No really, take it to Metatalk September 28, 2001 9:13 PM   Subscribe

Is it OK to violate MetaFilter etiquette to complain about WTC posts? [more inside]
posted by kirkaracha to Etiquette/Policy at 9:13 PM (41 comments total)

I read both MetaTalk and MetaFilter, and I realize a lot of people are tired of reading about WTC on MetaFilter.

However, delfuego, Mo Nickels, dhartung, and rodii all spent much more time and energy compaining about this post in an inappropriate forum than it would have taken to simply ignore it. They have all been around long enough to know about MetaTalk and that their complaints belong there.

Also, Katy Action's post complies with both of the big, bold, yellow-background conditions for WTC posts on the Post a Link page: it supplies new information, and it's backed up with a specific link from a reliable source. It's not fair to complain about someone posting when they have complied with the guidelines.

Why doesn't the first person who goes out of their way to be annoyed by a WTC post set up a MetaTalk thread and do their bitching where it belongs?

posted by kirkaracha at 9:26 PM on September 28, 2001


It's not about the WTC. It's about people's (mis)understanding of what MeFi is about.

Yes, MeTa is "the place" for such discussion. But the average MeFi user doesn't spend a lot of time here, and therefore doesn't understand that such posts are frowned upon.

I don't believe in ganging up and intimidating new users, discouraging them from posting again but, as rodii mentioned, it's entirely understandable that some users are exasperated.
posted by jpoulos at 9:33 PM on September 28, 2001


...it's entirely understandable that some users are exasperated.

I feel sorry for any person that becomes exasperated as a result of anything that happens here, at MeFi. I become exasperated when I see a woman in Afghanistan being beaten for doing nothing more than begging on street, so that she can maybe feed her fatherless child for the first time in a week. When someone posts something that fails to meet my standards of what constitutes an interesting/proper MeFi post, I skip it without so much as an after-thought.

This argument is so bloddy petty, I'm almost...exasperated.


posted by saturn5 at 10:05 PM on September 28, 2001


The more experienced MetaFilter users are choosing to be exasperated if they click on the link and post a comment instead of just ignoring the post. Any one of them could have taken the opportunity to politely point out what they think MetaFilter is about, set up a MetaTalk thread, and direct people there.

Posts related to the attacks are gradually dying down, and vital issues like what's your favorite concert? and cool-but-gross stuff dead people turn into are increasingly being discussed. Personally, I think an attack that could change our lives in ways we don't yet understand is more worthy of discussion, but there are plenty of other things for people who disagree to read and comment on.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:12 PM on September 28, 2001


kirkaracha, I would have to agree with you 100%.

While I agree that MeFi should not become a forum for every single 9/11 detail, this event is of watershed proportions and will continue to dominate our thoughts and discussions for quite some time. Hopefully, certain people in the MeFi community will make an effort to be just a bit more tolerant of this reality.
posted by saturn5 at 10:23 PM on September 28, 2001


I read that thread and those posts seem pretty gentle and just reflect a strain of thought that that type of post, since it is so common, needs to be really good not just the latest news. That's a valid opinion delivered in a relatively mild way.
posted by chrismc at 10:52 PM on September 28, 2001


I think of metafilter as a forum for discussion. The WTC attacks are on a lot of people's minds, and they will be for a long time to come. For me, reading and participating in the discussion here on MeFi has been both therapeutic, as well as helpful in sorting out my own thoughts and opinions. I give MeFi a lot of credit for helping me get through the event with some semblance of sanity.

That being said, it may be unnecessary to post every new development to the main page, especially minor ones. I'm not opposed to new WTC threads, but this one doesn't add much to the discussion. Restraint is clearly called for.
posted by Loudmax at 11:17 PM on September 28, 2001


I can not understand why when you want to post something about the WTC thing you don't just post it in one of many WTC posts for that day. That is what I have been doing.
posted by bjgeiger at 11:55 PM on September 28, 2001


Rubbish, rubbish, rubbish, to the complainers about my complaining. The post was a bad post and I can prove it.

Katy Action's post has all the trademarks of a worthless post: That news is everywhere else. Every single news story does not need to be posted on Metafilter. It does not add to the WTC discussions. It is not a well-written post. It did choose a rather unspectacular source for the news. The news was at least 24-hours old (at least compared to when I first heard it on the radio). It did not offer other, unusual or substantiating sources. It did not spark conversation about the content. And then there's the sin of three question marks in a row.

Even Katy's three caveats offer us evidence that she knew it was a borderline post. To rephrase, because she says she found it on MSN (actually MSNBC, but that's another error; as if that's some site of weird unheard-of alternative news source), and because it had today's date on it (although it could have been written yesterday from news reported the day before), and because she wanted to feel helpful and useful and beat other people to the punch, she decided to post it to Metafilter.

She must not have read a single other news site to miss that the story was everywhere.

I feel sorry for any person that becomes exasperated as a result of anything that happens here, at MeFi. I become exasperated when I see a woman in Afghanistan being beaten for doing nothing more than begging on street, so that she can maybe feed her fatherless child for the first time in a week. When someone posts something that fails to meet my standards of what constitutes an interesting/proper MeFi post, I skip it without so much as an after-thought.

This is because you do not understand that each part of our world and our lives are intertwined. I have no doubt that the inconsiderate posters on this web site also display other more undesirable traits and behavior in their daily lives: it's a small symptom of a larger weakness. Is that reading too much into it? Perhaps. But it's curious how I find again and again that those who commit smaller infractions here turn out to have dubious histories on other discussion boards, pathetic content on their own weblogs, a penchant for ignorant spelling, many times a history of spam, a disregard for accepted grammar rules, and, in general, lack of understanding of the rules of the world. They go hand in hand. Call it the "Broken Windows Theory of the Internet," if you will: that a person stopped for a minor infraction on a community weblog will be discouraged from a major infraction later on.

The above post, by Mo Nickels, just reeks of superiority and offends me much more than, what some might judge to be, an uninteresting post. In addition, his comment served no purpose other than to intimidate someone into, perhaps, not posting anymore.

That's exactly right. Exactly. I had the intention of being superior, because it's what works. I am the bad lieutenant. We need a little more of that around here, instead of the puppies rainbows unicorn crap that passes for good manners and consideration. What it really is, is permissiveness and lack of standards.

My methods are proven in multiple environments, and I intend to stick by them, rather than letting Metafilter fall into the black hole of good intentions pushed by the undiscerning, laissez faire, discretionless you-can't-tell-me-what-to-do crowd.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:11 AM on September 29, 2001


As far as the complaints go it just goes to show that both the "old-timers" and the newbies are lazy slobs. Actually start a metatalk thread and direct people there? No way, I'm just going to bitch in the thread. Aaron is an especially good example, look at his comments on the recent heavy people thread.


posted by skallas at 6:13 AM on September 29, 2001


As far as the complaints go it just goes to show that both the "old-timers" and the newbies are lazy slobs. Actually start a metatalk thread and direct people there? No way, I'm just going to bitch in the thread.

I'm not lazy about it; I do it on purpose.

Posting a complaint in the thread is the best way to stop a thread cold, when it needs to be stopped, and the only good way to let others know what's wrong. Put the puppy's nose in it, don't lecture him in the other room. It has a far greater effect because when the poster returns to bask in the their creation, they'll perhaps read the complaint, whereas I have no faith that the poster or anyone will see it in MetaTalk, even when linked in the thread. Do you see Katy Action's comments here?
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:26 AM on September 29, 2001


I'm not lazy about it; I do it on purpose.

Oh man we really need a moderation system here instead of some hot-aired vigilantes.
posted by skallas at 7:35 AM on September 29, 2001


Mo,

I would guess that the majority of MeFi users, after having read this page, would see your behavior as a much bigger problem than that of Katy Action. Your words are self-serving and do nothing to improve the quality of MeFi. Frankly, your arrogance sickens me. You presume to know what is best for this community and take it upon yourself to abuse and criticize those that do not fit your model of proper behavior.

Let me be the first to encourage you to leave MeFi and create your own online community, which you can run any way you see fit.
posted by saturn5 at 8:48 AM on September 29, 2001


Mo has earned the right to be critical by being a longtime contributor. So have I, and Dan, and Jason. The fact is, the way MeFi works, or should work, is a subect of debate right now. That debate is not going to be nicely segregated in MeTa as long as people keep making poorly thought out posts like the one under discussion here, and hissy fits about how "your arrogance sickens me" don't really bring anything new to the discussion.

Saturn5, you don't speak for "the majority of MeFi users," just for yourself. The fact is, Mo, as off-putting as you may find his tone, has good arguments, lots of precedent on his side, and a history of involvement--he (and I, and Dan, and Jason) have taken part in this discussion in MeTa and MeFi for a long time. That's what allows us to "presume." You, on the other hand, have posted one link to MeFi, a repost of a WTC story that had already been linked in a comment.

Both my remark in the thread and Dan's were phrased carefully and politely. We didn't call anyone names, say anyone sickened us, and tried to offer constructive suggestions. You, on the other hand made it a personal issue with Mo Nickels from your first comment.

Let me be the first to encourage you to leave MeFi and create your own online community, which you can run any way you see fit.

This cuts both ways. I look forward to seeing what you come up with.
posted by rodii at 9:56 AM on September 29, 2001


Let me be the first to encourage you to leave MeFi and create your own online community, which you can run any way you see fit.

Let me be the first to tell you that I already have. It's going quite well, thank you.

I should also add, my original comment in the original thread was fairly good-natured, with a bit of humor in its overstatement, apart from the word "goddamned," if that bothers you. So back off, Saturn5. This is the second time in a few weeks that you've made your stink known here on matter about which you are mis-guided. On one hand you would deny me the right to help enforce rules, while on the other hand you impose your own. I'd recommend you reconcile your own internal contradictions before you ask me to reconcile mine.

Skallas, "hot-aired vigilantes" *are* the moderation system here, or part of it. I'll quit when defeated or asked to by the boss.
posted by Mo Nickels at 10:29 AM on September 29, 2001


We didn't call anyone names, say anyone sickened us, and tried to offer constructive suggestions.

Ow, that could have been phrased better.
posted by rodii at 10:30 AM on September 29, 2001


Mo, the tone of your original comment was pure hostility. Good-natured is a concept I don't associate with anything you've written.

So back off, Saturn5. This is the second time in a few weeks that you've made your stink known here on matter about which you are mis-guided. On one hand you would deny me the right to help enforce rules, while on the other hand you impose your own.

If you think your long-time standing at MeFi gives you the experience to act as a leader, that's great! I have no problem with that. It's your methods that offend me. What you don't understand is that you have no authority here unless you earn the respect of those that you wish to guide, or instruct. Any constructive critisism you may have to offer just gets lost your holier-than-thou attitude.




posted by saturn5 at 10:51 AM on September 29, 2001


Mo, the tone of your original comment was pure hostility.

Respectfully disagree.

Good-natured is a concept I don't associate with anything you've written.

Who cares what you associate with him (see below)? Your personal grievances aren't really the issue here, are they?

Look, lots of people, including Matt, have expended lots of angst over the current character of Metafilter. There has been a huge amount of public discussion about it right here in MeTa, including several threads ([1] [2] for example) devoted precisely to WTC/newslog overkill. Nothing binding, of course, but it's pretty clearly a hot button. Then "KatyAction" posts a pretty bad thread, once she practically notes in advance is a bad thread. Is it any wonder people are annoyed?

Now we could have simply said "take it to MeTa", but we still would have had to endure endless bitching about "MeFi police". There is a substantial group of people who object to any kind of self-policing attempt these days as some kind of power grab by a would-be elite. And all the people that don't know what MeTa is, or don't care enough to read it, or think it's fascist for anyone to suggest that there be some guidelines, wouldn't profit from that at all.

But what's that you say? "How could KatyAction have known it was a hot button issue? She probably didn't even know there had been a discussion!"? Exactly. If all discussion is segregated in MeTa, then no one who doesn't read MeTa even knows there's a discussion.

There is nothing wrong with comments on the worth of a thread in the thread; in fact, I would argue, the idea that all comments about a thread must be in MeTa or they "violate MetaFilter ettiquete" doesn't really make sense. Next time someone says "good post!" should we say "hey, take it to MetaTalk"? If the comments begin to dominate the thread, that's a good time to take it to MeTa. But in every conversation, part of the talk is meta-talk.

Any constructive critisism you may have to offer just gets lost your holier-than-thou attitude.

Saturn, you want to make this into a personal gripe about the tone taken by one other person, take it to email. If you have anything constructive to say, say it.
posted by rodii at 11:42 AM on September 29, 2001


Skallas, "hot-aired vigilantes" *are* the moderation system here, or part of it. I'll quit when defeated or asked to by the boss.

Then keep it in metatalk, considering Matt didn't delete the post I see no reason to hijack the thread and make this place seem more elitist than usual. I don't buy the argument that certain people have earned the right to break the rules while defending them.

Your complaints about newbies not going to metatalk is arguably irrelevant. If one person keeps ignoring the well placed clues in front of them then that's an issue for the administrator, not for users to turn every thread into and I quote something I keep seeing here:

"How is this MeFi worthy?"

Lastly, everyone here has commented on at least on 9/11 thread making the complaints largely hypocritical and somewhat hysterical. The best links and posts, in my opinion, since the vacation have been from the new people while the dinosaurs (may or may not include me) sit around bitching about the glorified good-old days.
posted by skallas at 12:33 PM on September 29, 2001


When discussion about a criticism grows and begins to dominate a thread, it should go to Metatalk. But, as rodii correctly points out, a few comments here and there serve to educate the large number of people who don't read Metatalk.

Metatalk serves an important function (separating discussion of the topic from discussion of the post) but until Metatalk is mandatory reading for all members, some in-thread criticism is a necessary part of preventing future offenses.
posted by gd779 at 2:12 PM on September 29, 2001


I feel like I'm repeating what those who got to this thread earlier than me have said, so I'll keep it brief: kirkaracha and saturn5, the only reason that anyone posted anything in KatyAction's thread was because there have been nearly a dozen threads in MeTa over the past two weeks lamenting the idiocy that's been going on on the front MeFi page, and clearly, she's either ignored or not read any of them.

In addition, I agree with rodii -- take your own advice, and if you don't like us complaining about (and trying to do something about) said idiocy, then feel free to leave and create your own little environments to do with what you will. Matt has made it very clear how he feels about the silliness of posting every freaking WTC story on the home page; for the love of God, he's even recoded the new-post page because of it. We all just happen to agree with him. This ain't a public square, open to everyone to just set up their soapboxes and scream whatever they wish at passersby.

(And, I do have to add that, given the fact that MeFi has easily owned around 90% of my bandwidth since 9/11, I feel I'm allowed to chip in my opinion every now and then.)
posted by delfuego at 2:26 PM on September 29, 2001


Taking rodii's advice I expect 50% of the posts in a thread being an argument about whether something is mefi worthy. Today its WTC. Tomorrow its ananova, Bush, crypto, etc. After reading MeFi for a while its refreshing to stop by Slashdot or plastic and not see the obligatory "this is not worthy" complaints in the middle of a decent thread.

We've all posted complaints in a thread, but look at the offending thread. I really don't care who was right and who was wrong at this point, the experienced users should have shown some restraint.

I don't see how this particular WTC post is worse than any WTC post. All I'm seeing is that certain regulars decided to collectively bitch in a fashion they know is wrong.

No one is willing to admit that they were too harsh on an arbitrary WTC post and that most of those posts should have been posted in MeTalk?
posted by skallas at 2:47 PM on September 29, 2001


Me being one of these infamous newbies, albeit one who apparently does read MeTa, please clue me in on anything I just don't get.

Mo, I think saturn5's main point is simply that it's questionable to try and make MeFi into something you like better by harshing on people; those other people are, right now at least, also part of MeFi, and being intolerant of them creates an ugly vibe and hurts everyone. As for ways to "stop a thread cold", isn't that Matt's call? And isn't the way to ask if he should remove a thread in MeTa, not MeFi?

Your point about permissiveness and lack of standards is insightful; it's just hard (for me at least) to see how one self-appointed bad lieutenant constitutes a true standard -- while I think I agree with you about what is a good post (at least from what you write here), I'm not even sure that's relevant, because there isn't an agreed upon way to check if that's actually MeFi's standard, and not just yours. Except, of course, to talk about it here....
posted by mattpfeff at 3:34 PM on September 29, 2001


Any constructive critisism you may have to offer just gets lost your holier-than-thou attitude.

It's not holier-than-thou. It's more-experienced-with-Metafilter-than-thou. Which is perfectly valid.

I don't see how this particular WTC post is worse than any WTC post.

I'll gladly start bitching in all the lame WTC threads, if you prefer.

...most of those posts should have been posted in MeTalk?

Let's see...
  • Number of posts in the thread by Katy Action defending herself: 2
  • Number of posts in the thread by Saturn5, bitching about Mo: 2
  • Number of complaints in the thread by Mo: 1
  • Number by rodii: 1
Seems to me that the complainers did do most of their posting in MeTa.
posted by jpoulos at 3:48 PM on September 29, 2001


In addition, I agree with rodii

You know, it would make life so much easier if everyone felt this way... :)

No, honestly, mattpfeff and skallas have some good points about tone and restraint. On the other hand, some fairly low-key criticisms have been turned into flame wars by the cries of "fascist!"

posted by rodii at 4:05 PM on September 29, 2001


It's not about the WTC. It's about people's (mis)understanding of what MeFi is about.

And what makes your ("you" referring here to any poster who feels justified in claiming the title of "Voice of MetaFilterTM") opinion of what it is "about" better than any other? It seems to me that some of you can quite reasonably claim to understand and be able to describe and represent what MeFi HAS BEEN about at various times in its past, but it is not clear to me that you have much greater insight into what it is currently or what it may become than anyone else who participates here. Until Matt chooses to impose a defining standard upon the board, directing and limiting what is "appropriate" for his forum with the degree of specificity which some of you like to assume, I think the best measure of what MeFi is is what it is. And the day he chooses to do that will probably also be my last day to visit the site (and there was an uproar of cheering from the masses, the like of which had not been seen in many months).

Guidance from those who use the system to those new to it is entirely appropriate and desirable. But "Old-timer vs. Newbie" is an ugly, tired old net trope that doesn't benefit anyone.
posted by rushmc at 5:50 PM on September 29, 2001


As an "old timer" who acts like a newbie, I'd just like to say I have no idea what any of you are talking about
posted by chaz at 11:16 PM on September 29, 2001


Aaron is an especially good example.

I'll side with Mo on this one, and Rodii. That thread was started for purely mean-spirited reasons and deserved to be derailed. I'm amazed it wasn't yanked entirely.
posted by aaron at 1:27 AM on September 30, 2001



Mean-spirited? Is Katy stirring up some anti-british FUD? Her words look like a justification for a post, like she's saying no one has posted it before so I'm following guidelines.
posted by skallas at 10:52 AM on September 30, 2001


I think Aaron is referring to the "really fat people" thread.
posted by rodii at 1:09 PM on September 30, 2001


Mo - I've been reading your (dare I call them) rants on front-page-worthy posts for a while now, and I've been refraining from saying anything about them because I almost always agree with the root of what you're saying; but lately, you're just rude. I'll repeat, I almost always agree with what you're trying to say, but the delivery of your "guidance" pretty much guarantees that the intended recipient is going to bristle up and take offense without following that guidance.

I don't mind the self-policing aspect of MetaFilter; it's the way it works. I don't mind the "more-experienced-with-Metafilter-than-thou" attitude that prevails; when it's done with a soft touch, it is very effective and shows people the way things work around here. But the heavy-handedness that characterizes it lately leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Pissing people off has the polar opposite effect of what I think you're shooting for; it gives people a perceived reason to act immature and juvenile, because they see an "old-timer" doing it. The tone of your recent comments is creating an unpleasant and unwelcoming atmosphere. There have got to be better ways to accomplish the improvement of the quality of MetaFilter.

Now, if you've been given a directive from Matt to be the bad lieutenant, then all bets are off and I retract my comments. But unless I missed it, I didn't see anything like that happening. I'm not sure that you are the sole arbiter of what MetaFilter is or should be. I assume that your intentions are for the improvement of the site, but your methodology right now just sucks. I understand your exasperation, since I've felt it too, but I just don't feel that it gives you the right to act like an asshole, if you'll excuse me saying so.
posted by jennaratrix at 3:42 PM on September 30, 2001


I think Aaron is referring to the "really fat people" thread.

I still disagree then. The text presenting the link was fairly ambigious with little to say and the thread turned out to be mature and interesting. Just because something can be mocked doesn't mean it will or that it should. Give people a little credit here, the annoying and immature posts in that thread were mostly aarons.
posted by skallas at 3:48 PM on September 30, 2001


However, delfuego, Mo Nickels, dhartung, and rodii all spent much more time and energy compaining about this post in an inappropriate forum than it would have taken to simply ignore it. They have all been around long enough to know about MetaTalk and that their complaints belong there.

I agree. If you care about MetaFilter etiquette, use MetaTalk for complaints about front-page links and posts. Posting them in MetaFilter undercuts your point completely, because it tells people that the rules only apply when you want them to.

posted by rcade at 6:52 PM on September 30, 2001


As a counter to Mo's Law of Poorly Timed Levity, I offer Optamystic's Law of Clumsily Executed Authority. To wit:

"It's unseemly to take obvious pleasure in pointing out the mistakes of others."

Remember, kids...Hall monitors tend to get wedgies at recess.
posted by Optamystic at 7:08 AM on October 1, 2001


Out of fear of repeating myself, I'll just second jennaratrix.
posted by arielmeadow at 9:16 AM on October 1, 2001


I understand your exasperation, since I've felt it too, but I just don't feel that it gives you the right to act like an asshole, if you'll excuse me saying so.

Too bad for you. I expect to continue commenting when, where, how and to whom I please.

I have never claimed rights because I am an old-timer, or because I am more experienced, or because I am the sole arbiter, or because I am specifically authorized by the boss. I claim them because the consensus here on Metafilter by people who matter to me is that such methods are appropriate. And I claim them because stupidity, ignorance and maliciousness should not prevail. I will never hesitate to pound these ideas in the heads of thick-skulled people everywhere.

Asshole? Yes, and worse than you think.
posted by Mo Nickels at 9:50 AM on October 1, 2001


shit, mo, that makes no sense. I mean, I can also claim that the consensus here on Metafilter by people who matter to me is that [my] methods are appropriate -- for any methods I might choose -- by simply deciding that the only person here who matters to me is, you guessed it, me.

So if your argument is an actual justification for your behavior, then anyone can use it to justify any behavior. You're going to get us to take self-policing just a little too far, don't you think? Yes, why don't we all act like assholes whenever we like. That'll make for a great community.

I agree with you that stupidity, ignorance and maliciousness should not prevail, most definitely. I respect your attitude and your staunch defense of that position. And I even think that you, mixed in with a few other voices, would make for an excellent moderator-type. But I don't think your (intellectual) vigilanteism is justifiable here, on someone else's site, without his and his community's approval.
posted by mattpfeff at 12:19 PM on October 1, 2001


And, stepping up to the plate, Mo proves my point. Thanks, you did it ever so much more eloquently than I did, as I was attempting to say it as nicely as possible.

You see, your attitude is EXACTLY the same as that of the people you are constantly berating. "I will do whatever I want because I think it's right, despite what the rules or guidelines say." That's what people who double post do, right? Post it because they want to, even if they know they aren't supposed to? So how is your self-appointed crusade any different? I don't see any guideline that requires YOU to point out as rudely as possible every single person who does something you think is wrong. You are just as bad as the people you criticize. You seem to be trying to shape the community into your own ideal, and in the process, are detracting from it. Isn't that what you are purportedly trying to avoid?

If I sound confused, I am. I think your motives are skewed, and what you're saying is not aligning with what you're doing. I think it has been suggested that you create and police your own community, and you responded you had done so and it was progressing nicely. I suggest you restrict your policing activities to your own house, and stop screwing up everyone else's.

Now, I'm taking a short MetaFilter vacation, because the navel-gazing is getting to be too much, and I hear that outside, there is fresh air and fun people to play with.
posted by jennaratrix at 5:38 PM on October 1, 2001


I gotta part company with Mo here. I agree, people need a little <winer>pushback</winer> now and then--and I don't think it's evil or unguidelinelich to do it in the thread if it doesn't take over--but it can be done constructively and kindly.
posted by rodii at 8:04 PM on October 1, 2001


Hey, you know what? My tone in this thread is harsher than anything that I've ever posted in a thread. In looking back over my previous comments criticizing posts, I see nothing I should take back.

Jenna, the contradiction that you point out is inevitable. I'm asserting my point of view, you're asserting yours, we're having a dialogue. It's part of the push and pull of the site. The conclusion to your confusion is that I should bow out and let the knuckleheads prevail. That ain't gonna happen. My behavior is valid. Your criticism (and many of the others') boils down to: "You're not nice." Phooey. Nice was for last year, when Metafilter was nicer itself.

My only violation is criticizing a poster in a Metafilter thread. Perhaps I deserve to be jumped on for that. I accept that rebuke, without reservation. Although my original logic for posting in the thread still holds, I'll do it another way from here on out. Otherwise, I pursue and enforce Matt's rules (and, I should say, very selectively). I didn't make these rules up. They're real. They're here. Read through Metafilter and find them.

But where are you people when the trolls start? Where are you when the double posts become triple and quadruple posts? Where are you when a newbies makes a mistake? Where are you when the self-promoters sleeze their way in here? Where are you when the liars, bigots, racists, racketeers, thugs, idiots, morons and Jesus-wheezing harpies overtake a thread and beat it until it's worthless? Where are you on the infractions that matter? Nowhere, that's where.

If your recommendation for me is that I restrain myself, my recommendation for you is that you let go. This site is burning while you do nothing.
posted by Mo Nickels at 11:39 AM on October 2, 2001


Okay Mo, let's have a dialogue rather than a pissing match - that goes for me too.

I respect what you're doing, I just don't respect the way you're doing it. I don't step up when everything you mentioned happens, because it isn't my place to do it. Matt jumps in at the worst infractions, and until he personally asks for my help, I won't usurp his authority by attempting to direct the site. I wasn't being snotty when I made the "unless you've been given a directive . . ." comment, I was acknowledging the possibility that you had been, and indicating my support in just such a case.

As for my conclusion being that you should bow out and let the knuckleheads prevail, not exactly. I should clarify. What I really want to know is, why do you think you get to decide who the knuckleheads are? And my next question is, if you sound like them, what makes you different from them?

I think there's a disconnect between the way you present your ideas and your intentions. I'm smart enough to try to read past your hostile attitude (which has manifested itself in other places - I'm sure you know that text doesn't always read the way we intend, and while you see nothing offensive or harsh in your previous remarks, some can easily be read that way), but not every knucklehead you're addressing is. (See, I think some of them are knuckleheads, too). What they will see is some guy sounding like a big jerk. They'll say to themselves "Who's this guy to tell me what to do?" and proceed to act like a big jerk themselves. You respond by being more of a jerk . . . and the cycle continues.

Now, let's try another scenario. A newbie comes along and does a triple post. You, or someone else, points out nicely but firmly that triple posts are no-nos around here. Said person feels shame for not knowing how things work, and instead of lashing out with snippy language, looks around and learns how to be a good MeFite.

Which do you prefer? Now, I realize that the worst offenders are probably not going to react well either way. But that being the case, why start it? Why initiate the pissing contest and watch it quickly spiral down into posting hell? That's my real question.

As for "phooey, nice is for last year when MetaFilter was nicer", well, I phooey all over that. Lead by example. It works, and it keeps your hands clean.


posted by jennaratrix at 5:45 PM on October 3, 2001


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