deleted post reconsideration? October 24, 2009 8:56 PM   Subscribe

Self-links and deletion on Mac Tonnies death FPP

So At the end of my obit post for Mac Tonnies, I included links to a few interviews I've done on my podcast. I sincerely apologize for the link inclusion (they're considered some of his best interviews), but wouldn't it have made more sense to simply remove the podcast links and let the rest of the post remain? Mac's blog (and easily "best of the web") and work was followed and respected by many, and his death is a huge shock. If I resubmit a reworked version, no self links, will it remain? My heart is already broken enough over Mac's death, and to have this post deleted feels like another punch to the gut.
posted by dbiedny to MetaFilter-Related at 8:56 PM (100 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

but wouldn't it have made more sense to simply remove the podcast links and let the rest of the post remain?

I think you're kind of lucky to even still be here man.


If I resubmit a reworked version, no self links, will it remain? My heart is already broken enough over Mac's death, and to have this post deleted feels like another punch to the gut

I'm sorry you're having a bad time, but you should really just walk away for a day or two. I say that without any bs or sarcasm
posted by nola at 8:59 PM on October 24, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's nothing short of an act of god that you're still here, but you could try it again minus the self-links and find out. I'm sure a mod will weigh in soon enough.

My own personal take, though, is that you're way too emotionally involved in this, especially since it seems you personally knew Mac- kind of a no-go. To me, it looked more like a puff-piece for a rather unremarkable guy you knew who happened to have a blog.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:05 PM on October 24, 2009


Take a step back, have a 3 Musketeers, and mourn your friend.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 9:11 PM on October 24, 2009


rather unremarkable guy

You can still make your point about the thread being deleted without being a dick. I don't have a dog in this race and I've never heard of the dude, but that's more than a little bit obnoxious, since when have the rules of mefi trumped simple compassion for someone who has lost a friend?
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:12 PM on October 24, 2009 [35 favorites]


and to have this post deleted feels like another punch to the gut

You punched yourself, dude.
posted by dhammond at 9:15 PM on October 24, 2009


That's not to say he wasn't a great guy with alot of really good things we should hear, but you may be to close to all this right now. I'm really sorry for the loss. You'll honor him best in this space by respecting Metafilter's rules when you post about him here, even if you feel like that doesn't matter right now. I'am sorry for the loss.
posted by nola at 9:15 PM on October 24, 2009


Also what Divine_Wino said.
posted by nola at 9:16 PM on October 24, 2009


wouldn't it have made more sense to simply remove the podcast links and let the rest of the post remain?

I know you're having a hard time here but you really should have, by all rights, been banned for even making the original MeFi post. Please do not rework it, just let it go. It's already awkward having you being here in MeTa arguing your point when really what you did usually is in the "absolutely no exceptions we will ban you" category.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:19 PM on October 24, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm just sayin'...
posted by dbiedny at 9:21 PM on October 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Uh, this is really awkward to read, this thread. I didn't know this person, but William Gibson acknowledged his death and considers it an intellectual loss, so fuck, he must not have been THAT unremarkable. I'm sure his death is at least as remarkable as Tracy Morgan hyping himself on Fresh Air, for Christ's sake. I kind of wish someone else who knows something about this subject could just post an FPP about it without any self-linking so that this deeply uncomfortable-making thread would go away, even though I know that FPP would just become yet another repository of unlovely douchebaggery.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 9:27 PM on October 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm not trying to argue the point. I'm simply asking if, by removing the final links, I can repost the obit. If not, I understand. A lot of people are having a hard time with this, it's truly sad, Mac was pretty far from unremarkable. I value my MeFi access, it's not something I want to jeopardize. I'm asking a sincere, direct question.
posted by dbiedny at 9:29 PM on October 24, 2009


I can repost the obit.

It's a judgment call. I don't know how anyone else feels but my feeling is no. Let someone else post an obit. I'm pretty sure cortex didn't ban you primarily because he felt bad for you. That said, it was a favor. I think we're out of favors right now.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:32 PM on October 24, 2009


You gotta walk away man. You say you don't want to jeopardize your access, but by all rights, you should already be banned. You know you can't self link here, no matter what, and a banning is the penalty. You knew that when you self-linked. It's only because this is a personal loss to you, basically simple human compassion, that you are even able to post this MeTa.

You just restated your question again, and a mod already answered it.

I know you're having a hard time here but you really should have, by all rights, been banned for even making the original MeFi post. Please do not rework it, just let it go.


I would probably take that as your answer.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:32 PM on October 24, 2009


...wouldn't it have made more sense to simply remove the podcast links and let the rest of the post remain?

The mods don't rewrite posts. That's a general policy. Either the post is allowed to stand as written or it is deleted. Nothing in between.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:35 PM on October 24, 2009


Even without the self-link, this feels like you were probably too close to the guy to post about it. Not sure if it's a hard and fast rule, but I seem to recall others being told that it's generally not kosher to make posts about people you're friends with or with whom have some sort of relationship.

I'm sorry for your loss, though.
posted by dhammond at 9:36 PM on October 24, 2009


Since when have the rules of mefi trumped simple compassion for someone who has lost a friend?

Well, since forever it seems. Post-humanism isn't really popular around here and the first three comments on the deleted post were about how p-h is a load of crap.

This is really bizzare situation, similar to what would happen if Sarah Palin died and her best friend made a FPP memorializing her. Even without the self-links I would totally understand this being deleted.

Seconding nola, the Internet is not what you need right now dbiedny.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 9:37 PM on October 24, 2009


This is a question best asked to the mods themselves, not the general membership. We, the masses, don't have that power or say.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:39 PM on October 24, 2009


(And I should have previewed ...)
posted by filthy light thief at 9:40 PM on October 24, 2009


I kind of wish someone else who knows something about this subject could just post an FPP about it without any self-linking so that this deeply uncomfortable-making thread would go away, even though I know that FPP would just become yet another repository of unlovely douchebaggery.

I'm willing to do it. I know a little bit about transhumanism.

Not tonight, though. My kids have been sick and I've just got to get some sleep now. Have been up since Friday morning.

Before that happens, I'd kind of like to know how the mods might feel about me (or anyone else) creating that FPP, though. And if someone were to do so, should they not include dbiedny's links in the post on principle?
posted by zarq at 9:45 PM on October 24, 2009


the Internet is not what you need right now dbiedny.

This puts it rather succinctly without being heartless.
posted by philip-random at 9:48 PM on October 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


And please, if someone wants to do it in the meantime, feel free. Don't wait for me. I'm hoping to sleep for 9, 10, 12 hours. Doubt my kids will cooperate, but here's hoping.
posted by zarq at 9:49 PM on October 24, 2009


>: You can still make your point about the thread being deleted without being a dick.

That should really have been "not especially noteworthy". I also wouldn't make a post about one of my friends passing away, because just because I knew them doesn't make it The Best Of The Web.
(not dick-ist)
posted by dunkadunc at 9:50 PM on October 24, 2009


If someone else wants to craft a new obit [cribbing from the original post but not copypasting it] I think it would be okay. The uncomfy fact that this is someone dbiedny knows in addition to the self-link issue means the original post sort of needs to go away, and a new post would be okay.

dbiedny, I am sorry about your friend.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:52 PM on October 24, 2009


Nothing to add here, really, but I've been an internet acquaintance of Mac's for about 5 years, and he really was a wonderful and interesting guy. I'm what you'd call a skeptic regarding the alien/ufo stuff he was all about, but I found what he wrote interesting (and his blog was fucking amazing), and we had some really great interactions via Twitter. For the last few days, I've definitely been in mourning. More mourning than I ever would have expected from someone I've had a few conversations with at 140 characters at a time. I'm definitely missing him.

I thought about doing an obit post for him, but didn't know how to go about it.
posted by brundlefly at 10:06 PM on October 24, 2009


Nothing to add here, really,

except perhaps:

.

NOT LONG AFTER THE SYSTEM CRASHES SATELLITE STRUCTURES WILL ORBIT THE EARTH FREED FROM THE LIMITATIONS OF FRICTION AND GRAVITY. WITH THE ABILITY TO UPGRADE THEIR OWN INTELLIGENCE, EVENTUALLY THE ELECTRON IMPULSES THEY SEND WILL BE UNLIMITED AND FACILITATED ONLY BY THE TINIEST PHYSICAL MACHINES, IMPERVIOUS TO AGING IN SPACE. ULTIMATELY THEY WILL DISAPPEAR ALTOGETHER, THEIR MATERIALITY BECOMING OUTMODED BY THE ADVANTAGES OF PURE TELEPATHY.

.

(speaking of post-humanism)
posted by philip-random at 10:23 PM on October 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


I really hate Moscow airport.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:39 PM on October 24, 2009


I don't know Tonnies or dbiedny directly, but I do like Fortean writers and the Fortean Times. Therefore, I have reposted dbiedny's obit out of respect for both him and Tonnies.
posted by boo_radley at 10:57 PM on October 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


Don't redo the obit post.

Looking at your history, I'll add: Lay off obit posts altogether.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:59 PM on October 24, 2009


(erm, that was for the OP)
posted by Sys Rq at 11:00 PM on October 24, 2009


Hm!
posted by boo_radley at 11:02 PM on October 24, 2009


What is it, bad judgment day on Metafilter? Jessamyn specifically said:

If someone else wants to craft a new obit [cribbing from the original post but not copypasting it] I think it would be okay.

Copy/pasting the deleted thread being exactly what you did, boo_radley.

Putting aside the fact that it seems sufficiently self-evident that reposting self-links from a previous deleted post - no matter what the reasoning behind it - is a terrible precedent that really can't be justified.
posted by nanojath at 11:33 PM on October 24, 2009 [1 favorite]


We'll see. I think that it's been made explicitly clear that the part that was incorrect was the self linking. I changed that part to make it perfectly clear that it wasn't my podcasts, not my interviews. Everything else about the post seems to be OK insofar as far as my reading of this thread goes aside from your panticular knotting. Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad is terrible precedent; what I did is just a post.
posted by boo_radley at 11:53 PM on October 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Never heard of this guy until now, and I'm sorry he died so young, but this...

I propose that at least some accounts of alien visitation can be attributed to a humanoid species indigenous to the Earth: a sister race that has adapted to our numerical superiority by developing a surprisingly robust technology. [...] Driven by a puzzling mixture of hubris and existential desperation, they seek to perpetuate themselves by infusing their gene-pool with human DNA. While existing at the very margins of ordinary human perceptions, they have succeeded in realms practically unexplored by known terrestrial science, reinventing themselves at will and helping to orchestrate a misinformation campaign of awe-inspiring scope.

...is (assuming he believed it and wasn't just hoping to get a Hollywood screenplay deal) pretty batshit insane.
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 at 11:55 PM on October 24, 2009 [3 favorites]


Looking at your history, I'll add: Lay off obit posts altogether.

Yeah, really, 4 out of 13 (5 out of 14 if you count the deleted one) of your posts are obits. And not very good ones (I didn't count the post about the guy that died 100 years ago).
posted by awfurby at 11:56 PM on October 24, 2009


His post was deleted. The new post is up. He's been here a long time. His pal just died. How about laying the fuck off dbiedny?
posted by Rumple at 11:59 PM on October 24, 2009 [16 favorites]


What a bunch of suckers. Seriously? How embarrassing.
posted by scalefree at 12:02 AM on October 25, 2009


You can't get more explicitly clear than the moderator in the discussion saying don't just copy this deleted post and paste it into a new one, boo_radley, and again I think it's really obvious (semantic jabs aside) that self-linking is so categorically against site policy that a non-involved individual purposely reposting originally self-posted links to nullify their deletion is really not okay and has never, in my experience, been allowed. So you've basically restarted a conversation that more or less has to be deleted, and done so at a time when it is likely to go a fair while without notice (as late night moderator presence is patchy) which is just going to generate more confusion and muddy any subsequent attempt to put this news on the front page.
posted by nanojath at 12:08 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


We'll see. I think that it's been made explicitly clear that the part that was incorrect was the self linking.

Presumably, you MeMailed one of the mods to check whether this was OK, right? Because the guy's been dead for a few days now, and so there was no absolute urgency that this be reposted immediately?

And said mod gave you permission to subvert their deletion decision?

Because although I don't know Mac Tonnies from Old Macdonald, and don't care about the post one way or another, if I were a mod and you'd pulled stroke like this without running it past me first, you'd be feeling the force of my banhammer.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:18 AM on October 25, 2009


why is this thread still active?
posted by philip-random at 12:40 AM on October 25, 2009


Mods gotta sleep sometime.
posted by scalefree at 12:51 AM on October 25, 2009


nanojath, my one regret in posting is that in doing it so late I do it in the wee hours in the US. If vacapinta wants to delete it, I'd understand and wouldn't begrudge him at all.
As I've said, I think that I've modified the original post enough that the contentious issue isn't an issue any more. I recognize that you do not. Although it is not a direct parallel, consider that something posted in Projects may be promoted to the Blue by a disinterested 3rd party. As I said before, I'm not affiliated with David Biedny or Mac Tonnies in any way, and there's no original content of mine in the post. The podcasts -- well, the first one, anyway are engaging and structured. It's not just two buddies giggling over skype for an hour.
If my post gets deleted, well, that's OK. Obituaries are still wobbly on MeFi and we've seen one person's obit get rehashed five or six times before it flies.
At this point, I think we'll have to agree to disagree on this until the mods wake up. I understand and respect what you're saying and where you're coming from.
posted by boo_radley at 12:55 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Eh, self-linking is banned for a reason.

The reason is to discourage self-promotion.

This wasn't that; the links were to round out a obituary. So a violation of the letter, not the intent. No harm, no foul. Thanks for the obit, and sorry for your loss.
posted by orthogonality at 2:41 AM on October 25, 2009


I still don't know what a post-humanist is. Seems to me to be a delusional conceit.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:06 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


this is why i hate, or another reason, that i hate, the geo bush 'black or white'... there are often shades of grey (to coin a phrase) and I fail to see how it's such a slippery slope to let posts such as this stand. it's smacks of, say, suspending a kid from school for having aspirin in her purse... I do wish there were a bit of latitude that took human emotion into consideration (for example the lady who's second askme in less than 7 days was about a medical emergency involving her child, sadly soured me a bit, 'milk of human kindness' and all that, guidelines or laws?)...
posted by dawson at 3:08 AM on October 25, 2009


Oh, wait. Post-humanist is the new UFOlogy.

Art Bell is still alive.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:13 AM on October 25, 2009


also, it is not wise to edit and repost when using an ultra-slow connection in china (i edited b/c i felt, on second thought, that my remark re the actual post was insensitive and unnecessary)...so if any mod will, after i just sorta questioned a judgement call, choose to delete my double, the last one is my choice to stay :)
posted by dawson at 3:16 AM on October 25, 2009


The reason is to discourage self-promotion.

I'm going to be the snarky asshole here. Mourning and self promotion don't seem mutually exclusive to me, and certainly not among the UFO believing set.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:33 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


'Do not re-post X as X'
'Hi I re-posted X as X'

Why...?
posted by kmennie at 3:46 AM on October 25, 2009


His post was deleted. The new post is up. He's been here a long time. His pal just died. How about laying the fuck off dbiedny?

That's fine, we can all pile on boo_radley for doing what Jessamyn specifically said not to do - copy and paste the original post.

Also, since the self-links were the sticking point of the original post, they should have been left out of whatever new post was made.

Honestly, though, don't self-link people. Just put your self-links in the first comment of the thread.
posted by crossoverman at 4:20 AM on October 25, 2009


zarq writes "And if someone were to do so, should they not include dbiedny's links in the post on principle?"

'Twas me I wouldn't. It'd feel icky and dbiedny can add them in a comment. If they really are "considered some of his best interviews" the comment will be favourited to hell and back.

orthogonality writes "Eh, self-linking is banned for a reason.

"The reason is to discourage self-promotion.

"This wasn't that; the links were to round out a obituary. So a violation of the letter, not the intent. No harm, no foul. Thanks for the obit, and sorry for your loss."


No. Self links in posts are banned so that the moderators don't have to decide if it's self promotion instead having a nice bright line rule to work with. You think SEO jack offs couldn't come up with an obituary post for a semi notable at least once a week that just happened to include a series of self links to round it out? I don't think it would be hard at all. Especially since the less famous a person is the less source material there is on the internet making the self links easier to justify.

Besides, the self promotion reason is only a specialized case of the higher reason of stopping people from posting stuff that they are too close to; because that stuff tends to be sub par at best and truly horrible at worst. And dbeidny's opening statements in this meta shows they are much to close to this person to be making an objective front page post about them.
posted by Mitheral at 5:15 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's been here a long time. His pal just died. How about laying the fuck off dbiedny?

He's been here a long time and he didn't know that the third rule of MetaFilter is "Thou Shalt Never Self-Link?" (The first two rules being, of course, you don't talk about MetaFilter and you don't talk about MetaFilter.) I was under the impression that (in addition to being given some slack for the passing of a friend) he was let off easy because he's new here. Checking his profile shows that this isn't the case.

Geez, man. Sorry for your loss and all, and you are a lucky fellow that your account is still active. Let it never be said that the mods don't have heart.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 5:35 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is the last sentence from the original post:

Self-link alert: these interviews (1, 2, 3), are from my own podcast.

That's a blatant "I know the rules, but I'm going to ignore them anyway". Maybe your reasoning for doing so is understandable and human but that shouldn't excuse the fact it is egregiously wrong. I'm sorry for you loss, but you've put the mods in a bad situation, where they have to be potentially seen as dicks and then when they deleted the post, you came here asking that they edit the post, further putting them in a position to have to tell you no and be the bad guy for not being nice to the person who's dealing with a friends death.

Stop it. You're coming off, IMO, as relentlessly selfish here. You are not the first Mefite to have someone they care about die and you're not going to be the last so this whole "let me break the rules, someone died" thing you're doing is so far out of bounds it's almost unreal. You don't get to break community rules just because you're grieving.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:50 AM on October 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


I figured he was let off easy because he openly declared the self-links and sort of apologized for them rather than concealing them in an effort to get away with something, which kind of removes the "malice aforethought" element (if not the clear intent to break the rule).

What bothers me some about the re-post is not so much that the formerly-self-links are still in it but that the new FPP now openly promotes dbiedny himself, which is unseemly in any obit post but especially so in this one.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:57 AM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]



this is why i hate, or another reason, that i hate, the geo bush 'black or white'... there are often shades of grey (to coin a phrase) and I fail to see how it's such a slippery slope to let posts such as this stand. it's smacks of, say, suspending a kid from school for having aspirin in her purse... I do wish there were a bit of latitude that took human emotion into consideration (for example the lady who's second askme in less than 7 days was about a medical emergency involving her child, sadly soured me a bit, 'milk of human kindness' and all that, guidelines or laws?)...


Um, they didn't deal with it in a black or white way. They let him keep his account. That's very gray.
posted by milarepa at 6:23 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


*stops twiddling edges of waxed moustache*

Mitheral has seen through my cunning scheme to kill off my friends in such a manner that their deaths will not be ruled foul play, that I might eventually link to my own site, and, through the magic of SEO, raise the rankings of my keywords in the Google search index and grant me ultimate AdSense power! Ah-HAHAHAHAH! Ah-HAHAHHAAH! Oh, wait.

Curses, foiled again! *kicks black top hat across train tracks, then stomps off to the SEO Jackoff Secret Lair* Back to the drawing board, once more.
posted by adipocere at 6:48 AM on October 25, 2009


Self-link aside, the post seems like a bad idea. I mean, the first few comments suggest that had it stuck around the thread itself would "feels like another punch to the gut."
posted by chunking express at 7:26 AM on October 25, 2009


why is this thread still active?

Because people are still discussing the issue, and that's what metatalk is for?

There is precedent for self-linking:
Just for background info, he kind of skirted the self-link line here a lot, posting about his own site and projects and those of friends, but it was mostly totally out-of-the-way stuff you couldn't find otherwise and he'd been such a longtime member that I kind of gave him a free pass on a lot of the stuff.
posted by mathowie at 2:29 PM on November 19, 2008
I'm guessing those cases weren't as blantant as this was though.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:29 AM on October 25, 2009


Eh, self-linking is banned for a reason.

The reason is to discourage self-promotion.

This wasn't that; the links were to round out a obituary. So a violation of the letter, not the intent. No harm, no foul.


So, obit posts are an exception to the rule against self-linking in FPPs? Cool! I didn't know that. I have a blog where I've done several heart-felt posts about the deaths of people who are meaningful to me. If I had known about this exception, maybe I would have done an FPP on Metafilter for each one with links to my blog, knowing that I wouldn't be banned. Thanks for the tip.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:54 AM on October 25, 2009


boo_radley, let me say that I know that your intentions in posting were grounded in good will and interest in the subject, not out of any desire to flout the "rules." Since the resulting thread seems to be going about as well as anything with the paranormal/UFO/transhumanism topics at its center is likely to go in Metafilter, I certainly won't object further if the moderators decide to let it pass. Compared with the central topic of someone dying unexpectedly at such a young age this is all pretty small potatoes.
posted by nanojath at 7:56 AM on October 25, 2009


So, obit posts are an exception to the rule against self-linking in FPPs? Cool! I didn't know that.

It always surprises me how people can argue vehemently against "zero tolerance" policies. And then when a Metafilter rule is a tiny bit fuzzy, their first reaction is, "if I had known that, I would have abused the heck out of it."
posted by smackfu at 8:04 AM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was out late and I think I'm the first to get up today. copypasting the original "someone should have been banned for this" post is really not an okay way to go about this.

This is, again, a judgment call and I would have been much happier not having to make it this morning on this topic, considering these circumstances.

That said, some of the mod actions we do aren't just for today but they're also for future "hey you allowed it this one time" situations and this is really one of those situations where this isn't something that's like shades-of-grey maybe okay, it's very very not okay. So, since I feel like it's one of those things that really we [MeFites, not just Team Mod] should all sort of if not agree on at least letter-of-the-rules abide by, I took this post down.

I'm sorry about this boo_radley and I'm sorry again dbiedny but I don't think I was unclear in past comments. vacapinta probably didn't want to get in the middle of this and I don't blame him. I'd prefer not to get in the middle of this either but I'd prefer to have a toruble-free obit than one that gets sullied by all this back and forth.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:08 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for the explanation, Jessamyn. And thank you boo_radley, for reposting.

This is not a criticism. Just a personal observation:

If I'd been making the post, without further guidance from the mods on what they preferred re dbiedny's links, I probably would have reposted without them, then put them in as the first comment. The text of posts show up in the Blue's rss feed, but comments don't.

IANAM(od) b_r, but FWIW I think your FPP is fine and shouldn't be deleted.
posted by zarq at 8:20 AM on October 25, 2009


original post was inappropriate for self-linking -
pretty much never cool and yes - as much of a hardline rule as possible
(nothing's every black&white, but some things are closer than others -
and giving the high-profile and exceptional community MeFi is, this is one of those)
repost was a pure copy/paste and although the intentions seem to be good,
the end result is an inappropriate skirting of the former rule -
so it has to go too

while i extend condolences to the OP and have sympathy for boo-radley's attempt to do right,
i don't think it is appropriate to set aside essential and fundamental site policies for either

I think the best way to salvage this
would be for an interested - but not personally involved - third party
to redo the FPP - following their own stream of research and sources
which may or may not include the content original included
(not that it must ignore the original content, but at most parallel it)

Please let one of those who are currently pleading for a significant violation of fundamental site policy instead put some time where their hearts are and redeem the post without having to set a nasty precedent (precedents always come back to haunt - and while i hope that wouldn't be true for MeFi's losing friends, it's a big community and a bigger world and exceptional circumstances are rarely unique).
posted by sloe at 8:22 AM on October 25, 2009


I couldn't agree less. If you want to hold a wake for your friend you should GYOFB.
posted by scalefree at 8:30 AM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


If the intention was to memorialize a friend, I am not sure this is the best place to do it. Not the function of MetaFilter, and people are likely to respond badly to the whole transhumanist thing. And there are a lot of people worth memorializing, but maybe MeFi shouldn't simply be an inventory of who has died. Vic Mizzy, who did the Addam's Family theme, as well as dozens of additional awesome musical compositions, died a few days ago. I considered doing an FPP, and may one day do so, but it will be about his music, not his death, and so there is no pressing urgency.

If the subject of the deleted FPP was important enough to deserve an FPP on his own account, than we can trust that sooner or later it will show up on this site in one way or another. MeFites are good at that. And then the creator of the FPP could have added his links in as a comment, where they would have added additional value and context. That's the way this site works when it works well.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:31 AM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I shoulda previewed....
posted by zarq at 8:32 AM on October 25, 2009


The interviews were the core of the problem with the previous post, and bringing them back around was not a good plan.

I know dbiedny is grieving and I respect the hell out of that, but the front page of metafilter is the front page of metafilter no matter what kind of state any given member is in. We can't premise enforcement of the basic guidelines of the site on whether or not someone's going through a rough patch, etc. Self-linking his interview links in the first place was a really poorly-thought through idea; bringing them back to be part of a repost was likewise a bad idea.

We really, really don't like being in the position of telling people their heartfelt obituaries are a problem. I hope that's obvious. But metafilter is still metafilter, self-linking is a no go, and self-linking-by-proxy immediately afterward is a pretty bad call. Fruit of the poison tree. Leave it out of the post, I'm sure it'd show up in the comments in a way that doesn't have that weird stink of impropriety to it.

vacapinta probably didn't want to get in the middle of this and I don't blame him.

I think he's having a birthday vacation this weekend, so he's probably wisely not checking in.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:33 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


> And thank you boo_radley, for reposting.

Thanking him for explicitly going against jessamyn's explicit instructions? Man, if I were a mod there'd be a lot more bannin' around here.
posted by languagehat at 8:37 AM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


Good thing for me you're not a mod, then.

Boo_radley did follow Jessamyn's instructions. Sort of. The new post was slightly modified to the extent he or she obviously thought necessary. B_r was wrong.

I saw no point in going all "YOUR FPP SUCKS" on boo. And I was thanking him for saving me the trouble of composing an FPP myself, not commending him on what a fantastic job he'd done. I wouldn't have done what he did. (And may still not... I'm at the pediatrician and can't post at the moment, but I may try my hand at a new post later today.)
posted by zarq at 8:56 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jesus, zarq, don't post the obit again today. Let this whole thing settle down and give it a few weeks.
posted by lazaruslong at 9:18 AM on October 25, 2009


Sure, I can do that. I'd rather wait days than weeks, though.
posted by zarq at 9:21 AM on October 25, 2009


Also.... dbiedny, I apologize for not saying this earlier:

I'm very sorry for your loss.
posted by zarq at 9:23 AM on October 25, 2009


cortex and jessamyn, thank you for coming back to this. jessamyn, I apologize for messing up your mornings. To reiterate my point again, my thought was that it was just dbiedny's presentation of his interviews were the central reason for the deletion. I took the time to listen to half an hour of one and thought, as a disinterested party, "this is pretty good" and that explicitly mentioning them as the work of another was good enough for the post sniff test. I'm sorry that I didn't interpret your post as broadly as you clearly intended. Further, I'm sorry that I've put you in the position of feeling that you need to apologize to someone who, in popular opinion, flagrantly broke the rules.

languagehat: "Man, if I were a mod there'd be a lot more bannin' around here."

How fortunate for me that you're a solo blogger, then, and not a community moderator. I'd insult you in some creative fashion, but I worry that it might show up in your next book!
posted by boo_radley at 10:25 AM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh that's okay. My sister's cat is named boo radley so I have a sort of soft spot for your username for no rational reason.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:33 AM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]



> And thank you boo_radley, for reposting.

Thanking him for explicitly going against jessamyn's explicit instructions? Man, if I were a mod there'd be a lot more bannin' around here.


Seconding zarq's comment that I'm glad you're not a mod, languagehat. Though I didn't specifically thank boo_radley for reposting, I did favorite his post, and when I turned in last night thought this whole thing was over, hence this comment.

Now I awake to see Mac Tonnies again denied his Mefi-obit and ... well, let's just put it this way: I'm glad I'm not a mod, forever having to walk that fine edge where official policy collides with the untidiness of everyday community discourse. Not unlike being a DJ at an "all oldies" party where a sizable chunk of the crowd really, really wants to hear something/anything fresh.

Sometimes, you just can't win.
posted by philip-random at 10:35 AM on October 25, 2009


This thread is a perfect example of why self-linking is bad for the community beyond the (very important) job the ban does keeping the site clear of spam. In this case the self-link was a symptom, not the disease. If you're reaction to having a post deleted is much stronger than oh darn than perhaps you were posting for reasons other than "MetaFilter will think this is cool." That's trouble. And frankly, members shouldn't have to worry about insulting the OP's dead friend when composing a comment. (Not that I'm advocating rudeness in general, but there's general sensitivity and then there's the walking-on-eggshells that comes with the recently deceased personal acquaintance).
posted by Bookhouse at 10:43 AM on October 25, 2009 [5 favorites]


oh, and boo_radley, always loved yrrr band.
posted by philip-random at 10:43 AM on October 25, 2009


jessamyn: "Oh that's okay. My sister's cat is named boo radley so I have a sort of soft spot for your username for no rational reason."

Well thank god for small favors, I guess.
posted by boo_radley at 10:48 AM on October 25, 2009


If the intention was to memorialize a friend, I am not sure this is the best place to do it. Not the function of MetaFilter, and people are likely to respond badly to the whole transhumanist thing.

Srsly. I wouldn't post an obit of someone I loved to MetaFilter as not everybody loves the people that I do, and there would be some detractors no matter what and on MeFi, the detractors are VERY LOUD (as opposed to the supporters who tend to leave nice dots of recognition/support). Were I grieving, hearing everything that my loved one had ever done wrong would not be on my list of things to do.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 11:39 AM on October 25, 2009


"Oh that's okay. My sister's cat is named boo radley so I have a sort of soft spot for your username for no rational reason."

Banning him would be like killing a mockingbird.
posted by klangklangston at 11:52 AM on October 25, 2009 [4 favorites]


Mathowie has a pet guinea pig named dunkadunc. True Story.
posted by dunkadunc at 3:43 PM on October 25, 2009


One of my dogs is named Duncan and I frequently call him Dunkadunc (also: Duncan Donuts), so whenever I see that dunkadunc has posted I have a momentary feeling of "hey, my dog is in my metafilter, watchin me post"
posted by scody at 4:16 PM on October 25, 2009 [1 favorite]


hey, my dog is in my metafilter, watchin me post

Ceiling dog?
posted by The Bellman at 4:29 PM on October 25, 2009


You know, over the years, it has happened many times that fellow Mefites have mailed or messaged me asking me to post a link to something they were involved with on the front page. Sometimes, if I thought it was something that I would naturally post, and Metafilter-worthy, I complied. Mostly, I demurred (and have never asked anyone to post any of my stuff, although some has occasionally shown up on the front page over the years).

I wonder if all of this could have been avoided if the OP had have posted his thread without the self-links, and asked a Meta-friend to have a listen to the podcasts with the suggestion that posting them in-thread at some point in a comment might not be out of line, or even if he'd thrown them into a comment later in the thread.

And even if the mods knew about it, if at that point they'd care.

I know, it seems counter to the spirit of the One Golden Rule, but self-links in comments have never been frowned upon, if they're germane to the thread.

Sorry about your friend, dbiedny.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:35 PM on October 25, 2009


I'm betting had he posted to all things that weren't his, took the proverbial hour walk, came back and had the comment of "I became a big enough to do a podcast here and here," no one would have blinked.
posted by cjorgensen at 4:55 PM on October 25, 2009


> I'm glad you're not a mod, languagehat.

Oh, so am I, believe me! But I wasn't actually saying anyone should be banned for this unfortunate series of events, just expressing a general sense of bile.
posted by languagehat at 5:36 PM on October 25, 2009 [2 favorites]


I made a mistake, I've apologized, and those of you who suggest that I should have linked those podcasts in a comment, you're absolutely right. Thanks to those who have expressed condolences, both publicly and privately. I do hope someone finds Mac worthy of a FPP obit, and that it appears sometime soon - for whatever it's worth, I know that he enjoyed MeFi and read it often, though I don't think he ever posted here. His loss has been a real shock to his many friends and fans, so to question whether his death was of interest to a site covering "the best of the web", I feel it was, his blog was read and enjoyed by many, many folks. I often tell people that there are very few sites that I read on a daily basis, and since my buddy John Worthington turned me on to MeFi, I've been a loyal fan and participant, and would not want to lose my membership, so apologies again to the mods and thanks for not cutting me loose. It's true, I am deeply distraught over Mac's death and wasn't thinking totally clearly when creating the original post.
posted by dbiedny at 6:11 PM on October 25, 2009 [9 favorites]


Weirdly, I have an ex whose cat is also named boo radley.

Must be something about cats.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:55 AM on October 26, 2009


(And as far as I know she isn't Jessamyn's sister, although she does live in New England.)
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:55 AM on October 26, 2009


Honestly, though, don't self-link people. Just put your self-links in the first comment of the thread.

This is the second MeTa post in about a week where this has been suggested. I don't see how this is any better than self-linking in the FPP.
posted by Jaltcoh at 7:11 AM on October 26, 2009 [2 favorites]


Putting links to your own content in a thread that you yourself have started comes across to me as a little... well, not SEOish but a little needy.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:24 AM on October 26, 2009


This is the second MeTa post in about a week where this has been suggested. I don't see how this is any better than self-linking in the FPP.

The content of the post itself goes out by RSS to a whole lot of secondary sources. Avoiding the is-it-or-isn't-it question of impropriety that comes with throwing your own stuff onto that magical juice wagon is one of the motivations behind the rule against self-links, and as far as that goes the distinction between in-the-post and in-a-comment is an important and useful one.

We've tried to be fairly clear in these discussions that it's not, regardless, just a complete wink-and-a-nod situation as far as tossing self-links into a comment. While linking to your own stuff in a comment is fine in principle when done in moderation, someone seeming to make a post largely as an excuse to do that little bit of hoop jumping to post their own stuff is going to get some negative mod attention. We expect people to show good judgement about that sort of thing, just as with a lot of things on Metafilter, and for the most part people do a pretty solid job of living up to that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:52 AM on October 26, 2009 [1 favorite]


Must be something about cats.

Maybe their propensity to leave tree-presents? (Do dead birds on the doorstep count as tree-presents? Because they should.)
posted by quin at 8:02 AM on October 26, 2009


5 days later, no Tonnies obit post. I'm so glad that I apologized for my heinous crimes against MeFi's rules, while a good person who contributed something of value to a segment of the online community remains ignored. Makes me feel just great about this place right now.
posted by dbiedny at 3:35 PM on October 29, 2009


5 days later, no Tonnies obit post.

I do still plan on posting one. At this point I expect that will be either tomorrow or Saturday, depending on my personal schedule. I took the advice given above by someone whose opinion I respect that I should wait a few days before posting.

Makes me feel just great about this place right now.

I'm sorry. :(
posted by zarq at 4:03 PM on October 29, 2009


it is good advice. reminds me of when my dad died and I was guilting myself for not immediately publishing his obit, organizing a memorial, and a friend said:

"Relax, man. He's not going anywhere. Catch your breath and then do it right."
posted by philip-random at 4:11 PM on October 29, 2009


Thanks, zarq, your decency is deeply appreciated.
posted by dbiedny at 6:09 PM on October 29, 2009


Makes me feel just great about this place right now

dbiedny, I'm sorry for the loss of your friend. I wonder if -- and this is a sincere, gentle suggestion, not snark -- you might be better served while you're going through this if you can perhaps set aside feeling so aggrieved with Metafilter over the situation. The mods have not somehow wronged you, nor has anyone who's failed to post the obit for your friend that he feels he deserves. Many, many, many people at Metafilter have experienced the loss of close friends and family members. Many of those same people have contributed important things to the world, but they don't all get an obit.

Again, this is not snark, and I am genuinely sympathetic to your shock and sorrow right now. My condolences.
posted by scody at 6:24 PM on October 29, 2009 [1 favorite]


Makes me feel just great about this place right now.

I'm sorry dbiedny, but I'm also going to have to agree with scody at this point.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:17 PM on October 29, 2009


Makes me feel just great about this place right now.

The fact you would have been banned for that original post under any other circumstances means you have no right to feel aggrieved under these circumstances. I'm sorry for the loss of your friend, but continuing to complain about his not getting an obit on the front page is a bit rich.
posted by crossoverman at 7:28 PM on October 29, 2009


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