Complaint about deletion policy November 6, 2004 11:57 AM   Subscribe

One of the most questionable trends emerging at MeFi lately is the MetaTalk treads complaining about post deletions, linking directly to the 'hidden' threads (effectively un-hiding them), where the usually awful discussions cut off by the Hand of Mathowie get a chance to continue raging in the Grey.

Maybe the way Matt deletes threads needs to be changed. Maybe closing discussions gone bad early instead of deleting. Maybe deleted threads on the blue need to completely disappear, like on the green & grey. How about adding to the posting page, a list of the most recent deletions with Matt's reasons for deletion (Hey, that might prevent triple-double-posts). Any other better suggestions for implimenting the FPP Death Penalty?
posted by wendell to Feature Requests at 11:57 AM (44 comments total)

isn't Monday Morning Quarterbacking an important feature of MeTa? that way, we can all play mathowie!
posted by matteo at 12:15 PM on November 6, 2004


how does it hurt anyone if the conversations go on if they're no longer 'polluting' the front page?
posted by mdn at 12:35 PM on November 6, 2004


Bitch, bitch, bitch...
posted by Kwantsar at 12:38 PM on November 6, 2004


wendell, if you want to have the Rape Haikus thread and my subsequent Metatalk thread scoured from the face of the Earth - have the balls to say so.
posted by Ryvar at 12:39 PM on November 6, 2004


Calling out a callout... Intense.
posted by Evstar at 12:42 PM on November 6, 2004


you're p0st suxx0rs. you R 0wnzered
posted by stet at 12:47 PM on November 6, 2004


What can I say, evstar? I'm an innovater.

As to the subject at hand by the way - it is precisely because Matt is judge, jury, and executioner that posts questioning his deletion decisions should exist. If there was a process, or a council, or stricter guidelines (all of which would seriously kill the excellent MeFi vibe) - that would be one thing. But none of those are the case, and for better or worse Matt is dictator around here - therefore he should be questioned at any point it seems like his decisions obstruct good-faith efforts towards the basic goals here of sharing interesting links and generating interesting discussion.

Obviously, being dictator, Matt isn't required to provide explanation, or tolerate questions regarding his own conduct - but if he fails to do so he creates an extremely hostile atmosphere that will drive off every person who finds the spirit of censorship and authoritarianism unbearable.
posted by Ryvar at 12:55 PM on November 6, 2004


naw, it was a bigger problem when posts went away without explanation. The way things are now is fine, and better than the alternative.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 1:02 PM on November 6, 2004


There's always lofi for anyone curious about what's been deleted in the blue.
posted by Salmonberry at 1:09 PM on November 6, 2004


Not like my opinion counts, but I would be very strongly opposed to deleted posts disappearing forever (and I don't like that they do so on the green).

Of course I don't really like the way deleted comments disappear forever, either.
posted by kenko at 1:24 PM on November 6, 2004


Yes, much better to leave them up and deleted as examples to the public. And, more importantly, it stops incorrect rumours in their tracks. Oh, yeah, and it stops people who have the page cached from posting it to MeTa, edited to their own fancy.
posted by shepd at 1:43 PM on November 6, 2004


"Oh, yeah, and it stops people who have the page cached from posting it to MeTa, edited to their own fancy."

Yeah, that's Matt's job!
posted by Blue Stone at 2:24 PM on November 6, 2004


*moahahahaha* plus, how else could we get to have so much fun at laughing at the reasons for deletions? 0wnzered!
posted by dabitch at 2:41 PM on November 6, 2004


naw, it was a bigger problem when posts went away without explanation. The way things are now is fine, and better than the alternative.
posted by mathowie at 1:02 PM PST on November 6


Thank you very much, Matt! I have to admit that unsatisfied curiosity always give me a pain.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 3:27 PM on November 6, 2004


I just wish we had a graveyard in meta and axeme. There are times when I know a thread is going to be deleted in the grey (also times when I don't) and I make some outrageously funny comment and when I come back I don't get to reap the rewards of it and see whether or not everyone responded or if I'm simply insane and everyone ignored me.

WE NEED MORE GRAVEYARDS. GIVE US YOUR DEAD.
posted by The God Complex at 3:29 PM on November 6, 2004


It's not just you, Ryvar, but your MeTa post came just a few hours after Steve@ exhumed the FZM thread. And I had been in a discussion at MonkeyFilter about some changes their #1 was considering for her deletion process.

It still amuses me how some people with a high tolerance (or, as you openly admitted, appreciation) for highly offensive stuff can be otherwise so damn sensitive...

Actually, I had second thoughts about this post when I realized the "trend" apparently had stopped at two, and my bringing it up may inspire worse MeFites than you to do it more often.

How about taking all the deleted material from throughout the site and putting it in hallofshame.metafilter.com, with a warning screen when you enter that says "I'm Mathowie, and I DISapprove these messages..."
posted by wendell at 3:38 PM on November 6, 2004


How about taking all the deleted material from throughout the site and putting it in hallofshame.metafilter.com, with a warning screen when you enter that says "I'm Mathowie, and I DISapprove these messages..."

The hall of shame becomes the shit pile. And then the shit pile becomes a metric. Metrics are things users strive for, good or bad. Then you have users vying for the king of the shitpile.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 4:05 PM on November 6, 2004


no way. Postroad won that thing years ago, Matt. he's the Michael Jordan of deleted threads, let's retire his number and jersey
posted by matteo at 4:29 PM on November 6, 2004


wendell, if you want to have the Rape Haikus thread and my subsequent Metatalk thread scoured from the face of the Earth - have the balls to say so.

I'm amazed you don't want it scoured, Ryvar. I'll forever remember you now as the person who stepped up to say [this is good] in that ludicrous rape haiku thread, and then protested its deletion as if it were the most important issue your generation ever faced.

I don't like the 2nd-life-of-deleted-threads much either, but it seems that this is what MetaTalk is for, I guess. Talking. About stuff. On the site.
posted by scarabic at 4:51 PM on November 6, 2004


I like the current system.

Freeze it. Label it with a pithy one-liner. Hang it on a meat hook in the basement. Then count down the seconds until a horde of word count junkies pumped full of uncut apologia and flushed red with tainted outrage come raving into Metasturbation alley to fight over razored lines of white space.

A nice, predictable system.
posted by Opus Dark at 5:29 PM on November 6, 2004


MetaFilter: king of the shitpile
posted by terrapin at 9:06 PM on November 6, 2004


I'm amazed you don't want it scoured, Ryvar. I'll forever remember you now as the person who stepped up to say [this is good] in that ludicrous rape haiku thread, and then protested its deletion as if it were the most important issue your generation ever faced.

[this is good]
posted by lia at 10:23 PM on November 6, 2004


I'm amazed you don't want it scoured, Ryvar. I'll forever remember you now as the person who stepped up to say [this is good] in that ludicrous rape haiku thread, and then protested its deletion as if it were the most important issue your generation ever faced.

Well, it's quite obvious to me, at least, how Matt scouring the post would suddenly cause you to change your ever-so-important opinion towards me.

Let me guess - critical thinking isn't exactly your strong suite?
posted by Ryvar at 2:27 AM on November 7, 2004


I don't think the rape haiku post should have been deleted.

I think it should have been redeemed - by compensatory brilliant comment. It shouldn't require an overly-crafted multi-linked melange to solicit thoughtful MeFi discussion - a bit of woolly scat can accomplish the same thing - with ironic flair - and by doing so reaffirms MeFi's unique, irrepressible eggheadedness.

This, I'm choosing to believe, was mr_crash_davis' not unreasonable expectation.

Any jackass community can rise to the presentational level of its topics; it's the special community which can pull worthwhile discussion from an obscene napkin scribble. I've seen MeFi effect this kind of transformation a few times, and there's a kind of reassuring magic to it.

So did we poison a butterfly inside its cocoon? Or did Matt just boot-stomp a headless slug? We'll never know. But it's yesterday's showdown, and I've lost interest.
posted by Opus Dark at 3:47 AM on November 7, 2004


Hey Ryvar, here's some censorship for you: STFU!

Metafilter isn't a country with a constitution, Matt isn't a despotic dictator, and you're not a revolutionary.

If anything is going to "obstruct good-faith efforts towards the basic goals here of sharing interesting links and generating interesting discussion" it's going to be the excessively paranoid and misguided windmill tilting of the sort you seem to be doing.

Stop pestering the Matt. He is highly tolerant of questions and usually explains his conduct voluntarily, even though he's probably got better things to do. (And believe me, he probably has a metric fuckton of better things to do than to wipe our asses for us.)

It's really, really starting to irritate me that of all the places on the web, and of all the webmasters, you're pulling this infantile crap here. Stop. Now.

You want despotic dictatorial nihilism with your interweb? Try contributing your whack-ass donkeyshit at Everything2. Instead of one "dictator" there are dozens, all with different agendas and often without any set standards or internal communications. They even straight-out call these dictators "Gods". Even lowly level 2 users there can arbitrarily vote positive or negative on articles without any explanation or reason given.

But it works. It was designed that way to stem the flood of pure crap that flows like an unstoppable pyroclastic flow of shit.

See, I too tilted at windmills, there. Whinging about fairness, editorial accountability, abuses of power. But in retrospect, I did it out of blind political correctness, out of some sort of blind youthful rebellion, out of some sort of blood thirst for pointless drama, without any thought about whether or not the system actually worked overall, and not just for me. And I pushed, and pushed, and kicked and yelled. I was IP banned. I took my laptop and wifi and found new IPs and pushed some more. In the end I nearly started a civil war, of sorts, and ended up severely damaging the author/writer relationship and altering E2. Probably for the worse.

Which is exactly what you're doing here. Stop. Grow up. No, seriously, grow the fuck up or shut the fuck up.

You're attacking one of the least-restrictive well-known and often-read places on the net. You're attacking one of the fairest and most hands-off admins I've ever seen. This accountability you seek, these councils, this oversight is a little something they call bureaucracy. And in bureaucracy, there's friction. And in friction, there's wasted energy.

Metafilter is already so slick and streamlined it turns Teflon green with envy.

Friction will murder Metafilter. Are you a murderer?
posted by loquacious at 10:50 AM on November 7, 2004


loquascious, please report to Reading Comprehension 101, and when you get back, reread my post.

Once you've done that, and realized that my post said exactly (and I mean EXACTLY) what yours did - minus the torrent of insults directed at myself - you can give me an apology in whatever manner you see fit.
posted by Ryvar at 12:12 PM on November 7, 2004


Are you on crack? Can I have some?

It's pretty damn clear to me you've been calling Matt out and protesting his choices under a false flag of 'fairness'. The only insult I directed at your person was the request for you to grow up. Everything else is directed at your output in this particular case.

Unless, of course, you're talking about me telling you you're not a revolutionary.

Trust me, when and if Matt ever pulls any truly despotic, dictatorial crap, there'll be an uproar, and Matt knows it. There be no dragons here, nor witches, nor windmills save for those in your imagination.

Reading comprehension!? Pot? Kettle. You didn't even comprehend what I wrote, and I suspect you barely read it. Maybe you saw a bunch of bad words and assumed - wrongly - that they were all directed at you or something. There is no "torrent" there.

My reading comprehension is a finely honed and well oiled tool. I read and own so many books I eat a custom blend of binding tape, bookworms and silverfish as muesli.

You're not a revolutionary, you're not a martyr, you're not being oppressed. Apology not granted.

And the handle is loquacious, not loquascious.
posted by loquacious at 1:34 PM on November 7, 2004


I kind of had a feeling that you weren't going to take a gentle hint. Very well, then, let's do this the hard way:

Hey Ryvar, here's some censorship for you: STFU!

I have to admit - this was a pretty intellectually intimidating way for you to kick off.

Metafilter isn't a country with a constitution,

Right. It's a website. One with rules regarding how people interact. You aren't providing me with new information, nor are you disagreeing with anything I said, nor are you saying anything useful. Watch, this trend will continue.

Matt isn't a despotic dictator,

You're right. He doesn't, generally, wield his authority oppresively - therefore he isn't despotic. On the other hand, all authority and power on the site are centralized in his singular person - so he fits the definition of dictator. I don't have a problem with this (and nothing in my previous post indicates I have a problem with this), despite your implication otherwise. In any case, either you meant to say 'despotic dictator' and once again this isn't news, I agree, and it isn't useful - or you meant to just say dictator but went overboard with the adjectives and you're factually wrong.

Take your pick as to how you chose to revise your history here, I don't really care which is the case.

and you're not a revolutionary.

Well, that will certainly come as a relief to all those people so distraught over my declaration that I was. You know - the one I never made? Once again, not news, I agree, and it's not useful.

If anything is going to "obstruct good-faith efforts towards the basic goals here of sharing interesting links and generating interesting discussion" it's going to be the excessively paranoid and misguided windmill tilting of the sort you seem to be doing.

Well, that's certainly one way to characterize my posts. Unfortunately, you don't cite examples - which leads me to suspect that this is just more garbage prejudicial verbiage on your part. Until you actually point out where I'm being paranoid, or tilting at windmills, I'll have assume the above passage was purely hot air. My apologies.

Stop pestering the Matt. He is highly tolerant of questions and usually explains his conduct voluntarily, even though he's probably got better things to do. (And believe me, he probably has a metric fuckton of better things to do than to wipe our asses for us.)

Ah, 'the Matt' - that's certainly a cute way of arming yourself with a fictitious level of familiarity - perhaps I should take advantage of it myself? But no - it's far too gauche. I agree Matt is, generally, highly tolerant of questions and usually explains his conduct voluntarily even though he has better things to do. Here, let's look at what I wrote and play 'spot-your-logical-fallacy':

Obviously, being dictator, Matt isn't required to provide explanation, or tolerate questions regarding his own conduct - but if he fails to do so he creates an extremely hostile atmosphere that will drive off every person who finds the spirit of censorship and authoritarianism unbearable.

My point was very clearly that needs to continue his current practices of fielding questions or he ends up destroying the atmosphere of the site - I'm going to take the liberty of extrapolating from your two posts here and suggest that once again you agree with me here, also. Once again what you're saying isn't news, I agree already (and never said differently), and it isn't useful for you to say it.

It's really, really starting to irritate me that of all the places on the web, and of all the webmasters, you're pulling this infantile crap here.

What infantile crap? Are you referring to my caring whether the site maintains its excellent vibe? Aren't you guilty of that yourself? Shouldn't, that being the case, your first target be yourself? Am I missing something here?


Stop. Now.

Forgive me - I was heretofore unaware that I had surrendered my volition to you. In recognition of this clear error on my part, "yes, master."

You want despotic dictatorial nihilism with your interweb? Try contributing your whack-ass donkeyshit at Everything2. Instead of one "dictator" there are dozens, all with different agendas and often without any set standards or internal communications. They even straight-out call these dictators "Gods". Even lowly level 2 users there can arbitrarily vote positive or negative on articles without any explanation or reason given.

Zzzzzzzz. Oh! What? Oh yes! Sorry. Once again, this isn't news to me, I agree, and it isn't useful (nor very interesting).

But it works.

Well, I'm afraid you did manage to find ONE thing we disagree on. Fortunately, it's about Everything2 and not Metafilter so it's not germane to this discussion, thread, or indeed site. Much like some more forthcoming info right . . . here:

See, I too tilted at windmills, there. Whinging about fairness, editorial accountability, abuses of power. But in retrospect, I did it out of blind political correctness, out of some sort of blind youthful rebellion, out of some sort of blood thirst for pointless drama, without any thought about whether or not the system actually worked overall, and not just for me. And I pushed, and pushed, and kicked and yelled. I was IP banned. I took my laptop and wifi and found new IPs and pushed some more. In the end I nearly started a civil war, of sorts, and ended up severely damaging the author/writer relationship and altering E2. Probably for the worse.

OK, this may sound a bit rude but I really don't care about your inability to interact well with other people online. It certainly sounds like major problem for you - and reading the other content of your two posts to this thread I'd have never guessed you have such a problem - however at the end of the day I am not you. I hope that, once again, this is something we can agree on.

Perhaps I should break your statement down further, since clearly you care about something here very much, and you seem very adamant that I should, too. As far as fairness goes: that lies outside THIS thread, but ignoring that restriction . . . I don't think Goatse, jokes concerning incestuous pedophilic sodomy, or jokes about Abu Ghraib should all get a pass but Rape Haikus somehow don't. I realize there are some readers who have been sexually assaulted - but there are also readers who have been forcibly sodomized while young, and there may be readers who have been tortured brutally in POW camps. Showing concern for the feelings of one group but not the others seems wrong to me, and I believe that as a user I have as much right to voice my disagreement with that sort of editorial practice as anyone.

I've kept all of my objections relatively polite, if sarcastic, in tone (except to wendell, who tried to equate me to a rapist). I'm not rebelling, I'm not interested in drama (although I am laughing at it), and Metafilter clearly works - I have yet to indicate that I ever thought, or think, otherwise. But perhaps more than all of those things, unlike you in the end I really don't care that much, except that I very much enjoy shutting down Internet bullies like yourself who verbally berate others with insights such as "grow the fuck up or shut the fuck up." Hence this post. As an aside, I find your tale quite worrying for your sake - that's quite the power trip, altering a whole website on your own - if I were you I would exercise caution in future similar situations lest you grow too fond of it.

Which is exactly what you're doing here. Stop. Grow up. No, seriously, grow the fuck up or shut the fuck up.

Your charming demeanor has won me over - I submit!

You're attacking one of the least-restrictive well-known and often-read places on the net. You're attacking one of the fairest and most hands-off admins I've ever seen.

No, I'm attempting to bolster it - if you can't see that, then you really aren't at a sufficient level of intellect for us to conduct any kind of conversation. As for Matt, I'm not attacking him, I'm questioning. Once again, if you can't see that . . . As for fairest and hands-off - there's been an awful lot of deletions recently. Enough so that I've got an eyebrow raised. But in general - not news, I agree, not useful for you to type it.

This accountability you seek, these councils, this oversight is a little something they call bureaucracy. And in bureaucracy, there's friction. And in friction, there's wasted energy.

Ah. The heart of the matter. This is why I told you to reread, because I knew you didn't get it - I'm opposed to councils, process, and the like as much as you are. That would be why I said: "all of which would seriously kill the excellent MeFi vibe." Somehow, despite your claim that you reread my post, you missed that both times. ONCE AGAIN, what you're telling me isn't news, I agree with you anyway, and you're not saying anything useful.

Metafilter is already so slick and streamlined it turns Teflon green with envy.

Well, when JRun doesn't rear his ugly head. Like right now.

Friction will murder Metafilter. Are you a murderer?

On the advice of my attorney I am exercising my fifth amendment right not to testify to something which may incriminate me.
posted by Ryvar at 3:39 PM on November 7, 2004


Unfortunately, you made a second post, and while this one won't be quite so lengthy, I'd like to respond to it as well.

Are you on crack? Can I have some?

Not unless you count GTA:SA, which I just finished, as crack. While I'm done with the game, I'd venture a guess that you aren't, and I'd like to offer the suggestion that you'd be better served by playing it than responding to me again.

It's pretty damn clear to me you've been calling Matt out and protesting his choices under a false flag of 'fairness'. The only insult I directed at your person was the request for you to grow up. Everything else is directed at your output in this particular case.

There's nothing false about that flag - maybe you can bother to thoroughly read the above post just once. As for insulting me - most people take 'shut the fuck up' or inferring that I was being 'infantile' as a personal insult, but I really don't care to debate it with a personality as winning as your own.

Trust me, when and if Matt ever pulls any truly despotic, dictatorial crap, there'll be an uproar, and Matt knows it. There be no dragons here, nor witches, nor windmills save for those in your imagination.

Yes. That is exactly what I was saying, except for the second sentence when you went crazy and started muttering about witches and dragons.

Reading comprehension!? Pot? Kettle. You didn't even comprehend what I wrote, and I suspect you barely read it. Maybe you saw a bunch of bad words and assumed - wrongly - that they were all directed at you or something. There is no "torrent" there.

What's amusing is that I read your post a good eight or nine times trying to figure out how you so completely missed my point. Score one for irony, eh? That's a cute way of trying to worm your way out, btw, claiming that your comments were directed at my output and thus don't constitute a torrent against me. Very inventive of you.

My reading comprehension is a finely honed and well oiled tool. I read and own so many books I eat a custom blend of binding tape, bookworms and silverfish as muesli.

Your mother must be very proud. And impressed, no doubt.

You're not a revolutionary, you're not a martyr, you're not being oppressed. Apology not granted.

Glad to know that, once again, we agree so much.

And the handle is loquacious, not loquacious.

What? What???
posted by Ryvar at 3:42 PM on November 7, 2004


Metatalk: And the handle is loquacious, not loquacious.
posted by angry modem at 3:47 PM on November 7, 2004


AND THE ACTUAL QUOTE IS "And the handle is loquacious, not loquascious."
posted by quonsar at 3:54 PM on November 7, 2004


Deliscious.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:08 PM on November 7, 2004


aww. well, for what it's worth, I just took a monster shit.
posted by angry modem at 4:19 PM on November 7, 2004


Prescious.
posted by Opus Dark at 4:31 PM on November 7, 2004


This is one of those MeTa threads that people like because it's so ugly and embarassing. Right?

It's sort of interesting to me that while I have strong feelings about (against) Ryvar's defense of the haiku post and also found myself agreeing with much of loquacious's first attack on Ryvar, as soon as I started reading Ryvar's response I realized that even if I agreed, mostly, with loquacious, he bears the responsibility for beginning something of which no good is likely to result. He could have made his point without being so deliberately provocative.

No, I don't ever make such mistakes. Why ever do you ask?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 4:35 PM on November 7, 2004


Bodascious.
posted by Opus Dark at 4:48 PM on November 7, 2004


Ryvar, I apologize. It is all to easy to fly off the deep end when you're passionate about something.

I've had my coffee now. If you've got any extra crow, I'll eat it.
posted by loquacious at 5:06 PM on November 7, 2004


Obviously, being dictator, Matt isn't required to provide explanation, or tolerate questions regarding his own conduct - but if he fails to do so he creates an extremely hostile atmosphere that will drive off every person who finds the spirit of censorship and authoritarianism unbearable.

Be seein' ya! Don't let the door slam ya!
posted by five fresh fish at 5:21 PM on November 7, 2004


*blinks* Well . . . thanks. That was unexpected.
posted by Ryvar at 5:27 PM on November 7, 2004


Ryvar, I apologize.

This thread just got really boring.
posted by trharlan at 5:28 PM on November 7, 2004


Ryvar: I think I made some valid points, but I didn't say them well at all. You weren't entirely civil in this thread, either, and that was part of what set me off. And something about the way you were saying it reminded me all too much of myself about 4-5 years ago, and then I would have been about the age you list in your profile.

And sometimes one hauls off and yells at someone else when one really needs to yell at oneself.

Also, I think that the net so easily gives rise to wang-measuring because it lacks the nuances of presence, be it body language or intonation or other. Not an original observation for sure.

Sorry to make it boring, trharlan. Would you like me to creatively swear at you? I'm pretty good at it. Popefelcher.
posted by loquacious at 6:24 PM on November 7, 2004


Not unless you count GTA:SA, which I just finished, as crack. While I'm done with the game, I'd venture a guess that you aren't

Hilarious!

"Better watch out, Buddy. I'm waaay better at playing with my toys than you are!"
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 4:06 PM on November 8, 2004


mr. loquacious:
I represent the National Association for the Abolition of Crow Predation (NAACP). We must, with all due respect, register our dismay at your remarks in metatalk 8419, in which you make reference to the egregious consumption of that certain avian species which we grace with our deep concern. we demand that you immediately cease and desist all culinary involvement including but not limited to mastication, esophogeal processing, digestive and elimative functions with, on, or about any member of the Corvus family.

regards,

Pickum, Eatem & Crow, PC
posted by quonsar at 4:50 PM on November 8, 2004 [2 favorites]


SLoGravy: |:o)~

(laughing smiley with unibrow and fu manchu beard)

quonsar: *\/*

(happy crow)
posted by taz at 12:39 AM on November 9, 2004


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