Really, it's NSFW? I had no idea... February 9, 2010 5:07 PM   Subscribe

If the details of a question are NSFW, shouldn't the question itself be SFW?

I'm not going to point to any specific examples of what I'm talking about here because I don't want to single anyone out...suffice it to say that one post of this sort was put up quite recently.

I know it's difficult to describe an NSFW-type question in a way that is discreet, but it would be nice if people would at least make an effort to do so. At the very least, softer, PG-13-style language and less, uh, explicit detail (with a promise of a better description inside) would be a good start.

It seems that a lot of people use the NSFW flag who perhaps never check AskMeFi at W, and therefore don't realize that having NSFW material on the main green screen can cause a lot of problems for people.
posted by hiteleven to Etiquette/Policy at 5:07 PM (239 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

I'm betting this is going to be a really racy thread. Also, my balls itch.
posted by Plutor at 5:11 PM on February 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think the policy is that you shouldn't look at MetaFilter at work if looking at NSFW words will get you in trouble, so I don't expect too much other than maybe more courtesy to come of this. There already are a lot of rules about AskMe, and if they put more it would limit the kind of questions people could feel they could ask that might otherwise be totally legit.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 5:12 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


We were talking about the use and non-use and implications of the "NSFW" label a couple weeks ago in reference to the blue, but it applies just as much to the green; here's a comment I made summarizing our position.

The extremely short version is that Metafilter (including AskMe) is not safe for work, even if people generally tend to keep potentially objectionable stuff below the fold.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:12 PM on February 9, 2010 [10 favorites]


This has been discussed to death previously. Metafilter is a site for grown-ups and as such uses grown-up language sometimes. It's considerate if posters want to tone down the language for others, but if your job is so sensitive that words on a screen will get you disciplined or fired, you may want to reconsider using Metafilter at work.
posted by chiababe at 5:12 PM on February 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


geez, way to head a great flamewar off at the pass, cortex
posted by toodleydoodley at 5:13 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Today's special: Grilled cheese sandwich with a side of taters.
posted by CKmtl at 5:14 PM on February 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Thread in question?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:14 PM on February 9, 2010


Not to be harsh but just stop reading metafilter at work if it's going to cause problems. This has come up a few times recently and your policies at work shouldn't impose upon the policies here at metafilter. The idea here is that over censoring shit just fucking ruins things.
posted by pwally at 5:15 PM on February 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


plutor: from one gentleman to another, talc.
posted by boo_radley at 5:15 PM on February 9, 2010


I like my facials below the fold.
posted by carsonb at 5:15 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Our general answer to this is no. If we think someone is using their AskMe question as an exercise in racy porn writing for no other reason than to be obnoxious [and I think I've seen this happen exactly once outside of the AnonyMe] queue then we may delete it on obnoxiousness grounds, otherwise people who are asking questions can ask pretty much whatever they want, though tucking NSFW language inside if possible seems to make people happier.

Be happy you do not moderate such threads for a job, is my advice.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:15 PM on February 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


MetaFilter: A Site For Grown-Ups
posted by Joe Beese at 5:16 PM on February 9, 2010 [8 favorites]


In the spirit of pre-emptive conflict resolution:

"Um, but yeah, I know no one is required to keep the main page clean, but do you think you could all do that anyway, just because??"

No.
posted by hermitosis at 5:18 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Thread in question?

Yeah, as much as I appreciate the not-wanting-to-single-someone-out angle, I don't think there's any doubt that's the thread in question.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:19 PM on February 9, 2010


"Mommy, wow: I'm a big kid now!"
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:19 PM on February 9, 2010


MetaFilter: A Site For Grown-Ups

I may have overstated a bit.
posted by chiababe at 5:19 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


... don't realize that having NSFW material on the main green screen can cause a lot of problems for people.

Goddamit, that's your problem, not mine. You took care of your own shit, that's how it works.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:21 PM on February 9, 2010


That 'thread in question' is 100% pearly-flavored pollfilter/chatfilter by the way. How come it wasn't deleted?
posted by carsonb at 5:22 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


The guy explained why he wanted to know and what he was hoping to get from the question. Believe me I would have deleted it if I thought it was deleteworthy, but really it was okay.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:28 PM on February 9, 2010


100% pearly-flavored pollfilter/chatfilter

That's right, do it -- delete it all over my face.

(I really like that.)
posted by hermitosis at 5:29 PM on February 9, 2010 [6 favorites]


How come it wasn't deleted?

Wipe that smirk off your face, carson.
posted by CKmtl at 5:29 PM on February 9, 2010


Wipe that smirk off your face, carson.

For a start.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:31 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm male, but extremely experienced.
posted by Goofyy at 3:19 PM on February 9 [+] [!]


It's going to take an entire bottle of "Draino" to destroy that mental image. :P
posted by zarq at 5:32 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Apropos of nothing, here's Elyse Sewell's livejournal. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm off for a Vitasoy Malted Soymilk.
posted by boo_radley at 5:35 PM on February 9, 2010


Sigh...again?
posted by MaryDellamorte at 5:40 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Gotta love these people who think their work rules should apply to the tens of thousands of people who write on MeFi.

Folks, the simple rule is this: you<MeFi.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:41 PM on February 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


That thread made me turn off the Display Profile Pictures script.
posted by klangklangston at 5:42 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


A dab of anchovy paste really adds depth to marinara sauce.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:43 PM on February 9, 2010


Oh come on...

...my face
posted by greekphilosophy at 5:44 PM on February 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


Also, it made me listen to Loose Joints' "Is it all over my Face?"
posted by klangklangston at 5:45 PM on February 9, 2010


The guy explained why he wanted to know and what he was hoping to get from the question. Believe me I would have deleted it if I thought it was deleteworthy, but really it was okay.
posted by jessamyn


The profile for the asker says she is a woman.
posted by Babblesort at 5:49 PM on February 9, 2010


Then please substitute the accurate pronouns.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:51 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh come on...

...my face
posted by greekphilosophy at 12:44 PM on February 10 [+] [!]


I'm going to leave that to you to do to yourself!
posted by crossoverman at 5:52 PM on February 9, 2010


WORK IS FOR WORKING KTHXBAI
posted by Sys Rq at 5:53 PM on February 9, 2010


I don't disagree with the policy that's been expressed here at all, but I do kinda wonder what the OP was thinking with that post construction. It just seems rather unclear on the concept if you're going to post NSFW-ness above the fold, followed by the warning "NSFW". It would be like saying "Why was Charles Foster Kane so attached to his sled, Rosebud? [spoilers inside!]"
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:57 PM on February 9, 2010 [9 favorites]


Gotta love these people who think their work rules should apply to the tens of thousands of people who write on MeFi.

Folks, the simple rule is this: you<>
=============================================================

Thanks for the classy response. For the record, I'm a student and this problem doesn't apply to me. These aren't my "work rules" I'm worried about.

I posted this because, sometimes, my concerns < other people's concerns.
posted by hiteleven at 6:04 PM on February 9, 2010


my concerns <>

I too like to invent concerns for other people whom I can vicariously crusade for, but then I only work 3 days a week and have a lot of time on my hands.

posted by hermitosis at 6:05 PM on February 9, 2010


Ugh, did someone leave a tag open upthread??
posted by hermitosis at 6:06 PM on February 9, 2010


Another fight between "please be considerate" and "don't tell ME what to do". These end well.
posted by smackfu at 6:07 PM on February 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm concerned about the lack of well-formed HTML.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:08 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


hiteleven: "Thanks for the classy response. For the record, I'm a student and this problem doesn't apply to me. These aren't my "work rules" I'm worried about.

I posted this because, sometimes, my concerns < other people's concerns.
"

It was concise, not classy. I believe your concern for other people's concerns outweigh other peoples' concern for their own concerns. How to tell? Other people's concerns aren't concerning them enough for them to post on their own behalf.
posted by boo_radley at 6:13 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Argghh. Just try to contain yourself and not read it at work. But if we really must implement something for the site to help along with this (and that other thread about anonymous q's), maybe we just modify MyAsk so that people can opt out, ie. not see, certain tags (nsfw and anonymous or whatever else flogs your bog)?
posted by iamkimiam at 6:16 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


For everyone that's self-congratulating themselves for being free-thinking anarchists, I do have one question: if you think that concerns about using MeFi at work are so uncool, why have the NSFW tag to begin with? Seems a bit pointless if you think consideration for others is equivalent to book banning.
posted by hiteleven at 6:39 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey, since we're here, what's with The Catcher in the Rye reference anyway? Anybody got any ideas? Is it just a "catcher" pun? What?
posted by cgc373 at 6:45 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


For everyone that's self-congratulating themselves for being free-thinking anarchists

That's not real. You made it up.

if you think consideration for others is equivalent to book banning.

That's not real. You made it up.
posted by enn at 6:45 PM on February 9, 2010 [20 favorites]


Seems a bit pointless if you think consideration for others is equivalent to book banning.

I'm sorry we seem to have touched a nerve here. As your free-thinking anarchist mod, I'll refer you to the FAQ where we basically say that, from an admin perspective NSFW is for links that lead to NSFW images or loud sounds only.

That fact that people sometimes write NSFW on their sex questions in AskMe has always sort of confused me, but people are welcome to write however they want to and if they want to be polite about "hey dirty language within" that is totally fine. This may have created a situation where people thought that NSFW was some sort of mandated thing for dirty words as well as dirty pictures and surprising sounds but as far as we're concerned there is no such thing as an NSFW word, though we'd prefer to keep super-graphic descriptions of sex and violence off of the front page of MeFi just because a lot of people have said it bothers them and it strikes us as entirely avoidable.

I'm not sure how the facials question could have gone differently. The only real options were to replace the word "cum" with something more clinical or to put the entire question below the fold, both of which seem a little ridiculous to me.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:50 PM on February 9, 2010 [5 favorites]


hiteleven you have clearly sensed the ambient temperature on this issue. Your last post seems to indicate that you can improve the results of this thread through increased combativeness. May I suggest with sincere friendliness and respect that this tack ain't gonna work.
posted by chaff at 6:53 PM on February 9, 2010


*shallow critique of anarchy as an idea*
posted by !Jim at 7:00 PM on February 9, 2010


Hey, since we're here, what's with The Catcher in the Rye reference anyway?

Turns out that's the reason J.D. Salinger never went out in public.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:04 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I apologize for the snark, but I think I asked this question pretty politely, and, considering the responses that I got before I returned to the thread were 50% jack-assness, I don't my reaction should be entirely shocking.

Thanks to the mods and others for explaining the situation more clearly. I do understand the nuances of the issue now. I even understand the sarcastic answers. What I don't understand is why so many people consider being a blunt asshole is a virtue.
posted by hiteleven at 7:05 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


blargh blargh freethinking anarchists blargh

You asked a question, it's not our fault if you don't like the answer.
posted by hermitosis at 7:06 PM on February 9, 2010


What I don't understand is why so many people consider being a blunt asshole is a virtue.

Welcome to Metafilter.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 7:07 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh sorry, I didn't mean to cross-comment bluntly and assholishly while you were apologizing.

What I don't understand is why so many people consider being a blunt asshole is a virtue.

Forget it Jake. it's MetaTalk.
posted by hermitosis at 7:08 PM on February 9, 2010


hiteleven, I was going to snark, "Well clearly this is your first time in Metatalk" but then I saw that this was literally your first time Metatalk. We're definitely a little douchier over here. It's a safety valve that tends to keep things nicer on the rest of the site. Try not to take it personally. (I mean that without a trace of hamburger.)
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:11 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


hiteleven: "everyone that's self-congratulating themselves for being free-thinking anarchists"

It's really the opposite, I think. "If you're at work, don't look here" is sort of corporatist-authoritarian, isn't it?
posted by boo_radley at 7:12 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


hiteleven, I was going to snark, "Well clearly this is your first time in Metatalk" but then I saw that this was literally your first time Metatalk. We're definitely a little douchier over here. It's a safety valve that tends to keep things nicer on the rest of the site. Try not to take it personally. (I mean that without a trace of hamburger.)

Got it. When in Rome, don't act like a Carthaginian. At least my initiation is complete.
posted by hiteleven at 7:14 PM on February 9, 2010


Can we swap cookie recipes now or is that only in callouts?
posted by shothotbot at 7:15 PM on February 9, 2010


Hey, since we're here, what's with The Catcher in the Rye reference anyway?


I'd guess it's a reference to the bit where "Holden rents a room in the Edmont Hotel and observes several odd occurrences in the rooms opposite his including a man dressing into women's clothing and a couple spitting water into each others mouths as an act of sex."
posted by ludwig_van at 7:24 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


My coworkers mostly think that sites with only words on them are highbrow and square.
posted by box at 7:25 PM on February 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


"if you think that concerns about using MeFi at work are so uncool, why have the NSFW tag to begin with? Seems a bit pointless if you think consideration for others is equivalent to book banning."

I know, right? That's why I was all like, jeez, guys, it's just a nude. Get the fuck over it! Then Jessamyn was like, yeah, but folks flip the fuck out over this bullshit (paraphrasing) and maybe you're just being a confrontational and belligerent dick for no real reason, so could you be a little considerate (I think she said "less fighty") and I was like, Do I have to? And she said, well, if you can't, you could always go somewhere else, and I was like, I guess NSFW doesn't really bother me that much, though I think it's kind of stupid and inconsistent and there are a million different reasons why I'm generally opposed to it, including that it makes the marmish feel normative, but since I generally consider the mods some of my internet friends, since these friends are asking, I can do it.

But since you brought it up, it is uncool and stupid, so I'm glad we agree.
posted by klangklangston at 7:31 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


When in Rome, don't act like a Carthaginian.
That would probably go quite well if you bring your elephants and fuck off home before Cannae.
posted by Abiezer at 7:36 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I once knew a Scot who referred to her vagina as "Cannae."
posted by klangklangston at 7:39 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


As your free-thinking anarchist mod, I'll refer you to the FAQ where we basically say that, from an admin perspective NSFW is for links that lead to NSFW images or loud sounds only.

Really? I had no idea I always thought that NSFW applied to anything on the site not safe for work, including porn-y AskMe threads.

I haven't read the FAQ in a while, so I looked it up. Maybe part of the confusion arises because the FAQ says this about NSFW, "Generally if what is behind a link is not safe for work (porn, nudity, shock sites, sound) a NSFW indicator is appreciated." [emphasis mine].

So, maybe a line should be added about how the mods don't feel that it's useful in AskMe? (I'm SURE someone has straight out linked to porn on the blue before, but when I saw 'porn' I wasn't thinking Debbie Does Dallas, I was thinking of AskMe).
posted by librarylis at 7:39 PM on February 9, 2010


While we're at it, could we have every page on Metafilter be black on white in Times New Roman so that it looks serious and suitable for the business environment?

And don't say Greasemonkey, as the boss does not allow us to install Firefox at my hypothetical job.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:40 PM on February 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Or right after, even. My historical joke fell over on a faulty time-line.
posted by Abiezer at 7:41 PM on February 9, 2010


Yeah, mccarty.tim, that sure would be crazy if there was an alternate theme that was black on white text.
posted by smackfu at 7:43 PM on February 9, 2010


Yeah, mccarty.tim, that sure would be crazy if there was an alternate theme that was black on white text.

And a way to change the font. (Hint, check your settings. Click "Preferences" at the top while logged in.)
posted by ALongDecember at 7:49 PM on February 9, 2010


It should be ok as long as you're discreet about it.

Just don't take your company laptop into the airplane bathroom on a business trip, make a video of you reading about facials, then post it on youtube, and ask a non-anon question about whether this will get you fired. ummk?
posted by special-k at 8:01 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's a sad way to enter the mile high club.
posted by qvantamon at 8:14 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'd guess it's a reference to the bit where "Holden rents a room in the Edmont Hotel and observes several odd occurrences in the rooms opposite his including a man dressing into women's clothing and a couple spitting water into each others mouths as an act of sex."

I thought it was just an obtuse pun on the risk of catching it in your eye
posted by rollick at 8:31 PM on February 9, 2010


obtuse, oblique
posted by rollick at 8:33 PM on February 9, 2010


boo_radley: "Apropos of nothing, here's Elyse Sewell's livejournal..."

...which I wish she would update. It was always entertaining.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:34 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


That 'thread in question' is 100% pearly-flavored pollfilter/chatfilter by the way. How come it wasn't deleted?

Yes, I've been thinking about this thread and why it wasn't deleted. In fact, when I first saw it I flagged it immediately. And then when I saw that it had been allowed to stay, I thought, well, ok, this is kind of chatfilter; but, on the other hand, I could conceive that this question could be definitively answered, at least to the extent that it is not mere 'hey let's all shoot the shit about this;' or, 'cum on your face sucks amirite?' No, the thread really wasn't that. And so I responded eventually, prefacing it with the fact that, while I did believe it to be sort of chatty, I would give a hopefully helpful answer.

When I look at the thread now, I seem to think that the answers may be a bit chatty, but the question itself isn't - exactly. We've discussed on the gray before the poll v. chat question, so I won't dive into that, but suffice it to say that just because there is interesting debate does not mean that it is a matter of opinion, which is what i generally take chatfilter to be.

Lastly, I was sort of hoping that this wouldn't eventually wind up on MeTa; I was sort of waiting anxiously, hoping that maybe we could all just let it go. The thread didn't turn into an incredibly massive pile of shit, really, especially compared to so many of the threads on the blue. The thread was relatively ok, and I can't help but feel that sometimes these MeTa pedantic bean plating of the rules thing isn't making the community better.

There. I said it. Now, I'm getting a snack.
posted by Lutoslawski at 9:05 PM on February 9, 2010


boo_radley: "plutor: from one gentleman to another, talc"

Nah!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 9:15 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


KevinSkomsvold: "Nah!"

Not all of us were born with a silver genital scratcher in our crotch.
posted by boo_radley at 9:29 PM on February 9, 2010


THIS SITE HAS FUCKING SWEARS!
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 10:34 PM on February 9, 2010


NSFW? You're soaking in it!
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:48 PM on February 9, 2010


As a modest proposal, perhaps we can switch all questions on Ask Metafilter to a madlibs format:

Q. My boyfriend _______ in my ________ and now my ________ is all ______ and about the size of a _______. Other than inviting his friend over for _______ and implementing a system of ________ what can we do in the future to avoid _______ in my _______ that doesn't involve further insertions of ________ , or _______ by local authorities? We've already gone online to shop for ________ but the law says we can't buy ________ in our home state. Any and all suggestions are welcome, including ________ if you know how to ________ on your own _______.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:59 PM on February 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


I don't care about NSFW tags; I want a NSFL tag. (Not safe for lunch.)
posted by IndigoRain at 11:17 PM on February 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


go ahead and send me your dirty, dirty stories.
posted by barely legal at 11:20 PM on February 9, 2010


Q. My boyfriend camped in my vagina and now my vagina is all rosy and about the size of a National Park. Other than inviting his friend over for s'mores and implementing a system of trails what can we do in the future to avoid rosiness in my National Park that doesn't involve further insertions of bear traps , or yodeling contests by local authorities? We've already gone online to shop for stilts but the law says we can't buy clown paraphanalia in our home state. Any and all suggestions are welcome, including arson if you know how to play jazz on your own porch.
posted by trondant at 11:21 PM on February 9, 2010 [7 favorites]


Call me old fashioned, but I just don't feel that yodeling contests should be inserted.
posted by nebulawindphone at 11:27 PM on February 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


A long time ago, I used to share resources from the various pages of Meta-ness with people at work to help improve productivity, broaden individual career development, and pass on knowledge from smarter minds.

Then one day I noticed an older/newer association at page bottom that could incur negative attention if someone were of a particular sensitivity and realised those days were over.

Maybe my next place of employ will be "adult" enough to allow me to use the incredible knowledge base that is MetaFilter in a more share-tastic fashion, but it wasn't right for that place and, likely, not for many places, as you never know when a link shared might lead to browsing for more of the same.

I have no idea why I chose now to confide that, but it seemed vaguely relevant.
posted by batmonkey at 11:28 PM on February 9, 2010


If you work someplace where the mere presence of "bad words" on your computer screen while viewing a website that isn't inherently pornographic is enough to land you in serious hot water, you ought not to be viewing Metafilter at work. You probably ought to be looking for a new job as well, but I fully recognize that's not exactly an easy task right now. NSFW is a useful convention to give people a heads-up about the nature of what they are about to read, but in terms of actually providing guidance for the workplace, not so much...
posted by zachlipton at 11:31 PM on February 9, 2010


Q. My boyfriend installed Vista in my computer and now my CPU is all eaten up and about the size of a Commodore 64. Other than inviting his friend over for a reformatting of the hard drive and implementing a system of Linux what can we do in the future to avoid Microsoft in my machine that doesn't involve further insertions of dubious open source code, or copyright infringement actions by local authorities? We've already gone online to shop for operating systems but the law says we can't buy pirated versions in our home state. Any and all suggestions are welcome, including any suggestions, if you know how to get right back to basics and write an operating system from the bottom up on your own steampunk abacus.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:53 AM on February 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


My coworkers mostly think that sites with only words on them are highbrow and square.

Holy shit, I just now realized that Metafilter is my methadone for getting off of Usenet.
posted by Justinian at 12:57 AM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Metafilter may be a site for grownups, but some grownups work in companies where they have, you know, policies on what you can read at work.

That's a minimum of a nine hour span during the day for me, like many others.

I'd hate to stop reading the Blue, or the Green because someone can't extend be a little more considerate and keep NSFW stuff below the fold and out of URLs.

It's not cramping free speech. It's common sense. Metafilter thrives on the diversity of its members. I presume, in time, some of our more free thinking members will graduate on to more "traditional" working environments and also baulk a little at some of the more obvious NSFW stuff.
posted by MuffinMan at 1:37 AM on February 10, 2010


but some grownups work in companies where they have, you know, policies on what you can read at work.

Then don't read it at work or take responsibility for the risk of doing so.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:28 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Then don't read it at work or take responsibility for the risk of doing so

The point was it's not about me: if Metafilter's diversity thrives on at least having some people who read from "corporate" work, then my way or the highway - as you suggest - isn't healthy for the site.
posted by MuffinMan at 5:28 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


(WARNING: Comment NSFW) So what is the SFW way to ask if you like to be ejaculated upon the facial region without being horribly vague? (The previous comment was NSFW)
posted by inturnaround at 5:31 AM on February 10, 2010


Why would Metafilter's diversity depend on where people read from? Corporate folks can provide their very worthy contributions after 5pm if it will cause them trouble at the office.
posted by chiababe at 5:43 AM on February 10, 2010


Read it on your iPhones, you yuppies.

I presume, in time, some of our more free thinking members will graduate on to more "traditional" working environments

Also, the MetaFilter of the future will be 3000% more patronizing.
posted by hermitosis at 6:10 AM on February 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Also, the MetaFilter of the future will be 3000% more patronizing

Sure, if it's considered patronising that people might, you know, end up still wanting to read MeFi after they've started working somewhere with a bog standard corporate internet access policy.

It's not at all patronising, on the other hand, to just tell anyone who wants NSFW to be less obvious to go read it on their phone. Or stop reading.
posted by MuffinMan at 7:19 AM on February 10, 2010


I'd hate to stop reading the Blue, or the Green because someone can't extend be a little more considerate and keep NSFW stuff below the fold and out of URLs.

Do you know how asinine these "Waah, your words are making it harder for me to slack off at work!" complaints sound, considering that there are people out there who spend those 9 hours a day on their feet nowhere near a computer? Sometimes knee- or elbow-deep in foul substances?
posted by CKmtl at 7:24 AM on February 10, 2010


CKmtl - did you know that there children starving in Africa, and that any conversation anywhere on the internet is not just frivolous, but downright immoral?
posted by MuffinMan at 7:30 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Someone watched Dirty Jobs last night.
posted by smackfu at 7:31 AM on February 10, 2010


Now I'm wondering if there are any jobs where you spend 9 hours in front of a computer while immersed in a foul substance. Might be a nice compromise.
posted by nebulawindphone at 7:36 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Q. My boyfriend snarked in my taters and now my tater is all grilled cheese and about the size of a fedora. Other than inviting his friend over for a plate of beans and implementing a system of "Flag it and move on" what can we do in the future to avoid snarking in my taters that doesn't involve further insertions of bacon, or dumping the motherfucking asshole by local authorities? We've already gone online to shop for a lawyer but the law says we can't buy HAMBURGER in our home state. Any and all suggestions are welcome, including if I can eat this if you know how to favorite on your own special snowflake.

(these are kinda fun.)
posted by NikitaNikita at 7:37 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


any jobs where you spend 9 hours in front of a computer while immersed in a foul substance.

I spend 9 hours a day immersed in a bath of snark...


If you really have to slack off at work with metafilter, but can't handle to risk, learn how to use an ssh tunnel and a proxy. You get one askme a week, use it for something other than just another relationship question we already know the answer to, DTMFRFNOIWCOAKYA (Dump The Mother Fucker Right Fucking Now Or I Will Come Over And Kick Your Ass).
posted by nomisxid at 7:53 AM on February 10, 2010


I have no computer access all day, so, muffinman, I think you can relax and if it makes you feel better you can access metafilter on your blackberry. Which is what I do when I'm not preventing a little person from eating fake food or sitting in a refrigerator.

Diversity!
posted by kathrineg at 7:55 AM on February 10, 2010


I presume, in time, some of our more free thinking members will graduate on to more "traditional" working environments

When that happens, I will do the more responsible and "traditional" type of working that involves concentrating on my work and completing it to the best of my ability and not idling browsing metafilter searching for the best distractions on the internet. I'm sorry someone might be inconveniencing you from stealing money from your employer by using your work time to browse the internet.
posted by fuq at 7:59 AM on February 10, 2010


I enjoy how the critics are now resorting some sort of "pity the working man with no computer" defence. Now I have Sixteen Tons stuck in my head.
posted by hiteleven at 8:00 AM on February 10, 2010


Dear askme, why does my cock get so excited when I put it between a pair of boobies or some great tits?

Why do I still find this stupid joke funny? Clearly I'm a 12 year old trapped in a middle age body.
posted by quin at 8:12 AM on February 10, 2010


When that happens, I will do the more responsible and "traditional" type of working that involves concentrating on my work and completing it to the best of my ability and not idling browsing metafilter searching for the best distractions on the internet. I'm sorry someone might be inconveniencing you from stealing money from your employer by using your work time to browse the internet.

So you're completely oblivious to the research that demonstrates that giving your mind a regular distraction or break actually makes you more productive? Specifically, multitasking personal browsing alongside regular work?

Or the fact that it makes employment more palatable generally, decreasing sickies & reducing employee turnover - with all the onboarding & training costs that brings, not to mention preventing the loss of tons of intangible corporate intellectual property?

Or the fact that no sane manager realistically expects employees to be actually "working" more than approx 6 hours out of an 8 hour day - the rest being taken up with toilet breaks, coffee breaks, snacking, water cooler conversations, personal surfing or phone calls, staring blankly & daydreaming, masturbating, filing nails, sneezing, moving the car to another parking zone, cigarette breaks, etc etc etc.

Or that creative & problem-solving professions more or less mandate that people exercise their brains with distractions in order to facilitate creative & lateral thinking. Ever seen all the air hockey tables, magazines & similarly slacky stuff in creative offices? Guess what? They're not there because they stifle productivity.

Basically, unless you're working on a production line, the concept of output = time x rate of work simply doesn't apply, and you're a complete fucking ignoranus if you obstinately stick to such a shitty & micro-managey anal-retentive model.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:21 AM on February 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


hiteleven: "I enjoy how the critics are now resorting some sort of "pity the working man with no computer" defence.

"Defence of what? What are you talking about? We're referencing the guy who was like BUT YOU MEAN I SHOULD BE WORKING AT WORK?!?!? THEN HOW WILL YOU LIVE WITHOUT MY WHITE COLLAR COMPUTER LITERATE DIVERSITY!!!!
posted by kathrineg at 8:24 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


So you're completely oblivious to the research that demonstrates that giving your mind a regular distraction or break actually makes you more productive? Specifically, multitasking personal browsing alongside regular work?

Please cite this research; all the research I've been made aware of indicates that personal browsing is a huge production-killer time suck.
posted by kathrineg at 8:26 AM on February 10, 2010


Someone watched Dirty Jobs last night.

This is as good a place as any to say that I would like to see an episode of Dirty Jobs where Rowe goes to a salon that does both Brazilian waxing and colonic irrigation. Actually, here is where I should go. Ideally, he would give it the same jokey treatment that he would on a livestock farm or sewage treatment facility.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:26 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


PS - having severe rules against porn at work makes sense, since it can create an oppressive & discriminatory environment, especially for female employees.

However, I'm going to declare that if anybody is dismissed because of a tiny amount of "NSFW" text on their screen (like mere mention of body parts or sexual matters), then they were probably a useless employee in the first place, and management was just looking for a pretext to get rid of them.

Seriously, it never happens. Certainly not without it being a part of a much, much broader pattern of being a total douche at work, who nobody likes & who doesn't actually contribute anything of any value to the company. And certainly not without at least a three-strikes-and-you're-out system of counselling & behaviour correction.
posted by UbuRoivas at 8:33 AM on February 10, 2010


Is there a greasemonkey script that will only show the numerical URLs of MetaFilter and lop off all the other text? MuffinMan, while I sympathize with your situation, the URLs are not going to be a no-swearing zone. We can ask people nicely to use some consideration when composing posts/titles, but it's never going to be absolute and this is not something we are going to enforce. There may be ways that you can minimize the damage, but if NSFW words in URLs are going to cause you problems, you'll need an external-to-MetaFilter solution.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:38 AM on February 10, 2010


Agreed UbuRovias, but it can lead to a lot of embarassment and awkwardness. Someone I know (and I really mean "someone I know", not me pretending to be "someone I know") had some NSFW stuff up on his screen once by accident (and it was accidental) and it made things weird at work for a while. People will whisper about you as that guy who was looking at *whatever* on the net at work.
posted by hiteleven at 8:39 AM on February 10, 2010


Anyway, I didn't come back here to complain anymore, as I do understand the rules. But, really, I'm not sure why so many people don't understand that this isn't a bit of a difficult grey area for others, even if there's no way around it.
posted by hiteleven at 8:43 AM on February 10, 2010


We're referencing the guy who was like BUT YOU MEAN I SHOULD BE WORKING AT WORK?

With respect, the time you spend at work is not directly equivalent to your [contracted or otherwise] working hours.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:54 AM on February 10, 2010


The point was it's not about me: if Metafilter's diversity thrives on at least having some people who read from "corporate" work, then my way or the highway - as you suggest - isn't healthy for the site.

1.) I'm don't think Metafilter's white, American, largely male, tech oriented and left leaning populace is diverse per se, or that said "diversity" thrives on having people read it specifically from a corporate workplace.

2.) I think "my way or the highway" is an over exaggeration.

So what is the SFW way to ask if you like to be ejaculated upon the facial region without being horribly vague?

Good point.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:00 AM on February 10, 2010


I understand that you might think that it's a difficult grey area. However, it is not actually difficult.

Some people have to be careful about what they access from someone else's computer, while they are being paid. This is not a problem with metafilter. This is a basic function of using someone else's things while getting paid money to sit somewhere.

If you really love metafilter maybe you could just spend thirty minutes the night before finding threads you like and then copy-pasting them into a word document that you can then email to yourself. Or you could just read a book or talk to your coworkers or listen to music or, you know, work.
posted by kathrineg at 9:01 AM on February 10, 2010


Man, I just read that facials thread. I know waaaay too much about a lot of you now.
posted by jonmc at 9:01 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


With respect, the time you spend at work is not directly equivalent to your [contracted or otherwise] working hours.

Yes, in which case I'm sure you could use your blackberry/iphone. I don't understand how one's theoretical inability to access metafilter from a computer that they don't even own is a threat to metafilter's diversity.
posted by kathrineg at 9:03 AM on February 10, 2010


I don't understand how one's theoretical inability to access metafilter from a computer that they don't even own is a threat to metafilter's diversity.

It's no threat to any supposed diversity, but perhaps a threat to ad click revenues and page view counts.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:04 AM on February 10, 2010


Yes, in which case I'm sure you could use your blackberry/iphone.

which, of course, everybody owns because we're all rich.
posted by jonmc at 9:05 AM on February 10, 2010


which, of course, everybody owns because we're all rich.

Naw, rich people buy shit like these. Proles get iPhones.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:07 AM on February 10, 2010


jonmc, if the possibility that you might not be able to access metafilter from your work computer is a big fucking deal then you should buy a smartphone so that I don't have to listen to you bitch that someone, somewhere, is talking about facials.
posted by kathrineg at 9:14 AM on February 10, 2010


I don't have a work computer. I was commenting on the assumption that everybody owns a web capable cellphone and service.
posted by jonmc at 9:17 AM on February 10, 2010


With respect, the time you spend at work is not directly equivalent to your [contracted or otherwise] working hours.

This situation is easily remedied by:
a) Asking for more work
b) Cleaning and/or reorganizing one's workspace

There is a third option, c) Work less efficiently, but, like, seriously, people, grow the fuck up already and just do your damn job.

Even option four, d) Clock out and go elsewhere to idly surf the internet on your own time, is preferable to the previous option.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:19 AM on February 10, 2010


I know, jonmc. I don't have a work computer either, or a desk, or a cubby. I do get a coat hanger.

My point was that if he has the kind of job where he is salaried and he can browse the internet as long as no dirty words are involved, well, I really don't care if he has no bread. He can just go eat some fucking cake already.*


*by bread I mean metafilter and by cake I mean a smart phone. And yes I am making broad assumptions about the relative income of people who have desk jobs where they can't work unless they have ping-pong or some other such bougie bullshit
posted by kathrineg at 9:32 AM on February 10, 2010


This situation is easily remedied by:
a) Asking for more work


Not always an option. In fact it's sometimes the case in certain jobs with certain firms that you are allowed to use downtime to surf the net, etc., until you are assigned to a new project. So you have certain hours in the day where you are supposed to be not working.

You also don't want to be the person who's always asking "what do I do next? what do I do next?" as they bounce from project to project. Sometimes you just have to wait until your manager is out of a meeting, or has time to reassign you.

Really, I only have like a couple of years office work experience and I know this stuff. I question whether the "work till you die and stay off the net" crowd understands the environment.
posted by hiteleven at 9:33 AM on February 10, 2010


I was commenting on the assumption that everybody owns a web capable cellphone and service.

If you're not jacked in, you're not alive.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:35 AM on February 10, 2010


Read it on your iPhones, you yuppies.

The finance director of the local authority I'm currently working for was recently fired for browsing porn on his work-issue smart phone.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:36 AM on February 10, 2010


Solution A: Respectful request to post NSFW stuff below the fold
Solution B: Clean your workspace! Buy an iPhone! Ask for more work! Go home, copy and paste the internets into a word document!

Who knew that inside such strident defenders of the right to free speech lay a small army of pocket tyrants.
posted by MuffinMan at 9:39 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]

if the possibility that you might not be able to access metafilter from your work computer is a big fucking deal then you should buy a smartphone
I'm with JonMC on this. The casual assumption in this thread that everyone has a smartphone and/or a smartphone would be a trivial purchase boggles me a bit. Unless your job's buying it (in which case you're browsing on work equipment anyway), they're not really a casual purchase for a lot of folks.

This has nothing to do with my opinions on NSFWness, just that I'm getting a real "let them eat cake" vibe here.
posted by Karmakaze at 9:42 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Let them eat erotic cake!
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:44 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


i'm a working man who works up to 12 hours without internet access

you don't have to pity me - but if you complain about nsfw words on this site at work, i'm certainly not going to pity you
posted by pyramid termite at 9:46 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you're not jacking off to the internet at work, you're not alive.

FTFY.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 9:47 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


i'm a working man who works up to 12 hours without internet access

My issue was that people who seemed to have decent enough jobs - with the only issue being lack of internet access - or people who perhaps might not work at all, were raising this point.

Perhaps I was assuming incorrectly, but the argument seemed to be a bit overwrought.
posted by hiteleven at 9:50 AM on February 10, 2010


Karmakaze: "This has nothing to do with my opinions on NSFWness, just that I'm getting a real "let them eat cake" vibe here."

Yeah, I explicitly told him to go eat cake in a later comment because I have a deep-seated class bias against people who insist that they must read metafilter at work and metafilter must be completely safe for their workplace IT dude. I mean come the fuck on, go read MSN.com one of the million other SFW websites or write a novel or something.
posted by kathrineg at 9:53 AM on February 10, 2010


Oh hey, it's a special snowflake revolution. Nifty.
posted by iamabot at 9:54 AM on February 10, 2010


...if you know how to play jazz on your own porch...

best. euphemism. ever.
posted by bitteroldman at 9:56 AM on February 10, 2010


It would be like saying "Why was Charles Foster Kane so attached to his sled, Rosebud? [spoilers inside!]"

Thanks for ruining that for me.
posted by Splunge at 9:57 AM on February 10, 2010


The point was it's not about me: if Metafilter's diversity thrives on at least having some people who read from "corporate" work, then my way or the highway - as you suggest - isn't healthy for the site.

"Hey Josh, it's Matt, I was just wondering if you processed those numbers yet?"
"Yeah. Yeah I did."
"And... ?"
"And it looks like we're slipping with people in cubes, to the tune of about 0.5%."
"But that means- "
"Yup. We're down to *Choke* 98.5% cube-people."
"Sweet Jesus."
"Yup."
"Put some coffee on, and get Jessamyn and Paul on conference - until I say otherwise, we're on Diversity Deficit Code Blue. We'll get through this. [To self, as ominous kettle drums swell to a crescendo] I hope."

[MetaFilter Mods Theme Song Begins]
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:05 AM on February 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


I think the way to handle this is to make sure you work at a porn company.
posted by Mister_A at 10:10 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


He just really liked that sled. And don't call me Rosebud.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:11 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

...they must read metafilter at work and metafilter must be completely safe for their workplace IT dude...
I think there's a middle ground here. though. I'm not really seeing a lot of requests for an outright ban on anything NSFW ever, but requests that people consider that NSFW stuff isn't cool for everybody and it would be nice if it were mostly under the fold. It's not that you can't say "fuck" in a crowded theater, but some folks would appreciate it if you wouldn't run down the aisle yelling "FUUUUUCK!!!" at the top of your lungs.

In my case, I'm not worried about anyone reading over my shoulder, or even getting fired for having text about facials on the screen. I'd just prefer that the overall quantity of NSFW stuff stays below the threshhold where WebSense will block the site. Because then I wouldn't be able to read MeFi while waiting for work stuff to load. I mean, sure, I can find other stuff to read, but I'd be a little sad about it. Right now that we're pretty well under that threshold, so that's fine. But I don't see anything wrong with politely asking people to keep it down.
posted by Karmakaze at 10:11 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


make it dirty
posted by pianomover at 10:13 AM on February 10, 2010


Naw, rich people buy shit like these.

*stares* Seriously? Who buys that? It's ten years out of date but has a really hard case. Is that all it takes?
posted by norm at 10:15 AM on February 10, 2010


I think there's a middle ground here. though. I'm not really seeing a lot of requests for an outright ban on anything NSFW ever, but requests that people consider that NSFW stuff isn't cool for everybody and it would be nice if it were mostly under the fold.

I want to underscore that the above is basically where we are right now. Beyond moving to a position of declaring NSFWism mandatory (which we've been pretty clear over the years we're not going to do), the "please use some consideration" thing is very much in effect, a lot of folks do show that consideration, and there's not really a whole lot else to say.

These arguments tend to be go into rehash mode pretty quickly partly because, I guess, folks are arguing with each other about stronger absolutist extremes than are actually in evidence on mefi itself. "Don't slack off at work!" is not a site policy; it's not even something the site should have any official position on. "Be aware of the potential content of the site and adjust your work-time surfing according to your own risk-management priorities" is about as close as we're gonna get, and even that's just a suggestion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:18 AM on February 10, 2010


My issue was that people who seemed to have decent enough jobs - with the only issue being lack of internet access - or people who perhaps might not work at all, were raising this point.

Why?

It doesn't take a huge feat of imagination to figure out that waiters, cooks, construction workers, plumbers, electricians, factory workers, etc., might find the NSFW complaints at best a bit laughable.
posted by CKmtl at 10:23 AM on February 10, 2010


Who buys that? It's ten years out of date but has a really hard case. Is that all it takes?

Do not underestimate the boneheadedness of the nouveau riche Muscovite. Besides, they bought one of these to use on the boat so it wouldn't do to have the same phone when you are out at the club.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:24 AM on February 10, 2010


I think people are misconstruing this as a request for a rule, when they are just asking for a little courtesy. Be an asshole if you want, but the only thing your small courtesy is going to ruin is you getting to make a EWWW DIRTY WORD on the blue/green page. Just like the cool kids.
posted by Big_B at 10:31 AM on February 10, 2010


My issue was that people who seemed to have decent enough jobs - with the only issue being lack of internet access - or people who perhaps might not work at all, were raising this point.

Why?


Yes, but some people on this thread seem to want to start a war of the classes, which is a bit much.

I've worked in fast food and retail, have also had office work, and two stints as a full-time student. Would I have scoffed at office workers who complained about people inconveniencing their web surfing when I was slogging it out in retail? Yeah, probably I would have. But that doesn't mean I wouldn't have been close-minded.

I'm all for a discussion about the unspoken class system in Western society. But to denounce anyone raising minor points about the Meta content they sift through at work as uppity members of the bourgeois classes is overdoing it a bit.
posted by hiteleven at 10:34 AM on February 10, 2010


It doesn't take a huge feat of imagination to figure out that waiters, cooks, construction workers, plumbers, electricians, factory workers, etc., might find the NSFW complaints at best a bit laughable.

So true. I can't imagine anyone is those fields would understand the concept of work place standards.
posted by Big_B at 10:35 AM on February 10, 2010


some folks would appreciate it if you wouldn't run down the aisle yelling "FUUUUUCK!!!" at the top of your lungs.

In the last thread about all this, the mods explained that this happens so rarely as to make a big fighty debate about changing standards completely unwarranted.
posted by hermitosis at 10:39 AM on February 10, 2010


It's not that you can't say "fuck" in a crowded theater, but some folks would appreciate it if you wouldn't run down the aisle yelling "FUUUUUCK!!!" at the top of your lungs.

If you're going to use that analogy, you'd best indicate that MeFi is the XXX Kitty Palace.

However, I'm going to declare that if anybody is dismissed because of a tiny amount of "NSFW" text on their screen (like mere mention of body parts or sexual matters), then they were probably a useless employee in the first place, and management was just looking for a pretext to get rid of them.

This, so much.

You'd think in the present economy, people would care enough about holding onto their jobs that they wouldn't risk wasting their time browsing the internet instead of doing something useful, like learning new skills, doing a better job, or jacking off in the washroom. (The latter for the mental health benefits, of course.)
posted by five fresh fish at 10:55 AM on February 10, 2010


Please cite this research; all the research I've been made aware of indicates that personal browsing is a huge production-killer time suck.

These might be the same thing. sorry, in a hurry.

reuters
cnet
daily mail
posted by UbuRoivas at 10:59 AM on February 10, 2010




a huge production-killer time suck

There's always a time suck. If you disallow browsing, people don't work harder, they get up and talk to people instead of working.
posted by smackfu at 11:03 AM on February 10, 2010


(If people actually worked all the time, you would need a lot less employees.)
posted by smackfu at 11:03 AM on February 10, 2010


"Be aware of the potential content of the site and adjust your work-time surfing according to your own risk-management priorities" is about as close as we're gonna get, and even that's just a suggestion.

A modest proposal.

Is it possible that some kind of relevant reminder could pop-up while a new post is being made? That is, upon previewing a new post, we are already warned if a familiar URL has been identified (or not). What if, on the same basic screen, there's a brief reminder along the lines of:

"HAVE YOU DOUBLE-CHECKED THAT YOUR POST IS SUITABLE-FOR-WORK? IF NOT, A NSFW TAG WOULD BE APPRECIATED BY ALL INVOLVED."

Maybe not in all-caps.
posted by philip-random at 11:06 AM on February 10, 2010


Oh, and I'm entirely in favor of people fucking-the-dog at work (surfing MeFi, porn, Youtube, whatever).

How else will the World Communist Conspiracy succeed?
posted by philip-random at 11:09 AM on February 10, 2010


philip, that would seem to indicate that this is an enforced rule or at the very least a strong suggestion. I don't see anywhere in the mods' comments where they indicate that this is the case.

How about, in the rare cases in which someone oversteps a boundary in their post, the mods intervene and deal with it specifically. Or in other words, the way things are now?
posted by hermitosis at 11:10 AM on February 10, 2010


Is it possible that some kind of relevant reminder could pop-up...

No. It's one of those things that annoy people but that we're not going to moderate/fix. Other things on this list: typos, "ftfy", people asking obvious questions in AskMe, "this", the IMG tag, @replies, proper capitalization/grammar [within reason], repetitive Nazi/Hitler references, "I just lost the game", complaints about iPhones, complaints about complaints about iPhones, complains about Twitter, classism, "USian", people who talk about their dicks too much, male answer syndrome, people who complain about male answer syndrome.

Things that annoy people that we make an effort to address: racist/sexist/homphobic language, rape jokes, early threadshitting, broken links in current posts, "cunt", too-much-GRAR, people who complain about the dot in obituary threads.

Things that annoy people that we do what we can about without instituting policy: etiquette.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:13 AM on February 10, 2010 [10 favorites]


(WARNING: Comment NSFW) So what is the SFW way to ask if you like to be ejaculated upon the facial region without being horribly vague? (The previous comment was NSFW)

Hey Laydeez do u like mayonaise right on your grilled cheese sandwich or do prefer it on the side?
posted by toodleydoodley at 11:16 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


hiteleven: "I'm all for a discussion about the unspoken class system in Western society. But to denounce anyone raising minor points about the Meta content they sift through at work as uppity members of the bourgeois classes is overdoing it a bit."

NO JUSTICE, NO NSFW TAGS!

Really though that one dude started it when he said that eventually we'd all graduate to getting real jobs and then maybe we'd understand your pain. That effectively derailed the conversation and got people like me all excited to call people bougie.

In the end, we should all hold hands and embrace the fact that 99% of all metafilterites are decent sorts, even those of us whose workplaces are astonishingly bougie.
posted by kathrineg at 11:20 AM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


In the end, we should all hold hands and embrace the fact that 99% of all metafilterites are decent sorts,

I emphatically deny my decency.

also, is there gonna be a flameout or what, we're up to our collective asses in snow here in Queens and need some entertainment?
posted by jonmc at 11:24 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


even those of us whose workplaces are astonishingly bougie.

"bougie" is used as a pejorative against someone who is perceived to be attempting social class climbing. I've never seen it used as a direct synonym for the more staid "bourgeois".
posted by Burhanistan at 11:26 AM on February 10, 2010


I've never seen it used as a direct synonym for the more staid "bourgeois".

I have!
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:28 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyway, many of us worked pretty damn hard to get to a place where we have a nice office where we can then coast.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:29 AM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


Really though that one dude started it when he said that eventually we'd all graduate to getting real jobs and then maybe we'd understand your pain. That effectively derailed the conversation and got people like me all excited to call people bougie.

I think the OP was perhaps a bit glib, but I was recently informed (i.e. earlier in this thread) that MeTa is the forum for such bluntness, no?

Anyway, at least the post kept this thread alive...I'm still a bit peeved that my recent thread about KCL eliminating 22 humanities positions didn't result in more "Arts degrees are useless!" "No they're not!" kind of debate.
posted by hiteleven at 11:43 AM on February 10, 2010


Anyway, at least the post kept this thread alive...I'm still a bit peeved that my recent thread about KCL eliminating 22 humanities positions didn't result in more "Arts degrees are useless!" "No they're not!" kind of debate.

This is taking an odd and slightly sad turn.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:51 AM on February 10, 2010


There were a couple unusual things about that thread, both of which have already been pointed out.

(1) Using explicit wording and then saying "NSFW" is odd. Yeah, "it's a site for adults." But I'm not saying racy language should never appear on the site. I just wonder what the point is of warning people that the inside of the question is "NSFW" after using the language that that question used in its first sentence. As long as we're going to have "NSFW" warnings, I think the above-the-fold part should be relatively innocuous, e.g. "NSFW question about a particular sex act" (which would probably get just as many people to click through).

(2) The question simply asked whether the Mefites who were responding liked or disliked the activity. Did the OP say why she was asking it? Well, yeah, but her reason was that she and her husband were ... wondering if other people liked or disliked the activity. The question wasn't "He wants to do this but I have qualms about it -- how might we approach this?" It was just "Do you like this?" That doesn't really seem like a "problem to be solved." Is it OK because the husband as well as the OP was interested? Is it OK because it raises profound questions about gender relations? I thought that "let's survey the audience -- do you like this thing or not?" questions would generally be deleted, so I'm surprised the question was left up.
posted by Jaltcoh at 11:53 AM on February 10, 2010


"Arts degrees are useless!" "No they're not!" kind of debate.

Arts degrees are not useless, it's kind of nifty when your Wal-Mart cashier has a firm grasp of semiotics.
posted by jonmc at 11:55 AM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Really though that one dude started it when he said that eventually we'd all graduate to getting real jobs

Actually, this one dude suggested that some people would graduate into more traditional work environments. I chose the words carefully. Some will. It's a fact, not a judgment.

And then one girl decided to go on a let them eat cake rant and get decide that the class war needed to be fought right here, right now, with a side helping of rage issues to boot.
posted by MuffinMan at 11:57 AM on February 10, 2010


Bourgeois by itself is a bit of a pejorative jab against the middle class, yeah? Although the shortening can be problematic when I don't know who I'm talking to so good point, Burhanistan.

also, is there gonna be a flameout or what, we're up to our collective asses in snow here in Queens and need some entertainment?


I got a snow day off from work so theoretically I could bust out some dramatic fireworks with gusto but I'm in a more hugging type mood now anyway.
posted by kathrineg at 12:01 PM on February 10, 2010


jonmc : I emphatically deny my decency.

1%er
posted by quin at 12:05 PM on February 10, 2010


MuffinMan: "And then one girl decided to go on a let them eat cake rant and get decide that the class war needed to be fought right here, right now, with a side helping of rage issues to boot."

A girl? Really? Is she here in Metatalk? If so, please let the mods know that there's a minor with "rage issues" running around and disagreeing with you. Ridiculous! Kids these days!
posted by kathrineg at 12:06 PM on February 10, 2010 [6 favorites]


I just wonder what the point is of warning people that the inside of the question is "NSFW" after using the language that that question used in its first sentence.

It's definitely on the silly side, yeah, though that's about all there is to say about it. I could speculate the poster was thinking "hey, I should warn people that there will likely be a high volume of dirty talk inside this thread!", which is as far as that goes a thoughtful gesture even if it sort of clashes on the face of it with what they put outside.

I thought that "let's survey the audience -- do you like this thing or not?" questions would generally be deleted, so I'm surprised the question was left up.

I took this one as being on the okay side of that fuzzy line—the underlying "I am trying to understand how people feel about this and why" notion isn't hard to read into it, and a lot of the time we'll err on the side of being generous about that stuff if we think it'll work out okay. But it's fuzzy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:07 PM on February 10, 2010


It's a fact, not a judgment.

You don't see any implied judgment in using "graduate"?
posted by CKmtl at 12:08 PM on February 10, 2010


Yes, we would prefer to have a diverse MeFi. We're not all young and male and white and American.

Yes, you should be responsible for behaving appropriately at work.

Even so, I prefer my posts to be articulate, witty, and PG, at most, and adding (NSFW) is easy and polite.

and, my own little snark. There are many thousands of our (global) neighbors in Haiti living in tents(if they're lucky), with uncertain access to water, food and sanitation. The mere fact of our participation on a website is proof that we are, by global standards, wealthy. Pissing matches about who can afford what aren't helpful. Hugs are helpful.
posted by theora55 at 12:09 PM on February 10, 2010


Hugs are helpful.

No offense, but not really. They may make the hugger and hugee feel OK, but the world is still fucked up.
posted by jonmc at 12:12 PM on February 10, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, and here's the thing. If the post had used the word "come" instead of the slightly less-ambiguous "cum" we wouldn't even be having this discussion because work word filters wouldn't find it unless they were using adjacency operators in which case you're fucked because your filter is basically sentient. [COME N3 FACE]

So as a thought exercise. What about the word come? It's only through actually reading the sentence, something filters don't do, that you can even know something you're reading is "dirty talk" And extending this, what about the word ejaculate? As a noun or as a verb? If someone is concerned about... I don't know... the consistency of their ejaculate should they put the word below the fold because it might imply that the person... jerked off? I'm just not sure how far to go with this, and I guess that explains why we don't want to get into a situation where we're mandating this sort of thing because there's no good line after "please try to be considerate"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:14 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


The fact that any of you would waste hugs on other mefites when there are Haitians to hug makes me want to puke.

PS, if any Haitians lose their jobs because of reading MetaFilter, we are all damned.
posted by hermitosis at 12:20 PM on February 10, 2010


A girl? Really?

Well, a lady would never use NSFW words.

Anyway, I'm not a dude. I'm singularly crap at both surfing and skateboarding.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:24 PM on February 10, 2010


You don't see any implied judgment in using "graduate"?

Let's be honest with ourselves here: though a straight reading of Wells depicts the relationship as farmers/livestock, wasn't the Morlocks' eating of the Eloi a metaphor for the former's desire to actually be the latter?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:38 PM on February 10, 2010


Yesterday, i went to my bar in the city to get my drink on before the blizzard and they told me tha they had good news and bad news. The good news is that had plenty of JD. The bad news was that during the Superbowl, some maniac had destroyed the jukebox. I asked if I could hook my iPod up and put it on shuffle instead. They said yes and we all ahd us a time. That's some kind of fucking honor, dude.
posted by jonmc at 12:51 PM on February 10, 2010 [4 favorites]


Wouldn't it be cheaper to sit at home and drink and listen to your iPod there?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:52 PM on February 10, 2010


I just wonder what the point is of warning people that the inside of the question is "NSFW" after using the language that that question used in its first sentence.

well, I was gonna lock up the barn, but the horses hadn't gotten out yet...
posted by toodleydoodley at 12:53 PM on February 10, 2010


how strange that so many see no potentially beneficial workplace application of MetaFilter as worthy of suppressing HR-law-violating text strings.

that's the only reason I had to stop sharing it as a resource at work. didn't bother me, but could bother other people being given the resource or the people near them able to look at their screen. nothing to do with bosses walking through or even text-crawling filters.

it's not "goofing off" if you're using it as a reference, and that's the thing I wish could be advocated and supported. it's a terrific tool for informing people and giving them another library of information.

the whole "we're ADULTS!" thing rings a little hollow when it's so easy to just be bit more subtle on the front pages. it's more like "we can act like HIGH SCHOOLERS if we want! BOOBIES! COCK! PUSSY!"

acting like an adult doesn't seem like much of an ask.
posted by batmonkey at 12:55 PM on February 10, 2010


Ladies: do you prefer to have your barn locked up before or after the horses have gotten out?
posted by 23skidoo at 12:55 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wouldn't it be cheaper to sit at home and drink and listen to your iPod there?

Yes, but then I'd miss the company of my bar buddies and my bar has a special called the Redneck Picnic (a shot of JD and a can of Bud) for six bucks and my bartender is a drummer who brings his drumpad and stix to the bar. He kept up with "TSOP" by MFSB when it came on which is impressive and I got to grab a couple chilicheesekrauts at Papaya Dog on the way home.

Some of us like going out is what I'm saying.
posted by jonmc at 12:57 PM on February 10, 2010



the whole "we're ADULTS!" thing rings a little hollow when it's so easy to just be bit more subtle on the front pages. it's more like "we can act like HIGH SCHOOLERS if we want! BOOBIES! COCK! PUSSY!"

acting like an adult doesn't seem like much of an ask.


I'd like anyone who persists in this kind of argument to start linking to examples of this kind of immature behavior.

The mods said before that part of why this is unenforceable is that nearly all content can only be moderate AFTER it's posted, which means no matter what, there is always a chance that you'll run across something profane before it has been moderated. Which is why you should presume NSFW. Changing the way content is posted and moderated would be a massive overhaul, for something that is an incredibly minor problem.

The adult content on the front page is subtle, for the most part. I don't get what you think the problem is, unless you and I get two very different versions of the site.
posted by hermitosis at 1:06 PM on February 10, 2010


This, I think, shows that the past week or so has been particularly notable for adult-themed postings, with often unsubtle fp questions. I'm saying that these are all inappropriate -- what I am saying is that this is probably what prompted my question.

The first anon post of Jan. 26, however, does show how such a question can be handled with more care...the ironic thing being that, inside the fold, the OP insists on using incredibly vague language.
posted by hiteleven at 1:19 PM on February 10, 2010


OH SHIT — EYE HERPES
posted by blasdelf at 1:32 PM on February 10, 2010


Arts degrees are not useless, it's kind of nifty when your Wal-Mart cashier has a firm grasp of semiotics.

Don't make me deconstruct you townie!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:15 PM on February 10, 2010


I don't want to derail the thread with another spoiler, but if you watch the director's cut, Citizen Kane actually had a green card the whole time.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:18 PM on February 10, 2010


Bourgeois by itself is a bit of a pejorative jab against the middle class, yeah?

Upper middle class.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:27 PM on February 10, 2010


The first anon post of Jan. 26, however, does show how such a question can be handled with more care...the ironic thing being that, inside the fold, the OP insists on using incredibly vague language.

i assume you mean the cunnilingus/analingus question - and therein lies one of the problems. that thread was unneccesarily complicated and talky because the OP didn't specify what the fuck they were talking about. i mean, it could be talking about licking armpits for all we know. their need to be polite/prudish/vague hurt their ability to get succinct answers.

besides "nsfw question within" above the fold, what else do you suggest for the facials question (keeping in mind that the OP didn't even know there was a word to describe the act)? would you have been more okay with ejaculate?

i think there might be a bit of confirmation bias going on about your point that there have been an above average number of NSFW type ask me's in the last week. november and october both had more NSFW questions than january, december and september had less. february is presently sitting at 10, which puts on pretty much on schedule to end up with 20-30 questions by the 28th, right in line with the last few months.

also: to those complaining about NSFW content in URLs - you know that you can hover over the link and it'll give you the full URL before you click on it? you can even favorite a question from the front page without going in, so you can check it out on a safer computer later.
posted by nadawi at 3:05 PM on February 10, 2010


Ugh...in my previous post, I meant to say "I'm not saying that these are all inappropriate". Hopefully everyone got my meaning anyway.
posted by hiteleven at 3:06 PM on February 10, 2010


particularly notable for adult-themed postings, with often unsubtle fp questions.

Okay, above the fold "dirty" words, since 2010...

     cum, dildo, blowjob

Words about sex, but not what most people would call "dirty"

     sexytime, orgasm, sperm sexed, lover, ejaculate, vagina, penis, aphrodisiac, lust, kinx, sexual, heterosexual, vaginismus, sadistic

This is literally three dirty words in six weeks' time. This is what I would call subtle. Put another way, this is not a situation that we see in any way as being a problem.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:08 PM on February 10, 2010 [2 favorites]


cum, dildo, blowjob

paging haiku pros
posted by found missing at 3:13 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


besides "nsfw question within" above the fold, what else do you suggest for the facials question (keeping in mind that the OP didn't even know there was a word to describe the act)? would you have been more okay with ejaculate?

i think there might be a bit of confirmation bias going on about your point that there have been an above average number of NSFW type ask me's in the last week. november and october both had more NSFW questions than january, december and september had less. february is presently sitting at 10, which puts on pretty much on schedule to end up with 20-30 questions by the 28th, right in line with the last few months.


I've stepped down from my previous position...I overreacted, but I have seen other boards turn into pure NSFW posts, and I think my post here was speaking from that concern (perhaps somewhat akin to previous MeTa post). But I understand the stand Meta takes on this issue much better now.

I'm impressed that my post led to both a month-by-month statistical tally (from you) as well as a "dirty word" count from jessamyn. Sorry to involve everyone in such messy work.
posted by hiteleven at 3:16 PM on February 10, 2010


I have seen other boards turn into pure NSFW posts, and I think my post here was speaking from that concern

i think the bigger concern is that the world at large might think we're a bunch of nerds who care more about computers than sex. :)

1946 posts tagged with computer
971 posts tagged with sex
posted by nadawi at 3:23 PM on February 10, 2010


i think the bigger concern is that the world at large might think we're a bunch of nerds who care more about computers than sex. :)

1946 posts tagged with computer
971 posts tagged with sex


The more important concern would be how many are tagged with both.
posted by hiteleven at 3:25 PM on February 10, 2010


haha - maybe we could create a perfect storm...

"i keep trying to have rough sex with my republican, vegetarian partner, but my declawed cat keeps laying on my keyboard and opening up all of my excel documents! should i get a mac?"
posted by nadawi at 3:28 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry to involve everyone in such messy work.

Consider bringing a towel to your next post.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:29 PM on February 10, 2010


acting like an adult doesn't seem like much of an ask.

It's funny when people use "ask" as a noun. Kinda like when I was 10, and the teacher would say "ride" and we would all just burst out laughing.
posted by bingo at 3:53 PM on February 10, 2010


I associate "ask" as a noun with fundraising... "then you move in for the ask"

Sorry to involve everyone in such messy work.

Telling people from town about what I do for a job is the hit of every potluck. It's really no problem.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:56 PM on February 10, 2010


There are people in that face-jism thread complaining about the spelling of the word cum. WTF?

cum
(v. and n.) seems to be a modern (by 1973) variant of the sexual sense of come that originated in pornographic writing, perhaps first in the noun sense. This "experience sexual orgasm" slang meaning of come (perhaps originally come off) is attested from 1650, in "Walking In A Meadowe Greene," in a folio of "loose songs" collected by Bishop Percy.

As a noun meaning "semen or other product of orgasm" it is on record from the 1920s.


Just sayin'. I'll add that cum is (IMO) preferable to come in that it is explicit (i.e. always synonymous with ejaculate, both v. and n.) rather than an ambiguous and bashful euphemism for a wide spectrum of orgasmic response.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:01 PM on February 10, 2010


"the whole "we're ADULTS!" thing rings a little hollow when it's so easy to just be bit more subtle on the front pages. it's more like "we can act like HIGH SCHOOLERS if we want! BOOBIES! COCK! PUSSY!""

Adults can deal with boobies, cock and pussy. High schoolers can't. The difference that shows that we're adults is that no one makes a big fuss about it.

Oh, wait.
posted by klangklangston at 5:49 PM on February 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: an exercise in racy porn writing for no other reason than to be obnoxious

Couldn't resist.

Also, somewhere in this thread there is a joke to be made about NSFW posts about the proper disposal of ejaculate and the use of a "professional white background" but I am not going to go there, quite.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:50 PM on February 10, 2010


- Arts degrees are not useless, it's kind of nifty when your Wal-Mart cashier has a firm grasp of semiotics.

- Don't make me deconstruct you townie!


y'all bougie twits need to clarify if you meant liberal arts or fine arts, goddammit
posted by toodleydoodley at 6:10 PM on February 10, 2010




When I think "to come", I think of this.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:46 PM on February 10, 2010 [5 favorites]


Telling hiteleven he shouldn't complain about NSFW above-the-fold because there isn't much NSFW above-the-fold ignores the possibility that the reason there isn't much NSFW a-t-f is because there is a general community sense that you don't post that kind of thing a-t-f, a community sense informed by exactly the type of complaint hiteleven is making.
posted by Mid at 7:39 PM on February 10, 2010


oh great, I suppose hiteleven taught Al Gore how to invent the internet too?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:44 PM on February 10, 2010


The egg came first.

(Obviously.)
posted by Sys Rq at 7:51 PM on February 10, 2010


The extremely short version is that Metafilter (including AskMe) is not safe for work,

There should be a Bring Metafilter To Work Day. It would be great, it would just follow you around, beanplating everything, but with an elitist attitude

"Why are saying you're "brown bagging it today" if you've got Tupperware? Did you know Tupperware isn't safe for the environment and are responsible for the near extinction of the flat footed snake mole? Oh, can I have your pie?"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:51 PM on February 10, 2010


oh great, I suppose hiteleven taught Al Gore how to invent the internet too?

No, but I did sell him his first carbon offsets so he could fly his private jet around and not feel so guilty about it.
posted by hiteleven at 7:54 PM on February 10, 2010


I'm not sure if I'm supposed to respond or if your comment is just your way of making armpit fart noises, but, no, I'm not saying that hiteleven was the "first" to make the point that above-the-fold NSFW might be less than desirable, either in a true fact sense or a "funny" Al Gore sense, I'm saying that many others have made the same point going back several years, which is how community behaviors are generally formed.

Or, to put it a little different, I really appreciate all the work the mods do, but it isn't as if this place starts every day as a raw sewer and we wait for the mods to edit the site to make it presentable. The baseline unmoderated site is a pretty good site.* That's because people are generally considerate of the community. That's a feedback-loop process that owes something to moderation but also owes something to people speaking up when they think that something crosses the line.

*The mods make it even better, yes.
posted by Mid at 7:56 PM on February 10, 2010


I don't know, if it wasn't for this thread I would never have found the Mefite Who Usually Recommends Vibrators, Asses, and Lube to almost any question asked.

Reading him is like poking a dead thing with a stick -- fascinating, but stay at arm's length and upwind.
posted by Sallyfur at 8:39 PM on February 10, 2010


Sometimes I read with children - other people's spawn - in the room. NSFW links off the site are not clicked, in case they take me to naughty picture that other people's children should not see while they are in my care.

What are they doing while I'm reading? Oh, their homework, playing with knives and fireworks, whatever....
posted by Lesser Shrew at 8:58 PM on February 10, 2010


When I think "to come", I think of this"

Repeated for fucking emphasis.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:15 PM on February 10, 2010


This is literally three dirty words in six weeks' time.

And at least two of those AskMes could be about Newfoundland geography.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:07 PM on February 10, 2010


I don't think it's a "problem", I just think we've a few folks here who like being shocking or who don't think about the possible further applications of the site and just say whatever. It's not something I think there should be extra moderation for. In fact, I think it's on the lowest priority list of things mods should be involved with.

It'd just be nice to have the "we can say whatever we want!" folks to see the other side of the idea, is all. Sure, you can say whatever you want. I love that, too. But being able to share MetaFilter at work or school isn't just about "goofing off", as that set seems to think.

It's about sharing a resource. Discovering that something so great has a sharing limit based on silly things like a subject that would break just about any company's most basic HR guidelines made me think about the other side of the "yay! (almost) anything's ok!" coin. And that was years ago.

Like I said: reading through the thread reminded me of that and it seemed vaguely relevant. I'm not trying to pick a fight or take someone to court or limit anyone's rights or give the mods more work. I just saw another side to it and thought it might make sense here.
posted by batmonkey at 10:28 PM on February 10, 2010


Apropos of nothing, here's Elyse Sewell's livejournal.

Bah. I'll raise you Brian Sewell fanfic (NSFW).
posted by tallus at 10:56 PM on February 10, 2010


Maybe we need http://bowdlerise.metafilter.com with all the rude words and refs. to facials taken out so that everything can be safe for corporate HR departments.
posted by SyntacticSugar at 4:31 AM on February 11, 2010


"However, I'm going to declare that if anybody is dismissed because of a tiny amount of "NSFW" text on their screen (like mere mention of body parts or sexual matters), then they were probably a useless employee in the first place, and management was just looking for a pretext to get rid of them."

Well, unless the above mentioned useless employee is that perpetually miserable useless employee tattler (let's call him Al B.) who hates everyone because they hate him because he hates everyone and who surreptitiously shoulder surfs and if he were to see NSFW text on your screen would tell on you to the HR lady at GiantCo and if she doesn't do something about it then it's her ass even though she couldn't care less what you do as long as you get your work done. Her policy is Ctrl + Tab when you hear someone (especially someone who I'll call Al B.) behind you or risk the possibility of no more company picnics.

Said as someone from the surf at work at your own peril camp who heeded the kind but gruff and probably alcoholic HR lady but if that miserable asshole (let's call him Al B.) had ever caught anyone with NSFW text on their screen would have marched his sorry little ass right to HR and tattled for sure. A person like that (who I'll call Al B.) would probably inspire a full-fledged conspiracy in his department that would take almost 5 months to finally get him written up the 3 times necessary to cause his termination, probably.

Sigh. 8 years.

posted by vapidave at 6:59 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


I think by and large people are either considerate or not pushing this envelope much. I htink most people generally get that if MeFi turns into a site that is NEVER not-safe-for-work then it will be a shame for a lot of people. I think the mechanism would be "okay someone in some filtering company decided that MeFi is racy enough to put it behind a filter labeled "sexy talk" or something..." and that day hasn't happened yet and some people are worried that it may.

I think both [all?] sides of this equation have a tendency to lapse into hyperbole that is not helpful. batmonkey, I know you're trying to meet in the middle on this, get people to see both sides but statements like this

like a subject that would break just about any company's most basic HR guidelines

to me is really where we part ways. This is not, at all, my impression. If surfing the web is already not against your HR rules, I have a hard time getting my head around the fact that surfing a website with the occasional dirty rules IS against those rules. It is possible I am sheltered from the horrid world of HR, or that you were exaggerating for effect, or that I misunderstood you.

I get that some people work places where they can't install Firefox and where their websurfing is simultaneously allowed and potentially monitored, but my feeling is the occasional swear word does not fall into this "against basic HR guidelines" category. The word "cum" has been in the NY Times twelve times this month [twice this week, summa cum laude and someone's "workshop cum store" (oy!)], dildo three times, and blowjob actually has only been in the paper nine times since 1851 if their search is to be believed.

So except for the occasional miscreant, I don't think people are saying "fuck you I'll say what I want when I want" but there's the world as we dream it and the world as it is. The world as it is says that all language on the site will be moderated after the fact, if at all. The world as we dream it says that... well it says a lot of different things. And I think part of this conflict is that the dividing line between our dream world and the world as it is, is what the moderators and individuals are going to do about it. I think we've been clear as mods what we're likely and willing to do, and I think then we're down to the individual people who make up the site what they're likely to do. How you then decide to work that out between you and your own personal HR person is up to you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:06 AM on February 11, 2010


I may have been unclear above. I think the concern on one side is that MeFi will run afoul of larger corporate filters and thus be unable to access at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:21 AM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


The word "cum" has been in the NY Times twelve times this month [twice this week, summa cum laude and someone's "workshop cum store" (oy!)], dildo three times, and blowjob actually has only been in the paper nine times since 1851 if their search is to be believed.

All occuring in 1998, perhaps?
posted by hiteleven at 9:55 AM on February 11, 2010


Maybe we need http://bowdlerise.metafilter.com with all the rude words and refs. to facials taken out so that everything can be safe for corporate HR departments.

this would actually make a great greasemonkey script
posted by toodleydoodley at 10:25 AM on February 11, 2010


Regarding "bougie," there can be a substantial racial element involved: "bougie," in some milieux, refers to African-American (and often specifically African-American women) social climbers. There is a strong sense of "putting on airs" involved. I've mostly heard it deployed as a criticism from members of African-American communities resentful of the social climber's tacit rejection of working-class ways in favor of something "better."

I don't mean that you meant any of the above, katherineg, and I definitely get that it's not the only context that it's used in, but since you say, "the shortening can be problematic when I don't know who I'm talking to," this could be another aspect of "bougie" you might want to consider. "High-toned" is the same way; it's usually innocent enough but sometimes it carries more than just class weight.
posted by breezeway at 10:52 AM on February 11, 2010


"I just think we've a few folks here who like being shocking or who don't think about the possible further applications of the site and just say whatever."

And I think that there are a few folks who are uptight prisses, and I don't see the utility in pretending that their draconian HR policies should dictate my behavior. Further, these uptight ninnies tend not to just say, hey, I'd appreciate if that language wasn't used and realize that that's pretty much the end of it—instead, they feel the need to impugn the character and intelligence of other users in a passive-aggressive way.

Oh, no, I don't mean you—just like I'm sure you don't mean that when I say "fuck" it's purely to be shocking or out of an intentional lack of regard for your ability to pass around AskMe links at work. How could you have ever thought I meant you?
posted by klangklangston at 5:54 PM on February 11, 2010


People really enjoyed the "why I was searching the New York Times for the word cum" discussion over dinner tonight. Much nicer than the actual "dudes arrested for child pornography" articles that were in our newspaper.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:58 PM on February 11, 2010 [1 favorite]


"Or, to put it a little different, I really appreciate all the work the mods do, but it isn't as if this place starts every day as a raw sewer and we wait for the mods to edit the site to make it presentable. The baseline unmoderated site is a pretty good site.* That's because people are generally considerate of the community. That's a feedback-loop process that owes something to moderation but also owes something to people speaking up when they think that something crosses the line."

Given that this argument's a bit tautological to begin with—that community standards exist because they're community standards, or worse, are justified because they're community standards—I hope you can realize why for someone with a different point of view, say, someone who believes that Dick Gregory's book "Nigger" should be recommended more often, even at the risk of including it in URLs, or that the Fuck Buttons made one of last year's best albums, would then feel obligated to argue—and might even do so in a brusque and vulgar manner in order to emphasize the rhetorical utility—that fuck and shit and piss and come and blowjob and cocksucker and pussy and fart and asshole should all by good goddamn be available to us, and that having that freedom is more important than whether or not your preferred method of work surfing is copacetic. And a person like that might resent having to repeatedly be the base bulwark against the bullshit that gets trotted out again and again. If you're going to argue from popularity, that because the community doesn't often have swearing above the fold, why, it seems like I need to make sure that I have a lot more legitimate posts that start out with a figurative "FUCK THAT SHIT" so that this fallacy no longer appeals to you.
posted by klangklangston at 6:04 PM on February 11, 2010


Klang -

1. I think you're great, so I've got no desire to flame this back and forth for the next six months.

2. I don't think there's anything tautological in what I'm saying: there are some community standards here that are formed by a discussion among community members about what is appropriate or not appropriate for the site.

3. My main point, probably not articulately put, was that it was totally cool for hiteleven to make this post because it is through discussions like this one that community norms get set. I was mainly reacting against people who were saying things like: NSFW above-the-fold is not a big problem, so STFU.

4. I don't understand community norms to be hard-and-fast rules written in stone. Even if, generally, it is not cool to post a bunch of obscenity above-the-fold, it is possible that strong language is warranted on occasion by a particular political/artistic/whatever point the poster is trying to make. That's fine. Where the community norm comes in (and where hiteleven's post comes in) is to make people think twice about posting otherwise offensive speech, so that we are (hopefully) left with only good, justified uses of such speech.

5. The whole process of deciding what is objectionable and what is justified is tremendously messy, subjective, and subject to a give-and-take; I see a post like hiteleven's as part of that give-and-take.

6. I think one of the downsides of adding additional mods to MeFi over the years (counterbalanced by many many upsides) is a de-emphasis of the community norm/self-policing ethic that used to prevail (or used to fail, I suppose, depending on your point of view and/or nostalgia level). When someone like hiteleven says "I don't think you should do that," we immediately launch into a discussion of how the mods should or shouldn't enforce particular rules. To my mind, that's a little misguided -- the fact that a user finds something objectionable is a valid consideration in itself, divorced from whether or not the mods can or will enforce a particular rule. If a lot of users find something objectionable, that should have some force in a community like this one, even if there is no rule that a mod can enforce. And I think it does have force -- as witnessed by the fact that, generally, people don't go crazy with what they post above the fold.

7. The beauty of community norms is that they change and, if you don't agree with them, you are free to post all of your crazy swear words or whatever and debate anybody who objects. That's all well and good and totally part of the system I think we have here.
posted by Mid at 6:57 PM on February 12, 2010


Maybe we need http://bowdlerise.metafilter.com with all the rude words and refs. to facials taken out so that everything can be safe for corporate HR departments.

this would actually make a great greasemonkey script


Q. My boyfriend baked a cupcake in my unicorn and now my cat is all rainbows and about the size of a portobello mushroom. Other than inviting his friend over for a plate of beans and implementing a system of declawing what can we do in the future to avoid wendell in my bunnies that doesn't involve further insertions of correlation, or causation by local authorities? We've already gone online to shop for confirmation bias but the law says we can't buy food out of the trunk of a car in our home state. Any and all suggestions are welcome, including favorites if you know how to dispose of a corpse on your own lawn.
posted by UbuRoivas at 7:20 PM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


...what can we do in the future to avoid wendell in my bunnies that doesn't involve further insertions of correlation, or causation by local authorities?

Buy a handy dandy home circumcision kit. Then, when he falls asleep....
posted by zarq at 7:28 PM on February 12, 2010


Any and all suggestions are welcome, including favorites if you know how to dispose of a corpse on your own lawn.

my google-fu is failing me; why don't you ask Godwin?
posted by toodleydoodley at 7:08 PM on February 14, 2010


toodleydoodley: The "dispose of a corpse" reference is kind of an in joke around here. Have you seen this? See the only "best answer" in the entire thread, then stan chin's comment under it. :)
posted by zarq at 11:35 AM on February 15, 2010


Okay I'm at comment 10:05PM and I see that Crabby Appleton has favorited hiteleven's comment about 50% of the responses hiteleven got "before he returned" [hee] were "jack-assedness" [ooh hee hee hee] and I am practically shooting in my own face right now..with GL[h]EE.

I don't know where this is going to go but I feel like a kid who just started stringing popcorn at Christmas from a big delicious bowl of popcorn. So much fun. So much to eat!

I mean I am GIDDY with excitement about what is about to follow.

CAN I PAY MY $5 AGAIN?! I REALLY WANT TO! I FEEL NAUGHTY AND I WANT TO PAAAA-AAAAY!

I mean right now hiteleven doesn't have any idea that his coffee at this amazingly upscale website has been switched with INSTANT FLAMEOUT!! I CANT HARDLY WATCH!

But but...I just have to!!
posted by humannaire at 12:37 AM on February 17, 2010


ooopsy oopsy ooopsy 10:05AM

oh glee!
posted by humannaire at 12:39 AM on February 17, 2010


Well. That sucked. Total let down on all levels...except hiteleven sounds like an okay sort after all, so that's cool. Actually.

One bit of weirdness, however: Kathrineg's account was disabled. Wonder what that's about?
posted by humannaire at 1:20 AM on February 17, 2010


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