ObAMA August 29, 2012 1:38 PM   Subscribe

Obligatory complaint about the AMA post deletion

Seriously? There are few things on the internet as cool as this. The mods here are REALLY overstepping the line recently.
posted by roomthreeseventeen to MetaFilter-Related at 1:38 PM (257 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Totally. I actually debated posting this and I've never even considered making a bad deletion MeTa before.

Just reads like a grumpy pants can't stand to be outstaged by reddit move.

Sorry, that's what it looks like from here.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:39 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, stop it. This is "LIVE NEWS IS HAPPENING" at an almost double remove, as it's internet, and not even answers yet. Cortex was spot on.
posted by ersatzkat at 1:41 PM on August 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


Reddit is literally significantly unresponsive right now. A post that is a link to a site that is not responding is not a good post, period, regardless of the topic or how neat the thing that lots of people can't really even get at might in theory be. A post later when the content being linked to is reliably accessible would be fine, as I said in the deletion reason.

Just reads like a grumpy pants can't stand to be outstaged by reddit move.

Oh for butt's sake, that is not even part of the calculus here, no.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:42 PM on August 29, 2012 [46 favorites]


Are there really only few pages in the internet as cool as a Reddit error? Because that is basically what it is right now.
posted by Authorized User at 1:42 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Well it would have been nice to livesnark about weed and Ron Paul but it wasn't doing reddit any favors to shovel more traffic at them.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:43 PM on August 29, 2012


It's interactive though, it's totally notable and relevant that it be posted live.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:43 PM on August 29, 2012 [11 favorites]


obligatory means compulsory, which, you know, doesn't quite seem to be the case here. It's cool, but what is there?

nathancaswell: "Just reads like a grumpy pants can't stand to be outstaged by reddit move."

I don't think Metafilter ever angled for AMA hits.
posted by boo_radley at 1:43 PM on August 29, 2012


The reddit thread will still be there tomorrow. Maybe re-post it then. If the answers are at all interesting, and if the page will actually load.
posted by lrobertjones at 1:44 PM on August 29, 2012


I don't think Metafilter ever angled for AMA hits.

Which is weird because we basically got one today.
posted by griphus at 1:44 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I was able to read a few presidential answers, and also this gem:

don't correct the President, neckbeard.
posted by Mister_A at 1:45 PM on August 29, 2012 [26 favorites]


What was the delete reason? My script showing that no longer works, and I'm admittedly too lazy to go find the reason.

I can't say I disagree with the delete, but how totally cool that the President is doing this. Signed, A Big Obama Fan.
posted by bearwife at 1:45 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, anyone want to start taking book on whether or not this is going to beat James Brown in the "most deleted doubles of the same story" category?
posted by griphus at 1:45 PM on August 29, 2012


I was also considering posting this:

I personally really like MeFi's threads during current events; it's like a curated Twitter feed of smart people. Because of that, I'm disappointed that ObAMA just got deleted; it just seems like the type of thread that makes the site fun. I'd have liked it to be live until Reddit got back on their feet, and I wondered if other users feel the same way?
posted by jaduncan at 1:46 PM on August 29, 2012 [16 favorites]


bearwife:
This post was deleted for the following reason: Link to live Reddit thread while it's being crushed by the traffic is pretty much a non-starter. Maybe a round-up post later if the results are actually something interesting beyond "President says presidential things to the questions that aren't about Ron Paul or weed"? -- cortex

posted by zarq at 1:46 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's working totally fine for me. He's now answering the questions.
posted by sageleaf at 1:46 PM on August 29, 2012


and more substantially, posts that are basically adjuncts to others sites (whatever they are) are pretty ehhh.

"oh, pantsComeOff9312 asked about corn subsidies in Iowa, niceeee" times 5,000 is not an awesome thread.
posted by boo_radley at 1:46 PM on August 29, 2012


bearwife: "What was the delete reason? My script showing that no longer works, and I'm admittedly too lazy to go find the reason.

I can't say I disagree with the delete, but how totally cool that the President is doing this. Signed, A Big Obama Fan.
"

This post was deleted for the following reason: Link to live Reddit thread while it's being crushed by the traffic is pretty much a non-starter. Maybe a round-up post later if the results are actually something interesting beyond "President says presidential things to the questions that aren't about Ron Paul or weed"? -- cortex
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:46 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


The mods here are REALLY overstepping the line recently.

Huh? There are very very few reasons that "Live thing happening right now" posts are okay and they're mostly for unfolding disasters, not unfolding Reddit AMA's. If the thread is interesting now, it will be interesting a week from now. Doing a live reaction thread to a live Reddit thread is not really something this site is built for. I totally get that there are a bunch of people here who really like and enjoy Reddit and I do not blame them as there is a lot of cool stuff happening over there, but really deleting a "This happening NOW" sort of thread is a pretty boringly normal thing we do here, not a new thing at all.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:46 PM on August 29, 2012 [17 favorites]


Mister_A: "don't correct the President, neckbeard."

well now i take it all back
posted by boo_radley at 1:47 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


The parting shot about Ron Paul and weed is part of what makes it seem like sour grapes btw...
posted by nathancaswell at 1:48 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


There are very very few reasons that "Live thing happening right now" posts are okay

Am I really the only one that likes them?
posted by jaduncan at 1:48 PM on August 29, 2012 [10 favorites]


I absolutely agree with roomthreeseventeen here, and I pretty much never vocally give a flying one when the mods' trigger fingers get too heavy.
posted by item at 1:49 PM on August 29, 2012


No, a lot of people like them.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:49 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


He is posting answers to questions right now!
posted by sid at 1:49 PM on August 29, 2012


How about a compromise?

We'll just talk about the IAmA here. Did you see what he said about Michael Jordan.

Yeah.
posted by Bathtub Bobsled at 1:51 PM on August 29, 2012


they're mostly for unfolding disasters, not unfolding Reddit AMA's

This is reasonable, since the mods were okay with a live AMA when it was also an unfolding disaster. Maybe if Obama goes completely off the rails the post can go back up.
posted by jedicus at 1:51 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


I've got reddit platinum so I can get to it, here is the dude that corrected the president;


we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.

[+]s0crates82 54 points55 points56 points 13 minutes ago (31 children)

a asteroid

an asteroid, Mr. President.

[+]Whoa_Chill_Bro 17 points18 points19 points 8 minutes ago (5 children)

don't correct the President, neckbeard.
posted by Ad hominem at 1:51 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I think the supposed Metafilter vs. Reddit war -- as something that anybody could possibly have "sour grapes" about -- is something that nobody on either site really thinks that much about except for some that have too much loyalty to either. They are two completely different communities whose only commonality is that I use Firefox to look at them both.

There's probably some sort of grand metaphor to be made about nasty partisan politics too, but I'm too much of a MeFite or too much of a Democrat to figure out what it is.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 1:51 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Put me down for liking the live thing happening (LTH!) posts. I remember that whole kid floating away in a balloon hoax as being the moment I went from enjoying Metafilter to absolutely loving it. It was like being at a house party on the internet!
posted by mannequito at 1:52 PM on August 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


deleting a "This happening NOW" sort of thread is a pretty boringly normal thing we do here

How is this any different from the hey-everyone-Jeff-Mangum-is-playing-live-at-OWS thread that was allowed to stand?
posted by nathancaswell at 1:52 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


What's withe Studley Caps on the title of this post?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 1:52 PM on August 29, 2012


Sorry, that's what it looks like from here.

Then you should be a hell of a lot more charitable about the motivations you ascribe to people.

Of course, this is what I'd expect from someone who has it out for the mod team. (See how productive?)
posted by absalom at 1:53 PM on August 29, 2012


It was a self-link. spiderskull is (was) Mefi's own President Obama.
posted by iotic at 1:53 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


Reddit is literally significantly unresponsive right now.

I appreciate that some people are having difficulty reaching the AMA link but it works just fine for me and apparently many other people as well.
posted by enn at 1:53 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


The parting shot about Ron Paul and weed is part of what makes it seem like sour grapes btw...

That was more an attempt at genre-savvy humor. I, too, have a reddit account. I do not consider us and them to be in competition in any sane sense of the word so much as to be very different sites that exist in similar territory. I don't know why you think we've got a thing going on there or whatever. We're websites, not rival gangs.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:54 PM on August 29, 2012 [16 favorites]


iotic: "It was a self-link. spiderskull is (was) Mefi's own President Obama."

CORTEX BANS OBAMA. DEVELOPING...
posted by boo_radley at 1:55 PM on August 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


Whoa, the Area 51 question that I mentioned in the now-deleted mefi thread just got deleted. This is kind of rad to see in realtime.
posted by Greg Nog at 1:55 PM on August 29, 2012


I don't read reddit (I know!) and I found out about it through mefi. Isn't that what mefi is about: finding cool stuff on the web? Or have I been missing the point for the last X years...
posted by quodlibet at 1:55 PM on August 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


cortex: " We're websites, not rival gangs."

wait, you beat me with a sack of doorknobs until my ribs dislocated and gave me a satin jacket for nothing?
posted by boo_radley at 1:55 PM on August 29, 2012 [18 favorites]


But... we had this intimidating dance number almost ready for when Reddit and Metafilter rumble.

THE CHOREOGRAPHY, CORTEX. IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.
posted by cmyk at 1:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [23 favorites]


I do think the post should return. It's no longer unresponsive, it's a cool thing that's happening, and he's not talking about weed. Thanks, Spiderskull, for posting it, because I'm really glad I'm not missing it.
posted by sageleaf at 1:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Incidentally, PresidentObama's userpage seems to load more consistently than the AMA thread itself, at least for me right now.

Of course, this leaves me with an absurd amount of suspense as to what "I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty," could possibly be about.
posted by beryllium at 1:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


How is this any different from the hey-everyone-Jeff-Mangum-is-playing-live-at-OWS thread that was allowed to stand?

- wasn't posted at 11 pm
- wasn't on Reddit
- "this is a cool livestream" is different from "this is a cool live thread about politics hosted on Reddit"
- Mangum is not currently running for the office of President of the United States

Seriously, we don't play this game particularly but both the Mangum thread and the other AMA thread were flagged a bit and both of which got the hairy eyeball from us. From a mod perspective there is no site rivalry, I also have a Reddit account, this just wasn't a good post, at this time, for MetaFilter. Way to go Reddit, it was a great post there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:56 PM on August 29, 2012


When you're a MeFite, you're a MeFite all the way
From your first cigarette to your last dying day
posted by tommasz at 1:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [11 favorites]


This seems like as good a place as any to mention that I was able to get a question in through the (free) Alien Blue smartphone app. If anyone else is trying to ask something, it's worth a shot.
posted by troika at 1:57 PM on August 29, 2012


OK, I'll ask. Mods, why are ongoing non-disaster news threads considered harmful?
posted by jaduncan at 1:57 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Again with the politics hate on Metafilter. It's ELECTION SEASON.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 1:58 PM on August 29, 2012


beryllium, I think it's re: the White House beer!
posted by sonmi at 1:58 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ow!
posted by vidur at 1:59 PM on August 29, 2012


The Mefi's need a secret hand-shake.
I know the Reddits have one.
posted by Flood at 1:59 PM on August 29, 2012


Mangum is not currently running for the office of President of the United States

In my dreams, he's alive, and he's running.
posted by griphus at 1:59 PM on August 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


Loading for me, not that many answers yet. It will be more fun to read when it's more complete, I think. So far the political questions have pretty campaign-y sounding answers, to me at least.

That said, this is worth pointing out:
silent1mezzo 368 points 43 minutes ago
What's the recipe for the White House's beer?

PresidentObama[S] 41 points 9 minutes ago
It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.
posted by maryr at 2:00 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


(NB: Song lyric parody; Mangum alive and presumably well.)
posted by griphus at 2:00 PM on August 29, 2012


I feel like he's going to turn from his computer and look at me in that verification photo.

Oh and I agree with the deletion.
posted by sweetkid at 2:01 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Mods, why are ongoing non-disaster news threads considered harmful?

Because there's often no there there. It's not a post for people to discuss, it's a perfunctory place-holder as an excuse to bullshit on the topic.

And don't get me wrong, I have a big place in my heart for real-time bullshitting and liveblogging and all, but it's more the outlier on Metafilter than the thing the site's designed for. Sometimes they sort of sneak through anyway, and for those that enjoy that sort of thing it's a chance to enjoy that sort of thing, but it's not the intent. We discourage it because it's specifically something we don't want to have people seeing as the right way to make a post, as some ephemeral event-for-chattering rather than a post with a more durability, that will be just as good in a week or a year.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:01 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


why are ongoing non-disaster news threads considered harmful?

I think you misunderstood me. The "Thing happening LIVE RIGHT NOW" threads are problematic because this site isn't really built to deal with them. Our moderating system isn't built to be responsive to a situation where there are dozens of comments in a minute and it makes us unable to pay attention to the rest of the site as well. There are other sites built for this sort of thing and it's totally okay with us if people go there to use them for the purpose that they were intended for. Real unusual disaster type stuff is enough of an edge case that we are okay with having a place for realtime discussion of something that's deeply affecting to people and very important.

Having a really lean team here is fine for 95% of the use cases we have. Adding a lot of staff for the odd 5% is not going to be happening. It's a big internet and MeFi doesn't have to be all things to all people. We don't have to make these sorts of decisions based (mostly) on what brings in the most eyeballs so we try to stick to what we do well.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:01 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


I was able to read a few presidential answers, and also this gem:

don't correct the President, neckbeard.


I don't know what was worse, the thread deletion or the moment I realized you weren't quoting one of the presidential answers. :(
posted by granted at 2:02 PM on August 29, 2012 [23 favorites]


When you're a 'Fite you're a 'Fite all the way
from your first question Asked till your last comment faved
When you're a 'Fite, if the shit hits the fan
You've the Mod Team around, you're a beanplating man!

the 'Fites are in gear
Our keyboards all are clickin'!
Reddit'll steer clear
Their upvote key is stickin', cuz we be kickin!

That sort of fell apart at the end.
posted by KathrynT at 2:03 PM on August 29, 2012 [20 favorites]


I've been a member of Metafilter for damn near a decade now, and something that took me a long time to learn is that this place is not a democracy and whatever it is that the mods agree should happen will happen. It's been said repeatedly, by both the mods and by astute regular users, that if you don't like it you can leave. No one is forcing you to stay and there'll be no penalty if you do. You also usually (and I do use the word 'usually' loosely) have the ability around here to criticize the authority figures. If they choose to listen to your criticisms or not is of course up to them, as again this is not a democracy, it's a privately owned business, much like if you decided to walk into McDonald's and tell the girl behind the counter that their burgers make you want to puke. Go America.
posted by item at 2:03 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Because there's often no there there. It's not a post for people to discuss, it's a perfunctory place-holder as an excuse to bullshit on the topic.

But it's a link to something that really is "best of the web." That's pure Metafilter right there. It will be reposted after the AMA is over.
posted by mattbucher at 2:04 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


When you're a MeFite, you're a MeFite all the way

From your first FPP to your obit thread day
When you're a MeFite, if the grar hits the fan,
You got spouses around, you're a family man!

You're never alone, you're never disconnected!
You're home with your own:
When spammers are expected, you're well protected!

Then you are set, with a capital M,
Which you'll never forget, till you get a bannin'.
When you're a MeFite, you stay a MeFite!
posted by jedicus at 2:04 PM on August 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


Whoa! I can't believe Sidney Crosby asked a question! THought he was Canadian...
posted by Mister_A at 2:04 PM on August 29, 2012


I was in the process of posting a comment in that thread when it got deleted.

It's an interesting way for him to try to connect to "the kids" and look tech savvy. However, there be danger afoot in even the most innocuous reddit threads sometimes. I hope there isn't any blowback on him due to an inopportune imgur link or one of those too-clever-by-half lurid user names. I can see Fox News and the wingnuts going all hyperbolic: "OMG! Obama posted on a porn site! Degrading the dignity of the office! Impeach!"
posted by fuse theorem at 2:06 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would be interesting see how Metafilter would handle the President answering questions here. Would the site crash? Would the sign up system melt down? Would Matt become the King of Bolivis from all the signups?

I bet the MeTa would be fantastic.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:06 PM on August 29, 2012


Kind of a bummer that post was deleted.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:07 PM on August 29, 2012


You know what would really impress me? If Obama went on AskMefi right now and answered whatever the 5 most recent questions are.
posted by mcmile at 2:07 PM on August 29, 2012 [22 favorites]


Metafilter: an excuse to bullshit on the topic
posted by mattbucher at 2:07 PM on August 29, 2012


Brandon, NO LIVE ANYTHING.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:07 PM on August 29, 2012


Mabby I'm just "Hurricane Drubk" ,but is the President doing an AMA?
posted by ColdChef at 2:07 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


And, proving our mods right, reddit just crashed again. (My very recently developed strong interest in becoming a subscriber has also been a total flop because the subscription pop up window hasn't been working since the Obama thread went up.)
posted by bearwife at 2:08 PM on August 29, 2012


I think the supposed Metafilter vs. Reddit war -- as something that anybody could possibly have "sour grapes" about

Wait, if we do have a war can we get snappy brown dress uniforms and badges and stuff?
posted by The Whelk at 2:08 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I bet the MeTa would be fantastic.

When did VPBiden get banned? Were there some comments I didn't see?
posted by PresidentObama to MetaFilter-Related at 3:32 PM (2372 comments total) [add to favorites] [!]
posted by jaduncan at 2:08 PM on August 29, 2012 [26 favorites]


I think "your burgers make me want to puke" should mean "I have a problem with the way this site is being moderated" from now on, as pony has become "synonymous" with "feature request"
posted by nathancaswell at 2:09 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


- "this is a cool livestream" is different from "this is a cool live thread about politics hosted on Reddit"

I don't see the difference... if it were a live video AMA, would that have made it okay?
posted by spiderskull at 2:09 PM on August 29, 2012


wait, "pony", synonymous...
posted by nathancaswell at 2:09 PM on August 29, 2012


I am trying to Reddit stalk my friend and his much younger boyfriend right now and Barack is really cramping my style.
posted by yellowbinder at 2:10 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think you misunderstood me. The "Thing happening LIVE RIGHT NOW" threads are problematic because this site isn't really built to deal with them. Our moderating system isn't built to be responsive to a situation where there are dozens of comments in a minute and it makes us unable to pay attention to the rest of the site as well. There are other sites built for this sort of thing and it's totally okay with us if people go there to use them for the purpose that they were intended for. Real unusual disaster type stuff is enough of an edge case that we are okay with having a place for realtime discussion of something that's deeply affecting to people and very important.

OK, that makes sense. Thank you (and cortex) for the explanation.
posted by jaduncan at 2:10 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.

The President suggests a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. That alone makes the Reddit thread worth reading.
posted by bearwife at 2:11 PM on August 29, 2012 [32 favorites]


Don't worry you guys; there's a great FPP about Honey Boo Boo.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:11 PM on August 29, 2012 [6 favorites]


The President suggests a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. That alone makes the Reddit thread worth reading.

Holy shit. That really is news.
posted by jaduncan at 2:11 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


The President suggests a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United. That alone makes the Reddit thread worth reading.

It's been hinted at before.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:13 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


badges and stuff

The 14kers already have a badge.
posted by jedicus at 2:13 PM on August 29, 2012




So it actually is working for people? I just get "reddit is under heavy load right now, sorry. Try again in a few minutes." For the last 25 minutes or so. I had no idea there was a thing going on, so i just figured they were sucking.
posted by smackfu at 2:14 PM on August 29, 2012


Landing a spacecraft on another planet in an crazy, untried manner begs to differ.

Technically, we were all 14 minutes behind on that one.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:14 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


"OMG! Obama posted on a porn site! Degrading the dignity of the office! Impeach!"

I worry about that too, there are always guys named "I_RAEP_ANUSES" in there asking legit questions, that get upvoted. Reddit has had a lot of success with the AMAs though, way more success than you could expect due to the fact that they were on the news as a kiddie porn site like 3 weeks ago. I think the mods in Iama are just very good.

I am also worried that he will be too staid in his answers and there will be a backlash against him and I will have to look at "scumbag obama" memes all next week.

all in all, AMAs usually turn out ok, with the Woody Harrelson AMA an exception. Yesterday Terry Crews did an AMA, reddit loves Terry Crews. Somebody asked him "Which historical figure would you fight" and he answered "My great-grandmother's slave master" that was a real "shit just got real moment".
posted by Ad hominem at 2:14 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


It's totally in and out, smackfu. It is back to read only mode now "due to heavy traffic."
posted by bearwife at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2012


You know what would really impress me? If Obama went on AskMefi right now and answered whatever the 5 most recent questions are.

Ditch carbs, Cloud Atlas, look at previous AskMes, let it go. And, of course, DTMFA.
posted by gnomeloaf at 2:15 PM on August 29, 2012 [7 favorites]


All of the responses:

I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[–]PresidentObama[S] 25 points 7 minutes ago
It's hard - truthfully the main thing other than work is just making sure that I'm spending enough time with michelle and the girls. The big advantage I have is that I live above the store - so I have no commute! So we make sure that when I'm in DC I never miss dinner with them at 6:30 pm - even if I have to go back down to the Oval for work later in the evening. I do work out every morning as well, and try to get a basketball or golf game in on the weekends just to get out of the bubble. Speaking of balance, though, I need to get going so I'm back in DC in time for dinner. But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating - this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run. AND REMEMBER TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER - if you need to know how to register, go to Gottaregister.com. By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!
permalinkcontextfull comments

I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[–]PresidentObama[S] 72 points 15 minutes ago
I understand how tough it is out there for recent grads. You're right - your long term prospects are great, but that doesn't help in the short term. Obviously some of the steps we have taken already help young people at the start of their careers. Because of the health care bill, you can stay on your parent's plan until you're twenty six. Because of our student loan bill, we are lowering the debt burdens that young people have to carry. But the key for your future, and all our futures, is an economy that is growing and creating solid middle class jobs - and that's why the choice in this election is so important. The other party has two ideas for growth - more taxs cuts for the wealthy (paid for by raising tax burdens on the middle class and gutting investments like education) and getting rid of regulations we've put in place to control the excesses on wall street and help consumers. These ideas have been tried, they didnt work, and will make the economy worse. I want to keep promoting advanced manufacturing that will bring jobs back to America, promote all-American energy sources (including wind and solar), keep investing in education and make college more affordable, rebuild our infrastructure, invest in science, and reduce our deficit in a balanced way with prudent spending cuts and higher taxes on folks making more than $250,000/year. I don't promise that this will solve all our immediate economic challenges, but my plans will lay the foundation for long term growth for your generation, and for generations to follow. So don't be discouraged - we didn't get into this fix overnight, and we won't get out overnight, but we are making progress and with your help will make more.
permalinkcontextfull comments

I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[–]PresidentObama[S] 802 points 29 minutes ago
It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty.
permalinkcontextfull comments

I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[–]PresidentObama[S] 424 points 30 minutes ago
Money has always been a factor in politics, but we are seeing something new in the no-holds barred flow of seven and eight figure checks, most undisclosed, into super-PACs; they fundamentally threaten to overwhelm the political process over the long run and drown out the voices of ordinary citizens. We need to start with passing the Disclose Act that is already written and been sponsored in Congress - to at least force disclosure of who is giving to who. We should also pass legislation prohibiting the bundling of campaign contributions from lobbyists. Over the longer term, I think we need to seriously consider mobilizing a constitutional amendment process to overturn Citizens United (assuming the Supreme Court doesn't revisit it). Even if the amendment process falls short, it can shine a spotlight of the super-PAC phenomenon and help apply pressure for change.
permalinkcontextfull comments

I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[–]PresidentObama[S] 684 points 36 minutes ago
The decision to surge our forces in afghanistan. Any time you send our brave men and women into battle, you know that not everyone will come home safely, and that necessarily weighs heavily on you. The decision did help us blunt the taliban's momentum, and is allowing us to transition to afghan lead - so we will have recovered that surge at the end of this month, and will end the war at the end of 2014. But knowing of the heroes that have fallen is something you never forget.
permalinkcontextfull comments

I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[–]PresidentObama[S] 903 points 40 minutes ago
Win or lose, I'll be thanking everybody who is working so hard - especially all the volunteers in field offices all across the country, and the amazing young people in our campaign offices.
permalinkcontextfull comments

I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[–]PresidentObama[S] 204 points 41 minutes ago
We've really focused on this since I came into office - 18 tax cuts for small business, easier funding from the SBA. Going forward, I want to keep taxes low for the 98 percent of small businesses that have $250,000 or less in income, make it easier for small business to access financing, and expand their opportunities to export. And we will be implementing the Jobs Act bill that I signed that will make it easier for startups to access crowd-funding and reduce their tax burden at the start-up stage.
permalinkcontextfull comments

I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[–]PresidentObama[S] 903 points 44 minutes ago
Jordan - I'm a Bulls guy.
permalinkcontextfull comments

I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[–]PresidentObama[S] 1602 points 45 minutes ago*
Internet freedom is something I know you all care passionately about; I do too. We will fight hard to make sure that the internet remains the open forum for everybody - from those who are expressing an idea to those to want to start a business. And although there will be occasional disagreements on the details of various legislative proposals, I won't stray from that principle - and it will be reflected in the platform.
permalinkcontextfull comments

I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMA by PresidentObamain IAmA
[–]PresidentObama[S] 1909 points 48 minutes ago
Making sure we stay at the forefront of space exploration is a big priority for my administration. The passing of Neil Armstrong this week is a reminder of the inspiration and wonder that our space program has provided in the past; the curiosity probe on mars is a reminder of what remains to be discovered. The key is to make sure that we invest in cutting edge research that can take us to the next level - so even as we continue work with the international space station, we are focused on a potential mission to a asteroid as a prelude to a manned Mars flight.
permalinkcontextfull comments
posted by jaduncan at 2:17 PM on August 29, 2012 [18 favorites]


Don't worry you guys; there's a great FPP about Honey Boo Boo.

Not anymore...
posted by Melismata at 2:18 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I guess a thoughtful article about the intersection of class, race, the recession, and popular culture is not a good fit for metafilter. What are you gonna do.
posted by the young rope-rider at 2:19 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


You know if you're going to use the MeTa thread as a backdoor for the discussion topic rather than the meta-discussion you could at least fix the formatting/readability as you copy and paste.
posted by Talez at 2:20 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


i'm glad this was deleted. i think metafilter is much, much better when it focuses on something that happened instead of something that is happening. i get frustrated with posts that are "big supreme court decision to be announced tomorrow!" etc. it's 800 comments of arguing about what the outcome will be and then fights start and then the thing actually happens and people restart arguments because now someone is "right". it doesn't really allow any space for people who want thoughtful conversations once all the information is in. if someone tries to make that post, it gets deleted as a double.
posted by nadawi at 2:20 PM on August 29, 2012 [23 favorites]


I hear that this will probably still be on the internet in like 2 hours and also still in 24 hours. What say we talk about it then?
posted by lrobertjones at 2:20 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!

What you did? It's there and I saw it.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:20 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


We should have a free for all thread every week where we discuss that week's deleted posts all at once.
posted by yellowbinder at 2:21 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


For anyone who's wondering.
posted by sonmi at 2:22 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


yellowbinder: "We should have a free for all thread every week where we discuss that week's deleted posts all at once."

That sounds like a Harlan Ellison novel, and not one of the good ones.
posted by boo_radley at 2:22 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: That sort of fell apart at the end.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:22 PM on August 29, 2012


You know if you're going to use the MeTa thread as a backdoor for the discussion topic rather than the meta-discussion you could at least fix the formatting/readability as you copy and paste.

Lots of people had an interest and were unable to get through to the server. I just thought I'd pass it along without making another FPP.
posted by jaduncan at 2:22 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


We should have a free for all thread every week where we discuss that week's deleted posts all at once.

I think the lack of this is all that's keeping the mods for going out for a pack of smokes and never coming back.
posted by griphus at 2:23 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Cmyk, let me tell you what happens when the Red(ditors) and the Blues fight.

We'll be sitting in a bar, minding our own business, when they walk in. A shiver goes round our table. "Is that....?" "You know it is".

Their leader walks over. He's young, tall, well-dressed. He looks at us, sneers something about our lack of hair and threaded discussions. Then he eyeballs us and asks "so, how can I circumcise my cat?" and walks off.

And then we have a pub quiz and we win and he come over to congratulate us while we drink more beer and he reels off some of his favourite MeFi user names. It's really more like a western, only with a happy ending rather than a shootout. (BUT, if you cam teach us those moves, I'm sure they'd go down a storm next time...)
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:23 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


A large part of what makes choreographed media events like this interesting is the ability to watch how they are being managed. A trivial example of this is the deletion of the Area 51 comment that Greg Nog noticed above. That's why it isn't true that this will be just as interesting a week from now as it is right now. Next week, there will be no way to know what questions were asked and deleted, or what was edited after the fact.
posted by enn at 2:24 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


all in all, AMAs usually turn out ok, with the Woody Harrelson AMA an exception.

If Obama's first answer changed the subject and discussed the movie Rampart, he would have officially won all the reddits.
posted by Gary at 2:25 PM on August 29, 2012 [8 favorites]


I am Barack Obama, President of the United States -- AMAverified (self.IAmA)
submitted 1 hour ago* by PresidentObama to IAmA
12437 commentsshare


Jesus Honey Boo Christ.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 2:26 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


We should have a free for all thread every week where we discuss that week's deleted posts all at once. -- We do. But it's super secret. It doesn't even have a metafilter url. So go to IP 127.0.0.1 and be a part of it.
posted by crunchland at 2:26 PM on August 29, 2012


Next week, there will be no way to know what questions were asked and deleted, or what was edited after the fact.

Other than the memories and note-taking of anybody who was watching at the time, if there was noteworthy stuff that happened. That is not something that lives or dies on Metafilter having an active, open thread at the moment it occurs; Reddit has huge visibility, noteworthy stuff will be taken note of, and if a week from now nobody remembers or cares it's worth asking if that's something that really hits the "this needs a post!" threshold.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:28 PM on August 29, 2012


Well I guess Reddit needs to start looking at upgrading their infrastructure to cope with zillions of pageviews whenever a random celeb does an AMA. I mean what would've happened if someone truly important like David Beckham or Justin Beiber had done this AMA instead.
posted by vuron at 2:29 PM on August 29, 2012


Seems to be over. Update 2 on the AMA:
LAST UPDATE: I need to get going so I'm back in DC in time for dinner. But I want to thank everybody at reddit for participating - this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run. AND REMEMBER TO VOTE IN NOVEMBER - if you need to know how to register, go to Gottaregister.com. By the way, if you want to know what I think about this whole reddit experience - NOT BAD!
posted by maryr at 2:30 PM on August 29, 2012


I honestly love how tech savvy this President is!

President Obama also gave a short speech, live via videofeed, for the opening keynote at BlogHer this month (full disclosure: I was there, in NYC, on August 2nd).

BlogHer reached out to BOTH Presidential candidates, but only Obama responded.

If you can't get through to the AMA, you might be interested to hear what he had to say. Here's the link to the BlogHer Obama videofeed. You can skip to 2:23 in to avoid the intro and get directly to his remarks.

Michelle Obama wrote a post for BlogHer back in 2008. Her update last month makes a nice companion piece to the President's videofeed.
posted by misha at 2:31 PM on August 29, 2012 [9 favorites]


this is an example of how technology and the internet can empower the sorts of conversations that strengthen our democracy over the long run

So Metafilter IS a democracy after all! THESE BURGERS MAKE ME WANT TO PUKE.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:31 PM on August 29, 2012


I do not understand the burger/puke vibration.
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:33 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


@BarackObama As a voter and a supporter, thank you! I know reddit went down. Please try http://t.co/ZUVP7Lc6 next time! contact @matthowie.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:33 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


That didn't paste right. That was from @CoolMomsRule
posted by zombieflanders at 2:34 PM on August 29, 2012


That's me, zombieflanders! Thanks.
posted by misha at 2:36 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I almost posted this a few minutes before and then reddit was crashing so I was like nah that's weak plus he'll also be done in like 10 minutes. It's a perfectly good post 1 hour from now with some context or reactions, totally understandable why it was deleted to me.

Mainly the reddit thread made me want to tear my eyes out because most of the top comments were about how great reddit is. Not that we don't do that at MF. But still. I hate that. Also the interface. Blurgh.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:36 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I also Tweeted another one, about how Metafilter's been around 10+ years and he could expect intelligent discussion. Who knows? Maybe someone in the administration will think it over.
posted by misha at 2:37 PM on August 29, 2012


Note that you should probably not contact @matthowie unless you e.g. want to Win a Free 1Pad!
posted by cortex (staff) at 2:37 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


"if you don't like it you can leave. "

Even better, if you don't like it you can be a member of both Metafilter and other website's communities or, if the website lacks a community, view other websites. I'd hate to think that people left Metafilter just because it didn't do everything they liked, it'd be much better for them to get their needs filled elsewhere.

Also, I agree that we as a community generally have much better discussions when it's not a reaction to live events. Heck, I'd say EVERYBODY has better discussions when it's not live. Plus, you know if the conversation's going to be a giant rat king, I'd just as soon they not spend the man hours trying to untie it.
posted by Gygesringtone at 2:38 PM on August 29, 2012


yo, now that it is over are you going going to recussitate one of the deleted posts or people going to fight over who gets to post ?
posted by Ad hominem at 2:39 PM on August 29, 2012


Er, "get their needs met elsewhere, and still contribute here"
posted by Gygesringtone at 2:39 PM on August 29, 2012


I've seen threads that started as being about something else become a liveblog of some at least vaguely related thing and they can be entertaining as hell, because we have a lot of people here who are funny and can type fast.

But seriously, bitching about the deletion of a post that links to a site that isn't loading? And that will be around for reading/discussing after it's not crashing anymore? Get a grip.
posted by rtha at 2:41 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


I've been thinking about putting together a FPP about Joe Biden's "THE EAGLES FUCKING RULE, AMA", but in light of this deletion I'll just save myself the effort.
posted by codacorolla at 2:41 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Can we now say that websites get "Obama'd" instead of "Slashdotted"? Because that would be the funniest.
posted by lubujackson at 2:42 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


But seriously, bitching about the deletion of a post that links to a site that isn't loading

I refreshed the site 7 or 8 times in the thick of it and never had any issue getting it to load... I guess other people had problems though.
posted by nathancaswell at 2:44 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


That sounds like a Harlan Ellison novel, and not one of the good ones.

Ellison's only novels were Web of the City, Spider Kiss, and The Sound of a Scythe aka The Man with Nine Lives. So which one was the bad one?

I'll just go ahead and do it myself: don't correct the boo_radley, neckbeard
posted by Zed at 2:45 PM on August 29, 2012


Note that you should probably not contact @matthowie unless you e.g. want to Win a Free 1Pad!

Done, and done! Free iPad City, here I come, population me!
posted by spiderskull at 2:48 PM on August 29, 2012


Zed: "So which one was the bad one?"

well uh I just some small shape in a ghilie suit with a typewriter and a rifle so I'm pretty sure they're all fantastic.
posted by boo_radley at 2:53 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't hang out at reddit, so can anyone tell me about the flag marking Obama's posts?
posted by annsunny at 2:58 PM on August 29, 2012


*saw some small shape

curse you alliteration.
posted by boo_radley at 3:00 PM on August 29, 2012


a 1Pad is was better than an iPad, but a IPad has more gravitas.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:10 PM on August 29, 2012


is was better but now is wasnt
posted by Potomac Avenue at 3:10 PM on August 29, 2012


I don't hang out at reddit, so can anyone tell me about the flag marking Obama's posts?

Next to his name? that is a user flair, a little pic or text a user can have next to their name. It is not a standard one so the mods must have added it for him.

Some subreddits, like sports related subreddits have a system where you can pick a team logo to display next to your name. /r/Iama doesn't have user selectable flair.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:13 PM on August 29, 2012


And I,PAD is Peter David's autobiography...
posted by the_artificer at 3:15 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I agree that Obama doing an AMA is pretty outstanding, but it was just a flash in the pan. If the discussion of Super-PACs comes to something, the related MeFi post could point to Reddit as an early mention of the idea. Otherwise, 10 replies to thousands of questions isn't a very interesting post, IMO. Too temporary and thin for a MetaFilter post on its own.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:20 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ah, thanks AH!
posted by annsunny at 3:20 PM on August 29, 2012


I've got to say -- the entire list of responses out of context is probably the most amusing part of this whole thing since I still can't read the questions.

But only because I love to think that "It will be out soon! I can tell from first hand experience, it is tasty." was about something like "If you're re-elected, what's your plan for relations with Canada?" or something like that.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:22 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Well, darn, cortex, maybe you should tweet President Obama and let him know that we aren't affiliated with the 1Pad guy, because ugh.

Seriously, I know I follow Matt on Twitter because I've seen his Tweets! I just assumed, when Twitter didn't give me a redline under the handle, I had it right (not that it was another person entirely!).
posted by misha at 3:26 PM on August 29, 2012


Q & A from reddit.
posted by annsunny at 3:28 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


You know I thought the Advice Animals meme was at maximum mainstream popularity when Comedy Central started using it for their Futurama ads. But I was wrong.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:31 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't hang out at reddit, so can anyone tell me about the flag marking Obama's posts?

Next to his name? that is a user flair, a little pic or text a user can have next to their name. It is not a standard one so the mods must have added it for him.


The Game of Thrones sub-reddit has the best choices for flair.

If you subscribe to a lot of different sub-reddits you can end up with a lot of different flair and each one only shows up on that particular Sub-Reddit. For example, the book sub-reddit is kind of a pain because my Flair is the title of the current book I am reading and that changes several times a week.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:35 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


+1 for bad deletion.
posted by special-k at 3:36 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


9,547 points in a half hour? What a karma whore
posted by msalt at 3:40 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Yeah this is the first deletion I've seen that seemed unnecessary. I mean, isn't the point of an AMA that you can ask questions and up/down vote them? Like right now, before Obama goes home to have dinner? That's not going to be true a week from now.

I guess I don't see the difference functionally between this and our regular State of the Union threads.
posted by danny the boy at 3:47 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Q & A from reddit.

That was a clean summary of the 10 questions and responses, but they missed the ONE link that was included: Mashable's short article "Republican Party Adopts Internet Freedom as its Own", which was linked in the first question.
posted by filthy light thief at 3:52 PM on August 29, 2012


After reading the Q&A, seems like a lot of fuss over nothing as I would have expected. The only remotely interesting part was about Citizens United, and if he follows that up with any real action I will be shocked. And THAT would be worth a thread.

But seriously, we have enough U.S. election threads as it is.
posted by wildcrdj at 3:52 PM on August 29, 2012


I mean, isn't the point of an AMA that you can ask questions and up/down vote them? Like right now, before Obama goes home to have dinner?

That's the point of it for a reddit user, interacting on reddit at the time. Which you can do, if you're a reddit user, without needing a Metafilter post noting that the reddit thread exists, and it's big enough internet news that you don't really need Metafilter to find out that the reddit thread exists either.

I dunno, I mean I think the AMA phenomenon is a little bit interesting as it is but it's not new and this certainly would not be the first time there was a post about it. So if it comes down to "but you can reload this particular reddit thread as it acquires a ton of comments the vast majority of which the AMAer will not respond", that's not really a compelling argument for the post. It's basically "watch this, something interesting might happen, but who knows"; a much better post in general would be "hey, here's a thing that did happen, was in fact interesting, and here's why".

I guess I don't see the difference functionally between this and our regular State of the Union threads.

I don't think the SotU threads are particularly great, but a reliable, long-form national address is at least more substantial than a reddit AMA in terms of likely content.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:54 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


The Game of Thrones sub-reddit has the best choices for flair.

That is a crazy amount, I like the /r/minecraft flair cuz i have a creeper face.
posted by Ad hominem at 3:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Current headline on Gawker : "Obama Grants Interview to Racist Teen Nude Picture Website"
posted by crunchland at 3:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]




danny the boy: I guess I don't see the difference functionally between this and our regular State of the Union threads.

I could be missing them, but the recent State of the Union posts are more than "the state of the union is on now!" Any way, SOTU is more than 10 topics, two of which are pop material (beer and basketball).


crunchland: Current headline on Gawker : "Obama Grants Interview to Racist Teen Nude Picture Website"

Oh, wow. you weren't kidding (SFW screencap). Note: both Gawker and Gizmodo had links to the AMA. MetaFilter isn't the only place that provided a link to Reddit, should you not actively visit Reddit.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:00 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


crunchland: "Current headline on Gawker : "Obama Grants Interview to Racist Teen Nude Picture Website""

Oh shit, I thought you were kidding.
Barack Obama, the President of the United States of America, hosted an "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) thread on free teen n00dz archive Reddit today. It was a historic day: Finally, well-educated white men had the chance to question the President.

The news that Obama had taken to the internet's premier Men's Rights Activist meeting place Reddit sparked tweets of glee from internet nerds, proving they are by far the easiest of all constituencies to pander to. I mean, to appease middle American voters, candidates have to eat disgusting and health-endangering phallic fair food. All Obama has to do to make nerds swoon is sit at a MacBook like he probably does every day and log onto a website.

Unfortunately, the internet explosion took down Reddit for most of the half hour or so that Obama answered questions, leaving us all crazily refreshing the page to see if all the racists would come out. They didn't, thankfully, though I can't pretend I wasn't hoping that some presidential version of the highly entertaining Woody Harrelson AMA disaster, where Redditors hounded him about taking some random high school girls' virginity, might occur.

Instead the questions Obama addressed were all softballs....
I guess Adrian Chen is jealous.
posted by zarq at 4:02 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Just wanted to say "Oh, for butt's sake!" has just replaced a half dozen other sayings I had.
posted by Rocket Surgeon at 4:06 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


You want an actual apparent Reddit vs. someone rivalry, there has been for a long while no love lost with Adrian Chen, yeah. Shit gets catty quick it seems like.
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:07 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


uggghhh. I mean there are clearly some awful, shittasse parts of reddit but that article is scarcely worth the effort of rolling my eyes.
posted by en forme de poire at 4:20 PM on August 29, 2012


cortex: "no love lost with Adrian Chen, yeah."

Ahhhh. That makes sense. I know that once upon a time, Chen went after the owner of StickyDrama pretty aggressively, because they were (among other awful things) not cracking down properly on child porn. The title of this article would seem to indicate that's an issue he cares about.
posted by zarq at 4:31 PM on August 29, 2012


I just wish the president had tackled the "Would you rather be attacked by one horse sized duck or 50 duck sized horses?" issue.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:31 PM on August 29, 2012 [12 favorites]


What did the OP want? Oh yeah, to discuss Obama's Reddit AMA as it unfolded (for the half hour Obama was on). I would have supported that! (but I was busy reading tweets and links ... sorry)


I liked the gifs ... http://www.buzzfeed.com/jtes/live-the-best-of-president-obamas-reddit-ama
posted by Surfurrus at 4:34 PM on August 29, 2012


I like that Obama's profile says "redditor for 2 days." Clearly he lurked before posting.
posted by postcommunism at 4:43 PM on August 29, 2012


Again with the politics hate on Metafilter. It's ELECTION SEASON.

For Americans, only for Americans.
posted by smoke at 4:46 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Mr. President, there are lot of hard working, honest and decent moderators on this site and they did build those deletion reasons!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:50 PM on August 29, 2012


Speaking of live breaking natural disasters, if everyone can just be patient until the debates, there's always some open election thread to liveblog them in, which is the very zenith of jocularity.
posted by FelliniBlank at 4:50 PM on August 29, 2012


For Americans, only for Americans.

Very grievously unfortunately, USA presidential elections have the power to affect the entire world.
posted by elizardbits at 5:13 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


On the right sidebar on Reddit IamA, there is a list of 20 upcoming Celebrity AMAs. I am sure they are all interesting to different audiences, and I am sure that some of those interested folks are MeFites. Does that make it ok to make an FPP whenever a Celebrity IamA on Reddit goes live? I don't think so, and not just because it is Reddit (though it being among the most popular websites in the world does make it even less urgent to create a post about it).

There are celebrities doing AMAs all the time - on TV, on radio, and on the Internet. If they say something interesting, I am sure a good post can be crafted after the live event, without having to alert MeFites to the possibility of calling the radio station RIGHT NOW to ask questions.
posted by vidur at 5:14 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


One planet in one solar system in one dinky suburb of the Galaxy? Please.
posted by The Whelk at 5:15 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


There are celebrities doing AMAs all the time

With respect, there is a marked difference between your garden variety celebrity ( I recognize a grand total of one name on the sidebar you pointed out) and the sitting President of the United States.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:22 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Wow, that is pretty cool. And I was avoiding Reddit lately because I was starting to feel weird learning the inside jokes of 18 year old guys while being a much older female! (to stereotype, sorry guys!). That is weird it was deleted and now I am going to go back, get lost in the Reddit tunnel and start looking out for Shitty Watercolor's contributions to the ObAMA thread. (Even the name is awesome).
posted by bquarters at 5:23 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


Here you go, bquarters.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:26 PM on August 29, 2012


Isn't an AMA really just an interview, with a slightly different source of questions? Obama did an AMA with the Associated Press three days ago, and an AMA with the Colorado State University student radio station yesterday. Mitt Romney did an AMA with USA Today two days ago, and an AMA with Time on the 23rd.

Or is the best of the web really "Politician Conducts 10 Question Interview On The Internet During Campaign Season: Beer is tasty, Michael Jordan a good basketball player"?
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 5:30 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


Also, I was expecting his verification photo to say "Obama, redditor, 29/08/12".
posted by bquarters at 5:34 PM on August 29, 2012


I look forward to Mitt Romney's appearance on Plastic.com.
posted by drezdn at 5:35 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't get why people can't understand that things they just want to chit-chat about go on MetaChat and that live, happening right now things are not what MetaFilter is for (especially when the live, happening right now thing is actually frustratingly non-responsive and does not need any more traffic).

It's a feature, not a bug. The mods aren't overstepping anything. The system is working as it should. MetaFilter isn't the news. It's not even where we keep track of trending internet or even world happenings. MetaFilter mods do not have a grudge against Reddit. We are not in competition (unless its time for the trivia thing again). Really weird that this confuses people so much.

An AWESOME post (that can still happen, even as has been pointed out in the deletion reason and since) would be that thread with pointers to the best summaries and comments and then an array of the ripple effect it had. I'd totally read that, and probably even favourite it.
posted by batmonkey at 5:35 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey thanks!
posted by bquarters at 5:36 PM on August 29, 2012


Also, I was expecting his verification photo to say "Obama, redditor, 29/08/12".

I'm pretty sure the suggestion that there are 29 months would not sit well with the tea partiers.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 5:37 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and, I really don't like how quick on the trigger mods have been with squashing breaking news posts. By the current standards, important Metafilter threads like the ones on 9-11 would have been deleted for the first few hours. (Deletion reason: Let's wait to find out why this plane crashed).

This post was something interesting happening NOW! on the Internet and made a good potential Metafilter post.
posted by drezdn at 5:39 PM on August 29, 2012


I don't get why people can't understand that things they just want to chit-chat about go on MetaChat and that live, happening right now things are not what MetaFilter is for (especially when the live, happening right now thing is actually frustratingly non-responsive and does not need any more traffic).

I don't think it's the live aspect that's a problem, just that it was deleted in general so that people may not have heard about it (like me, for example). And therefore would be missing out on something pretty cool on the internet.
posted by bquarters at 5:39 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]




Heh. I guess finding this thread justifies my decision not to post this earlier. Kind of wanted to, pretty sure there would be people interested, was absolutely sure that it would not pass Mefi's current phase of flaggy complaint deletionism. Mefi's loss, really.
posted by Artw at 5:39 PM on August 29, 2012 [5 favorites]


With respect, there is a marked difference between your garden variety celebrity ( I recognize a grand total of one name on the sidebar you pointed out) and the sitting President of the United States.

Sure. I only recognized 2 names. But I wasn't talking about POTUS not being important. I was talking about AMAs being all too common, and not being important enough to warrant FPPs.

An AMA by POTUS is perhaps even less time critical for MeFi, because he spells out his ideas all the time. He seems to have made a total of 10 comments in that AMA. Nothing terribly new.
posted by vidur at 5:43 PM on August 29, 2012


Also, I was expecting his verification photo to say "Obama, redditor, 29/08/12".

I'm pretty sure the suggestion that there are 29 months would not sit well with the tea partiers.

As usual, you could blame it on the Canadians! (I wasn't sure which way 'round it was supposed to go...).
posted by bquarters at 5:52 PM on August 29, 2012


Nothing terribly new.

Really? You don't think that the POTUS reaching out in that format, to speak directly with mainly young people through a relatively modern medium is anything new? wow.

I'm pretty impressed actually, I've been reading Reddit for a couple of months, don't have an account, and wouldn't know how to comment and/or navigate through the streams of comments and questions.. Obama is definitely looking pretty hip and approachable in my eyes right about now.
posted by bquarters at 5:56 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


bquarters: "
Really? You don't think that the POTUS reaching out in that format, to speak directly with mainly young people through a relatively modern medium is anything new? wow.
"

clearly he meant the ideas were nothing new.
posted by boo_radley at 6:01 PM on August 29, 2012


I don't think it's the live aspect that's a problem, just that it was deleted in general so that people may not have heard about it (like me, for example). And therefore would be missing out on something pretty cool on the internet.

Obama's Reddit appearance is, as of my writing, on the front page of the Washington Post, the LA Times, the Guardian, Yahoo! News, the Huffington Post, CNN's politics section, Google News (linking to Reuters for me), CNBC, Slate, Engadget, The Globe And Mail and Le Monde.

The NYT only has it in their technology section, and it's not on TMZ or Al Jazeera.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 6:05 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think the gist was that the whole thing was 'nothing major' whereas I disagree. But thanks for the clarification.
posted by bquarters at 6:06 PM on August 29, 2012


Obama's Reddit appearance is, as of my writing, on the front page of the Washington Post, the LA Times, the Guardian, Yahoo! News, the Huffington Post, CNN's politics section, Google News (linking to Reuters for me), CNBC, Slate, Engadget, The Globe And Mail and Le Monde.

And I heard it here first (but through a deletion Metatalk) which I thought was cool (and which is why I have always liked Metafilter). Going to sign off, have used up my comment quotient for the day I think.
posted by bquarters at 6:08 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Take a look for yourself at the President's answers. It's milquetoast defense after quip after simple explainer. It's a campaign stop (or as Tim Maly put it, "a factory tour").

Do you get to bathe in the warm glow of charisma, fame, and power? Sure. Did President Obama give a single answer that he wouldn't to a standard media outlet? I don't think so.


I agree with The Atlantic's assessment of the event. Sure I was thrilled as a Reddit member to see this actually happen but the results were really meh. What I would have loved to see is for him to go a little less formal, answer some of the more casual or off-beat questions, and have more fun with it. Instead, yeah, it just felt like the same old political gobbledygook where every answer is weighed and measured so as to cause no offense to anyone and garner the greatest number of votes from his audience. Sigh. I congratulate him on reaching out to the internet crowd but I think he failed this opportunity.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:17 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


Guys I've said it before, I'll say it again:

Your burgers make me want to puke.
posted by item at 6:17 PM on August 29, 2012


clearly he meant the ideas were nothing new.

Yes, thanks.
posted by vidur at 6:18 PM on August 29, 2012


Try a different one then, they're not all the same. And maybe quit overgeneralizing about the one you didn't like.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 6:18 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


I don't know if people working for him were actually asking questions, or if they just cherry-picked the most innocuous ones imaginable, but either way the end result is something just as devoid of content as any other campaign appearance.

"Mr. Burns: your campaign has the momentum of a runaway freight train. Why are you so popular?"
posted by drjimmy11 at 6:20 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


... Or is the best of the web really "Politician Conducts 10 Question Interview On The Internet During Campaign Season: Beer is tasty, Michael Jordan a good basketball player"?

... Nothing terribly new.

... 10 replies to thousands of questions isn't a very interesting post, IMO. Too temporary and thin for a MetaFilter post on its own.


Do you people actually read the front page? This is a whole lot more new and interesting than the dog video/bad regional art/joke website/Twitter stunt sort of the stuff that's on the front page at the moment.

This is a cool story that signals a new direction in the way political leaders interact with the public and the internet. His answers were anodyne, sure, but that's part of the story, too.
posted by dontjumplarry at 6:21 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


It's ELECTION SEASON.

Well, kind of a side issue, but it's been ELECTION SEASON in the USA for what, eight months now?
posted by mediareport at 6:26 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, FWIW I would be quite happy if someone made a post about it with a roundup of what was asked, what was answered, what it meant etc. Something more comprehensive than just "AMA happening right now" would probably make a very good post.
posted by vidur at 6:30 PM on August 29, 2012


To my politically challenged mind, this looks like a bit of a gamble on Obama's part. r/gonewild, r/spacedicks etc., everything ever posted to Reddit can now be tied to him albeit, uh, very loosely. He can be shown as either condoning or endorsing it.

Personally I don't think that's a bad thing considering recent GOP talk of ramping up obscenity laws to fight porn. EFF the GOP.
posted by snsranch at 6:31 PM on August 29, 2012


You all laugh it up now... Wait until Romney reveals himself tonight at the convention as a long-time /b/tard. Romney's so upstagy he's playing Juliet in the balcony scene.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 6:40 PM on August 29, 2012


Try another one? McDonald's sells more than one type of burger? I guess I really need to give that place another shot.
posted by item at 6:44 PM on August 29, 2012


some of them have cheez
posted by elizardbits at 6:50 PM on August 29, 2012


That shit was garbage. He had a chance to interact in a 1 to 1 manner with constituents -- to really connect with people. Instead, e answered the safest questions with platitudinous campaign speak. Yeah, ok, it's super cool he learned how to type on a computer. I get that. But the whole point of an AMA is to have a real conversation. We got a boring 30 minute campaign ad. Good thing that FPP was deleted because absolutely nothing of note happened in that AMA.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 7:40 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


homunculus: On Obama's Reddit Appearance

Thanks for the link. It spells out my feelings on the AMA:
The AMA presumption is unmediated access by which I mean questions can be about Anything, ("And I mean anything!") and they lack media filtering. Finally, Redditors can hit the President with all those questions that the media won't!!!

Well, OK. But maybe just asking the question is not really the tough part. Take a look for yourself at the President's answers. It's milquetoast defense after quip after simple explainer. It's a campaign stop (or as Tim Maly put it, "a factory tour").
Emphasis mine.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:25 PM on August 29, 2012


This is not really so different from Obama's appearances on "hip" shows like The Daily Show, except for the medium. And that's why it's cool. It would have been nice if he'd stuck around for longer than half an hour, but a good-natured recognition of the grassroots power of internet outlets like Reddit is somehow actually a new thing for high-level American politicians. Which is pretty depressing, considering it's 2012 and not 2002, but progress is progress.
posted by oinopaponton at 8:42 PM on August 29, 2012


Yeah it's legitimizing, you yes you popular Internet commication thing, are worthy of my whistle stop factory tour. You are A Thing.
posted by The Whelk at 8:47 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ugh. This thread is full of people who violently refuse to acknowledge that something they personally don't like/understand might be meaningful or important.

drjimmy11: "I don't know if people working for him were actually asking questions, or if they just cherry-picked the most innocuous ones imaginable,"

Yeah except that is precisely not true in this format, and kind of only in this format. Posters have history, like here, so you can tell if they just signed up an hour ago, or if they have thousands of comments over several years.


Homeboy Trouble: "Obama's Reddit appearance is, as of my writing, on the front page of the Washington Post, the LA Times, the Guardian, Yahoo! News, the Huffington Post, CNN's politics section, Google News (linking to Reuters for me), CNBC, Slate, Engadget, The Globe And Mail and Le Monde. "

So which is it? Nothing new to see here, or front page news all over the world?
posted by danny the boy at 8:51 PM on August 29, 2012


Guys I've said it before, I'll say it again:

Your burgers make me want to puke.


So puke already and get it over with.
posted by Sailormom at 8:53 PM on August 29, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait, I have an idea. Puke Burgers.
posted by The Whelk at 9:01 PM on August 29, 2012


Also having an AMA at the same time? Dino Stamatopoulos.

Starburns never stood a chance.
posted by Bonzai at 9:01 PM on August 29, 2012 [2 favorites]


There's a reason it's AskMeAnything and not IWillAnswerEverything.

I'm fine with the deletion (I feel certain you were waiting up just to hear that.)

There's only one real issue I have with all this: why is the make of his computer showing? Is he getting paid to advertize for Apple? That right there is fucked up.
posted by merelyglib at 9:12 PM on August 29, 2012


bquarters:
"I don't think it's the live aspect that's a problem..."

nathancaswell:
"It's interactive though, it's totally notable and relevant that it be posted live."
jaduncan:
"I personally really like MeFi's threads during current events; it's like a curated Twitter feed of smart people."
Mannequito:
"Put me down for liking the live thing happening (LTH!) posts."
sageleaf:
"it's a cool thing that's happening"
enn:
"it isn't true that this will be just as interesting a week from now as it is right now"
danny the boy:
"That's not going to be true a week from now."
drezdn:
"This post was something interesting happening NOW! on the Internet"


(if people posted about the timeliness part more than once, I only snipped from the first comment referencing it)

...I think for a significant segment of people, the live aspect was definitely at issue, and it was their reactions and similar ones from the past that I was referencing.
posted by batmonkey at 10:05 PM on August 29, 2012


This is a cool story that signals a new direction in the way political leaders interact with the public and the internet. His answers were anodyne, sure, but that's part of the story, too.

Does it really? A politician accepts a small number of selected questions from an Internet site? (The nature of AMA had hundreds of questions submitted, and he didn't answer the top ones as selected by users, at least as the points appear now.) Why is this Reddit session the signal and the new direction? Why not this Twitter discussion from three months ago? Why not this YouTube question from over five years ago?

So which is it? Nothing new to see here, or front page news all over the world?

In my opinion, both.

It's not something like LoseThos or the secret of Dorothy Parker's estate that is only niche knowledge; MeFi does a great job of unearthing these little gems. Anybody who is interested in Reddit, and almost everybody who is interested in the internet or Obama will find out about this. So the post is not particularly valuable in that sense. There are dozens of global front page news stories at any one time, and unless there is an interesting source or angle or something beyond "here's a thing that is happening", other places are probably better for information than MeFi. If we did talk about everything that was global news, then the LoseThos and Dorothy Parkers of the world would be lost in the din.

Another thing MeFi does really well, in my opinion, is gather a bunch of interesting aspects of something that people may know about and provide a gestalt view, or greater context or a new perspective, like the recent post about Orbital. I think there could be an interesting post looking at the evolving nature of technology and politics, but this wasn't that.

A third thing MeFi does that I appreciate is curate to find the best of the web, whether it's just a really awesome dog video out of the millions of workaday dog videos, or finding a well-written article on a topic and then fostering a good discussion (the recent article on Confidential Informants was a good article, if the discussion was a little pro forma; the nude model discussion was fascinating). A single 10 question interview, with six policy questions isn't exactly a strong article; I won't deny that there was the potential for Obama to have produced an interesting AMA, diving candidly into drug policy, and lobbyists, and Gitmo, and the TSA and the embargo on Cuba and other things that aren't generally asked about and that would have been worthy of discussion. This wasn't that. If Joe Smith of the Podunk Gazette had asked those six questions and gotten those six milquetoast answers, it would have been laughed off the front page.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:21 PM on August 29, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'm totally fine with this deletion. In fact, I'd rather if all 'our glorious leader does a cool thing' posts were deleted (unless the cool thing is signing up to become the first man on Mars, or completing a world conquest in EU3 without going over the badboy limit and giving a blow-by-blow analysis of how he did it), since he gets enough publicity as it is. And we know he's a human being; there's no need to pretend that he is one.

I really don't think Obama answering questions on Reddit is noteworthy in any way. If you think it is, you're probably still living in the early 2000's. The Internet is no longer outside the mainstream; it's a place for 13 year olds to post cat pictures. And Reddit isn't Slashdot or Kuro5hin, it's an everyday site for everyday people. Reddit is, as it was rightly noted above, just another campaign stop for Obama, extraordinary only in the sense that a stop outside of a major city would be extraordinary (or maybe it wouldn't; I'm not American, so I really have no idea).
posted by daniel_charms at 11:05 PM on August 29, 2012 [3 favorites]


Some redditors seem to think that he was lobbed some of those softballs bysuspiciously new accounts.

There has already some evidence that there are active US military psyops on reddit for a while now so the government is quite aware of how to subvert reddit.

I am sort of inclined to agree that this entire thing was heavily choreographed. I don't think they could subvert the voting system and keep it unnoticed, but I think they can craft questions redditors will heavily upvote.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:06 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Didn't take long
posted by Ad hominem at 12:59 AM on August 30, 2012


Can we now say that websites get "Obama'd" instead of "Slashdotted"? Because that would be the funniest.
Baracked into submission
posted by MuffinMan at 1:50 AM on August 30, 2012


Puke Burgers?
I don't know for sure, but I think you can get them at Barf's,

*goes back into locker*
posted by Mezentian at 2:00 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Didn't take long

Well, next morning, it *is* a bit hard to shake the idea that Reddit just got played.
posted by mediareport at 4:59 AM on August 30, 2012


Well, next morning, it *is* a bit hard to shake the idea that Reddit just got played.

I'm sure they knew what they were getting into. All of them.
posted by Mezentian at 5:06 AM on August 30, 2012


Maybe you're right. And it's not like I see any way Reddit could ever say no to "Hey, the president wants to use you during the Republican convention to dim the spotlight over there a little. We won't actually be answering questions about policy or anything, of course, just want to stop by to show how hep to the youth we are and solidify the geek vote. Cool?" I wouldn't.

But somehow the Momentousness Of The Occasion isn't all that.
posted by mediareport at 5:08 AM on August 30, 2012


active US military psyops is a bit heavy a term for possible astroturf redditors. It's nothing like the Digg Patriots who actually tried to make Digg a Republican/conservative platform. A few soft, well-written questions for the President? A feel-good video and comments on it? That's a pretty low bar for psyops.
posted by filthy light thief at 5:59 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


If y'all want realtime discussion, you should start a MetaFilter IRC channel or something. Web comments are like one of the worst ways to hold a conversation.
posted by Eideteker at 6:03 AM on August 30, 2012


I get that Reddit isn't YouTube or Twitter, but it's a lot closer to either of those than we'd like to think. Reddit isn't some "geek hide-out," it's a huge internet presence, like Twitter and YouTube.
posted by filthy light thief at 6:03 AM on August 30, 2012


yeah Reddit isn't really comparable to Metafilter. Our alternate universe cousin is like ..Something Awful.
posted by The Whelk at 6:10 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's a campaign stop (or as Tim Maly put it, "a factory tour").

Do you get to bathe in the warm glow of charisma, fame, and power? Sure. Did President Obama give a single answer that he wouldn't to a standard media outlet? I don't think so.


YOU GUYS ARE SO JEALOUS YOU DIDN'T GET A FACTORY TOUR, AREN'T YOU!!! GRUMPY PANTS!

Bollocks. Good on the mods for ignoring the hype.
posted by anotherpanacea at 6:30 AM on August 30, 2012


Reddit isn't some "geek hide-out"

Not sure if that was directed my way, but I didn't say, or imply, Reddit is just a geek site; I know how big it is. I said "solidy the geek vote" because it's clearly a move to get internet heads' attention and position Obama as relevant to young voters.
posted by mediareport at 6:35 AM on August 30, 2012


Also having an AMA at the same time? Dino Stamatopoulos.

Whose first [or most upvoted] comment is "What are you guys reading this for? Our President's doing an AMA right now! I'll keep plugging along, though. Just thought I'd tell you." Love that guy. Also there is now a post up about yesterday's AMA so feel free to go comment in it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:00 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The AMA has been reposted to the blue.
posted by zarq at 7:02 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The AMA has been reposted to the blue.

I read this in the "Imperial troops have entered the base" Empire Strikes Back voice.
posted by nathancaswell at 7:10 AM on August 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


help me phobewonkenbi you're my only hope.
posted by The Whelk at 7:10 AM on August 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


zarq, the blue isn't a referendum for the MeTa. Cut that shit out.

Kudos to the mods for nipping that in the bud.
posted by Talez at 7:12 AM on August 30, 2012


Talez: "zarq, the blue isn't a referendum for the MeTa. "

This post is a complaint that the AMA was deleted from the Blue. It's perfectly reasonable to post a note here, since we can assume that people who care about the deletion would like to know that it has been reposted.

I think it's also perfectly reasonable to comment in the Blue that a lengthy discussion is already taking place about the AMA in MetaTalk. There's certainly precedent for that.
posted by zarq at 7:17 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think an early comment linking to a MeTa that is about a different post [albeit largely with the same material] when it's not problematic in the same way as the previous post is not a great thing to do to a new poster in the first few comments of their post. I axed your comment in that thread, if you want to add it later after discussion has gotten going some, that is fine.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 7:23 AM on August 30, 2012


Why would I bother? Rock Steady has already linked to this post in that thread. He did so at nearly the same time I did.
posted by zarq at 7:24 AM on August 30, 2012


jessamyn: "is not a great thing to do to a new poster in the first few comments of their post."

*sigh* I was not trying to be deliberately inconsiderate. I do not click on people's profiles to determine whether they are new posters before commenting on a post.
posted by zarq at 7:32 AM on August 30, 2012


Why would I bother? Rock Steady has already linked to this post in that thread. He did so at nearly the same time I did.

There's a difference between linking to a specific comment and saying "this is funny" and linking to a MeTa with the effective message of "CONTROVERSY! Let's invite that into the thread!".
posted by Talez at 7:44 AM on August 30, 2012


The section of the comment which linked to this meta was neutral in tone. The only thing it "effectively" said was, "this AMA is being discussed in Meta." It certainly wasn't written in a way that would deliberately stir up controversy. And it didn't, either. It wasn't deleted immediately and there were a number of comments that showed up after it and before the deletion. No controversy ensued.

This is getting ridiculous. My comment didn't derail the thread and was deleted. I wasn't deliberately threadshitting. Why are you trying to turn this into a big deal?
posted by zarq at 7:55 AM on August 30, 2012


Since there's a new post about the Obama AMA on the blue now and everything, how about we use this Meta here for discussing our favourite "ask me" threads anywhere on the web? Mine comes from Something Awful and is titled Ask me about being a Traffic Engineer. It's a truly awesome thing, especially if you're into roundabouts and Simcity games, and it's been going for more than three years now.
posted by daniel_charms at 8:09 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


zarq: Why did you post that comment in the first place? Maybe it's because I've had a rough day, but I can't figure out why you would do that, unless you have problem with posts like this (like I do, as stated above), which, I guess, would fall under the "controversy" label. I know this may have sounded a bit coarse, but I'm genuinely curious.
posted by daniel_charms at 8:30 AM on August 30, 2012


Why are you trying to turn this into a big deal?

Unfortunately on MetaTalk every controversy exists as exactly the same size of deal, magnifying the insignificant, levelling the momentous; a grim, grey desert of meaninglessness presided over by shrieking, incoherent harpies.

However, vote #1 quidnunc kid and I promise that YOUR metatalk comments will appear in eighty-foot high golden letters! And, the irritating munch-crumbs that torment you so will be condemned to scrawl their idiotic remarks in comic sans, forevermore.

Also I will immediately abolish three mods: the mod of education, the mod of welfare, and ... ah ... the mod of ... uhhh ... oops ... the, err ...
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:41 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I naively thought people would be interested in knowing that the AMA was being discussed in Meta.

There's no reason why the new post should be adversely affected by this Meta. The original post was deleted both because it was breaking news and because reddit wasn't up. The new post doesn't have either problem.

And no, I don't have a problem with either post and thought the AMA itself was interesting. I thought this discussion was too.

I would have preferred that the first post not have been deleted but didn't argue the point because I understood the mods' reasoning. Also, and this is just me, I thought that the initial comments saying that the mods were jealous of Reddit were kinda obnoxious and didn't want to pile on to that.
posted by zarq at 8:45 AM on August 30, 2012


Thanks!
posted by daniel_charms at 8:47 AM on August 30, 2012


TIMING!

Oh, wrong joke, sorry.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:49 AM on August 30, 2012


That was supposed to follow the quidnunc kid's comment
posted by filthy light thief at 8:50 AM on August 30, 2012


Also having an AMA at the same time? Dino Stamatopoulos.

Starburns never stood a chance.

His name is Alex.
posted by ersatz at 8:52 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


You're welcome.
posted by zarq at 8:55 AM on August 30, 2012


Thanks to spiderskull for posting the now-deleted notice of the AMA while it was actually happening. I don't check reddit every single day, not even the front page. Without the pointer to it here I would not have been aware of it until it was all over.

Whatever the actual value of the reddit thread (whether it would reveal earthshaking stuff or end up being just another campaign Q/A, which couldn't be known while the President was still answering questions) the mere fact that it was happening was Best of the Web beyond any argument while it was a live event. I see the reasoning behind the deletion but am astonished that anyone had the nerve to actually do it.
posted by jfuller at 8:55 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


(whether it would reveal earthshaking stuff or end up being just another campaign Q/A, which couldn't be known while the President was still answering questions)

See, this for me is the clear argument for waiting, not for jumping in immediately. It's like, in terms of actual substance, having a thread about a blog post that it has become known a famous person is currently in the process of typing up. Will it be interesting? Will something surprising come out once it's actually there? Who knows! So let's make a post and talk about the fact that we don't know until we do know and then we'll talk about what we now know.

Trying to make a solid post on the merits means holding off until the content is there and its merit can be considered and there's something substantial there. Whether that substance is in the actual event content (which didn't seem super likely in this case since national level politics as run by a savvy and seasoned campaign team means pretty much zero risk-taking) or the collected reactions to and analysis of the event (which is what we ended up with a totally fine post about this morning), it makes sense to know what the substance is first and build around that.

As much as it's neat in a sense that the POTUS decided to do an AMA, that doesn't make "OMG Y'ALL THE POTUS IS DOING AN AMA" a solid post. It's a tweet, it's something to chatter about with friends or co-workers; it's a statement about a thing that is happening or will happen based pretty much entirely on phenomenon in the absence of substance. I totally, totally understand the excitement of A THING IS HAPPENING but that's not the measure of a good post.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:15 AM on August 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


"I don't think the SotU threads are particularly great, but a reliable, long-form national address is at least more substantial than a reddit AMA in terms of likely content."

The State of the Union Address takes a big stretch to call it a thing on the internet, much less a neat thing on the internet. On the other hand, the President of the United States appearing on the internet to answer questions from anyone who shows up is perhaps the neatest thing to happen to the internet in some time. It is precisely what MetaFilter at least says it is for on the tin.
posted by Blasdelb at 9:24 AM on August 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


cortex: "It's like, in terms of actual substance, having a thread about a blog post that it has become known a famous person is currently in the process of typing up."

It's more interactive than one sided. "The President of the United States is answering questions from the public now and you can participate" is different from "POTUS is typing a blog entry and you can read about it when he's done."

cortex: " As much as it's neat in a sense that the POTUS decided to do an AMA, that doesn't make "OMG Y'ALL THE POTUS IS DOING AN AMA" a solid post. It's a tweet, it's something to chatter about with friends or co-workers; it's a statement about a thing that is happening or will happen based pretty much entirely on phenomenon in the absence of substance. I totally, totally understand the excitement of A THING IS HAPPENING but that's not the measure of a good post."

I keep thinking about the second Curiosity Lander post with regard to the Obama AMA. dbeck had made a huge, wonderful post about the landing just 11 hours earlier. The second post was made just as the actual landing had started, and there wasn't going to be a lot of substance to the NASA commentary until Curiosity touched down. (Or crashed.) Given that we already had a fresh, strong post on the topic made the same day, that mentioned when the landing was happening and linked to the live feed, and the landing was breaking news....

They're two different situations. Reddit was down. And I get that each deletion is a judgment call on your part.

But at the same time if you're only focusing on the breaking news/lack of substance aspect of the post as a reason to delete, then it seems like the second Curiosity post should have gone, too, no?
posted by zarq at 9:52 AM on August 30, 2012


no?

I realize this is a judgment call, but "man puts robot on the surface of another planet and sends photos home as the culmination of a ton of work by a lot of people" really is one of those once-in-a-lifetime worldwide-awesome things from my vantage point where "President does an AMA" is not.

This is clearly something that reasonable people disagree on, but we don't really play the "Why this but not this?" game with post deletions for the most part though we're happy to explain to people why something stuck around and/or why we deleted something else. dbeck's post was great and was specifically noted by the newer post and I didn't have a problem with it and it seemed like most other folks didn't either.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:59 AM on August 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


It's more interactive than one sided. "The President of the United States is answering questions from the public now and you can participate" is different from "POTUS is typing a blog entry and you can read about it when he's done."

In theory, sort of. In practice, no. This wasn't a free-form, "I've got a couple hours to kill so let's go crazy" conversation with the president. I realize an AMA can be that, but this pretty much by definition wasn't gonna be. I don't know if people arguing for a live post are doing so from the position of believing it would have been otherwise; I can respect the excitement for the idea of that sort of thing even if I don't buy that it was ever a plausible outcome, but, again, a post premised on excitement about the idea of something that might happen isn't really well-footed in any sense.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:02 AM on August 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


jessamyn: " I realize this is a judgment call, but "man puts robot on the surface of another planet and sends photos home as the culmination of a ton of work by a lot of people" really is one of those once-in-a-lifetime worldwide-awesome things from my vantage point where "President does an AMA" is not. "

OK. So then the Mars posts are an exception, not the rule. Thanks for explaining.

jessamyn: "but we don't really play the "Why this but not this?" game with post deletions for the most part though we're happy to explain to people why something stuck around and/or why we deleted something else."

No, no. I really am asking for clarity's sake, not to play some sort of game. Why some posts get deleted is a subject gets raised off and on in MeTa every once in a while, and I often find I'm sympathetic because I also sometimes have difficulty understanding why certain posts are deleted but not others.
posted by zarq at 10:17 AM on August 30, 2012


Yeah, this was not a traditional AMA, this was a campaign stop. I understand the potential for more, but that potential was never going to be real. I was glad to find out about it, but then once I saw what it had turned into I was immediately let down. I respect the wishes to let us know in case it was a cool once-in-a-lifetime chance to get real questions answered....but it was not.

So I respect both the original post and the deletion.
posted by corb at 10:37 AM on August 30, 2012


I actually wanted that post to stay so we could talk about new ways to engage with politicians via technology, and also whether having the ability to vote on questions makes this different from "town hall meetings" done in person.

Also, letting J. Random Internetter beam their questions straight at the sitting President of the United State is, in my mind, a pretty big thing for the Internet.

Unfortunately, Reddit locked up, the comments on the MeFi thread were only jokes and not substantive, and eventually the whole thing went down the trapdoor. *shrug* At least there's a new thread now.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:39 PM on August 30, 2012


FOR BUTTS' SAKE
posted by SassHat at 1:03 PM on August 30, 2012


You shut up and eat your puke burgers!
They are made with extra pony puke!
posted by Mezentian at 6:39 AM on August 31, 2012


I posted a link to this in the other thread, but I thought I'd mention it here, too.

Nick Offerman (aka Ron Swanson from Parks and Rec) is doing an AMA, and It. Is. Awesome. Sample answers:
To me your character is honestly the funniest on the show. Being so deadpan, how often do you crack or cause others to crack while delivering lines? I'd like to see you and Aubrey [Plaza, aka April Ludgate] face off in a "who can get the other to smile first" contest. That's gotta be a fun set to be on. Also, thanks for all the laughs!
I will never defeat Aubrey in any contest, because, quite simply, she employs black magicks in her combat, which some would call unfair or "morally bankrupt", but I would never cast such a aspersion, for fear of her macabre retribution. Aubrey is kin to the Black Goat Mother of a Thousand Young, yea, she has known the spoor of Shub-Niggurath, and upon the black midnight of her birth, every blossom of the pretty little Gilly flowers perished all across Trafalgar Square. Up jumped the Devil, and off they crept. In short, she is League with Lucifer, but I really respect her work.
What's a typical evening at home like with Megan [Mullally, his wife]?
Oh, gosh. Well, we get dressed up as Marx Brothers (she's always Groucho or Harpo, and I'm Chico...whatever, she made the outfits.) and we get sauced on Gin and goofballs and run around the yard, sometimes with a lot of horn-honking, and then I set up the target rings at which Megan fires ping-pong balls and sometimes racquet balls from her vagina, often racking up an impressive tally of points (she got a 420 last night!), while I assemble my black powder muzzle-loader collection and fire lead balls at our neighbor, Charlie Sheen's secret wife's mom's jungle cats (I miss on purpose, I'm not a dick.) Normal Hollywood shit.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:05 PM on August 31, 2012 [3 favorites]


Oh, whoops, here's the link.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:06 PM on August 31, 2012


Dude also referred to a piece of his woodworking equipment as a "vorpal drill" made from Carbon Steel +1. Be still my heart.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:50 PM on August 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Offerman on the RNC:
Are your political stances similar to Ron Swanson?

Well, I just went to discuss this question with Ron, and I found him staring stoically into a fire in which burned his VHS collection of Dirty Harry movies whilst he seemed to be mumbling the words to the Beastie's High Plains Drifter, and welling up. I would not have expected Ron to be aware of Paul's Boutique, I guess that seminal record really penetrated the generations. Anyway, I left him to his thoughts.
posted by maryr at 11:31 PM on August 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


« Older Give it a rest.   |   Life Imitates Meta Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments