You've got your Facebook in my Metafilter! December 10, 2009 10:23 AM   Subscribe

In taking the Favorites survey and dipping into the Mike Rowe/TED Talk thread, I discovered something completely new about how I use them.

One of the things I dislike about Facebook is how you can't "dislike" anything because it feels as if they don't want to encourage actual discussion there. I don't have a lot of time to read MeFi extensively and often end up chiming in after 20+ comments or a day goes by, so I don't know if the people whose thoughts I'm responding to are actually still reading the thread.

The thing I found myself doing was as I read the entire thread, I'd go, "Agree with that guy, disagree with that, etc." but I could only "leave feedback" with the people I agreed with by marking their comment as a favorite. If I did the same with the people I disagreed with, then it would sound like I agreed with them when I certainly didn't.

Anyway, I think an agree/disagree option might be a good thing because it would let people know who disagrees with them but don't have time to explain why and they can MeMail for more details if they're really curious. Thoughts?

(Disclaimer: I'm fairly new to the blue, please don't hurt me if this has been discussed before?)
posted by TrishaLynn to Feature Requests at 10:23 AM (42 comments total)

It's been discussed! Everyone was like BOOO! They'll probably say that again! Don't worry about it, just go get some potato skins and stop reading the thread when people start to get vicious!
posted by Greg Nog at 10:27 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


double-plus unlike
posted by GuyZero at 10:28 AM on December 10, 2009


Generally, those of us who use favorites as points of agreement generally feel that favoriting comments that argue eloquently against comments we disagree with is sufficient. I for one would prefer to leave negative votes to Digg and Slashdot. We don't need something like that here.
posted by Caduceus at 10:29 AM on December 10, 2009 [7 favorites]


I think some of the thoughts there have been that "letting people know who disagrees with them" can turn into a big "I HATE YOU" festival where people say DISAGREEDO repeatedly and then ignore whatever followup or engagement you try to have after the fact.

Plus it's more interesting (theoretically, potentially) to have people write out their well reasoned disagreements more, leading to interesting discussion.

Finally, welcome to metafilter, and metatalk.
posted by boo_radley at 10:30 AM on December 10, 2009


it would let people know who disagrees with them but don't have time to explain why and they can MeMail for more details if they're really curious

Aside from the whole debate about whether or not using favorites to show agreement with someone is a good thing, the majority opinion when this topic has been brought up before seems to be that people who disagree with something should have to make the effort of actually articulating what they disagree with and what their own view is.

Sometimes that leads to pile-ons and derails in cases where someone posts a comment expressing a particularly unpopular sentiment, but I don't think that giving people a chance to publicly say "This comment/post sucks" with no further explanation is a going to lead to a better environment for discussion. And also the flagging system is already there for content that should have never been posted in the first place, so it's not as if people we able to call out really bad content for the mods to look at.
posted by burnmp3s at 10:36 AM on December 10, 2009


Anyway, I think an agree/disagree option might be a good thing because it would let people know who disagrees with them but don't have time to explain why and they can MeMail for more details if they're really curious.

Speaking only for myself, I don't care who disagrees with me - I care about why they disagree. If they don't have time to type out a sentence or graf outlining why my argument is full of shit, then, well, too bad for both of us, I guess.
posted by rtha at 10:37 AM on December 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


I disagree.
posted by klangklangston at 10:48 AM on December 10, 2009


I'm sorry, but if you can't compose your disagreement in words, put it on watermarked stationery, and send it to me like a proper lady/gentleman, I'm just not interested.

Alternatively, you could take out an ad in your local paper's Classified section. I assure you, I will see it.
posted by Eideteker at 10:55 AM on December 10, 2009


It's been my understanding (and I'm hot shit around here, so listen the FUCK up) that we want disagreement in the form of discussion, not voting. it's ok to use favorites to say "I agree with this," because in the end you (ideally) have differing opinions or viewpoints existing as comments., but they don't represent any kind of tally or polling of the general population. they're just comments with different viewpoints that people have given the positive nod to if they so choose. they stand on their own. generally, the feeling seems to be that if we start negging the comments we don't agree with, suddenly an individual comment has come up for evaluation with people voting on whether it's good or not.

it's a subjective view of the process, yes, but the impression that that gives to a reader is one that doesn't jive well with mefi's general atmosphere. we like discussion, and we like to tell people when we appreciate (or simply take note of) what they said. we don't like to stifle discussion by negating what we disagree with. at least, in broad terms. in practical terms we unfortunately stifle discussion, too. but at least in that we are forced to do so with our words, which can be moderated or civilly rebutted.
posted by shmegegge at 10:57 AM on December 10, 2009


also, for the record: I'm kidding about being hot shit.
posted by shmegegge at 10:58 AM on December 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


I disagree. You're the bomb. You are the hottest, freshest shit. You're the shitty bomb.
posted by GuyZero at 11:00 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


To amplify on burnmp3's point, one of the strengths of metafilter it's is ability to tolerate even some dissent and unpopular opinion. Giving the majority even more tools to beat up the unpopular than are already available doesn't strike me as wise. The site has lost thoughtful, but contrarian members in the past; I don't think it's to the site's advantage to make this more common. The (excellent) moderation here tends to weed out the trolls and recreational fight-pickers pretty well. I don't think we need more user tools---flagging---than we already have.
posted by bonehead at 11:02 AM on December 10, 2009


Why can't we try an experiment in January or the remainder of December? The mods have illustrated willingness to tinker with "Favorites" during the November experiment.

I think "Favorites" and "Detractors" buttons would generate rather than negate debate. I think people often see positions supported by numerous favorites and feel reluctant to prop themselves up for the ass-whipping they are sure will follow supporting an unpopular position...so they don't bother. That's been my experience at times.

I'm also curious to see a survey that tracks the order people use the site in. I personally started in Ask MeFi and then moved to MetaFilter and then MetaTalk. Is that the most common flow now?
posted by jefficator at 11:03 AM on December 10, 2009


I start in AskMe, move to MetaTalk and then head into the scary blue.
posted by Sassyfras at 11:12 AM on December 10, 2009


Dislike buttons are drama factories. The only thing they do is make people feel bad and people who feel bad are more susceptible to outbursts.
posted by Kattullus at 11:18 AM on December 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


TrishaLynn: Anyway, I think an agree/disagree option might be a good thing because it would let people know who disagrees with them but don't have time to explain why and they can MeMail for more details if they're really curious. Thoughts?

Metafilter isn't predicated on social networking-based voting; it's based on (hopefully!) intelligent and insightful discussion of a topic.

If you don't have time to explain why you disagree, well, on Metafilter, you don't have time to disagree.

Not to be unkind, but if you simply disagree with a topic but the sole extent of your personal investment in that disagreement is to click a 'dislike' button, then there's really no reason the Metafilter userbase should care about that.
posted by MikeHarris at 11:49 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


There's a big difference between the discussion on Facebook and the discussion on Metafilter.

Chances are, you know most or all of your Facebook friends in person. Chances are, you don't know very many people on MetaFilter in person. A dislike button on Facebook would be useful for stuff like "We got three feet of snow last night," not "FOX NEWS IS AWESUM." Presumably you don't want to start arguments with people you actually know.

If a Facebook friend expresses a sentiment with which you strongly disagree, say, "I kicked my puppy tonight," you're probably not going to press a dislike button, you're going to call them up and say "What is wrong with you?" Or defriend them.

The relative anonymity of MetaFilter allows one to express disagreement with relative impunity. You're not going to run into me at the grocery store. I can't call up your Aunt Mildred and ask what your problem is. There's no built-in community here - we have to make one. A "dislike" button is contrary to establishing a community. It's a drive-by. Make a greater effort and express your dissent in words.
posted by desjardins at 11:50 AM on December 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


I started with the blue and was thrilled to discover AskMe and then MetaTalk, not to mention music and projects. I think the store sucks though.

Speaking as one who advocated for a "has denigrators" tag in my survey response, this discussion is persuading me that a reasoned argument about disagreement is a better idea. And if the comment is dreadful/offensive it can be flagged.
posted by bearwife at 11:54 AM on December 10, 2009


I've favorited a few things that I disagreed with. Not so much in AskMe, though, because that runs a bit counter to the point there.

I favorite things for a lot of different reasons, and if I favorite something I really disagree with it's usually because whatever it is is well thought out or has brought up a point I hadn't yet considered and is something I want to ruminate on for a while. A "dislike" option seems a little anti-community... like others have said, I'm thinking of a "boo, you suck" or a "go away, loser" situation. I come here because it isn't like Reddit or YouTube, where people are constantly voting down users that make otherwise good points because they didn't agree with what the poster said. I come here because, whether I like a comment or not, that comment is able to be discussed (usually) without being automatically shot down (if it doesn't break the rules, that is).
posted by neewom at 12:00 PM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


If I disagree enough with a poster or commenter enough to take action, I'll do my best to formulate a rebuttal. After all, a simple "disagree" doesn't propel the discussion, doesn't add to the conversation, in any way.

Imagine, for example, this theoretical discussion:

"This is good."
"Is not."
"Is so."
"Is not."
"Is so."

And so on and on.

Another example would be this very post. After you hit the post button, what good would it be to have a fistful of "disagree" markers? Metafilter is formatted for discussion and feedback. Here posters have taken the time to formulate responses to your suggestion, which is what makes the system work.
posted by lekvar at 12:20 PM on December 10, 2009


Can't we just mark a user "enemy". It would be so much easier.
posted by adamvasco at 12:24 PM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Change your mindset: Everything on Metafilter sucks HARD, unless you favorite it.
posted by blue_beetle at 12:45 PM on December 10, 2009


If I disagree with a poster or commenter, I think, "Meh, someone more well spoken than I will be along to set this person straight."
posted by yeti at 1:12 PM on December 10, 2009


it would let people know who disagrees with them but don't have time to explain why

Yeah, let's add a "pointlessly shit in this thread" flag ASAP.
posted by trunk muffins at 1:21 PM on December 10, 2009


just go get some potato skins

Coming soon to shelf next to Who Moved My Cheese?
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:49 PM on December 10, 2009


Why can't we try an experiment in January or the remainder of December?

Because we are never doing anything called experiment here ever again.

There will not be a disagree option. We've pretty much agreed that we don't want MeFi to become any more of a voting/ranking/rating arena than it already is. So no marking contacts as enemies, no disagree votes. It's the same reason we delete answers that just say DTMFA or "dump her" One of the reasons MeFi is a place people like to be is that there's not as much of that grabassery when people are trying to have a discusison about something important [usually].

Put another way, it's a community that seems to be good at determining when is a good time for grabassery and when is not. Having more upvoting and downvoting as a type of metacommentary discourages [imo] that sort of reflection. So it's one of those features that we've talked abotu before and really think would change the tenor of the site in a way that would be ungood.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:50 PM on December 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


we delete answers that just say DTMFA

If every AskMe question that contained the words "boyfriend" or "girlfriend" automatically got a "DTMFA" button those threads would be sooooo much simpler.
posted by GuyZero at 2:02 PM on December 10, 2009


Ironically, the most favorites I ever received came from a comment I made suggesting the creation of negative favorites.

It reminded me of the time it rained, on my wedding day.
posted by mannequito at 2:22 PM on December 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


K.P. and 27 others dislike this
posted by K.P. at 2:47 PM on December 10, 2009


jessamyn: "Because we are never doing anything called experiment here ever again."
Jessamyn you made me laugh until I coughed and now my coworkers are staring.
posted by boo_radley at 2:49 PM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


After reading this post I kind of expected some kind of angry responses to a question that has been settled, but in general people were pretty nice about it. That's cool.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 2:51 PM on December 10, 2009


I am against anything that makes Metafilter more like Facebook.

I feel about Facebook at this point like many Mefites apparently feel about Twitter. Hate with a white-hot passion.

I've tried to keep an open mind about Facebook, but they won't send me a new password when mine (saved in 1Password!) stopped working for some reason, and I can't open a new account, so fuck 'em.

In other words, I don't want to ride this pony.
posted by misha at 3:25 PM on December 10, 2009


Metafilter isn't predicated on social networking-based voting; it's based on (hopefully!) intelligent and insightful discussion of a topic.

Aye, this, and what jessamyn said, a thousand times. The less Metafilter (and the internet in general) becomes about smart people using their words, the more ungooderated it done gets.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:27 PM on December 10, 2009


I dislike this post.
posted by special-k at 4:45 PM on December 10, 2009


oh btw I was pretty drunk when I did the favorites survey so you may want to disregard that one.
posted by little e at 7:05 PM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oooh, no. I don't want our comment threads to go the reddit route.

*shudder*
posted by brundlefly at 7:17 PM on December 10, 2009


I think the "dislike" is universally implied--in my case, at least, it's the default.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 8:14 PM on December 10, 2009


For future reference, the knitting site Ravelry does this. Forum posts and comments have six clickable boxes: educational, interesting, funny, agree, disagree and love.
posted by Madamina at 8:38 PM on December 10, 2009


Oooo, only if it comes with a mockup of Hollywood Squares with Meatbomb as center square. Other than that, NO DEAL.
posted by not_on_display at 10:31 PM on December 10, 2009


Center square made of hermetically sealed plexiglass and pumped full of Afghan bong smoke a la Guild Navigator.

Other than that NO DEAL.
posted by Meatbomb at 12:56 AM on December 11, 2009 [2 favorites]


Oooo, only if it comes with a mockup of Hollywood Squares with Meatbomb as center square. Other than that, NO DEAL.

Mathowie as Peter Marshall as Host.
Jessamyn as Rose Marie.
cortext as Morey Amsterdam.
pb as Cliff Arquette as Charlie Weaver.
vacapinta as Roddy McDowell.
Meatbomb as Paul Lynde in the Center Square.

and, for the secret square, since it was his idea: not_on_display as Jim. J. Bullock.
posted by namewithoutwords at 6:34 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


You see what I mean about not having time to read MeFi? It's a day later and I'm just now plowing through my own freaking thread.

Anyway, thanks to all who explained why they don't like this apparently non-new idea and three cheers and a tiger to those who sorta agree with me. I guess I'm just going to have to come up with some new and novel way of keeping track of things I want to respond to but don't have time to at the moment and making a time machine to give me the time to do so.
posted by TrishaLynn at 2:55 PM on December 11, 2009


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