You mean there are other countries? May 5, 2011 8:48 PM   Subscribe

What is up with all these non-US political posts this week? Examples: Canada, the UK, Singapore

They are awesome brilliant! I am learning a lot from you all.
posted by desjardins to MetaFilter-Related at 8:48 PM (90 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

I've been enjoying them too, particularly the Canadian election stuff which is fascinating for how similar and yet totally different it is from elections in the US.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:49 PM on May 5, 2011


I've been loving it! I read the international news and stay up on politics, but there's nothing like commentary from people who are actually there. News articles only get you so far. Thanks, everyone!
posted by stoneweaver at 8:50 PM on May 5, 2011


Well, all three had or are having elections.
posted by orthogonality at 8:53 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


The education continues!
posted by carsonb at 8:55 PM on May 5, 2011


Man, what is it with all these women with jobs this week? Keep up the good work, girls!
posted by GuyZero at 9:08 PM on May 5, 2011 [19 favorites]


my perception is that, in the past few years, the globe has ceased to revolve around the US (economically, China is becoming the central point). We need to learn, we need to understand, and the digital focus is shifting to allow us to do so.

Meta is reflecting this... good for us...
posted by tomswift at 9:21 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


I read "election season" on one FPP and my immediate gut reaction was "Oh crap, it's starting ALREADY?! Come on, this is like putting up Christmas decorations before Halloween!" and then I saw "Singapore" and breathed a huge sigh of relief. :D
posted by Jacqueline at 9:21 PM on May 5, 2011


Metafiltre TM
posted by special-k at 9:23 PM on May 5, 2011 [22 favorites]


We are the world
We are the filters.
posted by The Whelk at 9:27 PM on May 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


You guys are all so geocentric. I'm working on a FPP about the election coming up for the society that had us build that big oscillating ring thinger that mostly just sends you to the space beach where you meet your fake dead dad who's actually an alien or a space angel or something.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:32 PM on May 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


But yeah, it's cool to see what politics are like in other parts of the world. Especially seeing things like alternative voting get a shot on the ballot.
posted by mccarty.tim at 9:33 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd make a post about the battle for the throne of Mars after the death of Princess Kuna the Tearless, but the impant in my head says no.
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 PM on May 5, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also all the wikipedia links are in Atlantian.
posted by The Whelk at 9:35 PM on May 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Apparently there has been no mention on Metafilter about the Finnish parliamentary election held last month, even though this time it was quite unusual. The nationalist True Finns party made huge gains, becoming the fourth 'big party' when there have for decades been only three. The other big news is that the election result could have significant consequences on bailout plans in the Eurozone.

Here's The Economist's quick take on it.
posted by Anything at 9:37 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]




I've been in the US so long now I've forgotten the rest of the world exists. This makes my fear of deportation ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING. Thank you Metafilter for re-educating me back into sanity.
posted by saturnine at 10:02 PM on May 5, 2011


my perception is that, in the past few years, the globe has ceased to revolve around the US

I'm not sure I agree with your premise.
posted by pompomtom at 10:03 PM on May 5, 2011 [8 favorites]


That'd be an interesting post, Anything - why not make it?

I've been wondering, myself, more about what's going on in all the countries we think of as left-wing/socialist havens after reading this comment on the "What’s Left of the Left - Paul Krugman's Lonely Crusade for Liberalism" post from last week. stoneweaver is right - hearing the commentary from people who are actually there in other countries is a valuable resource and I think it's awesome we have the chance on this site to share and learn from that.

The Canadian election thread was, selfishly, great for me as I was stuck here essentially on bedrest and nailbiting the election results. I'm happy it got as much participation as it did - I wanted it to be informative enough to be inclusive across MeFi, but absolutely I also very much enjoy the community aspect of commiserating, learning from, and yes, debating (even arguing!) with each other. I admit I nailbit a little (MeFi still intimidates me sometimes after all these years) thinking that it would be considered overmuch/boring/irrelevant/too divisive so I'm glad to hear people say they got good value out of the post.
posted by flex at 10:04 PM on May 5, 2011


We can still despise cricket, though, right?

I SPIT ON YOUR WICKETS
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 10:39 PM on May 5, 2011 [6 favorites]


Flag it, wave on.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 10:41 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've been in the US so long now I've forgotten the rest of the world exists. This makes my fear of deportation ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING. Thank you Metafilter for re-educating me back into sanity.

Yeah, one of the scariest things about living outside of America is the whole 'other countries exist' idea. It helps if you think of them all as alternate universe versions of America.

But the biggest geek thread of the week is about a UK sci-fi series. That's kinda global.
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn at 10:45 PM on May 5, 2011


What do you mean, "you countries"?
posted by tumid dahlia at 10:55 PM on May 5, 2011 [2 favorites]


depends on where you put the emphasis, tumid one.
posted by wilful at 11:09 PM on May 5, 2011


*Lobs a googly* at Alvy.
posted by adamvasco at 11:17 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Silly mid on
posted by The Whelk at 11:33 PM on May 5, 2011


Happily, over in Ask, people are still advising Australians how to protect their gardens against gophers.
posted by pompomtom at 11:47 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


just to update y'all on the political climate in Canada, Don Cherry was hitting the bottle extra hard tonight
posted by mannequito at 11:48 PM on May 5, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Oh yeah? Oh yeah! Oh yeah? Oh yeah!

Your mother wears army boots."

I fear Don Cherry has nailed the next four years of question period.
posted by salishsea at 11:53 PM on May 5, 2011 [3 favorites]


Don't worry Alvy Ampersand, I can't see anyone wasting their time trying to post about kricket or kirtit or whatever it's called any time soon.
posted by joannemullen at 11:56 PM on May 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like we should have a Benetton ad group photo for MeFi.
posted by arcticseal at 12:10 AM on May 6, 2011


Don't worry Alvy Ampersand, I can't see anyone wasting their time trying to post about kricket or kirtit or whatever it's called any time soon.

Yeah, that was sort of a joke. There've been several interesting cricket FPPs made. Yours just wasn't one of them.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:34 AM on May 6, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Man, what is it with all these women with jobs this week? Keep up the good work, girls!"

God yes, the systematic oppression of women is exactly like the systematic oppression of...the British?
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:43 AM on May 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


You're just jealous that the British have a Department of Silly Walks. MeFi is well covered in other areas though.
posted by arcticseal at 1:03 AM on May 6, 2011


You're just jealous that the British have a Department of Silly Walks. MeFi is well covered in other areas though.
posted by arcticseal at 9:03 AM on May 6


Careful! You can't say that any more. The PC brigade had that department renamed ober fifteen years ago. It's now the Department of Alternative Perambulation.
posted by Decani at 1:16 AM on May 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


It helps if you think of them all as alternate universe versions of America.

Hence the prevalence of goatees.
posted by Ritchie at 1:28 AM on May 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's now the Department of Alternative Perambulation.

I am finding the head mounted solar panel increasing my drag though.
posted by arcticseal at 1:46 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


There've been several interesting cricket FPPs made. Yours just wasn't one of them.

IMO it was a post with perfectly interesting content that suffered from unclear presentation. The lack of clarity led to threadshitting (or at the least a lot of jokey comments), and that was pretty much that.
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:28 AM on May 6, 2011


A cricket thread needs to last five whole days to be any good. These threads that are over in just one day simply don't do cricket justice.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:32 AM on May 6, 2011 [14 favorites]


Well played, desjardins. I came into this thread to point out that Metafilter doesn't need to be so US-centric, and .... *sigh*
posted by salmacis at 3:13 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: I've been enjoying them too, particularly the Canadian election stuff which is fascinating for how similar and yet totally different it is from elections in the US.

Perky 'Canada' Has Own Government, Laws.
posted by Kattullus at 3:36 AM on May 6, 2011


"Oh yeah? Oh yeah! Oh yeah? Oh yeah!

Your mother wears army boots."


?
posted by oh yeah! at 5:24 AM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's funny, because I'm Canadian and thus just a New Englander with a toque, but I think I get the same sense of "I had no idea things were so weird there" virtually every time there's a state-specific post on proposed laws or the tea party or a whole host of other subjects.
posted by dflemingecon at 5:29 AM on May 6, 2011


Metafiltour
posted by blue_beetle at 5:53 AM on May 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Canadians aren't eccentric enough or rude enough to be New Englanders. Too level-headed and polite up there. It's creepy.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:53 AM on May 6, 2011


Metafiltour

I think you mean MetaFiltre
posted by briank at 5:57 AM on May 6, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ritchie: "It helps if you think of them all as alternate universe versions of America.

Hence the prevalence of goatees
"

I am forever tarnished by the internet and will eternally read that word as "goatsee".

Still makes sense, though.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:13 AM on May 6, 2011


YES! A CHANCE TO DEPLOY MY NEW FAVORITE DON CHERRY LINK! if you think the 'oh yeah' stuff is bad, well.........look at this!
posted by bitter-girl.com at 6:27 AM on May 6, 2011


Your Ice King in Chief wears weird jackets, Canadian subjects.
posted by mccarty.tim at 6:32 AM on May 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


We used to be cool. No, really.
posted by tommasz at 6:52 AM on May 6, 2011


In Canada's parliamentary system, the role of Don Cherry is largely ceremonial. He has no real executive or legislative powers. In fact, many Canadians think we should do away with the institution altogether, citing it as wasteful and outdated.
Personally, I kind of like having a Don Cherry, and think Canada would be poorer without one. Granted, the current one can be outspoken and bombastic, but that's just because he's held the position for too long. I'm hoping the next Don Cherry is a little more palatable.
posted by rocket88 at 7:14 AM on May 6, 2011 [17 favorites]


Arguably, the current Cherry is lately abusing even his own (largely) ceremonial powers though. The loss of rights to the National Anthem is just one example of his malfeasance. We need someone younger, more in tune with the people. A bartender from a student pub, or a karate sensei, for example; someone with more experience than the current seat-holder.
posted by bonehead at 8:08 AM on May 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


Really, I only tune in to Don Cherry to see the traditional costumes of his people.
posted by klangklangston at 8:24 AM on May 6, 2011 [4 favorites]


For god's sake, I had no idea if he was a dude, or if Don Cherry was the name of the job he held or what. You guys got me all a'googlin' In the US, Don Cherry is this guy.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:37 AM on May 6, 2011 [6 favorites]


Canada left him out in the snow too long and he turned white, Jessamyn. Same dude.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:41 AM on May 6, 2011


Previously.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:46 AM on May 6, 2011


Does Don Cherry have to post a trigger warning on his jackets? I'm worried about all the poor Canadians out there having seizures without a warrant.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 8:48 AM on May 6, 2011


Does Don Cherry have to post a trigger warning on his jackets?

Although most of his duties are ceremonial, the national effort to weed epileptics from the gene pool of the glorious Canadian race is Don Cherry's one real responsibility.

So, no, it would defeat the point.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:09 AM on May 6, 2011


I guess this is the place I should apologize for that totally awful joke I posted as the second comment in that awesome Singapore thread. It is terrible, but... well, for some reason, the joke just had to be made.
posted by koeselitz at 9:30 AM on May 6, 2011


For god's sake, I had no idea if he was a dude, or if Don Cherry was the name of the job he held or what. You guys got me all a'googlin' In the US, Don Cherry is this guy.

Yeah, I was all like 'and where do Neneh and Eagle-Eye fit into this?'.
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:32 AM on May 6, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was all, "What are you guys talkin' 'bout, Willises?" But then I was all, "Or is it Willi? What's the plural for Willis? William? Will. I. Am.? OMG!!!"
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:34 AM on May 6, 2011


To be fair, I hadn't slept much at the time.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:35 AM on May 6, 2011


[A couple comments removed. Please let the comment-trawling drop.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:35 AM on May 6, 2011


After watching John Waters on Craig Ferguson the other night, I'm convinced John Waters is the Bizarro Superman or Anti-Monitor version of Don Cherry.

Of course any observer who has no knowledge of either fellow would probably guess that slim, sly, lefty Waters complete with his black-white, skull and flowers jacket would be the Canuck and hefty, bombastic, righty Don Cherry complete with his red floral Fabricland jacket would be the Yankee, but that's just another twist in the alternate-universe, separated-by-dimensions alter egos.

I really have to wonder what would happen to the universe if these two men ever met.
posted by sardonyx at 11:05 AM on May 6, 2011


I love YOUR Don Cherry. Our Don Cherry is basically John Madden except with no style, no eloquence and very little capacity for rational thought.

Yes, he's that bad, which is why every sports bar in Canada goes quiet at the first intermission of every Hockey Night in Canada game, so we can hear him and regale in his fireside chats to the nation.

But if our Don Cherry ever pulled a pocket trumpet out and wheezed out a few notes I would give him 10 points for oblique but uberhip self-referentiality. As I would if your Don Cherry ever donned a plaid jacket.
posted by salishsea at 11:13 AM on May 6, 2011


Green MP, and now a Green council as well! Woo! Although AV is clearly fucked so it's not all good news. Then again if everyone I voted for got in, do I really care, heh.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 11:42 AM on May 6, 2011


"For god's sake, I had no idea if he was a dude, or if Don Cherry was the name of the job he held or what. You guys got me all a'googlin' In the US, Don Cherry is this guy."

You don't get Hockey Night in Vermont? In Michigan, we still got the CBC even on cable until pretty recently, because it was nominally a local broadcast channel.

But God bless you and your optimism that the American people are more broadly familiar with a free jazz trumpet player than a Canadian hockey announcer.

Though I'm still not totally clear on why he's called "Grapes," aside from the Grapevine and being-named-Cherry things.
posted by klangklangston at 12:49 PM on May 6, 2011


klangklangston: “But God bless you and your optimism that the American people are more broadly familiar with a free jazz trumpet player than a Canadian hockey announcer.”

Well, I sure as hell am. So it's weird every time I see a reference to "Don Cherry," because I think of that tall guy playing trumpet next to Ornette Coleman. And I'd honestly never known who the more common "Don Cherry" was until that post. Guess it's because we don't get the CBC here in Colorado.

Anyway, I just wanted to relate this bit about the real Don Cherry:
Once, the two [Don Cherry and Charlie Haden] arrived in a small European town for a concert. They couldn't both fit in the hotel's tiny lift elevator with Haden's bass so Don said he'd take the stairs.

"I was just starting to get settled in my room and I looked out the window and there's Don. In a different set of clothes. On roller skates! In a yellow jump suit - completely different from what he was wearing a minute or two before in the lobby - skating up and down the street outside the window of the hotel waving to everybody. How did he do that?"
Don Cherry is awesome.
posted by koeselitz at 1:51 PM on May 6, 2011


Though I'm still not totally clear on why he's called "Grapes," aside from the Grapevine and being-named-Cherry things.

you made me curious so I jumped in my googlemobile and arrived at this Yahoo answers page .... which still doesn't seem to answer the question. Actually the variety of answers made it more confusing. And there's even people commenting there who claim to know him personally.

and I would pay to see John Waters and Don Cherry have a conversation.
posted by mannequito at 4:20 PM on May 6, 2011


A man said to Metafilter:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied Metafilter,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."
posted by philipy at 4:59 PM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


Um... Why the UK Referendum post, but not any of these Osama posts?!?!? The dog but no post for the result of a referendum? seriously?
posted by Chuckles at 5:43 PM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was a nice, and still active, post yesterday from adrianhon discussing the subject, the new one was one link presented not particularly well, and was getting flagged a bunch as double. If someone wants to make a substantial new post (maybe in a couple days when there's more actual commentary/reaction out there would be ideal), that's probably fine, but, yeah, this just felt more like "oh here's an update" than attempt at a good new post. My guess is marienbad didn't see the previous one.

As far as the Osama thing, it's this global whackadoo thing that's probably going to generate more potential posts (which is not to say necessarily need so many) than any other potential topic the next few days ongoing at least; I'd like to see people maybe ease up on 'em and we may need to just start raising the bar there at this point to keep it under control if people don't get selective about it. But it's a bit apples and oranges, and it's not like we deleted the marienbad's post because there was no space because of the dog post or something. It's not zero sum.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:54 PM on May 6, 2011


As I've said before:
Metafilter: This site is by Americans and for Americans.
Oh well..
The dog? Really?!!?!?
posted by Chuckles at 5:59 PM on May 6, 2011


The dog was not one of MeFi's shining moments, to be sure. Fortunately we have many of them.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:01 PM on May 6, 2011


Being about something other than America is not deletion insurance. That should not be a controversial notion.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:03 PM on May 6, 2011


"Well, I sure as hell am. So it's weird every time I see a reference to "Don Cherry," because I think of that tall guy playing trumpet next to Ornette Coleman. And I'd honestly never known who the more common "Don Cherry" was until that post. Guess it's because we don't get the CBC here in Colorado."

I was being honest — I want to live in a world where everyone knows the Don Cherry of "Brown Rice."

And I don't think either of them are particularly well-known, though I think that there are probably at least ten more fans of hockey than free jazz in America.
posted by klangklangston at 11:06 PM on May 6, 2011 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: "In the US, Don Cherry is this guy ."

what a sweet way to start a Saturday
posted by idiopath at 6:15 AM on May 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lest anyone think I'm cultured, I know about US Don Cherry mostly because of his daughter.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:10 AM on May 7, 2011


cortex: There was a nice, and still active, post yesterday from adrianhon discussing the subject, the new one was one link presented not particularly well, and was getting flagged a bunch as double. If someone wants to make a substantial new post (maybe in a couple days when there's more actual commentary/reaction out there would be ideal), that's probably fine, but, yeah, this just felt more like "oh here's an update" than attempt at a good new post.

Well, shouldn't the reason for deletion have said something like that, then? I agree that the deleted post was pretty poor and deserved its fate, but to just shrug it off with an 'eh, this discussion's already happening over here' seems a little dismissive – particularly when so much of the actual discussion in the previous thread was about the Scottish election, English local government stuff and the all-encompassing meltdown of Nick Clegg's Shiny New Dawn?

I mean, this was a pretty big deal; I can't imagine a post on a vote to change the electoral college system would be deleted simply because people were discussing midterm House and Senate results 50 posts down. Because that's what it looks like from over here. This isn't a molehill I want to die on, mind; more just a gentle reminder that the reason for deletion, as given, came across as a kind of 'fuck it, this is not of actual importance' justification, which does tend to fit with the idea that MeFi sometimes can be (not always is) a little thoughtlessly US-centric.
posted by Len at 10:12 AM on May 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, shouldn't the reason for deletion have said something like that, then?

Deletion reasons aren't where we do most of our talking about something and we're not always going to write up a whole paragraph for things that seem like pretty straightforward situations.

What the deletion reason did do was point pretty clearly to a better, recent, still active thread in which the topic was being discussed; that sort of thing happens a lot in the deletions we make from the front page and isn't a new idea at all. I feel like there needs to a more literal "fuck it, this isn't important" text to a deletion for it to be the sort of thing where reading that subtext into what people seem to generally agree on the face of it was not a great post makes sense.

Which, hey, we have metatalk so we can discuss this stuff at length if there's a question about it.

But I kind of feel like parsing a deletion reason for implied rather than explicit dismissal or whatever is pushing us pretty far into no-win territory: we either dedicate a bunch of extra time to carefully positioning every single deletion reason we leave even when it seems like a really straightforward situation, or we get stuck being called out for not covering all the angles in what is intended mostly to be a short note primarily for the poster's benefit.

more just a gentle reminder that the reason for deletion, as given, came across as a kind of 'fuck it, this is not of actual importance' justification, which does tend to fit with the idea that MeFi sometimes can be (not always is) a little thoughtlessly US-centric.

I guess my feeling here is this is basically the exact same sort of deletion reason we've used a ton of times before for analogous situations, the bulk of which I would guess just by the same sheer demographic odds were more likely to be not-great updatefilter posts on stuff relating to US stuff; it's not like it being US updatefilter means we give it a pass. So the idea that a routine deletion is evidence of US-centricism when it's a post about something outside the US doesn't really scan for me in context.

And, again: if someone wants to make a good post about this, they can totally do that. I guess part of where my frustration with this sort of thing comes from is we have never made a habit of saying "no one is allowed to try and do better", so the energy spent on politicking about a deleted not-great post as if that post was the only one that could have or will happen on the subject feels kind of counterproductive, like it's arguing about a line in the sand when we could just walk up the beach a little ways instead and find a better solution for all involved.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:26 AM on May 7, 2011


And, again: if someone wants to make a good post about this, they can totally do that. I guess part of where my frustration with this sort of thing comes from is we have never made a habit of saying "no one is allowed to try and do better", so the energy spent on politicking about a deleted not-great post as if that post was the only one that could have or will happen on the subject feels kind of counterproductive, like it's arguing about a line in the sand when we could just walk up the beach a little ways instead and find a better solution for all involved.

That's an interesting point, but...

So the idea that a routine deletion is evidence of US-centricism when it's a post about something outside the US doesn't really scan for me in context.

What would be evidence of US-centricism? Just like every other case of discrimination, one isn't likely to see the misbehaviour in oneself.
posted by Chuckles at 11:00 AM on May 7, 2011


Just like every other case of discrimination, one isn't likely to see the misbehaviour in oneself.

My feeling is there would be a pattern that you'd feel that you could discern that wasn't just a few posts that didn't go the way you felt like they should over a really weird and busy news week. And if that's the tack you'd like to take, please feel free to make your case. We've explaned what we think infuences our choices and our behavior and if you think there's other stuff at work feel free to outline what you think is going on.

There's a weird effect, obviously, on a site with mostly North American members. They may be more likely to flag things that seem uninteresting to them which may also be non-North American things, I don't know. So we have a few influences: things that the community feels and things that we-as-mods feel. I think we-as-mods all felt that a single link news post on something being discussed in a thread the day previously wasn't a great post. That said, it may have been because it was flagged that we did something where we might not have, maybe? My regret is that it took me a while to twig into the post and the flags and there was some conversation cut off that didn't seem to scoot over to the previous thread.

And again I'd like to state: make a better post. There's not just one chance here. However, we delete single link news posts on monumentous events all the time. One thing about all the repetitive Osama post [and I'm with cortex, we've pretty well had it] is that they were all really delving into a side topic not just "hey here's the results" I know, I really know, that this is a big deal in the UK. So I'd suggest someone who is excited about the topic make a fitting referendum post.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:07 AM on May 7, 2011


Cheers, cortex and jessamyn.

I feel like there needs to a more literal "fuck it, this isn't important" text to a deletion for it to be the sort of thing where reading that subtext into what people seem to generally agree on the face of it was not a great post makes sense.

Which, hey, we have metatalk so we can discuss this stuff at length if there's a question about it.


Which is why I brought it up. Because in the absence of discussing this stuff here, deletion reasons are all there is, and without discussing it further, people are going to read into them things that aren't necessarily there, and mentally chalk them up accordingly. And without addressing this sort of stuff explicitly, things can end up festering, with people assuming bad or even just thoughtless motives. Anybody irked doesn't end up saying anything about it, and just writes it off as yet another example of Why MeFi is So Goddamned US-centric.

To give you an example of a similar phenomenon (from a related field): I'm Scottish, though most definitely not a nationalist. The British media, though, often forgets when discussing anything – from football to education policy – that what applies in England and Wales (though God knows often enough they forget about Wales too) does not apply north of the Border. And it drives me up the fucking wall – not that I ever do anything about it because, hey, are they going to change? probably not and anyway, is it a big deal? not in the grand scheme of things. But it feels like the small arrogance of people with the luxury of not really having to give a shit, and so therefore many of them don't; many of them probably don't even know that they're doing it. (Christ knows how actual frothing ScotNats feel in the same situation, but you can bet your arse that plenty of them, including our present First Minister, have built decades-long careers running the country on exploiting such resentments.)

Now, I'm not saying that MeFi and its mod team are a bunch of pompous London meedja types who don't give a shit that "bank holiday weekend" weather forecasts don't apply to me because where I live it's not a fucking bank holiday, bucko, or that I'm about to lead an insurgent fuck the mods campaign to establish some Britfilter subsite, complete with its own national anthem, because of it. I'm only using as an example of something similar that genuinely does bug me, and how the lack of will to actually do anything about it has its own downsides.

I don't think that the same thing is happening here, though there might be a corresponding dynamic at work. Personally, it doesn't really bother me – MeFi is, after all, an American website owned and operated in America, and doesn't tax me on my meagre income – and at this point I'm more talking about MeFi in general rather than the deletion of this specific delete-worthy post; I just wanted to point out how this sort of thing can rumble along behind the scenes unnoticed by the majority, even when there's absolutely no ill-will involved. Indeed, I know that you're conscious of this sort of stuff; but without talking about it, it's all too easy to read the deletion reason tea leaves and mistake something stuck to the bottom of the cup for actual intent. Which is my problem rather than yours, obviously; but I'm not sure that there aren't a good few other British members who have the same teacup, as it were (not to mention the same plate of beans, presumably with toast), and I'm sure it affects how they interact with the site too.
posted by Len at 12:09 PM on May 7, 2011


What would be evidence of US-centricism?

In this context, its seems like what'd be was evidence of routinely allowing lazy updatefilter of explicitly US-related topics out of proportion with normal posting habits of that material, vs. the proportional rate for explicitly non-US-related topics. I don't have a super simple way to put together an analysis of that, though someone with a few hours to kill could probably muck up at least a sampled exploration of the idea if they want to. My general instinct is that there's no systemic bias there in what we do and don't delete.

I certainly don't see this particular deletion as a notable or unusual example of deleting updatefilter. It feels like a routine deletion, exactly of the sort that we frequently perform for similar cases where the topic is something US-centric or where the topic has no national/geographical locus in particular.

This is all aside from the question of whether the site has a demographic skew toward the US, which it obviously very much does. A whole lot of the people who are members here are from the US, not by design but by circumstance. But unless the idea is that we should systematically discourage US-related content on general principle just to compensate for those natural demographics, that doesn't come into this really: more US-related stuff is going to tend to get posted, and more US-related stuff is going to tend to get deleted in proportion with that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:12 PM on May 7, 2011


Another very weak Osama post.....
posted by Chuckles at 5:59 PM on May 8, 2011


Holy shit, another one. Make it stop, please!!!
posted by Chuckles at 6:01 PM on May 8, 2011


Still no stopping it eh?
posted by Chuckles at 2:26 PM on May 9, 2011


Yep, that's pretty much it right there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:27 PM on May 9, 2011


There are a lot of posts, as happens when some big crazy thing with a billion angles happens and the entire internet responds. We are deleting some of them; we were doing so before this thread; we will continue to do so after this thread goes to bed.

Not to say you can't point out every Osama-related thread you dislike in here, you can do what you like, but please understand that it comes off an awful lot like needling us out of spite about the deletion of a bad thread on a subject you liked, and if that's not your intent maybe there's a better way to go with this.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:12 PM on May 9, 2011


I dislike them all at this point. I only left a couple out -- the 60 minutes interview, that rediculous New Yorker article that turns out to be more about Osama than it is about the 9-11 memorial -- because of jessamyn's latest comment.

I'm not sure what it is about this Osama thing that has won it special news filter treatment, but I'm glad to see it end, thank you!
posted by Chuckles at 6:00 PM on May 9, 2011


Well, again, it's not unique to Osama. Look at any number of major news events over the years—the original 9-11 attack is certainly one notable example from the early days of the site (and the sheer number of posts about that over the following month should make any later newsgasm blush by comparison, even before you adjust for mefi traffic inflation), but so too have we seen things like major natural disasters or other really exceptional geopolitical events over the years since then.

If it's a great big thing and, notably, it's something where the whole news industry won't (for one reason or another, some better than others) shut up about it for a few weeks, there's probably gonna be a lot of posts, some of which are going to get deleted in proportion to the timing and the volume of posts and the quality of the links.

Whether or not it's something that should be an ongoing OMG great big deal (which is an argument I'm not even interested in having, personally, but that's just me), the thing with Osama being killed is definitely one of those things that people are really, really chattering about in the news and in the commentary sector and on the internet in general. I sympathize with your dislike, it's not a subject I'm exactly enthralled by either. But it's a Metafilter-as-microcosm thing where people are just plain posting a lot in the first place, not some sort of intentional Let's Post About Osama celebration on Metafilter for Metafilter's sake.

I like it when people post about a variety of things. I share the sentiment of this Metatalk post, that it's great when people do bring interesting non-US stuff to the table. Where lots of posts on an unusual thing goes, that's really neither here nor there generally speaking, though; that there's the occasional torrent of posts on some unusually high-visibility topic doesn't mean we aren't going to delete weak posts on less spree-type topics, etc.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:24 PM on May 9, 2011


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