Sidebar for hot button topics November 6, 2017 7:39 AM   Subscribe

This is a grim, dispiriting pony, but would it be useful to have a sidebar listing most recent threads for various ongoing issues? We have that for US politics but things being as they are of late, should we open that up and also point to the most recent sexual harassment/assault threads, the most recent mass shooting threads, etc.?

I'm not proposing there be permanent entries there, but when ongoing matters get repeated posts, it might be useful to be able to see from the front page where the most recent thread for X is.

This need not always be a depressing thing, as it could also be a way of directing to people to popular current threads that have fallen off the front page (new Doctor Who casting threads usually fall off the front page well before they slow down, for example).

Though I admit even as I suggest this that most uses for this are depressing. In fact, the very idea that this might be practical is depressing as hell. In fact, I am going to crochet "The very idea that this might be practical is depressing as hell" on a pillow and put it in my rec room after I stock it with canned food and board it up so that I can hide in there forever.
posted by DirtyOldTown to Feature Requests at 7:39 AM (59 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

To quote a famous philosopher: the very idea that this might be practical is depressing as hell.

But I've thought about it some off and on over the years and I'm not writing it off entirely. It's something we've sometimes done in an ad hoc way with just a post to the normal sidebar—"if you're looking for a discussion of x it's _here_", that sort of thing—and that can work okay. It is hard to get away from the fact that the most obvious use cases are for bummery stuff, especially since while I think the filter toggle for the US Politics widget has been a good thing that's not something I really want to replicate and generalize for a wider variety of things.

So, I don't know. I'm thinking about what we'd have used it for in the last couple months: storm threads? Sexual abuse revelations? Especially notable obits? What else (he asks, cringing preemptively at asking for a list of bad news to be reminded about).

Most of the fun-type stuff that could in theory go in a spot like this do make totally okay sense on the normal sidebar, so I think we would be talking mostly about a quick reference widget for bummer topics and the occasional more neutral Very Big (But Not US-Politics-Specific) News.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:46 AM on November 6 [7 favorites]


a quick reference widget for bummer topics

MetaSighdbar.
posted by Fizz at 8:00 AM on November 6 [12 favorites]


I was thinking Sadsbar, YMMV.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 8:04 AM on November 6 [8 favorites]


I respect why this seems practical but I am against it because I feel like it then becomes a small, slight, signal that this is what MetaFilter is for. And while I agree that it is one of the things MetaFilter is for, if feel like people need to go find the threads on those topics or have the mods gently guide them there (if they are double-posting &c.).

Might be worth having "related threads" thing by the comment box have a bit more of a skew towards "recent" (I don't know how that feature works) but I am absolutely against MeFi getting any more rapey, even if that is in the service of opening up and making visible more useful discussion about sexual assault. And having to see "Latest sexual assault thread!" (or similar) anywhere is at least a step too far, for me.
posted by jessamyn (temp) at 8:10 AM on November 6 [31 favorites]


Upon reflection, I also recognize that not actively directing users into the most contentious, divisive, bummer threads might be an act of kindness to mods.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 8:13 AM on November 6 [6 favorites]


I respect why this seems practical but I am against it because I feel like it then becomes a small, slight, signal that this is what MetaFilter is for. And while I agree that it is one of the things MetaFilter is for, if feel like people need to go find the threads on those topics or have the mods gently guide them there (if they are double-posting &c.).

I've often wondered by Team Mod doesn't place a note on the sidebar about Halloween Costume threads. On the other hand, it felt like there were fewer Q's this year about that than in previous years.
posted by zarq at 8:35 AM on November 6


I think we generally do! I had meant to right after the podcast last week, actually—I think we chatted about it briefly during the episode—but it slipped through the cracks. Will go do so now, now that everyone's had a chance to have their film developed and scan the resulting 4x6 kodak prints.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:43 AM on November 6 [2 favorites]


Yay! Thanks! :)
posted by zarq at 9:03 AM on November 6


now that everyone's had a chance to have their film developed and scan the resulting 4x6 kodak prints.

I can see it all now, this is going to be just like last summer. You fell in love with that girl at the Fotomat, you bought forty dollars worth of fucking film, and you never even got her name. You don't even own a camera!
posted by Chrysostom at 9:09 AM on November 6 [5 favorites]


It would be nice to see something like this for the latest Pokemon Go thread -- especially since the last one wasn't on the blue, but in Fanfare Talk, a place I generally visit on a weekly or monthly basis, rather than daily. I'm not sure if a sidebar would help though, since I don't normally see it (on mobile, unless I haven't kept up with the site lately, I only make it a small ways down the page to catch up). I wonder if there could be something like My Mefi for the whole site, set up with things you want to follow.
posted by Margalo Epps at 9:16 AM on November 6


Are we inventing categories as a thing on the sidebar of ye olde communal blogge?
posted by infini at 9:36 AM on November 6


Would it be less obtrusive (and unseemly) to add a note under applicable posts that a subsequent thread is picking up where this one left off? In other words, a note could be placed into "[Thread About a Bad Thing]" that "[Followup Thread With New Info on Bad Thing]" or "Thread About a Highly Related But Different and More Recent Bad Thing]" is picking up where that one left off?

That way, it would be less about advertising the enduring persistence of discussions of bad things on the front page and more about making sure that people in a thread know when discussion has moved on elsewhere and/or redirecting people who didn't find the newest iteration of a topic under discussion? That might actually reduce mod load to some extent, by keeping ongoing discussions of topics within fewer threads.

There is antecedent for this in occasional comments from mods and/or regular users saying, "New thread here..." but maybe we could formalize that.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:45 AM on November 6


Alternately, the unnerving reality that we talk about the same sad things over and over could give us all a new appreciation for animal videos.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:47 AM on November 6


Perhaps folks could settle on a common tag for these types of posts, like how we have "potus45" for U.S. politics threads. They'd be easier to find for folks who are interested and easier to hide for people (me) who feel like the front page has gotten pretty rapey lately.
posted by lalex at 10:10 AM on November 6 [9 favorites]


(by "hide" I mean that users can exclude the tag using My Mefi or whatever, I tend to agree with cortex that the whole U.S. politics widget thing is not something I'd like to see replicated for a variety of topics.)
posted by lalex at 10:16 AM on November 6


Perhaps folks could settle on a common tag for these types of posts

That's a really good idea.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:54 AM on November 6


I'm with lalex, tagging could resolve this without ensaddening the front page.
posted by smoke at 12:10 PM on November 6


Tags also have their own RSS feeds, so you can set up a push notification for your preferred tags.
posted by soelo at 12:20 PM on November 6


Suddenly, I'm feeling very tired and weary.
posted by infini at 12:22 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


I'm feeling very tired and weary.

Staying off of social media and avoiding these types of threads helps. I know it's not for everyone and not everyone can, but fuck. I hear you on being tired and weary. 2017 has been exhausting. It's why I choose to hide in video-games. Sadly, that doesn't work all the time as these types of issues have infected that world quite a bit.

***Sends hugs to everyone in this thread.***
posted by Fizz at 12:28 PM on November 6 [8 favorites]


Funny you should offer that gratefully received advice, I just cancelled my calls for tomorrow and I'm going to go get a pedi/mani and then shopping because why not, I'm the boss ;p
posted by infini at 12:31 PM on November 6 [4 favorites]


I'm all about reminding people that self-care is important and that disengaging from things that cause mental/emotional stress is acceptable. I know that some people do not have this privilege, but when its possible, it is good thing to just pull back (even for a few moments) from the never-ending nightmare fuel that surrounds so much of our day to day.

Enjoy your pedi/mani.
posted by Fizz at 12:35 PM on November 6 [2 favorites]


bummer widget

Might we call it... the wedgit
posted by Beardman at 12:40 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


the never-ending nightmare fuel

insanistan
posted by infini at 12:42 PM on November 6


If this idea came from my...pressing...in the Kevin Spacey thread, I'd like to apologize to anyone I cheesed off with that. It's hard to carve out a space where men can talk about their own trauma histories, especially when there are so many traumas being revealed simultaneously. Under a lot of circumstances I think MeFi is good at just letting conversations move and shift as they need and as the news changes or grows. Sometimes in edge cases I think there will just be some friction between people who want to discuss a narrow thing and people who want to discuss a broad thing. I don't know that there can be a technical solution to this.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 5:07 PM on November 6


I can see it all now, this is going to be just like last summer. You fell in love with that girl at the Fotomat, you bought forty dollars worth of fucking film, and you never even got her name. You don't even own a camera!

Hey I WAS that girl in the Fotomat! You wouldn't believe the amount of smutty anonymous calls I got in that Fotomat. As well as a call from a man who told me he was pointing a rifle at me while i sat alone in my booth in the middle of a parking lot...Although that was almost 40 years ago these incidents sound eerily current.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 10:53 PM on November 6 [1 favorite]


Thanks to Fizz I had a lovely day though my original plans were upset. My brother the airline pilot showed up unexpectedly as his routes changed and we went out touristing

Highly recommend
posted by infini at 7:50 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]


If this idea came from my...pressing...in the Kevin Spacey thread, I'd like to apologize to anyone I cheesed off with that. It's hard to carve out a space where men can talk about their own trauma histories, especially when there are so many traumas being revealed simultaneously.

For whatever it's worth, I appreciated and am grateful that you have done so in both the Spacey thread and the #metoo thread. When I mentioned my own history of being sexually assaulted/molested in the #metoo thread, the responses were extremely unpleasant. I was accused of attempting to hijack the conversation, and of being a harasser. Among other things. It was a rather harsh reminder to me that Metafilter is not a place where men can discuss their own traumas without backlash.
posted by zarq at 9:07 AM on November 7 [11 favorites]


I was accused of attempting to hijack the conversation, and of being a harasser.

Excuse me? That's fucked.
posted by lalex at 9:27 AM on November 7 [6 favorites]


The whole exchange was deleted. Sincerely don't want to relitigate it. But it left a very bad taste in my mouth.
posted by zarq at 9:31 AM on November 7 [4 favorites]


Was going to post a follow-up Harvey Weinstein thread, since there was new news, and the old thread closed. After reading the post and comments here, I think I'll let it go.
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:06 AM on November 7 [3 favorites]


I hear you on being tired and weary. 2017 has been exhausting. It's why I choose to hide in video-games. Sadly, that doesn't work all the time as these types of issues have infected that world quite a bit.

It can go the other way, too, though. I've been playing a LOT of Civ 4 lately (for the reason you gave), and from a Civ 4 perspective, the past year in the U.S. is obviously the brief period of anarchy from switching civics. They don't last that long, even if they seem to when there's a lot going on.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 9:24 AM on November 9 [1 favorite]


This recent spate of single serving sexual assault posts is super shitty, speaking as a person who was traumatized. I don't need a flood of these every fucking time I come to the site in addition to all of the political posts which are also hard to deal with.

Get back to finding interesting and whimsical things about the web and creator culture.
posted by boo_radley at 12:10 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I am with Lalex. In fact, my bemoaning the Anthony Edwards post and my approaching inability to handle yet another revelation is how I ended up here. I rely on MetaFilter to give me thought provoking, enlightening, or amusing content. The conversation and analysis of the currently revealed ongoing harassment and rape situation in the past is getting a little much for me. We need the content. I was just wishing for a way to not have to see them until I can handle seeing them.

On preview: Also, with Boo. Sorry, Boo!
posted by Samizdata at 12:28 PM on November 10


This recent spate of single serving sexual assault posts is super shitty, speaking as a person who was traumatized. I don't need a flood of these every fucking time I come to the site in addition to all of the political posts which are also hard to deal with.

You're both not the only people here who are traumatized. I'm also finding the news very difficult to deal with. I haven't slept much the past few weeks. And what sleep I do get has been filled with unpleasant memories and dreams. I'm constantly anxious and on edge and I don't know quite what to do about it.

This is a topic I post about normally even when there aren't big name scandals happening. I do it for a lot of reasons, but mostly for the same reason I make any post: talking about things and learning from them is valuable. With this topic, I think it's a net good to bring such things into the light rather than cloak them in secrecy.

I included the quote from Anthony Edwards in my post today because it holds personal resonance for me. I was once a kid who was terrified to talk. And when I finally did, no one believed me. I was punished for speaking out inside my own family for years and internalized the idea that I was the cause of my own trauma. That lesson has stuck with me into adulthood.

People who have endured sexual assault and worse should to be allowed to tell their stories when they choose to do so and those acts shouldn't be covered up or hidden because they're too difficult to face. Our society goes to Very Great Lengths to hide, blame and dismiss people who have been molested or sexually assaulted. In ignoring or keeping secret what they do we allow abusers to flourish and abuse others.

Listening to the brave people who are stepping forward to say "this was done to me" is stressful and hard and can even be traumatic. It's okay if you can't personally deal with it right now. I go through that a lot myself. But it's also important.
posted by zarq at 12:45 PM on November 10 [11 favorites]


Men, especially famous men, who were abused speaking up is honestly a super rare thing. I'm all about finding another way to deal with these posts, but I am uncomfortable saying a post where a man is telling his story is the breaking point.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 12:47 PM on November 10 [6 favorites]


I'm all about finding another way to deal with these posts, but I am uncomfortable saying a post where a man is telling his story is the breaking point.

I agree. tbh my first reaction to the Anthony Edwards thread was: enough! but then I remembered what zarq said above about how he was silenced in the #metoo thread, so I don't want to draw the line at a thread centered on men's experiences of sexual assault.

But perhaps moving forward it's a good idea to put new accusations and revelations into an existing thread? I honestly feel like a monster suggesting that, because every victim deserves to have their own story heard, but the front page is really getting super-rapey and the pace of stories doesn't seem to be slowing down. I don't know, I really don't.
posted by lalex at 12:55 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


People can also use MyMefi to hide common tags for a while. I've done it before and it's been useful.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 1:01 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Something Reddit does which I’ve found useful from time to time is to let you hide posts directly from the frontpage (you don’t even have to click through to them). It’s something I’ve sometimes used to hide particularly painful local stories that whilst I’m happy to read once, seeing them on the front of my personal reddit for day after day was just too much. You can always unhide them later from your userpage if you want to go back to them.

It’s more effective than using the kind of topic filtering that MyMeFi does in my experience.
posted by pharm at 1:10 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


I've looked at that Anthony Edwards post a dozen times today and wrestled with it because there isn't an easy dichotomy to settle here. It's not either "this is important enough for the front page" or "there's an overwhelming amount of sexual assault content on the front page right now". It's not one or the other; it's both.

I don't really know what to do with that superposition of things today, and faced with the impossibility of finding a satisfactory answer to it I'm leaving the post and keeping an eye on it but also really, really feeling the people who are struggling with all of these things collectively being part of the what's on the front page lately. I feel like my options are a bad decision or a different bad decision, honestly.

I was just talking with some friends in a private channel about some of the stuff going on this week and was struggling to find the right word for how I feel about the surprising momentum of revelations recently, because "heartening" is the word I'd reach for in some structurally similar cases but it doesn't feel right here. But there is something to the fact that it feels more like dominos falling recently than the usual one-off-scandal-and-then-pop-culture-moves-on treatment these kinds of revelations of sexual abuse and assault more typically seem to manifest as. And on the one hand I want to facilitate a recognition of that something, and on the other hand it is really hard to say in effect "welcome to MetaFilter, here's your daily confrontation with sexual assault".

I don't have an answer and today I am just not up to trying to make my way toward one. But I feel you all. This conflict, this superposition of wanting to see truth and hopefully justice progress and not wanting to have to live or relive through every moment of it, is, I don't know. It's a goddam vortex. Today I'm just dizzy.
posted by cortex (staff) at 1:27 PM on November 10 [5 favorites]


+1 the ability to hide a post. Forgive my obliviousness if it's been discussed and dismissed before. I would love the ability to click a hide button and not have something show on the front page anymore. Yes, people would still see the headline. But it might give people some feelings of control to be able to click that button and make it go away.
posted by greermahoney at 1:54 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


Another +1 for the ability to hide posts. A surreptitious "x" next to the "+" on the post, or something like that would be really great if that doesn't make the server load for the front page unmanageable.

I don't want to suggest that other people shouldn't talk about important social justice concerns on MetaFilter, but there are some topics (especially sexual assault) where I just cannot look at the post without getting deeply distressed, and at the moment I can't make the triggering stimulus go away. In theory MeMefi is supposed to help but I don't find it useful: people don't tag posts in a consistent way, and in any case what I find upsetting is pretty idiosyncratic and hard to find the right blacklist words for. As a consequence the Blue is a total no-go zone for me at the moment, because I can pretty much guarantee that every time I look I'll see something rapey that makes me panicky, and I have no reliable way of avoiding the distressing thing using the current user toolset.

For me, the key advantage to having a little "x" button that would nix that post for me, is that it would restore a degree of control to me. As things currently stand, when I scan a post on the front page and it triggers my anxiety, I have no recourse other than to close the tab, or look at the post tags to work out how to hide it within MyMefi. Even if it could work in theory, the latter is worthless as a practical anxiety-minimisation strategy, because it requires me to engage with the triggering post to work out how to hide it, and in doing so I inevitably start reading the comments (and those are usually much more upsetting than the post itself), and that makes it worse. So instead, what I do is now is nope out of the Blue entirely every time one of these "burst of sexual assault posts" patches arrives.

So yeah, if it's at all possible from a technical standpoint, the little "x" would be great.
posted by saltbush and olive at 2:26 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


I feel like this thread can be a comment in another thread [another post about abuse]. It's a long known abuser who is getting further attention which seems different than new news or abusers/victims who don't fit a pattern already being discussed in other threads. It's important to discuss and to get all the abusers out of their positions of power, but I agree with the general thrust of the thread that not every article/disclosure needs its own post.
posted by I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today! at 2:56 PM on November 10


+1 to the ability to quietly, individually hide these posts. It's very, very wearying on the Blue lately and I'm not even someone who's been personally affected by a hideous crime like this. Thank you.
posted by kimberussell at 4:06 PM on November 10 [1 favorite]


I would like to see fewer of these individual posts on the Blue. I understand why people like them and think they are important. I am not one of those people. I can understand why it feels like not bringing more light to this ugliness can somehow feel like keeping things secret, private or hidden. I understand that Spacey, for example used "privacy" as a bludgeon to keep people complicit in his behaviors. That sucks. I also think MetaFilter is becoming upsetting to read, for people including me, because of the sheer ratio of these stories compared to other stories. Things need to balance.

I know we're not voting and I know sometimes my feedback on topics can seem to have more weight because I used to work here. I do think also AS someone who used to work here, it's important that this place also be a good place to work. One of the things that was tough to manage while working here was having to live in nonstop Rape Culture while at work. Because these threads aren't just any other MeFi thread, they are hot-button MeFi threads (often, not always) which means more work and more negativity, even if it's in service of a greater good.

So, just chiming in to say I'd like the mods to consider the overall zeitgeist of the site when balanced against the importance, generally in the world, of having open discussions about these topics.
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 7:14 PM on November 10 [2 favorites]


I think the light has to shine and it's time. But of course compassion fatigue and secondary trauma are real issues and I am happy for people to find a way to block out the content they find harming to them. I just hope not at the expense at the glorious truth telling and accountability that allowing people to speak ESPECIALLY WHEN IT'S INCONVENIENT AND UNPLEASANT has brought about.

Even superheroes need to take some time off from the job, but humanity doesn't stop needing the change, urgently. There's got to be a way to let some people take a bit of time off without stopping those who have the ability to keep going just for the convenience of others not having to see them do it.
posted by xarnop at 7:50 PM on November 10


Yeah my shift tonight involves five active harassment threads and, even with the relative significance of them and my overall pleasure that this shit is getting called out and consequences are happening, I am of the opinion that it's about three more than are adding value to the overall conversation.

It's tough, because, like with politics, Metafilter isn't really set up for category conversations - our base assumption is that the conversation is about the links, and different links will lead to different conversations. That's true in a lot of cases, but for this wide-scale societal stuff, it just doesn't work like that. We end up either with a lot of overlapping and often redundant conversations, or really big unwieldy ones. It's a problem we don't have an easy solution for right now.
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:25 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


I like the idea of having one thread for those kind of issues and then just permit a new one once a week and ask people keep the stories to that thread. I think the ongoing celebrity accusations situation is going to continue to uptick and could easily all fit into one category. Here and there a seperate issue related to assault might could be a post unto itself but if it's in the category of outing famous people for sexual abuse/misbehavior that could all fit in one kind of like how the election thread is working.

Is that something that might work? I think in some ways happily, for the world, this isn't going away and it might get more intense before more permanent changes are made, but that might give people with the fatigues for the issues (and like the mods) more of a break and keep the the option to talk about these things open for those that want to talk about them. Just an idea?
posted by xarnop at 8:42 PM on November 10


I don't really know what to do with that superposition of things today, and faced with the impossibility of finding a satisfactory answer to it I'm leaving the post and keeping an eye on it but also really, really feeling the people who are struggling with all of these things collectively being part of the what's on the front page lately. I feel like my options are a bad decision or a different bad decision, honestly.

The first comment on the post was a link to a counterpunch essay which argued in part that rape is not related to power imbalances because Harvey Weinstein begged and shamed his victims. That bullshit was deleted. (Thank you to the mod who did so.)

The post was then hit with an additional string of comments that also didn't belong in the thread. Commentary about whether the post itself was a problem in some way. Are the people who are complaining that a post about a male sexual assault victim coming forward also complaining in the other existing threads about harassment?

Meta comments about a post belong here, in metatalk. Even noobs to mefi quickly learn this. Yet those comments have been left up by the mods. Why? There are two comments in the post, one from lalex (thank you) and a late one from cortex asking people for a second time to take their complaints here. Yet the complaints remain, derailing the thread.

The post has 22 comments. There are only 8 comments that engage with the actual subject of the post. Less than half.

A mod was keeping a close eye on the thread. Okay, why were those comments allowed to stand? Comments that belong in metatalk have been routinely deleted in threads for more than a decade that I've been a member here.

The options open to the mods were not simply 'delete the post or not.' It could easily have been moderated properly yet it wasn't. Not the way literally hundreds of other posts have been managed on Metafilter for years.

Why not?
posted by zarq at 9:03 PM on November 10 [4 favorites]


For the flags that came in on my shift, it was because I usually leave the occasional helpful pointer to a Mefi feature, because we do have a bunch of obscure features that are nice to surface. I did not read the whole thread or anything, and you're right, that proportion isn't awesome. (There are very few flags on comments in that thread, which suggests to me that the four other very active harassment threads are just sucking up all the mod cycles, alongside the usual politics catchall.)
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:11 PM on November 10


Are the people who are complaining that a post about a male sexual assault victim coming forward also complaining in the other existing threads about harassment?

As much as I'm personally in the camp of "please god no more rape threads ever", I absolutely agree with zarq and I'm Not Even Supposed To Be Here Today about the "unevenness" of the complaints here. I'm reminded of this thread from last year about female sexual predators, where literally the fourth comment in the thread was a "coercion doesn't count as rape" (when it's a cis woman doing it, that is) bullshit remark that not only was not deleted but then accrued a fuckload of favourites. As someone who was raped by a cis woman while (then) identifying as male... gross. Sexual assault isn't a topic we do well on this site, and the moderation is uneven at best. I used to think the solution to the problem was allowing more people to tell their stories, having tighter moderation policies to prevent derails or dismissiveness towards "unconventional" survivor stories, etc... but I've more or less given up on this ever actually happening, and even if it did this is way too much of a burden on the moderators who have to look at this stuff day in day out. It's soul destroying. Personally, I'd rather we just nix all threads on this topic. Of course, I know that won't happen either, which is why I'd at least like to have the power to hide the damn things because they're going to keep popping up.
posted by saltbush and olive at 9:27 PM on November 10 [3 favorites]


Cortex literally said: "I've looked at that Anthony Edwards post a dozen times today and wrestled with it". Obviously he was devoting some time to it. But actually moderating it beyond the initial deletion and leaving a note wasn't considered an option? Deleting comments on the blue which should be in metatalk is standard procedure. Mefi moderation 101. It's not a high volume thread and the derailing comments aren't exactly hard to find. I'm not just talking about the proportion. A bunch of comments at the top of the thread do nothing more than complain about the post!

I am truly sorry and upset that the harassment threads are difficult and emotionally stressful for you and the other members of the mod team and I will keep that in mind when making posts in the future. But if cortex kept revisiting the post then this isn't a case of him being too busy to take action. Or of the other threads monopolizing so much of his time that he didn't have time to look at mine. He was already looking.

It bothers me. A lot. The post thread was trashed by comments that did not belong there. That didn't have to happen.
posted by zarq at 9:27 PM on November 10 [8 favorites]


Took me an hour to write a measly comment on that post. ONTD is having a spate of sexual assault/harassment posts, and the community are complaining to mods over there that there is *still* no tag for sexual assault. The tag commonly used right now is 'scandal,' and a lot of people at ONTD feel like that word is trivializing. I came to Metafilter looking for even more perspectives on these brave stories of suffering through sexual assault.

So. Like. There's that. also now i'm seeing that Huang's essay was linked on the blue the day it was published. Thank you, larrybob and INESTBHT! for linking it. My bad that i missed it.
posted by one teak forest at 4:54 AM on November 11 [2 favorites]


Coincidentally, I've just been adding the "sexualassault" tag to any of the active related posts that didn't have it. For those who'd like to skip those posts, go to My Mefi and, via preferences, add "sexualassault" to the excluded tags, then use the My Mefi view to browse the front page. This should help a good bit, and if anyone sees anything I've overlooked, please let me know!
posted by taz (staff) at 5:22 AM on November 11 [4 favorites]


taz that sounds perfect! I am truly delighted these stories are pouring forth. Of course I hate the trauma of these things happening but that has been the status quo forever and for a lot/some of survivors that never stops anyway. The pouring forth of truth has passed the threshold to be restrained and it WILL be a hard period for survivors who have sensitivity or triggers associated with the material, and it will also be annoying for people who just don't care that much about it, but I think it might materialize some sincere and desperately needed changes in our world so I hope people will try to hold on for the ride and not shut it out too much. The solution to personally wanting a break should be available while not at the expense of making those ready for this painful conversation to speak up and not stop.

We've already had a world that tells survivors to stop talking because it's annoying, not the right time, unpleasant, painful, not the right time, not the right place, not the responsibility of anyone but a therapist, just a personal issue, not the right time, not the right place, not relevant to anyone but a small group of survivors who should keep it to themselves, unpleasant, annoying, exhausting

It's really never... ever the right time because there is no time and place in which this will be pleasant or easy to hear about or work to change. So we have to make it time.
posted by xarnop at 6:31 AM on November 11


"sexualassult"

Taz, I think most people will use the tag "sexualassault"and it might be worth changing your tag to that to not have a split.
posted by Margalo Epps at 7:28 AM on November 11 [1 favorite]


oops, sorry, that was just a typo here; I spelled it correctly in the tags! I'm going to go ahead and fix the spelling in my comment above, just in case anyone copies it from there to add to their My Mefi preferences. Thanks for the heads-up!
posted by taz (staff) at 7:41 AM on November 11


Oh thank you thank you thank you taz! Having a consistent tag that I can blacklist makes a massive difference. So much so that I wrote a super quick userscript that automatically redirects me from the front page to MyMefi, so I don't accidentally end up reading the wrong page (I posted it here if anyone wants to do a better job than I did). It's brilliant - all of a sudden the blue is usable again.
posted by saltbush and olive at 1:49 PM on November 11 [2 favorites]


> Hey I WAS that girl in the Fotomat! You wouldn't believe the amount of smutty anonymous calls I got in that Fotomat. As well as a call from a man who told me he was pointing a rifle at me while i sat alone in my booth in the middle of a parking lot...Although that was almost 40 years ago these incidents sound eerily current.

Hey! I worked in a fotomat from 1987-1989, hopping from booth to booth covering shifts all across Bostonia. One of the best jobs ever because I had no manager at all and all the free film and processing I could get my greedy paws on.

But I did get the one creep who was trying to horn in on me, knew I was 17, trying to go get lunch with me, JUST HANGING OUT AT A FOTOMAT BOOTH Y'KNOW?

What I do know is that plenty of weed dealers came by and sold me joints.
posted by not_on_display at 11:03 PM on November 14


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