What are policies or custom in terms of posting to "MetaFilter" regarding some controversial political or cultural issue? June 28, 2012 7:07 AM   Subscribe

What are policies or custom in terms of posting to "MetaFilter" regarding some controversial political or cultural issue?

Excuse me if this is covered somewhere, but I didn't see it in the FAQ.

I noticed people expressing strong opinions about things like Health Care ruling in comments associated with a MetaFilter post about it, but can you just post an "Ask Mefi" question along the same lines (or equally contentious cultural issue).

E.g., "What to people see in [famous MSNBC anchor]?"

If so, where do these go?
posted by Jon44 to Etiquette/Policy at 7:07 AM (46 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

You're welcome to post an AskMe if you have a problem that you are trying to solve about contentious issues, but you can't really hang out there to have a discussion. Comments in AskMe have to be answers to the question and other comments may be deleted. MeFi is for talking about the topic of the post (although the health care post is sort of weird because it's about an event that is about to happen). A question like "What do people see in MSNBC anchor..." would be sort of a weird fit for AskMe. We've had some questions like that in the past about Bono or Neil Young or Todd Rundgren, but they have to be fairly carefully phrased in order to not just turn into rants or bullshit sessions about the person being asked about.

Also if there is a big MeFi thread, asking a sort of "side" AskMe comment about something that could be a point of discussion in the MeFi thread seems like it might not be the right place for it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:17 AM on June 28, 2012


Well, with regard to the SCOTUS Health Care post, I think it was probably a bit of pregaming and I was surprised it wasn't pulled down until the announcement was made.

But if you're asking what people think about celebrites, then it wouldn't be an AskMe as that would almost certainly be Chatfilter. Just a question designed to start a conversation, not to actually address a problem someone has to solve.
posted by inturnaround at 7:17 AM on June 28, 2012


I thought today's SCOTUS post was obvious pre-event news/outrage-filter. No one could possibly have read all the links in the post in the hour before whatever is supposed to happen happened/is happening. Apparently a bunch of people want to discuss this event, though, so good luck. I'm sure it will be a very productive discussion.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 7:21 AM on June 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah, that was awful. I was waiting to see six or seven "HEALTH CARE BANNED!" or "OBAMERICA SOCIALIST NOW FOREVER!" FPPs in quick succession, but instead I just got the hour old pregame show, and so I had to rely on CNN to spell it all out for me. And it was basically like that.
posted by dirtdirt at 7:31 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Apparently a bunch of people want to discuss this event, though, so good luck. I'm sure it will be a very productive discussion.

You may want to come on in, as it truly is a good discussion. (Someone posted a metaphor that helped me understand what the hell the ruling actually means, anyway.)

People are being civil - spirited, maybe, but civil.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:34 AM on June 28, 2012


> so I had to rely on CNN to spell it all out for me.

Which, initially, they got completely ass-backwards as usual. They didn't report the ruling correctly for at least 10 minutes.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:35 AM on June 28, 2012


(Which, I see was already mentioned in that monster thread.)
posted by Burhanistan at 7:36 AM on June 28, 2012


I noticed people expressing strong opinions about things like Health Care ruling in comments associated with a MetaFilter post about it, but can you just post an "Ask Mefi" question along the same lines (or equally contentious cultural issue).

Nope. Like jessamyn said, asking a question on the green like "what's the deal with / what's your opinion about Person/Thing X" without an explicit and pretty clear problem solving component to it is pretty much bog standard Chatfilter and will get deleted pretty quickly. Mefi doesn't really have a spot specifically for just starting up conversations for their own sake.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:46 AM on June 28, 2012


Empress, do you have a link for the metaphor?
posted by mlis at 7:46 AM on June 28, 2012


I thought today's SCOTUS post was obvious pre-event news/outrage-filter.

It was a little odd. If it had been some driveby "decision coming soon!" post linking to e.g. the front page of CNN (ha!) or something, it'd have been nixed hard. As is, the circumstances are themselves odd: it's a big deal thing, it was really clearly forecasted, and Rhaomi at least put a bunch of effort into creating some context, so on the balance I think keeping it was a better idea than nixing it and waiting for a series of bad rushed posts and any extra confusion.

I'm certainly glad we didn't end up with a quickdraw "MANDATE FOUND UNCONSTITUTIONAL" headline reaction thread as the foundation for the discussion, I'll say that.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:49 AM on June 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


Mils; it was someone quoting ABC news saying that the mandate was kind of like flood insurance.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:56 AM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


"What to people see in [famous MSNBC anchor]?"

Mine was going to be "Why is Wolf Blitzer still a talking head on CNN and not a psychic in the National Enquirer?"
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 7:58 AM on June 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Everyone screams at you without reading the post. You shrug and quote Chinatown.
posted by Artw at 8:11 AM on June 28, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, also anything controversial needs TWO LINKS or more or it will be deleted.
posted by Artw at 8:12 AM on June 28, 2012


If you have an actual question about something contentious, like the ACA ruling, you can ask it on the green. If the question is really just cover for a rant or because you want to talk about it, it shouldn't be asked, and if asked, will likely get deleted.
posted by rtha at 8:17 AM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


"I'm certainly glad we didn't end up with a quickdraw "MANDATE FOUND UNCONSTITUTIONAL" headline reaction thread as the foundation for the discussion, I'll say that."

Yeah, I turned to my wife and said "cool, mefi won't be a complete clusterfuck today, just a quarter, with no need for photon torpedoes or full shields. Unless there's a bird of prey lurking about."
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:27 AM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mine was going to be "Why is Wolf Blitzer still a talking head on CNN and not a psychic in the National Enquirer?"

Because the Enquirer has standards.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 8:29 AM on June 28, 2012 [8 favorites]


Dude, I'm fairly sure that MeFi could turn a discussion about anything into a controversial politcal or social issue.
posted by jonmc at 8:31 AM on June 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm right here, Brandon.
posted by rtha at 8:34 AM on June 28, 2012 [12 favorites]


@jonmc Truer words never spoken.

I guess when I'm bored at home, I'll stick to discussing wave / particle duality with my cat.
posted by Jon44 at 8:58 AM on June 28, 2012


"Today the Physics Supreme Court has ruled that the Light Mandate is unconstitutional as a particle, but is totally groovy as a wave."
posted by kmz at 9:06 AM on June 28, 2012 [10 favorites]


That's exactly what a walking stereotype of a Whig like you would say, jon.
posted by griphus at 9:21 AM on June 28, 2012


A Whig?

*whigs out*
posted by jonmc at 9:25 AM on June 28, 2012


can you just post an "Ask Mefi" question along the same lines (or equally contentious cultural issue).

E.g., "What to people see in [famous MSNBC anchor]?"


No.
posted by John Cohen at 11:09 AM on June 28, 2012




Dude, I'm fairly sure that MeFi could turn a discussion about anything into a controversial politcal or social issue.

This isn't Youtube.

Thank (insert appropriate deity here).
posted by littlesq at 1:16 PM on June 28, 2012


Dude, I'm fairly sure that MeFi could turn a discussion about anything into a controversial politcal or social issue.

What does it have to be anything, why can't it be something?! Way to perpetuate the anyarchy.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 1:19 PM on June 28, 2012


I'm really enjoying a summary of the passive-aggressive put-down greatest hits one finds on the web:

That's exactly what a walking stereotype of a Whig like you would say, jon."

Way to perpetuate the anyarchy

also:

"just cause you disagree with [some leftist dictator's] population control strategies, you have to call him evil. What does that say about you?"

and of course:

"STOP DOING [thing poster disagrees with]!!! YOU ARE ABUSING THAT [cat/child/pet rock/pet theory]!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
posted by Jon44 at 1:33 PM on June 28, 2012


Your blog would be a good place for that sort of thing.
posted by scalefree at 1:52 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can I make an AskMe to find out WTF is up with T. C. Boyle?

Because I genuinely want to know why reading his books makes a person undateable.
posted by Sara C. at 2:37 PM on June 28, 2012


No. Isn't the other thread still open? Ask there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:39 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sara C. I can help you out there--he's smug and pseudo-intellectual and generally mediocre. Rubs off on his readers...
posted by Jon44 at 2:52 PM on June 28, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm just glad we established that WH40K books are a chick and/or dude magnet.
posted by Artw at 3:02 PM on June 28, 2012


They didn't report the ruling correctly for at least 10 minutes.

Best photoshop ever.
posted by octobersurprise at 3:13 PM on June 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


At least they don't favorite their own comments.
posted by winna at 3:18 PM on June 28, 2012


winna: Actually that was a mistake---but, in the spirit of jonmc, at least I don't spend my evenings clicking on buttons to see who favorites what. Na na, nah, nah nah. Nah.
posted by Jon44 at 3:40 PM on June 28, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sunkist and Sudafed
Gyroscopes and infrared
posted by clavdivs at 3:47 PM on June 28, 2012


I just wanted to say the newsfilters such as that on Metafilter are an important and better way of getting news than through the news shows/channels. Mefis are hive searching dozens of sources at once and some have expertise in the fields. If I alone relied on CNN or tried hopping between channels and websites I would have been lost. To know immediately that the knowledgeable SCOTUS blog was disagreeing with CNN and Fox was informative.
Even the wisecracking and rants here are high quality.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 4:03 PM on June 28, 2012 [4 favorites]


You should never post about politics to Metafilter.

Never.
posted by LarryC at 12:09 AM on June 29, 2012


I'm still confused as to why Obamacare is a bad thing in the eyes of Americans. If you lose your job here, or become pregnant, one of the instant benefits is you pay nothing for your prescriptions. Any contraceptive devices/medicines I am prescribed are completely free, and my bipolar disorder medication costs me a total of £10.40 per month as I have an NHS pre-payment certificate.

Now bipolar Americans can spend all their Seroquel money on Curly-Wurlys and knickers with Sonic the Hedgehog on as well! USA!
posted by mippy at 3:49 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


"I just wanted to say the newsfilters such as that on Metafilter are an important and better way of getting news than through the news shows/channels."

I'm generally pretty strongly opposed to newsfilter, but I do agree that with really big news and really complicated news can be very worthwhile, especially when there's enough people involved who will discuss things in depth and/or offer valuable information not otherwise easily or widely available.

When it's outrage-of-the-day or random-big-story-of-the-day, I think it's mostly noise.

But the SCOTUS ACA mandate decision is both really big and really complicated, and there were some people who offered good discussion and information, so I think it's quite a good thread.

I didn't read it until about two hours after the decision, though, and I was pretty disappointed to find that apparently a whole bunch of politically engaged mefites who'd been following the news about ACA and arguing about it for several years didn't know that the mandate was deliberately structured as a tax and constitutionally defensible as a tax. It more than a little disillusioned me about the level of competency mefites generally have when discussing these sorts of things. But I notice the same thing with economics threads, too. Not so much with some other technical subjects, though, which is why it disappoints me in these examples. Well, and especially because there's so much politically at stake and it matters in a practical sense far, far more than does, say, with other highly technical subjects that we discuss here.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:42 AM on June 29, 2012


Any contraceptive devices/medicines I am prescribed are completely free, and

To be fair, no they aren't. Most people here incorrectly assume that they'll lose out on a scheme like the NHS (which I do not support, but for different reasons). The middle class thinks "welfare" is for poor people, and they don't want to pay for it. This is because they don't realize exactly how much they themselves are supported by goverment spending. (Hence the sublime phrase, "get your government hands off my Medicare".)

PPACA is not socialized medicine like the NHS, but the Right has convinced a lot of Americans that it is, so the same mistaken beliefs come into play.
posted by spaltavian at 7:30 AM on June 29, 2012


We have a very long open thread about this topic, please go there to discuss it and not this MetaTalk thread.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:46 AM on June 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm torn about this kind of thing. On the one hand, I don't think newsfilter is what MetaFilter is for. And yet whenever there's a big news event I get much more about of reading the MeFi comment thread than I do from any official news source. In other words, this is not something MeFi is for, but it's something MeFi is good at.
posted by escabeche at 5:49 PM on June 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


We have a very long open thread about this topic, please go there to discuss it and not this MetaTalk thread.

Is that a first?
posted by Artw at 5:51 AM on June 30, 2012


Not really, no. While MeTa is an okay place for side discussions that are somehow derailing in the open thread, there's been a trend lately where people come here from a thread that's gone sort of sour and then start up the exact same discussion here except without the people who are maybe making it terrible in the other thread. This is problematic for a few reasons

- that's really not what MeTa is for and usually not why the MeTa thread was opened in the first place
- we have drastically different moderation rules in MeTa so we don't moderate the same way or even pay attention to the flags in the same way so it's not that great to have a MeFi-like thread happening here that can't be moderated in MeFi-like ways
- having parallel threads for each tricky MeFi thread is more difficult, from a moderation perspective, than just one. This is also true to a lesser extent for users who wind up cross-commenting and then getting confused or getting other people confused

So if a MeTa thread was opened to have a conversation that wasn't fitting in the open thread, that's fine, but if it was opened to talk about something else and then people drag a MeFi discussion over here, that's less good. It's something we may have to talk about more as things evolve here, but the past few weeks we've been trying to indicate that if people want to talk about the topic of a MeFi thread they should attempt to do that on MetaFilter, not in MetaTalk.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:58 AM on June 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


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