threadshitters, trolls, and FPPs in general November 13, 2011 5:18 PM   Subscribe

Please, don't stop. It's just one post!

Artw at the end of his now deleted FPP- OK, I am done with threadshitters and trolls and quite probably FPPs in general - I;ve requested the mods delet this post. Bye!

Don't stop, your posts are excellent. A few are bound to have shitty threads. I don't want to have to find all those links myself when you are so excellent at picking 'em by hand.
posted by kittensofthenight to MetaFilter-Related at 5:18 PM (619 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

Artw said he's going to take some time off and I am fairly sure he'll be back. I didn't really see this as a great example of threadshitting and certainly not trolling.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:20 PM on November 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, I like Artw a lot and look forward to him coming back when he's ready but there's also a sort of "know thyself" thing with posting where if you're going to get easily frustrated with folks it's probably time to at least just take a walk around the block in any case.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:21 PM on November 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


There was a similar occurrence last Saturday.
posted by Edogy at 5:25 PM on November 13, 2011 [7 favorites]


I thought the thread was fine, too, that's why I wanted to help lighten his mood/tell him his posts rule. Sigh. Look forward to him returning.
posted by kittensofthenight at 5:27 PM on November 13, 2011


Huh, interesting. I remember seeing that post die also. My posts have been mostly terrible, but I don't think I could leave if I tried.
posted by kittensofthenight at 5:28 PM on November 13, 2011


I always enjoy Artw's posts.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:30 PM on November 13, 2011


I get the feeling that the whole of metafilter needs to take a walk outside for a couple of days. Posters and commentators alike.

I like a good old spat as much as the next man, but it's felt really testy of late. Heaven help the poor mods who have to put up with our shit.
posted by seanyboy at 5:30 PM on November 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


This isn't the first time ArtW has requested that a post be deleted because he didn't like the way the comments were going. I think "know thyself" would be good advice for him going forward, in addition to "know how a thread about a polarizing figure like Ricky Gervais is likely to go."
posted by Gator at 5:31 PM on November 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


I like a good old spat as much as the next man, but it's felt really testy of late.

Winter The holidays are coming.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:31 PM on November 13, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm still in favor of there being a rule where pushing the big red button means you're gone for a year, no exeptions. It's just a little too attention-grabby for my tastes.
posted by item at 5:35 PM on November 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


I can probably count on one hand the number of people who have left and come back more than once. It's not really something that we feel needs more tools.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:37 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got. Taking a break from all your worries sure would help a lot.
posted by mintcake! at 5:37 PM on November 13, 2011 [28 favorites]


It seems appropriate that "threadshitting" and "threadsitting" are so often mistaken for one another.

One must be brave to make a FPP to metafilter, but one must be braver still to staple your penis to a wolf.

Come to think of it, I think you'd have to be yet more braverer to staple someone else's penis to a wolf, as he would presumably be trying to fight you off with every ounce of strength available to him.

item - artw didn't make the meta post, sooo...
posted by kavasa at 5:37 PM on November 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Silently disappearing is attention-grabby? Or does everyone else get an alert email about it that I've been missing?

That said, huffily having the mods delete your post because the comments don't suit your taste is attention-grabby. And passive aggressive.
posted by DU at 5:39 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


In reading through it, every post was on-topic. At most two offer negative comments on the post itself, but it's not clear that they do so. Hippybear and Diablevert could easily be criticizing Lee's position and not the existence of the post. (Even if they are critiquing Artw's post, they do so very mildly by most any internet/Mefi standards.


I have no idea where we are supposed to see trolling.
posted by oddman at 5:39 PM on November 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


Artw is awesome, but he has been here and gone before, let him do his thing and check him out on Twitter if you miss him too much.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:39 PM on November 13, 2011


"..."threadshitting" and "threadsitting" are so often mistaken for one another."

Not if you stand!
posted by iamkimiam at 5:40 PM on November 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


See, this is why I no longer run this place.

Well, this and all the embezzling I did.
posted by item at 5:46 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm still in favor of there being a rule where pushing the big red button means you're gone for a year, no exeptions. It's just a little too attention-grabby for my tastes.

The guy got pissed that a thread wasn't going the way he wanted, so he asked that it be deleted (his privilege apparently) and then elected to take a break from the site for a while (maybe forever). I'm missing the part of this that's attention-grabby.

Unless, you just don't think folks should be able to have their FPP's deleted. But they are, so ... ?
posted by philip-random at 5:46 PM on November 13, 2011


That said, it is quite funny that diablevert, providing a summary of the article for those skimming the thread for insight as to whether it is worth reading, credits it to Russell Brand.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:50 PM on November 13, 2011


I see the banhammer has claimed another victim, cheradine somethingorother.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:51 PM on November 13, 2011


> cheradine somethingorother.

Cher ad-Din Zarqawi
posted by Burhanistan at 5:52 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


That was yesterday I think. There are only so many times you can email someone saying "Look, we really don't edit comments here, so hollering at us for not doing that is getting tiresome...."
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:52 PM on November 13, 2011


You people are starting to annoy me. If only there was some sort of big red button I could push...
posted by item at 5:54 PM on November 13, 2011


It isn't actually necessary to resign one's membership to take a break from this place, or any other website, for that matter. Quite simply, some people are more emotionally invested in their little sodalities than others. Read into that what you will.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 5:56 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really don't understand the users who have a perpetual cycle of getting pissed off, disabling their account, coming back, getting pissed off, disabling their account... like after the second time, you'd think a person would know that this place doesn't work for them.
posted by gman at 5:57 PM on November 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


DTMetaFilterA
posted by villanelles at dawn at 6:01 PM on November 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


> I really don't understand

What, you can't read rot13?
posted by Burhanistan at 6:02 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really don't understand the users who have a perpetual cycle of getting pissed off, disabling their account, coming back, getting pissed off, disabling their account... like after the second time, you'd think a person would know that this place doesn't work for them.

In a lot of ways, Metafilter is like a family Christmas.
posted by IvoShandor at 6:05 PM on November 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


I really don't understand the users who have a perpetual cycle of getting pissed off, disabling their account, coming back, getting pissed off, disabling their account... like after the second time, you'd think a person would know that this place doesn't work for them.

Yes, that is certainly a very silly and childish thing to do.
posted by Gator at 6:06 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, that is certainly a very silly and childish thing to do.

I can see your point, but it's important to remember, imo, that it's just a point or small sliver of the user's contributions to the site. Every single one of the long time or frequent users have done silly or childish things on the site. While it's easy to dwell on that, it's better to to spend your time and energy on an individual user's positive contributions to the site.

Come back by December, Artw, I have a Xenomorph post up my sleeve.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:13 PM on November 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


It isn't actually necessary to resign one's membership to take a break from this place, or any other website, for that matter.

i quit every time after i post a comment - and then i come back

HOPE ME SOMEONE PLEEZE I CAN'T MAKE UP MY STUPID MIND
posted by pyramid termite at 6:14 PM on November 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


While we're having a conversation about people leaving, does anyone know what's up with Astro Zombie? He hasn't deleted anything, but he's been silent for months.
posted by piratebowling at 6:14 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


That said, it is quite funny that diablevert, providing a summary of the article for those skimming the thread for insight as to whether it is worth reading, credits it to Russell Brand.

I hadn't heard of the Mexican goth incident but Brand seems to have a thing for mocking old men to their faces. Or voicemails.

Even that won't make me forgive him for Arthur though.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 6:16 PM on November 13, 2011


piratebowling, he has a new account. He mentioned it in Meta a while back.
posted by zarq at 6:16 PM on November 13, 2011


"The guy got pissed that a thread wasn't going the way he wanted, so he asked that it be deleted (his privilege apparently) and then elected to take a break from the site for a while (maybe forever). I'm missing the part of this that's attention-grabby. "

It's the part where, before getting his post shuttered, wrote, "OK, I am done with threadshitters and trolls and quite probably FPPs in general - I;ve requested the mods delet this post. Bye!" He knows, presumably, that most of us have Greasemonkey and can read that.

This, after one person called his post thin and another slammed the author in disagreement (but did not criticize its merits as an FPP).

If THAT is beyond the pale in his mind, then I hope he chills the fuck out during his hiatus.
posted by mreleganza at 6:16 PM on November 13, 2011


hope he comes back, but can't say i'm particularly impressed with people who ragequit the community b/c not everyone thinks their one-link post is as brilliant as they do. (and i say that as someone who pretty much exclusively makes one-link FPPs).
posted by modernnomad at 6:19 PM on November 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yes, that is certainly a very silly and childish thing to do.

It's not the first time Artw has done this, so no worries on him coming back for a sequel.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:21 PM on November 13, 2011


Astro Zombie is now Bunny Ultramod (I hope this is OK to mention publicly - it's in his profile, so I'm thinking fair game).
posted by pecanpies at 6:21 PM on November 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


i can't work out what the threadshitting was, but then i am quite jetlagged
posted by subbes at 6:22 PM on November 13, 2011


Thanks all! I hadn't been hanging around as much anymore so sometimes new accounts throw me.
posted by piratebowling at 6:23 PM on November 13, 2011


It's not the first time Artw has done this, so no worries on him coming back for a sequel.

Trying very hard not to say spoiler alert here.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 6:25 PM on November 13, 2011


... like after the second time, you'd think a person would know that this place doesn't work for them.

Perhaps they can only stay engaged with site for a certain amount of time before it becomes too much for them? Or unrelated stress in their personal life gets expressed here?
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:26 PM on November 13, 2011


Art's been around for a long time and is one of our most prolific posters. This is not a new issue for him. He's complained in MeTa when people threadshit and if I remember correctly, once complained when a post of his received no comments. Both of which have happened to many of us who post a lot.

Life goes on, and we all get another chance to post the next day.

It's important for posters to keep in mind that once they click "post" their FPP isn't theirs any longer. It belongs to the community, who have a right to perceive it as they see fit. That said, I sympathise a little with his frustration. It's normal to be attached to one's posts, especially if they've taken a lot of time and effort to create. It can sometimes be difficult to let go and not take criticism of a post personally.

But if he wants to be happy here, he's probably going to have to learn to do so.
posted by zarq at 6:27 PM on November 13, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd be curious how long the "poster's request" standard of privilege for self-requested thread-deletion is in effect. 5 comments? 25 comments? 1 day? 1 week? At some point doesn't the thread belong to the commenters as much as the OP? Mods?
posted by spitbull at 6:34 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Tell Me No Lies: Perhaps they can only stay engaged with site for a certain amount of time before it becomes too much for them?

Yeah, maybe, but that was a grand total of three month this time, barely.

Or unrelated stress in their personal life gets expressed here?

And that's obviously a possibility, but we are not the people to take it out on.
posted by gman at 6:37 PM on November 13, 2011


cortex and I were just talking about that. I don't think there are more than a few people who have asked us to do this more than once. And I think "once or twice" should basically be the standard. For comments, we're a little more lenient if the comment removal is possible and trivial because we'd prefer that people who thought better of their ill-advised comments had an option for getting rid of them of their own volition and not ours.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:37 PM on November 13, 2011


I don't feel validated as a human unless people fawn over this link that I didn't even have anything to do with.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:39 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hadn't heard of the Mexican goth incident but Brand seems to have a thing for mocking old men to their faces. Or voicemails.


It's the same thing - the "Mexican grandad" is a reference to Andrew Sachs, who played Manuel, a Spanish waiter, in Fawlty Towers. The goth is Georgina Baillie. I suspect "Mexican" is just a mistake, but could be another level of allusion.

Stewart Lee's relationship with Ricky Gervais, conceptually rather than personally, is quite complex: it's touched on in the opening sections of "How I Escaped my Certain Fate" (which, if you are interested in stand-up, is definitely worth reading). Gervais effectively got him back into stand-up, but then it gets a bit complicated.

However! Back vaguely ontopic, it struck me that there was basically already a thread about Ricky Gervais using the humorous possibilities of people with cognitive impairments to get some heat for the launch of "Life's too Short", here; how long after a thread is it appropriate to start a new one on similar subject matter?
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:44 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


There was a similar occurrence last Saturday.

Ya, I noticed that too. I feel for dobbs in that case, that post was really seriously derailed for no good reason. That comment from hippybear was unbelievable.
posted by Chuckles at 6:46 PM on November 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


I pressed the red button, just to take a break, but I still lurked daily. Just be assured mods, I wont act up....until at least the stressful holiday known as Arbor Day, WE TAKE TREES SERIOUSLY OK?
posted by wheelieman at 6:49 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan: "I don't feel validated as a human unless people fawn over this link that I didn't even have anything to do with."

It's not this.

Art has actually been pretty vocal in Meta about the things that bother him around here. He gets frustrated when people don't read linked articles before commenting. He doesn't like jokey or snarky comments at the beginning of threads because they tend to cause nastier derails. He doesn't like people trolling and threadshitting, but he doesn't usually have a problem with someone critiquing the subject of an fpp he's made as long as they're not doing so mindlessly.

Also, he has issues with a couple of specific people (and frankly, it would not surprise me to learn this reaction was prompted by one of them commenting on his post.)

I truly don't think this an ego thing with him in the way you're implying.
posted by zarq at 6:49 PM on November 13, 2011 [15 favorites]


I don't see any particular threadshitting or trolling there, unless such behaviour has become so much the norm that we don't even see it any more. Even re-reading it with a critical eye, I don't understand the reaction. The only negative comment about the link at least came from someone who had RTFA, which is about as much as you can hope for.

As zarq says, once you have clicked 'post' you need to step back and not feel like you 'own' the thread. It's a tricky situation if mods are asked to delete it, though, if only because the post copyright is owned by the poster, so they really have little choice. It doesn't sit right with me, though, that the poster can yank the thread because it's not going as planned.
posted by dg at 6:50 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


iamkimiam: "Not if you stand!"

Stand? Like STAND-stand?
posted by Riki tiki at 6:53 PM on November 13, 2011


That said, it is quite funny that diablevert, providing a summary of the article for those skimming the thread for insight as to whether it is worth reading, credits it to Russell Brand.

You're right, I completely fucked that up. I'm sorry.

I'm also sorry if I contributed to Artw ditching the site, even temporarily. I can't say my opinion of the article has changed, but I certainly could have been more temperate in expressing it.
posted by Diablevert at 6:54 PM on November 13, 2011


I do really hope Artw comes back, first of all because he often posts about things I know very little about, but couches them in an interesting way, which I think is about the best you can offer this site. That, and his comments often make me audibly laugh.

But that dobbs thread was ... really something else. 'The words "records" wasn't highlighted in the FPP text, so I didn't know this was going to be about a record company, and more context was needed'? I don't know, I'd like to chalk that up to a lack of caffeine, because otherwise, sheesh.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:56 PM on November 13, 2011 [4 favorites]

Ya, I noticed that too. I feel for dobbs in that case, that post was really seriously derailed for no good reason. That comment from hippybear was unbelievable.
Not really? He was pointing out that it wasn't at all crazy for someone to think the link was going to something entirely different from where it did. Not in a way that reflects poorly on the post or its framing, but just because different people use the same words for different things.

I was similarly mystified by dobbs flipping his checkers table at those comments, although slightly less so. If you make a post and you want people to talk about some record company and several of the first comments are "rough trade also means this other thing," then I guess that could be bothersome.
posted by kavasa at 6:56 PM on November 13, 2011


I've found artw's links interesting and I'm glad he makes the effort to post FPPs. I hope he cools off a little and continues to contribute.
posted by arcticseal at 6:57 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


On the other hand, the other (dobbs') thread, wow. Almost 50% of comments are people pissing and moaning about whether the poster included the correct words within the link text. I mean, really - even for MeFi, that's pretty shitty behaviour.
posted by dg at 7:01 PM on November 13, 2011 [17 favorites]


There's a Fibonacci sequence in here somewhere.
posted by Glinn at 7:04 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does that get a capital S?
posted by Glinn at 7:04 PM on November 13, 2011


We'd already deleted six comments from dobbs' thread before he asked us to close it. It was a classic peanut gallery derail unfortunately.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:06 PM on November 13, 2011


I'm figuring he's got a sockpuppet somewhere.
posted by jonmc at 7:07 PM on November 13, 2011


I think dobbs was more disgusted that people didn't immediately know what Rough Trade was. Understandable, if even more melodramatic than necessary.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:12 PM on November 13, 2011


Art has actually been pretty vocal in Meta about the things that bother him around here.

Ha, that's an understatement.

It's his prerogative, but I find his pissy take-bat-and-ball-and-go-home approach uncharitable, childish, and churlish. Disable your account by all means, but taking down the post in a sulky hissy-fit? Just silly, and I'm surprised the mods countenance it, let alone multiple times as in his case.

I dunno, I've had mefi posts go completely astray from where I wanted discussion to go (usually a result of my own bad framing...), but that's the nature of the beast, you know. Getting screaming angry at what is in actuality a pretty great - yet undeniably human - community is just that you voluntarily participate in... well, I'm over that kind of thing. Also, calling people assholes generally just makes everybody unhappy.
posted by smoke at 7:15 PM on November 13, 2011 [8 favorites]


Anyone see "Rough Trade" and think it is just as likely it a post about male prostitution as it is to be about the record company? How about with the word "records" in the post? IIRC the word records was in the post,just not part of the link. People were just scoring points in that thread.

I just doubt there are actually people who know a somewhat archaic term for a straight guy having gay sex form money but have never heard of the record company.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:21 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Usually when I make an FPP people queue up to say thank you politely and then file out in an orderly manner. It's only when there is room for discussion that the trouble begins.
posted by Nomyte at 7:21 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just doubt there are actually people who know a somewhat archaic term for a straight guy having gay sex form money but have never heard of the record company.

A derail, but count me indeed as one of this fabled breed, though that's far and away not the only definition of the term.
posted by smoke at 7:24 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ok , I believe it now.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:28 PM on November 13, 2011


The complete restructure of your pretentious life. Rough Trade classic
posted by Burhanistan at 7:30 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mod friends: were any comments deleted from that Artw thread? I hate threadshittin almost as much as Art but I don't get the rage here. One person did recommend nobody read the link which is annoying but at least they gave reasons.

Come on Art you gotta get tougher than this. If we give up, the pooperists win.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:30 PM on November 13, 2011


Nope, no deletions there. We'd just barely seen it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:42 PM on November 13, 2011

I just doubt there are actually people who know a somewhat archaic term for a straight guy having gay sex form money but have never heard of the record company.
Shrug. I was scanning down the page and saw "rough trade documentary" and my eyes kind of popped because wow, that's a pretty risque subject for a post. Then I clicked on the link and went "oh, some record company? ok." and closed the tab.

Later the post was gone, so I looked in metatalk to see what had happened, since it didn't really seem deletion-worthy.

Just as some anecdata.

Not that I think getting all nasal about the post's exact wording is really great or anything. Those are simply the thoughts I had.
posted by kavasa at 7:52 PM on November 13, 2011


Nasal?
posted by jonmc at 7:58 PM on November 13, 2011


The last thing you'd want to do is stick your nose where it don't belong.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 8:05 PM on November 13, 2011


I've been on the receiving end of Artw's quick temper a couple of times. It's not much fun. Have chosen to not interact anymore, myself.
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:10 PM on November 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Nasal?

My guess is a Frank Zappa reference.
posted by stubby phillips at 8:14 PM on November 13, 2011


I've been on the receiving end of Artw's quick temper a couple of times.

As had I. For something as innocuous as suggesting the idea that trailers be compulsory was a bit ridiculous.

Still, anything that cuts down the number of comic/Doctor Who FPP's is OK by me.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 8:20 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, that's Clapton speaking
posted by stubby phillips at 8:20 PM on November 13, 2011


I was under the impression that threads were NOT taken down just because the poster asked. Is it a courtesy extended to all or only a few?
posted by maxwelton at 8:32 PM on November 13, 2011


Most people don't ask. If they ask and it's early on we'll sometimes do it. If you ask more than once or twice you've probably used up your asks.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:33 PM on November 13, 2011


Still, anything that cuts down the number of comic/Doctor Who FPP's is OK by me.

Think_Long weeps.
posted by Think_Long at 8:39 PM on November 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Makes sense this happens over an FPP link containing the words "offensive and stupid". Wadd'ya expect when you post something like that?
posted by telstar at 8:42 PM on November 13, 2011


I don't follow why people would ask for an FPP to be taken down, or why it would be done if requested.

I do understand the complaints about derailing, trolling, etc., and I understand why people would get fed-up and leave, especially if they had posted the FPP that was derailed. But an FPP isn't personal in the way an AskMe is (in fact, it's a bannable offense for an FPP to be personal), so I don't get the "Please delete this thing of mine" aspect. Posting an FPP is a contribution to the community weblog. It's not about you and it's not yours.

I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has done this. What's the thinking?
posted by cribcage at 8:47 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]

Nasal?
I was imagining the tone of voice in which I'd read some of the comments from that thread, were I to read it aloud as part of a dramatic performance. "Well technically the word "records" wasn't in the link but rather" etc etc.

crib - that's a tough request to fill, as it seems like it's usually done just before the asker takes their account out back and shoots it.

That said, I could imagine that it's kind of a way of punishing the people you see as having wronged you by mishandling "your" thread.
posted by kavasa at 8:51 PM on November 13, 2011


Greg Nog is taking a break :(
posted by mlis at 8:53 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Still, anything that cuts down the number of comic/Doctor Who FPP's is OK by me.

Heresy! Burn the unbeliever!
posted by arcticseal at 8:56 PM on November 13, 2011 [4 favorites]


I really feel for Artw and particularly dobbs.

It fucking sucks when you spend a lot of time carefully laying out a bunch of links for awesome people to read and discuss, some deuchebag doesn't read any of them and latches on to some tiny detail or stupid misunderstanding, and then suddenly enough of these awesome people are talking about the misunderstanding the rest have no place in the discussion.

It sucks, I wish I had asked the mods to delete my thread when that shit happened to me.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:03 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


I requested a post be taken down recently because the article, which I took to be light-hearted and self-critical in a sarcastic and hyperbolic way, was being read by pretty much everyone as whiny and unself-reflective and deeply negative rather than humorous. I think negativity and mean-spiritedness is about the least useful thing, and I didn't want to add more of it to the world or the site, so I had the FPP axed.

It isn't always a case of hurt feelings or raging controlism.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:05 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


cribcage: "I don't follow why people would ask for an FPP to be taken down, or why it would be done if requested.

I do understand the complaints about derailing, trolling, etc., and I understand why people would get fed-up and leave, especially if they had posted the FPP that was derailed. But an FPP isn't personal in the way an AskMe is (in fact, it's a bannable offense for an FPP to be personal), so I don't get the "Please delete this thing of mine" aspect. Posting an FPP is a contribution to the community weblog. It's not about you and it's not yours.

I'd be curious to hear from anyone who has done this. What's the thinking?
"

I posted an FPP a while back, and a Mefite took it upon himself to go spam the linked website in the post with goatse. I was kinda furious about it and asked that the post to be deleted. Jessamyn's response back then a couple of comments down is the same as the one she gave just now. (I could ask, but deleting it was at their discretion, and they don't want people to make a habit of it.)

I've made a handful of posts that got a truly terrible public reception. Like this one. It goes with the territory. But for every 20 people who hate a post, I'd like to think that perhaps there's one who really liked it but didn't want to comment and go against the grain. And even if there isn't, who cares? This ain't life or death. A post is on the page for a day and then it disappears. Then, as I said before, we get to try again in 24 hours.

If the criticism isn't personal, we shouldn't make it personal.
posted by zarq at 9:06 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Blasdelb: " It sucks, I wish I had asked the mods to delete my thread when that shit happened to me."

That's an awesome post. I'm sorry I missed it when it was posted. But thanks for linking to it here... and I wish the thread had turned out better.
posted by zarq at 9:11 PM on November 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Blasdelb, it's good you didn't. Sorry if you were upset at me for contributing to what was a derail for you, but I think it was an alright thread. That it felt crap to you and didn't do what you would have liked it to does not mean that it was universally crap.
posted by kavasa at 9:14 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


Not as powerful as jwz, who can get posts deleted from outside the house.
posted by unliteral at 9:24 PM on November 13, 2011


Astro Zombie is now Bunny Ultramod (I hope this is OK to mention publicly - it's in his profile, so I'm thinking fair game).

I'm fine with it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:31 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just doubt there are actually people who know a somewhat archaic term for a straight guy having gay sex form money but have never heard of the record company.

*raises hand as one of those people*

And that's before I knew the phrase had any other meanings (thanks, smoke, for the link).
posted by tzikeh at 9:34 PM on November 13, 2011


As you'd expect, the frequency of posting seems to be correlated with "poster's request" removals. Just doing a quick-and-crude google of the no-longer-updated deletedthread.blogspot.com shows through March this year at least a few folks with more than one: artw, zarq, astro zombie, and afroblanco.

Probably others, too, but when I picked up a pen and paper to start making hash marks the sane part of my brain (tiny, at this point) said "WTF, do something useful instead."
posted by maxwelton at 9:47 PM on November 13, 2011


I'm particularly sad about the dobbs thread. In it I was trying to say that i got it or understood what he meant without even needing the records text linked. I felt compelled to mention that in the thread to counterbalance the now deleted complaints about how "ambiguous" it was. Unfortunately there were also several wisecracks that just compounded the bad vibes. I like dobbs and I liked that particular link / post (enough to comment from my phone which I normally hate doing). I hope he comes back.
posted by safetyfork at 9:49 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know what, fuck it, thanks guys. Something else interesting has happened on that blog and I'm going to make a follow up post
posted by Blasdelb at 9:49 PM on November 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well I believe you guys that you knew at least one, and perhaps more, definitions of rough trade that where not the record company. Still, that particular derail kinda sucked.


Speaking of posts, when is someone going post about Skyrim, game is pretty damn good.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:51 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


that rough trade derail sucked, was mean spirited, and full of people being purposefully daft for kicks.
posted by nadawi at 9:55 PM on November 13, 2011 [12 favorites]


Speaking of vanishing acts, does anyone know what happened to nola? I know he had been participating a lot less since his daughter was born, but it looks like he just disabled his account out of the...em, well, you know.
posted by Roman Graves at 10:00 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


I feel like the peremptory poster's request thing should pretty much be a one-time thing, and that this post shouldn't have been deleted.
posted by grouse at 10:04 PM on November 13, 2011


Come on Art you gotta get tougher than this. If we give up, the pooperists win.

Late to the discussion but I would like to highlight this as the most important comment I've read in this whole debacle thread.
posted by mannequito at 10:11 PM on November 13, 2011


I like Artw. I like pretty much anyone I've had a drink with, and I've had a few with him. He's one of the first people I met from Metafilter, and he helped to set the tone for how cool I generally think people here are.

I wish he wouldn't take these derails and petty grievances so seriously. That said, I'm not inclined to be annoyed with anyone because they care enough about this place to get upset by it. I hope he decides to come back.

Mods: following on from grouse, to what degree is poster's request accepted as a reason to kill a post? I understand in AskMe that the question basically belongs to the questioner, but if the general advice for MeFi posts is to make it and then detach, should the poster be able to ask for deletion? I'm not sure this has ever happened, but do you or would you turn down that request if the discussion had reached a certain critical mass, or can the poster always kill their own posts? I guess what I'm asking is, specifically on the blue, to what degree does the post belong to the poster versus to the community?
posted by Errant at 10:12 PM on November 13, 2011 [3 favorites]


Errant: the mods talk about that above. Also in the MeTa zarq linked.

Speaking of posts, when is someone going post about Skyrim, game is pretty damn good.

There was one a few days ago. And it's talked about a bit in this one.
posted by kmz at 10:16 PM on November 13, 2011


C'mon guys let's not make a mountie out of a mole person.
posted by fleacircus at 10:17 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Edogy: "There was a similar occurrence last Saturday"

I flagged the living shit out of comments in that thread. It was an interesting subject, but the comments were well derailed right out of the gate. While lots of folks are good at remember FIAMO but a lot of people have trouble with the concept of not saying anything in a thread if they don't have anything to add to the topic at hand. "Keep Quiet and Move On" should be both a poster and a motto. FIAMO or just KQAMO.

And I am completely confused abouts artw's desire for deletion with his thread. Especially if nothing was deleted! I know it's poster's choice, but still ...
posted by barnacles at 10:18 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


It fucking sucks when you spend a lot of time carefully laying out a bunch of links for awesome people to read and discuss, some deuchebag doesn't read any of them and latches on to some tiny detail or stupid misunderstanding, and then suddenly enough of these awesome people are talking about the misunderstanding the rest have no place in the discussion.

I agree with the general sentiment, but there was none of that in the deleted thread.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:33 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mods: following on from grouse, to what degree is poster's request accepted as a reason to kill a post?

Yeah, it's come up before, and we pretty much try to be a little accommodating to people having a really strong negative "oh this thing I made has gone to shit" sort of reaction to a post as a one-off thing while still not really liking the whole removing-posts-for-this-reason thing in general.

On the occasions that someone asks, we generally push back gently with a "you really sure about this?" sort of reality-check; there's been a number of times when we've basically talked someone down and had them feel more okay about just letting it go and walk away, and that's the end of it. Sometimes someone is feeling really strongly about it and we'll go ahead and nix it and emphasize that this kind of needs to be a one-off situation.

The folks who have actually asked more than once over any sort of short time frame I think we've had some sort of "this really needs to stop happening" discussion with, because, yeah, it's not really how we see the front page working.

Even at all that, how reasonable a "please kill my post" request is depends a lot on the context and we're more likely to consider it if it's a new post than if it's something that's really been going along and getting established. Having poster's regret a half an hour or an hour after posting is a lot different from a day later, and for a post that no one is responding to is different from one that's getting a lot of response already. It's pretty much a weird situation no matter what, but it's a lot weirder when someone's poster's regret butts up against the community interacting significantly with the post and we've had one or two fairly frustrating discussions in the past with someone not seeming to appreciate that in the course of their personal investment in the idea of their post going away.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:38 PM on November 13, 2011


It isn't actually necessary to resign one's membership to take a break from this place

One of the best things about not posting interesting things is that I've taken several breaks from this site, but nobody notices, and I'm certainly not going to point it out.

Having said that: even I (who can be quite oblivious) have noticed that there's a lot of instant negativity going on, starting a few months ago, with some people latching onto a poorly-formatted post, or a spelling error, or an incorrectly-used word, to be snarky and nasty. Like there's suddenly a bunch of kids hanging out in the corner, waiting for someone to be earnest or sincere so that they can jump out and make them feel like crap.

Six months ago, the dobbs thread would have surprised me. Today, not so much. It will be interesting to see what the future brings.
posted by davejay at 10:43 PM on November 13, 2011 [11 favorites]


I don't think this is new. I'm noticing it more, but I think I'm just noticing it more. For instance, look at this thread on Jordan Morris pranking MTV from back in 2008. The amount of shitting on the thread is almost overwhelming, and I can't really locate any reason for it. I mean, sure, people might not like or understand the value of the particular prank, and that's their prerogative. But both "I like it" and "I don't like it" are conversational dead ends -- they're just expressions of opinions, and I don't take issue with people's opinion. I also don't care about it -- somebody else's opinion only has meaning to me if it then leads to other discussion, and it does this by being explained. Mencken once aid that "criticism is prejudice made plausible," but you only make it plausible by explaining yourself. That leads to conversation.

Comments that are just the equivalent "meh" or "this sucks" are, in my opinion, just threadshitting. They just express that the subject of the thread is so beneath your consideration that all that is required is to express contempt. And there is a lot of this online -- there is en entire online culture that seems to believe that whoever is the fastest at expressing the most contempt wins. And it can suck the life out of a thread before the thread even gets a chance to start. But I always hope there will be less of it here on MetaFilter, because we're supposed to be people who are actually here for the conversation, and not the sort of drive-by machines of derision that seem to population most comments sections you find online.

It gets exhausting, and it's easy to get supersensitized to it.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:55 PM on November 13, 2011 [17 favorites]


I've been asking myself if my comment will actually contribute anything to the thread before I post. If my comment is shaping up to be just a "Killroy was here", then I'll try not to post it.
posted by arcticseal at 11:02 PM on November 13, 2011 [2 favorites]


cortex said butts
posted by mannequito at 11:31 PM on November 13, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ahahahahah Jordan on that horrible MTV show omg ahahaha its better than Shakespeare....thank you man!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:31 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought it was a decent article, and I was a little perplexed at the response to it here until I realised the missing context: Gervais has been an utter dick lately, and encouraged the dickery of many more people. You can guess how it went from the setup: Gervais, a popular comedian with an awful lot of followers on Twitter, starts using word that is slur for people with Down's syndrome; disability activists take issue; famous person hits back. Cue Twitterstorm against said activists, including lots of gleeful insulting of said activists' disabled kids, and Gervais hovering over it like a benevolent god, loftily claiming that "mong" doesn't mean anything any more and that it's just a funny word. Eventually, he relents, pulls the least convincing mea culpa in the world, and "realises" that he may have been being a bit mean.

All of this coincides with the launch of his new series.

Gervais is a prat.
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 1:17 AM on November 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


Mefi without comics posts becomes a less fun place for me. Because of the situation. I'm in, I don't honestly have a lot of people around me who are into the same things I am. This community has become kind of a fallback for me, because there is a pretty damn wide user base, and some of you happen to like stuff I like, and you post about it, and I find out stuff is otherwise never find out about. There are a small handful of members out there who, when I see their name on an FPP, I know I'm going to click the links. Artw was one of those (except for Dr. Who, not a follower) who I knew I'd see something interesting from. I hope he comes back, although I distinctly remember writing much the same to him in another one of these recently.

That said, there is a ton of stuff that doesn't interest me. It's all over the front page. And if I'm not into it? I scroll down and check out something else. Metafilter isn't only here for my amusement, or anyone single member with a user number if two or higher. I know it's said to death, but seriously, I here enough in my daily life how uninterested people are in everything. If the post isn't your cup of tea, that's fine, there's probably something that's just perfect for you elsewhere on the page. Relax, and spend your energy talking about what you like, rather than getting yourself worked up in addition to shitting on someone else and their post.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:26 AM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'm pretty sure other people are allowed to make posts about comics if they want to.
posted by joannemullen at 1:39 AM on November 14, 2011


ArmyofKittens: The title didn't do it any favours, either - which I think is probably not Lee, but a subeditor looking for a title which encapsulates the piece, when part of Lee's schtick is that his points unwind slowly and periphrastically. However, the sub needs something which will make sense not just at the top of the page but on the front page of guardian.co.uk, so there's a different need to be serviced.

That said, I'd guess that Gervais isn't planning to make a series (and movie) out of his Derek Noakes character, just as he presumably isn't planning to have Karl Pilkington cycle around the world with Warwick Davies in his front basket - he's just spinning out quotables to promote "Life's Too Short".
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:43 AM on November 14, 2011


I don't think this is new. I'm noticing it more, but I think I'm just noticing it more.

It isn't very new. Look what I found!

I think it's actually somewhat better than it's been, probably because moderators are standing by with delete buttons to smite preemptive mehs before they meh up the place.

(Also where I advance the now-conventional theory that the first few comments are crucial for setting the mood for the thread – probably others picked up on that before I did, but that's how I found the above thread)
posted by furiousthought at 2:15 AM on November 14, 2011


I like dobbs and I liked that particular link / post (enough to comment from my phone which I normally hate doing). I hope he comes back.

AFAIK, he's gone on a long hiatus at least once before. I was looking for that guy with the encyclopaedic knowledge of postrock, and - WTF? - he'd pushed the Big Red Button. No clear reason I could see why, but I was glad when he showed up again later.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:25 AM on November 14, 2011


"Postrock." Now I've heard it all.

I think once a thread is 5 or 6 comments old, it belongs to the membership, not the OP.
posted by spitbull at 3:24 AM on November 14, 2011


I'm still in favor of there being a rule where pushing the big red button means you're gone for a year, no exeptions. It's just a little too attention-grabby for my tastes.

I agree. For Christ's sake, if you're pissed off with Mefi, for whatever reason, you can just walk away. Stop looking at it. Stop posting. Pressing a special button that actually closes your account is a way of drawing attention to the fact that you're mad as hell and you're just not going to take it any more. Oh, but you're still going to check back for a few days to see if anyone notices and posts an "OMG xxx has gone, I miss him, he was so cool, why oh why did he have to leave?" MeTa, aren't you?

Pushing the button is just a way of drawing a little bit of attention to your flounce. It's petulant. It isn't necessary. You want to leave, then just leave.
posted by Decani at 3:41 AM on November 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


TBH, I find the regular histrionics about how histrionic disabling one's account is rather more histrionic than the histrionics involved in clicking a link to create a reversible hiatus on posting ability.

That said, if anyone wants a Big Red Button, it is available here.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:49 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


For the record, I only ever asked for a post of mine to be deleted that one time.

Unless I've forgotten doing so on another occasion?
posted by zarq at 4:08 AM on November 14, 2011


furiousxgeorge: Artw is awesome, but he has been here and gone before, let him do his thing and check him out on Twitter if you miss him too much.

Yes, do that. You know, I don't check Twitter, it's not my thing, but I knew 100% that I'd find this type of post-account disabling cowardly shit on there.
posted by gman at 4:15 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, isn't that a bucket of cocks calling a parade of pricks self-important.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:21 AM on November 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


For me, to "just walk away" isn't really an option*, usually not even when I have a really heavy workload. Should I ever end up having to do exclusively other things, I would probably also just quit.
I have sensed something of the same dynamic in a few of the people who took a timeout recently (anyone remember Baby_Balrog? Typically not at all "mad as hell" at the time of closure). To simply "stop posting" (what about "stop reading"?) is more difficult for some than for others.

(*Heh, just waiting for someone to suggest therapy...sure.)
posted by Namlit at 4:23 AM on November 14, 2011


DTMetaFilterA!
posted by zarq at 4:25 AM on November 14, 2011


I'd disable my account if I thought anyone would notice.
posted by unSane at 4:26 AM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


curse you, villanelles at dawn ;)
posted by zarq at 4:40 AM on November 14, 2011


You are too much for me Metafilter, you sonofawhoreson bitch! I wish I knew how to quit you.
posted by crunchland at 4:57 AM on November 14, 2011


muah ha ha
posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:59 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's complained in MeTa when people threadshit and if I remember correctly, once complained when a post of his received no comments.

I can see why people do it. I posted about a PC game, and like 3 of the first 10 comments were people complaining about or ranting about the fact that it's not on Mac, and then when I responded back to it, someone bitched that I was posting too much in the thread.

The mods cleaned it up eventually, but goddamn it, you people are annoying sometimes.
posted by empath at 5:35 AM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


You know, I don't check Twitter, it's not my thing, but I knew 100% that I'd find this type of post-account disabling cowardly shit on there.

What the fuck is your problem dude? Maybe YOU need to take a break from metafilter.
posted by empath at 5:37 AM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


> Gervais ... starts using word that is slur

Which might be why Lee described him as “brave”.
posted by scruss at 5:37 AM on November 14, 2011


Something else interesting has happened on that blog and I'm going to make a follow up post

Just FYI, an updated post being like "This blog has new content" isn't really what FPPs are usually for. I'm sorry the big post you originally made didn't go the way you wanted, but additional "here's more stuff from that blog I posted about last month" isn't really going to work out okay here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:38 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


empath: What the fuck is your problem dude?

I thought it was pretty clear from what I wrote in this thread - people who repeatedly freak out, disable their account here, and then use another site to play victim and bash other users. Well, that, and depresso MeFites who've obviously never regained their serotonin.
posted by gman at 5:48 AM on November 14, 2011


Well, that, and depresso MeFites who've obviously never regained their serotonin.

WTF?
posted by shakespeherian at 5:49 AM on November 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


gman, I think you might want to think about what you're contributing to the site right now aside from pointless grar and general shittiness.
posted by empath at 6:05 AM on November 14, 2011


You know, after making a post having been encouraged to ignore the threadshitters and people who don't read links, it is super discouraging to have a post deleted by the mods having not read the link. The FPP is more than a simple "This blog has new content" a month later. We are mentioned in the second sentence, the new content is particularly notable on a major blog mefites seem to love and its about us. My understanding has been that the blue is for awesome things on the internet that other mefites are unlikely to find on their own but find really interesting and ideally provoke discussion. That post meets and exceeds those criteria, but I suppose only if you bother to actually click the damn link.

It can't go in an open thread, because the thread is closed, and you guys have told us several dozen times that if something new happens related to a post that is doesn't belong on Meta. So I posted it to the blue to not make you guys have to say it a several-dozenty-first time.

I'm really starting to get why Artw and dobbs are so upset.
posted by Blasdelb at 6:11 AM on November 14, 2011


ArtW is obviously feeling frustrated and is taking time off. I suspect some other users would also benefit from doing the same.
posted by panboi at 6:15 AM on November 14, 2011


It's pretty thin update-filter, and we're mentioned only in passing.

So once again, and in advance of the inevitable "deletions are out of control" grar: Good deletion taz, don't sweat it.
posted by Gator at 6:16 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


you guys have told us several dozen times that if something new happens related to a post that is doesn't belong on Meta. So I posted it to the blue to not make you guys have to say it a several-dozenty-first time.

You linked to three new posts in the same blog that you linked to in a post that had just closed today. Your last post had 20+ links to that blog. While some blogs get linked here frequently, they're most not personal-type blogs. Linking to the same blog that you made a post about a month previously is solidly in "double" territory. If you were making a post about it because it mentioned MetaFilter, that probably needs to happen over here, if at all. And I wouldn't suggest that because it's really a passing "Hey they linked to me" thing. We know you and we know there's nothing sketchy here, but linking to the same blog twice in a month [and being grouchy about a deletion] is also putting us in the "Is this some spammy nonsense?" territory as well.

So, to recap: "A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others."

Since you made a huge post about the blog last month, we're really not hitting the "most people haven't seen it before" bar. If you want to have ongoing discussions with people about different posts on the same blog, you'll need to do that elsewhere.

that, and depresso MeFites who've obviously never regained their serotonin.

You are not really helping the cause here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:25 AM on November 14, 2011


If you read this tweet from artw, and then notice who made the first comment in the deleted thread, his rationale becomes a lot clearer.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:56 AM on November 14, 2011


I really, really, really, don't get what the deal is between artw and bp. Like, I get that they've sparred in threads a lot over apple stuff, but that feud is so weirdly personal. (And bp didn't even threadshit in that thread, that was perfectly on topic).
posted by empath at 7:00 AM on November 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Is this really how you want to represent yourself to this community, gman? From my perspective, it seems like your getting some especially nasty parting shots in at a member of the community who has taken some time off. If you have a personal issue with him, perhaps it would be in the best interest of the broader community if you allowed it to remain personal.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:04 AM on November 14, 2011


I'm starting to feel like there's something deeply wrong with our community. It may be an expression of how fucked up the world is in general these days, but there seems to be little but ill-feeling lately, punctuated by emotional outpourings which, while positive occurences, seem to me a sign of the out-of-kilter emotional rhythm of this place. I have now started avoiding many, many types of threads on the Blue because I know that they will inevitably devolve into vituperative arguments. MetaTalk has now become a forever-rolling festival of interpersonal sniping and kettle-pot-calling. This isn't entirely new, for example, one particular user was trailed for years by other users harassing him, though that has mostly stopped. MeFites have had rivalries and gotten on each other's nerves as long as this place has existed, but it's never felt this all-pervasive before.

I'm pretty much a lifer. Recently I made a comment that could be interpreted in such a manner that I was thinking of leaving the site, though that was not the meaning I intended, but some people read it that way. Because of that I started to think about whether I could leave MetaFilter and I realized that my life would be a lot emptier without it. I realized that I'm probably never going to leave. That said, people have left lately that meant a lot to me as MeFites, and their reasons for leaving resonated strongly with me. I do believe that MetaFilter as a community will turn around and reach an equilibrium between bases and acids, but right now it can be painful to read the site. I'm not someone who can read people's words and not react to them on some emotional level. My brain just doesn't function that way. When I read an arguement between two people, it affects me. If it's two or more MeFites that I have met and respect and like as people and MeFites, it can be almost physically agonizing. To experience that over and over again, week in and week out, is making me question the amount of time I spend reading and commenting here.

I don't know exactly what can be done to make things better, though I'm positive that stronger moderation is not the key. I think that, as a community, we need to police ourselves better. Not by shouting at each other, but by talking earnestly and reasonably to each other as equals. I thought about making a MetaTalk post about it, but the thought of that turning into an angry discussion full of recrimination and invective was too sad to even bother crying over. Who knows, though, I may get desperate enough one day to risk that. The holidays are coming, after all :)
posted by Kattullus at 7:05 AM on November 14, 2011 [36 favorites]


Bunny Ultramod: From my perspective, it seems like your getting some especially nasty parting shots in at a member of the community who has taken some time off. If you have a personal issue with him, perhaps it would be in the best interest of the broader community if you allowed it to remain personal.

Well, you certainly are entitled to an opinion, but you are completely and utterly incorrect. I don't believe I've ever had an issue with Artw, aside from that spolier stuff a bit ago, and I'm not even sure I really expressed it at the time. Can you expand on what you think are "especially nasty parting shots"? In my first comment, I explained a pattern that I dislike, elaborated slightly in my second comment, displayed something else I don't like in my third comment, and then reiterated my first comment in my last one. I've spoken with him quite a few times times via MeMail about comic related stuff.
posted by gman at 7:14 AM on November 14, 2011


If Artw really thinks there are "trolls with mod protection", he is not thinking straight. I attribute this to driving his FPP-creation engine too hard. I trust he will return after the temperature returns to normal and look forward to same.
posted by Trurl at 7:14 AM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I don't believe I've ever had an issue with Artw,

You seem to now.

Can you expand on what you think are "especially nasty parting shots"?

"depresso MeFites who've obviously never regained their serotonin."
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:18 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I want Mod protection.

And placement at the GOOD safe house, not that hole in the hole in Reno.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:20 AM on November 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


If Artw really thinks there are "trolls with mod protection", he is not thinking straight.

No, he's thinking quite clearly.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 7:20 AM on November 14, 2011


Bunny Ultramod: "depresso MeFites who've obviously never regained their serotonin."

Yeah, about that... a) it was not directed at him, and b) I shouldn't have said it and I apologize for doing so.
posted by gman at 7:21 AM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


If there's anything good that's come out of this brouhaha, it's that I missed the link to the Rough Trade documentary the first time around. So, thanks, dobbs!
posted by octobersurprise at 7:24 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm still in favor of there being a rule where pushing the big red button means you're gone for a year, no exeptions. It's just a little too attention-grabby for my tastes.

I know I'm not the only person who takes site breaks without announcing them. Not everybody who disables is flouncing on their way out or making a statement. Some of us are busy and don't want to be tempted, or resetting our own inner headspace, or whatever. Please don't assume other people use the big red button the way you do, or attempt to make them/us do so.
posted by immlass at 7:28 AM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Ooh, is that about male prostitutes?

And so the cycle begins anew.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:29 AM on November 14, 2011


No, he's thinking quite clearly.

Then you are expressing a fairly serious charge against the mods - one for which I have seen no evidence in several years of heavy involvement with the site.
posted by Trurl at 7:33 AM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


No, he's thinking quite clearly.

I don't think Artw even said there are "trolls with mod protection" but pray tell, since you agree with the sentiment that such trolls exist: who are they, and what is your evidence?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:34 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The "mod protection" thing is, no, sorry, bullshit. It's hard to get banned around here, because we try to work with people and find some way to make shit work even when they have obnoxious habits or repeatedly mix it up with other people. One of the side effects of that is that That Guy that You Can't Stand—for any number of values of That Guy and You—probably hasn't been banned no matter how much you dislike them.

And people sometimes complain that that's the result of some weird mod favoritism thing. Specific people, on opposite sides of a given grudgematch, will assert this about one another: x thinks y is only not banned because we're in their pocket; y thinks the same thing about x. Somehow we're simultaneously favoring one over the other and vice versa. Seen from ten thousand feet, it's ridiculous, but people see things through their own personal lenses and so this stuff happens and we get grief for it.

The practical reality is that, again, it's hard to get banned. For better or for worse, that's how Metafilter works. I think most of the time it's for the better: I don't want this to be a place where a little bit of poor behavior or a bad day is enough to get a person booted from the community if they're otherwise willing to make an effort or want to be here for some reason.

But it does mean some weird goddam "why aren't you punishing user x to my satisfaction" situations.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:38 AM on November 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm honestly not upset about the deletion, really I'm not, I still think it was worthwhile but I do wish I had slept on the post and made it more clear this morning. I'm upset because there is a dynamic of people not reading the links that is so bad here it has been empirically demonstrated that we're worse than facebook, and I'm upset to see mods seeming to participate in it.

"You are not really helping the cause here."

That's not my cause, you must have me confused for someone else.

"We know you and we know there's nothing sketchy here, but linking to the same blog twice in a month [and being grouchy about a deletion] is also putting us in the "Is this some spammy nonsense?" territory as well."

Spammy? Seriously? I've participated in this site in demonstrable good faith for nearly two years making meaningful contributions, and I'm being put on notice that I look spammy because I think an appreciated blog we did terrible at the first time around can be interesting a second time in different way when they talk about how us? I hope you can understand how now I really am feeling grouchy.
posted by Blasdelb at 7:40 AM on November 14, 2011


Why do I have the sudden urge of stabbing my eye with a plastic fork right about now?
posted by wheelieman at 7:42 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't want this to be a place where a little bit of poor behavior or a bad day is enough to get a person booted from the community

But if all it takes is one bad day to turn into The Joker, this is a dangerous precedent.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:43 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


...we did terrible at the first time around...

I had no idea you were Judge Judy and executioner on this. I think we'd be a lot worse off as a community if people who thought their FPP didn't go over well took it upon themselves to shove it down our throat until we got the reaction they beleive it "deserves."
posted by griphus at 7:45 AM on November 14, 2011


Looking back, it seems ArtW always had something lousy to say about anything I posted. The fella kinda keeps me honest.

Can we have him back now? As long as I get call him Yang from here on out.

That works for me.
posted by timsteil at 7:46 AM on November 14, 2011


it has been empirically demonstrated that we're worse than facebook,

I remember that and I still think it was the case that MeFites in general were quick to decide that it was a boring fucking Star Wars article and moved on, not that we we incapable of staying on a page for any length of time.
posted by Edogy at 7:48 AM on November 14, 2011


That's not my cause, you must have me confused for someone else.

I was responding to two people's comments at once.

Spammy? Seriously?

No. My point was that one of the reasons this sort of thing is not okay, even though there are some blogs that put out good content month after month after month is because sometimes people show up on MeFi to push their own agenda/blog because they are spammers. I thought I was clear in saying I know you are not a spammer. But if not: I know you are not a spammer. However, the thing that you did is a thing spammers sometimes do and it seemed worthwhile to point that out because it affects what our response is somewhat, and the community response.

And let me be clear: another link to that same blog is not okay even if you frame it differently. Please do not make another post to it in the near future.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:49 AM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


it has been empirically demonstrated that we're worse than facebook

I like stats analysis too but this is a Daily Mail-level overselling of what's actually there. There's a big, big pile of discussion to be had about those numbers if folks want to geek out about them some time but I would really not pull it out as some pat "ha this proves it" thing.

> "You are not really helping the cause here."

That's not my cause, you must have me confused for someone else.


That wasn't a response to you, it was a response to the person who it was quoting.

In any case, Blasdelb, you're not being put on notice for being a potential spammer. We know you're not. jessamyn's pointing out that people who don't know you may end up feeling like there's something weird going on when somebody ends up going back to the same not-super-visible blog for repeated posts because without any context that can be sort of a red flag.

I appreciate your grouchiness, but we didn't intentionally pull the rug out from under you on the repost thing.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:50 AM on November 14, 2011


I'm curious what theory Artw and Crabby have to explain how Blazecock - that is who they're darkly alluding to, yes? - gained his untouchability.

Does he have incriminating evidence of jessamyn defacing a library book or something?

Though in fairness, it was Going Rogue and so totally deserved it.
posted by Trurl at 7:58 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm curious what theory Artw and Crabby have to explain how Blazecock - that is who they're darkly alluding to, yes? - gained his untouchability.

I actually have zero interest in how people came to this conclusion that is obviously and factually wrong. It's like arguing with people who think the moon landings were a hoax, what's the point?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:03 AM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Yeah, it was pointed out to me Artw's "trolls with mod protection" comment was made on his Twitter feed. Which explains why I didn't see it.

I don't know who he nor Crabs are referring to, but I am getting really tired of the latter's cowardly drive-by site-shitting. Make your grievance plain already - name the names and put up the evidence.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:04 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, the melodrama is thick in here today, isn't it?
posted by crunchland at 8:05 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Everyone already knows the moon landing was faked.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:05 AM on November 14, 2011


what's the point?

The point for me is that Crabs has made this accusation in the past without having the spine to follow through. It's tiresome. If this is a real, actual concern, then hash it out with something concrete to back it up. Present the evidence, in the interests of preserving the site he finds so lacking. Otherwise what other motivation is there for such remarks?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:09 AM on November 14, 2011


Oh, the melodrama is thick in here today, isn't it?

I am imagining a quick pan to Bette Davis bursting into tears after every third comment.
posted by griphus at 8:18 AM on November 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Take that back shakespeherian, you dirty little cosmonaut.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:21 AM on November 14, 2011


The point for me is that Crabs has made this accusation in the past without having the spine to follow through.

Yeah, his modus operandi is to lob one-sentence firebombs into a thread and reappear at random, dropping further zen-like turdlets without actually engaging with anyone. It's best not to engage with him.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 8:26 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Bette Davis didn't really burst into tears, though, did she? Maybe you're thinking of Susan Sarandon.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:27 AM on November 14, 2011


If the moon landing wasn't faked, then what's The Shining about?
posted by shakespeherian at 8:33 AM on November 14, 2011 [14 favorites]


x thinks y is only not banned because we're in their pocket; y thinks the same thing about x.

"Mod protection" can refer to things besides banning.

I know when I used the term "mod coddling" a couple weeks back, banning anybody was not at all what I intended. I tried to be clearer in follow-up comments that I was referring to commentary by the mods that tended to (unfairly in my opinion) equate unequal levels of poor behavior. But seeing how artw's phrase is also being interpreted as a call for banning, maybe I could have been clearer still.

So, towards that goal: moderation here may appear to take sides to some users and those users may make note of it. If such notes do not explicitly call for someone to be banned, then assuming the user wants someone banned may not be the most fruitful way to consider the feedback.
posted by Dano St at 8:34 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


> If the moon landing wasn't faked, then what's The Shining about?

This sentence is brilliant and is deserving some kind of monetary compensation. Please name your favorite charity and I will donate in your name!
posted by Burhanistan at 8:39 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the moon landing wasn't faked, then what's The Shining about?

It explained how the island was formed and how Jacob came to be on. The polar bears are still a mystery though.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:42 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't mean to imply that banning is the only threshold at which we get confusing from-both-sides-simultaneously cross-accusations of coddling, it's just the logical conclusion and in no small number of cases the implied or explicit sticking point in the "why haven't you done something about user x" conversation.

I recall the specific thing you're talking about, Dano St, and at a certain point we just do not have the resources to parse every situation where more than one person's behavior is less-than-great to precisely weight how much of a pain each individual in that situation is being. That is, again, not coddling or special protection, it's just us wanting more to have a specific bad dynamic cut out on the quick than to make absolutely sure no one feels like they got a full wrist-slap when they were only half-responsible for the mess or whatever.

I feel you, it's frustrating to feel like you or someone you like is getting more than their share of trouble. But we're dealing with the entire community here and have only so much time we can devote to make sure each individual feels like they got justice. At a certain point we basically need people to recognize that and cut us some slack on the little perceived slights instead of assuming it's some kind of systemic regime of unfairness.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:42 AM on November 14, 2011


Kattullus is my hero.
posted by Namlit at 8:43 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Katullus paid you guys to make an example of what he was talking about, didn't he?

Otherwise, I'm getting a little nervous.

Just avoid the prophetic mode altogether, Katullus, please? We'll all be better off.
posted by jamjam at 8:47 AM on November 14, 2011


If the moon landing wasn't faked, then what's The Shining about?

If the moon is "millions of years old" as so-called scientists claim, why hasn't it evolved into an animal?
posted by panboi at 8:49 AM on November 14, 2011 [24 favorites]


If the moon is "millions of years old" as so-called scientists claim, why hasn't it evolved into an animal?

If the moon isn't an animal, how come it eats and the poops out the sun every day?
posted by kmz at 8:50 AM on November 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


I can't wait to show Jodie Foster this thread when we're on our date, you guys She's gonna love it!
posted by griphus at 8:55 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just doubt there are actually people who know a somewhat archaic term for a straight guy having gay sex form money but have never heard of the record company.

Well, first I think of the Canadian band (and favourited the now deleted "High School Confidential" comment/link, because that's what I first thought of, too).

Then the act.

The post description clears up any confusion, and for anyone to complain about how it was done is ridiculous, but so is the assumption that everybody knows record company X. Of course, the poster didn't assume that.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:59 AM on November 14, 2011


I have to say that "Daft for Kicks" really does sound like a band on Rough Trade.
posted by griphus at 9:07 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that, as a community, we need to police ourselves better. Not by shouting at each other, but by talking earnestly and reasonably to each other as equals.

Amen.

I too have noticed an off feeling here lately. And I know that whenever this sort of thing comes up, we pull out all sorts of historical examples which demonstrate that there has always been threadshitting, and friction between users, and people grousing about the mods, and I don't disagree that it's always been here, it just seems like it's been more prevalent lately.

It could be confirmation bias on my part, but I've noticed that my use of the site isn't what it was even from earlier this year. There are times when the whole endeavor just seems too exhausting to be enjoyable.

If I were to try to pin it down, I suspect it'd be that there are a small minority of very vocal folks who are frustrated or dissatisfied with... something here, and that they are setting the tone for some of less frequent commenters. But that's just me guessing.

I don't know how to fix it, But I'm going to try to start being a positive voice here. There is an awful lot more about this place that I love than that I'm irritated by, and hopefully people being reasonable will help shift things back to a more embracing tone.

At the very least, hopefully it'll help put my personal perspectives of the place back on track.
posted by quin at 9:16 AM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Anyone up for a MeFi General Assembly? *Twinkle Fingers*
posted by wheelieman at 9:23 AM on November 14, 2011


Kattullus: I don't know exactly what can be done to make things better, though I'm positive that stronger moderation is not the key. I think that, as a community, we need to police ourselves better.

The self policing thing is all but dead. Too bad, I liked the idea, but there we are.

quin: It could be confirmation bias on my part, but I've noticed that my use of the site isn't what it was even from earlier this year.

Not confirmation bias exactly. I find myself feeling the same way, but for me I find it is pretty hard to distinguish site changes from personally growing up (or growing old :P).
posted by Chuckles at 9:28 AM on November 14, 2011


MeTa is MeFi's general assembly. No "twinkle fingers", but you can post comments in it if you like. As you just did.

Would you care to elaborate on your objection?
posted by nangar at 9:29 AM on November 14, 2011


I think once a thread is 5 or 6 comments old, it belongs to the membership, not the OP.

I like that it's a judgment call on the part of the mods as already described in this thread. If the thread's not going anywhere positive anyway, why not just kill it? It's not as if it happens much. Personally, it's never even occurred to me to request a deletion, though I seem to recall a few occasions where I've been a bit frustrated at some of the frivolous blather that's been posted ...

Or as empath so subtly put it a while back ...

but goddamn it, you people are annoying sometimes.

But so am I, I guess. Call it community.
posted by philip-random at 9:33 AM on November 14, 2011


ArtW has recently stuck in my mind as someone who can't let something go when disagreed with in comment threads; I don't know if my exposure to him is unlucky or if he's like that in general. A little fresh-air time to clear his head may help. I know it helps me when I let the internets get inside my brain too far.
posted by aught at 9:35 AM on November 14, 2011


If the moon landing wasn't faked, then what's The Shining about?

Spousal and child abuse at the hand of a troubled husband/father. And the impact that the evils of previous generations have had on his actions.
posted by philip-random at 9:35 AM on November 14, 2011


You're thinking of Earth Girls Are Easy, philip-random.
posted by griphus at 9:40 AM on November 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


whenever this sort of thing comes up, we pull out all sorts of historical examples which demonstrate that there has always been threadshitting, and friction between users, and people grousing about the mods

Yeah, and that's exactly it, right? Historical examples don't help a bit for solving what happened just now.

But the use of site-historical examples is not only unhelpful for solving an acute situation. The usefulness of the approach is further compromised by the fact that not everyone is a good historian: that requires research. Not only does one need to know exactly who said what (as opposed to 'remember vaguely', or its cousins), but one has to apply that distanced mindset that leads (as far as possible) to a faithful interpretation of the meaning of what has being said - in its proper context. And all this needs to happen even before we're talking about statistics over time and other filtering techniques. Not for the weak of heart, history.
posted by Namlit at 9:40 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


The self policing thing is all but dead.

I don't understand the point you're making here. You link to a one off example of a user being wrong and....what?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:43 AM on November 14, 2011


One thing that I keep in mind whenever I post something is the cliche, "Opinions are like assholes. Everyone's got one."

It seems like, as the site's userbase grows, more and more people are willing to shove their... opinions in your face.

I don't really know that there's too much one can do about it. It's the danger of having open commenting on a site. I think the best thing you can do is to make your posts as straight-forward as possible, leave out any padding links that might distract conversation, and not take it personally when a small minority of posters decide they'd rather discuss something mentioned tangentially in the FPP than contained in the actual link.
posted by codacorolla at 9:51 AM on November 14, 2011


I think the main question about community policing is to what extent the mods act on flags. We have already established there is no hard and fast flag count that will cause a comment to be deleted. The mods have also stated in the past that they ignore flags where the flagger seems to be axe-grinding. Flags are only an advisory tool, the mods can give them as little or as much weight as they want.

There is no immediate and visable effect on the thread when you flag something. It feels like you simply toss a note over the wall and hope someone sees it. It is no surprise people tend to simply battle it out in the thread. If nothing else they get to voice their displeasure.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:53 AM on November 14, 2011


But we're dealing with the entire community here and have only so much time we can devote to make sure each individual feels like they got justice.


       _==/          i     i          \==_
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   /XXXX\            |XXXXX|            /XXXX\
  |XXXXXX\_         _XXXXXXX_         _/XXXXXX|
 XXXXXXXXXXXxxxxxxxXXXXXXXXXXXxxxxxxxXXXXXXXXXXX
|XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX|
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|XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX|
 XXXXXX/^^^^"\XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX/^^^^^\XXXXXX
  |XXX|       \XXX/^^\XXXXX/^^\XXX/       |XXX|
    \XX\       \X/    \XXX/    \X/       /XX/
       "\       "      \X/      "      /"

posted by zarq at 9:53 AM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I had no idea you were Judge Judy and executioner on this.

I can't tell you how happy it would make me if that was an autocorrect.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 9:56 AM on November 14, 2011 [18 favorites]


"I had no idea you were Judge Judy and executioner on this. I think we'd be a lot worse off as a community if people who thought their FPP didn't go over well took it upon themselves to shove it down our throat until we got the reaction they beleive it "deserves.""

I hope you don't need to be Judge Judy to figure out that when a thread related to feminism gets derailed in the first comment by someone deciding the subject is feminist and thus a slut before declaring their intention to go hunting in bars for feminists to impose on. When 14 comments later someone asks for a do-over when no one has yet to talk about anything else, and at 19 comments a mod declares the thread to be sharted with no one yet talking about anything else, and 32 comments in no one has yet to talk about anything other than the sharting, that it might not be metafilter at its best. At least I hope you don't think the rank sexism of some and aggressive ignorance of the blog in so many of the other comments or the total derail are thing we can be proud of.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:57 AM on November 14, 2011


_==/ i i \==_
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|XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX|
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Yeah, but Batman was a shit superhero and comically unbelievable.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:57 AM on November 14, 2011


Man, I'm glad that real life has been so god-awfully busy and stressful lately that I haven't even noticed a lot of this, though the spirit of what Kattullus said really resonates. I would never leave MF either, but for a few months this summer and fall coming here sort of . . . made my heart hurt. Honestly, I've turned to reddit to get the media conversation that used to make me feel good about coming here. And it's helped a lot, actually, as has the aforementioned busy-ness.

But I really don't like things like rash thread deletions for almost no reason (and surely artw has made this request more than once or twice? I thought so at least) or conspiracy theories hashed out on twitter or all of this drama mongering. It's things like this that hurt. I always thought we were all smarter than that. Maybe I was wrong.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:57 AM on November 14, 2011


Meh.

Sorry he left? Sure.

Sorry the post was deleted? Not so much. It was single-link op-ed (which is a deletion reason right there, innit?) with a question mark at the end, and dude throws a hissy fit when people start answering the question with opposing opinions? Really? What in the world did he expect? "Oh no! They're being irreverent toward the wrong irreverent comedian!" Quelle tragedie.

Yeesh.
posted by Sys Rq at 9:58 AM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Greg Nog is taking a break :(
posted by mlis at 8:53 PM on November 13 [1 favorite +] [!]


Also, you guys, this is the important news here. Off to send Mr. Nog an email.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:59 AM on November 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


"In any case, Blasdelb, you're not being put on notice for being a potential spammer. We know you're not. jessamyn's pointing out that people who don't know you may end up feeling like there's something weird going on when somebody ends up going back to the same not-super-visible blog for repeated posts because without any context that can be sort of a red flag.

I'm sorry jessamyn if I'm a bit touchy this morning, I woke up early and made my coffee way to strong. I regret reacting so strongly to the spammy thing.

Though also wasn't just some sketchy obscure personal blog, it has already produced two FPPs that topped the popular favorites page for days. I still think the third could have been a functional and valuable post like the other two if allowed to bloom, and that the topic was unique and unrelated to the first two.

"I like stats analysis too but this is a Daily Mail-level overselling of what's actually there. There's a big, big pile of discussion to be had about those numbers if folks want to geek out about them some time but I would really not pull it out as some pat "ha this proves it" thing."

If it were alone sure, but you guys have already acknowledged how the lack of threaded comments and favorites inflation in early comments seems to contribute to aggressive ignorance or asshaberdashery dominating the beginning of threads. It seems like any thread where people have preconceived ideas about the topic, and at least as often what they imagine the topic to be, (eg: anything in science that relates to popsci, feminism or Star Wars) is vulnerable to none of the people commenting caring about or reading the links regardless of their value. I think the problem is systemic, in some part structural, and thus far insufficiently addressed. It feels like it is growing as the site scales larger and that it causing a large part of the frustration and dissatisfaction that seems to be making so many longtime users so much angstier. Again, I'm not upset at all about the deletion, I'm frustrated that even the mod team didn't seem to have gotten to the beginning of the second sentence before deleting the FPP or lecturing me in meta about it. The problem is contagious, I know I've been a part of it, I'll own and regret that, but its sad that it ruins so many threads.

At the moment I'm more frustrated at the internet than I think I should be so I'm going to take a walk before I have to meet with a student.
posted by Blasdelb at 10:01 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Greg Nog is taking a break :(
posted by mlis at 8:53 PM on November 13 [1 favorite +] [!]

Also, you guys, this is the important news here. Off to send Mr. Nog an email.


Amen, brother.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 10:03 AM on November 14, 2011


For me it's like some threads just turn into "two or more people are wrong on the internet" and we all know how that goes. Sure sometimes MeFi rises above the stereotype -- minds have actually been changed through discussion here, I know, I just don't have links handy -- but way more often it's just pot-shooting at each other from behind barrels of high explosives.

I really don't want MeFi to be a place where people go to "get their GRAR" on, and I think that's kind of been slight minor trend line lately. But there have also been some really awesome posts, so It's not like the whole thing is turning into [THESITEYOUHATE.com].

More mindfulness when posting would be great though.
posted by seanmpuckett at 10:06 AM on November 14, 2011


I'm glad Greg Nog is taking a break. My jealousy of his comments was reaching stroke levels. The throbbing behind my left eye is finally subsiding.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:11 AM on November 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


I don't understand the point you're making here. You link to a one off example of a user being wrong and....what?

I don't understand if you are asking in a one-off snark kind of way, or if you have really spent more than thirty seconds thinking about what I said.

In particular, I agree that it does look as if that user was wrong in that specific instance. Spot on with regards to the general point though. Yet we get that thread, with all the comments in it. Do you think self-policing is alive and well? Make a case for it. For my money, it was already dead 4 years ago.
posted by Chuckles at 10:13 AM on November 14, 2011


I really feel like 'threaded comments' needs to be revisited at some point. A lot of behavior that annoys people here would basically go away if we had it.
posted by empath at 10:16 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If it were alone sure, but you guys have already acknowledged how the lack of threaded comments and favorites inflation in early comments seems to contribute to aggressive ignorance or asshaberdashery dominating the beginning of threads.

I'll readily acknowledge that threads can easily get off to a worse start around here than they would on my ideal metafilter, yeah. But that's the scope of the comparison: mefi is often not the best it could be, people here are sometimes lazy or knee-jerky at the beginning of thread in a way that isn't primo grade-A mefi. And it's something I wish people would try harder not to lapse into and that we are trying to find ways to mitigate where possible.

Big stretch from that to a straight-across comparison to the comment section at Random Other Website, though. I think there's value in both looking at what can go better here and at the same time keeping it in perspective. I think it's totally useful to talk about what mefi is and can expect to be and what sort of things we can do collectively as members of this community to keep the rudder pretty straight, I just don't feel like appeals to questionable site traffic stats out of context is really a helpful way to go there.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:16 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand if you are asking in a one-off snark kind of way, or if you have really spent more than thirty seconds thinking about what I said.

It was an honest question. No idea why you assumed the worst and wanted to be nasty and dismissive, but if that's your choice, so be it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:18 AM on November 14, 2011


I really feel like 'threaded comments' needs to be revisited at some point. A lot of behavior that annoys people here would basically go away if we had it.

Threading doesn't make obnoxious behavior go away, it just hides it in branches, makes conversations-as-a-whole harder to have and to read, makes following a conversation as it develops in real time nightmarish to parse, and as a side effect means the same stupid derail can happen six times instead of once because there's a bunch of different sub-venues for it in the parent thread.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:18 AM on November 14, 2011 [34 favorites]


I've been feeling akin to what Kattullus stated above, then I run across a gem like this that makes me want to keep coming back.
posted by marxchivist at 10:25 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Threading doesn't make obnoxious behavior go away, it just hides it in branches, makes conversations-as-a-whole harder to have and to read, makes following a conversation as it develops in real time nightmarish to parse,

I think the problem is that 'conversations as a whole' are easy to have with 3-4 people participating. Not as easy with 100.
posted by empath at 10:28 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I really feel like 'threaded comments' needs to be revisited at some point. A lot of behavior that annoys people here would basically go away if we had it.

I'm annoyed by Meta discussions that devolve into 'threaded comments' back and forths. Seriously, wanting Metafilter to go threaded is ... I don't know, like wanting America to go metric. There may be great arguments for it ... but it ain't gonna happen.
posted by philip-random at 10:53 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If comments were threaded you wouldn't have to read them :p
posted by empath at 10:55 AM on November 14, 2011


The lack of threaded commenting is one of the main reasons that I love Mefi and can't stand trying to read other sites that have them.
posted by octothorpe at 10:56 AM on November 14, 2011 [21 favorites]


Threading doesn't make obnoxious behavior go away

It would be nice if obnoxious behaviour is what troubles MeFites but it rather seems to be disruptive behaviour (which might be obnoxious). The most obnoxious forms of threadshitting seem to have their days in the sun before being rightfully cast off, whether it be telling that girl that she needs to eat a sammitch, to "the hill you want to die on", to bingo cards and more. To me, those days signal a less accepting MeFi though one less conflict-filled, where we can decide a conversation or concern is over by posting recipes to show how much you need to go take a walk already.

I'll take conflicted MeFi over smug MeFi any day.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 10:56 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't know, like wanting America to go metric. There may be great arguments for it ... but it ain't gonna happen.

It's nothing like that.

America should go metric. There are only good reasons to do so, and none not to.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:57 AM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


then I run across a gem like this that makes me want to keep coming back.

He's kind of a gold mine like that. I don't know how the hell he finds the time to write his little novels, but I'm glad he does.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:58 AM on November 14, 2011


Threaded commenting has its place, but not on Metafilter. It would fundamentally change the site to the point where you might as well start it all anew with a different name.
posted by kmz at 11:01 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


For comments, we're a little more lenient if the comment removal is possible and trivial because we'd prefer that people who thought better of their ill-advised comments had an option for getting rid of them of their own volition and not ours.

Just curious (as I may have missed a whole herd of ponies on this) no plans at all to permit greater comment control by users? (links to old conversations appreciated as answers)
posted by infini at 11:02 AM on November 14, 2011


I don't know how the hell he finds the time to write his little novels, but I'm glad he does.

I kinda think he just keeps them in a journal and waits for a good comment thread for them to come up.
posted by empath at 11:04 AM on November 14, 2011


empath: "I think the problem is that 'conversations as a whole' are easy to have with 3-4 people participating. Not as easy with 100."

I wonder if that is why long threads usually devolve into a handful of people with occasional interjections from others. Once a central debate is established in a thread between a number of people, it feels really odd to try and pop in with anything that isn't related or more than just taking one side or another.
posted by charred husk at 11:09 AM on November 14, 2011


Devil's advocate thesis: Assholes improve feminist threads, provided that they don't totally derail things.

I'm a college dropout, and I don't have any formal gender studies training, aside from a single "man and woman in literature" class that I flunked. So when I joined MeFi last year, I hadn't ever thought critically about gender, feminism, queer theory, and male privilege -- most of those terms had been presented in scare quotes for the bulk of my life. I grew up in a household where, despite my parent's mostly gentle liberal beliefs, I would hear terms like "feminazi" thrown around casually.

Metafilter's weekly feminism threads dramatically affected the way I think about sexism, patriarchy, slut shaming, gender identity and all that business that I had previously dismissed as not my problem because I wasn't actively oppressing anyone. I'm still a really shitty feminist, but threads like Hi, Whatcha Reading? and this one about Gaslighting have strongly affected the way i think.

And you'll notice something in all of these threads -- the same characters always come up. Mostly its men and women who agree with the article and are sharing similar experiences, but there's also the guy who Takes It Personally -- "Hey, I'm not a rapist/wife-beater, and its not fair for all men to be painted with these broad strokes!" and the Troll with a comment like "Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to the club to find me some feminists!"

It seems counterintuitive, but both of those people are actually helpful to have in a discussion. Takes it Personally functions as the Socratic idiot -- I don't mean that in a mean way, just in the sense that somebody needs to say dumb things so that the wiser people can respond to them.

And the trolls? They give you a neutral perspective of what you look like when you say the same thing. You may think that you're being hilarious, but seeing somebody else pull the same stuff helps clear you of that notion.
posted by modernserf at 11:13 AM on November 14, 2011 [29 favorites]


Okay, I was going to ignore this, but Blasdelb, you're coming back to it over and over again.

I engaged with that discussion sincerely, with a valid point of view, and I did not shout or make personal attacks - I repeatedly stressed it was my carefully considered opinion; I responded to people asking me to clarify my position, trying to untangle any misunderstandings, and finally when I felt I had made my point as well as I could, I left the thread and continued a few discussions in MeMail.

I'm again sorry that isn't the way you wanted your post's thread to go, but I thoughtfully engaged in that discussion - isn't that what people want to see on MeFi? My point of view is not uncommon - it's expressed repeatedly in the comments of the blog post you tried to link this morning; you're not going to post thoughts like those without receiving thoughts like mine in response.

Worthwhile discussions often involve disagreement - otherwise you may well have an echo chamber. I am fine with your disagreement, but I am not okay with being shouted down and equated to "threadshitting" and "trolling" and "derailing", either in the original thread itself, or over here (I'm not even going to get into "rank sexism" and "aggressive ignorance of the blog", except to say that is profoundly untrue if you're applying them to me or my comments). You don't have to like my opinions, you don't have to agree with my opinions; but I do my level best to show everyone here respect and I'd like that respect in return.

I am not okay with the negativity I see on MeFi. I've made that point before.
posted by flex at 11:14 AM on November 14, 2011


To be clear flex, I saw absolutely no problem with your engagement in that thread, I'm really glad you were there and think you significantly raised the level of discussion. I just wish you had a better thread to engage with that wasn't the same derail we keep having over and over again.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:19 AM on November 14, 2011


Hey, cortex, it wasn't so hard for civil_disobedient to get banned, was it? He lobbed a schoolyard insult at a mod and boom!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:21 AM on November 14, 2011


If you seriously think everything was going great with C_D up until he made one shitty comment in a metatalk thread, I don't know where to start.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:25 AM on November 14, 2011 [14 favorites]


Crabby, you've made me almost want to side with BP in Apple threads. Then I remember that opposing viewpoints can both be wrong. Whew.
posted by kmz at 11:27 AM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


^ sigh,

Coming back at just this moment is making me realize the limitations in the universality of my model for why we seem to be getting so much more shitty towards each other.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:31 AM on November 14, 2011


Devil's advocate thesis: Assholes improve feminist threads, provided that they don't totally derail things.

Hmm... that's actually a good point. For me my formative experiences with learning about feminism, anti-racism, etc were mostly through LJ and the various fail debacles therein. Of course, the assholes involved are still assholes. It is nice though when Simplicio doesn't have to a constructed strawman, but is living and breathing in the thread.
posted by kmz at 11:36 AM on November 14, 2011


Thank you, Blasdelb. When I went back and looked at that thread again I saw some shouting/dismissiveness continued after I left - I suppose my sensitivity was up after that. That was a frustrating thread for me.

I too wish the level of discussion were higher, especially in feminism threads. I think that starts with less shouting and being more willing to flag derails/obvious trolling. But it also includes people being more willing to hear other POVs without knee-jerk dismissiveness.
posted by flex at 11:36 AM on November 14, 2011


He lobbed a schoolyard insult at a mod and boom!

It would be terrific if you would, at any point, decide to substantively engage this community or the mods in anything but an ongoing stream of petty insults. C_D was an ongoing low level problem that suddenly turned into a high level very visible problem and that was sort of that. Want to talk to us more about it without people in MeTa inspecting your every word? Feel free to hit us up on the contact form.

no plans at all to permit greater comment control by users?

The edit window idea ebbs and flows as something that seems like a good idea but other than that, no not really. The number of people who ask us to remove or edit comments for them is actually quite small and the subset of them who do it enough for it to be problematic is probably in the single digits. Implementing something new to deal with this not-really-a-problem isn't in the pipeline. I'm aware that there may be more people for whom such a change would be welcome, but we're not really seeing people clamoring for it, but it's something we keep an eye on.

And honestly I think the problem with a lot of feminism threads is that they're posed as "Here... educate yourself!" sorts of things, where remaining sort of clueless about the topic is a non-option and people who sort of stumble into them and ask what they may not know are the same old questions get sort of pilloried and then defensive. And some people who are pre-defensive about the topic show up to be jerks and instead of getting ignored people are like "Okay it's ON" and a little pre-offensive. And this is me speaking as a feminist and someone who wishes this sort of basic education wasn't really necessary, but I think people on all sides could try to make the experience of these threads better with the understanding that this is a large community that is not all liberal arts graduates, or Americans or all the other stuff that may have made these things easier to discuss in a more homogenous setting. I think the wide range of opinions here is often terrific, but Feminism 101 threads sort of rub me the wrong way because unless they're saying something that people think would be interesting to the community at large here [and I feel the same way about political threads and this is my personal not-really-mod opinion] they can seem alternately patronizing or "hooray for our side!" in ways that make for strained conversation, being realistic about the userbase here.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:42 AM on November 14, 2011 [14 favorites]


We're heading into American Thanksgiving and Christmas. For a lot of people, IRL emotions and schedules can be close to the breaking point due to family + social + work pressures + social expectations to be in Seasonal Happy Happy Joy Joy mode. Often triggers a huge GRAR uptick around here. I'm hoping things will settle down some once we're past the holiday season.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:42 AM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Devil's advocate thesis: Assholes improve feminist threads, provided that they don't totally derail things.

I appreciate that people come into threads with different levels of knowledge, and with different experiences. But I don't think assholes, per se, improve feminist threads. Assholes tend to come into threads with pretty solidly formed, if entirely uneducated, opinions, and try to shout other people down.

My feeling is, if you're in a thread about a subject you don't know an awful lot about, it's better to listen than to talk, and it's better to ask questions than give answers. I read a lot of threads I don't participate in, because I enjoy learning something knew. But feminist threads, among others, frequently seem to invite the opinions, but not the engagement or the curiosity, of the uneducated.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 11:48 AM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


America should go metric. There are only good reasons to do so, and none not to.

Yeah, you're right.

I should've gone with analogy B. Which was, "wanting things to go threaded is like being English and showing up in the Americas wanting everyone to drive on the left side of the road".

Except that doesn't work either. That makes it just look like an either/or thing.

Non-threaded comments are intrinsic to Metafilter. They're a huge part of what's good about it and, inevitably, a small part of what isn't. But I'll take the huge, thanks, suffer the small.

The same thing goes for the edit-window option. Yeah, the vast majority of us wouldn't abuse it, but a few would. And they'd get called it on it. It would go Meta. Maybe they'd admit it. Maybe they wouldn't. And so on. A few embarrassing typos serving as reminders to PREVIEW seems an easier choice.
posted by philip-random at 12:12 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


they can seem alternately patronizing or "hooray for our side!" in ways that make for strained conversation

Sidedness is a problem. Not intrinsically, but time and again, I see (having learned my lesson, no longer taking the bait) posters question some, perhaps minor, aspect of a claim that's rolled up in one "side" and a whole metric shit-tonne of assumption and criticism falls on the poster's head, that they must be taking the opposite side and the whole of its poitics, that if they don't belong to the other side they need to stay on message, that they're participating in derails (which is possible, but the attack usually draws far more air from the thread). It's corrosive. And again, (smug) unity is the problem, not the solution. This is not a characteristic unique to "feminism threads" but any of the particularly hot-to-handle topics on MeFi. A lot of MeFites would seemingly rather make enemies than less-than-100%-supportive friends.

My feeling is, if you're in a thread about a subject you don't know an awful lot about, it's better to listen than to talk, and it's better to ask questions than give answers.

I have banned myself from all discussion of topics in which I have professional knowledge because the popular view is often completely out to lunch (in my field, and so I suspect, in others). I think I decided this when, in a discussion of Canadian law, people were more inclined to take the word of a lawyer from Illinois, at which point I started linking to caselaw and then said to hell with it. At this point I am deeply suspicious of all MeFi discussions that are not entirely about matters of opinion.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:15 PM on November 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


And honestly I think the problem with a lot of feminism threads is that they're posed as "Here... educate yourself!" sorts of things, where remaining sort of clueless about the topic is a non-option and people who sort of stumble into them and ask what they may not know are the same old questions get sort of pilloried and then defensive

Yeah, basically, this is how feminism and other similar threads on metafilter always go. There's a significant portion of users on metafilter that have taken women's studies, or just generally have gone through the whole university sensitivity and diversity thing and are coming from that same background, and they approach it as a university class where people are in it to get credit and get educated. There's an expectation of who has the power to shape that kind of conversation. In a classroom environment, offering an alternative opinion is disruptive and rude, and would be shouted down or dismissed (and rightfully so). On a message board, people expect to be able to debate on equal terms.

My feeling is, if you're in a thread about a subject you don't know an awful lot about, it's better to listen than to talk, and it's better to ask questions than give answers.

Imagine if you said that about threads marxism, or anarchism, or libertarianism, or objectivism, or any other -ism that gets discussed on the site. Imagine if every time Ayn Rand came up, a bunch of Ron Paul fans took it as an opportunity to educate people on the evils of the Federal Reserve, and took a condescending, patronizing attitude about how they're 'educating the ignorant.' It's not always the case that people who disagree with feminists (or anybody else) are wrong, or bad people, or misinformed. Sometimes they are fully informed of the issues and just have a different viewpoint.
posted by empath at 12:17 PM on November 14, 2011 [13 favorites]


I think Artw just had a straw land on the back of his camel. But I can't be too sad coz even though he's a good poster, his self-imposed timeout led to these nuggets:

If the moon is "millions of years old" as so-called scientists claim, why hasn't it evolved into an animal?

One must be brave to make a FPP to metafilter, but one must be braver still to staple your penis to a wolf.

In a lot of ways, Metafilter is like a family Christmas.

posted by Sebmojo at 12:20 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have banned myself from all discussion of topics in which I have professional knowledge because the popular view is often completely out to lunch

That's a shame - I can see the infuriating aspects of being shouted down by the uninformed, but one of the best things about MeFi is the wide range of background and knowledge in the users.
posted by bitmage at 12:24 PM on November 14, 2011


Imagine if you said that about threads marxism, or anarchism, or libertarianism, or objectivism, or any other -ism that gets discussed on the site.

You're making a weak analogy there. People who participate in Ayn Rand threads are often quite familiar with her work and philosophy, for example. But feminist threads often involve explaining people that there is such a thing as privilege.

But, yes, in general, in all of those threads, it would be better if people who didn't know what they were talking about took it as an opportunity for self-education, rather than as a chance to spew unlearned opinions. In general, the whole world would be better if people actually took the time to know what they are talking about.

And please don't mistake this as a complaint against people who have divergent opinion. My opinions significant diverge from many MeFites on many topics, and I am fine with disagreement, as long as that disagreement is rooted in different opinions about shared facts.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:26 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not always the case that people who disagree with feminists (or anybody else) are wrong

I get what you're saying empath, but I don't think you're responding to what was said. The point is if you're someone who doesn't know a lot about a topic, listening to other people talk about it can sometimes be helpful. I think the rest of what you said was spot on.

In this way feminism becomes a loaded topic here because there are people who may not know much about feminism and who don't know that they don't know a lot about it [everyone has a gender, everyone has experience with people of their and other genders, everyone probably has a working definition of feminism whether or not it agrees with other people] relative to people who studied it in college or whatever. Racism is the same way. You can have a working definition of racism that is very different from someone else's depending on your background, education, and personal position in the world. That doesn't mean that anyone is wrong necessarily, but I think sometimes people have the expectation that they will be discussing a topic with other people of their background or presumptions here and that's just not going to happen in many cases. And when people get into the perennial "Racism is/is not about power in addition to race..." discussion, I sometimes wonder why they want to talk about such difficult topics here, because these sorts of "okay let's talk about $_TOPIC 101" are always going to be part of a community with a constant influx of new and mouthy users.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:26 PM on November 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah, basically, this is how feminism and other similar threads on metafilter always go. There's a significant portion of users on metafilter that have taken women's studies, or just generally have gone through the whole university sensitivity and diversity thing and are coming from that same background, and they approach it as a university class where people are in it to get credit and get educated.

Are we reading the same MeFi? Most feminism threads I've seen have been mainly full of women talking about specific things that happen to them/their family/their friends in their lives and what they personally think about it. Often, things that have happened to them as children or teenagers. Not regurgitating things they only heard for the first time in a theoretical way in a women's studies class or sensitivity and diversity thing.

In a classroom environment, offering an alternative opinion is disruptive and rude, and would be shouted down or dismissed (and rightfully so). On a message board, people expect to be able to debate on equal terms.


Don't know what classrooms you've had the misfortune to spend time in, but this has pretty much been the opposite of my classroom experience in college.

The problem I've seen is not that on a message board, people expect to debate on equal terms. The problem I've seen is that people expect that on a message board, they're not responsible for the things they say, that they're not talking to real human beings, and nobody gets to have a negative opinion of them based on things they say.
posted by cairdeas at 12:33 PM on November 14, 2011 [18 favorites]


Imagine if you said that about threads marxism, or anarchism, or libertarianism, or objectivism, or any other -ism that gets discussed on the site. Imagine if every time Ayn Rand came up, a bunch of Ron Paul fans took it as an opportunity to educate people on the evils of the Federal Reserve, and took a condescending, patronizing attitude about how they're 'educating the ignorant.' It's not always the case that people who disagree with feminists (or anybody else) are wrong, or bad people, or misinformed. Sometimes they are fully informed of the issues and just have a different viewpoint.

Not all isms are created equal. Obviously people differ in where the line is drawn, but let's not pretend there is no line.
posted by kmz at 12:33 PM on November 14, 2011


when you attend a class at a university you implicitly agree to the same framework for debate. There is no such thing here, some people are going to argue from opinion and not from some sort of shared philosophical underpinnings. I personally don't think it is very realistic to expect to have only people "educated" the same way you have been to enter the discussion.

That is why I never point out that by including TCP/IP in windows Mirosoft did more for the modern internet than just about any other company I can think of.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:35 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


I personally don't think it is very realistic to expect to have only people "educated" the same way you have been to enter the discussion.

You are disagreeing with a comment I did not make. People have varying levels of education, and types of education, and should participate to as full an extent as they wish. My problem is when people have opinions but no facts insist that their opinion is as valid as those who actually have facts, and demand that those opinion be given equal weight, or even push to have those opinions dominate a thread, which is particularly the case in feminism threads.

I do not believe this is an especially challenging, divisive, or unfair thing to say.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:44 PM on November 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


I feel like I should make clear - my "wishing the level of discussion were higher" in feminism threads in particular is not at all rooted in a background in women's studies or so forth (I am self-educated on this topic - not academically so).

It's more that I wish people on EVERY side (there are way more than two - feminism is a big tent with many shades of gray) were willing to assume good faith on the part of other commenters - and that they would realize that shouting just contributes to negativity, no matter how right you are (or think you are).

If someone's trolling, shouting won't deter them; if someone's sincere, shouting at them will not make them suddenly understand your points - they'll just dig their heels - most people would. And shouting in general even if you're on the "right" side runs most people off from participating in a thread and drags the general vibe down, which is a shame.

Well, that all applies to any discussion on MeFi, I guess.
posted by flex at 12:45 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's an expectation of who has the power to shape that kind of conversation.

If people who live women's issues every day expect to shape a conversation about women's issues, it's not that they think they know more just because they took a women's studies class once as it seems you're implying. It's because they, you know, live those issues every day, so they might know just a bit more about it than people who have never dealt with them at all.

Imagine if every time Ayn Rand came up, a bunch of Ron Paul fans took it as an opportunity to educate people on the evils of the Federal Reserve, and took a condescending, patronizing attitude about how they're 'educating the ignorant.'

No, that's a false analogy. Imagine if every time Ayn Rand came up Ayn Rand posted in the thread, and I took offense to her thinking she knew more about the topic than I did.
posted by cairdeas at 12:51 PM on November 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


In fairness, if Ayn Rand actually came into a thread, most of us would probably be trying to behead her undead corpse.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 12:56 PM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


If Frank Miller or OSC ever shows up here, it will be fucking glorious.
posted by kmz at 12:58 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, that's a false analogy. Imagine if every time Ayn Rand came up Ayn Rand posted in the thread, and I took offense to her thinking she knew more about the topic than I did.

After reading Atlas Shrugged, I think it's possible to know more than Rand did on her favorite subject.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:01 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, an Ayn Rand thread would be a great place for soft libertarians and full-blooded objectivists and ex-Randian socialists to talk about that stuff, because everyone would have a different informed opinion. Likewise, I would really love to hear from more ex-feminists when that comes up; they may disagree but at least they'll have put a lot of thought into why that is.
posted by modernserf at 1:10 PM on November 14, 2011


In fairness, if Ayn Rand actually came into a thread, most of us would probably be trying to behead her undead corpse.

with a small but significant minority attempting to hump it
posted by unSane at 1:14 PM on November 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


You are disagreeing with a comment I did not make

Didn't say you did. I am just sharing my own thoughts on why some of the topics I care about, which admittedly are probably not as important as equality for all, are such a cluster fuck sometimes.

The truth is, people are going to share their opinion no matter what, you could have the world's foremost expert on topic X and people will still argue with them.

There is nothing in any of these threads that is a fact that can be proved. I can't prove Microsoft is awesome. Even if my opinion has been arrived at by years of thought and analysis everyone will still think their opinion is just as good as mine. No matter how much evidence I produce people will nit-pick it to death.

So someone comes into a thread, thinks " hey I got a different opinion let me tell you it" and I start saying " I have years of experience with Microsoft operating systems, you are wrong" and they say "well mister smarty pants, this shit crashed last week so obviously your years of experience is wrong"

We are arguing from a different perspective. I may have a deep knowledge of Windows XP and know that they are making a million assumptions that are wrong. However there is no way for me to win this argument. They are arguing about their own experience, not the universal truth of operating systems.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:16 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crabby, you've made me almost want to side with BP in Apple threads.

Since I keep getting mentioned by Crabby Appleton, zarq and Artw, I'll say this much:

Not thinking much of a snide comment by Stewart Lee does not mean I am threadshitting, nor does it mean that I have "mod protection".

The notion that I get some kind of special dispensation from the moderators is flat-out ridiculous. I'm bound to the same rules as the rest of you, if not much more stringently.

If you think saying something about Stewart Lee gave Artw legitimate cause to leave, then be a grown-up and explain yourself. Use your words.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:18 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


they might know just a bit more about it than people who have never dealt with them at all.

Weirdly, depending on how you slice the topic up, all women may not necessarily be experts on feminism. Or they may not know more about it than some men. They are experts at some level to their own lived female experience, but that doesn't mean they have a background in the political underpinnings of feminist theory or some sort of top-down view of the challenges facing women today. They certainly may. It's likely they might. But there's no guarantee that this is true. And presuming that men do not have this sort of background [unless they reveal their own lack of knowledge/understanding] is also problematic. Most men know women who have grappled with many of these issues, even if they haven't dealt with them themselves. And while that may not be exactly the same, it's something. And having this fight over and over again, as if it's an all new problem ["Men can't really understand feminism!" "Yes they can!"] or if maybe it's fixed itself somehow since the last feminism thread, seems sort of obtuse to me. By all means if people are barging in to threads and being disruptive and derailing, come to MeTa, let us know or try to civilly deal with it. But give people some room to come to the conclusions you may have already taken as givens and realize stuff may take a while. Good faith presumption goes a long way.

So, don't get me wrong, I really understand these issues and how they play out in this and other communities and it sucks when people show up and are assholes. But it's also really tough when you get called an asshole [back to the topic of this thread] for just not liking an article or offering constructive criticism or asking a question. I think sometimes people take conversations that are happening in more tightly moderated or even closed communities devoted to a certain topic and then think "MeFites are smart, curious and interesting. I'd like to discuss this with them!" and then there's some sort of *sadface* problem when the conversation here goes very very differently from the conversation on someone else's personal blog, with a more select group of commenters, different moderation strategy, whatever.

I love reading Scalzi's blog when people are talking about tough topics, for example, because he is able to be a continuous presence and keep conversations on track and keep people from derailing it purely because he is the last word and if he tells you to stop, you stop. We're not really like that so much here, as mods. And some community members might like that to be more the case and others would like it to be less the case. So the self-policing can be somewhat "hey help us all run the community better by giving useful feedback to mods and other community members" but it can also be "hey, police yourself and stop doing the same tired old stuff if people are continually telling you it's a problem" Doesn't really matter what side of an argument you're on. Moderate yourself, help us moderate others.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:20 PM on November 14, 2011 [14 favorites]


"I have banned myself from all discussion of topics in which I have professional knowledge because the popular view is often completely out to lunch"

"That's a shame - I can see the infuriating aspects of being shouted down by the uninformed, but one of the best things about MeFi is the wide range of background and knowledge in the users."

I totally get this, seeing it all the time in the kind of threads related to biological science or experimental medicine that relate to topics covered heavily in outrage heavy and fact light venues. The metafilter population usually aligns pretty closely to my biases, but the signal to noise ratio still gets pretty sad. I still engage in those threads to try to bring some background for folks who might not have the necessary foundational knowledge, gently correct uncontroversial misunderstandings, and hopefully provide some of my perspective. I don't really expect educated debate, but still join in because I enjoy and find useful the habit of re-synthesizing information that is basic to my or a related discipline and, if favorites are any measure, people seem to appreciate it. That doesn't mean that I don't understand why a molecular biologist might shy away from a thread where a prolific commenter doesn't get what a protease inhibitor is, or why a physical therapist might get exasperated by another thread where folks don't get that chiropractice has deep divisions and many chiropractic physicians are much more evidence based than others (which is a thing with really interesting ancient historical reasons found in solid links that we could never talk about rationally), or why an actual immunologist might find the level of discourse in vaccine threads exhausting even if they do point in the right-ish direction.

I'm not complaining because I don't think there are solutions to this sort of thing, we already seem to appreciate knowledgeable folks just fine and I have no idea how we might encourage folks who don't know they don't know anything to listen once they approach a critical mass. I just wanted to chime in that it sounded totally familiar from a totally different kind of expertise, and that I've learned to not mind it so much when it comes in good faith by shifting my expectations.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:22 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you think saying something about Stewart Lee gave Artw legitimate cause to leave, then be a grown-up and explain yourself. Use your words.

Learn to read. I never said that. I said that reading artw's tweet (to which I linked, but some people didn't bother to read) and noticing who had the first comment in the thread (that would be you) made his rationale clearer. His rationale. Not mine. In my opinion, the fact that you're still allowed to run rampant here is reason enough for anyone to leave, but that's neither here nor there. I don't give a damn about Stewart Lee or what you or artw think of him. So fuck off.

Then Trurl expressed his opinion, and I expressed mine. Mine is unpopular, so I get a ton of shit about it. I'm far from the only one who holds it, but c'est la vie. Whatever, MetaFilter is what it is.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:31 PM on November 14, 2011


I don't have a horse in this race, but telling someone to fuck-off really doesn't help Crabby Appleton. I know nothing about your opinions, but if the above comment is any barometer, I have a strong feeling that their mooted unpopularity might be based on how they are presented. Just a thought.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


In my opinion, the fact that you're still allowed to run rampant here is reason enough for anyone to leave, but that's neither here nor there. I don't give a damn about Stewart Lee or what you or artw think of him. So fuck off.

Not that I dispute your right to say any of the above, but if a reasonable exchange of ideas is your goal, don't you think it could have been said differently?
posted by Mooski at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


He used his words though. Unfortunately.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2011


Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!
posted by Sys Rq at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


So fuck off.

Those are my words! Use your own.
posted by Abiezer at 1:42 PM on November 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Well, that's a handy object illustration of why "fuck off" and its variants are on our very short "delete with prejudice" list.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:44 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


telling someone to fuck-off really doesn't help Crabby Appleton

Well, how can I help Crabby Appleton?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:49 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Year's subscription to Roger's Profanisaurus?
posted by Abiezer at 1:54 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


"If you think saying something about Stewart Lee gave Artw legitimate cause to leave, then be a grown-up and explain yourself. Use your words."

I resent the idea that any of us might need a cause to leave this site, much less one you might consider legitimate; hell, the idea that he might need a cause to return is pretty ridiculous too when you think about it. I doubt, especially from your respective histories, that Artw was ever here for your amusement or at your pleasure anyway.
posted by Blasdelb at 1:56 PM on November 14, 2011


Well, how can I help Crabby Appleton?

Be smarter than the average MeFite.

Alternatively, get the Mods to hook you up so that whenever I preview a comment, you get a text message; then immediately call me and talk me out of posting it.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:57 PM on November 14, 2011


Even if my opinion has been arrived at by years of thought and analysis everyone will still think their opinion is just as good as mine. No matter how much evidence I produce people will nit-pick it to death.

Oh, sure. But in these instances, you have a wealth of information to support your opinion, and that can lead to discussion. I don't want to get hung up on feminist threads, but often there are responses that are knee-jerk "But I don't do that" from men who feel that the subject of the thread is somehow necessarily impugning them, and have nothing to offer but that they are not guilty of whatever offense they imagine has been leveled against them.

Some topics just bring out the jerking knees, and they rarely make for good conversation.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 1:59 PM on November 14, 2011


Crabby, you said "he's thinking quite clearly" when someone suggested artw is not thinking straight by accusing someone of having mod protection. Am I wrong in thinking this means you agree with him, that you "share his rationale?"
posted by mreleganza at 2:06 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Learn to read. I never said that.

You repeatedly quote Artw's Twitter feed in this thread, implying one specific comment is saying something of substance, something which is worth consideration in this thread. Either you agree with what it says, or you are just repeating his comment without really thinking too hard about what it means. Which is it?

the fact that you're still allowed to run rampant here

Again with this statement of "fact". Do you have evidence that the moderators have given me license to "run rampant"? Do you have any logical process by which to connect "running rampant" with a comment about Stewart Lee, which is what Artw is presumably referring to?

Then Trurl expressed his opinion

Trurl made a reasonable and fair observation, one which you have still failed to substantiate in any way beyond telling people to fuck off.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:14 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Learn to read. I never said that.

I really wish people would stop saying shit like this. If someone suggests you said something that you think you didn't say, it was probably a misunderstanding. Communication is hard! And it takes two parties. Work with them to explain yourself. Don't insult them. How does that help?
posted by shakespeherian at 2:18 PM on November 14, 2011 [17 favorites]


I really should visit MetaTalk more often. It's like looking under a rock!
posted by mazola at 2:19 PM on November 14, 2011 [9 favorites]


Let's look at the next photograph.

Here you can see a blow-up of the post regarding the grassy knoll. What's that odd smudge there in the middle? Let me help you here ladies and gentlemen - the cortex-shaped smudge in the middle.

As you can see, in what I call the "Magic Moderation" theory, cortex has deleted two threads at precisely the same time. Something which is impossible and therefore proves there is a conspiracy. Look at this diagram of the deletions in progress: back and to the left, back and to the left....
posted by panboi at 2:22 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, sure. But in these instances, you have a wealth of information to support your opinion, and that can lead to discussion. I don't want to get hung up on feminist threads, but often there are responses that are knee-jerk "But I don't do that"

Right. It is the same thing in all cases.

I can explain drivers running in ring 0 taking down Windows thread after thread, complain in MetaTalk about how people are making uneducated statements about windows, or I can just walk away, content in the fact that I know the truth. But I can't really win. Someone will always show up, maybe in a day, maybe in a week and start the whole thing over again.

I don't know much about Wittgenstein, but he said something to the effect that if lions could use english words we still could not communicate because our frames of reference are too different.

Maybe a better analogy is the TNG episode Darmok. Picard is stuck on a planet with an alien that speaks only in metaphor. The ailien keeps shouting "Shaka, when the walls fell". Picard and the alien had no shared framework of meaning, making communication impossible. That is us on MetaFilter, we have to establish a shared meaning for things like "ring 0" and "privilege" sometimes it is hard.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:22 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]





The notion that I get some kind of special dispensation from the moderators is flat-out ridiculous.


Do you have evidence that the moderators have given me license to "run rampant"?


Not at all, its a complete coincidence that they appear, try to change the subject and then another one criticises your baseless, deluded accusers.


A complete coincidence.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:23 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Posting a FPP has a bad risk/reward profile. I post things that are interesting to me, but I always keep a "justify your existence" comment at the ready. Half my posts have a comment to the effect of "who the fuck cares," in a few cases verbatim (seriously). Who needs it.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:25 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


If someone suggests you said something that you think you didn't say, it was probably a misunderstanding.

What's your evidence for that?

I might assume that of some people, but not BP. It was a deliberate distortion. And he just said that I quoted artw's twitter feed repeatedly. I never quoted it once. He says whatever comes into his head. It's a waste of time trying to have a discussion with that.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 2:27 PM on November 14, 2011


Also, he has issues with a couple of specific people (and frankly, it would not surprise me to learn this reaction was prompted by one of them commenting on his post.)

I truly don't think this an ego thing with him in the way you're implying.


That is the very definition of an "ego thing."
posted by spitbull at 2:28 PM on November 14, 2011


I'm not exactly BP's biggest fan, but JFC there is no fucking mod conspiracy to protect him.
posted by kmz at 2:28 PM on November 14, 2011


I really should visit MetaTalk less often. It's like looking under a rock.
posted by Zozo at 2:28 PM on November 14, 2011 [8 favorites]


What's your evidence for that?

Benefit of the doubt.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:29 PM on November 14, 2011


He says whatever comes into his head.

Your words indicate that you agree with Artw. Your username is also underneath the same unsubstantiated claim later in the same thread.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:35 PM on November 14, 2011


Blazecock Pileon: " If you think saying something about Stewart Lee gave Artw legitimate cause to leave, then be a grown-up and explain yourself. Use your words."

For the record, I did not say this. Nor imply it.
posted by zarq at 2:42 PM on November 14, 2011


I don't really understand why "fuck off" is verboten as a response to extreme, bolded condescension. I don't really care about any of the players in this act, but stuff like "use your words" (and "learn to read") really does deserve a "fuck off." It's actually nastier: "use your words" is actively insulting the other's intelligence, while "fuck off" is just slamming doors.

Okay, I guess I do understand why "fuck off" is verboten, but really, saying "use your words" is a filthy way to treat another adult.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 2:43 PM on November 14, 2011 [25 favorites]


he said something to the effect that if lions could use english words we still could not communicate because our frames of reference are too different.

Well, I share with lions an interest in sleeping all day and copulating with multiple partners.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 2:46 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


The amount of power you guys give people you don't even know or like over you is amazing.
posted by unSane at 2:47 PM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Topping from below the fold.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:50 PM on November 14, 2011 [10 favorites]


brandon just made me spit corn chips.
posted by nadawi at 2:54 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


To be absolutely clear, this is what I said:

Also, he has issues with a couple of specific people (and frankly, it would not surprise me to learn this reaction was prompted by one of them commenting on his post.)

I was indeed referring to you BP, but I have not mentioned your name in that comment, nor anywhere else in this thread. In fact, in that specific comment I was deliberately trying not to escalate the situation by even giving the faintest impression that I was accusing you of something.
posted by zarq at 2:56 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Use your words" is actively insulting the other's intelligence, while "fuck off" is just slamming doors.

I'd probably be hovering over the delete button for the former as well as the latter, on the blue, if it was framed the way it was above. There are much better ways to express "That wasn't clear - can you elaborate?"

It is different, though, in that it's actually an invitation to debate further (if one that can read as awfully condescending - it doesn't have to be, depending on context, but it's iffy.) "Fuck off" is explicitly about shutting down the debate, and as such goes nowhere good, and fast.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:57 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Still waiting on any solid evidence that there are trolls with mod protection, Crabs. And though I expect you'll slither away again to throw baseless accusations from your hutch another day, it'd be super swell if for once you'd own your words and back them up.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:59 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I expect you'll slither away again to throw baseless accusations from your hutch another day

Wow. I feel like that deserves a "fuck off" and I'm not even the one being insulted.

Also: I'm not aware of anything that slithers that also throws things. Metaphor alert.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:05 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


In fact, in that specific comment I was deliberately trying not to escalate the situation by even giving the faintest impression that I was accusing you of something.

Since I had nothing to do with Artw leaving in a huff, maybe not repeating baseless accusations would be helpful.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:07 PM on November 14, 2011


Or rather, slithers and also lives in a hutch. I guess throwing things is workable.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 3:08 PM on November 14, 2011


Very stealthy guinea pig?
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:09 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


The only thing that lives in our hutch is our china, so.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:10 PM on November 14, 2011


Only a couple more minutes until I can go back to playing Skyrim. I am pretty sure there is monster that not only slithers but also throws things.Going to catch one and keep it in a hutch in my room at the mage college. Skyrim is that awesome. Try not to burn the house down while I'm gone.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:10 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Or rather, slithers and also lives in a hutch. I guess throwing things is workable.

I think we're looking at a salamander here.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:10 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is Skyrim worth playing for somebody who found Oblivion and FO3 to both be pretty blah and vastly prefers third-person to first-person combat?
posted by kmz at 3:12 PM on November 14, 2011


Wow. I feel like that deserves a "fuck off" and I'm not even the one being insulted.

Maybe I was a bit fast and loose with my language as it's growing increasingly frustrating to see this pattern of behavior: drop a groundless charge on one or more people and disappear, or re-appear only to attempt to dodge having to back up the charge. If it offended anyone, I apologize.

Also: I'm not aware of anything that slithers that also throws things. Metaphor alert. Or rather, slithers and also lives in a hutch. I guess throwing things is workable.

I never claimed to have mastered the names of the various and sundry makeshift shelters of the animal kingdom, but you're clearly unfamiliar with the Chilean Rockthrower Rabbit Snake.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:13 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


it's actually an invitation to debate further

Bwah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!
posted by Crabby Appleton at 3:14 PM on November 14, 2011


Also: I'm not aware of anything that slithers that also throws things. Metaphor alert. Or rather, slithers and also lives in a hutch. I guess throwing things is workable.

Oh, oh, is it 'man'? It's always 'man' in these things.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:15 PM on November 14, 2011 [7 favorites]


Bwah, ha, ha, ha, ha, ha!

Sneering is no defense for your still-unsubstantiated accusations.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:16 PM on November 14, 2011


kmz: Have you played Fallout 3? Or the Mass Effects? Or, indeed, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines? Which theoretically has first-person combat, but you'd have to be insane actually to try to use it.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:18 PM on November 14, 2011


Or rather, slithers and also lives in a hutch. I guess throwing things is workable.

Beachcomber Bionic Bicep Basilisk!
posted by Diablevert at 3:18 PM on November 14, 2011


That was actually the call of the Chilean Rockthrower Rabbit Snake.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:18 PM on November 14, 2011


Normally found in the glass houses of southern Chile.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:19 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Man, this is getting fucking UGLY and I hope the mods see fit to close this soon.
posted by mreleganza at 3:20 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ban 'em all and let the mods sort them out.
posted by Falconetti at 3:21 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If someone suggests you said something that you think you didn't say, it was probably a misunderstanding.

What's your evidence for that?


Being charitable and giving the benefit of the doubt? Not assuming that everyone is trying to twist the words of everyone els,e and that most people here are generally interested in just having a nice conversation and not turning it into verbal sparring?

I've got something like twelve thousand comments here, and can't really think of a time that I assumed that someone misrepresented what I said. Now that could be due to my failing memory, or it could be that I'm not looking for people to have intentionally read me wrong.

I'm not suggesting that's what you are doing, but it would be great if people could try to assume everyone else here is making an honest effort.
posted by quin at 3:22 PM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Fuck off" was always a reasonable way to initial express incredulity or disagreement which you then went on to set out in full, but then I grew up amongst the terminally profane.
posted by Abiezer at 3:22 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is Skyrim worth playing for somebody who found Oblivion and FO3 to both be pretty blah and vastly prefers third-person to first-person combat?

You can set it to 3rd person. I didn't like Oblivion but I loved FO3. I think whoever described Skyrim as Fallout 3: Middle Earth was pretty spot on. There is always something unexpected popping up. As you go about each quest you stumble on twists and turns and all sorts of cool details. There are enough hidden nooks and crannies all over the map that you could do nothing but travel the wilderness for days and it would still be interesting. The really nailed the feeling of isolation on high mountain peaks. Great game.

For the record I am playing a pure destruction Mage and I play first person. Only thing missing is VATS

I think we're looking at a salamander here.

I used to keep salamanders and the thought of one throwing something cracked me up.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:23 PM on November 14, 2011


I've no idea whose words I used there, but they weren't a native speaker.
posted by Abiezer at 3:23 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really understand why "fuck off" is verboten as a response to extreme, bolded condescension. I don't really care about any of the players in this act, but stuff like "use your words" (and "learn to read") really does deserve a "fuck off."

Amen. I have no intention of wading into whether particular members are allowed to run rampant and/or "protected" by mods, but I definitely think the mods tolerate an unacceptable level of bile between members as long as it's couched in college words. I think it's a real problem that poisons discussions.
posted by cribcage at 3:24 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


kmz: Have you played Fallout 3? Or the Mass Effects? Or, indeed, Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines? Which theoretically has first-person combat, but you'd have to be insane actually to try to use it.

Was bored with Fallout 3, love the Mass Effects, never played VtM. And thanks for the info, Ad Hom.
posted by kmz at 3:26 PM on November 14, 2011


"Fuck off" was always a reasonable way to initial express incredulity

In my experience "fuck off" is a conversation killer, because no matter what you say after it, eloquent though you may be, all people are going to remember is how you started the sentence and tune out the rest.

YMMV of course, but I grew up among the terminally profane as well, I find that it doesn't work well with those that didn't.
posted by quin at 3:26 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think whoever described Skyrim as Fallout 3: Middle Earth was pretty spot on.

Wow, seriously? Because now I'll have to try it. I found Oblivion and FO:3 to be similar in totally different ways: they're both sprawling games where you could spend days just walking the map (and I'm currently doing a run in FO:3 to find all the locations), but the former is sprawling in a loosely coherent way, while the latter seems to hold things together quite nicely. This difference was crucial to me, and why I found FO:3 to be consistently re-playable, while Oblivion felt like a chore (although the vampirism perk/curse is very cleverly done).
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:31 PM on November 14, 2011


Yeah, put that badly, but it genuinely just functioned as an exclamation of surprise-cum-disagreement rather than being aimed at someone. Not that I expect the response to be the same on an international website.
posted by Abiezer at 3:31 PM on November 14, 2011


surprise-cum-disagreement

Jesus christ I'm immature.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 3:32 PM on November 14, 2011 [12 favorites]


kmz: Skyrim 3rd person is probably your man, but if you fancy a fascinating but broken game experience, VtM and Alpha Protocol should be pretty cheap by now.

Oh, and I really liked the way 3rd-person was used in Deus Ex: Human Revolution, but you do still spend a lot of the game in compulsory first-person, so it might not be ideal.
posted by running order squabble fest at 3:33 PM on November 14, 2011


Fuck off, fuck on, I'll be back in a couple hours to check on your progress
--The Karate Man (XXX version of the Karate Kid)
posted by nomisxid at 3:33 PM on November 14, 2011


Oh yeah, I've been meaning to do an Alpha Protocol run. My wife liked it quite a bit. Been working on DE:HR as well but it's been a bit of a slog so far. Honestly I don't even know why I'm thinking about Skyrim since I've got so many other games I need to finish.
posted by kmz at 3:36 PM on November 14, 2011


but it genuinely just functioned as an exclamation of surprise-cum-disagreement rather than being aimed at someone.

We always said "Get the fuck outta here..." but it needed to be said with a bit of a smile and a hint of astonishment in the tone.

Which, of course, is nearly impossible to convey in a textual environment.

I say this with some regret, because there are times where it really is the perfect assertion of awe and doubt.
posted by quin at 3:36 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes, definitely needed the right tone of voice. Surely pb can have that up and running by morning?
posted by Abiezer at 3:40 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Abiezer; You're thinking "Fuckoff", in the "uptalking" way... signifying the "questioning" form of the term. Turning the wall-building, aggressive, discussion ending "AiiiHH-FakOFF-YOU", into something more akin to "NoWay-Fukofff??!" (pronounced vaguely like Jon Stewart saying "gooooo onnnnn" as he does).

This set of distinctions is valid usage in "speaking" interactions, with people possessing this shared version of the term. However.

It becomes a howitzer of failure to communicate when used textually. Both forms "look" the same in "proper text"... and bringing in these "textual signifiers", like multiple question marks, and an exclamation point... will only muddy the waters.

GRAR, All your ponies are pretty ponies, you are all good people, hard or soft, tough, cold, callous, empathic, or sensitive... you all have interesting ideas, and none of your ideas are so divergent that they cannot co-exist, in a meaningful manner, with the other ideas here. Seriously.
None.

STOP FIGHTING.
(The answer is Axolotl [the right answer is always axolotl, Zombie-Wittgenstein would have said so.])
posted by infinite intimation at 3:42 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just here to throw my "please keep posting FPP's Artw" onto the pile.
posted by not_on_display at 3:46 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really understand why "fuck off" is verboten

I'm reminded of an interview with AC/DC singer Brian Johnson around the time of the 2 Live Crew imbroglio. When Johnson expressed a lack of sympathy for the rappers, the interviewer pointed out that Johnson explored similar subject matter in his lyrics - albeit with single entendres like "Sink the Pink". "Exactly," Johnson said. "If they can't be bothered to put out at least that much effort, let them go to jail."
posted by Trurl at 3:50 PM on November 14, 2011


It is different, though, in that it's actually an invitation to debate further (if one that can read as awfully condescending - it doesn't have to be, depending on context, but it's iffy.)

I agree that "fuck off" is never okay, for good reason, and I don't want to belabor the point. But I'd contend that "use your words" is never iffy. It is always used to put someone else in their place, by saying to them something that is only ever sincerely said by exasperated parents to their confused children. And even then, it stings.

I don't think there's an external solution to condescension. It takes effort for many people to avoid being unkind, and it's not something that can be imposed from without. People need to find it within themselves to not be jerks.

I'm not saying anyone in particular gets a mod pass to be supercilious and snide, or there's anything anyone else can do about it. It's just lamentable behavior that poisons the air.
posted by Ice Cream Socialist at 3:52 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Fuck... offffff?
posted by subbes at 3:56 PM on November 14, 2011


I'm starting to feel like there's something deeply wrong with our community.

As if millions of MeFis suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly SILENCED ALL THEIR LIFE.

seriously, though, I hear ya, I hear ya
posted by davejay at 3:57 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


Is Skyrim worth playing for somebody who found Oblivion and FO3 to both be pretty blah and vastly prefers third-person to first-person combat?


That was me. And yes, yes, yes. This game is done so well it's almost hard to believe. I even find the loading screens incredibly interesting.

Only thing missing is VATS

I like how they retained the slow-motion final takedown moves, which is the one thing that feels reminiscent of FO3.
posted by SpacemanStix at 3:57 PM on November 14, 2011


Dang, missed the moment again - I need that "pause the thread" button so I can provide my attempts at turning the uptalking "no way, really?" version of "fuck off" into text.
posted by subbes at 3:57 PM on November 14, 2011


I'm pretty sure that if someone told me to "use my words" as if I was a four year old, I'd respond in exactly the same way.
posted by octothorpe at 3:59 PM on November 14, 2011


Skyrim is excellent - easily my favourite Beth game so far.

You can play hide and seek with the kids in the villages, it's unbearably cute.
posted by Sebmojo at 3:59 PM on November 14, 2011


If Skyrim is a game then what's that thing they built at the Grand Canyon?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:01 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


Honest Al's Live Chilean Rockthrower Rabbit Snakes.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:03 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ah ha, it's a Skywalk, on the west rim. The internet has been confusing for me the last week.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:04 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


*starts playing 'Beth' by Kiss*

Loved F3, Mass Effect, and Vampire: Masquerade. Skyrim is solid gold.

Oblivion felt like a chore

Word. I couldn't even make myself play Oblivion as part of an excited countdown to Skyrim.

And, disclosure: when I first moved to this province, I offended nearly everyone with my casual (even affectionate!) use of "fuck off", so regional variations may apply.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:04 PM on November 14, 2011


I bet the developers who make Skyrim brag all the time about how great their Skyrim jobs are.
posted by argonauta at 4:07 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Honest Al's Live Chilean Rockthrower Rabbit Snakes.

I hear he just glues feathers and an extra eye on factory-farmed Rioplatense Dirtsniffers.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 4:09 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


But I'd contend that "use your words" is never iffy.

Words is all we got here. Sometimes we need someone to remind of us that. I'm pretty sure I've seen jessamyn use the phrase successfully without condescension.
posted by Dano St at 4:09 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I don't have a problem with someone telling someone else to "use their words", especially if they're dropping vague hints or passive-aggressive insinuations or links or whatever. To me, it's not much different from saying "if you have something to say, just say it". I can't stand passive-aggressiveness.
posted by 1000monkeys at 4:15 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I bet the developers who make Skyrim brag all the time about how great their Skyrim jobs are.

You know, that actually sounds like it could be a real thing.
posted by ignignokt at 4:16 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Blazecock Pileon: " Since I had nothing to do with Artw leaving in a huff, maybe not repeating baseless accusations would be helpful."

a) What "baseless accusation" am I repeating, please? Please link to it and explain.

b) Art said he was leaving because he was "done with threadshitters and trolls." No one was doing either in that thread. Considering your longstanding public mutual enmity, it seems perfectly plausible to me that he saw a comment from you combined with others in that thread and simply overreacted. This is essentially what I said earlier, without referring to you and your shared history directly.
posted by zarq at 4:17 PM on November 14, 2011


It was Crabby who said:

If you read this tweet from artw, and then notice who made the first comment in the deleted thread, his rationale becomes a lot clearer.

zarq said:

Also, he has issues with a couple of specific people (and frankly, it would not surprise me to learn this reaction was prompted by one of them commenting on his post.)

I wouldn't be surprised if people thought these posts were referring to the same comment. I did.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:21 PM on November 14, 2011


And, disclosure: when I first moved to this province, I offended nearly everyone with my casual (even affectionate!) use of "fuck off", so regional variations may apply.

I will never understand this in a person-to-person context. I worked with this guy from Birmingham, England. We were getting breakfast at the end of our shift, and he was horrified to discover that there were no baked beans to be had with his eggs and bacon. Trying to be helpful, I suggested, "How about some fresh tomatoes?", and he said, "And how about you fuck right off?" But knowing him, and hearing his tone, and seeing his facial expression, I didn't take offence to this response. He was just a little upset about the lack of beans in the morning. Those crazy English!
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:39 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty sure I've seen jessamyn use the phrase successfully without condescension.

This may be all my fault. I think I've used it in the past in a nice sort of friendly-but-come-on-now way. And being a moderator trying to talk to someone about something they're wanting to discuss in MeTa, it could arguably, possibly, not be seen as assholish. But really most of the time it's sort of a jerk thing to say, enough so that while I don't think it will hit the nearly-autodelete status of "fuck you/off" it's probalby best avoided unless you are sure that saying it will not make you sound like a jerk.

That said, saying "use your words" to respond to the odd sort of coy "I'm going to say it but not really say it" accusations that we frequently get here may be understandable, but apparently carries too much "I hate you" import to be a suitable response.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:40 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


Durn Bronzefist: " I wouldn't be surprised if people thought these posts were referring to the same comment. I did."

Ah. I see. Ok, that makes sense.

I wasn't trying to accuse BP of doing anything wrong. He didn't do anything wrong.

If it came across that way, I sincerely apologize.
posted by zarq at 4:45 PM on November 14, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Fuck off" was always a reasonable way to initial express incredulity or disagreement which you then went on to set out in full, but then I grew up amongst the terminally profane.

That expression in Americanese is "Get the fuck out!"

"Fuck off" in the Colonies is similar to "Bugger off" in the Queen's English.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:46 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


As a general principle I would like to see Twitter stuff and Facebook stuff and G+ stuff stay THE FUCK off mefi. MeTa recently has been like MEAN GIRLS III: INTERNET BITCHING.

Can we drop it please?
posted by unSane at 5:10 PM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


From the presented evidence, I'm gonna guess abiezer grew up in the UK (or Commonwealth), and quin in the Northeastern US.

In Boston, it was always "No FUCKIN' waaaaay, man(?)."
posted by spitbull at 5:19 PM on November 14, 2011


Hey, this thread is scoring me Twitter followers, neat! I'm up to like...nine! Take that, Stephen Fry!
posted by tumid dahlia at 5:20 PM on November 14, 2011


MEAN GIRLS III: INTERNET BITCHING

MEAN GIRLS II: THE BITCHENING
posted by Zed at 5:28 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


STOP TRYING TO MAKE 'FETCH' HAPPEN.
posted by subbes at 5:31 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I feel this thread would be a lot better if at least one of the people involved in the central conflict had been arguing in the style of Janis Ian. And possibly all of them.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:37 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


it also would have been better with breakdance fighting.
posted by elizardbits at 5:49 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


If it helps I was doing the Sexy and I Know It dance the whole time.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:54 PM on November 14, 2011


Did you clap your hands?
posted by Mooski at 5:55 PM on November 14, 2011


I mostly wiggled.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:55 PM on November 14, 2011


oh i get it
posted by villanelles at dawn at 5:56 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


For me at least, "fuck off" is less antagonistic than "fuck you."
posted by klangklangston at 6:01 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think I've used it in the past in a nice sort of friendly-but-come-on-now way.

You said it to me once. It didn't feel friendly.

Not that friendliness was necessarily warranted on the occasion. But there it is.
posted by Trurl at 6:04 PM on November 14, 2011


One of the reasons Jessamyn makes a great moderator is her unusual ability to say things firmly but without sounding like a jerk, and without escalating tensions. I think there's probably any number of things that Jessamyn could say that I (or most others) couldn't, without provoking an entirely different response.
posted by cribcage at 6:13 PM on November 14, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'll say. She called me a tumor. And made me like it.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 6:19 PM on November 14, 2011


I think there's probably any number of things that Jessamyn could say that I (or most others) couldn't, without provoking an entirely different response.

Hmmm. Does this mean she has a tragic inability to play the dozens? Like instead of going, "oh, snap!" witnesses are left at peace with the knowlegde that while their mama was indeed so fat when her beeper went off people thought she was backing up, she was a fine person in many other ways and we all do out best with the hand we're dealt?
posted by Diablevert at 6:23 PM on November 14, 2011 [25 favorites]


I wish you all a great fuck.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:35 PM on November 14, 2011


If wishes were horses...

sorry
posted by jonmc at 6:37 PM on November 14, 2011


As a general principle I would like to see Twitter stuff and Facebook stuff and G+ stuff stay THE FUCK off mefi. MeTa recently has been like MEAN GIRLS III: INTERNET BITCHING.

I know, right? Why can't it be more like Deadwood? Combine flowery, 19th century language with carpet f-bombing.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 6:42 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


I was thinking more like THE PHILADELPHIA STORY or possibly WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOLF? but that sounds kind of cool too.
posted by unSane at 6:44 PM on November 14, 2011


Or BEN HUR. Only it would be BEN HUR HUR HUR.
posted by unSane at 6:45 PM on November 14, 2011


fuck that shit!

When I quit MeFi in a huff, I can only hope the ensuing shit storm will inspire a META thread that tops 375 comments (and counting).
posted by philip-random at 6:46 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


No, it'd be BEN HURF DURF.
posted by mreleganza at 6:47 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If wishes were horses...

It always takes me several moments to realize there's another answer to this than "we'd all be eating steak".
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:00 PM on November 14, 2011 [2 favorites]


To be perfectly honest, I only made my suggestion because it would be perfect for unveiling a sockpuppet named Doc Fuckin' Cochran.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:01 PM on November 14, 2011


If wishes were horses...

You'd be saddled and rode hard by a dirty and bowlegged cowboy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:03 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


If wishes were horses... had been a huge hit, we would probably have been spared the rockin' career of Bryan Adams.

Seriously ...
Bryan Guy Adams at the tender age of 15
posted by philip-random at 7:32 PM on November 14, 2011


My opinion of Bryan Adams was low until this summer, when I interviewed the band FM Belfast (a couple of random music videos) and one of the singers, Lóa Hjálmtýsdóttir, said:
For me to think that UB40 is a lame band is learned behaviour. When I was a kid their records were played at home without anyone commenting, but then when I was a teenager I found out that they were terrible and no one could know you listened to them. Same with Cat Stevens. I think I know all Cat Stevens songs by heart because they were constantly played at my home, but then I learned from the cool crowd in Breiðholt [the neighbourhood of Reykjavík she grew up in] that you shouldn't mention that. You become so repressed as a teen. This changed later when I met kids from Hlíðar and Vesturbær [Reykjavík neighbourhoods close to downtown] and they'd put on Cat Stevens in parties. I'd shudder. I had to break free of the chains. I spent months of my teenage life repressing that I liked the Bryan Adams song from 'Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves', 'Everything I Do (I Do It For You)'. Then, years later, I'm driving by myself in the car and it comes on and I start singing along and crying.
I'm not a Bryan Adams fan today, but I realized that my visceral dislike of Bryan Adams was also learned behavior. At a tender age the people that I looked up to had the hate on for Bryan Adams and as I grew older this opinion was reinforced by the magazines and blogs I read and the TV shows and movies I watched. I don't really have any particular reason to dislike Bryan Adams. It's not as if he ate my goldfish to make me cry (unlike that scoundrel Rod Stewart).
posted by Kattullus at 7:56 PM on November 14, 2011 [11 favorites]


I'm in to this quite late...

But yeah, I feel bad about the comment I made in dobb's post. I was expressing exactly the confusion I had at reading what he wrote, but by the time I made my comment it was part of a pile-on, and that's never cool.

As far as ArtW's post goes, I read the article 2 or 3 times and felt like I was completely missing a lot of the context I needed to understand whatever little nit that was being picked by the author toward Gervais. When I said "it all seems a bit thin", I certainly didn't mean the post. There are plenty of single article posts made all the time. It was the whole [whatever] being declaimed in the linked article.
posted by hippybear at 7:58 PM on November 14, 2011


Bryan Adams still owes me $20 .
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 8:21 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


As far as ArtW's post goes, I read the article 2 or 3 times and felt like I was completely missing a lot of the context

It's outlined pretty well in this open thread, where that link should have been posted in the first place.

(I mean, seriously, I can't count on one hand the reasons that FPP wasn't up to snuff. Heck of a hill to die on, that.)
posted by Sys Rq at 8:23 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


eyeroll
posted by longsleeves at 9:04 PM on November 14, 2011


I've been using "use your words" to the cat, but it hasn't stopped the mauling.
posted by arcticseal at 9:27 PM on November 14, 2011 [5 favorites]


Do you mean mewling or meowing, or is this one basass motherfuckin' cat?
posted by mreleganza at 9:34 PM on November 14, 2011


*attempts to read thread. eyes glaze over, shoulders slump, blood begins seeping from nose and ears.*
posted by loquacious at 9:36 PM on November 14, 2011


*attempts to read thread. eyes glaze over, shoulders slump, blood begins seeping from nose and ears.*

Use your words.
posted by grog at 9:45 PM on November 14, 2011 [6 favorites]


Do you mean mewling or meowing, or is this one basass motherfuckin' cat?

One day in El Paso
The cops go into the crowd
Under a glaring bladder of light
And the music is so loud
And the tourists take their T-Shirts off
A busload of kids gives you the finger
Afternoon when the sidewalk's hot
And the shadow's too chilly to linger
Walk past damaged goods and ugly trends
Past a strawman making a purchase
Downtown where the river bends
They're just waiting for you to resurface
Take a look at this photograph
Clearly his teeth were bared
He coulda been yawning or snarling
The story was never clear
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:53 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, it's mauling alright. I have the scars to prove it. If he doesn't get his treats in time, then there's hell to pay.
posted by arcticseal at 10:09 PM on November 14, 2011


Apologies to zarq. There is indeed only one thread by him in the archive that was "poster's request." This is why a) I don't do too much internet detective stuff and 2) I should work at a huge salary for a wall street firm.
posted by maxwelton at 11:25 PM on November 14, 2011 [1 favorite]


I get the feeling that somewhere, Artw is staring sadly at the current Doctor Who FPP. He wants to comment, but he doesn't want to make himself a liar.
posted by seanyboy at 1:31 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't really have any particular reason to dislike Bryan Adams.

Other than his mawkish easy-listening faux-rock... he's in the same category as Leo Sayer. The music itself drives me right up a wall.

Cat Stevens, on the other hand, is floor-to-ceiling awesome - his playful and interesting folk-pop makes me happy, and UB40 is fun drunk-at-parties music.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


'Oh, the community!' There's lots of people who comment here, not just the usual suspects. It is possible to not even read what the people who annoy you say because there are so many others who are speaking. It's sometimes difficult, I grant you, but it is possible.
posted by h00py at 5:09 AM on November 15, 2011




Increasingly, its the grey where you really get to form your perceptions about personae behind anonymous user names, sadly enough, and not via all the pithy perceptive observations on the blue
posted by infini at 6:44 AM on November 15, 2011


zarq: "He gets frustrated when people don't read linked articles before commenting. He doesn't like jokey or snarky comments at the beginning of threads because they tend to cause nastier derails. He doesn't like people trolling and threadshitting, but he doesn't usually have a problem with someone critiquing the subject of an fpp he's made as long as they're not doing so mindlessly. "

Never really noticed Artw, but after reading this, this thread and his twitter feed, only one thing can be said: Christ, what an asshole.
posted by falameufilho at 7:49 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, can someone explain to me what's the rationale behind self-disabling an account? I took metafilter breaks before - it basically involves logging out and spending some months without typing m-e-t-a-f-i-l-t-e-r-.-c-o-m on the address bar of your browser. Why the theatrics of requesting that your account is disabled? Is this a twelve-step "please lock the minibar" kind of thing?
posted by falameufilho at 7:51 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think it's really as simple as "other people are different from you" and nothing more complicated. Please don't call people assholes. Thank you.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:56 AM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


lolfalafelho.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:01 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry about that, I got kinda taken away by the histrionics.
posted by falameufilho at 8:02 AM on November 15, 2011


Is this a twelve-step "please lock the minibar" kind of thing?

Basically. When I was in college, I had to use a browser plugin to prevent myself from visiting MetaFilter, Facebook, et. al. if I had a paper to write. When I was looking for a job, I disabled my account so I could read MetaFilter without getting caught up in discussions.

Meanwhile, I've managed to quit smoking.
posted by griphus at 8:06 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


You know, when I heard that Community was on hiatus, I kind of thought they meant the TV show.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:06 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, can someone explain to me what's the rationale behind self-disabling an account?

I like the idea of being able to completely put away a distraction.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:15 AM on November 15, 2011


falameufilho: " Never really noticed Artw, but after reading this, this thread and his twitter feed, only one thing can be said..."

Wasn't trying to bash him. That was just an observation made over time. He's started at least one meta asking that people RTFA, and has voiced his opinions regarding threadshitting, start-of-thread snark and trolling in a bunch of others.

There aren't that many of us who have made 300+ posts to mefi. When high-volume posters like Art speak objectively about ways we might be able to avoid threads derailing, I usually pay attention in the hope that I might learn something from their experience.
posted by zarq at 8:19 AM on November 15, 2011


> When high-volume posters like Art speak objectively about ways we might be able to avoid threads derailing,

I'm sorry, but Artw was consistently petulant, abrasive, and rude with his complaints. Posting something everyday doesn't necessarily confer any special insight.
posted by Burhanistan at 8:26 AM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Is this a twelve-step "please lock the minibar" kind of thing?

If I was ever to take a break from MetaFilter, I'd have to disable my account and also edit my hosts file to make name resolution stop working for the site. That's because browsing the site has become a habit at this point.

You know how if you are working on a whole bunch of stuff intensely, and you start to get a little tired, and just out of habit, you look out the window for a brief mental break? Well, MetaFilter has replaced glancing out the window for me.

It wouldn't be enough to tell myself "don't look out the window". I'd have the close the curtains. And then sew them shut.
posted by FishBike at 8:32 AM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Burhanistan: " I'm sorry, but Artw was consistently petulant, abrasive, and rude with his complaints. Posting something everyday doesn't necessarily confer any special insight."

I have no love for the guy. He's been rude and abrasive to me a few times. But still, when someone has made hundreds of posts, it seems only logical they'd learn something from the experience.

At this point, I guess it's more of a cautionary tale sorta thing.
posted by zarq at 8:34 AM on November 15, 2011


It wouldn't be enough to tell myself "don't look out the window".

12-step would be the only way for me....and I hate 12-step groups.

Probably wouldn't past step 1 though...so whatever
posted by lampshade at 8:36 AM on November 15, 2011


I haven't been contributing as much lately, but mostly because I have very few moments with free hands and they've all been spent playing Glitch and threads are moving quite a bit faster than they used to. I spend most of my time these days in Ask, simply by virtue of it being faster to assess "Can I answer this question? Yes? No?" than to read articles and whole threads and develop actual thoughts.

That said, I've definitely noticed the negativity for a long time and took my own Brand New Day to remind myself not to try to make cheap jokes. I dunno why changing my username helped that, but it did.

That THAT said, Kattullus' comment in this thread really... I mean, wow. You guys. There is absolutely no one more dedicated to MetaFilter as an actual community (outside of the mods) than Kattullus. Seriously. I know first hand his devotion to the site - even before sign-ups were open. Not only does the site as site mean a lot to him, but his care for MeFites as people is genuine and heartfelt. To hear him, of all people, mention that he actually considered quitting...

That's some serious shit. It'd be like jessamyn saying "Y'know, libraries are cool and all, but I think I'm going to give them a pass this week."

Not that we should modify our behavior to fit any one user's ideals of The Perfect 'Filter, but as a sort of canary in a coal mine situation, this is pretty telling that - in the words of the famous protest sign - shit is fucked up and bullshit.

[ Ok, admittedly posting before I've had a chance to read ALL THE COMMENTS as I really have to go and buy supplies to rid my home of the literal shittiness that threatens to overtake us all if I don't do more laundry toute de suite. ]
posted by sonika at 8:37 AM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


Posting something everyday doesn't necessarily confer any special insight.

You've made less than 150 posts and therefore are not on the list, so no one has to listen to you and your kind.

There are only 29 people who are worth listening to on this subject, only one of which is a mod. Unsurprisingly, zarq is among that that self selected few. Strangely enough, so is gman, what the hell?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:39 AM on November 15, 2011


FishBike: " It wouldn't be enough to tell myself "don't look out the window". I'd have the close the curtains. And then sew them shut."

It also gets harder when you have MeFites in your social circles. Because they'll point out WTF metas, worthwhile comments, fun askmes and awesome posts.

This place is like crack sometimes. Especially for infovores.
posted by zarq at 8:39 AM on November 15, 2011


When high-volume posters like Art speak objectively about ways we might be able to avoid threads derailing, I usually pay attention in the hope that I might learn something from their experience.

The moral I get is that when you start thinking that posting to MeFi is a job that you have to do, because it's important, then you get overattached to your posts since they're your work that you actually put work into and why don't people appreciate that? - and that leads to the present situation.

Just post something every once in a while when you stumble across something neat. And approach posting with a "look at this!" attitude rather than "look at me!"
posted by Wolfdog at 8:43 AM on November 15, 2011 [7 favorites]


Of course I gather we're gearing up to have the annual "look at me how look at hard I worked to make a post" contest so take that with a grain of salt or whatever grainy thing you like.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:45 AM on November 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


FishBike: If I was ever to take a break from MetaFilter, I'd have to disable my account and also edit my hosts file to make name resolution stop working for the site.

I don't know shit about this kind of thing, but wouldn't simply editing your host files be enough to stop you from accessing the site? What I'm getting at is - is the disabling of your account necessary?

Brandon Blatcher: Strangely enough, so is gman, what the hell?

Wow, that list shows me with 333 posts (yes, I'm like half the Antichrist), but in reality, I only have 297 showing in my profile. I guess that means I've had over 10% deleted?
posted by gman at 8:46 AM on November 15, 2011


I don't know shit about this kind of thing, but wouldn't simply editing your host files be enough to stop you from accessing the site?

Yes.

What I'm getting at is - is the disabling of your account necessary?

Yes, if you want to break the habit. Leaving the account closed, but still able to access the site kinda defeats the purpose of taking a break.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:53 AM on November 15, 2011


I was asking what the purpose of disabling your account is if you've already blocked the host files? ie if you can't access the site, what does it matter if your account is active or not? Unless I'm totally missing something?? Because that's a distinct possibility too...
posted by gman at 8:57 AM on November 15, 2011


The hosts file is only for your computer(s). Closing your account is the best one can do to prevent access from any computer.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:59 AM on November 15, 2011


Wolfdog: "418Of course I gather we're gearing up to have the annual "look at me how look at hard I worked to make a post" contest so take that with a grain of salt or whatever grainy thing you like."

Heh.

Yeah, I don't participate. Would rapidly become WAY too much self-imposed pressure.

Posting is sort of an organic process for me. That's a big part of what makes it fun. :)
posted by zarq at 9:02 AM on November 15, 2011


For instance, the hosts file doesn't affect one's smartphone or tablet even if it's pulling off the same WiFi network. Which is annoying.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:03 AM on November 15, 2011


> There are only 29 people who are worth listening to on this subject,

Wow, I wasn't aware of that list. Sad reminder of how much the site lost when MiguelCardoso gave up posting. And only 53 posts from nasreddin? Come on nas, get busy. I'd like to see you up there in the top 20 pronto.
posted by jfuller at 9:13 AM on November 15, 2011


Brandon Blatcher: "There are only 29 people who are worth listening to on this subject, only one of which is a mod. "

It was the last day. The end of Metafilter. With a heavy heart, mathowie announced "Last Comments!" in his final MetaTalk post. Shortly, the server would be silenced forever. The community would be no more.

At 12:42:21 Pacific Standard Time, the front pages of Metafilter and each of its subsites were wiped of all previous posts and replaced with a single, blinking link that read:

The
Truth

(SLYT BUTTSLOL)


On six continents, thousands of arrows and fingers stabbed at that final, forlorn link and gazed in wonder as cortex revealed the site's true nature. His 'gift' to the world.

Ten thousand sockpuppets, all his: familiar names revealed themselves across thousands of screens, all over the world. hermitosis. artw. blazecock pileon. miko. miguelcardoso. george clooney. zarq. eideteker. sonika. optimus chyme. east manitoba regional junior kabaddi champion '94. And more. The names went on and on and on. His work. His legacy. The final sockpuppet name flared onscreen and then slowly faded away: Metafilter.

When that final name carved in bright pixels had vanished, cortex held up a snowglobe to the camera. Inside a tiny pair of server racks could be seen, tended by what appeared to be a man on a bicycle.

Cortex grinned at the camera, then turned away and continued typing.

Off camera, just before the video faded to black, Jessamyn's voice could be heard to say:

"I wonder what he sees in there."
posted by zarq at 9:25 AM on November 15, 2011 [8 favorites]


Is this a twelve-step "please lock the minibar" kind of thing?

It's a one-step thing, but yes. Also, zarq's point about it being hard to stop hearing about Metafilter if you have Mefites in your social circles is worth emphasizing. It's hard not to come back when people are dangling interesting threads in your face. (I only found this thread because someone pointed it out in a non-MeFi venue because I'm Not Reading MeTa right now. See how that works, or doesn't?)
posted by immlass at 9:25 AM on November 15, 2011


For instance, the hosts file doesn't affect one's smartphone or tablet even if it's pulling off the same WiFi network. Which is annoying.

There's that, which is a technical thing that makes the host file edit trick an incomplete obstacle to further use of the site. There's also that if you can do it, you can also undo it very easily.

Closing your account requires contacting the administrators of the site if you want to re-open it. Just the knowledge that it is creating extra work for someone other than me would make it a bigger obstacle than if I could just do it myself.

I could still browse the site without an account, but participating in conversations (or even just using recent activity) stops working. So it's a different kind of incomplete obstacle to further use of the site.
posted by FishBike at 9:27 AM on November 15, 2011


The moral I get is that when you start thinking that posting to MeFi is a job that you have to do, because it's important, then you get overattached to your posts since they're your work that you actually put work into and why don't people appreciate that? - and that leads to the present situation.

I got the impression that the situation with ArtW appears to be a gesture of frustration at a number of things. Generally I do not perceive ArtW as being so precious about his posts.

I've seen some other comments over the past few days though that would make me hope that the above quote would cause people to stop and consider again why they're posting.
posted by panboi at 9:28 AM on November 15, 2011


Only 72 posts total on the blue between me and my sockpuppet. One of us better get busy!
posted by The Deej at 9:40 AM on November 15, 2011


There are only 29 people who are worth listening to on this subject. [users with over 300 posts]

I thought when I closed the wendell account (295 posts, just under the line for relevance) and started posting as oneswellfoop (104 so far), NOT as a sockpuppet, that I'd get credit for both. 399 contributions, babies! Then again, why would I WANT to be worth listening to?

I'll have to think hard about what I'll do for #400. How about dog cartoons on the internet? Or would that be too meta for MetaFilter?
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:48 AM on November 15, 2011


My lit and music teachers often pointed out that a creation is like a child - when you've 'finished' you send them out into the world and they fend for themselves.

Whatever it is, like the kids, it will find proponents and opponents. Unlike kids, nothing binds you to returning to your post to see whether its adored or all beaten up. You never know. Ques sera, sera. Once I post, I seldom visit it for at least 24 hours. By which time my "parental interest" has usually moved on.

It's nothing personal.
As many have said, if you're getting that involved, you need a vacation. I've taken months-long vacations from MeFi and it never hurt me.
posted by Twang at 11:13 AM on November 15, 2011


I was outside stapling my penis to a wolf. Did I miss anything?
posted by Splunge at 11:33 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Well, it's not like he posted a graphic novel of a Doctor Who episode that his cat drew. /Nasal
'Cause that would've been too awesome to be removed.
posted by y2karl at 11:38 AM on November 15, 2011


A lot of Bryan Adams' stuff is fine. Certainly infinitely preferable to the Fauxmericana of Ryan Adams.
posted by drjimmy11 at 11:41 AM on November 15, 2011


Is this something I would have to own a staple remover to understAAAGHit'srunningwiththepackagain?
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:50 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Chicken curry and rice, yum.
posted by infini at 11:54 AM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Threadshitting in the threadshitting threat? It IS turtles all the way down!
posted by Twang at 12:03 PM on November 15, 2011


Tim Curry and Condoleezza Rice, weird.
posted by argonauta at 12:03 PM on November 15, 2011


I know, right? She just was recently widowed by Gaddafi.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:13 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Condoleezza Rice could write a tell-all book for the ages.

Here's wishing her a long, long life and lots of time to reflect.
posted by jamjam at 12:33 PM on November 15, 2011 [3 favorites]


If you watch her in recent interviews you can tell she's kind of straining against the urge to say more, but her personal loyalty to G.W. Bush still overrides that mostly.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:38 PM on November 15, 2011


Man, where were you people when we had every thread image jacked with elephant shitting gifs.
posted by four panels at 12:49 PM on November 15, 2011


Wow. I see you people haven't lost it!
posted by dios at 12:50 PM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


Ugh.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 12:51 PM on November 15, 2011


dios: Wow. I see you people haven't lost it!

Somehow "it" found us. Now, it presses the big red button or else it gets the hose again.
posted by gman at 1:09 PM on November 15, 2011


Nice to know you're still keeping an eye on us, dios.

Nicer still to know why, I'd bet.
posted by jamjam at 1:20 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


oh man, i had to read this from my phone... to think i might havemissed dios and BPmaking out in metatalk. It's like you guys are running an aversion therapy session just for my benefit.
posted by GuyZero at 1:27 PM on November 15, 2011


I too am in this thread.
posted by Jofus at 1:36 PM on November 15, 2011 [5 favorites]


Unironic and sincere yay!
posted by Gator at 1:42 PM on November 15, 2011


It's precisely because in a collective society like Metafilter and Metatalk it's basically impossible to act (or write) or articulate (or not) in a way that pleases everyone that I have never posted. It's also because of this that I mostly left. Everything's good. I'm not flouncing and never did, but after a while and after seeing folks singled out for acting in good faith and seeing the dogpiles, I just decided, "Hey, you know what? I don't think Metafilter's a good enough fit for me and my expectations of a community that I should participate too much." And I really haven't regretted that decision.

I do stay logged in to catch the occasional MeMail or to just keep tabs or to read for amusement during a high stress day when I get 5 minutes to myself or whatever, but I'm pretty much done participating. I think it's largely because the community is too big and because, as my sweetie says "opinions are like buttholes - everybody's got one" and the range of opinions is so diverse that it's simply too hard to please everyone.

And because of the luck of the draw, I'm just as likely to get congratulated by the first 5 commenters as I am likely to get shat on or nitpicked or corrected or instructed or hugged. And I like more consistency in my online life.

And also because I found MeFightClub and I can go there and participate in the games and nonverbally demonstrate what kind of person I am and be appreciated for that a lot more easily than I can be appreciated for putting time and effort into a post and then be expected not to care how the post goes or how it's received.

I'm just not wired for that. No hard feelings, MeFi, but there it is.
posted by kalessin at 1:51 PM on November 15, 2011 [9 favorites]


Kalessin nailed it...
posted by HuronBob at 2:15 PM on November 15, 2011


> If you think saying something about Stewart Lee gave Artw legitimate cause to leave, then be a grown-up and explain yourself. Use your words.

Legitimate? No. Nevertheless it is fairly obvious although apparently it is not obvious to you.

He doesn't like you. He thinks you don't like him. He thinks you are throwing down a gauntlet by putting the first comment in "his" post. He cannot keep his pride and stay here and ignore that, ergo he makes the choice to not stay here.

Fairly routine internet nonsense.
posted by bukvich at 2:20 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


Its interesting how after all these years, we still struggle with the 'internet' as the other
posted by infini at 2:22 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


The "I" is the same in everyone, it's just all the garbage accreted around it that's the problem.
posted by Burhanistan at 2:23 PM on November 15, 2011


How do you mean, infini?
posted by EvaDestruction at 2:32 PM on November 15, 2011


Damn nternet.
posted by maryr at 3:07 PM on November 15, 2011


How do you mean, infini?

In the mid 1990s, was almost 30 when the PPP visual internet showed me what it was all about and within months had found a community from which I still maintain IRL friendships although the website is defunct now. We'd laugh about meeting "axe murderers on the internet" - it was this thing where highly literate, educated computer users with leisure and access would browse.

The internet was this thing apart from one's "real life" - what? dating online? you met someone "online", all of these things and more were accepted parts of speech and one, if one were already addicted, hid one's "other life" online.

Today, I'm hazarding a guess,this isn't true for the always on younger generations, particularly those who are online all the time via their mobile devices, social networking away.

Online and offline seem to have blurred their boundaries - speaking only subjectively as one over the hill observer - yet we still struggle with integrating the role that "online" plays in our lives, in any seamless manner.

This struck me due to snippets like what kalessin just said.

Is that due to different expectations from our online communities vs our offline ones? Is the increased GRAR due to this transitional period between the early days and the future days? Is it a generation gap - witness the privacy debates and "letting it all hang out"? What about all our threads in the grey about what constitutes etiquette and behaviour towards each other that we'd never imagine in real life? Is it as someone said in this thread or another one about the St. Johns seminars and then it was noticed that this form of communication strips the nuances of non verbal from the pure text. We have yet to form any widely accepted norms around textual behaviour, except that which is purely within context of one community or the other - unlike the "real world" where saying thank you is accepted behaviour across communities.

Perhaps I'm not articulating this as well as those with PhDs in this subject, but I begin to question if this here pixel is any less real than the "real world" -is there such a sharp divide anymore, socially speaking?
posted by infini at 3:43 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


29 people worth listening to

I worry that Artw fell prey to a MeFi altitude sickness that deranges one's thinking once you ascend past 500 posts.
posted by Trurl at 4:01 PM on November 15, 2011


sorry kalessin :(
posted by subbes at 4:16 PM on November 15, 2011


It's all good, subbes. At worst it's like ships passing in the night. I think it's most valuable for me to bring self-knowledge to the table and not flail any more and not fret about either not fitting in or not being able to change the community to be a better fit.

Better to be zen about it. Metafilter is what it is, and I am what I am and if I know I'm not a good fit, then it's best for me to stay away or lurk and try not to get wrapped around the axel about it.

It's better for me and better for you.
posted by kalessin at 4:21 PM on November 15, 2011


You wanna see something REALLY scary?
posted by Divine_Wino at 6:59 PM on November 15, 2011


Sure, ok.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:13 PM on November 15, 2011


Sorry to post a comment to a MeTa thread when it's been trying to devolve to the chatting that inevitably follows in a MeTa thread when it runs out of steam...but I'm truly baffled by the repeated assertions that MeFi has become worse-behaved than it has been previously, in general. I feel very strongly that this is not true.

For credibility's sake—because there are probably many here (among the few who care or remember) who don't know who I am in this new guise—I was formerly Ethereal Bligh and heavily participated in MeFi from 2004-2008. In the nearly four years I've been gone, I essentially never read MetaFilter at all, not the blue or green or grey. So I can't really speak to the character of the community during that period. However, I did began lurking again at the beginning of August and signed-up a new account a few weeks later...mostly in order to comment in a specific thread. But I've found I enjoy participating in this community again, though I'm not nearly as prolific as I once was.

And I feel like people here are behaving much better, in general, than they did from 2004-2008 (well, February of 2008 is when I finally left for good). People here in MeTa keep talking about fighty people and grudges but there are far fewer grudge matches that play out in high-profile threads the way they did years ago. And there are far fewer mefites who see their role here as their outlet for fighty-sarcastic-nosetweeking-condescending behavior. I don't think my previous participation could be fairly characterized in that manner, but it certainly applied far more often than it ought to have. Personally, I found it difficult not to behave that way when others were. But I just don't see that now. I just don't. Maybe I'm missing something. But I do read probably a fifth of all the threads on the blue these days (not accounting for periods, like this last week, when real world stuff completely interferes with my time on the 'net) and half of the grey threads (yeah, I find in my return I've not lost that particular addiction) and I really really feel that people are behaving better than they did years ago. Maybe 2008-2011 was a golden era for good behavior on MeFi and I missed it. Maybe.

But I suspect that it's more likely that this is just the very human and very ubiquitous habit of believing that Things Are Going To Hell In A Basket. It somehow most often seems like shit is getting worse rather than better. But speaking as someone who vividly remembers the 2004-2008 period and has been spending a lot of time here the last four months, I just don't think it's getting worse. It's gotten better.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 7:22 PM on November 15, 2011 [10 favorites]


The early threadshitting has definitely gotten worse.
posted by mediareport at 7:33 PM on November 15, 2011


Hi EB. Hi DW.
posted by jonmc at 7:44 PM on November 15, 2011


media - the thing that I notice about the first comments that tend to derail in bad ways is that they're almost always trying to be funny. It's a pretty understandable impulse, especially when you're the first response to a thread. It can feel as if you're just so damn witty that you came up with this funny thing before anyone else. And then as others file into the thread they'll be able to appreciate your startlingly sharp wit with a round of applause and a stream of tipped hats.

The problem is that few of us are actually that witty, so instead of delivering an Oswaltian bon mot we have deposited a noisome little turd.

It is this theory that leads me to want people to reconsider their attempts to get a few giggles early on, or at least consider them more carefully.
posted by kavasa at 7:47 PM on November 15, 2011 [4 favorites]


Jon lad, Bligh! Awesome.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:27 PM on November 15, 2011


The problem is that few of us are actually that witty,

No, the problem is feeling like leading off with a joke is a good idea. It doesn't matter if the joke is funny or not, it shouldn't be posted regardless. Come back when there are 20-30 comments, make your joke then.
posted by Chuckles at 9:55 PM on November 15, 2011 [1 favorite]


But I suspect that it's more likely that this is just the very human and very ubiquitous habit of believing that Things Are Going To Hell In A Basket. It somehow most often seems like shit is getting worse rather than better. But speaking as someone who vividly remembers the 2004-2008 period and has been spending a lot of time here the last four months, I just don't think it's getting worse. It's gotten better.

It's possible that the people who say the tone has deteriorated are simply feeling "hell in a handbasket"-y. Isn't it equally possible that your own perspective is skewed for exactly the reason you point out—you're a former member who is now settling back in after a prolonged absence. You're interacting with (some) familiar people and doing familiar things, and there's often a certain sentiment that goes along with that.
posted by cribcage at 2:12 AM on November 16, 2011


Threadshitting is such a subjective term, and it lends itself to mob rule. (heh - I originally mistyped that as mod rule.) You'll notice that "threadshitter" is usually assigned to the minority interest.

You say A
I say B
Everyone else says A,A,A,A angrily.

I'm the threadshitter. Not only that, but anything I say is flagged to all fuck giving me an extra dose of mod breath on my back.

The alternative is.

I say A
Everyone else says B,B,B,B angrily.

Again - minority interest is the one accused of threadshitting / trolling / whatever.

This doesn't happen all the time, but it happens enough. I think there needs to be less of an emphasis on the people who cause the initial friction and more emphasis on those that continue the fight.

If things are getting worse, it's because tolerance to ideas counter to mainstream metafilter opinion are given less consideration.
posted by seanyboy at 4:15 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


If things are getting worse, it's because tolerance to ideas counter to mainstream metafilter opinion are given less consideration.

And there's been a spike in membership in the intervening years [2008-2011] so the bar of the mainstream itself has shifted to reflect the 'mainstream' even more... hence the possibly negative perceptions regarding the changes. Or, dare I say it, a dumbth down (given some of the threads we've had here about people like languagehat etc leaving and the quality of discourse)
posted by infini at 4:20 AM on November 16, 2011


You say A
I say B
Everyone else says A,A,A,A angrily


is very frustrating. It's frustrating because sometimes it seems like every person in the thread must take their turn to personally refute person-saying-B, instead of allowing a couple of people to answer that – but, it really, really doesn't help when person-saying-B is extremely provocative and/or aggressive, because then even the people who would be perfectly fine not pitching in to A,A,A,A, will do it because now they're furious.

Generally, the whole angry-commenting shtick doesn't work great whether it's A or B. I do notice that when person-saying-B strives to present B rationally and without attacking people-saying-A, more A people will step in and argue that B person should be allowed to express their opinion without being shouted down, and I wish that both sides of that equation would happen more.

And I have also noticed person-saying-B presenting their viewpoint calmly, and people-saying-A responding civilly, and everything going along fine until Angry-Person-Saying-A/B charges into the thread and starts making accusations and getting personal... and there it all goes. Suddenly it's all red in tooth and claw, because neither "A"s or "B"s can ignore the hyperbolic angry commenter.
posted by taz (staff) at 4:48 AM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tell you what, the "Is Mark Zuckerberg like the Ayatolleh Khomeni or not" discussion in the Salman Rushdie thread is giving me new sympathy for the account closers. Apparently we just have to chase every shiny object we see.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 4:50 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Or, dare I say it, a dumbth down (given some of the threads we've had here about people like languagehat etc leaving and the quality of discourse)

The scope and magnitude of human experience, knowledge and opinion is vast. Much larger than any one person can encompass... so, yeah, we have people who aren't experts discussing a topic. I'm an actual, for-money expert on a particular obscure topic (g'wan, guess!), and have had the pleasure of being shouted down in one thread involving it, and ignored outright on another, and had a very pleasant discussion on it in a few other instances.

Am I angry that people who don't know what they're talking about dismiss me out of hand?

No, because it's always interesting to see what intelligent and interested laymen think, IMO... it helps me understand my own field better, and shows me how to frame what I do to others so they can grow a more accurate and deeper understanding.

Some folks just want to be acknowledged as "The Expert," and pop a gasket when their expertise is questioned in any way, or those participating in a thread don't have even a basic understanding of the topic (as considered by other experts to be a basic understanding).

Meh. It happens. I'd rather people be discussing it, right or wrong, than not discussing it, and the discursions and side-tracks and unexpected perspectives that arise really make this place worthwhile.
posted by Slap*Happy at 4:51 AM on November 16, 2011


I think that a lot of us who have been on the Internet for a long time (I myself have been participating off and on since at least 1992) like to think that as we get older, we'll all get better at being on the Internet and being nicer to our fellow dog and learning the ropes.

But we forget that the Internet is all about change. We've always got new people coming in. They always have their own ideas about how this Internet thing should work and the expectations keep changing.

I think that Metafilter is a microcosm of that - as long as signups remain open and it keeps getting new blood, that new membership will take a while to get up to speed with community expectations (such as they are) and keep dragging us through learning opportunities, no matter how long we've been here.

I think that nature of change and inconsistency is what I'm not always well-equipped to deal with. It's not meant personally to me when things go pear shaped and no one person in Metafilter is doing it to me, but from my personal view of the world, being on Metafilter is, to me, so random and so mercurial that the only thing I can meaningfully compare it to (again, personally, for me), is taking care of my 85-year-old Dad who has moderate dementia.

The rules literally change from minute to minute. I have no ability to or right to expect anything else. It makes me neurotic because unless I figure out another way to exist with it, I spend a lot of time flailing and trying to find a system that works where there is in fact no room for a system. It is truly a Zen exercise. From moment to moment, my participation and my good faith are in question because from moment to moment, it's a different person or group evaluating and judging and expressing their (dis)satisfaction with my words.

With Dad, in person, verbally, I think it's easier to stay in the moment and respond only to things going on right now. But the nature of this kind of written, archived, semi-permanent interaction on Metafilter makes it a lot harder for me to achieve this kind of detachment, and I question its worth anyway when consistency is important to me, personally, and there is a record.

But also I find myself agreeing with a lot of what infini said, and I think I don't keep it in mind enough that there are folks who don't take things said on the Internet or on Metafilter seriously.

From the beginning, in 1992, when I started on the Internet, it was and has always been my goal to reflect on-line the kind of person I am in person. I have never been able to dismiss things said on the Internet just because they were on the Internet. I never equated the Internet with "not real". It's just an extension of my life. Things said here mean to me as much as they do if someone calls me up and says them or has lunch with me and says them. And I keep forgetting that for a lot of folks on the Internet and on Metafilter, that's not the case. There are many people who don't take stuff that goes on on the net as seriously as I do.

So yeah, I'm still thinking that lurking most of the time is the best way I can participate on Metafilter.
posted by kalessin at 5:18 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"It's frustrating because sometimes it seems like every person in the thread must take their turn to personally refute person-saying-B, instead of allowing a couple of people to answer that..."

FAMO?
posted by iamkimiam at 6:29 AM on November 16, 2011


Isn't it equally possible that your own perspective is skewed for exactly the reason you point out—you're a former member who is now settling back in after a prolonged absence.

As someone who lurked for a long time but ponied up $5 in late 2008, after EB left and before Ivan joined, my sense is that most of the 2008-2011 period has been pretty good. When I say "things have gotten bad", I'm personally thinking there's been an overall increase in site tetchiness in the last six months or so. That's not to say it never got bad before or that there weren't plenty of feuds and e-blood in the e-streets in years gone by, even since I joined. But I do think there's been a particular turn for the worse in the last few months on a lot of threads on the blue and grey (and entirely possibly on the green, but I tend to stay out of human relations questions where that stuff is worst). My perspective may be skewed because I joined right before Obama was elected and now we're going into another US presidential election cycle, so maybe I came in on a good note and more spatting is normal (especially with the economy being so crappy now and that stressing people out). But I think there's been a recent uptick in general site crabbiness and I'm pretty sure that's what a lot of people are talking about.

I'm also really sympathetic to kalessin's position (that sometimes it's just better to lurk because the filters are unpredictable) and I know I've changed my participation accordingly. I read links from politics threads but I'm staying out of OWS and such in favor of the cool links kinds of threads, which I'm finding more congenial. (Also, completely turning off favorites has been a big help to me because it insulates me from "the lurkers support them in favorites".) I talk a lot about my 3-strikes rule in these threads, but for all the benefits of stopping after you've realized you're repeating yourself for the site, that rule is really for me and my own sanity, because e-screaming at people isn't fun for me and I can't imagine it is for most other folks to the extent that they think of the people behind the other keyboards as "real" like their meatspace friends too.
posted by immlass at 6:59 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everyone knows the Golden Age was from approximately early 2007 - late 2009.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 7:45 AM on November 16, 2011


I'm hesitant to say the OWS thread mostly went well, because "went well" is sometimes considered synonymous with "had little dissent and what dissent there was was shouted down effectively".

There was some of what seanyboy is talking about, though, and whether it is a number of people taking turns angrily denouncing a view, or a couple of (usually the same) people riding high on slamming that minority opinion right down the poster's throat (and often misreading them in the process, or at the very least, taking the least generous interpretation possible), it remains a problem. I considered defending a couple of these posts but relented because inevitably the Angry People would conflate seeing merit in one of Person X's arguments with agreeing with everything that Person X says, and I'm just done with that kind of nonsense.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:59 AM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


Everyone knows the Golden Age was from approximately early 2007 - late 2009.

I DISAGREE!!!
posted by carter at 7:59 AM on November 16, 2011


But, just to be clear, seeing merit in Person X's argument and saying nothing while they're curtly dismissed? That sucks. I feel bad and I should feel bad. But holy hell, I don't need the aggression.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:00 AM on November 16, 2011


Nor the aggravation. Neither. And not-double on Tuesdays.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 8:02 AM on November 16, 2011


FAMO?

You rang -- oh, I see. Sorry.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:28 AM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I think people tend to think that their opinion is the minority opinion as soon as more than one person disagrees with it, though.
posted by running order squabble fest at 8:35 AM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


"From the beginning, in 1992, when I started on the Internet, it was and has always been my goal to reflect on-line the kind of person I am in person. I have never been able to dismiss things said on the Internet just because they were on the Internet. I never equated the Internet with "not real". It's just an extension of my life. Things said here mean to me as much as they do if someone calls me up and says them or has lunch with me and says them. And I keep forgetting that for a lot of folks on the Internet and on Metafilter, that's not the case. There are many people who don't take stuff that goes on on the net as seriously as I do."

That's how I feel, too. And while it's entirely possible, even likely, that I'm wrong, I've thought a great deal about Internet culture over the last seventeen years (and I was on various online services beginning in 1982) and I've long thought that this whole "the 'net isn't real and what people say here doesn't matter" thing is a transient aberration that reflects the newness of the experience.

The 'net is not exactly the same as real-life interaction, but everything we know about people, scientifically and otherwise, shows that fundamental social rules apply wherever and however people interact. People do have investments, things at stake, when they interact on the Internet; normal rules of social conduct really should apply because most people don't react hugely differently to 'net interactions. At the very least, I feel certain that it's not true that "nothing matters".

Really, I think that I've seen some significant changes all over the 'net in the last ten years in this regard. I think that more people are nominally themselves, for example, and I think that even when people use pseudonyms they are less likely to act out in transgressive personas. Not that this isn't still quite common. But somewhat less common, I think. And that's a function of how predominant Internet social interaction has become across almost all demographics. It's not a fringe thing anymore. It's mainstream, and that makes it "real".
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 11:06 AM on November 16, 2011


The OWS thread is a total circlejerk right now.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 12:42 PM on November 16, 2011


Well, I'm a "real" person, too, but I understand that this isn't how everyone thinks or feels, or even how they ought to. Let's go to metaphor, now, because that's always fun and super popular, right?

What is a garden?

For some people, a garden is utilitarian; it's how they grow vegetables to eat or sell. For some it's decorative, and they like its beauty or tidiness or lushness as a reflection of their own personalities. For some it's spiritual, or zen; reflective. For some it's a wild, manic thing that they let grow wild in rebellion against the artificiality, structure and predictability of their daily lives. For some it's their beloved project and they will check every day to see how the cuttings are coming along, and spent winter evening cuddling with seed catalogs, planning for spring.

Some will carefully arrange it as a way to escape and protect their privacy, and others will invite everyone in and jump at every chance to show their creation off. Some will grow exotic fantasias with imported plants and dramatic blooms, and some will be very careful to use only indigenous flora and spend a lot of time researching historical local gardens. Some will maintain incredibly precise topiary sculptures, and some will do their best try to recreate a beloved arbor from another place and time.

Some will see it just as more or less hated chore that they do because the neighborhood requires it and they don't want to get kicked out, while others will be completely enthralled with the science and biology of it, educating themselves about every aspect of botany and horticulture. And... some will use it mainly as a way to annoy their assypants neighbor – refusing to prune tree limbs that might fall on the neighbor's roof, intentionally planting invasive breeds that will overtake the neighbor's careful landscaping.

Now, imagine all those gardeners sharing a quite large plot of land and trying to agree generally about how to use, arrange and maintain it all.

That's sort of like Metafilter.
posted by taz (staff) at 12:47 PM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


*Offers taz a lounge chair under shady lemon tree, lemonade and book*


*nips around the back to the let the dog into the veg patch again*
posted by infini at 12:58 PM on November 16, 2011


I think people tend to think that their opinion is the minority opinion as soon as more than one person disagrees with it, though.

When people stop jumping on posters who don't hold to some preferred narrative, I'll pay more attention to those simply waving the victim card.

Must all violent protestors be agents provocateur?
Must all disruptive/criminal attendees have been directed to the camp by the police?

There's nothing wrong with people asking these things. Yes, it's a nicer, black-and-white impression when all the protestors are Doing The Right Thing and the cops are responsible for every bad event, but ye gods. There's enough unquestionably wrong stuff here without the need to try to paint over the rest in such broad strokes.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 12:59 PM on November 16, 2011


Yeah, Taz, but that pretty much describes how people interact in real life, too. That people have different personas for different social purposes and they seek different goals in different social contexts is part of why there's social conventions in the first place. If we all were alike and had the same goals, there wouldn't need to be much of any sort of structure, formal or informal, by which interactions are regulated.

My comment wasn't so much intended to assert that everyone is, or should be, exactly "themselves" (whatever that is) online, but that online social interactions are not exempted from the very same forces and conventions that govern off-line social interactions. The people who are inclined to create very distinct online personas from other parts of their lives probably have created distinct personas in their off-line lives, as well. Those of us who are less inclined to vary our social personas very much probably behave similarly online, as well.

I think that it's not so much a matter of being someone's "real" self—because that is an elusive and debatable thing in itself. It's that people are less inclined these days to see the Internet as something quite different and "unreal" and where there are no social conventions (or consequences) whatsoever and are beginning to behave here as they would in any other sphere—not that they behave here just like they behave elsewhere in specifics, but that they approach this as a familiar and functional social context, like other social contexts, where they vary their behavior and personas as they wish, but according to the same sorts of conventions and rules and goals and emotional and social investments as they do elsewhere.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 1:24 PM on November 16, 2011


I like the garden comparison, except that the Internet is somewhere where people can come and go at will, not somewhere they live. It's much easier to plant an invasive vine that is going to ruin the spaces around you when you do so in a place that you visit and not somewhere you live full-time. It's also easier when there is no chance of bumping into the person whose garden you ruined at the corner shop.
posted by dg at 2:48 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The OWS thread is a total circlejerk right now.

Well, I just headed over there with my bottle of baby oil and was sorely disappointed. Please don't say something is a circle jerk unless there is an actual collection of people masturbating, and not just a group of people saying things you disagree with.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 4:15 PM on November 16, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's the Internet. If there's a collection of people, they're masturbating.
posted by Errant at 4:49 PM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


No, there really is a circle jerk going on. What you see in the thread is their dirty talk. "OMG your story about buying pizza for the camp made me cry!" *spurt*
Then mean old BobbyVan came in and ruined it with his reasonable dissenting views.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 5:01 PM on November 16, 2011


"Now, imagine all those gardeners sharing a quite large plot of land and trying to agree generally about how to use, arrange and maintain it all."

You used something like that for the MetaFilter job application right? Because if not you should have totally used that for the MetaFilter job application even if the previous mod cabal didn't think to make one.
posted by Blasdelb at 5:11 PM on November 16, 2011


Hey, who planted the kudzu?
posted by Sailormom at 5:13 PM on November 16, 2011


"reasonable dissenting views" aka "lol i found a protestor who said violent stuff" and "lol that old lady needs to stop whining about being pepper sprayed".

It's just threadshitting.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:33 PM on November 16, 2011


What you see in the thread is their dirty talk. "OMG your story about buying pizza for the camp made me cry!"

That's not a circle jerk. Characterizing actual conversation online as mutual masturbation just because you find it personally distasteful may be having the opposite effect that you wish. It's not them that winds up looking foolish. You seem coarse and dismissive instead.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 5:34 PM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


BobbyVan's position in one comment:

What other methods could the Seattle police have used to disperse a crowd -- blocking them from making a lawful arrest -- that would have been safer than pepper spray?

That is not threadshitting. Maybe you have a better answer, or disagree that the girl should have been arrested in the first place. That is discussion. Would you prefer endless self-pleasuring repetitions of "omg an 84 year old got pepper sprayed, fuck the cops" or "they arrested all those people who were blocking that intersection, fuck the cops"?

Things like "fuck hippies" or "I'm tired of hearing about OWS" would be threadshitting. But nobody is saying that, or if they were, the comments were deleted.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:14 PM on November 16, 2011


That's not a circle jerk

Ok, I agree. I got carried away there.
posted by Pruitt-Igoe at 6:27 PM on November 16, 2011


Then mean old BobbyVan came in and ruined it with his reasonable dissenting views.

BobbyVan's position in one comment:

Right, after his initial attempts to get a rise succeeded, he kept arguing. That's how trolling works, dude. Despite your idiotic analysis of the potential discussion, there was plenty going on there that didn't need "lol i found a protestor who said violent stuff" and "lol that old lady needs to stop whining about being pepper sprayed" to spice it up.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:15 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


Bobbyvan basically got told to go fuck himself, with no real consequences. Posters also assumed he was trolling and arguing in bad faith, that he really couldn't mean what he said, and was clinically disconnected.

This does not make metafilter a good place to have a discussion. It also makes your opponent look better by letting him take the high ground. Call it the "Cory Doctorow" effect if you will.
posted by zabuni at 7:19 PM on November 16, 2011 [2 favorites]


I admire her pluck.
posted by BobbyVan at 12:39 PM on November 16 [+] [!]


Oh, go pluck yourself.


THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:20 PM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


THIS IS AN OUTRAGE!

No, it's not an outrage, but it's dismissive and insulting of other viewpoints. As restless_nomad said:

"Fuck off" is explicitly about shutting down the debate, and as such goes nowhere good, and fast.

Even if served with a pun, it shuts down debate, and if people really thought he was trolling, they could have FIAMO, or made a meta. Insults and jeering do no good to the debate. I will say that most participants besides the ones I linked to were pretty civil, especially about such a hot topic.
posted by zabuni at 7:29 PM on November 16, 2011


A jokey pun does not shut down debate, stop whining. That is such a fucking reach.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:33 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


stop whining

If you want people to treat you with respect when you are unhappy about things, maybe try a little less of this?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:58 PM on November 16, 2011 [3 favorites]


I don't recall saying I wanted that?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:53 PM on November 16, 2011


You may had missed the point of Jessamyn's comment, which was, as I read it, to cut that sort of stuff out.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:03 PM on November 16, 2011


Go pluck yourself, Bunny.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:07 PM on November 16, 2011 [1 favorite]


The disappointment of the circle jerk thread has sort of torpedoed that for the evening. I'm not the young man I once was.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:15 PM on November 16, 2011 [4 favorites]


I dunno - BV did about the same thing in the Gabrielle Giffords threads (I found while researching an FPP), and 1400/1500 posts in, I guess it's something you either ignore or have fun with? The thread's dropped off the front by then, after all, and casual foot traffic has presumably dried up.

Personally, I found BV's pushes at the Overton Window - the suggestion that the protestors might have been using grandmothers as human shields, the addition of "like a spear" to a description which initially stressed a motion's non-violent intent, the repeated assertion that there was a battle on the streets of Seattle (in the face of 3 arrests for assault, at least two of which involved no physical harm) - fascinating and sort of charming, but you'd have to be used to a much slower audience than MetaFilter to think nobody would notice it.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:48 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I agree with this. Crudely recharacterizing an event to impugn the people in it -- and this was a deliberate recharacterization on BV's part, as he added in words that did not appear in any stories in order to impugn the protesters -- is a pretty cheap rhetorical trick. He's not bringing in new data points, or attempting to make his case with facts, but instead simply trying to manipulate language. It's as though we were talking about Snoopy on top his doghouse and somebody said, oh, you mean that unleashed feral dog that has been climbing on top of structures to menace people?

That's not argument, or discussion. It's blatant manipulation. The fact that people called BV on it doesn't mean that people don't have tolerance for dissent. They just don't like to be manipulated.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 7:25 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Perhaps he works for mainstream media and its become an unconscious habit now?
posted by infini at 7:34 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is an example of something I really dislike about MetaFilter. If someone's opinions go against the mainstream here (e.g., anti-OWS, pro-life, opposing gay marriage, etc.) then they are subjected to—among other things—a seriously heightened level of rhetorical scrutiny. People voicing such opinions on MetaFilter are accused of contributing in bad faith, trolling, etc., far more often than people whose opinions are a "better fit." I've seen users criticized, attacked, driven-off, and in several cases reprimanded by mods on these grounds, when I think that other users guilty of far worse on the other side have gone mostly ignored.

It's not that I think the criticisms are completely fictional. Yes, so-and-so could have phrased such-and-such better. But I think these criticisms are leveled at people with such opinions at an incredibly higher rate and with a significantly lower threshold than happens for other users. I think there is a higher standard for conservatives on MetaFilter. I honestly think there's an attitude of, "Mostly, we're liberal. So lazy or thoughtless liberal comments won't disrupt the site too much. But the site will erupt against lazy or thoughtless conservative comments, so if you're a conservative and you want to participate here then you'd better really hold yourself together." I don't know if that's the mods' actual logic (or if they even agree with me that it happens). I have always assumed that it is. I understand the logic. It makes sense practically, from the standpoint of people trying to run a website. But it's one of the worst aspects of MetaFilter, in my opinion.
posted by cribcage at 8:22 AM on November 17, 2011 [10 favorites]


A-fucking-men.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 8:33 AM on November 17, 2011


Sorry Crabby, but to qualify as one of MeFi's ideologically marginalized you have to express a opinion deeper than 'You're all schmucks.'
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:41 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


But the site will erupt against lazy or thoughtless conservative comments...

On the whole, lazy or thoughtless conservative comments have a tendency to be a lot more misanthropic and vile than lazy or thoughtless liberal comments. Sorry pro-lifers, gay-marriage-opposers and corporate apologists, but you are what is wrong with this country and this world, and you're welcome to have your well-reasoned argument picked apart, but if you're just going to puke up a bit of misanthropic bile then you can get right the hell out of here.
posted by griphus at 8:43 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


We're not talking about poor phrasing in this case, though. We're talking about a particular set of recurring rhetorical behaviors: linking to unreasonable response by lefties (redux), claiming to be on your side, really, with just a few concessions demanded (redux), highlighting unacceptable behavior by apparent victims of violence (redux, but sort of passim, really), then congratulating the congresswoman/pepper-sprayed octogenarian on her pluck, while suggesting she shouldn't be there in the first place (redux). Oh, and suggesting that people not following his line are "waving the bloody shirt" (a remarkably gutsy metaphor considering someone had just been shot in the head, but whatever) or hysterical.

MetaFilter may have a problem with good-faith expression of conservative viewpoints, but that's not what we're discussing here. We're discussing a procession through a track of non sequiturs and derails, claiming to offer helpful advice while dismissing and insulting. Incivility in responding to well-framed conservative viewpoints may be a problem MetaFilter has (in common with other sites with a prevailing political culture). However, confirmation bias in establishing what constitutes a well-framed conservative viewpoint is also something worth keeping a weather eye on.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:01 AM on November 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


pro-lifers, gay-marriage-opposers and corporate apologists

Which of these does BobbyVan's comments betray him to be? Corporate apologist, I assume. Bunny, care to share your judgement on the tricky cheapness of griphus's rhetoric?

Is BobbyVan, in "fact", a corporate apologist who therefore should expect the price of his participation here to include his arguments being extra scrutinized and/or called misanthropic bile, or did griphus just do to BobbyVan what you say BobbyVan did to the elderly lady?

I think the type of language manipulation you speak of is pretty much how a lot of people write and think and isn't really inherently wrong. Its just when it is written from a viewpoint other than the mefi default, it suddenly becomes a problem that a lot of people here need to find quarrel with.

I think there is a higher standard for conservatives on MetaFilter.

You don't even need to be conservative. You can just be the wrong kind of lefty.
posted by Dano St at 9:18 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is an example of something I really dislike about MetaFilter. If someone's opinions go against the mainstream here (e.g., anti-OWS, pro-life, opposing gay marriage, etc.) then they are subjected to—among other things—a seriously heightened level of rhetorical scrutiny.

It just goes with the territory. If you have a contrary opinion, people are going to expect you to back it up, whereas they already agree with the opinion they agree with and don't require support. There are areas where I diverge for the mainstream on MetaFilter, and I am never startled when people demand greater proof or stronger argument from me.

This is also true in life, by the way.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:22 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry Crabby, but to qualify as one of MeFi's ideologically marginalized you have to express a opinion deeper than 'You're all schmucks.'

I'm sure it seems that way to you, Alvy. But then I'm also sure you forget everything that goes over your head.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:29 AM on November 17, 2011


I'm sure it seems that way to you, Alvy. But then I'm also sure you forget everything that goes over your head.

Is this the sort of argument you want us to respect?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:41 AM on November 17, 2011


I think Bobby Van is being contrarian in the thread, but I don't think he's being obnoxious, and I don't think he's trolling.
posted by empath at 9:47 AM on November 17, 2011


Which of these does BobbyVan's comments betray him to be?

I wasn't reflecting on any comments made by BobbyVan, just the general phenomenon of lazy, conservative slagging.
posted by griphus at 9:51 AM on November 17, 2011


Is this the sort of argument you want us to respect?

If the mods don't like it, they'll let me know. As for your opinion, I couldn't care less.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:52 AM on November 17, 2011


That's not very kind. Are you having an okay day?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:56 AM on November 17, 2011


I feel like we've let you know plenty of times that this getting-in-vague-arguments-with-people-in-which-you-decline-to-make-any-substantial-point schtick of yours sucks, actually. I don't know why you persistently do this. It seems like a waste of everybody's time.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:56 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm sure it seems that way to you, Alvy. But then I'm also sure you forget everything that goes over your head.

Granted I haven't been around as much as I used to, but if you have contributed to any constructive discussions in any real way, I haven't seen it. It would be easy enough for you to prove me wrong, I guess; checking my commenting history for 'Crabby', the only instance I can find of you approaching that sort of discourse is here, but you begged off before actually doing much of anything. I suppose I could give you the benefit of the doubt, but considering your contempt for the concept of 'community' I have my doubts as to the benefit of doing so.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:57 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is an example of something I really dislike about MetaFilter. If someone's opinions go against the mainstream here (e.g., anti-OWS, pro-life, opposing gay marriage, etc.) then they are subjected to—among other things—a seriously heightened level of rhetorical scrutiny. People voicing such opinions on MetaFilter are accused of contributing in bad faith, trolling, etc., far more often than people whose opinions are a "better fit." I've seen users criticized, attacked, driven-off, and in several cases reprimanded by mods on these grounds, when I think that other users guilty of far worse on the other side have gone mostly ignored.

It's definitely true that the moderators let the mob rule way to often. I've complained about it before because I like debating with conservaitves and the moderating policy helps drive them all away, but sometimes a comment is just a threadshit even if it comes from a conservative.

The school of thought that tries to imply group blame for a movement based on individual actions is just trolltastic and dickish behavior, that goes for both sides.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:12 AM on November 17, 2011


If the mods don't like it, they'll let me know.

We all don't like it. You do a lot of complaining with very very little "Here's a way I think this could realistically be changed to be more in line with the MetaFilter of my dreams" and you consistently show up in MeTa to be nasty to people without actually engaging in substantive discussion about issues. If you do not like this place, that's fine though I wonder why you continue to be here. However the sly allusions that something is badly broken here and that we're all maybe a little too dim to figure out what it is from your obvious clues gets tiresome.

You are a member here and I work for you. If you are dissatisfied it is part of my job to try to figure out what is wrong and whether it's something that we can or will fix or, if not, politely tell you that you maybe don't want to stick around here because that thing isn't changing. And then if you keep grousing about the same thing, stay on message and tell you that the thing isn't changing, sorry. However we can't get to the level of what is actually wrong or what you actually dislike and you've set up a situation here where you are grouchy and nasty to the mods and the other people trying to have good faith discussions to work out solutions to the site's problems and then when asked what your problem actually is, you act like you won't get a fair hearing because people dislike you.

As I see it, working this out is way more in your wheelhouse than in ours. You can change the way you interact here and that will change the way people respond to you. Honestly it will. And that's where I'm at, personally. We ignore the constant grousing that contains no actionable fixable things or any possible remedies. If you'd like to get our attention you know how to reach us, but if you're honestly asking if your behavior is a problem: yes it is. Not to the "we're going to ban you" level but more in a "we wonder offhand sometimes why you bother" way.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 10:15 AM on November 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Looks like Alvy picked a fight because Crabby agreed with something, maybe if you can't figure out what he is complaining about you should look to what he agreed with? I think the Crabby complaints are pretty well known, he thinks the moderation is too aggressive and rewards conformity. I think he might suggest a way to handle that is to moderate less aggressively and work to focus on judgement calls more often when dealing with highly flagged posts and comments.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:23 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I guess they let you know.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:26 AM on November 17, 2011


Is this the sort of argument you want us to respect?

I commented that I think certain viewpoints attract increased rhetorical scrutiny, and you replied that all arguments should be "backed up" (i.e., substance). I feel like that's talking about two different things. But that's cool. Sometimes people aren't precisely on the same wavelength in conversations and it takes a few back-and-forths of, "Oh, now I see what you meant" and "Okay, so now I get that your point actually does address mine," etc. No problem.

But then you tag it with, "This is also true in life, by the way," which seems condescending. It's a half-step from "Duh" and it doesn't really make me want to engage in those back-and-forths with you that might have been necessary for us to understand each other's perspectives. I don't think it's as conversation-chilling as, "Yeah, well, double standards for conservatives are fine because conservatives are what's wrong with the world today." But I do think it's inconsistent with turning around and then asking another member if he thinks he's moving the ball forward in a productive way.
posted by cribcage at 10:34 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm still waiting for Crabby to release the brilliant plan for reforming how this place works. He mentioned it a year or so ago but has declined to actually say anything about the details. Maybe he should run for president?
posted by rtha at 10:34 AM on November 17, 2011


You know what, I apologize for that last comment. It's not really relevant to my point and I don't want to get into a prolonged derail-of-derail. I shouldn't have posted it.
posted by cribcage at 10:37 AM on November 17, 2011


It's a half-step from "Duh" and it doesn't really make me want to engage in those back-and-forths with you that might have been necessary for us to understand each other's perspectives.

I am not understanding your point. For my perspective, you seem to be saying that you get to dismiss somebody's viewpoint the moment you decide they are being condescending.

If I had meant duh, I would have said duh. A big key to engaging conversation is not to decide for somebody else what they meant, decide you don't like it, and then disengage.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:37 AM on November 17, 2011


I guess they let you know.

Yeah, I guess they'd rather derail onto a Crabby Appleton bash-fest than address cribcage's substantive concerns.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:47 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


You're responding to me now? After our last exchange, I am curious about why you think I should care about your opinion.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:48 AM on November 17, 2011


Anyway, this thread has gotten weirdly ugly, and I don't want to contribute any more to any ugliness. I guess I'll be on my way.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:49 AM on November 17, 2011


From your profile it seems like a role you've embraced - the dissenter or the rebel, with or without a cause. Do you have any examples of any forums you consider well managed?
posted by infini at 10:50 AM on November 17, 2011


You addressed me directly. What, am I not allowed to respond to comments directed at me personally? Who do you think you are?
posted by Crabby Appleton at 10:52 AM on November 17, 2011


<eyeroll />
posted by Dano St at 11:02 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Looks like Alvy picked a fight because Crabby agreed with something, maybe if you can't figure out what he is complaining about you should look to what he agreed with?

It looks as though Crabby and I agree with cribcage's comment, and therefore, with each other. However, it's a joke that Crabby apparently identifies with the subject of cribcage's comment since the scrutiny and criticism he's subjected to is, far as I can tell, entirely due to his acting like a jackass most of the time. If he actually expressed a point of view that was more substantive than just being a vaguely contrarian yammerer whose main goal is zinging MetaFilter, he'd have a point. As it is, it's just a sad joke that keeps rolling along.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:03 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Yeah, I guess they'd rather derail onto a Crabby Appleton bash-fest than address cribcage's substantive concerns.

So they've given you thoughtful, reasoned, and well-articulated substantive concerns, which you are dismissing while accusing them of, um, dismissing someone's substantive concerns.
posted by neuromodulator at 11:22 AM on November 17, 2011


No, I'm just not interested in furthering this derail.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 11:33 AM on November 17, 2011


Not to the "we're going to ban you" level

I'd ban him. I'd ban just to make him feel good. Then he could sit there all snug in his knowledge that HE'D BEEN SILENCED ALL OF HIS LIFE.

"MetaFilter is not primarily an intellectual forum ... its highest value is not truth, but conformity ..." See, I kinda wonder why someone even cares that much. Do people actually wake up in the morning raging against "the conformity" imposed on them by some website that they visit a couple of times a day? Apparently so. Ha. "Metafilter is not primarily an intellectual forum ..." Golly gee, Einstein, when did you figure that out?

I do find it mysterious why someone wastes time reading a forum they dislike. I guess, for some people, the pleasures of being a tiny martyr are just too seductive to resist.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:52 AM on November 17, 2011


It looks as though Crabby and I agree with cribcage's comment, and therefore, with each other. However, it's a joke that Crabby apparently identifies with the subject of cribcage's comment since the scrutiny and criticism he's subjected to is, far as I can tell, entirely due to his acting like a jackass most of the time.

All he did was agree with the comment, now you derailed it into a conversation about him for some reason.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:54 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


tiny martyr

Dibs!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 11:56 AM on November 17, 2011


I do find it mysterious why someone wastes time reading a forum they dislike. I guess, for some people, the pleasures of being a tiny martyr are just too seductive to resist.

It's probably much less devious. My guess is that people following that behavior pattern, sadly, have nowhere else to go, either on the Internet or IRL.

I have no idea what you can do about that.
posted by ignignokt at 12:22 PM on November 17, 2011


I hear there's a great social networking site called Face something or the other
posted by infini at 12:27 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


And now he's in me, always with me, tiny martyr on my LAN.
posted by griphus at 12:28 PM on November 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Hold me closer, tiny martyr
Count the slights you felt today
Those lame MeFites don't understand you
But you will sure show them the way
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:29 PM on November 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Jinx, griphus.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:29 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd only gotten as far as "Hold your hair shirt, tiny martyr." You all are good.
posted by EvaDestruction at 12:31 PM on November 17, 2011


I SAID DIBS!

Expect Tiny Martyr's debut EP in stores by Tuesday.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 12:33 PM on November 17, 2011


MetaTalk is a big tent. There's room for everybody's Tiny Dancer parodies.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:39 PM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


All he did was agree with the comment, now you derailed it into a conversation about him for some reason.>

Sorry, shall we go back to discussing Skyrim, Bobby Van, the reappearance of dios, gardening, Artw's departure, you telling people to stop whining, or threadshitters and trolls? It's been a bit of a freewheeling MeTa.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:39 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm just responding to the mods. You go on picking your fights.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:43 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


If MetaTalk is a tent, then who are we occupying?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 12:43 PM on November 17, 2011


Lay me down in rent garments of linen
You've had a tizzy day today
posted by argonauta at 12:45 PM on November 17, 2011


If MetaTalk is a tent, then who are we occupying?

My heart.
posted by griphus at 12:47 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm just responding to the mods. You go on picking your fights.

Christ, "stop whining" indeed.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:00 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm sorry, you go ahead and call other posters jackasses. Nobody will bother you anymore by trying to talk about the substance of the complaint he had.

He smells bad too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:05 PM on November 17, 2011


So you aren't just responding to the mods now? This the most confusing hypocritical lecture on conduct I've ever been subjected too.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:22 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


*chucks full bucket of cold water in general direction*
posted by infini at 1:23 PM on November 17, 2011


So you aren't just responding to the mods now? This the most confusing hypocritical lecture on conduct I've ever been subjected too.

I was hoping to discuss moderation, yeah, but it seems you want to talk about me now instead of Crabby?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:26 PM on November 17, 2011


May you both be chased o'er the ends of the Earth by Molly Malone and her nine blind orphan children until the Almighty himself couldn't find you with a radio telescope.



'Pluck you?' Seriously? No one around here knows how to curse people properly.
posted by zarq at 1:42 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, suck my butt you cheese doodler!
posted by Burhanistan at 1:43 PM on November 17, 2011


I see you running round the coop
Like your head's cut off
And I'm like
Pluck you
(ooo ooo ooo)
posted by SpiffyRob at 1:44 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


*chucks full bucket of cold water in general direction*

Wet MeFite contest! Wooooooo!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 1:44 PM on November 17, 2011


As I used to sing in French class...

Frère Jacques,
Genti Frère Jacques!
Frère Jacques,
Je te plumerai!

posted by maryr at 1:59 PM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Nice try, but you're not going to be able to dislodge "Hold me closer, tiny martyr" from my brain.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 2:01 PM on November 17, 2011


It's a small world after all...
posted by maryr at 2:02 PM on November 17, 2011


It's a giant world to you, tiny maryr.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 2:05 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Tiny martyr
In the wine
Acting crappy
Acting like swine
posted by SpiffyRob at 2:09 PM on November 17, 2011


Might I recommend a gander at the funnest thread I've been in all day?
posted by infini at 2:11 PM on November 17, 2011


I think the Crabby complaints are pretty well known, he thinks the moderation is too aggressive and rewards conformity. I think he might suggest a way to handle that is to moderate less aggressively and work to focus on judgement calls more often when dealing with highly flagged posts and comments.

The problem is that this is entirely too broad a complaint. What is "moderating too aggressively"? In what way - FPP deletions, comment deletions, talking-tos? Are there specific targets? What and who are they? How is "conformity rewarded"? Conformity to what? What are the rewards? Can any specific examples be pointed to for any of these things?

I've seen precisely this complaint on so many forums - "mods are too strict/play favorites/are mean" - and pretty much every time, it almost always stems from a user exhibiting crappy behavior and getting a smack for it, bringing on feelings of persecution, warranting more crappy behavior, being told to chill by mods, which underlines the feelings of persecution and so forth. It's a vicious circle that invariably ends with the user getting banned, leaving on their own accord, or - far less often - breaking the cycle themselves.

I'm not suggesting that bad mods don't exist or anything. I'm just noting a similarity here between Crabs and other users I've seen who've exhibited the same behavior. The irony is, his complaint that moderation is too aggressive is happening on a site whose mods have shown him nothing but tremendous patience, where elsewhere his routine would most likely have been cut short.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:51 PM on November 17, 2011


No, the irony is that there was a more detailed complaint Crabby was just dropping an amen on, but it got derailed into a discussion of his personal merits as a poster for no reason.

(and then mods over-aggressively joined in tag teaming on him and ignored the content of the complaint)
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:06 PM on November 17, 2011


Two of us independently replied once, each, to him, after he specifically put a "hey, only what the mods say about behavior x" type argument out there. I'm not sure how much less aggressively we could respond short of granting his behavior tacit approval by saying nothing.

I think cribcage's point has merit, and more to the point this isn't by far the first time the notion of how the site demography affects folks here's collective responsiveness to one side vs. the other of an argument that has a popular skew to it and it's something we've talked about at length before. I think it's problematic in some ways and definitely pretty complicated. But it's been a nutso day, this morning was extremely busy in particular, and I did not have the energy to get into it in detail.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:17 PM on November 17, 2011


I didn't see cortex's or jessmyn's response as anything resembling "tag teaming" at all, but alright.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 4:18 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm not sure how much less aggressively we could respond short of granting his behavior tacit approval by saying nothing.

I'm not sure how less aggressively Crabby could have responded to having the discussion randomly shifted to himself rather than the argument at hand, but you kind of ignored that too, didn't you? Both of you.

As I've said before, it isn't shocking when people stick up for themselves when they know mods are just going to let the provocations slide.

I think cribcage's point has merit

So try and focus on that next time.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:23 PM on November 17, 2011


So try and focus on that next time.

He's not obligated to try and focus on one issue and not another, and I believe both cribcage's point is worth discussion, as are yours and CA's combative mode of discourse. I don't see cribcage's point as being more closely related to the topic of this post, so I don't really understand how you've drawn this line that you appear to have drawn where one thing is a valid topic and the other is a derail.
posted by neuromodulator at 4:28 PM on November 17, 2011


"Amen"

Combative.

No, combative is turning that into a launching point to draw someone into an argument about unrelated posts. You can talk about whatever you like, but I don't think it's fair to pin the results on someone who simply posted that they agreed with someone.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:31 PM on November 17, 2011


mods over-aggressively joined in tag teaming on him

When someone, in a MeTa thread, specifically says that they're not paying attention to another user's callouts of their bad behavior and has indicated that he believes the mods will call him out on it if it's a problem, to me that is an open invitation/question "Is this a problem?" and in fact, at that point, I feel that if we don't speak up we're implying that there isn't a problem. I will not speak out like that unless specifically requested to or unless there is a serious problem.

Crabby can, at any point in time, speak for himself in this thread, start his own thread, or contact us privately if he is interested in working through the issues he has with the site or with us. I'm not going to try to guess what his concerns are and I'm not going to try to glean them through context.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 4:33 PM on November 17, 2011


Man, he also told someone to fuck off. I feel like you're really being disingenuous, here.
posted by neuromodulator at 4:33 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure how less aggressively Crabby could have responded to having the discussion randomly shifted to himself rather than the argument at hand, but you kind of ignored that too, didn't you? Both of you.

Crabby could have not dug into another random crappy back-and-forth with someone in lieu of either saying something substantial or taking a walk. Alvy's jibe was needless, but ignoring it and moving on with his day one way or the other would have been a better move than digging in.

If you want to break this down, okay: if it was some random one-off from someone with no history of getting in weird exchanges in Metatalk, it wouldn't have been anything to sneeze at, but that's not the situation; even at that, we have, as Jessamyn noted, pretty much made a habit of not engaging with CA even when he does start doing that sort of thing. In this case, he specifically put the question of his behavior on us to say yea or nay to, and it's a long-running pattern of crappy behavior on his part, and we said so. I was done talking about it at that point.

So try and focus on that next time.

Right now I'm focusing on not saying anything overly impolite. I am not sure what your intent is exactly but I am having a hard time not feeling like you've basically decided to spend the afternoon giving us shit for not saying what you wanted to hear when you wanted to hear it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:33 PM on November 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm rethinking "disingenuous" in terms of another discussion about assuming people are arguing in good faith. Let me take that back (sincerely), and put it this way: your perception of events in this thread is very different from mine.
posted by neuromodulator at 4:41 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm not going to try to guess what his concerns are and I'm not going to try to glean them through context.

You don't have to since I have pointed out that the current thing he was complaining about can be found right here. Did someone say disingenuous?

Woah, quick tag!

Alvy's jibe was needless

Now, since you are having trouble with Crabby maybe it would have helped if that didn't have to come out of you with a crowbar this many posts later.

but ignoring it and moving on with his day one way or the other would have been a better move than digging in.

And...AND...it would help if the poster who started the derail didn't dig in and call him a jackass after Crabby stopped responding. I think one participant in that discussion is showing admirable restraint now, eh?

Right now I'm focusing on not saying anything overly impolite. I am not sure what your intent is exactly but I am having a hard time not feeling like you've basically decided to spend the afternoon giving us shit for not saying what you wanted to hear when you wanted to hear it.

I happen to think Crabby is a valuable member of this community and I welcome his participation, I think he often does not get a fair shake around here.

Further, I do very much agree with Cribcage so it kind of sucks that his point got derailed into pointless Crabbybashing instead.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:47 PM on November 17, 2011


Now, since you are having trouble with Crabby maybe it would have helped if that didn't have to come out of you with a crowbar this many posts later.

You know modding is pretty light in metatalk, and jessamyn and cortex have both stated clearly that their comments on CA were a direct response to his "the mods will let me know" comment. A remark on Alvy's comment wouldn't have made much sense and wasn't warranted.
posted by neuromodulator at 5:33 PM on November 17, 2011


This is what he asked for clarification about:

Sorry Crabby, but to qualify as one of MeFi's ideologically marginalized you have to express a opinion deeper than 'You're all schmucks.'

I'm sure it seems that way to you, Alvy. But then I'm also sure you forget everything that goes over your head.


He said a straw-manned version of his points went over Alvy's head. Now, if that is problematic, that isn't light moderation.

Of course, that turned into:

you consistently show up in MeTa to be nasty to people without actually engaging in substantive discussion about issues.

...so it doesn't seem to me we are even talking about a reply to the specific question at hand. We are expanding way beyond it, so we can actually look at the context of his replies which can't ignore Alvy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 5:53 PM on November 17, 2011


I miss MidasMulligan, now there was a guy who could make a conservative stand.
posted by unliteral at 6:04 PM on November 17, 2011


In other words, his request for clarification of the appropriateness of a single argument apparently demanded response...about his non-specific behavior in totally different threads of conversation he did not ask about.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:05 PM on November 17, 2011


jamjam: Katullus paid you guys to make an example of what he was talking about, didn't he?

Clearly, I got what I paid for.
posted by Kattullus at 6:12 PM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


This:

If the mods don't like it, they'll let me know. As for your opinion, I couldn't care less.

is not a:

request for clarification of the appropriateness of a single argument.
posted by neuromodulator at 6:14 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm sure it seems that way to you, Alvy. But then I'm also sure you forget everything that goes over your head.

Is this the sort of argument you want us to respect?


Direct question about quoted statement. Directly answered:

If the mods don't like it, they'll let me know.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 6:46 PM on November 17, 2011


I parse it differently than you because the sort takes is from specific to general, but even if that were not the case, I still think that presenting CA's response to BU as a "request for clarification" is a real stretch. I think you're making repeated stretches in both your benign characterizations of CA's role in this, and your malignant characterizations of pretty much everyone else.

BUT

I don't think we're moving towards any sort of agreement on that, which, hey, fair enough. I'm done.
posted by neuromodulator at 7:22 PM on November 17, 2011


This is all spittle and no soup.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:27 PM on November 17, 2011


I parse it differently than you because the sort takes is from specific to general

But the assumes that the this is of that sort. I don't see the connection. Alvy took a one word reply of agreement and assigned to Crabby a claim of personal marginalization when all he did was voice agreement with a comment that did not claim personal marginalization.

Look, he has a bad reputation so the mods jumped all over it but there was nothing wrong with what he said there.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:42 PM on November 17, 2011


Sounded more to me as though cortex and jessamyn were responding to a Crabby's prompt, and addressed it pretty reasonably. But this exchange is looking more like differences in perception and tone-reading over the same words.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:45 PM on November 17, 2011


They responded when he prompted, but not to his prompt.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:47 PM on November 17, 2011


This is all spittle and no soup.

But what a portion!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:54 PM on November 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Look, he has a bad reputation so the mods jumped all over it but there was nothing wrong with what he said there.

Okay, seriously. Are you just messing around here? Are you kidding? All Crabby does is wander into threads, refuse to actually talk to people in favor of insulting them, and act like a total asshole. And you're wondering why people react to him, or why the mods -- in response to that last bit of ridiculous trolling -- respond with justified frustration? He has a bad reputation because he is absolutely uninterested in ever having a good faith conversation with anyone. That's not "jumping all over someone." That's calling out someone who's being a dick for no good reason.

Or oh wait -- I'm doing this the wrong way. Since you seem to like his method of discourse, I'll talk to you like he talks to other people. I guess I should just tell you that I'm not going to discuss this with you, since it'll go over your head and I don't give a damn what you think. I'll leave the "fuck off" bit out.
posted by Frobenius Twist at 7:57 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


All Crabby does is wander into threads, refuse to actually talk to people in favor of insulting them, and act like a total asshole.

Again, I'm aware of his reputation.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 7:59 PM on November 17, 2011


Are you saying that the reputation is without merit? Or that, when specifically saying that if the mods have a problem with his behavior they can tell him, their response was somehow colored by this reputation unfairly?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:02 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm saying that if he wanted to ask the mods what his reputation is he would have asked that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 8:06 PM on November 17, 2011


But what a portion!

I thought this was such a great line it deserved more than a favourite.
posted by neuromodulator at 8:35 PM on November 17, 2011


I may have stolen that line from Woody Allen.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:49 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm saying that if he wanted to ask the mods what his reputation is he would have asked that.

Comments like "If the mods don't like it, they'll let me know. As for your opinion, I couldn't care less.", in response to Bunny's asking if his snipe at Alvy was an opinion he wants people to respect is a part of a fairly established MO with Crabby. A lot of us say snippy things from time to time, but if the general pattern of behavior is positive, the comment alone is usually what's addressed. When snipes like that are a part of a much larger pattern of behavior, and when the user engaging in that behavior specifically invokes the opinion of the mods on yet another example of this behavior, then the mods aren't just going to address the comment by itself, but the comment within the context of this behavior.

Like, if someone cracks a racist joke at a party who normally never does such a thing, his friends will probably react with, "Whoah, man, where did that come from? Dial that back, eh?" But if this person constantly cracks racist jokes, and then cracks yet another one at a party, it's far more likely his friends aren't just going to talk about that one joke, but his overall tendency to do stuff like this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:52 PM on November 17, 2011


It's perfectly reasonable not to care what folks think when they are doing the backseat mod routine. Nothing wrong with that all, again it seems like the only concern here is reputation and not the actual content under discussion.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:17 PM on November 17, 2011


And yeah it's messed up you compare saying an argument went over someone's head with racist jokes, but to use that analogy my point is that he didn't even tell a racist joke. He told a perfectly PC joke and everyone freaked out on him.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:19 PM on November 17, 2011


Alright, I'm not trying to say he's as bad as a racist. But you see my point though, yeah? "I don't care what you think" by itself isn't a big deal. As a part of a pattern of general snippiness towards others, it's that pattern that gets addressed; not the comment alone.

Anyway, this looks like a pretty intractable discussion. I'm not going to dig in my heels on this one, and I'm sorry if you felt the way I tried making the point was "messed up". That was certainly not my intention.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:48 PM on November 17, 2011


It's perfectly reasonable not to care what folks think when they are doing the backseat mod routine.

You do realize that you just provided everybody an opportunity not to care what you think.
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:54 PM on November 17, 2011


They already had that opportunity! It turns out it isn't a breach of propriety for Crabby not to care what you think. Had he actually responded to you people would just be attacking him for that instead.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 9:56 PM on November 17, 2011


Perhaps it is time to let Crabby defend himself. Unless ... did he hire you as his council?
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 9:58 PM on November 17, 2011


I'm gonna go ahead and respond if anyone wishes to discuss this topic with me any further, you are free to not care what I think!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:03 PM on November 17, 2011


At this moment, you successfully seem to have chased everyone away. It's the backseat modding of the last man standing! And I'm out of here too. Congratulations on your victory!
posted by Bunny Ultramod at 10:05 PM on November 17, 2011


Who knows? They might come back!

I guess it makes sense that you see this as a game, there wasn't much point in trying to bait Crabby otherwise.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:13 PM on November 17, 2011


Wow, that was nice for a change. Thanks, furiousxgeorge.
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:17 AM on November 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


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