Posting personal information from a member's site with the intention of ridiculing them? November 9, 2001 10:50 PM   Subscribe

Posting personal information from a member's site with the intention of ridiculing them?
posted by Doug to Etiquette/Policy at 10:50 PM (51 comments total)

I found Rabbit's comment concerning "population control" to be juvenile, and certainly below Mefi standards, but this just struck me as a little unfair. Am I wrong for thinking this kind of activity should be frowned upon?
posted by Doug at 10:52 PM on November 9, 2001

Probably not. And it was cruel, too. I must add that, over all, Metafilter has restored my lack of faith in humanity tonight.
posted by y2karl at 11:11 PM on November 9, 2001

Not entirely.
posted by y2karl at 11:28 PM on November 9, 2001

I emailed rabbit about his recent behavior earlier tonight. Hopefully he gets the message soon.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:01 AM on November 10, 2001

He publishes a personal site that is openly accessible.
He spouts off in a very public place.
Said public place automatically creates a link to his profile at each spouting.
At some point, he chose to include a link to previously mentioned personal site in his profile.
The circle is complete. Sure it was cheap, but I have no pity.
Wasn't asking for it, but he did leave the ammunition out in the open. In terms of etiquette/policy, though, it's not a special case. It's a personal attack like any other, and still inappropriate.

As a rhetorical question, though, I'm curious how his comment is more substandard than this one. I just figured it was another easy joke someone decided to take at face value.
posted by Su at 12:51 AM on November 10, 2001

Bleh. Many of MeFi's most-elder aggressively discourage nowhereness - anonymity, they claim, tempts the dishonourable post. So, apparently, does its opposite.

Very bad form. Very, very. MeFi is awash with bloggers from whose journals could be plucked all manner of delicious and embarrassing out-of-context retort. One simply should not ever do this sort of thing. (And the convenient proximity of "ammunition" in no way sanctions its use.) Bleh, again.
posted by Opus Dark at 2:19 AM on November 10, 2001

what exactly did i do wrong? I stated my opinion. I was attacked personally. All i did was state my opinion. People kept trying to provoke me into attacking back. If you disagree with me fine, but i was having a civil debate. I don't have anything against y2karl, except his opinions.
posted by rabbit at 4:56 AM on November 10, 2001

and he appears to be fond of Updike so we something in common
posted by rabbit at 4:57 AM on November 10, 2001

Rabbit Is Right should be Updike's next novel, IMHO.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:21 AM on November 10, 2001

And by the way i was serious. We have a population problem. I don't advocate globalthermonuclear war, but it would indeed help with the population problem. Inevitably birth control (the U.N.'s recommendation) isn't going to help much. At the end of the day only horrible things like nuclear war or plague. I stand by my behavior on this site since all i was doing was discussing while getting constantly provoked by liberals because my views were unpopular. In the film wargames the scientist, british actor "John Wood", at first decides not to try to stop the nuclear war he believed it was nature's way to end an era and begin again. I'm surprised liberals do not see the benefit of nuclear war as it would ultimately save the earth from mankind's raping and pillaging it's natural resources. I don't think my comment was that juvenile just because i had been making light of the situation of "Bin Laden's nukes".

People make that type of comment in just about any metafilter thread you can find. The only reason it was made a big deal out of was because y2karl already had ongoing animosity towards me from my opinions in other threads. I don't even care that he posted stuff from my website. Once you have a website that the world can see you should be ready to accept criticism. I personally felt it wasn't necessary only for the reason that others trying to discuss the topic had to read through flaming and ad hominem attacks.

I don't think my views are anywhere near extreme. I posted that mazar-e sharif had been captured by the Northern Alliance. All I wanted to do was discuss the good news of the war. I was blasted for daring to call the Northern Alliance an ally, even though this has been the best news to come out of Afghanistan for our side. I saw it coming a mile a way with the first guy's loaded question that the conversation would turn into a debate about the moral fiber of the Northern Alliance. Well, I'm done defending myself for now. Probably the only thing that hurt in all this was mathowie sending me an email as if I had done something wrong.

posted by rabbit at 5:49 AM on November 10, 2001

I emailed rabbit about his recent behavior earlier tonight. Hopefully he gets the message soon.

I've checked the last few days of rabbit's comments and don't understand what "his recent behavior" could be referring to. A "duh," which I rate as little worse than all those condescending *sigh*s I see all the time, and for which he actually apologized. That and the population control comment that I saw as merely black humor, admittedly maybe not in the best taste but not, to me anyway, beyond the pale. Of course, only one person runs the place and it's not me, but I am curious should Matt care to explain what behavior earned the rebuke.
posted by mw at 5:58 AM on November 10, 2001

I generally keep my etiquette comments to myself, but y2karl's post seemed really over the top.

I have trouble sleeping at night, thinking of the possible nuclear destruction of our planet, but I could easily see myself making a similar, "well, it would help with the population problem" remark. In fact, I'm pretty sure I have. I would hate to think that my tendency for black humor would rightly elicit a similar personal attack.

To me, the casual observer, y2karl came totally out of left field with an unjustified and plain mean post. And if y2karl's linked site wasn't a really cool internet radio blues program (damn you, y2karl), I could probably excerpt something mean to post here about him. I'm sure the same could be done for me.

To me, this is the on-line equivalent of picking on somebody you don't like because he is wearing unpopular sneakers.
posted by jennyb at 6:10 AM on November 10, 2001

OK, so he was serious about the population control thing. Still, not any sentiment that hasn't been expressed — and more brutally — in any number of environmental threads here.
posted by mw at 6:18 AM on November 10, 2001

mw, it was black humor as jenny b. said, not totally serious of course. Underneath it though there was something to think about
posted by rabbit at 6:23 AM on November 10, 2001

To me, this is the on-line equivalent of picking on somebody you don't like because he is wearing unpopular sneakers.


What exactly is the difference between hoisting me by my own petard for what I've said here, which is forever, or quoting rabbit's vapidities from offsite? I've said any number of embarrassing things that could be used against me, too, and they're all lying around here, wating to be threaded. And will be, no doubt. But I'm not the first to be astonished by the not thereness of allthingsdark...

Cheap shot is a fair call, I suppose, but only for adding a comment, compounded by mcsweetie's unnecessary input, which is what put it over the top to my mind, but hey, it's still a free country or, um, uh, internet.

As for animosity, feh... rabbit is tiresome, shallow and callow, as befitting his years, and decades to feel embarrrassed about what his writings to this point, and, no doubt, judging from my own personal experience, will write in the years to come. But he's entitled and like it mattters to me personally...

As for something to think about--nuclear war as a mode of population control... jesus, life is too short to waste time on nonsense. Nothing personal, rabbit, but well thought out is a phrase that never comes to mind with you.

And as for personal attacks, please, rabbit, your self importance does not translate to your importance to me. You keep referring to flaming and ad hominem attacks, which is a stretch--my comments are here for all to read for lapses I've had--and being a crybaby, to boot.

Let a little air out of that ego and look at how little you bring to the table. You come across as a spoiler with nothing substantive to say, and, hence, get on people's nerves.

May I point out that the phrase metacommunication, from communications theory, refers in part to communications about communication, how people are coming across. We're all in a mirror lined Plato's cave here and what we see in op posts is not necessarily what was meant to be sent. So we spend time on talking about talking. Sometimes it gets a bit much, turns into MetaFilter: Self-Appointed Self-Important Self Policing 99% of the time.

As in this case: Karl the big flamer. Yeah right.

And the reason you can't quote my blog is I don't have that much time to have nothing to say at length with links and opinions and cute pictures. Most blogs come across as the e-equivalent of vacation pictures... Unless, on the rare occasion, people are witty and have something to say worth the time to read.

That said, I can only add that I could be as gracious and well mannered as, say, Miguel. I really do. Oh, and patient, too.

posted by y2karl at 7:36 AM on November 10, 2001

Y2karl: why are you singling out rabbit for your wrath while letting others like hincandenza who are making equally offensive remarks (e.g. his "I'm rooting for the terrorists now") off the hook? Is joking about treason cool, but joking about nuclear annihilation not? Methinks that your slice of righteous justice pie is being doled out rather lopsidedly here.
posted by MrBaliHai at 8:02 AM on November 10, 2001

I can say that I was uncomfortable with rabbit's posting such controversial claims, defending them poorly or not at all, and dominating a thread or two (though it seemed like more, to me, because many of his claims are inflammatory).

But, while that pattern resembles that of other posters who are insincere in their participation, rabbit does appear to be sincere, especially given his remarks here.

y2karl, I think you should ease up a little. rabbit's views aren't all that hard to attack, or ignore, for that matter, should you so choose -- and they make a fairer target than his person. And, rabbit, I hope you understand why y2karl says your views aren't well thought out. They may seem obvious and interesting to you, but examine them more closely, especially before posting them here as if they were self-evident. If you can do that, you will be better able to help people understand those aspects that are insightful and valuable to their own understandings.
posted by mattpfeff at 8:33 AM on November 10, 2001

MeFi is awash with bloggers from whose journals could be plucked all manner of delicious and embarrassing out-of-context retort.

At first glance, I agreed with this statement and felt that retributive posting of this sort was entirely inappropriate. Now, upon reflection, I'm not so sure it's that simple.

I like to think of MeFi as drawing upon the pool of all information available on the web. That is its strength, as it enables people to bring in every conceivable angle, documented, on every issue. To begin to censor that data is a slippery slope that could negatively impact MeFi's ability to be meta.

If someone posts something online, they are acknowledging that it is public information, whether it was prior to that posting or not. And, given the nature of the web, they are signing off on its dissemination.

However, the loss of context or intentional re-purposing of materials taken from one place on the web and brought to MeFi is obviously of some concern, too. Of course, the same thing happens with any link or copied text, whether it be from a report on a major news site or from someone's personal blog. I think as a general rule it is always best to provide an actual link to the content, so that people can judge the context for themselves. And yet, in this case, rabbit's link was readily available in his profile.

I don't know, it seems like a pretty complex issue to me. On the one hand, it seems preposterous to censor or prohibit information that people have chosen to make public in the name of protecting those same people (we know what is in their interests better than they do?); on the other, intentionally using personal information to bolster an attack upon them seems petty and sure to stir up trouble and further flaming. Hmm.
posted by rushmc at 8:36 AM on November 10, 2001

Methinks that your slice of righteous justice pie is being doled out rather lopsidedly here Ditto to you, MrBalihai, because, for one, as it turns out, rabbit was sincere and serious, as it turns out--unfathomably so, and insupportably, to boot. As for Hincadenza, it's a free country with free speech--although it would seem you would demand otherwise in the name of patriotism--and he does provide intellectual content.

Sincere or not, mattpleff, rabbit just jams the airwaves, and pointing this out and noting his content-free website, or his 'I can take it/I'm being personally attacked here!' dichotomy is not a personal attack. It's a heavy handed hint. Posting his, um, verbiage was, too, albeit unfair--I should have used a tasteful link, I suppose--and not something I'd care to repeat.

And as for your ire towards Hindcadenza, MrBaliHai, does it protect lives, feed and clothe Afghan children or provide support for the survivors of the 9/11 attacks?

No... It's a personal attack.

So then you come over here to complain about my picking on rabbit and, also, attack Hincadenza over here...

And that's the last I have to add. Gore your oxen elsewhere. I'm sick of this thread.
posted by y2karl at 10:47 AM on November 10, 2001

Hey y2karl: I was searching for the lyrics to "I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts"(do.not.ask.) and came across this little gem. Knowing how much we both treasure juvenile blogs-for-blog's-sake I couldn't resist sharing it. It puts a perspective on this lively debate. It's like Catcher in the Rye without the words. :-)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:04 AM on November 10, 2001

Now that deserves a temple--with columns and capitals of the Ironic Order.
posted by y2karl at 11:39 AM on November 10, 2001

It's like Catcher in the Rye without the words.

A definite improvement, no doubt, much to be welcomed and blessed.
posted by rushmc at 11:46 AM on November 10, 2001

Rush, I agree with you. I don't think it would be out of bounds to quote from someone's blog in a thread. I've done it, in fact, but only when the quotation from their blog is on topic and germane to the discussion. After all, this is a community. I guess in this instance it's the fact that the quote is used as an attack.
And Rabbit, as for y2karl carrying over animosity from other threads: That's the deal, man. This is a community. We don't go to each new discussion viewing each other as "strangers." If you consistantly say dumb crap, you're going to be viewed as the guy who says dumb crap. More often than not, that will lead to animosity because people who say dumb crap kinda hurt metafilter.
posted by Doug at 11:52 AM on November 10, 2001

Okay, I actually visited the link. I take it all back. Further, I think perhaps we were too hasty to dismiss rabbit's suggestion re: nuclear weapons and that this demands we re-examine the issue.
posted by rushmc at 11:58 AM on November 10, 2001

(Miguel's link, I meant.)
posted by rushmc at 11:59 AM on November 10, 2001

ADBOON, rushmc!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:07 PM on November 10, 2001

(Alcoholic Drink Blown Out Of Nostrils, I meant.)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:08 PM on November 10, 2001

Yeah, but, rushmc, it makes me wish I'd joined NaNoWriMo--this is like the Anaconda open pit copper mine of cut-and-pastery:

My little sister is crying to my mom cause my mom won't buy her a bondage teddy bear like mine lol. I need a new car I'm not driving this piece of shit civic anymore it's not like I have a choice cause I drive illegally but still!! My mom asked me to clean up before I go to school but yea I'm not going to I don't feel like it.

You couldn't make up this kind of stuff if you tried.

posted by y2karl at 12:15 PM on November 10, 2001

You couldn't make up this kind of stuff if you tried.

I certainly hope not.

You just HAD to bring up NaNoWriMo, didn't you?

:::slinks back to the writing he SHOULD be doing:::
posted by rushmc at 12:52 PM on November 10, 2001

As for Hincadenza, it's a free country with free speech

Absolutely, so doesn't rabbit deserve the same right to speak his mind?

--although it would seem you would demand otherwise in the name of patriotism

Nonsense, you're putting words in my mouth and ascribing actions and motives to me that my comments don't support. While I found hincandenza's remark in extremely poor taste, I didn't tell him to stop, nor did I attack him personally here or anywhere else. I mentioned it simply because I felt that your ire towards rabbit represented a double-standard.

And as for your ire towards Hindcadenza, MrBaliHai, does it protect lives, feed and clothe Afghan children or provide support for the survivors of the 9/11 attacks?

I have done all of these things. Do I now have your blessing to speak freely? Thank you so very much.

I'm sick of this thread.

Why don't you go have a nice nap?
posted by MrBaliHai at 12:53 PM on November 10, 2001

Ya know, it's squabbles like this that make me love Metafilter. It's like a huge Family. y2karl is the crabby uncle with problems with his posterior that the aunts keep whispering about. Rabbit is the strainingly deep and moody adolescent who has taken to wearing black and grumping about the meaninglessness of this suburban existance. Miguel is the cheerful peace-maker who pinches the flustered cooks and buys the coolest presents for the kids. Matt is the efficient organizer who calls the gathering, makes the centerpiece (a quirky Martha Stewart) and remembers to remind everyone to bring chairs. Thanksgiving is coming up and I just want you all to know *sniff* that I'm happy to be here even if I'm stuck at the kids' table.
posted by dness2 at 1:25 PM on November 10, 2001

I am not going to be the turkey.
posted by rushmc at 1:30 PM on November 10, 2001

Yeah, my ass and your face, too
posted by y2karl at 2:05 PM on November 10, 2001

;) btw
posted by y2karl at 2:07 PM on November 10, 2001

::suffering severe blood loss from MrBaliHai's supremely eloquent and totally not self serving withering rejoinder, faints...dies::
posted by y2karl at 2:11 PM on November 10, 2001

"Tonight, a live broadcast of y2karl's death (preceded by unconsciousness and punch) wil be airing on Metafilter. And one wonders if the person on the other end of "Miguel's Link" is monitering referrals...
posted by j.edwards at 2:25 PM on November 10, 2001

ha... a funny thought just occurred to me (well, at least I thought it was was funny. if everyone here actually did have a blog with very personal information and thoughts that often times, are embarassing, we'd have a mutually assured destruction scenario, where as soon as one user attacked another using the attacked's blog as ammunition, all hell would literally break loose (figuratively, of course.).

and just out of curiosity... if someone fairly neutral and non-confrontational (i.e. me) were to politely ask the community not to involve his or her blog's contents in matters that would make the blogger look stupid, would you respect the request?
posted by lotsofno at 4:25 PM on November 10, 2001

Many of MeFi's most-elder aggressively discourage nowhereness - anonymity, they claim, tempts the dishonourable post. So, apparently, does its opposite.

Everything bad that ever happens on MetaFilter rationalizes your decision to hide, Opus Dark. How you scare up the courage to post at all, risking the accidental revelation of a detail that would identify you, is a mystery to me. Surely the discovery of your name would lead to any number of terrible abuses by the merciless aggressive elders. We might even quote your weblog for derisive purposes!

If it's OK to make a personal comment about another member, I think it follows that you can draw on material on that member's web sites to do so.

If it's not OK to make personal comments about other members, then let's dogpile y2karl for that, instead of inventing an absurd new right of privacy for the public weblogs of MetaFilter members.
posted by rcade at 6:21 PM on November 10, 2001

if someone fairly neutral and non-confrontational (i.e. me) were to politely ask the community not to involve his or her blog's contents in matters that would make the blogger look stupid, would you respect the request?

I, for one, would hope so. Though, looked at another way, it seems a little silly, kind of like demanding that no one tell the annoying person at the party your phone number when he knows your name and you are listed in the book.
posted by rushmc at 6:25 PM on November 10, 2001

Well--details on resurrection at 11!-- I like Amanda's journal...the grrl's got a flair for self expression. She's not terribly well read and a total narcissist--gee, sounds like a teenager to me but her blog's got s-p-u-n-k and endless fascination for me: one of the better ones I've seen. I wasn't making fun of her by quoting her, I really mean that one couldn't come up with stuff that good. And her poetry is not without merit, given the parameters of where she is in her life. And that bondage teddy bear bit is so darn endearing...

Miguel, I have to ask: I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts? Hmmm? And her blog came up how exactly?

And lotsofno, despite my lapse of saintly--dness2, would you please get that goddamn fly off your nose? I'm sick of looking at it!--restraint, I think quoting someone's inanity from their blog can be a cheap shot. But for that matter, quoting someone's irate comment from MetaFi is no different to my mind. And there's plenty of warheads on and off the reservation. Ideally, I would like to thinkI have no plans to make a habit of either, except in the italicized header sense. But knowing I'm moody, stupid and human on occasion, I know better...

An embarrassingly few score months ago, a woman I knew cut-and-pasted a maudlin and self-pitying e-mail I wrote and cut me to shreds in between quotes. In her own mind, that is...

Embarassingly few short months in the sense I did not know how she did it and assumed it involved some laborious and precise typing... The hack job was, well, so over the top as to be self-defeating. I was embarrassed reading my dreck bit by bit but her chunks o' flame were even more pathetic in bite-size portions. Wanting to have the ultimate devastating last word is a loser--it's beating a presently dead Schrodinger's horse and you never feel any real satisfaction from putting someone down.

Quoting rabbit was cruel, for the most part, intended as a wake up call, not just to him, in a smaller portion. And I really don't see the difference between a quote from a blog and a link to an inane on-premises comment. It's less than the difference between stabbing someone and tripping them so they fall on their sword. The intent is the same. And obviously I can't pretend to be a saint here...

posted by y2karl at 6:32 PM on November 10, 2001

Boy, larger-than-lifeness really seems to be going around these days.
posted by rodii at 6:36 PM on November 10, 2001

Hey, that's larger-than-lifelessness in some cases, pal
posted by y2karl at 7:14 PM on November 10, 2001

Was Schrodinger's horse dead before I read this thread? Or alive? Or neither? It's uncertain...

For what it's worth, it was interesting to me to read this thread, and think about why I've never put any links to my webstuff in my MeFi profile (other than that my webstuff sucks, of course). I'm still not sure why that is....StWC need think.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:38 PM on November 10, 2001

Sufferin' sucotash, y2karl, I specifically requested you not ask. Are my inner mental working to be mercilessy exposed to public ridicule like, er, a teenage weblog?
What's up with you, man? Don't you believe in the mystic powers of the Internet? Have you not been made to see, via the Image Search thread, how Google operates in strange ways?

Sorry for rabbiting on a bit. Now here's one that's been gnawing away at my cortical tidbits since this unholy debate began: what *%!?# song has a recurring "rabbit, rabbit, rabbit" leitmotif? Deliver me of this at least, if you can. ;-)

posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:00 AM on November 11, 2001

Deliver me of this at least, if you can.

posted by rushmc at 9:27 AM on November 11, 2001

*furiously waves arms*

damn fly. I don't know why it keeps coming back to me.

Now I'm off to a hockey game, WOOHOO, where it's great fun and socially acceptable to mercilessly cut someone down. My mother is a what?

posted by dness2 at 12:12 PM on November 11, 2001

posted by y2karl at 12:20 PM on November 11, 2001

Think you might have the wrong rabbit RushMC. Could this be what you are looking for Miguel? The sidebar links to lyrics, then 'Rabbit'...
posted by bifter at 6:59 AM on November 12, 2001

It is! It is! I was going crazy trying to remember! And there's no Google on earth that would turn up Chaz and Dave. Thanks, bifter! Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit... What a relief. I'd given up all hope! (I have just added 10 Free Mental Searches to your account).

Of course now I'm deeply embarrassed to have been publicly exposed as a Chaz n' Dave listener...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:11 PM on November 12, 2001

So here are the lyrics to the Rabbit song, then:

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, etc....(chorus)
You've got a beautiful chin, you got beautiful skin, you got a beautiful face, you got taste.
You've got beautiful eyes, you got beautiful thighs, you've got a lot, without a doubt.
But I am thinking 'bout blowing you out, cos...
Chorus: Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, etc...
You won't stop talking, why don't ya give it a rest?
You got more rabbit than Sainsbury's, it's time you got it off yer chest.
Now you was just the type of girl to break my heart in two, I knew right off when I first clapped my eyes on you.
But how was I to know you'd bend my ear'oles too, with your incessant talking; you're becoming a pest.
Chorus: Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, etc....
Now you're a wonderful girl, you got a wonderful smell, you got wonderful arms, you got charms.
You got wonderful hair, we make a wonderful pair, now I don't mind having a chat, but do you have to keep going on like that?
Chorus: Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, rabbit, etc...
Written by Hodges & Peacock, Transcription by D.Day

posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:32 PM on November 12, 2001

Hehe... something strangely compulsive about an gone-off-topic Chas n Dave thread, even when it's several days old... ;-)

I think that 'I don't care' was my favourite Chas n Dave number - a good ol' fashioned cockerney knees-up. So tell me where you stand on Mrs Mills then, now that you're outed as a Chas n Dave fan?!?

PS Chas Hodges stood for Mayor of London last year y'know...
posted by bifter at 2:48 AM on November 13, 2001

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