What the beese? May 3, 2011 8:22 AM   Subscribe

What happened to Joe Beese?

I know hes been called out before and that he didn't have opinions everyone liked, but I think he contributed a lot to metafilter... Was his account disabled of his own accord or was he finally deemed a pariah and kicked out?
posted by ReWayne to MetaFilter-Related at 8:22 AM (59 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Obama did it.
posted by klangklangston at 8:24 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry, that wasn't cool. I actually like the guy, just think he's an ass in political threads. He got banned because he couldn't chill out (I believe in political threads).
posted by klangklangston at 8:24 AM on May 3, 2011


Well, Bush laid the groundwork first.
posted by Think_Long at 8:25 AM on May 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


This seams lie something you should have emailed the mods about. Otherwise we end up having a referendum on joe beese, which seems unfair if he's not here.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:25 AM on May 3, 2011 [14 favorites]


Ugh! SEEMS.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:27 AM on May 3, 2011


Good grief, the whole comment is bad. University is rotting my brain.
posted by oneirodynia at 8:27 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


We banned him back in mid March after just seven too many "one more chance" discussions. We had given him some time off around the end of last year when shit was winding up yet again and been very clear about him needing to figure his stuff out if he was serious about staying; when he came back in around the start of this year he did okay-ish with that for a while but then the specific stupid fights and axe-grinding started up again and we had to call it.

It sucks because he was fine at contributing for the most part, but when we spend like two years working with a dude to figure out the problematic stuff and it just keeps happening again and again, we have to stop somewhere. We gave him more chances than any of us I think felt like we ought to have by the end.

And yeah, I'm not sure what there is to discuss beyond that. It's not a popular vote thing; we try hard not to have to ban people, which is why it's so damn rare for a longer-time member to get the boot for just not figuring their shit out, but sometimes it's going to end up being all we have left.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:28 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


Actually most of it was good, and bears repeating:

"Otherwise we end up having a referendum on joe beese, which seems unfair if he's not here."
posted by mkultra at 8:29 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Joe Beese was one of the few community members who was both helpful and friendly here and also totally unable to reign in the more problematic aspects of his behavior here. After working with him extensively over a lot of last year, he was given a few weeks off over the holidays as sort of a "last chance" to get his act together. We'd really prefer if people could sort of dial back their own problematic behavior but ultimately he was a commenter who literally could not keep any MeFi political threads (on any topic) from turning into fighty rants about Obama's role in whatever the thing was.

Over a series of years and literally dozens of emails we had asked and then told him to please stop this and that he was welcome to stay in the community if he could basically knock this off. Things were going fine in 2011, with a few small issues and then suddenly he was off the rails again after he was very clearly in "don't do this again" territory. It bums me out, but when our time spent moderating the actions of one user start detracting from our ability to basically do anything else on the site, we have to make this difficult choices.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:29 AM on May 3, 2011 [7 favorites]


I would second there not being much to discuss here now that two mods have weighed in, and that closing this thread to prevent this turning into a pile-on of a banned but occasionally valuable member of the community would be a good idea.
posted by Aizkolari at 8:31 AM on May 3, 2011


ultimately he was a commenter who literally could not keep any MeFi political threads (on any topic) from turning into fighty rants about Obama's role in whatever the thing was

It seems to me that there are a number of commenters of whom this is true, none of whom has been banned except for Joe. Isn't this exactly what Ironmouth does in every vaguely political or newsy thread?
posted by enn at 8:32 AM on May 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


I would second there not being much to discuss here now that two mods have weighed in, and that closing this thread to prevent this turning into a pile-on of a banned but occasionally valuable member of the community would be a good idea.

Agreed.
posted by jokeefe at 8:33 AM on May 3, 2011


He cranked out tons of quality FPPs, so it's particularly sad that he couldn't keep a lid on the Obama-fight-baiting.
posted by aught at 8:34 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, people are welcome to email us if they need more information and this is something we've already told lots of people privately. I don't feel comfortable having a "whatever happened to X" discussion here. Brand New Day is still in effect, he can come back with a new username and if the community doesn't spot him being That Guy, then we'd love to see him back.

Isn't this exactly what Ironmouth does in every vaguely political or newsy thread?

Not really, no, though we've spoken to Ironmouth as well in the past.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:34 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


It seems to me that there are a number of commenters of whom this is true, none of whom has been banned except for Joe. Isn't this exactly what Ironmouth does in every vaguely political or newsy thread?

We talk to a lot of folks about all kinds of stuff; you sort of have to trust us that much of what we do is try to find ways to make it work with people whose behavior isn't always great. Certainly Joe Beese is not by far the only person we've had to talk to about recurring problematic behavior, but if we get to the point where it's either ban nobody or ban everybody in order to avoid any perception of injustice, this place will get either very ugly or very ghostly.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:35 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


What happened to Joe Beese?

The mods traded him to Balloon Juice for three jacks, a ball of string, and a can of redi-whip. You can catch him in the comments there.
posted by octobersurprise at 8:36 AM on May 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


We'll have to find another token non-fundy conservative.
posted by jonmc at 8:37 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yea, I was going to say that I see him on Balloon Juice where he seems to dominate the conversation.
posted by octothorpe at 8:38 AM on May 3, 2011


In fact, here's what the man himself said about all of this.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 8:38 AM on May 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


Over a series of years and literally dozens of emails...

Blimey. Is a lot of mod time is spent on this sort of behind-the-scenes attempt to get a problem user on the straight and narrow, or is it a rare thing?
posted by jack_mo at 8:40 AM on May 3, 2011


"We'll have to find another token non-fundy conservative."

I skip a lot of the political threads, but wasn't he to the left of most of mefi?
posted by puny human at 8:42 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thanks for that, UrineSoakedRube... "Heh heh… The poor mods. They were very patient with me." ... At least there are no hard feelings? ...Oh Beese...
posted by ReWayne at 8:44 AM on May 3, 2011


Blimey. Is a lot of mod time is spent on this sort of behind-the-scenes attempt to get a problem user on the straight and narrow, or is it a rare thing?

Power curve distribution: a few people take a lot of work, a bigger group take a smaller amount of work, most people take little to no work. Just like most things here.

I would say that based on my experiences talking about this stuff with both third parties and the folks we've actually had to work with on behavior, the amount of time we spend on this stuff is generally significantly underestimated by the people who don't cause trouble (who maybe tend to assume that if it didn't happen in public it didn't happen, which is understandable if you don't know otherwise I guess) but is generally overestimated by the folks we actually have to work significantly with to figure this stuff out (based on often-expressed disbelief that they are causing that much of a problem on the site, as if we could even literally get through a workday if we had to send every active user on the site as much email as we send them, etc.).

Anyway, if there's not some other pressing issue in here that folks need to discuss, I'll close this up in a few minutes. If anybody wants to get ahold of Beese it seems like he's pretty findable out on the internet.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:49 AM on May 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


I remember some people thought he was a sockpuppetaccount back when he first joined, because he posted a ton of comments (like one within the first five comments of most FPPs) and made references to MetaFilter-specific in-jokes. I think someone suggested that he was Steven den Beste's new account. Overall I think he contributed a lot other than all of those Obama derails.
posted by burnmp3s at 8:52 AM on May 3, 2011


a better title for this post would've been "Where's the Beese?"
posted by jonmc at 8:58 AM on May 3, 2011 [17 favorites]


Quick question: is it technically possible to ban someone from subsites and not all of Metafilter?
posted by Jpfed at 8:59 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


(In case someone's behavior is super-bad in one subsite but not at all in another... I don't know, maybe that scenario just never comes up.)
posted by Jpfed at 8:59 AM on May 3, 2011


we spend like two years working with a dude to figure out the problematic stuff

After working with him extensively over a lot of last year,

I've always wondered what this kind of thing (which you guys refer to a lot) consists of. Eyelids propped open in front of footage of hugging and getting along? Is there a couch involved? Trust exercises? (But seriously.)
posted by DU at 8:59 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


if there's not some other pressing issue in here that folks need to discuss

When you press your jeans, should they have the crease in the front, or down the seam side?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:00 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


IN front.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:00 AM on May 3, 2011


He posted this on Balloon Juice:
Heh heh… The poor mods. They were very patient with me.
I wouldn't call it an expression of regret, per se, but he seems to recognize that the pony he rides isn't always welcome.
posted by fatbird at 9:03 AM on May 3, 2011


I totally hated him at first and we got in lots of arguments, but over time I realized that we wound up agreeing more than we disagreed, and I grew to welcome and enjoy his contributions. I'd like to think we both learned a lot from having to tolerate each other :)

I tend to give a wide berth to most of the political discussions on here, so I missed a lot of the Obama stuff. What I did catch made it clear that he was totally unable to control himself, so honestly I think this was a good call from the mods -- he was never going to dial it back on his own.
posted by hermitosis at 9:03 AM on May 3, 2011


Lost in time and lost in space.

and meaning.
posted by The Whelk at 9:03 AM on May 3, 2011 [6 favorites]


seconding DU, I wish I could read a "best of" email/MeChat between mods and Beese. Or mods and any user with "behavior" problems. ;)
posted by ReWayne at 9:03 AM on May 3, 2011


Trick question. You do not press your jeans.

And what the hell is this balloon juice site? There's no explanation at all and their FAQ isn't.
posted by backseatpilot at 9:04 AM on May 3, 2011


Quick question: is it technically possible to ban someone from subsites and not all of Metafilter?

Nope, and not a road we want to go down. If your behavior on one part of the site is a problem and elsewhere its fine, you need to be able to get your head together enough to keep yourself off the part of the site where your behavior sucks if that's the only way you can manage it.

I've always wondered what this kind of thing (which you guys refer to a lot) consists of.

Talking. Lots and lots of talking. Explaining things at length, often repeatedly, and trying to make it clear that what we're talking about is whether or not a specific kind of problematic behavior manifests on the site, that it's not an issue of who starts it or whether one thing or another somehow justifies that behavior and so on.

It pretty much proceeds on a case by case basis from "hey, this specific thing that you keep doing is a problem".
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:04 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


Heh heh… The poor mods. They were very patient with me.

I like Joe, and agree with most of his point -- but he does seem to be pathologically incapable of not saying it. A lot.

Anyway, glad to see he went out classy.
posted by steambadger at 9:08 AM on May 3, 2011


backseatpilot: "And what the hell is this balloon juice site? There's no explanation at all and their FAQ isn't."

It's a cat picture blogging site.
posted by octothorpe at 9:09 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


And what the hell is this balloon juice site? There's no explanation at all and their FAQ isn't.

Yeah, I never heard of it either, and then I found this line "Teach a man a fact, and he’s smart for a day. Teach a man to reason, and he’s a pain in the ass to his social betters for the rest of his life." and then I went "Oh. That sort of thing. Explains a lot." and closed the tab and got some spaghetti and meatballs.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:10 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


He sometimes felt the need to MeMail various quips about Obama or some piece of news about him and say "Obama needs your help."

That was annoying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:12 AM on May 3, 2011


We'll have to find another token non-fundy conservative.

What? He was left of center on most issues - that's an important part of what he was saying.

As a lifelong lefty myself, I can actually relate to his disappointment and frustration over Obama's continuation of so many Bush-era policies that hurt the poor and disenfranchised domestically and abroad. But I pretty much knew that was going to happen even as I was pulling the lever, and I have certainly chosen not to grind that axe on MeFi.
posted by aught at 9:12 AM on May 3, 2011 [10 favorites]


oneirodynia: Ugh! SEEMS

Also "like."
posted by paisley henosis at 9:13 AM on May 3, 2011


"hey, this specific thing that you keep doing is a problem".


Aside from the hyperbole - it reads (to me, at least) as though the main 'problem' was that he had people over a barrel/in a corner, they've then complained to the mods and he's been banned.

way to win an argument.
posted by sgt.serenity at 9:14 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


We'll have to find another token non-fundy conservative.

Joe attacked Obama from the left and I usually agreed with those attacks.
posted by DU at 9:15 AM on May 3, 2011 [15 favorites]


What? He was left of center on most issues

Oh. Well, it's been awhile.
posted by jonmc at 9:15 AM on May 3, 2011


I really don't get what the "problem" was -- of course maybe it's displayed in comments that were deleted.

He had strong opinions which he didn't back down from. But so what?

What exactly makes that something a user should be banned for?
posted by orthogonality at 9:15 AM on May 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


and we could use a nonfundy conservative anyway, and perhaps a Whig or two.
posted by jonmc at 9:16 AM on May 3, 2011 [3 favorites]


jonmc: We'll have to find another token non-fundy conservative

Joe Beese was anti-Obama because he thought Obama was too far to the right, not because Obama was too far left.

I actually agreed with him on a lot of the politics of what he said and was glad someone was saying it, because I didn't want to wade through it myself. On the way he said it, that's another question.
posted by paisley henosis at 9:16 AM on May 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yeah, my impression is that Joe was a liberal who was just really discouraged and disillusioned by the reality of we were sold a bill of goods by the Obama campaign, and he had no self-control when it came to getting off that one-track hobby horse.
posted by crunchland at 9:16 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm your whig baby.
7 times, wow. patience is virtue.
posted by clavdivs at 9:17 AM on May 3, 2011


Talking. Lots and lots of talking.

Oh, the talking cure. Are any of you taking new patients now?
posted by octobersurprise at 9:18 AM on May 3, 2011


He had strong opinions which he didn't back down from. But so what?

He brought them up again and again in unrelated threads and contexts. Fire is hot? Well it wouldn't be if Obama were a real leftist! Sky blue? No thanks to Obama's extraordinary rendition program! Etc.
posted by DU at 9:19 AM on May 3, 2011 [19 favorites]


Aside from the hyperbole - it reads (to me, at least) as though the main 'problem' was that he had people over a barrel/in a corner, they've then complained to the mods and he's been banned.

No, this is actually wacky bullshit. We get lots of complaints about lots of people, it doesn't get you banned. There's a good chance it correlates with you being up to something that has us talking to you, but generally speaking that takes a lot of work before it goes from just being kind of a pain to being a rare "sorry, you are out of extra chances" situation.

Again: this place would be a ghost town if just being kind of a pain in the butt or a loudmouth or annoying other users was sufficient to get a ban.

He had strong opinions which he didn't back down from. But so what?

What exactly makes that something a user should be banned for?


It's not, and he didn't get banned for "having a strong opinion". We're not going to reprint a digest of two years of off-and-on email conversation and deleted comments; if you fundamentally believe that he was unjustly banned, that's your prerogative but I don't really feel like having an argument about him in absentia.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:19 AM on May 3, 2011 [5 favorites]


If Joe Beese were here he'd certainly put this discussion in its proper context; i.e., Joe Beese was banned because Obama sucks.
posted by found missing at 9:22 AM on May 3, 2011 [8 favorites]


I don't really feel like having an argument about him in absentia. --- Now might be a good time to turn out the lights on this thread, since there's not much more to be said about the subject.
posted by crunchland at 9:23 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


closed the tab and got some spaghetti and meatballs.

I keep opening and closing that tab, and still have no spaghetti and meatballs. What am I doing wrong?
posted by inigo2 at 9:24 AM on May 3, 2011 [71 favorites]


You have to really want it.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:25 AM on May 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I went to Absentia, once. There was nothing there.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:26 AM on May 3, 2011 [11 favorites]


*pulls chain on lamp*
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:27 AM on May 3, 2011


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