What to do with snark at fellow commenters? November 2, 2010 2:24 PM   Subscribe

What is the general consensus when you've contributed an answer to AskMefi and another answerer decides to be snarky about what you said?

I'm not going to name any specific instances, but there's been a handful of times that people have said offensive things in response to my answer of a question.

My immediate desire is to respond to them. This has only resulted in moderation (and rightfully so, in most cases).

I've been trying to flag them instead, but because it's not outright offensive.. I feel like nothing will happen.

Does the rest of the community just take it in stride and I need to develop a thicker skin?
posted by royalsong to Etiquette/Policy at 2:24 PM (114 comments total)

Flag it and move on or if it's minor skip the flagging part of that.

You don't need to defend yourself. You may need to clarify your answer for the sake of the asker, in which case do so, but don't do it fighty style - your answers are there to answer the question.
posted by aubilenon at 2:26 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


ignore it....
posted by HuronBob at 2:27 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Write up a scathing response, then delete it, flag it, move on and eat a cookie.
posted by pwally at 2:29 PM on November 2, 2010 [29 favorites]


Get his dox and post on 4chan.

I mean, just move on.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 2:32 PM on November 2, 2010


Flag it, move on, drop us an email if you think what they said was deleteworthy or if you'd like someone to commiserate with. You can even write a reply and send it to me instead of posting it to the thread, that seems to work okay for some people.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:32 PM on November 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


An eye for an eye. Write back with your own snark, and try to make it even more clever and snarky so that you "one-up" the snarker.
posted by John Cohen at 2:32 PM on November 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Maybe your answers are very bad.
posted by found missing at 2:32 PM on November 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I had an answer I'd given picked apart, bulleted-list style, by another answer. It was like this person was responding to me rather than the question at hand. I resisted the urge to snip back. I earned a secret silent brownie point that day. Everyone knows secret sweets are tastier.

Until I blabbed about it here. Hmm.
posted by fontophilic at 2:33 PM on November 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


By day, a mild mannered librarian, by night .......jessamyn, Surrogate Antagonist

Does that character wear one of those spandex outfits and a cape?
posted by HuronBob at 2:36 PM on November 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


I would feel great. Whenever someone takes a personal swipe at you, it means you matter, you got their attention. And there's no such thing as negative attention.
posted by Eideteker at 2:37 PM on November 2, 2010 [5 favorites]


An eye for an eye. Write back with your own snark, and try to make it even more clever and snarky so that you "one-up" the snarker.

Is this what the kids today are calling a joke?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:38 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Yeah, what fontophilic said. There is a much lower thresh-hold for unacceptable snark on AskMe, and a lot of times when I resisted the urge to snark back and flagged it instead, a helpful moderator took care of it for me.
posted by muddgirl at 2:38 PM on November 2, 2010


so that you "one-up" the snarker.

I tried this once. I ended up with a pulled muscle, a crumpled fender, and a dog that will never fully trust a vacuum cleaner ever again.

Not recommended.
posted by quin at 2:39 PM on November 2, 2010 [9 favorites]


I have snarked in askme, and been snarked at, and seen the results get rightfully deleted. If I can't somehow write a comment that both answers the question and clarifies or corrects an poorly worded or wrong comment by someone else, I try to stay out of it. If I get snarked at in askme, I also try to FIAMO.
posted by rtha at 2:40 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Personally, whenever anyone directs snark at me or one of my precious comments, I summon every droplet of hatred in my unfathomable reserve of vitriol and direct it at the commentator using the power of my mind (a capacity that arose in me when I was bitten by a particularly cranky radioactive spitting adder).

Then I sit back, content in the knowledge that from that moment onwards, my psychic malice will cause every setback, downfall and tragedy in that person's life--every stubbed toe, every dinged fender, every lost pet, cutback, layoff, writeup, downgrade, diagnosis, desperation, despondency, deception, dissolution, and demise. Lives previously fated for ease and comfort have fallen to ruin, all because of one snarky comment and the telepathic retribution I cast, capricious as an ill-tempered Elder God.

But if if the comment is not so bad, I just flag it and move on.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 2:41 PM on November 2, 2010 [30 favorites]


That they're an ass. I know I've done it. I actually went and checked the last question I did it in to see if it was you. It wasn't.

Really though, I just flag or ignore. Sometimes both. Then I go cook things because I tend to notice this sort of thing about when it's time for me to make diner.
posted by theichibun at 2:45 PM on November 2, 2010


You should find them and kill them.

No wait, you should make a MetaTalk post about it.

No wait, you forget about and go outside and maybe PayPal the mods some beer money.
posted by entropicamericana at 2:46 PM on November 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I've snarked in ask a couple of times. Then I have to go take a shower. Not recommended.
posted by bonehead at 2:53 PM on November 2, 2010


Slap them with your internets glove and demand satisfaction.
posted by elizardbits at 2:53 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I tend to notice this sort of thing about when it's time for me to make diner.

Mel? Is that you? Flo and Alice and Vera have been wondering where the hell you've been.
posted by hippybear at 2:59 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Is this what the kids today are calling a joke?

Yes.
posted by John Cohen at 2:59 PM on November 2, 2010


Definitely FIAMO.
posted by zarq at 3:18 PM on November 2, 2010


FIRTFRAAMO. Flag it, remove thread from recent activity, and move on.
posted by Zed at 3:23 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


royalsong: "I feel like nothing will happen."

This has not been my experience.
posted by boo_radley at 3:25 PM on November 2, 2010


If there is a legitimate discussion in response to a point you made, and you can reply while staying level-headed and on-topic in order to clarify or reach an understanding, then go ahead and reply. If it's gotten into personal attacks or is unlikely to help or add to the OP in any way, be the bigger person and don't waste your time. Let them have their say, let the haters hate, and go on with your bad self.
posted by Nixy at 3:29 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


And there's no such thing as negative attention.

You have clearly not been yelled at by a homeless man while waiting for a bus recently.

Being yelled at by a man with a home would be no better.
posted by maryr at 3:32 PM on November 2, 2010


Draw a picture of them, with your own blood, then set it on fire and let the waves of hate and anger drift to your arch nemesis.

Or eat a cookie.
posted by nomadicink at 3:34 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I had an experience once where I decided to write someone a MeMail about an in-thread disagreement, with the intent to facilitate further discussion and understanding in a more appropriate and non-threadshitting manner. They wrote me back to say that they had reported me to the mods for being impolite. I learned, after that, to only worry about myself and what *I* say, and when other people say dumb things on the internet, that I don't need to make it my responsibility to right their wrongs.
posted by so_gracefully at 3:35 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Most of the time the best thing to do is not reply - it may feel like you're "letting them get the last word" but another way to frame it is you're "not going to dignify that with a response." If the snarker was trying to get your goat, they will be just stewing at their computer waiting to find out if they succeeded. If you don't reply, they'll just be left wondering and a bit frustrated.

Also bear in mind that readers are sensible and if the snark is obviously unjustified, the readers will be thinking worse of the snarker -- they won't take it as a reflection on you, only on the snarker.

If there's a factual assertion that matters to your answer, and that's what's being challenged, it can be okay to offer evidence that your facts are correct.

But the general rule of thumb in AskMe is: take the high road. This usually means just not responding.
posted by LobsterMitten at 4:01 PM on November 2, 2010


bonehead: "I've snarked in ask a couple of times. Then I have to go take a shower. Not recommended"

This seems to be a definition of the word snark that is new to me.
posted by Splunge at 4:04 PM on November 2, 2010


It's happened to me a few times. I try not to have a thin skin, but geez, sometimes it just seems so mean-spirited as to warrant some kind of a reply. I can recall two times that I've sent a "What's your problem?" MeMail. The first time ended with friendly chitchat and the second time ended with a more snottiness. So anyway, I recommend MeMail as an option. Or a voodoo doll emblazoned with the offender's username.
posted by amyms at 4:14 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Mutter to yourself, "But they do have humidity and bugs in D.C."
posted by Houstonian at 4:22 PM on November 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


I complain about it to a friend who knows what mefi is.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:23 PM on November 2, 2010


You can use it as an opportunity to observe how 'right' some people think they are, then use it as a mirror to wonder about whether you too are falsely certain of rightness, and ultimately use it to observe the human experience with greater equanimity.

Or flag it and move on. I try not to respond to crap comments in my direction, personally. If I didn't think I was right I wouldn't have posted it in the first place.

So either paragraph one or two should suit.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:25 PM on November 2, 2010


What kind of cookies produce this magic mellow? Recipe please.
P.S. Is it necessary to eat them outside?
posted by Cranberry at 4:26 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


This is only somewhat related, but I just want to use this space to note that one strong reason behind my never asking personal questions on AskMe is that I have a deathly fear of someone responding using the phrase "Oh, honey".

I'm pretty sure that would be more than I could take.
posted by chaff at 4:27 PM on November 2, 2010 [12 favorites]


I have a deathly fear of someone responding using the phrase "Oh, honey".

I'd say when that phrase turns up, it's an indication of a deathly wrong turn in life.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 4:29 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I try hard to ignore it. Because the question is about the OP's problem, not about me as an answerer or snarky as a snarker. One exception would be when I feel that the reason the person is snarking is because I expressed myself poorly (like I responded in a way that sounds like I meant something I didn't) in which case, I'll sometimes (rarely) respond to clarify-wow, didn't mean to sound crazy, what I meant was blah blah blah. If someone still decides to snark back----well, I go away and give them the benefit of the doubt. Meaning that I assume they disagree because they aren't as smart as me.
posted by supercapitalist at 4:32 PM on November 2, 2010


...I have a deathly fear of someone responding using the phrase "Oh, honey

The phrase does seem popular lately. It always comes off as odd and condescending to my hears, but whatever floats your All Terrain Vehicle.
posted by nomadicink at 4:32 PM on November 2, 2010


I believe that this is precisely what the "noise" flag category was invented for.
posted by flabdablet at 4:40 PM on November 2, 2010


I once had someone write something in response to what I said that simply wasn't correct. For me, hat's a kind of content-transformed snark ("you dummy didn't think this through DID YOU?").

Never posted my answer, but it took me a while not to. Funny how this is actually easier to do than refraining from plain old quips, for which I have a secret predilection...

[and fontophilic needs to give back that brownie. And I'm still so sad that my snark about that giraffe ('it's a long story') got deleted. Ack.]
posted by Namlit at 4:42 PM on November 2, 2010


Oh, and jessamyn is bloody good at lowering the AskMe noise level, so flag away. If you're really lucky, you'll get to see a pissy little "Why was my AskMe answer deleted?" whine appear in MeTa - then you know you've won!
posted by flabdablet at 4:42 PM on November 2, 2010


Is it still ok, in AskMe, to respond to wrong factual statements, in neutral or polite manner. I.E. "Actually, the US Senate has 100 seats, not 110 as sososo wrote" with a link as proof?
posted by nomadicink at 4:46 PM on November 2, 2010


I flag it, but I don't move on.

I will never move on.
posted by bondcliff at 4:51 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Your hand, cut it off.
posted by Carbolic at 4:52 PM on November 2, 2010


Is it still ok, in AskMe, to respond to wrong factual statements, in neutral or polite manner.

Totally. The "measure twice, cut once" maxim applies though. Remove snark, then remove it again.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:53 PM on November 2, 2010 [4 favorites]


Don't do anything about it, that fucker's wrong and the day will come, mark my words, the day will come. You won't want to be nearby when it does!
posted by breezeway at 4:57 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I used to post jokey answers, and for some reason, it was ages until I figured out it was unacceptable and they were getting deleted as fast as I could post 'em.

I was really embarrassed when I found out though.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:58 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


Christ Jess, it was just those 67 times, LET IT GO ALREADY.
posted by nomadicink at 5:01 PM on November 2, 2010


The "measure twice, cut once" maxim applies though. Remove snark, then remove it again.

But wouldn't that be measure twice cut twice?
posted by Splunge at 5:02 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I do always take a moment to reflect how much better it would be if I were as good at provoking the discussion I crave around here as I evidently am at provoking anger.

Then, if the comment is aggrieved or wounded I'll let it go or even apologize sometimes, but if I perceive the commenter's tone to be arrogant or overweening, I'll usually give them a bit of a smack.
posted by jamjam at 5:05 PM on November 2, 2010


Do not ever get involved in argument with another answerer in an AskMe thread. I've done this once in my fairly short history on MeFi. I really regreted it.

Don't do this. Flag snarky responses, but understand that while snarky responses that are just snarky are likely to be deleted, answers that take the form of a snarky response plus a legitimate answer to the question (where legitimate answer does not equal correct answer) are likely not to be deleted because they contain a legitimate answer.

The mods delete fighty answers to AskMe questions, but it's up to the asker to wade through the answers (good, bad or snark) and decide what makes sense. We have to assume that askers are intelligent enough to do that.
posted by nangar at 5:16 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


I once had someone write something in response to what I said that simply wasn't correct. For me, hat's a kind of content-transformed snark ("you dummy didn't think this through DID YOU?").

Never posted my answer, but it took me a while not to.


The latest one was exactly this and what prompted me to post here.

I suppose I need to stock up on the cookies.

One of the reasons I don't feel as though nothing will come of flagging it.. in the most recent example was that the snarker was not overly offensive, but it was a definite jab at what I had said. It wasn't a: "Royalsong is The bluest uninformed dinosaur I've ever seen!" but more just like: "*rolls eyes* Such a stupid answer. My opinion is opposite of Royalsong's."
posted by royalsong at 5:20 PM on November 2, 2010


The commenter who set you off could have been a bit more polite, but I agree with him that your answer could have used a little qualifying and it was worth pointing out that the concerns you mentioned won't necessarily apply to the OP. (FWIW, I've had bags of candy that lasted for years, good as new every time.)
posted by amro at 5:43 PM on November 2, 2010


I deleted that annoying comment, it was more of a gotcha than an answer. Not helpful.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:45 PM on November 2, 2010


Flag it and move on, because if you can tell they're being a douchebag, so can everyone else.
posted by davejay at 5:51 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


I suppose my answer was just from my experience making candy and having gobs of it left over from trick or treating escapades. I was leaning more towards answering what happens to candy over time. I'll keep it in mind for future answers, though. :)

Thanks Jessamyn. Now I feel bad because I made a stink about it here. XD

Damn morals!
posted by royalsong at 5:56 PM on November 2, 2010


This is really interesting. I had someone email me about a reply I posted. My reply was somewhat snarky, yes, it was. However, she decided to call me a jackass and berate me in the email- pretty full of win on her part. I have never attacked someone directly on metafilter, despite some of my snarky, not very nice comments but, personally, I don't think it's alright to call someone you don't know a jackass, on the internet or in real life.
posted by TheBones at 5:58 PM on November 2, 2010


Ugh, that sentence was ridiculous. I'm a jackass and should learn some damn grammar.
posted by TheBones at 6:06 PM on November 2, 2010


My personal rule about this: never stop talking directly to the person who asked the question. You can mention and even disagree with other answers, but never stop offering an answer yourself. You'll find that if you do this, the line between bickering and being constructive becomes blindingly clear; because it's really obvious that "anonymous, I think you should ignore what jessamyn said!" is just bickering, whereas I think it's also clear that "anonymous, I actually disagree with jessamyn because of x, y, and z; that's why I said above that..." might be a good answer. There are shades of nuance in between, but the guiding purpose is to answer the poster's question.
posted by koeselitz at 6:07 PM on November 2, 2010 [3 favorites]


Some people get way too invested in being right on AskMe.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:10 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Think up an awesome come back and derail the thread for a while.
posted by chunking express at 6:21 PM on November 2, 2010


No wait, the opposite of that.
posted by chunking express at 6:21 PM on November 2, 2010


Funny, I just noticed in another AskMe that one person casually dismissed a lot of advice given by other people, and one person replied, obviously offended. I flagged both as derail, and moved on. The system works!
posted by davejay at 6:31 PM on November 2, 2010


...but, personally, I don't think it's alright to call someone you don't know a jackass, on the internet or in real life.

Well, you would say that, jackass.

oh come on you all wanted to
posted by davejay at 6:32 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


No, because it would be unpleasant.
posted by nomadicink at 6:39 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


What do you do when you're reading AskMe answers and you come across one that is objectively, factually wrong?
posted by box at 6:40 PM on November 2, 2010


OVER THE LINE SMOKEY- figuratively, that is.
posted by TheBones at 6:40 PM on November 2, 2010


This is when it's really great to be married to a Mefite. All you have to do is turn to your left, say, did you see that in that thread?? Can you believe that asshole??? They will say, yes, said asshole is an asshole! If you're not married to a Mefite, you could always strike up a friendship with another Mefite and IM them for a similar online conversation.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 6:45 PM on November 2, 2010 [10 favorites]


Yeah, but it'd be just my luck to commiserate with a MeFite who was married to the MeFite I just called an asshole.
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:52 PM on November 2, 2010


WHAT ARE SOME HACKS FOR GROWING TESTICLES
posted by fire&wings at 7:05 PM on November 2, 2010


If you're not married to a Mefite, you could always strike up a friendship with another Mefite and IM them for a similar online conversation.

Or just pick a random number between 1 and ~120000, go to http://www.metafilter.com/user/[number], and spousify!
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 7:20 PM on November 2, 2010 [1 favorite]


box - I saw just this this morning; an answer with a mistake in the detail that made it obvious the answerer either had only a basic idea of what they were talking about, or had gotten their Google skills badly crossed with Male Answer Syndrome. Essentially, if they'd just answered the question with what they knew and left out the stuff designed to impress, they'd have been spot-on.

I wrote a reply (snarkily, I admit) explaining exactly how and why the detail was wrong, then paused. Overall, the answer + others explained the basic concept and actually answered the OP's question; it was just wildly wrong in a detail that was important to understanding Why It Is So, but irrelevant to the question as posed. My reply may have corrected someone who was Being Wrong On The Internet, but wouldn't have answered the question any better for the OP's purposes. In the end I didn't comment, didn't bother flagging it, and just moved on.

(Yes, I realise I should do this more often… ;-)

I figure if someone looking to understand Why It Is So comes across that answer and gets confused, I can answer their question then.
posted by Pinback at 7:22 PM on November 2, 2010


Some people get way too invested in being right on AskMe.

It shows up particularly strongly on AskMe, but I think it's a lot more general than that.
posted by Forktine at 7:52 PM on November 2, 2010


ThePinkSuperhero: This is when it's really great to be married to a Mefite. All you have to do is turn to your left, say, did you see that in that thread?? Can you believe that asshole??? They will say, yes, said asshole is an asshole!”

I was married to somebody who kind of couldn't stand Metafilter. She had an account, and tried to get into it for a little while, but in the end was always annoyed that I did that – "did you see that, on metafilter, when..." "no! Of course not! Geez, when will you shut up about that stupid web site?" So we got divorced.

I'm leaving out a few things for the sake of brevity, but that's basically how it was.
posted by koeselitz at 7:57 PM on November 2, 2010 [12 favorites]


Metafilter: it destroys marriages.
posted by 1000monkeys at 8:04 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


"when will you shut up about that stupid web site?" So we got divorced"

of course....
posted by HuronBob at 8:25 PM on November 2, 2010


I had that happen for the first time (that I know of) a few days ago... was gonna write something back but it was more my personal experience at any rate... obviously the responder had a different one so ah well. YMMV and what-not.
posted by biochemist at 9:33 PM on November 2, 2010


What is the general consensus when you've contributed an answer to AskMefi and another answerer decides to be snarky about what you said?

In such situations, I would flag the dick response and hope other people flag it so that the moderators notice and delete it. But you can't stop people from being dicks in the first places.
posted by pracowity at 9:35 PM on November 2, 2010


I thought the traditional response wasn't to answer. Instead, you were supposed to call the snarker's mom for a date and then MeMail the snarker the morning after.
posted by anniecat at 10:03 PM on November 2, 2010


I thought the traditional response wasn't to answer. Instead, you were supposed to call the snarker's mom for a date and then MeMail the snarker the morning after.

Don't forget the X-rated slideshow, set to either "Do That To Me One More Time" or "The Humpty Dance," depending on the tone of your date.
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 10:21 PM on November 2, 2010


TheBones said: I have never attacked someone directly on metafilter

I disagree. This was *very* harsh and IMO an attack on the OP of that Ask. You've toned yourself down since then, but you still seem to have a lot of arrogance in your postings (multiple judgmental callouts on the grey, for example).

An attack does not require offensive or insulting language.
posted by galadriel at 10:33 PM on November 2, 2010 [2 favorites]


Let it go. The mods might do something about it, they might not. It's just words on the internet from someone you don't know and who doesn't know you.
posted by Decani at 12:55 AM on November 3, 2010


And galadriel? You think that comment by TheBones was "*very* harsh*? It was completely reasonable and made a perfectly valid point. There was no personal attack on the questioner at all.
posted by Decani at 12:59 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


What do you do when you're reading AskMe answers and you come across one that is objectively, factually wrong?

Post an answer correcting the false information, with an explanation. Do this without being snarky toward the person who posted the false information. Avoid calling out the other person by name if it seems to be something they're emotionally invested in.

People post different and contradictory answers on AskMe all the time. This isn't a problem.

If someone tries to pick a fight with you simply because you contradicted or corrected their answer, that's their problem, not yours.
posted by nangar at 1:40 AM on November 3, 2010


I favourite the snark and friend them. And they friend me back. It's kinda like, Yeah dude, Dooood, you got me there, and they go, Cooool, you got the joke, you're awesome, and I go, like yeah!
posted by b33j at 1:50 AM on November 3, 2010


And galadriel? You think that comment by TheBones was "*very* harsh*? It was completely reasonable and made a perfectly valid point. There was no personal attack on the questioner at all.

TheBones: you CANNOT AFFORD A CAT and shouldn't have one. ...cats don't pant because it's hot out.

OP's final update: The vet said he appears to be a very healthy - but rather large - kitty. His heart sounds fine, his lungs sound fine... He's just hot.

So, it turns out TheBones' opinion was wrong; sometimes cats pant because it's hot out. Maybe he was also wrong about his opinion that the OP shouldn't have a cat at all just because they became unemployed and their new job wouldn't start for two weeks. Maybe that bit wasn't actually anything remotely resembling a helpful answer to the question. I found it very harsh at the time, and I still do.
posted by taz at 2:07 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


Seems like activist stances of any stripe should maybe stay out of AskMe replies.

TheBones' reply seems to me like an activist response.
posted by kalessin at 3:08 AM on November 3, 2010


taz: sorry, galadriel was questioning TheBones's statement "I have never attacked someone directly on Metafilter". To suggest that the opinion he expressed was a direct personal attack is preposterous, unless we really are going to insist that Metafilter must live in this bizarre world where a critical opinion, reasonably expressed is going to be considered an "attack".

Perhaps the particular opinion TheBones expressed might be judged irrelevant to the question; fair enough, but to call it an "attack" is to denature the accepted meaning of words to a quite unreasonable and excessive degree. And I'm bloody tired of seeing the extent to which that behaviour goes on here, lately.
posted by Decani at 4:13 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Seems like activist stances of any stripe should maybe stay out of AskMe replies.

Nah. An activist's opinion may be a very well-informed opinion because the guy is nuts about the subject. If it's also a loony or lopsided opinion, other people will happily point that out.
posted by pracowity at 4:56 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


If you saw the thread a few days back about why people love this place, many people commented about how they've learned to sharpen their thinking and writing by participating here. So, get annoyed, cool off, and try to figure out how to make your own comments sharper and better next time. And of course, don't vent to anyone IRL about mefi. Just just don't.
posted by thinkpiece at 4:56 AM on November 3, 2010


TheBones said: I have never attacked someone directly on metafilter

I disagree. This was *very* harsh and IMO an attack on the OP of that Ask. You've toned yourself down since then, but you still seem to have a lot of arrogance in your postings (multiple judgmental callouts on the grey, for example).

An attack does not require offensive or insulting language.
posted by galadriel at 6:33 AM on November 3 [2 favorites +] [!]


Really? You posted just in order to be able to say 'gotcha!' to another member?

That kind of thing seriously winds me up.
posted by jonnyploy at 5:09 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


Decani: taz: sorry, galadriel was questioning TheBones's statement "I have never attacked someone directly on Metafilter". To suggest that the opinion he expressed was a direct personal attack is preposterous, unless we really are going to insist that Metafilter must live in this bizarre world where a critical opinion, reasonably expressed is going to be considered an "attack".

Perhaps the particular opinion TheBones expressed might be judged irrelevant to the question; fair enough, but to call it an "attack" is to denature the accepted meaning of words to a quite unreasonable and excessive degree. And I'm bloody tired of seeing the extent to which that behaviour goes on here, lately.


It's not just lately. I'm not sure if you were around for the Russians-in-trouble MeTa threads, but anybody with a view which didn't toe the line was instantly shot down as a horrible person by the mob. It was the worst of a you're either with us or against us mentality. People like me who were questioning the way things were going down, and the allocation of funds, were treated like fuckin' terrorists and lumped in with those who were calling it a scam. It was fuckin' gross, and it made me think really hard about closing my account here. I come to Metafilter for the critical thinking and well reasoned discourse. I realized that when people are that emotionally charged, you can simply throw logic and critical thought out the window.
posted by gman at 5:29 AM on November 3, 2010


I think it may have to be okay that human beings are dynamic creatures both individually and in groups. That we act differently in different situations is something I take as a feature, not a bug.
posted by kalessin at 5:34 AM on November 3, 2010


Also, more on topic, I think it sucks to be the target of snark especially in AskMe where the guidance is to avoid that sort of thing. It's happened to me and it made me take a long vacation from AskMe.

The guidance I got from jessamyn was for non-substantive snark, flag or email the mods and move on. For snark that also has substance and relevancy to the question, know that unless it's really egregiously snarky, if the rest is potentially relevant the comment will likely stay. If you choose to engage or respond further it's your choice and absolutely your responsibility to keep your disagreement to the topic at hand and not perpetuate the snark.
posted by kalessin at 5:44 AM on November 3, 2010


If I can think of something to say that both addresses the snark and contributes to answering the question, I try to do so politely.

If not, I just mutter about those jerkfaced jerks who have the faces of jerks. And yes, I figure if I think they're being a jerk, other people can recognize the jerkosity as well and take it for what it's worth.
posted by sonika at 5:49 AM on November 3, 2010


were treated like fuckin' terrorists

Oh, please.
posted by rtha at 5:52 AM on November 3, 2010


Really? Those are the words you're choosing to single out? A bit of obvious hyperbole on my part? Try to focus in the gist of what I said. I'd be happy to dig up examples, but I'm pretty sure you know what I'm actually talking about.
posted by gman at 6:05 AM on November 3, 2010


IMO you shouldn't post anything on AskMefi except stuff which directly helps deal with the question.

That said, I've found that using a couple of sockpuppets to berate my antagonist and pooh-pooh his comment in a cutting way ('Oh, fie!' for example, or if the offence is particularly egregious 'Oh, fie now!') does yield some satisfaction.
posted by Segundus at 6:12 AM on November 3, 2010


I'm kinda interested in those people who said snarkiness has made them want to leave mefi..

I think I'm too hopelessly addicted to let other idiots ruin my fun I have here.

It's still not fun to be snarked at, though.
posted by royalsong at 6:42 AM on November 3, 2010


Really? Those are the words you're choosing to single out? A bit of obvious hyperbole on my part?

Uh, yes? If you want the focus to be on the "gist" of what you said, then just say it.

There was a ton of shitty behavior in that thread (I don't know if any of yours there qualifies as shitty, and I'm not going back to look). There was hyperbole aplenty. If you want people to think seriously about behavior in discussions and how we treat each other, then maybe it's better to not accuse people who disagreed with you of treating you like a terrorist, even if you mean that hyperbolically.

Hyperbole doesn't play well with reasoned discourse and critical thinking. It has its place, and I sure enjoy visiting. But if you want people to take your words seriously, then use serious words.
posted by rtha at 6:59 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


You really don't have anything constructive to say about my comment, do you? As per your suggestion, I did "just say it". Do your best to look around the five words you dislike.

Here are just a couple comments (1 2) which were lobbed at me after I'd written this and this. The second comment, in particular, which questioned my motivation(s) for posting what I did in that thread, was both accusatory and defamatory. The mob only began to back off after others felt comfortable enough to voice their dissenting opinions, in an otherwise hostile thread. There were like 1500 comments in that thread, of which a total of five were mine. I didn't hog the thread. My only crime was offering up an alternative viewpoint to the masses.
posted by gman at 7:35 AM on November 3, 2010


People really send memail when they are offended in AskMe? That seems like the wrong way to go.
posted by smackfu at 8:05 AM on November 3, 2010


That seems like the wrong way to go.

What's the right way?
posted by kalessin at 8:17 AM on November 3, 2010


Just let it go is the right way.
posted by smackfu at 9:14 AM on November 3, 2010


The second comment: gman, are you collecting donations for a Mefite in need without a specific 95 point plan and receipt copying protocol RIGHT NOW, or am I mistaken? What exactly is your beef here, and what's motivating it?

In what way is that defamatory? Do you mean the snarky, hyperbolic part about the 95 point plan? Why not focus on the meat of the comment: What was the beef you had with people who were donating, and were doing so without having a gun held to their heads?

You said yourself that you weren't "...sure why it bothers me so much."
posted by rtha at 9:15 AM on November 3, 2010


(But clearly some people can't let things go.)
posted by smackfu at 9:17 AM on November 3, 2010


(But clearly some people can't let things go.)
posted by smackfu at 11:17 AM


It's practice for Thanksgiving which is right around the corner.
posted by Sailormom at 9:47 AM on November 3, 2010


Letting it go is mostly what you should do, however tempted otherwise. If you need to answer, start with "Bless your heart..."
posted by annsunny at 9:48 AM on November 3, 2010


(But clearly some people can't let things go.)

LOL, you made me laugh smackfu.
posted by royalsong at 9:50 AM on November 3, 2010


How to handle snarky/inappropriate/you-are-a-dipshit-through-and-through comments:

*go to MeTa, click New Post*
*type up MeTa post*
*sit and contemplate preview of post*
*consider how many MeTa posts there've been lately*
*remember the graph jessamyn posted*
*delete draft of post*
*open up email to mods complaining about situation*
*type up email to mods*
*sit and contemplate preview of email to mods*
*consider how many MeTa posts there've been lately and what that means about their workload*
*consider possibility of being source of internal 'ffs, what NOW, you oversensitive snowflake?' reaction from mod reading email*
*delete draft of email to mods*
*close browser*
*go for vigorous walk around the block*
posted by Lexica at 10:11 AM on November 3, 2010


Draw a picture of them, with your own blood, then set it on fire and let the waves of hate and anger drift to your arch nemesis.

Or eat a cookie.


Don't make me choose!
posted by grobstein at 10:43 AM on November 3, 2010 [2 favorites]


If you can't ignore, send them a message. For my sake.

Why? It may truly be that you need to develop a thicker skin, but I actually operate on the assumption that if I've offended someone or done something wrong, somebody will tell me. I've come to realize this might be a dangerous assumption to make, but I appreciate all the times when someone has called me out on something or another. I haven't always agreed with them, but if nobody tells me I'm fucking up, I think I'm far more charming than I am. And that's no good for anybody.

Unfortunately, it seems that some people don't operate with this same assumption and when they are called out react, in my opinion, really fucking poorly. For the record, I think the people who don't do this deserve that you take the risk. Sorry for the assholes.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 11:43 AM on November 3, 2010 [1 favorite]


I actually operate on the assumption that if I've offended someone or done something wrong, somebody will tell me.

It's like nostalgia all over again!
posted by flabdablet at 6:52 PM on November 4, 2010


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