Account Closing Protocol June 24, 2008 9:41 PM   Subscribe

What would be the reason someone would want to close their account? If someone didn't want to "belong" to this "community", wouldn't someone just quit posting to the site, and reading it? And what of the posts someone has previously posted? Would a request to delete all of someone's own posts be complied with? posted by sluglicker to MetaFilter-Related at 9:41 PM (251 comments total)

Also, could you make the background white?
posted by roll truck roll at 9:47 PM on June 24, 2008 [4 favorites]


What would be the reason someone would want to close their account?

There are a lot of reasons. Some folks just want to officially render their account inactive, temporarily or permanently, whether to dissociate themselves from the site or to give themselves a sort of enforced break from it.

If someone didn't want to "belong" to this "community", wouldn't someone just quit posting to the site, and reading it?

Folks have and will probably continue to do that as well, yeah. For a very long time, there was no account-close button; sometimes folks would write to us to ask us to ban them manually (again, either permanently or just for a while), but I imagine others did (and for that matter still do) just stop using the site. Matter of personal choice.

And what of the posts someone has previously posted? Would a request to delete all of someone's own posts be complied with?

We've had folks ask to have a specific post here or there deleted for, usually, privacy reasons. Request to remove everything are very rare.

meaning you'ld rather not, but you will if asked to do so?

Generally speaking, meaning we'd rather not but every once in every great while someone decides to call their lawyer. It's a very weird take-my-football-and-go-home move, basically, but the balance between someone having a bad day and deciding to be a jerk vs. Matt having to put up with legal action is in the end pretty much Matt's tough call to make.

In the footer of all the sites here you'll see "All posts are © their original authors." As with text postings on mefi, you own whatever you upload, retaining full copyright....meaning that someone could revoke Metafilter's permission to publish?

I get the feeling this is pretty fuzzy territory as far as internet/copyright law goes, but I'm certainly not a lawyer. Again, someone taking as drastic and unfriendly a measure as commencing legal action against the site may make it a moot point—whether they're right to assert some revocation of material they've essentially made public without reserve previously is apples and oranges with whether it's worth it to fight them if they're going to do something like file a lawsuit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:50 PM on June 24, 2008


I now refuse to join any site that doesn't offer a way to close accounts. I don't need a bunch of random accounts running around -- I prefer to close them if I'm done with them.
posted by tkolar at 9:51 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think all of the front end and user interaction is done on port 80. The admins probably use 443 for their db console stuff.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:52 PM on June 24, 2008


TCP, that is. Not UDP.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:55 PM on June 24, 2008


If someone didn't want to "belong" to this "community", wouldn't someone just quit posting to the site, and reading it? And what of the posts someone has previously posted? Would a request to delete all of someone's own posts be complied with?

Are you "wondering" about "obliviation"?
posted by dersins at 9:57 PM on June 24, 2008


People close their accounts to make statements or because they lack the will power or the wherewithall to just walk away. Others just walk away but people mostly notice when they close their accounts. Many people close their accounts and come back later.

cortex has pretty much addressed the other issue. We'll sometimes anonymize an old embarassing AskMe question or delete a comment but we won't remove all your posts or comments unless threatened.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:01 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Generally speaking, meaning we'd rather not but every once in every great while someone decides to call their lawyer

Do you mean that unless someone calls their lawyer, you won't delete prior posts?
posted by sluglicker at 10:02 PM on June 24, 2008


And no, it's 8080.
posted by sluglicker at 10:05 PM on June 24, 2008


sluglicker, do you have an actual situation you're dealing with?

This is a case by case thing and that's as good as it's going to get. Occasionally we've gone and deleted one or two prior posts if people had compelling reasons. That's as far as we'd like to go unless pushed.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:07 PM on June 24, 2008


When you interact on the site here, you're not just posting on your own blog and commenting to yourself, you're engaging in a conversation with a whole bunch of other people, who respond and contribute and essentially collaborate with you to make this site what it is.

So a mass wipe doesn't just remove your content, it also breaks a whole bunch of conversation and removes a lot of history and context for other people from the site. It's a very disruptive thing to propose, and goes beyond the individual user.

I know of only one instance where Matt did a full wipe, and that involved a user who had already irreparably broken relations with the site in a really bad faith manner and then proceeded to, yes, threaten to sue.

At that point, it's the sort of thing that needs to be a conversation with Matt, not with Metatalk.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:09 PM on June 24, 2008


While we're here: why does the user's page show whether or not the account is disabled?
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:12 PM on June 24, 2008


why does the user's page show whether or not the account is disabled?

Because it was something people were asking about and it seemed to make sense to have an unobtrusive indicator that someone had closed their account or was banned. Otherwise people would email or ask in MetaTalk. That way people won't try to MeMail them, etc.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:17 PM on June 24, 2008


In the footer of all the sites here you'll see "All posts are © their original authors." As with text postings on mefi, you own whatever you upload, retaining full copyright....meaning that someone could revoke Metafilter's permission to publish?

Copyright on your posts designates ownership, but in posting to the site in the first place, you're agreeing to let me display it on the web server. That license to publish is separate from copyright altogether and I should finally break down and do a real terms of service, but that's basically what the terms of service on every site that lets you post anything online says (except the part where you retain copyright -- most sites will claim it as their own) that you're granting the site the right to display it when you press the post button.

In real terms, I don't want to delete someone's entire history from the site because it'd make old threads a mess filled with holes and quotes that don't make any sense. We'll remove a post here and there if you request it and have a reason why you want it removed, but I don't want to attach the close account button to a "nuke my 5,000 comments from orbit" button as well.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:28 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


cortex and jessamyn, thanks for your replies. I'm not a lawyer and don't know the law. I'm not asking about legal definitions about copyright law. I'm asking what MetaFilter policy is concerning the request from someone to delete their posts. I'm coming away from this with the impression that MetaFilter would not delete posts unless legal action was threatened or commenced. I understand your reasons for not wanting to mass delete, but the subsequent discussion occurred because of the original post(er). And it doesn't make any sense to me why anyone would click on a link to "officially" close their account, your explanations notwithstanding. Because of that, it seems odd to have such a link.
posted by sluglicker at 10:30 PM on June 24, 2008


And it doesn't make any sense to me why anyone would click on a link to "officially" close their account,

And yet, people do. All the time. The world's a strange and uncertain place.
posted by dersins at 10:36 PM on June 24, 2008


And it doesn't make any sense to me why anyone would click on a link to "officially" close their account

Oh, I agree completely. I don't think cortex or jessamyn are completely disagreeing with you either. It's weird and I resisted adding it for many years but people kept emailing saying that instead of just walking away from the site, they really wanted closure on it and to do "something" to make it stick. So I added it, and people seem to like it, especially when they need to take a vacation from the site and force themselves from wasting more time posting so they can finish their project/thesis/relationship and come back later.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:43 PM on June 24, 2008


Threaten to sue? Incredible! Perhaps an age limit or sanity test might prevent the membership of tantrum-throwing sore losers. It is difficult to understand how anyone could get so upset about the words of strangers.
posted by Cranberry at 10:45 PM on June 24, 2008


I've done it a couple of times. No matter what you've heard, it had nothing whatsoever to do with official cabal business, the witness protection program, or rehab.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:45 PM on June 24, 2008


And yet, people do. All the time.

dersins, are you privy to the logs here at MetaFilter? And by "all the time", how frequent would that be?
posted by sluglicker at 10:45 PM on June 24, 2008


IRFH - did you close all of your accounts?
posted by Cranberry at 10:48 PM on June 24, 2008


Matt, shouldn't you be sleeping? Don't any of the mods around here get any sleep?
posted by sluglicker at 10:52 PM on June 24, 2008


dersins, are you privy to the logs here at MetaFilter?

Nope.

how frequent would that be?


Often enough that it gets remarked upon in metatalk on a regular basis.
posted by dersins at 10:58 PM on June 24, 2008


The big red button is a bad idea and has added nothing to the site, but the mods like it for some reason.
posted by Afroblanco at 11:07 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


dersins, a search with "closed account" here gets four results, none of which are relevant. Could you help with locating the regular remarks? I can't find them.
posted by sluglicker at 11:08 PM on June 24, 2008


Hahaha, sluglicker, you're coming off as a bit aggressive. Just sayin'. I may very well be overtired and projecting, but still.

Closure is a pretty good reason for closing an account, I'd say. When I leave communities that don't have an option to close your account, I remove all personal information, signatures, and avatars from it. Posting again under the new settings feels weird, so I am discouraged from posting. On MeFi, there is practically no personalization added to your posts, so those methods don't work as well. It's too tempting to go back and make "one last comment" when you see something compelling, and some people prefer to be completely over and done with a certain chapter of their life and want a feature to help them along with it.

Why would you want all those accounts open anyway? It's akin to packratting. It's no longer useful to you, but you want the "option" there. Sometimes, having all possible options open isn't necessarily the best thing to do.
posted by Phire at 11:09 PM on June 24, 2008


sluglicker, you seem really dogged in your questioning, can you explain what's up?
posted by Meatbomb at 11:11 PM on June 24, 2008


I'm bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and wearing my Anti-Projection Cap, so I believe I'm qualified to confirm that sluglicker is indeed coming off as a bit aggressive.

Do let me know if my aggression-confirmation services are required further. Good day, sirs and ma'ams.
posted by katillathehun at 11:11 PM on June 24, 2008 [2 favorites]


IRFH - did you close all of your accounts?

Hell, I don't even remember half of my accounts, since I usually only use them once or twice.

The first time - and this was before the button - I had them close all of my accounts, then slowly opened a few back up. I was just trying to find a little balance.

The last time I opted out, I only closed this account, because I wanted the option to drop back in occasionally. I was mostly doing it because I got a new job and I knew I wasn't going to be around much for awhile. I left a little "out to lunch, back in 12 months" note when I closed out, but I didn't realize your bio stuff disappears when you close your account (makes total sense in hindsight), so instead of being a way for people to see "Oh - So that's what happened," it just looked like a weird gesture. I decided to open the account back up after I used the False Dichotomy account one time too many (I'm highly jealous of the False Dichotomy account because he's obviously much smarter than me), and I realized that I might as well just come back as "me" and hang out as time permits.

I don't see myself using the feature again, frankly, but stranger things have happened. Repeatedly.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:12 PM on June 24, 2008


Account disabled is a better search string, by the way.
posted by Phire at 11:13 PM on June 24, 2008




Flo, we all enjoyed Pot and Kettle. They were even cited as examples of humorous, harmless sockpuppets.
posted by Cranberry at 11:20 PM on June 24, 2008


Hahaha, sluglicker, you're coming off as a bit aggressive. Just sayin'. I may very well be overtired and projecting, but still.

Nope, he is being oddly aggro about this, for some reason. dersins is right -- conversations about the 'close account' button have come up dozens of times in Metatalk since its inception. Perhaps if sluglicker had been paying closer attention, he or she would have seen them before.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:22 PM on June 24, 2008


Account disabled is a better search string

Not really. Disabled is not the same thing as someone purposely clicking a link to close their account.

And I'm coming off as aggressive? Well, fuck you!!!
posted by sluglicker at 11:27 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


Lookit that s car go!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:28 PM on June 24, 2008


And I'm coming off as aggressive? Well, fuck you!!!

Get off the pipe, sluglicker, get off the pipe. It's clearly not doing you any good.
posted by dersins at 11:31 PM on June 24, 2008


Or, y'know, just click that button. The one on your "edit profile" page. The one that says "Close Your Account." You know you want to. And if you change your mind later, well, you can always ask them to let you back in. They'll probably do it.

Probably.
posted by dersins at 11:33 PM on June 24, 2008


Where's languagehat when you need him.

Paging languagehat! We need one chainsaw here, stat!
posted by Afroblanco at 11:33 PM on June 24, 2008


It is difficult to understand how anyone could get so upset about the words of strangers.

Sometimes you get harassed by anonymous trolls, and that harassment goes to the point of Google-bombing.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:34 PM on June 24, 2008


And I'm coming off as aggressive? Well, fuck you!!!

Well played, sir, well played.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:38 PM on June 24, 2008


I'm going to bed now. If somebody flames out and I miss it, I'm closing my account (well, one of my accounts) for good!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:40 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


It's amazing how, what seems to me to be simple questions, can be so misconstrued . I don't know about any one else, but I'm going to get some shut-eye. Goodnight, dersins.
posted by sluglicker at 11:46 PM on June 24, 2008


Goodnight sluglicker. Do you mind taking a couple of those excess commas with you? TIA.
posted by dersins at 11:48 PM on June 24, 2008 [1 favorite]


And I'm coming off as aggressive? Well, fuck you!!!

Goodness gracious, why do things always get interesting in the middle of the night! [not non-USian-ist, just stating a chronological fact from my own perspective]. Now I'm going to have to make more coffee!
posted by amyms at 11:53 PM on June 24, 2008


Those aren't stray commas, Dersins. They're feral winks.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:54 PM on June 24, 2008 [9 favorites]


Goodnight, dersins.
Goodnight sluglicker.


Oh geez. Now I have fresh coffee perking for no reason!
posted by amyms at 11:54 PM on June 24, 2008


It's amazing how, what seems to me to be simple questions, can be so misconstrued.

Well, when you persist with the same questions when they've basically been answered by the qualified people, and you start asking for stats and whatnot, your simple questions begin to look like they're getting at something, you know? Like you've got a personal beef. Do you? Honest question. I'm just saying your questions don't read like casual curiosity.
posted by katillathehun at 11:55 PM on June 24, 2008


Like you've got a personal beef. Do you?

Perhaps this just happens to be bad.
posted by carsonb at 12:03 AM on June 25, 2008


Another reason people want their account disabled or deleted is because they are trying to make a "fuck off" statement to other users or to the site's management. I can't think of an example of that sort of flouncing off of Metafilter but on a site I run I've had those kinds of demands. If you won't delete their account some people feel that you've got something on them somehow, or they feel they're not being given freedom from the site, sort of like that Seinfeld joke that in order to break up, both people have to enter the code.
posted by loiseau at 12:05 AM on June 25, 2008


When people really lose it, stink up a thread, flame out, and close their account in a huff after one final steamy turd, I want a real-time indicator (maybe a pair of eyeballs with a has-refreshed-this-page counter in the upper right) that shows that the closed-account user has come back and is silently, impotently, watching us try clean up their mess.

We should also have roughly demographically correct batches of embarrassing nude photos, quietly revealed mefi mails, and stealthily inserted posts (attributed to the closed-account user) secreted into old threads so that when the mefi detective squad goes a searchin' they can find some really juicy stuff. As each item is revealed, the eyeballs get angrier (I don't know what an angry eyeball looks like, just work with me here).

A new sub-site, betfi, will take wagers on when the poster will re-emerge to deny everything, and curse us anew. Upon account re-activation, all of the sleazy stuff is tucked back away, the detective thread is pruned, and we all welcome the user back like they're a long lost friend, leaving them spluttering and suitably humbled.

That's my pony.
posted by maxwelton at 12:24 AM on June 25, 2008 [11 favorites]


Account disabled is a better search string
Not really. Disabled is not the same thing as someone purposely clicking a link to close their account.

umm, no - google doesn't understand meaning, it indexes words.

it so happens that when people close their accounts, and this is discussed in MeTa, people tend to say "disabled" rather than "closed". so for finding the relevant threads it is a better search term, semantics be damned.
posted by russm at 12:28 AM on June 25, 2008


Ohmygawd, maxwelton, your pony is a thing of beauty. Seriously.
posted by amyms at 12:29 AM on June 25, 2008


The big red button is a bad idea.

But this big red button is a good idea!
Go on, push it!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 12:32 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Or this big red button.

Nice to know there is a wide variety of big red buttons on the web for all purposes.
posted by wendell at 12:58 AM on June 25, 2008


Regardless of intent, when an account is inactive - either closed down or banned - the note on their page says "This account is disabled". When people refer to suddenly-disappearing-members, it tends to be in the format of "[Insert username here] - This account has been disabled. WHAAA???"

So "account" "disabled" actually will turn up more results.

But what the hey. He's going to sleep, I'm going to work. It's all good.
posted by Phire at 3:18 AM on June 25, 2008


but we won't remove all your posts or comments unless threatened.

You better delete all my stuff or I'm starting a thread about fat gay vegan feminists who are southern bapists that head up charities.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:30 AM on June 25, 2008


Sluglicker, awhile ago I started a page in the wiki about members who have left, but it hasn't been updated in a while. If anyone has any more info, let me know.

But yeah, people seem to leave for a variety of reasons and some even quickly return.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:41 AM on June 25, 2008


I was toying with the idea of using threads in forums as dialogue for a bunch of shorts I was going to make a few years ago - some (not a lot) of the back and forth in Fucked Company was incredible - the concept of poster copyright negates that idea. Would that be an issue for anyone if I were ever to do that? (hypothetically speaking, as I probably wouldn't, but it's still an interesting idea).
posted by strawberryviagra at 5:39 AM on June 25, 2008


Would that be an issue for anyone

It would definitely be an issue for someone, meaning all it takes if for one person to not want it to mess it up.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:43 AM on June 25, 2008


I understand sluglicker's puzzlement, though not what seems to be his (?) hostility about why people close their accounts. The reason(s) are sort of dissatisfying. But then, "Because I felt like it" (or in this case, maybe it's "I prefer not to"?) is a common, and commonly dissatisfying, reason for doing a lot of stuff.
posted by rtha at 6:00 AM on June 25, 2008


Someday when I have a written will, there will be instructions for the executor to gather my family around the computer, offer a prayer, and click the 'Close Account' button. That is all.

Oh, and I left the site for 2 whole years, and was happy my account was still waiting for me when I came back...
posted by blue_beetle at 6:00 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


It is difficult to understand how anyone could get so upset about the words of strangers.

Perhaps they've always depended on the kindness of strangers. Who knows?
posted by ersatz at 6:14 AM on June 25, 2008


STELLLLAAAAAAAAA!!!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:37 AM on June 25, 2008




Goddammit, I come all this way, carrying a chainsaw, and nobody's flaming out? Ебена мать!

Also, this is a silly post and the poster is being pointlessly aggressive. (Maybe that'll get some chainsaw action...)
posted by languagehat at 6:43 AM on June 25, 2008


MetaFilter: You can checkout any time you like, but you can never leave.
posted by netbros at 6:58 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Don't any of the mods around here get any sleep?

We get more sleep when there aren't complicated MeTa questions asked in the middle of our night.

I personally don't get/wouldn't use the close account thing but I know why mathowie added it and people have used it since [for huffy flouncing off as well as "I have to get some work done" reasons]. It's unsatisfying because a lot of times you don't totally know what is going on, or you miss someone, or you're curious "gee is it something I said?" but it's the same as someone not returning your emails, it causes you to realize that there's probably something going on in people's whole big lives that is taking priority [I always like to think that they've gone on an extended camping trip] and that MeFi is a nice place to hang out, but for most people not an all-in-one destination resort.

Would that be an issue for anyone if I were ever to do that?

This topic really needs to be its own MeTa thread, not tacked on to the end of a thread about something else.

sluglicker, I still don't know if you have an implied other question within the questions you have asked. I think all three of us have answered the obvious questions [it depends, people asked for this feature, no we probably won't do that] so if there's something else you'd like to know, please let us know.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:14 AM on June 25, 2008


"Red 3 standing by."
"Red 6 standing by."
"Red 5 standing by."
"Red Buttons standing by."
"Redd Foxx standing by."
"Big Red standing by."
"Red October standing by."
"Helen Reddy standing by."
"Simply Red standing by."
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:14 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Dammit, keep that commie lettering off the site. What are you, a pinko hippie or something?

maybe this might help, lh
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:15 AM on June 25, 2008


I always like to think that they've gone on an extended camping trip

"Mommy? Where's Rex?"

"He... went on an extended camping trip, son. With your old hamster Skippy."
posted by katillathehun at 7:19 AM on June 25, 2008


"Red Buttons standing by."

Lock s-foils in attack position.
posted by GuyZero at 7:44 AM on June 25, 2008


Goddammit, I come all this way, carrying a chainsaw, and nobody's flaming out?

Well, there's your problem, languagehat. You gotta get one of those new combination chainsaw/flame throwers. That's a man's weapon.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:52 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


*Locks beef patties in aluminum foil, lights up grill*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:52 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Does the Contact Activity sidebar show when one of your contacts has disabled their account? Or (more importantly) does it show when an account comes out of disabled status?

Because that would be my pony.
posted by quin at 8:01 AM on June 25, 2008


It doesn't show when a contact disables their account, so I can't imagine it shows when the account comes back.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:05 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Because that would be my pony.

Yeah, that'd be cool.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:09 AM on June 25, 2008


It doesn't do that, no, and I can't imagine we'll change it to do so. It sounds like drama in a can.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:11 AM on June 25, 2008


Hmm, well then, how 'bout comedy in a box?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:14 AM on June 25, 2008


Absurdism in a baggie?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:15 AM on June 25, 2008


A musical in a basket?
posted by Jahaza at 8:18 AM on June 25, 2008


Dramedy in a fannie pack.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:19 AM on June 25, 2008


A sweeping saga on a pony?
posted by xod at 8:20 AM on June 25, 2008


Oh, so now we're back to ponies?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 8:22 AM on June 25, 2008


Just for dramatic effect.
posted by xod at 8:24 AM on June 25, 2008


* locks pony in foil, lights up grill*
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:24 AM on June 25, 2008


*Pony kicks free, rears up on hind legs, big-red-button-eyes flaring.*
posted by xod at 8:27 AM on June 25, 2008


Oblivion in a pony keg.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:32 AM on June 25, 2008


Burlesque in a bucket?

Vaudville in a vault?

Opera in an ox cart?
posted by Jahaza at 8:38 AM on June 25, 2008


Cell phone in a butt?

*closes account*
posted by xod at 8:38 AM on June 25, 2008


I prefer my drama canned. It keeps better.

And let me tell you, there is nothing worse that discovering that your drama stores have gone bad. That's the kind of smell where it's easier to just move out of your house and burn it down, because you aren't ever going to cover it up with an air freshener.
posted by quin at 8:38 AM on June 25, 2008


Indignation in horse armor.
posted by yeti at 8:43 AM on June 25, 2008


Why are so many Mefites contracting Andy Rooney disease?
posted by WCityMike at 8:57 AM on June 25, 2008


Noh plays draped in a riddle wrapped in mystery wearing a bullet-proof vest.
posted by Mister_A at 9:03 AM on June 25, 2008


When the sidebar conspires an armor
And her sullen and indignant
Closures breed tiny dramas
True blogging is dead
Awkward instant
And the first account is jettisoned
Sockpuppets furiously typing
Their puke purple pablum
And snark leaps up
Torch
Popcorn
Chainsaw
Google-bomb
In mutual hostile antipathies
Carefully revived
And lived over
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:08 AM on June 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


Tragedy in a hamper.
posted by never used baby shoes at 9:10 AM on June 25, 2008


I asked a question, cortex responded, and then jessamyn. I understood jessamyn's reply, but did not fully understand cortex's. I asked for further clarification and he did. jessamyn posted again. Then I restated cortex's answer in a way that was, to me, clearer just to be sure I understood exactly what he meant. And Matt posted a comment just before I hit the button on that last comment of mine. I didn't read it until afterwards. At that point, my question had been thoroughly answered. I don't see any aggression on my part, though I could be accused of being slow to comprehend.

dersins first comment seemed flippant. My response reflected that. Nothing personal against dersins though. And in fact, closing one's account doesn't happen all the time. I was aware of the dhoyt thing, but had missed the thread on boobs where apparently three people closed their account. I also know of two or three others over the past couple years.

Brandon Blatcher's comment provided some additional info. Thanks!

Lastly, carsonb's suggestion that I was pissed about a recent deletion: Nope. I thought it was funny, other's didn't and after a few comments in that thread, I expected it to be deleted. The comments about me being aggressive came as a total surprise and my response to that was meant to be funny. That's it.
posted by sluglicker at 9:12 AM on June 25, 2008


sluglicker, I'm guess that as much as anything some folks were seeing (unintended) aggressiveness in the way that you kept coming back to the would-we-wipe-an-account thing, as much as anything becuase it's kind of DEFCON 2 sort of topic and it wasn't clear if you were gearing up to make a demand or just idly asking.

What I'm getting from you is that you were (a) just kind of asking and (b) coming back to it for clarification, not to hammer on the point for effect, so I can understand why you might be confused by folks' response. It might just be a mutual misinterpratation of tone thing: you're surprised people would mistake curiosity for aggression, others are surprised that you're being so tenacious about something they consider not really needing clarification.

Life on the internet, I tell you what.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:28 AM on June 25, 2008


It sounds like drama in a can.

You say that like it's a bad thing.
posted by deborah at 9:30 AM on June 25, 2008


So… we're cool?
posted by klangklangston at 9:34 AM on June 25, 2008


I know of only one instance where Matt did a full wipe, and that involved a user who had already irreparably broken relations with the site in a really bad faith manner and then proceeded to, yes, threaten to sue.
Mem'ries
Light the corners of my mind
Misty water-colored memories
Of the way we were
posted by timeistight at 9:35 AM on June 25, 2008


Cooler than cool, klangklangston.
posted by dersins at 9:41 AM on June 25, 2008


Ya know, it can be difficult to gracefully advocate an unpopular position on MeFi. God knows, I've advocated enough of them. For an opinionated person like me, it's inevitable. However, I'm glad that I've always resisted the temptation to flame out. That way, at least I can look back on my old posts and think, "god, I was really being a dick," or, "god, I did a terrible job of stating my opinion," (see The Metafilter Effect) but at least I lived to fight another day.

And this is why the big red button is sad and unnecessary. Pressing it is an admission of defeat on the part of the user. It's the same as saying, "I fucked up big time, and I'll probably never be back to remind y'all of why you liked me in the first place."

I mean, sure, Sometimes They Come Back, if they ask really nicely. But somehow, that makes the whole thing worse. It's like they have to come crawling back after begging for forgiveness. Wouldn't it be better if they just never left in the first place?

I know that the mods disagree with me on this, but I have to be stubborn on this matter. I oppose the big red button.
posted by Afroblanco at 10:11 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


'kay. So. Time to digress into jokey comments and in-jokes now, right?
posted by desuetude at 10:12 AM on June 25, 2008


Only an idiot would close his account and come back.
posted by Dave Faris at 10:12 AM on June 25, 2008 [3 favorites]


True that.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:17 AM on June 25, 2008


And this is why the big red button is sad and unnecessary.

Once again, I now refuse to join any site -- especially one that requires my email address -- that doesn't have a clear way to close the account.

Sure, it turns out that Matt is a good guy who doesn't send spam mail to his account list. But I didn't know that when I joined, and having a clear way to shut down my account removed a large obstacle to me opening one in the first place.
posted by tkolar at 10:18 AM on June 25, 2008


Remember that time, there was that guy and he really flamed out, and then got kicked out? That was cool.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:21 AM on June 25, 2008


Big red button = cybersuicide?
posted by Cranberry at 10:24 AM on June 25, 2008


'kay. So. Time to digress into jokey comments and in-jokes now, right?

You got it, Steve.
posted by Pax at 10:25 AM on June 25, 2008


The Big Red Button should just say "I'm a loser" on it.

Or, for makth lulth, rotate a set of alternate MeTa post-friendly phrases like "I have sand in my vagina" or "I'm a retard" or "Hurf Durf Button Pusher." Then, whenever someone is tempted to leave with a flourish of their wizard hat, they'll be faced with the burning desire to complain one last time about the offending text. We've got to know how to play to the target audience for retention, here.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:33 AM on June 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


It's cyberpainless, Cranberry.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:38 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


tempest in a teapot.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:39 AM on June 25, 2008


Pressing it is an admission of defeat on the part of the user. It's the same as saying, "I fucked up big time, and I'll probably never be back to remind y'all of why you liked me in the first place."

See, I get the impression that most people pushing the button while flaming out, don't necessarily realize they're flaming out. They think they're saying "I'm right, you're wrong, and I'm taking my ball and going home."

That's just my opinion.
posted by inigo2 at 10:39 AM on June 25, 2008


I think it should say "Click to don your wizard hat and exit with a flourish of robes."
posted by Tehanu at 10:40 AM on June 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


You motherfuckers want some hugs and shit?
posted by Mister_A at 10:41 AM on June 25, 2008


cortex, that's about right. I understood why people would leave for a period of time, or permanently, for lots of different reasons. And also why someone would formally announce they were quiting for the same reasons or out of protest. It seemed odd to me that someone would close their account other than in protest and that there would be a link to actually do it. Matt cleared that up. I thought that if someone closed their account in protest, they might often want their posts to be deleted, like taking the ball and going home. Having read the music/deletion post, I made the connection to this. I understand that you would rather not delete posts and the reasons why. I can see why someone might not want to be publicly associated with a site anymore (google search results for example), yet without the deletion of their posts, they would be. I was asking what would actually be done if someone did ask. You have answered my question.
posted by sluglicker at 10:42 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


M*A*S*H-es cortex, but goes on to observe that a departed MeFite can still read the site, can still waste spend endless hours reading contrary opinions and rue the fact that s/he can no longer dispute them. No one suffers except the now even more frustrated departed MeFite.
posted by Cranberry at 10:49 AM on June 25, 2008


Rock and roll, sluglicker.

Mister_A, gimme some of that shit.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:50 AM on June 25, 2008


And now, if you will excuse me, I have to call my attorney.
posted by sluglicker at 10:57 AM on June 25, 2008


You motherfuckers want some hugs and shit?

The thing about the note: down there is that some of the hugs that some people need are, in fact, vicious backbreaking bear hugs.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:02 AM on June 25, 2008


Cats have such sturdy hind legs, and they seem so comfortable standing on them to reach up to something. Can't we teach them to walk upright?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:07 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


And if we won't excuse you? What then?
posted by owtytrof at 11:12 AM on June 25, 2008


THUNDERDOME
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:20 AM on June 25, 2008


Do you have any data on that?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:22 AM on June 25, 2008


sluglicker: I think your tone was misinterpreted because of a couple specific things. I understand your intent, but I feel I should point them out just so you know.

1) Every sentence was a question. Every single one. Because of this, your post ends up feeling a little insistent and also much more specific than a general "Hey, what's the deal with X?" question. Specific puts us on guard because it gives us the sense that you're trying to catch us giving answers that contradict each other or past actions.

2) You use the word 'policy' (granted, not in your original post) which also sounds like you're trying to catch us at something or agree to act in a certain way in perpetuity. We don't really have policies here so much as guidelines.

3) You rephrased cortex's answer about post deletion in such a way as to give no wiggle room. I understand you were looking for clarity and now you're better informed, but at the time it just seemed like yet another attempt to get the mods to agree to a very specific rule or policy.

Hope that's in some way helpful.
posted by ODiV at 11:27 AM on June 25, 2008


The big red button is a bad idea and has added nothing to the site, but the mods like it for some reason.
posted by Afroblanco


What he said.

We've discussed this before and it never has nor ever will make any sense. Every time the mods defend the big red button I think I must be on crazy pills.

You can delete all personal info except for a line that says "I'm gone" and do the same thing. If disabling your account was permanent this would be a different discussion. But it's not. It seems to make some people happy, but it add nothing to the site.
posted by justgary at 11:28 AM on June 25, 2008


You people are driving me crazy. I'm outahere.
posted by he opens a window at 11:31 AM on June 25, 2008


Don't let the window hit you as you climb out, man.
posted by Tehanu at 11:32 AM on June 25, 2008


It seems to make some people happy, but it add nothing to the site.

Just to clarify, a site feature that makes some people happier adds to nothing to the site?
posted by tkolar at 11:32 AM on June 25, 2008


I don't really know how to make the close button make sense to folks who dislike it. I think it'll be a source of disagreement pretty much indefinitely, and so it goes. We closed folks' accounts manually before it came along, so the officially-closing-it-down behavior is not new to the button.

From our perspective, adding a feature that (a) a bunch of people have asked for and which (b) reduces mod workload spent working around the lack of, making us more available to do everything else we do around here instead, very much qualifies as adding something to the site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:37 AM on June 25, 2008


Could we have a midi file of Goodbye Stranger play across the entire site whenever someone presses the red button? Please?
posted by Sailormom at 11:49 AM on June 25, 2008 [4 favorites]


I just looked at my list of things to do tomorrow and one item said "pay car tax". I looked quickly and couldn't figure out why I owed money to cortex .
posted by horsemuth at 11:53 AM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


We don't really have policies here so much as guidelines.

Like pirates!
posted by octobersurprise at 11:55 AM on June 25, 2008


I don't really know how to make the close button make sense to folks who dislike it

Maybe change the wording and thought behind from disabled to inactive? As in "This account is inactive." Disabled sounds kinda negative and permanent, while inactive is bit more neutral, with no implied time frame.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:58 AM on June 25, 2008


If someone with multiple personalities threatens to hit the big red button, is that considered a hostage crisis?
posted by netbros at 12:01 PM on June 25, 2008


Maybe change the wording and thought behind from disabled to inactive?

I like this idea, but I also think there should be different messages for different situations- "This account was banned" vs. "This account was closed by user".
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:08 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


*man-hugs cortex*

Also: Pirates! is a guideline???? Excellent news.
posted by Mister_A at 12:14 PM on June 25, 2008


Pressing it is an admission of defeat on the part of the user. It's the same as saying, "I fucked up big time, and I'll probably never be back to remind y'all of why you liked me in the first place."

I think that says more about your mindset about interactions here than it does about the motivations of those who have and will press it. Me, I just plan to call a press conference.

Why are so many Mefites contracting Andy Rooney disease?

They ate some contaminated airline peanuts while waiting in line at the bank while listening to that crazy noise the young people are calling music.

Previous related snarkery.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:14 PM on June 25, 2008


Maybe change it to "this account is differently abled"?
posted by JanetLand at 12:15 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Maybe change the wording and thought behind from disabled to inactive? As in "This account is inactive." Disabled sounds kinda negative and permanent, while inactive is bit more neutral

Would that mean my lazy ass could start parking the car in those sweet spaces right next to the store? 'Cuz I would totally be on board with this if I could.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:17 PM on June 25, 2008


ODiV, I'll keep your suggestions in mind the next time I ask a question here. On the other hand, I would think my second comment, which was early in this thread, should have cleared things up.
posted by sluglicker at 12:22 PM on June 25, 2008


THUNDERDOME

Can't we get beyond Thunderdome?
posted by nola at 12:27 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, I would think my second comment, which was early in this thread, should have cleared things up.

On the third hand, that's the comment where you say:
And it doesn't make any sense to me why anyone would click on a link to "officially" close their account, your explanations notwithstanding.Because of that, it seems odd to have such a link.
Which sounds an awful lot like you're calling cortex and jessamyn liars.

Just, y'know, fyi, in case you were wondering why people questioned your tone.
posted by dersins at 12:27 PM on June 25, 2008


To be fair, though, I didn't read it as such in that context. But I'm pretty acclimated at this point to the accept-reject dichotomy in the metatalk crowd regarding the big red button (as evidenced once again in this very thread), so I took it at face value as disagreement, not rebuke.

I can see both readings, though, and I think dersins is right as far as how tone plays into it regardless of how I personally read it or what sluglicker intended. Tone is tricky, and early diagnosis of tone-deafness can be hard to do, which is a shame because it's also just about the best way to defuse an unnecessary conflict or escalation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:47 PM on June 25, 2008


I also think there should be different messages for different situations- "This account was banned" vs. "This account was closed by user".

Those strike me as too specific, with people bombarding MetaTalk or emailing the mods with "Why was this account banned" or "Why did user X close her/her account? and when? and I can send them an email? Why not, you're not the boss of me, fuck you!"


Tone is tricky, and early diagnosis of tone-deafness can be hard to do

Screw you and your racist statements!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:54 PM on June 25, 2008


Skin-tone-deafness is the new color-blindness.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:58 PM on June 25, 2008


Skin-tone-deafness is the new color-blindness.

Are you saying these jeans make me look fat?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 PM on June 25, 2008


dersins, I had no such intentions. I also didn't get the impression that cortex, jessamyn and Matt were antagonistic. I felt no negativity on any one's part, except you, throughout this thread. What can I do to make you feel better?
posted by sluglicker at 1:05 PM on June 25, 2008


No, he wasn't.

But they totally do.
posted by ODiV at 1:07 PM on June 25, 2008


Those strike me as too specific, with people bombarding MetaTalk or emailing the mods

See, I wondered if what we have right now is not specific enough, which causes people to contact the mods and be like, hey, why is User X's account disabled? (Confession: I do this.) I suppose only the mods would know if they are bothered enough to want to change things.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:07 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


What can I do to make you feel better?

A plate of cookies would be nice. Thanks.
posted by dersins at 1:15 PM on June 25, 2008


Couldn't a person resigning alter his/her profile with the reason?
Why not offer space for the departing haiku suggested earlier or at least a sentence of goodbye? A terminal snark?
posted by Cranberry at 1:15 PM on June 25, 2008


Here you go!
posted by sluglicker at 1:18 PM on June 25, 2008


accounts are never disabled. accounts are only "differently-abled".
posted by quonsar at 1:20 PM on June 25, 2008


You fucking asswipes,
You'll be sorry when I'm gone!
Choke on your keyboards.
posted by Dave Faris at 1:26 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


See, I wondered if what we have right now is not specific enough,

I guess there's a balance of letting users know that someone is no longer on the site vs keeping that someone's privacy. There's probably no "one size fits all" solution.

Why not offer space for the departing haiku suggested earlier or at least a sentence of goodbye? A terminal snark?

Then you deal with people flinging crap as a parting shot. It could be designed so that the mods would have to approve every goodbye quote, but I don't see them being eager to do that.

Here you go!

No, he wants a plate of cookies served by tubgirl.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:26 PM on June 25, 2008


Brandon Blatcher, you promised that our tubgirl cookie thing would be our secret! I can't believe you've betrayed my trust like this! That's the last time I agree to let your mom serve us cookies!
posted by dersins at 1:32 PM on June 25, 2008


Exclamation point!
posted by dersins at 1:34 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


There should be some kind of wall to climb blocking access to the button. May I suggest that it be of dicks?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:43 PM on June 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: parting shots would be the bonus of allowing goodbye sentences. There is a certain percentage of members that enjoy angry statements. Since there is no apparent practice of disallowing what might be called substandard English, the mods would have little or no additional duties while extra entertainment would be provided for the masses. Win/win.
posted by Cranberry at 1:57 PM on June 25, 2008


That's the last time I agree to let your mom serve us cookies!

You're confusing me with some other black Mefite.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:57 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


See, I wondered if what we have right now is not specific enough, which causes people to contact the mods and be like, hey, why is User X's account disabled? (Confession: I do this.) I suppose only the mods would know if they are bothered enough to want to change things.

I think we're probably not bothered enough to want to change things. You need to remember that we'd heard from folks, both publicly and privately, about the status of user-x-who-hasn't-commented-since-last-[year|month|week|evening] accounts before there was ever a button. This way, at the very least, we've eliminated the "did x leave?" inquiries, even if we've gotten in exchange a possible uptick in "WHY did x leave?" inquiries instead.

Changing those out to "Why did x CLOSE their account" vs. "Why did x get BANNED" vs. "Why did X go on HIATUS" doesn't feel like a net gain, and the system works pretty well as an at-least-you-know compromise, so we don't have a lot of incentive to change it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:59 PM on June 25, 2008


There is a certain percentage of members that enjoy angry statements.
There's a certain percentage of members that want climbing walls made out of dicks, but we don't let them run the show.


so we don't have a lot of incentive to change it.
Oh look, is that a doughnut?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:02 PM on June 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


Surround the Big Red Button with various reasons someone might want to close their account, just this question happens, hopefully, less.

And while I wouldn't leave a little space for a parting shot, it might be nice to allow a user to select one or more reasons they are closing their account. Some kind of checkboxes for My Reasons:

1) Got a life, you can stop wondering if I am going to post any more bon mots or answer your MeFi email, because I'm not.

2) Devoid of willpower, my fingers practically rattle off the URL in my sleep. Closing my account creates an artificial barrier to my incessant posting, that is, I have to ruefully ask for my account to be turned on. Never trust a junkie.

3) I am taking a little break while on a spiritual pilgrimage; I shall return with the wisdom of the grave.

4) This sockpuppet has a hole in it. Busted!

5) Seriously, stop stalking me, jessamyn - my heart shall never be yours.

6) Those included in this classification.

7) Screw you guys: I am flaming out.

8) Guys, I screwed up: I am shaming out.

9) Innumerable ones.

10) Those that belong to cortex.

11) Reasons which make me tremble madly.
posted by adipocere at 2:04 PM on June 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


You're confusing me with some other black Mefite

Huh?
posted by dersins at 2:09 PM on June 25, 2008


Just to clarify, a site feature that makes some people happier adds to nothing to the site?
posted by tkolar


It just adds an unneeded feature to the site. If you added a feature for every whim that would make a particular user happy you'd never stop adding features. And I don't care that we have this feature, if it makes you happy great. I'm all for happy people. But thinking that pushing the button does anything seems like an illusion to me, much like the 'change light' buttons at crosswalks. You mentioned something about spam, but I really haven't heard anything in your love for the feature that makes me understand your view, or what you would get out of disabling your account other than the satisfaction of doing so.

From our perspective, adding a feature that (a) a bunch of people have asked for and which (b) reduces mod workload spent working around the lack of, making us more available to do everything else we do around here instead, very much qualifies as adding something to the site.
posted by cortex


You're basically saying it's needed because people want it and this way they get it and you can work on other stuff. It's like leaving the TV on to keep the 2 year old occupied while you do your taxes. Though not really answering the question at all (how it adds to the site) it might still make sense if you then didn't reactivate accounts on a users whim (sometimes a week or two later-- which actually adds work).

Adds work because before they would have stormed off and simply come back a week later, no mod intervention needed.

Again, I don't mind the feature, but I can certainly see why this question pops up. People want it, we don't have to deal with it, etc. only works if you're using the jedi mind trick.
posted by justgary at 2:11 PM on June 25, 2008


Adds work because before they would have stormed off and simply come back a week later, no mod intervention needed.

Except that they instead asked us to assist with stomping off, manually. Or instead of stomping off, they kept going with some horrific flameout that itself generated a huge amount of work. This is not actually that simple of a comparison.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:25 PM on June 25, 2008


You're basically saying it's needed because people want it and this way they get it and you can work on other stuff. It's like leaving the TV on to keep the 2 year old occupied while you do your taxes.

Nice metaphor. It was a requested feature that we thought was a good idea, so we added it.

The whole reason the close account thing started was because mathowie was on another site, Pownce I think, and wanted to close his account. He realized that in order to close his account he'd have to email the people running the site (I think? I may have this story a little off...) and wait. He was already annoyed at the glut of email and noise he was getting from it and thought that something like account closure -- especially if you're already pissed off at a site -- should be something that users could do on their own.

From a mod perspective, if you're that pissed off, having to email us and ... wait for some sort of feedback from us that yes your account was closed seems stupid. It's not like it's something we can't trust a user to do on their own and they should be able to make their own decisions about it. In ALL cases, if a user closed their own account we'll open it back up again for them if they ask (which does require an email and a wait and is a little less than optimal).

In many cases when a user closes their account it allows us a chance to follow-up with them (we get an email when someone clicks the button so we know how often it's happening, maybe two or three times a week, maybe once every other week it's a user with an established history) which is a very different discussion than it would be if we were trying to "talk them out of it" which I don't see as our role. We can say "hey what's going on?" and not "are you SURE you want to do this..." which is not a conversation we should be having with users.

So, from my perspective it's a good thing because

- users can make the choice to do this whenever they want and not interact with the site further if they don't want to. This is good for angry users and for us.
- users can come back whenever they want, this is in the FAQ and pretty clear.
- there's an indicator that an account has been disabled but not a "fuck you I'm out of here" indicator which is helpful [if you really wanted to say "fuck you I'm out of here" you'd edit your profile to say that and then NOT disable your account.]
- we can follow up in ways that are appropriate and not patronizing. The difference between "hey what happened there?" and "are you SURE you want to do this" is really vast, to me.

I think that's a little more fleshed out than "it makes things easier for us" and "it was something people wanted" though those are both true as well.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:28 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Huh?
No, the red one makes your biceps look bigger.


It's like leaving the TV on to keep the 2 year old occupied while you do your taxes
Change it back to Realworld Flava of Ho!


Though not really answering the question at all
I don't know what's complicated about about "some users want a feature you personally don't use and by adding it the mods no longer have to manually do it, freeing them up to do other crap or at the very least, avoiding to do certain menial crap."

I have no idea why people use the Recent Activity page, I think it's irritatingly useless, but some people swear by it. Ok, fine, not every feature will be useful to every user.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:28 PM on June 25, 2008


I have no idea why people use the Recent Activity page

I use it as an alternative to Television to keep my crying two year old inner child entertained.
posted by tkolar at 2:43 PM on June 25, 2008


Shorter justgary: I don't need it, therefore nobody needs it!
posted by languagehat at 2:52 PM on June 25, 2008


Except that they instead asked us to assist with stomping off, manually.

When I flame out, please slam the door behind me forcefully for maximum dramatic effect. Also someone should put out that fire I started in Meta. Careful though-- there's a lot of gasoline on it, and it's a doozy. Best call the fire department. Ta!
posted by Tehanu at 2:54 PM on June 25, 2008


jessamyn wrote "...He (mathowie) was already annoyed at the glut of email and noise he was getting from it ( another site)".
So he added MetaMail to enable Mefites to spam each other more easily?
posted by Cranberry at 2:57 PM on June 25, 2008


Shorter languagehat: languagehat
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:58 PM on June 25, 2008 [5 favorites]


So he added MetaMail to enable Mefites to spam each other more easily?

That's a joke right? You can 100% opt out of MeMail, it's impossible to send MeMail to more than one person at a time, you can block any other user from sending you MeMail and we'll ban peopl eusing it to harass, stalk or shill to other users, generally speaking. It's something we pretty much designed to not suck as much as we could.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:08 PM on June 25, 2008


we'll ban peopl eusing it to harass, stalk or shill to other users

hmmm, this gives new meaning to "This account is diabled."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:12 PM on June 25, 2008


Huh, I was worried for a moment that sluglicker was closing his account, but everything seems to be fine. Carry on with your bad selves.
posted by vronsky at 3:31 PM on June 25, 2008


stubbier phillips
posted by stubby phillips at 3:49 PM on June 25, 2008


Well, there's your problem, languagehat. You gotta get one of those new combination chainsaw/flame throwers. That's a man's weapon.

Evil Dead 4, anyone?
posted by rodgerd at 3:53 PM on June 25, 2008


It's like they have to come crawling back after begging for forgiveness.

I love that people have to do this. I always think, 'Yeah, you may like to think you have principles, but when it comes right down to it, you're just as addicted as the rest of us. You'd sell your granny for another rock of Metafilter.'
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:19 PM on June 25, 2008


Jesus, is this thread still going?

I'M NOT WEARING PANTS AND I'M RUNNING AROUND DOING THE HELICOPTER!!!!!!

I thought I would just throw that out there and see what happens.
posted by chillmost at 4:30 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


Speaking only for myself: i just needed a break from all the BS and didn't want to be tempted to jump back in the fray too quick.
posted by jonmc at 4:31 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


If I was going to close it, I think the appeal would be a fresh start. It might be kind of refreshing and freeing to be writing from a username where people don't know so damn much crap about me because of my fast typing fingers & stupid big mouth.
posted by miss lynnster at 4:49 PM on June 25, 2008


Tried that. Didn't go out of my way to pretend there wasn't a connection, but didn't make a big deal about it either. People around here are too good at being detectives ... (a nice way of saying they're nosey busybodies).
posted by Dave Faris at 4:53 PM on June 25, 2008


chillmost: you used to be blonde, dude.
posted by jonmc at 5:04 PM on June 25, 2008


I won't close my account.

I HATE TOO MUCH FOR THAT.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:25 PM on June 25, 2008


People around here are too good at being detectives ... (a nice way of saying they're nosey busybodies).

The best part is when the "detectives" are anonymous and yet feel compelled to call you out. And by "best part" I mean "ironic", "tedious" and "annoying".
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:37 PM on June 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


If I had some kind of reputation in an online community that I thought some impersonator could trade on for mischief, and I was leaving, I could see where some kind of permanent account closure could be useful.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:40 PM on June 25, 2008


I grudgingly understand and accept the need for and utility of the Big Red Button, now.

However, the wiping of the personal profile during "disability" still concerns me.

If you do press it, and you do later ask to be "reactivated", is your old profile page still there?
posted by yhbc at 6:51 PM on June 25, 2008


I do believe it is, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:06 PM on June 25, 2008


Is it? I thought it wasn't.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:10 PM on June 25, 2008


Well, that's just the kind of definitive answer I wanted!
posted by yhbc at 7:12 PM on June 25, 2008 [1 favorite]


I believe it should be removed as a slight punitive discouragement to pressing the button, but then again, I also believe you should have to pay $5 to reactivate your account.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:25 PM on June 25, 2008


Well, that's just the kind of definitive answer I wanted!

... whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
posted by lysdexic at 7:25 PM on June 25, 2008


Clearly someone needs to volunteer to press the button and test this hypothesis.
posted by Tehanu at 7:27 PM on June 25, 2008


I just banned and then unbanned et al and he seems to be intact. So no worries, profile info is just suppressed.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:30 PM on June 25, 2008


you did the Big Red Button Ban? I know when there's an admin ban their stuff stays.... I thought they lost their contacts when they BRB'ed. No? Ok then.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:33 PM on June 25, 2008


Oh. Hrm. Well, I'll give it a shot with poor et al.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:37 PM on June 25, 2008


"5760 links and 255453 comments posted since your last visit"
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:37 PM on June 25, 2008


I know of only one instance where Matt did a full wipe, and that involved a user who had already irreparably broken relations with the site in a really bad faith manner and then proceeded to, yes, threaten to sue.

Ahh, Foetry Guy, a prince among... not men, exactly. Slugs? Are slugs known to be monarchical?
posted by item at 7:38 PM on June 25, 2008


"Sorry to see you go. Thanks for contributing to the site."

That's a generous interpretation of the guy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:38 PM on June 25, 2008


And he's back and unharmed!
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:39 PM on June 25, 2008


So yes. Your profile is safe, even if you give it the Big Red Button treatment.

Or the "BRB", as I've just now realized one could cynically call it in some instances.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:40 PM on June 25, 2008 [2 favorites]


I wish the "Close My Account" feature offered an opportunity for those stomping off to leave a parting message.

I am still really puzzled over the woman who, a few weeks ago, asked for help writing a letter to the editor concerning a newspaper "hit piece" on an acquaintance. She closed her account while that thread was still active. I would have loved an explanation.
posted by jayder at 7:45 PM on June 25, 2008


Or the "BRB", as I've just now realized one could cynically call it in some instances.

My middle name stares with an R, so this would please me.


I would have loved an explanation.

Life is short, ignore the fluff.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:03 PM on June 25, 2008


It was an early morning yesterday
I was up before the dawn...
posted by Sailormom at 8:07 PM on June 25, 2008


*pours one out for et al*
posted by Tehanu at 8:08 PM on June 25, 2008


I don't know what's complicated about about "some users want a feature you personally don't use and by adding it the mods no longer have to manually do it, freeing them up to do other crap or at the very least, avoiding to do certain menial crap."

No, I'm fine with that particular explanation. It allows the mods to do other stuff and people want it. The rest of jessamyn's bulleted list, especially 1-3, still make little sense to me (not even sure what 4 means), so we can agree to disagree.

Again, I don't care that the button is here or that people can use it. If people NEED it, fine. I don't want it taken away, despite what languagehat thinks he read. I didn't ask the question, but I understand it, and will the next time it's asked.
posted by justgary at 8:10 PM on June 25, 2008


No, I'm fine with that particular explanation...The rest of jessamyn's bulleted list....still make little sense to me

Yeah, where's your admin god now, huh, HUH?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:23 PM on June 25, 2008


Big Red Buttons don't close accounts, MeFites close accounts.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:08 PM on June 25, 2008


When you outlaw.... oh, fuck it.
posted by tkolar at 10:39 PM on June 25, 2008


"Sorry to see you go. Thanks for contributing to the site."

cortex, who are you quoting? Sounds familiar.
posted by sluglicker at 11:59 PM on June 25, 2008


Ahh, Foetry Guy, a prince among... not men, exactly. Slugs? Are slugs known to be monarchical?

item, you're so clever. Wow!
posted by sluglicker at 12:16 AM on June 26, 2008


I guess I'm quoting Matt. That's the text on the you-just-closed-your-account screen.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:50 AM on June 26, 2008


splatstick in a glovebox

Guess I'm too late with that.

I miss out on everything.
posted by brundlefly at 1:03 AM on June 26, 2008


Did, er, so...Did we finish up here? Was evil vanquished? Were dragons slain? Were the bells of justice heard to ring sweet and clear throughout the lands? Or what?
posted by Jofus at 2:06 AM on June 26, 2008


I'm gonna go with or what?, Jofus. And I'll speculate it's said in a tone like and what are you gonna do about it, huh?
posted by cgc373 at 2:24 AM on June 26, 2008


what happened to that "summarise the meta thread in ten words" pony? i want metaMeTa!

only so i can enjoy flameouts as RSS Twitter feeds
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:27 AM on June 26, 2008


I don't want it taken away, despite what languagehat thinks he read.

I did not think or imply that you wanted it taken away. I meant what I said, which is that you seem to think that because you don't need it yourself, you can't understand why anyone else might need it.
posted by languagehat at 6:10 AM on June 26, 2008


The rest of jessamyn's bulleted list, especially 1-3, still make little sense to me (not even sure what 4 means)

It's the difference between being sent to a retention specialist when you're trying to cancel your credit card (more discussion, more cajoling, more waiting), and being able to cancel it but maybe having someone later ask you "hey is there anything we could have done better?" after the fact. I don't mean to make it into too much of a business metaphor, but ...

It may not seem obvious to most people who don't have a strong love-strong hate relationship to the site, but we care about people who use the site and when they leave we always wonder what happened and if there was something we could have done differently. Sometimes the answer is no, but sometimes people leaving gives us a clue that maybe there's something wrong that we can look into. However, if someone's hopping mad and anxious to leave the site, that's not a good time to be talking to them about why they're leaving, basically holding off on closing their account until we hear back from them. They should be able to leave at the moment they want to and if they never want to talk to us again, that's okay.

If a person who has an established reputation on the site [i.e. not a throwaway sock puppet and not someone who has made five comments in three years] pushes the button, we can ask them what went on and learn a little from it. In the previous incarnation that had to take place while the user was waiting to have their account closed, which was suboptimal, or it took a little back and forth which was also not the best.

So, I think I've done the best job I can explaining this part and if you still don't understand it then yes I think we're in "agree to disagree" land but I wanted to stress that it's not just a case of "we like this better" but that it actually helps us, to my mind, run the site better and with more respect and consideration for the users who would actually make use of this feature.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:33 AM on June 26, 2008


You mods—all three of you main ones and vacapinta from what I've seen of him and even frickin' pb, who doesn't even do much moddin'—are all so damned reasonable and decent, you make me ashamed of my indecency and unreasonableness. I mean, sheesh! Aren't there any examples of you guys just flipping the fuck out and BANNING people for nothin'? Shootin' dudes in Reno just to see 'em die? That chicken-fucking image doesn't count AT ALL. Neither do examples of weariness at our stupid shitty behavior. I want examples of you guys losing it for no reason and being jerks. Otherwise, it's all too much to bear!
posted by cgc373 at 7:41 AM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


No fucking hugging. I wanna see pics of jessamyn packing snow around a rock she's about to pitch through a church window. cortex filling a jelly donut with a sinister syringe of something. mathowie calmly filing serial numbers off an unidentifiable object, but in a manner that clearly, clearly indicates some serious shit is goin' down.
posted by cgc373 at 7:44 AM on June 26, 2008


Dude, I banned this guy twice just for being in a dead language.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:52 AM on June 26, 2008


That guy looks fine to me, cortex. Doesn't look like a real bannin' at all. SHENANIGANS!
posted by cgc373 at 7:59 AM on June 26, 2008


cgc373, you're looking for some mod drama in a can. Or maybe some schadenfrude in a briefcase.

cortex told us they don't like drama in a can.

Maybe not the later; I just wanted to say "schadenfrude in a briefcase." I like it. Besides, nobody reads the threads down here anyways.
posted by never used baby shoes at 8:00 AM on June 26, 2008


I want examples of you guys losing it for no reason and being jerks. Otherwise, it's all too much to bear!

It is really huggy in here lately... waaaait a minute. What's that mist? Is that Oxytocin?

Oh well I'm sure it's ok.
posted by Tehanu at 8:05 AM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


I got some freeze-dried drama penguin here, if anyone wants some. It's not bad.
posted by rtha at 8:51 AM on June 26, 2008


So, I think I've done the best job I can explaining this part and if you still don't understand it then yes I think we're in "agree to disagree" land but I wanted to stress that it's not just a case of "we like this better" but that it actually helps us, to my mind, run the site better and with more respect and consideration for the users who would actually make use of this feature.

Thanks for the long explanation, and honestly, I see where you're coming from. FWIW I'd have no questions about the feature if the disabling was permanent. It's the 'come back and be reinstated any time' angle that seems silly to me. C'est la vie.
posted by justgary at 9:47 AM on June 26, 2008


Roman à clef in shrinkwrap?
posted by xod at 10:23 AM on June 26, 2008


note to self: don't date justgary.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:07 AM on June 26, 2008


note to self: secretly arrange for Brandon Blatcher and justgary to date. Film ensuing hijinx.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:24 AM on June 26, 2008 [1 favorite]


note to wife: what time are you getting home today?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:38 AM on June 26, 2008


note to self: don't date justgary.

Yeah buddy, one time and you're gone.
posted by justgary at 11:47 AM on June 26, 2008


note to girlfriend: sry, change of plans, maybe next week?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:56 AM on June 26, 2008


sluglicker: And it doesn't make any sense to me why anyone would click on a link to "officially" close their account, your explanations notwithstanding.

You apparently either have a great deal of self-control or lack whatever effusive characteristic that induces some of us to comment, post, and spend time here obsessively, to the exclusion of other things, unless we give ourselves a barrier.

But you should know that some of us aren't like you are, unfortunately. Also, tkolar is right. It's obnoxious to have three dozen 'accounts' floating around the internet (as most of us do now) and be unable to close them down and prevent illicit misuse by others in the future.
posted by koeselitz at 12:37 PM on June 26, 2008


koeselitz, I understand what you're saying and agree. I must have more self-control than I give myself credit for. Actually, I was gone from here from about Oct. 1st of last year to about a month ago (not that any one noticed, or maybe they did notice and were glad). I did stop in a few times to read the front page of MetaFilter and scan MetaTalk to see if anything noteworthy had taken place. I will admit it was difficult those few times to refrain from posting, and reading more than time allowed. I've also noticed that despite my intention to spend only a small fraction of my time here, it's gotten close to the level before I took my vacation.
posted by sluglicker at 1:32 PM on June 26, 2008


*sigh*
Shut up, you guys.

that thing HAS to be out of date, right?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:51 PM on June 26, 2008


It appears to be using live data.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:33 PM on June 26, 2008


Can someone explain why people started talking about port numbers in this thread?

Was it supposed to be a pun on "protocol" ... by someone who doesn't really know what "protocol" means in the other context?
posted by AmbroseChapel at 5:27 PM on June 26, 2008


maybe something to do with communication protocols - ie computer datacomms jargon.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:47 PM on June 26, 2008


I think it was a pun on "protocol" by someone perfectly well aware of what protocol means in the intended context but who nonetheless chose to willfully disambiguate it incorrectly for cheap laughs.

I chuckled.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:55 PM on June 26, 2008


won't somebody think of the starboard numbers?
posted by davejay at 11:54 PM on June 26, 2008


Protocol

twitter. bah! get of my lawn!
posted by lysdexic at 9:04 AM on June 27, 2008


Buzz does Fake Farewells.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:34 PM on June 27, 2008


Ambrosia Voyeur, I think it is out of date. I just calculated ArtW's contribution index on the form (he's making 1 a day posts lately), it spat out 5.42, but I don't see him on the list.
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:03 PM on June 27, 2008


Whoa, now he is there. Does it only refresh when someone does a calculation or am I thick enough to have missed him?
posted by BrotherCaine at 3:04 PM on June 27, 2008


7 7.81 languagehat

Note to self: lurk moar.
posted by languagehat at 3:07 PM on June 27, 2008


Boy, that Amberglow sure was a chatty cathy, wasn't he?
posted by Dave Faris at 3:24 PM on June 27, 2008


Okay, I got to about 150 on the comments before my eyes bugged out.

Yes, your profile stays the same if you get reactivated.

And the button should be changed to: I came here for stress relief but your snark tipped me over the edge so piss off you snarkers, you. I'm gonna take my marbles and go home! You should know about my personal problems and life before you post any comments here, yanno.

Perhaps we can implement a "snark sucks" button instead. But no. Because then there would have to be an 800 comment MeTa on the definition of snark, and if snark were valid if it were said using a sockpuppet, and if something looks like snark to everyone else but the person didn't really mean it as snark, it can't be snark, and should snarkers wear a bra, oh wait that was the equal rights movement, hrm.

NO BRAS FOR SNARKERS! Push L(*) if you agree with no bras and R(*) if you don't. If you are neutral, I may take you over for the Alps and chocolate, be warned.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 6:40 PM on June 27, 2008


I'm not on the index any more!!!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:22 PM on June 27, 2008


I meant to write "I don't know how to feel about this," but forgot.

And now I'm inching back up to the Chatty 25, so I will shut up.

posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:25 PM on June 27, 2008


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