Why is it not ok to post repeats of old posts? August 22, 2002 5:47 PM   Subscribe

Why is it necessary to point out to an author, that something that they posted and is being discussed, may have been talked about a year ago? I see this at least 4 - 5 times a week. Point in case today. I personally think this very rude, and falls under the "If you don't have anything productive to say, don't say anything at all" rule. Am I then only one who feels this way?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood to Etiquette/Policy at 5:47 PM (15 comments total)

The membership of this community has grown by how much? Not every member was here in December of 1999, so it is new to them. As well as the fact that the Internet is not static, and things do change, and may very well deserve to be discussed again. I could be wrong. I just though I would see what every one else feels. (I hope this hasn't been talked about before, gasp!)
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 5:51 PM on August 22, 2002

Some of these MeTa threads are coversations we had like a year or so back. I know it may be necessary but I'm getting fklashbacks of remedial math classes back in high school, dammit. Make it Stop!!
posted by jonmc at 5:58 PM on August 22, 2002

As Su said, for cross reference.
posted by holloway at 6:06 PM on August 22, 2002

As a newbie, I always appreciate it when an old-timer points out a double post and goes to the trouble of linking to the original discussion. Just calling out a double post without the link is easier but a lot less useful. Rudeness is a different story entirely.
posted by fuzz at 6:10 PM on August 22, 2002

I guess there should be some limit after which a post cannot be considered a double-post. Say, if the link is several months or one year old.
posted by michel v
in fuzz's linked thread....sounds good to me...
posted by amberglow at 6:15 PM on August 22, 2002

We're allowing newbies in MetaTalk now?

posted by ZachsMind at 6:28 PM on August 22, 2002

Zach: Apparently so...
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 7:12 PM on August 22, 2002

Now that older threads are static, you can't go back and add your comments to the original thread, but that doesn't mean we should encourage double posts, well except for the cat-scan.com one, because that is our "Video Killed The Radio Star". Previously linked to sites can always be linked again if the updated content is worthy of being posted to MeFi. If the site's pretty much the same as it was when it was previously linked to at MeFi, I see no reason why we should want it to be posted again.
posted by riffola at 7:20 PM on August 22, 2002

Part of the point of a double-post link (which I just did not two minutes ago) is to reference the original discussion, which may have worthwhile commentary and links. FWIW, I think just saying "double post" with a link sounds snarky enough as it is. Saying it was discussed before without a link is seriously borderline annoying -- but in the case above, I don't think it was meant as a scold.

On balance, the notifications are helpful. Even if it's a year old, it is a double post. And people need to be less sensitive about double-post notifications. Be chagrined if you missed it 3 months ago. Be embarrassed if you missed it this week, or yesterday, or this morning! But if the notification doesn't go out of its way to be snarky, it was probably meant helpfully.
posted by dhartung at 7:26 PM on August 22, 2002

Mine those archives, people. There is gold a'plenty back there. If the notification is polite, it's a very good thing.

Trust me : my long-term memory is totally shot, and my short term isn't so hot either, and having things hyperlinked is a godsend to people like me. I'd give up 20 points of IQ if I could have better memory circuits. People are doing you a favour Steve, and if they're snarky about it, just mark them down as snarksters in your black book and move on....
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 7:50 PM on August 22, 2002

I'm surprised to be saying this, as I generally disagree with the whole MetaFilter police gang, but being shouted down for double-posting does serve a purpose.

As the posting guidelines state:

"A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others."

Fear of public shaming is a powerful deterrent which serves to buttress the guidelines people are all too happy to forget or ignore. This is how social norms are maintained/enforced.
posted by Sinner at 8:17 PM on August 22, 2002

What stavroswonderchicken said. Even with Google, I can't always find things again that I've seen before here! Adding a link now and then that cross-references an earlier thread is fine by me.
posted by sheauga at 8:44 PM on August 22, 2002

My experience with re-posts (and I've made my share) has been thus:

If people want to continue to discuss the topic, they don't care so much that there's been a re-posting of familiar subject matter. The recent dearth of I/P posts is, I think, caused directly by there being nothing more to say on the subject.

Other than zeoslap's post, the discussion focused not on the fact that it was a re-post, but on the technology. If people want the discussion, and the author made an honest attempt at searching for the topic, let'em have it.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 10:51 PM on August 22, 2002

Steve, double-post snarks are, yes, basically the equivalent of honking at someone in traffic when they've done something stupid. It doesn't solve any problems, but it does make you feel self-righteously superior. The idea is to shame the other guy into doing a thorough search for double posts next time, which is what he should have done in the first place.

And ostensibly telling Matt to erase the post, but of course that's secondary to the smugness.

Now, as for the rationalization behind discouraging double posts, it is to keep me from just stealing all of Y2Karl's posts from a year ago, which is what I want to do.
posted by Hildago at 11:58 PM on August 22, 2002

Well, now I feel like an ass...
posted by Su at 2:30 PM on August 23, 2002

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