post policing is the new troll December 23, 2004 11:20 PM   Subscribe

A thread about some irresponsible thing Bill O'Reilly said is followed with some pile on comments and a few insights. Then, ten comments and forty minutes later, this: "Jeebus, how does this qualify as a FPP?" It seems that on the new MetaFilter, post policing is the new troll.
posted by tomharpel to Etiquette/Policy at 11:20 PM (36 comments total)

It would seem that on the new MetaFilter, post policing is the new troll.
posted by interrobang at 11:26 PM on December 23, 2004


I stop by MetaFilter a couple of times a day, skim the latest posts, click some links and click through to comments on those posts that are most interesting or have the greatest kinetic humor energy. Lately, people keep peeing in my Wheaties with all this post policing. It's so boring and robs me of the distraction that this site can so effectively provide.
posted by tomharpel at 11:32 PM on December 23, 2004


I stop by MetaTalk a couple of times a day, skim the latest posts, click some links and click through to comments on those posts that are most interesting or have the greatest kinetic humor energy. Lately, people keep peeing in my Wheaties with all this post policing. It's so boring and robs me of the distraction that this site can so effectively provide.
posted by interrobang at 11:33 PM on December 23, 2004


Metafilter: Self-trolling since 1999
posted by SpecialK at 11:36 PM on December 23, 2004


Don't worry Tom; piss and Wheaties do taste ok together after awhile. Take my word for it.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:44 PM on December 23, 2004


Interrobang:

did you have the day off or what? you're EVERWHERE
posted by puke & cry at 12:58 AM on December 24, 2004


The New Metafilter: Now with 43% more Meta.
posted by luser at 4:50 AM on December 24, 2004


Well, it was a shitty FPP. My only complaint is that it took 40 minutes for someone to make a post saying so.
posted by driveler at 6:21 AM on December 24, 2004


I almost made a comment about how it was a crappy post, but for some reason didn't. In hindsight, I'm glad I didn't because it would've been my second callout for ripping a post in three days. If the post is bad, shouldn't people be allowed to say so?
posted by Arch Stanton at 6:35 AM on December 24, 2004


It seems that on the new MetaFilter, post policing is the new troll.

The word "troll" is really being abused here. Your problem is not the crappy "O'Reilly suckz" post, but that someone called it what it was, albeit late in the thread? Aren't those the kind of posts we're supposed to discourage? (And speaking of delayed reactions, your MeTa post comes 12+ hours after davidmsc's comment. The point is probably moot...)

What Arch & driveler said.
posted by dhoyt at 6:52 AM on December 24, 2004


dhoyt, Yes, my problem is that someone called out the post as crappy. It seems like not a single thread with comments >10 goes by without someone calling out the post as crappy. It's getting very boring and very old, and I doubt it is doing anything to make MeFi a better place.
posted by tomharpel at 7:41 AM on December 24, 2004


I also felt that it was a crappy post, but I've said that enough lately in the post's threads. I didn't want to add more noise to that thread, but now that there's yet another MeTa thread, here you go: Crappy post.

I doubt it is doing anything to make MeFi a better place

I disagree. Crappy posts should be called out at least once in the thread. Otherwise other people will think, Oh, OK, this is the standard, let me add this Ann Coulter gaffe, which, when not called out, etc., etc. Calling out crappy posts helps put a damper on that impulse, thereby making MeFi a better place. QED.

Not that this is limited to newbies, but just a reminder: Not everything said by Bill O'Reilly, Ann Coulter, Michael Moore, Madonna or George W. Bush is noteworthy enough to be on the front page of MetaFilter. Please stop and think before clicking POST if your FPP is based around one of these.

And yeah, "troll" has a specific meaning which is slowly being lost. "Troll" is the new "neocon."
posted by soyjoy at 7:45 AM on December 24, 2004


For the record, I though this post blew - who cares about O'Reilly's latest outrage? - but the one about giant toilets was great.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:49 AM on December 24, 2004


If the post is bad, shouldn't people be allowed to say so?

Not personally directed at you Arch, but what is the purpose of telling someone that their fpp doesn't make the grade over and over again? For example, in this thread nine people felt that it was necessary to state that the fpp stunk. Why? Clearly the poster got the message early on. Why pile up on it?
posted by Juicylicious at 9:13 AM on December 24, 2004


Crappy posts should be called out at least once in the thread. Otherwise other people will think, Oh, OK, this is the standard

Once the redesign and new ponies are being introduced, a better provision would be a 'Callout Thread' button. Once per post per user. If n clicks are registered, automatic MeTa thread posted (preferably, with list of complainers). No callout in the thread itself.
posted by Gyan at 9:23 AM on December 24, 2004


On further thought, this can be carried out right now, as well.

Every midnight, in MeTa, there's a 'Post Register' thread started. If you think a post is bad, simply go over to this thread and just post the thread number (say 39,402). If n unique hits, then someone starts a spearate dedicated Meta. To finetune it a bit, a post can be designated into either of two categories - Discuss or Delete. The former for contentious posts, the latter for egregious ones. If n counts are reached, and say, 3/4 are "39,402 Delete", no MeTa thread, just direct deletion (recommendation to Matt).
posted by Gyan at 9:31 AM on December 24, 2004


Calling out crappy posts helps put a damper on that impulse, thereby making MeFi a better place. QED.

I'd like to believe that, and until now I sort of have, but I'm getting the impression that, with callouts being as frequent as they are, new posters will not interpret a callout as indicating their post was bad, but just "something that happens all the time". Not that I have any superior solution; I'm just worried that the current solution will lose its power soon.
posted by Bugbread at 10:25 AM on December 24, 2004


Gyan, he's on it.

Jucylicious, the point of the pile-on is to demonstrate consensus and community. Matt's proposed flags feature will serve the same purpose much better, but till then...
posted by nicwolff at 11:18 AM on December 24, 2004


There are over 20K members of this community. I don't believe that nine snarks = concensus. They are simply people who cannot resist snarking.
posted by Juicylicious at 11:40 AM on December 24, 2004


Juicy,

I'm going to have to go out on a limb and say that I see the pileups as serving the same purpose as well, though in a usually excessively rude way. It seems like pretty much every post gets a "bad fpp" comment, but the ones that are truly bad get a pileup. If you just see one "bad fpp", it generally comes off as a single disgruntled person.

I'm not saying the snarks necessarily come from consensus. But they do indicate more consensus than, say, a thread with a single snark.

That said, as I say, the way of piling up is very much Not Good. It would be much better to just write "Agreed", which would show consensus (or lack thereof) without everyone relishing their chance to plunge the knife. Matt's flags are basically the same idea, though, and more elegantly implemented.
posted by Bugbread at 11:48 AM on December 24, 2004


It would be much better to just write "Agreed", which would show consensus (or lack thereof) without everyone relishing their chance to plunge the knife.

That makes a bit more sense.
posted by Juicylicious at 11:54 AM on December 24, 2004


Let's be democratically republican about it: I propose that all potential Front Page posts must first be submitted to a committee (self-?) chosen from those Mefites who were posting regularly before 9/10/01, who will then pick three submissions per day and post them in horse-race order, editing where necessary.

This will also cut way down on the comments on the FPPs and reduce the seldom-constructive MetaTalking here, providing fewer opportunities for snark-and-flame exchanges. And if those get out of hand, the Central Committee will of course expand their moderating duties.

"MetaFilter: We Know What 'Quality' Is."
posted by davy at 1:44 PM on December 24, 2004


There are over 20K members of this community. I don't believe that nine snarks = concensus. They are simply people who cannot resist snarking. posted by Juicylicious

But Juicylicious, those Quality Control Associates embody the zeitgeist that is the Best of MetaFilter, having been chosen by consensus from the collective unconsciousness of the Best of the Mefites. We who have not been chosen should be glad we have them to tell us what "quality" is.
posted by davy at 1:56 PM on December 24, 2004


MetaFilter: Wheaties & Pee Taste Okay After a While.
posted by fandango_matt at 2:14 PM on December 24, 2004


For the record, I though this post blew - who cares about O'Reilly's latest outrage? - but the one about giant toilets was great.

see, i feel the exact opposite. i like to know when people are saying they'd like to execute me, and i don't much care for "ha ha that is a big toilet" threads. and you know what? that very difference what makes mefi great. i skipped past the toilet one, and you can skip past this one.

i think the problem, as we've discussed ad nauseum, is that the callouts are taking place within the thread itself rather than in metatalk. if you need a way to show the people who don't read metatalk that the thread is not ok, then post a link to the metatalk thread you have started about it. don't drag the whole thread down with a pile-on.
posted by pikachulolita at 2:35 PM on December 24, 2004


too bad you missed that toilet thread. It wasn't at all "haha, that's a big toilet." More big toilets for the rest of us.
posted by puke & cry at 5:01 PM on December 24, 2004


puke & cry: but my problem with it wasn't the discussion, it was that the link wasn't really fpp-worthy, in my opinion. who cares though, there are 20,000 other opinions out there. i just thought it was odd that no one was addressing jpoulos' other point, about the links themselves not really being worthy of a mefi post, with or without ensuing discussion.
posted by pikachulolita at 7:35 PM on December 24, 2004


davy: You're kidding. Aren't you?
posted by marxchivist at 7:42 PM on December 24, 2004


Agreed.
posted by chicobangs at 7:52 PM on December 24, 2004


Marxchivist asked me: "davy: You're kidding. Aren't you?"

Gosh, what tipped you off?
posted by davy at 8:10 PM on December 24, 2004


The fact it was such an asinine suggestion made me think you couldn't be serious, but you can never tell around here.

Thank you for clearing it up for me.
posted by marxchivist at 9:00 PM on December 24, 2004


I liked the post and it became the basis of discussion amongst friends and family outside of MeFi. However, I realize that liking or disliking is beside the point. Whether or not it fits within the rules and spirit of MeFi is.

And at the risk of being snarky (or possibly humourous), which is also a subject of debate lately, would Seth be a member of davy's committee?
posted by juiceCake at 10:09 PM on December 24, 2004


It's a stupid post. There's nitwits on the left (admittedly without as much influence as O'Reilly) who say just as risible things and they're not posted here. If they were, people'd complain. The only reason posts like this are acceptable at all is because MeFi is left-centric. But it sure as hell isn't in any sense "best of the web" and if pikachulolita is counting on MeFi to give him/her all the news of people with murderous intent, then I fear there's some disapointment coming to pikachulolitaville.

Isn't there a general consensus, though, not to mention Matt's explicit instructions, that you don't call-out bad posts in the thread and that's what MeTa is for? Yeah, true, back in the bad NewsFilter days I complained that perhaps the only way to stem the tide was to comment in the thread, but pretty much everyone agreed that was a bad idea. It's still a bad idea.

But it's also still a crap post.

Also, if I had my own TV show, I'd be complaining that it's not legal to execute the Bill O'Reilly's of the world. So I'm not one to begrduge him the right to say such provocative things. Doesn't make him less of a raging asshole, however.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:24 AM on December 25, 2004


pikachulolitaville is where disappointment lives, baby.
posted by pikachulolita at 6:59 AM on December 25, 2004


If people have already started a discussion and that's going somewhere just let them have that discussion. When I read "this sucks" posted by Joe Blow it really doesn't register as anything other than annoying. At least provide some constructive criticism - in my opinion that should be the rule.

Also: There is no concensus on what Metafilter is "for" so give up trying to define it for everyone else.
posted by xammerboy at 11:25 AM on December 27, 2004


Also: There is no concensus on what Metafilter is "for" so give up trying to define it for everyone else.

If that was directed at my comment, please reread what I wrote:

Isn't there a general consensus, though, not to mention Matt's explicit instructions, that you don't call-out bad posts in the thread and that's what MeTa is for?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 3:50 PM on December 27, 2004


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