Is "please no name calling" a big ask? June 3, 2024 9:31 AM   Subscribe

I'm bringing this up in regards to this comment, amongst many others. Is there a reason we can't just call Trump Trump? Is there a reason that we need to come up with some nickname like Lemon Husk for Elon Musk? Even TFG is confusing as some think it means "That Fucking Guy" when originally it was a quote from Biden about "That Former Guy" (which is still relatively demeaning). I think our community is better than silly name calling. I also think our community is getting so much better at accessibility that they would understand how, for some of us, jumbling letters in names just breaks or ability to interact with the content one posts.

Original post for context as it started a big derail:

Are 5% of the Drumpf voters now going to simply stay home or not vote for a Presidential candidate?

Can we please not do this? His last name is Trump. I don't care what his grandfather's last name was. A person's preferred representation of their own name is the definitive word on what their name is.

I mean, is the joke supposed to be that "Drumpf" is more "ethnic"? Or that it looks funny to American eyes? Because lots and lots of totally normal people had grandparents with "ethnic" names that got Americanized, either by their own choice or forcibly by immigration officials, and they're a lot more likely to see this than Trump is.

Or is the joke supposed to be that his family's name change makes him a liar somehow? It's not misleading or funny to change your name. Lots of people do it every day for lots of perfectly good reasons, and those folks are also a lot more likely to see this than Trump is.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd to Etiquette/Policy at 9:31 AM (289 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

I find all the resistance lib era names for Trump kind of dumb and silly, but In general if there isn’t an actual reason to require other users to post a particular way there shouldn’t really be a rule about it.
posted by Artw at 9:53 AM on June 3 [51 favorites]


The joke is supposed to be that the guy who calls immigrants and their families human garbage is himself descended from immigrants. Recalling his family's original name is a quick way to make that point in a single word. It's supposed to expose hypocrisy.

It's a weak joke, but it is not at all complicated or hard to understand..

The intent not only isn't to shame immigrants, it is to recognize that unless you're Native American, you are 100% either an immigrant or the descendant of immigrants. The butt of the joke isn't immigrants, it's a man so blinkered he hates immigrants, despite being descended from them.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:53 AM on June 3 [21 favorites]


And to add on to Artw, I'm also not a fan of the Drumpf joke because it comes from a tired Resistance Dems mindset that supposes that once hypocrisy is exposed, villains will melt like the Wicked Witch after Dorothy douses her with a bucket of water. They don't. The far right doesn't do shame. They don't give a shit about hypocrisy. It means nothing to them in general. And in this specific case, they are more than comfortable with the idea that since their family made it over just fine a while ago, it's a perfectly good time now to slam the door on immigration.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:54 AM on June 3 [41 favorites]


It's so cringey and childish.
posted by Klipspringer at 9:55 AM on June 3 [26 favorites]


I support calling everyone by their preferred name, not a nickname unless that nick is their preferred name such as "Jack" for John F. Kennedy.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:56 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


That includes not calling Biden "Brandon"
posted by JohnnyGunn at 9:57 AM on June 3 [5 favorites]


So yes: tired joke. But the mental gymnastics required to present it as some kind of attempt to shame immigrants or dishonor the wishes of people who change their name are... substantial. We could find something better to put that much effort into than assuming that kind of bad faith.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:58 AM on June 3 [34 favorites]


Well the important thing is we've still found ways to scold each other over dumb shit instead of focusing on the actual problems. Never change.
posted by phunniemee at 10:01 AM on June 3 [109 favorites]


Back in the olden days, I had to stop reading a political blog because the writer was constantly using terms like "The Repugnicans" and "DemoRats" or whatever, it just became very hard to read, in the service of...what? It wasn't funny, even though it kind of read like a joke. This kind of writing means to express disrespect and disagreement in a shorthand way, but y'know, that's usually already baked into the comment. "Oh, you, a 2024 reader of Metafilter, don't have respect for Trump? Informative!" It doesn't even serve as a social cohesion in-joke because--as people have brought up--it's off-putting. I don't think that's the same as offensive--but certainly a habit one could think twice about.
posted by mittens at 10:01 AM on June 3 [20 favorites]


I wish it didn't bug you so much, but I don't think there's a way to enforce this without a lot more trouble than it's worth. I support your right to make this request, and maybe you'll convince some people. But I don't think using the wrong name breaks any rules.

I think some people try to be funny, and other times it's just avoiding that complete loser's name. I suspect using "Drumpf" is because it would piss him off (granted he will never see it here, but it may give a mild satisfaction). I prefer not to use his name myself.
posted by Glinn at 10:02 AM on June 3 [8 favorites]


Speaking the person whose comment is being quoted in the OP:

Yeah, i don't care about cringey and childish. I mean, i do, but not enough to complain about it. I don't care if you make up stupid rhyming names like "Felon Husk"; that's pretty obviously not the guy's real name. I don't care if you call Trump "Cheeto in Chief" or whatever. Again, pretty obviously not a real name.

(And by all means, you can call Trump (and Musk, for that matter) racist criminal hypocrites all goddamn day long! I have zero issues with pointing out hypocrisy—although fascists revel in hypocrisy so, y'know, i have some doubts about the utility of it at this time.)

My problem with "Drumpf" is that "ha ha this name [someone else gave you|your family used] once upon a time is your true name forever and ever" is, in my eyes, fairly directly analogous to deadnaming. The only authority on someone's real name is the person themself.

Names are important! I actually love my first name but strangers are constantly seemingly incapable of spelling or pronouncing it correctly, and it's a tiny tedious drumbeat of feeling belittled and invalidated. And i'm white and (more or less) cis; it's definitely way worse for people who are not!

I'm not asking people to have any goddamn compassion or respect for Trump; he deserves neither. I am asking people to be aware, on a site that is theoretically very aware of collateral damage and microaggressions, of who else you might be hurting.
posted by adrienneleigh at 10:06 AM on June 3 [16 favorites]


I pretty much agree with artw. I find this practice annoying and sometimes confusing, but don't see much benefit in policing it.
posted by Wretch729 at 10:07 AM on June 3 [8 favorites]


I think the accessibility issue is valid and important.

but honestly, beyond that, yes its childish and petty but so many people are so exhausted with fear and rage after the last several years. I'm definitely way pettier than I used to be and I just don't care. not to say I don't care about offending others but I don't care that my own personality has been degraded by hate. sometimes those petty little insults just make one feel better.
posted by supermedusa at 10:08 AM on June 3 [3 favorites]


I mean, i wasn't "policing" it in the original thread, nor would i ever. ACAB. I was, i thought, making a polite request in good faith.
posted by adrienneleigh at 10:08 AM on June 3 [5 favorites]


Hi. I'm an immigrant and I changed my name in the US.

This is not an offensive joke. It isn't close to being one. Please do not make immigrants pawns in a quest to be offended.

Thank you.
posted by Comrade Doll at 10:08 AM on June 3 [61 favorites]


I guess in general, I don't have an issue with name calling -- I don't do it myself nor do I personally care for it much, but it helps lots of folks blow off some steam. I do, however, have an issue with Drumpf. I get that the joke is that his family members were immigrants to the US not long ago and using his original family name draws attention to the hypocrisy of his own statements and policies. However, using a pre-Americanized family surname as the punchline of a joke has always bothered me. As others have mentioned, it seems more likely to be seen by someone who has been pressured to Americanize their name than by anyone in the prior president's circle.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:12 AM on June 3 [5 favorites]


As a 2nd gen American whose family anglicized so the kids wouldn't get made fun of in school - this ain't it.

Please do not make immigrants pawns in a quest to be offended.


Exactly.
posted by cmyk at 10:24 AM on June 3 [15 favorites]


Some people have taken to calling JK Rowling Joanne because 1) she hates it, apparently, and 2) she's a repugnant transphobe and massively platformed spreader of hate who ironically doesn't respect trans folks' chosen names and pronouns. There's a lot of overlap there with why people say Drumpf.

Is it cringey? Pointless? Annoying to read? Probably.

Is the strong preference just to not refer to these people at all? Probably.

But here they are being extremely in the public sphere and inescapable, regardless.


I'd wager to guess there are a lot fewer trans folks who are harmed when someone calls JK Joanne than who are harmed when she opens her twitter, and I think there are a lot fewer immigrants harmed by hearing Drumpf than by the impact of the man himself. Just because you think a few people here online are being naughty doesn't mean there's any kind of moral equivalence of doing harm. Save your hand wringing and ire for the people who deserve it. It just makes people tired and exhausted, and dilutes focus from who the real enemy is.
posted by phunniemee at 10:25 AM on June 3 [31 favorites]


It’s definitely cringe, it also feels like the kind of cringe that’s the bedrock of any large internet community. If we aren’t just looking at the cream of the finest jokes and memes in any place, there’s gonna be a lot of embarrassing and immature and silly stuff, that’s just the way.
posted by Going To Maine at 10:30 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


This may be a cringe joke, but it is essentially the most punching up a joke can be. We don't need to limit jokes at the expense of incredibly powerful people.
posted by ssg at 10:35 AM on June 3 [22 favorites]


in my eyes, fairly directly analogous to deadnaming.

it absolutely is the fuck not. that’s a WILD leap to make.
posted by knock my sock and i'll clean your clock at 10:38 AM on June 3 [60 favorites]


Hi! My comment kicked this off. I’ll cut to the chase - I’ll refrain from this in the future as I hate it when people say “the Democrat Party” when they know full well that’s incorrect.

I just really hate the former president.
posted by Farce_First at 10:38 AM on June 3 [26 favorites]


I think the accessibility issue is valid and important.

I've been thinking about that for a long time and it just coincided with the derail in the Trump thread. I should have more clearly stated that was much more the impetus for creating this post. Reading "Drumpf", for me, is just a bit eye-rolly. I didn't see it as trying to be an joke offensive to immigrants. I don't think adrienneleigh felt that way either, but of course I'm not going to speak for them.

What I should have maybe focused more on was when the names dilute the content of the poster. Like my example of "Lemon Husk" for Elon Musk. I could probably figure that out pretty quickly. But, there have been others where it takes a minute to figure out what the heck and/or who the heck the commenter is talking about. I don't have a specific example in front of me, but I read at least one comment where his name was changed to Elmo. Which would have been probably pretty easy to figure too except it was in a post where Elon was very tangentially connected.

The silly names can really make it hard, for me, to be able to parse a thread. I would be surprised if I am the only one.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 10:38 AM on June 3 [5 favorites]


I am asking people to be aware, on a site that is theoretically very aware of collateral damage and microaggressions, of who else you might be hurting.

more sensibly: i think you should leave the people you think might be hurt out of it, quite frankly. let us decide whether or not we’re hurt. donald trump does not have a deadname and i’m deeply, deeply offended, especially as you claim to be very aware of collateral damage.
posted by knock my sock and i'll clean your clock at 10:42 AM on June 3 [13 favorites]


As a trans person who has changed her name: using "Drumpf" for Trump and "Joanne" for JK Rowling makes it damn clear that respect for chosen names and identities is apparently dependent on staying in someone's good books. That's not a great look.
posted by Dysk at 10:43 AM on June 3 [26 favorites]


Big fan of deadnaming “Twitter” until Elon either gets booted or starts treating his daughter with some basic fucking respect. It’s both poetic and richly deserved (and it’s not, like, a person’s identity). Outside of that I agree with the spirit of the complaint here, I just don’t think the juice is worth the squeeze.
posted by Ryvar at 11:05 AM on June 3 [6 favorites]


cringy and childish are not the same as offensive or prejudiced.
posted by bq at 11:08 AM on June 3 [9 favorites]


Didn’t read Dysk’s comment before I hit post. Hmmm. *shrug* well, I’m open to changing my view if you think it’s really wrong. I have a couple trans programmer friends who use that construction constantly as a deliberate retaliatory microaggression and seem to dig it when I follow suit (despite my being cis). If you say it bothers you I can definitely keep it off Metafilter, at least.
posted by Ryvar at 11:10 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


It does seem a distinction that the intent of deadnaming is to try to slur & shame people for being trans, whereas the intent of "Drumpf" is to try to discourage the slurring and shaming of immigrants.

The power dynamics and intent are exactly the opposite.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:17 AM on June 3 [5 favorites]


the intent of "Drumpf" is to try to discourage the slurring and shaming of immigrants

By .. trying to shame him for being an immigrant? 🤔 Make it make sense. Also, you keep talking about intent when we are talking about effect.
posted by Klipspringer at 11:19 AM on June 3 [2 favorites]


I truly can't decide what is more pathetically cringey and lame: calling him "Drumpf", or people asking not to call him Drumpf as it is engaging in "name calling".
posted by windbox at 11:25 AM on June 3 [15 favorites]


I lump all the various Trump nicknames in with stuff like 'Grauniad' and 'sportsball': that dead horse has long been pulverized to a fine mush. People can do better but if they don't want to, whatever.
posted by Diskeater at 11:28 AM on June 3 [22 favorites]


by trying to shame him for being an immigrant?

Do you consider someone mentioning that another person is an immigrant to be a horrible insult?

I do not.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:30 AM on June 3


On the deadnaming thing, maybe the intent is a difference without a distinction. I do not know, as I cannot speak for trans people.

I do have an immigrant wife, who changed her name, who I dragged into this thread above. I'll not likely be able to drag her in for a second comment, but I can tell you she thinks the idea that this is offensive to immigrants is "just about the stupidest fucking thing I've heard all week."
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:36 AM on June 3 [11 favorites]


I think this is too big an ask. MetaFilter is a discussion forum, not a technical manual or peer-reviewed journal or professional community of practice. Many MeFites have been harmed to one extent or another by policies proposed or enacted by the most common targets of the silly names. Let them have their silly names, if that's some comfort while bad things are happening in the world.
posted by cupcakeninja at 11:38 AM on June 3 [10 favorites]


Also, as always, I think it would be helpful to have a list available to site members of requested features and culture changes. This might, perhaps, help us think about what else has been asked of staff or the community and is currently in process. I realize that this would, itself, take time to maintain, and thus I have not formally requested it (or re-upped an old request for same).
posted by cupcakeninja at 11:41 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Big fan of deadnaming “Twitter” until Elon either gets booted or starts treating his daughter with some basic fucking respect. It’s both poetic and richly deserved (and it’s not, like, a person’s identity).

It being something that isn't a person does indeed make it rather different. It's a corporate appellation, not a name in the same sense.
posted by Dysk at 11:43 AM on June 3 [8 favorites]


(I'm also less bothered by name-calling in general - though I do often find it tiresome - than I am by the impulse to dig out someone's discarded name to score points just because you don't like someone. Like "I'm not a bigot" should never be followed by "...but" "use people's preferred names" shouldn't be followed by "...unless". No respect for Trump, but respect for names.)
posted by Dysk at 11:46 AM on June 3 [12 favorites]


Like Trump, I have a grandfather who changed his last name when he immigrated, and like Trump's grandfather, my grandfather had a name that a certain type of people find hilarious. If you used my grandfather's former name for me, I would just react with a puzzled look -- simply, it's not my name.

I'm not offended by the use of "Drumpf," but it's as funny and cutting as writing "Micro$oft;" that is, not at all.
posted by The corpse in the library at 11:49 AM on June 3 [7 favorites]


I concur with Dysk. Having principles ("call people by their right name") means having them all the time, even if you have to make sacrifices, like giving up an insult you like to say.

As DirtyOldTown observes, the right doesn't give a shit about their own hypocrisy. Do we give a shit about ours?
posted by 4th number at 11:51 AM on June 3 [7 favorites]


It feels like a big reach to look for a single rule on naming that covers both the hateful destructiveness of deadnaming and the barely registers as dirt on the shoulder mentioning of someone's ancestor's last name.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:53 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


the right doesn't give a shit about their own hypocrisy. Do we give a shit about ours?

I do not.
posted by phunniemee at 11:56 AM on June 3 [7 favorites]


It feels like a big reach to look for a single rule on naming

"Call people by their preferred names, unless you have a good reason not to. Making jokes is not a good reason."
posted by box at 12:00 PM on June 3 [5 favorites]


apparently it is in fact a big ask.
posted by sagc at 12:01 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I feel like we're trying to hitch a lot of wagons together here.

One thing at a time then: is anyone here an immigrant or a descendant of immigrants who was offended by this? Because on a fundamental level, this all began with the idea that this was disresepctful to immigrants and we had to protect Donald Trump to protect immigrants.

This assumes that a) Donald Trump would be in any way harmed and b) that immigrants were in fact offended.

Were they? Anyone at all?
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:02 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I* don't know about any of the rest of you, but my tombstone is probably already doomed to read Banned For Being Cringe, despite the fact that I don't think I've ever made that particular Trump joke.


*The German immigrant side of my family tree (also the Appalachian side of my family tree) Americanized their surname so it wouldn't rhyme with outhouse. A fact most of us find hilarious.
posted by thivaia at 12:21 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]


"Drumpf" is clearly an insult, right? It's exclusively derogatory in use. It's also clearly referencing Trump's family's ethnicity and immigration history-- indirectly, but not that indirectly.

As many people have observed, it's not that great a joke. Not very cutting, not very clever, not harming Donald Trump at all. Given that, why would the "Drumpf" joke be worth visibly and vocally abandoning a perfectly good prohibition on insults based on someone's family's ethnicity and immigration history?

This is the same principle that makes it bad to mock Trump's body shape. It harms him not at all, it's not usually a funny joke, and the only people who hear it are people who agree with you about Trump already, some of whom are now thinking, "ah, this group's prohibition on body shaming is conditional."

And yeah, all of our conversational norms are conditional to one extent or another, but if we generally like those norms e.g. "no ethnic insults" and "no body shaming," that means putting in a little effort to keep 'em around. Those norms are for us! Please don't damage them for a tired and ineffective political jab.
posted by 4th number at 12:23 PM on June 3 [17 favorites]


To my surprise, I find myself spending more time on Hacker News than MetaFilter.

I like their guidelines (that are not rules), for example this on commenting:

Be kind. Don't be snarky. Converse curiously; don't cross-examine...

Maybe no name calling is too big to ask for but I prefer it.
posted by aworks at 12:31 PM on June 3 [6 favorites]


I've never tried putting any of this in writing before, so this may be a bit scattered:

At the risk of some vulnerability, "Drumpf" as a punchline bothers me personally because of the intentional cultural erasure in my own immigrant family. I don't believe my great grandparents changed their name when they moved to the US, bringing along my grandmother and her siblings. But my branch of the family hyper-assimilated, probably due to my grandmother marrying an outspoken white supremacist (himself a Native American whose own cultural erasure was handled in childhood by the boarding school system). While my branch of the family was forbidden from speaking anything other than English, my cousins grew up bilingual, steeped in our family's historical culture, making trips back to the old country to visit extended relatives I've never met. I tried connecting with my extended family's culture as a younger adult to find myself most definitely an outsider. There is a loss, a disconnectedness, that is hard to define, much less talk about, and using "Drumpf" as a punchline needles at that -- in an unintentional way, it feels like that loss is part of the punchline.

So, I guess that makes me a 3rd (3.5th?) generation immigrant who is bothered by this. Less offended than saddened. And this is my own, very personal reason, shared only to confirm that there are people who are personally bothered by this.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:35 PM on June 3 [13 favorites]


by trying to shame him for being an immigrant?

People keep referencing this and it confuses me. In the case of convicted felon Donald Trump it is very clearly about shaming him *for making statements denigrating immigrants*.

Effect is definitely more important than intent, so maybe if we can just put down the entire derail about people's intent being suspect we can get on with talking about it.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 12:54 PM on June 3 [6 favorites]


Thanks to 4th number for the point about body shaming Trump. Yes, he does it to other people. Yes, you’ll find large people who laugh along (I was one of them, I’d say, before being chastened out of it by someone who saw something I didn’t). No, those things don’t invalidate the feelings of people who do feel hurt by the practice.

Not sure on where I land re: rule vs advice, but I’d put it somewhere in there. We are at our best when we use these MetaTalks to understand each other and we use what we learn in good faith efforts to hurt each other less. If a couple people read this and say, huh, ok, I did not see the issue that way but I’ll be more careful next time — that’s a win, in the long run.
posted by eirias at 12:58 PM on June 3 [14 favorites]


I'll be honest, as a Jewish person it unpleasantly reminds me of all the times people reference a Jewish entertainer's original name, like when I've seen people write "Jon Stewart (aka Jon Leibowitz)", and a trans user it reminds me of deadnaming.

I don't think that's what people are using it for though, I don't think those things being evoked are intended. I think it's an allistic signal of shared social identity, a littl signpost that says "I hate this guy too, and we're all in on the joke."

And if that's how it's being used, well intent doesn't mitigate harm, but maybe there are other terms that don't create unpleasant associations in marginalized groups of people.
posted by Chrysopoeia at 1:14 PM on June 3 [12 favorites]


The name calling seems like garden-variety in-grouping, where the nickname is a code and understanding that makes you part of the in-group. We do it a lot on Metafilter, it’s one of those community reinforcement things that every group does. It’s an in-joke, which helps define this community that we all share.
This one is kind of ick because it can theoretically be confused with anti immigrant sentiment or deadnaming, which it clearly* is not. But that’s not to say that we won’t attack ourselves over it.
If the target were anyone else I’d care but it’s That Fucking Guy so I don’t.
I’m sticking with “TFG” because the immigrant angle is a weird one, not John Oliver’s best joke. It doesn’t stand the test of time. But TFG! Solid.
*well it’s clear to me, anyway.
posted by Vatnesine at 1:15 PM on June 3 [6 favorites]


Another thing that confuses me is how the following two sets of people...
  1. Ones who believe that referring to someone by other than their chosen name is deeply offensive
  2. People who are trying to be deeply offensive to someone by specifically not using their chosen name
... are in anything other than violent agreement.

Personally I find continuous use of the nicknames to be a bit tedious, but I do think it is a big ask to get people to abandon them.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 1:15 PM on June 3 [3 favorites]


I think it would be useful if some of the pro-names-like-Drumpf/45/Cheeto/whatever folks had something to say here, if they felt like it. Lots of feels here about The Unclean Who Say Cheeto, some of it way over the top.
posted by cupcakeninja at 1:18 PM on June 3


I am asking people to be aware, on a site that is theoretically very aware of collateral damage and microaggressions, of who else you might be hurting

Respectfully, I am an immigrant in the US. This joke may be tired but it isn't hurting me. It doesn't seem to hurting other immigrants here.

To the extent people seem to have to explain the joke, it does bring attention to the fact that the Trump family is made up of immigrants. This is an important fact for the public to know, especially when the man is behaving as a rabid racist — which does hurt innocent people.

If you have examples of immigrants who have suffered harm when someone calls Trump Drumpf, I'd honestly be curious to hear about it.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 1:22 PM on June 3 [3 favorites]


Can I ask just a clarifying thing? Is this MeTa really about "Drumpf" or is it about name calling more generally? I read the MeTa as name-calling overall but it seems like we're talking mostly about using sardonic nicknames that are not people's preferred names, rather than name calling overall.

I ask in part because there's an underlying set of discourse principles related to the "Drumpf" thing here, not quite consensus principles, but still, the conversation is orbiting around a common understanding of what's objectionable for some to the "Drumpf" thing. Feels like that could go toward a common agreed upon practice that respects what some users are asking for.

But if the bigger grounding here is we want to end the practice of people dropping into MeFi and calling Donald Trump Fuckhair McShitbird or whatever, I think that just ad hominem name-calling of horrible people is a somewhat treasured form of punching-up for a lot of people, and to me is harmless as long it's not reflecting prejudice (age prejudice, fat-shaming, racism, whatever else), and also having mods police that kind of expression could be actually quite resource-intensive.
posted by kensington314 at 1:32 PM on June 3 [11 favorites]


(I also personally would like to continue calling Donald Trump things like "FuckHair McShitBird" here.)
posted by kensington314 at 1:35 PM on June 3 [15 favorites]


I really think I am at a loss because I read that joke as clearly saying, "Hey don't be a dick; your family also immigrated" and I have trouble seeing it as "You are also a disgusting unwashed child of immigrants and that is revolting and worthy of mockery." I do not know what would motivate someone to assume the level of bad faith represented by lane two, let alone to actually feel that way.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 1:48 PM on June 3 [18 favorites]


The Drumpf joke was stupid when Oliver made it. No moral judgment, it was just a lame joke. It's the "let's go Brandon" of liberals.

The use of "Drumpf" as a derogative for Trump does upset a lot of people on a lot of axes, from people seeing it as anti-immigrant, or evoking other incidences of cultural erasure. And of course, it is a kind of deadnaming.

I don't care about civility to Trump. I do care about other members of this community. Insulting Trump for being a fascist, a fraud, a felon, and domestic abuser, a rapist, or any of the hundred other reprehensible things about the man seems more than sufficient. When you go after things like his weight, his health issues, or his name, you're doing nothing to him, but you are making everyone hearing you who shares those problems feel worse.

I don't think it is worth it.
posted by The Manwich Horror at 1:57 PM on June 3 [15 favorites]


that f***** can say he can shoot somebody on the streets of Manhattan and get away with it but let's not call him by his grandfather's given name. the worst I've ever heard a TV commentator or news anchor refer to Trump as in just Trump not president Trump not Mr Trump just Trump and that's an insult.

Warren g Harrding. outwardly nice guy, poker player, like to drink, had girlfriends.

but I don't refer to him as "Gamaliel", and not to offend his or even my own Dutch heritage but as a reminder of the veneer of the smile that shades corruption.
A political circumstance blessed America and gave us Calvin Coolidge. Silent Cal.
what a great nickname.

more important to the question at hand, I think it's slightly pureile to refer to him as d r u m p f i think I ask myself what is the reasoning, ancestry, sound funny, is there a connotation to Dorf?

thing is we don't know a lot about his grandfather I assume I should not assume but why connote Trump to his grandfather.
I never use the Cheeto because I think it's a insult to a fine snack food.
if I have to, I just use Trump, for it solidifies the character and the actions of a greedy clown who I think is mildly dangerous to himself like the Vaadwaur.

god, I miss Sam Grant.
posted by clavdivs at 2:29 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


In light of "Drumpf" apparently being used to highlight Trump's immigration policy, I'm (genuinely) curious to know how it would pan out on the site if someone was repeatedly referring to the current president as "Genocide Joe" in threads not about Palestine. My guess is that the mods would shut that down as a derail, but I'm open to learning I'm incorrect.
posted by dusty potato at 3:32 PM on June 3 [2 favorites]


One important point: When Jon Oliver made the "Drumpf" joke he was directly hurting Trump's feelings. Oliver has a big reach and Trump obsessively follows what is said on TV.

Trump isn't in the room here so there's no point in doing that.

I do respect things like TFG just because I don't like to speak or type the man's name so sometimes I need a substitute.
posted by mmoncur at 3:38 PM on June 3 [7 favorites]


I never use the Cheeto because I think it's a insult to a fine snack food.

This made me gigglesnort. Live your life such that the world does not compare you unfavorably to stuff in a vending machine.
posted by eirias at 3:52 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]


I’m on the “childish and cringy at best and way mother confusing than funny” wagon. I don’t feel personally hurt (although I have feelings about being in a deeply assimilated immigrant family), but I can see how others are. I don’t think there should be “a law against it,” but we might resisted the urge harder.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:13 PM on June 3 [9 favorites]


god thank you so much for this post

the one thing that Rowling actually got right is that refusing to just call The Bad Man by his actual name gives him a power over you that you really shouldn't give him, plus also it's just super embarrassing to see nominal adults constantly resorting to such childish (and, let's face it, uncreative and hacky) nicknames

it's not even necessarily a civility thing, so much as it's a "you are no longer nine years old so have some self-respect and dignity and stop typing 'micro$oft' every single time" sort of thing
posted by DoctorFedora at 5:00 PM on June 3 [11 favorites]


One thing that might be coloring people's impression of "Drumpf" is that the original Last Week Tonight segment leaned pretty hard into "this name sounds like a Mad magazine sound effect amirite" rather than being an entirely high-minded commentary on immigration hypocrisy. I don't think most people who picked up using it through osmosis are using it in that spirit, but there's a reason Oliver dropped it soon after.
posted by Rhaomi at 5:11 PM on June 3 [2 favorites]


I'm tired of the Drumpf, TFG stuff as well. I loathe Donald Trump; but it does seem like it's just the kind of petty bullshit that distracts from whatever point you want to make.
posted by interogative mood at 5:16 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]


I think these "jokes" are silly and weak and I avoid them and roll my eyes when I see them used (I use "45" sometimes as shorthand but hard to see how referring to what number president he was constitutes an insult). I wouldn't mind if they ceased altogether.

This, though:

Having principles ("call people by their right name") means having them all the time, even if you have to make sacrifices, like giving up an insult you like to say.

You cannot seriously be arguing that all principles are absolute, applicable in all circumstances, and completely unabridgeable even if they should come into conflict with other principles. That is a (well-intentioned) eight-year-old's idea of principles.

This is particularly obvious in a case like this, where it's a question of a set of noises and/or symbols we use to refer to a person. They're arbitrary! The question is what underlying values our choices in that regard may express. Sometimes those values are very important (not deadnaming, especially by cis people), sometimes they're not (humoring LARPers), sometimes the ones they implicate come into conflict with other important values (addressing people who are appropriating marginalized identities). The difference in manners between an average person calling Rowling "Joanne" or Trump "Drumpf" and one of them deadnaming an average trans person may be little, but the difference in principles invoked is huge.

And occasionally, yes, I wonder about the priorities here, and the mindset that has to reverse-engineer hypothetical oppression out of finding things annoying and dumb. It's okay to think things are annoying and dumb, full stop. Truly!
posted by praemunire at 5:24 PM on June 3 [21 favorites]


I lump all the various Trump nicknames in with stuff like 'Grauniad' and 'sportsball': that dead horse has long been pulverized to a fine mush. People can do better but if they don't want to, whatever.

My thoughts exactly. I’m not offended by Drumpf, TFG, Orange Cheeto or whatever, it’s just embarrassing to read, the same way it is when someone thinks they are being hysterical by pronouncing Target “Tar-Zhey”.
posted by The Gooch at 5:25 PM on June 3 [6 favorites]


A microaggression towards somebody who isn't here to read it is still a microaggression. Personally I'd rather not have people be in the habit of deciding individually who deserves the respect of not having their name joked about, and who's fair game. That said …

In the mid 90s I worked with somebody who'd run his own "custom computer" company, meaning that he'd take somebody's hardware requirements and buy all the components and assemble a computer for them. He found out I had a Mac at home and took every opportunity to refer to it as "Macintrash Crapple." At some point it became clear that he did this not specifically to get a rise out of me, but because for a long time he had made a habit of doing it to try to get a rise out of, well, anybody. Despite his partisanship he also said "Winblows" a lot for seemingly the same reason, even though he took every opportunity to express its presumed superiority. I don't think he ever caught on that neither one was funny or effective, and in fact they were both just tiresome.

I think of that guy whenever people rely on stuff like "Drumpf."
posted by fedward at 5:26 PM on June 3 [12 favorites]


A microaggression towards Trump is a truly silly thing to get upset about. Folks who disagree should learn about the difference between punching up and punching down. Sorry.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 5:43 PM on June 3 [12 favorites]


I'd rather not have people be in the habit of deciding individually who deserves the respect of not having their name joked about

He's a convicted felon, adjudicated rapist, proven fraudster on the order of hundreds of millions of dollars, white supremacist, responsible for God knows how many deaths during COVID, a man who gleefully put babies in cages just because he could, the list goes on and on...

Now, I sometimes am saddened by Mefites who seem to think there are no floors of decency for how we discuss rich and successful people because they are rich and successful, but what in the name of God is the principle you're defending here that is so overriding that one could not simply refer to someone with Trump's record exclusively as "That Motherfucker" for the rest of his life with a clear conscience?
posted by praemunire at 6:00 PM on June 3 [22 favorites]


simply refer to someone with Trump's record exclusively as "That Motherfucker"

It is an open secret he and Melania haven’t had sex in years. Perhaps not since she got pregnant with Baron. Therefore I don’t think it is appropriate to refer to him as a motherfucker anymore.
posted by interogative mood at 6:14 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


TFG stands for "Thirty-four Felonies. Guilty". There. Just facts.

Also I will die on the hill of "tar-ZHEY" still being funny
posted by mmoncur at 6:24 PM on June 3 [2 favorites]


I'm going to need the moderation team to declare a clear judgement here because I've had multiple comments deleted saying that I'm deadnaming X as Twitter. Each deletion felt egregious to me and pissed me off a ton. And now in this thread the community is saying this is fine. So are the mods being overly strict with me for some reason? or what the fuck else is going on. Because I'm going to start taking notes about how the moderation team is treating me unfairly.
posted by hippybear at 6:30 PM on June 3


And what's quaint about having a complaint like this is... the mods have deleted any evidence that you might want to cite in support of your argument.
posted by hippybear at 6:32 PM on June 3


I'm going to need the moderation team to declare a clear judgement here because I've had multiple comments deleted saying that I'm deadnaming X as Twitter.

Not to start any kind of mod pileon (please no), but is it OK to point out that Altria is Philip Morris in a bad moustache? Because I definitely want us to be able to say that.

Ahem. I will assume that something I don't know would make this make more sense.

I'll cop to believing that standards for individuals and standards for corporations should not be the same. I doubt I'm far from the MeFi center of gravity there. But by that token, maybe this is a derail.
posted by eirias at 6:47 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Just add Drumpf to the big list of autofiltered no-no words if it's causing this much drama
posted by fluttering hellfire at 6:47 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


what in the name of God is the principle you're defending here that is so overriding that one could not simply refer to someone with Trump's record exclusively as "That Motherfucker" for the rest of his life

I'm guessing you're really asking this question rhetorically, but since you quoted my comment I'll answer anyway: I'm 100% fine with "that motherfucker." I'm just not comfortable with the idea we can pick people and say it's OK to make fun of their names, even though in the site's policies that's otherwise not OK. Making an exception to the policy because it's punching up seems like it's just making a loophole that other people might use as an excuse to punch down because they don't respect that difference.
posted by fedward at 6:55 PM on June 3 [3 favorites]




A microaggression towards somebody who isn't here to read it is still a microaggression.


I apologize for joking about Napoleon's height.
posted by thivaia at 7:03 PM on June 3 [6 favorites]


I'm guessing you're really asking this question rhetorically, but since you quoted my comment I'll answer anyway

No, it was a serious question; I was leaving open the possibility, though a small one, that you might persuade me on it. But it sounds like the principle is just "I want Mefi rules to be applied even-handedly", except I don't think there is actually a Mefi rule against making fun of someone's name? (Am I wrong about that?)
posted by praemunire at 7:07 PM on June 3


As a trans person who has changed her name: using "Drumpf" for Trump and "Joanne" for JK Rowling makes it damn clear that respect for chosen names and identities is apparently dependent on staying in someone's good books. That's not a great look.

we’re talking about incredibly public figures, one of whom uses a professional name, but does not use it solely as her name. if you genuinely do not see a difference between those people and you and the difference in how your name might be wielded as a form of violence against you, okay, but I find that difficult to believe. at the same time, not every trans person thinks of their former name as a “deadname,” which i’m sure you also know and respect, so the comparison doesn’t hold especially well there either. at minimum I would prefer we don’t use the choices of queer people, including me and you, to quarterback this either way.
posted by knock my sock and i'll clean your clock at 7:19 PM on June 3 [11 favorites]


Is "please no name calling" a big ask?

About Donald Trump, the guy who calls everyone names in press conferences, televised debates, from the Oval Office, and on a social media site that exists to primarily to promote the name-calling posts of Donald Trump?

The guy who called Jon Stewart by his birth surname and asked what he was hiding?

I'm OK with people giving Donald Trump as much respect about his name as he gives others theirs.
posted by zippy at 7:27 PM on June 3 [5 favorites]


hippybear by deadnaming are you referring to the practice of refusing to acknowledge a transperson’s change of name? That seems like a different issue.

With regard to the issue of Trump/Drumpf I don’t think the site needs a policy.
posted by interogative mood at 7:30 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I don't care if we allow Drumpf or any of the other nonsense. It's childish and I do roll my eyes and tend to ignore the rest of what the person who used it said because people using childish names like that tend not to be people worth listening to. But if they wanna do it whatever.
posted by downtohisturtles at 7:42 PM on June 3 [5 favorites]


except I don't think there is actually a Mefi rule against making fun of someone's name? (Am I wrong about that?)

I linked to it in my first comment, but here again is the community guidelines page about microaggressions. There are probably hairs to split about whether Metafilter's community guidelines are, in fact, rules, and I think people have beefs (some long standing) about where moderation has gone wrong, both on the "too much" and "not enough" fronts. I still think avoiding microaggressions is a good goal, although I admit that part of my discomfort in this specific case is more or less a slippery slope argument. This particular microaggression doesn't happen to me, and I won't presume to speak for anyone who has been personally hurt by it (here or elsewhere), but I think it's so easy not to rely on this kind of name-based mockery that the benefits of continued usage of, say, "Drumpf" just aren't worth it in the face of an agreed-upon community guideline. But if you want to call him Gold Toilet von Spray Tan (making fun of his behaviors, not his name), be my guest.
posted by fedward at 7:42 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I am referring to calling a website that now wants to be called X "Twitter".

That's all.

That's what mods are deleting my comments for.
posted by hippybear at 7:44 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I don't know why this is such a difficult concept for this website community to deal with but it seem to be a problem. I call what is now X "Twitter". And my comments get deleted.
posted by hippybear at 7:45 PM on June 3


And no, I can't point to any examples, because they've been deleted.
posted by hippybear at 7:46 PM on June 3


But because I used the phrase "deadname" when I did so, THAT seems to be what made the comment offensive.
posted by hippybear at 7:47 PM on June 3


You are obviously upset but I'm also going to suggest that you aren't, perhaps, the best judge of effective use of inflammatory language, and by my estimation there's probably a good reason your comments were deleted.
posted by phunniemee at 7:50 PM on June 3 [19 favorites]


Anyway the best insult for Donald Trump is "convicted felon Donald Trump," which is way more effective than Cheeto or Drumpf or anything else, and has the additional benefit of being factually true (except for how it's apparently not technically true until he's sentenced).
posted by fedward at 7:52 PM on June 3 [7 favorites]


Sure, you can use that as an example of how I think MetaFilter might be a better community if it were more self-reflective. If you disagree with that thought, then you are an exemplar of whatever you feel MetaFitler should be. I disagree, and think MetaFilter might be a more humane place that works better for its members than you seem to suggest might be required.
posted by hippybear at 7:52 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Microaggressions are seemingly-small slights, which happen to members of marginalized groups.

Thank you, fedward, somehow I missed that link. Nonetheless, the idea that Trump is being microaggressed against here is just...I'm sorry...it's absurd.

Someone like Dysk saying that using a different name for him reminds her too much of her own bad experiences and makes her uncomfortable is a way better argument for not doing it (I'm not sure it's quite to the level of being a rule with all the enforcement that implies, but surely Dysk's friends would see the point and avoid the behavior henceforth) than that we might be microaggressing against That Motherfucker.
posted by praemunire at 7:54 PM on June 3 [5 favorites]


I meant about your flippant use of the word genocide, which apparently is still obviously stupid to everyone but you.
posted by phunniemee at 7:54 PM on June 3 [18 favorites]


Wow, you've carried that with you for how many months?

That's astonishing as I haven't interacted with you at all here in MetaFilter that I can remember.

So you've got this grudge because I used a word in a way that you felt was inappropriate and you're bringing it back up now?

Fascinating.
posted by hippybear at 8:00 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


I'll tell you what. How about you don't engage with me or anything I post ever again. I have permission from the moderation team that I can request that and it will be enforced. So you just don't ever talk to me or see anything I post ever again. We have no way to block people here but the mod team has told me I can request this, so I'm requesting this of you, phunniemee. Edit me out of your MetaFilter experience. I don't need you in my feed anymore.
posted by hippybear at 8:10 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


it would be nice if posts were appropriately tagged with potus45 and/or USPolitics so the widget can do it's thing.

i've flagged the post in the OP and others to no avail?
posted by onya at 8:14 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]


we’re talking about incredibly public figures, one of whom uses a professional name, but does not use it solely as her name. if you genuinely do not see a difference between those people and you and the difference in how your name might be wielded as a form of violence against you, okay, but I find that difficult to believe.

I can see that there's a difference. I can also see similarities. I don't think being a public figure is enough to remove all rules, firstly. I also think that our norms are the ones we enact. I'm not Trump, and I'm not Rowling, but where exactly are we drawing the line? Is everyone drawing it in the 'right' place? What lessons are people - any and all readers - taking from the exchange? How awful do you have to be before you're 'fair game'? I've seen people justify deadnaming Jenner because she's an asshole, for example. Is the respect for someone like me, is the idea that I 'get' to be known by my chosen name, conditional? Or is it an absolute right?

I think it's the latter. Anyone who thinks it's cool to dig up discarded names of people they don't like, public figures or no, it's saying that that right is not absolute. Cross us enough and you lose it.
posted by Dysk at 8:44 PM on June 3 [5 favorites]


So yeah, fuck Trump (or "that fucking guy" or whatever) but not using people's former names as weapons to attack people with seems like a pretty good principle, and you're throwing a lot of people under the bus to make a really, really dumb 'joke'.
posted by Dysk at 8:45 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]


There's a disconnect in the above conversations that is bugging me, although I'm not quite sure I have the right words for it. Trump isn't a very strong example, since whether insults aimed at him are fat-based or hair-based or grandparent-name-based or drug-usage-based or whatever, they're all overshadowed by the overwhelming odiousness of the man himself. There isn't actually a worse name you could call him than his name.

But setting Trump aside momentarily, there is a very common dynamic that arises when someone with what would otherwise be considered an off-limits characteristic proves themselves to be an awful human being, and (some) people see that as carte blanche to go wild with all of their most offensive tropes. All of that bottled-up vitriol comes bubbling out at once. Even people who have a bit more control will still visibly go twice as hard on bad actors with marginalized identities as they will on others. Once you've seen this it's hard to unsee, and if you haven't seen it you aren't looking.

Calling this conduct a microaggression is quite accurate, in many cases even understated -- but lends itself to wilful misunderstandings, as in this thread, about who is actually being aggressed against. Maybe there's a better word?

I guess my point is that "pointing out the hypocrisy" seems more often to be used as an excuse for hypocrisy than anything else. If I say "I'm making this anti-[Y] joke to showcase the hypocrisy of anti-[Y] people who are really [Y] themselves, because being anti-[Y] is bad", I'm engaging in a mirror image of the same hypocrisy I'm denouncing and it really shouldn't come as a surprise that some listeners will miss the unstated premise that "of course I would never express these sentiments except to mock them". (But again this applies rather weakly in the Trump case due to the aforementioned overwhelming odiousness thereof -- the issue with him is more "what's the point"?)
posted by Not A Thing at 8:48 PM on June 3 [24 favorites]


as a second gen immigrant tranny who did repeatedly anglicize and americanize her old name (not a deadname, I do cherish it in anyway) before tossing it out and replacing it with an easy to read name in the two languages she cares about

please don't use immigrants or trans people your excuse in this liberal self-struggle session

trump and jkr are narcisssitic monsters who do not extend their conception of humanity to people like me and therefore i view them as little than the execrable matter that is in my first gnarly shit the week after i get my dick turned inside out.

maybe it's the lack of pain meds, maybe it's that i'm reading manhunt, but call them what you want because I'm preparing for a whole bunch of macro aggressions against me in the next few years that I don't have time for worrying about microaggressions against two public figures who will never end up suffering what they've wrought and will continue to inflict.

Your defense of trump and Jkr does not read to me as a defense of all of us, but of trying to find the moral high ground as the sludge rises. It doesn't feel like it protects me, it feels like the emptiness of target's pride collection 2024.
posted by i used to be someone else at 8:48 PM on June 3 [36 favorites]


The microaggressions aren't against Trump or Rowling. They're against the rest of us, who rely on the ideals and principles being discarded for a dumb joke.
posted by Dysk at 8:52 PM on June 3 [15 favorites]


(And I say ask this precisely because I very much have been in a similar situation - on a very base level - myself. A group of otherwise politically right on people who I fell out with, who then decided to consistently misname and misgender me, on account of my supposed transgressions. I have been in this story that you all are telling me is only ever about Trump or Rowling)
posted by Dysk at 8:54 PM on June 3 [13 favorites]


I do think calling them jowling kowling or drumpf is dumb as shit but I don't feel it as am attack on me because the people who make those jokes were always gonna be the flimsiest of allies in the first place anyway

they are the ones would will always find some reason to buy a moral carbon offset or stay silent a little too long.

these clutched pearls over trump and rowling (I am not extending this to other cases, this a very specific solution in my eyes) feels like overfitting the standards to human monstrosities who have crossed a moral event horizon
posted by i used to be someone else at 8:54 PM on June 3 [5 favorites]


Just reiterating, as the person who posted the comment that got turned (by someone else) into this MeTa:
  • i was not personally asking for any kind of ruling or ban or mod decree, because that's cop shit and i don't do cop shit (i don't even do it in spaces where i AM on the mod team, i am not doing it here);
  • i was definitely not asking for a ban on "name-calling", writ broadly, because in general i am 1000000% fine with calling a fuckhead a fuckhead, especially when said fuckhead is a billionaire--specific derogatory nicknames may strike me as cringey but let they who are without cringe cast the first stone;
  • my sole problem here is that people, even billionaires whom you hate and want to [redacted] (and please note that i personally feel this way about all billionaires), are the authority on their own names and i regard it as deeply unpleasant and cruel to decide that you get to choose whether or not to respect someone's own actual goddamn name. if you do this to someone who could conceivably fight back, i will never trust you not to do it to those of us who can't.
posted by adrienneleigh at 8:57 PM on June 3 [19 favorites]


I do think calling them jowling kowling or drumpf is dumb as shit but I don't feel it as am attack on me because the people who make those jokes were always gonna be the flimsiest of allies in the first place anyway

That is true. But I'm not here to make everyone an ally, I'm here to make the space livable for trans people (and everyone else) and the bigotry socially unacceptable. Making exceptions for Trump and Rowling erodes those norms, emboldens the people who are laughing at the name joke, not at the hypocrisy.
posted by Dysk at 8:57 PM on June 3 [12 favorites]


(also, i would just like to note that there is literally never going to be a situation where i discuss my own gender on MetaFilter, but there is in fact a reason why i consistently say that i am "more or less a cis person" rather than saying i am "a cis person". it might be useful to consider, when deciding whether to tell me which lane is mine.)
posted by adrienneleigh at 9:01 PM on June 3 [6 favorites]


(And like, living in the UK, the question of "how bad before we can ignore your chosen name and gender?" is a relevant one, what with that exact conversation being pushed by the Tories in the press of late and right now, in the form of "where do we put trans prisoners?" as if e.g. being guilty of a crime means you can't be a woman.

No. There is no line. A woman is a woman, regardless. People get to choose that. They get to choose their names. Being a criminal, even on the scale of Trump, does not exempt you. That right is absolute. Anything else is - in the political context I exist in - an argument for putting trans women criminals in men's prisons.)
posted by Dysk at 9:04 PM on June 3 [12 favorites]


That is true. But I'm not here to make everyone an ally, I'm here to make the space livable for trans people (and everyone else) and the bigotry socially unacceptable. Making exceptions for Trump and Rowling erodes those norms, emboldens the people who are laughing at the name joke, not at the hypocrisy.

It is nice that you see this as a possibility in this space.
posted by i used to be someone else at 9:13 PM on June 3 [1 favorite]


Tilting at windmills is good, actually.

But for real, you strive for the ideal even if you don't think you can reach it. We'll never get there, but stubborn arseholes like me (and lots of others, predominantly not arseholes, not least the many many ex-mefites I could name) being difficult, being a pain and demanding better is a part of how we got from where we were to where we are. It's not much, but it's something.
posted by Dysk at 9:17 PM on June 3 [8 favorites]


Since this is MetaTalk, (a place to discuss site policies and not just a chat) that seems to suggest we're not just talking about stuff, we're discussing site policies for example, what gets moderated.

Are we talking about "this should get moderated in x way" or are we just sharing our opinions generally?

Because that makes a difference, especially if the discussion is supposed to help rather than harm. So far, it seems to be harming, or encouraging people to lash out more than usual.
posted by Zumbador at 9:37 PM on June 3 [4 favorites]


Talking about language and social norms is a fine and valid use of the site IMO. It's okay to push back on something without needing it to be banned. Self-policing is good.
posted by Klipspringer at 12:18 AM on June 4 [8 favorites]


LORD DAMPNUT is an anagram of DONALD TRUMP.

Do with this what you will.
posted by She Vaped An Entire Sock! at 2:15 AM on June 4 [12 favorites]


the question of "how bad before we can ignore your chosen name and gender?" is a relevant one

as another trans person i have to agree, and i think this point might be getting muddled

so this is basically a question of what a person is demonstrating they're criticising. there are like a billion things trump can be criticised and mocked for. for example, belittling him for being an abusive bully. this makes it clear that other people, who are also abusive bullies, are therefore equally deserving of the same criticism and mockery.

by the same token, mocking him for his family name being different a couple generations back sends the message that someone changing their name is a valid thing to make fun of someone for. that he is also an awful person only confuses doing this; is he being mocked for being awful, or for the name change? or can he be mocked for any reason unrelated to his awfulness, by virtue of him being awful?

i do not support making it a rule on this site to refrain from super cringe #resist constructs such as melon husk or drumpf or whatever. i don't think that's really enforceable. i would only ask that folks bear this in mind when they're riffing: what, exactly, we're criticising and if we're being precise.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:24 AM on June 4 [15 favorites]


I think I don’t fully understand adrienneleigh’s point. What does it mean that we must “respect someone’s own actual name” if “namecalling in general” is not the issue?

Per the above comment, is calling him “Lord Dampnut” as problematic as calling him “Drumpf”? To me it is not. Similarly, calling him “Schtroumpf” would be okay with me. I mean, every name would get old by the fourth or fifth hearing, but I wouldn’t care or think it was particularly bad behavior. All of them are replacing his chosen name with something else, but only “Drumpf” has collateral damage. I’m not sure this is the same distinction adrienneleigh is making, though.

I think we are nowhere near unified enough on this for there to be a coherent mod policy — even people who agree that this is not on don’t agree on why, which would be necessary for setting any kind of hard boundary. But it can still be a useful MeTa.
posted by eirias at 3:25 AM on June 4


I’ve never thought that MeTa was only a place to discuss moderation policy. It’s also a place where we establish norms and develop consensus around expected behavior. There are a lot of issues that don’t call for mod intervention that members can think about and make an effort to do or not do or even stick to doing or not doing even though you know it makes people unhappy.

There was a MeTa ages ago where a user asked people to stop with the “in Soviet Russia, X verbs you!” because it made him feel bad. The practice didn’t stop entirely, but it became less frequent because people did the math that the joke wasn’t worth his distress.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:16 AM on June 4 [17 favorites]


I can't be arsed to care about calling a truly horrible person by his proper name and giving him respect when:

About Donald Trump, the guy who calls everyone names in press conferences, televised debates, from the Oval Office, and on a social media site that exists to primarily to promote the name-calling posts of Donald Trump?
The guy who called Jon Stewart by his birth surname and asked what he was hiding?
I'm OK with people giving Donald Trump as much respect about his name as he gives others theirs.

trump and jkr are narcisssitic monsters who do not extend their conception of humanity to people like me


I absolutely give no shits about using the D----- name or not, I'm not particularly into it, I get the point of the joke but it wasn't that hilarious. But the horrible person has done enough horrible things to earn a lot of what he does get called, like "convicted felon." And it's not like this horrible person is on MeFi to be insulted and hurt about it. He would give YOU no respect, and he'd call you by some dumb nickname himself, why should you give him any?

Frankly, if you're sick to death of the man and hearing his name every 15 seconds again, which god knows I am, I can get how it might help you feel slightly better to say anything that you know would cheese him off, if he ever saw it, which he won't. The examples of truly horrible people in this thread getting insulty nicknames is not something I can have my heart bleed about when they would not respect you worth a damn.
I'd rather not loop truly horrible bigoted people in with the name issues of people who are not truly horrible and bigoted.
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:40 AM on June 4 [3 favorites]


(God help us if Trump should ever build a submarine.)
posted by mittens at 6:18 AM on June 4 [11 favorites]


We have no way to block people here

Aren't there a couple browser add-ons that would let people do this? I know I had one I used and it was easy and worked as advertised (I don't any more because the person in question has since left the site).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:23 AM on June 4 [2 favorites]


I’ve never thought that MeTa was only a place to discuss moderation policy. It’s also a place where we establish norms and develop consensus around expected behavior.

I feel like when people leap directly to comparing something to deadnaming then they are in fact calling for a change in moderation policy.
posted by Artw at 6:37 AM on June 4 [2 favorites]


(God help us if Trump should ever build a submarine.)

In my head am humming a song by a popular former four piece combo, but the submarine is now orange.

According to one of my actuary friends there is a high chance (he quotes 85%+, with a long and somewhat disturbing justification) of mono-term Potus #45 passing away within the next 6 years. Which will result in an obituary thread. It will be interesting to see, perhaps like the Kissinger thread on steroids, how MeFites refer to him as they let off steam, celebrate, express relief and other intense emotions.
posted by Wordshore at 6:38 AM on June 4 [3 favorites]


Mod note: Please end the derail/attacks on a fellow community member.

Yes, MetaTalk is more loosely moderated, but that doesn't mean that an attack or pile on of a member is ok. Cease this behavior and refrain from doing it in the future.

Several comments have been removed.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 7:04 AM on June 4 [1 favorite]


Good morning, mods. Is this comment accurate or not?

Or if you don't want to comment on that specific situation because it would violate HIPAA, can users request that mods prevent other users from interacting with them in public?
posted by Diskeater at 7:20 AM on June 4 [9 favorites]


This is ridiculous. I'm out.
posted by schmod at 7:22 AM on June 4


Mod note: Several more comments removed. Please end the derail and return to the topic of the post. If folks want to start another MeTa, that's fine and a option.

Or if you don't want to comment on that specific situation because it would violate HIPAA, can users request that mods prevent other users from interacting with them in public?

As the newest mod, I'm not sure of that particular situation, so I've posted on the Mod's internal Slack asking for history and clarification. So it'll be a little while before there's any sort of response.
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 7:24 AM on June 4 [1 favorite]


In the meantime, you or another mod appear to have deleted multiple comments asking for clarification on hippybear's claims of special status. This is beyond weird.
posted by klaniaphage at 7:25 AM on June 4 [27 favorites]


You also deleted schmod's comment saying he buttoned. Classy.
posted by klaniaphage at 7:28 AM on June 4 [34 favorites]


We are all equal here on metafilter

Some of us are just more equal than others
posted by i used to be someone else at 7:28 AM on June 4 [16 favorites]


Can confirm what klaniaphage is saying. This is not the transparent and even-handed modding people are hoping for, and it's not even effective - the derail will continue until the original derailing comments are deleted, or responded to by the mods. Just saying "please shut up about this", without further comment or consequences for the original poster, is absolutely useless and makes the site less trustworthy. (This isn't the only place where the previous sentiment holds true, either - there are multiple mod comments from today, basically saying "We won't comment on [bad thing]; please stop calling out [bad thing]")

edited for formatting.
posted by sagc at 7:32 AM on June 4 [14 favorites]


like, was the intended outcome here "drive people off the site because of their accurate observations, then delete evidence that you drove them off the site"?
posted by sagc at 7:33 AM on June 4 [16 favorites]


In the interest in preventing further buttoning, I ask that this thread be closed.

1. Unless the mods are going to take a stand in the original issue, I think a lot of sides have been discussed, and we have a lot to think about.

2. The current derail really really needs its own MeTa.
posted by GenjiandProust at 7:34 AM on June 4 [5 favorites]


So you're just deleting all the comments about this, basically confirming that hippybear does indeed have special privileges?
posted by NoiselessPenguin at 7:34 AM on June 4 [24 favorites]


As the newest mod, I'm not sure of that particular situation, so I've posted on the Mod's internal Slack asking for history and clarification. So it'll be a little while before there's any sort of response

It is truly incredible that the answer to this isn't a flat out and immediate "of course not."

I've stayed out of all of the years of angst about moderation here because I generally think it's fine and I also don't expect metafilter to be the One Perfect Internet Community, but I'm finally going to weigh in on it and say y'all have lost the plot.
posted by phunniemee at 7:35 AM on June 4 [47 favorites]


to me, this is an argument about whether calling shit a turd or a dookie is somehow inappropriate.

I appreciate the finer points about how this issue may impact more vulnerable members, and frankly being part of MeFi has helped to lead me there. So the initial reaction (refer to this particular person, this noxious entity who represents so many of the worst qualities of a human) is to be impatient with those who admonish against the flippancy, those who prescribe a level of care when it comes to names. I bridle against it, but I can accept that maybe it's better that way.

it gives me pause to think, once again, how this person has consumed so much energy. the name they use for themselves, the name used in the media, it lives in our heads now. look at the energy we put into this single discussion. fuck that vampire
posted by elkevelvet at 7:36 AM on June 4 [7 favorites]


Is there any way that people on this site can just be normal about stuff?

If there's a pretty innocuous comment from someone saying they find a way of expression tiresome¹, and then a bit of validation from other people saying “yeah, people have used that to bully me in a bigoted² way”, then why are people doubling down about their ‘right’ to do this instead of thinking ‘huh, fair enough’?

Like, seriously, it's not a big deal, but people are escalating and making it like being told of a more considerate way to do something is a huge attack on their means of expression, and it gets into a huge fight.

If it feels like your freedom to express yourself is being excessively constrained by this request on a single site, maybe you need to hang out on more than just the one website.

¹I do, too
²in this case, transphobic, but this has definitely happened with fatphobia too
posted by ambrosen at 7:37 AM on June 4 [25 favorites]


Or, TL;DR on my previous comment, if people can't go and touch grass for themselves, it's probably helpful if the mods step in to remind them to.
posted by ambrosen at 7:43 AM on June 4 [1 favorite]


In the interest in preventing further buttoning, I ask that this thread be closed.

1. Unless the mods are going to take a stand in the original issue, I think a lot of sides have been discussed, and we have a lot to think about.

2. The current derail really really needs its own MeTa.


Just seconding GenjiandProust.

Outside of the derail, the original topic has been debated pretty exhaustively. Either folks are going to just stop with the name jokes on Trump or they won't. We've established general stakes in terms of who is concerned about the behavior, who it does not bother, and so on. Mods can decide either way if they want to enforce any updated applications of policy.

There's also a really great likelihood that given the overwhelming desire of a lot of people to be disrespectful to said convicted felon and the percentage of users who may not regularly watch MeTa, that a lot of them will continue to do so oblivious to this whole discussion.
posted by Atreides at 7:54 AM on June 4 [5 favorites]


It is truly incredible that the answer to this isn't a flat out and immediate "of course not."

Maybe a new membership benefit

"Here, I present my Special List of Fifty Two Disgruntled Persons with whom I have Serious and Profound Grievances. Please use your Vast and Benevolent Moderation Powers so they never Sully My Good Name or Interact with Me Ever Again."
posted by qi at 7:57 AM on June 4 [14 favorites]


I guess--despite this possibly being deleted--that if IT is an option, then it should be made available to all members.
posted by Kitteh at 8:07 AM on June 4 [2 favorites]


well i intend to submit a list of users who i want to be expressly invited to interact with my posts. not involuntarily; just a little note in memail, or maybe a browser push notification.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 8:14 AM on June 4 [7 favorites]


I’m going to point out, because I can’t stand this being constantly repeated, that calling Trump Drumpf is NOT mocking him for his grandparents name change or mocking him from being descended from immigrants. It is mocking him for being ashamed of being descended from immigrants and for shaming other immigrants. It’s certainly still valid to criticize that usage, but not on that basis.
posted by bq at 8:15 AM on June 4 [7 favorites]


If someone comes up with an *original* and funny euphemism it should be welcomed. Yep... all the Tim.

(Tim who?)

[what does this even mean]

{derail, Tim is a total derail}
posted by sammyo at 8:18 AM on June 4


Can we get info on the pricing of special privileges?
posted by snofoam at 8:32 AM on June 4 [15 favorites]


I request, in concurrence with GenjiandProust, that this thread be closed.

I request a clarification in a future Site Update on the official stance about the issues involved in the derail of this thread. Many MeTas go downhill at some point, but this one seems to have highlighted some potential policy and modding inequities that I think should be addressed. This seems important for the mods to discuss, but the resolution to that discussion would be valuable for the community to know.
posted by cupcakeninja at 8:32 AM on June 4 [15 favorites]


The 2017 MetaTalk on What to call the Trump? Options mentioned or discussed in that thread included:

45 or #45
Fuckface von Clownstick
SCROTUS
shitgibbon
Pissface Von Liar
Donald, or Donnie
failing US president Donald Trump
him
Fuckstick
Popular Vote Loser
Lord Dampnut
DJT
Toupee Fiasco
Twitler
President Agent Orange
President DTMF
toddler
Cheeto or Cheeto Benito
POTUS45
The Man in the High Chair
short-fingered vulgarian Donald Trump
der Gropenfuhrer
Short-fingered millionaire sex-criminal Donald Trump
Agent Orange
Mr Pop.
Our so-called president
Vulgar Yam
Asshole-in-Chief
Vulgarian-in-Chief

There was a wide range of pro-insulting name and pro-use his real name views in that thread. And there was an even bigger thread on the same topic just the month before - which also failed to reach any kind of conclusion.

This issue is, repeatedly, impossible to get anywhere near plausible consensus in the community.
posted by Wordshore at 8:40 AM on June 4 [10 favorites]


Would someone please memail me about whatever the hell happened in here this morning? i was asleep and missed it.
posted by adrienneleigh at 8:59 AM on June 4 [7 favorites]


Can we get info on the pricing of special privileges?

Just like yachts, if you have to ask you can't afford it.
posted by sammyo at 9:10 AM on June 4 [6 favorites]


There is some subtle messaging to using Drumpf, because it doesn't work as funny, or a joke, or even an insult. The message is meaningless to most, but not to Trump or older voters in his base, and exposes more than a century of American anti-German suspicion which appeared when WW1 arrived and many proud German-Americans didn't want to go to war with their Kaiser. This alarmed or annoyed the majority nationwide to a point where they went so far as to ban beer over it, according to Ken Burns' excellent documentary on Prohibition. Then comes Hitler, in part to redeem lost honor in the first world war. German-Americans were again under suspicion as to their loyalties, and it wasn't just paranoia, because ships were being sabotaged in American harbors as they loaded supplies for allies before the US declared war on Germany. It also explains how FDR passed over hundreds of top generals and selected Eisenhower to lead the attack on Germany, a signal to German-Americans to consider risking their sons as soldiers inside Germany. The German American Bund, a Nazi organization founded by Hitler, was going strong in America, and especially New York. It is likely that Fred Trump was involved, but his FBI files mysteriously disappeared during those years. These diehard Nazis were never defeated, but blended in as patriots hiding in plain sight until racism as a central political divider made them electable again.
posted by Brian B. at 9:22 AM on June 4 [15 favorites]


Here, I present my Special List of Fifty Two Disgruntled Persons with whom I have Serious and Profound Grievances.

We had the spousening, now it's time for the opposite.
posted by naju at 9:24 AM on June 4 [9 favorites]


very interesting, Brian B.

Thanks for sharing that.
posted by elkevelvet at 9:26 AM on June 4 [1 favorite]


How about you don't engage with me or anything I post ever again. I have permission from the moderation team that I can request that and it will be enforced.

Huh? Yeah, definitely needing confirmation from the Mod Slack about whether this is true, because I've never seen anything like it on the site before, and I've been here since 2001.
posted by mediareport at 9:34 AM on June 4 [22 favorites]


I hope we can get past the individuals involved and simply arrive at clarity from the mods about this stuff

personally, if someone in the MeFi environment is so obnoxious to another MeFite that they publicly want them erased from their MeFi experience, that just seems.. super shitty

doesn't everyone here have other MeFites they just don't really acknowledge? maybe I don't vibe with you, maybe I've said some egregious shit, and you see my name and gloss over. Is that so hard to do?

then again, community can mean deeply personal things to people. take care, all
posted by elkevelvet at 9:37 AM on June 4 [10 favorites]


MetaFilter: I have permission from the moderation team that I can request that and it will be enforced.
posted by Wordshore at 9:38 AM on June 4 [23 favorites]


This certainly seems to be the most notable thing coming out of this thread.
posted by Artw at 9:41 AM on June 4 [4 favorites]


Yeah, asking someone to not interact with you sounds like common courtesy between users who don't get along; stating that mods have discussed this with you and will enforce non-interaction is quite another thing, and I, too, have never heard of such on this site. I've also been here since 2001.
posted by tiny frying pan at 9:42 AM on June 4 [18 favorites]


Several more comments removed. Please end the derail and return to the topic of the post. If folks want to start another MeTa, that's fine and a option.

If anyone can confirm that they've submitted a separate MeTa, it might make a re-rail more possible.

(Since schmod buttoned in this thread though, I consider it a parenthetical, and not a further derail, to mention that I always really loved this post from them, as well as the personal hall of fame comment from prize bull octorok, "Actually, Heimlich was the name of the monster.")
posted by kensington314 at 9:42 AM on June 4 [9 favorites]


I mean, I get that sometimes someone can get so insistently obnoxious that the mods might tell them "do not interact with that user anymore." But I don't get that User A can, over a single comment from User B about the content of a previous post (User A: "I haven't interacted with you at all here in MetaFilter that I can remember") get the mods to restrict User B's presence in any other future thread from User A.

That's bonkers, and a major change here.
posted by mediareport at 9:43 AM on June 4 [5 favorites]


Back when I worked at Chowhound, we would occasionally enforce a 'do not respond to each other' rule, but it was never because one of the pair got snitty and asked for it, it was because both of them sniped at each other forever and ever and ever and we got sick and tired of dealing with their bullshit on a case-by-case basis and just told them both to leave each other alone at all times so that we could just flat out delete any replies between the two without regard to whether they were being too mean in any particular instance.
posted by jacquilynne at 9:45 AM on June 4 [5 favorites]


If anyone can confirm that they've submitted a separate MeTa, it might make a re-rail more possible.

I submitted a MeTa about the derail like 30-60 minutes ago.
posted by Diskeater at 9:48 AM on June 4 [9 favorites]


Thanks, Diskeater.

The deraily issues that seem to need addressing are:
  • whether it's true that users (in general or certain privileged users) can demand that another user does not engage with their posts / comments and the mods will enforce that request
  • whether comments are deleted for referring to 'X' as 'Twitter'
  • why Schmod's relatively mild buttoning comment was deleted
Any others?
posted by Busy Old Fool at 9:54 AM on June 4 [8 favorites]


stating that mods have discussed this with you and will enforce non-interaction is quite another thing, and I, too, have never heard of such on this site. I've also been here since 2001.

2002, same.
posted by paper scissors sock at 9:54 AM on June 4 [3 favorites]


It is mocking him for being ashamed of being descended from immigrants

This is something people seem to misunderstand about the right a lot, but I don't think Trump is "ashamed of being descended from immigrants" at all. They're just white supremacists. In this regard it's not, as is said, that deep.
posted by dusty potato at 9:54 AM on June 4 [11 favorites]


To slightly rerail, and not to request a rule for it at all, but on balance if the Drumpf thing requires that much explaining as to why it’s not iffy and vaguely racist… probably best not to use it.

This in no way constitutes endorsement of any of the wilder claims here.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on June 4 [6 favorites]


whether it's true that users (in general or certain privileged users) can demand that another user does not engage with their posts / comments and the mods will enforce that request

No. This is not a thing. Do people really think mods are going to track a user for this purpose?
(I am not a mod but I feel confident in this assertion.)

As for the specific loser guy name calling, it's going to happen because there isn't a good rule to make and enforce about it, but it's good that people had an opportunity to express their reasons for disliking it and the way it affects them, and perhaps we'll see less of it.
posted by Glinn at 10:15 AM on June 4 [2 favorites]


No. This is not a thing. Do people really think mods are going to track a user for this purpose?
(I am not a mod but I feel confident in this assertion.)


One person seems to think it's a thing.

The mod that has posted didn't exactly seem confident that it wasn't a thing either.
posted by Diskeater at 10:18 AM on June 4 [6 favorites]


If Hippybear's Comfort Level is secretly a major moderation concern it would certainly explain a few things.
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 10:24 AM on June 4 [52 favorites]


Once again, a transparent, automated, public log of mod edits and deletions (like this lobste.rs page) could do a lot to remove the mystery and ensuing drama when comments disappear from a thread.
posted by Klipspringer at 10:51 AM on June 4 [31 favorites]


I feel like when people leap directly to comparing something to deadnaming then they are in fact calling for a change in moderation policy.

Artw: and yet, i was not and am not calling for such a change! I simply wanted to express that i think it's gross.

-----

I think I don’t fully understand adrienneleigh’s point. What does it mean that we must “respect someone’s own actual name” if “namecalling in general” is not the issue?

Per the above comment, is calling him “Lord Dampnut” as problematic as calling him “Drumpf”? To me it is not. Similarly, calling him “Schtroumpf” would be okay with me. I mean, every name would get old by the fourth or fifth hearing, but I wouldn’t care or think it was particularly bad behavior. All of them are replacing his chosen name with something else, but only “Drumpf” has collateral damage. I’m not sure this is the same distinction adrienneleigh is making, though.


eirias: I can't speak for anyone else, but my original complaint is limited to "things that used to be people's names, or are namelike nicknames/variants on people's names that they do not in fact use." I do understand that this is not a 100% bright line! So by me, and in reference to TFG:
  • "Lord Dampnut" or "Cheeto" or "Fuckface von Clownstick" (or in fact any of the wilder things listed in Wordshore's comment) are fine, they are obviously epithets rather than renamings;
  • "Don the Con" is fine bc he's certainly used the nickname "Don" voluntarily;
  • "Schtroumpf" is maybe closer to the line because while it's 100% clear if you understand the reference to Smurfs, it also could be mistaken for a real last name that isn't his (but i personally have no real issue with it);
  • "Donnie" is demeaning and i'm pretty sure he hasn't voluntarily allowed it since he was a toddler, so i don't love it—because again, the principle that someone's name (including nicknames) is what they say it is;
  • "Drumpf" is especially not fine, because it is specifically a name that his family used to use back in the day which is not his name, and furthermore it is invoked explicitly to assert that his "real true family name" is something that is not actually his name.
-----

I'll be honest, as a Jewish person it unpleasantly reminds me of all the times people reference a Jewish entertainer's original name, like when I've seen people write "Jon Stewart (aka Jon Leibowitz)", and a trans user it reminds me of deadnaming.

and

If there's a pretty innocuous comment from someone saying they find a way of expression tiresome¹, and then a bit of validation from other people saying “yeah, people have used that to bully me in a bigoted² way”, then why are people doubling down about their ‘right’ to do this instead of thinking ‘huh, fair enough’?

thank you, Chrysopoeia and ambrosen, for amplifying and clarifying. Maybe folks will listen to you.
posted by adrienneleigh at 11:37 AM on June 4 [12 favorites]


Obviously I have zero insight to moderator decisions, but my impression was that the comment wasn't deleted for calling X "Twitter", but for making a joke about "deadnaming" the site.
posted by The Manwich Horror at 11:42 AM on June 4 [10 favorites]


Obviously I have zero insight to moderator decisions, but my impression was that the comment wasn't deleted for calling X "Twitter", but for making a joke about "deadnaming" the site.

That makes that comment make more sense, if that's what happened. Many extant uses of "Xitter" and "Shitter" and "Twitter" abound here, but the misappropriation of the concept of the deadname makes sense as a deletion.
posted by kensington314 at 11:45 AM on June 4 [7 favorites]


>> I feel like when people leap directly to comparing something to deadnaming then they are in fact calling for a change in moderation policy.

> and yet, i was not and am not calling for such a change! I simply wanted to express that i think it's gross.


Deadnaming somebody is one of the things that qualifies a post or comment for insta-deletion. When you say
My problem with "Drumpf" is that "ha ha this name [someone else gave you|your family used] once upon a time is your true name forever and ever" is, in my eyes, fairly directly analogous to deadnaming
you are saying that it is analogous to something that the community has determined should be insta-deleted as soon as the mods become aware of it.

You can't say "this is analogous to deadnaming" or "this is analogous to using [any of the various banned slurs]" and also say that you aren't calling for any change in moderation.
posted by Lexica at 11:46 AM on June 4 [3 favorites]


I assume Jessamyn or a representative of the board will comment eventually about this hippybear drama. Probably best to direct concerns to them using other venues, rather than continuing the derail.
posted by interogative mood at 11:49 AM on June 4 [1 favorite]

... my impression was that the comment wasn't deleted for calling X "Twitter", but for making a joke about "deadnaming" the site.
That might have been the reason, but there was a clear claim that it was simply using the old name.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 11:50 AM on June 4


Though reading further down, I agree a later comment contradicts the one I linked to.
posted by Busy Old Fool at 12:21 PM on June 4


I submitted a MeTa about the derail like 30-60 minutes ago.
posted by Diskeater at 11:48 AM


There some kind of tip jar we can donate to and get Diskeater's post moved out of the maybe-they'll-just-forget-about-it queue faster? People so concerned about the continuing derail I'm sure will help to do everything in their power to get that hustled along.
posted by phunniemee at 12:22 PM on June 4 [11 favorites]


Gently, it's 3:30pm eastern on a Tuesday, and this issue only came up 6 hours ago. If you want a rapid turnaround on moderation issues, maybe you should be posting on a messageboard with a budget of more than a mere $200k/year.
posted by bowbeacon at 12:30 PM on June 4 [26 favorites]


metatalk normally: it is good and fine that the mods ignore threads for a week, chill out, nothing really matters

metatalk when there is drama: waiting 60 minutes is SIMPLY NOT GOOD ENOUGH
posted by Klipspringer at 12:30 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


Chiming in to make a few clarifications.

> I'm going to need the moderation team to declare a clear judgement here because I've had multiple comments deleted saying that I'm deadnaming X as Twitter.

I’m not sure what specifically you’re referring to. Looking back all I could find was this comment and the mod note below. If you are referring to a different situation, please Contact Us and we’ll be happy to look into what happened and reevaluate the decisions taken.

> I have permission from the moderation team that I can request that and it will be enforced.

This may have been a misunderstanding. In MeMail, yes, you can request that someone cease contacting you, or block them. If you, or any other member keep receiving unwanted reactions from a member in particular, you can MeFi Mail them and explicitly ask them to cease contact. If they persist after the request to cease contact you can reach out to us to step in.

Now, let’s bear in mind that our guidelines and content policy and Microaggression pages are aimed towards one goal: making members feel welcome to participate.

As such, mod decisions tend to be (and need to be) contextual. So, for example, Name calling exists in our policies to remind us that we are referring to actual people when making a comment. But then, there are cases where we might be more lenient and let it slide, sometimes because the term being used is not name calling or offensive per se, other times because public figures are and should be subjected to higher levels of scrutiny and criticism, and others where this is not aimed at people at all (companies, institutions, and other organizations, etc.).

This is a website that exists specifically to talk with people from different backgrounds, to share your thoughts openly, and to learn from other people’s takes, involvement and lived experiences. Part of the problem with trying to fix these differences in perspective with policy alone is that we would be missing the nuanced points of view from all of you in this thread, and that is priceless.

As GenjiandProust said above, MetaFilter is also a place where we establish norms and develop consensus around expected behavior. There are a lot of issues that don’t call for mod intervention that members can think about and make an effort to do or not do or even stick to doing or not doing even though you know it makes people unhappy.
posted by loup (staff) at 12:34 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


one goal: making members feel welcome to participate.

>So you just don't ever talk to me or see anything I post ever again. We have no way to block people here but the mod team has told me I can request this, so I'm requesting this of you, phunniemee. Edit me out of your MetaFilter experience. I don't need you in my feed anymore


Neat! Thank you for this thoughtful clarification on mod policy, I do feel so much better.
posted by phunniemee at 12:45 PM on June 4 [40 favorites]


Neat! Thank you for this thoughtful clarification on mod policy, I do feel so much better.

It definitely confirms that any previously deleted comments complaining about favoritism and double-standards in moderation towards particular users were entirely off the mark.
posted by paper scissors sock at 12:52 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


Thanks for responding, loup!

Re "name-calling": the rule about this in the content policy is kind of a red herring in the Drumpf conversation as it's clearly about name-calling other users participating in the thread.
The following types of content or behavior will not be tolerated: [...] Name calling: Any kind of name calling and/or cursing directed at others in a conversation
Re hippybear: bad comment imo, good mod note imo. That comment aside — it seems to be everyone-dunk-on-hippybear-time in this thread, so I will say that I've not personally noticed any real issues and I really appreciate HB's many posts about electronic music, so I hope this drama passes.
posted by Klipspringer at 12:52 PM on June 4 [5 favorites]


it seems to be everyone-dunk-on-hippybear-time in this thread

No one in this thread would be paying any attention to him at all if he hadn't come in with a totally unprompted derail to invoke one of the greatest self dunks in recent mefi history.

Also. If that's your broad take then you have not been paying attention.
posted by phunniemee at 12:56 PM on June 4 [43 favorites]


This may have been a misunderstanding. In MeMail, yes, you can request that someone cease contacting you, or block them. If you, or any other member keep receiving unwanted reactions from a member in particular, you can MeFi Mail them and explicitly ask them to cease contact. If they persist after the request to cease contact you can reach out to us to step in.


You are talking about private communication. This entire blow-up is about in-thread communication, and I don't think it's fair to say that one member can tell another member, in public, not to ever respond to one of their posts or comments ever again.

I mean, I guess they CAN say that, and it won't be deleted. But I am hoping an ask of one member to another about this is an ask, not something a mod would do anything about.
posted by tiny frying pan at 1:02 PM on June 4 [11 favorites]


Can anyone else remember why we have a self-service suspend-account button?

Seems like the small friction of needing to request it from a mod might prevent some of these making-a-statement-in-the-heat-of-the-moment buttonings.

And I wonder about how many people might have returned after a few days off if not for the extra friction of needing to contact a mod to unbutton.

In any case, I hope you come back, schmod.
posted by nobody at 1:04 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


I usually don't mind if a comment of mine gets deleted--frankly I am a lot less fighty or grar than I used to be--but the fact my comment that hippybear was out of line in the way they spoke to phunnieemee was deleted did not give me high confidence. I asked why those out of line posts were allowed to stand while folks observing that "hey, whoa there that was not nice and not great please do not" also got their comments deleted.

I mean, if the mods don't want to appear to be giving one user special treatment then they need to be clear about that. It's not like we're attracting new members in record numbers and when people button, I don't find it hard to believe that there won't be anyone to replace them.
posted by Kitteh at 1:10 PM on June 4 [32 favorites]


I have permission from the moderation team that I can request that and it will be enforced.

This may have been a misunderstanding.


Oh, come on. This is utter bollocks. You know it, everyone else reading it knows it.
posted by Wordshore at 1:27 PM on June 4 [35 favorites]


There was a time when Metafilter was an important part of my life, and I participated in the secret Santa stuff and felt like I could be my true, authentic self here. Then I was on the receiving end of some really mean and awful commenting which basically amounted to someone telling me that my perspective on life was just wrong and stupid, so I buttoned. And then I came back a while later because there was yet another post about copyright that got a lot of stuff wrong. But I never returned to my initial state of vulnerability, because the fact is this is a house of strangers and it is not safe. We don't, as a cohort, really know each other. I'm sure some of you do, and have IRL or online communications that extend far beyond the walls of MeFi, but for the most part our relationships are almost parasocial. When conflict arises, that leads to vitriol without empathy. I understand why people are buttoning, and I do not envy the job of the mods.
posted by grumpybear69 at 1:52 PM on June 4 [25 favorites]


we just need to let it die a dignified peaceful death

I think dignified and peaceful left the station a while ago. Death rattle will be the same six people who think every FPP is an opportunity to make the conversation about themselves just incessantly going around in circles, each thinking "Wow, those other guys seem to forget this a community weblog, not their Facebook status page."
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 1:56 PM on June 4 [25 favorites]


When conflict arises, that leads to vitriol without empathy

It's a huge problem! And I don't think it's a strictly Metafilter problem. It seems like an internet problem and it always has. The same thing happens in cars. I was driving the other day, and someone did something completely minor - I don't even remember what, it was so entirely trivial - and I was in my car driving along and I started muttering, "Fuck you, you piece of shit asshole!" And I stopped myself and I was like, "What are you doing?" And that's what we do here, and on Twitter, and on every other corner of the freaking internet every day. It's like you can't look someone in the face and suddenly all good sense goes out the window. It's all vitriol without empathy. I'm as guilty as anybody else. We don't see each other, not really. It's such a bummer.
posted by kbanas at 1:57 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


Why is Diskeater's MeTa post in the queue still?
posted by Jarcat at 1:58 PM on June 4 [13 favorites]


I think dignified and peaceful left the station a while ago.

Perhaps it left the MetaTalk station a while ago, as this subsite has more than its fair share of grar. And surely the community is different now from what it used to be, because things change, dwindle, sometimes grow again. But one answer, if we like MetaFilter, is to MetaFilter more. More posts (and I think you have posted some cool shit, Alvy Ampersand!), more comments. Ignoring the stuff we don't want to engage with, rolling our eyes and moving on when there's a kerfuffle or a mod issue. I sympathize with people wanting to button, because we all get tired out at times, but at the end of the day it's a question of whether you like the community and want it to stick around. I still do. It's not a perfect community, but no community is perfect. There are still good people here who have various interesting, useful, and funny things to say.

Sometimes I look at the Ancient Learnings From Twenty Years ago, linked on the front page. There sure were some dumb, low-value posts with stupid fights back in the old days! Just like today's fight, but a different set of egos and mod issues. Fights happen, but then things simmer down. I hope folks recover OK, and I hope the mods take note of how unhappy people have been in this post with their decisions, and think about what they can do to improve moderation and mod responses next time. Feels like today didn't go really well, and I hope things smooth out for all of us.
posted by cupcakeninja at 2:13 PM on June 4 [12 favorites]


Why is Diskeater's MeTa post in the queue still?

MetaTalk posts get generally approved within the same day. In this particular case, there was already another post in the queue and we rarely approve put more than one meta through in the same day.

I reached out to Diskeater about the post separately as well.
posted by loup (staff) at 2:13 PM on June 4


there was already another post in the queue

The locked FYI about how to block US politics posts?
posted by mittens at 2:17 PM on June 4 [25 favorites]


Loup sent me a MeMail a little over 1.5 hours ago asking if I still wanted my post to go thru in light of the mod comments. I responded a few minutes later confirming that I would like my MeTa to be posted. Loup responded about 15 minutes ago and asked if I could edit/redraft the post to make it less about Hippybear. I replied that Brandon said we were welcome to open a MeTa about that whole thing which is what I'm attempting to do and Loup is free to make any edits they wish as long as something gets posted. Mine or someone else's.
posted by Diskeater at 2:23 PM on June 4 [23 favorites]


checks to see if hippybear's comment is still up
Pretty sure it's going to be about hippybear, then.

Also, loup, could you clarify if you're referring to an as-yet-unposted metatalk, or the one that just reiterates existing information and is locked for new comments? Because if it's the latter... there's such a thing as being too rules-bound, you know, and especially when you're not even going to bother explaining things.
posted by sagc at 2:29 PM on June 4 [11 favorites]


we rarely approve put more than one meta through in the same day

Um...is that a new rule?
posted by mediareport at 2:34 PM on June 4 [19 favorites]


Since there have been multiple instances of 2x in a day metatalks this year alone and any other even minor change here now takes 14 committees and an advisory board before it can even be considered for implementation I'm gonna say it's a convenient rule.
posted by phunniemee at 2:40 PM on June 4 [27 favorites]


Oh goody here we go with this shit.
posted by kbanas at 2:41 PM on June 4 [6 favorites]


I mean, we aren't children. Just tell us that MeTa queue is clearly being used as an editorial filter so that y'all can choose what goes up, because its clearly what is happening.
posted by Jarcat at 2:43 PM on June 4 [19 favorites]


maybe this is one of those times when being right and doing right aren't the same thing

any anger directed to this thread, at this point, seems misplaced

I'm assuming people posting now care to keep enjoying whatever it is about MetaFilter they've been enjoying, for however long
posted by elkevelvet at 2:48 PM on June 4


No actually I think we should keep talking about this until mods open a metatalk for it. It's disturbing to me that it appears to be so difficult for someone to pop in and say, with clear language, "no, hippybear is mistaken, we do not give certain members special permission to decree someone persona non grata"
posted by a power-tie-wearing she-capitalist at 2:53 PM on June 4 [24 favorites]


Just tell us that MeTa queue is clearly being used as an editorial filter so that y'all can choose what goes up, because its clearly what is happening.

I mean that is literally why it was invented in 2014, yes. I don't think the queue is needed at the current almost-always-negligible levels of MeTa activity, and it can have undesirable push-under-the-rug consequences, but mod-filtering posts has been an openly stated purpose for a solid decade now.
posted by Klipspringer at 3:00 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


Even if we allow two posts in the same day, it won’t matter. The next post in the queue is one by loup that just says “Hey! Look over here!”
posted by snofoam at 3:26 PM on June 4 [7 favorites]


It's disturbing to me that it appears to be so difficult for someone to pop in and say, with clear language, "no, hippybear is mistaken, we do not give certain members special permission to decree someone persona non grata"

Huh, I felt that loup did that above. Assuming I am not mistaken, it seems that the mods can block someone from from MeMailing another member (I assume with evidence of hostility, aggression, and abuse). This seems to have become conflated with behavior on the site proper, which cannot be limited in that way (although EmpressCallipygos recalls using scripts to that effect). That seemed pretty clear and unambiguous to me.

On the subject of Diskeater's MeTa, I see no reason why it shouldn't be posted ASAP. The current MeTas aren't taking up mod time (except this one), and the coming one is going to be a mess no matter how long it's held, so why wait?
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:31 PM on June 4 [4 favorites]


Maybe it's held up in committee
posted by fluttering hellfire at 3:31 PM on June 4 [5 favorites]


Hippybear (in, uh, nighttime mode) made an obviously incorrect claim about mod support for a unilateral get-my-name-out-of-your-mouth rule.

I think at that point the MeTa post would have been useful as a release valve to keep this thread on track, but at this point there might not be much value in highlighting his...mistaken claims that much further (and that was probably also true by this afternoon, when Diskeater finally submitted something to the queue).

But while that might not be an easy call to make, saying the post hasn't gone up because of a previously unspoken (and not infrequently unheeded) one-per-day rule is...not the best.
posted by nobody at 3:31 PM on June 4 [13 favorites]


This seems to have become conflated with behavior on the site proper

It appears to me that loup conflated it. This was never to anyone's knowledge about private communication between these two users.
posted by tiny frying pan at 3:32 PM on June 4 [4 favorites]


>Just tell us that MeTa queue is clearly being used as an editorial filter so that y'all can choose what goes up, because its clearly what is happening.

I mean that is literally why it was invented in 2014, yes.


Except, no? The MeTa queue was created to deal with a problem where a lot of (mostly US) MeFites would have extra time during holidays and would go kind of berserk at just the time where the mods were, you know, trying to enjoy a holiday without expecting to come back to a dozen brush fires. It was made permanent because (as I recall and a little research supports) it was a time of multiple fighty threads running at once, which was to no one's benefit.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:39 PM on June 4 [8 favorites]


I thought refusing to call twitter its new name "x" was an act of solidarity over the fact that he continues to deadname his own kid. A Google search finds a few posts 1, 2, 3, as well as this article

I assume hippybear was using it in that context.

So now I feel like this issue actually slightly related to the Drumpf thing (please bear with me while I try to explain). The great thing about this site is that it brings together people from a lot of different online communities and hobbies and everyone shares the stuff they are super interested in. I have been introduced to so many different ideas, artists, perspectives on the world that I just don't get anywhere close.
The challenge for this diverse community is that people aren't all tuning into the same TV, following the same memes, etc. A problem seems to arise in general interest threads like some recent news, or something like the US Presidential election. That problem is the pet names and references you bring from your external social media; lack the context to the audience here. Your in-jokes among your friends on a Reddit sub, doesn't translate and gets misunderstood. Repeatedly saying "Drumpf" or as hippybear has done assuming that if you attach the word deadname every time you link to twitter everyone will know how you mean it, rather than just assume you are just being a transphobic jerk.
posted by interogative mood at 3:41 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


It appears to me that loup conflated it. This was never to anyone's knowledge about private communication between these two users.

I think loup put that forward as a sensible explanation for hippybear's erroneous claim, I assume based on communications with the mods which aren't, and shouldn't be public in most cases. There's been talk before about blocks on specific MeMails, so whether hippybear thought that was some kind of site wide policy or not is hardly the fault of the mods. We only have the mods' (specifically loup's) word for this, but it seems reasonable and in keeping with what I know about the site.
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:45 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


On the very off chance that someone out there is attributing today’s #USPolitics MeTa to anything nefarious by mods or whatever, I suspect it’s spurred by a request I made via the contact form the other day. I wanted to see if there were a way to try to remind folks about the tag being essential to making the #USPolitics filter work. Perhaps others have asked about it, too, but I did it because I really appreciate the filter, and I’ve been a little frustrated of late by how many posts have centered U.S. politics without using the tag, thus jamming Trump &c. into my brain.

Apologies for the derail.
posted by cupcakeninja at 3:47 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


This may have been a misunderstanding.

Step 1:

In MeMail, yes, you can request that someone cease contacting you, or block them.

Action: Block user using the MeMail block button.

Result: Individual is no longer able to contact you via MeMail because they are blocked.

Step 2:

If you, or any other member keep receiving unwanted reactions from a member in particular, you can MeFi Mail them and explicitly ask them to cease contact.

Action: Send a MeMail to the user in question requesting you stop contacting them outside of MeMail as well (in Step 1, the individual was blocked from MeMail, so this is explicitly referring to contact outside of MeMail).

Result: Individual receives a MeMail with this request.

Step 3:

If they persist after the request to cease contact you can reach out to us to step in.

Action: Reach out to mod about the fact that this person is contacting you despite being blocked via MeMail.

Result: Mod enforces outside of MeMail contact as well (as no contact via MeMail is already enforced via site coding of blocking, unless the the block button doesn’t actually do anything?).

Therefore mods enforce no contact requests outside of MeMail.

If this is not what is meant by the (to me quite clear) if-then statements provided, Loup or another mod may clarify. However, as stated, it seems to be the case that moderators will enforce no contact requests outside of MeMail, as preventing MeMail contact is already enforced via the block button. The only place a mod would be needed to “step in” is outside of MeMail.

I can see a place for a policy like this re: harassment; if so, specifying that this is the use case rather than requests made willy-nilly could shed light on the information. (A broader discussion on why a user would not be banned for harassing behavior may be warranted, but that is a separate question.)
posted by brook horse at 3:54 PM on June 4 [11 favorites]


“Needy Amin” is still ok, though, right?
posted by Thorzdad at 4:14 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


Just wanted to drop in and say that I believe the mods are doing a fantastic job moderating, and I think a whole lot of people need to lower their expectations for what kind of systems, policies, rules etc we can ask our part-time staff to enforce. Just because we have mods, doesn't mean they can do everything we want.

Thank you to everyone who shares your experiences, positive and negative, because that's how we grow as a community. The bigger and better we get, the more conflict will naturally arise, and we all benefit from being aware of this.

I hate seeing when so many people I respect are at each other's throats.
posted by rebent at 4:22 PM on June 4 [16 favorites]


is the fantastic job in the room with us right now?
posted by phunniemee at 4:26 PM on June 4 [38 favorites]


The joke is supposed to be that the guy who calls immigrants and their families human garbage is himself descended from immigrants. Recalling his family's original name is a quick way to make that point in a single word. It's supposed to expose hypocrisy.
I only know this because of that comment. I bet I'm not the only one who assumed it was just a cheap shot with no meaning.

As someone who prefers to be called by my actual name rather than a common contraction, it annoys me for a second or two when I see people being referred to by other than the name they use. Not enough to matter a whit in the scheme of things, but I'm sympathetic to the concept of using people's actual name. I'm more interested (although I doubt it makes any difference) in intelligent people's views on the behaviour of individuals who actively try to harm everyone not a billionaire being visibly connected to that person.

Having said that, I don't see the need to try and enforce a 'no jokey names' policy if that were even possible.
posted by dg at 4:29 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]



is the fantastic job in the room with us right now?


In all seriousness: yes. Yes it is.

What we don't seem to have enough of in this room, though, are people with some damn patience, and we have too much Sense Of Enritlement in the room too.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:32 PM on June 4 [17 favorites]


In a parallel reality, there is a Metatalk thread about how Shitler jokes are microaggressions against Hitler. But this timeline we're stuck in is still infinitely more ridiculous.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 4:33 PM on June 4 [6 favorites]


What we don't seem to have enough of in this room, though, are people with some damn patience, and we have too much Sense Of Enritlement in the room too.

Amen!

MetaTalk will still be here tomorrow. And the post to come will still be a trainwreck tomorrow. And in the mean time, everyone can pet their cats, or go for a walk, or start a Law and Order re-watch, or organize the apps on their smartphone home screen, or just hang out. The amount of just noxious garbage directed at the mods because we can't dog pile directly into another thread without everyone taking a breather is, while completely unsurprising, still kind of surprising.
posted by kbanas at 4:51 PM on June 4 [6 favorites]


Here comes the gaslighting squad, right on schedule.
posted by Jarcat at 4:56 PM on June 4 [19 favorites]


is the fantastic job in the room with us right now?

Honestly I'm not sure. I know you Phunnimee, you made a really big impact on me a few years ago and overall I think you're wonderful. I don't think you disserve to be attacked, I don't think anybody does, but I also know the mod system is a rellic of older times, less than perfect planning, lack of resources, and the double demand to fix what's broken while designing something new from the ground up.

I served on the mefi board briefly, and the depth and complexity of what's not working right in this machine is staggaring. But the machine is running because we pay people to keep it running. And I like that the machine is running.
posted by rebent at 5:01 PM on June 4 [11 favorites]


I disagree kbanas, the mods told us "If folks want to start another MeTa, that's fine and a option". And then when someone followed those instructions and did just that, they said "no, we don't like to post two MetaTalk threads per day". Maybe that should have been mentioned before. It seems like we're trying to follow the rules here, but it's hard to do when they're shifting and opaque. If the mods are enforcing a breather, they should just come out and say it instead of making shit up.

It sometimes feels like the mods want this site to go away.
posted by Sparky Buttons at 5:04 PM on June 4 [31 favorites]


MetaTalk is traditionally subject to less moderation than the rest of Metafilter. It seems that some of the newer, but no less valued members of the community are unaware of this. Or perhaps someone is just suffering from hurt feelings because some comment they felt obliged to make got deleted by a moderator — if so welcome to the club. Remember most if the comments you make will be read and forgotten anyway; so if it is deleted by the mods so what.
posted by interogative mood at 5:09 PM on June 4


Names aside, hippybear's comment implied that:

- there's a functionality that allows users to bar other users from interacting with their posts (not direct message blocks, but interaction within the open parts of the site itself)
- this functionality is only available at mod discretion, so if I request that User X not interact with my post, the mods will decide based on unknown criteria, same thing if someone requests that I not interact with their posts.
- mods will "look out" for certain users and delete comments by other users that meet some threshold of unwanted interaction with those users

I personally don't think that those features exist, but if they don't, it would have been 99 percent of the duty of modding to very clearly inform users as quickly as possible that the site works as most of its users think it does. (If they do exist, that's fucked up, man!)
posted by kingdead at 5:16 PM on June 4 [14 favorites]


It would be nice not to have users’ comments explaining why they are leaving the site deleted.

This is at least the second time a user has left after their response to this certain someone’s shittiness was deleted, and their follow up explaining that they were leaving was also deleted. Absolutely ridiculous.

MetaTalk has become far too much of a memory hole.
posted by hototogisu at 5:19 PM on June 4 [35 favorites]


"MetaTalk is traditionally subject to less moderation than the rest of Metafilter."

Why, though? This is the part of the site that consistently brings out the worst in people, and since there's evidently just one thread allowed per day, it should be very easy to keep track of. So far today, there have been nine posts on the front page that have only generated 174 comments. None are controversial topics. The one with the most comments is about keyboards and programming languages. 10 Asks have generated 71 comments. That's not a lot of content to need to oversee. Metatalk appears to be the part of the site most likely to cause people to quit. If the site is concerned about keeping existing members (and not driving away new ones), put the focus here.
posted by jonathanhughes at 5:33 PM on June 4 [4 favorites]


interogative mood, which new members are you referring to? Most of the people with deleted comments seem to have been pretty long-standing to me.
posted by sagc at 5:34 PM on June 4 [1 favorite]


Wow, not a banner day for the mod team (unless you’re a fan of long time members being driven off and new “rules” being invented and enacted on the fly)
posted by not just everyday big moggies at 5:37 PM on June 4 [16 favorites]


If the site is concerned about keeping existing members (and not driving away new ones), put the focus here.

I agree mods should put focus on Metatalk threads, but not if what that entails is a ton of deletions. They should be engaging in the conversation. Answering questions, redirecting if things get too far off topic, etc. That’s not what we’ve been seeing.
posted by JenMarie at 5:47 PM on June 4 [14 favorites]


So there is a one-MetaTalk-per-day rule that is frequently broken. You had an actual post from an actual user that was suggested by a mod in the queue as of this morning. And then after that, knowing it was there, you put up a locked fyi post. So you chose pointless admin'ing busy work over the community's needs.

Classic, loup. Just classic.
posted by donnagirl at 5:49 PM on June 4 [24 favorites]


Why, though?

Because it is the part where members are giving feedback on the site and discussing norms with other members. As such, it requires the most openness to all perspectives. (Versus, say, ask, where the objective is answering a question, so it’s fine to delete comments that don’t do that. Or the blue, where derails interfere with discussion.)
posted by snofoam at 6:01 PM on June 4 [3 favorites]


"Because it is the part where members are giving feedback on the site and discussing norms with other members. As such, it requires the most openness to all perspectives. "

"Moderation" doesn't (and shouldn't) equal "deleting posts". As JenMarie said two posts up, "They should be engaging in the conversation. Answering questions, redirecting if things get too far off topic, etc. That’s not what we’ve been seeing."

Why wait until things go off the rails to answer questions? (I don't believe it's because the rest of the site takes up so much time).
posted by jonathanhughes at 6:06 PM on June 4 [7 favorites]


Having headed over to that other place (which I assume any links to will be deleted) and read some of what was deleted in this thread (and then contrasted these comments with what was allowed to stand), I’ve gotta say: holy shit, mods. You’ve genuinely lost the plot. What’s happened in this thread is absolutely shameful. I’d be more specific, but this is clearly a place that’s irrationally hostile to transparency.
posted by not just everyday big moggies at 6:18 PM on June 4 [24 favorites]


In a parallel reality, there is a Metatalk thread about how Shitler jokes are microaggressions against Hitler. But this timeline we're stuck in is still infinitely more ridiculous.

You had to really, really reach for that Godwin. But thanks for letting us know that you think those of us who have an issue with misnaming people on principle, or because of the collateral effect on everyone who Isn't Trump are more ridiculous than invented concern-trolling Nazis. Real community spirit and showing respect for your fellow mefites there.
posted by Dysk at 6:52 PM on June 4 [10 favorites]


Sorry, no dramatic farewell speeches allowed unless you are actually dying. The sense of entitlement, vanity and self importance on display is so over the top, I’m have to ask are you guys putting us on? This is a bit right?

Are you really so fragile that you lose your shit over the mere suggestion of hey could we be more civil in our tone and not resort to calling Trump petty names?

Moderators do not have unlimited time and we don’t have unlimited mods. They are people and they do the best they can. In general we have a great moderation team. Everyone has had comments deleted. You just have to accept that it is part of the way things work in a world of well intentioned but imperfect people fighting a sea of chaos.
posted by interogative mood at 7:31 PM on June 4 [5 favorites]


Are you really so fragile that you lose your shit over the mere suggestion of hey could we be more civil in our tone and not resort to calling Trump petty names?

I don't think that is the issue people are being upset by, right now.
posted by The Manwich Horror at 7:34 PM on June 4 [12 favorites]


The Manwich Horror: that particular poster is very skilled at acknowledging only a fraction of what is going on in a thread!
posted by adrienneleigh at 7:36 PM on June 4 [11 favorites]


I think we very much DO need some info on some very specific things and it would be a mistake not to respond to that. A site ending mistake.
posted by Artw at 7:38 PM on June 4 [15 favorites]


start a Law and Order re-watch,
The society for harkonnen architectural preservation.
moreon optic, it used to be an allied propaganda technique to use schickelgrubber in place of Hitler in certain broadcasts, movies, and printed material.

oddly, it was precisely used to be a microaggression against Hitler. because holy f****** s*** did anybody read the link that Brian b gave.
posted by clavdivs at 7:40 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


hippybear's reaction to phunniemee's comment was way out of line. Publically scolding another person, as if they've been long term harassing and stalking you when they have not, is out of line.

Other people joining the discussion and scolding someone (I'm not sure who those comments are directed at) for impatience and immaturity are adding heat to this thread and not helping.
posted by Zumbador at 8:24 PM on June 4 [27 favorites]


It's a complicated situation though as I often find them both very annoying.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:34 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


Having headed over to that other place (which I assume any links to will be deleted) and read some of what was deleted in this thread (and then contrasted these comments with what was allowed to stand), I’ve gotta say: holy shit, mods. You’ve genuinely lost the plot. What’s happened in this thread is absolutely shameful. I’d be more specific, but this is clearly a place that’s irrationally hostile to transparency.

Just to save y'all some internet stalking time this poster is also not me.
posted by bowmaniac at 8:38 PM on June 4 [7 favorites]


What unanswered questions and info is needed ArtW? loup said there isn’t a hippybear feature and that there is no policy around deleting posts that use Twitter instead of x. It seems that hippybear was talking nonsense.
When it was made permanent there was a post about the metatalk queue. Note the following: If a post is likely to be a lot of work at a time when we're especially stretched thin, we may need to delay it

Given the shitstorm that is this thread and that the moderators are now stretched even thinner than in 2014 it isn’t unreasonable that the queue is backing up more.
posted by interogative mood at 9:47 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


Slurring a bad person because they have an immigrant background is discriminatory and shouldn't be done. It's not a joke, it's a bit of a jab, and I don't care for this particular one, nor do I find it effective. Calling the former president the orange fascist because you can't bear the taste of his name in your mouth or on your keyboard feels perfectly reasonable to me.

This is a poorly framed request, and I think it's really a kind of trivial 'This annoys me, make it stop' request dressed up as something more. Discriminatory slurs are unacceptable, annoyances are part of daily life and must be endured.

I don't know where this post took its nasty turn into vendettas and whatnot, but it does seem to be inevitable.

Make posts, make comments, try not to be an asshole.
posted by theora55 at 9:54 PM on June 4 [5 favorites]


Slurring a bad person because they have an immigrant background is discriminatory

This assertion is not uniformly true. I am an actual, real immigrant on Metafilter telling you my life experience. I am not discriminated against when a weak joke reminds racist Trump voters they are voting for an immigrant, despite their racist belief system.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:53 PM on June 4 [2 favorites]


What unanswered questions and info is needed ArtW? loup said there isn’t a hippybear feature and that there is no policy around deleting posts that use Twitter instead of x. It seems that hippybear was talking nonsense.

Then it would be nice to know why comments pointing out that it was nonsense and pointing out that hippybear was out of line were all deleted.
posted by lapis at 11:07 PM on June 4 [15 favorites]


The word ‘Nazi' itself apparently did not originate in Germany and was used as an aspersion from the very beginning.
The earliest known use of the word Nazi is in the 1930s.

OED's earliest evidence for Nazi is from 1930, in the Times (London).
Nazi is a borrowing from German.
A few years back I read a very brief article by a German working to oppose the rise of the far right who said that the word actually made things harder for him and he wished people would stop using it.
posted by jamjam at 11:40 PM on June 4


This assertion is not uniformly true. I am an actual, real immigrant on Metafilter telling you my life experience. I am not discriminated against when a weak joke reminds racist Trump voters they are voting for an immigrant, despite their racist belief system.

Which would make it not a slur, not make the statement "Slurring a bad person because they have an immigrant background is discriminatory" wrong. It is categorically wrong to use slurs, bad person or not. It's also irrelevant to this case, but it's not suddenly false.

(And while I do think the idea of having abandoned names not be categorically off limits does in fact harm trans people, it's also not a slur. I don't know why slurs were brought up, but slurs should still be a pretty universal no.)
posted by Dysk at 12:21 AM on June 5


Then it would be nice to know why comments pointing out that it was nonsense and pointing out that hippybear was out of line were all deleted

Brandon Blatchers mod notes answered that.

There is no big mystery here. The mod on duty did their best to enforce the rules, explained it, tried to steer people back on topic and said they were going to get more details because they didn’t know. Then a more senior mod (Loup) chimed in with details and answers.
posted by interogative mood at 1:59 AM on June 5 [2 favorites]


speaking for myself what i find confusing is some comments from others being deleted on those grounds yet every single one of hb's inflammatory deraily comments still on full display here. but i reckon that's for the staff to clarify at some point.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 2:27 AM on June 5 [30 favorites]


I have a few things to say but can we get a clarification on whether the other meta is going up? Choosing not to put it through has made this thread a continued mess. I would rather put my thoughts in the new thread, unless it’s going to be disallowed.
posted by warriorqueen at 4:01 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


...but can we get a clarification on whether the other meta is going up?

According to the first moderator comment in this short-lived FPP:

"There will be a MeTa post going up tomorrow [presume this means Wednesday 5th June] if folks wish to voice their various concerns over various subjects..."
posted by Wordshore at 4:36 AM on June 5 [2 favorites]


Folk bringing Metatalk drama into a user's unrelated front page posts is wild.
posted by Klipspringer at 4:47 AM on June 5 [5 favorites]


Thanks, I had not seen that FPP.
posted by warriorqueen at 5:12 AM on June 5


Yeah, I didn’t see the comments in question, but “keep it on MeTa” is a pretty strong custom, and ruining FPPs because you are frustrated with the mods and/or the poster is very much not site culture. I’m also frustrated with the mods dragging their heels to no good purpose I can see, but this is unacceptable.
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:15 AM on June 5 [7 favorites]


Mod note: New MeTa is up, please direct all concerns about the situation here to that post and leave this post to the original issue, thanks!
posted by Brandon Blatcher (staff) at 5:17 AM on June 5 [3 favorites]


Back to the actual topic of this thread. I think the people who insist on calling Trump insulting names come across like Margery Taylor Green did when questioning Dr Fauci yesterday as shown in this highlight from the Stephanie Miller show.
posted by interogative mood at 8:37 AM on June 5


Genuine question IM: Do you come across that sanctimonious on purpose or is it an accident?
posted by Jarcat at 9:06 AM on June 5 [10 favorites]


It's spelled Marjorie, of all the places to be so self righteous and also wrong.
posted by phunniemee at 9:13 AM on June 5 [18 favorites]


For future clarity, a mod has just reinstated schmod's deleted comment above about leaving the site, which many folks commented about subsequently, and which shouldn't have been deleted.
posted by mediareport at 9:20 AM on June 5 [10 favorites]


I think the people who insist on calling Trump insulting names come across like Margery Taylor Green did when questioning Dr Fauci

Beyond being ridiculous, I think this is a reductive, false, and insulting analogy that dismisses the lived experience of actual immigrants. Some people, again, really need to step away from the keyboard and learn the difference between punching up and punching down.
posted by They sucked his brains out! at 10:00 AM on June 5 [1 favorite]


Even TFG is confusing as some think it means "That Fucking Guy"

That's exactly what it means to me every time I read or write it, which I fully intend to continue to do because I refuse to assist TFG with his ongoing project of plastering his fucking name all over every fucking thing.
posted by flabdablet at 10:36 AM on June 5 [9 favorites]


It's spelled Marjorie

Also Greene.
posted by flabdablet at 10:37 AM on June 5 [5 favorites]


It's spelled Marjorie, of all the places to be so self righteous and also wrong

An obviously accidental typo isn't the same thing, but of course you know that and are just being petty. One might describe your post as inflammatory, flippant and bit stupid; but not me.
posted by interogative mood at 11:49 AM on June 5


the misspelled name was far from the wrongest thing in your post, however
posted by elkevelvet at 11:54 AM on June 5 [5 favorites]


I ain't got all that time to watch whatever that talking heads clip about tfg mtg but comparing mistitling or detitling someone to deadnaming is farcical. I get that someone who is a doctor has every right to be upset, and sure, some may make those letters after their names a core part of their personality but it does not deny their personhood in the same way calling a trans person by their deadname or oldname does

calling someone insulting names repeatedly is tiresome, sure, but there is a line and some of y'all are trying to stretch that boundary with all of the eagerness of regimes bent on territorial expansion through resettlement (i of course refer only to super earth and their fight for managed democracy against the ravages of the automatons and bug supercolonies)
posted by i used to be someone else at 12:04 PM on June 5 [9 favorites]


personality but it does not deny their personhood in the same way calling a trans person by their deadname or oldname does

I agree but the original topic of this thread was about the practice of using insulting names for Trump and in no way compared it to deadnaming or misgendering a trans person. Nor have I made that claim. I apologize for the confusion. Deadnaming is abhorrent and terrible.

Representative Greene’s behavior toward Dr Fauci was just obnoxious and juvenile. That’s how a lot of this Trump//TFG stuff comes across to me.
posted by interogative mood at 1:25 PM on June 5 [1 favorite]


calling someone insulting names repeatedly is tiresome, sure, but there is a line and some of y'all are trying to stretch that boundary with all of the eagerness of regimes bent on territorial expansion through resettlement (i of course refer only to super earth and their fight for managed democracy against the ravages of the automatons and bug supercolonies)

accidentally drops 380 mm on evac point, posts 'runm' in text chat
posted by Sebmojo at 8:14 PM on June 5


Beyond being ridiculous, I think this is a reductive, false, and insulting analogy that dismisses the lived experience of actual immigrants. Some people, again, really need to step away from the keyboard and learn the difference between punching up and punching down.

imo, they are both roughly equal in being pointless and juvenile exercises in name-calling.
posted by Sebmojo at 8:16 PM on June 5


"roughly equal"

when a man who has been and would be again elected president of the most powerful nation on the planet mis-names and ridicules vulnerable people on national television, uses gross slurs against ethnicities and entire countries, etc. etc.

when a woman elected to national government, with a national audience, deliberately mis-names people to feed the alternative reality of hate that poisons the base of people who elected her and keeps driving that wedge further and further

when some internet rando uses "Drumpf" or "Shitbird" in a remote community space, likely to release a bit of the pressure of the building impotent anger and dread of several years

"roughly equal"

it's wild to see the assiduous morals in this space. Decency for billionaires in ill-fated submarines! Chiding for those who use wrong words!
posted by elkevelvet at 7:42 AM on June 6 [11 favorites]


I really appreciate people sharing their various discomforts with "Drumpf" and "Joanne"! Not because I think those discomforts mean that that sort of thing should therefore be banned outright, but because it's nice to learn what different people don't feel good about. Empathy, you know?

Personally, I think there's a limit to how much etiquette you can enforce in a space. Sometimes, people say mean shit, and sometimes it's cathartic to do so. And "mean shit" often implies doing something that has the potential to make someone uncomfortable. You can't eradicate discomfort from social environs altogether. But it's good, again, to get a gauge of who's uncomfortable about what and why.

In this case, I find it easy to side against "Drumpf," because it's cringe as hell. I find "Joanne" more amusing, and almost everyone I know IRL who calls JK that is transgender. But then I think about that time Seth Rogen called the odious Eve Bartlow "Eve Fartlow," and suddenly I'm a First Amendment Speech Activist because you'll have to pry my Eve Fartlow from my cold, dead hands! Yaaaah!

In each of these cases, I'm making a judgment call. Sometimes that call involves considering how a name might make other people feel. Sometimes, it's informed by real-world context. Sometimes, I just think something mean is also funny. I generally prefer dignity and politeness to juvenile behaviors for their own sake, but the key word there is generally. And I think you can simultaneously be opposed to bigoted and exclusionary behaviors while not seeing certain things as all that problematic, and at the same time consider why people might not like the Very Slightly Problematic Thing, when those people are in the same room talking about why they're uncomfortable.

At the end of the day, I feel like my rule is to extend good faith to good faith. People who participate in bad faith have no room to ask the rest of us to change our ways, but if someone's sharing their feelings and perspectives on a thing, why not consider it? Even if the consideration doesn't lead to changed behavior or policy 100% of the time. There's value in genuinely considering other people's perspectives, and in valuing that they cared enough to share.

This isn't hard stuff, right? Like this doesn't feel especially tricky, nuance-wise. "People having different perspectives doesn't mean you have to fight to decide who's the Most Correct" is, like, Socializing 102.
posted by Tom Hanks Cannot Be Trusted at 1:32 PM on June 6 [15 favorites]


Flagging THCBT's comment for samoyedcore erasure.
posted by mittens at 3:38 PM on June 6 [2 favorites]


At the end of the day, I feel like my rule is to extend good faith to good faith. People who participate in bad faith have no room to ask the rest of us to change our ways, but if someone's sharing their feelings and perspectives on a thing, why not consider it?

The problem in this is how do you determine when people are participating in bad faith. I've found that in contentious threads the accusations of "bad faith" start flying when it's really that people have different points of view on the same issue.

I don't think the OP or others asking folks to drop the "Drumpf bit" were saying we needed a hard and fast moderation policy. Perhaps an issue for a future Meta would be how can we have conversations about this. Unfortunately I just can't find the right words to describe what "this" is. Something along the lines of discussing word choices/mores, obnoxious/ behaviors and where the line is between this is kind of bothering a lot of people vs. let's have a site policy. Also the tendency of a few folks to seem to want to jump anyone for saying something that falls into this. But then again there is the too often "this is just PC gone mad, my free speech" claims made by people who are just assholes. Anyway does any of this make sense?
posted by interogative mood at 8:18 AM on June 7


Unfortunately I just can't find the right words to describe what "this" is.

Stinky for one.
posted by y2karl at 4:28 PM on June 7


Something along the lines of discussing word choices/mores, obnoxious/ behaviors and where the line is between this is kind of bothering a lot of people vs. let's have a site policy.

Well, it would probably help for the ask to be explicit in the post itself, because I think a lot of people assume when someone makes a Meta post saying we shouldn't do something, then they are looking for either a hard rule or at least a strong norm. But if the aim is just generally to share perspectives, then the framing would need to be very different.
posted by ssg at 4:37 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]


There has been some speculation that the MeTa queue is being used as an editorial tool so, as promised, let’s talk about the MetaTalk queue: how it works, what can we change about it. Etc.

For context, here’s the original comment that sparked speculation about the rules around the Meta Queue.

- Once a Meta is submitted, it goes to a queue where it can be edited, approved or rejected.

- We evaluate each post in the queue on a case-by-case basis, however, most Metas get approved as they come. For example, so far this year, 54 out of 62 Metas have been approved.

- Out of the eight Metas rejected for far this year, two were rejected because they were about technical issues that got solved the same day. One was an angry response to a FPP comment in the blue from a user who then buttoned. The remaining 5 posts were rejected because they would not go well on MetaTalk for different reasons (like being a post about litigating US Elections, or being too centered about a specific user or being yet another thread about the I/P conflict).

- Every time a post is rejected we reach out to the user to explain the reason and work with them to see if they want to make adjustments or need anything else.

- Lastly, we do not edit submissions unilaterally, we only do this when agreed upon with the OP.

Now, regarding the posting schedule, we try to space Metas across the week. Moreover if they are policy-related, about posting etiquette or related to a heated subject. If a post is and “Ask The Community”, “Help me find this post, an obituary, or about a cool initiative or idea we’ll approve those right away, regardless of the other posts in the queue as we see no reason for those to be help up waiting.

The "rules" above have been inherited and more than a set of rules are taken as best practices and I have also discussed them with Jessamyn in the past. Now, can they change? Yes , if the changes we want to make are changes in how we proceed, we can discuss them and change them here. If the changes are technical, this will take time but we are working on making tech changes happen faster, more details on that later.

Okay fuck it, I'll engage in good faith. Would you mind giving a few examples of what you think are valid points?

Subjects for next week:

- Appropriate level of moderation in MetaTalk, frequency of deletions, policies around blocking.
posted by loup (staff) at 5:38 PM on June 7 [1 favorite]


I think you posted this in the wrong thread, Loup. At least, the comment you quoted is from the other MetaTalk, so a bit confusing here.
posted by brook horse at 6:28 PM on June 7 [10 favorites]


loup, if/when you repost that comment in the current thread, could you #pleaseanswer the questions regarding the one-post-per-day rule (or whatever you want to call it)? You sort of touched on the idea in your comment, but what folks saw was a new post being postponed because of a “rule” that had never been mentioned before and that didn’t really seem very plausible, since the stated rationale was that the mods somehow needed to devote their attention to a locked update thread for the day, and it seems like a bit more candor about what actually occurred would really go a long way with the community.
posted by not just everyday big moggies at 7:02 PM on June 7 [10 favorites]


Is there a reason we can't just call Trump Trump?

President Trump? Mr. Trump? Defendant Trump? Given all that confusion, I believe I'll stick with "Felonius Trump."

I don't know where I saw that, but it makes me smile.
posted by mule98J at 8:49 AM on June 9 [9 favorites]


If we're "punching down", I'd argue it's wrong. But we're taking shots at literally one of the most powerful political personages in the US (regardless of how he got there and stays there). Name-calling (within reason) expresses our frustration about or dislike for a person, without requiring us to physically assault that person.
posted by JustSayNoDawg at 2:32 PM on June 10 [4 favorites]


Especially when much as we'd like to do so, the opportunity to beat on TFG is denied to by far the bulk of us.
posted by y2karl at 2:41 PM on June 10 [2 favorites]


Late to the party, but something that was raised in the OP and that I haven't seen addressed in the comments - a big reason for calling Elon Musk by various related-but-not-quite anagrams and similar is that his fanboys are numerous and unpleasant, and can and will and have dogpile you if they perceive you to be saying bad things about him, and at least some of them definitely have google alerts turned on.
I'm given to understand from UK friends that similar things happen when you call J K Rowling by her preferred name on some platforms.
It has less to do with 'this is a bad person so I will not give them the respect of calling them by their preferred name' and more to do with 'this is a bad person so the only true things to say about them are bad things, but I would like to not be repeatedly told to kill myself, so I will call them by a name that won't instantly bring all of their supporters to harass me'.
posted by ngaiotonga at 2:29 PM on June 11 [11 favorites]


a big reason for calling Elon Musk by various related-but-not-quite anagrams and similar is that his fanboys are numerous and unpleasant, and can and will and have dogpile you if they perceive you to be saying bad things about him, and at least some of them definitely have google alerts turned on.

Thanks for that. I was unaware. Would E l o n M u s k (spaces between each letter) break most of those alerts? Also, given how many times his name is used on the blue (including in threads where people are using different names for him), I'm not really seeing any dogpiling on this site. Given that, is it really a justifiable reason to use different names?

Again, I'm coming at this almost entirely from the stance of "Who are we even talking about?" because my brain just sometimes can't parse it out. An example just from yesterday. Someone called him "Felonious Muskrat". Now, it was on a post about twitter, so I figured it out real fast. But, if they had posted it in Free Thread for example, I would have been lost. If the comment was "I hate Felonious Muskrat and all his cars." I just wouldn't figure it out for a long time.
posted by a non mouse, a cow herd at 9:02 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


Ah yes, the Voldemort/He Who Must Not Be Named treatment. That is actually a pretty good idea.
posted by jenfullmoon at 9:18 AM on June 12


Also, given how many times his name is used on the blue (including in threads where people are using different names for him), I'm not really seeing any dogpiling on this site. Given that, is it really a justifiable reason to use different names?

Musk and Rowling (and their adherents) tend to do their namesearching on Twitter, where the norm of using name variants originated. I don't think it's as necessary here.
posted by Uncle Ira at 9:56 AM on June 12 [2 favorites]


Circling back, since it is now Wednesday: Is there any intent to repost loup's comment above to the correct thread? Evidently, it's something only loup can do themselves, and I think people would probably have more responses to it there.
posted by sagc at 1:48 PM on June 12 [3 favorites]


Namecalling does not elevate my soul, but I will never be able to do a fraction of the damage these people do..... Because I do not wish them dead, barred from public life, forbidden from medical care, forced into uncomfortable situations because I have to pee, or at significant risk of injury or death because I wear pretty outfits for the 'wrong gender'. I appreciate that it can and does hurt innocent people, and that is problematic.
posted by Jacen at 4:23 PM on June 12


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