Concern over escalating tone of answers in alarming AskMe about a child abducted by her mother November 2, 2006 8:50 PM   Subscribe

"If you don't call the FBI, I'll walk down to the Hoover Building myself with a copy of this thread in hand." 6 more-or-less identical answers in one Ask Metafilter thread is plenty, but threatening to call the FBI is a bit much.
posted by fandango_matt to Etiquette/Policy at 8:50 PM (39 comments total)

It's a fitting cherry to top that trainwreck of a sundae.
posted by smackfu at 8:54 PM on November 2, 2006


Hopefully everything works out for the Asker.

Maybe I'm being a bit jaded, but I predict a lot of highly dramatic questions regarding police procedure, medical factoids and other 'behind the scenes/what really happens in this type of situation'-type dealies this month.

Viva NaNoWriMo!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:57 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel is pretty much a douche, I must say.
posted by keswick at 9:18 PM on November 2, 2006


must you?

*sigh* I suppose you must.
posted by carsonb at 9:35 PM on November 2, 2006


Holy crap.
posted by loquacious at 9:42 PM on November 2, 2006


Pastabagel is correct.
posted by gsteff at 9:44 PM on November 2, 2006


katra12 has by far the best helpful content/post ratio I've ever seen on AskMe. That was great.
posted by allen.spaulding at 10:16 PM on November 2, 2006


Hm. Pastabagel may be a bit shrill and repetetive but, well....it appears that the intentions are good and the advice is echoed by many.

Pastabagel, please don't overdo it.
fandango_matt, does that meet your needs here?
posted by peacay at 10:25 PM on November 2, 2006


Umm, yeah, pastabagel is correct. The questioner should call the FBI already.

The premise of this post, however, is that pastabagel shouldn't have threatened to go to the FBI her/himself, but I fail to see why s/he shouldn't. We have a questioner giving direct information about a crime, but not doing the responsible thing and reporting the crime. It shouldn't be surprising that someone would stand up and do the obvious - report the damned crime already.

If you ask me, this call-out has a faint smell of "don't narc" to it.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:29 PM on November 2, 2006


I'm telling my mom.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:01 PM on November 2, 2006


eff that. i'm telling ceiling cat.
posted by casconed at 11:17 PM on November 2, 2006


A bit much, or not too much enough?

Wait, what?
posted by Eideteker at 11:20 PM on November 2, 2006


Between the askme thread linked and this thread on the front page, this is some of the sickest stuff I've read on mefi in awhile.
posted by rsanheim at 11:28 PM on November 2, 2006


Why, there's nothing more magnanimous that breathlessly involving the state in someone else's problem without having all the facts straight. That'll work out great for everyone involved.
posted by dong_resin at 12:37 AM on November 3, 2006


katra12 has by far the best helpful content/post ratio I've ever seen on AskMe. That was great.

Yeah, and I suspect her answer will do more to persuade the poster to take action than Pastabagel's shouting (though it does look like that shouting is well-meant to me).
posted by jack_mo at 1:44 AM on November 3, 2006


Some askme threads -- about medical problems, legal problems, kidnapped children -- very simply have no place here. the posters need doctors, lawyers, cops. Not random strangers on the Internet.

It is quite simple, really
posted by matteo at 2:14 AM on November 3, 2006


Of course, we have only the poster's word that the mother, in fact, is lying about the abuse in question. So going to the FBI could inadvertently be helping a wife abuser find his estranged wife. Awesome!
posted by antifuse at 4:25 AM on November 3, 2006


That's some advanced devil's advocate you're playing, antifuse.
posted by boo_radley at 5:04 AM on November 3, 2006


antifuse: Is that what the FBI does in these cases, return wife and child to the husband with no attempt to involve social workers or get to the bottom of the matter?
posted by nowonmai at 5:05 AM on November 3, 2006


Given that we really don't have any way of knowing the truth, the best course is to plug our ears and say "nahnahnahnah"...

Hey, look at that shiny thing!
posted by Meatbomb at 5:35 AM on November 3, 2006


I didn't even bother commenting in that thread because it reeked so much of bullshit. This:

he doesn't want to rip a child from her mother's arms, or deny her visitation with her mother, no matter how bad the situation is now


...and many variations on that line make no sense whatsoever. "Yeah, my mom is in the other room whanging my sister with a red-hot skillet as I type, but we don't want to interfere because they might be bonding." Bullshit. I don't know whether the whole question and subsequent responses from the questioner are an elaborate hoax or whether she's covering up for someone or omitting some element she doesn't want to tell us about, but as it stands there's no point trying to deal with it.

And yes, Pastabagel is pretty much a douche. Even when he's "right," he decreases the chance of someone doing the right thing through his sheer douchebaggery. But maybe, just maybe, if we all take turns whacking him over the head with this red-hot skillet I happen to have lying around, he'll learn better.
posted by languagehat at 5:47 AM on November 3, 2006


Wow, what a total fucking asshole. I'm always amazed that there really are people who're so self-righteous and selfish that they're willing to cause all manner of grief just to get their rocks off. The indignant school mom just seems so cliche. That answer should be shown to future askers as a warning of what they're getting into when they post to the green.
posted by nixerman at 6:05 AM on November 3, 2006


We have a questioner giving direct information about a crime, but not doing the responsible thing and reporting the crime. It shouldn't be surprising that someone would stand up and do the obvious - report the damned crime already.

"Hello, is this the FBI? Excellent, wait till you hear what I've got for you. Okay, there is this father who lives somewhere and he is a great guy. I mean, he's in MENSA and stuff. And he has this daughter with this woman (but he never lived with her) and the Great Father has custody, right? Are you following so far? Okay, but like a year ago, the Paranoid Shizophrenic Mother (as diagnosed by her own sister) kidnapped the daughter, and she is just bouncing around from woman's shelter to woman's shelter telling made up lies about the Great Father (like he used to beat her.... ummmm, heLLO??? THEY NEVER LIVED TOGETHER SHEESH) So anyways, there is this person who posts to this messageboard I read, and he is the son of the Great Father, but not the Paranoid Schizo Mom. The Great Dad doesn't have the money to hire lawyers, and he wants his daughter to have a relationship with the PSM, so he's in a pinch. I printed out these pages from the internet which offer up no more information about anything verifiable. Should I fax them to you? I'll be home for the rest of the night if you want to swing by and pick them up."
posted by 23skidoo at 6:10 AM on November 3, 2006 [8 favorites]


MENSA
posted by naxosaxur at 6:31 AM on November 3, 2006


eff that. i'm telling ceiling cat.

*yawn*

*stretch*

What?
posted by Ceiling Cat at 6:40 AM on November 3, 2006


Pastabagel really lost his mind on this one. Go back and re-read that question, Pasta; there's plenty of room for offering your advice and moving on without getting shriekingly emotionally involved. Keep a little perspective about AskMe next time. Yeesh.
posted by mediareport at 6:40 AM on November 3, 2006


I can see the Hoover Building down the street if I lean way out my window. Bet you I can beat Pastabagel there with TWO printouts.
posted by brownpau at 6:44 AM on November 3, 2006


Maybe I'm wrong and pastabagel IS an ass, but I completely did not read that comment the way the rest of you did. When I read it, I didn't think he was threatening to call the FBI himself, I just thought he was saying that line to strongly reinforce that the original poster should call the FBI. Is it possible that you're overreacting?
posted by echo0720 at 6:52 AM on November 3, 2006


Oh crap, I did read it incorrectly, I thought it said "I'll walk YOU down to the hoover building...". But still...
posted by echo0720 at 6:56 AM on November 3, 2006


Well, I'm going to have the thread laser etched onto a block of solid gold, which I will then transport via helicopter to the lawn of the White House. I will then present the gold thread to Bush in an official Rose Garden ceremony, and formally demand that he mobalize the National Guard to Find! This! Child!

(posted in good fun. Not trying to make light of the situation or criticize Pastabagel, who clearly has the best of intentions, and I don't disagree with his general advice to involve the proper authorities)
posted by pardonyou? at 7:00 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Booooooooooooooooooo-urns!

Stupid thread, not the place for it, etc. Do I mean the AskMe thread or this one? Yes.

Also - sometimes the words that are written after an inflammatory statement offer context that may alter the meaning or mitigate the apparently inflammatory nature the statement viewed in isolation - the very next line from the contested post, for example:

(seriously OP, please call, your sister is counting on you)

Please stop complaining about everything, you fucking retarded fucktards.
posted by Mister_A at 8:14 AM on November 3, 2006


YES CEILING CAT HAS ARRIVED!
posted by casconed at 9:42 AM on November 3, 2006


Hey, thanks again, all.

The advice given in the thread (pseudo-threat aside) is solid stuff I can use to motivate my father to take action. I did not have these resources prior to this thread, nor did I have the very good reasons listed by some posters to not wait a moment further.

A child will very likely have been helped by all this, despite all the charming intra-bickering and accusations of something fishy, which I choose to ignore.

If anyone is interested in updates, shall I post back in the original question in the green?
posted by mireille at 9:54 AM on November 3, 2006


Please do, Mireille. I'd like to know what happens.
posted by dejah420 at 1:41 PM on November 3, 2006


I'd really recommend against posting an update. Ten years from now your sister will want as little information about this in google as possible. We're just some dorks on the internets, don't worry about us.
posted by gsteff at 4:11 PM on November 3, 2006


Yeah, the MENSA bit was the best part. Not only did I want to mention that being in MENSA was no guarantee that a person is sane and reasonable, I also pretty much at that moment felt certain that he was, in fact, a wife-beating bastard.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:01 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


I also note that pastabagel missed the—admittedly—extremely subtle clue dropped by the poster when she describes the missing girl as her "half-sister" and thus fails to realize that the mother is not the poster's mother.

I'm inclined to complain that answerers who don't pay attention to the questions ought not answer, or be allowed to answer ofter a pattern emerges, but I've reconsidered given just how subtle a reference "half-sister" truly is. Possibly even a MENSA member wouldn't have realized what it implied.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:08 PM on November 3, 2006


So, EB; have you stopped beating your wife?
posted by flabdablet at 2:29 AM on November 4, 2006


I usually get someone from MENSA to do it for me. Are you available? If you are, note that I pay wages commensurate with the ratio of a candidate's measured intelligence to mine. So a mensan shouldn't expect to make much, though the there is some satisfaction in a job well down. Don't worry—the training manual has lots of pictures.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 2:58 AM on November 4, 2006


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