Dammit Louis! You eff up everything you touch. January 1, 2019 3:04 PM   Subscribe

We’ve seen 2 FPPs on the revealed Louis CK performance killed today, which, ok, understandable. The guy has morphed into an absolutely indefensible monster. Still, the discussions here have lead some of us to have over 20 years of on & off participation with MetaFilter. I was excited to see the diverse minds of this community approach his attempted return. While Taz’ reasoning of not wanting to give this shithead a platform for his loathsome hate speech isn’t objectionable per se, this community is mature enough to discuss this and the articles cited in the 2 FPPs are interesting enough to spark informed discussion. Sadly it’s probably too late to try posting this again if the mods decide it’s alright to make a 3rd attempt. I’d like to believe we, the peeps of MF, could have handled it with another incisive and educational public conversation.
posted by artof.mulata to Etiquette/Policy at 3:04 PM (192 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

So, the thing to my mind here is: we've had two posts which are both just "dude who turned out to be shitty turning out to still be shitty", which there's not really a lot of new meat there for diverse minds to have an interesting discussion about. His latest shittiness leaked over a holiday stretch when the interesting and thoughtful reaction commentary that a good post would most benefit from including is gonna be slower to come out than it would otherwise.

I agree with the rationale on the previous deletions that there's nothing much there yet except "hey look at this shitty standup set". I'm not hell or highwater about a post that's got a little more meat on it if there's something more to work with than "it's bad", and that might be something that at least needs a couple days to bake.

So...I dunno. I believe MeFites are very much capable of having an incisive and educational discussion about comedy and reactionary bullshit and Louis CK and etc. I also think it's possible we end up with an angry-making rehash of the many previous discussions we've had about Louis specifically and comedy and/or right wing media in general. I'm not brimming with enthusiasm for this case because I'm kinda just like, fuck that guy, why pour the energy into this again, but if someone wants to try and find a framing for a post that moves beyond Shitty Guy Is Shitty into more interesting territory I'm not drawing a line in the sand on it or anything.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:12 PM on January 1 [41 favorites]


this community is mature enough to discuss this and the articles cited in the 2 FPPs are interesting enough to spark informed discussion

I fully agree. But I'd contend that the deleted posts in question contained some pretty half-assed, low-effort framing.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 3:14 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


not really looking forward to anther "discussion" where trans mefites have to say "transphobia is incredibly harmful, yes to me personally, no there are no hypothetical situations where it's acceptable" for the 10,000th time tbh.
posted by poffin boffin at 3:17 PM on January 1 [108 favorites]


Sure, I hear you. But this is an interesting (not positive) evolution of a now-reviled human being. A lot of the nicer, liberal, social activists I know use to suggest his show to me regularly. Now this dude has gone into a territory that actively repudiates that crowd. That’s why I was interested enough in the topic to port this to MT.

Thank you for responding. If the job doesn’t kill me and no one tries for a 3rd time AND, most importantly, more incisive commentary comes along or LCK joins Homeland Security or kills some puppies, maybe I’ll try crafting another post.
posted by artof.mulata at 3:24 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


I wholeheartedly agree with the thrust of this Metatalk post. Relatedly: I think these kinds of Metatalks would be well served if moderators would allow the community to have a discussion before they reply with a lengthy response. Beginning the commentary with the moderators' response irredeemably prejudices the discussion.
posted by crazy with stars at 3:24 PM on January 1 [36 favorites]


I agree with the original comment that this kind of moderation is overagressive and does a disservice to the MeFi community. This site is devoted to open inquiry and free-wheeling discussion. Louis CK is a public figure whose behavior has been a subject for multiple threads here. The since-deleted post I saw in no way violated any of MeFi's guidelines. Please let MeFites discuss the topics they want to discuss.
posted by PhineasGage at 3:25 PM on January 1 [16 favorites]


I'm in the "it's about the links, not the conversation" camp. While I think there probably would be some thoughtful interesting conversation, I don't think that's a good enough reason to parade that trash through here.

There's also poffin boffin's point.

I see nothing lost by axing any post about how "dude who turned out to be shitty turns out to still be shitty" in new and angering ways.
posted by crush at 3:26 PM on January 1 [31 favorites]


No one is forcing anyone to read a MeFi discussion on a subject that doesn't interest - or outright upsets - them.
posted by PhineasGage at 3:28 PM on January 1 [7 favorites]


artof.mulata -- honestly, what "discussion" do you think the diverse, mature community of MetaFilter should be having about a complete and utter shitstain opening his mouth and confirming that yes, he is a complete and utter shitstain?

Especially when any discussion is going to actively harm lots of members of our community, I can only see an argument for "well, but it's *interesting*" coming from someone who is playing Devil's Advocate for the sake of discussing a subject that is, to them, purely academic. The people who are always the most eager to get into these topics are the ones who have no skin in the game. I get the feeling that this applies to you, artof.mulata, and to PhineasGage. For you, it's so *interesting* and nobody is *forcing* anyone to read it, except that it's actively harmful to a large number of MeFites, and while you have your *interesting*, "academic" discussions, it makes MetaFilter an ugly place for quite a large number of us.

It's frustrating and hurtful that people are still arguing that they're the ones getting the short end of the stick when the moderators choose to take down posts about subjects that have repeatedly caused real emotional distress on the site.
posted by tzikeh at 3:36 PM on January 1 [82 favorites]


Beginning the commentary with the moderators' response irredeemably prejudices the discussion.

AHAHAHA omg no it doesn't. If that were the case, discussions on MetaTalk would barely exist.
posted by tzikeh at 3:41 PM on January 1 [14 favorites]


For context, I dug up both posts.

Neither has the sort of framing that starts any kind of useful discussion. Nor is either particularly interesting in terms of the links on their own merits, at least not judging from that framing. Whether you're here for the links themselves or the discussions had by MeFites, poor framing ruins any potential good of the post from either perspective: good framing both makes a pitch for why someone should click the link and read it for themself in the first place and also sets up a structure that people can step into and have a conversation about.

As those links are structured, I also came away with the impression that "shitty dude doubles down, gets shittier." The absolute best-case scenario is that people click on links and get really mad or really hurt or really upset and they--what? vent in the thread collaboratively? Bounce off each other and start fights? What's the interesting thing exactly about CK returning to comedy and pivoting to the right, because those are the people who won't punish him for being a piece of shit? What kind of conversation are you envisioning we have? How do you think those links will improve someone's day? Beyond just 'notifying them CK is doing a thing,' I mean. We're not a news aggregator, and I don't think "something happened" is enough to make a good post--especially not on a topic like this.

(I vaguely feel like we need to have a discussion about framing and/or a clinic on how to frame sensitive posts in such a way as to create an atmosphere that doesn't trigger common chafed spots, but I think that might need to be a separate post.)
posted by sciatrix at 3:47 PM on January 1 [49 favorites]


No one is forcing anyone to read a MeFi discussion on a subject that doesn't interest - or outright upsets - them.

No, but that is by itself a very poor standard for what makes a good post. Outright loathesome stuff passes that rubric. And there are plenty of places on the internet where that is about the length to which community thinking about what gets posted is taken, and they aren't MetaFilter and I sure as shit don't spend time on them if I can help it.

If the genuinely most engaging aspect of the Louis CK situation is that there isn't currently a post about it, there's no there there to begin with. If there's something more interesting and new and worthy of discussion going on, someone can make a post about it that reflects that. That might be easier to do when the takes are a little less hot and a little more long-form, is my basic sense of the situation. But I'm okay with someone trying to make that sort of post if they feel like there's something of substance to talk about beyond just a rehash of the same Louis/comedy/shitheel threads we've had before.

But there being a post at all is not an inherent good, and "but people who don't like it don't have to read it" isn't an argument that changes that fact. I don't think the posters were trying to make bad posts, but I don't think they posts that they made so far are really worth having.
posted by cortex (staff) at 3:48 PM on January 1 [22 favorites]


Tzikeh, I’m not sure what you’re seeing that would give you cause to write that. If you’d like, you can review both my post and commentary history here over the last 10 years and decide if I take racism, misogyny, pro-gun talk & action, homophobia, erasure and oppression of the trans community, or anything else you’d like to accuse me of sitting outside of, and then decide if your accusation holds. I also take special offense at the term, ‘Devil’s Advocate’ because trolling people in the face of their pain is a vile and unethical act.

I never said I feel like I’m getting the short-end of any sticks. And if taking down posts simply on the basis of causing emotional distress was a hard and fast rule, then a LOT of posts wouldn’t have been as fruitful in their ability to emerge understanding even as we screamed and yelled at each other. Thank god we’ve got mods of such high caliber here to keep this place safe in a way you rarely find on the net.

Your comments are appreciated as I hadn’t considered that anyone would think, “For you, it's so *interesting* and nobody is *forcing* anyone to read it, except that it's actively harmful to a large number of MeFites, and while you have your *interesting*, "academic" discussions, it makes MetaFilter an ugly place for quite a large number of us.”

I’m actively interested in how the hive mind sees this, how to think about it in ways that aren’t my own, how to engage with this continuing saga of white men living dangerously and getting away with it.
posted by artof.mulata at 3:49 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


Even posts one ignores impact one's experience of the site. They can impact mod focus, shift the tenor of comments, and (over the long term) establish norms about what should be posted.

I believe we'd all be happier with fewer look-at-this-asshole posts.

The best FPPs contain inherently interesting links. In my experience, "I bet MeFites will have something interesting to say about this" usually results in unproductive (and caustic) discussions that tread no new ground. You often see this with newsy stories.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 3:58 PM on January 1 [29 favorites]


So one of the things that I pay careful attention to when I bring up potentially painful topics, such as CK's doubling down on using his position to attack others and whether we should talk about it here, is that people's responses exist in the context of other, similar interactions that are shaping the expectations that other people have to what I say and request. My conversational partners have expectations about what I am likely to do next which are shaped by their experience with people who signal in ways similar to whatever it is I am saying.

Their expectations may or may not be accurate to what I am trying to communicate. It does not matter. I can communicate much more effectively if I can defuse misunderstandings before they happen--assuming they are misunderstandings!--and before a conflict happens. So I take care to nod at the things to defuse the associations that come with having experienced shitty fucking conversations and experiences in the past for many people. I look for patterns to signal that I don't want to have, say, another argument about whether CK's art is valuable enough to justify his prestige and salary given his history of assault, and that I want to have a different talk.

If you don't signal those things, even if that is not your intention, people will quite reasonably assume that if you are quacking like a duck... you probably are one. Even if really, you are trying to be a platypus instead. When people have learned to associate ducks with being hurt, insulted, or otherwise feeling bad, you really do not want people going in primed for you to hurt them. So it is to your advantage to casually draw attention to the fact that you are furry or leak milk before someone goes "what the fuck, why are you sounding like that, are you some kind of fucking duck??"
posted by sciatrix at 4:00 PM on January 1 [21 favorites]


What I'm seeing is that people are interested in what Metafilter has to say, and I would be, too, if there was more to it than this. But--we reject new developments of old stories where there's not really more substantive to talk about as not being worth new posts all the time. This doesn't feel like it has any of the nuance of a thing to have a discussion about. We already had the discussion about coming to terms with what he did versus how many progressives liked him. In 2017. We don't do threads to just rehash old discussions on things just because there was some minor new development. I don't think even a slightly better article for context saves this topic. Just because you weren't here for the last discussion on a given topic doesn't mean we post it again so you can participate this time.
posted by Sequence at 4:01 PM on January 1 [6 favorites]


No one is forcing anyone to read a MeFi discussion on a subject that doesn't interest - or outright upsets - them.

Here's the thing though they kind of are.

If you (general you) are a member of an oppressed group of people--meaning yes, anyone other than a straight cis white male--then you kind of ARE forced to read those things, because if you don't engage, bullshit about you continues to be spread. If you don't stand up, step up, push back, get heard, then the unending torrent of bullshit flows unabated from the people you share MetaFilter (and by extension, the whole fucking world) with.

And that shit is exhausting.

And it's extra-special exhausting as more and more vectors of oppression apply to you. So yeah, women are, in fact, forced to read discussions about misogyny (which would include anything about LCK) and trans people are forced to read discussions about transphobia (which would include anything about LCK), etc., because if they don't, then misogyny and transphobia and and and just builds up like fucking plaque around our hearts until it kills us. So we are forced to read the MeFi discussions about things that are actively hurtful to us because frankly, MeFi is the high bar these days, and if that shit is passing for informed discussion here, then we are well and truly fucked. Too many trans people, too many cis women, have buttoned here over discussion of trans existences, or women's lives, going so poorly that they simply couldn't take it anymore.

When the place where you expect the voices to be diverse yet mature is flooded with "BAWWWW WIMMEN AND THOSE "TRANS" WHINERS AMIRITE?", yeah, we are forced into reading it in order to fight for our FUCKING LIVES. And it's exhausting and emotionally draining and unless there is a REALLY good reason to have said conversation I am 100% on Team Not This Bullshit Again.

I’m actively interested in how the hive mind sees this, how to think about it in ways that aren’t my own, how to engage with this continuing saga of white men living dangerously and getting away with it.

BUT THAT STATEMENT IS LITERALLY FORCING US TO READ IT. "Do the work for me, all you non-whites and/or non-men! Flay yourselves alive so that I might glean a tiny insight!"

Like, how do you not SEE that?
posted by tzikeh at 4:03 PM on January 1 [95 favorites]


The shit he's spewing isn't new to anyone anywhere, least of all on this site. The responses to it are similarly not something that just came up right now, today, and acting like there's some kind of brand new worthwhile nuanced discussion between mature adults to be had on whether or not egregiously aggressive transphobia and racism are acceptable in comedy is ridiculous at best and disingenuous at worst.
posted by poffin boffin at 4:05 PM on January 1 [15 favorites]


"BUT BY THAT STATEMENT YOU ARE LITERALLY FORCING US TO READ IT. "Do the work for me, all you non-white men! Flay yourselves alive so that I might glean a tiny insight!" Like, do you not SEE that?”

Hey, I didn’t say/write you don’t have to read anything you don’t want to. That was another commenter. Again, look at me for who I am before you come at me. I’m gathering this is infuriating for you and you’ve been clear as to why that is. I’m not trying to disown your feelings or pretend you don’t exist. Again, I appreciate what you’re writing.

Like a lot of people I go to seminars, trainings, talks, public conversations, to listen to what other minds have to say on things. I don’t assume I have the end all perspective on shit. Listening to other people isn’t "Do the work for me, all you non-white men!” I’m one of those non-white types who does a lot of explaining. But other me as you will.
posted by artof.mulata at 4:11 PM on January 1 [7 favorites]


Having looked at the two posts, I have to say that neither encouraged me to read the links, much less comment on them, much much less comment on them constructively. As cortex pointed out at the beginning “terrible person acts terribly” rarely makes for a good discussion.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:14 PM on January 1 [17 favorites]


Any post about this situation is literally "hey, come be outraged about this thing", and outrage filter makes for the worst kind of MetaFilter.

It's pretty basic.

I don't necessarily agree with the deletion of these posts, as I think this community is fully capable of dealing with the topic.

And I don't hold with the assertion above that every single marginalized individual feels compelled to deal with any and all topics that might intersect with their marginalization out of some kind of posture of self-defense. Some may feel like they are on that crusade, but at some point, particularly in this setting, it ends up being a "won't you come to bed?" "someone is wrong on the internet" situation.

To me, it boils down to this: when you make a MetaFilter FPP, are you wanting to share something that you found that is cool/interesting (and possibly sparking discussion that expands on the topic and knowledge)? Or are you wanting to see people join you in your outrage?

Like, who on MetaFilter is going to support CK's latest statements? Nobody. So the topic turns into 1) a peanut gallery full of jeering adults, 2) an argument about freedom of speech, 3) a discussion about... um.... a discussion about.... I mean, what is there to discuss?

OutrageFilter is the worst MetaFilter. Stop posting to watch people get angry. Post to make people feel wonder or more informed or entertained.
posted by hippybear at 4:30 PM on January 1 [61 favorites]


Never expecting every post to be of the same quality as every other, there was enough there for me to read the links in the 2nd post, read more about this shit show in other posts, and then start thinking about the entire thing. The 2nd post was killed as I writing an initial response and that lead to this MT.

Not every post is written to whatever nebulous standards we hold as austere. Some are as minimal as it gets while others are the mind fucks that appear on economics or political shenanigans.

As to calls asking what I’m hoping the discussions will produce: I’ve already answered. Anything beyond what I stated is thread sitting. I don’t think I’m asking for anything in discussion beyond what occurs in the politics mega-threads.

Most importantly, I apologize for not knowing how painful it would be for anyone to bring this dude up. I honestly thought this was something worth discussing without realizing the mods killed them due to a history of traumatic impacts on MeFites. That’s honorable and respectable and that level of insight and remembrance is why I still drop in here.

Thank you Tzikeh & the Mods for your insights. Honestly, much appreciated.
posted by artof.mulata at 4:30 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Upon a little further thought... artof.mulata, you express a desire to talk specifically about "how to engage with this continuing saga of white men living dangerously and getting away with it." But that's not the central question that sits under either of those FPP frameworks, and if it was I bet the thread would have stayed up. Especially if you think a little bit more about that sentence--is CK's new act "living dangerously?" Who's in danger, and where does the danger come from? Who has the power to keep him from getting away with it, and what does that look like?

But you're not asking specifically about that in your requests in this thread, and that's part of what I mean by needing to defuse existing tensions before you ask for other people to delve into a conversation about an upsetting event. "Hey, look, this white man is lashing out at you again, and no one who isn't under fire themselves has your back" is not something that inspires people to talk about this, especially not in a constructive way. The FPPs both direct people to focus on that particular sentiment, and one of them actually inflames it a little further by focusing on mitigating factors for CK (he apologized, he seemed sincere, etc). That was almost certainly accidental, but I am about 80% sure that that particular FPP would set people up for a lot of fury with the OP in a way that is definitely not constructive.

When I say that you need to take time to defuse the existing soreness caused by many small but chronic injuries before you can get into the deeper and more interesting discussions, what I mean is that you need to actively reach out and soothe people that you aren't going to step on a chronic fracture before someone yelps in pain and fury and wheels to yell. That is a prerequisite of a sensitive thread that still goes well: subtly signaling the people most likely to associate the subject with pain that you know where the pain points are and intend to respect them.

If you don't think about it beforehand and are lucky, someone who knows the experience patterns well might step in and defuse things and reframe your post for you, and if someone blunders badly mods will usually remove it and allow us to keep talking in a more productive and less painful direction. But more likely a FPP set up to focus on pain from any perspective that is not a structurally wronged party's is just going to encourage irritation and frustration in the wake of that pain.

Generally the conversation will derail badly from there: either the people with the most relevant experience will look at your post, look at the potential for exhaustion, and walk briskly in the opposite direction... or they will, if they feel safe enough, wade in and start snarling that the pain is there and needs to be respected and paid attention to. Often this spills over onto the OP, or onto other community members, or onto moderation, which has knock-on effects on the rest of the community.

And the first option is no better and might even be worse--because those people with relevant experience and expertise are likely to walk briskly away from the entire community, over time, and the community becomes a self-reinforcing echo chamber of people who don't know the pain points are there (or who know and enjoy smacking them).
posted by sciatrix at 4:31 PM on January 1 [25 favorites]


But other me as you will.

Here's the thing -- LCK is not coming for you. His audience is not coming for you. He isn't spreading disdain of you. He isn't spreading hate of you. He isn't, with or without conscious intent, inciting violence toward you. Ally all you want--and your allyship is appreciated!--but you have no skin in this. Therefore, it's an academic discussion for you. And by your own words, you wanted to see a discussion about it so that other people here would do your work for you -- and no, you don't get to compare going to lectures and seminars and so forth to engaging in discussion on MetaFilter. Whoever chose to give the lecture/seminar/training/talk chose to do so.

Yes, this subject is really, really painful for me (though I know it's more painful for trans women), and yes this post angers me--specifically because the wording of it is so bloodless and detached. You didn't get to have a conversation about someone vile being vile, and you thought MetaFilter would be more mature about these kind of things. But you came in completely blind to what it is you were asking of the people on MetaFilter who LCK is coming for, who his audience is coming for. And I have to assume that you're unaware of just how pervasive all of what he's spewing is right now, and how much pain and violence and suffering it's causing to real people who are here on this site with you, because if you were aware, you never would have made the posts in the first place.

The people this affects would rather not have to face soul-killing "discourse" at their expense from people who view it as an exercise or a learning experience. There are more than enough essays and interviews and think-pieces already out there from which you can learn about how these white men keep getting away with it that doesn't require your fellow MeFites to repeatedly hurl themselves into sharp objects.

On preview - thank you for understanding why the post was taken down. I appreciate that you were willing to listen here (even to me, who is not on the most even of keels on the subject). And sorry for conflating you and Phineas. My mistake.
posted by tzikeh at 4:32 PM on January 1 [26 favorites]


artof.mulata: But this is an interesting (not positive) evolution of a now-reviled human being.

Is it, though? Interesting, I mean? From over here it looks like another tediously horrible person continuing to be horrible in a way that we've seen play out (and had discussions about) countless times before when other horrible famous people have doubled down on their awfulness. I mean, if he had had some kind of life-changing epiphany and had sold all his possessions, donated the proceeds to a legal defense fund for victims of sexual assault, and then joined a monastery, that would be interesting. This just looks like more of the same old crap from the same crappy person.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:39 PM on January 1 [36 favorites]


Tzikeh, I didn’t make the posts; I read them. I asked why we couldn’t be trusted to have a conversation around this. That’s all. I didn’t say anyone could skip this and still be safe; I know that doesn’t work. I didn’t ask anyone to do any work for me as I’m doing the work myself and looking for people to extend it.

Again, I don’t know who you are. I don’t what color you are and you probably don’t know mine. You don’t know how I identify. You don’t know my pronouns. You don’t know how raw my lack of skin might have left me from living in this world. As other me as you will because that’s where we are. And it’s possible I need to have discussions about things which fuck me up, terrify me, scare me to death, not because I’m trying to be an ally but because I need to know who my allies are.

You don’t know me, who I am, where I’m from or whether LCK and his ilk are coming for me or not. So please back off from your ugly and cruel assumptions.
posted by artof.mulata at 4:42 PM on January 1 [13 favorites]


And I don't hold with the assertion above that every single marginalized individual feels compelled to deal with any and all topics that might intersect with their marginalization out of some kind of posture of self-defense. Some may feel like they are on that crusade, but at some point, particularly in this setting, it ends up being a "won't you come to bed?" "someone is wrong on the internet" situation.

I reject the characterization of such participation as a "crusade". And, yeah, sooner or later, it ends up being "someone is wrong on the internet" and then we slowly but surely disengage with Metafilter, on all subjects. But, hey, if all the marginalized people who speak up for themselves drift away, problem solved, right? They're engaging from a "posture of self-defense" because allies aren't doing the heavy lifting here.
posted by hoyland at 4:43 PM on January 1 [20 favorites]


Please don't willingly give this foul-souled asshole a platform or bandwidth here. He already has too large of a platform.
posted by loquacious at 4:45 PM on January 1 [11 favorites]


I reject the characterization of such participation as a "crusade".

The typing of words into a website was literally described as fighting for their lives.

Perhaps crusade is the wrong word, but the right one is escaping me at the moment.

I'm one of the good guys, but I found that entire statement to be a bit over the top, because it's literally typing words into a website. I don't deny that there is work to be done in our society to bring everyone into a state where they feel safe and equal, but I promise you that will not be accomplished to any great measure by typing anything into a website.
posted by hippybear at 4:49 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


OutrageFilter is the worst MetaFilter. Stop posting to watch people get angry.

Yes, please. I get enough outrage from the politics mega threads to last me all day, every day. I’m OK with the mods deciding that a post will do nothing but have people comment about how awful it all is and/or feel personally attacked and If that means they kill a few posts, fine. It’s their job to keep the site safe for us. I’m glad they’re doing it.
posted by greermahoney at 4:55 PM on January 1 [8 favorites]


[Couple comments removed. There's some needless friction here coming off I think at least a partial misunderstanding of who wrote what earlier on, and I don't think there's any further resolving that beyond what tzikeh and artof.mulata have already said, and I have zero interest seeing this get further personal. Please drop it.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 4:55 PM on January 1 [6 favorites]


I support these deletions because I’m tired of “terrible people being terrible” being considered newsworthy. No platform for bad men.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 4:55 PM on January 1 [43 favorites]


I don't deny that there is work to be done in our society to bring everyone into a state where they feel safe and equal, but I promise you that will not be accomplished to any great measure by typing anything into a website.

Oh, well, there I personally disagree! I think that the biggest thing we can do to effect social change is to talk about this, angrily and calmly, wordily and tersely, online and off. None of it will make big visible changes right away--but in the aggregate, this is how minds are opened and widened and changed and shaped. They change because we collectively make decisions on what is and is not appropriate, and that only happens because we set individual personal boundaries and tell other people they should move theirs alongside ours. (Or listen to other people tell us we should move ours.)

But then, I think online discussion is simply a different form of the same kinds of social engagement and talking to one another as we engage in offline. I mean, you specifically, hippybear, I've been talking to you and listening to you and taking your opinions and experiences in account for... goodness, four years now? I've been reconnecting with folks I met online five or six years ago this week. I've been shaped and changed by conversations I had online in the past, mostly for the better, and I think I've shaped some people right back.

Social attachments and interactions matter, no matter what kind of medium we use to form them or maintain them.
posted by sciatrix at 4:56 PM on January 1 [18 favorites]


A core meta-question here is: what kind of place is MetaFilter, one where there are lots of different rooms where people can wander in and join the conversation, or one big room where everyone is presumed to be in the conversation to a greater or lesser degree.

For the many years I have been on MeFi, I have seen it as an old fashioned coffee house (the original 17th century London or Amsterdam kind), where there are all kinds of conversations going on. But unlike a live coffee house - and therefore better - I am not forced to participate in or even listen to a conversation that bores or offends or even threatens me.

I don't want MetaFilter to be a place where people can veto subjects that someone else wants to invite others to have a conversation about.
posted by PhineasGage at 5:00 PM on January 1 [8 favorites]


But this is an interesting (not positive) evolution of a now-reviled human being

It's not that interesting.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 5:05 PM on January 1 [27 favorites]


Strong second for everything sciatrix said in this comment.
posted by soundguy99 at 5:06 PM on January 1


So please back off from your ugly and cruel assumptions.

You are Alanis Morissette and I claim my five pounds.
posted by tzikeh at 5:08 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


tzikeh, "So please back off from your ugly and cruel assumptions.
You are Alanis Morissette and I claim my five pounds.”

I wrote that before I saw your edit. Apologies.
posted by artof.mulata at 5:10 PM on January 1


I wrote that before I saw your edit. Apologies.

Thank you. And despite my glibness re: La Morissette, I do apologize for conflating you and PhineasGage. I should really be better at walking away from my anger until I can make proper arguments by now.
posted by tzikeh at 5:12 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


"I should really be better at walking away from my anger until I can make proper arguments by now.”

I should be too. Ugh. My anger here doesn’t serve anyone well.
posted by artof.mulata at 5:14 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


"I should really be better at walking away from my anger until I can make proper arguments by now.”

I should be too. Ugh. My anger here doesn’t serve anyone well.


New Year's Resolution buddies?
posted by tzikeh at 5:15 PM on January 1 [24 favorites]


"New Year's Resolution buddies?”

I already consider you a good person. Pinky swear.
posted by artof.mulata at 5:18 PM on January 1 [14 favorites]


PhineasGage: A core meta-question here is: what kind of place is MetaFilter, one where there are lots of different rooms where people can wander in and join the conversation, or one big room where everyone is presumed to be in the conversation to a greater or lesser degree.... unlike a live coffee house - and therefore better - I am not forced to participate in or even listen to a conversation that bores or offends or even threatens me.

I think sciatrix answers this well:
".... either the people with the most relevant experience will look at your post, look at the potential for exhaustion, and walk briskly in the opposite direction... or they will, if they feel safe enough, wade in and start snarling that the pain is there and needs to be respected and paid attention to. Often this spills over onto the OP, or onto other community members, or onto moderation, which has knock-on effects on the rest of the community.

And the first option is no better and might even be worse--because those people with relevant experience and expertise are likely to walk briskly away from the entire community, over time, and the community becomes a self-reinforcing echo chamber of people who don't know the pain points are there (or who know and enjoy smacking them)."
What gets discussed in a single thread oftentimes has direct or knock-on effects on the health and purpose of the site elsewhere. Sometimes that works in our favor (The Epic of BoyZone was not told in a day), but sometimes it doesn't (too many good, thoughtful MeFites buttoned due to painful burn-out inflicted by the tone of the site at large).

We can't control--or predict--what effect one FPP's ensuing discussion will have down the line, but we sure can put the kibosh on FPPs with subjects that have been proven to bring about pain and suffering over and over and over again. That's not a veto; that's triage.
posted by tzikeh at 5:29 PM on January 1 [15 favorites]


I don't want MetaFilter to be a place where people can veto subjects that someone else wants to invite others to have a conversation about.

OK, based on those two posts, what is the conversation you would like to see? I don’t see how either of them would lead to anything more than a Two Minute Hate, with some collateral emotional damage and maybe some Free Speachifying. Maybe heat but no light. You seem to have different expectations; what further productive things arevthere to say about the man or his actions?
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:30 PM on January 1 [11 favorites]


The handling of this only denied me the opportunity to declare as a White Male (Cis but now leaning toward Ace), that I never found Louis C.K. funny and was neither surprised at the offenses that originally disgraced him nor his doubly disgraceful "comeback". And I have no intention of being given the designation "woke" since I've had my eyes open for far longer than I ever wanted and wish only to go to sleep forever.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:34 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


I am the author of (I believe) the second attempted post.

Hippybear, I favorited one of your comments because you make some excellent points.

Apologies if my attempt at a post was insufficient with "framing" etc. The intent was to shed some light on a career that was trending stratospheric and crashed not once but twice. Both times due to extremely sensitive cultural issues.

That to me is worthy of conversation. I did my best to provide context and avoid editorializing.

Somebody said upthread "Where is the harm in axing it?"

I ask you, where is the harm in letting it remain? At least until if/when the post proves unworthy?

The Hive wants and claims to be inclusive and liberal-minded. Except for things it might not want to hear.

Oh well, I tried and my five bucks was well spent.
posted by raider at 5:39 PM on January 1 [5 favorites]


I didn't make any of the original posts, and like oneswellfoop I never found Louis CK funny or entertaining. But several MeFites apparently found the latest news about him interesting enough TO THEM that they made posts to spur conversation. I don't think they should be blocked from doing so because some other MeFites are uninterested or upset about the topic.
posted by PhineasGage at 5:42 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


I ask you, where is the harm in letting it remain?

Numerous people upthread have detailed the harm. You may disagree with them, but you can’t say the case hadn’t already been made.
posted by greermahoney at 5:49 PM on January 1 [55 favorites]


And when it comes to facilitating a discussion of something heinous like this without linking to or drawing attention to it, that is EXACTLY what Metatalk is for.
posted by oneswellfoop at 5:52 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Without getting all John Stuart Mill, I believe that considering contrary thoughts and opinions is not just beneficial but necessary.

And nothing was forced on anyone. In fact it was deleted (twice) before it had a chance to be! I thought MetaFilter was more than an echo chamber.

Happy New Year, all.
posted by raider at 6:04 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


[...] letting it remain? At least until if/when the post proves unworthy?

That's not how Metafilter works. The post is the post; it's not going to prove any more or less worthy by virtue of having been left up for an hour or by some number of magically redeeming comments. If that were the case there would be no meaningful bar at all for FPPs, because who knows, maybe someone will come along and redeem it, or it will somehow become transcendently worthwhile if it just marinates there long enough.

There have been cases where posts that really should have been deleted out of the gate end up sticking around. As I understand it this will sometimes happen if enough people have engaged with it that deleting it does more harm to the overall site's continuity than leaving it in place might be. This is not a win for the post, the post's author, or the site; it's just the slightly better of two bad options.

Personally I would like this site to be a haven for all of us. It can't be that haven for all of us if some of us insist on our right to bring up triggery topics just for the sake of bringing up those triggery topics. Doing that at a dinner party might be your "right" as well but let's be clear that it doesn't make you a noble free speech warrior or a fearless incisive conversationalist. Bringing up shitty topics without anything to say other than "look at this shitty topic" just makes you kind of a dick, brings down the overall mood and makes the folks most affected want to not show up in the future.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 6:06 PM on January 1 [17 favorites]


That to me is worthy of conversation.
The Hive wants and claims to be inclusive and liberal-minded. Except for things it might not want to hear.


This seems to be another illustration of why, as described above and in past MeTas, "I want to see people talk about this!" is a bad motivation for posts (and one I'd love to see re-minimized in aggregate). As soon as "Metafilter should hear this thing because it's important!" comes into scope, "They don't want to hear what I have to say" and (my personal favorite) "Liberal filter-bubble! Silenced all my life!" comes in.
posted by CrystalDave at 6:07 PM on January 1 [27 favorites]


PhineasGage, I don't think it's too much of a leap to say that the argument you are making is essentially that anybody should be allowed to post on any subject they personally consider interesting. That's really not how MetaFilter works, and I'm pretty sure you know that as well as I. Posts have always been deleted for lots of reasons that basically all boil down to "let's not talk about this here." Some of the most common reasons for posts to be deleted are when the subject matter is inappropriate (e.g. nazi propaganda, self-linking) or the subject matter is not interesting enough (i.e. "too thin") to engender a good discussion.

The subject under discussion here contains elements of both those problems—it can be seen as providing a platform for a bad person, and also it's not clear that there's anything particularly special or insightful happening in this instance. We can argue about whether this subject and these posts meet the criteria for deletion (the official line would appear to be that it could be a good post if certain conditions were met, but that so far they have not been) hence this MeTa, but to say that people should just post whatever interests them personally and if others don't like it they don't have to click seems fundamentally counter to what I anyway understand this place to be about.

MetaFilter, in other words.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 6:07 PM on January 1 [19 favorites]


The Hive wants and claims to be inclusive and liberal-minded. Except for things it might not want to hear.

lol you mean like how you don't want to hear all the people telling you why the posts sucked and result in bad shitty discussions about the bad shittiness of yet another bad shitty white guy
posted by poffin boffin at 6:07 PM on January 1 [61 favorites]


Didn't realize this was a white-glove cocktail party.

Enjoy. No further argument from me. It has been a pleasure interacting with you.
posted by raider at 6:17 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


I ask you, where is the harm in letting it remain? At least until if/when the post proves unworthy?

Well, who gets to decide when it's unworthy? Here at Metafilter, that would be the mods. And they did just that. They based their decision on a long, long history of posts very much like the two in question bringing nothing but harm, repeatedly, to the people who frequent the site.

They did it faster than you would, I guess, so that's your issue. Because the harm in letting something like that remain is real, it's tangible and identifiable, and is has been enumerated by multiple members of this site right here in this thread.

Do you need the leopard to eat your face? Is that when you notice the harm? Because all of us inclusive, liberal-minded MeFites, we'd prefer that the mods stop the leopard before it eats your face, if that's all right with you.

Didn't realize this was a white-glove cocktail party.

Oh please.
posted by tzikeh at 6:20 PM on January 1 [27 favorites]



Didn't realize this was a white-glove cocktail party.

Enjoy. No further argument from me. It has been a pleasure interacting with you.
posted by raider at 9:17 PM on January 1


Just for future reference, saying insulting things and then following them with surface politeness does not annul the insult.
posted by soundguy99 at 6:28 PM on January 1 [36 favorites]


[Couple comments removed. raider, deleting your post wasn't some sort of rebuke and I get at a basic level the instinct to post about something zeitgeisty, but your behavior in this thread has sucked and you need to cut it out.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 6:35 PM on January 1 [19 favorites]


And to be clear--and I get the stinging at my (and others') blunt appraisal at the framing, especially because fpp posting can be intimidating and take work--

I don't think that FPP framing would have been bad on any less fraught subject, I don't really think it deserved to be spotlighted publicly as part of a broader discussion, and I kept going back and forth about whether to frankly assess the FPPs as part of explaining why I thought the mod decision was 100% the right one. It really should have been left at that, and this is a reason I get very uncomfortable at "why did this get deleted??" MeTas that spotlight other people's FPPs without their consent beforehand.

Ugh. I have no idea what to do about that, though.
posted by sciatrix at 6:41 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


This thread is oddly flipped.

Like in most cases it would be "I'm sick of these liberals talking endlessly about #MeToo and men being shitty." But here the accusation is that echo chamber liberals don't want to dissect another guy being shitty again.

FWIW, I'm just generally anti-NewsFilter and OutrageFilter and am thankful for any reprieve.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 6:41 PM on January 1 [22 favorites]


There's also the simple fact that dealing with this sort of outrage takes a toll on the mods too. I'm pretty sure that's not the note they'd like to start the year with. Most of us had a holiday today, how about we not make them work harder than they need to? Especially when there's not a lot to say on the topic beyond "Christ, what an asshole!"
posted by peppermind at 6:49 PM on January 1 [9 favorites]


Sorry, 'Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival,' that IS too much of a leap - you are incorrectly understanding and stating my views. I am not at all saying anyone should be able to post anything here. Some in this thread are saying 'these posts weren't framed/presented well enough,' which seems a completely reasonable view, and moderator comments along the lines of 'feel free to repost if you can put together better premise/context/framing' we see all the time on MeFi. But the mod's comment in deleting the second (?) post was "We don't need to give a platform to his [Louis CK's] stuff." That's defining any post about the topic of Louis CK as inherently unacceptable, and that's what I am disagreeing with as bad for Metafilter's culture of inclusion and open debate.
posted by PhineasGage at 7:00 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


Honestly, at this point I think it's worth closing this thread to new comments and moving on. Not because we're "closed to discourse" or "can't handle the discussion," but because there's no new grand insight to be gained here, and the longer this conversation continues, the greater the likelihood that people will be cruel and longtime mefites will button their accounts. Call it.
posted by duffell at 7:01 PM on January 1 [23 favorites]


Didn't realize this was a white-glove cocktail party.

I didn't either. I guess that means we shouldn't be here in the back room butt-chugging the beer bong.

Nah seriously? Louis CK is a huge asshole. It has been discussed to death that he's a huge asshole. Discussing it further and trying to find the exact ISO dimensions of Louise CK's huge, stupendous butthole isn't good for anyone except Louis CKs bank account.

It is - as indicated above by many voices - harmful and stressful to many of ours to give bad actors, shitty people and known quantities of stupendous assholes yet another plank in their platform. It's feels a lot like watching a bully hit some innocent kid and the asking how the bully felt about hitting that kid.

Fuck Louis CK. There are so many better things to post to MeFi.
posted by loquacious at 7:04 PM on January 1 [30 favorites]


Discussing it further and trying to find the exact ISO dimensions of Louise CK's huge, stupendous butthole

Like, I love you, but holy shit this metaphor has me gagging. Good job!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:10 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


LCK is the very definition of boring, uninspired, and emphatically not worthy of news attention. Stop it. Just. Fucking. Stop.
posted by odinsdream at 7:12 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


But the mod's comment in deleting the second (?) post was "We don't need to give a platform to his [Louis CK's] stuff." That's defining any post about the topic of Louis CK as inherently unacceptable, and that's what I am disagreeing with as bad for Metafilter's culture of inclusion and open debate.

That's putting a heck of a lot of weight on a narrow interpretation of the phrasing of a deletion reason; if that's the one specific thing that's bothering you, bringing that up explicitly in your first comment and talking about what your objection was in detail would have been a lot more helpful.

I do agree with the sentiment of that deletion reason, which is that we don't need to specifically hold up This Particular Shitty Standup Set to the light just for the sake of looking at it and agreeing that it's shitty. Folks have chimed in on that up thread in useful ways. But that's (as my own comments up thread have made very clear, which you seemed to have read and understood?) not the same as barring the possibility of talking about the topic more generally if there's something more substantial to bring to the table beyond Shitty Comic Is Shitty.
posted by cortex (staff) at 7:21 PM on January 1 [10 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: "I support these deletions because I’m tired of “terrible people being terrible” being considered newsworthy. No platform for bad men."

Yeah, we just had a "how should Metafilter be different" thread in which one theme people kept returning to was, "less newsfilter, fewer 'can you believe this asshole' threads." And then here's a MeTa saying we've got to have one about Louis CK.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:30 PM on January 1 [30 favorites]


this community is mature enough to discuss this

I wish this was true but I don't think it is. I value people here saying they don't want to be hurt again over peoples' belief that they have a right to say whatever hurtful things they want.
posted by bleep at 7:36 PM on January 1 [9 favorites]


Like, I love you, but holy shit this metaphor has me gagging. Good job!

We'd need a half dozen laser-ranging GPS II robotic total stations and an entire team of expert surveyors, spelunkers, geologists and at least one proctologist.

Never you mind why the floor is squishy, get in there and start measuring some shit!
posted by loquacious at 7:50 PM on January 1 [3 favorites]


this community is mature enough to discuss this

I'd like to think when it comes to hurtful topics being brought up without any meaningful value to add or compelling thing to say about them, that this community is mature enough to not discuss this.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 7:59 PM on January 1 [37 favorites]


The community is certainly great at not-discussing non-hurtful, perhaps even inspirational topics.

(Not a grouse about it being a dead post -- I have plenty of those. I am just surprised sometimes.)
posted by hippybear at 8:07 PM on January 1 [4 favorites]


I suspect it was the length of the videos that was the issue there, moreso than the subject.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:33 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Cortex, I cited the moderator comment to make sure I was being clear and specific in expressing my view about the larger issues it raises. The important issue here for Metafilter goes well beyond Louis CK and this particular situation, as reflected in many of the comments above. The larger question, which I tried to bring to this discussion earlier, is whether Metafilter is a place of multiple rooms, where those who are uncomfortable with a conversation in a particular room can choose to stay away, or one big room where voices are assumed to carry and thus there is a more limited range of conversational topics and modes and styles that will be permitted.
posted by PhineasGage at 8:35 PM on January 1 [1 favorite]


jacquilynne: Oh, I know. Not my first rodeo. ;)
posted by hippybear at 8:39 PM on January 1

this community is mature enough to discuss this
Discuss what though?

>>Louis Dice Clay does a Miller
>>Quelle surprise.

There, discussion over.

Metafilter is "mature enough" to have discussed this when Dennis Miller did a Miller.

I suppose we could discuss whether not having the discussion barrs entry to the less immature and newer members who haven't had those discussions. No wait, we've discussed that too.
posted by fullerine at 8:57 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


Seconding the fact that this was removed as a sign this community is more mature than others on the web.
posted by odinsdream at 9:07 PM on January 1 [17 favorites]


I feel sooo “I told you so” about LCK towards everyone who kept recommending him to me. I have spent way too much time thinking about him and his awfulness. And there’s honestly nothing new to discuss here. The shitty things he said are the same shitty things that have been said before. His fall is no different than the falls of many. There are no novel twists to this story. Once you get out of thinking every news story deserves a place on MetaFilter, it’s hard to make a case for a FPP, even if your bar is “interesting discussion” not good links.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:13 PM on January 1 [14 favorites]


A pony, perhaps: Modify the new post page to warn users if they are making a post that contains a link found in a recently-deleted post AND there is no accepted post containing the link. (If an accepted post has the link, just point them at that.)

Having a post deleted is frustrating, doubly-so if you dig through the deleted post blog and it seems like this is a topic that a portion of the community wants to talk about. Telling people before they actually hit post that a current event has been deemed a bad fit might ease the pain.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:23 PM on January 1 [2 favorites]


The Hive wants and claims to be inclusive and liberal-minded. Except for things it might not want to hear.

Lol. I came here not to make a case for or against these posts, but to read the arguments.

But suddenly all the dogs in the neighbourhood are barking, and I think I know why.
posted by klanawa at 10:26 PM on January 1 [29 favorites]


> PhineasGage:
"The larger question, which I tried to bring to this discussion earlier, is whether Metafilter is a place of multiple rooms, where those who are uncomfortable with a conversation in a particular room can choose to stay away, or one big room where voices are assumed to carry and thus there is a more limited range of conversational topics and modes and styles that will be permitted."

It's a large building filled with rooms. The rooms have topics and live-updated occupancy numbers.

Some go ignored because of timing or disinterest or they smell funny. If you wander in, you can see the host muttering to themselves about how MeFites have bad taste.

Others are generic and loudly buzzing with people, because it's easy to engage with the topic and damn it, you want to be heard. Maybe you'll talk about an asshole actor or some random racist lady with a cellphone or Israel-Palestine or weight loss. A fight erupts. Some people leave the building crying, never to come back. Others wander down the hall opening doors and screaming inside. The downstairs neighbor hits their ceiling with a broom, begging for quiet. Someone calls the cops. The last remaining guest looks across the wreckage and beams: "great party!"

In conclusion: go keep the lonely weirdo FPP makers company. They'll appreciate it and it's more edifying.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 11:18 PM on January 1 [6 favorites]


For the many years I have been on MeFi, I have seen it as an old fashioned coffee house (the original 17th century London or Amsterdam kind), where there are all kinds of conversations going on.

I felt obliged to verify my suspicions, and as you might expect this was all of the kinds of conversations which white men might have with each other:
Historians disagree on the role and participation of women within the English coffeehouse. Bramah states that women were forbidden from partaking in coffeehouse activity as customers. Cowan, on the other hand, explains that while coffeehouses were free and open to all subjects despite class, gender, or merit, conversation revolved around male-centred issues such as politics, business and cultural criticism, which were not supposed to concern women and thus their participation within coffeehouses was unwelcomed. Historians depict coffeehouses as a gentlemanly sphere where men could partake in conversation without associating with women; coffeehouses were consequently not considered a place for a lady who wished to preserve her respectability.
But at least, also according to Wikipedia, among those conversations going on between the men:
According to the first posted "Rules and Orders of the Coffee House" illustrated and printed in 1674 as a coffee broadside, equality was supposed to have prevailed amongst all men in these establishments, and "no man of any station need give his place to a finer man". Historians confirm that a diverse demographic of customers frequented English coffeehouses, and social status was somewhat ignored, as one could participate in conversation regardless of class, rank, or political leaning. If one should swear, they would have to forfeit a twelve-pence. If a quarrel broke out, the instigator would have to purchase the offended a cup of coffee. The topic of "sacred things" was barred from coffeehouses, and rules existed against speaking poorly of the state as well as religious scriptures.
Now I just need to calculate the inflation-adjusted value of a twelve-pence in 2019 dollars to figure out how often I can swear each month... I may be prepaid already by as much as a kiloswear and that will be one glorious comment.
posted by XMLicious at 12:33 AM on January 2 [25 favorites]


OMG how many cups of coffee do I owe you each?
posted by riverlife at 12:44 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


Oh christ, why is this even a question? Even this fucking meta thread has brought out all the ugly, a lot of it from people literally professing to be the good guys in the same breath. Fuck no. Fuck Louis CK, fuck this post, and fuck the kind of bigotry-rubbernecking instinct that brought us here.
posted by Dysk at 2:18 AM on January 2 [42 favorites]


The guy has morphed into an absolutely indefensible monster.

And yet I can guaran-damn-tee you that somebody (and possibly several) would, in fact, come into the thread to defend him and wax nostalgic about the good old days when nobody got triggered. Not only that, they'd almost assuredly make the same accusations of liberal echo-chambers and SJW moral inflexibility and whatnot that we've already seen in this thread. And then there would be the "I'm not defending him but..." crew tut-tutting about free speech or deplatforming or whatever internet contrarianism is popular right now. We'd probably even get some (ironic, given this thread) moralizing about how giving him attention is the reason the bad guys are winning. It's not as if MeFites defending monsters isn't a thing.

Check out any thread concerning subjects from Gamergate to mass shootings to the Confederacy and you'll find out how willing some MeFites are to defend absolute monsters.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:56 AM on January 2 [23 favorites]


I'm one of the good guys, but I found that entire statement to be a bit over the top, because it's literally typing words into a website. I don't deny that there is work to be done in our society to bring everyone into a state where they feel safe and equal, but I promise you that will not be accomplished to any great measure by typing anything into a website.

That's needlessly hurtful reductionism. Arguing for your basic humanity is just making sounds with your mouth, too. But much like mouth sounds can very much have meaningful and real impacts, so can words on websites. Because this is how we socialise now, in whole or in part. With words on websites. How we set norms, how we communicate, how we influence people.

So hell yes those words on a website matter. If this is where we feel unsafe and unequal, then nothing can fix that except typing words into a website. Mefi is part of "our society" because it's part of where we spend our time (and in a sense, on mefi, its the only "our society" because we live all over the damn world, and this is the only social space we share).
posted by Dysk at 3:19 AM on January 2 [32 favorites]


Here’s my question from last night expanded: based on the texts of the two FPPs in question and this MeTa, what positive conversation can you imagine? If you can’t articulate a coherent and reasonably likely answer, why are the deletions bad? I mean, I’ve been in some bad, bruising threads, which I don’t precisely regret because I had to struggle with my ideas and articulation and I came out with a clearer head. (None of which mitigates the damage suffered by others.)

But Louis CK? Things are pretty clear. There’s not a lot of room for nuance once you see that he’s a privileged abuser who regrets getting caught ( not the abuse, apparently). Where is the conversation?

It’s a little like Lovecraft; we had a long period of arguing about whether he was racist (yes) and was he really that bad a racist (hell, yes) and all the other “yes, buts,” and the jury is in on this one; there is no room for debate, and those who try are arguing in bad faith. So it’s a dead question and would make a bad FPP. Now, there are still plenty of good FPPs around Lovecraft: what can be salvaged from his work? How do you read important, problematic authors? Who is carrying on his legacy but also wrestling with racism, xenophobia, sexism, etc? And so on.

You want an FPP on Louis CK? You need to bring a lot more to the table than “abuser trying to make a comeback by leaning way in.” What would that look like?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:43 AM on January 2 [22 favorites]


"I should really be better at walking away from my anger until I can make proper arguments by now.”

I should be too. Ugh. My anger here doesn’t serve anyone well.


I suspect that this is part of why these posts were deleted - because they would be flashpoints for free-floating anger, and that anger would ultimately try to ground itself in a target, and the only available target would be other MeFites.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:45 AM on January 2 [22 favorites]


It feels like there's a double standard with regards to what's considered NewsFilter. People are saying they don't want the site to turn into NewsFilter or OutrageFilter yet we have the round-the-clock US politics megathread which basically reads like an RSS feed. And remains against many users' objections. So why is it ok to have a standing political news megathread, with the outrage a lot of that news causes? And why is it ok to tell people "if you don't want to read the megathread, you can ignore it," but it's not ok to say the same about any of the other posts on the front page?
posted by girlmightlive at 5:41 AM on January 2 [8 favorites]


So why is it ok to have a standing political news megathread, with the outrage a lot of that news causes?

It quarantines it all in that thread, I guess.
posted by thelonius at 5:53 AM on January 2 [8 favorites]


So why is it ok to have a standing political news megathread, with the outrage a lot of that news causes?

Because the community decided that it wanted to be fairer to moderators who'd otherwise have to wipe up every new little excretion of US political outrage. It's not news that LCK — previously know to be shitty — remains shitty.

Every society is graded by its sewers. Most online communities don't think they need them and end up drowning in shit.
posted by scruss at 5:55 AM on January 2 [32 favorites]


So I went back and reread the 2017 thread and it landed me firmly in the "what discussion?" camp. A bunch of people are we're all "he's an unrepentant slimeball who's only sorry he got caught, just watch" and lo and behold they were right! Why do we need an "I told you so thread" which is really the only thing to say at this point?
posted by East14thTaco at 6:45 AM on January 2 [6 favorites]


For one thing, they added a setting to the front page: "Hide US politics posts".
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 6:46 AM on January 2 [13 favorites]


Doesn't do much for the spillover effects, but at least it acknowledges those who wish they'd go away.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 6:54 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


The sewer analogy really works. If we want a community instead of an open sewer, we have to stop pooping into it. Of course, into every community a poop will fall here and there, but that's why we have mods in the first place.

So, by extension, the megathreads are our washrooms for the crapfest we're living through right now. Right off the living room, where we'll keep trying not to shit on the rug.
posted by wellred at 6:58 AM on January 2 [8 favorites]


I read a tweet or two about what LCK had been up to and that was all I needed to know - I don't need an article or MeFi discussion to further understand or discuss what's going on (if there is even any more to understand). For the record I am happy with the deletions.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:05 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Fine, I guess I'll be the one to stan for the megathreads.

The POTUS45 catch-all posts have their problems, but even the worst bits of the discussion there iare far more productive and civil than a post about LCK could ever be. People use those threads for a variety of reasons -- as an aggregator of news, to help find ways to get involved locally, to hear nuggets of news from organizers and and activists in other communities, etc. Hearing the latest dickish thing a sexually abusive comedian has to say provides none of this value to anyone, and causes a lot of harm to the communities he's decided to use as scapegoats that day. Yes, there are times when the threads veer into outragefilter, but the mods are quick to kill those.

I see this dynamic, including the "I don't want to see this shit" filter, as a compromise between the community's general sense that the threads are useful and important to many people and the recognition that US politics is a giant mess that a lot of people wish weren't tainting their beloved MetaFilter. If you feel that the most recent ramblings of Louis CK measure up in terms of (net positive value of the thread) / (amount of moderator effort required), keeping in mind that the numerator there needs to account for real harm coming to members of this community, then please show your work.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:37 AM on January 2 [22 favorites]


Damn, I've been waiting for ages for a MeTa thread to turn up where I could really rant about the super-bipolar moderation of the site and one turns up and it's about a totally justified set of deletions. Better luck next week I guess.
posted by thatwhichfalls at 7:44 AM on January 2 [9 favorites]


What's the interesting thing exactly about CK returning to comedy and pivoting to the right, because those are the people who won't punish him for being a piece of shit?

Agree that there isn't really much to discuss here without simply venting or pointing out the obvious—that he's just a dude throwing a tantrum and doing it in most lowest common denominator manner possible.

I found Quinn Cummings' observations insightful, but beyond that, there isn't much to say.
posted by octobersurprise at 7:46 AM on January 2 [5 favorites]


I have always had zero interest in discussing Louis CK and stumbled on one of the deleted posts only because I read MeFi via RSS. Deleting a post is the nuclear option, and deletion of multiple posts and the particular comments of one of the mods when doing so were what concerned me on principle, as a reflection of what MetaFilter can and should be.

I read and have been carefully considering the comments above about specific harms some feel are inherent in some topics/posts/framing. Even those who don't fully agree with those arguments should see them as real and important to acknowledge and understand.

But any of us thinking and saying "I don't think there is much to say or discuss about Topic [X]" as a reason to support a thread deletion is irrelevant and pernicious, and it isn't an attitude we would want other MeFites to express about a topic/post/thread that interested us.
posted by PhineasGage at 8:00 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


How about "there's no discussion to be had about this that won't bring direct pain and suffering to members of this community who have already dealt with enough of that shit here". Can you grasp this yet. Does it need to continue being said.
posted by poffin boffin at 8:05 AM on January 2 [34 favorites]


You are being unfair and tendentious, poffin_boffin - I clearly stated the difference between concern about harms versus "I don't think there is much to say or discuss about Topic [X]."
posted by PhineasGage at 8:12 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I clearly stated the difference between concern about harms versus "I don't think there is much to say or discuss about Topic [X]."

Can you understand that both of these issues can co-exist?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:17 AM on January 2 [8 favorites]


Also, my dude, I don't know about you but I and others have repeatedly asked "what kind of conversation about this would you like to have exactly aside from "smart people, talk about your emotions about this painful thing so I can learn!" I have also written a lot of shit in this thread about how you can have conversations about difficult things while also defusing the anger that accompanies treating other people's pain lightly.

Many people in this thread are not actually saying "there is no conversation about Louis CK that could remotely be possible here." Many people are saying "the proposed framings presented and the way I have seen this story discussed elsewhere are 'shitty man does shitty thing, how do you feel about that' and on its own that conversation will have knock on effects that make this community worse."

For someone who is so damn gung ho to have a conversation he doesn't care about, you are certainly doing a fuck awful job of listening to the one you're already having.
posted by sciatrix at 8:17 AM on January 2 [44 favorites]


PhineasGage, please take this in the spirit in which it is intended, which is to say, from a person who used to do the same thing you're doing here:

This is not a classroom. The people who are saying "This thing, it is bad, and it is hurtful to us" are not your teachers or your classmates. The way you are coming off, in this particular discussion, is like you feel this is an interesting academic point that we can all gently tease apart to arrive at some greater truth about a generic, anonymous, safe principle. It is not that to some of the people here. It is (metaphorically, but barely) poking at an open wound to some of the people here, and they would rather you accept that it is actually hurting them, even when you try to make it as antiseptic as possible.
posted by Etrigan at 8:17 AM on January 2 [39 favorites]


If Rick Santorum put out a press release confirming that, yes, he still does hate gay people that, in and of itself would not be a good post for Metafilter. It could only result in rehashing the awfulness of some truly awful shit that has been done to death on this site. I like Metafilter but the site neither needs nor wants anyone's hot Santorum takes for their own sake anymore. We get it. He's an asshole.

LCK is pretty much in that some boat. "He is who we thought he was" is not that great a conversation starter no matter what Skip Bayless says.
posted by East14thTaco at 8:18 AM on January 2 [5 favorites]


I mean, you say you have been carefully considering those harms and acknowledge them, but you also seem to have dismissed them completely because you want to talk about something that's painful to other people but not you which has also been dealt with a lot of times, both here and other places.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:18 AM on January 2 [10 favorites]


lol on preview I regret bothering to spell that out for someone who is definitely not going to listen or engage

this discussion is eponysterical, amirite
posted by sciatrix at 8:19 AM on January 2 [5 favorites]


hot Santorum takes

ew
posted by Etrigan at 8:20 AM on January 2 [20 favorites]


So I went back and reread the 2017 thread and it landed me firmly in the "what discussion?" camp. A bunch of people are we're all "he's an unrepentant slimeball who's only sorry he got caught, just watch" and lo and behold they were right! Why do we need an "I told you so thread" which is really the only thing to say at this point?

It's also a perfect example of how the threads would have gone wrong. It took less than an hour for this mod note to be required:
Comment and a couple replies removed. If your reaction to this of all things is "it's a witch hunt", skip the thread.
Here's several other mod notes just from that thread, just in case you thought people actually learned their lesson:
"There is no earthly good to be found splitting hairs about the precise definition of this particular sexual assault."
"We are absolutely not having the But It Wouldn't Stand Up In Court Therefore We Should Ignore it argument here."
"[MeFite], sexual assault isn't standard sexuality, saying "no" to sexual assault isn't sexual repression, and you need to leave this thread alone now."
"Let's not do a "definition of transgender" derail here. Thanks."
And we haven't even got to the actually wells other folks kept on digging in that thread.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:20 AM on January 2 [26 favorites]


As several folks in this thread have said, there have been ongoing concerns about deletions/moderation, and yes I am trying to separate those two issues, exactly so we can have a discussion that isn't centered on Louis CK. Since I am taking all your comments seriously and respectfully, I will at some point soon, when tempers have cooled, start a different MeTalk thread for that. Peace.
posted by PhineasGage at 8:22 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


I have found myself dwelling on this latest Louis CK awfulness quite a lot over the past couple of days. I guess technically I have some skin in the game as I’m in one of the groups he belittled, though I’m not really interested in that so much as the theme of shame and public humiliation/condemnation on a career-destroying scale, and how one comes back (psychologically) from that, or doesn’t. I struggle with deep seated issues of shame and self-worth so I tend to be drawn to news that touches on this stuff.

That said, I also am not sure how any worthwhile discussion with LCK as a starting point could happen, given the enormity of his prior actions and the inflammatory nature of his recent remarks. How could such a discussion not incite needless pain and/or aggravation?

I used to be a fan of LCK so there is a part of me that wants to fixate upon and overthink various aspects this topic, but hey, that’s what personal blogs are for!
posted by Enemy of Joy at 8:24 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


there have been ongoing concerns about deletions/moderation, and yes I am trying to separate those two issues, exactly so we can have a discussion that isn't centered on Louis CK.

Something I learned from the so-called rationalists: when a position in a the discussion becomes untenable, start a metadiscussion.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:26 AM on January 2 [12 favorites]


Here, I will save everyone a bunch of time. We actually had the thread and I'm copying/pasting it below, this is how it went:
Women, trans people, and other members of marginalized groups: This man is really shitty and HAS BEEN really shitty for a long time and we're sick of talking about it because we've been talking about it for a long time, both the harm he does and how we're not surprised because, again, he's been shitty before

Mostly, but not exclusively, cis white men: But I want to keep talking about this. Let's keep talking about this cis white man, it's interesting to me, and also I don't believe you could have known how bad he was and it's only coincidence that you were right yet again

Marginalized people: Please, we have been talking about this, you just don't think we have because you aren't listening, and you don't want to listen, you want to talk more, please can we not, there is nothing new here, we are so tired and continuing to talk about this hurts us

Cis white men: I wasn't part of that conversation and I want to keep talking about it. If I wasn't part of that conversation did it even really happen? Almost definitely not.

Marginalized people: *are exhausted*
Wow, what a great thread! Really glad we had that open, rigorous discussion! Great work team. Now that we've had the thread any new attempts to post it are doubles. Please enjoy the rest of your day.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:27 AM on January 2 [70 favorites]


The thing that surprises me the most about Louie's bootleg set is not what it confirms (again, possibly?) about his general shittiness, but that it's so hack. I mean, a "whaa I can't say retard anymore" bit? That seems super overdone. Especially after Tom Segura had a similar bit in his most recent Netflix special (to some controversy). Maybe it's worth having a FPP about when offensive comedy is actually comedy and not just offensive, but these were not that post.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:34 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Sorry, but talking about more general topics like Louis CK isn't really what MetaTalk is for. Please take it to Metafilter, specifically the already-closed definitely real thread copy/pasted above.
posted by Mrs. Pterodactyl at 8:39 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


I will at some point soon, when tempers have cooled, start a different MeTalk thread for that.

Lol wow dude. Can't wait for that scholarly discussion, too.
posted by odinsdream at 8:40 AM on January 2 [19 favorites]


I love how you think that ignoring the actual aspects of the conversation and self-importantly announcing that you will just start up another argument is a way to end-run the very real irritation and frustration that users are having with you here.

My good man, what on earth makes you think that anything in my commentary (at least!) and others' on the topic pertains only to Louis CK? What on earth makes you think that people are angry with you for any reason other than the words coming out of your mouth? What makes you think that a discussion "later" (after we, with our short attention spans, have presumably forgotten this interaction completely) will magically go better for you, when you are showing off your ability to listen to people with whom you disagree so spectacularly here?
posted by sciatrix at 8:45 AM on January 2 [21 favorites]




Which one of the mods won the betting pool for "When will people pick a fight after January 1"?
posted by Melismata at 8:46 AM on January 2 [10 favorites]


Something I learned from the so-called rationalists: when a position in a the discussion becomes untenable, start a metadiscussion.

In some sense, taking it to MetaTalk gives everyone the opportunity to attack that they crave without having to engage with the hurtful content. It skims the delicious anger off the ťop while discarding the problematic soup.
posted by Going To Maine at 8:49 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Which one of the mods won the betting pool for "When will people pick a fight after January 1"?

Whichever one had to pick last.
"One nanosecond after the ball drops."
"Two nanoseconds."
"Three."
"*sigh* Four."
posted by Etrigan at 8:50 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


this discussion is eponysterical, amirite

I'm not so sure, only because the progenitor of this particular discussion thread appears to be less impulsive and more doggedly-determined than the original.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:58 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Disappointed by the churlishness. I tried to use this example to address a larger site issue. Many here said that wasn't working, so I listened and I stopped.

No one here has any idea what other topics & posts I (and others) have found heavy-handedly moderated. Yet several of you are criticizing a thread/conversation *that hasn't even started yet*...
posted by PhineasGage at 9:03 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


The sewer analogy really works. If we want a community instead of an open sewer, we have to stop pooping into it. Of course, into every community a poop will fall here and there, but that's why we have mods in the first place.

So, by extension, the megathreads are our washrooms for the crapfest we're living through right now. Right off the living room, where we'll keep trying not to shit on the rug.


If the megathreads are a sewer, then I guess I'm a ninja turtle.
posted by paper chromatographologist at 9:08 AM on January 2 [7 favorites]


Disappointed by the churlishness.

To coin a phrase, this ain't it, chief.

The reason that people are getting their icky emotions all over your nice clean philosophical discussion is because it is a very emotional issue for them. It does not appear to be one for you. That is great. Please, please accept that it is for other people, and adjust your tack accordingly.
posted by Etrigan at 9:10 AM on January 2 [18 favorites]


Better if this doesn't become a thread about PhineasGage. The way to accomplish this is for you, PhineasGage, to take a step back for a little bit as you suggested, and other people, cool it with the snarky comments that center things around them.

So, to address a point from much earlier, it was me who left the delete reason on the second post. As cortex said, I don't mean "no posts about Louis C.K. ever" But really, with him - been there done that. "Here's this offensive recording, people are sure offended" doesn't really give anywhere to go but back to the same points made 100x in the many previous threads on him, and maybe bringing individual offensive jokes over to the thread to debate over whether they're offensive (which I hope everyone can see is a recipe for ugliness of the kind discussed in this thread).

As far as the general site issue -- a response of "you don't have to read it" is generally fair for stuff like threads on pop music or movie trailers or obit threads -- you find it too trivial, you find it boring, you find it too commercial, etc it's better to just skip it. Or to complain in Metatalk if there are too many, and then we (community and mods) can adjust the mix -- eg by raising the bar a little for obit threads, as we've done sometimes in the past when there were too many. But threads on offensive jokes or sexual assaulters (etc) are different. They aren't so easy to skip, for people in affected groups who feel they may need to show up to counter the probable "but it's not offensive because __" comments. They're disproportionately likely to draw people into accidentally saying further offensive stuff in a "just discussing" way or a "this is the first time I'm really thinking it through but here's my off-the-cuff thought" way. They cause a rehash of past angry threads, and the cumulative effect of those discussions isn't contained. These threads can be a real problem for the site, for the members of the site, for the balance of the community.
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 9:10 AM on January 2 [33 favorites]


I think these deletions were fully justified and there's not much more to be said after the 2017 discussion that isn't outragefilter. But sure, if PhineasGage wants to have another discussion another time about moderation and deletion and forbidden topics or similar, that seems like a discussion many of us would be interested in having. I'm not sure of the benefit of performative pileons - firstly at PhineasGage for not shutting up and now seemingly at PhineasGage for not continuing to participate - is going to help anything unless the intended end result is "we are never, ever going to have any discussion about any deletions/moderation and you are only intending to needlessly aggravate by ever wanting to do so."

(I have been grimly satisfied to put a firm tick next to Louis CK's name on my private "will probably end up revealed as a total shit" list, but given I never tell anyone whose names are on there I can't even claim any told-you-so points. What a fucker, though.)
posted by Catseye at 9:11 AM on January 2 [6 favorites]


If the megathreads are a sewer, then I guess I'm a ninja turtle.

cowabunga
posted by octobersurprise at 9:12 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: Heroes in a Half Shell of Churlishness
posted by Enemy of Joy at 9:28 AM on January 2 [10 favorites]


the particular comments of one of the mods when doing so were what concerned me on principle, as a reflection of what MetaFilter can and should be

Deletion reasons are not intended to be pronouncements about site policy. They are responses to a single thread that need to be composed quickly and often without input from any other mods. It is a mistake to assume that they are a statement about the future direction of MetaFilter.
posted by Rock Steady at 9:39 AM on January 2 [15 favorites]


The only way an FPP works on a figure we all know sucks is if the topic applies to them but isn't about them. Maybe there's a cool article out there about disgraced comedians and the trend of them not making a comeback these days, maybe someone will write a great article about the psychological phenomenon of doubling down on unpopular and hateful opinions, of which he could be included. But a front page post ABOUT Louie C.K.'s latest awfulness is not ABOUT anything that can be discussed. I am honestly confused that there are members here insisting there is a conversation to be had about him, with the main link in those FPPs being only his latest hateful standup foray.
posted by agregoli at 9:41 AM on January 2 [7 favorites]


(By which I mean if there is no significant news development about said figure....there isn't any news in this instance)
posted by agregoli at 9:44 AM on January 2


Daniels:

What did you learn when you went into the Terrace at two in the morning to conduct field interviews? What valuable information did we acquire from this situation?

posted by East14thTaco at 9:46 AM on January 2 [9 favorites]


Bubbles: [to mods] How y'all do what y'all do every day and not wanna get high?
posted by Enemy of Joy at 9:51 AM on January 2 [12 favorites]


Deletion reasons are not intended to be pronouncements about site policy. They are responses to a single thread that need to be composed quickly and often without input from any other mods.

*snort* One of my favorite deletion reasons ever was something that someone linked to on an end-of-the-year comment review: It was from cortex, who deleted a fairly thin post with a link to a cat video and said, "This post was butt."

It still has the power to make me giggle even today.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:53 AM on January 2 [24 favorites]


If the megathreads are a sewer, then I guess I'm a ninja turtle.

Totally not what I said, but I like it. Pizza anyone?
posted by wellred at 9:54 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


> agregoli:
"I am honestly confused that there are members here insisting there is a conversation to be had about him, with the main link in those FPPs being only his latest hateful standup foray."

The tension is that topics about which there's nothing new or worthwhile to be discussed often get the most comments.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 9:54 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


Deleting a post is the nuclear option

This is blatantly and unapologetically false? One of the precepts of this site is that posts getting deleted is NOT THAT BIG OF A DEAL, and it happens for lots of reasons, and if you are coming at posts getting deleted as if it is a NUCLEAR OPTION (lol) then you don't really have much of an informed opinion to offer about that Metafilter is, let alone what it should be.

Also just a reminder that viewing "dispassionate intellectual discussions of the horrors of the day" as an unalloyed social good is a cultural preference heavily informed by the preferences and power structures held up by and for white cis men, not actually a moral absolute or reality of human existence. Those of us who wouldn't have been allowed inside the doors of those precious salons are not obliged to pretend that such a model of interaction is inherently good or desirable.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 9:55 AM on January 2 [57 favorites]


Like what? Which topics are those?
posted by agregoli at 9:55 AM on January 2


It was from cortex, who deleted a fairly thin post with a link to a cat video and said, "This post was butt."

I hereby declare the "this post was butt" challenge for January 2019, except instead of posting delete-worthy threads, people post about butts or butt-related topics
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:00 AM on January 2 [14 favorites]


(Also, the goal of Metafilter is not to have a ton of comments on each post so I don't think it's a metric no matter what the topic)
posted by agregoli at 10:02 AM on January 2 [2 favorites]


I imagine a Louis CK post would have gotten a lot of comments.

(running out now so can't elaborate)
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 10:02 AM on January 2


Sorry, yeah, not understanding your point.
posted by agregoli at 10:03 AM on January 2


So now any discussion which might even mention a violation of dogma is preemptively deleted? Metafilter has gone so far downhill it's shameful.
posted by dodecapus at 10:13 AM on January 2


I hereby declare the "this post was butt" challenge for January 2019, except instead of posting delete-worthy threads, people post about butts or butt-related topics

I suspect I should offer to be one of the judges.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:15 AM on January 2 [12 favorites]


I have no idea how these people got their dogmas wedged into their FPPs, or why.
posted by Atom Eyes at 10:19 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


I’m jumping into this discussion late, but because I feel like I’m in the minority, that I want my voice to be heard as well. As a cis woman, I have to say I would want to read Metafilter’s members’ opinions on the matter such as these. But I tend to like “outrage filter” here.

I know this goes against the views of many mefites. But for me “outrage filter” has often been a place where extremely intelligent people discuss issues that matter to me. I often find Metafilter has the words for things I don’t. Or helps me see things I did not. I have learned so much about the world, and Metafilter has crafted my views and opinions, that I worry when discussion like this is shut down, we’re losing something essential.

One thought occurs to me as I read the responses here. It’s not that I don’t understand the pain these things cause, but I worry about sanitizing everything that might be hurtful. It almost feels like the worst case scenario that those who raged against trigger warnings feared. I love the concept of trigger warnings/content warnings because it allowed people to choose whether or not they would be capable of engaging in certain discussions. They allowed for difficult discussion to be had rather than the fear of shutting down discussion entirely. But now I see people saying the discussion shouldn’t be had because of the active heard it causes. And I am sympathetic and empathetic to that. I too am often hurt by such discussions. But I overall believe they are a good thing because they can validate what I’m feeling, teach me what I didnt know, or let me see something in a new light.

That’s not to say the points here aren’t also valid. I get the fact that sometimes you can’t ignore such discussions for fear of not making your case. I don’t know how to handle that.

I want to add my voice because I feel as one of the marginalized groups that my opinion matters and that the discussion seemed to be leaning dangerously towards “privileged white men just don’t get it.” It shouldn’t need to be stated, but I will state it anyways that no group is a monolith, thus feeling I need to add my voice for whatever public record metatalk is.

I do recognize that the issue was not just a discussion of Louis CK, but of how the posts were framed. However this post makes it clear there is also a biased against discussing the behavior of Louis C.K., thus feeling the need to say I would like to see that on the blue.

I was just talking with a friend last night about how certain men get away with shitty behavior time and time again, the face no real consequences. We were discussing this in context of our professional networks, as opposed to celebrities. And the discussion wasn’t limited to sexual misconduct. But it was relevant to this kind of behavior that we see in Louis C.K., and definitely is something I feel is worth discussing. Ind worth reading! I hope that Metafilter can continue to foster such discussions and find a way to have painful content and the important commentary. Those discussions are what made me love Metafilter. That’s why I call Metafilter my home on the Internet. That’s why I tell every person I know IRL what a wonderful site it is, knowing full well that no one IRL will actually follow through and read it. (Seriously, guys, when I go on dates I even talked about Metafilter. It’s embarassing but I love this place so much.)

Even rehashing old topics often leads to new insights, and that’s what I’ve always adored about metafilter.

Just another person’s opinion.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 10:19 AM on January 2 [30 favorites]


Personally I would like this site to be a haven for all of us.

I don't think we always keep a good accounting of what is lost or destroyed when we turn a space into a haven.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:24 AM on January 2 [6 favorites]


So now any discussion which might even mention a violation of dogma is preemptively deleted? Metafilter has gone so far downhill it's shameful.
posted by dodecapus


What is the discussion that would have been generated from a link to LCK's latest standup set? Why is that discussion important to you? Why would preventing a rehashed discussion of how awful this particular man is, be shameful? Instead of lamenting how horrible it is to you, please explain why these posts are valuable to you.
posted by agregoli at 10:24 AM on January 2 [9 favorites]


I want to add my voice because I feel as one of the marginalized groups that my opinion matters and that the discussion seemed to be leaning dangerously towards “privileged white men just don’t get it.” It shouldn’t need to be stated, but I will state it anyways that no group is a monolith, thus feeling I need to add my voice for whatever public record metatalk is.

Yeah, seconding this, although I actually feel this was a good deletion. Even so, I am not a huge fan of having other people say what I must be thinking unless I'm a [gender / race / sexuality etc. that I'm not].
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 10:35 AM on January 2 [13 favorites]


Even rehashing old topics often leads to new insights, and that’s what I’ve always adored about metafilter.

There is a difference between directly linking to a video or transcript of unalloyed hate speech, and creating a FPP that contains links to three interesting essays and a twitter thread featuring discussions about a recent event. It seems like the mods are suggesting that the latter model is more likely to work for the site, but the former rarely goes well.

I've seen a lot of intelligent and thought-provoking "takes" on this particular meltdown, many of which came out almost immediately. Why didn't these FPPs include them? With some exceptions, the FPP is supposed to be designed as a text, not a starter pistol.
posted by a fiendish thingy at 10:37 AM on January 2 [19 favorites]


I don't think we always keep a good accounting of what is lost or destroyed when we turn a space into a haven.

Do you think you have a better handle on that balance than a woman does? We get very idpol in here when people disagree with us but for some reason that doesn't actually translate into dudes taking a backseat even when sexual assault against women is a major part of the conversation. IDGI
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 10:38 AM on January 2 [5 favorites]


I was just talking with a friend last night about how certain men get away with shitty behavior time and time again, the face no real consequences...it was relevant to this kind of behavior that we see in Louis C.K., and definitely is something I feel is worth discussing.
...
Even rehashing old topics often leads to new insights, and that’s what I’ve always adored about metafilter.


I'd like to think that a case-by-case deletion of not-particularly-noteworthy stories about Louis C.K. doing Yet Another Shitty Thing is a real consequence of his doing shitty things -- or better yet, we could chose not to post about it; that's a (minor) step towards not signal-boosting shitty people for doing shitty things.

I think there are times when rehashing old ideas makes sense and can lead to a fruitful discussion. That men get away with stuff is not, for example, a new idea -- but it doesn't follow that since that's often true that you can have a good discussion around that, it's specifically true here with regards to Louis C.K. doing a specific comedy set that you could have a good discussion. There's a lot of insightful stuff being written and performed and recorded and printed about this moment in time in which we're discussing how shitty men get away with shitty behavior, and I think if your goal is to have a discussion about that it's going to be more productive to start with a post about someone who's had an insight about that behavior rather than one about Louis C.K. who, apparently, has not.

Or, put another way, as others have already said, there's a big difference between a post that's 'here's an interesting piece about Louis C.K. and how [insightful commentary that I don't have on hand]' and 'here's Louis C.K.'
posted by cjelli at 10:42 AM on January 2 [11 favorites]


But I overall believe they are a good thing because they can validate what I’m feeling, teach me what I didn't know, or let me see something in a new light.
I hope that Metafilter can continue to foster such discussions and find a way to have painful content and the important commentary.

Much as I agree that, when a thread captures lightning in a jar, it can be fantastic (EL thread, later spinoff threads, etc), I'm also increasingly aware after watching years of MeTas of the cost of threads like the Hypothetical LCK Thread.

And that cost is measured in buttonings, as well as the more 'hidden' stresses and strains. So if you're going to say "I believe these are a good thing because they validate what I'm feeling & teach me things", you should also ask
"How many Mefites am I willing to sacrifice for that thread?"
posted by CrystalDave at 10:43 AM on January 2 [32 favorites]


'here's an interesting piece about Louis C.K. and how [insightful commentary that I don't have on hand]' and 'here's Louis C.K.'

So much this! And sometimes this means waiting for more secondary reporting that isn't just "Wow can you believe this fucking guy?" which i feel like we don't have yet. I respect that people want to talk about it now, but I also deeply respect that general outragefilter (especially that leans in this sort of direction with a bunch of red flaggy "doesn't go well here" stuff) hurts people and often doesn't lead to good discussion. Just a general eyeball on this thread (with the weird sarcasm and the Won't Let It Drop stuff) is a likely microcosm for how that would go. Mods made the right decision. Wait until there's something there other than "Look at this shitty man!"
posted by jessamyn (retired) at 10:58 AM on January 2 [34 favorites]


Do you think you have a better handle on that balance than a woman does?

The person I was replying to is a man. I'm not using "haven" as some sort of gendered code word. It's almost always dudes who initiate and enforce the process I was lamenting, anyway.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:59 AM on January 2

To everyone that it's saying "But I was learning stuff!"

Thing the first: the fact that it was hurting some people is something you can learn from. Learn that your education can come at real expense, particularly when it is very much NOT academic for your educators.

Thing the second: an analogy. Imagine that you are studying anatomy. You're learning about viscera and you come across someone who has just sustained a wound to their arm. You would not expect them to suffer further injury so that you might learn. You would recognize that vivisection values your education over the well-being of another human.
posted by stoneweaver at 9:39 PM on June 14, 2015
The name of that thread in 2015: Bad deletions.
posted by stoneweaver at 11:14 AM on January 2 [26 favorites]


ctrl/f "joke" ... gets exactly two hits in this thread, and both from the same Lobstermitten comment -- including this bit:

But threads on offensive jokes or sexual assaulters (etc) are different. They aren't so easy to skip, for people in affected groups who feel they may need to show up to counter the probable "but it's not offensive because __" comments. They're disproportionately likely to draw people into accidentally saying further offensive stuff in a "just discussing" way or a "this is the first time I'm really thinking it through but here's my off-the-cuff thought" way. They cause a rehash of past angry threads, and the cumulative effect of those discussions isn't contained. These threads can be a real problem for the site, for the members of the site, for the balance of the community.

Thank you, Lobstermitten.

I've never been that into stand-up comedy. I like a good laugh but generally find mine elsewhere. But somehow (probably because I clicked on a Joe Rogan link once or twice), I got sucked into a Youtube stand-up wormhole a while back. Not just clips of comics doing their bits, but also some "inside baseball" stuff -- pros talking shop.

One thing that comes up a lot among comics is intent, and the reality that the best comics are always taking chances, always pushing envelopes, not because they're trying to shock and/or enrage people, but because they think (they hope) they might get a laugh. So as long as this is the intent, as long as the comic in question is aiming for the funny bone, they tend to get a pass from other comics ... even when they fail spectacularly. Much as a pro race car driver will excuse an incident (once their anger has ebbed) that comes from another driver's genuine attempt to pull off a fair pass.

This is the sort of subject matter that I suspect might make for a good Louis CK related FPP. And please note, to my mind, he has completely failed the smell test here. Whatever he's been aiming at lately, his intentions have been far uglier than just hitting anyone's funny bone.
posted by philip-random at 11:14 AM on January 2 [4 favorites]


I hereby declare the "this post was butt" challenge for January 2019

Posted in the butt by my FPP “Posted in the Butt by My FPP ‘Posted in the Butt by My FPP Posted in the Butt?’”
posted by GenjiandProust at 11:19 AM on January 2 [25 favorites]


However this post makes it clear there is also a biased against discussing the behavior of Louis C.K., thus feeling the need to say I would like to see that on the blue.

Jumping off the observations by Quinn Cummings I noted earlier, I think there might be an interesting discussion of the ways that comedy relates to shame and anger and vulnerability or the ways that comedians have mined those experiences in performances or comeback performaces—thinking Richard Pryor in particular here. I'm not confident that there's anything new or interesting to say about Louis CK's behavior in particular at this particular moment beyond, you know, dude doubles down on being a prick because he can get away with it. So, yeah, I'm not faulting anyone for deciding that this episode just isn't important enough to devote the effort to negotiating it even if there is a small chance that someone did have something new or insightfull to say about it.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:22 AM on January 2 [3 favorites]


There might also be an interesting discussion to have about the economics of media celebrity, and whether someone genuinely repulsive might make an economic decision, in the current climate, to forego redemption become the go-to comic voice for the folks who elected Trump and their so-called "discontents". The Slate piece hints at that question.

But that's not really a discussion we want to have here -- at least not in the context of LCK -- because of the pain it would cause various members of the community. It's not complicated and it is what it is. This is a decision the community made quite a number of years ago and those people who wanted to leave over it did so. Do people still feel the need to rehash it?
posted by The Bellman at 11:37 AM on January 2 [1 favorite]


And that cost is measured in buttonings, as well as the more 'hidden' stresses and strains. So if you're going to say "I believe these are a good thing because they validate what I'm feeling & teach me things", you should also ask "How many Mefites am I willing to sacrifice for that thread?"

Speaking of the hidden stresses and strains, let's re-acknowledge that consumption of mod resources and causing mod stress is a real cost and in many ways is the constraining cost that must be the root of policies related to thread and comment deletion. The mods do a fabulous job and they must continue to have the tools and the latitude to do that job and still have the energy and enthusiasm to take on the worthwhile lightning-in-a-bottle threads which can appear without warning.

At this point in the evolution of the internet and MetaFilter, that's why we come to MeFi—because it's administered by skilled and thoughtful people whom we trust and who care about what they're doing, rather than clumsy thoughtless mass-produced algorithm-driven scalable industrial moderation like Tumblr deleting images of Pride flags when they want to adjust their policies on pornography.
posted by XMLicious at 11:43 AM on January 2 [25 favorites]


The person I was replying to is a man. I'm not using "haven" as some sort of gendered code word. It's almost always dudes who initiate and enforce the process I was lamenting, anyway.

Yeah I mefimailed an apology too but wanted to say I misunderstood, my bad, thanks for being chill about it
posted by Rock 'em Sock 'em at 12:02 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


Also, it's not like the long history of past debate about this is lost in the ether. If anybody here wants to learn, there's plenty of insightful reading material to catch up on. And I think you'll find that many of the people who survived those endless threads are still here, still fighting and still telling us they are exhausted; let's give people a break and not compel them to re-educate on demand.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:18 PM on January 2 [14 favorites]


"I hereby declare the "this post was butt" challenge for January 2019, except instead of posting delete-worthy threads, people post about butts or butt-related topics"

Best Post Contest thread is a couple doors down, feel free to make a category!
posted by Eyebrows McGee (staff) at 12:47 PM on January 2 [5 favorites]


One thing that comes up a lot among comics is intent, and the reality that the best comics are always taking chances, always pushing envelopes, not because they're trying to shock and/or enrage people, but because they think (they hope) they might get a laugh. So as long as this is the intent, as long as the comic in question is aiming for the funny bone, they tend to get a pass from other comics ... even when they fail spectacularly. Much as a pro race car driver will excuse an incident (once their anger has ebbed) that comes from another driver's genuine attempt to pull off a fair pass.

That point, though, is completely unrelated to the subject at hand. LCK is famous for making fun of queers, religious people, sex, rape. Material literally thousands of years old. He has never, not once, pushed an envelope in any possible way with his work. Zero. Absolutely nothing. He's as boring as a rock in this respect. Look at someone like Hannah Gadsby for truly changing the way comedy can work, from a position that isn't the most powerful class of people on earth already. LCK? No. That's bullshit. Just complete bullshit.
posted by odinsdream at 12:48 PM on January 2 [12 favorites]


So now any discussion which might even mention a violation of dogma is preemptively deleted? Metafilter has gone so far downhill it's shameful.

This place isn't the cesspit that the rest of the internet is because we have an understanding that this place is made up of people, and sometimes just rehashing bullshit for the "fun" of it is hurtful to those people, and it isn't worth the hurt to get the bullshit hashed. Again. I swear, I'm going to be 80 reading some fucking dude on this here metatalk railing against "the good old days" like y'all have literally constantly done anytime we dare to discuss that this isn't a place where Everything Goes.

You have tons of places you can go to for that. Tons. Just, go there for that, and come here for decency and humanity.
posted by odinsdream at 12:58 PM on January 2 [26 favorites]


(Let’s stick to the site-issues end of this and not the just-discussing-Louis C.K. end.)
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 1:01 PM on January 2 [6 favorites]


what positive conversation can you imagine?

I am not the person who posted the original threads or asked for them to be continued, so can only speak for myself. But I’m actually very interested in digging into the idea of shitty men who use ideology as camouflage for their shitty behavior, and how they respond when the shell of that ideology is pulled off. I am interested in it primarily because in 2018 it’s something I’m seeing - guys who claimed to be liberal or feminist or leftists coming out en masse to defend rapists, abusers, and harassers. Some political groups are having their #metoo moment right now and by god are they not handling it well. I would be interested in the conversation of what does this example teach us about that stuff that we are still uncovering. And maybe how to have an early warning sign.

I don’t think that framing was in the original posts though, so I’m not sure that conversation would have resulted. But that’s the most interesting and positive one I could see.
posted by corb at 1:08 PM on January 2 [20 favorites]


There was no ideology here, no digging into his psychology, no article with an overview of shitty men and their behavior. This was Look At This Asshole's New Comedy Set. Which is uninteresting as well as hurtful to the community and site. If you would like to dig into those issues related to him, you can - it will have to be a different post.
posted by agregoli at 1:19 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


I hereby declare the "this post was butt" challenge for January 2019

Posted in the butt by my FPP “Posted in the Butt by My FPP ‘Posted in the Butt by My FPP Posted in the Butt?’”


Shirley, we have to name some award after the good Doctor Chuck Tingle?
posted by Capt. Renault at 1:19 PM on January 2 [3 favorites]


> agregoli:
"Sorry, yeah, not understanding your point."

Basically we're in agreement. The number of comments a post gets is ill-reflective of its value. Generic look-at-this-asshole posts get a lot of engagement.

A key challenge is that certain topics need discussion moderators to engage with productively in a group. Like ones you might find on a news program or a college seminar. What MeFi has is more akin to parents who intermittently shout "stop hitting your brother!" from downstairs. However intentional you may be, for these topics framing is rarely sufficient. All you get is a mosh pit of people talking past each other, getting confused about who said what, and no one has read TFA because it is window dressing and everyone knows it.

MeFi can't handle everything. It can't control who wanders into a thread. It can't force people to take turns talking. It has only the bluntest instruments to refocus discussion. And that's fine. It manages well enough with computer history and knives made from milk and fermentation and videos of unicellular organisms dying and statistics for human rights.
posted by cichlid ceilidh at 1:57 PM on January 2 [4 favorites]


I read about the Louis CK thing on The Cut, was appropriately outraged and didn’t miss it at all on Metafilter. I already know that the Metafilter community would feel similarly outraged as I did, that’s why I like it here. I don’t think there is any need for a post about this douchebag with 100+ comments about how we are all outraged with the risk of people fighting really bad over people who don’t seem outraged enough. I come to Metafilter to escape from all the outrage that I get from my other media sources. I love the various viewpoints and intelligent conversation that this place fosters, but this topic, especially framed the way it was, was not going to produce that.

TL DR: Please let’s have less Outragefilter, more Interestingfilter. This was the former not the latter. Good deletion.
posted by like_neon at 2:27 PM on January 2 [17 favorites]


And that cost is measured in buttonings, as well as the more 'hidden' stresses and strains. So if you're going to say "I believe these are a good thing because they validate what I'm feeling & teach me things", you should also ask
"How many Mefites am I willing to sacrifice for that thread?"


But isn’t this true of every decision that’s happened here on Metafilter, and part of the balancing act that has made this place what it is? How many people has metafilter lost because those people think the moderation is heavy-handed? I’m not here to advocate it’s wrong, I like the direction the site has taken and I say good riddance to most of them. But it isn’t as if the evolution of Metafilter is a zero sum game and that only emotionally difficult threads drive people away. It would be wrong to pretend otherwise.

I want to be clear- I’m not saying my way is the right way. What my way is just a differing opinion that I would like to be heard. I’m a woman, I have been harmed by the same things that other women have been harmed by. And I don’t agree with the prevailing opinion presented in this MeTa. I wanted my voice to be heard as well, and that’s really about it. I say it without expectation of agreement, but hopefully with acknowledgement.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 2:46 PM on January 2 [18 favorites]


I say this with the same respect as your comment was offered (that is to say, a lot):

There is more than a little difference between someone buttoning because they feel the site's moderation is heavy-handed and someone buttoning because they've had enough of racists/misogynistis/homophobes/transphobes. And you almost certainly agree with this.

There may exist some thread, out there in the aether, that addresses the nexus of transgressive comedians and their ability to rehabilitate their image (or not). To date, nobody on Metafilter has come within a country dog's fart of making that thread.

This kills the specific. But what of the general?

Pretty much the same thing applies and the rule has been stated more eloquently than I ever could above. Basically "I'm mad about this and I'd like to see how mad other people are about this too" is a dogshit reason for a post and we all know this. So if that's the obvious first read of a post it's incumbent on the poster to make sure that isn't what they're doing.
posted by East14thTaco at 3:21 PM on January 2 [10 favorites]


To date, nobody on Metafilter has come within a country dog's fart of making that thread.

We did have this thread and I don't recall it going too badly. The fact of that thread's existence is the best argument in favor of deleting the two threads that were posted: it's too much of a rehash of something we already recently covered.

Or were you referring, specifically, to those two deleted threads? Let's be kind to the posters who crafted them; they certainly didn't misconstrue the site culture here or fail to read the room. We love making threads about people who are bad so we can be mad at them together. One recent thread about an unpopular public figure kept resurfacing for weeks in my Recent Activity as commenters kept poring through his body of work to find stuff to dunk on.

Basically "I'm mad about this and I'd like to see how mad other people are about this too" is a dogshit reason for a post and we all know this.

Maybe, but let's be clear-eyed that there's some distance between The Idea of MetaFilter and how we actually choose to engage with the site.
posted by prize bull octorok at 3:38 PM on January 2 [9 favorites]


I have zero interest in coming to Metafilter to read everyone yelling about how offensive and bad some guy's comedy act is. May I suggest a post linking to a good comedy act?
posted by value of information at 4:36 PM on January 2 [9 favorites]


"I should really be better at walking away from my anger until I can make proper arguments by now.”

I should be too. Ugh. My anger here doesn’t serve anyone well.

New Year's Resolution buddies?
posted by tzikeh at 1:15 AM on January 2
[18 favorites +] [!]


"New Year's Resolution buddies?”

I already consider you a good person. Pinky swear.
posted by artof.mulata at 1:18 AM on January 2


I tiptoed through this thread because I was wary of what might lie within (cos I’m definitely on the “Asshole is asshole: discuss.” “No thanks.” side of things) and while there was/is tension for obvious reasons, I just wanted to say how much that exchange above is the reason I come here. Not to dismiss any hurt feelings, I get why it’s a contentious topic and I’m not saying all is well or anything, but I wouldn’t go within a million miles of a LCK conversation, or a conversation about a LCK conversation, anywhere else on the internet, but here even in the midst of one, two people who were pissed off at each other managed to get to that point. It fucking genuinely made me happy. That’s all.
posted by billiebee at 5:23 PM on January 2 [42 favorites]


I'm remembering a 17Ker^ who showed up on MLK weekend almost exactly two years ago in a Civil Rights Era related thread to absurdly argue, among other things, that part of MLK's message had been how great it was to be a slave in the United States before the Civil War, if you had to be a slave anywhere. (And that particular wide-ranging comment was not deleted btw.) That individual buttoned shortly thereafter with many exclamations over how far the great MetaFilter of old had supposedly fallen. But they got pretty far making egregious statements of that sort before leaving.

There are some novel discussions we absolutely can't have for practical reasons or because there are second-order or third-order effects from engaging in them, when for example they're the sort of thing discussed above where it's going to be a hurtful in a way constantly repeated around PoC or trans people, but in many if not most cases I think someone who wants to explore a topic in good faith is going to be able to discuss it here if they're patient, perform due diligence, and are thoughtful in how they express things. One time, the planets aligned and I even found myself in a stable thread where I was able to ask a couple of questions about Israel and Palestine.

So I am far more remorseful for our community losing the people CrystalDave is describing, who probably were also patient but just kept being hurt and treated insensitively, than I am for losing people at the other end of the spectrum like the aforementioned 17ker, who got to say some pretty offensive stuff but just not enough offensive stuff.

If me getting to ask my I&P-type questions on MeFi only once or twice a decade (and I think I'd have more frequent opportunities than that if I were actively keeping a lookout for them rather than just passively waiting and stumbling into the right thread) is the price to be paid for retaining more of the voices of the most marginalized people here, and the price of allowing them to be at least somewhat comfortable in this community, then I welcome that trade-off.
posted by XMLicious at 5:34 PM on January 2 [22 favorites]


Basically "I'm mad about this and I'd like to see how mad other people are about this too" is a dogshit reason for a post and we all know this.

Is it? Or rather, is "I'm mad about this because it is a subject I care deeply about and I'd like to see what other people who care about this have to say, mad or otherwise?"

(So I guess its fair to say I question the premise as its presented.)
posted by [insert clever name here] at 9:16 PM on January 2 [2 favorites]


*loquacious presses a combination of buttons on a weird looking gimbled thing mounted on a boss looking tripod. The gimbal sweeps, a dim red spotting laser sweeping the darkness*

"6973 centimeters!" they call out crisply.

"Wait, diameter?" Someone calls back from the warm, moist darkness.

"No, minimum radius from center axis!"
posted by loquacious at 9:19 PM on January 2 [4 favorites]


Welp. Because of the googling I did about total stations and automated theodolites and, err, assholes, apparently Google Ads now thinks I'm an architect or engineer who lives in Seattle. All of my ads are now for high end luxury condos, pricey designer glasses frames and very, very expensive automated theodolites and retroreflector laser targets.

Yesterday I was getting ads for lip gloss and women's skincare and health products.

Somewhere in cyberspace there's a really confused adbot still trying to figure out what I am.
posted by loquacious at 5:21 AM on January 3 [11 favorites]


Ada Louise Huxtable?
posted by octobersurprise at 6:25 AM on January 3 [2 favorites]


(somewhere in Paris, Odile Decq raises an eyebrow and goes back to her work.)
posted by Catseye at 7:37 AM on January 3 [3 favorites]


I just want to add my voice to those of the many others elsewhere in this thread who have said they thought these deletions were a good Mod call.

I'll tell you why from my standpoint.

Shitty people being shitty and being reported about in excruciating detail feels like it's inescapable online.

A post about a shitty person doubling down on their shitty/spiteful/mean/bigoted/racist [insert thing here] with the main focus being 'Would you look at what this Jackass did NOW?' is .. well it's always going to generate more aggregate bad than good.

I might just be noticing it more - and I don't want to fall into the 'remember the good old days' trap - but it feels to me, especially in the past 2 years a lot more members of Mefi either expect Mefi to act more like Reddit, Facebook et al, and less like the (generally) good (or at least good tempered) place it is/was.

I think the Mods made a good call and the Mods making this kind of call is what keeps me coming back to Metafilter and it's various sub sites.

Outrage, Spite and Mean-spiritedness are not hard to find elsewhere.
posted by Faintdreams at 8:22 AM on January 3 [16 favorites]


Ada Louise Huxtable?

Hah, I wish. But to be clear on this dumb tangent I definitely wasn't implying that being an architect (or asshole) as being gendered here, but the ads sure were gendered, including the condo ads. I'm getting ads for stuff like fancy watches, sports cars and all that rot you might find in a yachting magazine.

This kind of illustrates the problem with cishet male privilege in a weird tangential way.
posted by loquacious at 9:11 AM on January 3


I humbly offer a respite from the heavy conversation by offering a lighthearted tangent to follow:

....So it was suggested that we roll out a "this post was butt" challenge in the January best post contest. I was going to drop in that thread and suggest it - but discovered that there already is an existing challenge concerning posts about poop.

Judges' ruling: does that cover butts or no?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:57 AM on January 3


I agree with the deletions, but not because the posts were too mean (🎻), negative, or about a charged topic. I hope we can have sometimes difficult and critical discussions that aren't at the expense of the most marginalized members of our community.

But the more charged a topic, the more we have to rely on the quality of the links and moderation. Both of the posts being discussed didn't meet that bar, so they had to go.
posted by yaymukund at 11:10 AM on January 3 [3 favorites]


No way, EmpressCallipygos. Poop is but poop, while butts do far, far more than poop alone.
posted by cgc373 at 11:24 AM on January 3 [8 favorites]


Metafilter: far, far more than poop alone
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 1:14 PM on January 3 [3 favorites]


Right: the "This Post Was Butt" challenge lives.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:39 PM on January 4 [2 favorites]


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