should televised US presidential debates go in fanfare? September 12, 2019 8:43 PM   Subscribe

This is a MetaTalk to discuss whether presidential debates, such as the one we had tonight, which was posted as an FPP, should instead be put in FanFare. FanFare is a space with a specific category designated for live "Special" televised events, whereas posting about the debate on the blue (as happened this evening) ends up containing the same kind of fig-leaf URLs that generate liveblogging megathreads rather than actual discussion of a cool thing which was discovered and linked on the web.
posted by Greg Nog to MetaFilter-Related at 8:43 PM (59 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

Question came up in a discussion a couple months ago, and I remain at the same level of "I get the idea, but firm nope" I was at in that conversation. It's not what I see that space as being for or where I want to take it, and the occasional handful of debate threads on the blue every four years is a workable solution so I feel pretty strongly about keeping things as they have been with this.
posted by cortex (staff) at 8:47 PM on September 12 [7 favorites]


should televised US presidential debates go in fanfare?

I think this is a dumb question

Answer is no
posted by floam at 10:49 PM on September 12 [3 favorites]


After the livebloggy stuff during the debates themselves, the debate threads have become topic-specific US politics threads for ongoing discussion specifically about the primaries; the thread from debate #2 was still getting comments up to the day it closed. Unless that discussion is going to be forbidden, 30 days of ongoing comments about the US primary elections is clearly something that doesn't belong in FanFare (for one thing, FanFare threads don't close, I believe) regardless.

This debate FPP was a particularly rushed job, so it was even more heavy on "fig-leaf URLs" than usual, so I apologize for the general lack of cool things besides the link to the debate itself (for extremely uncool values of cool), but I could see it as a place for better links about the state of the primaries more generally. They get drafted collaboratively on the wiki, and all are welcome to contribute.
posted by zachlipton at 11:38 PM on September 12 [5 favorites]


I think this is one of those "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad" things.

My answer to your question is no.
posted by sugar and confetti at 3:36 AM on September 13 [7 favorites]


the debate threads have become topic-specific US politics threads for ongoing discussion specifically about the primaries; the thread from debate #2 was still getting comments up to the day it closed.
...
30 days of ongoing comments about the US primary elections


Indeed, it's at almost a thousand comments for the month, and followed by a new thread for this month. This makes me wonder if the debate threads (and then the Dem convention thread, and then the Repub convention thread, etc) will essentially become US Politics Megathreads 2.0, and once again nudge the blue away from "let's discuss this cool link I found online" and back towards a free-floating daily infodump that turns into drain on mod resources.
posted by Greg Nog at 4:03 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


Indeed, it's at almost a thousand comments for the month, and followed by a new thread for this month. This makes me wonder if the debate threads (and then the Dem convention thread, and then the Repub convention thread, etc) will essentially become US Politics Megathreads 2.0

During the megathread era, we were creating new FPPs about every two weeks, when the threads hit about 2000 comments. Megathreads also covered a much broader subject area than debates and primaries, but the debate FPP is clear about what the topic is, which should help prevent 'infodump' tendencies.

I realize that all the topics covered in a debate might look like an infodump, but we're talking about the future, and how to confront the suffering and pain brought about by racism and misogyny, poverty and violence, climate change and environmental degradation. It's very, very cool for many of us to be politically engaged within reasonable limits on Metafilter, and I am confident that the mods will let us know what those limits are and if we exceed them.
posted by katra at 5:09 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


I am confident the mods will let me know when I'm about to have too much politics -- or not enough! Cortex's firm but gentle hand will guide me to understand what MetaFilter is for and where he wants it to go. It can't be described in so many words. It's more of a feeling. Let each of us meditate on the true meaning of MetaFilter and then work towards that.
posted by hypnogogue at 5:45 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


I think this is not a dumb question, but I suspect it's better to corral yankocentric psephology on the blue rather than infect fanfare.

If anything I'd've thought the mods would prefer to hide these threads in fanfare, so if they can be arsed dealing with them on the more heavily-trafficked blue then that's their call.
posted by pompomtom at 6:28 AM on September 13


I like being able to go to Fanfare without worrying about my anxiety, please keep political coverage out of Fanfare.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:43 AM on September 13 [6 favorites]


the fuck is a fig leaf url?
posted by bondcliff at 6:52 AM on September 13 [4 favorites]


If it were up to me they would go in FanFare but it’s very much not up to me (thankfully)!
posted by sallybrown at 6:53 AM on September 13


the fuck is a fig leaf url?

"I'm technically following the rules by posting a link, but the actual reason I'm creating this thread is so we can have a discussion of an ongoing event/hot-button topic that is not in any way specific to the link in question".

Gonna take the unpopular side of this one and strongly agree these should be in FanFare or somewhere else that is not the Blue.
posted by capricorn at 7:58 AM on September 13 [3 favorites]


floam: I think this is a dumb question

Answer is no


These are harsh responses, and don't support a discussion. The mods saw fit to allow this question, so let's be a bit more welcoming to other ideas, even if we don't agree with them.

I agree with zachlipton's observation: After the livebloggy stuff during the debates themselves, the debate threads have become topic-specific US politics threads for ongoing discussion specifically about the primaries.

In some ways, being on FanFare would be problematic because the threads wouldn't close automatically. Having a 30 day window for comments is good when it comes to political discussions of this nature, in my opinion.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:04 AM on September 13 [26 favorites]


METAFILTER: one of those "Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit; wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad" things
posted by philip-random at 8:23 AM on September 13 [7 favorites]


FPP is clear about what the topic is, which should help prevent 'infodump' tendencies.

could an infodump be something that gets flagged? I suppose you could just include that reason as 'note'. So the more relevant question is, where do we (Metafilter) stand on infodumping?
posted by philip-random at 8:28 AM on September 13


Gonna take the unpopular side of this one and strongly agree these should be in FanFare or somewhere else that is not the Blue.

I don't think it's that unpopular of an opinion, but there are strong feelings on various sides. I generally try to avoid these discussions, and I regret commenting here because I feel like I touched a raw nerve with my implicit criticism of what anti-politics discussions sound like to me. This site has had a lot of painful discussions about this and related topics and I'd rather not see it repeated here.

We're talking about a post that currently has 182 or so comments after being posted yesterday. It does not appear to represent a significant drain on the site resources, and I figure the mods would let us know if it was causing harm. Personally, I struggle to understand why there is such animosity on this site in response to discussion about political activism, especially when you can just skip it if you don't want to read it.

could an infodump be something that gets flagged?

I recall seeing at least one mod reminder in a previous FPP that it wasn't a catch-all, and I've flagged an FPP that inadvertantly looked like a megathread to get it edited quickly to avoid catch-all infodumping, so I think yes, it gets flagged. US Politics FPPs have also moved on to more topic-specific FPPs that are naturally limited by the posted subject matter, and that seems to be working well so far to prevent catch-all megathread-style comments.
posted by katra at 8:40 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Fan Fare. It's about being fans of stuff on media. I don't think hard news, politics or debates belong there.
posted by theora55 at 8:41 AM on September 13 [8 favorites]


the fuck is a fig leaf url?

I sent you a 1 day guest pass to my private website.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:31 AM on September 13 [2 favorites]


No, political debates should stay off of Fanfare, simply because Fanfar threads close after a year, while FPP posts close after 30 days.

You don't need a year to talk about a debate and we don't need to rework Fanfare to accommodate politics
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:32 AM on September 13 [7 favorites]


A point of clarification: FanFare threads are open indefinitely (link to comment by cortex in 2014; Game of Thrones season 4 episode 1 FF post from April 7, 2014, with the latest comment being posted on October 1, 2018, and the comment field is still open).
posted by filthy light thief at 9:59 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Noooooooooooooooooooooooooo
posted by sammyo at 10:21 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Well ok, if they had the production value of EUROVISION, sure, but no, then noooooooooo
posted by sammyo at 10:22 AM on September 13 [5 favorites]


A point of clarification: FanFare threads are open indefinitely ...

Imma just double down on the firm "NOPE" then!
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:44 AM on September 13 [1 favorite]


Fanfare, no.

Ask me,aybe
posted by clavdivs at 11:54 AM on September 13


This makes me wonder if the debate threads (and then the Dem convention thread, and then the Repub convention thread, etc) will essentially become US Politics Megathreads 2.0, and once again nudge the blue away from "let's discuss this cool link I found online" and back towards a free-floating daily infodump that turns into drain on mod resources.

gah, I really hope not. To me, the debate thread (at the moment) is manageable and interesting because Mefites are using the thread to talk about the debate overall and about specific debate answers/soundbites.
posted by 23skidoo at 12:37 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


the fuck is a fig leaf url?

SAIT what are you people doing all these comments later

I don’t really interact with FanFare so my opinion is probably useless but I totally see why this kind of post would belong there. The hot-takes that make watching something live in the company of like-minded souls so enjoyable isn’t really conducive to a worthwhile archived FPP. People won’t necessarily revisit FanFare threads in the future to see what people thought the moment they found out THAT CHARACTER was actually THING the way they do with old articles or whatever. So it makes much more sense to me to collect essentially a load of throwaway one-liners in a thread on FF than keep them on the Blue where they’ll make no sense to anyone the minute the broadcast is over.
posted by billiebee at 1:17 PM on September 13


People won’t necessarily revisit FanFare threads in the future to see what people thought the moment they found out THAT CHARACTER was actually THING the way they do with old articles or whatever.

Why would you think that? I regularly look up the fanfare threads for whatever movie or TV show I just watched, even if it's been months/years since the original post went up. Fanfare threads have a much longer shelf life than the blue on purpose.
posted by dinty_moore at 1:37 PM on September 13 [13 favorites]


Yeah, agreed on pretty much the reverse being the case with FanFare. Looking up the thing I just read/watched to see what people have said or will say about it is definitely how I use the purple site.

(Check out the recent Anne of Green Gables FanFare post for a great example of lots of comments about a work that is extremely not time-limited in appeal.)
posted by asperity at 1:50 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Fair enough.
posted by billiebee at 1:56 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


It's already been said but after I finish a show or book I really enjoyed I immediately go to Fanfare to see what people said about it. Sometimes, like when I read The Calculating Stars, It totally ruins it for me and I decide not to read the sequel after all, but USUALLY it's a fun discussion and I enjoy leaving my own comment at the end for future generations to see.

I don't really think Fanfare is a good fit for time-limited things like political debates, or live events that are unlikely to ever be rewatched or rebroadcast. Nobody is going to go back and revisit the Trump/Hillary debates, or Superbowl XXXII, so there's no point in leaving a discussion page perpetually open for it. I also don't think Metafilter does liveblogging well in general, so having a discussion page open while the event airs may give people a place to talk about it, but the resulting archive will be of little value. It's something better suited to a chatroom setting like Slack or Twitter.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 3:43 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


yeah, I found FanFare very engaging during my years late viewing of Twin Peaks Season 3. Great resource in that regard.
posted by philip-random at 3:49 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


What about nipple pastie and/or cock sock URLs?
posted by Burhanistan at 4:16 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


Burhanistan, I sent you a 1 day guest pass to my private website.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:26 PM on September 13 [9 favorites]


Some clarification- especially for people who don't check out FanFare so often- there are two types of Fanfare threads.

One is the type that is analogous to a FFP- a post for an episode of a TV show, (or a whole season at once post, or a book, depending on the decisions that get made re popularity/conversation volume.) For example: discussion of episodes of Star Trek Discovery, that are linked together so you can go back to the previous episode's thread. This is the bulk of FanFare, and with streaming services, it's not expected, usually, that people are watching and commenting at the same time.

The other type FanFare Special Events includes things like FIFA women's world cup final, (and other sporting events) The Academy Awards, etc. While Eurovision doesn't get an official 'event' the post is called 'Live Stream' by the user that created it. In these posts it's assumed that it's OK to post reactions as you watch. (For things like Eurovision the snark on twitter is sometimes the best bit, and Fanfare is an even better place for live reactions.)

I think that when people ask for the debates to be moved to FanFare, they mean in that kind of 'watch party' way, that kind of 'live-blogging' that is kind of frowned upon on the blue- (and also was a "don't fill up the megathread with chatter" consideration back in the megathread era*.)

*that phrase makes it sound so serious and grandiose and makes me chuckle.

The question isn't "should debates move to fanfare" so much as:
Is it OK to 'live react' to political debates on metafilter in general?
If yes, should it be OK on the blue?
If yes yes, proceed, if yes/no a new home needs to be found, if no/no then moderate accordingly.
posted by freethefeet at 6:39 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


I would not look for a political debate on FanFare just because it happened to be televised. I look to FanFare for literature and entertainment, and would look for politics on the Blue.

So, my suggestion is no.
posted by blurker at 6:53 PM on September 13 [2 favorites]


The question isn't "should debates move to fanfare" so much as:
Is it OK to 'live react' to political debates on metafilter in general?
If yes, should it be OK on the blue?
If yes yes, proceed, if yes/no a new home needs to be found, if no/no then moderate accordingly.


This is an excellent clarification, distilling the intent of the question, I think? Is that correct, Greg Nog?

I'd go for this. Guess people could also make a post on the Blue, but this sounds like a good use of the live feature. Thanks very much, freethefeet.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 7:02 PM on September 13


The PoliticsFilter slack is meeting my megathread needs. Get your politics there, and you can drastically improve the mods lives. I believe this link you join you.
posted by hypnogogue at 8:15 PM on September 13 [1 favorite]


should televised US presidential debates go in fanfare?

Somewhere, definitely, but keep that stuff out of the blue, please. I thought those political megathreads were history.
posted by Rash at 12:50 PM on September 14


The megathread is still alive, invisibly omnipresent.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:34 PM on September 14


God no
posted by overglow at 12:44 PM on September 15


Add my no to the salad. Artichokes, by the way, are neither fruits nor vegetables but rather flower buds. In bloom the flowers are beautiful in their own severe way -- artichokes, as it turns out, are spineless thistles. The things one learns from gardening.
posted by y2karl at 9:41 PM on September 15 [2 favorites]


After the livebloggy stuff during the debates themselves, the debate threads have become topic-specific US politics threads for ongoing discussion specifically about the primaries

This seems like a tacit admission that uspol megathreads are still happening on the site despite the fact that they've been officially retired?
posted by tobascodagama at 8:18 AM on September 16


The third primary debate thread is only up to 255 comments after four days, with only 20ish commments yesterday - which seems a lot more manageable than the megathreads. The problem with the megathreads wasn't that folks were talking about politics, it was that the talk of politics was so overwhelming that it was spilling over into all aspects of the site.
posted by dinty_moore at 8:23 AM on September 16 [8 favorites]


This seems like a tacit admission that uspol megathreads are still happening on the site despite the fact that they've been officially retired?

I would read it as an acknowledgement that "Topic specific posts instead of catch-all megathreads" are happening, which was officially the plan with megethread retirement. I haven't seen those turning into megathreads, either by number of comments or by straying into varied topics. My point was that topic specific posts are a bad fit for FanFare for many reasons, such as the fact FanFare threads don't close.

If there are problems with topic specific posts and the discussions attached to them, then MetaTalk is the place to talk about them, but I wouldn't view "people are doing the thing they were asked to do" as an "admission."
posted by zachlipton at 12:58 PM on September 16 [4 favorites]


Artichokes, by the way, are neither fruits nor vegetables but rather flower buds.

Capers, too: a species of nasturtium.

My artichokes flowered beautifully this year, because I didn't realise you had to harvest them *beforehand*. No regrets, the purple tufts were beautiful and the bees loved them.

I'm opting out of the debates till the field is smaller, but always enjoy reading the threads.
posted by Pallas Athena at 1:24 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


For me, the crucial part of the OP is “…rather than actual discussion of a cool thing which was discovered and linked on the web.”

Although I was occasionally pulled into the vortex, I welcomed the end of the megathreads. They seemed to suck the energy out of the site, distracted from more interesting posts, and I suspect kept some members from posting cooler things.

I think it’s understandable that some site members are wary of any political posts, feeling like they’re getting a foot in the door for more of the same mega-madness. While we can’t ignore what’s going on, the next year or so is going to be pretty stressful for our world. I’d like to think of Metafilter as a respite from the craziness.
posted by SteveInMaine at 1:36 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Just ban all US politics discussion from the site and be done with it. It's what the community wants.
posted by T.D. Strange at 6:46 PM on September 16 [1 favorite]


Speak for yourself
posted by floam at 12:39 AM on September 17 [6 favorites]


Just ban all US politics discussion from the site and be done with it. It's what the community wants.

I kind of dig this crazy stupid idea, extremist though it is, but the reality is that a lot of people seem to have joined MeFi specifically because they liked the same shit that I think is killing the site, so who am I to dictate?

Mod decisions of the past can create the community consensus of the present, because those who don't like what the site has become will do a slow fade, while, at the same time, other sub-groups of Internet people are attracted to what they see.
posted by Harvey Kilobit at 2:22 AM on September 17 [2 favorites]


Just ban all US politics discussion from the site and be done with it. It's what the community wants.

That kinda fighty kneejerk was definitely part of what made the megathreads hard to deal with.
posted by aspersioncast at 5:12 AM on September 17 [2 favorites]


Mod decisions of the past can create the community consensus of the present, because those who don't like what the site has become will do a slow fade

People may fade for a variety of reasons, but the idea that politics posts are a new / newish development for Metafilter is inaccurate. Here is an incomplete list of politics-related posts from summer - early fall, 2000:

George W. Bush plans to spend this weekend thinking "long and hard". | MetaFilter

Former Secretary of Defense Dick Cheney | MetaFilter

Pregnant women on death row. | MetaFilter

The Rock and Dick Cheney | MetaFilter

Comments on 2678 | MetaFilter (Drunk NRA President, Charlton Heston)

Time looks at Dubyas Veep choice. | MetaFilter

"When we carry Iowa in November, it'll mean the end of four years of Clinton-Gore." | MetaFilter

Comments on 3043 | MetaFilter ("ADL asks Joe Lieberman to shut up already")

GoreWillSayAnything.com. Coming Soon, like, maybe this afternoon. | MetaFilter

Excellent Suck Skewering of Dick Cheney | MetaFilter

"There's Adam Clymer, major league asshole from the New York Times." | MetaFilter

Major league asshole: | MetaFilter

Vice Presidential Debates: | MetaFilter

CNN whips out a dual headline format to cover both Yugoslavia and VP debates. | MetaFilter

This isn't comprehensive at all; it's just posts resulting from a comment search for "Cheney" (a search term unique enough that I was pretty sure the content would be US politics related), and only the ones I copied / pasted until I got bored of scanning through a couple pages of returns.

The "Day in Posts" for 20 years ago, September 17, 1999, btw, had three posts on Mefi:

Jerrys Ranking of the U.S. Presidents | MetaFilter

Comments on 150 | MetaFilter ("Comrade Kim Il Jong - His Life and Mission")

Comments on 149 | MetaFilter ("Handbook of Rhetorical Devices")

I'm not a political junkie myself, and truth be told, my own personal ideal Metafilter would probably have fewer political posts, but it's not a new thing at all ... and, sadly, we live in "interesting times." I was reading Mefi daily even before 9/11/2001 and every US political development has had lots of discussion here on the site. If your memory is that it didn't, it's probably because you weren't reading those threads, and I'm honestly not trying to be shitty about it — but that's still a perfectly fine choice, and we added the "Hide US politics posts" option on the front page and "My Mefi" view to make it as easy as possible for people who'd rather skip that stuff.

I think breaking up the megathread into discrete posts that allow discussion of one main topic at a time was a good choice for the site (and agree that they belong on the blue, with Fanfare only for entertainment media), and I also agree with SteveInMaine that it would be great if Metafilter could also be a respite from the craziness. I like the artsy, history, science, foodie, literary, and quirky, and unusual posts, and I really love the theme ideas people have posted, such as the current "Post Your Animal Month" (#postyouranimal). I'd rather see people thinking along those lines and posting fun stuff, rather than having the millionth iteration of the exact same fight about politics posts on the site.
posted by taz (staff) at 6:16 AM on September 17 [5 favorites]


Ain’t nobody banning politics.
posted by Burhanistan at 6:18 AM on September 17


I worry about getting caught up in a "ban politics vs. don't ban politics" debate because it makes one side of the actual issue here seem so extreme that it's easy to dismiss it entirely.

The issue at hand is whether politics on MetaFilter should be a rules-free zone where liveblogging and free-wheeling, wide-ranging threads full of off-topic noise are allowed here when they are moderated very well and effectively elsewhere on MetaFilter. It makes it hard to participate in politics threads for people who like politics and want to discuss politics on MetaFilter.
posted by capricorn at 8:25 AM on September 17 [1 favorite]


Bah, "elsewhere on MetaFilter" should = "in threads on other topics on MetaFilter".
posted by capricorn at 8:26 AM on September 17


Just ban all US politics discussion from the site and be done with it. It's what the community wants.

I kind of dig this crazy stupid idea, extremist though it is, but the reality is that a lot of people seem to have joined MeFi specifically because they liked the same shit that I think is killing the site, so who am I to dictate?


way back when (and sometimes now), posts would get deleted specifically because they were news-filter (ie: this is something that happened/is happening with no "enrichment" as we used to call it in the radio biz). I do wonder what might happen if we did the same with stuff that was overtly political (ie: the most evident intention of this Post is to force an overtly political perspective and thus a split down political lines, which is likely going to end up being a burden on site resources). This already happens sometimes anyway, I suspect, but the notion of Saying It In So Many Words in the posting guidelines might help make things nicer, more nuanced and friendly hereabouts ... for everybody.

I don't for a moment think there wouldn't be some grief in the wake of such a switch in policy, but if it leads to a net gain ... well and good. And no, I'm not talking about posts that wish to explore a deeper understanding of politics, policies, history etc, more the, "Wow, look what the f***king GOP is up to this week" or "bloody centrists are no better than Nazis*" stuff.

* speaking of which, I'd love to see a curb put on use of the word Nazi/Nazis ... unless we're speaking specifically of Hitler's Third Reich (ie: National Socialism and its crimes against humanity) and/or those who are currently espousing beliefs/agendas that don't reject National Socialism's goals and solutions.
posted by philip-random at 9:10 AM on September 17 [3 favorites]


Gah, do y'all remember when "major league asshole" was a thing that dominated the news for days?

These days it's total normalcy.
posted by fiercecupcake at 1:15 PM on September 17 [1 favorite]


I'm glad for these topical threads and would like to see them stay on the Blue. I wouldn't object if they had a shorter sunset than a typical Blue post. Our political world moves fast enough that it seems likely a topic will have drifted from it's origin pretty far in three weeks and rarely discussions have to be continued at that point. With that said, looking at the debate thread cited in this post it seems very disciplined and still discussing the topic of the debate (such as post-debate polling) at this point. I think this is a highly useful resource both now, and in the future for individuals looking to go back to written record of events and perceptions.
posted by meinvt at 6:13 AM on September 18 [2 favorites]


It should stay on the blue BUT the FPP for debates and similar live events should go up after the event ends. There was a lot of contextless reaction posting in that thread that made no sense reading it the next day.
posted by smokysunday at 11:33 AM on September 18 [3 favorites]


-- way back when (and sometimes now), posts would get deleted specifically because they were news-filter...

This was not my experience.
posted by y2karl at 2:50 PM on September 20


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