Poorly constructed or blatantly inaccurate. December 20, 2007 2:01 AM   Subscribe

I have a problem with people making posts here that are blatantly inaccurate just for the sake of making a political point.

I like to hate on neocons as much as the next guy, but this post was either poorly constructed or made to create a link to the Carlye Group that isn't there. I'd like to think this kind of misconstruction wouldn't last on here but it's been up for a while, even with apparent mod interaction.
posted by puke & cry to MetaFilter-Related at 2:01 AM (81 comments total)

I like the title of this post. It's confusing, but in a refreshing way, a provocative way. "Pooring constructed of blatantly inaccurate." It's excellent! I wanna keep it.
posted by cgc373 at 2:12 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oh, and that Magna Carta human-rights-sold-to-Carlyle-Group stuff is bunkum and not good. I say this having recently posted a link to a LiveJournal entry people think is a hoax. Yes, yes I do.
posted by cgc373 at 2:13 AM on December 20, 2007


Writing FPPs to make a political point? This will not stand.
posted by cillit bang at 2:15 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


God forbid!
posted by parmanparman at 2:23 AM on December 20, 2007


Yeah, people make political posts here all the time, but I agree with p&c that if the blurb is totally inaccurate, it's even worse.
posted by grouse at 2:40 AM on December 20, 2007


I just want to get the punchline in before anyone else does:

1215, same as in town.
posted by Jofus at 2:54 AM on December 20, 2007 [5 favorites]


It was supposed to be "Poorly constructed or blatantly inaccurate". That was the last part I wrote so of course that's the part I fucked up.
posted by puke & cry at 2:55 AM on December 20, 2007


I guess if a mod could fix that when they wake up in 7 hours or so, that'd be nice.
posted by puke & cry at 2:59 AM on December 20, 2007


*posts image of Sarabia with no pants on*
posted by Wolof at 3:06 AM on December 20, 2007


It's perfect as it is, P&C. If you really didn't mean to do it (and after Dios' wee flameout over the obvious satire, I'm not sure who's joking anymore) then consider it serendipity in action.
posted by Sparx at 4:03 AM on December 20, 2007


I tend to agree with you p&c, but the comments in the thread pretty effectively deal with the problem by pointing out that there is no connection.

I must also say how pleased I was by the heading in this article about Rubenstein: "Midlife Croesus". Pun-tastic.
posted by patricio at 4:08 AM on December 20, 2007


There's a small handful of posters here who take immense, almost passionate joy out of being snarky contrarians, and that thread was nothing but a gift to them. Some of those "let me explain to you how MetaFilter really works" comments were like watching a child get the perfect toy on Christmas.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 4:32 AM on December 20, 2007 [5 favorites]


Cortex and I were both looking at this last night thinking "yeah its bad but is it *that* bad...?" It seemed like a single link slanted newsfilter post wiht some extra links added to avoid SLOE detection.

I feel like the problem with these posts isn't so much that they're slanted (which I agree, sucks, but can be addressed in comments) but that they seem to set a tone for a whole bunch of people just getting huffy and annoyed in-thread which this one was a prime example of.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:37 AM on December 20, 2007


Look, I heard a story the night of the auction on on NPR about it. The next day, I was curious as to who ponied up some serious bread for it. When I saw the connection to Carlyle, I thought it was interesting. I wasn't sure HOW it was interesting, but I was hoping some discussion among mefites would lead to that.

That.
is.
all.

And I think I arranged the post to reflect that. The very idea that linking to the Carlyle Group's own page is somehow making a political point is absurd. I suspect I could've found something a bit more inflammatory somewhere on the net if I really wanted to.

As to other suppositions that the inclusion of the Carlyle group in the post is somehow responsible for the knee-jerk reactions in the thread; I think that says much more about the Carlyle group than it does about me or my post.
posted by butterstick at 5:45 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I wasn't sure HOW it was interesting

*asavage voice*

Well, there's your problem!
posted by absalom at 5:50 AM on December 20, 2007


I like to suggest that these two paragraphs are contradictory, and obviate your excuse:
And I think I arranged the post to reflect that. The very idea that linking to the Carlyle Group's own page is somehow making a political point is absurd. I suspect I could've found something a bit more inflammatory somewhere on the net if I really wanted to.

As to other suppositions that the inclusion of the Carlyle group in the post is somehow responsible for the knee-jerk reactions in the thread; I think that says much more about the Carlyle group than it does about me or my post.
Those two paragraphs are contradictory and obviate your excuse.
posted by OmieWise at 5:54 AM on December 20, 2007


Puke, where exactly did Rubenstein make the money he used to purchase the Great Charter? Oh, at the Carlyle Group? From tax-payer dollars? You say that without the Carlyle Group he'd never have made those millions? So what exactly was your point, agan?
posted by orthogonality at 6:02 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Firstly, I'm not sure what "excuse" you think I'm making. Secondly, the second paragraph you call out above is referring to the comments in thread, which I cannot take responsibilty for, nor do I think the post can. I don't see how those are contradictory at all.

Absalom may however have a legitimate criticism. I think that is a fair point, and perhaps I should've included more of my opinion on how this was interesting in the FPP. Where the line between that and editorializing is, I'm not sure.
posted by butterstick at 6:03 AM on December 20, 2007


perhaps I should've included more of my opinion on how this was interesting in the FPP

*whoosh*

butterstick, it was a crappy post that emphasized a connection you pretty much pulled out of your ass. Tossing in some half-assed opinions to justify that dumb connection is *not* the way to make it better. I think you knew exactly what you were doing with that post - hoping to stoke the OMIGOD CARLYLE GROUP OWNS THE MAGNA CARTA reactions nice and hot - and should just admit it was crappy and promise not to make that kind of post again.

End of story.
posted by mediareport at 6:21 AM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Oh, and that thread on the MeFi front page is an embarrassment to the site, pretty much guaranteed to drive away thoughtful conservatives. It should definitely disappear.
posted by mediareport at 6:29 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


perhaps I should've included more of my opinion

No, you should not have included any more of your opinion.

Look, just wander around the internet and see and read things and when you find something that seems to be cool and interesting and hasn't been played on every news service and every 2nd blog, then come here and .... just present it, without opinion and without tinfoilhat juxtapositions. We like crazy but not when its construction relies upon editorial input.
posted by peacay at 6:31 AM on December 20, 2007


You mean the imaginary OMIGOD CARLYLE GROUP OWNS THE MAGNA CARTA reactions? The ones that were so obviously silly that even referring to them should be considered troll feeding? Yes I'll be sure to be wary of those in the future.

In fact, I will hereafter refrain from posting anything remotely ambiguous.

End of story.
posted by butterstick at 6:33 AM on December 20, 2007


peacay.... I'm not sure how that post could've had less of an opinion about it. Would you prefer a single link post to the guardian article about the winner?
posted by butterstick at 6:36 AM on December 20, 2007


If a single link about your topic wouldn't make a good post, you probably don't have a very good post.
posted by grouse at 6:39 AM on December 20, 2007 [7 favorites]


In fact, I will hereafter refrain from posting anything remotely ambiguous.

Oh, please. Try refraining from posting anything completely wrong. You wrote "Winner: The Carlyle Group," but the Carlyle Group was not involved in this auction. You weren't being "ambiguous," you were being wrong.
posted by mediareport at 6:40 AM on December 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


butterstick, it was a crappy post that emphasized a connection you pretty much pulled out of your ass. Tossing in some half-assed opinions to justify that dumb connection is *not* the way to make it better.

Quoted for truth.

peacay.... I'm not sure how that post could've had less of an opinion about it.


You have amazingly little self-awareness.

Would you prefer a single link post to the guardian article about the winner?


You say that as if it's a bad thing. Are you under the impression that there's something wrong with single-link posts? Because there's not. If your story is too lame to be posted by itself, don't post it.
posted by languagehat at 6:48 AM on December 20, 2007


Would you prefer a single link post to the guardian article about the winner?

If the only choice I'm allowed (beyond deletion) is having the original very crappy post or a single link to the story then yes, I would prefer that just the link to the story remains.

And butterstick, "Winner: The Carlyle Group" IS the ambiguity editorial input that you should refrain from deploying hereafter.
posted by peacay at 6:51 AM on December 20, 2007


It's a boring FPP to begin with and hardly worth mention, IMHO, but if the political slant makes you think it warrants a callout in MeTa, you need to look very hard at yourself and think about why it bothers you so.





Then, you need to go fuck yourself.





Then, you need to give yourself a big ole hug.





Then come back with a great FPP about something awesome.
posted by mds35 at 6:55 AM on December 20, 2007 [6 favorites]


That's what I'm doing, anyway.


I'm finding that step 2 is incredibly difficult and requires a degree of agility and litheness that I seem to lack, so I may never make it to the hug and FPP.
posted by mds35 at 6:57 AM on December 20, 2007


I think all this insistence that the Carlyle Group has absolutely nothing to do with this purchase is frankly naive.

A copy of the Magna Carta appears at the National Gallery courtesy of who exactly? I happen to like ambiguity, and I think differing means of interpretation make for interesting discussion.
posted by butterstick at 7:08 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think all this insistence that the Carlyle Group has absolutely nothing to do with this purchase is frankly naive.

Really? What a shocker.
posted by mediareport at 7:13 AM on December 20, 2007


Has it ever occurred to you that assuming the Carlyle Group is involved does not imply a giant nefarious conspiracy?

Thus the tinfoilhat tag?
posted by butterstick at 7:17 AM on December 20, 2007


I think the lack of discussion of Nicholas Cage's role in removing the document from the National Archives is the most trouble aspect of this whole thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:18 AM on December 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


I think all this insistence that the Carlyle Group has absolutely nothing to do with this purchase is frankly naive.

Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man. Which is exactly what you should keep out of your posts. Especially if you misrepresent it as fact.
posted by grouse at 7:18 AM on December 20, 2007


I happen to like ambiguity

I'm happy for you.

"Winner: Carlyle Group"

This is not an example of an ambiguity. There is nothing about it that is ambiguous at all. It is a statement of (at best, spurious) fact.

Stating "Winner: Carlyle Group" is YOUR EDITORIAL INPUT butterstick.

Please don't do it.
posted by peacay at 7:19 AM on December 20, 2007


I think all this insistence that the Carlyle Group has absolutely nothing to do with this purchase is frankly naive.

Take it to MeFi!

Though butterstick, if you want something to respond to here in MeTa, please do choose this tidbit:

If a single link about your topic wouldn't make a good post, you probably don't have a very good post.

I hereby opine that newsfilter generally (and your post particularly) sucks, and that wanting MeFites' opinions on news OTD is understandable but lame.
posted by carsonb at 7:21 AM on December 20, 2007


It's not Nicholas Cage . . . it's John Travolta with Nicholas Cage's FACE!
posted by hackly_fracture at 7:22 AM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Because see, butterstick, a loud portion of Metafilter is incapable of doing things like reading the article and making distinctions and instead choose to run into the flames and play with hyperbole.
posted by dios at 3:31 PM on December 19


The fact that our readers are so dense and unwilling to think beyond their political passions is the reason why it is a disgrace to this site when someone posts some editorially inflamed post like this... and its the reason why it should certainly be deleted.
posted by dios at 3:45 PM on December 19


Dios, wtf? I'd agree that this happens but it tends to get rooted out pretty quickly, no? Either that or....I dunno. Your responses seem a little over the top.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:22 AM on December 20, 2007 [3 favorites]


A copy of the Magna Carta appears at the National Gallery courtesy of who exactly?

It's already there. It has been there since 1988. It was sold by the Perot Foundation to David Rubenstein, and it will remain there.

Did you not read the article you posted? Where is the ambiguity?
posted by brain_drain at 7:23 AM on December 20, 2007


HURF DURF BUTTERSTICK
posted by grouse at 7:24 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


carsonb, that's fair. I actually do think a single link post about the results of the auction would be FPP worthy and discussable, but maybe I'm unique in that. Some people come to MeFi for the links, some for the threads. I don't really mind newsfilter posts, but I understand many do, so I tagged it as such so it could be avoided.
posted by butterstick at 7:29 AM on December 20, 2007


Can we stop calling it THE magna carta, and start calling it A magna carta?
posted by blue_beetle at 7:40 AM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


If Butterstick had been man (or woman as the case may be) enough to admit the mistake instead of trying to justify it perhaps it wouldn't be so bad. Instead it just gives dios to roast Butterstick on a spit, and dios has done a mighty fine job in that.
posted by caddis at 7:41 AM on December 20, 2007


Dios shitting all over a thread and then complaining about the smell does not a pig roast make.
posted by butterstick at 7:49 AM on December 20, 2007 [5 favorites]


more like IL magna carta amirite
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:51 AM on December 20, 2007


Cortex and I were both looking at this last night thinking "yeah its bad but is it *that* bad...?" It seemed like a single link slanted newsfilter post wiht some extra links added to avoid SLOE detection.

If that was the thought process, I'm amazed it's still there.

I would have thought the recognition of it as a "slanted newsfilter post" would be plenty of reason to delete it.

The post is wrong. That seems like a ground to delete. But that isn't even the bad part about the post. The bad part is that it is wrong in a way that shows the poster was intending to a make point (wrongly) and it would likely result in two responses: (1) you are wrong; and (2) snarky bullshit about the Carlyle Group that has no basis in reality and only serves to lower the level of discourse here.

Why should it be deleted? Better question: why should it be a post?
posted by dios at 7:56 AM on December 20, 2007


Can we stop calling it THE magna carta, and start calling it A magna carta?

We'll do that when we stop visiting DC to see THE Declaration of Independence and THE Constitution in real life, ok?
posted by amberglow at 7:59 AM on December 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


Oh, and that thread on the MeFi front page is an embarrassment to the site, pretty much guaranteed to drive away thoughtful conservatives

I'm surprised that no one has snarked about what he feels is an oxymoron in that statement.
posted by Kwantsar at 8:08 AM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


This is the Metatalk equivalent of the time that little dachshund kept humping your leg while you were waiting outside the high school for your mom to finish chit-chatting her way through the holiday craft fair; you're standing there on crutches, hazy from surgery and Percodan, and you spy your mom, a grave look on her face, leaving the building with Ms. Davis, who teaches the only class you're failing. Just then the dachsund slips in somehow, pokes its little lipstick through your bandages and finds your fresh surgical incision, and before you know it you're howling and trying to kick him off but his little knot just got big and he's tied into your leg for the duration. You're standing there, looking at your mom and your worst teacher, a miniature puppy fucking your broken leg, and you wonder, How could this have happened? Shouldn't there be a law against this sort of thing?
posted by breezeway at 8:19 AM on December 20, 2007 [11 favorites]


Personally, I have a problem with single link posts that link to the same item three times in an attempt to look as though its indicative of some kind of trend.

As a rhetorical device, it's about as dishonest as claiming that the Carlysle Group bought a copy of the Magna Carta, when everyone knows it was actually the Global Zionist Conspiracy for World Domination that was *really* behind the move.

Also: eponysterical.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:24 AM on December 20, 2007


a miniature puppy fucking your broken leg

* clicks (remove from activity) *
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:25 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Posts can be good, posts can be bad. Either way, they come and go quickly enough that one could ask if getting upset about a post is a worthwhile cause.

But the thread shitting was worse, and given the habitual nature of it — and the predictable results thereof: namely, killing whatsoever all prospects of any intelligent discussion — perhaps something could be done about that behavior instead.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:25 AM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Would there be such an inflammatory response to a reworded post?
Ross Perot auctions Magna Carta. Winner: David Rubenstein of The Carlyle Group.
Much of the vitriol seems to be that butterstick connected the purchase directly to Carlyle. Dios correctly called him out on the inaccuracy, but added the real thread derailer, "But I'm guessing you don't give a shit about accuracy and were hoping to make some broader point."

If anything in the thread needs to be trimmed, it would be dios's attack on butterstick. What's wrong with simply correcting the inaccuracy and moving on?

I have a feeling that even if butterstick removed all of the perceived ambiguity, there will still be a very vocal minority crying foul on the relevance or appropriateness of linking the purchase of this copy of the Magna Carta to one of the founders of the Carlyle Group, despite its accuracy.
posted by ahughey at 8:35 AM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Can we stop calling it THE magna carta, and start calling it A magna carta?

We'll do that when we stop visiting DC to see THE Declaration of Independence and THE Constitution in real life, ok?


deal.
posted by blue_beetle at 8:40 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


No, sorry, this was a shit post and should be deleted.

We have enough shit posts that this one can die and our garden won't want for fertilizer.
posted by klangklangston at 8:42 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


...While begging Kipling's pardon, there's one thing we know for sure,
If MeTa is a garden, we ought to have more manure.
Hooray, Hooray, Hooray!
Suffering and Dismay!
There are bad times just around the corner
The horizon's gloomy as can be
There are home fires smoking
From Windermere to Woking
And the rats are preparing to leave the BBC....


/noelcoward
posted by Jofus at 8:50 AM on December 20, 2007


it would likely result in two responses: (1) you are wrong; and (2) snarky bullshit about the Carlyle Group that has no basis in reality and only serves to lower the level of discourse here.

Or in Dios's case, (3) you are wrong, followed by comments containing "morons", a "steaming pile of shit", "dolt", and "our readers are so dense and unwilling to think beyond their political passions", which only serve to lower the level of discourse here.

It's pretty hilarious that he took the Financial Times article at face value though. I guess getting all excited will do that to your reading comprehension skills.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:52 AM on December 20, 2007 [4 favorites]


You know what's more annoying that shitty flamebait reddit-lite posts that should be deleted but aren't?

Hypocritical users who refer to the site and its members collectively while passing reference to supposed standards of purity, honesty and presentational integrity.
posted by prostyle at 8:58 AM on December 20, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wow! All this talk about a Japanese comic book.
posted by doctorschlock at 9:03 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Oof.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:13 AM on December 20, 2007


Karnak sits behind Carson's desk, holding the envelope to his oversized turban and scowling thoughtfully.

"Alriiiight...getting something here...okay: someone...someone who makes sure you're old enough...to buy that tentacle porn."

Ed, one chair over, chuckles and has another drink and waits for the reveal.

posted by cortex (staff) at 9:16 AM on December 20, 2007


Can we stop calling it THE magna carta, and start calling it A magna carta?

Howsabout we drop the use of articles altogether?
posted by mumkin at 9:29 AM on December 20, 2007


Wow! All this talk about a Japanese comic book.

I thought we were talking about a Robot Fighter.
posted by brain_drain at 9:43 AM on December 20, 2007


Who knows, I came here for the name calling.

[a few comments removed - any more name calling needs to go straight to metatalk]
posted by ersatz at 10:13 AM on December 20, 2007


ersatz is a big fake!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:16 AM on December 20, 2007


I love the MetaTalk threads.
posted by caddis at 10:24 AM on December 20, 2007


It's pretty hilarious that he took the Financial Times article at face value though. I guess getting all excited will do that to your reading comprehension skills.

At first glance I thought he did too, but on re-reading he was pointing out that someone else (skygazer) was using it to make a "serious" point; it was more confusing because he referred to it as an op-ed (which is true but doesn't really contradict skygazer's point) as opposed to satirical.

The "we've driven off all thoughtful conservatives so now we're left with Dios" is funnier:)
posted by Challahtronix at 11:00 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


...pretty much guaranteed to drive away thoughtful conservatives.

Too late to worry about that!

;-)
posted by darkstar at 11:05 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


Shrug.

I took it as a fun jumping off point for some jokey posts about sinister corporations buying significant dicuments for nefarous purposes, and the post did a fine enough job as that.

Then we got all the thread dumping, which is obnocious bullcrap.
posted by Artw at 11:37 AM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


The post was poorly done, but all the complaining and derailing made the thread much worse.
posted by homunculus at 12:15 PM on December 20, 2007


The "we've driven off all thoughtful conservatives so now we're left with Dios a plate of beans" is funnier:)

Casting aspersions on the political "intentions" of a poster is mental masturbation at best. Agree with the poster, disagree with the poster, or ignore the post. What's so difficult with that?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 4:25 PM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


maybe the President will wipe his ass with that, too!
posted by matteo at 4:32 PM on December 20, 2007


ersatz is a big fake!

But 40% cheaper than the original. And I will match the price if you can find me for less elsewhere.
posted by ersatz at 4:37 PM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


The FT piece was good. It shows a perceptive satirical wit working on many levels. It could've been an interesting if it had a chance to develop, even after the first steaming pile of doo doo oozing contempt.

But I'm guessing you don't give a shit about accuracy and were hoping to make some broader point.

But that wasn't enough, he had to have his say and dammit if he wasn't going to get his way no one was going to so:

I'd say "morons" but if you want to call them "conspiracy theorists" that's fine too.
All the more reason it shouldn't be on our beautiful front page. Makes us look like morons/conspiracy theorists too who can't distinguish between individual people and our little political archetypes.


Morons? Huh?? This from a man who for the last 7 years has been telling us the Bush Admin. was in possession of integrity, competence and respect for the law and human rights.

More pompousness:

Because see, butterstick, a loud portion of Metafilter is incapable of doing things like reading the article and making distinctions and instead choose to run into the flames and play with hyperbole.

And proceeds to follow it all up with a classic bully-style cheap shot at AG comment with:

Because, see what happens is, when you editorialize like you did in order to make some dumb ass referential political snark:

And so on:

A loud portion of Metafilter is incapable of doing things like reading the article and making distinctions and instead choose to run into the flames and play with hyperbole.

As Butterstick put it: He (Dios) shit in the thread and then complained about the smell.
posted by Skygazer at 5:35 PM on December 20, 2007 [1 favorite]


If someone is the sort of reader who reads this post and believes that the tenets of Magna Carta have been sold to a private corporation, as a result of this transaction, then that someone is too stupid to worry about anyway.
posted by pompomtom at 8:27 PM on December 20, 2007


It is a shitty post.

It is a shitty thread.

What is the disagreement here?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:52 AM on December 21, 2007


I dunno, it'd be a mildly interesting post and a mildly fun thread if it were minus the thread dumpers?
posted by Artw at 9:36 AM on December 21, 2007


You keep saying that, but "mildly interesting" + false editorializing =/= mildly fun.
posted by OmieWise at 9:47 AM on December 21, 2007


Fun for me.
posted by Artw at 9:50 AM on December 21, 2007


Christ almighty. Break out a mop and bucket; the average IQ of the Metafilter posting public is dropping so fast that it's going to splatter when it hits.
posted by ikkyu2 at 2:07 PM on December 21, 2007


Oh my god I'm gonna get IQ all over my shoes?
posted by breezeway at 5:46 PM on December 21, 2007


« Older Problems with posts tagged with cheese   |   Do Not Remember Me On This Computer? Newer »

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