What happened to the CafePress/LGF thread? June 10, 2003 3:25 PM   Subscribe

I haven't had my coffee yet this morning, but unless I'm mistaken, the CafePress/LGF thread from yesterday is gone. What happened?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken to Etiquette/Policy at 3:25 PM (54 comments total)

"This post was deleted for the following reason: link no longer works and this about sums it up"

YMMV, of course.
posted by Ufez Jones at 3:34 PM on June 10, 2003

$0.02: poor deletion choice.
posted by quonsar at 3:37 PM on June 10, 2003

I just saw that deletion reason myself.

I'd have to paint myself more than a little chagrined at this decision, me. Chilling effects, anyone?

At the risk of a typical self-regarding teapot tempest, I have to ask if deleting that thread was in anyone's interestes other than LGF (who get to high-five each other that they've silenced their self-perceived enemies) and CafePress, who were beginning to look as if they might have some 'splainin' to do. That thread was of higher value than most, even with my splenetic foul-mouthedness intact, I reckon.

posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 3:40 PM on June 10, 2003

It's a great thread, considering that this comment led to the deletion of several more Cafe Press stores and thus became part of the story.
posted by xowie at 3:53 PM on June 10, 2003

It seemed like a lot of pointless LGF bashing to me. Someone made a comment in the religion thread I also deleted, that we've essentially become like Free Republic where someone points out some nutters site and everyone points and laughs and says "whoo, them people sure is crazy" over and over.

The link in the thread goes to a store not found, and the rest of it was making fun of people at LGF. There wasn't anything interesting in my mind, which is why I pointed to the comment saying as much, because I think it about sums it all up.

Cafepress wasn't censoring because they are a private company that can do anything they want. I didn't appreciate the people bashing the mefi member that works there either, that was petty, personal, and a bit over the top.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:06 PM on June 10, 2003

That makes sense. I'm of the opinion that links should hold up for someone going back and looking at the archive. If the link is broken it's no longer any good. I don't think too many people car what TokenPoliticalOpinionSpouter had to say on a given subject on a given day versus the actual link itself.
posted by Space Coyote at 4:13 PM on June 10, 2003

I have to ask if deleting that thread was in anyone's interestes other than LGF

I don't like the tone or content at LGF, but they have every right to keep doing what they do. I've got a low tolerance for LGF bashing because it's both intellectually lazy (hey, let's link to a site and point out how nuts people are, that's stimulating) and I think people enjoy starting fights with another community for some reason. I think it's pointless and juvenile, like being at summer camp and starting a fight with the "fat camp" across the lake just because we can.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:15 PM on June 10, 2003

but, Matt, the difference between the "sexual purity" site and Cafe Press is that, at least until recently, huge numbers of people have had Cafe Press shops. The religion site could be an example of "look there" but just about anything having to do with Cafe Press is "look here".

Just as Google reaps obsessive scrutiny along with the rewards of being overwhelmingly popular, so must Cafe Press, or any major internet provider of anything (Verizon, et al) that is a major market player. The argument of being a private business only goes so far when the market is the internet, and a vast number of subscribers are internet users to whom these issues are important.
posted by taz at 4:28 PM on June 10, 2003

They may have every right to do what they do, those nutty LGF kids, but when they start to reach out and shut down what others are doing (even something as trivial and dumb as Osama baby bibs), then it's time to take notice and be vocal about it.

You're deeply wrong here that it's about 'starting fights with another community,' Matt. It's about much more than that - it's about hate-mongering and the sort of freedoms that allow all of us to 'do what we do' online, at least in my opinion.

The Metafilter community, of course, could be accused of sending out the winged monkeys to attack and harrass those who get our collective noses out of joint. I am aware of this, and realize it could be used to argue 'so what's different?'

Hatred, xenophobia, outright racism, attempts to silence opposing viewpoints, these are a few of the things that are different, for starters.

It's your purview to delete threads at your whim, of course, but calling what happened in that thread 'pointless and juvenile' (except of course for my corn/poop comment there, I'm the first to admit), and to suggest that the resentment and anger came from 'starting a fight...just because we can' is insulting to the members of this community, and wilfully missing the point, I think.

That said, I'd be unwilling to stir up LGF, Anilesque, and have them come after me too, if that was a factor in your decision to nuke the thread. I understand your dilemma, but calling it 'juvenile' is just not on.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:52 PM on June 10, 2003

(just to clarify : call me juvenile, sure. I am, frequently. I shouldn't have been, in that thread. But most of the other people in that thread were anything but.)
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:59 PM on June 10, 2003

stavros, yeah me taking heat for the action of others on this site is part of it, but I would also ask you why you care so deeply that they "get to high five one another."

I didn't feel at all threatened by the cafepress store in question, and I do think Cafepress has every right to shut it down, but if some community feels it is important to protest it, they can go right ahead, and yeah, I can say they are silly for spending energy on it, but I don't think MetaFilter is the right venue for it.

If someone posted a link to a thread on the christian coalition's latest boycott, or the focus on the family's latest tirade, I seriously doubt they'd make for an interesting thread beyond "boy, those people are nuts."
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:59 PM on June 10, 2003

if some community feels it is important to protest it, they can go right ahead, and yeah, I can say they are silly for spending energy on it, but I don't think MetaFilter is the right venue for it.

Matt, it appears that to you this post was about LGF; what interested me about the issue has nothing to do with LGF. I would agree with you if I thought the point of the post was about how "silly and ridiculous those LGF people are". That would be petty and boring. What is much more interesting to me is what Cafe Press does, and when, and why.
posted by taz at 5:24 PM on June 10, 2003

stavrosthewonderchicken has hit the nail right on the head here, particularly with the "high five" situation and, although the comment that I made (along the lines of "what do you expect from LGF") was perhaps not particularly constructive, there is certainly a principle at stake here and I am disappointed that the thread was deleted.

Would I make the same decision if my hand was on the doomsday lever? Quite possibly. MetaFilter is not really a suitable place for what amounts to political debate over clothing and the whole thing was really a storm in a teacup when you get down to it.
posted by dg at 6:10 PM on June 10, 2003

I didn't feel at all threatened by the cafepress store in question, and I do think Cafepress has every right to shut it down, but if some community feels it is important to protest it, they can go right ahead, and yeah, I can say they are silly for spending energy on it, but I don't think MetaFilter is the right venue for it.

I see your point, Matt, and I agree on all counts, bar the last one, perhaps. You are the final arbiter there, though, so I bow to your judgement.

As dg mentioned upthread, it's probably a teapot-tempest, but (without sounding too awfully sententious, I hope (yeah, right)) in these difficult and uncertain times some vigilance must be exercised, ya know?
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:21 PM on June 10, 2003

heh. he said sententious. heh.
posted by quonsar at 6:27 PM on June 10, 2003

I'd like to take this opportunity to say every time Little Green Footballs gets mentioned I think it's this for a good 5 minutes or so. It's the emo band title-naming convention that gets me all mixed up. That and ethanol.
posted by yerfatma at 7:54 PM on June 10, 2003

Now. About this Fat Kids Camp you mention across the river - who's with me? Let's go kick some fat kid ass!!!
posted by jonson at 8:32 PM on June 10, 2003

Just to complete the loop - Haughey Deletes Another LGF Thread at MeFi
posted by jamespake at 8:54 PM on June 10, 2003

I agree with the decision to remove the thread.

The thread was pretty weak at first. With the flamebaiting in the FPP and two links. One to the Cafepress store and one to an LGF thread. The first link is deleted when a Cafepress employee notices the store. The second link, now the only link, cannot stand on it's own. The only thing really that comes out of linking to LGF on Metafilter is more boring annoying comments. Plus, I'm sure we've been over the point that this site and their site just don't get along. Is there really any need to put up FPP's where we accuse them of wanting to 'revoke their freedom of speech'?
The owners of the deleted store, JihadUnspun, aren't actually going out onto the streets with the loss of their Cafepress store. They still have a store up that is selling videos of Osama Bin Laden and of the POWs from the recent war. It was a private decision of Cafepress' to close that store and it was the correct decision.

That's just my take on things here.
posted by RobbieFal at 10:04 PM on June 10, 2003

Although I agreed with the decision to delete the thread (more or less), the thread linked by jamespake above makes me want to start another thread to answer the ravings of the inhabitants of LGF. Instead, I leave you with the oh-so witty words of one of "them":
seriously? by killing the thread, i thought he was extending a courtesy towards the egregious, overt LGF-bashing that continually occurs on MEFI.

please, i rather be a member of LGF than have any affiliations with MEFI.

thanks for the elucidation. you the mang, charles.
I think that pretty much says it all.
posted by dg at 10:43 PM on June 10, 2003

Oh fantastic. Someone's seen my comment regarding deleted threads, assumed I'm a troll (i've never posted on LGF in my life) and have posted the URL to my website in the comments to the thread. I sit awaitng the results.
posted by Jimbob at 11:08 PM on June 10, 2003

dg, you're pretty much proving Matt's point there about 'pointless LGF bashing,' which is fine and maybe indicates that he did the right thing killing the thread.

For my part, I was and still am more interested in the emergence of these semirandom net.mobs (and smartmobs they most certainly freaking ain't - shitmittenmobs, perhaps) that sometimes emerge organically at the call of some minor website celebrity (like a few of our very own here at Metafilter) to hound and mailbomb Dumb Companies (of which CafePress is apparently one, surprisingly) and others into bending to their whims. The fact that this one came out LGF, much as I loathe the beliefs they seem to collectively espouse and am happy to make that opinion known, is secondary at best.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:23 PM on June 10, 2003


Not to engage in unneeded asspatting here, but after reading Charles' ridiculous response to you on his site, I am pleased that I choose to associate with an online community moderated by someone with standards.

I no longer support the Extra-Bloody Quonsar Coup.
posted by Ignatius J. Reilly at 11:27 PM on June 10, 2003

stavrosthewonderchicken, I am well aware of the contradiction in my statement, which is kind of why I did not carry through with starting a new thread simply for the purpose of LGF bashing and never really intended to (admittedly I could not resist rubbing the nose of LGF in one of their less literate members but hey, there but for the want of a spell-checker...). I just felt like coming to the defense of MeFi, while realising that it is a completely pointless exercise. To trot out that oft-used phrase, that would just be bringing us down to their level.

I am also interested in the emergence of the "wrath of x.com" mobs and wonder what it is that triggers particular scenarios to develop into mobs while other seemingly as divisive and inflammatory issues die with a whimper. This particular issue is a classic, in my opinion, because, rather than arguing about something of substance, it would be arguing about whether it is OK to disagree with something that someone else entirely did without knowing they did and and, as soon as they found out, they fixed it, but the mobs are still outside the gates fighting over what they should or should not have done. We are a strange race indeed.

As Ignatius J. Reilly states above, the fact that the moderator of LGF has slagged mathowie with no (public, anyway) tit-for-tat pretty much sums up a lot of the differences between the two communities. Jimbob, they also posted real-life job details of jamespake, which I always thought was a complete no-no in on-line communities.

Now, lets add a few more courses of bricks to those ramparts, just in case. Perhaps a few cauldrons of boiling oil as well? Just to be on the safe side.
posted by dg at 11:42 PM on June 10, 2003

dg - the details posted are on my user page so it didn't require much sleuthing (although I don't know why they thought it was relevant). My only problem is the assumption that my interest in language acquisition means that I must agree with Chomsky (or Pinker) on the matter; they're both way too nativist for my liking.
posted by jamespake at 11:58 PM on June 10, 2003

good choice

the discussion wasn't going anywhere, and as I pointed out in the thread itself, sites like LGF are so extreme and gleefully offensive that they become completely uninteresting, hence unworthy of discussion. (I don't seem to remember an interesting GodHatesFags Mefi discussion either)
posted by matteo at 1:27 AM on June 11, 2003

The whole issue could (and should) have died. The issue of additional "hate merchandise" that LGF didn't seem concerned about was raised, Cafepress acted, the world was left with a little less hatred expressed in baby-bib form, and it could have ended in a one-all draw. So it's an interesting point you raise, dg - why do some pretty innocent issues seem to explode?

Because l0z3r5 like me leave unnecessarily nasty comments after a hard day of putting dents in new cars and giving up smoking?
posted by Jimbob at 2:23 AM on June 11, 2003

My gods ... I've been mentioned twice in a MetaTalk thread and am responsible for the closing of several Cafe Press shops. Maybe it's time to start lurking again.

The only thing I can say about the topic at hand is that Matt did the right thing in deleting the thread as it was only going to get nasty (or nastier rather). It would have been nice if the folks at LGF would have stopped slinging mud as well, but then ... I really wouldn't expect them to do so. The only time I go to that site is when someone shoves my nose in it.
posted by Orb at 2:36 AM on June 11, 2003

Funny how nature balances things out, Jimbob - you give up smoking and I take up the filthy habit once again.

I don't know why some issues explode - it seems to me that either the subject or, perhaps more likely the way the subject is framed, just touches a raw nerve with some people and that sets them off on a mission, making them get all personally involved in the discussion and then someone disagrees strongly with their point of view and it is on for young and old. The common element seems to be that the bitchfestdiscussion ends up being about something completely off on a tangent from the original direction the thread was taking, which is why I suspect the presentation rather than the content is to blame.

The mobs seem to break out the pitchforks when the reverse is true - there is more or less total agreement on an issue that many feel strongly about and the participants egg one another on until someone can't help but put action into words. When that happens, there are always going to be a significant number who will join the fun just to make sure that, if it turns out to be something big, they were in at the start. These camp followers then encourage those who have the resources and/or knowledge to actually achieve something to leap to the fore and that is when critical mass is achieved.

This happens for good sometimes as well as bad (not that all mob actions initiated here have been bad, but you get my drift I hope), of course. Witness the whole MoJo thing, where enough people with enthusiasm and a few people with resources who all agreed that it was a good idea banded together. in this way, a considerable amount of work was done towards the perceived goal and, although it has not come to much as yet, it may well pave the way for the concept to come to maturity in some form or another. New concepts rarely take off immediately, they usually need at least a couple of false starts to really gain momentum and iron out the major stumbling blocks.

[/late night off-topic rambling]
posted by dg at 4:52 AM on June 11, 2003

Oh, that thread. Personally I would have liked to have seen some exploration of why that image should be acceptable to reproduce on a tv screen or in a newspaper, but not on a bib. However, it's probably a moot point. The question is of intention and interpretation. Still, I'm almost certainly at too far an emotional distance to be discussing these issues without expecting fallout of some kind. So, as ever, I end up regretting my "contribution" to that thread. I think you made the right call Matt. I wish I had your level of integrity on these matters, regardless of whatever Charles is trying to impute in that LGF thread.
posted by walrus at 7:38 AM on June 11, 2003

Am I the only one who is uncomfortable with how jeddings was reported to his boss? Sure, he was speaking for his company, but I guess I've always considered things said on metafilter to be off the record, something said to a community. Maybe that was naive of me. I know I'll be less likely to post any comments about my workplace or the sites we run.
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:49 AM on June 11, 2003

Am I the only one who is uncomfortable with how jeddings was reported to his boss?

Wow, that is classy isn't it? Way to discourage informed conversation X.
posted by thirteen at 9:03 AM on June 11, 2003

from the subsequent LGF circle jerk:

#7 Celissa 6/10/2003 09:16PM PST

From the thread:

(By the way, I think the most interesting issue in the whole debate is the "liberal" use of the delete button in the LGF comments section).

This just shows that these a-holes don't visit your site Charles.
It's so...usual, the way they classify LGF as a "hate-site".
Anytime people like this are presented with ideas that contradict the easy, Utopian, multi-culti world view they have been force fed, the cognitive dissonance it creates causes them to fling the most horrible insult they can dredge from their Marx numbed minds: HATE SPEECH!

Even though the news you post is from reputable sources.
Even though your commentors are 99% witty, urbane, and passionate in their defense of what they feel is right...
Even though the only hate you see on this site is from the trolls like "Kikehater" who post their "kill all the JOOOOOOOOOOOOOoozz" garbage, or from the mouths of the Imams and mad Mullahs with their totally predictable, "kill all the JOOOOOOOOOZZZ AND evil Amerikkans" garbage..........................

They either don't visit this site regularly enough to actually know what is being said here, or have very poor reading comprehension.

I'd say it's about 50/50...

Why is it the uneducated, usually Republican comments always link University study to brainwashing, or in this case "force feeding" and "Marx numbed."

Ah, I forgot - book learning is for commies.

It is, to me, incomprehensible that education is viewed as something that is bad, evil, wrong, etc.

It's like only a C-sliding slacker should be President or something.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 9:38 AM on June 11, 2003

as I said in my first comment:

I didn't appreciate the people bashing the mefi member that works there either, that was petty, personal, and a bit over the top.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:40 AM on June 11, 2003

It is, to me, incomprehensible that education is viewed as something that is bad, evil, wrong, etc.

Of course one is also derided for only attending public school as well. You pretty much can't win unless you were homeschooled and then promptly put to work on a construction crew. Thems' real Americans.
posted by Space Coyote at 9:43 AM on June 11, 2003

Am I the only one who is uncomfortable with how jeddings was reported to his boss?

That was the thing that stuck out to me in that thread. What possible good could come out of sending an email like that? I used to have information in my profile about where I worked, my website address, etc, but not anymore.

Emailing someone's boss with a letter like that, in-order to try and win some petty pissing match is a pretty reprehensible thing.
posted by SweetJesus at 10:09 AM on June 11, 2003

Am I the only one who is uncomfortable with how jeddings was reported to his boss?

Holy shit. No, you're certainly not the only one.
posted by Skot at 10:37 AM on June 11, 2003

Am I the only one who is uncomfortable with how jeddings was reported to his boss?

Nope. I'd be interested to see how XZYWHATEVER would defend his actions. It's one thing to be indignant. It's another thing entirely to be irrational.
posted by rocketman at 11:32 AM on June 11, 2003

Oh. He apologized. How nice.
posted by rocketman at 11:33 AM on June 11, 2003

XQ, you're way off. We like the green referred to the Cafe Press store colors, which if you haven't noticed, were green. Someone was mocking that color earlier in the thread.

You clearly read too much into it. I like how you put words into his mouth "[LGF]" and then you were revolted by it. Looks like a big misunderstanding on your part, and I reiterate I think you stepped way, way over a line by contacting his place of employment to protest a very helpful comment (he does work there afterall and was the only one who could give us inside info).

I doubt we see jeddings comment again thanks to your quest to protest his postings.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:23 PM on June 11, 2003

I forgot to add: LGF isn't even green if you haven't noticed, it's gray and white. The posts were clearly talking about the default cafepress store colors. Have you emailed jeddings to apologize yet, XQ?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:30 PM on June 11, 2003

Also, I hope that this is satisfactory for SweetJesus in particular as I hopefully made clear that this was neither a "petty pissing match" nor an attempt to have a person blacklisted for their political views. SJ, please rest assured that I am no threat to the listing of your place of employment.

No, it was a petty pissing match, in my opinion. Jeddings came in, gave some information from someone inside the perspective of the company, and you proceeded to blow it out of context to prove some ideological point. And what's even better is the half-assed rationalization you used about Jeddings being some sort of official spokes person for CafePress and supporting a "right-wing quasi-hate site" in-order to justify e-mailing his bosses about a post on a political discussion site.

I work for a pretty big defense company who will remain nameless, and I would hate to think that if I said something and it was taken out of context, it could end up in my boss's inbox care of an overzealous user trying to prove a point.

It was just so un-called for, period. There's no need to try and get someone in trouble where they work, over an argument on the internet.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:39 PM on June 11, 2003

Anytime people like this are presented with ideas that contradict the easy, Utopian, multi-culti world view they have been force fed, the cognitive dissonance it creates causes them to fling the most horrible insult they can dredge from their Marx numbed minds: HATE SPEECH!

You know, as ridiculous as the above sounds, it eerily reminds me of more than one MeFi poster.
posted by deadcowdan at 12:44 PM on June 11, 2003

As I said, SJ, I honestly was not trying to get any specific individual in trouble, and as per Matt's recent clarification to me I am aware that I have likely done such to a level of fucked-upedness I have never reached before. The "argument" you think I got in was based on a total misinterpretation on my part, and as noted I am attempting to resolve this as we speak.

It's good that you're trying to resolve the situation. Hopefuly, nothing bad will happen to Jeddings, and this will just blow over.
posted by SweetJesus at 12:57 PM on June 11, 2003

Wow - that's making the list for sure. Skallas, take note.
posted by jonson at 1:34 PM on June 11, 2003

'We like the green'

Well, I thought he meant money.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:12 PM on June 11, 2003

that's making the list for sure

I want to be on the list!

XQUZYPHYR (why, oh why, did I just type that by hand..), it's good that you're trying to fix things. I hope you do. Let us (or at least me?) know how things turn out, I'm interested. That is, if you care to.
posted by j.edwards at 4:30 PM on June 11, 2003

Thanks, Xcetera.
posted by j.edwards at 11:26 PM on June 11, 2003

Oh come now. It'll take a bit more than trying to get me fired from the best job I've ever had to offend me... :-)

Listen, I respect XQUZYPHYR for being so passionate about what he believes. I say, you're not trying hard enough if you don't get a few people canned supporting what you believe!

All's well that ends well: everyone who had a job when this thread started still has one, and I have a new word to try in Scrabble: XQUZYPHYR. 45 points if I can pull one over my friends!
posted by jeddings at 11:35 PM on June 11, 2003

jeddings, plus the scrabble bonus of 50 for using all seven letters, and I'm sure you can lay that down on a double word somewhere. If you hit some nice double letter combinations too, it'd be over 200 no problem.
posted by Apoch at 3:44 AM on June 12, 2003

jeddings, you are a class act and a real mensch (as we say here in NYC). If only more MeFites could take the bumps as easily. ("I demand user X be banned for calling me a fuckwad!") If Matt were still giving out gold stars, you'd definitely deserve one.
posted by languagehat at 7:21 AM on June 12, 2003

Ditto with bells.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:55 AM on June 12, 2003

Wow, jonson, I gotta say your list gives me the creeps all inna Nixon stylee.
posted by adamgreenfield at 8:44 AM on June 12, 2003

What languagehat said. And XQUZYPHYR, good on you for apologizing, and profusely, at that. I love happy endings, so jeddings, can you assure us that your job was not jeopardized?
posted by theora55 at 9:54 AM on June 12, 2003

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