Why was X deleted? January 31, 2007 6:45 PM   Subscribe

OMFGAWWTDMTT: (Oh My F—kin' God Another 'Why Was This Deleted' Metatalk Thread). But, hopefully, a meta-OMFGAWWTDMTT thread. Jess, Matt, I like you guys, I really dig Metafilter, Ask Metafilter, Metatalk; I like the fact that there's good stuff here, healthy dollops of snark and cynicism, but overall what appear to be good people. But I'm having more and more difficulty discerning the criteria and rationales by which you guys delete threads, and I think that's a trend that's gonna bite the site's ass a little further down the road. More inside.
posted by WCityMike to MetaFilter-Related at 6:45 PM (118 comments total)

As a reader, I'm grateful that deleted threads still show up on the RSS feeds, and I'm grateful for Deleted Thread, because otherwise I'd be missing some good stuff for some weird reasons. For example, I found the Daniel Radcliffe in Equus post (which wasn't mine) extremely odd ... but interesting — and the deletion reason "meh, who freaking cares" to be outright strange. If posts are simply subject to admins' tastes, then fine, formalize that. If not, you guys need to relate to the community in a much more comprehensive fashion the manner in which your tastes, preferences, or what-have-you guide your deletion process. As it stands, half the reason I don't post more to the Blue is that I don't have a clear consensus as to what's gonna get zapped, and I doubt I'm the only Mefite along those lines. There seem to be lots of little side rules that are unclear nowadays, and I can't read your minds. It stands to reason that one of Metafilter's strengths is its community. I think that as more and more instances occur where contributors have their threads killed for reasons that, to me, seem to be more and more phrased with bad humor and ill will towards the contributor, it's going to impact the site and the site's strength (its community) in a quite negative fashion.
posted by WCityMike at 6:45 PM on January 31, 2007


Meh.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 6:49 PM on January 31, 2007


Who freaking cares?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 6:50 PM on January 31, 2007


oh shit, I forgot to update the blog today. There were about 5 or 6 new deleted threads too.
posted by bob sarabia at 6:51 PM on January 31, 2007


I agree with WCityMike.
posted by rbs at 6:54 PM on January 31, 2007


That post editorialized at length about a silly story that will be well-covered elsewhere. It was get-your-own-blog material at best. I'd like to thank the admins for trying to keep the site's standards up.
posted by nicwolff at 6:58 PM on January 31, 2007


It's be easier to agree with him if his example post wasn't obviously such a turd.

Seriously, Actor Acts in Play is post worthy? While yes, Radcliffe is fricken toned, it was pathetic seeing this on the front page of today's National Post, let alone on The Blue, which I hold to a much higher standard.

Also, the fact that the poster apparently had no fucking idea what Equus was (Porn?) stuck in my craw.
Stuck, says I!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:01 PM on January 31, 2007


As it stands, half the reason I don't post more to the Blue is that I don't have a clear consensus as to what's gonna get zapped, and I doubt I'm the only Mefite along those lines.
You see, I think that's great. If, in the face of the years of accumulated evidence here, you still find yourself unable to make an inference about what's likely to go over well & what's not, you probably shouldn't be rushing to post.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:06 PM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I don't know. The Radcliffe post was shitty for all kinds of reasons, and betrayed a lack of care about making a quality post. The deleting reason maybe could have been fleshed out a bit to say why it was such a shitty post, but that wouldn't have kept the post on the Blue.

The issue of personality is always going to enter into the site. Your feelings, or mine, about what should stay on the front page should have some kind of weight, which is why we have posting privileges. And I understand that you have a feeling that there is some sea change that's taking place and that it will damage the site, but I'm not sure why now is when Matt's sense of how the site is best served is failing.
posted by OmieWise at 7:09 PM on January 31, 2007


Or Jessamyn's, for that matter.
posted by OmieWise at 7:10 PM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's be easier to agree with him if his example post wasn't obviously such a turd.

Even if you think this post was a turd (and being an American who tries to stay away from what we laughably call the "news" channels nowadays, I hadn't heard this story), there's plenty of other situations. This is a comment about a trend, not about one specific post's deletion.

You see, I think that's great. If, in the face of the years of accumulated evidence here, you still find yourself unable to make an inference about what's likely to go over well & what's not, you probably shouldn't be rushing to post.

Sometimes, even more than a healthy dollop. Sorry, I can't read Jess & Matt's minds, and the problem is that our community does enjoy the snark (as you've so well-demonstrated); you can't make a consistent inference over what's likely to go over well and what's not.
posted by WCityMike at 7:11 PM on January 31, 2007


Where the good door split-
posted by mds35 at 7:14 PM on January 31, 2007


Don't let the Lord hit-
posted by mds35 at 7:14 PM on January 31, 2007


You can leave but watch your backside.
posted by mds35 at 7:15 PM on January 31, 2007


But I'm having more and more difficulty discerning the criteria and rationales by which you guys delete threads, and I think that's a trend that's gonna bite the site's ass a little further down the road.

*Your* difficulty figuring the rules out is going to bite *the site's* ass down the road? I'm not following.

As it stands, half the reason I don't post more to the Blue is that I don't have a clear consensus as to what's gonna get zapped, and I doubt I'm the only Mefite along those lines. There seem to be lots of little side rules that are unclear nowadays, and I can't read your minds.

Sounds like your problem, not Matt's.

I think that as more and more instances occur where contributors have their threads killed for reasons that, to me, seem to be more and more phrased with bad humor and ill will towards the contributor, it's going to impact the site and the site's strength (its community) in a quite negative fashion.

Eh.
posted by Khalad at 7:17 PM on January 31, 2007


You can't make a consistent inference over what's likely to go over well and what's not.

Actually, I can. You can't.
posted by Khalad at 7:18 PM on January 31, 2007


The moderation here is so tight and seamless that most people don't notice it most of the time.

Compare MetaFilter to other sites on the Internet. On the one hand we have a place where a small minority of people voice their discontent with individual moderation decisions, once or twice a day. On the other hand you've got a reeking, steaming cesspit.

I'm about ready to say that folks like WCityMike, who are all hotted up to get bitching and complaining, need to preface their posts by stating what Internet communities they have served as moderator of, for how long, and how their work was received by their community. They should also be required to write at least one paragraph explaining how their experience with moderating informs their current complaint.

Your $5 buys a really excellent job of moderation here at MeFi. Quit complaining.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:18 PM on January 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


mds35: yeah, that whole "let us suggest in mocking terms that those who have any concerns about the site leave the site altogether" technique is very new, hep, and original. And it doesn't smell of groupthink at all.
posted by WCityMike at 7:19 PM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


^"mds35"^"mds35 and ikkyu:"

And Ikkyu, definitely, let's turn this into a dick-measuring contest. Ye gods, the testosterone is coming off you in heat waves.

Entirely putting aside the issue of whether any criticism then becomes bitching and complaining criticism.
posted by WCityMike at 7:22 PM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


WCityMike: A link on a website to a blog posting about an actor was deleted. Nobody died. Nobody got hurt. So, Meh.
posted by octothorpe at 7:27 PM on January 31, 2007


Way to completely misinterpret what ikkyu was saying.
posted by Loto at 7:29 PM on January 31, 2007


Wait, how does this involve dios?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:29 PM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


You can see my dick from space.
posted by Mister_A at 7:29 PM on January 31, 2007


If, in the face of the years of accumulated evidence here, you still find yourself unable to make an inference about what's likely to go over well & what's not, you probably shouldn't be rushing to post.

If, in the face of the years of accumulated evidence here, you still find yourself unable to make an inference about what's likely to go over well & what's not, you probably shouldn't be rushing to post.


This is so succinctly accurate, it needed to be said twice (well, thrice now, but you know what I mean).

ikkyu2 may have been a little over the top, but the concept is sound - there is a difference between constructive criticism or questioning and just plain whining. Constructive criticism logically sets out the issue, ideally provides some background to view it against and, in a perfect world, proposes a solution or two. Just plain whining is, well look up and you'll see.
posted by dg at 7:32 PM on January 31, 2007


Ikky has a huge wang. Your mom told me so.

We're allowed to do this kind of thing in MeTa, right? Help me I'm in need of moderation!
posted by SassHat at 7:32 PM on January 31, 2007


I found the Daniel Radcliffe in Equus post (which wasn't mine) extremely odd ... but interesting — and the deletion reason "meh, who freaking cares" to be outright strange.

WCityMike, it's a crappy post about some stupid tabloid hollywood crap with a paragraph on what the post author thinks about it. I don't know why people get so hung up on my every utterance in the deleted reason area because this is so obviously bad it doesn't need a detailed explanation.

Here, I'll do a similar thread to the one deleted:
Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' new baby just got into preschool! Personally I feel they are driving their child too hard already in a world that has forgotten how to let kids simply be kids.
Do you need me to draw you a map of why that sucks?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:33 PM on January 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hm. So, let's summarize the reactions to "could you be a little bit more clear on the rationales we're playing with, so that the community gets a clearer idea of the rules they're playing by":
who cares; silly post; shut up and thanks to the admins for keeping the standards up; you shouldn't post anyway because my mindread of the site trumps yours, luzer; don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out; I understand the site's rulez better than you, you suxx0rz; quit complaining; and let's compare moderation dick size
I'm very glad that you folks are willing to approach even horrifically profane and rude criticism, such as mine was, with such an open mind. It speaks well of you.

I'll step to the background now. Please feel free to continue piling on.

If the conversation becomes less "CRITICISM! YOU SUXX0RS!" and a more interesting idea exchange, or if mathowie or jessamyn want to chime in, I'll definitely be interested in the thread once more. As it stands, man, fucking yawn. Blind loyalism annoys the fuck out of me.
posted by WCityMike at 7:33 PM on January 31, 2007


Whoa, now, that dicks in space shit is primo.
posted by The Straightener at 7:35 PM on January 31, 2007


Reaction to Mathowie: Equus isn't preschool, Matt, it's Peter Shaeffer [sp?], the guy who wrote Amadeus. Theater can be interesting to people. Actors stepping out of childhood roles doesn't correlate, at least to me, to how equivalent to celebrities' tabloid discussions. And Hollywood culture crap is boring, yes, but again, where do you consider that line drawn? Is all of Hollywood boring to you? I would completely understand if some dumbfuck posted upskirt Lindsey Lohan shots and that got zapped; but the thing is, no, I don't see why the Equus post sucks, because I don't get where your taste boundaries are. And, moreover, to be honest, unless you perceive users as disposable, how would it have hurt you to say something like "MeFi isn't for Hollywood tabloid material" instaed? The deletion reasons are read, by the thread contributors presumably and by people who now read them in Deleted Thread and in the RSS feeds, and the reasons are just nasty.
posted by WCityMike at 7:40 PM on January 31, 2007


Man this is whiny.
posted by smackfu at 7:42 PM on January 31, 2007


i was all set to kinda agree with him, but then i went and had a look at the last few days of deleted posts, and man, the ones that aren't doubles suck.

but a lot of the deletion reasons do come off kinda condescending, which i think might be part of wcitymike's problem.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 7:42 PM on January 31, 2007


Blind loyalism is a sufficient precondition to a pile on, but not a necessary one. Everyone independently disagreeing with you also would—and in this case, does—suffice.
posted by Khalad at 7:42 PM on January 31, 2007


This thread isn't worth me posting classic Floyd vids in at all.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:43 PM on January 31, 2007


[X] can be interesting to people.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:43 PM on January 31, 2007


WCityMike: "And Ikkyu, definitely, let's turn this into a dick-measuring contest. Ye gods, the testosterone is coming off you in heat waves."

Well, the trouble is, he's right.

Look, I follow along with the deleted threads, too (and you should try Plutor's Greasemonkey script, it's a hell of a lot easier than the blog for doing that) and what bugs me consistently is that there's a whole ton of shit that isn't deleted. In fact, the noise/signal ratio has skyrocketed, and two moderators are swamped with it as it is. I'd like it if you came up with better examples. Here are a few for us to look at.

1 2 3 4 5

Those are all of the deleted posts for the area that's still on the front page. What strikes me? First, most are just doubles. Second, those that aren't doubles are either self-links or genuine crap.

The moderation hasn't changed a wink around here. It's fine. And I'm going to need a lot more evidence to prove to me that it's changed for the worse.
posted by koeselitz at 7:43 PM on January 31, 2007


In earlier historical eras, people who publicly questioned moderation decisions on websites were SHOT DEAD for doing so.
posted by jayder at 7:45 PM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Theater can be interesting to people.

To drama queens, especially.
posted by mds35 at 7:51 PM on January 31, 2007


WCityMike, a former child actor appearing in a play involving nudity that is clearly not porn but mistakenly called so by the poster, along with a few sentences on what the poster thinks, does not make for an interesting post.

Theater is interesting. Famous people morphing their public image can be (arguably) interesting. This post was not.

If you're going to make a post about someone in the movie industry, it better be something significant and not merely a tabloidy "omg you might see the famous dude's wang!" news wire story.

Remember when good MeFi posts centered around strong links to really interesting sites and stories and wasn't about "what do we all think of this very public and popular news story?"

Sorry my deletion reasons are flip and/or mysterious, but seeing a crappy post by a new member bums me out and I usually post in the middle of a knee-jerk reaction. I couldn't give a rat's ass about public outrage at some movie actor being in a play nude. It's noise in my life, noise in this site, and noise we can live without.

For what it's worth, I saw the recent episode of Extras with Radcliff and thought he was hilarious and had a great sense of humor about himself, further reinforcing the feeling that a newspaper fanning the flames of mock outrage that he may be nude in an acting role shouldn't be dignified with a response.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:51 PM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


I really thought this deletion reason was excellent, and I've been trying to tone down the snark significantly. It seems that nothing has really changed, though maybe "who cares" is a little too flip for a reasno for deletion, but usually the only time mathowie's and my fingers hover over the "delete" button is because the post has been flagged by a bunch of people already. That's certainly not always clear, but there is very little whimsy in the deletion decisions.

Of course it's easy for me to say "hey I think my reasoning makes total sense ... to me!" but I don't see a lot of other people having the same troubles. The last few deleted posts that I've seen or participated in were either axe-grinding, Bush bashing, BOTH, or weird GYOFB posts. There haven't even been any borderline YouTube axings or the like. I missed the Equus post entirely, but I'd have to say "good topic, bad post" and leave it at that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:54 PM on January 31, 2007


The primary reason (as I see it) that the post was deleted was not due to its content or subject matter but rather that its author was using the post to state his opinion and let us all know how he feels about the topic. That is why we say "get your own blog" because that crap is not what this site is about. Metafilter posts are supposed to be about finding links to interesting things, not editorializing on your take of the day's news. When you combine this with the fact that it was a tabloid-ish topic and the link itself was two small pictures and a hundred words or so of text, it becomes pretty clear why this was (rightfully) deleted.
posted by Rhomboid at 7:55 PM on January 31, 2007


Long ago, I said the same sort of thing, but in a far more obnoxious way. All het up, I left, thinking I was right.

Now I'm back, and one of the things I like best is the crazy moderating. Sure, it reflects taste, and sure, some great comments are lost or nipped in the bud when the sysops decide the post blows. The secret is, there's no secret. It's not random, nor is it a fixed system.

Describing someone doing a helluva job as "doing their best" is faint praise. Both apply, to both Matt and Jess. And sometimes, they're wrong (not by my standards, but by the standards Lord God King Bu-Fu decreed in the Valley so many eons ago... Where was I?). And sometimes they even admit it.

Watch me freak out over something next month and eat every word in this comment. The fact is, this place is always changing, and the sysops keep changing with it. Or maybe the change is so constant that it's subtle, even static. That's some abstract shit.

If they bomb a post you liked, you can always put up a better one yourself. If it's a bad topic or a double, make it about something else. If a bunch of great comments got axed, make a post that rekindles the good stuff. Think, dammit, think!

Or take it to MeTa, like you did here. That's pretty cool, you can get advice, or pity, or snark; you can learn, or flame out, or call people douchebags, or complain about the moderation, or even sing, a propos of nothing:

"There ain't no good guys. There ain't no bad guys. There's only you and me, and we just disagree. Whoa, whoa, whoa...."

Seriously, take it from me (either my current incarnation or my old 2xxx handle/nemesis); I've been a big asshole and flamed out just like you're primed to do, and the site went on, and I just got tired of burning.

*shakes fist at Lord God King Bu-Fu; mutters*
posted by breezeway at 7:55 PM on January 31, 2007


mathowie: Theater is interesting. Famous people morphing their public image can be (arguably) interesting. This post was not.

If you're going to make a post about someone in the movie industry, it better be something significant and not merely a tabloidy "omg you might see the famous dude's wang!" news wire story.

Remember when good MeFi posts centered around strong links to really interesting sites and stories and wasn't about "what do we all think of this very public and popular news story?"


See, and this is useful shit, Matt. Wouldn't it have been cool if NewbiePoster had read this from you -- or even was just referred to it somewhere, so they could learn?

Sorry my deletion reasons are flip and/or mysterious, but seeing a crappy post by a new member bums me out and I usually post in the middle of a knee-jerk reaction.

Yeah, and the latter part is what I'm concerned might be problematic, man. Like I said, I have no beef with you. It's just this that concerns me.

koeselitz: Those are all of the deleted posts for the area that's still on the front page. What strikes me? First, most are just doubles. Second, those that aren't doubles are either self-links or genuine crap.

I'm not attacking the admins themselves, moderating doubles, or moderating self-links.

Cliffs' Notes version:

1. All the MeFi sites are shiny.

2. Jess is shiny.

3. Matt is shiny.

4. Cynicism and snark is shiny.

5. The problem is that the rules of the game aren't clear.

6. I don't fucking care what the rules of the game are.

6b. That needs repetition: I don't fucking care what the rules of the game are.

6c. That needs one more repetition: I don't fucking care what the rules of the game are.

7. If it's going to entirely be "what mathowie and jess feel is a good post," fine. That just needs to be clear to Joe Average.

8. If there are rules they can relate to us, and not a groupthink sense we should have developed from experience/lurking, tell us that.

9. Simply relying on a groupthink sense we should have developed from experience/lurking doesn't work.

10. Nasty words when deleting a thread aren't shiny.

10a. Contributors, even contributors of sucky stories, are people.

10b. Sucky-story contributors can be rehabilitated, but if they get a "you suxx0r, loozer!" kiss-off to a zapped post, they may just say, "Fuck off, MeFi."

10c. Long run, that's gonna hurt MeFi, since even bat guano has beneficial uses when applied right.
posted by WCityMike at 7:56 PM on January 31, 2007 [4 favorites]


Wait a minute. Can you see his dick from space while he's acting in this play? Because that's a front pager for sure.
posted by The Straightener at 7:56 PM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Simply relying on a groupthink sense we should have developed from experience/lurking doesn't work.

I disagree. The popularity of MeFi seems to support my opinion. What exactly can you put forward to support your opinion?
posted by scottreynen at 8:01 PM on January 31, 2007


Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' new baby just got into preschool! Personally I feel they are driving their child too hard already in a world that has forgotten how to let kids simply be kids.

Maybe their kid is actually the spawn of Harry Potter and that horse?
posted by jonmc at 8:06 PM on January 31, 2007


breezeway: Not quite sure whether "flamed out" = "split", but I don't intend to do that, nor am I gonna burn out. I'm a little pissed at the more reactionary groupthink stuff in the thread, mostly because reactionary groupthink in general pisses me off, but I don't have a problem with MeFi in general. It's a cool place. But because I actually like the place, I'm going to take the time to try to put something out there if I'm concerned about it.

scottyreyen: You and I are using different metrics. The phrase "doesn't work" isn't referring to MeFi's popularity; obviously, it's well-entrenched for a while. I'm referring to longer-term prospects for the style of the MeFi community. If we're trying to teach people how to contribute MeFi(tm) Brand Posts (now with riboflavin), I don't think osmosis is an effective way of teaching them.
posted by WCityMike at 8:09 PM on January 31, 2007


but usually the only time mathowie's and my fingers hover over the "delete" button is because the post has been flagged by a bunch of people already. That's certainly not always clear, but there is very little whimsy in the deletion decisions.

it occurs to me that you guys might have to defend your deletions less in metatalk if the flag count were made public.

maybe some hovertext over the "flag" button that showed how many times it were flagged for which reasons, or something non-intrusive like that? it might make the notion that "most deleted posts are heavily flagged" more transparent.
posted by sergeant sandwich at 8:09 PM on January 31, 2007


- Who freaking cares?
- *Your* difficulty figuring the rules out is going to bite *the site's* ass down the road? I'm not following.
- Actually, I can. You can't.
- Sounds like your problem, not Matt's.
- Do you need me to draw you a map of why that sucks?


Lovely comments, as always. Why are people such assholes? Why are there so many people around here who can't address a fucking topic without shitting on someone? I mean really.
posted by ORthey at 8:12 PM on January 31, 2007 [6 favorites]


It's times like these I wish I could swear in a harsh sounding eastern European language like Bulgarian or something. Not because of the subject matter of the post, I just think it would be fun.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:12 PM on January 31, 2007


There's no way Cruise is gonna let you look that horse in the mouthN jonmc. Not with Thetan status on the line.
posted by breezeway at 8:14 PM on January 31, 2007


That "N" should be a ",". Damned Blackberry keyboard.
posted by breezeway at 8:16 PM on January 31, 2007


Ah. Sometimes I look at metatalk on my blackberry also. When I'm pooping.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:17 PM on January 31, 2007


Sometimes you poop on Metatalk, from your Blackberry?
posted by breezeway at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2007


The hand of Matt is just and fair.
posted by ColdChef at 8:21 PM on January 31, 2007


WCityMike writes "I don't think osmosis is an effective way of teaching them."

It's not osmosis. People read the site. They learn. They post. They have a post deleted and they learn. And if you agree that snark can be a good thing you'll also know that the people who participate here have some level of dermatological protection or at least they grow some.

The reasons for deletions are not something newcomers are going to be seeing anyway but what if they do? Those comments may be curt at times but they're about the posts and not the posters. I don't agree that the site is in danger of morphing into some angry shell of its former self. Consider the possibility that your judgement on this issue is a bit askew.
posted by peacay at 8:22 PM on January 31, 2007


It's a shame that Equus post wasn't more carefully crafted; the story of how the play is being marketing to youth through the casting of Daniel Radcliffe is really fascinating. There might not be enough on the web to make a quality post about it, which is a double shame.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:22 PM on January 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Dude, you've been around long enough that it puzzles me why you are asking this. Honestly, the moderation here is very very light and very transparent. If you can't understand the reasons for deletion (even the most snarky, obscure ones seem pretty clear to me), you don't belong here. If you are sufficiently upset by a snarky deletion reason for something you posted, your days are numbered here also. It's not a reflection on anyone, it's just that kind of place. Not only is it that kind of place, but we like it this way. Take that how you will.
posted by dg at 8:23 PM on January 31, 2007


Oops, I'm speaking for others there and I shouldn't. I like it this way and it seems to me that lots of others do as well.
posted by dg at 8:25 PM on January 31, 2007


ORthey: I was making a joke, quoting the deletion reason for a bad post... so it's actually Matt & Jess' fault for setting a bad example.
Yeah.

Anyhoo, in the past I've mentioned that I felt deletion reasons were getting too snarky, but goldarnit, the recent wave of "Why was this egregiously craptastic FPP/Question deleted?" MeTas has completely evaporated any sympathy I may have had for the deleted folks, and ground away any tolerance for MeTas of this stripe.

WCityMike: If I crossed a line, I do apologize.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:26 PM on January 31, 2007


WCityMike, I dont profess to know what you're on about here but I just wanted to let you that I really enjoyed your last post: Firefly Flanvention Flattened; Fans Find Finkery at Fault and look forward to future posts from you.
posted by vacapinta at 8:31 PM on January 31, 2007


1. All the MeFi sites are shiny.

they vibrate, too ... you forgot that

2. Jess is shiny.

no, she's low glare florescent as all good librarians should be

3. Matt is shiny.

that's his tin-foil hat that shines ... he has to wear it to evade quonsar's patented fish-ray attack

4. Cynicism and snark is shiny.

no, jaded ... j j j jaded ...

5. The problem is that the rules of the game aren't clear.

motherfucker, this ain't no game ... you post the wrong thing here, you get your kneecapslock broke

6. I don't fucking care what the rules of the game are.

the problem is that you're not drinking enough ... not that the rules will be any clearer, you see, but you won't care as much

6b. That needs repetition: I don't fucking care what the rules of the game are.

ok, what i meant to say is that you won't care as much that you don't care as much

6c. That needs one more repetition: I don't fucking care what the rules of the game are.

if you can still type, you still care and you're not drinking enough

7. If it's going to entirely be "what mathowie and jess feel is a good post," fine. That just needs to be clear to Joe Average.

joe average just went broke with all the chapstick he had to buy from moving his lips as he read ... WE do NOT have average members

8. If there are rules they can relate to us, and not a groupthink sense we should have developed from experience/lurking, tell us that.

what you must do is this --

a) stick your tongue into the cable modem, dsl socket, whatever
b) feel the healing POWER of the GROUPMIND!!

9. Simply relying on a groupthink sense we should have developed from experience/lurking doesn't work.

if your tongue doesn't work for you, there are other things you can stick in there ...

10. Nasty words when deleting a thread aren't shiny.

the whole point of deleting a thread is so it won't be seen ... and therefore does not have to be shiny

10a. Contributors, even contributors of sucky stories, are people.

i am an insect nanotechnological entity from the 25th century and not a person ... you will find that true of many of us

10b. Sucky-story contributors can be rehabilitated, but if they get a "you suxx0r, loozer!" kiss-off to a zapped post, they may just say, "Fuck off, MeFi."

at which point the internet turns into a pile of cans and a tangle of strings, right?

10c. Long run, that's gonna hurt MeFi, since even bat guano has beneficial uses when applied right.

this is moonbat central ... we NEVER apply or do anything else "right"
posted by pyramid termite at 8:36 PM on January 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


dg: Honestly, the moderation here is very very light and very transparent.

I both agree and disagree with you. If "light" means that many threads aren't moderated, yes. If "light" means that moderation is done with a light touch when it is done, no. If "transparent" means not visible, yes. If "transparent" means "openly understandable to newbies" (such as in the phrase "transparent government", etc.), no.

If you can't understand the reasons for deletion (even the most snarky, obscure ones seem pretty clear to me), you don't belong here.

Who belongs here ain't your call. Matt or Jess tells me, "Mike, split," well, fine, my $5 gave me some good value for its money. They're not going to do that, though (at least, I don't think they will.)

If you are sufficiently upset by a snarky deletion reason for something you posted, your days are numbered here also.

Ain't something I posted. Thanks for reading what I had to say there.

Not only is it that kind of place, but we like it this way.

Per whether I've got a problem with snark or not, if you're not going to read what I wrote, at least read the "Cliffs' Notes", please.

And with that, folks, real life intrudes — need for sleep and an early day tomorrow. If the thread's not closed, see ya mid-Thursday.

Matt, the second of your two posts was pretty cool. NewbieMefite could learn from that stuff, stick around, and be a Mefite when the site goes holographic in 2030 — but would just get pissed off at the first post. That's the whole thing of where I was going

[On preview: Alvy: no problem. Pax. Vacapinta: Thanks. :)]
posted by WCityMike at 8:41 PM on January 31, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh. My. God. HOW DID I MISS THAT FIREFLY POST?

I have been waiting and waiting and waiting for something Whedon-related to posted on the blue and then I wasn't even around when it came up!

So, okay, I already knew what went down (being that much of a geek) but COME ON! I wanted to cooooomment, and rant and squeal and be on of those fangirls you guys love to bag.

*pouts*

Well, now you can do no wrong in my books, WCityMike, so I agree with whatever your saying in this thread. What was it that you were saying...?
posted by liquorice at 8:50 PM on January 31, 2007


10a. Contributors, even contributors of sucky stories, are people.

If there's one thing I've learned from my time on MeFi it's that people =/= PRECIOUS SNOWFLAKE.

If your feelings are hurt by random deletion reasons on the intertrons (especially deletions on posts that don't affect you personally in anyway), MeFi's not the place for you.

I don't think anyone envisions MetaFilter as a happy snuggly place where everyone can contribute in peace and harmony. The snark is one of many filtration methods we have to ensure a community of intelligent, thoughtful individuals. It also means that these individuals are sometimes bastards. You get used to it.

We also have a moat.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:59 PM on January 31, 2007


Christ, I can't even work up a good lather of sarcasm about this thread.
posted by Eideteker at 9:02 PM on January 31, 2007


WOO FULL MOONINININININITES
posted by loquacious at 9:04 PM on January 31, 2007


7. If it's going to entirely be "what mathowie and jess feel is a good post," fine. That just needs to be clear to Joe Average.

joe average just went broke with all the chapstick he had to buy from moving his lips as he read ... WE do NOT have average members


Seconding that. There are lots of places on the 'Net for average, mainstream, undistinguished, boring people.

MetaFilter is not one of them.
posted by jason's_planet at 9:04 PM on January 31, 2007


The episode of Extras featuring Daniel was so incredibly funny I wound up hyperventilating and I almost passed out. My wife says I'm not allowed to watch TV any more.
posted by boo_radley at 9:04 PM on January 31, 2007


Yeah, me either. No lather. Not even a sud. Not even a whiff.
posted by loquacious at 9:05 PM on January 31, 2007


Wait, what?
posted by boo_radley at 9:05 PM on January 31, 2007


It is a full moon, though. I aint never been so frisky in my life. Uhuh.
posted by loquacious at 9:06 PM on January 31, 2007


Accusing people who "get it" of all being part of the nefarious groupthink is sort of weird.

It's like, say there's someone who is always walking around picking their nose. Or smelling like poo. Or telling people about his or her multiple gross diseases.

Then when someone says, "Dude, get out. That shit aint cool" they get all offended and say "NO ONE SAID THERE WAS A RULE. Excuse me, no rules have been posted! Am I correct in my assumption that there is no specifically stated rule against picking one's nose during a discussion? Do you seriously feel the need to complain so rudely about my infraction of this nonexistent rule?"

Applying the term "groupthink" to the simple art of understanding unstated social expectations and norms... that's sort of like saying that society is just a horrible experiment in groupthink. Which is technically correct. But... not so cool when you consider that basically.... our entire civilization hangs in the balance of the conclusion of this callout.
posted by crackingdes at 9:06 PM on January 31, 2007


"That's a nice fucking kitty right there!"
posted by loquacious at 9:08 PM on January 31, 2007


It is a full moon though

Who you callin' full?!
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:14 PM on January 31, 2007


MetaFilter: there is no specifically stated rule against picking one's nose during a discussion
posted by Rhomboid at 9:14 PM on January 31, 2007


Maybe you came here to watch this.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:17 PM on January 31, 2007


Who you callin' full?!

I'll call you full of angry bees!

Also, I miss Ethereal Bligh. What happened to that blatherskite?
posted by loquacious at 9:17 PM on January 31, 2007


5. The problem is that the rules of the game aren't clear.
6. I don't fucking care what the rules of the game are.


One of the things that doesn't tend to play well here is overblown drama. If you'd like to sit down and talk about what parts of the faq or the user experience could be addressed in some practical way, have at it. People said my reasons for deletion were too snarky and I tried to tune it down. People don't understand what chatfilter means so we try to make the faq more clear. People say the place seems too clubby and we try to be more open to newcomers.

However, there aren't rules (except the self-linking rule) and the rest are fuzzier guidelines. This is unlikely to change. There will be a certain amount of osmosis and a certain amount of uncertainty, but not too much. Anyone, including you, is welcome to make a "novice's guide to MeFi." You can even do it on the wiki. I'm not going to do it. I'm busy here and my general impression is that most people get most of the stuff most of the time. It's a big enough site that we don't, and we can't, make sure that eveyone gets every joke or that everyone isn't offended by everything. We still have people who (occasionally) flag posts with *swears* in them. Those people will have to adjust, or they will have to say that MeFi isn't the right place for them. Or they're fucking with me, there is always that option.

In any case, barring some sort of large scale intervention, the place is likely to go along more or less like it has been in this regard. We're receptive to suggestions, even the community-at-large is receptive to suggestions, however, there is give and take. There will the the occasional snarky deletion reason. There will be the occasional cryptic admin decision, which will probably wind up here and then we'll talk about it. My assertion is that the system mostly works and I don't see it suddenly barreling down some highway to heck, if anything it's working better than it was six months ago, to my eyes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:19 PM on January 31, 2007 [2 favorites]


Or maybe you were supposed to gain insight by viewing this one.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:20 PM on January 31, 2007


You have to donate a quarter from your paypal account to the swear jar for each comment you post with swears in it. This should most definitely be a rule.
posted by Roger Dodger at 9:45 PM on January 31, 2007




MetaFilter: WE do NOT have average members
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:01 PM on January 31, 2007


I had my first lucid dream last night. Oh, how I whirled, and oh, how I rubbed my palms! Grandfather clocks, receding into infinity!!!11!!
posted by Meatbomb at 11:16 PM on January 31, 2007


Not knowing is good. Not knowing makes you cautious, makes you mindful, makes you take some care about what you say and how you say it. Not knowing makes you step out of yourself and consider how the people around you feel and think. Not knowing, and admitting it, is a sign of great strength of character.

People who insist on rules and clarity and as complete an absence of ambiguity as they can achieve are disappointing, but I do understand their fear. I've tried to stamp it into the mud my whole life.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:29 PM on January 31, 2007 [3 favorites]


As I look over what I wrote above, I was out of line to berate WCityMike or single him out. He's a good member of the community raising his point and I respect that.

It's just that this isn't the first, or second, or even third time that a discussion about the quality of the moderation around here has come up on MetaTalk.

Hell, it probably isn't even the third time this week.

I guess I've seen enough of those discussions go by and I wanted to add my 2 cents, which in general could probably be best stated as "I think the moderation is pretty good." It's a dirty job cleaning out this reeking cesspit.
posted by ikkyu2 at 11:44 PM on January 31, 2007


Congratulations, Meatbomb!
posted by Eideteker at 12:07 AM on February 1, 2007


Well, wcitymike, I don't see how to get the deleted threads blogger to delete my deleted thread from the dumb blog! I don't want my deleted mistake archived over there. I really don't see how to contact whoever runs that place. Annoying.
posted by Listener at 1:26 AM on February 1, 2007


Eideteker wrote...
Christ, I can't even work up a good lather of sarcasm about this thread.

Yeah, me neither.

WCityMike, the greatest sin on the internet is neither poor moderating, nor whining about what you think is poor moderating. The greatest sin on the internet is being boring.

If you knew you were going to be rehashing the same old issue just one more time, couldn't you have at least spiced it up a bit? Maybe come up with a pattern of persecution in the deletions ("Matt always deletes things involving the English") or accuse the moderators of being afraid of their own nakedness, or something?

Frankly you've left people with very little to do *other* than respond with personal abuse. Everyone has said everything they have to say about the "moderators make deletions for reasons I don't immediately understand" issue.

And just what were you expecting, by the way, by posting this as a metatalk thread instead of sending mail directly to matt and jessamyn? Crowds of cheering Mefites, greeting you as their liberator? Matt to suddenly decide that the site was better served by a byzantine series of written rules than by the judgement of two human moderators?

The deletion reasons you're so worked up about are seen by very few people. And frankly, anyone who is trying to figure out what to post by looking at what got deleted is going to be posting some marginal crap anyway. Metafilter posting should be guided by emulating the best posts, not by trying to stay off the crap pile.
posted by tkolar at 1:33 AM on February 1, 2007


I'm just pissed that there aren't more deletions. Is it just me or are shitty youtube links and pepsibule never deleted anymore? I mean a fucking post about a UW video? Two posts
about the iphone which was already everywhere on the news? Are these good front page posts?

/slightly drunken rant
posted by afu at 1:50 AM on February 1, 2007


Your $5 buys a really excellent job of moderation here at MeFi. Quit complaining.

Agreed.

I'm about ready to say that folks like WCityMike, who are all hotted up to get bitching and complaining, need to preface their posts by stating what Internet communities they have served as moderator of, for how long, and how their work was received by their community. They should also be required to write at least one paragraph explaining how their experience with moderating informs their current complaint.

Well then I guess we won't be hearing from you come the next photography post, unless you want to send us a portfolio; the next physics post, without a link to your doctoral thesis; the next...
posted by dreamsign at 2:01 AM on February 1, 2007


i think i'm going to give the grey a break for a week. it was fun at first , but now after 4 days with out food or water the ZOG is getting to me. time to clear my head, rethink , get some distance, and maybe figure out what my mission here was about. if nothing else i've learned one thing here over the weeks and weeks of hitting refresh , in a jungle of white, yellow ,and grey. *takes a drag* don't look 'em right in the eyes, never do that. the want you to , but don't.

the days turn into weeks, then months , years go by. then you look up and you see new meat freakin' the fuck out again, and again , and again. it's like nam all over again. i just need a day or two, just a few hours of sleep, i'll be fine. i got to be. i've got to much work to do, and they are all counting on me. but i'll be back , i will. and i know you all will be here when i get back, so thats something . . .i'm almost asleep now . . .just . . . hit refresh one more . . .
posted by nola at 2:50 AM on February 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


On the one hand we have a place where a small minority of people voice their discontent with individual moderation decisions, once or twice a day. On the other hand you've got a reeking, steaming cesspit.
And on the other hand, there are the sites where the moderation is so heavy-handed that there is no life, and all discussions rise only to banality.

But never mind all that - I want to know more about Tom Cruise and The Tan Status!
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:55 AM on February 1, 2007


Why are people such assholes? Why are there so many people around here who can't address a fucking topic without shitting on someone? I mean really.

This is the third time he's complained about posts being deleted (1, 2). His name is also, to me, strongly associated with Wikipedia drama. Thus my annoyance at yet another overblown complaint from WCityMike.
posted by Khalad at 5:01 AM on February 1, 2007


jessamyn: If you'd like to sit down and talk about what parts of the faq or the user experience could be addressed in some practical way, have at it


Is that really possible here? In the grey, I mean.
It seems that Metatalk has become a shit-dumping ground, where all the narkiness is released from the system, so that the the threads in the blue (and especially the green) are slightly more intelligent and coherent. But that has significantly contaminated the ability to use Metatalk to intelligibly discuss Metafilter-related topics.

I didn't think WCityMike's post was made with the intention of inciting super-bitchiness from the Metafilter community, but that's what he got.

I now find myself scrolling down immediately to Jessamyn's answers in any thread in the grey, because they're the only ones you can completely rely on to be free of vitriol and actually address the question.

How can a community self-police itself when everyone behaves like 14-year-olds?
posted by kisch mokusch at 5:16 AM on February 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


The rules are simple:

1. Don't be a jerk.
2. Post something interesting THAT HASN'T BEEN WIDLY POSTED BEFORE.

Your desire for specific rules is petty. I ran a forum for a while, must smaller than metafilter and there were people there demanding some sort of list of rules or specific reasons or how come this got past, while this didn't. Naturally if you spent the many weeks sweating an exact list, trying to cover every damn situation, they'd STILL find a hole in it and want to argue with you all day about it 'cause it wasn't in the rules.

Fuck that.

Matt and Jess ain't perfect and we can all point to things they've done or deleted and say "WTF". But overall, they get it right and it's only cost you $5.

Let it go.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:19 AM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metafilter posting should be guided by emulating the best posts, not by trying to stay off the crap pile.
posted by tkolar at 4:33 AM EST on February 1


Worth repeating.
posted by marxchivist at 6:30 AM on February 1, 2007


Matt, Jess, you guys are incredibly patient. If I were running this place, I'd delete these whiny threads as soon as I saw them. In fact, I'd have a mechanism in place that, as soon as it detected the words "deletion" or "moderation" in a MeTa post being previewed, would vaporize it and tell the would-be poster Shut the fuck up, asshat! (with a charming footnote in small type explaining that "asshat" is a fine old internet mock-insult and is not meant to be taken personally, but that he or she should still shut the fuck up).

Your $5 buys a really excellent job of moderation here at MeFi. Quit complaining.


A hearty amen. (And no, I'm not a blind loyalist. I've criticized Matt more than once. But he does a fine job of moderating this monkey house, and his deletion reasons are always a treat. If you want paragraphs of reasoned commentary, go read Foreign Affairs.)
posted by languagehat at 6:32 AM on February 1, 2007


I've been critical of some particular deletions in the past, and it occurs to me here that I am perhaps too quick to criticize and too slow to praise. So I'd just like to take this opportunity to say that I agree with the vast majority of deletions. Thanks, Matt & Jessamyn, for your good work.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:40 AM on February 1, 2007


I think the issue here is that Matt doesn't want mefi to be so strictly topical that the posts are silly or a part of a different time when looked back on in a few years. Look at the winners of the December contest. Those were all good posts that are going to age well. I believe this policy of #1 to be a good thing overall for the site.
posted by frecklefaerie at 6:40 AM on February 1, 2007


Applying the term "groupthink" to the simple art of understanding unstated social expectations and norms... that's sort of like saying that society is just a horrible experiment in groupthink. Which is technically correct.

The best kind of correct!
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 6:40 AM on February 1, 2007


Late to the party, so my only real question is who breezeway used to be...?
posted by klangklangston at 6:42 AM on February 1, 2007


kisch mokusch writes "Is that really possible here? In the grey, I mean."It seems that Metatalk has become a shit-dumping ground, where all the narkiness is released from the system,"

Lots of good happens here, for example meetup planning and post mortems there after.
posted by Mitheral at 6:44 AM on February 1, 2007


I tend to agree with the groupthink prevailing opinion, with one proviso. The snarking on a bad post is great and fun, but maybe we can all make a conscious effort to mix in some "Gee it would have been great if you had X instead" along with the pissing elephants, like ThePinkSuperhero's above. That way we get to snark all we want and maybe the poster learns something.
posted by Skorgu at 6:44 AM on February 1, 2007


kisch mokusch writes "Is that really possible here? In the grey, I mean."

It happens all the time. When there are problems about the site that need discussing and addressing they are discussed in all kinds of different ways. People offer suggestions and solutions, respectfully critique each other, and generally demonstrate their love for the place and their desire for things to go well here. Look through almost any of the MeTa posts about AskMe (not the ones about deletions) for good examples of people addressing the issue (perceived or real) of too many questions being asked.

The difference between that and this, is that there is an actual problem to address. This thread was a poorly formed call-out (no evidence of ongoing harm was provided) that was essentially a thinly disguised grouse about the deleting of a crappy post that WCityMike happened to like. That's bad enough, we already get far too many whiny MeTa posts about deleted MeFi posts and questions. What makes this worse, and what makes WCityMike the target of some deserved scorn, is his insistence, without any confirming evidence, that this deletion decision indicates some kind of incipient problem with MetaFilter as a whole. He doesn't even seem to believe it, providing many words, but no real evidence, to support his cause.

Some people have said some harsh things to WCityMike in this thread, but he's the one that owes the entire community an apology for not simply stating this as his preference and leaving it at that.
posted by OmieWise at 6:48 AM on February 1, 2007


The Straightener makes me laugh.
posted by Mister_A at 6:50 AM on February 1, 2007


Your $5 buys a really excellent job of moderation here at MeFi. Quit complaining.

$5 doesn't buy you moderation...that's available for free. Your pittance buys you the ability to whine and/or berate the whiner.

(Or post incongruous youtube links to old music videos)
posted by Burhanistan at 6:53 AM on February 1, 2007


Klangklangston, I was once this guy who started well enough, but then started doing a lot of obnoxious shit, quit, and decided to come back as breezeway with a clean slate. A buddy who wanted to avoid the stigma of a big user number persuaded me to give him my old handle, which had been dormant for a while, and he did even more obnoxious shit, and quit, or got the boot, I don't remember. As breezeway, I tried to be good, but wound up petulant and self-righteous, and quit in an immature huff. Now I'm back after lurking for a while, and I have a more positive attitude and a more sober and fun outlook.

Honestly, I don't know if I was a 2xxx user, or a 3xxx user, or a 1xxx user; suffice to say, I contributed a bunch back in the day. A couple folks here know who I was, but the old user's long buried, and I'd prefer him to stay that way.

I will tell you I'm Hugh Janus on Mecha and Spofi.
posted by breezeway at 7:23 AM on February 1, 2007


Doesn't matter...everything is inscribed no matter how you frame your labels.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:32 AM on February 1, 2007


Worth repeating.

Worth repeating.
posted by Kwine at 7:40 AM on February 1, 2007


WCityMike: You've given us a detailed list of what pisses you off.

Let me tell you what pisses me off. It's whiny, sniveling jerks who use their passive aggression like a crowbar to bash people with. Take this exchange: ikkyu2, a consistently decent and, yes, let's say awesome contributor, especially in Ask, comes out with his opinion. It's a bit passionate, but it's certainly well-thought. You respond with a "so this is all about penises, huh?" comment that doesn't at all address his points, and then proceed to accuse everyone who disagrees with you of participating in "groupthink" and being slavish and dependant.

Maybe mathowie can tell you just how slavish and uncomplainingly compliant to his will we really are. Or maybe you can check for yourself: we're the ones in here, day in and day out, asking him, begging him to delete this shit. If that stupid post about Daniel Radcliffe was deleted, I assure you there were a hundred flags behind the deletion.

You accuse us of calling you names and being crude, of refusing to have a discussion and stooping to some level of crassness. Go back and read this thread: plenty of people have offered perfectly rational, careful, thoughtful responses to what you said at the start. You response, I suppose, would be that they weren't very nice about it. Well, this is MeTa; it's not for nice. And what pisses me off more than almost anything else on God's great earth is a person who responds to passionate yet precise discourses that he happens to disagree with by saying "well, I don't like your tone." Just be fucking honest, and respond to the points; you don't need to be all snooty and pretentious about it.
posted by koeselitz at 8:14 AM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: lots of little side rules that are unclear.
posted by Duncan at 8:44 AM on February 1, 2007


Whenever a post gets deleted for what seems to be unfair, unusual, stupid, or indecipherable reasons, here's what I do: I just filter the deletion reason in my mind to read "Jessamyn is just being hormonal and/or Mathowie is an impetuous young man."

Then I don't worry about it.

Try it.

Works wonders.
posted by The Deej at 8:49 AM on February 1, 2007


I just filter the deletion reason in my mind to read "Jessamyn is just being hormonal

Perhaps you are going to be regretting this utterance very soon. Not sure.
posted by spicynuts at 8:55 AM on February 1, 2007


The Deej writes "'Jessamyn is just being hormonal and/or Mathowie is an impetuous young man.'"

Really, jessamyn moderates the site based on her menstrual cycle? It's so cool that you can tell that. What kind of legislation do you think Nancy Pelosi writes when she's hormonal? Is it the same kind Thatcher wrote when she was on her period, or is it more like the type that Golda Meir wrote?

A whole new world of reductive reasoning has opened up to me!
posted by OmieWise at 9:04 AM on February 1, 2007 [2 favorites]


Holy Smokes! breezeway is Hugh Janus? For real?

I was just thinking yesterday that I missed the IMG tag because of all the cool bizarre photos breezeway would post. And then I was thinking that I wished Hugh Janus would stop by Mecha more often because he's a good guy with funny, level-headed commentary. And now I find out he's the same guy!

Chocolate... peanut butter...
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 9:04 AM on February 1, 2007


Really, jessamyn moderates the site based on her menstrual cycle? It's so cool that you can tell that.

No no no no no no no no no. My people my people. It's what they call satire! If you don't agree with a deletion reason, then you may as well deceive yourself about it rather than think there is any logic.

Oh wait... maybe your response was satire too.

Oh.

Ok. This place confuses me.

Now... Nancy Pelosi on the other hand.... ::::shudder::::

i kid
posted by The Deej at 9:16 AM on February 1, 2007


90% of the responses in here were insults and cheap shots, and to have it come en masse as it did was enough to make me pretty angry.

Not so much at the text of the insults themselves (looking at it solely from a prose persective, some of the insults were enjoyably creative), but because I admire people who can put forward their argument without making it personal, who can keep it calm. Going for the cheap shot is the easiest way of disagreeing, and it's the unclassy way of disagreeing, and I end up really losing a lot of respect for people who do cheap shots. When I resort to a cheap shot myself, I may enjoy the zinger, but I know I took the cheap way out.

As a result, getting cheap shots left and right, en masse, here has the end result of making me lose respect for a lot of the people who just decided to go ad hominem and be a general asshat. Not because of the fact that they disagreed with anything I said, but because of how they chose to disagree.

A lot of the people who went for the zingers, or who went for semi-zingers, didn't address the actual statement I made. Instead, they set up a straw man argument based on something I was supposedly saying, but wasn't.

I'll wrap it up by saying three things.

First, those people who made rational arguments helped me understand more what was going on here. The onslaught of fuckage was sufficient enough that it was hard to pick them out amidst the bad signal-to-noise ratio, but Matt's second post, Jess's stuff, and a few others sprinkled here and there got through. It's obvious my "MeFi story sense" is not attuned to the same sense that most everyone else here is. That's something I'll need to address when I do contribute in the future, and I'll keep it in mind. I'll start by trying to keep in mind "strong links to really interesting sites and stories" and avoiding "very public and popular news story" stuff. That's a lesson I can learn.

Second, I promise that I will never again raise, or comment upon, the issue of how message threads are moderated or deleted. After this piece-of-crap MeTa thread, I'm as sick of the subject as you all seem to be. (That should engender a few sighs of relief.)

Third, in the spirit of "we're allowed to do this on MeTa, right?", I would like to formally invite a few unnamed individuals — and Khalad, OmieWise, and especially koeselitz to go fuck themselves, preferably with something especially sharply barbed. (Yes, I'm not going to respect myself in the morning.)

Tip your waiter!
posted by WCityMike at 9:45 AM on February 1, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sounds complete!
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:51 AM on February 1, 2007


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