PSA = BOTW ? November 1, 2002 2:39 PM   Subscribe

Is Metafilter the place to post PSAs now?
posted by rushmc to Etiquette/Policy at 2:39 PM (46 comments total)

I also found some of the language used rather inappropriate for the front page, but primarily I am disturbed by the lack of substantive links that fit the criteria of the guidelines. We all have pet causes--some of them quite important and worthy, as this one no doubt is--and if we all chose to post them here, Metafilter would turn into far more of an issue-oriented chatfest than it is now.
posted by rushmc at 2:42 PM on November 1, 2002

Damnit, Rush beat me. But here's what I was putting together, anyway:

Stopping short of "Get your own blog," how about not advancing your socio-political agenda?
We have a link to a rather vague article about AOL starting1 to staff2 some chat rooms3 with counselors. Reading the post, this is apparently because of gay men's (ostensibly willful) efforts to increase the number syphillis cases.
While the sentiment is great and all, phrasing leaves something to be desired, and seemingly too personal(which loops back to getting a blog; Who are these "guys" being spoken to?). It's a meatless ISSUE post begging for countless "Me, too's," and borders on one of Miguel's "I just had a random thought" posts to MeTa.

1. Last year.
2. This was not stated. There was an unspecified(in terms on length[remember this was last year] and conditions) "partnership" with PlanetOut.
3. ¶ 3: “But it's not clear if AOL will specifically target chat rooms”

posted by Su at 2:55 PM on November 1, 2002

I didn't see a callout in the thread. Shouldn't Wolfdaddy be included in this discussion?
posted by eddydamascene at 3:01 PM on November 1, 2002

My question is to the community as a whole, not to WolfDaddy specifically, but I certainly welcome his perspective on why he chose to post as he did, so I added a "MetaTalk" notice to the thread.
posted by rushmc at 3:30 PM on November 1, 2002

I'm here now (thanks for the callout rushmc).

Well, what can I say? The post and the phrasing of same was borne out of extreme frustration, the links chosen to highlight that frustration. This is an issue I'm close to, being gay and having survived the 80s after all, but perhaps the cry of "people are still dying" wasn't the appropriate way to present this information to the MeFi crowd at large.

Mea culpa, though I'd appreciate some suggestions on how such information *could* be presented without my now self-evident frustration and ire. Because I do believe the information and the corresponding societial behaviors are worthy of mentioning here, as well as discussion worthy.

And I don't have my own blog. Can I still be a fuckwit? :-)

Oh, and su ... log on to just about any gay chatroom you'll find anywhere online. Those are the "guys" I'm addressing here, knowing full well that many people frequent both places.
posted by WolfDaddy at 3:46 PM on November 1, 2002

This doesn't seem all that different from using a kind of interesting legal story about a butler to launch a tangential discussion about monarchy vs. republicanism. Take marginally related link, add own agenda, ???, profit!

We do that a lot around here, in the name of our pet causes. Sometimes it turns out okay, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes people get offended, sometimes they don't. Can't say it's optimal to post something dear to your heart, but we're all motivated by something to create a post.
posted by mcwetboy at 4:00 PM on November 1, 2002

I wondered about this too when I saw the link, but since I have gay relatives and friends I thought "well, it's a worthy cause to make an exception for." But of course we all feel that way about our special causes... WolfDaddy, I'd suggest starting with a report, article, or whatever discussing the problem (hopefully in an interesting way) and then segue to a couple of links that express your frustration. Your personal outcry should probably go in [more inside]. Just my off-the-cuff response.
posted by languagehat at 4:07 PM on November 1, 2002

If wolfdaddy (et al) wants to "present this information to the MeFi crowd at large," then he's welcome to buy a text ad and promote his blog. They're cheap... they get noticed... and it keeps the FP clear of what is nothing more than a personal post to the blogger's blog.

And you're right, mcwetboy... all posts are motivated by something within. Period. But metafilter is about getting interesting sites into the hands of the community. Secondarily, it's becoming an outlet for news-related issues... but even Matthowie asks that newsy posts have some basic criteria.
posted by silusGROK at 4:09 PM on November 1, 2002

WolfDaddy, I was actually very interested in the issue and disappointed by the thread because of the way ot was framed. The waxing and waning of the AIDS epidemic among gays is often invisible to us heteros (it depends a lot on where you live and what media you read). I would have liked to learn something about whether AIDS statistics among gays are going up, and if so, why. I still don't know more than before I saw the thread. Education beats harangue every time in a forum like MeFi.

I think you could have led with the syphilis article, added some background for those of us not too close to this issue, and framed a question that would have allowed gays to contribute their firsthand experience and others to feel like they had an opportunity to learn and contribute.

It's not hard to understand the strength of your emotional reaction, and maybe you could have put it in a "more inside" first post that would have given some context to a more factual FPP. (on preview: languagehat, you owe me a beer)
posted by fuzz at 4:09 PM on November 1, 2002

On preview I deleted, so I'm buying beer for all, or is it the other way around.
PS,I did try to find some links for you wolf, but they didn't seem to add to the discussion.
posted by thomcatspike at 4:18 PM on November 1, 2002

I compliment you all on a very civil MetaTalk discussion. You've set an example for the rest of us.
posted by timeistight at 4:31 PM on November 1, 2002

So I have a question. When does the pet-issue-safety-announcement-thread disappear?
posted by hama7 at 4:34 PM on November 1, 2002

The sooner the better.
posted by hama7 at 4:35 PM on November 1, 2002

There was an announcement about pet safety? Dogs or cats?
posted by timeistight at 4:38 PM on November 1, 2002

Is Metafilter the place to post PSAs now?
posted by rushmc to etiquette/policy at 2:39 PM PST

Health education trumps wussy sensitivities. Walk on by - heard that one? Ignore it. Don't go there.

And any lives saved by a new emphasis on safe sex - whether Mefites, or those who hear from a Mefite tonight and protect themselves from a dangerous event - that wont be attributable to the nay-sayers.

There's always an exception to guidelines: this was a good one. Thank you Wolfy.

posted by dash_slot- at 4:40 PM on November 1, 2002

I enjoyed the post (and the thread), thinking it both informative and interesting. Perhaps technically (given the sensible limits on editorializing) WolfDaddy could have separated his exhortation and put it into a comment. But, given the identification and the fact that it wasn't against anyone or pushing a partial agenda, I actually think it strengthened the post - and is much more honest and convincing because of it.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 4:49 PM on November 1, 2002

dash_slot- I'm not sure I'd axe the thread. The "My Cracked Version of XP Doesn't Work Anymore" thread seems considerably worse. But Let's be real here. I don't believe for a moment that the thread is going to encourage even one reader to be safer.

Even if we did believe that, it sets a crappy precedent, and crappy precedents seem to be come common around here if left to fester.
posted by willnot at 5:14 PM on November 1, 2002

I remember posts about Star Wars and My Big Fat Greek Wedding that somehow survived even though they were horrible links. Surely if we bend the rules rarely we can bend it for an issue like this. And how many posts do you see weekly about Iraq that have weak links attached?

I never enjoy the whole 'prior precedent' method of making a point (in fact it gets on my nerves when others do it), but this post/discussion was informative to me about an issue I haven't heard enough lately.
posted by Stan Chin at 5:14 PM on November 1, 2002

I'm largely fine with the post, but my main problem is that the way it's phrased invites overly-personal sharing, which has a pretty dodgy history of responses on Metafilter: it was just destined to end up in MetaTalk with someone's feelings hurt, and of course with some ignorant "keep it in your pants, fags" comment. I had lots (and lots!) of things to add to the thread, but there was no way I'd do that in this forum.

There's plenty of interesting things going on with AIDS right now: State Office of AIDS funding in California, White House rebudgeting as the war looms, an epidemiological shift in the U.S., drug company production issues... Maybe this post could be reformulated with some more stuff on the psych of barebacking, actual first-hand stuff on it, and with current AIDS news.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 5:22 PM on November 1, 2002

What is everyone bitching about? I thought it was a pretty well-thought-out post.
posted by PrinceValium at 5:22 PM on November 1, 2002

Metafilter: What is everyone bitching about?
posted by PrinceValium at 5:26 PM on November 1, 2002

Health education trumps wussy sensitivities.

I'm sorry, dash_slot, but it just isn't so. The purpose of Metafilter is not public education. If it were, we could see a proliferation of "How to Prevent Forest Fires," "Don't Drink and Drive," "Recognizing Signs of Child Abuse," and an infinite number of other guides for living in the modern world and it would be perfectly appropriate and acceptable. But it wouldn't be.

Any post that tells people what to do rather than simply linking to something of interest online is necessarily and always bad.

Any post which does nothing but push an agenda, where the links were hunted for and found specifically to support the agenda, is not in the spirit of Metafilter.

Any post which at heart is no more than an emotional plea to the readers of Metafilter needs to find a home elsewhere. In practice, it is no different from a commercial advertising post seeking to tap the Metafilter market, though the intent may indeed be more noble.

It shouldn't matter how many people relate to an inappropriate post, comment in its thread, or defend its author; the fact that it shouldn't be there in the first place should not be overlooked. It is probably possible to post on virtually any topic and stay within the site guidelines. It is not the topic of WolfDaddy's post that is objectionable, it is the form and content of the post itself, and it is a very bad idea to start making "exceptions" for bad posts for any reason whatsoever, because all of the consequences of doing so are bad, not least of which being the example it sets for other members, new and old.

As for "saving lives," I suspect willnot is correct. If I were gay and/or in the habit of indulging in high-risk behavior, a low-content, preachy plea to change my habits would have no effect upon me at all, other than pissing me off because I don't like being patronized.

Sorry if it seems like I'm really going after you, WolfDaddy. I don't mean to. I simply think you made an ill-advised post that does not conform to the guidelines or the spirit of the site. It could happen to any of us. But to let it stand is not in the best interest of the site, which should be the dominant concern for all of us, methinks.
posted by rushmc at 5:31 PM on November 1, 2002

Health education trumps wussy sensitivities

One might as well argue that terrorism and the possibilty of war trump "wussy sensitivities." Then we could have IraqFilter every day.

And what rushmc said.
posted by Yelling At Nothing at 5:52 PM on November 1, 2002

Thanks for your opinion, rushmc.
posted by dash_slot- at 5:53 PM on November 1, 2002

Sorry, but the post had one good news link (syphilis on the rise) and one interesting item (counsellors sitting in on chat rooms); more than enough to justify itself. It wasn't just an emotional plea or a safety announcement.

It's unfair for people reading this MeTa thread (and not having read WolfDaddy's links) to imagine that the post was all heart-on-sleeve and nothing else.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 5:55 PM on November 1, 2002

Metafilter: I don't have my own blog. Can I still be a fuckwit?
posted by Succa at 6:41 PM on November 1, 2002

Actually, having one's own blog is a prerequisite of fuckwit status.
posted by timeistight at 6:58 PM on November 1, 2002

Thanks everyone for the civil discussion and your thoughts.

I learned from this, which will help inform future posts, which will hopefully keep what I choose to share with everyone here and the ensuing discussion as civil as my past contributions and their discussions have been. I have chosen to share some intensely personal stuff here, but perhaps did not realize that for many participants, this is not a preferred path. The only thing I can offer to you is to say I don't think any of the stuff I've shared has ever ... uh, degenerated or caused hurt feelings, and that I'd hope you'd trust me not to foster that kind of reaction now or in the future. Oh, and I'd also say that I hope I never stop learning how to be more effective in communicating via this particular medium ... so criticisms, kindly offered, are always viewed with as much gratitude as praise.

this is the way it's supposed to work, right?

now shut off that damned South Park "I Learned Something Today" music
posted by WolfDaddy at 6:59 PM on November 1, 2002

Thanks everyone for the civil discussion and your thoughts.

What, you think it's over? Bwahahahaha!

Unleash the hounds; your prey is ready now!
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:01 PM on November 1, 2002

A year ago, this would have been posted as: AOL responds to alarming rise in cases of syphilis among gay men. It would still have made the point but with less editorializing and less hogging of front page real estate...not to mention a whole lot less bitching from the peanut gallery.

This is a trend that's all over the front page. If you're desperate to post but can't find a good link, you'll turn to the "well thought-out" post. Pick a subject you care about, Google 5 or 6 links and there ya go. Sure, people will complain that it's outside the guidelines, but many will praise you for spending so much time composing your "essay" and finding all those marginal links (not one of which could stand alone as a decent MeFi link).

If we like the subject, we let it slide; if we don't, we unleash the hounds... hrm... hounds? WolfDaddy? I think I see a pay-per-view opportunity here.
posted by stefanie at 7:32 PM on November 1, 2002

The Irish Wolfhound

His stature tall, his body long,
His head like nights, his breast like snow,
His fore-leg pillar like and strong,
His hind-leg like a bended bow,
Rough curling hair, headlong and thin,
His ear like a leaf, so small and round,
Not Bran, the favourite of Finn,
Could rival old Metafilter's hound.

As fly the shadows, o'er the grass,
He flies with step as light and sure,
He hunts the wolf at Rushmc's pass,
And stands the deer at Lisanoure
The music of the Sabbath bells,
O Con! has not a sweeter sound,
Than when along the valley swells,
The cry of old Metafilter's hound.

posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:48 PM on November 1, 2002

I can see I am far too late for this thread.

But at least we know oissubke's for gay marriage--who'd a-thunk it?
posted by y2karl at 8:37 PM on November 1, 2002

MetaTalk Rule of Thumb #127: When Miguel can both legitimately post a poem, and does so, the thread is over.
posted by yhbc at 8:46 PM on November 1, 2002

What are you trying to insinuate here, you Hitlerite Liza Minnelli loving Nazi?
posted by y2karl at 9:27 PM on November 1, 2002

Hey! She was great in Cabaret!
posted by yhbc at 9:43 PM on November 1, 2002

Life's a cabaret, old chum!
posted by Hildago at 10:11 PM on November 1, 2002

Hey! She was great in Cabaret!

Have you no shame, sir?

posted by y2karl at 10:43 PM on November 1, 2002

Why is it, whenever I see our favourite guide's name, oissubke, my mind turns deliciously to veal shanks?
posted by MiguelCardoso at 2:09 AM on November 2, 2002

Sorry, but the thread in question was (and is) a chunk of shit, according to the guidelines.

So now threads with descriptions of graphic anal sex and pet-issue topics are grist for the MetaFilter mill? Ridiculous, and disappointing, and trashy.

You can paint a dandelion on it, or write a poem about it, or put a condom on it, but a piece of crap is still a piece of crap.

posted by hama7 at 3:31 AM on November 2, 2002

You can put a condom on it, but a piece of crap is still a piece of crap.

Oh man, i've been doing this safe sex thing all wrong...
posted by robself at 4:47 AM on November 2, 2002

nothing wrong with the post or the thread, certainly better than the usual flamewar that ensues after another politically orientated post is smeared across the blue.

So no I cannot concur with the concise chunk of shit assessment.
posted by johnnyboy at 4:47 AM on November 2, 2002

And I don't have my own blog. Can I still be a fuckwit? :-)

there's this nice site, where you can get your own weblog in minutes, if you feel so inclined

also, is apparently available

posted by matteo at 6:37 AM on November 2, 2002

I compliment you all on a very civil MetaTalk discussion.

Well, until hama7 showed up.

MetaTalk: Not civil for long!
posted by languagehat at 10:13 AM on November 2, 2002

"threads with descriptions of graphic anal sex "

Figures. My DSL account goes down for two days and I miss all the good stuff.

Although, as I think about it, a graphic description of anal sex might be more to my liking.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:06 PM on November 2, 2002

Actually, having one's own blog is a prerequisite of fuckwit status.

I thought it was the other way around ;-)
posted by dg at 9:53 PM on November 3, 2002

I'm sorry, I got lost looking for the "why the hell does oissubke think this is his/her private blog" thread. Could you point me to it?
posted by norm at 9:21 AM on November 4, 2002

« Older What happened to the moratorium on op-ed politics...   |   Warez link bad Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments