newsfiltering August 7, 2011 4:11 AM   Subscribe

newsfilter. don't we have an unspoken rule in these cases to let a couple days pass until a full FPP can be created? Nope, looks like that rule is not only unspoken, but unenforced and generally unthought of. One might even describe it as non-existent.

I would like clarification on this aspect please. The first sentence is mine.

From various discussions over the years, I thought that recently breaking news is for the most part not encouraged until reflection or analysis was available. When otherwise, its usually upto a mod's discretion? Thanks.
posted by infini to Etiquette/Policy at 4:11 AM (71 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

for the most part
There's the loophole. You just can't make an absolute rule about this.

its usually upto a mod's discretion
That's right.
posted by beagle at 4:34 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


This post survived and thrived. I appreciated the link to BBC real-time updates, which were helpful in understanding what was happening at the moment.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:39 AM on August 7, 2011


Is there a particular post you're referencing? It would be so terribly fabulous if you linked to it.
posted by taff at 4:39 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


infini's comment. Post in question.
posted by MonkeyToes at 4:44 AM on August 7, 2011


Mercy bow coop.
posted by taff at 4:48 AM on August 7, 2011


The first sentence is mine.

So then who said everything after and including the "don't"?
posted by DU at 5:12 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reply to infini's comment. (No dog in this fight, I just happen to be reading the post.)
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:17 AM on August 7, 2011




Comment referenced from here


(I used a bunch of html to NOT mash those sentences together but it didn't happen for me when it published though it showed up fine in preview). You would think that I'd know how to make a MeTa by now ... but apparently not :(
posted by infini at 5:20 AM on August 7, 2011


Obviously my system is slow and not working well ;p
posted by infini at 5:21 AM on August 7, 2011


meh
posted by infini at 5:21 AM on August 7, 2011


There's a pretty clear rule that a newsfilter (or obitfilter) post still has to meet the threshhold of something interesting on the web, and so a link to the breaking news banner on the CNN homepage or a single Wiki page isn't going to cut it. The problem is obviously more accute the fresher the news is, but I don't think there's ever been an explicit or implied waiting period for news.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:58 AM on August 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


There's no written rule about this because it would make a perfect opportunity for rules lawyering, and the mods just don't need to deal with that crap on top of all the other crap that gets piled on them here.

see also: making MeTa posts at times when the mods are likely to be sleeping. Seriously? On a Sunday morning?! 7 am Eastern Time? Really?
posted by bilabial at 6:48 AM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, I know, that leaves restless_nomad hanging in the wind. She's a mod too, and may well be awake right now. But really? Your callout couldn't wait?
posted by bilabial at 6:49 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I tend to think that newsfilter generally benefits from a few days of filtering, yeah. But the closer people are to the news, the more they want to talk about it NOW, so it's nigh impossible to enforce.
posted by klangklangston at 7:03 AM on August 7, 2011


But really? Your callout couldn't wait?

I'm 12 hours ahead of US Eastern Time, its well past 10pm Sunday for me now.
posted by infini at 7:28 AM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yes, but the people most able to actually answer your question are in time zones that make it highly likely they're sleeping. Which means you're going to wait for an answer anyway, although you've already gotten some good ones here.
posted by rtha at 7:34 AM on August 7, 2011


Is there a time limit like Domino's Pizza on when one's question should be answered?
posted by infini at 7:35 AM on August 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


It's Sunday morning, man. Metafilter does not have full 24/7 moderation coverage because we have a small number of mods and they have to have some kind of life. I'm guessing that this MeTa thread just isn't considered an emergency so nobody has bothered to take a stab at parsing the kind of weird wording of your question in order to come up with some sort of answer. Maybe after breakfast?
posted by Scientist at 7:38 AM on August 7, 2011


Oh, sorry, realized you're in Finland so maybe you weren't aware of the time thing. Apologies for the snark. Apologies also for assuming you are male, by the way.
posted by Scientist at 7:39 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand why everyone's assuming I'm in a hurry for a response. I've been posting to MetaFilter from around the world for a long time now and understand the time zone differences. I put the MeTa up when I was awake and I'll check it again in the morning after all of you have woken up.

Where's the hurry?
posted by infini at 7:41 AM on August 7, 2011 [10 favorites]


I thought that recently breaking news is for the most part not encouraged until reflection or analysis was available. When otherwise, its usually upto a mod's discretion?

You can also email us. And no, there's no rule. Usually the posts that we'll delete are ones that say "Big thing going to be announced tomorrow!" where there's a short news bit speculating on what might be announced and we tell people to wait til there's some there there. If something big is happening, people are usually going to make a post out of it. In the FAQ we're pretty clear that a single link to CNN with a "OMG big thing happening!" isn't a great post for MeFi but, as with pretty much everything, we have guidelines and not hard and fast rules.

This is up to and including weekend MeTa posts when we're all asleep being less-great than ones when we're awake. This is not a big deal, but sometimes threads here go weird and it's nice to be around to sort of handle questions as they come up. All MeTa threads come with a certain amount of risk and we've been pretty clear that we're more short-staffed over the weekends even with the terrific addition of restless_nomad. We are here to answer your questions whenever you have them, of course, but each MeTa thread is another thing we have to keep an eye on so we're happy to be here if there's really something you feel needs mod and community input. And if there is take the time to add your HTML, preview your thread to make sure it makes sense, add links to what you're talking about and we'll go from there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:46 AM on August 7, 2011


There's no rule! It's anarchy, anarchy, I tell ya!

*runs screaming through a plate glass window, flies off into the sunrise*
posted by Eideteker at 7:51 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you Jessamyn. I appreciate your response.

RE: the HTML, I have *no* idea where it all went, it looked fine in my preview. Please feel free to close this up, delete it etc

And I'll keep the aspect of emailing in mind (oddly that always seems more intrusive than a post like but that was my perception until you pointed out here that you have to monitor an extra thread.)
posted by infini at 7:51 AM on August 7, 2011


News breaks, MetaFilter fixes it.
posted by jamjam at 9:17 AM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Can I post a link to CNN if there's a breaking news story that doesn't have a permalink yet?
There are very rare cases where this is appropriate, usually large scale disasters (like once-in-a-lifetime events). Updates to the latest political intrigue do not qualify. Generally speaking, if a breaking story isn't linked on the Internet yet, it won't make a very good post. If you're posting it thinking, "I'd better hurry before someone else posts this" — then it's probably not a good post"

seems pretty clear to me.
posted by clavdivs at 10:42 AM on August 7, 2011


Breaking news also break HTML, didn't you know that?
posted by daniel_charms at 10:47 AM on August 7, 2011


Threads about developing and ongoing situations like the Tottenham riots work very well in real time, as it allows people to aggregate data, often more quickly than the "news."

Newsfilter stories about the death of Amy Winehouse don't work so well.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:13 AM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


My impression is that the problem posts are those founded on rumours, unreliable "breaking news" and gossip. The Tottenham riot story was real, real time and significant. The news coming out when the story was breaking was clearly solid enough to merit a post on the blue.
posted by Decani at 11:22 AM on August 7, 2011


Remember balloon boy?
posted by Sailormom at 11:27 AM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do I ever!
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:06 PM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't have any particular opinion on this post, but it really irritates me when people say things like: I can't believe you're posting this on a Sunday at X am etc.

Look, there's no rule that the mods MUST ANSWER IMMEDIATELY and this is the internet, there are no regular business hours. This website is frequented by people all over the globe and with varying sleep schedules, etc. The entire world doesn't revolve around our time zones on the Western hemisphere or a set posting schedule. If that was the case, I'm sure the mods/Matt/PB could set some sort of posting time where MeTa posts couldn't be made outside set days/hours.

I'm sure it's not something that makes the mods happy to see a post like this early on a Sunday morning (or late on a Friday night) but that has no real bearing on anything. It's not like the site will implode if a mod doesn't get on it immediately.

This isn't any reflection upon the mods, who I think do a great job generally, but I just get irritated every time I read stuff like "I can't believe you're posting this at X time/day" or "..when the mods are sleeping". It's just a website, nobody's going to die or anything if it takes a few hours or overnight even for a mod to respond.
posted by 1000monkeys at 12:17 PM on August 7, 2011 [5 favorites]


The September 11th post was frequently cited as one of the most memorable Metafilter moments on the recent anniversary thread. Riots in London and bombs in Oslo could easily be as important in the long run.
posted by maryr at 12:31 PM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm sure it's not something that makes the mods happy to see a post like this early on a Sunday morning (or late on a Friday night) but that has no real bearing on anything. It's not like the site will implode if a mod doesn't get on it immediately.

It's not usually a crisis or anything, but MeTa can get pretty rowdy pretty fast, and threads that a) really need an Official Answer and b) start when we're all in bed can head in that direction and therefore require more actual corralling on our part than if we can pop in within ten minutes and explain. That's one of the reasons we often strongly suggest people use the contact form when they are looking for a mod response vs community input - there's not all the incidental noise and rare though not nonexistent fallout along the lines of "I made a MeTa for a valid question, got ragged on until the sun came up, now I hate this place and I quit." That's really a depressing thing to wake up to.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:07 PM on August 7, 2011


From the other side of the world filter: You know, until restless_nomad pointed all this out, it never even struck me about the moderator/mgt issues aspect of timing certain types of posts - I think that I kinda thought about it more of a community issue rather than a direct mod issue in this regard (hence a post not an email) but didn't see all the ramifications (not being a mod etc ) Also have been dealing with jetlag so just have not been having *any* sense of day and night at all as well.

Something to keep in mind.

And also to find a way to check html plus links - latter I should have known better but when I found the thread and commented on newsfilter I checked the time (I keep MeFi logged into PST standard since I'd begun in San Francisco and it helps me figure out where the rest of the US/MeFi is at) it was about 11.30 at night. Didn't think about the weekend.

Anyway, all that is bla bla bla , the point is something has been learnt here.

Thank you.

"I made a MeTa for a valid question, got ragged on until the sun came up, now I hate this place and I quit."

nah, btdt. now I just tell myself its just kids ;p
posted by infini at 1:20 PM on August 7, 2011


R-N:fallout along the lines of "I made a MeTa for a valid question, got ragged on until the sun came up, now I hate this place and I quit."

Heh. You say that like it's a bad thing (weed out the weak). But point taken.


Is it okay if if still irks me a wee bit? Though I do agree, people should deal directly with mods on moderation issues, and save MeTas for site-wide or overarching issues.
posted by 1000monkeys at 1:49 PM on August 7, 2011


I think the existence of metatalk itself is a pretty good indicator of our understanding that everybody needs to be a little irked now and then, yeah.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:58 PM on August 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think the existence of metatalk itself is a pretty good indicator of our understanding that everybody needs to be a little irked now and then, yeah.
posted by cortex at 9:58 PM on August 7


I think that "Everyone Needs To Be a Little Irked Now and Then, Yeah" should be the name of your new acid trance jazz revival single.
posted by Decani at 2:25 PM on August 7, 2011


From various discussions over the years, I thought that recently breaking news is for the most part not encouraged until reflection or analysis was available.

To repeat ...

Metafilter is terrible at breaking news.
Metafilter Founder Matt Haughey Put The Blog In Blogosphere -- "We asked Haughey to nominate his five most notable MetaFilter threads."
1. Seattle Earthquake thread
This sort of happened live on the site before blogs really covered news, and it was a big deal that MetaFilter 'beat' CNN and MSNBC with some news. It also led to the first meet-up, which has spawned thousands of meet-ups since: metatalk.metafilter.com/523/Seattle-Meetup.

2. 9/11 thread
The planes hitting the building took place almost live on the site, which now serves as a historical document of everyone’s emotions on that exact morning.

3. Russian Girls thread
Last summer, a friend noticed two Russian students he taught previously were coming to America for summer jobs, but the details kept changing and sounded shady, and he was worried they might be caught up in a sex-trafficking ring. A bunch of members of the site in NYC pulled through and met up with the girls, explained what was going on, and housed them for weeks before raising enough money to send them home.

4. Is it 'beep beep' or 'meep meep'?
A user wonders if the Road Runner in cartoons says “meep meep” or “beep beep,” and eventually, after a bunch of speculation, a friend of Chuck Jones and Mel Blanc chimes in with the ultimate answer.

5. Tracking down an address from 1939
A member asks how to track down where his grandfather lived in Vienna, Austria, in 1939 before having to flee to the U.S. to escape capture by the Nazis. Luckily, a researcher at the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C., not only found the address in the museum’s document archive but also found his immigration papers and gave them to the family. The member got to visit the site where his grandfather lived several months later on a European trip."
2/5 (40%) -- "NEWS" threads.
posted by ericb at 2:31 PM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oops ... link for "To repeat".

And a 'end block quote' and paragraph return for:
2/5 (40%) -- "NEWS" threads.
So, we seem to do okay here on MeFi with threads regarding BREAKING NEWS!
posted by ericb at 2:34 PM on August 7, 2011


I think the balloon boy is a great counter-example to the "MetaFilter does news well" meme. Sometimes MetaFilter might do news well. By no means is it a certain thing, and if you take a look through the deleted posts it way suggest that "Mefi doing news well" is more of a rarity than a common occurance. 9/11 is such an outlier I don't know how you would even include it. Every website that had a 9/11 thread thinks their 9/11 thread is awesome.
posted by BeerFilter at 3:27 PM on August 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think that "Everyone Needs To Be a Little Irked Now and Then, Yeah" should be the name of your new acid trance jazz revival single.

My band's name is Little Irk.

we seem to do okay here on MeFi with threads regarding BREAKING NEWS!

Not disagreeing with you generally but two of those threads were well before the site got big, two are AskMe threads and one, the Russian Girls, was a giant clusterfuck that held the entire site captive for several weeks. While I'm happy that the site in general helped people out, saved the day, or whatever, that sort of thing is not at all something that I would consider that MeFi "does well" more that people can step up when it's really important and that's sort oa neat thing. There hasn't been a single breaking news thread lately that I can remember as being super memorable except perhaps the Queensland flooding, though maybe others have different feelings.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:34 PM on August 7, 2011


Current events and breaking news can be done well, as evinced By the enormous Egypt thread. If you've got an urge to do breaking news, that should be held up as an example.
posted by Devils Rancher at 4:47 PM on August 7, 2011


I thought the Japan Tsunami thread was great.
posted by maryr at 5:44 PM on August 7, 2011


I think the tsunami thread went well despite being a single-link post due to the nature of the news - being a natural disaster, everyone was genuinely concerned with the safety and well-being of people affected by the quake and tsunami, so there wasn't much to fight about, until much later, when the political element of nuke safety got introduced after a couple of days. The subsequent Fukushima thread got fighty, but was pretty well put together as an informative post in itself, which helped.

There was a long meta thread surrounding that though, so by a certain metric, it had its faults. I recall that being a generally tense couple of weeks around here.
posted by Devils Rancher at 5:55 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


were there not two 9-11 threads and one was cut. Curious if that still exists or at how many comments it was at until cut.
posted by clavdivs at 6:06 PM on August 7, 2011


There was a post 10033 that went up sometime between 8:05 am and 8:58, but I don't know how to bring it up. Probably something due to the age. I normally pull threads up by bare numbers like that all the time. Never noticed it fail before.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:26 PM on August 7, 2011


Yeah, old posts weren't just hidden they were actually removed from the database. I'm not sure when that changed, but I can't see that post either.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:35 PM on August 7, 2011


Here's the output of an extremely hacky little "what were the comments from that no-longer-extant thread?" script I just put together, for that thread:

Here's a Link.
* posted by 386 at 2001-09-11 05:59:34.780

Go here.
* posted by 1108 at 2001-09-11 06:00:37.307

> I can see the damage from my window here at work.

It looks as if some people got the damage through their windows at work.
* posted by 3518 at 2001-09-11 06:03:30.720

NY1 reports all 3 airports are shutdown, the tunnels are closed too.
* posted by 814 at 2001-09-11 06:31:48.923

Reports are now that there were two planes, one smaller plane and one hijacked American Airlines jet. The news websites are completely bogged, no one can get into them. This is horrifying.
* posted by 1288 at 2001-09-11 06:33:11.260

To take some of the burden off MetaFilter, I started a Yahoo Groups mailing list for discussion about these unfathomable attacks.
* posted by 1108 at 2001-09-11 07:09:31.620


Based on the context, I'd guess the post was a sort of non-post HOLY SHIT WHAT'S THE DEAL thing from someone in Manhattan.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:19 PM on August 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Seriously? On a Sunday morning?! 7 am Eastern Time? Really
Some of us have escaped the Empire so far.
posted by adamvasco at 12:16 AM on August 8, 2011


Here's the output of an extremely hacky little "what were the comments from that no-longer-extant thread?" script I just put together

if I could be bothered registering a Baby E. F. Codd sockpuppet, he'd be here, crying.
posted by russm at 1:43 AM on August 8, 2011


If it's not a good idea to post to MeTa during certain hours, it would be cool to have a time-dependent warning (maybe a red box?) on the post page. Something along the lines of:
It is now the weekend and moderators are still recovering from last week. Please consider sending a private message to the moderators [link to mod-message page] or making your post on Monday morning (US time), when moderator staff will be back at full strength.
posted by pracowity at 3:32 AM on August 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, we seem to do okay here on MeFi with threads regarding BREAKING NEWS!

We != Matt.
posted by smackfu at 6:04 AM on August 8, 2011


I am Matt's right hand middle finger.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:06 AM on August 8, 2011


I would rate this morning's non-functioning link in a one-link newsfilter post about Anonymous vs. Syria as a not-so-good example of Breaking NewsFilter.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:20 AM on August 8, 2011


Oops, didn't mean to link directly to clav's comment, but case in point, anyway.
posted by Devils Rancher at 6:38 AM on August 8, 2011


Bin Laden is dead opened up before even the news was out.
posted by Ironmouth at 8:28 AM on August 8, 2011


If it's not a good idea to post to MeTa during certain hours, it would be cool to have a time-dependent warning

As much as I like the idea of a "Hey we might be sleeping" note with an adorable little dormouse GIF, I think the site works best with absolutely minimal warnings. We don't really want someone who is agitated to then get agitated about whether it is/is not okay to make whatever the MeTa post is that they want to make. We'll just explain sometimes that sometims things go better when we can make a full mod press on things.

Relatedly, the contact form tells us which page people came from before they contact us. A lot of times it's a faq page and a lot of times it's the "make a post to MetaTalk page" which means, I think, that the notes we do have there already are working.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:23 AM on August 8, 2011


Does this mean I shouldn't be complaining to the mods directly after surfing porn?
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:21 AM on August 8, 2011


(Hey, I thought "take a walk" was a euphemism)
posted by 1000monkeys at 10:21 AM on August 8, 2011


Do you surf much porn that links to the MeFi contact form?
posted by SpiffyRob at 10:35 AM on August 8, 2011


No. I get worked up over a post, go surf some porn, and then link back to the contact form (saved in my bookmarks, naturally) and then complain away. Isn't that how everybody else does it? *blink*
posted by 1000monkeys at 11:01 AM on August 8, 2011


Wouldn't you feel less like complaining about something or other after you go surf some porn?
posted by longsleeves at 12:19 PM on August 8, 2011


Depends on the quality of the porn, of course.
posted by 1000monkeys at 1:10 PM on August 8, 2011


Its a fine sunny National Day here in Singapore at 9 o clock in the morning. Stop the porn already!
posted by infini at 6:07 PM on August 8, 2011


This is my porn for the day. I can't wait 'til Saturday. I'm so excited.
posted by BeerFilter at 6:34 PM on August 8, 2011


It's always Larry Flynt day, somewere.
posted by clavdivs at 6:44 PM on August 8, 2011


Barclays Premier...why don't we play soccer in americaland, is it because we suck at it? well we do play but are we any good? I love the game, the only one i excelled at when younger. I mean, you play baseball with some highschoolers from say Holland and it's not fun for obvious reasons but soccer, then it evens up if not makes us mericans look all bumbly but it's FUN and challenging and the tension is diffussed. To lose by a point was good and that was good enough. I love soccer. BF, i could imagine you in the forwards, perhaps a sweeper.
posted by clavdivs at 8:07 PM on August 8, 2011


It's not so much that we don't play soccer as that we don't watch soccer.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:44 PM on August 8, 2011


I always thought Pele and Fran Tarkington had superpowers.
posted by clavdivs at 9:09 PM on August 8, 2011


Growing up around Tobacco Road, basketball was the most popular sport and the only one I ever tried competitively (I sucked). I was never really taken by soccer until recently. I think the last world cup must have primed my pump, and then discovering sometime this past winter that live English soccer was actually shown on my tv on Saturday mornings got me hooked.

In my own mind I'm pretty certain part of the reason it hasn't caught on that much is because it would have to be televised without commercial interruption, and US advertisers want no part of that. I've really fallen in love with the 45 minute uninterrupted halves of play. Even when the match isn't the most exciting in the world, just sitting there without cutting into the action every 6 minutes to aggressively market beer and cars at me, I find my mind meandering in a pleasantly relaxed way, hither and yon, able to actually move at walking speed from one notion to another, unlike when I'm watching American football (ohyesidid) where I feel more like a victim than a viewer, relentlessly having my masculinity alternatively threatened and tempted by a rapacious Juggernaut hummingbird-brained algorithm desperate to overwhelm my senses until I can't hold out anymore and just accept the spew as a normal, healthy thing where everything is true and nothing is forbidden.

Also, this man. This wonderful, amazing man.
posted by BeerFilter at 1:08 PM on August 9, 2011


I don't like soccer because you have to run all the time and you hardly ever get to kick the ball. But I'm a neeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerd.
posted by maryr at 1:55 PM on August 9, 2011


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