Suffer the complainers in MeTa. April 8, 2008 7:01 PM   Subscribe

Will all those who think the YFZ Ranch FPP is a "yawn" or "not the best of the web" please complain about it in this thread rather than in the blue. Thank you.
posted by orange swan to Etiquette/Policy at 7:01 PM (63 comments total)

I deleted it. Anyone who wants to talk about it being deleted can, I guess, show up here too.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:08 PM on April 8, 2008


*Spits in bucket* Sure are a lotta crazies in the world. Yep. *Spits in Bucket*
posted by Burhanistan at 7:12 PM on April 8, 2008


My apologies for that mess, jess, I really didn't think it would be that bad. I wanted to fix the original trainwreck and make it worthwhile, but alas.
posted by mullingitover at 7:13 PM on April 8, 2008


That's probably a good call. You can close this thread if you like as well, as far as I am concerned. I did not think it was a good thread. It just rubbed me the wrong way to see people being all "Yawn! Why post about pubescent girls being raped by 50 year old men? It's not the best of the web."
posted by orange swan at 7:14 PM on April 8, 2008


I was just in the middle of deleting that derail at the end, but yeah, it's kind of a bad news post. Not much to discuss really aside from "wow, sounds awful" and it's pretty tempting for a lot of people to turn something like that into a "my what people do for the sake of their religion" which yeah, is true and sucks, but also paints all religion with a broad brush.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:15 PM on April 8, 2008


This is why we can't have nice things.
posted by mullingitover at 7:15 PM on April 8, 2008


I thought this was was worth discussing... usually is not an indicator of quality conversation to follow.
posted by marxchivist at 7:18 PM on April 8, 2008


I would prefer to not have to read one more thread that makes jokes about the pubic hair of teenage girls this week, is all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:20 PM on April 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


It was Newsfilter.

(Which is bad, by the way.)
posted by LarryC at 7:20 PM on April 8, 2008


Marxchivist writes "I thought this was was worth discussing... usually is not an indicator of quality conversation to follow."

I could've been more accurate and said 'salvaging' since I really only got into the topic from the previous wacky attempt at a post about this.



LarryC writes "It was Newsfilter.

"(Which is bad, by the way.)"


There's not a thing wrong with newsfilter as long as it's not a lazy throwaway one-linker. Part of the appeal of Metafilter for is the (usually) intelligent discussion of current events. The standards for newsfilter aren't even that high here; I rarely see a one-link obitfilter post deleted, nor are there vocal complaints about this.
posted by mullingitover at 7:27 PM on April 8, 2008


A single link to an Alternet rant attacking feminists for their "privilege" got to stay up; I guess I wish that a post like this that illustrates why we need feminism could have stayed up too, regardless of whether it was "going well."
posted by transona5 at 7:31 PM on April 8, 2008


I stepped lightly outside one day, off to my local Rite Aid. As I tripped down the steps to the sidewalk, two young good-looking guys in white shirts and ties approached me. They proceeded to bend my ear about the real prophet, despite me saying that I don't talk about my religious beliefs, and I really needed to get going. My neighbor even came out to see if I was okay, but they were not swayed in their message of God gives you everything you ask for and all prophets are FALSE but the one they told me was REAL.

I noticed that one of them had a nametag of "Warren." He was the more sane of the two, having giggled with me at appropriate times, while firmly holding his beliefs. The other was the Bad Cop, giving me stern looks when I interrupted his spiel with "well what about Esther and Ruth? Huh? What about the women?"

"Warren," I said, "I have Warren ancestors. My grandmother did genealogy on that line."

He perked up, because of the ancestor thing, maybe.

"I'd love to research my genealogy," he said, "but I don't have a computer."

I replied, "Well, why don't you ask God for one?"

And then I walked down to Rite Aid and bought my smokes and my beer, sans Mormons, because, after all, it was the former remark and not the latter that won the day.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:45 PM on April 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


mullingitover, there are VERY vocal complaints about one-link obitfilter not getting deleted, and as far as a lot of people are concerned newsfilter in general is bad, with few exceptions. Obviously not the consensus, but there are definitely enough people on both sides to have heated arguments about it.

Apologies if I misunderstand you, I just wanted to clarify that.
posted by Stunt at 7:46 PM on April 8, 2008


I like a single link, myself. If it's a good link.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:46 PM on April 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is why we can't have nicesucky things.
posted by wendell at 7:52 PM on April 8, 2008


Bummer. I was hoping there'd be some input on the logistics of dealing with... well, I guess they could be called "refugees." You know, like where do these people go, do they get something like FEMA trailers, any chances in hell that this story has a silver lining, etc.

I was kind of hopeful when it got posted to MeFi, because public discussions on traditional news outlets tend to give me painful indigestion in my brain, but well... sometimes the stars have to line up just so for the discussion to tilt the way you were hoping for on MeFi. I appreciated the effort, though, mullingitover.

Developing stories don't go well here, I suppose, because to many it is more appropriate to dissect and analyze events after the fact. Conducting a postmortem vs. hashing out hypotheticals benefits from having an established framework for civil discussion - you don't have to suffer people defending their wild-assed guesses from everyone's else's. I understand why that needs to rule here; I guess I was just grasping for hopeful hypotheticals, because the facts in this story are just too damned depressing.
posted by krippledkonscious at 8:00 PM on April 8, 2008


Newsfilteriness aside, these yawn-type comments are a pain in the ass.

They're rarely made 50+ comments into a thread. Just as in this one, they made people who find the topic interesting go on the defensive.

If a new thread bores you, don't read it. If it bores you so much that you think it's a bad post, flag it. If enough other people have also flagged it, or if the mods agree with you, it'll be deleted. If you're in the minority, then the people who do find it interesting won't have to read your obnoxious throwaway expression of boredom.
posted by CKmtl at 8:11 PM on April 8, 2008 [4 favorites]


Clearly, another mechanism is at play when it comes to leaving snarky comments on the front page. People have been giving that advice since 2000, and yet the problem persists.
posted by Dave Faris at 8:31 PM on April 8, 2008


Story.

My sister, who is eight years younger than I am, graduated from college ( several years ago ) and married a vetenarian. A couple of years later they moved to Las Vegas because my brother-in-law had a chance to invest in and become an owner of a clinic.

Four weeks after they moved my sister called me. She had taken a job at local hospital as a surgery scheduler. She tells me that during the first week of her new job a nurse asked her to lunch at the hospital cafeteria. She accepted. They sit down and the first thing the nurse asks is "How long have you been with LDS?" My sister's reply, "I don't know what you've heard, but I don't have LDS!

Sister had no knowledge of the Mormons. Evidently, they have a rather heavy business prescence, in certain areas, in Las Vegas.

Whenever my sister is feeling down or taking things too seriously I always ask "How is your LDS coming?" "Are you feeling alright?"

I've always thought that the Mormons were pulling an old male trick. Let's eliminate male competition. Let's say and do these things and we'll have all the women to ourselves. Muuaahhaa. Some weirdness dressed up in religion.

I still have no idea why the nurse assumed my sister was a member of the church.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 8:46 PM on April 8, 2008


It's too bad about Class Goat's 'yawn' remark. He didn't read the link, but couldn't resist a comment. I ignore those kind of folks myself. Many can't help but take the bait and can't stay on topic. If I can, so can others. Ignore the troll, which is what that amounted to.

It's unfortunate that lampoil's choice of words to an informative site brought out another kneejerk in ornate insect who didn't bother to read the link, but commented nevertheless.

It's title was
The Tribune's blog on the plural life: The Polygamy Files, may very well be hosted by The Salt Lake Tribune, but it's content is by Brooke Adams, who covers polygamy for The Salt Lake Tribune. Her reporting on the issue has won numerous awards. She can be reached at 801-257-8724 or by email at brooke@sltrib.com
Says so right on that site.

I commend mullingitover for that deleted FPP link. I couldn't find much there myself, I don't know how mullinitover did it. Thanks for your link, lampoil, also.

So yeah, because of a few who could not stay on topic, I'm sorry to see it go. This issue isn't any old newsfilter or a post about your favourite pop star.

Yeah, I want to know why the authorities are looking for Dale Evans Brown, 50, one of eight men prosecuted two years ago in Arizona for having fathered a child with an underage girl. He allegedly has done so again, this time with a girl named Sarah Jessop Barlow. She is 16 and has an 8-month-old daughter that court documents say was fathered by Barlow.

Two years ago. No jail¿ Was the sentence so light he's out or never went to jail for his crimes¿ What's going on with the justice system down there¿ Is it money. Is someone getting paid off here or what.
It raises a lot of questions worthy of discussion, as opposed to a feel good post, you know.

Oh, did you read some of the comments on Brooke Adams' blog¿ Someone actually was hollering religious persecution. Others stepped on that comment. Not one fucking 'eponysterical' comment.
posted by alicesshoe at 8:58 PM on April 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


It just rubbed me the wrong way to see people being all "Yawn! Why post about pubescent girls being raped by 50 year old men? It's not the best of the web."

I agree, that's a stupid sentiment.

These people obviously have no understanding of Rule 34.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:00 PM on April 8, 2008


I was assembling a post in my mind comparing the US authorities' approach to YFZ Ranch to the Canadian authorities' to Bountiful, which is a fairly similar community. It might be interesting to touch on the differences in the legal status of polygamy in Canada and the US and the difficulties inherent in criminal prosecutions when the only witnesses are part of the same closed group.

However, since two posts about YFZ Ranch have been deleted, it seems like I'd be begging for deletion by making my post.
posted by ssg at 9:01 PM on April 8, 2008


"Presence." Not "prescence." Heck.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 9:14 PM on April 8, 2008


Pointing out the poor quality of a thread within the comments is important. It shows new MeFites what is and is not appropriate. After all, no one but the mods ever see the flags.

Metafilter is not about the conversation, it is about the links. That is why NewsFilter posts are so weak.
posted by LarryC at 10:01 PM on April 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Interview with Carolyn Jessop, who escaped with her children from the same community before the group had moved to the YFZ compound. It's thought to be her ex-husband, Merrill Jessop, currently leading YFZ.

Her interview is one of the most powerful things (and also for sure the scariest thing) I've ever heard on NPR. This group uses layers upon layers of coercion to control people.
posted by Tehanu at 10:22 PM on April 8, 2008 [2 favorites]


As fascinating as that NPR interview might be, these threads in Metatalk really ought to be restricted to discussing the posting process and policies involved with making stuff on the blue, and just because the thread gets deleted or derailed there doesn't mean that it should be carried on here instead.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:45 PM on April 8, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pointing out the poor quality of a thread within the comments is important. It shows new MeFites what is and is not appropriate. After all, no one but the mods ever see the flags.

Pointing out the (perceived) poor quality of a thread within the comments just helps make a poor quality thread. Noobs can learn when their shit posts/comments get deleted.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:53 PM on April 8, 2008


threads in Metatalk really ought to be restricted to discussing the posting process and policies involved with making stuff on the blue... and the settling - and a'borning! - of petty grievances, non sequiturs, teh funnay, lame potshots, my awkward attempts at this thing you humans call humour, snide pedantry and pedantic snidery, annoying 'Come back Shane/Zinc!' shoutouts that are for the benefit of the commenter rather than the subject (Who, if they pushed The Button TM are probably finding better things to do with their time than browse possibly the most aggravating part of a website they're already frustrated with), and cloying bouts of grabassery.

Although MeTa is not the place for comments which were originally intended for an FPP which has been deleted, Tehanu's comment isn't all that terrible as far as Grey noise goes. Worse gets posted every day in every other MeTa.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:03 PM on April 8, 2008


All of those other worse things you mentioned are about Metafilter and Metafilter culture, and have more reason to be here than anywhere else.
posted by Dave Faris at 11:20 PM on April 8, 2008


Yeah, this is something of a trend, I think, where the conversation that has been cut off by deletion of the MeFi thread continues unabated on a MeTa thread. In which case, maybe there is no point to deleting the thread in the first place?
posted by dg at 11:42 PM on April 8, 2008


LarryC writes "Pointing out the poor quality of a thread within the comments is important. It shows new MeFites what is and is not appropriate. After all, no one but the mods ever see the flags. "

I won't insult your intelligence by pretending that you really think shitting in threads makes metafilter a better place.
posted by mullingitover at 12:24 AM on April 9, 2008


One last note, in this latest post, newsfilter+bummer, man = deleted post, right?
posted by mullingitover at 12:47 AM on April 9, 2008


But I REALLY miss Shane/Zinc, Alvy!
posted by Kwine at 4:32 AM on April 9, 2008


I still have no idea why the nurse assumed my sister was a member of the church.

Probably because the Mormons and the Mafia built Las Vegas. Your sister didn't look like a capo in the Gambino family, so the chances are, she was affiliated with the other tribe.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 5:22 AM on April 9, 2008


Thanks, alicesshoe.

I humbly admit that when I saw that comment right after mine in my recent activity, I thought, huh? I got that he was picking on my word choice, but as someone who's read a lot about polygamy, I couldn't fathom what even a joker would think a hypothetical naughty or inappropriate polygamy blog would look like. Obviously the SLTribune's polygamy blog is journalistic, but I also do read pro-polygamy blogs, and they are even less sexy. (Well, they're sexy as in strange, but not sexy as in NSFW). Honestly, the pro-polygamy blogs are usually like "Yay! My eleventh son got an an A on his history test and my three sixteen-year-olds all got their driver licenses!" They don't talk about sex, but even if they did, from what I've read, it'd still be safe for work or even safe for FBI surveillance. But...I couldn't really respond without looking humorless (which I guess I do now anyway because of this paragraph), so I just moved on.

Again, I find American polygamy fascinating. But apparently in the wider population, the subject just seems to bring people out of the woodwork who want to make tasteless jokes, who apparently don't know or don't care about the difference between LDS and FLDS, and/or who want to take the opportunity to just express hate or rage (toward Mormons, non-Mormons, religious people, what have you). It's always a bit of a surprise to me. I guess it's a secretive community so most people wouldn't know much about it unless they'd looked into it. Still, you'd think by now most people would at least know the difference between regular Mormons and fundamentalist Mormon polygamists.

However. As much as I love reading and talking about polygamy, I also admit I kind of wished that the YFZ raid hadn't shown up on metafilter until more details were revealed, even before the thread went bad. We just don't know much about what happened yet, so it's hard to come up with interesting web resources about it.
posted by lampoil at 5:24 AM on April 9, 2008


As fascinating as that NPR interview might be, these threads in Metatalk really ought to be restricted to discussing the posting process and policies involved with making stuff on the blue

I completely disagree. There are folks who thought the thread was interesting; a MeTa after it's deleted is a perfectly fine place to drop in a relevant link for those people. What's the harm? None, that's what.
posted by mediareport at 6:22 AM on April 9, 2008


This automatic flagging a FPP because the topic's in the news strikes me as being lazy. I'd bet my left nut that the flagger is not even interested in the subject, but being rulebound for some reason decides to police the FPP anyways.

This leaves no room for those who are interested in discussing the topic because of all the mewling off topic.

Witness this
"I was assembling a post in my mind comparing the US authorities' approach to YFZ Ranch to the Canadian authorities' to Bountiful, which is a fairly similar community. It might be interesting to touch on the differences in the legal status of polygamy in Canada and the US and the difficulties inherent in criminal prosecutions when the only witnesses are part of the same closed group"ssg brought up

and this
"I kind of wished that the YFZ raid hadn't shown up on metafilter until more details were revealed, even before the thread went bad. We just don't know much about what happened yet, so it's hard to come up with interesting web resources about it"lampoil brings up.

All discussion worthy.

A pity those not interested in a topic are responsible for having it deleted.
posted by alicesshoe at 6:32 AM on April 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


The standards for newsfilter aren't even that high here

I think the desired standard is pretty high. But the threshold for deletion is pretty low. Do you see the distinction?
posted by grouse at 6:41 AM on April 9, 2008



It was Newsfilter.
(Which is bad, by the way.)
posted by LarryC

Grind, grind, grind.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:03 AM on April 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Like krippledkonscious, I was interested in the logistics of how they were going to deal with all the evacuees. But as comprehensive as the actual post was, the commentary did appear to be getting ready to turn into any one of the thousand other lol-religion threads we've had here.

I don't hate that it was deleted, I just would've preferred to have seen an attempt to salvage it by cleaning out the invective stuff and trying to keep it on topic. But other's MMV.
posted by quin at 7:48 AM on April 9, 2008


This automatic flagging a FPP because the topic's in the news strikes me as being lazy. I'd bet my left nut that the flagger is not even interested in the subject, but being rulebound for some reason decides to police the FPP anyways.

Speaking as someone looking at it from this side, that's really not what's going on. We don't have people generally speaking who flag all newsfilter posts or all single-link youtubery or any one type of post generally. There are definitely people who are more sensitive about certain types of topics (like the standard MeFi Trainwreck topics) but I don't think we're seeing anyone who says "Ack, newsfilter *flags!*" without looking at the content of the post or the substance of the comments.

newsfilter+bummer, man = deleted post, right?

No, actually. Each post is different and kicks off a different sort of thread and this sort of "you deleted X so you have to delete Y which is like X" argument really doesn't hold a lot of water around here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:24 AM on April 9, 2008


No jail¿ Was the sentence so light he's out or never went to jail for his crimes¿ What's going on with the justice system down there¿

¿¿¿ ???
posted by y2karl at 8:41 AM on April 9, 2008


this is already going so terribly badly that I don't see much of a reason for it to continue. what is there to "discuss" about child rape and how lousy it is?

I was just in the middle of deleting that derail at the end, but yeah, it's kind of a bad news post. Not much to discuss really aside from "wow, sounds awful

I would prefer to not have to read one more thread that makes jokes about the pubic hair of teenage girls this week, is all.

Each post is different and kicks off a different sort of thread


I'm kind of surprised that the decision to delete it seems to be all about the comments, not the post itself.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:46 AM on April 9, 2008


A pity those not interested in a topic are responsible for having it deleted.

I think the topic of the FLDS group and recent events is still fair game. I think that was just a bad approach to it. It was really about Warren Jeffs. Why highlight his racism in the main post? It was sort of just related links all around the FLDS group and things about them that (understandably) provoke outrage, but not really adding up to real context. Any post on the subject would be dicey in terms of discussion, but so is a lot that gets covered here. I think the real question is whether the web content is actually good and provides real context and perspective on something with such high trainwreck potential.

lampoil (and anyone else with good related links), would you be interested in trying a new post? Or you could MeFiMail relevant links to me. I may try a post later, if I find the right content and no one's done one yet.
posted by Tehanu at 9:03 AM on April 9, 2008


Preemptive deletion. Any post dealing with free speech, butter eating, gun control/concealed weapons, spousal abuse, abortion, Apple, the end of I Am Legend, religion, circumcision, SUV's, pancakes, declawing your cats, obesity, politics, philosophy questions, fedoras, Jeopardy, philanthropy, Pepsi Blue, politics, cheap cameras, faltering relationships, possible illegality, portobellas, sock puppetry, boyzone, bear costume porn, biased and/or over-moderation, the IMG tag, SLYTP, cracked.com, Windows, pedophilia, pictures of non-fat butts, Steven Seagal, or the banhammer of justice and truth should be deleted as a possible trainwreck.
posted by waraw at 9:05 AM on April 9, 2008


I'm kind of surprised that the decision to delete it seems to be all about the comments, not the post itself.

It was a bad post (albeit on an interesting and worthwhile topic) with bad comments. Had it been a good post, the mods would probably just have deleted the bad comments and let the post stand.
posted by orange swan at 9:09 AM on April 9, 2008


As opposed to a one-link youtube flickr video post to a cat passing out, which is apparently best of the web.

Metafilter.
posted by mullingitover at 9:11 AM on April 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pointing out the poor quality of a thread within the comments is important. It shows new MeFites what is and is not appropriate.

For some reason or another, I'm not a big music and art person. Yet music and art posts are really common here (over 6000 of them, going by the tag numbers). The majority of them bore me.

What would n00bs learn about what is or isn't an appropriate post by reading my potential "~Yawn~" and "Ugh. Why did you post this?" comments in art and music threads? Nothing much. They'd either learn that I'm a dick or that it's cool to shit in threads.
posted by CKmtl at 9:16 AM on April 9, 2008


The deletion of this post is Americas Tibet.
posted by Artw at 9:25 AM on April 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


Artw writes "The deletion of this post is Americas Tibet."

You owe me a new keyboard.
posted by mullingitover at 9:26 AM on April 9, 2008


As opposed to a one-link youtube flickr video post to a cat passing out, which is apparently best of the web.

Well, at least you aren't taking it personally.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:26 AM on April 9, 2008


California is America's Tibet.

Sorry, wrong thread.
posted by Dr. Curare at 9:41 AM on April 9, 2008


I think the YFZ ranch story is extremely important, and very much worth discussing, and I see its deletion as an admission-- or an assertion-- that MetaFilter is not up to having such sensitive and important discussions.

Comments like LarryC's in the thread are the first few stones in a stoning; they encourage others to do the same and are meant to initiate a cascade of flags that will result in deletion by the moderators. Those comments are a kind of vigilante moderation; I don't think real civilization is compatible with vigilantism, and will not come to MetaFilter as long as they continue.

I have come to believe that the moderators continue to allow such comments, and even to reward them with the deletions they aim to produce, despite the fact that they violate at least the spirit of MetaFilter, and despite continuing complaints against them, because they provide cover for the moderators when they do choose to delete a thread.

I think it would be a major step forward for MetaFilter if such comments were to be rigorously pruned away and the members who persist in making them punished for it.
posted by jamjam at 9:43 AM on April 9, 2008 [4 favorites]


I agree with jamjam in as much as such thread shitting, assuming the thread isn't completely insane (mentioning no former YFZ ranch story posts) is a crappy thing to do and should probably earn a deletion and posibly even a Bit Of A Talking To for repeat offenders.
posted by Artw at 9:46 AM on April 9, 2008


(also I beleive the mioderators have been a bit more agressive about that sort of thing lately, which is no bad thing)
posted by Artw at 9:53 AM on April 9, 2008


I have come to believe that the moderators continue to allow such comments, and even to reward them with the deletions they aim to produce, despite the fact that they violate at least the spirit of MetaFilter, and despite continuing complaints against them, because they provide cover for the moderators when they do choose to delete a thread.

Bullshit. Seriously, if we wanted to just go deletion-crazy we'd just delete stuff and ignore people talking about it in MeTa. We don't need a "cover." We've said specifically lately that this sort of early thread-shitting isn't cool and we're trying to reign it in and be a little more aggressive about deleting early noise comments. However even that policy shift got some pushback so it's good to remember that while your MetaFilter is like THIS, other people's MetaFilter is like THAT and we, the moderators, basically work for all of you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:57 AM on April 9, 2008


jamjam: I have come to believe that the moderators continue to allow such comments, and even to reward them with the deletions they aim to produce, despite the fact that they violate at least the spirit of MetaFilter, and despite continuing complaints against them, because they provide cover for the moderators when they do choose to delete a thread.

Uh, no. See mathowie's comment from a couple weeks ago.
2) further banishment of noise. I fucking hate seeing "gets popcorn" or "this will wendell" in the first five comments on any thread, anywhere on this site. It's not the people that say them and it's got nothing to do with wendell, it's just that it's a dumb injoke that shows laziness, but it also tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. Every time something political comes up, whether or not there has been a single problem, some jackass announces to all that there will be arguing and it will suck. Sometimes it never happens, sometimes it does, but whatever the case, telling everyone something is doomed from the start is pointless noise that does nothing to help the site or discussions. I've been deleting "wendell" doom comments for the past week or so and will continue to remove any and all I see.
The reason these comments persist is because there's a limit to how much three people can do to clean them up (and because deletions cause complaining), it's not because there's some secret agenda on the part of the moderators. It's something like trying to clean the Augean stables.
posted by russilwvong at 10:08 AM on April 9, 2008 [1 favorite]


If deleting a single post is a comment on the general topic regardless of context or post quality, then lolcats are the true Tibet of the internet. Free the lolcats.
posted by Tehanu at 10:10 AM on April 9, 2008


I'll cast my lot in with the MetaFilter-is-like-THIS crew. I'd like to see a shift away from the early asshat snark ---> derailed thread ---> "this isn't going well" deletion pattern that seems somewhat common. I think that it might be useful to use the Ask style comment deletion notice , i.e. [Take your pointless snark/belly-aching about the post/predictions of deletion/expressions of boredom to MeTa], when excising such comments on the blue as a little reminder to people not to thread-shit.
posted by ssg at 10:26 AM on April 9, 2008


Mullingitover, no one shat in that thread. There were a couple of very mild comments pointing out that it was not a good post by commenters who did not further engage the thread. That is nowhere close to shitting in a thread, and is something we have done at Metafilter for years and years.

It is true that Matt said a few weeks ago he wanted less noise and more signal, and I thought twice before posting my comment. But he has also said repeatedly that Metafilter is about the links and that "I want to talk about this" is never a good reason to make a post. I am sorry you took such offense at that.
posted by LarryC at 3:28 PM on April 9, 2008


LarryC writes "Mullingitover, no one shat in that thread. There were a couple of very mild comments pointing out that it was not a good post by commenters who did not further engage the thread. That is nowhere close to shitting in a thread, and is something we have done at Metafilter for years and years.

"It is true that Matt said a few weeks ago he wanted less noise and more signal, and I thought twice before posting my comment. But he has also said repeatedly that Metafilter is about the links and that 'I want to talk about this' is never a good reason to make a post. I am sorry you took such offense at that."


Yes, a couple mild comments, yours being 50% of them. I'm sorry, I should provide a helpful clarification: announcing your negative opinion about the quality of the post is somewhere between worthless and harmful. That's shitting in the thread means, and these metatalk-type comments are what Metatalk is for. I made a reasonable post, others were discussing and adding more interesting information, and clearly nobody was asking, "Yes, but what does LarryC think? Should we maybe close this post because he doesn't like it?"

Discussion is as much what Metafilter is about as the links. If you don't like that fact, you're free to submit a pony request for commenting to go away, since it's superfluous and all. It would certainly make life easier for the mods, since the site would wither and die. We've been through this before, and it really boils down to the site being a benevolent dictatorship, where the mods delete posts on a whim but we trust them to do the right thing because they ususally do. Trying to play mod in-thread has all the class of a third grader trying to be teacher's pet.

Yes, the ritual thread defecation has gone unaddressed in the past. So has obesity, cat declawing, and that animated gif of an elephant taking a dump. Yet we're in a better place now. You can't stop progress.
posted by mullingitover at 4:49 PM on April 9, 2008


Really, if you see a thread going downhill, the best thing to do is to post a really good comment. Something interesting and insightful, with perhaps a supplementary link. I've seen a threads turn around on a comment I made, and it's a rewarding thing to have done.
posted by orange swan at 7:18 PM on April 9, 2008 [2 favorites]


"Speaking as someone looking at it from this side, that's really not what's going on. We don't have people generally speaking who flag all newsfilter posts or all single-link youtubery or any one type of post generally. There are definitely people who are more sensitive about certain types of topics (like the standard MeFi Trainwreck topics) but I don't think we're seeing anyone who says "Ack, newsfilter *flags!*" without looking at the content of the post or the substance of the comments.
"
—jessamyn

Can we have that list of standard MeFi Trainwreck Topics. :)
You know, to avoid them at all costs.

I'm not particularly interested how a FPP is worded, but it's more the awareness factor and in any thread, there'll be some who'll add to the content, regardless how the FPP was worded originally.
So, from your perspective — I'm assuming, the noise input[ers] didn't flag¿ It seemed as if they didn't read the link neither though.

"I think the YFZ ranch story is extremely important, and very much worth discussing, and I see its deletion as an admission-- or an assertion-- that MetaFilter is not up to having such sensitive and important discussions...
"
jamjam

here here, that's what I mean to say.

While we're on the naming this America's Tibet, jamjam is correct in pointing out the mentality of the pack herd. How regular folks are changed by mob actions. It's all about that first stone thrown, indeed.
Tie them to the stake and lashes for first stone throwers.//

Shall we introduce a 'no touch' Friday and let 'er rip [a no deletion Friday, say]¿ Hell, it'll save the admins a day+ off work and it could be a cathartic bloodletting, something that was recommended a few centuries ago as sound medicinal practice. [tongue in cheek, but an idea, neverhteless].
posted by alicesshoe at 12:53 AM on April 10, 2008


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