Policy on posting links found on Fark/Slashdot/Boingboing? January 20, 2005 10:33 AM   Subscribe

What's the policy on posting links you found on Fark, Slashdot or BoingBoing? I read through each of these daily, and constantly find links on MeFi that were posted earlier on one of those other three sites. I've refrained from posting info that I found on those other sites because it seems to easy. If you get the info from one of those other sites, shouldn't you do a "via xxx?"
posted by boymilo to Etiquette/Policy at 10:33 AM (19 comments total)

I don't believe there's a ban per se on links found on those sites, but there is some controversy about it. For each person who complains about such links (e.g. "MetaFark!"), there's invariably someone else who says they don't read those sites and wouldn't have found the link had it not been posted here.

I think there's some concern that people posting BB, Fark or Slashdot links are just being lazy. Links that show up on some or all these sites have been pretty well-circulated, so they won't have the impact that something equally cool, but under the radar, has when it gets posted here. But, on the other hand, it could be argued that a good post is a good post, regardless of whether it turned up elsewhere first.

"Via $x" is always good etiquette.
posted by mcwetboy at 10:54 AM on January 20, 2005

Sometimes it's just being lazy and sometimes it's just a coincidence. During a week I hit about at least a dozen other blogs and indexes and after a while the links seem to be pretty incestuous (although many are obviously pulling their stuff from here).

It would be a bit much to expect MeFites to search the archives and also peruse Fark, Slashdot, Boing Boing, Waxy, etc. before posting a link. There just needs to be a sense of honor when posting a link. And that "via xxxxx.com" is just plain polite and decent.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 11:09 AM on January 20, 2005

What mcwetboy said: The policy is there is no policy, but you do so at your own risk (as with anything here.)
posted by me3dia at 11:10 AM on January 20, 2005

Personally I'd like to see people limit posting links found on popular sites, unless they can add something to it (related links, more background, an interesting analysis inside). But I agree there shouldn't be an actual rule about it.
posted by cali at 11:17 AM on January 20, 2005

Boingboing has no commenting, so there is some value to posting it here.
posted by smackfu at 11:19 AM on January 20, 2005

If its a good link it belongs here. Regardless of where you found it.

Also, dont assume that because someone posts something that was on Slashdot moments ago, they necessarily found it on Slashdot. The paths by which links travel around are many.
posted by vacapinta at 11:21 AM on January 20, 2005

I'll post something here that I found on bOINGbOING or Slashdot if I personally like it and think it's a good fit for Mefi, and especially if I can maybe add a little something (like I did with a post a few months ago on how Crossballs picked its experts). Generally I think twice though, since there is a lot of readership overlap, but that's more of a personal policy than something I think should be a guideline for the site as a whole.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 11:31 AM on January 20, 2005

I don't think that we need to explicitly limit or discourage it, but I definitely do think that we should encourage a stricter "via/acknowledgement" policy, just to help make it clear _how much_ it happens.

Whenever this topic comes up, a lot of folks say "This is my pretty much my only webfilter site, so if something doesn't make it here, I wouldn't see it!" I can't argue with that, but I do think that routinely acknowledging how often people just FPP sites like BB, waxy, etc., would help sort of encourage the broader community to look harder for unique links. (Or at least dig up a bit more context than just repeating a link from those sites.)
posted by LairBob at 11:58 AM on January 20, 2005

The links have always flowed in both directions, but caution is certainly in order when posting them here.
posted by caddis at 12:09 PM on January 20, 2005

I read through each of these daily

Well, I don't. So there.
posted by mr.marx at 12:15 PM on January 20, 2005

Oooo feel the need to defend myself here, because someone commented in the Giant Squid post that it was previously seen on Fark.

Actually I don't visit other sites-- I don't seem to have as much time as the rest of you do to spend on the computer. But I happened to come across this news story by Yahoo's weird news. I followed it up because a) "giant squid" is a funny name and b) I come from Orange County. So I posted the story even though I know many of you frown on the "weird news" stuff.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 12:28 PM on January 20, 2005

For instance, I would not be at all upset to see someone post the link currently on BoingBoing about the "chair with magnetic stripe card reader and spikes that retract when a seating license is downloaded from a license server in response to input from the card reader incorporated into the chair." This would dovetail nicely with the discussion we had about copyright the other day.
posted by caddis at 12:31 PM on January 20, 2005

I try to check my links against DayPop (which I do not, otherwise, read) before I post them so I'm not reposting something that's everywhere (or worse, something that was everywhere 6 months ago). But if I post something that's on Fark or Slashdot or wherever, it's likely not because I got it from there, because I don't read those sites. Trying to 'enforce' a via policy would imply that people get things from those big sites in any case where the links are also on those sites, when that's simply not necessarily the case.
posted by jacquilynne at 2:21 PM on January 20, 2005

I, for one, don't read BoingBoing or Fark, and hardly even glance at Slashdot anymore. So, while there is overlap, it's hardly universal.
posted by Karmakaze at 2:26 PM on January 20, 2005

I've refrained from posting info that I found on those other sites because it seems to easy

That is your policy and mine, too. But far as I know there's no agreement on this. I'm not offended by posts poached from easy sources, but people who do that consistently are kinda lame.
posted by scarabic at 2:57 PM on January 20, 2005

Boingboing has no commenting


Maybe he's onto something with that...
posted by scarabic at 3:16 PM on January 20, 2005

Actually I find the stuff that's near the bottom of the Daypop top40 list (but rising) to be great candidates for posts a lot of the time. Assuming, of course, that whatever the item is hasn't hit Fark/BoingBoing/TheRest yet. Daypop covers lots of small blogs, way more than anyone here (let alone everyone) could ever read.
posted by scarabic at 3:21 PM on January 20, 2005

I've seen FPPs here about an hour or so after they have been circulated via the b3ta newsletter (without any credit) and it's been mildly annoying because it appears the poster is trying to take credit for finding a novel site.
However, I dont tend to read fark et al, so I appreciate posts I wouldn't have seen otherwise.
Wot everyone else said: If it's worthwhile, post it. But credit the source.
posted by qwerty155 at 5:04 PM on January 20, 2005

I read MetaFilter because (for some, unknown reason) I like the people here, and I like to read their responses to links. If I wanted to read what people from Fark thought, I'd read that.
posted by cheaily at 6:07 PM on January 20, 2005

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