People being assholes in post about African rapes November 19, 2006 11:18 AM   Subscribe

After I posted this horrific story, the infighting threads in there blew up to atrocious levels. I know it's not on the front page anymore, but mathowie or jess, it'd be nice if you could take a machete to all the crap infighting threads that people chose to dump in there, 'cause it's still going on. (And, on that issue, the fact that idiots would choose to infight in a thread about such a horrific topic is truly one of the worst moments I've seen on MeFi.)
posted by WCityMike to Etiquette/Policy at 11:18 AM (57 comments total)

If people want to fight with each other on a thread which isn't even on the front page anymore, let them. Any of us who aren't interested in participating can just not read the thread.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:20 AM on November 19, 2006


We can't just trim huge threads without it seriously affecting the flow of a thread. There have been very few flags in that thread which I assume is because interested people are there reading it and discussing/disputing, and people for whom it's too over the top are no longer reading it. That said, I added a note to the thread to see if we can wrap some of the name calling up.

Since this is now in MetaTalk, Matt and I talked about axing the post completely actually, because it was almost guaranteed to get people really upset and therefore likely to argue with each other. While we decided to leave it in, I think the decision to include a big textual description of a graphic rape in the first comment was a poor one and the thread would have gone on better without it. I'm aware of the "people need to KNOW this stuff" angle and I truly sympathize with both the horrible situation in the Congo as well as the mildly annoying situation in the thread but at the end of the day "OMG BRUTALITY" threads do not go well here, even if they're well-meaning.

Everyone has their own topics they feel very strongly about and think other should know about -- in fact MUST know about in graphic detail -- but there is a difference between that and what make a good Metafilter post, in my opinion.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:32 AM on November 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


If people want to fight with each other on a thread which isn't even on the front page anymore, let them

maybe it makes sense in MeTa, not in the blue -- people google topics, MeFi comes up. in the blue threads have a much longer life, people yelling "fuck off" to each other make the site look like Usenet
posted by matteo at 12:04 PM on November 19, 2006


matteo, do you run a program that automatically cuts off the period from every single final sentence you write, or what?
posted by interrobang at 12:09 PM on November 19, 2006


Matt and I talked about axing the post completely actually. Glad you choose not to. The 'vanilla' don't work so well as the 'blue'.

OP: Accept that in-fighting is what intelligent people do. You can't hurd them, and they will not be led. I can only hope that you and emjaybee see the irony in your contributions.
posted by econous at 12:15 PM on November 19, 2006


(And, on that issue, the fact that idiots would choose to infight in a thread about such a horrific topic is truly one of the worst moments I've seen on MeFi.)

You must be new here.
posted by Kwantsar at 12:35 PM on November 19, 2006


matteo, do you run a program that automatically cuts off the period from every single final sentence you write, or what?

Matteo's Rule of Commenting #2975: Always leave 'em wanting more
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:39 PM on November 19, 2006


I apologize for my role. I was reacting emotionally to a few members who chose to mock people who thought there was something constructive that could be done about gang rape or for its victims. I didn't tell anyone to fuck off, though I felt like it. Still, I should have just brought it here, I guess. I don't see it as "infighting" since I have no particular "in" with other posters, but I did feel strongly they were belittling the issue and derailing the thread. I don't think the thread is all that bad but it didn't need a squabble. I don't think any of my posts got deleted but they could be. Sorry for contributing to a derail.
posted by Rumple at 12:59 PM on November 19, 2006


>>...it'd be nice if you could take a machete...

racist.
posted by naxosaxur at 1:01 PM on November 19, 2006


WCityMike: If you didn't want a messed up thread you shouldn't have posted a messed up story. Quoting the worst parts of the story as a comment was pretty provocative.
posted by delmoi at 1:36 PM on November 19, 2006


I don't really get the expectation that the comments on a post -- no matter how horrifying or deserving the topic -- should be free of "infighting."

Also, I strongly agree with Jessamyn about the graphic content in the [mi]. Just because the content is traumatic doesn't mean you need to use it to traumatize people.
posted by ottereroticist at 1:42 PM on November 19, 2006


Don't be absurd, delmoi.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:43 PM on November 19, 2006


Oops, lost the rest - the [mi] was redundant, but holding the story responsible for people's piss poor conduct? Nonsense.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:50 PM on November 19, 2006


speaking of piss poor conducts and lecturing others about it, what's your other account here Alvy?
posted by matteo at 2:07 PM on November 19, 2006


You tell me, this is the first I've ever heard of it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:18 PM on November 19, 2006


I am kind of new here, so can somebody please explain what's so bad about posting more information inside the thread?
Do people read the front page, see the [more inside] bit, say to themselves, "I don't want to read that", and then go into the thread anyway?!?
(Not being narky, genuinely curious).
posted by kisch mokusch at 2:21 PM on November 19, 2006


There's nothing wrong with it, kisch. delmoi's out of his mind.
posted by interrobang at 2:27 PM on November 19, 2006


Do people read the front page, see the [more inside] bit, say to themselves, "I don't want to read that", and then go into the thread anyway?!?

No. But they might have said "I wonder what that's about," then gone into the thread -- where the next thing they saw was one of the most graphic passages from the linked story.

Typically there's a little more opportunity to determine whether you want to read the really gory bits.
posted by ottereroticist at 2:31 PM on November 19, 2006


I don't care how the FPP was formatted (FWIW) - it appears to have prompted a lot of people to donate (myself included), and I like being part of a community that gives a shit.

Thank you WCityMike.
posted by strawberryviagra at 4:31 PM on November 19, 2006


What is there to infight about? Shooting people in the vagina is wrong.
posted by scarabic at 5:05 PM on November 19, 2006


What it was Hitler's vagina?
posted by team lowkey at 5:31 PM on November 19, 2006


What if it were Hitler's vagina?

Ugh, why'd I make myself type that stupidity twice?
posted by team lowkey at 5:34 PM on November 19, 2006


were?!? Guh, I should not be commenting while I have a cold.
posted by team lowkey at 5:37 PM on November 19, 2006


There's nothing wrong with it, kisch. delmoi's out of his mind.

WTF? When did I say posting more inside was bad? I said in this case posting some of the most graphic paragraphs from the article was in poor taste and got the thread off on the wrong foot.
posted by delmoi at 5:49 PM on November 19, 2006


As a woman who's experienced rape, I would've liked to see this kind of thing handled with a little more sensitivity. Graphic descriptions of rape should always come with a strong warning about the content, because they can be triggering for people who've experienced sexual violence. In this case it'd have been ideal for the poster to have noted that the linked story was graphic but composed a post that stood on its own without quoting some of the most sensational material, but even just indicating that the [more inside] would be extremely graphic would've been thoughtful. jmo.
posted by loiseau at 6:30 PM on November 19, 2006


Telling tomrac to fuck off was completely justified. He was bascially pouring gasoline on a low-grade fire with his "ZOMG BUSH IS RESPONSIBLE AMIRITE U LIBRUL IDIOTS" comment.

Jessamyn, why wasn't that deleted?

Anyways, we've had a bit of a troll shortage around here lately, so I guess it's time for people to start defending him as a brave, "dissenting" voice.
posted by bardic at 6:35 PM on November 19, 2006


And I'm even sure where to begin with this one. I guess some off-topic, personal attacks are more equal than others.
posted by bardic at 6:36 PM on November 19, 2006


team lowkey writes "were?!? Guh, I should not be commenting while I have a cold. "

No, "were" is correct. It's the conditional. "If I were more versed in grammar, I'd be able to explain this better".
posted by Bugbread at 6:37 PM on November 19, 2006


*not even sure
posted by bardic at 6:38 PM on November 19, 2006


Yeah, tomrac's comments should have been flagged, ignored, and deleted, but there was plenty of crap in that thread before he came along.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:41 PM on November 19, 2006


bardic writes "Anyways, we've had a bit of a troll shortage around here lately, so I guess it's time for people to start defending him as a brave, 'dissenting' voice."

Handy reference tool:

There are only two types of people in this world: people who agree with bardic, and trolls. And, since a troll is someone who says the opposite of what they believe in order to start a fight, that means there is only one type of person in this world: people who agree with bardic.

The downside is that it basically means bardic is in full agreement with the opinions of the US government. The upside is that, when we talk about how Bush is full of shit, we don't actually mean it, because we all agree with Bardic, including Bush, and hence (commutative theorem) we all agree with Bush.

(Or, you know, there is the other possibility, which is that tomrac is a troll, and some other people are trolls, and yet other people are actually non-troll dissenting voices)
posted by Bugbread at 6:43 PM on November 19, 2006


From the tomrac attack: At 5 minutes a comment, that's 360 hours....

Well, no wonder he came to such a ridiculous conclusion. Who takes 5 minutes to post a comment?? Nobody I know. Try 30 seconds (and that's being generous). At 30 seconds a comment, it's only 36 hours of commenting over 2 years. Which doesn't sound so crazy.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:45 PM on November 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Get out of here with your reason and logic, bugbread, you troll.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:46 PM on November 19, 2006


MetaFilter: More Vicious than Rape
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:46 PM on November 19, 2006


There are only two types of people in this world: people who agree with bardic, and trolls.

Well shucks bugbread, I had no idea you thought so highly of me.

But seriously, are you defending his contributions in that thread as being substantive? If my own mea culpa wasn't strong enough for you, let me say it again -- I apologize for acting like an ass in that thread.
posted by bardic at 6:46 PM on November 19, 2006


At 30 seconds a comment, it's only 36 hours of commenting over 2 years. Which doesn't sound so crazy.

That sounds fucking insane to me.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 6:47 PM on November 19, 2006


The crazy thing is that I was looking at pr0n most of the time as well.

Whew, I'm exhausted. Anybody got any Gatorade?
posted by bardic at 6:49 PM on November 19, 2006


::pours Gatorade tub over bardic's head::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:57 PM on November 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


hm. re: tomrac, looks like we've got another douche bag neocon around here. He'll get a free pass until he completely flames out, which hopefully won't take long.
posted by bob sarabia at 7:38 PM on November 19, 2006


looks like we've got another douche bag neocon...

Yeah, if only he was just a douche bag, then there'd be no problem.

We've got to draw the line somewhere, people!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:00 PM on November 19, 2006


bardic writes "But seriously, are you defending his contributions in that thread as being substantive?"

Not at all. My disagreement was just with the implication that dissenters and trolls are essentially synonymous. This guy is a troll. Some MeFites get defended as dissenters. The two don't overlap.
posted by Bugbread at 8:01 PM on November 19, 2006


Sure they do, sometimes. Everything overlaps.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:21 PM on November 19, 2006


if you can ride the standing wave where everything overlaps nothing, it's a real trip. just don't faceplant into a jellyfish.
posted by carsonb at 9:42 PM on November 19, 2006


Hey guys? Uh, guys? If you could stop playing grabass for a second...

loiseau had something relevant and useful to say, if you'd care to scroll back up and read it.

Thank you for sharing your perspective, loiseau.
posted by ottereroticist at 9:59 PM on November 19, 2006


Yes, thank you loiseau. I had skipped the discussion because of the FPP. The first message in that thread is appalling, and I immediately flagged it as Offensive Content.
posted by tkolar at 10:07 PM on November 19, 2006


Metafilter: What if it were Hitler's vagina?
posted by aubilenon at 10:57 PM on November 19, 2006


Metafilter: What if it were Hitler's vagina?


Deleted. ChatFilter.
posted by fixedgear at 2:39 AM on November 20, 2006


The first message in that thread is appalling, and I immediately flagged it as Offensive Content.

Absurd.

Graphic descriptions of rape should always come with a strong warning about the content, because they can be triggering for people who've experienced sexual violence. In this case it'd have been ideal for the poster to have noted that the linked story was graphic but composed a post that stood on its own without quoting some of the most sensational material, but even just indicating that the [more inside] would be extremely graphic would've been thoughtful. jmo.

Your position is, for obvious reasons, understandable. It's worth noting, however, that he did mention in the FPP itself that the link dealt with "rape in a particular way with a brutality that staggers the mind." For that reason, I'm not totally sure what it is that people expected when they entered the thread.

at the end of the day "OMG BRUTALITY" threads do not go well here, even if they're well-meaning.

At this point, instead of having Jessamyn explain her reasoning in any metatalk thread, why don't we just have a machine post "OMG [insert thread type in capslock here] posts don't work well on Metafilter" every time...

I kid! I kid!
posted by The God Complex at 4:16 AM on November 20, 2006


OMG I KID! I KID! posts don't work well on MetaFilter.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:23 AM on November 20, 2006


instead of having Jessamyn explain her reasoning in any metatalk thread, why don't we just have a machine post "OMG [insert thread type in capslock here] posts don't work well on Metafilter"

I probably don't have to belabor this, but there IS a certain kind of eye-rolling handwaving breathless type of post that I think a lot of us recognize as usually turning into 1) a giant echo chamber where everyone says "fukinarightd00d" and all agree with each other all the time or 2) a huge gripe fest (as in this case) where even when people agree with the general angle of the OP [in this case "shooting people in the vagina is terribly terribly wrong"] they are unnerved and unsettled and often come out swinging over smaller issues.

So we wind up with a list of sorts

bad on metafilter
OMG BUSH=H1TL3R
LOL XIANS
OMG BRUTALITY
USA = TEH SUCK
GYOBF
SLOE/SLBOE

good on metafilter
FYI/FWIW
TEH INTERNETS
ROFL
ZOMG

It's a subtle set of distinctions, I know.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:27 AM on November 20, 2006 [3 favorites]


OMG BRUTALITY/AXE GRIND FILTER
posted by OmieWise at 7:29 AM on November 20, 2006


The God Complex writes...
The first message in that thread is appalling, and I immediately flagged it as Offensive Content.
Absurd.


Thanks for sharing.

For that reason, I'm not totally sure what it is that people expected when they entered the thread.

Well,the IMG tag is turned off, so I didn't expect a picture from rotten.com. That's where I go for my graphic, vivid descriptions of horrific violence and injuries.
posted by tkolar at 8:29 AM on November 20, 2006


Jessamyn, I know. I was just poking a bit of fun ;)

Well,the IMG tag is turned off, so I didn't expect a picture from rotten.com. That's where I go for my graphic, vivid descriptions of horrific violence and injuries.

Absurd.
posted by The God Complex at 11:13 AM on November 20, 2006


Well,the IMG tag is turned off, so I didn't expect a picture from rotten.com. That's where I go for my graphic, vivid descriptions of horrific violence and injuries.

Absurd.


Seriously, there are way better sources for that kinda thing. Rotten.com is so tame.
posted by thirteenkiller at 12:49 PM on November 20, 2006


Seriously, there are way better sources for that kinda thing. Rotten.com is so tame.

Really? Whatcha got? Rotten has pretty much stopped adding to their gory picture collection over the last year...

I want to be shocked and titillated (in the proper context, of course), damnit.
posted by tkolar at 3:39 PM on November 20, 2006


stavrosthewonderchicken : "Sure they do, sometimes. Everything overlaps."

Ok, true, my bad.

Sometimes they overlap. I was just bothered by the implication that they always overlap.
posted by Bugbread at 8:15 PM on November 20, 2006


Really? Whatcha got? Rotten has pretty much stopped adding to their gory picture collection over the last year...

ogrish.com. Lots of gore stuff there. I usually just look at it for the stuff coming out of Iraq.
posted by bob sarabia at 9:36 AM on November 21, 2006


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