Is a wikileaks thread the place to discuss changes in rape laws? January 10, 2011 7:00 PM   Subscribe

This post regarding Naomi Wolf's comments about rape was deleted as being viewed as being correlated to the Wikileaks threads.

I created the thread to specifically discuss the arguments that Wolf is making, as they have provoked a response within the feminist blogosphere, and have provoked a more mainstream response by the BBC. Discussing whether those who make rape accusations should have anonymity is detached from the regular chatter in a Wikileaks thread, which typically breaks down into discussion about American foreign policy, freedom of the press and Julian Assange's character/personality.


I think that the legal treatment of those who accuse rape is sufficiently detached from Wikileaks that we can have a discussion about this premise without making it all about Assange, and have those on the site who are more inclined to discuss rape outside the context of Wikileaks participate in the discussion.
posted by banal evil to MetaFilter-Related at 7:00 PM (24 comments total)

I think that the legal treatment of those who accuse rape is sufficiently detached from Wikileaks that we can have a discussion about this premise without making it all about Assange

Then you probably shouldn't have mentioned Assange twice. Rape threads go badly here generally, and so do Wikileaks threads. We've said multiple times that we'd appreciate if people were aware, when making posts about difficult topics, that this is the case and try to take care with phrasing and approach. Asking if Naomi Klein is trolling is not the way to do that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:02 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, MetaFilter FPPs shouldn't end in a question. It's a form of editorializing which attempts to steer the following discussion, and is best left for blogs where the author is trying to get discussion as part of increasing page views. MetaFilter isn't either of those, and as such, I felt a good post was tainted from the starting gate.
posted by hippybear at 7:07 PM on January 10, 2011


response by the BBC. Discussing whether those who make rape accusations should have anonymity is detached from the regular chatter in a Wikileaks thread

but...but...have you read those threads or they way you framed your own?

Framing people, framing.
posted by Lutoslawski at 7:07 PM on January 10, 2011


Indeed, I should have phrased it "others argue that she is trolling" instead of asking the question.

However I earnestly tried to place the post in a very dispassionate and neutral tone, and the discussion wasn't centered on whether she was trolling, but the merits and faults of her argument.
posted by banal evil at 7:08 PM on January 10, 2011


I mean, MetaFilter is neither a blog, nor a place where discussion is required, nor a place where increased page views are sought.
posted by hippybear at 7:09 PM on January 10, 2011 [3 favorites]


second hippybear.
posted by clavdivs at 7:12 PM on January 10, 2011


I agree and apologize for ending the post with a question.
posted by banal evil at 7:14 PM on January 10, 2011


Any post where the OP is "trying to provoke a discussion" is going to suck as often as not. Better to think of an FPP as a way to share something interesting you found.
posted by auto-correct at 7:21 PM on January 10, 2011


Just want to underscore that "I created the thread to specifically discuss x" is generally not great footing for a post. It's a given that discussion of stuff is going to happen, but the "here's a thread specifically to hash out this aspect of another conversation" tends to be not a great idea, and while I understand you see this as independent of the Wikileaks stuff it's really hard to practically have it stand separate when the whole thing has arisen and been discussed at length in previous threads in the context of that.

A post that substantively approaches the subject of legal and journalistic handling of rape allegations isn't a bad thing by default and I don't question your intent here or anything, but between the above and the fact that it's such a contentious subject, yeah, it doesn't feel like this is a situation where this post is a great idea, even formatting quibbles aside.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:37 PM on January 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


The post doesn't work for the same reason the Chua post exploded, the original article is link bait, blog fodder, wolf scat, flamewar kindling...
posted by Ardiril at 7:46 PM on January 10, 2011


I mean, MetaFilter is neither a blog, nor a place where discussion is required, nor a place where increased page views are sought.

Well, it is a blog. A "community weblog."
posted by John Cohen at 7:50 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


For a post not being about Assange it relies too much on him. I think there might be a good post to be made about the annomymization of rape victims, but given how "topical" Wolf's piece has become, it should be well buried behind a bunch of other thoughtful links about the subject.. (which have nothing to do with Assange).

AS it stands, it might make a good personal blog entry.
posted by edgeways at 8:38 PM on January 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


Asking if Naomi Klein is trolling is not the way to do that.

I think you mean Naomi Judd, jessamyn.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:52 PM on January 10, 2011


Possibly Naomi Campbell.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:56 PM on January 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah friend of my youth! All Naomi Wolf means is The Beauty Myth, grunge, baggy shorts and sweaters, combat boots, SNAGs, obsessive self-criticism about my place in the patriarchy, and a complete lack of awareness about yoga pants.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:08 PM on January 10, 2011 [2 favorites]


Rhaomi Wolf? Now that's a good post.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:27 PM on January 10, 2011


Roaming wolf scat?
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:56 AM on January 11, 2011


When I read the post I assumed it was about Assange and Wikileaks. I think this was because it mentioned Assange and Wikileaks so prominently.
posted by OmieWise at 4:52 AM on January 11, 2011


For what it's worth (i.e. nothing at all), I think that post was badly framed but sufficiently distinct from the wider Wikileaks/Assange chat to merit a separate thread. Wolf's article was a good talking point and raised an interesting question. It seemed like most of the respondents on the thread were getting into that question. I don't think it should have been deleted, but it doesn't seem like a major deal.
posted by Decani at 5:18 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand the complaints about "ending the FPP with a question." That's not really what it's doing. It's just a device to link to two opposing third-party analyses. Right? Is it really so bad?
posted by Perplexity at 7:13 AM on January 11, 2011


It seemed like most of the respondents on the thread were getting into that question.

We deleted a few amusing "Wolf is hot" comments and the like. In a thread about rape. Awesome. Rape is one of the topic where if you want to make a post or have a discussion about it, it's a good idea to frame the post so that you can have a discussion and not just trade witty ripostes about rape.

So, one way to do this is have a somewhat narrow focus. Another is not not bring other topics in to the thread. Yet another is to not bring up a touchy topic [revealing the names of rape victims on a site where you know there are lots of people with firsthand personal experiences] and then ask "is she trolling?"

So, this isn't really saying something simple like "Don't end an FPP with a question." It's "take more care with FPPs abotu hot button topics on a site where people haven't been having the best set of weeks" If that's too contextually determined, we're okay if you err on the side of not making posts about rape if you don't feel that you can make one that will not be a terrible mess on this site.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:45 AM on January 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


> MetaFilter is neither a blog, nor a place where discussion is required, nor a place where increased page views are sought.

I'm not so sure about that last part. I mean, they don't seem to aggressively pursue pageviews, but new features like this may indicate that they are not shy about trying increasing them.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:07 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know, we're right here. We don't tailor site content towards maximizing page views, period. Things that make attractive link-bait to other sites are not appealing here because of their link-bait attributes. Our mod approach has always consistently been "Just because it makes a bunch of people fight about it and reload the page a zillion times doesn't make it a good post for MetaFilter." We'd rather delete a bad post than have it stick around and garner a few more ad click-throughs.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:16 AM on January 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


Wasn't ending a post with a question once a standard around here, taken right from the style of user number one? It wasn't necessarily recommended for fighty topics, but was seen as a way of encouraging comments and conversation. Saying FPPs shouldn't end in a question is similar to saying every FPP needs 15 supporting links to be valid. People start setting down rules that come from nowhere, and a group think begins developing around them.
posted by TimTypeZed at 10:31 AM on January 11, 2011


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