9/11 anniversary special policies? September 2, 2002 11:21 AM   Subscribe

There is an onslaught coming. In nine days it will be the one year anniversary of 9/11. What is our policy with FPP on that day? Are there guidelines for such "busy" day?
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood to Etiquette/Policy at 11:21 AM (57 comments total)

Is there any reason to think that there is a need for "additional" guidelines? Methinks that the current guidelines should be enough.
posted by adampsyche at 11:23 AM on September 2, 2002


Personally, I think it would be nice if Matt shut down the board for the day in remembrance of the event. Or something to that extent. I am just imagining the FPP of every memorial ceremony going on, all all over the world. Just wanted to see what everyone else thinks on this.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:24 AM on September 2, 2002


I think it's totally irrelevant to MetaFilter. Let the news shows do their tributes.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:27 AM on September 2, 2002


I guess my point is that I think MeFi will be flooded with people posting everything and anything about 9/11 on the front page.
posted by Steve_at_Linnwood at 11:32 AM on September 2, 2002


There has been been a themed front page at least once before to mark an important day (World Aids Day) so I guess that it's not out of the question. Personally, I would prefer not to see anything more overt than a note in the sideblog and a reasonable amount of respect given to any memorial threads that are posted (assuming that people don't take it to be some kind of 'safe' topic to make a weak post about).
posted by MUD at 11:36 AM on September 2, 2002


If MeFi shuts down for Sept. 11, the terrorists have won.
posted by ttrendel at 11:37 AM on September 2, 2002


I see no reason for an "onslaught." World AIDS Day is an event the site participated in, the point of which was to have related links posted. I'm not aware of any corresponding web event for Sept. 11 coming up
There is no reason for any additional guidelines. Sucky posts will be deleted regardless of the date. In my opinion, posts about nothing more than a memorial fall under the "delete me, I'm not all that interesting" heading.

Shutting down the site: No.
posted by Su at 11:44 AM on September 2, 2002


I think it's totally irrelevant to MetaFilter. Let the news shows do their tributes.

Wisdom.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 12:03 PM on September 2, 2002


I definitely think Matt should put a link on the sideblog to the discussion of the first story, as, to me, it was (at least at first) one of the most memorable threads on the site.
posted by Hildago at 12:10 PM on September 2, 2002


I trust the good judgement of our community here to restrain ourselves.
posted by ColdChef at 12:22 PM on September 2, 2002


"I think it would be nice if Matt shut down the board for the day in remembrance..."

Bite your tongue! There's gonna be enough 'moments of silence.' Nine Eleven shouldn't be a solemn, maudlin occasion. It's a day of survival in the face of fear and ignorance. I say we have a moment of noise. And lots of alcohol.

All that said, we can learn from the original event itself. Things were much higher in usage at the peak time of the event here in MeFi, as waxy.org can attest. However, though the event permeated most threads for that day and every day since (to a lessened extent), the majority of threads were 'keepers' and ultimately it all worked out for the best, relatively speaking to the website itself.

So don't fret. No worries. No need for further limitations. It would be NICE if people kept the memorials to ONE thread and just posted all the links pertinent to Nine Eleven to one thread, but it's not required and probably won't happen. Each will be on their own recognizance.

It'd also be nice if each and every day, there were ONE general 'war on terrorism' thread per day and everyone just posted links relevant to the same thread. Instead we get several MeFi FPPs about roughly the same topic, but that's the nature of the beast, eh?
posted by ZachsMind at 12:34 PM on September 2, 2002


I think Matt's itchy "delete" finger is going to be very busy that day.

Personally, I'm going to avoid this place like the plague that day just because I don't want to get sucked into the shite that is going to make it through to the front page.
posted by briank at 12:45 PM on September 2, 2002


Personally I found the media frenzy sickening after the original event, and the tributes are going to be nauseating, however if there is anything else happening in the world on that day, I think MeFi is likely to be the only place to hear about it. Rather than shutting the site down, why not make it abundantly clear on the sidebar that there are plenty of sites to indulge one's nostalgia for outrage, and any 9/11 post will be summarily deleted.

Or, Matt could set up a special 9/11 thread, either on MeTa or MeFi, for all 9/11 related links and comments. That way those who find catharsis in tributes, not to mention those who just want to troll, can have a designated place without cluttering up the front page. Just some suggestions.
posted by Grod at 1:18 PM on September 2, 2002


Side me with Miguel and Kafkaesque...
posted by y2karl at 2:15 PM on September 2, 2002


I definitely think Matt should put a link on the sideblog to the discussion of the first story

I think the "One Year Ago Today" link will be quite sufficient. In fact I'd imagine that a lot of people will want to click it.
posted by kindall at 3:34 PM on September 2, 2002


an onslaught coming

Sounds like another molehill with delusions of grandeur.


posted by mischief at 3:47 PM on September 2, 2002


Add me to the list with Miguel, Kafkaesque and y2karl ...


... a moment of noise. And lots of alcohol.

An excellent recipe, no matter the occasion.
posted by dg at 3:53 PM on September 2, 2002


i think at 12:01 am on september 11th, matt posts this:
"This is the 9/11 Thread.
More Inside..."
posted by jcterminal at 4:27 PM on September 2, 2002


Ideally, there will be one well written post everyone can participate in without resorting to 20 posts on essentially the same subject. I wouldn't mind seeing Matt enforce this kind of thing.
posted by skallas at 4:32 PM on September 2, 2002


Or what jcterminal wrote. Damn you space-time!
posted by skallas at 4:33 PM on September 2, 2002


/me puts down the transdimentional slipgate gun.
posted by jcterminal at 5:28 PM on September 2, 2002


Sounds like another molehill with delusions of grandeur.

Because we should all be visiting Plastic that day instead, right?
posted by eyeballkid at 6:18 PM on September 2, 2002


I just want to assure everyone that I will doing my part to keep the front page focused on current events and not memorials....

In the US, there will be 13 primaries on September 10th, and that means that on the morning of September 11th, we'll have a better perspective of what the federal and state-wide offices will look like come November. And more Congresspeople might lose their primaries! Woo!!
posted by jennak at 9:52 PM on September 2, 2002


Add me to the list with Miguel, Kafkaesque, y2karl and dg.

No reason to ask a community such as ours to shut itself down. Please remember that not everyone here is an American. Not everyone feels the need to wear a hair shirt and gnash their teeth...and we certainly don't need a mandate to shut down a community that has existed for many, many years because some folks fear that they may be inundated with links.

Matt doesn't shut down the site on anniversaries of IRA bombs, or on the anniversary of plane crashes, or on the days of the OK City bombing or Columbine, or Malta or the 1972 Olympics.

Rule of thumb...links can't drive your machine...if it isn't something you want to see...don't click on it. But, don't request that an entire thriving community go black just because you "think it would be nice".
posted by dejah420 at 11:00 PM on September 2, 2002


Wow. Excellent point dejah. I'll second that.
posted by ttrendel at 12:02 AM on September 3, 2002


I've been thinking about this this week...I only joined in December last year - after reading 9/11 from a guest standpoint on MF...it was a reliable source of news when everything else just jammed up...

Ever since the 1, 2, 3 years ago links popped up, I've been clicking them to try and absorb some of the 'culture' of the site...and this week have been struck at how peaceful, and different things were prior to 9/11...the posts from one year ago today are oblivious to the events that were coming to change everything...I know its a cliche...but EVERYTHING seems to have changed.

As for this year - I hope posters will be sensible...and I hope whatever 'memorials' people create/link to won't be overshadowed by events...

Oh yeah....and what dejah said....

posted by mattr at 1:55 AM on September 3, 2002


warning: giant newbie baiting alert!
now that concensus has been reached in this out of the way corner of codgerfilter, we can pile on the first 9/11 poster and smugly point to this thread! thus reinforcing the meme that one had better have more than passing familarity with every word ever posted to mefi/ta before daring to post themselves.
posted by quonsar at 4:34 AM on September 3, 2002


IOW: how is this to be communicated to the teeming hordes of yahoo news posters waiting with thier fingers poised over the post button?
posted by quonsar at 4:35 AM on September 3, 2002


Forty foot letters of fire in the desert, I reckon. Followed by a hail of frogs, a good spanking and a cup of hot tea for everyone! Huzzah!
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:57 AM on September 3, 2002


how is this to be communicated to the teeming hordes of yahoo news posters waiting with thier fingers poised over the post button?

How about with a note on the post page that includes a link to this thread?
posted by kirkaracha at 7:02 AM on September 3, 2002


DISCLAIMER: September 11, 2001 did not happen. The World Trade Center did not exist. 3,000 people did not die. There shall be no talk. There shall be no moment of silence. We shall instead celebrate the one year anniversary of irony's death. There shall be no memory. In fact, memory shall be hindered altogether by drink.

If an airplane discount and plenty of freebies isn't enough to get your ass out of the house, then perhaps an official FBI warning that cites real and credible evidence that backs up NOTHING happening that day, followed by skepticism and anger on a governmental agency having wasted such words on a press release, will do the trick.

On September 11, 2002, you are expected to have nary an emotional convulsion or a mental recollection. Your bartender will be Wil Wheaton, who seems to figure into this somehow. God bless America.


posted by ed at 8:38 AM on September 3, 2002


: blinks : My God, I don't even remember that first MeFi thread about the Towers. Reread it (or read it?), and got teary-eyed when someone posted that the Towers were down.

I'd say one "rememberance" thread, and then business as usual. The Americans will be saturated enough. Here in New York City (midtown), there are memorials that haven't come down yet -- while I don't want everyone to pretend it never happened, I could do without the everday reminders. I'm reminded enough when I look down Fifth Avenue, or go downtown.

I'm not being cold, I just hit "overload" a long time ago...
posted by metrocake at 9:01 AM on September 3, 2002


DISCLAIMER: September 11, 2001 did not happen. The World Trade Center did not exist. 3,000 people did not die. There shall be no talk. There shall be no moment of silence. We shall instead celebrate the one year anniversary of irony's death. There shall be no memory. In fact, memory shall be hindered altogether by drink.

ed, you seem to be needlessly overreacting to a call for moderation.
posted by Kafkaesque at 9:14 AM on September 3, 2002


Personally, I'm going to avoid this place like the plague that day just because I don't want to get sucked into the shite that is going to make it through to the front page.

Why not swing by and post something interesting to help keep the front page non-shite-y? That is an option here.
posted by mediareport at 10:23 AM on September 3, 2002


Kafkaesque: I very well understand ed and I'm not American, I'm Portuguese. I know it's a silly example but here in Portugal it's practically a day of mourning. Even a Japanese sushi chef complained to me he couldn't open a new restaurant on the tenth of September because so many customers complained.

For the West (which does exist) it's a horrible, sad reminder, whatever your politics are, of how people like us, whatever their nationality or religion, can be killed without reason or knowledge (never mind "guilt") because of politics. Murderous politics.

So, while I applaud your initiative not to change MetaFilter for the day, I still must acknowledge that it's a close call, given what it meant for all of us. Over-reacting is just about the least we can do, I think. One way or the other.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 10:52 AM on September 3, 2002


And I think that you misunderstood what I meant, Miguel. Ed's hyperbolic tone seemed to suggest it was ridiculous to even suggest moderation, that saying 9/11 posts are irrelevant to MeFi was tantamount to saying 9/11 never happened.

I think, ed, that you were joking, though there was surely a message in your comment. If I have misconstrued your intentions, I am sorry.

So, while I applaud your initiative not to change MetaFilter for the day, I still must acknowledge that it's a close call, given what it meant for all of us. Over-reacting is just about the least we can do, I think.

What does how you feel about 9/11 have to do with MetaFilter and its posting guidelines? I don't get it.

I will remember that day on the anniversary and have some quiet moments, reflecting on what has happened. If I come to MeFi and every post is about 9/11, I'll just ignore it, and not rain on people's parades.
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:11 AM on September 3, 2002


I think that you misunderstood what I meant, Miguel

Yep, I think I did. Thanks, Kafkaesque. I guess, though, that my point still stands: it is a big thing and so it shouldn't shock us if people here react accordingly.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 11:16 AM on September 3, 2002


*noogies*
posted by Kafkaesque at 11:20 AM on September 3, 2002


I see Steve's point. I'm dreading the onslaught in other media -- I may have to boycott NPR for a week if every program has to make a comment on 9/11 (E.G. "Lost-and-found sounds of ashes drifting and sirens wailing at ground zero.")

Maybe that's un-American of me, but so be it. 9/11 gets more attention than all of the other potentially avoidable daily deaths of people and animals (hunger, natural disaster, child abuse, war, AIDS, vivisection, sport-hunting...) put together. I find that quite sad, and I'll probably never see a "moment of silence" for those.

But 9/11 was "America Attacked"...
posted by Shane at 12:17 PM on September 3, 2002



I hope that people will just show some restraint. However, if people want to go wild with posting, I think I will observe Kafakaesque's example and not rain on peoples parades.

We all have different timetables for grief. I remember over the months after that day, it hit people in my neighborhood at different times. Some were able to move on right after it. For others, it didn't hit until Christmas or even after that. Maybe for some people on this board, it is a year.

Whatever the case, I hope we give each other a little room that day. It is going to be a bit weird no matter where you are.
posted by lampshade at 12:50 PM on September 3, 2002


Wow, "sport-hunting" is just as pressing a problem as AIDS and just as disturbing as the events of 9/11/2001? We here on planet earth usually have a different set of priorities.

Anyway, I'm glad that we're all so f**kin' uber-cool and totally de-constructed that the mere thought of the unwashed masses doing anything as totally unhip as memorial and remembrance on the anniversary of a hideous, racist, religious attack on America would send us all into the shivers. I mean, we're so totally post-modern and above that kind of sentimental drivel. Gosh. I've got the vapours...

Seriously though, I don't particularly like seeing hundreds of cheap, badly printed, framed posters of the World Trade Center lining the walls of Chinatown, nor do I look forward to the overproduced drivel that will surely syrup its way out of the television on 9/11. I don't need anyone to dramatise the events of last year; my memory will serve me just fine when I need to reflect and reflection will surely move me to tears without all the sombre music. BUT, some people need a memorial service, some people will be interested in the NPR sound pieces, some people like to have poems and Gorecki music to cathect to. You can't expect everyone to smile and ignore it. It affected most of us, Americans especially, even the uber-cool and anti-sentimentalist among us; look through the MeFi archive for September if you don't believe me. If you don't want to read threads about memorials, then DON'T READ THEM. It will all pass in a day, and you can even continue your morally relativistic posts linking to Guardian articles and posts to pie-related Flash animaitions in the midst of the "onslaught" of 9/11 related posts. No one will disdain you for it.

Anymore than we already do, that is.
posted by evanizer at 1:08 PM on September 3, 2002


Anyway, I'm glad that we're all so f**kin' uber-cool and totally de-constructed that the mere thought of the unwashed masses doing anything as totally unhip as memorial and remembrance on the anniversary of a hideous, racist, religious attack on America would send us all into the shivers. I mean, we're so totally post-modern and above that kind of sentimental drivel. Gosh. I've got the vapours...


Evanizer, I respect your views, but do you have to be so bitter and sarcastic? Every time I read one of these comments, it just makes me want to be on the opposite side of WHATEVER VIEW YOU'RE TAKING.

Maybe it's just the caps. I don't know.
posted by Kafkaesque at 1:15 PM on September 3, 2002


What caps? Well, besides the normal ones and DON'T READ THEM.

Oh well, this all just touched a nerve. Sorry if I sounded angry. I was, and figured a several day old thread in MeTa wouldn't suffer too much because of it. I stand behind my views, but wish I had perhaps expressed them less venomously.
posted by evanizer at 1:54 PM on September 3, 2002


Maybe it's just the caps. I don't know.

(next thing ya know, he will be taking the whole roll on the sidewalk and hitting them with a hammer.)

I found out about the first plane on Mefi about 45 minutes after the fact. opened the computer-mefi-post about a plane hitting the WTC.

i responded with a joke to myself before clicking the linkless post. then i turned on the tv, posted 'holy shit' and... why am i saying this?
same meta posts quelling peoples emotions before they themselves EVEN get the chance to explain, apologize. RIGHT? (oh no, one must ALWAYS think college like careful before posting the same old OBVIOUS stuff)
mefi changed to some degree, it would foolish to think other wise. Metafilter went on that day, as it should now. To even suggest something other then a few posts or something Matt puts up shows more then ignorance. it is suspect...well not suspect. questionable perhaps....and im falling faster then the straw BUT. I feel Mefi is more free then the 'free press'. Ya know, during WWII, an american transport was sunk in an italian port (i think it was Italy) a Thousand men died in a flash and it was suppressed to the people. media would not show (pictures, etc. ) of dead americans until after D-day if i recall. I can see the point, historically, moral and all. But that was then. this is now. I have a choice on mefi or the web at large. I want nothing to interfere with that. (cough china cough)

That way those who find catharsis in tributes, not to mention those who just want to troll, can have a designated place without cluttering up the front page.
let it happen. see what becomes of these matters. Trolls will be given no or little regenerative powers. and mefi is not mefi if it cannot handle that.
i feel the Tact of this horrid act is upon a monument and rebuilding. To me, it is still part of many peoples daily nightmare esp. the New Yorkers...for all his beautiful faults Lincolns 'Gettysburg Address' hits upon the core of what i believe is one of the few comparisons.



posted by clavdivs at 2:40 PM on September 3, 2002


Cathect - what a fabulous word. Thanks, evanizer!
posted by Lynsey at 3:18 PM on September 3, 2002


To clarify what I meant as an over-the-top satirical post, I was trying to suggest that moderating how people felt about 9/11 seemed to me a bit like political correctness. For some damned reason, we've painted ourselves into a corner of how we should act on September 11, 2002. In a way, it's symptomatic of a larger issue over just how vocal this nation (and, by proxy, MeFi) is with its emotions. If America can act in the way that it did on the days after September 11, 2001 (being there for each other, sending aid to the appropriate areas, and understanding that life has to go on), then why does there have to be a ban on emotional instinct one year later?

It is absolutely our duty to go on, to act accordingly, to get through a grisly reminder on the calendar. But to suggest that we go on with a bit of pre-911 Giuliani "tough love," by moderating a potential bevy of emotional posts or related stories that may present some historical value to determine just how we felt, to ignore the reality that we were all scared shitless, that we didn't really know the full extent of what was really going on and that we all for a moment realized the fragility of tomorrow, that all strikes me as inherently unhealthy and unrealistic.

To expect this nation, and for that matter MeFi and the world, to cure themselves overnight, to not permit particular souls the act of healing, whether it come through harsh language or necessary catharsis seems to be a dishonest juncture towards getting over that pivotal hump at Year One.

Granted, there's going to be that pornographic playback of those towers exploding. There will be numerous treacly television specials, tributes, parades and the like. There will be a reminder of this tragedy just about everywhere we go next Wednesday.

But we need to evince the fortitude to wade through the flummery and offer a shoulder to those who need to weep at the same time. That seems to me the right thing to do. The only real way to kill off the ceaseless recollections is to concentrate upon thoughts and feelings that allow us to eventually put the events of 9/11 in the same collection of national wounds as Pearl Harbor and JFK's assassination.

I trust MeFi to do the right thing and to keep within the guidelines while respecting this necessary healing process.
posted by ed at 8:34 PM on September 3, 2002


...nor do I look forward to the overproduced drivel that will surely syrup its way out of the television on 9/11

Drivel that is often exploitative, commercialized, and often panders to a large portion of the public that makes statements like "We should just go over there and nuke all the Towelheads." That's my point.

..."sport-hunting" is just as pressing a problem as AIDS and just as disturbing as the events of 9/11/2001?

Again, my point exactly. Who really gives a flying f*** about things like that? Not you.

Evanizer, I'm not going to engage in a flame-fest. But don't attack me. I'm not one of the UberCoolNazis on this forum, not by a long shot -- I don't make personal attacks on peoples' views. Look closer to home.
posted by Shane at 6:21 AM on September 4, 2002


Sorry. I really did my best not to respond....
posted by Shane at 6:24 AM on September 4, 2002


...just keep riding cowboy.
posted by clavdivs at 8:27 AM on September 4, 2002


Ah, f***! 9/11 is a sensitive topic for everyone. May as well let the posts fly on the anniversary -- at least that would be an accurate representation of the thoughts and feelings of the "MeFi community."

For the record, my original comments could have been construed as being as baiting as Evanizer's. Sorry for the abrasiveness.

*clip clop* "Happy trails to you..." etc
posted by Shane at 8:46 AM on September 4, 2002


means anything shane, bravo on the apology to evans and for keeping a sense of humor '*clip clop* "Happy trails to you..." etc'

posted by clavdivs at 12:52 PM on September 4, 2002


Not sure if anyone's reading this -- maybe it's dead?

But my former anger has turned to serious concern. Is this a precursor of things to come? We all need to tone orselves down a bit in the following week. Restraint. Hell, valium?

As gottabefunky says in the thread, "One week and counting."
posted by Shane at 1:08 PM on September 4, 2002


I am interested in asking the MeFi community if they plan to write about 9/11 on their blogs (and if so, how: news-oriented, personal reflection, etc.).

I am writing a post for my blog and I would like to link to other bloggers who are doing the same that day.

Would it be kosher to ask people what they are doing? I know there's a nix on posting personal URLs. But I would like to know who and where to look.

If you want to keep that rule in effect, I can just look up their profile to get it. But I think it would be nice to make it easier for everyone.

posted by Taken Outtacontext at 5:31 AM on September 5, 2002


Taken Outtacontext, I would start a new thread in MetaTalk to ask your question. Once a thread like this is a few days old, no one seems to look at it. Don't be shy.

Starting a MetaFilter thread on the 9/11 weblog subject might be problematic, unless you can come up with a good link and a unique fresh approach (and also contend with a potential plethora of 9/11 posts next week.) Generally, personal URLs seem to be acceptible within comment threads on MeFi when there's a good reason. You could start just a MetaTalk thread about 9/11 weblogs, but it would not reach as many people (but would get you some results.)

Good luck!
posted by Shane at 6:43 AM on September 5, 2002


Thanks for your suggestions Shane. A good link would be a way to begin on MeFi. Now I need to find someone whose written on bloggers' "coverage" of 9/11 and 9/11 +1...


posted by Taken Outtacontext at 7:08 AM on September 5, 2002


I was originally going to do nothing, but for the sake of people asking me I'm probably going to write one big post for my own blog about my thoughts on 9/11, post it at midnight on the 10th, and then go find other stuff to do for the rest of the day. I think it makes a good blend of acknowledging it happened and expressing yourself about it with a refusal to spend the rest of the day talking about it instead of getting on with our lives.

I doubt on 9/11 any news sites are actually going to post FPP-worthy news about the events, CNN's not going to announce on Wednesday anything horrible about the country or the president. The only thing people will want to post about on 9/11 are their thoughts and feelings. That said, Matt should just make a link to Metatalk for anyone without a blog, and a thread for people to maybe link to their own long posts, which I'm sure I wouldn't be alone that day in making.

posted by XQUZYPHYR at 9:02 AM on September 5, 2002


a thread for people to maybe link to their own long posts

Good idea. Suggest it to Matt?
posted by Shane at 11:27 AM on September 5, 2002


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