A hiatus isn't a moratorium, but it'd be nice. August 3, 2007 6:43 AM   Subscribe

Suggestion to reduce complaint-filter: a MeTa queue similar to anonymous AskMe. If a complaint can be handled by an admin one-on-one, the admin can deny the requested post and take the conversation to e-mail. If it's a meetup request or a policy issue that seems worthy of discussion, the admin can approve it and let everyone chime in.
posted by anotherpanacea to Feature Requests at 6:43 AM (137 comments total)

From what I can tell, the new administrative regime doesn't need as much input from the community, and the shear strain of reading and replying to the asinine or irrelevant complaints isn't worth the effort. Specifically, it doesn't seem that our collective involvement often changes a ruling, or that the complainers are actually benefiting from the communal instruction.

At the same time, more posters seems to be savvy to the ridiculousness of flaming out. I'm not saying we don't need a release valve for idiocy, but just that we don't need to leave the valve open wide all day and night. I'd like to ask the admins to choke some of the more unnecessary MeTa complaints in the bud. I think they'll have less work that way, and we'll have a nicer community. It's win-win.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:43 AM on August 3, 2007


Sounds like cortex is considered a "regime." Go cortex!!!!!

Maybe not a bad idea, but it may result in more work for the admins, not less.

But, dang, don't deny us the possibility, however slim, of witnessing a flameout.
posted by The Deej at 6:49 AM on August 3, 2007


Might it be worth making the Contact link (in tiny letters at the bottom of the page) a lot more prominent, maybe with a bit more explanatory text? It's already got a fill-in form, so it's more free-format than the flag categories, and might eliminate more of the MeTa complaint threads.
posted by hangashore at 6:52 AM on August 3, 2007


I think this is a fantastic idea.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:54 AM on August 3, 2007


We've been talking about the pros and cons of doing something like that, actually—Matt brought it up a few days ago in email as a reaction to the last couple weeks. It'd be kind of a big change to Metatalk, which is not something I'm all that hot on both because it'd feel a little counter to the spirit of the grey and because at that it may create meta-metatalk work (and heat) for us. But it would be a damned effective way to raise the bar on this stuff, it's true.

I personally hope that something less fundamental could help out, like a blinking-text "hey!" message on the post-to-metatalk page that asks the user to really consider if this is something that doesn't make sense as email first.

For what it's worth, I've gotten a few emails in the last few days that could have been metatalk threads but weren't, and I'm pretty thankful for that—it takes less time, the response is more personal, and in general the mood is a lot better on both ends after the exchange than a thread here usually is.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:57 AM on August 3, 2007


Okay, on the post a MeTa thread page there's already a pointer to the Contact page. Still might be worth putting it in BIG FLASHING LETTERS to head off (some of?) the asshattery.
posted by hangashore at 6:57 AM on August 3, 2007


Eponysterical.
posted by Plutor at 6:58 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I personally hope that something less fundamental could help out, like a blinking-text "hey!" message on the post-to-metatalk page that asks the user to really consider if this is something that doesn't make sense as email first.

I really agree with this, as I think that people are so het up when they're posting here that they genuinely forget this is an option. Once their post is up, of course, then they feel the need to defend having made it, but I bet many people wind up thinking, "Shit, why didn't I just email?"
posted by hermitosis at 7:00 AM on August 3, 2007


I guess it would be too complicated to program a cool down period?

For instance, if a FPP, AskMe, or Random Comment is deleted, then there would be an automatic 24-72 hour waiting period before the poster could shoot-off about what an egregious abuse of power and what poor judgment it was for their words to be deleted.
posted by MasonDixon at 7:24 AM on August 3, 2007


A 24-72 hour period before they could moan in MeTa I mean.
posted by MasonDixon at 7:25 AM on August 3, 2007


We have a lot of savvy technical folk here. It would be really nice if someone could write a script that makes a hand leap out from the screen and grab the poster by the throat whilest a Sergeant - Major type screams "Listen up fuckwit...is this all about you still? Do we need any more crap round here from shrill little whiners like you." and then slaps the idiot round the ears a couple of times. I think this would probably work really well.
posted by adamvasco at 7:26 AM on August 3, 2007 [3 favorites]


Complaint about increasing SuggestionFilter:

What else can be done about this perceived problem—perhaps not to eradicate it, perhaps only to ease it—that doesn't involve fundamentally altering the way MetaTalk works?
posted by carsonb at 7:29 AM on August 3, 2007


I think that anotherpanacea's suggestion is a very good idea.
posted by ND¢ at 7:30 AM on August 3, 2007


I've always thought the site would greatly benefit by replacing all of metatalk with a contact form, even though my interest and usage in the site would probably wane. (Maybe for that reason alone, it's worth doing.)
posted by Dave Faris at 7:45 AM on August 3, 2007


i think it's funny how complaining is some kind of site-polluting whining but complaining about complaining isn't

the more petty/ridiculous complaints can always go unanswered, you know

what i'm seeing here is one group of posters here trying to shut up those who dissent ... seeing as mockery and encouragements to flameout didn't seem to work, now they're trying to shut them down altogether

the unexpected consequence will be that the crap will just end up in the blue and the green and the admins will have to do more work, not less

those of you who consider some of this stuff tiresome might just skip over it you know ...

or is that you can't stand it when people who have different views on this place express themselves and you want them permanently shut up?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:01 AM on August 3, 2007 [5 favorites]


good idea.

90% of meta posts don't need any input from other users.

hell, as long as i'm making up statistics, let's say 99%.

ninety nine point nine!

my guess, however, is that posts that would normally go in meta would start appearing somewhere else (and it's doubtful that 'else' would be someone's own fuckwit blog).
posted by fishfucker at 8:03 AM on August 3, 2007


or is that you can't stand it when people who have different views on this place express themselves and you want them permanently shut up?

I don't think anybody wants anyone permanently shut up. What a terrible thing to pin on someone else. Have a little faith, man.
posted by carsonb at 8:04 AM on August 3, 2007


Doesn't this make it so that any callouts that make it past the mods turn into "mod sanctioned hits" on the user in question, drastically increasing people's courage to pile on the poor fucker in the callout? There are a lot of people who would be emboldened to take shots at other members if they thought that they had Matt's blessing to do it.
posted by popechunk at 8:06 AM on August 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


I like cortex's blinking-text suggestion, along with his explanation that it's more effective and leaves everyone happier, because I think that a.p.'s suggestion is too much of a burden for the admins.
posted by ibmcginty at 8:07 AM on August 3, 2007


what i'm seeing here is one group of posters here trying to shut up those who dissent

He's on to us! Silence the interloper!
posted by ND¢ at 8:12 AM on August 3, 2007


I agree with the more explanation on the metatalk posting page. I posted about a small bug once and I now think that I could have e-mailed that instead. Back then I thought e-mailing was just for the really urgent things and that the preferred way to mention these things was metatalk.
posted by davar at 8:14 AM on August 3, 2007


or is that you can't stand it when people who have different views on this place express themselves and you want them permanently shut up?

I'll admit it. I am utterly in favor of those who promote the Lohanification of FPPs and those who come to MeTa to whinge about why their pet FPP, AskMe or Comment was deleted, permanently shutting up.

They should be guillotined to the applause of onlookers. Let the Reign of Terror begin!
posted by MasonDixon at 8:21 AM on August 3, 2007


Still might be worth putting it in BIG FLASHING LETTERS to head off (some of?) the asshattery.

Also, add a required checkbox to confirm the poster has listened to this.
posted by scottreynen at 8:24 AM on August 3, 2007


Doesn't this make it so that any callouts that make it past the mods turn into "mod sanctioned hits" on the user in question, drastically increasing people's courage to pile on the poor fucker in the callout?

Boy, that would be a change from the status quo. Oh, wait...
posted by y2karl at 8:25 AM on August 3, 2007


I think the idea from the original post is interesting, but as has been pointed out, does have some flaws. It did make me think, though, that there might be another way of going about it:

What if, instead of mods being required to give the OK to a Meta thread, the thread went into a queue and, if it wasn't removed (due to being inappropriate) within X hours, it would get posted? I'm imagining having X set to something low like 2 or 4.

Obviously this would mean that all Meta threads would be delayed, and it's not a perfect solution, since the mods aren't necessarily watching 24/7. It would mean, though, that there'd be a pretty good chance of mods catching threads that should really be handled privately in email before they had a chance to turn into public flameouts.

Hell, add in the ability of the person who submitted the Meta to retract it prior to it being actually posted, and maybe you'd get people self-policing (e.g. realizing it was a bad idea and killing it, after having some time to cool off)

Just a thought. Imperfect, but it removes the implicit moderator approval of stuff that reaches Meta that the original idea had, doesn't necessarily even do anything differently from now if no mods are around, but puts a little bit of a window into place in which catastrophes might be averted.
posted by tocts at 8:27 AM on August 3, 2007


I support any justification for bringing back blinking text.
posted by The Deej at 8:28 AM on August 3, 2007


I don't know if this is a good idea or a bad one, but I do know that no amount of big flashing letters are going to stop anyone who wants to get into MetaTalk and start shouting about how upset they are. Even if we put a note on the posting page saying "are you just complaining about a deletion? Just email the admins instead." you'd still get people coming in here, but instead they'd try the old tactic of "I'm not complaining, I'm just asking for honest clarification, because that's not how I thought this works blahblahblah" when in fact they're just complaining.
posted by shmegegge at 8:29 AM on August 3, 2007


Community involvement in defining MetaFilter is fundamental.

We've been talking about the pros and cons of doing something like that, actually

That would be the final nail in the coffin of 'self-policing', I think. And, it would remove the communities voice from the evolving site guidelines.

the more petty/ridiculous complaints can always go unanswered, you know

Indeed! By everyone. Surely silence will be very informative..
posted by Chuckles at 8:30 AM on August 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


Expending the extra admin energies on closing the more useless Meta threads earlier would be my preferred option. And add the blinky text*.
posted by peacay at 8:31 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd really like most things to be in Meta only because

1. email takes more time than MeTa, to me, and can go on longer and is generally between only one mod and one user
2. I think the community input is really important, if sometimes snarky. It's one thing to say "jessamyn and cortex disagree with me" it's entirely another to say "23 people in MeTa disagree with me"
3. sometimes policy decisions or shifts come out of these discussions and it's worth having them visible and open

Maybe we should just be more aggressive in closing threads in MeTa that really don't require discussion [fixing stuff, simple mod questions, "where is this?" sort of things] so they don't turn into de facto discussions, etc. Otherwise I think amending the MeTa posting page is a decent idea.

What I think has happened lately is that the dynamic of the site has shifted somewhat. pb and mathowie have been working on a lot of different site tools (and the travel site) and so mathowie has been less of a regular presence on MeTa. Even though cortex and I have admin tools, I think people still think of the site as "mathowie's site" as they probably should and yet he's not coming into every MeTa thread with The Last Word on the subject as much as he did. cortex and I don't have the same sort of authority to give the last word on anything, at least not to everyone. Plus people feel more okay calling us out or calling us names than they would with mathowie. I personally find this a bit dispiriting, but there's a sense that it comes with the territory/job. Apologies do come in over email, which is a curious side effect of public MeTa stuff.

I think sometimes continual MeTa discussions without mathowie pronouncements makes topics seem unfinished or possibly up in the air and so people keep scrapping as if some of these things were more open questions than they perhaps are. Add to that the fact that there's an election visible on the horizon and people have their This Is Important concerns going as well.

I'll look into some sort of dancing santa something on the Meta posting page, maybe we can head off a few more complaints and concerns.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:32 AM on August 3, 2007 [5 favorites]


Obviously this would mean that all Meta threads would be delayed

What about just automatically delaying all MeTa threads for two hours without any moderation? That might discourage impulse posting.
posted by scottreynen at 8:35 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


> We've been talking about the pros and cons of doing something like that, actually

That would be the final nail in the coffin of 'self-policing', I think. And, it would remove the communities voice from the evolving site guidelines.


I don't much disagree, which is why I've been arguing mostly the cons—to be clear, #1 is the one who suggested the idea, so don't mistake this as some new-kids initiative. We've been discussing it, not lobbying for it. See also what Jess just said.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:36 AM on August 3, 2007


A clever twist would be to have all the posts go to MetaTalk immediately, but not open up comments until the admin allows it.
posted by smackfu at 8:45 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


jessamyn's comment above gives me faith that MetaFilter will carry on being an the most excellent place on the Internet. Transparency is important. Community input is what makes this place what it is.

MetaTalk is my neighborhood, why you want to be pushing me out onto the streets?
posted by Meatbomb at 8:48 AM on August 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Eh, just allow everyone -- including the submitter -- only have one comment per Meta FPP. Say yer peace and hit da road.

this is my one
posted by davejay at 8:49 AM on August 3, 2007


This would be a fundamental change to how Meta works. Matt used to get a lot of heat for deleting Meta threads, justifiably IMO. If Meta goes this way the queue should at minimum be viewable to members. Otherwise there would be an icky feel of secret courts. On preview second smackfu.
posted by Mitheral at 8:53 AM on August 3, 2007


yet he's not coming into every MeTa thread with The Last Word on the subject

This gets into a tricky area. Should Matt open a thread saying "Cortex and Jess" have final say when I'm away? Then that still undermines ya'lls authority, you know. Do people really need Matt to weigh in on everything? In the real world, no, but of course some will still say/think "You're not Matt, so I'm taking this up with him!"

Some of it is also Cortex being the new admin, so people think (sometimes right, many times wrong) that he nees to be schooled before he gets wildly outta control with his delusions of power and contorl. Watch your back Jessamyn!


But really most of it is due to people being asshats (and I say that having through up a few Metas that in retrospect didn't need to go up). People don't like being told what to do or not do or have their VERY IMPORTANT comment/post deleted. Things would be much better if people can relax a bit more and realize it's just a website and pretty much anything that they get deleted can be resubmitted. Or perhaps the only real solution is Thunderdome.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:55 AM on August 3, 2007


How about you just let folks flag MeTa posts, instead of just comments? After you see enough flags, delete away. There are enough folks here who will flag the kinds of posts we're talking about, and in a quick enough timeframe that it will be gone before the real pile on begins.
posted by poppo at 8:56 AM on August 3, 2007


Maybe we should just be more aggressive in closing threads in MeTa that really don't require discussion [fixing stuff, simple mod questions, "where is this?" sort of things] so they don't turn into de facto discussions, etc.

Also I think it might be a deterrent if errant MeTa posts were not only closed but deleted like in the Blue/Green. I've never comprehended the reasoning behind closing a relatively silly MeTa thread and letting it linger on the display for days on end, especially in the instance of erroneous complaints, doubles or those who accidentally posted a question outside the green.

This doesn't really apply to your examples, just something I've considered in the past WRT threads that are closed within 5 minutes and two comments.

Although it appears mathowie used to catch a lot of flak for this, I'm not sure posterity would value the skeletal remains as much as some would imagine.

Eh, just allow everyone -- including the submitter -- only have one comment per Meta FPP.

I think this isn't a horrible idea either, it would force people to evaluate the core factors of their position and condense them into a solid statement instead of lingering around taking potshots at every fifth comment like they're some ringleader and the more they crack their whip and swing their chair the tamer we will all become.

Tangentially, it is my opinion that anyone who has a comment deleted from any thread should no longer be allowed to participate in said thread, an "instance based" timeout if you will. Admins would have a better perspective on this but it seems that quite frequently the berated individual will come back from the dead seething with rage and a newfound desire to repeat their transgression in even more colorful language. If they don't get their way then they either start a MeTa thread or someone starts one about their behavior and the cycle starts anew...
posted by prostyle at 8:57 AM on August 3, 2007


I don't know why the presumption is that mods should have to answer all questions or participate in all threads. When mathowie was alone, I don't recall him participating in every (or even most) metatalk threads. Veteran users can answer many of the routine questions that arise, and other matters can just be discussions. Perhaps mods should be more sparing and selective about your participation. I think you - cortex and jessamyn - both strive to be more transparent and go to extraordinary lengths to explain yourselves. I don't think you need to feel you must do that. Put a note on the posting page that "Mods may or may not participate in this thread. If you expect a reply, try email first."

I would be OK with this suggestion being implemented for all the "why was my post / comment deleted" matters. Say that these queries must be mailed to mods first. If any get posted, delete them.

Even though I have rarely done it, I would hate to lose the ability to directly raise an issue in metatalk. It's a mefi tradition. Changing it seems to go against the most excellent "I trust you" philosophy mathowie wrote, which I love. if we are no longer trustworthy, that makes me very sad about where we are going.
posted by madamjujujive at 8:58 AM on August 3, 2007 [7 favorites]


Jessamyn's second point above is, I think, very important here. Asshats People who post ill-advised complaints are probably only going to feel further put-upon and discriminated against if all they get is a thumbs-down e-mail from an admin, whereas a public drubbing by one's peers, as unsalutary a spectacle as that may be, will do more to make it clear that they've transgressed broadly-held community norms, not just an admin's personal taste or judgment.

(Plus, "unsalutary" notwithstanding, I must confess I'm as big a fan of MeTa soap opera as anyone, and would be a bit sad if this place went totally and unrelievedly sensible.)
posted by Kat Allison at 9:01 AM on August 3, 2007


I hear what jessamyn is saying, but unless someone is specifically asking for clarification from me directly, whenever I drop in to say something it often feels like it elicits even more questions and responses and threads continue on their merry way anyway. I've been pretty clear in the past that tending MetaTalk threads is a huge timesuck for me. If I say something definitive in a post here, it means I have to follow up to dispel any additional confusion and answer new questions and I can literally spend 6-8 hours of a day just rechecking on a dozen metatalk threads, reloading them one after another all day until everyone is satisfied.

I actually tapped cortex to help out here when I found myself at wits end trying to answer questions and make clarifications all day. I noticed he was always answering things in a clearer way that I was and he wasn't sounding frustrated like I was.

I think the system as it is mostly works, it's just that lately instead of the one lamish "zomg my unique snowflake comment was deleted! blood shall run in the streets!!!" post a day, we seemed to be getting 5 or 6 posts a day describing some injustice or wondering if we have too many posts about X or proposing some new rule and those threads go on and on, the lamer they are, the most comments they get. I'll open metatalk and see something an hour old asking a question I can answer but there are already 114 comments and I know few people will see anything I have to say. Part of the idea for a queue is that we could answer them right away as we approve them.

Anyway, everything happens in cycles here and I suppose late summer frustration with the heat and having to be at work instead of vacationing is pulling metatalk into a low point of the quality cycle. I'm sure in a couple weeks we'll have less screeching and more helpful meetup and ideas threads.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:04 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


.Also I think it might be a deterrent if errant MeTa posts were not only closed but deleted like in the Blue/Green. I've never comprehended the reasoning behind closing a relatively silly MeTa thread and letting it linger on the display for days on end, especially in the instance of erroneous complaints, doubles or those who accidentally posted a question outside the green.

There's a tech hiccup there, for the time being at least—stuff on the blue, green, etc gets deleted in the sense of reduced/removed public visibility, but stuff in Metatalk specifically actually just disappears. Even admins can't, as I understand it, view a nuked meta thread or comment. So frequent deletion would involve a bit more destruction here than elsewhere. Whether and how much that matters to most folks, I don't know, but my archivist instincts hate it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:05 AM on August 3, 2007


Say that these queries must be mailed to mods first. If any get posted, delete them.

We have to be super careful about deleting questions about why things are deleted, it gives off the air of dictatorship/censorship.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:06 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eh, just allow everyone -- including the submitter -- only have one comment per Meta FPP.

that's not going to create a very good discussion for the purpose of negotiating or thinking things through, which does happen from time to time here

and although it would prevent the kind of ugly pileons we often have here it would also prevent some of the weird and wonderful digressions that pop up frequently

besides, you can't overthink a plate of beans with one fork swoop
posted by pyramid termite at 9:08 AM on August 3, 2007


I think people still think of the site as "mathowie's site" as they probably should and yet he's not coming into every MeTa thread with The Last Word on the subject as much as he did.

Yes.. The "mathowie's site" vs. "community site" debate is ancient. And, the "jessamyn and/or cortex sucks" content does seem to have increased recently, which is really ugly.
...

I don't know.. I don't even know which complaints are being complained about. Some users don't realize MetaFilter isn't a deals site.. Well, the "we've got cameras" thing shows how non-obvious that is, even though most know it isn't appropriate anymore, and shouldn't be. Ambrosia Voyeur wanted to discipline AskMe a little, which is pretty standard self-policing - the particular comments called out were also pretty standard "flag and move on", of course. jessamyn's post was a little unusual, so a discussion of it isn't that surprising. You could think of it as unfortunate that a callout was necessary, but shunting the debate out of the thread and into MetaTalk has always been a primary function of MetaTalk..

Anyway, I don't mean to sound hyperbolic about the "this will end MetaFilter" stuff. On the other hand, it seems to me that people trying to end discussion in MetaTalk (or limit it, even) just don't grok the MeFi.
posted by Chuckles at 9:09 AM on August 3, 2007


Suggested revised sentence for MeTa post page:

Hey!
MetaTalk is a forum for discussing MetaFilter-related issues of interest to the community. Questions or complaints about a specific post, question, or comment (or the deletion thereof) are best addressed by contacting mathowie or jessamyn directly, or using the contact form.
posted by googly at 9:12 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm sure in a couple weeks we'll have less screeching and more helpful meetup and ideas threads.
posted by mathowie at 12:04 PM on August 3 [+] [!]


Not if we have anything to say about it!
posted by shmegegge at 9:14 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Prediction: MeTa will be closed or posting will be severely restricted, possibly requiring admin approval a la AnonyAskMe, by the end of this year.
posted by Alvy Ampersand on July 5

Prediction: This year, the world will be shamed to learn the warren of rabbits believed to reside in Alvy Ampersand's vagina was really just a little scritchy sand.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur on July 5


Who's got sand in their vagina now, jerkass?!?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:15 AM on August 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


Who's got sand in their vagina now, jerkass?!?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:15 PM on August 3 [+] [!]


Well, at least you're taking it well.
posted by shmegegge at 9:17 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's not a bad revision, googly.

I think one of the things that happens is something mathowie just referred to, that even Meta threads that are nominally for shunting off discussion from toxic AskMe or MeFi threads, there seem to be, to my mind, more direct mod questions. My guess is this is because cortex and I are really Chatty Cathys on a lot of topic and love to answer questions, to a point.

As a result, threads that might normally have mathowie or I replying once or twice now turn into these long back and forth discussions where people who are (usually) upset about something will ask more questions after each reply directly to one of the mods. These take community discussions and turn them into "grill the mods" sessions with the resultant pissed-offedness and "ZOMG you said something that directly contradicts somethign that you said in 2004?!!?" Those sorts of discussions to my mind are directly antithetical to the idea of community policing -- continual referring to authorities instead of trying to work out some of this more social politics stuff between members -- and probably not helpful to the overall site and a timesuck for whoever gets repeatedly questioned.

To that end, cortex and I may need to find our stride better in the "how much replying is too much replying" spectrum, we probably both overshare a little as it is.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:18 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Of course I agree with what pyramid termite said.

I'm glad "dissidents" don't have to agree with each other on very much except the value of not forcing everything into one narrow channel of orthodoxy.
posted by davy at 9:21 AM on August 3, 2007


I think Jessamyn has hit the nail on the head; Dad's gone, and a lot of people feel as if they don't have to listen to our collective older siblings. To extend the metaphor in a really awkward way


Just glancing at the MeTa post page, I think it could be changed in a few ways:
1. Add Cortex as a contact for immediate problems.
2. Instead of four bullets (which appear to the eye to have equal importance), set the top one apart and maybe expand on it more: "For immediate, specific, and personal problems, such as questions about deletion or bugs, please use this contact form. For issues that involve the entire community, such as suggestions for the site or meetups, use MeTa." Or whatever direction you guys want to take it.

It seems like a lot of the MeTa shitstorm lately has been people whining about "why was my post/comment deleted, Jess and Cortex suck." Of course, the front page of MeTa right now is full of threads that don't fit into this category, but I think that's where a lot of the noise has been lately.

I think this, and aggressively pruning threads (closing them with a "here's an answer, you should e-mail us if you have any questions") could at least start to change the culture. I don't think this should happen for all threads - I'm as big a fan of flameouts as any - but people seem to use MeTa as their "the admins suck" soapbox without actually having to write to them personally. It seems like Cortex, Jess, and the All Father are getting dehumanized in the process.
posted by dismas at 9:22 AM on August 3, 2007


On non-preview: I like Googly's revision.
posted by dismas at 9:23 AM on August 3, 2007


"We have to be super careful about deleting questions about why things are deleted, it gives off the air of dictatorship/censorship."

This is one reason Metafilter doesn't totally suck, and why calling Jessamyn "Stasi" was a humongously over the top.
posted by davy at 9:23 AM on August 3, 2007


Googly's revision left out cortex. Was there a reason for that?

And to reply to "a public drubbing by one's peers, as unsalutary a spectacle as that may be, will do more to make it clear that they've transgressed broadly-held community norms":

Gawd fuhbid I should ever run afoul of a piranha horde that's free of sin!
posted by davy at 9:28 AM on August 3, 2007


Just make the AxMe posting limit site wide. One post per week to ANY of the subsites. No more. No Less. Keep you pants on.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:31 AM on August 3, 2007


"How about you just let folks flag MeTa posts, instead of just comments? After you see enough flags, delete away. There are enough folks here who will flag the kinds of posts we're talking about, and in a quick enough timeframe that it will be gone before the real pile on begins."

Yeah right, let the Sinless Piranhas silence dissent before most people even see it.
posted by davy at 9:32 AM on August 3, 2007


This may be complicated but:
I think the automatic post delay to the general public is a good idea, with modification.
1. The posts wouldn't get nuked in delay time, except for serious circumstances,
2. Admins and the original poster would have first right of comments and possible closure before it hits the main page. So, if someone asks what does "." mean? (or some such) cortex could pop in say, "." means blah blah blah, look at the FAQ, then close the thread. As it is when one of those questions pop up you get excruciatingly long threads about people groaning and moaning that they have to deal with this all the time and what a fuck head this person is for asking it.
3. The post can be immediately approved for the main page if an Admin has the time and/or feels it should be (meetup announcements and suchlike)
4. The poster can nuke the thread before it goes public

The way I see it this could act as a pseudo email option. If an admin can resolve the issue to mutual satisfaction then it need never see the light of day. But, if it is something that is directed towards the community, or something that may need wider discussion then it will devolve to that state automatically.
posted by edgeways at 9:39 AM on August 3, 2007


Googly's revision left out cortex. Was there a reason for that?

He's not in the revision because his contact info isn't on the post page now.
posted by googly at 9:45 AM on August 3, 2007


I think MetaTalk posts should be submitted with MetaTalk Post Requisition Form 1001-A, "Application for the Public Airing of Grievances Against Another User"

Date:
Your username:
Which user(s) are you are complaining about?

(If you are not complaining about another user, you are using the incorrect form)

Posts/comments that you object to:
Describe qualitatively how angry you are because of these posts:
How long have they made made you angry?
Since this started making you angry, have you stepped away from the computer?

Describe, in detail, exactly why these posts make you so angry.

Ideally, how would your grievances be handled? What you like to see happen to the other user(s)?

Finally, how will this MetaTalk post right these wrongs? Describe what you think will happen after this is posted to MetaTalk:
posted by milkrate at 9:48 AM on August 3, 2007 [5 favorites]


zomg, if we have no "what does "." mean" threads, how will we totally humiliate and subsequently forgive and embrace new members? It's a rite of passage.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:53 AM on August 3, 2007


I think
Describe, in detail, one aspect of nature visible from the nearest window.
should be in there somewhere.
posted by carsonb at 10:02 AM on August 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


MetaTalk: Who's got sand in their vagina now, jerkass?!?
posted by klangklangston at 10:27 AM on August 3, 2007


I love the idea of a queue, but that's because -- unlike most here -- I'd rather MeFi was strongly moderated by a small group than by the masses (I'm pro dictatorship and anti democracy).

But I see a problem. If people are angry when then post to MeTa, and if they know that their angry comment won't show up for a while or might not show up at all, won't they just bypass MeTa and pollute the original thread with their callouts and flames?

Imagine if you read something that deeply offended you -- something racist or whatever -- and you knew that your MeTa callout might never appear?

Also, if this was put into place, then there would need to be some kind of mark in the original thread, so that people could see that it had been MeTa'd. Otherwise, the same thread might generate tons of duplicate, queued callouts.
posted by grumblebee at 10:31 AM on August 3, 2007


Way to hold a grudge, Alvy! I wonder where you've stashed that irritation all this time...
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:44 AM on August 3, 2007 [2 favorites]


I would be happy to see more MeTa threads closed if they were accompanied by the jovial and germane explanations for which cortex is so renowned. I think that such church-door style notification is the best way to deploy new rule enforcement in the community and teach us compliance. Deletion or quarantine to the private space of email, not so much. Of course, if my typically daffy but communally focused MeTa posts are seen as part of the problem, I'll take my whuppin' now.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:51 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk is my favorite dive bar. Please let's not gentrify the place.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:56 AM on August 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


carsonb writes "Describe, in detail, one aspect of nature visible from the nearest window."

Wait, is this something you'd need a big blue room for?
posted by Mitheral at 10:58 AM on August 3, 2007


Why was my lol-cat post deleted? comes to mind. Can we just make everyone click through that comic?
posted by anthill at 10:58 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Why not expand the posting window too? To a week?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:00 AM on August 3, 2007


Describe, in detail, one aspect of nature visible from the nearest posting window.

The air above the parking lot is saturated like an old sponge, and smells about the same. As if the rain were waiting for Someone In Authority to come along and give it a good squeeze, wringing the gloom from the morning.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:07 AM on August 3, 2007


Why not expand the posting window too? To a week?

Because it's different people doing the same bad thing, not one person doing it.
posted by smackfu at 11:28 AM on August 3, 2007


Who's got sand in their vagina now, jerkass?!?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:15 AM on August 3 [+] [!]


Wow, do we have a new random comment generator now, too? Thanks, Matt! I love the new surreality.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:30 AM on August 3, 2007


Describe, in detail, one aspect of nature visible from the nearest window.

The sky is the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.
posted by kindall at 11:34 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


Suppose you're overthinkin' a plate o'beans. Suddenly someone'll say, like Hitler, or Nazis, or Nietzsche had syphilis out of the blue, no explanation.

And then sometimes IRFH'll pop out with "MetaTalk is my favorite dive bar. Please let's not gentrify the place." And the wind screams "Mary!"
posted by davy at 11:39 AM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


smackfu: reducing the allowed frequency of MeTa posts doesn't effect their content, of course, but this place needs some general belt-tightening and long sober looks in the mirror, and I think reducing posting opportunities is a good holistic way to encourage emails.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:57 AM on August 3, 2007


Way to hold a grudge, Alvy! I wonder where you've stashed that irritation all this time...

After I shook out the sand and the rabbits clawed their way to freedom, I-I just, I just felt so empty...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:59 AM on August 3, 2007


MetaTalk is my favorite dive bar.

Anyone else read that as "my favorite diva bar"?
posted by hangashore at 12:07 PM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


MetaTalk is my favorite dive bar. Please let's not gentrify the place.

::Pictures IRFH in a cowboy hat.::

::Keithrolls MeTa::
posted by kosem at 12:32 PM on August 3, 2007


I think the system as it is mostly works, it's just that lately instead of the one lamish "zomg my unique snowflake comment was deleted! blood shall run in the streets!!!" post a day, we seemed to be getting 5 or 6 posts a day describing some injustice or wondering if we have too many posts about X or proposing some new rule and those threads go on and on, the lamer they are, the most comments they get.

This stuff feeds on itself in the most ridiculous way. We've pretty much got a "No 'why was I deleted?' questions" rule on our version of MetaTalk on Chowhound. Every once in awhile, we'll leave one up, instead of deleting it and emailing the poster, because the answer to the question is something we'd like everyone to read and be aware of. Immediately following that, there is always a sudden upswing in the number of 'why was I deleted?' questions on Site Talk. Especially if we, god forbid, respond to a second one.

I think Jessamyn and Cortex's active participation in MeTa, while useful and interesting, is precisely why MeTa sucks so much right now. It's a feedback loop. If you want MeTa to suck less, you have to shut down the loop some--delete more whiny and/or repetitive threads and answer them in email instead, or answer them tersely and close them. Sure, leave up the stuff that's a useful policy discussion, but kill the pile ons and the 'your deletion reason was mean! I want my thread back!' whininess.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:08 PM on August 3, 2007 [1 favorite]


I get the feeling all the superfluous bitching on the gray may indeed negatively impact the site because it perhaps primes both the mods to moderate a bit more aggressively and users to complain more often. It's a bad feedback loop. mjj's probably right that the mods should just simply ignore the more foolish complaints and not feel obligated to leap in the middle of every shitstorm on the gray. In the past couple of weeks out of a dozens of complaints I can only think of two or three that were of any merit.

Though personally I'm still all for randomly banning Metatalk posters.
posted by nixerman at 2:10 PM on August 3, 2007


our collective older siblings

Hmm... this makes me think of the Endless in the Sandman series. Does that mean mathowie=Destiny, jessamyn=Death, cortex=Dream? I predict the next mod will be male, and that sometime after the full complement of 7 mods is reached the 4th mod will abdicate his role.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:10 PM on August 3, 2007


MetaTalk is my favorite dive bar.

*collapses boozily next to juke box in leopard print tube top and pounds of eyeliner, dispenses appropriate but incomprehensible relationshipfilter advice to no one, tries to light cigartette with maraschino cherry stem*

MINE TOO hic
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:24 PM on August 3, 2007


grumblebee writes "I love the idea of a queue, but that's because -- unlike most here -- I'd rather MeFi was strongly moderated by a small group than by the masses (I'm pro dictatorship and anti democracy). "

I'll call and raise you. From what I've seen over the last...uh, 6 years or so, mathowie is way better at managing this place than we, the Metafilter Self-Police force. I'd be happy if he just shut the whole grey down. Sure, I'd miss some of the amusing flameouts, and you'd also have problems with getting fuckwits to avoid taking their grievances to the blue or green, but beyond that, I don't see any real drawbacks.
posted by Bugbread at 2:30 PM on August 3, 2007


As-long-as we're talking pie-in-the-sky, I'd like a system that allows flagging but not callouts. You flag a comment, the mods check it out, and if they agreed with the flag, they'd remove the offending item. In my clean, well-lit world, it would be taboo to chastise, mock, berate, flame, etc. If you did any of those things, you'd be considered worse than the person you were flaming. Your only recourse when you saw something offensive would be to flag (or take it offsite).

Of course, once you remove the group-policing, the mods would have a shit-load of extra work to do. I understand that this might not be desirable. I also understand that many people here enjoy a bit of conflict and find it entertaining. So they'd lose out, too. But I'D be having a good time. (And we all know who the world revolves around!)
posted by grumblebee at 3:23 PM on August 3, 2007


We've pretty much got a "No 'why was I deleted?' questions" rule on our version of MetaTalk on Chowhound.

You guys must spend as much time deleting these questions as you do deleting everything else you delete. The moderation on Chowhound makes Metafilter look like complete anarchy.
posted by Dave Faris at 3:25 PM on August 3, 2007


I will quote here the wise, wise words of a wise, wise person, from long (well, a few days) ago:

At some point, the "why" questions will all have be answered with "Because I said so. Now go to bed!"

Damn kids.
posted by The Deej at 9:44 AM on July 29

posted by The Deej at 3:29 PM on August 3, 2007


"Because I said so. Now go to bed!"

That doesn't work for adults, even if they are acting like children.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:54 PM on August 3, 2007


Okay, I've developed a highly technical solution for those of you who would rather see MetaTalk shut down:

1) You see that link to MetaTalk?
2) Don't click it.
3)...
4) Everybody profits!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:01 PM on August 3, 2007


Prolonged applause for IRFH.
posted by davy at 4:14 PM on August 3, 2007


In my clean, well-lit world, it would be taboo to chastise, mock, berate, flame, etc.

Suck all the joy and meaning out of my life, why don't you.
posted by madamjujujive at 5:20 PM on August 3, 2007


you'd also have problems with getting fuckwits to avoid taking their grievances to the blue or green, but beyond that, I don't see any real drawbacks.
Except where would admins tell people to take "it" then?
posted by bonaldi at 5:20 PM on August 3, 2007


Up the ass?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:21 PM on August 3, 2007


Prolonged applause for IRFH.

It has been estimated (and snopes confirms this is not an urban legend) that someone, somewhere in the world is always applauding for IRFH.

Or wait, it might have been "giving him the clap." I forget.
posted by The Deej at 5:23 PM on August 3, 2007


Not mutually exclusive.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:25 PM on August 3, 2007


Suck all the joy and meaning out of my life, why don't you.

If I can suck a little joy and meaning out of someone's life each day, I sleep better at night.
posted by grumblebee at 5:26 PM on August 3, 2007


"... I ... suck."

posted by grumblebee at 6:26 PM on August 3 [+] [!]


:)
posted by mr_crash_davis at 5:37 PM on August 3, 2007


More important: I swallow.
posted by grumblebee at 5:47 PM on August 3, 2007


I think Jessamyn and Cortex's active participation in MeTa, while useful and interesting, is precisely why MeTa sucks so much right now. It's a feedback loop. If you want MeTa to suck less, you have to shut down the loop some--delete more whiny and/or repetitive threads and answer them in email instead, or answer them tersely and close them.

I think to some extent you're right, but I come at it from a different direction. jessamyn and cortex are a little too willing to be nice, I think, and pat every 'why haz I bene dealeted?' whiner on the head with lengthy, gentle explanations, every damn time.

Better would just to drop a link to a nice long explanation of how things work in general, with the standard anchor text 'Suck it up, deal with it and do better next time' or something of the kind.

No muss, no fuss, less mod work, and hopefully some of the unique-snowflakery will dry up and blow away.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:15 PM on August 3, 2007 [4 favorites]


Goddammit. 99 comments on this thread already. We don't need a queue on posts, we need a frikken queue on comments. Think about it.

Anyway, a few ideas. I think implementing some of these might be a good idea.

1) If the MeTa post points to a post on the green or blue that was deleted, queue it. All of the omgdeleted posts on the MeTa serve to drive traffic to a post that's supposed to be invisible. If they actually have something better than "Why was it deleted?" then the admin can approve it for display on MeTa.
2) I think it's time to really differentiate between meetups and other meta information. I remember a time, not too long ago, when no meetups were on the gray at all. Now they're there all the time. meetup.metafilter.com comes to mind.
3) So, what's left? metafilter can become something that's intricately linked to posts. See a post on the green that seems scary or dangerous? I little link at the bottom says, "If you have comments about this post, click here to make a MeTa post." Doing so creates the post -- and perhaps even the text of the post is a standard boilerplate: " had a problem with the content or discussion in the following post . Discussion and angry ranting goes here, not in the main post." And that's all. The post would automatically get a little "MeTa" link added (perhaps just below the tags?)
4) Other topics, like "I just had this cool idea about X" or "Dang it, what was that post on chess playing sharks again" get queued.

posted by Deathalicious at 6:23 PM on August 3, 2007


the empty spaces in my previous post were supposed to be <username> and <post title with link> respectively.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:24 PM on August 3, 2007


Oh yeah, and

5) Close threads after a few dozen comments unless they're brilliant. Close them right away if they're parroting something that was just said the other day (i.e. ModspiracyFilter)
posted by Deathalicious at 6:26 PM on August 3, 2007


Close threads after a few dozen comments unless they're brilliant.

Not that it'd actually happen, but do not do this, for the obvious reasons.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:44 PM on August 3, 2007


I vote for emo.metatalk.

I <3 irfh/small>
posted by lysdexic at 6:45 PM on August 3, 2007


aaaand I suck at typing today.
posted by lysdexic at 6:51 PM on August 3, 2007


"Dang it, what was that post on chess playing sharks again"

I missed that one! Link plz, Deathalicious.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:52 PM on August 3, 2007


Every day, in some new way, I fall for stavrosthewonderchicken a little more.
Less coddling for the people who should know better means a better resource for those who don't.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:24 PM on August 3, 2007


Deathalicious commented: "Goddammit. 99 comments on this thread already. We don't need a queue on posts, we need a frikken queue on comments...."
posted by davy at 8:35 PM on August 3, 2007


And then, oh lordy, added TWO MORE comments.
posted by davy at 8:36 PM on August 3, 2007


Plus people feel more okay calling us out or calling us names than they would with mathowie. I personally find this a bit dispiriting, but there's a sense that it comes with the territory/job.
posted by jessamyn at 11:32 AM

No it doesn't. They do it because it is allowed on this territory but it's not a necessary condition. Other communities have rules against calling admins names. Also I don't know of any professional sports where it is allowed to call out referees. There are reasons for this kind of rules, and authority is only one of them. A minimum of respect for the people who help manage the community is expected too.

How about you just let folks flag MeTa posts, instead of just comments? After you see enough flags, delete away. There are enough folks here who will flag the kinds of posts we're talking about, and in a quick enough timeframe that it will be gone before the real pile on begins.
posted by poppo at 11:56 AM

Good idea but a post might be flagged if a rule is broken. For the time being, there is no rule against calling out admins.

Put a note on the posting page that "Mods may or may not participate in this thread. If you expect a reply, try email first."
I would be OK with this suggestion being implemented for all the "why was my post / comment deleted" matters. Say that these queries must be mailed to mods first. If any get posted, delete them.
posted by madamjujujive at 11:58 AM

Agreed.

Those sorts of discussions to my mind are directly antithetical to the idea of community policing -- continual referring to authorities instead of trying to work out some of this more social politics stuff between members -
posted by jessamyn at 12:18 PM

Great definition of "community policing": trying to work out some of this more social politics stuff between members.
I think that this is what we are doing in this thread but, once it is worked out, something can be decided. It's almost a cliché to say that any system that can be gamed will be gamed. Several people seem to agree that MetaTalk is being gamed with unnecessary complaints, whines and insults. If these trolls were interested in answers, they would email an admin. By using MetaTalk, they are just trying to show that they are tough guys daring to defy authority. Stuck in adolescent patterns. Frankly, I don't care for this kind of attention whoring.
I don't see how it could hurt MetaTalk to have minimal rules of respect and politeness.
posted by bru at 8:56 PM on August 3, 2007


I would be OK with this suggestion being implemented for all the "why was my post / comment deleted" matters. Say that these queries must be mailed to mods first. If any get posted, delete them.

Yes. Yes. A thousand times yes.
posted by mediareport at 9:18 PM on August 3, 2007


We have to be super careful about deleting questions about why things are deleted, it gives off the air of dictatorship/censorship.

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:49 PM on August 3, 2007


bru: Having rules about respect and politeness towards administrators leads you down the road toward becoming SomethingAwful — where "Mod Sass" is a bannable offense. Hell, the goon-kings make most of their income from banning people ($10 per, if they come back).
posted by blasdelf at 11:24 PM on August 3, 2007


blasdelf: no, it doesn't. Nothing has to be "all or nothing". We already have rules not to attack people in comments:
Comments should not be directed at other members of the site -- remember to stick to the subject and issues raised by the post, not the person who made it or others that commented on it.
So we should not go after "other members" but going after the admins is okay? Why? First, they are members too; and second, they are members trusted by the owner for their knowledge in running a community.
This is basic: being an admin in a community is not that much different from being an editor at a magazine: your authority comes from your competence. Challenging an admin is telling that you have no respect for their competence. If you have no respect for the people who make the place what it is, what are you doing there?
posted by bru at 6:18 AM on August 4, 2007


I don't think the analogy works for you, bru - the best magazines have a "Letters to the Editor" section in which readers can criticize editorial decisions, correct mistakes of fact, etc.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:49 AM on August 4, 2007


Meatbomb: and who decides which of these letters are published, which ones are not and which ones are edited? When I was a magazine editor, the letters were part of my content. All magazines editors choose which letters are published and most of them state something like: "Letters to the editor can be edited for reasons of length or clarity."
posted by bru at 12:08 PM on August 4, 2007


I wrote a letter to the editor of the NY Times Magazine once which was the only redress they allowed me when they posted an image from my website without the proper attribution. I guess they assumed I'd just be so psyched to see my website URL in print I'd overlook the copyright violation. They printed my letter, sort of, but added how "thrilled" I was to see my images grace the pages of the NYT Magazine which is not at all what I said. They don't even edit for length or clarity, they just edit for the sheer "we don't think this letter sucks up enough" joy of it.

So, this is my way of saying that while I really dislike being called names in MetaTalk (or elsewhere really) I think it's preferable to having mechanisms in place that specifically prohibit this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:35 PM on August 4, 2007 [2 favorites]


Note: I don't mean that any web community should be run as a magazine. Members of the community are contributors and have more say about the content than in a magazine. But that doesn't give them the right to behave as spoiled brats.
posted by bru at 12:40 PM on August 4, 2007


Ditto jessamyn.
PS: congratulations on the no comment FPP deletion, haven't seen one of those before.
posted by Mitheral at 1:17 PM on August 4, 2007


I suggest only reading MetaTalk on weekends during the day. You don't get caught up in any pesky, contentious flamewars, and you can get up and go outside at any time. Try it, you'll like it! Hey Mikey!
posted by Roger Dodger at 1:58 PM on August 4, 2007


It's Raining Florence Henderson writes "Okay, I've developed a highly technical solution for those of you who would rather see MetaTalk shut down:

"1) You see that link to MetaTalk?
"2) Don't click it.
"3)...
"4) Everybody profits!"


True. When I said "I wouldn't mind MeTa being shut down", what I really meant was something more along the lines of "I wouldn't mind the ability to post to MeTa or comment on MeTa being shut down so only Mathowie, Jessamyn, or Cortex could post things."

The problem is, without MeTa there's no way to find out about the various interface changes mathowie makes, or additions like travel.metafilter.com, or the like.
posted by Bugbread at 5:40 PM on August 4, 2007


without MeTa there's no way to find out about ... additions like travel.metafilter.com

Well, even with MeTa it's hard to find out about some things! :)
posted by The Deej at 6:58 PM on August 4, 2007


I think everything should be approved, vetted, and double signed by the right ministry.
posted by oxford blue at 7:29 PM on August 4, 2007


Is this what is meant by eponysterical?
posted by Mister_A at 8:26 PM on August 4, 2007


Make all posters to MetaTalk type a reasonably long passage of text, generated in a CAPTCHA style format, in addition to their post content. You can post asinine things here, but it's going to take you 10-15 minutes to do it, because it's going to take us hours to manage the thread. You better want it.
posted by potch at 9:50 PM on August 4, 2007 [1 favorite]


Just for the record Jessamyn, if you intend to be an unbearable despot on these sites you're doing a really half-assed job of it.
posted by davy at 10:32 PM on August 4, 2007


[Hey cortex, was my meaning clear enough that time?]
posted by davy at 10:34 PM on August 4, 2007


For me, metatalk is kinda like the boxing ring in the reform school playground where the teachers send those kids who can't stop fighting.

If you don't like blood sports, it's probably best not to visit.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:08 AM on August 5, 2007


I think that's confirmation bias, Peter. I find MetaTalk more like the place tired travelers gather to meet old friends around a warm campfire and share hugs, noogies, and gonch pulls.
posted by Meatbomb at 1:12 AM on August 5, 2007


Make the $5 fee recur often enough to fund as many moderators as the comment trashpile requires!
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 9:06 AM on August 5, 2007


Goin' simple on things, how about if the word "deleted" is in the body of the MeTa post, there's an extra "come on, do you really wanna post this" screen?
posted by WCityMike at 6:15 PM on August 5, 2007


Goin' simple on things, how about if the word "deleted" is in the body of the MeTa post, there's an extra "come on, do you really wanna post this" screen?

That's brilliant! Mefite vocabularies will enjoy a sudden late bloom and become top-heavy with synonyms of same; Scrabble games will gain five, ten, twenty point on average as denizens of the grey come up with a ready "expunge" or "rescind" here, a triple-word-scored "annul" or "quash" or "efface" there; in fall of 2009, a dark horse debut novelist working under the name "S. Minya" will leap to the #1 spot of the NYT Bestsellers list with a novel bearing no formal title—just a black rectangle—which will be referred to popularly as "elide", after the first word of the slim volume, which will be constructed of nothing but variant and twisted forms of words meaning, in one sense or another, that fateful infinitive: "to delete".
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:14 PM on August 6, 2007


Here's a useful vocabulary list. Some of these are shockingly spot-on.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 9:51 AM on August 7, 2007


Cortex: hardy har har. :) Seriously, though, how hard would it be to throw the full synonym list into an "extra step" thing?
posted by WCityMike at 8:30 PM on August 8, 2007


I just don't think it's a great solution. I like the idea, mind you, but practically I don't think it solves the problem at all. Us being more aggressive about closing the threads once some basic "what is the issue" questions have been answered—or before, on the really ridiculous ones—seems like a much stronger incentive.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:46 PM on August 8, 2007


How about we ask the question if *any* dictionary words are used. MetaFilter becomes a huge game of Internet charades.

mlm
posted by Plutor at 4:37 AM on August 9, 2007


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