Too much WTC. October 3, 2001 1:22 PM   Subscribe

If you don't contribute front-page links, you probably haven't seen the post a link page where Matt pleads with users to show some restraint with WTC links. Should he put it in a bigger font?
posted by rcade to Etiquette/Policy at 1:22 PM (29 comments total)

Looks good to me, except maybe Mathowie ought to add that users should think about whether the link is straight, breaking news, or if it truly sheds new light on the situation. While I like being informed, it really does no good for us to discuss breaking news.
posted by cell divide at 2:17 PM on October 3, 2001


I think it's prominent enough as is.
posted by kirkaracha at 2:51 PM on October 3, 2001


Agreed, cell divide.

The thing about breaking news is that its new, thus probably contains some error. I think it would be better to stop all breaking news stories and post intelligent links about well-broken in news that has already been through the ringer a few times. Sounds like a good invititation to turn this into more of a newslog than a weblog.

The part about everything already having been discussed sounds like the standard double post warning.
posted by skallas at 2:55 PM on October 3, 2001


I am a newbie here, so feel free to dissmiss what I say.

Is it possible that the soft "no WTC" policy is hurting rather than helping? For example, consider this thread. brand-gnu posted a link to a breaking news story, which quickly decended into a no-WTC post flamewar. Something like 80 percent of the messages are personal snipes by people who think that the post is inappropriate and its defenders. As far as I can tell, this story is NOT ABOUT THE WTC, however the people bitching are using this policy as amunition to slag off the poster and maintain an arguement.

Regardless of whether the poster was right or not to post the story, the complaining contributes absolutely nothing to this site. I am not saying that people shouldn't corect errant posters, but is should be done in a manner of polite suggestion. Right now, it appears that many people are using this rule to feel self-rightious and attempt to agenda set.

IMHO the pseudo-world-weary complaints will ruin this site much quicker than the odd WTC post. If everyone is worried about newbies, why not raise the waiting period, or enforce a post-to-message ratio? These would actually help newbies to get into the vibe of the place much better than degrading remarks.

As it stands, it is obvious that us newbies are posting and commenting inappropriately. But remember, you reap what you sow. If old-timers create a negative atmosphere here, us newbies will pick up that this is the correct way to act, and ingrain this into the metafilter culture. In fact, check out "signals" sarcastic reply in the thread, and he is user # 11806.
posted by phatboy at 3:23 PM on October 3, 2001


It would be damn interesting if there was a news.metafilter.com weblog actually! Then the "This isn't a newsblog" crowd wouldn't have to deal with the "This is a discussion blog" crowd. Reading the "About" page leaves some confusion. Of course, in any community you'll have such disagreements.
posted by revbrian at 3:25 PM on October 3, 2001


Regardless of whether the poster was right or not to post the story, the complaining contributes absolutely nothing to this site. I am not saying that people shouldn't corect errant posters, but is should be done in a manner of polite suggestion. Right now, it appears that many people are using this rule to feel self-rightious and attempt to agenda set.

I said, and I quote, "You know, it's not necessary to post EVERY story that appears in the news on MeFi."

While that could be interpreted as being a little snotty, it certainly wasn't rude, self-righteous, or agenda-setting.
posted by briank at 4:17 PM on October 3, 2001


Please, just use the "Aaaaugh!" post, as I have taken to doing. Not only does it function as a sort of virtual primal scream therapy, but it also pays tribute to those halcyon days of yore, when Charles Schultz was alive, Peanuts was funny, and "Aaaaugh!" was a happy and enigmatic shout from Linus after he spied Snoopy lurking in a tree, vulture-style, waiting to grab his blanket.

As far as snottiness goes, there was a truckload of it in that thread, not the least of which was "I somehow doubt that, briank", from Summer when briank suggested getting back to discussion.

I give this thread my "Aaaaugh!" vote, now and in perpetuity, as being to annoying and bitchy to follow anymore.
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:26 PM on October 3, 2001


oh man!

"too", not "to"

I hate that.
posted by Kafkaesque at 4:26 PM on October 3, 2001


This rumor reported by both cnn and salon just valided my point.
posted by skallas at 4:48 PM on October 3, 2001


oh man!

"validated", not "valided"

I hate that.

posted by Kafkaesque at 4:52 PM on October 3, 2001


Briank:
I was not trying to single out any specific user. I just feel that the oldies vs newbies/etiquette war is destructive. I doubt the posting policy page was meant to be used as leverage in a flame war. Once a post is up, any damage is done. Arguing after the fact just makes things worse.

posted by phatboy at 5:03 PM on October 3, 2001


From what I've seen, a good post

-is not breaking news;
-not about WTC, unless it's breaking news;
-is "aaaauggh."

I wish there was some sort of "best-of threads" thread. This would clear things up immensely.
posted by swift at 5:06 PM on October 3, 2001


anyway, rcade, about your question: I agree with the general sentiment here that the problem is not with instructions on the post page but with posting policy itself.

(The overwhelming number of news posts really hurts the quality of everything here. The good links are drowned out, and people are bitter about other people posting bad ones, so even when you do post a good link, the discussion suffers. (E.g., the post about 3 firefighters fired for their lunchtime conversation.))

Maybe it's worth trying a moratorium on news posts, or perhaps a restriction that they can only be posted 2 days a week (Monday and Thursday, e.g.). There's gotta be a low-tech, stopgap measure we can adopt to discourage people from posting too much crap; it'll inevitably have its drawbacks but right now the entire site is suffering.
posted by mattpfeff at 5:14 PM on October 3, 2001


I wish there was some sort of "best-of threads" thread. This would clear things up immensely.

I think so too. I tried to start one.... I don't think I asked the right question though.
posted by mattpfeff at 5:18 PM on October 3, 2001


consensus seems to be that "best-of-threads" is discovered by lurking for awhile (what's awhile? i don't know) and seeing what is appreciated/enjoyed by MetaFilter users and what is not.

it appears that if a thread is getting a lot of in-thread complaints then it exemplifies what not to post -- or, at least, what to think twice about posting.

of course, i'll pull a bit of a lavar burton here, and make the disclaimer that i too, am a newly registered user.

i personally have been really into the "themed" posts, which link a good number of resources around a particular idea/concept -- most of which i probably haven't seen before.




posted by fishfucker at 5:36 PM on October 3, 2001


If that "please cut out the WTC threads" request on the post a link page was a 1024x768 twenty minute long full stereo sound flash animation, most of the WTC posters still wouldn't heed it. It is probably the biggest US news story in the last 50 years, so people somehow feel justified in reminding us about it every other damned post, not realizing that MeFi is degenerating into a WTC bulletin board with every post.

However, statements like briank's (above a few posts) and k's (Auuuugh!) will at least make people think twice about it. If I see 9.11, WTC, terrorist or bin Laden in a post these days, I just roll right over. Problem is that it really is nearly 1 out of 3 posts these days.
posted by eyeballkid at 6:46 PM on October 3, 2001


People kill possible good discussions by commenting so much about how this isn't a link that should be posted, and I'm pretty sick of that.
posted by Mark at 6:56 PM on October 3, 2001


We need a new rule on real-time news links. Unless you are an eyewitness to any major news event, please wait 3-6 hours before linking to any developing stories off of the AP/Reuters newswire.

Today's non-hijack of an Indian airplane link would've made an excellent link as an example of Indian government's incompetence or shameless over willingness to capitalize on global crisis and blaming Pakistan for even the most mundane of their own domestic issues or even the global media's lack of patience in confirming any developing story. We could've compared CNN's Bindra's incompetence in reporting with the superb reporting job of the BBC's reporters in India. Instead, we are stuck with a non-news link.
posted by tamim at 6:57 PM on October 3, 2001


Pushing the limits of absurdity: if someone clicks on the helpfully-named "Post a Link", gets to a page that's titled "Post a Link to MetaFilter" in large friendly letters, and still posts a linkless post entitled "Not really a link, just a question" referring to something that's been discussed on about 19 of the past 21 days, I suspect that no amount of guidelines will help, and that MetaFilter is heading for metastasis.
posted by holgate at 10:03 PM on October 3, 2001


shouldn't you be asleep holgate?
posted by chrismc at 10:25 PM on October 3, 2001


Shouldn't I be asleep too? ungh... MetaFilter... can't close eyes... too much sweet sweet discussion...
posted by Marquis at 10:42 PM on October 3, 2001


It would be nice if Matt officially appointed moderators since they seem to be appointing themselves in droves.
posted by revbrian at 3:38 AM on October 4, 2001


And here we go again!
posted by briank at 6:16 AM on October 4, 2001


I think the time for moderators has come.

And I think the way to do it is to have Matt nominate some folks, and have a vote in MeTa. I see it as an old western, with the lawman deputizing the locals to deal with, um, The Pogues? no, that was Straight To Hell....

Anyway, what do you think, Matt?
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:09 AM on October 4, 2001


If the non-WTC threads are going to be as bigoted and hate-filled as this one, then I'd say MeFi needs all the WTC threads it can get.

The problem isn't the threads. The problem is a lot of people have some truly horrific beliefs.
posted by aaron at 4:44 PM on October 4, 2001



Bigoted and hate-filled? Really? I'm sorry, I don't see it.
posted by rodii at 7:18 PM on October 4, 2001


Who's the target of bigotry and hate in that thread, Aaron? Beautiful people? Ugly people? Internet users? MetaFilter users?
posted by rcade at 5:57 AM on October 5, 2001


The most hate-filled comment in that thread was this, by a landslide.
posted by lia at 4:52 AM on October 6, 2001


Belated response, since I never bothered to come back until now: It's not the post that was was the problem, it was the responses.


Lia's personal animosities, as usual, will be giggled at and then ignored.
posted by aaron at 8:16 AM on October 12, 2001



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