Gore warning? Really? February 17, 2012 11:57 AM   Subscribe

Gore warning? Is this a thing now?

I find this to be insane and indicative of a foolish desire to be all things to all people. Will we append a "gore warning" to movie trailer that shows people getting hit with axes? How about facehuggers?

But let's just set that aside for a second. From the way it's worded, adding a "gore warning" to this thread makes the video appear to be nothing but gore, and will therefore drive people away from this cool thing that I found.

I feel like my wrist just got slapped by a nun.
posted by Cool Papa Bell to Etiquette/Policy at 11:57 AM (222 comments total) 11 users marked this as a favorite

Metafilter: insane and indicative of a foolish desire to be all things to all people.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:58 AM on February 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


I feel like my wrist just got slapped by a nun.

KINK WARNING
posted by elizardbits at 12:01 PM on February 17, 2012 [64 favorites]


A whole bunch of people felt that, as presented, there was something of a bait-and-switch going on and they saw something they really would rather they had not. It's not a hard-and-fast rule, or anything, but it's also something I'm pretty willing to do if people complain.

Presumably a post about a horror movie would contain at least some indication that it was about a horror movie and people could make the decision to watch it based on that. A blind "hey this is cool" link to an unrated Saw XVII trailer would probably be something we'd take steps to mitigate, yeah.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:02 PM on February 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


While I enjoyed that video, I found the gore (and the screaming) really jarring because I wasn't expecting it. The final bit was very gory. I can see why someone would want a warning, especially if they were watching it while eating lunch at their desk, or something. Metafilter is NSFW as a matter of policy, but that doesn't mean that we can't think of how people might react to what they're about to click on.
posted by Dasein at 12:02 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It seems to me to indicate a desire to be one thing (considerate) to one kind of person (the kind who doesn't want to see videos with gory content), but hey, what do I know.
posted by Zozo at 12:03 PM on February 17, 2012 [15 favorites]


Booh for the gore warning. NSFW is fine, tirgger warning makes sense, but for this?
posted by Think_Long at 12:03 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Thank you for adding the gore warning.
posted by zarq at 12:04 PM on February 17, 2012 [19 favorites]


adding a "gore warning" to this thread ... will therefore drive people away from this cool thing that I found.

Huh? I thought adding a warning like "gore" or "NSFW" was a surefire way to at least double the number of people who click on the link.
posted by John Cohen at 12:04 PM on February 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think the folks requesting an overt "gore warning" were being a little silly, but I was also quite taken aback by the sharp dark turn the ad took. I was as baffled by the people who thought it was hilarious or amazing as by those who thought it was unnecessarily gory.
posted by aught at 12:04 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Vampire Hunter in the title of the film implies violence and gore.

Aliens prequel? Based on the other movies, sure to be gore.

"This is apparently a real advertisement for the Central Institute of Technology in Australia. Mind blown. TV in America sucks.". No indication of gore whatsoever.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 12:05 PM on February 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


The capitalization falsely promises the appearance of Al Gore. I was briefly excited to learn that he's been shilling for Australian universities, but no.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 12:07 PM on February 17, 2012 [28 favorites]


What's the line for a humor video that does need a "gore" warning? Would you agree that Klaus the Forklift driver (gore warning) should get one? I think it's useful where possible to provide some warning to surprise dismemberment.
posted by skynxnex at 12:08 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Usually we'll add "maybe NSFW" in these cases but the faq is pretty clear, sometimes this will happen. It's rare, but not unheard of for us to add a warning.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:08 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel like my wrist just got slapped by a nun.

If that's not your thing, I can get you a priest or rabbi. No iman though, that's too freaky.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:09 PM on February 17, 2012


I feel like my wrist just got slapped by a nun.

Total bummer. I personally prefer hair-pulling myself.
posted by kate blank at 12:10 PM on February 17, 2012


I'm totally willing to reword it if there's a better way - "NSFW" seemed maybe unhelpful since it's usually talking about nudity, but maybe [NSFW, gore] would come off better?
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 12:10 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I honestly thought that this was going to be a spot about climate change, rising oceans, etc.
posted by Danf at 12:11 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, be glad your video wasn't simply deleted.
posted by zarq at 12:11 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


if you're actually curious about what turns people off from clicking on your thread - this is the bit that did it for me "Mind blown. TV in America sucks." the first sentence of your post stands on its own and is a interesting, with or without the gore warning. i saw it both ways and was actually more inclined to click after the warning was added. but the extra stuff, it seemed like gawker style link bait, like you didn't think your link was interesting enough and had to jazz it up. plus, "xyz is cool, america sucks" is just so tiring as a start of a conversation.
posted by nadawi at 12:12 PM on February 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


> No iman though, that's too freaky.

You don't want to be punished by Iman? (Imam is the word).
posted by Burhanistan at 12:12 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


i'd like to be punished by an iman/bowie team. i bet they have they best kink gear, stylish, supple, useful...
posted by nadawi at 12:13 PM on February 17, 2012 [20 favorites]


Yeah, NSFW wouldn't help here (I don't care about clicking on those, since I'm not at work). The "gore" keyword here is much appreciated.
posted by introp at 12:13 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Placing a gore warning on that video is a spoiler. Shouldn't there be some kind of spoiler warning, which you click through to get "spoiler: video contains gore"...?
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:14 PM on February 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


> i'd like to be punished by an iman/bowie team.

Didn't they do a song together? That's probably fairly punishing.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:15 PM on February 17, 2012


YOU CAN'T HANDLE THE TRUTH.
posted by crunchland at 12:16 PM on February 17, 2012


You don't want to be punished by Iman?

No, I do the punishing, says so on the sign by the entrance.

Perhaps you need to be reminded.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:17 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm glad this was brought up. Mods, can you please add a SPOILER WARNING in front of the Gore warning? Because the unexpected gore is the whole fucking point! If you tell us in advance that something unexpected is going to happen, you fucking ruin it! If you tell us the unexpected thing is OMG GORE! then all we're thinking about is OMG WHEN IS THE GORE GOING TO HAPPEN?!!

So please - SPOILER WARNING in front of the Gore warning.

Or maybe change the Gore warning to "May not be appropriate for people who don't like surprising things on the Internet."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:18 PM on February 17, 2012 [38 favorites]


Also, be glad your video wasn't simply deleted.

zarq, we spent a huge amount of time explaining that deletion decision and these are really different situations. Is there a reason you are bringing that up again?
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:19 PM on February 17, 2012


You could have just put "Warning: Gross" on it, which would make people think that the early-on vomiting was the cause of the warning, and then the later actual gore would have come as a surprise.
posted by The otter lady at 12:19 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Can we stop referring to things as things? Can this be a thing?
posted by bondcliff at 12:20 PM on February 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Anyway, it should be a comedy gore warning, Warning, COMEDY!
posted by found missing at 12:20 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cool Papa Bell: “makes the video appear to be nothing but gore, and will therefore drive people away from this cool thing that I found.”

Your post already has 46 favorites. It is not in danger of being ignored.
posted by koeselitz at 12:20 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


I am OK with places other than MetaFilter being the places to go when you want the possibility of surprise! gore.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:21 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


"May not be appropriate for people who don't like surprising things on the Internet."

Although that also has the problem of making you watch it thinking "I wonder when the twist is about to start"? It's hard to imagine any warning that doesn't kinda ruin the joke: the whole point of the ad is that it starts out seeming banal and cheesy and then slowly moves into stranger and stranger territory. Any warning will kill the effect of that "OMG, how did we end up here?" feeling.

Still, it did take a really dark turn. I know people who would feel genuinely upset by this--despite knowing it's "fake." So I'm not sure what the best way to handle it is.
posted by yoink at 12:22 PM on February 17, 2012


Gore warning.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:23 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am OK with places other than MetaFilter being the places to go when you want the possibility of surprise! gore.

I am OK with MetaFilter linking to those places.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:23 PM on February 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


> So I'm not sure what the best way to handle it is.

People should turn off their internets, or just use them for business, research and commerce. Otherwise, it's going to be messy.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:24 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


jessamyn: " zarq, we spent a huge amount of time explaining that deletion decision and these are really different situations. Is there a reason you are bringing that up again?"

I'm not trying to rehash my post. I'm trying to point out that the situations are not in fact, all that different. In at least one previous case where the surprise end of a video was found to be disturbing to some members of the community, it was deleted. In this case, a warning was added instead.
posted by zarq at 12:24 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I clicked on it after seeing the gore warning. I have a not-very-high tolerance for gore, but it goes to zero when it's surprise gore.

I thought the ad was kind of gross and pretty hilarious. But it did not make me want to go to that school.
posted by rtha at 12:27 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


it is a friday afternoon and i too find that i have some complaints
posted by crackingdes at 12:28 PM on February 17, 2012 [16 favorites]


COMPLAINT WARNING!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:29 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


As a horror buff, I have zero problems with (fake) gore, and I thought the video was brilliant. But I do totally understand that most people are more sensitive to that sort of thing than I, and I think the gore warning is a good move.
posted by brundlefly at 12:29 PM on February 17, 2012


I saw it before the gore warning got added, and I'm glad I didn't see it coming, because that would have diminished the humor. However, since my amusement is not the only thing I am concerned about in this world I can appreciate that sometimes, some of my amusement can be sacrificed to make other people more comfortable. I don't really understand why people need a gore warning - so I'll just add that to the list of things that I'll probably never understand, and don't have to. The gore warning's ok by me.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 12:31 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


> Can we stop referring to things as things? Can this be a thing?
My fetishistic love of the ‘things’ of the world makes it impossible for meto consider them natural. Either it consecrates them or it desecrates themviolently, one by one; it does not bind them in a correct flow, it does not accept this flow. But it isolates them and adores them, more or lessintensely, one by one - Pier Paolo Pasolini
I have no idea why that comment made me think of Pasolini, but an aspiring (and now dead) screenwriter I knew had that quote posted above his old school word processor.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:31 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can we stop referring to things as things? Can this be a thing?

Absolutely not
.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 12:35 PM on February 17, 2012


I'm not trying to rehash my post. I'm trying to point out that the situations are not in fact, all that different. In at least one previous case where the surprise end of a video was found to be disturbing to some members of the community, it was deleted. In this case, a warning was added instead.

Ah, but zarq, that video was a public service announcement, whereas this one is purely an advertisement.

It's pretty obvious that one is a-ok while the other totally isn't.




Wait, which one was deleted?
posted by Sys Rq at 12:36 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Some thing in the way he moves
Disects me like no other stairwell
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:37 PM on February 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Absolutely not.

I wasn't talking about Things.
posted by bondcliff at 12:38 PM on February 17, 2012


Yeah, if there's a 'gore' warning you spend all your time waiting for gore. It ruins the clip.

I prefer 'Possibly NSFW' here myself, no specifics necessary.
posted by mazola at 12:42 PM on February 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


I think the essential difficulty with "is this a thing?" is that it seems to imply that existence is an inherent substrate of thingness. That's all well and good if people would like to line up with St Anselm (which I do, incidentally) but I get the feeling people don't really realize what they're implying.

zarq: “I'm not trying to rehash my post. I'm trying to point out that the situations are not in fact, all that different. In at least one previous case where the surprise end of a video was found to be disturbing to some members of the community, it was deleted. In this case, a warning was added instead.”

Extreme but random gore that is clearly intended as surreal humor seems pretty strikingly different from the vivid depiction of domestic violence that is clearly intended to shock the viewer into action, actually. (Not that I want to get into it, necessarily; they just seem pretty different.)
posted by koeselitz at 12:42 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


A version of the South Park warning would work well here:

DUE TO ITS CONTENT, THIS VIDEO SHOULD NOT BE VIEWED BY ANYONE

After that, you're on your own.
posted by found missing at 12:47 PM on February 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


A whole bunch of people felt that, as presented, there was something of a bait-and-switch going on

That was kinda the point, wasn't it? That's what made it interesting. The "gore warning" was a spoiler that ruined what might have been a fun experience.

Agreeding with mazola: 'Possibly NSFW' would have been fine (if also unnecessary, considering it's not, and we're presumably all adults).
posted by coolguymichael at 12:48 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


While I'm here...

I am OK with places other than MetaFilter being the places to go when you want the possibility of surprise! gore.

I'm okay without the more delicate among us dictating what the site is and isn't (unless, of course, they are mods and/or site owners).
posted by coolguymichael at 12:51 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would like my comedy without any surprises. And, with a laugh track so I know when something was funny.
posted by found missing at 12:53 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Gore Warning.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:53 PM on February 17, 2012


True story: I thought the "Gore warning" meant Al Gore appeared in the video, and I didn't click on it for that reason.

I think it makes sense that the warning was added, considering how many people said in-thread that there should be one.
posted by languagehat at 12:54 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I prefer 'Possibly NSFW' here myself, no specifics necessary.

The problem with "possibly NSFW" is that you assume it means sexual content (how many workplaces actually care about gore?). Lots of people would happily click on it not caring a damn if it has some sideboob or something and then still get squicked by the gore.

There's really no good way to do this. You either let it live as is or you give a big fat spoiler. I was happy that I saw it before the gore warning was added, but I can see why some people would want it.

Ooh! I just thought of a solution: but it's really a two-to-three pony request. Metafilter could come with "sensitivity settings." You choose whether you find sex, gore, politics, bestiality, SLYT links etc. offensive and then people submitting posts can put in warnings that are only visible to people who have selected that area of "sensitivity." So those of us who aren't very gore-susceptible would see nothing, but those of us who were would see "Warning: Gore (not the politician)."
posted by yoink at 1:06 PM on February 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm glad I saw it before the warning was added. I'm also glad that I posted "this is hilarious" in the thread before I saw aught's comment above about finding people who thought it was hilarious baffling. I am an enigma wrapped in a riddle wrapped in a staircase.
posted by rory at 1:12 PM on February 17, 2012


I feel like my wrist just got slapped by a nun.

KINK WARNING


I find even the mention of 'KINK WARNING' may, in itself, set people off in ways they are not prepared to handle, especially at work. I'd much prefer something a bit more neutral, like BONER PARTY. Altho that term itself may have some mild linkage to patriarchy-reinforcement that some may find uncomfortable - in such cases, the equally useful LADY-BONER PARTY could be used.
posted by FatherDagon at 1:14 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


When I clicked, I thought the Gore warning was because of the vomit.

I dunno, I found it funny up til the last scene. That was pretty torture-porn horrifying and not so funny for me. *shrug*
posted by Windigo at 1:16 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


The "Gore warning" does in fact ruin it. As soon as they start teleporting you know exactly where things are headed (onto a spike teehee). Also, I was very surprised that people thought it was so horribly gory. Guess I'll have to recalibrate my gore-o-meter. (Really? It was so... CGI-y)

A vaguer warning (mature audiences, safe for no one, not safe for the sensitive, etc) would have worked better, as others suggested.
posted by bobobox at 1:17 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


[Gore warning] is perfect. The video is SFW. But it's gore. Some people don't like gore. Warn them.
What is the problem?
Creative moderation? I am all for it.
posted by bru at 1:17 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


> I'd much prefer something a bit more neutral, like BONER PARTY.

[Engorgement Warning]
posted by Burhanistan at 1:19 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd much prefer something a bit more neutral, like BONER PARTY.

What's so neutral about the Emperor of the French and King of Italy?
posted by Sys Rq at 1:22 PM on February 17, 2012


people flagged it and moved on, OP. time for you to move on too.
posted by Avenger50 at 1:23 PM on February 17, 2012


Ooh! I just thought of a solution: but it's really a two-to-three pony request. Metafilter could come with "sensitivity settings." You choose whether you find sex, gore, politics, bestiality, SLYT links etc. offensive and then people submitting posts can put in warnings that are only visible to people who have selected that area of "sensitivity." So those of us who aren't very gore-susceptible would see nothing, but those of us who were would see "Warning: Gore (not the politician)."

This is a horrible, horrible idea.

people flagged it and moved on, OP.

No, they complained the lack of warning in thread. OP can complain about the warning in Metatalk.
posted by nooneyouknow at 1:27 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


people flagged it and moved on, OP. time for you to move on too.

This is a question of policy, and belongs here. Not everyone is happy with coddling the most sensitive flag-clickers as a defacto site policy. So we are discussing here. If you don't care, flag it and move on.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:28 PM on February 17, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yes, I'm ornery today. Warning.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 1:29 PM on February 17, 2012


I'm really glad you guys added the warning, but could you make it a bit more clear? I, like apparently a bunch of people in this thread, thought it was a jokey reference to Al Gore being involved somehow. Maybe, IMPALEMENT GORE WARNING ?
posted by Blasdelb at 1:40 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


But wait! The very idea implanted in a person's head by the word "gore" could send that person into a inward-facing spiral into the depths of their own personal hell of half-remembered roadkill and imagined possibilities!

I think we need a warning warning.
posted by cmoj at 1:42 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's triggers all the way down.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:42 PM on February 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I made it lower-case, that should be less Gore-y.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:44 PM on February 17, 2012


Let's get out our thesaurus, people.
posted by found missing at 1:45 PM on February 17, 2012


Gor Warning
posted by Artw at 1:45 PM on February 17, 2012


It upsets me terribly when I come 'cross pictures of dead/hurt people on the internet.
But WARNING COMEDIC GORE would get me clicking on the link every time.
But then there would be a new metatalk about what is comedy gore and what is not.
Besides, I saw the trailer for the movie where Jeremy *Irons penis becomes detached and terrorizes Willow's girlfriend in a cabin, and I know I saw that here sans gore warning.

*Rom Jeremy? Can't remember his name. Long penis, I believe.
posted by angrycat at 1:46 PM on February 17, 2012


I'd like a Cosby Sweater warning.
posted by keli at 1:47 PM on February 17, 2012


After the vomiting scene, I was prepared for all kinds of gore. I was equally prepared all kinds of unfunniness.
posted by oneswellfoop at 1:47 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Gor warning.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:49 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It upsets me terribly when I come 'cross pictures of dead/hurt people on the internet.
But WARNING COMEDIC GORE would get me clicking on the link every time.


Agreed. Someone linked to that r/beatingtrannies bullshit which contains a(t least one) picture of a person horribly mutilated and dead. I will never give fucking Reddit another page view as long as they are complicit in supporting that inhumane and disgusting shit.

I'm alright with the posted video though, and thought it was funny. A warning is not a bad idea.
posted by P.o.B. at 1:54 PM on February 17, 2012


perhaps you can adopt the NSFL (not safe for lunch) warning instead of NSFW, since so many people associate NSFW with nudity/porn?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 1:59 PM on February 17, 2012 [22 favorites]


And, nudity/porn with lunch.
posted by found missing at 2:01 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I would like to cash in 100 of my favorites to give to the man of twists and turns's suggestion, please.
posted by Etrigan at 2:02 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


However, I agree that the 'gore' or 'NSFL' warning does reduce the effectiveness and amount of shock in the video. Once I saw him teleporting, I pretty much knew what was going to happen.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 2:08 PM on February 17, 2012


I prefer 'Possibly NSFW' here myself, no specifics necessary.

The problem with "possibly NSFW" is that you assume it means sexual content (how many workplaces actually care about gore?). Lots of people would happily click on it not caring a damn if it has some sideboob or something and then still get squicked by the gore.


In addition to boobs, NSFW also has come to imply dirty words so the person doesn't click on at the office with their speakers turned up. As a person that doesn't work in an office, I've no problem with boobs or potty mouth.

perhaps you can adopt the NSFL (not safe for lunch) warning instead of NSFW, since so many people associate NSFW with nudity/porn?

I've thought the L stood for life. Not safe for life.

Usually this is reserved for real-life gore. Like the decapitated bodies hanging from a bridge in Nuevo Laredo.

I don't like real-life gore. I saw this post title and thought that the school made a anti-drunk driving ad with real dead bodies at the end. Only this Metatalk made me watch it to find out it was fake gore.

I'm all for labeling things, but if I see things like "gore or NSFL" I'll think it is real life gore. This is more simulated gore which can still be gross, but it isn't rotten.com real life gore.
posted by birdherder at 2:14 PM on February 17, 2012


Seems like a reasonable judgement call to me.

Of course I don't find being shocked to be particularly titillating so it didn't change my viewing experience much.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 2:17 PM on February 17, 2012


Thorwor Garwor gore warning
posted by cashman at 2:24 PM on February 17, 2012


I am completely astounded there is still no gore warning on that thing. Twitching and tortured with blood bubbling out? REALLY?
posted by DU at 2:26 PM on February 17, 2012


Oh, it's there now. Thanks, non-refreshing browser.
posted by DU at 2:27 PM on February 17, 2012


WHAT THING ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?? CALL 911 FOR GAWDS SAKE!!
posted by found missing at 2:27 PM on February 17, 2012


REALLY?

No, not really. It's special effects.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:30 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I can't even put ketchup on my burger without a gore warning.
posted by found missing at 2:32 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Giving people a heads up on disturbing images is not new here. Maybe some people would argue that the gore in the link isn't disturbing, and that's a debate for sure. Personally, I'm one of those folks that doesnt like to watch or look at images of gore because I can't delete them from my brain and they tend to reappear later. I appreciate the gore warning, and am a little surprised at the dismissive "awww it's okay honey, it isnt REAL" reactions as well as the surprise that the warning apparently caused. This isnt the first time such a warning has been applied.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:33 PM on February 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


A) I didn't call anyone honey.
B) I was just answering the question. The question was, "Twitching and tortured with blood bubbling out? REALLY?" The answer is, "No, not really. It's special effects."
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:37 PM on February 17, 2012


? My comment wasn't directed at you.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:43 PM on February 17, 2012


Reactions of various stripe in meta talk are whatever, that's what this is here for. I mean the thread in question.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:44 PM on February 17, 2012


Ah. Timing!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:45 PM on February 17, 2012


Indeed, my bad. ;)
posted by lazaruslong at 2:46 PM on February 17, 2012


Not at all. Just the nature of the beast. MetaTalk needs a beast warning.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:48 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I was mostly upset that you didn't call me "honey," actually.
posted by koeselitz at 2:49 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


RAOW
posted by edgeways at 2:49 PM on February 17, 2012


What rough warning is this that slouches towards Metafilter to be born?
posted by lazaruslong at 2:50 PM on February 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


clawprint.gif
posted by zarq at 2:55 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


What is the secret of comedy?
posted by Ayn Rand and God at 3:00 PM on February 17, 2012


Tim Ing. He's a fucking genius.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:02 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now that some time has passed and I've read opinions, my opinion on this kind of moderation can be summed up in a simple test.

1) Is it "I-know-it-when-I-see-it" bad, as near as we can get to objectively bad? For example, shock sites and real gore?
2) If no, leave it.
3) If yes, should we put a "gore warning" on it?
4) If yes, then...

... well, wait. If the answer to 3) is "yes" then why should it be here at all? You've already decided it's strong stuff, not for the weak at heart. In this instance, wouldn't deletion be preferable to some namby-pamby "gore warning" that helps no one?

And I mean, any time you try to help everyone, you help no one. The people that want a gore warning probably don't want to see anything that might even be close to deserving of a "gore warning," as it reminds them that gore exists and others take interest in it. (You think a child abuse victim wants to even see the words "child abuse trigger?"). On the other hand, the people that don't get upset by gore are now reminded that the first group thinks they're some kind of deviant.

Make deletion your only tool. If you make it your only tool, then it's incumbent upon you to use it correctly -- ideally only for those that really need it.

A half measure is just that -- a half measure.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:04 PM on February 17, 2012


I'm totally willing to reword it if there's a better way - "NSFW" seemed maybe unhelpful since it's usually talking about nudity, but maybe [NSFW, gore] would come off better?

For god's sake, no more NSFW!! If there are titties, say titties, if there is gore, say gore, but NSFW is the most annoying thing ever. Go look in the latest sexism thread for why: it normalizes a completely flawed value system!
posted by Chuckles at 3:06 PM on February 17, 2012


CPB, you're assuming that a warning is a condemnation. It's not, at all. Just like "NSFW" isn't any sort of condemnation (or, for that matter, "trigger warning") - they're all just acknowledgments that certain kinds of content can have effects that some people need to be able to anticipate and possibly avoid.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:13 PM on February 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Make deletion your only tool.

Wow, I couldn't disagree more strongly.
posted by Errant at 3:14 PM on February 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


You think a child abuse victim wants to even see the words "child abuse trigger?"

i'm a child abuse victim and i find trigger warnings to be incredibly helpful and kind.
posted by nadawi at 3:15 PM on February 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


I am pro-being-clear. So I tend to want to know what kind of trouble I might get into. For the longest time I had a thing about not being able to deal with zombies. Primarily because of the incredibly common trope where the beloved character gets bitten and has to be killed for the good of the rest of the community. I would have appreciated zombie warnings when we were totally into the zombies. But whatever.

I also tend to think that large enough communities patently cannot be safe spaces for anyone. We can do what we can to come up with and enforce sane policy that maps closely with local and international laws and that's about it.

Given these two dynamics, I think that arguments based on censorship being a good thing (i.e. why can't we give a very general warning to save folks who might be discomfited by knowing explicitly what the subject matter is) are probably flawed, as are arguments that it will drive away audience if we are explicit about the contents of the post.

I am sort of half-ass okay with jokes' punchlines being preserved as long as the post is clearly a joke or marked as one. I am sort of half-ass okay with tricks' gimmicks being preserved. Sort of. But I also think that maybe that kind of stuff should stay on Fark - the problems with both jokes and tricks is that they generally assume an understanding of community humor and expectations, and I tend to think that MetaFilter is a community a little too large for any single joke or trick to be clever or funny to a sufficiently wide enough MetaFilter audience to be worth it.
posted by kalessin at 3:22 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Seconding nadawi. I very much appreciate trigger warnings. I am not triggered by those warnings. Maybe you are misunderstanding the nature of being triggered.
posted by lazaruslong at 3:26 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I feel that the "gore warning" is a spoiler of the punchline, to some extent. Totally changes the expectations of those watching it.
posted by neuromodulator at 3:35 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I tend to think that MetaFilter is a community a little too large for any single thing to be interesting to a sufficiently wide enough MetaFilter audience to be worth it. Hence, we have many things.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:35 PM on February 17, 2012


Gwar warning.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 3:36 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've always liked surprises. Warnings are for wimps.
posted by Decani at 3:43 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The people that want a gore warning probably don't want to see anything that might even be close to deserving of a "gore warning," as it reminds them that gore exists and others take interest in it.

I don't think this is really true. Even people who can deal with gory shit in certain circumstances might prefer not to have it sprung on them unexpectedly. To take an extreme example, I'm sure there are people here who might venture watching Hostel after a couple of beers (or five) in the company of friends, but who wouldn't want to see a clip after their third cup of coffee between TPS reports. Context helps a lot.
posted by en forme de poire at 3:44 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


The people that want a gore warning probably don't want to see anything that might even be close to deserving of a "gore warning," as it reminds them that gore exists and others take interest in it.

I appreciated the gore warning (and watched the video) and none of the rest of your rant applies to me. Since I am definitely not the specialist snowflake in the world, I am probably not the only person to whom it does not apply.
posted by rtha at 3:45 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I want to know some things. Was he just lucky that he never impaled himself before? Was it because he called himself a god? Why, after being impaled, did he do another blind leap instead of a leap to an empty spot he could see on the other side of the room?

I think part of the problem with this comedic gore is that it is very realistic, and people with very visual memories do not like realistic gore-y images in their heads (Gorey, of course, is fine), just waiting for an inopportune moment to spring back to life.
posted by Glinn at 3:46 PM on February 17, 2012


Nthing nadawi. Trigger warnings are extremely helpful for me. And frankly speaking, if you aren't a survivor of child abuse, please don't presume to speak for those of us who are. The warnings may help some of us. May not help others. But I personally appreciate them.
posted by zarq at 3:46 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


specialist snowflake

Is this a career, now? Where do I sign up?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:48 PM on February 17, 2012


I very much appreciate trigger warnings. I am not triggered by those warnings. Maybe you are misunderstanding the nature of being triggered.

Ah, but some people are triggered by trigger warnings. Not the warning itself, but having one put on something of theirs or people requesting that they had one to their post. I haven't seen this in Metafilter, I don't think, but other places. And I imagine there are some people who feel like that on Mefi.
posted by nooneyouknow at 3:49 PM on February 17, 2012


Useless Metatalk comment warning.
posted by perhapses at 3:54 PM on February 17, 2012


Ah, but some people are triggered by trigger warnings. Not the warning itself, but having one put on something of theirs or people requesting that they had one to their post. I haven't seen this in Metafilter, I don't think, but other places. And I imagine there are some people who feel like that on Mefi.

I've seen that in some of the more intense warnings related squabbles around fandom. In my experience the people who claim that are disingenuous and inconsiderate.
posted by kmz at 3:55 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't think we should be making light of trigger warnings here. The people to whom they apply deserve more respect than that. Thank you.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 3:55 PM on February 17, 2012 [11 favorites]


A gore or "disturbing images" warning helps me and here's why. Unfortunately, my brain both startles really easily and is great at visual memory. When those two things are combined, it then holds onto the disturbing images better than just about anything else. If I'm startled by a disturbing scene, it's basically in there in all its gory detail permanently, and it pops back up when I'm least expecting it. (The last at-all-scary movie I saw was The Sixth Sense, in the theatre, and I am *still* carrying around scenes from it.)

So this particular thing my brain is good at has the effect of causing me to see disturbing scenes over and over, which reinforces them, which causes them to keep showing up even more. Thus I avoid them, and especially try to avoid being startled by them, as much as possible, so as not to add to the permanent store I'm already carrying around. I know this sort of thing is fun for some people, but obviously it's really difficult to deal with for me personally. But if I don't see the scene, I'm fine, so a warning is always appreciated.
posted by jocelmeow at 3:59 PM on February 17, 2012 [12 favorites]


I get the spoiler aspect, but I'm glad that there was the gore warning because I was about to go to bed and whatever is in that hilarious ad can wait until morning instead of mucking up my precious dreamspace with gross-out weirdness. So, thanks.
posted by iamkimiam at 4:01 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also: On the other hand, the people that don't get upset by gore are now reminded that the first group thinks they're some kind of deviant.

Maybe some comments were deleted and I missed them, but has anyone actually said anything like this in either thread?
posted by en forme de poire at 4:05 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


No. I am a deviant, though.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:06 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


So um *awkward lean* what are you doing later tonight
posted by en forme de poire at 4:14 PM on February 17, 2012 [2 favorites]


Vicodin.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:21 PM on February 17, 2012 [13 favorites]


I guess I'm in the minority, but I just wanted to pipe up and say that I always appreciate a gore warning.

Also, I thought that the technical term would be "NSFL" or "NSF(Lunch)."
posted by ErikaB at 4:53 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I am with birdherder in that the times I've seen NSFL it meant not safe for life. As in this is some spaceghetto type craziness that you will regret you've seen.
posted by cashman at 4:56 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also appreciate warnings. I think it's great that Mefi is a source for a wide range of stuff, so have no problem with gore being posted, but that stuff can ruin your lunch/mood/etc if you see it at the wrong time -- so it's nice to be clear in the post about what you're linking to.
posted by LobsterMitten at 5:29 PM on February 17, 2012


Personally, I'd like there to be a higher bar for the editing of posts. I saw it before the gore warning appeared, and I'm glad I did. I don't know how it would've affected my enjoyment of the sketch/ad, obviously, but my instinct is that it ruins the joke. I can't think of a good way to warn people while still preserving the humor, so my feeling is that it would've been better to leave the post unedited.
posted by Kattullus at 5:35 PM on February 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


So, some people prefer to err on the side of the poor folk who might have a joke ruined, than on the side of the folk who are telling you they would be upset by it?
posted by Glinn at 5:43 PM on February 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


I've seen that in some of the more intense warnings related squabbles around fandom. In my experience the people who claim that are disingenuous and inconsiderate.

Some of them are. And some of the people who asks for trigger warnings are disingenuous and inconsiderate. So it all balances out in the end.
posted by nooneyouknow at 5:45 PM on February 17, 2012


Gore warning? On that? How milquetoast are we around here now? If people can't handle that video, they should not be on Metafilter.

If this were my post, and it had a "gore warning" attached, I would request my post be taken down.
posted by dunkadunc at 5:45 PM on February 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


I have to say that given the number of survivors who have commented on this thread, it's pretty tasteless and uncompassionate to be calling us wimpy for wanting warnings.
posted by kalessin at 5:53 PM on February 17, 2012 [6 favorites]


Teleportation survivors?
posted by dunkadunc at 5:55 PM on February 17, 2012 [7 favorites]


Not even a fan of nsfw. Work should grow up a bit.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 6:02 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


A gore warning does ruin the surprise, I'm glad I didn't catch that tag. I used to be sensitive to gore when I was about eight or so, but then I just watched a bunch of Hellraiser films and got over it: surprising people with ultraviolence is a public service. I have nothing but contempt for people who shrink from horror, who want to live forever submerged in a lavender bath. Metafilter moderation is still really good, but these kind of incidents remind me uncomfortably of how the Something Awful mod team was taken over by cat ladies.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 6:17 PM on February 17, 2012


Decani said:
"Warnings are for wimps."

Actually, most of the people I know who prefer to have some preparation for disturbing content have been through some heinous real-life shit and lived to tell about it because they are the opposite of wimps, but now they have brains that are really hard to wrangle into everyday life so they can do all the things everyday people do, so it's important for them to be alert about possible mental/emotional spanners. These people can survive in extraordinary and horrible circumstances when/if they go down, but in order to navigate the regular world, they need to avoid sending their brains careening down dark alleys.

Always surprises me when people don't just shrug off things like a little content management and decide it's oppressing them or some other nonsense. Especially when it got a lot of positive interest and favourites and is still up.

Seems like something that could easily be accepted and even appreciated, but it often seems to cause this kind of kerfuffle. Weird.
posted by batmonkey at 6:18 PM on February 17, 2012 [27 favorites]


This is what My Mefi is for.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:28 PM on February 17, 2012


I saw it after the warning, but I had forgotten about it by the time it happened, greatly enjoying the gory finale. I feel those people who see it as a spoiler are not sufficiently adept at blithely disregarding notices provided for the purposes of public safety, decency and general wellbeing.
posted by Sparx at 6:36 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Metafilter moderation is still really good, but these kind of incidents remind me uncomfortably of how the Something Awful mod team was taken over by cat ladies.

The moderation team works for all the users of the site. Since we have a policy in place that says we will add NSFW tags to posts [which is basically the only sort of editing we'll do without specifically talking to the poster] this was something we felt was along those same lines. We're not going to ever be a safe space or a place where you can rely on disturbing stuff having trigger warnings but if a lot of people let us know that there is basically something that is NSFW-ish behind a link that would otherwise be a total surprise, we will probably indicate that. This isn't much of a divergence from how we generally do things.

You think a child abuse victim wants to even see the words "child abuse trigger?"

I think they tend to, when they've said anything to us, yes.

Make deletion your only tool.

With respect, that's not really on the table. I'm sorry it ruined the element of surprise in the link in your post.

I have nothing but contempt for people who shrink from horror

Again, with respect, you will then need to learn to calibrate yourself in a community where some people have seen more than enough horror for a lifetime and don't want to see any more, especially not by accident. People are different and their responses to things that disturb them are different. Just because someone's response is not the same as yours does not mean that it's wrong. We try to be fairly consistent here. People can decide how they feel about being somewhere where we use NSFW and "blinky" warnings occasionally.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:38 PM on February 17, 2012 [35 favorites]


"blinky" warnings?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:41 PM on February 17, 2012


Warnings for sites/videos that might trigger epilepsy. It's come up before, although not often.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:43 PM on February 17, 2012


Ah. Don't remember seeing any of those. Thanks for the explanation.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:44 PM on February 17, 2012


Personally, I'd like there to be a higher bar for the editing of posts.

The bar is pretty high as it is. We throw the occasional NSFW or similar such warning up when it's requested and seems merited, but explicitly do not expect people to attach them to posts and encourage folks to be aware that they are not mandatory and that mefi is in practice a NSFW place if you need a guarantee. Likewise we have not encouraged a pervasive "trigger warning" practice even though we understand where people are coming from on that and some folks choose to include those themselves.

In this case it wasn't a blind "oh hey a thing had gore in it, let's edit the post" thing we did unilaterally; a bunch of people were explicitly taken aback, comments in thread and email and a bunch of flags. I don't think that's a thing where CPB did anything wrong by making the post he made, and adding the warning when it was requested is not a rebuke of the post. It's an acknowledgement that this was one of those odd occasions where, in fact, a lot of people were really surprised and bothered by the specific thing. Given that feedback, adding a note to the post seems like the reasonable thing to do.

I have nothing but contempt for people who shrink from horror

That is something for you to deal with, not something for Metafilter to deal with. There's a lot of people here, and they have various preferences and thresholds of tolerances; in a community space, that means some amount of compromise.
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:49 PM on February 17, 2012 [10 favorites]


Okay yeah wow, having watched that video it really, really needed a gore warning.

Slightly ruining the surprise at the end of an advertisement seems worth not massively traumatizing people who had no way of knowing what they were signing up for when they clicked on an innocuous seeming link.

I just feel like it isn't cool to surprise people with violence? Not everyone is desensitized to gore, myself included.
posted by Narrative Priorities at 6:56 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Sorry if my contempt came off as an authoritarian statement; I have no problem sharing a site with more sensitive people. Obviously all communities involve some compromise: I just wanted to speak up as a representative of the bloodthirsty wing of the site, so that maybe the point of compromise in future will a little more goreward.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 6:57 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Will be a little more", rather.
posted by nicolas léonard sadi carnot at 6:58 PM on February 17, 2012


Interesting comments. The policy is pretty well laid out, now that I know what it is. I thought I 'ought' to include a trigger warning here, so I did. I will leave it to our esteemed mods next time.

I dislike the nsfw meme wherever it occurs. All kinds of nonsense are deemed 'sfw', but heaven forbid that we see a human breast, e.g.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 6:58 PM on February 17, 2012


I dislike the nsfw meme wherever it occurs. All kinds of nonsense are deemed 'sfw', but heaven forbid that we see a human breast, e.g.

Yeah, I hear you. I don't think anybody on the mod team is actually bothered by NSFW-as-in-nudity stuff at a personal level (it's certainly not a problem for our jobs) and the fact that that's mostly what the label gets applied to in practice is a reflection of cultural inertia and internet convetion rather than anything we're specifically endorsing as what should be considered safe or not for workplace viewing. "Not safe for work" is in this context a neutral heads-up about the type of content, not a normative statement about the moral value of that content. It's not something I'd be likely to use on my own blog.

But it's, like we say, a matter of compromise; to the degree that a whole lot of the mefi userbase (and much more generally internet users as a whole) get practical "I don't want to get fired" utility out of a warning on obvious nudity or graphically sexual content, it's something we'll meet folks halfway on when it seems like an issue.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:08 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


We're not going to ever be a safe space or a place where you can rely on disturbing stuff having trigger warnings

There's a lot of people here, and they have various preferences and thresholds of tolerances; in a community space, that means some amount of compromise.

a bunch of people were explicitly taken aback, comments in thread and email and a bunch of flags


So what's the threshold, then? You say it's not mandatory to include warnings, but then if some number of people complain, you add them yourselves. That seems pretty mandatory to me. You say we aren't a safe space, and a large community has to compromise, but it seems like if you get x number of complaints, you automatically assume that the complainers represent if not a majority, then at least a protected minority.

So what's the threshold? 20 complaints per 1000 unique visits? 100?

Not just asking for the sake of this post or this subject, FWIW. As a moderation position, this comes across as a very mixed signal with invisible boundaries.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:08 PM on February 17, 2012 [5 favorites]


Did you take that pill yet, IRFH? You're seeming somewhat ornery.
posted by Glinn at 7:11 PM on February 17, 2012


So what's the threshold, then? You say it's not mandatory to include warnings, but then if some number of people complain, you add them yourselves. That seems pretty mandatory to me.

Mandatory would be us reviewing all content and adding it ourselves whenever anything involving sex or nudity is involved. That is not the case, and plenty of posts with sexy content of some sort of another has gone without an NSFW tag. Sometimes folks don't complain, sometimes the framing of the post makes it clear without a [NSFW] addition that hey there might be some nudity in here, etc. It's a matter of context a lot of the time.

In the cases where we do hear a bunch of "holy shit, this needs a warning" feedback, we're likely to tag something on. Sometimes we get requests where one or two people feel like it really needs a warning and we disagree and we decline to add it. Case-by-case, as with pretty much everything.

There is no set specific threshold. I don't think that's really something that should be surprising news given how moderation works around here; we roll with the situations as they arise, and with larger arcs of those kinds of situations based on community discussion and reactions over time.

As a moderation position, this comes across as a very mixed signal with invisible boundaries.

I can't imagine a bright line, unwavering "this is SFW and this is not and must always be labeled" rule that would actually improve the situation. We're flexible, we try to work with the details of the specific incidents when they come up. It means being less predictable in some ways and I can sympathize with the frustration that might cause, but that's how this place works. Very little is codified precisely, very little is enforced robotically.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:14 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah I guess I'd say if it's getting to the point where we see a lot of flags, or a bunch of in-thread comments about it and start getting email about it, we'll consider stepping in. If one or two people flag/complain/comment, we'll usually tell them we're not going to step in. And that sort of thing does happen sometimes too, especially in AskMe questions where people use sex-related words above the fold. And we don't do anything for that sort of stuff, nearly always. And if the post makes it pretty clear "Hey this is going to have nudity or sound or will be blinky" then we don't add that sort of thing and assume people will clue in. We don't generally add "trigger warning" sorts of things, people can use them if they want but that's sort of a line we're not crazy about crossing.

And that's sort of where we're at. It's one of the many things we make on-the-spot decisions about. The big deal is we try to be understanding about both sides of it. We don't see it as any sort of demerit to add an NSFW tag, but that also means people have to be understanding on the rare occasion when it happens either that we add one or that we don't add one and they see a breast or a butt or whatever. We could outline form memory the times that it's happened but usually it's either sites with lots of porn ads, links to horrific violence behind a fairly innocuous link, auto-playing sound or a lot of unexpected nudity.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:26 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


Just voting for NSFW with no mention of gore. As it was, I was waiting for someone to get run over or something from the get-go.
posted by stinkycheese at 7:38 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


Did you take that pill yet, IRFH? You're seeming somewhat ornery.

No. I'm actually rather nauseous at the moment. Maybe later.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 7:39 PM on February 17, 2012


We have made it this far into this thread and no one has used the word "gorewarned"?

Shame on all of you.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 8:15 PM on February 17, 2012 [3 favorites]


I can't BELIEVE you ACTUALLY put a "gore warning" on that.

Christ, talk about missing all the points at once and pandering to the whiniest common denominator. This is really getting rediculous.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:35 PM on February 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


And I haven't even read any of the thread or the mods' responses, so obviously I can't be expected to spell correctly, either.
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:36 PM on February 17, 2012


On partial review, I agree with the OP that it should have been deleted instead of edited, if anyone is going to be that panties-twisty about something. Gore warning. Christ! I REALLY thought it was a joke when it was asked for!!
posted by Curious Artificer at 8:39 PM on February 17, 2012


panties-twisty

I apologize for going off-topic but this is a phrase I'd really appreciate if you didn't use. Thank you!
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:55 PM on February 17, 2012 [8 favorites]


Curious Artificer: “Christ, talk about missing all the points at once and pandering to the whiniest common denominator. This is really getting rediculous... Gore warning. Christ! I REALLY thought it was a joke when it was asked for!!”

I know a guy who served in the military and actually watched people lose arms and legs. He flips out when he sees horror-movie carnage, and pointedly avoids if for that reason: because it's a hell of a lot more real for him than it is for you or me.

I accept that you probably feel as though people are being 'too sensitive,' but understand that there are people in the world that have valid reasons for finding casual gore disturbing. Lots of people who have actually seen carnage don't take such stuff lightly.

The fact that other people are more sensitive than you and me does not mean those people are evil or that they deserve to be punished for their sensitivity.
posted by koeselitz at 9:35 PM on February 17, 2012 [19 favorites]


Curious Artificer, the fact that you came into the thread without having read any of the points and started whining about a gore warning makes your complaint about people missing points and whining kind of painful to read.

Not everyone sees the world the way you do, which is totally fine. Complaining that Metafilter isn't living up to some macho standard of gore-desensitization is also fine, but I think it's misguided and you're being disrespectful by calling it "panties-twisty" when people have repeatedly presented cogent arguments about why it's troubling to them.
posted by c'mon sea legs at 10:11 PM on February 17, 2012 [4 favorites]


This is an odd reason to get all crankypants.
posted by desuetude at 12:02 AM on February 18, 2012


Gar warning.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:10 AM on February 18, 2012


I have nothing but contempt for people who shrink from horror

Seriously, contempt? You know people who react badly to gore didn't "decide" to be that way, any more than you decided NOT to be that way. Don't be so proud of being "hard". You're taking credit for being yourself, and pretending like that somehow makes you more morally worthy than other people, who aren't you. Get over it. Try therapy if you can't live among people different from you without contempt.
posted by Philosopher Dirtbike at 1:16 AM on February 18, 2012 [16 favorites]


I'm a bit sad that some people are so desensitized that they can't understand why people wouldn't want to be surprised with gory images.

Personally, i'm in favor of warnings like that - there's really nothing wrong in my eyes with being supportive of people traumatized by things like that and being nice enough to tag it so they know they should skip it. It's just the right thing to do.
posted by flatluigi at 2:53 AM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


[SPOILER WARNING]

I guess I come from the "desensitized to televisual violence/gore" camp, but I don't see a problem with a warning. The warning itself is pretty vague; if it had said [IMPALED BY SPIRAL STAIRCASE WARNING], the joke would certainly be ruined. As it is, the folks who would be bothered by that kind of stuff avoid it, and those of us who aren't bothered get to sit back and wait to be impressed or unmoved, as the case may be.

I try to go by the guideline that ALL of Metafilter is NSFW, so unless it's an FPP called KIITTEHHS!!!11!!x1000000 or something, I won't click on it in a place where others might be disturbed by what they see. While this particular issue does have aspects of "worry that you might get in hot water at work for watching it", I think it has been made adequately clear that this video is unsafe in a very different way. My unfettered entertainment is not worth someone else's trauma, you know?
posted by Chichibio at 5:06 AM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


[GORK WARNING]
posted by Chichibio at 5:07 AM on February 18, 2012


cortex: I don't think that's a thing where CPB did anything wrong by making the post he made, and adding the warning when it was requested is not a rebuke of the post. It's an acknowledgement that this was one of those odd occasions where, in fact, a lot of people were really surprised and bothered by the specific thing. Given that feedback, adding a note to the post seems like the reasonable thing to do.

Oh, I absolutely didn't think of it as some sort of scarlet letter on Cool Papa Bell's forehead.

And now that I've slept on it* I think my main problem isn't so much that a warning was added in general, though I feel FPP-editing should be minimal, but that the warning gives the joke away. In the future, could there be some sort of standard warning for icky and gory things, something like: [Not for the Squeamish]

If the warning is always the same, the spoiler potential is limited, like how NSFW doesn't really tell you anything except that an amount of nudity will be present.


* What? Don't all of you go to bed thinking about MetaFilter moderation policies?
posted by Kattullus at 6:44 AM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Contents may be disturbing to some viewers" is wordy, but generic enough that it wouldn't overtly spoil the ending. When I see similar warnings, I usually read the thread first to find out what's going on, rather than clicking the link.
posted by zarq at 7:00 AM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


We'd probably just go with "NSFW - gore" and keep to our usual NSFW indicators. We don't want to start getting into a situation where we have a bunch of different warnings for a bunch of different things and gore sort of already falls under our NSFW heading but being a little more specific may be good for people who don't have any problem with nudity. Many of our posts may be disturbing to some viewers and I think that's overly broad and might indicate that we'll be adding warnings for a much wider range of things than we actually plan to.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:27 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


who want to live forever submerged in a lavender bath.

Lavender baths are pretty nice, actually.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:38 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Rated T for Teens."
posted by crunchland at 7:52 AM on February 18, 2012


Okie doke
posted by zarq at 7:53 AM on February 18, 2012


"Gore-warning" (which is to say, hey, those of you with a low threshhold for gory stuff, or those of you who find casual violence more unsettling than the [joke/music video/cleverness] is worth, or those among us with PTSD, or those among who just prefer not to be surprised by multilation) is--to my mind--fundamentally different from NSFW.

NSFW is presumed--you're looking at Metafilter at work and your entertainment browsing by definition is something most people will get dinged for. Even using the professional white background--any link that isn't to a print-version news article, looks like NOT WORK on most people's screen. We use NSFW to remind people that this is going to make noise or show nudity or something that's the worst part of personal browsing at work. We don't use it to protect people's sensibilities or shield them from unexpected, casual unpleasantness. NSFW means only "don't view this when it might be awkward for you if someone looks over your shoulder". That is fundamentally different from "Gore-warning" or "trigger-warning".

Trigger warnings pretty much mean "if you have a need or desire or preference to minimize your exposure to things which upset you, never look at this. Sometimes "trigger warnings" make me roll my eyes internally, because sometimes I am not as charitable or empathetic as I should be. But the warnings don't impede me and they make the world more pleasant for other people. Given how nasty the world is, I can't say that's a bad thing.
posted by crush-onastick at 7:56 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


So we are whiny, milquetoast, have my panties in a twist, deserving of contempt, over sensitive, wimpy, weak, and worthy of eye-rolls.

Because we would like a heads up before an image of gruesome death is shot into our brains.

Got it.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:11 AM on February 18, 2012 [7 favorites]


I'm not actually wearing panties though now I sort of want to.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:12 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


Actually, most of the people I know who prefer to have some preparation for disturbing content have been through some heinous real-life shit and lived to tell about it because they are the opposite of wimps, but now they have brains that are really hard to wrangle into everyday life so they can do all the things everyday people do, so it's important for them to be alert about possible mental/emotional spanners. These people can survive in extraordinary and horrible circumstances when/if they go down, but in order to navigate the regular world, they need to avoid sending their brains careening down dark alleys.

posted by batmonkey


Uploading this comment at 100 hug-a-bits/second. Thank you for this.
posted by lazaruslong at 8:26 AM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


Warning: Panties, prepare for twist.
posted by found missing at 10:24 AM on February 18, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you want people to have a pure, totally surprised reaction to a video like this, then it's probably best to share it with people within your own circle. The wider your audience, the more likely you are to have to make compromises. I don't think that's a MetaFilter thing, it's just a thing.
posted by hermitosis at 10:39 AM on February 18, 2012 [5 favorites]


How about this:

Posts like this get tagged "gore", and people who can't handle gore can filter it out on My MeFi.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:39 AM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


hermitosis: If you want people to have a pure, totally surprised reaction to a video like this, then it's probably best to share it with people within your own circle.

Unfortunately, I'm not a buddy of Cool Papa Bell's so I probably wouldn't have seen this video if he was only sharing it with people in his own circle. Having said that, I understand that certain links might have a negative effect on some users here, so we need a compromise that works for most people. dunkadunc offered a possible solution just above, or, alternatively, perhaps a warning that fits all would work better. And by that, I mean some sort of "Hey some people might not enjoy this", but nothing specific like "gore" because in this case, it ruined the punchline for some of us. Basically, if someone requires a trigger warning, they would have to deal with an all-encompassing one, so as not to ruin the surprise for those of us who don't. Perhaps "Possible Trigger" or something along those lines might work.
posted by gman at 12:03 PM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think the best practical approach to avoid some potential joke-spoiling addition to a post is for the poster to find a way to frame it from the word go in a way that puts people on sort of caveat youtubor alert without being specific. There's a lot of ways you could indicate non-specifically that something might go weird or bumpy in a way that'd let people who might be given pause have a second thought.

That's not a perfect solution (because as the poster you might not guess that people would be bothered, or because sometimes even with the best of intents people end up reading things very differently) but it's a pretty robust one and will do most of the time.

I don't feel like we need a specific solution for the rare remainder cases where vague description, collective surprise, and the risk of a punchline being telegraphed all combine into one bowl of soup. It's an edge case, and as much as I sympathize with CPB for wanting to set the joke up his own way and with folks who wanted to be completely surprised, it's not news that humor is tricky in a general audience or that people don't enjoy potentially nasty surprises. That's tricky territory, and a tiny slice of the overall content of metafilter posts.
posted by cortex (staff) at 12:33 PM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


Personally, I'm really happy we're having this discussion, so we can work a way out that people don't have their jokes ruined, AND people who've been through living nightmares don't have to see disturbing stuff.

Maybe there should be a way so that people with triggers can see My Mefi by default when they go to metafilter.com?
posted by dunkadunc at 12:37 PM on February 18, 2012


I'm going to recommend a simple crowd source solution. If you are sensitive, don't be an early clicker. Read some comments in the thread as the thread develops to get a sense of whether or not you want to click.
posted by found missing at 12:39 PM on February 18, 2012 [8 favorites]


We'd probably just go with "NSFW - gore"...

Oh, I dno't know, there is something to be said for tortureporn horrifiying as well.
posted by y2karl at 12:43 PM on February 18, 2012


might indicate that we'll be adding warnings for a much wider range of things than we actually plan to

But this is the point I was rather clumsily trying to get to last night: why would you not? Trigger warnings, specifically, are a different thing than what we are talking about here in the general case, because they are designed to aid actual victims of violence and abuse. I support this whole-heartedly. The gore warning, however, was for a video that had no component of violence attached, whatsoever.

But it was disturbing to a non-trivial extent to a non-trivial number of MeFites. I get that.

Yet even though koeselitz and batmonkey have made eloquent points that there are people out there for whom gore is in-and-of-itself a trigger, I don't get the sense from the conversation that this was true for a majority (any?) of those who actually complained about the video in question. They just didn't like it. The gore bothered them.

Fair enough. I concede the point.

So given that the decision is that MetaFilter wants to treat users who may be disturbed by content in good faith, why limit it to gore, and why not make labeling or full disclosure mandatory? There are any number of subjects about which a non-trivial number of MeFites are likely to be disturbed. Spiders, snakes, and heights are three subjects that come imediately to mind about which a non-trivial number of MeFites have described phobic reactions. If a post contained material likely to traumatize a phobic, would they not have the same right to a warning as someome who doesn't like gore?

To be clear, I am not being sarcastic. I am honestly saying that if we are going to label some subjects that may be disturbing, we should label as many such subjects as can be easily identified. I have been persuaded that someone who is traumatized by sights of gore deserves a heads up so they can avoid it. I do not see, however, how someone who is traumatized by any other subject deserves any less consideration.

Which brings us back to mod policy. The answer to my question was that mods didn't want to require labeling because that would require previewing every post, but that if enough complaints came in, they would add the labels themselves.

This makes no sense to me. If we have already identified subjects that we are going to label when a "bunch" of complaints come in, why not simply say that we REQUIRE posters to sufficiently label potentially traumatic content? And that if they do not do so, a mod who is alerted to the violation will label it for them? How is this different from any other content-related rule on the site? There is a requirement that posters not self link, and a requirement that users not tell each other to fuck off or threaten each other. None of those requirements mean that the mods have to check every link or read every comment. They mean that posters and users have clear guidelines about what they can and can't post, and that when the mods are alerted to the problems with a bunch of flags and or MeMails, they correct the problem.

The only difference between requiring and not requiring truth in labeling is that a requirement gives users a clear guideline to start from. The metric would still be - AS IT ALREADY IS - that the mods will take action when alerted by a bunch of complaints.

If we're going to add NSFW given sufficient complaints, we should require NSFW to avoid the complaints. We should require Trigger warnings for violent content. We should require warnings or full disclosure of gory content or content that may be disturbing for some users. Clear guidelines of this sort would mean that maybe that first bunch of users who now are forced to complain would have fewer instances where they are subjected to traumatic content. Clear guidelines would mean that posters would know that they really do need to label disturbing content every time.

And enforcement would be just as it is now. Based on mod discretion and user alerts.

*Special note to Glinn: The Ginger Ale worked a charm. Thanks for the suggestion. I didn't even remember that we had any until I looked.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:51 PM on February 18, 2012


If you are sensitive, don't be an early clicker.

This is how I deal with it. I've had enough nasty surprises here from posts that were clearly built on the gotcha principle that if it's a mystery meat post I usually don't even bother to look at it, but if the text is intriguing I'll wait until some metafiltarian guinea pigs have commented on the link before I'll risk it.

I think cortex has a good point, too, though. Framing the post so that it's clear what type of content the link contains is helpful.
posted by winna at 1:10 PM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


My feeling is that where we are now, the policy that's evolved over the last however many years, is mostly one of "we'll try to help out when there's an issue of people being surprised in a particularly bad/problematic way". It's not so much about NSFW or nudity or gore or triggers as it is about that bad-surprise dynamic.

And as far as that goes, we currently do very little after-the-fact labeling of posts. Like, I'm thinking maybe once a month, a little more often than that if it's an unusually bumpy couple of weeks.

And we do so little late-addition disclaimering on posts largely because people here collectively do a pretty solid job in general of framing their posts such that, when there is content in the links or below the fold that might be trouble in some way, they've signposted that for the reader to have a clue about early on. That's a system that works pretty well, is left largely to user style judgement, and is not driven by explicit You Must Always or You Must Never sorts of rules.

Such rules are vanishingly rare on this site, by design, because they mean inflexibility in dealing with complicated situations and foster rules-lawyering. We'd much, much prefer to have stuff work in a way where (a) folks know we're flexible, (b) we can count on folks to mostly be flexible themselves when the edge cases play out, and (c) disputes or concerns get dealt with by talking them out in Metatalk rather than just pointing at a rule and saying x must be done because that's what the rule says.

So I feel like it's not a simple thing or in any way obviously in mefi's favor to attempt to formalize and codify and enforce an expectation of 100% thorough labeling and disclaiming. In practice folks label/frame stuff pretty successfully most of the time; folks also disagree sometimes about whether something is labeled or framed well or sufficiently, and that's a sort of unresolvable difficulty with any notional disclaimer requirement that was at all nuanced rather than draconian. In the mean time, the occasional (and generally if not universally unintentional) Bad Surprise dynamic could still just as plausibly play out, because a lot of the time when it happens it's because someone was posting with perfectly good intentions.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:11 PM on February 18, 2012


I greatly appreciate gore trigger warnings. I have "daymares" which are flashes of very disturbing images which occur outside of my control while I'm awake (the year after I played Phantasmagoria to the penultimate day kinda sucked, and I'm really, REALLY glad I left before the last day) so being warned and not startled by those kinds of violent images greatly improves my day-to-day living.

I've gotten used to being made fun of for being "too" sensitive or somehow thinking I'm special for this reality. And being mocked for not going to see horror movies. I don't like it, but I'm used to it.
posted by Deoridhe at 1:12 PM on February 18, 2012


Clear guidelines would mean that posters would know that they really do need to label disturbing content every time.

That sounds like it would make things simpler, but it really wouldn't. We'd have to figure out rigid definitions for things like NSFW (whose work?) disturbing (disturbing to whom?) gore (just how much blood are we talking about? Are visible entrails required?) etc. Our current standard is "if it really bugs people they'll tell us and we'll make the call" and that really works better than "anything more than 1/8 the arc of the areola is NSFW." And I'm generally much more in favor of people framing their posts in useful ways rather than dictating specific verbiage that must be included if the post meets specific criteria.

Warnings are just something that doesn't come up very often and we make no guarantees that they'll ever be there, so the occasional fuzzy situation and ensuing discussion is really fine. If the general takeaway here is "Metafilter may be too big for shock humor to go over very well" then that's probably a lot better than "if your post contains gore you must include the following phrase."
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 1:24 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


We'd have to figure out rigid definitions for things like NSFW (whose work?) disturbing (disturbing to whom?) gore (just how much blood are we talking about? Are visible entrails required?) etc.

Why would you need rigid definitions? I have not asked for that. I said use the exact same metric you use now. User complaints and your own judgement.

Our current standard is "if it really bugs people they'll tell us and we'll make the call" and that really works better than "anything more than 1/8 the arc of the areola is NSFW."

So you already have a current standard, then. You just want to be the cool parents and not call it a "rule." Fine. Call it a "standard." Or a "guideline." Point is, pretending it isn't a rule maybe doesn't scale all that well. You're effectively saying, oh, there's no rule, we trust you to figure this out for yourselves, and if you trip over the unwritten "standard", we'll step in and fix it and then maybe talk about it here. That may feel nicer and easier, but I'm not convinced. That feels pretty unhelpful, actually, given the size of the userbase, now.

You have a rule. The rule is, if someone makes a gotcha post with disturbing content, however well-intentioned, if a bunch of people complain, mods will label it for them or remove it, at the mod's discretion for determining "gotcha", "disturbing", and a sufficient "bunch", or considering the content and over-ruling the flags.

So just say, "No gotcha posts with disturbing content. If someone makes a gotcha post with disturbing content, however well-intentioned, if a bunch of people complain, mods will label it for them or remove it, at the mod's discretion for determining "gotcha", "disturbing", and a sufficient "bunch", or considering the content and over-ruling the flags."

By refusing to simply label a defaco proscription as a community guideline or rule, you are failing to protect those for whom the proscription is intended, however rarely that may happen, and failing to provide the guidance necessary to help posters meet community guidelines in good faith.

I'm not asking you to create new rules. In the spirit of truth in labeling, I'm suggesting it might be helpful to simply call the existing rules "rules." They're flexible rules. They're rules that allow for mod discretion (like most of our rules). But they're rules. Each of the mods who has responded in this thread has described pretty much the exact same process: 1) Gotcha post with possibly disturbing content receives a bunch of user complaints; 2) mods review; 3) at mod's discretion, post may be labeled or removed.

So just say: Rule: Don't make gotcha posts with possibly disturbing content. Process: 1) Gotcha post with possibly disturbing content receives a bunch of user complaints; 2) mods review; 3) at mod's discretion, post may be labeled or removed.

Although clearly this is an edge case and uncommon issue, I see no benefit in not just being up front about it. Just state the community "standard" you are already applying plainly. Something like:

MetaFilter is a diverse community. Please be considerate and label or describe potentially offensive or disturbing content appropriately.

Then enforce with steps 1, 2, and 3 above, which you already do.

Where is the downside to putting the standard you already apply, in all its glorious flexibility, in front of the users before they break it?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:41 PM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm telling you guys, the best practice isn't rules interpretation, it's "delete, explain and encourage to re-post."

"Hey, bud. Believe it or not, but some people were actually shocked the way the joke turned in this particular video, and not in a good way. I think it's funny, but whaddya goin' do, right? I deleted it, but I encourage you to re-post it with different wording. Maybe just say it has a 'twist ending?' Lemme know if you have any questions."

I'm certain the reaction to that would be, "Oh, dude, sorry, man. Thanks for the assist. Let me fix that shit right up."

You know, instead of "What the fuck, Sister Mary Jackass? Suddenly I'm the demon spawn of David Cronenburg, huh? Who put the pepper in your wimple this morning?"

A little hyperbole to make a point there.

When deletion is your only tool, it will ironically give you more leverage, not less.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:41 PM on February 18, 2012


I didn't reach for the delete because the people who liked it really really liked it, and the people who didn't like it seemed to not like it for the one specific reason. Seemed worth leaving up. But a "poster's request" deletion and re-do would have worked ok too. We're always around on the contact form for stuff like that.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 3:44 PM on February 18, 2012


restless_nomad: But a "poster's request" deletion and re-do would have worked ok too. We're always around on the contact form for stuff like that.

I imagine the issue with that is the fact that the OP wouldn't know to email you guys unless the "gore" warning was there. That could be minutes or it could be hours, if the OP doesn't check back for a while. And by that time, well, what's the point, really?
posted by gman at 4:02 PM on February 18, 2012


Yeah, it won't work every time, but in this case the MeTa went up less than 15 minutes after the edit.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 4:13 PM on February 18, 2012


I think Cool Papa Bell is still smarting from the knuckle-rapping.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:28 PM on February 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm telling you guys, the best practice isn't rules interpretation, it's "delete, explain and encourage to re-post."

And we are telling you that declarations that that is so does not make it so. I appreciate if you would prefer that the action was delete rather than append, but we have not pursued and are not going to start pursuing some "only ever delete" strategy for dealing with borderline situations. If the adding of that tag to the post bothered you, I sympathize with your botheration, but in general we have found people a lot more likely to be bothered by deletion of an otherwise salvageable post compared to trying to find a way to make it work.

Nobody on the mod team believes or suggested that you were doing something wrong by making the post you made. Adding the note to the post was done as a bit of compromise to respond to the folks who were, regardless of your intent, surprised by the content of the post, for the sake of the likely proportion of other folks having the same reaction to it, so that we could both (a) have this otherwise-fine post that you made stay up and (b) have less perpetuation of that unexpected bad reaction. Again, I sympathize if you personally are having a more adverse reaction to a compromise solution than to getting your post nixed outright, but our intent here is manifestly not a knuckle-rap.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:36 PM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


And we are telling you that declarations that that is so does not make it so.

It's that that sentence can work like that that makes me uneasy.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:44 PM on February 18, 2012 [4 favorites]


"My MeFi" has been mentioned as a solution.

These are the tags on the post:
education
australia
commercial
television

Those are all things that are fairly generally interesting which are significantly more likely to exclude "My MeFi" users from things they'd very much enjoy in hopes of avoiding an extremely rare posting circumstance.

It would be up to the poster to put in a tag that would hit the filters appropriately. In this case, it would have meant CPB "ruining the surprise" via tags, which doesn't sound like something he wanted to do. So, same situation exists as what we ended up with.
posted by batmonkey at 5:16 PM on February 18, 2012


Cool Papa Bell: “I'm telling you guys, the best practice isn't rules interpretation, it's ‘delete, explain and encourage to re-post.’”

Dude, I love you, but are you seriously sitting here and telling us that every single post that is not work-safe should be instantly deleted and the poster should be told to re-post with a warning?
posted by koeselitz at 5:30 PM on February 18, 2012


I'm suggesting it might be helpful to simply call the existing rules "rules." They're flexible rules.

The reason we do this is fairly specific. Everything we have here that we call a rule gets rules-lawyered to death over email and it MetaTalk with people who want us to predict every possible alternative and tell people how we would decide. In cases like these the answer really truly is "it depends" and that outcome usually depends on us talking to each other, the vibe of the post, the vibe of the site, the context that it appears in the degree of problematicness of whatever the thing is that people are objecting to, etc. We don't want to codify this more than it's codified. There is the rare situation that this is a problem enough so that we have to talk about it in MetaTalk. In terms of how we moderate the site, this is highly preferable to trying to craft a rule that contains the same sort of flexibility.

MetaFilter is a diverse community. Please be considerate and label or describe potentially offensive or disturbing content appropriately.

What we already say in the FAQ is this which is pretty accurate as far as how things run here. We might add a warning if you don't. We won't always. People can not rely on things having warnings but they can ask us to include one. If we direct people that they MUST add their own warnings then we are forever being the arbiter of whether someone should or shouldn't label something and then it becomes about the poster and not about the post and the community. The fact that CPB is taking this a little personally isn't because anyone on the mod team is ascribing any sort of value to the placement of a warning on this post. However if we get into a situation where there's a rule about placing warnings, then things can become personal and, in our opinion, much more problematic.

I realize this sounds a little equivocal but we feel that "mods will use their best judgment on this sort of thing" is going to have a better outcome for the site than "here's the rule, now let's all try to apply it ourselves to other people's posts and then ask the mods to validate our interpretations"
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:14 PM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


Thanks to all three mods, and everyone else who have taken the time to respond to my questions (and occasional grumpy ramblings) in this thread. It wasn't about me, so I appreciate your time. I would also like to give a special word of thanks and encouragement to those posters who have shared personal stories in this thread about how these kinds of issues affect you. You helped me to see you differently, for whatever that is worth.

There are a few specific points in the mod's responses that I still have quibbles with, but I find myself persuaded by the overall argument that keeping the "standards" somewhat loosely defined may help to counteract the tendency to overengage on what is primarily a fringe issue were it to become an actual "rule". So my quibbles are moot. There is no cabal rule. Good night, and pleasant dreams.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:15 PM on February 18, 2012 [3 favorites]


am I the only person who thought [gore warning] referred to some sort of inconvenient truth about the inventor of the internet?
posted by johnstein at 1:14 AM on February 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's how Boing Boing handled it. The post is titled "Education is a snap at the Central Institute of Technology in Australia," and beneath the video is the text "A charming advertisement for a college down under, by Henry and Aaron. Stay to the end. Send the kids out the room."
posted by jocelmeow at 3:25 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


And they found the link on Gizmodo. Their text was "Best. Technical College. Ad. Ever. What begins as a seemingly cheesy commercial for the Central Institute of Technology in Australia quickly devolves into a morass of extremely dark silliness. But yes, it's actually a real ad for a real school. Very creative, twisted, and funny."
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:29 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


And here's the way some other sites decided to indicate what was at the end of the video.

HuffPo: "But things quickly take a very, very dark turn. Lets just say it's a case of teleportation gone horribly wrong."
One Minute News: "This is either the most disturbing thing you will watch in a while or the funniest."
DoobyBrain: "Western Australia’s Central Institute of Technology put out this ad to recruit more students. It gets weird."
CNet: "I suppose I should warn the squeamish that it is not for them. But it is surely so for many young minds, desperate to get beyond the attitudes of colleges that are so sadly institutional."

A zillion Tumblr blogs.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:38 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'd be in favor of phasing out NSFW in favor of content tags like [gore, nudity, autoplay]. I'll make the judgment of where to watch, thanks.
posted by LogicalDash at 4:34 AM on February 21, 2012


Thought it was funny and was really glad for the "gore warning".

Also think that this is the biggest plate of beans I've seen around here in quite a long time and the OP needs to get over it.
posted by DWRoelands at 8:51 AM on February 21, 2012


Correction: It is not the OP, but anyone who's wringing hands over a small warning added to the post that needs to get over it. Forgive my broad brush.
posted by DWRoelands at 8:52 AM on February 21, 2012


LogicalDash: "I'd be in favor of phasing out NSFW in favor of content tags like [gore, nudity, autoplay]. I'll make the judgment of where to watch, thanks."

I try to do exactly that when I remember. Figure that it's just polite. I'd rather be more specific about a warning than not.

Also, a proper warning can prevent people from filling a thread with comments like "NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE", "ACK" and "*runs away screaming*" :D
posted by zarq at 9:22 AM on February 21, 2012


Glad you guys aren't in charge of movie ratings.

Psycho (1960), dir. Alfred Hitchcock
WARNING: CONTAINS CORPSE OF NORMAN BATE'S MOTHER'S LONG-DEAD CORPSE IN SHOCK REVEAL AT END.

posted by stinkycheese at 1:02 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


*first CORPSE = SHOT

Oh, for an edit window...
posted by stinkycheese at 2:22 PM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


A corpse is a corpse of course, of course.....
posted by zarq at 2:29 PM on February 21, 2012


...and noone can talk to a corpse, of course, that is of course unless the corpse is the famous living dead.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:34 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I just crammed a fistful of flax seeds into my mouth? And they've turned into a kind of unpleasant goop? fml
posted by tumid dahlia at 9:16 PM on February 22, 2012


I just ate 300 morning glory seeds and now everything is a pleasant goop in the mouth of the polygonal plant entity.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:25 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


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