OMGOMGOMG? November 25, 2007 9:59 AM   Subscribe

Enough with the snarky deletions.

this is a single link bloggish op ed link to TPM Muchraker which rarely make good links on metafilter. People who want to rend garments or OMGOMGOMG over this can go to TPM Muckraker which is quite a decent blog in its own right, and yet different from MetaFilter.

"rend garments or OMGOMGOMG"? What does that even mean?

This deletion reason is bizarre. For one thing, it's not an op-ed; it's an extensive, well researched list of news items which document a trend in government that is difficult to get a detailed picture of. It is newsfilterish, but it's the kind of newsfilter you don't hear about very much in the mainstream press. Many of the points on the list might make good FPPs just on their own, but since TPM provides supporting links, that makes it an even better resource. This is 'Best of the Web', more so than most newsfilter posts which just link to an article or two.

I really don't understand what the problem with TPM is.
posted by homunculus to Etiquette/Policy at 9:59 AM (76 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

So is it the snark you're unhappy about, or this particular deletion? Personally, I didn't mind the post, but I like to see a large helping of snark with my deletions. Snark is a central part of the Metafilter shunning ritual.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 10:10 AM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


The ability to write snarky deletion reasons is one of the few perks the poor mods get to claim. Won't somebody think of the poor mods?
posted by Asparagirl at 10:11 AM on November 25, 2007 [7 favorites]


The main problem with TPM is that it's been linked to to hell and back before—61 posts linking talkingpointsmemo.com, another 17 specifically linking tpmmuckraker, not including deleted posts—and is thus pretty on-the-radar already.

It's one thing when it's something like youtube or even nyt, where we're dealing with a site that is to a greater or lesser degree a general vehicle for content; but with TPM (see also: The Onion) what we've got is a site that has a very specific focus, pretty dang good visibility among politically-attentive mefites, and a tendency to track issues in a way that, when transplanted to Mefi in post form, often goes badly.

That muckraker is, beyond all that, a site that itself allows discussion, kind of makes it feel like less of a "this is something great I found" and more of a "it's time we talk about this here" move, which is not great, especially when it's a topic we do talk about a lot here in other posts already.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:12 AM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think it's a good deletion. The TPM post itself isn't even very newsworthy in the sense of being new - it's an updated list from last year.
posted by Miko at 10:12 AM on November 25, 2007


Sorry for the snark. I have had a rocky "vacation" weekend here. I see TPM as basically a MeFi for certain types of political posts. It's a lively site with good fast-moving discussion. There is no real reason to continually "shift" TPM posts over here except in rare cases of which this was not one. I felt it was more appropriate to explain that this post was of a sort that usually don't go well here and oh look there it is not going well already. I should have used more words but I'm all out of them this weekend.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:18 AM on November 25, 2007


I didn't find the deletion reason snarky at all. But maybe our definitions of snark are different.

I love TPM - I think they have well-researched articles, and they deserve many many kudos for essentially breaking the US attorney scandal wide open.

But I already go over there to read their stuff, and comment/argue/discuss if I feel so moved, and I expect that lots of other mefites do so as well. I doubt I would've flagged the FPP - I don't flag much, really - but I certainly would've skipped it, anticipating yet another "Bush sux" "No he doesn't" fight, which we've had about a million times in the blue already.
posted by rtha at 10:21 AM on November 25, 2007


So I had never actually visited TPM before, so I gave it a shot.

The lead article:
Giuliani's California Schemin' Money Man
By Paul Kiel - November 23, 2007, 4:33PM

Who is Paul Singer? He and Rudy Giuliani would prefer you not think too much about it.[...]

So really this is Bill O'Reilly style "news". We'll present it with loaded words, villify the subjects, and in general toss any sort of journalistic credibility out the window.

And much like O'Reilly watchers, I expect that people who regularly follow a blog like that DO enjoy rending their garments and saying OMGOMGOMG. I'm sure they get their adrenalin high every day by reading the blog and saying "The world is going to hell! TPM says so!"

So in short, TPM is very clearly slanted as a news source, and is only the best of the web if you both a) share the slant, and b) practice hand-wringing as a recreational sport.
posted by tkolar at 10:26 AM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Folks, let's take it easy on the mods for a few days. Enough already. Some of us get stressed or invested in these big flameouts, but just imagine what it's like when you are a mod who devotes far more time than any of us to making this place awesome. Can we please just chill out for a few days?


i love TPM, but understand the reasoning behind the deletion. Cortex pretty much nailed it upthread.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:31 AM on November 25, 2007


Thanks, jessamyn. I overreacted, probably the result of my own weekend. Sorry about that. I think it was a good enough link, but I accept your (and cortex's) judgement. Please close this thread if you're so inclined.
posted by homunculus at 10:37 AM on November 25, 2007


The issue at hand is already wrapped, and we've still got 991 comments to go.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:40 AM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


Everyone's a little crazy during the holidays, so overreactions are par for the course and understandable. Let's apply that same standard to the mods too, though. They are just like us, only with certain android-like improvements.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:40 AM on November 25, 2007


So I had never actually visited TPM before, so I gave it a shot.


You may want to spend some more time learning about TPM before you write it off. They are not Bill O'Reilly style news. Not even close.
posted by lazaruslong at 10:42 AM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I didn't find the deletion reason snarky at all.

I've just gotten tired of the all caps silliness on TEH INTRANETS. It's usually used as a lame way to shut down conversation. I had a knee jerk reaction at the wrong time, since that wasn't jessamyn's intention.
posted by homunculus at 10:43 AM on November 25, 2007


let's take it easy on the mods for a few days

Flagged as humanist.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:44 AM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


So I had never actually visited TPM before, so I gave it a shot.

You may want to spend some more time learning about TPM before you write it off.


You may also want to look at the list in question, and see if you find any errors in it. O'Reilly makes stuff up, but TPM doesn't as far as I know.
posted by homunculus at 10:45 AM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I want more coffee, but I know I shouldn't.
posted by homunculus at 10:47 AM on November 25, 2007


I demand more snark.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:48 AM on November 25, 2007


"Less snark?" Really?


WILL YOU PEOPLE PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO HAVE A DRINK AND STOP BEING SO EASILY OFFENDED BY EVERYTHING?
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:02 AM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


I demand more snark.

Like this or that?
posted by b1tr0t at 11:04 AM on November 25, 2007


I'm just pissed there wasn't more discussion and suggestions about my comment.
posted by Balisong at 11:05 AM on November 25, 2007


posted by CunningLinguist WILL YOU PEOPLE PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO HAVE A DRINK AND STOP BEING SO EASILY OFFENDED BY EVERYTHING?

Flagged as offensive.
posted by fandango_matt at 11:13 AM on November 25, 2007


posted by CunningLinguist WILL YOU PEOPLE PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO HAVE A DRINK AND STOP BEING SO EASILY OFFENDED BY EVERYTHING?

Flagged as offensive.


Flagged as alcoholistimism.
posted by sebas at 11:18 AM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


You may also want to look at the list in question, and see if you find any errors in it.

Errors? Probably none.

News articles picked and chosen to support an editorial thesis? Absolutely.

I poked around the site and found that a LOT of the content is like that: articles that are driven by an editorial thesis, with news links being presented to support the point of view. At least it doesn't say "Fair And Balanced" in the upper left corner.

I shouldn't have been so harsh about followers of the site: if it's your thing, then fair enough. It's most certainly not my thing, and homunculus' characterization of it as "The Best Of The Web" seems very off-target to me.
posted by tkolar at 11:21 AM on November 25, 2007


The main problem with people who post single link bloggish op ed links to TPM Muchraker is that THEY HAVE NO SENSE OF HUMOR. Which is why single link bloggish op ed link to TPM Muchraker should be deleted with prejudice.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:23 AM on November 25, 2007


I didn't find the deletion reason snarky at all.

That's because it wasn't your post.

I came in here all ready to RAAHR at you, homunculus, but you've retracted so gracefully I don't have the heart to channel quonsar's waaahmbulance.

But I second what CunningLinguist said.
posted by languagehat at 11:23 AM on November 25, 2007


Sorry, that wasn't intentionally referring to you in the third person, homunculus.
posted by tkolar at 11:23 AM on November 25, 2007


RAAHR
posted by jouke at 11:25 AM on November 25, 2007


sorry, I'm rather bored with writing my thesis
posted by jouke at 11:26 AM on November 25, 2007


Balisong: Is there a website or something where I can learn the types of things that would piss off enough Americans in order to affect the types of changes needed to make this country something to be proud of again?

I'm afraid those things would be part of this list.
posted by homunculus at 11:27 AM on November 25, 2007


make this country something to be proud of again?

You were proud of this country at some point? We got the land by killing off the native population, imported slaves to pick our cotton, had massively corrupt politicians (that put today's to shame), overspent our way into a depression, got involved in two big wars that resulted in mass censorship and curtailment of civil rights (including putting American citizens in concentration camps), had a communist witchhunt, unleashed dogs on peaceful protestors, killed a civil rights leader and a president, impeached another one, and .. well, you probably lived through the rest.

If you can be proud of all of that, I don't see why you would have trouble being proud in our current circumstances.
posted by tkolar at 11:44 AM on November 25, 2007


Alright. I retract the "again".
Read the same statement without the "again".
posted by Balisong at 11:56 AM on November 25, 2007


You may not agree with the deletion, but jessamyn gets style points for writing "different from", not "different than".
posted by Cranberry at 12:04 PM on November 25, 2007


make this country something to be proud of?

I'm not sure I'll ever be able to be proud of this country as a whole, if only for the very bitter seeds we've already sown. However I am very proud of:

o The continuing dedication to free speech and fair play.

o The dedication (no matter how misguided it gets sometimes) to raising the standard of living for the whole human race.

o The whole "can-do" optimism that pervades American thinking.

In short, I think that American ideals are something that I'm proud to be a part of.

If I were asking your question, it would be "How can I drive home to our leaders that these ideals are more important to me than any temporary tactical advantage, and to sacrafice these ideals to 'Save America' would be the very epitome of a pyrrhic victory?"
posted by tkolar at 12:17 PM on November 25, 2007


I'm just popping in to say that I'm in favor of snarky deletions. (Not that this was even that snarky!)
posted by desuetude at 12:22 PM on November 25, 2007


...WILL YOU PEOPLE PLEASE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE GO HAVE A DRINK AND STOP BEING SO EASILY OFFENDED BY EVERYTHING?

flagged as awesome
posted by Lynsey at 12:25 PM on November 25, 2007


Won't somebody think of the poor mods?

Eh, I think they're doing all right, what with the scooters and all.
posted by scody at 1:10 PM on November 25, 2007


Flagged it all. Just clicked random flags.




















I don't really understand the flags.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:13 PM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


Hmm, maybe I'm one of the few, but I was glad to see the post. I don't read TPM because I can't take the rhetoric that often, so I didn't realize they had compiled this nice little reference. News about Bush Secrecy does feel like it's in the fifth season of reruns, so I don't mind the post being deleted, but I can certainly see why homunculus thought it was worth posting.
posted by salvia at 1:21 PM on November 25, 2007


Let me just say that I am glad to be thousands of miles away from my family, and my in-laws celebrate holidays in a nice, fun way! Yippee.
posted by By The Grace of God at 1:22 PM on November 25, 2007


YOU ARE ALL FLAGGED. I FLAGGED YOU.
posted by Krrrlson at 1:46 PM on November 25, 2007


Cranberry, are you saying that "different from" is different to "different than"? I heard different.
posted by Abiezer at 2:42 PM on November 25, 2007


"rend garments or OMGOMGOMG"? What does that even mean?

What does it MEAN? He was quoting POLITICAL SCIENCE!
posted by Smart Dalek at 2:56 PM on November 25, 2007


Bad deletion.

That is all.
posted by Skygazer at 3:08 PM on November 25, 2007


There should be a drop down menu for the mods to supply a concrete reason for deletion - the people providing the content for Metafilter deserve to know why their posts are deleted, and it can only improve the site if there are some concrete (and referenceable) deletion guidelines in place, next to the posts.

These snarky deletion reasons have irritated the hell out of me for a long time because they are not in the slightest bit amusing and look totally glib when placed next to posts that, while perhaps not appropriate at all, have still been posted with the best of intentions and no little effort.
posted by fire&wings at 3:14 PM on November 25, 2007 [3 favorites]


Krrrlson YOU ARE ALL FLAGGED. I FLAGGED YOU.

Stop it krrrlson, it tickles.
posted by jouke at 3:19 PM on November 25, 2007


These snarky deletion reasons have irritated the hell out of me for a long time

These boring complaints about snarky deletion reasons have irritated the hell out of me for a long time.

because they are not in the slightest bit amusing

Yes they are, they're funny as hell. Hey, look at that, we disagree! And I'll bet more people agree with me than with you, because most people around here appreciate good snark. And you know what? The only people consistently offended by deletion reasons are the people whose posts are deleted. To which I say: suck it up and post better next time.
posted by languagehat at 3:22 PM on November 25, 2007 [2 favorites]


The only people consistently offended by deletion reasons are the people whose posts are deleted.

Clearly not the case.
posted by Skygazer at 3:27 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


OK, I rarely comment on this sort of thing, and I think the deletion is fine but I have to call tkolar out a bit on the comparison of TPM to Bill O'Reilly. TPM does have an admitted editorial slant and they report actual facts. So they're kind of the opposite of O'Reilly, who does not admit his slant and does not report actual facts.

If you had wanted to do some research you would find that TPM is largely written by actual reporters who do actual reporting while admitting an editorial slant to the left. As such, they are more like, say, non-tabloid British papers or highbrow political magazines like The New Republic (on the other hand I might argue that their reporting is better than TNR) than O'Reilly.

Sorry to draw out this argument any further, but comparing anyone who actually reports news or even tries to comment on it honestly to O'Reilly is pretty much slander if you don't know what you're talking about.
posted by lackutrol at 4:30 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


they're both snarky and uninformative...do we need to know that it's because jess or whoever doesn't find TPM worthwhile as a post? Shouldn't it be about the content of the link itself as long as it's somewhere that is known for posting fact, and has a good and solid reputation for uncovering, and doing original reporting on, things other places don't?

And most sites everywhere allow comments now--even youtube--does that mean that those will be deleted too now? Is that now a criteria for deletion?
posted by amberglow at 4:32 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's all yellow journalism to me, but if it makes you feel better I'll admit that O'Reilly does seem to be further out on the spectrum than TPM.
posted by tkolar at 4:33 PM on November 25, 2007


I'm especially surprised at this given the actual content of the post--the removal of public information and/or the refusal to provide information that belongs to us rightly--which is jess's profession after all, no?
posted by amberglow at 4:34 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm especially surprised at this given the actual content of the post--the removal of public information and/or the refusal to provide information that belongs to us rightly--which is jess's profession after all, no?

Librarianship is all about selecting what is worthwhile to a given community out of the subset of everything there is. This is done using guidelines and community norms and standards as tools to do that. Just because I think the topic of a post is interesting or germane for me personally doesn't mean it's a good post for MetaFilter.

And most sites everywhere allow comments now--even youtube--does that mean that those will be deleted too now? Is that now a criteria for deletion?

TPM is a large group blog with unthreaded comments discussing blog posts linking to other stuff on the web. I think TPM is doing such a good job in its own right I don't see why posts there need to be transposed over here unless something is more of a big deal than that post was. Generally speaking single link blog op ed posts to a site that has been linked to here over sixty times need to have more going for it than this one did.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:18 PM on November 25, 2007


Why debate something on MeFi when we an debate the exact same piece on the site of origin? Somehow, it doesn't seem fair to TPM.
posted by HotPatatta at 5:24 PM on November 25, 2007


Well, things get reposted on MeFi for the nth time and there's always one person who says "thanks -- I haven't seen this", which is nice but not a terribly persuasive argument to let a post stand. Despite this, today I will be that person.
posted by dreamsign at 5:37 PM on November 25, 2007


Deleting a post because it appeared on Talking Points Memo, or any other site, is a bad reason for deleting it. It's either a good post or a bad post. (This particular one is an update of a year-old list, so it's bad.)

I also don't like the snarky deletion explanations.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:58 PM on November 25, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think snarky deletion reasons are a major part of the site. I haven't been here that long, but as long as I've read the site, they've been around. I also don't get the people who claim it didn't give an actual reason for deletion.

this is a single link bloggish op ed link to TPM Muchraker which rarely make good links on metafilter

See that there?

People who want to [lets not be obtuse, it means freak out] over this can go to TPM Muckraker which is quite a decent blog in its own right, and yet different from MetaFilter.

And that one? Those are reasons folks. To sum them up: GYOB, or discuss this on a blog that's all about that.

And let's be honest here, 2 links, one to an article, and one to the root directory makes a weak weak post. Probably there's a good post on the lack of transparency in the Bush whitehouse, but this sure as hell wasn't it. If you don't know that by now, you should probably lurk a little bit longer.
posted by !Jim at 7:38 PM on November 25, 2007


lh And I'll bet more people agree with me than with you, because most people around here appreciate good snark.
You have a knack for sounding like a condescending self important asshole lh. You've done it again. Congrats.
posted by jouke at 7:50 PM on November 25, 2007


tkolar, I am not too proud to admit that it does make me feel better. And it is a good opportunity to point out that the United States is sort of peculiar in that we insist on our journalists having a pretense of "objectivity" while other nations do not. I think this has been both good and bad in the past, in that at some times it has resulted in people thinking carefully about how partisan their writing might be, whereas at other times it has resulted in a "he said-she said" approach even when one side is clearly wrong. Lately it has seemed mostly bad (cf. the New York Times between approximately 2002 and 2006).
posted by lackutrol at 9:09 PM on November 25, 2007


To sum them up: GYOB, or discuss this on a blog that's all about that.

It's GYOBFW, n00b.
posted by homunculus at 10:06 PM on November 25, 2007


cortex is rightly known for his clever, often funny, deletion reasons... ...

and that's all I'm going to say about that.
posted by dreamsign at 11:27 PM on November 25, 2007


More snarks. I love the snark.


Unless the snark is a boogum. That's not cool.
posted by louche mustachio at 11:49 PM on November 25, 2007


YKWEHHOBFW? H.
posted by fleacircus at 12:02 AM on November 26, 2007


languagehat: "These snarky deletion reasons have irritated the hell out of me for a long time

These boring complaints about snarky deletion reasons have irritated the hell out of me for a long time.

because they are not in the slightest bit amusing

Yes they are, they're funny as hell. Hey, look at that, we disagree! And I'll bet more people agree with me than with you, because most people around here appreciate good snark.
"
If I could read nothing on here but deletion reasons, that would be an excellent manner in which to while away an afternoon, as far as I'm concerned. This one wasn't particularly snarky, either. In any case, I don't see why you have a right to demand better quality in the deletion reasons than you saw fit to include in the post itself. If you don't want to have people pointing and laughing at you, post better stuff.
posted by dg at 12:28 AM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


So many garments to rend, so little time.
posted by JanetLand at 6:11 AM on November 26, 2007


Krijg de typhus, jouke.
posted by languagehat at 7:24 AM on November 26, 2007


TPM is a large group blog with unthreaded comments discussing blog posts linking to other stuff on the web. I think TPM is doing such a good job in its own right I don't see why posts there need to be transposed over here unless something is more of a big deal than that post was. Generally speaking single link blog op ed posts to a site that has been linked to here over sixty times need to have more going for it than this one did.
In no way was that just a "single link blog op ed post", and if you took even a moment to follow any of the links they had collected to build up their catalogue on the subject presented, you would have seen that. TPM is also not just a blog but an actual news organization too--well known for their original research and reporting--on the attorneys scandal and on other topics of importance.

You prejudged and did so wrongly--without even exploring the content presented. You presupposed the content was OMGOMG Bushsucksfilter whatever, and you're wrong.

If homunculus had actually just reposted all those original source links as an encyclopedic fpp, would that have stood? And why should he, when it's already done--for the first time ever?
posted by amberglow at 7:49 AM on November 26, 2007


I had never heard of TPM, that I recall (I am getting older, and my memory sucks), and I've been around MeFi for several months now, so to me it was a fine post and, yeah, the deletion reason sounded snarky. That being said, I can totally relate to jessamyn's post-holiday-weekend stress. Thanks, homunculus, for being decent about the whole thing.

Can we have some pie now?
posted by misha at 8:22 AM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Here's the solution: we should be able to flag deletion reasons we don't like.
posted by bonehead at 9:44 AM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yeah! Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

Vive la resistance!
posted by tkolar at 10:44 AM on November 26, 2007


Admittedly the deletion in question has some real substance behind it, but anyone under the impression that deletion comments always have substantiative content would do well to have a look at puke and cry's Deleted Thread. Let the veil be lifted from thy eyes.

I don't begrudge the admins the opportunity to snark in-thread, but deletion comment snark has always rubbed me the wrong way FWIW. I'm not sure why. I guess it seems like the difference between your brother or sister calling you a tard & your mom or dad calling you one.
posted by stinkycheese at 10:59 AM on November 26, 2007 [2 favorites]


Please don't apologize for snarky deletions. I love snarky deletions.
posted by timeistight at 11:16 AM on November 26, 2007


Hooray snark.

Boo deletion.
posted by Skygazer at 12:56 PM on November 26, 2007


I'm still mourning my Brown Zune post. It could have been an awesome discussion of Brown Zunes and all thery stand for it hadn;t been mercilessly shot down by haters...
posted by Artw at 1:20 PM on November 26, 2007


languagehat, I find them consistently irritating and I've never had something deleted, my last FPP was years ago. If you find omgomgomgomgomg "good snark" then I'm glad for you. I find it cringeworthy, like when a stagediver gets on stage at a concert, security fail to react in time, and they manage to say something into the microphone before being kicked into the crowd. "Big moment" syndrome.
posted by fire&wings at 5:05 PM on November 26, 2007 [1 favorite]


Snark = funny

Crappy, meaningless, random analogies...not so much.

Snark is part of the package around here. Keeps us on our toes. Snark on, mods.
posted by CwgrlUp at 6:21 PM on November 26, 2007


this is a test comment.
posted by bigmusic at 6:31 PM on November 28, 2007


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