This thread is has [sic] been closed. January 12, 2005 6:10 PM   Subscribe

This thread is has [sic] been closed.

Matt, you're closing MeTa threads after four (or ten) comments now?
posted by mr_crash_davis to MetaFilter-Related at 6:10 PM (147 comments total)

those threads clearly weren't headed anywhere.

(EXCEPT MAYBE FOR MARLBORO COUNTRY, WHERE YOU CAN FIND SMOOTH SMOOTH FLAVORFUL SMOKES -- THE KIND OF FLAVOR FISHFUCKER WOULD APPROVE OF. MMM MMM THAT'S GOOD SMOKING.)
posted by fishfucker at 6:13 PM on January 12, 2005


EDIT: anywhere good.
posted by fishfucker at 6:14 PM on January 12, 2005


This thread has been closed.
posted by Quartermass at 6:18 PM on January 12, 2005


Weird. My comment (and several others) from a deleted thread is here. What the fuck?
posted by interrobang at 6:20 PM on January 12, 2005


Holy Jalapenos. This thread coupled with this thread is blowing my mind.

on preview, I thought that hack got fixed.
posted by sciurus at 6:22 PM on January 12, 2005


this could be the glitch in the matrix we have all been looking for.
posted by buzzman at 6:25 PM on January 12, 2005


Is metafilter also acting really logy right now, or is it just my shitty dial-up account?
posted by interrobang at 6:31 PM on January 12, 2005


Oh. Fixed, I guess.
posted by interrobang at 6:35 PM on January 12, 2005


Huh. I didn't realize there was a "close" button on these.
posted by scarabic at 6:38 PM on January 12, 2005


I added a thread closer for metatalk because a lot of threads have been going on too long, even after a question was answered.

For the sideblog post, it was a simple question, and I answered it, and it really wasn't going to improve from there.

I wish people had some constraint so that they didn't treat metatalk as a chat site where posting "bucket o' cocks!" a dozen times is considered a good contribution, but figured I might as well code it in once and for all to end the threads that have a simple obvious reason for being and a way to reach some resolution.

I think aside from chattiness, far too often an ettiquette discussion spirals wildly from the original poster's point and in the end nothing really comes out of it. A lot of good honest discussions could be over in 20 or so comments and staying active for a week after that doesn't really do anything much for the site. People get into fights, people split hairs, people take part in all sorts of wackiness.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 6:40 PM on January 12, 2005 [1 favorite]


Matt, that is a lucid, well-thought out objection.

OVERRULED!

/mycousinvinny
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:43 PM on January 12, 2005


but figured I might as well code it in once and for all

I and at least a few other members thank you, Matt.
posted by kamylyon at 6:43 PM on January 12, 2005


I wish people had some constraint so that they didn't treat metatalk as a chat site where posting "bucket o' cocks!" a dozen times is considered a good contribution, but figured I might as well code it in once and for all to end the threads that have a simple obvious reason for being and a way to reach some resolution.

I certainly applaud the motive, but it seems like this will create a substantial amount of new work for you? If you just close one now and again when you see it, I guess that's fine, but it seems bound to feel a bit...strange and arbitrary. Ah, well, we shall see.

I still maintain that nothing you could do would discourage the types of behavior in MetaTalk that you decry above than simply stating that you don't approve of them or want them on the site. As we saw recently, many users, new AND old, are still under the misapprehension that it's okay "cuz it's fun."
posted by rushmc at 6:59 PM on January 12, 2005


Matt, apologies. I shouldn't have posted "What a bucket of cocks!" in that thread. Had I seen that Steve_at_Linwood had already recieved a private email about his misdeeds, I certainly wouldn't have done so at all. (Not that it makes any difference at all, really.) I was actually pretty relieved to see that comment stricken. Stupid, stupid stuff.
posted by loquacious at 7:04 PM on January 12, 2005


rush, back in school, you were the kid who used to tell the teacher that she had forgotten to assign homework, right?

Matt's quite capable of speaking for himself.
posted by jonmc at 7:04 PM on January 12, 2005


Yeah, I don't know if it's something I'll use often. I've used it twice so far because one question was easily answered and even then sparked a little messy fight I had to clean up, and I thought people were spiralling on the other thread about miss lynster's post. I didn't want it to become a hundred dumbass comments mocking her posts or attacking her or attacking steve.

jon, rushmc's comments about it are fine and on topic. Yours mocking him aren't, are they?
posted by mathowie (staff) at 7:09 PM on January 12, 2005


well, yes and no.

There's been plenty of times where "wackiness" has been permitted to go on, and you've even joined in, matt.

I'll stipulate that there's plenty of times where it's gone overboard, especially lately. But rush has been somewhat relentlessly pounding the pulpit about how badly we behave and what he thinks the site should be, and that decision ultimately is yours, not his.

Now if you and him find my way of putting that insulting, I'm sorry. I merely found it pointed, and far less pointed than things that have been said to me over the years without me complaining.
posted by jonmc at 7:14 PM on January 12, 2005


Thank you for deleted lots of asinine comments by S@L, dreaminghost, me and anyone else. And thank you for the close thread button, it will come in handy I reckon. Please use it often.
posted by puke & cry at 7:14 PM on January 12, 2005


Asininity may well leak out into other, bluer places if it's not spent somewhere. It seemed to me that even though the whacky grey threads went nowhere, they served a cathartic purpose, and kept at least some shit out of the blue (note: some). wendell did some of his best tagline photoshopping in grey threads. Like a decoy thread to shit in. If I found it too annoying, or 100+ in comments, I'd skip it. But that's just MHO.

This feature may very well quell the rising tide of whacky cockbucketry that's been building for, oh, four and a bit years now.

i'm so sick of cocks
posted by cosmonik at 7:20 PM on January 12, 2005


rush, back in school, you were the kid who used to tell the teacher that she had forgotten to assign homework, right?

I would consider that an insult jonmc, but I'm a wimp so whatever.

Face it, people have been acting like complete tools in MeTa lately (and not so lately), especially with that godawful dhoyt thread. Yeesh. There aren't many reason I can think of to have MeTa threads open to comments once the issue has been resolved or whatever. I think meet-up threads should be as long as they like, but specific questions should really be closed after they've been answered, no?
posted by puke & cry at 7:24 PM on January 12, 2005


Well, puke & cry, I'd say that your response might go to the heart of the disconnect that results in so many problems here. People have very diffrent styles of communication. rushmc, for example, has a fairly formal "logical proof," style of making his points. I tend to use personal anecdote and bon mot style humor. That can lead to him being considered "stiff" and me considered overly aggressive or blustery.

Both perceptions are right and wrong to some degree, but we can expect everybody to conform to other people's styles.
posted by jonmc at 7:28 PM on January 12, 2005


can't expect ,dammit.
posted by jonmc at 7:32 PM on January 12, 2005


This could be the glitch in the matrix we have all been looking for.

Bravo! buzzman thank you for a good laugh.
posted by mlis at 7:41 PM on January 12, 2005


cosmonik nails it:
It seemed to me that even though the whacky grey threads went nowhere, they served a cathartic purpose, and kept at least some shit out of the blue (note: some).

I've all but abandoned the blue lately because there just hasn't been much that holds my interest there. I agree with Steve@ and dg that miss lynnester's posts are universally terrible but halfway inbetween pure apathy and simple politeness you'll find my reason for not saying so anywhere until now.

The grey, though, with the increasingly strident anger and outright hostility between personalities I know and love has become an outright treasure trove for me. There may be absolutely nothing on MeFi as of late that I can't get on Boingboing, but here in MeTa there is some grade-A, first-class drama of the hilarious variety going on, and I for one love every last minute of it.

I realize this is just me, and I tend to be rather contrarian about this stuff, but I can't be the only person who thinks this way so I figured I'd speak up for the other side.

But rush has been somewhat relentlessly pounding the pulpit about how badly we behave and what he thinks the site should be, and that decision ultimately is yours, not his

I don't object to that so much as Rush's implicit assumption that what he wants is what everyone wants. It isn't. Rush wants to state his opinion of what MeFi/MeTa/AskMe should be? Cool, I'm all ears - I just did this same in the above paragraph. Rush wants to tell me what my opinion as regards the direction of the site should be? Not cool.
posted by Ryvar at 7:43 PM on January 12, 2005


I think the latter stages of metatalk threads are usually far more interesting than what they're originally intended for, but whatever.
posted by The God Complex at 7:53 PM on January 12, 2005


I agree with Rush and Puke and I'm surprised this thread isn't closed. A chance for feedback/bitching?

The points of those two previous threads had been made, there was nothing else to say to those topics. Hence, closed, as fishfucker said in the first comment. I always thought that the point of the gray is to make Metafilter better and if it turns into constant 180 comment shouting matches, then that certainly doesn't make the site any better. Are those long, rambling, aimless threads in the gray interesting? They can be, but does it serve the purpose of what the site is intended for? No.
posted by Arch Stanton at 8:00 PM on January 12, 2005


Both perceptions are right and wrong to some degree, but we can expect everybody to conform to other people's styles.

And I agree completely. I shouldn't have mentioned that part about the insult, I reread your comment and it was pretty obvious you apologized to anyone if your comment was taken as an insult. I stand by the rest of my comment though.
posted by puke & cry at 8:05 PM on January 12, 2005


Face it, people have been acting like complete tools in MeTa lately (and not so lately), especially with that godawful dhoyt thread. Yeesh. There aren't many reason I can think of to have MeTa threads open to comments once the issue has been resolved or whatever. I think meet-up threads should be as long as they like, but specific questions should really be closed after they've been answered, no?

I think it would be boring if the discussions have no possibility for growth beyond the bounds of the original question, since they occasionally take interesting turns. If Matt ends up just closing every thread once it's "completed", I think that would be a real shame. Of course there's a need to close the ridiculous threads that devolve into bickering and salad tossery, but there are also some really fun examples of crazy tangents that I quite enjoy. But that's just me and I could be in the Miguelority.
posted by The God Complex at 8:11 PM on January 12, 2005


I wish there had been a thread closer for that Alex Reynolds mega-pile-on shitfest. What the fuck.
posted by amberglow at 8:17 PM on January 12, 2005


I think it would be boring if the discussions have no possibility for growth beyond the bounds of the original question, since they occasionally take interesting turns.

Yes, because endless variations on the 'buckets of cock' theme are so worthwhile.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 8:24 PM on January 12, 2005


good idea, Matt. Imposing control on people who often have none.
posted by crunchland at 8:28 PM on January 12, 2005


I think this feature makes sense, and is a better option than deleting threads in many cases. But I'm not totally clear on the need to police what goes on on MetaTalk. So what if people go off-topic and act like jerks? Better here than the Blue; capping the discussions here could generate more spillback there.
posted by scarabic at 8:32 PM on January 12, 2005



Yes, because endless variations on the 'buckets of cock' theme are so worthwhile.


Yes, because that's clearly what I was talking about.
posted by The God Complex at 8:33 PM on January 12, 2005


There is alot of space between "discussions will have no possibility for growth beyond the bounds of the original question" and "there should be an end for threads that have a simple obvious reason".
posted by 23skidoo at 8:33 PM on January 12, 2005


Uhh, if I've offended anyone save Steve or DreamGhost, I'm sorry. I would have brought it to MeTa immediately but I'd already used my post for the week.

Next time I'll email you directly instead, Matt.
posted by fenriq at 8:39 PM on January 12, 2005


is it just me or is matt a little grouchy?

metafilter: strange and arbitrary

oh, i love the new design and the new section! thanks!
posted by keswick at 8:41 PM on January 12, 2005


I thought he came off as less "grouchy" and more "pissed-the-fuck-off".
posted by puke & cry at 8:47 PM on January 12, 2005


Damn keswick. You think you is owed the world, don't you.
posted by xmutex at 8:51 PM on January 12, 2005


I realize this is just me, and I tend to be rather contrarian about this stuff, but I can't be the only person who thinks this way so I figured I'd speak up for the other side.

Seeing that you are a Scrawny geek 'male' aged 24 and love to insult and argue with people and call them names in the threads, this comes as no surprise.
posted by y2karl at 8:53 PM on January 12, 2005


wtf? That's two unprovoked character shankings in this thread alone. I should be less surprised, and more fatigued, by this sort of thing in the grey.

Between y2karl and Ryvar, and the *mc feudage, it's soap-operatic in here.
posted by cosmonik at 8:57 PM on January 12, 2005


Ach, I'm just feeling cranky. Salami, proscuitto, provolone & sweet pepper subs 3 days in a row will do that.

We just gotta quit expecting eachother to be just like us and just accept eachother the way we are. For the most part we can rest assured our intentions are good, we just express them all fucked up.
posted by jonmc at 8:58 PM on January 12, 2005


There's a lot of hostility on the old MetaFilter as of late. How about a nice friendly circle jerk to calm our nerves?
posted by xmutex at 8:58 PM on January 12, 2005


I love the circle jerks. wait, what?
posted by puke & cry at 9:13 PM on January 12, 2005


Yeah, those fucking 24 year old males.
posted by scarabic at 9:15 PM on January 12, 2005


Matt's quite capable of speaking for himself.

I never doubted it for a minute, but if you really believe that, maybe you should STFU instead of trying to speak for him? Your record there lately is pretty poor.

You're getting on my nerves with this constant sniping from around corners. This isn't about my lobbying for mathowie to crack down on the site like Stalin (yeah, that's what I'm all about all right) and your stepping in with your just-regular-folks routine to try to save the laissez-faire for the people. You acted like an ass in that thread, were called on it, eventually admitted it, and are still refusing to own up to it, trying to shift the debate to portray your actions in a better light. Suck it up, jonmc, because no one's buying your false dichotomy—or your false bonhomie.

If you can't take a little criticism without resorting to personal attacks and insults and misrepresentations, don't participate in public discourse. Frankly, I really couldn't care less if you like my posting "style" or not. If you don't, don't read what I say. I don't think I'll be bothering to read your comments much for a while.
posted by rushmc at 9:22 PM on January 12, 2005


I agree with Steve@ and dg that miss lynnester's posts are universally terrible

Well, since the other thread got closed before I noticed it, let me go on record as someone who likes miss lynnester's FPPs. She isn't batting 1.000, but she's not 0-fer either. And she contributes more to the blue than all the snark sharks who are so damned cocky.
posted by Doohickie at 9:22 PM on January 12, 2005


But rush has been somewhat relentlessly pounding the pulpit about how badly we behave and what he thinks the site should be, and that decision ultimately is yours, not his.

Two false claims in one statement. I objected to your asshattery in one thread. That does not a relentless pounding make. And while I have expressed my opinion of what is appropriate in MetaTalk and what is not, it was based on years of history and mathowie's previous remarks, whereas yours seems to be based on nothing by your desire to act up.
posted by rushmc at 9:25 PM on January 12, 2005


jon, rushmc's comments about it are fine and on topic. Yours mocking him aren't, are they?

Forget the previous two comments. 'Nuff said. If you wish to continue with your "relentless pounding" of your now-thoroughly-discredited views, be my guest.
posted by rushmc at 9:26 PM on January 12, 2005


MetaFilter: A Circle of Jerks.


[fop fop]
posted by five fresh fish at 9:30 PM on January 12, 2005


This thread closer is the best feature I never though to ask for. I'm sure it was invented as a reaction to the dhoyt-alexreynolds shitfest. To echo amberglow - if only we'd had it sooner! mathowie should patent this technology and license it to lgf.
posted by rks404 at 9:32 PM on January 12, 2005


It's intensely regrettable that Matt felt he has to start closing threads. I hope, as he said, that he won't feel the need to do it much.

But I must say I totally understand why he's started, and sympathize. There is no way on earth I'd be as patient as he is with... well, a lot of stuff here.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:34 PM on January 12, 2005


why is this still open?
posted by puke & cry at 9:39 PM on January 12, 2005


why is this still open?

It'd be a silly bit of irony to close it, wouldn't it? And it might seem like I don't want feedback on it. I'll leave this thread open so people can state their opinion on the feature.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 9:48 PM on January 12, 2005


awww. ok. I was hoping for a silly bit of irony.
posted by puke & cry at 9:58 PM on January 12, 2005


I wish there had been a thread closer for that Alex Reynolds mega-pile-on shitfest. What the fuck.

I wish you and matteo and Alex and the other tweakers hadn't ignited the issue with brainless "homophobe" accusations in the first place, and I wish Alex had snapped out of his self-absorption in the ensuing MeTa thread long enough to help curtail the thread peacefully & maturely. He didn't, thus it didn't. I think it's great Matt is locking threads to limit unnecessary pileons, but in that particular thread the antagonist in question was begging to be piled on like he had some kind of smother fetish.
posted by dhoyt at 10:33 PM on January 12, 2005


FWIW, matt, thumbs up from me, especially in light of recent...thingamadidgies.

And P&C, now that your love or circle-jerkiness has been revealed, 'tis a pity that you didn't show up at the recent D-town meetup ;)
posted by Ufez Jones at 10:34 PM on January 12, 2005


How about just adding this button to the end of every thread:



.... and then anybody who wants to can close the thread whenever they feel like it? I think that'd make some of these discussions nice 'n' short.
posted by webmutant at 10:35 PM on January 12, 2005



I wish you and matteo and Alex and the other tweakers hadn't ignited the issue with brainless "homophobe" accusations in the first place

Can we, uh, not get into that? Last time we did, it didn't go so well.
posted by rks404 at 10:37 PM on January 12, 2005


oh man. fishfuckers post just just me. I need a cigarette. That's one hell of a delayed reation, fucker of fish.
posted by puke & cry at 10:45 PM on January 12, 2005


the antagonist in question was begging to be piled on like he had some kind of smother fetish.

And you seem to have a perverse dominating fetish, you leather beartop, you.
posted by The God Complex at 10:47 PM on January 12, 2005


just hit me
posted by puke & cry at 10:47 PM on January 12, 2005


Although I like how this "feature" just stopped a couple of threads from devolving into jonmc and others "gang-raping" (as XQZYPHYR put it in the deleted thread about alexreynolds), it still feels weird to me that mathowie would start editing metatalk.

It's been really fucked up around here lately, but--aside from meltdowns--metatalk really has always been a place to vent about posts on metafilter proper.

This feels like a big "Hand O' God" to me, and I'd generally prefer that metatalk threads get out of hand to metafilter threads 'splodin' all over the place and comments getting axed. Also, it seems like more work for mathowie.

I know that part of the solution is more civil discourse, but editing the discussion on metatalk seems to me like the opposite of the solution; this is where people come to bitch about other users' behavior on metafilter, and comments here should be retained so that they can be argued about and understood.
posted by interrobang at 10:47 PM on January 12, 2005


I am already extremely fond of Matt's big shiny candy-colored CLOSE THREAD button. Hammer it early and often. Some of these recent threads have been just astounding. (I mean, I enjoyed watching them a bit, to be honest? But really, Jackass is still in reruns and, compared to MeTa, it's got more hot naked guys if I ever get a hankering to watch freaks behave badly.)

And I'd like to contest the notion that we "need" to spaz out in MeTa or else our bad behavior will spill over into the MeFi. If you're training a vicious, evil cat to use the litterbox or to not bite your kid's face off, you go for consistency, not two wildly different and confusing standards.

And us MeFi animals aren't really any different.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 10:51 PM on January 12, 2005


but--aside from meltdowns--metatalk really has always been a place to vent about posts on metafilter proper

Nope. MetaTalk as of late has become a place to vent, period. MetaTalk was made to be about MetaFilter proper, yes, but I've grown tired of it becoming a giant playpen for folks to vent their spleens at each other. A lot of it doesn't really have anything to do with any of the sites anymore, so this was one way of nipping that in the bud.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 10:53 PM on January 12, 2005


MetaFilter: It'd be a silly bit of irony.

I have no problem with matt closing threads gone bad; I've felt very disinclined to join into the discussions here lately, and, if I'm not having fun, I don't want anybody else to either!

webmutant, why not just have the button read "O'Reilly This Thread", which would trigger the automatic generation of repeated "Shut up, shut up, shut up..."

...or "Falafel, falafel, falafel..." Whatever works for you.


posted by wendell at 10:55 PM on January 12, 2005


Nope. MetaTalk as of late has become a place to vent, period. MetaTalk was made to be about MetaFilter proper, yes, but I've grown tired of it becoming a giant playpen for folks to vent their spleens at each other.

Sure, but by creating an "off" switch, isn't it both more work for you at metatalk, and more work on the "front page"? This seems like a lot more cleanup duty.

Not to mention the inevitable (and regrettable) personal vendettas.
posted by interrobang at 10:59 PM on January 12, 2005


once again, good on matt. Lately this place has become a complete free-for-all, people making stupid snarks and high-fiving their buddies. You could call that "venting" but you could also call it "what the fuck does this have anything to do with metafilter?"

on preview: it is more work, but I would imagine Matt doesn't want this devolving into a complete shitfest. I'm not going to speak for him, but it's high time we had a tougher sheriff in town.
posted by puke & cry at 11:06 PM on January 12, 2005


oh and Ufez: I was talking about the band. I trust you were too? ;)
posted by puke & cry at 11:12 PM on January 12, 2005


p & c: I'd deny everything, but truth be told, the group sex was great and really...I just want some skank. Still, pity you didn't make it out.
posted by Ufez Jones at 11:25 PM on January 12, 2005


:(
posted by puke & cry at 11:48 PM on January 12, 2005


Thanks Matt! I applaud anything you can do. As a long time reader it's been sad to see the discourse go so down hill.
posted by dbh at 11:51 PM on January 12, 2005


:(

I wrote and deleted this a couple of times, but the smiley broke the camel's back for me, so I'm back : not to snark, but I've got to say it strikes me as odd, puke & cry, that you'd indulge in same sort of behaviour that you decry in this very thread.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 11:58 PM on January 12, 2005


I think this is good, but I'm a bit confused about it.

"Lately this place has become a complete free-for-all, people making stupid snarks and high-fiving their buddies."

But it's always been this way. At the least, I don't see it as being worse lately than it has in the last year. Long before I got here, the debate about this was raging, but since I've gotten here I've had the very strong impression that there's a substantial portion of mefites who think that mefi in general is all about the personalities, the chat, the snarking, the jokes, etc. That stuff has saturated meta for a long time. I don't understand what's changed. Just something crossing a threshold?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:05 AM on January 13, 2005


I'll leave this thread open so people can state their opinion on the feature.

I'm for it. Closing a thread that's going bad seems a gentler solution than deleting it and less confusing than deleting parts of it.
posted by timeistight at 12:16 AM on January 13, 2005


[H]ere in MeTa there is some grade-A, first-class drama of the hilarious variety going on, and I for one love every last minute of it.

...I can't be the only person who thinks this way so I figured I'd speak up for the other side.


No, I love the drama in the grey as well, but I love it like a junkie loves heroin: it's fun, but he knows it's no good for him, and if someone could make a magic switch to shut off the addiction, that would be a good thing.

So I very much support the use of this new tool. It's more important that Metafilter be a good link and discussion site than to entertain my baser instincts.

I think someone put it well with the catlitter example: if you want to train a cat, you make standards unilateral and clear. If sniping/snarking/hysterics are to be purged from metafilter, results would be better if they were purged from http://*.metafilter.com, not just http://www.metafilter.com.
posted by Bugbread at 12:23 AM on January 13, 2005


Can we, uh, not get into that? Last time we did, it didn't go so well.

Can I second that, dhoyt? You and everyone else got several apologies on this site and through email. If you or others still want a pound of flesh, please take it offline. If not for me, then for your fellow readers.
posted by AlexReynolds at 12:34 AM on January 13, 2005


I hate it. And completely understand.

The dhoyt thread pushed things so far that there were only a few options left to Matt. His reaction could have been much, much worse.

Also, a couple of comments about that thread: A lot of you keep defending it because Alex continued to respond and didn't back down, and this is just wrong. If you had a stubborn and defiant child would you get the whole family together and try to beat him to a pulp? Is this logical or humane at all?

As for the entertainment value of that particular leviathan - I just really didn't see it, and I love a good sillywhack every now and then. I think maybe the meanness set the tone, and the humor suffered for it. If I had seen that thread without knowing any of you, I would have thought "eh - just another teenybopper Farkzone".
posted by taz at 12:36 AM on January 13, 2005


How 'bout a MetaFlame.

lf you can't stand the heat ...
posted by lacus at 12:38 AM on January 13, 2005


Gone Fishing...
posted by Dreamghost at 12:40 AM on January 13, 2005


I've grown tired of it becoming a giant playpen

Shut it down and have the issues emailed to you or whomever is assisting with them.

I have nothing to do but babysit my granddaughter for the next 6 months. If you like, I could look at the emails and help decide which ones get addressed [are actually issues with MetaFilter] and which ones get the "Sorry, but suck it up" reply. [Call-outs for other than double-posts or extreme transgressions]

Just a thought...
posted by kamylyon at 1:03 AM on January 13, 2005


I don't want to see MeTa shut down. I find it can be a bit like, 'as the grey turns' but I like that sometimes, I also like the threads that evolve into other conversations, such as the, 'metafilter as boy zone' thread awhile back or the discussion about use of grammar in the seth thread. Some of the snark I could do without and like EB am confused by this and like taz I understand why but I hate the idea - it seems potentially arbitrary. What will be the defining line between criticism and snark and the need to close a thread? I don't know how others view this section but for me I have learnt a lot about my fellow mefites and their likes and dislikes on many an issue and don't want to see that go away and agree with interrobangs, "comments here should be retained so that they can be argued about and understood"
posted by squeak at 1:30 AM on January 13, 2005


I completely understand Matt's desire to close threads, as some of the discussions have gotten quite nasty as of late. Nevertheless, a free and open MeTa keeps everyone honest, and gives this site its special character. Let's hope Matt uses this new weapon sparingly. I also agree that some of the best stuff on the site occurs after all the rancor settles down in MeTa threads.
posted by caddis at 1:54 AM on January 13, 2005


Enh, whatever. The rules of the playground are always changing. Adapt or get--eventually--a timeout/ban. Of course, the rules would never change if people weren't constantly poking at them, but then where's the fun in that?
posted by WolfDaddy at 4:24 AM on January 13, 2005


i wonder how this implemented. maybe matt's login comes up with a big ban-hammer graphic button beside each post and a mushroom cloud "terminate this thread" at the end?
i bet i'd be really good at UI design.
posted by andrew cooke at 5:39 AM on January 13, 2005


Well, I hope you are all satisfied. YOu couldn't police your own snark, you couldn't behave, you had to turn Meta into your own personal warzone.

Now Matt has been woken from his slumber and is ruling with an iron fist. No more innocent fun to be had.

I hope you are all satisfied.
posted by konolia at 5:57 AM on January 13, 2005


Humph. Well, apparently this is an unpopular opinion but I have found far more entertainment in the grey than the blue of late and would be sad to see the "wackiness" go. And are those warzone threads really so appallingly terrible? Many people here are wonderfully sarcastic and I think it's fun to read their melodramatic battles.
Also, Squeak brought up a great example - that grammar thread went on and on and on and I read all of it with great pleasure.
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:10 AM on January 13, 2005


I hope you are all satisfied.

Mum...is that you? Where have you been?!!?
posted by dash_slot- at 6:46 AM on January 13, 2005


I can see how this would be good for the site as a whole, but many of us wait and wait for people to go fucking mental on MetaTalk. (Or am I the only one?)
posted by chunking express at 6:51 AM on January 13, 2005


You acted like an ass in that thread, were called on it, eventually admitted it, and are still refusing to own up to it, trying to shift the debate to portray your actions in a better light. Suck it up, jonmc, because no one's buying your false dichotomy—or your false bonhomie.

First of all, that thread is dead and gone, and all the principals have more or less decided to let it rot. You're the one with the shovel digging it up. And whenever there's any kind of issue brought up in MeTa, you're the one popping up to tell us all what bad little children we've been. Quite frankly, it's boring as hell.

If you don't, don't read what I say. I don't think I'll be bothering to read your comments much for a while.

Well, since 90% of the time you misinterpreted them (probably willfully), that dosen't exactly break my heart.

Although I like how this "feature" just stopped a couple of threads from devolving into jonmc and others "gang-raping"

First of all stow the over-the-top hyperbole. And second of all, quit acting like your relentless busting of my balls is based on anything other than persoanl animus. You jumped down my throat unprovoked in a couple of threads, and when that didn't turn out the way you thought it would, you've tried to make me your personal sppedbag, but I'm not having it. So back off.
posted by jonmc at 6:53 AM on January 13, 2005


Just because they mention your name doesn't mean you have to flame them back.
posted by smackfu at 7:22 AM on January 13, 2005


more users link to jonmc than rushmc.

just sayin'
posted by andrew cooke at 7:39 AM on January 13, 2005


jonmc is a lovable, drunken schmoo, with occasional bouts of irritablity.

rushmc is a crusader who has a history of being blunt and tactless, but never hesitates to speak his mind, and probably has the best interests of Metafilter at heart, even if he tends not to accept the possible validity of opposing views.

The hardest thing to believe is that they're related.
posted by crunchland at 8:00 AM on January 13, 2005


crunch, for what it's worth, I don't hate rushmc or anything. I've met him and he was perfectly friendly guy. I'm just tired of being used by him (and a few others) as a personal example of everything that's wrong with the world.
posted by jonmc at 8:14 AM on January 13, 2005


Like CunningLinguist, I too, enjoy the snark here. Sometimes the snark makes me snarf it's so funny. I read the grey more than the blue simply because the number of submissions to the blue overwhelm me.
posted by grouse at 8:16 AM on January 13, 2005


"I added a thread closer for metatalk because a lot of threads have been going on too long, even after a question was answered."

[this is good]
posted by y6y6y6 at 8:25 AM on January 13, 2005


jonmc, I don't think you are what's wrong with the world at all. I enjoy your perspective immensely even if you'd laugh at my collection of music.

As for the thread closings, I'm all for it. Yes, I'm sure some folks will see irony in that but I do want some order restored and if Matt's gotta shut down extended and silly comments to do it, then that's cool by me.

One suggestion, Matt, add your email contact to the MeTa No-Postee page so that egregious issues can be brought to you quickly.
posted by fenriq at 8:26 AM on January 13, 2005


more users link to jonmc than rushmc.

We're not measuring dicks again, are we?

I like jonmc. But probably over half of the recent MeTa threads that I remember REALLY spiraling out of control took the plunge after some overly-confrontational posts by him.

Not saying your a bad guy, jonmc. But you do seem to carry a lot of matches when there's gasoline laying around.
posted by chundo at 8:31 AM on January 13, 2005


And, yeah, it's "you're".
posted by chundo at 8:32 AM on January 13, 2005


chundo, fenriq: it's like I tried to explain in y2karl's thread about comment limits, it's a weird combination of the fact that were "safe," (meaning we need not fear someone cracking us in the face if we piss them off) and the fact that we know we're being observed by 20,000+ members and god knows how many lurkers makes us reluctant to back down in public, or accept an insult or slight without firing back.

Now, I realize not everyone has this sort of perspective and that can cause some disconnect. In some other people, I think it's almost an encouragement to goad people*. there've been times where I was ready to walk away, and I'd picture my antagonist smirking to himself and it would make me crazy, and I'd go off. People get protective of their dignity.

amberglow said to me once that me and AlexReynolds are a lot alike. He's right in that we both turn into pitbulls when we get angry about stuff. It may entertain some people, but if this thread is any indication, it angers people, too. At any rate, I did gain a lot of respect for Alex, since he definitely can go the distance, so to speak.

*sorry, nofundy
posted by jonmc at 8:42 AM on January 13, 2005


if you want to ride, ride the white horse.

I'm all for closing threads. Let the community website fucktard martyrs express themselves in absolute darkness.
posted by Jeremy at 8:44 AM on January 13, 2005


I'd generally prefer that metatalk threads get out of hand to metafilter threads 'splodin' all over the place and comments getting axed.

Once again, it doesn't have to be either/or.

First of all, that thread is dead and gone, and all the principals have more or less decided to let it rot.

You can't just "disappear" history, and the fact that you don't talk about it doesn't mean it didn't happen. Though I can certainly see why you would wish it had never happened in this case.

And whenever there's any kind of issue brought up in MeTa, you're the one popping up to tell us all what bad little children we've been.

Sensitive much? I smell a guilty conscience.

You jumped down my throat unprovoked in a couple of threads, and when that didn't turn out the way you thought it would, you've tried to make me your personal sppedbag, but I'm not having it. So back off.

Well, I'm glad to see that your persecution complex doesn't just apply to me, specifically.

I don't hate rushmc or anything.

I don't hate you either, but I AM starting to hate your refusal to stand up and take responsibility for your own actions. Neither I nor anyone else here is responsible for what you say or do on the site, and your knee-jerk angry retorts are really getting to be over the top.
posted by rushmc at 8:46 AM on January 13, 2005


snark sharks who are so damned cocky

You have a way of turning a phrase, thank you :)

I wish there had been a thread closer for that Alex Reynolds mega-pile-on shitfest.

You couldn't stop by an internet cafe or two while you were in Italy? I missed your presence and piece of mind.

the antagonist in question was begging to be piled on like he had some kind of smother fetish.

I have to disagree with you on this one. Alex stood his ground. Ironically, his ability to hang in there while the rest discussed their vaginas, large linker lists, and pics of handstanding women, is exactly the same trait that I admire most about jonmc; Both of them refuse to back down in the face of full on attacks. They're like those punching bag clowns that just keep popping back up no matter how hard they get kicked and punched. In no way did Alex's ongoing presence in anyway justify the group keyboard masturbation that continued until the thread was deleted.

I'm not so sure that a "closed" button is the answer, but why not give it a trial period and see how it goes. I'd rather see threads closed than have them deleted altogether.
posted by Juicylicious at 8:46 AM on January 13, 2005


Ooh! MetaFilter: People take part in all sorts of wackiness.

I personally don't like the idea of a close button. What about the whole "self-policing" thing we're so good at? Yeah, sometimes we get out of hand, but that 800+ comment from hell was only one thread. We got it out of our system (more or less). I still think we can take care of ourselves. But hey, that's probably just me.
posted by Sibrax at 8:46 AM on January 13, 2005


there've been times where I was ready to walk away, and I'd picture my antagonist smirking to himself and it would make me crazy, and I'd go off. People get protective of their dignity.

Dude...it's a WEBSITE...
posted by rushmc at 8:48 AM on January 13, 2005


Dude...it's a WEBSITE...

that's kind of the point I was making. We are in public here. I'm not saying it's right or good or anything, just trying to explain where it comes from. and I doubt I'm the only person who feels that way sometime. And I think some users know that and use it to start shit.

Not that that lets me off the hook at all, just something to think about.
posted by jonmc at 8:52 AM on January 13, 2005


Thanks, guys. This is the most fun I've ever had at work.
posted by goatdog at 9:03 AM on January 13, 2005


that's kind of the point I was making. We are in public here.

Actually, my point was more that "dignity," like everything else here, is mostly illusory.
posted by rushmc at 9:08 AM on January 13, 2005


Fat man lookin' in a blade of steel
Thin man lookin' at his last meal
Hollow man lookin' in a cottonfield
For dignity

Wise man lookin' in a blade of grass
Young man lookin' in the shadows that pass
Poor man lookin' through painted glass
For dignity

Somebody got murdered on New Year's Eve
Somebody said dignity was the first to leave
I went into the city, went into the town
Went into the land of the midnight sun

Searchin' high, searchin' low
Searchin' everywhere I know
Askin' the cops wherever I go
Have you seen dignity?

Blind man breakin' out of a trance
Puts both his hands in the pockets of chance
Hopin' to find one circumstance
Of dignity

I went to the wedding of Mary-lou
She said ÒI don't want nobody see me talkin' to youÓ
Said she could get killed if she told me what she knew
About dignity

I went down where the vultures feed
I would've got deeper, but there wasn't any need
Heard the tongues of angels and the tongues of men
Wasn't any difference to me

Chilly wind sharp as a razor blade
House on fire, debts unpaid
Gonna stand at the window, gonna ask the maid
Have you seen dignity?

Drinkin' man listens to the voice he hears
In a crowded room full of covered up mirrors
Lookin' into the lost forgotten years
For dignity

Met Prince Phillip at the home of the blues
Said he'd give me information if his name wasn't used
He wanted money up front, said he was abused
By dignity

Footprints runnin' cross the silver sand
Steps goin' down into tattoo land
I met the sons of darkness and the sons of light
In the bordertowns of despair

Got no place to fade, got no coat
I'm on the rollin' river in a jerkin' boat
Tryin' to read a note somebody wrote
About dignity

Sick man lookin' for the doctor's cure
Lookin' at his hands for the lines that were
And into every masterpiece of literature
for dignity

Englishman stranded in the blackheart wind
Combin' his hair back, his future looks thin
Bites the bullet and he looks within
For dignity

Someone showed me a picture and I just laughed
Dignity never been photographed
I went into the red, went into the black
Into the valley of dry bone dreams

So many roads, so much at stake
So many dead ends, I'm at the edge of the lake
Sometimes I wonder what it's gonna take
To find dignity...

posted by naomi at 9:23 AM on January 13, 2005


I don't want to be exposed to animus.
posted by naomi at 9:25 AM on January 13, 2005


I suppose aborting threads is better than disappearing them. But not by much.
posted by trharlan at 9:28 AM on January 13, 2005


Actually, jonmc, you brought something to my attention that I very rarely pay any notice. The size of the immediate community and the lookee-loo lurkers. There are sites that discuss MeFi (even cool underground ones that are too cool to have names and stuff).

I care about my reputation among the community here (though obviously with a few notable exceptions) but I really don't worry so much about people who sit behind the one way mirror and judge me/us.

Closing threads is definitely preferred to deleting them altogether. Perhaps the same can be done with some less than exemplary FPPs so that folks can see the ones that failed and why?
posted by fenriq at 9:42 AM on January 13, 2005


wtf? That's two unprovoked character shankings in this thread alone.

Scrawny geek 24 years old is Ryvar's self-description on his user page. His occasional propensity for argumentation and insult can be found by clicking on some of his recent MetaTalk comments. No particular insult was intended--it was a comment noting, that for me, his point-of-view was easy to understand, given his demographics and commenting history. kamylon's a grandmother and her point-of-view on the snark, pileons and the entertainment value thereof in MetaTalk is equally as easy to understand. Different things are important to us at different ages. It was a snarky comment perhaps but it's not like it was a judgement on his character.
posted by y2karl at 9:43 AM on January 13, 2005


if you want to ride, ride the white horse.

I don't want to be exposed to animus.

Those two comments sum up my views.
posted by rushmc at 9:46 AM on January 13, 2005


Closing threads is definitely preferred to deleting them altogether. Perhaps the same can be done with some less than exemplary FPPs so that folks can see the ones that failed and why?

Those FPPs are still there, they just are not linked, except on LoFi. Type in the correct url and you can see the deleted thread and Matt's reason for its deletion. Perhaps you knew this already and just want them kept on the front page. I am happy to see them disappear as the front page already has more stuff than I can keep up with. I really don't know how Matt keeps up with this and fear the consequences to MetaFilter when Matt junior comes along and takes all of his daddy's time away from here.
posted by caddis at 9:55 AM on January 13, 2005


caddis, I know LoFi has the deleted posts but do newer members?

Maybe a seperate page of spectacularly bad FPP's?
posted by fenriq at 9:57 AM on January 13, 2005


I, for one, welcome our new "close thread"-wielding overlord.

And I think at this point, the real discussion (as opposed to airing of bad blood) has been over for awhile, so this one can be closed whenever you like, sir.
posted by me3dia at 9:57 AM on January 13, 2005


Yeesh. Lots of stuff being addressed in this thread.

1.) There's a lot of hostility on the old MetaFilter as of late. How about a nice friendly circle jerk to calm our nerves?
posted by xmutex


This is totally boyzone. Daisy Chain, Yes. Circle Jerk, No.

2.) 0 to 15. miss lynnster. The fact is many of us make mediocre posts...but we do it over a period of time. To make daily posts, most of which (YMMV) were mediocre, is to draw too much attention to yourself. I had been biting my tongue (staying my fingers?) for days.

3.) 0 to 15. Steve @ Linwood et al. There is never any reason to complain in a MetaFilter thread (other than one mention of double post) that is what MetaTalk is for. But there have been too many complaints that MetaTalk is useless or overused, therefore...

4.) While I will miss the nuttiness that threads can devolve into, I guess I have to reluctantly agree that closing MetaTalk threads is a good administrative move. Maybe if MetaTalk threads were shorter and to the point, people would be more inclined to use it rather than shit in the blue.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:03 AM on January 13, 2005


No more innocent fun to be had.

There's been a dearth of fun or innocence of late in metatalk.
posted by kamylyon at 10:08 AM on January 13, 2005


caddis, deleted AskMes and MeTa threads disappear. My point (I assume fenriq's as well) is that the integrity (using the word colloquially) of the site is undermined by the spate of deletions.
posted by trharlan at 10:23 AM on January 13, 2005


People get protective of their dignity.

MetaFilter: check your dignity at the door.

MetaFilter: like wrestling a pig. you both get muddy, but the pig likes it.
posted by Doohickie at 10:29 AM on January 13, 2005


Metafilter: Daisy Chain, Yes. Circle Jerk, No.
posted by rushmc at 10:32 AM on January 13, 2005


You couldn't stop by an internet cafe or two while you were in Italy? I missed your presence and piece of mind.
Had i known what was going on, i certainly would have found one and jumped in--it was a sick feeding frenzy. I don't remember ever seeing a pile-on like that, and i've been here a while. I'm just glad that Alex is still here--people have been driven away over much less.

now, stop picking on rush, jon--you always have to have someone to be annoyed with? chill.
posted by amberglow at 10:35 AM on January 13, 2005


A good resolution for this might be to create another page, a MetaParlour if you will, that is just a place for us to hang out and chat or whatever. (Yes, there's IRC, but many of us can't use it.) MeTa can then become strictly a place to deal with MeFi issues, the blue and the green would also probably benefit, the MeFi kids have a place to play, and those who don't like the chattiness and the operatic-like personality wars can just stay out of the rumpus room.

I don't know if Matt would want to invest the necessary time on this, but he could certainly finance it quite easily by making it a second-tier membership privilege and charging existing members each a one time or annual $5 or $10 to use the playroom. I also think it could be a place he wouldn't have to moderate much at all - who would care if the place were a jungle, as it's designed to be a place to play.

You can say we should all just realize the site isn't intended to accommodate free-for-alls and hanging out, and behave ourselves, and I suppose that's true in a way, but we aren't all such puritans about the site. This is a dynamic community, and some of us - maybe many of us - would revel in a chance to just hang out and screw around with the in jokes and photoshopping and the like. The others who are just here for the links, link-related discussion, and AskMe would then be able to enjoy a more streamlined site.
posted by orange swan at 10:43 AM on January 13, 2005


There is a place for closing a thread
"where do I find?" "here" closed
"how do i?" "instructions here" closed
"I don't like this guy" "you're a poopoo head" closed

But I don't believe that threads like this should be closed right away (I think someone near the top said 20 posts or so). There are thousands of registered members, and hundreds of actives ones, right? So it's unreasonable to close down controlled discussions so quickly. Not everyone is on here that much, and some people feel the need to post their (usually unchanging) opinions over & over & over. Congrats if you're near the top of the contribution index and all, but just because you post a bunch of times a day doesn't always mean you're contributing.

Hopefully the ubiqutous posters won't squeeze out the quieter masses, because many of those have something useful to say, too.
posted by raedyn at 10:55 AM on January 13, 2005


Closing threads is a good move, if only because I have no self control.
posted by eyeballkid at 11:15 AM on January 13, 2005


Matt, Matt, Matt....I'm all for closing threads before they become huge buckets of cock.....but, but, you HAVE to let people go batshit and get banned. Please don't stop that. It's probably the main reason I read MeTa. :)
posted by graventy at 12:22 PM on January 13, 2005


I've been saying for a while that the only opinion that matters around here is Matt Haughey's. There's no rule-by-consensus or self-policing going on here, in truth. Matt's propensity over the past couple of days to close a thread once he's made his contribution to it would seem to support that conclusion. I hope everyone takes notice. I'm sure the charitable interpretation is that Matt closes threads once their issue has been settled. My only point is that the only thing that settles an issue in this benevolent dictatorship is his opinion. Don't get me wrong, it's benevolent, but it's a dictatorship.
posted by scarabic at 12:39 PM on January 13, 2005


Different things are important to us at different ages.

I don't know, karl, it's a small step from this kind of generalization to the essentialism that underlies bigotry. I don't care for Ryvar much, but nothing about his attitude is "explained" to me by the fact that he's 24 years old.
posted by scarabic at 12:42 PM on January 13, 2005


Shouldn't quoting song lyrics merit immediate closure?
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 12:48 PM on January 13, 2005


A good resolution for this might be to create another page, a MetaParlour if you will, that is just a place for us to hang out and chat or whatever. (Yes, there's IRC, but many of us can't use it.)

There are MetaFilter groups on Tribe and Flickr.
posted by mcwetboy at 12:57 PM on January 13, 2005


There are MetaFilter groups on Tribe and Flickr.

True, but they don't function the same way as MeTa. To do this right, someone should create a metafilter.clone at metametafilter.com (too bad metatalk.com is taken) and really get the look and feel of The Grey down.
posted by me3dia at 1:12 PM on January 13, 2005


Don't get me wrong, it's benevolent, but it's a dictatorship.

This isn't really news. It's always been this way.
posted by eyeballkid at 1:29 PM on January 13, 2005


Hmm, yes, someone else could create a MetaPlayroom, and if "felt" like an extension of MeFi and Matt were to add a link to the top of the page, then it would work.
posted by orange swan at 2:00 PM on January 13, 2005


Don't get me wrong, it's benevolent, but it's a dictatorship. - scarabic

This isn't really news. It's always been this way. - eyeballkid

I always assumed that we had a benevolent despot. Seems there has been no argument that Matt’s word is law. True, he remains quiet for the most part, but when he speaks, everyone listens (for fear of the ruler or respect of a leader). His army has always been his ability to pull the plug on MeFi; his divine authority comes from creation, literally, of MeFi. I think that any other terminology, i.e. Monarchy, only seeks to take the edge off of the power that can be wielded, if necessary. - BlueTrain, about 3 years ago

That being quoted, I still think that Matt gives us way too much freedom. I wish he would moderate more, if only to maintain this site's integrity as being enlightening, informative, and inviting (as opposed to the boy-zone, clusterfuck, chatty bullshit that we've seen recently).
posted by BlueTrain at 2:01 PM on January 13, 2005


Don't get me wrong, it's benevolent, but it's a dictatorship.

I'm curious, are there any really worthwhile community sites that aren't this way? Most of the good ones I can think of, even lists that are worth a damn, have someone behind the scenes setting the tone and whatnot. I've always thought it was the big secret about online "community" there's always someone with the admin login and a lot of people without it no matter how much they fake the "we're a community" thing. I'm sure there's heavier and lighter handed admins, but can you really think of a good community site that either a) is a total free-for-all where nothing is ever deleted and nobody's in charge or b) is an actual true community where everyone has similar privileges w/r/t the server and/or adminstration of the site?
posted by jessamyn at 2:02 PM on January 13, 2005


Shouldn't quoting song lyrics merit immediate closure?

I was hoping... but if Dylan can't shut down a thread, what can?
posted by naomi at 2:03 PM on January 13, 2005


MetaTalk: Can we, uh, not get into that?
posted by cosmonik at 2:08 PM on January 13, 2005


This isn't really news. It's always been this way.

Eh. I had a debate with someone recently who maintained that the self-policing spirit is what makes this place special. Or something like that.
posted by scarabic at 2:27 PM on January 13, 2005


Shouldn't quoting song lyrics merit immediate closure?

You really wanna give the nitwits that kinda power? Now account closure, that would make sense...
posted by rushmc at 3:12 PM on January 13, 2005


the self-policing spirit is what makes this place special

The problem with self-policing on MeFi is that people use it to justify being outright dicks.

Seriously, it's really obvious that some people come to this site solely to badger people around and feel important, attempting to make up for sad, impotent lives.
posted by GeekAnimator at 3:17 PM on January 13, 2005


Damn, I bewail the advent of the "close" button. I dunno. The madam in me thinks that the vitriol in here sometimes gets way out of hand and leans a trifle too close to farkishness for my comfort zone. But the juju in me kinda digs it when the joint is jivin. Right brain, left brain, right brain, left brain - what's a girl to do?

I've gone on record before as saying I favor the lightest of light touches in terms of moderation, and to the extent possible, I would rather see us be a self-healing site. That being said, there seems to be a plague of incivility and downright ornery-nous lately, and it has some days been offputting, particularly when I see some of my favorite people getting a mean on. And then there is a day like today - is it just me, or is the blue rather interesting and sweet today?

Oh, and what naomi said!
posted by madamjujujive at 4:24 PM on January 13, 2005


madamj, I think your weakness for ad absurdum/non-sequitur/dadaism is showing. I agree there are times when we have to stop making sense (yes, a Talking Heads reference, appropriate only because David Byrne's Big Suit fits me perfectly). There is a place for Monty Python and a place for Spongebob Squarepants (but if they were ever to exist in the same place at the same time, the universe itself would cease to exist in its current form, to be replaced by an unpublished Heinlein novel). Seriously, it's really obvious that some people come to this site solely to badger people around and mushroom mushroom SNAKE! And I pledge to spread the totally cool word "ornery-nous" all over the web until it ends up on LSSU's Banished Words List or Mr. Blackwell's Worst Dressed List (which I think I have a leg up on, thanks to David Byrne's suit). Does anybody remember Metacubed? Oh, and what the Red Queen said. And quoting song lyrics should not merit immediate closure... unless they are TV Theme Songs. Because Yogi Bear is smarter than the Average Bear, Yogi Bear is alwas in the Ranger's hair. But do you know what should be an automatic closure? Godwinization! (not to be confused with Martinization) Yes, threads must be closed imediately upon the mention of Hitler, Nazis, Soup Nazis, Eva Braun, Prince Harry or "The Producers". And I'd like to thank Metatalk for giving me the opportunity to spout off this stream-of-consciousness-running-down-my-leg here instead of working on another article about sitcoms.
posted by wendell at 10:57 PM on January 13, 2005


I've always had a "Close Thread" button on the discussion pages. I'm pretty sure almost everyone does, it seems very unlikely to be just something on my system.

On my system, it's at the top right of the browser window.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:51 AM on January 14, 2005


Matt! Matt!

Here's an idea: start up another "general purpose" shooting gallering type thingy. Call it MetaMeta. Whenever a post gets closed, add a link to http://metameta.metafilter.com/mefi/?????? at the bottom and let the "interesting discussion" continue...say for 2 days or 50 posts (so it doesn't go on forever). Or allow the debaters to start up a listserve/mailinglist or something. The front page could just be a search form and that's it. No postings.

This way it gives people a chance to wrap it up or take it offline. It could be linked to by all of the Meta* sites when the thread goes offtopic and you don't want it cluttering up useful space. And it doesn't always need to be used, especially when it's just a shouting match.

Like TheGodComplex said, sometimes the thread swerves way off but is still interesting. In the interest of preserving the focus of the forum without completely stifling interesting conversation, this might be a decent comprimise.

On the other hand, I suppose they could just email each other.
posted by RockCorpse at 7:10 AM on January 14, 2005


My family may differ from a lot of y'all's families, but I gotta say that most of our very useful discussions and arguments start out about one thing and then turn at some point and become about something else.

Here's the kicker: the something else we go on to talk about is usually what really needed to get talked about in the first place.

I gotta say that this new policy of Matt closing MetaTalk threads that begin to veer from the original poster's intention strikes me as unproductive (as in what does it really gain) and cranky.

Some of my absolute favorite MetaMoments here have been MetaTalk threads that suddenly, surprisingly turn into something important. Certainly, they don't all do that... Matt's right that many of them just get silly or mean. Aside from storing the extra ASCII on this raid, what difference does it make to him?

I don't say this to be a drama queen, but it's just a fact that I'll be less inclined to participate in discussions about the site while this policy is in effect. I think I speak for a lot of people. I go off on a lark somewhat often, but I try to be a conscientious member of this community. It bugs me when I return to a thread and find that one person has decided nothing more is going to be said on the issue.

Again, I ask what it serves, and I point to what it costs us.
posted by squirrel at 3:04 AM on January 15, 2005


I think that you have a great point, squirrel, about discussions veering off into another area that is actually more meaningful than the initial topic. But here's my intuition about what is happening now: It's not a coincidence that the closing of threads has been established immediately following an extravagantly out-of-control thread, and many weeks of what seems to me to be unprecedented occurrences of angry and spiteful posting and commenting. Matt has never before been moved to control the direction of discussions and has never exhibited any tendency toward micromanagement or dictum. So, it seems to me that his current actions are not meant to prevent us from discussing "X" when the post topic is "Y", but to do whatever it takes to remind people that this is not actually a free-for-all space, and that there is an expectation that members will use some self control in their interactions here. I'm pretty sure that if we don't go off the deep end, he won't either.
posted by taz at 4:13 AM on January 15, 2005


You're right, taz. That kind of message, even delivered passively as Matt may be doing here, clarifies what his boundaries are in a quantifiable way, which is, most would agree, a rarity and a welcomed event. Mathowie's management of this site has been an inspiration. Those of us interested in social networking, social capital and this new wave of communication systems love this site and think it's unparalleled in the group blog medium. I admire the hell out of the evolution of this site, and I credit user 1 for his light touch and his sparse, almost haikulike direction. He seems to understand that less is more.

That's part of what bothers me about this new policy of ending MetaTalk threads--or this new tool that makes ending them easy. I agree that some threads should die, but that on MetaTalk, killing threads should be rare. This is where we talk about the site, and we should be able to get things out in the open, so that we can be in our best form in the blue, and we don't fuck it up with these tensions and gripes confusions that MetaTalk has traditionally been a place to work out.

I think that if you end too many threads, people will stop trusting threads as a place to put their ideas. Sometimes I put half an hour or more into a reply.

I can completely understand Matt being pissed about some horrendous pissers lately. This site has been hacked, and as a former admin, I know that sucks, and that puts people in a bad mood. Matt, if it will make your job of dealing with the pissers any easier, we will build a tool for you that lets you distribute that task. Don't go taking away the crackers just because some people go crazy with the Cheeze Whiz.
posted by squirrel at 7:00 AM on January 15, 2005


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