ZOMG Horrible chatfilter. May 19, 2006 6:17 PM   Subscribe

ZOMG Horrible chatfilter. I really like this thread, but it epitomizes everything that is considered 'chatfilter'. No problem to solve, clearly 'a survey'. The poster only asked it because he wants to hear other people's experiences.

I would hate to see it deleted, but I'm pointing it out because I think the chat filter policy sucks.
posted by delmoi to Etiquette/Policy at 6:17 PM (56 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Also, I had no idea you could actually interact with babies while they were in the womb. Crazy.
posted by delmoi at 6:17 PM on May 19, 2006


Uh, that question clearly passes the "If you can answer your own question authoritatively, don't post it to AskMe" test, which is a major factor in determing whether a chatty AskMe stays or not.

You're over-reacting, delmoi.
posted by mediareport at 6:20 PM on May 19, 2006


Why'd you have to go and ruin it, Delmoi? Darn.

On another note, would this question be ok if it was a pregnant woman asking about birth experiences?
posted by MadamM at 6:22 PM on May 19, 2006


The question seems okay to me and no one flagged it. If you think the policy sucks, this is a weird way to go about this.

Problem to be solved "It seems like a pretty incredible thing, and since I'll never be able to do it myself I'm hoping some people who have will be able to shed a bit of light on what it's like."
Can everyone's answer be equally valid? maybe, but probably no
Does poster say "I'll go first"? no
Is the question a hypothetical? no
Is there a way to mark "best" answers mostly yes
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:26 PM on May 19, 2006


jessamyn: To me that seems like legalistic parsing of "problem to be solved." Ultimately any chat-filter question can be simplified to "I want to hear what you have to say." Is there a distinction drawn between "I want to hear your experiences" and "I want to hear your opinion on something?" (when in both cases there's no further action to be taken after the question is answered).

Obviously the answer of everyone who has given birth would be equally valid in this case, how would one woman's experience be "better" then another's? (other then her ability to express it)
posted by delmoi at 6:39 PM on May 19, 2006


Next up: "What is it like to ejaculate?"
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:40 PM on May 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


I disagree with delmoi about the ChatFilter policy, but I agree this question seems to fit the criteria — and if I'd seen it before reading this thread, I probably would have flagged it.
posted by cribcage at 6:48 PM on May 19, 2006


Totally chatfilter but it's ok because it's not about music.
posted by yerfatma at 7:00 PM on May 19, 2006


Consistency being the hobgoblin of good parents everywhere.
posted by yerfatma at 7:01 PM on May 19, 2006


Ha! You think the policy sucks, but you also think this post must be chatfilter, so now you're arguing that it violates the very policy which you oppose. If you convince jessamyn, it will be deleted, which is exactly what you didn't want in the first place. That is amusing.
posted by smackfu at 7:01 PM on May 19, 2006


Ha! You think the policy sucks, but you also think this post must be chatfilter, so now you're arguing that it violates the very policy which you oppose.

That's correct.

If you convince jessamyn, it will be deleted, which is exactly what you didn't want in the first place. That is amusing.

Either the post will be deleted, or the policy will be changed (or clarified), or neither will happen. I'm hoping for the second, and expecting the third.
posted by delmoi at 7:04 PM on May 19, 2006


postcount++
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:05 PM on May 19, 2006


Yeah, what an odd sort of backhanded call out. Or call in.

Also, I had no idea you could actually interact with babies while they were in the womb. Crazy.

Yeah, the comment mentioning placing a cold drink on a pregnant belly to noise up the nearly-ready baby stunned me a bit. But then I've long suspected that my mother's pregnancy cravings for rice pudding and the blues of Robert Johnson had a profound effect on my future mental health.
posted by jack_mo at 7:11 PM on May 19, 2006


The blame for starting two sentences in a row with the word 'Yeah' lies entirely with me, however.
posted by jack_mo at 7:12 PM on May 19, 2006


It didnt seem like chatfilter to me. And as Jessamyn points out, nobody flagged it - so I guess others agree.

The asker wanted to understand what childbirth was like and got help from experts , the "experts" in this case being women who have given birth.

I'm hoping for the second, and expecting the third.

Jessamyn clarified it above. Perhaps a fourth option is that you don't understand the policy?
posted by vacapinta at 7:13 PM on May 19, 2006


legalistic parsing of "problem to be solved."

Dang, delmoi, we discussed this at length just last week. Ethereal Bligh summarized the bottom line:

If you're trying to get the spirit and letter of the law to be identical you're going to have a hard time doing so. There's basically two opposing directions you can go in doing so. The first is to try to account for all the actual, practical experiences where the law would apply and resolve them explicitly in the law according to the spirit of what the law is trying to achieve...

The other way is to keep the law vague but hopefully expressive of its spirit, and allow the enforcer great leeway in understanding what that spirit is and how to translate that into enforcement.


Have you read that thread? Or any of the others in the last two months? What's especially funny is that you brought this issue to MeTa (yet again) after giving the thread only 40 minutes to develop. You've just been itching for an excuse to complain again about the horribly blatant inconsistency you see, haven't you?
posted by mediareport at 7:16 PM on May 19, 2006


I'm pointing it out because I think the chat filter policy sucks.

Duly noted, but then this doesn't fall into the grayish area of complete chatfilter. It's certainly not a perfect question and it is polling the audience but that's not the only criteria.

And what mediareport/EB said about "legalistic parsing". In order to bring some semblance of quality control we had to establish some sort of framework, which jessamyn has described.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:34 PM on May 19, 2006


I don't agree that there's no problem to solve with this one.

The curiosity and lack of understanding between the sexes is a perpetual problem to be solved. This question goes about it in good faith.
posted by scarabic at 7:41 PM on May 19, 2006


the answer of everyone who has given birth would be equally valid in this case, how would one woman's experience be "better" then another's? (other then her ability to express it)

You don't mark people's posts as "best experience" or "most valid motherhood knowledge" you mark them as "best answer" which has a hell of a lot to do with how well they express themselves.

But then again, that applies to everything, even chatfiltery stuff. So I'm not sure that Jessamyn's criterion of "Is there a way to mark "best" answers" has been well-enough explained. I'm also unclear on how it's different from "
Can everyone's answer be equally valid?" It's probably the same criterion. And both probably don't belong in the litmus test, because they are so dependent on how articulate each answer is, not on how the question is formulated.
posted by scarabic at 7:45 PM on May 19, 2006


Incidentally, delmoi, I understand how frustrating it is to attempt to make a larger point only to have people attack your example, but in this case you did make it pretty clear that you were bringing up the example to make a point, so I think it's fair to disagree with you based on the example. In general, I don't have a strong opinion on the chatfilter policy. I think it's been well applied and also stupidly applied, and well held back and stupidly held back. Go figure.
posted by scarabic at 7:48 PM on May 19, 2006


mr_crash_davis: Next up: "What is it like to ejaculate?"

That's something I've wondered more than once, and I imagine that knowing the answer would be both interesting and useful for refining technique. I'm not planning to post the question, but I wouldn't dismiss it as chatfilter, either. (Not to assume that you would...)
posted by Elsa at 8:09 PM on May 19, 2006


Have you read that thread? Or any of the others in the last two months? What's especially funny is that you brought this issue to MeTa (yet again) after giving the thread only 40 minutes to develop. You've just been itching for an excuse to complain again about the horribly blatant inconsistency you see, haven't you?

No, I saw the thread and thought how great it was, then realized that it was probably chat-fillter, and then just how bad the policy was. I wasn't "itching" for anything.

EB's "letter vs. spirit" argument is interesting, but if a tweak can be made to the "letter" to make it closer to "the spirit" in practice it should be, and given metafilter extremely small "government" it ought to be possible to do that.

I also don't like definitions of things being stretched beyond their natural breaking points in order to justify that this or that post gets to stay?

How would you define "problem to solve". To me it means, at least, that a further action is going to be taken (or not taken). "Should I dump my girlfriend?" is the question, and "dump my befriend" is the answer.

Of course we often see questions where the poster is just asking for knowledge that only a few people might have, such as the science questions or whatnot. And this could be thought of that way, but rather then just 'a few' people we'd have many, many people who could answer. Hmm.
posted by delmoi at 8:15 PM on May 19, 2006


Maybe you should first realize that metafilter isn't setup to cater to your personal prefrences?
posted by delmoi at 10:25 AM EST on May 19


Sorry, I couldn't resist.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:16 PM on May 19, 2006


I think that was a great AskMe. The question was well-written ("Hey, what's YOUR pregnancy horror story?" would merit immediate deletion), and the responses are informed, articulate, and on-topic without being cold or lacking humor.
Googling it would probably bring up either a lot of clinical and dry information, or a bunch of hippy-dippy BS.

So far it looks like a great use of the hivemind, and it sure as hell beats the recent rash of Jukebox AskMes. I like reading about music as much as the next guy, but shit, the green is capable of more than just "If you like x, you'll probably like y."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:17 PM on May 19, 2006


It would be really nice to have a 'music.metafilter.com' page where we can post questions about music as well as link to music we happen to like, or write. Matt's said he's working on it.
posted by delmoi at 8:20 PM on May 19, 2006


I thought it was a great question too, and I'm still not sure how people are so confused about the chatfilter criteria. I've never had any conflicts with which threads get deleted and which don't.
posted by danb at 8:43 PM on May 19, 2006


I like chat, but I hate it in AskMe, and I support the chopping of chat out of AskMe.

That said, the post you've linked to didn't strike me as chatfilter. And Jessamyn's comment above perfectly matches the way I was parsing the situation. So, you've posted a MeTa about a non-chatfilter AskMe that isn't being deleted, as a way to reiterate the fact that you don't like the rule against chatfilter.

That just seems weird to me. It's like:

"ZOMG someone posted a link to a museum's gallery of Chinese calligraphy, and it didn't get deleted! I would hate to see it deleted, but I'm pointing it out because I think the policy against single link CNN posts regarding Bush sucks."
posted by Bugbread at 8:52 PM on May 19, 2006


delmoi : "No, I saw the thread and thought how great it was, then realized that it was probably chat-fillter, and then just how bad the policy was."

That right there is the problem, I think. You like chatfilter, and you can't see the difference between a chatfilter post and the post you've linked to. I dislike chatfilter, and I can see the difference between a chatfilter post and the post you've linked to. Perhaps you dislike the rule against chatfilter because you see it as emcompassing more than it really does?
posted by Bugbread at 8:57 PM on May 19, 2006


delmoi, you already know that anyone who's spent any time here is going to encounter things they just have to accept about the way the site is run, even if they disagree. May I suggest that all of you "chatfilter AskMe's should be allowed no matter how chatty" folks just suck it up once and for all and move on already? I've certainly done it on more than one occasion. It's kind of liberating; I recommend it highly.
posted by mediareport at 9:13 PM on May 19, 2006


That said, the post you've linked to didn't strike me as chatfilter.

It did, me. Notwithstanding jessamyn's checklist, I think mr_crash_davis pointed out the analogy: What's it like to _____? We can fill that blank with a million verbs, and I think they're all ChatFilter. They certainly land in a gray area.

As for the checklist: I don't see why different women's varying experiences of childbirth wouldn't be equally valid, and I think it contorts reason to describe this question as "a problem to be solved." If that's all we're going to require ("Because I'd like to know"), then I don't see why the U2 thread can't be reposted.
posted by cribcage at 10:02 PM on May 19, 2006


In America, does "then" really mean "than"?
posted by strawberryviagra at 10:10 PM on May 19, 2006


and I can see the difference between a chatfilter post and the post you've linked to. Perhaps you dislike the rule against chatfilter because you see it as emcompassing more than it really does?

What was the diffrence that you saw?
posted by delmoi at 10:37 PM on May 19, 2006


delmoi, you already know that anyone who's spent any time here is going to encounter things they just have to accept about the way the site is run, even if they disagree. May I suggest that all of you "chatfilter AskMe's should be allowed no matter how chatty"

That's not what I think. I wouldn't want to see askme filled up with lots of useless crap, but I would like to see the occasional useless gem, like this post and maybe other ones that have been deleted.
posted by delmoi at 10:42 PM on May 19, 2006


In America, does "then" really mean "than"?

No, but they are pronounced the same way.
posted by delmoi at 10:44 PM on May 19, 2006


I, too, don't think this question was chatfilter. When I first saw it—that is, before I had even fully read it—I though "chatfilter". But as I read the question it seemed to be less and less chatfilter.

One way you can tell the question isn't chatfilter is to look at the answers. The answers (the best of them, and there's more than just one or two) are very specific. And the specifics directly answer the question.

Chatfilter is often opinion. These experiences of giving birth are not opinion. They're factual experiences. A chatfilter post on the same subject would implicitly allow men to answer. "Is childbirth a life-altering experience?" That question invites opinion and vague answers...chat. "Is the experience of childbirth the same or different from other hospital medical procedures?" That question invites opinion supported by the facts of personal experience.

This question solves a real problem that is really (though limited) solvable: try to explain to a man, or someone who hasn't experiences birth, what it is like. That's not chatting, it's a task.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 10:58 PM on May 19, 2006


A good chatfilter question is one that significantly builds community.

This chatfilter question informed more than half the population. By that metric, it's a good one.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:26 PM on May 19, 2006


While I don't necessarily think the question was good, I thought that the answers provided were great.

It does set up precedence for all sorts of potentially not-so-great questions ("What's it like to have breasts? I'm a guy! I'll never know!"), but as is, I don't see why the policy needs to be revised. Isn't this why we have humans deciding these things for us and not robots? To weed out great questions that might potentially be deleted if any "inappropriate" posts were automatically deleted? Or is it just because they're cuter than robots?

(Any guys who want to enlighten the ladies in the room on ejaculation, I'm all for it. Really, what's up with that?)
posted by grapefruitmoon at 12:39 AM on May 20, 2006


cribcage : "I think mr_crash_davis pointed out the analogy: What's it like to _____? We can fill that blank with a million verbs, and I think they're all ChatFilter."

And, again, we have a difference of interpretation, because "what's it like" questions don't strike me as chatfilter.

delmoi : "What was the diffrence that you saw?"

Partly, specialized knowledge. Only a limited part of MeFi has enough knowledge to answer that question. Chatfilter is usually open to anyone. (I'm not saying that this is my definition of chatfilter, only that it's a difference that I see)
posted by Bugbread at 12:43 AM on May 20, 2006

In America, does "then" really mean "than"?
Thank you.
No, but they are pronounced the same way.
Says you.
posted by geekyguy at 12:52 AM on May 20, 2006


What are some questions that you think seem to violate the chatfilter proscription? I'll go first.
posted by grouse at 2:08 AM on May 20, 2006


Delmoi.

If the chatty, noisy aspects of this site upset you so, you should really, truly, strongly consider posting less. Your posts are so frequent, so often annoying, and so often off-the-mark (or just off-kilter, pushing some backhanded agenda as this one is), that if I ever get a killfile working, you'll be the first user in it.

Signed,
posted by fake at 3:16 AM on May 20, 2006


Aye.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:52 AM on May 20, 2006


Fascinating chatfilter is good, non-fascinating chatfilter is not good.
posted by fire&wings at 5:08 AM on May 20, 2006


Everything I approve is good, everything I don't approve isn't. I donot endorse this callout.
posted by peacay at 5:10 AM on May 20, 2006


Aye.

Aye.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:14 AM on May 20, 2006


I think the distinction between a good poll question and a lousy one is that a good one asks members to share their own experiences while a lousy one solicits their opinions. Reading about other people's experiences, be they encounters with ghosts or odd things they've seen while working in a supermarket, is enlightening because it's unique information hard to find elsewhere. And not everyone can answer those questions, whereas everyone has a favorite album.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:46 AM on May 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


One way you can tell the question isn't chatfilter is to look at the answers. The answers (the best of them, and there's more than just one or two) are very specific. And the specifics directly answer the question.

Very well said. (And concise, for those of you maintaining outdated worldviews.)

Aye.

Aye.


Aye-aye!

Seriously, delmoi, give it a rest. You made your point long ago.
posted by languagehat at 7:21 AM on May 20, 2006


33 users marked this as a favorite
posted by matteo at 9:06 AM on May 20, 2006


It would be really nice to have a 'music.metafilter.com' page where we can post questions about music as well as link to music we happen to like, or write. Matt's said he's working on it.

What does this have to do with anything? Seriously, delmoi, we get it, give it a rest.
posted by fixedgear at 10:31 AM on May 20, 2006


I agree with everything that fake said.
posted by greasy_skillet at 12:07 PM on May 20, 2006


posted by mr_crash_davis Next up: "What is it like to ejaculate?"

For delmoi, it's like posting on MetaFilter.
posted by fandango_matt at 12:32 PM on May 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


the thread you've cited is convergent. even though the answers might be vary, they offer views on the same thing such that a coherent overview/answer can be seen. chatfilter is divergent.
posted by unknowncommand at 3:23 PM on May 20, 2006


Flag it? And move on?
posted by desuetude at 3:55 PM on May 20, 2006


Good one, unkcmd. That's an excellent measure.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:48 PM on May 20, 2006


Aye.
posted by Wolof at 5:01 PM on May 20, 2006


To be fair, fixedgear, I was the one who brought up music.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:17 PM on May 20, 2006


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