Trolling Ask.Mefi? January 27, 2009 11:06 AM   Subscribe

"Well it appears I accomplished exactly what I wanted when I posted (what I obviously knew to be) a contentious question. I left out some details initially..simply because I wanted to see how much people were willing the assume about my friend's relationship (and my problem with it)..."

It seems like poor form to ask an ask.mefi question to try and bait a particular type of response.
posted by chunking express to Etiquette/Policy at 11:06 AM (100 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

Yep, axed. This is the second time today that someone has admitted fucking around with an AskMe question and it's making me a little peeved.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:10 AM on January 27, 2009


Yeah, that's completely not okay.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:12 AM on January 27, 2009


Very poor form. Makes me wonder if any of the OP's other questions were of a similar nature.

It's one thing to leave something out of a question because you A) really don't think it's relevant or B) you forgot, but this kind of thing is rude and pretty obnoxious. I'm sorry I contributed anything to that thread.
posted by rtha at 11:13 AM on January 27, 2009


Oh and that's a week off, in case anyone is curious.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:17 AM on January 27, 2009 [14 favorites]


This is why computers should come with built-in, remotely operable tasers.
posted by The Straightener at 11:19 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


*tazes The Straightener*
posted by ODiV at 11:20 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like the part where he says he used italics to connote sarcasm rather than emphasis. "I just found out a good buddy of mine's wife married him to essentially get out of poverty....but she has grown to love him." Of course! It was sarcasm!
posted by Greg Nog at 11:20 AM on January 27, 2009


Actually, I wish there was a way to close the thread and leave it, so other people would see it's not OK to pull that crap. Plus there were lots of interesting answers about different types of marriages. I'm sorry people were responding to a question posted by a muffinhead, but I did appreciate getting to read the responses.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:21 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the second time today that someone has admitted fucking around with an AskMe question

Which was the first?
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:24 AM on January 27, 2009


Reading the thread I don't think mentioning her ethnicity was a problem, and certainly not racist. Hopefully that wasn't the general consensus.
posted by ODiV at 11:25 AM on January 27, 2009


Maybe I'm just being thickheaded, but what exactly was being done wrong here? As far as I know leaving out details that you think will derail the question is okay, so was it just the line about wanting to see how much people would assume about the situation?
posted by burnmp3s at 11:25 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think the dude was plotting to kill the lady in the story with the garage door opener, or possibly the candlestick in the study!

*Weeks off*
posted by Mister_A at 11:28 AM on January 27, 2009


It was setting up a false situation in an attempt to get people to reveal "hidden" prejudices. AskMe is about solving problems, not setting up hypotheticals to see what people think and especially not because you just want to elicit reactions to a made-up scenario. We trust that people are being honest and forthcoming and this spirit of trust is a necessary part of having a lightly moderated open and honest community, at least on AskMe.

It's easy to make up scenarios that get people going. It's the definition of trolling (to me, ydmv) to make something like that up that seems just plausible enough that people respond honestly and then saying "haha, I was just seeing what sort of assumptions you would make" is a big fuck you to people who got involved enough to try to help out. It's against the rules. I'm sure it happens form time to time but if you're jerkish enough to say that's what you've been doing, it's time out time.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:30 AM on January 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oh and that's a week off, in case anyone is curious.

He seems to only ever post in Ask, and only two of his answers were in questions he didn't ask himself. So he might not even notice a week off. It would be kind of great if you could prevent him asking questions for like a month, even if he could post answers after a week. I'm just feeling vengeful at the moment though, and I'm sure that my suggestion is more trouble than it's actually worth.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:31 AM on January 27, 2009


It's not "made-up" or "hypothetical". He left out details to see what people would assume, on top of the genuine question he was asking.
posted by DU at 11:32 AM on January 27, 2009


As far as I know leaving out details that you think will derail the question is okay, so was it just the line about wanting to see how much people would assume about the situation?

The way I read it was, he knew the act of leaving things out would ALSO derail the question, but it would derail it in a different direction, and that's the direction he wanted us to go in.

It's the difference between "I didn't use complete sentences on the road sign because I didn't want to confuse people" and "I didn't put a road sign up in the first place because I wanted to see who drove off the cliff".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:32 AM on January 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


(Not defending (or attacking), just setting the record straight.)
posted by DU at 11:33 AM on January 27, 2009


Actually he misrepresented details by basically presuming people would "get" his "sarcasm" when he used "italics" in the way he did. He didn't just leave out details, he changed the story according to most peoples' read of it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:34 AM on January 27, 2009


Yeah, he changed it from a sad ending to a happy one. My guess is he wanted to see who would say something equivalent to "the ends justify the means".
posted by ODiV at 11:36 AM on January 27, 2009


To comment yet again, I think his question would have been better received if he had framed the two outcomes as possibilities. "Here's how their life and marriage has actually turned out. Would you think any differently of her actions if it turned out this way?"
posted by ODiV at 11:38 AM on January 27, 2009


Ug. I just feel sorry for his wife.
posted by Thin Lizzy at 11:38 AM on January 27, 2009 [12 favorites]


"It's Time Out Time" is a nonexistent music post desperately crying out for its creation.
posted by The Straightener at 11:38 AM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


When I read the question when it was posted, I couldn't tell if he was a troll, but I knew he was a tool. Turns out he's both.
posted by milarepa at 11:39 AM on January 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


IYep, axed. This is the second time today that someone has admitted fucking around with an AskMe question and it's making me a little peeved.

Thank you so much for deleting it, jessamyn, though I do think that it's a shame that many of the thoughtful answers had to go down the tubes with it. When I his final response I got so, so angry.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 11:41 AM on January 27, 2009


Yes, thank you, good delete. Creepy, creepy, creepy, even without the trolling bit.
posted by taz at 11:43 AM on January 27, 2009


Most people compose their questions in order to get the best answers to their questions, not to do a social experiment on Ask. He makes it clear that he wanted to see what people would assume about the situation. He doesn't jump in and say, "you know, I left out some details that might be pertinent." He waits until it's clear that very few people find the wife's behavior unethical, and then decides to say that he was being deliberately close with certain details just to see what people would assume about the situation. That's manipulative, and it is a waste of people's time.
posted by oneirodynia at 11:51 AM on January 27, 2009


Manipulative, yes. But also pretty revealing.
posted by DU at 11:54 AM on January 27, 2009


"It's Time Out Time" - it could go either in the way of Please Stop The Asshattery or more Wagnerian.
posted by Pronoiac at 11:55 AM on January 27, 2009


Fearless Psychic Vampire Killers!
posted by Divine_Wino at 11:57 AM on January 27, 2009


You know what he left out? That she grew to love the way he wears his pinstripes and his fedora. She grew to forgive the one-nighters with women 5-10 years older than him, and whose ranks have included PhDs, a fetish model or two, and a disproportionate number of redheads. She learned to live with the way he approached (hundreds?) of women on subways and city streets (mostly in NYC) to tell them them they're gorgeous, and ask them out on the spot, even if most of them were taken.

Overall I think he should be a lot more appreciative and it's no wonder she doesn't want any more children.
posted by GuyZero at 12:03 PM on January 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well it appears I accomplished exactly what I wanted when I posted

Hilariously, he actually has no idea what the thread accomplished, which was to show what kind of person he chooses to be.
posted by scody at 12:06 PM on January 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


I've grown to love Fearless Psychic Vampire Killers!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:06 PM on January 27, 2009




IRFH, FPVK need to release a second album ASAP IMHO.
posted by Mister_A at 12:08 PM on January 27, 2009


All I know is, I'm glad for the greasemonkey script that lets me make little notes in people's profiles. This guy's definitely getting a note.
posted by rtha at 12:09 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually he misrepresented details by basically presuming people would "get" his "sarcasm" when he used "italics" in the way he did. He didn't just leave out details, he changed the story according to most peoples' read of it.

He used a lot of weird conventions such as quoting people with asterisks, so it's not unthinkable that using italics instead of scare quotes could be a genuine mistake. I honestly can't tell if he was trying to deceive people or if he just has a weird way of saying things.

He could have easily framed the exact same information in that last comment (including the additional clarification about the italics) in a way that would not seem trollish. I'm guessing that if he had even just left out the "Well it appears I accomplished exactly what I wanted when I posted" line, this callout would not have happened, and I'm not even sure what he meant by that. What exactly did he want?

For the record, I think it's a weird chatfiltery question anyway, and he comes off as a jerk in the last comment regardless of his intentions with the question.
posted by burnmp3s at 12:09 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


""I just found out a good buddy of mine's wife married him to essentially get out of poverty....but she has grown to love him." Of course! It was sarcasm!"

I thought he meant she got fat.
posted by klangklangston at 12:09 PM on January 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


burnmp3, he actually says explicity that he left out details to be a jackass. More or less. The quote I included at the top of this thread says as much. And he could have clarified things way earlier, but he didn't because he wanted people to answer his imaginary question.
posted by chunking express at 12:15 PM on January 27, 2009


I prefer to believe that jessamyn gave him six days off, plus one additional for signing off Todd Lokken-style.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:20 PM on January 27, 2009


He used a lot of weird conventions such as quoting people with asterisks, so it's not unthinkable that using italics instead of scare quotes could be a genuine mistake. I honestly can't tell if he was trying to deceive people or if he just has a weird way of saying things.

That might well be the case, but if so, it's come up before:

I guess the asterisks around "marital duty" were viewed as emphasis rather than sarcasm.


So it should have been no surprise that various punctuation methods don't necessarily imply sarcasm to a reading audience, and that sarcasm really isn't the best way to make a point in a question.
posted by oneirodynia at 12:30 PM on January 27, 2009


Not to get all Lord of the Flies, but I vote to axe the asshole who asked that. It's likely a sock puppet anyway.
posted by dawson at 12:31 PM on January 27, 2009


So, I have a friend who wants to declaw his cat, using only homeopathic anesthetic?
posted by everichon at 12:37 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, drop a rock on him.
posted by Dr-Baa at 12:38 PM on January 27, 2009


damn. there goes my favorites.
posted by Stynxno at 12:38 PM on January 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


rtha: the greasemonkey script that lets me make little notes in people's profiles.

ooh. what script is this? pointer?
posted by rmd1023 at 12:44 PM on January 27, 2009


Wife: Honey, did you want Pancakes or Waffles for breakfast?

Husband: Waffles, if you don't mind.

W: Okay. Do you want syrup on the side, or should I put it on for you?

H: Well, I suppose I should confess that I deliberately mislead you regarding my appetites this morning to see just what sort of assumptions you would make about my breakfast choices. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that you'd assume I want syrup at all, since apparently it's a required breakfast staple where you grew up. Rather than simply get into a fight right off the bat about my desire for honey instead of syrup, I decided to test the waters in the hopes of seeing where you were at vis-a-vis syrup or honey. You make detect a slightly different tone in what I said just there, and I assure you it was a tone of derision, rather than emphasis. But now, my true breakfast choice: Pancakes. Sausage Links (2 of them). Whole wheat toast. Honey.
posted by shmegegge at 12:47 PM on January 27, 2009 [24 favorites]


So, I have a friend who wants to declaw his cat, using only homeopathic anesthetic?

Yeah, drop a rock on him.

Asked and answered.
posted by joe lisboa at 12:53 PM on January 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Looking back on his asterisk-studded history, I think he might be an Orz.
posted by Metroid Baby at 1:17 PM on January 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


What ever happened to Todd Lokken, anyway?

—Not Todd Lokken
posted by languagehat at 1:17 PM on January 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


rmd1023, it's this script.
posted by rtha at 1:20 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


It was an experiment.....the posting experiment
posted by Damn That Television at 1:32 PM on January 27, 2009


Who the hell eats whole wheat toast alongside pancakes? That's just crazy talk.
posted by mudpuppie at 1:46 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


he comes off as a jerk in the last comment regardless of his intentions with the question.

Well, to be fair, a lot of people came off as jerky in the responses too.
posted by electroboy at 1:49 PM on January 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Who the hell eats whole wheat toast alongside pancakes? That's just crazy talk.

carboholic bunnies who are trying to eat a little healthier, that's who.
posted by shmegegge at 1:51 PM on January 27, 2009


Reminds me of a crap psych-students-as-subjects-volunteering-for-credit experiment.

You'd be given a (secretly rigged) version of that implicit racism test, one of those "Press A for Black, L for White, Q for Bad, P for Good" things, and told that you implicitly dislike black people. After the fake debriefing, you'd exit into an empty hallway and pass by a black woman at a table, asking for signatures on a petition (I think it was to request extra funding for the psych department and/or its TAs). The researcher would then call you back and give you the real debriefing.

The premise was that helping black people was made more likely by being told that you're a racist. Because, y'know, the only reason you'd sign that petition is guilt. Stupid.
posted by CKmtl at 2:03 PM on January 27, 2009


Since when do you need to hide details to get wacky-ass assumption-heavy answers on AskMe anyway?
posted by lore at 2:25 PM on January 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


I read that question initially in logged out mode, and there was a "Find your Filipino wife" advert at the bottom of the page.

Which I thought was interesting. Or amusing. Or maybe it's simply obvious given how context sensitive adverts work.
posted by seanyboy at 2:26 PM on January 27, 2009


It's Time Out Time

So you think you have to scratch that itch
To troll The Filter, sonofabitch
It's time out time
It's time out time

You know who else was a culture jammer?
Mess with the site, face the Ban Hammer
It's time out time
It's time out time

Time out time
Just step away
Time out time
You've had your say
Time out time
Take it to The Gray
Time out time
It's a Brand New Day®

Yes, I caught your honeyed tone
If you want pancakes, make your own
It's time out time
It's time out time

I'll give you a homeopathic anesthetic
A Ban Hammer upside the head
It's time out time
It's time out time

Time out time
Just step away
Time out time
You've had your say
Time out time
Take it to The Gray
Time out time
It's a Good God Damned Brand Spankin' New Day®
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:28 PM on January 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


It was setting up a false situation in an attempt to get people to reveal "hidden" prejudices.

Man, he didn't need to do that. Just use one of the dozen open Body Size, Gender, Religious/Political Inclination or Mental Health threads (also we need a new one about Raising Childs). Soon you will come to realise that everybody here is completely wrong about at least three major and forteen minor things.
posted by turgid dahlia at 2:43 PM on January 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Tricksy hobbit is tricksy!
posted by cjorgensen at 2:51 PM on January 27, 2009


Well it appears I accomplished exactly what I wanted when I posted...

A week off is quite the accomplishment. I only ever get a day at a time.
posted by gman at 2:53 PM on January 27, 2009


I have faith in you, gman. Live the dream.
posted by waraw at 4:21 PM on January 27, 2009


gman, everyone knows that a day to you is like a month to that guy.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:25 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


A day without MetaFilter is like night.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:28 PM on January 27, 2009


—Not Todd Lokken
You're fooling no-one.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:30 PM on January 27, 2009


It's easy to make up scenarios that get people going.

Like a wife who fears her husband is trying to kill her by re-enacting the plot of a bad novel?

Oh yeah, like that.

I wonder what percentage of AskMe relationship questions *are* fakes that sneak through. Some do seem really unlikely.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:36 PM on January 27, 2009


Are you mad at him now because you wasted time on the internets?

How dare he?! Asking a question with less than 200% full disclosure and sincerity!

The question was lame, most of the answers were lame, but the deletion and "punishment" really take the cake for displaying why no one should take web sites too seriously.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 5:45 PM on January 27, 2009


Uh... dude pretty much admitted he was baiting people, McGuillicuddy. He's either a douche or he was confusing AskMe for the Lifetime Network. Neither is cool.
posted by katillathehun at 5:53 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Feel free to continue not taking the site seriously, McGuillicuddy, I have no problem with that if you're keeping mindful of the community guidelines in the mean time.

But a big part of our job here is to keep the site from regressing to the mean, and taking someone to the mat if they're going to shit on that is part of the deal. Yahoo! Answers is a great place to go kill some time if all you want is wacky trolling fun, but we'd rather Askme not end up being the same sort of place.

Part of the reason Jessamyn and me are willing to work here is because we believe very strongly in the value of Askme as a resource and of metafilter overall as a community, and that means we have to take these things a little seriously sometimes. It is just a website, yeah, but it's just a website that we care a great deal about and want to see stay healthy and useful. Outright abuse of it is a no-go.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:04 PM on January 27, 2009 [14 favorites]


A day without MetaFilter is like night.

Huh. What's a night without Metafilter like? Nighty-night? None more black?
posted by Pronoiac at 6:07 PM on January 27, 2009


>Feel free to continue not taking the site seriously

Thanks for your generous permission there, cortex. Now that I have your consent to do as I please, I will not run scared from the omniscient mind of Meta-ness.

The way I see it, the guy wanted to figure something out. Was what he wanted to figure out the question he posted? No, not exactly. Is that "outright abuse" of Askme? Not being an arbiter (thankfully) of all that is righteously Meta*-worthy, I don't know.

Seems to me that many many posts in AskMe (to say nothing of MeTa) are geared towards something other than the narrow focus of the question being asked. For whatever reason, this question and follow-up comments have ruffled some members'/moderators' feathers. That's fine, it can be deleted because it offends the delicate sensibility of the community. But there should probably be some honesty, if not consistency, about why this question was deleted while other inane or abstruse questions are left everlastingly in the AskMe glory that transcends mere Yahoo!-grade web site.
posted by McGuillicuddy at 6:31 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


That post was not cool. Can we have a non-modifiable icon added to people's profiles who do that kind of thing. It should look like this.
posted by hal_c_on at 6:34 PM on January 27, 2009


McGuillicuddy: dude, that's not a high horse. It's not even a hobby horse. It's a dead horse. Beat on at your own hazard, my friend. Beat. On.

Or, beat off. Whatever e-masturbatory needs you see fit to meet.
posted by joe lisboa at 6:35 PM on January 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


cortex, point taken on your response to mcgillicuddy, but i am still failing to see the the problem with this question that warrants a week off. i must be missing something. i could understand if it got axed early on as chatfilter, but beyond that, i don't get why it's a transgression.

furthermore, i'd point out that this poster is obviously an inexperienced site user (with a total of 3 questions and 18 answers) and to the extent that it seems he "fucked with" ask metafilter, i strongly suspect instead he didn't realize what he was doing. the etiquette on ask is pretty nuanced for people not that familiar with the place.

are people mad that they wasted their time on a dumb question? he seems to have asked the question in earnest -- to paraphrase, "this bothers me. should it?" and metafilter said "what's the big deal, dude? people get married for all kinds of reasons" and he said "oh, but i meant to tell you this part, that she's a big jerk and she doesn't really love him, and i think you guys are wrong, i am right in feeling bothered by it" and metafilter says "HOLY CRAP YOU HAVE TRANSGRESSED YOU ARE BANNED FOR A WEEK GET THE HELL OUT OF MY ASKMETAFILTER YOU ASSHOLE I SPENT TWENTY SECONDS CRAFTING THAT SUGGESTION THAT YOU MIGHT BE RACIST."

to me it seems an overreaction and something that the dude probably didn't even conceive of as manipulative of anybody. if you feel manipulated by his question or that your time was wasted, i would suggest that's probably your problem for bothering with something so chatty in the first place.
posted by Hat Maui at 6:40 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's a transgression because he was trolling, and said as much. Is it really so confusing? Apparently so.
posted by chunking express at 6:41 PM on January 27, 2009


what aspect was trolling? do you believe he didn't sincerely want people's opinions on marriage for money?
posted by Hat Maui at 6:47 PM on January 27, 2009


Can someone clarify the difference between a troll and a douchebag? I mean, every troll is a douchebag, right? But are all douchebags trolls? Because I think you can expect deletion and a time out for being a douchebag even if you aren't a troll. No?
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:14 PM on January 27, 2009


what aspect was trolling? do you believe he didn't sincerely want people's opinions on marriage for money?

Hat Maui, you're smarter than this. I mean, I have all kinds of rhetorical questions that NEED answering, but that doesn't make askme a personal rorschach test or whatever. No offense, you're one of the good ones, but really?
posted by joe lisboa at 7:30 PM on January 27, 2009


McGuillicudy—The bargain is that in exchange for not getting bullshit wisecrack answers to your real questions, you also don't waste people's time with bullshit fake questions.

The point of giving a week off is to point out that there are consequences for fucking with AskMe, so that people who might otherwise not take the value of AskMe seriously will think twice before fucking with it.

And I can't believe that I actually had to explain that.
posted by klangklangston at 7:30 PM on January 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


Hat Maui, read the "simply because I wanted to..." section again. At best, the OP was using AskMe as an experimental subject pool; at worst, they were trolling for the lulz.
posted by CKmtl at 7:39 PM on January 27, 2009


Huh. What's a night without Metafilter like?

Death by Lifetime Television Network.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:44 PM on January 27, 2009


Because I think you can expect deletion and a time out for being a douchebag even if you aren't a troll. No?

Not generally no. In AskMe if you're answering the question and/or asking a sincere question, your question or comment will stay even if you personally have abhorrent opinions. Mostly.

And people ask us "well how can you tell if someone's sincere?" and at some level we can't, we trust you. This occasionally allows for the "is my husband trying to kill me" sort of question that is probably not a good fit for AskMe because other people are less trusting than us. If you admit, or we find out, that you're asking a question just to sort of yank the chain of the community -- and I think the jury's out about whether this guy was being a douchebag, but it's clear to me that the question as stated was misleading and deliberately so enough so it falls into a hypothetical chatfilter realm -- your question may get deleted and you may get some time off.

I can only remember this happening once before with a real ill will sort of situation but basically we don't want to have to second guess that people are being sincere, so the ramifications of something being outed as insincere are sort of steep.

It's a headache from time to time, having to think "Geez this question reads like something out of a self-help book and yet if this person is serious it's a real goddamned mess" and trying to figure out what the best course of action is. Similarly when someone's heart is clearly breaking and yet you know if their anonymous question gets approved the community is likely to jump all over them for being a tool. I don't know what the better approach is.

And so we muddle forward. At the end of it, I'd rather we err on the side of trusting too much than too little.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:25 PM on January 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


I don't see what the question is here. AskMe has a very clear and very precise stated purpose. Sometimes people don't follow it to the letter ("Name my cat", "make a mix-tape", "should I eat this" being the top three contenders, if I recall correctly, though I personally love those questions), but in the spirit of giving people the benefit of the doubt, we're okay with that.

That question didn't follow the spirit of the rules, and we're just not okay with that. You may say that there's nothing really wrong with gaming a website to get what you want because hey, it's a website, why take it seriously, right? But there are people who spend a lot of time on here trying to help other people, there are people who legitimately work here and try to make it a useful resource, and even though objectively the guy's question may not have caused harm, he's denigrating something a lot of people value highly. Hence cortex's comment about "continuing not to take the site seriously".

Your snark about "oh yay, now I have permission" seems a bit mean-spirited. Of course you can do what you want. And it's our prerogative to care about the quality (and by extension, genuineness) of AskMe

By many people's moral code, purposefully representing a question to gauge people's reactions on a website is okay. AskMe is not one of those websites. I don't think "punishing" someone when he's made it clear that he doesn't give a crap about our rules is heavy-handed, or being on a high-horse.
posted by Phire at 9:16 PM on January 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


cortex, point taken on your response to mcgillicuddy, but i am still failing to see the the problem with this question that warrants a week off.

Jessamyn has more patience for this tonight than I do, so I'll generally defer to her comment above and confine my elaboration to this:

Explicitly fucking with the site is a no-go. It's a direct violation of the basic concept of mutual trust that Matt has tried pretty goddam hard to establish over the last nearly ten years. Not going out of your way to fuck with the site is not hard, 99%+ of the userbase manages to do that every single day. I don't give a flying fuck if someone is "too new" to realize that they're taking a great big shit on this place through their neophyte fuckery—we don't generally pat spammers on the head and give 'em a hug because they thought mefi was just like Digg, and we aren't going to give people fucking off in AskMe a backrub for intentionally trolling.

If teg4rvn was just wildly misinformed about how askme works and learns his lesson as a result of this, great. That is the best possible outcome. But he's got a week to figure that out, and figuring it out is something he really needs to do, or it won't be a timeout next time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:00 PM on January 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


I know what you're tryin' to say, you're tryin' to say it's time for Time Out, it's Time Out Time, ooo!

It's
Time
Out

It's Time Out Time!

CHAKKACHAKKACHAKKACHAK!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:07 PM on January 27, 2009


[to]

It's time out time, doot-n-doo-doo
It's time out time, and I say,
Seems 'bout right.

Troll or douchebag,
Your AskMe question wasn't sincere
Troll or douchebag,
Which one you are ain't quite so clear

It's time out time, doot-n-doo-doo
It's time out time, it's no plate
Of damn beans.

Jess or cortex,
Which one will be the first to notice
Jess or cortex,
It seems like dude took a shit here

It's time out time, doot-n-doo-doo
It's time out time, and your ass?
Banned, kinda.

Time, out, time.. Time out time. (x5)

Troll or douchebag,
It's been a month since your last login
Troll or douchebag,
You never knew that you were banned.

It's time out time,
It's time out time; this "the Gray",
It vibrates?

It's time out time,
It's time out time, this "the Gray",
It vibrates?
It vibrates?
posted by fleacircus at 1:07 AM on January 28, 2009


I think Jessamyn's rationale for deleting that post is excellent, and an explanation that detailed is really useful when posted as the reason for deletion on the actual page in the green. In this case, for instance, the thread kind of stunk and I didn't like what was going on there either, but I couldn't quite articulate why- and Jessamyn's explanation nails it so well.

I personally don't like it when a "reason for deletion" sounds like a personal note to the OP- sometimes the shorthand is too short to keep the rest of us on the same page about exactly why posts suck. Mods, if I may, not that you're not busy enough already, but I really appreciate it when you guys provide clear, specific explanations- on the original page- of why things are axed (and I like the explanations even with the understanding that they'll often be cut-n-pasted descriptions of the most common transgressions, ie, the classic and very clear "self-link, banned").

Thanks for explaining it here, though- that summed up exactly why I felt weird about it, too.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:39 AM on January 28, 2009


I like the sweary cortex.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:02 AM on January 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sweary cortex makes my medulla oblongata perspire.
posted by carsonb at 3:52 AM on January 28, 2009


Your snark about "oh yay, now I have permission" seems a bit mean-spirited.

A bit?

I like the sweary cortex too.
posted by languagehat at 7:02 AM on January 28, 2009


*straightens right up*

Ooooh, yes SIR!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 7:20 AM on January 28, 2009


Yeah! I don't like the guy, either!
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:24 AM on January 28, 2009


Not going out of your way to fuck with the site is not hard, 99%+ of the userbase manages to do that every single day.

That one-percenter thing didn't work out so well for the American Motorcycle Association.
posted by box at 7:49 AM on January 28, 2009 [1 favorite]


Man, if you're going equate what stands in AskMe with what's allowed to go in MeTa... well... I just don't know what to say to that.

If you actually asked for advice in MeTa, you'd probably do better to jump off a cliff than to take it. Though if the advice was "jump off a cliff," well.. Maybe jump off a bridge instead.

AskMe is a site geared towards helpfulness. MeTa is where we let the wild snark run free.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 8:04 AM on January 28, 2009


I know people worked so hard this weekend getting the site back up (thank you!), so I feel guilty raising a complaint at all, but while we're already talking about vague chat-filter where someone just wants to see what people think...

That linked question could mean: "I find this vague and weird turn of phrase intriguing. Let's discuss it!" It could mean: "Oh no, I don't understand what my friend is talking about, help me guess what he meant." It could mean: "The band wants to call their sound 'dangerous music.' Here at the label, the budget for a marketing focus group got cut. Some of us hate it, some of us like it, what do you guys think, should we use that phrase?"

It could mean all those things, some of which are chat-filter and some of which are probably not. But it does not say any of those, nor in any other way clearly say "I have a decision to be made or a goal to be met, and to do that, I have a question that needs answered."
posted by salvia at 8:40 AM on January 28, 2009


I agree with salvia. That question, whatever it was meant to be, has turned into pure chatfilter.
posted by languagehat at 8:46 AM on January 28, 2009


Maybe he felt like a fool after his naive question was torn apart by numerous respondants, so invented some "I was fooling you all along with my bad-ass disregard for you and your rules" bullshit to save face.
posted by fire&wings at 11:09 AM on January 28, 2009


This guy?
posted by stubby phillips at 1:36 PM on January 28, 2009


Jeez, his/her other questions read like Oprah transcript summaries. Good riddance.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:09 PM on January 28, 2009


There is no justice.
posted by fleacircus at 9:27 AM on February 4, 2009


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