you should be deleted, banned, drawn, and quartered February 8, 2007 7:33 AM   Subscribe

Maybe it's just me, but I think when you sign up just to have AskMe to help you do research for some blog and you are too dumb to hide the fact that you are crossposting, you should be deleted, banned, drawn, and quartered. What do you guys think?
posted by dame to Etiquette/Policy at 7:33 AM (192 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

you should be deleted, banned, drawn, and quartered

Um, none of those things? What difference does it make what people do with information once they've got it? And since when is "crossposting" against the rules of metafilter?

That said the "I will credit your post with your 2+2 login" bit was a little gauche.
posted by delmoi at 7:36 AM on February 8, 2007


What rule has the poster broken?
posted by amro at 7:38 AM on February 8, 2007


I vote for "ignored"
posted by Kwine at 7:39 AM on February 8, 2007


That said the "I will credit your post with your 2+2 login" bit was a little gauche.

I think gauche is a bit too kind... perhaps "it made him look a little bit like a mouth-breathing illiterate sub-moron".

But banable? (bannable? banabble?) Nah.
posted by GuyZero at 7:40 AM on February 8, 2007


Meh. There's no rule that I know of demanding that questions should be exclusive to Ask MetaFilter, and no rule agin asking for help with research. In fact, everyone was very excited about that bloke from that telly programme asking about myths from the Old West, and there's approx. one question a day from someone writing a novel/screenplay/epic song cycle.
posted by jack_mo at 7:40 AM on February 8, 2007


I say first we hang him, then we tattoo him, then we kill him.
posted by jonmc at 7:40 AM on February 8, 2007


I think maybe dame is bored at work because there aren't enough questions on AskMe anymore.
posted by amro at 7:40 AM on February 8, 2007


jonmc, you and el Guapo.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:41 AM on February 8, 2007


I think 3.
posted by Captaintripps at 7:41 AM on February 8, 2007


AskMe, but for chrissake don't use the information for anything.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:41 AM on February 8, 2007


Agreed on the gauche. Mind not made up on the DBDQ action.

I mean, on the one hand? This is what AskMe does. It answers the questions. We say, collectively, "oh, I know this. Here you go, mysterious stranger about whom I know nothing." So, what's the issue?

On the other hand, if we want to talk about things that are going to dilute what sense of community and credibility AskMe has (and distinguish the site from e.g. Yahoo! Answers), this sort of uninvested driveby capitalizing upon of the site without any apparent inclination to even consider giving back ping my Yech Meter pretty damned hard. Certainly harder than subtle alterations of question timeouts and such.
posted by cortex at 7:42 AM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Do what you will with your gauchée, that thread is worth it for
btw, i'm the editor of a lingerie weblog - for even more, check my profile!
posted by carsonb at 7:44 AM on February 8, 2007


I like dame, and I like getting angry about things, but I just can't get it up for this particular witch-hunt.
posted by Mister_A at 7:45 AM on February 8, 2007


Burhanistan, you fool, I am El Guapo Supremo.
posted by jonmc at 7:46 AM on February 8, 2007


Goddam I like panties.
posted by Mister_A at 7:46 AM on February 8, 2007


There have been a few of these questions that have annoyed me in the last few weeks: this question, the asavage question, and the "What to do on Valentines Day/Super Bowl sunday? Except all your ideas suck! I really want a bunch of items that I can write a shoppers guide about". They're not exactly against the rules, I suppose, but they're pretty gauche. It's like if kids started writing questions that were obviously from their homework assignments.
posted by muddgirl at 7:48 AM on February 8, 2007


So a journalist/blogger is doing a story and is using the internets for research. It's wrong of them to try to get as many data points from as many sources as possible? Sorry, don't see the problem.
posted by spicynuts at 7:50 AM on February 8, 2007


his sort of uninvested driveby capitalizing upon of the site without any apparent inclination to even consider giving back ping my Yech Meter


I would agree that this kind of posting really does nothing to enhance the community aspect here, perhaps the poster falls into the error that many internet users do of seeing all websites as a singular resource. However, there's really nothing implicit or explicit in obtaining a username here that states one has to contribute anything in return to the site in general just for using AskMe as a vehicle for their own banal mission.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:51 AM on February 8, 2007


I am El Guapo Supremo

More like El Guano Supremo amirite

posted by cortex at 7:51 AM on February 8, 2007


jonmc, you might talk tough, but when you go to a Mexican bar all you can do is sashay around and sing "My Little Buttercup".
posted by Burhanistan at 7:53 AM on February 8, 2007


You don't have to help if you don't want to. But the 2+2 login gaffe was pretty ridiculous.

*Holds hand out, fist clenched, thumb horizontal. Slowly turns it so that it points upward*

Let him live (and eat cake)!
posted by Roger Dodger at 7:55 AM on February 8, 2007


People seemed mighty pleased that Adam Savage was asking about TV show ideas.
posted by OmieWise at 8:02 AM on February 8, 2007


I think maybe an addition to the faq to keep this stuff more toned down in the future would be a good idea. I don't mind people using AskMe for research or even for work, but stumbling in here and copy/pasting a question and then being a clear-cut dork about it (like dude, email me and I can fix that... oh right you have no idea who I am) rankles.

There's something a little off about asking people to comment and using their comments directly in an article, but I can't place my finger on why I feel that it's different from "help me with my Wild West episode" which I felt totally different about.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:02 AM on February 8, 2007


Honestly, I feel like it is against the spirit of the whole thing. I thought the point of AskMe was for the community to help the community, not to be a market research lab for stupid researchers, just like we aren't supposed to do folks homework or whatnot. I can see the asavage thing, because he actually contributes here, but this turd has done nothing since December but ask this question and post followups. As AskMe gets more and more attention, the potential for this would increase and I'd like to see it stamped out at the beginnings.

I also think it sucks that stupid things like this are tolerated when measures that some folks find unfortunate live on. (I don't want to argue about those measures, though, I'm just trying to be honest as to why this might seem to suck extra to me.)
posted by dame at 8:03 AM on February 8, 2007


folks'
posted by dame at 8:04 AM on February 8, 2007


jonmc, you might talk tough, but when you go to a Mexican bar all you can do is sashay around and sing "My Little Buttercup".

only after several tequilas and some smutty chatter.
posted by jonmc at 8:06 AM on February 8, 2007


Would adding to the FAQ really help? Do you think people who clearly don't care would read it?
posted by dame at 8:07 AM on February 8, 2007


It's like if kids started writing questions that were obviously from their homework assignments.

I thought this was against the rules, or at least against strong community norms.
posted by Falconetti at 8:08 AM on February 8, 2007


dame writes "I also think it sucks that stupid things like this are tolerated when measures that some folks find unfortunate live on."

C'mon. That's a cheap shot. One has nothing to do with the other, except that you have opinions about both.
posted by OmieWise at 8:10 AM on February 8, 2007


Before dawn, I rose and ran for miles toward a distant point in the bitter cold, wearing only a leather thong and moccasins stuffed with sand to toughen my feet. To strengthen my wind, I ran with my mouth full of water, breathing only through my nose. I jumped in the freezing river, hollering at the top of my lungs, to develop my warrior voice. Then, as the morning sun nudged over the horizon, I raced back to my hogan, covered in a rime of ice that cracked with my stride.

I am thus uniquely suited to answer, indeed, this is like doing someone's homework for them, and is a questionable use of a valuable resource.
posted by breezeway at 8:18 AM on February 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


That post should be deleted. Yuck.

Because of the strictly enforced rules of decorum in AskMe the question can not receive the answers there that it so justly deserves.
posted by caddis at 8:19 AM on February 8, 2007


For ease of us, the 2+2 thread.

He copy and pasted the part about giving credit, but not the rest of the question.

Another vote for e-burning this beaver-beater.
posted by dorisfromregopark at 8:22 AM on February 8, 2007


As AskMe becomes more popular, "community" will become more and more of an abstraction, and questions like this will become more prevalent. Is it good, is it bad, does it matter? Yeah it was worded gauchely, but does it violate the community aspect of AskMe? Does AskMe have a community aspect, beyond contributing more than you take? Should there be a community aspect there at all? And how come I can't get no Tang 'round here?

If you don't like it, vote with your feet and respond only to Askers on your contact list.

And also, as AskMe becomes more popular, the two week limit will shine, baby, shine!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:24 AM on February 8, 2007


I, for one, think very highly of my own opinions, and think they should be spread far and wide. I don't mind people asking these sorts of questions, because it lets me, in some small way, move the world.
posted by Faint of Butt at 8:28 AM on February 8, 2007


I also think it sucks that stupid things like this are tolerated when measures that some folks find unfortunate live on.

Leave it alone.

The reason the FAQ matters is because we try hard to not just delete things that "feel wrong." We try to have some general justification so that when things show up in MeTa (as they frequently do) we can talk about the community norms, rules and guidelines and not just say "yeah I just didn't like it, there was no way you could have known that in advance, but there it is"

I'll remove this question, now that I've thought about it some and had some coffee, but it would be good to be able to hammer out some sort of guideline so that people, even jerkish dorks, could know to avoid posts like this in the future.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:28 AM on February 8, 2007


the 2 + 2 forum people aren't really even answering the question, other that with expected "I like boobs" sentiments. The posters in AskMe are giving it the usual gusto with hyperlinks and such. Help me draw a conclusion here...
posted by Burhanistan at 8:29 AM on February 8, 2007


The poster (I can't say "asker", just sounds weird—although "poster" introduces some weird ambiguity of its own) is a hoser, without a doubt. Maybe he or she will become more of a contributor; but if not, oh well.

On the other hand, dame raised a few good points; it would be a bad thing were this place to be swamped by people looking to do competitive landscape or market research on the cheap (and $5 is about as cheap as you can get). If it was my decision to make, I would take a "watch and wait" approach, rather than adjust policy immediately. With a heavy emphasis on watch.
posted by Mister_A at 8:29 AM on February 8, 2007


This post was deleted for the following reason: please make the smallest effort to tailor your question for the metafilter community before you ask it.

Nod of approval.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:32 AM on February 8, 2007


> There's something a little off about asking people to comment and using their comments directly in an article, but I can't place my finger on why I feel that it's different from "help me with my Wild West episode" which I felt totally different about.

asavage's question was, 'This is a subject tangentially related to my profession -- give me some topics that i can work on.' m2002's was, 'this is my field, do my homework in it.'

It sounds off to me for somebody who writes a lingerie blog to not have all lingerie-relevant URLs at her fingertips, or have references at hand to find them quickly. Lame question but not lame enough to merit a callout, since there was no shortage of people willing to offer quality responses.
posted by ardgedee at 8:32 AM on February 8, 2007


Or delete it, whatever...

I even previewed and everything. That's what I get for composing a thoughtful, respectful, carefully worded comment.
posted by Mister_A at 8:34 AM on February 8, 2007


Leave it alone.

I said I didn't want to argue about it. But I figured if I didn't mention it, people would just accuse me of having an ulterior motive anyway.
posted by dame at 8:36 AM on February 8, 2007


So what, no drawing and quartering today?

Ah well, it's still early.
posted by yhbc at 8:37 AM on February 8, 2007


Maybe it's just me, but I think when you see an AskMe question that you don't particularly like, you should just shut up and not answer the question, and recognize that it's none of your damn business if there are other people who do want to answer the question.

I thought the point of AskMe was for the community to help the community

The point of AskMe is to answer questions. I'm not sure where this "community" bit is coming from, but if it's that important to you, you're free to check the poster's history before answering their question to see if their prior contributions meet up to whatever standards you care to set. I don't, and I'm not going to start, and I will resist any changes that would prevent me from answering questions posted by someone who has never posted to the site before, or from seeing such questions in the first place.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:37 AM on February 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


I figured if I didn't mention it, people would just accuse me of having an ulterior motive anyway.

Ah, community.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:39 AM on February 8, 2007


asavage's question was, 'This is a subject tangentially related to my profession -- give me some topics that i can work on.'

He's the host of a show called Mythbusters, and finding myths is "tangentially" related to his profession???
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:39 AM on February 8, 2007


Probably totally off topic, but why would the OP post this on a poker forum (2+2)?

In general, I think the question is in pretty bad taste (although I don't know if it is more or less offensive than ukdanae who posts to communites all over the net to promote her panties blog).

People seemed mighty pleased that Adam Savage was asking about TV show ideas.

Adam Savage is a member of this community. By member, I don't mean he paid his $5. He answers people's questions, etc.
posted by necessitas at 8:40 AM on February 8, 2007


I thought "2+2 login" was some kind of internetty jargon, not a reference to the name of some stupid blog. I was thinking, "I just have a regular login not, a 2+2 one."
posted by Mister_A at 8:41 AM on February 8, 2007


I'm sorry, Alvy, how are those things related? The AskMe community is about being helpful. The MeTa community is about accusing people of horrible acts and motives.
posted by dame at 8:41 AM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


To me: Nice work with the comma. The hazards of editing electronic text...
posted by Mister_A at 8:42 AM on February 8, 2007


> He's the host of a show called Mythbusters, and finding myths is "tangentially" related to his profession???

His job isn't the research, it's the demonstration. If he begins asking us how to bust myths, he can take a hike.
posted by ardgedee at 8:42 AM on February 8, 2007


Before dawn, I rose and drove for miles toward a distant point in the tepid wonderland, wearing only a leather trench coat and Hush Puppies stuffed with gummy bears to cushion my feet. To strengthen my wind, I drove with my heater fan on full, eating bean dip. I drove by the freezing river, whining at the top of my lungs, to develop my worrier voice. Then, as the morning sun nudged over the horizon, I raced back to my computer, covered in a slime of righteousness that oozed with my stride.

I am thus uniquely suited to answer - indeed, this is like doing someone's housework for them, and is a valuable use of a questionable resource.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 8:44 AM on February 8, 2007


DevilsAdvocate - like it or not, Mefi and AskMefi ARE communities, and hence we set our own community values. If someone had posted "Quick, I have an essay due on Stalin tomorrow! List three ways the world would have been different had Stalin never been born!" that would have clearly violated our community norm, and been deleted. In this case, it's a little less clear cut. Still, jessamyn's job is to make sure AskMe doesn't become another Yahoo!Answers (which might be a valuable resource, but isn't necessarily a valuable community).
posted by muddgirl at 8:44 AM on February 8, 2007


The AskMe community is about being helpful. The MeTa community is about accusing people of horrible acts and motives.

This calls for a Venn Diagram!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:45 AM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK
posted by Mister_A at 8:47 AM on February 8, 2007


Oh yeah, that's the stuff.
*Lights cig, takes deep drag*
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:48 AM on February 8, 2007


On non-preview: Like necessitas says, asavage isn't just a ratepayer, he's a contributor with social standing.

Questions within your profession are legal, at least judging from the multitude of non-called-out AskMe posts about technology, programming, and office management. The difference between helping with the homework and doing the homework can sometimes be thin, but not in m2002's case.
posted by ardgedee at 8:48 AM on February 8, 2007


I thought "2+2 login" was some kind of internetty jargon, not a reference to the name of some stupid blog. I was thinking, "I just have a regular login not, a 2+2 one."

Me too! I was starting to feel a bit inferior, actually. Not only did I not have a 2+2 login, I had no idea what it even was.
posted by necessitas at 8:49 AM on February 8, 2007


Wait, Mister_A, if the balls roll, won't the diagram fall apart?
posted by dame at 8:50 AM on February 8, 2007


Indeed, madam dame.
posted by Mister_A at 8:53 AM on February 8, 2007


I googled 2+2 even...
(it's 4.)

Personally I think if it had been a better composed question, the crass aspects of it... AskMeta? 2+2? Mulva? wouldn't stand out so badly. He's asking two specifically different things and they seems to have some use to readers, based on the favorites.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 8:54 AM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


So what are we, some strange transgenic combination of focus group, Delphic Magic Eightball, and hapless colony of Rhesus monkeys in a bad research lab?
posted by jamjam at 8:59 AM on February 8, 2007


Adam Savage is a member of this community.

So questions that would be unacceptable if posted by an AskMe newbie are acceptable if posted by "a member of this community?"

Note that dame's original complaint didn't say anything whether m2002 was a new member or a respected long-time member, nor about how much or how little m2002 had previously contributed. I find it very telling that some commenters here seem to consider that relevant. If I were to judge MeFi solely on the basis of those commenters' attitudes, it would seem not so much a community as a clique.

like it or not, Mefi and AskMefi ARE communities,

I'm not denying that they're communities. What I am questioning is whether one's standing in the "community" affects the validity of a question.

"Quick, I have an essay due on Stalin tomorrow! List three ways the world would have been different had Stalin never been born!" that would have clearly violated our community norm,

It would have been deleted due to the second part of that, which is not only against some vague notion of a "community norm" but also against the explicitly stated rule against open-ended, unanswerable hypothetical questions. Had it been "Quick, I have an essay due on Stalin tomorrow! How did Stalin's policies contribute to the development of the Soviet Union as a superpower?" I would be just fine with it. Admittedly, there would be some people who wouldn't, and those people are free to skip over the question and not provide an answer.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:03 AM on February 8, 2007


How does someone become part of the community? Maybe the extremely helpful answers would have drawn the questioner in? This way, it seems like a little slap to the extremely helpful answers of ukdanae for example, and that doesn't exactly help the community either. I would have voted for an edit of the question and leaving it up. If the poster is a drive-by, fine, #1 +5$. If they stay, even better.

And does this mean that all questions now have to be tailored for the Ask metafilter crowd? "I know at least one of you Askmefites lives in Spuzzum, and that several of you have engaged and interesting social lives. What can I do in Spuzzum on a Saturday night?"

Also, if it wasn't for the research questions and the work-related questions then Askmefi would be Hints from Heloise as written by Dan Savage
posted by Rumple at 9:04 AM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


so, the moral of today's story is that popularity matters.

gotcha.
posted by Stynxno at 9:07 AM on February 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


No, the moral is that contributing matters.
posted by dame at 9:10 AM on February 8, 2007


What I am questioning is whether one's standing in the "community" affects the validity of a question.

No, many of us would still be squicked out by that question if jonmc or quonsar had posted it (perhaps more so).

"Quick, I have an essay due on Stalin tomorrow! How did Stalin's policies contribute to the development of the Soviet Union as a superpower?"

That's not really an equitable example either. Really, the difference between asavage's post and m2002's is that asavage asked, "Help come up with ideas for my TV program." and m2002 asked, "Help me write this blog post." If m2002 had asked, "Hey, I need to write a witty and informative post on how to have a sexy valentines day on the cheap. Give me some ideas!" I probably wouldn't have had a problem with that.

So perhaps a good analogy would be "Quick, I have an essay due on Stalin tomorrow! How did Stalin's policies contribute to the development of the Soviet Union as a superpower? Please write in complete paragraphs with topic sentences. Don't worry, I'll attribute it to your fark username!"
posted by muddgirl at 9:11 AM on February 8, 2007


Note that dame's original complaint didn't say anything whether m2002 was a new member or a respected long-time member, nor about how much or how little m2002 had previously contributed.

Au contraire, Pierre: ...when you sign up just to have AskMe to help you do research for some blog...

/Nit picking, doesn't give a hoot one way or another
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:13 AM on February 8, 2007


No, many of us would still be squicked out by that question if jonmc or quonsar had posted it (perhaps more so).

Exactly. The phrasing would have been a bit different: "Is jonmc off his meds?" vs. "So this is what they signed up for?", but the question would be just as ech, if not more so, coming from someone known to know better.

There's also a perceptible first-blush distinction between "new user" and "new, apparently driveby user". Plenty of people ask questions shortly after signing up and without any significant contribution to the site first, and those pass without comment because there is nothing wrong with that—nor even anything reasonable about objecting to that, given the popularity of the site.

It's that the question was lame that made the newness of m2002's account even relevent; and it's the lack of any sign of other involvement or intention toward such that makes the situation so distasteful.
posted by cortex at 9:22 AM on February 8, 2007


No, the moral is that contributing matters.

i disagree. her questions and asavage's question are the same thing. the difference is that he gets a free pass and she doesn't. if matt wants to enforce contributing to the community as a standard for ask.me, then ask.me should have the same comments-before-posting limit that the blue has.
posted by Stynxno at 9:22 AM on February 8, 2007


Well, as I am the one who posted this, I am the one telling you that contribution is the source my objection. That and being too dumb to even lie to me well.
posted by dame at 9:24 AM on February 8, 2007


No, many of us would still be squicked out by that question if jonmc or quonsar had posted it (perhaps more so).

Yes, and I have less of a quibble with you and those others who feel that way. And I appreciate you trying to draw a distinction between this question and asavage's question which doesn't rely on "asavage has answered a lot of other people's questions, and m2002 has not." At the same time, it is clear that there are many here for whom that is an issue.

So perhaps a good analogy would be "Quick, I have an essay due on Stalin tomorrow! How did Stalin's policies contribute to the development of the Soviet Union as a superpower? Please write in complete paragraphs with topic sentences. Don't worry, I'll attribute it to your fark username!"

Perhaps somewhat closer, but it's still not apt, as m2002 did not say anything along the lines of "Please write in complete paragraphs with topic sentences." I still see m2002's post as looking for ideas, not for completely-written out things that she can cut and paste directly into her blog.

Au contraire, Pierre: ...when you sign up just to have AskMe to help you do research for some blog...

I stand corrected on that point.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:26 AM on February 8, 2007


Stinky!
posted by dios at 9:26 AM on February 8, 2007


I think the badness some are feeling is entirely justified.

If you want to someone to buy you dinner, there's a right way and a wrong way to get them to do it. The right way is to make it seem like their idea, or at the very least make the occasion so enjoyable that they couldn't care less about covering your half. People don't mind knowing they're getting mooched off ofnearly as much if they at least have a good time or feel special.

The wrong way is to make them feel compelled, to take it for granted, or to make it feel as if either the dinner or their company was not sufficient.

That's basically what happened here: the scene opens with AskMetaFilter sitting in a fancy restaurant, stirring her drink impatiently as m2002 stuffs his face with escargot while chattering on about how he's not even really hungry because of all the peanut butter and PEEPS he just ate over at 2+2's house. Then he orders dessert. Check please.
posted by hermitosis at 9:27 AM on February 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


dios!
posted by Stynxno at 9:28 AM on February 8, 2007


This business about asavage is a red herring.

Had the user not made the 2+2 reference, this callout would never have happened. The question was fine (you'll notice that plenty of people were happy to answer), and in fact a question about creative sexual practices is the kind of entertainment people have been bemoaning being missing from AskMe these days.
posted by tkolar at 9:29 AM on February 8, 2007


dame wrote...
But I figured if I didn't mention it, people would just accuse me of having an ulterior motive anyway.

Great. I'm crazy and you're paranoid. Perhaps you should start listening to the wise advice given by household furniture. It's done wonders for me.
posted by tkolar at 9:32 AM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


the question would be just as ech, if not more so...
Tell me people wouldn't be rushing ass-over-teakettle to answer that if [popular female Mefite] had posted it.
posted by Wolfdog at 9:32 AM on February 8, 2007


Well, gee thanks, I had no idea that question should have offended my community standards...

I vote with the folks that say if the question troubles you, don't answer it. I found the question rather amusing, and since I come to this website for amusement as well as information/education, what's the problem?

(Of course this thread fits the same criteria, but still...)
posted by konolia at 9:33 AM on February 8, 2007


No, the moral is that contributing matters.

What, so we're back to this?

Do tell -- what is the acceptable ratio of answers to questions. I've got one I'd like to ask about sticks up certain asses...
posted by dreamsign at 9:34 AM on February 8, 2007


Tell me people wouldn't be rushing ass-over-teakettle to answer that if [popular female Mefite] had posted it.

Dude, people were rushing ass-over-teakettle to answer it as is. The difference is that this callout might instead/additionally have been "ew, boyzone askploitation".

There is a certain weird and yet admirable irony that, independent of this callout, people were and would have continued to happily and voluminously answer the question.

And, yes:

Had the user not made the 2+2 reference, this callout would never have happened.

Had the user not essentially jumped up and down screaming "HAY HAY HAY LOOKIT ME I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT IT'S LIKE HERE" we might not have noticed them, you know, doing that.
posted by cortex at 9:39 AM on February 8, 2007


I think the badness some are feeling is entirely justified.

i think the feeling is justified, i just disagree with deleting a question for that reason. i've seen similar problems exist in other communities and i just don't feel the same outrage over it. the question wasn't perfect but it didn't violate any major rule. The linking to asavage was to show that not only has this type of question been asked, it's been celebrated as well.

the deletion reason that currently exists on the question seems valid to me. deleting for the 2+2 faux pas makes sense and is a rule that can be consistently applied across the board to all questions no matter who the poster is.
posted by Stynxno at 9:40 AM on February 8, 2007


If you want to someone to buy you dinner, there's a right way and a wrong way to get them to do it. The right way is to make it seem like their idea, or at the very least make the occasion so enjoyable that they couldn't care less about covering your half. People don't mind knowing they're getting mooched off ofnearly as much if they at least have a good time or feel special.

umm...hermitosis, I'm having mixed feelings about last friday now...

posted by piratebowling at 9:44 AM on February 8, 2007


But...butt... wasn't it FUN?

Sometimes business and pleasure overlap, piratebowling; our evening together was a transaction, but we're just such fun people that we couldn't help but enjoy ourselves.

Wow, does that sound bad, or what??
posted by hermitosis at 9:53 AM on February 8, 2007


Devil's Advocate: The point of AskMe is to answer questions. I'm not sure where this "community" bit is coming from

The part that says, "Metafilter: Community weblog".

The AxMe-like site that doesn't involve the community aspect, and revolves solely around asking/answering questions, is Yahoo! Answers. The whole point of MetaFilter is the community aspect. You may not get it, but that doesn't mean we need to compromise it.
posted by baphomet at 9:55 AM on February 8, 2007


I liked that question and thought it was one of the more interesting in quite a while. Bad deletion.
posted by petsounds at 9:55 AM on February 8, 2007


Can't wait to see the next asavage question about material for his show deleted.
posted by spicynuts at 10:00 AM on February 8, 2007


No, the moral is that contributing matters.

Believe it or not, asking a question IS contributing to AskMefi. It may not be the best question in the world, maybe even borderline, but deleting the question of a brand new user is just telling him that he is not welcome here. How do you know he won't contribute in the future? We've basically just guaranteed he won't contribute because now he thinks we are thousands of people who consider him not good enough to share a website with. Thanks for the $5!
posted by Roger Dodger at 10:08 AM on February 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's just me, but I think when you sign up just to have AskMe to help you do research for some blog and you are too dumb to hide the fact that you are crossposting, you should be deleted, banned, drawn, and quartered. What do you guys think?

I think anyone who calls someone dumb like this can't be taken seriously.

I think anyone who, however jokingly, demands extreme measures for just a question, is just playing to a crowd.

I think the question was kinda lame and chatfiltery and should have been deleted for that.

I think any guy who can't come up with "household items that you can use to spice up V-Day without spending a fortune" should be booted out of the club.

I think the reason given for deleting is lamer than the question.

I think lingerie is a sign of an advanced civilization.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:16 AM on February 8, 2007


I think lingerie is a sign of an advanced civilization.

Lingerie is a needless ribbon on a package that's beautiful all by itself, my friend.
posted by jonmc at 10:19 AM on February 8, 2007


Lingerie is a needless pretty, complementary ribbon on a package that's beautiful all by itself, my friend. Oh, and no skinny chicks.
posted by cortex at 10:26 AM on February 8, 2007


The whole point of MetaFilter is the community aspect. You may not get it,

Already asked and answered. Do try to keep up with the conversation.

but that doesn't mean we need to compromise it.

Please explain how allowing this question to stand would have "compromised the community aspect."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:26 AM on February 8, 2007


Lingerie is a needless ribbon on a package that's beautiful all by itself, my friend.

Foolish earth slug. So you're saying you walk around in burlap sack all day? That everyone should?

Lingerie is sexy not so much for how it looks when it's on, but the fact it's a ribbon that you can pull off, in just a ittle while.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:30 AM on February 8, 2007


Lingerie is a needless ribbon on a package that's beautiful all by itself, my friend.

Wrong. Lingerie is a means for the patriarchy to make women complicit in their own bondage. And as such, I highly recommend it.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:31 AM on February 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


Foolish earth slug. So you're saying you walk around in burlap sack all day?

Not far off. I'm unemployed , so I've been in the same bathrobe for almost a week except for expeditions out for cigarettes and beer.
posted by jonmc at 10:33 AM on February 8, 2007


Is it too late for me to derail this thread?
posted by Dizzy at 10:39 AM on February 8, 2007



Not far off. I'm unemployed , so I've been in the same bathrobe for almost a week except for expeditions out for cigarettes and beer.


As a member of the general public, I'd like to thank you for making the exception.
posted by tkolar at 10:39 AM on February 8, 2007


I'm unemployed

If you're willing to wear lingerie, you can fix that.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:40 AM on February 8, 2007


If you're willing to wear lingerie, you can fix that.

Hiring myself out to scare people out of their hiccups?
posted by jonmc at 10:42 AM on February 8, 2007


Hiring myself out to scare people out of their hiccups?

Stop it, the stunt cock accident wasn't your fault. Shake it off and become the sex god you were before.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:45 AM on February 8, 2007


"So questions that would be unacceptable if posted by an AskMe newbie are acceptable if posted by 'a member of this community?'"

Yep. Just like people are less likely to be tetchy about cortex posting a link to his music than some random new guy.
I realize that you were trying to be all rhetorical about this, and clearly consider that wrong, but it's not.

Going back to the inconsistent moderation/probability theory— The asavage question and this one are both grey areas. That Adam has contributed tends to shift some of delete/don't towards giving him the benefit of the doubt. That this question was chatfilter, tone-deaf and from someone clearly not familiar with either the community or the norms, tilted it toward the axe side. Those looking for iron-clad objectivity won't find it.
And dame's mention of the recent choking of asks is relevant, given that people complained about the volume of AskMe. That it's her hobbyhorse doesn't detract from her being correct (that'd be an ad hominem fallacy).

Oh, and those noting the great answers by UKdanae should note that while they were great, they didn't answer the question.

So, aside from some knee-jerk anti-deletites, I can't really see any compelling arguments for this staying. (You know, incontrovertable evidence on the review).
posted by klangklangston at 10:46 AM on February 8, 2007


Well said, klang.

Oh, and those noting the great answers by UKdanae should note that while they were great, they didn't answer the question.

It's a complete swerve, but I think it's interesting how AskMe operates both as a direct question-answer utility and as an indirect knowledge generator. Some of the best "answers" are wrong, strictly speaking.
posted by cortex at 10:51 AM on February 8, 2007


klang, how can wanting to leave something alone be considered knee-jerk?
posted by Roger Dodger at 10:51 AM on February 8, 2007


To me, the thing about the now-deleted question that is slightly bothersome is the "Do My Research For Me" aspect. There's a very fine line between Help Me Do My Job Better and Do My Job For Me. Requests of this nature generally fall into the latter category in my mind. Although, I would respect it more coming from a contributing member of the community then some random person with $5. I suppose that's unfair but there it is.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:52 AM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


I realize that you were trying to be all rhetorical about this, and clearly consider that wrong, but it's not.

I do consider it axiomatically wrong. Giving weight to a member's standing and prior contributions when deciding whether or not to delete a question makes AskMe less of a community and more of a clique. (OK, if you want to be pedantic, a clique is a type of community. Not one we want to be like, I think.)

Now, I'm not accusing Jessamyn of considering m2002's lack of standing in the community when deleting the question. Other commenters in this thread have advanced a rationale for deleting the question which doesn't rely on m2002's lack of standing, and the posted deletion reason does not rely on it.

Going back to the inconsistent moderation/probability theory.... Those looking for iron-clad objectivity won't find it.

No one in this thread has expressed a desire for iron-clad objectivity in all deletion decisions, so this is a straw man. "A member's standing should not be taken into account when deciding whether or not to delete a post" is not the same as "there must be an objective algorithm applied to every post to determine whether it stays or not."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:05 AM on February 8, 2007


"No one in this thread has expressed a desire for iron-clad objectivity in all deletion decisions, so this is a straw man. "

No, that's a straw man. I said nothing about all situations. In this one, as administered subjectively, it's a mistake to look for an iron-clad axiom. Which you're clearly doing.

"I do consider it axiomatically wrong."

Not to get all Lebowski, but that's just, like, your opinion, man. There will always be gray areas. Get used to it. Otherwise, we'd just program a bot to automoderate.

"Giving weight to a member's standing and prior contributions when deciding whether or not to delete a question makes AskMe less of a community and more of a clique."

Oh, bullshit. When dealing with a finite amount of time and energy from our mods, every bit of information that can make their jobs easier should be included. And a sense of posting history comes into that, whether deciding on axing this question, or when considering whether or not we're being trolled. Mods get to watch the whole movie when editing, not just stare at each frame deciding whether it stays.
posted by klangklangston at 11:17 AM on February 8, 2007


"klang, how can wanting to leave something alone be considered knee-jerk?"

Do you really want it left alone now?

And it's reacting without thinking, that's how.
posted by klangklangston at 11:19 AM on February 8, 2007


Giving weight to a member's standing and prior contributions when deciding whether or not to delete a question makes AskMe less of a community and more of a clique.

I know what you're saying here, but I could argue that it actually just makes the green less of a blind rules-based engine. Giving a pass to systematic abuse of the site based on membership is one thing; having less patience for questionable behavior from folks who have not given any indication of permanence or deference to the situation they've stormed into is another entirely.
posted by cortex at 11:21 AM on February 8, 2007


Dizzy, it's never too late.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:30 AM on February 8, 2007


MetaFilter and its green spawn work well because of subjectivity. We have a certain unwritten standard, and sometimes things don't rise to that standard (though for the record, note that I was mildly opposed to deleting this thread).
posted by Mister_A at 11:50 AM on February 8, 2007


In this one, as administered subjectively, it's a mistake to look for an iron-clad axiom. Which you're clearly doing.

Yes, I am looking for an iron-clad axiom. I am not looking for iron-clad objectivity, nor is anyone else in this thread as far as I can tell, which is what you stated. Iron-clad objectivity would be the result of the application of only iron-clad axioms in making deletion decisions. I am in favor of an iron-clad axiom when it comes to considering a poster's lack of history, and a decent amount of subjectivity and ambiguity and moderator discretion in other areas. That does not amount to iron-clad objectivity.

Not to get all Lebowski, but that's just, like, your opinion, man.

Yes, it is. And it is nothing more than your axiomatic opinion that a poster's lack of history tips the scales towards deletion of a borderline question.

There will always be gray areas. Get used to it. Otherwise, we'd just program a bot to automoderate.

"This area is black and white" is not the same as "all areas are black and white." And from your assertion that "there will always be gray areas" - with which I agree - "all areas are potentially gray" does not follow.

Mods get to watch the whole movie when editing, not just stare at each frame deciding whether it stays.

If they're looking at the 1000th frame in the movie, and it's a borderline frame, and they 999 frames before that were also bad and they want to cut it, that's fine with me.

It's deleting a borderline frame when it's the first frame in the movie and they haven't seen any other frames that I disagree with.

Or to get rid of the tortuous analogy: if they want to delete a borderline question from a known troll, that's fine with me. New members who are asking their first question should get the same benefit of the doubt (if not more so!) than long-established members do.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:51 AM on February 8, 2007


b-han--
You are a windshield wiper on a rainy day.
posted by Dizzy at 11:51 AM on February 8, 2007


MetaFilter and its green spawn work well because of subjectivity.

Yes, on that it seems we are all agreed.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:53 AM on February 8, 2007


Look, this isn't an issue of discriminating against people who haven't posted hundreds of AskMe answers - this is a very specific issue relating to one person who signed up purely to ask one question. A question which many of the members of this site found to be questionable in appropriateness.

You may choose to take offence to the idea that people are judged by their contributions to enthis community, but this isn't some anti-abortion hypothetical. A single user's potential worth doesn't really stand for much in a group of 45,000 people who have produced more content than most could ever read, every day, for the past seven years.

If the question was really that worthy? Let the poser prove it. Let them hang around this site for two weeks, perhaps answer a few other people's questions, see the posting style and the flow of interaction. If after that time they've really got a sense of the place then they'll have no problem writing the exact same question in a palatable manner that won't invoke outrage. This is a website, people can only be judged on their words and how they use them (such as clumsy ending sentences!)
posted by hugsnkisses at 12:08 PM on February 8, 2007


I was going to post a call-out about this AskMe to ask what the hell it was supposed to be about. It seemed to be about whether lingerie could be constructed out of household items and foodstuffs, but that's not how people were taking it. Anyway, that's why it should have been deleted. People use AskMe for help with their work all the time; it's allowed.
posted by nowonmai at 12:11 PM on February 8, 2007


Giving a pass to systematic abuse of the site based on membership is one thing; having less patience for questionable behavior from folks who have not given any indication of permanence or deference to the situation they've stormed into is another entirely.

I would argue just the opposite: if anything, we should have more patience for questionable behavior from folks who have not given any indication of permanence or deference to the situation they've stormed into, for in time they may become upstanding community members, if we don't scare them off. Many will not, to be sure, but some may. Regulars, on the other hand, should know better.

Note that this is the approach Wikipedia takes. And anyone who says Wikipedia isn't a community-based site hasn't delved very far into Wikipedia policies, procedures, user pages, etc. (Not saying that what is right for Wikipedia is automatically right for MeFi. Just showing evidence that such an approach can work on a community site.)

On preview: A single user's potential worth doesn't really stand for much in a group of 45,000 people who have produced more content than most could ever read, every day, for the past seven years.

Again, see Wikipedia for a counterexample.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:13 PM on February 8, 2007


klang, I've usually supported deletions on all of MetaFilter. So I definitely didn't jump on the anti-delete bandwagon without giving it any thought. This question took up one line on the front page. It asks for alternatives to store-bought lingerie, which to me is a legitimate question. The only reason it was deleted, I think, is because a small group of people on MetaTalk felt that it was phrased poorly and didn't pay enough homage to the fact that we are METAFILTER COMMUNITY MEMBERS (and he is not).

If the question was simply: I'm looking to spice up my valentine's day with lingerie, but I don't want to spend $80 at Victoria's Secret. What should I do?

Would that have passed muster? Would jessamyn have deleted it simply because he hasn't answered any questions?

I've said this before, but it seems to me that MetaTalk commenters have a particular view of how this site is to be used, and those who don't use it that way don't deserve to be here. If they don't conform to some unwritten Mefi style guide, their question does not deserve to be seen. There is no learning curve for new users. We are too quick to jump on them and see if they "have what it takes" to stick around. The community that I want to be in is a little bit more friendly and forgiving, at least for the first offense.

Granted, it looks like this guy paid his $5 to ask a question and screwed it up. But, the manner in which it was handled does not encourage the community to grow. And I guess that is the crux of the matter here. I think the majority of MetaTalk posters would prefer that the community NOT grow, and prefer that we keep what we have here all to ourselves, and therefore snipe at perceived offenders. But, you better get used to it, because short of closing signups, Metafilter has acheived critical mass and will continue to grow. There is no turning back, and you will be brushing shoulders with the unwashed masses from here on out.

I also like DevilsAdvocate's last line from above: New members who are asking their first question should get the same benefit of the doubt (if not more so!) than long-established members do.
posted by Roger Dodger at 12:15 PM on February 8, 2007


The community that I want to be in is a little bit more friendly and forgiving, at least for the first offense.

They were blindly cross-posting, and their question was merely deleted. I'll grant you that dame's wording was hyperbolic, but this thread itself has been more contentious than vitriolic.

And while I very much want to see the community continue to grow, I think having community reactions in all their ranging modes and momenta be marginally visible in metatalk is a good thing. I like mefi best when it is vibrant, and that we have a big and growing base of users who generally pay attention is key to that.

I think the majority of MetaTalk posters would prefer that the community NOT grow, and prefer that we keep what we have here all to ourselves, and therefore snipe at perceived offenders.

I think that's a gross and somewhat insulting overstatement.
posted by cortex at 12:26 PM on February 8, 2007


what's a 2+2 login?
posted by matteo at 12:27 PM on February 8, 2007


The community that I want to be in is a little bit more friendly and forgiving, at least for the first offense.

Right, we don't want new users to fear MeFites... but we do want them to have what my grandfather called a "healthy respect". And sure he was referring to rattlesnakes, but it works fine here.

There's a reason why most people make their initial comments and posts with great care: they want to be included. Therefore, these are usually the people we want to encourage. Those who are more gung-ho, well sometimes they grate and sometimes they delight, but we can't exactly worry about hurting their widdle feelings if they step on our toes-- after all, our guidelines are posted and are toes are in plain sight to anyone who's lurked.

Then there are those like today's transgressor, who leapt right in, in a sort of tactless way that made us feel cheap. Now certainly they are entitled to the info they requested and can do whatever they want with it, but their post was artlessly and disrespectfully posed because it sought to take advantage of the AskMe experience while accidentally equating it to the 2+2 experience and therefore implying that AskMe was just one more stop on a careening gas-guzzling tourbus of the intarwebs. I don't think there's anything wrong with us getting a little puffed-up about it. We're worth it; a lot of work goes into maintaining this site. And if the poster is put off by that reaction and fails to stick around long enough to see WHY we're worth it, good riddance.
posted by hermitosis at 12:33 PM on February 8, 2007


I didn't intend to insult, cortex. When I think of the essence of Metafilter, your name springs to mind. You've always been accommodating and helpful to people. But don't you ever feel a sense of cliquiness here?
posted by Roger Dodger at 12:52 PM on February 8, 2007


This seems like an isolated incident and not something that can be fixed any further or discouraged any further because the issue is when new users do this, and new users won't know about this etiquette thread.

Maybe this person will become a member of the community; maybe this person won't. I hope this thread and the deletion are not the determining factors in that decision, though.

And count me in on the side that thinks (or hopes) that the reaction would be same even if a longtime user did this.

if [popular female Mefite] had posted it.

Is that the trick to a free pass? If so, can someone tell me how to get popular here?
posted by dios at 12:57 PM on February 8, 2007


Also, how to become female, too. TIA.
posted by dios at 12:58 PM on February 8, 2007


this kind of posting really does nothing to enhance the community aspect here

and

The moral is that contributing matters.

You may think this is unrelated, but if we are so community minded and contributing is such a big issue, how come most people are fixated with askMe and never "contribute" comments on Metafilter Music? Are we a community or are we a bunch of people who gather in Meta to talk about askMe?

If people are so interested in "enhancing the community aspect" visiting Metafilter Music and commenting on the songs would be really for it.
posted by micayetoca at 1:00 PM on February 8, 2007


Roger Dodger, I didn't think you meant insult, so no worries there; but I think there's at least accidental insult in the implication you made. It's not that I don't get a sense of cliquiness; I just see a big, big gap between the sort of local-maxima social hijinx heavier users get up to and the notion that most regulars actually want, as a group, for the site to close down hard and fester.

Most of my favorite people on mefi are "younger" than I am; I think that the same holds true for an awful lot of regulars. New blood is the life of this place.
posted by cortex at 1:01 PM on February 8, 2007


essence of Metafilter,

Avaiable in your grocer's spice section. With graceful notes of pancake batter, portobello mushrooms and ice cream and a succulent undertone of pants and fish. Buy a truckload today!
posted by jonmc at 1:04 PM on February 8, 2007 [1 favorite]




The greatest thing about this whole conversation is that m2002 probably doesn't know that MetaTalk even exists, or that we're discussing this issue that points to the very heart of debates on "internet community."

micayetoca - what? Mefi Music is just one facet of this community. And a relatively new one at that. I used to comment a lot when it first opened, but [this is good] got pretty boring after a while.
posted by muddgirl at 1:15 PM on February 8, 2007


Yeah, you did. I did, some people did, but it seems that a fair number of mefites are in a similar position to the one you said that m2002 is in: not knowing that Metafilter Music exists.

As for the "got pretty boring after a while": good one. I'd heard it before, though. Actually I heard it applied to the blue, the green and the gray, before.
posted by micayetoca at 1:23 PM on February 8, 2007


It's a tricky thing, Music—muddgirl's complaint is valid because there isn't always a clear approach to take in commenting on a recording itself. I've taken to offering more explanation for my posts because I enjoy the back-and-forth that seems to come from it, but there's nothing in Music that compels that—and the generally non-contentious nature of the site undercuts the sort of argumentation that drives broadly-appealing discussion elsewhere on mefi.
posted by cortex at 1:33 PM on February 8, 2007


Right. You don't want to shit on someone's song, even if it ain't exactly your cup of tea.
posted by Mister_A at 1:40 PM on February 8, 2007


Agreed. But recently it has started changing. More songs are being posted and each song is getting more comments the same day, I think. People are posting more info about their songs - which you always did, cortex - and people are interacting more with the posters and giving them feedback.

So yeah, more than pointing fingers and saying "you bad community members, you left us alone in Metafilter Music" thought if I just mentioned it here a bunch of people would say "oh yeah, I haven't checked it out in a while, I'll do that now" or that some might even say "there is a Metafilter Music?"

So there it is. Go check it out, people, there are very good songs today.
posted by micayetoca at 1:47 PM on February 8, 2007


Note that this is the approach Wikipedia takes. And anyone who says Wikipedia isn't a community-based site hasn't delved very far into Wikipedia policies, procedures, user pages, etc.

Sure, it's a community, but it's one with a stupidly higher barrier to entry than MeFi/AskMe. The policies are confusing & intimidating to boot. When even the articles describing the policies fail to follow the very policies they are describing, how the heck is a new user supposed to know what to do?
posted by juv3nal at 1:55 PM on February 8, 2007


As someone said in the thread linked by Mister_A: I reject your superego.
posted by dame at 1:55 PM on February 8, 2007


Right. You don't want to shit on someone's song, even if it ain't exactly your cup of tea.

And more than that, really: it can get to feeling silly just saying "I like this" to every song that you like. When I get a chance to listen to songs, I try more and more to comment on why I like them, what about the song made me smile or swoon; but I'm more able to talk about some songs than others, depending on what my existing understanding of the type of music or production is.

I'm a music geek, and I don't always have something to say about a recording unaccompanied by commentary. I imagine folks who don't sit around recording shit in their kitchen may have even less to work with, as far as bootstrapping such conversations.

So I think it's effectively incumbent upon the poster to provide some conversational meat—tell us how, why, when; tell us what went right, what went wrong; explain the unknowable backstory—if the comments are going to have a better chance of blossoming into a discussion including more than the existing core group of Music commenters that seems to comprise mostly the active posters to same.

Such a thing isn't necessary, but it'd certainly help Music to thrive conversationally, which might well increase the amount of musical contributions as a result. Feedback loop.

Another thing that could prompt that is some sort of observational/editorial voice adding some commentary content to the site. Matt has talked before about things like having a Music blog of sorts; if he decides to make that happen, it might give the site more of a grounding, more clear approachability for folks that don't normally visit (or visit once or twice but don't really return).
posted by cortex at 2:02 PM on February 8, 2007


Side note/Blatant Self-Plug: If you don't have the time to visit MeMu or are reluctant to invest a couple of mouseclicks (You cheap bastard), I've been broadcasting four hours of MeFi Music, Sundays at 4 PM Central (UTC-6) on radio free #mofirc.

After listening to just one show, I guarantee* that MeMu will become a daily stop in your travels about teh internets.

*Guarantee is for novelty purposes only, not valid in Quebec, or anywhere else. But the tunes are still killer.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:08 PM on February 8, 2007


DevilsAdvocate writes "So questions that would be unacceptable if posted by an AskMe newbie are acceptable if posted by 'a member of this community?'"

In gray areas you're going to see more slack given to people with a history (or less slack if that history is bad). That pretty well universal in web forums.

Rumple writes "What can I do in Spuzzum on a Saturday night?"

Not much.

muddgirl writes "The greatest thing about this whole conversation is that m2002 probably doesn't know that MetaTalk even exists, or that we're discussing this issue that points to the very heart of debates on 'internet community.' "

I wonder if when a post that eventually gets deleted has a MetaTalk thread if the Meta should be linked in the deleted reason.
posted by Mitheral at 2:10 PM on February 8, 2007


Sure, it's a community, but it's one with a stupidly higher barrier to entry than MeFi/AskMe.

Huh? There's no charge, all you have to do is post, they make help pages prominent and useful, and someone comes along to post an encouraging message on your userpage when they notice you. At least that was all true for me. Have they started charging $100 and beating up newcomers since I last checked?
posted by languagehat at 2:15 PM on February 8, 2007


I've been broadcasting four hours of MeFi Music

Hey, Alvy Ampersand I checked out your link, saw the charts and I was delighted to see that Dave Boddiger's song made the charts! That is so cool, when I posted it I couldn't understand why it got so little reaction, I think he is awesome.

Kudoz for the show, mate!
posted by micayetoca at 2:31 PM on February 8, 2007


Already asked and answered. Do try to keep up with the conversation.

I'm confused by the "answer" you refer to, which is really just sidestepping the issue (I'm also confused as to where I was "asking" anything. Do try to keep up with the conversation). You don't deny that Ask/Me/Fi is a community, but you don't think that this aspect should have anything to do with how business is conducted therein (i.e. "The point of AskMe is to answer questions")?


Please explain how allowing this question to stand would have "compromised the community aspect."


The proof, I think, is in the context. Anybody with some sense of MeFi "community values" would know that while we'd love to help you out, we're leery of doing your homework for you. And that's exactly how the question is framed. There are plenty of ways to write this question such that it promotes a good discussion and provides valuable insight into this sort of thing for lots of people- but that was not the asker's intent. His/her intent was to gather information for personal use in an article for another site.

Of course, this isn't the first time this sort of thing has happened, but it still is not what the site is intended for. And so concerned community members, such as yourself and myself, look to the asker's posting history, to perhaps understand the context of this person's question. And from this context we see that they seem to have no interest in interacting with the site- only extracting information from it.

Is this wrong? Not necessarily. Is it out of line with our values? I think so. Questions like this, given the established context, belong on Y!A, and not on the green. So yes, I'm glad it was deleted because I feel it compromised the purpose of the Ax.

Could the poster go on to become a productive, memorable, insightful member of our community? Well, I concede that it is entirely possible, but given that they marked one of their own posts as "best answer", something about this whole fiasco makes me think that they Just Don't Get MetaFilter.

If I happen to be proven wrong in this, my friend, I will be happy to Paypal you and m2002 the cost of a high-quality ice cream cone (or similarly desirable confection).
posted by baphomet at 2:46 PM on February 8, 2007


Again, see Wikipedia for a counterexample.

If someone went onto a Wikipedia entry about edible underwear and changed the text to read "me and my gf used some, they were hot!", this would be deleted. It wouldn't matter that the poster was adhering to the general idea of the site, that they were new and didn't know all the community rules or that they might post something better in the future - it would be deemed inappropriate and removed.

see: Metafilter.
posted by hugsnkisses at 4:13 PM on February 8, 2007


After all the talk about the question looking like someone's homework, we now have this.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:15 PM on February 8, 2007


Yes Kirth, that kind of stuff irks the shit out of me.

Must...resist...urge to snark...
posted by baphomet at 4:22 PM on February 8, 2007


I was going to post the exact same thing here, dame, but I decided not to. But I think you're right.
posted by ikkyu2 at 5:03 PM on February 8, 2007


i think that question sucked for a different reason:

"i want you tell me what would be sexy on a breast," is not a solvable problem. household items to make bras out of?!

how about glue and paper? how about rusty nails and shoe polish? how about table saws and butter knives? how about curtains and throw pillows? how about puppies and children? how about ANY FUCKING THING YOU FIND IN THE HOUSE?!

i hate these survey style questions, and i think there's reason to delete them.
posted by shmegegge at 6:13 PM on February 8, 2007


Thanks, ikkyu2. I like to take one for the team: it's community.
posted by dame at 7:56 PM on February 8, 2007


I have no objections to the reasons for this call-out or the deletion of the thread, but man... the wording. I don't know what "measures" are going on that have dame so rankled, but calling for the brutal execution of a poster just for making an idiotic post is lame.

Lame doesn't look good on a breast. Lamé, on the other hand, could be lovely. A little hookerish for my taste, but that sort of lingerie can be fun to remove.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:38 PM on February 8, 2007


Metafilter: I'm looking for an ironclad axiom.
posted by 31d1 at 8:57 PM on February 8, 2007


if anything, we should have more patience for questionable behavior from folks who have not given any indication of permanence or deference to the situation they've stormed into...Note that this is the approach Wikipedia takes.

Well, to be precise, Wikipedia has made it pretty clear in the past that, in some cases, contributions from new folks who "storm into" the site are not valued at all, viz. article deletion discussions.
posted by mediareport at 10:56 PM on February 8, 2007


Those who are more gung-ho, well sometimes they grate and sometimes they delight, but we can't exactly worry about hurting their widdle feelings if they step on our toes-- after all, our guidelines are posted and are toes are in plain sight to anyone who's lurked.

Then there are those like today's transgressor, who leapt right in, in a sort of tactless way that made us feel cheap.


This whole complaint and deletion stinks of widdle feelings being hurt, and not much else.
posted by dreamsign at 12:31 AM on February 9, 2007


See, grapefruitmoon, that's why your husband needs a real editor: we are aware of the concept of hyperbole.
posted by dame at 4:33 AM on February 9, 2007


Oh, hi dame, I see that your initial impulse is still to attack the spouses of people who disagree with you. Now, I haven't had my oatmeal or my morning cup of tea yet, so my tolerance threshold is extremely low and my body is screaming at me to get into the internet equivalent of a shouting match. However, I have enough brains, even this early in the morning, to know not to get into an argument with someone who doesn't feel the need to take responsibilty for their words. I know, it's early, I'm cranky, but really, this is too damn much. Seriously, are you still holding a grudge because I disagreed with you about the role of editors in the production of literary works?
posted by Kattullus at 5:04 AM on February 9, 2007


Low blow, dame. grapefruitmoon is not the only one who criticized the wording of your post.
posted by Roger Dodger at 5:35 AM on February 9, 2007


Wow, kattullus. Hold a grudge much? You know what they say about fighting on the internet...
posted by muddgirl at 5:40 AM on February 9, 2007


Kattalus isn't the one who brought up the old grudge, muddgirl. dame did. That was pretty stupid and she should apologize. Her initial "Nice job getting your wife to insult me" was a defensive and overblown reaction, too, but the one here was completely uncalled for, but then, uncalled for overreaction seems to be one of dame's more common MeTa strategies.
posted by mediareport at 5:53 AM on February 9, 2007


"...but then, uncalled for overreaction seems to be one of dame's the more common MeTa strategies."

*slowly backs out of the thread*
posted by muddgirl at 6:01 AM on February 9, 2007


*shrugs*

It's true.
posted by mediareport at 6:09 AM on February 9, 2007


Seriously, are you still holding a grudge because I disagreed with you about the role of editors in the production of literary works?

If you play this comment backward you can make out the eerie sounds of "...diiiooos...diiiooooss..."
posted by cortex at 6:24 AM on February 9, 2007


Up on the pack ice the bomber sat broken and ancient, its tail section a dozen yards from the fuselage, its nose a flattened disc dripping avionics, surrounded by shattered plexiglass and metal skeleton. I crawled from the ball turret in its belly and carefully placed my clothes in a pile until all I had on were my tattered briefs, scant protection from the cold but enough to keep me safe for the rigors to come. Stretching was unnecessary; the fear of death by claw and tooth is enough to limber any muscle. Tied to a strip of sinew around my neck was my grandfather's Acme Thunderer, its pea still loose in the sebzero frost. I raised it to my lips and blew two short blasts, and I heard a howl and a chorus of yelps, and I knew the keeper had opened the gate. I took to my heels and ran for my life, the safe haven three grueling hours into the day, the terror of the wolves at my back.

So I can say with utmost certainty that this constant bickering just poisons the air.
posted by breezeway at 6:48 AM on February 9, 2007


What's wrong with holding a grudge? If we're really a community like we always claim to be, then of course people will hold grudges. In a way, it's almost a good thing- it proves we're relating to each other in real ways and not just shitting in some black hole.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:18 AM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Aw, come on, grapefruitmoon, you're not seriously complaining about over-the-top wording on MetaTalk, home of the tar and the pitchfork, are you?
posted by languagehat at 7:35 AM on February 9, 2007


"Tied to a strip of sinew around my neck was my grandfather's Acme Thunderer, its pea still loose in the sebzero frost."

Why do your vignettes so often sound like catalog entries for the Boy Scout supply?

"What's wrong with holding a grudge? If we're really a community like we always claim to be, then of course people will hold grudges. In a way, it's almost a good thing- it proves we're relating to each other in real ways and not just shitting in some black hole."

That's profoundly retarded.
posted by klangklangston at 7:44 AM on February 9, 2007


See, and I can only hope that now you hate me forever and ever, and follow me around in threads reminding me that I'm retarded and you hate me. That means we have a connection :-D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:47 AM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, it used to be a family secret, klangklangston, but the cat's been out of the bag since '02 and I don't mind telling you. I come from a long line of Boy Scouts: fine hunters, adroit horsemen, excellent shots. We're all shrewd negotiators. We know how to select a good campsite and can set it up or strike it in minutes, taking to the trail at lightning speed. We know what to do when a horse founders. We can dress and cure meat, and are all fair cooks. Out of necessity, we're also passable gunsmiths, blacksmiths, liverymen, anglers, foragers, farriers, wheelwrights, mountain climbers, and decent paddlers by raft or canoe. As trackers, we are unequaled. We know from experience how to read the watersheds, where to find grazing grass, what to do when encountering a grizzly. We can locate water in the driest arroyo and strain it into potability. In a crisis we know little tricks for staving off thirst, such as opening the fruit of a cactus or clipping a mule's ears and drinking its blood. We know how to make smoke signals. We know all about hitches and rope knots. We know how to make a good set of snowshoes. We know how to tan hides with a glutinous emulsion made from the brains of the animal. We know how to cache food and hides in the ground to prevent theft and spoilage. We know which species of wood burn well, and how to split the logs on the grain, even when an ax isn't handy. These are important skills, especially if you live in the hinterlands of Queens, by the banks of Newtown Creek, hard by the 59th St bridge, as I do.

Be prepared!
posted by breezeway at 8:14 AM on February 9, 2007


In a way, it's almost a good thing- it proves we're relating to each other in real ways and not just shitting in some black hole.

In another way, it's unquestionably a bad thing—it proves we're clinging to past scuffles and shitting on each other instead of relating to each other in real, open-minded face-value conversations.

You want to hold a grudge, go for it; but when they manifest randomly on the site they are just about the worst thing to happen to Mefi.
posted by cortex at 8:15 AM on February 9, 2007


"That means we have a connection :-D"

Good, because I've been trying to get in your pants forever.
posted by klangklangston at 8:41 AM on February 9, 2007


(That should be appended with one of them winky ;) emoticons, to cut the "creepy internet crushxors" quotient by at least one half).
posted by klangklangston at 8:55 AM on February 9, 2007


Haaaaaa, see, klangklangston, we are all really just one big, happy, incesty familiy. ;-)

And whatever, cor "What the hell does 'matthewchen is spamming' really mean anyway" tex.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:56 AM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


You want to hold a grudge, go for it; but when they manifest randomly on the site they are just about the worst thing to happen to Mefi.
posted by cortex at 10:15 AM CST on February 9


Absolutely correct. Yet again, cortex shows his unparalleled ability to accurately read and diagnose Mefi.
posted by dios at 9:14 AM on February 9, 2007


The pomegranate juice is tart and acidic, stripping the enamel from my teeth as I gulp the entire carton. It spills onto my tuxedo front, streams of deep purple like the aftermath of a messy suicide by blade. A tangy aftertaste of fresh nine-volt battery, strange chemicals dancing on my tongue. The involuntary orgasm comes suddenly and leaves my crotch numb and warm. In this humidity I can't recognize it's wetness, but know that it must be there. It's been pre-arranged: when I've reached my destination late in the night the villagers will still be awake, waiting for me. They will sacrifice cats and smear their children with grease and ash to celebrate the return.

That is why I have the unique perspective to confirm that ThePinkSuperhero, unbeknownst even to herself, is shitting directly into a massive black hole.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:25 AM on February 9, 2007


(I'm also confused as to where I was "asking" anything. Do try to keep up with the conversation).

"Already asked and answered" was a clumsy attempt at an allusion to a common objection made by lawyers. Sorry for the confusion. I'm aware that your comment did not take the grammatical form of a question, but that does not mean I am not allowed to respond to the implicit assumption behind your statement, nor to point it out if I have adressed that assumption earlier in the thread.

You don't deny that Ask/Me/Fi is a community, but you don't think that this aspect should have anything to do with how business is conducted therein

I did not say that the community aspect should have nothing to do with how business is conducted within MetaFilter. I did say that the community aspect of Metafilter should have nothing to do with one particular type of decision which is made by the mods.

And so concerned community members, such as yourself and myself, look to the asker's posting history, to perhaps understand the context of this person's question. And from this context we see that they seem to have no interest in interacting with the site- only extracting information from it.

As I have already stated, I am fine with the mods looking at a person's posting history, and if they have a bad one, deleting a borderline question on that basis. This person has no posting history. I find it astonishing that you can divine that a person has "no interest in interacting with the site" based on a lack of a posting history. Here's another user with no posting history. Should we also conclude that they don't have any interest in interacting with the site? Maybe their lack of posting history can even tell us their favorite flavor of ice cream.

(i.e. "The point of AskMe is to answer questions")?

I stand by that - the primary purpose of AskMe is to answer questions. It has other, secondary purposes as well, but the primary purpose is to answer questions. It also serves as a knowledge repository, but given that we do not delete questions that are so specific that the answers could never be of use to anyone but the asker, we can conclude that its primary purpose is not that of a knowledge repository. It also serves as entertainment, but given that we do not delete boring, non-entertaining questions, we can conclude that its primary purpose is not entertainment. It's a good thing that AskMe is a community, because that encourages people to give thoughtful and meaningful answers to questions, but the community is not the primary purpose of AskMe.

given that they marked one of their own posts as "best answer", something about this whole fiasco makes me think that they Just Don't Get MetaFilter.

Should we be surprised or offended that a new poster doesn't entirely understand all of our customs and conventions? (Not to mention that misusing "best answer" is hardly limited to newbies, as languagehat points out here and here.)

If someone went onto a Wikipedia entry about edible underwear and changed the text to read "me and my gf used some, they were hot!", this would be deleted. It wouldn't matter that the poster was adhering to the general idea of the site, that they were new and didn't know all the community rules or that they might post something better in the future - it would be deemed inappropriate and removed.

There is a difference between "clearly wrong" and "borderline." I am not saying that we should leave up each and every question posted by a new user, even those in clear violation of our guidelines. This question, as has already been noted in this thread, did not violate any written guidelines - just vague, unwritten notions of "community norms." And yes, it's nice if new users lurk for several months before posting to get a feel for the site and all of our "community norms," but it's unreasonable and elitist to expect all of them to do so.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:27 AM on February 9, 2007


"I find it astonishing that you can divine that a person has "no interest in interacting with the site" based on a lack of a posting history."

Really? Perhaps if your weren't so disingenuous. The lack of posting history combined with the specific content of that post provides a pretty good predictor, and to deny that takes a willful ignorance of context and text. But hey, you're the one who wants to pretend that everything proceeds from axiomatic truths.
posted by klangklangston at 9:48 AM on February 9, 2007


But hey, you're the one who wants to pretend that everything proceeds from axiomatic truths.

I have already quite clearly stated in this thread that I do not believe such a thing.

Is your ability to judge people's motivations from a lack of posting history as astute as your reading comprehension skills?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:59 AM on February 9, 2007


"I am in favor of an iron-clad axiom when it comes to considering a poster's lack of history, and a decent amount of subjectivity and ambiguity and moderator discretion in other areas."

"And it is nothing more than your axiomatic opinion that a poster's lack of history tips the scales towards deletion of a borderline question."

I believe you're confusing intellectual dishonesty with the role of a devil's advocate.

But once again, if you could not by the combination of lack of posting history and clear indication in the question piece out that the poster was a drive-by, you're either a moron or a liar. Given that the reason I stopped responding earlier was that it was clear that you weren't going to approach the conversation honestly, well, I believe I've made my point.
posted by klangklangston at 10:30 AM on February 9, 2007


I think several hours in the sweatlodge might sort everybody out.
posted by breezeway at 10:46 AM on February 9, 2007


Haaaaaa, see, klangklangston, we are all really just one big, happy, incesty familiy

*sits on front porch, whips out banjo and starts jamming*
posted by jonmc at 11:17 AM on February 9, 2007


klang: FWIW, pinky has a point. Grudges, beefs, fueds and the like happen in verey community. Nowhere does it say our community had to be harmonious. Forced togetherness isn't community, it's banality.
posted by jonmc at 11:19 AM on February 9, 2007


"I am in favor of an iron-clad axiom when it comes to considering a poster's lack of history, and a decent amount of subjectivity and ambiguity and moderator discretion in other areas."

QED. It is nice to see that, upon further review, you were able to correctly identify where I said that decisions do not and should not follow entirely from axioms.

"And it is nothing more than your axiomatic opinion that a poster's lack of history tips the scales towards deletion of a borderline question."

Ah, I spoke too soon. I see now you have just searched this thread for any occurrence of "axiom" in my comments and cut and pasted them here. Had you actually been reading my comments, you would have noted that my judgment of whether other people's opinions are axiomatic or not do not speak to whether my own follow entirely, or only partially, from axioms.

I believe you're confusing intellectual dishonesty with the role of a devil's advocate.

Intellectual dishonesty is just one of many tools a devil's advocate may employ.

But once again, if you could not by the combination of lack of posting history and clear indication in the question piece out that the poster was a drive-by, you're either a moron or a liar.

It's not that I think the poster wasn't a drive-by; it's that I think that the question should have been allowed to stand even if the poster was a drive-by. But yes, in comparison to your Bene Gesserit-like skills at reading human motivation, I am a moron.

Given that the reason I stopped responding earlier was that it was clear that you weren't going to approach the conversation honestly,

See, not having preternatural skills like your own, I was unable to divine why you had stopped responding, just as I am unclear now why you have returned to the thread.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:24 AM on February 9, 2007


All you New Yorkers are just too hardcore for us Midwesterners.
posted by Roger Dodger at 11:25 AM on February 9, 2007


Home, home on the trains,
Where the fear and the animus lay,
Where it smells like a turd,
A slip earns you the bird,
Oh, the 24-hour MTA!

posted by breezeway at 11:38 AM on February 9, 2007


Sweet Jesus dame, I exist as an entity apart from my husband.

I see your head doesn't seem to exist apart from your own ass, however.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 2:59 PM on February 9, 2007


languagehat: Tar and feathers is fine with me. I'm not against hyperbole per se, but I think that brutal executions is taking a bit far. Even for MetaTalk.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:00 PM on February 9, 2007


But mathowie needs the blood of the damned to live! We can't deny him, or he comes for US!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:00 PM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


And really, grapefruitmoon, let's be honest here: you're still holding a lil grudge too, yes? Your first comment in this thread seems to indicate that. At least dame was upfront about it, instead of trying to soften it with some cutesy paragraph about lamé.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:59 PM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm gonna learn to keep my mouth shut, I swear. Right after this:

Grapefruitmoon, even my head doesn't exist apart from my ass. As a matter of fact, they're connected. Aren't yours? (My skin keeps me in and the germs out).

dame, are you really relying on such a pleiestocene sexist trope to bait these guys? I never thought I'd see the day. Lemme buy you a drink.

And TPS, are you Boris Badonov or something? I haven't seen this much tag-team action since JYD teamed up with Sgt. Slaughter to stomp the Iron Sheik a new mudhole (or the mythological jonmc/Hugh Janus threadkiller duo at you-know-where)! You big badass!

I already regret what I've written, but I just gotta post it, I'm tickled, pink!

I'll just pad back to my wigwam and darn my mukluks for a bit. Houn!
posted by breezeway at 6:24 PM on February 9, 2007


At least dame was upfront about it

You've got to be kidding. That husband crack gets a pass because the assholeness of it was "upfront"? Puh-lease. It's amazing folks like you and languagehat are giving dame a pass on that one.

She needs to apologize; that was bullshit.
posted by mediareport at 7:23 PM on February 9, 2007


At least dame was upfront about it, instead of trying to soften it with some cutesy paragraph about lamé.

True that, she could've done something spineless and slimy like make a MeTa callout mocking grapefruitmoon and then crowed about it on MeCha expecting her lil pals to run in and defend her. I'll take petty 'keeping it real' over coquettish 'ain't I a little stinker' assholery any day of the week.

Don't take that personal, I mean, rude shit like I just said is a natural part of a healthy community, right?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:46 PM on February 9, 2007


Whatever. I'll partner these kids up in gym class and they can sort it out.
posted by dreamsign at 7:49 PM on February 9, 2007


Like make a MeTa callout mocking grapefruitmoon

I don't really get what you're talking about- this thread doesn't appear to have any origin regarding grapefruitmoon.

And as far as I can see, grapefruitmoon was the first one to bring up this particular grudge in this thread. So I don't really buy any "poor grapefruitmoon" stuff.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:51 PM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


Reading through this thread makes me wonder: how many people besides me are involved New Years related dieting?

I mean, I've lost some weight, but right now if you look at me the wrong way I'll tear out your spleen and force-feed it to your toddler while you die.
posted by tkolar at 7:54 PM on February 9, 2007


Oh, I get what you're saying now- you're talking about me. For the record, I feel bad about that whole thing (it was me bored on Christmas vacation- why didn't I just watch MTV? Who knows!), and I've apologized to sequential and he was nice enough to forgive me and we've made our peace. We're even going to meet up the next time I'm in Boston- he says he's going to buy me a drink, but I'm going to buy him two :-D
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:56 PM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


::doesn't look at tkolar any which way::

Please don't kill me and eat me! Ahhhhhh!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:57 PM on February 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


And as far as I can see, grapefruitmoon was the first one to bring up this particular grudge in this thread.

No.

I think that talking about brutally executing people, as a joke, is lame. Period. That has zero to do with my feelings about whoever posted it and whatever they may have said before. There was no grudge on my part.

Any comments about my husband that issue forth after that are clearly trying to bring up a grudge (and work well at getting my dander up because really, what the fuck?) because the dude wasn't even commenting over here.

And no, no one should be all "poor grapefruitmoon" because yeah, that was an assholish thing to say and it would be nice of dame to apologize, but I'm perfectly capable of defending myself. I don't need Superheros of any color to do it for me.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:21 PM on February 9, 2007


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