Open Threads / Flagging / Commenting January 17, 2010 6:38 PM   Subscribe

I flagged three double posts this weekend and left gentle (At least, I hope they were taken as gentle) comments in each. Does that make me (or anyone else here who reminds posters when open threads exist,) a threadshitting asshole?

I thought this was common practice. Would the mods rather we simply FIAMO? Or is making comments within the thread ok as well?
posted by zarq to Etiquette/Policy at 6:38 PM (46 comments total)

Well, enn's comment, which is totally out of line, is clearly in response to your response to his seriously annoying blinking text, and not in response to your rather gentle reminders in other threads. I'm not sure why you would think his comment is a reaction to those other comments. It seems that the only asshole here is enn, who posted an obnoxious comment and then reacted to you by swearing at you. So I wouldn't worry about your own conduct. But equally, I wouldn't post to MeTa about this, as it seems isolated asshattery and no reflection on your other comments.
posted by Dasein at 6:46 PM on January 17, 2010


FIAMO. Absolutely.

A double (or whatever) is one thing, but a whatever that is also riddled with a snotty back and forth about whether it is, in fact, a whatever and then other dumbasses saying, "shut up or go to metatalk or both", and so forth, is another level of suck entirely.

Note: I am usually the third dumbass I mentioned, and I always hate myself for it.
posted by dirtdirt at 6:46 PM on January 17, 2010


Absolutely NOT! Mentioning (in a near-cortexian bit of wordplay, perhaps, or just as a quick "here!") is one of the best things about flagging double posts, both for you the user and the site.

Ignore that other (third) dumbass.
posted by yhbc at 6:48 PM on January 17, 2010


Also, if your browser can't resolve the blink tag, you aren't annoyed by it. Problem solved!
posted by yhbc at 6:50 PM on January 17, 2010


Be avid for that which will truly benefit you.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:51 PM on January 17, 2010


FIAMO.

Ciao!
posted by dirigibleman at 6:52 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


It seems that the only asshole here is enn, who posted an obnoxious comment and then reacted to you by swearing at you.

I wasn't swearing at zarq. I was swearing at daniel striped tiger, who managed to turn the first 15 comments in that thread into an entirely unnecessary derail. This happens far too frequently on the blue and there's no reason for it.
posted by enn at 6:54 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


As an occasional threadshitting asshole myself, I think you need to rethink the label and bear it as a badge of honor. Shaming people at little keeps the fear factor up and posting standards high, the way we like 'em.
posted by tula at 6:56 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


In all honesty, I do not get the FIAMO directive. If 90% of the userbase knows something is about to be deleted, unless someone (or better yet, many someones) leave a comment to that effect the other 10% are going to waste time commenting in the thread and/or miss the original (in the case of a double).

There has to be some activity in the thread to let people know what's up. Yes, move a massive OT flamewar here. But the thread cannot literally be 100% free of meta comments.
posted by DU at 6:57 PM on January 17, 2010


DU: Why should I care that some people may not know a thread is about to get deleted? Why is that important?
posted by floam at 6:59 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure why you would think his comment is a reaction to those other comments.

Oh, I don't. At least not directly. I mean, I read his comment as sort of a condemnation of the entire practice, rather than at me personally. I'm just trying to determine if I've been doing it wrong.
posted by zarq at 7:00 PM on January 17, 2010


If 90% of the userbase knows something is about to be deleted

It's very common that people who are completely certain that something is going to be deleted are dead wrong. The thread in question has been up for over two hours and hasn't yet been deleted. Why let people who "know" that it's going to be deleted ruin a thread that may well survive?
posted by enn at 7:01 PM on January 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


In general, the thing with the blink tag: what you're using it on is probably not nearly as clever or as salient as you would like it to be.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:04 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


If I had a dime for every time we have gone round and round this particular mountain I could buy Mathowie out and still have money to take over Boing Boing.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:06 PM on January 17, 2010 [2 favorites]


I had a dimebag every time I went around the mountain and bought mathowie a bong.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:10 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


I won't comment on the epithets flying around, but I think it's generally better manners to FIAMO. If it's going to be deleted by the mods, it won't be because someone said so in the thread, it'll be because 300 users flagged it as a double.

I'd say etiquette indicates that we focus comments on the issues, topics, and facts at hand, and that all other discussion take place in MetaTalk.

But there's really no need for unpleasant name calling. Darn, I commented on the epithets.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:12 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


You're really going to have to put in a LOT more effort to earn the threadshitting asshole title. Way too polite, you link the doubled post, and you don't even add any snark. I mean, A for effort, but you've got along way to go.
posted by theora55 at 7:39 PM on January 17, 2010


Here's how I see it:

If something is obviously a double, maybe flag it and put in a simple link to the previous article. Then STFU.

If someone has already left a comment about it then maybe flag it but mainly just STFU.

If you thing a thread is kind of weak and maybe shouldn't exist, maybe flag it, but mostly just procede to STFU. Don't post pissy comments in thread.

If something is sort-of kind-of maybe a double but mainly just touches on a subject you;re sick off maybe start a metatalk about the subject in general, but don't get pissy at the poster, and, TBH, you should probably be leaning in the direction of STFU.

If you think there's a serious problem with a FPP start a metatalk thread, drop in a link to it and the STFU about it in the original thread.

So, mainly it's STFU. Seriously, if unless you really, really really think you have something amazing to say about the suitability of a thread you are probably just being an asshole and should shut up.
posted by Artw at 7:40 PM on January 17, 2010 [17 favorites]


Artw has it: if it's a double, link to the original. If you have any objection other than it's a double, flag or take it to metatalk, but don't post a derailing comment (that is, threadshit) in the thread.
posted by orthogonality at 7:44 PM on January 17, 2010


I'm more and more of the opinion that there should be an absolute zero tolerance policy for threadshitting. Even on threads that do get deleted all the thread shitting comments should be obliterated - people shouldn't get to feel like they've scored some kind of point when they are in fact just being assholes.
posted by Artw at 7:52 PM on January 17, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think we've all learned a lesson here today.

If you're going to call someone "a threadshitting asshole" or equivalent, try to be specific about who you're insulting. Otherwise you might piss off unrelated bystanders. Or is that "piss on"?
posted by muddgirl at 7:53 PM on January 17, 2010


I'm more and more of the opinion that there should be an absolute zero tolerance policy for threadshitting.

Yes, and, of course, I should have taken my own advice and started a Metatalk thread saying just that instead of shouting in the thread.

I'm happy to see that Cortex has deleted the whole derail.
posted by enn at 7:57 PM on January 17, 2010


I've just done a bunch of cleanup in that thread. In general, less blinking-to-be-obnoxious, less calling people assholes, and less turning-a-thread-into-a-discussion-of-the-viability-of-the-thread would all be good things.

In all honesty, I do not get the FIAMO directive.

The short answer is that people never fuck up threads by deciding to flag and move on; the same can not be said for deciding to make predictions or declarations about the likelihood that a thread will survive. It's not an absolutist thing, of course occasional metacommentary will sneak in on the blue in a way that's not horribly disruptive, but it's rarely a good idea to try and make a thing out of a thread in the thread itself. Especially when, and this is not exactly uncommon, someone who decides to inform the world that a thread is sure to be deleted is in fact wrong about that, or similar such doomsaying misfires.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:00 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


IMO, posting "double" in the first few comments is fine.

Any threadshitting after that is not cool. Sometimes double posts aren't double-y enough to get deleted (maybe it's an old double, maybe there's enough new content for it to hang around).
posted by empath at 8:00 PM on January 17, 2010


Why is the blink tag still around, anyway?
posted by empath at 8:01 PM on January 17, 2010


IMO, posting "double" in the first few comments is fine.

On this front, it's really helpful if folks declaring something a double can do the extra thirty seconds of work and actually link to the post they're citing. Tends to both reduce misfires from speculation and make cleanup a touch easier for us on the mod side.

Why is the blink tag still around, anyway?

I paid Matt to unban it back in the day.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:04 PM on January 17, 2010


If 90% of the userbase knows something is about to be deleted

Please tell me about this magical power you possess that tells you what percentage of the userbase knows something is going to be deleted.

Seriously, I really fucking hate it when the first comments in a thread are "well this is going to be deleted so let me shit all over it."
posted by dead cousin ted at 8:22 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well, in the case of it being an obvious double and there being a simple link to the double up, people know already, don't they?

And if the probelm with the thread is something other than it being a double then the whole "If 90% of the userbase" thing kind of ends up being "I think this is going to be deleted, so does someone else, let's make the discussion worthless to try and edge the odds in favour of it", and that's deeply crappy behaviour.
posted by Artw at 8:28 PM on January 17, 2010


But then, some posts are just begging for snark.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:30 PM on January 17, 2010


Artw: I was going to make a follow-up comment clarifying what I meant but you basically read my mind.
posted by dead cousin ted at 8:30 PM on January 17, 2010


Don't give in to the begging.
posted by Artw at 8:32 PM on January 17, 2010


Eh, it's not really that important.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:33 PM on January 17, 2010


Commenting on low quality posts is an important part of the self-policing and community moderation.
posted by LarryC at 9:21 PM on January 17, 2010


I've just done a bunch of cleanup in that thread.

Thank you for that, cortex.

I paid Matt to unban it back in the day.

How much would it cost to unban the IMG tag?
posted by peeedro at 9:28 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


No, it's grandstanding assholery and intensely hostile to other users. If you are given to doing it in thread then please ween yourself off of it, and if you *really* feel you must say something please do it in meta.
posted by Artw at 9:31 PM on January 17, 2010


I paid Matt to unban it back in the day.

I'd pay to reban it, and any other HTML tag that is likely to be abused. (<code>, for one. The day we get folks posting disgusting, unfunny image macros one after another like it's 2ch or 4chan or something is the day I close my account.)
posted by armage at 10:34 PM on January 17, 2010


Ok, well 1) you act like you're expecting that to happen for some reason and 2) the code tag can actually be useful, whereas blink is useless and annoying.
posted by dead cousin ted at 10:55 PM on January 17, 2010


Commenting on low quality posts is an important part of the self-policing and community moderation.

I wasn't there when Mefi was a more "self-policing" kind of place. Did Early Thread Metacommentary (ETM for short) actually encourage quality posting (or, more likely, discourage bad posting)?

Datawankery:

This had me looking through the infodump, and I noticed something interesting. Since the beginning of 2005, every month there's been between 603 and 850 posts, with most months getting between 700 and 800 posts. The maximum number of posters in a month has been 484 (December 2004), and since then the minimum has been 361 (June 2006, which is also the month with 603 posts). In 2005-2009, around 10,000 links were posted every year, by about 2200 unique users every year. Overall, since the beginning of 2005, ~5000 users have posted ~44,000 links.

Comments however have gone way up: on the blue, Mefi went from about 3000 people posting around 30,000 comments per month in 2005-2006, to 3500-4000 people posting 40,000-45,000 comments per month in late 2009.


Pure wankery:

Among my posts, the ones I consider "not so good" haven't gotten much of a reaction. The ones I consider to be better have gotten a much stronger reaction, with people saying they're good in-thread, but other people making negative comments about the post. How does this help me make better posts?
posted by Monday, stony Monday at 11:01 PM on January 17, 2010 [1 favorite]


The blink tag is awesome!
posted by Chuckles at 11:19 PM on January 17, 2010


Cortex: I've just done a bunch of cleanup in that thread.

After someone else finishes threadshitting, do you sit or stand for the cleanup?
posted by pracowity at 11:32 PM on January 17, 2010


empath writes "Why is the blink tag still around, anyway?"

It's occasionally useful for highlighting how dangerous a proposed course of action is AskMe. And it's basically not abused like big was.
posted by Mitheral at 12:01 AM on January 18, 2010


pracowity: more importantly, is it front-to-back or back-to-front?
posted by blasdelf at 12:30 AM on January 18, 2010


The blink tag is also great for breaking news updates in current threads, rather than opening a new thread or MeTa.
posted by slogger at 6:14 AM on January 18, 2010


Kill the blink tag.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:36 AM on January 18, 2010


I'm glad the blink tag is still here. It may be abused occasionally, but I hope we get to keep it. But, then, I'd love to have the [img] tag back.
posted by OmieWise at 6:39 AM on January 18, 2010


Cortex and artw, thank you. :)
posted by zarq at 7:06 AM on January 18, 2010


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