Cleanup in AskMe 168281 October 20, 2010 10:34 AM   Subscribe

MeTa thread to move the discussion and repetitive noise in this AskMe question about whether or not the anonymous poster either the woman mentioned in this post, or actually the same user posing as his would-be fiance.

One mention is more than enough, and it's pretty much orthogonal to the question anyway. Answer practically or move on, please.
posted by Burhanistan to Etiquette/Policy at 10:34 AM (142 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

We being trolled, yo.
posted by Grither at 10:38 AM on October 20, 2010


Seriously. It's obnoxious, nearly as obnoxious as the "omg what an asshole you are" pile-ons in the other threads.

We get it, you think the dude is insane/an asshole/playing the site, move the hell on.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:38 AM on October 20, 2010


I think all of the links/mentions after the first one were due to time it took to search/failure to preview. I know mine was and I flagged myself as soon as I hit post. Making a Meta to call out something that's effectively done at this point anyway seems pretty unnecessary.

But now we can talk about the thread! Or not.

For what it's worth, I'm on team HIGHLY SUSPICIOUS.
posted by phunniemee at 10:39 AM on October 20, 2010


We were trolled. I removed the post and gave the user a one-week timeout. If there's anything more to talk about with it, I'll leave this open, but I'd like to close this since the thread is moot now.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:40 AM on October 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Ugh, what a turd. Sorry.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:41 AM on October 20, 2010


Wow.
posted by zarq at 10:41 AM on October 20, 2010


Trolled on both ends? Or just with the latter post?
posted by Doofus Magoo at 10:41 AM on October 20, 2010


To clarify, it wasn't Spaceandtime30 that was doing the trolling right?
posted by fontophilic at 10:41 AM on October 20, 2010


Right, who was it?

(Or at least clarify if it wasn't spaceandtime30 but someone who thinks his difficult situation is LOLtastic)
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:43 AM on October 20, 2010


Wasn't me.
posted by nomadicink at 10:43 AM on October 20, 2010


It was me. I'm very sorry for trolling you all.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:44 AM on October 20, 2010


I have to say, he is not a bad man. He has a kind and gentle heart. I'm just more confident and self-assured, which I think makes him feel inadequate sometimes.


This is fucked up. Why is this guy still here? he asks the same damn question every week.
posted by Think_Long at 10:45 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


(I have no problem with this being closed unless people really need to hash it out further.)
posted by Burhanistan at 10:45 AM on October 20, 2010


*Utterly fascinated by the way the world works*
posted by The Lady is a designer at 10:45 AM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Just for the record, a bunch of links to "this guy's" posts came streaming in at an insane pace, like refresh-bang-three more. So it looks much more obnoxiously repetitive on the page than it probably was intended. People didn't refresh before posting is all.

There's no way to know whether we're being trolled or not, before someone comes out with the story. No matter which, I still think that one could answer this question in a way that would help others with similar trouble to get something helpful of of it. But people have done that ("don't don't...").
posted by Namlit at 10:46 AM on October 20, 2010


Yeah, ok, I'm banning him for good. It was spaceandtime30 that made the post, acting as if he was a woman. Fucked. Up.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:48 AM on October 20, 2010 [20 favorites]


If it wasn't spaceandtime30, that ought to be clarified here by the mods, otherwise he's going to have a hard time operating under that username after the week's suspension.
posted by modernnomad at 10:48 AM on October 20, 2010


This is fucked up. Why is this guy still here? he asks the same damn question every week.

Note: Everyone needs a hug.

They were together for 7 years, he took a year off (itch?) and he's back, is that a mortal sin? Just asking and wondering when we (the people) became so hard line and judgemental and unforgiving with human frailty?
posted by The Lady is a designer at 10:49 AM on October 20, 2010


And whoever it was got the anonymous question approved! They would have gotten away with it, if it weren't for us meddling kids!
posted by sonika at 10:49 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Well I'll be darned, that went away quickly. Apparently I'm wrong with 'no way'. Hmmm.
posted by Namlit at 10:49 AM on October 20, 2010


Argh, should have previewed ;p
posted by The Lady is a designer at 10:49 AM on October 20, 2010


Just asking and wondering when we (the people) became so hard line and judgemental and unforgiving with human frailty?

Last Thursday, about five o'clock.
posted by sonika at 10:51 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


They were together for 7 years, he took a year off (itch?) and he's back, is that a mortal sin?

He's banned for fucking with the site, not for human frailty.

And whoever it was got the anonymous question approved!

Lazyweb is a powerful tool.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:51 AM on October 20, 2010


I really hope this isn't taken as a validation of the practice of posting gotcha answers in the thread itself, instead of just contacting the mods.

The scenario of "person in relationship wigs out and flees, returns with apologies and marriage proposal to prove that it's for real for real" is not exactly unique. Imagine how crappy you'd feel if you posted a good faith anonymous AskMe and all the replies were about some other thread.
posted by desuetude at 10:51 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Oy. Poor guy.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:52 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Last Thursday, about five o'clock.

Oh sorry, missed the reminder ... couldn't check email at the conference
posted by The Lady is a designer at 10:52 AM on October 20, 2010


Dorito chicken:
Cut up chicken breasts.
Dip chicken in beaten egg.
Roll in crushed-up doritos (any flavor will work!)
Bake at 350F for 30 minutes.
Serve with cheese sauce.

Goes great with mashed potatoes!
posted by Doofus Magoo at 10:52 AM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Mod question: What's the determining factor in making a banned-for-a-week/banned-for-life decision like this? What changed your minds?
posted by phunniemee at 10:53 AM on October 20, 2010


Just asking and wondering when we (the people) became so hard line and judgemental and unforgiving with human frailty?

Virginia Thomas? Is that you?
posted by December at 10:53 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I really hope this isn't taken as a validation of the practice of posting gotcha answers in the thread itself, instead of just contacting the mods.

Yeah, to be clear, it's not. What should have happened is we should have gotten like a dozen emails really quickly, not seen a bunch of speculation in the thread. This is a pretty weird exceptional case based in part on how hamhanded his turnabout bullshit is once looked at in context, but talking about it in the thread is really not the ideal approach. For the weird freak thing like this that happens once every six months or whatever there are a lot of troubled-but-legit questions out there that don't deserve the derail stuff when people speculate incorrectly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:53 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


"I really hope this isn't taken as a validation of the practice of posting gotcha answers in the thread itself, instead of just contacting the mods."

Preach.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:55 AM on October 20, 2010


For me -- memories of xbeautychicx's relationship posts.
posted by ericb at 10:55 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


What's the determining factor in making a banned-for-a-week/banned-for-life decision like this? What changed your minds?

I thought banned for life was too harsh and something has to be beyond the pale to warrant that. Then I looked at his posting history more and saw the relentless posting of the same question and they were already on thin ice, so fucking with the community is enough for a total ban. Good riddance, the guy was nothing but stress for us.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:55 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Mod question: What's the determining factor in making a banned-for-a-week/banned-for-life decision like this? What changed your minds?

For me it's a question of whether the fuckup is part of a pattern of behavior or not. This guy has been a source of a whole lot of crap on the site, some of it visible and some of it more behind-the-scenes mod work. Capping that off with this Mary Sue sockpuppet bullshit is more the nail in the coffin than anything.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:55 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Sorry about starting that/being the first one to mention it. I honestly thought that it might be spaceandtime's ex, and that seeing his questions might be helpful. It never occurred to me that I might be giving omnomnoms to him, trolling.

I feel really bad for the guy.
posted by peachfuzz at 10:57 AM on October 20, 2010


I'm still pretty sure it's nomadicink.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:57 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I've complained privately about that guy a couple of times. It looks like several of his previous questions were retroactively anonymized (which, when I first noticed, I thought was a kind thing to have done), but now this? Forget it.

For those who don't understand why this is such a big deal that he's banned, spaceandtime30 was becoming That Guy. It's really not so much that he was asking a lot of questions, but that his questions were becoming so noticeable in a way that was having a negative effect on the usefulness of the site. People were getting sick of his doofiness and his questions were accumulating a lot of jokey answers that the mods had to remove and babysit. He was That Guy Who Keeps Obsessing About His Ex And Won't Listen To Us Or His Therapist, kind of like That Guy Who Keeps Asking The Same Question About His Sexuality (seemingly somewhat rehabilitated nowadays), and That Guy Who Asked A Different Question Every Week With Weirdly Offensive Overtones. When you become That Guy, people notice, and it becomes a thing that reduces the usefulness of the site and makes people reluctant to help.
posted by Gator at 10:58 AM on October 20, 2010 [9 favorites]


"For me -- memories of xbeautychicx's relationship posts."

Which weren't trolling.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:59 AM on October 20, 2010


Capping that off with this Mary Sue sockpuppet bullshit is more the nail in the coffin than anything.

Sentence of the year!
posted by breezeway at 10:59 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


On non-preview, what the mods said.
posted by Gator at 10:59 AM on October 20, 2010


Virginia Thomas? Is that you?

Allegedly not
posted by The Lady is a designer at 10:59 AM on October 20, 2010


How did you know it was him? IP address? You can see who posts anonymously, right?
posted by Melismata at 11:00 AM on October 20, 2010


Wow is right.

Thank God when I made a complete clusterfuck out of my 7+ year relationship, I had the shame to do it privately.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:01 AM on October 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


Help me out as my mind is being blown a bit here:

Are we seeing a desperate guy who is using Askme in ways that are fucked up and not cool with today's posting only?

Or were we trolled from the start? Some kind of crazy long game of trolling that took over 3 months?

And do you know how much time I've spent writing answers to that guy? grumblegrumble
posted by fontophilic at 11:01 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


In a way I hope he was just doing it to fuck with us, because the alternative is that he actually thought posting as his ex like that would be a non-creepy thing to do. That poor woman.
posted by Catseye at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Or were we trolled from the start? Some kind of crazy long game of trolling that took over 3 months?

Makes me wonder what sort of awesome climax we all just missed out on.
posted by gerryblog at 11:02 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, so I was right? That NEVER happens, woo!!
posted by Grither at 11:03 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Are we seeing a desperate guy who is using Askme in ways that are fucked up and not cool with today's posting only?

My feeling is that today's was purified fuckery (whether motivated by malice or just bizarro desperation or fishing for perspective) whereas the previous stuff was all poor-impulse-control expressions of his actual difficulties dealing with his actual shit. Bugging us about anonymizing some of the old stuff for privacy-and-regret reasons and then turning around and doing an anonymous switcheroo post would be playing one seriously subtle goddam game and I didn't get that kind of whiff from the dude.

You never know for sure, but that's my take.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:06 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


the alternative is that he actually thought posting as his ex like that would be a non-creepy thing to do

If you'd followed his previous questions as closely as some of us did, you'd see that this would have seemed like a perfectly logical, sensible thing for him to have done.
posted by Gator at 11:06 AM on October 20, 2010 [12 favorites]


what sort of awesome climax

*feels a beavis and butthead moment coming on*
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:07 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I feel really bad for the guy.

If spacenandtime30's a real person, I feel so damn awful for the girl. His previous questions (some of which have been later anonymized I see) are pretty creepy and disrespectful, but posing as his ex to try and get others to sympathize with him, is sociopathic. He no longer seems obsessive and desperate, but dangerous. Dude needs severe help. Girl needs a restraining order. This is all very sad, and I hope these aren't real people :-\
posted by raztaj at 11:07 AM on October 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


And whoever it was got the anonymous question approved!

Yeah this is a side effect of us really not checking to see who has posted the questions. Without the context, this question looks normal. With the context of the asker, it looks completely and totally crazy. I didn't dig for the user's identity because I'm sort of a trusting dork that way.

And me personally I feel that this sort of stuff is a lot more about people's inability to interact socially and a lot less about deliberate trolling, but maybe I'm wrong. In any case, we're done with this one, hopefully for good.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:09 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Stunt post. Stunt cock!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 11:13 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


"posing as his ex to try and get others to sympathize with him, is sociopathic. He no longer seems obsessive and desperate, but dangerous. "

Simmer down.

Seriously. This kind of dramatic diagnosis of mental illness is ridiculous.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:14 AM on October 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


This was creepy as hell and an irritating use of the site, but I also find the kneejerk internet diagnosis behavior on this site to be maddening at times (and I've said it before). It's interesting how quickly people are to pathologize or attempt to find a label to attach to a constellation of behaviors of another user who may or may not be posting in good faith.
posted by proj at 11:16 AM on October 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


And by interesting, of course I mean obnoxious.
posted by proj at 11:16 AM on October 20, 2010


MetaFilter: sort of a trusting dork that way.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:21 AM on October 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


I dunno if he's dangerous as such, but people who not only won't accept 'I don't want to be with you any more' as an answer, but convince themselves that it actually means the opposite and that the person who just turned down their proposal is now their fiancée... well, that's not exactly good.

(I hope he gets help. I also hope she's not actually going to meet him next week, because holy hell.)
posted by Catseye at 11:22 AM on October 20, 2010


"Simmer down. Seriously. This kind of dramatic diagnosis of mental illness is ridiculous."

I'd agree with you if it was just his own questions about himself. But posing as somebody else - not just to be silly or have fun or mess with people, but to pretend you know what that somebody else is thinking/feeling and then get internet people to help you as you stand in for this person without their consent - is way, way beyond just uncool and creepy. I'm ok with armchair diagnosing him as needing help in a big way. And more importantly, that poor girl.
posted by raztaj at 11:24 AM on October 20, 2010


Reindeer with berry sauce and pureed potatoes anyone? I think there's still some red wine left from last night
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:25 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


There are so many weird things about this. His writing style is dramatically different than the tantalizingly vague questions in the past, intentionally I'd suppose. But then why mention all the specific details we do know about, the 7 years together, the 8 months apart, etc. If he had used some other numbers people would have had some pause in connecting the dots.

</beanplating>
posted by fontophilic at 11:26 AM on October 20, 2010


"I'm ok with armchair diagnosing him as needing help in a big way."

If you look at the question, I said and think the exact same thing, but calling him sociopathic and dangerous based on him doing something that is relatively common on internet forums is ridiculous.

If I could ban the terms "sociopath" and "borderline personality disorder" from askmefi I would be happy forever.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:33 AM on October 20, 2010 [15 favorites]


And do you know how much time I've spent writing answers to that guy? grumblegrumble


For those who feel frustrated that if the whole thing was an act from the start, they wasted a lot of time answering questions, please try to remember that, though AskMetafilter questions are first about helping the answerer, I can't be alone in having found advice for others that was helpful to me.

And if someone else who can identify with these particular questions finds your good advice, you may help that person from becoming an ass.

And that's something that's definitely not a waste.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:36 AM on October 20, 2010 [9 favorites]


I don't think I've ever suggested this before, but can I respectfully submit that this be closed? The situation has been explained and everyone knows what happened -- which is good. What no one knows, and what simply cannot be explained here, is why he did what he did.

He was either trolling from the beginning with the repeated should-I-propose-to-my-ex questions, and then completed the troll with the anonymous question. Which would be bad, but it's a moot point now because he's banned and it's not going to happen again.

Or, those questions were on the level, and he really did have a seriously dysfunctional relationship (or a seriously dysfunctional conception of the relationship). Now he's lost an (inappropriate) outlet for discussing that relationship. And if it was that dysfunctional to begin with, how is reading about our opinions of the level of dysfunction going to help him? If he was close to the edge to begin with, maybe we should just let it alone, lest our words push him over?

Just a thought. Again, respectfully submitted. Just don't see how this can help anything.
posted by mudpuppie at 11:36 AM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Cut it out with all the tweeting shit, ffs.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:37 AM on October 20, 2010


All this really goes to show that you should be careful in which order you put your periods and quotation marks.
posted by questionsandanchors at 11:37 AM on October 20, 2010


calling him sociopathic and dangerous based on him doing something that is relatively common on internet forums is ridiculous.

I myself wouldn't feel comfortable slapping such labels on him. But ever since his last couple of questions (in which he made it Kodachrome-clear that he thinks he's living in the "boy loses girl" section of a formulaic chick flick, he proposed, she said no, and he proposed again), I've actually been concerned that the guy would ultimately end up hurting himself.
posted by Gator at 11:38 AM on October 20, 2010


Are we seeing a desperate guy who is using Askme in ways that are fucked up and not cool with today's posting only?

Hoenstly the way it came off to me was in line with his previous habits: He asked the same question a bunch of times and each time I believe he marked as best answer the things which fell more or less in line with what he wanted to hear. Seemed like he just wanted reinforcement of the idea.

When he didn't seem to be getting that no matter how he phrased it, he asked it a completely different way - this time from the other person's perspective. I mean that's how it seemed to me anyway, I really don't know for sure what was going on in his head.

Either way he doesn't sound dangerous to me, unless his ex is deathly allergic to annoyance.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 11:39 AM on October 20, 2010


but calling him sociopathic and dangerous based on him doing something that is relatively common on internet forums is ridiculous.

If I could ban the terms "sociopath" and "borderline personality disorder" from askmefi I would be happy forever.


The bar for these two terms has forever been raised for me by my exhusband, who indeed met and married me over the Internet. I thought I knew then how to read an online persona based on three or four years experience (in the late nineties, the previous century, another continent) but today, I'd say that while one can never be quite certain by the electronic words alone whether someone is sociopathic or dangerous (there are exceptions however, I recall the guy in the grey who simply didn't get what was wrong with his AskMe responses) I would also say that these labels aren't that easy to aspire to by most human beings.
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:39 AM on October 20, 2010


Good riddance, but I can sort of understand his (flawed, damaged, incorrect) motivation. He wasn't trolling, or looking for sympathy. He was trying to get a sort of crowd-sourced impression of this poor woman's motivation and perspective. In a destructive and creepy way, but o genuinely think he was genuinely looking for information, not sympathy or lulz.

I hope he gets the help he needs.
posted by dirtdirt at 11:40 AM on October 20, 2010


Jessamyn, I don't think your trusting nature makes you a dork, at all. It's a good quality to have. I suppose it has to be backed up with the ability to hold onto that same trust, tenaciously, even when people behave badly. I wish I had more of that, honestly.
posted by adipocere at 11:41 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Simmer down.

So, recipes are ok again?
posted by toodleydoodley at 11:43 AM on October 20, 2010 [3 favorites]


Yeah, he definitely needs help, but don't dump on him too much; never underestimate the pain one can be in over unrequited love. Man, it hurts.
posted by Melismata at 11:45 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ugh. This makes me feel horrible. I really hope the guy gets help.
posted by Dr-Baa at 11:46 AM on October 20, 2010


*hugs toodley for the comic relief wagon screeching into home base just in time*
posted by The Lady is a designer at 11:47 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


mathowie: “Yeah, ok, I'm banning him for good. It was spaceandtime30 that made the post, acting as if he was a woman. Fucked. Up.”

Just a minor thing, as you've probably already contacted him and let him know this, but I figure the deletion reason should probably be changed now to remove the "banned for a week" bit, right?
posted by koeselitz at 11:48 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Metafilter: poor-impulse-control expressions of actual difficulties
posted by Ironmouth at 11:51 AM on October 20, 2010


"each time I believe he marked as best answer the things which fell more or less in line with what he wanted to hear."

No, he marked a variety of answers as best answer.

These kinds of speculative pile-ons when someone can't possibly respond or clarify bring out the worst in this community.

I also think this should be closed.
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:55 AM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Simmer Down
posted by scody at 11:56 AM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


MR HAUGHEY CLOSE DOWN THIS META
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:56 AM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


Agree that the asker screwed things up on a number of levels,but I do wonder about a couple of things. First, is this the only time an anonymous asker has been outed by the mods? Second (and I know only one person who is no longer here can answer this one), why ask anonymously rather than use a sockpuppet? It seems the latter option would be a little harder to detect when pulling a stunt like this.
posted by TedW at 11:57 AM on October 20, 2010


I'm just wishing there was a way to give advice to his girl
posted by The Lady is a designer at 12:01 PM on October 20, 2010


No, he marked a variety of answers as best answer.

Hm, you're right. I had remembered it differently for some reason.

My memory of the most recent time it happened was that he initially marked as best the two answers which said "go for it!" in whatever capacity, however reserved, until called out on it, and then started marking different answers. As to his thought process there, I cannot speculate.

But that is only my (often faulty) memory, and only the one time; I cede the point.

The only speculation I can bring to this is that there really seems to be some sort of hole in the guy's life, and I can't even begin to guess at the particular size and shape of it, but I hope he finds something healthy with which to fill it.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 12:03 PM on October 20, 2010


> MR HAUGHEY CLOSE DOWN THIS META

Please.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:04 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm just wishing there was a way to give advice to his girl

Well she did ask a question.

Oh wait.

I think for those of you looking for logical answers (Why ask anonymously? Why use details so close to the original question when none were necessary?), I think you're...

Well, there's got to be an appropriate metaphor but I can't think of one. I'm looking for one that means you're getting tripped up on trying to apply logical/rational thought to an irrational/illogical action. This whole situation seems unbelievable to many for a reason.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 12:05 PM on October 20, 2010


Yeah, this didn't seem any more of a hoax than xbeautychickx's posts. Which is, IMHO, also a big hoax.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 12:06 PM on October 20, 2010


I wonder if the government should return to the gold standard..
posted by crapmatic at 12:07 PM on October 20, 2010


No, he marked a variety of answers as best answer.

Hm, you're right. I had remembered it differently for some reason.


He originally marked only those answers which agreed with what he wanted to hear, and later marked a wider variety of answers upon having it pointed out that he was only marking answers which agreed with what he wanted to hear. IIRC.
posted by elizardbits at 12:07 PM on October 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


Could we not drag other users by name into this?
posted by Gator at 12:08 PM on October 20, 2010 [8 favorites]


you're getting tripped up on trying to apply logical/rational thought to an irrational/illogical action

"why do I love thee? let me list the reasons" (forgive me Will)
posted by The Lady is a designer at 12:09 PM on October 20, 2010


I'm just wishing there was a way to give advice to his girl

He got the best we could offer. Repeatedly. That has to be good enough.
posted by zarq at 12:09 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Also, another vote to close this. This is a pile on of someone who can't defend himself.
posted by zarq at 12:11 PM on October 20, 2010


so where is that reindeer with simmered down wine or what was it? Still waiting...
posted by Namlit at 12:18 PM on October 20, 2010


Agree that the asker screwed things up on a number of levels,but I do wonder about a couple of things. First, is this the only time an anonymous asker has been outed by the mods?

Well, to be clear, we wouldn't be talking about the account connection if it wasn't really, really out of the bag already. If we'd caught this without any public discussion, it'd have been a delete and ban with a vague deletion reason and that'd be that.

Yeah, this didn't seem any more of a hoax than xbeautychickx's posts.

It would be really nice not to have metatalk threads turn into referendums about other users who aren't present or involved.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:19 PM on October 20, 2010 [6 favorites]


so where is that reindeer with simmered down wine or what was it? Still waiting...

*burp*

oops...
posted by The Lady is a designer at 12:26 PM on October 20, 2010


> *burp*

oops...


Shouldn't you be out doing that thing you should be doing instead?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:32 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I feel kind of honored that my post was the last one in that thread! Whoo!

I answered it earnestly, in part because I thought there was at least some chance it really was the girl he'd been dating... And, in part, because I thought the thread was going to be staying open and I wanted there to be at least some advice for anyone in those circumstances who stumbled across that thread. It really isn't that outlandish a situation.
posted by meese at 12:36 PM on October 20, 2010


Late in the evening, after having combed my long hair, I like to curl up on the sofa with MeTa
posted by The Lady is a designer at 12:37 PM on October 20, 2010


Ack! preview ;p Burh... (grars)
posted by The Lady is a designer at 12:38 PM on October 20, 2010


Oh my.
posted by zizzle at 12:38 PM on October 20, 2010


Oh yeah, you're That Girl.
posted by Gator at 12:38 PM on October 20, 2010 [5 favorites]


MR.GORBACHEV, TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!
posted by ericb at 12:46 PM on October 20, 2010


so where is that reindeer with simmered down wine or what was it? Still waiting...

*burp*
oops...


No worries, I fed myself on troll instead. [actually, I fried some plaice fillets in olive oil with chopped chilis and garlic]
posted by Namlit at 1:04 PM on October 20, 2010


For a second there I was a little bit proud that I was the first person to call "troll." But after that second, I was just sad. I would rather the cynical view of people not be the right one. :(
posted by headnsouth at 1:08 PM on October 20, 2010


But posing as somebody else - not just to be silly or have fun or mess with people, but to pretend you know what that somebody else is thinking/feeling and then get internet people to help you as you stand in for this person without their consent - is way, way beyond just uncool and creepy. I'm ok with armchair diagnosing him as needing help in a big way

Certainly it's fine to disapprove, but behavior pretty much exactly as you describe above has been a widely-understood phenomenon in chat rooms since the BBS days.

Really, it's tough enough for people who are actually mentally ill to deal with stigma and misunderstanding of their diagnosis. I don't think tossing everyone who does something sorta-creepy into a folk-definition of an affliction is helpful to anyone.

"It's inexplicable that someone think this is okay" does not require a corresponding "ergo, they must be a sociopath."
posted by desuetude at 1:16 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I would give a million dollars to hear the woman's side of the story on this one.
posted by geoff. at 1:16 PM on October 20, 2010 [4 favorites]


"He originally marked only those answers which agreed with what he wanted to hear, and later marked a wider variety of answers upon having it pointed out that he was only marking answers which agreed with what he wanted to hear. IIRC."

No one should be criticizing the OP for marking whatever answers they want to as "best answer" anyway.

It's a derail and when multiple people do it, it comes across as self-important bullying.
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:17 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]



I'm just wishing there was a way to give advice to his girl



I wonder if he was hoping people would say "give him another chance" in the most recent question and then he was going to send her a link to the question. Or, even weirder, she asked him to post it.
posted by drezdn at 1:33 PM on October 20, 2010


No one should be criticizing the OP for marking whatever answers they want to as "best answer" anyway.

This may be a situation where what you personally feel is true comes up against how people actually use the site. AskMe is an open forum and people are going to react how they react. The OP of the question isn't around to interact here so it would be nice if people wouldn't be trying him in absentia, but at the same time observing the behavior of someone who has basically taken advantage of the loose rules of the site is not itself against the rules and is something that frequently happens in MeTa.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:42 PM on October 20, 2010


I would give a million dollars to hear the woman's side of the story on this one.

I'll get it for you, but I'll need half the money up front.
posted by item at 1:44 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't really care if people do it here, jessamyn, I'm mostly reacting to people who do it in askmes, but point taken (and I should, and will, bow out of this thread).
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:49 PM on October 20, 2010


Initially his repeated questions were... odd. But this just took it to a new level. This poor woman, the object of this guy's obsessions.

Sadly, this kind of weird obsessive fixated behavior as a result of unrequited love happens a zillion times a day to a zillion people. It's just odd when it comes to your front steps, as it were.
posted by jerseygirl at 1:50 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


No one should be criticizing the OP for marking whatever answers they want to as "best answer" anyway.

I wasn't criticizing, I was agreeing with the quoted commenter about how I recalled the situation unfolding.
posted by elizardbits at 1:50 PM on October 20, 2010


So... wait. Was this whole story a hoax, or was he really posting to see what kind of advice she would get?
posted by biochemist at 2:28 PM on October 20, 2010


We don't know for sure, but I'm inclined to think he was for real (except when he was pretending to be her). Based on his months of history here and the results of some quiet Googling, if he was trolling, he'd have to have been playing a really long, Machiavellian game.
posted by Gator at 2:34 PM on October 20, 2010


So the mods can reveal the identity of an anon poster? I've gotta say, that makes me much less inclined to ever ask an "anonymous" question again.
posted by tomtheblackbear at 2:39 PM on October 20, 2010


> So the mods can reveal the identity of an anon poster? I've gotta say, that makes me much less inclined to ever ask an "anonymous" question again.

I'm neither here nor there about posting to AskMe anonymously, but I think in this case it's pretty clear that the identity of the poster got out because he was abusing the privilege. Don't abuse it and it will be smooth sailing.

For what it's worth I'm not terribly pleased that I didn't just email the mods and let them sort it out behind the scenes instead of bringing this to MeTa.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:44 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I would also like people to stop offering armchair diagnoses of various personality disorders. It doesn't actually help anything. In fact, I would go so far as to say...

No competent, ethical mental health professional would diagnose anyone with a personality disorder based on a series of forum posts; therefore, if X offers such a diagnosis of Y based on Y's posts, X is incompetent, or is unethical, or not a mental health professional.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 2:48 PM on October 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


I'm neither here nor there about posting to AskMe anonymously, but I think in this case it's pretty clear that the identity of the poster got out because he was abusing the privilege. Don't abuse it and it will be smooth sailing.

For what it's worth I'm not terribly pleased that I didn't just email the mods and let them sort it out behind the scenes instead of bringing this to MeTa.


I understand that in this particular case, the anon poster was a troll. I had just been under the impression that anonymous questions stayed anonymous unless they violated some very specific terms that are outlined in the anonymous form. Maybe the form needs to be changed to say:

"Potentially personal information will be linked back to you if the moderators decide you are troll. You might be banned for a week... no, wait... make it forever. Don't mess up."
posted by tomtheblackbear at 2:53 PM on October 20, 2010


So the mods can reveal the identity of an anon poster? I've gotta say, that makes me much less inclined to ever ask an "anonymous" question again.

This is a situation where basically the thread was already outing the anon poster who was then banned. It's an ugly situation and we'd prefer that the entire thing hadn't happened, but if you're taking advantage of the site and/or seriously fucking with AskMe [and this is in cases where it's mod-determined that this is what you are doing, not just some witch hunt] then we're put on the spot. In this case mathowie made the decision and I think it's proper that this sort of thing more or less stays in the realm of something he could do at his discretion.

Generally we'll protect your anonymity to the best of our ability, but we've said in the FAQ and elsewhere that if you need your anonymous question to be 100% never-ever-revealed no matter what you do or what happens, then this is not the forum to be asking your question.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:56 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


Cut it out with all the tweeting shit, ffs.

I've noticed there are a few MeFi members who often diss MeFi and AskMe users.

I think it is really unbecoming and unfair. Backstabby and gossipy and rude.
posted by five fresh fish at 3:04 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


I understand that in this particular case, the anon poster was a troll. I had just been under the impression that anonymous questions stayed anonymous unless they violated some very specific terms that are outlined in the anonymous form.

As I said upthread, the poster was functionally outed before we were even involved. Confirming the obvious in the specific case of outlandish abuse of the site and the anonymous function itself is, at that, not something we love to be doing but it's also (a) a tremendously weird outlier situation and (b) pretty much the only option available to us. The alternative being, I guess, to steadfastly refuse to acknowledge the blindingly obvious while nonetheless banning the speculated-about account with no comment.

People need to not fuck with the site, and they need to not abuse the anonymous function. Those are bannable offenses, with no apologies. We aren't going to out someone in the process just to be malicious, but we're also not going to go to bat for them in the face of an unwinnable fight for already-blown privacy in the bizarre circumstances that that actually comes up.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:16 PM on October 20, 2010


this Mary Sue sockpuppet bullshit

I don't know why precisely, but this phrase just tickles me to no end. Someone should make a greasemonkey script that replaces all instances of "anonymous" in AskMe with "Mary Sue Sockpuppet".
posted by amyms at 3:27 PM on October 20, 2010 [7 favorites]


FWIW, I was pretty well convinced it was not spaceandtime30, and instead someone making fun of him. Clearing his name was going to be just as important if the events had happened differently.

Rock and a hard place.
posted by fontophilic at 3:30 PM on October 20, 2010


> I've noticed there are a few MeFi members who often diss MeFi and AskMe users.

I think it is really unbecoming and unfair. Backstabby and gossipy and rude.


Ah, thankfully I'm only dimly aware that there is gossipy Mefi-related chatter on Twitter. My comment was actually a cryptic and poorly communicated reaction to a particular user in this thread.
posted by Burhanistan at 3:33 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


Ah, thankfully I'm only dimly aware that there is gossipy Mefi-related chatter on Twitter.

Eh, I'm just gonna slot it into the same pigeonhole as R'n'B: vaguely aware in the back of my mind that it exists, but that doesn't mean I'd ever want to have anything to do with it.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:22 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


simhuh dah nah

'Ah, thankfully I'm only dimly aware that there is gossipy Mefi-related chatter on Twitter'
twitter relates to said meta/askme behavior...how, in your case

posted by clavdivs at 5:45 PM on October 20, 2010


"that was Glitter Emily...."
posted by clavdivs at 5:46 PM on October 20, 2010


Did this really happen? What a lovely ending to an inspiring story of hope.
posted by fuq at 6:11 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


*** POOP ***


You may close the thread now.
posted by Deathalicious at 6:41 PM on October 20, 2010


speaking of poop yesterday my sister's puppy pooped a used condom
posted by sunnichka at 9:35 PM on October 20, 2010 [1 favorite]


APPARENTLY MY RONNIE REAGAN NEEDS SOME WORK PERHAPS I SHALL UNLEASH MY ZBIGNEW BRZEZINSKI
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:01 PM on October 20, 2010


> PERHAPS I SHALL UNLEASH MY ZBIGNEW BRZEZINSKI

Is that like removing your Prince Albert?
posted by Burhanistan at 10:04 PM on October 20, 2010 [2 favorites]


I'm listening to my Thomas Tallis.
posted by pracowity at 1:25 AM on October 21, 2010


This is a stunt post. You are banned for a week for abusing Ask MeFi.

Mathowie, the next time my kids need a good disciplining, you're up to bat. That deletion reason has "dad" written all over it, and should have ended with "Now clean your room, dinner's in fifteen minutes."
posted by davejay at 1:27 AM on October 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm just wishing there was a way to give advice to his girl
posted by The Lady is a designer at 8:01 PM on October 20


You really think he has one?
posted by Decani at 3:12 AM on October 21, 2010


Yes, because if he didn't he wouldn't be going on so...

Now, the real irony of this story would be discovering she thought he'd dumped her when he dissapeared and they're both in the throes of perceived unrequited love ... for each other


man, that's evil...

So I guess I've been having visions of a happy ending enabled by MeFi
posted by The Lady is a designer at 7:31 AM on October 21, 2010


Lady, you and I have very different ideas about what constitutes a happy ending.
posted by box at 12:57 PM on October 22, 2010


Yes, because if he didn't he wouldn't be going on so...


posted by The Lady is a designer at 3:31 PM on October 21


I humbly suggest you are perhaps not as acquainted with the mind of the loner sociopathic young male as you might be. This is not something you should feel troubled about by the way. :-)
posted by Decani at 1:18 PM on October 22, 2010


True, and perhaps that acquaintance is experience I don't need to acquire either
posted by The Lady is a designer at 1:20 PM on October 22, 2010


considers blaming mom for all the non stop bollywood inspired daytime soaps that destroyed her tender development years
posted by The Lady is a designer at 1:21 PM on October 22, 2010




« Older Sorted into Gryffindor   |   looking for the lost middle class (thread) Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments