this isn't the case.]

And to those saying that this ad will kill mefi - OH NOES!!1!!!!11! - I thought it was supposed to have died a few years ago. Reports of its death are greatly exaggerated. Again, the way _we_ approach discussions and treat other members has much more to do with the site's future than any ad possibly could.

While, as I said waaaay upthread, I have absolutely no problem with the ad as it is, I do think that a set of pictures that are a bit more subtle than "arms over tits" might mollify many of those who're upset. Their logo would work as well. If the SG folks are fine with the opt-out function, and with Matt picking and choosing between the provided pictures, they might not have a problem with going a little further.
posted by ubersturm at 2:09 PM on February 2, 2005


Said y6y6y6: Janet's nipple was a bigger deal than this. And Janet's nipple being an issue was just dumb.

Can you imagine what would happen if those SG ads featured a nipple? There'd be nothing left of MetaFilter except for a few smoking pixels.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:12 PM on February 2, 2005


So agregoli, I'm reading up through your comments, and I gather that your point is you can't be a prude because you love porn.

Well, then I guess you're just kind of a hypocrite, then, because porn is a much-beloved, enriching and entertaining pursuit for you, but a corrupting, sexist influence for others. You are able to enjoy it responsibly, but others aren't and will in fact find it incitement to commit violence against women (presumably, you're worried about what the ad is going to do to the men here).

You're not against seeing porn, just against other people seeing it. In addition to being a double-standard, this is in fact, still prudish, because, although you've admitted you're not a pious/proper person in your private identity, you are concerned with MetaFilter's appearing proper at all times, because improper appearances will lead us all to hell.

Concern for appearances looks like half the definition to me:
PRUDE: n. One who is excessively concerned with being or appearing to be proper, modest, or righteous.
posted by scarabic at 2:15 PM on February 2, 2005


Matt doesn't love the ads, but needs the money.

Actually, he has NEVER said that. He has made it known that he would like for the site to produce more money for him, but he has never once that I've seen in all these years said that he needed it. He just brought in, what, $15,000 in two months or so? Just how expensive are the hosting costs for this site? He's received many donations from a lot of people over the years, as well as expensive gifts, donated servers, and whatnot. I'm sure he'd like more, but I've never seen him say that what he has gotten has been insufficient to maintain the site (plans for doing more with it are something else entirely). He has managed to keep it going all this time, it's worth noting. It may be that it's suddenly more expensive or that he is suddenly poorer (or expects to be when the kid is born or whathaveyou), but he hasn't indicated this. All he has said, and that only today, is that he's thinking about possibly making it a full-time job in the future.
posted by rushmc at 2:19 PM on February 2, 2005


Happy coincident
posted by JohnR at 2:20 PM on February 2, 2005


I've always liked the site and felt it was a well-designed, female positive, sex positive place that wasn't like your typical demeaning porn site.

Although that has always been my perception of the SG site too, it's been drawn to my attention that there are a growing number of disgruntled ex-SG models.

Of some relevance to this issue regarding MeFi's use of SG ads are accusations that SG has banned models but continues to use their images for promotion and even continue to make journal entries on their accounts so "fans" won't know that they're no longer associated with the site.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 2:22 PM on February 2, 2005


I've never seen him say that what he has gotten has been insufficient to maintain the site

My observations seem to agree with yours. I'm a little nervous that the baby will change a lot of things around here, though. Money may not be the prime issue, but time. And since you can't take time out of parenting, the only thing left to take time out of is work. Take time out of work, and you lose money. Does anyone doubt this is going to be an issue? How sweet would it be if we could push the revenue a little bit and really enable Matt to do MeFi full-time while he's raising the wee one? Maybe even enjoy some financial comfort? You don't succeed online by being too snobby about revenue sources. And you don't make a uniquely famous community by having the right ads. I say: let's get to the next level, here, folks, even if we have to be exposed to a photo of a womans' face. Once.
posted by scarabic at 2:35 PM on February 2, 2005


I bet if a suicide girl were to stumble upon this thread, she'd think we were all a bunch of ginormous dorkasauruses.
posted by mcsweetie at 12:36 PM PST on February 2


While the world around her wants to either masturbate or make money from her naked body, at least some of us think better of her. I wish the site owner would do the same.
posted by orange clock at 2:40 PM on February 2, 2005


OMFG! From filmgoerjuan's link, we learn that SG is a pro-Israel site. I think this revelation calls for equal time for pro-Palestinian porno sites.... Or does it?!

Discuss....
posted by subgenius at 2:41 PM on February 2, 2005


JohnR your link is dead.

matt: I don't think it's been any worse of a boyzone lately, has it?
stavrosthewonderchicken: Not really. Just kinda... jokey and dumb. But maybe I'm just being cranky. It happens.


Just a symptom of the over running growth.

gd779: Oh, and obviously, I won't be able to surf MetaFilter from work anymore, filters and no-ad option or no. I just can't take the chance, unfortunately.

Geez all these people who are work paranoid of possibly seeing at best a stretch of a nsfw image should already be surfing with images off. It's very possible to navigate the web this way as most sites you can't are crap anyways. Or at least Firefox + ad block.

jonmc: So? One of the good things about this site is that anybody with 5 bucks is welcome. Part of the enjoyment of this site (for me, anyway) is rubbing up against viewpoints and attitudes utterly alien to my own and getting to understand them. And if that includes "tech boobs!" (or for that matter "teh weenies!) types so be it.

I'll strongly disagree and matt has wielded the hammer against many who obviously had $5 but weren't wanted here. Afterall why not have a completely open door policy ala /.? if everybody is welcome.

...everything needs to be hardcore and appeal to your base instincts...
TimeFactor: Isn't that, you know, the whole point of porn.


Lots of people like their porn pretty cerebral.

Do you honestly not hear how that sounds? "This place is for us smart people. Run along back to fark, little retard."

Yep. I see no problem with this. I'm after intelligent conversation at MF. When I'm wanting to find out wether some celeb is hittable I go to fark.

baphomet : I doubt that your mother/girlfriend/coworker will drop dead of shock if they see one stupid picture of a guy or girl in their underwear.

No kidding. How do these people make it down the check out aisle at the grocery store?

My take matt, milk this for all it's worth while keeping the site someplace you like to visit.
posted by Mitheral at 2:44 PM on February 2, 2005


If I were to object to the ads, it's only because I always get a bit nostalgic. There are a couple of the SG models who look vaguely like my ex-'s from the good ol' days gone by.

I do read at work, but I'm more likely to get busted for an incautious google image search, or a mistyped URL, and I had already gotten used to or blocked similar ads at fark and boingboing. (I block ads by habit while waiting for things to load, just for fun) It does seem like we are eventually going to have to have a big argument (this maybe) between those who appreciate or quietly tolerate any nudity and those who do not.

I say if it pays the bills better than the alternatives then go for it.

(Also, I haven't read all this thread but did anyone mention Nekkid Nerds yet.)
posted by milovoo at 2:46 PM on February 2, 2005


Excellent overview of some of the concerns with how SG is run.

I found this genuinely interesting as up until this point I'd heard nothing but positive things about Suicide Girls and how it ran itself differently from your average "porn" site.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 2:52 PM on February 2, 2005


Scarabic, you're still wrong about me, unfortunately.

You're not against seeing porn, just against other people seeing it.

I'm against it ON METAFILTER. It has nothing to do with who sees it, who should see it, etc.
posted by agregoli at 2:54 PM on February 2, 2005


Nope, no good. I too got the 'uh-oh, jumping the shark' feeling

yup. This conveys accurately what makes me dislike the new ads. To all the "don't be a prude" folks, I already said above that on a personal level they don't bother me, and that I'm fine with intelligent, insightful, interesting discussion about taboo topics, and completely open to hearing alternate viewpoints. But in my opinion, these ads will reduce the diversity of the site. People like konolia & gd779 bring different perspectives to the table - will they stick around? Will new members of a more reserved nature feel welcome? I just think, as vacapinta expressed above, that this will have long term consequences for the community that go beyond a simple "can I look at boobies without freaking out?"

Re: elitism blah blah blah, this gets old fast, but let's try thinking of it this way: it isn't about denying certain individuals a place in the community, it's about encouraging or discouraging certain modes of behavior and interaction on the site. The strength of this site in comparison with similar ones is that members seem to take the time to make valuable contributions. In the best threads, you can figure out who's responding before you see their user name. Thoughtful analysis and discussion occurs. It often moves at a slightly slower pace, with a slightly higher signal/noise ratio, than your average chat board.

Re: the comparison to the death pics, the difference is that that was offering a space for discourse about something and this is advertising a service by way of something. If the front page had gory advertisements, I would also consider that to send the wrong message, and if someone linked to a selection of sexually explicit material (if? has certainly happened before), I would support the link remaining.

Anyway, I agree that it sounds like Matt is just Not That Into Metafilter anymore. We'll see what happens, but I can't really see this as a positive turn.
posted by mdn at 2:55 PM on February 2, 2005


I'll get used to it, as will everyone else here.

posted by y6y6y6 at 2:00 PM PST on February 2


But y6y6y6- you don't have to get used to it- no one does. one swift click for user or non-user and it's gone forever.
posted by exlotuseater at 2:58 PM on February 2, 2005


Okay agregoli. Right or wrong, I'm done. You're not even bothering to reason in any way, simply declaring "I am this" and "that is not right for MetaFilter." I may, in fact, be entirely wrong about everything, but I'm at least making an effort to be persuasive about the things I am arguing for.

People like konolia & gd779 bring different perspectives to the table - will they stick around? Will new members of a more reserved nature feel welcome? I just think, as vacapinta expressed above, that this will have long term consequences for the community that go beyond a simple "can I look at boobies without freaking out?"

Without degrading the value of the people who might leave because of the ad, I will say that far too many folks here are assuming that we can only lose good people and gain bad people this way. I belong to several communities besides this one to whom the SG ad would be such a non-event as to go entirely unnoticed. And many of them have much to offer besides Farkish wanking.

People just have so many conservative assumptions about who this ad will appeal to. They're all degenerates. None of them can possibly value a community. They'll all run amok with sexism. They couldn't possibly grok MetaFilter's unique value, let alone offer it anything.

Please question all these assumptions for 60 seconds and consider that they do have a conservative moral attitude *built in* to them.
posted by scarabic at 3:09 PM on February 2, 2005


While the world around her wants to either masturbate or make money from her naked body, at least some of us think better of her.

In a society where money is the only true god, that's a fairly noble pursuit.

And orange clock, I take it you think sex is somehow inherently dirty and immoral. Good to know.
posted by chicobangs at 3:11 PM on February 2, 2005


Some people seem to be unable to grasp that the opposition consists of other than prudes and are becoming downright insulting in their insistence (scarabic and chicobangs, I'm looking at you). Is it so inconceivable that some of us actually have friends and relatives who would have a problem with the ad even if we do not? Is your attitude actually "The hell with anyone who doesn't have the same attitudes as I do"? Because that's not a very adult attitude.

Also, some people don't seem to take women's feelings very seriously.

mr_crash_davis had a good point, however provocatively phrased. Matt, if you have a daughter and she turns out to be less anything-goes than some of this crew, what are you going to do when she says "I think the front page is sexist, daddy"? Tell her she can click on the link to hide the ad? And if you think you might take her objections seriously, why not get in practice now?
posted by languagehat at 3:18 PM on February 2, 2005 [1 favorite]


And orange clock, I take it you think sex is somehow inherently dirty and immoral. Good to know.
posted by chicobangs at 3:11 PM PST on February 2


Fucking your mom last night is sex.

Telling high school girls to spread a little wider so Daddy Haughey can make a little more money is prostitution.
posted by orange clock at 3:18 PM on February 2, 2005


orange clock writes:
" You know and everyone else knows the circumstances that leads those girls to spread for the Internet. [...] It's because football coach Daddy's given it to them since middle school, and now boyfriend Bobby's got the good stuff, but they can't get it unless Sister Suicide gives them the check."

and then

"While the world around her wants to either masturbate or make money from her naked body, at least some of us think better of her."

and then

"Telling high school girls to spread a little wider so Daddy Haughey can make a little more money is prostitution.

So you think that accusing them all of being strung out junkie high school whores 'spreading for the Internet' is better than giving them money? I'm sorry, what?
posted by felix at 3:20 PM on February 2, 2005


Jumping in a little late here...

I am not opposed to the ads --- and I paid $5 to be able to express that sentiment! As a matter of fact I'm thinking of requesting my $5 back if the ads get pulled. I've never seen so much whining over something so innocuous before, and frankly that turns me off from the community. The ads were implemented with the option to turn them off if you did not like them already included! After Matt had weeded out a good 25% of the pictures because they were "too racy"! How many other freakin sites go to such measures to make sure their members' egos aren't harmed or sensibilites upset? Mathowie, I heartily appluad your forethought and discretion.

The argument about not wanting to link people here because of these ads is weak and spurious. As others have said, ads of this nature (and much worse) are ubiquitous online and off. If someone can't stand to possibly lay their virgin eyes upon a tiny ad with a hint of skin in it, the last place they should be is the Internet.

If you have an issue about the very existance or nature of pornography itself, that's your issue, not Matt's. Make a FPP about it and consider the inherent irony while doing so. Pornography and other things of a base nature are all over Metafilter; just because this is the first time an ad for a soft-core alt-porn site has begun rotation here doesn't mean this signals The Great Sullying Of Our Heretofore Virgin site, or that the Mongrel Hordes of Farkistan are through the breach. The new-user signup fee is still in effect, after all; I fail to see how an ad would motivate someone to pay $5 to register here...the ads point to another site entire. The general attitudes, demeanors and tones of discussions are going to cause more people to behave badly around here than any simple little SG ad ever will.

Thread recap: Mayor Curley and Dr. Wu are spot on, and plexi made me laugh, but in the sad way. subgenius had some very good points as well. Also on preview: mitheral has good points all around.
posted by m0nm0n at 3:26 PM on February 2, 2005


Telling high school girls to spread a little wider so Daddy Haughey can make a little more money is prostitution.

Wow. That's one of the most appalling and insulting comments I've read here. Ever.
posted by jacquilynne at 3:31 PM on February 2, 2005


Orange Clock: you seem to have this fixation with high school girls. Where did you get the idea that SG's models are underage instead of adult women who are making a choice to pose nude for the site?

Interesting too that SG takes great pains to characterize what they're doing as "not porn", but as "modern pin-ups". (Whether or not they're successful in that regard is another matter entirely, of course.)

But this thread isn't about what constitutes porn, or whether all porn is by definition exploitative or harmful or dangerous or whatever. The ads don't bother me one bit. I've seen more explicit Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue ads on CNN.com.
posted by contraposto at 3:42 PM on February 2, 2005


I belong to several communities besides this one to whom the SG ad would be such a non-event as to go entirely unnoticed. And many of them have much to offer besides Farkish wanking.

Hey, could you give us a link or two? Seeing a couple examples of this kind of forum culture in action would be a lot more productive than another 200 comments of you're-a-prude oh-no-I'm-not.
posted by furiousthought at 3:46 PM on February 2, 2005


I've never understood why SG is seen as the 'acceptable face of porn' by sites that would never host ads from other equally explicit sites. Each time they appear they are tacitly accompanied by a 'it isn't like your typical demeaning porn site is it?' knowing wink - never actually justified or explained. This isn't a reason for Matt to remove them of course but I can't help but feel that there is something body-snatcher like the way they assimilate themselves into the sites I love. filmgoerjuan that article is excellent thank you.
posted by john-paul at 3:46 PM on February 2, 2005


Telling high school girls to spread a little wider so Daddy Haughey can make a little more money is prostitution.

Holy crap.

Dude, step away from the keyboard. Get your meds refilled.
posted by xmutex at 3:47 PM on February 2, 2005


ubersterm, I didn't say this: BoringPostcards, I'd have to say that I think you're probably making assumptions when you claim that "most women feel offended/demeaned by the pictures, most men like the ad."

I was summing up what I'd seen in the thread up to that point- most women (who said they were) said one thing, etc. I also said many of BOTH genders said another thing, and then that many men had said a third thing (that they liked it).

I know it's loud and confusing in here, but go read my comment again, and you'll see that I was trying to sum up what I'd read, not speak for anyone. And I'd never say most of the men liked it, since the majority of folks on this thread seem to be men who didn't like it.
posted by BoringPostcards at 3:55 PM on February 2, 2005


Saying everyone who doesn't like the ad is a prude is as ridiculous as claiming everyone who doesn't mind the ad is a pervert. Can we move off that argument?
posted by FunkyHelix at 3:56 PM on February 2, 2005


In a way, I like this ad the best since I can (and did) click to permanently hide it. I've always liked how Metafilter is nothing but content. That's the biggest reason why I put down the five bucks to join--to clear off the extra frontpage ads. I'd put down more to keep it un-advertised.

Armitage Shanks, I too would obsessively open and close the Jewelboxing case. I'm not sure if it's a good or bad thing that I'm not alone in this.
posted by cmyk at 4:01 PM on February 2, 2005


I have little to add other than: I don't like it, however I will say that it had to be pointed out to me as I rarley pay attention to the ads and didn't see when logging in this morning.
posted by kamylyon at 4:04 PM on February 2, 2005


Reading filmgoerjuan's linked articles, SG seems creepier and creepier.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 4:10 PM on February 2, 2005


I've never seen so much whining over something so innocuous before, and frankly that turns me off from the community. The ads were implemented with the option to turn them off if you did not like them already included! After Matt had weeded out a good 25% of the pictures because they were "too racy"! How many other freakin sites go to such measures to make sure their members' egos aren't harmed or sensibilites upset? Mathowie, I heartily appluad your forethought and discretion.

Exactly. Thank you, m0nm0n.
posted by Specklet at 4:12 PM on February 2, 2005


Once again, here we have someone projecting their own associations with the ad onto others.
That's exactly the point here--there's nothing to stop anyone and everyone from projecting--and we are, and they will. What those associations are--however diverse they may be--is something that reflects on Metafilter as well. Failure to recognize that is foolish. It doesn't matter that SG comes off as alternative or hip or daring or sexy or even ironicly "risque" to some--to others it's inappropriate, exploitative, porn, t&a, or simply degrading to women. As the most visible, eyecatching image on the front page, it matters.
posted by amberglow at 4:14 PM on February 2, 2005


I (can't beleive I) read this whole thread and so I'll throw in my two cents. I always really liked metafilter because it had a pretty anti-advertisement stance. I don't fault matt at all for wanting to make money (as in income, not covering costs) off the site now, but that clearly changes what metafilter is to me.

The users of the site owe a ton to Matt. Matt also would not have this site if it wasn't for the members creating the content. I have made a conscious effort to make "better" posts here since I was tired of the same old news type posts (really, check my last series of posts, I think that they are quite good). I don't think that users are owed anything, since it is Matt's site in the end.

From my standpoint, I'm not too interested in creating content to drive eyeballs to a porn site. There are 20k+ users, so clearly losing one poster isn't going to break the bank here, but I think it is worth my saying. Yes, the ad can be turned off by me, but my content is still being sponsored by porn.

I have never quite understood the "SG isn't really the same as other porn" argument. And I'll go on the record as not being anti-porn. That doesn't mean that I want porn all over my life. Would you walk into a meeting with a business client carrying an SG branded mug?
posted by jonah at 4:20 PM on February 2, 2005


just wanted to go on the record: thumbs down. put me in with the cheapens the site crowd. If money is the issue, I would be gald to ante up.
posted by madamjujujive at 4:32 PM on February 2, 2005


Is it so inconceivable that some of us actually have friends and relatives who would have a problem with the ad even if we do not? Is your attitude actually "The hell with anyone who doesn't have the same attitudes as I do"? Because that's not a very adult attitude.

I just want to point out that both of these things cut both ways. I'm not saying "to hell with your mom," but I do resist the position that we should make a substantial concession on our site for her. I'm not saying to hell with you and your opinion by expressing mine. And your irritation with my opinion is actually pretty palpable. Let's slow down and not strangle each other here.

Actually I wouldn't expect anything other than a range of opinions on this. I think the key question is how can we compromise and address everyone's needs? Matt has done a lot to address the anti-position. You actually never have to see the ad, not even once. You can refer people here without showing it to them. The raciest content has been removed. The client has a decent track record with trusted friends. There was clear notification of the change, and the discussion has gone on unabated for 500+ comments now. ...what more?

The only point left to pound dead is whether this is philosophically Good for MetaFilter or, like, What MetaFilter is About, and that's (for better or worse) one area that is pointless to debate, because it's about what Matt wants it to be about. In the past, it's been about Matt giving, giving, giving. Now it's about earning Matt some cash.
posted by scarabic at 4:35 PM on February 2, 2005


Okay agregoli. Right or wrong, I'm done. You're not even bothering to reason in any way, simply declaring "I am this" and "that is not right for MetaFilter." I may, in fact, be entirely wrong about everything, but I'm at least making an effort to be persuasive about the things I am arguing for.


I'm not sure what you're arguing for except to call the people who object names.

This:

Saying everyone who doesn't like the ad is a prude is as ridiculous as claiming everyone who doesn't mind the ad is a pervert. Can we move off that argument?


is right on.

I'm through as well. I feel the opposition to these ads has been well-voiced, through every permutation possible, most of which I agree with as valid and concerning reasons. There's really nothing left to discuss, as far as I can see. I've decided, anyway, to stop reading Metafilter for a long while - AskMe will be my only occaisonal stop for now. Ta-ta!
posted by agregoli at 4:46 PM on February 2, 2005


Suicide girls are painless
They bring on many changes
And I can hide the ad if I please
posted by homunculus at 4:49 PM on February 2, 2005


I am dismayed that so many people think the ads are fine. Can someone explain to me why we have to have pr0n absolutely *everywhere*? Or how that makes the world better? Is masturbation really so important that we have to, as a society, devote so much time, money, and space to its promulgation?

I'm not against porn existing, I'm against it being slathered everywhere, all the time. Every time I see it it's like yet another reminder that that's all that's important about being a woman - being beautiful and sexually available.
posted by beth at 4:49 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm OK with the ads, and I appreciate having the ability to turn them off for when I read the site at work. (I wish
fark and boingboing offered the same functionality.)

When I pick up the Village Voice, I expect to see some advertising (and content, for that matter) that isn't exactly kid-safe. But I wouldn't want to read the Voice if I felt it censored itself, and - for the same reasons, I wouldn't feel as compelled to read metafilter either. I'll decide what's a "good" image vs. what's "bad."

So in the end, maybe it would have been more politically savvy for Matt to debut the feature with an advertisement for something more tame, then work the girls in later, but what's done is done.

In the end, it's a big site, it takes a considerable amount of money to run, even PBS runs ads, and we still have our free will. You can't always get what you want. Nothing is free. If you don't like it, you can always change the channel, etc. They all apply here.
posted by lilboo at 4:56 PM on February 2, 2005


The colour of the site is enough of a giveaway that you're not working: not much that's work related has a { background: #069; }, you know?

You do know about the plain text option (though it still only works on the blue, god damn it), don't you?

Two thoughts :

1) no tits, just a logo. Problem solved.
2) (this one might rankle, but I'm with q about the mefi-money thing, and I'm gonna throw it out there) full disclosure about the money thing from #1. There is no need to do so, of course. But it might spark action from users who are committed to the place to improve the cash flow, in any number of ways.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:59 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm bothered by how people are seizing on the articles linked by filmgoerjuan as ammunition for their position. Not that I'm not bothered by the claims made therein. It's just that no company is immune to controversy -- not Amazon, not Google, not Blogads. Google has cancelled some people's AdSense accounts for controversial reasons, and then there's this -- should Google ads disappear from this site as a result? Obviously there's a point where a company's behaviour matters. But examine anyone's dirty laundry and they're not going to look good -- especially when it's a one-sided account.
posted by mcwetboy at 5:04 PM on February 2, 2005


With this ad, the front page now says it's a site for hetero men--and young men at that.

Once again, here we have someone projecting their own associations with the ad onto others. Why not lesbians? Why not old men? Why not young women (they like to look at pictures of other beautiful, fashionable women too, you know - even the straight ones).

And whenever I see ads for Suicide Girls, I feel, for a small but definite moment, something which I can only describe as that of being indicted for no longer being young, for the crime of having grey hair, for the bodily thickening of middle age. I don't need to be reminded on every fucking site I visit that a girl of 19 can easily command more social value to the world at large than an older woman with a PhD.

I doubt that this adds anything to the discussion, but seeing as lots of other people are mocking and dismissing people's reservations about the SG ads as sheer 'prudery', I thought I'd yell too. It's a bit more complicated than that.

The ads appearing on the front page now make Mefi a little more just like everywhere else. And in regard to jonmc's comment that the ads don't make this place anymore exclusive that the corner newstand selling Playboy: sometimes when I walk into a corner store and see a rack of flesh mags, that is in fact exactly what it feels like: exclusive, like I'm being reminded of who really has the power and the money around here.

Anyway, enough, I'm out of here for a bit. Interesting dicussion.

posted by jokeefe at 5:06 PM on February 2, 2005


Beth: to answer your question--although it's a cliche, I don't think much can be said beyond, "Sex sells."
posted by fandango_matt at 5:06 PM on February 2, 2005


Lordy. I guess I might as well throw my name into the "Yay, boobies" ring.

I am a former member of SG. I plan on being a member in the future. There is a Suicide Boys segment to SG (which is regrettably only accessible if you're a member).

If the ads make money for Matt to work on MeFi, I'm all for it. As long as it doesn't cover up my text or sing to me, I don't really care what ads are on the front page.

On preview: I'm a chubby 23 year old woman. I love SG because it reminds me that I don't have to look like Kate fucking Moss to be considered attractive. SG makes me feel sexy. Go figure.
posted by amandaudoff at 5:09 PM on February 2, 2005


"Sex sells"

I am sick of such a huge proportion of what I see everywhere involved with sex, selling, or (most often) both. Sex may sell, but past a certain threshold, it's damn off-putting. There are other important things in life, too. I wish there were some inkling of a sense of proportion about these things.

I'm not an advocate for censorship, just... *tastefulness*.
posted by beth at 5:14 PM on February 2, 2005


Fucking your mom last night is sex.

Telling high school girls to spread a little wider so Daddy Haughey can make a little more money is prostitution.



I tell you if I ran this site that comment and your previous would warrant a ban.

There was some story about a lady who posed nude for photos who was asked if she felt exploited and demeaned. Her reply was to the effect you should feel sorry for the guys who need those nudy pics not her. (I'll see if I can find it)

When it is coercive pornography is evil. Something like SG exists in a grey area. One could argue that SG type porn, being voluntary, is expression. A person's expression of self. The body mods can be seen as art (setting aside the nude part).
As to why this stuff is so prevalent... well you can point to the fact that male brains are hardwired to respond heavier to visual stimuli, many times this has little to do with how they feel about the women in their life. There are feminist who look at porn.
While I understand everything else and can empathize which what is said (even if I mildly disagree with some of it), the "boyzone" argument seems the most pervasive. This is an argument that can be applied to ads that have bikini clad females as well.
posted by edgeways at 5:18 PM on February 2, 2005


Thanks amandaudoff that was a thought I had, and have been hoping someone with your experience would share.
posted by edgeways at 5:21 PM on February 2, 2005


Or how that makes the world better

Regarding your view, you proceed from a false premiss (several actually). There isn't porn everywhere, the issue is that there is material here objectionable to you that you concider porn. Second, these ads are for a site that could be concidered porn, but the ads are just ads. Third, it makes no sense to ask how porn makes the world better, unless you presume that everything has some obligation to do so. Porn may not make the world better, but when objecting to its presense, it is incumbant on you to argue why porn makes the world worse, not the opposite. Several people here have done that, and I applaud them, even though I disagree.

Now, I would argue that porn makes the world more free, less restrictive (with the caviat that all individuals involved in production are consensual). More free is more gooder. But I would be wasting my time to argue such, since my betters have done so already.
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:24 PM on February 2, 2005


I enjoy SG, and I love MeFi, but not in the same place. So as much as I consider myself a user of non-commerical pornography, I will hit 'hide this ad?' ASAP.

Let me add my voice to the multitudes thanking Matt for this option, and for arranging it with the advertisers in question. But I am sorry it had to happen, and I think it would certainly lower a visitor's initial impression of what kind of site this is. Certainly not unique.

Also; it was an interestig exercise in itself to see nearly every angle on the issue presented above.

On preview: edgeways, we're really not going to find a consensus on the 'pr0n - good or bad?' question here, nor is this what the thread is for.
posted by cosmonik at 5:27 PM on February 2, 2005


past a certain threshold, it's damn off-putting. There are other important things in life, too. I wish there were some inkling of a sense of proportion about these things.

When you are a vegetarian it seems like there is some form of meat or meat product everywhere and it is hard to imagine that the world could possibly have any need for all this meat and meat-serving businesses. And yet, there they are.

Other people, meh!
posted by milovoo at 5:30 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm not an advocate for censorship, just... *tastefulness*.

When tastefulness starts to pay for ads on Metafilter, I'm sure the Suicide Girls ad (which you can hide) will go away forever without being clicked. Until then, Matt exists in a world where the site costs money and takes time to create and suicide girls is the only place at this time that is willing to pay a good amount for the viewing it will receive.

And, I hid the ad before I even came to Metafilter to discuss it.
posted by Arch Stanton at 5:31 PM on February 2, 2005


I hid the ad before I even came to Metafilter

Wow, how did you hide the add before visiting the page it's on?
posted by cosmonik at 5:38 PM on February 2, 2005


Tacky. Sad to see them for the one page they were there until I turned them off.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 5:44 PM on February 2, 2005


Hey Beth, I'm right there with you. Headlines like Supersize Orgasms! in the checkout line is annoying (or surreal, or hilarious, depending on my mood), sure--but I'd rather be surrounded by that and pictures of glistening genitalia than have someone deciding what is and is not tasteful. But that's not your point--if I understand you correctly, I think what you're decrying is the bellcurve of society/morals and the acceptability of using sex to sell damn near everything. Ultimately whether using airbrushed breasts and nipples is considered an acceptable way to market and sell items will only be decided by the people to whom these items are marketed and who vote for or against such things with their wallets.

To (mis)quote Frank Zappa: "We're talking about pictures."
posted by fandango_matt at 5:45 PM on February 2, 2005


Yikes! I am so late to the party.

Matt, if you even get this far down the page, I'm one vote for "no problem." In fact, I prefer this ad campaign to the one it replaces...guess I prefer pictures of people to things.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 5:51 PM on February 2, 2005


www.8942#196202.net
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:52 PM on February 2, 2005


We've had several potentially offensive text ads (SG being one of them...)

I never notice any of these ads, so I can't confirm this, but, if true, wouldn't this weaken the "MeFi supported by porn == bad" argument? I don't remember people complaining about SG text ads.
posted by SAC at 5:53 PM on February 2, 2005


Oops. I meant, before I came to MetaTalk to discuss it. *wink at Brodie
posted by Arch Stanton at 5:57 PM on February 2, 2005


"sex sells" , sure. But do we need sex to "sell" mefi?
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 6:00 PM on February 2, 2005


gah. I mean cosmonic, not brodie. This isn't my night.
posted by Arch Stanton at 6:00 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm confused -- how did we go from "Wow, in just a few days we've paid for a year's worth of hosting!" to "We have to advertise porn to stay afloat"?

I'm not demanding my fiver back or anything, but I feel as though I got sold a false bill of goods when I signed up just a couple of months ago. Since then, comments have been deleted with a heavy hand (I realize the claim is that it's always happened, but lately by the time this non-daily reader gets to a controversial thread it's been gone over with a machete to the point where it's disjointed and almost incomprehensible -- a new phenomenon), moderators now have the power to cut short MeTa discussions when they don't like the direction or tone, and there's some 19-year-old pouting and clutching her breasts on the index page. What the hell happened?
posted by cirocco at 6:07 PM on February 2, 2005


Let me just contribute a non-binding NO vote for the Suicide Girls. Now, if you could change the color scheme on the front page to something more pale-flesh-colored, they might not be so distracting. But then, I found the mouse-over-animated jewel boxes distracting too. I have other issues with SG, about its 'attitude' and 'image' more than its content, that I feel makes it a bad match with MeFi. But then, most of the non-Tivo-commercial-skipped TV shows I've ever watched contained something in the ads that was just not right...

Thanks to Matt for the Hide option. Frankly, I'm going to change the MeFi link on my own sites' blogrolls to include the "noad=yes'. But I'll be glad to support OTHER ways to support the 'Filter; after reading this 500+ comment-a-thon, I'll be in the next thread...
posted by wendell at 6:08 PM on February 2, 2005


I don't remember people complaining about SG text ads.

I do.
posted by mcwetboy at 6:12 PM on February 2, 2005


To follow up on my earlier "no sir, I don't like it" --

I have nothing against porn. But I don't need reminding every day, as though I were a compulsive masturbator with ADD, of the places I can get it. I find this tacky. It clashes with the overall highbrow feel of MetaFilter. Not that MetaFilter doesn't have its lowbrow moments, admittedly, but it's not Fark. Or even Boing Boing. I don't think what another site does should especially be a model for MetaFilter. MetaFilter is its own thing. This doesn't feel right for it.

I block the SG ad at Boing Boing and I will do it here too, as I find both sites worth visiting, but I'm disappointed. Something ineffable has been diminished.
posted by kindall at 6:27 PM on February 2, 2005


the ads are just ads

No, they are ads featuring young models (==people chosen expressly for their physical beauty) who pose nude, showing lots of skin. Not the same as a textad, not the same as an ad featuring a fullly-clothed average person. The ad explicitly sells sex (or sexual material). Not all ads do (...yet).

There isn't porn everywhere

I was using hyperbole. Clearly there isn't porn in the books my kindergartener brings home from school. At least, I hope it's clear that porn doesn't belong there.

The point is porn has never been so cheaply and easily available, and so socially valued. Do I need to list all the places I see it? No. My point was that it's very, very prevalent, and I think it should be somewhat less prevalent. It's a matter of degree, and appropriateness.

Porn may not make the world better, but when objecting to its presense, it is incumbant on you to argue why porn makes the world worse, not the opposite.

I don't object to the mere presence of porn, its existence. I object to seeing sex sex sex, explicit and also merely suggestive, in a huge proportion of media (especially advertising) where in my estimation it simply doesn't belong. I am sick of seeing it. Some is okay, and understandable. But I see it blown way the hell out of proportion.

I guess as a species we still think with our lizard brains too much. Pity.

Anyway metafilter was a porn-free corner of the web, until now. And I lament this.

When you are a vegetarian it seems like there is some form of meat or meat product everywhere and it is hard to imagine that the world could possibly have any need for all this meat and meat-serving businesses. And yet, there they are.

Do you consider that there is ever a limit to the appropriate level of porn at all? Should my child's school textbooks feature porn ads? Come on, it's just human bodies, and bodies are natural! Why should her teacher be such a fucking prude as to object. Really.

And: we evolved in an environment where we ate meat. We didn't evolve in an environment where the prurient gaze so frequently met explicit sexual imagery.
posted by beth at 6:28 PM on February 2, 2005


MetaFilter: We Think With Our Lizard Brains.
posted by fandango_matt at 6:40 PM on February 2, 2005


Wow. 500+ posts and nobody has yet to think of the children. Nice jorb, guys!

That said, I'd rather not have the ads there. I read Fark too, but I scroll down to avoid the SbB and BullzEye girls when at work. When at home.... That's another story for when Banjo's not here. I actually like it when a cool link from Fark shows up here because I can forward it, plus all y'all's usually cromulent comments, on to friends and family.

Beyond the work and referral objections, I just don't like the site because it requires registration. We're constantly BugMeNoting and trying to get around sites with some form of registration in our links, yet we support the same type of site with our ads? This is no way a huge thing, mind you. File it under "Things That Made Me Say, 'Huh.'"
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:41 PM on February 2, 2005


My workplace, for a variety of reasons, is more restrained than typical, and has unusually prickly standards of professionalism. I enjoy Metafilter (blue) at home, but I avoided opening the front page at work because it was just too much of a crap shoot. Individual stories that looked interesting and, yes, inoffensive in the feed do get a peek at work when conditions permit. I guess this doesn't really change things for me or my work viewing habits.

But I do think, like some others mentioned, that it shrinks the set of people to whom I would be willing to recommend Metafilter, and that's kind of sad.
posted by NortonDC at 6:45 PM on February 2, 2005


"I object to seeing sex sex sex, explicit and also merely suggestive, in a huge proportion of media (especially advertising) where in my estimation it simply doesn't belong."

I have a different perspective on this. I find the explicitness of porn to be preferable to omnipresent sexual content in almost all advertising and movies and tv and whatever that is supposedly "okay" because it doesn't show boobies. Our society is drenched in sex imagery and unrealistic female body images. Maybe that's not an argument for tolerating porn, if you think it's worse, but I think it's an argument for having some perspective.

"Should my child's school textbooks feature porn ads? Come on, it's just human bodies, and bodies are natural!"

Personally, I wish we lived in a world where sex and nude bodies and stuff were not shameful or hidden in the least. There have been cultures that were this way, you know. And American culture is inarguably prudish. That's why I think it's also so sex-drenched. Like the Victorians, we see sex everywhere and are obsessed with it because we're afraid of it. Or something.

It deserves being repeated (someone just said it) that at least some of the SG models are not your typical "she shold have a sandwich" porn models. That's a good thing.

"We didn't evolve in an environment where the prurient gaze so frequently met explicit sexual imagery."

I think that's extremely contestable. Have you ever seen primates at the zoo?

Agregoli: you're gone, I think, but I have to say that I really couldn't make sense of what you've been saying overall. Scarabic was being confrontational, but I think his confusion about your position is reasonable.

It looks like Matt is going to keep the ads, but I wish he wouldn't. I know MeFi needs the revenue—if not now, when the baby is born—but there's got to be a less community disruptive and contentious means to get it.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 6:49 PM on February 2, 2005


The inclusion of the ads reminds me of the recent story about the Wal-Mart being built beside the Aztec temples.
posted by picea at 6:53 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm bothered by how people are seizing on the articles linked by filmgoerjuan as ammunition for their position. Not that I'm not bothered by the claims made therein. It's just that no company is immune to controversy -- not Amazon, not Google, not Blogads.

I posted those articles not as a way of saying "SG does bad things, therefore we shouldn't accept ads from them"; rather, it was as a counterpoint to something Matt said:

I've always liked the site and felt it was a well-designed, female positive, sex positive place that wasn't like your typical demeaning porn site. And I'll reiterate: I won't take other porn ads or casino ads or any of that crap. SG is an exception and as racy as anything I ever take as an advertiser here.

SG definitely trades off of its image as a female positive site — one that's somehow different from other adult content sites. After reading the complaints and articles that I linked, I'm not so sure this is true.

I get the impression that this was a borderline decision for Matt and that, in part, his decision to accept the ad was made easier because SG is perceived as being empowering towards women, that the women who appear on the site have control of the way they are portrayed, etc. If this isn't the case, and Matt was iffy about taking on the ad in the first place, I don't see why he'd make an exception for them.

As I stated before, I had much the same impression of SG as Matt did, up until someone pointed me to that LJ community. I didn't intend the links to be a polemic, just another perspective for mathowie to consider as he gauges the response to the ads.
posted by filmgoerjuan at 6:53 PM on February 2, 2005


Think about this: If the people to whom you would recommend the site are going to be offended by the image below, how would they not be offended by comments about urinating in Ann Coulter's face? Much worse has been posted and linked here and if someone's got a problem with this picture, he or she probably has has issues with the cover of Cosmopolitan.


posted by fandango_matt at 6:56 PM on February 2, 2005


I don't think it's fair to place the entire history of erotica and pornography on the shoulders of these ads. If you like the ads or not, if you think the ads are a good fit for Metafilter or not, that is a seperate issue from how omnipresent differing degrees of sexual imagery have become in the real world and on the internet.
posted by 23skidoo at 7:03 PM on February 2, 2005


And: we evolved in an environment where we ate meat. We didn't evolve in an environment where the prurient gaze so frequently met explicit sexual imagery.

Really? So even if we table the whole argument of humans as obligate carnivores for now, are you claiming that there was some sort of demure undergarments for early hominids?
posted by milovoo at 7:03 PM on February 2, 2005


Matt exists in a world where the site costs money and takes time to create and suicide girls is the only place at this time that is willing to pay a good amount for the viewing it will receive.

Not true. He's said several times that he has turned down numerous harder-core porn site ads. I'm sure that there are many that would love to get into our eyeballs.

It's a question of where you draw the line. Mathowie freely admits that one needs to be drawn, given the nature of the site, and has indicated that he has indeed drawn one, turning down various offers. It's just that many, many members of this community think that this particular case should have been on the other side of the line.
posted by rushmc at 7:04 PM on February 2, 2005


fandango_matt, it's not enough to have it on the front page where Matt's given the option to block it, but now you have to repost the images inside threads?

Bad form.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:04 PM on February 2, 2005


Think about this: If the people to whom you would recommend the site are going to be offended by the image below, how would they not be offended by comments about urinating in Ann Coulter's face?

One user's comment about giving Coulter a golden shower speaks about that one person's idea, while porn ads on the front page speak about the entire community.
posted by NortonDC at 7:10 PM on February 2, 2005


I'll strongly disagree and matt has wielded the hammer against many who obviously had $5 but weren't wanted here.

You don't like our kind here, sherrif? We'll be runnin' along...

Afterall why not have a completely open door policy ala /.? if everybody is welcome.

cause matt could use a few bucks.

And to people who say that something makes them "uncomfortable," you weren't promised comfort. And people need to be made uncomfortable once in a while.
posted by jonmc at 7:10 PM on February 2, 2005


Warning: I'm drunk and I just watched Easy Rider. I'm in a very low-tolerance-for-bullshit mood.
posted by jonmc at 7:14 PM on February 2, 2005


Hide this ad

How hard is that?
posted by HyperBlue at 7:17 PM on February 2, 2005


milovoo: Well, didn't early hominids wear fig leaves in the Garden of Eden?

*ducks*

Mr. Crash Davis: Well, this thread has depictions of a penis, a vulva, naked breasts, discussions of urinating in Ann Coulter's face and wishing her death, so I figured a brassiere was no big deal.

NortonDC: You wouldn't know it's a porn ad (and even that definition is debateable)unless you click on it. Also, don't the contributions of the users speak just as much--if not more--about the community?
posted by fandango_matt at 7:18 PM on February 2, 2005


Warning: I'm drunk and I just watched Easy Rider. I'm in a very low-tolerance-for-bullshit mood.

Then please step away from the keyboard.
posted by cosmonik at 7:18 PM on February 2, 2005


Seriously, #1, just pull the plug. Judging from this thread, your user base now thinks you're a bigot, a pimp, a censor, and possibly a pedophile.
posted by darukaru at 7:19 PM on February 2, 2005


People like konolia & gd779 bring different perspectives to the table - will they stick around?

But don't people like konolia (or at least the site's perception of her) just reinforce a simplistic worldview of sex-phobic fundy red-staters vs. libertine enlightened blue-staters, when anyone with half a brain can see that our current situation is more complicated than that?
posted by jonmc at 7:22 PM on February 2, 2005


I'm a chubby 23 year old woman. I love SG because it reminds me that I don't have to look like Kate fucking Moss to be considered attractive. SG makes me feel sexy. Go figure.

Will all due respect, amandaudoff, you're 23. You may find that SG makes you feel anything but sexy in another twenty or thirty years.
posted by jokeefe at 7:26 PM on February 2, 2005


mathowie said: And I'll reiterate: I won't take other porn ads or casino ads or any of that crap.

Casino ads would not be nearly as bad for people who want to use this site around workplace/family environments.

on preview: I find gd779's contributions both informative and entertaining. konolia may be predictable in her responses, but that doesn't invalidate her as a member or contributer, and I'd rather she stuck around. Not every subject is about sex or morals or something where you can predict konolia's reaction, and in those 'other' threads, her contributions may be valuable.
posted by cosmonik at 7:27 PM on February 2, 2005


To tie the vegetarianism and pornography memes, I give you The Pornography of Meat by Carol J. Adams. Publisher's Weekly says:
The author of The Sexual Politics of Meat returns with an emotionally charged volume based on her traveling lecture-slide show. Adams, a crusader for the rights of women and animals (or, as she calls them, "nonhumans") charges that both have long been portrayed as consumable, mouth-watering slabs of meat, and she provides graphic backup for her argument in the form of advertisements, signs, photographs and illustrations (e.g., "Strip Tease," reads a billboard for a steak house). The advertising industry is the primary culprit in the "thingification" of women and nonhumans, she says, an argument whose first part will come as no surprise to anyone familiar with Jean Kilbourne's pioneering critiques of the industry's portrayal of women. That advertisers often exploit women's bodies to sell products and that most factory farms treat animals abominably are incontrovertible facts. But Adams's use of familiar hierarchical oppositions (woman is "not man" and animals are "not human," with the "not" always being subordinate) to argue against such industries sometimes undermines her points, by reinforcing, rather than subverting, such binary constructs. Advertising is patriarchy's "self-promotion," she says, and we must "Stop consuming nonhumans. Stop consuming women and children."....
And just to make it even more meta-meta-meta, I used the MeFi Amazon Associates ID (although I may have effed up the HTML), so each and every copy purchased will go to benefit the site.

[...head explodes...]
posted by subgenius at 7:29 PM on February 2, 2005


You may find that SG makes you feel anything but sexy in another twenty or thirty years.

Well, there's "milf" sites that might do the same for her when that time comes. Probably the most postive thing you can say about pornography is that is that if enough people are turned on by something to make a profit, somebody will produce a movie/magazine/website to cater to it. In a demented way it's a beautiful illustration of capitalism in action.

The fact that this thread has provoked more comments than just about any other MeTa speaks volumes.
posted by jonmc at 7:30 PM on February 2, 2005


"Will all due respect, amandaudoff, you're 23. You may find that SG makes you feel anything but sexy in another twenty or thirty years."

Almost every male on TV, print ads, and movies make me feel anything but sexy. The test implied in what you're saying is not the same as a generalized "unfriendly to women" test. Lots of things make us feel inadequate about ourselves, and often quite unfairly. But my delicate sensibilities about something are not normative. Neither are yours.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:38 PM on February 2, 2005


don't the contributions of the users speak just as much--if not more--about the community?

No. Users are responsible for their own comments. Check the last line of this page.

Porn ads on the welcome page indicate the standards of the whole community. Participating signals acceptance.
posted by NortonDC at 7:42 PM on February 2, 2005




Here, for comparison, are three readily-available publications.
posted by fandango_matt at 7:45 PM on February 2, 2005


I'll strongly disagree and matt has wielded the hammer against many who obviously had $5 but weren't wanted here.

You don't like our kind here, sherrif? We'll be runnin' along...


An exaggerated response, yes, but when you hear sentiments like taht being expressed aloud, you can't help but wonder if you're going to be the nest person called under the banhammer. An atmosphere of fear does not promote the free exchange of ideas.
posted by jonmc at 7:46 PM on February 2, 2005


Will all due respect, amandaudoff, you're 23. You may find that SG makes you feel anything but sexy in another twenty or thirty years.

What does that have to do with this discussion? Now she feels comfortable with it; now you do not. So what? She's wrong because she likes it now, and you're right because you don't?

On preview: mmmmm Katie Holmes.
posted by m0nm0n at 7:50 PM on February 2, 2005


I've been reading these comments, and don't know what to think on the whole. BUT I do wonder, why did Suicide Girls become the official "acceptable" nudie site in certain circles? It's not like no softcore sites with decidedly non-glossy photography existed before. It's photo quality doesn't seem especially high. And some of the girls at SG have so many body mods that they can, in extreme cases, look like Clowns of the Future, with a vaguely Modified Congolese / Rain Forest Tribal influence or something.

Seriously, the whole thing will go out of style and these girls will be left with this stuff all over that's the equivalent of what '70s shag carpeting became by the late 1980s - something to be snarky about. (I know. I had orange shag in my first apartment, and made plenty of successful jokes at the carpet's expense.)

Now, putting a Suicide Girls banner at the top of metafilter only strengthens their image as The Cool Site. No one else gets there but this nudie site with body mods. I'm sick of seeing their crap everywhere, though, and not just due to the fact that it's boobies-centric (although maybe the deal with denying it's used to turn people on is part of the turn-off for me; it's not liberating in the way that, say, a clothing-optional beach can have the potential to be, with the right and accepting crowd). It's just become ubiquitous.

So . . . the turning off the ad part? Thank heavens.
posted by raysmj at 7:51 PM on February 2, 2005


I've been trying to keep up with the thread all day and now that I've lapped it, this is my final conclusion: tacky.

Personally, I dislike the ads because I dislike SG, but that's neither here nor there. I am, however, bothered by the number of women it makes unhappy, because good women can be hard to come by here & I hate to think we're losing them for a totally cheesy ad.
posted by dame at 7:52 PM on February 2, 2005


Count me in with Beth. It's precisely because crap like this is on the cover of Cosmo and everywhere else that I feel skeezy about it being on Metafilter. I don't see how "but it's everywhere!" is a good reason for it to be here. I try to avoid "sex sells" as much as I can. Thankfully I can block it, but I wish more people in this thread would look past the contentious issue of sexual morality and start talking about whether new users will have a different first impression of the site with the ad in place. It makes it look more like a typical discussion forum and not the diamond in the rough that it really is. Many times, I make the decision to explore further on a website based on design and what I perceive to be their intended audience. I think the ad is a disservice to both and may cause some to skip over Mefi thinking it's something that it's not.

I am really sad to see agregoli leave over this issue. I thought she was expressing herself rather well, personally, and I think it's too bad that she was made to feel as though she had to add disclaimers like "don't get me wrong, I like porn" and even after doing that, she got the John Ashcroft treatment.

Aside: I love how some men have the nerve to trot out the old "but our brains are wired differently than yours!" answer while simultaneously telling a woman that her "prudish" views on pornography are wrong. That argument goes both ways, and if that's your answer to why it's OK that sex is used to sell everything from AOL to milk, then you may just have to accept that my brain is "wired differently" and somehow objects to the constant barrage of sexual imagery in the media (both online and otherwise). If men and women are wired differently about sex then it follows that they might have different reactions to this issue. You don't have to make anyone feel bad or unenlightened or prudish over it.

I think jokeefe best summed up my uneasy gut reaction to the ads best:

And whenever I see ads for Suicide Girls, I feel, for a small but definite moment, something which I can only describe as that of being indicted for no longer being young, for the crime of having grey hair, for the bodily thickening of middle age. I don't need to be reminded on every fucking site I visit that a girl of 19 can easily command more social value to the world at large than an older woman with a PhD.

On preview: fandango_matt, that doesn't prove a goddamned thing about whether or not the ad should be on metafilter. So fucking what that I see it every day in newsstands? I also see a bunch of political ranting in newsstands. Does that mean it's welcome here? NO.

That said, I hope that Matt gets to stay home with Haughey 1.0 even if he doesn't work on Mefi during naps.
posted by pikachulolita at 7:54 PM on February 2, 2005


Many of the men who've posted like the ads or don't see what the big deal is.

Don't forget those of us who know that SG has been advertising on MeFi for a while, and who really don't give a fuck, one way or another.
posted by adampsyche at 7:54 PM on February 2, 2005


m0nm0n, I think it was more the fact that just because amandaudoff is comfortable with the images doesn't mean all females will/should be similarly comfortable.

fandango_matt, I wouldn't want any of those images on MeFi, nor any of those publications advertising with those images on this site.

Secondly, the other three do not represent pornography, which is what many people have trouble with.
posted by cosmonik at 7:55 PM on February 2, 2005


Its photo quality, damn it, not it's. Damn it! For shame.
posted by raysmj at 7:57 PM on February 2, 2005


cosmonik: Yeah, I get that, but conversely: just because jokeefe isn't comfortable with the images doesn't mean all females will/should be similarly uncomfortable.
posted by m0nm0n at 8:12 PM on February 2, 2005


I am, however, bothered by the number of women it makes unhappy, because good women can be hard to come by here & I hate to think we're losing them for a totally cheesy ad.

In a nutshell, that's it for me. As this thread has borne out, you can be a sex and porn-positive person and not want the SG image influencing the tone of discussion or public perception of the site, or chasing off female contributors, who have always been underrepresented here. For most among us, this is not about prudery or delicacy. Who else has to say it: our ultimate antic soul, quonsar? The adorable mr_crash_davis, who will always have my heart for loving the buxom among us? Oh, hang on...

Obviously, I want it gone, and I do not want the John Ashcroft treatment, which up till now I thought meant being tied to a folding chair and forced to hear "Let the Eagle Soar" on a repetitive loop while wearing a too-small sports bra, but now has been clarified to mean "If I say I don't want porn on the front door, I'm a hatchet-faced burqua and clitoridectomy advocate."
posted by melissa may at 8:12 PM on February 2, 2005


"If I say I don't want porn on the front door, I'm a hatchet-faced burqua and clitoridectomy advocate."

No, but if you say (as many here have) that you have no moral objection to porn, yet you vigorously object to it's public acknowledgement (which is all this ad basically is, besides a way for matt to recoup a few bucks for his efforts), isn't that a little bit of hypocrisy? It's like saying "I think porn is dandy, let's just not talk about it publicly and pretend that it's not a business like any other."
posted by jonmc at 8:21 PM on February 2, 2005


jonmc said: you have no moral objection to porn, yet you vigorously object to it's public acknowledgement...isn't that a little bit of hypocrisy?

The issue is far more complex than that.

I have absolutely no moral objection to porn, yet I don't want image-based porn ads on a site I regularly visit from where I work. For obvious reasons, I separate my appreciation of porn from my work life. Can you see how I can not object to porn per se, but do not want it in certain spheres of my life? I imagine many other posters here feel the same.

I'm all for Matt making money, and think it's the least he deserves, but I don't think this is the way to do it.

I also don't want to lose valuable contributors who do object to porn (agregoli, et al), even if I don't agree with their views.
posted by cosmonik at 8:29 PM on February 2, 2005


Can you see how I can not object to porn per se, but do not want it in certain spheres of my life?

Yes. And that's the only legitamite objection, ultimately. The rest is all based on opinion, and foisting opinion-based rules on an entire community is wrong.
posted by jonmc at 8:32 PM on February 2, 2005


jonmc, it's also possible that porn-happy people aren't crazy about porn being a major component of the perceived character of Metafilter. Thinking that something is deserves a place is not the same as thinking that something deserves a place here, and thinking that something does deserve a place here is not the same as thinking it deserves a central place here.

I think that a completely reasonable impression for a newcomer to form when seeing the SG ad on Metafilter is: "Oh, porn plays a prominent role this site."

I think that porn does have a place on Metafilter, and could easily be the subject of a fantastic post, but I'm not keen on porn seeming like a central characteristic of Metafilter.
posted by NortonDC at 8:33 PM on February 2, 2005


For me, it's about context. Within the context of Metafilter, that ad simply does not belong. Fortunately, I can and have turned it off. I just find the way the ad was sprung on the site extremely disappointing.

jonmc, it's hardly hypocritical to suggest there is a time and place for everything. Just because I don't want a turd in the punchbowl doesn't mean I don't poop. Yeesh.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:35 PM on February 2, 2005


I have no problem with porn (except of the kiddie or coerced varieties, of course), however I think that anything that drives valued female voices away from the site is A Bad Thing. (Actually, I think that anything that drives valued voices of any stripe -- conservative, non-US, non-white, Xian, what-have-you) away from the site is A Bad Thing. It's just that females seem to be doing most of the objecting in this particular case.)

However, Matt acted responsibly by coding an "off" button for the ads. So I don't really get what the SG brouhaha is all about.
posted by Vidiot at 8:36 PM on February 2, 2005


No, but if you say (as many here have) that you have no moral objection to porn, yet you vigorously object to it's public acknowledgement (which is all this ad basically is, besides a way for matt to recoup a few bucks for his efforts), isn't that a little bit of hypocrisy?

jonmc, its cheesy and tacky and represents the web's lowest common denominator. There's no hypocrisy involved in seeing this on the front page of a site you thought was better than that. If it helps to understand my position, I'd have many of the same feeling with a large casino ad on the front page.

Your objections would make sense if we were trying to censure an FPP about the porn industry. But thats not what this is! When I open the New Yorker, I expect to read a well thought out essay about porn sites or the porn industry. But, I'd be disheartened to see a full page ad for Hustler magazine.
posted by vacapinta at 8:40 PM on February 2, 2005


It depresses me that we've come full circle; I could post exactly the same thing I posted twelve hours and god knows how many hundreds of posts ago and it'd still be relevant. I've been scrappier about this issue earlier in this thread; I'll try to be a bit more thoughtful here.

If you don't want porn ads on the front page of MetaFilter, period, then I certainly respect your position. It's not one I agree with, but your right to hold and express that opinion is unassailable. I'm uncomfortable with the notion that members may feel pushed away as a result (though we've been less concerned in the past about driving, for example, conservative voices away); I think Matt's done everything short of not accepting them to be accommodating.

But SG textads have been on the site for nearly three years, and the images themselves are not in the least explicit. The ads going up do not represent a sudden change in policy: we've had image ads before, and we've had SG ads before. This site is not suddenly more prurient nor more hostile towards women as a result of these ads. If you don't want SG ads here, then by all means oppose them; just bear in mind that this is not a new discussion, and that they're already a fait accompli.

If community standards are an issue, and the SG ads conflict with how we see them, then shouldn't there be other implications? If image ads aren't acceptable, then neither are text ads: text filters at work can make words just as NSFW as thumbnails showing just a little too much skin. And then, to be consistent, Matt would have to delete all NSFW posts to maintain community standards. Because what's inappropriate for ads is surely inappropriate for content.

(And if you think our content is better than these ads, you haven't been paying attention to some truly godawful shite that's been posted here, to say nothing of what happens when the comments truly go off the deep end. Also remember that there's been some first-rate content posted here that also happens to be NSFW.)

Surely you can see where this is going. A site so heavily policed that the life has been stifled out of it, and anything with any bit of an edge to it is verboten.

Second point:

Matt's been taking a lot of shit lately.

When he started closing threads before they turn into train wrecks, he got shit. When he added Jessamyn as a moderator, he got shit. When he deleted a controversial thread, he got shit. And when he adds a new advertiser, he gets shit.

Christ almighty, we'd hit the roof if he changed the kerning on the title jpeg.

I'm amazed he doesn't just ignore us and do his thing anyway; it's to his credit that he lets us let him have it. I wouldn't be able to put up with it, personally. But it does appear that we collectively freak out as soon as he changes anything. (I didn't think we were all cats.)

If you go ballistic over everything, eventually you get tuned out.
posted by mcwetboy at 8:43 PM on February 2, 2005


Because what's inappropriate for ads is surely inappropriate for content.

I disagree. Nobody against the ads has said that. See my post above yours. And as NortonDC pointed out, the users can be held responsible for their posts and comments. The ads reflect the culture of the site as a whole.
posted by vacapinta at 8:48 PM on February 2, 2005


Wow, here I was trying to frame an intelligent rejoinder, and all I needed to do was remember Caddy Shack. By all means, when I'm at work and I've missed lunch and I'm hungry, pass me a Baby Ruth bar, but no, don't send one floating by me while I'm in the pool. Thanks, MegoSteve, and vacapinta, and Norton DC, et al.
posted by melissa may at 8:49 PM on February 2, 2005


If most people have turned the ad off, are the SG folks really receiving any value for their money?
posted by rushmc at 8:51 PM on February 2, 2005


jonmc, it's hardly hypocritical to suggest there is a time and place for everything.

Which matt has taken care of by allowing people to opt out of the ad.

Beyond that, it just seems to me like saying one thing and doing another. We like porn, but let's pretend we're horribly offended by it.

I think that a completely reasonable impression for a newcomer to form when seeing the SG ad on Metafilter is: "Oh, porn plays a prominent role this site."


Actually, I think that anything that drives valued voices of any stripe -- conservative, non-US, non-white, Xian, what-have-you

If some of the responses in this thread is any indication, the response to this ad is alienating those with libertarian, we're-all-adults-here, sex-positive,
Isn't that just a newfangled way of saying "It's okay to look at porn since everybody does, just don't let the neighbors know?"

An alternate impression for someone to get by seeing the Suicide Girls ad is "This is an open-minded community, they're not hampered by sex hangups."

Ultimately, this whole tempest in a teapot is silly. We're not CBS here, we're just a website. Civilization will continue no matter what we decide.

Actually, I think that anything that drives valued voices of any stripe -- conservative, non-US, non-white, Xian, what-have-you

If some of the responses in this thread are any indication, the reaction to this ad is driving away those of us with libertarian, sex-positive, we're-all-adults-here/porn is a fact of life, pragmatic values.

When I open the New Yorker, I expect to read a well thought out essay about porn sites or the porn industry.

As much as I might enjoy the New Yorker on occasion, it definitely sends a message that certain points-of-view and demographics are welcome there and certain other ones aren't. Metafilter has always thrived on the fact that all veiwpoints are welcome. Is that true or not? Because I'm really starting to get the impression ere that if I don't toe the party line on this that I'm not welcome here.

Matt'll do what Mat'll do, but that's the impression I'm getting and I doubt I'm alone.
posted by jonmc at 8:51 PM on February 2, 2005


I saw a much racier Skyy Vodka ad in Wired today. Just saying.
posted by abcde at 8:51 PM on February 2, 2005


Here, for comparison, are three readily-available publications.

All three of those mags have sexy images on the cover because they sell sex (cosmo less than the others), so I'm not sure if your comparison means anything.

Unless you want mefi to become maxim...
posted by justgary at 8:52 PM on February 2, 2005


Have you looked at all of the images, mcwetboy? You don't find this one to just scream "porn ad?" What about this one? Or this one? Or this one? The one fandango_matt posted is relatively innocuous compared to those.
posted by MegoSteve at 8:55 PM on February 2, 2005


The ads reflect the culture of the site as a whole.

There are three ways of responding to this. (1) Some might say that the ads reflect only the advertiser; there is a difference between advertising and editorial, at least in the better publications. (2) An ad's just an ad: just because the owner/publisher runs it doesn't mean he wholeheartedly endorses it. (3) The presence of an ad basically means that the advertiser thinks the audience is receptive. If the fact that SuicideGirls is willing to advertise on MetaFilter reflects the culture of the site as a whole, that culture doesn't change whether or not they do in fact advertise. In other words, it's too late.
posted by mcwetboy at 8:59 PM on February 2, 2005


Warning: There's an FPP about bullet and cone brassieres. This site has many images of brassiere-covered breasts. Proceed at your own risk.
posted by fandango_matt at 8:59 PM on February 2, 2005


Yes, MegoSteve, some are racier than others. What's your point? They're all relatively innocuous compared to actual porn. And have you seen porn ads for other sites? The animated GIFs showing full penetration and facials? Some perspective is in order, methinks.
posted by mcwetboy at 9:03 PM on February 2, 2005


If the fact that SuicideGirls is willing to advertise on MetaFilter reflects the culture of the site as a whole, that culture doesn't change whether or not they do in fact advertise. In other words, it's too late.

Maybe you're right mcwetboy. In that case, for some of us who were in denial about this, this came as a wake-up call.
posted by vacapinta at 9:09 PM on February 2, 2005


mcwetboy, mathowie has made it clear that ads have to pass muster with him before they appear, so that means that their appearance here does carry with it an implied endorsement. That's not the case everywhere, but it is the case here.

jonmc, there's a meaningful difference between being "an open-minded community" and being "an open-minded community focused on porn." I don't think the ad gets us to the second statement, but it does push newcomers' impressions in that direction, and it does that to a much greater degree than the text ad ever did.
posted by NortonDC at 9:14 PM on February 2, 2005


Cheap, trashy, small-time, small-slime excrement.

All this eternal, milktoast, wishy-washy, hand-wringing, navel-gazing crap over years about how MetaFilter's front page looks to the rest of the world, and now this?

Great greeting for women readers. Brilliant. Bravo.

Yeah. No FPPs to pictures and stories about insignficant little things like war dead. No fucking money in that. But hell yeah, bring on the Suicide Girls. They pay.
posted by fold_and_mutilate at 9:18 PM on February 2, 2005


But SG textads have been on the site for nearly three years, and the images themselves are not in the least explicit. The ads going up do not represent a sudden change in policy: we've had image ads before, and we've had SG ads before. This site is not suddenly more prurient nor more hostile towards women as a result of these ads.

This sums it up for me, although I can sympathize with those who asked for (and received) the removal of the more explicit images.
posted by DaShiv at 9:20 PM on February 2, 2005


Prediction: the Iraqi war dead will become the Godwin of the next generation. I'm done here, in any case.
posted by DaShiv at 9:29 PM on February 2, 2005


The point is that many Metafilter regulars don't feel that the racier photos have a place on Metafilter. It's disingenuous to suggest the ads aren't at all explicit by showing one of the more innocuous photos and saying, "See, they're not all that bad." It's also disingenuous to point to an animated gif of penetration and say the same, because it's not fair to compare Metafilter, which never had front page photos of this nature before, with sites that exist solely for that kind of thing. Am I making a mistake to hold Metafilter to a higher standard?
posted by MegoSteve at 9:33 PM on February 2, 2005


Disclaimer: I'm a hardcore lurker (boo! non-participater!), so my opinion isn't especially significant.

Just weighing in with another vote for "tacky". It's not a matter of prudery in my case, it just doesn't seem appropriate for mefi.

I do read fark occasionally. When I do, I know to expect women thrusting their chest at me. And although I get a bit tired of it, it fits the community. I wouldn't expect anything different there. But when I visited metafilter this morning and saw the girl holding her boobs, I was disappointed. I didn't have a problem with the text ad, but the photo just stands out so much in contrast to the rest of the site.

That said, I do appreciate the option to hide it. It's not a perfect solution, I'm sorry to see the ads at all, but at least it's something.
posted by jheiz at 9:46 PM on February 2, 2005


Will all due respect, amandaudoff, you're 23. You may find that SG makes you feel anything but sexy in another twenty or thirty years.

Warning
: Moderately offtopic tangent, but I have to respond to this.

With all due respect, jokeefe, if this is true I'll have let myself down. As I said previously, I am a former SG member. I only let it lapse when I got laid off. When I have expendable income, I'll rejoin.

For me, SG is a celebration of my womanhood. Yes, most of the ladies on there are young. Christ, most of them are younger than I am now. But they're not the norm that you see in society. They're like me. They're tattooed, occasionally unshaven, creative women who are proud of their bodies. I am saddened by the idea that people would think otherwise. I am saddened that people are lumping SG in the same category with the scores of other porn sites out there.

Here's what I want to know: out of those of you who are opposed to the ad, how many of you have ever seen anything beyond what SG offers for free? How many of you have been welcomed into the community on the message boards and blogs on the site? But, oh right. It's just another porn site.

And I don't need to be reminded on every fucking site I visit that a girl of 19 can easily command more social value to the world at large than an older woman with a PhD.

I resent the implication that just because I like SG (and who knows? Might one day be on it.), I'm not as valuable to your societal view. I'm in college. I plan on going to grad school. I plan on getting my doctorate. The idea that SGers are made up of illiterate, shallow, young girls pisses me off to no end. Being a well spoken member of MeFi and a SG supporter are not mutually exclusive and I'm offended by the idea that seems prevalent here leading to the contrary.
posted by amandaudoff at 9:54 PM on February 2, 2005


amandaudoff, yes, that was off-topic (albeit interesting). However, even if SG had a MeFi-quality community of forums and message boards, and flowing tapestries of poetry interlaced with thought-provoking essays, it's still got porn in it, and this - as hard as it is for you (or me) to believe, makes some people exceptionally uncomfortable, and has consequences for MeFi and the MeFi brand.

But alas, as always, it's Matt's playground, and he just invited us over for a bit. So mcwetboy said it best: I think Matt's done everything short of not accepting them to be accommodating.
posted by cosmonik at 10:04 PM on February 2, 2005


It is another porn site, amandaudoff. That it's a porn site you like more than others doesn't keep it from being another porn site. Whether it's "just" another porn site is so personal a judgement that eternal debate might never produce agreement.
posted by NortonDC at 10:09 PM on February 2, 2005


I didn't really read the rest of this thread but I wanted to post my answer in case somebody's keeping track. I don't care, at all, about the ads. They're vaguely hot but along with almost all other banner ads, they barely register. Furthermore, I like the idea of Matt making money from the internet and the quality product he's providing to us for free.

Again, this is case he's keeping a tally of our opions, which he shouldn't because it's his darn site and you can like it or suck it.
posted by maniactown at 10:10 PM on February 2, 2005


Metafilter: Like it or suck it.
posted by m0nm0n at 10:11 PM on February 2, 2005


I like it and suck it, but I guess that's just up to personal preference.
posted by cosmonik at 10:14 PM on February 2, 2005


Ok, try this: make SG ads *only* visible to members

and

only if they go to their userpage and opt-in.

Non-members won't see it. Members who object won't see it. Members who don't object *and* take that extra step will see it.

This might've been suggested four hundred posts ago, but I don't have time to go back and read it all. If not, please give it a thought.
posted by trondant at 10:18 PM on February 2, 2005


After reading about 300 comments, and not seeing anyone do this...

If you don't want to see the frickin ad...


Bookmark this. or just remember

metafilter dot com slash lofi dot mefi



Having said that, I don't care either way.
posted by drezdn at 10:24 PM on February 2, 2005


I resent the implication that just because I like SG (and who knows? Might one day be on it.), I'm not as valuable to your societal view.

I don't think she meant it like "I'm more valuable than you because I have a PhD"; it's more that being young and cute (in a usually pretty conventional way despite the piercings and dyed hair) will often bring a woman more approval and attention in our society than any accomplishment of hers ever could. I still won't be too upset if the ads stay up, but I sometimes feel like that when I look at those ads too, even though I'm only 26, and I couldn't really articulate it until I read jokeefe's post.
posted by transona5 at 10:29 PM on February 2, 2005


As I mentioned somewhere upstream, I thought there was a paternalistic undercurrent to amberglow's desire to protect the ladies from offense; now there seems to be a very interesting maternalistic, dismissive tone in some of the responses to amandaudoff. Don't you worry your pretty little head -- leave it to the older, wiser women to make decisions about what's appropriate.

It might be interesting to see how our opinions break down generationally.
posted by subgenius at 10:42 PM on February 2, 2005


But SG textads have been on the site for nearly three years

Usually in rotation with dozens, perhaps even hundreds of other textads. And in easily-ignored text. Not in a format that stands out and says "this is important. look at it. LOOK AT IT NOW!"

Ok, try this: make SG ads *only* visible to members

Unfortunately, nobody's going to pay money to advertise only to a relative handful of regulars.
posted by kindall at 10:52 PM on February 2, 2005


Count me as one of the disappointed. I've resisted the idea that MeFi has become more of a boyzone and I've resisted the idea that MeFi has gone downhill because of the US election or because there are so many new people coming all at once. I've told myself to be patient. But I'm reading the front page less and less, reading comments even less, and although I'm not a frequent FPPoster, I find I haven't at all wanted to put the work in to writing a post lately due to the current atmosphere. I do really appreciate those who have tried to maintain the quality of FPP's and I'm very glad to have the Contacts capability. This ad seems like another step down the path to CrapTown.
posted by lobakgo at 11:10 PM on February 2, 2005


By raising such a big stink about this, are we making mountains out of molehills? No, I don't think so.

I think a great big bone of contention here is the concept of "selling out", not per se, but acceding to doing something because the money makes it better.

What I'm perceiving is that this is an issue Matt is grappling with, and to which some members fear the SG ads are taking us one step closer. We don't bat an eyelash when such ads appear in magazines or other websites. They're businesses, they're in it for the money; they're attention whores, they're in it for the traffic AND the money.

But MetaFilter is a labor of love. Not for profit. Purely for the sharing of the best links. Purely for the intelligent and/or humorous discussion that follows. These are noble pursuits considering the rest of the web: of course we hold it to a higher standard!

And we love Matt's lighthanded touch, and we love to let the offensive things slide because they are offset by otherwise worthwhile contributions. MeFi wouldn't be what it is without the community at large, but MeFi wouldn't even be here if Matt hadn't given birth to it. In many senses, he IS a parent. He DOES want what's best for the site. He WOULD like to devote more time to it. The deletion of offensive threads and the aid of jessamyn is akin to the endeavor of raising a child. It would be nice if Matt could do this full time and make money from it. And this is where the trouble begins.

Very subtly, the higher pursuits seem to have fallen on the wayside and it has become more and more about cleaning the poo off the site and making a living to support it.

It is unfortunate that this living starts with a brightly-colored sexually suggestive image on an otherwise banal-looking page. It has offended people on moral and aesthetic levels. Do we have the option not to see it? Yes. Is it tasteful? Debatable. Will there be more like it? No, this is an exception to the rule. Fine.

But I sincerely believe that the larger question is: will the SG ads help the site, or harm it?

Financially, sure. Money doesn't hurt. Altruistically, it'll keep the site afloat. It is ironic that this is all being essentially done out of love and the promise of more devotion. But if the community at large is disappointed (and I do think disappointed is the word to describe the general feel I'm getting from most of the dissenting comments) with this action and falls apart because of it, then is it all worth it?
posted by furious blush at 11:19 PM on February 2, 2005


I don't have a personal problem with the ads, but I certainly sympathize with those who think they make the site unsafe to view at work; I'm in the same boat. I probably would have preferred an option to turn them off a day or so before they popped up on my screen at work. But they're off now, so no harm, no foul.

Except, it turns out that turning them off forever means turning them off until you go to another machine. I understand why the ads show up when you aren't logged in, but I had to explicitly turn the ads off for every machine I use even if I was already logged in on that machine. This wasn't the behavior I expected and I'd prefer it if this preference could be tied to our profiles or something so that selecting the hide ads option once would be enough to truly turn them off forever. Perhaps there are technical reasons why this isn't possible, but it's what I would prefer to see.

Anyway, that's my two cents.
posted by HiddenInput at 11:25 PM on February 2, 2005


On a separate note, I find the comparisons of SG image ads to risque/taboo content in FPPs to be absurd. Text != images. For whatever they're worth, the taboo stuff that gets posted on FPPs is assigned value by its proponents (amusement, shock, social relevance, etc.), not to mention the discussions that follow. At least take into account the different contexts in which they appear. If anything, the gratuitous SG ads have more in common with self-links than any other content on this site, so why are we surprised that they are frowned upon? The only difference is that money is being made off the former.
posted by furious blush at 11:26 PM on February 2, 2005


I was disappointed to see the ad this morning, but gratified to be able to click it off. I don't feel I can complain with the off switch in place, but I find it depressing nonetheless. After reading this whole thread, I think that there are clearly enough upset members here that it would be wise to seriously consider other options.

jonmc: Please don't type drunk. 40 comments in one thread should be enough for anyone.

on preview: furious blush,
posted by obloquy at 11:27 PM on February 2, 2005


As one of the people Matt consulted on the initial SG text ad placement - about which I was completely in favor - I'm surprised to find myself feeling less than thrilled about the current incarnation of the ads.

I'm not a fan, though I appreciate Matt's position and the sensitivity of the "hide this ad" feature.

As others have already voiced in this thread, it just makes this one more "chicks as wallpaper on the internet" place, whether those chicks are hotter/more tasteful/more cool/wider selection of body type/whatever. And though I'm happy to have those hotter/more tasteful/more cool/wider selection of body types available to me on the vast world wide web, it's not what I come to Metafilter for, and I don't like what it does to the site. Or the community.
posted by judith at 11:27 PM on February 2, 2005


I suppose I should add my ¢.02. I didn’t even notice that the normal jewelboxing ad had been replaced until I came into Metatalk today. It’s no more visually jarring than then the previous ad with the added bonus that you can get rid of it with a single click. If the ad helps out will help out Matt & Metafilter I’m all for it.
posted by Tenuki at 11:29 PM on February 2, 2005


Fucking your mom last night is sex.

Telling high school girls to spread a little wider so Daddy Haughey can make a little more money is prostitution.


Orange Clock, this might be off topic, but -- I am really glad I went out tonight and didn't read this when you wrote it.

I'd be willing to bet that Matt is fully aware at this point of the flak this decision has caused. We long ago passed throwing good whine after bad.
posted by chicobangs at 11:30 PM on February 2, 2005


Except, it turns out that turning them off forever means turning them off until you go to another machine. I understand why the ads show up when you aren't logged in, but I had to explicitly turn the ads off for every machine I use even if I was already logged in on that machine.

Yeah, make the option a persistent option in the user settings, like how to display the threads. Not a big fan of SG but I do use Metafilter on so many different computers (and browsers) so having a way to permanently kill the ads on logon would be nice.
posted by calwatch at 11:31 PM on February 2, 2005


Another vote aganst the ads. It's late here in the east, and I'm burned out from trying to read this entire thread, but it basically comes down to the fact that I think they're inappropriate here, despite #1's attempts to make them palatable by eliminating some and providing a switch and a link to make them go away. Both are kludges, however, and the world at large will still see the ads. Text ads are fine; these are not. I'm disappointed.

Matt obviously foresaw negative reaction, and I gather that this thread was a way of gauging its depth and breadth. So I'm casting my vote, for whatever it's worth. If money is truly an issue, let's find another way. Please.
posted by pmurray63 at 11:32 PM on February 2, 2005


Some workplace filters catch SG type of ads. For myself; I can't professionally open a site that I know might have this type of ad on it at while at work.

I can't mefi or recommend others to mefi with SG ads jumping out on page one. Yeah, SG are hot. I also like Betty Page, Willy Maywald, and WWII Bomber art. It is the visual of the SG ideal that detracts from its ideal. Images lend themselves to censorship more than ideas.

As a positive note; has to be a more interesting commentary than the AR thread.
posted by buzzman at 11:42 PM on February 2, 2005


I don't want to comment on the appropriateness of the ad; all the salient points, pro and con, seem to have been made. But I do want to say that it's making me ill that we may be losing good members over this... agregoli, vacapinta and others... NOOOOO!!! Please, no.

Also I find it rather shocking that a site as popular and well-known as MetaFilter can only get advertising from Suicide Girls. That's it? That's the option? Either porn, gambling, or nada? Wow. I never would have imagined that.
posted by taz at 11:53 PM on February 2, 2005


Late as usual, but what languagehat said. Also catlinb.
posted by fatllama at 12:16 AM on February 3, 2005


I'm confused. Matt says he wants more women to participate, as well as having more international members. He thought using Amazon Associates link would be "offensive," but an SG visual ad is perfectly fine?

Text generally doesn't get people into trouble, but in many places images will. Most members have the decency to label things NSFW if it applies. As a longtime lurker, I have often recommended MeFi to people. Now I won't. The "I'd like MeFi to be more welcoming to women" comments just seem like lip-service.

The MeFi front page does not do anything to work on the (hetero) "BoyZone" issue, and the reason this is more upsetting than the fact that some MeFites post sexist crap is due to the very fact that the ads are chosen and approved by #1. This is more of a sanction than not censoring every obnoxious comment made by members in a community that is supposed to be self-policing.

If people want flesh, there are more than enough sites to find it. MeFi was like a kind of oasis in the sea of garbage of the 'net. It seems many people have offered to contribute time and money to Matt for MetaFilter, but instead of something member-based, we get SG? Granted, the "hide this" is a really nice feature, but as already pointed out, we still know it is there. I come for the links and higher-caliber discussion (and silliness from some). As others have said, why does EVERY space on the 'net have to have this stuff?
posted by MightyNez at 12:22 AM on February 3, 2005


I wasn't going to add more smoke to the fire, or whatever, but I felt I should respond to amandaudoff, who wrote a reply to my comment about age. transona5 gets my meaning exactly right: I wasn't trying to belittle her (or anyone of the other women at SG); I was talking about society at large and what it values. I saw a news report last night (actually it was the Daily Show) where Angelina Jolie was speaking on a panel at the Davos Forum. I have to say, what the hell? She's famous for her beauty, not her ability to articulate policy or perform economic analysis. What is she doing there, aside from being a beacon for attention? So that was an irritant.

Almost every male on TV, print ads, and movies make me feel anything but sexy. The test implied in what you're saying is not the same as a generalized "unfriendly to women" test. Lots of things make us feel inadequate about ourselves, and often quite unfairly. But my delicate sensibilities about something are not normative. Neither are yours.

EB, maybe I should have kept my personal feelings out of it; my position on the ads themselves is in the posts I made right at the top of the thread. After reading through the replies I wanted to vent, and yeah, I was feeling kind of emotional. So I'm not talking about a 'test' of worthiness of not, I was really just kind of blowing a gasket. I respect your opinions too much to have just let this go, therefore an attempt at clarification.

(And full disclosure, I don't have my PhD yet, but I'll be pushign 50 by the time I'm done, and it's something I'm conscious of.)
posted by jokeefe at 12:59 AM on February 3, 2005


Ok, you guys have convinced me. I knew it would cause a bit of controversy, but I thought the hide option would allow those that didn't care for it to get a way out. I never really minded them on BoingBoing and my casual polling of female friends was off the mefi demographic average, but reading a few long-time members that I respect greatly object really brought it home that yeah, it reflects poorly on the site more than I imagined it ever would.

I've removed them from both the logged in and non-logged in views.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:08 AM on February 3, 2005


« Older Fucking maniacs, or, the life and oeuvre of one...   |   a way to replace the SG revenue Newer »

This thread is closed to new comments.