shit-stirring chatfilter in askme January 4, 2005 7:02 AM   Subscribe

While the fact that it's tasteless and clearly a case of a user just trying to troll and stir shit for entertainment isn't technically an offense, this thread is also a case of "ChatFilter" that really serves no purpose in AskMe. There's no problem to be solved here.
posted by XQUZYPHYR to Etiquette/Policy at 7:02 AM (72 comments total)

yes, please get rid of it. Not funny or clever.
posted by gravelshoes at 7:09 AM on January 4, 2005


I'm not one to be easily offended but aren't those jokes just a little insensitive to all the deaths that just happened over there?
posted by Hands of Manos at 7:13 AM on January 4, 2005


seconded, get rid of it.

s/he can pay $5 if they want back in.
posted by the cuban at 7:13 AM on January 4, 2005


I agree. However, isn't it customary to put a link to this MeTa thread in the AskMe thread?
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:18 AM on January 4, 2005


Screw $5. How about $50, earmarked for MSF/UNICEF/OXFAM/ICRC...?
posted by stonerose at 7:22 AM on January 4, 2005


I don't think 'taste' should really even enter the picture. The Chatfilter reason alone is enough for it to simply be removed.

I'm sure the Politikal Korrectness Klub here will call for mischief's head in their usual shrill tones, but that seems to be their function . . .
posted by Ryvar at 7:28 AM on January 4, 2005


While I agree that's it's a little early for tsunami humor (though funny is in the eye of the beholder (I, for one, think it's still too early for holocaust jokes)), I doubt that the "chatfilterness" of, for example, a "do you know any good horse jokes"-thread would have merited a MeTa callout.
posted by signal at 7:37 AM on January 4, 2005


Ryvar, this has nothing to do with PC. Over 100,000 people died last week, and people are still dying in the aftermath. It's a pretty fucking horrible thing to joke about.
posted by mkultra at 7:38 AM on January 4, 2005


Gone, by the Hand of Howie.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 7:40 AM on January 4, 2005


It must have been really nasty. Instead of the usual simple removal from listing and closure of posting, the thread is now completely black-holed...
posted by lodurr at 8:04 AM on January 4, 2005


lodurr: MeTa and AskMe posts have never had that function. Only MeFi keeps the threads there with reason for deletion.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 8:14 AM on January 4, 2005


lodurr: my understanding is that all MeTa/AskMe posts are blackholed - only MeFi posts are retained after deletion. I may be incorrect here, but that's the way it was explained to me.

mkultra: you may think that, and hell for once even *I* might think that, but this in no way changes that this isn't for us to decide. It's up to each person to decide what is or is not offensive to them.
posted by Ryvar at 8:14 AM on January 4, 2005


It's up to each person to decide what is or is not offensive to them.

That doesn't give people carte-blanche, Ryvar. It's incredibly selfish to only consider your own level of offensiveness when operating in society and says a lot about a person's character if they just make jokes at other people's expense over something like this.

Me, personally, I'm not offended...but I know some are, so I won't make the jokes just yet. It's courtesy, not political correctness, that makes me operate that way.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:29 AM on January 4, 2005


dfleming: we operate in a society (and website) where each individual is inevitably going to encounter people with beliefs, ideas, and practices that are deeply offensive to that individual. Learning to cope with this fact is one of the defining aspects of life as an adult.
posted by Ryvar at 8:40 AM on January 4, 2005


Learning to cope with this fact is one of the defining aspects of life as an adult.

So is considering other people before acting.

I do completely agree that we should be able to cope with things that are offensive to us, but that doesn't mean that we can't hold those who offend responsible for their actions, too.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 8:48 AM on January 4, 2005


I'm sure the Politikal Korrectness Klub here will call for mischief's head in their usual shrill tones, but that seems to be their function . . .

Except that no one did. And there seems to be a general consensus in this thread that deleting an AskMe question that said simply "heard any good tsunami jokes lately" was an okay thing to do. It's not about protecting anyone's tender ears/eyes as much as it's just maintaining some level of community standards on MeFi in general, one of which happens to be at least a middling amount of consideration of others.
posted by jessamyn at 8:58 AM on January 4, 2005


dfleming: My response to that is that there are plenty of moderated parts of the Internet where, if you're truly that offended, you can retreat to. Everyone trying to spread their own personal take on censorship all over the place is unworkable, but a free-speech zone with exceptions for images (which can get people well and truly physically harmed via loss of job) allows people to stop shouting their morality at each other constantly - as they knew what they were getting into when they chose to visit the site.

Metafilter is awfully close to this ideal.

jessamyn: Wrong, simply. Proof follows:

s/he can pay $5 if they want back in.

Screw $5. How about $50, earmarked for MSF/UNICEF/OXFAM/ICRC...?
posted by Ryvar at 9:04 AM on January 4, 2005


Metafilter is awfully close to this ideal.

Metafilter - as I understand it - isn't aiming for that ideal. Feel free to correct me if I'm wrong, but otherwise it's my idealized version of it versus yours, right?
posted by jessamyn at 9:08 AM on January 4, 2005


I'm not one to be easily offended but aren't those jokes just a little insensitive to all the deaths that just happened over there?

says a lot about a person's character if they just make jokes at other people's expense over something like this.

Over 100,000 people died last week, and people are still dying in the aftermath. It's a pretty fucking horrible thing to joke about.

Jokes are a coping mechanism. I cheer every time someone tells a joke about the Holocaust, or 9/11, or paedophilia, or any other 'omg we shouldn't joke about taht!!!11' subject. I'll be enormously happy the first time I hear someone tell a tsunami joke. It's never too soon...

You people are just as bad as every idiot who's ever written in to complain about being offended by a TV show or something. If you don't like it, don't damn well read it -- what gives you the right to get all self-righteous and demand that it be removed from everyone else's view?
posted by reklaw at 9:28 AM on January 4, 2005


what gives you the right to get all self-righteous and demand that it be removed from everyone else's view?

I didn't think Askme was a joke exchange for sickos, but what do i know?
posted by the cuban at 9:40 AM on January 4, 2005


Anyone know any good heart exploding jokes?
posted by GeekAnimator at 9:41 AM on January 4, 2005


are we almost to the part where i'm suddenly stricken with acute explosive projectile diarhea?
posted by quonsar at 9:46 AM on January 4, 2005


I didn't think Askme was a joke exchange for sickos, but what do i know?

Grasshopper, you know that you do not know.
posted by biffa at 9:56 AM on January 4, 2005


Bring on the Elephant, q!
posted by scottymac at 10:01 AM on January 4, 2005


original statement
I'm not one to be easily offended but aren't those jokes just a little insensitive to all the deaths that just happened over there?

your retort
what gives you the right to get all self-righteous and demand that it be removed from everyone else's view?

Where in my statement do I claim to be self-righteous and where did I demand to have it removed? I asked a question, it could have been easily answered "yes" or "no."

If there were something worth bitching about in my statement, I used *just* twice in one sentence.
posted by Hands of Manos at 10:05 AM on January 4, 2005


If you don't like it, don't damn well read it -- what gives you the right to get all self-righteous and demand that it be removed from everyone else's view?

Same thing that gives you the right to spew whatever garbage will come from your mouth next, buddy. Don't like it? Don't damn well read it.

I also don't remember demanding it to be removed. I was merely saying that it was insensitive and that mischief was insensitive in posting it. That's just about all I said.
posted by dflemingdotorg at 10:07 AM on January 4, 2005


Where in my statement do I claim to be self-righteous

I think you are missing the point.


I was merely saying that it was insensitive and that mischief was insensitive in posting it. That's just about all I said.

Then the answer is yes for some people and no for others. Happy now?
posted by biffa at 10:26 AM on January 4, 2005


Jokes are a coping mechanism.

At best, that argument applies to people personally affected by tragedy. At worst, it's justifying being an insensitive ass.

the Politikal Korrectness Klub here

...

we operate in a society (and website) where each individual is inevitably going to encounter people with beliefs, ideas, and practices that are deeply offensive to that individual. Learning to cope with this fact is one of the defining aspects of life as an adult.

You might want to take your own advice to heart, reklaw.

You people are just as bad as every idiot who's ever written in to complain about being offended by a TV show or something.

Nice straw man, but no.
posted by mkultra at 10:31 AM on January 4, 2005


At best, that argument applies to people personally affected by tragedy.

So only people personally affected by tragedy can joke about it without being offended? If anything, they're the only people who have any right to be offended at all. And even then, if they've got any sense, they won't be.

You might want to take your own advice to heart, reklaw.

But that's not me you're quoting there...

Nice straw man, but no.

Oh no, my entire argument has crumbled before the dread words "straw man"! Your powers of logical debate are simply too much for me, sir.

I'm amazed at finding such a consensus that this was 'insensitive' and deserved to be removed. I thought better of you people...
posted by reklaw at 10:39 AM on January 4, 2005


mkultra, the "we operate in a society" guy is Ryvar, not reklaw. And I found it a curious argument to be making as well.

Getting frustrated that people don't behave the way you think they should is not going make your life more rewarding.
posted by euphorb at 10:43 AM on January 4, 2005


But that's not me you're quoting there...

Sorry, my bad.

So only people personally affected by tragedy can joke about it without being offended?

No, my point in response to you is that if my dad dies in a horrible car accident and I make a joke about it, it's generally a (morbid) coping mechanism. If my dad dies in a car accident and you make a joke about it, you're just a dick.

Oh no, my entire argument has crumbled before the dread words "straw man"! Your powers of logical debate are simply too much for me, sir.

Would you rather I not call it as I see it? If you're going to trot out lame rhetorical tricks, don't be surprised when someone calls you on them.
posted by mkultra at 10:55 AM on January 4, 2005


reklaw and biffa,

Perhaps I'm at a loss here and maybe you guys can help me out (and no, I'm not baiting you guys for an argument, I'm truly asking a question with no sarcasm).

Okay so someone makes a joke and I find it to be of great disgust, that's my problem. Someone posts something about it and it's conduct. I respond by agreeing it should be removed and I ask a question for clarification (or to gain insight) with an emphasis of my distaste for the jokes.

In your opinion, would it have been better for me to not have posted it at all and/or worded my statement differently?

As far as the tv issue goes. Someone writing in saying "I see Janet's boobies on tv and I'm offended!" and making fun of a tragedy where over 100k people died seems to not be on the same wavelength. Also, how does a joke that dehumanizes a tragedy make one cope better? Perhaps I'm dense, but it just seems that someone that lost their son to the oceans would not say "oh yeah, sharks! thai food! hahahaha, I get it!"

So only people personally affected by tragedy can joke about it without being offended?

food for thought: I'm white, I think I'll run over to my African American neighbor's house and say "what up niggaz!" and see what happens.

It's not a tragedy (well, it is) but I'm using a slang term that can denote friend or foe depending who it personally affects. Me using that term is going to probably gain me some negativity as well as some bodily harm....but I was just making light of it, right?

Anyway, please note that I'm trying not to stir up a sparring match here. I was just wanting to hear which route, in your opinion, I should take in the future when posing a statement/opinion at Mefi.
posted by Hands of Manos at 10:58 AM on January 4, 2005


This seems like so much pissin' in the wind, since #1 has already weighed in by deleting the question.
posted by Doohickie at 11:04 AM on January 4, 2005


Gone, gone, the thread is gone
Matt flushed it down the virtual john
Yet all the talk remains
Cluttering the Gray with useless refrains.

posted by Sidhedevil at 11:38 AM on January 4, 2005


This seems like so much pissin' in the wind, since #1 has already weighed in by deleting the question.

Well I think that's the question, Doohickie - did he delete it because it was 'offensive', which some of us around here constitutes censorship every bit as hideous as what comes from the right wing, or did he delete it because it was a hideous example of Chatfilter?
posted by Ryvar at 11:46 AM on January 4, 2005


which to some of us
posted by Ryvar at 11:47 AM on January 4, 2005


It's a pretty fucking horrible thing to joke about.

The most horrible things are the most important to joke about.

You don't know much about human psychology, do you?
posted by rushmc at 11:47 AM on January 4, 2005


did he delete it because it was 'offensive', which some of us around here constitutes censorship every bit as hideous as what comes from the right wing, or did he delete it because it was a hideous example of Chatfilter?

Or did he delete it because he sometimes responds to member complaints without considering the specific example very closely himself at all (he has admitted doing this before in the past, and has even reversed his deletion once)? Which is all the more reason people should refrain from overusing MeTa and save it for the egregious cases for which it is intended.
posted by rushmc at 11:49 AM on January 4, 2005


You know what, there is a place and a time for morbid humor. I don't think Askmeta is either right now.

Doctors and nurses do use black humor for stress relief in a job that can be incredibly sad and stressful,for example. But I doubt you will see them using it in the waiting room filled with relatives of the maimed and dying. Decent people don't invoke humor at the expense of someone's grief right in front of them. One could posit that this being a site with a worldwide audience, any jokes regarding the tsunami would be worse than tasteless in the extreme. Personally I think it would be tasteless no matter what.
posted by konolia at 11:57 AM on January 4, 2005


Look, "Has anybody heard any good elephant jokes lately?" isn't an appropriate AskMeFi post, either.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:17 PM on January 4, 2005


Okay so someone makes a joke and I find it to be of great disgust, that's my problem. Someone posts something about it and it's conduct. I respond by agreeing it should be removed and I ask a question for clarification (or to gain insight) with an emphasis of my distaste for the jokes.

In your opinion, would it have been better for me to not have posted it at all and/or worded my statement differently?


I suppose I just don't understand the mentality that wants to remove everything it finds offensive -- that's what my TV-complainer analogy is about. Sure, you're offended, and that's your right (and, indeed, part of the point)... but why do you feel the need to remove that offensive speech from view? What do you believe this achieves?

Someone has said it, and if someone else is offended then it's the original poster's responsibility. It's like being so upset by a joke in real life that you want its telling erased from history.

Also, jokes involving sharks and [insert nationality] food just suck... you always seem to get the same joke when some people drown. I prefer the one about what the photographer said when he was about to photograph a group of tourists...
posted by reklaw at 12:17 PM on January 4, 2005


Personally I think it would be tasteless no matter what.

I don't see anyone disputing that it's "tasteless." The question, rather, is whether tastelessness should be censored from the site. Not everyone aspires to be "decent people," after all.
posted by rushmc at 12:43 PM on January 4, 2005


i concur pointlessly and impotently.:

askme isn't for "hey, how are all you guys doin?" type posts.
posted by glenwood at 12:53 PM on January 4, 2005


The most horrible things are the most important to joke about.

You don't know much about human psychology, do you?


Fine, shoot me an email when your mom dies. I'll come over and give you the comedy routine of a lifetime.
posted by mkultra at 1:02 PM on January 4, 2005


I don't see anyone disputing that it's "tasteless." The question, rather, is whether tastelessness should be censored from the site. Not everyone aspires to be "decent people," after all.

Exactly. Personally, I'm mildly offended by it myself - but I don't think that my being so means it should be removed. That would be me trying to inflict my values on others.

All that said, the post was pretty clearly crap for reasons unrelated to taste as glennwood notes.
posted by Ryvar at 1:08 PM on January 4, 2005


Fuckin' A, I would have deleted it as well, for the following simple reason: MeFi is a well-known, written-about site. If I were Matt, I wouldn't want to be fielding phone calls wondering why "your site is joking about the disaster". It's not "mischief" acting like a pig, it's "MeFi". Whenever one of us takes a dump on the site, it's him who gets asked by the neighbors why it smells so bad.
posted by mkultra at 1:16 PM on January 4, 2005


It's a crappy post, so I'd remove it for that reason, and not worry about its possible tastelessness.

mkultra, this may just be me, but my brother and I actually joked quite a bit when our mom died, because a bunch of funny shit happened (for example, the priest celebrating her funeral Mass, who was about 102, dropped the communion chalice and the wafers rolled all over the altar). Also, it made us feel better.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:53 PM on January 4, 2005


Well, yeah, it's different when it's you. But would you feel the same if I, a stranger, came over and started cracking jokes about your mom?
posted by mkultra at 2:07 PM on January 4, 2005


It seems you're all arguing Ryvar's original point. It is precisely political correctness that evokes the 'outrage' response in people when someone make a lame, tasteless attempt at finding humour in other's suffering (not your own, like Sidhedevil).

mkultra - who would call regarding 'your site is joking about the distaster?' Those directly affected by the tsunami has bigger things to worry about. And most likely no phone. There's no policing taste, no matter how nice it'd be.

I'm just glad to see the post gone. But just like all the 9/11 humour, the sentiment will be back, and hiliarity will ensue among desensitised Western teens and sociopathic militant nerds.
posted by cosmonik at 2:14 PM on January 4, 2005


It is precisely political correctness that evokes the 'outrage' response in people when someone make a lame, tasteless attempt at finding humour in other's suffering

Er, so, until political correctness, people didn't get outraged at stuff like that?

If anything, outrage came first and was given the name political correctness. And, unless things have changed a mighty bit from my college days a decade ago, this particular case has nothing to do with political correctness either.
posted by Bugbread at 2:35 PM on January 4, 2005


...
posted by dhoyt at 2:36 PM on January 4, 2005


MeFi is a well-known, written-about site. If I were Matt, I wouldn't want to be fielding phone calls wondering why "your site is joking about the disaster".

So you advocate a policy based on cowardice?
posted by rushmc at 2:40 PM on January 4, 2005


bugbread, political correctness existed well before it was identified and labelled. And it is this process (which we now call political correctness) which makes many people identifiy un-PC comments and respond with outrage. Perhaps I should have said 'political correctness identification and response mechanism', but I figured I'd keep it simple.

How does it have nothing to do with political correctness? I went to university at the same time you did, and see an implicit connection.

[from princeton via google: 1. political correctness, political correctitude -- (avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against)]

Is it that you think the jokes would not be targeting the region of the tsunami, or the victims themselves? I would think both would be fair game for the joke-making.
posted by cosmonik at 2:48 PM on January 4, 2005


A coping mechanism? So... there's someone having trouble dealing with the event whose burden has now been (however slightly) eased? The author of the jokes? The readers? I'm not seeing this yet.

Regarding the rest:
Not all courtesy is political correctness.
Not all black comedy is a badge of courage.
Not all conflict avoidance is cowardice.
posted by shemol at 3:18 PM on January 4, 2005 [1 favorite]


Oh, for God's sake. Long before anyone in the United States had adapted the Soviet term "political correctness" to mean "conforming to a liberal orthodoxy, real or imagined", there were endless debates about how terrible "sick humor" was and how it was leading our children down the primrose path to hell/depravity/etc.

Dr. Frederick Wertham made an awfully good living from that, among other "sky is falling" prognostications.
posted by Sidhedevil at 4:01 PM on January 4, 2005


[from princeton via google: 1. political correctness, political correctitude -- (avoidance of expressions or actions that can be perceived to exclude or marginalize or insult people who are socially disadvantaged or discriminated against)]

Is it that you think the jokes would not be targeting the region of the tsunami, or the victims themselves? I would think both would be fair game for the joke-making.


It's that I don't think the jokes would be offensive on the grounds of excluding or marginalizing the disadvantaged or discriminated. That said, the only joke I have at hand (since I didn't see the thread) is the Thai Food joke, which neither marginalizes or excludes. There may have been non-PC jokes, I'm not sure. But from the arguments put forth here, nobody seems to be having a problem with the fact that the poor or discriminated are being laughed at, it's that a big ole tragedy with lots and lots of death still occuring is being made fun of.

As I say, I may be wrong, and there may have been lots of un-PC jokes, but at least from the responses here, PC does not seem to be pertinent to the outrage or deletion.
posted by Bugbread at 4:08 PM on January 4, 2005


Perhaps I'm just getting old, but so much of North American culture these days seems to revolve around tissue-thin justifications for extremely unpleasant, uncivilized, execrably self-involved behaviour or speech.

I'm no fan of 'correctness', political or otherwise, but it seems to me that there's a gap between saying what needs to be said and using whatever language is necessary to say it on the one hand, and saying whatever you like just because you're a beautiful and unique flowflake and the hell with anyone else on the other.

Between that Scylla and that Charybis this whole argument drops like a fresh turd.

Not all courtesy is political correctness.
Not all black comedy is a badge of courage.
Not all conflict avoidance is cowardice.


Indeed. Well said. I'd add 'Freedom includes the freedom to make an ass of yourself'.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:14 PM on January 4, 2005


Perhaps I'm just getting old, but so much of North American culture these days seems to revolve around finding new and ever-more-creative ways to impose restrictions on thought and expression.
posted by rushmc at 4:37 PM on January 4, 2005


wow, i'm agreeing with rushmc. truly, the end times are near.
posted by keswick at 4:47 PM on January 4, 2005


Your version is as true as mine, rushmc, in its way. You know how the pillow jumps when you lie down on your side and close one eye and open the other, then switch? Yeah, like that.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:48 PM on January 4, 2005 [1 favorite]


I agree with both of you. People act like assholes just because they can, and piss off other people, who try to shut up the assholes, because they can. Assholes fighting assholes, and the more either side acts like an ass, the more the opposition acts like an ass, leading to an anal arms race.

(Er, not directed at anyone in particular. Just a general observation)
posted by Bugbread at 4:51 PM on January 4, 2005


Perhaps I'm just getting old, but so much of North American culture these days seems to revolve around finding new and ever-more-creative ways to impose restrictions on thought and expression.

I see you have a blog. How, again, are your thoughts and expressions being restricted?
posted by mkultra at 5:46 PM on January 4, 2005


So, this blind guy walks into the corner drugstore with his seeing eye dog and all of a sudden he bends over and grabs the poor dog by the tail and starts swingin him around like it's the Olympic hammer throw. The dog's howling to beat the band, and bottles and stuff are crashing off the shelves all over the place--Ar-Ar-Arroo! Arroo! *crash* Arroo! *crash*...

This clerk runs up and asks, Sir, is there any way I can help you?

Nope, just lookin'!
posted by y2karl at 5:59 PM on January 4, 2005


Yes, y2karl. Because the destruction of private property and a person's livelihood is so equivalent to offending them.

By the way, expect a notice soon from my lawyers - I'll be suing you for the medical bills I incurred rolling my eyes at your 'analogy.'
posted by Ryvar at 7:29 PM on January 4, 2005


Huh? I told a joke at random. Nothing related to you, John Q. Sensitive Center of the Universe. No hidden message. Let some air out of that ego.
posted by y2karl at 8:54 AM on January 5, 2005


Oh well, hazard yet onward.
posted by mischief at 9:45 AM on January 5, 2005


mischief has posted 8 links and 922 comments to MetaFilter
and 4 threads and 1104 comments to MetaTalk
and 14 questions and 385 answers to Ask MetaFilter


As a rule we should just delete anyone who has more MeTa comments than MeFi or AskMe comments.
They obviously prefer the arguing and complaining to the helping or informing,
or maybe just make it so you can not post more MeTa until your MeFi count increases.
posted by milovoo at 11:31 AM on January 5, 2005


Y2karl: So it wasn't just you that didn't understand what Ryvar was saying, either, eh?

Analogy? Equating destruction of private property and hurt feelings? Huh?
posted by Bugbread at 12:32 PM on January 5, 2005


Ah, appears I'll have to explain.

I took y2karl's comment to be an attack on those of us defending offensive comments/behavior by attempting to compare such to a man who walks into a drugstore and begins smashing the place up.

Try reading his comment from that perspective - an attack on those of us defending people's ability to say offensive things - and suddenly my response makes a WHOLE lot more sense.
posted by Ryvar at 2:22 PM on January 5, 2005


No, it doesn't.
posted by y2karl at 6:30 PM on January 5, 2005


It does, but boy were you off the mark.
posted by Bugbread at 6:41 PM on January 5, 2005


I have no idea what you are talking about. It was a marginally politically incorrect joke. I had no interest in the debate when I posted that as a lark. There is no hidden meaning or message. People are so hot here to make themselves right by making other people wrong here they will grasp at straws to read anything into what someone else writes so they can write a devastating retort, and then, when told they got it wrong, defend their refutation, because, you know, it's important to be clear about how devastating a retort one wrote to what one wrongly read into what another person wrote. Well, if you weren't saying that, it still makes sense if you were, and, boy, were you off the mark. I rule. Talk about talking to a sockpuppet of your own device. It's so silly.
posted by y2karl at 10:07 AM on January 8, 2005


« Older The suspense is killing me [more inside]   |   MetaTalk for the logged in only? Newer »

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