MetaFilter is a Weblog, not a Newsblog. September 27, 2001 6:54 AM   Subscribe

MetaFilter is a Weblog, not a Newsblog.
posted by cCranium to Etiquette/Policy at 6:54 AM (17 comments total)

The Internet is a notorious source for misinformation, and there's been tons of rumours surrounding 911 that have been reported as official news by official news sources.

MetaFilter is a Weblog, not a Newslog, if you can't post a link to a specific story that isn't time-sensitive (like "We were just hit by an earthquake!" or "A plane just flew in the WTC!") then please just hold off a few minutes until there's something online to support your story.

Thank you.
posted by cCranium at 6:55 AM on September 27, 2001


I thought it was an All-I-have-to-do-is-hit-this-button-everyone-sees-my-name-I'll-be-famous-blog.

Amen, brother cC.
posted by jpoulos at 7:25 AM on September 27, 2001


So MetaTalk is an I-wanna-say-what-MetaFilter-is-once-and-for-all-log?
posted by holgate at 8:20 AM on September 27, 2001


So MetaTalk is an I-wanna-say-what-MetaFilter-is-once-and-for-all-log?

Sorry, holgate, I'm an idiot, I can't quite figure out your point, why not just say it rather than burying it between the lines?

Wondering what should or shouldn't be posted on MetaFilter? Think someone went too far? Talk about it here

I am talking about what should and should be posted on MetaFilter. Disagree, please. I'm quite happy to be wrong, it's something I do regularily, but please explain why I am.
posted by cCranium at 8:37 AM on September 27, 2001


It appears he takes issue with anyone trying to strictly define what MeFi should/shouldn't be (maybe a better way of phrasing it would have been "MetaFilter should be a Weblog, not a Newsblog."). But anyway, the point is good. I detest when people link to the top page of CNN (or worse, just a link back to MeFi) in order to be the first to post the latest "news" that doesn't have its own story page yet. It's like the Slashdot "first post" mentality taken to the nth degree. If you can't find a source for a story, give it a few minutes. There are no bonus points given for posting stories fastest or with the least amount of supporting information.
posted by zempf at 8:49 AM on September 27, 2001


It appears he takes issue with anyone trying to strictly define what MeFi should/shouldn't be

Yeah, perhaps. I'd like to hear it from Holgate himself.

My argument in advance should this be the case:

From the About page: "Metafilter is a weblog...A typical weblog is one person posting their thoughts on the unique things they find on the web. This website exists to break down the barriers between people, to extend a weblog beyond just one person, and to foster discussion among its members."

Seems to me that I'm not defining anything that wasn't defined by Matt.
posted by cCranium at 8:58 AM on September 27, 2001


While I agree that the WTC follow-up posts have been exhausting, what about in the case of the Seattle Earthquake in February? The first poster, despite not having a valuable news link, was heralded for reporting it before CNN or Yahoo.

Just as clarification, was that ok because it was just one post on one day? Or has our tolerance just dropped?
posted by arielmeadow at 10:17 AM on September 27, 2001


ariel, I don't think SNL taking a hands-off approach to Bush is in the same magnitude as an earthquake. Every rule has an exception to prove it.
posted by Mick at 10:26 AM on September 27, 2001


"if you can't post a link to a specific story that isn't time-sensitive"

I think you got caught up in the double negative. If an earthquake hits, please tell us about it. Basically if you are reporting the news as primary source material, go for it. If you're just speculating using secondary source material, you might want to wait until said material gets its facts straight, or skip it altogether and assume everyone is reading the same sources -- unless a good meaty discussion seems warranted. That's how the division works for me anyhow.
posted by jessamyn at 11:09 AM on September 27, 2001


Basically if you are reporting the news as primary source material, go for it. If you're just speculating using secondary source material, you might want to wait until said material gets its facts straight

Yes, this is exactly what I was trying to say, thank you Jess.

Things like first-hand accounts of the earthquakes and the WTC attacks, threads that couldn't have a news story linked to them because MeFi scooped the mainstream media, those are kick-ass and super-excellent.

Things like "I heard on the news this morning that blah blah blah is happening, but CNN doesn't have a story up yet," those are not kick-ass and not super-excellent.
posted by cCranium at 11:17 AM on September 27, 2001


Yeah, perhaps. I'd like to hear it from Holgate himself.

Construing "is" from "ought"? Yeah. I had my logical fallacy head on this morning. Had you said "MetaFilter is currently packed with shitty generic news links and double posts from newbies, and people ought to think before they click", I wouldn't have called you on it.

As for "Newsblog"? Such a thing's pointless, when you've got stuff coming off the wires in a handful of places.
posted by holgate at 2:53 PM on September 27, 2001


If metafilter is anything its schizophrenic. There's praise for long political threads spawned from news articles and then there's criticism for posting news articles. There's praise for quirky links and criticism for posting something that doesn't encourage a long/decent thread.

As far as Newsfilter goes: If something comes off the wire and its innacurate, why blame the poster? There's always the thread to fill with clarifications and updates.


posted by skallas at 4:49 PM on September 27, 2001


I think it was a mass-freakout blog, that hopefully seems to be calming down...?

I'm finding that post about "The Froggy Page" to be oddly comforting. The froggy itself is pretty endearing, too.


posted by metrocake at 8:22 PM on September 27, 2001


If metafilter is anything it's schizophrenic

You mean Metafilter is prone to "[t]hought disorder ... the diminished ability to think clearly and logically, [o]ften ... manifested by disconnected and nonsensical language that renders [it] incapable of participating in conversation, contributing to [its] alienation ... Delusions are common ... Hallucinations can be heard, seen, or even felt ... At times [it] may hear several voices carrying on a conversation ... [Other symptoms include F]lat or blunted affect (i.e. lack of emotional expression), apathy, and social withdrawal)."source

Not sure I can agree with you there, Skallas, particularly about the flat affect.

(The disconnected and nonsensical language is spot on, though.)

posted by Grangousier at 12:10 AM on September 28, 2001


Metafilter is.

In exactly the same sense that a talking bunghole isn't.

(apologies to Douglas Adams, I think it was, paraphrastically)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:12 AM on September 28, 2001


*hallucinates in a visual, aural, and tactile manner*
posted by iceberg273 at 8:57 AM on September 28, 2001


Perhaps one of the things that's a big bummer is that there hasn't been any real NEWS about the terrorist attacks in days. I scrolled back to the 26th and found only one news item. And even then this is nothing I had not already heard and was obvious to begin with.

Most have been opinion pieces with a few feature articles thrown in for spice. In my prior life as a journalist, these were the sort of articles we dredged for when we had nothing of actual important interest to report.

It's the web equivalent of Peter Jennings interviewing every single person who had ever written, spoken to, or looked at a Kennedy in order to fill the dead air between announcements that nothing had happened since John Junior's plane failed to land on schedule, and they will continue to pre-empt your usual programming to give you continual updates on the nothing happening just in case SOMETHING happens.

Do we really need a new post every time some celeberty or pundit makes a statement about Afganistan or the WTC? Are two space-filling fluff-pieces about sex in New York unique and interesting? (In fact, it would only be newsworthy if Salon DIDN'T run an article about sex.)
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:32 PM on September 29, 2001


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