MetaFilter going down the pans June 17, 2005 4:14 PM   Subscribe

Theory: The recent influx of Crap on Metafilter may not necessarily be related to the recent influx of Noobs (like myself). Perhaps it is just because the internet has become just as mainstream as the other popular media. Therefore it is just full of crap.
posted by snsranch to MetaFilter-Related at 4:14 PM (47 comments total)

Wrong.
posted by I EAT TAPES at 4:18 PM on June 17, 2005


noobs with pancakes are indeed suck
posted by nj_subgenius at 4:25 PM on June 17, 2005


I EAT WRONG
posted by loquacious at 4:25 PM on June 17, 2005


almost, but the reasoning applies to the users too. they are just average people these days, posting their average stuff.

once we were the uber-technological-elite, peering into the future of cat scanning cybertech. now we're just old farts who type html by hand.
posted by andrew cooke at 4:25 PM on June 17, 2005


I'm with the tape-eating sock puppet. The internet has ALWAYS been mostly crap. The idea behind MetaFilter is to dig up the as-yet-unseen good stuff. Hence, the 'filter portion of the name.
posted by eyeballkid at 4:32 PM on June 17, 2005


How long has AOL been around? Was there a "Black [can't remember the month]" way back when?

Sorry. Can't buy this.
posted by Cyrano at 4:34 PM on June 17, 2005


Good points all around, thank you.
posted by snsranch at 4:37 PM on June 17, 2005


that would have been endless september ... before '96, every september college freshpeople would discover usenet and be rather clueless about it until other posters or newsadmins beat them with a clue-by-four ... in '96 aol gave its subscribers access to usenet ... in '97 web tv and trolling in general began to spread ... and things got out of hand

after '96, it's always been september ...
posted by pyramid termite at 4:48 PM on June 17, 2005


There have been plenty of great posts lately... the only problem is too much noise. I would love to see a couple of weeks where everything the least bit pedestrian gets the axe without a second thought, with no regard for the number of comments that get killed in the process*. Pop culture newsfilter, partisan wankery, "ha ha look at what the dumb Christians/Mormons/Creationists/Republicans did today," pointless appeals for outrage, weblog navel-gazing--kill it all. Between competitive rabbit jumping, duct tape formal wear and brain illustration databases, there'll be more than enough good stuff left to look at.

*Most of the 100+ comment posts suck anyway.
posted by Galvatron at 5:31 PM on June 17, 2005


I'm with the tape-eating sock puppet. The internet has ALWAYS been mostly crap. The idea behind MetaFilter is to dig up the as-yet-unseen good stuff.

The web definetly didn't start filling with crap untill '97 or '98. It topped up in 2000 or 2001 I'd say.

The crap level of mefi definetly dosn't follow the general internet trend, and it has definetly gone up since signups opened.
posted by delmoi at 5:40 PM on June 17, 2005


I would love to see a couple of weeks where everything the least bit pedestrian gets the axe without a second thought

That is a great idea, Galvatron. Right after the election Matt went on a deletion jihad after the endless political posts and it really did improve MetaFilter for a while.
posted by LarryC at 5:42 PM on June 17, 2005


The web definetly didn't start filling with crap untill '97 or '98. It topped up in 2000 or 2001 I'd say.

Which just about corresponds with when I stopped trying to single-handedly take down spammers that managed to find my email. (and/or blacklist and/or get their ISP yanked)

Y'know, back when it wasn't commonly some server farm spewing billions of emails an hour. Say, 1998, or 1999.

I think that it's fair proof that a Time Machine hasn't been invented in the near future simply because someone hasn't gone back and wiped out AOL before it hit the web.
posted by loquacious at 5:54 PM on June 17, 2005


So, do we have a consensus? Between Galvatron and LarryC, I believe we might. I've had a post deleted before and even thought it "hurt my feelings" it really did teach me a valuable lesson.

MORE DELETIONS! HIGHER STANDARDS! YEA!!!!!
posted by snsranch at 5:54 PM on June 17, 2005


Metafilter: Deletion Jihad
posted by odinsdream at 5:57 PM on June 17, 2005


Perhaps it is just because the internet has become just as mainstream as the other popular media. Therefore it is just full of crap.

This is the exact attitude that destroys anything interesting.
posted by jonmc at 6:11 PM on June 17, 2005


Right after the election Matt went on a deletion jihad after the endless political posts and it really did improve MetaFilter for a while.

Yeah, that was about as popular around here as Prohibition was during the '20's. The Carrie Nation crowd loved it, but then the natives rebelled. People need to take a little pride in what they post, and if they post crap, they need to have their pride hurt a little bit, and there are plenty here to take up that last task.
posted by caddis at 6:13 PM on June 17, 2005


Earlier, when I said that Optimus Chyme was rushmc, I should have said that Optimus Chyme is y6y6y6.
posted by Kwantsar at 6:47 PM on June 17, 2005


Is he? They're both kinda dicks, it wouldn't be surprising...
posted by jonson at 7:14 PM on June 17, 2005


The crap level is subjective. I find it entertaining, and thus I welcome all of your awful posts about OH MY GOD CHURCH OF SUBGENIUS WHO ARE THESE GUYS.
posted by angry modem at 7:33 PM on June 17, 2005


Image hosted by Photobucket.com
posted by keswick at 7:35 PM on June 17, 2005


Agreed. Less Meta. More Filter. And on the topic of all things puppety and dicky...I like Rush and Y6. Don't agree with them most of the time, but like them none the less. Would be surprised if either of them have a sock puppet as neither has ever been hesitant to share their views.
posted by dejah420 at 7:36 PM on June 17, 2005


Holy Hammer of Antioch, has the deletion jihad begun at last?!
Six posts deleted today: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. Every one a stinker.
The Mathowie is a just god.
posted by LarryC at 8:01 PM on June 17, 2005


I love reading mathowie's comments on closed/deleted threads; they're better than the front page.
posted by keswick at 8:03 PM on June 17, 2005


The crap level of mefi definetly dosn't follow the general internet trend, and it has definetly gone up since signups opened.

Huh? Things were much worse during election season than they are now, and, IIRC, signups were closed for most if not all of that time.
posted by IshmaelGraves at 9:28 PM on June 17, 2005


Every one a stinker.
Not at all.
Some of those were perfectly fine posts, according to the stated rules.

And with new people joining every week, those rules should be enforced consistently, not based on whim, or not at all, i think. (Even if it means my posts get killed too--are single-link CNN posts not ok anymore, or does it depend on the topic? on Matt's mood? on what? Tom and Katie is ok because it's more than one link? Or it's not ok? Or it was ok yesterday but if it was posted tonight it wouldn't be?)
posted by amberglow at 10:10 PM on June 17, 2005


Let's get a little more delete happy. Five posts a day of the top of the line shit that nearly everyone can agree one, with striking commentary. Delete all the smallest comments, leaving the longest ones that aren't Ethereal Bonghit. Then I'll be happy.
posted by angry modem at 10:24 PM on June 17, 2005


amberglow, not to worry, I believe i read somewhere recently that your posts are immune to deletion because you prefer the sexual company of men. Or something. I couldn't quite follow the logic...
posted by jonson at 10:35 PM on June 17, 2005


They were all bad, and more should have been deleted. But you've got to start somewhere.
posted by justgary at 11:39 PM on June 17, 2005


Some of those were perfectly fine posts, according to the stated rules.

You can't define whether something is worth posting on the blue by rules. It should go without saying, but: the rules are to guide you in making a decision, not to make your decision for you. There are millions of ways for a post to fall short, and only a handful of real hard-and-fast rules, so naturally the rules fall short of completely encompassing every possible form of suck. Slavish adherence to the rules does not guarantee a good post nor does it excuse a poor one.

The rules are not the path; they are only signposts along the path. The path is the path.
posted by kindall at 12:38 AM on June 18, 2005


i agree with amberglow that the deletion of posts seems arbitrary, and the reasons given are not particularly informative. i've grown to cringe any any 'meh' comment here because it betrays the poster's laziness and reflects an affectation of boredom and cynicism that is tired and unoriginal, and contributes nothing more than weak, pathetic distraction from the topic at hand.

worse, it doesn't go to the heart of the problem: the unrealistic expectation that every topic need be compelling to everyone, or to some self-appointed elite. i don't find every topic here interesting, but i tend not to make an ass of myself by jumping in the middle of them to say so. in real-life conversation with friends and colleagues, someone who does this would be excluded. in this spirit, rather than see posts deleted, i would prefer that posters be deleted--those who can't sit back and allow uncompelling topics to die their own quick death, but keep them going by turning them into insult- or bitch-sessions; those who contribute nothing to a conversation outside their personal displeasure with the its topic and accompanying efforts to derail it.
posted by troybob at 12:48 AM on June 18, 2005


let's stop playing prophet, shall we? just yesterday someone linked to an fpp (that was not deleted) from '99 about boy george nearly getting killed by an errant disco ball. granted, metafilter changes, but if you're going the theorize about the nature of its mutability, at least try and be interesting about it.
posted by ori at 12:48 AM on June 18, 2005


it's just that in 1999, you all thought you were all that and a box of crackerjack. now, thanks to quonsar, you know you're all dicks.
posted by quonsar at 5:36 AM on June 18, 2005


yeah, I don't much care one way or the other, but it does seem a bit arbitrary - the bewitched statue in salem goes but the tom cruise gets married stays? And did the subgenius snarkfest get pulled or no?

Anyway, like I said, it makes little difference to me, but it still seems random. mathowie himself has linked some pretty weak sites, by many people's standards. MeFi tries to hit this middle ground that allows for some amount of silly fun, some amount of chat (re: new technology, chat has always been ok), & some amount of really smart / cool stuff. But then a lot of the smart/cool stuff is old news to lotsa people which further complicates matters.

But, I suppose that's just the way it is, a little random.
posted by mdn at 5:58 AM on June 18, 2005


...those who contribute nothing to a conversation outside their personal displeasure with the its topic and accompanying efforts to derail it.
Well said.

And what mdn said.
posted by amberglow at 7:21 AM on June 18, 2005


snsranch posted "Perhaps it is just because the internet has become just as mainstream as the other popular media. Therefore it is just full of crap."

Yeah, it's always been full of crap. One thing though, people like to contribute -- to make posts. Of course the web has grown HUGELY and there's still a ton of great stuff out there, but if you consider that most of the mainstream and many of the outlying obscurities in real life that float our boats have been cherrypicked for posts before, I'm sure it can seem a bit daunting especially to a newby, when trying to rustle up a topic -- and many join because they WANT to contribute.

Sure that means that people should be exercising due care with searching and being vigilant about quality and yes, I realize that most decent posts derive from serendipity, but I can still see how picking from the 'low branches' increases over time because of it (not that I exclude myself - no doubt mine are slack or of little interest or boring to the few or many). That effect is again increased with increasing numbers of members. [It's not the overall reason, but it's a factor I think that is relevant]

I don't know how, other than wielding the deletion button with some consistency and pointing out the posting procedure pages AND by people trying to actually lend a hand to newbies that any better level of quality in the blue can be achieved. Deletions are pretty good in terms of showing what's unacceptable but it's only those with metafilthy or who read the Lite version that see them, unless they were contributors to a thread they later saw disappeared (?).

Maybe have a page of deletions ? Link it to the posting page. Archive it every 3 months or something? By way of ongoing example ?? I wouldn't want to be listed there - it would doubtless be a strong incentive.
posted by peacay at 8:10 AM on June 18, 2005


Maybe have a page of deletions ?

That is a pony I would love. Right now deleting a FPP really only educates the person who made the post, as most of us probably never notice. An archive of deleted posts would be as valuable as the flag system.

Monkeyfilter has this, by the way. The deleted posts are even still open for comment!
posted by LarryC at 8:17 AM on June 18, 2005


i would prefer that posters be deleted--those who can't sit back and allow uncompelling topics to die their own quick death, but keep them going by turning them into insult- or bitch-sessions; those who contribute nothing to a conversation outside their personal displeasure with the its topic and accompanying efforts to derail it.

Excellent idea.
posted by Rothko at 9:35 AM on June 18, 2005


I agree with kindall. Embrace the arbitariness and uncertaintly. It's what makes this place interesting. It's also how life itself operates. There are too many variables for things to be defined cleanly.

People who demand hard and fast rules should be careful what they ask for; they're likely to end up with a bureaucracy. Also the moment you try to impose any kind of rule you get all sorts of cries of "fascism" and endless, endless debates about the exact interpretation of the rules. Not worth it.

I don't agree with Matt on every decision but the current system works pretty well.
posted by vacapinta at 10:51 AM on June 18, 2005


vacapinta: I don't agree with Matt on every decision but the current system works pretty well.

Agreed.
posted by dejah420 at 11:55 AM on June 18, 2005


This post was deleted for the following reason: meh

Can I at least ask what "meh" stands for? *confused*
posted by EricBrooksDotCom at 11:48 AM PST on June 18


This is not helpful at all--especially for new members (it's from the thread above this). At least a real reason should be given, if nothing else.
posted by amberglow at 12:15 PM on June 18, 2005


It stands for Mediocrity Exists Here.
posted by stupidsexyFlanders at 12:46 PM on June 18, 2005


Theory: The recent influx of Crap on Metafilter may not necessarily be related to the recent influx of Noobs (like myself). Perhaps it is just because the internet has become just as mainstream as the other popular media. Therefore it is just full of crap.

I disagree. If people tried to really post unique stuff and not just post for the sake of posting, MeFi would be back to the way it was. I admire Marxchivist; he saw this, but didn't despair and didn't bitch. Instead, he posted this. The quality is out there, folks. Let your own selves be the filter and don't post crap. We're better than what MeFi currently is. (Marxchivist is a $5 member, btw.)
posted by Doohickie at 9:33 PM on June 18, 2005


just yesterday someone linked to an fpp (that was not deleted) from '99 about boy george nearly getting killed by an errant disco ball.

Thread #425, the only post on December 17, 1999. I dug it up in response to someone kinda sneering in the Tom Cruise thread, " Mefi...it's not just for intellectuals anymore."

There are a lot of things that have changed over the years I've been reading MeFi, but a mix of front page posts that includes dumb celebrity gossip isn't one of them.
posted by mediareport at 4:31 PM on June 19, 2005


vacapinta says: I agree with kindall.
I agree with vacapinta.
posted by dg at 5:55 PM on June 19, 2005


I agree with dg
posted by Doohickie at 5:58 AM on June 20, 2005


Therefore it is just full of crap.

Hence the need for, um, a FILTER?
posted by glenwood at 8:34 AM on June 20, 2005


Nope, Doohickie has it all wrong.
posted by Balisong at 4:54 PM on June 20, 2005


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