At least it's not another downfall parody September 27, 2009 8:51 AM   Subscribe

So Matthias Rascher has posted an FPP regarding Walter Moers cartoons about Hitler. Some of the comments in the discussion have already gone meta, so I thought I'd bring that bit to the grey and spare the conversation there.

Personally, I thought it was a pretty good FPP through "...(J'suis seul dans mon bonker)." Then Matthais describes some issues he (and others) have with this sort of thing which makes it feel a bit like Ask MeFi or ChatFilter or some such.

Is it wrong to put up an FPP because you want to see the discussion about it?

Is there a better way to do this?
posted by Kid Charlemagne to Etiquette/Policy at 8:51 AM (29 comments total)

Kid Charlemagne: "Is it wrong to put up an FPP because you want to see the discussion about it?"

So I've been told.
posted by Joe Beese at 8:53 AM on September 27, 2009


20 bucks, same as in town.
posted by Smart Dalek at 8:54 AM on September 27, 2009


If I was doing this, I'd rush in with a first comment and explain my motivations there (like this). Is that the generally agreed on best practice for this sort of thing?

I mean if you make an FPP, one assumes you have some interest in your subject, but explaining your interest in the FPP itself seems to take away from the FPP. I shudder to think of where we'd end up if everyone's FPPs were things they were completely detached from.
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 8:56 AM on September 27, 2009


It would have been very interesting if the FPP had been about his "moral dilemma". The subject of Nazi jokes in Germany is...unique. People are often just scared shitless of Nazi jokes. It's understandable and ridiculous at the same time. Certainly worth investigating.
posted by creasy boy at 9:20 AM on September 27, 2009


A link about humour and Hitler controversy might have also served. On the other hand, the OP acknowledged his mefi faux pas, so everything seems to be all right.
posted by ersatz at 9:21 AM on September 27, 2009


I'm kind of wondering why he's still around...
posted by Sys Rq at 9:38 AM on September 27, 2009


Is it wrong to put up an FPP because you want to see the discussion about it?

I think that the very nature of MeFi means making a FPP means there will be discussion about it. What is wrong, from what I understand, is trying to steer the discussion in the FPP or posting questions like you find at the back of Oprah Book Club selections.
posted by hippybear at 9:48 AM on September 27, 2009


Post was deleted.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 9:52 AM on September 27, 2009


He's still around because I didn't get the impression that the linked thing in that other post was actually his thing so much as something he wasn't familiar enough with the site to know he shouldn't host just for the sake of posting about. Deletion reason fails to express that, though; I was writing on the run. More of a "don't do that, it's not okay" thing than a "you are instabanned" situation, basically, unless of misunderstood the situation.

Crawling back to consciousness after a meetup here, Jessamyn nixed the Hitler thread before I saw it but I would have if she hadn't. Keeping threads from going in this "and now let's talk about how I feel and how you feel about this thing I'm posting about" editorial/prompt territory is kind of important, and while this could be the subject of a total decent thread this wasn't a great way to do it.

I'm not sure if Matthias Rascher is familiar enough with the site to even know Metatalk exists or that we're talking about him over here. Might not be a bad idea to drop him a line directly, on that front; insofar as there's been a little bumpiness with his early and enthusiastic posting history, talking about posting etiquette in a group setting might be useful.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:52 AM on September 27, 2009


I thought it would have been better if he had presented the material in a more straightforward fashion and saved his more personal comments for a comment within the discussion. The way he did it gave his musings too much weight and people started making the entire discussion about them.
posted by orange swan at 9:59 AM on September 27, 2009


Was Hitler the funniest dictator?
posted by creasy boy at 10:00 AM on September 27, 2009


So'n Quatsch. Der war doch Gut!
posted by chillmost at 10:05 AM on September 27, 2009


You know who else unpublished jokes about Hitler?
posted by qvantamon at 10:33 AM on September 27, 2009


Is it wrong to put up an FPP because you want to see the discussion about it?

Not exactly but it's really a good idea to try not to frame the discussion or start with a sort of "I'll go first" point. In this way AskMe is really similar to MeFi. There's also the GYOB aspect. Presumably this is something you want to share with the community, that stands on its own and that would start a decent discussion. Saying "this is something I want to talk to the MeFi community about" is really not that great a tactic, just based on past experience. It seems like Matthias Rascher isn't real clear on how posts work here and I guess I was the first person to see this today so I just nixed first and then saw this thread later.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:52 AM on September 27, 2009


I feel like it would have been a very different post if we could have seen some of these alleged 'cartoons.' The balance of content to soul-searching was just so skewed!
posted by grobstein at 12:20 PM on September 27, 2009


He's new here and isn't too familiar with the site. Let's cut the guy some slack, eh?
posted by Avenger at 1:30 PM on September 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I thought this was well covered in the thread and I don't really see the reason for this post. I also don't see the reason for the deletion. It was a perfectly decent post with a little too much editorializing; that sort of thing usually doesn't get deleted.
posted by languagehat at 2:49 PM on September 27, 2009


it could have been worded better--but then not everyone can put together a polished post. editing some of the text towards the end would have been appropriate. i was really enjoying the comments, and was pretty disappointed to see it deleted.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 3:17 PM on September 27, 2009


At least it wasn't a link to his Twitpic page...
posted by Burhanistan at 4:05 PM on September 27, 2009


It was a perfectly decent post with a little too much editorializing; that sort of thing usually doesn't get deleted.

Fully half the post was the poster musing about the content of the post and the moral dilemma and so forth. That's not a questionable half sentence coda, and it's not the sort of thing that is generally allowed to stand in posts to the front page, above or below the fold. As commentary later in the thread, it would have been fine, yes.

editing some of the text towards the end would have been appropriate.

To make this clear, it would not have been appropriate: we have a very firm policy of not editing posts and comments for content by editorial fiat, and rarely ever edit them in any significant fashion even when the poster asks us to do so.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:50 PM on September 27, 2009


i think the issue i have here is that you guys didn't just delete a post--you deleted a post and 57 comments. it wasn't a bunch of comments mocking the post, they had some pretty cool links in them.

overall, the post's comments weren't focused on the crappy post--they were cool links and comments. if it was a bunch of '$20, same as in town' crap, it should be deleted.

this is a community blog. some of us generally don't make posts, but lurk and/or comment only. a moderator didn't get to this post for a period of time, and something that was kinda crappy at the onset was actually being turned into something good by the community. now it's dead.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 5:20 PM on September 27, 2009


while I agree it is always painful to lose a (against the odds) worthwhile discussion when axing a bad FPP, it's the price of having a criteria for FPPs that is as clear as possible

as redeeming as that discussion may be, it stems from what is (imo) pretty clearly an inappropriate framing for a FPP and, as such, it is fruit of the poisonous tree

it may be a bit baby-with-bathwater, but since we can't have one without the other in this case, i'll sacrifice losing a couple good discussions between the cracks to maintain a policy which creates a front page fostering good discussions as much as possible
posted by sloe at 5:44 PM on September 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


i think the issue i have here is that you guys didn't just delete a post--you deleted a post and 57 comments. it wasn't a bunch of comments mocking the post, they had some pretty cool links in them.

There's no statute of limitations on deleting a badly-made post. We wrestle with this sort of thing on a regular basis, and there's never a perfectly satisfying compromise when some good discussion is brewing in a bad post, but we've intentionally avoided granting any kind of automatic amnesty to threads based on thread-length, and this was not by far an extreme example of this sort of situation.

I know it's frustrating to have a conversation cut off, but that's not sufficient reason to throw out our general guidelines on post construction. Someone who wants to take a shot at this as a do-over without the problematic bloggy framing is as always welcome to do so; doing it right is a much more sustainable site practice than just giving up and letting it be done wrong, and I think we're mostly going to continue to opt for the former rather than the latter when it's manageable.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:38 PM on September 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Keeping threads from going in this "and now let's talk about how I feel and how you feel about this thing I'm posting about" editorial/prompt territory is kind of important, and while this could be the subject of a total decent thread this wasn't a great way to do it.

Out of curiosity, if it had been an objective, non-editorialized post, but he'd put the "This is how I feel about it and why" stuff in a comment, do you think that would have been enough to save the post?

I've sort of done that once or twice, although I really try not to. To much of a potential to derail.
posted by zarq at 9:09 PM on September 27, 2009


If you love something, set it free. That includes letting the links stand on their own merit without telling everybody how they're supposed to feel about it.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:24 PM on September 27, 2009


zarq, yeah, that'd probably have been fine. We see people do that now and then to reasonably good success—in my opinion, it's better to not just stick it in a comment but stick it in a comment like an hour after the post to let things properly breathe so that it doesn't feel too much like loophole stuff, but in any case it's an improvement.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:38 PM on September 27, 2009




Kid Charlemagne writes "I shudder to think of where we'd end up if everyone's FPPs were things they were completely detached from."

Be a lot less editorializing and outragefilter on the front page that's for sure.
posted by Mitheral at 10:47 AM on September 28, 2009


yeah, that'd probably have been fine.

Good to know. That's kind of what I figured.

...in my opinion, it's better to not just stick it in a comment but stick it in a comment like an hour after the post to let things properly breathe so that it doesn't feel too much like loophole stuff, but in any case it's an improvement.

That's excellent advice, thanks. :)
posted by zarq at 6:51 AM on September 29, 2009


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