Is hosting someone else's content basis for a self-link? September 4, 2005 7:38 AM   Subscribe

Should this really have been deleted for self-linking? If you could link directly to video segments on CNN, then I'm sure the poster would have done that. Instead, he or she put the segments on his or her site, and linked to them that way. Maybe the post should have been deleted because it wasn't interesting enough, but that's another reason.
posted by Turtle to Etiquette/Policy at 7:38 AM (11 comments total)

Yes.
posted by caddis at 8:02 AM on September 4, 2005


As I understand it, the idea behind the ban on self-linking is to stop people from deliberately driving traffic to their own websites, more than it is because they can't be trusted to judge whether their own content is link-worhty. Driving traffic to your website to show CNN's content is still driving traffic to your website.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:03 AM on September 4, 2005


What is the issue? If you link to a CNN .mov, why not link directly? This is against the guidelines, however you look at it (to link via your own website). If you cannot link direct to CNN feed, then link to some other site, link anywhere - but the rules are quite clear, do not link to your own site. So I do not see the problem of deleting this thread. If we start getting away from that rule, you know what will happen. So we must keep a hard line on it. Even if (as I might think) in this case it might have been a bit harsh if you cannot get access to it directly. But I think it it an important rule.
posted by keijo at 8:22 AM on September 4, 2005


As I understand it, the idea behind the ban on self-linking is to stop people from deliberately driving traffic to their own websites, more than it is because they can't be trusted to judge whether their own content is link-worhty. Driving traffic to your website to show CNN's content is still driving traffic to your website.

It's always been my understanding that this is exactly backwards.
posted by gleuschk at 8:42 AM on September 4, 2005


I don't get how there's any danger, in this case, that this extra traffic is somehow advantageous to the person who owns the site. If anything, he or she may have to pay for the extra bandwidth. There's no possibility of making money from ads, since it's a direct link to the videos. Also, the site's root is just a link to the Red Cross, nothing else. How could this benefit the poster?

I'm curious, because I wonder how you can link to network or cable TV otherwise. Bittorrent? (seems a bit complicated). Unfortunately, the whole world isn't yet easily linkable.

But OK, I guess, if only for simplicity's sake, the rule is: linking to stuff you put on the web is a self-link, period!

More reasons:
* a video from somewhere else could have been altered if self-hosted
* it can't be "Best of the Web", since it wasn't on web before self-hosting (then again) (discussion)
* you can break the rules if your post is really good (which this clearly wasn't)
* if it's so great, get another MeFite to link to it

On preview, OK, I think I get it now. It's for quality control, not just to prevent abuse.
posted by Turtle at 8:50 AM on September 4, 2005


I've never thought the self-link ban was to prevent traffic hoarding. It's more of a philosophical thing, in my understanding, which prevents the metafilter from becoming a list of personal ads. If you make an FPP about something you created (like, say, some new kind of web application) it might only be interesting because you have a personal interest in its success.

As such, I would imagine it perfectly acceptable to aggregate content in very particular cases* on your own site, then link to your site in an FPP, provided you explain it clearly in the FPP itself, and, if applicable, provide links to the original content, both of which this rexruff did not do.

* such as: content is no longer on the internet, is inaccessible without logging in or paying some fee, requires proprietary plugins to access, etc.
posted by odinsdream at 8:54 AM on September 4, 2005


er... prevents  the  metafilter ...
posted by odinsdream at 8:57 AM on September 4, 2005


Yeah, it should be axed. If it's truly worthy of being on the front page (not that much of what gets posted is anymore) somebody should repost it from their account.
posted by substrate at 9:44 AM on September 4, 2005


Definitely deserved axing, but it inspired some genuinely funny comments by Mayor Curley and schoolgirl report before it went to the Valley of Forgotten Posts.
posted by languagehat at 1:50 PM on September 4, 2005


Part of it is just to keep it from being a guessing game: "Gee, this looks like a total self-link but maybe there was some really good reason that isn't immediately clear..." or "Gee, I can't see the obvious way this user would benefit from driving traffic to his/her site, so maybe a self-link is okay..." I've seen people do it without being deleted -- in emergencies, with explanation -- but this clearly wasn't one of those cases.
posted by jessamyn at 1:56 PM on September 4, 2005


In the future, why not use something like putfile.com to host video clips? I can understand the need to be hard and fast with regard to the no-self-links rule--it is, after all, about the only rule here with no gray areas--but the post in question seems to be violating the letter more than the spirit of the law.
posted by arto at 6:02 PM on September 4, 2005


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