Questionable FPP deletion. October 6, 2015 9:38 PM   Subscribe

When a major non-partisan US political news source that is run by the former National Politics Editor of the Washington Post, has sponsored multiple presidential debates for both parties, and has broken numerous stories claims to have multiple sources supporting a major American political story, which is then replied to by the Vice President's staff, who doesn't deny the story -- an inherently newsworthy event -- why does this appear "not fully baked enough"? Keep in mind that stories such as Piggate, Watergate, the Lewinsky Affair, and this post from today, and, well... many MeFi posts in general, are based on a single person's opinion or slanted recollection, and not multiple confirmed sources from a reputable news organization, as is the gold standard in journalism. What are the community's thoughts on the standards that should be used by MetaFilter in order for a story to be considered shareable? Are other journalists expected to do the hard work of finding anonymous sources to confirm or deny the story first, before it can be shared with the rest of us?
posted by markkraft to Etiquette/Policy at 9:38 PM (148 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

My popcorn battery is low.
posted by clavdivs at 9:41 PM on October 6, 2015 [18 favorites]


I read the various links, and as near as I can tell, the VP's office is totally denying the story (just not that Dowd may or may not have spoken to Biden) which makes this... kind of nothing at all? I mean, maybe it's true, maybe it's not, but it's going to be a very long election year, and speculation about what may or may not be a PR move seems like not enough to spend our limited attention on. Comparing this to Watergate seems... inaccurate.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:42 PM on October 6, 2015 [14 favorites]


You clearly have access to the story, but that doesn't mean it has to be discussed here.

You're coming off as 'THIS IS IMPORTANT TO SEE' rather than 'This is a cool thing I found', which is historically very bad for FPPs, especially political ones.

And my own personal bugbear, there's all sorts of exaggeration here, in my opinion, from your description of Politico to the 'major' part of the story. It's not that confirmed, it's not that important, and it's not that necessary.
posted by gadge emeritus at 9:50 PM on October 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


The notion that Politico is "non-partisan" is pretty amusing.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:56 PM on October 6, 2015 [19 favorites]


I flagged it just because I can't even with you and Clinton anymore.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:07 PM on October 6, 2015 [41 favorites]


Does this need to be posted?
Does this need to be posted by me?
Does this need to be posted by me right now?
posted by one_bean at 10:18 PM on October 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


(feel free to apply to your original post as well as this one, but more importantly posts in the future)
posted by one_bean at 10:25 PM on October 6, 2015


> What are the community's thoughts on the standards that should be used by MetaFilter in order for a story to be considered shareable?

That it be a cool thing and not an IMPORTANT thing. It can be important - many important things have been shared here, and discussed, and will continue to be. But that shouldn't be the sum total of what makes a good post. That other posts similar to this may not have been deleted: eh.
posted by rtha at 10:30 PM on October 6, 2015 [6 favorites]


I think I'm on the record somewhere as feeling that MeFi is way too delete-happy these days, but if I'd been around when this was up I'd have flagged it with the fire of a thousand suns. It's a super-editorial post from someone with a history of riding his political hobbyhorses around here.
posted by lalex at 10:30 PM on October 6, 2015 [10 favorites]


Anything that needs to be posted shouldn't be.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:32 PM on October 6, 2015 [12 favorites]


MetaFilter: way too delete-happy these days
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:32 PM on October 6, 2015 [1 favorite]


why does this appear "not fully baked enough"?

Because your election is more than a year away and oh god really? Living in the US must be really boring if you have to drum up drama about an event that's not even within the next year, lat alone any time soon. If nothing else there's no reason not to wait and see where this story goes, it's not like it's exactly urgent.

That's my probably-unpopular opinion as an outsider anyway.
posted by shelleycat at 10:38 PM on October 6, 2015 [43 favorites]


I'm not an outsider and I feel that way.

Biden deciding whether to run isn't Watergate, either, and it's vastly less entertaining than Cameron's little debacle.
posted by gingerest at 11:11 PM on October 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


No, you nailed it, shellycat. This wasn't a story that needed to be on MetaFilter. It's been a rough shift for r_n, eh?
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 11:13 PM on October 6, 2015 [8 favorites]


That post belongs on NewsFilter, the nonexistent subsection you can't find in the header bar up top.
posted by naju at 11:40 PM on October 6, 2015 [19 favorites]


I mean, maybe it's true, maybe it's not, but it's going to be a very long election year,

this refrain really needs to be retired.

you mods are really taking way too active a role in culling what people post here, using really vague, notional criteria. it's disrespectful of the work that goes into the posts and comments that you delete. a perfectly fine/good discussion could have resulted from this post.
posted by jayder at 11:44 PM on October 6, 2015 [3 favorites]


This is a good deletion. There's nothing there. It's basically gossip that is being floated as somehow shocking or interesting news. It's a non story, which to my mind means it doesn't pass the newsfilter hurdle. It's like not even a good scandal.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:50 PM on October 6, 2015 [26 favorites]


The fact that we've made mistakes in the past doesn't mean we have to keep making them. Even if we have allowed posts like this in the past, we can learn from our mistakes and not repeat them.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 12:00 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Jayder, you having a bad night? Maybe you could use some pancakes. Go have some pancakes! With chocolate chips. Or fruit. Whatever, but tasty pancakes!
posted by disclaimer at 12:14 AM on October 7, 2015


Metafilter: Anything that needs to be posted shouldn't be.
posted by From Bklyn at 12:26 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh man, all this needs is a long rant about the burgeoning journalism movement growing on livejournal and it's like I'm back in 2007 again, those halcyon days of yore.
posted by shmegegge at 1:00 AM on October 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


a perfectly fine/good discussion could have resulted from this post.

The metafilter magic eight ball says "outlook not so good" which although one step above "very doubtful" was probably good enough reason.
posted by three blind mice at 1:26 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


What are the community's thoughts on the standards that should be used by MetaFilter in order for a story to be considered shareable?

Is this the best of the web?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:21 AM on October 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Good deletion, much editorialising, very unnecessary framing.
posted by Dysk at 3:15 AM on October 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Tiger Beat on the Potomac is a "major non-partisan US political news source"?
posted by octothorpe at 3:31 AM on October 7, 2015 [27 favorites]


Reading the post now and it's even worse than just The Politico, it's The Politico quoting Maureen Dowd. The deletion was more than justified.
posted by octothorpe at 3:56 AM on October 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


MetaFilter: not fully baked enough
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:03 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think any posts relating to the U.S. Presidential election should have to meet a very high bar for posting until maybe just before the primaries. We don't need a 24 month election cycle just because news outlets desperately need to fill space but can't talk coherently about anything lest they give the game away.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:07 AM on October 7, 2015 [10 favorites]


Counter proposal: surely the cabal has enough mojo now to replace the silly US electoral system with something more rational involving favorites that aren't votes, cat pictures and beans.
posted by Skorgu at 4:36 AM on October 7, 2015


I think I broke my personal speed record for flagging this one.

Like I said in the other MeTa, news-posts just aren't great in general, and this one seemed like it was designed in a lab to be as fighty and flakey as possible.
posted by Dip Flash at 4:54 AM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


MetaFilter: not fully baked enough

I'm doing the best I can, man!
posted by terrapin at 5:00 AM on October 7, 2015 [13 favorites]


replace the silly US electoral system with something more rational involving favorites that aren't votes, cat pictures and beans.

This is astonishingly hard to parse. Well played!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:16 AM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I have heard a little about this story but I need some more depth in order to consider it fully, probably from competing points of view. I do not think that this FPP provided that, and I suspect that there need to be more actual events for us to grok it in the fullness.

Call it "small sample size error" if you prefer, but there isn't enough there there yet.

(Also, shellycat, this "event that's not even within the next year" will have an enormous influence on the entire world, like it or not, for some time to come -- so a shakeup of who the players are could be news-worthy. Just…not this particular still-developing story.)
posted by wenestvedt at 5:42 AM on October 7, 2015


so a shakeup of who the players are could be news-worthy

Right. And when that shake up is going to happen in any kind of meaningful timeframe we can start to care. But it's not, and expecting the world to give a shit at this incredibly preliminary stage just seems like either drama-mongering out of boredom or like an over-inflated sense of importance.
posted by shelleycat at 5:50 AM on October 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


Good deletion. No problem with FPPs about the US election (there were several on the UK election in the run-up), but this one seemed premature; it's in "he said that she said that they said..." territory. It's certainly a possibility, if or when there is more substance, to be a post, but at the moment it's Draft Folder material.

As a side-point, I kinda wish there was an option in the "flag" menu for something like "Draft-worthy" (especially now that TechnoGod PB has industriated such functionality), or "Could be a future FPP with some more content or less bias" as some of those deleted are.

Keep in mind that stories such as ... Watergate ... are based on a single person's opinion or slanted recollection

What?! From Wikipedia:

The scandal also resulted in the indictment of 69 people, with trials or pleas resulting in 48 being found guilty and incarcerated, many of whom were Nixon's top administration officials.
posted by Wordshore at 5:59 AM on October 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


markkraft, I hope you'll check back in say about three weeks and leave an indication of how important you still feel it is for the post to have been here.
posted by Wolfdog at 6:04 AM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


When a major non-partisan US political news source ...

I sound my barbaric LOLS over the roofs of the world.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:06 AM on October 7, 2015 [8 favorites]


I won't bother posting the Gotta/Should/Must rule, because jesu christo, I just did it last night in the most recent MeTa, but this was a Must.
posted by Etrigan at 6:28 AM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


drama-mongering out of boredom

I think it's more out of "Hey! Look over here! Stop talking about inequality and mass shootings and things that are actually problems, and focus on this popularity contest instead!" - edness.
posted by jaguar at 6:34 AM on October 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


I will add my voice to the early burnout of all the US election threads. I mean, there feels like there are at least a handful every week. Believe me, I am sure your deleted thread will revive in some form before all is said and done, but this is not SILENCED ALL MY LIFE levels of MeTa.
posted by Kitteh at 6:47 AM on October 7, 2015 [5 favorites]


Not to derail, but I'm not aware that there's any question that Clinton had sex with Monica Lewinsky, either. Whether that was worth wasting a couple year's of the country's time and an impeachment over is a different question (the answer is "no"), but it did happen.

The pigfucker thing is single sourced, but not the Lewinsky and Watergate.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:02 AM on October 7, 2015


and this post from today, and, well... many MeFi posts in general, are based on a single person's opinion or slanted recollection, and not multiple confirmed sources from a reputable news organization, as is the gold standard in journalism.

My post, since you linked to it, is not "one person's slanted recollection." The articles in the post include perspectives from several people involved in the story, as well as links to articles that are both sympathetic and unsympathetic to the idea that Ms. Hawk is being attacked in a sexist way, that her mental health is relevant to her job performance, or that she is being subjected to a double standard. It includes links to a number of different media outlets, including the Dallas Morning News, the Dallas Observer, the Texas Observer, Texas Monthly and D Magazine. The D Magazine and Texas Monthly links are long form articles which relied on multiple sources to present their stories.

I'm sorry if that reality intrudes on the fictional narrative you're breathlessly presenting here about bias in order to save your precious snowflake of a post. But next time, perhaps you should investigate what you're trying to smear before you try to do so.
posted by zarq at 7:04 AM on October 7, 2015 [30 favorites]


I don't really even understand what the "news" in this "scandal" is supposed to be. Politicians gonna politick. Maureen Dowd is gonna not go gentle into that good night so her columns become increasingly irrelevant and maudlin. Politico is gonna love inside-the-Beltway gossip. So ... what's even news here?
posted by Eyebrows McGee at 7:12 AM on October 7, 2015 [6 favorites]


Living in the US must be really boring if you have to drum up drama about an event that's not even within the next year

You have the cause and effect mixed up here.

markkraft, I hope you'll check back in say about three weeks and leave an indication of how important you still feel it is for the post to have been here.

I have zero doubt that he'll still think it's phenomenally important.
posted by phearlez at 7:19 AM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


A comment have just dropped in the previous MetaTalk thread perhaps also applicable here.
posted by Wordshore at 7:21 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


So ... what's even news here?

Clinton supporters rightfully view Joe Biden as a potential threat. Accusations of Biden sexism against Clinton could conceivably have an effect on nominations, considering that the 2016 election that may very well be decided by how many women voters show up to the polls.
posted by zarq at 7:24 AM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


A comment have just dropped in the previous MetaTalk thread perhaps also applicable here.

That's a great comment, wordshore. As is tonycpsu's below it.
posted by zarq at 7:30 AM on October 7, 2015


I think it's more out of "Hey! Look over here! Stop talking about inequality and mass shootings and things that are actually problems, and focus on this popularity contest instead!" - edness.

This is actually a very good point and an angle I hadn't thought of. I'm not sure if it's more charitable than my initial reading. Sort of? Probably more accurate either way.
posted by shelleycat at 7:30 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Also, this isn't World Cup Soccer. One can't drop to the ground and roll around and try to get the referee to call hypothetical fouls on plays that haven't happened yet. Yeah, probably Clinton would be treated poorly by the media if she invoked her dead mother (which she has done) quite as blatantly as Biden allegedly invoked his son, but I'm balking at the hypothetical nature of this particular part of the discussion. Let's score real points, not made up ones. (Yeah, I read a few of the links and Bidens track record on bodily autonomy is pretty dismal.)
posted by puddledork at 7:33 AM on October 7, 2015


The pigfucking story was so, so, so much more noteworthy than a rumor that Joe Biden might run for office. For one thing, it was about a dude fucking a pig
posted by Greg Nog at 7:36 AM on October 7, 2015 [34 favorites]


It was iconic and 2,000 years from now I want people still joking on the future internet about it the same way we still make fun of caligula for making his horse a roman senator.
posted by poffin boffin at 7:40 AM on October 7, 2015 [7 favorites]


It was about a dude face-fucking a pig. Jesus, he's not a complete pervert.
posted by Etrigan at 7:41 AM on October 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


This "event" is just not an event. It's a bunch of people really hyped up about the fact that "an anonymous source close to Joe Biden" leaked something strategically beneficial to Joe Biden. Well, yes, that's how the game is played. We all knew that when the leak came out. I saw a headline on Vox(!) all like, "imagine if Hillary Clinton did something like this!?!?!" as though she doesn't do it every day.

I am amazed that you think this should be mentioned in the same breath as Watergate.

I mean, what's the point here? When Biden invoked his dying son for political gain, it was kind of gross? Well, yeah, the whole electoral process is fuckin' gross. The American President kills people for political gain; this one does it, the last one did it, so did the one before last. That's our system! How can telling a maudlin family story possibly measure up to that?

I hope you're not going to say its because Biden runs on being "authentic." Pretty Rockist IMO. Every politician is pretending to be authentic. Please do not call me the next time you discover a politician who is not really as authentic as he wants to appear.
posted by grobstein at 7:43 AM on October 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


The pigfucking story was so, so, so much more noteworthy than a rumor that Joe Biden might run for office. For one thing, it was about a dude fucking a pig

Everyone knows real news is a pig-fucks-man story
posted by grobstein at 7:44 AM on October 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


Adding my voice to the chorus of laughter about Politico being unbiased as a source for political news and the chorus of "oh fuck no" about piling the front page high and deep with coverage of the primaries more than a year out from the 2016 election. If we're gonna newsfilter, let's save it for actual news.
posted by immlass at 7:54 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


MeFi doesn't need posts like this (or like the other in MeTa below this one). It's not even newsfilter, which is bad enough, it's outragefilter. Someone Screwed Up So You Better Get Mad About This Problem. The last line and link in the post gives away the intent.

I've grown less interested in reading the blue given these kinds of posts I have to scroll past (and the inevitable repetitive comment pile-ons or arguments that await within). Whether it's liberal outragefilter or conservative outragefilter where there is something we MUST read and we MUST discuss and we MUST respond with angry comments, I'll pass.

Particularly when it's half-baked outragefilter about gossip.
posted by Old Man McKay at 8:06 AM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure if it's more charitable than my initial reading.

Oh, I think it's less charitable, or at least I intended it to be less charitable.
posted by jaguar at 8:20 AM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


You're coming off as 'THIS IS IMPORTANT TO SEE' rather than 'This is a cool thing I found', which is historically very bad for FPPs, especially political ones.

This needs to be somehow added to a sticky note that is somehow placed on the monitor of every person who posts on this website. Can we get a pony request for introducing non-removable physical objects into people's environments in this manner?
posted by capricorn at 8:35 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this the place where I can say "Fuck Politico"? They're not "a major non-partisan US political news source", they're a cleaned-up Matt Drudge. I skip FPPs based on their work as regularly as I skip ones base on Salon click-bait. In fact, I'll ask people to not make posts centered on Politico articles; at least wait until the NYTimes decides they are news-worthy. That'll filter out some of the sludge.
posted by benito.strauss at 8:43 AM on October 7, 2015 [4 favorites]


Two "why was this post deleted?" MeTas in a row? Man, I hope the mods have lots of vacation days, and maybe free beer.

Oh, and for the record: this was a shitty, bad-for-MeFi post and I would have flagged it instantly if I'd seen it before the deletion.
posted by languagehat at 8:54 AM on October 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


markkraft, per the contribution index, you've made a total of 83 posts to MeFi. The contribution index includes our deleted posts in its activity roundup. Now, if we look at your profile, it shows 61 posts. That means you've had a total of 22 posts deleted.

Now, most of us who post to the Blue have deletions under our belts. I have made 821 total posts, with 21 deleted. That's a deletion rate of 2.56%.

You have a 26.51% deletion rate. Approximately one in four of your posts don't make it and personally, that feels like a high-than-normal percentage.

Perhaps that's worth considering for the future.
posted by zarq at 9:26 AM on October 7, 2015 [14 favorites]


higher-than-normal percentage
posted by zarq at 9:32 AM on October 7, 2015


Is this the place where I can say "Fuck Politico"? They're not "a major non-partisan US political news source", they're a cleaned-up Matt Drudge.

QFT.
posted by soundguy99 at 9:36 AM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Two good deletions in a row re these MeTas.
posted by mintcake! at 9:47 AM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I'm sure the next deletion-complaint Meta will be an exception!
posted by Drastic at 10:23 AM on October 7, 2015


Finally, a MeTa that brings together the reflexive contrarians and the social justice warriors, the n00bs and the veterans, the urban and the rural, the conservatives and the progressives — all to say that this was a righteous deletion.

Honor this moment, we may never see it again.
posted by klangklangston at 11:21 AM on October 7, 2015 [21 favorites]


a perfectly fine/good discussion could have resulted from this post.

What would that discussion be? The media is more apt to scrutinize a female candidate's actions than a male candidate's? Film at 11. Honestly. I do not see what good or fine discussion could possibly have come from the post.
posted by maryr at 11:27 AM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


What about the sportos and motorheads?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:27 AM on October 7, 2015 [11 favorites]


They all adore it. They think it's a righteous deletion.
posted by maryr at 11:33 AM on October 7, 2015 [22 favorites]


This is full of ick is my new favorite saying.
posted by cjorgensen at 11:34 AM on October 7, 2015


So I guess I get that this is important you you, OP. But I read the FPP and I was "meh", I read the article and I was "meh" and I read the deletion reason and I was "meh".

Honestly this doesn't merit any consideration. It's gossip, not news.
posted by GuyZero at 12:19 PM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


It was about a dude face-fucking a pig. Jesus, he's not a complete pervert.

A dead pig. Pigs deserve SOME credit here.
posted by briank at 1:07 PM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


You are correct to call out stuff like Piggate. It only survived because this community has a bias against conservative politicians. But the solution to that isn't being just as dumb but to liberals.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:23 PM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wow zarq, I usually find looking into the stats to be kind of a dick move but in this case you are right to highlight the numbers. You need to change the way you approach FPPs, markkraft. If you take a different approach, more links you care about will survive on the front page.

/ehug if desired MK, not trying to be mean.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:29 PM on October 7, 2015


You have a 26.51% deletion rate. Approximately one in four of your posts don't make it and personally, that feels like a high-than-normal percentage.

It's not as high as mine. Long ago, my one effort at a front page post was deleted, which means I'm either batting 1.000 or well below the Mendoza line depending on your perspective.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:45 PM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


It only survived because this community has a bias against conservative politicians.

no, it survived because the prime minister of the united kingdom put his weenis in the mouth of his roast dinner
posted by poffin boffin at 1:53 PM on October 7, 2015 [34 favorites]


the sole reason it would be marginally less hilarious if obama was caught doing the same exact thing under the same exact circumstances is that racists would make jokes about muslims and pork
posted by poffin boffin at 1:55 PM on October 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


You are correct to call out stuff like Piggate. It only survived because this community has a bias against conservative politicians.

This community absolutely does have a bias against conservative politicians, but the craziness of that story would have made it FPP-worthy whether the target was David Cameron, Joe Biden, or Bernie Sanders.
posted by tonycpsu at 2:04 PM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Everyone knows real news is a pig-fucks-man story

Previously.
posted by homunculus at 2:18 PM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nope, nope, not clicking that link.
posted by maryr at 2:19 PM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


Being able to click on that link is one of the great things about working from home a couple days a week.

Or the worst. I'm about to find out.
posted by double block and bleed at 2:39 PM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


I apologize for being late to the party but must add that I also endorse the deletion. That was an ugly post in more than one way. Not just half baked but rolled with dough mixed from rotten eggs, too much yeast and maggoty flour.
posted by y2karl at 3:01 PM on October 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


Yeah, was not trying to be a dick about the stats. But it felt like a high percentage so I thought I'd mention it. Sometimes a little knowledge can be helpful, and man, if a quarter of my posts to the blue had been axed I'd wanna know so I could make changes and raise my batting average, so to speak.
posted by zarq at 3:19 PM on October 7, 2015


You're coming off as 'THIS IS IMPORTANT TO SEE' rather than 'This is a cool thing I found'

ya know, like all day egg mcmuffins.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 4:08 PM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


That's important for toothless coyotes.
posted by y2karl at 4:33 PM on October 7, 2015 [2 favorites]


What are the community's thoughts on the standards that should be used by MetaFilter in order for a story to be considered shareable?

Don't use MeFi as your breaking news platform, cub reporter. This is a thing that has been said to specific commenters, yourself included, over and over. That you want MeFi to be something different from what it is, and continue to use it that way, is your issue more than it is MetaFilter's. Even this MeTa post reads like a screed-y FPP-by-proxy. Wikipedia's usual standard is "no original research" and while there is a long list of ways that MeFi is not Wikipedia, it's not a bad general rule of thumb for citing sources.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 5:27 PM on October 7, 2015 [36 favorites]


> Two "why was this post deleted?" MeTas in a row?

What concerns me is the complete absence of "Why wasn't my post deleted?" MeTas.

This suppression by the mods of fading self-confidence among the membership is certainly one of the more worrying signs of lack of dissent in this forum.
posted by ardgedee at 6:35 PM on October 7, 2015 [3 favorites]


ardgedee: "What concerns me is the complete absence of "Why wasn't my post deleted?" MeTas."

Not a complete absence.
posted by Bugbread at 7:16 PM on October 7, 2015


You are correct to call out stuff like Piggate. It only survived because this community has a bias against conservative politicians. But the solution to that isn't being just as dumb but to liberals.

No, it survived because a major political figure skullfucked a dead pig. Like, seriously, an actual politician who has gotten actual votes stuck his goddamn dick into a dead pig. His political leanings are irrelevant. He fucked a fucking pig.

Come the fuck on. The Prime goddamn Minister of the United fucking Kingdom stuck his dick in a pig.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 10:13 PM on October 7, 2015 [16 favorites]


He fucked a fucking pig.

So he utilized the fucking pig as intended. What's the outrage over?
posted by Rangi at 11:08 PM on October 7, 2015 [9 favorites]


That post belongs on NewsFilter, the nonexistent subsection you can't find in the header bar up top.

It's there, it's just invisible. As it should be.
posted by scalefree at 11:37 PM on October 7, 2015


Clinton, Biden, what does it matter? Surely we're all voting quidnunc #1 anyway?
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:00 PM on October 8, 2015 [6 favorites]


To be more fair to Cameron than is warranted, it really is just little more than a scurrilous rumour that he put his dick in a dead pig's mouth.

It's just it seems to so perfectly fit that he is forever tainted by the association. I know I'd take some convincing that it wasn't true, and only some of that is because I want it to be true so much.
posted by gadge emeritus at 2:52 PM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't have much of a dog in this deleted thread's fight, but man, comment deletions have felt really heavy-handed of late, like almost every thread on the blue? And what feels notable is that a lot of it appears to be pretty innocuous stuff, like [we don't really need to hear the story about your pet mouse, this thread is about mah jongg so please keep the conversation to tile games] or something. This makes mefi feel more on-rails than it used to, in a way that does bum me out.
posted by threeants at 4:49 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


This makes mefi feel more on-rails than it used to, in a way that does bum me out.

Yep. I can't say that it's made mefi worse, but it's definitely different and does feel, to me, heavy-handed. But probably people who reads the threads get a better experience on the balance.

Also clearly the mods are not Canadian or they wouldn't be deleting my comments calling for the assassination of Stephen Harper. mostly kidding. mostly.
posted by GuyZero at 4:52 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


Of course, for all I know maybe mods' representations of comments tend to be overly sanguine and those deleted were actually shrill racist screeds. That's why comment deletions are so frustrating: as community members we have no basis even upon which to discuss them.
posted by threeants at 4:53 PM on October 8, 2015


[we don't really need to hear the story about your pet mouse, this thread is about mah jongg so please keep the conversation to tile games]

Where's that one?
posted by shakespeherian at 5:13 PM on October 8, 2015


Oops, caught me right in the middle of a fictionalized example for the sake of conversation! Boy is my face red!
posted by threeants at 5:31 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's hard to argue with a fictionalized example. I haven't seen any deletions along those lines, so I don't know what you're talking about. If you have an actual example, let's talk about that.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:48 PM on October 8, 2015 [4 favorites]


From my experience reading your comments on the site, "hard to argue with" must feel like a real missed opportunity for you and I apologize for depriving you of the chance.

I was recounting my subjective experience in a friendly way and you're welcome to agree or disagree, but meeting that with condescending hostility really doesn't improve the conversation, whether or not that may be the tone you feel more comfortable operating on.
posted by threeants at 6:07 PM on October 8, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have had comments deleted on the blue that were nothing more than my saying I though people were being cruddy to each other above. I guess that's a don't be meta there, go over there. Personally I am not a fan.
posted by phearlez at 6:09 PM on October 8, 2015


I also feel like MeFi has gotten a bit more heavy-handed in steering threads, moving from [A couple of comments deleted. Let's talk without pillorying individual members] to [Let's talk about the main topic, not this side discussion, because we've already talked about that side topic a lot]

I feel like a proverbial German citizen in the "First they came..." statement, though, because the particular side discussions ("Let's not talk about religion in this thread", "Let's not talk about hipsters in this thread", "Let's not talk about pet mice in this thread") are all actually stuff I'm not interested in reading about. In many cases I don't understand why the mods are pruning threads lately (I'm not talking about the shitbombs and fighty stuff, I'm talking about the "let's stay on topic, guys" stuff), but since they're pruning stuff I'm not interested, I can't really bring myself to care.
posted by Bugbread at 6:14 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I was recounting my subjective experience in a friendly way and you're welcome to agree or disagree, but meeting that with condescending hostility really doesn't improve the conversation, whether or not that may be the tone you feel more comfortable operating on.

Condescending hostility? I apologize that my comment came across that way; that was not my intention. I don't think that site moderation has gotten heavy-handed. Deletion reasons that I've seen which are superficially similar to your fictional example include this one, but that appears to be more along the lines of 'Don't threadshit if you don't care about the topic.'
posted by shakespeherian at 6:31 PM on October 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


First they came for the derails about invoking Niemoller over deleted comments on a website, but I didn't speak up, because those ought to be deleted
posted by Rustic Etruscan at 6:42 PM on October 8, 2015 [21 favorites]


I mean, I don't think it was a needed delete, but I also a) don't think it was a good post and b) want to stab a spork into my eye when election shit starts going. Is there a "makes me want to stab a spork in my eye" flag button?
posted by corb at 7:00 PM on October 8, 2015


HTLM/display error.
posted by clavdivs at 7:19 PM on October 8, 2015 [7 favorites]


It's hard for me to find condescending hostility in It's hard to argue with a fictionalized example. For, one thing, it's a statement of fact, mild in snark if snark at all. Strictly in the eye of the beholder. To choose to take offense at such does make the spotlight shift, however.

Not that a fictionalized example for effect is such a crime.

It reminds me of Metropolitan.
It was a composite -- like in New York magazine.
Back when we hung potatoes from our belts, special snowflakes were made of armor grade titanium, not artisanal rice paper. This is getting to be like Into Thin Air on the slopes of an anthill. Sheesh.
posted by y2karl at 9:11 PM on October 8, 2015 [3 favorites]


Several days and 100+ comments later, and OP hasn't bothered to respond.

Not that I'm hugely surprised.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:38 AM on October 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


> From my experience reading your comments on the site, "hard to argue with" must feel like a real missed opportunity for you and I apologize for depriving you of the chance.

I was recounting my subjective experience in a friendly way and you're welcome to agree or disagree, but meeting that with condescending hostility really doesn't improve the conversation, whether or not that may be the tone you feel more comfortable operating on.


You are completely misreading the comment you're responding to, which in fact is an accurate observation made with no observable hostility, and you are responding with condescending hostility of your own (and if you're going to claim your comment is not hostile, good luck, because nobody will believe you). You might want to rethink your approach (and come up with an actual example we can discuss).
posted by languagehat at 8:05 AM on October 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


(and if you're going to claim your comment is not hostile, good luck, because nobody will believe you)

I believe him! and shakes does come off as hostile, though he's clarified that's not what he intended.

As usual, communication is hard and everyone would do well not to think the other people are being hostile.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 8:31 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Communication is a lot easier when people stop projecting intent. It's that easy. There is nothing to be read as hostile in that comment, not even tone. Having to answer for it is ridiculous.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:39 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I've completely lost the thread of who is being hostile to who, who appears to be hostile to who, who perceives who else to be hostile to who, and ...

Maybe everyone just, like, take a break from the keyboard? Go outside for a bit of a walk. Breathe in some nice autumnal air, hopefully see a tree changing radiant colors in its foilage. Enjoy a little bit of nature.
posted by Wordshore at 8:52 AM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


i would like to thank the mods for how pointed the mod notes are as of late -i can understand that it ruffles some feathers, but i think the notes after comment deletions have gotten more honest and useful recently. before i felt like it was sort of mystery meat as to why a comment was deleted (when they were along the lines of "hey, cool it") and now i think even people getting to threads late can see where a discussion went and why it was pulled back from that. i really appreciate y'alls extra effort with this.
posted by nadawi at 9:00 AM on October 9, 2015 [26 favorites]


No, it survived because a major political figure skullfucked a dead pig. Like, seriously, an actual politician who has gotten actual votes stuck his goddamn dick into a dead pig. His political leanings are irrelevant. He fucked a fucking pig.

Come the fuck on. The Prime goddamn Minister of the United fucking Kingdom stuck his dick in a pig.


According to an anonymous source the author claims may be deranged. You come on. ;) It was an awful post that should have been deleted.

Should we have an FPP on stories about how Hillary physically abuses Bill? Some rando political attack book says it's true, you see.
posted by Drinky Die at 4:17 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's really weird how you're pulling the entire Pig Face Fuck thing out of all context and pretending it wasn't on literally every communication medium in the world with some beautiful timing and local context in its home country. Least of all with that closing comparison, which I find difficult to believe you actually believe.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 4:26 PM on October 9, 2015 [3 favorites]


It's really weird how you're pulling the entire Pig Face Fuck thing out of all context and pretending it wasn't on literally every communication medium in the world

Metafilter does not have to be as dumb as the rest of the media about uncorroborated, sensationalist accusations.

Least of all with that closing comparison, which I find difficult to believe you actually believe.

But it's getting mainstream coverage all over the world!
posted by Drinky Die at 4:33 PM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


i mean, as soon as the pigfucking thing was said, instead of all of his supporters talking about how crazy it was and how it could never be true, they all weirdly went with some version of "oh come on, who hasn't gotten into some silly drunken antics in school?!" which to me leads a bit of credence to the allegations. also, more than the pig fucking, it's the burning money in front of homeless people that i think he should be getting roundly attacked for.
posted by nadawi at 4:36 PM on October 9, 2015 [7 favorites]


Supporters making excuses is reflexive in politics, it's not a sign of guilt or innocence. Opposition making excuses to believe guilt, that's a thing too. :)
posted by Drinky Die at 4:44 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


It's like yelling "Skull and Bones" to John Kerry. He won't respond, probably leave the room.

Wait.
posted by clavdivs at 4:49 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


i believe the reaction was different than normal which makes me think this sort of thing was/is fairly normative in the types of clubs he was a part of. but i'm not really in the mood to play your games so you keep on thinking it's part of the vast metafilter liberal conspiracy or whatever.
posted by nadawi at 4:52 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Okay but your vague mind reading of the supporters of a politician you disagree with isn't good enough justification for unsubstantiated bestiality claims against politicians being considered a good post here as far as I am concerned. I think we need a higher standard of evidence before we hype up sensationalist claims from anonymous possibly "deranged" sources than that. If that is "game playing" then fine.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:04 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


luckily the mods don't ask me or you for our personal justifications for every thread they decide to not delete. better luck next time.
posted by nadawi at 5:06 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


We are here in a thread that mentioned it, on a subsite that is for mod feedback, discussing it. Are you just looking to win a fight or what? My interest in that sort of grudge type stuff has severely waned as of late. So please, let's just agree to disagree. :)
posted by Drinky Die at 5:08 PM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


nope, not looking for a fight - saying that the things you are likening it to are not good examples and there are reasons besides liberal bias to why it stayed. comments like "vague mind reading" aren't exactly not fighty on your part either. i'm certainly glad to drop in here though.
posted by nadawi at 5:13 PM on October 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


Okay, no hard feelings.
posted by Drinky Die at 5:14 PM on October 9, 2015


For the record, my actual mod perspective at the time was that the David Cameron Fucked A Pig thing was simultaneously dumb and inescapably gigantic and internet zeitgeisty. One of those weird moments in web/media phenomenology. It wasn't great MetaFilter posting, but god help me if I was gonna die on a hill trying to prevent a post from ever happening.

Trying to parse something more meaningful than the collective sense of EVERYTHING HAPPENS SO MUCH out of that particular situation is just asking for confusion and disappointment is my general feeling.
posted by cortex (staff) at 5:15 PM on October 9, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm with Drinky Die 100%: metafilter does not have to be this dumb. It, specifically the hive mind of metafilter (you can be very sure there is a hive mind here) doesn't have to (1) presume that because a news story showed up in nine thousand news sites automatically accept that it must be real; (2) doesn't have to presume guilt because it's convenient or funny to do so; (3) Circle jerks just because it's a conservative and FUCK THEM.

this is the site that knows how to dig deep into a post and refute claims.
This is the site that's supposed to be smart and aware that politicians make shit up all the time.

I truly believe that metafilter is better than just taking that story as written and believing it.
posted by disclaimer at 5:16 PM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wait, a PIG?!
posted by shakespeherian at 5:20 PM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


I truly believe that metafilter is better than just taking that story as written and believing it.

You didn't have to believe in the veracity of the David Hameron story to believe that it was going to be something people here wanted to talk about.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:27 PM on October 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


No, that's true. Because OMG.

Which is a level that I think metafilter should rise above. If this story had been about sanders or clinton, metafilter ::the hive mind:: would have torn that story apart to disprove it, but because it's cameron, it's accepted as rote.
posted by disclaimer at 5:42 PM on October 9, 2015 [2 favorites]


Again, to be fair:

It got traction worldwide, and that was in part because it felt true. It was exactly the sort of thing it was easy to believe he would have done, the sort of thing someone from his background would do, and the Conservative reaction, the Black Mirror tie-in, even I suppose the groundswell of Corbyn support, all helped make it feel like one of those rumours that is real more for what it says we're willing to accept as true about someone more than what's actually, verifiably, true.

And yet it really was a hit smear based on very little, and there's grounds to delete it for that. It's not the sort of story that would attach to (Hillary) Clinton, Sanders, Warren, amongst others, because it doesn't (in my mind) at all fit with them. It might get a little pull on Bill, but again not much; ditto, say, Romney or Santorum ... but it might work on, say, a Bush.

So yes, context.

Also, with: Communication is a lot easier when people stop projecting intent. It's that easy.

Sure. Though that's easier to hear from people who don't do it themselves.
posted by gadge emeritus at 6:12 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


I apologize for being so hair-trigger in response to shakespeherian's challenge. I guess I sort of resented being asked to complete in a Best Mefi Archivist duel when I felt that the thread was the sort where it was okay to leave my general feelings about the direction of moderation without necessitating that kind of investment of energy/time, which I don't have. But I could have fielded that more diplomatically.

I do, though, strongly take issue with languagehat's characterization of my initial comment as hostile. I know there is a contingent here thatr takes any criticism of the mods' decisions as such, but from my human interactions with the folks on the mod team, I work off the assumption that they are adults and can handle constructive community feedback.
posted by threeants at 6:16 PM on October 9, 2015


[One comment deleted; I love Foghat as much as the next person but if you don't want to read about pop stars, just skip the threads about them.]

I was one of the people who flagged this. I thought it was shitty, especially in the context of these threads largely being about female artists, who tend to be dismissed as unimportant due to gender as well as genre. I was glad to see it gone; the tone of something else as a "palette cleanser" was especially snide. It was one of those pesky, sexist micro-aggressions that I'm trusting MetaFilter Mods to no longer tolerate.
posted by Deoridhe at 6:57 PM on October 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


oooh! i like this game. voter ID thread:

[Couple comments removed. "Much ado about nothing" and "this probably isn't racist because" are both pretty tonedeaf and ahistorical approaches to a deep and complicated subject and aren't going to go well.]

[Couple of comments deleted. "This isn't a problem" isn't a great way to jump in here.]


thumbs up. it's bad enough that these things are happening, but to have to respond to that type of junk is infuriating.
posted by twist my arm at 7:09 PM on October 9, 2015 [5 favorites]


Hey, threeants, we are all human here. All too human. Albeit in a brain in a vat sorta way. I mean here we are all staring at a screen of one size or another and getting upset over what is coming out a vat whereabouts unknown. It frightens me how easily we can get upset at what are words on a screen.

Yet we usually have no idea at all of what the person who writes those words is actually saying because we can't see a face making expressions, a voice in whose timbre and tone we can hear regret, annoyance or the range of feelings that can be heard or seen a body languid and relaxed or taut and constricted. All the dimensions of tacit communications of nuance are stripped.

So, what do we do ? We make assumptions as to what is being said out of the substance of our selves.

It's like those reconstructions of dinosaurs that are ninety parts plaster plus a piece of skull, a chunk of vertebrae and a few digits plus a part of a jaw embedded with a couple of teeth.

We fabricate angels or monsters out of ourselves and the people we have known. That plus an assortment of words from someone we can't see, about whom we know next, very next to nothing.

And then react to our little homunculi as if they were living breathing creatures. Which they are not.

The same goes for all this hive mind crapola. The hive mind is in your head. Not in the ether. We are all individuals, little Leibnizian monads drifting through space blind. Except for the lucky few who have met each other for a few minutes to hours and so on.

Most of the time, who we think other people who we have not met are is ninety nine percent our creation. And yet we can get so enraged because they are or are not following a script written from our hopes and fears. Depending on the mood we are in when we read their words or what kind of day we have had or what we were just thinking.

And to speak of a hive mind on these circumstances is preposterous to me. La Rochefoucauld once wrote that we are as different from ourselves at times as we are from other people. How can there be a hive mind in such a case ? Not unless we reduce everyone else to a bunch of little Legos of one pint five dimensions.

To think you know better than that is incredible hubris. None of us know shit about people we have not met and the details of whose lives we know nothing. And we can pontificate at the drop of a byte like we are third level telepaths, gray lens men, women or who have you. As if.

Yet we can get so upset and lash out over what we have read into their words.

It is such a marvel to me.

And by the way, Drinky, it is not exactly bestiality in the case of Cameron and the pig's head. It is something else like some chimera of necrobestialpigsheadohwhatthefuckery or something. There is no simple slot into which to stuff that. Cameron had the easy part. He knows what got put where. But us, we can't wrap our heads around it. And thank God or Godlessness for that. Or so I hope.
posted by y2karl at 8:39 PM on October 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


It is actually really easy for me to imagine a bunch of snickering overprivileged dudebros goofing around with the boar's head, with one or more putting his junk into the boar's mouth. Cameron is a terrible person and England's frats are not any less shady than ours, but for all the enjoyment I got from the schadenfreude, I think this was not really pigfucking qua pigfucking.
posted by gingerest at 10:28 PM on October 9, 2015 [4 favorites]


qua (kwā, kwä)
prep.
In the capacity or character of; as: The president qua head of the party mediated the dispute.

Hmmm.

Karl, tell me, is the crystal in your palm still flashing red?
posted by clavdivs at 10:59 PM on October 9, 2015


Only during emissions tests.
posted by y2karl at 11:03 PM on October 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Next time you'll know to buy VW then, won't you?
posted by phearlez at 8:20 AM on October 10, 2015


Sure. Though that's easier to hear from people who don't do it themselves.

This reads as a mealy-mouthed accusation made at me, which I think is pretty out of line on your part. Shakes had said nothing wrong, but was quite obviously subject to projection. You jumping in to respond to this by taking a swipe at me is crass and quite frankly shitty.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:20 AM on October 10, 2015 [8 favorites]


And on a side note, putting a story about a PM's alleged drunken fellationship with a pig's head on any kind of par with accusations of spousal domestic violence is really hard to take. If it was sincere, it was pretty tonedeaf.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:52 AM on October 10, 2015


The comparison was made with the evidence behind the accusations, not the severity of the crimes. There is no need to compare them for the purposes of my point because both rise to the level of accusations a reasonable person should not promote without evidence. Beyond that, there is a wide gulf between calling a politician a dead pig fucker and domestic violence, yeah. You can pick any of the other salacious unfounded claims made in the Clinton book though if you want. I only picked that one because it is most prominent in the news right now.
posted by Drinky Die at 12:39 PM on October 10, 2015


A few comments deleted; cut out the personal attacks, period. You don't have to productively discuss actual site issues here, but if you want to just come here to snipe at people, please don't.
posted by taz (staff) at 5:54 AM on October 11, 2015 [2 favorites]


I only picked that one because it is most prominent in the news right now

Just to be clear here: I do understand the reasoning, as you explained it pretty clearly. I think anyone can get the mechanics behind your point. But there is such a world of difference between "this guy fucked a pig's head in uni" and "this person has been chronicaly abusing their spouse for years" that lumping them both under "baseless first person accounts" does effectively put them on the same level of how we're to respond to them. I mean, yes, you are technically right that they are both baseless accusations; I just think the example you chose, however unintentionally, inflates the importance of one or diminishes the importance of the other. Maybe not what you meant to do but I found it pretty jarring anyway.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:52 AM on October 11, 2015


Right, I get it. It's just that fantastic Clinton accusations are so common it's hard to think of them in the context of reality. I mean, people still believe that they murdered political opponents in the 90s.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:13 AM on October 11, 2015


I thought I had blocked out the whole Vince Foster conspiracy theory memory but nope, there it is. Lost a friend over that. Which likely contributes to its hard-to-forgetness, for me.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 10:32 AM on October 11, 2015 [1 favorite]


Couple comments removed. This is not, for pete's sake, a general forum on Hillary Clinton's foreign policy record.
posted by cortex (staff) at 11:57 AM on October 11, 2015 [8 favorites]


What difference does it make!?
posted by y2karl at 10:09 AM on October 22, 2015


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