This is ugly August 21, 2010 9:56 AM   Subscribe

The Julian Assange thread should never have existed in the first place, and should be closed now that it's turning nasty.

It was RumorFilter to begin with, and now it's devolved into ugliness.
posted by Optamystic to Etiquette/Policy at 9:56 AM (205 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

It wasn't RumorFilter. There was a warrant for his arrest.
posted by ODiV at 9:58 AM on August 21, 2010


Yes, but beyond that, not much was known. Either way, it's gotten ugly in there.
posted by Optamystic at 9:59 AM on August 21, 2010


mathowie made the first comment so obviously he disagrees on the "never have existed in the first place".

What the heck was that thread that had multiple people coming in breathless to condemn someone for something that never happened (It got a meta too). Whatever it was this thread like that one should end up outing a few people who don't read the comments.
posted by Mitheral at 10:02 AM on August 21, 2010


I'm not a big fan of NewsFilter but as NewsFilter goes it was broadly sourced and noteworthy. The thread is also not particularly nasty as these kinds of threads go.
posted by Justinian at 10:03 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Threads on the blue don't get closed.
posted by graventy at 10:03 AM on August 21, 2010


I left a note I should never have to leave in a MeFi thread "quit calling each other rapists." If the thread can't self-correct we should probably axe it. I'm going to try to find cortex.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:03 AM on August 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


I don't think that's a fair characterization of my comment which got deleted but, hey, I already dailed it back so no biggie.
posted by Justinian at 10:08 AM on August 21, 2010


I'm going to try to find cortex.

He is busy with BP plotting a CIA attempt to frame you for bank robbery.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:08 AM on August 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


Whatever it was this thread like that one should end up outing a few people who don't read the comments.

We've got some new candidates just now reposting in the FPP/thread the news that charges have been dropped.
posted by ericb at 10:09 AM on August 21, 2010


Yeah, that's a completely ridiculous thread. This isn't a poll but deleting the thread seems right. The only thing left now is fighting over who said what and what they meant when they said it. There's no way anything good can come out of that thread.
posted by Kattullus at 10:10 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


That thread has skew kvinnosyn problems.
posted by Meatbomb at 10:12 AM on August 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I don't really care whether the thread gets deleted but honestly it doesn't seem all that heated, really except for a few intemperate comments earlier.
posted by Justinian at 10:14 AM on August 21, 2010


Too bad you have a thread casually throwing around terms like "rape", "sluts", and "fucking a slave". Pretty nasty.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:14 AM on August 21, 2010


Wait, why don't you think the thread should have existed? Even without the sudden twist ending, where the charges were so quickly dropped, it's certainly a valid topic for discussion. Seriously, I find your pronouncement on the subject baffling. Your justification that it's RumorFilter is factually wrong, and as for your claim of ugliness, that thread is more like merely homely.
posted by Asparagirl at 10:15 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


furiousxgeorge: “He is busy with BP plotting a CIA attempt to frame you for bank robbery.”

That's nonsense. I have it on good authority that Blazecock Pileon is a KGB man.
posted by koeselitz at 10:17 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh, I forgot about the Thomas Jefferson derail. Yeah, that was kind of nasty.
posted by Justinian at 10:18 AM on August 21, 2010


Eh, just an opinion.
posted by Optamystic at 10:18 AM on August 21, 2010


I agree that it should be closed. There's no real story there now that the warrant has been rescinded, and we already have several open threads about WikiLeaks anyway.
posted by homunculus at 10:19 AM on August 21, 2010


Yeah, I participated a little, but reading the rest of the thread sort of wish I hadn't (although I didn't say anything I'm really ashamed of at all). Maybe this one should die a quiet death.
posted by koeselitz at 10:20 AM on August 21, 2010


There's no real story there now that the warrant has been rescinded,

You really think so? To me that just makes the story bigger. Public Enemy #1 of the US Army has warrant issued and then rescinded within hours is not "no real story" it is "really big story".
posted by Justinian at 10:20 AM on August 21, 2010 [15 favorites]


*beans...get yo' hot plate o' beans... $20 SAIT*
posted by The Lady is a designer at 10:22 AM on August 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


The story behind the story may be interesting, but that post and the ensuing conversation were an unfunny joke from the first comment on down.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:22 AM on August 21, 2010


I was cleaning my house!

I gotta agree with the feeling that the thread has been pretty crappy. It may be a subjective issue but, like Jess said in the note in the thread, it's hard to believe we even have to have the "please don't rhetorically accuse your fellow site members of being rapists" discussion.

I wasn't following the thread personally, so I've only caught up by glancing through. If shit is cooling down, okay, but man that was not great.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:24 AM on August 21, 2010


That's the closest I think I've ever seen to a pileon on mathowie. Not the best thread. Also, I'll be in the neighborhood shortly to pry off the Caps Lock key of many users. They'll thank me for it in the long run.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:26 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


You really think so? To me that just makes the story bigger. Public Enemy #1 of the US Army has warrant issued and then rescinded within hours is not "no real story" it is "really big story".

Fair enough. But I do think it would be better to wait until we know more about what's really going on here and then someone post a new thread, depending on what turns up.
posted by homunculus at 10:28 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


What the heck was that thread that had multiple people coming in breathless to condemn someone for something that never happened (It got a meta too).

Are you thinking of the "TSA stole my son" thread where the story is first debunked here?
posted by lalex at 10:30 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


And wow Ctrl-F "verb nazi" in that thread is right out. Not even remotely cool.
posted by Skorgu at 10:30 AM on August 21, 2010


And wow Ctrl-F "verb nazi" in that thread is right out. Not even remotely cool.

Context.
posted by ryoshu at 10:35 AM on August 21, 2010


Which is pretty much the same sort of context as the rape stuff referred to upthread. I.e. "by the standard you're using we don't even know that you're not a rapist." which might be uncool but isn't the same as saying "you're a rapist".
posted by Justinian at 10:38 AM on August 21, 2010


That thread started off weird and then went totally Jacob's Ladder.
posted by The Straightener at 10:40 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


That thread is a travesty, and an example of how discussion on MetaFilter is in general nowhere near the level of quality that MetaFilter collectively believes it to be. Kill it with fire.
posted by silby at 10:40 AM on August 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


It's really shitty direction to go in, rhetorical handwaving or not. It is indeed uncool, to the point where once an argument gets to that point I'd like to think people would stop and think for a second and wonder why the fuck they're pursuing it from that direction instead of just plainly stating what they think is problematic, rather than playing some "i'm not saying you're a rapist but..." game.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:41 AM on August 21, 2010


lalex writes "Are you thinking of the 'TSA stole my son' thread where the story is first debunked here?"

Yep that was it.
posted by Mitheral at 10:42 AM on August 21, 2010


Yeah I'm pretty much not going to notice somebody equating rape with womanizing and ignore that.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:44 AM on August 21, 2010


Yuck. That really got nasty, and then devolved into inanity. I'll never stop loving the breathless "updates" from people who couldn't be bothered to even skim the thread, though. Cracks me up every time I see it.
posted by Forktine at 10:46 AM on August 21, 2010


I feel like there's been a trend lately for any post that even remotely touches on gender politics or sexual politics to be derailed by a slew of MeFites eager to turn the discussion into some kind of ideological purity test.

YOU HATE RAPE, RIGHT? SAY IT!

I love this place because it's one of the few places on the web that accomodate complexity in discussions. We're better than this.
posted by werkzeuger at 10:47 AM on August 21, 2010 [24 favorites]


I must have missed the stuff that got deleted. I don't and didn't see people calling others rapists.

Metafilter has a problem when people debating things logically bump up against people debating things emotionally.

Logically, it's completely fine to say that the revocation of the charges against Assange does not mean he is not a rapist. Because logically, those two things have nothing to do with each other. A does not lead to B. A person is a rapist only if they have raped someone. A person is not a rapist only if they have not raped someone. The accusation of rape or lack thereof does not determine whether one is a rapist or not.

Whether you personally believe that he is a rapist or not, or whether he was set up or not, has absolutely no effect on whether he could or could not be a rapist.

I don't think the argument in the thread is all that awful - it's simply people not understanding each other. Which is problematic, yes, but not awful.

What was awful about that thread was the editorializing in the original post and the definitively accusatory headline. Just the facts, ma'am, and let us debate the merits of the content.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:54 AM on August 21, 2010 [5 favorites]

And wow Ctrl-F "verb nazi" in that thread is right out. Not even remotely cool.
just poking my head in, *I* started that joke in the thread, and the people who ran with it were, AFAIK, riffing on the joke. The idea was that I called myself a nazi, then said 'People in the thread are calling me a nazi.' I subsequently favorited people who called me a nazi.

I'll totally concede that it was in poor taste, but it wasn't an attack on me. It was a joke about the silliness of Bob Saying X, then being angry that People Are Saying X.
posted by verb at 10:56 AM on August 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


He is busy with BP plotting a CIA attempt to frame you for bank robbery.

After the Digg issue, there are five or six trolls on this site who should have been given time-outs or bans for some of the really offensive things they said in that Metatalk thread. They got to have their lolz consequence-free once again.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:58 AM on August 21, 2010


I didn't bother flagging it since I saw mathowie participating and figured it would just be ignored, but yeah, there was nothing good coming out of that thread from the get-go. I popped back in again to see what people were saying when I saw the "charges dropped" headline on CNN, and saw a nice frothy MetaFilter rape grar in progress. Sigh.
posted by Gator at 10:59 AM on August 21, 2010


Yeah I read the thread, I get the context and I get that verb is cool with it. I'm not saying it should be deleted.

"<username> is a nazi" isn't cool.
posted by Skorgu at 10:59 AM on August 21, 2010


Digg issue?
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:59 AM on August 21, 2010


What metatalk thread? About the TSA thing? I'm so confused.
posted by Justinian at 10:59 AM on August 21, 2010


That post could be a perfect illustration of important material being presented badly. I would be really interested to know how the Swedish committee that decided to prosecute the wikileaks guy did a 180 degree turn so quickly. It appears physically impossible from the outside, like landing a 747 on the deck of an aircraft carrier. These were decisions performed by a bureaucracy. It is very unusual to have one act so fast.
posted by bukvich at 11:03 AM on August 21, 2010


The more serious charge of rape was dropped, but the molestation charge stands. This thread and the other one imply both charges were dropped. That's wrong. Assange is still charged with molestation but that doesn't carry an arrest warrant like the more serious charge of rape. Maybe the thread clarifies that now. I stopped reading a while ago.

Really, it's just too soon to be discussing this at all.

And CNN is a really, really poor source of 'breaking news'. They dropped their contract with the AP wire service a few months ago and started their own. The writing quality is terrible and I don't trust their reporting. It generally lags hours or a day behind the AP.

For all its faults, AP wire articles are by far a better source of breaking news information, at least out of the US.
posted by vincele at 11:09 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Forktine: "Yuck. That really got nasty, and then devolved into inanity. I'll never stop loving the breathless "updates" from people who couldn't be bothered to even skim the thread, though. Cracks me up every time I see it"

Man at this rate I expect to check the thread in 29 days and see "GUYS I DON'T KNOW IF YOU HEARD BUT WAPO JUST CONFIRMED CHARGES WERE DROPPED".
posted by graventy at 11:12 AM on August 21, 2010


Assange is still charged with molestation

Ugh. Yeah, the thread is talking about that now. It's very problematic because from what we can tell "molestation" is a bad translation and the charge still under investigation is more like a harassment or public disturbance charge. Banging on a door, leaving a message on an answering machine, shining a laser pointer at someone, that sort of thing. Not sexual molestation. Way to translate, CNN or whoever.
posted by Justinian at 11:16 AM on August 21, 2010


Maybe the thread clarifies that now. I stopped reading a while ago.

It does.
posted by Think_Long at 11:18 AM on August 21, 2010


Yeah I'm pretty much not going to notice somebody equating rape with womanizing and ignore that.

Brave stand, coming out against having sex with slaves like that.
posted by empath at 11:21 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


"GUYS I DON'T KNOW IF YOU HEARD BUT WAPO JUST CONFIRMED JAMES BROWN DIED".
posted by ericb at 11:22 AM on August 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


nice frothy MetaFilter rape grar in progress

give me a higher love ... ah ha... bring me a higher love I've been thinking of...

man what a weekend!
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:28 AM on August 21, 2010


Justinian: "What metatalk thread? About the TSA thing? I'm so confused"

The TSA Meta.
posted by Mitheral at 11:28 AM on August 21, 2010


also the tags on that puppy are horrible
posted by Mitheral at 11:29 AM on August 21, 2010


That thread's had some of the site's mouthiest, most argumentative people participating. People allowed to be that way... are gonna be that way.
posted by ambient2 at 11:31 AM on August 21, 2010

That thread's had some of the site's mouthiest, most argumentative people participating. People allowed to be that way... are gonna be that way.
It's okay.

You can say my name.
posted by verb at 11:34 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


You know, even putting aside for a moment the content of the comments, what's really kind of shocking is how many typos are in that thread. Nearly every comment has at least one, and most have several.

And now, retrieving aforementioned content...

Look, I'm all for trying out the newest treatments for depression, but maybe it'd be wiser to hold off public interactions with other human beings until you're no longer under the influence of all that ketamine.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:43 AM on August 21, 2010


So there's still an investigation into alleged conduct that doesn't warrant his being arrested?

Shocking! And discrediting! There can now be no doubt that our occupation of Afghanistan is both just and destined for success.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:47 AM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Brave stand, coming out against ...

Please don't do this.
posted by zippy at 11:48 AM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


and by 'do this' I mean making this about another poster in sarcastic GRAR language.
posted by zippy at 11:54 AM on August 21, 2010


This kind of evidence-free conspiracy nutjobbery is what is behind the birther movement, the 9/11 inside job, and general UFO conspiracies.

Please tell me that was just a poorly considered square-peg/round-hole sentence structure brainfart and not an endorsement of the truthers. I'm stuck between a giggle and a gasp, and I'm afraid my face will get stuck like this.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:56 AM on August 21, 2010


It seems pretty clear to me that the comment is equating the people who think 9/11 was an inside job with UFO nuts and the birthers, Sys Rq.
posted by Justinian at 12:00 PM on August 21, 2010


but the molestation charge stands.

Is this true? I thought it was that the investigation into the possible molestation is still going on, not that he's been charged.
posted by inigo2 at 12:00 PM on August 21, 2010


We should probably stop using the word "molestation" since that appears to be a translation error.
posted by Justinian at 12:04 PM on August 21, 2010


It seems pretty clear to me that the comment is equating the people who think 9/11 was an inside job with UFO nuts and the birthers, Sys Rq.

I want to believe, Justinian.
posted by Sys Rq at 12:04 PM on August 21, 2010


No moleste.

It seems pretty clear to me that the comment is equating the people who think 9/11 was an inside job with UFO nuts and the birthers, Sys Rq.

This was my reading as well. Without some clear evidence to the contrary, reading it otherwise seems bizarre.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:09 PM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Investigation continues, but he is not charged with anything or legally obliged to report to the police, as far as I understand. They would still like to talk to him, though.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:10 PM on August 21, 2010


It was a stupid post for several reasons:

- early-running newsfilter before anything of any real consequence had happened.

- obvious disinformation campaign/bullying == very likely to end up being bullshit.

- fucking me-first newsfiltering *again*. Goddammit people, learn to wait.

Yes, 1 & 3 are the same.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:10 PM on August 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


What posses me off about newsfilter is that three days from now, we'd have some facts and outcomes that might be worth talking about. All we have right now is uninformed, useless speculation and hand-wringing. Fuck that noise.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:16 PM on August 21, 2010 [7 favorites]


What posses me off about newsfilter is that three days from now, we'd have some facts and outcomes that might be worth talking about. All we have right now is uninformed, useless speculation and hand-wringing. Fuck that noise.

Yeah, breathless reporting before the facts have firmed up leads to people reverting to their own secret hopes and fears in lieu of factual analysis. That thread ... I'm trying here to avoid reverting to the cliche of "that thread is a litmus test."

Hmm. That thread is an industrial centrifuge? That thread is a pee-stick pregnancy test?
posted by Bookhouse at 12:19 PM on August 21, 2010


What posses me off about newsfilter is that three days from now, we'd have some facts and outcomes that might be worth talking about.

Don't worry, somebody'll post another thread then.
posted by Gator at 12:22 PM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Really, it's just too soon to be discussing this at all.

We don't do well with breaking/developing stories. Metafilter does not need to be the first place you read about some piece of major news, it's much better being the place you go for multiple perspectives, background, color commentary & deeper analysis that usually only turn up a couple or three days after the initial news event.

Can we agree to have a moritorium on "this just hit the wire" posts, with maybe a bit more support from the mods on keeping it?
posted by scalefree at 12:23 PM on August 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I absolutely, unequivocally support the mods deleting all newsfilter posts until they are a minimum three days past breaking. Please, mods, be ruthless on this! It would help the front page a lot IMO.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:29 PM on August 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'd personally be happier if only found out yesterday that James Brown had died.
posted by allen.spaulding at 12:35 PM on August 21, 2010


Breaking news posts don't all bathe in dirty bath water.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 12:37 PM on August 21, 2010


We don't do well with breaking/developing stories. Metafilter does not need to be the first place you read about some piece of major news, it's much better being the place you go for multiple perspectives, background, color commentary & deeper analysis that usually only turn up a couple or three days after the initial news event.

I think you're being charitable.....Metafilter is where this major news shows up after it has been broken elsewhere on the high profile blogosphere (Gawker Media Network, HuffPo, Fark, etc.). I understand the impulse of wanting to discuss Shocking Story with more content, less snark, on MeFi. But I agree that I'd rather wait until it was less breaking news and gossip, and more "multiple perspectives, background, color commentary & deeper analysis."
posted by availablelight at 12:41 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


... found out yesterday that James Brown had died.

.
posted by Devils Rancher at 12:44 PM on August 21, 2010


Does anyone read this far down?

The revelation of the dropping of the rape charges comes 4/5ths the way down a thread with over 320 comments. That is super-important information though. I think it should either be put in a new FPP, should be added to the FPP, or something could be done to "sticky" the reveal near the top.
posted by JHarris at 12:46 PM on August 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


BTW, I would like to have my voice heard on not rejecting fast-breaking newsfilter. Discussion of current events is absolutely one of the reasons I read Metafilter.
posted by JHarris at 12:48 PM on August 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


^ same here on both points.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:52 PM on August 21, 2010


I absolutely, unequivocally support the mods deleting all newsfilter posts until they are a minimum three days past breaking. Please, mods, be ruthless on this! It would help the front page a lot IMO.

I think it's pretty easy to guess that we're not going to pursue any arbitrary hardline policy shift like that. Looking a bit more askance at thin not-enough-meat-yet news posts I can get behind, I didn't love this post either but that bird had pretty much flown by the time I knew this was going on. But we're talking nudge-level adjustments, not a sudden scorched-earth policy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:53 PM on August 21, 2010


Agreed, scalefree. At this point if somebody wants to create an FFP on what happened / what went wrong with the JULIAN ASSANGE IS A RAPIST story in a few days or week when there is actual analysis to link to, it will count as a double.

I don't think we need something like a hard and fast three day rule, but it would help if 'thin, just breaking news story without much info' were an officially sanctioned reason for flagging as 'other' or 'violates guidelines.'

I think NewsFilter is OK, but it needs to be 'where to find good coverage and analysis' or 'something you might not have heard of' not 'wow, some stuff happened!'

Basically, what availablelight said.
posted by nangar at 12:55 PM on August 21, 2010


I think there's value in an addendum to certain types of post. Sort of like eBay allows one to append data to a listing but not edit what has come before. I didn't learn about the warrant retraction via MeFi, I learned about it elsewhere via just this sort of post addendum. I strongly believe in the non-editable property of MeFi, but breaking news type posts might need an "addenda" feature applied by the mods or the OP.
posted by seanmpuckett at 12:55 PM on August 21, 2010


Digg issue?

What happened with Digg underscores why several Mefites, including sgt. serenity, should have been given time-outs or bans for their ugly participation in this axe-grinding thread.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:57 PM on August 21, 2010


The revelation of the dropping of the rape charges comes 4/5ths the way down a thread with over 320 comments.

To be fair, it comes here:

Warrant for Assange canceled by prosecutor.
posted by orthogonality at 6:10 PM on August 21 [+] [!] [quote]No other comments.

Less than halfway down the thread.

But, yes I agree, this sort of sensationalistic newsfilter is not great.
posted by Dumsnill at 12:58 PM on August 21, 2010


I think there's value in an addendum to certain types of post.

I understand that perspective, but our policy is basically "no". We have added editorial notes to posts on a vanishingly tiny number of occasions, and "people who don't read the thread before commenting may reveal themselves not to be caught up on the issue" is not one of the reasons we've done it.

We talked about this a bunch in the Metatalk thread about the 'TSA stole my baby!' late last year, and my take on the whole thing hasn't changed. Situations like this are weird outliers but Metafilter is not a news site and making those sorts of proposed amendments is not part of standing practice around here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:00 PM on August 21, 2010


JHarris writes "The revelation of the dropping of the rape charges comes 4/5ths the way down a thread with over 320 comments. That is super-important information though. I think it should either be put in a new FPP, should be added to the FPP, or something could be done to 'sticky' the reveal near the top."

It's been pretty well established that we don't do any of those things. See the TSA thread linked above and pretty well any double discussion.

Damn it ninja'd by cortex
posted by Mitheral at 1:04 PM on August 21, 2010


Metafilter is not a news site

No, clearly it is, as evidenced by the front page.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:07 PM on August 21, 2010


"That's the closest I think I've ever seen to a pileon on mathowie."

He created thunderdome. He knew the risks going in.
posted by puny human at 1:08 PM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


What was ridiculous about the thread wasn't the people professing skepticism of Assange's guilt, which was being done with little to no reference to the accusers/victims, but the asshats that decided to do a little threadshitting because there wasn't sufficient concern for the unknown victims being expressed.

I can only imagine what it looked like before it was cleaned up.

Kinda shocking, actually. Usually on MeFi it's been the other way around.
posted by wierdo at 1:09 PM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Hey at least it was a great opportunity for a bunch of guys to thump chests and swing their penises around.
posted by The Straightener at 1:12 PM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Spinnaz?
posted by Burhanistan at 1:13 PM on August 21, 2010


To my mind the point where that thread really made a sharp turn south was when someone decided to criticize the thread title by saying it implied assange's accusers (the women, not the governments) were lying sluts in approximately those words. I don't remember who it was and I don't care. I just wish there were some way to make comments like that very very strongly discouraged. Literally nothing good comes from that.
posted by shmegegge at 1:15 PM on August 21, 2010


Once again, speculation runs amok.

Striking that anyone can describe the initial charges as "obvious disinformation campaign/bullying == very likely to end up being bullshit." and six minutes later say All we have right now is uninformed, useless speculation and hand-wringing. Fuck that noise.
posted by ambient2 at 1:18 PM on August 21, 2010


It seems pretty clear to me that the comment is equating the people who think 9/11 was an inside job with UFO nuts and the birthers, Sys Rq.

As the writer of the relevant comment, yes, that is the correct interpretation.
posted by modernnomad at 1:21 PM on August 21, 2010


What happened with Digg underscores why several Mefites, including sgt. serenity, should have been given time-outs or bans for their ugly participation in this axe-grinding thread.

Axe-grinding, eh?
posted by kmz at 1:23 PM on August 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


"What was ridiculous about the thread wasn't the people professing skepticism of Assange's guilt.."

No what was ridiculous about the thread was "the people professing skepticism of Assange's guilt" jumped straight to conspiracy theories involving CIA black ops units influencing a famously neutral country before all the facts came out.

The thing about skepticism is that it isn't a one way street, no matter how much you wish it would be. Maybe the guy just got a little grabby on a date. Wikileaks will survive without him.
posted by puny human at 1:23 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


"when someone decided to criticize the thread title by saying it implied assange's accusers (the women, not the governments) were lying sluts in approximately those words"

Sorry, but the "nuts or sluts" defense has been famously used by both the left and the right. Just a fact of life, and it was proper to point it out.
posted by puny human at 1:27 PM on August 21, 2010


Sorry, but the "nuts or sluts" defense has been famously used by both the left and the right.

What the fuck has that got to do with anything?
posted by enn at 1:28 PM on August 21, 2010

No what was ridiculous about the thread was "the people professing skepticism of Assange's guilt" jumped straight to conspiracy theories involving CIA black ops units influencing a famously neutral country before all the facts came out.
...And that another group of people immediately accused them of calling Assagne's accusers "sluts," even though no one in the thread had made any statements about the women or, their character, etc.

That's where the "Oh, well maybe YOU'RE a rapist!" stuff came in. That's where the "Sleeping with slaves is rape, too!" derail came in. It's where a lot of ugly came in, really. I watched the thread unfold in realtime, because I'm a nerd and I was waiting for my waffles. The thread turned ugly fast, and it wasn't because people thought the circumstances around the charges were suspicious.
posted by verb at 1:29 PM on August 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


The CIA has done some seriously fucked up shit in the past, stuff we know about and is in the open now, there is zero reason to suspect they have stopped being a shady group.

When sudden negative consequences hit an enemy of the US, it is not insane to consider the possibility of CIA involvement. As I said in the thread, this is just speculation. The disturbing conspiracy level stuff starts happening when you reject the actual evidence and stand by the conspiracy version.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:35 PM on August 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Implying that the women fabricated their testimony due to political pressure before all the facts of the case are known certainly is making a statement about the women's character.
posted by puny human at 1:35 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


puny human wrote: "No what was ridiculous about the thread was "the people professing skepticism of Assange's guilt" jumped straight to conspiracy theories involving CIA black ops units influencing a famously neutral country before all the facts came out. "

There may or may not be an error in logic involved there, but it doesn't in any way rise to the level of the thread shitting that I mentioned. It didn't blow up the thread. The concern trolls did. Nobody was talking about the women. Maybe you can make the argument that that is a problem in and of itself, but it wasn't really on topic in that particular thread.

Not that it really bears arguing, but there was a time when I thought it was patently ridiculous to think that my government would abduct people from foreign nations and spirit them away to a third nation to torture them.
posted by wierdo at 1:40 PM on August 21, 2010


Weren't they anonymous though? It is a jump from "this sounds made up and the timing is awfully convenient" to "these 2 particular women, whose identities are not known, are liars."
posted by Kirk Grim at 1:43 PM on August 21, 2010


puny human, we are talking about this comment:
Just saw the title of this post. "Dirty tricks" is apparently the default for male computer nerds on the internet. Disgusting and utterly misogynic. Like famous men on power trips are totally unheard of. No, the sluts are in CIA's pocket amirite?
There is nothing there about "the left" or "the right." No one had called the women "sluts" or anything remotely like that. In fact, no one had mentioned the CIA up until that point either. It's just an asshole threadshitter who may have misunderstood the title of the post but who in any case seems to have been determined to derail the thread (and who disappeared as soon as the warrant was rescinded).
posted by enn at 1:44 PM on August 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


"when someone decided to criticize the thread title by saying it implied assange's accusers (the women, not the governments) were lying sluts in approximately those words"

This.

The phrase "dirty tricks"--particularly in the given context--does not imply anything about prostitution. Furthermore, a prostitute does not equal a slut, and neither is immune from sexual violence, so...?

Whoever it was who drew that inference from that title -- ahem -- is either really misguided or one of those button-pushing billygoat-eaters. Effectively the latter.

Why is that comment still there? Delete it, delete the shit it caused, and hey presto, slightly less shitty thread.
posted by Sys Rq at 1:48 PM on August 21, 2010


Between this and the being pervy at work AskMe/accompanying MeTa post, this has not been our best week.
posted by proj at 1:50 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


What happened with Digg underscores why several Mefites, including sgt. serenity, should have been given time-outs or bans for their ugly participation in this axe-grinding thread.

Maybe the CIA is also paying people to attack you, Blazecock Pileon, that's surely the only logical explanation for why you always seem to end up in the middle of a massive shitstorm.
posted by atrazine at 1:51 PM on August 21, 2010


Sys Rq wrote: "is either really misguided or one of those button-pushing billygoat-eaters. Effectively the latter."

I'd like to believe it's a language barrier issue...
posted by wierdo at 1:52 PM on August 21, 2010


But, yes I agree, this sort of sensationalistic newsfilter is not great.

That was not my point at all. My point entirely had to do with missing an important piece of information in a sea of comments. This is far from the first time I ended up commenting on something that was moot because something essential was said one or two hundred comments up.
posted by JHarris at 1:52 PM on August 21, 2010


It's just an asshole threadshitter who may have misunderstood the title of the post but who in any case seems to have been determined to derail the thread

The phrase "dirty tricks"--particularly in the given context--does not imply anything about prostitution.


Exactly.

Dirty Tricks (aka Dirty Ops) and Black Ops are terms used to denote covert and clandestine operations employed by intelligence agencies and the military.
posted by ericb at 1:54 PM on August 21, 2010


My point entirely had to do with missing an important piece of information in a sea of comments. This is far from the first time I ended up commenting on something that was moot because something essential was said one or two hundred comments up.

Yeah, it could have been made a bit clearer, but shouldn't people read threads like that one somewhat carefully before commenting? I'm not attacking you, there was a whole bunch of people who kept posting updates to things that had been mentioned several times earlier.
posted by Dumsnill at 2:02 PM on August 21, 2010


Maybe the CIA is also paying people to attack you, Blazecock Pileon

Kmz, this is precisely the kind of axe-grinding behavior that I am referring to, yes.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:07 PM on August 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Right Blazecock Pileon, but you're the one that brought up previous threads. You're the one who brought up a user who hasn't commented in this thread or in the original. How is that not axe-grinding?
posted by atrazine at 2:18 PM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


When sudden negative consequences hit an enemy of the US, it is not insane to consider the possibility of CIA involvement. As I said in the thread, this is just speculation. The disturbing conspiracy level stuff starts happening when you reject the actual evidence and stand by the conspiracy version.


Precisely right. If it looks and smells like the same old bullshit, it's not unreasonable to say so. Unlike conspiracy theories of the birther/ truther sort, this is the sort of thing the CIA has a long history of doing.

And apparently character assassination by baseless or trumped up accusation of sexual crime still works fine on many people, including mefites.

Appalling how many people fall for this shit every time.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:21 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Right Blazecock Pileon, but you're the one that brought up previous threads.

I didn't bring it up, these two comments at the beginning of this thread did, and your response is more of the same. That type of mob behavior makes Metafilter a really unpleasant place to be, these days.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:24 PM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Maybe the CIA is also paying people to attack you, Blazecock Pileon

Kmz, this is precisely the kind of axe-grinding behavior that I am referring to, yes.


Oh, puh-leeez. The CIA haven't wielded axes since the eighties, Blazecock, ever since Webster finalized the transition to guillotines.
posted by Sys Rq at 2:24 PM on August 21, 2010


Appalling how many people fall for this shit every time.

Do you find it equally appalling that some of us humbly admit we know neither what happened nor who is at fault?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 2:25 PM on August 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Is it as appalling to proceed on the absence of evidence as proof of commission?
posted by proj at 2:32 PM on August 21, 2010


I tried to touch on this earlier, but it feels not uncommon that some people make a leap from saying that something could--could--be bullshit to saying that people who don't agree "fall for this shit every time."

Maybe it's bullshit, maybe it's not, but what strikes me as appalling is that those who reasonably disagree with an opinion are cast in a harsh light, are wrong.

(And I don't think anyone in either thread has said anything to suggest that they think there is no way that there are some sort of official shenanigans going on here.)

We have no idea if the CIA or a similar group is involved. I wouldn't be flabbergasted if they are or if they aren't. Feels like there's a view that having that approach equals "fall for this shit every time."
posted by ambient2 at 2:41 PM on August 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Implying that the women fabricated their testimony due to political pressure before all the facts of the case are known certainly is making a statement

All things are possible, but because we don't know anything yet, I prefer to read the more entertaining fiction. I'll take the spy story over the rape story.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:11 PM on August 21, 2010

Too bad you have a thread casually throwing around terms like "rape", "sluts", and "fucking a slave". Pretty nasty.
Okay, first of all he was charged with rape. Second of all, no one called anyone a slut, someone sarcastically paraphrased Assange's defenders as using that term. The fucking a slave thing was some nonsense about Thomas Jefferson and whether or not he was a rapist because of his relationship with Sally Hemings, which was fairly absurd but kind of irrelevant to the thread.

But anyway. When did it become standard operating procedure to shut down a thread just because a few people get into a heated argument. It was certainly big news when it broke, although it's less so now I don't really see what good it would to to shut down the thread. Other people might actually be interested in discussing this and reading people's opinions.
but the molestation charge stands.
It wasn't really "molestation" it was "ofredande" which can mean harassment, or something like that.
posted by delmoi at 4:12 PM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Okay, first of all he was charged with rape.

Is it even worth it at this point to point out that he was never charged with any crime? In spite of all the tabloidy reportage on this story today, all accounts I've read consistently say that a warrant for his arrest was issued because the police needed to talk to him regarding accusations, to determine if charges were necessary. An important distinction, I'd think.
posted by LooseFilter at 4:32 PM on August 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


I will never. ever. ever. ever. EVER. get the "s/he's comparing X to Y!!!11" complaint. Comparing is OK. Comparing is how we, you know, compare things.
posted by DU at 4:45 PM on August 21, 2010


I can't believe you just compared comparing things to comparing!
posted by proj at 4:51 PM on August 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Implying that the women fabricated their testimony due to political pressure before all the facts of the case are known certainly is making a statement about the women's character.

Well, we can't have that. They're well-respected, trustworthy sources! What's that? Oh, we know nothing about them except their gender? Well that's still not on. Save your skepticism for when Assange is accused of assaulting some dude.

Presumption of innocence: the new offensive behaviour.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:54 PM on August 21, 2010 [8 favorites]



What happened with Digg underscores why several Mefites, including sgt. serenity, should have been given time-outs or bans for their ugly participation in this axe-grinding thread.


er... i think the post in question was talking about you accusing posters of working for the cia, in a fairly jokey way - so as not to really, really point out the fact that you were completely out of order saying such a thing and really could have been banned yourself. Has anyone called for you to be banned blazecock ? youre the one raising the bar around here.

That type of mob behavior makes Metafilter a really unpleasant place to be, these days.


nonsense, youve been in the middle of fights since day one when you had another username and had to change it because of all the fights you started. I dont recall a harsh word that i've said to you before that post, i felt sorry for you with people giving you a hard time. Thats stopped after watching you trying to smear posters on here in a far worse fashion than what has been done to you. Now you're calling for bannings - this does not an accurate victim make.

so there you go.

memail me if you actually want to talk about it, im done with this thread.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:29 PM on August 21, 2010


Is it even worth it at this point to point out that he was never charged with any crime?

MetaFilter: presumption of innocence, the new offensive behaviour.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:31 PM on August 21, 2010


calling rape womanizing: awesome
calling that out: derailing

Alright then.
posted by Pope Guilty at 5:38 PM on August 21, 2010


memail me if you actually want to talk about it

Speaking of giant photos of wooly cows... I never got your emails. I'd send this privately, but I'm afraid your MeFiMail might be broken??
posted by gman at 5:45 PM on August 21, 2010


Pope Guilty wrote: "calling rape womanizing: awesome
calling that out: derailing

Alright then
"

You're missing one fundamental point. Calling rape womanizing was a derail in and of itself, so it goes more like:

calling rape womanizing: derailing
calling that out: continued derailing
posted by wierdo at 5:51 PM on August 21, 2010


Pope Guilty: The whole Jefferson thing was a spectacular derail, "womanizer" quote included. And who said anything about it being awesome?
posted by ODiV at 5:52 PM on August 21, 2010


Wasn't it Wittgenstein who said "that of which one cannot speak, due to the consequential derail, therefore must be awesome?"
posted by zippy at 5:59 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also called out as PreNewsFilter.

We have no facts. The count is 80% done. The story should wait.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:02 PM on August 21, 2010


Pretty god damn rock fucking bottom, Metafilter.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 6:21 PM on August 21, 2010


Fff. The lack of a result is a result in it's own right. Stay out of the thread if you don't like it, but stop threadshitting.
posted by jonathanstrange at 7:04 PM on August 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Stupid autocorrect on my phone changing 'its' to 'it's'.
posted by jonathanstrange at 7:06 PM on August 21, 2010


That's it. Court order. Close the internet.

F O R E V E R.
posted by at the crossroads at 7:13 PM on August 21, 2010


Stay out of the thread if you don't like it, but stop threadshitting.

Unless he's had comments removed I don't see any threadshitting by fff in that thread.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:04 PM on August 21, 2010


Thank you to the MeFi moderators for trying to keep order in this toxic thread on the blue.
posted by Nelson at 8:06 PM on August 21, 2010


What's been deleted is none of our business, no matter how nasty.

We're not mods and MetaFilter doesn't scale.
posted by at the crossroads at 8:48 PM on August 21, 2010


Due to the way the Australian electoral system works, 80% of the vote can be enough to determine which party will govern, or if there will be a hung parliament. There will be other details sorted out later, for example the exact composition of the Senate, but government is usually declared within 12 hours of the polls closing in the eastern states. We've only got a small population, it doesn't take that long to sort out. A hung parliament is newsworthy and represents an enormous shift in Australian politics.

If you're ignorant of the details of other nations' politics, and it's not actually relevant to your interests, you're probably not a good judge of whether an item is newsworthy or not. Aussie Mefites are members same as the rest of you, we're not noobs, we know the rules and guidelines. You can trust us to collectively make the right judgement call on this.

I've got no opinion on the Assange thread. I was busy trying to improve democracy in my country, and it looks like all I missed was a train-wreck.
posted by harriet vane at 9:44 PM on August 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


Man, I'm totally bringing this up next time some one bitches about SLYT posts.

I'd take a solid week of those over that FPP and this MeTa.
posted by edgeways at 9:44 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Between this and the being pervy at work AskMe/accompanying MeTa post, this has not been our best week.

Hey, I was on vacation for two weeks until today. Now that I'm back, the awesome can resume.
posted by davejay at 9:49 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


woah. jesus-fucking-a-goat this whole thing is ugly.

as jesus himself said, "intertubes knows knoe end of asshattery". (a noncanonical gospel lost to all but me; translation mine)
posted by cucumber at 9:56 PM on August 21, 2010


("knoe" was a special, personal flourish of my own.)
posted by cucumber at 9:57 PM on August 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have apocryphal gospels in my pants.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:00 PM on August 21, 2010


I didn't bring it up, these two comments at the beginning of this thread did, and your response is more of the same. That type of mob behavior makes Metafilter a really unpleasant place to be, these days.

Granted, I didn't read all of the digg threads, I got bored. But those two comments read to me like a joke. A JOKE. Maybe I'm wrong and he's been zinging you constantly ever since that thread but I thought it was funny.
posted by graventy at 11:07 PM on August 21, 2010


I'm gong to go out on a limb and say that owning a slave is worse than raping someone.

That is all.
posted by Space Coyote at 11:51 PM on August 21, 2010


Any good dog will tell you it knows that rolling around in the half rotten woodchuck corpse is wrong, but it feels so good!
posted by Menthol at 12:46 AM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Unless he's had comments removed I don't see any threadshitting by fff in that thread.

jonathanstrange may have been referring to this thread, which five fresh fish had linked to a couple comments above. If so, I hear where he's coming from; one "this shouldn't be here!" comment is kind of not-great especially when there is a metatalk already where that could go, more than one is really getting into obnoxious territory. You know how the site works, fff, please don't take repeated metacommentary dumps in threads themselves.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:33 AM on August 22, 2010




No comments removed in the Aussie thread, the link was supposed to go here, and I guess I should have fiamo, except it never seems to make a difference.

I maintain the post should have been held back until Elections Aus. officially announced the end of the election.

But, hey, someone got a front page frist psot! That's so important these days! MeFi is Breaking Newsfilter because, claims to the contrary, fiamo doesn't work.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:08 AM on August 22, 2010


claims to the contrary, fiamo doesn't work.

Are you sure you're embracing the "and move on" portion of the acronym?
posted by Bookhouse at 9:30 AM on August 22, 2010 [3 favorites]


claims to the contrary, fiamo doesn't work.

So your argument is that because ONE person (you, I presume) flagged it and the post nonetheless remained, the whole idea of flagging and moving on is broken?

An interesting discussion has evolved in the Australian election thread, disproving, I think, your complaint.
posted by modernnomad at 9:35 AM on August 22, 2010


But, hey, someone got a front page frist psot! That's so important these days!

We delete an ton of first posts, there's no real "oh good on you for trying!" metric for first posts which means they'd stay up even if they were horrible.

The elections post, while sort of not great because it was like "this is probably what's going to happen" had a lot of discussion from people about the election and very few flags. I'm sorry if you personally didn't like it, but threadshitting is still not okay.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:39 AM on August 22, 2010


In this thread, we've assertions from mods that Breaking News is bad. That a discussion might happen is irrelevant: we've been told time and again that MeFi is about the links, not the discussion. FIAMO accomplished nothing with the first BN post since the Assange one, despite being flagged early.

But consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds, so I'll try to stfuamo.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:41 AM on August 22, 2010


I didn't shit in the thread, enn. I was pointing out how disgusting it is to imply a conspiracy, and thus automatically mistrust the accusers, in the thread title. Which I didn't misunderstand, btw.

This is true regardless of the outcome of the case.

Look, this happened in my town. I might even know these girls (though I think I don't). I know it's fun to speculate about spy games and conspiracies, but reality is not a game on the internet, there are real people involved in stories like this. My phrasing was too harsh, and I'm sorry about that, but when I saw Metafilter doing the same take on the story as the lunatics on Twitter and elsewhere, I was very, very, disappointed, and frankly got pissed off.
posted by mr.marx at 9:44 AM on August 22, 2010


mr.marx, Glenn Greenwald seems to be thinking the same thing.

On one hand, you feel like a tinfoil hat guy for thinking these things, but jeez, it's so frigging perfect.
posted by Trochanter at 9:57 AM on August 22, 2010


But it isn't consistency per se that is the hobgoblin. It is, "A foolish consistency..." There's the rub. The point is not that we shouldn't strive for consistency; it is that we should not value consistency over rational judgments made in good faith.

It goes hand in hand with the serenity to accept the things you cannot change, courage to change the things you can, and wisdom to know the difference.
posted by Babblesort at 10:06 AM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Am I misreading something? It seems like Glenn Greenwald's thinking and mr.marx's thinking are not the same at all.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:06 AM on August 22, 2010


H&O: I believe Trochanter is saying that Glenn Greenwald is thinking the same thing (meaning conspiracy) as MetaFilter and "the lunatics on Twitter and elsewhere."
posted by ODiV at 10:13 AM on August 22, 2010


In this thread, we've assertions from mods that Breaking News is bad.

Our assertion is that it's generally not a good idea, that people should wait until there's a real THERE there. That we'll remove them if we see them early enough because we think people should make posts based on things that are happening, not things that the pundits say might happen. You flagging early doesn't always mean we see it early. And you flagging early doesn't mean other people are also flagging it. And MO really does stand for "move on."

That said, with the exception of self-linking, this stuff is decided case-by-case. So, we looked at this and decided by the time we saw it, it should probably stay.

The fact that flagging one thing one time didn't go how you wanted it to isn't an indictment of either the flagging system or the moving on system.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:11 AM on August 22, 2010


If Julian Assange goes to jail, Conjectural Technologies would fall apart. Billy would have to join up with Jonas or something.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:19 AM on August 22, 2010 [2 favorites]

I was pointing out how disgusting it is to imply a conspiracy, and thus automatically mistrust the accusers, in the thread title. Which I didn't misunderstand, btw.
I don't mean to be an ass, mr. marx, but either you misunderstood the title -- thinking that it was a reference to prostitution, aka 'Tricks,' -- or you deliberately misrepresented the nature of everything that had been said up to that point in the discussion.

You were the one who called the women sluts. You were the one who brought up the CIA. Either you had fundamentally misunderstood the title, as others in the thread eventually charitably assumed, or you were deliberately lying about what had been said in order to steer the discussion. Minutes later, other people were talking about how terrible it was that Assagne's defenders were "Calling the women sluts" when you were in fact the only person who did so. Mission accomplished, sir.

I'm not going to get into whether that's threadshitting or not, but at the very least it's cheap, manipulative, and quite disingenuous.
posted by verb at 12:14 PM on August 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


So enlighten me, Mr Not-an-ass, who are supposed to be behind the dirty tricks? The scientologists? Space lizards?
And how are "sounds like fake charges", as stated in the very first comment of the thread, not a declaration of mistrust against the girls? How is using the phrase "dirty tricks", implying a smear campaign or a conspiracy, not mistrusting the accusers?
Mistrusting alleged rape or molestation victims, as a default, may wind up some people who don't like that kind of thing. They may even use sarcasm to express their anger.
posted by mr.marx at 12:47 PM on August 22, 2010


mr.marx, your logical error here is that it's not about the women. Nobody is in a position to evaluate their trustworthiness. The story, in totality, sounded then and still sounds hinky at best.
posted by wierdo at 12:53 PM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


That I don't agree is not a logical error.
posted by mr.marx at 12:58 PM on August 22, 2010


You don't think it's odd that someone with Assange's level of paranoia would not be careful to avoid a situation where he could be accused of rape?

It's sort of like the Hans Reiser case. For someone as bright as he is, it seemed rather odd that he would be so sloppy as he was. Turned out that he was just a typical sloppy murderer, but it seemed odd.
posted by wierdo at 1:06 PM on August 22, 2010


> That's the closest I think I've ever seen to a pileon on mathowie.

Sweden Withdraws Arrest Warrant for WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange
posted by nola at 1:10 PM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]

So enlighten me, Mr Not-an-ass, who are supposed to be behind the dirty tricks? The scientologists? Space lizards?
That's an interesting question, isn't it? You suggested the CIA.
Mistrusting alleged rape or molestation victims, as a default, may wind up some people who don't like that kind of thing. They may even use sarcasm to express their anger.
Please don't be obtuse. Suggesting that the skepticism in that thread about the charges was due to a default mistrust of alleged rape victims is absurd. The skepticism was due to the existing long-running conflict between Assange and the US military and US government, their unsuccessful attempts to get other nations to cooperate with them in prosecuting Assagne for the intelligence leaks, and the US government's rich history of using false sexual accusations to smear perceived enemies of the state. In that context, with no additional details about the case other than the fact that he'd been charged out of the blue and a warrant was out for his arrest, most people in the thread expressed skepticism.

This is, as others here in MeTa have noted, one of the reasons why avoiding BreakingNewsFilter posts is good. There's not enough information to do anything but speculate. You took that speculation, however, and deliberately mischaracterized it in order to frame reasonable skepticism as misogyny.
posted by verb at 1:11 PM on August 22, 2010 [9 favorites]


Mistrusting alleged rape or molestation victims, as a default, may wind up some people who don't like that kind of thing.

It's not as if the story was Random Male John Doe was accused of rape. There are extenuating circumstances.
posted by empath at 1:40 PM on August 22, 2010 [2 favorites]


You don't think it's odd that someone with Assange's level of paranoia would not be careful to avoid a situation where he could be accused of rape?

It's too early in the morning for me to process these double-negatives. Where is my coffee?
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:48 PM on August 22, 2010


Your coffee can not be found where you didn't put it last.
posted by ODiV at 2:01 PM on August 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


Take off the first three words if you don't get it. It's not really a double negative, as "you don't think" is a clause unto its own.
posted by wierdo at 2:22 PM on August 22, 2010


So enlighten me, Mr Not-an-ass, who are supposed to be behind the dirty tricks? The scientologists? Space lizards?


The same sort of people who lie about WMD and torture people and sell weapons to Iran to fund rebels in Nicaragua.

Absent details and evidence, it is not at all crazy to speculate about US involvement when a prominent enemy of the United States finds misfortune.

You can't wave away all the things this government has done to earn distrust and suspicion.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:34 PM on August 22, 2010 [4 favorites]


mr.marx does have a point in that there are real accusers, and enough details seem to have leaked out about them to suggest that someone close to the situation would be able to identify at least one of them as a real person with a real relationship to the accused. All suggestions that this is a "dirty trick" or anything of the sort (I'm pretty sure there was an early-thread reference to the C.I.A. hiring hookers, forgive me if I'm wrong) is suggesting that this woman is crying wolf for nefarious reasons. And while I think he's coming on strong, he's right in saying accusations of faking rape charges is a very serious, very loaded act, and not something to be done lightly.
posted by Bookhouse at 3:09 PM on August 22, 2010

mr.marx does have a point in that there are real accusers, and enough details seem to have leaked out about them to suggest that someone close to the situation would be able to identify at least one of them as a real person with a real relationship to the accused.
None of which was true when the story broke, or when mr. marx was writing his post. All that was known at that point was that someone who'd attracted the anger of the US military and intelligence community was suddenly charged with (as was understood at the time) two counts of rape and an outstanding arrest warrant had been issued, even though he'd never been questioned.

As I mentioned earlier, the evolution of the story is a reason to avoid BreakingNewsFilter on the blue, but the initial gut reaction to the story that mr. marx lashed out at occurred before any information about the accusers was available. All that was known was that he'd been charged, that an arrest warrant had been issued, and that he denied the charges and claimed the news stories about the warrant were the first he'd heard of it.
All suggestions that this is a "dirty trick" or anything of the sort (I'm pretty sure there was an early-thread reference to the C.I.A. hiring hookers, forgive me if I'm wrong)
No, you're correct. What you seem to have missed is that it was mr. marx that made that first reference. Everyone else was talking about what he'd said, and by the time the thread reached its current length it was 'understood' that 'people' had been calling the girls 'sluts.'

Just like it was 'understood' that 'people' were calling me a 'nazi.'
posted by verb at 4:33 PM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


verb, a nazi? I knew it!
posted by nola at 4:51 PM on August 22, 2010


verb, a nazi?

I nazi, you nazied, he nazis, they will nazi.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:57 PM on August 22, 2010 [7 favorites]


2 points
posted by nola at 7:19 PM on August 22, 2010


Yeah, well, you know who else used verbs?

Wait. I think I'm doing this wrong.
posted by verb at 7:22 PM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


Umm, since when are 20 and 30 year old women "girls?"

Seems to me that's worse than doubting third hand reports that two women might have claimed they had been raped, except they didn't, or not very believably.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:28 PM on August 22, 2010


fourcheesemac, I could be wrong, but mr. marx sounds like a non-native english speaker. (He referred to the area of Sweden this happened in as "his area," for example.) I think his comments were complete misrepresentations of what had occurred in the thread, but we don't need to jump on him for nuances in language like 'girls' vs 'women'.
posted by verb at 7:30 PM on August 22, 2010


but we don't need to jump on him for nuances in language like 'girls' vs 'women'.

Hey, you guys ever said this before? Dick Tater for life? Get it?
posted by nola at 7:45 PM on August 22, 2010


"Mr. Not-an-ass" would be a great name for a sockpuppet.
posted by homunculus at 8:11 PM on August 22, 2010 [1 favorite]


What you seem to have missed is that it was mr. marx that made that first reference.

I was thinking of Mayor Curley's remark, but you're right, mr. marx did go there first. Point taken.
posted by Bookhouse at 8:29 PM on August 22, 2010


On the one hand, Metafilter has a proven track record on sorting out facts from fiction when new stories go nuts. On the other hand, this is a mess and I'm regretting I ever posted in the thread. Like mr.marx says, at the bottom of it all is actually two real women who felt they needed to talk to the police about their experiences. I don't think there's a big CIA conspiracy behind this, in fact, I find Wikileaks assertion of this quite laughable. I'm sure the CIA have umbrella-guns or radioactive pies for him to eat, instead of two politically active women in his entourage.
posted by dabitch at 7:06 AM on August 23, 2010


It's the KGB that uses umbrella-guns.
posted by vapidave at 8:09 AM on August 23, 2010


It's not only two real women, but one real guy. Accusations of rape are serious for both parties. Assuming Assange is a rapist is as heinous as assuming the women are lying.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:12 AM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oh yes, you're absolutely right five fresh fish. I didn't mean to imply that Assange was guilty of rape, when that case has in fact been dropped like a hot potato without anyone even needing to interrogate him.
posted by dabitch at 9:16 AM on August 23, 2010


As annoying as this may be at this juncture, for various summer-of-doom reasons, I've not followed this story in the news and I'd love to catch up. Can anyone point me to a good re-cap to date (meaning the actual news story, not our own newsfilter controversy)? Thank you!
posted by thinkpiece at 9:46 AM on August 23, 2010




AP: WikiLeaks To Publish New Documents.

Proper hyperlink.
posted by ericb at 11:08 AM on August 23, 2010


I want to know what's being done about the umbrella-gun gap.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 1:03 PM on August 23, 2010


It's the KGB that uses umbrella-guns.

I want to know what's being done about the umbrella-gun gap.

I would point out that it would be more correct to say that only the KGB has been caught using an umbrella-gun; who knows how many times the CIA has used one successfully....
posted by nomisxid at 1:10 PM on August 23, 2010


Pffffff... the poison-injecting umbrella was CSS... you guys wouldn't last 5 seconds as sandbaggers. Admittedly 3 seconds is the median survival span of a sandbagger, so you'd be doing pretty well, actually.
posted by Kattullus at 5:56 PM on August 23, 2010 [1 favorite]


I've always secretly kind of suspected that JFK was assassinated with a gun disguised as an 8mm movie camera. It would be simple: Just stand by the side of the road, look though the viewfinder-cum-gun-sight, and pull the trigger at the right moment. The sound of the shot would echo off the buildings disguising the shooter's location, and the recoil could be read as a recoil of horror. Even eye witnesses who saw it plain as day wouldn't recognize what it was they saw, because, come on, that's ridiculous.

This silly idea had been kicking around in the back of my mind for almost 20 years, ever since I first saw Oliver Stone's JFK at the rather imaginative age of 10. And then, a couple of months ago, I was watching Deadliest Warrior (a guilty pleasure), and there it was, plain as day, in the KGB's artillery in their farcical duel with the CIA: A gun disguised as an 8mm movie camera.

Hullo!
posted by Sys Rq at 4:08 PM on September 10, 2010


But how did Zapruder get it to expose the film at the same time?
posted by wierdo at 4:20 PM on September 10, 2010


Ahem... Babushka Lady... unknown woman with a camera takes pictures but never comes forward... and she's called Babushka Lady. Come on, she's clearly a KGB assassin.
posted by Kattullus at 4:52 PM on September 10, 2010


Well, sometimes a camera is just a camera. Sometimes.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:02 PM on September 10, 2010


Sys Rq, Kattullus - come to my office right now, we have a screenscript to write.

8-mm camera gun AND lady assassin? This is awesome.
posted by dabitch at 4:22 AM on September 11, 2010


of course, I mean screenplay, see that's how exited I was by that idea
posted by dabitch at 4:23 AM on September 11, 2010


"Screenscript" sounds like the sort of word you'd see in a story by a Philip K. Dick if he was from an alternate dimension where TV HAD NEVER EXISTED!

Or in an actual Philip K. Dick story about a science fiction writer from said alternate dimension, I guess.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:00 AM on September 11, 2010


the second variety, i imagine
posted by The Lady is a designer at 12:07 PM on September 11, 2010


Babushka Lady ... Lady Bird Johnson ... Coincidence???
posted by Sys Rq at 9:57 PM on September 11, 2010


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