More useless images in threads April 10, 2003 3:21 AM   Subscribe

More useless images in threads. When was the last time you saw a relevant image in a Metafilter thread? We talk about it all the time, but is there any point in keeping the img tag?
posted by adrianhon to Etiquette/Policy at 3:21 AM (87 comments total)

Hey Rocky, watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat!

Oops, wrong hat.

Wrong thread, and deja vu, too.
posted by hama7 at 3:55 AM on April 10, 2003


The teletubbies picture made me chuckle.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:25 AM on April 10, 2003


Humor is alive? Open fire!
posted by Pretty_Generic at 4:59 AM on April 10, 2003


Humor isn't dead, pretty_generic, but clearly humor is pretty much wasted on the likes of ParisParamus and BubbaDude, neither of whom appear to be interested in anything other than 'hearing' themselves 'speak'.

(dunno, space coyote, but I gotta say, Tinkie Winkie looks damned hot in that picture...)
posted by JollyWanker at 5:15 AM on April 10, 2003


y2karl tried to put some humor in an increasingly ugly thread. also, you can't argue against the Cat in the Hat, sorry
It's like being against Snoopy!
posted by matteo at 5:17 AM on April 10, 2003


We should go sparingly on img's, but ban them? Argh! Humor has kept me alive this long and I'm obliged to it.

Maybe we could just agree that y2karl has used up his img ration for the next week? y2karl, put this on (the dress too), stand in a corner, repeat the Mefi posting guidelines 5 times -- and I say that's penance enough.

The longer you're here, the harder it is to take this place without a grain of salt.
*Fights the urge to post an img here*
Unsolicited admission: I like watching the Teletubbies sometimes. They're surreal and trippy. Whoever creates that show is smoking something really good.
posted by Shane at 5:43 AM on April 10, 2003


Perhaps a 'disable inline images' option easily and clearly labelled in the user preferences page would help.

Though I agree that while a funny image now and then is good, too much of a good thing is an awesome thing, but too much of an awesome thing is really really dumb, and bad.
posted by Space Coyote at 5:53 AM on April 10, 2003


my elephant and i thank you all.
posted by quonsar at 5:58 AM on April 10, 2003


I tried. I really, really tried. However, I cannot come up with any halfway reasonable defense for y2karl's use of those images in that thread. Maybe if I drink more coffee... ;-P
posted by mischief at 6:11 AM on April 10, 2003


nobody asked you to. banning images would be a bad thing. it would place metafilter one more step inside the humor-free zone of the puffed up self important whine-o-matics who inhabit meta on a regular basis to discuss what to do about the problem of all these (ugh) untidy members. what they really want to do is ban everybody but themselves. fuck 'em.
posted by quonsar at 6:18 AM on April 10, 2003


I think we need to ban the img tag, as well as the letters B, Q and Y, the number 6, and all use of the % symbol.
posted by crunchland at 6:20 AM on April 10, 2003


fuck 'em.

Who's "'em"? Do you mean the guy who has requested that image tags not be overused or abused?

Hint: his name rhymes with 'natshmowie'.
posted by hama7 at 6:32 AM on April 10, 2003


ban the img tag, as well as the letters B, Q and Y, the number 6, and all use of the % symbol.

What? And give up caterpillar ASCII art? Never!

%qbqbqbqbq

66yyyyyyyyy
posted by rory at 6:33 AM on April 10, 2003


I think we need to ban the img tag, as well as the letters B, Q and Y, the number 6, and all use of the % symbol.

But today's program was brought to you by the number six!

I do, however, support the occasional "banning" of random letters or words, which would then be replaced automatically with asterixes or maybe with other random letters or phrases such as "pissing elephants."

E.G. :

"We must support regime change in Iraq!"

vs

"We must support pissing elephants in Iraq!"

It'd be like Pee Wee's Playhouse, we could all guess what the secret word-of-the-day is. (It already IS a little like Pee Wee's Playhouse here, isn't it? Or maybe Paul Reubens's basement. It ain't Mr Roger's neighborhood.)
posted by Shane at 6:37 AM on April 10, 2003


Here is the relevant Mathowie comment.

Why is it assumed that just because I want to talk about the use of the img tag, I must be a humor-free puffed up self important whine-o-matic? Believe it or not, there are plenty of ways to be funny on Metafilter without using images, and it is hardly the first step on a slippery slope to banning all jokes and humour.

I honestly didn't see the point of the images in the thread I linked to. It didn't seem as if they injected any humour into the thread, hardly anyone took any notice and it certainly didn't stop the arguments from raging on.

To be honest, I was wary about posting this thread because I knew that people would jump on it immediately. It's as if I can't make a complaint about a perceived abuse of the img tag because I'll automatically be labelled as a killjoy.
posted by adrianhon at 6:43 AM on April 10, 2003


The part that bugs people is the proposed banning of the IMG tag. A reminder to keep images relevant is entirely different. It's like the difference between asking about a poster's behaviour and having the presumption to suggest he or she be kicked out or given a 'time out'.

And perhaps some people just don't like images that clash with teh nice pretty blue background. Perhaps if we messed with the RGB on any posted images to include more blue people wouldn't get so worked up about them.
posted by Space Coyote at 6:58 AM on April 10, 2003


1) Images good.

2) Too many images bad.


I reckon that's relatively clear, and enough.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:59 AM on April 10, 2003


I can't think of any reason the images were a good idea in that thread.
I also can't think of any reason they were bad.
posted by y6y6y6 at 7:01 AM on April 10, 2003


For the record, I don't actually think that images should be banned on mefi. However, the point behind 'too many images is bad' doesn't seem to be getting through to people. As Matt said, "It's hard to convey what expected behavior new users should follow, without some hard and fast rules." I can't remember the last time I saw a useful image in a thread.

I admit this isn't exactly a life or death issue, but I posted this because I got pissed off at seeing, once again, a whole bunch of images in a thread that (to me) had no purpose. "They're not pertinent to discussion and a distraction."
posted by adrianhon at 7:05 AM on April 10, 2003


I also can't think of any reason they were bad.

I'll give you one: their intent was to detract from the thread, not add to it. Wouldn't simple non-participation have been a better form of protest?
posted by pardonyou? at 7:12 AM on April 10, 2003


If images on a screen are making you 'pissed off' I'd suggest a walk in the park.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:20 AM on April 10, 2003


Well, in my opinion the images were better than most of the posts in that thread.

Meanwhile I will be over here throwing Metamucil, Maalox, Midol and a little klonopin into a blender-you can all start lining up now, and I will provide the paper cups.
posted by konolia at 7:28 AM on April 10, 2003


Perhaps if we messed with the RGB on any posted images to include more blue people wouldn't get so worked up about them.

*dying to post these img's but clenching like a good kid.*
posted by Shane at 7:32 AM on April 10, 2003


adrianhon, i'm sorry, i didn't mean to target you. it was more aimed at the overall 'look and feel' of far too many metatalk posts.
posted by quonsar at 7:34 AM on April 10, 2003


Would it be preferably if I used 'mildly annoyed' or 'somewhat irritated' instead of 'pissed off'? This has nothing to do with my emotional stability (or lack thereof). I am not so far gone that I start hurling things at the monitor when I see images in threads, or that I don't possess a sense of humour (I'm English, after all). It's to do with the fact that I, and others, am bugged by seeing arguably pointless and distracting images in threads.

Quonsar: No probs :)
posted by adrianhon at 7:37 AM on April 10, 2003


MetaMusil: laxative as conversation.
posted by Space Coyote at 7:43 AM on April 10, 2003


I guess it's time for ImageFilter

(No idea where that link goes, it's blocked from work here, so I guess NSFW)
posted by sebas at 7:47 AM on April 10, 2003

It's as if I can't make a complaint about a perceived abuse of the img tag because I'll automatically be labelled as a killjoy.
Well, DUH!!!
posted by mischief at 7:59 AM on April 10, 2003


On the plus side: A picture is worth 1,000 words, so that's 8,000 words that y2karl spared us.

I kid, y2karl - love ya.
posted by iconomy at 7:59 AM on April 10, 2003


sebas, it goes to ebuzz.com:

EBUZZ.com delivers the Best Entertainment & Info directly to you via: Email, Mobile Phone, Pager, Instant Messenger, Desktop, Handheld, and TV! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! FREE! EBUZZ.com has so many great topics to choose from! Pickup Lines - Clean Jokes - Dirty Jokes - Trivia - Horoscopes - Celebrity Gossip - Breakup Lines - Fashion News - Quotes - Recipes - Movie Reviews - Contests - Bartender's Guide - Dating Guide - Love Hurts - Nightlife Guide - Local Weather - Local Events - Freebies - Video Game News - DVD News - Stock Alerts - Lottery Alerts - Work Sucks - Pissed Off - Celebrity Chats - Wrestling News - Comic Book News - Anime News - Action Figure Updates - Sports News- Men's News - Women's News - Teen News - TV News - Soap Opera News - Local Savings - Product Recalls - Babe of the day - Hunk of the Day - Celebrity Chats - Fitness Tips - Romance Tips - Music News - Concert Updates - and so much more!

SFW, but NSF(discerning)Websurfers.
posted by rory at 8:01 AM on April 10, 2003


... i'm sorry ...
posted by quonsar at 7:34 AM PST on April 10


* stocks up on MREs and bottled water, heads to the fallout shelter and puts REM on the stereo *
posted by yhbc at 8:07 AM on April 10, 2003


SNFDW - I'm using that, rory.
posted by iconomy at 8:22 AM on April 10, 2003


"I'll give you one: their intent was to detract from the thread, not add to it."

Detract??? The whole thread should have been nuked from orbit. How could anything detract from the bile and anger in that thread? Seriously. It's like someone waving a flower in the middle of a riot. No one even notices because they're too busy punching and getting punched.

The best thing that could have happened to that thread was for it to have been derailed by a discussion of the Teletubbies. It was (is) a bandwidth-sucking, ugly pool of bitterness and anger.
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:28 AM on April 10, 2003


Metafilter: a bandwidth-sucking ugly pool of bitterness and anger.

Sometimes.

(I only tag 'em when they beg to be tagged.)
posted by Shane at 8:46 AM on April 10, 2003


y2karl's images sure looked like heckling to me. Tell me what the difference between an image of cat in the hat is, and putting a comment that says "I like pancakes" or "this war, it vibrates?"

Once would have been amusing and excusable, but 8 is just heckling to get everyone to shut up.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 8:49 AM on April 10, 2003


I've just thought of a great new feature: killjoy options. Killjoy option one would allow you to killfile anyone youthink is too silly. Killjoy option two would allow you killfile anyone who used option one.
posted by timeistight at 8:53 AM on April 10, 2003


I prefer it if you just link to the pictures you wanna show so I do not have to load them. Why slow the place down?
posted by thirteen at 8:55 AM on April 10, 2003


"8 is just heckling to get everyone to shut up."

And that Ariel Sharon is wiping his flaccid penis, having successfully removed it from your quivering rectum. are you Noam Chomsky? What is the FUCKING matter with you people? Do you hate America and George Bush so much that you would rather have seen an Iraqi population continue to live under Sadaam's opression? FUCK FRANCE AND CHIRAC. So you're one of those who would rather see Saddam still in power?

...... shutting up ..... Not always such a bad idea.
posted by y6y6y6 at 9:27 AM on April 10, 2003


8 is just heckling to get everyone to shut up

what y6y6y6 just said

if 8 images is heckling (I don't agree, at least in this case), well, what we should we do with Sharon's anal sex comment, the Fuck the French thing, et. al.? that stuff looks much worse than Cat in the Hat heckling
posted by matteo at 9:49 AM on April 10, 2003


Henry David Thoreau wrote in Walden,

We would rather speak than be heard.

Last night went past that benchmark in what 9622.net makes a joke of: truly hurling shit--speech as defilement.

It was a terminal ward of pus pocket Last-word-itis.

If I annoyed the people who wanted to read every last word of everyone laboriously painting the other side into sick cartoon straw men, my apologies. It was intended more as silent protest than heckling than and I didn't think one was enough, given the deluge of slime. But then I got like everyone in the thread and overdid it.

Shane is right--I've used up my quota for some time.
posted by y2karl at 9:50 AM on April 10, 2003


I've used up my quota for some time.

Just a week. And the dress is optional (unless it's your thing.)
posted by Shane at 9:58 AM on April 10, 2003


Upon review, I really should have stopped at three.

I started a list here--someone should update it. I don't have the...
posted by y2karl at 10:17 AM on April 10, 2003


...WMD?
posted by quonsar at 10:45 AM on April 10, 2003


Hmm, maybe I should have linked to goatse.cx after all...
posted by y2karl at 10:54 AM on April 10, 2003


When was the last time you saw a relevant image in a Metafilter thread?

Here?
posted by eddydamascene at 12:16 PM on April 10, 2003


Right, that was more of a rhetorical question, but obviously that was a good use of the img tag. The point is that it doesn't happen that often; admittedly, perhaps often enough that it's still worth having the img tag, but there's way more misuse. Exactly how you could prevent misuse while still having people use it well is not a problem solved easily (other than shouting at them repeatedly).

On the thread in question; yes, it wasn't exactly a shining example of Mefi. No-one likes it when things degenerate like that, but surely it's better to just stay away and not comment? I'm not going to defend the quality of some of the comments but I don't think that means you should heckle.
posted by adrianhon at 12:25 PM on April 10, 2003


No-one likes it when things degenerate like that, but surely it's better to just stay away and not comment?

Did you miss the memo? I'm supposedly the person who's always trying to shut people up.

I wasn't heckling. Must you malign my intent just to get the last word or are you afraid you haven't made yourself clear on the topic?
posted by y2karl at 12:48 PM on April 10, 2003


And, Jesus Christ, it wasn't exactly a shining example of Mefi--can we euphimize that a bit more?

It was a bunch of assholes heckling each other.

In that context, my images fit right in--as defined by you.
posted by y2karl at 12:52 PM on April 10, 2003


Move away from the keyboard. Time for a walk. Perhaps some ice tea on the patio? Here..... have a cookie. [group hugs everyone]
posted by y6y6y6 at 1:02 PM on April 10, 2003


You are right--my apologies, adrianhon. And I see towards the end there, raysmj, Mathowie and Mars Saxman came in for the save.
posted by y2karl at 1:06 PM on April 10, 2003


So this is what it has finally come to: mattowie explaining that multiple randomly posted images in a thread might be a little out of bounds, and 15 users yelling "unclench!"
posted by Mid at 1:29 PM on April 10, 2003



posted by angry modem at 1:46 PM on April 10, 2003


Beth probably wins, in my opinion, for this photo.

( this is only a link to the thread. You'll have to manually scroll down for the image, as some might see it as NSFW.)
posted by bradth27 at 1:46 PM on April 10, 2003


Beware: non-rhetorical use of inquiry ahead.

To those on all sides of this discussion except no-images-ever, what constitutes good use of inline images?
posted by squirrel at 1:48 PM on April 10, 2003


I prefer it if you just link to the pictures you wanna show so I do not have to load them. Why slow the place down?
I reccomend this every time this issue comes up, but it's more fun to call each other names, so I'm always ignored.
posted by SpecialK at 2:35 PM on April 10, 2003


The visual representation of the smiley face created by the locations of the various mailbox bombs seemed appropriate in these two threads.
posted by darainwa at 2:44 PM on April 10, 2003


my bethywethypookykins is SUCH a hotty!!!!
posted by quonsar at 3:17 PM on April 10, 2003


this is not a singles bar, konse.
posted by sgt.serenity at 5:19 PM on April 10, 2003


[Pvt. Doberman] But, Sahge...[/Pvt. Doberman]
posted by y2karl at 5:41 PM on April 10, 2003


Lets keep em, but...

You get one in-line image post a year. Don't waste it.
posted by skallas at 10:15 PM on April 10, 2003


I reccomend this every time this issue comes up, but it's more fun to call each other names, so I'm always ignored.

Learn to spell, douche bag! [insert image of douche bag here]
posted by The God Complex at 10:42 PM on April 10, 2003


To those on all sides of this discussion except no-images-ever, what constitutes good use of inline images?

I've seen it used well in presenting graphs of statistical analysis. I'm too lazy to find the example: it exists. Basically, I think if it's going to take more than fifty words to explain, post the jpg already. YMMV.
posted by walrus at 6:01 AM on April 11, 2003


also, no hot-linking to images on sites that are not yours. we already have trouble killing off geocities sites with our sheer force of bandwidth. I'd add to that no images as pure heckling, no NSFW images, no images in FPPs themselves, and nothing over about 20K in respect for our dial-up users [of which I am soon to become one]. I find it pretty tough to imagine a situation in which a link to an image would not suffice.

Personally, I'd love to see a nifty little bit of code that took all IMG tags in comments and automagically made them into links to the image.
posted by jessamyn at 7:31 AM on April 11, 2003


Well then, jessamyn turn off images in your browser and right click on all the ones you decide to see.

The rest of us might not want to be forever shackled to the lowest common denominator.
posted by NortonDC at 8:07 AM on April 11, 2003


I've seen it used well in presenting graphs of statistical analysis.

walrus, like this.
posted by quonsar at 8:35 AM on April 11, 2003


NortonDC: The rest of us might not want to be forever shackled to the lowest common denominator.

Speak for yourself. With my satellite connection, I envy dialup users.

Also, think of the poor folks who have to pay extra for bandwidth because someone put a direct link to their image in a popular thread on MeFi.
posted by jaden at 8:57 AM on April 11, 2003


Anyone who posts images should host the image either on their own server, or link to a site that has resources to share and policies discouraging reproduction on another server (such as Yahoo News.) Anything else is just plain lack of manners.
posted by PrinceValium at 9:14 AM on April 11, 2003


I think we should ban all images except those hilarious ones that feature teletubbies. those are just comedy gold.
posted by crunchland at 9:57 AM on April 11, 2003


Here's a thought, jaden: turn off image loading for yourself instead trying to change the rest of the world fit your situation.
posted by NortonDC at 2:37 PM on April 11, 2003


"It's easier to put on slippers than carpet the world." -Stuart Smalley
posted by squirrel at 12:19 AM on April 12, 2003


The rest of us might not want to be forever shackled to the lowest common denominator

....instead trying to change the rest of the world fit your situation

NortonDC the question on the table is "what constitutes good use of inline images?" not "how do you want to make MeFi your own personal fiefdom?" No one is trying to change the world, or MeFi really, but there seems to be a change happening anyhow and trying to talk about it ahead of time instead of just banning people or tags after the fact seems to be a conscientious and proactive way of dealing with it.

The question from a community standpoint is whether MeFi is trying to be inclusive by acceding to the lowest common denominator at the expense of fewer extra features or whether it's better to try to err on the side of more options and letting people who can't handle it either cope or drop off. Your opinion and mine on this position are obvious, but neither of us has an obvious mandate from the community at large so perhaps it's a good idea to see what other people have to say before assuming that your opinions for some reason are more valid than anyone else's. There are ways to respectfully disagree, and there are ways to make MeFi pretty good for most people instead of great for some and sucky for others.
posted by jessamyn at 10:47 AM on April 12, 2003


Dude! It's simple. Make a link to the image. If someone wants to see said image, fine. If someone doesn't, they don't have to click. This isn't that complicated.

I really don't see how there should ever be a reason to embed an image directly into a MeFi thread. When is it ever a requirement? Here? No. The link could have gone to the image, instead of insisting it be loaded with the thread. No need to embed the image into the thread, unless you really don't like the guy who owns the server where that image is, cuz the load of getting MeFi'd could crash a smaller system.

Although it's nice sometimes maybe it's not necessary. If it's getting abused, Matt is fully in his right to restrict image use either across the board or for any individual who abuses it. If that's shackling to the lowest common denominator, so be it. It's better to err on the side of caution, not options. If a person doesn't like it there are other places one can go. Embedded images work better elsewhere.
posted by ZachsMind at 2:11 PM on April 12, 2003


Uh, folks?

I have a dialup modem and the images never give me any trouble at all.

I don't think there should be a million pics cluttering up the place, but the occasional pancake bunny or teletubby isn't going to kill anyone.
posted by konolia at 7:53 PM on April 12, 2003


Dude! It's simple. Tools -> Internet Options -> Advanced -> Show Pictures (deselect). If someone wants to post an image, fine. If they don't, they don't.

Trust me, that's roughly 1000 times easier than getting the rest of us to change our behavior, especially when we all know it's that easy for you deal with on your own.

Even better on non-IE browsers. In Phoenix:
Tools -> Preferences -> Advanced -> Images -> Enable images:for the originating Web site only.
You never see what others post to the threads, and you get to avoid policing the rest of the world.

Capiche?
posted by NortonDC at 12:00 AM on April 13, 2003


Dude! Who said anything about policing? It's simple common sense and netiquette. If someone posts the image directly that's life, but they should get tarred & feathered for it in MeTa because it's just plain bad form. A link to the image is simply being cordial to your fellow surfers. It's what separates the vets from the wannabes. Capiche?
posted by ZachsMind at 11:48 AM on April 13, 2003


this thread is comedy gold, i tells ya.

'comedy gold i tells ya' is a registeredĀ® trademarkā„¢ of clavdivs internet media corporation. used without permission.
posted by quonsar at 1:19 PM on April 13, 2003


Photos are okay. It's all these goddamn emoticons that are killing me.
posted by Samsonov14 at 1:48 PM on April 13, 2003


NortonDC, you're completely missing the point. It's not whether I see the images or not, it's the bandwidth that you're stealing from someone else. By posting an image, you can cost them money. How fair is that?
posted by jaden at 4:44 PM on April 13, 2003


jaden--It's not whether I see the images or not, it's the bandwidth that you're stealing from someone else.

No, it's not. Because it's not stealing.

Including an image tag in the thread means an instruction gets sent to the client saying "request an image from server x and display it here." The client rendering the thread can choose weather or not to honor that that instruction. Should the client choose to make the request, the server holding the image then receives a request for the image. The server may or may not honor the request for the image, depending on the server's own policies regarding any number of factors including where the request came from and who referred the requestor. If the server's policies allow it to honor the request and serve it up, it does.

It's a series of requests between three parties, each of which can participate or not at its own discretion, which is pretty fucking far from stealing.
posted by NortonDC at 9:54 PM on April 13, 2003


it's the bandwidth that you're stealing from someone else.

Er, not if you host the image yourself.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 10:05 PM on April 13, 2003


If you host the image away from its original location, you are most likely stealing the image itself, no? Unless it is an image you own, of course.
posted by dg at 11:50 PM on April 13, 2003


walrus, like this

Why yes, that's perfect. Looks like squid.
posted by walrus at 2:29 AM on April 14, 2003


The server may or may not honor the request for the image, depending on the server's own policies regarding any number of factors including where the request came from and who referred the requestor. If the server's policies allow it to honor the request and serve it up, it does

But, since the default setting on most servers is set to serve up all requested images unless specifically told not to, assuming that the ability to hotlink other people's images gives you tacit license to do so is crazytalk. Most people don't know that their bandwidth [that they pay for in some cases] can be usurped this way. Does that make them uninformed? Sure. Does that mean someone should take advantage of their ignorance for a cheap joke? My answer is no.
posted by jessamyn at 7:47 AM on April 14, 2003


jessamyn, your arguments can also be held up to explain why many people do hotlink to images. They are unaware of just those issues which make it a Bad ThingTM.

In my opinion, this issue will continue to exist until everyone is aware of it, and then there will be no reason not to take care of it all at the server side, which really is the best place to cater for it, ignorance apart.
posted by walrus at 8:28 AM on April 14, 2003


NortonDC: The client rendering the thread can choose weather

Now that I wasn't aware of. Why can't I get Mozilla to choose blue skies with no chance of rain?

All mocking aside, web browsers and web servers default to display and serve images, so the vast majority will not disable those features. Ignoring the semantic argument regarding stealing, your image can cause unnecessary annoyance or cost to someone, which isn't nice. And we want to be nice, right?
posted by jaden at 3:31 PM on April 14, 2003


No, not really.
posted by timeistight at 4:14 PM on April 14, 2003


It figures.
posted by jaden at 4:36 PM on April 14, 2003


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