Proposal: Brand New Day February 8, 2006 9:46 AM   Subscribe

I'm proposing a "Brand New Day" reset on grudges, grievances, and gripes. After that, the mods will apply stronger penalties for offenders.
posted by Gamblor to Etiquette/Policy at 9:46 AM (159 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

This idea belongs to solid-one-love, but it was such a good one that I thought it deserved its own thread.

I know these two stubborn brothers who constantly butt heads. Whenever they argue, it escalates from the current topic to encompass everything they've ever done wrong to each other over their entire lives. It's exhausting and tedious to deal with, and since they can never move past their history, nothing ever gets resolved.

Lately, MeFi seems like those two pig-headed brothers. There are tens of thousands of registered users here, and yet it feels like it's always the same handful of assholes that hijack every discussion. People come into (political) threads already with a grudge against some user X that they feel disrespected them, and it goes downhill from there.

Whatever the policy is on comments/behavior right now, it's not working. I think we can all agree that just deleting offensive comments only sweeps the arguments under the rug. This seems like a huge time suck for Matt and Jessamyn, and it hasn't been stopping the shitstorms from spilling over into other threads.

This is not a criticism of the work Matt and Jessamyn have been doing. They shouldn't have to prune comments, edit them for continuity, and baby-sit everyone.

So I'm proposing a fresh start:

1. No more bringing up pre-reset comments as justifications for your comments/attitude towards others.
2. If you act like an abrasive ass, there will be serious repercussions, and you can't cry, "Yeah, but so-and-so always does that..."

This does not mean that you have to forget every insult you feel you've ever suffered. It does require you to temporarily give the assholes the benefit of the doubt. It also gives the offenders a chance to change their ways without someone constantly throwing their past comments in their face.

And if people continue to be disruptive dicks? Too many flags and you can't comment or post to the blue for x number of days. Too many timeouts and Matt wishes you to the cornfield. The details are open for debate. The important thing is that we get serious about disciplining miscreants, threads won't degenerate into flame wars as often, and the mods won't have to spend all of their time cleaning up the comments.

To keep MeFi healthy, it would benefit everyone if we could just say "bygones" and hold people to a higher standard from now on.
posted by Gamblor at 9:46 AM on February 8, 2006


Seconded.
posted by dios at 9:50 AM on February 8, 2006


Gamblor, I forgive you for every time you've ever wronged me.
posted by Plutor at 9:51 AM on February 8, 2006


Only a fraction of metafilter users come to MetaTalk; how would such an amnesty be enforced? This is just too impractical to be of value, we may as well just hope that those who have distinct grudges against each other just learn to grow up.
posted by jonson at 9:52 AM on February 8, 2006


It's a great idea. But how about, instead of issuing a proposal and asking for input on penalties...how about a bunch of y'all just announce, "I endorse the 'Brand New Day' idea, and that's how I'm going to behave from this point on. Here goes!"

Worry less about what other people are going to do and how they'll be disciplined. Lead by example.
posted by cribcage at 9:53 AM on February 8, 2006


I'll never forgive you for this lame thread.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:54 AM on February 8, 2006


So, what you're really asking for is for the admins to be much, much more heavy-handed, and delete/time out/ban according to a set of new rules as nebulous and undefined as the current rules? (I'm assuming that assholes are likely to remain assholes regardless of this well-meaning idea.)
posted by jack_mo at 9:56 AM on February 8, 2006


cribcage writes "Worry less about what other people are going to do and how they'll be disciplined. Lead by example."

Great idea.
posted by OmieWise at 9:57 AM on February 8, 2006


does this mean that when quonsar posts a pissing elephant, it's as if it had never happened before?

I'm all for it.
posted by shmegegge at 9:58 AM on February 8, 2006


Well, it does say "self-policing" on Mefi so this partly makes sense. I guess flagging is reasonable but much like anything else, it can be abused, so I worry about that aspect of it.

Someone commented in an earlier thread about maybe limiting peoples comments to only so many in a day. I'm not on board with that as sometimes that poster is providing a valuable knowledgebase that must move with the ebb and flow of the thread.

Not to sound simplistic but would it be a problem to add a line to the "live preview" that just says, "be polite, don't be an asshat" (or something massaged a much better)? Just a prompt that reminds people?
posted by j.p. Hung at 9:58 AM on February 8, 2006


"Whatever the policy is on comments/behavior right now, it's not working."

Says who? You? Yeah, right.
posted by mischief at 9:58 AM on February 8, 2006


I hold no hard feelings over your earlier disingenuousness.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:59 AM on February 8, 2006


beauty Armitage
posted by j.p. Hung at 9:59 AM on February 8, 2006


posted by cribcage Worry less about what other people are going to do and how they'll be disciplined. Lead by example.

Seconded. The best part of this method is it requires no moderation from Matt or Jessamyn--it's all self-directing and self-moderating!
posted by fandango_matt at 10:01 AM on February 8, 2006


After that, the mods will apply stronger penalties for offenders.
Oh? Really?
posted by boo_radley at 10:03 AM on February 8, 2006


A good guideline but as others have said it's probably impractical to enforce.
posted by selfnoise at 10:04 AM on February 8, 2006


I like it- why the fuck not? (which is today's motto). I'm in.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:04 AM on February 8, 2006 [1 favorite]


So to sum up the new plan:

1) Be mature
2) Or else

Okay. Good luck. Next stop - Washington!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:05 AM on February 8, 2006


You all fucking suck.

(Okay, I'm in.)
posted by keswick at 10:05 AM on February 8, 2006


3) ...
4) Prophet
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:06 AM on February 8, 2006


It would only work if the attitudes change and fall in line with it, in which case it really wasn't needed in the first place.

Hitler.
posted by kcm at 10:07 AM on February 8, 2006


Don't Rag -- Hit Flag!
posted by Gator at 10:07 AM on February 8, 2006


the only monster here is the gambling monster that has enslaved your metafilter! i call him gamblor, and it's time to snatch your metafilter from his neon claws!
posted by Hat Maui at 10:09 AM on February 8, 2006


Only a retarded asshole like you could propose an idiotic Romper Room idea like this one.

And now, I'm going to declare a Brand New Day, so you can't go holding that remark against me. Whew! I feel so much better!


Please note the above remark was entirely in jest.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:10 AM on February 8, 2006


Grudges may be motivated by things which happened in the (relatively) distant past, but it's pretty rare that old stuff is really cited during a spat. For example, Rothko's links to EB's comments yesterday were from February 6. The oldest link he posted (to a comment by dios) was from January 4th.

Unless the "new day" is rolling, I don't see how it serves much purpose other than giving amnesty to people who have been abusive in the past.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 10:10 AM on February 8, 2006


I was thinking more along the lines of we all pick the same day, and proceed from there.

(and I prefer the term "special" to retarded)
posted by Gamblor at 10:12 AM on February 8, 2006


The nub of the idea was this:

I think the site would be a much better place if people could let bygones be bygones and (a) stop bringing up old shit and (b) stop treating other people like shit based on old grudges.

If everyone could agree to move past their history, things would be better. There's been a kind of detente among a number of users (including myself) that has, I am told, improved the quality of the discussion here. I try not to press so-and-so's buttons, even when I think he deserves it, and whats-her-face avoids searching through my old comments for juicy tidbits of suck. Self-moderation can work.

But I think that there are still some users who cannot or will not get over the past. As such, my proposition to enforce detente, with penalties for breaking the detente.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:13 AM on February 8, 2006


I like the idea, but I think that first we should have one last free-for-all anything goes super-duper blazecock flameout thread, one to top all previous flameouts. You know, just to get it all out of our systems. It'll be like carnival.
posted by mds35 at 10:14 AM on February 8, 2006


I thought the term "retarded asshole" was a compliment. Like Teflon bunghole. You know - your shit won't stick, anymore, after the Brand New Day (an overrated song, IMO). Oh, wait - that would be "retardant asshole." Never mind.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:18 AM on February 8, 2006


posted by If I Had An Anus I don't see how it serves much purpose other than giving amnesty to people who have been abusive in the past.

Word. As I've said elsewhere, enforcing a "let bygones be bygones" policy puts the anus of change on the people who don't need it. The people who need to change are the oens acting like assholes.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:18 AM on February 8, 2006


In the setting an example category of ideas, maybe users could post a pledge on their profile page not to respond to personal attacks? Maybe that's a little soft-headed.
posted by selfnoise at 10:20 AM on February 8, 2006


HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! "the anus of change." HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

Talking about assholes, too.

Oh, man!

Did you do that on purpose?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:21 AM on February 8, 2006


How would this be possible? There's no technical solution. Any social solution is going to be hit and miss.

I personally don't like the idea -- communities have reputation systems for a reason, and yeah people who reform should be treated better, but that happens eventually given enough time and good contributions. If a few small-minded people want to keep ragging on a user's old ways, eventually they will be drowned out by people that see the reformed user as being truly changed.

So basically I disagree and don't see the need for this.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:21 AM on February 8, 2006


Here, I'll start:

I'm pissed and slightly baffled. Why was my fucking post deleted? You're a child molester and a fat chick. How rude! You're just a religious fanatic patsy for the right wing monetocracy. You're a liberal abortionist homosexual who loves to pay taxes. I miss Miguel. Bring down the banhammer. This is why I don't read Metafilter anymore. Huh? STFU, n00b! I paid five dollars and I expect certain things. So-and-so is a sockpuppet for satan.

And--I'm spent!

Clean up on aisle#11257, please.
posted by mds35 at 10:21 AM on February 8, 2006


solid-one-love : "If everyone could agree to move past their history, things would be better."

Echoes of Santayana: Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

Gamblor : "and I prefer the term 'special' to retarded"

Do the retarded get to choose how they're called, Special Snowflake?
posted by nkyad at 10:23 AM on February 8, 2006


Oh well. Never mind.

- Bob Dokken.
posted by mds35 at 10:23 AM on February 8, 2006


Word. As I've said elsewhere, enforcing a "let bygones be bygones" policy puts the anus of change on the people who don't need it. The people who need to change are the oens acting like assholes.

I think it gives the assholes impetus to change, actually. And, as I said in the other thread, what one person might consider bad behaviour another might consider noble, and vice-versa. And I dn't think there are any instances of long-held grudges where both participants could not be said to have been assholes. The amnesty forces both parties to suck it up or face penalties. There are no innocents in the kinds of grudges that this policy would force into detente.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:23 AM on February 8, 2006


Sweet baby Jesus in a smoking birchbark canoe! Where was that thread about a three-minute window for editing?! I may have to rethink my position.
posted by fandango_matt at 10:25 AM on February 8, 2006


I don't want to be exposed to the anus of change.
posted by timeistight at 10:27 AM on February 8, 2006


You'd have a point, fandango_matt except for the fact that some people tend to define "acting like an asshole" so broadly to include merely saying something disagreeable. The point of this is to get people to shed their petty greivances and treat people either without the personality grudges or avoid them all together. Because, believe it or not, you might percieve something to be "asshole-ish" when it wasn't intended to be such. And for you to harp on it causes nothing but discord and doesn't advance anything.

Certainly people should endeavor to not engage in intentional assholery. And people should endeavor to not carry grudges over some percieved slight or insult. Nothing good can become of either behavior.

Why do you think it is a good thing to allow people to carry their negative opinions of others forward and treat people based on them?
posted by dios at 10:27 AM on February 8, 2006


There are tens of thousands of registered users here, and yet it feels like it's always the same handful of assholes that hijack every discussion.

I agree. One of them was removed yesterday. More will follow as their behavior becomes intolerable.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:27 AM on February 8, 2006


Sweet baby Jesus in a smoking birchbark canoe!

Sam & Max rule.
posted by solid-one-love at 10:27 AM on February 8, 2006


mds35 makes a good point. Countries like South Africa have demonstrated that it is impossible to let go of the past without at the very least acknowledging it.

I therefore propose that Brand New Day be preceded by Truth And Reconciliation Day, when all grievances are aired.

Ideally, this airing should take the form of a list, ordered alphabetically by username, wherein other users' offenses are described in detail, preferably with references.

These lists would then be combined into one Master List, again ordered alphabetically by username, wherein all of a user's offenses against all other users are listed, again in alphabetical order by username (effectively creating a two tier list of offenses, where each tier is ordered by username, the outer username tier being the offending user, and the inner username tiers for each offending user being the users who have listed offenses caused by the outer tier user).

This Master List would be destroyed on Brand New Day and never spoken of again.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 10:28 AM on February 8, 2006


I wasn't mocking you, fandango_matt. I think "The anus of change" is a glorious phrase.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:29 AM on February 8, 2006


who got removed yesterday?

Keep me up on my MeFi soap opera, people!
posted by By The Grace of God at 10:30 AM on February 8, 2006


If a few small-minded people want to keep ragging on a user's old ways, eventually they will be drowned out by people that see the reformed user as being truly changed.

Not really, since usually it's the handful of noisemakers that drown out the others. For example, if someone like dios posts something benign, there are still plenty of people that heap shit on him, not for what he's currently saying, but because of what he's said in the past. Then he snaps back, and the thread turns into a flame fest. I'm not saying dios hasn't been an asshole in the past, but the situation gives little reason for him to stop acting that way.
posted by Gamblor at 10:32 AM on February 8, 2006


So basically I disagree and don't see the need for this.
posted by mathowie at 1:21 PM EST on February 8 [!]


Oh yeah? So says the man who who said this!

What's your problem with smokers, Matt? Huh?! WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM!
posted by shmegegge at 10:33 AM on February 8, 2006


"I'm not saying dios hasn't been an asshole in the past."

And I'm not saying that he still beats his wife.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:34 AM on February 8, 2006


Who got removed?

Rothko.
posted by OmieWise at 10:35 AM on February 8, 2006


One of them was removed yesterday. More will follow as their behavior becomes intolerable.

I think we're saying the same thing, it's just that maybe our tolerances levels are different. Rothko had to hijack a lot of threads and make a lot of noise before he finally got cut off. Does it really have to be so much before someone gets a thump on the head?
posted by Gamblor at 10:37 AM on February 8, 2006


Perhaps more of us should take Jessamyn up on her offer.
posted by Gator at 10:37 AM on February 8, 2006


How about this: instead of demanding that I simply ignore your (generic your, not your = dios) reputation of churlish behavior, how about you simply turn over a new leaf and begin building a new reputation? As your new reputation grows, people will notice and respond accordingly.

===

Oh, I know IRFH! Heh. The anus of change. I will now proceed to use this wonderful new metaphor. "I think it's time for the anus of change--instead of going for Mexican food, let's try that Italian place next door."
posted by fandango_matt at 10:38 AM on February 8, 2006


Rothko is outta here.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:38 AM on February 8, 2006


Certainly people should endeavor to not engage in intentional assholery.

posted by dios at 1:27 PM EST on February 8 [!]



rofflz
posted by rxrfrx at 10:45 AM on February 8, 2006


Grudges and gripes, sure. Not all grievances are bad. And "Brand New Day" is too big a concept for me. Reputation and feedback are important forces for holding an online community together. Lose the "Brand New Day" hyperbole and what you're proposing here is a mandate that everybody forgive each other for anything bad and play nice all the time now.

Good luck!
posted by scarabic at 10:46 AM on February 8, 2006


Mathowie: One of them was removed yesterday. More will follow as their behavior becomes intolerable.

Which precludes the need for a Brand New Day.
I understand the motivation behind it, but don't much care for the idea. It makes me feel like the assholes are holding the rest of us hostage: "Okay, here's your amnesty, sir. Um, be nice, okay, sir?"
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:51 AM on February 8, 2006


"Anus of change" is pretty good, but it's no "hobby horse to jihad" or anything.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 10:56 AM on February 8, 2006


"Brand New Day" is a horrible song by the guy who ruined The Police. That's enough to kill this idea in my mind.

Beyond that, what's so hard about the concept that if you type a lot of stupid, inflammatory, and/or bigotted stuff, you will be remembered as such. Sure, we all have bad days or even the occasional flameout, but "self-policing" implies that people will sort out for themselves whether or not a poster is worth taking seriously.

This is very Dr. Phil--a waste of time all around. And would allow a number of mefi's more prolific trolls and flamebaiters off the hooks they have so lovingly built and polished for themselves.
posted by bardic at 10:57 AM on February 8, 2006


This kind of reminds me of Bush's line after Katrina — "Let's not play the blame game." Redemption is a personal responsibility, not something that can be awarded.
posted by orange swan at 10:58 AM on February 8, 2006


So does this mean everyone likes me again? I just want to be loved... is that so'wrong?
posted by Witty at 11:00 AM on February 8, 2006


posted by Armitage Shanks I therefore propose that Brand New Day be preceded by Truth And Reconciliation Day, when all grievances are aired.

Ideally, this airing should take the form of a list, ordered alphabetically by username, wherein other users' offenses are described in detail, preferably with references.


I still have my Airing of Grievances list from this year's Festivus.


posted by fandango_matt at 11:00 AM on February 8, 2006


So does this mean everyone likes me again?

You can make some of us love some of you some of the time,
but you can't make all of us love all of you all of the time.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:05 AM on February 8, 2006


Can we have a swear jar too? Everytime you swear, put a dollar in the jar. This 'Brand New Day' will do nothing to change anybody's behavior. Essentially, you're just asking Matt to more aggressively attempt to control a somewhat uncontrollable site. So people get banned, so they buy another account. If someone wants to be a pain in the ass, there's not much you can do about it, except ignore them. Why, oh why, can we not just ignore them?
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:12 AM on February 8, 2006


I'll apologize if he goes first. After all, he started it!
posted by fuzz at 11:14 AM on February 8, 2006


Witty, I still think you're a fucktard. But that's how you want liberal members of the site to see you--electronic self-fashioning and all.

It would be a shame if Witty couldn't be the man he's meant to be. Seriously.
posted by bardic at 11:15 AM on February 8, 2006


(I think we should all pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and put on a show. Not just any show--but the best show the intarwebs have ever seen!)

/swoons, then faints
posted by bardic at 11:17 AM on February 8, 2006


ESTELLE: I think you can take him, Georgie!

GEORGE: Oh, come on! Be sensible.

FRANK: Stop crying, and fight your father!

GEORGE: Ow! .. Ow! I give, I give! Uncle!

FRANK: This is the best Festivus ever!
posted by ericb at 11:19 AM on February 8, 2006


If I had know there would be amnesty for assholes I would have been a bigger one.
posted by srboisvert at 11:20 AM on February 8, 2006


I'll believe it when I see it. And I'm not holding my breath. You can't unring a bell.

Welcome to the jonmc cliche festival.
posted by jonmc at 11:23 AM on February 8, 2006


On Brand New Day there will be no cliches.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:25 AM on February 8, 2006


In Soviet Russia, Brand New Day...

Meh. What srboisvert said too.
posted by bardic at 11:28 AM on February 8, 2006


Not really, since usually it's the handful of noisemakers that drown out the others. For example, if someone like dios posts something benign, there are still plenty of people that heap shit on him, not for what he's currently saying, but because of what he's said in the past. Then he snaps back, and the thread turns into a flame fest.

Two simple fixes. One is time. Noisemakers can't keep doing this for six months if dios is a saint for the next six months. There will be more comments pointing out how off-topic and pointless the noisemaker comments are. The second solution is to eliminate the "Then he snaps back" part which means dios turns over a new leaf, which he's on his way to doing.

This problem sorts itself out eventually.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:32 AM on February 8, 2006


matthowie says: I agree. One of them was removed yesterday. More will follow as their behavior becomes intolerable.

matthowie [pensively chews straw]: It's a hell of a thing banning a man. Take away all he's posted, all he's ever gonna post.

the mefi kid [beseechingly]: Yeah, well, I guess he had it 'comin.

matthowie [coldly]: We all got it comin' kid.
posted by kosem at 11:33 AM on February 8, 2006 [2 favorites]


As someone who considers many people assholes, and is considered by not a few to be an asshole, let me say this: we can pretend to erase all our previous notions of a person gathered through past instances, but it dosen't really happen.

This is not to say that someone who initially annoys the royal fuck out of you can't become a swell person once you get to know them, but the "remember waht a jerk he was," will always be there, and the reverse in probably true, too. Just sayin'.
posted by jonmc at 11:34 AM on February 8, 2006


But in the spirit of the idea, let's all join hands and sing!
posted by jonmc at 11:36 AM on February 8, 2006


What? No kumbaya?

Honestly, I wasn't proposing this as some kind of vague, warm-and-fuzzy, can't-we-all-just-get-along kind of thing. More like, "Matt, if you promise to drop the hammer on all the overt douchebaggery, we'll agree to be less petty from here on out." Seems like a reasonable contract.
posted by Gamblor at 11:45 AM on February 8, 2006


Hey, Gamblor, I'm very much a "Can't we all just Get Along?" Everyday-People kinda guy, and I've still managed to lose friends and alienate people all over the shop. I doubt that any symbolic hatchet burying will do the job, since deep down we still harbor well-known negative opinions about eachother. Usually, I just try to tune out personal biases in comments and get to the substance. It's not always easy, but it can be done.
posted by jonmc at 11:50 AM on February 8, 2006


Witty, I still think you're a fucktard. But that's how you want liberal members of the site to see you--electronic self-fashioning and all.

A fucktard? Wow... ok. Well, despite what you may think, I don't TRY or WANT to make liberals on this site "see" me a certain way at all. That's just what happens. Usually, it comes from the fact that I just see many things or have different opinions about common topics around here that most liberals share. For that, I am often insulted and labled, etc. So I sometimes "fight back"... which inevitably makes me less likeable and more of a "fucktard" in the eyes of most. But like I said in the other thread, I gave up on trying to be likeable, I'll be mocked for my beliefs anyway.

For example, if I say that "I support the Patriot Act", that just makes me a "fucktard" straight away, more often than not. I know that I often push buttons and state certain things in a way that I know will annoy people... but I read those kinds of comments and posts around here all the time. People, liberals, whatever, make comments and posts that, to people like me, from my side of the fence perhaps, see as deliberate attempts to push buttons and annoy (about which the super-long Meta thread from yesterday describes).

So really, it's an uphill battle for me no matter how you slice it. I'm cool with that, but not everyone is. I can try to be more accomodating to the sensibilities of everyone, but people aren't going to like it the next time there's a thread about some kid going to jail for 5 years for selling a bottle of Ritalin and my response is, "tough shit". See? I'm a fucktard.
posted by Witty at 11:50 AM on February 8, 2006


jonmc, I'd consider this whole thread worthwhile if you and I just made a promise to never call each other "fucktard".
posted by Gamblor at 12:01 PM on February 8, 2006


The republicans created the Iraq war in order to destabilize Metafilter.
posted by furtive at 12:01 PM on February 8, 2006


ok, gamblor, I'll never call you "fucktard."
posted by jonmc at 12:05 PM on February 8, 2006


Jack , i forgive you for burning down my house.
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:07 PM on February 8, 2006


I have a dream, a dream of a new metafilter wrought firmly in the bedrock of a new Social Contract, where innocent Mefites can live in peace. Where freedom of expression is tempered by the good will of all. Where disagreement, compromise and indolence are destroyed beneath the CRUSHING IRON FIST of a benevolent dictator and.... ummm.... ahhh.... ... .... ummm, sorry, I think I got a bit off track there, where were we?
posted by blue_beetle at 12:08 PM on February 8, 2006


Witty, bullshit. "Pushing buttons" implies you craft an argument based on opinion and facts, provide some supporting links, etc. No, you don't do that--you throw out "fag" bombs and other puerile epithets. You've actually, with no sense of irony as far as I can tell, called mefites "hippies." Please don't give yourself more credit than you deserve (which shouldn't be hard). You, my friend, are no Eric Cartman.

Anyways, I'm off to Olive Garden with dios. We've patched things up, and we're going to celebrate our love with some Zimas and bread-sticks. Lates.
posted by bardic at 12:11 PM on February 8, 2006


Try the pizza shooters.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:15 PM on February 8, 2006


The brand new day policy benefits only one group: abusers.

What we really need are admins who are willing to ban abusive users, regardless of tenure, or political stance.

The current policy is "I know that (insert person here) is an argumentative asshole, but I am letting them stay because (their viewpoint is underrepresented, they are good at something else, they have been here a long time)", and that's not fair to everyone else.
posted by I Love Tacos at 12:18 PM on February 8, 2006


what's in those, vodka and EVOO, garnished with a pepperoni slice?
posted by jonmc at 12:18 PM on February 8, 2006


I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:31 PM on February 8, 2006


You want a simple solution? Put a god damn Business or Pleasure flag that has to be selected when submitting a front page post. You can stick the best of the web in the the pleasure column, and you can stick all of the inflammatory Iraq/Newsfilter/Knee Jerk One Link Bait posts under the business column.

Then you can let most of us surf in pleasure while the business is taken elsewhere. I bet ya that would help most of us never see the back and forth bullshit that makes comments in MetaFilter seem like a 101 Intro to PoliSci debate.

Somebody post business in pleasure? Easy to fix, either let the hot or not majority of people flag it, or have an admin switch it. You get the picture.

Who's with me.
posted by furtive at 12:32 PM on February 8, 2006


Sorry, I meant to say ...that would help most of us never see the back and forth bullshit that makes comments in certain MetaFilter threads seem like a 101 Intro to PoliSci debate
posted by furtive at 12:33 PM on February 8, 2006


I was saving
those plums
for breakfast
fucktard
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:34 PM on February 8, 2006 [2 favorites]


I'm with furtive.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 12:34 PM on February 8, 2006


I'm not listening to monju_bosatsu. He ate my fucking plums.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:37 PM on February 8, 2006


He ate my fucking plums.

Could have been worse. He might have fucked your eating plums.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:41 PM on February 8, 2006


I support the idea. Not because I think assholes have ruined the place, or even that assholes are a problem, but just for the spectacle and adventure. Which is the same reason I rather like many of the assholes many here seem to think we'd be shutting down.

Assholes give the place flavor and culture. But to build on the culture we need more holidays. I think this should be the first of many official MetaFilter holidays. And we don't need to take it all that seriously with the flagging and banning. Just an agreement that we'll pick a day, and you can't use anything posted before that day for character assassinations.

Just a fun thing. A MetaFilter holiday.
posted by y6y6y6 at 12:43 PM on February 8, 2006


furtive, is it that hard to stay out of threads that don't meet your standards? You assume that only the most obvious Iraq and/or Bushfilter discussions get fleenered. That ain't so. Certain personalities drag their bullshit with them wherever they go.

Anyways, here's a Kenneth Koch poem:

Variations on a Theme by William Carlos Williams

1
I chopped down the house that you had been saving to live in next summer.
I am sorry, but it was morning, and I had nothing to do
and its wooden beams were so inviting.

2
We laughed at the hollyhocks together
and then I sprayed them with lye.
Forgive me. I simply do not know what I am doing.

3
I gave away the money that you had been saving to live on for the
next ten years.
The man who asked for it was shabby
and the firm March wind on the porch was so juicy and cold.

4
Last evening we went dancing and I broke your leg.
Forgive me. I was clumsy and
I wanted you here in the wards, where I am the doctor!
posted by bardic at 12:44 PM on February 8, 2006


And remember--dicks fuck pussies and assholes. Pussies just take it. But assholes shit all over everything, even dicks.
posted by bardic at 12:45 PM on February 8, 2006


It's a Brand New Day
posted by mischief at 12:46 PM on February 8, 2006


"Assholes give the place flavor..."

Well, a certain ambience, I would say.
posted by mischief at 12:48 PM on February 8, 2006


...unless you're making balogna.
posted by mischief at 12:50 PM on February 8, 2006


I propose you bite me.

The idea just sounds too damn orwellian to not piss me off.
posted by delmoi at 12:56 PM on February 8, 2006


Are you delicious, sweet, and cold?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:58 PM on February 8, 2006


I should note, by the way, that I don't think I've ever brought up a previous posters comments, with the sole exception of witty just yesterday.

Anyway, I have no problem with everyone trying to be nice to eachother, that's great, and if we all agreed to it, that might work: especially with Rothko gone. But what I don't like is the idea that we must think or feel a certan way, that we must forget what happened in the past, and that if we don't were punished for it. That's BS. Abusive comments can be deleted in situ, comments that bring up the past and aren't 'abusive' can stay. But dolling out punishments for non-abusive comments simply because other people think the site would be better without them sucks.
posted by delmoi at 1:02 PM on February 8, 2006


Also, it totally sounds like something Mao would come up with. Right along with "Great Leap Forward" and "let 1000 flowers bloom" which were pretty sounding phrases which involved a lot of punishment for decent and "unacceptable" attitudes.
posted by delmoi at 1:04 PM on February 8, 2006



I therefore propose that Brand New Day be preceded by Truth And Reconciliation Day, when all grievances are aired.


We should have a big meetup for festivus. And after the airing of grevances, we get the feats of strength!
posted by delmoi at 1:07 PM on February 8, 2006


If everyone quits being fucktards and assholes (or quits calling each other "fucktard" and "asshole") I shall have no more role models and won't know whom to emulate.

Sure--be nice to each other. But not too nice, okay? It would frighten me waiting for the other shoe to drop.
posted by leftcoastbob at 1:07 PM on February 8, 2006


I don't think people hold grudges over being called names. Those are the just the weapons used to clarify one's own rightiousness. People form and hold grudges over ideas that they find abhorant, offensive, and icky. If anyone has a good idea as to how to police those thoughts and memroies out after BND, please raise your hand ...

'cause I'm gonna shoot you ...

in the head ...

with a very large calibre handgun. (Goddam thought police, *grumble*)
posted by Wulfgar! at 1:18 PM on February 8, 2006


posted by delmoi Also, it totally sounds like something Mao would come up with. Right along with "Great Leap Forward" and "let 1000 flowers bloom" which were pretty sounding phrases which involved a lot of punishment for decent and "unacceptable" attitudes.

Indeed. The Brand New Day would have all sorts of wonderful slogans:

"The Great Unclench Forward"
"Let 1000 Assholes Bloom"
posted by fandango_matt at 1:21 PM on February 8, 2006


Witty, bullshit.

Ok, well I tried.

"Pushing buttons" implies you craft an argument based on opinion and facts, provide some supporting links, etc.

I don't need supporting links to post an opinion, an idea, or a thought. I been involved in plenty of debates on Metafilter based on nothing more than everyone's opinions and basic ideologies. These are the types of threads to which I'm referring. I'm not the type of member that scours the internet picking out links to this and that just to say, "look, I'm right" or "see, I told you so". I, like thousands of others here, participate with a "this is what think" approach. I generally stick with the posts about art or science or neato-this or neato-that... if I participate at all. On the occasion that I do get involved in a heated topic... politics, law, foreign affairs and so forth, I try to sneak in an opinion, 'cause that's usually all I got. But I'm not alone in that methodology. The difference is, my opinions aren't well-liked... and because of that I somehow have to offer supporting evidence and links for my opinion to fly, while the majority of your Army can chime in with their opinions left and right, link-less, supporting-evidence-less. "America sucks", "Bush is jackass", "Catholics are evil", "Southerners or stupid"... that's all that's required. There are dozens of threads every week full of that shit. Go team! I say "Muslims are insane" and the shit hits the fan.

You find "hippies" insulting, yet call me a "fucktard"? I don't get it.

I should note, by the way, that I don't think I've ever brought up a previous posters comments, with the sole exception of witty just yesterday.

Yea, and pretty non-sequitur at that.
posted by Witty at 1:29 PM on February 8, 2006


You want a simple solution? Put a god damn Business or Pleasure flag that has to be selected when submitting a front page post. You can stick the best of the web in the the pleasure column, and you can stick all of the inflammatory Iraq/Newsfilter/Knee Jerk One Link Bait posts under the business column.

Sho-lofilter: business in front, party in the back
posted by gigawhat? at 1:31 PM on February 8, 2006


And remember--dicks fuck pussies and assholes. Pussies just take it. But assholes shit all over everything, even dicks.

Where does The Shocker factor into all of this?
posted by wakko at 1:31 PM on February 8, 2006


I say "Muslims are insane" and the shit hits the fan.

No, your selective memory can't help you here. You wished death upon Muslims. Which is why the shit hit the fan.
posted by wakko at 1:39 PM on February 8, 2006


Witty, I meant "fucktard" in the nice way. And nothing you type offends me--rather, I find you incredibly amusing.
posted by bardic at 1:40 PM on February 8, 2006


"Could have been worse. He might have fucked your eating plums."

Look, I fucked your plums ONCE! Can't you stop bringing up my old bad behavior?
posted by klangklangston at 1:40 PM on February 8, 2006


Sure; I only bring it up once for every Brand New Day. Then i stop, for that Day.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:45 PM on February 8, 2006


Assholes give the place flavor

So does gangrene. Mmmmm, gamey.
posted by Gator at 1:45 PM on February 8, 2006


I read this whole thread looking for make-up-sex & pancakes and all I get is plums & anuses. Tsk.
posted by green herring at 1:49 PM on February 8, 2006


There's a couple of things I wish people would start seriously thinking about.

The first is the whole notion of "bad behavior" and provocation. There's a whole hell of a lot of behavior that we can all agree upon, but there's even more that's ambiguous.

It's ambiguous because someone can be provocative by tone, perceived intent, or content, or any combination thereof. And any of those three judgments are notoriously subjective.

But it's my opinion, using dios as an example, the larger portion of the judgments against him of bad behavior on his part are not the unambiguous kind, but of the tone/perceived intent/content kind, and usually the last two.

Specifically I'd like people to think a bit about how we decide what content is provocative. It's seems to me that "provocative" can be both a descriptive and a normative term. The former because if someone is provoked, there's necessarily a valid claim that the statement was provocative. The latter is where we try to determine "provocativeness" by some objective standard. And the nub of doing that is this: is something which is posted to mefi normatively provocative on the basis of MetaFilter's collective thoughts on a particular matter (usually political), or on the basis of some larger group of people, such as North American society as a whole?

In my opinion, many or most of the disputes regarding the content of the speech of the people deemed politically conservative here on MetaFilter comes down to the fact that those posters are writing their comments normalized to a political mean outside MetaFilter, not inside.

What we should do about that, I don't know. Probably best is what people who are trying to listen to each other and get along do, and that's that both sides make concessions to the other's sensibilities.

The second thing I think we should think about is: what are we doing when we participate in a thread? In my opinion (which I think is backed up by a lot of data), MetaFilter is unambiguosly about Posts about Web Sites, with discussion secondary. But the discussion is the beating heart of the site. It must be important for MeFi to be what it is. So, assuming the priority is posts first, discussion second, what does that imply about how we should conduct ourselves in discussions? I don't have an answer to or an opinion about that; but I intuit it's something we ought carefully consider. Rothko's bannination provides a context for this because as Matteo points out, Rothko as a FP poster was arguably a very productive and positive member of this community. In discussions, not as much.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:50 PM on February 8, 2006


Professor Plum in the kitchen with the dildo.
posted by If I Had An Anus at 1:53 PM on February 8, 2006


I think the opposition voices on this site have succeeded admirably. Instead of talking about an administration that tries to charge-back a wounded soldier for his damaged, blood-stained body armor, we're banning members and feeding on each other for not being sensitive enough to the needs of the opposition's voice.

Brand New Day is an unworkable idea. Self-policing only works if you have a group of people who want to work together. If you have agents for whom chaos, anger and discontent are the primary goals, BND simply encourages further bad behavior and then the wounded/persecuted routine when they get called out.

You really want to start fresh? Randomize the user names and the user numbers. Everyone was created on January 1, 1984. Anything less and we're just GOATSEing the anus of change.
posted by FYKshun at 1:56 PM on February 8, 2006


Yeah, I do think it's pretty funny how Witty tones down "I want all Muslims dead" to "All Muslims are insane." It's too bad he wasn't banned right then and there. I don't think a "Brand New Day" policy would work because a of people just don't seem to grasp what it means not to be an asshole. It seems the norms have changed. The problem isn't just GrudgeFilter--it's the insulting of newbies, the continual "this post sucks," and the derailing of threads. I doubt there really is any solution. Being an asshole is essentially the norm in the blue and in the gray it's all but encouraged (as we saw yesterday with Rothko). The green is the only place where it seems any effort is made to be civil and who knows how long that'll last.
posted by nixerman at 2:02 PM on February 8, 2006


Witty, I meant "fucktard" in the nice way.

OK, good. That's what I figured. I think you're pretty entertaining too. Friends?

No, your selective memory can't help you here. You wished death upon Muslims. Which is why the shit hit the fan.

Yes, but the "insane" comment was still deleted. Why? Millions of Muslims rushing into small area to throw stones at a wall, resulting in death and injury to hundreds, year after year. THAT'S INSANE! And who cares if I wished death upon Muslims? It's not true, but so what? There are many Muslims, millions in fact, that wish death upon me... and you. For every insulting thing I've read about Christians on Metafilter, you flip out and get all defensive over one comment about Muslims (which you know wasn't even meant as it was written).
posted by Witty at 2:09 PM on February 8, 2006


Where does The Shocker factor into all of this?

Into the anus of change?

The anus of change needs a shocker, you know, to open up.
posted by kosem at 2:12 PM on February 8, 2006


Yeah, I do think it's pretty funny how Witty tones down "I want all Muslims dead" to "All Muslims are insane."

And I think it's pretty funny how you've beefed up "a couple of these events every week might be a good thing" (which is what I said) to "I want all Muslims dead".
posted by Witty at 2:12 PM on February 8, 2006


Reset all the grudges? You've never heard this story, have you?

An old man in the pub: "I remember helping build that bridge when I was 25. I worked hard on that. But people won't call you 'the bridge builder' if you do that here. No, no, they don't!

I remember building that house over there when I was 30. But people won't call you 'the house builder' if you do that. No, no they don't!

I remember building that tavern that I still lounge at when I was 35. If you do that people won't call you 'the tavern builder' either. They sure won't!

But if you fuck one goat......."
posted by Termite at 2:27 PM on February 8, 2006


Some people can't help responding to anyone who types their name. They have to defend their honor or something equally pointless. They'll write pages in their own defense.

I don't think you can change those people.
posted by smackfu at 2:27 PM on February 8, 2006


I don't think you can change them, either, smackfu. So, are they the ones who should be banned, or should it be the people who willfully bait them?
posted by FYKshun at 2:29 PM on February 8, 2006


Goodness me. After claiming that Witty wished for the eradication of all Muslims, I hope nixerman is suitably chastised now that it's clear Witty only wants a few hundred to die every couple of days. For shame.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 2:30 PM on February 8, 2006


If we're going to implement The Brand New Day, we'll need the proper propaganda for the Great Unclenching.



(I'm going straight to hell.)
posted by fandango_matt at 2:33 PM on February 8, 2006 [3 favorites]


That's easily the coolest thing I've seen today.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 2:48 PM on February 8, 2006


f_m wins, again (that pisses some people off, right?).
posted by bardic at 2:49 PM on February 8, 2006


Wow. You need to photoshop Matt's head to be just a bit more like a drawing and not a photograph. I guess you'd want the flash tones to match. But otherwise, that is fucking fantastic.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:51 PM on February 8, 2006


fandango_matt: awsome. :P
posted by delmoi at 3:02 PM on February 8, 2006


Maohowie
posted by ericb at 3:10 PM on February 8, 2006


Fandango is the man.

I take it we go back to fighting tommorrow , right ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 3:58 PM on February 8, 2006


gold star for that one.
posted by wakko at 4:30 PM on February 8, 2006


I heartily approve of inline images when they're made (well), and not, er, borrowed. (Though I do post stolen ones myself sometimes, I know.)

I hereby buy you a beer, f_m.

With regards to the whole thread -- whatever. For my part, I fly off the goddamn handle when I feel attacked, and never hold a grudge. I don't expect to change any time soon.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:35 PM on February 8, 2006


fandango_matt - best in-line image in metafilter's history. I'd print that out and pin it above my computer if it wouldn't make me such a....well... geek.
posted by meech at 5:33 PM on February 8, 2006


At first I was against it, but now this Brand New Day shit sounds pretty damn sweet. Here's my plan...as soon as BND goes into place, I can set all sorts of Metafilter firsts.

1. First person to point out Witty isn't. Hah!
2. First doublepost.
3. First person to say wakko is wacko. Hah!
4. First person to post bunnies and pancakes.
5. First burnout.


I'm gonna need a little advance warning here, guys. When this shit goes down, I can't afford to be stuck at work. These first posts won't write themselves.
posted by graventy at 6:28 PM on February 8, 2006


This seems like a huge time suck for Matt and Jessamyn, and it hasn't been stopping the shitstorms from spilling over into other threads.

Why is it that whenever somebody wants to suggest some drastic change in Metafilter behavior, they always trot out some line like this?

"Oh won't somebody.... please..... think of Matt and Jess?"

Come to think of it, I can't remember a single time when I've seen either one complaining that we make their lives miserable. Something tells me that the mods can take care of themselves.
posted by afroblanca at 7:02 PM on February 8, 2006


Fuck Brand New Day. Despite really cutting back over the past eight months, I fully reserve the right to be an asshole when the spirit moves me and to whomever is deserving of it.

The fact that on Metafilter we're generally allowed to be assholes when it's funny or if someone is really asking for it is what gives this site a character that all the other Web 2.0 fucktards lack. One should never rise above calling idiots on their status as such.
posted by Ryvar at 7:26 PM on February 8, 2006


Why do you think it is a good thing to allow people to carry their negative opinions of others forward and treat people based on them?

Oh, maybe because it's the whole point of reputations. We are social beasts, and the civilizing force of social pressure can only operate fully when a person's misdeeds follow them.

And as for the BND thing, meh. Now I'll get to see umpteen people bitching about how so-and-so is not honoring the spirit of BND, and so-and-so bitching back, and on and on.
posted by beth at 7:48 PM on February 8, 2006


This is a stupid idea, I'm only here to for the snark. And to subtly drop mentions of New Zealand being way cooler than your piece of shit country everywhere I possibly can.

See?

New Zealand rules!
posted by The Monkey at 7:57 PM on February 8, 2006


Today, we are all fucktards.
posted by bardic at 7:59 PM on February 8, 2006


Especially me. See how many commas I used? One.

Need more commas.

And subtlety.
posted by The Monkey at 8:06 PM on February 8, 2006


Following on to what graventy was saying, I call dibs on first person to say "that's some right fine shit, fandango_matt".
posted by If I Had An Anus at 8:19 PM on February 8, 2006


we are all fucktards.

that is also my favorite moby song
posted by wakko at 8:41 PM on February 8, 2006


I call dibs

i think dios prefers that you take it to email. but what's his phone number?

oh, that's "dibs." sorry.
posted by Hat Maui at 11:39 PM on February 8, 2006


Aye , new zealands that cool half the populations emigrated to work in bars in edinburgh.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:05 AM on February 9, 2006


Does this mean nobody is ever allowed to use that ParisParamus quote about impeachment again? If it does then I really can't be 100% happy about it. Sometimes a poster does need to have their history brought up. The problem is that there are certain individuals who feel the need to do it all the time. I think a new flagging option for "stop being a mentalist thread-stalker dude" would be a better bet.

I've said before that I try and approach every individual post with a clear mind and try not to read personalities into comments but there are some people who shine through just from their writing (this is true in both positive and negative ways). It's kind of unfair to judge a comment between the end of it and the user who posted it so by all means try not to do it but at the end of the day if a poster says "I love raping puppies" and means it in earnest then by all means use that to point out that his opinion on raising dogs might not be the best to listen to*.


*I got this in a bad analogy cracker so it might not be that clear.
posted by longbaugh at 4:16 AM on February 9, 2006


it feels like it's always the same handful of assholes that hijack every discussion

metafilter: a handful of assholes and a bucket of cocks
posted by quonsar at 4:22 AM on February 9, 2006


Holy shit f_m, that slays me!
posted by OmieWise at 6:04 AM on February 9, 2006


Does this mean nobody is ever allowed to use that ParisParamus quote about impeachment again?


Yes. In fact, I'd bet that quote is exactly what proponents of this are thinking of. Whatever happened to that "personal responsibility" thing the right wing was on about, anyway? Get too inconvenient?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:01 AM on February 9, 2006


Hmmm. Just to the right of center, there's a woman carring a small sign. Wonder what it says...
posted by Gator at 7:45 AM on February 9, 2006


I say let the banhanner swing freely.

Oderint dum metuant!
posted by Argyle at 7:55 AM on February 9, 2006


metafilter: a handful of assholes and a bucket of cocks

15 men on a dead mans chest. Yo ho ho!
posted by jonmc at 8:26 AM on February 9, 2006


fandango_matt, you're my hero. I wonder how many desktops now display Brand New Day.
posted by deborah at 11:28 AM on February 9, 2006


posted by Gator Hmmm. Just to the right of center, there's a woman carring a small sign. Wonder what it says...

Answer here!
posted by fandango_matt at 11:37 AM on February 9, 2006


Well, personally I'm in support of BND. What does anyone lose by making a good-faith effort to drop their grudges against each other? I think almost everyone agrees that the grudge fights just add noise to the site. I think likening it to Orwellian mind control is going a little far. I think people should view this as "I'll personally try to help raise the level of discourse here" rather than "that user I dislike is getting a free pass." It may not last long, but it seems like it can't hurt anything.

Also, I'm in favor of anything that will inevitably result in more links to fandango_matt's incredible picture.

Also, I think I prefer "anus of responsibility."
posted by whir at 1:51 PM on February 9, 2006


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