Your Honor, I Object! July 28, 2011 7:32 PM   Subscribe

I would like a public explanation for the deletion of my answer from this AskMe.

Here is my answer in its entirety:

I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this, but maybe they fired you because they thought you might be Muslim.

I would also like my answer to be restored.
posted by jamjam to Etiquette/Policy at 7:32 PM (179 comments total)

I emailed you twice about this. People flagged your answer and I assume it was because it was looking like a likely derail and didn't address the OPs general question. I removed it and suggested you flesh out your answer a little more and re-comment so it doesn't look like a fighty "let's talk about firing Muslims" tangent to the main question.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:35 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Overruled!

*Gavel slam. Muttering from one set of lawyers. Smug looks from the other.*
posted by shothotbot at 7:41 PM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


I didn't agree with your reasons, and after your reply to my reply failed to address my arguments whatsoever, I felt that MetaTalk was my only recourse.

I chose not to repost any modification because I don't think there was anything wrong with my answer in the first place.
posted by jamjam at 7:42 PM on July 28, 2011


There's an e-mail address in the question. Unless you're trying to draw attention to yourself, there's no reason for this MeTa.
posted by Eideteker at 7:44 PM on July 28, 2011 [22 favorites]


It seems like a reasonable guess as a response to the question, but then again it also seems a bit odd to be so attached to a one-line answer that could easily be rephrased in a way that is less 'everybody else is afraid OF THE TRUTH'-sounding.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:44 PM on July 28, 2011 [11 favorites]


You posted an answer, and it was deleted.
You asked why, in private, and were told why.
You asked why again, in public, and were told why, again.

Where can we go with this from here?
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:47 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


What jess said, and what stav said. Throwing it into that ask as some sort of WHY IS THIS NOT BEING DISCUSSED thing is pointlessly distracting and if you feel like the possibility that the asker's situations specifically and pertinently has something to do with perception-as-Muslim stuff you need to find some more constructive and less potentially derailing way to go there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:47 PM on July 28, 2011


This is interesting. I don't know why it was deleted either. It just doesn't make sense...but thats how deletions go. And then a mod will come in and throw around the word "generally" to tell you that "hey...its our website...back off".
posted by hal_c_on at 7:49 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't think it's necessarily the truth; I use qualifiers for good reasons, and I'd appreciate any attention you might see fit to pay them--and I honestly didn't know why people were dancing around it, though perhaps I have a better idea, now.
posted by jamjam at 7:49 PM on July 28, 2011


I felt that MetaTalk was my only recourse
Posting this instead:

'Was the employer aware that you wear a headscarf for medical reasons? Maybe they thought it was for religious reasons, which would explain why they are nervous about telling you.'

Would have saved you 23 words and a lot of keystrokes. Plus, you know, that whole 'every time someone starts a MeTa thread, god kills a kitten' problem.
posted by dg at 7:50 PM on July 28, 2011 [14 favorites]


No! Not the kittens!
posted by galadriel at 7:51 PM on July 28, 2011


In fairness, he only kills problem kittens.
posted by shothotbot at 7:52 PM on July 28, 2011 [14 favorites]


How is it a derail to give what you think is the most probable direct answer to the question?

Also, I'll note that it was up quite a while and did not derail anything.
posted by jamjam at 7:53 PM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


I didn't agree with your reasons
You know, if the mods restored a deleted comment every time the poster disagreed with the reasoning, we'd have a right royal mess on our hands.
posted by Paragon at 7:56 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Go outside. Turn off the computer. Get some fresh air.
posted by TheBones at 7:56 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's a reasonable answer, considering that we can't read the minds of anyone and it's a headscarf.

I don't really get why it would matter if it got rephrased.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:57 PM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


Here's why I, a fellow community member, would have seen it as a possible derail: I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this, but maybe they fired you because they thought you might be Muslim.

Framing it in a way that accuses fellow community members of being disingenous in their replies. Of saying what they don't really mean, of hiding what they're really thinking, etc. It irritates people to be accused of something like that. That kind of irritation, of being accused of something like that, is likely to cause irritated replies. Thus, derail potential.

It's also utterly unnecessary. If you had simply said: "Do you have any indication that they may have thought you were Muslim, and that they may have been prejudiced against Muslims?" I have a feeling that it would have stood.

If you're going to bring up something inflammatory, you have to be careful with your framing to ameliorate the inflammatory-ness, not exacerbate it, but it's completely possible to do without sacrificing anything important.
posted by Ashley801 at 7:58 PM on July 28, 2011 [52 favorites]


"Maybe they fired you because they thought you were a Muslim" is answering the question.

The first half of your response seems (to me!) like you're trying to gear up for a fight. You're probably not actually doing that, but it reads like you want to argue with (or just critique) the other people who've responded, not that you actually want to answer the question.

Post just the second half of your comment and you're fine, yo.
posted by davidjmcgee at 7:58 PM on July 28, 2011


Moderating this website is a difficult job... you may not always agree... but, at some point you need to accept...
posted by tomswift at 7:59 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Makes sense about the first part being a derail.
posted by the young rope-rider at 8:00 PM on July 28, 2011


This is a dumb hill to die on.
posted by cashman at 8:01 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is a dumb hill to die on.

I'm not sure I realized the stakes were quite so high.
posted by jamjam at 8:03 PM on July 28, 2011 [19 favorites]


Great, so you try to start a pointless fight in a goddamn Ask thread, and when the mods won't let you, you start one here instead. Congratulations, at least you're on the right subsite this time around,
posted by strangely stunted trees at 8:05 PM on July 28, 2011


I think you're assuming OP is a woman, as well, to make the headscarf/Muslim connection. I don't think it says anywhere? Men wear scarves on their heads as well.
posted by sweetkid at 8:07 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


You know, every so often I answer a question here, and I know that my answer is the correct answer, but nonetheless the answer gets deleted. I am a curt, and abrupt, person uninterested in fleshing out answers to some simple questions. This sometimes strikes the mods the wrong way and the answer gets deleted. But you know what I don't do? I don't publicly call them out demanding confirmation about how stupid their decision to delete my finely wrought and well-thought prose is. Because I was graduated from kindergarten long ago, and I learned that life is just too damned short to worry about whether all people agree with me all the time.
posted by dfriedman at 8:07 PM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


People flagged your answer.

That's half the problem. On any hot button topic Metafilter descends into a childish popularity contest. Same of the bizzaro, thinly veiled threats of violence in the SLUTFEST thread that have been favorited 50+ times. I just gotta shake my head sometimes.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:08 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Why is everyone dancing around the fact that it was the first clause and not the second that was problematical! Damn you and your dancing, Metafilter!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 8:08 PM on July 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


Remember: Winter is coming
posted by edgeways at 8:08 PM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Because I was graduated from kindergarten long ago...

Heh.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:09 PM on July 28, 2011


Dancing about architecture.
posted by iamabot at 8:10 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


i was considering answering that and saying something like you did (well, less fighty) but i decided that i couldn't figure out a way to word it that wouldn't invite a derail and it's late and i already opened my mouth a little too wide in another thread this week and ultimately decided that mefites are smart and the poster probably considered the muslim angle and didn't mention it for a reason. then i played chime. on the xbla i am amazing at chime - top 100 to top 50 in the world. i'm considering redoing all those scores on steam. anyway, what i'm saying is, before i made the comment i thought it might get deleted so i decided to just let it go.
posted by nadawi at 8:10 PM on July 28, 2011



I think you're assuming OP is a woman...

I was aware of making that assumption, but I thought a male would have said so to avoid confusion.
posted by jamjam at 8:11 PM on July 28, 2011


If the question was "Why did they fire me?" any answer would necessarily be a guess; your answer was a not unreasonable guess.

But that wasn't the question.


The question was "Is there a reason why a temp agency would not tell an employee why they were fired?"

That's a question that seems to have an actual non-guess answer, and it was provided by several people in the thread: in an at will state, they don't have to give you a reason. So why would they put themselves at risk?

Your answer wasn't as germane as you think it is, and you phrased in a way to make it sound like a referendum on other people's answers, which wasn't germane at all.
posted by neroli at 8:12 PM on July 28, 2011 [9 favorites]


the poster probably considered the muslim angle and didn't mention it for a reason

Good point. I thought so too, and thought the reason was that they didn't want to seem paranoid.

That's one of the reasons I answered as I did-- to let the OP know that it wasn't paranoid, if that's what they were thinking.
posted by jamjam at 8:17 PM on July 28, 2011


That's one of the reasons I answered as I did-- to let the OP know that it wasn't paranoid, if that's what they were thinking.

And again: "Am I paranoid?" was not the question asked.
posted by neroli at 8:20 PM on July 28, 2011


The question was "Is there a reason why a temp agency would not tell an employee why they were fired?"

And that is, in fact, the question I answered.

In my view, the temp agency wouldn't tell her why she was fired because she was fired because they (the place she worked) thought she might be a muslim.
posted by jamjam at 8:22 PM on July 28, 2011


There was an email address in the question, as other people have pointed out and you could have contacted the poster directly with something that might have been somewhat off-topic. As it was your comment implied that other people were, for some reason, not being entirely forthcoming in their answers which was just sort of a "huh?" point for cortex and I.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:26 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


But the second temp agency didn't *fire* the OP for the headscarf, just said it wasn't allowed. I agree that this is confusing though, it's like two AskMes in one : 1) Why was I fired from this one temp assignment? 2) Why am I not allowed to wear a headscarf at my second temp assignment?
posted by sweetkid at 8:26 PM on July 28, 2011



And again: "Am I paranoid?" was not the question asked.

No, and I didn't address that directly. It was a subtext of the question and a subtext of my answer.

But I'll ask you a direct question: do you actually consider that to be arguing in good faith? (Since you brought it up and stated that you thought the OP probably had it in mind.)
posted by jamjam at 8:28 PM on July 28, 2011


And again: "Am I paranoid?" was not the question asked.

Be careful what you wish for. I've read hundreds of non-question-answering comments in AskMe. Christ, every second question now that I think about it.

The real reason, to which jessamyn has alluded, was that a bunch of MeFites what wasn't graduated from kindergarten hit the flag button and said "Muslim? Muslim?! Waaah! Make the bad answer go away!"
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:29 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


neroli: The question was "Is there a reason why a temp agency would not tell an employee why they were fired?"

You're cherry picking. The main above-the-fold question is "Why might temp agencies have problems with headscarves and telling me why I was fired?"

But I will Nth the notion that the framing was antagonistic. Jessamyn apparently gave the OP an opportunity to rephrase the answer. That would have been the appropriate recourse, rather than this Meta.
posted by troll at 8:31 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


It was up long enough that the OP likely saw it in my opinion, obviating any need for an email.

This MetaTalk was posted because I think this was an unjustified deletion, and you chose to stonewall it in our email exchange, jessamyn.
posted by jamjam at 8:34 PM on July 28, 2011


Don't really understand this deletion, and the off-note phrasing of the first clause seems like an after the fact explanation. Many, many answers have a much bigger aside than that and stay up. It might have been flagged a lot, but no guidelines were actually violated. The kicker is that it was a probable answer as to what happened.
posted by spaltavian at 8:34 PM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


The real reason...

is because the mods looked at the answer, decided it wasn't appropriate and removed it.
posted by nadawi at 8:34 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


Er, the answerer, rather, not the OP. I mean, the OP of this thread, not that one.
posted by troll at 8:34 PM on July 28, 2011


Your question has been answered by the people who run the place. You are being disingenuous in looking around, hat in hand, and asking repeatedly, "I don't understand! Where in the Official Rules does it exactly say that I cannot do this thing?"

You appear to me, a person with absolutely no dog in this fight, to have passed the point of actually wanting an answer and are now just flailing around looking to whip up agitation because you think you were wronged.

Please stop.
posted by Etrigan at 8:37 PM on July 28, 2011 [17 favorites]


you chose to stonewall it in our email exchange, jessamyn.

I encouraged you to add more context and repost it. You chose this path instead.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:38 PM on July 28, 2011 [12 favorites]


[The real reason] is because the mods looked at the answer, decided it wasn't appropriate and removed it.

OK, so imagined that whole bit about jessamyn's very first part of her reply to this Meta, saying the answer was "flagged."

Yibbida yibbida.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:41 PM on July 28, 2011


Please stop

Since I never started doing what you're asking me to stop, this is a vacuous request.
posted by jamjam at 8:42 PM on July 28, 2011


Wait, we can request things be restored? Where is that in the faq?

jess, cortex... can you please restore all my deleted content immediately. Thank you.
posted by dobbs at 8:43 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


One of the charming things about this place is that the private reason for a mod action and the public reason don't actually differ.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:44 PM on July 28, 2011 [14 favorites]


I did choose this route, and it turns out to be worn so smooth it's easy traveling, but it may be trending downhill a little more than I'd like.
posted by jamjam at 8:47 PM on July 28, 2011


Oh and jessamyn, my favourite Mod, you. I realise how farking time poor you all must be. The "flagged comment" function must be an extremely useful tool. But I've seen the most ridiculous comments get multi-favorited and I'd imagine the "flagged" button would similarly get abused by idiots.

In my best Obi Wan voice: You must be cautious.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:49 PM on July 28, 2011


uncanny hengeman,

yes it was flagged. so? if the mods deleted everything that was flagged, or even everything flagged heavily, this place would have a lot less comments and posts. you're acting as if the group of flaggers deleted the comment when all they did was draw the mods' attention. from there, it's their call and they made it.
posted by nadawi at 8:50 PM on July 28, 2011


One of the charming things about this place is that the private reason for a mod action and the public reason don't actually differ.

Are you really setting the bar at simple honesty? Is the internets that dishonest, or are you just thinking of the dishonests all the time?
posted by hal_c_on at 8:51 PM on July 28, 2011


I'd imagine the "flagged" button would similarly get abused by idiots.

I'm actually surprised in a general sense how little people flag stuff compared to how much things seem to get stuck in their craw here in MetaTalk. There's actually not as much flagging happening here as you'd think.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:52 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Clearly, you had no idea what everyone was dancing around it. The Headscarf-Muslim dance has been documented by cultural anthropologists since the days of Malinowski. It is just one of many ritualistic dances performed by MeFites during a rite that is called "AnsweringTheQuestionPosed". They believe the dance wards off the evil spirit of "ButIWantToTalkAboutThisOtherTangentiallyRelatedThing", a demon much feared by their society. He is said to haunt each shrine throughout the civilization (called 'threads' or 'FPPs' by many), and while the society invests exorcising power in a High Priesthood, all still suffer from the indignity of derails on a daily basis. Therefore, many engage in this and related ritualisitic dances to attain the quasi-sacrament "StayingOnTopic".

The more you know.
posted by Chipmazing at 8:53 PM on July 28, 2011 [8 favorites]


The real reason, to which jessamyn has alluded, was that a bunch of MeFites what wasn't graduated from kindergarten hit the flag button and said "Muslim? Muslim?! Waaah! Make the bad answer go away!"

Or hit the flag button and said "that's a weirdly antagonistic way to frame that point". Which is a hell of a lot more plausible, frankly.

Using site feedback as a guide to moderation is an inherently imperfect system, not least because everybody has their own subjective take on what is and isn't problematic, but on the whole it works pretty well. A lot of that has to do with people here being a lot more reasonable in aggregate than that uncharitable characterization of yours admits.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:54 PM on July 28, 2011 [3 favorites]


I cast my lot with the OP; who has displayed class in defending his/her point, and whose original post seems innocuous (and correct) enough.
posted by jjjjjjjijjjjjjj at 9:04 PM on July 28, 2011


Metatalk fighty-starter posts about how nobody will acknowledge his or her arguments, proceeds to ignore the main argument against from every single comment reply. Film at... 10... 30... 4. After the Mentos hour.

You said this: "I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this"

This is the part that made it not a great comment. This is the part that would have benefited from rephrasing.

That is all, really. I am maybe 15th in line bringing this up, from the top. You have not acknowledged this once.
posted by setanor at 9:04 PM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'd imagine the "flagged" button would similarly get abused by idiots.

Probably still not as much as MeTa does.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:05 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


The more you know.

The more you know what to ignore.

Or hit the flag button and said "that's a weirdly antagonistic way to frame that point".

As I alluded to above, I said "I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this," to let the OP know she wasn't crazy for thinking about a possible Muslim connection, if that's what she was thinking.
posted by jamjam at 9:06 PM on July 28, 2011


Ooo ooo - read my mind next!
posted by item at 9:08 PM on July 28, 2011


Ooo ooo - read my mind next!

Sorry, my haz-mat suit's at the cleaners.
posted by jamjam at 9:11 PM on July 28, 2011


to let the OP know she wasn't crazy for thinking about a possible Muslim connection, if that's what she was thinking.

Is that all? You alluded to more than that.

I honestly didn't know why people were dancing around it, though perhaps I have a better idea, now.
posted by setanor at 9:12 PM on July 28, 2011


Using site feedback as a guide to moderation is an inherently imperfect system, not least because everybody has their own subjective take on what is and isn't problematic, but on the whole it works pretty well.

In other words: "What uncanny hengeman said a couple of posts above." Thanks, cortex.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:18 PM on July 28, 2011


Is that all? You alluded to more than that.

I honestly didn't know why people were dancing around it, though perhaps I have a better idea, now.

Well, they evidently had a better idea than I did that some hive minds are hornets nests, but just to help me get my bearings, didn't a possible connection with Muslims cross your mind when you read that question, setanor?

Oh, and please don't vote for that Republican bugdet bill.
posted by jamjam at 9:21 PM on July 28, 2011


I too think it was an ill-advised deletion, but the mods are only human and they make mistakes like the rest of us.
posted by killdevil at 9:21 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


>Ooo ooo - read my mind next!

>>Sorry, my haz-mat suit's at the cleaners.


Stand back: I got this.


Damn it, I'm just getting the fuzzy images of dessicated rotisserie hotdogs and angry clowns again. I'm definitely off my game.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:23 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


As I alluded to above, I said "I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this," to let the OP know she wasn't crazy for thinking about a possible Muslim connection, if that's what she was thinking.

And a bunch of people are telling you that what you were trying to convey rhetorically is not what was received. Your intent is fine. How you went from intent to execution was not so great. "Hey, that didn't go so great, maybe try it differently?" is pretty much the standard Mefi approach to this stuff. Insisting that it did go great and that trying it differently is off the table doesn't really get us anywhere.

In other words: "What uncanny hengeman said a couple of posts above." Thanks, cortex.

Except without the shitty uncharitable sniping at the rest of the userbase, yes. "Feedback is complicated" is different from "feedback is complicated because everybody is afraid of the world Muslim".
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:26 PM on July 28, 2011 [18 favorites]


didn't a possible connection with Muslims cross your mind when you read that question, setanor?

Very briefly, maybe just because the term 'headscarf' is a societal trigger, but to me the careful wording describing the scarf suggested an overt secularity.

Incedentally, my vote can be purchased with sausages of artichoke and wild game.
posted by setanor at 9:27 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


As I alluded to above, I said "I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this," to let the OP know she wasn't crazy for thinking about a possible Muslim connection, if that's what she was thinking.

That clause is, again, unnecessary even for the reason you state -- because the OP did not indicate anywhere that she was "thinking about a possible Muslim connection." There is no need to reassure anyone they're not crazy for thinking something that you have no indication that they are thinking -- that's irrational.

However, taking this at face value, and taking your desire for a public explanation at face value -- if you want to reassure the OP that they're not crazy for thinking something, again, there are better ways to do it than ways that imply third parties are being disingenuous.

Like, you could have said, "It occurs to me that there might be a connection here to discrimination against Muslims. Since I haven't seen anyone else mention this possibility, I wanted to mention it to assure you (OP) that if it has occurred to you, I, at least, wouldn't think you were crazy."

With that, you're also not projecting anything onto the OP.
posted by Ashley801 at 9:29 PM on July 28, 2011 [6 favorites]


Really, though, even if it was the case people were avoiding the answer... this is just one of those things where what you said resonated differently than you meant it to. To some, it read a bit like someone barging into a room shouting "Never mind these clowns, I'mma tell you the straight dope now." when you were just trying to be contextual.

This is fine, it happens! That is all that Jess wanted you to rethink in her communications with you.
posted by setanor at 9:31 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


rotisserie hotdogs

I believe the proper term is, "Soft Meat Taquito"
posted by setanor at 9:34 PM on July 28, 2011


So, to summarize:

You assumed this person was fired because of the headscarf (a connection the OP did not actually make); you assumed this headscarf-related firing was because the temp agency thought she was Muslim; you assumed the OP suspected this too; you assumed she was afraid of being perceived as paranoid; you assumed everybody else posting in the thread thought this too; you assumed they were refusing to say this this out loud, for someone apparently devious reason; you assumed your brief answer made all these logical leaps crystal clear; and you assumed that by posting this Meta -- while at the same time refusing to express yourself more clearly in the thread, as you were invited to do -- everybody would rally to your side, and your original post would be restored.

Do I have this basically right?
posted by neroli at 9:35 PM on July 28, 2011 [17 favorites]


I'm still trying to figure out what medical condition would require a headscarf. Asking would have been an unwelcome derail on the other thread, but I'm thinking this thread needs a derail.
posted by Bruce H. at 9:41 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, to summarize:

Music by Hans Zimmer.
posted by setanor at 9:41 PM on July 28, 2011


Well, this thread has shot my favorites to contributions ratio all to hell, and it was already one of the worst of my entering class (though I am grateful there are no 'disfavorites'), so I'll say good night.

On preview, no Neroli, you have my fallacy all wrong.
posted by jamjam at 9:41 PM on July 28, 2011


Bruce H. - something like this perhaps? I'm sure there are other reasons, as well.
posted by setanor at 9:42 PM on July 28, 2011


Now that that's done with, I'm going to take the opportunity to say, regarding this,

sweetkid: Men wear scarves on their heads as well.

I don't care how vapid it sounds, I think David Foster Wallace looked surprisingly sexy in a bandana.
posted by Ashley801 at 9:49 PM on July 28, 2011 [7 favorites]


I would like a public explanation for the deletion of my answer from this AskMe.

I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this, but maybe they deleted it because it read like a smartarse one-liner tossed off by a complete dick with entitlement issues.
posted by flabdablet at 9:52 PM on July 28, 2011 [19 favorites]


David Foster Wallace looked surprisingly sexy in a bandana

Yes, but it's a shame he had to deal with that anti-Muslim prejudice all his life.
posted by neroli at 9:53 PM on July 28, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah, I agree with the problem being the awkward phrasing in the first clause. If it was just phrased "Have you considered the possibility that you were fired because they thought you were Muslim and were prejudiced?" might have gone over better. But really, this isn't a life or death situation so it seems kind of odd to be so defensive/confrontational to the mods over this one.

It's just AskMe.
posted by 1000monkeys at 9:54 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


maybe the temp agency has issues with pirates!!

arrr
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 10:00 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


jamjam: you have my fallacy all wrong.
I'm not sure which fallacy you think you have, but it's making more than just me nauseous, I can tell you.
posted by coriolisdave at 10:01 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


My favorite part was when the thing happened.
posted by davejay at 10:07 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


good god how much more time is going to be wasted on this?
posted by edgeways at 11:46 PM on July 28, 2011


At least an hour and 39 minutes by my count.
posted by m@f at 11:48 PM on July 28, 2011


Could a dog ever be trained to mow a lawn?
posted by killdevil at 11:49 PM on July 28, 2011 [4 favorites]


Quite a bit, I suspect.
posted by dg at 11:49 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Damn stupid slow typing fingers - that was a witty response to edgeways and now it looks, well, like something different.
posted by dg at 11:50 PM on July 28, 2011 [2 favorites]


Religion didn't occur to me. The OP specifically said the scarf was needed for side-effects of medications, which I read as chemo related hair loss.

Telling someone to reframe and repost doesn't equal stonewalling and I don't see why it should result in this level of belligerence. Askme is supposed to help answer questions, not serve as a personal soapbox.
posted by Space Kitty at 11:59 PM on July 28, 2011 [1 favorite]


uncanny hengeman writes "OK, so imagined that whole bit about jessamyn's very first part of her reply to this Meta, saying the answer was 'flagged.'

"Yibbida yibbida."


I dislike the implication of oiling a squeaky wheel every time # of flags is the justification for action. An accumulation of negative flags shouldn't justify mod action IMO, even though it does all the time. It should only be an indication to the mods that a comment/post may be problematic and then they should assess the comment independent of the # of flags it's received.
posted by Mitheral at 12:01 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought that the poster saying "I asked if I could wear a headscarf, which she could see covers my hair, not my neck or shoulders" made it clear that the scarf doesn't resemble a hijab.

If people answering felt like she already addressed that possibility, then they weren't dancing around anything... and it's just argumentative anyway to suggest that other people aren't being forthright. If you suspected that she didn't want to mention it specifically but was wondering, you could just address the poster: "do you have the feeling that your employers might have thought that you were wearing a scarf because you were Muslim? Because that's the first thing that occurred to me."
posted by taz at 1:20 AM on July 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this...

My answer to the OP's question has the most favorites at this time, and others have responded directly to my comment, so if I wanted to get all grar I could take great offense that you think I'm dancing around this whole 'muslim' thing. Who the fuck do you think you are to accuse me of being politically correct or avoiding the elephant in the room or whatever you think I'm doing? You have the audacity to make half of the words in your post about me and what I had to say, and how you thought my comment was missing a huge cultural touchpoint that I obviously was omitting due to my own personal biases? What right do you have to attack my thoughful and otherwise accurate response? Who the hell do you think you are?

Oh, hi, everybody! Wow, I'm sure glad this MeTa opened up so I could get that off my chest. I was asleep while jamjam's derail was happening, I'm sorry I missed the party. In all seriousness, jamjam's comment was rather dumb to call out the other posters in an unfounded way, but the deletion and subsequent Metatalk attention to jamjam's post is feeding one thing: jamjam's desire for attention. That's how the internet works these days, right? When you make a post, you have to press those buttons a little bit to get attention. All online communities force users to digg down into that pit to be sure that everybody reddit when you posted something. I mean, fark it all, it's impossible to have an online conversation without something inflammatory being said in order to gain attention. It's not possible to just say, hey, I said something that the mods didn't like and they deleted it -- oh well. The fact that jessamyn gave any sort of 'out' to rephrase and repost is a sign that the sentiment wasn't the problem, it was the attention-grabbing callout and hostility towards the other people who responded in good faith. I responded to the OP's question in good faith, with no intention of 'dancing around' anything. When you post half your response about how all the other responses are wrong, you're doing a disservice to AskMe -- because you're not inviting discussion, you're inviting my first paragraph up there.
posted by AzraelBrown at 4:49 AM on July 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Could a dog ever be trained to mow a lawn?

Yes.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:06 AM on July 29, 2011


An accumulation of negative flags shouldn't justify mod action IMO, even though it does all the time. It should only be an indication to the mods that a comment/post may be problematic and then they should assess the comment independent of the # of flags it's received.

Flags by themselves don't cause mod action. Plenty of stuff gets flagged and not deleted, usually just a flag or two, sometimes more than that, if we go and look at the comment/post and decide there's not a problem or that to whatever extent there is a problem it's something that makes more sense to leave it in place and let it be talked out or dealt with in some other way.

But they're contributing factors to how we figure a situation out, and to the degree that we get sometimes bizarre accusations of just unilaterally nuking stuff we don't like out of spite or moral infirmity or a slavish devotion to Political Correctness or whatever the hell, it's worth noting sometimes that it's not just us involved in this stuff.

Flags never make the call, but they're often part of the context in which the call gets made. As the primary day-to-day feedback mechanism we have for how members of this community feel about what's going on in threads, they're sort of important to keep in mind.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:48 AM on July 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


Free Tibet!
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:15 AM on July 29, 2011


I can easily think of several reasons one would need to wear something covering their head. There's chemo related hair loss, mentioned above. There's trichotillomania--disguising the hair loss/hair color changes, or even preventing compulsive pulling. There's using some sort of topical medication on the head that looks nasty or greasy. There's dandruff which isn't responding to any treatment. And that's without even putting thought into it, just the things that occurred to me as I read the question.
posted by galadriel at 7:40 AM on July 29, 2011


I'm still trying to figure out what medical condition would require a headscarf.

Hair loss resulting from a chemo- or radiotherapy leap to mind, or maybe some kind of a psoriatic or eczemic condition. Less seriously, David Foster Wallace allegedly wore his trademark headscarves because he sweat so profusely. (Noted here most recently.)
posted by octobersurprise at 7:48 AM on July 29, 2011


I FOUGHT THE MODS AND THE MODS WON.
posted by MuffinMan at 8:05 AM on July 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


Bruce H: "I'm still trying to figure out what medical condition would require a headscarf."

I assumed cancer, but it could also be trichotillomania, alopecia, etc. It's not that uncommon, and many women (in particular) prefer to cover baldness or hair loss with a headscarf, especially if it's temporary; nice wigs are expensive and ballcaps look a little silly an office setting. (And other hats are not so appropriate indoors ... a stetson would look absurd.) Headscarves are widely available, inexpensive, and come in fun prints and colors so you can coordinate with your outfit if you want.
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 8:36 AM on July 29, 2011


Free Tibet!

Read the fine print. You have to purchase three boxes of Maypo to get the 'free' Tibet.
posted by dirtdirt at 8:39 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I did not find the original comment flag worthy. In fact, I think I might have favorited it.

I can't believe any one of us read the phrase "I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this" and found themselves offended or called out. Really?

I thought the phrase was kinda clever as it was underscoring that the reason the OP was posting an AskMe about the headscarf in the first place was because no one wanted to come right out and tell her the truth -- so I thought that comment was constructed brilliantly.

Maybe I gave too much credit, but I don't think so.

For me, the deleted comment was like when a MeFite's question reflects their username (like if they asked what to do about a bar brawl with their boss the day before, and their username since they joined in 2003 happens to be "MeanDrunkenDog".) That shit always cracks me up and I secretly wish every time someone would point it out. Rarely do The Fates indulge me. *sigh*

I did not find JamJam's original comment flaggable, but with a name like "JamJam," I definitely see how this MetaTalk thread came about.

(I'm sayin' that with love, man. I keed! I keed!)
posted by jbenben at 9:42 AM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sorry, what does the name "jamjam" have to do with the deleted comment? I don't see the connection at all - and I flagged the comment because of it's antagonistic framing.
posted by patheral at 10:19 AM on July 29, 2011 [2 favorites]


... what medical condition would require a headscarf.

Sorry. I misread what the OP wrote in the AskMe question and then drew uncharitable inferences from my misunderstanding.
posted by Bruce H. at 10:33 AM on July 29, 2011


The person who asked the question didn't wear the headscarf in the job s/he was fired from. So it's not actually possible that s/he was fired for wearing the headscarf.
posted by medusa at 10:38 AM on July 29, 2011


Who? Who doesn't want to wear the headscarf?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:48 AM on July 29, 2011


I don't know why everybody is dancing around this, but asking the mods to publicly restate/rephrase their reasons for deleting a comment that you refuse to restate/rephrase is what's known as "hypocrisy."
posted by misha at 1:32 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, it looks like a faulty deletion to me, but I'm hardly a reliable arbiter.

The OP's main question: "Why might temp agencies have problems with headscarves and telling me why I was fired?"

Your answer: "I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this, but maybe they fired you because they thought you might be Muslim."

Unquestionably a direct answer to the question, albeit a questionable one. The "I have no idea why everyone is dancing around this" was probably unnecessary, and may have tipped the decision.
posted by Decani at 1:57 PM on July 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


I am relieved that this very important issue is getting the attention it deserves.
posted by snofoam at 2:58 PM on July 29, 2011


Two things:

It was up long enough that the OP likely saw it in my opinion, obviating any need for an email.

When I ask a question, I don't necessarily babysit watch the thread all afternoon. I might go have lunch with a friend, or check my email or go for a run. So if something gets deleted from the thread, even 12 hours in, I might not have seen it. So maybe don't make assumptions about how everybody treats their own questions?

Second, as my father not a role model in most respects, I'll admit. said all the damn time, "It's not what you say, it's how you say it."

I can make "nice haircut" sound like a serious insult. As others have pointed out, your choice to appear accusatory in the first half of your statement led to more problems with the suggestion of religious misunderstanding.
posted by bilabial at 4:36 PM on July 29, 2011


I have the answer to the original question. I didn't read down to see if people danced around it.

She asked to wear a scarf, was told no, wore the scarf, was fired.
posted by notned at 4:46 PM on July 29, 2011


Except without the shitty uncharitable sniping at the rest of the userbase, yes. "Feedback is complicated" is different from "feedback is complicated because everybody is afraid of the world Muslim".

13 favorites for that half assed justification, I note. Too funny.

Like I said above, give me five minutes and I could return with a veritable harvest of illegal non-answers to questions in AskMe. Yet this answer contained the word "Muslim." And it was heavily flagged. But it had nothing to do with the word "Muslim." Riiiight.

Why don't you jump on the team and come on in for the big win?

Cortex, all I've ever asked of my Mods is that they obey my orders as they would the word of God. We are here to help the MeFites, because inside every Libtard there is an American trying to get out. It's a hardball world, son. We've gotta keep our heads until this peace craze blows over.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 7:39 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


^troll
posted by troll at 7:48 PM on July 29, 2011 [3 favorites]


You're going to have to forgive me, jamjam..

But this was a really unclassy thing of you to do. You already received Jessamyn's answer, but because you didn't like it, you called her out. None of us needed to know about this, honestly. You've made a mountain out of a molehill.

I've had her delete perfectly valid answers that I have given. One of them was a truly heartfelt response. I was dismayed when it was suddenly gone. I asked her "why!?" and she said that it came off snarky. That clearly (to me..) wasn't what I intended and I was sore and angry about it for awhile. Guess what? I got over it.

You will get over this. Pour your energy into phrasing another answer to the question, or finding a different question to answer.
posted by royalsong at 8:00 PM on July 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


^troll

Thing is, sizzlechest. I'm not allowed to post a gutless one-word name-calling reply like you. Which is all you deserve.

What did you want me to say above? cortex said the flagging had nothing to do with the "fear" of the word Muslim. Complete horseshiat. It had EVERYTHING to do with it. The fact that this is a bad Metatalk call out notwithstanding.

At least I tried to inject a bit of humour into my response, turn it into a movie quote.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:40 PM on July 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


GRAR! That just tears it. troll just favored my post where I called him a gutless sniper.

I don't know whether I'm Arthur or Martha right now. :)
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:49 PM on July 29, 2011


this is becoming like when you're dreaming and your subconscious throws together a semi-random words and phrases to symbolize "conversation"
posted by the young rope-rider at 11:51 PM on July 29, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't understand why you think people would flag something just because it had the word Muslim in it? And are you saying the mods are flatly lying to us all? You seem to have a lot of weird assumptions about the way other people think.
posted by harriet vane at 2:29 AM on July 30, 2011 [8 favorites]


I don't know why everyone is dancing around instead of ass jittering.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:45 AM on July 30, 2011 [9 favorites]


Just a general observation that might be considered for addition to the FAQs: if you're regularly complaining about the moderation, take time out to stop and ask, "Am I a complete fucking idiot?" Because that can also be a source of frustration.
posted by yerfatma at 6:37 AM on July 30, 2011 [12 favorites]


I was aware of making that assumption, but I thought a male would have said so to avoid confusion.

And you assumed that the possibility of anti-Muslim bias was not mentioned because everyone was "dancing around the issue," rather than considering that perhaps commenters had dismissed this idea for another reason.
posted by desuetude at 10:19 AM on July 30, 2011


So much hatred for dancing around topics and mental gymnastics and running at the mouth. Don't we want to encourage active minds and mental health?
posted by idiopath at 1:09 PM on July 30, 2011


What's all this about a SLUTFEST! thread?
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:11 PM on July 30, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why you think people would flag something just because it had the word Muslim in it?

Welcome to Metafilter. Why else was it flagged and deleted? Erm... because the answer was kinda relevant but didn't 100% address the question? If that were the new standard then half of AskMe would disappear in a puff of smoke. *POOF*

And are you saying the mods are flatly lying to us all?

Mod. Singular. Let's not start telling hysterical lies. One mod is arguing with me that "Muslim" has nothing to do with it. I dunno if a vacuous opinion can be called a "lie." cortex is only guessing their motivation for flagging. Call it what you like, Chuckles. I'm not gonna get into a stupid semantic argument about lies or otherwise. It is what it is.

You seem to have a lot of weird assumptions about the way other people think.

Favorited 6 times???!!!! Have you people no self respect for your "favorited" statistics? This is exactly what I was saying above about a childish popularity contest. Yaaaaay! Boooooo!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:13 PM on July 31, 2011


Jesus, dude, grow up. You acted like an ass in the Slut Walk thread, you're acting like an ass in here. If your genuine belief based on us trying to talk stuff out in here is that we're bullshitting about what we really think you may as well just give discussion over here a pass, because it's certainly going to be a waste of our time to bother responding further.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:59 PM on July 31, 2011 [8 favorites]


Yaaaaaaay!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:15 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


The mods explanation sounds plausible. However, with respect these things sometimes sound like post-hoc justifications for enforcing a 'community norm', when many comments with similar structure or length would get past, so I can see why some people feel irritated. I'm not saying the mods don't do a good job, but it often would be a more satisfying explanation to say 'well it comes from community norms and it's mostly about if you get flagged' than to frame it as something actually wrong with the post.
posted by Not Supplied at 9:28 PM on July 31, 2011


Well actually maybe there is something wrong with a lot of posts, but the sense of unfairness comes from the fact that only some get called out.
posted by Not Supplied at 9:49 PM on July 31, 2011


I'm sure some things do get left up that are highly similar to things that get deleted. It's inevitable because the moderators are imperfect human beings. There's not much anyone can do about it (besides invent ModBots). Being rude and nasty to them certainly does not help them do their jobs.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:32 PM on July 31, 2011


(Not saying you're being rude, Not Supplied, I am referring to other comments in this thread)
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:33 PM on July 31, 2011


The reason they get left isn't because of mod's inattention though, it's because it seems to be mostly based on flagging, and that seems to be a kind of 'elephant in the room' in this kind of scenario where reasons and guidelines are referred to. I'm not really complaining about how it works, but perhaps it would lessen friction to acknowledge this as the main thing.
posted by Not Supplied at 10:44 PM on July 31, 2011


I feel like it's somewhat obvious that the site is big enough that the moderators cannot actually read and respond to absolutely everything. If people want to get frustrated that they use the tools available to them in order to do their jobs more efficiently, that's fine, but it's a bit foot-stompy and it's not going to magically make the mods able to read everything and be completely impartial.
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:51 PM on July 31, 2011


Yes it is obvious, but the effect of having a flagging system isn't that random posts are modded, it is that posts which mefites have a tendency to flag are drawn to their attention. This probably works quite well, but it creates a bias. In fact imo there isn't anything very wrong with the post in question, but the poster is required to have higher standards of explaining himself than many others because his post happens to push a hot button for metafilter readers and they've flagged it.

That is fine in a way as this is metafilter, so you must play nice with other metafilter posters. However, it seems to me in these mod rulings and meta threads that it's framed that the poster has actually done something wrong, and I think it would help to put things in terms of fitting in well with the mefi community.
posted by Not Supplied at 11:10 PM on July 31, 2011 [1 favorite]


jamjam: "Well, they evidently had a better idea than I did that some hive minds are hornets nests, but just to help me get my bearings, didn't a possible connection with Muslims cross your mind when you read that question, setanor?"

Uh, no, actually. People who wear headscarves to cover their hair for side-effects of medication are not wearing a headscarf in remotely the same fashion as any Muslim headscarf variants that I've witnessed. (And I see a pretty wide cultural variety on the subway every morning.)
posted by desuetude at 11:55 PM on July 31, 2011


uncanny hengeman: "What did you want me to say above? cortex said the flagging had nothing to do with the "fear" of the word Muslim. Complete horseshiat. It had EVERYTHING to do with it."

With fear. Really. My goodness, what a burden you've got in your uncanny insight, you're like fucking Cassandra. That's sarcasm.
posted by desuetude at 11:57 PM on July 31, 2011


With fear. Really. My goodness, what a burden you've got in your uncanny insight, you're like fucking Cassandra. That's sarcasm.

That's why I put the word "fear" in inverted commas, genius. Yet another pathetic semantic argument. Call it want you want, I was just quoting the Mod. Do you have a problem with cortex, or do you have a problem with me quoting cortex? Please explain.

It didn't get flagged and deleted for being a BAD ANSWER. It got flagged and deleted coz it contained the nasty Muslim word. This is about the 4th time I've had to rephrase the exact same explanation.

"I can dance all day."
-FPS Dougie

Just admit I'm right and you're wrong.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 1:32 AM on August 1, 2011


It's true, it got flags because it was about islam or the word 'muslim'. It may have been not articulate, not gone out of it's way to use conciliatory language or not a very useful answer, but it comes across thatt it's required to have a higher standard than many others because it has the word muslim which is not really a neutral state of affairs.
posted by Not Supplied at 1:39 AM on August 1, 2011


It's true, it got flags because it was about islam or the word 'muslim'.

I may be obtuse, but I guess I don't get this. How do you know why it was flagged? It seems like there is a subset of people who assume that talking about people being Muslim or using the word is verboten and I don't really understand it. And we've exaplined a ton of times that jamjam could have said basically exactly what he said [word Muslim and all] without it being a problem and in fact encouraged him to do that. There's no proscription against talking about Muslims.

And we're well aware that the flagging system will reflect community mores around ideas and introduces something like bias. That is, if there are a large number of people who are somehow against a certain topic being talked about, they could, supposedly, start a flagging campaign against those ideas and it would seem like there was a groundswell of support against those ideas. However, that's why there's always, and will always be, a human who does the actual examination and, if needed, deletion. We can see who is flagging, we can tell them to knock it off if we feel that they're just grinding some axe via the flag queue.

It's an imperfect tool, sure. But there is no perfect tool. It's also the one we use here and you're welcome to do what you want with that information. We ask people to be careful with their language, to try to make an effort to not appear trollish, racist, assholish, whatever. Sometimes people slip, sometimes the community midreads people being 100% genuine, sometimes mistakes are made. We muddle through.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:21 AM on August 1, 2011


Yes it is obvious, but the effect of having a flagging system isn't that random posts are modded, it is that posts which mefites have a tendency to flag are drawn to their attention. This probably works quite well, but it creates a bias.

Well, individual users are all going to have biases, it's how humans are; but the flagging system isn't restricted to people with any specific set of biases, and in my experience what I've seen is folks flagging all kinds of things, both sides of any given conflict getting the stray flag for mild stuff or a pile of flags for something not so mild.

My feeling is, as much as there is no public feedback for having flagged something (and even a general conventional dislike for people making a public thing about having flagged a thing in the thread in which they've done that flagging), it's a lot less likely to effectively encourage a biased approach. Between seeing the broad spectrum of what gets flagged (it really is all over the board) and occasionally looking at who is doing the flagging (it's all kinds of people), I'm not really left with the feeling that there's some notably systemic bias at work.

The alternative, us working entirely from a blank slate and our own personal opinions, would be both more unworkable and a lot more prone to introducing bias. The uncooordinated, distributed "hmm, maybe take a look at this" instincts of a thousand different people is a pretty decent way to get away from that potential problem.

In fact imo there isn't anything very wrong with the post in question, but the poster is required to have higher standards of explaining himself than many others because his post happens to push a hot button for metafilter readers and they've flagged it.

I understand that that's your opinion, and that's fine. I don't think we think there was anything "very wrong" with jamjam's comment either, just that there was enough wrong with the incidental framing of it that in context it made more sense to nix it and let him give it another shot that got away from that framing problem. That's pretty normal for askme.

That said, I continue to not buy the implication that it was flagged because it mention "Muslim", as has been asserted and implied in a couple cases in here. I think it did indeed push a button for folks: the "I'm going to accuse people of avoiding mentioning something for unstated and unflattering reasons" button. It's introducing some sort of weird inter-user fight into a thread for no good reason. That's annoying, it starts derails, and it's totally unnecessary to the actual idea he was apparently trying to convey to the asker.

That's the framing problem with the comment, as we've said a bunch of times already, as should be pretty clear to anyone whose hung out on mefi for a while, and as jamjam, as we told him, could have gotten around with a quick rewrite and gotten on with his intention of just plain putting "hey, have you considered that this could be because the hiring/whoever folks associated your headscarf with Islam" or whatever into the thread.

It didn't get flagged and deleted for being a BAD ANSWER. It got flagged and deleted coz it contained the nasty Muslim word. This is about the 4th time I've had to rephrase the exact same explanation.

See above. This is the nth time we've had to explain that that's a weird assertion that makes zero sense outside of some fantasy where the word "muslim" doesn't do just fine all the goddam time here.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:31 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is about the 4th time I've had to rephrase the exact same explanation.

It's not an explanation, it's an assertion backed with... sweet fuck all, actually. You're not a mind-reader, and your opinions aren't facts. No-one's being hysterical in this thread except you.
posted by harriet vane at 6:52 AM on August 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


Fair enough answers from the mods. I'm not saying things will be perfect and see that you're doing a great job.

I suppose giving someone a chance to reframe it when it becomes an issue is the best way of dealing with it. I suppose that as I am not that naturally articulate my head just hurts in sympathy at the though of trying to get the words right to please the crowd.
posted by Not Supplied at 7:37 AM on August 1, 2011


My cat's breath smells like cat food. Also, in a pinch muslin makes a fine filter for cheese making.
posted by tr33hggr at 7:53 AM on August 1, 2011


uncanny hengeman: "Call it want you want, I was just quoting the Mod. Do you have a problem with cortex, or do you have a problem with me quoting cortex? Please explain."

You didn't quote cortex. A somewhat out of context reference is not a quotation, genius.

I was refuting your assertion that, contrary to what you imagine that cortex said, it was in fact fear of Muslims that had "EVERYTHING to do with" this deletion.
posted by desuetude at 10:09 AM on August 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


uncanny hengeman doesn't do Frank Rizzo very well.
posted by juiceCake at 10:54 AM on August 1, 2011


It's not an explanation, it's an assertion backed with... sweet fuck all, actually. You're not a mind-reader, and your opinions aren't facts. No-one's being hysterical in this thread except you.

Yaaaay! Remember that scene from The Simpsons where Homer gets so excited about some stupid telemarketing offer that he can't even dial the phone number. That's how I imagine you lot scrambling for the favorite+ button.

My "assertion" is no worse than cortex's assertion that it had nothing to do with people being afraid of the word Muslim. Or just like the very first line in jessamyn's very first post where she "assumes" the reason for the post being flagged. Have a listen to yourselves.

Jesus Christ. My comment was just a throwaway theory in a bad MetaTalk call out. But ya just won't leave it alone. Dying the coward's death of a thousand cuts.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:31 AM on August 2, 2011


Fair enough answers from the mods. I'm not saying things will be perfect and see that you're doing a great job.

Let me take a step back and say: THIS^^^

Metafilter constantly gets picked in influential TOP 25 lists for a reason.

But if some clown wants to come in to a week-old thread and start bleating some potty-mouthed hypocrisy about wanting FACTS [I'm still laughing] then I'm going to engage them in a bit of to and fro until they realise they're wrong and wisely decide to crawl back under their rock.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:48 AM on August 2, 2011


"I understand that that's your opinion, and that's fine."
-cortex

Read that 50 times and count to 10 before posting another comment. It appears some opinions are more equal than others.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:57 AM on August 2, 2011


Blessed are the cheesemakers
posted by Not Supplied at 12:28 PM on August 2, 2011


My "assertion" is no worse than cortex's assertion that it had nothing to do with people being afraid of the word Muslim. Or just like the very first line in jessamyn's very first post where she "assumes" the reason for the post being flagged. Have a listen to yourselves.

Uh, they work here. And can actually see the flags. Don't you think that this just might give them a little more insight than you regarding how flagging is used?
posted by desuetude at 1:23 PM on August 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would like a public explanation for the deletion of my answer from this AskMe. I would also like my answer to be restored.

I would like the saltimbocca, with chicken if you have it.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:00 PM on August 2, 2011


Entitlement issues are catching.
posted by flabdablet at 5:45 PM on August 2, 2011


It appears some opinions are more equal than others.

I don't even know why I'm bothering here:

No, it appears some levels of discourse are more equal than others. That has always been part of the Metafilter ethos so I don't know why you're pleading unfairness now. Perhaps if you stopped being a smug ass constantly and without fail, you would not have to have people constantly chastising you.

Your second comment in the thread is the implication that a member never graduated kindergarten. Your third comment made this explicit, and then you went on a tear of Oh-Golly-I-Am-So-Terribly-Oppressed-Here, I-Am-the-Only-Mature-One, I-am-the-one-Truthbringer.

If you had phrased this instead as "I think that maybe Metafilter might be getting too PC and that people knee-jerkily flagged the comment for bringing up the word 'Muslim,'" your comment, while still opposed to the mods' knowledge of flagging practices, would at least have been palatable instead of actively fighty, dismissive, and self-aggrandizing...

It's a pumped-up-on-steroids version of the same fighty tone that got jamjam's comment deleted.

And this is the hill you will die on? I mean, go ahead, but if you seem to think you are taking up the martyr's palm, make sure you're not really just holding a bundle of weeds.

(Also, as a religious studies kid, I would have flagged the original jamjam comment had I seen it, for tone and potential for fightiness and not for the word 'Muslim.' I do not run scared because someone used an adjective relating to one of the world's biggest religions. You do not own my brain, nor can you peer into its depths by theorizing about why I would click on an exclamation point.)
posted by flibbertigibbet at 5:21 AM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]


#jamjam #winning
posted by LarryC at 7:02 AM on August 3, 2011


If seeing other people agree with me bugs you so much, hengeman (and this is the 2nd time you've mentioned it) try switching off the favorites count. It's a setting you can get to from your profile page.
posted by harriet vane at 8:24 AM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


But then how will I keep scooooooooore
posted by Eideteker at 9:42 AM on August 3, 2011


Also favourite ≠ agreement.
posted by Mitheral at 10:43 AM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand what happened. Mod says flags don't determine whether or not a flag gets deleted -- although surely the vast majority of deleted comments were flagged.

Anyway, some say the world Muslim mattered, some say it didn't, one Mod said it didn't, one Mod said it did:

I emailed you twice about this. People flagged your answer and I assume it was because it was looking like a likely derail and didn't address the OPs general question. I removed it and suggested you flesh out your answer a little more and re-comment so it doesn't look like a fighty "let's talk about firing Muslims" tangent to the main question.

emphasis mine, so the comment was certainly deleted (assuming Jessamyn deleted it) because it contained the world Muslim in a way that a Mod thought would create a derail/"fighty" rage thread. So obviously the world Muslim is important.

Cortex's long spiel is very confusing for me. I have trouble imagining anyone, even a super genius, being able to spot systemic bias from informal, unmeasured experience, the little I know on the topic strongly suggests why we call it systemic bias -- no one person is engaging in the bias.

One thing which bothers me is the insistence that the poster could simply report their thought and it would be OK, I can understand the practical reason for this but it does smack a bit of the politeness police to me.

Personally, comment deletion (especially for a site which stakes it's claim on discussion) ought to have very high standards, but again it's the mods site, not mine so, you know, whatever.

as a side thought, if mefi members want to protest mods deleting comments, i'd recommend flag bombing threads, haha
posted by Shit Parade at 12:46 AM on August 4, 2011


Someone said this earlier, I think it could be said again - sometimes people going through chemo lose their hair and wear headscarves. (Especially when it's summer and other alternatives are too hot or itchy.) Men and women, both. If your immediate thought is "everyone will think Muslim" in using the word headscarf - nope. Some of us know people who've had chemo. AND have known people who wear headscarves for religious reasons (not all of whom are Muslim, btw). Also as someone said earlier - a comment on being Muslim didn't answer the question the OP asked, which is what AskMe is about in the first place.

Meanwhile it's always kinda weird to see folk who've theoretically been around MeFi a few years - long enough to know how the mod process works, and has worked, and what's helpful in AskMe and what's not - and then still lose their shit over something for some personal reason. Or reason that they decide to make personal.

And again, as others have said here and many times before, the age old MeFi advice: time to back away from the keyboard, maybe go read a book or something.
posted by batgrlHG at 1:17 AM on August 4, 2011


I don't understand what happened. Mod says flags don't determine whether or not a flag gets deleted -- although surely the vast majority of deleted comments were flagged.

I'm not sure why you're not understanding this, because the mods have explained it ad infinitum. Flags ALONE don't determine whether or not a post or comment gets deleted. A preponderance of flags may be ONE of the factors that nudge things towards deletion, but ultimately the mods have final say. If a bunch of people gang up on something that's actually a fair point and flag it to hell, the mods could let it stand.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:40 AM on August 4, 2011


I don't understand what happened. Mod says flags don't determine whether or not a flag gets deleted -- although surely the vast majority of deleted comments were flagged.

Most deleted comments were flagged, because that's how we saw them in the first place. That's not to say that most flagged comments are deleted. That's maybe the key distinction.

Plenty of things pick up a flag or three but stick around because we feel there's not really anything wrong with the comment being there, or because (and this applies sometimes to things with a lot of flags) it makes more sense to keep the comment in context than to try and remove it and responses to it.

Flag != delete, in other words. It's great for getting us to look at something, but what we do when we look at it is informed in part by the flags, in part by the context, and in part by our judgement as individuals and as a team.

so the comment was certainly deleted (assuming Jessamyn deleted it) because it contained the world Muslim in a way that a Mod thought would create a derail/"fighty" rage thread.

Well, again, no. It was deleted because the way it framed that angle was needlessly provocative. It wasn't the word "Muslim", it was the "I don't know why people are dancing around this" structuring. It didn't matter what jamjam was asserting everybody to be dancing around, it'd have been just as not-great a way to jump into a thread on any topic. The problem was the fighty bit, not the Muslim bit, which is why it would have been totally fine for him to repost about the Muslim headscarf idea without the (intended or not) fighty framing.

"We removed your comment because you mentioned Muslims, so go ahead and repost your comment about Muslims" wouldn't make any sense at all.

Personally, comment deletion (especially for a site which stakes it's claim on discussion) ought to have very high standards, but again it's the mods site, not mine so, you know, whatever.

We remove more stuff from the green than elsewhere, specifically because the bar for commenting there is a bit higher: there's an expectation of at least minimal utility for that part of the site that doesn't exist on the blue or the grey, which means that a bigger proportion of stuff is going to get nixed. That said, what we remove is a slim percentage of what gets posted, even there. All in all I think we pretty much feel the same way you do, that keeping deletions to a workable minimum is ideal, but that's really how we're operating already. Any fewer deletions would be us throwing our hands up and saying, eff it, go crazy in askme, who cares.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:00 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


Team Mod is a collection of the most patient, persistent people I have ever encountered. I am awed by your collective ability to remain polite while restating your position over. and. over. and. over. with enough wording variation that even the most willfully obtuse drunken fucknuckle is given the opportunity to get your intended meaning wedged into its tiny pointed little head.

I am as opposed to building killfile functionality into Metafilter as any, but I swear there are users in this thread for whose sake I am seriously considering installing Greasemonkey into all my browsers.

Never make me a mod. I would only get the banhammer all festy.
posted by flabdablet at 9:09 AM on August 4, 2011 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: willfully obtuse drunken fucknuckle
posted by Devils Rancher at 9:13 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll stop here by reiterating that I politely disagree with you cortex, as I wrote:

"...it contained the world Muslim in a way that a Mod thought would create a derail/"fighty" rage thread. So obviously the world Muslim is important."

(I originally wrote world, not word, how embarrassing... haha) and again Jessamyn's first comment in this thread is:

People flagged your answer and I assume it was because it was looking like a likely derail and didn't address the OPs general question. I removed it and suggested you flesh out your answer a little more and re-comment so it doesn't look like a fighty "let's talk about firing Muslims" tangent to the main question.

Again, emphasis (for both quotes) are mine. I said it was the structuring of the word Muslim, and I got that from Jessamyn, the whole first clause of the sentence seems very incidental.

I am also awed by the ability of slack-jawed yokels to spew out flimflam for seemingly no purpose other than to incite and enrage, but perhaps it originates from their inability to understand a point of view different from their own and I ought to pity such bumpkins
posted by Shit Parade at 12:24 PM on August 4, 2011


It's entirely possible to read that quote with different emphasis, Shit Parade, and come to the conclusions that my esteemed colleagues have reiterated - the problem was not that it was about Muslims, the problem was that it was a fighty tangent. A similarly fighty tangent about women's modesty, or the cost of silk scarves, or anything else would have been most likely deleted as well. Likewise, had the OP mentioned religion or the perception thereof, it wouldn't have been a tangent and would have been judged on its fightiness alone.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:37 PM on August 4, 2011


When a point of view appears to follow from a preference to exercise imaginary telepathic skills to discern a mod's motivations instead of simply taking what that mod says at face value, then I am indeed unable to understand why any person worth respect would hold it.

Yeehaw, pass the cornpone.
posted by flabdablet at 5:47 PM on August 4, 2011


i can't stop checking this thread. it's like that underground coal fire in pennsylvania that's been burning continuously for 20 years, except with a burning bag of shit instead of coal.
posted by facetious at 1:01 PM on August 5, 2011 [1 favorite]


Stamp it out! Stamp it out!
posted by flabdablet at 7:03 PM on August 6, 2011


**i can't stop checking this thread. it's like that underground coal fire in pennsylvania that's been burning continuously for 20 years, except with a burning bag of shit instead of coal.

*Stamp it out! Stamp it out!


Mr Smart Ass and Mr Ban Hammer. Make the nasty opinions go away! Yaaaay!

Q.E.D.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:56 PM on August 9, 2011


flibbertigibbet:

Your second comment in the thread is the implication that a member never graduated kindergarten.

This just keeps on getting better. I was sarcastically quoting dfriedman. You did read the whole thread, right? You didn't just blindly join a gutless bully pile-on, did you?

And because you think that was such a stupid thing to say, you're now going to make a grandstanding post about how dfriedman's opinions are stupid.

Right?

Unless you're a hypocrite.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 11:08 PM on August 9, 2011


We'd make for good drinking buddies, uncanny hengeman.
posted by troll at 3:16 AM on August 10, 2011


I'll take that as a compliment, but I know you're taking this piss.

But what am I gonna do, huh? Punch you? That’s why I’m such a good drinking buddy. I’m a buffoon who doesn’t get all sulky when smarter people start takin’ the piss out of me.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 9:46 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


as a side thought, if mefi members want to protest mods deleting comments, i'd recommend flag bombing threads, haha

Perhaps this is not the site for you. I would also suggest if you constantly add a closing "funny" remark in small tags, maybe you should rethink your approach. We already know you're so much smarter than the teeming masses.
posted by yerfatma at 10:51 AM on August 10, 2011


as a side thought, if mefi members want to protest mods deleting comments, i'd recommend flag bombing threads, haha

This will render the flagging mechanism largely unusable by us. If this happens we'll ask you nicely once or twice to knock it off and then, if you don't, disable your account as launching a flag-based DOS attack on our ability to moderate. We'd appreciate if you didn't do this at all, but if you did decide this was the way you wanted to go, it wouldn't probably have the effect that you were going for or only in the very very short term.

If you've got issues with moderation you can email us privately or come here to MetaTalk to work things out. If you can't work things out to your satisfaction you have to sort of decide what you want to do about that. We all make compromises to interact with a site that we don't think is our perfect view of the site. People can decide personally how far and in what direction they want to go.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:59 AM on August 10, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've served with buffoons. I've known buffoons. Buffoons are friends of mine.

Hengeman, you're no buffoon.
posted by flabdablet at 6:38 PM on August 10, 2011


Beg pardon.

I meant boffin.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:02 AM on August 11, 2011


Tufted, horned or Atlantic?
posted by flabdablet at 4:34 AM on August 11, 2011


For the win!

I had to think about it for a bit.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 10:15 PM on August 11, 2011


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