Comment guidelines? September 28, 2001 9:55 AM   Subscribe

We all know the guidelines for front page posts and obviously the rules are a bit more lax for comments, but what exactly is (or should be) the policy on deleting comments? Do ones like this qualify for the big eighty-six?
posted by tomorama to Etiquette/Policy at 9:55 AM (16 comments total)

I know this subject's been covered back in the past, but I haven't seen it discussed recently, and with the recent 9.11 traffic bolster, there's been increaced discussion following all the front page threads.

I've probably been guilty of it in the past, but i try to refrain from it; what I'm getting at is peoples' apparent need to immedietly slam threads which they don't perceive as "proper" or "worthy" of metafilter. Too often, because something has a fun nature instead of being breaking news, political criticism, bush-bashing or deeply morally thought-provoking, the self-appointed denziens take it upon themselves to kill the flow of a discussion before it even has a chance to kick off (see link in topic).
posted by tomorama at 9:59 AM on September 28, 2001


I know this subject's been covered back in the past, but I haven't seen it discussed recently, and with the recent 9.11 traffic bolster, there's been increaced discussion following all the front page threads.

I've probably been guilty of it in the past, but i try to refrain from it; what I'm getting at is peoples' apparent need to immedietly slam threads which they don't perceive as "proper" or "worthy" of metafilter. Too often, because something has a fun nature instead of being breaking news, political criticism, bush-bashing or deeply morally thought-provoking, the self-appointed denziens take it upon themselves to kill the flow of a discussion before it even has a chance to kick off (see link in topic).
posted by tomorama at 10:00 AM on September 28, 2001


Sorry about that. Maybe you could kill one of those, Matt? While I was attempting to post, the site kept repeatedly timing out and not resolving.
posted by tomorama at 10:04 AM on September 28, 2001


I'm not sure that the original post can be considered "fun". To me it is completely pointless, if not rude. Oh look, a page with pics of fat people. Lesse, would it be fun if it were a page with pics of poor people? women? homosexuals? african-americans?
posted by jbelshaw at 10:23 AM on September 28, 2001


The point is not posts about fat people or minorities. I apologize if I implied "oogling at fat people" is fun. The comment in question just happens to be in a thread about overweight people. I'm referring to less-serious posts in general when i say "fun". Perhaps I should have chosen a better word.

But the point is commenting, personal restraint and such.

Not front page posts.


I'm attempting to point out the phenomena of snarky, cutting comments killing discussions before they even start. Contrary to this author's opinion, some good points and facts about obesity did arise out of the discussion that followed.

I am not criticizing a thread in particular as much as using a recent thread to point out a trend in general.
posted by tomorama at 11:20 AM on September 28, 2001


Tomorama, what is the point of this post?
posted by Doug at 11:27 AM on September 28, 2001


Metafilter: self-policing since 1999.
posted by gd779 at 11:57 AM on September 28, 2001


What was the point of Wet Wednesday's post?

It's not as though double+good said *yawn* or "you suck" or "this doesn't belong on MeFi," he was looking for reasoning behind the post.

I don't know, I think if the reason behind posting isn't immediately obvious then asking is a much better idea of assuming the post was made maliciously.

In this case I don't see how the thread was anything other than a classic "laugh at the blubber" thread, but perhaps there was, y'know, worth somewhere.

And "I found it interesting" is probably a valid reason, but at least say that, or make it clear or something.

Metafilter: self-policing since 1999.

And what else are we supposed to do? This is a community 'blog, every community has standards, and it's up to that community to determine the standards. That's what we're doing. This comment has less point then the thread that sparked this discussion to begin with.

If you don't care, if you don't like the self-policing, well fuck, ignore it. Self-policing is simply discussion in MetaTalk, if you don't like it, don't come to MetaTalk. Really, how hard is that?
posted by cCranium at 12:09 PM on September 28, 2001


imho, there was no discussion that got cut off because of a snarky comment. There has to be something to discuss first. And if there was anything in this post to discuss, I guess I missed it.

The truly interesting phenomena, i think, (and this is not directed at you tomorama) is the increasingly frequent occurrance of people pointing out crappy posts, comments etc. But not the actual decrease of crappy posts, and comments being made. It has been said that, that is how the new MeFi members will learn what is and isn't appropriate. It seems that all they are learning is how to bitch about posts and comments.
posted by jbelshaw at 1:02 PM on September 28, 2001


Self-policing is simply discussion in MetaTalk, if you don't like it, don't come to MetaTalk. Really, how hard is that?

cCranium: I didn't mean that sarcastically. Because, actually, you said exactly what I would have said.

Discussing whether or not a thread is "proper" or "worthy" of Metafilter (as tomorama puts it) is self-policing. And that's what we're supposed to be doing.
posted by gd779 at 4:26 PM on September 28, 2001


Maybe I'm just ranting about signal vs. noise from a different angle.

I'm too optimistic maybe. I'd like to interpret self-policing not so much as the members keeping each other in line, but more along the lines of personal-policing.

From now on, I'm going to step back and count to 10 before I press the post button. "Am I making a contribution, or just killing some of Matt's hard disk space?"
posted by tomorama at 6:45 PM on September 28, 2001


While policing is certainly necessary, the MeFi posting cops are starting to resemble the rudest sort of policemen. You know, the sarcastic smart-ass cops who say things like "Hey, just for your information, those lights are COLOR CODED so you know when to cross," instead of simply "Don't jaywalk."

I'm all for self-policing, but I can say that the rude, sarcastic tone doesn't do the MeFi community any favors.
posted by arielmeadow at 10:23 PM on September 28, 2001


I didn't mean that sarcastically.

I'm sorry I misunderstood, gd779.

You know, the sarcastic smart-ass cops who say things like "Hey, just for your information, those lights are COLOR CODED so you know when to cross," instead of simply "Don't jaywalk."

While I definitely agree that the sarcastic tone isn't necessary, sometimes when we're policing here we really do have to tell people how the lights are coded, because they really honestly don't know.

Being rude about it is not a good thing, but part of the reason for the rudeness - though not an excuse - is because coming here and posting and commenting and breaking the rules because you didn't know them, that's rude too.
posted by cCranium at 7:45 AM on September 29, 2001


And if there was anything in this post to discuss, I guess I missed it.

The page was presented in a very neutral way and the thread turned out to be one of the better and original threads I've seen in a while. I don't like the expectation that because something CAN BE made fun of, it will or it must. There are mature people here and the lack of 'fatty' jokes proves it.

The less smart ass policing we have, the more chances people will take posting something that a more PC or juvenile crowd couldn't handle.

posted by skallas at 3:00 PM on September 29, 2001


Okay, here's what we need. The creation of a rating system for every post made, front page or comment (consisting of two components: one for content/interest value of topic and one for quality of presentation/reasoning/analysis). Each user's ratings are aggregated, and only people with a certain rating earn the right to post on the front page. Others must post to various "secondary" pages which get much less traffic and attention, but if they do so long enough in a sufficiently satisfying way, they earn the right to move up the ranks. Self-policing, totally democratic, technologically feasible, and the ultimate representation of the community will. Code it up, Matt!

Or perhaps not.
posted by rushmc at 5:57 PM on September 29, 2001


i'm new, but it seems like near the end of every one of these similar threads someone says, "what we need is a way to moderate or rate comments" but no one says "use slashcode" so, i guess i'm wondering, culturally, is mefi opposed to slash for some reason?
posted by rhyax at 7:59 PM on October 1, 2001


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