Is it OK to bring up someone's meta-history? September 11, 2009 8:10 AM   Subscribe

When, if ever, is it appropriate to bring up someone's past posts or comments? Does the etiquette vary by subsite (green/blue/gray)? This isn't a callout; I just haven't seen it discussed here.
posted by desjardins to Etiquette/Policy at 8:10 AM (79 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

Your last MeTa post was about snooping in a partner's email. Now something about snooping in past posting history. Is this a pattern I see?
posted by googly at 8:16 AM on September 11, 2009 [11 favorites]


Generally speaking, comment trawling is something we don't like to see.

In AskMe it's rarely appropriate. That said, most of the people we see doing that sort of thing in AskMe are doing it with an "Oh yeah you once said THIS about THAT and so now you're saying WHAT?" approach so we remove those. Usually, at least in AskMe, a comment saying "Hey is this is the same boyfriend from your previous question?" is fine, a comment that is more like "Hey is this the guy who [called you late at night] [wasn't nice to your mom] and [didn't buy more toilet paper]" (with all those being links to comments or whatever) is less good. In MeTa we usually see it when people are going after someone, so that's not great, in MeFi the same thing is true.

Now I mat be more attenuated to seeing stuff that is negative and miss the ways people are doing this sort of thing in decent and normal ways but in a broad sense if you're digging through someone's comment history in order to use links from their past comments to make a point, you're rarely doing something that is making the community better. That's just my opinion, not anything that means much in the way of policy, fyi.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:21 AM on September 11, 2009


And if you're referring to a very recent comment in a very recent MeTa thread, I removed that, that's not cool at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:24 AM on September 11, 2009


Goldfish have memories that last about three seconds. Those little guys must be really happy not having to carry around all the burdens of grudges and accounts of misdeeds.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:28 AM on September 11, 2009 [5 favorites]


my 2 cents:

if you're trying to call someone out as a hypocrite: don't bother. people are inconsistent, and all you're doing is raising the general paranoia level for everything anyone says.

if you're trying to determine some detail about the person's private life by gleaning tidbits of information from their posting history and connecting the dots: you're a bad person and you should be pistol whipped in the street.

if you're trying to bring up old grudges: I'd say don't do it, but we all know people are going to do it every day and we can't stop it. no one ever thinks it's the right way to encourage discourse, we just do it because we're faulty robots.

if you're trying to bring a fight from another thread into the current one: this is kind of like internet stalking. following someone as they post around the site and constantly bringing that shit up is basically intensely creepy behavior.

if you're trying to find inconsistencies in moderator behavior to make a point: go for it! just kidding, don't do this.

if you're bringing up an old comment someone made that you thought was particularly awful because you just want everyone to know how despicable that one comment from 2 years ago really was: please get over it. life moves on.

if you're bringing up an old comment that was super awesome and you want to remind people of that awesome comment you were just reminded of: go for it, and you're welcome. I am often funny enough for repeat readings.

if you want to bring up something someone else said a while ago that is germain to the discussion but is not specifically intended to target them for derision or ridicule: sweet. do yo thang.

if you're in a metatalk thread about someone's behavior and you want to bring up examples of the behavior in question: well, sucks to be that guy, but that's what metatalk is for, yes?

anyway, as you can see, it's generally a good idea to refrain if you're doing it for negative reasons. no matter how tempting it might be to really stick it to that one dude/gal who has gotten your dander up, it's usually not that awesome. but it's always nice to bring up good things, for obvious reasons.

note: the "you" in this comment is a general you, not anyone in particular. also, I speak only for myself and do not represent the opinions of anyone else.
posted by shmegegge at 8:38 AM on September 11, 2009 [38 favorites]


Does the etiquette vary by subsite (green/blue/gray)?

On the gray, people do tend to reference prior Meta posts. OTOH, that's usually because someone who has a trend of Meta posts is doing something wrong.
posted by smackfu at 8:39 AM on September 11, 2009


if you're trying to determine some detail about the person's private life by gleaning tidbits of information from their posting history and connecting the dots: you're a bad person and you should be pistol whipped in the street.

The one time I saw this done here, it was done as a joky example of "here's what all we know about X's real life based on things you've said in comments" in a MeTa thread about privacy (? -- I think -- please, don't link to it), and it totally creeped me the fuck out.
posted by FelliniBlank at 8:45 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've seen statements like "you always say shit like foo" go completely unchallenged on the blue. No links to previous comments, as that would be cement the derail explicitly, but the simple assertion as support for a counter argument to some point 'you' made in-thread. I don't know if the unchallenged part indicates the community is ok with that rhetorical flourish or if we just don't want to escalate a derail. (Yes, I know it's not either/or.)
posted by and hosted from Uranus at 8:51 AM on September 11, 2009


I’ve done it, and felt bad about it later. I won’t do it again. I don’t want it done to me. My early comments are like bad haircuts that mercifully grew out.
posted by applemeat at 8:57 AM on September 11, 2009 [8 favorites]


FelliniBlank: wasn't that about the anonymous askme posting account? I thought it was pretty funny, not creepy. Maybe ND(cents) who compiled it?
posted by Grither at 9:03 AM on September 11, 2009


I had someone on mefi google my screenname and my real name and post a bunch of unfounded accusations on here after I disagreed with them in a thread. Aside from the fact that they were incorrect (my name is unusual, but not uncommon), it was pretty creepy. So that's why neither is on my profile anymore. The best part was when they accused me of being paranoid and threatened a MeTa callout for saying it was inappropriate. Good times.

So... searching past comments? Maybe you care a little too much about being right. Googling people to dig up dirt? You're a creepy stalker and shouldn't have the internet.
posted by electroboy at 9:04 AM on September 11, 2009


wasn't that about the anonymous askme posting account?

No, someone made biographic profiles of several mefites by compiling personal anecdotes from their comment histories. It wasn't malicious, IIRC, but it was creepy/awesome. I can't for the life of me remember who it was, though.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:21 AM on September 11, 2009


Ah, this guy, doing this. Related MeTa.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:24 AM on September 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Alvy Ampersand: No, someone made biographic profiles of several mefites by compiling personal anecdotes from their comment histories.

Every time I mention some detail about myself on MetaFilter, I remember this and go oh shit because it wouldn't be very difficult at all to figure out what company I work for and where I grew up and who my friends are and what kind of elephant is my favorite (Indian).
posted by shakespeherian at 9:27 AM on September 11, 2009


Oh, man. I had your company and friends figured out, but I totally thought you were into African elephants. Better double check my files.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:32 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Looks like I have the makings of a double agent!
posted by shakespeherian at 9:35 AM on September 11, 2009


Every time I mention some detail about myself on MetaFilter, I remember this and go oh shit

The trick here is to comment so much that no one would ever bother reading through all your stuff. I've probably thrown about a million words at Metafilter over the years. Feel like digging up dirt on me based on indiscreet comments, or would you rather read War and Peace a few times in a row.

Note: not really a dare.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:37 AM on September 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well sure, but you're just some guy who works on a website. But don't you think people would be combing through my comments if they knew I'm actually Kim Jong-il?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:43 AM on September 11, 2009


But don't you think people would be combing through my comments if they knew I'm actually Kim Jong-il? (shakespeherian)

Dude, everybody knows KJI prefers African elephants. They make him look taller when he's riding them.
posted by ocherdraco at 9:54 AM on September 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


The trick here is to comment so much that no one would ever bother reading through all your stuff.

Nah, the trick is not to be batshineinsane about it.

Over the years of reading the site, I've noticed personal details about various people, none of which I can recall at the moment because it's just not that interesting or important, you know? Sure, you notice things, but to actually go looking for those personal details AND include them in an argument is the height of of dick move.

However, recalling that their personal life might be a bit of wreck at the moment and cutting them some slack without specifically bringing up the issues would be decent.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:54 AM on September 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


Ah, this guy, doing this. Related MeTa.

I've always secretly wanted someone to do one of those of me. Clearly I need to do something controversial on Metafilter.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:55 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


roll truck roll: Clearly I need to do something controversial on Metafilter.

Make a post about Ayn Rand.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:01 AM on September 11, 2009


... recalling that their personal life might be a bit of wreck at the moment and cutting them some slack without specifically bringing up the issues would be decent.

Seconded for truth. And decency.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:14 AM on September 11, 2009


To paraphrase what you said at 2:23pm on 14 October 2007: I agree.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:29 AM on September 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


I have a pretty keen memory for things people say here about themselves, and I occasionally refer to them in jest or with respect in later threads. Coming from me, it's all about gregarious friendliness and a paucity of privacy norms comprehension, but I doubt, in any case, that it's the sort of stalking you're all talking about.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:42 AM on September 11, 2009


And if you're referring to a very recent comment in a very recent MeTa thread, I removed that, that's not cool at all.

No, wasn't referring to that because I evidently missed that kerfluffle, whatever it was. A few days ago, cortex removed a comment of mine (at my request) from AskMe that went over the line (as pointed out by the "target"), so I was wondering where the line was. I guess in a bizarre way, I'm calling myself out.
posted by desjardins at 10:43 AM on September 11, 2009


Yeah in that particular case you're dealing with a lot of stuff

- people who are having a hard time in AskMe, sometimes a very hard time
- people who have had this thing done to them a lot, in their perception
- the sort of two-dimensional text only world we live in

I think that situations that in-person might be seen as concern and "hey I've been thinking about you, what about this situation you were talking about before" can be seen as "well what about THIS, did you ever get your shit together??" by people who are already disposed to not be viewing things favorably. I can only half-remember what you're referring to desjardins, but I think that unless something is totally on-topic and germane, bringing it up obliquely and letting other people who are interested go read it themselves is preferable to a big link right to a comment that might seem a little too touchy to bring in to an already touchy thread. If you want to chat about it more specifically, I'll happily talk more over email, but that's my general feeling.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:58 AM on September 11, 2009


MetaFilter: the sort of two-dimensional text only world we live in.

That really sums it all up right there.

posted by ocherdraco at 11:03 AM on September 11, 2009


What about bringing up old haircuts? That would scare me more.
posted by StickyCarpet at 11:05 AM on September 11, 2009


I kinda liked your old haircut.
posted by Dumsnill at 11:07 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


posted by Ambrosia Voyeur I have a pretty keen memory for things people say here about themselves

I am neither fat, nor Filipino, nor have I ever been either.
posted by mattdidthat at 11:25 AM on September 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


While we're on the subject, I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for every single one of my prior posts. Christ, I'm an asshole.
posted by JeffK at 11:26 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm still sorry that I posted that.
posted by GuyZero at 11:31 AM on September 11, 2009


roll truck roll: Clearly I need to do something controversial on Metafilter.

shakespeherian: Make a post about Ayn Rand.


Sure. But for maximum offensiveness, you should try a little harder:

First, rename yourself: "sixcolors! I'm BACK bitches!!"

Then make an intricate post about Circumcised Closeted Fundamentalist Republicans who work for Givewell, act all Boyzone and eat Mushrooms. And the Women who Love Them.

Title it "HURF DURF SARAH PALIN"




Or you could just self-link.
posted by zarq at 11:48 AM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian: "roll truck roll: Clearly I need to do something controversial on Metafilter.

Make a post about Ayn Rand.
"

Mention Helena Bonham Carter's glorious ass.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:50 AM on September 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


posted by desjardins
"I guess in a bizarre way, I'm calling myself out."

I hope you give yourself a very good dressing-down.
posted by not_on_display at 12:06 PM on September 11, 2009


What about old comments where someone made a prediction, or promised to do something if a particular outcome occurred? Something like, "If Obama becomes President, I'll eat my socks." (Note: I do not know of anyone making that statement.)

I do recall several people predicting a McCain win, with enormous certainty. I suppose it's not polite to remind them of that, but is it always a bad idea?
posted by Kirth Gerson at 12:48 PM on September 11, 2009


Seems like a fine line. If I make an "I love foo!" comment, I think it's ok for someone to point out that two weeks ago I made a "fuck a bunch of foo" comment. But it seems like there ought to be a common-sense cutoff, because six or seven years ago maybe I had a different take on foo than I do now.

tl;dr: foo.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:49 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, man, that tamim stuff is boss as heck.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:01 PM on September 11, 2009


I still worry about posting the "Oh, I see your profile says you're in Portland. Here's X service nearby to you that you were asking about in this question." (This is pretty much only relevant to the green)

I know that I wouldn't want to have the entire world know where I am, through someone's (well-intentioned!) comment, and as a result I struggle with the idea that maybe other people feel the same way. So I word things very carefully or I MeMail a person my specific comments. And I wonder if that's the best way to do it, or if I'm being paranoid and no one else cares about the "oh I see your location is X" links."
posted by librarylis at 1:02 PM on September 11, 2009


Metafilter: fuck a bunch of foo
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:12 PM on September 11, 2009


Oh great, now I'm going be mentally singing, "Well, you jump down, turn around, fuck a bunch of foo, jump down, turn around, fuck a bunch a day" all weekend long.
posted by FelliniBlank at 1:15 PM on September 11, 2009


I still worry about posting the "Oh, I see your profile says you're in Portland. Here's X service nearby to you that you were asking about in this question."

I was briefly puzzled by this, then realised that if you're not logged in, you don't see the location info in the profile. Now I'm going to be likewise plagued by locative doubts.
posted by zamboni at 1:35 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suppose it's not polite to remind them of that, but is it always a bad idea?

Pretty much, yeah. I mean if you think you can do it absent all "neener neener" implications, feel free but generally speaking it's not the awesomest tactic. That said, there's a big difference from "Didn't you say McCain would win?" and "you said [here],[here] and [here] this dumb thing, and now you're saying this related dumb thing??"

Similarly with location stuff. My feeling is if you're asking something in AskMe that's sort of location dependent, it's not crazy if people go to your profile and say "Oh hey you're in Portland, try thusandsuch" but dragging someone's location in if they haven't mentioned it is sort of breaking the Google-wall between profiles and usernames so it's slightly dicier territory, especially if they're NOT asking something location dependent. People can be a little fussy about their personal information and so I try to err on the side of speaking generally not specifically when possible.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:40 PM on September 11, 2009


I am pretty sure there is a Secret Quonsar exemption to snooping.
posted by shothotbot at 1:43 PM on September 11, 2009


Secret Quonsar is snooping on the fish in your pants RIGHT NOW.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:57 PM on September 11, 2009


Every time I mention some detail about myself on MetaFilter, I remember this and go oh shit

I really don't worry too much about this; half of what I say is lies, half is satirical, another half is honest from-the-heart opinions and revelations, and half is just random shit popping into my head as I'm typing.

A further half is stuff that other people have said, but I'm paraphrasing, which is not to be confused with the half that is pretty much me just trying to see how long I can keep a sentence going.

I leave figuring all this out as an exercise for the reader.
posted by quin at 3:02 PM on September 11, 2009


I'm on the other end of the spectrum. It would be trivially easy to find out rather a lot about me for anyone who cares to do so. And that's not counting meetups. So what? Have fun finding out where I went to college or my beliefs about various political issues. The only comment I've ever made on the issue is that if you think you can guess how exciting my life is based on my comments with regard to the legality of various substances and activities, well, you'll probably end up very disappointed. But figuring out what my views are, where I live, or various details about my life? No biggie. Not sure why people care that much.

I mean, you give your credit card number to people making below minimum wage all the time, and that's rather a lot more trust than some info people might glean about your hometown.
posted by Justinian at 3:52 PM on September 11, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Bore yourself to death with the minutiae of my life" is how I sometimes put it. I talk a good game, but an average 30 min slice of my life is me typing or reading or sleeping. *yawn*
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:05 PM on September 11, 2009


Oh great, now I'm going be mentally singing, "Well, you jump down, turn around, fuck a bunch of foo"

Jump down, turn around, fuck a bunch of foo bar,
Jump down, turn around, fuck a bunch of baz.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:14 PM on September 11, 2009


Basic etiquette prescribes not propositioning random people for sex, whether it be in a bathroom or a bar or a grocery store.

Dredging up peoples' old comments is also not kosher.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:51 PM on September 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


half of what I say is lies, half is satirical, another half is honest from-the-heart opinions and revelations, and half is just random shit popping into my head as I'm typing.

A further half is stuff that other people have said, but I'm paraphrasing, which is not to be confused with the half that is pretty much me just trying to see how long I can keep a sentence going.

I leave figuring all this out as an exercise for the reader.


I figured it out: Three!
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:59 PM on September 11, 2009


breaking the Google-wall between profiles and usernames

This issue came up in a recent MetaTalk thread, and I wanted to say then, so will now: I suspect most people have no idea that only part of their profile is viewable to non-members. Maybe some text on the user pages would be useful noting that "the rest of the world can't see that Rumple lives in Antarctica, but if you post this information to the site then they will know that"

Also, how about making it so, if you are a member beyond some threshold of newness/participation that your web page on the profile can be opened out to google for the link-love? E.g., member for more than one year and 100 comments or something.
posted by Rumple at 6:01 PM on September 11, 2009


I do recall several people predicting a McCain win, with enormous certainty. I suppose it's not polite to remind them of that, but is it always a bad idea?

When I feel like doing this sort of thing, I perform this little exercise in my head: I can only make such a comment if I can clearly articulate my reasons for doing so and then still make it, knowing my intentions are pure. When I'm honest with myself, I usually come up with one of the these reasons:

1. Because I want to rub his face in the fact that he's wrong. Which is another way of saying that I want to grab some power by belittling someone else. I can tell myself that he deserves it, but that's what everyone tells themselves when they're abusing another person.

2. Because I am trying to impress the club-I-belong-to (e.g. Obama supporters) that I'm a good team member, e.g. I'm willing to take on the enemy. In my club, doing that gets you points. Or I'm trying to show off how smart I am.

3. Because I want to teach him a lesson, e.g. that no matter how sure you are of something, you might be wrong.

4. I don't know why I want to do it.

In the case of #4, I am not allowed to do it, because my impulse -- though opaque to me -- might stem from some nasty, subconscious desire.

I am not allowed to do #1 because it's mean-spirited, and I work to not be a mean person.

I am not allowed to do #2 because it's using another person to boost my ego. I am only allowed to use myself for that.

I am not allowed to do #3, because (a) it's condescending, and -- more important -- (b) it's almost always ineffective. It's much more likely the guy will get defensive and angry than it is he'll learn anything. In most cases, people need to be in a receptive state to learn.

I am serious that I have to do this exercise. The desire to point out someone's hypocrisy (or whatever) is really strong. It feels like a way of doing justice. But if I'm honest, that feeling is a coverup. It's a way of doing something bad and justifying it to myself.

Confession: I did it today. Someone wrote me an email giving me unsolicited advice about my faults (to "help me"). I did the same to "help him." Bullshit. I don't believe he was trying to help me. Well, maybe he was. I can't see inside another person's soul. But I know I wasn't trying to help him. I was pissed off that he had condescended to me, so I repaid him in kind and then justified the act to myself by thinking, "I'm just helping him the way he helped me." Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit.
posted by grumblebee at 6:23 PM on September 11, 2009 [7 favorites]


#5. Because I want to provoke him or someone else into looking through my comment history and seeing how RIGHT I always was.
posted by jacalata at 7:15 PM on September 11, 2009


The only good way I've seen it done is something like "is this the same guy you were talking about in [previous post]?" If it's like that then you have a whole lot more context to answer the question with than what's actually in the question.
posted by theichibun at 7:55 PM on September 11, 2009


#6 - Teh LOLS
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:26 PM on September 11, 2009


I sometimes worry about my posting history and what it says about me, and how considering I'm pretty lax with my personal info you could probably ask at least a select couple dozen mefites for my real name, address, etc. Then I realize that a) I trust other mefites with this information, and b) if anyone spends that much time poring over my user history it's just flattering, really.

Cortex, I am pretty sure that in 100 years your millions of words posted to Metafilter will be the new War and Peace. Those poor high school kids, having to have the Cliff's Notes open so they can check what "butts lol" meant colloquially.
posted by SassHat at 11:34 PM on September 11, 2009 [4 favorites]


Rumple writes "Also, how about making it so, if you are a member beyond some threshold of newness/participation that your web page on the profile can be opened out to google for the link-love? E.g., member for more than one year and 100 comments or something."

How about if you didn't have to pay for an account your web page is google indexable? No one is going to be able to game that.
posted by Mitheral at 6:56 AM on September 12, 2009


I sometimes worry about my posting history and what it says about me, and how considering I'm pretty lax with my personal info you could probably ask at least a select couple dozen mefites for my real name, address, etc. Then I realize that a) I trust other mefites with this information

Awwww, how nice.

A map to SassHat's house, $20 USD!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:37 AM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


A photo of ThePinkSuperhero's dog which she would certainly pay a hefty ransom for, $20 CAD!
posted by gman at 8:46 AM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Slashfic about gman and US Border Patrol agents, $20 MXN!!
posted by Meatbomb at 10:38 AM on September 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


I suspect most people have no idea that only part of their profile is viewable to non-members.

Count me as one of these--I must have known when I chose settings and created my profile, but after that, I hadn't thought about it until just now. I wouldn't have realized that someone being willing to share their location in their profile wouldn't necessarily want it referenced in a thread. It's just as easy to say "If you're in Chicago, I know a great [store that sells what you're looking for]" as it is to say "I see you're in Chicago. Have you been to [whatever store]?" but it's hard to remember that one is preferable. Rumple's proposed additional text on profile pages would be super-helpful.
posted by Meg_Murry at 11:54 AM on September 12, 2009


Racy photos of Meatbomb in flagrente delicto with a certain Conservative Southern Senator, $200.
posted by SassHat at 11:58 AM on September 12, 2009


There are things that I won't talk about on here, which sometimes kind of sucks. I've had to not discuss certain topics, since my credentials could be called into questions, and I'd rather not have to resort to, "I know more about it than you can image." For the most part, I don't care what people link to of mine. It's public record. I said it. I have to live with it, but then I've been using my real name online for 13 years now.

Yeah, if people are mean about it, that would suck, but people can be mean without the links. And to hold me to something I said right out of college would be stupid.

I'm pretty much doomed to not run for public office, but other than that....

I always make the assumption that this place is pretty much open to the world. Even if it isn't, it is for $5. So anything I don't want known I don't write here.
posted by cjorgensen at 12:17 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Just make sure that about 20% of your posts are absolute lies because that will cloud the other 80%. Anytime anyone dredges up a comment you made, whether true or not, you can just say that it was just bullshit you made up. You could use this excuse anway, but if you don't have the fake posts to back it up then you'd be a liar.
posted by Elmore at 2:52 PM on September 12, 2009


What about old comments where someone made a prediction, or promised to do something if a particular outcome occurred? Something like, "If Obama becomes President, I'll eat my socks." (Note: I do not know of anyone making that statement.)

People have certainly been haunted by comments like "If George Bush does x, I will recant my support for his presidency", or "I know y isn't a closeted gay, and my gaydar is very accurate." Those are kind of begging for subsequent mockery.

But figuring out what my views are, where I live, or various details about my life? No biggie. Not sure why people care that much.

Because some people really are batshit insane. Ringing you at home all night to abuse you (ask tracicle of MoFi about that...) calling your boss to harrass you via work, that sort of thing.

Fortunately everyone who knows me knows what a collosall arsehole I am, so telling them that would just get a blank look and, "Yeah? And so?"
posted by rodgerd at 3:58 AM on September 13, 2009


little e, a 12 year old1 male1 hobo1 with more than cursory knowledge of "your mom" jokes1, 2, 3, 4, 5, has been reading Metafilter much longer than he has been a member1.

He grew up in the woods with a family of lemurs1 and now lives at an airport1 in the Washington, DC area1,2 . He has a lawn chair instead of a couch1, 2, 3, 4 which seems a prudent decision for someone who lives at an airport. He appears to be some sort of restroom facility aficionado1, 2, 3, but I guess that's what a feral childhood'll do to ya. His references to public urination1 and masturbation1 are actually pretty damn creepy. However, it gets worse:
My vices:

1. Naked hiking

2. Hiding in your closet, watching you sleep1
He has experience working as a carnie1 and using orphans as drug mules1, although it is unclear whether he was an orphan mule himself or a drug lord. He is a sophisticated explosives user1, 2, 3, an admitted crazed pyromaniac1, obviously a total pervert1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9 and probably dangerous too.

He drunkposts on Metafilter only in the mornings1, 2, 3, 4 and enjoys his weekends, often hunting human beings1, 2. He is reading this thread right now, but seriously, WTF Matt, I didn't think 12 year olds were allowed on Metafilter and how does a hobo get a paypal account anyway?? In the interest of everyone's safety, please ban this person before he steals something from our checked baggage or tries to eat us, I'm kind of freaked out.
posted by little e at 8:15 AM on September 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


(I will go ahead and admit I live at National. I find the waterfront view pleasing and the dumpster diving acceptable, whereas the superior dumpster food at Dulles is outweighed by the inconvenient bus ride to Metro and the larger, fiercer dumpster rats. I sure don't live at fucking BWI.)
posted by little e at 8:15 AM on September 13, 2009


WTF Matt, I didn't think 12 year olds were allowed on Metafilter and how does a hobo get a paypal account anyway?

He probably just mailed the $5 to jessamyn.
posted by cjorgensen at 9:22 AM on September 13, 2009


Some people seem to be arguing against injecting context. If that were true then, excepting contextual ad juice, what is the point of an elaborately retained and indexed text database with persistent online personas tied to comments which both exposes its own search system and invites commercial search engines to index and structure contextual hits? Such a regime invites users to reference older "greatest hits" of those persistent personas. To do otherwise, to pretend that every comment springs forth from a persona tabula rasa, is nonsense. "All posts are © their original authors." Either you own your comments, for good or bad, and are prepared to justify their sentiments through sincerity or irony or intoxication, or you're just line noise. Posting within a persistent persona regime is a deliberate choice. Other BBSs more aligned with semi-anonymity use tripcodes instead.
posted by meehawl at 11:23 AM on September 13, 2009


meehawl

You might consider actually reading what people have posted in this thread, as no one has argued against "injecting context". All the given reasons have to do with etiquette, social harmony, and the rules of the community.
posted by Sangermaine at 12:46 PM on September 13, 2009


I have read them. I hold that the "etiquette" you present is a false harmony, the idealisation of which some people rely upon to confirm their notions of an avuncular community clique that sometimes fails to conform with actual events. When such incongruities emerge, it sometimes causes a divide between the "context-based" and the "amnestic-based" commentators. Over the past decades I've seen the "rules" of Metafilter change back and forth on this topic. Sometimes one standard is more dominant, sometimes another. The "rules" are even often applied differently at the same time to different personas, as are the "rules" about sockpuppetting. It's interesting to watch the variable etiquette weather. Which is more "authentic": to refer to a persona's comments only within a thread and to present an ignorance of their other non-thread comments while being aware of them, or to explicitly make others aware of your knowledge of the history of that persona? The former is occult, the latter explicit. In the former, biases are present but unacknowledged while in the latter biases are potentially confronted. For naive users unaware of previous history, I'd argue that the former presents an inauthentic experience, while the latter holds out the possibility of greater authenticity for the interested reader. Of course, arguing for authenticity on the Internet may be as pointless as Cnūt's wave thing.
posted by meehawl at 1:12 PM on September 13, 2009


meehawl, if you have specific "this is where the mods don't walk the walk" please feel free to let us know, otherwise, I really feel that we're doing pretty decently trying to keep this stuff down in cases where

- someone leaks someone else's personal information, and
- that person objects

There are a few outliers, people who seem to have a sort of fuzzy sense of what their own boundaries are who overshare and then at the same time want us to closely moderate what other people can and can't say about them and those are usually the topic of a lot of back and forth emails with the people involved that doesn't always make it to the main pages of MetaTalk.

In short we ask that people be mindful of sharing people's personal information on MeFi, esp leaking stuff from people's profiles. We also ask people to let us know if this sort of thing has happened to them and is a problem. We try to deal with this sort of stuff quickly and effectively.

We don't ask people to pretend that people don't have a history on the site. We do ask that they not use that person's history to assemble a dossier agains them which they then use to savagely and repeatedly go after the person. We see this too often. It fucks up threads. I don't care how unpleasant someone is, if they want to be a part of the community (and that's sometimes something that's at question) and they can follow the guidelines, we'd like other people to not follow them around hollering at them. There's nothing wrong with saying "wait, didn't you say something different last month?" but that's different, in both tone and content, from saying "You said something different [here], [here] and [here] and now what do you have to say HUH?" The fact that people can't seem to stop from going on the attack is concerning. There's nothing wrong with not giving users a tabula rasa with each new comment; we don't expect that.

Our sockpuppet guidelines are actually pretty well thought out and evenly implemented and enforced. If you think this is not the case, please feel free to let us know what specifically you're referring to. Generally it seems like you're talking about something without really talking about it, which makes it nearly impossible to respond to.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:35 PM on September 13, 2009


Now I am all super curious about what cjorgensen is an expert in...

1) I have forgotten more about pain than you will ever know...
2) I heard that teleportation and astral travel are real but the CIA is covering them up. Is that true?
3) How do I get into the slavery business?

etc etc etc
posted by Meatbomb at 5:04 PM on September 13, 2009


He probably just mailed the $5 to jessamyn.

Or asked for an advance on the coffee money that he'd eventually panhandle off her.
posted by UbuRoivas at 5:34 PM on September 13, 2009


On mature reflection, I am talking at cross-purposes to the goals of this thread and I withdraw my concerns. Jessamyn's explanation is, as usual, elegant and comprehensive. I do think there are different standards of discourse and context applied within the usually stricter confines of AskMeFi to straight-up questions relative to, say, political questions or chatty relationship questions (to choose two popular topics from across a continuum). I also appreciate the time taken to write the extremely long email I got from a former classics student at one of the Ivys, who now spends their time working for a company that in the 1970s was a prominent defendant in a case brought within the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, on January 17, 1969. I'd like to thank Metafilter, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn for making this little bit of stalking possible.
posted by meehawl at 8:35 PM on September 14, 2009


Huh?
posted by gjc at 6:22 PM on September 16, 2009


gjc: HE SAID, HE'D LIKE TO THANK METAFILTER, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, AND LINKEDIN FOR MAKING THIS LITTLE BUT OF STALKING POSSIBLE!!!
posted by not_on_display at 10:07 PM on September 16, 2009


« Older 9/11 Live thread?   |   Know Your MetaFilter Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments