Guns questions get derails, not answers January 19, 2005 10:45 AM   Subscribe

A particularly egregious example of commentators hijacking an AxeMe thread instead of answering the question.
posted by norm to Etiquette/Policy at 10:45 AM (140 comments total)

Just answer the damn question and/or move on. Please.
posted by norm at 10:47 AM on January 19, 2005


I was just about to post a MeTa on this.

I know MeFi is a bastion of lefty-liberalism and everything, but are we incapable of having a question about guns posted without flaming the asker into next week?

I'm not a big fan of the idea of owning a gun either, but telling the poster they need move to a new neighborhood? Come on.
posted by falconred at 10:51 AM on January 19, 2005


Egregious? No. The question was quite open-ended and apart from two or three comments, most people essentially said they didn't have guns and hated them or had guns or what to do when one got a gun.

I think the former is as much of an answer as "I have a Glock" is.
posted by Captaintripps at 10:51 AM on January 19, 2005


Are you kidding me? That's like setting up an abortion clinic in Texas and wondering why picketers are showing up. That kind of broad question on an inherently controversial topic is going to invite debate. The questioning in that thread (at this moment, at least) is fairly civil and hardly worth calling out.
posted by mkultra at 10:52 AM on January 19, 2005


That is the worst antigun thread jack I have ever seen.
posted by orange clock at 10:52 AM on January 19, 2005


What a bunch of idiots.
posted by orange clock at 10:54 AM on January 19, 2005


The question assumes that a gun is an effective form of home defense. The so called snarks merely call into question that basic premise and so actually do answer the question.
posted by caddis at 10:55 AM on January 19, 2005


So how should they have asked the question to keep the people with worthless answers away?
posted by smackfu at 10:56 AM on January 19, 2005


I think being a virgin is ridiculous, but I refrained from opining in a recent thread.
posted by orange clock at 10:57 AM on January 19, 2005


I'm not surprised that people disagreed with the gun-as-home-security theory, but hopefully we can keep it polite.

I was going to post to that thread, to say it's illegal to store guns anywhere but in a locked cabinet in Canada (where I live) and you can't have ammo stored with your guns, but I stopped myself because I realized that isn't at all helpful to the person who asked. I wish more people would ask themselves that same question before hitting post in AskMe.
posted by raedyn at 10:58 AM on January 19, 2005


"I have decided to purchase a gun to protect my property against intruders. Having never owned a gun before, what would be a reasonable firearm?"

Christ, I never thought gun lovers would be such a buncha babies.
posted by mkultra at 10:59 AM on January 19, 2005


So how should they have asked the question to keep the people with worthless answers away?

"I'm thinking about buying a gun which I will use primarily for home protection. Gun owners: What kind of gun do you own and what do you like / not like about it?"

Something like that.

As worded, the question is not much different from "Where do you get your weed?" or "How do you control those nagging dreams you get every night where you show up for work wearing your sister's nightgown?" It's open ended, it assumes everyone owns a gun, and it's quite chatfilterish. The question as worded is trolling as bad as any of the posts inside. A post like that should come with a coupon for a free Meta thread.

My staple gun could be used to hang my plastic wrap over the windows. It's a valid answer to the question as it was written.
posted by bondcliff at 11:04 AM on January 19, 2005


The question assumes that a gun is an effective form of home defense. The so called snarks merely call into question that basic premise and so actually do answer the question.

This same standard also applies to the questions where someone is trying to figure out if they can do something like use their father's Admiral card to hitch free rides on a plane and people comment that it is theft.
posted by sciurus at 11:04 AM on January 19, 2005


The phrasing of the question assumed everyone has a gun, which is why non-gun owners felt it was OK to answer. mkultra's question is much better.
posted by cillit bang at 11:06 AM on January 19, 2005


Are you kidding me? That's like setting up an abortion clinic in Texas and wondering why picketers are showing up.

So we're using Operation Rescue as guides for behavior, now?

C'mon, the rules are the rules. There's no exception made for political sensibilities.

So, next time someone asks about cooking a vegetarian meal, I'll pop in and tell them to shut up and have a steak. Or in a cocktail mix thread I'll link to AA literature. Even better, if someone asks where they can get an abortion, I'll call them a baby killer.

All issues people have strong opinions about, so it must be OK.
posted by jonmc at 11:08 AM on January 19, 2005


Christ, I never thought gun lovers would be such a buncha babies.


Troll. This is an example of being deliberately obtuse and diminishing the site's utility. To sum up, if you have an answer to the question, provide it. If you want to debate the premise, go elsewhere.
posted by norm at 11:08 AM on January 19, 2005


Gun-owner speaking here: I chose not to participate b/c I was not sure if it was a serious question. When it was apparent it was a serious question I could see where the thread was going. No thanks.

Norm was right in AskMe and here: If you do not have something helpful to say, don't get involved.
posted by mlis at 11:10 AM on January 19, 2005


Norm = right again.
posted by mlis at 11:10 AM on January 19, 2005


If you do NOT have a gun for home defense purposes, then there is no need to answer, right? Does "Absinthe in Paris" assume everyone's been to Paris? No, the people who have are the people who should answer.
posted by knave at 11:13 AM on January 19, 2005


People are being deliberately unhelpful to prove some big point. Woo.

Personally, I'm not a gun owner and I don't like the idea of a gun in my house, and yet I didn't feel the need to distract from the people that actually wanna help this person.
posted by raedyn at 11:17 AM on January 19, 2005


Oh come on, people. I'm one of MeFi's biggest lefties (seriously, that politics chart we did a few years ago put me waaay in the lower left corner), and even I knew what the the post was getting at: "gun owners: what do you use for home protection?" The fact that it was phrased in not such a great way came across as simply bad phrasing to me, not trolling -- which is why, bondcliff, pretending that "staple gun" is a legitimate answer (and not snark) strikes me as a little disingenuous. (Which is not to say that it didn't make me laugh outloud anyway, because it most certainly did!)
posted by scody at 11:18 AM on January 19, 2005


Troll.

I calls it like I sees it.

This is an example of being deliberately obtuse and diminishing the site's utility.

No, this is an example of overreacting. I'd argue that the question as posed is so lazy as to be an unintentional troll, if that could be said to exist.
posted by mkultra at 11:19 AM on January 19, 2005


That's a thread derailment? A few people being stupid/silly and then some others pointing out the drawbacks before recommending a shotgun?

No one piled on, useful answers were provided. Develop a thicker skin.

You people wouldn't have lasted 10 seconds in USENET, even if you were packing heat. (-: (snow, uphill, both ways, etc.)
posted by alan at 11:25 AM on January 19, 2005


I could see answering "none," to "what kind of gun do you keep?" but that joke only needs to be made once, and all the superior, judgmental shit that flew in that thread was way out of line. He said it was a serious question seeking an answer.

God forbid anyone ever come to AskMe pondering an abortion.
posted by scarabic at 11:26 AM on January 19, 2005


Oh, c'mon mkultra, you saw an opportunity to expound on a subject you feel strongly about (which in the context of this AskMe post is against the rules) and you took it.

Now you're concocting really weak justifications.
posted by jonmc at 11:26 AM on January 19, 2005


The post was stupidly worded.

The derailing comments were unnecessary and unjustifiable.

fin.
posted by ludwig_van at 11:29 AM on January 19, 2005


What recipes do you like for preparing the afterbirth for reingestion?
posted by George_Spiggott at 11:29 AM on January 19, 2005


A good test for knowing if your comment would be welcome in a thread is to invert the politics of the question and see what answers you wouldn't want to see there. jonmc mentioned the one I was thinking of: If there was a question about where to seek a safe abortion, and you are pro-choice, would you want to see a bunch of pro-life comments in the thread? Even if the question was "poorly worded"?
posted by gwint at 11:38 AM on January 19, 2005


Half the people on the thread were telling the poster to not get a gun at all, alan, which is ever-so-clearly not the information they were seeking out. The post isn't vague in any way, or a troll, as some have pointed out. It's a dead simple question. Do us all a favour and keep your agendas and knee-jerk reactions out of Ask Metafilter.

I say this as someone who abhors guns and what they represent.
posted by picea at 11:43 AM on January 19, 2005


"it assumes everyone owns a gun, ..."

I call bullshit. The question is phrased in a manner similar to all the iPod questions and technical support questions -- with the implicit assumption that the question reader is going to answer the fucking question or move on if it doesn't apply.

"and it's quite chatfilterish."

Agreed. It would have been a more useful question to ask for a recommendation rather than a poll of favorites.

In any case, the anti-gun contingent acted like a bunch of asshats. I even agree that the facts are on their side, and that it's generally a bad idea to keep a home defense firearm, but popping in to rant a little wasn't a useful thing to do.
posted by majick at 11:48 AM on January 19, 2005


Half the people on the thread were telling the poster to not get a gun at all, alan, which is ever-so-clearly not the information they were seeking out.

If a friend asked you this question, or some other question about an activity where your friend might get harmed, would you limit yourself to the exact question asked or would you not also recommend that perhaps their desired course of conduct might not be a good thing? Why should AskMe be any different? You are seeking people's opinions, not robot fact regurgitation. Opinions might be messy, they might stray away from the original question while still providing what one considers useful advice to the friend.
posted by caddis at 11:52 AM on January 19, 2005


The post was not stupid or ambiguosly worded. If I asked "What kind of mp3 player do you own?", should I expect a ton of "none", or "mp3s? that's so lame" answers?
People saw a chance to flame and took it, that's all.
posted by signal at 11:54 AM on January 19, 2005


Answer the question with helpful suggestions or move on.

I've gone and deleted all the off topic comments and given a user a timeout for an egregiously bad comment.
posted by mathowie (staff) at 12:00 PM on January 19, 2005


I just went and re-read the thread. My own participation included, I thought most of the comments were actually fairly on topic, considering what they had to work with. Most advocated safety, several chimed in with what they use, a couple of good points on training, and a number of clarifying questions were asked.

There have been (imho) many worse threadjackings than that. I've seen the snark factor increase in the last four years, but I just figure it is/was part and parcel to participation on this site, greay, green or blue. [shrug]

on preview - Matt has apparently addressed this.
posted by TeamBilly at 12:03 PM on January 19, 2005


If I asked "What kind of mp3 player do you own?", should I expect a ton of "none", or "mp3s? that's so lame" answers?

Many MP3s are not just lame, but LAME.
posted by kindall at 12:05 PM on January 19, 2005


I know MeFi is a bastion of lefty-liberalism and everything

Do not confuse lefty liberalism with anti-gun. As a lefty liberal and supporter of the 2nd ammendment, I find this deeply insulting.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:11 PM on January 19, 2005


What Civil_Disobedient said.
posted by mlis at 12:16 PM on January 19, 2005


Not to take sides, but this is probably the worst possible place to ask a gun question--any gun question. We're not a good knowledge base, nor experts on guns, i don't think.
posted by amberglow at 12:20 PM on January 19, 2005


There's 20,000+ people here, amber, I'd be really surprised if there weren't a few people who knew their way around firearms.
posted by jonmc at 12:25 PM on January 19, 2005


Yeah, amber, we should only stick to topics on which we are sure all 20,000 users will be experts.
posted by dhoyt at 12:27 PM on January 19, 2005


amberglow: It looks like there were plenty of well informed answers in the thread.

on preview: see above
posted by gwint at 12:27 PM on January 19, 2005


The question assumes that a gun is an effective form of home defense. The so called snarks merely call into question that basic premise and so actually do answer the question.

"A PC/Windows question assumes that a PC running Windows is an effective computer. So-called snarks ('use Linux,' 'Buy a Mac') merely call into question that basic premise and so actually do answer the question."

Analogous? Why or why not?

Calling into question the unstated assumptions behind a question can be useful, but there's a difference between doing it politely ("here's an angle you may not have considered") and rudely ("you idiot").

N.B.: Matt left up several of the comments in that thread that politely question the assumptions behind the question.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 12:29 PM on January 19, 2005


I'm a rifle and shotgun instructor as well as a liberal.

(or as a hippy friend of mine used to say, "How do you plan on defending yourself from the conservatives when they come for your guns?")

Ask.me is getting damn chatty lately, one almost wonders if this is overflow from somewhere else
posted by milovoo at 12:40 PM on January 19, 2005


If a friend asked you this question, or some other question about an activity where your friend might get harmed, would you limit yourself to the exact question asked or would you not also recommend that perhaps their desired course of conduct might not be a good thing?

How is this different than if someone asked a question which was in some way homosexual-specific and people replied with warnings about why homosexual behavior is irresponsible and a sin, with the defense that they were just looking out for well-being of the poster?

Because I've heard that before and I know how well it goes over here and I don't see the difference.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:42 PM on January 19, 2005


Oh, and disclaimer: the view above is not one that I hold, but as I said, I've heard it before.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:42 PM on January 19, 2005


If a friend asked you this question, or some other question about an activity where your friend might get harmed, would you limit yourself to the exact question asked or would you not also recommend that perhaps their desired course of conduct might not be a good thing?

If a friend asked me, sure, but knave is a complete stranger. Giving unsolicited advice to strangers is a lot like preaching, and I find that distasteful. I assume knave is an adult and can make rational decisions on his own without my help. Given the state of humanity, it's a big leap, I know, but colour me an idealist.
posted by picea at 12:43 PM on January 19, 2005


with the defense that they were just looking out for well-being of the poster?

That shows up in threads about smoking, fatty food, things that are debatably cruel to your pet, piercings, spending vs. saving ... most things really. People just love to point out why they disagree, some more than others.
posted by milovoo at 12:48 PM on January 19, 2005


I don't think all of those cases are necessarily analogous. In any case, I don't disagree that it happens, but that doesn't mean it's warranted.
posted by ludwig_van at 12:51 PM on January 19, 2005


Maybe it's just me, but there are questions i wouldn't ask here, and questions i would. How many members are gun owners or have extensive knowledge about which are best? If the answer is less than 25 (or even 100) out of 20,000, maybe this isn't the best place to ask.
posted by amberglow at 12:52 PM on January 19, 2005


How many members are gun owners or have extensive knowledge about which are best?

Again, you assume too much. If you don't liking discussing guns, that's fine. But the implication that people who do want to talk about guns should take their questions elsewhere is antithetical to the spirit of the site.
posted by jonmc at 12:59 PM on January 19, 2005


That kind of broad question on an inherently controversial topic is going to invite debate.


Ask.Me is not a debate site.

So, next time someone asks about cooking a vegetarian meal, I'll pop in and tell them to shut up and have a steak. Or in a cocktail mix thread I'll link to AA literature. Even better, if someone asks where they can get an abortion, I'll call them a baby killer.

Or, the next time someone asks about a manscaping, you'll wonder aloud why anyone would want to trim their pubic hair?
posted by adampsyche at 1:01 PM on January 19, 2005


What's the point of touting ourselves as a tolerant, educated community if all sorts of people, and questions, can't be accepted here?

On preview, what jonmc just said.
posted by BlueTrain at 1:02 PM on January 19, 2005


And maybe next time I won't mess up the link, either.
posted by adampsyche at 1:05 PM on January 19, 2005


Or, the next time someone asks about a manscaping, you'll wonder aloud why anyone would want to trim their pubic hair?

And I was ceremoniously (and correctly) called to the mat for it. I think the rules should be applied fairly (ie, to both popular and unpopular positions) is all.
posted by jonmc at 1:05 PM on January 19, 2005


;)
posted by adampsyche at 1:09 PM on January 19, 2005


How many members are gun owners or have extensive knowledge about which are best? If the answer is less than 25 (or even 100) out of 20,000, maybe this isn't the best place to ask.

Did you read the gun thread? Did you not notice how many people did have decent advice? I find your comments in this thread intolerant and inclusive, and the "this might not be the place for you" tone is really lame.

Awhile back, I noticed someone posted a question about home-microdermabrasion kits to AskMe. Being somewhat obscure, it wasn't surprising the topic only garnered one response. But that one response was cheerful, and the information sounded helpful, and the poster no doubt relished the gamble he/she took in posting such an obscure topic.

Are we really expected to make assumptions about the habits of 20,000 strangers? Why not just ask the question and see where it leads? And if you don't have any answers, for God's sake, skip the thread and save us the preaching. Amber, perhaps you should pay special attention to this post.
posted by jenleigh at 1:15 PM on January 19, 2005


How many members are gun owners or have extensive knowledge about which are best? If the answer is less than 25 (or even 100) out of 20,000, maybe this isn't the best place to ask.

Wrong. If the answer is 1 of 20,000...ask away. Nothing wrong at all with an Ask Metafilter thread with one response if it helped the poster.

Of course, I am just another white, straight, American, male gun owner with a liberal lean, so dismiss as personal beliefs dictate.
posted by pivo at 1:16 PM on January 19, 2005


It's a pretty minor complaint all-in-all, why is everyone so much more pissy than usual?
posted by milovoo at 1:18 PM on January 19, 2005


Because it cuts close to the heart of what the site is supposed to be about: the free exchange of words and ideas. when people try to limit what can be discoursed on based on political or cultural biases, it defeats that purpose. yes, it's a relatively minor instance of it in the grand scheme of things, but it rankles.
posted by jonmc at 1:22 PM on January 19, 2005


Yeah, I get it, and we've argued that before, it's just usually friendlier.
I just get the sense that no one is really listening to each other.
posted by milovoo at 1:28 PM on January 19, 2005


And if you don't have any answers, for God's sake, skip the thread and save us the preaching. Amber, perhaps you should pay special attention to this post.

And that's exactly what i did--i know enough not to answer a gun question, unlike other members here.

Don't knock me for suggesting it's not the best place. No one is calling for it to be deleted or anything--jeez. I wouldn't ask a gun question here, because this community is not known for its gun ownership, nor for its tolerance of gun owners. It's simple really. Same principle goes for not asking an SUV question here. Different places would be better at answering different questions--this is not the be-all and end-all of the net, or the world. Members here do not have all the answers on every single topic--Thinking that is just foolish.

Wrong. If the answer is 1 of 20,000...ask away. Nothing wrong at all with an Ask Metafilter thread with one response if it helped the poster.
If only 1 person out of 20,000 would possibly know an answer to any given question, i would not ask it here. I would go to where the odds are better for having it answered well. It's not a knock on here or anything--it's common sense. I don't ask my butcher about my neck pain. This community has strengths and weaknesses--not recognizing that is just foolish.
posted by amberglow at 1:31 PM on January 19, 2005


I just get the sense that no one is really listening to each other.

I go through life with that sense, dude. Don't stop me from speaking my mind though.

I don't ask my butcher about my neck pain.

That's because your butcher is one man who explicitly presents himself as a guy who cuts meat. AskMe presents itself as "an area for sharing knowledge." It dosen't qualify that by saying "except about guns, SUV's, Brazillian waxes or anything that some of our membership dislikes.

If only 1 person out of 20,000 would possibly know an answer to any given question, i would not ask it here. I would go to where the odds are better for having it answered well.

People at MeFi tend to be intelligent and articulate. If that question happens to locate the 20 or so gun enthusiasts here, it'll get a better answer than from some subliterate jerkoff at a board more narrowly aimed.

I'm not picking on you, amber, but this goes to the heart of our purpose here, such as it is.
posted by jonmc at 1:42 PM on January 19, 2005


If only 1 person out of 20,000 would possibly know an answer to any given question, i would not ask it here. I would go to where the odds are better for having it answered well.

The thing is, you have no idea what the odds are. Even if you've read the site since it began, the "weakness" you see in knowledge of gun ownership is only indicative that guns have not been discussed heavily. Naturally, if this is the case, it could be possible that people here don't know about guns. Or, it could be possible that it hasn't come up, and people know plenty. Moreover, even with experience you wouldn't know about the experiences and knowledge of many of the new members.

There are hundreds of topics which haven't been discussed over the life of this community. Posting a question in ask.mefi that won't necessarily be answerable is not a reason for disdain. It only takes one person who knows, and it's impossible to judge the odds based on the information that you or any other member of this site possesses.
posted by j.edwards at 1:42 PM on January 19, 2005


Amber, I get what you're getting at, sorta, but there's no way for you (or anyone) to know if only 1 person in 20,000 could answer a question unless... you ask the question.

And besides, I wouldn't assume that MeFi has the dearth of gun owners you seem to think it does. It's not that obscure to own a gun in the U.S. -- it might be obscure among your personal circle (it is among mine, though I do indeed know a few gun owners); even though MeFi is probably not considered a major hangout for NRA members, it's silly to think that this just "isn't the place" to get at least a few answers. There have been far more obscure questions posted on AskMe than this.
posted by scody at 1:44 PM on January 19, 2005


Same principle goes for not asking an SUV question here.

There's plenty of SUV owners here. The guy who runs the site for one. I really think you're confusing the presence of a vocal and articulate opposition with a site wide predisposition or lack of expertise.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:45 PM on January 19, 2005


this community is not known for its gun ownership, nor for its tolerance of gun owners.

The former is unverifiable, and the latter is just plain sad. While we're at it, could we please just strike the word "tolerance" from the political lexicon anyway, since it's clear no one, anywhere on the spectrum, embodies it.

The point is, amber: you know nothing about the personal habits of all 20,000 users, and it is arrogant to assume you do. There are no doubt people here who are really into, say, falconry, but have never had reason to express it at MeFi. Does that mean falconry questions are off the table? This is really narrow minded.

This community has strengths and weaknesses--not recognizing that is just foolish.

What's "foolish", as long as you're painting us this way (keeping in mind every response to your comments has been in disagreement), is that you have supercognitive powers that tell you certain info couldn't possibly be gleaned from 20,000 strangers.

On preview: what everyone else is pretty much saying
posted by jenleigh at 1:47 PM on January 19, 2005


What gun should I use to give my falcon a Brazillian wax in a moving SUV?
posted by jonmc at 1:52 PM on January 19, 2005


I have a whole world in front of me--I can ask questions here, or i can go to places more suited to the topic at hand. No one is saying you shouldn't ask whatever the hell you want. No one is saying that any sort of question is not ok. No one is saying that only certain types of questions are ok. No one is saying that.
I'm saying there are better places to ask some questions. I'll stand by my unverifiable statement that this isn't the best place to ask gun questions. I could google up dozens of better places, from liberal gun owner sites to conservative sites to hundreds of local police departments and what they say about guns and home protection. (Incidentally, this thread and your responses to what i said show that it's not even a good place to question whether it's the best place to ask certain questions.) It's a fallacy that this is a totally open and totally diverse place. There is some knowledge that members here do not have--sorry to have to tell you. It's not limiting or against the site to state that. It might make some upset, but too bad. I wouldn't ask some questions here.

It's funny, no one disagrees that we're a US-centric site or a boyzone, etc, but people get all upset when you state that this isn't the best place to ask certain questions. Think about it, and how those things may just be related.
posted by amberglow at 1:57 PM on January 19, 2005


People need to get banned or fined for breaking the rules. "Self-policing" doesn't work anymore -- if it ever did.
posted by Mark Doner at 2:01 PM on January 19, 2005


I was totally heartened to see that MeFi has a sizable population of smart, careful gun owners. Amberglow, especially given where the thread stands right now, I don't see _how_ you can still assert that this is a bad place to ask for advice on guns...it's one of the longer AskMe threads I've seen in a while, even after it was cleaned up, and it's got a _lot_ of very specific responses that are totally on point, and very informative.

I don't own a gun, I can't imagine having one in the house, and what's more, I'm _not_ a huge fan of how the Second Amendment is worded so broadly. Nevertheless, one of my best buddies has like _five_ guns, all well-secured, and just because I don't really agree with him doesn't mean I love him any less. The fact that we're not the same makes for a much richer intellectual relationship--we can stay up all night debating issues like this.

A robust intellectual community obviously _demands_ diversity, and it _should_ surprise us with its strengths. I don't think pre-supposing that it can't be well-informed--on any given topic--and then insisting that it's not when it's proven that it is, just doesn't make sense to me.
posted by LairBob at 2:13 PM on January 19, 2005




It's funny, no one disagrees that we're a US-centric site or a boyzone, etc, but people get all upset when you state that this isn't the best place to ask certain questions. Think about it, and how those things may just be related.

A US-centric boyzone would be a great places to ask about guns and SUVs.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 2:14 PM on January 19, 2005


I'm saying there are better places to ask some questions. I'll stand by my unverifiable statement that this isn't the best place to ask gun questions. I could google up dozens of better places, from liberal gun owner sites to conservative sites to hundreds of local police departments and what they say about guns and home protection.

Yes, but all that is true of 99.9% of questions asked on AskMe. Computer questions would be better answered on discussion boards for the relevant hardware/OS/software. Travel questions would be better answered on travel discussion boards. "Identify this children's book" would be better answered here. Etc. etc. If the standard were "is AskMe the very best place on the entire intarweb to ask this question," AskMe would be a very lonely place indeed.

It's funny, no one disagrees that we're a US-centric site or a boyzone, etc, but people get all upset when you state that this isn't the best place to ask certain questions.

There's a subtle distinction you're missing. No one disagrees that we're a US-centric site, but no one gets upset when questions about what to do while in Brussels appear on AskMe. No one disagrees that we're a boyzone, but no one gets upset when women's health questions appear on AskMe. No one denies that MeFites tend to lean towards the strong-gun-control-if-not-outright-prohibition side of the issue, but that doesn't mean gun questions are inappropriate for AskMe.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 2:19 PM on January 19, 2005


most people essentially said they didn't have guns and hated them

And that is an inappropriate response for this MeTa question.

norm is right, and some people need a warning.
posted by rushmc at 2:20 PM on January 19, 2005


If there are only a few members with expertise on a question, then there will only be a few answers posted, and that's fine. Far better that the front page be full of obscure questions than that the question pages be full of non-answers.

In fact, I think the chattiness of the answers is due to the increasing pointlessness of many of the questions - "What celebrities have you met?" "What tattoos do you have?" &c. When people aren't called out for asking questions that aren't practical, why shouldn't others give impertinent or impractical answers to the practical questions?

Oh, and I'm another liberal who's comfortable with gun ownership - although as a New Yorker of course I don't keep any in the house.
posted by nicwolff at 2:35 PM on January 19, 2005


I'm going to foolishly interject by saying that it's probably pointless to continue arguing the point with amberglow, as she seems to have a passive-aggressive stance towards guns, or at least gun discussion. I'm not saying this to attack amberglow, just saying that everyone gets the point and I don't think you'd get amberglow to admit any error. One point, though. It does appear (whether amberglow remembers the earlier thread or not) that good answers to gun questions are proven to be available through AskMe.
posted by EatenByAGrue at 2:51 PM on January 19, 2005


GenderClarificationFilter: Amberglow is a he, not a she.
posted by scody at 2:57 PM on January 19, 2005


I think the chattiness of the answers is due to the increasing pointlessness of many of the questions - "What celebrities have you met?" "What tattoos do you have?"&c

YES.
posted by mr.marx at 2:58 PM on January 19, 2005


There's a subtle distinction you're missing. No one disagrees that we're a US-centric site, but no one gets upset when questions about what to do while in Brussels appear on AskMe. No one disagrees that we're a boyzone, but no one gets upset when women's health questions appear on AskMe. No one denies that MeFites tend to lean towards the strong-gun-control-if-not-outright-prohibition side of the issue, but that doesn't mean gun questions are inappropriate for AskMe.
Who's upset? Who's saying not to ask? Who's saying its inappropriate to ask? I'm not doing any of those things. People did do that, tho, in the gun thread, as opposed to travel threads or women's health threads. What does that tell you? Why does this thread exist? I'd say a gun question is not at all comparable to a travel or women's health question, which tells me that this isn't the best place to ask, nor even a good place to ask. Earlier in this thread, falconred said, "...but are we incapable of having a question about guns posted without flaming the asker into next week?" I think he has a point--we were incapable, and this MeTa thread is the result.

Consider me the person in the medical questions who says "go to a doctor" or in the legal questions who says "go to a lawyer" if that makes more sense. I don't care either way--I'll ask questions here that i feel will be answered well here; I won't ask those that I feel won't.
posted by amberglow at 3:00 PM on January 19, 2005


I don't see any egregious comments.

I've gone and deleted all the off topic comments...

Oh.
posted by grouse at 3:02 PM on January 19, 2005


And i learned my lesson from the that gun thread you linked to, Eaten--i honestly don't know what different kinds of guns are for, but they all scare me. I didn't go into this askme gun thread, but am not at all surprised that it turned out the way it did.
posted by amberglow at 3:05 PM on January 19, 2005


Who's saying its inappropriate to ask?

....which tells me that this isn't the best place to ask, nor even a good place to ask...

Dude, my head just, like, imploded.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:06 PM on January 19, 2005


But, amber, still...I don't see the point that you're arguing. If you're _really_ just saying you wouldn't have guessed that AskMe is a good place to get insights on owning a gun, then the answer to that lies in the thread, and the actual responses, and not in your guesstimate of the odds.

I guess my confusion lies in the fact that your argument seems to focus on the potential utility of answers--on the presumption that there's no point in asking questions on guns here.

OK, fine...like you said, "I'll ask questions here that i feel will be answered well here; I won't ask those that I feel won't." Why isn't that a legitimate criterion for someone like knave to use? He (or she) was apparently correct...they got good answers. Go back and look at the level of informative comments in that thread, now that the mess has been cleaned up--you may not like the answers, but there was a lot of useful feedback.

Now that it's been established that you can get help on that topic, what's the problem with that?
posted by LairBob at 3:11 PM on January 19, 2005


[Sorry, hit the wrong button and "Post"ed too early...]

If you're saying that it's still not a good idea to ask a gun question here, because people will get upset and try to derail the thread, then I _really_ don't agree with you.

Yes, it's regrettable that Matt had to clean it up, but "Other people won't like it, and they should set the standard" is still really objectionable criterion, to me.

If that's not what you meant, I'm happy to try and understand better. I'm having a hard time reading your comments any other way, though.
posted by LairBob at 3:15 PM on January 19, 2005


Who's upset? Who's saying not to ask? Who's saying its inappropriate to ask? I'm not doing any of those things. People did do that, tho, in the gun thread, as opposed to travel threads or women's health threads. What does that tell you?

That those people were assholes with an axe to grind.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 3:25 PM on January 19, 2005


"I've decided that my life is worthless and am going to blow my head off. What type of gun would best suit my needs (i.e. high fatality rate)? Please keep comments limited to gun types and don't try to tell me my life is worth living."

/reductio ad absurdium
posted by LionIndex at 3:37 PM on January 19, 2005


It's not "other people won't like it, and they should set the standard"--it's that WE collectively ARE the other people (and that We are the assholes with an axe to grind), and really aren't capable of answering it like we answer other types of questions--and also that there are better places (without people derailing) to get it answered, as both this gun q and the earlier one shows.

It doesn't tell you anything that travel questions don't get the kind of shit that the gun question got? It doesn't tell you anything that travel questions aren't called out here? It doesn't say anything about the membership or prevailing attitudes? It's not so much that 10 people were able to give a good answer--it's that more than that had to spout off about guns in that thread--a behavior that i, for one, absolutely expected, and a behavior that proves my point, at least to me if no one else. I think that anyone should ask whatever they want--i absolutely would never say any question was wrong or inappropriate--i will say, however, that some questions are better asked elsewhere, because of US and what the prevailing attitudes here are, and because others elsewhere are better at answering. This AskMe question was called out here---very very few are. If i had a gun question, this (and the responses in the earlier one linked to above) would tell me something about how it would be answered here, and i would take it elsewhere.
posted by amberglow at 3:39 PM on January 19, 2005


I think knave himself recognized that, with this: Ok, this is a serious question, please answer it as such.
posted by amberglow at 3:43 PM on January 19, 2005


amberglow, if I've got this right, you're saying that because there are a lot of rude opinionated people here, posters would be better off not bringing up certain topics?
I, for one, think it's reasonable to expect people to respond in a civil manner and follow the rules. It may be unrealistic given the membership roster of this site and the lack of meaningful repercussions for rule-breaking; but that shouldn't force us to accept the rudeness, or compensate for it.
posted by Mark Doner at 3:51 PM on January 19, 2005


That kind of broad question on an inherently controversial topic is going to invite debate.

I just can't agree with this at all. It was not a wide-open question. It was short and direct and ready for specific recommendations and anwers.

Maybe it is a controversial topic, but don't throw the word "inherently" around. Obviously, it turned out to be a hot-button subject, but that doesn't excuse the condescension, repetition, and lack of helpfulness in the answers.

People keep talking about how badly worded or otherwise ill-formed the question was. I simply don't get it. How much simpler do they come? And are we really going to split hairs over the rhetorical "you?"
posted by scarabic at 3:51 PM on January 19, 2005


amber, I'm really at a loss, here...it really seems that you're saying that because "Questions about guns bring out the worst in people" that, therefore, "People shouldn't ask questions about guns here". Your assertion that "[We]...really aren't capable of answering it like we answer other types of questions" has a hard time standing up in light of the comments that remain--we may be incapable of answering it without a lot self-righteous trolling, but when _isn't_ that the case?

Picking "travel" and "women's health" as more legitimate topics--because they don't usually engender flamewars--is really setting up a straw man. OK, maybe those two don't, but neither do "teddy bears" and "apple juice". There was a thread a little while ago about giving away pet cats that got _very_ judgmental (there were even harsher comments that got cleaned up)...does that mean "pets", or "pet adoption" is really not a worthwhile topic for AskMe?

I really just think you've spilled a lot of (virtual) ink to then say, "i absolutely would never say any question was wrong or inappropriate". You definitely seem to be making the implicit point that knave shouldn't have posted the question, and then back-filling in some kind of rationale. I certainly think a lot of questions posted to AskMe are inappropriate, pointless, or just not worth the effort, but your arguments just aren't convincing me on this one.
posted by LairBob at 4:00 PM on January 19, 2005


Oh, okay, so the question was a bad idea not because we as a community were unable to answer it, but because we as a community were unable to control ourselves and stick to the rules and spirit of the site in our "answers".

Are we deciding whether this is pathetic or not? My vote's yes.

(on preview: what all y'all just said.)
posted by obloquy at 4:03 PM on January 19, 2005


i agree the post was worded a little on the open-ended side, but for chrissakes people, if you know you're not going to give a concrete answer and instead rail on your soapbox, move on past it in askme. there are tons of questions that bring forth in me a knee jerk response to snark or question the values of the poster, but i resist the urge. we all just gotta learn to move on there. you don't need yet another outlet--and the wrong one for that matter--to get your pet point across in a drone. askme is the section Matt's been most clear about intention wise. this should be a non issue.
posted by ifjuly at 4:10 PM on January 19, 2005


i absolutely would never say any question was wrong or inappropriate

vs.

this isn't the best place to ask, nor even a good place to ask...

You're speaking out of both sides of your mouth.

Assuming we can't handle a controversial topic and assuming there aren't users interested in said topic (there clearly are) is no justification for giving a spiel about how you would never ask such a thing. It's not all about you.

If you're going to keep suggesting such behavior is "foolish", I'll up the ante and say it's cowardly and defeatist to suggest AskMe isn't "a good place to ask" or that answers should be sought elsewhere.
posted by jenleigh at 4:11 PM on January 19, 2005


...though, i do think amberglow brings up an intriguing and potent point, that maybe askme posters might want to consider what kind of slanted response they may get given certain topics have an extremely lopsided track record here. that's really pretty sad, and involves resigning oneself to the limitations of this community as an advice resource, but it's realistic and insightful too. hm!
posted by ifjuly at 4:13 PM on January 19, 2005


You had me at 'sad'.
posted by jenleigh at 4:15 PM on January 19, 2005


that's really pretty sad, and involves resigning oneself to the limitations of this community as an advice resource, but it's realistic and insightful too. hm!
bingo! the limitations of this community as an advice resource.

thank you, ifjuly. some people here don't want to recognize that.
posted by amberglow at 4:21 PM on January 19, 2005


but--i don't really see it as sad. it just is.
posted by amberglow at 4:25 PM on January 19, 2005


Why accept these 'limitations' when the situation could be remedied? If Matt deleted (say) 10 user accounts of people shitting in others' threads, I think it would set a precedent that would improve this site a great deal.
posted by Mark Doner at 4:31 PM on January 19, 2005


I'd say a gun question is not at all comparable to a travel or women's health question

That's your opinion, I suppose, but really, the only qualification for an AskMe question is that it in theory can be answered. This question met that qualification, so it is perfectly fine. Politics should not determine what gets asked (it will, of course, determine what gets answered, but it shouldn't be a factor in how it gets answered).
posted by rushmc at 4:59 PM on January 19, 2005


Weird, weird, weird. I really can't grok amber's point. I'm pretty sure that it's not merely that a gun thread causes argument. He's brought up many a topic that causes argument. And it can't be that we should't talk about things that aren't "mefi-like", whatever that is, because, for example, he claims all the time that mefi is homophobic but he talks about gay issues.

I think he just said something off the top of his head and has backed himself into a corner trying to defend it.

As a gun-control sort of a liberal, I thought the askme thread was a good thread (although I only just now read it after Matt cleaned it up). Lots of (apparently) good information there. Also, I was surprised to learn that some of the people I know here, some that I wouldn't expect, are handgun owners.

Also, I'm immensely thankful for the link to surefire.com, which has some of the coolest stuff ever. Man, I lust after that Surefire M6 Guardian lithium flashlight (at upwards of $400), with, I say wistfully, the infrared, red, green, and beam shapers attachments. Why? Certainly not for any weapon or home-defense reasons. Just because it's damn cool.

But I confess I did read the four page article on the design of their (apparently) best-in-industry firearm noise suppressor. Which, um, also seems cool. Christ, sometimes I'm such a guy.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 5:17 PM on January 19, 2005


*throwz gunz in the air, wavez 'em like he just don't care*
posted by jonmc at 5:20 PM on January 19, 2005


The initial query begged the question; a couple of informed and informative responses implicitly pointed that out.

Should people who live in areas with high crime rates and tight restrictions on gun ownership not be allowed to chip in with their tips on how to deal with a crackhead nork carrying a knife who decides to nick your video at 4am? (A: Cricket bat.) Just as long as there's some information in a response, which may or may not convey an implicit judgement on principle or pragmatics, I don't see why people can't gently point out alternatives to an overly-constrained initial question.

(I find gun threads fascinating, just because it's like reading a discussion among women on 'tampons or sanitary towels': an alien world where there are lots of details you'd never imagine existed.)
posted by riviera at 5:38 PM on January 19, 2005


Nah, EB. It was that this community has limitations--and gun threads are one of them.
posted by amberglow at 5:38 PM on January 19, 2005


It's not "other people won't like it, and they should set the standard"--it's that WE collectively ARE the other people (and that We are the assholes with an axe to grind), and really aren't capable of answering it like we answer other types of questions--and also that there are better places (without people derailing) to get it answered, as both this gun q and the earlier one shows.

As many people answered with relevant answers as posted irrelevant ones, maybe more. Why are they any less "WE"? I don't believe that there truly is a prevalent single-minded Mefi ideology, but if I'm just being naive and there is, that's an absolutely ghastly thing that we should in no way try to accommodate or be proud of, regardless of how it matches up with our personal beliefs.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:43 PM on January 19, 2005


And knave only posted "Ok, this is a serious question, please answer it as such" after a couple of "GUNS BAD" comments that have since been deleted.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:45 PM on January 19, 2005


...or as Tonto said "What you mean "we," paleface?
posted by jonmc at 5:47 PM on January 19, 2005


I've been looking at buying a Ruger Blackhawk/Redhawk for some time now (44 mag, only). I'd prefer the Red, due to its double action, but I've heard that recovery times from kickback render the double action almost useless compared to the single action Blackhawk. Now I hear that there's a snub Redhawk, which reduces kickback. I'd prefer the 10 and 1/2 inch mod barrel for accuracy. Advice?

Seriously (and that question was actually very serious), why would this question be inappropriate for a forum in which some might be well informed of the answer? Yes, there are other forums and lists out there that would be more appropriate to the question, but that goes for any topic discussed in AskMe. Sex, relationships, gift giving, medical support, all these things have there "place" on the internets. But Ask MetaFilter was designed to take advantage of the wisdom that we, as a trusted (mostly) group have to offer. I sincerely don't understand how anyone, in good faith, can lend a moral attribute of appropriateness to any question asked here as long as one understands that the limitations apply to ALL questions asked here.

The limitation is one of expertise, not one of moral support. If I ask what is the most appropriate group of White racial support for me to join, I should have the expectation that no one would know the answer, but not that MeFi is too good/moral/sexy/liberal to offer an answer, and no one should have to suspect that their question must pass a litmus test of "leftist" (read: safe for all rightious thinking individuals) in order to be asked..

On Preview:
It was that this community has limitations--and gun threads are one of them.

No. No, this community doesn't. Matt might, but the community doesn't. Amberglow, I'm honestly surprised that you would argue for a position that essentially says "there's a right way to think about Mefi, and a wrong way to think about Mefi". If it doesn't affect the stated rules of Mefi, where does this assumption come from?
posted by Wulfgar! at 5:54 PM on January 19, 2005


It's not so much that 10 people were able to give a good answer--it's that more than that had chose to spout off about guns in that thread
posted by Stauf at 5:57 PM on January 19, 2005


Stating that places have limitations in no way means "there's a right way to think about Mefi, and a wrong way to think about Mefi" .

There's nowhere online or off that doesn't have limitations. I can't honestly believe that anyone here is actually thinking that we can answer every possible question someone may ask, and are good at it. The very thread that started this showed that wasn't true, and the current question about building inspectors in Brooklyn as well, among others.

mkultra had a good point on this earlier: That's like setting up an abortion clinic in Texas and wondering why picketers are showing up. That kind of broad question on an inherently controversial topic is going to invite debate. do you guys think that this is not like reality? or real communities? And i'm not talking about censorship or anything like that--i'm talking about very real limitations inherent in all (semi)closed communities.
posted by amberglow at 6:24 PM on January 19, 2005


i don't mean to speak for amberglow, and i hope he will correct me (or tell me to stuff it :) if i'm wrong but i get the impression he's being more pragmatic than prescriptive here. it's not that he desires mefi to lopsided or limited, but that inevitably it will be sometimes, and perhaps predictably. i find it a little humorous people are acting shocked or like "wha?!" at this notion; it's a community, and there ARE topics that in general terms mefi sways to one side or the other on at least in terms of vocal posting. and while obviously there shouldn't be formal mandates about what one asks as a result, it's something to keep in mind informally if you're really looking for effective and timely advice here. "am i going to get a bevy of helpful responses for my immediate relatively concrete problem/inquiry from a properly-interested audience if i ask mefi about, say, guns, the south, fat people, rape, or the term "drama queen"? or am i very very likely to get a lot self righteousness and abstracted debate about how i need to rethink why i'm even asking X? hmmm...maybe i need to try google advice instead." it's not a great conclusion, but it's hardly paranoid or unreasonable at times given this place. that's all.
posted by ifjuly at 6:27 PM on January 19, 2005


what ifjuly said, again.

from now on in this thread, ifjuly will be speaking for me--he does it better. : >
posted by amberglow at 6:30 PM on January 19, 2005


but that inevitably it will be sometimes, and perhaps predictably.

Not "inevitably." Predictably perhaps, but if the rules are applied equally, there's no reason it has to be so.
posted by jonmc at 6:35 PM on January 19, 2005


but the rules are always applied after the fact, not before or during. People transgress, Matt cleans up. That's how it works.

(pretend ifjuly said that) : >
posted by amberglow at 6:42 PM on January 19, 2005


"i honestly don't know what different kinds of guns are for, but they all scare me"

amberglow, my friend, that in a nutshell is why you're not comprehending what most people in this thread are saying about this topic.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 7:09 PM on January 19, 2005


But gun questions have been successfully asked before (granted, they were not questions about gun ownership) so that undermines your point re: gun questions, amberglow. But if you're saying that someone who posts a question about guns on this site should expect negative comments, I agree that in general, that is likely to happen. But, as the thread has shown, good answers can also appear, so if the questioner wants to ask and is willing to deal with the criticism, they should do so without someone saying they shouldn't have asked the question. In other words, they should expect challenges to the substance of the question (though this is regrettable for the harm it does to AskMe as a resource), but not to the act of questioning itself.

And I did know amberglow is male, I apologize for the slip-up. (My main reason for posting again.)
posted by EatenByAGrue at 7:25 PM on January 19, 2005


The initial query begged the question

It neither begged nor raised that question. It asked a very specific and limited question, and the appropriate response would be equally limited.
posted by rushmc at 8:11 PM on January 19, 2005


It was that this community has limitations--and gun threads are one of them.

Which is clearly false, and probably wishful thinking on your part.
posted by rushmc at 8:12 PM on January 19, 2005


it's a community, and there ARE topics that in general terms mefi sways to one side or the other on at least in terms of vocal posting

True, but irrelevant here. Out of 20,000 members, some of those are knowledgeable about guns and willing to answer a gun question, as we saw in that and other threads. The rest simply don't matter.
posted by rushmc at 8:15 PM on January 19, 2005


the rest do matter, as evidenced by this thread, and matt's having to clean up the original thread. discounting them, and the very existence of this thread, is neither a solution to any perceived problem nor a realistic view of what happened.
posted by amberglow at 8:30 PM on January 19, 2005


amberglow, what is it?

you don't like guns? that's fine. Ihave mixed feelings about them myself, ever since I asked my dad why we didn't have a gun in the house, when I was a kid, and he answered "because, I probably would've shot you by now." Even though, several freinds of mine have grown up with guns in the house, once resulting in me driving around with a .38 in my pants, but that's a whole other story.

But somebody had a question about them he wanted answered, which is the express purpose of AskMe. People who butted in with their objections and agendas were corrupting that purpose. Because it's something you don't believe in being discussed dosen't change that purpose one iota.
posted by jonmc at 9:22 PM on January 19, 2005


It neither begged nor raised that question.

Oh, c'mon: don't play the naif. If the question had been 'what type of dog do you own for home protection?' would you be complaining about ROU_X's response?
posted by riviera at 10:14 PM on January 19, 2005


the rest do matter, as evidenced by this thread, and matt's having to clean up the original thread.

So your contention is that the trolls should determine what we can and cannot do around here? Sorry, I find that argument unpersuasive.

If the question had been 'what type of dog do you own for home protection?' would you be complaining about ROU_X's response?

Part of his response seems somewhat on topic, as he shares his views on why certain breeds are undesirable for the function. If he had gone on to then recommend one, he would have answered the question. But the part where he dismisses the question in favor of an unasked for opinion? Yes, that would be worth complaining about, because the question asked would not have been "what are the best security arrangements that I can make for my home." If I ask you for a recommendation on which shade of orange is best, don't tell me orange sucks and that I should get yellow.
posted by rushmc at 10:29 PM on January 19, 2005


Newbie's perspective: Once I could see it was a serious question, I felt like I had something to contribute to the discussion. I held back b/c I thought by answering the question it would lead to a number of off-topic remarks.

amberglow - I respectfully submit to you that the question was answered knowledgeably.

Tubes distinguished himself with his answers. His advice deserves to be widely read in the MeFi community - both for anyone interested in firearms and as an example of a professional answer.
posted by mlis at 10:29 PM on January 19, 2005


I have mixed feelings about them myself, ever since I asked my dad why we didn't have a gun in the house, when I was a kid, and he answered "because, I probably would've shot you by now."

off-topic reminiscence: whenever my grandfather would drive my grandmother up the wall to an extreme degree (that is, more than usual, given that they were both crazy and irascible in their own ways), grandma would always sigh, glance wistfully into the middle distance, and murmur, "I wish I still had my pretty little silver pistol."

posted by scody at 10:38 PM on January 19, 2005


Man, is someone fighting their way out of a corner or something?

If you buy SCO at $30, you don't keep buying more stock as it drops down to $0.15 just to prove that you'll stick to your guns. Particularly once the calvary has left the battlefield.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 11:22 PM on January 19, 2005


We knew you were on your way back with the reinforcements.
posted by mlis at 11:28 PM on January 19, 2005


It's not just guns--check out dame's post, unless matt already scrubbed that one.
posted by amberglow at 5:08 AM on January 20, 2005


and the Meta about that, too. As anapestic says there: As is this MeTa thread, I suppose, but expecting any better (or expecting this thread not to get unpleasant) is probably unduly optimistic.
posted by amberglow at 5:35 AM on January 20, 2005


Well see, obviously then, amber, women shouldn't ask women-related questions on askme, by your logic.

What a strange little reasoning you've constructed here.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 7:26 AM on January 20, 2005


What type of falcon do you keep for home defense purposes?
posted by Heatwole at 9:36 AM on January 20, 2005


What type of falcon do you keep for home defense purposes?

Gyrfalcon. Kestrals are too small, ditto for the Merlins (and very loud too). But really should think about using a hawk, say Ferruginous? The Ferruginous Hawk is huge and very intimidating. There is nothing like having 20+ inches of talon and feathers puncturing your arms in a frenzy. Harris Hawks seem to be out from my experience - too placid.
posted by squeak at 10:58 AM on January 20, 2005


Either people deal with the fact that there will be derails when certain things come up in AskMe or they go elsewhere to ask, or Matt starts a'banning. I'm betting the Matt starts a'banning ain't gonna happen. Derails are insulting and can be offensive, but happen ALOT, more often than is recognized here by MeTa threads. Guess what that leaves?

And if i was a woman and needed to ask a menstrual question, i'd go elsewhere--who needs shit like that?
posted by amberglow at 11:06 AM on January 20, 2005


But somebody had a question about them he wanted answered, which is the express purpose of AskMe.

And the question got answered, which is the other purpose. I'm sorry, amberglow, but I too fail to understand your point, unless it's simply that you personally wouldn't have posted the question, in which case I fail to see the point of your saying so repeatedly. I wouldn't have posted 99% of the questions on AskMe, mostly because I don't care about them; so what? Who cares what you or I would post? It was a perfectly good question that got more good answers than most AskMe questions. What's your problem?
posted by languagehat at 11:35 AM on January 20, 2005


read up, languagehat, and read the first few comments in this thread, before matt cleaned the askme up. read the menstrual thread mefi as well.

you're a little late jumping in.
posted by amberglow at 3:44 PM on January 20, 2005


meTa
posted by amberglow at 3:45 PM on January 20, 2005


Either people deal with the fact that there will be derails when certain things come up in AskMe or they go elsewhere to ask, or Matt starts a'banning.

OR mathowie can delete the comments, or we can all work together as a community to reinforce better standards of behavior. I think these last two options are best, and coincidentally, they seem to be the ones most often implemented.
posted by rushmc at 4:47 PM on January 20, 2005


well, if that would change behavior, fine--but it doesn't, does it? How many months of derails and inappropriate behavior would it take to show you the futility in that?
posted by amberglow at 9:20 PM on January 20, 2005


well, if that would change behavior, fine--but it doesn't, does it?

I think it changes some, those who bother to be part of the discussion and become aware of the minimum standards of behavior expected of them by the community—and respect it enough to care. There will always be hardcore cases who refuse to get with the program, and for them, there is always the timeout or banhammer, as a last resort (or, in many cases, they tire of the negative attention and remove themselves). But I've seen too many bad citizens reform over time to dismiss the usefulness of that approach.
posted by rushmc at 10:18 PM on January 20, 2005


Equal time for cunts and guns, what I say.
posted by ikkyu2 at 12:09 PM on January 21, 2005


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