Delta loses dog. May 8, 2010 11:45 AM   Subscribe

I can see Cortex's point in deeming my FPP about Delta airlines losing a dog as thin. But I was hoping that a MeFite local to Mexico City might have some suggestions about findings the dog. Delta claim that it escaped. Isn't it worth leaving the post, to have suggestions about locating it? Perhaps I should have made this clearer in my post?
posted by Susurration to Etiquette/Policy at 11:45 AM (43 comments total)

If you want advice on finding a dog, maybe you should head over to AskMe.
posted by Help, I can't stop talking! at 11:47 AM on May 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

But I was hoping that a MeFite local to Mexico City might have some suggestions about findings the dog. Delta claim that it escaped. Isn't it worth leaving the post, to have suggestions about locating it?

no. That is really, really not what the front page is for. Like I said, it's bad news, but it's not post-worthy just by virtue of that and mefi is not a staging ground for searches and whatnot. Unless there's something else going on, that really isn't gonna fly here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:51 AM on May 8, 2010

Yeah, askme is really the place if that's what you're looking for. It's a shitty thing that happened, but it wasn't clear what there may have been to discuss except "wow, that sucks"

you can link to the deleted question in askme if you wanted to ask something there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:52 AM on May 8, 2010

OK - I take the point. My original idea was that publicizing this might get the dog found. Many thanks for the suggestions.
posted by Susurration at 11:57 AM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Sure. Some local mefite will head out into the sleepy little village called Mexico City and go calling around for the lost dog. Should be a snap to find.
posted by telstar at 12:37 PM on May 8, 2010 [15 favorites]

Now, if the dog was in a homemade hot air balloon we can revisit it.
posted by DU at 12:38 PM on May 8, 2010 [8 favorites]

Via that Consumerist page: Josiah says the dog was vaccinated four days prior to the flight for rabies, kennel cough, and giardia, and given two other drugs, Canigen L Canigen MHA2PPi. He says the vet told him that the dog only needed to be vaccinated 3 days before flying.

It should be noted that the rabies vaccine is not considered effective until 30 days after administration.

However, even if this was a factor, Josiah says he was not asked to show any proof of the dog's shots and Delta personnel told that this would be asked for in customs in Detroit.

I'm wondering if someone at Delta gave him bad information about the process of importing a dog from Mexico to Canada via the US, which I can only imagine is a complicated bureaucratic ordeal.
posted by box at 12:48 PM on May 8, 2010

No worries, Susurration. I've read Metafilter for years and years, and I'm still puzzled by the definition of a thin post. For example, how is the following not a thin post:

Mr. Peacock

Now that's not to say I didn't enjoy puny human's contribution, but the criteria for what is worthy does appear to be wholly arbitrary.
posted by belvidere at 12:49 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Losing a dog sounds like a euphemism for something, but I'm not sure what.
posted by killdevil at 12:51 PM on May 8, 2010

That's easy. Just think tater instead of dog, and you'll get it.
posted by found missing at 12:54 PM on May 8, 2010

belvidere, I couldn't agree more that SLYT Don Knotts is the veritable razor's edge of thinness (the best part being the test pattern) but a lost dog is just not what the front page is for. Now a lost camera found in a taxi with a blog...
posted by fixedgear at 1:00 PM on May 8, 2010

I'm sure the owner of the dog reads MeFi and is looking here for advice.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:08 PM on May 8, 2010

my friend's dog was recently lost
his name was Paco
he was 10 years old
sometimes I think my friend had many dogs
he always named them Paco, and they were colored alike
maybe there wasn't one Paco
maybe he kept replacing the lost ones and said it was the same one
that would explain how Paco kept changing sizes but I don't know
I am not a dog expert
posted by peeedro at 1:13 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

For example, how is the following not a thin post:

It is a thin post. Its thinness does not validate the delta dog post, though. It took me a while to really understand this, myself, but the truth is that post deletion is not a compare/contrast affair.
posted by shmegegge at 1:20 PM on May 8, 2010 [4 favorites]

Yeah the Don Knotts post drove me crazy. I flagged and (mostly) moved on, but really, if everyone made a FPP every time they came across an offbeat or lesser-known movie they'd never heard of before, we'd never see anything else on MetaFilter. I can't believe that didn't get deleted.
posted by hermitosis at 1:33 PM on May 8, 2010

Yeah, what makes a good post is a lot more complicated than just a continuum between thin and not-thin (thick? rich? there's not really a good complement here). The thinness of a post is thus kind of a context-sensitive descriptor; we'd use a more precise word or words if there was a ready expression that lent itself better to the idea we're trying to communicate in a short deletion reason.

The main problem with this post is the kind of thing it is, which is what Sussuration with what we readily acknowledge as good intentions meant it to be: a means of using the front page to help find someone's dog. The front page is not a bulletin board or a PSA system or a staging ground for activism; we generally don't do Amber Alerts, either, or random fundraisers, or petition-signing campaigns or so forth. It's not that any of those are bad things, but they're not what Metafilter is intended to be for and a post like that is pretty much going to get deleted.

Now, if there was a substantial post with a great article on or a good round of links about e.g. Delta's or air carriers in general's handling of lost pets or pet transport or luggage handling stuff, that'd probably be fine for mefi and an incidental mention of this incident as part of it would if done with restraint (as in, as an aside rather than the motivating reason for the post, or maybe better yet just as a followup comment in the thread), that'd work okay.

"Thinness" in the deletion reason is shorthand, and as with most deletion reasons we're trying to give a general idea of what's going on but it's not always going to be super thorough and right now it's going to be even less so than normal since we have very little genuine chilling-at-a-computer time this weekend (I'm taking a little right now while I digest lunch) and are mostly stealing time from cool stuff at this event we're at to check mail and peck at our iPhone keyboards to respond to stuff that really needs it.

A thin youtube post is its own sort of discussion, I'm pretty middling on the things a lot of the time but the way that they tend to function more as "here's a neat/weird bit of media I found" makes them more of an oddity or a bauble than e.g. an news-of-the-weird blurb or an out-of-place bit of activism like this Paco thing.

So while I can totally understand and at times deeply sympathize with the "really, it's a youtube video of x?" reaction, it's apples to these oranges and a straight-across comparison really doesn't make a lot of sense. We don't judge every post on one global "how important (using some unstated complicated heuristic for modeling importance, I guess) and auto-delete the posts below, and auto-condone the posts above, some specific threshold. A news/activism site running a Top Stories sort of format, that'd probably make good sense, but that's not at all what Mefi is.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:37 PM on May 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

I flagged and (mostly) moved on, but really, if everyone made a FPP every time they came across an offbeat or lesser-known movie they'd never heard of before, we'd never see anything else on MetaFilter.

True, and if it seemed like that really kicked up to a crazy degree we'd basically step in and start culling the herd to get it back down to normalish levels. It's something we've done on a couple occasions in the past, in part by talking to specific users if they were like shotgunning weak links on a daily basis or whatever.

But that's categorical imperative stuff. If everyone made an FPP every time they came across x where x is any sort of topic or post, that'd be just as much of a problem, and our take is pretty much the same generically: when we see what seems like a weird rash of something, we're likely to start cutting out the less-strong posts and asking people to try harder.

But "neat piece of video media" is more genre than than topic, and seems to go over fairly well at a bit higher aggregate volume than posts about any very specific topic. So while I think we probably see more SLYT-posts-per-day on average than posts-about-topic-x-per-day, I think that's always going to be sort of the way it balances out. Ultimately, as long as there's a reasonable degree of variety and not too much hyper-posting about one single specific topic or another, that's kind of how the front page works. Variety, spice of life, something for everyone and everyone can find some thing they don't like either.

I can't believe that didn't get deleted.

You were one of two people total who flagged it, and we didn't hear from anybody by other channels to let us know that there was some sort of problem. There wasn't a lot of reason to take a particularly hard look at it, basically. Again: I often am less than thrilled by those sorts of posts, but me or Jess or Matt not taking a particular interest in something isn't gonna get it deleted.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:46 PM on May 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

I like FPPs like I like pizza, thin and with a buttery crust.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:49 PM on May 8, 2010

Thanks cortex! Noted.
posted by hermitosis at 1:55 PM on May 8, 2010

Cortex, how about thin versus ... girthy? As in, "My, what a girthy post you have."
posted by adipocere at 1:59 PM on May 8, 2010 [2 favorites]

Susurration, having checked out your post about the homeless man and his dog, I can see where you were going with this post. Usually though, that kind of magic just happens on its own.
posted by snsranch at 2:01 PM on May 8, 2010

Yes. Thank you, cortex. You're a good egg. Now go and enjoy your lunch!
posted by belvidere at 2:03 PM on May 8, 2010

I am admittedly not a dog person, but I think I would prefer someone losing my entire dog than just a part of it.

But then again, maybe it depends on which part.

No, probably best just to lose the whole thing.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 2:04 PM on May 8, 2010

FWIW, I liked the Don Knotts SLYT. [/was saying Boo-urns.]
posted by mreleganza at 2:05 PM on May 8, 2010

Unless there's something else going on, that really isn't gonna fly here.

posted by euphorb at 2:14 PM on May 8, 2010

I think you confused metafilter with a telephone pole in Mexico City.
posted by andoatnp at 3:30 PM on May 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

Delta abused my dog on our way home from Europe. They're bastards, plain and simple, and their employees in New York City should all be thrown into meat grinders (it's been 12 years and I'm still angry, can you tell? even though I'm looking down at her happy little face right now...oh, and the pilot involved slammed his door on a bunch of little old ladies who stepped up to advocate for us...what an ass).

But it's perhaps not FPP-worthy to post something that specific and single-case-y. Cortex's more detailed suggestion above, sure, but not that.

(Ok, ok, make the "eponysterical" jokes, but if it was your wee dachshund puppy that got abused, you'd still be pissed off, too).
posted by at 3:36 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just made my girlfriend her first Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich. The sounds of pleasure are my reward. And maybe something else. Later.
posted by Splunge at 3:39 PM on May 8, 2010

Is your girlfriend by any chance a small dog named Paco?
posted by found missing at 3:45 PM on May 8, 2010 [3 favorites]

Wtf is up with all the twittering in Metatalk lately? I took a shit and had some noodles, ok?

Ur doin' it wrong.
posted by Splunge at 3:51 PM on May 8, 2010

One productive thing that I'd like to take away from this is that perhaps we need better flags which are more explicit and more varied.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:55 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

Doggone airlines.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:22 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'd sooner catapalt my animals interstate or overseas than trust them to a cracked-up baggage handler.
posted by turgid dahlia at 4:37 PM on May 8, 2010 [1 favorite]

I bet those guys from Soul Asylum aren't doing much these days. Maybe they could do a comeback video with dogs instead of kids.
posted by drjimmy11 at 4:44 PM on May 8, 2010

fire&wings: Metafilter bulletin board?

Yeah I thought that was a little silly too.. on the other hand, it was a pretty interesting bit of news in its own right, even if it was framed a little weird. As opposed to a lost pet, which surely happens daily all over the world. Seems to me the interesting part of this lost pet story is that it was Delta doing the losing, which is really just GRARfilter. We all hate airlines, right?

The idea of a random mefite finding a dog Somewhere In Mexico City is sort of ridiculous. This post made me ponder how I would go about finding a lost dog in my own city (SF) which is only 50 sq/mi, and I came up totally blank. Mexico City -- the largest city in the country -- is something like 3000 square miles (including metro, but still 1500 within city limits). Sure you could improve that if you knew the terminal it was allegedly lost at by narrowing the search radius from the terminal by how fast a dog could travel on foot in that time. It would still be a daunting task. Impossible, almost.

On top of that, I am skeptical of the notion that the dog popped out of its carrier at this particular terminal and ran off. All of these possibilities seem more likely to me: 1) It was accidentally shipped somewhere incorrectly and no one at delta has any idea where, 2) someone stole this piece of cargo, 3) dog died and Delta doesn't want to own up.
posted by cj_ at 11:30 PM on May 8, 2010

(I mean, dog cages latch. Why would an employee unlatch the carrier?)
posted by cj_ at 11:32 PM on May 8, 2010

Yeah I thought that was a little silly too

I did too, really, but weighing the scope of the infrastructural event (basically all of the the central Boston area fucked by the failure of the system they were using as a BACKUP for the already-fucked primary system, or something like that?) it felt like it came in just his side of the line and there wasn't an overt community response to the contrary. I wouldn't want to see a string of Water Problems posts, but as a one off it came off as kind of interestingly big and not super problematic. Grey area stuff in any case though, definitely.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:23 AM on May 9, 2010

The opposite of a thin post is obviously a phat post, yo.
posted by ctmf at 7:48 AM on May 9, 2010

Posts about hip-hop culture always go well.
posted by box at 8:35 AM on May 9, 2010

I'm a mefite who lives in Mexico City. Forget about the dog. It will be impossible to find it.
There are always nice people who feed or adopt stray dogs (my mother is one of them), so let's hope he finds a nice home.
posted by clearlydemon at 12:11 PM on May 9, 2010

I will find my frog.
posted by qvantamon at 3:42 AM on May 10, 2010 [2 favorites]

I just saw a story about this on the local news. Delta says they'll pay out a whopping $200 credit as their way of saying they're sorry for losing the perrito. What a bunch of dicks.
posted by birdherder at 5:42 AM on May 11, 2010

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