Go away now February 21, 2011 6:15 AM   Subscribe

What if threadshitting had actual consequences?

It's all well and good to delete this kind of shit after the fact, but can there please be some kind of action taken to prevent the same narcissistic assholes from doing the same thing and destroying good threads off the bat over and over and over again just because they like to hear themselves talk?
posted by enn to Etiquette/Policy at 6:15 AM (229 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

It does have actual consequences. It produces whiny, futile Meta posts from the same... nah, guess I'd better not.
posted by Decani at 6:20 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


*issues tear gas and rubber bullets to the mods
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:21 AM on February 21, 2011


enn, I read the linked article, and it was wacky nonsense. The 'threadshitting' was perfectly appropriate.
posted by Slithy_Tove at 6:21 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


what if threadshitters were democrats?
posted by Think_Long at 6:23 AM on February 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


Wacky nonsense is in the eye of the beholder. I hate SLYT posts of artsy-fartsy stuff. I don't click it. Don't we have the flag option?
posted by Brodiggitty at 6:24 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wacky nonsense is in the eye of the beholder.

Read that article and tell me it's not wacky nonsense.
posted by pwally at 6:27 AM on February 21, 2011


From the article: Nevertheless, given the ardor and self-confidence of the notion that American values exemplify democratic modernity, let us imagine a few potential outcomes had the pioneering people of Egypt followed the example of today’s liberal American Democrats.

I thought Metafilter posters were smart enough to realized that the content of an article is not always fully contained in the title. But here, in the FOURTH PARAGRAPH, is the sentence which describes the purpose of the article, and it seems that many of the posters didn't even both to read that far.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 6:29 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Your "wacky nonsense" is my "what's destroying freedom in America faster than any overt political action". So, as much as your opinion might be the universally correct one, it's not.
posted by cthuljew at 6:31 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Read that article and tell me it's not wacky nonsense.

It's not wacky nonsense.
posted by enn at 6:32 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


The understanding I've gotten from reading way too much MeTa is that the mods do a considerable amount of behind-the-scenes work with people who often misbehave in threads. They don't ignore it, they don't just delete-and-move-on when it's happening over and over again. They've got our backs.
posted by meese at 6:32 AM on February 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


enn, I read the linked article, and it was wacky nonsense. The 'threadshitting' was perfectly appropriate.

I think someone misunderstands what 'threadshitting' means. Posting a well-thought-out response with substance, disagreeing with the article isn't threadshitting, even IF you think it is a stupid article, as long as you thoughtfully explain why. Wacky nonsense can be called out as such in thoughtful ways.

However, posting snide three-word comments that make fun of the the title, and add nothing but noise to the conversation? That's a clear example of threadshitting.

Come on, people, this ain't Fark (or is it? Did I make a wrong turn at Albuquerque?)
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 6:35 AM on February 21, 2011 [14 favorites]


Read that article and tell me it's not wacky nonsense.

It's not wacky nonsense.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:36 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


What if you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:36 AM on February 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


what if threadshitters were democrats?

In a thread about the moral bankruptcy of the Democratic Party, that's pretty much a given.

Proposed solution: Only allow posts about the moral bankruptcy of the Republican Party. We'll have no shortage of material.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:37 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


a well-thought-out response with substance, disagreeing with the article isn't threadshitting, even IF you think it is a stupid article, as long as you thoughtfully explain why. Wacky nonsense can be called out as such in thoughtful ways.

Must we treat everything with the same degree of wide-eyed reverence? Is there no place for wit on Meta?
posted by londonmark at 6:40 AM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


What if you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:40 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]




I deleted the first five or six lulzy threadshitting comments. They were flagged a few times and yes: unproductive.

That said, giving us more than 20 minutes on a [US] holiday morning to deal with this sort of thing would be a nice thing to do. We do handle this stuff when we see it, promise.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:45 AM on February 21, 2011 [11 favorites]


Must we treat everything with the same degree of wide-eyed reverence? Is there no place for wit on Meta?

Since when are "well-thought-out, substantial" and "witty" mutually exclusive? And since when is calling out an article as being "stupid" in a well-thought-out, substantial way an example of "wide-eyed reverence"?
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 6:46 AM on February 21, 2011




This is a single-link op-ed post. The only possible result from its existence is that people will grar. Some people grar by lulzing in-thread. Frankly, I'm surprised that the post was allowed to stay, there's little substance to it.
posted by Kattullus at 6:52 AM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


How is babby formed.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:54 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wacky Nonsense
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:54 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


If only we had some people watching the site, responding to flags, cleaning up stupid messes, emailing the mess-makers, and when someone just can't stop being a douche, banning them. If those people, let's call them moderators, were thoughtful about their task and committed to the site's quality, that would metafilter pretty terrific.
posted by theora55 at 6:55 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


What if 6 turned out to be 9?

Well, we know Jimi wouldn't mind...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:56 AM on February 21, 2011


That said, giving us more than 20 minutes on a [US] holiday morning to deal with this sort of thing would be a nice thing to do. We do handle this stuff when we see it, promise.

No one asked me, but as far as I'm concerned jessamyn, you guys can take your sweet time and get to it when you do, and the rest of us can chill and try to act nice.

But that's just what I think.
posted by dubitable at 7:00 AM on February 21, 2011


Enn, surely you can't be surprised by the reaction. This site is where American Liberals come to give each other handjobs. There's a strong segment of the population here so convinced that they represent the vanguard of Leftist thinking, that if you criticize Democratic actions or policy and don't make it explicit that you are criticizing from the further left, you will be accused of being a Neocon. "We have already established how the political spectrum works. Kindly go fit into the space that we have reserved for people who disagree and stop trying to colorize this black-and-white narrative, please."

Linking to an article making the point that Democrats and specifically Liberals are ineffectual and removed from their ideals, no matter how accurate, is going make people angry.

On this site, it's the equivalent of walking to the front of Cotton Mather's congregation on Sunday morning and exposing yourself while shrieking "FUCK YOU ALL! I'M A WITCH!"
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:03 AM on February 21, 2011 [28 favorites]


That said, giving us more than 20 minutes on a [US] holiday morning to deal with this sort of thing would be a nice thing to do. We do handle this stuff when we see it, promise.

I thought I was pretty clear in my [more inside], but I guess not. I didn't make this post to ask you guys to clean up that thread—which I assumed you would do soon enough. I made this post to ask for a policy change, since deleting these kinds of comments is clearly not sufficient to discourage people who think that they are "perfectly appropriate" so long as they deem the topic of a post to be "wacky nonsense." I mean, I expect that the response will be that there will be no policy change. But that was the purpose of the post.
posted by enn at 7:07 AM on February 21, 2011


So you're saying you're just here for the handjobs?
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 7:07 AM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Philosopher Dirtbike: " I think someone misunderstands what 'threadshitting' means. Posting a well-thought-out response with substance, disagreeing with the article isn't threadshitting, even IF you think it is a stupid article, as long as you thoughtfully explain why. Wacky nonsense can be called out as such in thoughtful ways.

However, posting snide three-word comments that make fun of the the title, and add nothing but noise to the conversation? That's a clear example of threadshitting.
"

Exactly.
posted by zarq at 7:07 AM on February 21, 2011


This site is where American Liberals come to give each other handjobs.

holy shit, what subsite is that?
posted by Think_Long at 7:07 AM on February 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


jobs.metafilter.com
posted by proj at 7:08 AM on February 21, 2011 [41 favorites]


Handjobs are just the kind of wishy-washy bet-hedging almost-sex that American liberals would like.
posted by enn at 7:10 AM on February 21, 2011 [25 favorites]


enn: " I thought I was pretty clear in my [more inside], but I guess not. I didn't make this post to ask you guys to clean up that thread—which I assumed you would do soon enough. I made this post to ask for a policy change, since deleting these kinds of comments is clearly not sufficient to discourage people who think that they are "perfectly appropriate" so long as they deem the topic of a post to be "wacky nonsense." I mean, I expect that the response will be that there will be no policy change. But that was the purpose of the post."

You're not proposing a policy change. You're complaining. You're asking for something to be done without proposing any course of action. Do so and we can discuss it.

Otherwise, what's the point of this post?
posted by zarq at 7:10 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Regardless of what I think about enn's larger point, it should be said that the first 4-5 comments on that post have been removed already.
posted by proj at 7:11 AM on February 21, 2011


You're asking for something to be done without proposing any course of action. Do so and we can discuss it.

OK. People should consistently get temporary bans for repeated derail-type lulzy comments at the beginning of a thread. If this ever happens, I haven't seen it.
posted by enn at 7:12 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


If only we had some people watching the site, responding to flags, cleaning up stupid messes, emailing the mess-makers, and when someone just can't stop being a douche, banning them.

What if Uatu the Watcher were a Mod?
posted by octobersurprise at 7:13 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This site is where American Liberals come to give each other handjobs.

holy shit, what subsite is that?


The Old Main Drag

"In the dark of an alley you'd work for a five*
For a swift one off the wrist down on the old main drag..."

*What, you thought it was just a coincidence that it also costs five bucks to join Mefi?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:15 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Man, that thread is really disappointing. I think I'mma go read Fark or something for the rest of the day to try and reclaim some brain cells.
posted by BeerFilter at 7:18 AM on February 21, 2011


OK. People should consistently get temporary bans for repeated derail-type lulzy comments at the beginning of a thread.

Seems like it'd be a pretty difficult criterion to codify into law.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:18 AM on February 21, 2011


This site is where American Liberals come to give each other handjobs.

Man, the joke's on me for staying out of the politics threads.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 7:19 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just a slob like one of us.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:20 AM on February 21, 2011


enn: " OK. People should consistently get temporary bans for repeated derail-type lulzy comments at the beginning of a thread. If this ever happens, I haven't seen it."

"Derail-type" strikes me as a very slippery slope. This comment of mine would fit that description. So would at least a few of the comments on my current post. They're sorta lulzy but they're on-topic, so they aren't derails.

If people are genuinely, consistently derailing threads, then the mods speak with them privately and tell them to knock that shit off. If they continue, my understanding is there's a progression that ranges from "Please cut it out," to "Don't make us give you a time-out," to "Take a day off."

In other words, there's already a process in place. It's just done in private, not public.
posted by zarq at 7:20 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


> nah, guess I'd better not.

But you already did so own up to it.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:21 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This site is where American Liberals come to give each other handjobs.

Are you denying you're here for the handjobs?
posted by londonmark at 7:22 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


So you're saying you're just here for the handjobs?

Unfortunately, because I'm not a liberal, I have to drag my ass down to the People's Glorious Revolutionary Bookshop to get them. Not that I'm complaining, but there are only a few other participants, most of them are pretty grubby and we all secretly loathe each other.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:23 AM on February 21, 2011 [17 favorites]


Mayor Curley: "Unfortunately, because I'm not a liberal, I have to drag my ass down to the People's Glorious Revolutionary Bookshop to get them. "

"Every Communist must grasp the truth. Yeah baby, yeah."
posted by zarq at 7:25 AM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


It does have actual consequences. It produces whiny, futile Meta posts from the same... nah, guess I'd better not.

Previously.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:28 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


The thread's pretty much jokes at this point. I get the point of the topic, which is much like another recent topic, which is "look at how narrow your point of view is in America - you're not as progressive as you think" from what I can see.
posted by cashman at 7:36 AM on February 21, 2011


Handjobs are just the kind of wishy-washy bet-hedging almost-sex that American liberals would like.

Whoa, whoa, whoa. Get upset at the threadhsitting or the post or whatever you like, but I don't see why we have to start insulting handjobs. You call it wishy-washy, I call it much more sensitive to the sensibilities of other people on this bus.
posted by yerfatma at 7:46 AM on February 21, 2011 [7 favorites]


That said, giving us more than 20 minutes on a [US] holiday morning to deal with this sort of thing would be a nice thing to do. We do handle this stuff when we see it, promise.

Yes, ya'll do and it's damn good job, so thanks to you, cortex, matt for keeping the ship on course, pb for making sure the engines are running and vacapinta for those late night duty.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:46 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


What if the Egyptian protesters were MeFites?

- They would be holding up signs reading "We're feeling fighty" and "GRAR"
- People would put little + stickers on signs they liked
- Mubarak would still be in power, but would be forced to respond to complaints "on the gray"
- Streets would be renamed things like "Game Warden to the Events Rhino Avenue"
posted by shii at 7:49 AM on February 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's all well and good to delete this kind of shit after the fact

Without knowing what the content of shitty comment/comments was/were that you're referring to, it's kind of hard to pass judgment. I don't agree that the solution to glib comments is to bring some sort of proverbial hammer down. People are gonna make snide comments. It is what it is.
posted by blucevalo at 7:49 AM on February 21, 2011


> This site is where American Liberals come to give each other handjobs. There's a strong segment of the population here so convinced that they represent the vanguard of Leftist thinking,

There certainly are a small number of very vocal people like this. I've always labelled them in my mind as them as Greatest American Liberals. Remember that show Greatest American Hero? The one with the awesome theme song? Like that except totally leftist and sensitive. Except super intolerant if you don't agree with them.
posted by stp123 at 7:49 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This site is where American Liberals come to give each other handjobs.

WTF, why didn't ya'll tell me this?!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:52 AM on February 21, 2011


I came for the handjobs, I stayed for the dismissive and weirdly sexualized jibes from people who have mistaken their status as really angry liberals who routinely, and without much intelligence or wit, mock other liberals, for some sort of leftism.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:57 AM on February 21, 2011 [15 favorites]


I came for the handjobs, but I stayed for the passive aggressiveness.

(posted as an unsigned Post-It note)
posted by proj at 8:00 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


WTF, why didn't ya'll tell me this?!

You know how it is with marriage: you spouse someone and the spark dies. And, well, you spoused just about everybody, so...
posted by jedicus at 8:02 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


What's up with all the straw liberal bashing?
posted by Burhanistan at 8:04 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought the article was wack nonsense so I went ahead and didn't click on the comments thread. If I'd had something substantive to rebut I might have. Or if I hadn't had a record day playing poker yesterday and am feeling like a million bucks (or .2 % of ).
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:04 AM on February 21, 2011


Oh FFS I think you are confusing the general progressive attitude with regard to key items like: racial harmony, tolerance, the rights of women, gay rights and a more equitable society with everyone being totally on board with the socialist agenda. What are you Sarah Palin.

Now you're getting all defensive because people look at this GYOB FPP and say either "meh" or challenge it as utter bunk, or retreat into their tribal views. What did you expect? Now you're running off to meta-talk because people are shitting all over the thread and complaining to the mods like some toddler on the playground. Grow up.

You want a rational and reasoned discussion don't put up some link bait bullshit about Egyptian revolutionaries and Democratic Party.
posted by humanfont at 8:06 AM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


This site is where American Liberals come to give each other handjobs.


I'd almost say the opposite, Metafilter is quickly becoming where hardline progressives chastise people for not being left enough. Every recent thread about politics has one or more of the comments that echo the fp, mainly while sneering. Sometimes while graring about the passivity of the American people. Add in an American Idol reference and we're set.

Then again, where would the American Left be without a circular firing squad?
posted by zabuni at 8:06 AM on February 21, 2011 [17 favorites]


People should consistently get temporary bans for repeated derail-type lulzy comments at the beginning of a thread.

People who consistently make annoying noise at the start of threads hear from us, we tell them they need to cut it out. If they don't, we talk to them so more. They generally get the message. If they don't, we go from there. If folks flag it when they see it, we'll be aware of it, and the system works.

That may or may not be what you're personally hoping for, but we're not going to suddenly get draconian about thread snark to the point where we start handing out timeouts like candy for obnoxious but mild offenses.

If this ever happens, I haven't seen it.

Much of what we do, you haven't seen, because we do it over email to avoid making a public spectacle of things unnecessarily. If you're curious whether and how we've been dealing with a situation, it's totally fine to drop us a line and ask. Assuming we're doing nothing is not so safe a bet.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:06 AM on February 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


!Are you now or have you ever been a handjob?
posted by buzzman at 8:08 AM on February 21, 2011


The lulzy comments have been replaced by ... More lulzy comments!

For the record, I had the first comment derailed: "what if apples were oranges?"

Real derail there. Yep, don't see how you could possibly go on from there.

It's a shorthand way of saying I find the article forced and offensive ... To Egyptians more than liberals, too.

And I came off hiatus just to shit in that thread.
posted by spitbull at 8:32 AM on February 21, 2011



Read that article and tell me it's not wacky nonsense.


It's not wacky nonsense, and I didn't get a handjob OR a hug OR pie. Not even a picture of one of your cats. Today sucks.
posted by louche mustachio at 8:32 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not wacky nonsense, and I didn't get a handjob OR a hug OR pie. Not even a picture of one of your cats. Today sucks.

Cat!
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 8:35 AM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


It does have actual consequences. It produces whiny, futile Meta posts from the same... nah, guess I'd better not.

Previously.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 3:28 PM on February 21


Indeed: gets tedious pretty quickly, doesn't it? I think these posts were actually far more entertaining when I used to not restrain myself. It is a source of profound sorrow to me that this is not the prevailing view. Unfortunately, it is, so I'm afraid I will have to continue to meet tedious whining with tedious restraint - including resisting the urge to go see if I can dig out an amusingly relevant post of yours from the past. Life is pain.
posted by Decani at 8:40 AM on February 21, 2011


It's a shorthand way of saying I find the article forced and offensive

Well it might be better to actually explain what you were trying to get across because early comments that aren't really specifically about the article have a tendency to be interpreted as "hey let's all make jokes now" and then once the thread has six comments that are all sort of jokes, it tends to set a tone for the rest of the thread that can be more difficult to recover from. And if the thread is sticking around, it would be nice if the people who did want to talk about the article [even if it's so say that it's a lousy article] could do that.

Not like everything has to be all INTERNET R SRS BZNZ but really if you don't like an article and you do want to participate in discussion about it, you can explain why you didn't like it or something.

Threadshitting is not only bad because it could be derailing, it has its own level of not-great-ness.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:40 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was gonna throw out an idea, just for consideration -

What if there were a 5-minute window after a post appears before any comments could be made?

However, I already see there were 12 minutes between the post and the first lulzy comment. So 5 minutes would not be enough. I do think that people fall in love at first glance with their opportunity to make lulz-y comments and get a little bit adrenline-fueled about getting them up there right away, and wait time could be one way to help with this. It might have the added benefit of encouraging people to, you know, RTFL.

On the other hand, it could prevent a good discussion getting started - if someone has something substantive to say, and has to wait out the clock to post it, they may very likely just move on and never contribute.
posted by Miko at 8:42 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Miko, actually the first 11 minutes there have since been deleted . It took about 3 minutes for the crapflood to start rolling iirc.
posted by BeerFilter at 8:49 AM on February 21, 2011


Some people just read very, very quickly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 8:51 AM on February 21, 2011


I can't see a forced comment delay working at all. A delay of n would just push first lulz to n+1; or, yeah, kill discussion entirely if n is too large a value.* If the existing consequences are as firm as they're likely to get (and overall I think the moderation strikes a good balance), the current rate of threadshitting will stay constant.

* As n gets larger, the greater the probability that potential responders lose interest in handjobs for that context.
posted by Drastic at 8:52 AM on February 21, 2011


Miko: " What if there were a 5-minute window after a post appears before any comments could be made?"

I was just imagining the sheer chaos and MeTa-insanity that would result from the following pony request:
[ ] Disable Comments on this Post?
posted by zarq at 8:53 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, a "no commenting window" has come up before a few times; I get why it comes up, as an attempt to redress this specific issue, but it's got a few problems:

- It's counter-intuitive. People expect a thread to be open when it's open. Having it Not Quite Open Yet is a big departure from the model to which folks are accustomed.

- It punishes good-faith contributors. Someone showing up and able to comment in a meaningful or non-disruptive way the moment they see the thread (maybe they are a topic expert, maybe they read the article previously, maybe they have a good discussion-guiding question or thought, etc) shouldn't have to sit out an arbitrary waiting period for no particular reason.

- It's not one-size-fits-all. The time taken to RTFA varies from one minute for a short video to a half an hour (just to start!) for an essay- or link-rich post.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:58 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Miko: " What if there were a 5-minute window after a post appears before any comments could be made?"

Also, this would drive me crazy. Half the time I make a post I put minor stuff in the first comment that I didn't want to dump into the post.
posted by zarq at 9:01 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know how it is with marriage: you spouse someone and the spark dies. And, well, you spoused just about everybody, so..

Soooo, at least one of you should be able to do some laundry around here, just sayin'...
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:03 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Indeed: gets tedious pretty quickly, doesn't it? I think these posts were actually far more entertaining when I used to not restrain myself. It is a source of profound sorrow to me that this is not the prevailing view. Unfortunately, it is, so I'm afraid I will have to continue to meet tedious whining with tedious restraint - including resisting the urge to go see if I can dig out an amusingly relevant post of yours from the past. Life is pain.

Decani, when you're posting here in good faith you're terrific fun. You've got a good wit and an interesting viewpoint on a lot of subjects here, and I really appreciate your posts. But dude, when you want to be you can be a smug, irritating dipshit. You have a habit of repeating the same statement over and over and over again, ignoring anybody who tries to talk to you, and you're very unpleasant about it. And unlike people like quonsar or faze, who're great enough writers that I like their posts even when they're being assholes, you're not enjoyable enough that I appreciate seeing you post the same smug irritating dipshitty things repeatedly without behaving in good faith towards other members.

If you don't like the subject of a thread don't ruin it for everybody else. If you don't like somebody's opinions don't get so out of breath trying to make that person feel like shit. These are two very simple policies that still allow for lots of fun playful banter, and even the occasional mean-spirited rant, without making yourself into an absolute ass. But as your comment here shows, you'd rather troll just within the mods' limits than treat people here with respect.

It's not just that I disagree with your behavior, it's that I think you make it pretty damn clear that your being smug and irritating and dipshitty is not at all an accident on your part. I could cite a dozen threads either on the blue or the grey where you've pretty blatantly acted in bad faith, but I don't think that's necessary, because you're a bright guy and I think you know exactly what you're doing. Cut it out. You're a pain in the ass.
posted by Rory Marinich at 9:06 AM on February 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


mistaken their status as really angry liberals

<otto> Don't ever, ever, EVER call me a liberal, okay? </otto>

who routinely, and without much intelligence or wit, mock other liberals, for some sort of leftism.

Astro Zombie, you're entitled to your opinion. Yeah, I know Cotton Mather references show up in nearly every thread, but I thought it was the best way to get my point across. Next time I'll be sure to use an analogy that involves classic cinema or cult camp stuff to make certain that it displays the type of intelligence and wit that you value.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:15 AM on February 21, 2011


Yeah, I see it's not a good idea for all these reasons. Never mind, just trying to brainstorm.
posted by Miko at 9:17 AM on February 21, 2011


Aliens and Terminator references are always welcome.
posted by BeerFilter at 9:20 AM on February 21, 2011


as a total derail, has anybody endured the movie Antichrist? Because I did this weekend, w/o remembering that there was a cliterectomy scene, and OH MY GOD WHERE IS THE EYE/BRAIN BLEACH
posted by angrycat at 9:20 AM on February 21, 2011


Why would you just throw that in there like that? Don't you have someone you can talk to?
posted by Burhanistan at 9:21 AM on February 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


That was the worst recipe derail ever.
posted by Drastic at 9:22 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


i don't think community college students (and my coworkers) would be down with it.
posted by angrycat at 9:23 AM on February 21, 2011


If I make a sockpuppet, it will be Roary Manwich because I love him.
posted by klangklangston at 9:24 AM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


anyways, sorry, it just burst out of my brain through my fingers onto the keyboard and the more you know.
posted by angrycat at 9:25 AM on February 21, 2011


Next time I'll be sure to use an analogy that involves classic cinema or cult camp stuff to make certain that it displays the type of intelligence and wit that you value.

Or you could just refrain from half-assedly dismissing Metafilter as being one large, consistent sexual peccadillo of a political stripe that you find contemptible. I was presuming you were arguing from the left, but "MetaFilter is a place where liberals give each other handjobs" is exactly the sort of obnoxious us vs. them politicking that I most often see in ultraconservative forums, where the point isn't reasoned discussion, but to pick your enemy and shout him down with as much noxious rhetoric as possible.

Cotton Mather wasn't the lack of wit, it was the absence of meaning behind your glib metaphor. A symbol is only a symbol when it represents a real thing, not a manufactured thing that exists only for the sake of mockery.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:26 AM on February 21, 2011 [10 favorites]


Angrycat, you should totally check out Dogtooth, if you're into brain bleaching!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:26 AM on February 21, 2011


By the way, I appreciate you limiting my interests to two things that I think you meant to illustrate as being easily dismissed. I don't expect you to pay attention to all of my comments, but I do ask that if you choose to characterize me, you familiarize yourself with me enough to actually know what you're characterizing, rather than reduce me to a cartoon so that you can bat my opinions away as somebody who doesn't have enough depth to be considered.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:29 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


If I make a sockpuppet, it will be Roary Manwich because I love him.

Hush, hush new friend.
posted by Roary Manwich at 9:33 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


That's probably nomadicink.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:34 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Metafilter has lovely social controls which consist of "Please stop threadshitting" as used by the mods and as used by other members. Just because it still occasionally happens doesn't mean it's not the most effective control.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 9:46 AM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


Cotton Mather wasn't the lack of wit, it was the absence of meaning behind your glib metaphor.
To be fair, I'd also describe Metafilter as a place American liberals come to give each other handjobs. I don't think the metaphor is that devoid of meaning.
posted by planet at 9:48 AM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


For those of you scoring at home, the current handjob count is 22-- 23 if you're alone.
posted by The White Hat at 9:49 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


as a total derail, has anybody endured the movie Antichrist? Because I did this weekend, w/o remembering that there was a cliterectomy scene, and OH MY GOD WHERE IS THE EYE/BRAIN BLEACH
posted by angrycat at 9:20 AM on February 21 [+] [!]


You just ruined my morning oatmeal, blueberries, and chocolate protein powder.

Antichrist, what an asshole.
posted by hal_c_on at 9:51 AM on February 21, 2011


is exactly the sort of obnoxious us vs. them politicking that I most often see in ultraconservative forums, where the point isn't reasoned discussion, but to pick your enemy and shout him down with as much noxious rhetoric as possible.

You're earnestly telling me that this doesn't apply equally to all political persuasions? Surely you've read a political thread here where an actual conservative comments. You must have been chuckling when you wrote that line because there's no way you're that myopic.

Cotton Mather wasn't the lack of wit, it was the absence of meaning behind your glib metaphor. A symbol is only a symbol when it represents a real thing, not a manufactured thing that exists only for the sake of mockery.

You wrote "absence of meaning," but you left out ".. that I am prepared to acknowledge." The comparison between posting that article here and insulting a gathering of Puritans while declaring yourself a witch isn't obtuse. Just because you feel that it isn't apt doesn't mean that it's meaningless even if that better fits how you want to frame the issue.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:53 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


I do ask that if you choose to characterize me, you familiarize yourself with me enough to actually know what you're characterizing, rather than reduce me to a cartoon so that you can bat my opinions away as somebody who doesn't have enough depth to be considered.

Again, I'm pretty certain that you're not typing this stuff with a straight face because there's no way you've already forgotten your panning description of me a few comments previously. Golden rule, brother.
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:58 AM on February 21, 2011


To be fair, I'd also describe Metafilter as a place American liberals come to give each other handjobs. I don't think the metaphor is that devoid of meaning.

Well I think its great that you American liberals are engaging in safe sex.

I, for one, am pretty tired of American conservatives secretly coming together on the fox news comments to give each other anonymous and raw anal sex. From a public health standpoint, its definitely not safe sex. And that doesnt even talk about all the anilingus going on there everytime Reagan is mentioned.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:04 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


We need Threadkopectate.
posted by jonmc at 10:20 AM on February 21, 2011


I, for one, am pretty tired of American conservatives secretly coming together on the fox news comments to give each other anonymous and raw anal sex. From a public health standpoint, its definitely not safe sex.
In other words, "we're better than the other guy!"
posted by planet at 10:23 AM on February 21, 2011


Maybe it's time to make the site read-only. Links yes, comments no!
posted by Burhanistan at 10:24 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


you've already forgotten your panning description of me a few comments previously.

I wasn't panning you specifically, nor summing you, specifically up. Indeed, I didn't mention anybody. However, you seemed to think that the shoe fit.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:30 AM on February 21, 2011


Girls, girls, stop bickering in the corner and come over here to this big tub of jello.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 10:31 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan: "Maybe it's time to make the site read-only. Links yes, comments no!"

I assume you're joking, but without feedback post quality would drop like mad.
posted by zarq at 10:32 AM on February 21, 2011


Enn, surely you can't be surprised by the reaction. This site is where American Liberals come to give each other handjobs. There's a strong segment of the population here so convinced that they represent the vanguard of Leftist thinking, that if you criticize Democratic actions or policy and don't make it explicit that you are criticizing from the further left, you will be accused of being a Neocon.

Not even that. If you do make it explicit that you are further left, you will still get slammed. A large minority on this site are still obsessed with the notion that Nader caused Gore to lose in 2000. And for god's sake never cite Chomsky!

Which comes back to the point of this post. The explicit criticism wasn't with the reaction time, but with long term consequences for offending users. Unfortunately, enn, I don't think there is anything practical to be done about it. I've argued for a public deleted comment count on user profiles in the past. It still doesn't seem like a terrible idea to me, but..
posted by Chuckles at 10:38 AM on February 21, 2011


I wasn't panning you specifically, nor summing you, specifically up. Indeed, I didn't mention anybody. However, you seemed to think that the shoe fit.

My assumption that it referred to me might have been related to the fact that the comment directly referenced my previous comment. But I do appreciate your cynical attempt at plausible deniability. That takes guts.
posted by Mayor Curley at 10:38 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Would you both please get a fucking room take it to fucking memail and stop sniping at each other?
posted by zarq at 10:41 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Maybe it's time to make the site read-only. Links yes, comments no!

I assume you're joking here, Burhanistan. But in case you're not, or in case anybody on this thread thinks we really have a horrendous incivility/namecalling/threadshitting/whatever problem here at MeFi: I suggest you pick a blog at random and spend half an hour wading through the bile, just for perspective.
posted by steambadger at 10:43 AM on February 21, 2011


Not even that. If you do make it explicit that you are further left, you will still get slammed. A large minority on this site are still obsessed with the notion that Nader caused Gore to lose in 2000. And for god's sake never cite Chomsky!

Well its true. Had Nader not been around, we pretty much would not have had 9/11. So yeah. Thanks for bombing the country, you Pinto commie bastard.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:49 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I do appreciate your cynical attempt at plausible deniability. That takes guts.

I referenced your comment, and also a broader sort of behavior that I find noxious. And you seem to agree that it's noxious, but that somehow, because others participate in it, that entitles you to do so. And rather than address your shitty behavior, your choosing to go on the attack against me, personally.

There are conservative web pages where this is applauded. I'd rather stick with the handjobs. At least they're respectful.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:50 AM on February 21, 2011


Terrible, terrible idea. I am here for the community. True, the discourse here sometimes stumbles below civil. And I don't necessarily agree with all the politics of the majority here. But I do appreciate that most of the time, I can come here and hear people talking reasonably. I don't read the blue that often, but when I do, reading the article often only happens after I've seen what the people here have to say about it. If it weren't for the comments, I would never visit the blue.
posted by Night_owl at 10:51 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Dudes, of course I was joking; I have like 50,000 comments on Metafilter.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:36 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's a lot of handjobs.
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 11:39 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


About the same as you'd get in town.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:42 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I referenced your comment, and also a broader sort of behavior that I find noxious.

And you're still acting shocked that I took exception? So if I made a reference to "Astro Zombie and a bunch of other dumbshits," I absolve myself of any blame for the resulting argument by saying "Well sure, I mentioned you specifically, but I also was referring to some other vague individuals"?

And before the focus becomes my use of "dumbshit," please let me point out that I was just trying to find a generic negative term and do not at all think that you're dumb. I generally like you, but I'm mad at you right now for trying to absolve yourself of any culpability in our recent exchanges.

And rather than address your shitty behavior, your choosing to go on the attack against me, personally.

You're trying to portray our interaction here to make it look like I jumped you randomly, and I'm not comfortable with that. So let's review how this has played out:

You made a charge about me, I responded. That's how these sorts of things work. I reiterate: you made the charge. I didn't initially reference one of your comments and follow it with a disparaging description of your character. You did that to me. Then you attempted to call me out for making a thin, uncharitable description of your character as though I wasn't working from precedent.

Since then you've said "I didn't really do that," then "okay, I did. But it's cool because I kind of also meant other people even though I used you as the specific example." And now you're insinuating that I'm attacking you. Pointing out that you started the personal exchange and further pointing out that you're defending yourself hypocritically isn't attacking you.

Are you a PR professional? I'm pretty impressed with the spin you're employing.
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:42 AM on February 21, 2011


Feel free to email me, rather than behave like an assshole to me in the thread.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:47 AM on February 21, 2011


Consequence: I read this thread and now am feeling much less like reading or contributing to threads on Metafilter.
posted by sciencegeek at 11:51 AM on February 21, 2011


Astro Zombie: "Feel free to email me, "

FINALLY. THANK YOU.
posted by zarq at 11:51 AM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


> FINALLY. THANK YOU.

With respect, maybe we already have enough moderators. It's not like this thread is that important anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:59 AM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think these posts were actually far more entertaining when I used to not restrain myself. It is a source of profound sorrow to me that this is not the prevailing view. Unfortunately, it is, so I'm afraid I will have to continue to meet tedious whining with tedious restraint...

That's the thing, though; you aren't an Optimus Chyme or a Mayor Curley. It's pretty clear you are an intelligent person, but you have this perception of yourself on this site as being some sort of Black Bolt of rhetoric, possessing such awesomely devastating power and magnanimously reining it in, but only just. And it's silly. Your whole Man, You Guys Sure Are Lucky That I'm Keeping It In The Scabbard thing is absurd and makes you look like a foolish blowhard. It's ridiculous when there are posts about people like OC or MC and their departures from the site and you swoop in and bleat about how crap the site is and homogeneous everyone is, and how the weenies are driving out all the smart and challenging people whom you relate to and you have to keep the monster in the cage lest the bland rabble go after you next.

In life the guy who needs to go out of his way to tell everyone how hard and tough a fellow he is usually isn't. On the internet, where pretty much the most brutal action you can take is to say mean things to strangers, it's even truer. I really hope you stop being that guy. You'd probably enjoy the site more.

... resisting the urge to go see if I can dig out an amusingly relevant post of yours from the past.

It certainly wouldn't be hard as I have a good half-decade of stupid comments in the cellar - though it's not like I had to dig anything up, my response to your last bit of foolishness was what, a week ago? But since it seems like you get off on making these silly little half-threats: Whew! Dodged a bullet there...
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:59 AM on February 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


If you don't like the subject of a thread don't ruin it for everybody else. If you don't like somebody's opinions don't get so out of breath trying to make that person feel like shit.
posted by Rory Marinich at 5:06 PM on February 21


Naturally, I find it interesting that you say this sort of thing to me, but not to the whiny-assed people who initiate endlessly tiresome and pointless threads like this on the grey. I find it so interesting I almost care.
posted by Decani at 12:01 PM on February 21, 2011


Metafilter: Go away now.
posted by owtytrof at 12:02 PM on February 21, 2011


You know, there's no law that says you have to participate in MeFi threads you don't care about, Decani.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:04 PM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


> I find it so interesting I almost care.

Booyah! And they said you weren't the Black Bolt of Rhetoric.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:06 PM on February 21, 2011 [9 favorites]


rather than behave like an assshole to me in the thread.

Now it's "I'm a victim taking the high road?" Can you please tell me where my recent analysis of our interaction was inaccurate and I'm badgering a blameless bystander, rather than making emotional appeals like this is something to be decided in the court of public opinion despite the actual events?

I might get some actual acknowledgement of your share of responsibility if I took it to memail and your responses were designed for me instead of the crowd, but I shouldn't have to do that.

I wrote a clear synopsis demonstrating why it would appear that you're as blameful as I am. Tell me where it's inaccurate and I will offer you a sincere apology.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:06 PM on February 21, 2011


The understanding I've gotten from reading way too much MeTa is that the mods do a considerable amount of behind-the-scenes work with people who often misbehave in threads.

We should have a mod twitter day like the Manchester Police thing a while ago where the mods tweet the incidents they deal with over 24 hours.
posted by biffa at 12:08 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


What part of "email me" did you fail to understand.

let me be clear: I don't care to have a one-on-one argument with you in this thread. It's exceedingly tiresome. My point was that people feel all-too fucking free to shit all over liberals with half baked, contentless horseshit. If that describes you, it describes you. If it doesn't, calm the fuck down.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:09 PM on February 21, 2011


Burhanistan: " With respect, maybe we already have enough moderators. It's not like this thread is that important anyway."

I'm not moderating. I made a request and was ignored. When they finally decided to stop attacking each other and took it to memail, I expressed relief. Loudly. They're still not taking it to memail, of course. If I were trying to mod the thread, I would have sent a memail to the people who actually have the power to tell them to can it, cortex and Jessamyn, and asked them if they would consider stepping in. Which they've been known to do in the past, even in MeTa.
posted by zarq at 12:11 PM on February 21, 2011


Take it to email, you two.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:12 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


so just what is wrong with Lars Von Triers I mean really
posted by angrycat at 12:12 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


damn is there ever a fuckload of look-at-me-ing in this thread
posted by dersins at 12:16 PM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


With respect, AZ, calling someone an asshole in public and then saying "let's take this private" is not cool.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:20 PM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


This thread is like a game of telephone played by drunk angry people.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:23 PM on February 21, 2011 [8 favorites]


Well, I apologize to that. In the future, I will simply say feel free to memail me, and then call them an asshole in private.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:23 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is why the Catholic Church banned President's Day.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:27 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


Whatever Bookhouse, but if you're gonna go around spouting crap like "Battlestar Galatica was better than Farscape", you gotta expect my mama to get up in your gumbo.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:28 PM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well, I apologize to that. In the future, I will simply say feel free to memail me, and then call them an asshole in private.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:23 PM on February 21 [+] [!]


This is some serious last-wordism.
posted by proj at 12:29 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:59 PM on February 21

That's the thing, though; you aren't an Optimus Chyme or a Mayor Curley.

God, no. And I sincerely hope I've never said anything here to suggest I think I might be. Both those guys are Meta-heroes of mine. Both those guys are the kind of voice that used to make Metafilter special. Both those guys got driven out of Metafilter by the sort of tedious, hand-wringing hypersensitivity that more verbally club-footed oafs like me occasionally weaken and rail against in our tiresome and clumsy way.

It's pretty clear you are an intelligent person, but you have this perception of yourself on this site as being some sort of Black Bolt of rhetoric, possessing such awesomely devastating power and magnanimously reining it in, but only just.

You're right on the first point; the second assertion is, I'm afraid, a rather rabidly embarrassing fantasy of your own.

you swoop in and bleat about how crap the site is and homogeneous everyone is

No, I do not do that. I don't "swoop in". I post here pretty much every day, and the vast majority of my posts are not in any way argumentative or critical of the site. You are fantasising. If I thought this site was crap I wouldn't have asked to be let back in after a one-week time-out that mysteriously didn't end until I asked for it to end after almost five years. Given how that panned out you'll have to excuse me if I occasionally get a bit sceptical about some of the politics here.

In life the guy who needs to go out of his way to tell everyone how hard and tough a fellow he is usually isn't.


Err... where have I done that? If you think I've done that then please allow me to correct your misapprehension. I am not hard, or tough. I am a little impatient with cant, hypocrisy and precious hypersensitivity but I have not, and never would, claim to be any sort of hard man, on the internet or in real life. TKChrist pretty much nailed that shtick and I would be a fool indeed to try to usurp his throne.


It certainly wouldn't be hard as I have a good half-decade of stupid comments in the cellar -

Yeah, I know you do. That's why it was so tempting to respond with the same low tactic you used against me. But unlike you, I actually pay attention to the prevailing MeFi attitude that to dig up previous comments is not cool. I've also been paying enough attention to know that had I done so I'd have taken shit for it in precisely the way that you didn't.

But since it seems like you get off on making these silly little half-threats: Whew! Dodged a bullet there...

Oh, what utter balls. I made that comment as an illustration of the way people like you and Burhanistan get away with pulling precisely the sort of shit the less-favoured Mefites get jumped all over for. For you to interpret that as any level of threat is just pathetic.
posted by Decani at 12:30 PM on February 21, 2011


For comparison, here are two threads from President's Day 2010. See?
posted by Burhanistan at 12:31 PM on February 21, 2011


> Oh, what utter balls. I made that comment as an illustration of the way people like you and Burhanistan get away with pulling precisely the sort of shit the less-favoured Mefites get jumped all over for. For you to interpret that as any level of threat is just pathetic.

It's called sarcasm. And we're all very sorry that you don't feel loved. I'm not sure if that was sarcasm or not. Hmm.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:32 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


They're still not taking it to memail, of course.

It takes a little time to move something like that to memail. The logistics are more daunting than you'd think.

On another note: if the title "Black Bolt of Rhetoric" is transferable, I'd be willing to give the incumbent twenty bucks for it.
posted by steambadger at 12:33 PM on February 21, 2011


What part of "email me" did you fail to understand.

The missing part where your unsubstantiated portrayal of yourself as a victim gets to be a lie unanswered, which then becomes truth to some people. Actually, I understood it perfectly, but I couldn't understand why we should do that-- most of your responses to me have been actually directed at the audience to make me look like a bully.

I know you won't acknowledge it, but please tell me why my description of events is inaccurate and why we don't share responsibility for the argument and I'll apologize sincerely and drop it.

This is some serious last-wordism.

Astro Zombie's got some misdirection skillz. The ability to string your opponent along until he tires and gives up is an important tactic for never having to admit that you're at fault.
posted by Mayor Curley at 12:39 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's called sarcasm. And we're all very sorry that you don't feel loved. I'm not sure if that was sarcasm or not. Hmm.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:32 PM on February 21


And I am a huge, huge fan of sarcasm. But it's clear that on Metafilter some people's sarcasm gets a pass while other people's does not. And by God, you get so many breaks for sark/snark you should be embarrassed.


This is not about me wanting or expecting to feel loved. I don't come here for that. I don't go anywhere for that. What I do is drink lots of whisky instead. Not tonight, though. Hmm. Perhaps that's my mistake.
posted by Decani at 12:39 PM on February 21, 2011


What part of "email me" did you fail to understand.

Astro Zombie, Mayor Curley: this is the point where we enforce the previously-polite request to take this to MeMail, email or simply elsewhere.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:40 PM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


Decani: "Both those guys got driven out of Metafilter by the sort of tedious, hand-wringing hypersensitivity that more verbally club-footed oafs like me occasionally weaken and rail against in our tiresome and clumsy way."

Being driven out was their choice. Per cortex from the MeTa thread you posted back in January:
"People have the right to leave if they want to, whenever they want to; there is no expectation that site culture will be altered specifically to make a given individual happy. MC and OC are both smart, incisive dudes; they're both dudes with a penchant for taking a combative approach to their interactions with folks here; they've both dudes that we've had to talk to on multiple occasions over the years about that sort of thing when it was representing a problem; and yet, notably, neither of them are dudes that we banned, because we're more interested in making it work even with difficult users than with giving them the boot.
Also, obviously MC is still here (Hi Mayor!), so he wasn't driven very far.

If we're going to assign blame let's also accept responsibility for our own actions. When any of us pushes the button, we do so of our own free will.
posted by zarq at 12:42 PM on February 21, 2011


> nd I am a huge, huge fan of sarcasm. But it's clear that on Metafilter some people's sarcasm gets a pass while other people's does not. And by God, you get so many breaks for sark/snark you should be embarrassed.

You'll just have to try harder, then.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:42 PM on February 21, 2011


why not everybody feel love for each other and for our brothers and sisters in Libya.
*love*
Okay, back to fighting.
posted by angrycat at 12:43 PM on February 21, 2011


You'll just have to try harder, then.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:42 PM on February 21


If I thought it might make a difference, I would.
posted by Decani at 12:45 PM on February 21, 2011


> If I thought it might make a difference, I would.

Ok, then. We'll just have to sit wistfully and pine for the divine snark that you're withholding. And be thankful, because it is obviously such potent snark that it dare not be spoken of other than oblique whispers.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:51 PM on February 21, 2011


(I will also drop it. Memail is open, but that is so tedious, isn't it?)
posted by Burhanistan at 12:52 PM on February 21, 2011


We are now at the stage of the drunken brawl where we order pizza, grasping it in bloody-knuckled hands and passing pieces to our fellow brawlers, who we will address affectionately as "bro".
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 1:04 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Something must be broken in my outrage organ, it's just not firing.

I am getting a faint but distinct "like" signal for both Burhanistan and Decani, but I haven't had that thing calibrated in a while.
posted by StickyCarpet at 1:11 PM on February 21, 2011


(I will also drop it. Memail is open, but that is so tedious, isn't it?)
posted by Burhanistan at 8:52 PM on February 21


Well, it would be if I were ever so unutterably bored I actually felt inclined to Memail you.

Oh Lord. Not drinking makes me such a churl. I apologise. I'm going to pour a large Caol Ila right now.Burhanistan sir? I dislike you intensely, but I will no longer indulge in this unseemly arthritic verbal thumb wrestling. I am going to drink fine whisky, and I will drink to your health, sir. Vive les differénces.
posted by Decani at 1:27 PM on February 21, 2011


Ooh fuck. I put the acute over the wrong "e". I hate myself more than any of you can imagine. And I know you can imagine quite a lot.
posted by Decani at 1:34 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Decani, as a token mefite french-speaker, I forgive you. Sláinte!
posted by L'Estrange Fruit at 1:35 PM on February 21, 2011


i would hate myself more for hating myself over such a thing.
posted by angrycat at 1:36 PM on February 21, 2011


At a certain point very early on, hate stops being functionally recursive like that and more just exists as pure hate. The window dressing is very deceiving.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:37 PM on February 21, 2011


cotton mather? oh yeah, hank hill's dad.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 1:50 PM on February 21, 2011


Hold on, I got lost several pages back... who won?
posted by IjonTichy at 2:17 PM on February 21, 2011


When good scotch gets treated as a prop in a grudge match, we all lose.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:21 PM on February 21, 2011 [4 favorites]


OK. People should consistently get temporary bans for repeated derail-type lulzy comments at the beginning of a thread. If this ever happens, I haven't seen it.
It's useful, ,I think, to consider moderation here along the lines of an iceberg. You see the tip poking out of the water and, even though you can't see anything else, it's a safe bet that there's far more going on under the water than you can see. The moderators here are forced to spend way too much time defending their actions (and perceived lack of action) because of thinking along the lines of 'if I don't see it happen, it didn't happen'. These guys do an awesome job that, on a good day, must feel like herding cats and people need to give them a break.
posted by dg at 2:21 PM on February 21, 2011


George Washington won.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:23 PM on February 21, 2011


it's a safe bet that there's far more going on under the water than you can see.

When it's a secret what the policy is and against whom it gets enforced, it's a safe assumption that it isn't actually deterring anyone.

These guys do an awesome job that, on a good day, must feel like herding cats and people need to give them a break.

Oh, come off it. I'm not criticizing the mods personally. I'm discussing policy. There seem to be a fuckload of people today on Metafilter who've lost the ability to distinguish between disagreement and personal attacks.
posted by enn at 2:25 PM on February 21, 2011






Well, I guessed right. Grar hour is actually three days long when it's a holiday weekend.
posted by loquacious at 3:03 PM on February 21, 2011


"damn is there ever a fuckload of look-at-me-ing in this thread"

Hi Dersins!

Sorry.
posted by klangklangston at 3:11 PM on February 21, 2011


Metafilter: people like you and Burhanistan
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:12 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


When it's a secret what the policy is and against whom it gets enforced, it's a safe assumption that it isn't actually deterring anyone.
Just because every single decision is not discussed publicly doesn't mean it's a 'secret'. This is not a democracy. The moderation here is, I think, generally quite open and nothing is hidden particularly. Do you really want to be informed every time a comment is deleted or a member is given a warning privately? I certainly don't. To my mind (others will no doubt disagree), the policy is simple - 'don't be an arsehole'.


Oh, come off it. I'm not criticizing the mods personally. I'm discussing policy. There seem to be a fuckload of people today on Metafilter who've lost the ability to distinguish between disagreement and personal attacks.
I didn't say you were criticising anyone personally. I have noticed an uptick in complaints about moderation activity here of late and your post is simply more of the same, as far as I'm concerned. Maybe it wasn't your intention, but it reads as 'I'm not happy with the way the mods are handling things and I want it changed'. If you want to 'discuss policy' you should expect that some people will be of the opinion that the 'policy' is fine and no change is required. I'm one of those people.
posted by dg at 3:23 PM on February 21, 2011


It isn't te graring hour and yet I hear the call of the sloe beast filling the halls of meta with the churling choirs of the unamed one.
posted by humanfont at 3:28 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


When it's a secret what the policy is and against whom it gets enforced, it's a safe assumption that it isn't actually deterring anyone.

We do not have secret policies, but we do stop short at publishing every back and forth email exchange we have with users. The policy is: threadshitting is annoying and we'd like to see less of it. We will sometimes remove threadshitting comments and/or talk to threadshitters. People who have accounts that seem to only exist for spreading noise sitewide may be timed out or otherwise dealt with, though in reality this is something we almost never do.

There seem to be a fuckload of people today on Metafilter who've lost the ability to distinguish between disagreement and personal attacks.

Starting a MeTa thread that calls out a bunch of people as assholes is not necessarily the most conducive way to get people to come to the table to talk about site dynamics and policies. If there are specific people who you think are lowering the general tone here with repetitive threadshitting, please let us know (either here or via email) but the comments I removed from the beginning of that thread didn't seem like any of the usual suspects with maybe one exception.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:34 PM on February 21, 2011


We do not have secret policies

Like you're going to say anything else.
posted by Trochanter at 3:42 PM on February 21, 2011


Then why do I still have these two tickets t the Secret Policies-men's Ball?
posted by Abiezer at 3:44 PM on February 21, 2011


When good scotch gets treated as a prop in a grudge match, we all lose.
posted by cortex at 10:21 PM on February 21


Sheer unmitigated balls. When good scotch gets involved in anything, ever, at all, we all WIN.
posted by Decani at 3:49 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


Starting a MeTa thread that calls out a bunch of people as assholes is not necessarily the most conducive way to get people to come to the table to talk about site dynamics and policies

A MetaTalk thread that exists to get a mob of people to gang up and bully a single user who did nothing wrong is not conducive to discussion, either.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:51 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


There seem to be a fuckload of people today on Metafilter who've lost the ability to distinguish between disagreement and personal attacks.
posted by enn at 10:25 PM on February 21


And how many of those people are complaining on the grey?
posted by Decani at 3:52 PM on February 21, 2011


And how many of those people are complaining on the grey?

I don't know, but since you seem to have an opinion on the matter, how about you tell me what the fucking hell you're talking about instead of asking passive-aggressive bullshit "questions?"
posted by enn at 3:54 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


A MetaTalk thread that exists to get a mob of people to gang up and bully a single user who did nothing wrong is not conducive to discussion, either.[citation needed]
posted by dersins at 3:56 PM on February 21, 2011


Well, since the whole thread is going to MeMail (rightly so), I shall just put it out there that I'm accepting fan mail and handjobs in my own MeBox at this time.
posted by sonika at 4:03 PM on February 21, 2011 [5 favorites]


sonika: "...handjobs in my own MeBox..."

I think that's Lady Gaga's next single.
posted by zarq at 4:08 PM on February 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yeah, me too. If I can't be the Black Bolt of Rhetoric, I'll settle for a handjob.
posted by steambadger at 4:23 PM on February 21, 2011


churling choirs of the unamed one.

I thought he was in Supermax?

I just get this funny image of angrycat and I in a B-17 bomber about to drop chicklets all over North Africa then tweeting that Col. Qadaffi is wandering the desert in speedos and a range rover hawking copies of his little green book. Then we pull into Casablanca were i get toasted at the local hookah bar and SAT phone 'The Daily Mail' with a garbled "scoop" on a certain North Korean party animal.
posted by clavdivs at 4:30 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


If I can't be the Black Bolt of Rhetoric, I'll settle for a handjob.

If you're going to give Black Bolt a handjob, I'd make it a reach-around.

I'll take it to MeMail. Gonna sit right down and right myself a letter . . .
posted by yerfatma at 4:47 PM on February 21, 2011 [3 favorites]


metaprison.metafilter.com?

Think of the threads, think of the traffic, think of the revenue!
posted by juiceCake at 4:50 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]


speaking of handjobs, in Antichrist what the hell did She did to He in that one handjob that was too hideous to describe oh god
posted by angrycat at 5:11 PM on February 21, 2011


also, any scenario wherein clavdivs is celebrated but not angrycat when said cat engaged in the same heroism is too fantastical to be contemplated
posted by angrycat at 5:12 PM on February 21, 2011


GRAR

::checks clock::

my bad. soon?
posted by J. Wilson at 6:04 PM on February 21, 2011


Nah... it was the handjob! And you wanna know something else? It was worth it.

The YouTube autotranscription for that video:
it says you get my heart job in the back seat but let me check it out
are you comfortable max
well just a the outback nudity handouts from the woman you love
usd nineteen disturbance one call giving each other hand chats when you take a nap on the
front porch
just a mammoth that weekend jab
reporting in japanese skelly
that jet
copyright
on any of the few hands but that didn't work place
dot indicate handjobs lately
interest and jenna
you on the sentiments
posted by moss at 6:37 PM on February 21, 2011


a piece of advice I have heeded since a wee lad and never have I had a sleepless night of horror

the only piece of work to watch from von Trier is The Kingdom

anything else and you wind up like angrycat
posted by Existential Dread at 7:02 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


One can do quite well just avoiding anything at all by Lars "von" Trier. Darren Aronofsky, too.
posted by moss at 8:26 PM on February 21, 2011


Astro Zombie: "Feel free to email me, "

FINALLY. THANK YOU.

posted by zarq at 2:51 PM on February 21


> FINALLY. THANK YOU.

With respect, maybe we already have enough moderators. It's not like this thread is that important anyway.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:59 PM on February 21


Priceless. From the guy who is constantly admonishing someone in Meta, always inserting himself into the middle. . .give it a rest, pal.
posted by mlis at 8:36 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


"We do not have secret policies, but we do stop short at publishing every back and forth email exchange we have with users."

Wait until Julian Assange hears about this!
posted by klangklangston at 8:44 PM on February 21, 2011 [2 favorites]



the only piece of work to watch from von Trier is The Kingdom
The Element of Crime and Zentropa/Europa are worthwhile too.
posted by juv3nal at 8:59 PM on February 21, 2011 [1 favorite]


he did Zentropa? that was good.
then he went down some crazy hole
posted by angrycat at 9:15 PM on February 21, 2011


I hear Irréversible was a delightful romp as well. I love Vincent Cassel!
posted by Existential Dread at 9:30 PM on February 21, 2011


I've long thought it would be interesting to make an automatic system where the top ten or so commentors every month get an automatic one-month timeout (exempting employees, of course). It might encourage some new blood getting involved in discussions if it wasn't always just the same assholes blathering all the time.
posted by norm at 9:41 PM on February 21, 2011 [6 favorites]


This comes up from time to time and it's not the first time I've seen a mod relate things like, "People who have accounts that seem to only exist for spreading noise sitewide may be timed out or otherwise dealt with, though in reality this is something we almost never do,"

I read that and wonder, "Why not?"

How does the site benefit from "accounts that seem to only exist for spreading noise" and whose interests are served by allowing these people to continue doing so?
posted by ambient2 at 9:45 PM on February 21, 2011


So...was this just elaborate performance art in response to the call for a GRAR hour?
posted by kagredon at 9:53 PM on February 21, 2011


I read that and wonder, "Why not?"

In reality it's the rare account that is a pure noise account, not that there are a lot of these accounts but we just let them slide.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:59 PM on February 21, 2011


I read that and wonder, "Why not?"

Because when we poke someone sternly once or twice on the subject of throttling back, they nearly always do. Most people hanging out here and being a bit obnoxious aren't doing so because it is their mission in life to be obnoxious; they're just sort of doing the thing that they're inclined to do and don't realize that it's causing problems. Getting ahold of them with a clearly stated "hey, that thing you do is causing problems, we need you to not do it so much" message tends to work out pretty okay.

There are exceptions, people who either because they're unwilling or unable to change their behavior need some sort of sharper reality check. That's where the rare timeouts (and the rarer still bans) come into play. But most of the time it doesn't get that far.

How does the site benefit from "accounts that seem to only exist for spreading noise" and whose interests are served by allowing these people to continue doing so?

To be clear, it is very rare that we see an account that apparently literally only exists for spreading noise or being obnoxious or something black-and-white like that. On those rare occasions, they get banned because trying to talk it out and get them to work through the culture shock doesn't work.

For folks who don't seem to be purpose-built noise machines on a mission from god, it's more of a "hey, you need to meet us in the middle" situation. That attempt to work with folks instead of kicking them promptly to the curb at the first sign of trouble benefits anyone who isn't perfectly well-behaved or immediately acculturated to the site because it means they don't get shitcanned preemptively. That includes a lot of folks who have had bumpy starts or bumpy episodes but have managed to turn their shit around and gotten on well here as valued and contributing members of the community, and in that sense it's a benefit to the community as well.

It's not the only possible way to be, and I grant that it means sometimes there's more obnoxiousness from one or another person than there would be if we were freer with bans. But it's how we feel like this place should be, and it's how this place has always been.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:02 PM on February 21, 2011


well, then, angrycat, in the image, you can SAT phone "The Daily Mail".
posted by clavdivs at 10:06 PM on February 21, 2011


Go along with you yah big lugs and have a beer and a hug and a handjob.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:53 PM on February 21, 2011


I quite enjoy handjobs as well. Auch mir bitte!
posted by Meatbomb at 4:24 AM on February 22, 2011


Most people hanging out here and being a bit obnoxious aren't doing so because it is their mission in life to be obnoxious

We are legion.
posted by yerfatma at 5:53 AM on February 22, 2011


people hanging out here and being a bit obnoxious aren't doing so because it is their mission in life to be obnoxious; they're just sort of doing the thing that they're inclined to do

Exactly. For me, entering a group forum is not about telling people who to be, its about learning who they are.
posted by StickyCarpet at 7:26 AM on February 22, 2011


I've never understood why some people put so much energy into defending their right to be jackasses.
posted by Stagger Lee at 8:09 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: passive-aggressive bullshit "questions".
posted by Tknophobia at 8:43 AM on February 22, 2011


So I agree with enn's initial complaint -- there seems to be a relatively large amount of threadshitting that just doesn't stop happening. It appears pervasive, and persistant, and a wide variety of users do it, at least on occasion. It feels like the current policy of mostly privately telling people to knock it off when they exceed some threshhold means that the (apparent to me) constant low level amount of threadshitting will continue.

So if it was going to change, I'd presume a policy change would be necessary to make it change. But that's jumping ahead. Are enn and I in the minority with this complaint? Do the mod's see things differently? What's your guys perspective?
posted by garlic at 8:46 AM on February 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


My take on it is that, yeah, there's generally at least a simmer of early-thread snark and lulz much of the time on the blue, which is a mix of fine (threads don't need to be snark or joke free and sometimes a good quip early in a thread is mostly just funny as hell without being a problem) and not so fine (sometimes Funny Ha Ha just derails when it doesn't hit the nail on the head, more often "I will pick a fight about this topic" is a problem).

It's the "a wide variety of users do it" part that complicates all this, because talking to users who have made a habit of noisy commenting is practical but sending a mefimail to anyone who makes a one-off noisy comment is impractical in terms of added workload and will probably strike a lot of those one-offers as excessively needling. Someone who drops a bit of light snark into a thread once in a great while isn't really behaving badly at any significant level, and we don't want to make feel people harangued about really minor transgressions, nor do we want to spend a bunch more time every day trying to be exquisitely careful about all those extra conversations to try and not make those folks feel put upon.

We delete a lot of the early-thread noise if we see it (flagging helps a lot here), we talk to folks with apparently consistent noise problems, we use timeouts to get the attention of folks for whom talking doesn't seem to work. We're not going to start giving people timeouts for one-off type snark. We're not going to put a bright red DON'T BE A DINGUS headline over the comment box. In terms of community policing there's a general social pressure against dumb noise comments that I think does a decent job of handling a lot of ongoing user education on a sort of constant slow-burn level.

So when it comes to a question of policy, I'm left not really knowing what the notional practicable policy change would be from where we are now. I'm cool talking about it, but I think it's easy to underestimate the difficulty of dealing with stuff that is more what I think of as background radiation than anything. How to move from low levels of early thread noise to none on a popular website with a great big pile of users the bulk of whom comment only occasional is a deceptively hard problem.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:10 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think enn's proposed mini-timeout being applied to early threadshitters (which can be hard to differentiate in some threads from humerous snarkers) could lower the background radiation. It could also force metafilter into the INTERNETS IS SRS BISNESS territory too.

The problem does sound hard, but (especially when it's no real extra work for me) it seems preferable than allowing another "copying digital data isn't really theft/piracy" derail, or to stop the preponderance of "news at 11" comments, or I don't care about this topic but I'm commenting anyway comments. I figure the "Your post is terrible and you're a terrible post for making it" comments have to lead to the most frustration for posters.

Or I can finish my whine up here, and move back to flagging it and moving on. Although feedback on flagging would be awesome too (the flagging metathread awards, for people with the highest percentage of flags that get a mod effect).

It's good to get a feel for what's going on in the underwater portion of the iceberg that is metafilter moderation.
posted by garlic at 9:51 AM on February 22, 2011


I feel like my perspective is similar to cortex's. Really there are a few interweaving problems

- the threadshitting itself, annoying but the most easily fixed
- the fact that threadshitters walk among us, more intractable but something we're working on
- the fact that threadshitting annoys the crap out of people, possibly the least easily addressed from a moderator basis

There are a lot of things that make up the culture here that various people find to be sub-optimal. When those things are terrifically bad -- spammer jerks, aggressive non-question-answerers in AskMe, obvious trolls -- it's pretty easy to act on them in a way that everyone in the community will be okay with.

With something like this, there's a balance between cracking down hard on this with some sort of "no threadshitting, period" policy versus people who enjoy interacting with the site in that way or at least who view the occasional threadshitting as much less of a big deal than, say, increased comment deletions or timeouts.

So with a lot of bad behavior things what we often ask is "well, is what we're doing something you can live with?" if we think that people seeing what we see as a smaller problem is, to them, a larger problem [as an example, i think of the @reply stuff people do. We're not going to delete the comments of people who do that, or even talk to people about it, we'll just sort of mention that that's not how we do things here, but we'll also not let people pile-on people who do it].

And I'm not sure if this sort of thing falls into that category or not. To me, this is not a giant problem that affects the overall quality of the site. I'm not sure if it rises to that level for more than a few people. Which is not to say that it's not a problem, but it may be that approaching the problem may involve more "hey help us out here" stuff from people -- flag more, let us know if you see the same people really stinking up the place, that sort of thing -- and less outright policy shifts.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:54 AM on February 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


To me, this is not a giant problem that affects the overall quality of the site.


Differing reasonable opinions out there, to be sure, but it can get tiresome to open threads, see that festivas of threadshitting have taken root. (I tend to not have the time, inclination or memory to check back later, see if the direction has changed.)

Fair play, though, if that a decent percentage of people do it very infrequently, it will add up to it happening with some regularity.
posted by ambient2 at 12:47 PM on February 22, 2011


It feels like the current policy of mostly privately telling people to knock it off when they exceed some threshhold means that the (apparent to me) constant low level amount of threadshitting will continue.

People threadshit when they find a post contemptible in some way. So long as there's a wide enough variety of opinion in the audience, there will frequently occur posts which one segment of the audience classifies as Vitally Important Topics In Today's Society while another classifies them as Oh For Chrissakes Not This Bullshit Again. You want the variety of opinion in the mix, you're going to have to put up with the little explosive reactions when these two elements combine.
posted by Diablevert at 3:54 PM on February 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is definitely a case of the cure being worse than the disease. A public conversation with no background noise is really unlikely with the amount of people on Mefi. Flexibility and openness are vital to maintaining a healthy discussion. Putting up barriers to certain kinds of speech means certain voices will never be heard, even when they may have something relevant to say. Allowing them to speak and correcting for ill considered posts keeps them in the community.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:28 PM on February 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Part of the problem is that "thread-shitting" is subjective.

I'll also say that, having been here a while, the amount of derisive snark aimed at posters has decreased incredibly over the last couple years, to the point where some of the positive effects that came from it (it prevented a lot of thin editorials and cause stuff) have waned. New folks, who have come in expecting MetaFilter to be a politics-heavy SRS BZNS site, who never had to put up with the reputedly daunting snark, now want to expand that as normative.

I think the mods do a decent job with this — I think that Jessamyn gets a lot of the flack because she's a force for niceness, against meanness, and while I don't always agree with the decisions she makes I realize that she comes from a really positive place. (I just think that I like a little more acerbic negativity in my life), and, frankly, because she's a woman and that does seem to encourage a lot of really nasty shit that probably furthers her antipathy towards folks given to meanness.

(It's a little weird to talk about mods like they're not here, but whatevs).

So, there's a tension. I usually come out on what could uncharitably be called the pro-threadshitter side, but that's because so often the anti-threadshitters swaddle themselves in so many assumptions of rightness and morality that they're two sentences away from typing out "Think of the children!" and it irks me, especially since so many are only sensitive to "threadshitting" they disagree with and ignore the comments they agree with (as do we all).
posted by klangklangston at 6:58 PM on February 22, 2011 [8 favorites]


so many are only sensitive to "threadshitting" they disagree with

I don't think this is accurate at all. I didn't save a copy of the deleted comments in the linked thread, and I don't remember exactly what they said, but in general I flag most of the comments I flag because they don't have enough semantic content that it is meaningful to talk about agreement or disagreement at all. They are the internet equivalent of shouting "Freebird." That's what I'm objecting to, not the comments that say "this article sucks."
posted by enn at 7:50 PM on February 22, 2011


When it's a secret what the policy is and against whom it gets enforced, it's a safe assumption that it isn't actually deterring anyone.

How is that a safe assumption?

When people are called out around here in MetaTalk, more often than not the damage rendered is a lot higher than the original crime (in terms of public shaming and, ironically, threadshitting at the user's expense), which leads people to flame-outs and deep-set bad blood between users seems to emerge.

By culling in private, the mods offer users an opportunity to change their behaviour without being put on public display, and judging by Jessamyn and Cortex's presentation of it, it works for the people who actually have to do the work. Public shaming, throughout history, has never been known to be a great deterrent (as it can often increase the ire of fellow citizens), and I don't know why you think that it's a safe assumption to think it would be in the online world.
posted by dflemingecon at 6:10 AM on February 23, 2011


klang, I think there are positive ways to say "this is a bad post and you should feel bad for making it." In general, newer people seem to express a certain posting anxiety because it's such a large audience, as it is.

While I grasp you concept of the deleterious effect of snark moderation on post quality, there are plenty of occasions where the snark is not of the ""it's a bad post" variety, and is just plain dismissive of the subject at hand, or other members, or the site as a whole. I really don't enjoy those latter instances much at all.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:45 AM on February 23, 2011


They are the internet equivalent of shouting "Freebird." That's what I'm objecting to, not the comments that say "this article sucks."

Yeah, unfortunately it's a mostly-inevitable side effect of not having a discussion in real time and written rather than spoken. If a group of people were having an oral discussion of a topic, someone trying to dismiss the topic would know that if they shouted "Freebird!", it would garner some irritated stares and then be gone. When it's written and takes place over hours, it's a lot easier to gum it up with noise because that noise will always be there unless removed. The mods are good about cleaning it, and it's not going away. We have to live with some amount of it, and those of us who read this thread should pause before we do it. That's the best we're gonna get.
posted by Mayor Curley at 7:51 AM on February 23, 2011




Read that article and tell me it's not wacky nonsense.

I just want to tell you both good luck. We're all counting on you.
posted by Naberius at 1:40 PM on February 23, 2011


What if a fighter jet was the size of a bird ?

If you bought it as a model airplane kit, it would be full size or more upon construction.
posted by y2karl at 3:52 PM on February 23, 2011


face it karl, thats why we have taxes and robot planes.
Robot Planes
posted by clavdivs at 10:42 PM on February 24, 2011


today they take away my threadshitting,
tomorrow...
posted by Drasher at 7:47 PM on February 26, 2011


is another day
posted by clavdivs at 10:35 AM on February 27, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or, for some of us, it's today ;-)
posted by dg at 4:02 PM on February 27, 2011


Tommorrow never knows...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:34 PM on February 27, 2011 [1 favorite]


clearly a need for song and drink.
posted by clavdivs at 10:09 PM on February 27, 2011


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