Onion-filter September 3, 2001 7:11 PM   Subscribe

It's not a double-post. It's not a troll. It's not a self-link. But it is just a "Ha, ha, ain't that funny?" link to an Onion story.

Am I being too picky for objecting? Should we have a required reading list for MeFi users?
posted by anildash to MetaFilter-Related at 7:11 PM (13 comments total)

Yes! I demand uniformity of reading for MeFites!

Honestly, I think that all sources are fair game, but that the higher the presumed familiarity of the audience with the source, the higher the bar must be for putting it on the front page.

I think it's fair to object to the posting of that particular story, but I'd hope that something truly extraordinary from the Onion was still welcome, especially if it has a jumping off point for a worthwile exchange.
posted by NortonDC at 7:31 PM on September 3, 2001

Given all the friction we've been experiencing lately, I refrained from snarking at the post. I suppose two years ago, when I first stumbled on the Onion, I went and told everyone I knew. What are you gonna do? I don't know.

Personally, when I first joined MeFi, I appreciated the fact that the bar was set so high. Not everyone feels that way.

Let me throw this one out: If a post doesn't acheive a certain number of comments within a certain time frame (10 comments in 3 hours?) it's automatically killed.

I know, blanket rules like that probably won't help, but I'm at a loss.
posted by jpoulos at 8:05 PM on September 3, 2001

A good post to MetaFilter is something that meets the following criteria: most people haven't seen it before, there is something interesting about the content on the page, and it might warrant discussion from others.

Disclaimer: We should be very, very nice to the person who posted this link. A search through the archives could not have easily shown that The Onion is well known... I tried it. She's a new member, and will doubtless have a lot to contribute in the future. I echo jpoulos in realizing that The Onion was really, really cool to me when it was new to me. I told everybody I knew about it.

That said, are we all walking around on egg shells or something??? Does anybody really think that the post meets the guidelines outlined above? No, anildash, you're not being too picky... Onion stories come out every week, and this one was not unusual in any way. Do we want the Metafilter front page filling up with every Onion story? How about every time somebody see's a funny strip on Dilbert.com? Should we allow that?

Like jpoulos, I really appreciate the high quality of posts here. Let's think hard before we start allowing that to change.
posted by gd779 at 8:22 PM on September 3, 2001

After thinking a minute, I realize that I worded my post a bit strongly. While my point remains, there was no need to be that aggressive in my tone. Please interpret it accordingly.
posted by gd779 at 8:35 PM on September 3, 2001

We should be very, very nice to the person who posted this link.

This was my concern; I don't want to seem like I'm bashing a newbie, 'cause I'm not. I think it's definitely a case of ignorance (in the non-negative sense) as opposed to malice.

But how do we codify a policy of prohibiting links on such a subjective basis?
posted by anildash at 9:01 PM on September 3, 2001

I thought about saying something in the post, but refrained, it really isn't worth it. Posts are so short lived now it really isn't worth it. What's the difference between linking to The Onion and someone always linking to bbc.co.uk and cnn.com? Not much...
posted by geoff. at 9:39 PM on September 3, 2001

Please! No comment counting tests. I like the obscure web finds that provoke a few people to dig around and come up with further references. I like under reported stuff that I might otherwise miss. Some of those threads never reach even ten posts, but open my mind far more than most of the debates that go on for ages and ages.

I am rarely interested in links to mainstream web sites - I can find that stuff for myself, but how could they be stopped? Should they be? Frequently they're where the biggest discussions take place.
posted by southisup at 1:33 AM on September 4, 2001

But oddly, I really liked the Rob and Jennifer link, although probably not in the way they intended me to. So it wasn't a complete loss.

I'm a bit strange and love people's home pages, though.
posted by Grangousier at 2:24 AM on September 4, 2001

I dunno, maybe a filter in the post screen that looks for links to onion.com or dailynews.yahoo.com or ananova.com and warns the user: "The link you have provided comes from a source that many many readers regularly view. Are you sure that your link meets the Mefi guidelines which suggest that a good link is one that will inspire discussion? Will your post inspire good discussion or is it more of a 'isn't this cool?' type thing?"

Okay, maybe worded a little better than that. :)
posted by daveadams at 9:47 AM on September 4, 2001

Let me throw this one out: If a post doesn't acheive a certain number of comments within a certain time frame (10 comments in 3 hours?) it's automatically killed.

Oo, bad idea. I know because I suggested something like this in a previous MetaTalk tread (too lazy to go dig it up), and many people pointed out, to me, why it was a bad idea.

In a nutshell:

Many good links / threads defy comments, beyond "That's great!" or "wow."

Many (many!) bad threads generate a gajillion comments of the "This is a double-post / self-link / bad post" and/or endless-flamewar variety.

Ergo: While there probably is some "Quality of post" to "Number of comments" relationship, it's not strong enough to merit this kind of action.

That's what I was told, anyhow, and after some consideration I came to agree.

posted by Shadowkeeper at 10:04 AM on September 4, 2001 [1 favorite]

Oo, bad idea.

Point taken, and I withdraw the suggestion. Matt, whatever you do, don't set a minimum-comment standard.
posted by jpoulos at 11:12 AM on September 4, 2001

So what would be on a required reading list for MeFi users? And how often should those sites be read?

posted by gluechunk at 11:53 AM on September 4, 2001

Skyline has an interesting suggestion that might be worth discussion.

I don't know about required reading - I mean, it's not like I read Onion/Salon/NYT every single day - but maybe there could be a note in the guidelines quoted above which lists some popular sites that should be linked to with extreme care. Or something. That's a clumsy solution, I know.

Does the poster to the Onion article know about this thread yet?
posted by mjane at 12:23 PM on September 4, 2001

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