Personal attacks from anonymous posters December 22, 2001 10:58 AM   Subscribe

Personaly attacks from anonymous posters.
posted by jpoulos to Etiquette/Policy at 10:58 AM (31 comments total)

Oh, look -- it's jpoulos starting shit with another MeFi poster for (at least) the second day in a row.

You are such an insufferable bore.



KLAX: There's nothing more insufferable or boring than a sucker-punch insult from an anonymous poster. And I'm not "starting" anything. Tiger_Lily came in here and started spouting about our ("the public's") not being worthy to know the truth. I found that insulting. That's what started it. If you've got a problem with me personally, please feel free to drop me an email. My address is conveniently available to everyone in my profile.

As far as the "second day in a row"... Again, I didn't start it. Another anonymous poster said something that I understood to be a personal insult to a long-time, highly visible MeFite. I stepped in. I later thought better of it, and offerred a retraction. Maybe I've been a little on edge, and quick to criticize. But I'm hardly the troublemaker here.
posted by jpoulos at 10:58 AM on December 22, 2001


While I agree with you getting "anonymously slammed," I think the whole situation could have been averted if you would be less aggressive and more explanatory.

Tiger_Lily, that's the most arrogant, condescending load of bullshit I've ever read on MetaFilter.

There's no explanation for your viewpoint there. You give no reason why you are reacting in such a hostile manner. If you had explained yourself better, maybe pointing out the inaccuracies in Tiger_Lily's post (instead of saying they're just "bullshit"), you would have been treated with more respect?
posted by starduck at 11:23 AM on December 22, 2001


I don't understand why a personal attack from an "anonymous" poster like KLAX is different from an attack from someone who lists an e-mail address.

With a certain female basketball player in Nebraska in mind, what difference does an e-mail address or blog make?
posted by Mid at 11:28 AM on December 22, 2001


I'm don't think that anyone should be criticised for not posting their e-mail address, it can cause problems. I've had a huge amount of spam recently because my e-mail address was picked up (not here) by some spider bot type thing and was placed on loads of wonderful mailing lists.

Also some people have very good reasons to stay anonymous. I regularly question my decision to post under my own name, and would probably change that decision if I could.
posted by RobertLoch at 11:50 AM on December 22, 2001


Tiger_Lily, that's the most arrogant, condescending load of bullshit I've ever read on MetaFilter

jpoulos, I gotta say, if you disagree with someone, the above is not the way to voice it.

I see it brought out a slam from someone else, and that's not right either, but I think your comment had a lot to do with getting that kind of rise out of someone.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 11:51 AM on December 22, 2001


I've just noticed that mathowie has covered the spam blocking. jpoulos, unless I'm missing something, you are hardly unanonymous. I've just looked at your profile and don't have any better idea of who you are.


posted by RobertLoch at 11:56 AM on December 22, 2001


somebody pass jpoulos some eggnog-I will put on the Mannheim Steamroller and while i am at it see if I have any extra chill pills to pass around........

posted by bunnyfire at 12:01 PM on December 22, 2001


Now, I do not really see how an attack by someone who is not anonymous is any better. Results are the same, except for the sheer annoyance of not being able to put a 'face' on a bullshiter.
posted by michel v at 12:10 PM on December 22, 2001


This is a pattern lately. 1) Overreact, 2) Wait for third party to insult, 3) Whine. I've seen it in several threads this week. They all end with jpoulos picking up his toys and running home. As far as I can see, jpoulos needs a little break.
posted by rschram at 12:24 PM on December 22, 2001


1) Overreact.


posted by Mid at 12:44 PM on December 22, 2001


Should I also laugh at how SO anonymous jpoulos is while he gives an url in his profile, which in turn gives an e-mail address ? (oh, there's also the whois database for domain names...)
Or should I pity the gangbeating attitude of MeFites when it comes to arguing with people who are not from their immediate backyard neighbourhood ?
IMHO I've seen worse than "Tiger_Lily, that's the most arrogant, condescending load of bullshit I've ever read on MetaFilter", coming from 'high-profile' members of this community.
But on the other hand, posting a link and do the first comment of it, as a 'read more' effect for a personal revenge, is laughable too.

like omgomgomg i'm just laughing lolololol~~~
posted by michel v at 12:50 PM on December 22, 2001


The difference is that jpoulos stands up as who he is and refers to what has been said, not to who says it.

This is what happened in both both cases: someone calling owillis "little willie"; TigerLily being undeniably arrogant and condescending. (Is calling someone's opinion "bullshit" now considered intolerably offensive?).
Others hide behind their anonymity and attack jpoulos personally.
Anonymous personal insults are always unacceptable. They don't say what he said was insufferably boring, they say he is an insufferable bore.
That is ad hominem and offensive. (For all we know all these anons may be the same obnoxious little shit. They certainly walk the same shifty walk and talk the same sniffy talk).
Even adding a time-frame would have made it acceptable - eg. "oh, jpoulos, you're being an insufferable bore today. Or "lately" or whatever.
Jpoulos is always sticking up for people who are offended and regularly admonishes sporadic offenders, keeping up community standards. He's certainly sent me to the corner - legitimately - once or twice. So it's hilarious that he's considered an habitually guilty party and bringing this to MeTa just for kicks.

I too thought "wee willie" was a "small prick" jibe, made worse by mocking owillis's surname. When it became clear(sort of...)that it wasn't, he apologized. And today TigerLily, by telling of "us people", us morbid and nosy little folk who commit the crime of wanting to know what happened and being impudent enough not to leave it in expert hands, did overstep admissible behaviour, to say the least.

So jpoulos might have been more polite and sensitive to the Lily's feelings - yeah, yeah, yeah. But anyone reading this thread would think it was all his fault. And brought about by himself, to boot. Which it clearly wasn't.

And now the part I've been waiting all my life to say: if you wanted to be all old-maidish about it, well, two minutes in the corner would have sufficed. ;)
posted by MiguelCardoso at 1:14 PM on December 22, 2001


Miguel -- everyone understands that ad hominem attacks are bad, and nobody is defending them. The question is: what difference does is make if the attack is "anonymous."

As several have pointed out, including an e-mail address or blog address does not make an insult less insulting. Moreover, an e-mail or a blog address is hardly a foolproof identification.

Substitute "anonymous" for "not-an-oldtimer" and I think we'll be closer to what is really going on here.
posted by Mid at 1:28 PM on December 22, 2001


I don't understand why a personal attack from an "anonymous" poster like KLAX is different from an attack from someone who lists an e-mail address.

It's worse for two reasons:

1) Total anonymity emboldens some people to behave like jackasses.

2) Total anonymity prevents people from taking a disagreement to e-mail, keeping all the animosity out in the open and maximizing its ability to derail discussions.

While point 1 is partially negated by the fact that many of us are capable of being fully identified jackasses, my personal belief is that MetaFilter should require either a public e-mail address or home page URL. At least then people have the option of taking discussions off the site, where in my experience most of the personality disputes are worked out amicably.
posted by rcade at 1:40 PM on December 22, 2001


Yay, the public email debate again. Of course it's a great idea, but every time it comes up, we get...
(Insert generic whine from pompous twit who doesn't want the MeFi hoi polloi polluting their sacrosanct mailboxes, and will leave if it becomes a requirement.)
posted by darukaru at 1:57 PM on December 22, 2001


Yeah, like putting up with spam is oh so unbearable, darling, and how, come lunchtime, it just puts them completely off their dainty little canap├ęs...
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:34 PM on December 22, 2001


Yay, the public email debate again. Of course it's a great idea

Its not an esp. helpful feature for blocking those determined to remain anon (or those up to no good), all they would have to do is great an email acct with a free service. Heck, I have several evilemail.com addresses I use for just that purpose (to avoid spam, in my case).

FWIW, the "anonymity" thing is bunk to me. jpoulos' comment was insdistinguishable from an ad hom in my book, and someone took the bait. Nobody comes out looking good.
posted by malphigian at 3:07 PM on December 22, 2001


After careful thought, I'm thinking I'm about 60% correct here.

1. I realize that my "bullshit" comment to Tiger_Lily was pretty much a cheap shot itself. I'm the first to criticize when someone tosses a bomb like that, and I'm sorry I did it. The difference, however, I think, is that I was attacking T_L's on-topic discussion, not T_L him/herself.

This is a pattern lately. 1) Overreact, 2) Wait for third party to insult, 3) Whine.

I won't defend my 1) overracting or 3) whining. But I object to the third-part business. If the slam had come from T_L, it would have been more appropriate. But here's what happened: "A" says something outrageous about the subject at hand. "B" (over)reacts to "A"'s comments. Then "C" comes out and attacks "B" personally? That dog don't hunt.

But on the other hand, posting a link and do the first comment of it, as a 'read more' effect for a personal revenge, is laughable too.

Geez, I don't think that's close at all. I was originally going to put all those comments in the MeFi thread, then thought better of it and brought it here where it belongs. I felt they were too long to go in the thread header, so I put them in the first comment. I'd have kept this between KLAX and myself--and left you all out of it entirely--if KLAX had provided an email address. That's kinda my point about anonymity.

Substitute "anonymous" for "not-an-oldtimer" and I think we'll be closer to what is really going on here.

Wow. I really thought about that one for a while, and surprisingly, I think there's actually some truth to it. BUT, not in the sense that because I've been around here for a while I should be immune to criticism. I do think that I am a familiar face around here, and therefore have established an identity in this community. I'm not just a login and an email address. I also bring 40+ links and 2000+ comments to the table. If I'm an asshole, I run the risk of losing the respect of those who've known and trusted me (which is perhaps what is happening here?). Whereas if a relatively new user says something disrespectful, he/she is more likely to be forgotten.

jpoulos, unless I'm missing something, you are hardly unanonymous. I've just looked at your profile and don't have any better idea of who you are.

It's not about real-life identity or anonymity. Who John Poulos is is completely irrelevant [my mom says so all the time :-) ]. But "jpoulos" has an investment in this place, and he puts that investment on the line with every post. That's not "elitism," or any other popular buzzwords. It's just how communities work.

Having said all that. I should have thicker skin when it comes to this stuff. And, as rschram said, I could probably use a break right about now.

Oh, and bunnyfire, both eggnog and Mannheim Steamroller make me wretch.
posted by jpoulos at 3:09 PM on December 22, 2001


That dog don't hunt. So the issue is not whether you can e-mail KLAX, but that he didn't email you (to complain that you failed to email TL.) Why bother having a thread?
posted by rschram at 3:28 PM on December 22, 2001


"The difference is that jpoulos stands up as who he is and refers to what has been said, not to who says it.' the man with the large cigar is right. jp is a bit of a hothead and shy on tact at times... but the heart beats within him.(thats what matters to me) rcade has about the best take on people like KLAX. i know, ive exchanged worse then these comments. the real thing is recovering from these things. i think the fights (not bullshit ego hissys) are as important as the agreement at times. i come to respect people more while having a fight with someone.

posted by clavdivs at 3:36 PM on December 22, 2001


I don't see what the fuss is about, once jpoulos responds with words like 'bullshit' or with cheap condescending shots he's lost credibility as the guy who's setting things straight. If I wrote, "Yeah we really should do something about those damn right-wing idiots here" and someone responds with a "fuck you skallas" well we're both AOL chatroomers. If the response is being accused of being a troll or even a simple "why don't you add something productive instead of name calling?" then I'm the AOL chatroomer.

Secondly, email requirements (even when verified) are useless. I can just ignore your email and continue posting. If you want /. style moderation ask for it because even a SS#, height, weight, distinguishing marks, and naked photos of everyone isn't going to change a thing.

Lastly, what's with the "old timer" Mefi-itus? SDB's childish challenge to all 'lefties' that derailed a thread, Zachmind's last deleted thread that made something of a stink in metalk, and now jpoulos has some beef with anonymity. If you're getting sick of the site or have something macho thing to prove please take it elsewhere.

Even though I mentioned names and examples, I'm not trying to pick on anyone. A lot of these problems look personal to me and not necessarily site related. MeFi isn't the place to take your stress out on others.
posted by skallas at 5:17 PM on December 22, 2001


so jpoulos, what is your position on hot cocoa? and I found some extra Zoloft but you have to share with skallas.....
posted by bunnyfire at 6:28 PM on December 22, 2001


re : email on your profile.

Just do it, people. There's no excuse. My real, primary email isn't stavrosthewonderchicken at hotmail dot com... of course not. It's my maildrop for MeFi and it took me all of 5 minutes to setup, and is as anonymous as is possible these days, but allows me to receive feedback in the form of praise, flames and chicken recipes from members of this community. Someone did sign me up for some spam as a result of something I said here a while ago, but it's a throwaway account, and if I were worried about it, I could avail myself of the free services of Mailshell to put a further layer of prophylaxy there.

Just do it. We've had this discussion many times before, but, Matt, I do think you should make verifiable email addys mandatory.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:01 PM on December 22, 2001


One solution I've mentioned before would be to give every user a username@metafilter.com account by default. Then you could deliver private discussions, adulation or flamewars to anyone who tickles your fancy. Whether they'll read their account is of course another matter. But you could say the same thing about the throwaway accounts that others are advocating.

My guess is that the load on a mail server would not be particularly high, and of course you could enforce quotas on mailbox size. Now I realize the MeFi web server is stretched as it is. So if somebody feels really strongly about the anonymity issue, and has a server available (the CPU, storage and bandwidth requirements are likely to be small), then Matt might be able to change the MX record to direct mail to them.

Let me make it clear that I'm not bothered about this issue at all (and if you check my incredibly dull profile you'll see I'm nothing but a username). But I see this argument for obligatory email addresses come up time and again on Metatalk. Perhaps someone who feels strongly about it is prepared to put their money where their mouth is.
posted by dlewis at 6:12 AM on December 23, 2001


Can't resist throwing my two cents in.

Both of these cases jpoulos is talking about looked to me like A) user X makes a potentially objectionable, but reasonable-enough-for-MeFi comment. B) jpoulos opens an entirely unwarranted 64oz family-size can Whup-Asstm.

You sound like a reasonable enough guy, based on what I read above, jpoulos. Just ease up on the trigger finger a little bit, is all. Not to frame this as a newbies-vs-oldtimers thing, because I don't think it is -- but if the "newbies" see enough of the "oldtimers" behaving the way you have the last few days, then they'll get the message that that's the level of discourse around here... and will respond in kind.

As far as anonymity goes... we are what we post. Nobody's anonymous.

posted by ook at 6:32 AM on December 23, 2001


On rereading, my last post sounds much more confrontational than I intended it to. Apologies.
posted by ook at 8:43 AM on December 23, 2001


I think it would be cool if Matt gave us all 10 megs of web storage supported by pornographic pop-under ads.
posted by gleemax at 12:24 PM on December 23, 2001


where in my experience most of the personality disputes are worked out amicably.

I'm glad that's been your experience, truly. Mine, however, has been that it merely provides another, more direct channel for abuse.

Not that I haven't received some very nice emails, but we're talking about "personality disputes" here.
posted by rushmc at 4:02 PM on December 23, 2001


I said "most," rushmc. There's always the exception where e-mail proves that the person is such a raving nutjob there's a good reason to avoid them entirely. That hasn't happened to me on MetaFilter yet, though.
posted by rcade at 5:53 AM on December 24, 2001


Part of the point of this site, in my experience, is lively debate. The majority of us, oldtimers and newbies are smart, opinionated people so sparks are gonna fly every once in a while. If someone shreds your post, go hone your debate sword, get to your keyboard and shred theirs, don't force Matt to play hall monitor, we're not kids here.

And rcade is right about email, in a recent thread we were practically at eachothers throats, a couple emails back and forth and everything was cool, so mandatory addresses may not be a bad idea.
posted by jonmc at 8:36 AM on December 24, 2001


That hasn't happened to me on MetaFilter yet, though.

Well, ruffle a few more feathers, dammit! Then you, too, can receive in-box death threats!
posted by rushmc at 10:27 AM on December 24, 2001


« Older Quadruple line breaks caused by tweaking   |   A TextAd posted just to earn affiliate money? Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments