Politeness and double posts. October 13, 2001 5:16 PM   Subscribe

This thread contains at least two (that I could find) examples of how to point out a double post in a polite and casual manner. But lately, this seems to be the exception rather than the rule. I'm wondering why some threads prompt some fairlystrong language in MeTa and outcry in the threads, and others are allowed to continue.
posted by hipstertrash to Bugs at 5:16 PM (10 comments total)

Thanks for the post, hipstertrash. I know it's uncool to praise but contributions like this are an example to all and it bugs me that a "zero comments" byline seems to imply it isn't important. It is. I'm sure a lot of people read it but were too inhibited to acknowledge it

posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:32 AM on October 14, 2001

Miguel - thanks. My fear, though, is that the silence in this thread speaks volumes. One of my first thoughts while putting this post together was that many of the self appointed double post sentries around here might be operating on a double standard, that letting this one slide was a conscious decision. I'm not trying to stereotype, generalize, or accuse, and any passing thought or speculation about motives is just that. I guess that I'm just wondering if a double post is a double post is a double post, or if there are nuances that I'm not aware of.
posted by hipstertrash at 11:14 AM on October 14, 2001

Sometimes polite does not work. You have to point it out.

posted by bjgeiger at 12:16 PM on October 14, 2001

bjgeiger: So is it now the requirement that every user must click through every link in every comment on every thread in order to avoid being branded a double-poster?

I thought I was as hard-line against double posting as they come, but this is going too far.

Leaving aside my objections to his absurd punctuation, I don't see how DBAPaul could possibly have averted this "error":

- the comment in the earlier thread didn't even belong there -- it was tangentially related at best to the topic under discussion
- the comment linked to a different news story, so a URL search wouldn't have turned up anything
- the comment didn't use any keywords ("San Jose", "airport", "confetti") that would have identified the subject matter, so a keyword search wouldn't have worked either

If it's clear that the double-post could have been avoided with a reasonable amount of effort, by all means, call them on it. Otherwise, take a few deep breaths until your need to be etiquette cop subsides.
posted by jjg at 12:43 PM on October 14, 2001

bj - my point is not necessarily to compare and contrast the two approaches. while there is a definite ettiquete discussion implied here, i think that the first question should be why the variations exist in the first place. We've all seen situations in which an offending party is castigated, put through the wringer for his/her mistake. If that kind of reaction is applied inconsistently, I think at the very least there needs to be some kind of logic behind it. Otherwise, the valid points about posting thoughtfully and responsibly are lost, and it begins to look more like random vigilante flaming.
posted by hipstertrash at 12:46 PM on October 14, 2001

Seemingly I have offended with my comment here and in the thread I mentioned. I must to be reading away too much MetaFilter for my own good. jjg, I guess I am the only person that actually does read every clink through in a thread I read, I suppose that makes me very anal, but I really try to read all sides of arguments and view other things people feel relative to a post.
posted by bjgeiger at 2:00 PM on October 14, 2001

Jeez guys, that wasn't a double post.

It was a followup to an early report, an early report that was completely different to the conclusion article. The early report was just mentioned as a comment, it's not like a whole thread was devoted to that incident. If it was, you may have a case for "shouldn't followups go inside the original threads?"

But it's not a double post at all as is.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 2:33 PM on October 14, 2001

I've been trying for a long time to point out double posts constructively, as in "if you're interested in this, you might want to look at this earlier thread that discussed it." I try to be polite, no flames, no suggestions of stupidity or complaints about their "newbiehood." Just trying to weave the community together a little bit, the ongoing project of creating a shared culture. And I still get flamed by people who have a bug up their asses about "MeFi police" or "self appointed double post sentries." It's to the point where I almost* figure, what the hell, if I'm going to have to take this shit everytime I try to speak up, might as well flame.

posted by rodii at 5:02 PM on October 14, 2001

But it's not a double post at all as is.

Did I miss something? Both threads that I linked to reference the exact same article, by itself in the post. How is that not a double post? Or are you talking about the thread that bj brought up in his comment?
posted by hipstertrash at 6:16 PM on October 14, 2001

Rodii's point is, to my mind, irrefutable. Even when double-post alarms aren't fully justified, they always point to other, similar discussions which enrich and deepen the extant thread.
Every time(not one exception, I'm afraid, though I'd love one just for cogency) I've clicked on one of these alerts; even when I concluded they weren't fair in the strict sense of denouncing a needless repetition, they've always brought welcome depth.

False double-post alerts are like those rethreads which prolong the life of your tyres. They pump up the rubber, volume, hot air. Also you have to be grateful that people actually take the trouble to relink and recontextualize current discussions which, even if they're technically new, remind us we're not that original.

But hipstertrash's main point - I've been stupidly rude to him in the past and brought into line by his own well-mannered and considerate reply - is politeness; not detection. Some members have a gift for warning about double-posts - and other annoying infractions - in a humorous and non-confrontational way.

This should surely be encouraged. I guess just by copying what elegant "policemen" do.

posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:13 PM on October 14, 2001

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