Could we get an option to APPROVE somebody adding us as a contact? May 3, 2013 7:47 AM   Subscribe

I know that different people use contacts for different things. I use mine as a mental reference to remember people I admire, so that if I'm ever discussing anything with them, I can remember to be nicer to them and assume more good faith on their part. Others use it to bookmark people whose posts they enjoy reading. Still others do it for networking purposes. Whatever. Even though contacts aren't reciprocal, it seems somebody odd that we don't have an "opt-out" option that lets us remove people from our contacts list. It seems to me that it would be relatively simple to implement this option, and that the current system as it is set up facilitates both bullying and cyberstalking. Could an option like this be added, please?
posted by wolfdreams01 to Feature Requests at 7:47 AM (528 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Even though contacts aren't reciprocal, it seems somebody odd that we don't have an "opt-out" option that lets us remove people from our contacts list.

Sorry, typo. I meant "it seems somewhat odd that we don't have an option that lets us remove ourselves from other people's contacts list."
posted by wolfdreams01 at 7:50 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


If everybody uses contacts for different things and they're not reciprocal, why not just keep things as is? Why would an opt-out for being on somebody else's list be needed? Not sure I get it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:51 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Congratulations on your upcoming weddings.
posted by roll truck roll at 7:51 AM on May 3, 2013 [109 favorites]


He ain't Ralph.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:51 AM on May 3, 2013 [26 favorites]


how does it facilitates both bullying and cyberstalking? adding someone as a contact only adds a number to a list for the contact. there's not additional avenues for harassment from it, no new information shared.
posted by nadawi at 7:53 AM on May 3, 2013


Asked and answered in the spousing thread. Answer was no.
posted by cjorgensen at 7:53 AM on May 3, 2013


It's the nature of the XFN design we use that contact lists are one-directional; you can put anyone you like on your list of contacts, and remove them likewise, and that's that. Whose contact lists you're on is likewise basically their business, not yours.

And while I understand what you're asking, it only replaces the problem of being annoyed that someone added you as a contact with the problem of being annoyed that someone unilaterally mussed with your contact list.

and that the current system as it is set up facilitates both bullying and cyberstalking.

The contact process doesn't facilitate either of these in a meaningful way. Someone who wants to be a bully or a cyberstalker already has access, even without a Metafilter account, to everything anyone posts on the site; rss feeds and scrapers make following someone's activity trivial to an interested party.

Our approach on the site to this problem is in terms of the actual behavior that manifests on the site, since that's what we can actually control. If you think someone's doing something bullying or stalky, drop us a line about it and we can look into it and talk to them about it.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:56 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


If they do it, I'd think this needs to be an all-or-nothing thing: either everyone's allowed to add you as a contact or they aren't. I don't believe they hand-rolled the contacts system.

Or you could just tolerate that your name is on someone else's contact list.

I use mine as a mental reference to remember people I admire, so that if I'm ever discussing anything with them, I can remember to be nicer to them and assume more good faith on their part.

You could also do this with, you know, everyone.
posted by middleclasstool at 7:56 AM on May 3, 2013 [68 favorites]


I just wish you guys would stop bullying me so much and start cyberstalking me a little more.
posted by item at 7:57 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Most of my contacts are people I've met in the real world. I like watching them show up on the sidebar and I like following their activity, because generally these people are pretty great (except for shakespeherian) and I like reading the things that they say. I also contact-add folks who say interesting stuff in general (eyebrows mcgee, for instance) because reading their stuff is worthwhile.

If you're worried that people are adding you as a contact just to cyberstalk you (what?), the best way to fix that is to stop posting. The only real purpose so far as I can see to add someone as a contact is so you can easily follow their activity via the sidebar, and the more posts you make, the more you show up there.
posted by phunniemee at 7:57 AM on May 3, 2013


I am generally pretty terrible, it's true.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:58 AM on May 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


wolfdreams01: "that the current system as it is set up facilitates both bullying and cyberstalking."

I'm curious as to how someone making you a contact could be threatening?
posted by zarq at 7:59 AM on May 3, 2013


I am generally pretty terrible, it's true.

Knowing is half the battle.
posted by phunniemee at 8:00 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


The only real purpose so far as I can see to add someone as a contact is so you can easily follow their activity via the sidebar

Really that's only a good way to follow someone's highly-favorited contributions and new posts/questions. Most comments will never show up there in the first place.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:04 AM on May 3, 2013


I don't really get the problem here, tbh? The only thing that shows up in the contacts activity sidebar is when people add you, when someone you've added posts an FPP to any subsite, or when one of your contacts has a comment with over 12 (i think?) favourites. It doesn't show every single comment anyone ever makes, and even if it did, that information is easily available from every single user's profile.
posted by elizardbits at 8:04 AM on May 3, 2013


Why would an opt-out for being on somebody else's list be needed? Not sure I get it.

Some people use favorites as upvotes. Some people use them as bookmarks. That's all cool, whatever.

But while I know we crossed this bridge on contacts with the Great Enspousification, some people really do seem to use contacts to have a go with different labels. Hee hee. In some cases, it seems mean spirited, and I don't think we need to enable that. The template could just be updated so the "your contacts" list just listed users, and not labels that weren't reciprocal.

If you're worried that people are adding you as a contact just to cyberstalk you (what?), the best way to fix that is to stop posting.

I think OP's point is that he feels people subscribe on his contact list to have a go at him when he posts something. "Ha ha, what is OP up to this time, let's give him a little snark and wind him up!" Whether or not this is borne out by activity, I don't know.

Telling him the solution is to stop posting is like the recent story out of whatever school district it was where the (principal?) told kids they'd probably stop getting bullied if they'd just stop acting so gay. (Whether this was real or apocryphal, I also don't know, but it was all over the 'tubes sometime in the past six weeks.)

I dunno, to me it seems like another one of the culture issues cut from the same cloth as last week's deletion thread. Cool kids versus lunchroom weirdos.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:10 AM on May 3, 2013 [14 favorites]


I got enspousened a few times during one of the great espousening anniversaries. Which wasn't really something I wanted. People were really nice about divorcing me when I me-mailed them about it and the shared custody of the new mods is working out just fine. So you could try that.
posted by SLC Mom at 8:11 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


if someone wants to add you as a contact, and you get the chance to veto that, they could just bookmark your profile page. it doesn't seem like a technical tool will solve that issue and it's better taken care of on a case by case basis.
posted by nadawi at 8:16 AM on May 3, 2013


This is MetaFilter. We're ALL lunchroom weirdos. We are the paste eaters. WE ARE THE ONE WHO KNOCKS.
posted by elizardbits at 8:16 AM on May 3, 2013 [38 favorites]


> it seems somewhat odd that we don't have an option that lets us remove ourselves from other people's contacts list.

This does not seem odd at all.

You know how you can add anyone to your contacts list for any reason you like without having to ask them or qualify it to anyone else? Yes, everyone else can do this too.

You can't add yourself to someone else's contact list, so why would you be able to remove yourself from their contact list?
posted by desuetude at 8:18 AM on May 3, 2013


Telling him the solution is to stop posting is like the recent story out of whatever school district it was where the (principal?) told kids they'd probably stop getting bullied if they'd just stop acting so gay.

Just so we're clear here, I wasn't at all saying that someone should stop posting for fear of being bullied. Bullying should be flagged and reported to the mods.

What I'm saying is that someone who is concerned about the (marginal, if extant at all) increase in ability to cyberstalk after adding them as a contact (when they get no more access to information than any other mefi schmo) probably shouldn't be posting on the internet.

I don't get this cyberstalking concern at all.
posted by phunniemee at 8:18 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think OP's point is that he feels people subscribe on his contact list to have a go at him when he posts something.

I think it's unfair to the 19 people who list the OP as a contact to speculate that way. Like cortex said, moderation here works "in terms of the actual behavior that manifests on the site", so if something like that is happening, OP should say so, publicly or privately, and I'm sure the mods will give it the attention it deserves.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:19 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


item: That's a nice outfit you're wearing today. Smile at the webcam!
posted by rmd1023 at 8:21 AM on May 3, 2013


Having somebody as a contact provides access to no information about a person that you can't already get by looking at their account pages.
posted by ardgedee at 8:23 AM on May 3, 2013


But while I know we crossed this bridge on contacts with the Great Enspousification, some people really do seem to use contacts to have a go with different labels. Hee hee. In some cases, it seems mean spirited, and I don't think we need to enable that. The template could just be updated so the "your contacts" list just listed users, and not labels that weren't reciprocal.

It would help if the OP specified if it was the label or the contact itself that he's worried about. If it's the former, maybe that's a valid concern. If it's the latter, he's basically asking for site functionality to be removed for everyone because he's uncomfortable with anyone knowing his posting history, which seems a little special snowflakey. As has been pointed out, Contacts seem to work great for pretty much everyone else, and any concerns about cyberstalking would not at all be addressed just by being able to remove them because there's a whole passel of other ways to achieve that functionality.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:23 AM on May 3, 2013


Listing someone as a contact doesn't grant you any sort of special access; it just makes it slightly more convenient to follow their posts and comments. Someone could just as easily "cyberstalk" a user by going to their profile page and viewing their activity from there.
posted by Metroid Baby at 8:24 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


We're ALL lunchroom weirdos.

Yes, we'd all be getting wedgies on ESPN.com or something. But coolness and weirdness are like fractals. There is a cabal here on MeFi, just like everywhere.

Which is fine by me--I'm just a lonely loner walking down a lonely road.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:24 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I use mine as a mental reference to remember people I admire, so that if I'm ever discussing anything with them, I can remember to be nicer to them and assume more good faith on their part.

I realize this is tangential to the pony you are requesting, but man, is this doing it wrong. You need to remember to be nicer and assume good faith for, well, everybody really, but especially for the people you *don't* admire. That stuff comes kinda automatically for people you already admire, so there's no need to make a special effort.
posted by 0 at 8:30 AM on May 3, 2013 [32 favorites]


cortex: Whose contact lists you're on is likewise basically their business, not yours.

Then why do both lists show up on one's profile? You could easily ax the 'Linked by' link from a user's profile (without necessarily deleting that page, you know, for reference), keep the notation of reciprocation going on in the 'Links to' list, and wolfdreams01's concerns would be satiated, right?
posted by carsonb at 8:31 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeah in terms of choosing between:

1. Someone who has Opinions that maybe upset or annoy or offend other people sometimes, and

2. Someone who is so obsessed with the latter that they add them to a contact list (so that the individual knows it's been done, as opposed to just bookmarking the person's user page) and then reads everything they post and obsessively mocks them

I'm not sure who here is supposed to be the cool kid and who's supposed to be the lunchroom weirdo.

Same deal with this:

some people really do seem to use contacts to have a go with different labels. Hee hee. In some cases, it seems mean spirited, and I don't think we need to enable that.

I get how it could bug someone, but again, if someone's preferred method of expressing disapproval for me is to add me as their spouse or whatever, I don't know, that doesn't really fade me. I can't see it as a bullying analogue because if someone were like, "I hate FAMOUS MONSTER! I'm gonna get that jerk's name tattooed on my forearm! TAKE THAT, FUCKER!" I guess I'd just sort of smile supportively and say, "Yep. That's me told." Wish them the best, etc.

It's also easy for me to be sympathetic because I'm pretty sure that disliking me is technically a learning disability and not an opinion, so, you know, God bless them.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:31 AM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


If you think someone's doing something bullying or stalky, drop us a line about it and we can look into it and talk to them about it.

I'm curious as to how someone making you a contact could be threatening?


I can see why someone would be uncomfortable knowing that they're on somebody's contact list and there's nothing they can do about it. For example, when I first got here someone asked me if I could be on their list. I agreed, and only found out later that he was a weirdo, a known entity on this site which I didn't know about yet, and it just feels ... odd, strange, knowing that he has me on a list and I have no control over that. As you say no harm can actually be done, but it still just feels weird.
posted by Melismata at 8:34 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Who wants to contact with me? Let's contact!

QUIDNUNC KID MEGACONTACT PROJECT: COMMENCE OPERATIONALNESS
CURRENT CONTACT SCORE: FEW
TARGET CONTACT SCORE: MUCH

Contact #1 quidnunc kid!
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:34 AM on May 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


Problem solved. I unlinked you. I don't know why I ever did in the first place....because you said something that I thought was smart/funny.
I use contacts like Twitter uses Follow. Sidebar.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 8:35 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just a note to all MetaFilter users, of the MetaFilter userbase community group:

Due to a clerical error being misread, all MetaFilter users who elect to contact me, carsonb, or are subject to a contacting by myself, carsonb, shall heretofore always and ever have been under the restrictions, constrictions, prescriptions, and maledictions of a contract laid out in Hell where you can examine its terms and conditions (and restrictions, constrictions, prescriptions, and maledictions) to infinite length on the Second Tuesdays of every other week during the eleventh month of the several previous Years of Our Lordses.
posted by carsonb at 8:38 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


You can't add yourself to someone else's contact list, so why would you be able to remove yourself from their contact list?

Well, to be fail I block a shitload of people on twitter. There is a value in this on some services.

There are certain people I would love to block on here as well and to never see a comment by again.

I may fall into that category for some. That's fine. No one has to like or be liked by everyone. Sometimes you just want to ignore the fact that someone exists.
posted by cjorgensen at 8:40 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


QUIDNUNC KID MEGACONTACT PROJECT: SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATIVENESS
CURRENT CONTACT SCORE: FEW + 6
THEME TUNE: "I HAVE THE TOUCH"
AUDITORS: DELOITTE LLP
posted by the quidnunc kid at 8:42 AM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Then why do both lists show up on one's profile?

Because like 99.9% of the time it seems like people feel good about the links-to and linked-by contact stuff, basically. As much as I sympathize with the potential discomfort about an unwanted contacting, it seems to be a vanishingly rare problem that's pretty easy to ignore when it even does come up, and it'd be a bummer to hide something that people generally like and that's been around forever just on the off-chance that someone will be unhappy with a small angle of how it works every once in a while.

If we got to a point somehow where visible linked-by lists were on the balance a significant problem for the site, I think talking about nixing that link from the profile page would totally make sense, but there's never been any sign that we're even in line-of-sight of that situation.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:46 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


> Well, to be fail I block a shitload of people on twitter. There is a value in this on some services. There are certain people I would love to block on here as well and to never see a comment by again. I may fall into that category for some. That's fine. No one has to like or be liked by everyone. Sometimes you just want to ignore the fact that someone exists.

Okay...but contacts here on Metafilter don't actually have any of that functionality or purpose or implication.
posted by desuetude at 8:49 AM on May 3, 2013


cyberstalking

wolfdreams01 goes into more detail in another MetaTalk thread: "I strongly suspect that there's one person who added me as a contact simply so they have an easier time following my posts and flagging them. (I'm a cautious person, so I like to read up thoroughly on the people who add me.)"

wolfdreams01, does it help to know that they don't see your comments on the right side of the Metafilter page unless it's received a lot of Favorites or unless it has been marked as a Best Answer?
posted by Houstonian at 8:57 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


If someone was flagging another user's posts obsessively without cause, I'd think the mods would talk to that person (because as I understand it, it's a pain for them to have to clean out all the flags). If someone was flagging another user's posts "obsessively" with cause, well, that's kind of what flags are for.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:02 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I'm a cautious person, so I like to read up thoroughly on the people who add me.

CYBERSTALKING!
posted by phunniemee at 9:03 AM on May 3, 2013 [24 favorites]


There's one situation I can imagine in which the contacted-by list could be used in a cyberstalky way, although not by the person who made the contact: If someone with a non-anonymous MeFi presence were to list someone with an anonymous/obfuscated handle as, for example, (friend met), that information could help to blow the anon user's cover.

That being said, I view this as (a) low risk and (b) most easily handled by saying "hey (friend met), can you either spouse me or keep our relationship on the DL?"
posted by Westringia F. at 9:04 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


How do I get on the good-faith list?
posted by shakespeherian at 9:12 AM on May 3, 2013


How do I get on the good-faith list?

It doesn't like you in that way.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:13 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK, some of you seem to be misunderstanding my concerns, so let me clarify.

Recently, Corinth added me as a contact. I'm a fairly cautious person (and a speedreader) so I make it a habit to read most of the previous comments of people who add me to determine their motivations and intent. Given that Corinth's views are the complete opposite of my own and she's somewhat contrarian towards me, I find it improbable that this person added me out of an altruistic intent, or to educate herself about other viewpoints. I think it's much more likely that he/she added me to be able to flag my comments more efficiently. In other words, the goal would be to push me out of the community by flagging every single comment I make, so that I eventually feel like I can't contribute anything at all and leave in frustration. From a tactical perspective, this would be a very effective bullying technique, especially since I would have no idea this is happening. The only people who would be able to see a pattern of the same people constantly flagging one user are the mods, and they're much too busy to pay attention to trends like this.

In a recent comment, I mentioned how I feel like Metafilter is a userbase rather than a community, and it's precisely shitty behavior like this that makes me feel this way. No sooner did I make that comment than I was almost immediately added as a contact by four other people, one of whom was Shakespeherian. Obviously I can't speak for the motivations of all those people, but I've spoken to Shakespeherian enough to know that he's not a big fan of mine, so it's really hard to view my addition to his contact list as him acting in good faith. In fact, it's hard to take the message he's sending as being anything other than "Adding him as a contact so that I can flag him more easily? That's brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?"

I know you say bullying should be addressed on a case-by-case basis, but that's impossible in a flag-bullying scenario since the mods are the only ones who have access to the flag queue, so it would be impossible for me to see when and how much this is going on. So how precisely am I supposed to raise those concerns with the mods? "Hey mods, the four people who added me today probably did it just to be dicks and I suspect that you're going to see them flagging my stuff all the time. Could you please keep an eye on them going forwards?" Let's get real here. Even if such a request was treated seriously, it would be inconsiderate of me to impose that burden of work on them.

I recognize that people could use the "flag-bullying" approach anyway regardless of whether I'm a contact of theirs or not, but if they had to search for me each time, they would at least have to work for it. Plus, human beings are inherently lazy, so instead of searching for me and flagging me multiple times during the course of the day, it's far more likely that they would search for me once and flag everything in my recent activity, and this would leave a pattern of timestamps on the flagging activity that would make it easy for the mods to spot this shitty behavior.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 9:15 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


shakespeherian: "How do I get on the good-faith list?"

How do you look in a Princess Leia Bikini outfit?
posted by zarq at 9:15 AM on May 3, 2013


That escalated quickly.
posted by smackfu at 9:16 AM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Telling him the solution is to stop posting is like the recent story out of whatever school district it was where the (principal?) told kids they'd probably stop getting bullied if they'd just stop acting so gay. (Whether this was real or apocryphal, I also don't know, but it was all over the 'tubes sometime in the past six weeks.)"

The only thing like that I remember is Seth Walsh, and if you think those situations are analogous, your sense of proportion is way fucking off.

Using bullied gay kids to shore up some weird point about moderator disinterest reads pretty gross to me. I'm assuming you didn't mean for it to be, but maybe choose another analogy in the future.
posted by klangklangston at 9:18 AM on May 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


That's not how flags work, though. A flag just means 'Hey mods, come look at this thing.' There's no way for someone to systematically flag innocuous comments in such a way that they get deleted.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:18 AM on May 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


> unlikely that this person added me out of an altruistic intent, or to educate herself about other viewpoints

I agree. But...

> it's much more likely that he/she added me to be able to flag my comments more efficiently

Wow, that is a huge leap with no evidence! There are many other reasons why Corinth might have added you which aren't borderline paranoid.
posted by gilrain at 9:19 AM on May 3, 2013 [24 favorites]


if they had to search for me each time, they would at least have to work for it.

Or they could set your profile as their browser homepage. You know, if we really want to get paranoid about things...
posted by knapah at 9:20 AM on May 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


wolfdreams01: I think contacting the mods if you think you're being targeted by other users would be a better use of the existing functionality than having the way contacts are set up changed. This is not necessarily an issue that needs a technical fix; it appears to be one more of interactions on the site.

But, I'm not a mod or a lawyer or a doctor or anything, just a general lurker who is trying to get her dad and best friends (among others) to add her back as a contact.
posted by RainyJay at 9:20 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


How do you look in a Princess Leia Bikini outfit?

Stunning.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:21 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


In other words, the goal would be to push me out of the community by flagging every single comment I make,

That's not a thing that's possible. Flags are not an auto-ban thing.
posted by rtha at 9:21 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's a real pain to flag all of someone's comments too. The "feed" pages for a user don't have that option. So they would have to go in to every single comment thread.

Not to mention that the mods reaction to something like that is going to fall into two categories: not even noticing, or "cut it out or you are banned".
posted by smackfu at 9:21 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Moreover, if what people are saying upthread is true, it sounds like linking to someone doesn't show you their every comment anyway, so doesn't that negate your concern? People can't use the contact list to be alerted to every comment you make - they'd have to be looking at the View All Activity link on your profile anyway ... unless I'm misunderstanding something here?
posted by DingoMutt at 9:22 AM on May 3, 2013


The fact that problems associated with a feature might be "vanishingly rare" didn't stop y'all from removing the logout link above the posting box. And I'd submit that while this issue probably isn't going to ruin anybody's day, it is more pertinent to somebody's community experience here than that one.

I agree with this request. If this particular "friending" system (XFN) is one-directional and doesn't easily facilitate approvals, then a reasonable alternative might be to allow users to opt-out of the system. And if that isn't possible for some coding reason, then at the bare minimum I'd think you could allow users to hide contacts from appearing in their profiles.
posted by cribcage at 9:22 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


if they had to search for me each time, they would at least have to work for it.

Well then, let's just get every browser ever made to remove bookmarks, or have RSS functionality removed from every website ever, since those both require exactly the same amount of work to do what you're claiming.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:22 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


I also think you are radically overestimating how much effort people would put in if they dislike your contributions.
posted by knapah at 9:22 AM on May 3, 2013 [16 favorites]


Corinth is not a mod. They have no power to remove your participation from this site. What evidence do you have that this individual has 01) been flagging every one of your comments and 02) has been directly responsible for the removal of your comments? Since you can't see the mod panel I assume you are going by a generalized feeling of persecution due to prior suboptimal interaction with this user.

Shakes does not need to add you as a contact to follow your comments. In fact, no one needs to do so. You participate frequently in popular threads. Anyone who is in those threads can see your comments and choose whether or not they wish to flag them.

You have kind of crossed over into a weirdly paranoid territory here and in all seriousness I don't think this is particularly healthy for you.
posted by elizardbits at 9:23 AM on May 3, 2013 [50 favorites]


Yeah, if I were you I would ask the mods to check to make sure you're not being systematically flagged by users who want you off the site. If you trust them, it should be easy to confirm or deny your frankly wild fear. If you don't, well... you realize if they were part of the conspiracy to hound you off the site, they would just ban you, right?
posted by gilrain at 9:23 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Given that Corinth's views are the complete opposite of my own and she's somewhat contrarian towards me, I find it improbable that this person added me out of an altruistic intent, or to educate herself about other viewpoints.

Corinth's MeMail is enabled, so you could mail her to find an definitive answer, instead of making a potentially erroneous thought in your head.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:23 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Can we also have the option to remove favorites from our own comments/posts? I'm pretty sure 90% of the favorites I've received are for the sole purpose of cataloguing the stupid things I've said. These goddamn assholes go back every few months and have a good laugh at my expense.
posted by mullacc at 9:24 AM on May 3, 2013 [39 favorites]


I suspect if someone were running around flagging all your comments, this would serve to tell the mods that the user doing the flagging is getting kind of unhinged. So, no effect on your postings, but definitely letting the mods know that the other person is the problem, here.
posted by rmd1023 at 9:24 AM on May 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


You Get A Favorite for Being Dumb! And You Get A Favorite For Being Dumb!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:25 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


From a tactical perspective, this would be a very effective bullying technique, especially since I would have no idea this is happening. The only people who would be able to see a pattern of the same people constantly flagging one user are the mods, and they're much too busy to pay attention to trends like this.

It would if anything be effective at getting that notional user some annoyed mod email saying "cut that out, it noises up our flag queue and isn't how this place works", because a weird consistent "man every single comment is getting flagged" thing is one of the odd cases where we would stop and take a close look at who is flagging.

Again, I can sympathize with you being bothered by what you think might be going on, but you're positing something that's not actually the case here.

No sooner did I make that comment than I was almost immediately added as a contact by four other people

I think they did this out of a (not remotely laudable, for sure) intent to be goofily annoying, not to subscribe to the broken-as-described flag dogpile concept. See also the mass enspousening trend on the site. People do silly things, sometimes altruistically and sometimes because they're being a bit of a pill. Doesn't really have any effect on the utility or not (which, again: not) of the contacting process for facilitating genuinely problematic interuser behavior on the site.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:27 AM on May 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


The OP wrote about this in another MeTa thread, and I was in the middle of writing this comment there when I saw this MeTa and feel it more appropriately belongs here.

A community is not the same thing as a collection of people with no boundaries. What you're describing sounds more like a population. (See the "Communitree" story from A Group Is It's Own Worst Enemy. The whole essay might be useful to you on this point, actually.)

Jane Jacobs writes about what makes streets safe for children to play in -- and it's the community looking after itself, it's other people on the streets going about their business but also policing bad behavior because, while they may not know the child personally, they know that they don't want a child harmed on their street. You don't need a policeman on every street corner; you need a shopkeeper with his one eye out the window.

Somebody saying, "I'm keeping an eye on you" can absolutely feel creepy and off-putting, and it can sometimes be officious and even intrusive. But if what they are keeping an eye on is just your public interactions with other members of the community, and they aren't harassing you, there's really not much you can do about it. You're in public. If what you're doing is within the norms of the community, you're fine. If not, you have a couple of choices: you can try to change the community's norms; you can live under whatever censure the community applies; and you can leave the community.

wolfdreams01, it seems as though you perceive some use of the contact list as a form of keeping an eye on him in a way that is creepy or off-putting. And that's fair: I'm not going to tell you how you should feel about this. But really your options are pretty limited for the reasons cortex describes. What it means to be in public is to be observed or observable in a way that you don't have a ton of control over. Controlling who lists you as a contact is illusory control at best.

MetaFilter's norms have changed over time. It is not impossible that they will continue to change. And to the extent that your behavior on this site is noticeably out of alignment with those norms, your options are to work to change them, live under whatever censure the community applies (in this case, let's say getting flagged a lot and spoken to by the mods and sometimes having comments deleted), or you can leave. You are not the first person to not be a great fit for a particular community.

You have raised, in this vein and in the recent past, the specter of MetaFilter becoming an "echo chamber" in which dissenting voices are always silenced for saying things that the mods don't agree with. And aside from the fact that this is some pretty stark dichotomizing (i.e., it seems like you are saying that in principle either everything must be allowed or only one thing can be allowed) I don't know how to respond to this other than to point out that the existence of norms is a defining feature of what a community is, and policing those norms (as well as thoughtfully re-considering them) is part of what a healthy community does. If that is what constitutes an echo chamber, by bounding the terms of discussion, then I suspect that every community is an echo chamber.

And frankly, that could be true. I'm not committed to the principle that communities don't in some ways exist primarily in order to perpetuate themselves, or at least to perpetuate themselves at least as much as they also discourse about discovering the real truth of the world, or whatever. That might just be the nature of communities, some of which last for centuries.

So maybe you can take the wide-angle view. Maybe MetaFilter is in some ways an echo chamber or at least has bounded discourse in such a way as to exclude some things you want to say. Either this boundary is beneficial to the existence of MetaFilter as a community, or it is not. If it is, then perhaps what you have to say that is on the outside of the bounds is ultimately not beneficial to MetaFilter. If it's not, then MetaFilter will either change or die. But MetaFilter does not have to be all things to all people. It might just want to be a thing for people who want to talk within the bounds of this particular discourse.

Let's be clear: it's not the flagging that bothers you. It's the fear of being scrutinized. But there is nothing, literally nothing, you can do to prevent people from scrutinizing the things you do in front of them. There is nothing, literally nothing, you can do to prevent people from talking about you behind your back.
posted by gauche at 9:27 AM on May 3, 2013 [35 favorites]


wolfdreams01: "she's somewhat contrarian towards me, I find it improbable that this person added me out of an altruistic intent, or to educate herself about other viewpoints. I think it's much more likely that he/she added me to be able to flag my comments more efficiently. In other words, the goal would be to push me out of the community by flagging every single comment I make"

One person flagging another's comments counts for approximately nothing. I don't think the mods see a single flag as actionable in most contexts.

wolfdreams01: "it's precisely shitty behavior like this that makes me feel this way. "

You had to dismiss two possible and valid alternatives in order to make this conclusion. Why is that? Do you believe that people would object to your comments in such a strenuous fashion that they'd flag each and every one you've made? I'm slightly contrarian to you as well (hello there) and have never thought about doing this.
posted by boo_radley at 9:28 AM on May 3, 2013


In fact, it's hard to take the message he's sending as being anything other than "Adding him as a contact so that I can flag him more easily?

I think it's tremendously unlikely people are adding you as a contact to flag you. If it's motivated by anything other than just to annoy you, it's so people can be first on the scene to watch any post you make.

I'm not saying it's right, but I'm saying that it's quite possible that some people get a perverse sense of entertainment in watching the threads where you've gotten your hackles up and want to be heard.
posted by phunniemee at 9:28 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


cortex: " It would if anything be effective at getting that notional user some annoyed mod email saying "cut that out, it noises up our flag queue and isn't how this place works", because a weird consistent "man every single comment is getting flagged" thing is one of the odd cases where we would stop and take a close look at who is flagging. "

Out of curiosity, have y'all had to do this in the past?
posted by zarq at 9:28 AM on May 3, 2013


In other words, the goal would be to push me out of the community by flagging every single comment I make, so that I eventually feel like I can't contribute anything at all and leave in frustration. From a tactical perspective, this would be a very effective bullying technique, especially since I would have no idea this is happening. The only people who would be able to see a pattern of the same people constantly flagging one user are the mods, and they're much too busy to pay attention to trends like this.

If someone were flagging every post you make, this would be an incredibly inefficient bullying technique, and would likely have the opposite effect to the one hypothetically intended. Flags don't do anything at all other than call a mod's attention to a post or comment (and include a reason why they should look). Whether or not mods are too busy to pay attention, they would certainly notice if someone flagged this comment you made, for example, since it is not flag-worthy in the least. Trends are one thing, but they would definitely notice if you were being overflagged and would at that point be pretty likely to check into it and see if one person's doing it.

Mods have said in the past that grudgeflagging does indeed happen, it's something they're aware of (though not common, I would imagine), and one then assumes they would have some sort of conversation with the person doing the flagging.

In other words, it would likely not affect your participation at all, but would certainly draw the mods' attention to the person doing it.

Or, on preview, what cortex said.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 9:29 AM on May 3, 2013


"Hey mods, the four people who added me today probably did it just to be dicks and I suspect that you're going to see them flagging my stuff all the time. Could you please keep an eye on them going forwards?

Sure. It's the sort of thing that it might be useful to know if it was something you thought you noticed. We do, really occasionally, see weird flagging things where a person seems inclined to flag everything by another user that perhaps annoys them. This is unhelpful and when we see it happening we tell the flagger so. They tend to stop. The system works.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:29 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


And to be clear, we're not going to keep an eye on the people but we'll keep an eye on whether they seem to be grudgeflagging.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 9:29 AM on May 3, 2013


I recognize that people could use the "flag-bullying" approach anyway regardless of whether I'm a contact of theirs or not,"

WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY
posted by klangklangston at 9:31 AM on May 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


QUIDNUNC KID MEGACONTACT PROJECT: ADDITIONAL UPDATIONING
CURRENT CONTACT SCORE: FEW + 12
QKMP PROJECT FACEBOOK FACE: ACTIVATED
IPO: FORTHCOMING. ARE YOU A SYNDICATE OF FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS WHO WISH TO SPONSOR A FLOATATION ON THE NEW YORK STOCK EXCHANGE? PLEASE MEMAIL THE QUIDNUNC KID SAYING (IN 30 WORDS OR LESS) WHY YOU WOULD BE PERFECT TO UNDERWRITE A $35 BILLION SHARE ISSUE. NO AGENCIES.

posted by the quidnunc kid at 9:31 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


wolfdreams1: you're forgetting a really important fact. These people who add you as spite contacts are making themselves vulnerable. Just add them back as contacts and then you can add mean tags to their posts! MUHAHAHA!
posted by mullacc at 9:31 AM on May 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


The users who are determined to harass you could easily have designed a random timetable to determine who flags which posts of yours, resulting in a flagging history which would look no different than normal behavior aside from frequency and amount of flags. Thus, it's literally impossible to prove just how deep this goes!

I know you're smart enough to spot paranoid thinking, wolfdreams01, and I bet you want to avoid it.
posted by gilrain at 9:32 AM on May 3, 2013


Or they could set your profile as their browser homepage. You know, if we really want to get paranoid about things...

Why bother with extra clicks?

Profile>View All Activity>User Activity:Comments
posted by winna at 9:32 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I once ranted in my zine (this was decades ago) about how much I hated all the gossip in the town I had just moved from, and how what I got up to was nobody's business. I got a letter from someone who'd read it who told me, basically, "I lived there too and if it's any consolation, I've never heard of you."

You might be overestimating how much people care.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:32 AM on May 3, 2013 [58 favorites]


I'm a fairly cautious person (and a speedreader) so I make it a habit to read most of the previous comments of people who add me to determine their motivations and intent.

You live in a sad, paranoid world of your own making.

it's precisely shitty behavior like this that makes me feel this way.

I suggest that you look deeper than other people's perceived behavior for the reason you feel the way you feel about many, many things.
posted by tzikeh at 9:33 AM on May 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


wolfdreams01: " In fact, it's hard to take the message he's sending as being anything other than "Adding him as a contact so that I can flag him more easily? That's brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?""

I can't speak for corinth or shakes, but speaking personally, if I were to follow someone whose opinions I disagreed with on a particular topic, it wouldn't be to flag them. I'd want to be able to comment with my own counterargument whenever they brought it up.

I don't do that (because that would be INSANE) but still, it makes more sense to me than the flag thing.

mullacc: "Just add them back as contacts and then you can add mean tags to their posts! MUHAHAHA!"

*twitch*
posted by zarq at 9:35 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Out of curiosity, have y'all had to do this in the past?

Very occasionally, yes. Or talk to someone about just not flagging every dang thing they dislike or flagging a whole bunch of comments in one thread instead of sending us a contact email, also rare-but-not-never scenarios.
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:37 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


That reminds me zarq don't look at the tags on any of your posts from 2008.

No reason.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:37 AM on May 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


I agree that this is not actually likely to be a problem, but I'm glad it came up in Meta because it prompted me to look again at who has contacted me and I noticed that I have not one, but two MeFi spouses! This is significant to me because for some reason I thought I had missed out on the great enspousening, and for years I've harbored this insecure feeling that I wasn't cool enough to be spoused. But I was! You like me! You really like me!

TLDR: I'm self-actualized.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 9:38 AM on May 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


I think it's much more likely that he/she added me to be able to flag my comments more efficiently.

Just FYI, I'm pretty sure I've never flagged anything you've written and I think you're a raving nutter. So you're safe. From me, at least.
posted by octobersurprise at 9:38 AM on May 3, 2013 [20 favorites]


shakespeherian: "That reminds me zarq don't look at the tags on any of your posts from 2008."

Well played. Most people probably won't get the deeper level of that joke. :D
posted by zarq at 9:42 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Man, between this one and the DONT CLOSE ME BRO thread below it, we're getting the Wolf/Tana double feature, ain't we?
posted by klangklangston at 9:43 AM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Most people aren't avoiding as much work as I am.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:43 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I feel like Metafilter is a userbase rather than a community, and it's precisely shitty behavior like this that makes me feel this way.

You saw someone add you as a contact, and then imagined a bad reason for that person to have done so, and leapt to conclusions. Did you contact Corinth before posting here?

I think it is really unfair to describe someone adding you as a contact as "shitty" when adding contacts is something that thousands of us have done here for our own reasons.

Giving someone the benefit of the doubt is something that people in a community tend to do, but if you view Metafilter as a userbase, I guess that explains why you don't.
posted by ambrosia at 9:43 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks for this thread. It was a great reminder that there are still so many great MeFites whom I haven't gotten around to adding as contacts, yet (I am a very neglectful friend, sorry).
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 9:45 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Most people aren't avoiding as much work as I am.

That is a deeply hurtful and unfair generalization.
posted by elizardbits at 9:45 AM on May 3, 2013 [59 favorites]


> it's not the flagging that bothers you. It's the fear of being scrutinized. But there is nothing, literally nothing, you can do to prevent people from scrutinizing the things you do in front of them.

You could not do them.
posted by ardgedee at 9:46 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Man, between this one and the DONT CLOSE ME BRO thread below it, we're getting the Wolf/Tana double feature, ain't we?

Actually, I think this is the perfect use of Meta. He took what would have been a giant derail in the other thread, about community wide issue or a feature request (both of which are what Metatalk is explicately for) and gave it it's own MeTA. That's a giant improvement over the way the last couple of his complaints have been handled.
posted by Gygesringtone at 9:47 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


If nothing else, this post was a good reminder to me because here I thought I'd already made Corinth a contact, but I hadn't! So now I have. Thanks!
posted by rtha at 9:48 AM on May 3, 2013


klangklangston: "Man, between this one and the DONT CLOSE ME BRO thread below it, we're getting the Wolf/Tana double feature, ain't we?"

Triple, just counting the gray. If you count the two open austerity economics threads on the blue, that's at least five threads in the past 30 days in which wolfdreams01 has spent more time complaining about how far MetaFilter leans to the left than defending his own case for why his position is right on the merits. Working the refs is much easier than playing the game.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:48 AM on May 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


wolfdreams01, you are new here, right? Do you know what we're talking about when someone talks about their espousening? Because that sounds like what happened with you. It's meant to be in fun.

The original thread was one of a similar concern. Lots of people added her as a contact (a Spouse contact) and thus the tradition was born. Your 4 new contacts are following that tradition. Maybe if you didn't know about it, it would seem weird.

This year's anniversary thread.
posted by Houstonian at 9:49 AM on May 3, 2013


That is a deeply hurtful and unfair generalization.

Just the usual bias from the radicalized productivity tut-tutters that set the tone for MeFi these days.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:49 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


we're getting the Wolf/Tana double feature, ain't we?

" ... see androids fighting ... Brad and Janet ..."
posted by octobersurprise at 9:50 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Just FYI, I'm pretty sure I've never flagged anything you've written and I think you're a raving nutter. So you're safe. From me, at least.

Yeah, there are about eight hundred billion things more worthwhile to do than follow people around flagging their comments, however ludicrous the viewpoints expressed in those comments may be.

It would rank just below alphabetizing one's spices and toiletry products, and just above sorting all one's media and clothing by RGB value.
posted by winna at 9:56 AM on May 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


I think it's ridiculous how much focus has been put on second-guessing Wolfdreams01's premise that people are adding him as a contact for unfriendly reasons. Sure, it might be more about wanting to argue with him than wanting to flag his comments...but c'mon. It's not being done out of kindness, or a sense of community, or wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt. It's being done for shitty reasons. That's obvious.

If this thread needs to be another referendum on Wolfdreams01, that's not something I'm interested in so I'll excuse myself. Irrespective of Wolfdreams01, this feature has been requested before, and I've endorsed it before. I think it's awesome how well St Alia handled the "enspousening"; but that was still a really shitty thing to do to a user, irrespective of how much character that user decides to exhibit in response. I haven't been directly bothered by anybody's use of the contact feature, but I'd still like a way to turn it off and I really don't see the detriment or a valid counterargument.

Separately, some folks are talking about contacting users directly to hash-out problems. I'd like to discuss that at some point in the future. It's been a busy time in MetaTalk lately and this isn't the thread for that discussion, but I'd like to throw it on the radar.
posted by cribcage at 9:57 AM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


she's somewhat contrarian towards me

Pedant's corner, but that isn't what "contrarian" means. What Corinth does is disagree with you. And, in a sense, I can see why you might want to add someone you fundamentally disagree with as a contact, because they would be likely to be active in threads you might be interested in contributing to also - although there are almost certainly more efficient ways of doing it - like tag searches or just reading the front page of MetaFilter.

However, as has been mentioned "Corinth has made me a contact purely to flag every comment I make" is a huge imaginative leap from "Corinth has made me a contact". And the idea that mods do not interrogate flags (e.g. by noting that every post by user A was getting flagged by user B) is pretty clearly at odds with the way the mods have been demonstrated to function. Moderation is basically all about those sorts of context calls. So, even if Corinth is autoflagging everything WD01 says, that's not actually going to have a meaningful effect on what appears on and stays on the site. There's just no logical trail running through this set of conclusions.

However, this is making me think about how I use contacts. Much as I use favorites both as endorsements and bookmarks, I think I use contacts both for people I like and people I think post interesting things. I think there's a degree of inevitable ambivalence there, and short of asking everyone individually for their behavior patterns, and for updates if and when they change, not much to do about it.
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:57 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


It would rank just below alphabetizing one's spices

SHUT UP
posted by shakespeherian at 9:57 AM on May 3, 2013 [31 favorites]


You could not do them.

See, that strikes me as an argument that wolfdreams01 should not participate in the site at all, as that's the only way to really prevent somebody from scrutinizing one's participation. While I definitely disagree with him on a lot of issues and at a lot of levels, I'm not in a position to suggest that he should not be here or should not participate at all.

There are users who have been given time-outs, and users who have flamed out and then come back, and there are users who believe things that I think are odious as hell (and, I'm sure, vice versa), and as long as they behave, they have just as much right to be here as I do. I'd like it if wolfdreams01 learned to read the room better than he does, but that's for him to decide or not.
posted by gauche at 9:58 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


... and just above sorting all one's media and clothing by RGB value.

What about CMYK?
posted by PMdixon at 10:00 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


cribcage: "It's being done for shitty reasons. That's obvious."

I don't find it obvious.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:01 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It would rank just below alphabetizing one's spices

SHUT UP


As a person who has from time to time organized her closet by a color/sleve length/occasion system, I would like to heartily endorse that SHUT UP.

For those of you concerned for my mental health, this enables me to get competently dressed for work in the morning without turning on the lights or even really being awake, so that's a pretty big win for me.
posted by phunniemee at 10:03 AM on May 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


wolfdreams01, isn't it possible that someone might add you as a contact because they enjoy disagreeing with you? Some people like a good argument.

In any case, I think that you misunderstood how the contact thing works and now that you've had that explained to you I hope you're less anxious about the possibility of being gang-flagged.
posted by yoink at 10:03 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


The apologia for wolfdreams01's paranoia is tiresome. Being added as a contact, as has been perfectly clarified here, accomplishes nothing towards stalking or bullying. Nor does his invented concern of "flag bullying" even work. But that's not what bothers me about this thread.

What bothers me is we have a user here who has leapt to the worst possible and least charitable assessment of other users around him, yet complains there is no sense of community here. He has made these negative assumptions plain, accusing these users by name of probably trying to stalk and bully him, with zero evidence to back this up.

To me, this is insulting towards the people he's named, and does the exact opposite of build a sense of community around here. If this was a legitimate concern, he could have easily contacted mods, or even any of his four new contacts. Instead, he chose a passive-aggressive opener, followed by a straight-up callout which is baseless and insulting. If wolfdreams01 is really so concerned about Community Over User Base, this is a pretty strange way of showing it.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:04 AM on May 3, 2013 [54 favorites]


It would rank just below alphabetizing one's spices

SHUT UP


This is the Metafilter Gom Jabbar.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:06 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


If you are making lists of people to be nicer to (and perhaps by default are less than nice to everyone else) I think worrying about people adding you as a a contact for purposes you can't immediately divine is part of the problem.

I kind of don't understand the drive to save places from being so called echo chambers. Is it a martyr complex, some delusion of being more right than everyone else, masochism, some inane way of proving a point? I just don't know. I know the reasons given often are blanketed in some psudo-altruism "I don't want to see this place become...." which seems like code for, "I want this place to agree with me more". Which I guess is fine, but being dismissive via "echo chamber" just seems disingenuous.
posted by edgeways at 10:06 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


I think it's ridiculous how much focus has been put on second-guessing Wolfdreams01's premise that people are adding him as a contact for unfriendly reasons.

I don't think it's ridiculous, given that this is exactly the kind of second-guessing wolfdreams01 has explicitly done in posting this, except he's done it in the least charitable way possible.
posted by rtha at 10:07 AM on May 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


zombieflanders: " This is the Metafilter Gom Jabbar."

....there are many like it, but this one is mine....
posted by zarq at 10:07 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


*scrutinizes wolfdreams01 from behind a low cyberhedge*
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 10:09 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing

Aw, this takes me back. MStPT, I think you were the very first person to add me as a contact here, like a month after I joined, and I had NO IDEA how contacts worked at all, and I think I sent you a memail that was something like who are you? do I know you? WHO ARE YOU!?!? and you were all, "uh, all I did was add you as a contact...?"

I was scared once, too, but it's ok. We can get through this.
posted by phunniemee at 10:10 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


*peeps through newspaper eyeholes*
posted by gilrain at 10:10 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


being dismissive via "echo chamber" just seems disingenuous.

I can't help but hear it as a weird dismissal of everybody else in the community as being bland and interchangeable and thinking in lock-step. To me it reads, "Without people like me all you sheep will never understand how wrong you are about all your wrong thinking. You'll never even see how right I was!"

It defines the game in such a way as to win on both sides -- they kick you out, it's their loss not yours, but they let you stay, and you get to keep doing the thing that they don't like.
posted by gauche at 10:11 AM on May 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


I welcome all contacts. I am slowly losing them as people get sick and tired of my shit. I was also trying to add NYC mefites as contacts but I dropped the ball I think. I feel like I messed up somewhere. This is triggering my anxiety.

Fuck it, I'm with WolfDreams01, contacts are a misfeature.
posted by Ad hominem at 10:15 AM on May 3, 2013


Aw, this takes me back. MStPT, I think you were the very first person to add me as a contact here

My general rule is:

1. I add people as contacts if their contributions are interesting to me, whether I agree with them or not, and

2. I add anyone as a contact - anyone at all - who adds me as a contact.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:15 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


This is the Metafilter Gom Jabbar.

The spice must flow This spice must follow!
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:16 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


In other words, the goal would be to push me out of the community by flagging every single comment I make, so that I eventually feel like I can't contribute anything at all and leave in frustration. From a tactical perspective, this would be a very effective bullying technique, especially since I would have no idea this is happening. The only people who would be able to see a pattern of the same people constantly flagging one user are the mods, and they're much too busy to pay attention to trends like this.

But flagging doesn't actually matter that much, right? The final decision is made by the mod. If everything you ever posted got a single flag from one unhinged individual, your comments are going to get deleted based purely on those flags. If a lot of people are flagging them and the comments are inappropriate, they'll get deleted. The "bullying" flagger just doesn't have a lot of power.

I'll be honest, there's a user I won't name who gets regular flags from me on FPPs because I find his/her style consistently inappropriate. I'm not sure I've actually flagged everyone, but I do it whenever I see a post in this style. I don't think one has ever been deleted.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:18 AM on May 3, 2013


Contacts are an aspect of the site that I completely missed out on in my many years as a lurker, although I admit that I watched the Great Enspousening thread with both unbridled glee and slight confusion. As a spouseless outsider, the whole to-do ultimately seemed to create an improved sense of community, friendliness, and acceptance of what appeared to be good-natured ribbing -- something that is, sadly, becoming increasingly rare in online discussion forums.
I've always had the sense that wolfdreams01 feels quite terribly burdened and persecuted here, but many users' attempts to engage with him in good or even marginal faith have either been ignored or flung back in their faces with more than a little vitriol, so it always seems like he's coming to one impasse after another with the community at large. It's pretty tired, and even more tiresome.

The idea that being added as a contact on MetaFilter.com could possibly be construed as a meaningful action that is malicious, stalkerish, or meant to be used as some sort of strategic silencing weapon in order to dissuade discussion about Honesty, Righteousness, and The Truth All Sheeple Are Afraid To See straight-up blows my mind. Near as I can tell, all it takes is a single click to add someone to your list. A small handful of people have added me as a contact, and I've felt nothing more than a twinge of warm fuzzies about community-building whenever I notice.
It hasn't crossed even the dustiest back corner of my mind that they might've done so because they hate me or because they want to follow me around the site ridiculing my dumb views, because I am old enough to know that a) no one cares about you/me that much, b) even if they did, it wouldn't matter anyway, because it is literally impossible that someone adding you as a contact will result in you being silenced all your life, and c) seriously: no one cares.

I'll admit: the first time someone added me as a contact freaked me right out because as a rookie, I didn't know what it could possibly mean (until I read this helpful FAQ). After I read about it, I just thought it was cute and nice. One extra-polite person even asked me before adding me to their list! Now if I ever get around to adding contacts, rest assured you will all be marked 'crush.' Because I have a totally ridiculous word-crush on a metric ton of y'all brilliant, hilarious MeFites.
posted by divined by radio at 10:19 AM on May 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


I've been maliciously added as a contact but that was a sockpuppet situation where it was a blatant attempt to out me. #coolstorybro
posted by the young rope-rider at 10:24 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would kind of like the ability to removed disabled accounts from the list of those contacting me, because the blacked out names make me feel sad.....
posted by GenjiandProust at 10:25 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


GenjiandProust: "because the blacked out names make me feel sad"

Oh my gosh, griphus disabled his account.
posted by boo_radley at 10:27 AM on May 3, 2013


Oh my gosh, griphus disabled his account.

Has anyone ever actually seen griphus and wolfdreams in the same room???
posted by phunniemee at 10:28 AM on May 3, 2013


I have, but the photos would curl your hair.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:29 AM on May 3, 2013


I have, but the photos would curl your hair.

lolz i don't have any hair
posted by phunniemee at 10:30 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


:(

That explains why griphus wanted to see how to use the white background while not logged in, I guess.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:31 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would kind of like the ability to removed disabled accounts from the list of those contacting me, because the blacked out names make me feel sad.....

Double pony.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:32 AM on May 3, 2013


griphus is not gone for good! He said on Twitter he's just trying to focus on work/srs biz for awhile.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:32 AM on May 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


Oh good.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:34 AM on May 3, 2013


that was prolly just shakes hacking his twitter
posted by elizardbits at 10:35 AM on May 3, 2013


But I'm actually klangklangston.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:37 AM on May 3, 2013


I would totally use the contacts feature to link exclusively to people I admire, but it doesn't let me contact myself?!?!!?
posted by prefpara at 10:40 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


That's the kind of thing best done in private, not out where other MeFites can see it.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:41 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


But it's perfectly natural and healthy, and you won't go blind.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:42 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


griphus is not gone for good! He said on Twitter he's just trying to focus on work/srs biz for awhile.

The fact that I read that and thought "he's taking a break from Metafilter to focus on Shit Reddit Says?" is a sign that I might could stand an internet break as well.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 10:42 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


But it's perfectly natural and healthy, and you won't go blind.

My cousin's coworker's friend contacted himself and then seven days later he died. Proceed with caution.
posted by phunniemee at 10:43 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Maybe we could solve this problem if we all make wolfdreams01 a contact?
posted by scruss at 10:44 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh my gosh, griphus disabled his account.

Don't worry, it's just temporary, he's got to focus on our Hellraiser podcast.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:45 AM on May 3, 2013 [13 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: "griphus is not gone for good! He said on Twitter he's just trying to focus on work/srs biz for awhile."

does he know we have pictures of cats?

scruss: "Maybe we could solve this problem if we all make wolfdreams01 a contact?"

Ehhh, probably not an awesome idea to joke about, given the sensitivity of the subject.
posted by boo_radley at 10:45 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wait how did griphus gain the ability to disable wolfdreams01's account?

Suspicious.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:46 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


scruss: "Maybe we could solve this problem if we all make wolfdreams01 a contact?"

Escalating the situation isn't going to defuse it.
posted by zarq at 10:46 AM on May 3, 2013


cortex: "Oh my gosh, griphus disabled his account.

Don't worry, it's just temporary, he's got to focus on our Hellraiser podcast.
"

I own all of these movies and love about 1/3 of them -- up until they turn into goofy detective flicks.
posted by boo_radley at 10:47 AM on May 3, 2013


Once upon a time you could contact yourself, but I feel like that option got removed somehow or something else got tweaked that made that impossible now.

Anecdatally, I am a contact of myself and am not dead yet.
posted by rtha at 10:48 AM on May 3, 2013


You can still add yourself as a contact, just stick your user number after the equal sign in this thing:

http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/xfnlinkbuilder.mefi?to_user=XXXXX
posted by shakespeherian at 10:49 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


"But I'm actually klangklangston."

THAT'S why my clothes don't fit.
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just saw this thread and immediately went LOL. I was the one who suggested to Corinth that she add wolfdreams01 as a contact. She isn't really the type to flag wolfie's comments, but, she does like to argue. Probably because of his often controversial views on trans* folk... (Well, really, I like to think she does it to defend her own (and my) existence, but that's probably more my opinion than reality.)

I sent Corinth a text message about this thread, and she'll be by to read the thread later, I assume. She was actually kinda concerned about adding him as a contact until I pointed out metafilter's history with enspousening to her. She thought that was really funny. :)
posted by yeoz at 10:50 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


welp.
posted by boo_radley at 10:52 AM on May 3, 2013


How does one discern who has been "flagging" their comments? One can't, right?

I've been comment-stalked on another forum (any time I made a comment about anything, a few people would jump right in to tell me I was wrong and I should feel wrong), and it wasn't fun, but gosh, if someone is following me around Metafilter silently flagging my comments, more power to them. Whatever you need to do to make it through your day.
posted by muddgirl at 10:57 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


How does one discern who has been "flagging" their comments? One can't, right?

Right. There is zero user-facing information about flags on the site, it's all mods-eyes-only.
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:59 AM on May 3, 2013


I just saw this thread and immediately went LOL. I was the one who suggested to Corinth that she add wolfdreams01 as a contact.

So you suggested she add wolfdreams01 as a contact in order to ... argue with him?

Not exactly the most efficient approach. I mean, seems the more sensible approach would just be to go about your business in the threads you like and, if you see a user posting something you disagree with, you then engage them. I think this is commonly referred to as "interaction".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:00 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I am a terrible person, I admit.
posted by yeoz at 11:01 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


grudgeflagging

For some reason, I have a mental picture of grimly enraged caddies dueling with golf pennants.
posted by Slap*Happy at 11:01 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I kind of don't understand the drive to save places from being so called echo chambers. Is it a martyr complex, some delusion of being more right than everyone else, masochism, some inane way of proving a point?

Mostly because echo chambers are boring? It's not much fun to visit a place where everyone agrees without thinking about it. It's also not much fun to visit a place where people disagree without thinking about it; what's missing from an echo chamber is people putting some thought or insight into their comments. There are some topics on which metafilter gets pretty echo-chambery— the ten-minute-hate outragefilter threads on topics like financial fraud or police brutality, for example— and while it's kind of validating to be part of an angry internet mob, it's not why I come here.
posted by hattifattener at 11:05 AM on May 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


So you suggested she add wolfdreams01 as a contact in order to ... argue with him?

Not exactly the most efficient approach. I mean, seems the more sensible approach would just be to go about your business in the threads you like and, if you see a user posting something you disagree with, you then engage them. I think this is commonly referred to as "interaction".


Plus, the threads where wolfdreams gets into arguments are rarely the threads where he gets the 10-12 favorites needed to reach the sidebar. Seems like a weird recommendation.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 11:07 AM on May 3, 2013


Y'know, yeoz, that was kind of a crappy thing to do.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:09 AM on May 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


Plus, the threads where wolfdreams gets into arguments are rarely the threads where he gets the 10-12 favorites needed to reach the sidebar. Seems like a weird recommendation.


Yeah - although in those terms the contact system might make sense - because you are monitoring not every comment, but only those comments which might be getting traction.

Not saying it's a good idea, but mechanically it makes sense - although it would certainly not match to a "flag every post" objective.

Basically, this feels like a non-issue? Corinth is likely to follow trans-related threads anyway, and off-topic eructations in threads about puppies won't get enough favorites to show up in the sidebar of someone following. Mechanically, it's not a meaningful complaint.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:14 AM on May 3, 2013


edgeways: I kind of don't understand the drive to save places from being so called echo chambers. Is it a martyr complex, some delusion of being more right than everyone else, masochism, some inane way of proving a point? I just don't know. I know the reasons given often are blanketed in some psudo-altruism "I don't want to see this place become...." which seems like code for, "I want this place to agree with me more". Which I guess is fine, but being dismissive via "echo chamber" just seems disingenuous.

I can't help but notice all your possible reasons for being opposed to the echo chamber effect are pretty ungenerous in their assumptions. If you interrogated my opinions on politics, social justice, etc you'd probably find me well and firmly within the progressive MeFi norm, but when people talk about how we'd be better off if conservative posters shut up or left the site, it really bums me out. I think there's a benefit (which goes both ways) to being able to get together with people who have significantly different political/cultural/social viewpoints and have thoughtful exchanges with them. Hateful stuff, obviously, is another story, but I do think sometimes there's an attitude that non-progressive opinions must come from a de facto hateful place.

I feel like I've been in online communities where mutually-reinforced shared agreement becomes the whole point, and once that train starts rolling those places tend to become deoxygenated and stultifying. Worms breed there. It's not good. I know it's not easy to maintain a space where people with majorly divergent views can come together and spend one day arguing and the next day marveling at some non-political cool-thing-on-the-web together, but I think it's a worthwhile thing to strive for.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:14 AM on May 3, 2013 [18 favorites]


You can still add yourself as a contact, just stick your user number after the equal sign in this thing:

http://www.metafilter.com/contribute/xfnlinkbuilder.mefi?to_user=XXXXX


This did not work for me. It let me fill out a form, which was fun I suppose but it didn't stick.

Do I have to approve it? Has this pony gone through already?
posted by mountmccabe at 11:18 AM on May 3, 2013


It would rank just below alphabetizing one's spices and toiletry products, and just above sorting all one's media and clothing by RGB value.

Alphabetizing spices: useful, as so many containers look the same, and tend to be shoved into one or two very full shelves.
Alphabetizing toiletry products: dumb, as most products have unique shapes, and you really don't have that many (do you?)

Sorting media by RGB value: could be useful, could be dumb - are you talking about the color of the cover, or the color of the mood in the movie? Or perhaps the actual colors of the movie itself?
Sorting clothing by RGB value: very useful, unless your wardrobe is small or monochromatic.

In short, of the "about eight hundred billion things more worthwhile to do than follow people around flagging their comments," these select four fall much higher than previously ranked.

Analogy failed. Please revise your ranking and try again.
posted by filthy light thief at 11:21 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


mountmccabe: " This did not work for me. It let me fill out a form, which was fun I suppose but it didn't stick."

What it does is allow you to see your own activity on the sidebar. However, you will not show up as being linked to by yourself on your contacts page.
posted by zarq at 11:21 AM on May 3, 2013


Or to be more precise, it allows your own activity to show up in the Contact Activity page, some of which also shows up on the sidebar.
posted by zarq at 11:23 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ahhh, thanks. Got it.
posted by mountmccabe at 11:24 AM on May 3, 2013

Given that Corinth's views are the complete opposite of my own and she's somewhat contrarian towards me, I find it improbable that this person added me out of an altruistic intent, or to educate herself about other viewpoints. I think it's much more likely that he/she added me to be able to flag my comments more efficiently.
What's up with the pronouns, btw?
JFYI, Corinth is a woman and identifies as a woman, irrespective of any asinine requirements you may have for her or anyone else.
posted by yeoz at 11:25 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]




What's up with the pronouns, btw?

Please do not go down this road in this thread. It's become a weird flashpoint issue among certain users for a question that can, in this case, be asked over MeMail.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 11:31 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


"mods-eyes-only."

Worst Bond fanfic ever.
posted by klangklangston at 11:34 AM on May 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


If you interrogated my opinions on politics, social justice, etc you'd probably find me well and firmly within the progressive MeFi norm, but when people talk about how we'd be better off if conservative posters shut up or left the site, it really bums me out. I think there's a benefit (which goes both ways) to being able to get together with people who have significantly different political/cultural/social viewpoints and have thoughtful exchanges with them. Hateful stuff, obviously, is another story, but I do think sometimes there's an attitude that non-progressive opinions must come from a de facto hateful place.

I agree with this whole paragraph. There was a MeTa last year about diversity on MetaFilter asking what kinds of voices we don't have a lot of on MetaFilter and some folks pointed out that it was uncomfortable to be a conservative here or a police officer here, or a religious person here. My recollection is that there was a lot of sort of eye-rolling about those groups and not a lot of engagement about what it might mean to make this place more friendly to those groups. Which on the one hand struck me as interesting and a little sad.

On the other hand, and speaking as someone who was once a die-hard conservative, I do find it frustrating to engage conservatives, in general, on political and economic issues. My impression is that conservatives are deeply apriorist in their methods and not especially open to re-considering their conclusions in light of other evidence. The latter criticism can of course be leveled at anybody, but the former is in some ways just, I think, a form of discourse that is orthogonal to the progressive method.

(It's as though one of us is dancing to show the location of the flowers, and the other is spraying pheromones to indicate the presence of danger, and we are getting frustrated like "don't you even CARE that there are delicious flowers right over there?!" and they are getting angry like "I'm TELLING YOU, there's trouble coming. Why won't you LISTEN!?")

And that might just plain not make for good discussion and good community. I don't know what the answer is, and it might be to just prioritize good community over frustrating, unproductive dialogue, even if that means there are fewer conservative voices in here. I don't know.
posted by gauche at 11:37 AM on May 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


If there is anything this thread has accomplished is that I am now suspicious of anyone who has added me to their contact list.
posted by mazola at 11:39 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I just added you, mazola, but you don't have to be suspicious: I did it for nefarious and evil reasons.
posted by gauche at 11:41 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


How... gauche.
posted by mazola at 11:42 AM on May 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


What bothers me is we have a user here who has leapt to the worst possible and least charitable assessment of other users around him, yet complains there is no sense of community here.

Did you see that recent Mega Meta thread where users were dragging up Tanizaki's post history to vent their spleen, though?

Because before that, I would have thought that adding people as contacts just so that you could go in to threads where they are participating and tear them apart was paranoid, but now...man, I don't know.

I get that a pattern of behavior draws attention, and a consistent pattern of GRAR is tiresome. But holding grudges is also not very community-minded.

I think we (the user base) have a better track record of recognizing the first and reacting to it (often with a "kill it with fire" zealousness) than constructively letting go of the second.

If you admonish people to "be nicer" going forward, you have an equal responsibility, seems to me, to be willing to wipe the slate clean and assume good faith on their part going forward as well.

Some--not all, but enough to make me squirm--of the really nasty comments come from the "be nicer" camp, against the people they are admonishing for not being "nice". And they are dredging up ancient history as justification.

In that light, being suspicious of people you know don't like you adding you to their contact list doesn't sound so paranoid to me.
posted by misha at 11:43 AM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


> I'm a fairly cautious person (and a speedreader) so I make it a habit to read most of the previous comments of people who add me to determine their motivations and intent. Given that Corinth's views are the complete opposite of my own and she's somewhat contrarian towards me, I find it improbable that this person added me out of an altruistic intent, or to educate herself about other viewpoints. I think it's much more likely that he/she added me to be able to flag my comments more efficiently. In other words, the goal would be to push me out of the community by flagging every single comment I make, so that I eventually feel like I can't contribute anything at all and leave in frustration. From a tactical perspective, this would be a very effective bullying technique, especially since I would have no idea this is happening. The only people who would be able to see a pattern of the same people constantly flagging one user are the mods, and they're much too busy to pay attention to trends like this.

This is not a thing you can control with caution.

You cannot determine someone's motivations for adding you as a contact by reading their contact history. No, really, you can't. And it doesn't matter what their motivation is; people don't need your permission before they think thoughts about you, or outwardly indicate that they've noticed your existence.

Having you as a contact does not make easier to flag your comments. It adds zero efficiency in finding your comments.

If someone (anyone, contact or no) systematically flagged all of your comments, it would not push you out of the community, it would push them out of the community, since this would be a clear pattern of bad-faith use of flags.

It would be a terrible bullying technique because you don't have any idea that it's happening and because it's only seen by the mods. Being flagged can't make you feel frustrated or discouraged from posting, because you don't know that it's happening, so it's not affecting your actions at all. And no-one else can see the flags, so they can't be used to instigate mob-rule ganging up on you.
posted by desuetude at 11:43 AM on May 3, 2013


What does everyone have against 3-2-1 Contact?
posted by Chrysostom at 11:44 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


wolfdreams01 - Your profile does not list name or location. How can we stalk you irl? If you fear cyber stalking, you will need to turn off your computer. Relax. Consider it a compliment if someone adds you to their contacts. Enjoy the odd subjects posted to the blue. Perhaps it would be well for you to avoid the rough and tumble that MetaTalk can be. Several people may have put you in Contacts because of this post.
posted by Cranberry at 11:47 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think that contacting someone to be sarcastic is sort of asinine. I have Paris Paramus & Steve C. Den Beste as sarcastic contacts. Is that who you want to be like, sarcastic contacters, huhn?

We do, really occasionally, see weird flagging things where a person seems inclined to flag everything by another user that perhaps annoys them


Well, let's be fair, I wouldn't have to do that if they tried shutting their effing yaps once in a while.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:47 AM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I recently added you as a contact too. Because I am terrible at remembering precise usernames. I want to remember the exact name of certain people who have said certain things, and a contact list is a better way of doing that for me than searching comments. I would never grudge-flag anyone.
posted by agregoli at 11:50 AM on May 3, 2013


In that light, being suspicious of people you know don't like you adding you to their contact list doesn't sound so paranoid to me.

But again, the approach taken here is really out of line. This callout of a couple users accuses them of stalking and bullying - or attempting to do so - with zero evidence to support this, and I think that's pretty shitty. That's aside from the fact that adding someone as a contact in order to do these things would actually not help you do those things at all. Corinth's adding of wolfdreams01 for the purpose of being able to ... I dunno, argue with him in threads underlines how fruitless this tactic is.

Zero harm is done by adding someone as a contact. Accusing other users, by name, of engaging or trying to engage in bannable offenses, with no evidence to support this, strikes me as a far worse offense.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:50 AM on May 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Paramus and Den Beste. Boy, the past IS a foreign country, huh?
posted by Chrysostom at 11:50 AM on May 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


Did you see that recent Mega Meta thread where users were dragging up Tanizaki's post history to vent their spleen, though?

Because before that, I would have thought that adding people as contacts just so that you could go in to threads where they are participating and tear them apart was paranoid, but now...man, I don't know.


Those things aren't connected. People who want to go digging through someone's posting history don't need to add them as a contact in order to do so. Adding someone as a contact makes it marginally easier to follow someone's contributions only if those contributions are a post, a comment with a lot of favorites, or a best answer. If one is truly going to comment-stalk someone here, adding them as a contact is much less efficient and complete than just keeping their recent activity page as your homepage or something.
posted by rtha at 11:51 AM on May 3, 2013 [17 favorites]


Speaking of Griphus, I did a google image search for Chris Onstad and saw a picture of him and Griphus on the first page of results. Freaky.
posted by hellojed at 11:52 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Worst Bond fanfic ever

Bluefinger
The Man with the Golden FPP
Octofavorites
The Sockpuppet Who Loved Me
Post and Don't Threadsit
Infodumpraker
posted by hattifattener at 11:53 AM on May 3, 2013 [10 favorites]


yeoz, don't put userpage stuff in threads, those things aren't viewable without being logged in and there's the expectation that they stay so.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:54 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Please don't bring up users from the last decade, it makes me feel really old. Like when I pulled out this comic book I thought was from the 90s and it was dated NINETEEN EIGHTY FIVE. I think all my organs almost fell out right there.

I do think this post is a good opportunity to discover that A: it's tempting to think that it's all about you, but this turns out to be wrong and a good way to get really anxious, and B: discovering that it's not all about you is such a relief! And by it, I mean everything.
posted by selfnoise at 11:55 AM on May 3, 2013


Thanks, don't mean to be a dick about it. Huggles.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:56 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


[Comment removed, what shakespeherian said. Even as just idle chatter let's be careful not to stick stuff from people's profile pages into threads.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:56 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oops. Sorry! My bad :( I really am a terrible person.
posted by yeoz at 11:56 AM on May 3, 2013


If one is truly going to comment-stalk someone here, adding them as a contact is much less efficient and complete than just keeping their recent activity page as your homepage or something.

I commissioned a bespoke iPhone app so my personal assistant can cyberstalk my Metafilter enemies more efficiently.
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:57 AM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Yeoz, you're kinda being a dick in this thread, honestly.
posted by misha at 11:58 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I just saw this thread and immediately went LOL. I was the one who suggested to Corinth that she add wolfdreams01 as a contact. She isn't really the type to flag wolfie's comments, but, she does like to argue

wd01's instincts about what was going on turn out to have been right.
posted by jamjam at 11:58 AM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I suspect "Siri - stalk prize bull octorok" is going to confuse the language parser.
posted by rmd1023 at 11:59 AM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Sorry, didn't see the deletion until after I posted.
posted by misha at 12:01 PM on May 3, 2013


Hey, yeoz is my favorite FTL crewmember even though I suck at that game. After all the boarders yeoz fought off while the ship was decompressing yeoz gets some slack.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:03 PM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


wd01's instincts about what was going on turn out to have been right.

It is known that people use the contact process to mean something other than "this person is literally my best friend" or "this person is my literal muse." Allowing people to add people they dislike as a social link is a feature, not a bug. Doing so shouldn't constitute harassment or cyberstalking.
posted by muddgirl at 12:03 PM on May 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


misha: " Did you see that recent Mega Meta thread where users were dragging up Tanizaki's post history to vent their spleen, though?

Let's include the context please.

He said he had never done something. Jessamyn said he had. He claimed again that he hadn't and challenged people to show him where he had done so.

He's not a victim and we shouldn't be treating him like one.
posted by zarq at 12:08 PM on May 3, 2013 [29 favorites]


Because before that, I would have thought that adding people as contacts just so that you could go in to threads where they are participating and tear them apart was paranoid, but now...man, I don't know.

Look, there are very few users with the attention span to stalk and tear apart other users. That takes EFFORT. And most of the time, when there's a user you particularly dislike, it's because they make a substantial effort to appear in places and in ways that make you dislike them.

I remember when I first become a member and St. Alia of the Bunnies was complaining about how even innocuous comments she made would turn into people derailing with attacks on her political/religious beliefs. That wasn't a conspiracy either. When somebody makes a comment that rubs you the wrong way, it's often memorable; when one person does it repeatedly, you remember that person. Few people intend to hold grudges, yet many do anyway.

In some cases, the biases people hold against each other can be problematic. For instance, in that old Alia thread she was pretty much correct that people were holding earlier, more frustrating comments of hers against her then-current behavior, which was far more good-faith and innocuous. Now I don't think I've heard a single user complain about her participation on MeFi in a couple of years. Similarly, I know I stepped on a whole bunch of toes when I joined, to the extent that one or two users told me flat-out that I was one of their least favorite people on the site. Now those users seem to like me okay, though it could be that they're still plotting in the shadows. I know that I am.

Suggesting that there's a conspiracy to follow wolfdreams01 about and make him feel unwelcome are absurd, because wolfdreams01 does such a good job of making people dislike him on his own! If anything, he's gotten even worse in the last few months, which is impressive since from literally his first comment on the site the reaction to his being here has been something like "what the fuck is your problem". This new turn towards paranoia and trans-hating has made his participation here as a user almost caricaturishly awful.

Personally speaking, I sort of feared that wolfdreams01 would wisen up and learn how to be a decent member of a community, because I'd have hated swallowing my initial impressions of him and admitting that he'd turned himself into a good community member. It wasn't until encountering some of his first couple of awful comments that I understood why other users found it so difficult to accept various long-standing members whose current behavior struck me as somewhat innocuous. History is impossible to forget and very difficult, at times, to forgive. Luckily, his commitment to generally pissing off 3/4ths of MetaFilter with every single thing that he ever chooses to say has made responding to his behavior much easier on my part.

I would still prefer wolfdreams01 to grow the fuck up and stop saying such vile things to his walking away an angry, paranoid bigot, and welcome him to attempt even a modicum of self-awareness whenever he sees fit. This place feels much more like a community when you start treating it like one.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:12 PM on May 3, 2013 [28 favorites]


If I were Tanizaki, it'd do a hell of a lot of good for my ego to know that I was the automatic subject of every new Meta for weeks after my specious complaints.
posted by gilrain at 12:13 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Allowing people to add people they dislike as a social link is a feature, not a bug

Well...nope. I don't think it is.

It's not what the mods want contacts to be used for, anyway, which is why we have no "nemesis" or "my goddamned ex" contact options.

And it seems petty, too, in a "Someone on the internet is wrong and I can't let it go," kind of way.

It's just sad.
posted by misha at 12:14 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Why isn't anyone listing me as a contact, just so they can bully me?

;_;
posted by Capt. Renault at 12:16 PM on May 3, 2013


For FTL 2 let's take up a collection to get Rory in the game to fight alongside yeoz.

All y'all are aces in my book, even WolfDreams.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:16 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It's not what the mods want contacts to be used for, anyway, which is why we have no "nemesis" or "my goddamned ex" contact options.

We did not make the system up. The XFN system is a thing that already existed and we used the existing values. It's true that we have been fine saying we didn't want to change it, but we didn't invent it.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 12:17 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I have Paris Paramus & Steve C. Den Beste as sarcastic contacts.

Is this some kind of distant early warning signal in case they ever show up again?
posted by octobersurprise at 12:19 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why isn't anyone listing me as a contact, just so they can bully me?

Done! ...you, you jerkface
posted by en forme de poire at 12:20 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Someone uncontacted me :(
I guess I should expect a lot of those. I've been a jerk lately.
posted by yeoz at 12:20 PM on May 3, 2013


(It's as though one of us is dancing to show the location of the flowers, and the other is spraying pheromones to indicate the presence of danger, and we are getting frustrated like "don't you even CARE that there are delicious flowers right over there?!" and they are getting angry like "I'm TELLING YOU, there's trouble coming. Why won't you LISTEN!?")

I'm suddenly picturing this as an early SNL sketch with Belushi and Akroyd in those bee costumes.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:22 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Yeoz, this is like the third time in this thread you've done something and then apologized saying, "sorry, I'm kind of acting like a jerk".

....Has it occurred to you to....not act like a jerk? It seems like it would at least save some time.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:23 PM on May 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


Hey, Den Beste's blog is still active! I had no idea.

Did he ever have a revelatory moment like some of the other Iraq true believers? I was too scared to actually read the blog.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:24 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


If people really wanted to hold grudges and keep notes on who they dislike, there are Greasemonkey scripts for that. The XFN system really is the mildest of mild in terms of expressing your feelings about other users.
posted by Phire at 12:25 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


None of this would be a problem if we implemented a 'friend' system instead of a 'contact' one.
Like • Comment • Share
posted by mazola at 12:26 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Did he ever have a revelatory moment like some of the other Iraq true believers?

No, he just took to blogging about anime women.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:30 PM on May 3, 2013


"wd01's instincts about what was going on turn out to have been right."

Well, except that it's neither cyberstalking nor bullying nor flagging. So, right in all the ways that don't matter; wrong in all the ways that do.
posted by klangklangston at 12:30 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Suggesting that there's a conspiracy to follow wolfdreams01 about and make him feel unwelcome are absurd, because wolfdreams01 does such a good job of making people dislike him on his own!

Well then, this turns out to be one of those absurdities that's true, because yeoz just confessed to doing it in conspiracy with Corinth.

Not that I would expect you to let what's really going on interfere with your preconceptions or anything, Rory.
posted by jamjam at 12:31 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Is this some kind of distant early warning signal in case they ever show up again?

I've considered removing contacts for people who have disabled their accounts, but thankfully I didn't because it meant that I noticed orthogonality was back when showed up in my contact activity.

It was great because it meant that I could send BREAKING NEWS style e-mails to some people I know.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 12:32 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Okay, who passed out the Insta-Jerk pills? It seems we've had a couple of takers in this thread already.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 12:34 PM on May 3, 2013


As a person who has from time to time organized her closet by a color/sleve length/occasion system, I would like to heartily endorse that SHUT UP.

I thought I was special when I organized my closet by sleeve length (sleeveless! short sleeves! long sleeves! sweaters!). I never thought about color or occassion.

Thanks for making me feel totally inadequate, phunnimee. *sniff*
posted by spinturtle at 12:34 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I think the F in XFN stands for friends. I think the IETF or whoever defined the format would be horrified to learn people are abusing their microformat to include non-friends. We should check the RFC.
posted by Ad hominem at 12:35 PM on May 3, 2013


I don't even sort my books by author or subject, just what looks good on the shelf.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:35 PM on May 3, 2013


Not that I would expect you to let what's really going on interfere with your preconceptions or anything, Rory.

Ouch! I'm wounded!

Friends talk about things. I have a hard time seeing that as a conspiracy. I gossip with a couple of other users about things happening here too. My Facebook is slowly being taken over by MeFites too, because MeFites are fun to talk to about things, and sometimes we talk about MetaFilter.

I take issue with the word "conspiracy" here because of its tonal implications. Conspiracy suggests you're up to something harmful, and adding a user to your contacts isn't super harmful. Especially since you only see contact activity when it's either a) a post or b) highly favorited, suggesting that contacts-ing a user will show you their activity in a good light.

The notion that people talking about other users is a bad thing strikes me as weird. And calling that sort of behavior a conspiracy makes it seem a lot more poor-intentioned than it usually is.
posted by Rory Marinich at 12:36 PM on May 3, 2013

"wd01's instincts about what was going on turn out to have been right."
Well, except that it's neither cyberstalking nor bullying nor flagging. So, right in all the ways that don't matter; wrong in all the ways that do.
Obviously it's not flagging, but intentionally and actively seeking out a particular person's comments so as to argue with them does strike me as at least akin to stalking and bullying.
posted by Flunkie at 12:37 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


For those of you concerned for my mental health, this enables me to get competently dressed for work in the morning without turning on the lights or even really being awake, so that's a pretty big win for me.

Yes, but what about the David Hasselhoff shrine?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 12:38 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Saying "you know, you can (somewhat) follow somebody on Metafilter by putting them on your contacts list" counts as a "conspiracy" is a real stretch.
posted by gauche at 12:40 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


intentionally and actively seeking out a particular person's comments so as to argue with them does strike me as at least akin to stalking and bullying.

I agree that this behavior is stalking and bullying, but it's not behavior we've seen any evidence of here.

Also, this is a good reminder to myself to reinstall the greasemonkey notes script, which was the best thing evar at helping me remember the real names of mefites I've met in person.
posted by rtha at 12:41 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


The notion that people talking about other users is a bad thing strikes me as weird.

Well, you know what they say: If you don't have anything nice to say.......then come sit by me!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:41 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes, but what about the David Hasselhoff shrine?

I have four closets in my apartment to reduce confusion. One for clothes, three for shrines.
posted by phunniemee at 12:41 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I organize my closet by sleeve length, and then color within sleeve length.

I am a completely normal boring person with two preschoolers who needs to be able to find the right shirt quickly. But then I am married to someone who orders the currency in his wallet by denomination and serial number.
posted by ambrosia at 12:41 PM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


It's true that we have been fine saying we didn't want to change it

Why? If XFN is one-way and doesn't easily permit approval, then why not make it opt-in like many other MetaFilter features? And if that's not feasible for some coding reason, then why not at least make it concealable from profiles?

I think what was going on with Wolfdreams01's contacts was shitty, but nevermind that. It's unfortunate this thread became about that, because really, what does anyone care why somebody doesn't want to be linked as a contact? What's the detriment to allowing people to opt-out? People are allowed to opt-out of MeMail, and that's a tool moderators explicitly encourage people to use.
posted by cribcage at 12:42 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, except that it's neither cyberstalking nor bullying nor flagging. So, right in all the ways that don't matter; wrong in all the ways that do.
posted by klangklangston


For utter fatuity, this is remarkable even for you, Klang.

Following someone around to make contrary comments in the wake of theirs is the very definition of cyberstalking around here, and unless you've been made secret mod or hacked into one of their accounts, you have no idea what they've flagged, of course.

Guess I'd have to admit you're something of an authority on bullying, though.
posted by jamjam at 12:44 PM on May 3, 2013


Just leaving a reminder to myself here to start a metatalk thread about contacts so people will contact me and I'll feel like I mean something to someone somewhere thanks Evernote.com.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:44 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I have four closets in apartment to reduce confusion. One for clothes, three for shrines.

Which one houses things for the dog to shred?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:45 PM on May 3, 2013

I agree that this behavior is stalking and bullying, but it's not behavior we've seen any evidence of here.
It's not? I mean, yeah, we didn't see anybody literally say "I added this contact so as to argue with them", but we did see something like "she likes to argue" as the reasoning given for why the contact was made.
posted by Flunkie at 12:46 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


ALL OF THEM.
sorry, david hasselhoff
posted by phunniemee at 12:46 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Allowing users to opt out of mefimail prevents other mefites from memailing that person.

Exactly what would allowing people to opt out of contacts prevent?
posted by rtha at 12:46 PM on May 3, 2013


Exactly what would allowing people to opt out of contacts prevent?

Being associated with someone you don't want to be associated with.
posted by morganannie at 12:47 PM on May 3, 2013


Yeah I understand the argument about opting out a la MeMail-- I was about to say 'Hey actually!' but then I realized that adding someone else as a contact is really a feature for me, not them, which isn't the same as MeMail.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:48 PM on May 3, 2013


intentionally and actively seeking out a particular person's comments so as to argue with them does strike me as at least akin to stalking and bullying.

One does not need to add someone to their contacts in order to do that, though. The profile page sets that all out for you. Unless you are suggesting that the "Contributions" section be hidden to everyone but that specific user. Which would be a terrible idea.
posted by ambrosia at 12:48 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


It takes all of five seconds to go to someone's user page and look at their recent comments. This is some MOM, HE'S BREATHING ON ME nonsense right here.
posted by mintcake! at 12:50 PM on May 3, 2013 [29 favorites]


o hai, ambrosia
posted by mintcake! at 12:51 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Being associated with someone you don't want to be associated with.

Except contacts are asymmetric. I think we perhaps tend to think of 'associated with' as a symmetric relation, but because there's no approval of incoming contacts, that pretty much kills the symmetry.

At least one person has added me as a contact and I have no idea whatsoever who they are. I even looked at the profile to try and figure it out and failed. Clearly, they think I'm brilliant and wish to know when I post or have a comment with a load of favourites. Or... we kind of live in the same general area and they added a bunch of local people as contacts. I mean, I hope it's not the case that this person is seriously objectionable and that now everyone thinks I know them, but I kind of assumed people thought you didn't necessarily know the people who listed you as contacts.
posted by hoyland at 12:53 PM on May 3, 2013


These are the valid types of friends per XFN 1.1

contact
Someone you know how to get in touch with. Often symmetric.

acquaintance
Someone who you have exchanged greetings and not much (if any) more — maybe a short conversation or two. Often symmetric.

friend
Someone you are a friend to. A compatriot, buddy, home(boy|girl) that you know. Often symmetric.


How weak.For 1.2 they really need to add BFF and totes besties and frenemy
posted by Ad hominem at 12:55 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]

One does not need to add someone to their contacts in order to do that, though. The profile page sets that all out for you.
Yes, there are other ways to stalk/bully people by intentionally seeking out their comments and arguing with them. So? How does that make this way not stalking/bullying?
Unless you are suggesting that the "Contributions" section be hidden to everyone but that specific user. Which would be a terrible idea.
I'm not suggesting anything at all. I'm disagreeing with the notion that the apparent reason behind this particular contact being made was not akin to stalking or bullying.
posted by Flunkie at 12:55 PM on May 3, 2013


"Following someone around to make contrary comments in the wake of theirs is the very definition of cyberstalking around here,

Well, no, cyberstalking would require harassing. Disagreeing with people isn't harassing, unless everyone has as low a tolerance for dissent as you have. Calling it stalking and bullying is hyperbolic and devalues actual instances of cyberstalking and bullying. Especially since there's no actual evidence that Corinth has followed through on doing any of that.

and unless you've been made secret mod or hacked into one of their accounts, you have no idea what they've flagged, of course.

Given that flags don't work like that, and given that it would require a lot more effort than anyone's demonstrated, and given that there's no evidence of it to speak of, you're pouring from Russel's teapot there.

Guess I'd have to admit you're something of an authority on bullying, though."

It's kind of you to recognize that, though the impact factor for my publications hasn't been sufficient for tenure :(
posted by klangklangston at 12:55 PM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Jeez. I'm fairly new here and relatively unfamiliar with the culture surrounding contacts, but I saw that not that girl had contacted wolfdreams01 and assumed that that meant there was some precedent for contacting people you aren't friends with and might often disagree with. I'm not even entirely clear (yet) on the exact mechanism by which it's easier or more convenient to see your contact's contributions, I just figured that it would be and didn't see any harm in it. I had noticed that he was often in threads that I was often in and was curious about what else he was saying.

I certainly wasn't using it to facilitate some kind of obsessive flagging or bullying operation, but I can understand where he's coming from. I have removed the contact and apologize for misreading/misusing the feature and the ruckus I seem to have caused.
posted by Corinth at 12:58 PM on May 3, 2013 [28 favorites]


It's not you, Corinth! You didn't do anything wrong!
posted by cranberry_nut at 12:59 PM on May 3, 2013 [28 favorites]


Thanks for making me feel totally inadequate, phunnimee. *sniff*

You are better off than me! I learned the whole Internet is more orderly than I! I mean I could have guessed, since I am sitting here in fuchsia shoes and a teal shirt that I wore on purpose, but it is sad to have to confront the truth.
posted by winna at 12:59 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Corinth: "I have removed the contact and apologize for misreading/misusing the feature and the ruckus I seem to have caused."

I don't think you misused or misread the feature. I don't think you did anything wrong.

Frankly, I think you're owed an apology by wolfdreams01 for assuming the absolute worst of you.
posted by zarq at 1:01 PM on May 3, 2013 [49 favorites]


I just got a memail notification and was excited for a second that someone had been cyberstalking me and was sending me mail, but no, it was an askme notification. So sad.
posted by knapah at 1:02 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Would we be better served by not displaying the 'Linked by:' data publicly? at all?
posted by mazola at 1:02 PM on May 3, 2013


That's nice and all, Corinth, but we were in the middle of being really shitty to each other so could you go take the high road somewhere where we can't see you, please?
posted by mintcake! at 1:03 PM on May 3, 2013 [25 favorites]


Following someone around to make contrary comments in the wake of theirs is the very definition of cyberstalking around here

I'd call it the definition of a big fat waste of time, if it happened. And if it did, not too long afterwards a mod would probably tell the person to knock it off and everything would be fine they would take to metatalk. Juvenile, maybe, but two quasi-anonymous people arguing in a moderated forum seems a pretty low bar for "cyberstalking." YMMV.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:04 PM on May 3, 2013


It's amusing how even after the OP and supporters were educated on how the site actually works (vs. how they perceive it to work) they went ahead planted that flag anyway and hunkered down.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 1:05 PM on May 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


It's small of me, I suppose, but pointing out your blatantly obvious errors and watching you turn yourself inside out demonstrating your complete incapacity to acknowledge them does have its enjoyable aspects, Klang.
posted by jamjam at 1:05 PM on May 3, 2013


jamjam: "It's small of me, I suppose, but pointing out your blatantly obvious errors and watching you turn yourself inside out demonstrating your complete incapacity to acknowledge them does have its enjoyable aspects, Klang."

C'mon, buddy.
posted by boo_radley at 1:07 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's not an exact analogy, but this all strikes me as about as big of a deal as following someone on Twitter. There are one or two people following me over there I'd be just as glad to have not following what I'm up to, but you know, it's the price of public communication. I can see how calling them contacts and letting contacts declare the relationship can be misleading, initially, but anyone exposed to ironic emspousening figures that out pretty quickly.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 1:07 PM on May 3, 2013


Put my second ex-wife on the no-contact list, please.

BTW, that guy in Delaware who tried to hack into my Facebook account: What the hell are thinking? Please, let's not be Facebook in here.

I'm still a little baffled by the contact list. One guy to linked me explained in his splash page that he likes to link those who tell good stories. Otherwise I dunno. I really do look at who fave's me, though. It makes me humble. You guys are the best.
posted by mule98J at 1:09 PM on May 3, 2013


It's really not you, Corinth. You can make people contacts for a large swath of reasons, good and nefarious and everything in between. I also think it would be nice if you got an apology.
posted by rtha at 1:10 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


P.S. I added you (Corinth) as a contact earlier today. I thought I had already done that, but I looked and nope, so now you are.
posted by rtha at 1:11 PM on May 3, 2013


Can we go back to MeTa threads trailing off into recipes *and* weird grudgey potshots instead of just the latter?
posted by PMdixon at 1:11 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


jamjam: " Well then, this turns out to be one of those absurdities that's true, because yeoz just confessed to doing it in conspiracy with Corinth."

And who did Corinth get her orders from??? THIS THING GOES ALL THE WAY TO THE TOP, PEOPLE!
posted by tonycpsu at 1:12 PM on May 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


How about a recipe for weird grudgey potshots, PMdixon?
posted by cranberry_nut at 1:12 PM on May 3, 2013


"It's small of me, I suppose, but pointing out your blatantly obvious errors and watching you turn yourself inside out demonstrating your complete incapacity to acknowledge them does have its enjoyable aspects, Klang."

YKINMKBYKIOK
posted by klangklangston at 1:13 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


PMdixon: "Can we go back to MeTa threads trailing off into recipes *and* weird grudgey potshots instead of just the latter?"

This whole thread is a recipe for weird grudgey potshots.
posted by zarq at 1:14 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


YKINMKBYKIOK

I haven't listened to them since the 80s.
posted by mazola at 1:15 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


> Well then, this turns out to be one of those absurdities that's true, because yeoz just confessed to doing it in conspiracy with Corinth.

No. Two people agreeing in their opinion of a third user is not a conspiracy. And adding wolfdreams as a contact does not prove nor refute any intention to "follow" wolfdreams around the site to argue with him.
posted by desuetude at 1:15 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


"This whole thread is a recipe for weird grudgey potshots."

Isn't a recipe for weird grudgey potshots what started all that trouble in Boston?
posted by klangklangston at 1:15 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


YKINMKBYKIOK

Has anyone in this family ever even seen a chicken?
posted by dialetheia at 1:16 PM on May 3, 2013 [24 favorites]



How about a recipe for weird grudgey potshots, PMdixon?


Weird grungy potstickers?
posted by curious nu at 1:16 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


OMG! NOOOOOOOOOO! Why is It's Raining Florence Henderson's account disabled?
Did somebody bully-spouse-stalk Florence.
Something strange too, it popped up on my sidebar that IRFH added IRFH as a contact an hour ago. WHAT?
posted by QueerAngel28 at 1:17 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just taking a break. It's fine. Please chill.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 1:18 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


oh thank god. I heart Florence.
posted by QueerAngel28 at 1:19 PM on May 3, 2013


klang, could you maybe not joke about that?
posted by gauche at 1:20 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I had grudgey potshots at this awesome dumpling place in chinatown. The place is a total hole in the wall, and like nobody speaks english so I am trying to point at the pictures of the grudgey potshots on the wall, but the grudgey potshots are like 50 cents for 6 and sooo delicious.

Anyway, I am kinda like the legal expert at my office and I think you need three people for a conspiracy. Or is that a RICO charge ? Is saying someone is your friend when they are not wire fraud?
posted by Ad hominem at 1:21 PM on May 3, 2013


Weird Grudgey Pot Roast Recipe

Ingredients:

3 1/2 lb beef shoulder or boneless chuck roast
2 tbsp olive oil
2 large yellow onions, sliced lengthwise
4 carrots, peeled and cut lengthwise
4 cloves of garlic, peeled
1/2 cup red wine
1 axe, well ground
1 grievance, nursed
1/2 cup resentment
1 tsp bitterness
1 bay leaf
salt, pepper, Italian seasoning to taste

Serve cold, vengefully
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:21 PM on May 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


Isn't a recipe for weird grudgey potshots what started all that trouble in Boston?

C'mon, dude.
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 1:21 PM on May 3, 2013


> Would we be better served by not displaying the 'Linked by:' data publicly? at all?

Ohh, but then wolfdreams would have no idea who has linked to him. He wouldn't know who to investigate.
posted by desuetude at 1:22 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


To provide some balance with weird grudgey potshots, I present an awesome recipe:

salsa di parmigiano (aka "Cheese crack")
I originally got this from napastyle.com, but it looks like this is behind a membership wall, now. The recipe is available a bunch of other places online, as well as the google shows.
Yield: 3-1/2 cups (serves 16)
  • 1/2-lb. Parmesan cheese, not too dry
  • 1/2-lb. Asiago cheese, not too dry
  • 2 Tbs. chopped green onion
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 cups extra-virgin olive oil
Directions:
Remove any rind from the cheeses and chop the cheeses into rough 1-inch chunks. Pulse the cheeses in a food processor until reduced to the size of fine pea gravel. Transfer the cheese to a bowl and stir in the green onion and garlic. Add the oregano, rubbing it between your fingers to release its fragrance. Add the black pepper, red pepper flakes and olive oil. Stir well. Cover and let stand at room temperature for at least 4 hours before using.
So yummy. Smear it on fresh warm bread and oh wow the tastiness.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:22 PM on May 3, 2013 [31 favorites]


I'm disagreeing with the notion that the apparent reason behind this particular contact being made was not akin to stalking or bullying.

Apparent being the operative word.

And, the apparent reason as advanced by whom? Not by Corinth, until just recently. By other people (including the OP, who put the worst possible spin on it) who are not Corinth. Why assume that reasons other people put forth are Corinth's reasons when she hadn't even chimed in yet?
posted by rtha at 1:23 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Sorry about that. It was a bit gauche (no pun intended).
posted by klangklangston at 1:23 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]

Apparent being the operative word.
Yes... that's why I used it.
posted by Flunkie at 1:26 PM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


Incidentally, this thread reminds me of a funny poem. I prefer to think its intended meaning is still most relevant, but a literal reading works too.
posted by Monsieur Caution at 1:27 PM on May 3, 2013 [16 favorites]


Weird Grudgey Pot Roast

Serve with a Dry Churlishness.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:27 PM on May 3, 2013


Monsieur Caution: "Incidentally, this thread reminds me of a funny poem. I prefer to think its intended meaning is still most relevant, but a literal reading works too."

Heh. Very appropriate.

Anne Lamott quotes it in Bird by Bird.
posted by zarq at 1:28 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


prize bull octorok: "Weird Grudgey Pot Roast Recipe

Serve cold, vengefully
"

For a fun variation, try screaming at your pot roast before serving.
posted by boo_radley at 1:28 PM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


<3 Anne Lamott.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:30 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I guess we were due for an angsty thread. It's been...

Oh, we haven't even made it a day since the last one?

Carry on.
posted by cjorgensen at 1:32 PM on May 3, 2013


I get even less done on "Fucking Fuck You Fridays" than I did on "Friday Flash Fun" days.

This game remains my favorite. Total time suck, combined with so much virtuous clicking.

Oh, the clicking, the wonderful frenetic clicking.

Clickity click.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 1:47 PM on May 3, 2013 [8 favorites]


Although this thread did prompt me to add back everyone who contacted me whom I didn't already have as a contact. Yay! I like the illusion of friends.

And if you grudge-added me: HA HA, joke's on you, now I get to mess with your tags.
posted by Phire at 1:54 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yes... that's why I used it.

I have totally lost track of your point.

I think that stalking and bullying someone is wrong and shouldn't happen. I have seen nothing in this thread to indicate that this is a thing that anyone who has added wolfdreams as a contact has actually done (to him or anyone else). I haven't seen anything that demonstrates that just adding someone as a contact is proof enough that there is intent or desire to stalk or bully the person.

All I've seen is a bunch of assumptions about why [mefite A] might add [mefite B] as a contact, and the leaping to the conclusion that it must be a bad reason and will end up as stalking and bullying. I think those are really shitty assumptions for anyone to leap to.
posted by rtha at 1:56 PM on May 3, 2013


This is MetaFilter. We're ALL lunchroom weirdos. We are the paste eaters. WE ARE THE ONE WHO KNOCKS.
posted by elizardbits at 8:16 AM on May 3 [9 favorites +] [!]


Meanwhile, at the actual lunchroom weirdo table, many a "they go too far" and "oh hell no" are heard.
posted by fleacircus at 1:56 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


rtha: "Apparent being the operative word.

And, the apparent reason as advanced by whom? Not by Corinth, until just recently. By other people (including the OP, who put the worst possible spin on it) who are not Corinth. Why assume that reasons other people put forth are Corinth's reasons when she hadn't even chimed in yet?
"

I mean, my hope (fueled by an ongoing incomplete understanding of contacts) was that adding wolfreams01 as a contact would prevent me from having to look at his userpage to stare at every comment he made to see anything at all of what he was up to, and instead incorporate a digest of some of his more interesting activity into a feed along with that of my few other contacts. My intention was, honestly, to avoid having to see everything he did (if I wanted to see anything he did) while being occasionally exposed to the highlights. I don't have the mindspace to stalk, and even if I did I definitely wouldn't squander it thusly.

I didn't think that getting a contact was something that generated an active notification (I don't think I've gotten notifications when people have contacted me) - if so, I can understand that that might feel invasive. I follow/friend people on other aggregation websites where it's more a subscription to a certain flow of information than any sort of statement of intent. I misjudged the particular implementation and treatment of the system here, and in the context of the conservatives-backed-into-a-corner bubbling of the last week or two I can understand his reaction. It was a combination of misunderstanding and mistiming on my part; no malice was intended.
posted by Corinth at 1:56 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I didn't think that getting a contact was something that generated an active notification

It doesn't. Your contact count on your profile page goes up or down. That's it.
posted by rtha at 2:00 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah just to be clear, there isn't a notification. Some people tend to notice that sort of thing, others don't. I click the little "show new" link sometimes to see who has added me recently.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:00 PM on May 3, 2013


It does show in your Contact Activity and therefore that portion of the sidebar.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:03 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


But only if you are a contact of yourself, I think. Might be wrong about that.
posted by rtha at 2:05 PM on May 3, 2013


I just looked at my own contact page out of curiosity, and it has brightened my day immensely. Apparently I'm Blasdelb's sister, and FuriousXGeorge and Drinky Die are my parents!

Family dinners will certainly be interesting from here on out.
posted by KathrynT at 2:05 PM on May 3, 2013 [12 favorites]


How long has it been since I've listened to the Barenaked Ladies? Well... ITS BEEN**
...
a long time I guess.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:06 PM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


Wouldn't it better if, when you added someone as a contact, they got hot fresh cinnamon buns instead?
posted by The Whelk at 2:06 PM on May 3, 2013 [14 favorites]


But only if you are a contact of yourself, I think. Might be wrong about that.

Hmm. That's possible, but in mine it shows 'xBongzilla69x added you as a contact' instead of 'xBongzilla69x added shakespeherian as a contact' so I am led to believe you are wrong.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:09 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I'm trying to stay away from bread-like things, can I get tacos al pastor instead when someone adds me as a contact? Thanks in advance! Mmmm, tacos.
posted by palomar at 2:09 PM on May 3, 2013


WINDMILLS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY

Windmills are monstrous. To hell with those avecidal death towers! Sky abbatoirs!
posted by Mister_A at 2:15 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


FWIW I've already got hot fresh cinnamon buns.

I wanna live with a cinnamon bun
I could be happy the rest of my life
With a cinnamon bun
posted by Mister_A at 2:16 PM on May 3, 2013 [11 favorites]


Whenever you add me as a contact the area around you slowly beings to fill with the scent of fresh cut mint.
posted by The Whelk at 2:20 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


A lover of pastries
I eat in the night
You see us together,
glazing like moonlight
My cinnamon bun
posted by shakespeherian at 2:21 PM on May 3, 2013 [9 favorites]


Wolfdreams01, I think it is very possible that you are being added by people out of a "hurts so good" motivation ... That is, they absolutely HATE your contributions but at the same time they like reading them out of a kind of perverse, masochistic, this-guy-is-a-freak-but-it's-weirdly-compelling-to-see-what-the-latest-craziness-from-him-is urge.
posted by Unified Theory at 2:21 PM on May 3, 2013


^Rude
Accurate
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:24 PM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Okay, who passed out the Insta-Jerk pills? It seems we've had a couple of takers in this thread already.

The line is actually," Oh yeah? Well the Jerk Store called, and they're running out of YOU!"

Or, "Well, I slept with your wife!"
posted by discopolo at 2:25 PM on May 3, 2013


Whenever you add me as a contact the area around you slowly beings to fill with the scent of fresh cut mint.

Waiting... still waiting... I smell no mint, only burnt office coffee.

On topic, I am running through a strange mental list of people and turning it into my MeFi contact list.
posted by RainyJay at 2:28 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Yeah I understand the argument about opting out a la MeMail-- I was about to say 'Hey actually!' but then I realized that adding someone else as a contact is really a feature for me, not them, which isn't the same as MeMail.

MeMail isn't a feature that is specifically for the other user. And contacts may indeed be intended for you, but they aren't a personal-only feature in the sense of, for instance, allowing you to subscribe to an individual thread, or letting you create a feed of all posts with a certain tag. When you add someone as a contact, it's a social act. It's even labeled as such. And your act displays on their profile.

But again, I think the point is that nobody can seem to articulate any detriment. "XFN doesn't easily permit approvals" is totally reasonable. That would be a nice feature, but if it's difficult to implement then so be it. When you move the goalposts to making participation optional, I really can't fathom why anybody cares.

Disagreeing with people isn't harassing

It can be. If somebody is following you around in many, many threads to post contrary comments immediately after yours (like, immediately), it's pattern behavior that sinks past the characterization, "What? I'm just disagreeing with you!" even if the individual comments themselves aren't delete-worthy. I don't know if that's happened to Wolfdreams01, but it's happened to me. I ignored the person and eventually he stopped.
posted by cribcage at 2:28 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


If somebody is following you around in many, many threads to post contrary comments immediately after yours (like, immediately), it's pattern behavior that sinks past the characterization, "What? I'm just disagreeing with you!" even if the individual comments themselves aren't delete-worthy.

If that happens to anyone, by all means send us a note. That is definitely moderation-requiring behavior there, and we would be happy to step in and handle it.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 2:31 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


When you move the goalposts to making participation optional, I really can't fathom why anybody cares.

Well because like I said, my adding you as a contact affects my experience with the site-- it really doesn't affect yours whatsoever except for a tick up on your profile page. If you have the ability to veto my contacting you then you're holding veto power over my site experience despite its not affecting your own experience. So what good is that? It seems like it's about as valuable as giving you the ability to make your FPPs not show up on anyone's recent activity page.
posted by shakespeherian at 2:32 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Team,

Can we get a ruling on these notifications in the sidebar? What is the expected behavior?

I see two notifications that say "added you as a contact". One of the people I added first, and one added me first. The fact that some people don't get these makes me think there is an option somewhere or a bug. Can we nail this down and get a dev and qa tasked with this issue? We also need to get with business and determine how hot this issue is, are they looking for a hotfix in the immediate timeframe or can we let this issue marinade until the next scheduled release.

Thanks,
posted by Ad hominem at 2:48 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Because of this thread, I enspousened someone and then became part of the cabal. I won't tell you who, because it's a family affair. wolfdreams01 totally tell me if you want to be in the cabal, and we can enspousen you. Maybe it will help you feel like you're part of the community, which you are. (If being a grump got you kicked out of the community, I would be wandering lonely in the wastelands. Luckily, having a little good will towards people smooths over the rough patches.)
posted by stoneweaver at 2:49 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


This was also my bad, I sort of forget that we have a sidebar and I don't think of it as a notification space, but yeah that information is there.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 2:52 PM on May 3, 2013


There is no Cabal, it's just a shadowy meeting of dark robbed figures in the middle of the woods on a moonless night OF FRIENDS.
posted by The Whelk at 2:53 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


Thanks for the QTA on the sidebar issue.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:55 PM on May 3, 2013


If you have the ability to veto my contacting you then you're holding veto power over my site experience despite its not affecting your own experience.

But it does. First, that "tick" on your/my profile page might be a very minor and silly matter to some people, but hey, some people care about little things more than others. Some of the longstanding users' famous profile pages are a good testament to the fact that user pages have been considered sacrosanct around here. Prior to the enspousening thread I hadn't thought much about contacts, but once I did, it struck me as weird that other users could unilaterally affect what shows up on my profile page. Weird, and undesirable. I'd opt-out if given the opportunity.

Not to dig too deeply into this, but I care who I'm linked to. I don't have Facebook friends who post weird racist or ranty messages. And I use my real name here; I'm not anonymous. If somebody unfamiliar with MetaFilter stumbles across my profile, which I'm sure has happened, I'd like to control whether they see me linked to another user who may have posted some craaaaazy stuff. I don't want to have to worry about anybody understanding the fine points of XFN...because they won't. Most people I associate with aren't IT types. The reasonable assumption for a stranger (to MetaFilter) to make is that I approved those contacts.

Second, contacts are social; and what's social, by definition, doesn't just affect one person. We aren't just talking about "Joe's site experience" here; we're talking about "Joe's site experience vis-a-vis Martha." Maybe the way you individually use contacts is totally passive and invisible, but that's anecdotal. That's a good reason why you should be allowed to use the tool, but not why somebody else shouldn't have the opportunity to opt-out of it. If that person's choice renders the tool slightly less useful, well, so be it. At that point I think we're back to the MeMail comparison.

If that happens to anyone, by all means send us a note.

For the record, yeah, I deliberately chose to ignore the person instead of doing that. I didn't mean to suggest it was something the mods "allowed" to happen. (I don't think you were moderating back then. It was a long time ago.)
posted by cribcage at 2:55 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


There is no Cabal, it's just a shadowy meeting of dark robbed figures in the middle of the woods on a moonless night OF FRIENDS.

Oh, right. I'm still waiting on my full bylaws.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:57 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I mean robe.
posted by stoneweaver at 2:59 PM on May 3, 2013


You don't think 'Links to' and 'Linked by' stacked right atop one another -- with different numbers, and different resulting lists -- makes it pretty clear even to the casual observer that these aren't symmetrical relationships?
posted by shakespeherian at 3:04 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've aimed for symmetry, believe me. Even with my Two Golden Rules of Contacts, there are still a greater number of Links To than Linked By.

Despite this imbalance, I can assure you all that I will not begin a Great Purge of those Linked To in order to make it match the number of Linked By ... yet.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:09 PM on May 3, 2013


A social network for people who don't know like each other.
posted by shothotbot at 3:12 PM on May 3, 2013


You don't think 'Links to' and 'Linked by' stacked right atop one another -- with different numbers, and different resulting lists -- makes it pretty clear even to the casual observer that these aren't symmetrical relationships?

No. When it comes to what's on a computer screen, I've seen a lot of confusion over things that are, to me, stunningly obvious. And this one wasn't stunningly obvious even to me. Moreover, for many people the concept of social networking is defined by Facebook (or vice versa), so I'd almost say that no matter how explicit you make it, a fair number of non-MeFites will look at any kind of social connection and assume there was a "Friend Request? Confirm!" behind it.

Step back to the social component for a moment. Contacts have been the default in this community for a long time, so I don't mean to suggest there's anything weird about Bill linking to Mike or Sue or Jody. There isn't. But when Jody says, "I'd actually like to not participate in that," and Bill responds, "Well, I kinda don't care, I want to link to you and I should get to"...? Don't you think that becomes an awkward social dynamic?
posted by cribcage at 3:13 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get you.
posted by double block and bleed at 3:14 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


A social network for people who don't like each other.

Facelessbook. You have 5 Friends and 3,698,022 Enemies.
posted by The Whelk at 3:15 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


So, to be clear, cribcage, the issue you are raising would be addressed if other people's contacting of you were hidden, yes? Your issue is not about whether people can unilaterally contact you, but whether their choice affects what is visible on your profile page?
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 3:15 PM on May 3, 2013


I appreciate that you feel this way cribcage, but I think the argument that someone might be confused by one aspect of the contacts feature is not a strong argument for making a big change to a frequently used site feature.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 3:15 PM on May 3, 2013


Moreover, for many people the concept of social networking is defined by Facebook (or vice versa)

But also Twitter! And Twitter works this way. (Actually I think Facebook just started working this way too-- I now apparently have the ability to 'follow' people without them reciprocating.)

I mean, sure, there will probably always be people who don't grasp even the most blindingly obvious, like you said. But especially when you're talking about non-site-users and designing site features around them-- that feels, to me, like a nonstarter.
posted by shakespeherian at 3:16 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you go to the front page, there's an option to hide the contact activity sidebar altogether. If you click the "All Activity" down at the bottom of the sidebar, you will be taken to a page where you can tick or untick things you want to see in the sidebar - so, whether someone has added you, whether a contact has added someone else, posted something, gotten a best answer, etc.

That doesn't affect what shoes up on your profile, just what you see on the front page in that sidebar.
posted by rtha at 3:17 PM on May 3, 2013


(cribcage I was about to send you a memail saying 'I hope I'm not coming across as too argumentative, let me know if I'm being a dick' but it turns out you have memail turned off so... let me know if I'm being a dick)
posted by shakespeherian at 3:19 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


OK, I'm doing it! I just got surprise enspousened which has inspired me to start adding contacts even though it feels a little weird and vaguely like social networking. As stated above, I am marking everyone as 'crush' because I have word-crushes on all of you. Zero snark: if that upsets or bothers you, I apologize and please let me know! I will remove it ASAP.
posted by divined by radio at 3:22 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I guess it wouldn't be the end of the world to allow people to opt out of contacts all together.
posted by shothotbot at 3:31 PM on May 3, 2013


So, to be clear, cribcage, the issue you are raising would be addressed if other people's contacting of you were hidden, yes?

I'd certainly like that feature, or one that just showed reciprocal connections. Given that the contactee is entirely passive, I'm not sure what purpose it has. Absolutely granted, Twitter and Tumblr and whatever else may work differently, but hey, the world is full of wonderful differences.

(I also wouldn't mind opting out of contacts altogether, as shothotbot says.)
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:33 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


To expand on my previous comment a bit, which came off unnecessarily harsh ...

I think you are an interesting user, wolfdreams01. You are one of the VERY FEW members who I sometimes recognize simply by what you write (I'll often find myself thinking, "wait, is this wolfdreams01?" *scrolls down* "Oh yes it is.")

I actually think your contributions are interesting even though I completely disagree with you much of the time ... and it's like nails on a chalkboard to read your description of the utilitarian calculus by which you seem to live your life.

But ... but ... at least you're interesting and recognizable, which is something. You're not boring and you're not bland and even when I dislike your comments, I enjoy reading them. Is that weird?

Anyway, maybe people who seem to be your ideological opposite are adding you as a contact because they feel the same way.

It doesn't have to be anything sinister. It could be that they find you interesting even though they disagree with you.
posted by Unified Theory at 3:36 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


This game remains my favorite.

NO

WHY DID YOU DO THE THING

THE BAD THING
posted by elizardbits at 3:51 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


It doesn't have to be anything sinister. It could be that they find you interesting even though they disagree with you.

Yep.

There are certain posters I follow with extra interest specifically because they rub my fur the wrong way. When I get that familiar flash of irritation reading something from one of those people, it always indicates to me that there is something about them that reminds me of an unpleasant trait in myself. And it gives me a clue to something I might want to keep an eye on in my own postings.

I'm sure there's a psychological term for it.

(wolfdreams01 does not happen to be on my "watch list".)
posted by nacho fries at 3:52 PM on May 3, 2013


I guess it wouldn't be the end of the world to allow people to opt out of contacts all together.
Just to be painfully clear, I like contacts because I find threads I might have missed becuaae my contacts get best answers or favorites so I would opt in. However, I see contacts as secondary and I think there would be only a modest reduction in my enjoyment if comments were optional.
posted by shothotbot at 3:55 PM on May 3, 2013


So, to be clear, cribcage, the issue you are raising would be addressed if other people's contacting of you were hidden, yes? Your issue is not about whether people can unilaterally contact you, but whether their choice affects what is visible on your profile page?

No, I'd prefer to opt-out of the system. If that option were provided, I'd take it.

Ideally, I think it should be an approval system like Facebook. "Contact request? Confirmed!" But I understand XFN doesn't permit that, and I definitely don't think this is an issue that should merit MetaFilter doing boatloads of recoding. I think the fallback should be opting-in (or out). I assume that wouldn't require tinkering with XFN...but I truly don't know the first thing about coding, so my fallback-fallback question is, "If A and B can't happen, can it just be hidden from your profile?"

I think the argument that someone might be confused by one aspect of the contacts feature is not a strong argument for making a big change to a frequently used site feature.

To be clear, I don't think this is a major issue. It isn't hampering my enjoyment of MetaFilter. I wouldn't have opened a MetaTalk thread about it. But when other people have, I've agreed with them. That's about the level of my emotional investment: I think it's a change that should happen, but if it continues not to, I'll shrug and be fine. It's just that the pushback confounds me. Making things optional is usually a popular concept here. MeMail is optional. If somebody doesn't want to be linked to, who cares why?

it turns out you have memail turned off so... let me know if I'm being a dick

Nope, we're cool and I hope you feel the same. For my part, I don't feel like we're clashing, just disagreeing. I'm wary of coming across that way too and that's one of the reasons I do that Bill/Bobby/Sue thing instead of using first- and second-person pronouns. I feel like it helps me depersonalize away from sounding like, "I disagree with YOU!" I try to address the ideas not the person, and I hope I convey that.

As for MeMail being turned off...not everybody sees that and decides to post in the thread rather than trying extra-hard, so again, I'd like to talk about that in the future. For another day, but yeah, bonus points. We're totally cool, and I'm glad you challenged me on some of those questions. On that note I'm headed to dinner, so please nobody think I'm taking my ball and going home if I don't answer further questions in a timely manner. I feel like maybe I've monopolized this a bit anyway, and I apologize for that.
posted by cribcage at 4:03 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


In other words, the goal would be to push me out of the community by flagging every single comment I make

They tried that with me and I'm still here, ha ha. And I think you know who they are. Oh yes. Them. The bastards.

I would just like to say that I have never flagged anything, ever. Unless I did it once when I was especially drunk. I do a lot of things once, when I'm especially drunk.
posted by Decani at 4:06 PM on May 3, 2013


The fact that some people don't get these makes me think there is an option somewhere or a bug...

There is an option on your Contact Activity page. The right sidebar has a little form labeled "Showing Activity From" where you can choose what activity you see on that page and the sidebar. One option you can check is "Added You" which will show you when someone adds you as a contact. You can uncheck that option and you won't see those.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:14 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


"It can be. If somebody is following you around in many, many threads to post contrary comments immediately after yours (like, immediately), it's pattern behavior that sinks past the characterization, "What? I'm just disagreeing with you!" even if the individual comments themselves aren't delete-worthy. I don't know if that's happened to Wolfdreams01, but it's happened to me. I ignored the person and eventually he stopped.

I'm sorry that happened to you, man, but that this happened to you in another context does not mean it's happening to WD01 here, nor that the remedy of talking to the mods is unavailable. So I'd stand by my statement that disagreeing isn't harassment, because what makes your experience harassment is the sustained, repeated experience (and, I assume, you told them to knock it off).

"Some of the longstanding users' famous profile pages are a good testament to the fact that user pages have been considered sacrosanct around here."

Not really. The reason why Gator and TPS have sacrosanct profiles is because they were grandfathered into CSS changes. You might have an argument if people weren't allowed to bring up stuff from the profile page in conversations, but that's not true, e.g. Crunchland method.

Finally, and I might be wrong about this, but I think contacts and the rest of the info is only available to people who are logged in. People who are logged in are members and have an affirmative duty to understand bits of site culture like the asynchronous contacts.
posted by klangklangston at 4:24 PM on May 3, 2013


I assume if contact activity shows up in your sidebar, it will also show up in the RSS feed. (I also assume if you're using the contact RSS feed, you're going to know what's going on, but I know what assuming does.)
posted by immlass at 4:26 PM on May 3, 2013


Yep, what you see in the sidebar is what you will see in the RSS feed.
posted by pb (staff) at 4:27 PM on May 3, 2013


The real burning issue on mefi is the distinct lack of Polish tractor videos.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:38 PM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


There was a meta about best profile pages wasn't there? It isn't like they are secret.
posted by Ad hominem at 5:11 PM on May 3, 2013


There have been at least 4-5 metas about profile pages over the past few years. It's like people think the site search window is invisible or something, idk.
posted by elizardbits at 5:15 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've been searching my feelings

I don't need to search metafilter.
posted by boo_radley at 5:32 PM on May 3, 2013


Searching my feelings is a lot like searching metafilter in that I start in earnest and then get distracted by Batman.
posted by The Whelk at 5:52 PM on May 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


One does not simply... search MetaFilter.
posted by Mister_A at 6:00 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


Facelessbook. You have 5 Friends and 3,698,022 Enemies.

and a couple of billion Utterly Fucking Indifferents.
posted by jonmc at 6:00 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


I would like to congratulate all of you for participating in this "Friend Zone Meta".
posted by P.o.B. at 6:07 PM on May 3, 2013


Every single one of my Facebook friends gets invited to my Fourth of July potluck, and a guarantee to at least two of my Specialty Secret Formula Burgers.

waits for the friend requests to pour in

ha ha it's a scam

i will eat all of your potlucks and my Secret Formula is just black pepper

i mean literally just black pepper

i don't even use meat ohhhh this is so conniving

posted by Rory Marinich at 6:22 PM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


I would like to attend your potluck for anthropological as much as gastronomic reasons.
posted by Mister_A at 6:25 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Admiral Haddock: "I dunno, to me it seems like another one of the culture issues cut from the same cloth as last week's deletion thread. Cool kids versus lunchroom weirdos."

If this is where the cool kids hang out, I'm in the wrong place.

Look, all I know is they told me I had to go to detention on a Saturday. I'm not gonna write a 1000 word essay.
posted by krinklyfig at 6:42 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


i read that as anthropophagical and was like LE GASP DRAMATIQUE

stupid hannibal

posted by elizardbits at 6:42 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


If this thread needs to be another referendum on Wolfdreams01

It's somewhat of a digression, I grant, but between this, the Tanizaki thread, and some others recently, I'm starting to feel like this is becoming a bit of a "thing": Users who may be outside the site norms in one or another post a MeTa or comment, immediately followed by a cluster of mefites who see that as a license to voice their general disapproval and dislike of that person.

I think it's gross - and I say this as someone who usually not on the same page as these "outsiders".

When confronted, these mefites that seem to revel in telling others that they're 12 kinds of arsehole and that nobody likes them here, typically respond with the internet-equivalent of "They started it, mum!"

I understand the difficult position these comments often place the mods in, but MetaTalk is supposed to be about site discussion, feature requests, etc. Only the most liberal interpretation of "etc" would include "only place on the site where I can pour a metaphorical bucket of piss on someone and inform them they are part of the out-group, and I am part of the in-group, haha suck it."

I realise this is exacerbated by the fact that these "outsiders" themselves are often not overflowing with the milk of human kindness, and are indeed frequently rude, or callous, or aggressive, etc themselves. But this kind of tit-for-tat is so unedifying, and looks like seizing an opportunity for "revenge" against what these people have said elsewhere.

Frankly, I think it's disgusting how a few people have used this thread - and are liable to use any thread featuring a mefite they don't like - as an opportunity to mock and revile WolfDreams01 (then have the temerity to tease him for being paranoid - why would he be paranoid?).

It's basically a form of derail, and I also I feel very antithetical to community spirit. The fact you think he's weird, has posted offensive things in other threads, that he's a "troll" or drunk or whatever, really should be immaterial.

I can understand why people with a genuine concern and quite possibly genuine feelings, get really upset (and often escalate) when they post or comment in a MeTa and the cadre of jokesters - like Shakespeherian and often Brandon Blatcher, for example - immediately get stuck in with trivialising what they're trying to say. You might disagree with it, but some people really give a shit about this community in a different way to you, and get a validation from it in one form or another. I don't want to be all Pollyanna here, but I wish it would stop, and I would love to see the mods get more active on it. Even when the comments are without abuse etc, I think they damage the site, and - as amply evidenced in the recent Tanazaki thread - they can spark a race to the bottom.

That's my take anyway, I understand if many will disagree.
posted by smoke at 6:48 PM on May 3, 2013 [27 favorites]


wolfdreams01 - Your profile does not list name or location. How can we stalk you irl?

His location is visible. He may want to change that if he has concerns about stalking.

I'm two-ish miles away and I HAVE COOKIES.
posted by sonika at 7:18 PM on May 3, 2013 [3 favorites]


That's my take anyway, I understand if many will disagree.

Well my take is that wolfdreams01 needs to get thicker skin. In other words don't say completely idiotic shit and not expect to be called on it, because mefites will pedantically call you on your shit all day everyday; that much is guaranteed. Wolfdreams01's problem isn't that he is a contrarian voice, its that he's a complete asshole in how he interacts with the user base and mod team. That and he rarley backs up his so called "conservative" voice with any substantial supporting material. Oh and lets not forget his weird obsession with a certain topic; which as much as the mods don't want it to be is intricately linked to what is happening here in this thread.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 7:34 PM on May 3, 2013 [5 favorites]


I understand the difficult position these comments often place the mods in, but MetaTalk is supposed to be about site discussion, feature requests, etc. Only the most liberal interpretation of "etc" would include "only place on the site where I can pour a metaphorical bucket of piss on someone and inform them they are part of the out-group, and I am part of the in-group, haha suck it."

In this and the previous MeTa thread there are commenters who take the responses to the OP as bullying and grudge-holding. A portion of the userbase as a whole is perceived as acting in bad faith.

I would recommend such commenters should reread the comments by wolfdreams01 and Tanizaki in their own threads, to see why others might have questions, comments, doubts or even disagreements with their perception of the situation they've posted about. I would also recommend rereading the various mod comments, which can be a helpful reminder that there are people who have a better overview of the site than you do, and their perspective also has validity.

And on a personal note, I'm tired of the continued dismissal of people's ability to remember things from previous threads. While bringing arguments from previous posts into unrelated new threads is frowned upon, it is not an inherently bad thing to remember how people have behaved in the past, and I sincerely wish people would stop acting as if it is. Metafilter becomes worse if it is just the same arguments repeated ad nauseum, and posters get tired of having to have, say, the same Feminism 101 or Trans 101 discussions in every single thread about the topic. Yet I feel like some users get chastised for having the temerity of recall. Especially when it isn't breaking a Brand New Day or delving into the previous decade, it is not at all a bad thing to be aware of things that have been previously posted on this website, and I wish that it would stop being presented, by some users, as if it were.
posted by gadge emeritus at 7:40 PM on May 3, 2013 [23 favorites]


Okay, so, essentially we have here a dude asking "Can I opt-out of people adding me as a contact?"

Evenstar's response could be summarised as: You are a massive asshole, get a thicker skin. Yours seems to be: You are a huge dick in other threads here, the mods probably dislike you, why should anyone respond to you?

Both of which, I feel, prove my point of derision-as-derail and defence of it as "they started it".

I am not chastising anyone for their ability to recall; I am questioning its relevance in a feature request and many other metas; and suggesting that trivialising someone's opinion - regardless of how far outside the norm it, and the user is - is not very helpful for the site or community.

Let me be more clear, Gadge: I do not have a problem with people treating users in context, I have a problem with people deriding users they don't like through MeTas in an unconstructive fashion, dragging in all kinds of stuff and using the threads as an opportunity to voice opprobrium and garner support for it in frequently mean, jokey, sweary ways.

I am not defending Wolfdreams01 and those like him, or their arguments; I am merely criticising the response to them. Those users get plenty of - often lucid and constructive - criticism as is.
posted by smoke at 7:58 PM on May 3, 2013 [15 favorites]


Both of which, I feel, prove my point of derision-as-derail and defence of it as "they started it".

Apparently you missed the part where he accused several members of stalking and cyberbullying without any evidence other than the fact they added him as a contact. I have no problem with the pony, but the shit that came after is what I was referring to in the context of getting thicker skin.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:08 PM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]




But he didn't simply ask if opting out of contacts is possible. He decided that the reason someone added him as a contact was in order to facilitate stalking and bullying, and he's the one who introduced that - no one else dug it up out past comments or something. That's kind of important.

Why eliminate the context, not to mention the reason he set forth for wanting to opt out, as if that has no bearing on how people respond?
posted by rtha at 8:11 PM on May 3, 2013 [16 favorites]


...And my contact activity sidebar looks like we all just got home from some epic meetup and are all adding everyone else who was there. Ha!
posted by rtha at 8:18 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


What rtha said. WD01, I really get the impression sometimes that you are either blissfully unaware of how your delivery affects your impact around here, or you're delighted by the degree to which you bring about ire in some people. This is kind of a cry wolf scenario and as much as it sucks, it's neither surprising nor unexpected.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 8:20 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]



AElfwine Evenstar: Apparently you missed the part where he accused several members of stalking and cyberbullying without any evidence other than the fact they added him as a contact. I have no problem with the pony, but the shit that came after is what I was referring to in the context of getting thicker skin.

rtha: But he didn't simply ask if opting out of contacts is possible. He decided that the reason someone added him as a contact was in order to facilitate stalking and bullying, and he's the one who introduced that - no one else dug it up out past comments or something. That's kind of important.

This is why I suggested rereading the OP's comments in their threads. The original posts themselves were fine, and treated as such; it's the comments further on which have caused the most responses.


smoke: Yours seems to be: You are a huge dick in other threads here, the mods probably dislike you, why should anyone respond to you?

If you're going to be wildly uncharitable, sure. But then, that's dismissing the context I just suggested should be relooked at.
posted by gadge emeritus at 8:23 PM on May 3, 2013


But he didn't simply ask if opting out of contacts is possible. He decided that the reason someone added him as a contact was in order to facilitate stalking and bullying, and he's the one who introduced that - no one else dug it up out past comments or something. That's kind of important.

I think that is totally fair, and I apologise if I gave anyone to believe that I was railing against that. I am not at all.

Really, I am railing against:

1) Using metas to hold forth on how much you (third person you, not you-rtha etc) dislike a user and wish they would leave, anyone with me? etc etc

2) Instant jokey, teasing, derisive bullshit from the usual suspects in ostensibly serious metas.
posted by smoke at 8:24 PM on May 3, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm puzzled by the flagging-as-bullying allegation, anyway. EVEN IF people were following him to flag him, that doesn't constitute bullying ... Because the flags are not seen by him. Someone flagging him a lot in bad faith is kind of like someone talking about him incessantly behind his back in a way where he's certain never to hear it. Not nice, sure, but it's not bullying.

If the mods were really treating him unfairly because he got a lot of flags, then he'd have a ground for complaint against the mods. But all indications are that the mods decide when something is inappropriate and they don't usually axe a comment just because it was flagged.
posted by Unified Theory at 8:31 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


Really, I am railing against:

You seem to be in the wrong meta then. In this meta wd01 used a pony request as a venue for attacking other members. His complaint also showed a complete ignorance of how the contact system actually functions. I have no problem with wd01 being here. I do have a problem with him making shit arguments with no documentation or evidence and then starting metas because he gots his poor little feelings hurt when some mefites decided to call him on it. That's what this is really about no matter how much some folks want to pretend otherwise.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:40 PM on May 3, 2013


Think we're gonna have to agree to disagree on this one, AElfwine. No biggie; I think this is something reasonable people can disagree on, and indeed I anticipated such when I posted it.

starting metas because he gots his poor little feelings hurt when some mefites decided to call him on it.

I will say that stuff like the above, is the kind of gratuitous discourse I'm not really a huge fan of, but I think I might be in the minority here, and the mods are if not okay at least tolerant about it.
posted by smoke at 8:45 PM on May 3, 2013 [6 favorites]


Think we're gonna have to agree to disagree on this one, AElfwine.

Fair enough. It just seems to me that your position is contradictory. On one hand you say you have no problem with context, but when said context is offered it is "gratuitous." Or are you saying that the way I presented the context was gratuitous? If the latter is the case, well the criticism is welcome. I'm not perfect, and probably need to work on being a better communicator.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:00 PM on May 3, 2013


Just presentation is all.
posted by smoke at 9:04 PM on May 3, 2013


Personally, I feel like a good chunk of this thread reads like "I don't see how it can be bullying when everything Wolfdreams says is so stupid."

The pile ons here sometimes just weird me out.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 9:13 PM on May 3, 2013 [15 favorites]


Personally, I feel like a good chunk of this thread reads like "I don't see how it can be bullying when everything Wolfdreams says is so stupid."

No, the comments about what wd01 has said in other threads provides the context for interpreting his "pony request" which was really just a facade for an attack on other users; accusing them of cyber bullying and stalking. I accept smoke's criticism. I could have said what I said without opining on the quality of wd01's previous contributions to metafilter. All that needed to be said was past interactions have caused drama and that led to more drama, which led to this meta.

So to me this thread reads as(minus my gratuitous commentary) some folks saying: "Why is wd01 accusing other members of stalking?" With others responding: "wd01 has recently been worked up over site policy and his interactions here in general. This has led to him making paranoid assumptions about the motivations of some users without any supporting evidence." And yet others commenting: "That seems kinda stalky." (despite the fact that adding someone as a contact facilitates no real mechanism for said stalking to take place that wouldn't already be there)

It's actually this third category of commenter that has me the most puzzled.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:30 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


FWIW as a called-out and accused whatever, I'm not really bothered by wolfdreams suggesting that I'm flag-bullying him or stalking him. It isn't accurate and I don't think it's a good idea to continue going around making shit up about other users but at the same time I don't need a hundred people calling him dumb names on my behalf. We could probably do with less of that and that goes for me double.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:42 PM on May 3, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think smoke is right and even if wolfdreams01, or whoever, acts like a jerk a lot of the time, these MeTa discussions could probably be accomplished in a way that people left the acting like a jerk just to him and didn't seize the opportunity to act like a jerk themselves.
posted by MoonOrb at 11:05 PM on May 3, 2013 [4 favorites]


people can grudge contact me all they want. beware, though, i'll probably not recognize that so you might also have to send smoke signals of profanity or something to get the pont across. i also take memails, but am sometimes bad at responding. oh, and i prefer nice profanity in memails. save the insults for sky writing endeavors and such.
posted by nadawi at 11:53 PM on May 3, 2013 [1 favorite]


divined by radio: "Contacts are an aspect of the site that I completely missed out on in my many years as a lurker, although I admit that I watched the Great Enspousening thread with both unbridled glee and slight confusion. As a spouseless outsider"

I, too, am a spouseless outsider. No more.

You have been enspousened.

I ain't Ralph. I do make awesome pesto and enjoy napping.
posted by krinklyfig at 12:40 AM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Yeoz, that seems like a really immature thing to do. I mean, you basically just admitted that you're trying to start arguments on MetaFilter. What, you don't get enough arguments on here? You need to take supplements to compensate for Argument Deficiency?

It's even more bizarre because you're bringing that whole trans thing into the discussion. I never had a problem with trans people until using Metafilter, when I accidentally used the wrong pronoun (due to an FPP giving me the wrong context about a situation) and a whole bunch of trans people started yelling and talking down to me about it. I don't like being yelled at or talked down to and when a bunch of people do it to me for no good reason, my natural response is to find ways to attack them and diminish their power in society. But I promise that this has nothing to do with gender - it's entirely personal and based purely on the aggressive behavior shown towards me in past threads. A bunch of people lashed out at me unnecessarily, so I hit back at the things they care about. There's no "bigotry" there; it's just personal vindictiveness. (On both sides.) Honestly I'd mildly prefer to be an ally to the trans community, but my impression is that you'd rather look for enemies, and the behavior you ("you" meaning Yeoz in this instance) demonstrated in this thread certainly serves as an example. Yeoz, can you see how your behavior is just perpetuating a tiresome feud? I mean, I don't mind continuing our simmering hostility if you want, but is "being outraged" really that emotionally fulfilling to you? Because I'm getting a little bored of it, if you must know.

As far as the issue I opened this Meta for, it's largely a technical question, and therefore one that is best handled by the mods. I don't know what the flag queue looks like but my impression was that it's a single feed, like a conveyor belt that you pluck flags out of. If that's the case, then it seems unlikely that grudge-flagging would be easily to notice, because the flagging would be equally distributed among different mods. Do you have a process to handle this so that you notice such things? Jessamyn's statement seems to imply that you do, but I just want to confirm that I'm understanding this correctly.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 12:45 AM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


It would rank just below alphabetizing one's spices

SHUT UP


If I had room I would seriously consider cross referencing my spices.
posted by BrotherCaine at 1:07 AM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


In a MeTa thread a few days ago, I commented that I was disappointed that we didn't have the option to list contacts as 'nemesis', 'arch-rival' and 'on my list and not in a good way'.

I wrote that after re-reading the great enspousening thread and the follow-up anniversary threads. I was all, 'MeTa is full of rainbows and puppies and kitties and cupcakes! Everyone is one one big family! Yay warm fuzzies! We should all be able to call each other enemies hahaha!'

I want to make it clear that I was not making a serious suggestion. It was funny at the time in my own head, but after reading some of these other threads this week and last, I can see how awful it would be for the community if we actually had tags like that.

When I go back and re-read my comment, it's in no way clear that I was joking, and I hope it didn't add to the overall sense of MeTa unpleasantness for anyone who may have read it and thought I was serious.

(To try shift the balance back, here is a link to delicious Unicorn Poop)
posted by Brody's chum at 1:13 AM on May 4, 2013


Ad hominem: "There was a meta about best profile pages wasn't there? It isn't like they are secret."

To be clear, they are publicly accessible but some profile information is visible to logged-in users only. As comments are visible to the wider internet, we'd strongly prefer that information is kept members-only.

wolfdreams01: "If that's the case, then it seems unlikely that grudge-flagging would be easily to notice, because the flagging would be equally distributed among different mods. Do you have a process to handle this so that you notice such things?"

If any mod notices such a pattern they may share this observation with the rest of the team. But I feel compelled to emphasize that any purported "grudge-flagging" hasn't been much of an actual issue up to this point, mostly because it would simply be a very ineffective instrument with which to conduct a feud: as has been pointed out upthread, flags attract a moderator's attention, they don't compel them to action.

wolfdreams01: "I don't like being yelled at or talked down to and when a bunch of people do it to me for no good reason, my natural response is to find ways to attack them and diminish their power in society."

If slights perceived or real lead you to respond with aggression, you're going to have a hard time interacting on Metafilter. As a moderator I feel it is my job to find and promote ways for users of various stripes to somehow get along. If every user held an attitude of retaliation and subversion then Metafilter could not exist.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane (staff) at 1:22 AM on May 4, 2013 [27 favorites]


I don't like being yelled at or talked down to and when a bunch of people do it to me for no good reason, my natural response is to find ways to attack them and diminish their power in society.

Sure, I think that's true of all of us, but it's a counter-productive way to live, both personally and for society at large, so most of us try to work instead on being the bigger person and not being an asshole. I suggest you try it, too; I think you'd find a lot of your problems will disappear.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:51 AM on May 4, 2013 [11 favorites]


"I don't like being yelled at or talked down to and when a bunch of people do it to me for no good reason, my natural response is to find ways to attack them and diminish their power in society."

There was a good reason (even as I might dispute your underlying narrative): You, through ignorance, were already diminishing their power in society and attacking their identity. Through your (flawed) rationale, they were correct to attack you.

"Honestly I'd mildly prefer to be an ally to the trans community, but my impression is that you'd rather look for enemies, and the behavior you ("you" meaning Yeoz in this instance) demonstrated in this thread certainly serves as an example."

That's an irrational conflation of individual with group, i.e. prejudicial stereotype.

"As far as the issue I opened this Meta for, it's largely a technical question, and therefore one that is best handled by the mods."

Opening a MeTa is the equivalent of yelling on a street corner. If it's best handled by the mods, you can contact them directly through the contact page.
posted by klangklangston at 2:06 AM on May 4, 2013 [19 favorites]


I feel it is my job to find and promote ways for users of various stripes to somehow get along. If every user held an attitude of retaliation and subversion then Metafilter could not exist.

Amen.

Wolfdreams01, I'm surprised that you haven't yet discovered that responding with aggression - whatever the provocation - is a deeply unprofitable enterprise in the world.

Further, the fact you would take umbrage with what a few people did, and use it to malign the millions who identify with those people is literally the definition of bigotry.

A bunch of people lashed out at me unnecessarily, so I hit back at the things they care about.

This an abhorrent, childish, attitude, utterly incompatible with being an adult, or a member of good standing in any community. Rather than trying to a) verify that they were in fact lashing out, b) ascertaining why they lashed out, and what might have led to high emotions around that topic, and c) responding civilly, assuaging any unintended hurt and apologising for it, or stating your own hurt and asking for an apology, or agreeing to disagree - you attacked people and their beliefs purely to cause damage.

What was your goal there? Better understanding? Becoming "an ally" as you said? Don't put it on others, homie. The choice was - and is - yours. You chose to be aggressive, ignorant, alone.

'If you would prefer to become an ally, then I heartily recommend you do it. You'll be happier for it, and get more out of this community for it. You could start right now.
posted by smoke at 2:20 AM on May 4, 2013 [64 favorites]


There's no "bigotry" there; it's just personal vindictiveness.

That makes it worse, not better.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:06 AM on May 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


A bunch of people lashed out at me unnecessarily, so I hit back at the things they care about. There's no "bigotry" there; it's just personal vindictiveness.

Huh. I mean, I've looked back at my actions in the past on occasion and realized I had my feelings hurt and then engaged in the same sort of hyperemotional flailing attack you describe. But then I apologize, or at least feel bad about it, not use it as a defense of my good character.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:25 AM on May 4, 2013 [6 favorites]

wolfdreams01: "It's even more bizarre because you're bringing that whole trans thing into the discussion. I never had a problem with trans people until using Metafilter, when I accidentally used the wrong pronoun (due to an FPP giving me the wrong context about a situation) and a whole bunch of trans people started yelling and talking down to me about it. I don't like being yelled at or talked down to and when a bunch of people do it to me for no good reason, my natural response is to find ways to attack them and diminish their power in society. But I promise that this has nothing to do with gender - it's entirely personal and based purely on the aggressive behavior shown towards me in past threads. A bunch of people lashed out at me unnecessarily, so I hit back at the things they care about. There's no "bigotry" there; it's just personal vindictiveness. (On both sides.) Honestly I'd mildly prefer to be an ally to the trans community, but my impression is that you'd rather look for enemies, and the behavior you ("you" meaning Yeoz in this instance) demonstrated in this thread certainly serves as an example. Yeoz, can you see how your behavior is just perpetuating a tiresome feud? I mean, I don't mind continuing our simmering hostility if you want, but is "being outraged" really that emotionally fulfilling to you? Because I'm getting a little bored of it, if you must know."
I was in that thread and from your other interactions with the site I had kind of suspected that this was what happened, but would have never imagined that it would ever be self explained, much less so eloquently. Your honesty here is remarkable.

That said, "find[ing] ways to attack them and diminish their power in society" is not something you will ever accomplish here, period, which is a lot of why I am a part of metafilter. We will never see trans people as some kind of amorphous grouping of people deserving of your scorn or anyone's because of slights against you or anyone (real or perceived) by some small number of trans people or trans allies - or because anything really. This is not because we have some special love for trans-people here, but because we at least try to have no special hate for trans-people, and because we at least try to see trans-people as who they are. That is, members of our community who are unremarkable as a group except in how much shit they get thrown at them by bigots, and apparently also now by those who make loose associations and become indistinguishable from bigots in any meaningful way. This feud is all yours, and while there has been a lot of inexcusable shittiness here towards you, Yeoz or Corinth wanting to follow your fued and not miss bits is not really among it.

If your hate-on for trans-people is really something you can flip a switch and turn off, there is seriously no downside to doing so. People who haven't read to the bottom of this awful thread will likely still read anything you say about trans-people with a hell of a lot of suspicion for a while, and I'm sure also most who have read this thread, but that will fade.
posted by Blasdelb at 4:28 AM on May 4, 2013 [31 favorites]


it's entirely personal and based purely on the aggressive behavior shown towards me in past threads. A bunch of people lashed out at me unnecessarily, so I hit back at the things they care about.

This reads like the motivation of a super villain in a really bad comic book, not like an outlook one actually expects to come across in reality. I can see be seized by an impulse to feel that way, but to act on it seems like something that even moderate self-awareness would rule out. Shit, if one wasn't able to spot the ethical shakiness of this kind of thinking, wouldn't aesthetics alone suffice to make it unacceptable? Does anyone really want to come across like Magneto-only-instead-of-superpowers-I'll-just-be-a-moderate-jerk?
posted by Ipsifendus at 5:12 AM on May 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


"This reads like the motivation of a super villain in a really bad comic book, not like an outlook one actually expects to come across in reality."

Yeah, but I find it oddly refreshing, even perversely admirable, that he's so honest about this. Because, frankly, I think that a not-tiny amount of grudgy-argumentation is nearly the same thing, only we tell ourselves and others we're doing it for different, and more defensible, reasons.

I don't want to overstate this. But personal conflicts, where someone feels that they're personally attacked or disliked or whatever, tend to strongly distort behavior and self-awareness in ways that create a distance between ostensive rationales and motivations and actual rationales and motivations. And the actual ones often amount to "I'm attacking you because I feel you attacked me".

I mean, we've all experienced this in relationships, haven't we? Where you're not arguing about what you're ostensibly arguing about and, not only that, the reason you're deeply entrenched in opposing positions is because of the underlying thing you may not even realize you're actually arguing about?
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:36 AM on May 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


I'd like to thank this thread for showing me what the contacts thingie is for because I was just wondering that.

And hello to bq, hot soup girl, and humanfont (who I will constantly misread as humanfund...money, for people) who have added me for whatever reason.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:41 AM on May 4, 2013


Yeah, add me to the list of people who don't understand this. If I wanted to grudgeflag, all I'd have to do is search for the username and flag away. And then the mods would be all cut that shit out.

I can see how it would be annoying to have a bunch of people add you as a contact after they have agitated against you in metatalk, but damn, I'd take a jokey contact over a smackdown in metatalk any day. Because the smackdowns are there for the community to see, favorite, and stay there so one can go back and weep and weep over said smackdown.
posted by angrycat at 6:17 AM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


wolfdreams01, I feel like we've gotten down to one of the cruxes of the problem here. I remember when I first became aware of your participation on this site it was in a thread where you explained this sort of mindset or approach you had in dealing with people. I am sure I am badly paraphrasing it, but it was loosely based around the idea that how you thought of groups of people was based on the first instance on how your personal interactions with members of that group had been. If you had positive interactions with members of that group, the lesson you learned was that the group was made up of good people, and you'd think of them with kindness. If, on the other hand, your personal interaction with members of a certain group was shitty, you learned the lesson, based on your own experience, that the group was more likely to be made up of shitty people.

A lot of people here got stuck into you over that viewpoint. They argued it was illogical, and you defended its perceived logic.

With all of that as background, what I am seeing here is the logical consequence of holding that viewpoint playing out with your interactions with the MetaFilter community. Let's take as face value your statement that misgendering someone in one of the trans threads was an honest mistake--what you seem to be telling us is that because a trans person raked you over the coals for making that mistake (and treated you unkindly, I suppose), the lesson you learned is that you should draw the inference that trans people are unkind, and it is therefore appropriate to return that unkindness in your interactions with them here.

I hope I'm capturing the flavor of things accurately enough; I realize this may not be precisely how it went down, but is it close?

Because if it is, I can promise you that no matter how reasonable this line of thinking is for you, or no matter how well it works for you in your normal, day-to-day interactions, it is not working for you on MetaFilter. So when you find yourself increasingly frustrated with people here, I think your first port of call in trying to figure out why this is should be to examine the effect that your particular approach to dealing with people has on the community here. I'm submitting to you that if you rethink this, you may find your interactions with here get easier.

It's good news, I guess, that you seem to at least be aware of this, and that it, as blasdelb explained it, can be turned on and off like a switch. If I were in your shoes, I'd think about flipping that switch.
posted by MoonOrb at 6:42 AM on May 4, 2013 [17 favorites]


I don't like being yelled at or talked down to and when a bunch of people do it to me for no good reason, my natural response is to find ways to attack them and diminish their power in society.

Two problems with this: the first, as others have addressed, is that this will only breed ill will on all sides. If you're ok with that, well, ok. But if you're wondering why people are less than kind to you, this attitude of "You made me feel bad, so I'm going to take you down" has a lot to do with it.

Second; the people who spoke up to you had good reason to correct you. Perhaps talking down and yelling weren't good tactics, and a lot of what you perceive as personal slight may not have been intended that way, but it wasn't arbitrary. A one time pronoun "accident" happens and sometimes people react strongly to being corrected, but that is not what happened in that thread. Those who got heated in response to your comments did so for actual reasons.
posted by sonika at 6:45 AM on May 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


. I don't like being yelled at or talked down to and when a bunch of people do it to me for no good reason, my natural response is to find ways to attack them and diminish their power in society.

Well that might be the worst thing I've read on the internet in a long while. It's the definition of bigotry. I mean, you're taking what one person did and applying it to a group of people because they happen to share something in common that only a minority of the population shares, or that is different from you. One person who self identifies as trans* was mean to you, so all people who are identified as trans (self or not) need to be punished. It's the definition of bullying: They have this one trait, so you're going to follow them around and make their life harder.

Ya know, I went to bed pretty good about this whole thing. I am still glad you started this as it's own meta rather than trying to tag it on as a derail somewhere. I also think Corinth's apology and removal of you from her contacts was well and truly classy. I mean, that right there, that's how a human being who values community and diversity and who has a basic level of respect for everyone reacts to somebody being hurt by their actions. They don't pull this self justification song and dance and then try and inflict petty little hurts to even the score. I still think those things, but I'm going to apologize to yeoz, because I thought she was being kind of crappy in suggesting Corinth use the contacts to keep track of you. That's changed, I'm cisgendered, and you make ME nervous. If I was a member of a group that you had for what ever reason had angered youI'd want to keep an eye on what you were up to too. Not because you have any power, but because bigotry left unchallenged can often spread, and THAT is dangerous. Even if the grudge is cold blooded and personal.

If you wonder why everyone reacts so viscerally too you, it's because your system of morals runs counter to almost every trait that's allowed us as a species to live and thrive as social animals.
posted by Gygesringtone at 7:04 AM on May 4, 2013 [23 favorites]


"I repeatedly acted like a hateful bigot because when I ignorantly offended people and then insisted I was right to do so, they corrected me harshly."

You have selfishly disrupted this community and injected your immature grudge into multiple conversations which had nothing to do with you. You wasted the mods time, and that of many other members who assumed good faith on your part, all while wrongly accusing people right and left of treating you unfairly. We assumed you honestly meant what you said and weren't trolling us. Wow, were we wrong.

Thanks for finally being honest, I guess.
posted by zarq at 7:17 AM on May 4, 2013 [36 favorites]


If I had room I would seriously consider cross referencing my spices.

I've switched to just tagging my spices, rather than trying to keep them in separate locations. So it's just a big bucket with all of 'em in it, and then little fragments of index cards in various parts of the bucket that say things like "EARTHY" and "BURNS" and "VEGETAL" and "BROWN"

Also hi everyone who's contacted me! I like the contact system, you all seem pretty nice.
posted by Greg Nog at 7:17 AM on May 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Man. No way yeoz come out of this looking good”, I thought last night. You found a way, wolfdreams01.
posted by boo_radley at 7:33 AM on May 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


I'm not sure how bigotry, as in the actual dictionary definition of bigotry, can be flipped on and off like a switch. Especially in someone who has explicitly admitted that they go through life as would a pre-school child with no anger management skills and feels that others are entirely responsible for his emotional reactions even when they're not even interacting with him. And I'll be frank: I'm worried as to what his physical interactions are like as well. A mindset built around "hitting back" and "diminishing power" towards minorities sounds like a hate crime in the making.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:54 AM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Well, this turned into a self-callout. Haven't seen one of those in a while.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:10 AM on May 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


But I promise that this has nothing to do with gender - it's entirely personal and based purely on the aggressive behavior shown towards me in past threads. A bunch of people lashed out at me unnecessarily, so I hit back at the things they care about. There's no "bigotry" there; it's just personal vindictiveness.

This sounds like the old, "I'm just an equal opportunity asshole."

wolfdreams01, I have looked through your posting history a time or two, because you seemed to be doing something interesting here. Someone said (as I recall) that it looked like you'd been reading too much Ayn Rand. But to me, it's more like you're a character in a novel. Your posts often seem to be bits and pieces of a narrative about quite an unusual person. I almost feel as if things are inserted to heighten that effect. Your worry about people finding out who you are or harassing you-- yes, I've followed your posts enough to notice that you had that worry about real life meetings-- adds to that effect. It teases me to wonder who you actually are. But strangely, it also adds to my feeling that the person you are on here is largely made up, and that posts like this recent one are contrived, too. I suspect that this isn't the way you feel so much as you think it would be interesting if someone felt that way. So I see some of your more outrageous posts and fail to feel shocked because it feels like they are sort of paper contrivances. Somehow I get the feeling that you're actually very a nice guy and you're just trying something on here.
posted by BibiRose at 8:13 AM on May 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


Do you have a process to handle this so that you notice such things? Jessamyn's statement seems to imply that you do, but I just want to confirm that I'm understanding this correctly.

Yes, we have ways that we can group flags by user flagged and user flagging and we do so if we think there is a problem or if someone draws out attention to something. We're professionals and this is a thing we look for.

But honestly grudge flagging is such a minor thing compared to this long troll that you've been doing here in MetaFilter by your own admission that it's barely even something to bother talking about. We need you to turn around whatever axe you're grinding and be a good faith participant here moving forward, or you need to leave, or we will make you leave. Those are the options and I'm sorry it's come to that.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 8:20 AM on May 4, 2013 [11 favorites]


Somehow I get the feeling that you're actually very a nice guy and you're just trying something on here.

These seem like contrary statements.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:22 AM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Especially in someone who has explicitly admitted that they go through life as would a pre-school child with no anger management skills and feels that others are entirely responsible for his emotional reactions even when they're not even interacting with him

Not even. My kid is 2 and he has better anger management skills. If a kid pushes him, he might fight back, but he does not then follow that kid around waiting for an opportunity to escalate the conflict. Nor does he extrapolate that all kids with blue shirts are going to take his toys.

This isn't childlike behavior, it's anti social in the sense of simply living as a social animal and trying (or not) to coexist with other members of the same species.
posted by sonika at 8:27 AM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Oh come on, Wolfdreams. Get with the program here. MetaFilter, at its best, is a place where smart people can talk about things they actually believe in, and maybe sometimes learn something from people whose ideas they don't share. And maybe see a cat video. Don't troll it.

Jeez Louise.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 8:32 AM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Wow. I went to bed last night thinking that this thread was going to drift quietly off into recipes and so on. Guess not.

I have gotten into some pretty bitter and personal and heated arguments with people here (well, that's how they have felt to me) that have left me shaking and furious and give me bad dreams. Some of those people I remember for a long time afterwards as "Oh yeah, you're the one who [thinged] in that thread about [thing]," and I may continue to dislike them, which may or may not show in other interactions on the site (mostly not, I hope).

But it would never dawn on me that because [A Mefite] I had a fight with shares [sometrait] with some other mefites that I would carry that bad feeling over to those other mefites. I'm exhausted just thinking about it.
posted by rtha at 8:33 AM on May 4, 2013 [11 favorites]


BibiRose is onto something. I think Metafilter is getting trolled.
posted by vincele at 8:57 AM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I think we need to stop giving Wolf any attention from now on. This is ridiculous.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 8:59 AM on May 4, 2013 [10 favorites]


Question to those people who are telling wolfdream01 all about himself: what are you hoping to achieve in doing so, and more to the point, what do you personally get out of engaging in that type of interaction?
posted by nacho fries at 9:04 AM on May 4, 2013


For my part:

1. Hoping he might come away from this later on to reflect on things said, and possibly grow from it.

2. Make him aware how his behavior affects me, and how it seems to affect others.

But since it now seems he's on a mission to troll about trans folk, welp, maybe that's a waste of time.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:08 AM on May 4, 2013


If this has been a long troll, I find it hilariously inept. Metafilter is fairly unusual in that it has one of the longer presences on the web and a largish community that doesn't all participate in the same discussions or even in the same areas, which means that memorable characters can't really make any serious impact on the site or the community unless they are everywhere and unmodded, which is impossible. MeTa is practically invisible for most members, so his drama doesn't isn't even being witnessed by the community apart from a relative handful of people. And he can't flame out in truly trolltastic glory because the mods will just roll their eyes and delete it. So maybe he's been getting his jollies for a couple months, sure, but in another couple of months he'll be a nobody. Maybe some MeMails will go around for a little while, and a very few people will remember him, but if he visits later expecting A Post-Wolfdreams Apocalypse version of MeFi, he'll find out that he wasted several months of his life.

So, probably not the stupidest place to try to troll, but certainly high up on a hypothetical list.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:16 AM on May 4, 2013


"BibiRose is onto something. I think Metafilter is getting trolled."

I don't think that's a very helpful line of discussion. It might be true, but it might not be. And it's just not necessary.

"Question to those people who are telling wolfdream01 all about himself: what are you hoping to achieve in doing so, and more to the point, what do you personally get out of engaging in that type of interaction?"

I agree with your implicit argument that there's something unseemly and counterproductive about it, but I think there's considerable irony in your implication about the motives of those doing so.

That said, this isn't quite comparable to the sort of mind-reading that usually goes on in these threads. The presumption of trolling is, but the other stuff isn't, because wolfdreams01 himself described his state of mind and the related justifications for his behavior. He explicitly connected behavior that is widely thought to be disruptive and which he, himself, agrees was aggressive and hurtful with his motivations and feelings. Given that, it's kind of difficult to not talk about what's going on in his head.

Still, it's difficult to know what the boundaries are in this precise kind of discussion and to avoid overstepping them. If you or I or anyone else brings their interior into the discussion, I think it's probably best to try to limit it to what they've explicitly described and not presume very much beyond that.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:18 AM on May 4, 2013


I think there's considerable irony in your implication

And that implication would be...?

I'm actually interested to hear what people have to say about why they engage wolfs. The dynamic is common on message boards; I engage in it myself; and I'm curious to hear people think out loud about it.
posted by nacho fries at 9:39 AM on May 4, 2013


I engage sometimes because I have poor impulse control, especially when it comes to someone who expresses a view that is, to me, so Out There that it astonishes me.

I will also confess that I have buttons that get pushed when someone sets themselves up as a person who approaches things totally logically, particularly when it's on a subject where it's quite obvious to me that they don't actually know much about but seem to feel strongly that yes, they do know everything worthwhile about that thing. This is all related to my difficulty in resisting the call of someone being wrong on the internet.

If you want to hear about how this all related to my childhood and my mother, though, I'm gonna need a couch for that. And there's a sliding scale for the session, yeah? ; )
posted by rtha at 9:50 AM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


It might be true, but it might not be. And it's just not necessary.

Genuine question: how else are we to take his straight-up admission that he is on a self-described "vindictive" mission to attack "things [trans people] care about" on Metafilter? I don't see a lot of wiggle room there beyond ... yeah, trolling.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:50 AM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


"And that implication would be...?"

My inference was wrong, given the rest of your comment. Sorry.

I made that inference on the basis of your choice of wording "those people who are telling wolfdream01 all about himself" (my emphasis), which seemed somewhat critical and therefore in my reading changed the subtext from "sincerely interested inquiry" to "veiled criticism".
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 9:53 AM on May 4, 2013


"Trolling" gets thrown around a lot these days online, mostly in cases where people are just mad that someone disagrees with them, but under the true, old school definition of "trolling" (saying something you don't necessarily believe just to make people mad), this is ABSOLUTELY trolling.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:54 AM on May 4, 2013 [22 favorites]


"Genuine question: how else are we to take his straight-up admission that he is on a self-described 'vindictive' mission to attack 'things [trans people] care about' on Metafilter? I don't see a lot of wiggle room there beyond ... yeah, trolling."

BibiRose was hypothesizing about old-school trolling — a disingenuous campaign to sow discord for one's own amusement. That's speculating about motives which are difficult to discern.

Whereas, in contrast, wolfsream01's own description of his behavior (which you paraphrased), and his observed behavior by others, suffice for the new-school version of "trolling" which is really just being intolerably disruptive, regardless of motivations. You're right, that's what we're supposed to talk about here and is sufficient for these purposes.

There's some ambiguity here and elsewhere between the old and new usages of the word, which is itself problematic. Well, and revealing. If everyone who ever used the word were truly limiting themselves to describing bad behavior, then jerk or whatever would be sufficient. But troll even still today carries a strong connotation of an accusation of bad-faith and so using it ends up bringing into the discussion all sorts of things which usually aren't provable and end up going far afield and often badly.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:04 AM on May 4, 2013


"...but under the true, old school definition of 'trolling' (saying something you don't necessarily believe just to make people mad), this is ABSOLUTELY trolling."

Well, okay. My old-school USENET understanding of trolling is more narrow, it requires both more disingenuity than wolfdream01 admits to and more personal disinterest. Grudge based opposition when one wouldn't otherwise be that inclined to be in opposition, seems to me to be somewhat distinct. Old school trolls cause trouble for its own sake, as entertainment.

You don't see that so much these days. At least, I don't. And I see much less of it here than I did nine years ago.

While wolfdream01 may not feel as strongly about trans issues as he has seemed to, I think he is otherwise quite sincere in his antipathy against those he's been provoking. That's not necessarily trolling — on a number of topics there are certain people here who take positions far more extreme than they otherwise would because of a history of conflict with those on the other side of the argument.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:17 AM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


changed the subtext from "sincerely interested inquiry" to "veiled criticism"

My subtext is both, actually; though the critical component was intended to be overt, not veiled.

I don't think being critical is a bad thing, when it comes to hashing out ideas.
posted by nacho fries at 10:17 AM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


While wolfdream01 may not feel as strongly about trans issues as he has seemed to, I think he is otherwise quite sincere in his antipathy against those he's been provoking. That's not necessarily trolling

Yeah, I think it is. In the old school sense, because if being on a vindictive mission to hurt others was based on perceived personal slights towards him, then if he never decided these were slights, he would never have engaged in this mission, his feelings about trans folk notwithstanding. In the new school sense, because yeah, he's out to hurt others on the site for the sake of doing so.

But really, does it matter whether we mean old school or new school trolling? Either way it equates shitty behavior towards the "community" he laments is lacking around here.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:21 AM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I can understand why people with a genuine concern and quite possibly genuine feelings, get really upset (and often escalate) when they post or comment in a MeTa and the cadre of jokesters - like Shakespeherian and often Brandon Blatcher, for example - immediately get stuck in with trivialising what they're trying to say.

What the hell, why was shakes mentioned first?!

You might disagree with it, but some people really give a shit about this community in a different way to you, and get a validation from it in one form or another.

It's great that you think you care more than others, but do you have to lord it over us?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 10:23 AM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


(saying something you don't necessarily believe just to make people mad), this is ABSOLUTELY trolling.

Am I reading this correctly: you are referring to wolfs, and you are saying that you know for a fact that he doesn't believe some of the things he has said he believes?
posted by nacho fries at 10:23 AM on May 4, 2013


What the hell, why was shakes mentioned first?!

Alphabetical.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:28 AM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


"But really, does it matter whether we mean old school or new school trolling? Either way it equates shitty behavior towards the 'community' he laments is lacking around here."

Agreed. But don't you think that BibiRose's supposition (I've used three different terms; I can't decide what to call it) about wolfdream01 goes quite far into the territory that's also inhabited by people who falsely claim to have cancer or whatever?

The only reason this matters, really, is that this sort of claim (he's just fucking with us, it's all a performance) is often made in cases where there's no evidence at all of disingenuity, just that one person thinks another person is being so much of a jerk, they can't actually be sincere. And that sort of accusation changes the whole dynamic of the discussion in a bad way.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:29 AM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Am I reading this correctly: you are referring to wolfs, and you are saying that you know for a fact that he doesn't believe some of the things he has said he believes?

Yes, and I'm referring to his own comment:

...I promise that this has nothing to do with gender - it's entirely personal and based purely on the aggressive behavior shown towards me in past threads. A bunch of people lashed out at me unnecessarily, so I hit back at the things they care about. There's no "bigotry" there; it's just personal vindictiveness.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 10:30 AM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Whether it's "old school" trolling or "new school" trolling, one of the goals of trolling is to get people to write more than you (the troll) did. I don't mean this in a snarky way, but even the debate over what kind of troll he is *feeds the troll.*

I am sympathetic to some of the points the OP makes, or points that have come up in Metatalks surrounding the OP. I can't see what harm there would be in allowing people to opt out of the contact system, for instance.

At the same time, my perception is that the OP is posting in a way that is designed to create a strong reaction in the readers of Metatalk.
posted by vincele at 10:30 AM on May 4, 2013


This thread is great, because I just got contacted by/mutually contacted with about 50 more people.

Having seen the recent thread about Liosliath's tragic passing, and regretting that I had never personally benefited from any acquaintance with such a well-loved member of this site, I am now looking forward to being exposed (via the contact functionality) to greater range of interesting posts and thoughtful comments from these new contact-colleagues.

If you have contacted me because of this thread, please accept my apologies in advance for any irritation or offence that may be caused, now or in the future, by any purile comment(s) I make on this site. The offence will (I hope) be unintentional, the irritation will (I pray) not be acute.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 10:32 AM on May 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


"At the same time, my perception is that the OP is posting in a way that is designed to create a strong reaction in the readers of Metatalk."

Yeah, I don't know. It seems like most people take for granted that this is a common motivation and I certainly used to believe this, but over the years I've gotten a bit more skeptical about it.

These days, I'm inclined to believe that it's more likely a subconscious motivation, like a child that misbehaves for the attention. Most such children don't have a strong sense of doing this deliberately, and even more so they don't usually enjoy the negative attention as negative attention. But they do want the attention, so they'll take what they can get and they've habituated themselves to getting it this way.

So, as in the case of children, the caricature of a mustache-twirling villain cackling about how they're the center of attention is, well, a caricature. More likely, they're upset and unhappy but, somewhere deep inside, a need for their existence to be acknowledged has been temporarily satisfied. That distinction matters because it's the difference between maladaptive, pathological behavior and being a mustache-twirling villain. And that difference matters because we really do think about those two groups differently and we do, or should, deal with them differently.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 10:42 AM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


I don't think the case has been made that "contacting" facilitates stalking or flag-bullying better than (or even as well as) bookmarking someone's profile. This seems like one of those MeTas where the real issue is in the supporting statement -- i.e. people are mean to me.

The thing is, if you're tracking the interests and concerns of people who've been mean to you in order to retaliate against them by trashing their concerns, i think the evidence so far is 0:1 in favor of you being the one who engages in stalking behavior; and what's more, stalking on a more committed and personal level than the kind you're suggesting is being done to you.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:57 AM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


This reads like the motivation of a super villain in a really bad comic book, not like an outlook one actually expects to come across in reality.

Really? Isn't it just the motivation of anyone who defends their discrimination against people of $type, because somebody of $type robbed/insulted/mugged them once? Happens all the time.
posted by running order squabble fest at 11:00 AM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Oh, FFS, the original "contact" issue is basically making a big deal out of nothing. Fin.
posted by desuetude at 11:10 AM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Smoke wrote that I showed "temerity" to snark about wd01's paranoia. I don't have a history with this guy. What he wrote way above was well and truly paranoid. What if I said that had I seen two police cars this morning, therefore I can reasonably conclude that the Illuminati were plotting to sell me to the aliens for the meat? I'd have the same basis to make that assertion (none) as he did. It would damage my reputation.

Then he posted his strategy for dealing with people he doesn't like. It boils down to "you send one of mine to the hospital, I'll send all of yours to the morgue."

I generally try to give people the benefit of the doubt but this is clearly a case of a person who cannot or will not deal with us as an adult.
posted by double block and bleed at 11:22 AM on May 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


If Wd01 is a troll, then all of this discussion and analysis (though very interesting and clearly a real attempt by members to make things better at metafilter) is probably "feeding the troll", right?
posted by marimeko at 11:52 AM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


marimeko: yes, it would be, but that doesn't mean that the rest of can't learn something from it at the same time. And then it's not useless after all.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:57 AM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Too-Ticky. I agree.
posted by marimeko at 12:00 PM on May 4, 2013


Also wolfdreams01, is this the comment you are referring to when you reference accidentally using the wrong pronoun (due to an FPP giving me the wrong context about a situation)? Because I'm curious about how exactly that worked.
posted by Blasdelb at 12:30 PM on May 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


Cheers for your honesty wolfdreams01 - I imagine after giving such an open description of your behaviour on the site, you'll be extremely unlikely to do it again.
posted by sgt.serenity at 12:31 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


PMDixon: What about CMYK?

What about me?
posted by cmyk at 12:35 PM on May 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


the quidnunc kid: Having seen the recent thread about Liosliath's tragic passing, and regretting that I had never personally benefited from any acquaintance with such a well-loved member of this site, I am now looking forward to being exposed (via the contact functionality) to greater range of interesting posts and thoughtful comments from these new contact-colleagues.

What? A serious, heartfelt comment? That's not why I made you a contact! You disappoint!
posted by desjardins at 12:36 PM on May 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


Cheers for your honesty wolfdreams01 - I imagine after giving such an open description of your behaviour on the site, you'll be extremely unlikely to do it again.

Do you mean he'll be extremely unlikely to start trying to punish people similar to other people who were rude to him, or he'll be extremely unlikely to give such an open description of his behavior on the site?
posted by Elementary Penguin at 12:39 PM on May 4, 2013


Having looked into contacts more seriously now thanks to this thread, the one thing I've learned is that the XFN protocol for it lacks granularity: where are the options for cyberstalkee or pretend internet friend?
posted by MartinWisse at 12:51 PM on May 4, 2013


as Blasdelb points out, wolfdreams wasn't approaching anything like honesty in his comment here. it's a justification he seems to have been working on for a while and that he is pleased with, but it doesn't match reality. seriously, read that linked comment - that is not a case of someone making a tiny slip up who then got piled on for it - that is someone that threw a stick on dynamite in the room and then complained when it blew up.
posted by nadawi at 1:00 PM on May 4, 2013 [28 favorites]


My experience here has taught me the best way to address the individuals who habitually spout the same old shit is to disregard them entirely.

Why go out of your way to step in something unpleasant?

In all seriousness, I would be more concerned with being passed by than pushed out; that my steadfast position of persecuted village outlier would finally exhaust
the patience of our most erudite members, and reduce my comments exclusively to fodder for compulsive antagonists and snark masturbators.
posted by Pudhoho at 1:26 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Huh. I like getting contacted!
posted by the young rope-rider at 1:49 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Corinth said that she contacted wolfdreams01 because she saw that I had and it made her realize you could contact people you didn't know. I contact people routinely for several reasons having to do with things we have in common, such as:

1. They say they are trans*.
2. They are from Michigan.
3. They homeschool their kids, or were homeschooled as children.
4. As of last fall when I began a post-bacc program in speech language pathology, if they say they are a speech language pathologist.
5. Their user name contains "LEGO" or they post about Lego a lot or they say something cool about Lego.

I also add people if they post a single comment I find especially interesting for some reason, not always that I agree with it. I'm pretty sure I added wolfdreams01 because of his unique perspective on trans kids and gender pronouns. I added Rory way back when he was new, I think, because he also posted something I not only disagreed with but found to be a fascinating kind of perspective. It was a bit of, "I've got to keep track of what this person gets up to." Of course, what Rory went on to get up to was to become a valuable member of the site whose comments I very much appreciate (and I only mention this because he mentioned his own history up-thread, or I wouldn't have). I did something similar with wolfdreams01, as a reminder to check up from time to time on a person I found interesting (not neutrally interesting, I admit). But I didn't have any intention to follow him around, arguing with him and fucking with him. I just didn't want to lose track of him. Not that that has turned out to be possible.

I am also going to take a minute down here where nobody will see it to say that awhile ago, in the Coy metatalk, I mentioned that I was thinking of disabling this account and taking up a new username, because I was getting way too non-anonymous and there were too many connections to my IRL family and identity via links I'd posted to my blog and so on. I got so many nice MeMails and comments after that that I realized I'd sort of inadvertently done The Big Flouncy Exit without meaning to. I hadn't really had a chance to talk to my partner about connections between this place, my blog, my Facebook account, and when I did, he was a lot less concerned about it than I thought he might be--at least, he didn't seem to feel that any change urgently needed to be made. So I'm continuing to use this account for now. I appreciate the many kind words, and I am sorry for having inadvertently seemed like a drama queen back in February. And now, having said that, I can start participating more fully, after having been sort of self-conscious about it after my Big Proclamation.
posted by not that girl at 2:08 PM on May 4, 2013 [37 favorites]


Why go out of your way to step in something unpleasant?

Speaking of... has anyone seen my fuck-shit-stack? I left it laying around here somewhere.
posted by P.o.B. at 2:11 PM on May 4, 2013


Not that girl I'm glad you stuck around!

I don't think wolfdreams is dealing in good faith at this point - that linked comment is not a case of mistaking someone's username. Seems like this post is a pretty disingenuous response to the shitstorm that starts whenever he posts something egregious. Not going to bother rehashing all things that have been clearly posted already.
posted by leslies at 2:26 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


not that girl is awesome and I'm glad you're sticking around as that username so I don't have to figure out who your BND is. Your "two and out" philosophy to Internet commenting is something I still think about on a regular basis. I don't do so well in following that, but at least the thought is there.
posted by Phire at 2:31 PM on May 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


I want the ability to ignore users. Context be damned.
posted by disclaimer at 2:32 PM on May 4, 2013


Oh, wait, I don't need a button for that. Never mind.
posted by disclaimer at 2:42 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]



Do you mean he'll be extremely unlikely to start trying to punish people similar to other people who were rude to him, or he'll be extremely unlikely to give such an open description of his behavior on the site?

You know exactly what I meant - if you're still going to pile on someone who has just copped to their behaviour, then that's your problem -

I note someone added him as a contact in the hope that they could follow his progress towards being a future wonderful metafilter contributor - its inspiring to be in a place where we have such fulsome hopes for our fellow users.
posted by sgt.serenity at 2:45 PM on May 4, 2013


If Wd01 is a troll, then all of this discussion and analysis (though very interesting and clearly a real attempt by members to make things better at metafilter) is probably "feeding the troll", right?

One thing's for sure. You know he's got to love this attention. He's probably walking on air right now, this thread is so exhilarating to him.
posted by Unified Theory at 2:56 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


It's great that you think you care more than others, but do you have to lord it over us?

That's not at all what I was saying - indeed, the sentence you quoted specifically does not say that, and not at all how I view mefites or metafilter.
posted by smoke at 3:30 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


if you're still going to pile on someone who has just copped to their behaviour, then that's your problem -
Surely you're not suggesting that, because he has 'copped to his behaviour', that makes said behaviour acceptable? So everyone should just say ' oh, so your approach is to attack anyone that shares a trait with any person who you feel has slighted you? Well, that's all right then'?
posted by dg at 3:35 PM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I want the ability to ignore users

Yeah. Proper killfiles and make MeFi really like Usenet. That would be awesome. (Can't help it, I was classified as NNTP on the Myers-Briggs personality scale.)
posted by MartinWisse at 4:01 PM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


My last comment was simply an attempt to extend an olive branch to Yeoz, and I'm surprised that some people consider it trolling. I basically expressed that if the trans community treats me with civility on Metafilter, I'll treat them with equality in the real world, in terms of the politicians I vote for and the views I help to propagate. If they don't, I won't either. You don't have to believe me if you don't want to, but what motivation would I possibly have to lie? To earn "the respect of Metafilter?" What would be the utility of that? Unless we earn some sort of cash reward every 10,000 favorites, the respect of complete strangers is not worth my time. Don't get me wrong: I'll do my best to be polite to trans folk on MetaFilter either way just as I would to any other user (since that's just common courtesy), but last I checked there wasn't some sort of checklist of political views that is mandatory for participation here, nor am I required to "affirm" anybody's existence any more than they are required to "affirm" mine.

My MeTa question was entirely a technical one, which is why I initially included no information about the reasons I wanted to be able to remove contacts - I felt like providing information about my reasons might cause friction. Only when it was clear that the initial quantity of information I provided was insufficient for people to understand my concern did I elaborate with more information. This is what normal people do when others misunderstand their question, right? They provide more data. At this point my question has been answered in a satisfactory way, so I'm OK with closing this up.
posted by wolfdreams01 at 4:14 PM on May 4, 2013


I've expressed that if the trans community treats me with civility on Metafilter, I'll treat them with equality in the real world, in terms of the politicians I vote for and the views I help to propagate. If they don't, I won't either.

Making your position on a civil rights issue contingent on the behavior of a handful of folk on the Internet is seriously the weirdest approach to moral reasoning I have yet encountered.

It's so weird it's not as upsetting as it should be.
posted by winna at 4:19 PM on May 4, 2013 [93 favorites]


I've expressed that if the trans community treats me with civility on Metafilter, I'll treat them with equality in the real world, in terms of the politicians I vote for and the views I help to propagate. If they don't, I won't either.

In what way is saying "if you won't be nice to me, I'll punish a bunch of people you don't know and have no connection to" "extend[ing] an olive branch"?
posted by asterix at 4:19 PM on May 4, 2013 [23 favorites]


I basically expressed that if the trans community treats me with civility on Metafilter, I'll treat them with equality in the real world, in terms of the politicians I vote for and the views I help to propagate. If they don't, I won't either.

Or, you know, you could decide that all people are worthy of dignity, respect and rights and vote accordingly. I'm pretty sure you're just using a couple people here as an excuse for your hatred of trans people because you're behaving supremely illogically while telling us you pride yourself on logic.
posted by hoyland at 4:20 PM on May 4, 2013 [30 favorites]


I basically expressed that if the trans community treats me with civility on Metafilter, I'll treat them with equality in the real world, in terms of the politicians I vote for and the views I help to propagate. If they don't, I won't either.

Yeah, um, scratching my head here. How does what "the trans community" does on Metafilter have any connection with how you treat other people and how you VOTE? Do you realize you insane that is?
posted by Unified Theory at 4:23 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Wow. Dude, stay down.
posted by running order squabble fest at 4:29 PM on May 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


I basically expressed that if the trans community treats me with civility on Metafilter, I'll treat them with equality in the real world, in terms of the politicians I vote for and the views I help to propagate. If they don't, I won't either.

Well now I don't feel so bad for being an asshole.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 4:33 PM on May 4, 2013 [11 favorites]


Hey everybody this lady in the grocery store just brutally stole my shopping cart so I'm going to agitate for the oppression of her entire ethnic group! I had to walk a whole four feet back to the cart area and get another one, so I'm totally justified.
posted by winna at 4:34 PM on May 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


The only way to win...
posted by Annika Cicada at 4:35 PM on May 4, 2013


Unless we earn some sort of cash reward every 10,000 favorites

You're in luck!
posted by desjardins at 4:35 PM on May 4, 2013


>Unless we earn some sort of cash reward every 10,000 favorites

You're in luck!


The important question is whether you held off favouriting things (or favourited things gratuitously) to get the round numbers to coincide.
posted by hoyland at 4:46 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Threatening to engage in bigoted actions against trans people should absolutely be a bannable offense. It is hate speech.
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:50 PM on May 4, 2013 [25 favorites]


Yes, lets ban people based on how they vote, and define those votes as hate speech. It sounds like an excellent idea. What could possibly go wrong?
posted by hattifattener at 4:52 PM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Just ban him already. He's had tons of warnings, let's not delay the inevitable any longer.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:54 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I knew people would specifically pick at the hate speech thing, so how about this: do you think it's okay for someone to threaten to punish trans people as a class for ANYTHING one trans person does or says? Is that ever fucking okay on this site?
posted by the young rope-rider at 4:56 PM on May 4, 2013 [21 favorites]


Surely you're not suggesting that, because he has 'copped to his behaviour', that makes said behaviour acceptable?

Surely you're not suggesting that because I've typed that, you would burn down an orphanage, stick some cute kittens in bag take them to a river and shoot bambi as an encore ? Thereafter paving the way for an invasion of Poland ?

Leaving the rhetorical props aside, I have no idea what he said - only that he showed some awareness of why he said what he said - to me that signals someone stopping a certain kind of behaviour. I'm not commenting on the behaviour itself so as not to magnify it.


I basically expressed that if the trans community treats me with civility on Metafilter, I'll treat them with equality in the real world


Maybe you need to give people a break on this civility thing and show people you're able to be a bit nicer, that's not too much to ask really.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:56 PM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


"its inspiring to be in a place where we have such fulsome hopes for our fellow users."

Fulsome doesn't mean what you think it means.

"My last comment was simply an attempt to extend an olive branch to Yeoz, and I'm surprised that some people consider it trolling. I basically expressed that if the trans community treats me with civility on Metafilter, I'll treat them with equality in the real world, in terms of the politicians I vote for and the views I help to propagate."

LOL. "I simply said that if people here didn't call me on my bullshit, I wouldn't take out my impotent rage on innocent marginalized people. What's the problem?"
posted by klangklangston at 4:56 PM on May 4, 2013 [26 favorites]


Fulsome doesn't mean what you think it means.

It's one of Johnny Cash's finest songs.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:57 PM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Yes, lets ban people based on how they vote, and define those votes as hate speech. It sounds like an excellent idea. What could possibly go wrong?

I think Wolf said that how certain people treat him on Metafilter was going to dictate how he treats trans people in the real world. It's not the "voting" that's the hate speech, it's the threat of being disrespectful and devaluing to people who had nothing to do with how he got treated on Metafilter.
posted by Unified Theory at 5:02 PM on May 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Well now I don't feel so bad for being an asshole.


Seconded.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:05 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


>Unless we earn some sort of cash reward every 10,000 favorites

Wait wait wait...can we get back to this idea?

I have debts you know.
posted by The Whelk at 5:18 PM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


I've never asked for a banning before, but really - I'm going to be shitty to real world trans* people because I argued with a trans* person online? Spelled out POINT BLANK like that...

If this is welcome, I'm not sure if it's a community I want to spend a lot of time in. Not saying I'll quit, but merely that if this is an acceptable way of interacting with MetaFilter, I'll take that into account before engaging in threads.
posted by sonika at 5:18 PM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I think the issue, if there is an issue, is not so much about how wolfdreams01 behaves in the real world - I mean, we don't really have any means to monitor what's going on in his outside world, anyway, or even other message boards and online communities. If he stays silent here and then kicks the first cat he sees, that's beyond ken and control.

However, "if a member of $group is unkind to me on MetaFilter, I see it as not only OK but the first-choice response to make life worse however I can for a tranche of the membership who also belong to $group in order to try to make that one member feel bad" seems to me very close to "I am going to be at best a huge headache for the mods" in meaning.

After all, if wd01 is going to be consistent and logical, he's going to have to break out the same fly moves if he feels slighted by a member of $race or $sexualorientation. It's basically saying "Hi! I am a hate speech time bomb", even if you don't think deliberately misgendering a trans person for no reason other than to cause hurt is itself hateful*.

Which is basically, I think, where we are, right? Two mods have so far said more or less explicitly that wd01 cannot continue to act this way and remain on the board... I think his statement that he is OK with this being closed up is an attempt to reassert control, or possibly a sincere delusion that he has control, but at this point there is nothing he can say that makes this situation any better for him, except "I now understand the problem, and will abandon the idea of collective punishment".

*Which it is, AFAICT.
posted by running order squabble fest at 5:19 PM on May 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


"After all, if wd01 is going to be consistent and logical, he's going to have to break out the same fly moves if he feels slighted by a member of $race or $sexualorientation."

I'm a straight white guy. Good luck getting to all of us, dude.
posted by klangklangston at 5:29 PM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


basically expressed that if the trans community treats me with civility on Metafilter, I'll treat them with equality in the real world, in terms of the politicians I vote for and the views I help to propagate. If they don't, I won't either.

There is a fundamental disconnect between your view of the world and the range of acceptable behavior on Metafilter. It doesn't appear to be fixable, and we're done trying.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:32 PM on May 4, 2013 [54 favorites]


And wolfdreams01 left or was pushed.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 5:33 PM on May 4, 2013


Who?
posted by zombieflanders at 5:34 PM on May 4, 2013


Unless we earn some sort of cash reward every 10,000 favorites

Or how about...*checks*... every 625 favorites? Like 624, are you kidding me?! Thats a joke, that is a sick joke sir! But 625? Voila you are worth so much more than that. You know. Moneywise.
posted by supercrayon at 5:35 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Oh for fuck's sake, wolfdreams01. That's not even, you know, a reason. It wasn't a reason the last time you explained it, and it's not a reason now. You could not possibly live by the principle you claim to be espousing here so reasonably.
posted by gauche at 5:36 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Gosh. That was so irrational that banning was the only choice.
posted by Jahaza at 5:39 PM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


I hope he works his bullshit out and can look back in a year and can shake his head at what an asshole he was. We've all had to do it sometime.
posted by klangklangston at 5:40 PM on May 4, 2013 [6 favorites]


"Gosh. That was so irrational that banning was the only choice."

Suicide by mod.
posted by klangklangston at 5:40 PM on May 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


Nah, that was the dude that insulted Taz's mother. This was just the natural outcome of an apparently inflexible way of relating to the world.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 5:41 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Mods, I just want to commend you for staying sane throughout this thread. You guys rock, and Metafilter owes a lot of what makes it such a great community to what you do.
posted by capricorn at 5:43 PM on May 4, 2013 [23 favorites]


At this point my question has been answered in a satisfactory way, so I'm OK with closing this up.

I have to admit, after the half gallon of crazy that came right before it, this actually made me laugh out loud. Good luck out there, wd.
posted by mintcake! at 5:44 PM on May 4, 2013


Just read this out of the corner of my eye:

Note: Everyone needs a hug.

as

Not everyone needs a hug.

I totally did that with a bag of cereal I thought was called "Home Schoolers" a few days ago, too.
posted by mph at 5:45 PM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


Unless we earn some sort of cash reward every 10,000 favorites

Every 5,000 favourites nets you a complimentary recipe based around your most loved food*.

* - food may not be 'baby', 'human' unless user is Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
posted by zennish at 5:47 PM on May 4, 2013


So is he really truly banned? As in no Brand New Day? Because I don't want to be around that fuck under any username.
posted by desjardins at 5:49 PM on May 4, 2013


Pretty much everyone gets a Brand New Day option, but part of the deal is you can't do the thing that got you banned anymore. We-as-mods have some leeway about that, but since we maintain that this is mostly about the behavior and not the person, this is the way it goes.
posted by jessamyn (staff) at 5:51 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


So has anyone else gotten banned as a result of a metatalk thread they started? [heaving sigh of relief for no more of his stuff]
posted by leslies at 5:52 PM on May 4, 2013


I have spent much of the afternoon drinking mint julep-type things in the backyard with people I like and to come back to this thread, and to wolfdreams' last comment is...well, I'm just glad that I've got some bourbon in me.

If you're still reading this, good on ya for being so honest, I guess, but you should seriously rethink the notion you have that you are a logical person. Good luck in the wider world.
posted by rtha at 5:56 PM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


I feel like I just witnessed a new kind of performance art.

Someone linked to some bearded European philosopher explaining that every system contains its own secret yet transgressive behavior. In order to be part of the system you must also transgress agains the expressly stated rules of the the system. To be clear I am not talking about MetaFilter, I am talking about America. We give lip service to equality and fairness yet secretly that is a lie.

WolfDream01 just exposed that lie.
posted by Ad hominem at 6:01 PM on May 4, 2013 [4 favorites]


I want the ability to ignore users

Yeah. Proper killfiles and make MeFi really like Usenet. That would be awesome. (Can't help it, I was classified as NNTP on the Myers-Briggs personality scale.)
posted by MartinWisse...


I think maybe you missed the next comment, where I inferred that I could get the same result by just ignoring users without any technical help - I just skip their posts and comments without reading them. If I do read them, I skip the part where I remember what they wrote.
posted by disclaimer at 6:23 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


can we close this thread now so everyone can go party in the dildo factory thread as the good lord intended?
posted by elizardbits at 6:23 PM on May 4, 2013 [7 favorites]


So has anyone else gotten banned as a result of a metatalk thread they started? [heaving sigh of relief for no more of his stuff

At least once, yeah.

can we close this thread now so everyone can go party in the dildo factory thread as the good lord intended?

The dildo thread is open for business. I'm going to leave this open a little while longer in case anyone wants to discuss the outcome.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 6:25 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


just to clarify are we burning anyone in a giant wicker man or not
posted by elizardbits at 6:29 PM on May 4, 2013 [9 favorites]


That's happening in the dildo thread. It's the Vivid Films parody.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:30 PM on May 4, 2013


I am gonna burn my homemade carnitas is I'm not careful and that is all the burning I'm capable of right now.
posted by rtha at 6:32 PM on May 4, 2013


just to clarify are we burning anyone in a giant wicker man or not

Let's burn wolfdreams in a giant wicker dildo.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:33 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


At the risk of being a wet blanket, given wolfdreams01 can't respond anymore, it seems churlish to keep talking about him even (especially?) in jest, given that he (correctly) felt like he didn't fit into the dominant social dynamic of the site.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 6:36 PM on May 4, 2013 [18 favorites]


That's happening in the dildo thread. It's the Vivid Films parody.

Dick Her, Man?
posted by zombieflanders at 6:37 PM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Somewhere in a secret underground laboratory, the mad scientist is decanting wolfdreams02.
posted by George_Spiggott at 6:38 PM on May 4, 2013 [8 favorites]


Every time the fire started to die down, he'd come along to throw a fresh gallon of gasoline on it. In the end, he got burned.

He was a troll. Good riddance.
posted by double block and bleed at 6:40 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


Please refrain from smoking while aboard Hindenburg, sir.
posted by Pudhoho at 6:41 PM on May 4, 2013


Well, that escalated quickly.
posted by subbes at 6:44 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a dildo thread? For partying? Thanks, elizardbits!
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:45 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


it seems churlish to keep talking about him

Count me amongst the churls, because I want to get on the record as saying that, everything else aside, I'm glad to see that stating outright that one intends to continue on with a deliberate attempt to harm and disparage fellow members is grounds for a banning. I'm pretty sure that I don't spend nearly as much time reading this site as many of the more prominent members, but the ongoing saga of wd's unwillingness/inability to compromise has been impossible to miss, and disruptive in more than one thread. His presence was lowering the overall quality of the discussion here, and I'm glad to see him gone.
posted by Ipsifendus at 6:57 PM on May 4, 2013 [20 favorites]


Are there dildo threads that are not for partying? Because that doesn't sound like a world I want to live in.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:58 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Dildo Threads would be the worst movie ever.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 7:00 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


What an unusual MeTa this turned out to be!
posted by Greg Nog at 7:00 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


There's a dildo thread? For partying? Thanks, elizardbits!

Easy there. Three of them got tangled up, fell in the pool and drowned.
posted by Mr. Yuck at 7:00 PM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


I'll just offer my churlish agreement. His persona seemed like a rather sophomoric pose and his behavior was generally trollish -- if not always in the absolute worst sense of that word -- with the apparent aim of keeping as much attention as possible on himself. And then you have this MeTa, which translates as "some of the attention I'm succeeding in getting is not the kind I want, please correct this." Seriously, there's no value to the site in this kind of thing.
posted by George_Spiggott at 7:02 PM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


Did that really happen? Because it was one the strangest series of comments leading to a banning.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:08 PM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


What a crazy fucking thing this has been.
posted by boo_radley at 7:10 PM on May 4, 2013 [1 favorite]


I would have to borrow some understanding to get up to the point where I have absolutely no fucking idea what wolfdreams wanted or what he got out of being here. Good luck wd.
posted by shothotbot at 7:15 PM on May 4, 2013


I'll lend you as much as you like but I don't think it will help.
posted by rtha at 7:16 PM on May 4, 2013


I hope the people that have added me aren't adding me as a contact just to fuck with me. If so, I will be forced to vote republican in '16 in retaliation.
posted by Ad hominem at 7:22 PM on May 4, 2013 [5 favorites]


Oh! also - if he was banned, I hope cortex or Matt did it so wd01 can carry out a crazy ass policy of retribution against straight white men.
posted by boo_radley at 7:22 PM on May 4, 2013 [13 favorites]


Was getting kicked off a success for him or a failure?
posted by shothotbot at 7:23 PM on May 4, 2013


Dildo threads? Is this some sort of Morgellons jump-off point?
posted by Purposeful Grimace at 7:32 PM on May 4, 2013 [3 favorites]


If his ridiculous behavior was something he could control, the ban was appropriate because he refused to control himself. If it was--much less likely--something he could not control, the ban was appropriate because he would never be able to conduct himself properly here.

So I don't think of it so much in terms as a success or failure from his point of view as I think of it as simply inevitable.
posted by MoonOrb at 7:35 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


Somewhere in a secret underground laboratory, the mad scientist is decanting wolfdreams02.

"I can't believe you would violate my consent by bringing me to life."
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 7:39 PM on May 4, 2013 [19 favorites]


OK, I think we've reached the end of the useful lifespan of this thread. Thanks, all.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 7:40 PM on May 4, 2013 [2 favorites]


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