Does Falwell belong on the blue? May 15, 2007 10:41 AM   Subscribe

Should the breaking news of Jerry Falwell's death be posted to the blue? He was clearly a polarizing figure, and as such putting him up there may be, prima facie, a inflammatory post. It's NewsFilter at the least. Thoughts on how to handle these types of things?
posted by scblackman to Etiquette/Policy at 10:41 AM (93 comments total)

Regardless of the NewsFilter status, or his position as a polarizing asshole who should have died slowly burning to death over the course of days, someone will post it to MetaFilter all the same.
posted by cmonkey at 10:45 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


God Hates Newsfilter
posted by matteo at 10:45 AM on May 15, 2007


Let's all pretend it didn't happen so no one will get offended. Just like grandpa's alcoholism.
posted by 2sheets at 10:48 AM on May 15, 2007


And the thread will mostly consist of people either rejoicing, or people wringing their hands about how terrible it is to take pleasure in someone's death.
posted by cmonkey at 10:48 AM on May 15, 2007


Allow me to translate your question:

I want to be the person who posts the Falwell story, but I don't want to take the heat, so I'm going to soft-post it first to the Grey. Ok?

Wimp.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:49 AM on May 15, 2007 [10 favorites]


How about a YouTube clip of people dancing in the streets and hanging out candy? (I'd post myself doing that but I never bought a video camera.)
posted by davy at 10:50 AM on May 15, 2007


I bet he was surprised to meet God and find out how angry she was with him.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 10:50 AM on May 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


According to NYTimes.com, Falwell is dead.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:50 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, god help me.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:50 AM on May 15, 2007


Find something good on the web about it, then post that.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 10:52 AM on May 15, 2007




Let me just save us all the trouble and point out that the threat will start with "good riddance" messages, then devolve into an argument over those who feel such sentiments are tacky and those who feel that he deserved it.

Alright then, nothing to see here. Move along.
posted by boubelium at 10:52 AM on May 15, 2007


so I'm going to soft-post it

how does one hard-post a thread?
posted by matteo at 10:53 AM on May 15, 2007


Can we close this farce of a thread now, seeing as how the poster waited a whole *4 minutes* before doing what they wanted to do in the first place?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:55 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wimp.

Um .... How about giving people the benefit of the doubt before acting so childish, at least for those of us who are genuinely interested in this community and discussing these points.
posted by scblackman at 10:55 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Am I reading it correctly that there's a 4 minute gap between scblackman posting this thread and then posting it to the blue? Why the fuck did you even bother with this?
posted by puke & cry at 10:56 AM on May 15, 2007


A single link to a wire story noting a person's death would be, as always, a bad post. One or more substantive, interesting links about a person's life and death would be, as always, a good post.
posted by brain_drain at 10:57 AM on May 15, 2007


I see nothing wrong with posting to the blue... and people should be free to say whatever they want to say about him, good or ill... if that means it turns into a "conversation" about politics, or religion, or anything else not strictly related to his death, so be it.

This kind of situation is exactly what I was referring to in the past MeTa thread about the VT shootings, in which I argued against preventing people from talking about gun control in that thread.

Let the conversation flow where it may, regardless of whether that treads on some people's sensibilities.
posted by modernnomad at 10:58 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, this will end well.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:59 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Well, there it is on the blue. Seconding p&c -- you waited only 4 minutes???
posted by brain_drain at 11:00 AM on May 15, 2007


wow. it took you 4 minutes to decide between posting to the gray and then posting to the blue. In that four minutes, you received, at most, 2 responses to this thread. You have an itchy trigger finger and you wanted to cover your ass for some reason. I vote lets ban him unless he also posts this to the green. Viva la hat trick!
posted by Stynxno at 11:01 AM on May 15, 2007


2sheets writes "Let's all pretend it didn't happen so no one will get offended. Just like grandpa's alcoholism."

Cool! Can I pee on the Christmas tree?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:01 AM on May 15, 2007


The way I think this particular post should have been handled (it's already in the Blue), would have been to track down some of his history, and point to links explaining both why he was important to the Christian Right and why he was controversial.

But, of course, there's never time to do that; it would take an hour or two to assemble a really good obit post for Falwell, and it'll already have been single-link-newsfiltered 78 times before you could possibly finish. MeFi rewards speed, in that later posts are removed, even if they're better, so the rush is to get something up quick. The more effort you put into a good post, the more likely it's wasted effort.

Thus, we have Single Link Obitfilter and Outrage Hour.
posted by Malor at 11:01 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Thanks, modernnomad, for pointing out how the gun-control discussion was split out from the VA Tech news. I didn't think about that.
posted by scblackman at 11:02 AM on May 15, 2007


Oh, jesus, I didn't realize it was the SAME GUY who posted it both places.

I vote for torches and pitchforks. You, sir, are an asshole.
posted by Malor at 11:02 AM on May 15, 2007


I don't think anybody in this community is genuinely interested in this community and discussing these issues. I just want to start a dot thread. Should I?
posted by disclaimer at 11:02 AM on May 15, 2007


*Simultaneously boards up the windows and puts on the popcorn.*

I think a couple of folks in that thread need to take a ride on the Pony Of Magnanimity.
posted by Jofus at 11:06 AM on May 15, 2007


brain_drain: A single link to a wire story noting a person's death would be, as always, a bad post. One or more substantive, interesting links about a person's life and death would be, as always, a good post.

I agree.

I like *totally* have to do the googling myself now.
posted by gomichild at 11:06 AM on May 15, 2007


.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:07 AM on May 15, 2007


Stynxno .... not quite. I saw the news go by on the wire and thought about posting to the blue straight away. Then I thought about it and realized, for the point that Malor raised, that it would be a single-link newsfilter.

I posted the question here, and then thought about it some more and then realized that at some point it was going to be posted. It didn't really matter if it was me or someone else ... it was still going to end up a single-link post.

Perhaps the solution to the question for those who ask (should items like this be posted) is simply not to play the game. Eventually someone will post it, as Malor said, the outrage will flow, and then it'll be done.

I appreciate the input from those who took time to answer my serious (and sincere) question.
posted by scblackman at 11:07 AM on May 15, 2007


I'm writing a novel about Jerry Falwell's death. Please share your evangelical biography tips! So much [more inside]
posted by kosem at 11:09 AM on May 15, 2007


I posted the question here, and then thought about it some more and then realized that at some point it was going to be posted. It didn't really matter if it was me or someone else ... it was still going to end up a single-link post.

Honestly, I think that right there is the best reason not to post something. Yes, there's that sense of creeping inevitability, but the idea that other people's complete lack of restraint is a good reason to do something crappy is an idea worth rejecting outright.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:12 AM on May 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


"Someone's gonna make this into a really crappy post, so I'll make sure I get MY name in lights instead of them!"

If I could retract my original answer, I would. It bothers me that you would use it to justify your behavior.
posted by Malor at 11:12 AM on May 15, 2007


Stynxno .... not quite. I saw the news go by on the wire and thought about posting to the blue straight away. Then I thought about it and realized, for the point that Malor raised, that it would be a single-link newsfilter.

Any setup that insults the reader's intelligence is the best way to approach any newsfilter post.

Next time, post your little thought process in the metatalk thread right after you create the post. I can't read your mind and I still see your 'soft-posting' as tps put it to be pretty damn funny. Your question might be sincere but your actions sure as hell appeared otherwise. Don't post a question when you're not going to wait for an answer.
posted by Stynxno at 11:13 AM on May 15, 2007


scblackman, if you believed a single-link post was inevitable, why did you decide to post it yourself? The only explanation I can think of is that you wanted notoriety or 'credit' for starting a thread that will end up with hundreds of comments. That isn't a very good reason to post something that is by your own admission sub-par.
posted by brain_drain at 11:14 AM on May 15, 2007


I posted the question here, and then thought about it some more and then realized that at some point it was going to be posted. It didn't really matter if it was me or someone else ... it was still going to end up a single-link post.

1. It does matter if it was you or someone else, because you now have the dubious (and hilarious, thank you!) distinction of the four minute, Roger Bannisterian jump from gray to blue. This is most important. It was you, scblackman, and not someone else.

2. The inevitability of a shite post does not mean that you should be the one.

3. Disabuse yourself of the false notion that if your Jerry Falwell obit post contained more than one link, it would be somehow per se better. Number of links does not correlate to post quality....ALL TOGETHER NOW!!!!
posted by kosem at 11:15 AM on May 15, 2007


I personally have never understood the point of auditioning a post on MeTatalk (what I call the "soft-post"; seems to happen somewhat regularly). If a post is bad, it'll be deleted; if it's good, it'll stay up. Getting a post deleted from the blue is not as scary as some people seem to think; it's happened to the best of us (not that I'd include myself in that category, but I did have a double-post deleted once, duuuh stupid me).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:17 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry -- I just don't see it that way. Putting up a one-liner about Falwell dying doesn't put my name into lights. I don't see anyone going about their business later today saying "Phew. Thank goodness that guy on MeFi posted that news about Jerry Falwell being dead."

Whatever the case, I'm certainly sorry that I even broached the subject here.
posted by scblackman at 11:17 AM on May 15, 2007


Here's lets just make this easy for everyone. The FPP comments should be multiple choice. You can only copy and paste one so choose wisely.

A) Thank you for alerting me to the news of Falwell's death. I seem to recall only seeing it on EVERY MOTHERFUCKING NEWS SOURCE since it happened.

B) Finally, my prayers have been answered. Thank you Jesus.

C) NEWSFILTER!1!!

D) Despite his anti-gay, bigoted, hateful little soul, I think Mr. Falwell had some valid points. Here's 52 Wikipedia links to illustrate my point....

E) Can you be Born Again, again?
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:20 AM on May 15, 2007


"Oh, jesus, I didn't realize it was the SAME GUY who posted it both places."

Now it comes out. scblackman is The Decider.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:22 AM on May 15, 2007


Let's be clear: strangers die everyday. Unless something about their death particularly makes the news item qualify as "best of the web," then their death notice does not constitute a good FPP. You don't care, and we know this because you asked the community what they thought and went forward with your FPP before anyone chimed in--waiting a whole 4 minutes-- but I had these two extra pennies in my pocket and needed to put them somewhere.

So there you go.
posted by mds35 at 11:30 AM on May 15, 2007


OP, you were never such a wuss in your role as the principal in Strangers with Candy
posted by Kwine at 11:33 AM on May 15, 2007


Whatever the case, I'm certainly sorry that I even broached the subject here.

Well, sorry is what you should feel, since it's a ridiculous metatalk post, and the fpp to the blue is a single link newsfilter. But something tells me sorry isn't what you're feeling. I suspect it's something more along the lines of righeous indignation, which is what you should not feel.

Try saying this to yourself several times to get the idea: "Man, those were a couple of really crappy threads I started. I gotta try to avoid doing THAT again!"
posted by shmegegge at 11:35 AM on May 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


"Perhaps the solution to the question for those who ask (should items like this be posted) is simply not to play the game."

YA THINK?!

"Eventually someone will post it, as Malor said, the outrage will flow, and then it'll be done."

This is why we filter, dipshit.
posted by klangklangston at 11:36 AM on May 15, 2007


Thankfully, most of the complaints about the thread will be confined here.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:37 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Try saying this to yourself several times to get the idea: "Man, those were a couple of really crappy threads I started. I gotta try to avoid doing THAT again!"


Doesn't work. I've tried it. See posting history for evidence.
posted by mds35 at 11:37 AM on May 15, 2007


"I'm sorry -- I just don't see it that way. Putting up a one-liner about Falwell dying doesn't put my name into lights. I don't see anyone going about their business later today saying "Phew. Thank goodness that guy on MeFi posted that news about Jerry Falwell being dead.""

WAUUGH! YOUR OBLIVIOUSNESS IS STRANGLING MY BRAIN WITH IRONY!

"Whatever the case, I'm certainly sorry that I even broached the subject here."

You're totally making me apoplectic with yer dumbassery, dude.
posted by klangklangston at 11:39 AM on May 15, 2007


also, I would like (in the spirit of making lemonade) for this thread to be left open so that we can discuss whatever fracass will inevitably happen in there without creating a whole new meta thread.
posted by shmegegge at 11:40 AM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


FIRST POST!
posted by ibmcginty at 11:50 AM on May 15, 2007


Oh, sorry guys, nevermind.
posted by ibmcginty at 11:51 AM on May 15, 2007


I posted the question here, and then thought about it some more and then realized that at some point it was going to be posted. It didn't really matter if it was me or someone else ... it was still going to end up a single-link post.

Oh heavens, this kind of logic depresses me, whether it has to do with posting on MeFi, climbing on top of the passed-out girl at the party, or harvesting jewelry from cemeteries.

Well, I'm all warmed up to go comment in the blue now!
posted by hermitosis at 11:54 AM on May 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Klangklangston, calm down mate! It obviously wasn't the world's greatest FPP and yeah it was a bit of a bizarre MeTa post, but it's hardly worth having a seizure over.
posted by modernnomad at 11:57 AM on May 15, 2007


Has anybody gotten Larry Flynt's thoughts on all this yet? I remembered seeing them giving a talk or something on C-Span or something and it was fairly civil, as if they'd at least somewhat buried the hatchet, or maybe ol' Jerry thought he'd be able to make some Moneysave souls.
posted by jonmc at 12:00 PM on May 15, 2007


Those are the kinds of threads you really don't want to have your name on.
posted by caddis at 12:04 PM on May 15, 2007


as if they'd at least somewhat buried the hatchet

they all got great things from their beef: Flynt went from porky porn-peddler to free-speech hero winning a big SCOTUS case, and he got his life depicted in a Hollywood Oscar-nominated big budget film; Falwell got a lot pf publicity as the guy who dragged the immoral porn-peddler to the Supreme Court and lost because as we all know the USA is ruled by liberal extremists, getting loads of evangelical street cred out of it.

Flynt and Falwell both fed their obvious megalomania thanks to that case; they should have been happy, both of them.
posted by matteo at 12:05 PM on May 15, 2007


matteo writes "how does one hard-post a thread?"

You do realize that the internet version of MeFi is just an archive of the actual physical version, which is chiselled in stone slabs in Matt's living-room, right? A soft-post is just one that goes directly online, skipping the stonecutting portion.

It's like the New York Times vs. the New York Times Online.
posted by Bugbread at 12:07 PM on May 15, 2007


porky porn-peddler

I hear Petunia shaves her snatch. But then they got Foghorn involved in that Interspecies pictorial that went beyond the bounds of good taste.

(fwiw, while Flynt is by no means faultless, I'll take Larry over jerry anyday.)
posted by jonmc at 12:08 PM on May 15, 2007


I posted the question here, and then thought about it some more and then realized that at some point it was going to be posted. It didn't really matter if it was me or someone else ... it was still going to end up a single-link post.

"Someone, somewhere is going to murder today. I might as well be that someone."

?
posted by juv3nal at 12:08 PM on May 15, 2007


how does one hard-post a thread?

Full frontal nudity instead of a coy cutaway to the keyboard.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:25 PM on May 15, 2007


As long as no one else famous dies MeFi will be free of controversy and infighting. Right?
posted by mattbucher at 12:32 PM on May 15, 2007


You're one to say that, mattbucher.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:35 PM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I personally have never understood the point of auditioning a post on MeTatalk (what I call the "soft-post"; seems to happen somewhat regularly)
but I have written on a somewhat metafilter related site about how I thought someone's askme posts were stupid and asked that community if I should post and then when I metatalked it and opened a shit storm, couldn't figure out why everyone was mad at me.

There, fixed it for you. Or is this like grandpa's alcoholism? Sorry, I guess the death of Falwell has really made me want to point out hypocrisy.

FWIW, this was all a douchetastic move on the part of scblackman.
posted by sleepy pete at 12:40 PM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


TPS: Jerry Falwell has forgiven me of my trespasses.
posted by mattbucher at 12:42 PM on May 15, 2007


Hehehe.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:50 PM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


sleepy pete's right: let's not lose focus on the jerk-ass thing scblackman has done here.
posted by boo_radley at 1:03 PM on May 15, 2007


Forgive me, for I must have missed a Metafilter code meeting somewhere. What does the use of * instead of . mean in a eulogy thread?
posted by Dr. Zira at 1:11 PM on May 15, 2007


What does the use of * instead of . mean in a eulogy thread?

Bend over ... further ... a little further ... there! Do you see it?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 1:17 PM on May 15, 2007


I think it comes from a Kurt Vonnegut novel where he uses an asterisk to represent a puckered anus.
posted by Bugbread at 1:18 PM on May 15, 2007


It's a dirt button.
posted by puke & cry at 1:18 PM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


.
posted by nevercalm at 1:21 PM on May 15, 2007


What does the use of * instead of . mean in a eulogy thread?

Shitty European keyboards. Same difference.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:21 PM on May 15, 2007


The thing to remember is, at least scblackman waited fjour minutes to pjost this stjory on the blue. THough if you thjink about it, it mjust have taken at least tjwo mjinutes to cobble the pjost togjether... unljess he already wrote the pjost and was poised to pjost it anyway. In which case, why pjost about the pjost here if you knew you were goingto pjost it anyway? And shouldn't you wait to see what pjeople are going to say about the pjost before you pjost it, if you are going to the trouble of pjosting a pjost about a pjutative pjost? Because fjour mjinutes between MeTa pjost and blue pjost is not a lot of tjime!

So the thing to remember is, scblackman is either disingenuous or remarkably impjulsive—or bjoth.
posted by Mister_A at 1:37 PM on May 15, 2007


Man, now MeFi's slow in loading.
Even in death, Falwell still plagues us!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:47 PM on May 15, 2007


I vote lets ban him unless he also posts this to the green. Viva la hat trick! stynxno

I am writing a book about a guy who does an inexplicably and unnecessarily weaselly thing on an interweb log thinger...
posted by Mister_A at 1:49 PM on May 15, 2007


The way I think this particular post should have been handled (it's already in the Blue), would have been to track down some of his history, and point to links explaining both why he was important to the Christian Right and why he was controversial.

But, of course, there's never time to do that; it would take an hour or two to assemble a really good obit post for Falwell
[...]

Clearly we should take a page from major news organizations and assemble "[FAMOUS PERSON] just died!" FPPs in advance. That way the second anyone of note shuffles off this mortal coil, a well written obit post with lots of in-depth links can appear on the front page.
posted by turaho at 2:33 PM on May 15, 2007


That's an awesome idea...
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:40 PM on May 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


rudepundit has a little preview up -- ...it is best sometimes to go back in a man's life to get his true measure. Here's Falwell preaching in 1958, quoted in a Washington Post profile in 1988 by Walt Harrington:
...
"He rambled on, still using 'the Bible alone' as his guide: 'The true Negro does not want integration...He realizes his potential is far better among his own race...We see the hand of Moscow in the background...We see the Devil himself behind it...It will destroy our race eventually...In one northern city, a pastor friend of mine tells me that a couple of opposite race live next door to his church as man and wife ...It boils down to whether we are going to take God's Word as final.' ...
"Oblivious to the hatefulness of his sermon, Falwell concluded: '...If we live in constant fellowship with the Lord, He can enable us to live Christ-like before others.'" ...

posted by amberglow at 2:45 PM on May 15, 2007


This is how I picture the ObitFilter decision tree.
posted by Partial Law at 3:10 PM on May 15, 2007 [8 favorites]


Can you please put a note on the posting page that says "We know Jerry Falwell is dead." so that he doesn't get James Browned?
posted by ND¢ at 3:14 PM on May 15, 2007


is there a precedent for this? A pre-selfcallout?

If so, this is the LAMEST. PRE-SELFCALLOUT. EVAR.
posted by psmealey at 3:34 PM on May 15, 2007


I was sad to hear that Falwell died. Or more specifically, that he died alone. It would have been way better if he and Ann Coulter had entered into some kind of twisted sexual suicide pact. Ideally they would have plotted to kill Paris Hilton first.

That would have been much better.
posted by quin at 4:22 PM on May 15, 2007


Mister_A, I think you bjorked that comment.


In other news, even though Falwell is gone, Phyllis Schlafly is still with us. Enjoy some of her 'thoughts' on the VT shootings.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 5:03 PM on May 15, 2007


Well, sorry is what you should feel, since it's a ridiculous metatalk post, and the fpp to the blue is a single link newsfilter. But something tells me sorry isn't what you're feeling. I suspect it's something more along the lines of righeous indignation, which is what you should not feel.

When the namecalling starts by the fifth post, how do you expect him to react? Just speaking in terms of human psychology: if the intention is indeed contrition and behavior modification and not defensiveness and righteous indignation here from the guilty party, then maybe such harshness isn't the way to go. In fact, maybe it's the exact wrong way to go.

But it's painfully obvious that since time began, these pile-ons have not been geared toward educating those about their Metafilter etiquette mistakes, but about just plain being mean, and egging on the mistake-maker so as to incite a reaction that "justifies" further meanness.

Frankly, I think that's a lot more shameful than the horrors of having an itchy trigger finger.

Honestly, the reason why this bothers me so much is that whenever I read these things where someone makes an obvious and easily mockable mistake and is then raked over the coals, I imagine my well-meaning but also adorably clueless parents in their place, and how much of an ass they'd make of themselves in five minutes on MetaFilter. Sometimes when I'm home I'll show them something on this site they might find interesting, but I never let them sit down lest they see the open reply box and think they should respond, so as to protect them from the firestorm that would result. Example: they created a couple of sockpuppet accounts to post comments on an article from The Huffington Post and agree with themselves, and then gleefully showed me the result, blithely unaware of the mortal internet sin they'd just committed. For some reason, no matter how many times I explain the internet to them, they just don't get it. How mortifying.

/righteous indignation
posted by granted at 6:19 PM on May 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


As opposed to soldiers no longer having access to MySpace and Youtube?

Pretty much daily, you can find things on all the news feeds that you know will end up here, just so people can talk about it. Clearly that's the way people want it.
posted by dreamsign at 6:41 PM on May 15, 2007


Clearly, the best course of action is to check to make sure the person your flaming on metafilter isn't one of your parents.
posted by puke & cry at 7:19 PM on May 15, 2007


how does one hard-post a thread?
Press ctrl-enter at the end of the last line.

Whatever the case, I'm certainly sorry that I even broached the subject here.
Not yet you're not. But you will be, by [insert deity of choice]. You will be.
posted by dg at 7:44 PM on May 15, 2007


Perhaps there could be a "lets behave like adults" line that admins could stick under certain posts?
posted by parallax7d at 8:47 PM on May 15, 2007


Matt needs to jig up a MetaAnalyzer. It'd browse the mainstream media and mainstream blog sites, making note of "hot topics." It'd then ban them from MeFi.

Honest to god, if one simply skimmed perhaps three blogs a day, they'd discover for themselves 80% of the links posted to MeFi.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:19 PM on May 15, 2007


granted,

so much of what you say makes a whole mess of sense. the only issue I have, (and this isn't meant to describe anyone in particular) is that there's a lot of righteous indignation that occurs regardless of how much criticism or outright mockery someone encounters here. It gets to the point where one can't help but wonder "shit, man. we all get more than our fair share of shit slinging here, and this is one of the nicer sites on the web. if you're going to take everything someone says to you on the internet that badly, maybe you'd react to anything that badly." of course, the "welcome to the internet, get a helmet" response works both ways. we should, ideally, be used to bad posts and even worse responses from posters by now, right? meh, the whole thing makes me tired. being online has filled me with one ultimate feeling: we should in an ideal world ignore people and think solely of our own behavior as if it existed in a vacuum. since that's impossible, the entire exercise of talking to penny-arcade style shitcock internet denizens becomes the status quo. but god damn if you don't want to point out shit-cockery when you see it, and let the status quo be damned.
posted by shmegegge at 12:21 AM on May 16, 2007


When the namecalling starts by the fifth post, how do you expect him to react? Just speaking in terms of human psychology: if the intention is indeed contrition and behavior modification and not defensiveness and righteous indignation here from the guilty party, then maybe such harshness isn't the way to go. In fact, maybe it's the exact wrong way to go.

Absolutely agree, however the wording of the post really did act as a guideline for the responses it wanted to have:

"[NewsFilter] Jerry Falwell was found unconscious in his office today and has since died. Exactly what did they mean by "heart challenges" ?"

Unfortunately it reads like a FARK submission, and ugly human nature reared its head all throughout the thread. Sure I didn't like the guy's actions or methods one bit either, but death should never be celebrated that way....its dehumanizing, and not just against the person its intended for. In other words, if some threads lately read like they should be relegated to a men's locker room, a highschool one at that...this one would be a top pick.

Scblackman, don't take the backlash here too personally...we all make mistakes. From the wording of your FPP and then your post here I see you had one of those "uh what have I done?" moments, awakening the sleeping FARK dragon that lives in Mefi. Take heed! :P
posted by samsara at 6:03 AM on May 16, 2007


Honest to god, if one simply skimmed perhaps three blogs a day, they'd discover for themselves 80% of the links posted to MeFi.

And if mefi is one of 'em, it jumps up to 100%!
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:14 AM on May 16, 2007


"Frankly, I think that's a lot more shameful than the horrors of having an itchy trigger finger."

Y'know, I just don't understand how ridiculing someone for being dumb and breaking community norms, especially when that's posting crap and arguing some sort of lowest-common-denominator mob defense, is worse than, you know, being dumb and breaking community norms.

You can argue that by being mean we're hurting the community, and people like your parents won't join and participate, lest their feelings be hurt by internet thugs. But the simple answer is that scblackman's got a prediliction toward newsfilter (which he generally does much better), and this was an idiotic post that probably harmed the goals of reasoned discourse more than calling it an idiotic post ever will.

And if your parents started playing dhoyt around here, I'd call 'em out without remorse. The defense against that is lurking long enough to figure out what the community norms are. If they can't do that, no matter how "adorable" their bumbling, chastising them is acceptable and in the community interest.

As to self-righteousness, well, you'll last here a lot longer if you have a sense of humor when you get called out for doing stupid shit, since it's pretty well inevitable. That's another community norm that can be picked up by lurking and reading the history of MeFi/MeTa.
posted by klangklangston at 6:56 AM on May 16, 2007


Y'know, I just don't understand how ridiculing someone for being dumb and breaking community norms, especially when that's posting crap and arguing some sort of lowest-common-denominator mob defense, is worse than, you know, being dumb and breaking community norms.

Because I don't think ridicule and mockery serve the function you seem to be claiming it serves, or if it does, I think that other methods would be more effective and more beneficial to the community. What's wrong with just kindly, but, you know, firmly, correcting people when they make a mistake?

In other words, you've created a false dichotomy: having unbridled idiotic posts, or controlling idiotic posts by being a jerk to the posters of idiotic posts. But those aren't the only options, nor are they ideal, in my opinion.

You'll hear no argument from me about lurking before posting (I lurked for years before posting so that I'd be sure to get it right, and I still make stupid mistakes.) but I don't think that's necessarily intuitive and/or the first inclination of everyone who comes here. Stupid mistakes on the part of newcomers or even old-timers are inevitable - being a jerk in response is, I'd hope, not.
posted by granted at 4:36 PM on May 16, 2007


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