It was a double? That hurts my feelings January 15, 2002 11:30 PM   Subscribe

Though it may make someone more hesitant to participate in the future, unless we are given a way to delete our own messages (or an easy way to alert someone who can), telling us that we've posted a duplicate link is nothing but a condescending tactic of metafilter bullies.
posted by crunchland to Etiquette/Policy at 11:30 PM (24 comments total)

I can see making a stink about a message beligerantly posted that mirrors one posted just moments before -- though, not being able to delete the message still keeps your hands tied in that case.

But to point out a double link from something 2 years ago seems pointless, aside from pointing out what a whiz you are with searching the mefi database.

And it's not as if there's nothing new to be said about the subject, given that there are potentially 10,000 new voices from when the link was first considered.
posted by crunchland at 11:36 PM on January 15, 2002

I was about to yell "Quit yer whinin'!" or something else equally endearing, but I think your last point is a good one, if, as discussed here yesterday and many other times down through the ages, discussion is valued equally to FPPs, in the abstract.

I think pointing out that something is a double post from two years ago is fine, if that thing is really really cool, and was worth another FPP two years later for some reason (an example for me personally were the flash clocks and such that were recently linked), and if the double post notification is mainly just a pointer that says something like "See here for previous discussion/more info/whatever"
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:20 AM on January 16, 2002

condescending tactic of metafilter bullies

Some people are bullies, in all walks of life. I think many people probably see it more as a civic duty though. It surprises me how fast people often find double posts, although I can usually replicate it given five minutes or so.

I suppose it depends on how patient at searching you are ... when constructing an FPP, I look for the URL (without "http://") in both the google caches and metafilter, and then look in metatalk just to make sure. I then usually do a search on some of the key words, just in case someone has linked a mirror site. Finding anything causes me to abort my FPP, which happens nine times out of ten.

There is an issue whereby the "correct" etiquette is to find and add your response to the original thread, but most people would not become aware that someone had posted there, so a two-year old discussion can't be revived for the whole community without a new FPP. Whether it's as much of a sin to double post as it was when this was a small community site is somewhat moot. I'd hate to see a monthly link to the onion or whatever though.

I still think double posts must be pointed out, both so that people know it should be avoided, and to link previous discussion (which is often pertinent). Stavros' approach of pointing out the "previous discussion", not the "double post" makes sense, as it's less combative.
posted by walrus at 3:57 AM on January 16, 2002

But to point out a double link from something 2 years ago seems pointless, aside from pointing out what a whiz you are with searching the mefi database.

The comment you're all hot and bothered about doesn't contain bullying of any kind. Gluechunk could have been offering the links simply as a pointer to the other discussions. I'm a big fan of people whose response to criticism is to write off everyone else as a bunch of self-policing, self-important meanies, but you really should've waited for someone to be ruder to you than that.
posted by rcade at 5:44 AM on January 16, 2002

And p.s. rocks.
posted by rcade at 5:47 AM on January 16, 2002

I don't wanna get off on a rant here but double posting can be fun! When there's three or four within a 72 hour period that's suck, but if you have to dig for a previous FPP and one shows up which was months or years ago, it's not really a double post.

The other day, a friend sent me this in email. I thought it was adorable, thought provoking, and might make a good MeFi post. So I searched the URL in Mefi just to be safe, I searched the name of the guy who made it, and a couple other things. Nothing came up. With the assumption after three or four searches that there was no previous thread out there about this webpage, I composed a FPP, and when I previewed it before posting, MeFi told me what it didn't tell me in the search function. There already was an FPP on this, back in November of last year.

I just did a search on this same URL again to find the link, and I couldn't find the page. This time I KNEW there was a duplicate post of this somewhere in the database but had trouble finding it. I ended up having to search on "november 2001 lego" to get Google to remind me what the original link was.

Try it yourself: doesn't bring anything up, and yet there's a previous FPP.

Double posting should not be verbally attacked inside the thread. It's bad etiquette and poor form. It is a common and understandable mistake and people who make a big deal out of it are being bullies unecessarily. Sometimes the search function is more thorough than other times. The "quit your whinin" attitude is unfounded. People who make a big deal out of it are bullies.

A simple linked double post is enough. If you want to say anything further, link the thread to a MeTalk thread. Keep the MeFi threads free of negativity. Yeah like I should talk I know, but I'm trying to improve my behavior and if I can do it anyone can. And you can read this and get pissed off and continue doing things however you want, but if you attack other people over minutiae in here, you're the only one who looks stupid. So please by all means continue your petty bickering.

And I personally don't think anyone should have a problem with double posts that are a month or more apart. A lot can happen in a month to change people's opinions, a website's design can change, new people or people who weren't online to catch the last reference may have something to say about it now, and there's a number of other valid reasons why double FPP's are sometimes appropriate. Of course that's just my opinion. I could be wrong.
posted by ZachsMind at 5:57 AM on January 16, 2002

... telling us that we've posted a duplicate link ...

I think the point is more to alert Matt that there's a double post, rather than to pick on the poster.
posted by skwm at 6:15 AM on January 16, 2002

/me continues to pine for doublepostguy
posted by Avogadro at 6:15 AM on January 16, 2002

There is a difference between pointing out a previous discussion on a topic so that people can refer back and see what was said previously and calling out someone for double-posting.

I don't usually bother telling people they've double-posted. But I will point out other threads that have relevant topic material in it. Sadly, the double-post jumping on people has made others sensitive, as I found out when pardonyou? yesterday got upset when I pointed out a discussion related to the front page post he (she? I don't pay attention - sorry) made. (pardonyou? thought I was complaining about a double post situation)

People really need to find something better to do with their time, though, if they are searching archive histories so they can yell at someone fore double posting something that was posted over 6 months ago.
posted by rich at 6:50 AM on January 16, 2002

a condescending tactic of metafilter bullies.

With all respect, grow a pair. If you are offended by someone saying "double post" you've got some serious self-esteem issues. I completely agree that "This is a double post, moron" or "Do a search, jerk" are unacceptable, but merely saying "double post" or "this isn't anything new" should not send grown adults scurrying for relief.

I, for one, am glad that gluechunk pointed out the older discussion, as it added more voices to the conversation. I don't think gluechunk was calling for the thread to be deleted, nor was he criticizing your research skills. The unorthodox language "this isn't anything new" was a play on DenBeste's previous comment.

I don't see what all the fuss is about.
posted by jpoulos at 7:24 AM on January 16, 2002

Fwiw, and for those of you too obtuse to realize, I was making a general point and using a specific example.

You might also note, as gluechunk so thoughtfully pointed out, that the topic I referred to in the specific example was first brought up first in April of 2000, and then again in September, 2000.

It's interesting that in the second thread, not a single thoughtful soul bothered to point out that it was a doublepost. I guess doublepost dogpiling wasn't as fashionable then as it is now.
posted by crunchland at 8:51 AM on January 16, 2002

So your "general point" was:

telling us that we've posted a duplicate link is nothing but a condescending tactic of metafilter bullies.

And your "specific example" was neither condescending nor bullying? Well, I'm sold! And, apparently, obtuse.

You started this thread with a clearly visible chip on your shoulder, and seem to be intent on keeping it close. Are you sure you wanted actual discussion on this, or did you just want to pick a fight?
posted by Skot at 9:02 AM on January 16, 2002

I guess doublepost dogpiling wasn't as fashionable then as it is now.

A big, busy community site is a very different beast from a small one. On a smaller site, members feel less need to assert their individual presences, whereas now many MeFites seem to make an effort to display whenever they are more hip to the supposed laws of the site (and so some people get all self-righteous in condemning other people's errors, like trolling or doubleposting).

FPPing also seems to have taken on some competitive elements -- people feel bad if they post a weak post (or even a good one with a brief thread, in some cases), and proud if it happens to be good. That is, they take as a personal success or failure what should be a relatively selfless contribution to the site itself. And I think that many of the doublepost fingerpointers feel, somewhere, that it is their duty to point out that this poster deserves no credit, it's been done before.

Pointing out that a topic or link has been discussed before is valuable, and can even contribute to a thread. But trying to shout out a post because you yourself have seen it before is just another instance of a person thinking of himself first, and the site second.
posted by mattpfeff at 9:13 AM on January 16, 2002

Is Ken Kesey still dead?
posted by Mack Twain at 9:26 AM on January 16, 2002

And p.s. rocks.

thanks very much.

posted by crunchland at 5:08 PM on January 16, 2002

It's true, there is big fpp pressure. I've been wanting to post something about the Korean dog meat controversy, but I feel I shouldn't because Metafilter is already too Petafilter, and then we'd get into the whole overdone veganism controversy.
posted by Charmian at 9:14 PM on January 16, 2002

I've been wanting to post something about the Korean dog meat controversy, but I feel I shouldn't because...

And, of course, there the fact that it's been done. Twice.

Yay! A double post notification in a MetaTalk thread about double posts! Not only that but both linked threads reference my blog! I win Self-referential Smartass of the Day!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:44 PM on January 16, 2002

Damn, now people are going to accuse me of being a bully.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:45 PM on January 16, 2002

Well, I would, but since you already said it it'd be a double post, right?
posted by j.edwards at 11:47 PM on January 16, 2002

I accuse j.edwards of making a cleverly disguised double post within a double post, thus creating the dreaded quadruple salchow post!

Without remorse!

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:52 PM on January 16, 2002

Dr.Dogmeat was worthy of his own post!

posted by Frasermoo at 8:20 AM on January 17, 2002

How about duplicates? The time out error message could use a big bold "Your post probably went through. Go back to and hit refresh."
posted by skallas at 12:13 PM on January 17, 2002

Good idea! Perhaps a more convincing message would be: "Thank you. Notwithstanding appearances to the contrary, your post has been received. Please go back to and hit refresh. If, by some weird quirk of fate, your post fails to appear, please try again tomorrow."
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:19 PM on January 17, 2002

Huh? I thought that was why we kept Matt on call 24 hours a day. ;)
posted by rodii at 4:07 PM on January 17, 2002

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