"Ignore" feature September 22, 2008 9:27 PM   Subscribe

Please add an "ignore" feature to MeFi

I've been on since mid-2005, and MeFi's really grown since then: lots of newer members who contribute insightful and thought-provoking material, but also lots and lots of trolls, and nigh-trolls, and plain old shrill people.

We have a "favorite" feature, can we also have an "ignore" feature? Please? It's probably been requested before.

Flame away, I guess.
posted by stewiethegreat to Feature Requests at 9:27 PM (102 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I think we've always been free to ignore anyone we choose.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:29 PM on September 22, 2008 [12 favorites]


We have no plans to add a killfile function to the site. I believe there is a greasemonkey script that will do this for you if you're desperate, but exercising a little bit of close-the-thread, flag-and-move-on, step-away-from-the-keyboard self-control is the sanctioned method of dealing with this problem.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:32 PM on September 22, 2008 [6 favorites]


Personally, I don't think ignoring/killfiling is a good idea, but: this greasemonkey script might be the one cortex is referring to.
posted by juv3nal at 9:38 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm ignoring this thread.

What's that? I can't see anything. It seems like there are words here, but there are just photons bouncing randomly off my retina. Lalala! I can't see you!

Wow, my wall is boring to watch, not like a post that would be here except that there is no post here! So I am just watching my wall.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:48 PM on September 22, 2008 [2 favorites]


dirigibleman, you should check out this related post.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:51 PM on September 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


An ignore feature, on the server-level, is not something that's undoable; it would, however, create a serious server crunch.

Disclaimer - I am not privy to how MetaFilter works on the back end, but I'll take a reasonable stab at how other professionals might tackle the problem and assume that the admins are that smart or smarter. I haven't tried peeking under the hood.

My guess would be that there's a "current" page which is served whenever someone wants it. This page would be served the same to pretty much anyone who was a member, with a different version for those not logged in, which would then include Google ads. Customizations you see (fonts and the like) can be done via a cookie and CSS, with either a generic stub on the server end or some Javascript. Fairly simple.

When a change is made to a page (new comment, comment deleted by mods, favorites added), a new "current" version is made and then served out.

What you are suggesting would mean that they would either 1) have a separate page built according to the preferences of each user, thereby storing tens of thousands of slightly different copies of it 2) build a page as each user requests it. The former requires a lot more space (nearly five orders of magnitude); the latter requires a lot more CPU time (these being the typical tradeoffs in serverland, space versus processing speed). Both require that each page be rebuilt by matching up a hundred odd comments against a table where the server looks for those users you have not mentioned not wanting to hear from, then strining together the palatable comments along with bits of metadata about time posted, favorites, etc.

Look up the server load caused by a somewhat related (and vastly more hilarious) feature called the "hellban" on a different community entirely; they dropped said feature because it simply required too much juice to run.

What you want, as a feature, is best done by using your processing power - either Javascript in your browser or your ability not to react to things/people you dislike in your centered Zen master mind (these being the typical tradeoffs in userland, peel-me-a-grape features versus just dealing with reality as it stands).

You'll probably want to go with either the aforementioned script or a smug, superior attitude masquerading as intestinal fortitude, which is what I do.
posted by adipocere at 9:57 PM on September 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yeah, well, I don't like you much, either, pal!
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:02 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Won't someone put the rant back into ignore?
posted by Rumple at 10:19 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Beyond self-control and server reasons (which are quite good), I find that in other settings, when I ignore someone, the conversation gets more confusing. People will respond to comments that you're not seeing, and eventually if you forget that you're ignoring people, it will trip you up.

Hell, this happens even when people are allowed to delete/edit their comments. Definitely a user-side fix, if at all.
posted by Lemurrhea at 10:21 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


adipocere:

I may be overlooking something, but couldn't you just setup a style in CSS that effectively functioned as a 'do not render this text', and then clientside apply that style to any comment or post matching a list of killfiled usernames in a cookie?
posted by Ryvar at 10:21 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


TBBBBBBBTHTHTHTBBBTHTBHTHH!
posted by exlotuseater at 10:27 PM on September 22, 2008


I just skim and read comments with favorites.

Does that make me a horrible person?
posted by hellojed at 10:33 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


but also lots and lots of trolls, and nigh-trolls, and plain old shrill people.

Dismissing perceived trolls, nigh-trolls, and shills as not worthy of polluting your eyesight is harmful to the discourse. Frankly, when I see people saying "xxxxxx person is a troll and therefore I do not have to consider anything they say" I usually take it in with the same consideration that I would take someone saying "This person is a nigger so I do not have to listen to them."
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 10:34 PM on September 22, 2008 [5 favorites]


Does that make me a horrible person?

Yes, yes it does.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:37 PM on September 22, 2008 [3 favorites]


Ryvar - You could certainly do that.

Of course, you'd have to have a style set up for each person you want ignored. You'd need a selector like .member-adipocere {display: none;} in the CSS and then class="member-adipocere" would be added to the list of attributes in div tag around my comment. Which means that sheet would have to be stored individually for you. And it still wouldn't insulate you from people linking back to someone's comment. Which isn't a total dealbreaker; I've experimented with something similar in the past, I just can't remember why I found it less than wonderful. It's still mostly a client-side solution when you do that, which is probably why I rejected it.
posted by adipocere at 10:41 PM on September 22, 2008


(Favorites Stav) There, he'll read it now.
posted by Ryvar at 10:41 PM on September 22, 2008


Cool. I have no experience with modern web development, so I trust you on the CSS vagaries - it's just that when you said this:

Both require that each page be rebuilt by matching up a hundred odd comments against a table where the server looks for those users you have not mentioned not wanting to hear from, then strining together the palatable comments along with bits of metadata about time posted, favorites, etc.

The CompSci student in me raised a gigantic eyebrow and said "that can't be right, can it?"
posted by Ryvar at 10:47 PM on September 22, 2008


Do this, and I will iggy you.
posted by davejay at 10:56 PM on September 22, 2008 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I'm old and tend to dislike client-side solutions as a general backlash against the first really crappily-implemented wave of them. Hardly anyone ever turns off CSS and Javascript these days — too many things break. I've also got a bias towards separating out the content from presentation and pretending half my users are browsing with Lynx or the like. The accessibility nerd in me screams, "Sure, it's nice for the sighted, but that feature won't work for the blind!" and I just automatically stop exploring that avenue. I should probably get over it. I probably won't.

I've never liked ignore features for anything but flooding, which should be handled on the server end in any case. Ignore features lead to weird situations where you realize there's a conversational hole you can't see, but everyone else is responding to. Look up the hellban ... that's a worthy feature. It's brilliant, and if it weren't so computationally hungry, well ... I'd suggest that as a feature.
posted by adipocere at 11:00 PM on September 22, 2008


, when I ignore someone, the conversation gets more confusing. People will respond to comments that you're not seeing, and eventually if you forget that you're ignoring people, it will trip you up.
posted by Lemurrhea at 12:21 AM


That's been my experience in an IRC chat that I sometimes go into, one person in particular drives me round the bend, so I hit 'Ignore' but seems I'm the only person who doesn't want to interact so I'm only seeing bits and pieces of conversations so I usually just leave the chat if/when this person is around, not the ideal solution but it works for me.

I just skim and read comments with favorites.

Does that make me a horrible person?
posted by hellojed at 12:33 AM


No, not at all, but you miss so much good, if it's a thread that interests you enough to wander into it; I want to hear most all the voices in the choir, as it were, to get a fully rounded sound. Or something.
posted by dancestoblue at 11:02 PM on September 22, 2008


adipocere - MyAsk allows users to specify which categories of questions they would like to see. I can't be assed working out the permutations, but I bet there'd be quite a few. They would presumably be handled client-side.

MyHellban could work similarly, but instead of "show me only questions from these categories" it would be "show me only comments not from these users".
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:07 PM on September 22, 2008


(funnily, the more people you hellbanned, the slower your processing, to see fewer comments - there's some sort of poetic justice in that)
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:10 PM on September 22, 2008 [1 favorite]


Huh? Did someone post something?
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:12 PM on September 22, 2008


It would be awesome if there were killfiles and a mod added another mod to it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:20 PM on September 22, 2008


No, not at all, but you miss so much good, if it's a thread that interests you enough to wander into it; I want to hear most all the voices in the choir, as it were, to get a fully rounded sound. Or something.

Actually, I often run out of "stuff" to read on the internet, perhaps I should root through some old threads and read the ones in progress.

Ah, if only it weren't 1am local time.
posted by hellojed at 11:22 PM on September 22, 2008


Almost all the users I want to ignore use non-standard punctuation or are very long-winded. The former I can recognize pretty quickly, and if anyone writes a comment that is too long to fit on my tiny little laptop screen, I usually skip forward to see who it is by, and then keep going if it's someone I have no interest in reading more of.

Works for me.
posted by grouse at 11:28 PM on September 22, 2008


LOOK AT THIS COMMENT. LOOK AT IT.
posted by Citizen Premier at 11:42 PM on September 22, 2008 [13 favorites]


holy shit!

when i looked away from that comment, the scream mask from that movie flashed in front of my eyes!
posted by UbuRoivas at 11:54 PM on September 22, 2008


I think we've always been free to ignore anyone we choose.

Or are we?!?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:04 AM on September 23, 2008 [11 favorites]


An ignore feature, on the server-level, is not something that's undoable; it would, however, create a serious server crunch.

Nah. Mefi doesn't work the way you think, at least not for logged in users. Pages are constructed dynamically when requested and tailored to each user. Notice that comments you've favorited or flagged continue to be marked when you reload the page. The extra cpu hit should be minimal (caveat: jrun suxors).
posted by ryanrs at 12:29 AM on September 23, 2008


Thanks to Greasemonkey, the only comments in this thread (as far as I can see) are this one and the other one I posted above. Greasemonkey is my friend.

and none of you other people are
posted by davejay at 1:20 AM on September 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


There will be no ignoring, and it's not for technical reasons. You can fave but you can't antifave. You can assemble a contact list but not a shit list. You can send a secret negative message to the politburo, but you can't see these messages, not even your own, so you can't track whose comments have annoyed you enough to make you rat on them. When enough informants report on them, comments and posts are reviewed and perhaps sanitized, but you'll never know which of your neighbors turned them in.

We are all good citizens, comrade. If you see anyone behaving like a Plastic refugee, report him at once. See you at the Potato Festival.
posted by pracowity at 1:39 AM on September 23, 2008


WHY AREN'T YOU STILL LOOKING AT CITIZEN PREMIER'S COMMENT?
posted by Abiezer at 1:47 AM on September 23, 2008


I didn't see what you did there.
posted by taz at 1:56 AM on September 23, 2008 [8 favorites]


cortex says you can't ignore me. Lets see how far we can take this...

Abortion should be made illegal...
Martin Luther King Jr. abused his freedom of speech...
George W. Bush will go down in history as a man of incredible intuition and foresight...
The Bible is the word of God...
John McCain is the philosophical equivalent of Mohandas Gandhi...
A college degree does not prove anything other than an insecurity in one's own intellect...
Evolution can be discounted solely by observing the characteristics of a banana...
FOX News gives the most accurate account of current events available anywhere...
I don't trust Barack Obama because of his race...

Feel free to refute what I have said. I will then claim persecution, subsequently deny all facts presented, and change the subject.
posted by clearly at 2:24 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


I thought we've always had this, it's called Control-W...
posted by pupdog at 2:38 AM on September 23, 2008


Wow, somebody missed the point.
posted by solipsophistocracy at 2:53 AM on September 23, 2008


Wow, somebody missed the point.

Not at all. Have you read the Palin threads lately?
posted by clearly at 3:24 AM on September 23, 2008


Metafilter: Lots and lots of trolls, and nigh-trolls, and plain old shrill people

The "Metafilter's gone downhill since the old days" claim is one that has been posted up since the old days.

I don't see the same Metafilter that you're seeing.
posted by panboi at 3:26 AM on September 23, 2008


I don't see anyone sitting on my lawn. Nope. No one at all.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 3:52 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


The "Metafilter's gone downhill since the old days" claim is one that has been posted up since the old days.

I don't see the same Metafilter that you're seeing.


I bet you're looking at the bottom of the wrong hill.
posted by Dave Faris at 4:40 AM on September 23, 2008


I generally support killfile/ignore features, but probably not in the case of MetaFilter. Seeing idiots flamed, often but not always by other idiots, is half the fun.

If anything, I'd like to see an AddTroll feature that periodically throws in a "I got an email from my uncle that says Obama declaws his cats" or "Hitler was a vegetarian" comment just to, you know, get discussion started.
posted by DU at 4:50 AM on September 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I bet you're looking at the bottom of the wrong hill.

I took a look at the recently flagged up camgirls thread (from the aforementioned "old days"). I 'm not sure what hill you're referring to, but I had good gaze into Metafilter's own Marianas Trench there for a bit.
posted by panboi at 5:04 AM on September 23, 2008


I'm ignoring you all. See? Watch me ignore you! Watch, dammit!
posted by jonmc at 5:37 AM on September 23, 2008


PZ
Just curious if God has impaled YOUR son on a rusty spike yet?
Jack
posted by dirty lies at 5:54 AM on September 23, 2008


Trolls? In my Metafilter?

It's more likely than you think.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America at 6:02 AM on September 23, 2008


Well, at least Stewiethegreat now has a good idea of which names to add first to his 'Ignore' Greasemonkey script.
posted by matty at 6:11 AM on September 23, 2008


Ha HA, you can't see me!!

(sticks rabbit-ears behind poster's head, waggles tongue derisively)
posted by briank at 6:13 AM on September 23, 2008


Yeah, the trouble with ignoring trolls is that you'll then have entire threads of nothing but troll-feeders, which would be weird.

Ideally, there would be a greasemonkey script that merely adds in big, bold, red, flashing capitals things like DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS and FLAG IT AND MOVE ON next to the username.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:46 AM on September 23, 2008


Test, test, is this mike on? Anybody there?
posted by Meatbomb at 6:47 AM on September 23, 2008


Trolls? In my Metafilter?

It's more likely than you think.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America


epony- no. um. damn, what's the word for this?
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:54 AM on September 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


Bad idea.

Also, Hitler was a vegetarian.
posted by languagehat at 7:05 AM on September 23, 2008


man, those languagehats have a word for *everything*
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:12 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Did you say "Flame away, I guess."?
You have the temerity to ask for an 'Please add an "ignore" feature to MeFi', stewiethegreat. I'm totally NOT interested in how long you've been 'on', or what percentage of 'new users' you regard as 'lots and lots of trolls, and nigh-trolls, and plain old shrill people.' In fact I would label you as such for having the gall to even bring it up. You have a problem, I don't.
How'd I do?
posted by tellurian at 7:23 AM on September 23, 2008

Test, test, is this mike on? Anybody there?
Yes, but we're ignoring you.
posted by scrump at 7:26 AM on September 23, 2008


Get a restraining order, like everyone else did.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:28 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Won't someone think of the charnel?
posted by katillathehun at 7:31 AM on September 23, 2008


Yes, but we're ignoring you.

who on earth were you responding to there?
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:32 AM on September 23, 2008


In my experience on boards that do have this sort of feature, a lot of the problem is that people often can't just quietly ignore someone--they have to announce to everyone on the board that they've added the person to their ignore list. As if anyone (even the person ignored) cares. Or, if they're ignoring A, but B quotes A and they see B's comment, they'll have to throw in their own comment about how they didn't see A's original comment because they're ignoring A. It only adds to the noise.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:42 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Boy, I thought this would be a sort of controversial post, and I'd be able to enjoy some snark and cookies. But here it is 10 hours later and I am the first person to comment on it? Weird.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:46 AM on September 23, 2008 [6 favorites]


Thisis a feature we're unlikely to add though I must say the social engineering part of keeping people civil has been taking up a lot of our time lately.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:59 AM on September 23, 2008


TheOnlyCoolTim is a troll. I'm putting you on my ignore list, trolly troll!
posted by Kwine at 7:59 AM on September 23, 2008


There already is an ignore feature. It's called free will. Don't read it if you don't want to...it's good for your blood pressure.
posted by sjuhawk31 at 8:11 AM on September 23, 2008


"An ignore feature, on the server-level, is not something that's undoable; it would, however, create a serious server crunch."

Maybe. If the pages are all cached and lots of people used the ignore function forcing that cache to be useless, but really the cache could just be moved back a few steps (to the query rather than the output) and have the rendering code taking the display/not-display into account. It wouldn't be that bad.

But, really, were this to be implemented, the smart thing would be to just load a modified version of that greasemonkey script as standard on all threads, fed with the list of user IDs (or usernames) from the settings.

In the end, though, the problem with this feature isn't technical. It's just a dumb feature. Learn to read things you don't like without getting your panties all in a twist. It's a useful skill.
posted by toomuchpete at 8:42 AM on September 23, 2008


Does that make me a horrible person?
posted by hellojed at 12:33 AM


dancestoblue : No, not at all, but you miss so much good, if it's a thread that interests you enough to wander into it; I want to hear most all the voices in the choir, as it were, to get a fully rounded sound.

Seriously. By way of example, every single one of my comments is absolute gold, they should be read, re-read, thoughtfully considered, and then completely agreed with. But since only a few of them get favorited, every time you you skim a thread, there is a real chance that you are missing my pearls of wisdom.

And your life is less fulfilling or complete for not having been privy to my genius.

I'm merely trying to help you change that.
posted by quin at 8:44 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


>Ideally, there would be a greasemonkey script that merely adds in big, bold, red, flashing capitals things like DO NOT FEED THE TROLLS and FLAG IT AND MOVE ON next to the username.

I have this. It's called UserNotes. Whenever someone pushes all my buttons I make a note that says something like 'TOTAL IDIOT OMG WHY DO THEY BREATHE!?' and my wrath is appeased. Then whenever I see them in a thread being an idiot I just hover over my note and say 'yup'.

I used to be on a board with ignore function, and I had to leave when my ignore list was more than 75% of the users. UserNotes is better.

This comment is not a paid advertisement for jacalata, who wrote the script.
posted by winna at 8:54 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


the social engineering part of keeping people civil has been taking up a lot of our time lately

That's why you need the new MetaDomeTM site. A programatical peacekeeper that auto-shunts multi-flagged arguments into a four comment limited, fav'd-winner-take-all, loser gets perma-banned, rhetorical deathmatch arena. Nothing says "please keep it civil" like a do-or-die debate moderated by the lions of infallible logic. MetaDomeTM: Two asshats enter, one asshat gets filtered.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:16 AM on September 23, 2008


though I must say the social engineering part of keeping people civil has been taking up a lot of our time lately

NO IMAGE TAG, NO PEACE!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:23 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


A naive member makes a post on MeTa.

Naive One: Moderators, people ignore me.

Mods: Next.
posted by netbros at 9:24 AM on September 23, 2008


I just white-out over everything quin says. Haha on you quin!
posted by Mister_A at 9:35 AM on September 23, 2008


cortex: dirigibleman, you should check out this related post.

blocked due to adult content...
posted by garlic at 9:35 AM on September 23, 2008


... A few years ago, I was privileged to teach a group of splendid students at the University of California at Santa Barbara. In order to do so, I had to fly in and out of that coastal paradise on a weekly basis, and, as pleasant as my class was and as beautiful as the setting is, I found the community of Santa Barbara troubling in its perfect contentment and uncanny coherence. Contentment is always annoying, of course, but the coherence was confusing in the extreme, since the community itself, in its ordinary constituents, seemed anything but. But there I was, in a small city populated by petit-bourgeois right-wing Protestants, woozy new-age gurus, hard-core libertarian ranchers, over-groomed hacienda patricians, scruffy surfer hippies, retired art dealers and policemen, well-patronized psychoanalysts, psychologists, group therapists, and self-helpers, academic liberals, assorted movie stars, and tenured Marxists, all living happily together, dining out and placidly shopping, in a smoke-free, herbivorous, puritan utopia.

My confusion was exacerbated by the fact that I did not cohere at all. My clothes were wrong, my hours irregular, my habits unhealthy, and my talk too ebullient and abrasive. For me, it was a hellish paradise. Not a day went by that I didn't tread on some invisible snake or bump into some invisible vitrine, jostling the invisible objets within. Every time this happened, I asked myself: What does this culturally and ideologically disparate group of Americans have in common that I do not have in common with them? In the final week of my stay, I figured it out. All of these people, the Baptists, Marxists, patricians, gurus, surfers, celebrities, and shrinks, believed that all of the problems of modern life derive from the anxiety of commercial society and that the goal of any enlightened community should be the alleviation of that anxiety through the ministrations of an enlightened elite.

In a world like this, I realized (and not without trepidation), art and society as I understood them simply could not exist. I understood art to be a necessary accouterment of urban life, a democratic social field of sublimated anxiety and a forum of contentious civility. I assumed that free citizens cultivated their responsiveness to works of art in order to mitigate their narcissism and fuel their imaginative grasp of that which is irrevocably beyond themselves, to transform their anxious discomfort at not-knowing into a kind of vertiginous pleasure. In Santa Barbara, such adaptive behavior was unnecessary. Everything was regulated and explained. Urbanity, anxiety, otherness, contention, loud colors, and bright talk were wholly absent. Even shopping (that quintessential urban activity) was conducted as a form of relentless grazing administered by tastefully regulated signage. Antique agrarian values had been fully reinstated, and civilization, in this rubric, was defined as a bucolic quietude prefiguring the silence of the grave.

So let me suggest this: that, Santa Barbara notwithstanding, we live in a cosmopolitan age in which civilization must be defined by the ability of a diverse populace to tolerate and appreciate the anxiety of living in a tumultuous, heterogeneous urban world--that, for 150 years, Americans left the farm in search of just that heterogeneity and anxiety...

The world of art and letters is the site upon which we hone these skills, acquire the responsiveness, imagination, and flexibility to deal with this world, where we learn to appreciate its anxieties. Because, to speak plainly, one doesn't really need art on the farm, or in Santa Barbara either, if one is comfy there...

I will go even further, in fact, and suggest that the gradual refarmerization of America explains the current penchant of suburban youth for killing one another in bunches--that these killings are the direct consequence of a culture that proposes the instantaneous alleviation of anxiety as its primary goal--a culture in which weapons are sold, games are designed, and art is explained for no other purpose. Children in the cities kill one another too, of course, but for explicable reasons like poverty, greed, anger, and ambition, for causes whose consequences can be sublimated into civilized endeavors--that are, in fact, being sublimated as we speak: into music, dance, drama, and fashion. These city kids kill because they want more life. The killer children in the suburbs have no such excuses or ambitions. They're just anxious about being teenagers and don't think they should have to feel that way.

Some people blame the media for this, but that's like blaming the violence of Elizabethan culture on the last act of Hamlet. Some of the same people blame the killers' parents, and this would be plausible if these children were killing their parents, or assassinating other authority figures, but they rarely do. Their first option, in fact, is to become their parents, to usurp the authoritarian parental role and obliterate the peers and siblings who make them nervous--because they have been so well nurtured, loved, and protected that they have never been nervous before--because they have never read an exciting book, felt the anxiety of high drama, or experienced the disorientation of difficult art, and consequently do not even know how to be nervous, much less how to enjoy being nervous and exploit it.

What I am suggesting, then, is that we are well on our way to censoring and explaining away the primary adaptive modality of urban life--that the unruly, uncivilized domain of arts and letters is being robbed of its civilizing function. I offer this because what one perceives most profoundly in these killer children from the suburbs is their absolute lack of imagination and affect. They can't imagine obliterating a million hopes, dreams, and memories by squeezing a tiny metal trigger; they can't imagine the empty place they are making in succeeding generations; they can't even imagine their own futures or the constituents of an ordinary human life. And those who survive are unlikely to acquire this knowledge either, even from Oliver Twist, because the consequence of their brutal acts--acts designed to do nothing more than to alleviate anxiety, instantaneously, and make the world more like Santa Barbara--will be more parental control, more professional explication, more elite explanation, and more authoritarian censorship. It will mean fewer works of art, less freedom, and more killings. And all because we wanted to make a safe place. Unfortunately, art is the only safe place, and it is only safe because the world can't be made so.

-David Hickey, "A World Like Santa Barbara," September 2000

posted by koeselitz at 10:19 AM on September 23, 2008 [7 favorites]


God damn websense.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:21 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


"That's why you need the new MetaDomeTM site. A programatical peacekeeper that auto-shunts multi-flagged arguments into a four comment limited, fav'd-winner-take-all, loser gets perma-banned, rhetorical deathmatch arena. Nothing says "please keep it civil" like a do-or-die debate moderated by the lions of infallible logic. MetaDomeTM: Two asshats enter, one asshat gets filtered."

I remember when the LiveJournal Debate Community had a spin-off that did this. It was a nursery for whiny aspy babies. Far less death and carnage than endless threaded pedantry over whether first principles could be logically assumed.
posted by klangklangston at 10:23 AM on September 23, 2008


OTOH, having a killfile feature would make Plonk! a great username.
posted by joaquim at 10:31 AM on September 23, 2008

who on earth were you responding to there?
What?
posted by scrump at 10:39 AM on September 23, 2008


I remember when the LiveJournal Debate Community had a spin-off that did this. It was a nursery for whiny aspy babies. Far less death and carnage than endless threaded pedantry over whether first principles could be logically assumed.

Ha Ha Ha Ha! Sounds like an inner circle of Hell. The Hell of bloodless fappery.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:40 AM on September 23, 2008


Do you feel that? That's feeling of me ignoring you with... my mind !
posted by doctor_negative at 10:40 AM on September 23, 2008


Do you feel that? That's feeling of me ignoring you with... my mind !

Uh, dude... um, you're the one talking to me.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:43 AM on September 23, 2008


Now, more than ever, we need threaded comments.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:18 AM on September 23, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not going to happen.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:22 AM on September 23, 2008


These comments aren't threaded?

Geez, and to think I've been doing it wrong all this time.
posted by koeselitz at 11:28 AM on September 23, 2008


Haven't you heard of science's latest triumph, the scrollwheel? [/Clifton Webb]
posted by Sidhedevil at 11:48 AM on September 23, 2008


Trolls? In my Metafilter?

It's more likely than you think.
posted by Mr. President Dr. Steve Elvis America


Hah, you wouldn't know a troll even if it crawled up inside your own asshole and started biting.
posted by loquacious at 11:59 AM on September 23, 2008


I am pleased to announce that even with the moderators' stonewalling, I have been able to implement threaded Metafilter comments myself. Here is an example shot.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 12:24 PM on September 23, 2008 [5 favorites]


I would like to subscribe to your comment sexample.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:32 PM on September 23, 2008

Now, more than ever, we need threaded comments.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:18 AM on September 23 [1 favorite +] [!]

Not going to happen.
posted by jessamyn at 11:22 AM on September 23 [+] [!]
And yet, "Righty Tighty, Lefty Loosey" still seems to apply so much of the time...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:33 PM on September 23, 2008


If you want to destroy my sweater
Pull this thread as I walk away
Watch me unravel, I'll soon be naked
Lying on the floor, lying on the floor
I've come undone

I don't want to destroy your tank-top
Let's be friends and just walk away
Hate to see you lyin' there in your Superman skivvies
Lying on the floor, I've come undone

*ukulele solo*
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:39 PM on September 23, 2008


Because Wedgie
You're the one who makes me so edgy.
And after all
You're my Underalls...
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:44 PM on September 23, 2008 [2 favorites]


I find the chief benefit of threaded comments is that you can just screw a nut right onto them. You don't need to do any kind of welding or cotter-pinning or anything like that.

It's more time efficient, not to mention a bit stronger.
posted by quin at 12:51 PM on September 23, 2008


Hah, you wouldn't know a troll even if it crawled up inside your own asshole and started biting.

He said, bitingly.
posted by Dave Faris at 12:57 PM on September 23, 2008


He said, bitingly.

God damn it, Dave - hold still and shut the fuck up! This is why we never take you fishing.
posted by loquacious at 1:26 PM on September 23, 2008


Who is sexample? He or she sounds really sexy.
posted by Mister_A at 2:19 PM on September 23, 2008


She's an intern over at Expert Sexchange.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:38 PM on September 23, 2008


I think you need a good the rapist, man.
posted by Mister_A at 2:42 PM on September 23, 2008


Hold on, I think God is trying to smite me.
posted by Mister_A at 2:43 PM on September 23, 2008


I'm too sexy for this thread.
posted by Meatbomb at 2:59 PM on September 23, 2008


Late to this party, but please, no ignore feature. If you are not adult enough to ignore the trolls then stick to to the noncontroversial threads.
posted by caddis at 6:53 PM on September 23, 2008


Has anyone else noticed that paulsc hasn't posted at Metafilter since July 26?
posted by jayder at 8:29 PM on September 23, 2008


Pfft, at my MetaFilter paulsc hasn't posted since 2006.

Just kidding!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:40 PM on September 23, 2008


If I'm ignoring you, I'll simply turn my back to the screen.
posted by louche mustachio at 4:29 AM on September 24, 2008


Yet another example of how community policing is better than server-side solutions. Just think:

random asshattery
posted by random asshat

*shun*
posted by mathowie

I will not take this thing from your hand.
posted by somebody else

apostate! burn in hell, heathen!
posted by metafilter personage

I dunno guys... I think random asshat is on to something here....
posted by concern troll

Oh yeah? *shun*
posted by mathowie

nyah nyah nyah I can't hear you!
posted by google ron paul
posted by anotherpanacea at 5:25 AM on September 24, 2008


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